Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The Politics of Bullshit

Political careers seem to be like flowers - they're built on fertilizer. Take the recent Swift Boat debate - level-headed people in both parties came out right away to describe it as total bullshit. But this juicy turd of misinformation, squeezed out by Bush's cronies and spread so judiciously across the airwaves, has had an impact. Kerry has to had to spend a lot of money to try to fight back this tidal wave of utter feces.

Of course it was the media who really fanned the flames on this one (I'm switching metaphors here, stay with me). In a campaign as pre-packaged as a Pepperidge Farm Cookie Sampler, there really wasn't much to report that held any interest. We're a country that's gotten used to how crappy our lives are now – we expect to hear the daily death toll from Iraq as we wait for our unemployment checks.

In some ways I can understand how the media would want to talk about Swift Boat Veterans for (Massive Distortions of the) Truth. The media dropped the ball on actually doing any investigation – they seemed to think that simply reporting both sides of the issue constituted being fair. I remember when the media had an obligation to seek out the truth. But I guess the truth would set to rest the controversy, and controversy is the media's catnip.

So it's puzzling to me why the media is all but ignoring Ben Barnes' admission of helping George W. Bush get a National Guard slot. Here we've got a juicy story, full of scandal, and a bonus billion-dollar payoff to boot. And this isn't some group of veterans who, for a short time, happened to be in the same foreign country as the candidate. This is a guy who was the Lt. Governor of Texas and had the power and influence to help somebody dodge the draft. And did so. And is admitting to having done so.

My only assumption? Nobody knows what to do with the truth. If it doesn't have the pungent wiff of bullshit, nobody even picks it up. Which is sad, because I really believe that Americans are smart enough to make the right choices, if they're only given the right information. Hopefully enough will sift through the crap and find the undigested corn kernels of truth.

Okay, that's it for the poo metaphors, I promise.

--opus

posted by opus  at 1:38 PM

Monday, August 30, 2004

Wiener Dog Art

Oh! Many happy carved hot dogs! A-OK!

posted by opus  at 4:18 PM

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Headline Of The Day

Golden Girl causes terrorist scare in Boston

Apparently, they found a knife in Bea Arthur's bag, and then she freaked out, screaming,"'The terrorists put it there". Arthur continued her clear and reasoned explanation by yelling, 'terrorists, the terrorists, the terrorists'."

Bea Arthur: One fucked up dude.

--opus

posted by opus  at 2:32 PM

Monday, August 23, 2004

Rejected

I'm currently working for a trivia game-show start-up thing, and they want me to write things that are edgy and funny. And then I do, and they say "That's really funny, but we have to cut it." And so there ends up being quotes like this, which was removed from the script today:

Well, I've got to make like a nearsighted Rabbi at a bris and cut this baby short!

What do you mean, that isn't going to play in middle America?


--opus

posted by opus  at 5:31 PM

Thursday, August 19, 2004

The Biz

Last week, I received an odd email from my friend Dan, who is a producer. It said, in part:

my old boss is doing something for nickat night and needs someone to interview jack black and possibley will smith...in a dolphin suit. So I thought of you.

I wrote back immediately and said "Of course, I'd be happy to put on a dolphin suit and interview Jack Black and Will Smith. It is what I was born to do." Dan wrote back and it seemed confirmed. Then, a short time later, I get another letter:
I was just informed that the person needs to be under 6 feet… which I’m pretty sure eliminates you unfortunately
.
Curse my natural height! For a brief moment, I envisioned myself in an ill-fitting dolphin suit, asking Will Smith about my favorite stanza of "Parents Just Don't Understand". But I suppose it was not to be.

Life's weird sometimes.

--opus

posted by opus  at 2:36 PM

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Holy Shit

The TV Show where i got my start, The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, is going off the air. Apparently Craig is pursuing other things.

I haven't worked there for ages, but it's still a weird thing for me. Like if your uncle, who used to hug you too tight and always smelled of bourbon , died. Sure, he was hard to love sometimes, but still... he was your uncle. Your smelly, smelly, dead uncle.

With metaphors like that, it's a wonder I'm actually a working writer in this town.

--opus

posted by opus  at 11:11 PM

The Silent Sound Of Laughter

I found this prank played on every member of the Senate to be quite enjoyable. It isn't mean spirited at all - a guy posing at a ten year old student doing a school project wrote every Senator, asking for his or her favorite joke.

There are some doozies in there ("What did the 0 say to the 8? Nice belt" - Senator Jon Corazine (D-NJ).) the more amazing thing to me is that 85 percent of the Senators didn't even write back. C'mon, it's a ten year old kid doing a school project. Okay, sure, maybe it's not really a ten year old kid doing a school project... but they didn't know that!

As a person who writes jokes for a living, this page just gives me a little happiness. Even if John Kerry's joke pretty much sucked.

--opus

posted by opus  at 2:39 PM

Friday, August 06, 2004

Political Purposes

Check out this interesting and well-researched chart that details Bush's approval ratings and their relation to terror alerts. It's pretty interesting - alerts seem to always come when Bush's rating is plummeting, and then his approval seems to get a bump upwards. But as time goes on, alerts become more frequent and have less and less effect, as his approval ratings continue to plummet. Is it the Bush who cried Wolfowitz syndrome? Are people getting fed up?

Coming on the tail of several suspiciously timed alerts in the past few months - one the day after Kerry announced Edwards as his running mate, another right after Kerry's acceptance speech - one has to start to question the political motivation of these alerts. After all, in both cases, Homeland Security admitted that the announcements weren't based on new evidence. If there wasn't anything new to announce, why report it?

My predication and hope is that, as a country, our reaction will continue to change. At first the reaction of these terror alerts was fear. Now it seems the reaction is turning into indifference. Soon, the reaction will be anger - that the government is manipulating its people for such blatantly political reasons. By that point, hopefully, we'll have a new, less sleazy president.

Or, Bush could get a hummer from an intern. That always gets the American public riled up!

--opus

posted by opus  at 5:21 PM

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Overheard In The Clothing Store

Little Girl In Shopping Cart: Are you rich?
Tired Checkout Lady: Honey, if I were, I wouldn't be working here.
Little Girl In Shopping Cart: Yeah, but are you rich?
Tired Checkout Lady: No.
(Pause)
Little Girl In Shopping Cart: My mommy and my daddy don't live in the same house anymore.


posted by opus  at 3:18 PM

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