Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Eyes Wide Shut


It looks like Hollywood top gun, Tom Cruise, may be on a real mission impossible (I'm so fucking clever!). In a recent interview with Pulitzer-caliber Access Hollywood journalist, Billy Bush, the diminutive 42-year-old Scientologist and high school drop-out offered his opinions on Ritalin, SAT scores, and the psuedo-science commonly known as psychiatry.

On the latter,

"I'm going right after psychiatry and these false labels and this psuedo-science. There is no science behind it. And to pretend that there is a science behind it is criminal."

On standardized test scores (and toilets),

"SAT scores have gone right down the toilet. The parents are blaming the teachers. The teachers are blaming the parents. Okay? And the psychs are putting everyone on drugs."

I have no idea what this is about,

"Well, I will agree there are a lot of misperceptions about a lot of things in life. I don't agree that there is a general misconception or perception. I believe there are people who don't know what it is. But there are people that don't know what it is and there are people that know what it is."

On Jewish Scientologists,

"There are Jewish Scientologists."

And finally, on caring,

"Because I care, man. I care. I care about you. I care about your children. I care about these people here in this room, every one of you. And I mean it."

You care about my children? Dude, that's kinda creepy.

Hey Tom, if you really cared, you would spare us your brainwashed, sanctimonious ramblings and go back to the press junket for Mission Impossible 12 or whatever potboiler it is you're currently plugging.

Thanks for saving us from the windmills, Mr. Quijote.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Mudmen Rescued from Thames

From This is London,

"The men, aged 45 and 28, are believed to have been drinking."

You don't say...

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Best Site Ever (No, Seriously)

This is why we have the Inter-net.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Revenge of the Schadenfreude

Continuing my current quasi-obsession, I offer you, the reader(s), some choice excerpts from Anthony Lane's review of the current Star Wars installment. Mr. Lane does try a little hard to be glib, but it's an entertaining read nonetheless.

These, from The New Yorker,

"Lucas was not always a rootless soul. He made “American Graffiti,” which yielded with affection to the gravitational pull of the small town. Since then, he has swung out of orbit, into deep nonsense, and the new film is the apotheosis of that drift."

Regarding the pregnancy of Padmé (Natalie Portman),
"What can you say about a civilization where people zip from one solar system to the next as if they were changing their socks but where a woman fails to register for an ultrasound, and thus to realize that she is carrying twins until she is about to give birth?"

"The general opinion of “Revenge of the Sith” seems to be that it marks a distinct improvement on the last two episodes, “The Phantom Menace” and “Attack of the Clones.” True, but only in the same way that dying from natural causes is preferable to crucifixion."

No love even for the robots? Apparently not,

"I still fail to understand why I should have been expected to waste twenty-five years of my life following the progress of a beeping trash can and a gay, gold-plated Jeeves."

I won't ruin any more, so check out the whole review to read about, among other things, really bad character dialogue and visions of Yoda in a blender.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Triumph Meets the Clones

Ok, there's one good thing about the Star Wars series: it provides fodder for the brilliant Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Check out this clip straight from our good friends at iFilm.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Astronaut Chronicles

Astronaut with Flag

Have you ever wondered what happened to that guy?

Courtesy of iFilm: The Lonely Astronaut

Fuck Star Wars

I'm probably not going to win any new friends by saying this, but I just don't give a shit about the new Star Wars movie. Or really any of the other ones for that matter. Frankly, the only way you could get me to pony up money for a babysitter and go to the theater is maybe if Han Solo and Chewbacca outed themselves as lovers and bought a flat in the Castro (from there, the movie pretty much writes itself).

That being said, I am pretty impressed that Mr. Lucas is shooting the entire thing digital, using the Sony HDC-F950. Unprecedented and pretty cool.

I am also glad (spoiler alert) to hear that Samuel L. Jackson ain't goin' out like a punk. This, from IMDB,

"Samuel L. Jackson (Mace Windu) said he knew that he must die in this film, so he told George Lucas he would only do the film if Mace Windu goes out in a blaze of glory and not "like some sucka". On an American late-night talk show, he confirmed that he did indeed have a meaningful death scene; and he does not go out like "some punk"."

Thursday, May 19, 2005

If We Can't Fall Asleep on the Subway, the Terrorists Have Won

It used to be that the only consequence of falling asleep on the F train was a bleary-eyed awakening to the squawking seagulls and briny air of Coney Island. Well, according to Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn, via Curbed, this is no longer the case,

"The transit police officer asked for her driver's license and because she didn't have it or any other photo identification on her, she was handcuffed and ROUNDED up with a group of homeless men, who were sleeping on the train."

The whole story on OTBKB.

Let's see... homemade bombs are being detonated at the U.N., and the NYPD is arresting stand-up comics for falling asleep on the subway?

Fucking lovely.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

I Can Finally Afford to Get My Ride Pimped

Just got this email. It was accidentally tagged as junk mail, but I know better. God bless you, Mildred Hugo!

Subject: Email Lottery Draw 2005 results


Dear Lucky Winner,


We are pleased to inform you of the result of the just concluded annual final draws of De Lotto Netherlands International Lottery programs.

The online cyber lotto draws was conducted from an exclusive list of 100,000 e-mail addresses of individual and corporate bodies picked by an advanced automated random computer search from the internet from various continents of the world.No tickets were sold.

After this automated computer ballot,your e-mail address emerged as one of two winners in the category \"B\" with the following:

Ref Number: 35149/337-5247/LNI
Batch Number: 26371545-LNI/2005
Ticket Number: 54866235

You as well as the other winners are therefore to receive a cash prize of ?:1,500,000.00.(One Million FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND EUROS) each from the total payout of ?4,500,000.00 Euro in category "B".

Your prize award has been insured with your e-mail address and will be transferred to you upon meeting our requirements, statutory obligations, verifications, validations and satisfactory report.

To begin the claims processing of your prize winnings you are advised to contact our licensed and accredited claims agent for category \"B\" winners with theinformation below:

Mrs Linda Van Voss
Financial Director,
Netherlands Development Finance Company,
1104 kE Poort Bijlmerplein
Tel: 31 649 038 002
Fax: 31-626-374-825

NOTE: All winnings must be claimed not later than 30 days.After this date all unclaimed funds would be included in the next stake. Remember to quote your reference information in all correspondence.
You are to keep all lotto information away from the general public especially your reference and ticket numbers.(This is important as a case of double claims will not be entertained).

Anybody under the age of 18 and members of the affiliate agencies are automatically not allowed to participate in this program.

Thank you and congratulations!!!

Yours faithfully,

Mrs. Mildred Hugo
Games/Lottery Coordinator.
De Lotto Netherlands International

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Bridging the Racial Divide

Today marks the 21st anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, a Supreme Court decision putting an end to systematic racial segregation in the United States. The landmark decision upheld that segregation denied black children equal protection under the law as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The impact of Brown v. Board of Education on American life is both manifold and immeasurable; and without it we would certainly never see the likes of this monument to racial unity.

Guess what, Sally and Johnny, brown people love you too!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Shaking Up the Wine Tier System

The Supreme Court just eliminated a ban on the purchase of wine directly from out-of-state producers. The following article courtesy of the NY Times,

May 16, 2005
Supreme Court Strikes Down Bans on Wine Shipments
WASHINGTON, May 15 - The Supreme Court ruled today, in a case of interest to millions of wine-drinkers and those who make their livings in the multibillion-dollar industry, that people can buy wine directly from out-of-state vineyards.

In a 5-to-4 decision that struck down laws in New York and Michigan, and by extension calls into question the laws in 22 other states, the court held that laws that discriminate against out-of-state vineyards violate the Constitution's Commerce Clause, which empowers Congress to regulate interstate commerce.

"Laws such as those at issue contradict the principles underlying this rule by depriving citizens of their right to have access to other states' markets on equal terms," the majority held, in an opinion by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

Today's ruling is of intense interest not only to the states - 26 of which already allow direct shipment from out-of-state wineries - but also to the wholesale liquor industry, which fears eventually being left out of what is now a state-run three-tier system: liquor producer to licensed wholesaler to licensed retailer.

The worry for liquor wholesalers has been that if the justices ruled that consumers could buy wine directly from out-of-state producers, so might liquor retailers be able to do so, at least in theory.

Today's decision, in the cases of Granholm v. Heald, No. 03-1116, from Michigan, and Swedenberg v. Kelly, No. 03-1274 from New York, had to do with interpretation of the Constitution, the intent of the 1933 Amendment that ended Prohibition and changing personal tastes in the age of the Internet.

When the case was argued before the justices on Dec. 7, lawyers for New York and Michigan asserted that the Prohibition-ending 21st Amendment to the Constitution gave states such wide authority over the importation of alcohol that it trumped the principle embodied in the Commerce Clause: that the states may not, without Congressional authorization, discriminate against one another.

New York's and Michigan's lawyers insisted then that the goals of preventing minors' access to alcohol and assuring that the states could collect taxes from out-of-state shippers justified their states' statutes. Solicitor General Caitlin J. Halligan of New York told the justices that the case "goes to the very core of the 21st Amendment."

Justice Kennedy responded - tellingly, it would appear from today's ruling, that "it also goes to the very core of the Commerce Clause."

Justice Kennedy, who was joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer, said New York and Michigan "provide little evidence for their claim that purchasing wine over the Internet by minors is a problem."

"The 26 states now permitting direct shipments report no such problem, and the states can minimize any risk with less restrictive steps, such as requiring an adult signature on delivery," the majority said. Moreover, the majority said, the states could devise tax-collection procedures without resorting to discrimination in interstate commerce.

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O'Connor and Clarence Thomas dissented.

Justice Stevens conceded that the New York and Michigan laws would be "patently invalid" if they regulated sales of "an ordinary article of commerce," not wine. "But ever since the adoption of the 18th Amendment and the 21st Amendment, our Constitution has placed commerce in alcoholic beverages in a special category," Justice Stevens wrote. (The 18th Amendment ushered in the era of Prohibition and, some social historians have said, the bootleggers and speak-easies that accompanied it.)

"Today, many Americans, particularly those members of the younger generations who make policy decisions, regard alcohol as an ordinary article of commerce, subject to the same market and legal controls as other consumer products," Justice Stevens wrote. "That was definitely not the view of the generations that made policy in 1919 when the 18th Amendment was ratified or in 1933 when it was repealed by the 21st Amendment."

Friday, May 13, 2005

Chappelle Not Crazy, Smoking Crack

This, from CNN,

"You hear so many voices jockeying for position in your mind that you want to make sure that you hear your own voice," he said. "So I figured, let me just cut myself off from everybody, take a minute and pull a Flintstone -- stop a speeding car by using my bare feet as the brakes."

Celebrating 40 Years of Driving Out Mom and Pop

I wonder if those lamenting the "sudden" proliferation of chain restaurants in NYC are aware of this,

"T.G.I. Friday’s, one of the first American casual dining chains, offers a unique dining experience that has become the favorite pastime of millions worldwide. Opening in 1965, the first T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant was located at First Avenue and 63rd Street in New York City."

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Kubrick Would Have Been Proud

Full Metal Classroom, courtesy of eBaum's World.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Sell Me Some Medicine, Bitches!

The scoop from Entertainment Weekly,

"Comedian Dave Chappelle has checked himself into a mental health facility in South Africa and has remained there since late April, according to a source close to the situation."

Hey, if I were under pressure to top the President Black Bush skit, I'd probably be having a nervous breakdown too.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Tastes Like Puffin

Peanut Butter Puffins

I can't get enough of these things - the hippie cousin to this childhood classic,

Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter

What Kind of Car Would Jesus Drive?

Trick question!

And fyi,

"Christ is not speaking to the press at this time."

Monday, May 09, 2005

Where Have All the Mildreds Gone?

The twenty most popular names a hundred years ago (from Social Security Online),

Year: 1905

[Rank. Boy - Girl]

1. John - Mary
2. William - Helen
3. James - Margaret
4. George - Anna
5. Charles - Ruth
6. Robert - Elizabeth
7. Joseph - Dorothy
8. Frank - Mildred
9. Edward - Marie
10. Thomas - Alice
11. Henry - Florence
12. Walter - Ethel
13. Willie - Lillian
14. Harry - Gladys
15. Albert - Edna
16. Arthur - Frances
17. Clarence - Annie
18. Fred - Rose
19. Paul - Grace
20. Harold - Bessie

Friday, May 06, 2005

Nothing Beats Rock

Don't miss the Daily Heights' Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament on 5/26 at Freddy's Backroom. For a refresher on the rules, consult Seinfeld episode 80, The Stand-In,

KRAMER & MICKEY: Rock, paper, scissors match.

MICKEY: All right, rock beats paper.

(Mickey smacks Kramer on the hand for losing)

KRAMER: I thought paper covered rock?

MICKEY: Nah, rock flies right through paper.

KRAMER: What beats rock?

MICKEY: (looks at his hand) Nothing beats rock.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Safety School

Ok, so Smith turned you down and you're on the wait list at Wellesley and Bryn Mawr.

There's still hope.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Dana Gould: People You Should Love (#1)

I'd like to start a (hopefully) recurring segment of The Muk Report called People You Should Love. This is where I stand on my cultural bully pulpit and tell you about someone that I dig, admonishing you to do the same.

I first saw Dana Gould during the stand-up comedy boom of the late 80s / early 90s on one of the many shows that paraded out comics by the dozen every night. He definitely stuck out to me as a smart, incisive raconteur, offering candid, hilarious illustrations of his life growing up in an Irish-Catholic family outside of Boston. He was many cuts above your typical "hey, what's the deal with milk?" kind of guys.

Dana is currently co-executive producer of The Simpsons, yet still, amazingly, manages to take on other projects, including stand-up. His recent album, Funhouse, is terrific and available for download COMPLETELY FREE from his website.

Also, check out this informative Q&A.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Chowhound: Not Quite the Unleavened Experience of a Lifetime

Recently, someone asked why their post was deleted from the Chowhound Kosher Board. This is what the Chowhound mods spewed in response on their Site Talk board,

"We need to clear up what seems to be a confusion here- you're not entitled to an explanation of anything, so please tone down the demands... there are plenty of other websites that serve the Jewish community, so we hope that anyone who wants to delve deeper into Kosher food issues move the discussion to one of those sites, or start one of your own. There's software out there that makes it easy and you get to set the rules!"

Translation: go fuck yourself!

It's great - in the very first sentence the mods claim that users are not 'entitled to an explanation of anything', yet there are numerous rancorous and defensive posts from Chowhound staffers in this thread, perpetuating the poorly disguised pissing contest.

Finally, once the rage subsides, we get this from the mods,

"The topic is well worth discussing. It was on the wrong board. Please start the discussion on the General Topics board, where it can be discussed as it should be. If you'd like a copy of your post, feel free to send an email to..."

Ahh, one love, my Chowhound brothas.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Clublife - an essential read

Ok, I realize I just posted about this, but a blog, or anything else of such quality, needs to be shouted from the rooftops. And so, I find myself on the proverbial roof, shouting to the three of you that actually squander away precious minutes of your life reading The Muk Report.

Aww snap, and there's that tennis ball I lost in 5th grade!

Umm, yeah, anyway go to Clublife, put on a Depends, and prepare to shit yourself laughing. To wit,

"As I write this post on the eve of St. Patrick's Day, I'm somewhat dismayed about the less-than-scintillating prospect of spending my ancestors' national holiday in a Guido-infested nightmare of an environment, where the mellifluous tones of Richie O'Shea and Patricia Cahill will be supplanted, at least in terms of the invasion of my consciousness, by the rankling screeches of DJ Carmine, who promises to repeatedly pose the eternal question dogging us all: "Where all my sexy ladies is at?!?"

Admittedly, I am a fan of anyone that so cavalierly writes about the same American subcultures that I find both curious and repellent. I was, for example, a huge fan of the ijc, as it uncannily described nearly all of the robots, err women, that I went to college with - until, that is, it met with an unfortunate and untimely demise (the blog that is, not the women).

Clublife resembles cultural anthropology from the 1800s: pointedly and enthusiastically analytical, yet downright contemptuous and judgmental. Thankfully, for the reading public, "Guidos" and "Guidettes" are not (yet) a politically disenfranchised group. Until then, read on and enjoy without compunction.

Bouncing Yer Ass Back to Joisey

Who are the zookepers helping to manage the B&T nightmare that is the NYC club scene? Check out the chronicles of a NYC bouncer in Clublife. It's an addictive read. Be warned.