Tuesday, January 31, 2006

20 Years Later, White Lion Fails to Change the World

Little child you must show the way
to a better day for all the young
cause you were born for all the world to see
that we all can live with love and peace
no more presidents and all the wars will end
one united world under god

When the children cry
let them know we tried
cause when the children sing
then the new world begins

--White Lion, When the Children Cry (1987)

It has been nearly 20 years since the world first heard these mighty words from White Lion's epic When the Children Cry. The song, considered by many to be worthy of inclusion among the greatest sequels to monster ballad collections ever sold on late-night television, still resonates steadily with five or six hair metal fans, despite the end of the cold war, and the complete eradication of poverty and homelessness. The music video, too, contained much grimacing and very very seriously longing stares into the camera, as well as video shots of some children crying.

But has White Lion's softball metal ballad made any real difference in the world? The children for whom they once sang are now adults; have these children grown up to show the way to a better day, as White Lion hoped they would? It is true that poverty and homelessness have been eradicated in wealthy gated communities like mine, but it is still widespread everywhere else. War still rages endlessly, there are still presidents, and millions of children still go hungry every day around the world. We can only assume that this makes them cry. I say "assume" because whenever they show it on television we change the channel to MTV's new reality show, "Pimp My Whores."

It is clear that White Lion's pussyfaced dragfest love-in has failed in its mission to rid the world of its ills, and I believe it is time for the American people to hold them accountable for this gross misrepresentation, just as we hold crack addicts accountable for exaggerating how many days they spent in jail. That means somebody has to die, and I hope it's Joseph Lieberman because I hate that asshole.

James Frey is an American Hero

That headline is not a typo, nor is it a joke.

James Frey, whose memoir of drug addiction, prison, and suicide, was recently shown to be exaggerated, went on the Oprah Winfrey show and openly admitted in front of a national audience that he had altered the truth in his work. Oprah, upon whose recommendation the book became a bestseller, was livid. She called him a liar to his face several times.

A lot of people are upset with him, it seems. But I think it is incredible that a man could have the balls to sit on national TV and submit to the rim-job he got from Oprah. There probably isn't a government official in all of Washington DC who would sit down like that and admit to being a liar. We know Bush wouldn't, even though it can be proven that he's been lying since before he was elected.

We're living in a rich culture of lies right now, and believe it or not the Bush administration is not at fault for this. They are just riding a huge swell of lying that has been growing for years. Everybody is lying - citizens, corporations, politicians, me. Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld just get the attention because their lies have caused the most damage. But the media gets to pick on Frey because he can't fight back. If you call Bush and Cheney out as liars, they'll come get you, or at least out your wife as a CIA agent. Oprah and the media are just bullies - themselves scared of greater powers.

Oprah and the media have no problem outing this man as a liar, whose lies were only created to make a more interesting story and sell more books. His lies didn't send young men to war, kill tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, or implicitly condone torture. His lies didn't cost millions their pensions or cause massive domestic layoffs. The only thing his lies did was earn him more money than he probably should have, and maybe get him laid. And when you get down to the specifics of what he lied about, it seems even sillier.

In one particular video clip on the Oprah show Frey admitted that his girlfriend had not committed suicide by hanging herself, but by slitting her wrists. The audience booed him. BOOED. Is slitting your wrists somehow "better" than hanging? Perhaps they'd have cheered if he said his girlfriend threw herself under a lawnmower. The seedier the story, the more the repressed housewives love it. If I were James Frey I'd have jumped off that couch and punched Oprah right in her smug face, then punched everyone in her audience in the face.

Why doesn't Oprah, who acts so moral when it comes to the lies of nonfiction authors, go after the lies of our government, and of the corporations - the lies that are causing true harm in this nation and this world? I say to you, Oprah, you are the hypocrite. James Frey is a hero and deserves the Congressional Medal of Honor, or at least the Presidential Medal of Freedom. If not, why is it we expect a crack addict to have perfectly sound judgement in the field of ethics? America should expect LESS of its crack addicts, and MORE of its elected officials.

Of course, maybe the media is just getting themselves warmed up before they go after the big guys. Maybe they just needed a practice shot. We'll see.

Late update: Take a look at this horseshit: Oprah's Li'l Liar Sued
Late update 2: Some excellent thoughts on the subject at Alternavision.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Invisible Life of Poet #77 - Watching the Ball Drop

Poet and Ben drink milk throught their nosesSometimes it's nice to return to the fact that Poet and Ben are just kids, and on occasion do kid stuff, like try to drink milk through their noses. Personally, I love the punchline in this episode, but it may be too subtle for non-supergeniuses like you and your family and everybody you know. For supergeniuses like me, however, this is a very good punchline. But keep in mind that I am a very super supergenius.

It is amazing to me the effect of drawing characters laughing. When you see a cartoon laugh, you want to laugh along. It creates a unique bond between you and the characters, just as when you laugh with friends. That's a tip for you amateur cartoonists out there: draw your characters laughing in every single frame and you'll have a winner guaranteed.

Another free tip for cartoonists: have a solid degree to fall back on, just in case you want to eat.

The Invisible Life of Poet #77 - Watching the Ball Drop

The Invisible Life of Poet mainpage

Family Guy and the Pummeling of Irony

(See my last article on Family Guy: The Arbiter of Camp)

Last night Family Guy proved that irony is dead and cold in the ground. They dug up the corpse, smacked it around, pissed on it, and took a dump on its face. And it wasn't funny.

Family Guy has for years been successfully dragging out jokes long past their normal lifespan of a single time around (a technique for years a staple of Saturday Night Live.) But twice in last night's episode they took a joke so far as to remove any doubt that irony was alive and well.

First is Peter's perfect rendition of "Shipoopi" from Meredith Willson's broadway musical "The Music Man." The lyrics are here if you didn't see the episode. The song took place at Gillette Stadium, where Peter was playing center for the New England Patriots. After scoring a touchdown, he broke into the song, eventually involving the other players and fans. It was a flawless version of the song, so far as I could tell, and involved much silly dancing and cavorting. After they began the second verse, and I realized that this song was going to go on until the end, it became clear that this was not intended to be appreciated ironically. It was intended to be enjoyed for what it is: a cheeky broadway musical number.

The second scene (which was actually earlier in the show) came when Stewie beat Brian to near death. It was bloody and violent and went on and on. Later in the show, Stewie shot Brian in each leg with a pistol. There was seemingly little comedy in the routine. Nothing was hyperexaggerrated. Brian simply got the crap beaten out of him. He screamed and bled horribly.

Don't get me wrong, it's just a cartoon. And moreover, I love black comedy. I was the only person who laughed all the way through Fight Club by David Fincher. But it was clear that the writers did not design this scene because they wanted to make violence funny. They designed it to make violence itself entertaining.

I have nothing against TV, film, or videogame violence. I've been an GTA addict since GTA III. And I have nothing against broadway musicals (excepting that I hate them because they suck.) But the writers of Family Guy have finally crossed that line between irony and some kind of hyper-irony, which is just reality thinly veiled.

Some humorists out there needed to do this. The envelope needed to be pushed so we could find out where the boundaries of irony lie. They found it, and I wasn't laughing. Now we can only hope that they back away from that boundary, or attempt to find new ways to push the envelope of humor. If not, it isn't just bad comedy, it's bad FOR comedy.

Some might argue that these were simply "out-of-character" gags, but I disagree. Peter often breaks into song and dance, and Family Guy as a whole has certainly shown it's willingness in the past to undergo these second-order tongue-in-cheek musical numbers. Stewie, too, has always been super violent. Even his Hip-Hop-esque street talk while he was beating Brian was not so out of character.

As I mentioned in my last post on Family Guy, I don't say these things because I don't think Family Guy is funny, or because I find it offensive, but because I think the writers are holding back on us. The Family Guy writers (and even the American Dad writers) show occasional moments of pure comedic brilliance, and so it saddens me that they rely so heavily on cheap gags and embarrassingly to-be-dated humor. If I want bad jokes I can turn on "The War at Home" or whatever piece of garbage they've squeezed between The Simpsons and Family guy this week. I only wish the writers would take better advantage of the degree of liberty they are given with these shows, and stop pandering to the obvious.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

More Nerve Personals

"I never met a dollar I didn't own"

65 year old man in Jackson Hole, WY, United States

Occupation: Vice President of the United States
Looking for: Gullible presidential hopefuls
Ethnicity: Non-negro
Education: Casper Community College class of 1963
Languages: English, Cowpoke, Georgebushian
Cigarettes: MAAAARLBORO COUNTRY!!! Also Newports.
Alcohol: Coors on top of Coors Light (Tan & Tanner)
Drugs: Botox, Secret-Service Grade Viagra, Aspirin
Body Art: Big fuckin' hat niggaaa!

My Most Humbling Moment: Running out of gas in front of the CIA building. I swear I almost peed myself it was so embarrassing. All the spies were laughing at me.
If I Had a Million Dollars: 100% Ivory Escalade.
Five Items I Can't Live Without: cell phone, VISA Black, Halliburton stipend, my inhuman ability to deny all verifiable fact, pacemaker
In My Bedroom You Will Find: big pile of money, hooded detainees, Presidential Medal of Freedom, old baseball glove, strategic oil reserve (I jerk off a LOT)
Why You Should Get to Know Me: I'm a confident guy who knows what he wants and am capable of disappearing for months when things go wrong. I love to travel (I even went to Jupiter once - don't tell anybody it's a secret). But mostly I like to stay at home on my ranch and fuck my wife. She recently had a new pussy installed - fresh from a "willing" Afghan donor. The skin color was a little off but we usually fuck in the dark anyway because Lynn's worried about her big fat ass.
More About What I Am Looking For: I'd like to meet nice girls who own a few record-shattering petroleum and natural gas fields, who know how to cook and swing dance. Must be okay with torturing people.
Interests: Anything that ends in "National Wildlife Refuge."

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Nerve Personals

"i alwaze uze the nuculer option"

59 year old man in Washington D.C., United States

Occupation: President of the United States
Looking for: Other Presidents of the United States
Ethnicity: Caucasian-American
Education: MBA, Harvard University
Languages: None
Cigarettes: Never
Alcohol: Officially, never.
Drugs: COKE! COKE! DELICIOUS COCAINE!!! Also crystal meth.
Body Art: Kingpin

My Most Humbling Moment: Trying to remember my oath of office
If I Had a Million Dollars: I already have, like, a gajillion dollars. If i only had a million I'd have to go on welfare or something.
Five Items I Can't Live Without: Pharmesootical kickbacks, Jesus Christ's forgiveness, the abortion issue, satin sheets, Karl Rove
In My Bedroom You Will Find: a bed, a Texas Rangers ballcap, an unused bottle of astroglide, my frigid wife, five Iraqi slave girls, totally awesome skull pile
Why You Should Get to Know Me: god I never know what to write in these things. So basically I'm the president, so I get to kill anybody I want. My friends think I'm really funny, though. I'm very honest and caring as long as your white and give regularly to the GOP. I'm just a normal, fun-loving guy who knows how to relax and attempt to take over the world. I also like to just stay at home, rent a movie, and feast on the blood and flesh of living terrorist detainees.
More About What I Am Looking For: Dick Cheney's brains in Condi's body, except with bigger tits, and not black. I'd also like a girl who can explain what the geneva conventions are.
Interests: not answering any more questions, a Christian republic in the middle east, ownership societies, killing all brown people, pretending I'm a rancher, wiretapping without a court order, American Idol, bondage/domination, suckering the military into doing really stupid shit (lol), appointing incompetant cronies, torture, murder, sleeping in late

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Invisible Life of Poet #76 - Marissa Loves Poet III

Marissa is pissedToday, the conclusion of the Marissa Trilogy. As trilogies go, I would rate this below The Matrix, and just above Star Wars, with Lord of the Rings in the toilet. That's all I have to say this week. Just read it and laugh.


Thursday, January 19, 2006

You Know Your President is a Lunatic When...

...Osama Bin Laden starts to sound sane and reasonable.

Aljazeera today ran new video of Bin Laden offering a truce between his people and the American people. The guts of his speech:
"We know that the majority of your people want this war to end and opinion polls show the Americans don't want to fight the Muslims on Muslim land, nor do they want Muslims to fight them on their (US) land...But Bush does not want this and claims that it's better to fight his enemies on their land rather than on American land...We are getting increasingly stronger while your situation is getting from bad to worse...we do not mind offering a long-term truce based on just conditions that we will stick to...There is no problem in this solution [a truce], but it will prevent hundreds of billions [of dollars] from going to influential people and warlords in America - those who supported Bush's electoral campaign - and from this, we can understand Bush and his gang's insistence on continuing the war."
He says things Bush would never fess up to, but everyone already knows, except the 5% of crazy neo conservatives, and he's offering peace (sort of.) I don't know if Osama Bin Laden can be trusted, but after five straight years of Bush's lies and conspiracy, I'm almost willing to give him a try.

Bin Laden's only real offense is killing thousands of Americans and blowing up some embassies, and there are probably billions of people around the world who would kill Americans if they thought they could get away with it. Everybody hates Americans, it's part and parcel of not being an American. We've got Paris Hilton, after all. She's the modern Marie Antoinette, except dumber, less refined, and even less caring. She represents so much that is wrong with America, and that's what people see in all Americans, Paris Hilton.

Don't get me wrong, though. Radical Islam can eat shit. We might be able to get along peacefully, but as soon as you try to put a burqa on my mom and my sister, things are going to get ugly fast.

I think Bush should accept the truce, duck out of Iraq and draw down in Afghanistan, and take his chances. But Bush would never allow a truce. Warfare is the only thing keeping his polls from sinking to record lows. He's a cowboy, a soldier, a patriot, and these colors don't run, etc. He promised the American people that Bin Laden would be brought to justice, and even though he got sidetracked invading Iraq and wrecking the whole planet, he can't back down now or everybody will call him a pussy, especially me.

Late update: To nobody's surprise, Cheney came forward immediately to denounce Bin Laden's "truce" offering. He continues to claim it possible to kill all enemy combatants of the United States. Even if he did manage to kill the two or three or four billion people who now hate America, he would piss off all the rest in the process. If he kept at it, the only person left alive would be Dick Cheney. Then all that rich chocolatey oil could finally be his!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

More Dream-Based Fiction

I tumbled over the waterfall and splashed helplessly into a shallow creek choked by thick roots and brush. Swimming downstream was nearly impossible as I clamored over the exposed roots. I knew that lurking below the water were mysterious creatures waiting to attack. So I hurried to find an exit.

As I broke free of the cold water and on to the marshy shore I realized the stream, which by the way was some sort of magical stream, had imbued me with an unstoppable power over beautiful women. As I stepped inland through the bushes I came across a large, glamorous home in the style of a Spanish villa - clearly the inhabitants were wealthy. I stepped inside and could sense the woman nearby who I was about to seduce. I followed corridors and stepped diagonally through rooms from door to door in search of her. I began to have visions of the stunning beauty writhing in pleasure in her bed as she sensed my approaching power.

As I crept from room to room the visions became stronger, and her arousal deeper. Children milled about the house in costumes but seemed unfazed by my presence. Finally, stepping through a den I turned the corner to see the bedroom I was seeking. I rushed inside and closed the door. She had covered herself in blankets, perhaps in fear of my overpowering sexual aura.

I quietly pulled the covers away from her quivering body, ready to pounce. She laid still before me, in all her unmerciful ugliness. Moreover, she had poured Log Cabin maple syrup over her genitalia as lubricant. I looked at her face and grimmaced in repulsion. Pig nose, short colorless hair, lifeless eyes and thin lips, surrounded by a head far too round to be normal. Her eyes were surrounded in wrinkles - not from age, but from pure ugliness.

In obligation, I mounted her, noticing only then her remarkably unenticing breasts - small, limp, with hard nipples like oversized red thimbles. I dared not touch them. I attempted to correct her face by firmly pushing inward on her temples, but to no avail. I tried to rub away the wrinkles, but could only drag her loosened skin back and forth.

Giving in, I penetrated her sticky oriface, oozing with cheap stinking syrup. She was instantly sent into ecstacy. I could only watch her squirms and screams as she felt me thrusting deeper and faster. I tried valiantly to finish off myself, but despite my efforts I could not do so, and removed myself from her.

She protested that I had not finished the act. I slapped her. I slapped her for being so fucking ugly it made me sick. Then I slapped her again. It felt good, slapping an ugly girl who had lied to me like that.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Is Crack Still Funny?

In 9th grade, a friend and I began to gang up on a girl who sat behind me in World History class. Tracy was a mutual acquaintance with a great sense of humor, so we tried to joke every single day about how she smoked crack. We would take any opportunity to remark about her crack rocks, her crack pipes, her house full of crack babies, and her remarkable ability to smoke dumptrucks of crack and not die. She was always the first to laugh at our crack jokes, and later went on to a fast-track career at Hooters.

That was 1993 - I was 14 years old at the time. Thirteen years later humorists are still making jokes about crack - take Dave Chappelle as an example.

Drug culture has long been a source for jokes, but crack is and has always been predominantly a problem of the urban poor. Powerless as they are, this makes crack an easy target and so the jokes have never been earmarked as politically incorrect, even though they technically are. Crackheads, crack rocks, crack pipes, crack whores, crack babies have all had their place in American pop culture. And now crack jokes are near ubiquitous. Any idiot with no background in humor can call somebody a crackhead and get a laugh. Type "crackhead" into technorati.com (which searches millions of blogs) and you get 11,853 posts that use the term.

Even though crack is not the problem in urban America it once was, it still affects millions of lives. Crack still represents the gold standard of depravity - there is nobody lower in the world to an American than a woman who sucks dick for a crackrock (except a man who sucks twenty dicks for a crackrock.)

But America in the last decade has come to embrace its own depravity more than ever. We celebrate it in all strata of society - through alcoholism, porn addiction, corporate and political corruption, backward foreign policymaking, and unabashed greed. Sin is in.

Satirizing a society that has leaned so far over the pit of depravity is easy. American society has already created a caricature of itself. To poke fun at it now is just childish and repetitive - the stuff of Saturday Night Live and Jay Leno. Searching for satire will lead you, no doubt, into very sticky territory, where the Yang in Wilsonian Parody Dualism must be hyperexaggerated. At some point you cross the line between edgy humor and plain shock value - stuff that offends without eliciting laughter. For example, imagine a crackhead scientist who builds a car that runs on crackrocks - and the exhaust is fed up a pipe into the mouth of the driver. Or I could joke about a desperate crack whore smoking her ossified crack baby. These examples run from predictable and barely funny to shocking and not funny. That may be the best you can expect of crack jokes today. A good crack joke will take some real work.

If nothing else, crack jokes have lost their edge. But they have clearly been planted firmly in the national lexicon and may so continue for generations. And while I don't think crack jokes are over, supergenius humorists like myself should be expected to hold ourselves to a higher standard. Crack clearly still has a place in the humorist toolbox, but should only be used in unique situations. We must resist the powerful addictive force of crack jokes. Otherwise, we're no better than 9th graders who call their friends crackwhores.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Invisible Life of Poet #75 - Marissa Loves Poet II

Poet DisgustedThis week's strip was not drawn directly from personal experience. No single woman has ever willingly taken it upon herself to derobe in front of me. I am more accustomed to harems of women - usually in groups of five or more - derobing in front of me en masse. And before you go all apeshit on me for drawing such a young girl getting naked, just know that Marissa is at LEAST 14 years old, maybe 15.

I'd also like to note that this is Poet #75, and that I'm friggin' awesome.

The Invisible Life of Poet Homepage

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Funniest Country on Earth

As a humorist, you may occasionally come across a situation where you need a "funny country" to finish a joke. But if you are not an experienced supergenius like me, or if you are merely an amateur supergenius, you might not be entirely sure which countries are still on the cutting edge of what is funny and which have passed their time in the spotlight.

When I was a kid in the 1980's there were a lot of jokes about Poland and dumb Polacks. But nobody makes jokes about Europe anymore - they seem to have gotten their act together (except Italy.) At least half of the pornography that Americans consume must now come from the former Eastern Bloc nations. Hot lesbian action is almost never funny.

Canada and Mexico are easy targets for Americans because of their proximity, and you will probably still see a lot of jokes made at their expense, but in my opinion it's all been done. You can't joke about America's number one trading partner and number one supplier of cleaning ladies and fruit pickers. You can't joke about Mexico, either. Even if you try it's pretty damn insulting, as I just demonstrated.

The nations of Africa are right out, of course. They've got enough rotten shit to deal with without us picking on them. Western Africa, it turns out, is turning into a nice collection of suburbs. Libya might be worth a yuck or two, but I doubt most young people can remember why we started making fun of them in the first place. (I doubt anyone younger than 25 can even spell "Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi.")

The Middle East seems to suffer from the same problems as Africa, not to mention that a lot of them want to kill us, and we as Americans have done our part to make life there a lot worse. You can't laugh so much about something you're scared of.

Asia continues to "emerge" as a world power. Our grandparents picked on Japan a lot, but they sure taught America a thing or two about quality electronics, compact and mid-size cars, and cartoon tentacle sex. Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia have been pretty quiet lately. And the boat has sailed on Khmer Rouge Cambodia jokes as far as I can tell. Anyone old enough to know what that is will be too old to laugh.

Australia jokes went the way of Paul Hogan's career. And everybody loves New Zealand now, for some reason, even though in reality it's a big shithole from coast to coast.

That just leaves south and central America. Here there remain a few gems. Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Columbia, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Panama -- these countries are all cool. Guatemala and Nicaragua are still probably fucked up, but they've been out of our minds for so long it's hard to remember what makes them funny. Haiti would be a good joke, but there are enough of them living in the US now that you might get cut up. Peru has Mayan ruins and nobody knows what goes on in those three little colony/countries north of Brazil. That leaves Bolivia, Uraguay, and Paraguay.

I did some research. Bolivia, while being very coup-happy in it's nearly 200 year history, recently legalized cocaine. They have their first indigenous president in their history. So Bolivia jokes are in a holding pattern to see what happens next. Uraguay, it turns out, has both beach resorts and gauchos, so you might actually consider vacationing there.

Paraguay, on the other hand, is landlocked. It was also home to many Nazi expats, including Dr. Mengele. But I still wasn't sure until I saw this at Infoplease.com:
After World War II, politics became particularly unstable. Alfredo Stroessner was dictator from 1954 until 1989, during which he was accused of the torture and murder of thousands of political opponents. Despite Paraguay's human rights record, the U.S. continuously supported Stroessner.
Hilarious. Moreover, Paraguay meets the requirement that Americans not be able to name their capital nor locate them reliably on a map. But somehow we still know that it's a troubled country. This is sufficient to make fun of it. That is why I call Paraguay the 2006 Funniest Country on Earth.

However, and just to be serious for a moment, I think that the boat has sailed on jokes about foreign nations and foreigners. Racism and bigotry have been ushered out while acceptance and multi-culturalism has been ushered in. It is my opinion that you probably shouldn't make jokes about countries at all. It's been done. Right here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

MySpace: America's Fuckup Army

If you were an Iraqi, or any impoverished non-American, and were somehow able to poke around MySpace for a few minutes, you might be overwhelmed with hatred for Americans, and would happily kill every one of them for a single cup of Yaprakh. You might see FOX News and laugh at America's stupidity, but if you see MySpace, on goes the pipebomb vest.

MySpace is overrun with the largest collection of petty, self-absorbed and superficial white losers the world has ever seen. They pout their lips and dye their hair as they tread through a dangerous life of rock concerts, clubbing, and fashion. From what I can tell, most of them think being alcoholic is funny. Through suspiciously-well overexposed photographs, you might make out how everyone has hair in their face, ample cleavage, and tattoos that demonstrate their hardcoreness. And hardcoreness equals credibility. I have yet to understand why they need all this credibility.

But I want some, too. So for my MySpace page, I plan to put up a single photograph of me putting a shower of bullets through my face with a rigged Tec-9. Surely that will show them all that I am the most hardcore. When you first log in to my page, the first thing you'll hear is the recording of an atom bomb explosion followed by the sounds of a man being eaten by a bear. My weblog will be about how I drank twenty beer balls and then filled up ten other beerballs with vomit. It is, of course, all ironic. It's supposed to be funny.

There was a time not long ago when the internet seemed to be the fabled nerd homeworld. Now it is the home of stupid douchebag posers. These kids are so far gone that they'd actually BENEFIT from Christianity. And I say "kid" even though I'm only 26, because in spite of their ages, they are just a bunch of children. Of course, not everyone on MySpace is this way, but it's enough that I can make broad categorical statements about them all for your entertainment.

And why is it that every time I click from friends to friends I wind up on web model Tila Nguyen's page? Is she Jesus or something and nobody has told me? You can't ALL be her friend, and stroking your chub to pictures of her doesn't count as friendship where I come from (apparently in LA it does.)

When I look through MySpace profiles I see an entire generation with nothing to do. Communism is dying, gays are finally (if slowly) gaining the civil rights they deserve, and Republicans have predictably self-destructed. Our parents and grandparents always had some place to put their emotions, their anger, and their unreasonable hatred. But we do not, so we put it in ourselves. And instead of doing good for the world with all our education and wealth, instead of living lives of simple pleasures, we spend all our time trying our damnedest to look as cool as possible, trying to be the next rockstar, in some faint hope that somebody out there will pay attention to us. It's a life of loud desperation; we're that desperately lonely.
I see in Fight Club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War is a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives.
--Fight Club
When the MySpace kids start taking over the country, look out. Some crazy shit is going to happen, and if you think Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld and all their friends have fucked things up, you're about to learn a lesson in crazy shit. Because the MySpace people are America's Fuckup Army. Here they come.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Too Late, You Stupid Ho

Sen. Hillary Clinton is continuing her slow transformation into the anti-war Senator, as is noted at length in this story at ABC News in the aftermath of the revelation that better body armour might have saved hundreds of US Marines their lives.
"I've been one of the leading critics pointing out all the failures, the incompetencies," Clinton said.
She must think that those of us who have opposed this war from the start have very short attention spans, and don't remember how she supported the war for so long, even when the shit started hitting the fan. Of course, she still doesn't actually OPPOSE the war, just how it was handled.

I swear to God and the Baby Jesus and Santa Maria and Santa Claus that I will never vote for this woman for president, unless, as I said before, the only other option is Dick Cheney.

She acts like she wants to be tough on terrorism, but instead she just looks soft on illegal war. What a political ho-ma.

If you are a registered Democrat, please do not let this lady win the presidential primary. It would make baby Jesus cry.

Dear Women: You ARE Fat!

According to this story in The Independant, 51% of women in the UK selected a "slimmer waist" as more important to them than a genius IQ, financial security, or a date with the celebrity of their choice. The story goes on to mention that 1 in 3 women is overweight, while 1 in 5 is obese.

As always, pundits come out to blame society, and I don't entirely disagree. Here's a typical quote:
Barbara Wilson, head of nutrition at tescodiets.com, said: "Women's role models tend to be models and actresses, so there is more emphasis than ever placed upon physical perfection...These statistics reveal just how much pressure women feel there is to be slim in today's society."
I agree that this whole study is disturbing. Women would rather be stupid than fat, which shows that we're not raising our girls properly.

But how is it that we can say out of one side of our mouths "society puts too much pressure on women to be thin" and out of the other side say "1 in 3 women are overweight." In the United States, the pressure is greater, yet the statistics are probably worse. To me, this says that society is not putting enough pressure on women to be thin. Society is failing to fully raise up the coke-addicted supermodels, which create the adequate psychological disturbances that lead to sound physical health.

I know what the response to all this will be. Women are fat BECAUSE society puts so much pressure on them.


Or maybe women are fat because they eat too much goddamned chocolate and have never been told to PUT THE FUCKING FORK DOWN!!!

So, in conclusion, I propose that we legalize cocaine so that women in all socio-economic strata can have access to the same quality coke that Kate Moss does, without living in fear of being arrested or deported, like Kate Moss does.

Wow, Go Ted Kennedy

Most you are probably not paying attention, but the internet broadcast of the Alito hearings is spellbinding. Ted Kennedy is kicking ass and Alito is clearly nervous.

Kennedy gave a great speech about how great supreme court justices took a strong stand against executive abuse of power, but how Alito has repeatedly shown deference to the power of the executive branch, and therefore would make a weak judge. If I can find a transcript I will post it here because it was a great speech.

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Invisible Life of Poet #74 - Marissa Loves Poet

Say hello once again to Marissa, star of the already world famous "Born Again" strip. As you can see, there is more to Marissa than meets the eye. I would also like to point out what a good job I did drawing a character crying, even though it was my first time. If you look closely, I'm sure you'll catch my genius workmanship in action. You can thank me when you yourself start crying for the beauty of it all.

Tom Delay Tried to Kill Me With an Outboard

Tom Delay and I sat far offshore in a small dinghy. He brazenly displayed an impressive mane of chest hair which sparkled in the mid-day sun, while working the outboard engine back and forth. Suddenly, my friend, who was also onboard, attacked Delay with an M-60, but failed to overpower him. The two decided to turn against me instead, and I was knocked overboard. They fired the machine gun into the water but were unable to score a hit, and my friend fell into the water. As we grappled with one another beneath the surface, Tom Delay tried to run me down with the outboard propeller, but missed and hit my friend on the top of his head. I grabbed the M-60 and shot my friend to pieces. That's all I remember.

When I was a kid I wondered if the people you were dreaming about were concurrently dreaming about you. Now I am convinced. This dream I had proves the certain evil of Tom Delay. I ask to be called as a witness to the grand jury that will try to send him to buttfuck prison.

For those of you who do not live in the US, or who live in the US but don't read, or who live in the US and read but only read stop signs, Tom Delay was, until a few days ago, the leader of the Republican party in the House of Representatives (the equivalent of your Parliament, Assembly, or Council of the Valleys if you're in Angola). He has spent his career there successfully stealing from the poor to give to the rich, like a reverse Robin Hood or Errol Flynn with no penis instead of a giant penis. But he got busted and it makes me happy. Here's to a gigantic black penis exploding in your ass, Tom. And here's another one in your eye for trying to kill me.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Caricature and the Yang Surplus - A Case Study

Most political cartoonist are far too lenient on George W. Bush. They typically depict a man with big ears and a pointy upper lip who, while dressed in a suit and tie, is alternately stupid, incompetant, or just silly. For a man who is responsible for these levels of suffering, whose actions have increased terrorism worldwide, who has sold out the solvency of the government, who has repeatedly ignored and raped the poor for the benefit of corporate money, no caricature can be awful enough.

Ted Rall understands Wilsonian Parody Duality, even though he's never heard of it because I made it up two days ago, and creates brutal, horrific caricatures of George W. Bush. His depiction is a Bush whose dark soul is revealed through his outer makeup. He dresses as a banana republic dictator and is drawn nearly as ugly as a man can be drawn. Rall uses yang surplus and yin deficit masterfully to depict a brutal, completely uncaring and fascistic ruler - a true caricature of everything that is Bush.

Yang Surplus: Here and here.
Yin Deficit: Here and here.

Occasionally, Rall switches to yang deficit and even yin surplus to round out the caricature, such as this strip. He also applies these same techniques to other figures, such as Cheney and America in general.

The real Bush may not be quite as evil as Generalissimo el Busho, but any good caricature (and by caricature, I mean the WHOLE character, not just the visual design) must underscore the particular components of the subject that are noticeably evil or wrong. Great caricature blows the notable features, evil or otherwise, out of all proportion to make a statement with balls. Cartoonists, TV comics, and associated satirists need to learn from Ted Rall, and start caricaturing the horrendous leadership of this nation in a much more hostile way, and stop pussyfooting around the truth.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

What to Do With 5,736 Iraqi Corpses

According to this story from Reuters:
Nearly 6,000 Iraqi civilians, police and troops were killed in violence last year...Of the 5,736 dead, 4,020 were civilians, 1,241 police officers, and 475 were Iraqi soldiers...
In defense of the US, most of those people were probably killed by other Iraqis or miscellaneous zealots, not that it alters the blame for the whole situation much...but that's for another discussion. This is a HAPPY POST, DAMNIT!!!

Dick Cheney's old cronies at Halliburton (and subsidiaries) handle a lot of the logistics over there, and must be scratching their heads over what to do with all these corpses they have piling up. Here are a few ideas:
  • Use chunkier torsos to plug holes in oil pipelines hit by terrorists.
  • Bury them for a million years until they become petroleum. Use the oil to run a Hummer H-5003 for six seconds.
  • Chop the corpses into 300 million pieces and mail them to Americans as a tax refund.
  • New roof for the Superdome. Go Saints!
  • Use them to dam the Tigris river to create Wet 'N Wild Over Baghdad Waterpark. Attractions include the Burqa-Only Wave Pool, the Saddaminator, and Typhoon Plummet With Explosions.
  • Iraqischnitzel!
  • Preserve using plastination and use as seat fillers at speeches given by Bush, since nobody shows up anymore unless forced by their military superiors.
  • Dog food.
  • Sell them in Texas as hood ornaments. Use the proceeds to hurt animals in some way.
  • Clone all 5,736 for the biggest bi-sexual harem ever created. Have sex with them but pretend you're not gay.
  • Pack into world's largest coffee maker. Press switch to "ON." Allow to run until percolation stops. Mix with cream, milk, or sugar to taste. Serve. Barf. Repeat.
Have an idea? Submit it under "Comments." I'll be sure to send it along to Halliburton. They could use the help since they don't have anyone as competent and trustworthy as Dick Cheney working there anymore.

Author's Note: I am fully aware of how disgusting and insensitive this post is. It's called parody. See my post yesterday on The Tao of Parody. If you are Iraqi, however, you're probably right to want to kill me.

(PS: does it strike anyone as weird that you only get 64 hits when you type "iraq" and "corpse" into Google image search? Shouldn't there be a whole lot more?)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Joke Theory: The Tao of Parody

The yin yang is central to Taoism, just as it is to humor, as I noted in my post yesterday. But the yin yang is not only central to the Wilsonian Theory of Complementary Essence, but also to another concept which I invented and named after myself: Wilsonian Parody Duality (or Wilsonian Parody Parity).

In Wilsonian Parody Duality, parody is confined to two dimensions, like the yin and yang. The yang represents darkness and evil while the yin represents light and good. However, it is important to note that the yin and yang are not always in perfect balance. While the universe seeks to attain a perfect balance, it is not only possible but probable that at any given time the two will be out of balance. This can occur in four different ways (think: two dimensions):
  • Yang surplus
  • Yang deficit
  • Yin surplus
  • Yin deficit
In comedy, this is how parody is created, by alternately raising or lowering the "force" of the two complementary essences. Sticking with the theme from yesterday, this is how Wilsonian Parody Duality applies to 50 Cent:

Yang Surlus: 50 Cent is the craziest sucka in the universe. He carries 400 loaded pistols at all times, shoots anyone that makes eye contact with him right in the balls, and spends all his money on a Cadillac Escalade made of a single 20-ton diamond. He might eat human flesh. His Yang is the size of a tree trunk.

Yang Deficit: In reality, 50 Cent is a wimp and a nerd. He is scared of knives and reads Ayn Rand in his spare time. He is allergic to milk, wheat, and peanuts. He has no idea how to please a woman. He cannot decide who is his favorite Star Trek character.

Yin Surplus: 50 Cent cries whenever he thinks of his momma. He subsists on love, and shoots rainbows from his vagina. His tum tum is full of flowers.

Yin Deficit: 50 Cent is absent of any semblance of love, caring, peace, or temperence. He smokes a room full of crack, hunts children for sport, and raps so hard your face explodes.

An interesting point to note here is the similarity of the Yang Surplus and Yin Deficit. I believe this is because this represents reality most accurately. As I mentioned yesterday, 50 Cent is already a walking caricature of black America. He clearly has a Yang Surplus and a Yin Deficit.

As humorists, we can use these four types of parody to help the world understand where there is imbalance, so that people might correct it, say, by sending 50 Cent a My Little Pony Collectible China Gift Set, or by shooting him some more.

Tomorrow: Combining the essences

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Invisible Life of Poet #73 - The Weight Room

This week's strip is pretty much how I remember the weight room in high school, except with more fear and bullying. If Poet can hang in there, he might grow up big like me, and one day be able to bench press his own harem, like me.


Joke Theory: Complementary Essence

In physics it is Newton's Third Law. In philosophy it is the Hegelian dialectic. In religion it is the yin-yang. And henceforth, because I invented it and am a genius, in comedy it will be referred to as the Wilsonian Theory of Complementary Essence.

The theory:
For every entity or force in the universe, there exists at least one complementary entity or force whose essence is everything the other is not, which thereby maintains balance and unity.

As mankind's foremost thinker in the realm of humor and everything else, this theory first revealed itself when I was searching for some clever way to counter 50 Cent. The rap artist and film star is currently one of the most powerful forces in the American pop cultural landscape, and is himself a walking caricature of black America. I sought to find a brief idea that somehow revealed how 50 Cent fits into the universe without also destroying it. My first idea was:

50 Cent Wearing Women's Clothing

While the idea of 50 Cent in women's clothing might be amusing to my homophobic, racist grandmother, it in no way holds the power to turn 50 Cent into a real joke. He is still 50 Cent. My second idea:

50 Cent Has a Vagina

This is closer to the truth, as it strips 50 Cent of one of his fundamentals, his masculinity. Still, however, the essence of 50 Cent survives. Even with a vagina, he can remain a powerful force in the universe. That is, until my third idea:

50 Cent Shoots Rainbows Out of His Vagina

In this case, the vagina is merely the conduit between 50 Cent and rainbows. The concept of rainbows is, I believe, a powerful enough thing to balance out the concept of 50 Cent. It is the Yin to 50 Cent's Yang.

50 Cent (Yang): Aggressivenes, Attitude, Stupidity, Violence, Raging homophobia, In-Yo-Face-Ism
Rainbows (Yin): Passiveness, Introspection, Enlightenment, Peace, Homos

(I may have my rainbows mixed up, however. The yin to 50 Cent's yang might be this rainbow.)

The complementary essence, I believe, exists in all things, and everything may have multiple complementary essences. It does not hold the power to destroy, like a positron to an electron, but the power to counterbalance and harmonize, like a proton to an electron. It is left to us, the supergenius humorists (only me), to discover the complementary essences in all things, and one day map the sum total essence of all the universe. (In theory, all essences offset to zero, except for me, because I'm so awesome.)

Tomorrow: The Tao of Parody