Saturday, August 30, 2008

Keep in Touch -- Writer's Poke #110

For Writers:

Over the past twenty years, songs about touching have been quite popular. Samantha Fox's 1986 hit "Touch Me" began the trend. This was the song that every 13 year old boy had been waiting for. England's Page 3 Girl turned pop singing sensation was just "begging for you" to touch her. And all was right with the world.

A few years later, Cathy Dennis decided the time was right for a less slutty "Touch Me" tune. But even though Cathy had a more innocent -- almost Debbie Gibson-like -- approach, she still suggested that it would be alright for you to touch her, "all night long." This was a message that resonated with 17 year old boys, making the song, which was otherwise quite gay-sounding, perfectly acceptable to listen to.

1991 was something of a breakthrough year, as The Divinyls decided to put their own twist on the touching idea, suggesting that the listener didn't need to be a participant. Lead singer Christina Amphlett was quite capable of touching herself, thank you very much. And as far as I know, this is the first mainstream pop song that explicitly uses the topic of female masturbation as a theme for its lyrics. Even without giving the listener an invitation to do the touching, the song made up for it by allowing the listener to be an observer, which is basically all of the fun and none of the work.

The idea of touching was then killed by Nirvana, a group that killed everything in music in the early 1990s, including its own lead singer. But as time is wont to do, all good things come full circle. Leave it to good old Mariah Carey to resurrect the lyrical idea of touching with her 2008 "Touch My Body." Her video even pokes fun at the 13 year old boy (now in his mid-30s) that likes songs with such lyrics.

Think about popular music. What is your favorite song with the worst song lyrics? Do you ever listen to music with your eyes? That is, is what the singer looks like important to how well you like the song?

"As a songwriter, if you can touch people and make them feel a little less alone in the world, then you've done your job." --Tom Cochrane

Samantha Fox's 1986 "Touch Me"

Cathy Dennis' 1990 "Touch Me (All Night Long)"

The Divinyls' 1991 "I Touch Myself"

Angel City's 2004 "Touch Me" (dance cover of Cathy Dennis' "Touch Me (All Night Long)"

Mariah Carey's 2008 "Touch My Body"

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain "Keating Five" Dollar Bill

Ah, the Accordion Guy does it again. This is his response to the rather pathetic $3 Obama bill that some Republicans have been passing around.

Click on the smiling McCain for a bigger view.

Telegenic Conservative Sarah Palin: What Does the VP Do?

Sarah Palin: Telegenic Conservative (South Park Version)

Back in April, blogger Jeff Fecke speculated that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was a possible contender for the Republican VP slot. Why Palin and not Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson or Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice?

Here's Mr. Fecke's take on Palin, Hutchinson, and Rice:

"Palin's an attractive woman, and that's pretty much the only reason why she shows up on these lists. Still, she appeals to the same type of thinker that Condi Rice appeals to -- the folks who think that if the GOP just puts a woman on the ticket, women will vote for them, despite the fact that Palin's primary feminist credential comes from her membership in Feminists for Life.

That's not to say that Palin doesn't have a reasonably bright political future; indeed, in 2012, she well could be on the short list for V.P. But right now, she's served a grand total of fifteen months in Juneau, and Juneau isn't exactly the hub of American politics. Although if McCain could swing Alaska, he could probably gain support in the neighboring Yukon Territory, which would be important if he were running for Prime Minister of Canada. Palin is probably the most likely woman to end up on the GOP ticket -- unlike Rice, she's pro-life, and unlike Kay Bailey Hutchison, she isn't Kay Bailey Hutchison, but her presence on the list does say something about just how few women the GOP has on its bench. It's almost as if you actively attack women for a hundred years or so that women won't flock to your party."

"Hutchison is probably the most qualified woman in the Republican field, at least in terms of time served. And if she was a governor, she'd be a logical pick. But she's a senator, and it's unlikely that McCain will tap another member of the Senate to be on the ticket. Moreover, the GOP finds Hutchison to be insufficiently angry at Mexico and insufficiently pro-life, so McCain isn't going to be able to use her as a balance there, and she's not particularly charismatic or vibrant, two things McCain could use in a veep. She's not out of the question, but she's not really the answer to anything McCain needs."

"Rice starts in the #1 slot because she's got the most juice right now. How long with that last? Until half the GOP discovers she's pro-choice, and the other remembers she's both a woman and African-American.

It's too bad. Because there are many reasons to think Rice would be a great pick for the Democrats. As one of the key architects of George W. Bush's foreign policy, she'd be yet another millstone to hang around the neck of John McCain. As National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, she's been a dismal failure; yes, to a large extent that's because the entire Bush administration's been a dismal failure, but still, Condi deserves her share of the credit for that. And of course, Rice has never actually run for public office before, which probably doesn't augur well for her ability to be an effective attack dog, which the veep has to be.

Of course, she'll continue to be touted by those Republicans who believe that putting a woman and/or minority on the GOP ticket is all the Republican party has to do to mend fences with women and people of color, because clearly, what upsets them about the GOP is that there hasn't been a non-white female Republican on the ticket since ever, especially when compared to the one white woman who's been on a Democratic ticket since the dawn of the Republic. It couldn't have anything to do with GOP policies that let New Orleans drown while denying birth control to poor women. Right?"

Click here for the complete posting:

Sarah Palin: Telegenic Conservative (Lego Version)

The curse of being pretty is, no one takes you seriously for your mind. Trust me, Sarah, I know the feeling.

That's one hot lego.

Sarah Palin: The Flawless, Telegenic Conservative

This picture offers one theory for why McCain selected Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential running mate instead of Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

Palin looks better than Pawlenty in an evening dress, I'm guessing, and when Alaska builds bridges to nowhere, they don't collapse.

Sarah Palin: "A Telegenic Conservative"

It's rather unfortunate, I know, that our society still judges women based on their looks; however, let's be honest about it. Sarah Palin is a lot hotter than Hillary Clinton. Is that why McCain picked Palin (and why Obama didn't pick Clinton)?

Honestly, I think Palin's looks (in addition to her gender) did have something to do with her selection. One of the news wires this morning called her "a telegenic conservative." What an artful way to say, "McCain's VP pick is one hot tamale!"
And yes, she is pretty hot; however, it's interesting to note that the Republican pundits on FOX News are suggesting that former Hillary supporters are going to flock to Palin. Why would they? McCain may have made a "bold" choice by picking a "Washington outsider" (i.e. someone with absolutely no experience), but if you look at her positions on the issues, she's a standard conservative Republican. I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with being a conservative, but she's a lifetime NRA member, pro-life, and man-woman = marriage kind of Republican. From all first impressions, she seems to be more conservative than McCain, although some are trying to spin her as a "maverick" like McCain...
I just had a chance to watch her "acceptance" speech, and I'm sorry, but I wasn't overly impressed. She apparently didn't do anything Dan Qualye-like, but seriously. Sarah Palin? Is she the best candidate for the job?
Quite honestly, I didn't like Obama's selection of Biden because it felt like a "safe" pick, but at least Biden is qualified to be president. McCain's pick is beyond "bold." It's downright reckless. I can understand why he didn't want to pick someone like Mitt Romney, or even Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty. And maybe Palin will prove herself over the next nine weeks. We'll see...

Sarah Palin??

It's being reported that John McCain has selected Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential running mate.

Is this the 2008 equivilent to George Bush's 1988 selection of Dan Quayle?? (I hate to say it, but it seems that McCain clearly picked her for her gender, and not for her qualifications.)

One thing is for sure: no one outside of Alaska knows anything about her. What's interesting to me is that McCain and the Republicans claim that Obama isn't ready to lead; Palin apparently has even less political experience than Obama, and certainly less political experience on a national level.

Oh, according to wikipedia, she "was the 1984 runner-up in the Miss Alaska pageant." So at least she's cute.

When I first heard that "Palin" had been selected, I was hoping it was Michael Palin (Monty Python). If McCain had selected Michael Palin, I certainly would have switched my vote.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

McCain: Don't Know Much about Science

Click on the picture for a bigger view.
Humor is the best way to expose the truth, don'tcha think?
I'm so glad to live in the 21st century. The tiny human brain has really evolved, eh?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Futurama: The Fifth Element

The Fifth Element is one of those movies I could probably watch a dozen times, but I have to admit it would be even that much cooler if it were animated with Futurama characters. :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bang Your Head -- Writer's Poke #109

For Writers:

In the Summer of 2008, two memoirs came out on the same release date. Douglas Brown’s Just Do It, shares the story of how one married couple made the commitment to have sex for 101 straight days. The Browns had been married for 14 years and had a couple of kids, and they were at the stage in their marriage where there seemed to be no time for sex. Not to be out done, however, is Charla Muller’s 365 Nights. Like the Browns, the Mullers had a couple of kids, but somehow their bedroom had developed into just a place to sleep.

Upon learning about these books, I had to admit I was intrigued. Neither Brown nor Muller seemed to suggest that their marriages were “bad,” but both put the spotlight on one of the side effects of marriage -- the end of sex. This doesn’t happen in every marriage, of course, but it’s a common-enough joke that people tell, and it’s a real pity for people that “save” themselves for marriage, only to find out that they were saving themselves for a life of married celibacy.

Is it even possible for the same two people to have sex with each other for 101 (or 365) consecutive days? This, perhaps, is the biggest problem with both books. While both are labeled as non-fiction, does anyone really believe that they shouldn’t be shelved in the fiction section?

Write about your sex life. What is the one thing about it that you wish you could change? What keeps you from changing it?

“I know nothing about sex because I was always married” – Zsa Zsa Gabor

Chinese Firefighting Class??

Here we see some Chinese firefighters in training. At least that's what I assume this is a picture of...