Archive for December, 2007

In Which Every Trash Can Has A Lid

December 22nd, 2007 No comments


Or every illegal alien has an INS agent.  Or every nut job has someone who thinks he’s sane.  Or every presidential candidate has a supporter.

Anyway you say it, there are a dozen and a half people in America (mostly living in southern border states) who are really broken up about Tom Tancredo giving up his dream of becoming President of the United States and kicking all of the Mexicans out.

The rest of American justifiably doesn’t give a shit.

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In Which It’s A Tad Puzz- Wait, No It’s Not

December 14th, 2007 No comments

Quick quiz –

You’re a fanatical right-wing evangelical that won’t rest until only Christians are allowed to live in the United States.  It’s THAT IMPORTANT.  The House of Representatives votes on recognizing Ramadan.  A bunch of congressmen vote “present” (meaning they’re not voting one way or the other), some aren’t around but nobody votes “nay”.  Ok.  So, furious that Congress would vote on Ramadan, you make a call to God who tells you to get someone to sponsor a Christmas bill.  Great!  Everything gets lined up, the line to co-sponsor it winds around the block.  You bring it up for a vote and it passes easily.  This time, though, besides some “present” votes,  you also get “nay” votes.

So, the question is this – given the vote count on these two resolutions should you attack
1) The “nay” voters
2) Anyone who voted for the Ramadan bill
3) The sponsors of the Ramadan bill
4) The homo who didn’t vote one way or the other

I didn’t say it was going to be a hard quiz.

The answer is, of course 4.  Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association sent out a press release with the title of Representative Barney Frank votes for Ramadan but against Christmas.  “In an act of intolerance toward Christianity (and Christmas)”, quoth Wildmon, “Representative Barney Frank has decided that religious discrimination should be the rule of law.”

It’s an interesting new paradigm that Wildmon puts forward – that not doing something proves your intolerance towards whichever group notices your inaction.  By not voting either way on the Christmas resolution, good or bad, Frank shows his intolerance towards Christians.  Why?  Well, the other great thing about this press release is that it gives us some clue into Fundamental Math.

Well Known Gay Congressman + Null Vote + Christmas > Less Known Straight Congressman + Nay Vote + Christmas

One would think that those 9 votes solidly against Christmas might raise the ire and eyebrows of the appropriately named Wildmon.  If Frank is guilty of anything, it’s wishy-washiness.  I don’t know about you but a punch in the face carries more weight than a shrug.  In a consistent world, voting against this resolution would be like voting …um…against Christmas and opting to remain neutral was…neutral.  The world of the Fundamental, though, is not sane.  Gay trumps everything, even killing pre-borns.

Wildmon tries to draw parallels between the bills.  In fact the language seems directly lifted from the Ramadan bill.  Both of them recognize Christianity/Islam as a “great religion of the world.”  Both express support for the religions.  Both “reject bigotry and persecution directed against Christians, both in the United States and worldwide.”  (And I have to giggle just a tiny bit when I hear about how persecuted Christians are, especially when the Christmas resolution puffs itself up about how dominant it is throughout the world.)

The question is – why vote against a resolution against Christmas?  What’s the big deal?  I mean, it’s just Christmas, right?  If it were just that, yes but…

Where as Christians and Christianity have contributed greatly to the development of western civilization;

Whereas the United States, being founded as a constitutional republic in the traditions of western civilization, finds much in its history that points observers back to its Judeo-Christian roots;

Whereas on December 25 of each calendar year, American Christians observe Christmas, the holiday celebrating the birth of their savior, Jesus Christ;

Whereas for Christians, Christmas is celebrated as a recognition of God’s redemption, mercy, and Grace;

That sounds a little like an infomercial rather than a “yay!  It’s Christmas” resolution.  Especially in light of what got cut

…[Christians] identify themselves as those who believe in the salvation from sin offered to them through the sacrifice of their savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and who, out of gratitude for the gift of salvation, commit themselves to living their lives in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Bible

Yeah.  That could stick in somebody’s craw.  By contrast, the Ramadan Resolution all but apologizes (again) for Muslims being involved in the 9/11 attack because, really, they’re not like that at all.  You could be damn sure if the Ramadan Resolution contained something along the lines “Where as Muslims and Islam have contributed greatly to the development of western civilization…” that the Fundamentalists would pounce into action quicker than you could say “piss christ”.

To sum up – Straight and anti-Christian is ok.  Gay and anti-nothing mean press release.

Go figure.

Categories: Bible, Culture, Political Whatever, Religion Tags:

In Which I’m Curious If This Auto-post To Tweet Function Works

December 14th, 2007 No comments

I guess it does!

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In Which If You Don’t Show Some Patience I’ll Kill You

December 13th, 2007 No comments

It’s snowing, huh?  It just took my 35 mins to get to Stop and Shop and 35 mins to get back.  Folks, let me be blunt – you’re just going to have to not drive like an asshole until the roads get clear.

It’s times like these when you have to seriously wonder about the portait of the US as a Christian Nation.  I’m not seeing it at all.  Galen St. is always hell to get through but today it’s damn near impossible.  What would Jesus do?  Run that red light and block traffic because as the Son of God He’s just a little more important than you are.

Here, then, are a few guidelines to completely ignore.

1)  Actually stop at a yellow light – In case you’re not paying attention, no one is going anywhere terribly quickly.  Not that anyone does (myself included), but you’re supposed to stop at a yellow light IF it’s safe to do so.  Running the yellow will most likely put you smack dab in the middle of the intersection and people will hate you.  Look at it this way – if you are rear-ended it’s the other guy’s fault.  Now is the perfect time to get rid of the car you’re driving and/or sue for whiplash.  AND you’ll have helped the traffic flow!

2)  DO NOT FUCKING RUN RED LIGHTS – Really.  I know that you THINK that it is your God-given right to make it through the current light cycle but it’s not and Jesus will hold a special place in Hell just for you.

3)  Park correctly – Perhaps you’ve noticed that it’s…what’s the word…slippery out there.  I know that snow is wet.  I know that you’re made of rice paper and will literally disintegrate should you get wet, but that’s why God made coats and umb-er-ellas (ellas – ellas -ellas).  Double parking or parking curbside just screws everything up.  So when you park where you should be driving the people who are driving have to swerve around you.  This leads to accidents.  Suck it up and risk the elements.  This is New England.  You’re supposed to be hardy.

4)  Use your turn signal – I will make you this solemn promise – If you are trying to make a left-hand turn and you are using your turn signal I will go out of my way to let you get in front of me.  If, however, you just assume that I know what you’re doing, you’re screwed.  While I don’t hope that someone slides into the side of your car, honestly, you deserve it.

5)  Get off the goddamn phone – Hands-free or not, I saw three people blow through red lights while chatting on the phone.  Stop it.  You’re not that important.  If you were then someone would be driving you.

6)  On side streets, don’t block intersections – leave a space for folks trying to get to their houses.  There’s plenty of time to catch up the mile-long line of cars in front of you.  You’re not missing anything.  I promise.

7)  Give right on red a rest – do you really think that you’re going to just slip into traffic that way?

8)  Read –

This is the word “Exit”

This is the word “Enter”

When you see the word Enter it does not mean “Exit”.  When you see the Exit it does not mean “Enter”.  If you have any questions, email me and we’ll go over it.

That’s about it, I think.  Let’s be nice for a day or two.  Who knows?  It might be fun!

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In Which The Other Title Was Better But I Changed It

December 11th, 2007 7 comments

[Note – Please look at this really cute picture of this adorable baby.


OMG!  Couldn’t you just eat this little one up?!

Well, if you do not read this entire post AND agree with it I will eat this baby and it will by YOUR FAULT.  Enjoy the post.  Someone’s life depends on it.]

One of the numerous phrases I hate is when guys say “I gotta watch my girlish figure”.  This weird throwback to a time when Bugs Bunny could crossdress and no one thought anything of it bothers me for that precise reason.  This is just a roundabout way of saying that, yes, I did have a donut on my walk home from Town Council, I have a fairly healthy body image and I don’t care if you crossdress.  (Seriously.  Agree with everything I say.)

I really thought twice about going out on this cold December night.  The rain.  The cold.  The night.  Why not stay home and watch Town Council on cable?  Oh.  That’s why.  Because the sound is horrible and quiet so you have to crank the volume on your TV all the way up and you invariably forget to turn it back down when Town Council is finished and you change the channel to calm yourself down by watching Silence of the Lambs and wind up blowing out your speakers.  By the time I remembered this, Town Council already began.  I figured there’d be a decent breaking point for me to walk down.  And I was right.

You have to wonder if Clyde watched Pulp Fiction before the meeting.  Not because he was swearing profusely or gave everyone foot messages but because, to quote last week’s Town Council, everything was out of order.  By which I mean that the agenda pretty much got tossed to the wind.  Hence, Clyde started off with the President’s Report and expressed his displeasure with Mike Driscoll’s legal action of the recount.  He also made reference to two other parties also engaged in legal action over the recount.  We all know what stickler Marilyn is for detail – dotting “i”s and crossing “t”s, making sure the car is registered, following procedures – so it was no big surprise when she breathlessly requested to correct Clyde’s statement.  So, for the record, Marilyn is not involved in any legal proceedings.  Related to the recount, that is.  Let’s be precise.

One of the things I love about working for myself is that I don’t have to attend my company Christmas party.  (A comic friend of mine does a bit about working for yourself, going to the Christmas party, getting drunk and sleeping with the boss.)  I also don’t have to listen to retirement speeches.  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate (most) of the councilors and they deserve thanks for the work they put into governing Watertown, but instinctively I knew that the presentation for Steve Romanelli was the perfect opportunity to turn off the TV and walk down to watch in person.  So off I went, to brave the elements of that cold December night; past the Dunkin Donuts, through the CVS parking lot with the woman parked perpendicular to the parking spaces, past the police station and, at last, Town Hall.

And it was SRO!  There was barely enough room to swing a baby.  Was Chuck Norris endorsing Marilyn, too?  Either way, just as I suspected, the Romanelli tribute had not yet wrapped up.  Among other things, I think they gave him an axe.  The thought of an axe readily accessible during Town Council made me shudder.  Steve thanked lots of people.  Lots of people thanked Steve.  Marilyn wept a little.  And…

Huh?  Look, I understand there was a Christmas party before the meeting and I understand that nothing says Christmas like red and green (except, of course, for the word “Christmas” itself) but you have to admit that for Marilyn to wear a red dress after all that’s been going on…well, I couldn’t help thinking of Anjelica Houston in Prizzi’s Honor – “Yeah, I’ll be at your funeral and I’ll be wearing a red dress”.  But, like I said, there was a Christmas party earlier.

The speeches ended and the “fun” began when Marilyn raised her hand with a “pick me, pick me NOW” gesture and dequested (demand + request) that her proclamation get moved up immediately.  Right now.  Post haste.  Really important.  She wasn’t able to get up a head of steam over it because Sideris had already moved the proclamation up to, well, immediately.  Maybe it’s me but Marilyn’s shoulders always droop a little when she gets what she wants without having to scream about it.

And it’s PROCLAMATION TIME!  But not just any old proclamation time, no, proclamation time with a special guest star.

At this point in time, I would like you to look at the baby again and remember that I will eat it if you disagree with this post and it will be your fault.


Are we clear on this?  I truly hope so.

Where was I?  Oh, yes, special guest stars.

“Mr. President, I’d like to speak from the podium,” proclaimed Marilyn as she strode to the podium (and I’m paraphrasing from here on out), “I have a special guest here that I would like to speak on MY PROCLAMATION.  It’s the proclamation that I WROTE by myself and put MY NAME on because it’s MY PROCLAMATION written by ME, MARILYN DEVANEY.  Now, I have here in the audience…”

But Clyde would have none of’t and started talking about some stupid “rule” that only bad, mean, evil, corrupt people use to stifle the truth tellers of this world.  So, Marilyn just ignored him and waded through the crowd to get her special guest star who was…


…no, not the baby, but a 97 year old survivor of the Armenian Genocide.  That’s right.  In order to further her own personal agenda and push through her horribly written, ADL bashing proclamation, brave Marilyn Devaney used a 97 year old woman as both a prop and a shield.  And I am completely serious – say anything about my analysis of using the elderly as a tool of intimidation and I will eat this baby.  It’s your choice, folks.  Choose wisely.

“I WANT YOU TO HEAR THIS WOMAN’S STORY ABOUT HOW WHEN SHE WAS THREE YEARS OLD SHE WAS NEARLY LEFT BEHIND TO BE MURDERED…”, Marilyn brayed and if nobody understood how horrible the Armenian genocide was.  Could it really be true that what Marilyn took away from the last meeting was that the town councilors hated the Armenians and insisted on standing shoulder to shoulder with the ADL?  I have to believe that on some level she did.  Even after Hecht tried to assure her two weeks ago that her idea was sounded but the execution sucked, she still saw this as some kind of David and Goliath struggle.  It’s not.  Hecht said quite plainly that the whole council should be involved in writing, not just her.  What’s the problem with that?  Evidently, the problem is, as it always is, other people.  Marilyn is a democracy of one.

To their credit, no one really fell for the “you bastards wouldn’t even let a 97 year old woman speak because you’re all out to get me” ploy.  On the contrary, everyone wanted the woman to speak.  The problem was that Marilyn wouldn’t shut up.  A woman in the back of the room broke in and loudly said that the proper thing to send to the MMA was a resolution and not a proclamation.  Marilyn quacked snidely at that suggestion and the woman shook her head in disgust and walked out.  Good for her.

Meanwhile, Clyde (after a couple of squeaks of the gavel) somewhat restored order (Romanelli continually urged Marilyn to return to her seat) and asked that the 97 year old prop speak.  And she did.  She told the story that Marilyn told and it sounded horrible.  At some point, a man, probably a relative, crept beside her and told her to say that she supported Marilyn’s proclamation.  Instead, she continued talking about what happened after she was saved from being killed by the Turks.  Once she finished, she went back to her seat and Marilyn was on her own.

Points of procedure once again flew from the other councilors to which Marilyn, in the best rhetorical tradition of Socrates and Plato responded – “SHE CAME OUT ON A COLD DECEMBER NIGHT TO TELL HER STORY AND TO SUPPORT MY PROCLAMATION.”  To Marilyn supporters reading this, I hope it’s sinking through that while your girl may get you services and fix your potholes (with or without a hot line) she outright refuses to play with the other children.  This isn’t about oppression or corruption or the old boy network or serial calling – this is simply about Marilyn not getting what she wants.  Period.  It’s not a democracy for her if her side doesn’t win.

She huffed, she puffed, she whined, she rolled her eyes and shook her head so hard that I felt concerned for her spine.  She asked the town attorney for a ruling in voice that just reeked of “but you said I could have a white pony”.  The lawyer did not tell her what she wanted to hear, which means we’ll need a new town attorney, I guess. 

At one point, someone (Clyde, if I remember) cut her off in the middle of a rant and she bellowed, “BE RESPECTFUL!”  And I tried to keep it in, honest I did, but I hooted out loud.  It’s just about the funniest thing in the world for Marilyn, who cuts off pretty much anybody she cares to because it’s her God-given right to do so, to even attempt to chide someone for being rude.

And, in fact, not too long after that, Sideris asked for and received permission to speak and began to explain that, “two weeks ago, you dropped this thing in front of us with no notice whatso-”  “I WON’T HAVE YOU TELLING LIES ABOUT ME!”.  So, you see, Marilyn always has a good reason to cut somebody off but the reverse can never be true.  After Marilyn allowed Sideris to continue his points were –

1) Legally, a proclamation can not have someone’s name attached to it, as this one did
2) Proclamations are for people, resolutions are for action.  As such, this should be a resolution.

Marilyn’s sensitive and insightful political response?  “Resolution, Proclamation – who cares?”  And that IS a direct quote.

As if to test that hypothesis, Hecht and Sideris re-worked the proclamtion into a resolution that the other councilors approved.  Except Marilyn, of course, because it didn’t slit the throat of the ADL by using words like “hypocrisy”.  “THE ADL IS THE WHOLE POINT!”, she bellowed, really playing the crowd that came to cheer her on.  But it’s not really the point at all.  The point is not to say the ADL sucks.  The point is to force the MMA to withdraw from No Place To Hate.  Those are two radically different concepts.  Marilyn wants to blame people…other people.  The rest of the council wanted to fix a problem.

After the new resolution was read, Marilyn was livid.  “WHAT YOU DID WAS TAKE MY PROCLAMATION AND TAKE OUT ALL REFERENCES TO THE ADL.  EVERY SINGLE ONE.  AND THAT WAS MY PROCLAMATION!”  At this point, Clyde said something that to almost everyone else might have had some effect.  “This town council is not about ‘I’.  It’s about ‘we’.  ‘We’ work together to make things run.  Not ‘I’ but ‘we’.”  And in an amazing mini-version of Alice Through The Looking Glass, Marilyn replied, “THAT’S WHAT I’M SAYING.”

In the end, the rest of the councilors wound up passing the resolution while Marilyn continued quiver and quail about her proclamation.  It was really quite stunning to watch.  The council continued on with its business while Marilyn just kind of divorced herself from the present.  She was so involved with herself that she didn’t even seem to understand that the vote had come up.  Angie (who I’m certain would get sorted into Hufflepuff) voted against the resolution simply because she felt some of Marilyn’s language should be discussed for inclusion.

Public forum consisted of a guy angry at Driscoll, a woman from B5 who pushed for a run-off between JD and Marilyn, a man pushing to get the bus stop back and a shout out to the DPW and their new digs.

Clyde wanted to add a tax credit item to the 09 budgetary guidelines.

Angie wants info from Driscoll that she still hasn’t gotten and wants to talk about after hours security at town hall, which I can understand why some people would want.

Announcements came and I was fading so my hand written notes (my laptop screen died) are illegible.

Clyde made the motion to go into executive session at which point Marilyn piped up, “Are you skipping announcements?”

Clyde laid out the agenda for executive session, which included what to do about a possible re-recount.  Marilyn looked bewildered when the vote came, so much so that she had to be prodded to give her voice vote and wound up just shrugging.

The session ended but Marilyn was still rockin’ the mic.  “I…I don’t know how we’re supposed to fairly talked about the election.  How are we supposed to do that?  I mean Hecht endorsed JD.  Everybody’s gonna have to recuse themselves….Except Romanelli.”

And with that, Steve turned in the doorway to the executive chamber and said, “No way.  I’m done.  Leave me out of this.”

Smart man.

Don’t make me eat the baby.

Categories: Donuts, Watertown, WWMDD Tags:

In Which Republican Values Shine With Unbridled Hypocrisy

December 3rd, 2007 No comments

Sixteen years ago, Joseph C. Phillips fucked Halle Berry for money.  That is to say that Hollywood paid him to simulate the sexual act so that generations might gain insight into the culture of the early ’90’s.  Acting is an odd profession and not for the squeamish.  Chloe Sevigny got paid to perform actual fellatio on screen.  Is there a difference between her and an extremely well-paid prostitute?  Does that make Joseph C. Phillps a extremely well-paid male prostitute?

Mr. Phillips never broaches this subject in his speech before the ultra-wingnutty Young American Foundation but like a high-school quarterback in middle age who won’t shut up about date raping the prom queen he wants you to know that, indeed, he fucked Halle Berry.  And it was goooood.

Why is he bringing this up?  Did you not understand?!  He fucked Halle Berry.  Yeah – THAT Halle Berry.  The mega-superstar Halle Berry.  And if he doesn’t get that out of the way none of the guys in the audience could possibly pay attention to any of the very serious wingnut dogma he plans to spout because every single one of those Young Americans (who, given this is a college crowd, were at best six years old when the movie came out) will be chomping at the bit to as the same question everybody asks – what was it like to kiss Halle Berry?  Seriously.

Kissing Halle Berry

If you knew anything about Joseph C. Phillips (and who doesn’t) you might say to yourself, “Self, the Phillips’ have been married thirteen years and this incident happened sixteen years ago so why even bother to throw in the ‘not as good as kissing my wife’ part?”  The fact is that he doesn’t mean it, anyway.  In that grand Republican tradition of not valuing your wife, he takes it back.  In case you couldn’t hear, I “pumped up the volume” as he might say.

For The Ladies 

HOO!  It gives me a vivid image of his wife standing in the wings and laughing as she slowly traces the path the razor would take along her wrists.  I never understood this attitude that “men” take towards their wives.  The first glimpse I got of it in the real world was at a restaurant I worked at.  The conversation went as follows

Guy 1:  Whaddya doing tonight?
Guy 2:  Oh.  The usual.  Drinking some beers.  Fuck the wife.  Fall asleep watching TV on the couch.

Marital bliss.  Even odder was the reaction of a boss when I told him I was getting married.  “Oh,” he said, “I’m really sorry about that.”  Huh?  I was unaware that it was 1959 and I was living in the Catskills.  And yet listening to Joseph C. Phillips this is pretty much “the return to family values” that he’s fighting for – the good old days when wives were seen and not heard; when “manhood” meant you never got called on your harmless little meta-jokes about your ambivalence towards your wife.

And your kids.

Joe Loves (Most) Of His Kids

There’s a heartbreaking scene in Mr. Saturday Night where Billy Crystal, playing a Milton Berle-type comic with a national show, goes into a typical I-Hate-My-Kids routine popular in the 50’s and 60’s while his young daughter watches and wonders what she’s done to make him so mad…and why America is laughing at her.  Again – these were the good old days when good girls didn’t report rape and when daddy snuck into your room you kept your mouth shut.  In other words, the days when America had God and family values.  Why anyone would want those days back is beyond me.

What’s the basis of conservative thought in America?  I don’t think it gets much clearer than this heartwarming story.  NOTE – I left the original substantive pause in at the end of this.  The more I listen the more I wonder if Joseph C. Phillips is standing, arms crossed, head nodding like Mussolini or whether the audience is just stunned.


As I listened to this in car, I very nearly caused an accident through shock and surprise.  Not because of his truly gleefull and sadistic reading of the phrase “he BEAT HIM” since children in wingnut fairy tales always get beaten – that’s part of the point: Children must be beaten to learn properly.  No, I expected some type of moral more along the lines of “the boy with the big coat would grow into it thereby getting more use out of it and the boy with the smaller coat should get a job or tell his parents to get off welfare”.  In the world of the wingnut, though, this is a perfect story.

Hey, do you remember how Joseph C. Phillips fucked Halle Berry for money?  Man, that sounded like the high point of his life, didn’t it?  Halle Berry! IN BED!  DAMN!  Well, she’s a whore.

Halle Berry: She’s What’s Wrong With America

How could someone that he shared fake cinematic intimacy with want to destroy America?  Why is her pregnancy celebrated?  She should be ashamed and have her Oscar taken away from her and all of her movies destroyed (except for Strictly Business) rather than applauded.  But, damn, she was a good kisser.

This leads, as you would imagine, into a fire and brimstone denunciation of all things Hollywood.  Yeah.  An working actor screaming about immorality in Hollywood.  And more than that, an actor who spent more than three years on (wait for it) General Hospital.  YES!  A soap opera actor where the plots involve serial infidelity, homosexuality, murder…you name the commandment and they’re breaking it.  The industry that came fairly close to getting shut down for all the skin it bared.  It’s one of the premier examples of the pot calling the kettle African American.

If you need proof that Hollywood is evil and hates America, consider this – No one has made a feature film about the fall of the Berlin Wall.  Nobody.

Case closed.

God bless you, Joseph C. Phillips for opening my eyes.