Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hump Day Hodgepodge

"All bras half off." - actual department store sign

It drives me nuts when someone calls me on the phone, and when I pick up, they continue to talk to someone at their end for another 30 seconds before acknowledging me. Dialing a phone is a commitment; don't call me unless you mean it, and you're ready to talk. Once you dial, you're on my time.

I previously stated that I think menopause should be called "menostop." I've since reconsidered; it should be called "womenopause." Yeah, I like it.

I think washing one's hands ought to be considered a patriotic duty, and those who do not do so should be publicly chided and possibly even fined. I picture Soviet-style propaganda posters in restrooms featuring paranoia-inducing messages like "Did You Wash Those Hands Well Enough?" and "Germs Are Not Your Friends." I'd even provide rewards to those who "inform" on others who fail to wash their hands. Seriously, folks, we keep hearing more and more about how hand washing is crucial to helping prevent the spread of some diseases. It's such a simple thing. Do your duty. We're all in this together, and I don't want your damned germs.

I get a kick out of motorcycle riders. It's not only the "Watch Out For Motorcycles" bumper stickers they have on their cars, which put the onus of safety on me because they've decided to drive an unsafe vehicle between traffic lanes at 90 mph without a helmet, that give me a chuckle. It's their insistence on wearing t-shirts touting motorcycling while motorcycling. Do we all wear car shirts when driving our cars? Do pilots wear t-shirts with pictures of planes on them? Sea captains, little boats? So what if I sometimes wear a band's shirt to their concert? It's different.

I hereby demand that advertisements for movies and TV shows discontinue the use of the word "event." Movies and TV shows are not events; an event is a significant occurrence of a specific duration. Woodstock was an event. OK, it was also a movie, but you get my meaning. Jesus, picky picky.

Should radio stations that changed music formats two years ago be allowed to continue calling themselves "new" indefinitely? I think not. Time to get some new promos, you guys.

And now, our main feature...

The "brassiere" is 100 years old this year. No word yet on whether it's going to go out on the town to celebrate and loosen up a bit. One thing's for certain: It's been through a lot of changes over the years. At one time it had torpedo-shaped cups that severely distorted the woman's natural shape (see Lieutenant Uhura as an example) and likely poked out many an eye. Once it had way too much fabric for its own good (the "industrial strength" bra, as I call it); your grandmother wore one of these, and she probably still does. During the 60s the bra was sometimes used as an incendiary device. And the Wonder Bra was hailed as a miraculous invention for the volume and lift it gave women during the 90s.

Above: This fine pair of mushrooms I came across
would not look at all out of place in a brassiere.

As popular as the padded, sculpted model and copycat products have become (they are arguably the "standard" bra nowadays), overall I think it was a setback for women's apparel. At least from a male perspective. Sure, it looks good (if the woman knows how to wear it), but that's only an illusion. We've all been told that looks aren't everything, right? It's what inside (the bra) that counts.

And what of the "feel?" Padded bras have had a deleterious impact on heavy petting. Getting to second base hasn't been the same since their introduction. A whole generation of teen boys is now walking around thinking it copped a feel last Saturday night after the football game; those guys might as well have been fondling the couch cushions. Who wants a handful of foam? How romantic is that? Yeah, give me a nice unpadded, front-opening model any day. And make me 16 again, so I can have another shot at being an early bloomer.

Next post Friday: End of an era!

Monday, November 26, 2007

I’ll Miss Him A Lott

Pete Bogs is not the only controversial figure who will soon be leaving his post. Mississippi Republicant Senator Trent Lott is departing Congress before the end of his current term, citing "other opportunities."

What could these opportunities be, I wonder? Will he become a high-paid lobbyist, keeping that revolving door between Congress and big business spinning? Perhaps he’ll become a consultant; if so, he’s certainly smarter than I, as I still haven’t figured out what one does. Or maybe he’ll become a professional keynote speaker? I’m sure Liberty University, Bob Jones University (BJU) and a few other traditional institutions would love to have him as their resident commencement address giver-in-chief.

Lott was not only once an actual cheerleader, but was also a proud cheerleader for the pre-civil rights South. Man, how we really blew it with that desegregation nonsense! I will miss Lott's quaint beliefs on racial equality and his spray-on hairdo.

Lott's departure adds to a growing list of Republicant Congressmen (and presidential cabinet members) who are leaving Washington, DC for greener (i.e. the color of money) pastures. I am picturing rats leaving a sinking ship... and heading straight for the bank.

Next post Wednesday: Two more to go!

Friday, November 23, 2007

In Mixed Company: The Latest In Religion, Politics And Sex

HOT! Chinese firefighters are taking heat for accepting sexual favors as bribes. I will take a pass on the obligatory firehose joke here.

NOT COOL! A 19-year-old Saudi woman who was gang-raped has been given 200 lashes (and not the eye kind!) and six months in jail for being in a car with a male who was not her relative. Despite international pressure, the Saudi Ministry of Justice is standing by the verdict, as the "charges" against the woman have been "proven." So fucking what? You people are barbarians who have no place living in the 21st century! When is President Bush going to order an invasion of Saudi Arabia to free those oppressed people?

“Look at you, holding hands with the man from Riyadh...
Would you care to explain?”

HOT AIR! Kyla Ebbert, the former Hooters waitress who was nearly removed from a Southwest Airlines flight for wearing a miniskirt, is thumbing her clothes at the airline with a nude, um, spread on Next stop, her own talk show or CD? My apartment, perhaps? (I kid; she's a made-up ho.)

PROGRESS! Though stem cells have now been
created from skin instead of human embryos, I’m sure the Catholic Church will still find some reason to object.

TRANSGRESS! Why not covet your brother's wife? Because you could become a father-uncle, and that's confusing. But it didn’t stop Earl Paulk, head of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit at Chapel Hill Harvester Church from “knowing” his sister-in-law and
“begetting” a son-nephew some three and a half decades ago. Church may be a place for family, but this is ridiculous. Oh, the seeds we sow when we sow those seeds in bed.

Above: Tennis wunderkind Maria Sharapova awaits
the boarding call for a Southwest Airlines flight.

BUSTED! Warren Jeffs, leader of a branch of the Utah-based Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, has been convicted as an accomplice to rape for arranging a forced marriage between a 14-year-old girl and her 19-year-old cousin. That’ll show these religious sex maniacs. I have some attractive cousins, but come on!

WELL, DUH! Former Bush spokesman Scott McClellan has written a new book in which he claims that, not only were Karl Rove and Lewis “Scooter” Libby involved in leaking the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame, but Dick Cheney, George W. Bush and Bush’s chief of staff Andrew Card were all directly involved. Feeling guilty about all those years of denial, Scotty? You lying bastard. Enabler!!!

THE PASSION OF THE CHEAP LABOR! Christ may have suffered on the cross for our sins, but some Chinese workers have had a pretty rough time themselves while creating depictions of same. St. Patrick’s Cathedral and other churches have apparently been selling crucifixes made in Chinese sweatshops. I’ll give the churches (which have since suspended sales of some items) the benefit of the doubt that they didn’t know from whence the merchandise came, but we’ve seriously got to stop buying stuff from "those people" (the Chinese). They probably make the Christ figure out of lead.

Above: Scott McClellan answers a question about his IQ.

SPILL IT! Presidential Candidate Rudy "Mr. 9/11" Giuliani's consulting firm, Guiliani Partners, has been reticent to reveal a complete list of its clients, explaining that some of those clients have requested their identities remain private. How can we be sure there are no Al-Qaedas or worse, Bernard Keriks, among the bunch if Rudy won't fess up? If we must have a president with a lisp and a comb-over, we should at least be sure he's on the up-and-up.

There! Now who says it's not polite to talk about religion, politics or sex in mixed company? I found that quite stimulating.

Next post Monday: Three more to go!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ireland And England Back At War? The Battle Of The Red And The Grey Begins Anew

Despite years of talks and hard-won treaties, the tenuous peace between England and Ireland is in jeopardy, as factions from each country have once again begun to clash with one another in the Dublin area. Ireland’s red squirrels (henceforth “Irish Reds”) are facing eviction from their own lands by English grey squirrels (henceforth “UK Greys”).

The latter were brought to Ireland in the early 1900s in an attempt to subvert the native species. When England withdrew from what later became known as the Irish Free State and partitioned the country in 1921, the UK Greys stayed behind.

“These so-called treaties are not binding on us (squirrels),” said UK Grey spokesrodent Ian Pine-Nut. “I’m in favour of peace but we did not authorise any treaty. We must be invited to the tree in good faith and be allowed to participate in the negotiations process before any lasting peace is possible.”

Relative calm has been maintained among Ireland's squirrel population in recent decades, up until an incident last month in which one Irish Red lost his sight and another his tail. An explosive device disguised as a pile of acorns was placed at the foot of a tree, and when the tree’s Irish Red denizens went to collect them the device detonated. UK Greys were immediately suspected, but have denied any involvement.

“(Those Irish Reds) were clearly injured while creating their own bomb to use on us, and it serves them right,” responded a UK Grey who wished to be identified only as "Nigel." “It shows their overtures toward peace to be false and self-serving.”

Above: UK Grey "Nigel."

Said Irish Red Seamus McNutty in response: “We don’t want a fight, but if (the UK Greys) bring one we’ll meet it, and in earnest. We’ve been fighting this battle for hundreds of years, and we know well how to deal with their kind, thanks be to God."

"We cannot be criticised for acting in our own defence in the face of naked aggression," added McNutty .

Former US President Bill Clinton, who arranged the Good Friday Accord in 1998, may be brought in to foster a peace agreement between the squirrels, but no firm plans have thus far been made.

Above: An unidentified Irish Red lookout spots a UK Grey brigade.

Next post Friday: Four more to go!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Scalp The Scalpers!!!

Fans of young actress/singer Miley Cyrus, aka “Hannah Montana,” are clamoring for tickets for her first ever concert tour. Many of them are finding none available, though, except at many times their face value through scalpers and “ticket brokers” (the difference is semantic as far as I’m concerned), as the shows are selling out in minutes. One press source mentions front row tickets going for as high as $2700.00 apiece.

Folks, this is madness. To me, it represents a clash of “what the market will bear” versus “what’s right.” It's where "capitalism" translates directly to "sheer opportunism." This is not the Rolling Stones, it's a teenybopper show.

There have always been ticket scalpers looking to make a buck, but there was a time when face value was at least reasonable. I remember buying concert tickets about 15 years ago, when you could get any seat in the house for somewhere between $17.50 and $22.50 before service charge.

Now there are typically three ticket levels, with all but the most expensive (hundreds of dollars per) well away from the stage. At the same time these ticket brokers have emerged that sell tickets alongside Ticketmaster, but at even higher prices.

Nowadays the service charge and convenience charges ($10 per ticket for buying online) together equal what you paid for a ticket 15 years ago. Then there are the “facility charges.” What is this, advance payment for using the restrooms?

And you might think that spending an exhorbitant amount entitles you to the best seat in the house, but you soon find that all the prime seats have already been given away to radio stations for their undeserving listeners to win before you ever had a shot a them.

The public’s memory may be short, but I recall seeing far more elaborately staged shows in the 80s and 90s (Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney, Genesis) for far less money than I'm paying for a stripped down version today. WTF, people?

Scalpers aren't just the shady guys in the street, they're now also the guys in suits running these ticket agencies, the promoters and tour managers, too.

As for "Nina Nevada" or whatever her name is, let the kids see their damn show. Yes, it’s the parents who pay the money, but it’s the kids who miss out. That’s who you’re disappointing, you greedy, opportunistic bastards. You ought to be scalped… in the old-fashioned way.

Next post Wednesday: Five more to go!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Childish Behavio(u)r Abounds

In explaining his recent veto of a healthcare and education funding bill, President Bush said, "The (Democratic) majority was elected on a pledge of fiscal responsibility, but so far it's acting like a teenager with a new credit card.” This from one of the biggest spending Republicants ever to hold office? And who wouldn’t be proud of a teenager who used a credit card to pay for healthcare and education instead of, say, clothes, junk food and iPods? I’d call that responsible.

A trio of very irresponsible teens in my area drilled into an ammonia pipe earlier this week, causing injury to themselves and the evacuation of many area residents. Though the perps said they were looking for money(?) in the pipe, some have speculated they wanted to use the ammonia to make crystal meth. Who knew that could be synthesized from so many common liquids, like ammonia and cough medicine? I feel so naive. Are we raising a generation of chemists?

Let those puppies breath and let those babies feed, ladies. I want my peanuts back, on planes and anywhere else I choose to eat ‘em. Feel free to breastfeed as much as you like, as it can help prevent nut allergies in your children. A pair of great issues that go great together.

A hammerhead shark in Nebraska(!) has reproduced asexually. Yes folks, a genuine virgin birth. Can the formation of a massive shark-based religion be far behind this event? I envision billions of people walking around with shark fin-shaped pendants dangling from necklaces.

And speaking of virgin births: Risking its tax-exempt status (yeah, right!), the US Conference of Catholic Bishops is urging followers to vote (which equals politics) based on their faith. The big no-nos, according to their statement, are stem cell research, gay marriage, euthanasia, abortion and human cloning. No stance on bloody wars, but let’s make sure those Nancy boys don’t do anything to make themselves happier in life!

After examining my priorities and overall direction in life, I have decided that BogsBlog will go dark indefinitely at the end of this month. It's been fun, rewarding, frustrating, and a whole lot of other mostly positive things. I've enjoyed working on my writing chops (especially the satirical ones) here regularly for well over two years now; my first post was August 2005. But there are still things that I have yet to achieve that are tugging at me, and while I find being your host rewarding, it also takes away time from things that I probably should be doing. Perhaps I will find time again for this down the road. I do hope you will continue to come by and contribute to the conversation here through the end of November at least. It should be fun. Tell your friends.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Move Over, Imelda Marcos!

What is it about the filthy rich and shoes? Do they all have foot fetishes? Or do they just have dirtier feet than the rest of us? Their hands are certainly dirtier.

Richard Roberts, son of televangelist Oral Roberts, and wife Lindsay have nearly 400 pair of shoes between them. This information came to light when Richard, president of the $50-million-in-debt Oral Roberts University, was recently sued over his extravagant spending. I gotta get me one of them high-paying religion jobs!

I have five pair of shoes: casual brown, casual black, dress black (my only leather pair, worn when someone dies or gets married), clean white sneakers and a dirty old pair of sneakers for exercise and other physical labors. (Flip-flops don't count, unless we're talking politics.)

God knows, in a manner of speaking, what the Roberts are doing with all those shoes. Perhaps they are stocking up to shoe the needy, shoeless masses – sort of following in the footsteps of their beneficent savior? Somehow I doubt that.

As for what should be done about the Roberts' spendthrift ways, I think the university ought to take a page from the Filipinos and run their greedy asses out of the country. I'm sure the Roberts have at least a few pair of running shoes between them.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

If I Were A Gay Man, Ya Ha Deedle Deedle, Didle Didle Deedle Deedle Dum

The House of Representatives has passed a sure-to-be vetoed bill outlawing workplace discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation. The Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is intended to prohibit discrimination against homosexuals in the hiring, promotion and termination processes.

Unless you can read minds, I don’t know how you’d stop someone from discriminating during hiring. Can you really say why they didn’t hire you, unless an employer tells you flat out that he doesn’t like “you people?”

I’ve never gotten a proper promotion, so I can’t say what that process is like.

I have, however, been fired. And when I was, I found out I had to just (in a manner of speaking) suck it up, as state laws permit private companies to fire anyone at any time for any (or no) reason without penalty. So while I laud the House effort, I’d also like to know what law protects my straight-white-male ass from being unjustly fired?

Lest you think I’m leaning consternative with this notion, it was actually that dismissal, in part, which led me to become a card-carrying Democrat. I do believe in equal rights, but for me, too.

ENDA was naturally opposed by many Republicants, whose objections were along the lines of rights of businesses blah blah blah religious exemptions blah blah blah immoral lifestyle choices blah blah blah. No surprises there. And the Homophobe In Chief will certainly pleasure those lawmakers with his veto pen.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Moon Day Madness

Give Peace Protesters A Chance
Dozens of Illinois high school students are now facing expulsion for staging a pro-peace sit-in at their school. Military recruiters and ROTC instructors still roam the halls freely, however.

Next Stop, Pakistan?
Now that Gen. Pervez Musharraf has put his country under martial law, arrested dissidents, dismantled parts of the government and cut off communications with the outside world, will President Bush send Coalition-Of-The-Increasingly-Unwilling forces to free that country from its tyrannical dictator? Shades of Burma/Myanmar anyone? Musharraf only needs to kill some peaceful clerics to complete the comparison.

If You Must Read In The Can...
Don’t read the Koran, or the penalty will be… well, there seems to only be one penalty when it comes to Islamists: death. A man has been executed in Saudi Arabia for desecrating the Koran by placing it in a restroom, and for adultery. Bush could send troops there, too, but I understand he and the Cheneys like to do Cape Cod with the Saudi royals in the summer.

Hell No, They Won't Go
The State Department is reinstating the draft, with a plan to send unwilling diplomats to serve in Iraq. How does the fact that some diplomats are referring to this as a “potential death sentence” square with this administration’s assertions that things are improving in Iraq? And what does it say about their confidence in our mission there? Let the “unpatriotic” brickbats start flying. Meanwhile, I suggest reluctant diplomats head to Canada.

Whither The Fashion Police?
Just because he won’t allow women with short skirts on his planes doesn’t mean the CEO of Southwest Airlines won’t dress up in drag, complete with humungous, phony breasts, for Halloween. Honestly, should anyone take fashion direction from this man?

Turbulence Interruptus
Singapore Airlines is offering suites complete with double beds to passengers on its Singapore-Sydney route. The airline is among the first to take advantage of the spacious new Airbus A380 aircraft, but its passengers are being admonished not to take advantage of the accommodations to become members of the Mile High Club. When you consider how much a first-class seat costs, these suites must cost a small fortune. For that amount, I not only want to have sex on the flight, I want the airline to provide me with a flight attendant of my choice for said activity. No coffee for me; I'll take the TWA tea.