Wednesday, March 24, 2010
"Indian Matt" to Host MTV Movie Awards...and other news
-This is actor/comedian Aziz Ansari. I call him "Indian Matt" because he looks EXACTLY like my friend/coworker Matt, except that Matt is a white guy of unknown (at least to me) ancestry. Matt and Aziz share the same facial features, haircut, and beard; and I think Matt owns that exact same shirt/hoody combo.

I guess I could call Matt "Whitey Aziz" but I've known Matt longer than I've been aware of the existence of Mr. Ansari.

Also, Aziz was born in South Carolina so is of course a U.S. citizen, but "U.S. Citizen of Indian Descent Matt", while politically correct, is a bit tonguebersome (TM), don't you think?

-I just read on Yahoo! - my favorite exclamation-suffixed source of news -that an 84-yr-old woman is suing her 87-yr-old sister over ownership of a $500,000 winning lottery ticket. No need to fight, ladies. There's plenty of money for both of you to have extravagant funerals.

-Here's some fun news. According to a recent poll, 24 percent of Republicans think that President Obama is the anti-Christ. Repeat: Almost one in four Republicans think the president has evil magical powers and will one day engage a resurrected Jesus Christ in a fight for our eternal souls. Let that sink in for a minute.

This is obviously the Sarah Palin/Tea Party faction. In my opinion, these brain-dead delusionals are getting far too much attention. There are a lot of crazy people in this country, of all political mindsets, but if you really believe Barack Obama is the Biblical anti-Christ, you are fucknutty and deserve to be marginalized. And by "marginalized" I really mean "beaten without mercy in front of your stunned home-schooled children." God damn it, I'm tired of pretending that this isn't the dumbest society in recorded history! The old fuck who said "Keep government away from my Medicare" should be on the new five dollar bill. He's like Abe Lincoln, only he's emancipating us from rational thought and the common sense god gave a piss ant.

-Can we all agree that Dancing With the Stars is a tragic waste of the human spirit?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I go "FJM" on some stupid Leno supporter
There used to be a website called Fire Joe Morgan. Their shtick was to take a sports-related newspaper column or TV rant and tear it apart, sometimes sentence by sentence.

Today I'm going after some guy named Terry Gardner, who wrote a rather flaccid defense of Leno on a major political blog.

NBC and Jeff Zucker deserve hazing. In 1775, we would have tarred and feathered them. But cut Jay some slack.

Yeah, leave good ol' nice guy Jay alone! He's just mindlessly following his upper-management masters like any good corporate shill.

Jay didn't feather his 10 o'clock bed -- Jeff Zucker and the peacock did.

Yes, Jeff Zucker is an incompetent douchebag, but I didn't realize he held Jay Leno at gunpoint and forced him to half-ass it through the lowest rated, most critically despised prime time show in television history. I thought Jay took the job because he's a greedy attention-whore. My bad.

I don't want talk at 10. I want comedy, drama or variety (like the old Carol Burnett show) at 10. So does most of America.

Wrong, fuckface. America wants drunken oral sex at 10. When we can't have that, we'll settle for scripted dramas. You know, the kind NBC jettisoned to appease Leno's massive ego.

In 2004, Zucker and NBC decided Jay should retire in 2009, so they wouldn't lose Conan O'Brien to Fox.

Jay had ALL the power in 2004; all of it. All he had to do was shitcan the idea and Conan would have been free to go to Fox and either succeed or fail on his own terms. Instead, he allowed NBC to string Conan along, actively contributed to Conan's poor ratings with the shittiest lead in ever, and then openly campaigned for his old job back after a few short months.

In the spring of 2009, the "not yet ready to retire" Jay graciously surrendered his throne to Conan. He was willing to give 10 p.m. a shot.

By giving 10 p.m. "a shot" he undermined and cheapened Conan's show. Suddenly, Conan had to compete for guests with his own network. That doesn't sound like a gracious surrender to me.

When Johnny Carson retired it was his idea, not NBC's.

If you believe Bill Carter, who wrote a book on the subject, Carson was forced out by bungling NBC execs at the behest of Leno's ruthless ex-manager. But why let facts get in the way of a fuckwit opinion, right Terry?

So why is anyone surprised that Jay would want his time slot back, when it was never his choice to "retire" in 2009?

Jay made the following statement on NATIONAL TELEVISION in 2004:

“When I took this show over, boy there was a lot of animosity between me and Dave, and who’s gonna get it, and quite frankly, a lot of, what I thought, were good friendships were permanently damaged. And I don’t want to see anybody ever have to go through that again. Because, you know this show is like a dynasty, you hold it, and then you hand it off to the next person. And I don’t wanna see all the fighting and all the ‘who’s better’ and nasty things back and forth in the press, so right now, here it is, Conan, it’s yours, see you in 5 years buddy. Clear enough?”

Yeah, that was pretty clear. Again, that quote was broadcast coast to coast on what was at the time a major television network. It seems like Jay made the "choice" to retire rather than screw over Conan in the same manner Letterman got screwed; and then when the time came, he made the "choice" to go back on his word. Did he mean what he said in 2004? Doesn't matter. He said it in front of the world. Either way, Jay Leno is a fucking liar. It's just a matter of whether he's been one for months or years.

Then the author tells a few anecdotes to back up his assertion that Jay is just a misunderstood saint.

When Jay was Johnny's guest host once a week, I was pursuing stand up comedy, and I sold him a few jokes. We never met, but we had a couple of interactions.

When I first read this, I feared a glory hole story was in the works.
Before the '92 election, I submitted a joke about Pat Buchanan: "Pat Buchanan has a cure for poverty -- he wants to place a box tax on the homeless."

No wonder this guy is a Leno supporter. The tragically unfunny tend to stick together.

I was thrilled when I heard Jay deliver that joke. Just hearing a comedian you admire deliver your joke is a gift in itself.

I'll wait while you clean the vomit off of your computer.

But then I didn't get paid, and I did want the money too. So I faxed the number where I submitted jokes (back before email). I re-faxed the submission that included the box tax joke and asked to be paid for it. In less than 24 hours, Jay Leno called my home and left a message on my answering machine. He apologized and said he writes and sees so many jokes that he thought he had written the joke in question.

Oh, so you called Jay Leno out for stealing your joke so he went ahead and paid you? That changes everything! I'm sure the support staff at Conan's show, the ones who aren't millionaires and moved their families from New York to Los Angeles, just fell in love with Jay all over again! Yeah, they're jobless and 3,000 miles from family and friends, but Jay Leno once acknowleged a mistake to a hack fucking joke writer. All is well!

All I expected was to get a check for $50. Jay didn't have to call and apologize, but he did -- because it was the right thing to do.

And because it's easy for Jay to do the right thing when it's only going to cost him $50 and a phone call.

And as a baby stand up comic at the time, I really appreciated it. I still have the answering machine tape. I saved it because Jay sounded like such a nice, decent guy.

He originally added, "In fact, I often pound off in front of a funhouse mirror to the sounds of Jay's whiny voice," but his editors made him take that part out.

My last contact with Jay's office was shortly before he ascended the Tonight Show throne.

All hail King Jay and his Empire of Crap!

I had submitted some jokes and included a funny story I heard in church. Pastor Tony Campolo was trying to motivate parishioners in Philadelphia to get out and vote, when a little old lady stood up and said: "If God had wanted me to vote, he would have given us candidates."

That MAY have been funny if you were there. But we weren't there, were we? Not funny.

Jay began making the rounds on talk shows as the heir apparent to Carson. In almost every appearance, his election year observation was that "if God had wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates." Suddenly, I worried: What's the penalty for stealing jokes in church?

See, this is the comedic arc of that joke:

1) Uttered by a cranky old lady in church? Funny.

2) Repeated by a struggling comedy writer? Not funny.

3) Appropriated by a famous comedian as political wisdom? Pathetic.

I didn't want $50 for myself -- it wasn't my line, but I worried that the Big Guy -- God, might be mad at me.

First, thanks for clearing up who you meant when you said "Big Guy". At first I thought you were talking about Art Carlson, station manager of WKRP. Also, God is mad at you, Terry. He's pissed that he created you free of obvious mental and physical deficiencies and placed you in one of the few locations on Earth with abundant food and water, only to have you repay Him by thinking Jay Leno is funny. God fucking hates you, dude.

I got in touch with Jay's office, explained my fears -- worried that I'd stolen a joke in church. I asked if Jay would make a $50 contribution to Tony Campolo's ministry. He did.

Jay's office? Here's the conversation that took place, I'm betting:

Underling: "Some fucking nutjob is worried he's going to hell because he sent Jay a joke he heard in church."

Sycophant: "Jesus, is this the asshole with the Pat Buchanan joke?"

Underling: "Yeah, same guy."

Sycophant: "'s fifty bucks out of my own pocket. Anything to get this looney prick to leave us alone."

Jay Leno is a nice guy. He's not stealing Conan's job any more than Conan snatched Jay's job back in 2004.

Erroneous! Erroneous on both counts! Jay is a backstabbing hypocrite. Conan wanted to know his options before he resigned with NBC. That's all. Conan was ready to go to Fox and would have made a lot more money had he left. He stayed because "nice guy" Jay gave his word that The Tonight Show would be his after five years.

But enough of this Terry Gardner prick. David Letterman, as usual, had the best, most bitingly sarcastic comment on all of this:

"I know Jay's a humanitarian, because every time I pick up the newspaper there's Jay helping someone who ran out of gas or stopping to fix their flat. He's a humanitarian and a man of the people...he will, of course, do the right thing. He will probably, if I had to bet, step aside and let Conan continue as the host of The Tonight Show. Because that's the kind of guy he is, putting others first."

It's funny because he knows it isn't true.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Society's absolute nadir
I've come to a startling, sobering conclusion recently: Society is too stupid to shop.

Oh, some people can still manage the challenging task of purchasing goods and services, but the majority are simply lost. They stumble around aimlessly, with the stunned look of dairy cattle on their faces, seemingly unable to read or even recognize shapes. They're so engrossed in their vapid cell phone conversations they can't be bothered to not run into inanimate objects and/or other humans. They seem impatient when they have to wait in line, but are NEVER ready to pay when they get to the front. "Oh, I have to pay? American society isn't based on a barter system? I had no idea. Let me dig through this elaborate network of pockets to find my credit card. I swear it's somewhere in this pleather labyrinth."

The other day I asked a young lady if she wanted to process her card as credit or debit. Her reply will haunt my thoughts until the last soothing wave of senility washes over me.

"Uh...the one where you put in the numbers."

The one where you put in the numbers? C'mon, YOU CAN DO BETTER! At least she picked an option. Most of the time, I get, "It doesn't matter. You decide."

I can decide? It's up to me? Then you're gonna pay me with your life. How about that? Oh, you're an attractive girl? How about a handjob while I shove a finger up your ass and we'll call it even? It's your money, make a fucking decision.

And do you know how many people get to the front of the line and suddenly remember they've forgotten something? A fucking lot of them, that's how many.

"What else do I need to make a rum and coke?"

"Well, you have the coke. I'm guessing 'rum'."

"Hold on. I'll be right back."

Yeah, no one minds waiting while you sashay through the store looking for rum. You're the only person on Earth.

Shopping in increments is as popular as twitter, and just as stupid. This happens everywhere. At Kroger, people abandon their groceries at the self-checkout while they continue shopping for whatever trinket they forgot in the first place. Why? They can't be bothered to make a list beforehand, and their tiny brains can't hold that much information.

Those of you who are still smart enough to shop, I suggest you sit back, pop a beer, and enjoy the End of Days, for they are nigh.

Monday, March 15, 2010
What is Lindsay Doing?

Is she...

-Auditioning for the title role in Michael Jackson:His Final Days?

-Giving my coworkers new ideas for douchey headwear?

-Getting ready to play bass for My Chemical Romance?

Yeah, I said a few years ago I'd stop making fun of Lindsay Lohan, but...I'm a liar, ok? Just look at her! She looks like an annoying minor character in a Tim Burton movie. It's not like Tim Burton would cast Lindsay in one of his films, because she would show up drunk and disrupt his set, but still...

Of course, Lindsay is an American citizen and has every right to become the girl who frightens children at street fairs. I have the urge to buy a hand-crafted glass bong from her, and I don't even smoke pot.

Friday, March 12, 2010
The Triumphant Return of Jay Leno

Note: This photo of Jay is too big to display in this format, but for some reason I like the picture better this way.

Jay Leno is back to resume his reign as the king of mediocrity, and his easily amused minions are
all aflutter at the news. Lets glance in at Joyce and Daniel Farber, residents of Montgomery, Ohio and Leno fans for as long as they can remember.

Daniel: "Honey, hurry up and get in here. (opens can of Bud Light) Leno's back on The Tonight Show, where he belongs."

Joyce: "Oh thank god in heaven. I like my comedy completely void of edge, attitude, or originality."

Daniel: "That's why I married you."

Joyce: "Well, that and I tolerate your tiny penis."

Daniel: "Damn right you do! (sobs inside, changes subject) Frank at work prefers Letterman. I tried to tell him that Letterman raped Sarah Palin's daughter, but he said something about me being...what were his exact words...'an ill-informed simpleton', I believe."

Joyce: (not paying attention to him) "This monologue is HILARIOUS. Ha...good one, Jay."

Daniel: "Yes, apparently the food at the NBC commissary is sub par. Fun-nee."

Joyce: "So much better than that weird Colon O'Bobbins or whatever his name is."

Daniel: "I think he went by Coco O'Doul. And quite frankly, the man disturbed me. Very shrill and unpleasant fellow."

Joyce: "I hope Jay goes out on the street to make fun of people who are even dumber than me. Without the constant assurance that I'm not the stupidest form of life on this planet, I'd have killed myself years ago."

Several minutes pass. The Farbers laugh at Jay's verbal pap, then Joyce's prayers are answered: Jay asks people questions! And they give the wrong answers!

Daniel: "Hard to believe a cocktail server in Los Angeles has such a limited grasp of current events. Don't they teach those people anything?"

Joyce: "Probably on drugs. (drinks fifth vodka martini since supper) Who's the first guest tonight?"

Daniel: (checks local listings) "Oooh...Larry the Cable Guy. He is highly amusing."

Joyce: "I hear everyone from the South is just like him."

Daniel: "Only not as funny. Otherwise, 100 percent accurate portrayal. The man did his homework."

Larry does the same act he's done for well over a decade, much to the delight of the Farbers.

Joyce: "His casual racism gets me wet."

Daniel: (ignoring the comment) "Let's eat at Olive Garden tomorrow night."

Joyce: "Great idea. If there's one thing I like better than by-the-numbers comedy, it's an Americanized bastardization of world cuisine."

Daniel: "And don't forget the endless breadsticks. Why go to a small independent restaurant and pay for a finite number of tasty breadsticks when Olive Garden lets you eat dry, tasteless lumps of dough until you almost explode? I swear, their mediocrity validates my very existence."

Joyce: "More good news! The musical guest is Lady Antebellum."

Daniel: "I really like Lady Antebellum, but I can't put my finger on why...."

Joyce: "Because they sing mindless, disposable pop songs with just enough of a twang to make you feel condescendingly rustic? That's why I like them."

Daniel: "That's part of it, but I also love the way their proud lack of authenticity shits on decades of country music tradition. I have a feeling that for every note Lady Antebellum plays, Hank Williams has to spend another Millenium in purgatory; and you just don't get that commitment from artists these days."

Joyce: "I agree. It seems they would do anything to entertain people who secretly hate music."

Daniel: "Jay just told Larry to 'Git er done'. Ha...good one, Jay."

Joyce: "Yeah, it's funny because that's Larry's catchphrase, but Jay used it."

Unfortunately, this story has a sad ending: The Farbers went to bed and lived through the night.

Sunday, March 07, 2010
Music lives again...and I was there
I complain about my bad days (and their numbers are legion), so let me tell you a little about a pretty fucking great day, at least by my standards.

Saturday, March 6, 2010 didn't start out so great. For one thing, I had to be at work at 8:30 in the morning. And it looked like I was going to miss the University of Louisville basketball game, which would have really sucked. Trust me, it would have.

Louisville has been playing basketball at Freedom Hall since 1956. It's located at the state fairgrounds, but they're moving to a fancy new downtown arena because they want parking to go from slightly difficult to impossible.

I love the artist's rendering of the new arena. There's apparently a large event going on, but there's no traffic; just a few cars out for a leisurely cruise. Those people just magically appeared, ready to enjoy arena stuff. And although the building will eventually be named for the highest bidding corporate entity, I kind of hope they just call it Downtown Arena. It's downtown, it's an arena...Why not?

Anyway, I wanted to see at least part of the last Louisville basketball game played at Freedom Hall. It was kind of a big deal, and to top it off the opponent was Syracuse, ranked number 1 in the country. I managed to get out of there in time to see the last ten minutes of the game (ten basketball minutes, which is thirty or forty real minutes). I watched it in the bar area of the Mexican restaurant next door to where I work. I don't know why that place isn't more crowded for games. They have a nice TV, 2 for 1 margaritas and free chips and salsa; but despite these amenities, it was just me and a large portion of the restaurant staff, cheering and screaming at the TV.

As the game progressed and Louisville ran away with the game in stunning fashion, I heard a lot of jubilant Spanish. One guy made an effort to include me by yelling "YEAH! FUCK YEAH, MAN!" after a particularly fucking awesome dunk. I appreciated the gesture.

After watching the best basketball game I've ever seen, I went to dinner with a few friends. There is nothing like finding a bartender who knows how to make a proper Manhattan. The food was tasty, the conversation was entertaining, and the Manhattan was perfect.

When dinner was over I was full and kind of tired. I almost didn't go out. I'm old, you know. But I got my second or third wind and ventured over to the Z Bar to see Those Darlins.

Holy Mother of Fuck that place was packed. Someone sack the Fire Marshall, because there were too many people there! But it was worth enduring the crowd to see The Ladybirds, one of my favorite local bands. They never disappoint.

Then, ladies and gentlemen, Those Darlins - if I may indulge in cliche - blew the roof off the dump! I'm not a music critic, but it was a stomping, ferocious roar like I've never heard before. It was worth the long wait for beer and the drunks who danced like spastics and the stifling heat of humanity just to be there in that moment.

Monday, March 01, 2010
Rock and Roll died...and I was there
My brother was in town this past weekend, so Saturday night we went out with a few of his old friends. We started the night at Cumberland Brews, then a bartender we know invited us to the bar where he works. This place is usually only open for concerts, so I thought it was kind of odd that we walked in and there wasn't a cover. I also found it unusual that the band was dazzlingly shitty. Is that a twelve-year-old girl on stage, deafening me with her off-key caterwauling? Why is the lack of heart and soul staggering even for a cover band? Lots of questions, very few answers.

Then a nice lady started talking to me. She asked, "So, how do you know the birthday boy?" we crashed someone's private birthday party. The band was just a collection of some rich guy's friends and family, which explained why my ears were being tonally sodomized.

But that's not important; a female was talking to me, remember? This woman was very friendly, but it turns out she was there with a really really old dude. I'm old, sure...but this guy was really really old. When he sees his date talking to me, he gets her to move from their table by the bar to one closer to the stage. So I got cockbocked by Buddy Ebsen.

Without the pleasant distraction, the pure awfulness of the band was brought to the forefront. I'm sure this group wasn't offensive to their friends, but I didn't know these fuckers. I heard them through the unfiltered ears of a stranger. And what I heard was nothing less than the death of rock and roll as we know it.

All in all, not a bad Saturday night.