Thursday, March 31, 2005

Just a Boring Political Screed

This isn't that topical, and I really really never wanted to write about political stuff here. Especially now after some of my posts, because some fucking screwhead self-styled conservative is sure to some day happen across the place and have fun at my expense with my posts about my sexual failures (I surely would if that shoe was on the other foot.), and otherwise confirm his suspicions that liberals are a bunch of drug-addled, religion-ridiculing, conscienceless assholes. But what's done is done. And the slow burning of my picqued annoyances has reached the point where I feel like writing about it.

But to get to the point, a little over a month ago the Pennsylvania state assemblies adopted some rules about "ghost voting," which has to do with the tendency of state representatives to vote on issues when they're not anywhere near Harrisburg, much less in the state capitol building and without listening to any of the three days of debate mandated by the Pennsylvania Constitution. And the local media raised a bit of a hub-bub, and this rule was adopted in response, the substance of which isn't all that important. But we were discussing this in one of my classes, and most of the discussion was about the substance of the rule, whether it could have been better, whether it was a reasonable rule and whatnot. None of which could have been less relevant to my way of thinking.

So I raised the point that if these representatives' constituents cared about the issue, it would factor into their decision of who to vote for in the next election. And of course, the good "liberals" in my class (you know the kind that read the New York Times and the Washington Post and adopt that sort of beltway thinking, instead of boycotting all of that crap except for Paul Krugman's columns like any normal person would do.) "retort" with these basically paternalistic responses which I'm not going to repeat, but I'm sure you can imagine. But I stand my ground on the issue, with a sort of annoyance in my voice that I'm sure in hindsight made me look like a bit of a jerk. (C'est la vie.) And the debate devolves into some bullshit about finding like a "good-compromise" between paternalism and whatever the hell they think I was advocating. Which is what, I wonder? Is it some notion of responsibilty? Some kind of anti-self-regulating concept? A permitting a body to turn a blind eye to it's own corruption as long as the voters don't care-ism? Who can give it a name?

But the issue of paternalism isn't even what draws my ire here. What fucking annoys me about this is that the state legislature is basically saying to the voters, "Hey, we know you don't really feel like paying any attention at all to what we're doing. We know you're too lazy for that, and to be frank about it, we'd prefer not to have an informed electorate scrutinizing what we're doing here either. So how about if we wink and you nod, and we'll adopt these rules, and we can all pretend like it's okay for you to have no fucking clue what your elected representatives are up to?" An offer which is apparently quite reasonable and to which we should all readily agree.

And then the next election will roll around and the habitually lazy and indifferent type who's fond of words like "ain't" and poor grammar in general will regale us with the refrain "That they're all corrupt and nothing ever changes. It don't matter who you vote for." And of course they're exactly fucking right, happily oblivious to the fact that they're own mind-numbing ignorance and sloth creates the conditions necessary to turn this lazy excuse for cynicism and apathy into a scientific certainty. We've all heard it a million times: you get the government you deserve (and this rule adopted by the state legislatures doesn't change that maxim). But ya know, personally, I don't recall sodomizing any retarded third-world octagenarians with a fucking toilet scrubber while shooting up elementary school kids with AIDS infected needles. Not without their consent anyway. (I'll confess to having stolen l'esprit of that joke from someone, but I don't know who, and I don't remember their punchline exactly.)

And of course in the meantime, while we watch Terri Schiavo gaze at a motherfucking balloon and somehow pretend we're any less retarded for it, and discuss ridiculous ways to "save" social security; The laws are passed that allow (nay encourage) Credit Card Companies to fuck over consumers (By unilaterally turning unsecured debt into a secured debt arrangement completely different to what was agreed to when that consumer acquired that debt.), and other "reforms" are passed that will allow corporations to put a ceiling on how much it's going to cost them to fucking maim you. And, of course, the worst part is these fuckers are going be babbling on and on, about their precious little "culture of life," when we should, in fact, be having and promoting discussions about how, as a society...

We ought to err on the side of getting laid.

Ha! I did it. I will never doubt myself again.

Rumor is That Mitch Hedberg Is Dead

This is very sad if true. I haven't heard it from a reliable source yet, so I'm not completely certain it's true. It's drug related, allegedly. Back in journalism school, they used to say using the word "allegedly" won't save you from a libel suit. But dead people can't sue you for libel. I learned that while reading about Johnnie Cochran's death. Man, law school hasn't taught me shit. Off topic, but I've been thinking about finding a way to use some form of the phrase, "We ought to err on the side of getting laid." But the opportunity hasn't presented itself. I'm beginning to doubt it ever will. Anyway, here are some good Mitch Hedberg jokes:

I got an ant farm. Them fellas didn't grow shit.

I haven't slept for ten days, because that would be too long.

I had a stick of Carefree gum, but it didn't work. I felt pretty good while I was blowing that bubble, but as soon as the gum lost its flavor, I was back to pondering my mortality.

I want to be a race car passenger: just a guy who bugs the driver. "Say man, can I turn on the radio? You should slow down. Why do we gotta keep going in circles? Can I put my feet out the window? Boy, you really like Tide."

I don't have a girlfriend. But I do know a woman who'd be mad at me for saying that.

I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it.

2-in-1 is a bullshit term, because 1 is not big enough to hold 2. That's why 2 was created.

I used to do drugs. I still do drugs. But I used to, too.

I think Pringles initial intention was to make tennis balls. But on the day that the rubber was supposed to show up, a big truckload of potatoes arrived. But Pringles is a laid back company. They said "Fuck it. Cut em up."

An escalator can never break: it can only become stairs. You would never see an "Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order" sign, just "Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience."

Because of Acid, I now know that butter is way better than margarine.

So, I sit at the hotel at night and I think of something that's funny. Or, If the pen is too far away, I have to convince myself that what I thought of wasn't funny.

You know that Pepperidge Farm bread, that stuff is fancy. That stuff is wrapped twice. You open it, and then still ain't open. That's why I don't buy it, I don't need another step between me and toast.

This product that was on TV was available for four easy payments of $19.95. I would like a product that was available for three easy payments and one complicated payment. We can't tell you which payment it is, but one of these payments is going to be hard.

I saw a human pyramid once. It was totally unnecessary. It did not need to exist.

This shirt is dry clean only. Which means... It's dirty.

I bought a doughnut and they gave me a receipt for the doughnut... I don't need a receipt for the doughnut. I give you money and you give me the doughnut, end of transaction. We don't need to bring ink and paper into this. I can't imagine a scenario that I would have to prove that I bought a doughnut. To some skeptical friend, Don't even act like I didn't buy a doughnut, I've got the documentation right here... It's in my file at home. ...Under "D".

My friend was walking down the street and he said, "I hear music." As if there is any other way of taking it in. I tried to taste it, but it did not work.

Someone handed me a picture and said, "This is a picture of me when I was younger." Every picture of you is when you were younger. "...Here's a picture of me when I'm older." Where'd you get that camera man?

I wrote a letter to my dad - I wrote, "I really enjoy being here," but I accidentally wrote rarely instead of really. But I still wanted to use it so i crossed it out and wrote, "I rarely drive steamboats, dad - there's a lot of shit you don't know about me. Quit trying to act like I'm a steamboat operator." This letter took a harsh turn right away...

Alcoholism is a disease, but it's the only one you can get yelled at for having. Goddamn it Otto, you are an alcoholic. Goddamn it Otto, you have Lupis... one of those two doesn't sound right.

I was at this casino minding my own business, and this guy came up to me and said, "You're gonna have to move, you're blocking a fire exit." As though if there was a fire, I wasn't gonna run. If you're flammible and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit.

If you had a friend who was a tightrope walker, and you were walking down a sidewalk, and he fell, that would be completely unacceptible...

I have a cheese-shredder at home, which is its positive name. They don't call it by its negative name, which is sponge-ruiner. Because I wanted to clean it, and now I have little bits of sponge that would melt easily over tortilla chips...

I bought a seven dollar pen because I always lose pens and I got sick of not caring.

I wish I could play little league now. I'd be way better than before.

I never joined the army because at ease was never that easy to me. Seemed rather uptight still. I don't relax by parting my legs slightly and putting my hands behind my back. That does not equal ease. At ease was not being in the military. I am at ease, bro, because I am not in the military.

opened-up a yogurt, underneath the lid it said, "Please try again." because they were having a contest that I was unaware of. I thought maybe I opened the yogurt wrong. ...Or maybe Yoplait was trying to inspire me... "Come on Mitchell, don't give up!" An inspirational message from your friends at Yoplait, fruit on the bottom, hope on top.

You know they call corn-on-the-cob, "corn-on-the-cob", but that's how it comes out of the ground. They should just call it corn, and every other type of corn, corn-off-the-cob. It's not like if someone cut off my arm they would call it "Mitch", and then re-attached it, and call it "Mitch-all-together".

My roommate says, "I'm going to take a shower and shave, does anyone need to use the bathroom?" It's like some weird quiz where he reveals the answer first.

I think Bigfoot is blurry, that's the problem. There's a large out-of-focus monster roaming the countryside.

I use the word totally too much. I need to change it up and use a word that is different but has the same meaning. Mitch do you like submarine sandwhiches? All-encompassingly...

I tried to throw away a yo-yo. It was fucking impossible.

When you go to a restaurant on the weekends and it's busy they start a waiting list. They start calling out names, they say "Dufresne, party of two. Dufresne, party of two." And if no one answers they'll say their name again. "Dufresne, party of two, Dufresne, party of two." But then if no one answers they'll just go right on to the next name. "Bush, party of three." Yeah, what happened to the Dufresnes? No one seems to give a shit. Who can eat at a time like this - people are missing. You fuckers are selfish....the Dufresnes are in someone's trunk right now, with duct tape over their mouths. And they're hungry. That's a double whammy. Bush, search party of three, you can eat when you find the Dufresnes.

Alcoholism is a disease, but it's the only one you can get yelled at for having. Goddamn it Otto, you are an alcoholic. Goddamn it Otto, you have Lupus... one of those two doesn't sound right.

I went to see a band in New York. The lead singer got on the microphone, and he said "How many of you people feel like human beings tonight?" Then he said "How many of you feel like animals?" And everyone cheered after the animals part. But the thing is, I cheered after the human being part because I did not know that there was a second part to the question.

My friend said to me "Man, this weather is trippy." I said to him, "No man, perhaps it is not the weather that is trippy, it is the way we perceive it that is indeed trippy..." then I thought, man, I should have just said, 'yeah...'

I was going to have my teeth whitened, but then I said fuck that, I'll just get a tan instead.

I had a job interview at an insurance company once, and the lady said, 'Where do you see yourself in five years?' And I said, 'Celebrating the fifth-year anniversary of you asking me this question!'

I got a "Do Not Disturb" sign on my hotel door. It says "Do Not Disturb". It's time to go with "Don't Disturb", it's been "Do Not" for too long. We need to embrace the contraction. "Don't Disturb." "Do not" psychs you out. Do- alright, I get to disturb this guy. Not- shit! I need to read faster. I like to wear a "Do not diturb" sign around my neck so little kids can't tell me knock-knock jokes. Say "hey, how you doin nephew?" "Knock Knock!" "Read the sign, punk!"

My hotel doesn’t have a 13th floor because of superstition but come on man, people on the 14th floor; you know what floor you’re really on. “What room are you in?” “1401.” “No, you’re not. Jump out of the window and you will die earlier. Cuz 13 is an unlucky number. Well, so should the letter “B” be. Cuz B looks like a scrunched together 13. “Hello, what’s your name?” “Bob.” “Get the fuck away from me.” If 13 is unlucky, then 12 and 14 are guilty by association. “I saw you 12; you were hanging out with 13.” “No, I wasn’t, I was with 11, you need to talk to 14 about that shit.” “What you got to say about that 14?” “Me divided by 2 equals 7. Alright, I was with 13. Shit.”

hey say that the recipe for Sprite is lemon and lime but I tried to make it at home. There’s more to it than that. “Want some more homemade Sprite?” “Not til you figure out what the fuck else is in it.”

I eat a lot of sandwiches, who doesn’t man. Sandwiches are easy to eat. But I hate sandwiches at NY delis. Too much fucking meat on the sandwiches. It’s like a cow with a cracker on either side. “What would you like, sir?” “A pastrami sandwich.” “Anything else?” “Yeah, a loaf of bread and some other people.” “What kind of bread?” “Rye…no, fuck, banana, you got banana bread?” “What kind of cheese?” “Cottage.” “Get the fuck out! I am not making a banana bread pastrami cottage cheese sandwich. That would severely ruin my reputation.”

I order a club sandwich all the time and I’m not even a member. I don’t know how I get away with it. “I like my sandwich with 3 pieces of bread.” “So do I.” “Well, let’s form a club.” “Ok, but we need more stipulations.” “Yes we do.” “Instead of cutting the sandwich once, let’s cut it again.” “Yes, 4 triangles and then we will position them into a circle and in the middle we will dump chips or potato salad.” “Okay, let me ask you a question: how do you feel about frilly toothpicks?” “I’m for ‘em!” “Well, this club is formed. Spread the word on menus nationwide.” “I like my sandwich with alfalfa sprouts.” “Well, then you’re not in the fucking club."

Oh man, I love the club sandwich one, and the $7 dollar pen, and the I used to do drugs one, and the human pyramid, and the alcoholism is a disease one. Those are like my five favorite Mitch Hedberg jokes.

Oh yeah, and Terri Schiavo died today too. But it's like Teri Schiavo jokes will pretty much stop being funny in about two weeks. Mitch Hedberg is timeless.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

I'm Sure Jesus Was Pleased With The Effort

On Sunday night, the President - who would not let a memo entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside U.S." interrupt his vacation - woke up in his jammies and urgently flew back to Washington to sign a bill so that lawyers and media types could argue a bit more about the shelf-life of a breathing, unutilized blow-up doll.

And then by Wednesday, he wouldn't touch the issue.

Sounds about right.

I'm not going to pretend that this otherwise strikes me as a terribly difficult ethical issue deserving of comment. I'm just amazed more people don't feel humiliated by the spectacle.


"Asking oneself “why do they keep playing me for a chump?” is a question that chumps are always asking themselves, a question which answers itself, chumps."