Archive for October, 2006

Parody Has its Purpose

October 27th, 2006 at 2:03 pm by Mark
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     Today, I saw a Star Wars: Episode 3 spoof by Sequential Pictures that was impressively produced for being so slapstick-stupid (I loved it!) and though I’d post it here.

     But after looking around on their site a bit more, I ran into some other gems which kept me laughing for at least seventy-eight seconds longer.

     Laughter is a good thing.  Especially tongue-in-cheek.

Playing the Darwin Lottery in a Shallow Gene Pool

October 24th, 2006 at 3:47 am by Mark
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     Lately, I’ve taken the attitude that, “I absolutely do not give a damn.”  And I mean it.  It’s been a mind-altering, uplifting, emotionally freeing sort of change.

     One of the greatest gifts has been: laughter.

     Especially when I read crap like thisOr this.

     Or even this, from New Scientst…

Don’t say cloning, say somatic cell nuclear transfer [SCNT]. That at least is the view of biologists who want the term to be used instead of “therapeutic cloning” to describe the technique that produces cloned embryos from which stem cells can then be isolated.

[…]

Kathy Hudson and her colleagues at the Genetics and Public Policy Center in Washington DC asked more than 2000 Americans whether they approved of deriving stem cells from embryos produced by cloning. For half of the sample they used the term “SCNT” instead of “cloning”, and this raised approval ratings from 29 per cent to 46 per cent, Hudson told a meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics in New Orleans last week.

     Politically correct science?  What’ll they think of next?

     Regardless of what you call it, human cloning is little more than another way to speed up the process of destroying our already shallow gene pool.

Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

So, I’m A Catty Bitch – Sue me!

October 20th, 2006 at 3:56 pm by Diva
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First, I have to say love is grand. Love is the greatest feeling in the world, especially if it is true love and the other person is the one you intend to spend your forever with. I will preach that day and night. I am indeed in love with the man I intend to spend forever with and I cherish him very much.

However, in a relationship (and my fiancee agrees) two people can still maintain relationships and friendships that were in place prior to the meeting of said significant other. Individual identity is what attracted you to that other person and that other person to you to begin with.

What is the point here? Well, the point is that just because I have found someone that I love, cherish and want to spend forever with, doesn’t mean I wish to cut the friends I had in my life before him out of it.
If nothing else, I wish for us to remain close. Yes, there will be less time out for me. No, I won’t attend every Wednesday night gathering. But IT IS NOT because my man doesn’t encourage it and IT IS NOT because I love my friends any less.

It is simply because I have a teenage daughter who really needs me to be home. It is because I sometimes get to steal a weekday with my fella and his kids.

Just because I’m not there all the time doesn’t mean that I don’t want to hear the stories about who did what, or in our case, see the photographic evidence.

Just because I’m not always there, doesn’t mean that I am turning my back on my friends. Just because I’m not always there doesn’t mean that any one of them can’t call me in the middle of the night to cry on my shoulder if they need to.

I am dedicated to spending my forever with HIM. I am very much in love. But my friends were the ones who cried with me when I was sad. They laughed with me when I was tickled about something. They are there through thick and thin. I love them and I will always want to hear the sappy dating drama (tales) and I won’t just be smiling a fake freaking smile and shaking my nappy freaking head acting like I care. I will be listening intently, most likely holding my gut from laughing so hard and truly caring about what words are passing from my friends’ mouth to my ears.

Ok, now specifically to you, the one who pretended to be our friends. Who the hell do you think you are? Seriously? Do you think you’re high, mighty and perfect?

These girls all befriended you when you had nothing but extra belly fat.
No, girl, see this one loud and clear…. YOU ARE NOTHING LIKE ANY OF US.

At least I’ve heard that’s what you said….

YOU ARE EXACTLY RIGHT!!!!!!

1. Friends don’t molest someone else’s man. There were plenty of occassions that you blatently stuck your tongue down the throat of a taken man. Granted, Ron was not mine… but the other man in question was a claimed man. You had no respect for boundaries and no respect for your girlfriends.

WHICH SHOWS YOU ARE NOTHING LIKE ANY OF US because there is not a single one of us who would look twice let alone deep throat one of the other girl’s boyfriend.

Just not kosher… not acceptable….

2. Friends don’t just quit talking to friends. If nothing else, when a happy event such as an impending wedding or pregnancy is on deck, I would think a girl would want her friends close by.

WHICH SHOWS YOU ARE NOTHING LIKE ANY OF US because I would be honored for all of my friends and family to be there when I say I do.

Either you didn’t want us getting close to your man because you know that paybacks are a bitch… or you were horrified that if you let him speak to us, that he would find out about your legendary exploits on the skank side.

Hmmmm….. go figure. Everybody pulls a drunk now and then… get over it. Hey, Dorothy…….

SHE Said It, Not Me!

October 20th, 2006 at 5:58 am by Mark
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     As I’ve mentioned before, I generally hang out with women.  I’m comfortable around them.  I enjoy their company and companionship.  But dating is tough.  When you go from “friends” to “more than friends,” there are substantial changes in what’s allowed and what isn’t, what they’re worrying about and the way they treat you.

     Last month, I put up a personal ad on a dating site just to see what would come of it.  My profile was natural, just a quick ramble about myself, what I didn’t want, what I was looking for and where I wanted to end up.
     I was also quite clear that I didn’t want to date women with children, because there are simply too many points of possible conflict such as distraction which take away from being able to get to know one another, conflicts with schedules, meeting ex-husbands and ex-boyfriends, families who don’t take kindly to anyone else other than the father-of-a-child being with their daughter, discipline issues, etc. etc. etc.  I simply don’t want the stress of that.
     I was also quite clear that I wasn’t looking for mind games, and wasn’t putting up the ad simply to find a boink-of-the-night.
     Unfortunately, all of these things were ignored.

     Out of fifteen people who I went out with over the course of a month (yes, my profile was popular)…

  • Nine went out specifically to complain about the fact that I didn’t want children.  Insults ranged from my being selfish, having a worthless life, being a sexist, to nothing but pure profanity.
  • Two went out specifically for sex.  One became extremely angry and stormed out mid-date because I wasn’t interested in helping her get back at her cheating husband.  The other got so entirely falling-down drunk that she couldn’t keep her clothes on, and then decided to profanely take a knock at my sexuality because I didn’t find her particularly attractive at that point.
  • One went out, talked about what a great time she had and how much she was looking forward to our next date, but stood me up and then systematically and callously went out of her way to ignore me without bothering to even tell me what was going on.

     The remaining three were sweet, they were fun.  There was no real chemistry between us, but they’ve become friends nonetheless.  But a twenty-five percent rate of having an amicable time together is bad odds.  It is absolutely astounding that seventy-fire percent of the women I went out with from that site were such total … err, umm … well, you know.

     It’s truly refreshing to see Joan over at Seven Inches of Sense make a similar argument.  It’s good to know that just when I’m feeling despondent, someone of the opposite sex can pipe up and make an argument about very thing that’s I have known is true, and has been bugging the crap out of me.

Somehow, over the past fifteen or so years, the attitude of women has changed drastically. They have gone from striving to prove their worth, to asserting it without ever having proven anything. And the problem is, somebody is allowing them to do it. Men have become so scared of being called ‘sexist’ that they are enabling these bitchy little divas to walk all over them. It’s time for that to stop, boys. There are other options.

Seriously, if I see another video, movie, or book about what scum men are and how the scorned woman can destroy them, I think I might just pluck my eyeballs from their sockets. Do you know how much shit a man would get for putting this kind of hatred out into the world against women? Need I remind you of the fallout over the Eminem song, Guilty Conscience, where a man is urged to kill his cheating wife? It got ugly. Yet when the Dixie Chicks sang a song about killing an abusive spouse, people dedicate websites to explaining step-by-step how to get away with murder. Seems a bit lopsided doesn’t it?

[…]

I’ve been hurt by men in some truly horrific ways. But at the end of the day, how I handle it is the only thing within my control. And that is the only part of the ordeal that says anything about my character. Everything else is on them. If I go off the deep end and ruin someone’s life because they hurt me, that becomes definitive of who I am as a person, and as a woman. Do I want to be a cruel, jaded bitch? Not especially. There are people who think this makes me a pushover. Personally, I think it makes me an adult…not a whiney little child.

I don’t make demands of my mates (except in bed). I make requests. How they react to my requests, lets me know what kind of person they are and if the relationship is going to work out. But everywhere I look, I see women beating men down into submission with the entitled diva attitude. It makes me very sad for those men. I guess they don’t know it doesn’t have to be like that. Even though that attitude does seem to dominate popular culture, it isn’t indicative of all women. Just keep looking and you’re bound to run up on a good one at some point. But when you do, you better hold on to her for dear life because she might not come around a second time.

     Bravo, Joan!  You’ve singlehandedly restored my faith that there might actually be some normal, rational women out there past my group of friends!
     I was actually starting to wonder…

Pink Flamingo Passes Away

October 20th, 2006 at 4:37 am by Mark
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     It’s time to bid a fond farewell to a favorite, formerly famous, front-yard fowl.  Alas, the Pink Flamingo is no more, dead at a mere forty-nine years of age.
     Union Products, of Leominster, Mass., has finally given up production of these unsightly eyesores due to financial problems.

     According to the original article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

Robert Thompson, professor of popular culture at Syracuse University, paid tribute to the infamous bird that has been immortalized everywhere — from the John Waters’ movie Pink Flamingos, to bachelor parties and lawns across America.

“Let’s face it,” he said. “As iconic emblems of kitsch, there are two pillars of cheesy, campyness in the American pantheon. One is the velvet Elvis. The other is the pink flamingo.”

The birth of the plastic pink flamingo in 1957 coincided with the booming interest in Florida, Thompson said, making it possible for those in other parts of the country to have a little piece of the Sunshine State’s mystique in their yard.

By the late ’70s, according to Thompson, the pink flamingo became a symbol of bad taste. It was considered trash culture and embraced by folks with a wise-guy attitude. They knew better (wink, wink) but embraced the iconic symbol anyway.

By the late ’80s and early ’90s, he said we learned to make fun of pop culture items such as the pink flamingo as well as appreciate them.

“The pink flamingo has gone from a piece of the Florida boom and Florida exotica to being a symbol of trash culture to now becoming a combination of all we know — kitsch, history, simplicity and elegance,” Thompson said.

Until recently, Mike Smollon was one of the folks who put the pink flamingo in the kitsch category.

But during a recent trip to Massachusetts, the Boynton Beach firefighter and battalion chief had an epiphany.

After reading a story in the Sentinel & Enterprise (Fitchburg, Mass.) about the closing of the factory, he bought 12 pairs of flamingos.

“I never owned a pink flamingo before,” Smollon said. “To be honest, I used to think this was the kind of a thing only a girl would put in her yard. But when I found out the factory was closing, I thought this is something historical happening.”

Smollon went to the factory and bought 11 sets of pink flamingos and one set of the commemorative gold flamingos that were made for 2007, which would have been the bird’s 50th birthday. He plans to keep a few and give the rest to flamingo-loving friends.

Flamingo fever hit and he searched the Internet for Don Featherstone, the kitchy bird’s creator. When he learned that Featherstone lived only about five minutes from his hotel, he called him and asked if he could come over and get his photograph taken with him.

Not only did Featherstone and his wife, Nancy, come out of the house wearing matching pink shirts adored with green flamingos, the artist autographed two sets of flamingos. Smollon also bought a copy of Featherstone’s book, The Original Pink Flamingos: Splendor on the Grass (Schiffer Publishing, 1999), which he autographed for an extra $5.

After Smollon returned home, he bought a set of pink flamingos from the 1950s for $39 on eBay.

“Now I have one of the first sets made and one of the last sets made,” he said. “I have my own private collection.”

     Of course, it’s lived a full life at only 49, growing from an Annoying Adornment to the King of Kitsch.

     Don’t forget to check out the Mockumentary, “The Pink Flamingo: Ambassador of the American Lawn.”