Saturday, August 25, 2007

The boob tube

Things got a little out of hand during a recent Poison concert at the Douglas County Fair.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "out of hand" can only mean one thing: Lead singer Bret Michaels snorted too much coke and incited a riot when he told the audience he was converting to Mormonism. Or guitarist C.C. DeVille sustained major injuries in a tragic hairspray accident. Or maybe the band pulled off a Spinal Tap moment and got lost on the way to the stage, somewhere between the cotton candy stand and pig raffle.

Unfortunetely, the ruckus was a bit more ... like Roseburg.

ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — The 80’s rock band Poison has been asked to issue an apology for a video shown during a recent performance at the Douglas County Fair that included a shot of a topless woman.

Poison is a regular performer at such events, but the entertainment company that booked them said this is the first time they’ve received a complaint.

The concern surrounded a pre-recorded video projected on a screen behind the band that contained snippets showing a semi-naked women.

‘‘I’m upset and dumbfounded that after years of booking Poison, they would think that such a video at a fair was appropriate,’’ Fran Romeo of the entertainment company TBA Global, wrote an e-mail sent to the director of the fairgrounds.

‘‘No one was aware that it was going to be show,’’ she said.

She has also asked the band to directly apologize for the incident.

The company said it has strict guidelines about appropriate conduct during shows at county and state fairs, where audiences generally include a large number of children.

I guess my question is this: What kind of morally confused fan of a heavy metal glam band gets offended by a topless woman? That's like going to a Boy George concert and complaining about cross-dressers.

This just in: Journalism officially dead

I gotta give a shout-out to the guys (and gals) at The Oregon Commentator, just because I saw it there first, but it appears that the good folks at the Eugene Weekly are having a serious crisis over their image. I'm no expert in marketing, but I would imagine that if your readership consists mostly of aging hippies, eclectic music fans and anarchists, you would avoid putting an obscure Internet reference on your cover.

I say "obscure" here with full knowledge that anybody under 30 with a browser and a modem has probably seen the "LOLcats" phenomenon, but think about the people who read the Weekly for anything other than the personals and Savage Love, then think about LOLcats, and then just mull that image over in your head for a bit. By the way, if you're unfamiliar with LOLcats, it's a very complicated concept: You take a funny picture of a cat, put words on it that make no sense, and spread it around the Internet like the Clap. Here are a few examples:

Fun times. Anyway, as for the Weekly, I have a few theories. They could have hired a really young copy editor who was either a) getting fired that day, getting out of journalism and thought he'd have a good laugh or b) retarded. They also could have just been the Eugene Weekly: Irrelevant, politically pedantic, and with a readership that is too stoned or burned out to notice when the magazine they are reading makes NO FUCKING SENSE.

Friday, August 24, 2007

How do you say "oops" in Spanish?

From the international relations desk, the staff of a five-star resort hotel in Cancun was undoubtedly shocked and perhaps a little dismayed to learn that they mistook Nobel peace prize winner Rigoberta Menchú for a transient and tried to throw her out of the hotel last week.

Menchú, who is known best for her life's work as a champion of human rights, was wearing her Mayan garb, "the traditional attire of indigenous people in central America," when the Mexican hotel workers mistook her for a bag lady. Oh, and she's also a Unesco goodwill ambassador and Guatemalan presidential candidate.

As if the situation couldn't possibly get any more hilarious, Menchú was at the hotel at the request of Mexican president Felipe Calderón, who invited her to participate in a conference on sanitation and drinking water (apparently she's also a champion of good plumbing. Yeah I don't know).

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bill Nye reveals secrets of space; panic ensues

I apologize in advance for the age of this story, but the life of a disgruntled journalist is a never-ending action-packed crusade, and I barely find the time to eat, let alone provide you with snarky criticism of the world. I'm thinking of hiring somebody to be disgruntled for me like three days a week so I can have a few hours of sweet freedom in which to see the briiiighter side of life.

Anyway, dateline Waco, Texas. Things got a little ugly last week for Bill Nye, the wonky "Science Guy" who delighted children and adults alike with his wonderous acts of heathenish black magic science on his popular TV show back in the '90s. Nye tragically broke the news to a Texas audience during a speech that the moon doesn't actually produce light, but more sort of ... reflects it. From the sun.

Nye's mistake probably came when he informed the McLennan Community College audience that the Bible is technically wrong about that whole moon-makes-light business:

The Emmy-winning scientist angered a few audience members when he criticized literal interpretation of the biblical verse Genesis 1:16, which reads: “God made two great lights — the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.”

He pointed out that the sun, the “greater light,” is but one of countless stars and that the “lesser light” is the moon, which really is not a light at all, rather a reflector of light.

Hilariously, but not surprisingly, some distressed audience members couldn't accept such a shocking revelation, and chose instead to flee into the comforts of hysteria:
“We believe in a God!” exclaimed one woman as she left the room with three young children.

At any rate, next time you're traveling through Waco, best to keep astronomy on the down-low.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Pastor: We're not discriminators; we're just principled!

In a short and ill-advised bout of optimism yesterday, I nearly forgot to post this heart-warming tidbit -- yet more evidence of the immeasurable compassion of religious extremists. Also, for the record, if you're a soldier, and you're gay, and you die valiantly in battle, then you'd better damn well make sure you aren't from Texas!


ARLINGTON, Texas - A megachurch canceled a memorial service for a Navy veteran 24 hours before it was to start because the deceased was gay.

Officials at the nondenominational High Point Church knew that Cecil Howard Sinclair was gay when they offered to host his service, said his sister, Kathleen Wright. But after his obituary listed his life partner as one of his survivors, she said, it was called off.

“It’s a slap in the face. It’s like, ’Oh, we’re sorry he died, but he’s gay so we can’t help you,”’ she said Friday.Wright said High Point offered to hold the service for Sinclair because their brother is a janitor there. Sinclair, who served in the first Gulf War, died Monday at age 46 from an infection after surgery to prepare him for a heart transplant.

The church’s pastor, the Rev. Gary Simons, said no one knew Sinclair, who was not a church member, was gay until the day before the Thursday service, when staff members putting together his video tribute saw pictures of men “engaging in clear affection, kissing and embracing.”

Simons said the church believes homosexuality is a sin, and it would have appeared to endorse that lifestyle if the service had been held there.

“We did decline to host the service — not based on hatred, not based on discrimination, but based on principle,” Simons told The Associated Press. “Had we known it on the day they first spoke about it — yes, we would have declined then. It’s not that we didn’t love the family.”

Simons said the decision had nothing to do with the obituary. He said the church offered to pay for another site for the service, made the video and provided food for more than 100 relatives and friends.

“Even though we could not condone that lifestyle, we went above and beyond for the family through many acts of love and kindness,” Simons said.

Wright called the church’s claim about the pictures “a bold-faced lie.” She said she provided numerous family pictures of Sinclair, including some with his partner, but said none showed men kissing or hugging.

And those cogs of open-mindedness just keep a-turnin' over there in the South.

The Biblethumper Branch?

It's one thing to have right-wing evangelical crazies in Congress. Inevitable, right? The disturbing thing is that they don't even try to hide it anymore.

From Crooks and Liars, probably via a bunch of other sites:

A few weeks ago, the Senate invited a Hindu leader to deliver the daily invocation. Apparently, this has sent Idaho’s Bill Sali (R) over the edge.

“We have not only a Hindu prayer being offered in the Senate, we have a Muslim member of the House of Representatives now, Keith Ellison from Minnesota. Those are changes — and they are not what was envisioned by the Founding Fathers,” asserts Sali.

Sali says America was built on Christian principles that were derived from scripture. He also says the only way the United States has been allowed to exist in a world that is so hostile to Christian principles is through “the protective hand of God.”

“You know, the Lord can cause the rain to fall on the just and the unjust alike,” says the Idaho Republican.

According to Congressman Sali, the only way the U.S. can continue to survive is under that protective hand of God. He states when a Hindu prayer is offered, “that’s a different god” and that it “creates problems for the longevity of this country.”
Well! All I've got to say is it's a damn good thing Mr. Sali's comments are completely supported by that section of the Constitution that outlines the importance of Christianity in our democracy. Right, congressman? Right?

If I may, I'd like to quote the great philosopher Samuel L. Jackson: "I've had it with these motherfuckin' zealots in this motherfuckin' Congress!"

First post

Caution: Hairy Alpaca is not a public relations tool. Reading may induce a sudden urge to destroy society.

Keep an open mind and remember: It's not personal; it's just business.

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