Thursday, August 31, 2006


In an effort to capitalize on the racial competition craze inspired by Survivor: Cook Island, major networks are considering tweaking with their already-successful formulas to determine whether controversy can also bring them angry minorities, i.e., more viewers.

______ American Idol - Producers of the popular karaoke series leave a blank space in the beginning of the title so the respective ethnicities of the competitors can fill it in themselves. African-American Idol competitors will be encouraged to sing only R&B songs but producers also accept that "they will rap, which does not count as singing but for the sake of racial diversity, we will count it," said one Idolatror. Chinese-Americans will be judged on their saw-playing abilities, while Jewish-Americans (technically, not a race, but incorporated into the show as a criticism on Survivor's upcoming Jew-less season) are entered into the klezmer category, which has technically and "unofficially" lost even before the series has begun.

Girlfriends - CW's group of Girlfriends return for a new season but this time one of the girlfriends is white. This is an incredible acheivement considering a white woman has never really been considered a "girlfriend" and for good reason. As a writer for the show confirms, most white women are "whiney, skinny bitches."

Two And A Half Men And Some Minorities - The popular Charlie Sheen half-hour comedy returns with last season's cast but this time, producers of the show will introduce minority characters intermittently throughout the season without explanation or relevence to the storyline. They will simply walk on the sets and then, seconds later, walk off.

The Bachelor: Racist - Reality guru/producer Mike Heiss found the star of this upcoming reality series easily. "When we sent out a notice for a racist, we were overwhelmed by the responses," said Heiss. But they found their racist, coincidentally, a producer of Survivor: Cook Island. "What are the chances," he added? The new Bachelor pick, or the Racist, will have to chose one lucky lady amongst the competitors which--here's the curveball--are all minorities. "This show is going to get to the heart of America's race issues. This is, in no way, taking advantage of our latent, sub-level racial dividers."

Law & Order: Minority Report - This fifth Law & Order spin-off spends an hour each week solving racial and ethnic stereotypes, like why Jews are so cheap, African Americans are such great athletes and Chinese people can't drive.

The O.C. - In it's fifth season, the Cohen family deals with the death of Mischa Barton's character Marissa, and also discovers that there are minorities in the world. "We acknowledge that The O.C. has been very focused on white people in the past few years," says creator Josh Schwartz, "which is why we'll introduce the Cohen family's Mexican cleaning lady, Rosa."

Thursday, August 24, 2006


If you were seriously bored and submitted a Google search of Paris Hilton, you would find that three out of the ten results, or matches, reference her infamous sex tape. If you were to then perform a Google image search, five of the first forty results would do more than just reference the infamous sex tape, if you know what I mean (and I think you do. Wink, wink).

What sensible parent would want the Hilton heir-head serving as a role model for their pop-obsessed, impressionable child? It turns out, not many. Paris' self-titled debut has only sold 75,000 copies in the first week of its release and in the music industry, this is a massive disappointment like investing money into an American Idol reject. But in retrospect, you have to wonder--how could anyone have taken Hilton seriously? Um, Youtube? Wanna field this one?

What truly astounds me, though, is the back-backlash of music critics stepping up and defending the "merits" of this record. I have never met Stephen Thomas Erlewine but I can no longer trust his opinion or for that matter, my unborn children in his company. It's unfathomable to consider that Erlewine still has his full hearing ability because what I hear is more like heavy breathing than singing.

It's probably wrong of me to wish bad things on this woman even though her existence is probably borderline-offensive, and in the truth, the leaking of her sex video was probably not in the grand marketing strategy (of course, this also teaches you not to date douche bags) but I can't help but feel somewhat pleased with her debut's failure. I know. It's wrong. But hear me out--encouraging Paris' career would be a horrible example for unintelligent anorexics worldwide.

The following is an imaginary conversation between me and my imaginary daughter. This hasn't happened, but could if I had a daughter and she were unintelligent and impressionable which is unlikely considering my genetic fortitude:
Me: How was your day at school?
Imaginary Daughter: We don't have school in August, Dad.
Me: Right.
ID: So I downloaded some Paris Hilton songs off the internet and I've been listening to them.
Me: I don't know who you are.
ID: Anyway, I love it so much and I've decided to be like her. My boyfriend...
Me: You have a boyfriend...?!? You're ten?!?
ID: My boyfriend is coming over in a few minutes and we're going to tape ourselves being intimate. So please don't interrupt us. That's hot.
Me: That's what?
ID: That's hot. I have to say that after every sentence. It's part of the transformation.
Me: Oh.
ID: Now excuse me while I change into black lacey lingerie and cavort around the house.
Me: You're the worst imaginary daughter ever!

This conversation is probably not happening elsewhere in the world (just a hunch) but the exaggerated exchange aside, isn't the ultimate result, i.e., the creation of an army of mini-flooziez, inevitable when you're buy a Paris Hitlon record and condone her career? You may as well ask your child to earn his portion by employing him or herself as a prostitute (sublte. I know)
Pssst. Hey you, kid. Yeah, you. Like that song "Screwed"? Wanna know what that means aside from what Daddy is working on in his toolshed?

Shame on you, 75,000 parents. Shame on you all. Now let's take a pop culture nap and when we wake up, this will all be over. And now for Jessica Simpson...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Ze Frank may just be the most brilliant person alive. I simply cannot deny it.

Monday, August 21, 2006


Subject: Wha?
From: Mel Gibson
Date: Mon, August 21, 2006 2:14 pm
To: Tom Cruise


What happened here? I thought people liked us. This is some serious backlash. Any ideas how we can get out of this?



Subject: Re: Wha?
From: Tom Cruise
Date: Mon, August 21, 2006 2:26 pm
To: Mel Gibson


You're telling me. I have NO idea what's going on here. You and me--we were huge and now poof, I'm crazy and you're an anti-semite.

And not for nothing, I kinda agree with you on the Jews and war point. I have proof that the Jews were even responsible for the French and Indian War.

Have you ever considered Scientology? It could help you with your problems. And besides, Christianity is so 2005.

Hit me back, bro. I may not respond right away though. I am crazed with this whole Suri fiasco. Let me tell you this: pretending to have a daughter is exhausting.

- T


Subject: Re: Re: Wha?
From: Mel Gibson
Date: Mon, August 21, 2006 2:53 pm
To: Tom Cruise

I hear ya, man. I have been pretending for years to be something I'm not. it's hard holding your tongue for as long as I have. In a way, it's kind of refreshing to come out and say what I mean. Finally. You know what I'm saying? It's like that Matt Lauer interview you did a while back. Did I tell you how right on you were? Matt is so smug. I mean, dude, you're on a popular morning show. Good for you. High-effing-five. Where you in Braveheart? No. Was that you in the Lethal Weapon series? No. Did you inspire thousands with your retelling of the New Testament? I think not. So like, who do you think you are with your thinning hair and what have. If they wrote me an email asking me to come on the show, I would write two seperate emails back saying "no" and "thanks." Two emails to get the messag across. Know what I'm saying? Oh, and Danny Glover can't get a cab not because he's black. It's because he's a bad actor.



Subject: Re: Re: Re: Wha?
From: Tom Cruise
Date: Mon, August 21, 2006 3:22 pm
To: Mel Gibson

Yeah, Matt's a pain-in-the-ass all right. But do you know who's a bigger pain? Katie. She keeps nagging me about having a baby and I'm like, Katie, you have an imaginary baby. What could be better than that? No diapers. No crying. No waking up in the middle of the night to feed.

In retrospect, I'm kinda sorry I jumped on that couch for her. I realize now that she's not really couch-jumping-worthy. She's probably more like a love-seat worthy. But couch...? Not so sure.

And "Tomkat"? Eww. How about Crulmes? I like that one better.



Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wha?
From: Mel Gibson
Date: Mon, August 21, 2006 4:12 pm
To: Tom Cruise

Yeah, I hear you but I don't really care so much about silly things, Tom. I made a movie about Jesus, for God's sake. Do you really care what they call you and Katie?

What can we do here to fix our reputation? Maybe a collaboration? Like they do in the comic books - Braveheart Vs. Ethan Hunt? How awesome is this idea? It could totally work...on the condition that no Jews are involved.

I'm feeling this one. Hit me back, Tom.



Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wha?
From: Tom Cruise
Date: Mon, August 21, 2006 4:50 pm
To: Mel Gibson

You're on to something here, Mel. I like it. But how about Jerry McGuire 2 and he works with that guy from The Man Without a Face teaching him how to be confident? This could totally work.

Or how about Lethal Risky Business Weapon? You see where I'm going? Is there some way we can include Scientology in there somewhere?

Gotta go pretend to feed Suri. Be back in a bit.

- T


Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wha?
From: Mel Gibson
Date: Mon, August 21, 2006 5:15 pm
To: Tom Cruise

Cool. Sounds good. I'm going out for a few drinks. Give me a call later and make sure I'm not in the car. Also, I have no idea where "sugartits" came from. I have never even heard that phrase used.


Ps You know that the Jews killed L. Ron Hubbard, right?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Stan Lee, the legendary creator of the Incredible Hulk, Spider Man, Iron Man, and some of history's greatest super heroes is appearing on a large digital video screen talking, or reading from a cue card, to three adults well into their 30's.

"I'm very proud of you all," Lee says. And this is when the three adults (using the term loosely here) begin to bawl. Not like sniff-sniff/eyes moistening but all-out tears streaming down their faces. It should be noted that these grown-ups are wearing tights and capes and are dressed in costumes as super heroes.

"When my father passed away," says Feedback, whose powers [insert air quotes here] are absorbing energy abilities from video games that he plays; generating a feedback field that disrupts electronics within 15 feet; and is a computer genius, "You became my father. Spider Man taught me how to become an adult." By proclaiming his own adulthood, Feedback, or mortal Matthew Atherton is being presumptuous but cynicism aside, Atherton is undeniably sincere about being a superhero. And even though this is a television show with the hokiest special effects and lamest challenges ever, Atherton, along with the show, has won me over.

The three contestants left on the Sci-Fi Channel's original reality show Who Wants To Be A Superhero?--Fat Momma, Major Victory, and Feedback--are so far removed from reality that it feels wrong using the word reality in context with the series (paradoxically, it's also the realest but I'll get to that later). Superhero is beyond ridiculous and almost laughably kitschy but there's something special about it. There's an element of unadulterated geekiness that makes it wholesome and pure. Fat Momma, who can grow to five times her normal size when she gets angry, is a healthy-looking woman, or as she would say, fat. She is not the stereotypical superhero female with a buxom, voluptuous body yet she believes with her all her inner-strength that she can be a hero. It's ridiculous, yet poignant. Society's cruel weight prejudices versus self-determination. Fat Momma is the anti-Nicole Richie.

Major Victory, an ex-male stripper, wants to be a superhero to right the wrongs of his past life and to find favor in his daughter's eyes. So he will do the right thing week-after-week, even if it means running around in red underoos while helping old ladies cross the street. But the true brilliance of the whole thing is that noone on the show is the least bit self-aware. Never has a contestant stopped, looked down, and said, what the f*** am I doing here? And this is why the show is so awesome. Fat Momma, Feedback, and Major Victory have almost (and I say almost) convinced us that they are superheroes by ostensibly convincing themselves.

Whenever I watch the show, I feel a kinship with comic readers worldwide. I feel justified in having collected comics for nearly thirteen years. I'm not exactly saying that I'm proud of my boxed-in-the-attic-packaged-in-mylar collection, but then again, in retrospect, the show subsides my loneliness of having been a geek. As a teen reading X-Men, I was pretty sure no one understood me and this is why I found comfort in the pages of misunderstood mutants and vigilantes. And by watching Who Wants To Be A Superhero? I am made aware of the fact that as seriously as I took my comic collecting and as geeky as I felt, there will always be people who take the hobby that much more seriously. And, in retrospect, this makes me feel good.

True believers are never alone. There are those that read comics more religiously than the Bible. There are those that seek comfort in the pages of Spider Man and look to him for advice on the confusing times of impending adulthood. As Feedback cried in appreciation of Stan Lee's approval, my inner-teen cried along with him. Because while I'm a cynical, mortal adult, for an hour a week, I am brought back to a time when I believed that somehow, somewhere, superheroes were real. All those Shabbat afternoons spent reading Batman, Captain America, Justice all comes together on Thursday nights at 9 P.M.

So yeah, it's ridiculous and unbelievabley silly but I would dare venture that Who Wants To Be A Superhero is the realest reality show I have ever seen. Fat Momma, Major Victory, and Feedback don't care about impressing an aaudience like the cast of The Real World or Laguna Beach. They've already spent over three decades being the butt of your jokes. Every moment of their life leads up to this series: to impress the king of geeks, Stan Lee. So do you blame Feedback for getting emotional? I don't. And I know one thing for sure--he's not acting.

Monday, August 14, 2006


I am by no means a political writer. I don't know enough to offer my substantiated opinions on current events but as this world's future becomes progressively more uncertain, I am left with no other choice but to pay attention. Unfortunately, my newfound awareness is inspired by fear.

"It could be the end of the world as we know it," Ilan said last night.
His wife Dana wants to move far away from the city because she thinks Manhattan could be the first target in an unavoidable world war.
"Just think about it," she said, "the first targets are New York, Washington, and maybe California."

So do we just pick up and change our lives because of the possibility that something bad may happen, I ask?
"Yes," Dana said. "Absolutely."

Ilan and Dana had dinner with an ex-Israeli soldier who wasn't very optimistic about the global climate (and not in the same way as Al Gore isn't). This soldier believed that something pretty substantial would happen sooner than later and we need to diffuse it quickly even if it means preemptive action.

Preemptive action is not pretty terminology.

Substantial, I asked?
"Yeah, like nuclear weapons," Ilan said.

Shana and I walked home quite discomforted.
"Who wants to bring children into a world like this," Shana wondered aloud?
And I wasn't equipped with an answer. We don't seem to be moving towards any resolution. Like bullies in a schoolyard, the world prefers antagonism to resolution except we don't use the threat of fists, we hint at the prospect of nuclear armament. And as naive as this may read, I spend my days dreaming about the internet swiftly indoctrinating the more war-inclined cultures with the better aspects of Western philosophy and modernization. I fantasize about Iran saying, These Americans. They're not so bad after all.

My sister leaves on a trip to Israel next week. Needless to say, I'm not pleased. With her, she takes her four boys and her husband, or my nephews and brother-in-law. I expressed my disapproval on the phone.
Obviously, I don't think this is a good idea and you don't have my enthusiastic encouragement, I said.
"Understood," she said back. "But we've spoken to everyone there and they all say, it's okay to come."
I could think of other vacation spots. Like Great Adventure.
"Look, we'll avoid the North. We planned this trip months ago and we can't just back out now. This is an important trip."

Dana wants to leave New York.
My sister wants to go to Israel.
Me, I just want to stop being afraid.