Sunday, October 28, 2012

"...Oh,The Whore-or Of It All...."

Halloween is almost here.
And I love a good scary as much as the next guy.
Or gal.
Or ghoul.
And I'm all about a good scary story.
You, too?
Well, lock the doors, get under the covers and read this.....
NEW YORK (AP) — Kim Kardashian isn't worried about the behemoth storm expected to pummel the eastern U.S. with rain and wind this week.
Dressed as a blond mermaid for her Halloween party Saturday night in New York, the star joked that her boyfriend, Kanye West — wearing a nautical-looking outfit — could "sail" her to safety if need be.

West didn't talk to press covering the event but smiled and took photos of Kardashian on his phone.

It's the second year Kardashian has hosted the Midori Green Halloween party. She has an endorsement deal with the liquor company.

The reality star said it took two months to plan her costume, inspired by the 1984 film "Splash," and two hours to get ready.

Two months?

To "plan" a mermaid costume?

And we continue to give this doorknob and her family millions of our hard earned dollars.

Now that, boys and girls, is some scary shit.

Friday, October 19, 2012

"...For God's Sake, Kid, Put Down That Textbook And Get Outside And Play Ball...."


Used to apply.

Still does.

Just a slightly different application.


Mickey Mantle.

Arguably one of the top five players in the history of baseball.

Led the league in runs scored that year.

Made a then record breaking salary of seventy five thousand dollars.

Today, that would be five hundred and eighty three thousand dollars.


Alex Rodriquez.

Tried to pick up women by throwing messages written on baseballs into the stands during a league championship game.

Made a salary of twenty nine million dollars this year.

Today, that would be worth twenty nine million dollars.


"...This Edition Of Phelpspeak Is Brought To You By The Letter "F"...."

A rose by any other name...

..wouldn't, apparently, be noticed if it were  in the hand of a naked woman in the middle of a busy shopping mall.

On the other hand...

There's fuck.

C'mon baby, light my fire.

The Parents Television Council has called out “Good Morning America” for allowing Tom Hanks to blurt out the "f-word" on live television Friday morning.

“Once again, a morning news show has allowed the harshest profanity to be broadcast into every living room and breakfast table in the country," PTC director of public policy Dan Isett said in a statement. "This is just another in a long, sad string of similar instances where all of the major network morning shows have permitted this inappropriate and offensive content. These cannot and must not be dismissed as ‘mistakes,’ and it’s time for the networks to step up, take responsibility for what they broadcast, and ensure that this never happens again.”

Hanks' gaffe came during the show's 8 a.m. hour in a segment with Elizabeth Vargas. She asked Hanks to pretend he was in character for his upcoming film "Cloud Atlas." Hanks delivered a line in a foreign accent that contained the word "f**k."

Both Hanks and Vargas profusely apologized to the audience, with Hanks joking that the next time he came on the show, he would likely be subject to a seven second delay.

ABC later released a statement on the matter: "This morning Tom Hanks accidentally used an expletive during a live interview on 'GMA' with Elizabeth Vargas. They both immediately apologized on air, and the show was corrected for the all subsequent feeds."

A long time ago, in a book written and published before his passing, comedian Allan Sherman (of "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah" fame) wrote a thoughtful and insightful essay about the power of that word and the damage that it seemed capable of inflicting on the psyche of the common man/woman.

Interestingly enough, in that essay, he typed the word repeatedly, with no spaces between, on a single page over and over and over and over and....

...until the page was full.

The purpose, intended and, as it turns out, accomplished, was to show that if we were exposed enough, we would discover that it was, after all, just a word.

And words, regardless of the conventional wisdom, don't have any power at all.

With the exception of the power that we permit them to have.

The power, as it were, is in the attitude with which that word is delivered.

Make no mistake here.

This piece is not an apology for Tom Hanks, nor is it a blanket endorsement for the use of the dreaded "f word".

But I sincerely don't think than any reasonable person is going to join the villagers carrying torches crowd and show up outside Hanks' castle, demanding he come out with his hands held high and his potty mouth tightly shut.

He was asked to get into character.

He got into character.

And then he fucked up.

After which, obviously embarrassed and immediately remorseful, he began the first of what has now turned into a flood of apologies that could probably have floated the Ark.

As far as the corruption of young minds that the Parents Television Council seems always to fear is just one more fucking word from realization, may I offer this?

I have grown kids. And grandkids.

And I don't endorse or encourage the use of "foul" language with any of them.

But in a culture filled with "Family Guy"s and Honey Boo Boo's and prime time sitcoms featuring Miley Cyrus asking Ashton Kutcher might he mind her "popping out the girls" as she sunbathes with a bikini top, I'm pretty sure the kids of today and tomorrow won't have their futures acid splashed by one embarrasing slip by a real family guy.

(P.S....even I laughted when Miley referred to her boobs as, respectively, Kim and Khloe....not only cleverly topical, but applicable.....after all, if there ever were a couple of boobs....)

So, here's my final word on the word.

What power it has is what power we give it.

And Tom Hanks is still a pretty nice family guy.

Oh...and Parents Television Council?

Go after Kathie Lee Gifford.

She drops puppies.

And, while you're at it...

...lighten the fuck up.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

"...Herman 3.0...Sew Far, Sew Good...:"

Couple of things you already probably know come with getting older.

Gray hair.

Aches and pains.

One thing you might not know.

You'll lap yourself.

As in going around the circle and finding that you've reached a point that looks very familiar.

Which brings us to the most recent "re-boot" of the 60's comedy, "The Munsters". (It was attempted once before, circa early 90's).

It's called "Mockingbird Lane".

Here's the NBC preview.

The easy and, frankly, predictable nay say from those of us who were around the first time is the obvious "normalizing" of the Herman Munster character.

Instead of looking like actor Fred Gwynne made up to look like the Frankenstein monster, we have actor Jerry O'Connell with a little stiching around his neck.

Oh, I get it. They sewed his head on.

Cutting edge.

So to speak.

Okay, time marches on, everything old is new again, yada yada.

I'm not going to splash you with the wine of sour grapes here and further lament the garroting of the good old days.

I'll just offer you this.

All that matters here is does the show entertain, will it make people laugh and will it be successful entertaining and making people laugh?

Time, and Nielsen, will tell.

Judging from the preview, though, I think the writers are taking a pass on any attempt at scary and settling for silly.

Which is really okay.

Because if you really have a jones for TV that's both scary and funny, you're already covered.

It's called Fox News.

"...Should Have Just Called For The Chief...That Hot Air Would Have Kept The Old Guy Warm and Toasty..."

Ordinarily, this kind of stuff would rate eleven on the one to ten scale of things that should be laughed at and then ignored.

But the writer in me can't resist the opportunity to offer up a pungent punchline.

Back with that shortly.

A number of offenses can get you in trouble at work: slacking off, not being a team player, tardiness, and so on. It's understandable if you're reprimanded for committing one of these. But a Detroit paramedic is in hot water for what seems to have been an act of kindness -- giving a blanket to a man who was cold.

Two weeks ago, a house caught fire, and the elderly man who lived there was brought outside wearing only his underwear. Paramedic Jeff Gaglio gave him a blanket. Then on Tuesday, Gaglio was informed that the department was bringing him up on charges for his action. Jerald James, chief of the Emergency Medical Service (EMS), who is responsible for Gaglio's punishment, said in defense of the charges, "We can't have an employee who feels that they have a right to give away state property without getting prior approval." In fact, his department and the city of Detroit are strapped for cash. However, it has also been revealed that the department did not pay for the blanket. The one that Gaglio gave away had been donated.

Gaglio explained his frustration to his local Fox station. "I'm being punished for giving a man a blanket. Something that would seem like a common everyday courtesy. Something that any man or woman would do in the city of Detroit."

The city's EMS is battling several problems in relation to its lack of cash, including being understaffed and using out-of-date ambulances. According to the Detroit News, the department brings in $8 million less than its operating budget, due to the number of uninsured Detroit residents who are unable to pay for services rendered.

So far, there's no word on what Gaglio's punishment might be, but with increasing media attention, whatever the department decides will be scrutinized. Looks as if the old adage "No good deed goes unpunished" might ring true in this case.

The only thing more ridiculous than a story like this is that this ridiculous story is actually true.

And, as mentioned earlier, ordinarily it wouldn't be worthy of even the breath it takes to comment on it, let alone the comment itself.

Never one to let a chance to wax witty wander past me, though, I can't resist the opportunity to share this thought.

Throughout pop culture history, the word "beyond" has been oft used as a means of keeping an idea alive, whether the idea was worthy of life or not.

The classic trash novel turned trash movie "Valley Of The Dolls" begat "Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls".

The cult favorite "Mad Max-Thunderdome" begat "Mad Max-Beyond Thunderdome."

In almost every case of usage, the intent was to not only milk the original for whatever milk was still bucketable, but, in theory, to imply that the "beyond" version would exceed not only the original's intensity, but, ideally, intensify the intensity.

As a rule, no, not so much.

In the case of Mr Gaglio and his predicament, though, I'm here to tell ya, kids, the B word doesn't even begin to do it justice.

Because we're not talking just stupid here.

We're talking beyond stupid.

"...It's Cool To Care...But Not If You Only Care When It's Cool..."

Time for a little right but.

No, not right butt.

Right, but.

Grow up, people.

The story of Amanda Todd's being bullied and committing suicide has not only gone viral.

It's gone mainstream.

For those of you who still think Whitesnake is cool, here's what that means.

It means that even people who still think that Whitesnake is cool are now aware of her story and are offering up assorted awws, too bads and so sads.

Personally, I've long ago filed Whitesnake away in the good times, great oldies folder but, yesterday, even I offered up two cents to the pile of pesos.

Here's the link to that piece.

This morning as I gulped half caf and perused the world according to Facebook, a lovely familiar face came up in the scroll.

Granddaughter Ella weighed in on the issue with her unique brand of insight.

"...I think it's really sad that the Amanda Todd girl commited sucide but there are so many more people that do almost everyday and their story doesn't blow up on the internet. If you're going to care then care all the time, not just when something gets popular and you feel bad...."

You go, girl.

And for what it's worth, I think you're right.


The Chinese have an expression I long ago learned and for many years, and in many ways, have appreciated.

"...the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step..."

Not to mention that dusty old chestnut about a particular straw doing lasting damage to the spines of camels.

My patriarchal point is this.

You're right that people should care about this kind of cruelty all the time and not just when one case, or another, makes it cool to care.

But...if this particular case is the one that snaps that proverbial spine and, thereby, generates that single step, then maybe, just maybe, the next "really sad" story won't be about one of your classmates.

What the hell, maybe, just maybe the next really sad story won't even have to be written at all.

Ella and her peer group see this thing from the vantage point that really matters.

Inside looking out.

Everybody else, best intentions notwithstanding, can only see it from the outside looking in.

And as to her assertion that care and concern should be total and not just trendy....

You're right, kiddo.

Right, but...

Not right butt.

Right, but.

Grow up people.

"...This Just In...In Twelve Months Or So, Joe Biden Will Break His Leg..."

This story is a little funny.

And a little surreal, too.

But not for the reasons you might think.

(CNN) -- The New York Yankees' World Series hopes may have just taken a hit, as shortstop Derek Jeter fractured his left ankle in game one of the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night.

Jeter suffered the injury while fielding a ground ball in the top of the 12th inning, with New York trailing 5-4. He immediately went down in pain, staying face down momentarily.
Jeter was helped off the field, putting no weight on the ankle, with fans chanting "Derek Jeter!"
Yankees manager Joe Girardi confirmed the severity of Jeter's injury after the game.
"It won't jeopardize his career, but he will not be playing anymore for us this year," he said, adding it will likely take three months to recover from the injury.
Girardi said Eduardo Nunez will be activated to replace Jeter's spot on the roster. He added that third baseman Alex Rodriguez -- a former shortstop -- would not replace the Yankees captain at the position, citing that it's been too long since he has played there.
Detroit won the game 6-4. Game two is Sunday afternoon in New York.
Now the injury suffered by Jeter is certainly nothing to laugh about. And his loss to the team as they enter the home stretch to another World Series is no laughing matter.
What is a little funny is the back and forth in the comments section on
Why is this in International News?
World Series? Which other country is playing?

taiwanjohn 1
Because people in just about every country in the world follow.


cindysriley 1
Baseball is played and followed all over the world. The World Series is not what the article is about, it's about Derek Jeter. People all over the world who are in to baseball know who Derek Jeter is


Sorry to hear that, but why did CNN use a picture of Joe Biden sneering at something Paul Ryan said in the debate?

  • NanookoftheNorth 1
    Oops :-(

  • A little levity to lighten the load.

    Oh...and as for the "surreal" of it all?

    The caption on the picture of Jeter (as shown) as it appears on this internationally seen major news network web site staffed, one would think, by highly trained and qualified news reporting professionals reads...

    Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees reacts after he injured his leg against the Detroit Tigers on October 13, 2013.
    Not only does provide us with a laugh or two.
    They can apparently predict the future.

    Saturday, October 13, 2012

    "...Filling Empty Spaces With The Cries Of Others...Since 1961..."

    Amanda Todd committed suicide.

    But there were three things that killed her.

    There have always been bullies.

    Mine was named Jay.

    The year was 1961.

    I was ten.

    He was a year or two older, a foot, or what seemed like two, taller and zeroed in on making my elementary school day miserable.

    His torment took the form of punching me in the arm and "daring me" to do something about it.

    I never did.

    Eventually, it just stopped.

    I don't remember why.

    And I honestly don't remember what happened to Jay.

    Although my guess is that he probably ended up producing reality shows.

    I do remember, though, that there were two things that weren't a factor in my long ago story that played an obvious and ultimately tragic part in the story of Amanda Todd.

    One was the mob mentality.

    I really don't recall any of my playground peers "joining in" the torment. Possibly because the need to be a "part of the pack" hadn't yet come to the full bloom it has grown into today.

    Possibly because Jay was sufficently daunting that the other kids instinctively knew the smart play was to walk away, lest they be the next shoulder Jay would try to lean on.

    Or punch on.

    So while my ordeal seemed very real at the time, it really boiled down to nothing more than a little mano y mano, or kid y kid, as the case may be.

    And because bullies, like politicians and faded radio personalities, tend to lose interest when the spotlight isn't sufficiently bright, Jay eventually wore out before he could eventually wear me down.

    In the end, I simply benefitted from being able to run out the clock.

    The second of the two things, though, was probably what saved me.

    There was no Facebook.

     "Social networking" consisted of whatever hanging out we did at each other's house.

    And the "grapevine" was little more than whispers amongst our small little groups.

    As a result, there was no way to become "famous" beyond whatever "fame" could be achieved by being the biggest jerkwad in the fourth grade at High Street Elementary School.

    Fast forward to 2012.

    And given the evolution of "social networking" and the ability to ramp up the wattage on any spotlight we'd like to shine on ourselves, fame becomes a major player in any social scenario.

    And fame, like whiskey, has a way of both seducing and empowering any one who gets a taste, motivating them to inflict pain and suffering in order to build a national audience.

    Especially sad, lonely, pitiful people like Jay who just want to be important but can't seem to find a way to do it beyond tormenting others.

    All of the professionals who will continue to advocate "more education for our young people" about bullying are, in my humble o, missing a critically important point.

    Kids already know plenty about bullying.

    It's been around for a long, long time.

    At least since 1961 to my knowledge.

    What needs to happen here, before the next tormented child makes a video and then pulls the plug, is for us to somehow slow the flow of the whiskey.

    Three things killed Amanda.


    The mob mentality.

    The taste of fame.

    Maybe her video will help teach kids how bitter that taste really can be.