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Agenda Bender
 
Saturday, November 06, 2004  

The Calculus Of Showbizical Consent


The best piece of post-election advice to the Democrats came from Artie Lange of the Howard Stern Show. He said that the Democrats need to drastically limit their public ties to Hollywood. He gave the example of seeing Ashton Kutcher on stage with Kerry at an event yelling, "We've been PUNKED for the last four years!", thus combining product placement with his spotlit political passions. Lange said that the sight of Kutcher glomming onto Kerry's fleeting buzz (and vice versa) almost made him vote for Bush. I was glad I hadn't seen it (or heard of it) before the election, since I know it would have tipped me over for GWB. I love voting against Hollywood more than anything, and was sorely tempted to do it again this year, but I averted my eyes from all stories of show biz politics for the duration, so I'd have the strength to resist. My strength would have failed, though, under the strain of the Kutcher torture test.

It's a safe bet that Kerry got not one extra vote from Ashton's endorsement. It's a fifty/fifty bet that Ashton got the date of the election and his next kabbalah class mixed up, so he forgot to vote for Kerry himself. It's a dead certainty that at least one swing voter somewhere got SWUNGED to Bush by Kutcher.

We see then that the mathematics of Hollywood political endorsements is identical to the mathematics of Hollywood bookkeeping, very sub-zero summish.


4:34 PM

Friday, November 05, 2004
 

We Shall Wait Overhere


Omfg. Joan Baez is channeling Uncle Remus during her concerts lately. That old Lemmings bit at JB's expense doesn't seem so over the top now. What am I saying? It didn't seem over the top thirty yeas ago either. I can't find the any trace of lyrics on the web. I only heard the song once, but the chorus never has faded from my memory. And it never shall:

Pull the trigger, nigger
We're with you all the way
Right across the bay


Van Dyke Parks channeled Uncle Remus once, too. With better results. I imagine this record has sold about 20,000 copies in 14 years. Mr. Parks might get a buck if you bought the 20,001st copy. Or you could just send the buck directly to him. Your choice.

10:25 AM

Wednesday, November 03, 2004
 

The Longest Campaign


Almost two years from beginning to end. The oceans of ink spilled, the infinite TV disquisitions, the millions of words spoken, printed, and broadcast. Two visions in fundamental conflict. A country divided by clashing concepts of reality. Friendships ended, neighbor against neighbor. Even families split asunder by the dinner table arguments taken too far. The time for healing is at hand, let us all pledge to accept the outcome and move forward, no matter which side we found ourselves on in the battle.

And let it begin with me.

10:48 PM

 

A Memento of the Nixon Administration


Trash picked on Monday: Tricky Dick by Fred George, Surrey House, 1974. List price $1.95 or Danish Kr. 19.

Gay paperback porn from the twilight days of Richard the Crisis Hearted's reign. The two charcoal-sketched young Americans for freedom on the cover are having a lot of trouble keeping their underwear on. Perhaps there was an elastic shortage to match the paper shortage the back cover apologizes for:

Please excuse our appearance during the severe paper shortage...We are temporarily forced to use much thinner paper giving the book the appearance of being smaller than it is.

Just keep telling yourself that as you hold it in your hands--it is bigger than it appears, it is bigger than it appears.

8:42 PM

Tuesday, November 02, 2004
 

AP Headline Writer Flinches


'Corn Toss' Catching on Beyond Midwest

(AP) CINCINNATI - The projectiles are lighter than horseshoes and safer than lawn darts, but the idea's the same: Players try to hit a target several paces away. The game is called cornhole, or corn toss, because players try to throw cloth bags filled with corn into a hole. It is an Ohio phenomenon that is catching on elsewhere around the Midwest and beyond.

"It's easy to play, you don't have to dig a pit, drive stakes or tear up your lawn," said Mike Whitton, founder and president of the American Cornhole Association.

...As simple as that sounds, it was a scoring dispute at a family picnic that led to the formation of the American Cornhole Association, which claims to be the arbiter of the game, sanctioning tournaments, selling equipment and publishing the "official" rules of play.

...The game is so popular around Cincinnati that nearly 400 teams competed for the $2,000 first prize in the Cornhole Classic in February, and organizers are planning a Holiday Cornhole Classic for Thanksgiving weekend.


If I had to win Ohio to become president, I'd just as soon lose. The entire state is unable to let go of this stupid, stinking joke. They can't get closure on drunken barbecue hilarity from 1998 (or 1898). What would victory there even mean?

Pennsylvania is a state worth winning. We're especially fond here of recreational gunplay and most especially of competitive, group target-shooting. A scoring dispute at a family funeral led to the formation of the governing body for the sport, the Mid-Atlantic Gang Bang Association.

There's also a form of badminton without the rackets called Cock Chucking that has caught the imagination of young and old alike, all across the state. The rules and regs for that are administered by diligent men and women of Keystone Cockchucker Committee.

Update: Buckeye porn.

1:45 AM

Monday, November 01, 2004
 

I Believe I Can File


R. Kelly's people say he is considering legal action after being pepper sprayed by Jay Z's people when he abandoned the stage midway through the show during their dual tour's stop at Madison Square Garden. Just a few days before, in an earlier Battle of Midway, Kelly had attacked the tech crew half-way through his set. This has been done before, but usually only verbally and from the safety of stage. I'm not aware of a previous assault of the sound and light crew on their own turf. So I congratulate Kelly on that. I long for the day that the tech crews start storming the stage and attacking the performers. That day may be near. This will have to do until then:

"Kelly went into 'Happy People' [hahahaha], but he jumped off the stage onto the arena floor," said Kevin C. Johnson, the pop music critic who reviewed the show for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "He kind of made a mad dash, surrounded by security, from the stage to the rear of the arena, where the soundboard was."

"Once he got there, he was really up in the soundmen's faces -- he was very angry and agitated, and it looked like he was probably cursing," Johnson said. "He was definitely very upset."

This scene was projected onto the arena's giant video screens. After a while, "Kelly ran back to the stage and basically said goodnight," Johnson said. "The problem was, the show clearly was not over."


My favorite detail from the history of the feud so far, Jay Z waiting at the altar in his white suit:

I went way outta my way. The first night [in Chicago] was terrible. I'm waiting in my white suit for two hours. The guy don't come downstairs, you don't do that. I'm like, I don't work for you, B. I gave him that leeway, because that's his town.

The white suit in question.

A review of an R. Kelly/Jay Z show that went on without any mid-show drama. I would have demanded my money back.


2:42 PM