Illustrating Absurdity

9 02 2011
Illustrating Absurdity

Chicken crossing by Peter Griffin/

These news bites give new meaning to the phrase.

In the “Too Stupid to Run a Mile” category, L.A. County Public Health officials decided to help Ravers have a “safer” experience when they downed Ecstasy by giving them the facts about the drug via a flier.

Public health flier warning of  dangers of Ecstasty at raves to be revised.

The low-lights:

“The flier was intended to be handed out at future raves at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena. It tells about the effects of Ecstasy overdose and ‘how to minimize potential harms,’ including warnings that taking Ecstasy with other substances, especially alcohol, can increase risks. The flier also advises to ‘aim low’ in dose and frequency, because ‘Ecstasy risks increase with larger doses.'”

The flier also advises rave attendees to not drive, to stay hydrated and take frequent breaks. It also advises that people “stay away” from Ecstasy, saying that ‘the only way to completely avoid the risks is to avoid the drug.’

Do they seriously think anyone who drops E on the regular is interested in a fact sheet, or will be coherent enough to actually read and/or comprehend it?

A copy of the original flier for your reading pleasure.

To no one’s surprise, the Dept. of Public Health came under sharp criticism:

“[B]ased on feedback from board members and upon further review by the department, Public Health is immediately revising the card to further and more emphatically state that illegal drug use is dangerous.”

No! Duh.

And via HuffPo, we find that the good citizens of Fort Wayne, Indiana are being overruled in their desire to name a government center after their longest-serving Republication mayor because of his name.  Wait for it… Harry Baals.  Fort Wayne Likely To Snub Popular Mayor over Suggestive Name.

“Baals, pronounced like “balls,” is the clear frontrunner in an online vote taken to gauge support for the various candidates, but on Tuesday, city officials suggested that they didn’t want to humiliate the city by giving people a reason to snicker at the name of the structure.”

So despite the overwhelming public support to see this man honored, it looks like the people have been ignored. Sounds a lot like the run-up to the Obamacare vote.

And last, but by no means least… Lindsay Lohan.

That is all.

Illustrating Absurdity

17 11 2010


Illustrating Absurdity

Chicken crossing by Peter Griffin/

Can we get any more absurd than complaining about a TV-show being fixed?  When did Dancing with the Stars become purist high art?  Seriously, give Bristol Palin credit for trying to do something with her life instead of immediately getting on the government dole.  I don’t watch the show, and don’t care to watch the show, but if I hear one more blogger or avid show watcher belly-aching about Bristol Palin winning for another week, I may just call in and vote for her!  Obviously there is something about her the American people love, kind of like Fantasia Barino–so deal with it and truly, truly get over it, or change the channel.  Blogosphere in a tizzy over Bristol Palin’s advance to the finals.

Climbing off the soapbox now and on to real matters of import.  This TSA/Airport Security Body Scanner/Invasive Groping mess.  Jon Tyner‘s phrase “You touch my junk, and I’ll have you arrested” has entered the hallowed lexicons of our language, right up there with “Don’t Tase me, Bro!”

But the Associated Press offers up their anemic response to what is fast becoming a national crisis.  Airport body scans, pat-downs draw more complaints.  AP boils all this brouhaha down to 1) blame the passenger, and 2) we haven’t made any real sacrifices for national security.  So terrorizing a three-year-old is just a minor bit of inconvenience?

The lefty-heavy Los Angeles Times in their article, “Shut up and be scanned”, offers this bit of sunny advice:

“There’s no bright line to indicate where our quest for security becomes intolerably invasive of our privacy, but we’re still pretty sure the TSA hasn’t yet crossed it. Although the pat-downs are seriously embarrassing, they’re also usually voluntary — to avoid them, you just have to go through the scanner. And fears about the scanners have been overblown.”

Bite me.  Michael Graham at Boston Herald gives more reasoned (and sensible) advice.  We take this now, imagine what we’ll have to put up with later? Airport security is one big scan.  And Jennifer Abel at the Guardian UK gets even more caustic.  Get your hands off me, TSA!

I will watch with relish next week to see how passengers and TSA fare on the biggest travel Holiday of the year.   Thanks to John Tyner, I’m sure many will come armed with a camera phone that also includes their lawyer’s number. So glad I’m staying in town!



Illustrating Absurdity

10 11 2010
Illustrating Absurdity

Chicken crossing by Peter Griffin/Public Domain

Sometimes headlines, like sound bites, can be particularly illustrative of the absurd.  Here a few from my morning reading:

From the Wall Street Journal:

The GOP’s Racial Challenge
Republicans can’t win in the future without more nonwhite votes.–Zoltan Hajnal.

So the elections of Marco Rubio, Allen West, Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, Brian Sandoval, and Susana Martinez were a reflection of a whites-only voting bloc?  Can someone place some coffee under Zoltan’s nose to wake him up?!  Manny Lopez of the Detroit News paints a more accurate portrait. New faces of hope for GOP.

From the New Jersey Star Ledger: “Pelosi’s plummeting popularity is a burden to Democrats“.  When was she ever popular?  The Botox Hammer has always been egregious.  Except now, she doesn’t have a majority running interference for her–they all got booted–thanks, in no small part to her leadership.  Bye, bye, Nancy.  Don’t let the doorknob hit you on the way out.

In My Orbit…

19 10 2010

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti /

Yeah, I know… Politics, again?!  But it’s less than three weeks before the elections, and silly season has kicked into full swing.  Perhaps I should have named this one Illustrating Absurdity instead….

Who does fit that bill?  Ms. Meghan McCain.  The very blonde daughter of Senator John McCain graduated college a few years back, produced a much-touted blog of her father on the campaign trail, and is now a “heavyweight” political commentator as evidenced by her column space in The Daily Beast and appearances on political shows like “This Week.”   Apparently the Paris Hilton of politics is also an authority on experience and success,  if her comments about Christine O’Donnell on the aforementioned Sunday show are any indication:

“I speak as a 26-year-old woman, and my problem is that, no matter what, Christine O’Donnell is making a mockery of running for public office,” McCain told host Christiane Amanpour. “She has no real history, no real success in any kind of business.”

Politico supplies the video here.

At least Chelsea Clinton and Barbara and Jenna Bush actually worked and did community service after college.  They could have easily rode on the coattails of their name recognition, but they chose differently.  Hmmm… that choice alone says much about Ms. McCain.

Being corpulent myself, I won’t get into the only thing that I consider weighty about this young girl.  One of my favorite (and weighty in the correct sense) political commentators, Doug Powers, summarily and appropriately dismisses her: McCain: Christine O’Donnell seen as a Nutjob.

President Obama thinks you’re fearful and stupid.  Clutch the pearls!  According to an AP Poll, and despite the focus-grouped MTV crowd, nobody really giving a rat’s heinie what the President thinks anymore.

Michael Gerson deconstructs our President’s latest elitist remarks in Obama the Snob,

“The neocortical presidency destroys the possibility of political dialogue. What could Obama possibly learn from voters who are embittered, confused and dominated by subconscious evolutionary fears? They have nothing to teach, nothing to offer to the superior mind. Instead of engaging in debate, Obama resorts to reductionism, explaining his opponents away.”

Jennifer Rubin of Commentary Magazine further deconstructs in A Snob, but not really an Intellectual, making a firm case that someone who is an intellectual would have a better capacity for policy, economics, and especially people.  A pull quote:

“His understanding of free markets, international affairs, war strategy, and domestic policy evidences no originality. To the contrary, his vision is supported by myths and inaccuracies. (Recall the serial misstatements about history during the campaign.) It is not, then, the public that lacks reasoning skills; it is the president, whose rigid ideology prevents him from taking in new data, analyzing it dispassionately, and rendering decisions based on the facts before him.”

Interesting, if Ms. McCain truly were a “heavyweight” political commentator, she could have drawn some distinct parallels between O’Donnell and Obama, and what inexperience really costs us.


Illustrating Absurdity

13 10 2010


Illustrating Absurdity

Chicken crossing by Peter Griffin


All Obama, all the time.  Not really, but with a national election three weeks away looking like D-Day for the Dems, there has been lots of ridiculousness associated with our Commander in Chief.

Take 1:  A man throws a book at the President during a stump speech in Philadelphia. Of course, the man was immediately detained to surmise motives (as opposed to the Panty Bomber, who was given Miranda rights, but I digress).  Apparently, the man had written this tome, and wanted the President to read it.  Neither bright nor effective, but in line with what you would expect from an O-bot.   Officials released man who tossed book at Obama.

Take 2:  I had no problem seeing this, having grown up with the adage, “All that glitters, is not gold.”  Whether the President gets re-elected in 2012 or no, “Hope and Change” is officially tarnished.  Let’s hope it ultimately ends up on the trash heap so we can get on with real life.  Nearly half of Obama’s supporters have now given up on him.

Take 3:  A supposedly revelatory interview done by The New York Times, ironically titled, “The Education of President Obama.”   The article offers self-reflective statements like,  “He realized too late that ‘there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects’ when it comes to public works,” while waxing eloquent about the re-decoration done in the Oval Office.  The President has pissed off left and right-wing alike, so he’s basically using his favorite media organ to do more smoke and mirrors.  “Hope and Change” morphs into “Reflection and Introspection.”  The same old calculated moves to push the same old liberal policies.  Move along folks, nothing to see here…

Illustrating Absurdity

24 08 2010
Illustrating Absurdity

Chicken crossing by Peter Griffin

From The Smoking Gun.  The Justice Department is looking for a number of Ebonics linguistics experts:

“In contract documents, which are excerpted here, Ebonics is listed among 114 languages for which prospective contractors must be able to provide linguists. The 114 languages are divided between “common languages” and “exotic languages.” Ebonics is listed as a “common language” spoken solely in the United States.”

Had I spent more time on the street, and less time in a book, I would be golden.  My college and graduate degrees are now being used as toilet paper.

On the other hand, this will do wonders to improve the Black unemployment numbers…

Your 15 Minutes

5 06 2010

Image: Salvatore Vuono /

This is both sad and tragic on many levels.  Helen Thomas beclowns herself.

Then she issues this half-baked, canned apology.

“I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians.They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.”

Sorry Helen, but the bell cannot be unrung.

Would someone tell Helen Thomas that her 15 minutes are up?

H/t: Solomonia.

Illustrating Absurdity: Boycott Edition

13 05 2010
Illustrating Absurdity

Chicken crossing by Peter Griffin

L.A. has got a feevah–not to correct its massive budget deficit, or to reign in the utterly corrupt Department of Water and Power.  No, L.A. has decided to boycott the State of Arizona for its anti-illegal stance.  L.A. City Council votes to ban travel and future contracts with Arizona….

This action was approved by the City Council 13-1, with Councilman Greig Smith casting the only dissenting vote.  Of course, they haven’t all-out canceled the City of L.A.’s $58 million worth of contracts with Arizona companies, but are asking port and city authorities to “review” contracts that have ties to Arizona.  A pull quote:

“LAX receives $22 million in revenue from two Arizona-based airlines — US Airways and Mesa Air. The port relies on three Arizona firms for new, low-emission big rigs, part of the city’s “clean truck’’ program that is expected to reduce truck-related pollution at the port by 80% by 2012.”

So, the Port of Los Angeles and LAX all but depend on Arizona to be able to do its business and to garner certain revenue.   Since we’re the ones that are broke and busted, you would think the City Council would consider this before taking such an action.  But that would be asking for reason and accountability–two traits sorely lacking in the City’s current leadership.  Smilin’ Tony was unavailable for comment.

In other news, the L.A. City Council approved an initiative to crackdown on abandoned shopping cartsHugh Hewitt said it best: “They’re the clown posse.”  Love him.

Leesa Bellesi, pastor’s wife, has called for a boycott of the Miss USA Pageant over an overtly sexual photo shoot of the contestants called, “Waking Up in Vegas”, posted on the pageant’s official website.  Pastor’s wife calling for Miss USA boycott.

The pageant president went on the Today show to defend the campaign, “telling Matt Lauer that most of the contestants want to be Victoria’s Secret models anyway, so this is just giving them practice.”  With Barbie-Doll sluts like Kendra Wilkinson Baskett and Kim Kardashian being thrown in the face of young women as “role models,” why would anyone be surprised at this?

Bellesi runs an organization called Kingdom Assignment, and from my brief perusal of her bio and work, seems to be a woman of substance.  Here’s where she lost me.  A pull quote from the Orange County Register article with emphasis added by me:

“After seeing Shugart on the Today Show, Bellesi, who has made a tradition of watching the pageant, sent out an e-mail to hundreds calling on people to boycott the show, which airs live from Vegas Sunday night on NBC.

“‘Christians and young women in general in these pageants are being asked to compromise themselves regarding modesty of any kind,’ she wrote.”

Hello?  That entire circuit is built around the exploitation of beauty and sex as a ticket.  Anyone remember JonBenet Ramsey?  I stopped watching these contests oh, about age 12 or 13, because I realized I certainly wasn’t going to get anywhere on my looks.  So these girls, as bright, vivacious and earnest as they were, would not be good role models.  No disrespect to these women, if that is the path you choose, then so be it–but not all of us have (or want) that option.

Mrs. Bellesi made a tradition of watching this show, and now is suddenly concerned about modesty and exploitation?

Kind of sinks her cause in my eyes.

Glee creator Ryan Murphy is calling for a boycott of Newsweek magazine for what Murphy says, is a “needlessly cruel and mind-blowingly bigoted piece” by Ramin Setoodeh. Setoodeh, who also happens to be gay, posits that gay actors cannot play straight roles.  Tell that to Tom Cruise, Ramin.

Newsflash: Nobody read the article, because nobody reads Newsweek.  Then again, a boycott might push the already failing newsweekly over a cliff.  Hmmm….

Methinks Mr. Murphy should take a chill pill, enjoy his successful show, and focus his energy on writing those great musical numbers.  Had Murphy not mentioned the article, I would have never heard of Ramin Setoodeh.  But Ryan Murphy and Glee are already household words.  Glee creator Ryan Murphy urges magazine snub.

Illustrating Absurdity…

26 03 2010
Illustrating Absurdity

Chicken crossing by Peter Griffin

In the imitable words of Ogden Nash, “Golly, how the truth will out!”  City and federal leadership, along with their ilk, are showing their true colors.  Not that this wasn’t apparent to those who choose to see…

Good ‘ole May-V is at it again.  Smilin’ Tony is miffed that the City Council is thwarting his efforts to be known as the greenest Mayor on the planet.  So he has threatened–clutch the pearls–bankruptcy, if the City Council does not approve the Department of Water and Power rate hike.  Villaraigosa warns of bankruptcy if City Council blocks electricity rate hike.

The City Council, in a rare show of restraint, is not convinced, along with LAist.  Council President Eric Garcetti, who purportedly supports green energy, called the memo “a gun to our head. [snip] Don’t tell us that the quickest that we’re going to go bankrupt is to turn this away.”  Will L.A. go Bankrupt if your DWP bills don’t go up?

Al Gore, always keen on noble-sounding schemes that line the pocketbook, wholeheartedly endorses Villaraigosa’s rate hike plan.  However, after Climategate, does he even have any credibility?  Al Gore joins Villaraigosa in Supporting Carbon Surcharge….

On the heels of the historic signing of Obamacare into law, Democratic representatives  see no need to lie to the people any more about its true intentions.  Representative John Dingell (D-MI) went on the Paul W. Smith radio show to explain why we are not going to see some of the “benefits” of Obamacare right way.

Here’s the killer quote:

“It takes a long time to do necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put legislation together to control the people.”

What part of “control” don’t you understand?

And today, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), who also happens to be chairman of the Senate Finance Committee (hold your applause), was waxing eloquent on the Senate floor today, apparently drunk on power… or something.  A pull quote:

“[t]oo often, much of late, the last couple three years the mal-distribution of income in America is gone up way too much, the wealthy are getting way, way too wealthy, and the middle income class is left behind.  Wages have not kept up with increased income of the highest income in America.  This legislation will have the effect of addressing that mal-distribution of income in America.”

So… this bill law really wasn’t meant to uphold my Constitutional right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness?  Apparently not.

H/t: Hugh Hewitt, Naked Emperor News, The Foundry Blog.

Illustrating Absurdity

18 03 2010
Illustrating Absurdity

Chicken crossing by Peter Griffin

In the ongoing battle for the fiscal survival of the city of Los Angeles and the State of California, we have both Mayor and Governor trying to salvage their “legacy”, while simultaneously saving the local and regional economy.  “Rock,” meet “Hard Place.”

Schwarzenegger has issued another veto which effectively stalled the process to close the $20-billion state budget deficit.  A pull quote:

“[H]e planned to veto $1.1 billion in projected savings realized largely through cuts to public transit.  Democratic lawmakers had approved the measure as part of a package they said would have addressed $4 billion of California’s estimated $20-billion deficit.

“Combined with Schwarzenegger’s veto last week of a larger component of the plan, the announcement puts Capitol politicians back at square one on the deficit.”

Schwarzenegger to veto Dems public transit cuts.

Meanwhile, Smilin’ Tony is in Washington, D.C. (does the man EVER stay in Los Angeles for any length of time?) groveling for federal money to fund city public transportation projects, while irking his constituents by continuing his quest to be the Greenest Mayor on the planet.   May-V plans to push forward with his DWP Renewable Energy Plan, which will raise residential power rates again.  May-V claims it will only be an increase of $2.50 a month, but LAist, the Los Angeles Times and the Daily News beg to differ. From LAist:  L.A. to be powered by 20% renewable energy by end of the year? and L.A. Times: DWP rates may rise 8% and 28% to pay for Mayor’s green initiative.

A DWP Board, whose membership is composed solely of mayoral stooges, will vote on moving this forward before it hits the City Council.  I bet if we cut the salaries of that board and Smilin’ Tony, we’d fund his legacy projects and solve our fiscal issues in one fell swoop.

And my good laugh for the week, Faith and Reason blog touts Rediscovering the Sabbath on ‘National Day of Unplugging’.  On March 20, a non-profit group called Reboot invites you to join them in turning off your Smart phone, computer or other electronic appendages, and get back to basics.  The group has dedicated an entire website to a Sabbath Manifesto–10 Principles to help you carve your “timeout.”

At the bottom of the 10 Principles list, the site has links to follow them on Twitter and Facebook!  The comments on the Faith and Reason article are the most interesting.  A sample: “Good. Now I know when I’ll have the best service and fastest download times. Thanks.”


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