Friday, May 30, 2008

Dunkin' No-guts

Rachael Ray in the "offensive" ad.
Is it just me or is this woman hot?

In the apparently never-ending battle between what were at one time called “American values” and stupidity, the forces of xenophobic stupidity and intolerance have won a great victory. The fast food chain Dunkin’ Donuts has pulled a series of Internet ads starring that diva of the television cookery shows, Rachael Ray. In the ads Ms Ray is pictured holding an iced coffee and standing in front of some trees. She is wearing a black and white paisley scarf, and that is where the problem lies. Right-wing commentator, Michelle Matlin, claimed that the scarf in question looked like a kaffiyeh, and as such indicated that Rachael Ray and Dunkin’ Donuts were in cahoots with international Islamic extremists and terrorists. Nasty.

The kaffiyeh is a type of scarf worn in the Middle East by all sorts of people. Not all of these people are terrorists or even extremists, but that doesn’t matter to little Ms Matlin. Also, the fact that the scarf wasn’t a kaffiyeh doesn’t matter to her either. This is just another opportunity for some right wing nut to pee on the floor and cry about it, and that’s fine. Do what you have to do and if you want to look like a fool, fly at it. The disturbing part of this whole thing, I think, is that Dunkin’ Donuts folded like a cheap rag as soon as an idiot started making noise. What’s that all about?

I am wondering why as soon as all this nonsense began someone at Dunkin’ Donuts didn’t say, “Holy cow, somebody get that woman some medication right now! Hurry, so that she can maybe become a productive member of society rather than a menace to all that is right and good in this once great country of ours.” I understand that Dunkin’ Donuts as an organization cannot force some crazy person to seek help, but they could have contacted some sort of agency to help this woman help herself, couldn’t they? It would have been the right thing to do.

Anyway… Humouroceros

Michelle Matlin - right wing commentator
Is it just me or is this woman nuts?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Australian greed

Those wacky Australians. I see in the news that an Australian diving charter company “lost” a couple of divers on the Great Barrier Reef last week. There was a massive search for these two people and after 19 hours in the water they were found, alive and well. The couple appears to have handled the situation in good spirits and have sold their story to a newspaper in England for a stack of cash ($1,000,000.00 according to one report I heard), and good for them. The Australians, upon hearing of the couple selling their story, figure that they should pay some money towards the costs of their rescue, which had involved seven helicopters, three other airplanes and a half-dozen boats. Queensland state Premier, Anna Bligh, has said, “If they are going to profit from their story I don’t think a contribution back would go astray.” Really, Anna? And if they had not profited, or even survived this thing, how would things work then?

These people were tourists in Australia and for the experience they took a tour to the Great Barrier Reef. After a while the guy running the boat they’re on looks at his watch and figures, “Crikey, look at the time! It’s time for a couple of dozen beers!” So he counts up the tourists and rather than counting ten, or whatever, he counts ten-ish. Apparently this is good enough so he fires up the engines and heads in, leaving our pair in the water. The couple in the water are where they should be, they have not gone “out-of-bounds” and they have done nothing wrong, unless you count assuming that the boat guy can count, ‘wrong’. They are not at fault here. It is only through the skill of the air-sea rescue people that they were found and I would think that Australians would be grateful that these people survived. Instead it’s the “victims should pay” thing and that’s just wrong.

Here is my plea to Australians, as fellow members of the Commonwealth; Please do not fall into the practice of many Communist and military dictatorships and expect the victims to pay for the misfortunes that befall them. We have all heard the stories of how the Soviet Union used to charge the families of those it murdered for the bullets used to kill their loved ones. It’s a slippery slope. First you expect the victim to help pay for their own rescue from something that was not their fault, next you’re charging people for the bullets used to kill them. This is just nasty and I have higher expectations of you as fellow subjects of Queen Elizabeth II. Thank you.

Anyway… Humouroceros

An Australian bill collector after another victim

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Jesus and the little children

Okay, now I know there are a lot of weird folks out there and a bunch of them are "Christians" and I'm sure a sub-set of those are designers of faith-based junk you can have in your house to show your faith, and that's all fine. Far be it from me to tell anybody what they can or cannot have hanging in their home. But this is just plain freaking weird. Jesus showing his woody (or in this case his plasticky) to a couple of kids. Who designed this, what were they thinking, and who would have it in their house? Man.

Anyway... Humouroceros

PS: I was going to make a comment on how easy it would be to "turn on the Lord", but in the end I opted not to. That joke would have been in almost as bad taste as this switch-plate is. Plus I don't want to get zapped next time I turn on a light.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Bad drivers

Cruising home after a busy thirty minutes of shopping (man, I hate shopping) I noticed in my rear-view mirror a little black sports car weaving through traffic like Henri “Lobo” Maquis on the final straight-a-way at the Thunderdome Invitational. Every time that dude saw what he thought was an opening he zipped in there like nobodies business, cutting people off whether they needed it or not.

Soon enough it was my turn and he cut in front of my, stylishly not using his turn-signal in what I can only assume to have been a much-appreciated attempt to keep me alert. A few more surprise lane changes and then he had to stop at a red light, where he sat impatiently revving his motor as he obviously had places to be and women to impress. The light turned green and with a manly chirp of his tires he was off, racing ahead so as to avoid having to weave through traffic all over the place.

I caught up with him again at the next set of lights, also red, where I joined him in the left turn lane. I noticed that he still wasn’t bothering to use his turn-signal, probably just an energy saving sort of move, but I felt confident that he was in fact about to turn left when the light changed. The light turned green and as I had expected he chirped around the corner (manfully) and booted up the hill. He came to a 4-way stop and while he didn’t bother to actually stop, he did tap his brakes before cutting in front of some silly older lady who had sillily (if that’s a word, and even if it isn’t) dared to go when it had been her turn. Silly old thing. At any rate it was at that point that I last saw the little fellow as I was turning right at the 4-way, but I’m sure that he went on to commit more acts of dumbness with his driving antics.

The experience put me in mind of just how annoying b ad drivers are, though. You know who they are (although it is probable that they don’t know who they are). These are the people who are totally bamboozled by the complications of that automotive technological wonder, the turn-signal. Or the people who cannot correctly navigate the subtle mysteries of that most complicated of mazes, the 4-way stop. I believe this to be a small but growing group, and it is definitely time to nip this rotten trend in the bud. Get the bad drivers off the road and into the ditches where they belong. Give ‘em the lumber, as some of my hockey friends used to say. Now I am not advocating anything illegal because that would be wrong, but I would advise people to proceed with caution and like that bald guy used to say on that cop show, let’s be careful out there.

Anyway… Humouroceros

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Guns & gas

The good people at Max Motors in Butler, Missouri, USA have come up with a great new way to get the cars moving off the lot. Until the end of May, 2008, with every purchase you get a free handgun or a $250.00 gas card. Well, yee-hah! Rip open the mattress, Martha. We’s us gunna buy us a car and gits us ourn very own handgun too! Yee-hah! So with one purchase you get the weapon and the getaway car. Excellent.

Okay, so that’s probably not the actual premise behind this whole deal, but the optics are bad no matter how you look at it. Our friends to the south (the United States) already have an issue with their citizens blowing each other away at an alarming rate (over 17,000 murders in 2007 – not all by handgun, but still) so it strikes me as being a little odd that anyone would want to get more weapons out there. I suppose you could use the old excuse that they’re for home defense, and maybe in Butler, Missouri that’s true, but I don’t buy it.

The General manager of Max Motors, Walter Moore (probably not related to Michael Moore) says that although a promotion such as this would cause all sorts of problems in a lot of places, it won’t in Butler where they, “all believe in God, guts and guns.” I’m wondering which God this is since as usual I just can’t see that if Jesus were walking around today that He would be packing heat. You never know though, I guess.

Anyway… Humouroceros

Friday, May 16, 2008

Cheetah Chrome

I don't know what made me think of it, but it must have been over twenty years ago and I was trying to find all I could to read about the punk "scene" in North America (I didn't and don't mind the UK stuff, but it sort of seemed to me that too many of the band over there were more concerned about fashion than they were about the music. That's probably unfair, but I've been wrong before so that's okay). There was a magazine out of New York called Rock Scene that was pretty good, they covered pretty much everything and that's fine. There was Creem, and that was okay. They had writers with attitude but at times they were more interested in writing about how cool they were rather than the music (I call this the Rolling Stone syndrome (Rolling Stone the magazine, not the band)). There was Circus, which was sort of the People of music magazines but still had the occasional article worth reading. Then there were the ones that were trying to cash in on the whole punk thing, and while there might be nothing sadder than that, at least the pictures were cool.

It was one of these last magazines that I remember buying because it had an interview with Cheetah Chrome, the guitar player for the Dead Boys (and for that .000001% of the population that has not heard of the Dead Boys, rush out right now and buy their disc Young, Loud & Snotty. An album so good that it's cover should be put on postage stamps across North America as a testament to all that is good and right. Hurry up now, I'll just wait here.) In this article this interviewer spent the day with Cheetah, ending up at a club the Dead Boys were playing that night. Good clean fun I'm sure, and it seems to me that I liked the interview right up until they left for the club. They were in Cheetah's apartment and the interviewer noticed that Cheetah's T-shirts were ironed and that there was deodorant in the bathroom. This set him off into some sort of "what kind of punk uses deodorant?" rant that even to my 18-year old mind looked stupid. Cheetah Chrome, the guitar player for a punk band uses deodorant and that somehow makes him less punk than some nobody who writes for a one-off glossy "punk" magazine? Dude, that's just wrong.

I guess for some that may have been the style of the time though. Punk had the rebelliousness that rock and roll had lost. Twenty minute guitar solos, disco, and rock-stars in big jets drinking Jack Daniels (thus getting so plowed that they couldn't play anyway) just didn't have anything to say to me. I think the people who wrote about music liked that aspect of it, but the fact that the new bands of the time just didn't care what the mainstream media thought or said about them pissed them off. They wanted to be part of it without being part of it, as it were. Oh well, at least the pictures were cool.

Anyway... Humouroceros

Mister Cheetah Chrome, back in the day.
Would you let your sister "bump uglies" with this guy?
I thought so.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


A girl where I work came up to me the other day and said, “I heard you used to play in a punk band. Is that true?” (honestly, I have no idea where these rumours start). Now to me this is just not a yes or no type question, but I didn’t feel like getting into the whole, ‘I don’t worry about labels’ discussion so, simple answer, “yes.”

“Really,” she said. “What instrument did you play?”

(Here’s an old joke for free) “Well I always wanted to play guitar badly, so that’s what I did.”

“What, play guitar badly?”

“The worst. I had a Mann guitar and some crap amplifier, and it was so bad and we played so hard that I broke the pick-ups on the guitar." Ah hahaha she said, and walked away, which was good since I had been worried that we would next get into the ‘did you dress like a punk’ thing. For the record: were we a punk band? Well I don’t actually worry about labels (d’oh!). Did I dress like a punk? I dressed like me. It was right at the time and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Now maybe the way I dressed wasn’t “punk” in the traditional sense. Very few of those boys ever wore Hawaiian shirts, for example, or railway worker bib coveralls. I would never try to guess whether this was a lack of imagination or a lack of funds, but I suspect it was a lack of imagination. Too many goofs figured that ripped jeans, a ripped t-shirt, spiked hair and pimples made you a punk, but I never have believed in uniforms so bag that action.

I figured then as I do now that you have to live how you want to live. Your rights end where mine begin and vice-versa. If other people like how I am that’s fine and if they don’t, that’s fine too. Of course I still listen to loud music and old style punk is the best. I guess I’m still trying to piss off my parents and it’s not getting any easier. Good thing I like a challenge.

Anyway… Humouroceros.

DOA a couple of years ago. Photo taken from the pit and yeah, it hurt.
They have a disc coming out in August '08.