Tuesday, October 28, 2008

TV vs. print, suave international assassins vs. racist rural assassins

Last night one of the top-story teasers for the 10 PM newscast on Channel 2 (WBBM, the CBS affiliate in Chicago) concerned two white supremacists' plans to assassinate Barack Obama. In today's Chicago Sun-Times the story gets eight short paragraphs and is on page six, mainly because the would-be assassins were arrested October 22 in Tennessee and never got anywhere near Obama, though authorities took their threats seriously, which included targeting a "mostly black school." Even the senator himself said on the newscast that he wasn't worried about the suspects' threat. But I wouldn't have seen him say that if I hadn't taken Channel 2's teaser bait, now would I? Good work! Also, shame on you.

Here's my favorite part of the assassination-threat story: according to court documents, "Both individuals stated they would dress in all-white tuxedos and wear top hats during the assassination attempt." Hey, who doesn't appreciate a touch of class?
Maybe these white supremacists are just two overgrown kids who like to play James Bond in their backyard (which is surrounded, of course, by signs that say "Trespassers will be assassinated on sight"). Well, James Bond if he were a hateful bigot, at least. I bet their favorite Bond film is 1973's blaxploitation-influenced Live and Let Die, the one that introduced Roger Moore as Bond. If that's the case, then they deserve to go to prison—nobody would pick Moore as their favorite Bond. (Objection! The prosecution is jumping to false conclusions and committing character assassination.) (Overruled! I don't care if "Who's the best Bond of all time?" isn't even the issue at hand. Verdict: guilt by association.)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Colin Farrell isn't married.

But if he was, I doubt his wife would let him out of the house wearing this shirt.

Can't wait for "Flashdance II," Colin!

This is a picture of Instant Karma, a Chicago-area John Lennon tribute act, walking across Abbey Road just like the Beatles did in 1969 for their famous Abbey Road album cover. At first I laughed, because there is absolutely no "rock-star cool" emanating from this photo. But then I realized they're not trying to look cool (which isn't an easy thing to do when you're wearing shorts and ankle-high socks); they're just fans of Lennon and the Beatles, and they probably got a huge kick out of walking across the same intersection their idols did almost 40 years ago. It also occurred to me that they all traveled to England together to take this photograph, which says a great deal about their friendship.

Finally, I sure do hope this naysayer is proven wrong next Tuesday. If he isn't, may he wear Colin Farrell's ballet blouse until he's learned an important lesson about optimism.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

the reality of the situation

The September 25 Chicago Tribune included an article about Army scientist Bruce Ivins, who committed suicide on July 29 as the Justice Department prepared to charge him for the post-9/11 anthrax mailings that killed five people. The article's focus was an e-mail Ivins sent to himself on September 7, 2007, in which he declared that he'd discovered the identity of the anthrax mailer even though he was the authorities' prime suspect. The parts of the e-mail quoted by reporter David Willman include lots of exclamation marks: "Yes! Yes! Yes!!!!!!! ... I've pieced it together! ... I'm not looking forward to everybody getting dragged through the mud, but at least it will all be over ... I should have been a private eye!!!!"

"The e-mail," Willman wrote, "along with other correspondence [shows] that Ivins more recently mused about how to blind or kill a reality TV participant...."

Wait a second—Ivins killed five innocent Americans in 2001 and "sickened or injured" 17 others, but he could only find enough motivation to harm one reality-TV star? How twisted can a man's morals be?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Whoop! There it is!

Whooping cough is a highly infectious respiratory illness caused by Bordetella pertussis, a known player in the infectious disease world since the 16th century.

Play on, player, play on!

In its heyday it was responsible for at least 200,000 cases a year just in the United States.

Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

These cases were reduced significantly with the development of the vaccine in the 1940's.

You were the coolest infectious cat on the block for 400 years, BP, but every party has to end sometime. Still, I gotta give you props. Y'all give it up for BP! Everybody put your hands together for BP!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Here's another freebie for you, Republicans.

Late-night TV comedy writers and talk-show hosts regularly make fun of politicians, especially during election years like this one. So why aren't they making fun of Barack Obama?

They say it's because the Democratic senator from Illinois is "perfect," but the real reason is because he's black (for the most part). And they're white (for the most part). And because black comedians can make fun of white people but white comedians can't make fun of black people. (Don't go there, girlfriend.) It just isn't kosher, though Holocaust jokes can be enjoyed by everyone, of course. (Ancient history, people. Let it go already.)

American voters, do you really want a president who's too "perfect" to be made fun of on TV? Do you really want four more years of white actor Fred Armisen impersonating Obama on Saturday Night Live? Even he looks bored already, and he's only been playing the Illinois Muslim terrorist senator for a month. (In blackface, no less! ... Okay, more like grayface, but don't act like that doesn't make you squirm, white-guilt bleeding-heart liberals.) Don't you want a president everyone can laugh at regardless of their race?

On November 4, vote for John McCain, a president we can all ridicule. Plus there's his running mate—I mean, is she hilarious or what?

(Paid for by the Coalition of African-Americans and Cracker-Ass Crackers to Elect John McCain.)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Read the newspaper story about the Train while you're on the train reading the newspaper.

Jake Austen's cover story about Soul Train's beginnings in Chicago was published last week in the Chicago Reader and can be found online here. It's well worth your time if you're interested in the show, which aired in black-and-white on Chicago's WCIU, or '70s soul music. The photos that were unearthed from Soul Train's modest early years feature Curtis Mayfield and the Staple Singers, and "while [host Don] Cornelius's sharp suits became his signature when the show went national, early publicity photos show the host in bolder attire: despite being in his mid-30s, he wears a low-cut tank top accented by chains, studs, and leather."