Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Oh What a Beautiful Morning

The sun is shining, the birds are singing—I get it—now freaking drive already!

I drove Tanya to work today (I’m going to see X-Men III tonight). I always hate driving this time of year. When I lived in Washington State, winter was the time of year that you didn’t want to have to get out on the road. After all, up north, there is snow and ice, and if you’re not really careful, you could die.

But here in Los Angeles, things are a little different. It’s the summer that you have to watch out for. Something strange happens here in the summer. People’s brains turn to a soft, grey, Jello-like dessert that I can only assume tastes something like cherries jubilee mixed with horse rectum.

People in LA turn into morons in the summer. They somehow forget how to function as fully developed human beings. Reflexes slow. Eye sight diminishes and loses focus. Reasoning skills are severely compromised.

It makes me want to take half the city by the hand, safety pin permission slips to their shirts and escort them on a field trip to the zoo.

And it seems to affect the part of the population who have driver’s licenses the most. Suddenly even the simplest of lane-changes becomes a week-long struggle. A heated debate starts in the minds of commuters.

“Right lane or left lane? I could be in the right lane. But the left lane looks nice too. Shut up, brain! Right lane! No, goddamned it! Left lane! My word but the sun is shiny today!”

It’s some kind of sun-induced schizophrenia. People try to make a calculated decision, but the sun just sits there, its usurping voice repeating “hey, look at me. Look at how bright I am. Aren’t I lovely today? Aren’t I hot? Hot and lovely? Lovely and hot? Yes, yes I am. I’m all those things. Don’t worry about trivial things like which lane you’re going to drive in or how slow you’re going or how many people you just ran down at that last intersection. Just listen to my voice. Go as slow as you want. Drive in both lanes. And those people you mowed down? Well, every one of them has killed a baby.”

Look, I enjoy a fine spring/summer morning just as much as the next guy. It’s pretty and all. Yes it’s a miracle. God is sharing his glory with the world and all that. But, really, get your freaking sun-stroked ass in gear and drive or I will give you a chance to share God’s love from a front row seat in heaven…or wherever the hell it is that people who can’t be bothered to pay attention to other drivers spend eternity after I kill them.

I don’t want to have to enjoy the wonders of nature on your schedule. Believe it or not, it’s not up to you whether or not I’m too high strung or should calm down or stop and smell the roses or some other such crap. I have my own roses to smell. Yours smell like ass. If I seem to be moving too fast for such a nice lazy day—tough. I’m not easily distracted by shiny objects. Even if the particular shiny object happens to contain approximately 98% of the total mass in the solar system.

Now, enjoy the sunshine. But don’t be a retard about it.

Fun Fact: The sun does indeed contain about 98% of the solar system’s total mass. The sun is also made up mostly of hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe.

Way to be original, sun.

The sun’s surface is 11,000°F, which, next to Palm Springs, California and Tampa, Florida, makes it the most desirable place for old people to retire to.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Something Old, Something New

I told you already that I'm doing repeats of old TAM Cartoons. Well, actually, until the cartoon comes out of its hiatus I'm going to be running them in order, a different cartoon every day! Everydaysational!

How’s that for something?!

Yes, it’s definitely something.

Fun Fact: See above.

Oh, and if you don't see a different cartoon than the one you (theoretically) saw yesterday, just refresh the page!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Forward to the Past!

I’m putting the cartoon on a bit of a hiatus. Don’t panic, it’s not going away for good. I’m just pretty busy at the moment. Think of the TAM Cartoon hiatus as a “summer break.” It’ll come back soon. I’m not sure just how soon, but it’ll come back.

In the meantime, I’ll be “re-running” all of your old favorites. Okay, so “old favorites” might be a bit of an exaggeration. Let me just say that I’ll be re-running the old cartoons.

Like “I Love Lucy,” I’m hoping that the cartoons will seem – if not funnier – quainter than they once did. And as an added bonus, you get to relive the experience you had the very first time you saw each particular cartoon. You’ll be awash in your own reverie as each cartoon loads onto your computer monitor.

Ever wondered what it would be like to travel to the past? Travel to a time when you were more innocent and wide-eyed? You could warn yourself of impending danger. You could change the world by offering bleak forecasts of things to come, thus preparing the world of the past against terrible tragedies yet to come and give them time to remedy any possible mistakes before they ever occur!. Things that no mere non-time-traveling mortal could ever predict!

Warn the federal government about the weak levees in New Orleans.

Tell others that a vote for Incumbent President Bush will lead down a road to continued violence in the Middle East, financial ruin, civic hardships and the unabated rise of evil greedy corporate slave masters.

Tell all to bet against the Clippers in the NBA playoffs.

That’s the effect you’ll get from seeing the old TAM Cartoons! Of course, you won’t be able to actually change the events of your life, but you could sure try! Why not?! It’s worth a try isn’t it? Who cares if all your friends think you’ve gone crazy. Just tell them that they’ll be laughing out the other end when they no longer exist because you told your past self to kill Sara Connors!

Yeah…so I guess what I’m saying is…I’m going to be re-running “classic” TAM Cartoons for a while.


Fun Fact: Taylor Hicks will be the next American Idol! That’s a fact. So what if he never actually wins, he’ll still be my American Idol. I’ll make t-shirts that say as much. And I’ll wear them too! And you will believe!

And, on a related note, my favorite American Idol contestant of all time is Kimberly Locke. Is it just me, or is she one of the hottest chicks ever? (Don’t worry, Tanya. I’m not including you in this. You’re the hottest chick ever…well, you and Melissa Joan Hart)

Monday, May 22, 2006


You know, I’ve got a bone to pick with the president. No, it’s not about his gross ineptitude. It’s about his address to the Nation last week on immigration reform.

Dear Mr. President Bush,

I have a bone to pick with you.

If you would have just kept your damned, idiot mouth shut for a second, then Oprah could have aired her “Legends Ball” as planned – and today it would be over with and forgotten.

But noooooo, you, Mr. President, had to go and try to propagate your impotent policy on the very same night that Mme. Oprah was going to show the world just what a great – and wealthy – human being she is. Your actions, Mr. Bush, forced Oprah to postpone her television event until tonight. This means, that I had to watch her on GMA this morning. Well, I didn’t have to watch her. In fact, I tried my damndest to avoid her. But Katie Couric is leaving the Today Show soon and ever since she made that decision, the Today show has been one big annoying Katie love-in. And who wants to watch that?

And don’t get me started on CBS. It’s for old people.

So this morning I was forced to endure Oprah. And I’m a worse human being for it. What are you prepared to do, Mr. President? You must be held responsible for your own actions. I have a proposal. Actually, I have a couple of them.

1) We take away Oprah’s freedom of free speech (I figure that this suggestion is one that you can really get behind). Then censure the hell out of her. Thus leaving her about as effective as your Social Security reform plan. Brilliant!

2) You make a presidential mandate that all future history textbooks include an entire chapter on Oprah Winfrey. In fact, go ahead and order that all existing textbooks be required to print supplemental updates. I figure if we do this, then we’ll never have to hear from Oprah ever again. Make sure that the textbooks name all of the really important celebrities that Oprah knows (and hell, throw in some unknown “regular people” too, just so that Oprah can maintain some credibility). Also make sure to have the textbook publishers note that Oprah was instrumental in the following historical events:

Fighting AIDS and poverty in Africa

Proliferating the career of John Travolta

Single handedly keeping the African American culture alive

The Emancipation Proclamation

The end of the Cold War

The fall of the Berlin Wall

The discovery of America

Hypercolor clothing

Thank you for your time, Mr. President. I’ve never seen one person so single-mindedly intent on being a part of history. With maybe the exception of yourself.

Please give Oprah what she wants. Immortality. Maybe then we can all be done with her. She makes me tired.

Thanks again,

The Anthropomorphic Male

P.S. As president, could try not to suck so much?

Fun Fact: Hypercolor clothing was treated with a heat-sensitive pigment that was invented by Oprah Winfrey, manufactured by Matsui Shikiso Chemical of Japan and distributed by Generra.

Oprah! You cruel bitch! There’s nothing more traumatic than being a sweaty, hormonal adolescent. Except maybe being a sweaty, hormonal adolescent whose armpits turned a bright pink ever time a hot girl walked by!

Why not just invent a pair of pants that would sing “Happy Birthday to You” ever time I got an erection?!

I hate you, Oprah.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Heeeyyy Abboooott!

I've got a dirty mouth!

Well, not me, Lou Costello. Lou Costello had a dirty mouth. He's dead now. But we shouldn't dwell on that.

I was poking around YouTube today (again). And I found this clip. Rare outtakes from one of the greatest acts of all time, Abbott and Costello. And I got to tell you, I'm a little shocked at Lou's blue streak.

But he probably needed a release. You can't tell me that playing a borderline mentally retarded man your whole life wouldn't get a bit old after a while.

Ashton Kutcher, do you have any insight on this subject?

Fun Fact: Tanya and I went to Arthur Grace's book signing last night in Brentwood.

I ate some chili.

I couldn't resist:

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Not Just a Steak Substitute for Frustrated Vegetarians Anymore

Portobello…by the sea!

It’s the most expensive American home ever to be put on the market. Its listed price is $75 million! And it’s here in southern California. Orange County to be (almost) exact.

Here’s a picture of the place.

Why am I posting about this? Well, I have nothing better to do. Plus when I first saw the house on ABCs Good Morning America this morning, something struck me. This house is stylish (I can tell why they call it Portobello by the Sea, it looks like a family of mushrooms vacationing at the beach), it’s immense, it has 8 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, it sits on 3 ocean front lots, it has an automobile showroom, a mini movie theatre and bowling alley (both patterned after real places in the owner’s West Virginia home town [earning him extra bonus points from me – West “by God” Virginia rules! Woot!]), it has a waterslide, this house even has it’s own cafĂ© (which I think is extraordinarily cool, although it might get expensive eating out that much).

But there’s one thing that confounds me. This guy goes out and builds a real mansion – not one of those tacky McMansions you see all over the place these days – and yet he still doesn’t have the good taste to not build it right up to his damned property line!

Just goes to show you that having a crap load of money doesn’t make you a better neighbor. And money doesn’t buy sophistication.

Go here and follow the link on the left to see a video of the inside of the house.

Fun Fact: I just got his email, so I figured that I would plug his latest project. Kevin has made a music video for the LA Clippers. Hopefully it’ll be played on the Jumbo-Tron at Staples Center. But, just in case you don’t have a chance to go see the Clipper play again this year, let’s say they…I don’t know…choke, and don’t move on in the playoffs. Just go here to see the video.

If you want the experience of seeing it on the Jumbo-Tron, but can’t afford tickets to the Staples Center, just download the small screen version – and sit real close to the monitor.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I Just Watch It for the Ring Girls

Yowie! Nothing hotter than a slutted-up boxing ring girl.

So, I was minding my business this morning, watching “Daily Show” clips and laughing to myself about how I beat the system by not buying cable television and instead getting DSL, when I came across something fascinating.

Jon Stewart was showing cat boxing.

To be honest, I had forgotten all about cat boxing. It’s not the most popular sport these days. But I had seen footage of cat boxing in my younger days. Why? Well, because it’s one of the first things that Thomas Edison decided to film with his new moving pictures camera. And when I was a kid, that was history.

Obviously. I mean, Thomas probably only invented the damned moving picture camera because he wanted to film some cats boxing. It’s what I would have done.

Here’s the film. Enjoy.

Good old Thomas filmed lots of other interesting things as well. People kissing, a kid juggling some batons, regular boxing, a great train robbery, some dude stealing liquor and tobacco from a cartoon, an elephant being electrocuted to death by alternating current, the electric chair execution of President William McKinley’s assassin Leon Czolgosz…

You know, the usual crap.

Seriously, Edison was the first film producer ever and he chose to film death, debauchery, violence and sex.

Man, one thing is for sure, the movie industry sure has come a long way!

Fun Fact: Old timy movies always have a certain slapstick quality about them. Here’s a great example. It’s Leon Czolgosz’s execution film.

It’s still pretty graphic, so don’t watch it if you’re sensitive.

But, other than the fact that it shows a man actually dying, it looks way more “Keystone Cops” and not so much “Faces of Death.”

In fact, the only thing that it’s missing is two placards at the end that read “Is the tyrant truly dead?”


Go back and watch that cat boxing one again!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I’ll Teach Them a Lesson

Being the qualified dentist that I am, I’ve just diagnosed myself with an abscess of the incisor. It’s pretty gross. It’s also my worst nightmare. I’ll have to get a root canal. Getting a root canal combines my two worst fears of all time, getting shots (needles) – and spending hundreds of dollars (just to have somebody jab me with a needle).

It seems that the Gods of Equilibrium heard about the PA job I got last week. They learned that I had made a few extra bucks (which was supposed to go to financing a trip to North Carolina this summer). I’m convinced that if I ever get any extra money, the entire universe will implode. I’m pretty sure that’s why the Gs of E hit me with this dental problem. Granted, I started to have symptoms of the abscess before the PA job came to me, so one could argue that, somewhere, fate was looking out for me by offering me a means to pay for the procedure…but screw that. I like to complain. Fate can kiss my swollen gums!

Some people like to tempt fate – I like to taunt it.

Seriously, though, I’m tired of this crap. I mean, sure, this is “life” and all that. But I’m sick of the unexpected costs. I feel like a drug addict. Really. I had to pay that stupid ticket for running a stop sign a month back and now this. The part that makes me feel like a drug addict is that, like the stop sign ticket and subsequent traffic school, when this procedure is done I’ll just be back where I started. I have to pay hundreds of dollars to maintain my level of “normal.” They’re not going to put like a “super tooth” in my mouth or anything. They’ll just rip all the guts out of my existing tooth and cement it to my jawbone.


So, what’s a man with a toothache and a small puss problem supposed to do when he needs to pay for an expensive dental procedure but has no insurance?

I’m going to the UCLA Dental School!

Horray! All the fun of a root canal with the added bonus of having it take up to three times longer! But they charge half of what other dentists do, so that’s enough for me.

And I’m always willing to help out education. I think that I could be a really valuable patient. When I was a kid, I got kicked out of about 7 different dentist offices. Those milquetoast dentists couldn’t handle my kicking. Pussies. Eventually, my parents just gave up trying to get me to the dentist. And now look where I am! I have an abscess!

But I’m an adult now. I can control myself at the dentist office.

I just hope that the students at UCLA Dental School wear shin guards.

Fun Fact: “Milquetoast” means one who has a meek, timid, unassertive nature. Its etymology derives from Caspar Milquetoast, a timid 1920s comic-strip character created by Harold Tucker Webster (Webster described his character as a little guy who “speaks softly – and gets hit with a big stick.” HA! The 20s!).

Milquetoast was also a bland type of food usually served to infants and invalids that consisted of soaking a piece of buttered, toasted bread in milk.


It’s also probably the only thing I’ll be eating after I get this stupid root canal.

Here's what happened the last time I was in the dentist's chair!

Yes, that's me in "Little Shop..." I'm the one in the chair, in case you can't tell. (thanks for the pic, Eric) The guy playing the dentist is Simon. You know, I could pay for this root canal easily if I just had a dollar for every time that dude stepped on my balls during that production.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Snackson Pollack

This is my latest creation. As an artist, I usually have to wait a long time before inspiration hits me. This time it hit me like a glass full of cold water.

Beautiful, isn’t it? I wonder how much I could get for it at auction. Maybe enough for a new bag of M&Ms? That would be sweet. Literally.

There are some downsides to be the next avant-garde master of art. For one, it ruins your snack foods. For two, people who look at your latest masterpiece incessantly ask you the question “is that a paper towel?”

Yes, it is a paper towel. Some words of advice: Unless you’re planning on becoming a revered modern artist like me, never leave a bag of M&Ms open – on the floor – next to the small table which holds your big glass of water. Never take a P.A. job at the last minute which will leave you exhausted so that when you get home and try to relax with a huge bag of candy-coated chocolate and nice cool glass of water, you inadvertently forget how to reach for said water and end up spilling the entire thing – directly into your candy.

Here’s something else I learned. M&Ms may not “melt in your hands,” but give them a good watering and they’ll melt just about anywhere.

And unlike so many Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups commercials, my accidental pairing didn’t make anything better. “You got water in my M&Ms!” “You got M&Ms in my water!” Two sentences that will probably never be uttered on national television during halftime at the Super Bowl. Because the outcome looks like this:

Yes, I tried to rescue my candy. It wasn’t wholly successful. Sure, I can still eat the candy, but it’s just not the same. The candy shells have been compromised. They are now thin and some of them look as if they’re moldy. Luckily, they don’t taste moldy. They’re kind of like the Halloween chocolate that you forgot to eat for a year. Covered in that weird white stuff, but still edible.

Here’s the actual art piece being created!

Let the auction begin. I’m taking bids! I’ll start at “two bags of candy!” Do I hear “two bags of candy?!”

Fun Fact: I didn’t come up with the title for today’s post. I wish that I had. You can thank Steve for this one. In fact, why don’t you go to his website and thank him right now?!

Also, why not give Kevin a visit. Why? Because he got to meet Mitch Hurwitz this past weekend (Mitch came to the play Kevin is in). I think that Kevin deserves a visit for this. Go here and find out why Mitch decided to leave Arrested Development (maybe he’s interested in doing another sitcom? Perhaps one exclusively for the internet? Maybe one that would be already written and ready for him to produce? Hmmm…)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Shameless Cross-Promotion

There’s a new podcast in town. Don’t get all excited, it’s not mine. But do get all excited because it’s Kevin’s.

Yes, Kevin has entered the mighty world of podcasting. Right in there with conservative religious fanatics and that high school chick who always promises to flash the camera but never does.

Okay, I made those last ones up. I’m not sure that they actually exist. But they probably do. One podcast that does exist is Kevin Sage’s.

Why am I plugging Kevin’s podcast so much, you ask? Well, because he’s my friend. Can’t a brother help another brother out without you getting all snarky and suspicious about it? Huh?!

Sure, he said that he would plug my song “Shameless Self Promoter” a little bit, but that’s not my main reason for doing it. I’m doing it because he’s my friend and his James Blunt music video parody has gotten popular. And because I did the music for the parody (and also the camera work).

Yeah, okay, I can admit that I’m plugging Kevin’s stuff because there’s a little something in it for me. But not much. Just those couple of little things.

Which makes me think…you should subscribe to Kevin’s podcast…and then tell him that you want to see more me.

Fun Fact: To promote cave painting exhibit openings and “rock” concerts, cavemen used to hand out small rocks with hieroglyphs on them. Loosely translated, the stone “flyers” read: “Six Rockin’ Bands, One Small Cover. $15 @ the door. Two drink min.”

I realize that the stone flyer doesn’t make much sense when it comes to promoting a gallery opening but…

It doesn’t matter because I’m obviously making this crap up.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I ♥ NY

So, I did it. I watched David Blaine’s “Drowned Alive” special last night on ABC. In case you’ve been dead for the past week or so, magician David Blaine submerged himself in a spherical tank of water outside Lincoln Center for 7 days before attempting to break the world record for longest breath held under water (how’s that for a long crafty sentence, huh?)

Okay, first I need to take issue with something. I have a problem with the title of the stunt, “Drowned Alive.” Now there are a few definitions for the word “drowned.” 1. To muffle or mask (a sound) by a louder sound. 2. To deaden one's awareness of; blot out. 3. To drench thoroughly or cover with or as if with a liquid (I didn’t write these definitions). 4. To kill by submerging and suffocating in water or another liquid.

Okay, technically speaking, what David did was drown himself alive, as per the third definition that I just mentioned. But I know that they were using the word “drowned” to elicit some kind of panic response in the viewers through publicity. That’s why they didn’t call the stunt “Dunked in a large Spherical Tank Alive!” It just doesn’t have quite the punch.

The David Blaine publicity machine wanted the audience to feel as if David Blaine had survived being drowned. Like the death kind of “drowned.” Not the “don’t drown your food” form of the word.

But here’s my issue. Can anyone, ever, be drowned not alive? Isn’t being alive to begin with pretty much a prerequisite to drowning? You can’t drown a dead guy can you? I’m speaking of course of the “drowned” that means “To kill by submerging and suffocating in water or another liquid.” The term that they’re using to elicit the emotional response. Not the “drowned” that they’re using to be technically correct.

See, here’s the problem. It’s getting very confusing. And it’s taking up more blog real estate than I anticipated. But let me try to clear up my frustration with the title of David Blaine’s stunt. Because, I think that this is pointing to a bigger problem, and that’s the American marketing mechanism in general. I can’t handle all the double entendre. Sure, if it’s funny…

But there’s nothing funny about being drowned.

Unless you’re being drowned in a landslide of rubber chickens.

Anyway. David Blane’s people got together and said “hey how about we call the stunt…’Drowned Alive?!”

To which David said, “what?! You mean that I have to drown?!”

“Oh, no, David” the marketing people said “we looked it up and – technically – as long as you’re covered in something you’re drowning.”


“Oh, yeah.” They sit back in their ergonomic desk chairs and tent their fingers, “legally, we’re not lying to anyone.”

Their maniacal laughter filled the office high-rise.

Now, if a word has two definitions, then, to me, it’s two words. And how can you use two words at the same time? You can’t. Unless you use double entendre. But double entendre should only be used to titillate, not to tease.

“I’d really like to come up and see your home office.” is titillating. It’s taking something as innocuous as a “home office” and loading it with double meaning (granted, that double meaning is nonsensical… but it’s still titillating).

David Blaine was “drowned alive!” is taking something exciting, like a drowning, and making it just some technical doubletalk. “Drowning” as in dying and “drowning” as in covering with goop are two separate things. That’s why you’ll never hear this exchange at the local swimming pool.

“Hey, honey, how are the kids enjoying the kiddie pool?”

“Oh, they love it…in fact they’re drowning right now.”

“Drowning?! Help! Help! Why don’t you save them?!”

“Why would I save them? How do you expect kids to enjoy the kiddie pool if they can’t drown themselves in it every once in a while?”

“You’re a sick man, Harold. Mother was right!”

Yeah, this whole argument is making me tired. It’s just not that important. If David Blaine wants to drown himself, but not really, then what business is it of mine?

Fun Fact: I was really glad to see the crowd’s reaction to David Blaine’s stunt last night. It made me happy to be an American. There were nothing but cheers of support.

When David fasted in a box in London, people did nothing but pester him. They taunted him. They threw crap at him.


They felt that his stunt was too superfluous. Unnecessary.

Well, duh.

That’s the whole point. And what’s more pathetic? A man who hangs himself in a box in London for 44 days without food for no good reason, or the weirdoes who take the time out of their day to come down and throw hamburgers at that man?

I love New Yorkers. New Yorkers can at least appreciate something that’s completely unessential. I mean, they’ve put up with Donald Trump for years.

Good for you, Gothamites!

Oh, and the latest TAM Cartoon is up! Alsosuperfluousational!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Let’s Talk Mayo

It’s Cinco De Mayo, a time when Americans everywhere pretend to appreciate the Mexican culture so as to get as drunk a possible and still keep an air of tolerance and understanding about them.

It’s a little like St. Patrick’s day, but with a lot less kissing and green and a lot more…well…Mexicans.

One thing is certain, there’s no better way to celebrate an immigrant holiday than drinking gallons of beer.

In the interest of spreading a true appreciation for the holiday, I’m going to give you a brief history of Cinco De Mayo.

It’s an often repeated misconception that Cinco De Mayo is the Mexican Independence Day. It is not. Don’t be an ignoramus and say that it is. Because, as I said, it isn’t. Maybe it should be, there is an argument for that. But it isn’t. So don’t try to impress a Latino with your ignorant belief that it is. No matter how drunk you get, Cinco De Mayo will never be Mexican Independence Day. Not this year anyway. And the Latino that you’re talking to may not actually be a Mexican. Also no matter how drunk you get. And Cinco De Mayo is a Mexican Holiday.

As I said, there are some who would like for Cinco De Mayo to be Mexican Independence Day. After all, who the hell remembers September 16th? That is actually Mexican Independence day. That’s the real one. As you can tell, it’s not on the 5th. It’s also not in May. But any argument to make Cinco De Mayo the Mexican Independence Day would be stupid. Let me explain.

Cinco De Mayo is a celebration of a battle that took place on…yes…May 5th. It was the spring of 1862 and France was more than a little pissed at Mexico for refusing to pay back some debts. See Mexico was strapped because they’d spent all their cash fighting the Americans and themselves, so they asked for a small grace period on the pay-back. The French said “hell no.”

About 8,000 or so French troops marched their way into Mexico, threatening to take over the capital and the entire country. The leader of the French, Napoleon III had a plan to turn control over to his homie, Archduke Maximillion of Austria.

I’m sure that Napoleon’s reasoning was this: “Why not have an Austrian rule Mexico? After all, the similarities between traditional Austrian polka music and Mexico’s traditional mariachi are uncanny.”

(As a side note: I like both polka and mariachi. I really do. In fact, I just got an accordion. No word yet on getting one of those huge-ass guitars.)

Mexican’s didn’t see it this way. They wanted less tuba and more gigantic guitar-thingies. So they fought off the French invasion. Led by Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin, a small(ish) army of rag-tag Mexican forces beat back the French forces and the Austrian Archduke in the “Battle of Puebla” and kept the entire nation free of Lederhosen forever!

And that’s why Cinco De Mayo is so special.

Actually, a couple years after the “first” Cinco De Mayo, the Archduke and the French came back with a bigger army and took over Mexico. The American’s helped to run the French out of Mexico. This time forever for realzies. And since then, the citizens of Mexico have been so thankful that every day, thousands of them come to this country – unsolicited – to tell us how happy they are about it.

So should Cinco De Mayo be celebrated as Mexican Independence Day? No. It was just a great victory for Mexico is all. But it wasn’t the birth of their independence. Therefore, it shouldn’t be celebrated that way. And anyone who thinks otherwise is a dumb-head.

There is also a movement in this country to make Cinco De Mayo an American holiday.

That’s also retarded.

What the hell does America have to do with a battle that took place in Mexico between the French and Mexicans in 1862? Not a hell of a lot. It would be like asking Mexico to recognize President’s Day.

And really, no one recognizes President’s Day.

Fun Fact: According to my calendar, today is not only “Battle of Puebla Day (Mexico)” but it’s also the First Quarter Moon!

Now that’s just some useful information there. I buy Corona for Cinco De Mayo, but what the hell do I get drunk on for First Quarter Moon?!

Moon Pies?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Lazy Blogger Strikes Again

If you want to watch one funny man make a huge room full of people uncomfortable for what seems like an

Excerpts from Stephen Colbert at the White House Press Dinner.

Fun Fact: Peaches taste like peach.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Rodney Dangerfield Eat Your Heart Out

I went back to school too!

Traffic school, that is. Yes, thanks to one neglected stop sign, I was endowed with the great privilege to rekindle my old learnin’ days by taking an online traffic re-education course.

Of course, I’m a much better student now. In my youth, I would have slept through traffic school, I would have giggled at myself for typing the word “endowed” in the above paragraph and I wouldn’t have taken near as many notes.

Sure, I took notes. That doesn’t make me some kind of egg-head, does it? No. Besides, each chapter of the course ended in a quiz. And the chapters were fairly long. I was convinced that I would forget at least one crucial piece of information before I got to the chapter-end test. I have the memory of a pair of scissors after all. So I took quite a few notes. No matter that the chapter quizzes consisted of two questions each. (But I was positive that I would forget stuff like the fact that car accidents are the #1 killer of people ages 15-30. By the way, with mortality rates like that, where the hell is the “don’t drive like a drunken wombat” telethon? I could get behind that cause. One damned baby chokes on a plastic toy and we have nationwide panic. A couple teenagers die from tainted beef and we call out the National Guard to protect us from Jack in the Box. But thousands of people die in car crashes and we throw up our hands and say “well, what are you gonna do, huh? Can’t just stop driving like asshats now, can we?”)

Yes, the quizzes were two questions each. But here’s the rub, if you want to pass the quiz you must answer both questions correctly. Otherwise, you have to take the quiz over again with two different questions. And apparently, I’ve become quite the “pleaser” since I left school (when I was in high school, I didn’t care so much about grades or homework. I didn’t care if I got a single homework assignment right. Hell, as long as my homework didn’t spontaneously burst into flames or mow down my fellow classmates with an AK-47 I was happy). I didn’t just want to finish my online traffic course with a passing grade, I wanted to be the best damned student the Los Angeles Metropolitan Court has ever seen!

And I almost was.

I missed 2 questions in the final exam (there were 50 questions here, most of which I had already answered in the quizzes). And one of them was because I was too lazy to read the question properly. The other I just missed. But I don’t remember what the questions were (in case you were wondering).

So I got a 96% on my traffic school final exam. And I have to tell you that I’m a little disappointed. I don’t know why.

Maybe, deep down, a part of me wanted to do so well on the course so that when the Met Courthouse clerk opened my certificate, he would instantly know that they had made a mistake by giving me a ticket in the first place. He would then proceed to march upstairs to the judges chambers and demand that my test be looked at by the highest seated judge in the building. The judge would say something like “I’m sorry, who the hell are you to demand that I look at anything?! You’re just a clerk!”

The clerk would narrow his eyes, and in a dusky voice growl back “You’re sorry alright. You’re low, pal. Real low. You couldn’t get lower if you were sitting on one of those little chairs they have in kindergarten the center of the Earth...while having sex with Paris Hilton.”

The Judge would gasp.

With a flourish of fanfare from unseen trumpeters, the Clerk would whip my test results from behind his back (he had been keeping them there, waiting for a dramatic moment to present them. A moment like this). “You should see this man’s traffic school test. It’s outstanding! Obviously there has been a miscarriage of justice here. No man who scores this highly could possibly have broken any of our EARTHLY traffic laws. A man who scores this highly on anything must have an awareness of the universe seconded only to God. I’ve lost faith in the system, now what are you going to do about it, Judge?!”

And the Judge would just sit there, knowing that he had made a mistake. His entire career had been a mistake. Knowing that it wasn’t justice that drove him, but rather power. He would then realize that his life up until this point had been one great big lie.

And the clerk would quit his job, find a great girlfriend, move into a rent controlled apartment in Santa Monica, the kind you only hear about in tales told by employees at convalescent homes, and he would become the biggest man in Los Angeles. Because…why not? He deserves it. For being such an observant clerk.

Man, that would be cool.

Fun Fact: If you’re traveling on a one-lane mountain road and another car approaches you in the opposite direction, but there’s no room to pass, the car that’s facing downhill must back up until they reach a spot in the road where both cars can safely get around each other.

Why? Because it’s safer to reverse uphill. That’s why.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Lazy Blogger Me

YouTube is the lazy blogger’s dream. However, it’s also the lazy blog reader’s dream. I mean, if I didn’t post a video from YouTube up here today, there would be nothing to look at.

Trust me. You were going to be totally screwed out of a post today. I mean, it would have been something. I have to announce the latest Tam Cartoon after all. So it wouldn’t have just been yesterday’s post staring you in the face this morning, but it wouldn’t have been much more.

Not that I don’t appreciate your readership. I do. It’s just that I don’t have anything to say. Sure, I could have followed up on yesterday’s post about the immigration marches in downtown LA, but nothing really happened. A bunch of immigrants marched around, waved some flags, and then went home. No biggie. Two people did get arrested. But what’s two people? That’s nothing. It was a really large group, so you expect at least two people to get arrested.

If more than 10 Los Angelinos go to get ice cream it’s practically guaranteed that eventually two of them will be arrested.

So, there’s no point in blogging about the immigration marches.

That leaves me with pretty much nothing. And that’s what I’m passing on to you, the consumer. Nothing.

Except a video from YouTube. And I wasn’t even really going to post that. But when I went to the YouTube site, desperate for something entertaining, it actually delivered. The first featured video this morning seemed exceptionally apropos.

It’s a video from (I couldn’t get this site to load all morning, but maybe soon it’ll be fixed) illustrating the steps it takes to create and post an internet cartoon.

Enjoy, it’s pretty cool.

You can see more videos here (if still won’t load).

Of course, I’m not as technically savvy (and I don’t have any good programs for adding color), so I still create my lame ass cartoon old-school style (and it’s still in black and white, which is pretty okay by me). You can get the behind the scenes look at my cartoon here.

Fun Fact: My behind-the-scenes post is from 2004. Man this blog is getting old. And I still have the same daily hit count as then.

So sad.

Oh, and the latest TAM Cartoon is up! Lazysational!

Monday, May 01, 2006

A Day Without a Mexican

No, it’s not an American xenophobe’s wet dream, it’s a comedy mockumentary by Sergio Arau about a fictitious day when all of California’s Latnos mysteriously disappear, leaving unappreciative non-Hispanic folks to fend for themselves.

The reality isn’t as funny.

Lots and lots (millions?) of immigrant supporters are taking to the streets today all around the country, walking off their jobs, closing their shops, to protest a bill in congress that would make it a felony to enter this country illegally. It’s designed to illustrate the importance of immigrants in this country, legal or otherwise.

The idea came to organizers from an unexpected place. See, when the bill was first introduced, a crap-load of LA high school kids took the opportunity to walk off their classes and clog up the freeways. It got the nation’s attention. Now, organizers are hoping that a more…organized…walk-off will garner even more attention.

And, hey, if the idea came from a bunch of teenagers, then you know it’s a good one!

So, that’s what’s happening today. I wouldn’t say that Los Angeles has been brought to a stand-still, but it’s definitely quieter around here. Especially next door at the construction site. Which is fine by me. I finally have a chance to hear myself think.

And here’s what I’m thinking.

This boycott and peaceful walk-off, while nice, touchy-feely and definitely better than a riot, seems a little desperate to me. Doesn’t it? I mean, come on, congress will never pass a law that makes it a freaking felony to be an illegal immigrant (if they do, I’ll be right out there marching with the others). It just doesn’t make any sense. And the bill has stalled out a bit anyway. I think the message has gotten to congress already. This demonstration today smacks a little bit of overkill.

Hey! You neeeeeeeed us! Never forget that! And just in case you might forget it, we’re going to screw crap up for a little while!”

Yeah, okay, we get it. Immigrants are important to America. I know that already. But see, the issue for most of us isn’t immigration. It’s illegal immigration. And there is a difference, I think. By its definition, there’s a difference. Now, I think that this country should make it easier to immigrate here, but that’s neither here nor there in regards to the argument that illegal immigration is illegal.

Let’s not pretend that those people who immigrate here illegally are just your run of the mill immigrants. They’re illegal. I understand the hardships that they face in their home countries, I do. But when you enter this country illegally it sends a message that you don’t really respect this country and its laws, the country that you claim to revere, that you claim to be your salvation. Without respect, “reverence” becomes exploitation. And this country has been exploited. Under the status quo, illegal immigrants know that if they’re caught in this country the worse that will happen to them is that they’ll be shipped back to wherever they came from. They count on it. Then they simply sneak back in again and the process starts all over. They don’t really respect this country, they only really respect the great things that they can get from this country.

In turn, illegal immigrants are themselves exploited. They’re held hostage by employers who take advantage of their precarious legal standing. Employers who pay them less money than they deserve to be earning because, while the punishment as it stands now is simple deportation, which might not be very harsh, it’s still a real pain in the ass for the person being deported. And “pain in the ass” is an understatement. So the illegal has not much choice but to toe the line, suck it up, and hope for a compassionate employer. And trust me, there are a lot of people on capital hill who would love to see this whole immigration reform stuff just go away. The status quo has been protected on this issue for years. And most would like it to stay that way.

And where does this all leave us? With a symbiotic relationship between inexpensive illegal immigrant labor and American capitalist greed, with mutual disrespect at the heart of it.

And this needs to change. But not with threats.

Some folks in Congress issued a threat to illegals, “stop sneaking over the border or we’ll throw your foreign ass in prison.” Now the immigrants are on the defensive and firing back with threats of their own, “we’d like to see you try to throw our foreign asses in prison when there aren’t enough prisons for all of us, and good luck trying to build new ones without a labor force.”

Illegal immigrants do need to have more respect for this country. But that’s not just something that happens. The respect needs to be earned. America needs to earn the respect of the would-be illegal immigrant.

And America needs to have more respect for its immigrants too. But again, immigrants need to earn that respect. They can’t just get everything on their terms because they want it that way.

This whole issue is confusing and frustrating. And it’ll never be resolved if both sides don’t stop acting like obstinate children.

So let’s open up our borders a little bit. Let’s all relax some. But let’s also stop calling illegal immigrants “immigrants.”

A person who grows pot in their basement and sells it out of their Volkswagen Micro Bus is not an “entrepreneur.” Why? Because it’s illegal.

Until they change the laws anyway.

Now I’m just trying to terrify the right-wingers.

Fun Fact: I’ve been working on a new project lately. The kind of project that requires a theme song. I’ve also been “letting the evil in” a little bit…I’ve gotten a MySpace page. Two actually. Here’s the link to one of them. You can listen to the theme song from my latest project as well as a tune that I’ve been working on the last couple days (also for that project). The project is titled (for now) Life From the Inside.

The theme song is called “Fine Print.”

The new song is called “Go.” A different kind of song for me.

Take a listen.