Friday, March 31, 2006

Some People Just Like to Hear the Sound of their Own Prayers

I was watching the “church news channel” this morning. ABC. They ran two “faith-related” stories today. One of them was about that new study that was done about the power of “intercessory” prayer. Intercessory prayer is prayer that is done by a group of people aimed at benefiting another individual. It’s sort of like transcendental meditation, but with a lot more kowtowing to the Supreme Being (Note: Microsoft Word just made me capitalize “supreme being.” Don’t shackle me with your oppressive ideas about the cosmos, Microsoft!).

The study, it turns out, showed that intercessory prayer had absolutely no physical effect on those recovering from heart surgery. The subjects in the study were broken up into three groups. In one group, patients were told that they would be prayed for (and they were). In another group, patients were told that someone might pray for them (and they were prayed for). And the third group consisted of the poor saps that were told that someone might pray for them, but no one did (the “secretly unloved” group).

59% of the patients that were being prayed for developed complications. 51% developed complications in the group of patients who received no prayers.

This was a thorough study. As thorough as science can get when trying to prove or disprove a religious theory. But there’s an inherent problem when trying to test a religious theory – religion.

Religion is purposefully vague about many things. No, there are laws about having sex with goats and eating pork and crap, but the ways of the universe are specifically left a mystery that will only be solved after we die and are too…dead…to come back and tell people about it.

So why do a study on the effects of prayer in the first place? You got a better way to spend 2.5 million dollars, smartie?!

The Christians would be the first people on the planet to hail the findings of this study if it worked in their favor. It would be all over everything. Pat Robertson would be running a story on the 700 club called “We Told You So, Non-Believing Heathens” (which incidentally, runs on the ABC Family channel). Ministers and Republicans everywhere would make for the TV stations to tell us that they knew it all along. Faith is great, but they would have science on their side (sometimes you have to fight the devil and his evil plans with his own devices after all).

But the study did not work in favor of Christianity. So now Christian commentators everywhere are looking into their “faith” to find the answer. And their faith says that prayer is “boffo-keen.” Even GMA anchors Robin Roberts and Dianne Sawyer seemed to be bummed about the study. But not as much as Dr. Tim.

Dr. Tim is Good Morning America’s resident doctor-like health guy. He has a PhD. But he was very wary of this study. He felt that there are just too many variables to consider it accurate. Oh, if it was a test of a new drug and the results came out the same, he would have no problem letting the world know that the drug was useless, but since it’s prayer…

He also let us all know that he’s never really believed in intercessory prayer. He feels that it’s a bit “gimmicky.” And since this study was essentially flawed, let’s just forget the whole thing ever happened, huh?

But he also told us that he believes that “individual” prayer – meaning someone praying for themselves – can be very beneficial to a person’s health. He’s willing to throw over a scientific study for his gut feelings. And evidently he feels that God truly does help those who help themselves…and only themselves.

But what did I expect? That Christians everywhere would look at this study and say to themselves, “My God, I’ve been wasting my life thinking of others?!” No. What the hell do I care people want to pray for someone? Why should this study stop them? What’s the purpose of the study in the first place?

I’ll tell you.

It was done to prove that praying actually does help. That’s why they did it. There’s no other reason.

Since it didn’t work out the way everyone hoped, it was just a waste of two and a half million bucks. And now I have to sit and listen to annoying Christians talk about faith and how “science just can’t measure the glory of God” and crap like that. Christians will just redouble their efforts to appear superior in their knowing something that they think they know but they don’t know what that something is. Confusing? Yup.

Thanks for nothing, science.

Fun Fact: The other story on GMA this morning was about the Dutch man who built a 300 foot replica of Noah’s Ark. He’s going to turn it into a petting zoo and floating missionary. A reminder of Noah’s struggle and his triumph. Looking at this big-ass hunk of floating wood, something occurred to me. As an atheist, I often forget that some people actually believe that God flooded the world and that a man (who took 100 years to build a boat), his wife, his three sons and their wives gathered two of every animal (except the evil ones), herded them onto a big boat and repopulated the world.

To people like the Dutch man this isn’t just a fable, it’s history. I usually think that it would take some serious inbred moron to believe something like that, then I realize that, to devout believers, humanity was started by two people (Adam and Eve), wiped out and then re-started by 8 others, 4 of which were blood relatives. It doesn’t take many math skills to discover the logistical problems inherent in this theory as it pertains to inbreeding. Now, personally, I don’t believe this for a second. But the Dutch ark-building dude does.

At the very least, he’s spiritually inbred.

What do you think? Noah’s Ark, fact or fiction? I’m not talking about a great flood here. Great floods were a dime a dozen in geological history. I’m talking the honest to God Noah story. I want to know if you have to reconcile your faith with common sense. Really.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Heil Honey, I’m Home!

I wasn’t going to post today. I have things to do. But I came across a sitcom about Hitler so…

There are many reasons not to watch a sitcom about Hitler, but there’s one reason to watch that trumps all those. It’s a sitcom about Hitler!

This is only the first half. You can see more of Hitler and Eva’s shenanigans in part two.

Fun Fact: Contrary to what the sitcom might have you believe, Hitler was not a very funny guy in real life. Nor was he fun to be around. In fact, he was kind of a jerk.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Obligatory Post about Immigration Reform

And here’s an obligatory picture showing illegal aliens being smuggled into this country. Whenever you even mention immigration reform, you have to show Mexicans stuffed in a car or running across a freeway or jumping a fence. I chose this picture because I had a car that looked like that once. I was lucky if I could get my duffel bag in that tiny trunk! Kudos to illegal immigrant ingenuity.

I’m posting a new TAM Cartoon today. Therefore, I feel like I need to post something. Not that the cartoon isn’t enough but…

What to post about? I have been following the new immigration reform legislation a little bit. After all, I live in LA so it’s hard to ignore. Especially when thousands of high school students take the day off to block up the freeways with foot traffic and Mexican flags.

But I don’t really want to post about the new legislation. I don’t really want to post about the teenaged protesters either. This is a tricky subject. Mostly because both sides are wrong and more than a little bit moronic. First of all, when did every immigrant in this country become Mexican? I hate to break it to Mexico, but there are other countries in this world. Other countries with other people who want to immigrate to the United States.

I’ve always been on the fence (no pun) of this debate. I don’t think that the country would fall apart without undocumented immigrants. And I’m speaking to Mexico right now. If the citizens of Mexico are such miracle workers then why the hell is Mexico such a mess? It has Mexicans in it, right? And I’m not trying to flip here, but I get tired of the “your privileged, well-groomed, fast-food world would just roll over and die without Mexicans” bullcrap. Do something, Mexican citizens. Grow a freaking pair. Quit wasting your time fighting the United States and start using your energy and passion to stand up to your own government and force them to make things better.

And as for the United States government: Making illegal immigration a felony is asinine. But something does need to be done about it. There’s a lot of talk in Washington DC about immigrants being the backbone of this great nation. True. That’s very true. (Just ask the Native Americans. They know what immigrants can accomplish when they put their minds to it.) Politicians talk about Ellis Island. They talk about steam ships and the statue of liberty. And yet they miss the point.

Those immigrants at the turn of the last century did come here with dreams and hopes and ethnic comedy routines, but they didn’t have to go through nearly as much crap as immigrants do nowadays. Why is it so damned difficult to get into this country these days? Make it easier. The Ellis Island immigrants just had to find a way to get here, change their last name (thus giving up their heritage and identity) and maybe spend the night on a stinky island in New York Harbor. Then “bammo!” They were welcomed (legally anyway).

If it were easier to be a legal immigrant, then it stands to reason that there would be fewer illegal ones.

You know what, I said that I wouldn’t talk about this. I’m going to stop. Who cares? All I know is that teenagers shouldn’t march on the freeways. It’s dangerous. They could get killed. And this isn’t worth getting killed over. Plus, I find it hard to believe that a bunch of high school kids really understand the nuances of this debate.

I mean, these are the same people who can’t seem to figure out that their genitals aren’t a toy.

I give up on this post. Sorry if you were hoping to find a point to it here at the end. There isn’t one. And you know what? I take it back, I think that high school students should march on the freeways. What do I care? I don’t like teenagers anyway.

Fun Fact: As I hinted at in the above post, the latest TAM Cartoon is up! TeenagersspreadVDsational!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Of Mice and Maintenance Men

If the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, what chance do the really stupid ones have?

I’ve bitched about the property management company that owns my apartment before. They never seem to fix anything and when they do, they do a bad job. Even Schneider from “One Day at a Time” would be disgusted.

They’re never supposed to shut off the water in the building without at least 24 hours notice. Unless of course it’s an emergency. See, the trouble is that it’s always an emergency. Why? Well, neglect for one. And the other reason is because if they call it an “emergency” then they won’t have to give notice. Giving notice requires forethought. Forethought requires thought. Not to mention the fact that someone will have to post notices flyers on our doors and that takes at least ½ hour.

So two days ago they shut off the water. In lieu of any real notice, they just went door to door telling any tenant who answered that their water was going to be shut off in a minute or two. They’ve done this to me before. It always makes me angry.

But two days ago I didn’t get mad when they knocked on the door to tell me that they were shutting off my water. Not because I’d gotten my anger issues under control, no. See, I didn’t hear them when they tried to tell me that they were going to leave me high and dry.

I was in the goddamned shower!

I hate renting.

Fun Fact: I’m one of the millions of American men who shave in the shower. When the water went off, I was half shaved. I took care of that little problem (I should feel lucky that my head wasn’t covered in shampoo, I would have had to finish my shower in the kitchen using the Brita pitcher), got dried off and dressed and went downstairs to find a maintenance man to yell at (unless they were huge or looked like a crazy ex-con or something).

When I got downstairs, I found two guys in the driveway. I asked why they didn’t give notice and they told me that they knocked on our doors to tell us. It was an emergency.

Yeah, it was such an emergency that when I caught them in the driveway, they were digging for enough change to be able to buy something from the “roach coach” that had pulled up to the construction site next door. The proximity of the truck to the port-a-potty makes their food all the more appealing! Yum!

They had to shut off my water before they ate? I guess that three day old carnitas breakfast burrito just couldn’t wait.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Happy Birthday Tanya!

Yes, it’s Tanya’s birthday today. She’s perhaps the coolest chick on the planet. That makes her hard to shop for. What do you get for the coolest chick on the planet?

Personally, I always hate trying to buy presents. I know that there really shouldn’t be all that much pressure. People just like to get gifts. And I like to give them. But, being the egotistical person that I am, I’m not satisfied with giving just any old present. I want to give the kind of present that will really make an impact. The kind of present that can get you written into someone’s last will and testament. And when you’re shopping for your girlfriend it becomes even harder. I mean if Tanya actually had a last will and testament, I’d probably already be in it (my fiendishly clever plan to bilk Tanya out of her millions is almost complete!)

Well, there’s always jewelry. But seeing as how I don’t have any money whatsoever, that’s out of the question. I could make a will and write her in for everything, but I’m left with the same problem. I don’t even have the money to make out a will. Tanya’s inheritance would be “please pay attorney for last will and testament fees.”

So what does a poor man do for his girlfriend on her birthday? Something meaningful. Something…inexpensive.

Boudoir photos.

That’s right, I made Tanya some boudoir photos for her birthday. Just a few pictures of me in the boudoir. (Feel free to say the word “boudoir” over and over again today, it’s a fun word.) They’re private pictures, sure. But I figured that maybe I should share them with you. What’s the internet for, after all? If not to share intimate pictures of yourself in the boudoir? Or an alley? Or bent over a pool table?

Don’t kid yourself, you know it’s been your dream to see me in boudoir photos.

Just scroll down the page a bit, but make sure that if you’re at work, no one is staring over your shoulder. I don’t want my crazy sexiness to get you in trouble with your supervisor.

Here you go:

Now that’s crazy sexy. Those are some nice looking boudoirs.

Happy birthday, Tanya! I’ll show you the real ones later.

Fun Fact: There are no “real ones.” Really. Honestly. I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Welcome to Tuesday

You guessed it, it’s Tuesday. A good day. I suppose it’s not the most exciting day in the week, but it’s fair enough. In America, elections usually happen on Tuesdays.

Tuesday is associated with the god Mars. He is the god of spring and fertility, the protector of cattle and was voted "Most Casual Poser" in his high school sculpture class.

It’s also associated with the Norse god of war, Tyr (Tyr’s Day), whose hand was destroyed by the Fenris wolf. And whose other hand was always trying to hide his "man boobs."

The Romans saw Tuesday as a bad luck day. After all, Constantinople fell on a Tuesday. Istanbul was Constantinople, now it’s Istanbul, not Constantinople. Been a long time gone. Why did Constantinople get the works? That’s no body’s business but the Ottoman Empire, who, under the command of Sultan Mehmed II, conquered Constantinople and renamed it.

People in Spanish-speaking regions also feel that Tuesday is a bad luck day. I don’t know why.

Well, the Great Depression started on a Tuesday. Maybe the Romans and Latinos are on to something big here?

George Bush was also elected on a Tuesday. And he gave a really lame ass speech on TV this morning (on a Tuesday) illustrating just what a clueless ass he really is, taking cleulessness to new, scarier and even more delusional heights.

Perhaps I was wrong about Tuesday when I said it was a “good day.”

I think it just might suck.

Who knew?

Fun Fact: The latest TAM Cartoon is up! Tuesdaytastic! Does that make Tuesday better…or worse? Only you can be the judge.

You know how wishy-washy I am about Tuesday.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Paddy Patter

Happy St. Paddy’s Day. See, I call it St. Paddy’s Day because I’m on such intimate terms with ol’ Patrick. He and I go way back. All the way back to the days when we used to chase garter snakes out my grandmother’s flower beds. He kept on with the snake chasing thing, I moved to LA to become an actor. It’s funny what fate has planned for you isn’t it?

As you can probably already tell, I don’t have a lot to say today. But it’s a holiday so I feel some obligation to post. I don’t know why. I just do. Especially since it’s a cool holiday. A religious sounding holiday that revolves around beer. Who else but the Catholics could come up with such an idea? Quite possibly the best Saint holiday.

It’s way better anyway than St. Lucia Day in Sweden. St. Lucia Day is celebrated on December 13th. Way too close to Christmas. There’s not a lot of drinking involved. Instead (since Lucia was a woman) girls dress up in white dresses and wear a crown of candles. That’s cute and all… The boys are forced to wear white pajama-things and wear pointy hats with gold stars on them. Like little gay wizards.

That doesn’t sound like a great holiday to me. The only redeeming quality that I can find is that they eat lots of spicy gingerbread cookies and sweet buns called Lussekatter. Yummy. Oh, and the history of St. Lucia is pretty sweet too. There are two main stories on the reasons for her sainthood. Both are a bit twisted. Here's some back story: St. Lucia was hell of a chick. Sicilian. She was kind and helpful. Practically a…well…saint. But that part comes next.

The first story is that St. Lucia had an admirer. A man who felt that her eyes were the most beautiful that he’d ever seen. Problem was, the man was an unbeliever. Lucia could never give herself to him. But she could give him her eyes. So she did. She popped her eyeballs out and offered them to him. A little morbid, sure, but hey, this was Sicily! Eyeballs are a perfectly acceptable offering. Especially if there the eyeballs of that dirty double crosser in the next town. But anyway, then a miracle happened. Lucia’s eyeballs grew back! And they were more beautiful than the first set. The greedy and jilted admirer, not being satisfied with the bloody old eyes Lucia gave him before, demanded that she give him her new eyes too. Well, Lucia had enough of pooping out her own eyeballs so she said no. This pissed the man off so he jammed a knife into her heart. The end.

The second story involves the asshole guy as well. The man loved her, but she didn’t love him back. Her mother asked her to marry him anyway but Lucia refused. The man, being the rational, levelheaded person that he was, tied Lucia to a stake and set her on fire. She prayed for a miracle. She prayed to survive the fire. Since she was such a groovy gal, her prayers were answered. She didn’t burn. So the man shoved a sword into her neck. But instead of killing her instantly, she writhed around for three hours, spouting off beautiful poetry before she finally shuffled off this mortal coil. The end.

What lovely stories.

To sum up: St. Patrick’s Day wins! Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Fun Fact: St. Patrick and St. Lucia never actually met in real life. But they’re probably together now in heaven. Hopefully St. Patrick isn’t trying to take advantage of her. Hopefully he’s not trying to talk Lucia out of her eyeballs. She’ll probably give in.

She was always easy on the eyes.

I’ll be here all week ladies and germs.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Just My Friggin Luck

I’m an angry driver at times, but I’m usually a safe driver. Sure there are some who would beg to differ (most of whom have ridden in the car with me).

Their fears are based predominantly on the speeds in which I choose to travel (and change lanes. Why dawdle with a lane change? If the coast is clear for three lanes and you want to be three lanes over, why stretch the activity out for the next five miles? That’s what causes horrible traffic, indecisive drivers. Traffic = frustration. Frustration = impulsive behavior. Impulsive behavior = accidents).

However, let’s not blow this out of proportion. I may be a little faster and impatient than some, but I’m never reckless. I don’t travel down the 405 at 100 mph. And believe me, there are a lot of people who do. The general lack of law enforcement in LA makes it easy and inviting. I don’t cut people off. I plan. I’m the guy who uses the far right hand lane when I know I’m going to be exiting the freeway soon. I hate the jerks that don’t.

So yesterday I went to the valley to help a friend shoot a birthday video for another friend. On the way back I had to deal with some city traffic (I used Laurel Canyon, not the 405). It was aggravating. But I was determined to stay calm. And I was doing a fine job of it too. When I was passed on the right, I didn’t yell, I didn’t scream, just a nice “fuck you asshole” under my breath and I was fine.

Cruising down Crescent Heights, there’s always a stop sign that I almost blow through. It’s not marked well. The painted warning on the street is faded. The sign is placed about a mile away from the center lane (it’s two lanes in both directions). Not to mention that it’s in between two difficult intersections and in the middle of a very short block.

I haven’t run a stop sign in…well…ever. I’ve had some traffic tickets before. All speeding (one for going 65 in a 55 zone, only to have them raise the speed limit on the same stretch of road to 75 a few months later…damnit!). I’ve been in one accident that totaled my car, but it wasn’t my fault. It didn’t even affect my insurance.

But yesterday I ran a stop sign. It freaked me out. I noticed that I was doing it halfway through. But by then it was too late. I was glad that there was no one else in the intersection (although if it hadn’t been so wide open I would probably have noticed the stop sign). But I made it through the stop sign safely.

Then I saw the cop pull out with his lights on.

I got a fucking ticket for running my first stop sign. There are about five cops in all of LA and I had to run a stop sign in front of one of them?! I feel like those girls who have sex once and end up pregnant. Except I’m expecting to deliver a healthy seven pound three ounce stack of dollar bills…to the city of Los Angeles.

It was one of those “no-nonsense” cops (read: unless you have a vagina, I’m not going to even discuss the possibility of writing you out a warning). He just took my information and wrote me the ticket. I don’t know how much I’ll have to pay yet. In LA they like to keep it a secret until you deal with the courts. But I’m sure that the damage will be substantial. See, when I got home I noticed that the cop also dinged me for speeding (35 in a 25). I’m going back there to make sure that the speed limit is posted because I’m almost positive that it’s a 35 mph zone. But that’s not really the point. I felt like a criminal sure. But people get tickets like this all the time.

I can be rest assured that I at least wasn’t acting like a complete ass when I ran the sign. I wasn’t talking on my cell phone. I wasn’t fiddling with the CD player. I wasn’t cursing at other drivers.

I just wasn’t stopping at a stop sign.

I hate this crap. I hate this kind of loss of money. There are always unexpected expenses in life. Usually it’s due to some medical problem. But when you spend money on, say, trying to beat cancer, at least there’s a goal. It’s noble. You say to yourself, “hey it’s just money. A small price to pay to have so-and-so still around and comfortable.”

But when you get a traffic ticket you pay for nothing. It’s like setting fire to a couple hundred dollars.

Except that you have to trek all the way downtown to the courthouse and stand in lines all day to do it.

I hate stop signs.

Fun Fact: My ticket specifically says that my infraction was “fail to stop for clearly posted stop sign.”

Clearly posted.

The cop who stopped me didn’t just happen to be at the intersection at the time. He was staking it out. Laying in wait. What was he waiting for? Not speeders. Unless you run the sign, there’s no opportunity to get your speed up, the block is too short. Murderers maybe? He could have been waiting for murderers, but I would guess that there are better places to wait for that than a nice sunny open part of suburban LA.

No, he was waiting for someone to run that stop sign.

So, if the intersection is so “clearly” marked, why was a cop sitting there expecting people to run the stop sign?

I’ve been had!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Yeah, I have nothing really to say today. But I’m posting for the purpose of drawing attention to the latest TAM Cartoon! Lookatthetopofthepagesational!

You’re welcome.

Fun Fact: I wrote the word “purpose” in the above paragraph. Whenever I see the word “purpose” it always makes me think of that childrens’ magazine “Highlights.”

I use to love Highlights as a kid. Usually I would only come across it in offices (doctors, dentists, juvenile parole board…). Most of the time the “Hidden Pictures” game was already completed (mostly completed anyway) (my moronic peers invariably didn’t look hard enough at the foliage in the picture. Hint: there’s almost always a hammer or a tobacco pipe in the tree.).

Goofus and Gallant were always good for a chuckle.

My all-time favorite was the “find the differences between the two pictures” game. It taught me that pictures are a lot like people. There are similarities yes, but if you look closer, you’ll find that we are actually quite different. And if you exploit those differences you can breed enough fear and hatred to gather an army and claim your own ethnically clean holy land.

But the reason I bring this up is the word “purpose.” Highlights Magazine was subscripted “Fun With Purpose.” I was always confused by the cover. I could never read the word “purpose” right. In my head it was always “Per - pose” And I could never figure out what “Per – pose” was.

So, while Highlights taught me how to spot a smoking implement in a fichus, how use a napkin while keeping my elbows off the table and how to inspire a militia against a Zionist government…it never taught me how to read.

Thanks for nothing, Highlights.

Friday, March 10, 2006

There Could be a Major Problem Here

I’ve become pretty interested in those church fires in Alabama. I’m always interested in the public reacts to a church torching. Church burnings are disturbing.

After a heinous church burning, there are always wild accusations being thrown around. Usually it’s the Satanists that receive the majority of the suspicion. There’s always somebody who suggests early on that the local devil worshippers may have had a hand in it. But, really, when was the last time you remember a church being burned down by Satanists? And where are the local Satanists anyway? I defy you to walk around your neighborhood and point out the devil worshippers. Most of the time we don’t even think about devil worshippers. Not until there’s a church fire or a brutal pointless killing. Then some police official comes on the local news and talks about the friendly neighborhood Satanists. Most of the time, it’s to rule them out. They have to. Otherwise, the Christians in town might form a pitchfork posse to go looking for the minions of Beelzebub. And since the posse will probably never actually find a Satanist, city officials feel like they have to be very clear in calming people’s fears about devil worshipers. You can’t have bands of Christians with torches roaming the streets of town looking for devil worshippers that more than likely didn’t exist in the first place.

But nowadays we blame the Muslims (incidentally, I failed to capitalize both the words “Satanist” and “Muslim” but Microsoft Word only automatically corrected the word “Satanist.” Hmmmm.). Muslims had to be behind the church burnings, right? I mean only Muslims or Satanists are fiendishly clever enough to burn a church, right?

Wrong. Of course, as you know, the arson was committed by three college students out looking for a “good time.” But not just college students – College Theatre Majors.

See, I was a theatre major in college. I feel like I understand other theatre majors. I don’t know why, I mean we’re all just people. I shouldn’t have any more insight into theatre majors than anyone else really. But I feel like I do. It’s easy for me to put myself in their position. I know what their schedule was probably like. I know what they probably did in their spare time. Theatre majors are pretty much the same everywhere you go. They spend too much time at rehearsals and building crappy sets and their down time is spent drinking and sleeping with everyone in the department that they can get their hands on.

Why did they do it? Well, they say that it was just a prank that got out of hand. People are finding that hard to believe. Personally, I don’t. I think that’s exactly what happened. Obviously, these kids have some deep-seeded emotional problems, I mean what the hell kind of rational human being burns even one church as a prank? Let alone nine! But this was an out-of-control prank nonetheless.

And it’s creepy to me. I would never burn down a church, or any other building for that matter, but it’s creepy to me that I can kind of understand where these dumbshit kids are coming from. They went to a small college in Birmingham, Alabama after all. I imagine that there’s not too much excitement around there. I went to a small college too, I know what it’s like. I never wanted to burn anything. But I know what it’s like.

Usually when somebody goes and burns 9 churches, they’re pretty evil. But I don’t think that these kids are evil. Incredibly stupid, but not evil. I can’t usually identify with people who would do something so horrible. But I find myself doing just that. I’m not too worried about it. I just think it’s weird. I mean, when a mother drowns her children, it’s horrific, it’s sad, it’s one of the worst things ever, but I’m not a mom, I can’t relate at all to the person who would do that. Ditto for the father who mutilates his family, the religious fanatic who blows himself up at a crowded café or the deranged creep who drags women into the back of his van.

But these firebugs were just some stupid theatre geeks.

I was a stupid theatre geek. We all spell theatre with an “r-e” on the end. And then I found these pictures of two of the arsons on the internet and it really hit me, I have a lot in common with some dumbass kids who burned down 9 churches.

Horrible theatre publicity pictures for one.

This is Ben Moseley. He was involved in all of the fires. It’s a publicity photo for a play called Extremities. It’s billed as an extremely tense, white knuckle thriller. Ben plays a rapist. Judging from the photograph, I’m going to go ahead and assume that this particular production…really sucked. The girl there in the picture plays a woman who turns the tables on her attacker by…chaining him to a bicycle! Noooo!

This is a picture of Russ DeBusk. He’s building a prop for the play All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. My guess is…he didn’t. But in Russ’s defense, I don’t remember being specifically told not to burn churches in kindergarten. I think it was more an understanding than a rule.

Fun Fact: Russ DeBusk actually claimed to be a Satanist once to a friend. He even invited that friend to go “demon hunting” with him. They ended up drinking in the woods and playing a guitar.

But this goes to show you that you should never claim to be a Satanist. You never know when you may go on a church-burning jag someday and your claims, no matter how untrue or made as a joke, will come back to haunt you.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Where Has the Time Gone?

At the moment, I’m having a small email argument with my mother. It’s your typical “how come you never call me” scenario. A scenario made worse because she’s had a birthday since the last time I talked to her. Yes, I know, I know, I’m a horrible son. But in my defense, I did talk to her days before her birthday. And I wrote a post about her birthday on this blog.

The reason I bring this up is because I’ve lost a week somewhere. Seriously. There’s a week missing from my life. I suspect that it’s been stolen. And believe me when I say this: When I find you – the person or persons who robbed me of 7 days in February – you’ll be in big trouble.

Big, mister.

Now my mom is mad at me for not calling even though I’ll swear that I just talked to her a couple weeks ago. A new TAM Cartoon hasn’t been posted since the 14th of February. And my missing February week means that I’ve been cheated out of all sorts of opportunities to learn about Black history. At least 25% of my opportunities. And now I’ll have to wait another year to learn about black people. And that’s not fair to anybody.

Sure, there are things that I can do to remedy this situation. I could call my mom ASAP and apologize for being an inconsiderate son. I could brush up on my black history now. And I could post a new TAM Cartoon.

But the fight with my mom has taken on a life of its own now and I’m more focused on being right than considerate. And who in their right mind studies black history in March?! That’s just weird. It’s like celebrating Easter in November.

And as for the TAM Cartoon…

Fun Fact: The latest TAM Cartoon is up! Imtiredofbeinglazytastic!

Okay...And I’ll probably call my mom soon.

...And Black History Month used to be called “Negro History Week.” It was started by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the son of former slaves who went on to get his PhD from Harvard. Back in 1915 he established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. A year later he founded the publication “The Journal of Negro History.” He then went on to found Negro History Week. He chose to celebrate it in March to honor the births of two men who influenced the course of black history greatly, Fredrick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

Some time later, some other people built upon what Dr. Woodson had started. They lengthened Negro History Week to a month and took out the “Negro” part. They also de-“Negro”fied his Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. It’s now known as the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History.

However, even though he called people Negroes, Dr. Woodson was one hell of a great American.

There, some Black History for you. In March.

It’s weird right?

Friday, March 03, 2006


The other day Tanya and I went to Costco to get a few things. It’s actually amazing at just how little stuff we’ll need in order to warrant a trip to the warehouse store. But when your lists comprises of “two gallons of ranch dressing” there’s not many options out there.

When we walked into the store, I noticed that they were selling framed artwork. Right there at the entrance. That’s nothing new. Costco has been selling overpriced crappy art for a while now. In fact, if you ask me, their art is the only overpriced thing that they sell. But really, how do you buy discount art? And if you discount it, is it still art?

Anyway, I spotted one piece in particular that was a departure from their normal crap. A nice Picasso print. I like Picasso. Sure, he painted a lot of crap. He drew even more crap. He did it to pay for things. He was one of those people who used to think, “hey, I could really go for a Monte Cristo sandwich, but I don’t have any cash on me. I’ll just pick up a crayon, draw a cheesy sketch on a napkin, and that should be enough to pay for at least a thousand deep fried sandwiches.”

So he would do just that. And now there are thousands of Picasso “masterpieces” out there.

But the print at Costco was nice. It looked as if it actually had some artistic thought behind it. And hey, we could always use a little more color around the apartment. So I checked out the price tag.


Yeah, it was real. A real Picasso. Right there next to the $20 cashmere sweaters and 2000 inch plasma screen TVs.

My first thought was “man, I’ll bet Picasso is rolling over in his grave at the fact that his art is now being sold at a discount wholesale warehouse.”

And then I remembered that Picasso was a whore. This is probably the very thing that he would have done himself is Costco had existed while he was alive. So, no harm done really. And you can get a Picasso at Costco. That’s pretty cool right?

My second thought was “hey, this original Picasso is sitting right here next to the huge front door. There’s only one lady guarding the front door and she’s barely even doing her job. And no one is guarding the paintings. (In fact, some were still sitting on the floor, as if the person in charge of putting up the display just gave up half way through. I had to leaf through some more affordable $4000 paintings and prints myself) I wonder how much effort it would take to pry this drawing off the temporary cubicle-type wall that it’s hanging on? Not much. And I bet I could easily get to the parking lot.”

But I’m not an art thief. Even if stealing a Picasso had been made ridiculously easy for me. That’s just not something I would do. But the opportunity was there. It just makes me wonder what all the fuss with security is about at fancy art museums. Costco isn’t so uptight. And Costco makes a lot more money. Maybe that’s it? Maybe they don’t care about the odd stolen Picasso?

Maybe I should have taken the opportunity?

No. Costco would cancel my membership for sure. And then what would I do when I needed those two gallons of Ranch Dressing?

I’m not going to Sam’s Club, I’ll tell you that! Sam’s Club is the devil!

Fun Fact: After about an hour of fine Costco shopping, Tanya and I waited in line for another 15 minutes to buy our stuff. When we finally got to the checker we were informed that our memberships had expired the day before. We weren’t allowed to buy anything unless we renewed. But our membership is attached to a business and about 4 other people’s memberships and it would have cost us $1,500. No way. We left empty handed.

There’s something very unsettling about grocery shopping for an hour and then leaving the store with nothing. I still forget that we didn’t actually purchase any of the things we shopped for. It’s screwing with my brain. I have to keep telling myself “we don’t have that ranch dressing, we don’t have that ranch dressing…”

And without a membership anyway, I wasted the perfect chance – possibly the only chance I’ll ever have – to become a big-time art thief.


Hey, here! I found a picture of the actual Picasso that I could have stolen. It’s in crayon, sure, but still pretty nice. $145,000 nice? Well…maybe not. But definitely “stealing” nice.

By the way, the Picasso drawing is entitled "Picador in a Bull Fight." Just thought you might like to know.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Woman of a Thousand Feces

Could Tyra Banks be more full of crap? Oh, it seems that her well of crapulence never runs dry. In fact, she’s up to some old stunts this week. Turns out that there have been some things nagging at her supple soul for a while now.

“How do men act at strip clubs?” “Why do they go?” “Is it for the $15 Long Island Iced Teas?” “Do the naked women help to draw an audience?” “Why do men want to look at naked women?” “Is that stripper pole cold on the crotch? I mean if there hasn’t been someone writhing on it right before you?”

Only one way to find out. Stick on a fake nose, hit the stage and hump a pole. For only pretending to be a stripper can you truly understand the strip-club-going male’s true intentions.

Oh yeah, and treating this as some kind of “experiment” is a great way to legitimize the fact that you’re really just living out one of your more “colorful” fantasies.

Hey, being a stripper is way different than being a model. I mean strippers are viewed as “objects.” Whereas models are viewed as “objects who wear clothes….most of the time…sometimes not…” There’s no pretense to stripping. Stripping goes somewhere. The strippers actually tantalize and the deliver on their promises for cash. Supermodels are really just call girls for designer jeans.

Okay, there are a few fundamental differences. Models don’t sometimes sleep with the clients after the show for the right amount of money. Models do it for cocaine. But being a stripper and being a model are pretty much the same, I think we can agree.

So why would Tyra want to go “undercover” to expose the true feelings of strip club clientele?

Well, it’s because she’s clueless.

It’s pretty much obvious when you listen to her report on her experience. Turns out that Tyra was shocked – shocked – to learn that a lot of the men who go to strip clubs are married! No! And they sometimes go home to their wives and then – get ready for this – have sex with them, but while having sex with their spouses they – get ready for this too – fantasize about having sex with the strippers! It turns out that these men are actually turned on by the naked women on stage who flash their vagina’s suggestively at them!

Tyra was especially grossed out about this. See, she was pretending to be a stripper. Granted one that didn’t strip. But the thought that someone would be fantasizing about having sex with her while sticking it to their wife was almost too much for her to take. Those naked gyrating women are trying to do their job, they’re not just fantasy fodder for marital intercourse!

No one would treat the Victoria’s Secret Catalogue that way!

Nope. Never.

Tyra also learned that a lot of the men who go to strip joints are lonely and some of them spend way too much money on private dances because…well…they’re lonely.

So men go to strip clubs to ogle and fantasize about the women? Very interesting. Well done Tyra! You’ve infiltrated the sleazy underbelly of the otherwise saintly industry of strip clubs. And it only took some prosthetic makeup and ridiculously conspicuous undercover cameras to do it.

Tyra is one sharp cookie. I think she’ll be on the air for a long, long time.

As you may also remember, some time ago Tyra had to get to the bottom of what it’s like to be fat. So she donned a “fat suit” and hit the streets to go on a couple blind dates. But to be fair to the study, she also went on dates as her svelte self. What did she learn?

That it sucks to be fat. People are mean to fat people.

Man, I’ll bet she’s glad she never actually swallowed any food while she was a teenager, huh.

So, now that Tyra has finally discovered what it was like to be fat and a stripper and reported back to the rest of us sheltered ignoramuses, what’s left? Here are a few other suggestions for her:

Tyra, do these things! I need to know! Help!

1. Why not actually gain 250 pounds? I would like to know if it’s harder to wear a fat suit for a couple dates or actually be fat. Which is harder? I mean, I could guess…it’s the suit right? Yeah, it’s probably the suit.

2. What about fat strippers? You’ve already got the suit and the rubber nose.

3. Is it hard to have no arms and legs? You could cut yours off and tell me. I’ll bet their lives are pretty much exactly the same as everyone else’s. Except, of course, that they get to use the handicapped ramps and stuff.

4. What is it like to have a mental handicap? You could get a lobotomy and learn what prejudices are out there in regards to people with limited intellect.

Or, I suppose you could just tell me now.


Am I being too hard on ol’ Tyra? I mean, America’s Next Top Model was a pretty good show once after all. I mean, do I really know what it’s like to be Tyra Banks? I should walk a mile in her shoes.

Does anyone have some high heels, lingerie and a set of angel wings I could borrow?

What?! It's for science!

Fun Fact: Tyra and I are the same age. But she’s like waaayyy richer.