Friday, November 28, 2008

Is that a criminal justice degree rising from the ashes?

You won't find The University of Miami or Tulsa advertising in the margins of your favorite porn site. Does that make the University of Phoenix a less-than-credible higher education option?

It appears so - especially given what current and former students are saying. We're also suspicious of any college whose local campus used to be the quickie oil-change place.

Chain, Chain, Chain

Wallet chains leave no doubt that said wallet is tethered to an individual. We like that some people have a higher threshold for separation from their wallet, as evidenced by varying lengths of chain.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Why Is There A Website:

"Bro" is the new "dude," but with a vibe that proudly shouts "We're enormous shitheads, am I right? Let's nail some sluts!"

Although the stereotype has taken a lashing from pop-culture critics trying to move on from mullet jokes, the beating hasn't slowed its growth: The bros are organizing.

The BroBible is a "stimulating one-stop hub of Bro-worthy content, tailored to the Bro's specific needs and interests." Those interests, of course, being trumped-up sexual escapades, popped-up collars, and co-eds reeking of cocoa butter.

It'd be bad enough if it was a put-on, but these guys really want to be the next Tucker Max. And on, they collectively dream of it.

A new frontier in the personal care product racket

There are definitely environments where hand sanitizer should be employed, hospitals obviously and laser tag places to name a couple.

But there's no way you're at risk for the mrsa virus walking down the street.

Yet, we're beginning to see so many people casually slathering it on that one has to wonder if it will soon rival the king of mindlessly-applied personal care products.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Where credit is overdue

We assumed the current financial mess would slow the tide of credit card solicitations we receive every day.

We, as usual, forgot the U.S. financial system is not predicated on logic.

Can Zoe in Accounting please tell Ian in Marketing to hold off on the irect-day ail-may until Citibank figures out what to do about all the efaults-day?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

And now a story that illustrates what Thanksgiving is all about

Get ready, people sleeping on benches, your annual meal is almost here. If you could this year, try to smile when you go back for more mashed potatoes. It makes for an even better story.


"Tuesdays with Morrie" was treacle -- but at least it felt like honest treacle. The story of a smart-ass sportswriter transformed into a human being by his dying teacher was the functional equivalent of a sexual experience for Oprah fans.  (You know you hit a nerve when your book is turned into a made-for-tv-movie starring Hank Azaria.) 

Then Mitch Albom really started laying on the corn syrup.

The Five People You Meet In Heaven. ("Reassuring mush about a pointless purgatory," says one reader.)

For One More Day. ("A shovel-full of sugar makes the messages go down" writes another Amazon patron.)

And online, Mitch's Web Thoughts. (Not updated since 9/11/2001.)

We prefer the days when sportswriters smoked stinky cigars and wrote about the fights.

Skating By

The first time we saw a kid roll by using a skate shoe it was unsettling but kind of interesting. We saw more kids out having fun with them and time passed. Then we saw the first kid again and it was less romantic because he was well on his way to being a pudgy beefball.

At least with a skateboard you have to walk occasionally

Monday, November 24, 2008

Whistle stop

Ok, it’s not usually that bad but it’s not usually very good either. In fact we challenge anyone to prove they can actually whistle well enough to keep us from wanting to kick out their knees five seconds into it.

And you can’t do this one. It deserves to be left alone.

Mine's the one with the red ribbon on it

Our grandmother used to have a trick for finding her suitcase on the luggage carousel -- a red ribbon tied to the handle. Genius! 

Of course, every piece of Samsonite on the baggage-go-round has the same crimson scarf attached.

Which really defeats the purpose.

We suggest getting creative when it comes to marking your luggage. Make it your own: Have a decal made of one of your tattoos and paste it somewhere on the bag where no one can miss it. Trick it out with some mag wheels. Have your spare cell phone in the side pocket and the volume cranked - with one call your favorite ringtone separates you from everyone else.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tiki tacky

Yep, it’s sure supposed to be campy. 

Yep, it’s seemingly everywhere.

Yep we’re questioning if it’s still campy if it’s everywhere.

Maybe model your basement after a Midwestern Supper Club?

We Support Pop Culture Term Limits

Barely Political's first Obama Girl video was amusing enough. As late-night comedians know, Barack isn't the easiest guy to build laughs around, so kudos for spoofing the Americrush on our President-elect.

So if once is (sorta) funny, what do we make of video #30?

Cute idea? We'll give you that. Career? Hella no.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's repeatedly the end of the world as we know it

The end is near. Again.

December 21, 2012 is the day the Mayan calendar ends -- and also the day the Sun is destined to align with the center of the Milky Way. The result will be a disaster of Roland Emmerich proportions.

Just like it was in 1990 when the Summit Lighthouse cult predicted nuclear devestation. Or when the Y2K bug was supposed to make all the planes fall out of the sky. The follically talented Jack Van Impe predicted the tribulation in 2001. The Watcher Group said 2004.

Let's put the apocolyptic predictions back in the drawer for a while. Reality is doomsday enough.

Inherit the wind

It’s one thing to become successful yourself. We can take being subjected to the Mark Cubans and Richard Bransons (they’ve at least done something). But listening to some puke that considers himself of merit simply by virtue of his family’s wealth? That’s damnation.

What really constitutes torment, however, is hearing about how much he’s lost lately. Wasn’t it taboo for a while to talk about your family’s wealth, period?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chances Are You’re Slow

Anybody that needs to see one of these on the back of something to identify that it is moving at a slower rate of speed shouldn’t be on the road.

 In effect we’re basically acknowledging and accepting the fact that those drivers are at high risk of rear ending whatever’s in front of them on the road at any given moment and we’ll not only tolerate it, we’ll coddle them.

And that’s just wrong.

Whose lifestyle is it anyway?

CNN/Money says we're supposed to call them Lifestyle Centers, not shopping malls.

You've probably got one in your community -- a collection of Pottery Barns and Banana Republics set upon tree-lined thoroughfares.

But as the economy tanks, the Lifestyle Center is feeling the crunch first. With Sharper Image, Lane Bryant, and Ann Taylor all closing down outlets, there's already empty storefronts by the wishing fountain.

It may be time get off your high horse, Lifestyle Center. Replace that Coldstone Creamery with an Orange Julius. Goodbye, Jos. A. Banks, hello, Spencer's Gifts.

Because let's face it: You're just a strip mall with better landscaping.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Quiet, Mommy Needs to Post

The phenomenon of mommyblogging isn't difficult to understand.

There are a lot of women out there who:

(a) have a lot of time on their hands
(b) are desperately lonely and searching for community
(c) insist on telling the world about their freakishly gifted children

Unfortunately, these qualities don't make mommybloggers (d) interesting.

May we recommend scrapbooking? It's less ... public and still provides the same overdocumentation of your life.

A "You Are Free To Go" Harmonic Convergence, Of Sorts

This really has it all.

We start with the video game, which has released a new installment every three weeks since it debuted. Then move to the participants, which include Tony Hawk, Alex Rodriguez, Kobe Bryant and Michael Phelps. On to the song, which must immediately be thrust into our “The Songs Wedding DJ’s Are Made Of” feature. We were going to save it for Bob Seger Week but our hand has been forced.


 Old Time Rock and Roll – Bob Seger


Finally the whole thing is a parody of “Risky Business”, which stars:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Eckhart attack

Looking like the Frodo spawn of an Amish cabinet maker, Eckhart Tolle is an unlikely spiritual teacher. But thanks to the overwhelming embrace of Our Lord and Savior Oprah Winfrey, Eckhart has turned into quite a cottage industry.

Tolle's message -- essentially, "live in the present moment" -- is a welcome one.

It's the commercialization of it that's troubling. When our Zen master offers four different calendars for our 2009 pleasure, is it cynical of us to suspect a profit motive?

Eckhart's online store also offers books, audiobooks, talk series, intensive series, retreat series, teacher series, inspiration cards and music. There's nothing like ordering online -- in the present moment, of course.


From Our Thesaurus to Your Mouth

It’s just not possible to keep from wanting to punch in the face anything popularized by hipsters. In this case it’s the use of the word “amazing”, but instead of resorting to violence we would like to first offer the following alternatives:

Amazing: (Syn.)







Try one of those when describing your recent experience at the latest Thai-fusion place. We mean it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Kickin' It With Da G-Man and Pastor Skeet

Christians have been using popular culture to lure young members to the flock for years. (ex. Guitar mass, Mega-Church JumboTrons)

A new era of Christian video games aims to bring witness to Jesus with games like Forgiveness ("an awesome turn-based RPG series!") and Left Behind: Eternal Forces.

While we can't recommend games that deliver digital guilt, we are high on Kyle "Da G-Man" Goldman, a video-game reviewer on Pastor Skeet's Zounds! Youth Rock Ministry site. "When he's not too busy studying at the F-Ship to become a Missiological Technician," enthuses Pastor Skeet, "Kyle likes to hang with his peeps in the Commons and play some vids."

Da G-Man even reviews games he hasn't played, such as Grand Theft Auto IV:

"Needless to say, all Christians should avoid this game and pray for the people who made it and their victims (murder victims and gamers of all ages who have played it and have been spiritually scarred).ZERO CROSSES"


Friday, November 14, 2008

Deck the halls with walls of bombast

Trans-Siberian Orchestra somehow takes several things we hate -- pretentious appropriation of classical music, Michael Bolton-esque vocal histrionics, Stryper-inspired haircuts, laser light shows, and Christmas -- and synthesizes the bunch into a single mass of civic-center-shaking agony.

Did we mention tickets go for $59.50 a pop? 

It almost makes one pine for Manheim Steamroller.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hey Man, Is That.....?

Jon Bauman has been around for decades -- but it seems even longer because his Bowzer character is perpetually set in 1956.

Sha Na Na formed in the late 1960s as a goof. Fun enough -- but an unlikely beginning to forty years of doo-wopping quasi-celebrity.

Who could have forseen Bowzer showing up as the host of the Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour in the 1980s ... as a veejay in the early days of VH1 ... as a voice on the Animaniacs in the 1990s ... and still today as a hand-jiving huckster on late-night TV?

Rock and roll will never die. Does that mean Bowzer's career must live forever? 

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

About face

We almost died of exposure to wilderness chic from Eddie Bauer and to a lesser extent, Abercrombie & Fitch, but nothing could have prepared us for this winter.

Survival will depend on our ability to light a big fire.

Ground Round

The roundabout used to be a charming traffic oddity you'd see in a British movie, with the lads chasing birds round and round in Picdadilly Circus.

But the roundabout -- also known as Getting Pinched For Drunk Driving Vortex, What-the-Hell!, and the Neighborhood Association Flowerbed-- is now showing up in neighborhoods across the country, adding much-needed aggravation and steering-wheel-pounding to morning commutes.

Safety = good. But trying to figure out who has the right-of-way in a circle isn't cutting it.

Takin' It To The Curb

Taking It To The Streets - The Doobie Bros.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Opportunity Knocked

One of the pressing questions we have about the economic downturn is this: Will it expand the number of home-based businesses or reduce them?

On the one hand people will undoubtedly need additional sources of income.  But will they have the available cash to buy the excess inventory when they’ve burned through their client/friend base in two months?

All we know is that we’re good right now on pizza stones, purses, sex toys and vitamins and busy that night and/or day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Can’t Connect To the Network

If you visit a celebrity-owned restaurant and the food sucks - at a minimum you can walk away from the experience knowing you visited a celebrity-owned restaurant.

If you visit a restaurant endorsed by any one of the Food Network denizens, the food will definitely suck and at a minimum you’ll walk away from the experience knowing you visited a desperate restaurant not worthy of your business.

In which case there isn’t much hope for those places but there is hope for you.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Excuse me, would you mind doing our marketing?

In the early days of the Web, corporate sites were little more than electronic brochures. Today, many savvy corporations are inviting consumers to share their stories.

That important evolution has finally made staying up until three in the morning to watch convincing infomercial testimonials seem like a silly waste of time. Now, stay up until three in the morning sharing life-changing experiences about Castrol Tectron Extra motor oil, Rosetta Stone foreign language CDs, WIN sports detergent, American Express, Coca-Cola, eHarmony, and today's-shoemaker-gone-tomorrow, Crocs.

Even Haliburton invites the world to share oilfield technology success stories: "Your team is tops for analyzing drill data across domains. We were able to establish ad hoc query capabilities and gain rapid access to all our drilling data. Thanks, Haliburton!"

There's something democratic about allowing consumers to share their motor oil adventures,
but this feels like lazy marketers asking customers to do all the hard work.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

If I doubled my donation, would you leave your clothes on?

At one time, it must have been novel for moderately overweight, less-than-attractive people to pose naked for charity calendars.

But once a genius idea like this is released from the bottle, a flurry of wrinkly pink genies are bound to escape. Now there are naked calendars dedicated to saving cats, aiding breast cancer survivors,raising cash for ambulance services, encouraging women to pursue technology careers, and funding rural elementary schools.

There is even a calendar featuring naked clowns to raise money for MS victims. And all twelve got in that car, sadly.

Everyone connected to these things loses. The unfortunate few saps that actually buy them, the charities that go unfunded, and increasingly the participants themselves lose (part of) their ass.

The Spanish moms trying to raise money for the rural school got lost in the nudie charity calendar glut, losing $16,000 and finding themselves stuck with thousands of extra copies.

"The sad part for us," said one of the naked Spanish mommies, "is figuring out what to do with them."

Bachman Turner Overdriven

Taking Care Of Business, Bachman Turner Overdrive

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

No More Bad Dreams

In what might have been the final act of cultural appropriation against Native American people, dream catchers found their way into the car windows and homes of New Age and/or Hippie aunts everywhere.

Now that there’s nothing left of their culture to destroy or pilfer, lets move on.  We’re thinking Inuits (part-of-Todd Palin-notwithstanding) are an underutilized resource and nearly virgin territory.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Just When We Were About To Buy Another Bracelet

Lance Armstrong says he's not coming back to professional cycling to silence his critics. That must be why he hired anti-doping expert Dr. Don Catlin to personally test his blood/urine/other secretions to prove his cleanliness.

Because nothing says "unbiased source" like the guy you're paying to test you.

The two leaders on Armstrong's new team aren't exactly thrilled. And the Tour de France has certainly had its fill.

Hey, we like to piss off the French press as much as anyone. But we think it's time for Lance to hop on his bike with Kate Hudson, Sheryl Crow, or whoever he's dating this week and pedal off into the sunset.

The Band Shall Remain Nameless

It’s the charge of any group starting out. Everyone needs to come up with a name. Sometimes what they arrive at is clever and catchy. Sometimes it’s “Mudcrutch”.

But it’s their prerogative; at least they’ve formed a group - unlike people who wantonly fling band names around for their own amusement. And most often it’s strictly their amusement.

We have to take the good with the bad but let’s leave the generation of new band names to those actually doing the playing.