Congress Fail: They are the 9 Percent – Gallagher On Topic

 

Gallagher: On Topic
They are the 9 Percent


Congress has never been the most popular dame on the promenade. No matter what poor schmuck is sitting in the White House or how bad the country is doing, the Legislative branch always gets spanked over something for doing nothing.

That’s not in any way a defense for the criticisms against them. I mean “doing nothing” in the most literal sense of the phrase. Coma patients in hospices whose basic bodily functions are controlled by machines accomplish more in a day than a so-called “politically balanced” legislative branch ever could.

Recently, our legislative boys and girls are at a total standstill. One side, the House, has been taken over by the Tea Party wing of the Republicans, and the other has a Democratic majority but all the filibustering makes it impossible for anything to get through and the only time a Democrat would stand up to a Republican is one of them asked if they could use their seat.

And even this prestigious body of “un-accomplishment” and DC politics gone mad has not only sunk to a new low metaphorically. They’ve also done it numerically and you know when math and politicians are involved, there are going to be a lot of empty aspirin bottles in the Capitol’s trash cans.

Their most recent rating among Americans who think that the Senate and the House are doing a good job is 9 percent. That’s not a typo. Their rating is in single digits. To put it another way, if you ever brought home from school a test in any subject that had a grade of 9 percent, your parents would order your teacher not to let you use pencils because of the physical risk they present to yourself and your classmates.

And before any of you zombies on either side of the political clusterf*$* try to turn this into a purely partisan opinion, take this to heart: the right-wing leaning Rasmussem pollers took a similar query of their flock for their approval of Congress’ work and they got a whopping 9 percent. As for the left, the rest of the mainstream media polling came up with the same number.

So the people, as they say, have spoken and how has Congress reacted to this bad report card? They put aside discussing anything close to meaningful about job creation, the economy and even taxes and decided instead to push forward with a bunch of meaningless legislative bull-hockey over regulating the amount of porn federal employees view on their office computers, keeping federal health agencies from limiting the amount of starches in school lunches and a wave of anti-abortion measurements that would only make sense of fetuses paid taxes. [Read more...]

Museum of Morgan – I Can Dream About You

Navigating The Music Video Landscape
Video: “I Can Dream About You”
Artist: Dan Hartman
Year: 1984

 

 Remember music videos? A now long lost art form thanks to MTV2 programming such as “Jersey Shore,” “16 & Pregnant” and “Teen Mom.” Now – we slink away into the internet searching for our fix. On YouTube lies all of the nostalgia that comes with lip syncing and staring directly into the camera (or away for dramatic effect.) I just so happen to love the bad ones.

Now let’s clear the air right off the bat. I LOVE this song. It’s great. It’s the kinda song that I normally kill a bottle or three of sake to while belting it out in private room korean Karaoke. Such a fantastic tune deserves a fantastic music video right? Huh? WRONG. [Read more...]

Population Perspective – Wall Beat Journal

by Natalie Wall

That time has come. The population of Earth reached a staggering 7 billion people last Monday and let’s be honest, we can all agree that that’s 6 billion to many.

While many (white people) see this as a huge success, reality has proven that this number may actual have a grim reality. Natural resource sustainability slowly dwindling in many areas of the world and obstruction of such habitats makes some wonder how many people the world can actually accommodate.

“We have to consume in more sustainable ways, but also we have to produce in more sustainable ways,” said Michael Herrmann, an adviser on population and economics with the UNFPA according to Globalpost.com.

Which leaves Earth with only one real solution: a zombie apocalypse. Not only would the world’s natural habitats be able to thrive once again, but we would no longer have to worry about food production in areas that need it the most. Seeing as we, the human population, would be the most readily available food resource.

Allowing Earth to kill two birds with one stone: saving the worlds natural resources while drastically reducing the world’s unsustainable population. Nature versus nurture. And yes, nature always wins.

Your only real worries now would be staving off the said ravenous zombie apocalypse rather than worrying about the rapid influx of the earth’s dangerously high population count. “We have to change the way we’re consuming and producing,” said Ethiopian Daniel Gad is a former AT&T senior executive in Seattle who returned to his home country in 2003 to invest in local food production, according to Globalpost.com. “The world is reaching limits.”

So, yes. The rumors are true. It is time, world. It is time we start consuming each other.

 

Gladstone’s Great Things That Suck – REM

So the other day REM announced they were calling it quits, and I know that like many of you my first thought was “wait, they’re still a band?”  Well, apparently they were and in light of their announcement, I e-mailed the girl who broke up with me twenty years ago to let her know we were through. 

Why am I being so mean?  After all, there was a time when REM were hailed as an important band.  But that time was known as the 80s.  The decade that brought you other bad ideas like acid rain, deficit spending, and the snap bracelet.  The truth is that REM amounts to little more than a breath of non-processed fresh air during a decade of uninspired house music and hair metal. 

Look, no one is more surprised by how little I care about REM’s demise than I am. After all, there was a time when I was a fairly large REM fan. I still think 1986’s Life Rich Pageant is one of the greatest pop rock albums of all time.  That’s right. Of all time. So why all the hate

Because REM is one of the shockingly laziest bands of all time. They reached a point that many other great band reach where they had the power to progress as musicians and make their own rules, and they used that power to become increasingly safe and boring.

Compare them to U2.  Both bands require songwriting in the collective sense because unlike the Beatles or the Who or even a band like Bon Jovi no one in the group is an accomplished enough songwriter on their own.  And much like U2, REM featured guitarists who were not technically virtuosos, but who had developed unique sounds. 

But unlike U2 they did not try to grow as artists.  They did not experiment with changes in sound or style or songwriting. A few years after the Joshua Tree, U2 did Achtung Baby and Zooropa.   A few years after Out of Time, REM wrote Everybody Hurts – a song so cliché and absurd that the first time I heard it, I laughed out loud, thinking the boys were parodying saccharine boring G/C/D cheeseball inspirational music. I was wrong. So very very wrong.

The songwriting stalled and Stipe decided to use less and less of his vocal range on every single album.  Their instrumentation remained unchanged as did their songwriting. Zero musical growth rate, which I guess is OK if you’re the Ramones, but they weren’t.  They were just four guys from Georgia who had a neat sound reminiscent of the Byrds who polished their product to perfection in 1986 and then repeated it until everyone including themselves apparently lost interest.

 

gladstone

Gladstone

Gladstone is a columnist for Cracked.com, the creator and star of the Hate By Numbers video series, and the author of the forthcoming novel Notes from the Internet Apocalypse. Most of his stuff can be found on his site.

 

Museum of Morgan – Said I Loved You But I Lied

Navigating The Music Video Landscape
Video: “Said I Loved You But I Lied”
Artist: Michael Bolton
Year: 1993
 

Remember music videos? A now long lost art form thanks to MTV2 programming such as “Jersey Shore,” “16 & Pregnant” and “Teen Mom.” Now – we slink away into the internet searching for our fix. On YouTube lies all of the nostalgia that comes with lip syncing and staring directly into the camera (or away for dramatic effect.) I just so happen to love the bad ones. 

Far before you hipsters thought he was cool because he crested the high seas with The Lonely Island on the track “Jack Sparrow” … Michael Bolton was the stuff of adult contemporary mom dreams. Armed with enough squinting to merit a contact lense prescription, hair cascading from his scalp like a hunky hero from a romance novel and a wardrobe provided exclusively from the Natural Wonder store at a mall circa 1994, this video provides a perfect example of why the midlife ladies used to swoon.

michael-bolton-liedI have to be honest, I had no idea that Michael Bolton cared so much about nature. The video is set across the glorious landscape of Phoenix, Arizona. On first glimpse you may have thought that the video was an early inspiration for the Disney classic “The Lion King.” There are several points here where Sultry Voice McGee sings directly into a circling helicopter shot. A shot that almost screams “Circle Of Life.” But the landscape alone doesn’t even scratch the surface on the natural beauty the video expresses. It’s littered with shots of clouds passing by (I believe to show us this is a dream.) There are horses, hawks and semi naked women galore. And my oh my the fire … there is fuck tons of unnecessary fire. I often say to myself when watching this video. “Be careful horses! Watch out for that fire!”

Our crooner broodingly wanders through this setting recalling the memory of a long lost love. Much of that memory is her, a beautiful model, making out with him while splayed across the boulders of the Arizona desert wearing nothing but a silk sheet. Any shot of her is purely in black and white, to represent that she is his past. A memory never to be forgotten. He moves along, like a ghost, remembering this beautiful woman. And as he does he tricks us with the lyrics. [Read more...]

Imaginary F**king with Megan Lent – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Imaginary Fucking with Megan Lent – Part 2 of 4

See part 1 of this series.

I think everyone has at least one fictional or deceased person who they’d absolutely love to bang. I have many. I know that this is weird concept. I also know that I like it. It’s like vaginas; they look like little aliens, but I still like having one. Of course, for breakfast this morning, I dipped powdered sugar donuts in a Go Girl. Just because I like something, doesn’t make it normal.

fitzgeraldI was going to include Jay Gatsby on this list, but that just felt wrong. Because I don’t love Jay Gatsby; I love Scott Fitzy’s impossibly amazing brain. Yeah, he was an alcoholic and was married to a legitimately insane woman and, if Ernest Hemingway is to be believed, he didn’t have the biggest Eiffel Tower in the Parisian expat community, if you know what I mean (penis. I mean penis). But he wrote The Great fucking Gatsby. I honestly do not give a fuck he is responsible for the creation of Brad Pitt Ages Backwards Like A Less Dumb Forrest Gump. Saying that The Great Gatsby is not enough would be like saying that The Godfather is not enough: Francis Ford Coppola is an incredible director, and always will be considered an incredible director, even if his next film is Drive Angry 2: Yes, Nic Cage is My Nephew.  

A possible date with a reanimated S-Fitz would, I think, go something like this:

I descend the staircase of my shitty North Campus dorm and see him standing at the bottom, so Irish and golden that I want to touch myself harder than the Divinyls putting on suntan lotion with an oven mitt. “Why, Scott,” I say, “you caught me off-guard. I still have so much laundry to do.” He smiles and nods as my mistress (who coquettishly insists that she’s only my roommate, but if I don’t stop writing parenthetical romantic situations with Jazz Age authors, she’ll move out) walks by. We laugh about how funny it would be if she got in a car accident outside of her husband’s gas station underneath some sort of blatantly metaphoric billboard.

We then go to my room with a pint of Häagen Dazs – I’d wanted Ben & Jerry’s, but Scott said something about preferring brands that espoused racial purity – and I turn on Real Housewives of New Jersey (because he went to Princeton, get it?) As we watch Theresa and Jacqueline debate the proper size of silicone “bubbies” to purchase, I can’t help but feel like my existence could be nothing short of a symbol – no, the essence, the purest form – of the American dream, the blue future of jazz and impermanence and beauty. As I watch his flagpole rise to attention at my awe-inspiring display of the spirit of liberty, I tell him that I never really liked The Sun Also Rises, and he proposes on the spot.

About the Ranter:

Megan_Lent

 

Megan Lent

Megan Lent is a wonderfully unsuccessful blogger who likes to whine about literature at http://apostrophetothestars.blogspot.com/, and occasionally contributes to the steamy world of small-press fiction at Metazen and Housefire. She was the 62nd best speller in California in eighth grade, and used to run a brothel out of her parents’ house in Chicago. She lives in LA.

Gladstone’s Great Things That Suck – Face Off

by Gladstone

face offMaybe at some point I’ll rant about more recent things, but as for now I still have some residual animosity to purge. Last week, we discussed Wall Street from the 80s, and now we turn to the 90s’ Face Off.  (So I’m improving. . .) Now, some of you may be saying, “wait, does anyone think Face Off is great in the first place?” If that sums you up then chances are you’re under 30.  It seems today’s sassy generation recognizes Face Off for the campy disaster of crap that it always was – probably because Travolta and Cage went on to make many more very bad movies, but for anyone sentient during its release, you’ll recall that this movie was praised as the blockbuster action film of the summer.

The plot? In order to thwart a psychopath bad guy (Cage), a law enforcement agent (Travolta) steals his face through new miracle science. Well, things go bad and Cage steals Travolta’s face right back and then everyone in the world thinks the guy who looks like Cage (who is Travolta) is bad and the guy who looks like Travolta (who is Cage) is the good guy! OH NO! Btw, did I mention Cage murdered Travolta’s son before the movie started?

Anyway, I get it. It’s a big fun action movie. You have to suspend your disbelief. I mean, don’t go see Face Off if you can’t accept people can steal each other’s faces. But if you’re gonna ask your audience to swallow such a massive conceit, then you have to give them a break at some point, and Face Off never does. 

So, ok, back to the action.  Good guy gets sent to jail.  Bad guy gets to sleep in good guy’s bed. Gets to sleep with good guy’s wife.  (Yep, the mother of the boy he murdered).  Gets to corrupt good guy’s daughter. (Not sexually, just, y’know, teaches her how to use a knife).

Fast forward to the end. Good guy escapes.  Goes to a church where the bad guy is.  Why? Because churches look cool I guess. He has a clear shot at the bad guy who as you’ll recall, murdered his son, got him imprisoned, and banged his wife.  What do you do? YOU KILL HIM. Instantly. No questions asked. But where’s the cinematography in that you ask.  (If you’re director John Woo, and/or an imbecile).  So the good guy tells the altar boy to go tell the bad guy in the pew that he’s arrived to seek his vengeance. Guess what?  Although that does lead to a slow motion gun fight replete with inexplicable doves flitting about, it does result in the bad guy’s quick easy death. 

After about 25 more minutes of completely goofy action, good guy kills bad guy and gets his face back. Oh, and by the way, the bad guy has a son the same age as the good guy’s dead one.  Accordingly, Travolta (now with Travolta’s face) silently gestures to the boy and his wife nods because all adoption decisions (especially ones about adopting your son’s murderer’s child) can be made as easily as “say, you want to get coffee from this Starbuck’s here?”

 

Imaginary F**king with Megan Lent – Josh Lyman

Imaginary Fucking with Megan Lent – Part 1 of 4

by Megan Lent

I think everyone has at least one fictional or deceased person who they’d absolutely love to bang. I have many. Someone once referred to Voltaire as “Megan Lent’s Justin Beiber.” I don’t know if the kids still dig the Beibs (or if anyone ever actually called him “the Beibs”), but I do know that I get a total word-boner every time I talk about Candide, so it’s entirely possible that Justin Beiber was just everybody else’s Voltaire.

I know that this is weird concept. I also know that I like it. It’s like vaginas; they look like little aliens, but I still like having one. Of course, for breakfast this morning, I dipped powdered sugar donuts in a Go Girl. Just because I like something, doesn’t make it normal.

josh lymanBradley Whitford haunted my childhood as the smarmy, evil WASP who terrorized Adam Sandler in the modern horror epic Billy Madison. And then I started watching The West Wing, and my entire view of male sexiness did a 180. I mean, Josh has a receding Jewfro and dresses the way you’d think the deputy chief of staff would dress. But he’s brilliant and sarcastic and brutal and, like the rest of the supremely awesome Bartlet administration, at once idealistic and completely aware of the limitations of government. I just want to play with his hair and listen to him talk about financial policy forever and ever and ever (and maybe bring in Rob Lowe for some political sexual innuendos, wink wink.)

It is important to note that this is the only TV character I chose to include on my list of imaginary orgasm-donors, and that fact does not in any way represent how I feel about television. I love television. If I was to write a series of articles entitled “20th Century Inventions I Would Have Sex With,” television would be near the top of the list, just below the Internet, and just above the push-lamp. It’s just that I’d totally fuck Josh Lyman, but I’d never fuck Bradley Whitford. The man was on a buddy cop show with Colin Hanks, for chrissakes – and if you didn’t notice the innate douchebaggery of that premise, please reread that statement with emphasis on the phrases BUDDY COP SHOW and COLIN GODDAMN HANKS. Jesse Pinkman is basically every guy I liked in high school, Michael Bluth is a bona fide DILF, Charlie Kelly is like a walking shot of spray paint to the brain; likewise, Aaron Paul, Jason Bateman, and Charlie Day are exactly the kind of men I “accidentally run into” at the Starbucks in Studio City (never mind that I live a good thirty minutes from Studio City, or that I occasionally plan my caffeine fixes around various menfolk’s Twitter updates.) Not Whitford. Never.

But I would hide secretary Donna Moss in some White House closet just to work (or be) under Josh Lyman for ten minutes.

Keith Apicary + Katy Perry = DANCE PARTY

 

KeithApicaryNathanBarnatt

Keith Apicary

Nathan Barnatt of Keith Apicary, Trale Lewous and general viral video and YouTube famousness is holding a campaign to get his dancing ass in a Katy Perry video. Comedy Rants is dedicated to covering the most significant matters of our time, and we endorse this campaign. You can join the Keith Apicary + Katy Perry = DANCE PARTY movement simply by tweeting this:

@NathanBarnatt applying to dance in a @KatyPerry video. Here is his application http://bit.ly/nhDeQa and http://bit.ly/ek6x83

We asked Nathan to share some insights about why he wants to be in a Katy Perry video -

Although this is stupid and won’t work I thought I’d try to get Katy Perry to do a music video with me doing my thing. Whatever that is. Flopping around I guess. Katy Perry’s songs are crazy dancey and the videos are usually pretty fun. I did my last one for Yelle and the band loved it now it’s the official video for that song. Yelle was on tour with Katy this summer. So maybe I should have Yelle drop Katy a note in the hall or something. I’ve wanted to do my style of a dance video for her songs before. I feel like she might appreciate the humor and style of them. Unless she isn’t into dumb morons. Who knows. – Nathan Barnatt

CR Interview – Ted Alexandro

 ted-alexandroTed Alexandro is a stand up comedian, actor and filmmaker whose insightful comedy routines brand him as a thinking man’s ranter. Ted has performed on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Craig Ferguson, The View and two half-hour specials on Comedy Central; and has appeared on the television shows “Oz”, “Dr. Katz” and “Louie”. Ted collaborates with his friend Hollis James on web videos including the popular “Kiss Our American Ass” and critic’s favorite, “Nobody’s Dummy”.

 
You have mentioned that you use humor as a way to connect, as do most comedians. If you were not communicating and connecting through stand up or performing, what would you use as an outlet for communication?

I would probably be writing, acting, making music, taking pictures, drawing, doing anything artistic. I’ve always loved having different creative outlets and I’ll continue to create as long as I’m able. 

Having travelled extensively, is there a place where you think people could work on their sense of humor?

It’s not so much that people don’t have a sense of humor in other places, it’s that the cultural context may be very different than what I am used to in America. Certain cultures do not joke publicly about certain topics, whether it’s sex, religion, politics, class. Other countries may do that in private but it’s not to the point where they do it out in the open at a comedy club because they don’t exist. 

But I also think that travel has taught me that human interactions are basically the same everywhere. Of course, specific nuances of language and cultural idiosyncrasies of a comedy act are sometimes lost in translation but the basic themes resonate everywhere.

You have a great twitter following and have definitely mastered the art of the interesting tweet. What do you see is the biggest mistake people make on twitter?

The good thing about twitter is that it tells you what mistakes you’re making- reflected in your followers and/or retweets. My approach is to share my thoughts, uncensored, when I have something to say, whether funny or not. It’s a window into what’s going on in my head. Twitter is like a relationship; sometimes I want to spend a lot of time with it and other times I need a break. I don’t want to be tethered to my phone or computer, pumping out tweets every five minutes, all day, every day. I need space and private time where not every thought is shared with the universe. 

You joke about being single. I suspect that people ask you the dreaded question on dates, “So how/why have you managed to be single all these years?” How do you like to answer?

I guess the answer is “By not getting married.” I really haven’t had much of a plan for anything, be it personal or professional. I go along with what feels like the right path and keep moving in that direction until a change is indicated. I would welcome marriage and children if the right relationship comes into my life. 

What is your all-time favorite comedy rant?

That’s a tough question. I don’t have one all-time favorite. I’ll name a few I love. 

  • George Carlin’s rant about “The American Dream.”
  • Bill Cosby’s rant about “The Dentist.”
  • Louis CK’s rant about “Everything’s Amazing and Nobody’s Happy.”
  • Dave Attell’s rant about “Love/The Lonely Bug”
  • It’s not a rant per se but Woody Allen’s story “The Moose” is so brilliant and hilarious.

You can keep up with Ted’s current works and touring schedule at tedalexandro.com. He will be performing at Gotham Comedy Club September 16 and 17th and at the Laughing Skull in Atlanta September 29-October 2nd.