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Friday, March 04, 2005

REAL NEWS, REALLY 

Tonight on NBC Nightly News, an exclusive look at Martha Stewart's 5 month ordeal at Camp Cupcake.

From her prison tats ("Born to Bake", "Design or Die") to the massive aesthetic protection racket she ran using smuggled bed sheets and bath towels to keep her cell block color coordinated, NBC News with the new guy, whatever the hell his name is, is your source for pseudo journalism.

Next we take you to the Michael Jackson trial and an in depth look at how a jury of his peers was assembled. How did they manage to locate 12 deluded multimillionaires who look like Diana Ross? We'll show you at 6.

And in our nightly face saving 5 minute feature, "Hard NewsThat Could Injure Your Delicate Psyche" we gloss over the following stories: the 1500th US soldier to die in Iraq, House Majority Leader Tom Delay's onging ethics problems, and a new poll showing that American's aren't buying Bush's Social Security scam.

It's NBC Nightly News with the new guy. We think so you don't have to!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

THAT'S CAMOO THE KILLER WHALE, RIGHT? 

Yale's shining example of a legacy admission should have stuck with something from "My Pet Goat".


And what exactly is so special about a Yale education ? After watching Kerry and George II over the course of an election campaign, you begin to wonder if Elis get to class in those tiny yellow buses.

FOURTH ESTATE SALE 

The Godmother gets out of the joint tomorrow and by virtue of all the press devoted to the event, you'd think we're experiencing the second coming of Nelson Mandela. (When she was on trial, I wrote that the rabid prosecution of Martha Stewart by the Bush/Ashcroft Justice department was a misogynist red herring, a witch burning designed to make the Administration look tough on white collar crime and detract attention from the mismanaged Iraqi occupation; my opinion hasn't changed.)

America can be so damned embarrassing in its celebrity fixations and this is one of those occasions. The media is treating the brain dead public to an orgy of Martha Mania, including how much weight was lost, what was served at mealtime, what chores were assigned and everything else short of what was discovered during her obligatory body cavity search.

You'd think the woman had been kidnapped, not convicted. Martha Stewart did commit perjury. She violated the law by telling lies while under oath. That's a crime. Yet her her punishmen is a 5 month vacation at Camp cupcake, a reinvigorated Martha Stewart/Omnimedia stock price, a new TV show and buckets of free publicity from a mainstream media more concerned with this non-story than pursuing the whereabouts of $9 billion dollars of US money that has disappeared from the Iraq rebuilding effort.

The alleged insider trade that led to Martha's perjury conviction? It netted Stewart $229,000.

$9 billion in taxpayer money vs. $229,000 in stock and perjury? Unfortunately, the scandal in Iraq doesn't involve one of the 50 Sexiest People Alive, a screaming banshee named Simpson or someone with a fabulous Q rating. And to the best of our knowledge, Donald Trump, Star Jones or the cast of Desperate Houswives hasn't been implicated so the circus quality of the story is minimal.

We can count on the media will do what it does best: feed the country's appetite for comforting distractions from what really matters, give a free pass to the Administration and cash the checks of its grateful sponsors.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF UNINTENTIONAL OUTCOMES 

It’s a painfully bad way to create public policy; understandably bereaved citizens in concert with humiliated public officials who are desperately trying to save face. In San Francisco, the result is a call for a suicide barrier in addition to the 41/2 foot railing now lining the public walkway of the Golden Gate Bridge. This week family members of suicides provided teary public testimony about relatives lost to the siren’s call of the 70 year old landmark in front of a bridge district board still smarting from granting special filming privileges to a documentary film maker who channeling his inner Michael Moore and Jack Kevorkian, made a celluloid record of 19 different fatal leaps.

The snuff auteur received permission to shoot by couching his true intentions under an artistic plea, an attempt to capture the landmark’s “grandeur”. It turns out his idea of grandeur and art was filming people leaping from the span as part of his documentary on suicide. With so much egg spoiling so many political faces, it followed that something must be done before the grandeur of the bridge district is spoiled. But is a barrier the best solution?

First off, given our rich history of failing to proscribe highly debatable notions of “immoral” conduct and then having to clean up the unintended consequences (Prohibition/Al Capone; the War on Drugs/gang warfare; gambling/Las Vegas), I suspect a suicide barrier may not be the answer. If anything, its effect might be the exact opposite. By offering the challenge of a suicide barrier (and Americans love a challenge, unless it involves inconveniences like self sacrifice, discipline or delayed gratification) more people might see the chance to snub their noses at authority to be the most gratifying way to leave the planet.

So why not discourage all this cordless bungee jumping by, well, encouraging it?

As we’ve all experienced, a highly effective method to curbing dangerous behavior is to endow it with widespread social acceptance. Want your teenagers to stop having sex or better yet, not even start? Try this. Put a water bed in your basement, set up a couple of video cameras, fill the dresser drawers with a gross of Costco condoms and load up on the 20 gallon containers of lubricant at Home Depot. Then every time your teen’s boy/girl friend stops by, encourage them to get in a quickie before they go out. Send them downstairs with best wishes for a good time. Give them a couple of porn videos. This will discourage them to the point they won’t want to have sex until they get their AARP cards. By then it will be too late. Think of all the money you’ll save on weddings and grandkids!

Secondly, what happens if the GG became suicide proof? Where would the average 20 suicides a year flee to as an alternative? Leaping from a bridge into a bay is relatively uncomplicated when compared to jumping from a building in a crowded metropolis. The bay rarely gives up its dead, but downtown side walks require cleaning and that’s damn near two a month. Add to that the even money odds a human missile might take out one of San Francisco’s homeless; before you can say “activist” there’s a suit against the city for failing to provide feral humans with adequate defense against the elements.


Given this human inclination to indulge in whatever is proscribed and the potential disruption to life in The City, I propose installing a Golden Gate Suicide Platform™ where desperate & despondent souls will have the opportunity to ponder exactly what they are about to do, retreat if so inclined, or do the deed without spoiling the view for the rest of us.

Access to the platform costs you a dollar. If you spent your last buck on riding the bus to the bridge, you can fill out a Permanent Freedom from Welfare and All Other Government Programs waiver at the gift shop. The waiver will pull the dollar you gave to the Federal Election Commission on your last 1040 and apply it to the platform. At the very least you’ll know that checking the Campaign Contribution box wasn’t a complete waste.

Before you may proceed to the launch pad, there is a staging area showing an obligatory 10 minute video entitled, “What the Fuck Are You Doing Out Here?” hosted by Regis Philbin (Informed that Regis made $20,000,000 last year, focus groups overwhelmingly responded that the non-existence of God was no longer in doubt). The star of “Regis & Whoever This Week” informs you (among other things) that free falling from the height of 220 feet means traveling just short of the speed of light as you make the water; and that hitting water traveling this fast is not unlike high diving at your local pool – in January. To vividly illustrate the effects of such a fall, several of the aforementioned filmed suicides are shown in super slow motion with frame by frame analyses identifying various body parts flying toward all compass points. Once the video ends, you may proceed as planned or exit the platform on both feet.

Next week we address the Federal Defense of Marriage Act by offering Rick Santorum the first dance if he comes out of the closet before April Fools Day.

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