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  • Rob Spectre
  • 05
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  • 09

money

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 21
  • Oct
  • 09

We’ve done our share of covering the activism that has recently become fashionable in this 21st Century, from reacting to continued inequality with a marathon walk through San Francisco to setting up camp in front of the Icelandic capital as a day-job.  It seems public demonstration is back in style in a way that hasn’t vogue since the Sixties and folks of every political stripe are joining the fun.  And, at long last, tea-bagging in the billy-infested hills of Kentucky and Rick-rolling dance parties with Anonymous finally have a competitor for the hippest peaceful assembly to further a political cause this year.

Photo by Jens Jockey

Photo by Jens Jockey

Ahead of Halloween this weekend, Santa Rosa, California -- a red town in a blue state -- will be host to a horde of zombies demonstrating in support healthcare reform.  Part public dissent in a West Coast Republican outpost, part performance art, all undead dance party, “Zombie Action” seems to be the latest attempt by the largely silent center-left to introduce some levity to the exhaustingly hyped healthcare debate:

Zombie Action!!! is a day of serious fun about a heartbreakingly serious issue. We are not down-playing the tragedy, but rather than protest AGAINST, we choose to protest FOR. We are FOR health care for everyone. We are FOR fun. The pursuit of happiness can’t happen without health.

Dressing up like zombies is unlikely to become common in the mainstream political theatre outside of California (even here less than 200 Facebook profiles have registered as attending), but events like “Zombie Action” do suggest a growing fatigue for the deadly serious and largely manufactured “grassroots” political game, particularly among young people.  The swastikas, the devil posters, the claims of socialism sound shrill even by the standards of an American generation whose politics has been defined on television.  Protests like this weekend’s faux-undead horde are a direct reaction of the young to that disintegration of political civility.

What does it say for the condition of the American healthcare debate that dressing up like zombies seems more sane?

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  • Seth Kingry
  • 13
  • Oct
  • 09

Editor’s Note: Just when you thought the saga between guest (d)N0t writer Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry and the Craig’s List scammer he was trying to woo was over, Kingry provides this dispatch from the edges of the Internet’s hell.  Thanks to Google’s automatic integration of gTalk contacts and Gmail recipients, Kingry caught the shadowy “Mary Scott” online as “she” undoubtedly logged in to ply her illegal trade.  Kingry got to have a real-time conversation with his would-be swindler, resulting in this hilarious transcript.

Funny, her IM communication skills seem a little less sharp than her urban professional picture would suggest.

Funny, her IM communication skills seem a little less sharp than her urban professional picture would suggest.

(04:03:22 PM)Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: MARY SCOTT
(04:03:31 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: WHY WON’T YOU SPEEK TO ME?
(04:03:46 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: I HAVE AN EXTRA $2000 I NEED TO WIRE YOU FOR THIS BICYCLE
(04:03:53 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: YOU GAVE ME TOO MUCH MONIES
(04:04:24 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: PAK CHOOIE CHOMP
(04:04:38 PM) mary scott: how are you today
(04:04:42 PM)Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: hello
(04:04:48 PM) mary scott: hi
(04:04:57 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: hey
(04:05:11 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: so where should I send this money for the Anus Ghost?
(04:05:23 PM) mary scott: where have you been so far
(04:05:34 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: Can I ask you a question Mary Scott?
(04:05:55 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: please… pretty please
(04:06:43 PM) mary scott: you are welcome
(04:07:07 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: Do you believe in unicorns?
(04:07:51 PM) mary scott: yes i and why are yuo asking
(04:08:13 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: I want to ride a unicorn while I make love to you Mary Scott
(04:08:38 PM) mary scott: uuum you dont even know me
(04:08:53 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: but our email correspondence
(04:08:59 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: they were so lovely
(04:09:41 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: you told me how much you wanted the Anus Ghost, and how my middle name “The Conqueror” was so beautiful…
(04:10:39 PM) mary scott: yes i do but you still have my money with you
(04:10:55 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: Mary Scott, let us use this money to let you come to me
(04:11:15 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: let us ride atop a unicorn and whisper poetry into one another’s ears
(04:12:11 PM) mary scott: yes the shipper needs the money so that the ghost can be picked up
(04:12:28 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: can we not take the money and have you come here?
(04:12:38 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: then we can ride the Anus Ghost together
(04:12:50 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: let me hear you whisper “Anus Ghost”
(04:13:12 PM) mary scott: well i need some time
(04:13:18 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: time? For what?
(04:13:21 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: I LOVE YOU
(04:13:49 PM) mary scott: well this is strange to me
(04:13:56 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: how is this strange
(04:14:05 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: you are a beautiful woman Mary Scott
(04:14:25 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: and I am a man in possession of an Anus Ghost
(04:14:31 PM) mary scott: i need to have this money
(04:14:37 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: I need you Mary Scott
(04:15:46 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: Can I just get one little tidbit of love from you?
(04:15:54 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: my heart is aching
(04:17:26 PM) mary scott: do you have a printer,scanner,typewriter and a computer
(04:17:37 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: yes, my love, I have all of these things
(04:17:52 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: send me a picture of you cooking a pot roast while you wear a unicorn costume
(04:18:09 PM) mary scott: can we be serious now
(04:18:24 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: I am serious
(04:18:35 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: seriously head over heels for you
(04:18:56 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: let us forget this bicycle nonsense and talk of how we will build a house in the sky
(04:19:34 PM) mary scott: okay sure but i need this money
(04:19:46 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: Do you realize how much crack cocaine this money will buy us?
(04:19:56 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: like we can get high as balls
(04:20:39 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: Do you own a time machine Mary Scott?
(04:21:01 PM) mary scott: you smoke crack
(04:21:18 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: alllllll t he damn time. Liek 4 REALZ
(04:21:58 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: Me and Rick Sanchez be gettin’ buck wild like ev’ry singl e day.
(04:22:44 PM) mary scott: well seems not serious
(04:22:50 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: Tell me how much you want this money.
(04:23:08 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: Convince me to not spend it on another woman.
(04:23:51 PM) mary scott: i am begging you not to spend it and help me to send it cos it i the only thing delaying my arrival
(04:24:07 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: Give me your address Mary Scott
(04:24:24 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: I will fly out to you one a pegacorn whist I smoketh my crack
(04:24:33 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: I will reach down, grasp your hand
(04:24:38 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: pull you into the clouds
(04:24:46 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: we will soar into the sun itself
(04:24:56 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: brilliant BOOM EXPLOSIONS
(04:25:36 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: Tell me… tell me how much you want this money.
(04:26:02 PM) mary scott: i want it sent out and can you just be serious pls
(04:26:11 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: ok, I am totally serious now
(04:26:16 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: give me your address
(04:26:36 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: I’ll put this cash in an envelope and send it right away via courier
(04:26:58 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: it should be on your doorstep in no less than 3.1459151 hours
(04:27:26 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: You know what is super awesome?
(04:27:37 PM) mary scott: well i will be glad if you can send it by western union
(04:27:38 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: Riding a killer whale while eating a moon pie.
(04:27:48 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: I’m super serious about that.
(04:27:56 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: Western Union?
(04:28:00 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: What is that?
(04:28:04 PM) mary scott: yes
(04:28:35 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: Can you send me another photo of you?
(04:28:51 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: and maybe a lock of your hair… and some toe nail clippings?
(04:29:11 PM) mary scott: sure and i am getting pissed now
(04:29:16 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: wait
(04:29:27 PM) Seth “The Conquerer” Kingry: you’re going to send me another picture?

(more…)

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 24
  • Sep
  • 09

Deep in a backwoods Irish town and six pints deep, I tried to be polite as the fisherman told me his tale.  Despite the surface ridiculousness of the story, he delivered it with calm and conviction.  His claims might have been easier to dismiss had they been delivered by a crazy-eyed loner who had spent too much time on the open sea.  But that Tuesday night at a townie pub in Doolin, it seemed like the stranger from the sea was has a story that seemed less like tin-foil hat conspiracy and more like Gospel.

He asked me if I knew why Guinness was invented.  Having just visited the brewery at St. James Gate on then my first tour of Ireland, the story was fresh in my mind.  The official story is similar to much of Irish science in that it was a happy accident, a beer borne out of a botched batch of barley that the beer’s namesake had left to roast too long while receiving a tongue-lashing by his lady.

“Bollocks!” the fisherman exclaimed.  “You’ve got the wool pulled o’er your eyes like the rest of these poor bastards.”

The locals at the tables next to us rolled their eyes as he leaned in to explain.

The Irish, he said, were dangerous.  So dangerous that the rest of humanity has driven much of their cultural and technological pursuits to contain them.  He told me when the Romans encountered the Irish, they sent their finest legions to conquer them.  Unable to dominate them, they sent religion.

He said when they sent religion, they multiplied even faster than before.  By the time the Normans found them, Ireland’s men had become so potent, Norman wives frequently became impregnated on sight.   A few hundred years later, when English lords grew tired of raising Irish grandchildren, they tried more religion.  When that didn’t work, they tried 12 inch cannons and single malt whiskey.

But even those triumphs of engineering were insufficient to contain these people, the fisherman boasted.  Cromwell killed fully half of the living Irish in a single decade, only to be replenished by Ireland’s virility in a generation.  Famine killed a third of them in the 18th century; the empty bedrooms were filled again by that century’s sunset.

The fisherman rose his pint as he stood to the group, much to the exasperation of the townies groaning around us.  “And then,” he said, “a Protestant man invented Guinness.  The iron sword, the 12 inch cannon, the cases of whiskey, and even the Pope haven’t been able to do what this pint has been able to do to my people.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

He took a long drink, grabbed his coat and tossed his pint to the ground, smashing it at my toes.

“Keep us from fucking,” he declared gruffly, as he turned about and left.

I stood up to wipe the splashed beer off my jeans.  The bartender came over to hand me a towel.

“What the hell was that?” I exhaled.

“Oh, no honey,” she reassured.  “He’s been drinking Guinness since he was 16.”

“So?”

She sighed.  “Hasn’t been laid since.”

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 22
  • Sep
  • 09

Editor’s Note: Yesterday a frequent conspirator of mine hosted the following exchange on his Facebook page. He had posted on the controversy that seems limited to the blogosphere over footage capturing a producer from Fox News leading the crowd at the 9/12 Project’s march on Washington in cheering to capture a live shot for the cameras. The footage is below:

The link to the video drew the attention of a teabagger and, of course, your editor couldn’t resist.  The exchange is reposted as a case study of how quickly and easily a neo-conservative’s hypocrisy can be exposed.

Peter
Free speech is a tough concept for some people to understand.
Yesterday at 7:24am

Rob Spectre
There is a difference between covering the news and being the news. A producer taking the mike on stage and a commentator organizing the rally are not documenting a event, they are manufacturing it.
Yesterday at 10:58am

Peter
If FNC was the only outlet I might be more concerned. Freedom of speech means something.
Yesterday at 11:08am

Rob Spectre
Indeed, but so does journalism, and in a healthy democracy the two should bear some truth in advertising.
Yesterday at 11:30am

Peter
Let the market and the people decide. That which is true eventually prevails. Further despite all the journalism going on we have a blissfully uniformed electorate.
Yesterday at 12:38pm

Rob Spectre
I think it was pretty obvious from the last election that they did, however dishonesty should be identified whether it comes from a public or private source.
Engaging in free speech in a free market comes pre-bundled with responsibility, and those who are cavalier with both should rightly expect to be exposed.
Yesterday at 12:43pm

Peter
Really?! The American press is seldom responsible or demonstrates restraint nor should it. It is called freedom…funny how when the left attacks the right it is about freedom and when the right attacks the left it is about responsibility. You need some intellectual honesty about when talking about freedom of the press.
Yesterday at 12:51pm

Rob Spectre
I’m not sure I follow. My argument is that the Fox News producer that was MCing a rally she was assigned to cover was dishonest journalism, not that she should not be free to do so. I don’t think I said anything about her or her employer’s civil liberties which certainly include manufacturing a rally for the sake of spectacle, just as my civil liberties include identifying it for what it is.
Yesterday at 12:58pm

Peter
Dishonest journalism? What was dishonest about it? The fact they didn’t disclose they didn’t support Obama? Well the failure to disclose is rampant in the industry. Frankly I am not sure why anyone is surprised or outraged by this. Journalism is a profession that is not populated with particularly intelligent, honest or competent men and women. The practice of journalism is full of those who ‘want to make a difference’ or ‘want to change the world’ but lack the intellectual resources or entrepreneurial spirit to actually do anything other the comment on the proceeding of greater men.
Yesterday at 2:09pm

Rob Spectre
Again, a bit fuzzy on your position. Are you suggesting that since everybody in journalism is stupid, it is okay for Fox News to be dishonest?
Yesterday at 2:19pm

Peter
Yep. It is equally ok for CBS to make up evidence, MSNBC to cheerlead for the left and CNN to be pretty much irrelevant. That is the marketplace of ideas and there are no rules on playing fair nor should there be. Since the Revolution the press has been as corrupted by political favoritism and the ideology of the one running the printer. The notion of Fair and Balanced is not dead because it never existed in the first place.
Yesterday at 2:49pm

Rob Spectre
I guess I have a little trouble reconciling “What was dishonest about it?” with “Yes, it is okay for Fox News to be dishonest, just like everyone else.”

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