Follow Me

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Superman Renounces His American Citizenship

In a clear example of art imitating life, yesterday's release of Action Comics #900 has Superman doing the unthinkable:  He announces that he is giving up his status as an American citizen.

Superman has always been iconic as an "American" hero.  After all, he has stood for "truth, justice, and the American way".  Well, not any more.  Now, led by conscience perhaps, he believes that he should be a global protector, instead of a hero of just one nation.

In the following panel, he is speaking with the President's National Security Advisor, and getting flack for showing up in Tehran to aid demonstrators against the Iranian regime.

I can't see why it took 900 issues for this to happen.  In the "real world", Superman would have seriously had to have been an asshole to be hanging around Metropolis for the last 80 years, and not do a thing to help out anyone besides Americans.  I've caught myself wondering a few times during my childhood why he never left town.

Bryan Singer touched on this issue a bit when he directed 'Superman Returns' in 2006.  There was a line from Perry White, the editor of the Daily Planet, where he asked, "Does he still believe in truth, justice, and all that stuff".  He specifically left out "the American way."  Singer recognized that Superman had transcended past the point where he was only an "American hero".  He was a hero for all of us.

It's about time that DC got the hint.

Video: 'Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon' Trailer ***NEW***

The following trailer was leaked this afternoon.  The movie looks much more interesting than 'Revenge of the Fallen'.  It premieres on July 1st, in 3D.

Transformers 3 Dark of the Moon by teasertrailer

Money, And Dignity, Is No Object When It Comes To Royal Wedding Souvenirs

In a little more than 12 hours, Prince William (the bald one) and Kate Middleton will be married at Westminster Abbey.   It will be the first time that a "commoner" has married a prince in such close proximity to the throne in 350 years.  She is practically guaranteed to become the Queen of England (as long as William remains King) at some point in her life.

Speaking for myself, and the vast majority of the world, we really could care shit less about the wedding.  I am not getting up at 5AM local time to see a wedding between two people that I know absolutely nothing about.  There are a select group of people in the United States, those with a 13:1 feline ratio or higher, that will be up bright and early tomorrow morning in full regalia, watching the ceremony on NBC.

If you are reading this, and are unsure whether you are one of those people or not, take a look at this picture.  If your kitchen does not look like this, just stay in bed.

And the souvenirs.  Oh god, the souvenirs.  I wouldn't say that they border on tacky.  They've crossed the border and are living as undocumented workers, somewhere in Northern California.  Here are some of the best of the worst.

From GDHA (the UK subsidiary of GE), comes the scariest damn refrigerator you've ever seen.  Imagine forgetting that you've purchased this model, and stumbling upon these British mugs, half asleep, at 3AM, when all you wanted was some leftover pie.  I'd piss myself.

Pez, the Austrian candy maker, made a single set of commemorative "William & Catherine" Pez dispensers.  I think they look more like Sam Donaldson and Katie Holmes, than they do the royal couple, but that's just me.  The set was auctioned off, with proceeds to be given to the Starlight Children's Foundation in the UK.  They sold for $13,500.

This mug was obviously made in the United States, or possibly under a rock.  The "royal couple" in this case, is said to be "Will & Kate", but William's little brother Harry is pictured.  Perhaps, the mug is supposed to be marketed to the "Eh, whatever." demographic.

Tomorrow, the United Kingdom has the day off.  Yeah, the wedding is that big of a deal.  One of the hottest collectibles in the London area is a plate that would speak for me, if I was living there:

It's nice when an event brings the world together, isn't it?

Old Magazine Ad: "Don't Let Daddy Lick Me Again!"

This commonplace ad (from the 50s, I presume), is so downright disturbing today that it wouldn't even be considered for print.  First, it's an ad for a child's laxative.  And, to get the point across that it tastes good, they show that you don't have to physically abuse your child with the back of a hairbrush to make them take it.

Talk about "beating the shit out of your kids".  My, how advertising has changed.  To think, if half of the country freaked out over pink nail polish, how would they have reacted to this?

Video: Woman Gets Punched By Officer While Boba Fett And Stormtrooper Looks On

I couldn't make this up if I tried.

At an Atlanta area IHOP, on Sunday morning, at 4:00AM, a disagreement broke out between a woman and an off duty Atlanta police officer.  According to eyewitnesses, she was yelling at other patrons, and was asked to leave by the officer.  She refused.  That brings us to the video your're about to see.

Oh, fair warning.  This particular IHOP is apparently a fueling station for the Empire.  The gentleman taking the video is the "Hip Hop Stormtrooper".  He's sharing a table with Boba Fett, the galaxy's most dangerous bounty hunter.  I always pictured Boba Fett as...taller, and not as scrawny.

Did you see how hard the cop punched that girl at the :45 mark.  Damn.  Atlanta PD has released a statement regarding the incident:
"The officer involved in the arrest and confrontation with a patron at the IHOP in Buckhead has been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of an investigation by the department’s Office of Professional Standards. Use of force by police officers is a matter the department takes seriously, and the OPS investigation will determine if the officer acted within established guidelines. Chief Turner has pledged to have the OPS investigation concluded in 10 business days.”
Just imagine what that place looks like after hours on Halloween night. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tweet Of The Day, Part II

From Oscar winner/diva Cher:

Tweet Of The Day

From Green Day's Billy Joe Armstrong.

America's Chief Export: Syphilis

In the last decade, the UK has brought us some decent television.  With just 'American Idol' and 'The Office', remakes of British TV shows take up a large portion of many of American's weekly viewing.  And, don't get me started on 'Doctor Who'.

I guess it's time that we return the favor.  Premiering on May 24th, on MTV UK, is the British version of 'The Jersey Shore'.  It's called 'The Georgie Shore'.  Here is a preview.

I'm not kidding.  This is a real show.  On the cast bios, "Gary, 23" reads as follows:
"he has a manhood that’s the size of a TV remote control (he even has photographic evidence) and being “mint” in bed… or so he says!"
Maybe the Mayans were right about the whole "2012/End of the world" thing.  I need to take a shower. 

TLC's 'Extreme Couponing' Or, As I Call It, 'Grocery Hoarders'

I wrote a post a couple of days ago on TLC's apparent fascination with little people.  Most reality shows today can be sorted into one of four genres:
  • Little people
  • Pawn shop/Auction
  • Extreme food/Gluttony
  • Hoarding
In the last year or so, hoarding shows have become very popular.  It started with A&E, which used to stand for "Arts & Entertainment", debuting their provocative series 'Hoarders'.  'Hoarders' did a very good job at bringing a camera into the homes and lives of a group of people that are rarely seen and widely misunderstood.  It was educational, sometimes sad, and many times, simply disturbing (If you have a chance, watch the episode where the guy hoards thousands of rats.  Jesus!).

Last season, TLC (which ironically stands for "The Learning Channel") jumped on the hoarding bandwagon, and came out with 'Hoarding: Buried Alive'.  It was a much more exploitive version of the A&E original.  It had no substance.  It comes across as a "let's point and look at the freaks" type of program, with no interest in the lives in the people involved or closure in the situation.  

Three weeks ago, TLC premiered their new series 'Extreme Couponing'.  It is made with the intention of being inspirational to people, and to show viewers what can be done if you put your mind to something.  There have been shoppers featured on the show that have had over $990.00 in groceries, and have walked out of the store paying $9.00 after coupons and "club card" discounts.

The problem I have with the show is the obvious mental problems most of these people have.  Many of them truly believe that god is physically assisting them through their shopping process.  Such as this woman:

It's not necessarily the soccer moms evoking god that I have a problem with, which happens more often than you might think.  It's the greed and sheer gluttony that these people display that make me nauseous.  

The woman in the clip above, the one that god was helping collect the coupons, was helping her daughter in law start a stockpile of goods on a recent grocery trip.  Keep in mind, with god's help, she already had a reserve of over 2,000 packs of batteries, over 100 bottles of laundry detergent, and 300  2 liter bottles of Sun Drop soda, not to mention thousands of dollars of additional products.  During her shopping trip, she bought 114 bottles of Excedrin PM (every bottle the store had) and  54 more bottles of Purex laundry detergent.  How much did she give her daughter in law?  Four bottles of Excedrin and five bottles of detergent.

Another woman in a past episode purchased 70 bottles of yellow mustard, clearing out the store.  She's the only person in the family that likes mustard.  Why?  Because, with a coupon, she could get it for $.39, instead of the regular price of $1.69.

Another has collected over 1400 packages of toilet paper, under her son's bed.  Another lady has over 700 packages of diapers in her garage, yet she is single and doesn't have any children.  Why?  Because she can.

There are a couple of exceptions to the rule, however.  Jessica, a mother of four, had her grocery budget reduced to only $160 a month after the recession hit.  She used coupons to make up the difference in her budget.

Others, like Nathan, use coupons to donate food and other goods to local food banks and to troops overseas.

For the most part, though, many of these people are mentally ill.  In tonight's episode, someone goes dumpster diving, yes, dumpster diving, for coupons.  Is it really worth 30 cents off of a stick of deodorant to jump into the trash for a coupon?  I'm all for saving money.  I saved $23.00 using coupons the last time I went to the grocery store, but isn't this crossing the line?

Finally, A Children's Book I Can Relate To

You know you've wanted to say it.  I've said it to myself practically every night for the last year and a half.  Now, you can tell your precious little boy or girl to "Go the fuck to sleep", without feeling like a horrible parent.

Via Amazon:
"Go the Fuck To Sleep is a bedtime book for parents who live in the real world, where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don't always send a toddler sailing off to dreamland. Honest, profane, and affectionate, Adam Mansbach's verses and Ricardo Cortés' illustrations perfectly capture the familiar—and unspoken—tribulations of putting your little angel down for the night, and open up a conversation about parenting in the process. Beautiful, subversive, and pants-wettingly funny, Go the Fuck to Sleep is a perfect gift for parents new, old, or expectant. Here is a sample verse: 
The cats nestle close to their kittens now.
The lambs have laid down with the sheep.
You're cozy and warm in your bed, my dear
Please go the fuck to sleep."
Adam Mansbach advised that this is his "first children's book. You probably should not read it to actual children, and if you do, he cannot be held legally responsible."  

The book is not scheduled to come out until October, and it is already the #1 bestseller on Amazon's "Parenting and Families" list.  It looks like I'm not alone at night.

Just Let It Die, Already

Earlier this morning, in an effort to get Donald Trump to shut the hell up, President Obama released his birth certificate to the media.

Let's just say, if the birthers are anything (besides dumbasses), they're consistent.  Within hours of the press conference, they were picking apart the document.  Although, some websites, such as Buzz Feed, were obviously making fun of their allegations, there are dozens of new conspiracy theories that have already sprung up since Obama's morning press conference.

"It Gets Better" - From A Gay Witness's Perspective

As a response to the epidemic of suicides among LGBT teens in our nation, Dan Savage started the "It Gets Better" project last September.  Since then, thousands upon thousands of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered individuals, as well as a large number of straight allies, have recorded videos to tell young people that the challenges that they face will, in time, get easier to deal with.  Videos have been submitted by Lady Gaga, employees of Google, Apple, and Pixar, 'Glee's' Chris Colfer, and even President Obama.

As someone that grew up as a bisexual kid and a Jehovah's Witness, I had a unique set of circumstances to deal with.  As I've said in the past, I really didn't even know that bisexuality was an option when it came to my sexual orientation.  When at the Kingdom Hall, I had only heard about people that were "homosexual", and people that weren't.  I wasn't allowed to say "gay" or "lesbian" in my mom's house, because "those are the words they want to be called".  It was bigotry beyond belief.  It wasn't until I was in my twenties before I was able to clear away all of the religious bullshit, and figure out my sexuality on my own terms.

It's nice to know that I wasn't alone.  I have found a number of "It Gets Better" videos produced by people that grew up as Jehovah's Witnesses.  Finally, someone that has been in my shoes.  Someone that has been told, word for word, the same line of crap about who they should be and who they are supposed to love.

The first video comes from Johnny.  He shares his experience of having to come out as gay to the body of elders during his Freshman year of high school, and the consequences that came with it.  FYI: The clip has very low audio and is hard to hear, unless you turn your volume up all the way.  

The second video that I would like to share is from Philip.  He relates a childhood experience that hit really close to home for me.  It was a picture in the "Revelation" book that turned his world upside down.  I remember the illustration vividly.  I recall having the same fears that he did when seeing it.  He offers some very practical and honest advice for any teenager, Witness or not, that feels like they have nowhere to turn.

The final video that I would like to post is from Spencer Oakes Dawson.  He came out to his Witness family when he was 15.  As you can imagine, it wasn't pretty.  

As the video progresses, not only do you see Spencer reading some of the prepared script, but his friends relate his experience as well.  This is a wonderful way to prove a point that people fresh out of the organization need to see.  Yes, when you're disfellowshipped, or come out to your Witness family, you are alienated by everyone you've even known.  Your friends and family turn their back on you.  In time, you find new friends.  You find people that will care about you unconditionally.  Spencer's my hero.

It may not seem like it at first, but for those of us that are in the LGBT community, after walking away from our lives as one of Jehovah's Witnesses, things do get better.  In time, you find a peace with yourself and with the world that you are never allowed to have from within the religion.

For those of you reading this that are still Jehovah's Witnesses, or just need someone to talk to, help is available for you.  ***You can always go to The Trevor Project at, or call them at 1-800-4 U TREVOR.***  They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide counseling and support.

You can also visit A Common Bond.  It is a support website that has been set up for members of the LGBT community that have been/are affiliated with Jehovah's Witnesses.  They know, more than anyone, what you are going through.

Of course, if you are reading this, and just need someone to talk to, you can always send me an email or find me on Facebook.  Or, send me a comment.  All comments are confidential and go to my email inbox to be moderated before they are published.  I understand that sometimes you just need to get something off of your chest.  I am here to help.

There was a time in my life, where I was made to feel so ashamed about who I was, that I contemplated suicide everyday for a number of years.  Thankfully, I'm still here.  I didn't have videos like these to watch 20 years ago when I thought I was the only one in the world that was feeling the way that I did.  The internet was still years away from existence.  These videos are saving the lives of kids like some of the kids that we grew up with.  We didn't have someone to tell us that "it gets better".  We just prayed that it didn't get any worse.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sony: 'PS3 User Info Has Been Compromised'

The news for Sony, and for 70 million of their Playstation Network users, continues to get worse as days go by. On April 20th, the Playstation Network, which is the hub of the PS3 experience, suffered an "illegal intrusion".  The network was, essentially, hacked into by an unknown individual.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with a PS3, the network (or PSN) is about 80% of what makes a PS3 a PS3.  The PSN is the only way to play a game online versus another user.  It is also the only way to download updates or additional content for a game that you own.  The PSN is also the system that allows you to purchase new games and movies that are downloaded directly onto the hard drive of your PS3.

There are a number of applications that are unable to work if the PSN is offline, such as Hulu, Netflix, and Sony's new music subscription service Qriocity.  I have read, however, that some people have had relative success getting Netflix to work, even with the PSN offline.  My Netflix account is temporarily on hold, so I can't test this myself.  If you have a PS3, give this a shot:

  • When you open the Netflix App, you will be prompted to log on to the Playstation Network.

  • Attempt to sign-in. The sign-in will fail

  • Press the O button to go back to the previous screen.

  • You will get another request to sign-in.

  • Attempt to sign-in again. The sign-in will fail again.

  • Press the O button again - you will now have access to Netflix.

  • From what I have read, you will not be able to add anything to your queue, but you can at least watch what you have in your existing Instant Queue.

    Yesterday, Sony announced that their network would be down 'indefinitely'.  It appears that Sony is going to have to rebuild it from the ground up.  Today, an update was posted, clarifying the date of the "intrusion" (sometime between 4/17 and 4/19), and admitting that they are now facing the worst case scenario:
    "we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state, zip), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained. If you have authorized a sub-account for your dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have been obtained. While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, out of an abundance of caution we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have been obtained."
    I like how in one sentence they say that "there is no evidence that credit card data was taken".  Then, in the very next sentence, they practically say, "but, yeah, your credit card information was taken".

    The update goes on to advise customers to change their password information once the PSN is back up and running.  It also talks about steps that customers can take to protect themselves against identity theft in the event that their credit card information was compromised.

    As of Midnight April 27th, Sony has no ETA when it comes to having the PSN online and operational.

    If there is one positive thing to gleam from this experience, at least I'm not paying $60 a year to play online on my PS3, like I am for my XBox Live membership. 

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    Experience Human Flight

    I have always equated skydiving with the fall.  Dropping at roughly 120 mph from an airplane at 8-10,000 feet had never sounded like pleasant experience.  An adrenaline rush?  Yes.  Cheating death?  Absolutely.  But peaceful, even otherworldly?  Not in a million years.  Then I saw this advertisement for Melbourne Skydive Centre, in Australia.

    I'm a believer.  What an ethereal experience.  I realize that this is an advertisement, and the point of an advertisement is to sell a commodity.  But, to take a product like skydiving, and present it in a way that is contradictory to the world's expectation of it...that is simply brilliance in both film making and marketing.

    Don't tell my wife, but is going to be my reward for losing another fifty pounds.  At that point, I will be at a weight where I can go on my first tandem jump, and fly for the first time.

    A Video Countdown Of Disney's 50 Animated Feature Films

    From 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' in 1937 to 'Tangled' in 2010.  This is a bonus feature on the 'Tangled' DVD and Blu Ray discs.  I saw it for the first time yesterday, and thought I would share.  I was surprised at how many of the films I haven't seen.  Interestingly, the list does not include any of the 11 Pixar films that had been released between 1995 and 2010.

    A Belated Easter Message From Dr. Seuss

    ...And 'The Kids In The Hall'.

    Sure beats the 'My Book of Bible Stories' from my childhood.

    Watch Moby's Video For 'The Day'

    Last Thursday, Moby released the video for 'The Day', the first single from his upcoming album, 'Destroyed'.  It stars Heather Graham as a hospital nurse/demon slaying angel.  In a word, it is remarkable.  It uses an artistic style that is unrivaled in music videos today.  It is simply glorious.  Heavy on religious imagery, the song is surprisingly not about life and death.  Rather, according to Moby himself, it's about dealing with addiction.  The video will stick with you, guaranteed.

    Without a doubt, 'The Day' is the best track Moby has released since his 1999 album, 'Play'.  See for yourself.

    The Return Of Mash Up Monday

    After a brief hiatus (four weeks), I think it's about time that I start posting one of my favorite weekly blog posts.  Regrettably, there hasn't been much that has been released lately that should I put it?...noteworthy.

    Norwegian Recycling released a new mashup last week, but it isn't as good as the tracks that he normally produces.  Don't get me wrong.  It's still pretty good, but just not at the "genius" level that I have come to expect from him in recent months.

    SpareElbowSkin has released a couple of new tracks within the last month, or so.  I really like his Katy Perry/Genesis mashup that he released on March 29th.  I would normally post a video of that today, but I feel like I am starting to play favorites, especially since my last two posts focused on his music.

    Instead, I started to do a Youtube search for mashups that included my favorite artists.  Today, I found a couple of really impressive mixes that have Radiohead tunes as their base.  I was quite a bit apprehensive when I first saw the descriptions of the songs.  Conceptually, they sound like a nightmare, but they were pleasant surprises.  In fact, the first one has become one of my favorite tracks to listen to.

    The first track is taken from a site called  Unfortunately, since this was uploaded over two years ago, I can't find where the creator of the mashup was given credit.  It's a mix of Radiohead's 'No Surprises', with Louis Armstrong's 'What a Wonderful World'.  It's called 'What a Wonderful Surprise'.  Indeed it is.

    The second mashup of the day comes from Go Home Productions.  It has, believe it or not, been floating around the channels of Youtube for more than three years now.  It combines Radiohead's 'Karma Police', with The Beatles' 'A Day In The Life'.  It's entitled 'Karma In The Life'.  It narrows the song down to a manageable three and a half minutes, and takes out McCartney's lyrics from the song, which, in my opinion, never really should have been in there to begin with.  It was if the two songs were made for each other.  Peanut butter and jelly.

    I hope you enjoyed the tracks.  For one, I put the 'What a Wonderful Surprise' as a favorite on my Youtube list.  It's that good.

    Breaking News: Interview With Woman That Tried To Stop McDonald's Beating

    For those of you that have seen the now viral video of Chrissy Lee Polis, getting beaten by two women outside a Baltimore area McDonald's ladies room, it's apparent that no one in the restaurant tried to save her.  The manager made a vain attempt to break up the attack.  Other employees can be heard laughing and practically cheering the assailants on.  The employee that took the video even went so far as to tell the attackers to run, before the police showed up.

    No one seemed to be on this young woman's side, except for Vicky L. Thoms.  She is the lady in white that steps in at about the 2:00 mark to try to protect Ms. Polis.  If you watch the video closely, you can even see Polis wrap her arm around Thoms' leg, in a desperate attempt to get away.  But Thoms was out numbered and out matched.  She was punched, "the way someone would punch a man", according to Thoms, and shoved to the ground.
    "Interviewed in her home Monday by The Baltimore Sun, Thoms said she had stepped in because she feared the assault on Polis might be fatal. "I thought, 'They're going to kill her,' " Thoms recalled, stressing that she is not a heroine and would have helped anyone, despite her concern about aggravating a back injury. I couldn't take it any more," Thoms said, describing her horror as she watched the beating for about two minutes.
    She also said she had no idea the victim was transgendered, but added that it would not have mattered. "It didn't matter if it was a pig laying there being beaten," she went on, tearfully.
    "I still would have helped. I knew she was clinging on to her life. I just keep seeing it over and over again." 

    Breaking: Candlelight Vigil Taking Place Tonight At Scene Of McDonald's Beating

    At 7PM Est. tonight, a candlelight vigil is scheduled to take place at the McDonald's location in Rosedale, MD, where Chrissy Lee Polis was savagely beaten on April 18th.  The vigil, organized by a number of local equality, trans, and LGBT organizations, is meant to show support for not only Ms. Polis, but the transgendered community in the Baltimore area as a whole.

    The vigil is being planned Trans-United, TransMaryland, the Baltimore County for Equality, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and other allies. 
    “Our primary concern is for Ms. Polis’ well being. We will support her through this difficult time and we ask that the legal process be unhampered and thorough,” TransMaryland spokeswoman Jenna Fischetti says in a press release issued on April 24. 
    “This is precisely the kind of hatred and bigotry that transgender women and men deal with on a daily basis,” adds Caroline Temmerand of the GLCCB, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland. “We as a society have failed if we cannot do more to protect all Marylanders from this kind of brutality.”
    Based upon a large number of hateful comments that I have seen on local Baltimore news sites, I wouldn't be surprised to see some counter protesters, at what should otherwise be a peaceful event. When video of the vigil becomes available, I will have it posted on The Daily Twitch.

    So far, Baltimore Police has charged one of the assailants, a 14 year old female, as a juvenile.  Police are still trying to determine whether to try her as an adult saying, "We're looking at the proper place for her case to be".  The prosecutor has not ruled out the filing of hate crime charges at this time.

    The other woman involved, 18 year old Teonna Monae Brown, was arrested on a count of first degree assault and two counts of second degree assault for her role in the April 18th beating.  She has extra charges against her for punching the 55 year old woman that tried to stop the attack.

    Interestingly enough, she was arrested on July 27, 2010, for a fight with a man, that took place inside the same McDonald's location.  The victim in that case dropped the charges, but refused to tell prosecutors why he wanted them dropped.

    The District Attorney's office has said that no charges will be filed against Vernon Hackett, the asshole that filmed the attack on his cell phone and did nothing to stop the beating.  The state of Maryland does not have any laws that impose punishment on someone that fail to help those that are being attacked.  He did lose his job, though, and has had his name and image blasted across every television across the state labeling him as a douchebag.

    In case you were wondering, Polis is planning on suing the McDonald's corporation for what some of their employees did that evening, but more importantly, what they didn't do.  No one stepped in and helped her when she needed it most.

    A Two Year Old's "To Do List"

    Earlier today, I had an appointment at the hospital downtown for a couple of tests to rule out possible conditions that may be causing my "mystery illness". I was there for approximately a little more than four hours, and had an SSEP, as well as a Doppler procedure on the arteries and veins on my legs.  From what I understand, my little girl was, to say the least, a handful.

    On the way home, my wife and I were talking about what we had planned for the rest of the day.  Lennon suddenly piped up from her car seat and declared her "To Do List" for the day, as follows:

    1. Climb up the stairs when we get home.
    2. Put Star Kitty (her best friend/favorite stuffed animal) to bed for a nap.
    3. Climb the trees.
    4. Save the monkeys.
    5. Save ALL the pandas.
    Goddamn.  And to think, all I really have to do is take out the trash today.

    Sunday, April 24, 2011

    TLC Announces New Lineup - "All Dwarfs, All The Time"

    Monday night is especially big on little people (pun intended), with 'Little People, Tricky Fridge' at 7, and 'Dwarf Hoarders' at 10.

    Is 'Dwarf Hoarders' about dwarfs that are hoarders, or people that hoard dwarfs?  The latter would be much more entertaining.  Then again, wouldn't that just be a replay of 'Snow White'?

    In all seriousness, though, is it just me or do the Discovery Networks, which include TLC and Animal Planet, have a fascination with little people?

    For the record, I'm not going to post video of any of the shows that I'm going to mention.  The above video was made as satire, but I think that it makes a valid point.  At some time within the last five years, TLC has realized that little people attract viewers.  Viewers attract advertisers, and advertisers generate revenue.  Millions and millions of dollars of it.  TLC, and their parent company, Discovery, have gotten rich exploiting, let's face it, a disabled segment of the population.

    It all started with the Roloff  family being filmed in 2006 for 'Little People, Big World'.  The show featured little people parents, a set of twins (one of which was a little person), and two younger siblings.  The final episode aired in December of 2010.

    Then came 'The Little Couple'.  It debuted on TLC in October of 2009.  It features a dwarf couple by the name of Bill, who is 4' tall, and Jen, who is 3' 2" tall, and is a neonatologist at Texas Children's Hospital, in Houston, Texas.  The show's fourth season is supposed to premiere on May 31st.

    Then on January 31, 2010, 'The Little Chocolatiers' debuted on TLC.  This show mixed the two popular genres of little people shows and cake/cooking shows.  It features chocolate shop owners Steve Hatch and his wife Katie Masterson, who are little people, and the goings on in their Salt Lake City shop.  It was canceled after one season.

    Let's not forget 'Pit Boss', a show on Discovery owned Animal Planet, which crossed the popular little people and Pit Bull rescue genres.  It debuted two weeks before the "Oh how cute.  Little people are making chocolate" show, on January 16, 2010.  It follows Shorty Rossi and his group of little people Pit Bull activists, as they rescue, steal, and care for Pits at Shorty's Rescue, his personal Pit Bull rescue facility.  It's currently in it's third season.

    At least they're not TruTV.  The network, which is owned by TBS, has signed a contract with former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan to develop and star in a show tentatively titled Micro Championship Wrestling, or 'Hulk Hogan's MCW'.  It will feature Hogan "serving as a mentor to the wrestlers -- who also happen to be little people -- in a new professional league."  Really?  Really.

    So pull up a chair people.  Grab a beer.  Let's sit back and laugh at the midget wrestlers on TruTV.  Check your local listings.

    Radiolab Presents 'Symmetry'

    Radiolab, a public radio show that is heard on approximately 300 stations nationwide, has released their latest "visual poem", entitled 'Symmetry'.  I have been a fan of their visual poems for a while, now.  But, before I show you the video, I need to give you an idea as to how it works.

    'Symmetry' has virtually no words in the video.  It is up to your mind to form the words of the poem.  You'll see a split screen with two images on it, and you'll catch yourself saying something like "peanut butter and jelly", or "cops and robbers".  It may take you a few seconds to get used to the concept of the video.

    I promise you, it will be worth your time to watch it.  It's thought provoking, powerful, touching, and at times, utterly heartbreaking.  This is 'Symmetry'.

    If you would like to see more of Radiolab's "visual poems", they can be seen at  One of my favorite poems of theirs is called 'Words'.  I enjoyed it the first time through, but really got into it the second time around, when I was able to fully grasp what they were getting at.  Very clever.

    They say "a picture is worth a thousand words".  When a group of artists take video at 30 frames per second, and paint a picture to have your mind fill in the blanks, it can speak an opus of dialougue in a matter of three minutes.  At that point, it becomes a work of art.

    I Need A Trim

    At this point, I am far beyond a Galifianakis.  I am closely approaching a Matisyahu, and am quickly creeping up on a Fitzsimmons.  I'm starting to think that there are a family of finches nesting in there somewhere.  I can hear the babies cheeping at night.

    Someone pass me the clippers.

    An All Female Version Of 'The Hangover'?

    Sign me up!  On Friday, May 13th, a movie is coming out that will likely redefine the meaning of "chick flick".  It's called 'Bridesmaids'.  Written by, and starring, SNL's Kristin Wiig, it follows a group of bridesmaids on their bachelorette party in Las Vegas.  From the trailer, it looks like it's going to give 'The Hangover' a run for it's money.

    The standout star, of the trailer at least, is Melissa McCarthy.  She seems to be the scene stealer.  The Zach Galifianakis of the group.  If her name sounds a bit familiar, it's because some of you have probably seen her every week on CBS's 'Mike & Molly' as Molly.

    It's scary how such a beautiful woman can be transformed into someone so....sketchy.  But, damn, are her scenes hilarious.

    And let me just say, it's so nice to see Maya Angelou in a comedy again.

    Best. Church. Sign. Ever.

    I thought something like that was between me and god.  Or, at least my partner and I.

    Excuse Me, But I Was Promised Cookies.

    For the last couple of years at Disneyland, two or three times each afternoon in Tomorrowland, they have something called the Jedi Training Academy.  They get a bunch of little grade school kids together, dress them up in robes, and give them each a plastic light saber.  Then a "Jedi" comes out and teaches them all some fancy moves.

    During the middle of each show, Darth Vader and Darth Maul make a surprise appearance, and it's up to the little ones to fend them off.  They come up, one at a time, and duel on stage with Darth Vader.  It's really cute to see these kids get excited and think that they're in a battle with THE Darth Vader.  Some of these little ones are only 4 years old or so.  It's a great photo opportunity if you or your kid is a fan of 'Star Wars', and you have an hour to kill in the park, too.

    Home video of a performance back in February, though, shows that in one instance, things didn't go exactly as planned.  When it was eight year old Sariah Gallego's turn to fight Vader, she bowed to him instead.  She turned to the Dark Side.

    I so want that to be my kid someday!!!  She must have heard about the cookies.

    Well Sariah was interviewed yesterday about the clip, and her motives were even more sinister than first thought.  She had bowed to Vader in order to gain his trust, become his apprentice, and later kill him and rule the galaxy. (Oh dear god.)

    She says her inspiration came from Darth Zannah, an ancient female Sith Lord that killed her master Darth Bane.  For the record, even after listening to her interview, I had to look all of this up on a 'Star Wars' fan page, just to understand what she was talking about.  I'm a fan, but not as big of a fan as this eight year old kid, evidentially.  I must say, she has a really cool 'Star Wars' collection.  I was unaware that there were that many female characters in the 'Star Wars' universe.

    Let this be a lesson to you, dads.  Little girls like science fiction, too.  Mine is only two right now, but you better believe, as soon as that evil monkey turns three, Episode IV is going into the DVD player.  Last time we were at Disneyland, I bought a set of 'Star Wars' toddler toys to introduce her to the characters, with the understanding that they are not to be opened until she starts watching the movies.

    I figure with six movies (five if I leave out 'The Phantom Menace'), at roughly two hours or more apiece, that makes for some quality bonding time.  Hopefully, in five years, it will be my daughter scheming to take over the universe.

    Happy Zombie Jesus Day

    Now go eat a ham, and find some eggs that a rabbit left celebrate the resurrection of a Jewish carpenter.  Yeah.  That makes sense.

    Saturday, April 23, 2011

    Ellen Knows Talent When She Sees It

    Since Ellen Degeneres stepped down from the judge's booth at 'American Idol', she has really made a point to try to showcase new and undiscovered talent on her show.  She even started her own record label, ElevenEleven, to sign artists that she feels need to be seen and heard.  Her latest discovery is no exception.

    Karmin is a band from Boston, comprised of Amy (who sings and plays guitar), and Nick (who sometimes sings and plays piano).  They've had a Youtube channel since August of last year, and do some amazing covers.  They've recently ventured out and started to record some originals, too.  Here is the video that got Ellen's attention.  It's a cover of Chris Brown's 'Look At Me Now', featuring Lil' Wayne and Busta Rhymes.  I have never seen anyone cover Busta Rhymes, and do it justice.  This white girl from Boston kicks it's ass...

    Of all of the songs on Karmin's channel, my favorite is their cover of Adele's 'Someone Like You'.  They have a really original take on it.  First, they added a backing string track on the song, which adds a nice layer of depth to it.  Then, they turned it into a duet.  Amy has a great voice, but she can't compare to Adele.  At the moment, this song is the shoe in for Best Female Pop Album Vocal Grammy, if not Song of the Year or Record of the Year.  Amy has to strain on some of the notes, while Adele doesn't break a sweat.  She's a natural.

    Nick, on the other hand, is impressive.  He has a natural gift and finds the harmony on the chorus effortlessly.  The result is beautiful, and hands down the best cover of the song I've heard yet.  The combination of the two voices really make it an emotional piece.  It really tugs at the heart strings.

    If you haven't heard the original from Adele, here she is singing the song inside her home a couple of months ago.

    You can find out more about Karmin by checking out their official website.  They even have an ITunes store, which carries all of their originals, as well as a number of their covers.  Unfortunately, neither of the two songs in this post are available for download....yet.

    This Is How I Want To Go Out

    It's called the "Euthanasia Coaster".  According to it's designers, Designs Interactions Research, it is a "hypothetical euthanasia machine in the form of a roller coaster engineered to humanely – with elegance and euphoria – take the life of a human being."  From their website:
    "Riding the coaster’s track, the rider is subjected to a series of intensive motion elements that induce various unique experiences: from euphoria to thrill, and from tunnel vision to loss of consciousness, and, eventually, death. Thanks to the marriage of the advanced cross-disciplinary research in aeronautics/space medicine, mechanical engineering, material technologies and, of course, gravity, the fatal journey is made pleasing, elegant and meaningful."

    According to the diagrams, which are hard to make out, the coaster has seven loops.  It looks like it's only hill peaks at 500 meters (1640 ft), and drops 510 meters (1673 ft), at a top speed of 100 meters per second (or 223.69 mph), with a maximum G-force of 10Gs.  The only name I could possibly think of naming it, would be the Highway to Hell.

     The designer even made a nice little scale model to give to an idea of what it would look like fully built.

    To quote the 'Six Million Dollar Man', "We have the technology.   We have the capability to build the world's first bionic man euthanasia coaster.  Better than he it was before. Better, stronger, faster."  I suggest making this the method of execution for the people on death row in California.  Fuck lethal injection.  You won't find a judge in the country that will find this "cruel and unusual punishment".  Appeals cases would be at an all time low.  Inmates would be lining up to give this ride a shot.  Prison populations would drop significantly.  State budgets would balance.

    I'm kidding of course.  

    Will The Real Kurt Cobain Please Stand Up?

    On April 5th, the 17th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death, a video was uploaded onto Youtube of someone that appears to be the late Cobain singing an acoustic version of 'Pennyroyal Tea/Rape Me'.  He really looked a lot like Kurt in his prime.  The hair was right.  So was the way he was dressed.  He was even playing the guitar left handed.  But, something was off.

    His voice wasn't as troubled as Kurt's, and there was a look in his eyes that told you it was someone else.

    It was 30 Seconds To Mars' Jared Leto.  Supposedly, he recorded the video himself while he was "researching and exploring his character" when he had heard that a biopic was going to be filmed about Cobain's life.  I'm assuming the movie in question was Gus Van Sant's 'Last Days', which is influenced by Kurt Cobain, but not directly about his life.

    I've never been a fan of Leto's acting, especially his role as Mark David Chapman in 'Chapter 27', but I must admit, he does a pretty admirable job on this one.

    A Breathtaking Moment In The History Of Theatre

    A new musical playing at the Lincoln Center Theater on Broadway, is turning heads, and capturing the hearts and minds of people from all over the world.  'War Horse', a musical based upon a children's book by author Michael Morpurgo, is getting rave reviews from practically every critic that sees the show.

    Hardly any review mentions the music, or any of the actors that perform night after night.  In fact, it has been reported that at some performances, the audience reserves their standing ovation for the true thespians of the musical:  the puppets.  That's right, the puppets.

    'War Horse' takes place during the time of World War I.  A boy's young horse is sold to the cavalry, and sent to France.  During the course of the war, he ends up serving on both sides of the fight, eventually finding himself in no man's land once the war is over.  As the boy, now a young man, gets older, he embarks on a trek across the world to find the one thing he's ever loved and bring him home.

    For many years, the theatre has wanted to use live animals, especially horses, on the stage.  Sadly, due to all of the variables (the audience, rigging, stage hands, etc.), horses have been highly unpredictable.  Not to mention, they crap everywhere.  All the way around, regardless of how docile or trained the animal is, it has never worked successfully.

    A couple of years ago, the Handspring Puppet Company, a company out of South Africa, set out to create the impossible:  a lifesize, realistic, and, above all, believable, horse puppet.  At the International TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conference, in March of 2011, Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones of Handspring introduced their latest design.  The response was nothing short of shock and awe.  **It's an 18 minute clip.  I suggest watching the first minute or so, then fast forward to about 8:30 in.  You won't be disappointed.**

    The puppet is so believable, that after the first 30 seconds or so, you don't seem to notice the four human legs standing under the horse.  These puppets are the ones that were to be used in 'War Horse'.

    At over 2 hours and 40 minutes long, it getting a reputation as a marathon of a show.  But the reviews are astounding.
    From 'Time Out New York':  "War Horse will make you believe that puppets live and breathe, and perhaps even have souls."
    From 'The New York Times':  "When was the last time a puppet made you cry?"
    And, from  "Judging from a previewed scene involving a fence and a tangle of barbed wire, audiences are in for an emotional experience at War Horse." 
    Here is a montage of scenes from the Broadway production to give you an idea of what to expect.

    Jim Henson would be proud. 

    Better Than Having A Front Seat On The Ground

    There are only two Shuttle launches left before the fleet is retired and sent to their respective resting places.  Endeavour is set to launch this week on the 29th, and Atlantis will launch from Kennedy Space Center on June 28.  Atlantis' launch will be the 135th, and final, launch of the Space Shuttle's tumultuous 30 year history.

    On the morning of February 24, 2010, the Space Shuttle Discovery made it's final flight into orbit above Earth.  The passengers on an airline flight from Orlando, Florida, saw the launch from a perspective that few others ever get to see.

    My favorite part of the video is when the smartass pilot comes on the intercom and says, "For those of you on the right side of the aircraft, you can see the Space Shuttle launching.  For those of you on the left side, you can see the people on the right side looking at the Space Shuttle.".

    Obviously, at one point, everyone on the left side of the cabin crowded over to the right, because you can hear someone ask, "Is the plane going to tip over?".  Then, one of the flight attendants comes on and buys a round of drinks for everyone on board.

    What an experience.  One of the few times in life when sitting in coach doesn't seem so terrible.

    Kevin Smith Officiates Gay Wedding

    Last night's 'Nightline' on ABC had a piece about getting married by a celebrity.  I guess it's the new "in" thing to do if you're getting married in California.  Tori Spelling has been doing it on her reality show for a couple of years, now.  And, in February, you can add writer/director/actor Kevin Smith into the mix.

    In February, Smith, an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church, an online church with over 20 million members, married Scott Loudon and Michael Wojtowicz.  Yes, his first official marriage was of a gay couple.  As long time Los Angeles Kings season ticket holders, Loudon and Wojtowicz wanted a hockey themed wedding.  Being the hockey fanatic that he is, Smith couldn't refuse.

    Dressed as a referee, he conducted the ceremony as the couple were dressed as players, complete with jerseys and fake bruises.  The 50 or so in attendance at Smiths theater in L.A. all wore jerseys as well, while the proceedings were broadcast online as part of a regularly scheduled podcast.

    The invites were even made to look like tickets to a game:

    The wedding date was 02/12/2011 - Sec 2011, Row 2, Seat 12

    I don't know about you, but speaking for myself, I would much rather be married by Silent Bob than Donna from 'Beverly Hills, 90210'.  As Smith said in the piece last night,
    "If you're getting married here, you're really interesting.... If you're getting married in hockey jerseys, and making me wear a referee jersey, and you're gay, and you're here, and you're huge hockey fans, we're in for a great show."
    Take a look at the video.  I found it really touching.  It's nice to see Smith's reaction to the whole thing.  It's as if he's just hanging out with a couple of his drinking buddies.  It's no big deal to him.

    I have read a couple of comments on the gay websites regarding this story, and I was surprised to see how much of a negative reaction it's getting.  One comment in particular struck me as peculiar.  It went on to say, "Shame on Kevin Smith.  Publicity stunts like this make our fight towards marriage equality look insincere.  Gay marriage is not a joke."

    Really?  Are we going to bring the "sanctity of marriage" bullshit argument into this story, now?  News flash:  There is no sanctity in marriage, anymore.  There hasn't been for decades.  When Larry King can be on his 8th (or is it 9th) wife.  Or when you can get married by Elvis at a drive thru window in Las Vegas.  Or when one of the most popular shows on cable is about a man and his four wives, there is no sanctity in marriage.

    If straight couples can have Star Wars themed weddings or Lord of the Rings themed weddings, why can't a gay couple have a hockey themed wedding?  What's the harm?  In my mind that IS marriage equality.

    Kevin Smith, believe it or not, has been a long time advocate for the LGBT community.  In fact, when no one else would fund or produce a little documentary called 'Small Town Gay Bar', Smith personally funded the project so that it would be completed.  He also distributed it through his production company, View Askew, and secured a spot for it to be shown at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006.  It is an amazing film that documents the lives of gay and lesbian residents in rural areas in the South, and the steps they have taken to try to form a resemblance of a community.  Over the last three decades, some have had the courage to open gay bars in their local towns, only to be threatened, beaten, and run out by local politicians and church leaders.

    On a personal note:  My wife and I were initially planning on having a Beatles themed wedding in Las Vegas.  Due to unforeseen circumstances (our almost 3 year old daughter on the way), we decided to change our wedding plans.  A close friend of ours became ordained as a minister online through the Universal Life Church.  We were married in our kitchen, with only a couple of our closest friends in attendance.  

    If I had to do our wedding day all over again, I would still be standing in that little kitchen with my beautiful fiancée, and a champagne flute filled with sparkling grape juice.  I wouldn't change a thing.  It's 2011.  Weddings aren't about pomp and circumstance, or wedding dresses and "something borrowed/something blue" anymore.  Tradition is out the window.  Today, it's simply about two people coming together to make a commitment to love each other for the rest of their lives.  End of story.

    Congratulations, Scott and Michael.  May the two of you have a happy and fruitful life together.  Go Kings!! 

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    Transgendered Woman Brutally Beaten In Baltimore Area McDonald's

    A 22 year old transgendered woman was severely beaten at a McDonald's location in Rosedale, Maryland, a Baltimore suburb on April 18th.  She was using the ladies restroom, when two females, aged 14 and 18, dragged her out by her hair, and proceeded to beat her mercilessly.  The attack went on for three minutes or more, while customers and employees of the restaurant stood back and watched.  The manager feigned an attempt to break up the fight, while an elderly woman literally tried to get between one of the attackers and the victim.

    To add insult to injury, an employee of the chain, 22 year old Vernon Hackett, recorded the hate crime on his cell phone, all the while yelling, "That's a fucking dude".  By the end of the attack, the victim is shown in the doorway of the McDonald's entrance, having a seizure.

    ***The following video is NOT SAFE FOR WORK.  It is very violent and may be disturbing to some viewers. It shows an individual getting beaten, almost to death, simply because of their sexual orientation.***

    To make matters even worse, Mr. Hackett posted the following message on his Facebook page regarding the attack the following morning:

    This is someone that has been working at this McDonald's location, according to sources, since September of 2009.  Instead of helping someone in need, he taunted the victim and recorded them getting beaten while on duty.  Then, he went home and publicly insulted the victim.  At last check, he's still an employee of the company.  Since posting this status update, he has deleted his Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube accounts.  The video and status update were thankfully copied by other people before the pages were taken down.

    Please go to an an online petition at, demanding that the employees that were working on the night of April 18th be held responsible for the beating of this woman.  Most did nothing to help her.  Some even encouraged the two young women that attacked her, and even told them to "Run, before the police get here".  Conduct like this is unacceptable.

    The 14 year old involved has been charged as a juvenile, and the 18 year old has charges pending against her.  Equality Maryland is pushing for the women to be charged with hate crimes.

    Update:  Within the last hour, the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that the woman has died (see update number 5) from her injuries.

    Update #2:  Fox News is reporting that the victim was not transgendered, but instead, a "male cross dresser".  Of course, they are!  First of all, I don't think the right wing homophobes at Fox News have ever even used the word "transgendered".  They probably wouldn't know how to spell it if they tried.  Secondly, they are basing that report on the Facebook post of the employee that took the video and incited the attackers.  He should be charged as an accessory.

    If you watch the clip again, and I hate to ask you to do so, at around the 1:00 mark, you can hear the victim say, "Where am I supposed to go, then?".  In my mind, at least, that tells me that she's transgendered.  In reality, it doesn't matter.  Even if she was a "cross dresser" (dammit, I hate that term), if she identifies herself as a woman, she's a woman.  End of story.

    Update #3:  Earlier this month, HB 235, Maryland's "Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Anti-discrimination" bill died in the state Senate.  The bill was to have sweeping protections for transgendered individuals when it came to discrimination regarding employment, housing, and public accommodations.  A key reason that the bill died was due to debate as to whether "public accommodations" would include the use of public restrooms.  Many elected officials thought it would be too controversial to approve such a measure, and decided to indefinitely delay the bill.  I wonder if the bill will likely come up for reconsideration now.

    Update #4:  According to the Baltimore Sun, Vernon Hackett, the McDonald's employee that videotaped the beating with his cellphone, and encouraged the attackers, "Police on their way. Y'all better get out of here.", has been fired:
    "My first and foremost concern is with the victim," franchise owner Mitchell McPherson said in a statement, adding that action might be taken against other restaurant workers as well. "I'm as shocked and disturbed by this assault as anyone would be. The behavior displayed in the video is unfathomable and reprehensible."
    Other employees can be heard in the video laughing and egging on the two assailants.  As of Friday afternoon, Baltimore Police would not release the condition of the victim.

    I would love to be a fly on the wall during Vernon's next job interview, when he's asked, "So, what made you leave McDonald's?".

    Update #5:  Finally, some good news emerging from this story, if that is even possible.  Contrary to prior reports, Chrissy Lee Polis has not died from her injuries.  In fact, she is out of the hospital.  She completed a video interview for the Baltimore Sun, which can be seen below.  In it, she harshly criticizes the employees of the McDonald's restaurant for standing by and doing nothing while she was getting beaten.  She also says that, at the moment, she is afraid to leave her home.  She would also like to meet the elderly woman that stepped in and tried to save her, so that she can thank her personally.

    Spend 15 Minutes On This Lady Gaga Update...Before Her 15 Minutes Are Up

    Tic tock, tic tock.  The clock is quickly running out on Lady Gaga's popularity and relevance in the music industry.  As her publicity stunts become more and more grandiose and outlandish, even many of her "Little Monsters" (me included) are saying, "Whatever", and turning the channel.

    Gaga has seemed to appear so often in the news over the last two weeks, that you would think she was running as a Republican candidate for President of the United States.  Sadly, most of what she has been saying to the media has been just as insane as some of the sound bytes from Donald Trump in recent weeks.

    Here comes the crazy train....Whoo Whoo!

    According to an interview in 'Harper's Bazaar', appearing on shelves on April 26, these spiky things on her face and shoulders are "her bones".  That's right.  She "grew" them.
    "The only tense part of our conversation occurs when I try to transition her fantasy into reality, asking about the new look--a series of sharp bones that protrude from Gaga's shoulders, cheekbones, and temples. How long does it take to apply the makeup and prosthetics to her face and arms?
    "Well, first of all," she says, "they're not prosthetics. They're my bones."
    Okay, so when did the bones appear?
    "They've always been inside of me, but I have been waiting for the right time to reveal to the universe who I truly am."
    Did she will them to come out for this album?
    "They come out when I'm inspired."
    Is she worried that this new look will inspire other people to "grow" similar bones?
    "We all have these bones!" she says tersely. "They're the light from inside of us.""
    Then, late last week, Gaga's new single 'Judas' was "leaked" onto Youtube, by Lady Gaga.  Question:  How is it possible for a track to be leaked by the artist that recorded it?  Wouldn't the appropriate term be released?  Anyway, I provided a link.  I'm not going to put it on my post.  It's unlistenable.  It sounds like what you would expect from 'Bad Romance 2.0' minus anything that made 'Bad Romance' catchy or worth five minutes of your time.

    She also announced that she was going to release the video for the track, in which she was going to be playing Mary Magdalene, on Easter Sunday.  Of course, this was a cry for attention, and she received it.  Catholic groups all over the nation immediately took to every news show in the nation to decry the blasphemy that is about to take place in less than 36 hours.  Hey, I can understand blaspheming.  Especially when it's targeted toward a religious demographic that you feel screwed you over at some point in your life.  But this is just a ploy for media exposure.

    I am liking some of the Youtube reactions, though.  There is one in particular from some Christian girl/Bieber fan that seems to have her facts all wrong.  She claims that Judas is another name for Jesus (wrong).  She also says that in the 'Bad Romance' video, Gaga was wearing an upside down cross, was having sex with women, and burned crosses in the video (unless there was an edit that played on MTV 7, all wrong).  She then starts crying, and thinks she's going to go to hell for hearing the song, calls Lady Gaga "Lady Gay Gay", then freaks out when she realizes that the song is going to end up on the radio.  It's hilarious.

    You should also see her crying fit/online suicide note when Justin Bieber didn't win the Best New Artist Grammy.  She thinks the Chinese kids voted for Esperanza Spalding, and actually willed all of her Bieber souvenirs back to Justin Bieber.  It's epic, to say the least.

    Speaking of epic, Weird Al Yankovic, the pioneer of parody, wrote a song based off of Gaga's 'Born This Way'.  It's called 'Perform This Way'.  He asked for permission from Gaga to do the song, and her people asked for a completed track for them to listen to before they would give him a decision.  It was the first time that any artist has made such a request in his 30 year career.

    He submitted the song to Lady Gaga, and got flatly denied.  So, he decided to distribute the song on Youtube as "fair use".  He also posted a message on his blog, stating that if the single had been approved and released, all proceeds would have gone to the Human Rights Campaign.  Soon, even NPR got involved in the story.  Come to find out, Lady Gaga had no knowledge that Yankovic was recording a parody, or had even asked for permission.  Her manager had made the decision, without even hearing the track.  Here is the track in question.  It's quite funny.

    The single is available on ITunes on Monday.  I can't wait to see the video.

    'Born This Way' made news in other ways this week.  In an interview with NME magazine, Gaga was asked about the similarities between 'Born This Way', and Madonna's 'Express Yourself'.  I've noticed it.  Her fans notice it.  Evidently, Madonna has noticed it.  Gaga hasn't.  Here is an excerpt from the interview:

    "A bit of it does sound quite a lot like ‘Express Yourself’, though, doesn’t it? 

    “I don’t think… I swear to you. I am not stupid enough to put out a record and be that moronic.” 

    The reference seemed so obvious that it had to be intentional because, as you say, you’re not stupid…

    “No. Listen to me. Why the fuck…? I’m a songwriter. I’ve written loads of music. Why would I try to put out a song and think I’m getting one over on everybody? That’s retarded. What a completely ridiculous thing to even question me about. I will look you in your eyes and tell you that I am not dumb enough or moronic enough to think that you are dumb enough or moronic enough not to see that I would have stolen a melody. If you put the songs next to each other, side by side, the only similarities are the chord progression. It’s the same one that’s been in disco music for the last 50 years. Just because I’m the first fucking artist in 25 years to think of putting it on Top 40 radio, it doesn’t mean I’m a plagiarist, it means that I’m fucking smart. Sorry.”

    The criticism did seem to take the wind out of the song’s sails.

    “There’s a lot of people who want to see me fail. The minute they see something to shoot at, they shoot, and the bigger I become the bigger target I am. Nobody in this room at any point looked around and said ‘Oh my God, it’s ‘Express Yourself’. ‘ Not once. Listen. I swear to you. I can only be honest with you about it.”

    What will people say about ‘Judas’?

    “I dunno… I think they will really love it. (Starting to well up) I just don’t want my fans… I don’t know. This is exhausting. I just don’t wanna perpetuate that shit. I’m sure you want to address it but it’s just so ridiculous. I was just fucking shellshocked by it. It’s so funny to hear you say, ‘It must have been a homage’, I’m like, NO. When I homage, I fucking homage with a big sign saying I’ve done it. Why would I not do that now? (Sighs) I just like… I just have to say… (Starts crying) I feel like honestly that God sent me those lyrics and that melody. When you feel a message to give to the world and people are shooting arrows at it… there’s no way for something that pure to be wrong. (Reaches for Marilyn Monroe lighter) I need a cigarette.”
    Listen for yourself.  Someone took the liberty of taking the instrumental from 'Express Yourself' and mashing it up with the vocals of 'Born This Way'.  The results speak for themselves.

    While we're on the subject of 'Born This Way',  has anyone seen the album artwork yet?  For those of you that haven't seen it, let me just say in advance:  THIS IS NOT A JOKE.  This is the real album cover that will be on her new, highly anticipated (perhaps not now) album, that will be released on May 23rd.

    Yes, that is Lady Gaga as a motorcycle.  I don't know if the song was supposed to be 'Born To Be Wild This Way', or what her inspiration or muse was in this instance, but clearly she has finally gone off the deep end.  Again, this isn't a gag.  She released it via her own Twitter account, and has confirmed that it is indeed the approved artwork for the album.  Something tells me that she will see a very small amount of physical album sales, and quite a bit of downloads from ITunes.  Even as a die hard Gaga fan, I wouldn't be caught dead walking up to a register at Best Buy with this in my hands.  Who wants to bet that this album gets the shit downloaded out of it illegally?

    So, her second full length album hasn't even dropped yet, and it seems like the clock is already ticking.  She's making the same mistake as MC Hammer did in the 90s.  She's no longer an artist, she's a brand.  It's only a matter of time before her stock value starts to plummet.

    Alright, I'm done.  Anymore writing about this, and I'm gonna LADY GAG All over my keyboard.