Thursday, March 31, 2011

How to Get Sued for Libel by Chuck Norris.

Am I the only person who thinks that perhaps Chuck Norris is a closeted homosexual?

I just saw a commercial for “Walker: Texas Ranger” and I swear to god he was fighting a bear. Is it possible that this whole carefully-crafted uber-alpha-male persona is just a construct that is meant to throw his Tea Party friends off the scent?

Or, is it more than that?

Maybe he is the ultimate infiltrator! Decades ago he and his friends called a secret meeting in the backroom of the Stonewall Inn and hatched a plan. One of them would go deep, deep undercover and transform himself into the most heterosexual vision of a man that anyone would ever be able to imagine - he would be a white, American kung fu master, an action movie star, a Texas Ranger, he would front for ultra-Conservative groups, and he would even grow a beard – and then, once he reached the height of his fame, he would unmask himself as totally and completely gay. And not just gay, but uber-gay, as flamingly and stereotypically gay as any gay best friend or secondary character to ever appear on network television (think about it), and in doing so he would shake to its very foundations the small-minded, conservative American idea of what a gay person is.

Essentially, Chuck Norris is a plant. A spy. A pretender.

I am onto you Chuck!

Even better! What if all of this is true, but over the years Chuck has lost his sense of himself? He has spent so long undercover that he can no longer separate himself from the character he has created and been forced to live as. He has lost himself. And it is up to his old friends to help him, to remind him of who he really is. First they try to reason with him, plead with him, take him to Crate & Barrel in a desperate attempt to help him reconnect with his covert secret identity. But nothing works! Chuck pushed them away because it just hurts too much, he can’t stand the pain of it all!

So his old friends do the only thing that they can think of, they snatch him. They kidnap him and secret him off to a cabin in the woods. But before that there would be a hilarious scene when his four friends try to subdue Chuck, but Chuck Norris – being Chuck Norris – fights them off. It is an epic battle, hand-to-hand combat throughout Chuck’s rustic, manly home. There are nun chucks and shirtless fisticuffs. Until finally they subdue him by threatening to burn an American flag if he doesn’t come peacefully.

They take him to the secluded cabin and – pulling a bag off of his head – explain to him that they have to deprogram his hetero charade. They tie him to a chair and force him to watch “My Fair Lady” and “Velvet Goldmine” and “To Wong Fu Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar” (during which even Chuck asks, “Hey, is that the guy from “The Matrix”?). To further separate him from his masculine persona they force him to wear dresses and pearls and perform selected songs from “Meet Me in St. Louis” complete with chorography that that have forced him to design himself.

Right now you’re thinking to yourself, “This is starting to sound like the best movies I have ever heard of!”

I know! Get Oliver Stone on the phone!

But now you’re asking yourself, “Does this movie have a B-story?”

Well of course it does.

Before being kidnapped, Chuck ‘s own teenage son was beginning to show the latent signs of homosexuality (does Chuck Norris have a teenage son? .. doesn’t matter, he does now!) so Chuck shipped him off to one of those anti-gay deprogramming camps in Utah. This story line is intercut with Chuck’s and the two inversely parallel one another: just as Chuck’s suppressed homosexual personality begins to come to the surface and as he is embraced with love and care by his old friends, we see the torturous “therapy” that the Aryan Mormons subject his son to in their efforts to rid him of his gayness. We see the increasing brutality of such a camp just as we see Chuck’s kidnapping blossom into a voyage of rediscovery and acceptance.

Now you’re asking yourself, is there some tragic turnabout to all of this?

Well of course there is.

Newly affirmed in who he is, Chuck returns to world and calls a press conference, planning to announce to the world who and what he really is and hoping to usher in a new era of tolerance and acceptance. He also calls his son home from the camp and – in the green room before the press conference – Chuck is reunited with his son. Chuck apologizes for sending the son away and tells him that he accepts him for who he is and confesses that he himself is gay. But Chuck’s son, now thoroughly “deprogrammed” rejects his own father with homosexual epithets and splits on him before storming out.

So it is with tears in his eyes that Chuck takes to the stage at the press conference and gives a stilted, heartfelt speech about love, acceptable and the better world that he dreams of. This speech is so touching that even the photographers in the assembled audience lower their cameras to wipe tears from their own eyes.

Is the world changed? Yes.

Is Chuck’s son so moved by his father’s words that he rushed back to the press conference and embraces Chuck? Yes.

Is the movie theater audience so touched by our film that they applaud as the credits begin to roll? Yes.

Is this like the best blog post you have ever read? Yes.

Am I now going to get sued for libel by Chuck Norris? Absolutely.


Birth Tourism.

You know how sometimes you are driving along listening to the news on the radio and you hear a story and immediately think to yourself, “This issue must be addressed in haiku form!”? Well, that happened to me today. Apparently someplace in LA authorities discovered that a guy was running a secret maternity ward out of his house. Wealthy, pregnant Asia women would fly into America to give birth so that their children would have America citizenship, and then fly home with their dual-citizenship baby.

Interestingly, this activity doesn’t break the law, so the guy that ran the operation was basically fined for not having the proper permits to run a business and because he did not get the proper permits for modifications that he made to the house. The story said that he sometime shad as many as fifty pregnant women living in this single-family house at any given time.

According to the news story this sort of thing is so common that it even has a name: birth tourism.

Immediately I was struck by the haiku-ic potential of this term. Below are my attempts to write the quintessential Birth Tourism haiku. None of these quite capture the essence of the issue, but I will keep working on it! There’s not a single ounce of quit in me.

Birth tourism:
From Asia they come to birth

From Asia they come
for citizenship for sons
and daughters too!

Let’s all give birth in
America, our kids will
have citizenship!


My Ironic Parrot by james bezerra.

My Ironic Parrot
by james bezerra

I have an ironic parrot
who repeats everything that I say,
but repeats it in a way
that makes me think
that she’s making fun of me.

“You look very nice today,” I say.
And she says, “You look very nice today.”

My ironic parrot,
she has a way
of repeating the things that I say
that makes the meaning go the other way.

“I will totally miss you today!” I say.
And she says, “I will totally miss you today.”

I used to have an ironic parrot.
She used to parrot everything that I would say,
but in a decidedly ironic way.
So one fine day,
I opened the window and let her fly away.

Now I have a Labrador retriever
who doesn’t parrot anything that I say.
He is so adoring –
but also kind of boring –
in a totally non-ironic kind of way.

Finally one day,
I said, in a kind of mean way,
“Damn it Labrador retriever, you’re just no fun!”
And from the window ledge behind me came a reply,
“You’re just no fun.”
And there she sat, awaiting something else to say;
my ironic parrot.
“I did not miss you at all,” I said and lied.
“I did not miss you at all,” she replied.


What I Did on My Lunch Break.

What I Did on My Lunch Break
by james bezerra

I watched two dry leaves,
each bent in half,
blown across the surface of
a wide puddle in the asphalt
and imagined
what thrills I would have
if only I were an ant,
racing my leaf-boat across
that inland parking lot sea.


Stale Air.

Stale Air
by james bezerra

Oh Vegas, how I miss you. Though maybe not.
I think I miss those nights I don’t remember,
at the roulette table -
dollar minimums at 3am -
plied with cheap drinks,
drinking in your stale recycled air.


Quick Movie Review: Paul.

Below please find my Mother’s review of the movie “Paul”.


Okay, here's my review of the movie, "Paul":

First of all, there is probably only about a 10% resemblance to our Paul- lots of "Abraham Lincoln"ing going on. It was pretty funny, in that Seth Rogan sort of way. Your Dad thought it was really funny. Of course, he thinks Jerry Lewis is funny. It was very strange seeing Jason Bateman be the bad guy. It also begins and ends at Comic Con, so that was kind of cool. Your Dad wants to know if those Princess Leia impersonators are there every year! It also borrows (intentionally, I suppose) from several previous movies - the place they are taking "Paul" turns out to be the mountain in "Close Encounters" and some of the time he was held prisoner in the warehouse from "Raiders of the Lost Ark". Anyway, we paid $6.75. It was worth that. Would I see it again? Probably not if I had to pay.

Onward to "Rango" ;-)


"Abraham Lincoln"ing means swearing, BTW.

How awesome is my Mother?

Thanks Mom!


Yay For The Pixies!

What the Beatles are to some people, that’s what the Pixies are to me.

Check this out, it’s pretty cool.


What We're Getting High On.

About a year ago the editors here at Standardkink were happy to offer up a story and a link about how a baggy of cocaine was found in one of NASA’s shuttle hangers.

Well, it happened AGAIN!

Feed your addiction to stories about NASA & cocaine here.

Somebody over there has a problem. A galactic-sized problem.

. still the very best website on the entire internet.


Friday, March 11, 2011

All the News, Fit to Print or Otherwise.

News stories which would be great if only they were true:

Irish economy calmed by announcement that government will dip into Strategic Pot-of-Gold Reserve (SPGR).

Irish government hopes to attract more foreign tourists with new Pot-of-Gold Give-Away Promotion. Irish Tourism Bureau spokesman says, “We are placing one at the end of every rainbow, and each one is guarded by an Irish Marine.”

Foreign Tourists in Ireland declare, “Irish Tourism Bureau is full of crap. These pots of gold are really hard to find.”

New study finds that Tunisian and Egyptian senses of superiority dangerously on the rise as Libyan uprising devolves into civil war.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cautions the population of Iran, “Don’t even think about it.”

Uprising in Tunisia forces Americans to briefly pretend to care about Tunisia.

Libyan refugees flooding into Ireland, scouring countryside searching for pots of gold. Irish Marine regiment reportedly overrun. Said one marine, “They are twice as tall as us!”

The International Association of Globe and Map Makers (IAGMM) formally requested that Tunisia and Egypt remain their counties. Said an unnamed IAGMM source, “We could really use the extra money.”

International community shocked – shocked! - to learn of decades of human rights abuses committed under Libya’s Gaddafi regime. Said one United Nations spokesperson, “Now that it will be only a hollow symbolic gesture, we will begin investigating.”

White House announced on Friday a new American policy toward Libya called “The Maturity Doctrine.” Said the President, “Why don’t we all just calm the hell down, okay?”

Republican House leadership proposes alternative Libyan policy called the “Let’s-Indiscriminately-Start-Handing-Out-Guns-and-Money-to-Pissed-Off-Third-World-Populations-because-That-Has-Never-Caused-a-Problem-for-Us-Before Doctrine.”

OPEC announces hike in oil prices due to cancelation of “Two and a Half Men”.

Charlie Sheen announces high rate of dissatisfaction with everyone and everything that is not Charlie Sheen.

American Society of Registered Warlocks (ASRW) releases a statement, “Charlie Sheen has not been paying his annual membership dues.”

Gas prices on the rise because OPEC knows Americans don’t distinguish between North Africa and the Middle East.

New study finds that people who only read Justin Bieber’s Twitter feed significantly better informed about world events than those who only read Sarah Palin’s Twitter feed.

Former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin loses bid to appear on “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader”.

Pop star Justin Bieber tells reporters, “It is really disturbing the amount of time and energy that the press commits to covering my every word and hair style while so many important and historically relevant events are taking place around the world. It speaks to something fundamentally flawed and manic about the mass American consciousness and it needs to be addressed.”

Governor of Wisconsin unveils new plan to take rights from minorities, gays, children, puppies, unicorns.

New public school budget proposal by the Governor of Wisconsin strips funding for books, desks, food, heat, students. Said the Governor, “I pledge that within the next ten years the great state of Wisconsin will have the dumbest and most poorly educated students in all of the United States.”

Wisconsin teenagers respond to cuts in educational funding by releasing statement saying, “ :( “

The Council of American’s Tech Hipsters (CATH) has declared that the recently released iPad 2 is, “The most stunning human achievement since the first iPad” and that it is “better than curing Cancer would have been.”

American Cancer Society releases a statement saying, “We are pleased that the brightest and most talented minds in America are working for Apple and Google, as they have made it significantly faster and easier for Cancer patients all around the world to find funeral homes and discount caskets.”

Japanese earthquake/tsunami awakes slumbering giant lizard creature, which has gone on the rampage in Tokyo, destroying numerous buildings. The Japanese military has dispatched its giant Moth man creature to restore order.

** The editors here at Standardkink have already donated to the Japan Tsumani Relief Fund or whatever the hell that email was that we got this morning, so calm down and recognize that the Godzilla joke was just too perfect to pass up **

Sad Excuses for my Absenteeism.

Oh dear blog, how I have missed you. I’m sorry that I have been away for so long. I am not mad at you and I did not forget about you.

The truth is that I just haven’t been feeling zesty and zany enough for you lately. I have just been sort of emotionally exhausted as of late. So I have turned somewhat inward. I have been reading a lot and I have been doing a lot of research for the story that I’m working on.

The book I’m reading right now is called “Drood” by Dan Simmons and it is a novel that seems to be about how Charles Dickens went all crazy during the last years of his life. It is dark and very interesting so far. Strangely, as I’m reading it, I keep picturing my Dad as Charles Dickens. That’s weird, right? My father doesn’t really look much like Dickens and as far as I know there isn’t any Freudian significance to this. I have gone as far as to google image Charles Dickens just so I have a better idea of what he looked like, but it still doesn’t seem to be helping. I have to say that, thus far, my emotional experience with the novel is probably far removed from what the author had hoped for.

Otherwise, I have been on a financial adventure.

You see, I have worked out this beautiful little personal budget in Excel. It is simple and elegant and reasonable. I gave myself January and February to cram my life into it, but alas, some things went haywire and I couldn’t do it. So I christened March “No Money-Spending March” so that I could get a better handle on everything and be perfectly on budget by the beginning of April. This has been interesting and I encourage everyone to give this sort of thing a try because it really does give you a clear idea of what you spend money on and what you don’t. See, if you limit yourself to purchasing the bare essentials required to get through life, you start to realize how much you normally spend money on that which is frivolous. And in doing so, you develop a profile of yourself as a person and as a consumer.

For instance, in this month of austerity I have spent exactly as much on fishing supplies as I normally do, which is to say, absolutely nothing. Ergo: I am not a fisherman or fishing enthusiast. If it was ever unclear before, I now know that about myself.

However, I have had to curb my purchasing of books and cool clothes from the Goodwill. Which means that I like owning books and cool clothes that were previously worn by strangers who are probably now dead.

Also, I have stopped myself several times from buying weird food at Trader Joe’s. Instead, I have been raiding the freezer and actually eating the weird food that I had previously purchased from Trader Joe’s. This tells me that I - like so many others - am afflicted with what psychiatrists call “Trader Joe’s Blindness”. The shrinks say that when confronted with all the strange and delightful stuff that Trader Joe’s sells, we often forget our own eating habits and purchase odd and obscure types of fish or couscous that we would normally never consider consuming. For instance, why did I previously buy two different kinds of eggplant parmesan lasagna when I have always preferred regular lasagna? I have no good answer except for the “Trader Joe’s Blindness” which caused me to become schizophrenically separated from my awareness of my own eating habits.

I should also mention about “No Money-Spending March” this is not an endeavor that I am setting off on because I am necessarily broke, but rather, because I am trying to bring some kind of budgetary order to my life. I have spent a lot of life being very broke and I am not that way right now (I don’t have a bathtub full of razor sharp $100 bills either though) but I’ve gotten to the age when not having any real savings is embarrassing. So I figure I should get to work on that.

That is pretty much it for me lately. Just feeling sort of introverted, confusing my father with 19th century novelists and not spending any money.

Maybe my life has been too lame lately to be blogging about.

Though that has never stopped me before …

BTW, here is a pic of my Dad


It’s a Game!

I meant to post this when the Oscars were happening, but didn’t. Sorry.

Match up the Best Picture nominee to its brief plot description!

1) 127 hours
2) King’s speech
3) Toy story 3
4) Social network
5) Winter’s bone
6) Inception
7) The Fighter
8) Black Swan
9) The Kids Are All Right
10) True Grit

A) Totally irresponsible hiker ends up in gut-wrench situation of his own making, cuts off own arm.

B) Stuttering monarch learns the value of friendship, boldly leads nation into worst war ever, is quickly forgotten by history, cuts off own arm.

C) Team of toys learns bitter lessons about the fickleness of love, escapes from concentration-camp style pre-school, cut off own arms.

D) Emotionally stunted jerk computer programmer steals idea for website, angers Winklevosses, cuts off own arm.

E) Poor white people use a lot of methamphetamine in the cold, cut off own arms.

F) You can’t get Leonardo DiCaprio’s regrettably bad “acting” out of your head, you cut off own arm.

G) Christian Bale uses a lot of crack in Boston, cuts off own arm.

H) Emotionally stunted ballerina employs Method acting, causes Google searches for “Mila Kunis & Natalie Portman” to increase by fifteen hundred thousand percent, cuts off own arm.

I) Ultra modern family deals with life, raises kids, cut off own arms.

J) Quirky, dirty cowboys pursue outlaw; no arms are cut off.


Pick A Dictatorship.

No doubt some of you are familiar with the “Would You Rather” series of books. They are these hilarious little things that present you with unpleasant and impossible choices. I have fond memories of sitting around with friends and reading through them. The idea is that if you HAD to take one of these options, which would it be.

Would you rather fight Mike Tyson or talk like him?

That sort of thing, though they get much stranger and dirtier than that one.

Well, with all that is going on in the world, I have been thinking:

Whose dictatorship would you rather live in:

Gaddafi of Charlie Sheen?
Things to consider: Do you prefer your rants filled with Anti-Americanism, quasi-Anti-Imperialist delusions or cocaine-fueled delusions of grandeur? Also: are you a hooker (in which case, go with Gaddafi)?

Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck?
Things to consider: swallowing debilitatingly stupid bullshit or swallowing debilitatingly vitriolic bullshit?

Speaker of the House John Boehner or Jon Bon Jovi?
Things to consider: mandatory spray tans or “Shot through the Heart” as the national anthem?

(Actually, “Shot Through the Heart” as the national anthem might be kind of awesome.)


Haiku Round-Up.

Below please find a haiku round-up of some (relatively) recent events and news stories.

You're welcome.


Thoughts about Lent by james bezerra

Thoughts about Lent.
by james bezerra

Does Jesus really
care about your chocolate
consumption habit?


March 8th by james bezerra

March 8th.
by james bezerra

Women’s Day is never as
sexy as I hope.


I’m Confused by james bezerra

I’m Confused.
by james bezerra

Borders closing!
Barnes & Noble is thriving?
What’s the difference?


Better Late than Topical, I Always Say by james bezerra

Better Late than Topical, I Always Say.
by james bezerra

Everybody should
calm the hell down, the Oscars
were not all that bad.


Best TV Idea Ever by james bezerra

Best TV Idea Ever
by james bezerra

Reality show:
Charlie Sheen and Gaddafi
as mismatched cellmates!


Let's Beta-Test a Joke Together.

I’m engaged in an ongoing internet discussion . . .

Tell me if this is too complicated and requires too many associations to be funny:

“Sorry to hear about your unicorn, but thanks for the glitter glue!”

Talk amongst yourselves.


Speaking of Unicorns!

Special thanks to Comfortably Recovering Annette for knowing how much joy this would bring me.


I Have a Thing for Red Heads.

Not Quite a Limerick, But a Pretty Solid Excuse.
by james bezerra

If Cinta Dickers
showed up in her knickers
I would be quite at a loss
to tell her to get lost,
because she’s quite attractive.


Val Kilmer is My Muse.

The other night I caught the second half of a movie called “Spartan” on TV. It is many years old and was written and directed by David Mamet and starred Val Kilmer with William H. Macy and Kristen Bell.

Mamet is of course known for his dialogue and it is certainly on display in the movie (which I had seen before) but rather than being crackling or snappy, it is just incredibly weird.

In addition to possessing a verbal tick of some kind that forces him to call everyone “baby”, Val Kilmer’s character is some sort of shadowy government operator. Sometimes assassin and sometimes hero, he does all that dirty stuff that governments sometimes need done. In addition to creating a very alpha-male, I’m-a-man-see-look-at-this-giant-gun-I-have! kind of movie, this allows Mamet to craft his own lexicon of espionage slang. When Kilmer needs to get fake identification papers, he demands “a new suit of clothes” and when he goes rouge and plans his own operation, his associates remind him “You’re a shooter, not a thinker”.

Say what you will about the arrogance and misogyny of Mamet’s writing, but the man does very interesting things with words and it was a lot of fun to listen to him build his own secret slang.

Another movie that’s a lot of fun for this very same reason is “Things to do in Denver When You’re Dead”. It is probably 15 years old now, but if you have never seen this thing I insist that you go find it right now. Right now! I will wait …

Okay, so you watched it?

Not the greatest movie in the world, right? But it had a lot to like, yes?
Young Andy Garcia playing it cool. Gabrielle Anwar before she got all crazy-buff and extra-strength-anorexic-skinny. Christopher Lloyd playing someone other than Doc Brown. Steve Buscemi as the terrifying hit man! And of course, the one and the only Christopher Walken as a wheelchair-bound paraplegic mob boss. Not to mention Josh Charles for a couple of scenes and Faruza Balk when she was at the absolute apex of her freaky weirdness.

This is an underworld crime movie. Andy Garcia as the charming criminal that everybody knows and likes and who washed out of seminary because he just loved the ladies too much. The Walken gets Andy Gacria to kidnap his child-molesting son’s ex-girlfirend’s current boyfriend in order to scare him off so that the ex-girlfriend will get back with the child-molesting son. All very complicated. In the process Andy Garcia is trying to woo Gabrielle Anwar when he isn’t hanging out with Faruza Balk's feral cat of a prostitute.

More than for its seediness, this movie is interesting because the whole underworld is imagined through its language. When Andy Garcia meets Anwar in a bar, he describes her as a woman “who glides” and then he proceeds to explain (and this is either incredibly corny or incredibly cool, I’ve never been able to decide) that women “who glide need guys who make them thump”.

The whole movie is like this!

They all talk like this!

The criminals say to each other, “boat drinks.” It means that at the end of a long and bad life, we all hope to end up on a boat in Florida drinking with our friends.
The movie was also important to me personally because it was the first time that I ever heard “whatever” uttered in all of its glorious, all-purpose, dismissive glibness. It was this movie that established the word as the always-appropriate, good-for-every-situation reply, no matter what the question or the circumstance. It was this movie that minted the word as a whole attitude that if you were to translate its psychic meaning would be, “Yeah, I think that that is complete crap but really I don’t actually care and am too busy and important to really think about this anymore anyway and, by the way, you’re probably kinda dumb.”

I say, “whatever” all the time!

And, since this is – apparently – now a blog post about movies with their own languages, I should give a nod here to the absolutely fantastic “Brick” which is basically a noir detective story transplanted to a Southern California high school. This is a movie so thick with its own language that half the time it is virtually impossible to figure out what the hell anybody is saying to anybody else. Written and directed by a guy named Rian Johnson, it is a very smart script and the movie stars (and is largely credited with resurrecting the career of) world-renowned bad-ass Joseph Gordon Levitt. This is also a kind of underworld movie, it has drugs and double crosses and murder and it is all about the seedy underbelly of everything. This, BTW, is a far better movie than either of the other two I have talked about. But really, what makes the movie is the language. Cops are “bulls”, the drug kingpin is “the Pin”. When Joseph Gordon Levitt goes looking for trouble he is “shaking the trees”. There is so much like that that it would take me the running time of the movie to enumerate it all. Just go watch it, you will not be disappointed. Though, if you have never seen it before, a word of advice, turn on the subtitles. The slang and jargon is so fast and thick that I watched it twice. Once for the movie and a second time just to absorb the words.

So anyway, this turned out to be a blog post about movies.

Really all I had intended to say was: the other night I caught the second half of a movie called “Spartan” on TV and it made me miss how cool Val Kilmer used to be.
I guess I got off track. Sorry.


Authenticity in Question.

Dear Santitas Corn Tortilla Chips,

What does “Authentic Mexican Crunch” mean?