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Presidential Canditate Mitt Romney Adds Eleventh Point to Plan to Lift Economy: Americans who Fall Behind Will be Left to Die

In celebrity fashion on September 6, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney

Last week former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney announced his ten point plan to lift the economy.  Just yesterday he added an eleventh point: Americans who fall behind will be left to die.  In an interview at the unveiling of the plan,  Romney stated, “We felt the ten point plan didn’t address the plight of the average American, so we added this final point.  In fact Point Eleven isn’t so much a new policy initiative, as the natural consequence of the other ten.”

Earlier in the week pundits had criticized Romney’s ten point plan as affecting too narrow a segment of the American population.  For example, the first ten points of Romney’s plan focused on tax cuts for the wealthy, extending tax cuts for the wealthy, making the CEO of GM wealthy, and whatever the hell “resisting insular retrenchment” means.  While the plan did include items that would affect average Americans, such as eliminating cost savings from Obamacare,  gutting environmental regulation, and settling scores with unions, the Romney campaign felt he had to do more for the 99% of Americans who were struggling with extended joblessness, shrinking wages, underwater mortgages, and hungry children.  Romney’s solution was Point Eleven:  Leave them to die.

The Romney Plan

According to a Romney spokesman, the primary advantage of Point Eleven is its broad impact, which will include literally millions of Americans who were formerly members of the middle class.   The second advantage is its fundamental fairness.  It doesn’t matter whether you are a life-long diabetic, a victim of a natural disaster, a returning veteran, or a four-year-old whose parents haven’t worked in 52 months; it applies to every American equally. The spokesman also pointed out the added benefit that working class Americans who still had jobs were unlikely to complain about further wage and benefit cuts, and were likely to be more productive knowing that if they lost their job they would be left to die.

The rest of the Republican field has evidently been caught off guard by Point Eleven.  A number of the candidates have complained that the plan isn’t new, but rather has been an unstated element of the Republican platform since Ronald Reagan.  But Point Eleven has engendered some grudging respect, such as candidate Newt Gingrich who was heard muttering that he wished he’d thought of that one.  Texas Governor Rick Perry, however, was quick to distance himself from the plan.  In a statement to the press Governor Perry shot back, “I need to make it clear that in Texas, we do not leave people to die.  We hunt them down with dogs.”

President Obama has been quick to respond with his own compromise plan that would leave many fewer of the nation’s most vulnerable to die, while at the same time adding hundreds of jobs to the economy.  The President has announced a nationally televised speech on the subject to be held whenever Speaker of the House John Boehner can fit him in.

While Romney has surged in the polls, he still faces some skeptics.  For example, in a televised interview the candidate was asked if his eleven point plan would address the nation’s long term deficit, at which point Romney chuckled and said, “please.”


Playoff Beards

In celebrity fashion, The Crease on May 13, 2011 at 7:26 am

I have noticed that as we get deeper into the NHL playoffs the players progressively look like they slept under a bridge:

“Pavel, eh, game on.”

“Da.  Just let me hide my stuff.”

Tyverdovsky and Daneyko near their home at M51 and Volga

Celebrities Behaving Badly

In celebrity fashion on March 14, 2011 at 9:41 am

We all like to see the good in people, even celebrities.  But there are times when, try as we might to summon up Santa Claus, we get the Krampus.

Santa Claus


I must say  in the last couple weeks we have seen the dark underbelly of the starlets and bohunks that have become our national obsession.  For example, just last week we had to endure the insensate ramblings of a deeply disturbed solipsistic mountebank manifesting the clear symptoms of a Napoleon complex.

Disturbed Solipsistic Mountebank

Having realized that years of indulging in a systematic pattern hedonistic self destruction had wrecked havoc on an empire built largely of deceit and held together by a cult of personality and paid publicity, we have seen the celebrities try to win back some of their fans.  In a recent interview the son of an honored celebrity, who once played the president,  stated that he would win back his fans “by whatever means necessary.”   This no doubt will include the hiring of Madison Avenue PR firms, public media stunts, frequent press releases, and the systematic use of perverted science and hired mercenaries to rain apocalyptic fire upon my enemies, razing entire cities, and systematically raping and brutalizing my beloved fans.

These outbursts are not restricted to the top tier celebrities, but have inspired the fourth or fifth level, up-and-coming, maybe will stick around for a year or so only to have their memory be erased by kingmakers who no longer see any use for them and a fickle public that has moved on to whatever is next, new, and shiny.

Wisconsin Celebrity

For example, even here in flyover Wisconsin we have heard lofty sentiments from luminaries who want to “take back our rights” from those who have legitimately earned them through fifty years of struggle, compromise, and negotiation.  Critics have called him a dictator (in the sense that he would be a dictator if he had police who in fact followed his orders, had a non-metaphoric army of followers that had kept him in power for thirty years, had jailed and tortured the opposition, siphoned off tens of billions of dollars from an otherwise destitute populous and hidden it in Swiss bank accounts, and had generally, you know, done stuff).  He has promised to use his mandate of 51% of a %50 voter turnout to enact sweeping changes that will alter the course of history for the next seven months, or until such a time as my caucus is decimated by recalls.

Meanwhile,  these noble struggles have been entirely erased from the headlines, having become literally yesterday’s news.  We now have to endure the ho-hum do-gooding of never-heard-of-them international celebrities out to “save their country.”

"Tidal Wave"

For example, all we seem to hear about is the so-called “earth shaking” developments in Japan (in the sense of the earth actually shaking to the point that it affected the earth’s rotation), and with it the inevitable “tidal wave” of problems that has left a “path of destruction,” including a “near meltdown.”  We can only wait and see what the fallout will be.

Fear not, my readers, within a week or so some real celebrity will behave badly enough to take back the limelight, and we can get back to covering the news.


In celebrity fashion, The Classics on January 18, 2009 at 8:57 am
Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine

To say, “the only good celebrity is a dead celebrity,” would overstate the matter.  It’s not that I dislike celebrities.  All evidence to the contrary, I’m sure they are fine people.  But each week of examining these (all evidence to the contrary) fascinating personages confronts me with the question, whom do I celebrate?  The immediate, intuitive response is that if you are reading this column (given the blogstats for the last two months), it is likely to be you.  But if you were to ask, “Wh0m is it I would seek to purchase on a poster from Spencer’s Gifts?” It would have to be Eleanor–and not Eleanor Roosevelt, either.  If you think about it, emperors, kings, queens, and the like were the celebrities of bygone eras.  For example, if you imagine everyone at the Oscars with a personal army, you pretty much get the Middle Ages.  With Eleanor you get all of the twisted baggage of a child star, the sex appeal of a Hollywood diva, combined with the ownership of a small country.  eleanor12It would be as if the Olsen twins had talent, were attractive, and grew up to be Hillary Clinton.  Only to complete the analogy Hillary would have to have met Bill after divorcing the king of France (the divorce having been caused by a love affair with her uncle in Antioch, whom she met while accompanying the king on a crusade to Jerusalem), then supported Chelsea for President against Bill, and personally laid siege to Little Rock.  Sure she would have been locked in a Manhattan penthouse for the next six years, but, hey, that’s what centuries of inbreeding will get you.  I think the poorly translated anonymous troubadour said it best:

Were all lands mine

From the Elbe to the Rhine,

I’d count them little case

if the Queen of England

Lay in my embrace.

Who this person, Hannah Montana, you speak of?

In celebrity fashion on December 29, 2008 at 10:16 am

Hannah Montana

Who is this Hannah Montana, you speak of ?   I have no idea.  I know, you are saying, “that’s what you said in your previous column about the Lady With the Big Lips.  But throughout the column it was clear that for years you had been reading the supermarket checkout headlines.”  Well, that may be true, but in this case I really have no idea who she is. My overwhelming inclination is to detest her.  Her name alone calls forth the P.S. Mueller cartoon of the dog who in one panel vomits, and in the other panel eats it.  The original caption reads:  “nostalgia.”  That could be fixed.  But the truth is I don’t know.  Should she not gain the least benefit of my lack of certainty?  It is like the philosopher’s cat who was placed into a box with a radioactive material, a Geiger counter, and a flask filled with cyanide gas.  The experiment is constructed so that if the Geiger counter detects the radioactive material it will trigger a switch, which will break the flask, and the cat will die.  But because in the time allotted to the experiment the radioactive material has an equal chance of emitting a particle, we can’t know for certain whether the cat is alive or dead.  So that in the instant before we open the box all possibilities exist in equal measure.  This is a very special place, this box.  In this universe of possibility, when the vice-president says, “we only water boarded three prisoners,” he means three in the sense of one, two, three, or in the sense that “I authorized nothing worse in those secret CIA prisons than institutional food and a stern reprimand,” and not in the sense that “I am a lying sack of a donkey’s last breakfast, and you can’t do anything about it.”  In this special place Hannah Montana isn’t cross marketed.  She isn’t a golem created in a white-board brainstorming session by the cubicled minions of a cave-bred corporate ghoul who hates the sun.  In this special world she could be anything, from the surreal to the macabre, from improvisational theater to a Ghastly Crumb Tiny.  Heck, for all I know, she could be quality children’s programming.  I could research.  I could view clips of her programs, attend one of her concerts, or read news reports of which ex-Olympic figure skater will play her in Disney on Ice.  But then I would know.  The box would open, the cat would escape, and all I’d be left with is whatever the cat had deposited in the litter.

That one guy from Top Gun

In celebrity fashion, celebrity question of the week on December 22, 2008 at 2:09 pm

What’s up with dude from Top Gun.  Is it just me, or does he look exactly the same as he did in 1986.





If this were English 101 we would find a painting hanging in his attic that would reveal his true self after all these years.  Whose portrait would it be?

What do you think?



That one lady from Friends

In celebrity fashion, celebrity question of the week on December 19, 2008 at 4:46 pm


The other day Kelly patiently explained to me that the lady with the big lips’ celebrity had something to do with that one lady from friends. Her argument, at least prima facie, made sense. But this leads to the question: why is the lady from Friends a celebrity?

What do you think?

A. She has exhibited at any a time a capacity to act.

B. She was the least offensive cast member of a show that appealed to a coveted advertising demographic.

C. The same reason that Woodman’s includes Shake n’ Bake and Hamburger Helper in the ethnic foods aisle.

The mighty Hag of the lake, man in shape, but hideous in size

In celebrity fashion on December 1, 2008 at 9:10 am

Ok, I heard from my readers that parts of the last column were unfair. Specifically, the picture of the lady with the big lips may (may!) have been the victim of post-production performance enhancers. Readers stated that childhood photos prove that the iconic protuberances in question derive from natural processes.

The offending celebrity
The offending celebrity


This innocent lapse highlights a problem with celebrity reporting: I don’t know the celebrity. In fact I have never seen the celebrity in question or know someone who has seen her. I have never seen one of her movies or Broadway musicals, have never completed a magazine column featuring her, never knowingly brought a magazine containing her image into my house. I don’t know which products she endorses, who she is currently dating, or even why I keep seeing her face in line at the shopping center. My ignorance on the matter is total and complete.

Well, this week I am going to remedy this by dedicating the column to the lady with the big lips. I once heard that she gained prominence in the celebrity/fashion world by going to a party with the guy who plays a homosexual mountain man along side Iggy Pop in Jarmusch’s Dead Man. More recently Dave said she played Grendel’s mother in the movie, Beowulf (not to be confused with the 2005 Hringur Ingvarsson/Stellan Skarsgård vehicle, Beowulf and Grendel, directed by Sturla Gunnarsson).

The Offending Monster

The Offending Monster

The ninth century anglo-norse epic is a splendid tale of heroism and bloodshed that stands guard at entrance to English literature. It blends neo-Homeric epic with references to historical personages. For example, there is a reference to the house of king Knut of Denmark, who took the English throne from Aethelred the Unready, who was succeeded briefly by Harold Godwinson, who fought at the battle of

The Offending King

The Offending King

Stanford Bridge, only days before he rushed south attempting to defend his crown against William the Bastard of Normandy in the battle of Hastings.

To research the movie I talked to Dave, who saw the movie at the Imax, having been faced with impossible dilemma of either seeing Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium with his kids or spending two hours breathing carbon monoxide in a running car. In this oedipian adaptation of the epic she plays “the mighty Hag of the lake,” “man in shape, but hideous in size.” In a gripping account of the movie highlights, Dave indicated that she spends her scenes dressed pretty much in gold spray paint and ivy. Understandably, given that the Imax is two stories high, Dave described her as “large.”

Well that about wraps it up for this issue.

The Offending Movie Bill

The Offending Movie Bill

Parts of this collumn were first published in the Family Night Times

Thank Goodness for the Mitchell Report

In celebrity fashion on November 26, 2008 at 3:48 pm

Thank goodness for the Mitchell report. The era of performance enhancing drugs in baseball is finally over. For a while it seemed that a shadow had been cast over every super-star athlete in every major sport–except, of course, cycling and basketball. Just this week the New York Times reported that Viagra was being tested as a potential performance enhancer. At the time I was thinking, “How could we ever develop a test for that?” I was just beginning to have faith again in professional sports, given that the ever-vigilant anti-doping forces had effective tests for all the other major performance enhancing drugs (except human growth hormone, which according to “A History of Doping” from the World Anti-doping Agency web site has been available since the mid 1980’s, and for which existing blood tests have never caught a single Olympic athlete (cf. Lieu, et al. “Systematic Review: The effects of Growth Hormone on Athletic Performance” in the Annals of Internal Medicine (2008) p. 747). Would we now have to test every member of a baseball team that has ever hit a home run? In the past we were taken in by half-baked explanations of enhanced athlete performance such as the “rabbit ball, the rabbit cycle, or the air-rabbit tenny.” But now that the Mitchell report’s recommendations have been adopted, we no longer have to worry. Nor is there any need to keep investigating the super-human performance of stars from the bygone era of the 1990’s–and particularly not cycling or basketball. And it goes without saying that in a well-respected column such as my own, which has at last count a readership of one and is protected from litigation by the laws governing parody, I am not going to engage in speculation or innuendo.

But it does raise the question, how far does the scandal go? If this could happen in baseball–a game that rigorously tested players at least once each pre-season and with only minimal notice during the season–how long will it be before the scandals of baseball infect the world of celebrity culture–an industry with no testing policy whatsoever! In fact, there may be some evidence that the great celebrities of today have already been tainted by performance enhancing techniques. We need only compare the celebrities of the past with those of today (see below) to uncover some disturbing trends. Could it be that the celebrities of today owe their success to something other than their natural-born talents? And this goes beyond a simple, “how could they be that good looking?” to “is that really humanly possible?” As important as baseball records are–and given that the senate held hearings on the matter they must be important–celebrities of today invade every facet of our modern life, from magazine advertising, movies, fashion–even everyday household products! Perhaps it is time to consider appointing a commissioner of culture, or risk repeating the mistakes that have plagued baseball and other sports that are not cycling or basketball.

Celebrities of the Past


Celebrities of the Present


Parts of this column originally appeared in issue 13 of the Family Night Times

Excerpts from the Bat Boy interview

In celebrity fashion on November 25, 2008 at 9:39 am

Interviewer:  What happened in your opinion?

Bataeel: What do you mean?

Interviewer:  Well, don’t you think the public’s attitude toward your work has significantly altered in the last nine years?

Bataeel:  That’s your first question?  I thought this was going to be a puff piece.

Interviewer:  Shall we come back to it?

Bataeel:  Yeah.  No comment.