Saturday, March 31

Lay that red (white and blue) cross down

Yet another terrific logo submission for the Blog Against Theocracy Blogswarm, this time from a blogger named flaring. More at flaring's place, but also be sure to check flaring's flickr page. The blue fish are beautiful and well, blue.

Yeah, yeah, it's gonna be a long time before Tengrain and the rest of the BAT designers go to that studio in the sky, but I'm grateful that the Lord has seen fit to bless BAT with a helluva design team. And Jesus? He thinks they're fabulous.


Go read

You've got to read the story I posted over at The Aristocrats. It's by Rose, a young student who wrote the story for school. It's got all the brilliance you would see from a brilliant child. I loved it so much but its artistic temper led me to put it up at Aristocrats. It's really worthy of my fellow blogger Sandy Underpants, and that's saying something.

Leave the comments over there. Thanks.

Friday, March 30

Wow. Another great image for blog against theocracy.


This one from a gorgeous blog called Rabbit Mountain. Tengrain you'll have an office mate in graphic design heaven, and we found her.

Rabbit Mountain points out that she added "American" theocracy to distinguish this blogswarm from anti-Islamic propaganda. Actually, I'm against theocracy in Islamic countries, too, make no mistake.

But there is an important reminder here that this blogswarm is not "anti-religion" it is anti-theocracy. As Tengrain put it better than I ever could:

...I personally do not care if you worship a rock, a picture of Elvis or some other dead guy, or nothing at all in a church, mosque, temple or at the local bar — this is about keeping the Government and all Religions separate, and never shall the twain meet. ...And remember, if Jebus sees his shadow, we have 6 more weeks of winter.

The most dangerous people on the planet right now? actually has worse than this...I couldn't wear it anywhere but I love this shirt. Love it.

My vote goes to Christian Zionists, who think apocalypse of one kind or another is a good thing, that we should let Israel do whatever it wants because nuclear Armageddon is gonna bring Jesus back (I mean, like QD I want my Jesus back, but not that way) and then once Israel helps bring Jesus back through nuclear Armageddon the Jews will have the choice of converting to Christianity or (tell 'em what they've won, Ryan)... burning in hellfire for all eternity!

In the meantime, these psychopathic FUCKS (sorry, Mr. BG) openly fellate the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC fascists, who seem to like it. Aaah to the Zionism part, la-la-la-la to the convert or die part. How convenient.

There's more, as Bruce Wilson of the amazing blog Talk2Action points out:

...if the US gets drawn into a war with Iran, the "theocracy problem" will get much worse in a hurry, I can almost guarantee.

That's why I've been directing a lot of attention to writing on Pastor John Hagee, who has formed "Christians United For Israel", a 'pro-Israel' lobby that may develop more legislative clout than AIPAC and which has been created to foment war, catastrophic nuclear war no less, in the Mideast and globally too.

CUFI is a big political problem right now in its success at tying down political opposition to a war against Iran ; John Hagee is making tremendous inroads in the American Jewish community, which is extremely conflicted but likes Hagee because of his noisy denunciations of antisemitism. Hagee also writes that Hitler and the Nazis were carrying out God's plan, that the Holocaust and antisemitism were ultimately the Jews' fault for disobeying God, that most of the Jews in Israel will die in the war Hagee hopes and lobbies for and the rest will have to convert to Christianity....

Anyway, I could go on but Hagee is both a would-be theocrat but also has become a major tactical threat, right now, to world peace.

More later, like, maybe a post on how Christians (and fuck yeah, I call myself one) should be for peace and shit. Oh nevermind.

Breaking: US/In Touch/People whatever
provides object lesson in proper word choice

Just got back from the grocery store and one of the magazines at the checkout I don't remember which and I didn't pick it up so don't ask for a link because I wouldn't give it one anyway but the splash atop the cover screamed "RYAN SEACREST GAY CONTROVERSY".

Controversy? Controversy? Huh? Um, not to cloud the issue, but would that be anything like the Anderson Cooper gay controversy?

Thursday, March 29

Hey! What's that SMELL?

This car panties air freshener trend is disturbing to me most of all because I just hate to see Norman Mailer proven right.

It's true that we now have the technology to make anything smell like anything, though Bushco's ability to make shit smell minty fresh has failed of late. I wonder at the hand that puts peach fragranced underarm deodorant in the shopping cart. What the hell kind of world are we living in, anyway?

Television is the drug of choice.
The drug leads us to lower skills.
We can't get good jobs because we don't have skills.
We need a job to pay for cable TV, Ipods, cell-phone cameras, etc., so we can escape the fact we have no skills and no future.
We line up for jobs at Circuit City. They sell the TV's, Ipods, cell-phone cameras, etc., that lower our skills, so we will have no other choice but to work for Circuit City at an hourly wage.
We work at Circuit City for a long time. Some of us work there for twenty years.
We get raises for working at Circuit City a long time.
Circuit City's management decides we make too much money we are having a negative impact on revenue so they fire us.

But it's okay. We get a severance package that will pay the cable bill for ten weeks, and then we can go back and re-apply to Circuit City for lower wages.

Cut and pasted from the AFL-CIO Executive PayWatch website. (Linking to an oldey-time union when arguing for better treatment of employees? Oh how quaint.)

Good job, Alan. CC was up 1.7% yesterday; future's so bright ya gotta wear shades, eh? And conveniently for you that corporate-owned media's coverage of your "restructuring", I'll betcha a stock option, will be on how Circuit City will work hard to battle "low morale" while keeping its stock price up. Might hafta hire some low-wage security guards in the short-term, Alan: at many participating stores I see disappearing flat-screens with no subsequent "increase in revenue". Just saying.

UPDATE: Eat your heart out Norman Mailer, I was proven right in five minutes: reports show "retail analysts" are concerned that "The question remains as to whether Circuit City can rebuild in time for the all-important holiday season." And Mr. Blue Gal advises me to stop saying "fuck" on the blog. Heh.

Bloggers: STOP calling it MSM. It's corporate-owned media. Money-stream, not mainstream. That's what we're talking about.

Oh, nevermind.

Posting this below the angry income disparity post, because, you know, I'm just taking life too seriously and anyway, what Blue Gal the blog really needs is more celebrity memes. I mean, look at 60 Minutes (or watch the "full interview" on CNN). TV News "gets it" re the Simon Cowell phonomenon!

...So what celebrity do people say YOU look like?

Before I stopped taking care of myself in order to take care of three kids, I used to get a lot of Sela Ward and Nigella Lawson. I don't have cable so I've never watched Nigella, but children on the street have told me I look like her, so there must be something to that.

As I've said before, that not-at-Lent BG avatar is a younger, thinner, more attractive version of myself.

No more blogging today, Mr. BG is taking me to La Boheme tonight and I've gotta rest up. Looking forward to it but for listening around the house I actually prefer La Rondine. Sappy, I know, but still. My idea of "escape":

Wednesday, March 28

We're up.

There will be a link fest for all participants at

Also, those participating in the blogswarm are ENCOURAGED to tag their posts "Blog Against Theocracy".


From the bottom of the "to blog" pile...

...sitting by the laptop. A month-old (February 27) column from the Wall Street Journal. (italics mine) of the little surprises of India's outsourcing boom: Knowledge outsourcing, the outsourcing of skilled work, is outpacking the simpler call-center work, rising 42% last year complared with 34%, respectively. Tasks one wouldn't expect to see leave the four walls of American companies are handled overseas by the world's second-largest reserve of Ph.D.'s, M.B.A.'s, engineers, doctors, and lawyers."

Giving this column a "human touch" is one Ram Negi, a 26 year old LOAN OFFICER who lives with his parents (the article did not say basement, fyi) in New Delhi. The columnist shows Mr. Negi going over a loan application for a mortgage from San Jacinto, California.

One might expect in a real, not-written-just-for-Management newspaper that this article would be page one above the fold, and that it might! just! mention! the death of the middle class in America, particularly for those entering the business job market for the first time. Going over the massive paperwork apparently required for a mortgage in San Jacinto used to go to a twenty-something working in, um, San Jacinto? But now India, in addition to having an underpaid call-center class serving US corporations, has, as the Wall Street Journal celebrates, "a professional cubicle class working on heady stuff such as equity research, biotech R&D and legal services."

BTW the Journal has in the exact same section of this paper, without irony, the following two articles:

"No Need to Hide Job Losses Beyond Your Control [Read, Downsized] in Today's Fluid Marketplace." (yeah.)

"Seniors, No Luck on the Job Hunt? Don't Panic -- There's Still Time"

Time for what? To book a flight with your student loan payment booklet to some New Delhi cubicle center?

But here's the money shot: this article is not about Corporate America stripping any economic hope from today's college graduate in pursuit of lower labor costs. The spin of this article, and I am not making this up, is that companies that outsource knowledge jobs to India must prepare themselves for an increase down the road in office politics. Yes, folks, just like the USA, it turns out some India-based white collar workers are actually learning to demand things like corner offices and in-house exercise facilities. No word about showers or three-martini lunches.

I just don't know why they hate America.

Okay, but first I gotta laugh my ass off.

The April edition of "Real Simple" magazine suggests in a "tip" that you clean out the hard-to-reach crevices in your coffee maker with a cotton swab.

Tuesday, March 27

The blog against theocracy blogswarm.
Easter Weekend 2007

Tengrain of Mock, Paper, Scissors designed this amazing logo.

Tengrain is among the best. So is Neural Gourmet, who has turned this wee idea into a huge, huge movement.

And Liz (brand new to me, but wow.) at I Speak of Dreams has also done an amazing job with logos here. Use whichever you want. You can link back to this post or to Neural's here.

I love you guys. Love. You.

There are no real guidelines to this. Here are some tips that might help, but really, I'm not into herding cats so this is your own thang.

The idea is to post at least once from Friday to Sunday Easter Weekend, April 6-8.

The post will be against theocracy, in favor of our Constitutional guarantee of separation of church and state. But there are a LOT of issues tied to this, as is pointed out in the First Freedom First website:

No religious discrimination.
PRO End-of-Life Care (no more Terri Schiavo travesties)
Reproductive health decisions made by individuals, not religious "majorities"
Democracy not Theocracy
Academic Integrity (like, a rock is as old as it is, not as old as the Bible says)
Sound Science (good bye so-called "intelligent" design)
Respect for ALL families (based on love, not sexual orientation. Hellooooo.)
And finally,
The right to worship, OR NOT.

So take your pick and write your post(s). Really, the wider variety of topics makes it all the more interesting. I can't wait to read what Pharyngula has to say about sound science, or what some of you will have to say about reproductive choice as it relates to church/state separation, or how a religionist blogger feels about their own freedom to worship and how that is compromised by state sponsored religion. (That's my topic, fwiw.)

I want to make it clear that First Freedom First is NOT a "sponsor" of this blogswarm, I'm not on their payroll, etc. They've just been incredibly helpful and on the right side of all the issues above and I give them as much support as I can.

I also think of them as, while not a sponsor, as the central clearinghouse of information on Separation of Church and State issues. If you go to their website and click on "resources" you'll find articles, book recommendations, etc. So if you don't know what to blog about that weekend, you won't be stuck after a visit there.

There is an interesting back and forth in Neural's comment thread involving yours truly...someone commented that it was hard for him "to imagine that religionists can separate church and state. Religion, no matter which flavor, is at the root of their belief system and subsequently their reality and expectations of the world around them."

Part of my reply:

Lots of agnostics and atheists are surprised to learn that a great many financial contributors to Americans United for the Separation of Church and State are regular churchgoers. I am. Among the big supporters of that group are Christian Scientists and Seventh Day Adventists (I would imagine Quakers too, Dave?) who know for a fact that as outsider Christian groups, they are first up against the wall if the Dobsons and Falwells get their way.

...As a self-professed Christian, and that's really all I can lay claim to, my own sins keep me busy 24/7/365. I'm either doing 'em or repenting 'em, and hopefully the good outweighs the bad.

A significant number of religionists actually GET IT that the freedom to practice their religion comes from the glorious gift of the First Amendment to the US Constitution. And actually, separation of church and state goes back farther than that. There was this old timey Jewish preacher who said something once about render unto Caesar...

I'm so excited and supportive of this blogswarm, I can't tell you. And what is most exciting is the participation of atheist and science bloggers, who are smart and thoughtful and well, I'm just honored to be doing something with them.

I really hope this blogswarm does more than just let the world know how we feel about the separation of Church and State. I hope it improves and awakens how we feel about each other. I may be a "believer" whatever the hell that means, but I can't have too many smart, funny, and fascinating, atheists, scientists, agnostics, GLBT bloggers, etc. etc. around here. Who the fuck did JESUS hang out with, anyway? I don't think if he were here today, Jesus would have a beer with some hypocritical preacherman, even if the preacherman was buying. MY God is Love, and Mind, and Truth. And this blogswarm is all about those. Thanks for participating.


One detail we're still working out is whether and if to have a linkfest someplace. I thought about asking the FFF people to do that, but that then gets into sponsorship, which we really don't want. I'd be happy to start a new blog full of links or a post with links here. Anybody see a problem or a solution? Leave a comment.

Bloggers in the News

Newspaper clipping generator is here.

Two things I want to make sure everybody knows:

Quaker Dave was recognized for his blog Daily Darfur by The Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper. It's a really nice write-up, and Dave is just too modest to pimp it his own self.


Representative Patricia Todd (Democrat, duh) is the first openly lesbian member of the Alabama House of Representatives. She's accepted an invitation to blog with Kathy of Birmingham Blues. Her posts are likely to be Alabama related, but like Kathy herself, Patricia is smart and delightful and worth a click.

How was your cruise?

It was so-so. Our goal was to see if the three mini-Blue Gals would enjoy cruising and in that regard we’re good. The deck-monkeys, as Cap’n Dyke
so lovingly calls them, did fine. And the childcare was excellent. I would go back on Carnival just for that.

It was a cheap cruise with mostly, you know, the masses on board. I was a little sad that I only saw two people actually reading a book (not counting myself) the entire four days, and one of those was my husband. The other had some thick paperback with a gun on the front.

If you haven’t been on a cruise before, I could give you lots of advice, but perhaps most important is the rule of inverse proportion of “class” to “glass”. You can’t be elegant with one of those stretched out beer steins, especially if they’re bright yellow and say “Federal Bureau of Intoxication” on them. Also, you don’t look more “Carribbean” if you add the umbrellas from your last three drinks to your current one. I also found it fascinating that on “formal night” the de rigeur habille was a backless black prom dress just perfect for showing off the sunburn straps across your back. (Isn’t there anything else we women of a certain age can put on for a night out? I mean, far be it from me to point out Sharon Stone as an example, but really.) Also fun to watch people who can’t walk a straight line on a moving ship, comparatively sober, and wearing flip flops, attempting to do so in high heels after drinking all afternoon. Very formal.

(I know, I know. D's right: heavy drinking, and yes, particularly in women, is just a trigger for me. That may be sexist, or it may be that I just keep thinking that WE should know better. I'll hang it up now. Sorry.)

In a way, my favorite entertainment on board was at dinner time. We didn’t have the kids with us and got to sit with a group of “girls only” vacationers. They were nice and having fun but it was funny to watch Mr. Blue Gal attempt pleasant chit-chat with four women, the most intelligent and accomplished of which was a flight attendant who couldn’t wait to retire, and who wanted to talk about exactly HOW she did her own eyeshadow. I mean, I’ve long suspected that some men choose the women they marry based on the question, “Okay, will a thirty-minute meal with her make me want to blow my brains out?” but yeah. Poor Mr. Blue Gal. Good thing at least as far as he is concerned, I still got that whole "intelligence is an aphrodisiac" mojo goin' on.

About the “Vegas style” floor shows: I give a lot of credit to the cruise ship entertainers. You’ve got to really want to be in show business to pay those kinda dues, and I say that without snark. So Mr. BG wanted to see just one show so we could say we did so the last night I’m sitting there in the Americana Lounge listening to some hoofers sing, and I am not making this up, “The Age of Aquarius,” and my 66-year-old husband is singing along to the music and that’s when I start looking for my stretched-out FBI beer stein. What the hell happened? I don’t pretend that the libretto (?) of the Broadway musical Hair is the anthem to any real social movement, but Jesu Christi. It’s okay. I know we lost the revolution. Off-topic? We’re gonna lose this one too, if we keep thinking that Nancy Pelosi and yes, even Barack Obama are going to lead us into one. But that’s another post.

Major thanks to qwerty for posting the YouTubes while I was gone. xoxoxo

Sunday, March 25

One you might have missed.

The amazing Alan Rickman and colleagues doing the classic Four Yorkshiremen getup:

Friday, March 23

Too funny, too true.

Per Quaker Dave: "You have to know about "Creature Comforts" to get this. On that British TV show, the folks interview people about mundane topics, then set their audio answers as the "script" for their animations. This person used some different voices."

Thursday, March 22

They died too soon.

Comrade Kevin suggested another Peter Cook Youtube in comments here, but my favorite of all time is the original Bedazzled, as Satan (complete with red socks, of course):

And another who died too young, the wonderful, wonderful Robert Palmer. This is the first rock video I EVER saw, on a Canadian TV show called "The New Music":

Wednesday, March 21

Last minute blogging

Yeah, I'm out the door for vaycay. You Tubes will be posted while I'm gone.

Just a few loose ends:

Memo to Barack Obama: If your campaign turns into an "I'm a better friend to Israel than Hilary Clinton is," I'm endorsing Kucinich. Fuck it. (yeah, and his wife? That's whatcha call revenge of the nerds. Rocks, imho.)

Bong hit me, Jesus, through the goalposts of life. Now that I can buy "Blunt Block" air freshener for my car at the local gas station in plain sight, maybe it's time to re-think that draconian drug policy.

Finally, we're going to do a Blog against Theocracy blogswarm on Easter Weekend. Everybody's invited. I don't have time now to go into details but fortunately Neural Gourmet has done it for me. Go read the details at his site and we'll get the party started when I get back. Lots of linky love will go into this and I think with the participation of Science and Atheist bloggers (some of the best writers on religion in the blogosphere btw) this is gonna be huge. More when I get back. xoxo

Hey Jude.

"Hey Jude" by the Beatles was my favorite song when I was five years old (1968, do the math if you like). My middle child, a daughter, is now, as she puts it, "four and three quarters!". The other day the "classic rock" station played in the minivan...Hey Jude...and I told daughter all about my favorite song. The song played on. I looked in the rearview and she was bouncing her head to the tune, and in the mirror I caught a glimpse of my own wrinkles, you know the ones. I turned my eyes back to the road with tears in them. Life. Ya know?

Tuesday, March 20

I pity the clothes marketer

...who has to try to sell to me.

Image from ad in New Yorker Magazine captioned
"what if simplicity is all you need?"

Stand Collar Long Jacket with Raw Edges in Doubleweave Linen $308

Crinkle-Pleated Wrap in Cotton Voile with Embellishment $78

Cross-Back Cami with Self-Bra in Organic Cotton $68

A-Line Skirt with Pull Cords in Linen Gauze $238

Looking like you either landed a role in some really bad Dickens summerstock production, OR you're just a homeless woman on the beach, all while spending more money on one outfit than most single moms see in a month? Up yours, Eileen Fisher.

And it's not that I'm a total hypocrite or anything, my biggest beef is that the clothes above are ugly as well as overpriced. You all know that I've been virtually shopping the runways like mad in preparation for the Koufax red carpet. I may have finally decided on this Derek Lam Spring 2007 dream gown, and yeah, since fair use is free use I don't care that the dress might "set me back" a couple grand:

I'm saying a little prayer for the Wampum folks. Getting Koufax off the ground in flu, hayfever, kid's spring break season is way more than I could handle. Patience, ma hunnies.

Sunday, March 18

Sorry, Huey Lewis and the News?


I want a new church.
One of wood, stone, or brick.
Walls don't matter, but the pastor
Should not be a prick.

I want a new church.
One with old hymns.
And please don't have a TV camera
Or an Olympic sized gym.

I'll never join the Baptists
As liberal as some be
Same with the Catholics
'Cause Pope Benedict's not for me.
Please God not me.

I want a new church.
One with some doubt.
And where peace, love, and understanding
Is what we're about.

One that won't make me nervous
Or one of the chosen few,
But kind of a Christian version
Of a Non-religious Jew.

I want a new church
That won't give me the blues.
But I don't have the Birkenstocks
To join the UU's.

I want a new church!
And here's the big hook:
They gotta love gays and marry them
(Using the old prayer book.)

I want a new church.
Gay/gal preachers are fine.
But if "Left" makes our communion right,
I want stronger wine.

Wine that won't make me nervous
And let me stand my ground:
Let faith inform my politics
Not the other way around.
Not the other way around.

from Betty Bowers, of course


What's your favorite YouTube?

The "Valerie Plame panties" that I posted last July got this here blog about four times my usual number of hits on Friday. I have not been able to figure out who linked to them; Technorati is mute on the subject. Oh well, file this under "ya never know."

Favorite YouTube? Oh, doesn't that sound so very MySpace?

Well, BG is taking a vacation with Mister Blue Gal and the mini-BG's later this week. I'd like to post You Tubes while I'm gone and I'd like a little variety.

Music, comedy, politics, satire, you name it.

No panties related silliness. I've seen most of it and it isn't funny.

If you have a favorite, post it in comments. I'll pick four and run 'em, linking back to this comment thread so readers can see everybody's pick. Thanks.

OH AND BEFORE I FORGET Brainshrub has a terrific Ides of March Carnival of the Liberals up. Go visit.

Saturday, March 17

Pwning gun control?

Jen Sorenson's Comics rock.

Why do we blog? If we were really honest, ya know, we'd admit that it's because being a blogger makes you such an interesting party guest.

Had drinks, sushi, and dinner with a buncha Mr. Blue Gal people last night, among them author and historian Saul Cornell. His book, A Well-Regulated Militia: The Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Control in America, recently won the Langum Prize in American Legal History for 2006.

In the course of conversation, he mentioned that the counterpoint to his position on gun control (pretty much for it) is provided by, among other people, a guy named Glenn Reynolds.

I asked him to explain who this Glenn Reynolds guy is, and he started to, and I said, because there's a blogger, Instapundit, who is...

"Yeah, same guy."

"Oh. Lotsa people hate him."


Saul and I got along really well after that. We talked about blogging and his position (Mr. Blue Gal's too) that "as a historian" he find the blogs a little too instant and disorganized to be of much historical value, but (unlike Mr. BG) Mr. Cornell agrees that the blogs are the flavor of the moment and you can't ignore them.

BTW Gun Control is not a big theme on this blog, Blue Gal is more of a First Amendment blog than a Second Amendment blog, but if there's a blogger reading this who would like to blog about the history of gun control, particularly to put the current gun-control climate in historical perspective, I've got your guy and can get you in touch for an interview. He's more than willing; feel free to email me.

Turns out according to Cornell that the right wing blogs have it all over us lefties in terms of covering the gun control issue. Cornell says he thinks that's because pro-gun control guys (it's usually guys, natch) are rabid about it, while for lefties the anti-gun thing is just one more tent on the National Mall during the fifteenth peace rally since January.

Why don't more of us blog about gun control? We did get mad at Bush when he sympathized with the dead Amish kids without mentioning guns. Once.

And as it came up over pre-dinner drinkies last night (Okay, okay. Being Mrs. "Mr. Blue Gal" does have some advantages) there's actually a pretty major case that's just been decided that may change the whole course of gun control history. [Warning, lefty bloggers, thatsa George Will link.] Radical right wing judges (Reagan and Bush I appointees, anyone? anyone?) might just decide in the not too distant future that it's perfectly okay with the "well-regulated militia" thing for you to have a rocket launcher in the back of your house. Because of terrorism. Certain Republicans think "giving people back their guns" will help GOP election hopes. Yeah.

Not like this gun-control issue isn't pertinent or anything.

Friday, March 16

For Mister Blue Gal Junior

Driving Mister Blue Gal Junior to school this morning. Turned on the car. Radio comes on. It's Phil Collins.

Mister Blue Gal Junior said four words: "Mom. Not cool enough."

"What do you want to listen to?"

"What we were listening to yesterday."

Here ya go, son:

Thursday, March 15

Not even at the bottom of my Netflix queue.

Ooh! Movie buzz! And I am not making this up!

The soon-to-be smash hit comedy "Knocked Up"!

...on the heels of 2005's blockbuster The 40-Year-Old Virgin, writer/director Judd Apatow again mines hilarity from the relatably human in a comedy about a one-night stand with unexpected consequences: Knocked Up. Katherine Heigl (Grey's Anatomy, Roswell) joins Virgin alums Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann for a comic look about the best thing that will ever ruin your best-laid plans: parenthood. Allison Scott (Heigl) is an up-and-coming entertainment journalist whose 24-year-old life is on the fast track. But it gets seriously derailed when a drunken one-nighter with slacker Ben Stone (Rogen) results in an unwanted pregnancy. Faced with the prospect of going it alone or getting to know the baby's father, Allison decides to give the lovable doof a chance.

So I went to the website and watched the trailer and yeah what a lovable doof he is and how totally betchin' that he decides to commit to the thin blonde fox he accidently got drunk and then pregnant.

And this is clean white America so no mention of STD's, kay? I mean, she works for E Entertainment Television! What could you possibly catch from a drunken blonde who works for E?

And he looks like he hasn't shaved or showered in three days, so yeah, of course she had to be drunk to sleep with him, duh, but this baby is going to make them fall in love.

Oh, they buy a baby Bjorn carrier together! Cute! Bonding! Nevermind those things are eighty bucks and it doesn't appear the "lovable doof" has a job. Also, script tip, make sure none of the slacker friends works for the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which has reports of nine infants suffering skull fractures from "slipping through the leg openings of these carriers and falling to the ground." Wouldn't wanna jeopordize the product placement dollars on that one.

Good thing nobody younger than seventeen ever gets to see a movie like this because, shuh, it would be, like, a really mixed message about sexual responsibility to communicate to a young, impressionable person.

Rated R for reprehensible?

UPDATE: I don't want to come across as an anti-sex prude here. And I'm torn about giving this movie any more attention. But seriously, does anyone here think the conversation these two people are having is FUNNY? (This is the, ahem, "European" trailer, NSFW language.)

Um, yes, he actually does ask her if her vagina was drunk. LOL!

Wednesday, March 14

Oops. She. Did It Again.

No, seriously, not to go all Britney on you OR to start blogging about my hair. "My new haircut" bloggers are, like reality television, antithetical to the revolution.

Just a quick shout to Locks for Love, a non-profit that provides wigs to kids who are both sick and poor: ten inches of BG tresses are on their way. Memo to you boys with hair fetishes (yes you, Mr. Blue Gal), this silky mane will look much better on an economically disadvantaged child who's lost hair to illness, trust me.

And memo to you fellow-hippies who have ten inches to spare: the website has all the info to getcha a free haircut for a good cause. Do it 'cause it feels good, man.

This is my second time. My hair is still below my shoulders, and already starting to grow for the next harvest, in about 18 months.

If there are no homes for children,
children will have no homes.

Okay, I'm about to get pissy here.

‘Vasectomy Housing’ Surges as New Jersey Tax Remedy

Turns out it is so "expensive" (seriously, don't get me started) to educate a child in New Jersey that the "solution" is to deny housing permits to builders who are NOT EXCLUDING CHILDREN from their "lifestyle communities."

Hands on knees, breathe in, breathe out. I've been doing it all day.

With the cost of educating a child in New Jersey’s public schools averaging $12,567 a year, the highest in the nation and more than double the property tax parents typically pay, local governments in the state are pursing age-restricted housing to expand the tax base without the expense of higher enrollment.

Nationwide, 2.8 million households were part of age-restricted communities in 2005, up 29% from 2001. The number in New Jersey grew 37% in the same period. More than half the housing units started in the state in the past two years have excluded children... [emphasis mine, do you mind?]

Developers, who can make more money building unrestricted housing, sometimes find it’s more difficult to get those plans approved, said Patrick O’Keefe, chief executive officer of the [New Jersey homebuilder's] association. “It’s almost a prerequisite that a project pass the child-exclusion test before a planning board will consider it,” he said.

The nation's leading builder of McMansion lifestyle communities, Toll Brothers, lists six "community types" they offer at their website: Luxury Home, Future, Active Lifestyle, Golf, Resort, and Urban Living. While they mention "single family" homes, anything in New Jersey under three hundred thousand (and there ain't much) is two bedroom only. But hey, nice to see with the "Active Lifestyle" community types they're also excluding the Depends and Wheelchair demographic. Equal housing and all that shit.

Here's an entryway from the Toll Brothers website, which I have taken the liberty of labelling as more child-friendly to meet the needs of my ever-expanding "lifestyle":

1. Kiwi-Strawberry Go-Gurt stain (dry)
2. Toaster Waffle from Sunday under stairs
3. Rounded toddler-poop in sunken bath (Cheese Puff Edition)
4. Play Doh enhanced Leather Sofa
5. Many designer options here: Dora doll, hot wheels car, abandoned Slinky, ballerina shoe. - contact homewrecker builder.
6. "Special home for Barbie" in fireplace - Standard
7. Designer Custom kitchen smells like chicken (nuggets). Fingerprints standard.
8. Ersatz "washable" crayon available at extra cost - contact homewrecker builder.

Impact on city council revenue: Negative
Impact of educated parents raising educated children on our society: Priceless

If there weren't certain New Jersey teachers actually teaching out there...oops, sorry they're busy with NCLB testing, nevermind.

Tuesday, March 13

Let's play guess the candidate's website!

Welcome Crooks and Liars readers. Full-frontal Blue Gal here, Mike's trophy panties here. Love on ya, Mike honey.

Images above taken directly from the candidate's websites. Answers in comments.

Okay, Kucinich is a gimme. And the black guy and the white guy? Think "opposites."

The rest of them were all designed by the exact same guy. I swear.

crossposted at The Aristocrats. Wikipedia has links to all the candidates' websites, but I wouldn't recommend surfing them for fun. Hey, you seen one...

Monday, March 12

If your blog was a tree, what would it be?

Waveflux asking/joking/musing about the Baba Wawa qwestion at Shakes. Obviously, my blog is not a tree, it's a panties car air freshener.

(Car schoolgirl fresh? Man, just when I think I've seen every annoying, horny-boy panties image ever posted.)

Mr. Blue Gal returns from a seventeen day vacation this afternoon and I'm madly cleaning the house for his homecoming? What's wrong with that picture? Anyhow, if you want a terrific musing on sex, gender and housework, (risque image but only NSFW if you're boss is a prude) Figleaf has a great post. Then again, I think he's one of the best writers in the blogosphere, and I'm not just saying that because I know the color of his pubes.

Yes. I seriously need to get out more.

Happy Monday.

Sunday, March 11

Happy Birthday, John Amato!

The Man behind Crooks and Liars. There are no words, and there is no blog without you, honey.

Comments off on this post, so you can leave your birthday wishes here.

Remembering the Reverend James Reeb

From Mass Moments [the whole thing worth a click and a read; tip of something tasty to David Stephenson]:

A friend later wrote [of James Reeb] that "the entire civil rights struggle suddenly came to a focus in him. . . . He was a white minister who had come to Selma to support the Negro cause. He was a peaceable man who became the victim of a wholly unprovoked attack."

When he died, early on March 11th [1965], there was mourning—and outrage—around the country. The next day, Congress resounded with speeches denouncing the brutality and calling for government intervention. Deeply moved by the death of "that good man," President Lyndon Johnson instructed his aides to draft a voting rights bill.

It took the courage of whites to come to the South and risk death, hell, to get killed, to get the attention of white northerners and provoke even a little shame in white southerners. Another blog points out that Reeb's "assailant didn't even feel the need to hide his face." When I taught the civil rights movement to my middle school students, I can't tell you the number of times I brought up "found not guilty by an all white jury."

I don't think we realize how it was. We've dumped so much down the memory hole to hide our own shame or that of our forebearers. How many white people with two generations or more in Alabama/Mississippi/Louisiana, etc. have a Klan member on their family tree? We just don't talk about that. We move on. Birmingham has a black mayor (has for years) and the best civil rights museum in the country, imho. But we have forgotten the courage, the blindness, the danger.

Which brings me to this time in history. Remind me again why we are not picketing FOX news affiliates, just on principle. Why we are not standing in front of The White House every single day with a sign that says "GEORGE W. BUSH--FASCIST AND THIEF, GO BACK TO CRAWFORD AND TAKE HALLIBURTON WITH YOU. AND CURSE YOU FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO THIS NATION."

And then I wonder if technology had accelerated faster than history, if Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy and yeah, Malcolm X would have hadda blog. You bet your pink ass they would.

King's eulogy to Reeb is here.

Saturday, March 10

When words collide.

There's a bit of a brouhaha about that skinny blond fascist (what, again?) and whether we bloggers should refer to her as a "Christian."

Quaker Dave requested that we all not do so, and Shakespeare's Sister responded, I think eloquently and without rancor, that since Coulter refers to herself as a Christian, that is the way we should talk about her, even if she doesn't practice my grandmother's faith.

Memo to QD: I don't think this is a battle between the two of you. Trust me, if Shakes (or Blue Gal, for that matter) wants to dismiss you, you'll know it. I don't pretend to be at her level as a blogger, but what we do have in common, at least, is directness. This is an argument sure, but all families have those.

I look at the skinny blond fascist's statement "I am a Christian" the same way I view her statement "the war in Afghanistan is going swimmingly." She can say it, but it's a fucking lie, she knows it's a fucking lie, and she doesn't care. God is Truth, Ann, check your Bible.

The question then becomes whether those bloggers who despise the religious right and have transferred that hatred to all brands of religion (Shakes is decidedly NOT in that "hate all religion" camp, btw) decide that it is convenient to believe and endorse this particular Coulter lie because it gives us just one more reason to hate her. Truth is God, bloggers, check your conscience.

Writing this however reminds me to stay humble. I call myself a Christian, too, and only today I posted a comment about John Gibson in words that would not exactly recommend me to Jesus. Just call me Ann, I guess, except I'm not blond and not skinny and my footnotes are accurate. And I think she's got shitty taste in men.


And just when we think it's safe to fight with one another about the semantics of Ann Coulter's Christianity, Time Magazine's Richard Schickel lets one loose about blogging being a waste of time and for idiots. Oh, that ought to get you some attention, Dick. Really, make a call to David Broder and ask him how criticizing bloggers has worked out for him. [Major league hat tip to Kathy at Birmingham Blues, who witnessed the carnage her own self.]

update: Doctor Zaius thinks Schickel should win an award.

Friday, March 9

Setting limits?

Had an interesting exchange with a number of bloggers yesterday re Ann C. and whether or not we should mention her name, or give her what she wants, namely attention.

Quaker Dave
as drawn his line, no more AC. Others have followed suit or not depending. (Awesome comment thread going on over there, too, don't miss it.)

And then there's Fox News in general...Edwards declines to participate in debates sponsored by the Republican noise machine, a-fricking-men. Sandy has more, and I think Sandy's dead on when he says "searching for Democratic votes on Fox News is like fishing for trout on the moon."

Can we Democrats just say no to Fox? Puhleeze? And let's kidnap Alan Colmes for re-education/detoxification while we're at it.

To keep our comments together, I'm turning off comments for this post and requesting we all leave comments over at Quaker Dave's (for Coulter) OR Sandy's (for Fox) posts. I'll be reading/responding over there until the fuel runs out.

Thursday, March 8

Visiting friends and loved ones today. Wanna come along?

Blogging with buds today (Gawd, that Blue Gal! I could say blogwhore*, but really.)

Over at Corrente last night. And really Lambert we were up too late. I've got kids, ya know.

And with my loved ones/family over at Aristocrats today. (Dennis Kucinich as Superman grilling a steak with his laser vision don't miss it.)

*Share the traffic, share the love, don't share the panties. That's me.

Back here tomorrow, promise. xo

Wednesday, March 7

Thought for today.

Ain't nothing like a little two-word talking point, is there, Turd Blossom?


And yeah, you've seen this already. Watch it again. Listen to the words. And blog, ma hunnies.

Tuesday, March 6

Art and chaos day at Blue Gal

Every once in a while we need to take a break and look at some art.

Today we're visiting the archive of Artists Image Resource, which sounds kinda like an online poster store, but actually it's a studio in Pittsburgh where selected artists have an opportunity to work and print their stuff. When I say "print" I mean, usually, photo emulsion on silkscreen, then silkscreening on paper, and sometimes the paper is handmade, too. Printmaking has lots of technical aspects and glitches that require patience, measuring, and occasionally a "hey, screw this, let's go get a beer at Max's" attitude. There's some stuff done on Macs, sure, but mostly a place like this is about the mess. Print-making, as opposed to printing, is WAY messier than that Apollo inkjet you got free with your desktop, people, and it takes space and a floor you don't mind messing. It helps if the people who run the place have done this kinda thing for like, decades longer than you probably have, and already have silkscreen ink on their shoes. I know this about A.I.R. Trust me, the mucky mucks there have silkscreen ink on their shoes. It's fine.

Disturbing art isn't always good but Susanne Slavik's stuff escapes the tradeoff between execution (no pun intended) and impact. Other artists I like there are Patricia Bellan-Gillen's creation images (love the "face of God"), John Charley's terrific smashed cans, and Tim Kaulen's labor/blueprint prints. I'm not linking to these individual artists because this site is so damn easy to navigate, I just about plotzed.

Full disclosure: I'd be remiss to my readers (ahem, and my parents) if I didn't mention that without the A.I.R. artists Amanda Kaiser and Ian Short, you wouldn't be reading this blog. Don't worry, Mom and Dad, I'm not gonna go all Obama here and talk about your "coming together." That would be gross.


Off topic but speaking of Obama, noticed that his site has the Selma speech up along with embed code so you can post it to your own blog. Hear that bloggers? Code. Obama's giving away free coooode. (Not endorsing, just saying: free code, and hey, code that actually works, smells like victory.)

Monday, March 5

Giving the skinny blond fascist a pass?

Not really. But qwerty does point out that everything we need to know about bullies like her we learned in kindergarten. Update: Eric Alterman

And as I pointed out in comments at qwerty's place, we actually have Miss Coulter (gag) to thank (gag) for, I think, removing the "faggot" word from public discourse. There's a great montage in the documentary "The Celluloid Closet" where tough guys use the word as a put-down over and over again in American film. I don't see that happening again and it will be interesting to see if, like smoking, use of the word in film becomes a way to show a character as bad, bigoted, and ill-educated rather than merely tough.

So while we're not giving skinny blond fascist a pass, we can see good coming from the evil attempts of others. Besides, Ann, if all I'd eaten all week was the precious bodily fluid of Sean Hannity, I'd be cranky too.

Sunday, March 4

Go read

Robust McManlyPants.

No, really, the post is almost as amazing as the name.


A quick peek inside my brain.

Bear with me, it's all connected.

The other day, I posted this video over at The Aristocrats. You may have seen it, it's pretty viral at YouTube, it's funny and the audio is nsfw:

So I'm reading a certain Graduate School Alumni Magazine and there's this terrific picture in it of the late Edward Gorey (the cartoonist who drew the opening for PBS's "Mystery!")

Add a couple of visiting grandchildren, a laptop, and a yarn room, and that is my house during my emeritus years. Old comfortable furniture, books, books, a few more books, some newspapers lying around, I'm set.

So if I had the video equipment and the time, I'd do a video response to "Let's get some shoes."

I'm gonna get what I want.
Let's get some books.
Let's get some books.

This book is a hundred and fifty dollars.
This book is sixty-one dollars.
These books are two hundred and twenty fucking dollars.

Let's get 'em.

"I think you've got too many books." Shut up.

"I think you've got too many books." Shut up.

"Okay, I think you've got one too many books by Margaret Fucking Atwood." SHUT UP! Stupid boy.

(Saleslady): Um, these books are kinda thick. I really don't think you're, like, ever gonna like, read all this Anthony Trollope, I mean, your life is kinda busy.



Oh. And by the way, betch? FUCK YOU!

Saturday, March 3

Passive voice is not a luxury. It is a crime.

Memo to the blogosphere: avoid passive voice forever or else. If you are tempted to use the passive voice in a blog post, I suggest vigorous use of the backspace key, and a cut and paste from what a commenter over at JockoHomo said:

Screw you fascist control freak talibangelical douchebags, this is America! Queer power! Queer power!

In fact, I may just adopt this as my mantra as I sit in my yurt. Or, more likely, behind the wheel of my minivan as I drive my three kids to school.

Friday, March 2

Don't Sugarcoat It Award for March 2

The blogosphere is all abuzz about how us lefties know and use the seven dirty words better than the wingnuts.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand dirty words.

Oh, let's not go there. You know I image google "panties" just about every day and seriously I am immune to most dirty pictures. I do wish summa those girls would take a shower and use just a little of their obviously huge body-wax-budget on their upper lip (yeah, the one just below their nose) before the flash goes off, if you get my drift.

Anyhoo, the award today goes to This Old Broad, who in my opinion is neither. She's a fox in looks and brains. And she doesn't sugarcoat her short story, which she tells in pictures. Good going, gal.

PS. Full Disclosure: Using teh Google's advanced blog search, Blue Gal, the blog, hosts 582 instances of George Carlin's seven dirty words. I consider that low.

Thursday, March 1

Remember the old New Yorker magazine?

I'm stealing their line:

"A friend writes..." (it was always John Updike or Wallace Shawn or somebody erudite like that. Here too.)

A friend writes,

Hey, Blue Gal!

I thought you'd appreciate this: Israel's official musical
delegation to the European "Eurovision" annual song contest was selected by SMS [text messaging] vote. Which song made it? The one threatening nuclear holocaust.

I am not kidding.

The song, by the Teapacks band, is called "Push the Button" and is about *that* button. They appear to discuss their fears of Ahmadinajad's plans, and that they plan to preempt it by pushing the button themselves.

If you blog this, I recommend that you include the last few lines - these:

Maybe it's too sharp - we should sing songs of palms, desert songs, with no flags

I am still alive, alive, alive, and if it keeps on being scary

Then all I'm gonna say is

I'm gonna push the button push the button push the bu push the bu push the button

But it gets better.

The European group in charge of the contest (whose mission is to spread intra-European peace) said that the message is "inappropriate." And certain Israelis on Hebrew comment threads are screaming anti-Semitism!

There is no satire writer ALIVE who could have come up with that!

I really couldn't believe this story. But Pammy's blog posted the goddamn video this past Tuesday. Her poster (Pammy's got guests now, can you dig it?) said the song is "a satirical look at the world's light-hearted attitude towards Ahmadinejad's plans for an impending Armageddon."

And then editorializes, "Yeah, shove it right in the Eurabian's faces, Tippex. I love ya'. Kick butt."

With the nuclear trigger.

PS. I love what Montag said to Hilary Clinton's comment on Iran that "nothing was off the table":

"For fuck’s sake, can we at least take nuclear fucking genocide off the table?!"

PPS. We're all fine here in Birmingham. Just a hard rain this afternoon and all the tornado warnings are over for this storm. Thanks to those who wrote in. xoxo