Thursday, October 27, 2005

Filling the Supreme Court Void

Harriet Miers officially withdrew her nomination to the Supreme Court. And so we begin the search for a new candidate.

I'll just say it - what about Alice Cooper?

Now, this isn't a cheap continuation of the running sight gag that Miers and Cooper were separated at birth. There's (slightly) more to it.

First of all, he's technically a conservative that publicly supported Bush in the last election. Then there's the whole born again Christian and recovered alcoholic thingy, which certainly makes him kindred to the President. Finally, you throw in the weird golf proclivity and you pretty much have a perfect Republican Party poster boy.

Shoo-in you say? Not so fast.

Cooper built his stage persona by pretty much violating all Ten Commandments - usually in the course of a single performance. I don't know what says "fuck you" to the Republican Party more than, I dunno, throwing a live chicken off stage to be torn apart by a horde of rabid fans.

Let's summarize,

Republican points: born again Christian, recovering boozer, supported Dubya, golfer.

Democrat points: younger days marred by "less than wholesome" activities.

At this point, I'd say we're dead even. So, how do we break the tie?

Like any other candidate, we need to examine Cooper's credentials. Now, he didn't have the benefit of a legal career, so we can't scrutinize things like pleadings and written opinions. He does, however, have a body of work.

What follows is a list of every song he wrote whose title could be construed as either left-leaning, right-leaning, or, in some cases, both. We'll put these into their respective categories to see if he's a trustworthy carpetbagger or just a godless liberal masquerading as a straight shooter.

Let's get started,

1. Living
I dunno, this sounds pretty pro-life to me.

2. Apple Bush

3. Ain't That Just Like a Woman
Gender stereotyping. No contest.

4. Painting a Picture
Only hippies and fags paint pictures.

5. Freak Out Song
Sounds drug-related.

6. Goin' to the River
To get baptized?

7. Refrigerator Heaven
Oblique Christianity reference.

8. Lay Down and Die, Goodbye
Right to die?

9. Second Coming
Of our Lord. Too obvious.

10. Be My Lover
Pre-marital sex?

11. Halo of Flies
The halo says "praise Jesus," but the flies say "I passed out drunk and woke up in the alley behind Denny's."

12. Dead Babies

13. Killer
Is this pro-life or anti-death penalty?

14. Raped and Freezing
He was asking for it.

15. Billion Dollar Babies
Every life is sacred... and worth exactly one billion dollars.

16. No More Mister Nice Guy
Tough love.

[Damn, this is not looking good for the Democrats.]

17. I Love the Dead
Pro-abortion and pro-death penalty?

18. Devil's Food
Believes in angry red guy with horns and pitchfork.

19. Only Women Bleed
Radical feminism.

20. The Awakening
Born again.

21. Go to Hell
[see #18]

22. Give The Kid a Break
300 strikes and you're still not out.

23. My God

24. I Love America
Could be jingoism, could be satire. Flip a coin...

25. Pass the Gun Around
Duet with Charlton Heston.

26. The World Needs Guts
Sounds pretty Wolfowitz to me.

27. Great American Success Story
With a little hard work anyone can succeed [barf].

28. Freedom
To bear arms or marry your same-sex partner?

29. Not That Kind of Love
Uphold sodomy laws.

30. Time to Kill
By lethal injection.

31. Hell Is Living Without You
[See #18]

32. I'm Your Gun
All hail the 2nd Amendment.

33. Love's a Loaded Gun
[See #32]

[This is starting to look like a rout.]

34. Might As Well Be on Mars
A man after Bush's own heart.

35. Hurricane Years
Ooooh, do I smell a little Katrina backlash?

36. Die for You
Right to die, baby.

37. Nothing's Free
So we're raising taxes.

38. Lost in America
Immigrants' rights?

[Democrats are rallying!]

39. You're My Temptation
Bible, bible, bible.

40. Stolen Prayer
Sure, it's a prayer, but it was fucking stolen.

41. Unholy War
And there's still no exit strategy.

42. Take It Like a Woman
[See #3]

43. Every Woman Has a Name
Right out of a Smith College brochure.

44. I Just Wanna Be God


Well, there you have it. Despite his sordid past, Alice Cooper proves his conservative loyalty and eligibility for the Supreme Court nomination. He's not Harriet Miers, but I'm starting to think he's a close second.

And if he doesn't work out, there's always Ted Nugent.

The Negro Knows

Black Kid from the Hood + Choate Education + Mad Creativity = Very Good Reading

Blogger, The Assimilated Negro (T.A.N.), has a humorous and playful style that belies a rather complex and unique perspective on a wide range of subjects and issues. Although rooted in race and class, his viewpoint is neither derivative nor cliché.

Here are 100 things about T.A.N.

Keep your eye on this guy. Good stuff.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Asia Dispatch Week: Recap

Well, Asia Dispatch Week turned out to be Asia Dispatch Fortnight as an alert reader observed. I offer a hearty kudos and thanks to Upper West Side correspondent, Kirin Sapporo, for his dutiful reporting from the Far East. An intrepid correspondent, Mr. Sapporo risked food poisoning and, likely, various venereal diseases to bring Asia home to you, the reader.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if this small collection of dispatches finds its way into bulkpacks for Asian Studies 101 at our nation's most esteemed colleges and universities. Also, I am an idiot.

So, what exactly did we learn these past 2 weeks? Let's see,

1. The Foo Ko is not as exotic as the transliteration suggests.

2. Beware the woman that chases man.

3. Must get to Bangkok next time.

4. Cats are the new rats.

5. Know the local rules before littering in Singapore.

6. The Japanese are taller and hipper than ever before, neither of which will come in handy when the big one hits.

There you have it. Now, back to bidness.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Asia Dispatch Week: Oh No, There Goes Tokyo

Filed Friday, 10/21/2005, 11:48 AM by Kirin Sapporo
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan
Photo: Kirin Sapporo

Most of you probably know much about Tokyo already; it's like any other big city. Like London or Paris, it has its own distinct culture, yet it shares the same universal stamp of commercialism that you'll find everywhere.

And I'll say it again: we have more to fear from Starbucks than we think.

One thing I noticed is that the Japanese are getting taller. In the past, any time a girl who was 5'7" or taller walked down the street, people would stare with the same kind of amazement and fear that you'd expect if Godzilla were barreling toward them. But nowadays it's not uncommon to see twenty-something guys and girls pushing toward the 5'9", 5'10" range.

Another thing that I noticed is that, in some cases, they're more hip than we are. Some of the people roaming around the streets of Tokyo rock the hipster look better than your average Williamsburg fauxhemian.

Spent a day at Tsukiji, the famous fish market where much of the imported tuna you'll find in sushi restaurants is bought and sold. There are (not surprisingly) many sushi restaurants in the neighborhood, all relatively cheap. I looked for the tiniest, shittiest-looking one I could find, hoping that it would be the most authentic. I ate a full sushi platter at one with buttery toro for less than $15. The knife skills were wanting, but the fish was undeniably fresh off the boat. For the first time, I could safely say that New York is more expensive than Tokyo.

Ate ramen noodles at a truck stop during a side trip up north one day. Best damn noodles I ever ate.

Also felt the earthquake on Wednesday night. Was eating at a restaurant when everything began to sway. For those of you who have never felt an earthquake, it's kind of like hitting turbulence in a plane, but it's a smoother, more side-to-side movement that sort of dies down gradually and comes in waves. It didn't seem like a big deal at the time, but apparently it was above a 6.0 which is considered fairly strong.

So with my eating done, shopping done, sightseeing done, and all the obligatory family visits done, I boarded a plane to head back to New York. The 12 hour flight seemed relatively quick in comparison to my trip to Singapore. I arrived at JFK and immediately reverted back to New Yorker mode, pushing my way through the crowds and complaining about the traffic.

It's good to be home.

Asia Dispatch Week: Survivor

Filed Friday, 10/21/2005, 7:48 AM by Kirin Sapporo
Location: Tokyo, Japan

I actually felt an aftershock during dinner. It feels like when you're in a plane and you hit some turbulence, though more of a slow, steady movement.

Weird stuff. Didn't think it was a big deal, but I guess you guys heard about it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Asia Dispatch Week: Incommunicado

It appears that there was a magnitude 6.5 earthquake in Japan, rattling buildings in Tokyo. We are still waiting to hear from correspondent, Kirin Sapporo, who is currently in the capital city, hunkered down in the Muk Report Tokyo field office (i.e., his Grandmother's condo).

We presume he is safe, as only a few minor injuries have been reported.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Asia Dispatch Week: Singapore Wrap-up

Filed Tuesday, 10/18/2005, 7:28 AM by Kirin Sapporo
Location: Tokyo, Japan

I left Singapore feeling a bit dismayed about what's happening to the rest of the world. Let me explain.

I came expecting to see and feel like I was in some exotic locale, given the fact that I was near the equator 10,000 miles away from New York. But in the end, the heavy hand of American culture could be felt everywhere. At first, for example, I was under the impression that the food fair centers everywhere in the city were called "Hokku Centers," but on my last day there, I saw a sign and realized that they were called "Hawker Centers," named after the way the vendors walk around promoting their wares.

I stopped by a place called Bar None one night that had a live band; they were all Chinese, yet they were playing REM, U2, and the other, predictable pop icon suspects. Strangely enough, the lead singer sounded uncannily like Michael Stipe.

I met an assistant to a business contact who had never been to New York but seemed to know everything about it. She asked about the subway terror threat and whether Nick and Jessica had really split up. Eating and shopping are their two biggest pastimes.

Despite the preconceptions, Singapore is very clean but not pristine. One day I saw what suspiciously looked like "homeless man poo" in a corner of the subway station.

The men who frequent the red light district are nearly all Westerners. For $150 USD you can get full service from a Malaysian hooker who looks like Jessica Alba. For $50 USD you can get a blowjob from a Thai hooker who looks like a poor man's version of Lil' Kim [Ed. note - SOLD!].

We have more to fear from Starbucks than we first thought.

So I'm in Tokyo now, and it's very much the busy, brimming city that you'd expect. Things are really far apart here. You think Manhattan is big - it takes 2 hours to go from one side of the city to the other.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - Paris Hilton and Britney Spears have had a profound effect on the way people around the world dress. The schoolgirls here with their short skirts and knee-length boots could easily be mistaken for Asian fetish porn stars. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

More about Tokyo to come...

Asia Dispatch Week: Konnichi Wa

I know just how much all of you have been enjoying Asia Dispatch Week here on the Muk Report. Well, good news - our very own mildly retarded enthusiastic version of Alexis de Tocqueville, Kirin Sapporo, has departed Singapore and arrived safely in the motherland, Japan.

Mr. Sapporo will be working on more dispatches, which I expect to be arriving shortly in bright pink Hello Kitty envelopes.

Stay tuned.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Asia Dispatch Week: Explaining the Caning

Filed Thursday, 10/13/2005, 9:51 PM by Kirin Sapporo
Location: Singapore

Everyone back in the U.S. tells me the same things about this place: don't litter and don't chew gum, or you're going to get caned.

Mention caning to anyone here and their eyes roll and they say, "Michael Fay." He is Singapore's Rodney King, albeit a more obviously guilty one.

"You know why he got punished? Because cars are SOOO expensive here, and he vandalized many of them one night, for what?" said a local. "If some kid did that to your BMW and your neighbor's, you would probably cane him too!"

He did have a point.

Since Singapore was in the spotlight, it looks like many of the rules have been relaxed. It's a clean city, but to say that there's no litter is simply not true. I was having a smoke with someone next to their car the other night when I asked what I should do with the cigarette butt.

"Don't throw it in the street," she said.

She then proceeded to toss her butt into the grass next to the road.

"Throwing it into the grass, on the other hand, is ok," she smiled. "Like anything, just don't get caught."

Have yet to see any gum here, though. I'm dying for a stick.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Asia Dispatch Week: Chicken Tikka and Camel Clutch

Filed Thursday, 10/13/2005, 9:30 AM by Kirin Sapporo
Location: Singapore
Photo: Kirin Sapporo

Just got back from the Little India section of Singapore, and there's nothing "little" about it. I've never been to India itself, but I suspect that most of this neighborhood looks very familiar to the Indian expat population.

Had a hankering for some authentic food, so I looked for the shittiest, most out-of-the-way place I could find. In what looked like a back alleyway, I spotted a number of chairs and tables and native Indians sitting around drinking and eating, not a white person to be found. Perfect.

I ordered up some chicken tikka and samosa. Best $2 chicken tikka I've ever had. OK, probably the only $2 chicken tikka I've ever had. It was good, not great. But then I realized why there were so many people congregating there - there were a couple of TVs set up outside showing WWF Wrestlemania. They were absolutely fascinated.

Asia Dispatch Week: Catfights, Prawn Heads

Filed Wednesday, 10/12/2005, 9:35 AM by Kirin Sapporo
Location: Singapore

Was eating a bowl of prawn noodle soup outside at one of the small restaurants at the Hokku center when I got in the middle of a catfight. And I’m not talking about some Long Island tramps clawing at each other over some Wall Street banker/douchebag. I mean actual cats.

Hokku center is the name for a marketplace where they have little booths with all kinds of different foods: Indian, Vietnamese, Malay, Pakistani, Chinese, you name it. It looks like a farmers market, with indoor/outdoor spaces and bright, backlit signs showing every kind of food imaginable. After a few passes through, I settled on the noodle prawn place.

In New York, whenever you eat outside, squirrels and pigeons inevitably come at you begging for food. At this Hokku center, it was cats from a nearby park. And a lot of them. I would look down only to find a tabby-looking beast staring up at me offering baleful looks. Then another one would come. And another, until there were seven or eight of them at my feet.

As with pigeons and squirrels, I tried to not pay any attention to them. And then all of a sudden, two started hissing, growling, and generally going ape shit while staring each other down. I lazily stared at one, then the other. They seemed to get the hint that they were bugging the shit out of me. One by one, they started to walk away, but the first one that came over lay at my feet. So I threw her a prawn head that she happily ate, and all was good.


"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles to discarded prawn heads vanish."

[Ed. note: apologies to John Quincy Adams]

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Asia Dispatch Week: Who Created This Shitty Itinerary?

Filed Tuesday, 10/12/2005, 4:21 AM by Kirin Sapporo
Location: Singapore

I must have the words "I want to get laid" written on my forehead. Either that or the sex business in this part of the world is still running strong [Ed. note - something tells me it's a little of both].

I've now had two people tell me that I need to get my Western ass over to Bangkok. One middle-aged woman who was eating dinner in my group one night leaned over conspiratorially and said, "You know Bangkok, it's called 'Man's Paradise'!
You know what I mean?"

I told another man that Las Vegas was our "Sin City" and he laughed and shook his head, "Nooo... Bangkok is real sin city! You lose money in Las Vegas. You lose kidney in Bangkok!"

Say no more, get me on the next plane there.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Asia Dispatch Week: Singapore Tranny District

Filed Tuesday, 10/11/2005, 9:36 AM by Kirin Sapporo
Location: Singapore

The hotel I'm staying at is near the airport and the industrial area. I'm told that the surrounding neighborhood, for some unknown reason, turns into a transvestite playground where people cruise the streets.

They have a saying here: "Man chase woman. If woman chase man, probably not woman!"

Asia Dispatch Week: They've Got Some Balls Over There

Filed Tuesday, 10/11/2005, 1:53 AM by Kirin Sapporo
Location: Singapore

I'm over here on the other side of the earth. Was just having lunch with my guide and the conversation went something like this,
Her: I take you to Foo Ko. All kinds of food. You know Foo Ko?

Me: Nope, I don't think we have Foo Ko in New York.

Her: Ok, we go.

(Drive to nearby mall, see restaurants)

Me: Oh, you mean FOOD COURT.

Her: Yeah, that's what I say - Foo Ko.

Of course this food court has things like a "pig entrails" stand and a fried stand with all sorts of "balls." Big on the balls here.

I'll have a day or two free to explore downtown where I can rate and rank the happy endings.

Oh wait, that's Bangkok.

They keep telling me I should go to Thailand next time. Apparently there are package deals from here for $250 for 4 days, 3 nights, 2-hour flight, boy or girl included. After the disaster in Phuket, they are really courting tourism.

Having fun here though. It's a funny place. Not quite sure what to make of it, and I get the feeling that Singapore isn't quite sure what to make of itself, either.

Asia Dispatch Week

We have something very special for Muk Report readers this week. Upper West Side correspondent, Kirin Sapporo, has been dispatched to the far reaches of the globe to offer his trenchant insight and musings on the fascinating cultures of Singapore and Japan.

Prepare for a week of delectable omakase, chili crab, cheap electronics, and quasi-legal pederasty. Not content simply to reinforce existing stereotypes, Mr. Sapporo will also attempt to create some new ones.

So, without further delay, let us commence Asia Dispatch Week!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

More Fun with Find/Replace

Remember, they're the fundamentalists.

[Original BBC article]

Fun with Find/Replace

I can barely tell the difference.

[Original BBC article]

From the Department of I Now Have Enough Song Material for the Next Eight Records

"This is the most public yet of my many humiliations." - Jackie Chiles (Seinfeld)

I recently saw this unfortunate item about redneck country crooner, Chris Cagle. My first reaction was "this guy has a terrible publicist." My second reaction was "wait, no, this guy has the greatest publicist ever." My third reaction was "didn't I just see this guy coming out of The Hangar in the West Village?"

Whatever the dealio, he has certainly managed to get his name outside of the Nascar Belt.

Maybe Mr. Cagle can look to his own catalog for solace. This, from It Takes Two,
Yeah, sometimes my work and the world get the best of me
Then I come home and try to give you what's left of me

Well, apparently, there ain't much left by the time you get home. Maybe it's time to postpone that next tour.

[via Defamer]

Monday, October 03, 2005

A Message from the Fainter

New Yorkers rude? Please.