Sunday, March 23, 2008

Barack Obama's Pastor

Okay, let's put this issue to bed:

Barack Obama has a Pastor (actually, now former Pastor) who is a bit of a nut. But really, aren't they all? Let's bear in mind that the Republicans, who are the ones making the big stink about this, are the ones who have given Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell a free pass in the White House as advisors, both of whom are TEN TIMES AS CRAZY as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright! So why is this even an issue?

Last time I checked, the Rev. Wright was not the candidate!

Okay, let's draw another comparison with someone conservatives love: Jesus Christ. He hung out with twelve complete scumbags, none of whom ever lifted a finger to help him when he was arrested. There was Peter, a cursing fishmonger, James and John who were two complete narcissists, and let's not forget Judas, the member of his inner circle who later stabbed him in the back by betraying him. Some man following Jesus was wearing only a sheet at the time he was arrested, and ran off naked when the soldiers tried to arrest him. What was Jesus' relationship to this man? And, to top it off, Jesus was often found in the company of one Mary Magdalene, a known prostitute! Eliot Spitzer would be proud! Clearly, Jesus did not pick his friends well, and that speaks poorly of his character.

Yet is there even one conservative republican who wouldn't make Jesus his commander-in-chief? Isn't that the LEAST of the honors they would bestow upon him? Why then, are people holding Barack Obama, a mere mortal, to a higher standard of conduct than Jesus fucking Christ?!?!?!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Betty Bowers Rocks!

Well, friends, here's from Milwaukee, WI, which happens to be ground zero of the battle for the Democratic Party's nominee. It's Monday, February 18th, and everyone votes tomorrow. And wouldn't you know it, Betty Bowers, "the world's greatest Christian" has written an op-ed about this race that just left me in stitches! So, of course, I must share. Check it out!

Dear Readers:
As Jesus and I were discussing yesterday over a lovely bottle of Petite Sirah, neither Demon-cratic candidate looks likely to get enough delegates to clinch the nomination before the DNC Convention. This means that the road to Denver is going to be loaded with tricks, gambits and cases of TNT that will likely explode in the detonator’s face. A lagging Hillary, playing a cagey Wiley Coyote to Obama’s serene Roadrunner, just named the latest anvil she intends to drop. She is going to lobby (which is how polite people spell “sue”) to allow the Michigan and Florida delegates to vote. Michigan and Floidia (a state that has been, frankly, nothing but trouble since they drained the swamps and put up gold-flocked wallpaper and tur quoise nautical-themed colonnades) were penalized for violating the rules of the DNC (and, in Florida’s case, also the rules of good taste). The DNC, acting like the world's most frosty, Germanic hostess, has refused to seat them for arriving too early. So nobody thought their vote mattered, which was rather nostalgic to anyone in America who voted in 2000. Indeed, in a lovely touch Dick Cheney could only dream of (and, believe me, he does), Hillary was the only name on the ballot. How wonderfully Stalinist! And no wonder she wants those delegates to count.
The problem the DNC has is that it has dawdled too long in deciding what to do about naughty, eager Michigan and Florida. If the DNC was going to seat delegates from Michigan and Florida, the procedure for doing so needed to be agreed upon before it was known which candidate would be helped the most. If the DNC does anything now, it will just look like what it will, no doubt, be: dirty politics aimed at derailing a legitimate nominee. And it will leave an unsightly stain on the legitimacy of the ultimate nominee. Hillary, no stranger to unsightly stains, won’t be bothered by that, but other Democrats should be. Maybe in lieu of a vote the Michigan delegates can be given a lovely corsage to wear at the convention. And the Florida delegates can get more flattering lighting for television — and tips from patient stylists on how not to look quite so noticeably Floridian. That should make everyone — except Hillary — happy, no?
But Hillary’s 2008 approach to counting the delegates may wind up being very much like George W. Bush’s 2000 approach to counting the votes: Don’t. Unless, of course, they are of the unelected “superdelegate” variety. You just know that Hillary is already thinking of them as 796 little Supreme Court justices. Honestly, you should see the way Hillary has started looking at them! I haven’t seen such covetousness since Laura “Pickles” Bush gave me a tour of her walk-in medicine cabinet!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Superbowl Commercials

Okay, it's been Superbowl time again, and the upset has occurred. No, not the upset of the Giants over the Patriots. (Though, technically, that's a three-time upset, with the Giants being underdog victors over the Cowboys and Packers as well. Sheesh!) No, I'm talking about the real upset -- the loss of the entertainment value from the commercials shown during the Superbowl. There wasn't even a wardrobe malfunction to rescue us, this time.
Most people think of the Superbowl in terms of having the best commercials to be seen all year. I think of it somewhat differently: It's the one time of year when television advertising producers actually do their job. For 364 days out of the year, they show repititious, boring, sado-masochistic crap which is about as likely to make us buy their product as a thrown rock. Then, for one glorious day, they actually show something good. Consider it a preview of the commercials which will get re-shown roughly 1 billion times during the course of the baseball season. But now, it seems, we can't even count on that. Shall we endure yet another generation of fools producing ads which not only don't work but which deepen our jade while boring us into desperate channel-surfing?
Not on my watch!
I've decided to write these silly ad-spinners a letter. For your entertainment (seeing as how you didn't get any during the Superbowl), here it is:

Dear Mr. Advertiser,
I’m fully aware that you are an intelligent, college educated individual who knows what he’s doing, and endeavors to do his job well. I know that you spend hours each day going over data spreadsheets and professional periodicals telling you what the public needs so that you can try and inform us that your product, whatever it may be, fills that need for us. You’d like to think that your message, which you’ve worked so hard on, couldn’t possibly sound stupid. But it usually does.
Oh yes, I know, your internal polling numbers tell you exactly the opposite. But there’s a problem there. Your average, everyday, Joe-or-Jane-Consumer, is far too busy with his or her vastly more important daily matters to really care much about answering your poll questions when you call. Most of them have gotten cell phones to make sure they don’t have to deal with you calling anyway. They usually walk right past your pollsters when they stand inside shopping malls with pens and clipboards. They don’t bother filling out those little cards which came with their newly-purchased product saying, “We’d like to hear from you! Tell us what you think.” Those people that do, well, let’s be honest, tend to be people far too easily led about by the nose, and so end up giving you a perspective far too representative of the most affably gullible members of our nation's population. You really don’t want that sort of data.
So what’s a good marketing professional to do? Your job demands that you get consumer data, but you really can’t get it at all. Well, not good data, anyway. So, left with no other alternative, you buy into the bad data that you’ve already been using.
Well, Mr. Advertiser, I’ve decided to come to your rescue. I’m an average dude who doesn’t give a rip about questionnaires or feedback cards. My friends and I continually complain about the same, recurring faults in the advertisements we see, and so I can give you a small but representative sample of what the more skeptical side of America thinks of your work. It’s finally time you heard from those who don’t answer questionnaires, and I really think that our nation will be better off for it.
So here are my bullet-points for you:

1.) We don’t trust you. And we never will. The moment you come on the air, interrupting our beloved television program with your polished delivery, we know you’re selling something, and all our defenses go up. So don’t bother with the testimonials and depictions of people who are deliriously happy with your product. We know they’re either hired actors or carefully pre-screened individuals. We’re not fooled by ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots, and celebrities are nothing more than famous pretty people whose opinion doesn’t count. Telling us to compare with the competition and see for ourselves may be cliché, but it’s your only choice, and better than the alternative!
2.) Entertain us! You’re not just competing with a bathroom break or a trip to the refrigerator for another beer anymore. There are no longer merely three premium channels and one UHF channel to hold our attention. Now, there are over 900 channels, and the internet, to persuade us to flip to some other station the second your commercial becomes even slightly less appealing. There’s also Tivo and similar technologies which allow us to cut your petty little message right out of the equation! How does one compete with that? By making the commercials fun enough to make people want to see them! Make it new, make it interesting. Make it different. Stop thinking like an ad executive and start thinking like an entertainment executive.
3.) Enough with the repetition! In one commercial, you’ll use the same phrase three or four times. Then, we hear the same phrase, in the same commercial, over and over. Sure, it makes us remember your product, but it’s damned annoying! So we gladly buy the generic alternative, hoping you’ll get the idea. But still, you repeat the same stuff. Knock it off! And while we’re on this point, do we have to see the same commercial over and over? You might find this surprising, but a series of low-quality, shoestring-budget commercials which are different every time will hold our attention far better than one expensively produced commercial shown fifty times. In this age of digital photography, there’s no reason a commercial can’t be different each time it’s on. And there’s really no excuse for repeated commercials on the radio! So try it! Watch the consumers flock to your product in appreciation!
4.) Finally, treat us like adults. This goes without saying, but you keep trying this tactic anyway. Teddy-bears don’t sell fabric softener. Cartoon characters don’t sell brand-name cereal. Guys in fruit-costumes don’t sell underwear. Cowboys don’t sell cigarettes. And babes in bikinis (while greatly appreciated, thank you) don’t sell beer. Or anything else, for that matter. Hot bodies fall under the entertainment category mentioned earlier. Use them (by all means!) but don’t try telling us that we’ll have bodies like that, or be surrounded by bodies like that, by drinking all those pilsner calories.

We know better. Really! And we’ll appreciate you with our wallets, if only you’ll let us.

Your Jaded Public

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Touchdown Jesus, Part II

Okay, here's a follow-up:
The flap over Dana Jacobsen dropping f-bombs at the Mike and Mike ESPN celebrity roast continues, with conservatives still calling it an outrage. But, unfortunately, ESPN has refused to release the tape of the event. With the snippet I found which is floating around the Internet, I believe I know why, and it has nothing to do with protecting Dana. It has to do with protecting everyone else. So I thought I'd issue some corrections to my last posting.
First, did you know that the stage was set up like an open-forum? Furnishings were everywhere, and at least one (possibly two) open bars were right there along with the 20 or so people who were on stage. On top of the open bar, there were two very obvious bottles of Grey Goose Vodka (one of which would probably soon end up in the wrong hands), and sitting next to them was a man who looked very much like Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren. (It probably was!) Mike Ditka was not quite so far back as I'd previously said. I've since noticed that he was more like 5 feet from Jeffrey Ross when he made his remarks insulting his manhood. (More balls to Mr. Ross for the insult!) And following that, Jeff turned to a man in or near the front row who was shouting some sort of insult or comment at him, at which point Jeff said to the man, "Who the fuck are YOU?!" (Good way of pointing out how the comments were coming from the non-celebrity set.) He went on to say, "What's that sir? I don't speak homeless! What the fuck?!"
Jeff Ross was sober at the time.
Okay, back to my original point: Everyone said fuck. Everyone said Jesus Christ, or took some variant of Jehovah's name in vain. The only thing Dana Jacobsen did was utter the two words in close proximity to each other. So ESPN might be making the right move by not releasing the tape. They'd have to suspend their entire staff! On the other hand, Dana did little to deserve being the scapegoat. Let's not suspend her. Let's suspend all the Christian hacks who made this adult party into a Sunday-School issue. And let's suspend all the conservative talk radio hosts who were so gullible as to be suckered in by it.
Oh, and by the way, Touchdown Jesus is actually a mural. Not a statue as I'd previously said.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Flap over "F**k Jesus!" comment by ESPN reporter.

Well, I just received a mass e-mail from Don Wildmon, chairman of the American Family Association (formerly known as the American Federation for Decency). Or, rather, I received an e-mail from whatever lackey he's got working for him (since I'd be shocked if that old fart actually knew how to use e-mail).
What's got his rancor up this time? Is it more selling of vibrators at Target? Or getting all bent out of shape over someone saying "Happy Holidays" as opposed to "Merry Christmas" at Wal-Mart? No, this time, he says, it's more serious. A female reporter at ESPN named Dana Jacobsen, was speaking at a celebrity roast in Atlanta when she said the following words: "Fuck Notre Dame! Fuck Touchdown Jesus! And fuck Jesus!"
For those who don't know, "Touchdown Jesus" is in reference to a statue of Jesus on the Notre Dame campus, which has its arms outstretched way up in the air, almost as if the Son of Man were saying, "Touchdown!"
The Catholic League has called for Jacobsen to be "disciplined." Other Christian groups are jumping on this bandwagon as well. Now, Jacobsen has been disciplined all right, with a one-week suspension. But that's not enough for many Christians, it seems. Don Wildmon has now sicked his organization upon this woman, frustrated that this sort of thing would get a mere slap on the wrist. After all, as some pundits have already pointed out, isn't this the same ESPN which booted Rush Limbaugh from its airwaves for insinuating that Donovan McNabb was held to a different standard because of his skin color? Wasn't Don Imus fired for calling the women's Rutgers basketball team a bunch of "nappy headed hoes?" Why then does this woman not get the same treatment? Why, it's an outrage, I'm telling you!
Now, let's all take a deep breath, here. No, she was not fired. But unlike Limbaugh or Imus, these comments were not uttered live on the airwaves. They were uttered at a Mike and Mike celebrity roast (whatever that means) - OFF the air. Only YouTube has allowed snippets of this celebrity roast to be seen, and the magic moment with Ms. Jacobsen is, alas, not among them. She was purportedly drunk, but then, so was nearly everyone else there at the time. Language was free & easy that night, and comedian Jeffrey Ross, who was Emcee'ing the event, opened up the festivities with cracks about how bad the furnishings were. "It's like a clearance sale at Pier 1 Imports! Lamer than Mike Ditka's cock!" Mike Ditka happened to be standing about 15 yards behind him at the time. Eventually, he turned around and said, "Mike! You look good for 85!" Then, continued by adding, "This event was on his bucket list!"
So you can imagine just how much shit was being said at an event like this. This was no prayer-meeting! It was a no-holes-barred adults-only venue. Yes, Dana was booed and finally taken off stage when she uttered her f-bombs, but comedian Eddie Geffen immediately sprang to her defense. And why not? They were all equally as guilty as she was!
So what in the world is the Catholic League and the American Family Association doing trying to but their rather bulbous noses into this for? With all the profanity, sexual innuendo and drunkenness going on at this event, why single out this poor woman who is probably mainly on ESPN's staff for her looks rather than her views anyway? The answer, I fear, is simple. Not content to try to censor broadcasters on the air, they now wish to censor them off the air as well. Their message is simple: Behave the way we want you to behave. Yes, all the time. No, really, all the time. We're not kidding! We're watching you every second.
Sorry to bust your bubble, Mr. Wildmon, but your desire to be Big Brother for Jesus doesn't wash with me. It should be people like you, not Dana Jacobsen, who should be taken off the air for a week. (And I mean an actual week. That's seven of your on air Sunday sermons over seven Sundays!) Only liberals like me stand in the way of your having us all fitted with chastity belts and installing a pre-set V-chip inside every television. America is a freedom thing, which means that people have the right to say whatever they want in adult company. So that having been said, Mr. Wildmon, as much as I hate your words, I defend your right to say them. Just as I defend my own right to say this:
Fuck Touchdown Jesus!


Welcome, everyone, to the Sacred Cow Wursthaus, where we not only kick over sacred cows, we make German-style sausages out of them. If by that name, you expect this blog to issue irreverent views, blasphemous counter-dogma and scathing criticism of right-wing leaders, you'd be absolutely right! My name's Eric, and I'll be posting all sorts of stuff too far removed from my other blog, which covers pro-evolution & anti-creationist topics. Here, you'll find news & opinions that will blow your mind, guaranteed. I know there are a lot of blogs out there, and that it's easy to lose track in this information-overloaded Internet age. I'll not go on-and-on trying to wax too eloquent about stuff you might only have a couple spare minutes to read about. But I promise you one thing: Here's at least one spot where you'll find some of the best brain-food for your precious time. So enjoy!