Monday, June 29, 2015

Girl On Go-Gurt Action!

You may remember One Million Moms from their jihad against Kraft, and specifically the undressed man who hawked their dressing. Well, they're back, and this time they're torqued at lactose-lovin' L-Words.
Nude lesbians cavort in bed in 'sinful' TV commercial
As we've said before, we don't believe there are actually one million moms who care if there are ladies out there with eclectic tastes that include vagina, soured milk products, and implied nudity. Instead, we suspect it's one mom with multiple personalities -- not a million of them, because that would be too awesome to hope for, so let's just say it's probably more than Toni Collette had in The United States of Tara, but fewer than Sally Field fielded in Sybil. The twist is that this time, every personality is an asshole!
Members of One Million Moms, a faith-based advocacy group tied to the American Family Association, is furious over a Chobani yogurt ad featuring lesbians in bed and is calling for the company to pull the TV commercial now airing in the U.S.
I was talking to Mary about it, and she thinks it's not really MillionMom who's worked up by this commercial, but MillionDad. ("You're right, honey, this is shocking! And scandalous. And sinful! Oh very, very sinful. It's probably some other 's' words too, but I can't think of any at the moment. Let's watch it two or three more times and I'm sure they'll come to me...!"
The ad shows a woman in bed eating the yogurt, stroking the foot of a companion laying beside her, and then standing and wrapping the sheet around her naked body before leaving the room. It’s then the viewer is shown the other nude person in the bed is not a man, like one would expect, but a woman. She smiles and the camera reveals she’s wearing a wedding ring.
I had no preconceptions about the sex of the bed's other occupant, but I was relieved that it didn't turn out to be, as I originally expected, a severed horse head.
One Million Moms says the ad promotes sexual sin, as well as homosexual marriage.
I'd say it acknowledges same sex marriage, rather than promotes it, since the commercial is selling yogurt and not diamonds, flowers, or pastel cummerbunds. But if we assume, arguendo, that her claim is true, that means the ad can't also be promoting "sexual sin", since the ladies are married. They may be doing it Sappho-style, and then celebrating with Greek yogurt just to keep the theme going, but the important thing is, they're not doing it Bristol Palin style.
Meanwhile, the narrator sings in the background, “To love this life is to live it naturally,” and posts the text over a shot of the ocean water and beach.
If your biggest problem with this commercial is that it ends with some pseudo-inspirational quote over an image of sea and sand, then it's possible your beef isn't with lesbian yogurt, but with 90% of Instagram users over the age of thirty.
“There is nothing natural about homosexuality,” One Million Moms wrote.
But at least it's not an abomination, unlike yogurt. Especially that fruit-at-the-bottom crap.
 “What does selling yogurt have to do with gay sex? Nothing at all, but Chobani wants to make the association.”
Okay MillionMom, if you're outraged about someone using sex to sell a product, I would just remind you that Chobani didn't invent the concept, and suggest you take it up with the Garden of Eden Fruit Growers Association and their spokesmodel, Eve.
The group then references a biblical passage, Romans 1:26-27
Which was a heartbreaker of a loss for the Romans, especially coming into the playoffs.
to support its view of homosexuality as a sin, and asks for similarly outraged Americans to call the company to petition for the ad’s removal.
I don't know if there are enough "similarly outraged Americans" to actually fill up a whole petition. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of outrage to go around in this country, but I don't know how similar it is to MillionMom's; I have a feeling her outrage is somewhat sui generis, at least in it's peculiar focus on homosexuals in proximity to food.  But even if she realized it, I don't expect such knowledge would deter MillionMom; rather, I imagine it would only inspire her to make her name literally true by investigating that cloning process that cranks out surplus Tatiana Maslanys.
“[We're] urging them to pull this inappropriate commercial immediately and remain neutral in the culture war,” the group wrote. “Also, let Chobani know that continuing to air this ad and offensive advertisements in the future will force your family to make the decision to no longer purchase Chobani products.”
No offense, MillionMom, but they sell yogurt, so maybe you're not the demographic they're really targeting. But don't be discouraged; the day Frito-Lay decides to promote Cheddar & Sour Cream flavored Ruffles with buttsex is the day you get to bring down the MillionMom Mallet!
Some national media applauded the ad. The Huffington Post called it “stunning” and “sexy,” while The New York Daily News called it, “steamy,” and “gay”-media outlets raved.
"The most erotic meeting of food and sex since the dinner scene in Tom Jones!" -- Journal of Industrial Foodservice.

"Blue is the Warmest Color, but please refrigerate your yogurt." -- National Association of Dairy Product Retailers.
As WND reported, world renowned Christian leader Rev. Franklin Graham told his Facebook followers to stop doing business with stores and corporations that advance unbiblical principles – that the power of the purse can be used to advance God’s will. 
Graham told the Charlotte Observer he plans to compile and publicize a list of companies that feature same-sex couples in their advertising. “I want people to know,” he said.
Good luck with your many hours of research into sexy gay images, Reverend. And maybe hang a necktie on the doorknob so your roommate doesn't just walk in on you.
He wrote: “Have you ever asked yourself – how can we fight the tide of immoral decay that is being crammed down our throats by big business, the media, and that gay & lesbian community? Every day it is something else!”
Thanks to big business gays and the media, life in America today is just like the old Mickey Mouse Club: Monday is Fun with Music Day, Wednesday is Anything Can Happen Day, Thursday is Circus Day, but every day is Throat-Cramming Day!
And as example, he announced his own evangelical organization will cut ties with Wells Fargo because of advertising featuring lesbians.
And accidentally deposited all his money in a bank that's gayer than the collected works of Jean Genet, but hey, it's the ugly thought that counts.
“This is one way we as Christians can speak out,” he wrote. “We have the power of choice. Let’s just stop doing business with those who promote sin and stand against Almighty God’s laws and His standards. Maybe if enough of us do this, it will get their attention.”
I'm sorry, Rev, did you say something? I was too busy watching nude lesbians cavort sinfully. (OPENS FORTUNE COOKIE) In bed.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Farewell Chester

As you may have seen in the thread below, our good friend, the wise, witty, and very kind KWillow, has lost her cat Chester. I asked if she had a picture we could post -- Chester has made several appearances on Wo'C in the past, but I thought she might have a special image in mind, and indeed she did:
I took a photo of Chester - a nice one - and photoshopped it into a watercolor. I think it catches his wide-eyed kitten look. The mean "I'm gonna get ya!" was totally not Chester, tho it was pretty funny.
In Memorium Chester

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Post-Friday Beast Blogging: The "Why, I Oughta" Edition

Moondoggie defends himself against a classic Three Stooges fighting technique, the Two Finger Eye-Poke with a finishing Nose Twist.

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Rainbow Zone Is For The Immediate Loading and Unloading...

Today is a great day, as another group of Second Class citizens is finally bumped up to First.  And though it took a fortune in legal fees, most of our SkyMiles, and who knows how many hours spent standing in line at the counter while the Supreme Court clerks clacked away on their computer terminals, doing whatever it is they do, the Nine Old Men (actually, it's the Six Old Men, plus the Three Old Women, minus the Four Old Assholes) have acknowledged that all Americans have an equal right to board marriage in an orderly fashion as soon as their row is called.  (And since this is a party, would it kill them to offer a complimentary beverage for once?)

To our wingnut friends and visitors, I would respectfully advise that you to take some time to deal with your frustration and disappointment, refocus your energies, and then, when you're ready, move on to blockading some other form of social progress.

But to all our gay and lesbian friends, Mary, Sheri, and I would just like to say: Congratulations! And please don't register someplace expensive.

Update: From Bill S.:
I'd have never guessed that this morning, when I was in my living room, stereo headphones on blasting, George Michael's "Freedom" and dancing in my underwear, that I'd come home to news like this! Wait, did I MAKE that happen? Was I unwittingly performing a liturgical dance?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Whiniest Living Confederate Widow Tells All

Todd Starnes, Fox News Radio squeeze toy and the most Dick Van Patten looking mofo since the death of Dick Van Patten, is in a snit about the impending dearth of Confederate tchotchkes, and you can kind of understand his concern, since there's only thirty-one shopping days till Treason Season.
The Cultural Cleansing of the Southern States Begins 
A full-fledged cultural cleansing of the Southern states is underway as lawmakers debate whether to remove Confederate flags and rename schools and parks named after Confederate war heroes.
I hope we have enough Old Dutch Culture Cleanser® on hand. Although I bet we actually don't, since we seemed to have culturally cleansed the Old Dutch -- at least I assume that's the reason I can no longer walk down to the windmill-shaped corner bakery for a delicious Van de Kamp's coffee cake.
There are also discussions in Washington, D.C. about removing Confederate-related statues from the U.S. Capitol — including a statue of Jefferson Davis, the former president of the Confederacy.
Okay, why do we even have a statue of an enemy head of state in the U.S. Capitol? The only possible excuse would be if the statue were actually hollow, and if you pressed his waistcoat buttons in the correct order a secret passage would pop open, leading to a hidden chamber full of Confederate gold. (Attention Producers of the National Treasure franchise: call me.)
Republicans, meanwhile, are leading the charge in South Carolina and Mississippi to remove the Confederate flag — called a symbol of hate and racism.
Which is a totally unfair thing for the passive voice to call it. True, white men rallied under that banner and killed other men for the right to own black people, but slavery was so much more than just hate and racism. It was also torture and rape, so let's give Dixie its due.
Has the Department of Homeland Security classified the Sons and Daughters of the Confederacy as right-wing hate groups, yet?
No time like the present!
Meanwhile, there are dozens of reports from around the southeast of lawmakers hoping to rename parks and schools and streets that were originally named in honor of Confederates.
Well maybe we should give some of America's other traitors a chance. Benedict Arnold Elementary School?  Aaron Burr Dog Park?  John Walker, Jr. Junior High?
*Tennessee lawmakers are demanding that a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest be removed from the statehouse;
Given that Nathan Bedford Forrest was a slave trader, war criminal, and -- as the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan -- a domestic terrorist, perhaps they could exhume his mouldering corpse and replace the bust with his actual head; that would probably satisfy everyone.  Or better yet, increase Bedford's visibility and finally pay him the honor he's due by sticking his pointy brain case on a pole outside the statehouse. Better late than never.

Actually, I bet the Yalies beat us to it and his head's sitting on a shelf in the Skull and Bones clubhouse between Martin Van Buren and Pancho Villa.
*Baltimore lawmakers want to rename Robert E. Lee Park;
Can't imagine why a majority Black city would be unenthusiastic about honoring a slave-owning traitor who spilled an ocean of blood to keep their ancestors in chains. Maybe they could compromise and just pretend the whole thing was named after a Korean guy.
*Dallas lawmakers are considering demands to rename Stonewall Jackson Elementary School;
Hopefully they'll keep up the tradition, though, and name it after some other officer who was fragged by his own men.
*St. Louis lawmakers are debating over the future of a confederate statue in a city park;
Lawmakers debating. It's like we're watching the death of democracy in real time.
*Commissioners in Hillsborough, North Carolina are debating whether to remove the words “Confederate Memorial” from a Confederate memorial.
It's not their fault. The FDA issued new regulations, and now anything labeled "Confederate Memorial" has to contain a minimum of "10% Real Confederates." And no added sugar.
*The Memphis City Council voted in 2013 to rename three parks – Confederate Park, Jefferson Davis Park and Nathan Bedford Forrest Park.
Forrest again? Surely we could spread the wealth and name the grassy places where we take our children to play after some of our nation's other proto-Nazi massacre mavens?
It won’t be too long before they start renaming cities and towns and counties named after Confederates. And I reckon it’s only a matter of time before they bulldoze the Confederate grave yards and war memorials too.
Actually, we should probably leave the graveyards intact, but build tract homes on top of them, thereby setting up the next sequel in the Poltergeist franchise. This is America, people! Let's not leave money on the table...
Maybe we can just pretend the Civil War never happened.
Or maybe you can finally admit that it did, and you guys lost.
I’m assuming Hollywood will cooperate with the South’s cultural cleansing by eradicating any copies of “Gone with the Wind” and “Forrest Gump.” Forrest was named after the aforementioned Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Okay, you actually make a good point here. I don't want moviegoers to forget, even for a moment, that one of cinema's premier morons was descended from Nathan Bedford Forrest.
I do wonder, though, about those good ole boys from Hazzard County. What are Bo and Luke Duke are going to do with the General Lee?
Apparently use it to promote an app for used car listings.
Maybe they could just paint a rainbow flag on top and call it the General Sherman. 
He culturally cleansed the South, too.
Yep. He gayed that place to a cinder.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day

By Bill S.

It's Father's Day, and ordinarily I'd be putting together a list of the worst movie and TV dads to mark the occasion. But this year, it's kind of hard for me to get into the spirit of that, because a pair of real life celebrity dads have disgraced themselves more than any fictional character could. I'm talking, of course, about Jim-Bob Duggar and Bill Cosby.

There's not much I can add to what's already been said about Duggar. His decision, upon learning that four of his daughters were being sexually abused by his son, to do less than nothing shows what an awful person he is. And yes, I know his wife Michelle shares in the blame, but since they belong to a church that places women below men, I'm guessing he was the one who had final say. They're both assholes, as is Josh, and the people rushing to defend the family (I'm looking at you, Doug Giles), especially the ones who are acting butthurt that 19 and Counting was taken off the air. If any show deserves to be canceled, it's that one. How can anyone possibly view its sunny depiction of family values the same way, knowing what we now know. It's hard enough to do that with The Cosby Show, and that family is purely fictional.

Which brings me to its star. During the show's run, even at the height of its popularity, Bill Cosby refused to submit his name for Emmy consideration, while still accepting nominations for "serious" dramatic roles. His publicly stated reason was that playing the lovable, "perfect" sitcom dad Cliff Huxtable wasn't "real" acting. Turns out though, he was actually giving the performance of his life. Except for the episode where Cliff grills his daughter Denise's new husband about whether she was still a virgin on their wedding day. That was definitely all Cosby, and not his character.

Perhaps by next Father's Day, I'll be able to deliver my usual would-be-clever take on fictional bad dads. But this year, I'd rather tell a story about my own dad, Bill Sr., who passed away in 1988 at age 55. Back in the Olden Days (by which I mean the early '80's) when our family first got a VCR, there were really only two types of movies my brothers would rent: Shitty horror films (nothing I'd actually want to watch) and porn (also, nothing I'd actually want to watch.) One of the worst horror flicks they rented was a piece of sludge called I Spit On Your Grave. For those of you who haven't seen it (and, barring some unimagined streak of masochism, that probably includes most of you), it features Camille Keaton (who is related to Buster Keaton in some way, I can't remember how) as a woman who is brutally raped by four men (shown in graphic, disgusting detail in three different scenes) and proceeds to turn the tables on them, killing them all (show in graphic, disgusting detail in four different scenes.) In one such act of revenge, the woman lures the guy into her bathtub. Once they're both in, she reaches for a knife, slices the guy's nuts off, and leaves him to bleed to death.

My dad was passing through the living room at the exact moment this scene was playing out. He watched it to its gory conclusion and, without missing a beat, quipped, "Well, that doesn't leave much room for a tourniquet", and then exited.

Happy Father's Day, Dad! I miss you.

Sing us out, Jeff Stone.

-Bill S., Jr.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Everybody's Talkin' At Me

The new All Star Summer Jamboree podcast is out, and it's a cornucopia of aural goodies, beginning with "burlesque dancer/circus darling/foodie/fetish model/pin up/actress" Tristin Risk (site slightly NSFW), who delivers a passionate, yet sexy PSA about how Blatz Beer drives the Butterfly Effect.  Then Jeff reviews the funniest romance novel ever written, we remember Christopher Lee, and I explain my theory that everything wrong with today's movies stems from Jim Henson's Muppet Babies.

Also, I apparently give Jeff an aneurysm, and he responds by repeatedly blowing my mind until it begins to resemble a super cut of zombie kills from The Walking Dead.  Please give it a listen if you get the chance.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Fantasy League First Ladies!

Confirmed bachelor and flower of Southern manhood Lindsey Graham is already measuring drapes for the White House and making plans to host state dinners with the most matronly escorts he can hire:
Unmarried Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham says that if he becomes president, he will have a “rotating first lady.” 
“Well, I’ve got a sister. She could play that role if necessary,” the 59-year-old South Carolinian presidential hopeful told the Daily Mail Online in an interview published Tuesday. “I’ve got a lot of friends. We’ll have a rotating first lady,” he added.
Now a rotating hostess may be fine for the Colgate Comedy Hour, or the Denny's lunch shift, but I believe a President needs to be a bit more aspirational when it comes to his better half, even if she is just casual labor. So instead of a rotating first lady, I propose a rotisserie first lady league, in which all of our fantasy picks get a chance to plant Victory gardens on the South Lawn and redecorate the Vermeil Room.

So get your brackets ready. There's bragging rights and a coupon good for One Free Appetizer with Entree at the Red Lobster at stake, plus the deep, patriotic satisfaction you'll gain from serving your country.  I'll get things started:

1.  Dolley Madison.  Not only can Dolley boast a distinguished tenure as First Lady, she also has experience as a Pinch First Lady, having played the hostess role for widowed President Thomas Jefferson while her husband James Madison was Secretary of State. Dolley was the first Presidential wife to adopt a cause, raising funds for an orphanage; the first to host an inaugural ball; and the first to popularize turbans for women, for which Norma Desmond will always be grateful. And though Lindsey occasionally glorifies his stint as an Air Force lawyer, Dolley actually served in a war zone, famously overseeing the evacuation of national treasures from the White House, shortly before it was burned by the British during the War of 1812. After the death of her husband, Dolley was "awarded an honorary seat in Congress," from which she could observe debates, but not propose legislation or vote, making her at least as useful as John Boehner. Plus, I'm Koo Koo for her Pupcakes, if you know what I mean.

2.  Aaron Shock. Presidentin' is hard, so a little eye candy never hurts. But Aaron brings more than a toothsome physique to the role of Day Labor First Lady. Like Lindsey, Shock served in Congress, so they have similar backgrounds and work experience, which will likely ease the transition into pillow talk. And since Aaron is best known for redecorating his Capitol office in a lavish recreation of Downton Abbey, Lindsey could set him loose on the drearier rooms of the White House, content that Aaron will rise to the challenge and become this generation's Jackie Kennedy.

3.  Beyoncé.  This seems like a no-brainer to me, since everyone likes Beyoncé and nobody likes Lindsey, making the opportunities, let alone the need, for synergy seem obvious. Like Lindsey, she hails from the South, so they can trade recipes for Pecan Tassies and drop peanuts in each other's Cokes, or whatever it is Southerners do when the reality show cameras are off. Like Lindsey, Beyoncé is a registered Republican, but unlike the Senator she's a self-made woman, so she can probably teach him a thing or two about how the private sector works. She could also teach him that "Single Ladies" dance, which would go over gangbusters at the White House Correspondents Dinner (at least better than Lindsey's original idea of hauling a woodpile onstage and pretending to search it for muslims).

Full Face Beard made from Human Hair. Available in Brown, Black, Light Brown, Auburn, Light Gray and Dark Gray. $56.98.

'Nuff said.

UPDATE from s.z.:
"Remember Jeff Gannon? I think he would love getting back in the White House, and he does have experience as an escort."

So who's on your Roti Team Roster?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Farewell, Christopher Lee

I've been working on a top secret project about which I'm indecently gleeful (surprise: it involves bad movies), but was all set to get back to blogging today when I woke to the news that Christopher Lee has died, and it's rather thrown me off my stride. I don't know why it should exactly; it's not like he was James Dean, nobody's going to say, "Oh, he died so young! He had so much left to give!"  But I'm not sure that's precisely true. Yes, he was the better part of a century old, but he was working right up until the end, so it actually feels like he did have more to give, and the Reaper has cheated us out of several additional movie roles, and who knows how many heavy metal albums.

Anyway, I feel like a tribute is in order, but I'm socially awkward, and the only way I know how to praise Caesar is to point out a crappy movie he was in. So here's a piece Sheri and I wrote for Better Living Through Bad Movies.

Attack of the Clones (2002)
Directed by George Lucas
Written by George Lucas (story and screenplay) and Jonathan Hales (screenplay)

Tagline: A Jedi shall not know anger. Nor hatred. Nor love.

Nor how to act.

In Episode II, visionary filmmaker George Lucas continues his six volume pensées on good and evil. In this installment, he examines Man’s age-old struggle against the forces of petulance.

The Galactic Republic is on the verge of war. Hundreds of star systems are being urged to secede by the mysterious Count Dooku. A former Jedi Knight, Dooku turned to the Dark Side after his fellow Jedi repeatedly pointed out that his name sounds like the stuff you find in an overloaded pair of Pampers.

Meanwhile, Padme Amidala, who was the teen queen of Naboo in the previous film, is now a member of the Galactic Senate. She arrives for quorum call in a stainless steel B-52 that promptly blows up and she dies. Well. That wasn’t as bad as I thought. Let me just grab my coat and we’ll—

Oh. Wait. Damn. It was just a day player dressed in a goofy costume—apparently Lucas is still playing 3-Card Padme with the audience. However, the assassination attempt gives the Chancellor (future Emperor Palpatine) the chance to assign Padme two bodyguards: Obi-Wan Kenobi (even more wan than usual), and unstable Tiger Beat coverboy Anakin Skywalker. We sense this is going to work out badly because Yoda is squinting at the Chancellor, and because Jimmy Smits is hovering in the background dressed like Sir Walter Raleigh.

When they get to Padme’s hotel suite, Anakin flashes his thong at the Senator, and he and Obi Wan immediately get into one of those tense, loudly muttered public arguments that makes all the other guests stare into their drinks and wonder why this has to happen every New Years Eve. (“I’ve never been so embarrassed. I don’t care if they are your friends, we’re not inviting the Jedis next year.”)

Oh, and besides the news that our hero is a sullen, creepy stalker, guess what? Jar-Jar is back. Which is like being told by your doctor, “We’re going to have to amputate your legs. But we thought we’d let the gangrene run its course for awhile just to see what happens. Bill and I have a bet.”

Padme’s relative acting talent misleads the audience into thinking she’s the smart one of the group. This illusion is quickly shattered when she is ordered home, and decides to appoint Jar-Jar as her successor. Yes, the giraffe-necked, fish-faced, crab-eyed scarecrow who sounds like Ziggy Marley sucking the helium from a mylar Happy Birthday balloon is now a Senator. Which is obviously bad news for us, although it does make Texas feel better about its selection of Ted Cruz.

They return to Padme’s home, Planet Pedophilia, where an even younger pre-pubescent girl has won the election for queen. Frankly, I still want to know what kind of a world has “elected queens.” I guess this means that Leia was only an “elected” princess, and the whole thing is basically as meaningful as prom royalty.

Meanwhile, Obi-Wan goes to a Fifties theme dinner, where he is greeted like the Fonz. He chats with the short-order cook, who has apparently escaped from an X-Box game, and heads off for a distant planet where a race of albino basketball players are cloning an army for the Republic, much to the Republic’s surprise.

Time out for a Harlequin Romance interlude, where Anakin again tries to seduce the Senator, claiming that a Jedi’s life is harsh, which is why he likes her, because she’s soft and moist. Or something like that. She finally gives in and kisses him, but Anakin can’t handle it and starts feeling cheap when Padme doesn’t call him the next day. He feels even worse when he hears that she later showed up in gym class and started passing his thong around with her friends.

At this point we get the full force of Lucas’s screenwriting prowess, and to call the dialogue purple is to damn it with understatement. It’s like a vivid, three-day old bruise: purple, sure, but already starting to turn that greenish yellow around the edges. Anakin looks deep into her eyes and says, “I’m haunted by the kiss you should never have given me,” in the same way he might inform a Home Depot salesclerk, “I’m having second thoughts about that Weed Eater you should never have sold me.”

And it doesn’t end there. “My heart is beating,” he informs her. “You are in my very soul.” Then he blurts something that sounds like “Hormel!” But given his mush-mouthed delivery, it’s possible he was recommending an entirely different brand of canned pork products.

Our own hearts begin beating when he says, “I will do anything you ask,” hoping she’ll ask him to shut up. Alas, there is only more pouting, and Anakin storms off to bed, where he has a nightmare about his mother being savaged by Sand People (paging Dr. Freud...). Afraid that his dreams are real, Anakin and Padme fly home to Tattoine, for one of those awkward meet-the-parents things.

They arrive at the subterranean Little House on the Wasteland where we first met (or will later meet?) Luke in Star Wars. Apparently, Pa Ingalls bought Anakin’s mom as a slave, but later married her, giving their story a sort of Marla Maples/Donald Trump quality. Threepio is still there, doing chores and chirping away in his twee accent, cementing his place as the Galaxy’s most effeminate farm implement. Yes, Lucas is still trying to insist that Anakin really did build C3PO, which begs the question why his mother the slave and her husband the poor dirt farmer didn’t dismantle the protocol droid and use it for tractor parts years ago.

Anakin has an uncomfortable meeting with his new stepfather and step-brother. Finding your place in these blended families is always challenging, especially for a sensitive adolescent, and the whole scene has the feeling of a Brady Bunch episode. (“It’s the story/Of a slave named Shmi...”) But a first season episode, when the tone was a trifle bittersweet, and the children still had some difficulty adapting—especially in that episode where Carol was sexually abused by Tuskan Raiders.

Meanwhile, Obi-Wan finds Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) meeting with the Viceroy of the Trade Federation in a secret matte painting. Seems Chris is behind the assassination attempts, and is building a new droid army so Lucas can repeat the climax of the last movie and try to get it right this time.
Oh, sorry for the shock. I just walked over the carpet in my socks.

Anakin tracks the Sand People who kidnapped his mother to their camp, where he finds Mom in bondage. She’s bleeding, badly injured, and for some reason has begun talking in the voice of “Mrs. Olsen,” from those old Folgers Coffee commercials. Shmi takes one look at her long lost son and promptly croaks. It’s sad (well, it’s supposed to be, anyway), but she was already in pain, so it seems cruel to subject her to the rest of the movie. Unfortunately, her death sends Anakin into a grand mal freakout of Holden Caulfield-style angst; he swings his light saber around wildly, decapitating Sand People right and left and yelling, “You guys are so phony!”

Later, Anakin brings Mom’s body back to the farm wrapped in some Sand Person’s drapes, then goes to throw a tantrum in the garage. He screams that he slaughtered them all, men women and children, then crumples to the floor and sobs. Padme’s response is to bring him snacks.

The Saving Private Shmi thing didn’t work out too well, so Ani and Padme decide to pick up the spare and go save Obi-Wan. They blunder into the droid factory, where they get caught in a gigantic assembly line, in a scene that powerfully evokes of the climax of Chicken Run. Eventually, they are captured, chained to stone pillars in a massive coliseum, and set upon by wild computer generated beasts, etc., etc. But first, we have another Harlequin Romance for Teens scene between Ani and Padme. She whispers, “I you,” in a way that sounds chillingly like a song cue. You half expect her to break into the 1974 Olivia Newton John smash, “I Love You, I Honestly Love You.” Hey, when are those Clones going to Attack? I don’t mean to be petty, but even the title of Waiting for Godot is technically correct. Come on!

Instead, the Jedi attack; and do a fairly piss-poor job of it. Still, we get to see the different Jedi head hoses. Most of the Knights appear to be standard humanoids, but they do have an astonishing variety of crap dangling off their skulls. Alas, this isn’t enough to help them overcome the New and Improved Droid Army, and they’re about to be wiped out, when...THE CLONES ATTACK!

It doesn’t really help much. But it does inspire Count Dooku to flee with the plans for the Death Star. And it also leads to the single funniest shot in the film: Christopher Lee flying through the air on a speeder. Considering that he’s over 80, it looks like Count Dooku is doing a commercial for one of those battery-operated scooters that elderly folk routinely use to spread terror in the grocery store (“I’m a little rascal in my Little Rascal.”)
I expected to see a couple of bumper stickers on the back of his speeder: “Try Electric Mobility!” and “Ask Me About My Grandchildren.” 

Our heroes try to stop him, but Dooku opens a can of mystical whoop-ass on Obi-Wan, and cuts off Anakin’s arm. Fortunately, Yoda arrives, but the resulting light saber duel between the 6'5"-tall Lee, and the two-foot-tall muppet looks less like a titanic battle between good and evil, and more like a slightly panicky Yao Ming trying to club a rabid groundhog. 
I'm gonna carve you a sarlaac where your arsehole used to be.

Dooku (whose Hip-Hop name is Darth Tyrannus) manages to escape with the blueprints for the Death Star, which destiny foretells us will be constructed in the next movie by Darth Halliburton after he receives a no-bid contract.

So, it looks like our heroes screwed the computer-generated pooch. And just to add deceit to incompetence, Anakin and Padme break Jedi law by marrying in secret. Their doomed love is foreshadowed by the final image of Anakin holding Padme’s hand with the cold, fleshless, skeletal fingers of his new prosthesis. Although really, what’s the point of that? Granted, the skinless robot hand is lower in fat and calories, but it looks kind of grisly.

The End.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Devil Girl From Mars

By Hank Parmer

No one would have believed in the middle years of the twentieth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's -- and yet as randy as his own. Across the gulf of space, intellects vast and unsympathetic and hot-to-trot regarded humans with lustful eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.

Of course, since aliens (at least, those of the non-chest-busting variety) are always stuck-up brainiacs, they have to pretend it has nothing to do with primitive emotions like horniness: It's all just a matter of needing new breeding stock. But we all know what they're really after.

A few brave filmmakers tried to warn us of this impending peril. Interestingly, the majority of these pictures from the 50s and 60s involve the attempted kidnapping of Earth females by aliens putatively of the male gender. (See: The Mysterians, Mars Needs Women, Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster)

It's also a curious fact that the theme of fictional abductions for anal probing first appears during the Reagan era. Draw what conclusions you will from that. But it was up to those uber-butch Brits of the fifties to commit to celluloid what is beyond doubt the most terrifying vision of them all: the Devil Girl -- from Mars!

This grim forecast of things to come -- a Spartan Production, so you know it's got to be manly, or cheap, or maybe both -- opens with stock footage of a DC3 cruising above the clouds. Cue eerie music, and the airplane blows up! (Some aliens have to make such an entrance.)

Credits roll, above the empty cloudscape: Produced by The Danzigers -- I guess it took an entire Baltic seaport to make this crappy movie.

Establishing shot of a lonely inn -- the "Bonnie Charlie" -- on a stormy night in the Scottish highlands. Inside, eight-year-old Tommy, his aunt, Mrs. Jamison, and Doris (Adrienne Corri ... rowr) are listening to the BBC. The radio reports that a meteor fell in the vicinity, and famous professor Arnold Hennessey is heading there to investigate.

Cut to a car stopped on a dark and deserted highland road, where newspaperman Mike Carter rags on the famous professor for being able to chart the most distant stars, yet he can't read a map of Scotland. They realize they haven't the faintest idea where they are. The BBC's Convenient Plot Point service clues them into the news that convicted murderer Robert Justin is on the loose.

Cut to Robert, who hides behind a boulder as Mike's car passes him by. The fugitive sees the inn in the distance, and strikes off toward it. Next there's a short scene in the inn's kitchen, where we're introduced to the innkeeper, Mr. Jamison, who according to his missus is overly fond of the "Scottish national beverage". (I think that's a Haggis Shooter.) Doris exits to straighten up the bar; she hears someone knocking softly at the door.

It's Robert, of course. Turns out Doris is in love with the guy, who's in the slammer for having killed his cheating wife -- by accident, he claims. Doris took a job at the inn just to be close to him. He begs for a little food, and shelter for the night. She hesitates, but when Mrs. Jamison enters from the kitchen, she goes all in and tells her boss the stranger is a hiker who's gone astray on the moors. He introduces himself as "Albert Simpson", and asks for a room. Doris tells another obvious lie about Albert having just told her he'd lost his wallet in a stream; he offers to work for his food and board. Mrs. Jamison -- who's a gruff but kindly soul -- agrees, but warns him before she exits that she'll count the spoons.

Doris tries to make some awkward conversation with Robert/Albert. He tells her he couldn't stand being locked up anymore and had to break out to be with her. Doris asks how he liked prison, did he read a lot -- he did like reading so. Just when it looks as though he's about to commit a second murder, David, a short, balding, bespectacled man with a gimpy leg and a crippled arm, appears, carrying an armload of firewood.

Barely sotto voce, Doris confides the guy really creeps her out. David shuffles out of the room. Some people can be so cruel.

She then enumerates the rest of the inn's inhabitants, which includes a single guest, the mysterious  Ellen Prestwick, who doesn't seem at all the type who would be staying at an isolated inn like this in the middle of the winter.

Cut to Ellen (Hazel Court -- I repeat: rowr) seated in front of her mirror, gazing pensively at her reflection. After a moment, she heads downstairs, and runs into Mr. Jamison. He compliments her on her beautifully tailored outfit, so she does a playful imitation of a fashion-show spiel for him. Okay.

They part company, laughing. Ellen enters the bar, where she meets "Albert". She thinks the fugitive reminds her of someone. He hastily finds something to do in the kitchen.

Mike and the Professor arrive at the “Bonnie Charlie”. Mrs. Jamison takes pity on the pair and agrees to give them a room for the night. In the bar, Mike clumsily flirts with Ellen. Judging by her outfit, he believes she's that mid-20th-Century epitome of feminine grace and charm, a stewardess. Professor Hennessey introduces himself.

Standing by the window, Ellen thinks she sees a flash up in the sky.

Mrs. Jamison brings in a tureen brim-full of steaming "Scottish broth" -- made from real Scotsmen, no doubt -- and everyone sits down to their tucker. Mrs. Jamison calls for Albert to bring the bread in. Uh-oh: Mike immediately recognizes the fugitive. He's on the verge of revealing Albert's true identity when he's interrupted by a sudden, blinding flash of light outside, accompanied by an ear-splitting hum. Upstairs, in an obvious homage to the previous year's Invaders from Mars, Tommy wakes up and rushes to the bedroom window.

The adults run outside, and are astonished to see a flying saucer -- with a couple of extremely 1950s fins stuck on the back. It's coming in for a landing.

Mike, Mr. Jamison and Hennessey decide they'll investigate; naturally, the womenfolk are told to stay back. The saucer hovers, while there's a lingering shot of it extruding landing legs that look an awful lot like dildos specially designed for backpackers, on somewhat the same principle as those collapsible cups.

Once they're fully engorged -- I mean, deployed -- the saucer sets down. It's glowing white-hot, and is obviously aroused, so the men don't dare approach it. They regroup at the bar.

Friday, June 5, 2015

If Only That Mustache Would Secede From Your Lip

Looks like WorldNetDaily editor and bacon-strip-on-a-lip model Joseph Farah has discovered the plot by treason entrepreneur Douglas MacKinnon to take the few remaining manly states, stuff them in his marbles bag, and go home.
I haven’t yet heard anyone ask this question.
"Assuming you had enough raw materials, could you make a leather jacket out of human foreskins? I'm asking for a friend."
So let me put it out there on the table for discussion. 
Will a U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring “same-sex marriage” a “right” warrant secession by some state willing and eager to reclaim America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and foundation?
And if no one state is anti-gay enough, perhaps various bigot-majority jurisdictions could unite to form a new state, dedicated to the proposition that Adam and Steve shall not be permitted to buy a tiered cake and rent cummerbunds from Tuxedo Junction. We can call it OklaNoHomo.
You know it’s inevitable, right?
As inevitable as death, taxes, and your weekly application of Just For Men mustache dye (pro-tip: maybe you don't really need two coats...).
The fix is in. Two members of the Supreme Court have personally officiated at same-sex “marriages.” I count three solid votes against it. The chances of reaching five are somewhere between slim and none.
That's rather hard-boiled language for a civil rights case. I can't tell whether the Supreme Court is deciding if marriage equality is a constitutional imperative, or trying to figure out which crooked racetrack tout is doping the ponies at Aqueduct.
I’ve heard some chatter about civil disobedience. That’s all well and good. But I don’t see much in the way of serious organization taking place.
I'm not sure how civil disobedience would even work in this case, Joe. I mean, during Jim Crow, Black people could defy an unjust law by refusing to move to the back of the bus, or by staging a sit-in at the Woolworth lunch counter, but you guys weren't going to get gay married anyway, so what's left to boycott? You're going to have to walk around with an explanatory sandwich board that reads, "I Was Actually Never Going to Get Gay Married, But Now I'm Not Doing It As a Matter of Principle."
What I do see is a lot of grass-roots concern. I know there are millions of Christians, Jews and others who would pull up stakes and move to another country that honored the institution of marriage as it was designed by God – a union between one man and one woman.
Well, the Jews missed out on the Oklahoma Land Rush, so I'm sure they'll appreciate the do-over.  By the way, has anyone ever reported the design flaws in heterosexual marriage to God? I realize that's like telling Jonny Ive you don't like the new iPhone, but I really think a lot of these problems could have been addressed in the design and testing phase if He'd just had a larger sample size than Adam and Eve.  Anyway, can somebody get on that? I'd submit a ticket to the Help Desk myself, but I added some after-market modifications to my marriage that I'm told voided the warranty.
As Jesus said it: “For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh.”
Then shall he get laid off and develop a porn addiction, and so she shall have a fling with her hot yoga instructor, and they twain shall be two flesh once more, and thus shall a man move back home and cleave to his father and mother again, and boy don't they love that.
Is there one state in 50 that would not only defy the coming abomination, but secede in response? The rewards could be great. I would certainly consider relocating. How about you?
No, but I'll help you pack.
The founders of this country found a place of refuge in America and shaped it into the greatest self-governing nation in the history of world. Just think what one state could do if it simply stuck to the principles that made this country great? Americans wouldn’t have to cross an ocean to rediscover what brought most of our ancestors here. We could simply drive.
That might prove tough if the one state willing to secede over marriage equality was Hawaii (you might want to over-inflate your tires, just to be safe). Alaska seems more likely, but that's still a harsh and rugged drive. On the bright side, you could probably get a reality show out of it: "Ice Road Bigots! Tuesdays on Discovery."
Are any states so inclined?
Yeah, c'mon guys, who wants to be the test market for the Confederate equivalent of New Coke? I'll sure it'll work out great.
I haven’t heard this question raised by anyone else. So I’m raising it. 
Really, Joe? Rick Perry has raised it. I know you're a bit of a glory hog, but you can't take credit for every stupid idea in the world. It's just not realistic.
We don’t have much time before the nine high priests in black robes decide to follow Baal instead of the One True God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
If anything would put me off devil-worship, it's the idea of sex magick rituals involving a nude Antonin Scalia.
We need a Promised Land. We need an Exodus strategy.
You absolutely do. But remember, between the Exodus and the Promised Land comes forty years in the desert. So! Who's got the Sea & Ski and the camping toilet...?
If not a state, are there any nations in the world interested in a pilgrimage by millions of Americans?
I suspect most nations of the world have learned from the Native Americans' prior experience with pilgrims.  "No Vacancy, guys! Sorry!"
It’s time to start asking the question.
"Is it possible to make foreskin suede? I'm asking for another friend..."
Maybe you ask: “Farah, why is this such a big deal for you? Will it really make a difference in the way you live?”
"Or are you just still bitter about the break-up of your marriage to Lee Majors?"
There’s almost nothing bigger than this that I can think of – though the Supreme Court’s ruling that abortion on demand was a “right” was certainly a contender. That one was something of a surprise. It caught the population off guard. They weren’t expecting it or thinking about it much beforehand. It took years for it to sink in – and we’ve paid a horrific price as a people for it for 42 years.
It's decimated America's once proud septicemia industry.
So here’s the question: Do you want to live in a nation that defines marriage as a union of any two people of any gender? 
Well, I wouldn't say any two people -- that sounds a little random -- I'd prefer two specific people, who know each other and what they're getting into. Otherwise it gives marriage kind of a Shirley Jackson feel.
Do you think that will be the end of the story?
It is in fairy tales. (Okay, except maybe for Into the Woods...)
 If it’s discrimination to maintain marriage as an institution limited to one man and one woman, why isn’t it discrimination to maintain the institution to only two people? Isn’t there even a bigger demand for polygamy than same-sex marriage? On what basis can the case be made for one and not the other? You know this is not the endgame.
Wingnuts seem convinced we're all panting to get gay marriage out of the way so we can move on to our true goal: polygamy. Maybe this is true, I haven't taken a poll or anything, but it's really not on my bucket list. For one thing, our bed is kind of cramped as it is, especially if Moondoggie sneaks in between the two of us, so any sister wives or brother husbands would require us to start sleeping in shifts, and then I'd have to learn Excel or Microsoft Project just to keep things organized.  And for another, I can barely maintain possession of the remote control as it is.  If it was two or three against one, I could just forget about watching Cinemax After Dark ever again! Goodbye, Naked in Space! Farewell, Atomic Hotel Erotica! Yeah, it's been fun, but it's a lifetime of Lifetime for me now!  GAH!

I'm sorry...what was the question?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Happy Birthday Suezboo! I Hired Cashill the Clown!

Today is the natal anniversary of Suezboo (pronounced Suzy Boo), South African Ambassador to the Court of Crap, and easily the nicest person we know south of the 30th Parallel.  Suez's been livening things up around here for many years, with comments full of good natured charm, wry humor, and interesting factoids about the people clinging to the bottom of the globe. For instance, did you know that South Africa is the Cradle of Humanity, site of some of the oldest hominin fossils on earth, but they didn't get television until the mid-70s, presumably when some Australopithecus africanus touched a monolith, then tossed a bone into the air and it turned into the spaceship from It's About Time?

Anyway, it falls to me to hire the birthday clown, and personally I think there's nothing funnier than a wingnut trying and failing to be funny. So this year's Harlequin is Jack Cashill, scourge of Barack Obama, and author of various books and conspiracy theories (e.g., Bill Ayers actually wrote everything with Obama's name on it -- his autobiographies, law review articles, midterm papers, and a note excusing him from gym class). Cashill was once a semi-respectable journalist, but was eventually laughed out of the profession, and came to the mistaken conclusion that they were laughing with him, not at him, so now we have to suffer through his stand-up act.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Dayton Funny Bone is proud to present the comic stylings of Jack Cashill!

(Scattered applause. Desultory glass clinking. A voice shouts from the foyer, "Will the owner of a white Toyota Camry please move your car? You're parked in the loading zone...")

A pensive squint that seems to say, " there any way I could be more of a smarmy douchebag...?
Exclusive: Jack Cashill has current twist on famed Jeff Foxworthy routine
The twist is that he performs it in blackface, like a minstrel show.
With all due to respect to America’s best comedian, Jeff Foxworthy:
Larry the Cable Guy, suffused with Iago-like jealousy, lies in ambush for Jeff in a dark alley in Branson...

But let's not let things get ugly this early in Jack's set. I think we can all agree that Jeff Foxworthy is probably Little America's best comedian, although I can't prove that since it was last seen drifting away on an iceberg.
If you went to the local adoption agency and asked for a gay baby, you just might be a liberal.
Is it too late to book Andrew Dice Clay...?
If you have ever walked around campus with a mattress on your back, you just might be a liberal.
Or you might be a rape victim demanding justice. For more of Jack's cutting edge observational humor, catch him in Russell Simmons' Tone Def Comedy Jam.
If you dumped a glass of water on your brother-in-law when he referred to Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas,” you just might be a liberal.
Or you might just be a klutz. If you dump a slushie on him, you just might be one of the mean kids from Glee; however, if it's champagne, there's a good chance you're Anne Bancroft in The Turning Point.
If you identify as a lesbian but actually like men, you just might be a liberal.
But if you're a lesbian who hates men, you're a conservative! Wait... I don't get this one. What if I'm a straight man, but I like women, does that make me a liberal? What if I also like men -- not sexually, just, you know, in a Will Rogers kind of way --- that would make me, what? A Rockefeller Republican?  A Scoop Jackson Democrat? A Jimmy Buffett Parrothead?
If you gave a standing O to “Book of Mormon” on Broadway, but denounced the video trailer for “Innocence of Muslims” as “disgusting and reprehensible,” you just might be a liberal, or, in fact, Hillary Clinton.
Or you might be able to tell the difference between a Broadway musical comedy and racist propaganda. ("You know, I enjoyed The Pajama Game all right, but I didn't walk out humming the way I did with The Eternal Jew...")
If you’ve desperately combed through your address file looking for a black person to invite to your daughter’s wedding, you are almost surely a liberal.
Not that Jack would know, since apparently he's never seen a liberal outside an episode of Soap.
If your idea of a classic car is a 1997 Prius, you just might be a liberal.
I don't think my knee can take much more of this slapping.
If the name “Frank Marshall Davis” doesn’t ring a bell, you just might be a liberal.
Or you might be moderate who isn't as conversant with pre-War poetry as you ought to be. Or you might be a conservative who somehow, inexplicably, hasn't read Jack's theories about how Obama's real father was "Frank Marshall Davis", and his mother only pretended to have been impregnated by the man she married in order to make it easier for wingnuts to prove her son was an illegal alien. Q.E.D.
If you’ve ever actually said the word “meme” out loud, you just might be a liberal.
Or someone showed you the Internet once.
If you work for Planned Parenthood and have a “Black Lives Matter” bumper sticker on your car, you are definitely a liberal.
Embryos must not be tampered with! But once a dude hits his 30th trimester, he's fair game.
If you scrunch up your face and wave your hand in front of your nose when you pass a smoker, you just might be a liberal.
Or you just might have allergies. Or asthma. Or a rudimentary sense of smell...
If you don’t even know anyone with more than two children, you just might be a liberal.
And damn lucky. However, if you do know someone with more than two kids, you might want to count them. If it turns out they're the Duggars, you probably want to lock up your kids...
If, on those rare occasions you think about God, you think of Him as her, you just might be a liberal.
Jack, a message came in from God while you were out. He said other people manage to pray to Him without obsessing about whether He has a penis or not, and he'd like you to stop now, because it's getting creepy.
If you have ever attended a candlelight vigil to protest something that proved to be a hoax, you just might be a liberal.
Jack's right. We had a long talk about this in the Wal-Mart parking lot, where a big group of us were jumping up and down, trying to collapse the Jade Helm 15 tunnels.
If you have used the word “undocumented” as something other than a punch line for a joke, you just might be a liberal.
And maybe you shouldn't even use it in a joke, because as punchlines go, it's no "that's what she said."
If the only kind of gun you allow in your house is for caulking, you just might be a liberal.
But don't panic. You might just be Bob Vila.
If you don’t flinch at least just a little bit when a man introduces another man as his “husband,” you just might be a liberal.
Or maybe you're just not as easily startled as Jack. You should seem him when a car backfires! Takes off like a scalded cat...
If you’ve ever watched a war movie and rooted for the other guys, you just might be a liberal.
Or a conservative Clint Eastwood fan banging his head in confusion after a screening of Letters From Iwo Jima.
If you send your kid to an urban public high school that calls itself an “academy,” you just might be a liberal. 
If you send your kid to an urban public high school that doesn’t call itself an “academy,” you surely are a liberal.
Okayyyy...I don't get it. Anyone know what he's talking about?
If you laugh at people who protest embryonic stem-cell research but refuse to eat GMOs, you just might be a liberal.
However, if you eat both GMOs and embryonic stem-cells, then you're probably a character in Ridley Scott's sci-fi adaptation of A Modest Proposal.

Well, Jack's getting a light, but he refuses to yield the stage ("If you’ve already scolded your neighbor for calling Bruce Jenner “Bruce Jenner”...If you have Michael Brown’s birthday marked off in your date book...") for his peeves are legion, stretching from the existence of compost piles, to the movie Selma, to people who "insist on pronouncing Nicaragua correctly", so let's just wrap it up here, shall we? I don't know about you, but after too much Cashill and not enough booze, I can really use a...Sexy Birthday Lizard!
A Cape Flat Lizard seems appropriate to the occasion.

Please join me in wishing Suzeboo the happiest of birthdays. And if you didn't find any of Jack's jokes funny, you just might not be an asshole.

UPDATE: Suez rightly points out that I neglected to add the traditional Golden Age Hollywood beef-(or cheese-) cake, so allow me to make amends by offering this photo of Silent Era Mexican heartthrob Ramon Navarro in Ben Hur (1926).