Monday, December 31, 2007

News of the Weird: Pterodactyl Causes Wreck?

Image from Wikipedia

I thought I'd end the year with a post about something strange. Here it is.


Man blames car wreck on prehistoric winged reptile

WENATCHEE -- A 29-year-old Wenatchee man told police a pterodactyl caused him to drive his car into a light pole about 11:30 p.m. Thursday. . .

Read more at: HeraldNet

Huckabee Nixes Ad by Showing it Anyway

Photo from source, Raw Story

If you ever watch FOX "News," you're aware of how this works. You talk about an ad, or a video that you find deplorable and offensive. And you prove how terrible it is by showing it (usually over and over). Yeah, well Huckabee did that.


Huckabee pledges to kill negative ad, proceeds to play it for reporters

In one of the political season's more outside-the-box campaign moves, Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee on Monday called a press conference to unveil a new TV spot targeting arch Iowa rival Mitt Romney -- but then, in a professed bout of conscience, announced he wouldn't stoop to airing such a negative spot.

And then proceeded to play it for reporters. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

Cute With Chris: Robot Cats

Time for a little more quirkiness. I've featured Cute With Chris in this space before, because it is an excellent diversion from the downright depressing state of affairs in the news and politics.
Chris has been running some reruns during the holiday, and this is one of his "best ofs." I like him, but he's surely not for all tastes. See what you think.

List of Bush's Scandal-plagued Administration

Photo from source, TPM Muckraker

The internets are full of year-end wrap-ups of all types. I've already run a couple here myself. This one is educational. There have been so many scandals in this White House (the low level of attention given to them by the press and public is itself a scandal), it is easy to lose track of them. Here's a handy-dandy list to refresh your memory.


TPM´s Great List of Scandalized Administration Officials

Boy, was it time for an update.

Late last year we decided to take stock of all the Bush Administration officials who'd been accused of corruption and/or resigned in the face of scandal. Although we had fun doing it, we altruistically started the project in order to help our friends at
Powerline, who professed an inability to think of any Bush officials beset by scandal. . .

Read more at: TPM Muckraker

Steven Weber: Happy New

Photo from

If you've read this blog before, you know I'm a big fan of Steven Weber's writing at The Huffington Post. I don't link to everything he writes, but it might be starting to seem like it. He's been on a roll lately, writing witty yet cynical pieces that sound like something I could have written, were I more talented. Today's piece is no exception. I'll post the part that really jumped out at me. . .


Happy New!

. . .But be heartened: any right wing radio pundit, wall-eyed strategist or ex-congressmen turned talking head who still insists on parsing issues of international law, human behavior, civil liberty or any other polysyllabic concept as so stated in our Constitution in an attempt to justify the last seven years of Bush Co. is at this point merely trying to justify an imminently obsolete occupation: theirs. Because things have become so cartoon-ish, so obvious, so writ in crayon balloon lettering, that nothing less than equally broad responses are what is in store. . .

Read it all at: Huffington Post

Mainstream Recognizing Bush as Dictator?

One of the things that inspired my good mood about the coming New Year was on AOL's front page today (yes, I still use creaky ol' AOL). It was a story headlined "Imperial Presidency?" Interested, I clicked through, and was lead to a page entitled, "Political Machine" with a tagline reading "Cranking 24/7 to Sort the Spin." My mood dimmed, however when spin was all that was happening. Literally, not figuratively. . .a spinning icon is all I could get, no stories. Even the links lead to more spinning icons.

Could it be that the stories on this subject are so popular that they've crashed AOL's servers? Did the powers that be kill the stories? No matter, there's more than one way to skin a cat (sorry kitty).

I found the main story linked to by AOL, and behold, it was by Arianna Huffington, one of my longtime faves. Not quite mainstream, but the fact that she was spotlighted on the front page with a Bush-bashing story lifted my heart a little! It's a couple of days old, but better late than never, AOL. Read on. . .


The Imperial Presidency: the '08 Candidates Weigh In

Looking back over the last year, it's one of the most important issues America faced. Looking ahead, it could turn out to be the "sleeper issue" of the 2008 presidential race.

I'm talking about executive power, the way it is used -- and has been abused over the last 7 years. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

Out With the Old, Bring on the New Year

2007 has become the old year, and my does it ever feel old. Just a few days ago, I simply couldn't believe that 2007 was coming to a close. 2008 felt foreign somehow. Now I welcome it, and I'm glad to see 2007 go.

Personally, it was a pretty good year. Most things were the same or better than 2006 for me. My job is secure, I'm out of debt, the cat is healthy and The Other Half and I have wrapped up (most) of 10 years together. My sister--long the kid hater--even had a baby. And I gave birth to a blog (didn't need an epidural or nothin').

The year hasn't been quite as good to some of my friends, and for them I'm hoping the new year brings happier, shinier things. And politically, the year has just stunk up the place. The lame duck Decider and his followers and minions continue to do their delusional damage. Curiously, the great hope of 2007, the new Democratic Congress let the old regime do whatever they wanted. Nothing seemed to get much better, politics wise, though FOX "News" insists that the War in Iraq is going swimmingly now.

But the world (like the year) feels stale to me. Like a movie that just won't end (forgive me, I just finished watching Xanadu of all things), or a CD on repeat, it feels like it should be done.

The good news is, I think the old is running on vapors. A change is in the air, I can just feel it. I'm very optimistic. . .scratch that, I'm a pessimist at heart. . .but I've got a good feeling about the year to come. And I intend to do my little bitty part, in my "tube" on the internets, to hold the Democrats' feet to the fire, and trumpet the misdeeds of the lingering, zombie-like old guard. Maybe it won't make a difference, but it will make me feel better!

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Huckabee on "The Gay Thing"

Gay issues are really sticky for most of the candidates for President. On the Democratic side, things are a little more relaxed, but only Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel will acknowledge support for same-sex marriage. Most Democrats assume that the other candidates secretly don't oppose the notion, but for political reasons just can't say so. This wink and nod approach annoys me--as it is inherently dishonest--but it is a fact of life in politics.

On the Republican side, the same thing may apply. Rudy Giuliani, for example, probably personally has no objection, but it would be political suicide for him to say so. The rest, to varying degrees may be personally unbothered or bothered by gay issues, but on their side of the aisle, it is perfectly acceptable to condemn all or part of the perceived "gay agenda."

When you get down to Mike Huckabee, however, there is no ambiguity. The former pastor is firmly against gay rights, probably on all levels. He's careful with his words--now anyway--but his real feelings shine through brightly. It will be interesting to see what the Log Cabin Republicans do with their votes, should Huckabee get the nod.


Huckabee: ‘I Don’t Know’ If People Are ‘Born’ Gay, But It’s A ‘Choice’ To Act Gay

On NBC’s Meet The Press this morning, host Tim Russert asked former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee if he believed “people are born gay or choose to be gay?” “I don’t know whether people are born that way,” responded Huckabee, “but one thing I know, that the behavior one practices is a choice.”

Read more at: Think Progress

Featured Site: Landover Baptist Church

Image from source, Landover Baptist Church

While I'm on a religion jag (see here and here), I thought this would be a great time to highlight a fantastic parody website, It's the home of Betty Bowers (America's Best Christian), and it's so good that it could fool you into thinking it's a real church website.

If you're lacking a sense of humor or irony that is. This site smacks my funny bone so hard it hurts (but hurts so good). And with the Presidential race turning all Jesusy, you know they're taking gleeful aim. It's completely outrageous, probably blasphemous, sure to inflame people, and right up my alley. Here's a sample. . .


Mitt Romney's Hilarious Religious Beliefs!

Friends, I never thought I'd live to see the day when a Mormon cult member would be running for President of this Christian country. Then again, I said the same thing about that Mary Worshipping jackass, John F. Kennedy, and by golly - every uneducated Negro and unchurched low class liberal who thought Catholics were Christians voted that hell bound nin-com-poop into office! . . .

Read more at: Landover Baptist Church

Dirty Politics: Fake Mormon Romney Christmas Card

Image from source, Yahoo News

This story dovetails nicely with my review below of The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. That book is the parody "Bible" of the Church of FSM, which deftly pokes fun of (an holes in) religion in general. As an agnostic, I find the similarities and differences between religions largely irrelevant.

But voters in South Carolina tend to take their religion very seriously. So, with Romney and Huckabee making religion a central issue in the Presidential race (intentionally or not), and Republicans' propensity to play dirty pool, it was bound to come to this. I'm not surprised, but I am slightly amused. . .


S.C. Republicans get bogus Romney card

Many South Carolina Republicans got a bogus holiday greeting card this week, purported to be from White House hopeful Mitt Romney, that cites some controversial passages of the Book of Mormon. . .

Read the story at: Yahoo News

Book Report: Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

Image from

This is at once 1) a book report, 2) an acknowledgement of genius and entrepreneurship and 3) a jealous screed.

The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (2006) by Bobby Henderson

Today, for one of the last days of my extended holiday break, I settled into the comfortable couch (leaving The Other Half adrift on the semi-tolerable one) with the down comforter, the lazy fat cat, and the above mentioned book. I'd purchased the book for myself for Christmas, along with an additional copy for the Stupid Monkey and car emblems for both of us. Having written previously about the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) phenomenon, I expected the best. I was both delighted and enraged by the contents of the book.

We'll start with delighted. I first encountered/discovered the FSM shortly after his "creation." To quote Wikipedia, FSM was "founded in 2005 by Oregon State University physics graduate Bobby Henderson to protest the decision by the Kansas State Board of Education to require the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to biological evolution." Bobby is apparently both very smart and very funny, and managed to skewer "intelligent design" proponents while simultaneously emulating them--to hilarious effect.

This happened during my pre-blogging days, but somehow I stumbled onto it very shortly after it happened, and have followed the development with great interest. See, Bobby didn't stop with sending a letter to the school board. He followed with a web site. Car emblems. T-shirts and bumper stickers. And of course, his own bible! This is where the outrage comes in.

Bobby Henderson is a 26-year old kid! And hey, if you're 26 and are thinking, "you jerk, I'm not a kid!"--yes you are. You don't realize it right now, but you will. Besides, his name is "Bobby." 'Nuff said.

Anyway, The Other Half is always accusing me of having a big juicy brain that ought to be making us some money. I started this blog, of course, which has netted a big fat 81 cents from AdSense. But it's one in a billion. Shoot, even amongst agnostic, gay, liberal moonbat bloggers from Las Vegas, I'm probably one in a couple hundred thousand. I've even toyed with the idea of creating a religion from scratch, like L. Ron Hubbard or Joseph Smith. But, dammit, little Bobby Henderson beat me to it!

But if I'd started it before he did, I could only hope I had his follow-through and inventiveness. His book manages to be both blatant and subtle, sarcastic and sweet. And it's made me laugh so hard that tears rolled into my ears, and the lazy fat cat scampered away (but returned). Now, to counter with my own creation, an anti-FSM of sorts. . . Every religion needs it's demons! I'll get my noodle working on that!

Recommendation: Buy it. Buy it now, along with tons of swag. Do it for little Bobby. Heh.


Bush's Top 10 Dumbest Legal Arguments

Photo from source, Slate

Here's another year-end "Top 10" list. And what fertile ground they have to work with! I mean, how could you possibly whittle it down to just ten?


Legal Fictions
The Bush administration's dumbest legal arguments of the year.

This time last year, I offered up a top 10 list of the most appalling civil-liberties violations by the Bush administration in 2006. The grim truth is, not much has changed. The Bush administration continues to limit our basic freedoms, conceal its own worst behavior, and insist that it does all this in order to make us more free. In that spirit, it seemed an opportune moment to commemorate the administration's worst legal justifications and arguments of the year. And so I humbly offer this new year's roundup: The Bush Administration's Top 10 Stupidest Legal Arguments of 2007. . .

Read the list at: Slate

Sunday Candidate Roundup, Part II

ABC's This Week with George Stephanopolous is in process as I type this. I've just watched Hillary Clinton's bit, and am in the middle of George's interview with an absolutely cadaverous looking John McCain. Maybe it's just my set, but he looks like he's had a mortician do his makeup. He also seems a little out of it, and is way too soft-spoken. Anyway, on to more of my take on this batch of candidates.

Hillary Clinton - Polished, professional and knows how to command a room. Also cold, calculating, and able to inspire a vague hatred from huge segments of society. I really have no idea why, and neither do they seemingly. I have no doubt she'd do a capable job as President, certainly better than the current occupant of that office. I'm still torn on her potential nomination.

Barack Obama - Seemingly genuine and most "like normal people" of the crowd. But he's showing a troubling comfort with "answer side-stepping" (or ASS). His side-steps, for now though, also seem genuine. I think he'd also do a good job, but his electability may be as big of an issue as Hillary's, due partly to inexperience, and partly to America's inherent racism.

John Edwards - Still my favorite. Shares some of Obama's genuineness, though it's a more polished, and thus possibly faux sincerity. Shows signs of ASS, but is very deft at seeming like he answered the question. Also comes off less desperate and back-peddles less than candidates like Huckabee and Romney.

There you go, my opinions for what they're worth.

Sunday Candidate Roundup, Part I

I've just finished watching two of the Sunday morning political yack-fests (NBC's Meet the Press and FOX "News" Sunday). The added attraction this morning is the fact that the Iowa caucuses are this Thursday, amping up the urgency of the different candidates for President.

This morning I watched Mike Huckabee, Barack Obama and Fred Thompson giving their last Sunday sales pitches. What I'm really starting to notice is the various levels of answer side-stepping (or ASS).

In a few minutes I'll get to see who George Snuffleupagus has to offer. In the meantime, here is my take on some of the candidates (I'm sure you couldn't wait to hear).

Mike Huckabee - Despite his charms and his folksy manner, Huckster has a creepy edge to him. His wide-eyed, droopy-faced countenance remind me of the "woodland critters" on South Park. At first, they started out sweet, and Jesus-worshippy. Then they turned out to be SATAN worshipers! Not adept at ASS, but attempts it with vigor. If you're not paying close attention, he seems to pull it off, but if your BS detector is on, his ASS stinks. Heh.

Fred Thompson - Tired ol' Fred seemed a little amped-up this morning on F"N"S, bobbing and dancing like Katherine Hepburn. Maybe his campaign gave him some B-12 and Redbull or something. It didn't help his patter though, which was snooze-inducing. Fred's biggest challenge right now is convincing us that he even wants to be President. (He may be an ass, but he's terrible at ASS.)

John McCain - It is my prediction that John McCain pulls off either an upset, or a strong also-ran candidacy, largely because he's the likeliest "fall-back" guy for conservatives to overwhelmed by the other guys' baggage. His blinking will drive you absolutely crazy if you clue in to it. He blinks incessantly when he speaks, and returns to normal when quiet. Also seems almost as tired as Fred Thompson does (excepting Fred's performance this morning).

Mitt Romney - Most accurately described elsewhere (I've lost the source) as our first Clip-Art candidate. He looks and talks like he came out of a Roy Lichtenstein print. He also has a huge case of the ASS, and would only convince people who think the Garden of Eden was in Missouri.

More later.

Featured Blog: This Modern World

I've featured Tom Tomorrow's This Modern World on the blog before, but I can't remind you enough. The strip is simply genius. And he runs a great blog too! Check it out:

And for the rest of the above strip, please go to:

Liberal Radio Purge

There is an interesting thing that can be learned from conservatives. And by conservatives, I mean the punditry, more than I mean the public (though those who post on FreeRepublic would fall into this category). Conservatives talk endlessly of the "free market." Everything should shake out by itself. If it's good and people want it, it will be provided. If it doesn't sell, it dies out.

And they use this line of reasoning to point a finger and laugh at liberal talk radio. FOX "News" hosts trumpet any bad news or scandal that might plague Air America Radio. They pretend the network has gone out of business (when it hasn't), and say that liberal talk radio is something the public doesn't want, and that is why over 90% of talk radio is conservative. But that isn't exactly true (big surprise). Read on. . .


The Top 10 wherabouts of former progressive talk stations

. . .The year 2007 marked the big liberal purge from quite a few AM stations owned by Clear Channel Communications, Entercom and others. So far, none of the successor formats have done anything in the ratings. Check this out: [snip]

Columbus - After WTPG also dropped progressive talk last December, it's replacement, right-wing babbler WYTS turned out to be a complete joke. Unlike its prececessor, which actually got the best ratings the signal had in years, WYTS has dropped off the chart. Not even Michael Savage can save them. Now, with progressive talk back on WVKO, perhaps we'll get proof that Clear Channel screwed the pooch when they hastily dropped the format. . .

Read more at: Liberal Talk Radio

Suzanne Westenheofer: Needy Cats

It's been a while since I've posted some mindless frivolity, so why not now? This is a video from an old performance by one of my favorite comics, Suzanne Westenheofer. The scenario: she's left alone for the first time with her girlfriend's cat. . .a needy cat. Funny stuff. Enjoy.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Top 5 Campaign Misstatements

Keeping on top of the many candidates for President (on both sides of the aisle) can be very difficult. Here's a video I missed from last week's MSNBC Dan Abrams show, with helpful campaign misstatements. Take a look.

Iraq Casualties at Year's End

Images from Iraq Coalition Casualties

I've heard a lot of breathless reports on FOX "News" regarding how well the "surge" has worked. And in some ways it has. Military deaths--one measure of importance--are way down. That's terrific, but I'm a little troubled with how it is reported.

The Brit Humes and Bill Kristols of the world are a little too joyous at the reduced number. Sure it's good that the number is lower, but it kind of glosses over the fact that there still were deaths. Yeah, it's war, yeah it's a volunteer military, and yeah they knew what they signed up for. But has anybody ever come up with a rationale explaining what these deaths have accomplished? The "surge" after all, was supposed to be to allow breathing room for the Iraqi government to gel and set. Has it?

The graph above showing the decline in military deaths does indeed seem like progress. But take a look at the yearly chart. Success or not, there is no denying that we lost more good people this year than in any other year in the Iraq fiasco. I still say it's long past time to bring these people home. Barring that, tell us what "victory" and "winning" means. While they're at it, they should tell us what "losing" would mean. At least then, we'd know definitively when this thing should be over if only by George W. Bush's standards.

Featured Blog: Blog of Unnecessary Quotation Marks

I'm a bit of a stickler for punctuation. My writing here on the blog may not always be evidence. It's very easy to over-sprinkle with superfluous commas, ellipses, hyphens and dashes. In many cases, it is a question of style. I like to use italics in place of quotes for movie, TV show and web site names for instance. Other times, it's hurried writing and bad editing. Sorry.

But in my regular occupation as a sign maker, I'm very concerned with getting it right. I'm particularly annoyed by apostrophe and quotation mark misplacement. That's why I was delighted to run across The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks. Take a look.


The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks

Submitter Phillip writes, "Perhaps the real question is whether this was a simple example of bad grammar by the sign-maker, or an attempt at truth in advertising?"I still have no desire to know what's in hot dogs, and will eat them with chili and cheese to disguise them further.

FOX "News" Afraid of Ron Paul?

Photo from Salon

There are a few choice nuggets of comedy to be had in this Presidential campaign. Not gut-busters (at least not yet), but a few chuckles.

I watch a bit of FOX "News" as "homework" for this site. It can be painful, brain-numbing, and utterly confounding. Occasionally, it unfolds like ironic comedy--unintentional to be sure.

Some of that comedy is coming from FOX's long-held (and transparent) conceit that they are "fair and balanced." Every program I've watched on FOX "News" has displayed obvious, blatant right-wing bias. From the hosts, to the choice of guests to the topics discussed, the aim is to please the "core FOX audience," as I just heard Greg Gutfeld of Red Eye describe it.

And out of that angling to please the hardcore righties, they're producing fringe comedy, trying to talk down Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee almost as much as they attack Hillary Clinton. They talk up Rudy, Mitt and now John McCain, but they don't want the crazy guy or the religious nut! And ironically, their "core FOX audience" is crazy and religious! Heh.


Paul: Fox News is 'scared of me'

Ron Paul said the decision to exclude him from a debate on Fox News Sunday the weekend before the New Hampshire Primary is proof that the network "is scared" of him.

"They are scared of me and don't want my message to get out, but it will," Paul said in an interview at a diner here. "They are propagandists for this war and I challenge them on the notion that they are conservative."

Read more at:

Third Party Rumblings

Photo of John Danforth, from source, Washington Post

I think a third (or fourth, or fifth) party is a terrific idea. Republicans are already having to practice cognitive dissonance because of the social/fiscal conservative split. Democrats are a little less divided, but have always been like hearding cats, being somewhat less lock-steppy.

As much as the Limbaughs of the world like to paint Democrats as "the left," we're really not so much. Left of center, sure, but Democrats rarely equal arch-conservatives in their extremism or fervor. I'm sure there are rabid leftists out there, but they don't have their own party. Perhaps they should.

Maybe the Republicans should split into Theocrats, Fiscalites, and Crazy-ass parties. Democrats could become Atheocrats, Moonbats and Freesexites. Anyone who doesn't fit into one of those categories can make their own. But not now.

Why not now? Because the groundwork has not been laid. If there is ever going to be a viable third party in this country, they need to be started from the ground up. City Councils, Assemblies, and the proverbial Dog Catcher elections must be included first. Make a name for yourself!

Instead, new parties try to go for the whole enchilada right up front. And what does it get us? For you righties, you can lament that Ross Perot helped net us 8 years of Clinton (so far). For my side of the aisle, it can surely be argued that Ralph Nader at least helped facilitate 8 hideous years of The Decider.

So, third parties: if all you want to do is be a spoiler, fine. Just say so.


Bipartisan Group Eyes Independent Bid

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a potential independent candidate for president, has scheduled a meeting next week with a dozen leading Democrats and Republicans, who will join him in challenging the major-party contenders to spell out their plans for forming a "government of national unity" to end the gridlock in Washington. . .

Read more at: Washington Post

Weekend Blogging

I've said it before and I'm saying it again. Blogging on the weekends (particularly holiday weekends) is hard work! The lack of posts you see is only partly because I'm taking it easy this week. It's also because finding interesting things to post about is really, really difficult.

I suppose it's nice that (outside of the odd assassination and pocket veto) not all that much seems to be happening. That will of course change dramatically as soon as New Year's is over with. The primary season ramps up almost immediately afterward, and there are sure to be some political fireworks.

Until then, I'll see what I can scrape up. And try not to feel guilty for the sparse new posts.

Las Vegas School of Parking Lot and Road Design

Photos captured from Google Earth (click any for enlargement)
I had a frustrating day of driving and shopping today. I am not a fan of shopping, and traffic takes up 5 of my top 10 pet peeves. The longer I live in Las Vegas, the more convinced I become that there must be a special school for parking lot and road designers in this town.

Let's start with the "big box" shopping center around the corner from my house. If you're a good 'merican, you're combining your shopping trips in order to save gas, right? So you head out to the big box center, a place where you can get (almost) everything done. You pull in to the parking lot, and park down near the Supercuts for a new 'do (well, you do if you're me, and you really just mostly get it all clipped off). Mission accomplished, you decide to head over to the Home Depot for a seasonal major purchase.

You have three choices here. Walk half a mile. Follow the painted lines on the parking lot, and frustrate yourself out of your mind. Or plow through the painted lines to get to your destination, risking T-boning someone else, or having them T-bone you. Upon leaving the Home Depot, you head over to Sam's Club for some boxed wine, and are faced with the same three choices.

Next, you head to the post office. But you must puzzle out your route first, and the route to your next destination. You cannot enter from the east, and you cannot depart to the west. How convenient!

Having ironed out those details, you head out to the dreaded DMV. If there's one place in town that has a well laid-out parking lot (and supporting road structure), it should be the DMV, right? Wrong! You cannot approach from the east, or depart to the west or south! Throw in some narrowly painted lines, some blind alleys and some misleading pedestrian pathways, and you've got a cluster^%$# What is going on here?

William Kristol Hired by New York Times

Photo from

FOX "News" contributor, William Kristol has been given his own column at the once-revered New York Times. First Karl Rove gets hired by Newsweek, and now this? The grinning Cheshire Cat of FOX "News" Sunday, wrong about almost everything is column-worthy? Can Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity be far behind?


Kristol Clear

. . .If the report is accurate, and Kristol is joining the Times' roster, this is an embarrassment from which the paper of record will not soon recover. If Kristol were merely wrong about matters of national significance, this decision would merely be a mistake. But in recent years Kristol has become far more -- gone are the "soothing tones" that made him a mainstay on the DC cocktail circuit, replaced with a bitter, sycophantic belligerence. . .

Read more at: CBS News

Friday, December 28, 2007

Netscape Finally Dies

Netscape was once the premiere browser for accessing the Internet. In the early days, it was the only browser taken seriously. Service providers (which used to be distinct from the Internet) like Prodigy, AOL, CompuServe offered some limited web-surfing abilities, and Microsoft released a late-to-the-game and underpowered Internet Explorer. But you were considered to be using training wheels if you weren't using Netscape.

Now, many years after being swallowed by a then-powerful AOL, Netscape is breathing its last. I'm not tremendously sad about it, since it was never my program of choice. I've gone against the grain software-wise for a variety of reasons. I can't stand Adobe Illustrator or PhotoShop, opting for Corel products instead. I have a pathological distaste for Apple products, and yes, I still use creaky old AOL. I'm not a total Luddite though, I do use the now more robust Internet Explorer and FireFox. It may very well be FireFox that hammered the nails into Netscape.

So, love it or hate it, bow your heads, and have a little cyber-sympathy for the late, lamented Netscape.


AOL to End Support for Netscape Browser

An historic name in software will effectively pass into history in February as AOL discontinues development and active support for the Netscape browser, according to an official blog. . .

Read more at: PC World

Bush Plays "Pocket Veto" Card

Photo from

I'm still trying to figure this out. My understanding of a "pocket veto" is that if a bill expires--while Congress is out of session, and without a Presidential signature--the bill effectively dies. But if it expires while Congress is in session, it is effectively passed without a signature.

So, Bush is currently trying this strategy (I guess so he doesn't actually have to veto it). But, Congress is still in session--at least technically--in order to preclude any more recess appointments. So won't the bill now become law? Either my understanding of the pocket veto is flawed, or Bush's is.


Bush Rejects Defense Bill by Pocket Veto

President Bush on Friday used a "pocket veto" to reject a sweeping defense bill because he dislikes a provision that would expose the Iraqi government to expensive lawsuits seeking damages from the Saddam Hussein era.

In a statement, Bush said the legislation "would imperil billions of dollars of Iraqi assets at a crucial juncture in that nation's reconstruction efforts."

Read more at: AP

Town Wants to Arrest Bush, Cheney

Photo from RawStory

A town after my own heart. I'm verklempt. . .talk amongst yourselves. . .


Town in Liberal Vermont Considers Measure to Have Bush, Cheney Arrested for War Crimes

President Bush may soon have a new reason to avoid left-leaning Vermont: In one town, activists want him subject to arrest for war crimes.

A group in Brattleboro is petitioning to put an item on a town meeting agenda in March that would make Bush and Vice President Cheney subject to arrest and indictment if they visit the southeastern Vermont community. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

Most Loathsome People of 2007

Image from source,

Like clockwork, the end of every year brings us countless lists. Best and worst movies, most fascinating people, top political blunders, best web sites, you get the idea. And the thing about most of these lists is that they're utterly subjective, and are pretty much BS.

But I for one find them kind of fun. Here's one of my favorites.


The BEAST 50 Most Loathsome People in America, 2007

47. Mike Huckabee

Charges: What's worse, a calculating politician pretending to be a devout Christian, or a genuine heartland preacher who didn't come from no monkey? Huckabee is both -- a Southern Baptist who rejects Darwin, wants to give everyone a gun and thinks people with AIDS should be quarantined, and a seedy, corrupt politician who's never seen a payoff so low he won't stoop to pick it up. Democrats see Huckabee as easily defeated in a general election, but they shouldn't be so sure -- Smooth talking preachers tend to do well in this country. Huckabee is well-spoken, kind-faced, and the opposite of worldly -- he's Obama for hicks. . .

Read the whole list at:

Bush-In-Mouth Disease

No comments necessary! Just watch. . .

Computer Upgrades: Good News for a Change!

I found out before Christmas from the Stupid Monkey that CompUSA was going out of business. Not a huge surprise, as that sort of "big box" store was probably too specialized to survive, with all of the options people have today. Truthfully, if I need computer stuff, I generally go online, or possibly to Sam's Club or Costco. CompUSA was sort of a dinosaur (and I'll bet stores like Circuit City will soon follow).

So I got a few things before Christmas, but deliberately waited for a return trip afterward. Today, I was extremely displeased to find out that the CompUSA on my side of town was already closed. No biggie, I thought, I'll just travel up to Sahara, and shop there. 50 minutes later, after enduring hideous traffic, I made it.

I ended up purchasing a 22" widescreen monitor (Envision G22LWk, if you're interested) for just over $250. Pretty sweet! As much time as I sit behind a monitor, I figured I should have a nice one. And this one is pretty nice. I'm digging it so far. I plugged it in, and it worked immediately. If you've ever done computer upgrades, you know this is not the norm (even some of those egotistical Cult of Mac people often have problems).

The Other Half gets my old Dell 19" (non-widescreen) model, and his older Dell 17"-er goes on out to the garage, so that we have a spare. So that's it. I just wanted to share a good computer story for a change!

Steven Weber: Shop, People, Shop!

Photo from

It could be said that I've focused too much attention on Steven Weber's writings at Huffington Post. Guilty. I don't know why, but even when he's at his most cynical (as he most surely is here), his writing strikes a chord with me.

Who knew when I was a fan watching Wings, or Jeffrey, or Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (which I now have on DVD, thanks Les & Dona!), that he and I would share a side-vocation, each writing about things from a similar perspective? I find that very cool. Now, I'll never be famous, or hob-nob with them. . .but I'll add Steven Weber to my "famous people, living or dead, you could invite to a dinner party" hypothetical. I mean, Tim Daly is already there, so he'd feel welcome. . . Heh.


Shit Hits Fan: Shop, People, Shop!

. . .And meanwhile in Over Here, the purple mountains majesty of cardboard and sea to shining sea of torn wrapping paper is being toted off to the landfill, clearing space in our gadget crammed abodes for even more Things, Items and the all important Etceteras. Thank the Lord Jesus Christ Our Savior® who looks over us all and protects us from Evil®. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

Thursday, December 27, 2007

One More Holiday Cheer: Bush's "Wonderful Life"

Realistic New Year's Resolutions

Here's a song I found while surfing the YouTubes, from a comedy song duo named Rhett & Link. Pretty funny stuff, and accurate too. We may make New Year's resolutions, but come mid-February (at the latest), they seem sort of pointless, don't they? You think "New Year's?" It's Valentine's Day! I want a cookie!

Just watch.

No Front Runner in GOP Race

I can't say I'm all broken-hearted about this. Though it does make me itchy for my tinfoil hat.

I mean, you know all that underground buzz about a "new 9/11" that leads to Marshall Law, and to cancelling the 2008 election? Bush/Cheney gets to stay in charge, and keep presidentin' and deciderin' forever! Now, if that scenario had any truth behind it, the GOP wouldn't need to waste any time on running for 2008, would they? All they'd have to do is put up a selection of boobs, not one with a chance of winning. . . er. . . heh. OK, tinfoil hat off now.


With primaries looming, uncertainty reigns over GOP slate

Dig beneath the surface of the raucous Republican presidential race and you will find even deeper turmoil: Four in 10 GOP voters have switched candidates in the past month alone, and nearly two-thirds say they may change their minds again.

None of the GOP candidates has reason to feel secure, according to an ongoing national survey conducted for The Associated Press and Yahoo! News. . .

Read more at: Yahoo News

John Edwards Iowa Ad

Well, the holiday celebrating and revelry have just about ceased, so I have a little more time to devote to the blog. And what I've found out there on the internets, is of course, extensive coverage of Benazir Bhutto's assassination. This is to be sure a true news story, one deserving of the coverage it is getting.

But, I have nothing to add. It is so far out of my milieu, all I can really do is provide the occasional link or update. It's ironic that I finally have time to post some things, but actually finding interesting items is difficult. Yes, it's all about me. . .

So, I was glad to come upon this John Edwards ad for the Iowa Caucus next week. Edwards has been my choice so far, but only half-heartedly. I'd be pleased to see any Democrat win whoever it is. I like Edwards best, but would support whichever candidate arises to be the nominee.

But this is a fairly stirring ad. Edwards certainly sounds Presidential here. See what you think.

Christians Get Manly

Image from source, Raw Story

There are very few phrases that weird me out more than "cowboy up!" Apparently, it means "buck up, be a man," or something like that (which makes me wonder why they don't just say that). It also conjures ironic imagery. The phrase is used by people who consider themselves hyper-macho.

But the fact is that most "cowboys" are nothing more than "trans-Westites," pretenders in Western drag. It is also true that cowboys are a recurring theme in gay erotica, and are actually a fetish all their own (witness the cowboy in The Village People). So it is not surprising that a spokesman for a religious group trying to get all manly would say, "cowboy up." They even have "ex-gay" speakers at their events. Their all-male events. . .


GodMen: A more manly form of Christianity

ABC's Nightline visited a meeting at a Tennessee shopping mall of nearly 300 men who call themselves "GodMen" and say they want to "cowboy up as followers of Jesus." At the meeting, the men were encouraged to get in touch with their feelings about Internet pornography, adultery, and homosexuality. . .

Read more, with (presumably G-rated) video at: Raw Story

Ron Paul: "We're Getting Ready to Bomb Iran"

Photo from source, Raw Story

Ron Paul is a most unusual Republican candidate. He seems to be the goofiest candidate this side of Dennis Kucinich, and perhaps the craziest since Ross Perot. His views on this country's foreign policy are 180-degrees from the other Republicans views, and he's not afraid to speak his mind. I predict a much stronger showing for Paul than polls would suggest.


Paul: 'We're getting ready to bomb Iran'

Despite a recent National Intelligence Estimate finding that Iran has halted its nuclear weapons program, libertarian-leaning GOP presidential contender Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) says there is still "a great possibility" of US military action against the country. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

Benazir Bhutto Assassinated in Pakistan

Photo from source, ABC News

I will not pretend to know much about Pakistani politics, or history. I know the names, that's about it. But I do know that their politics (including an alliance of sorts with the US) have been shaky lately. And of course, they are a nuclear power too. Anyway, like I said, I'm no expert, so read along with me. . .


Benazir Bhutto Killed in Pakistan Explosion

Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was killed in a gun and bomb attack after a rally in the city of Rawalpindi on Thursday, her party said.

"She has been martyred," said party official Rehman Malik.
. .

Read more at: ABC News

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas is Over, Bring On New Year's!

Whew! Christmas hit like a freight train, with a very full day for this editor. All in all, it was pretty nice, but it leaves you a little winded. Today, we're having Christmas II: The Sequel at the Stupid Monkey's house, followed by Christmas III: This Time, It's Personal at another friend's house the next day.

After that, I believe we will have wrung every last drop of Christmas magic out of the season, and will be looking forward to New Year's Eve. In the mean time, posting around here will remain light. I see, after perusing my favorite blogs, that I'm in good company with the barely there internets. Until you're on the inside of the blogosphere looking out, you don't realize how difficult maintaining a blog can be during holidays and special events. Shoot, even weekends are hard.

The blog should be back with gusto on Thursday and especially Friday, when I will have more time to post. Until then, keep on having fun!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Seasons' Greetings!

We here at Greenlee Gazette would like to wish you and yours a fantastic holiday season. And by we, I mostly mean me, but there is The Other Half, the Stupid Monkey, and many other supporters.

Yes, I'm aware that Hanukkah has already come and gone. But that just gave them a longer holiday season this year. So whatever holidays you celebrate, and however you choose to celebrate them, I hope you all have fun, don't spend yourself blind, and don't gain more weight than you can lose next year!

The photo is of my new nephew, Lux, with his dad. See, he doesn't even know what the holidays are, and he's obviously having a blast!

NOTE: This is also a note to let you know that posting to the Gazette will be very light to non-existent today and tomorrow due to holiday engagements. If anything huge happens, or I find a slice of time, I'll probably pop in from time to time. The blog should be back to normal on Thursday. Have fun everybody!!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Pope Gets Rid of Manger in Nativity

Photo from source,

Many religions baffle me, including the one I grew up with (and it's 57 varieties). I was raised as a protestant, though I never really knew what denomination. I think it may have been Methodist, or maybe Episcopalian. Then I settled on Lutheran before segueing into agnosticism.

The odd thing about my growth with--and outgrowing of--religion, was the more I learned about it, the less I believed it was true. One of my biggest issues had to do with contradictions within the text. One book of Genesis says the world was created in a certain order, and then another book lays out a largely different story.

It would seem that the New Testament has the same problem. Jesus was born in Bethlehem? No, Jesus was born in Nazareth! In a manger, or in carpentry shop next to a pub? So, all of you "the bible has no contradictions" people out there, reconcile this, wouldja? 'Cause the Pope is just sorta glossing over it. . .


Vatican nativity does away with the manger

For 25 years, the Christmas Nativity scene in front of St Peter's Basilica has shown the infant Jesus in a manger in Bethlehem.

This year, however, the Vatican has decided to radically change the scene, shifting it to Nazareth, and placing Jesus in his father's carpentry shop.

When Pope Benedict XVI inaugurates the life-size Nativity scene on Christmas eve, the sheep and hay will be gone. . .

Read more at:

The Adventures of HercuBush!

I found this video on AmericaBlog this afternoon. It gave me chuckle, so I thought I'd share. . .

Steven Weber: A Conservative Christmas Carol

Photo from The New Politics

My favorite writer at The Huffington Post (after Arianna), Steven Weber, has a great new post up. I already knew he was talented and funny (see Jeffrey, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip), but I didn't know he was a pretty decent satirical fiction writer too. Check it out. . .


A Compassionate Conservative Christmas Carol

. . .Upon reaching the entrance to his dim cell he [Bush] was met by the one remaining copmpatriot that hadn't flown or been kicked from the coop: the brainy, moist-eyed, pianist-cum-Secretary of State Condolleezza, whom Scrorge nicknamed "Condolleezza-peeza-poova-toova".

"I've just left you your nightly Coke and peanuts, Mister President." she said.

"You mash 'em up good in the bottom of the mug before you poured the Coke?" he asked, one brow raised in amused challenge.

"As always, sir. . ."

Read more at: Huffington Post

Holiday Cheer: Naughty Christmas Songs #3

These Christmas songs are a little further around the bend than I'm willing to post on the front page. Some are naughty, some are gross, some are both.

So here's how it works. If you are 1) easily offended, 2) a hard core Conservative (thus lacking a sense of humor), or 3) a "humorless, stick up the butt Liberal" ( The Stephanie Miller Show), do not click the link after the word "Continued." If you're like me, and you enjoy the bawdy, irreverent and brash, by all means, click through!

I Farted on Santa's Lap (Artist Unknown)


Holiday Cheer: Naughty Christmas Songs #2

These Christmas songs are a little further around the bend than I'm willing to post on the front page. Some are naughty, some are gross, some are both.

So here's how it works. If you are 1) easily offended, 2) a hard core Conservative (thus lacking a sense of humor), or 3) a "humorless, stick up the butt Liberal" ( The Stephanie Miller Show), do not click the link after the word "Continued." If you're like me, and you enjoy the bawdy, irreverent and brash, by all means, click through!

Santa's Baby by Jackie Beat


Holiday Cheer: Naughty Christmas Songs #1

These Christmas songs are a little further around the bend than I'm willing to post on the front page. Some are naughty, some are gross, some are both.

So here's how it works. If you are 1) easily offended, 2) a hard core Conservative (thus lacking a sense of humor), or 3) a "humorless, stick up the butt Liberal" ( The Stephanie Miller Show), do not click the link after the word "Continued." If you're like me, and you enjoy the bawdy, irreverent and brash, by all means, click through!

F*** Me, This Christmas (It's not what you're thinking) by The Wet Spots


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Favorite Songs: Maroon 5's "Won't Go Home Without You"

Here's a little break from the holiday-themed posts (not to mention the politics). One of my favorite groups over the past few years is Maroon 5. I'm aware that whenever I like a group, inevitably they're considered "lame" by a bunch of people, but I don't care.

I don't listen to music on the radio very much, so when I happen upon an album I like, it is there that become familiar with it. The first time I heard this song, I thought it should be a hit. It's not often that the first listen of any song catches my fancy, but this one did.

From a cursory look at a few Google hits, it doesn't look like this song is catching fire--but maybe it's just too new. Anyway, I like it, and hey, this is my blog right? So here it is, Maroon 5's "Won't Go Home Without You."

Holiday Cheer: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

I have a special affinity for the old 60s Rankin-Bass Christmas special, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Why? A couple of reasons, honestly. First is the character of Hermy, the elf that wants to be a dentist. Hermy has an unusual swoop to his hair, one that I share when I let my hair grow long enough. I was called Hermy by numerous people while I was growing up, and it used to irritate me quite a bit.

But as an adult, I kind of identify with Hermy. And that would sort of be the second reason. You see, Hermy (and Rudolph, and the misfit toys) were all somehow seperate from their peers. They might not understand why, they just knew they were different. This kid could relate! I was too young to know why I was different, but smart enough to know that I was. So it is not so unusual that Rudolph resonated with me as a kid (and still does). And who remembers that Santa was depicted as such a dick?

All these years later, people who didn't even know me growing up have sent me Hermy merchandise. They didn't know why, they just knew it was a fit. So we've come full circle! And now, thanks to the fabulous Internet machine, we can watch the whole thing right here! Take a look.

Rudy Giuliani was Hospitalized for a Headache?

Photo from

Sorry for being suspicious, but I don't believe we're being told the whole story here. I've had some huge-mungous, el grande headaches in my day, but I've never felt motivated to go to the hospital for them.

Politicians are notorious for downplaying their medical maladies. And given Giuliani's history, I suspect there's more to this story. And like everything else, it will probably drip, drip, drip out slowly during the coming weeks.


Giuliani: Hospital visit was a result of a “headache worse than I’ve ever had”

"I feel great now, I feel terrific, I've been tested out, everything came back 100 percent," said Giuliani, in an exclusive interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos.

Giuliani said his hospital visit was prompted by a "terrible headache" that began developing Wednesday morning while he was campaigning in Missouri that got progressively worse. . .

Read more at: ABC News

Holiday Cheer: South Park Christmas, Redux

My holiday break has officially under way, and while I intend to keep posting day to day, I'm going to be running a few "reruns" as well. Hey, if it's good enough for the TV networks. . .

I'm a big fan of unconventional Christmas songs. You can keep your Lawrence Welk and your Manheim Steamroller. I prefer funny, irreverent holiday tuneage! And these, gentle reader, are a little blue. So if you have tender sensibilities, DO NOT WATCH THESE VIDEOS!!!

Wait there's more! Three more clips after the jump.


Third Party Run for Ron Paul?

Photo from Salon

This would be very good news for Democrats. In the last two elections, Ralph Nader ran on a third-party ticket, and Democrats have long suspected that he was instrumental in getting George W. Bush "selected." Of course you have to factor in vote-rigging and the Supreme Court handing the Presidency to W.

That said, Ron Paul may syphon off some Democratic votes, but would be likely to take even more Republican ones. Go for it, Ron!


Ron Paul has a lot of money. That money and his people have to go somewhere because he's not getting the GOP nomination. On Meet The Press, Paul wouldn't rule out a possible independent run for President. Paul had to know Russert would ask the question, so it sounds like he's laying the groundwork. . .

Read more at: AmericaBlog

CIA Agent Should Get Medal for Destroying Tapes?

Image from source, Think Progress

Conservatives continue to perplex me. The same people who were so concerned with "the rule of law" when it concerned Bill Clinton's irrelevant indiscretions, will now make excuses--even applaud--blatant violations of the law.

George Tenant got a medal, even though he was blamed for "bad intelligence." Which coming from George Bush is painfully ironic. And creepy FOX "News" host John Gibson thought that whoever outed Valerie Plame deserved a medal too. Now this. And Mom wonders why I'm not a conservative Republican. . .


Right-Wing Pundit: Give The CIA Official Who Destroyed The Torture Tapes ‘A Medal’

Prominent conservative commentator Linda Chavez writes that Jose Rodriguez, the CIA official who reportedly undertook the destruction of the torture tapes, “deserves a medal.”

Read more at: Think Progress

"Lost" to Return Next Month

One of my favorite shows, from its first episode, is ABC's Lost. It's story lines are intricate and smart, and leave just enough unanswered questions to keep you coming back again and again. The characters are rich and varied, and the acting and writing are several notches above the typical scripted TV drama.

While the promo below is extremely tantalizing, I've got to believe that ABC is rolling the dice, hoping that the writers' strike is over in time to complete the season. Otherwise, we're going to be left hanging again. The last season ended in May, and the season premiere won't air until January 31. That's a long time to keep your audience waiting. Just imagine if they only squeak out six or eight episodes, and make fans wait until 2009.

And the DVD collection of season four could be miiighty slim! Cross your fingers, Lost fans.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

CIA Torture Tapes Kept from 9/11 Commission

Photo of Philip Zelikow served as executive director of the 9/11 Commission. (Dennis Cook - AP) from source, Washington

And more news continues to drip out on the CIA torture tapes scandal. Something tells me, if you went over to and searched around for commentary on this, they'd be all for the destruction of the tapes and the torture too. If there's one thing I'd most like to see after next year's elections, it would be for this sort of lock-steppiness to vanish into history.


CIA Tapes Were Kept From 9/11 Panel, Report Says

Former members and staffers of the 9/11 Commission have concluded that the CIA withheld videotapes of harsh interrogation sessions even after specific and "very detailed" requests about the two prisoners whose tapes were later destroyed, according to a review of classified material by the panel. . .

Read more at: Washington Post

Holiday Cheer: Pat Benatar Christmas in America

The criminally underrated Pat Benatar happens to have a fantastic Christmas song. She's at the top of my favorite singers list. And this song should even please the right-wingers! I think the overt patriotism is due to its production right after 9/11.

Oh, and that dude with Pat is her husband and producer, Neil Geraldo. They've been married forever, and in recent years he seems to always get equal billing. Whatever, it's great stuff. Enjoy.

iPhone iBlended to iBits

I've lamented in this space countless times that posting on weekends is difficult work. It's not that nothing happens on weekends, only that nobody (including many a blogger) seems to care. So, here's a video that has no constructive purpose, no inherent news value, and is completely apolitical. Hat tip to AmericaBlog (which probably has the same problem as I do on weekends).

Now, I will admit to being sort of anti-Apple. Something about the whole company is a little too slick, a little to elitist, and breeds a lot of smug self-righteousness in its cult-like followers. So it is with at least a small amount of glee that I post this video. . .

Anatomy of the Christmas Shoes, Redux

My holiday break has officially begun, and while I intend to keep posting day to day, I'm going to be running a few "reruns" as well. Hey, if it's good enough for the TV networks. . .

Here's one of my favorites:

I’ve been wanting to write my own version of "The Annotated Christmas Shoes," since I read the original on Diary of a Blood Ray (now known as The B Pryde Machine) years ago. The first time I heard the song, my reaction was much the same as his. I wasn’t moved to tears. I didn’t find the song precious or heartwarming. The song actually kind of pissed me off.

The more I thought about it, the more convinced I was that this song was brainstormed (if you can call it that) to be as manipulative of people’s emotions as possible. I can envision the writers sitting down to write a sappy Christmas song, trying to pluck the heartstrings until they frayed. Now that the season is upon us, this hideous song has already started to play. And play. And play. And I just can't take it.

So, taking a page from Blood Ray (and hopefully, not stepping on his toes too much), here is my own version, which I call "Anatomy of The Christmas Shoes." Put on your glasses, I'm shrinking the font because of length.

The Christmas Shoes by NewSong

It was almost Christmas time, there I stood in another line OK, It sets the scene, and it’s not so bad yet. It does manage to telegraph what’s coming though.

Tryin' to buy that last gift or two, not really in the Christmas mood Still setting the scene, and there’s the obligatory tryin’ as though "trying" wouldn’t be heartwarming enough.

Standing right in front of me was a little boy waiting anxiously Here’s where my cynic antennae start going up. I’m thinking the writers picked a boy, because a girl would just naturally do something nice for her mom. So, yeah, let’s make it a boy, to make it more poignant.


Pacing 'round like little boys do Filler. You can’t really pace in a line, and little boys don’t do it more than anyone else, do they?

And in his hands he held a pair of shoes Yes, the titular shoes. Why shoes? I’ll tell you why shoes. Because if the writers made it a hat, bra, panties, dress, or almost any other item of clothing a woman might wear, he’d seem gay. Believe it.

His clothes were worn and old, he was dirty from head to toe The scene was set, but this goes wayyy over the edge. Apparently, this is to show that the boy is poor. What it does for me is tell me that his parents aren’t taking care of him. He’s wandered away from home, unsupervised. He’s wearing rags, and he is filthy. What kind of home does this kid come from?

And when it came his time to pay I couldn't believe what I heard him say Cheesy writing to get to the chorus. You couldn’t believe it? Really?

[Chorus:] Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, please Because a dress would be too gay, remember. Also, this line is jarring. "Shoes" is so far from rhyming with "please," it almost audibly shrieks out, doesn’t rhyme, doesn’t rhyme!

It's Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size Maybe he’s a little gay after all. What little boy knows his mom’s shoe size?

Could you hurry, sir, Daddy says there's not much time Where was Daddy when you needed a bath, and your clothes wore out?

You see she's been sick for quite a while Another line to make you feel sad, Mama’s dying on Christmas. OK, I won’t pick this one apart yet. . .

And I know these shoes would make her smile One of the more baffling parts of the song. Shoes might be the very last thing on Mama’s mind right now.

And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight OK, back to Mama dying on Christmas. Apparently, she’s not only dying, she’s dying of one of those women’s movie/soap opera diseases that doesn’t disfigure you. I mean, if all it takes to make her beautiful is a yummy pair of shoes, she can’t look too bad, can she?

And I haven’t even mentioned the cloying, syrupy, calculated to make you cry "if Mama meets Jesus" part. People! If this stuff works on you, you need to know that you’ve been played!

He counted pennies for what seemed like years Because that makes the story somehow more precious. If he simply was short a bit of paper money, it wouldn’t seem so annoying/cute.

Then the cashier said, "Son, there's not enough here" This kid is not only alone, filthy and in ratty clothes, he’s too young to know how to count money. Interesting.

He searched his pockets frantically I’m with Blood Ray, this kid’s a grifter. And a good actor too.

Then he turned and he looked at me Sizing you up, no doubt. . .

He said Mama made Christmas good at our house Though most years she just did without Laying it on a little thick there, kid.

Tell me Sir, what am I going to do, This kid is far too articulate to match up to the rest of the song. Maybe he’s not just a grifter, but a midget grifter.

Somehow I've got to buy her these Christmas shoes I’d swallow it if it were almost anything but shoes. What kid—especially a boy—would get so set on shoes? Does Daddy force Mama to go barefoot at home? Is that what’s going on here? Is Daddy abusive? Maybe Mama’s going to meet Jesus, and Daddy says there’s not much time because Daddy’s gonna kill her?

So I laid the money down, I just had to help him out I’d have rhymed that better. Finish it with, "’cause my heart had come around" or something.

I'll never forget the look on his face when he said Mama's gonna look so great Sorry, I still don’t get it. If Mama’s only problem with "looking great" is footwear, she had options. Socks, maybe? And it still doesn't rhyme. They should've spent less time being cloying, and made the friggin' thing rhyme.

[Chorus] Worse the second time around.

[Bridge:] I knew I'd caught a glimpse of heaven's love What? How? Maybe being an agnostic obscures this for me, but how does an untended, filthy kid, lousy at math, but speaking in verse, whose Mama is dying on Christmas Eve from a mystery disease that leaves her pretty except for her gnarly feet--show you heaven’s love?

As he thanked me and ran out As fast as his feet would carry him, I’m sure, just in case you caught on to his con.

I knew that God had sent that little boy Couldn’t God have worked a slightly more relevant miracle? What’s more important, a little boy being robbed of his mother and Christmas in one fell swoop, or for a bad singer/songwriter to learn the meaning of Christmas?

To remind me just what Christmas is all about. Yeah, yeah, we could have written that line, knowing what came before. It’s like when there was a hurricane in Mexico that destroyed a church, killed almost everyone, but it was a "miracle" that a plaster statuette of Jesus survived intact. The miracle, apparently, that Jesus saved his own butt. And the singer of this song? I really don’t know. And neither does anybody else. It’s worth mentioning that the last chorus is sung by a children’s choir, and the last line delivered by a single boy’s warble: If Mama meets Jeeeesus. . .tonight. . . Which really. Pukes. Me. Out.

The song is quite simply calculated to make you tear up, say "awwwww," and have a vague feeling that you should play it over and over again every year. The song is also ripe for parody, and I hope one day a talented writer (you listening, Blood Ray?) comes up with a song that simultaneously skewers this song, and outsells it.

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