Monday, August 30, 2010

Satire rules.

sat·ire (noun) \ˈsa-ˌtī(-ə)r\

1: a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn
2: trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice or folly

I'm a firm believer in the power of satire. If you want to skewer someone's idiotic beliefs, there's no better way than to satirize the hell out of them. Canadian humour leans towards this much more strongly than American humour typically does; we had the Air Farce for decades on radio and TV, This Hour Has 22 Minutes (and, before it, the "original," This Hour Has Seven Days), its predecessor CODCO, Rick Mercer's various projects, and a host of others in both English and French. You can probably trace this back through to British humour (remember Spitting Image?), which has a satirical bent to it, too; the Daily Show and Colbert Report are relatively recent (and welcome) additions to the American comedy scene.

One publication that does satire about as well as anyone is The Onion. A lot of their pieces are purely absurdist, but they also include articles which make a very deliberate point, very satirically... like this article. It's hilarious, and it makes a point very emphatically. Well done.

In completely unrelated news, our school board's Director of Education is putting us through this on Wednesday afternoon. I give it a 50-50 shot that it's at least a half-hour late in starting, and a 1-in-100 shot that, because of various problems, it won't even start and we'll have to go home. Up until just now I didn't realize that was the Director himself in the middle of those four kids. High-larious.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Oh, that Glenn Beck.

You know he's nuttier than a tractor-trailer full of fruitcakes. This much has been clear for years, so I won't bother to tell you that.

If you hadn't heard, Mr. Beck was planning a rally for today, August 28, at the Lincoln Memorial. This is also the anniversary of Martin Luther King giving his "I Have A Dream" speech — apparently unbeknownst to Beck — and Al Sharpton had already planned for a rally on the same day, in a different part of that whole Lincoln Memorial/Reflecting Pool complex dealie they've got going on down there.

As you might expect, Beck didn't cancel or move or postpone his to-do. Nope, giving in is un-American, and if there's one thing Beck doesn't want to be, it's un-American. He can be — and often is — a buffoon, a racist, a misogynist, a moron, a religious zealot, a fearmonger, a liar, and a history-distorter, amongst other things. But don't you dare call him un-UhMURRicun. Beck also called the coincidence of him magically scheduling his rally on the same day as MLK's speech anniversary "divine providence." If there's a God/god/gods, if-and-when you meet Her/Him/Them/them, ask about this one.

Also, as you might expect, Beck didn't disappoint at his rally, in terms of giving unintentionally-hilarious hum-dingers we can feast upon. Dive into these tasty morsels, if you will:

"Something beyond imagination is happening. America today begins to turn back to God."
Turning back? You mean it was a country full of atheists and agnostics all this time?

"Recognize your place to the creator. Realize that he is our king. He is the one who guides and directs our life and protects us."
Two things. One, you declared independence of a king over 200 years ago. Two, the oh-so-precious Founding Fathers — rich slave-owners, the lot of 'em — weren't too heavy on the Christian thing.

"I ask, not only if you would pray on your knees, but pray on your knees but with your door open for your children to see."
Just be sure to close the door so they don't watch you fuckin'. That might scar a kid for life... so I'm told.

"Go to church. Restore America with peace."
This was what a Beck-rally-attender shouted at the Sharpton rally. Yes, a rally led by The Reverend Al Sharpton was told to go to church. That is, very literally, "preaching to the choir."

There were others, I'm sure. I had better things to do today than to watch it live on TV: namely, I had to do anything else which didn't involve me inserting my penis into a burlap sack of broken glass.

(No offence intended, if you're into that sort of thing.)

Y'know, I hope Sarah Palin wins the Republican nomination for President in 2012. I really do.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I'm writing, get off my back already, MOM.

We've hit the end of summer, and yeah, things have been mostly uneventful around here. However, if you're looking for a little inspiration (or a way to kill a few minutes/hours of your time), I can recommend a few things.

1. Dr. Steve Brule

You know how local-yokel TV stations on their noon newscasts sometimes have special segments with reporters that exclusively do fluff-pieces for filler? There's a sketch comedy show called Tim and Eric, Awesome Show, Great Job! (a funny show on its own) that featured an inept reporter, Dr. Steve Brule, played by John C Reilly, that eventually spun off into its own show, Check It Out!, with Dr. Steve Brule. Some original clips from "Tim and Eric" are here, and some clips from the spinoff show are here.

2. The Mighty Boosh

It's a BBC show which focuses on the exploits of two characters, Howard Moon and Vince Noir, who are... uh... well, in the first series they're zookeepers, in the second they're just wacky guys, and in the third they're struggling musicians. There's a gorilla and a shaman involved, and to describe the rest would be pointless. It's not Aqua Teen absurd, but it's gone down that road a ways.

3. Putting a little uppercut into my swing

I came across this during a baseball game we played on Tuesday night. I've been trying to finesse the ball here and there, with mixed results, all season. So, I stepped into the (right-handed) batter's box and decided to swing a little harder and with a bit of an uppercut, and whadda ya know, I hit a double to left-centre. I think that's what I've been missing lately... sure, it's nice to poke a seeing-eye single through a hole to drive in a run, but it also feels really bitchin' to hit a ball a long way.

I've been into the school for the past four days, so my holidays are essentially over. What I've found, though, is that it takes a few days to really get my head back into the game; Monday and Tuesday I went in for the afternoon and basically got squat done. Today, though, I had more focus and actually accomplished quite a bit, in terms of organizing stuff for the department.

Holidays are fun and all, but being productive is a good feeling too.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hard-hitting journalism.

Look, I know that the news headlines on the main portal page for Yahoo — the one I'm sent to after I check my junk-email account there — isn't exactly written by Woodward and Bernstein. It's not meant to replace Newsweek, or the Financial Times, or even Big-Breasted Midget Monthly (which, contrary to what its title might suggest, contained a detailed and incisive analysis of the new American financial reform bill in last month's issue, and I highly recommend you find a copy).

But, I have to say, this sort of headline doesn't really give me a lot of hope for the future:

McCain calls Snooki 'beautiful'

That's US Senator John McCain (R-AZ), former Republican candidate for President of the United States, self-proclaimed "maverick," and terrible Air Force pilot... and Snooki, from the MTV "reality" show Jersey Shore.

I don't know much about the show, other than it may well be, to greased-up ginos, what The Beachcombers was to flannel-clad Canadian lumberjacks. And, after looking at a couple of pictures of Snooki (born Nicole Polizzi)... well, despite having fairly insane hair, makeup an inch thick and usually a ridiculous look on her face, yeah, I suppose she's decent-enough-looking. (And, from all the evidence I've seen, she could very well appear in next month's Big-Breasted Midget Monthly — I swear to you I didn't know she had (a.) giant cans and was (b.) vertically challenged when I started writing this. But it sure worked out that way, didn't it?)

Senator McCain knows a thing or two about beautiful women: the record is pretty clear on this.

His first wife, Carol Shepp, was a looker; when John was over in 'Nam, getting shot down and imprisoned, Carol wrote him letters all the time, despite getting in a horrendous car accident which left her several inches shorter, and her convalescence (through no fault of her own) caused her to gain some weight.

So, when Johnny came marching home (eventually) and found she wasn't a model anymore, he first cheated on her, then dumped her for Cindy Hensley — younger, taller, prettier, and coincidentally the heiress to a huge beer-distribution fortune. (Ross Perot — yes, that one — works into this story somehow too, but I'm too lazy to look it up.) Carol, for the record, and perplexingly, still loves John a ton and wishes him all the best.

All I'm saying is, if John McCain dumps his wife for Snooki, you heard it here first.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Vacation recap.

One of the reasons it's been a while since I've written is because it feels like I've given a vacation recap to everyone already. But, in case you managed to slip through the cracks, or — gasp! — you're a stranger reading this, I guess I haven't managed to recap it for you.

  • nice and cool, but rained a little every day
  • small, quiet, quaint, just my size/style/pace
  • otherworldly scenery out in the country
  • the people have a quirky sense of humour
  • we ate this and this and this (whoops... actually this)
  • alright, I was there less than 24 hours
  • King Tut's is a great place to see several bands
  • bars with numbered tables are strange, but it works
  • nice and cool, but it rained a little every day
  • lots of tourists, but they weren't too annoying
  • Gaelic Football is an awesome sport
  • tourists don't quite take over, but they get close
  • nice and cool, but it rained a little every day
  • the eponymous Bay is absolutely beautiful
  • a bit touristy, but not really annoyingly so
  • next time I'm going out to see the Cliffs of Moher
  • effin' HOTTER than an effin' MOFO
  • you can spend $43 on a single beer in Park Slope
  • the pizza's pretty good, to be honest
So, that's about it. Out of the 15 days I was gone, I consumed alcohol on 14 of them. Now that's a vacation, folks.