Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Minor Penalty - Two Minutes For Freakin’ Me Out, Man

If you liked Hostel, then you’ll love Canada’s new PSAs about preventing workplace accidents. I’m told (by Will at Deadspin) that they’re actually being run on the Ceeb during Hockey Night in Canada. Jesus. And there’s too much violence in hockey?

But wait, there’s more. Then you have to go to the PSAs’ website. Click on Enter Now, and you’ll be greeted by a cartoon severed hand squirting blood like the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail impatiently drumming its fingers waiting for the flash movie to load. The movie begins with said bloody severed hand parachuting down to its presumed previous owner whose stump isn’t having the best time getting over the injury. From there we get to watch several different examples of a day in the life of a guy with a bloody stump, which is to say he gets blood all over everything! If I learned one thing, it’s do not help your girlfriend get food off her face with a bloody stump.

It’s the most hilarious thing you’ve seen in a while.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Yessuh, Missuh Presdint, suh…

Julie Myers, assistant secretary overseeing Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement division -- herself a recess appointed, grossly unqualified nepotism case -- was part of a three-person panel selected to judge Halloween costumes at the Homeland Security Department office Halloween party. As an aside - a three-judge panel for a Halloween party? Can DHS do anything without bureaucratic red tape??

Anyway, the winning costume, you’ll be horrified if unsurprised to discover, was a man dressed up in prison stripes, dreadlocks, and you guessed it - blackface. I mean, DHS says it was just “dark makeup” but that sounds like some bureaucrat hair-splitting to me.

Third place was dressed up as Chief Wahoo, the lovable scamp from the Cleveland Indians uniforms. First runner-up, who will take over for the now disgraced Prisoner Sambo was dressed as Slowpoke Rodriguez, the laziest, slowest, most unemployedest mouse in all of Mexico. Sounds like a great party!

Monday, November 05, 2007

More Selfish Bastards Sticking It!

In case you don’t watch TV (yeah, you’re so cool), or just don’t pay attention, the Writers Guild of America, aka - the writers union has gone on strike. What does that mean? It means The Daily Show and Colbert are not on tonight. Damn.

But the interesting thing to me about this is it seems to be the very last union left in the United States that gets the support of the people. Why is that? Let’s compare it to the New York City transit strike of 2005. MTA (The Man) - rich, corrupt and incompetent. MTA workers (The Little Guy) - underpaid, overworked, and constantly looking over their shoulder, worrying about getting laid off. Hollywood producers - rich, corrupt, and probably incompetent, although I can’t say for sure. Hollywood writers - probably paid very well, (but definitely not as well as they deserve, at least not if they work for Lost, 30 Rock, Pushing Daisies, or other such brilliant programs. More than they deserve if they work for Two and a Half Men or anything with Dane Cook), constantly looking over their shoulder with the rise of reality programming, probably overworked and underappreciated.

So what is it about the writers that makes people side with them? During the transit strike, the entire blame fell on the union, as though asking for a living wage was fine as long as it doesn’t inconvenience anyone. “I’d rather bring back indentured servitude than be late for work.” In the case of the automakers or Wal-Mart, it’s all the union’s fault that cars are so expensive with the former, and the lack of a union is why I get a DVD player for $14 at the latter. So why is the writers’ union held in such high regard? Why are people lauding Tina Fey or Jon Stewart for making impassioned pleas on the writers’ behalf, but ridiculing me for favoring unions the rest of the time?

Don’t misunderstand - I agree with them 100%. The writers deserve all that they can get, and god knows many of them are quite talented - talent I wish I possessed. But what is it about literally every other union in the country that inspires such disdain and mistrust? Why is it if the teachers strike so they don’t have to buy their own fucking loose-leaf paper and text books for children that it’s the teachers’ fault, and not the fault of tax-slashing administrations or tax dodging multi-national corporations for underfunding city services? The auto unions are so powerless thanks to dwindling membership and a lack of public support that they stage a phony one day strike to make some sort of arcane point, and then happily lap up whatever table scraps the automakers offer them. Why is it that when the MTA is raising fares, decreasing service and letting the subway fall into complete disrepair, making a handy salary for the fat cats, all the while laying off hundreds of union employees, that it’s the transit workers’ union who bear the brunt of commuter rage when the workers decide enough is enough?

Why is the writer’s union of Hollywood, of all places, the one union held in any esteem whatsoever? God bless ‘em and good luck! Honest. Hell, I can use a break from TV, so I’m with the workers, as always. But what is it about America that except in this one situation, always makes people side with The Man over The Little Guy?