Thursday, December 29, 2005


Yes, what in the name of Scooter Monzingo is ESPN doing? For that matter, I could add what in the name of Jitter Fields, Happy Feller and Herkie Walls is ESPN doing?

Enough is enough.

The plethora of praise for the USC Condoms (i.e. Trojans) vs. my beloved Texas Longhorns has reached such puissant proportions that college football fans outside of Austin have not only taken notice, but have begun to hyperventilate at the horrendous hype. Mark May and minions have declared the Boys from Troy as the best college football team ever. They have dissected hypothetical (and totally bogus) match-ups against other outstanding collegiate teams of the past fifty-plus years inevitably declaring that this year's edition of Leinart, Bush et al would whoop everyone's ass. I haven't seen this much booty-licking since The Wild World of Sphincter Championships back in 1998. What's worse, it seems the insanity of it all has only just begun.

Perhaps Pete Fiutak of has described ESPN's ludicrous behavior best: "Next week ESPN will do a comparative analysis of USC against a 1938 German Panzer Division, a pack of overweight housewives outside a Wal-Mart thirty seconds before the doors open on the day after Thanksgiving, and a tank of sharks with fricking laser beams attached to their fricking heads."

Personally, I'll take the overweight housewives any day. I know "mrn" would as well...

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Yesterday I was lucky enough to catch one of my all-time favorite movies thanks to my Dish Network subscription. KING OF HEARTS (aka LE ROI DE COEUR) is a remarkable anti-war film directed by Philippe De Broca which stars Alan Bates as a WWI Scottish infantryman sent to a French village to disarm a bomb left behind by the retreating German army.

Private Charles Plumpick is an odd selection for the highly important job since he is merely a carrier pigeon specialist with absolutely no training when it comes to defusing explosives. He does speak French, however, so his Commanding Officer "volunteers" him for this dangerous assignment. The brilliance of this insightful, surreal cult allegory rests primarily on the premise that by the time Pvt. Plumpick arrives all of the regular villagers have fled to escape the impending detonation. They not only leave their homes and shops, they also leave the gate to the insane asylum open so the inmates will be able to fend for themselves. Within hours every one of the "lunatics" has assumed a role in the village and the absurdist fun begins.

The screenplay by Daniel Boulanger is based on a short story by Maurice Bessy. It is a light-hearted romp with a surgically penetrating point of view which asks: "Who are the real lunatics?" Is it those who just hours ago were incarcerated in a mental institution or is it the English and German soldiers who slaughter one another simply because they are ordered to do so?

De Broca and company provide a clear-cut answer. One of the many profound lines of dialogue comes from one of the lunatic villagers who, in the aftermath of the horrific battle in the town square which mows down in a hail of gunfire every soldier and officer from both armies, quips: "Don't you think these actors are going a bit too far for a game?"

As we all know, war is not a game; but it can definitely be insane.

Other highlights include the lilting, yet highly evocative musical score by Georges Delerue and the casting of Genevieve Bujold in one of her first major screen appearances. She captures your heart...and I defy anyone to take their eyes off her when she is in a scene. Any scene, anyone -- man or woman.

Tomorrow, Thursday, December 29, Turner Classics will air another absolute must-see motion picture, Stanley Kubrick's PATHS OF GLORY starring Kirk Douglas, Adolphe Menjou, George Macready and Ralph Meeker. This is a another stunning antiwar film which will also remain in your heart and in your mind for a long, long time. Set your clocks to 5:30 p.m. Central time.

Saturday, December 24, 2005


They've done it again.

This week another egregious ruling was made by our favorite governmental agency. For reasons that verge on being unfathomable, those wily wildebeests at the United States Treasury Department have banned Cuba from participating in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

For those of you unfamiliar with the WBC, it is an exciting new event for baseball fans worldwide. Sixteen national teams will compete in this international tournament comprised of many of the biggest marquee names in the game, each playing for their home country. Among the 400 all-stars committed to play are Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Tadahito Iguchi, Omar Vizquel, Vinny Castilla and Alfonso Soriano.

Missing from the fray, however, will be the island nation of Cuba where their "field of dreams" is perhaps only second to our own. This is an outrage and a black mark in the world of sport as well as in the world of international diplomacy.

Many baseball fans have called the New York Yankees "The Evil Empire", especially those residing in Beantown. I say there is a more insidious evil among us -- it is the IRS and their brethren at the Treasury Department who have decided to stick their nose where it doesn't belong. In fact, the legitimacy of this fascist decision is so irrational I must assume Adolf Schickelgruber is spinning in his grave.

Even Yogi Berra is speechless... What must Cookie Rojas think???

(Yes, that's none other than Fidel Castro on the mound in Havana's Field of Dreams)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


As a young lad growing up in the Texas Hill Country berg of New Braunfels I recall experiencing a seemingly never-ending series of "lusts". Boy-oh-boy, was this ever a confusing and difficult time -- how I made it to college without having gone blind I'll never know.

By far the most enduring and intense lust of all was directed for months on end toward Annette Funicello. She was clearly the hottest of the "Mouseketeers" -- that doll-like face, the striking raven-black hair, the protruding sweater -- no doubt about it, Annette was the girl of my dreams. Literally......

You see, for three consecutive nights I dreamt that Annette was going to move in next door to my house and we would thus become far more than simple "friends." Yes, indeedy -- and it certainly did not help having once been told that if you ever have the same recurring dream three nights in a row that was unmistakable proof that the dream would definitely come true.

I hesitate to count the number of times I ran to the window after hearing a truck stop somewhere on Willow Avenue fully believing that it would be a Mayflower moving van delivering to me the girl of my most cherished dreams. Alas, days turned to weeks. Weeks turned to months. I dare say this Pavlovian Response endured for damn near a full year.

"Your dreams will come through." Yea, right, and any dumb schmuck can become President of these semi-United States.

I should have known better -- nothing exciting ever happens in New Braunfels, Texas. Nothing...

What made things easier was my discovery of a totally different kind of female. Thanks to the wonderful world of ROLLER DERBY, my family's Black & White Philco once a week became a conduit for new, intense desires thanks to two decidedly sinful and more experienced gals -- the Amazon-like "Blonde Bomber," Joanie Weston -- and the sleeker, snaky Ann Calvello. May God help me. May the WONDERFUL WORLD OF ROLLER DERBY long prevail over the WIMPY WORLD OF DISNEY.

Whereas my desire to be with Annette was a puppy love in the purest and most honorable sense, ROLLER DERBY introduced me to a different kind of longing, one that was both quite confusing and quite intense. And for that "enlightenment" I continue to this day feeling thankful that I saw on the boob tube Ms. Weston and Ms. Calvello as they wickedly dueled one another for their respective teams -- the Bay Area Bombers and the Midwest Pioneers.

For those of you still reading this I will now get to the point of these historical ramblings: Be advised that the likes of Joanie Weston and Ann Calvello are baaack! Yes, on Monday, January 2nd, A&E will premiere ROLLERGIRLS, and while the game has changed (there are no longer men on the teams -- who cares?), the basic premise has not. Starring some pretty nasty nubiles nicknamed Punky Bruiser, Miss Conduct, Venis Envy and Jailbait, among a bevy of others, I can once again longingly return to those enlightened days of yesteryear when I dreamt of becoming a jammer...

Friday, December 16, 2005


Forgive me, but I am still nauseous after watching this wretched excuse for a feature film. Accordingly, this review will be very, very short.

Quite simply, I believe the dicks responsible for the production and distribution of THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN should all be castrated by way of a rusty old grapefruit spoon. The most egregious of the bunch surely include Art Director Tom Reta, Production Designer Jackson De Govia, Editor Brent White and Judd Apatow who directed and shares story credit. (I use the term "directed" advisedly).

I must now bid adieu as I'm headed for the kitchen drawer where we keep our eating utinsels; then it is on to Hollywoody...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Why the Hell not, indeed.

I cannot say for certainty that I will vote for Kinky Friedman to be the next Governor of the Lone Star State, but I wholeheartedly welcome him into the race.

Current Governor Rick Perry was a "Yell Leader" at Texas A&M for Christ sake and his imbecilic administration should have come as no surprise to anyone with an IQ over the average goose-stepping, zit-faced Aggie Kiddie Corps member. Yes, I'm singing "Hullabaloo Kinky Kink..." as I write this.

The other most widely known, declared candidate, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Carole Keeton Strayhorn (the self-proclaimed "one tough Grandma"), presents an interesting alternative. I like her attitude and anything would be better than Ricky-roo. But, according to The Wit and Wisdom of Kinky, "Politics is the only field where the more experience you have, the worse you get." Amen, brother.

Here are two other quotes by Kinky regarding the current state of affairs regarding today's politicos:

"The professionals gave us the Titanic, amateurs gave us the Ark."
"What the politicians are missing is a sense of humor, a sense of reality and common sense."

Amen and hallelujah.

Kinky has claimed he was "born in a manager, died in the saddle and came back as a horny toad." I truly believe this Montecristo puffing, independent thinking, self-proclaimed "horny toad" will be a breath of fresh air in the upcoming gubernatorial race. Come to think of it, I love that word -- "gubernatorial." In the past, most of these races have mandated the voting public to have to choose between one "guber" vs. another. With Kinky in the running, I think that will change.

Yep, pardners, Texas Independence Day may very well be established on 11.7.2006 (the day after the election).

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

MR. & MRS. SMITH -- A Haiku Review


Brad's the pits. Script fails.
More plot holes than bullet holes.
Beware Jolie's lips.

This big screen orgasm should have been titled MR. & MRS. SMITH & WESSON given the the bullet count and the array of rapid-fire weaponry deployed during the interminably long third act. Still, some will find the film worthy of a Blockbuster rental if just to see Angelina Jolie's big, juicy lips. Freak shows like this are mostly a thing of the past, but thanks to wide-screen aspect ratios and letterbox DVDs one cannot help but revel at those rosy reds. Personally, I find them abhorrent -- kinda like one giant crimson-painted caulfilower stacked above another. Yep, they are that large, that lumpy and that creepy. Makes me glad to know that I'm not a trailer hitch...

Monday, December 12, 2005


This just in from the esteemed "Needtovent Paparizzi Team" -- yes, it is a totally unretouched telephoto shot of Ann Coulter being driven to the Fox News Studios prior to having her on-camera make-up applied. Of course, we at "Needtovent" endeavor to be just as "fair and balanced" as the next guy, so we have also posted a picture of Ms. Coulter after the make-up artists have worked their magic. Much better -- in fact, I'm told that this horsy face poster has found its way into more than one stable at Ruidoso Downs.

And to think that she once actually said, and I quote: "I am emboldened by my looks to say things Republican men wouldn't."

Maybe she was misquoted. Maybe she really said "embalmed" instead of "emboldened" -- now that makes more sense...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

2005 NASCAR Awards Banquet -- TV Ad Nauseam

The 25th NASCAR Awards Banquet (now sponsored by NEXTEL) is an annual event held each year in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. It is supposed to be an upbeat celebration of the past year's stock car racing accomplishments, culminating in the presentation of the NEXTEL Cup Award to the top driver based on points earned throughout the season. This year's black-tie event started this past Friday, December 2nd and today is Thursday, December 8th. I'm told it has finally concluded.

Being a long-time NASCAR fan I tried to watch these proceedings once again. In the past I have done so in part to see just how attractive the wives and girl friends of the drivers, crew chiefs and car owners are -- it is a relatively harmless fetish, just one of many that I have acquired over the years. In the past I have also tuned in to discover which of these drivers are capable of reading a teleprompter and which might have the best sense of humor. I found that I could devote an hour or two to this endeavor since my life at 6001 Creekwood Pass is generally slow-paced and relatively uneventful.

There is, however, a limit -- even for me. Once this year's proceedings exceeded the time it takes Halley's Comet to circumnavigate the solar system I realized that enough is enough. I'd rather eat the same Banquet TV Dinner for a week than spend another nanosecond watching this boring banquet on TV.

Perhaps most annoying are the endless sponsorship plugs mouthed by everyone with access to the podium. These verbal ads have become interminable -- bringing a new meaning to the word ad nauseam. And there's even more to come thanks to the recent announcement of a NASCAR/Harlequin Enterprises partnership. Yep, Wal-Mart stores everywhere will soon be inundated with romance novels featuring fictional NEXTEL Cup drivers. First out, in pole position, is IN THE GROOVE, by Pamela Britton. Apparently it is the story of a former teacher named Sarah Tingle (yes, Tingle -- and you thought Dick Trickle was a funny name) who is forced to take a job driving a team bus. Hey, at least she's not pulling a train.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Last night CBS aired my absolute favorite Holiday Season television special -- "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

This truly remarkable program was first broadcast on Thursday, December 9, 1965. Forty years later, this uniquely simple, heartfelt production has become the longest-running animated television special in history.

There are two especially remarkable things about "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

One, of course, is the sprightly and poignant jazz riffs by composer Vince Guaraldi -- a smooth trio composition (piano, bass and drums) which form a perfectly balanced accompaniment for Charley Brown's kid-sized universe. Simply put, the music has become an established musical trademark which continues to provide smiles and smiles of recognition worldwide. Perhaps Jon Hendricks, the poet laureate of jazz, described Vince's music best: "Vince is what you call a piano player. That's different from a pianist. A pianist can play anything you can put in front of him. A piano player can play anything BEFORE you can put it in front of him." Unfortunately, Vince Guaraldi passed away on February 6, 1976, at the age of 47.

The other truly remarkable thing is that actual children were used for the voices of all the favorite Peanuts characters (excluding Snoopy whose voice was that of Director Bill Melendez). In fact, many of these children were so young they delivered their lines phonetically, not even understanding what it was they were saying.

While it may be true the kids delivering the dialogue may not have understood what it was they were saying, rest assured that PEANUTS creator Charles M. Schulz fully grasped exactly what was being said. You see, towards the end Linus reveals to Charlie Brown the true meaning of Christmas by quoting Luke 2:8-14 from the King James translation of the Bible. Mr. Schulz was met with considerable reluctance regarding the insertion of such an overtly religious, Biblical reference. When confronted about this and facing considerable pressure to give in, Schulz reportedly won everyone over by saying, "If we don't do it, who will?" Who will, indeed? And that, friends and neighbors, is another reason why this television special is truly "special."

Thursday, December 01, 2005


As my previous posting indicated, I am a huge fan of SOUTH PARK. Not every episode hits the mark, but those that do tend to leave an indelible impression.

Yesterday our Supreme Commander-In-Chief released a 35-page rationalization for our continued invasion and occupation titled "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq." It reminded me of the "Chewbacca Defense," a now-famous, all-too-often-used tactic which had its debut in Episode 27 during the second season of my favorite animated television series.

For those of you who missed this airing or who may be unfamiliar with this expression made famous by SOUTH PARK creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, let me explain. The "Chewbacca Defense' is a satirical term for any legal strategy or propaganda strategy that seeks to overwhelm its audience with nonsensical arguments as a way of both confusing those standing in judgement and as a way of drowning out legitimate opposing points of view. It is thus a kind of logical fallacy similar to argumentum ad nauseam. It could also be described as a "straw man" argument.

The episode I am referring to brilliantly satirized attorney Johnnie Cochran's closing argument defending O. J. Simpson in his murder trial. Here's a sample of what I mean:

"Ladies and gentlemen, this (pointing to a picture of Chewbacca) is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookie! But Chewbacca lives on planet Endor. Now, think about that. THAT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE! Why would a Wookie -- an eight foot tall Wookie -- want to live on Endor with a bunch of two foot Ewoks? That does not make sense!

But more important, you have to ask yourself, what does this have to do with this case? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! IT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE!

...Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense. None of this makes sense!

And so you have to remember, when you're in that jury room deliberating and conjugating the Emancipation Proclamation... Does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense. If Chewbacca lived on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests."

You gotta love the SOUTH PARK satire, and if the "Chewbacca Defense" worked for O. J., it just might work for "W"...


I have a secret.

This posting on my blog will reveal a hidden truth that only Lynda and a dearly departed Basset Hound named Guinness have understood until now.

O.K. here goes, for whatever it is worth.

I do not live in the Texas Hill Country. I do not reside in Spring Branch or Comal County or even in Congressional District 21 as a blue voter registration card in my wallet seems to indicate. No, no and hell no.

I actually live in South Park.

Please understand that I am not referring to the physical town of the same name, but, rather, to the expanded universe of the television series which is where I absorb all of my spiritual and temporal knowledge. I know, I know...most people turn to CNN or FOX News or The New York Times or My Weekly Reader or even to the Mormon Church, God forbid. Not me.

And for all these past years I have agonized over why, at the end of each enlightening episode, Trey Parker and Matt Stone have used a clip of a Braniff Airlines 727 in the closing credits. To me, the mysteries of the universe and the heavens held no candle to this particular enigma, and so it is with unbridled glee that just a few minutes ago I stumbled upon the answer at Wikipedia -- "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit." The heavy burden has been removed, the knowldege is upon me and I am a happy man, a happy man, indeed.