Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Posts Tagged ‘entertainment

SHOCKER: Sir Mix-A-Lot Reveals He Hates Big Butts

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Sir MixaLotLos Angeles, February 4 – The artist best known for trumpeting his attraction to women with ample backsides stunned fans and followers by admitting he does not actually care much for large derrières.

Sir Mix-a-Lot, whose 1992 hip-hop song “Baby Got Back” sold more than two million copies in short order following its release, spoke in praise of the Callipygian feminine form, famously declaring in the lyrics that the stereotypically “perfect” chest, waist, and hips measurements of 36, 24, and 36 inches, respectively, held no appeal for him unless “she’s five-three.” However, the 42-year-old Seattle native disclosed recently that he finds nothing especially attractive about a woman with “a round thing.”

“I wrote the song as a dig at women’s fashion magazines that only wanted to showcase anorexic girls,” said Mix-a-Lot. “But it’s time to come clean: I don’t much like large-butted women. It was all for show.”

Fans and admirers have long praised Mix-a-Lot for standing up for the attractiveness of less-than-fashion-model thinness, and it remains unclear what impact the new revelations will have on his popularity. Whether or not the artist’s disclosure is sincere, his two-decade-old declaration of desire for derrière-endowed dames has been firmly entrenched in popular culture, says entertainment industry commentator Anna Conda. “Dozens of other artists and celebrities have either covered, sampled, parodied, or otherwise referenced ‘Baby Got Back,’ she explained.

Indeed, as Ms. Conda noted, the twitterverse is rife with references to the song, making it likely that Mix-a-Lot’s actual lukewarm feelings toward generous fundaments will prove irrelevant. “It’s as powerful a social commentary and criticism as it is because of what it exposes, irrespective of the ingenuousness, or lack thereof, behind it,” she said of the song. “Trenchant social commentary is one of the bedrocks of hip-hop.”

“Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some buns to attend to,” she said.

Written by Thag

February 4, 2015 at 3:42 pm

NY Jets Embarrassed They All Wore The Same Thing Onto The Field AGAIN

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JetsEast Rutherford, NJ – Adding a fashion faux pas to a season already shaping up as a disaster, every single member of the New York Jets roster chose an identical outfit in which to appear for their game today.

The team’s 0-6 start to the season results from what commentators are calling the perfect storm of rotten luck, bad decisions, lack of coordination among players, and simmering tensions among rival teammates. To make matters worse, say analysts, the team committed an aesthetic and cultural gaffe by appearing in public all wearing the same clothes, save for different numbers on their jerseys.

“Oh, my gosh, lame,” explained commentator John Madden. “I mean, they have stalls, like, right next to one another in the locker room – you;d think they’d pick up on the fact that someone else is wearing, like the exact same thing.”

Bob Costas of NBC Sports concurred. “This could have been avoided with a minimal amount of preparatory work on the part of the players, and, failing that, the coaching staff. This really gives new meaning to the term Offensive Coordinator. I can’t think of a more apt term right now.”

Numerous Jets squads have begin their seasons 0-6, with the franchise often serving as a metaphor for perpetual cellar-dwellers. The team last won a Super Bowl in 1969, leaving athletic achievement to the more talented, better-trained, and more prestigious clubs in the National Football League. The lack of expectation from fans that the team post a winning record, let alone advance into the playoffs, has freed them to pursue attainments in other realms, such as sniping at one another and trying to wear their helmets at the jauntiest angle possible.

Players expressed shock and disgrace at the mistake. “I thought I had the original idea to match my jersey and football pants to the green and white of the turf and yard markers,” said Tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson. “Imagine my chagrin upon discovering that all 52 of my teammates made the same fashion decision. I wish I could die.”

The incident recalls a similar episode in Borough Park, Brooklyn, last year, when fisticuffs broke out among adherents of Bobov and Ger Hasidic sects over which group had usurped the black frocks of the other.

Written by Thag

October 18, 2014 at 10:52 pm

Philharmonic To Stop Selling Beer After 3rd Movement

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From PreOccupied Territory:

IPO logoTel Aviv, June 29 – Troubled by unruly attendees in the audience, Heichal Hatarbut, the Tel Aviv home of the Israel Philharmonic, has decided to stop selling alcoholic beverages beyond the third movement of orchestral works of four movements or more, and after the second movement of three-movement pieces.

The decision comes after persistent difficulties with rowdy audience members who fight, heckle the performers, and present what Heichal Hatarbut managers call  “a disruptive presence and a safety hazard for our players and guests.” The hall and orchestra boards agreed to implement the change following an incident last week when a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 in F Major was repeatedly interrupted by shouts of, “Your Scherzo is a joke!” and “My grandmother could…

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June 30, 2014 at 4:12 pm

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Man Told To Make Like Tree, Get Out Of Here

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BIffHill Valley, CA, June 8 – A local auto mechanic told a dissatisfied customer today to emulate a tree by leaving, albeit in such a way that the play on words in the classic line was not made apparent.

Biff Tannen, who runs a car repair business, instructed an unidentified visitor at his establishment to “make like a tree” this afternoon and “get out of here,” apparently unaware that the second part of the line as correctly expressed instead uses the single-word imperative “leave,” which is both the verb that means growing leaves – what a tree does – and a synonym for “depart,” which is what he intended for the visitor to do forthwith.

Tannen has had trouble in the past with accurately rendered turns of phrase, leading observers to question his intellectual capacity. The native son of the area enjoys a reputation for attempting to intimidate others into acquiescing to his will, often with the implied or or explicit use of unpleasantly applied force. Such behavior has only sometimes served Tannen well: in his school days he was often successful in persuading others to complete his work for him, but his bullying ultimately cost him the girl of his affections as his mark unexpectedly stood up to him and decked him, forever securing the sweetheart’s love and completely reversing the roles in the other man’s relationship to Tannen from that point on.

Rumors have swirled about Tannen’s youthful escapades. Sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing retribution, talked of the younger Tannen’s boasts regarding an ability to predict the outcomes of sporting events, an ability evidently never actually displayed in the real world. Whispers among Tannen’s closest associates – known by their nicknames Match, Skinhead, and 3D – overheard by those sources seem to indicate a missing document that could have changed the man’s life at a young age, and its absence has remained a constant source of frustration and low self-image since high school.

Speculation about the nature of that document was once commonplace, but with the passage of time it has died down, recurring only occasionally when other sources of local gossip at the Lone Pine Mall Hair Salon have dried up. The most widely accepted version of events has it that Tannen was set to inherit a fortune from ancestor Buford Tannen, but was never able to assert a legal claim. Others speak of his being privy to inside information that would enable him to profit immensely from some sort of investment, but the opportunity was squandered.

At press time, Tannen was neatening his clothes in preparation for a visit from George McFly, a longtime acquaintance and a client he always tries to impress.

Written by Thag

June 8, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Tina Turner, Bonnie Tyler Debate Needing Hero

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Tina TurnerHollywood, June 1 – Entertainment personalities Bonnie Tyler and Tina Turner faced off last night, arguing opposing sides in the question of whether a brave, manly presence is necessary, or whether it would be counterproductive.

Tyler repeatedly asserted that a heroic, preferably male, figure was the only acceptable solution. She offered from personal experience that the presence of such a figure could be sensed just beyond our current horizons, and, if enough patience is exercised, that hero will eventually appear and perform the functions that a heroic personality could be expected to do, such as sweeping women off their feet and appearing larger than life.

Turner offered a rebuttal centering on the contention that the model of a hero as a source of salvation has been tried repeatedly, but that it provides no lasting comfort and in fact is ultimately detrimental and destructive. While not proposing any specific alternatives to Tyler’s arguments in favor of a hero, Turner did put forth a point-by-point treatment of the dangers inherent in looking to a hero. Those dangers include diminished horizons, fear, a legacy of suffering, and perhaps most troubling, the notion that nothing can be changed.

Bonnie TylerThe audience was evenly divided on the merits of the positions. Those who accepted Turner’s contentions that we do not need another hero nevertheless acknowledged the visceral, emotional appeal of Tyler’s assertions. While Turner clearly wished for society to aspire “beyond Thunderdome” – clearly a reference to the narrow vision and potential of society as it now stands – Tyler invoked images of actually racing with that thunder, and “rising with the heat” – a call to transcend our current limits, limits that only a hero would be equipped to overcome.

Turner warned against such “castles built in the air,” fantasies with no realistic chance of fulfillment. She allowed that love and compassion might provide succor, but could not envision the situation in which that might be made possible, and that in the interim, she could not understand what love had to do with it.

Written by Thag

June 1, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Iron Man Credits Tin Man For Breaking Down Industry Barriers

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Iron Man coverHollywood, CA – Iron Man, the high-tech superhero whose metal suit protects him and provides superhuman strength, said at a press conference today that a metal character could never make it in the entertainment world if the Tin Man had not crossed the metal line all those decades ago in The Wizard of Oz.

Until The Wizard of Oz was released in 1939, hit movies almost invariably featured fully human characters. The notable exceptions were animated films, in which, for example, Snow White incorporated a slew of demi-humans the same year as Oz.

“It takes heart to persevere in an environment where nobody assumes you’re fully human, or worthy of the same consideration,” said Iron Man. “The Tin Man showed us all how to bear those slings and arrows with stoicism and empathy. He’s always been an inspiration to me.”

“‘Oz’ was a pioneer film in several respects,” noted social historian Meytal Urji. “It broke a color barrier, of course, being the first feature film to freely adopt the notion that black and white were irrelevant, even retrograde, ideas. It introduced the concept of a ‘Good Witch,’ laying the groundwork for Harry Potter. But almost as important, The Wizard of Oz made viewers and film executives alike think, ‘Well, why NOT take a bunch of burly males and emasculate them by putting them in ridiculous costumes?”

Some scholars of film have argued that in fact it was Superman, known as The Man of Steel, who spearheaded roles for such characters, but those voices remain the minority. Others contend that it was in fact Frankenstein’s monster who who should be credited, but still others note in fact the monster was anatomically human, just not all the same human.

 

Other types of mockery can be found at PreOccupied Territory.

Written by Thag

May 26, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Scientists Unable To Confirm That Happiness A Warm Gun

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190px-Charlie-brown-off-b'wayCambridge, MA, May 25 – Researchers investigating human happiness have yet to meet success in their efforts to arrive at effective parameters for happiness, a spokesman for the group said this morning.

A Harvard University collaborative study has been collating and testing numerous specific claims by earlier researchers into what constitutes happiness. The meta-analysis has so far looked at more than a dozen hypotheses, including two of the most prominent ones: a 1968 study by J. Lennon that happiness is a warm gun, and another by C. Gesner the previous year that happiness is two kinds of ice cream.

The researchers are subjecting each hypothesis to rigorous analysis, attempting to determine whether any of them can provide a compelling definition. By nature, however, many of the factors cited by the earlier researchers do not admit to standard methods of empirical analysis, requiring the scientists to formulate less precise tools to assess the accuracy of each.

Nevertheless, the researchers have been able to definitively rule out several hypotheses, somewhat simplifying the rest of the work. Gesner himself posited a good number of less-well-known indicators of happiness that the scientists were able to disprove with relative ease, finding numerous of cases in which their presence was demonstrated but happiness nevertheless absent: having a sister; a hot dog sandwich; finding a nickel; and sharing a sandwich, the last of which was actually found to increase resentment.

Also complicating the research is the notion, first posited by K. Solomon and later confirmed by E. Hemingway, that happiness and intelligence rarely, if ever, coexist in the same person. Thus the capacity to detect happiness tends to be inversely proportional to the likelihood of its presence. Increasingly, say the researchers, they are drawn toward the more parsimonious hypotheses that posit a subjective factor. W. A. Ward, for example, put forth parameters that see happiness as “an inside job,” a notion that perhaps carries a simple emotional resonance, but that the researchers find challenging both because they lack a way to measure it, and because the phrase evokes conspiracy theories, which in themselves are hardly parsimonious.

Alternatively, the researchers still have the hypothesis of one A. Schweitzer, who defined happiness as “nothing more than good health and a bad memory.” At press time, researcher W. Axl Rose was citing earlier researcher J. Beaumont in attributing the absence of happiness to his not having you.

Further silliness can be viewed at PreOccupied Territory.

Written by Thag

May 25, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Oddjob Tosses Hat Into Presidential Ring, 4 Killed

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OddjobWashington, May 20 – With the 2016 election campaign barely two years away, political operatives are already exploring possible candidacies, including former henchman Oddjob, who tossed his hat into the ring today and ended up killing several people.

The four victims were about to announce their own exploratory committees when Oddjob sent his steel-reinforced bowler flying in their direction. Witnesses said one of the victims, as yet unidentified, managed to shout a warning to the others, but they were unable to dodge the hat. Oddjob was taken into custody and charged with four counts of manslaughter.

The three victims who have been identified were former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson, Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and Former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner. The fourth victim is female, and died from a spinal cord injury. The other three had major arteries severed in their necks and died from blood loss.

Analysts are divided on whether the killings will adversely affect Oddjob’s electoral prospects. “People like toughness in a candidate during times of instability,” says expert Auric Goldfinger. “This might be just the incident to spark the public’s interest and demonstrate to them that Oddjob is the right man for any tough job.”

Others are less convinced. “The American public might appreciate a no-nonsense approach while in office, but an election campaign is mostly about finesse,” contends Pussy Galore, once a former associate of Oddjob. “I’m afraid Oddjob might have seriously hurt his chances with this.”

Ms. Galore acknowledged that getting rid of the narcissistic Congressman Weiner, twice-busted in sexting incidents, could only boost Oddjob’s popularity, but it would probably prove insufficient over the long term to offset other factors.

“President Obama got rid of Osama Bin Laden, but still had to wage a tough campaign in 2012, even as an incumbent,” she noted. “I realize Bin Laden was no Anthony Weiner, but still.”

 

More inanity can be found here: PreOccupiedTerritory.

Written by Thag

May 20, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Miracle Max Arrested For Selling Horcruxes

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Miracle MaxFlorin, May 15 – Miracle Max, the royal sorcerer emeritus, has been detained and charged with unlawful commerce in magical merchandise, including dangerous items such as horcruxes.

Max, 100, was taken into custody early this morning by a brute squad, and is being held until his arraignment. Law enforcement authorities have yet to give details of the investigation or the information that led them to Max, who has yet to retain a lawyer.

Horcruxes are sinister items used in dark magic to preserve a portion of a person’s soul, in order to protect against death. The production of a horcrux involves murder, though the warrant for Max’s arrest did not indicate that any such killing had taken place.

Friends and family were shocked by the news. “Max could no hurt a fly,” said Inigo Montoya, 31. “He would sooner give himself a paper cut and pour lemon juice on it than even think about such things.”

“He’s a generous man,” added Fezzik, another neighbor. “Treat so nice.”

Other associates were reluctant to rush to Max’s defense, notably an albino who requested anonymity. “Some strange things go on here,” he said, pointing in the general direction of Max’s cabin. “But you won’t find anyone to talk about it explicitly. As far as witnesses go, nobody’s hearin’ nothin’.”

Another friend speculated that the arrest was a frame-up, stemming from the fraught relations the sorcerer has had with Prince Humperdinck since the latter all but forced him into retirement. “Rumor has it the prince is trying to pin a coup d’etat conspiracy on Max as an excuse to declare war on Guilder.”

At press time, Max’s wife Valerie had just told reporters that they had retained a lawyer named Albus Percival Brian Wifric Dumbledore, who has experience in demonstrating that defendants have been framed.

 

For more silliness, visit PreOccupied Territory.

Written by Thag

May 15, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Man Discovers Band Name Not “Haulin’ Oats”

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220px-Hall_&_OatesSacramento, California, May 11 – A local man expressed shock this morning that the name of the duo behind the 1982 hit single “Maneater” was in fact composed of its members’ surnames, and not a phrase referring to dragging sacks of oats around.

Chris Laggert, 36, was leafing through various back issues of magazines in his dentists’ waiting room, and came across a mention of the Hall & Oates induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last month. Laggert reread the line several times, believing the magazine had made an error. He then asked two other people waiting whether they knew of the band, hoping to confirm whether the mistake was his or that of the anonymous US reporter.

The other two patients had not heard of the ensemble, leaving Laggert in suspense, until the hygienist was able to answer his question 20 minutes later. He shook his head at the discovery.

“I’ve been wrong about this forever,” he said.

Laggert first heard the single in 1990 as part of a “greatest hits of the eighties” program on the radio, and misconstrued the name of the band right from the start. Upon realizing his error, the paralegal performed a quick internet search and confirmed that he had been mistaken for 24 years.

It is not the first time an area resident has misheard the name of a band. Last year, retail salesperson Sara Martinez, 28, referred to a song by “Olivia, Newt and John” in a text message, leading to an embarrassing exchange with a potential date. Earlier last year, an unknown customer inquired of a ticket salesperson whether there were any seats left to an upcoming concert by “Van Hailin’,” who, presumably, thought the hard-rock ensemble was trying to evoke a particularly risky hitchhiking practice.

The phenomenon of mishearing song lyrics is well established, and is called a “Mondegreen,” a term that itself is a Mondegreen; it was coined when a listener heard a Scottish ballad saying, “They ha’ killed the Earl of Murray and laid him on the green” as “Lady Mondegreen.” No such term exists for the analogous phenomenon of mangling the names of band names, but social history professor Julia Douglas of UC-Sacramento suggests Into Neil.

“You know, after the band ‘The Captain Into Neil’,” she explained.

 

For snark specifically related to the Middle East and Israel, visit Preoccupiedterritory.com.

Written by Thag

May 11, 2014 at 8:55 am

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Milkshake Brings Boys To Yard

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milkshakeForest Park, Ohio, April 29 – Residents of this Cincinnati suburb reported disturbances this morning after a local woman made a milkshake and began drinking it in her front yard.

Kelly Rogers, 19, of Fairborn Avenue, put chocolate ice cream and milk into blender at about 7:25 AM Tuesday. Neighbors soon felt the ground rumbling, as thousands of young men, some as young as twelve, streamed onto the street and crowded into and around the Rogers property, apparently to watch Ms. Rogers consume the liquid breakfast.

The crowd continued to grow for almost an hour, according to Denise Jefferson, who lives several houses away. “We felt the earth shake, and then it just kept shaking until maybe 8:30, I don’t know,” she told reporters. “There must’ve been thousands of guys here, but they disappeared almost as soon as they showed up.” She noted that once Ms. Rogers had finished drinking her shake, the throngs of youths quickly dissipated, leaving behind extensive damage to front lawns, road signs, and parked cars. At least six residents were delayed by the crowd on their way to work.

“We never see anything like this,” said Jamal Watts, who was unable to get to the hospital where he works on time. “It’s supposed to be a quiet street – I mean, that’s why our families chose to live here. It’s a quiet neighborhood in general. I never expected to have to push through such a crowd of people just to get off my street.”

Residents of Fairborn Avenue are considering the measures to take against Ms. Rogers, or perhaps against the Rogers family as a whole, but are uncertain as to their options.

“It’s not really clear what recourse the neighbors have, legal or otherwise,” says property law expert Sol Liss. “The phenomenon of milkshakes attracting throngs of young male visitors to an enclosed suburban property is certainly documented as far back as 2004, but has never been subject to court attention,” he explained. “In fact I’d wager it’s the same incident being cited over and over again, and not a genuine trend that anyone could be expected to consider before making a milkshake.”

 

For a snarky take on the Middle East, visit PreOccupiedTerritory, and laugh. Or weep.

Written by Thag

April 29, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Report: Apparently, Shirley Temple Was Still Alive

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220px-Little_Princess_4Woodside, CA, February 11 – Shirley Temple Black, one of America’s most iconic film stars, was apparently still alive until yesterday, various news outlets are reporting.

Mrs. Black, it emerges, was 85 years old and still very much breathing and functioning until her passing by what her family called “natural causes.” Admirers and film aficionados were as saddened by her death as they were by the news that until that point she wasn’t dead yet.

“We though she’d gone a long time ago,” said veteran director Roman Polanski. “I mean, she was Reagan’s ambassador to Czechoslovakia, but then she kind of disappeared. We thought she’d quietly passed on sometime in the nineties, maybe.”

Even those who might be expected to know better were taken by surprise that the actress, who starred in 44 films in the 1930’s. “I, uh, I guess this is unfortunate,” said Elise Dorkin, President of the Shirley Temple Admirers Association. “But we had all assumed Shirley died some time in the last fifteen years.” She said she would take a poll of the organization’s membership to determine who, if anyone, was aware that Mrs. Black was still among the living until yesterday.

“You’d think it would be an easy thing to look up, considering the Wikipedia page was just updated a few hours ago,” said Liz Smith, who writes about celebrity gossip. “It probably never occurred to anyone to look at the stupid page,” she mused, noting that obviously at least one person outside Mrs Black’s family knew she was alive, at least when the Wikipedia entry was composed: “It didn’t include a death date when it was written, obviously.”

After becoming America’s sweetheart as a child in Depression-era movies, Shirley Temple more or less stepped away from Hollywood in 1940 and toward a life more involved in politics and diplomacy, a function of her husband’s ties to the Republican Party. While she occasionally starred in or produced film or television content, her life in front of the camera gradually faded, leaving legions of fans in the dark as to her continued existence.

Written by Thag

February 11, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Netanyahu Hires Vizzini To Start US War With Iran

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VizziniJerusalem, January 16 – Information leaked from Israeli cabinet intelligence briefings suggests that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has engaged a Sicilian mercenary to foment a war between the United States and Iran.

Long dismissive of American and other international efforts to contain Tehran’s nuclear arms ambitions, Netanyahu is seeking ways to provoke American military action against Iran, knowing that the only obstacle remaining between Iran and atomic weapons capability is time. An Israeli strike would be far too risky, both tactically and diplomatically, as compared to one conducted by American forces already deployed in and around the Arabian Gulf. The leaks point to contacts between the prime minister and Vizzini, who has cultivated a specialty in starting wars.

Netanyahu is said to have sent special envoy Tyrone Rugen to negotiate the terms and logistics of the arrangement. Rugen, himself an expert in intrigue, has proved a tough negotiator and has shown as not above the use of force to achieve his ends; he is currently writing what he considers to be the definitive work on the subject, expressing his deep and abiding interest in it.

Vizzini’s most famous war instigation attempt involved the European countries of Florin and Guilder. Though thwarted by other, unanticipated developments, the Sicilian’s efforts – a prestigious line of work with a long and glorious tradition – and extensive preparation caught the notice of other international leaders. He often works with a team of other internationals, notably a Spanish weapons expert and a Turk of reputed great strength.

If true, the reports point to a clear escalation of Netanyahu’s attempts to ensure that the current multilateral efforts to curtail Iranian nuclear development do not end with talk and limited economic sanctions. He has repeatedly talked up the need to include the threat of actual force against Iran should the talks fail; other, unconfirmed reports involve Israel’s engagement of actual mercenary raiders such as the Dread Pirate Roberts to prey on Iran’s shipping and disrupt the country’s logistics.

Vizzini himself is said to have survived multiple assassination attempts, including one in which he was tricked into overdosing on iocaine. However, the mercenary was only rendered mostly dead, and was able to lie low until the danger passed. Experts remain divided on what methods he would use in the current environment to provoke a US-Iran war; traditional, high-impact strategies have grown progressively more difficult over the years, and their effect is less predictable than it once was.

Wikileaks has published several documents purporting to relate to these developments, including the analysis by an intelligence source known as “Westley,” according to which Rugen will suggest the formation of a Brute Squad to gain access to heavily guarded American facilities and hold prominent individuals – such as members of the First Family – hostage, pinning the deed on Iran.

This morning the Prime Minister’s office dismissed the allegations as “inconceivable.”

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January 16, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Twisted Sister Not Going To Take It

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Were_Not_Gonna_Take_ItSan Bernardino, CA (AP) – Fed up with the stifling environment in which they have been forced to function, the heavy-metal rock ensemble known as Twisted Sister has announced they no longer intend to take it.

The three-minute-and-thirty-eight-second announcement touched on several points, chief among them that the group has reached the limits of its tolerance for the hypocrisy inherent in so much of the adult world. But the list of grievances included objections to repressive, enforced adherence to certain conventions and the cynicism that such coercion breeds. As an example of such cynicism the ensemble pointed to alleged attempts to buy their silence with money.

Included among the complaints were also several statements of intent beyond mere expressions of Twisted Sister having exhausted their patience for the status quo. The group intends to combat the situation actively, and called the attention of the powers that be to that very intent, specifically noting that manifest visual evidence of the effort to resist will be available.

Reaction to the announcement has been mixed, with supporters of the band – known colloquially as SMFs – hailing its boldness and defiant tone, and detractors voicing concern for the apparent lack of reverence for authority that the announcement and its accompanying video. Apparently to illustrate the sincerity and scope of their intent, Twisted Sister produced audiovisual documentation of what appear to be instances of youths resisting authority as the band cheers them on; it remained unclear at the time of the announcement whether the footage represented actual events of Not Taking It Anymore on the part of those youths, or whether the incidents were staged merely to emphasize the depth of the ensemble’s emotion.

Critics of the band’s announcement and its tone have said they intend to hold hearings on the threat the content of the video poses to impressionable minds; band member Dee Snider all but dared the authorities to do so, saying he would gladly testify before any such committee, if only to demonstrate for the nation exactly the controlling, repressive sate of affairs against which he and his colleagues were protesting.

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January 13, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Report: Dude Looks Like A Lady

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220px-DudelookslikealadyLos Angeles (AP) – A survey of the available data on the appearance of a male in the vicinity shows that he resembles a female, area observers have reported.

Researchers Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, and Desmond Child conducted a series of observations to catalog the clothing, hair style, facial features, jewelry, footwear, gait, and mannerisms of a New York man, and published their findings in the journal Permanent Vacation. The article, titled “Dude Looks Like a Lady,” describes the data that led the team of researchers to their conclusion.

Among the observations that brought Tyler, Perry, and Child to their conclusion were the carefully styled long hair and the facial cosmetics applied in a manner consistent with common female practice, as well as more obvious clues such as the wearing of garments typically worn by women and not men, such as a gown. The team included a list of the factors, and logged the events during the study that indicated an emerging picture of femininity despite the manifest anatomical indicators of masculine phenotype.

The site of that served as the arena for the observations was a business establishment reputed as a frequent location for the appearance of males resembling females. The team relied on informal reports from local residents and business proprietors as to the recommended candidate observation sites, and found in their research that the recommendations were corroborated by the ease with which they identified a dude who looked like a lady.

“The solidity of the evidence in this case is impressive,” says Euphegenia Doubtfire, a San Francisco expert on cross-dressing who was not involved in the study. “Based on the description of the area and the observed individual’s features as described in the article, it is clear that the researchers did a commendable job in identifying the actual, as opposed to assumed, sex of that individual.

Not everyone agrees with the premises of the observation, though few actually challenge the conclusions. Researcher Nikki Sixx, who was not  involved in the research but was apprised of its progress, disputes the accuracy of the circumstances surrounding the observation, and his claims, if true, would cast doubt on the reliability of the data set.

For example, according to Sixx, the observed individual was not, as Tyler describes him, a “drag queen,” but one of Sixx’s associates, Vince Neil. According to Neil himself, who claims to have been involved in the preliminary stage of the research, the impetus for the study was actually a member of the wait staff at a bar. Neither Sixx nor Neil, however, dispute the conclusion that the observed dude indeed looks like a lady.

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January 7, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Men’s Figure Skating Association To Consider Non-Gay Members

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men skatingColorado Springs, Colorado (AP) – Amid preparations for the upcoming Winter Olympics, the United States Figure Skating Association is weighing an amendment to its membership eligibility guidelines that would remove the requirement for male figure skaters to be homosexual.

The move comes against the backdrop of tensions surrounding the treatment of gays in Russia, where the Olympiad is to be held. USFSA President Patricia St. Peter said in an interview that the change to the eligibility requirements would provide US skaters with the plausible deniability of belonging to such a persecuted group, an association likely to exacerbate tensions with the local populace and government. Homosexuality is considered illegal in Russia.

She acknowledged, however, that the move is largely symbolic, as she is aware of few, if any, non-homosexual men capable of competing in figure skating at an Olympic level.

The USFSA measure, if approved, would put the Association in the company of several other trade groups that, in the interest of diversity, have made efforts to attract heterosexual men into their ranks. Most recently, the Hairstylists’ Organization – Men’s Order (HOMO), an umbrella group of salon owners and employees, issued a statement in July welcoming its first non-closeted heterosexual member. Last May, the Fashion Artists’ Group (FAG) put out a call for applications from non-gay men. Both HOMO and FAG spokespersons declined to provide the specific numbers of successful applicants.

No such requirement exists for the male half of pair ice skating; in fact the annals of figure skating are full of torrid love affairs between the halves of such performing couples. Nor are ice dancing couples required to maintain one orientation or another, or even to avoid complicated associations with primal cultural taboos – in fact a prominent ice dancing team in the early 1990’s included a French brother and sister, and the nature of the ice dancing routines necessitates gazing longingly into each other’s eyes; the sight of a brother and sister doing so enabled audiences to experience an awkwardness far beyond anything related to sexual orientation.

The US Men’s Weightlifting Team gave a supportive grunt.

Written by Thag

December 16, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Sesame Street Donates Big Bird To Feed African Children

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Big BirdNew York (AP) – Against the backdrop of civil wars and the constant threat of famine, the producers of the hit children’s TV show Sesame Street have decided to provide dozens of deprived African children with the protein-rich meat of that largest regular Sesame Street character, Big Bird.

The plan calls for Big Bird to be sent next month by boat to either Nigeria or Burkina-Faso, where he will be slaughtered and butchered. Refrigerated trucks would spread across the region to at least ten remote villages most adversely affected by privation, with the goal of reaching a minimum of one hundred children by the end of January.

Persistent unrest and unchecked disease have disrupted life for millions of Africans. Revolutions, ongoing ethnic conflicts, diamond wars, separatist rebellions, climatic upheaval, and rampant AIDS have made the continent one of the world’s most unpleasant regions, especially south of the Sahara. International aid efforts to distribute food and basic necessities are often stymied by political barriers and local warlords who seek to control access to resources as a means of exercising and consolidating power. Sesame Street Workshop intends to ship Big Bird meat to one of two West African ports, and from there to be distributed to hungry children in the Sub-Saharan region.

Sesame Workshop CEO H. Melvin Ming announced the donation this morning at the company’s headquarters at Lincoln Plaza in Manhattan, telling reporters that the effort will exploit the company’s connections in various African countries, connections forged over decades through international distribution, syndication, and licensing of the TV show for production and broadcast in more than 140 countries.

“The vision of Sesame Street from the very beginning has been one that brings together people from all over the world to help improve the quality of children’s lives,” said Ming. “But we fail at an essential level if we aim only at children’s hearts and minds, when those hearts and minds can only function if attention has first been given to their stomachs.” He added that the company had considered donating Mr. Snuffleupagus, Big Bird’s sometime companion, who would have provided even more meat, but that idea was dismissed because that would drive the species, whatever it is, to extinction.

In parallel with the shipment, slaughter, and distribution of Big Bird meat, Sesame Workshop will embark on a promotional effort to both raise awareness of the specific project and of the importance of self-sacrifice for the greater good. Big Bird will be memorialized on the show with a “plaque” that will appear in the opening and closing credits. A farewell episode will be broadcast at the end of December, in which the other characters will have a chance to say their goodbyes to Big Bird, and select letters from viewers will be read aloud on the air. The show will broadcast scenes from Big Bird’s grand final journey in subsequent episodes, leveraging the event to show children how slaughterhouses work.

Ming expects some of the show’s international partners to buy into the publicity, and several such “co-producers” have already signaled their readiness to carry the message of devotion to a greater good. The Iraq and Gaza Strip Sesame Street affiliates have announced that they will use the Big Bird self-sacrifice narrative to serve in recruitment of suicide bombers.

Written by Thag

December 11, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Ornithologists: Doves Don’t Cry; Prince An Idiot

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When Doves CryLos Angeles (AP) – Scientists who study avian physiology and behavior have criticized Prince’s 1984 single When Doves Cry, accusing the singer/songwriter of sowing ignorance – or, more likely, betraying it.

Noting that pigeons do not even have tear ducts, ornithologist Dror Adler of the University of California at Los Angeles and several other UCLA researchers castigated Prince, whose number-one single, the lead track from the album Purple Rain, for spreading inaccurate information about birds in general and doves in particular. “Even if doves could cry, which any fool knows they can’t, they certainly wouldn’t sound like the garbage-pail-worthy lyrics Prince seems to think they would express,” wrote Adler in an article for the journal Ornithology Today. Nor would it resemble the instrumental portions of the song, which Adler likened to the results of a Read the rest of this entry »

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December 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Scientists To McCartney: Lonely People Come From New York

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Eleanor RigbyLiverpool, United Kingdom (AP) – After nearly fifty years of research, scientists have finally been able to supply a satisfactory answer to a query first posed in a 1966 paper by noted social researcher Sir Paul McCartney regarding the origins of people with few or no intimate relationships. They point to New York, where millions of people live and work, and work very hard to avoid making eye contact.

The original paper, Eleanor Rigby: Lonely People in Aeolian and Dorian Modes, looked at the lives of two Lancashire residents who had no apparent friends or nearby relatives, one of whom died during the period of observation. The authors – McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and Pete Shotton – took pains to set the particulars of the subjects’ lives against the meta-questions affecting socially limited individuals, repeatedly returning to the question of where such individuals originate.  Read the rest of this entry »

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November 11, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Israeli-Palestinian Talks At Impasse; Negotiators Watch The Princess Bride Instead

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Pit of Despair

Tzippi Livni

Jerusalem, Israel (AP) – After several fruitless weeks of back-and-forth negotiations over so-called Final Status issues over which Israelis and Palestinians differ, the delegates to the talks have decided to abandon  the effort and watch The Princess Bride repeatedly instead.

The talks, conducted in secret, have apparently yielded no results yet on questions of: Palestinian refugees; the status of Jerusalem; borders; the nature of the hoped-for Palestinian military, if any; whether the nascent Palestine would recognize Israel as a Jewish state; and myriad other unresolved points of contention that have dogged the two sides since the Oslo Accords of 1993, which was supposed to be an interim agreement. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 30, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Monty Hall To Seek Treatment For Famous Goat ‘Problem’

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Monty HallLos Angeles (AP) – Retired game show host Monty Hall has finally agreed that his decades-old problem involving at least two goats requires immediate treatment, and he will enter a facility to help him overcome the problem within the next week. Hall’s admission and resolve to combat the problem follows many years of open discussion by others, even in public forums such as scientific journals and reader-submission-driven magazine columns.

The longtime host of the original Let’s Make a Deal, 92, admitted to reporters on Thursday that the problem has never gone away, and that in some instances it has involved at many as a million goats, though he was quick to point out that the high numbers of animals were not typical, and that his problem generally featured only two goats and a car. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 27, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Scientists: San Francisco Earthquake-Prone Because City Built On Rock & Roll

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We Built This CitySan Francisco (AP) – Seismologists have concluded that the origin of San Francisco’s relatively high incidence of earthquakes and tremors results from the city’s foundation’s composition of rock and roll.

For decades, scientists have attributed the unstable ground of the San Francisco Bay area, along with much of western California, to its location along the fault line where two tectonic plates meet and move against each other. As a result of the constant shifting, the theory went, the tremendous pressure would be released when one or more portions of the area gave way, resulting in sometimes severe earthquakes. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 21, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Video Arrested In Killing Of Radio Star

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broken guitarNew York (AP) – Police have detained a video in connection with the 1978 bludgeoning death of a radio star. The arrest comes after years of several self-proclaimed witnesses recounting the circumstances of the murder, but scant other evidence.

New York State’s statute of limitations does not apply to certain serious crimes including murder, so the time that has elapsed since the 1978 incident has no legal significance, but it may be the focus of efforts by the defendant to cast doubt on the reliability of the three key witnesses. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Billy Joel Denies Starting Fire

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Joel in 2009.

Joel in 2009.

Oyster Bay, NY (AP) – Noted singer-songwriter Billy Joel has maintained his and other suspects’ innocence in massive case of arson dating back to 1949, casting blame on more than a hundred other people, movements, and events. Joel repeatedly asserts that he and others did not start the fire.

While no one has named Joel or anyone else specifically as involved, the 64-year-old entertainer has issued an explicit list of persons of interest or other causes that, in his opinion, require investigation. The series of accusations began in 1989, with the release of his album Storm Front, on which the Bronx native spent more than three minutes listing the various characters who might have some light to shed on who started the fire.

The litany of alleged suspects includes presidents and other world leaders; entertainers and athletes; terrorist incidents; multiple foreign states; and the US government’s apparent neglect of veterans of the war in Vietnam, among others. However, at least one inconsistency in Joel’s words has led observers to question the veracity of the accusations. The singer claims the fire has been burning since the Earth began its rotation approximately 4.5 billion years ago, while none of the suspects he mentions was born earlier than the late nineteenth century.

Additionally, and suspiciously, every suspect he names attained some prominence in the news or in world affairs, leading some to wonder why Joel singled out only the famous, powerful, or notorious for an act of starting fire, which almost anyone can do.

Apparently unprompted, Joel rattled off the suspicious individuals and developments rapidly, beginning with Harry S. Truman, who began his second term as US President in 1949. Other prominent individuals who enjoyed fame around the same time are also included in Joel’s list. He proceeded almost methodically through the ensuing decades, mentioning names of celebrities, international crises, and medical disasters that made headlines during those years.

It remains unclear how the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, for example, could have resulted in a fire, but Joel has repeated his claims in many subsequent encounters, including in the presence of tens of thousands of people at various arenas around the world. In the 24 years since he began flinging the accusations, interest has waxed and waned in the list of suspects and their possible accomplices, but has not entirely gone away. Police, however, have not commented on whether they lend any credence to Joel’s claims.

Nassau County Police Chief Joseph Buonarotti declined to offer any information on the investigation, if any. Sources within the department who spoke on condition of anonymity cautioned that any such investigation would probably lie beyond the jurisdiction of the Nassau County Police, as the people and events to be investigated have only a marginal connection, if any, to the county.

At press time, Joel was on a Downeaster boat named Alexa, cruising through Block Island Sound.

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October 3, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Opera Lyrics Said To Contain Actual Words

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Carreras, on an album cover with names and other curious, meaningless symbols.

Carreras, on an album cover with names and other curious, meaningless symbols.

New York, September 8 (AP) – The classical music scene remains in a tumult several days after a prominent operatic tenor claimed that the lyrics to most, if not all, operas are composed of words, and not gibberish. The assertion threw into disarray legions of music scholars, producers, and performers, and threatens to reshape understanding of a centuries-old musical genre.

Jose Carreras, a Spanish tenor who has enjoyed operatic fame since his 1971 debut, wrote last week that in looking back over the hundreds of librettos he has seen over the years, it finally struck him that they were written in what might be described as a language, if in a crude, immature form.

Carreras further claimed that the operas could be grouped into several different languages, of which at least two are still spoken in various parts of the world – an assertion that immediately provoked demands that the singer produce evidence of such a claim.

It has long been axiomatic in opera that the librettist – who writes the text to which the composer fits dramatic music – is charged with producing a script that conveys the raw emotional and dramatic power of the music without actually resorting to the use of coherent words or phrases. Occasional exceptions are made for the insertion of names of principal characters in each work, but beyond those instances, gibberish has long been considered the preferred idiom.

If Carreras’s claim finds support among scholars, the entire body of operatic librettos will require reexamination to determine whether generations of musicians and audiences have been operating under a mistaken assumption. Each work will have to undergo reevaluation to determine what language, if any, the librettist used.

More importantly, says musicologist Tilda Fatt-Ladysingz, scholars and laymen alike will need to discover by what means they had been fooled for so long, and, if the phenomenon proves widespread in the classical repertoire, whether the composers themselves were privy to the secret. “Musical historians will likely take a new look at the collected letters of many famous opera composers, combing the letters for hints that, for example, the German-speaking, Austrian Mozart knew that the Frenchman Beaumarchais, the librettist for The Marriage of Figaro, had actually used an as-yet-unknown argot,” she explained.

Until now, continued Fatt-Ladysingz, references to “Italian” or “Russian” had been taken merely as made-up words synonymous with “gibberish.” But if it turns out they refer to actual languages, the entire Western view of the cultural landscape will shift.

Except, said the musicologist, in the U.S., where the existence and significance of other cultures has never meant very much.

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September 8, 2013 at 4:49 pm