CNN Fear Mongering Again

Taking a script right from Fox News, CNN is trying to boost ratings again by making us think a terrorist is behind every bush. Where there isn't any news, they manufacture it, keeping the fear level as high as possible. Just recently they ran a story during morning prime time, the lead telling us that the government is warning us that terrorists might be making "dry runs" through airports to test strategies for future attacks against America. From the TSA press releases, the CNN marketing jabberwocks pulled a story about strange packages pulled from passenger carry-on bags. According to the CNN website: "Police across the country should be on the lookout for what could be "dry runs" for a terrorist attack, the Transportation Security Administration advised after series of suspicious incidents occurred at U.S. airports. Blocks of cheese were found in a bag with a coil of wire and tubes, the TSA said. An unclassified advisory, sent July 20 from TSA to law enforcement agencies, raised the possibility that recent activity could be "pre-attack security probes. CNN obtained the advisory from a government source."

So after smartly creating a story designed to scare the crapola out of any poor and impressionable creature who might be flying any time soon, CNN anchors deliver the small print at the bottom of the page. Their new mediagenic female states, "However, TSA has informed us that none of the suspicious packages were linked to terrorists." In other words, THE STORY IS ALL HYPE AND INVENTION BY CNN AND TSA. There are NO terrorists making dry runs. These were not, repeat not pre-attack security probes. These people were all law-abiding American citizens. Shades of WMD! ... So what else is new? I'm just so sick of the endless fear mongering.


Steny Hoyer Encourages American Obesity

The greed and flagrant absues of convicted felons, former Republican member Duke Cunningham and Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, hang over this House like a dark cloud. - Steny Hoyer

Americans who care about health should be up in arms about the recent Steny Hoyer lobbyist orgy at the Rio Mar Beach Golf Resort and Spa in Puerto ... the Rio Mar, "set between a mile-long stretch of Caribbean beach sports recreational facilities that range from two 18-hole golf courses to a 13-court Peter Burwash International Tennis Center, a Caribbean watersports center, a Las Vegas–style casino, and a new Balinese- style Mandara Spa. To complete the Rio Mar experience, culinary artists from all over the world work their magic at 11 restaurants and lounges." Americans must be aware that a public official sends a wrong message to the entire nation when he's feeding hundreds of lobbyists upwards of 5000 calories a day per head. What are we talking about here? Enormous buffets that would make Holland America furious with envy: bisques of every type, london broils and slabs of filet mignon, baked alaskas and parfaits and custards, pasta fazool, and liberal do-gooders broiled under glass.
God, when will somebody do something about it? Might Congress pass a law to curtail such engorgement? What will our children learn from this?
The mind reels and the stomach rumbles.


Hype Over The Jane Austen Hoax - Are Interns That Stupid?

As many of us already know, David Lassman, director of the annual Jane Austen Festival in Bath, pulled a cute little prank on American publishers by typing up opening chapters of some Jane Austen books (Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion), adding a cover letter with plot synopses, and mailing them to a total of 18 publishers and literary agents. Course, Lassman changed the titles and the character names before sending them out.

The sad tale of what happened next was well covered by The Guardian--the most embarrassing rejction coming in a letter from Penguin Publishing (publishing Austen's books in "Penguin Classics"), saying "Thank you for your recent letter and chapters from your book First Impressions. It seems like a really original and interesting read." Later, a Penguin spokesman said, “We don’t take anything that is not agency-led so I doubt the person would even have read it.” No kidding! And how can you blame them when you consider that on any given day in the U.S. thousands of manuscripts (mostly bad ones) are circulating in the mail? More rejections piled up from big names Random House, Hodder and Stroughton, Simon and Schuster and HarperCollins.

So what does this all prove? That the poorly paid and overworked support staff at agencies and publishers, the interns at the gate, are either really NOT reading the manuscripts that come their way or they are "reading" them and not getting it, or some of column A and B. The Austen hoax isn't the first to reveal this. As far back in the 80's, Doris Lessing executed an identical hoax by sending around her latest novel under a pseudo. 13 publishers rejected it with comments equally as boilerplate. An editor at Viking finally recognized the style and contacted Lessing to put an end to it.

Do we shoot the interns or just spike their Starbucks with cyanide?


The Transmogrification of Dick Cheney

The above photo was leaked to the Internet only yesterday. Apparently, during the two hours Dick Cheney was appointed President (as Bush was rammed up the rectum and checked for liberal polyps) he transmogrified to his true form: an indestructible alien death-robot. This photo was snapped just as Cheney was disintegrating one of his staff for daring to suggest that he might benefit the nation by using his newfound powers to reduce the size of government.
Once Bush regained consciousness, Cheney morphed back to his usual form, that of a sneering asshole.


Talk of Cage on Web del Sol

Michael Neff of Web del Sol recently interviewed film producer and agent, Barbara Zitwer, on his new net-radio show, THE SOLWAVE. The interview twists and mazes around to finally come to rest on facts about Nicolas Cage and his eccentric nature. More importantly though, it reminds me of my love for the black comedy, Vampire's Kiss, a film that even to this day has been seen by relatively few people, and yet it must rank as one of the most obscure film wonders of all time. Nicolas Cage plays Peter Loew, a bullying literary editor who hooks up with Jennifer Beals. In due course, she sucks a few pints out of him, and continues to suck, and as time goes forward, he feels increasingly hostile, aroused, and nutbaggy. Soon enough, it dawns on Peter that he was bitten by a vampire, so he goes out and buys a set of real fangs. Cage's performance in the film is fantastic and it's still one of my favorites next to Raising Arizona. As many have pointed out, his performance in Vampire's Kiss dwarfs everything else he's ever done.
Congrats also to Barbara Zitwer for bringing this great film to the planet Earth. Thank you and lots of kisses to you.
My recommendation is to order from NetFlix cause most video rental joints will no longer have a copy of this superb film. If you like comedy, clever story, and Nick Cage, you will ADORE this movie!

Michael Moore Puts Gupta in His Place

From the archives of Moore's SICKO webpage. He recently and succcessfully countered claims of false information by Dr. Gupta, CNN's corporate medical spokesperson. Here is a slice and a link. Everyone MUST SEE THIS FILM.

"The fact that the healthcare system in an impoverished nation crippled by our decades-old blockade (including medical supplies and drugs) ranks so closely to ours is more an indictment of the American system than the Cuban system ... Although Cuba ranks lower overall than the United States, it still has a lower infant mortality rate and longer life span. And unlike the United States, Cuba offers healthcare to absolutely everyone. In an independent Gallup poll conducted in Cuba, "a near unanimous 96 percent of respondents say that health care in Cuba is accessible to everyone." ("Cubans Show Little Satisfaction with Opportunities and Individual Freedom Rare Independent Survey Finds Large Majorities Are Still Proud of Island's Health Care and Education," January 10, 2007. "


Gawker Skewers The Yiddish Cops

I just had to repost this from about Chabon's latest. This is entertaining, yes, and what is wrong with him?

"Michael Chabon's new book has been troubled with a bad case of being crap. We've been trying to keep an open mind about The Yiddish Policemen's Union, but he's not making it easy. For starters, it's written in a "hard-boiled, Yiddish-inflected patois." Also, the only thing we've heard about Michael since The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay won a Pulitzer in 2001 has been his personal child-bearer Ayelet Waldman's irrepressible oversharing about his sexual prowess. Now we learn that HarperCollins pulled it from their publication schedule at the last minute! "While long gestation periods and multiple drafts aren't unusual in the publishing industry, the time and effort expended on behalf of Mr. Chabon's vision are illustrations of the book's importance to HarperCollins," the reporter claims. Exactly. Just switch the word "aren't" with the word "are," and the words "the book's importance" with the words "the book's terribleness," and that sentence becomes almost true."

He tries real hard to get this cliche detective thing going in the hook and it just flounders in an embarrassing way ... and so forth. Still, some good stylistic cinema, but not as top quality as Kavalier and Klay.

Gore's Stop-Global-Warming Video

Sewage Divers, Elephant Vasectomist, and Whale Poop

Popular Science's "10 Worst Jobs in Science" this year (July issue) included the divers who scrub the walls of pits of sewage, toxins and nuclear waste; the elephant vasectomist (wielding a 4-foot-long laparoscope to deal with the 12-inch-wide testicles); carcass-preparers who ship cat, frog, shark and even cockroach bodies to be studied in science classes; the whale researcher who admitted she was "surprised" at "how much you could learn about a whale through its feces"; and the volunteers who lie still for up to 21 days to study the effects of weightlessness (for $2,000 a week).

Biodegradable Art Scaffolds and Victimless Leather

This is tres bizarre. Australian artists Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr blend art with science, extracting living cells from animals and growing them on top of biodegradable scaffolds so that when the scaffolds disappear, a living entity remains, in the shape of the scaffold. At the Israeli Center for Digital Art in Holon, Israel, in April, they unveiled "Victimless Leather," or actual animal skin cells that grew into leather without harming an animal, but their previous work has included growing steak from lamb muscle cells and the preparation for growing wings on a pig (though, in the final stage of that project, they were turned down by the exhibitor, who was apparently grossed out).

More about this ... Whoooo!