Saturday, September 27, 2008


funny pictures
moar funny pictures

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Friday, September 19, 2008

The Financial Economy Subprime Crisis Market

Look, I'm an actor, so I make no claims to understanding economics. By and large, performers are exempt from trends in the market and unemployment, because we're always broke and our job market always sucks. In a way, it's sort of freeing. It gives me a lot more time to focus on more important things, like comic books. But in the latest downward trend, I've started to notice some things that really concern me.

Everyone keeps talking about "confidence." Consumer confidence, market confidence, whatever. If people's confidence level in our country's economy sinks, then the economy sinks. Since when has our savings been at the mercy of an intangible set of ideas with the temperament of a pregnant woman in her third trimester? "The economy" gets depressed about its fat ankles, Lehman Brothers collapses and we as a nation have to spend the next year convincing the economy that it does not actually resemble a Macy's parade float.

The economy is man-made, yet we are completely at its mercy. In the few hundred years of capitalism, we have yet to figure out the nuances. This thing that we have put on a pedestal as one of the engines of man's progress is completely dependent on the trust of literally the most irrational creature in the known universe. It is dependent on a species with members who will not travel because that specific day has a number assigned to it that they don't like, who won't pick up a coin because it's laying on the wrong side, who throw a crystallization of sodium and chlorine over their shoulder because they spilled some on the table. Because of this very same sort of behavior, people are losing their houses, they can't finish college, they're getting rid of their pets because they can't afford them.

Why have we put ourselves in this position?

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Why You Should Watch Ultimate Fighter

The Ultimate Fighter is a reality show on Spike TV (is it officially Spike!? I refuse to type that) sponsored by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the first and leading mixed martial arts organization in America. For anyone that's dumb, mixed martial arts (MMA) is a competitive sport like boxing in which two contestants fight it out in The Octagon (tm), an octagonal (hey-o) fenced-in ring. Fights usually consist of three five-minute rounds, and you can win by a knockout, tapout, ref stoppage, or decision. The rules were initially very loose (such as fish hooking being "frowned upon"), but after almost being shut down by Congress they cleaned up their act. The best fighters are good at both striking and grappling (usually jiu-jitsu based), but almost always specialize in one area.

So in the show, whose eighth season started Sept. 17, sixteen guys live in a house together and over the course of several weeks, through challenges and fights, all are eliminated but two, who will fight in a live event to determine the champion. That winner receives a contract to fight professionally in the UFC, but much like American Idol the best fighters usually end up fighting as well.

The show is awesome, and I'll tell you why. Most reality competitions are filled with people hoping to get their face-time in front of America and later launch a movie career and auxiliary perfume line. These guys are fighters, and they're trying to fight. Mostly blue-collar, they've been fighting in gyms, basements, bars and backyards for food and experience. They've come to the show to get coached by two of the best fighters in the organization, and to prove themselves to the president, Dana White, who has taken over hosting duties. There's very little bullshit involved, and the fact that White offers $5000 to the winner of a fight that does not go to decision keeps everyone on the ball.

You watch guys train, get beat up, cut 20 pounds in less than a day for a weigh-in, and inevitably wreak havoc on the house they all share. It's a typical reality house in that there are approximately 38 bedrooms and a steady supply of booze, which few of the cast are stranger to. With that many alpha males things are bound to get hairy (HA), but more often than not it's just entertaining. You'd be surprised at the amount of humor these guys have. But it wouldn't be a reality show without that one guy that spouts a steady stream of smack talk, or picks on guys to alleviate his boredom, or generally tries to take over the show. And this is where the beauty of the setup comes into play: you spend eight weeks hating the guy, then you get to see someone hand him his ass in the ring. How much better would The Apprentice have been if you could have seen someone throw some body blows to Omarosa, then turn her lights out with a good cross to the jaw? I'm certainly not condoning violence towards woman, because she is clearly some sort of mutant horse-human-Satan hybrid.

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Sex and the City: The High School Years

Teen novels about Carrie Bradshaw to be released.

Carrie and Miranda sat at their usual table in the cafeteria noshing on Wednesday meatloaf and Jello surprise. They were discussing the latest in a series of lackluster dates. Snapping into a carrot, Carrie said, "You would think after dating the top two-thirds of the upperclassmen, we could have found someone that understood us. But no. It's like all they care about are video games and superheroes. I get it. You're a clan leader on Halo 3. When can we talk about something that matters? Like shoes?"

Miranda shook her head in mutual disgust. "I've been trying to get Peter to grow up a little bit. Maybe get some culture in his life. But could he stay awake for the senior production of Our Town? So embarrassing. All he cares about is soccer, like that's going to get him anywhere."

Charlotte sat down with her brown-bag sushi. "What are we talking about today girls?"

Miranda rolled her eyes. "The state of unrest in the Middle East and the Iron Curtain. What do we always talk about? Boys and how they define us. Speaking of which, we're going to Peter's soccer game after school. Wanna come?"

"Oh, I can't. Young Republicans meeting."

"But I need you guys there! I feel so awkward at those things."

"You'll have Carrie right?" Miranda nodded. "Besides, I think Langdon is going to ask me to prom today."

Carrie laughed. "I just don't know what you see in him. He's so straight-laced."

"That's exactly what I see in him! He's such a gentleman! And he's going to be president someday."

Miranda said, "I thought he was already president of the club."

Charlotte shook her head. "Oh no, he's going to be president of America. His dad went to Yale. He made a lot of friends there. Anyway, he's perfect and I don't care what you guys say, he can be very romantic. Where's Samantha? I thought she'd be here by now."

Just then Samantha entered the cafeteria. She made her way to the table in characteristic heels and a miniskirt. As she sat down, Carrie said, "Where've you been?"

"Oh, Mr. Johnson had something to tell me after biology. And let me tell you gals, he definitely knows his anatomy."

Charlotte dropped her chopsticks. "Samantha, he has a wife! And children! And he's a teacher! That is so illegal!"

Samantha grinned slyly. "Calm down dear, we can both keep a secret."

A thought crossed Carrie's mind. "Wait a minute Samantha. You're like 31. Why are you still in high school?"

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Friday, September 12, 2008

The Man

He says it better than anyone else.

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