Tuesday, May 08, 2007

 

Conservatives, Liberals and Libertarians: A Primer



Lately, there has been a tremendous clamoring for me to explain the differences between conservatives, liberals and libertarians. The urgency, the enthusiasm and the desperation of this outcry has become such that I can no longer ignore it, in spite of the fact that it is a figment of my imagination.

Therefore, I've decided to post something of a primer on these distinct social philosophies.

I realize that, at first glance, much of what I've written below will seem like a collection of ill-informed generalities. I can only beg for the reader's patience. Read my ideas, consider my point of view, and I'm sure that you'll find that what might have seemed at first to be a set of generalities is, in fact, a pack of irresponsible lies.

Conservatives, Liberals and Libertarians;
A SouthCon Primer



What is a conservative?
Conservatives are people who value God, country and family above all other things. It is sometimes said that conservatives "hate and fear change." This is almost correct. In fact, conservatives welcome necessary changes that benefit the common good. However, they do resist changes that seem spurious and random. For instance, most conservatives are still miffed about the whole New Coke thing. Conservatives believe that it takes a family, not a village, to raise a child. They believe that Paris Hilton deserves at least 45 days in jail. They also believe that there'll never be another TV show as good as Andy Griffith. It's possible that conservatives need to get out more. A list of noteworthy conservatives would include Abe Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, Thomas Sowell, Batman, Moses and Ted Nugent.

What is a liberal?
Liberals are people who believe that all of society's ills can be cured by the creation of new laws, an increase in government spending, and several hours spent in a drum circle. Liberals like to use the word "plight" a lot. They reject outdated notions, such as patriarchal rule, religion, individual accountability and personal hygiene. Liberals believe in peace and kindness, and they frequently show it by gathering together in groups and throwing rocks at police officers. Liberals live by many creeds, most of which can be found on their bumper stickers. One classic liberal creed is If you give a man a fish he'll eat for a day, but if you teach a man to fish, then you damn well better be a card-carrying member of the teacher's union. A list of well-known liberals would include Alec Baldwin, Hillary Clinton, Rosie O'Donnell, Lisa Simpson, Michael Stipe and Wavy Gravy.

What is a libertarian?
Libertarians support the preeminence of individual liberty and the free-market system. Generally, libertarians reject all forms of government that limit personal freedom in any way, and many advance the belief that the best form of society is a combination of capitalism and anarchy. This belief is technically known as "dumb." While there is a relatively small and innocuous political party in America known as "The Libertarian Party," most people who consider themselves libertarian aren't members of that party. Apparently, they aren't that dumb. A list of famous libertarians would include MTV's Kennedy, Murray Rothbard, Dr. Evil, Penn Gillette, Garfield the cat and Satan.

Conservatives, Liberals and Libertarians
On The Issues



Government

The Conservative Position
Conservatives believe in limited government. Since government generally does what it does badly, conservatives believe that the less government does, the better.

The Liberal Position
Liberals believe that the government could, if it chose, solve every problem in the world. Typically, liberals believe that most problems could be eliminated if the government would create a bunch of new laws and enforce them, across the board and equally, on all wealthy white males.

The Libertarian Position
Libertarians believe in the individual's complete and universal freedom, and that all individuals have the right to have this kind of freedom imposed upon them whether they want it or not.

Religion

The Conservative Position
Conservatives typically adhere to religions traditionally described as "orthodoxy." They practice these religions by worshiping God.

The Liberal Position
Liberals typically adhere to religions traditionally described as "universalism." They practice these religions by worshiping trees … or whales … or stars … or staplers … or whatever you might have lying around the garage.

The Libertarian Position
Libertarians typically adhere to a religion described as "atheism." They practice this religion by worshiping a dead, adulterous novelist named Ayn Rand.

Altruism

The Conservative Position
Conservatives tend to rely on the decency of the individual to provide for the impoverished. They believe that, while charity begins at home, once the means become available, it shouldn't end there. Nonetheless, conservatives believe that education and the development of self-reliance are the best gifts you can give anyone.

The Liberal Position
Liberals believe that the best way to help the poor is to take everyone else's money and distribute it among those who aren't as well off, thereby creating a cycle of dependency that insures that the poor stay poor and dependent.

The Libertarian Position
Libertarians subscribe to a philosophy known as "objectivism," and therefore tend to care very little about the poor. Objectivism is a combination of indifference, greed, and hedonism … albeit a kind of hedonism that doesn't involve bikinis and venereal diseases.

Taxes And Spending

The Conservative Position
Conservatives believe that everyone should pay their fair share of taxes, but many conservatives believe that a flat tax is the fairest system. Conservatives tend to see the democratic process as the best method by which to determine how common resources will be employed.

The Liberal Position
Liberals believe that the government makes money out of thin air and that it has a zillion billion gazillion dollars squirreled away in a cave somewhere, and that it could spend that money making everything all better, but it won't because of those damned Neocons.

The Libertarian Position
Libertarians don't believe in paying taxes. They believe that the roads will be maintained by Civil Service Fairies who will come out at night and sprinkle Magic Paving Dust.

Drug Abuse

The Conservative Position
Conservatives believe that drug abuse is destructive, and that the government, as an agent of the people, should try to prevent people from harming themselves (or vulnerable young people) with drugs.

The Liberal Position
Liberals believe that the purple cockroaches crawling out of the sink will go away if they just cool out, think happy thoughts, and enjoy the trip, man.

The Libertarian Position
Libertarians believe that personal liberty should include the right of the individual to indulge in recreational drugs if he or she wants to. Libertarians might experiment with drugs themselves, but nobody likes them well enough to tell them who's holding.

Popular Culture

The Conservative Position
Conservatives refuse to accept that everything done in the name of "art" is worthwhile. Conservatives tend to think that "gangsta rap" is stupid.

The Liberal Position
Liberals refuse to accept that Pearl Jam has completely sucked since 1993. Liberals tend to think that NASCAR is stupid.

The Libertarian Position
Libertarians refuse to accept that Atlas Shrugged is so boring that many people who've tried to read it have died from B.I.H. (Boredom Induced Hemorrhaging). Libertarians tend to think that you are stupid.

The Media

The Conservative Position
Conservatives like to listen to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glen Beck and Laura Ingraham.

The Liberal Position
Liberals like to listen to "Weird Al." That's Weird Al Frankin, Weird Al Sharpton and Weird Al Gore.

The Libertarian Position
Libertarians like to listen to Neil Boortz. They also like to listen to the faint, shrill sucking sound of their own souls imploding.

Lifestyles

The Conservative Position
Conservatives believe in the nuclear family, in marriage as a loving contract between a man and a woman, and in the sanctity of life.

The Liberal Position
Liberals believe that Heather has two mommies. Unless one of those mommies decided that she didn't want Heather and had her killed in the womb. Then, liberals believe that Heather never really existed in the first place.

The Libertarian Position
Libertarians believe that all human relationships should be whatever we want them to be, and that sex is what we make of it. Some day, libertarians hope to actually have sex with someone.

The Eastwood Example

As with most things, I've found that everything that you really need to know about conservatives, liberals and libertarians can be learned from watching Clint Eastwood movies. I'll close with these character summaries from Eastwood films; summaries that explain it all as well as anything else:

Clint The Conservative
Clint's character Harry Callahan, from the movie The Enforcer, is the ultimate conservative. Harry Callahan believes in law and order and he's willing to risk his life and do what he has to in order to maintain law and order … even if that means getting his hands a little dirty.

Clint The Liberal
Clint's character Frankie Dunn from the movie Million Dollar Baby embodies much of what defines modern American white liberalism. That is to say, he believes in assisted suicide and he bitches and complains a lot.

Clint The Libertarian
Clint's unnamed character from the spaghetti western A Fist Full Of Dollars is a classic libertarian. He doesn't care about anyone but himself, he plays both ends against the middle, and he ends up laughing all the way to the bank.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

 

Getting Up With The Dogs



I've been having some trouble sleeping lately. I'm a shift worker and my circadian rhythm is about as rhythmic as a train wreck … so for the past three nights in a row I've found myself wide awake at 4:00 AM.

I get up with the dogs. What else is there to do?

"Getting up with the dogs," of course, is an option unique to dog owners. Here's how it works in this house: You get out of bed and take the dogs outside for a quick bathroom break … and then you come back in and sit on the couch with the dogs, both of whom act as thrilled to be sharing your company as anyone else might if they were hanging out with celebrities or royalty or rich people. The dogs fight for lap space and eventually work out a truce wherein one dog is in my lap and the other is pushed up as close as possible beside me on the couch. Both dogs wag their tails like mad and shake all over and just generally do everything they can to express the concept "Wow! You GOT UP WITH US! Isn't this GREAT??!" after a great deal of enthusiasm and general dog/dog-owner bonding, all three of us attempt to drift back off to sleep with varying degrees of success. If that fails to work, there's always the fridge.

Getting up with the dogs is awesome. Nobody ever "got up with the cats."

I write a whole lot about political issues here and I'm always fairly straightforward about where my allegiances are. In case I haven't made it clear in the past (although I'm sure I have), I'm a dog person. I am not a cat person.

Wendy is a cat person. She loves our dogs in specific, but she doesn't love dogs in general. The concept of the awesomeness of dogginess, and the way that dogs just kick ass by and large, seems to be lost on her. That confuses me, and I'm doubly perplexed by her preference for cats since cats are clearly evil, irresponsible animals who don't love anyone.

There, I said it.

Dogs are better than cats, and I can prove it:

For one thing, dogs never lose their enthusiasm for anything. They take nothing for granted. Dogs are as happy about something the five millionth time it happens as they are the first time. Typical dog attitudes at our house include

Cats, on the other hand, take everything for granted. Cat's don't express enthusiasm, they express "contentment." You never make a cat happy. You might, occasionally, meet it's expectations.

Dogs are also capable of feeling and expressing shame. If a dog gets into the trash can for the FIFTEEN TIME TODAY (not that I'm bitter) and you yell at the dog for his behavior, the dog will tuck his tail between his legs and slink around as if to say "Oh, man, how could I have forgotten that? I'm not supposed to do that. I'm sorry. I'm sooooo sorry, pleeeeease forgive me."

If you yell at a cat for doing something it's not supposed to, the cat will only express two possible responses: confusion and anger. Confusion because you've clearly forgotten your subordinate role to the cat and anger because you've interfered with it's highly-important cat activity.

If dogs and cats were characters on Spongebob Squarepants, all dogs would be Patrick and all cats would be Squidward.

You can play with a dog. by the way. You can work out elaborate games with actual rules. Rules like I throw it, you go get it, I take it from you and throw it again. You can't actually play with a cat. All you can do for a cat is hold something while the cat smacks it. With dogs you can be a playmate. With cats you can only be an enabler.

By the way, the worse you smell, the happier your dog is to see you. If you come in from a long day of mowing grass or working your butt off and you're drenched with sweat, your dog will positively shake with joy at the opportunity to enjoy your many strange smells. Cats don't do that. Hell, people don't even do that. I've never come home from a day of busting my butt at work and heard my wife say "Oh, good, you stink!"

If someone comes to the door, our dogs let us know. Our dogs are always on the lookout for anyone who might pose the threat of coming in and possibly attacking us, robbing us, or delivering a package from UPS. Our dogs are aware of these potential threats and they're ever vigilant in their dedication to protecting us. Cats, on the other hand, never lift a paw to stop anyone from coming in. Charles Manson could walk into your home and a cat's attitude would be "Oh, good, you've come. Listen, please be a dear and hold this string while I bat at it, won't you? Otherwise, I simply don't see any reason for your presence."

Dogs are optimists. Cats are cynics.

Dogs believe in God. Cats believe that they are gods.

Dogs are always willing to try new things. Cats respond to any change by sulking under the bed.

All hail the awesome dog. Would that we could be more like him in his enthusiasm, love, appreciation of life and willingness to bite the UPS man.

Show me a cat that'll bite the UPS man and I'll show you a cat with aspirations above the mere feline.

This post is dedicated to Tilda and Chester. Good dogs. Gooooood dooooogs.



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Saturday, December 23, 2006

 

Rob Paravonian



This guy's stuff really made me laugh. He won me over by starting out with a Creed joke. His website is here.

More stuff here.

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Friday, May 19, 2006

 

Raising The Bar



This co-review by Wendy and me is also posted at her blog.

On the way home from Church this morning, Wendy and I got on the subject of candy bars when we stopped at the grocery store and noticed that Reese's has a new candy bar out. Of course, that lead to reviewing and rating candy bars.

For reference, our scale is one to five. A one means that the candy bar isn't fit to feed to pigs and a five means that this is probably something that they eat in Heaven.

Also for reference, things that come in bite-size portions (M&Ms, Rolo, Hershey Kissables, etc) were not considered eligible for consideration.

We'd also like to cop to having swiped a lot of our graphics from this highly informative and interesting website.

Having said all that, on with the reviewing.



Wendy's Rating: 4.5
Darrell's Rating: 3


Wendy says: "Most times when I get a candy bar while in line at the grocery store, it's this one. It's lower fat and it's just as good as most higher fat candy bars."

Darrell says: "Eh. It's OK, I guess. It's a good stand-by bar. If you offered me a free one, I wouldn't turn it down."





Wendy's Rating: 3
Darrell's Rating: 3


Wendy says: "It's better than most candy bars that have rice in them because of the caramel."

Darrell says: "I really don't get the whole thing of having Rice Krispies in a candy bar. This one is pretty good, though, because the caramel is good and makes up for the rice."





Wendy's Rating: 3.5
Darrell's Rating: 3


Wendy says: "This is my mom's favorite candy bar. I had one the other day and it brought back fond memories. I like the caramel and the peanuts."

Darrell says: "You know what I hate about the Baby Ruth? Every time I eat one... and I mean EVERY TIME... a few of the peanuts get wasted because I take a bite and they break off and fall in the floor. I HATE that. It tastes good, I admit that... but eating one of these bars just triggers every obsessive compulsive tendency I have and, psychologically speaking, it just isn't worth it."





Wendy's Rating: 5
Darrell's Rating: 5


Wendy says: "It just doesn't get any better than this. This is my favorite candy bar right now. The peanut butter is awesome, the cup is thick, and the peanuts just set it off and make it perfect. Eat them while you can because they probably won't be around for long."

Darrell says: "Need proof that there's a God? Eat the Reese's Big Cup With Nuts. Oooooh, it's so good. Sooooooo good. When I get one, before I even take a bite, I like to take it out of the wrapper and take a big long smell first, and grieve for the angels because they ain't got 'em."





Wendy's Rating: 2
Darrell's Rating (Qualified... see below)


Wendy says: "I don't like Butterfinger. I don't like the filling getting stuck in my teeth and being there for weeks. Every time I eat one it's like my mouth gets exercise that it doesn't really need."

Darrell says: "OK, when they're fresh, there's nothing better than a Butterfinger. I'd give a fresh Butterfinger a 5. The filling is so light and tasty and just melts in your mouth. But when they're stale and the filling gets hard and mega-chewy, and you want to go home and get a coat-hanger and dig around in your mouth trying to get all that brown gunk out of your teeth... oh, man, that's awful. A stale Butterfinger get's a 1.5 from me."





Wendy's Rating: 2.5
Darrell's Rating: 4.5


Wendy says: "I guess I just don't like Butterfinger. At least the filling doesn't get stuck in my teeth. But, it's dry. It's like eating paste. The chocolate tastes good, though."

Darrell says: "The good thing about Butterfinger Crisp is that the wafers keep the peanut buttery filling from getting stuck in your teeth. The bad thing is the wafers themselves. Wafers are filler. But at least you can taste the filling and don't have to worry when you buy one that if it turns out to be stale you'll have to change your plans for the evening."





Wendy's Rating: 5
Darrell's Rating: 2.5


Wendy says: "When I was a kid, the Tooth Fairy brought me a dollar and a king-size Caramello for every tooth I lost. It's a wonder I didn't have cavities as a kid. The caramel is soooo creamy and soooo rich and sooooo bad for me, but it's an outstanding bar."

Darrell says: "Who wants caramel on their arms, chin, and shirt?"





Wendy's Rating: 4.5
Darrell's Rating: 3


Wendy says: "When they say Chunky, they mean Chunky. The peanuts and raisins and big chunky chocolate are like a meal in itself."

Darrell says: "I'd have scored it higher if it weren't for the raisins. I don't like the consistency of raisins in chocolate. It's like squishing bugs or something."





Wendy's Rating: 1
Darrell's Rating: 2


Wendy says: "I like Reese's peanut butter, but the nougat is so over-powering and so hard and chewy that you can't even taste the peanut butter. It's like chewing on a shoe, and I don't like to chew on shoes."

Darrell says: "Look, Reese's peanut butter is always so good that even in this bad combination it still deserves at least a 2.





Wendy's Rating: 2.5
Darrell's Rating 3.5


Wendy says: "I just don't like chocolate by itself. It's good chocolate, but it's just boring. It makes me want something in it."

Darrell says: "It tastes good. That's enough for me."





Wendy's Rating: 4
Darrell's Rating: 4


Wendy says: "Finally, they put something in my Hershey's bar! And, boy, is it good! And, boy, do I feel ripped off if I only get one almond!"

Darrell says: "It's good chocolate, and it's better with the almonds. It's a classic combination. But I once worked with a guy who told me very believably that he once found a worm in an almond in a Hershey's bar and I still think about that when I eat one of these bars. I really hate that guy."





Wendy's Rating: 2
Darrell's Rating: 5


Wendy says: "I just don't like dark chocolate. It's bitter."

Darrell says: "Oh, man, this is good stuff. Goooooood, strong chocolate. I think maybe I started liking the strong stuff from my days as a smoker when dark chocolate was the only chocolate I could taste. Anyway, I still like this. It's an all-time fav."





Wendy's Rating: 3
Darrell's Rating: 3


Wendy says: "Good, but not great."

Darrell says: "Like the Three Musketeers, I wouldn't turn down a free one."





Wendy's Rating: 4
Darrell's Rating: 3


Wendy says: "Bigger is better in this instance. Because it's bigger, there's more creamy chocolate between wafers. I like creamy chocolate between wafers."

Darrell says: "Same feeling as the original Kit Kat. It's OK, nothing special."





Wendy's Rating: 1.5
Darrell's Rating: 1


Wendy says: "I don't like Rice Krispies in my chocolate. It's too crunchy."

Darrell says: "What is RICE doing in my candy bar? This doesn't belong here. I just do not get it. Who is it out there that wants crunchiness so badly that they're willing to eat a candy bar with RICE in it? Celery is crunchy, too... why not throw some celery in there? BAH."





Wendy's Rating: 4.5
Darrell's Rating: 2.5


Wendy says: "I eat all the chocolate off first and then I enjoy the nougat and the caramel as it melts in my mouth. For a long time I considered this my favorite candy bar and I still love it."

Darrell says: "It's a Snickers without peanuts. What's the point?"





Wendy's Rating: 5
Darrell's Rating: 2.5


Wendy says: "Bring on the nuts! I love peanuts in chocolate, but these are hard to find. But, when I find 'em, I eat 'em."

Darrell says: "Looking for Mr. Goodbar? Why? There are, like, a hundred better bars out there."





(See our reviews for the Krackel Bar. They're the same thing.)





Wendy's Rating: 2.5
Darrell's Rating: 2.5


Wendy says: "The caramel just makes it better than the regular plain bar."

Darell says: "It ain't bad, I guess. The caramel is pretty tasty... but I'm still annoyed by that superfluous rice. They might as well have couscous in there as far as I'm concerned."





Wendy's Rating: 3
Darrell's Rating: 3.5


Wendy says: "It's good, but it didn't make a lasting impression on me."

Darrell Says: "While I have many of the same complaints with the Nutrageous that I have with the Baby Ruth, this bar has the advantage of that Reese's peanut butter. That's a big advantage."





Wendy's Rating: 3.5
Darrell's Rating: 2


Wendy says: "I don't like coconut, but I do like this bar. I think it's because of the almonds."

Darrell says: "Two little bars, two little bites. Just enough candy to make me mad."





Wendy's Rating: 2
Darrell's Rating: 2.5


Wendy says: "Dark chocolate and coconut just aren't a good match for me."

Darrell says: "It's better than the Almond Joy because it has the dark chocolate, but it's still two tiny bars, two tiny bites, and one fat redneck who feels ripped off."





Wendy's Rating: 4
Darrell's Rating: 4.5


Wendy says: "It's a classic. It's a good stand-by. I just wish it had nuts in it."

Darrell says: "Hey, you can't go wrong with the original Reese's. It's just tasty. Remember when the ones you could buy at the movie theater had 4 cups in them instead of 3? When did they change that? And, why? Just to make me mad? Because, if so, it worked."





Wendy's Rating: 3.5
Darrell's Rating: 3


Wendy says: "It's not great, but it does have lots of that creamy peanut butter."

Darrell says: "It tastes really good, but it's only about as big around as a Sharpie marker and only about three inches long... so, once again, it was just enough to get me good and miffed."





Wendy's Rating: 3
Darrell's Rating: 2.5


Wendy says: "Each one sounds better than it actually is. The one with the caramel was the most disappointing."

Darrell says: "What Wendy said, only even less enthusiastic."





Wendy's Rating: 3.5
Darrell's Rating: 4


Wendy says: "When I want nuts I'd rather have a Mr. Goodbar. When I want caramel, I'd rather have a Caramello. You get the point."

Darrell says: "I've never had a Snickers I didn't enjoy thoroughly."





Wendy's Rating: 4
Darrell's Rating: 3


Wendy says: "This is the creamiest chocolate. And, the toffee chips and almonds just give it a nice crunch. If I got one of these when I was a kid, it was because I was a good girl. Symphony kept me on the right track.."

Darrell says: "You know what this reminds me of? It's like a Heath bar, only not as tasty. It's OK, I guess... but I prefer Heath."





Wendy's Rating: 1.5
Darrell's Rating: 4


Wendy says: "They've got too much stuff they're trying to do here, and none of it tastes good together. It makes my mouth confused."

Darrell says: "I like chocolate-covered pretzels, so this was a good idea to me. And, once I tried one, I thought it was as good as I'd thought it would be. Tasty. Very tasty.





Wendy's Rating: 3.5
Darrell's Rating: 1


Wendy says: "It's like having a candy-bar version of the Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies. Plus, it's low fat. What more can you ask for?"

Darrell says: "When I eat a York Peppermint Pattie, I get the sensation of having a mouth full of chocolate and mouth-wash at the same time. Then, I throw up."





Wendy's Rating: 2.5
Darrell's Rating: 3


Wendy says: "I just don't like white chocolate enough to care about this bar. I've tried so hard to enjoy this one, but every time I always feel disappointed."

Darrell says: "It's dense. Like a breakfast bar or a power bar or something. It's OK, and it tastes good, but it just didn't impress me very much. Like the Three Musketeers, though, if you're givin' 'em away, I'll take one."




In conclusion, we'd both agree that the candy bar to run out and buy right away is the Reese's Big Cup With Nuts. Oh, man, what a good candy bar.

(Darrell would like to dedicate his contributions at this post to the late, lamented P.B. Maxx. The P.B. Maxx was the best candy bar ever. I don't know why it was taken off the market, but I'm sure that somehow, Bill Clinton is to blame.)

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Friday, September 16, 2005

 

The SouthCon True Hollywood Story, Sept 16, 2005



  • It's been a busy couple of weeks for the world's coolest rock star. Bono, lead singer and rabble rouser for the Irish group U2, told a crowd at a sold out concert in Toronto that Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin's record on foreign aid is "improving." The message was warmly greeted by the fans in attendance, who'd come to the concert hoping to get a lecture about Canada's foreign aid record, but terribly afraid that they might have to endure some rock music in the process. It was a much friendlier message than the one Bono sent at a Vancouver concert in April, when he chastised Martin for breaking a promise to raise Canada's spending on foreign aid.... Bono called Prime Minister Paul Martin "a friend" who has improved his record on global aid. "He's a good man..." In response, Prime Minister Martin said that he won't rest until his record on foreign aid is endorsed not only by Bono, but also by Tommy Lee, Kid Rock, and the members of N'Sync. The Hidden Blogger, who is known for idolizing U2 because of their refusal to take themselves too seriously, said that it was about time Martin took Bono's demands to heart.


  • One fan who attended the concert took exception to Bono's remarks. Six days later, D.L. McCracken found himself further confounded when Bono seemed to withdraw his praise for Paul Martin and join fellow rock star and world feeder, Bob Geldof, in a round of Canada-bashing. "...there's old Bob taking centre stage in New York amidst the United Nations summit of world leaders and he's back on the same old bandwagon and the world shudders as he steps toward the 48 microphones and says with an air of withering contempt that the world's efforts to make poverty history in Africa only gets a Geldof Rating of 4 out of a possible 10 and he adds in an ominous kind of way that he is not thrilled and the world shudders a bit more under the Wrath of Geldof.... someone asks him about Canada... and he sneers, "Canada..Canada is weird." ... And finally... you read... "Rocker Geldof joins Bono in rapping Canuck aid efforts" and your final thought as you chuck the newspaper into the nearest trash can is why can't Bob Geldof and Bono just shut the *expletive removed* up!


  • Elsewhere, Bono was the target of anger and derision by fellow Irish singer Sinead O'Connor. O'Connor, who is known for her tactful and even-keeled critiques of the Catholic church, took issue with Bono's grief at the death of Pope John Paul II. According to Sinead, "I wasn't going to say anything until I saw him kissing he rosary beads that the Pope gave him... He put those rosary beads on that microphone (stand) the day the Pope died and went on about how great Catholicism is. I think he should apologize for that." In response, fans of good music and listenable vocals around the world reiterated their belief that Sinead should apologize for breathing.



  • Actor and pilot John Travolta made headlines recently when he and his wife, Kelly Preston, made a trip to the New Orleans area to deliver relief supplies for Katrina victims. The visit, which was on behalf of the Church of Scientology, was part charity and part recruiting drive for the controversial science-fiction based religion: The couple visited shelters and doled out 1,200 tetanus shots to relief workers while Travolta "showed a demonstration of the 'assists' that the 'Volunteer "Ministers"' are giving and which are 'helping' individuals overcome the trauma of loss of homes and loved ones," the (Church of Scientology press) release stated. For those unfamiliar with the group's recruiting methods, an "assist" is a type of massage that Scientology's "volunteer ministers" use to lure people into learning about the "religion." Scientology is a religion based on the belief that an evil alien named Xenu visited the earth 75 million years ago and implanted a race of "ghosts" from which only Scientology can protect us. The religion has been embraced by a number of noted celebrities. It has also been warmly received by people looking for a story more interesting and believable than the most recent Star Wars movie.


  • Singing/dancing/reality TV poster couple Britney and Kevin Spears announced the birth of their first child together on Britney's website this week: The proud parents revealed: "We are ecstatic to announce the birth of our son. Everyone is happy, healthy and doing wonderful. Thank you all for your love and well wishes!! Love Britney & Kevin." This is the first child for Britney and, as far as he knows, the third child for Kevin, who dumped his pregnant girlfriend Shar Jackson as soon as he "got a shot at the big-time." The child's name has not yet been revealed to the press, although Las Vegas odds are 7-to-1 that his middle name will be "Ray" or "Bob." Doctor's report that the baby is healthy and fit, in spite of being born with a three-pack-a-day smoking habit.



  • Las Vegas odds makers are still reeling over this week's announced break-up of newlyweds Kenny Chesney and Renee Zellweger. Chesney is known for such country hits as "She Made Love To My Tractor" and "Look At My Abs, You Three-Tooth Redneck Gal." Zellweger is best known for Cold Mountain, Chicago, and some movies that actually aren't annoying. The couple, who met this past January and got married in May, are ending their marriage after four months together. A source close to the couple says "I'm shocked. I'm honestly shocked. I know that celebrity marriages are often flakey and unpredictable, but four months? Who'd ever have guessed they'd actually last that long?!"
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    Tuesday, September 13, 2005

     

    The SouthCon True Hollywood Story, Sept 13, 2005



  • Oprah Winfrey crawled down from the top of her pile of money to demand that America apologize to the victims of Hurricane Katrina this week. "I think... this country owes these people an apology. This makes me so mad," the talk-show magnate said. This should not have happened. Nothing I saw on television prepared me for what I experienced on the ground." Oprah also insisted that America promise the victims that the country would never, ever, ever, ever have another hurricane. At press time, Oprah hadn't yet made up her mind as to whether or not the country should go to bed without any dinner. Nonetheless, representatives for the multimillionaire said that it is "highly likely" that Oprah will make the country "stand in the corner and think about it's behavior." America was last seen sulking in it's bedroom, hoping that Oprah is only mad about what we did, that she still loves us, and that she'll continue to buy us stuff.

  • Oprah's template for talk-show television is the most successful in the world. Still, actress/model/singer Tyra Banks plans to do something new and radically different with the debut of her own talk show. According to Banks, You have to look at that stuff and say, 'How can I make it different?' ... I think a reason a lot of talk shows fail is they try to be the next Ricki Lake or they try to be the next Oprah." Viewers of Banks' new program can expect a radical departure from the mold of American talk shows: " I just taped a show on cheating, because I feel like women are very interested in that... I'm also interested in body image... I'd love to interview Jessica Simpson and Beyoncé. ... We're most definitely going to have celebrities on the show. Jenny McCarthy came on and talked about her divorce and her new movie. We had Randy Jackson talking about American Idol. …" Americans are eager to experience this radically different new experiment in talk-show programming, and can only hope that Oprah doesn't take away our TV privileges before we get to see the upcoming episodes.


  • Film-maker and round crybaby idiot Michael Moore is said to be working on a film about Hurricane Katrina. Recently, he told the New York Daily News "Do not listen to anyone who says we can discuss all this later. No, we can't. Our country is in an immediate state of vulnerability. More hurricanes, wars, and other disasters are on the way, and a lazy bunch of self-satisfied lunatics are still running the show." More is expected to dispatch a film crew to New Orleans immediately, but not to go himself, much as he did when he sent a film crew to Iraq while working on Fahrenheit 9/11. However, sources close to Moore say that he'll likely join his crew in New Orleans "as soon as a decent Cajun restaurant is open and functional." Meanwhile, Moore is busy dispensing religious advice to American conservatives. In a letter addressed "To all my fellow Americans who voted for George W. Bush," Moore says "Do you believe in Jesus? Really? Didn't he say that we would be judged by how we treat the least among us?" Moore went on to blame those who voted for Bush for Hurricane Katrina: "You did this to us, to the world, to the people of New Orleans.". Not to be outdone, Howard Dean hastily held a press conference, during which he rubbed Miracle Whip in his hair and said that God hates Republicans because they cause cancer.


  • Country music singer and annoying blonde Faith Hill spent this past Sunday giving out relief supplies in hurricane ravaged Gulfport, Mississippi: Red Cross officials and a few beefy Highway Patrol officers - part of Hill's security detail - would not grant local reporters an interview with the country superstar. Kevin Titus, a Red Cross spokesman, told the Sun Herald that Hill did not want media attention, because she feared the event would appear too much like a "PR campaign," rather than a relief effort. Hill was followed by her own camera crew and reporters, instead. Hill happened to have her own camera crew and reporters with her because, as Sean Penn will tell you, there's no point in trying to help people if you don't bring along your very own publicity people. After distributing the goods, Gulfport residents thanked Hill for her efforts and for having the good sense to at least not sink a rescue boat. Faith Hill is best known for her hit songs "Love Something Something Love Whatever" and "Heart Love Something Whatever Yawn." She has 64 daughters with her husband, fellow country music doofus Clint McBrooks (or whatever).



  • Until recently, Bo Bice has been best known for three things:
    One, not winning American Idol.
    Two, not getting a hair cut.
    Three, having a far cooler sounding stage name suggested by Google News when you search for news items about him. (Did you mean "Bob Ice?")
    However, if Bo has his way, he'll be remembered as the singer and songwriter behind "We Can't Change This World," a song he has written about Hurricane Katrina. By writing and performing "We Can't Change This World," Bice has distinguished himself from other musicians who've donated their money and hard work to the Katrina relief effort. A friend of Bo's tells The SouthCon True Hollywood Story that "other musicians have given all kinds of stuff, but Bo has now given something really meaningful... he's given them his fifteenth and final minute of fame."


  • Rapper Kanye West refuses to back away from controversial remarks he made about President Bush during a televised Red Cross fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina victims earlier this month. West has been instrumental in drawing attention to the fact that the Bush administration is responsible for Hurricane Katrina, that Katrina hit only poor areas of New Orleans and bypassed wealthy and middle-class areas, and that even in the poor areas that it did hit, it only affected poor blacks and bypassed poor white people. Liberal activists have praised West for having the courage to decry George Bush and his racist hurricane, and West has been bolstered by the support: Speaking after his performance at "ReAct Now", West again insisted the American nation treat their impoverished underclass "like it's not really there.... Everybody's always concerned about theyself (sic)." West, who's career is based on his linguistic skills, continued, saying that "America's always been pushing the (impoverished) under the counter... And what happens if you're cleaning the kitchen and you're always dusting something under the counter? If you spill something, it's going come up and be in your f*****g face." This may have been another Katrina reference, or may have simply been a housekeeping tip for West's fans. Either way, it was certainly poetic and eloquent.


  • Past installments of the Southcon True Hollywood Story are available here:
    September 6, 2005
    August 27, 2005

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