Rebekah Brooks Joins Evil Wizard Murdoch Cast in New “Masters of the Dark Arts”
By Joe Bodolai (c) All rights reserved.
This came just after the whistleblower, Sean Hoare, was found dead and Scotland Yard declared it “not suspicious”, which is of course the definition of suspicious.
It is by no means a stretch of the imagination to think that the Murdoch media empire knows how to manipulate news, create it, and flat out make it up. We’ve seen and often enjoyed that in News of the World and despise it on Fox News (sic). I am sure there is a #pie thread going on Twitter right now. So as I was scouring the world’s Craigslist ads for a non-intern job I would not have been surprised to have come across this listing in the London “creative gigs” section. Is it the smoking pie?
CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW FULL SIZE
In related news, Rebekah Brooks has reportedly accepted an offer to star in the next blockbuster wizard movie series as an evil witch who reads the minds of dead people’s relatives and laughs at them.
Osama Bin Laden Still Dead Again as Americans Celebrate USA! USA!!
By Joe Bodolai, © 2011, All Rights Reserved
Note: Portions May Be Redacted in Interests of Something or Someone
The CIA and Neocons Evil Muslim Hot Chick Hating Terrorists need to keep the myth of Osama Bin Laden alive to fuel fear of terrorism and lubricate war fever and the abrogation of civil rights in the USA. They have relied on updated but outdated “Osama bin Laden” videos to aid their cause, and since the real Bin Laden (a former CIA operative and US ally not to mention associates of the Bush family) has been dead for years, they need some new lookalikes. Their campaign of fake and cheesy chilling videos seems to have hit a new low frightening tone with this one. Like I said, the video Pentagon analysis suggests that the lookalike actor bin Laden displayed all the amateurish sophisticated mannerisms of an audition tape and bad lighting complete with the usual ridiculously outdated references
up to the minute clues in the
fifth grader incoherent babble sophisticated rhetoric that only a total lameass or attentive WalMart shopper trained intelligence analyst could recognize as a total pile of crap frightening call to action that deserved gales of laughter and ridicule urgent military response and security measures such as admitting that the war on terror is a sham standing together taking off our belts for TSA tightening our belts and dropping our pants and bending over renewing our wars everywhere with an idiotic and murderous shotgun approach with a precise asswipe of a plan designed by our military strategic experts roomful of chimpanzees.
The official version includes a photo of the White House War Room that some say has been Photoshopped for those Americans who have no idea what our real leaders look like:
Since the real ex-CIA employee Osama bin Laden died several years ago, they have been looking for doubles to appear in their fake “terror” videos. Looks like they’re scraping the bottom of the barrel judging by this posting on barrel scrapings site Craigslist.
Click on picture to enlarge.
Bin Laden was apparently killed in a raid ordered by President Barack Obama in what anonymous White House sources like me said was a “stroke of luck.” The anonymous really smart source said “the President starts each day with
a huge shit serious reflection on the nation’s needs and checking White Sox box scores calling on our military to stop bugging him about veterans’ health care “get bin Laden” but this morning he almost forgot.” Luckily, the source said, “Michelle his people in Israel jokingly suggested ordered him to “you really oughta get some more good press bin Laden because even after the White House Correspondents Dinner rise, your approval rating is down America needs closure from Donald Trump hair jokes.”
In a remarkable
plan by the CIA coincidence, the assassination of bin Laden was “live Tweeted” by a CIA plant simple Pakistani IT technician named “Dave” whose Twitter CIA handle is @ReallyVirtual. He has since signed an “earwitness Live Tweeting” deal with online gossip site TMZ and is reportedly working “the Lohan beat” hoping for some “coke use or hot lesbian sex.”
bin Laden lookalike patsy feared ultra-terrorist was reportedly fooled by a crack shot Delta Force or now Navy SEAL sniper posing as late arriving hummus delivery man as he was about to launch his latest devious plan watch “Glee”. Also found in the compound bachelor pad were the latest in suicide bomber devices a shitload of porn mags. Evidence that he was planning to release an even newer tape included the latest terrorist video Rebecca Black’s “Friday” and the even more deadly poison “Jam” by Kim Kardashian.
The anonymous Navy SEAL sniper who shot bin Laden in the eye said he learned his marksmanship skills from watching porn.
After DNA was verified by comparing it with bin Laden’s sister’s DNA
CIA employee file, the body was buried “according to bullshit passed off as Muslim custom” at sea along with Donald Trump’s 2012 Presidential bid. Former Cheney Administration Spokeshole George W. Bush, in a Sober Somber Moment upon hearing of “the whole Osama deal” renewed his 9-11 vow to “finish reading My Pet Goat.
Like this? Say so. Or say it ain’t so Joe! Links to the right for more satire, sports, pop culture, and comedy.
“It’ll be the first thing that I do. I’ll get our troops home, and bring an end to this war.” — Barack Obama, 10/27/07
THIS IS AN EDITORIAL I WROTE ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO BEFORE THE DEBT CEILING DEBATE
As President McCain Heads into His Second Year, What Might Have Been Different?
By Joe Bodolai (c) 2010, All rights reserved.
In the wee hours of election night 2008, the promise of change did indeed seem possible until Senator John McCain’s stunning last-minute surprise upset. While some were rightfully suspicious of the results, the McCain camp explained their triumph as “unpolled Americans came out in force and expressed their preference in the privacy of the poll booth rather than risk being called ‘racist’.
After President McCain’s first year, filled with angst, turmoil, and more of the same, I have decided to speculate on what America would be like today had Senator Obama won the election which so many assumed he would.
First of all, there is no way an Obama administration would have turned the economy into shambles with a massive bank bailout. ”His populist voter base would never stand for it,“ I wrote just a few short months ago. “Obama stands for change we can believe in, and this is far from it.” Senator Obama announced his alternative, which was greeted with huge enthusiasm, according to the 86% of Americans who “strongly approved” of his bold plan to pay off all consumer credit cards instead of money going directly to financial institutions.
His rousing speech at the Mall of America’s food court level with over 100,000 Minnesotans below him braving minus 23 temperatures and reminding Americans of the glory days of ”shopping. Not just for flat screen TVs or other necessities. My plan would relieve Americans of onerous debt while still providing lenders with plenty of profit and not to mention a real stimulus for consumers, with balances becoming zero balances, fresh new credit limits and rolled down interest rate caps to allow them to spend again, thus creating jobs for American workers, given my stipulation that all new credit card expenditures be spent within the United States for American cars, American products, and American vacation destinations.
Instead we have the McCain Administration’s failed “Cash for Clunkers” automobile buying incentive, which Senator Obama hilariously ridiculed on Late Night with David Letterman with his quip that “okay, I’ll admit the President did indeed give cash for clunkers, but those clunkers are the big banks and desperate failing automakers, lobbyists for special interest groups, and brokerage houses. Clunkers if I’ve ever seen one, and I should know. I drive a Pacer.” The video clip of Obama and Letterman driving around Wall Street and Harlem in the Pacer for the interview has been downloaded over 95 million times on YouTube.
Vice-President Palin, in one of her numerous gaffes since taking office, denounced Obama as “on the wrong side of the financial equation, like reparations for slavery there should be no free lunch!”
President McCain’s continuation of the Cheney-Bush foreign policy agenda is surely something that an Obama Administration would not accept. No Obama administration would consider sending more troops to Afghanistan such as President McCain has announced. While admitting “it takes some time to change the direction of a mighty cruise ship (but) I am committed to finalizing our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan and repairing our image with the rest of the world”. Likewise, President McCain’s continued unconditional support of Israel would be counter to a President Obama’s promise to strive for peace and a moratorium on settlements and saber-rattling toward Iran. McCain’s celebrated taunt to Iran regarding their supposed nuclear weapons program – “bring it on!” – would never be countenanced by a moderate Obama Administration where negotiation would be favored over confrontation.
Likewise, President McCain’s confusing health care initiatives, which are considered by most Obama supporters as more profit for the private sector, would never be tabled by an Obama administration. Obama won overwhelming praise for his much simpler, more clearly defined health care plan – “Medicare for All.” He won another huge swell of popular opinion by pointing out that the bonuses and salaries paid to 50% of the CEO’s of the largest pharmaceutical and health related industries would provide insurance for every man, woman, and child in the country while keeping their corporations profitable.
Democratic Senator John Conyers (D-Michigan) inadvertently aided the cause by being caught on tape aired on The Daily Show admitting that he had not even read the 1,000-page bill saying “who has time for that?” Stewart’s dry reply “I feel you bro.“ led to thousands of t-shirts, cardboard signs, and late night talk shows on an upswell of gratitude for a new catch phrase.
Of course, the scandal over the resignation of Vice-President Palin for her celebrated gaffes would never be made by the more experience Joe Biden. It is hard to imagine Biden saying something as stupid as Palin’s “send the homeless to Afghanistan. They need jobs. It’s a win-win.”
Finally, America today would not be so polarized. As 450,000 people marched on Washington last week, with countless taser arrests (15 of the 22 deaths attributed to controversial use of the 50,000-volt device, new weapons directed by SWAT teams to ”disperse unlawful assemblies“, aerial surveillance, and addition of thousands of innocent names to the ever-expanding terror watch list, Senator Obama said in his catalyzing speech at the Lincoln Memorial, “the First Amendment is the founding principle of the Bill of Rights and cannot be trampled by government. Behind me stands the symbol of the blood that was shed to keep this country free from all enemies, foreign or domestic.“ Clearly a President Obama would not approve the continuation of torture. The backdrop of the serene Lincoln was an ominous metaphor for the American divide, today not regional but along class and other lines.
Clearly had Senator Obama won the election, America would likely be a different, more benign place with a respect for the people and not for the oligarchy that the McCain Administration considers its constituency. And, as he promised in 2007, the wars would be over and the troops back home. And if you ask me “do I support the troops?” Yes, I do. The ones in the video below:
Video at poorrichard’s blog (http://poorrichards-blog.blogspot.com)
Are we living in an America not quite light and not yet dark? Are we in a “Twilight Zone” where one thing that looks different from the other but both are really the same?
Alas, in the words of the late Robert F. Kennedy, “there are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”
“When Corporations Control Government, Sure It’s Fascism, But Fascists Are People Too!”
By Joe Bodolai © 2010, All rights reserve
UPDATE: Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney Rumored to Be Considering Monsanto as Running Mate
The recent Supreme Court ruling giving corporations status as a ”person“ and the same “freedom of speech” (sic) rights as individuals and no limits on campaign spending, genetically-modified simulated food giant Monsanto has thrown its corporate hattage
the ring and declared itself and subsidiaries a candidate for the U.S. Senate seat in farm-rich Kansas.
Monsanto Senate Campaign spokesman Franklin N. Farmer finally revealed the company’s platform in this fall’s race for the U.S. Senate in Kansas. “It makes more sense, at least to those of us in the corporate world, than the (traditional fertilizer) coming out of individual politicians who are people and are costly and unreliable. Besides, we have some very attractive tax breaks. I mean, we don’t actually ‘pay’ taxes, so we can use that money where it does the most good — TV commercials done by our other friends who could use more tax breaks too.” When asked to explain the platform, Farmerino explained “I don’t know how to make it more clear than to say what people say when they have to say: “it is what it is.”
Here is what it is:
At Monsanto, we understand how to monetize dynamically. Without vertical extensible implementation, you will lack platforms. Think 60/24/7/365. Think C2B2B. Think sexy. But don’t think all three at the same time. If all of this may seem estranging to you, that’s because it is! Do you have a plan of action to become subscriber-defined? Think out-of-the-boxcutter. Think backward-compatible. Think virally-distributed, innovative. But don’t think all three at the same time.
The subscriber communities factor can be summed up in one word: affiliate-based profitablity kickback.
Have you ever had to architect your 24/7 feature set? With one click? We will extend our aptitude to productize
without decreasing our power to actualize. What do we engage? Anything and everything, regardless of unimportance! A company that can synthesize faithfully will (one day) be able to upgrade fiercely. We will incubate the term “scalable”. We frequently morph value-added, intuitive paradigms. That is a terrific achievement considering this fiduciary term’s market!
There’s only one choice: Vote Monsanto. But even if you don’t, we will way outspend our opponent.”
Many more corporations are expected to announce their candidacy in coming days and, in the words of Monsanto’s Farmerino, “we have our corporate eyes on the White House in 2012. Sure we have a foothold now, but this is just the beginning of a great new era for America. It’s simple. Everybody eats what we make. You are what you eat. You children will made by us, so just call us Uncle Monsanto.”
By Joe Bodolai (c) 2011 All rights reserved, especially from you America
“When voting makes no difference and oligarchs in service of a foreign power or greedy private interests continue to defraud and rob the country, I can no longer be part of it,” said Joe Bodolai, author of this sentence you are currently reading, in really serious-sounding wording. His brief but incredibly powerful chick magnet-like address on the steps of the Santa Monica Public Library was done without teleprompters and not with notes written on his hand.” I seek not conflict, but to end it and I hereby declare my sovereign territory extending to the fullest and exaggerationist outer boundaries of my body in whatever location I happen to be in, even if part of me is in someone else.”
He immediately copyrighted himself and his life and maintained “The United States will be in violation of that copyright should they use my name or images without the express written consent of Major League Baseball or myself on any document, such as tax or census forms or envelopes or even email spam I can assure you they will be met with the full fury of a team of C-average or better law students I have hired as interns from craigslist who will go all RIAA on their ass.”
“I have attempted conciliation with the US, but they have rejected talks.” Bodolai blamed the lack of response, returned phone calls, or other reaction to his numerous emails to friends or prospective American employers as “obvious attempts by the universe to isolate me from the family of nations or any other family,” but denied that his secession was involuntary. “I may be involuntarily retired, along with other former Americans, but, like them, I will not passively accept their government’s attempts to force us into abject poverty or subjugation. And, as a resolute Ohio State fan, I say, “On Wisconsin!”, Bodolai added, “and should they choose to join me as independent and sovereign, I will immediately dispatch myself as Ambassador to Ian’s Pizza in Madison, who provided much needed delicious world-famous mac & cheese pizza for the protesters there.”
Shortly after, the entire nation of Joe Bodolai turned out for the country’s first Presidential election with Joe Bodolai winning 100% of the vote. He was inaugurated in a brief ceremony at a local Starbucks where he pledged to end his country’s 100% unemployment rate.
Are Pop Culture Jokes Wrapped in News Really Political Satire?
By Joe Bodolai © 2011, All rights reserved
Recent events about the murder of Osama Bin Laden, or whatever that story was, led to a flurry of what was called “political satire”. Much of it was really just a simple formula: take a serious political event and merge it with a pop culture reference. This is often very funny, it’s still really pop culture joke wrapped in news. There were also numerous parodies, impressions of political figures again making pop culture references. I won’t quote these, you know where to find them. Satire, I feel, has a different quality. At its best it is a moral statement, one that I define as “making evil uncool”. Often that kind of joke does use pop culture references, but the purpose is to reveal and not revel in the subject. In Canada, we have had satire in prime time for decades, even on radio. The Royal Canadian Air Farce, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Talking to Americans, and the legendary This Hour Has Seven Days were all way ahead of The Daily Show. Even Saturday Night Live’s Lorne Michaels and much of the cast and writing teams are Canadians.One of my real heroes in this type of comedy is, of course, the late George Carlin. I had the surprising honour of accepting an award on his behalf at a celebration of the First Amendment. Here’s a clip of my acceptance speech from that event.
When I saw the pictures from Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, I was not alone in being reminded of this:
So how does satire or being funny address real wrongs and what can we do about it? I found this lesson from a group of students in Serbia who played a major part in overthrowing Milosevic just by being funny in an active way. Theirs was a satire of action, not of the smug and distant. Rather than have me attempt to summarize it, I’d rather dedicate my space here today to them, and to remind us all that making evil a bit more uncool is more than just a joke:
What Egypt Learned from the Students Who Overthrew Milosevic by Tina Rosenberg — and what we need to know.
And if you haven’t noticed, you can read my Twitter posts at the right and see if my mood has changed to allow me to make some of the kind of jokes I often include here. If you want to read them all, go my Twitter feed.
UPDATE: I did manage to do a bit of heavy-handed animated political satire for, I hope, your enjoyment:
“freedom is what it’s all about!!!” So…what about Israel? ?
By Joe Bodolai (c) 2011, All rights reserved.
One thing about American life today is that when world events unfold faster than Gap customers at a sale, our celebrities will be there to keep it all in perspective with their analysis especially on Twitter. When regime change in Egypt was happening the big names swung into action, and I immediately joined the conversation:
Immediately after I replied to her, Lindsay realized she might seem a tad shallow and posted this:
Lindsay Lohan: Congratulations to the people of Egypt. Your voices were heard and you proved that peaceful demonstrations are possible and effective …. x… And I pray Egypt maintains it’s treaty with Israel and sets the trend for its neighbors to create peace with Israel and the entire region.
I guess she decided that I was somehow referring to her hope that Egypt would “maintain it’s (sic) treaty with Israel” and “set a trend.” The world needs new “trends”. I guess she has something in common with Israel: theft! (necklaces, Gaza, West Bank… that kind of stuff. Oh, and one of them has nuclear weapons, also stolen. Think Congress minds?) If this seems like a non-sequitur to you, I can’t think of Egypt today without thinking of Israel. And our “experts” (the not-hot people on news channels) applaud the Egyptian military for taking Lindsay’s advice. They will “honor” the treaty. Plus ca change….
Noticing this intellectual forum was being noticed by the masses of even MTV viewers, a pair of big guns came out, Kim Kardashian:
Kim Kardashian: What a historic day for Egypt! The people of Egypt made the regime step down!!! Now they can enjoy the freedom they deserve!
Party time in Egypt!!! It’s a three exclamation mark political thingy!!!I am so pro-freedom!!!!
All this week, we will be treated to late night talk shows as one after another of our great political analyst/partay realityshow people will announce “I just wanna say this about what went down over there in Egypt…” Audiences will hush for the momentous decree… “freedom is what it’s all about.” Cue applause, grave appreciative expression from host, or maybe throw to commercial with a solemn “we’ll be right back,” as if the celebrity’s dictum just spiked the ball in the end zone of injustice. Celebrities who are famous for no discernible talent or moral notoriety seem to have replaced traditional spiritual leaders such as churches and religion for those who find the traditional conduits to higher wisdom irrelevant, out of touch, or plain ass-whacked. In the aftermath of the Japan earthquake, I saw this invocation of St. Kim of Kardashian in this young woman’s tweet to her:
Of course, some celebrities had far more urgent concerns and immediately provided relief, such as 50-Cent who reminded us he would assist with a massive airlift:
This kind of says how I feel right now:
Oh, and don’t forget that I have a new email address. It’s one that I think really expresses my uniqueness, artistic vision, and my concern for others:
It’s real. Go ahead and email me. I’ll email you back. Promise.
Can You Jump High Enough to Escape the Jar of Your Confinement
By Joe Bodolai © 2011, All rights reserved
I heard a “poem” read by a Chicagoan named Roger Bonair-Agard in which he shared some research he had done about how fleas were used in popular entertainment, usually at traveling fairs about a century ago. He mainly used this research to support his remarks about certain amusements of white people and a political analysis stemming from that metaphor. Fleas, according to the poet, can pull over 100 times their body weight with their disproportionately strong legs. But the most amazing fact I learned from his work is that fleas, upon being confined in a jar for three days, will never again in their lives attempt to jump higher than the lid of the jar of their glass prison. He added, “neither will their offspring.”
This confinement and likely frustration, pain, or hard-earned knowledge, trained them to never be able to escape and, perhaps more interestingly, not willing or able to try. It made the amusements of their captor able to be confined to an easily contained area. More importantly, this “training” seems to have created a hereditary lack of ambition, or at least learned behavior handed down.
It also sparked me into thought about American education. Since my descent into closer-than-I’d like proximity with the material and psychological ghetto of the American underclass, I have spent time volunteering as a GED tutor. Some of my students are felons on parole, current and former drug addicts and dealers, gang bangers, and a few just plain nice people. I lose students from time to time due to return to old ways or, in one particularly horrible case, being shot nine times. From this experience, I have learned just how truly astounding some of what people in these circumstances have not learned or, worse, what they have made up or guessed along the way. From my first-hand experience, this includes:
- World War I is also known as the Vietnam War, in which “we kicked ass.”
- Europe is a big place on the map and is located under… well, Europe. We usually call this ”Africa”.
- Hitler was a Muslim. (Mission accomplished, JDL.)
- And, from practical retail experience, an ounce is also 28 grams.
Now I could think of this simply as a lack of education and I would be correct. Why and how is such a widespread lack of education in America possible? And what are its effects on society and the future? These are serious issues that I am probably “not qualified” to answer, so I will. I don’t need “qualifications” bestowed upon me from such advocates of the privatization and monetization of public education. Children are not a “human resource” or “human capital”. Yet, it seems that American education is creating a lumpenproletariat of indentured ignorant servitude. These new workers are ignorant of not only basic reading, writing, and math, but more importantly, of curiosity, skepticism, and ambition. Those are three values that once did allow an American dream to exist.
One need only to go into any fast food “store” today to see that cash registers have had their number keys replaced with words or even pictures of the menu items. Instead of needing to count out change when one is presented with a five-dollar bill for an order of $4.37, an automatic change chute slides the coins out.
My experience as a well-educated professional seeking some sort of meaningful employment is informative and eye-opening at least to me.
While the average uneducated unemployed young man or woman could easily score in the 99th percentile of those being able to
correctly name all the Kardashians, this has not been traditionally the kind of marketable job skill that once did make American industry, service, and innovation the best in the world. Regrettably, what was once mere trivia is now a kind of knowledge which all too well serves the new breed of what used to be called “journalist” whose “career” working as a Jagermeister promo rep precisely requires advanced degrees in Kardashianality. In other words, American capitalism is reaching an apotheosis whereby American work is only valuable as marketing and actual creation of goods is left to the other Third World. Oh, and for those idealists who aspire to a “writing” job, there are many available on craigslist, offering the illusion of being able to be close enough to get a whiff of a celebrity fragrance. If one does not appreciate the nuances of the job descriptions, “writer” is a volunteer activity in the service of anyone who successfully fishes them in. The writer is clearly one rung below “intern”. Writers will be rewarded with their “own byline” (!) and “exposure”.
Where are the young people who actually question the assumptions that guide the forces that control their lives? If you are one of them, let me know. I have a lot more to say about this and I feel that I should be funny at least in part of this. I can’t, however, when I see what is around me, the eager sheep following the Judas goat of media to the lamb kebab factory.
The fleas are in the jar. The trainers have them right where they want them. Here’s some amusing colored toxic balls to juggle. Enjoy the show!
 The audio of this may be found at the excellent site of Chicago Public Media, home of such outstanding radio as This American Life and Dynamic Range, where I heard the podcast. I’d be more specific but I’m busy typing this. You’ve got the internet, look it up.
 He also explained that the fleas’ so-called trained antics, such as playing tiny drums or with balls (soaked in camphor) were really their desperate attempts to survive such chemicals or fatal temperatures, resulting in amusing writhing. This makes wonderful cocktail party conversation (especially for us white people) so check him out somewhere on that site. Later.
Time Out From My Writing to Introduce You to the Voice of Arab Resistance in Egypt
By Joe Bodolai (c) 2011, All rights reserved.
A new song from Egyptian rappers Arabian Knightz is sweeping the Arab world as protesters and supporters have taken up the group’s release of “Rebel”. Spread the word through the song and its Arabic lyrics:
They killed us, slaughtered us, put us behind bars/ Tortured us, robbed us, scarred us, terrorized us and ignored us/ But the Egyptian people won’t die.They will conquer/ My country is your country/ My money, your money/ And enslaving us must end.
Hear the song at
In Which I Find Out Yet More Depressing Stuff About America
By Joe Bodolai © 2011, All rights reserved.
On my way to the homeless restrooms, or as I used to call it, “the Los Angeles Central library”, I was listening to yet another
podcast of WBEZ Chicago’s CBC-Radio style program This American Life on my new iPhone. The show included documenting the weapons-grade bullshit foisted on fifth graders visiting the Reagan Library, one perhaps in which the homeless do not feel as welcome as they might in the comfortable crack den appointed facilities on Flower Street, conveniently located just blocks from Skid Row. The excrementality of the Reagan docent included making sure the visiting students knew that the invasion of the tiny island of Grenada under The Great Man’s Commander-in-Chiefiness was to prevent an unholy communist alliance in our own hemisphere – Grenada, Cuba, and Nicaragua (!) – teaming up to invade the USA and turn children just like them into evil communist slaves. “In communism, when you have a job,” she rhetorically asks, “who gets to keep the money?” Apparently, “the communists” do. Since it was previously recorded, I was unable to ask, “in America, if you don’t have a job, who gets to keep the money?” That’s easy. “The Americans do.” Wall Street, bankers, and other thieves and criminals like the guy who stole my iPhone that I used to listen to this show. I suspect it was the Marseilles-style pickpocket who jostled me then quickly disappeared into the bustling commerce of Guatemala City North on 6th & Wilshire as I was in line to board the rolling virus and spewed-menudo can called the 720 bus.
For the better part of my life, having the equivalent of a new iPhone was just something normal. No worry about the expense, it was just another Apple gadget I might have adopted early with the passion of an Angelina Jolie. Now, however, jobless and pretty close to homeless these days, the handheld computer/entertainment center which had bonus telephonic capability was my connection to the professional middle class world that seemed so far away. (I’m aware that I still have my computer, email, the internet, and this blog to feel part of the world, but with no internet access where I supposedly “live”, and, for those of you who also like to feel part of the larger world, it’s my own private Idahell, a Pelican Bay on info lockdown.)
Later, iBereft, I was seated at a counter in the library café, where next to me two gentlemen have come into a conversation over their own iPhones. After exchanging the usual verbal business cards (much like dogs sniffing each other in the…. park) and the establishment of each other’s 16 or 32-giggishness and 3G/iPhone 4 cred, the subject of one man’s accent is finally broached. Now the accent in question was not the speech and accent so common to the mouth-breathingly stupid of the guy in the sagging bizarre-brand jeans, the SouthPole wearing, tatted-up Lakers Fan but the accent of the other guy, who looked and dressed like Eminem and spoke with a French accent. It was, in fact, a Belgian accent. What follows is a word-for-wordish account of some of their conversation:
Lakers Fan: What kind of accent is that?
Belgian Guy: Me? I am from Belgium.
Lakers Fan: No shit. What you doing up here?
(NOTE: “Up here?” Where exactly does he think Belgium is?)
Belgian Guy: I am with my girlfriend. We are visiting.
Lakers Fan: From Belgian (sic)?
Belgian Guy: Yes. It is very nice. Warm. Where I am from it is rain and cold.
Lakers Fan: So what language you speak over there?
Belgian Guy: Where I am from we speak French.
Lakers Fan: Oh, you French?
Belgian Guy: Belgian. I am from Belgium.
Lakers Fan: And you speak French too. Cool. I got some Spanish but don’t talk it. You speak Spanish too?
Belgian Guy: I am learning. My girlfriend, she is Spanish.
Lakers Fan: Mexican chicks are hot.
Belgian Guy: I meet her on a beach. Very warm. 30 degrees.
Lakers Fan: Excuse me?
Belgian Guy: Very warm. 30 degrees hot.
Lakers Fan: Mine’s hot too. Let me ask you something, okay? I seen on TV that over there French people don’t say “quarter pounder with cheese”. Right?
Belgian Guy: I do not understand.
Lakers Fan: McDonalds. You know. McDonalds. Quarter pounder.
Belgian Guy: Yes, McDonalds.
Lakers Fan: You say a “Royale with cheese”. Like they showed on TV.
Belgian Guy: Excuse me?
Lakers Fan: At McDonalds.
Belgian Guy: Yes, McDonalds.
Lakers Fan: You don’t say “quarter pounder with cheese”?
Belgian Guy: No, I do not think so.
Lakers Fan: You say “Royale with cheese”. The metric system?
Belgian Guy: Ah, yes.
Lakers Fan: So let me ask you something then.
Belgian Guy: Yes.
Lakers Fan: How do you know you’re actually getting a quarter pounder?
Aside from the fact that this snippet of reality reveals the same kind of immediate distrust of anything foreign and flat out
revelry in ignorance shown by the Reagan Library tour guide, the thing that really galled me was simply – this guy had an iPhone and I didn’t! I asked him “how do you like your iPhone?” It’s awesome, yadda yadda doo. He could get me one too. He knows a guy, the guy he took his to, who could hook me up, jailbreak one for me. He gets them all the time. “Where’d you get yours?” I asked. You guessed it: he stole it!
The average “bonus” paid to Wall Street bankers last year was $430,000. I’m sure they all have iPhones too.
 The invasion of this tiny island was perhaps the last great United States military victory, a “five-star resort of a war”, code named “Operation Urgent Fury” and relates in this context to the homeless library patrons’ rush for the entrance immediately upon opening.
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