Republican Debate Recap: Live from New Hampshire!

Hello and welcome to the second Republican Presidential Debate live from New Hampshire. I’m John King and I will be interrupting your answers with a series of unintelligible gurgles tonight.

This debate is sponsored by: That one Bennigans restaurant that is left, Gary Johnson, and whatever advertising we could muster up. It’s tough times here at CNN.

John King: The first question goes to Newt Gingrich. Sir, you have had some trouble with your campaign with some snafus and staff defections. Here is your chance to tell America about the real Newt.

Newt Gingrich: Thank you very much John. The stories of my lack of campaign discipline are fundamentally incorrect and I hope to go into detail tonight before I leave to board my Alaskan Cruise.

John King: Thank you Mr. Gingrich. Congresswoman Bachmann there is an angry and down-on-his-luck State Senator who lost his seat to the Tea Party. May he ask you a question?

Michelle Bachmann: I’m sorry John. I don’t take questions from beta males.

John King: Wonderful. Governor Pawlenty, you recently hammered Mitt Romney’s by calling his healthcare proposal “Obamneycare.” Are you prepared to say that today with him in the room?

Tim Pawlenty: I want to but….his….face….It’s….so….beautiful.

John King: Thank you Mr. Pawlenty. Mr. Cain, Medicare looks to be the entitlement that is causing much anxiety and many seniors are worried about their care. How would you address this?

Herman Cain: These times can be stressful for the elderly John, I know. That’s why I am pleased to announce that Godfather’s Pizza is offering a 25% discount this week to all senior citizens! Try or new, hand-tossed veggie delight special! Piled high with garden fresh vegetab…..

John King: Thank you Mr. Cain. Mr. Romney, are you using Touch of Gray?

Mitt Romney: Yes…no…I mean, I will, if you want me to. I’LL DO ANYTHING. JUST TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT!

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Censor My S***? Slave, Please.

60 Minutes just dedicated one-third of its namesake to the Huck Finn controversy. The segment featured pre-pubescent students saying Mark Twain “overused” the the word nigger, meaning the word should be redacted. The interviewer failed to ask the logical follow up, “Who the fuck are you to tell Mark Twain how to write?” We thought the incident deserved a blast from the past from contributor Edmund Morganfield, on censoring Mark Twain.

Mark Twain was many things in life and a genius at most of them, but surely his most accomplished trade, next to his prose, was troublemaking. So, it should come as no surprise that over a century after his death, the Clemens boy is once again in trouble with schoolteachers.

Twain enlisted in the Confederate Army when he was a young man–a hanging crime in the North–and deserted his command, along with his entire company, two weeks later–a hanging crime in the South. Having effectively made himself a fugitive in the entire country within a fortnight, he went West, where he began work as a newspaper correspondent. He later accused one of the most prominent women’s groups in Silver City, Nevada, of supporting miscegenation. He came into work the next day and found a pile of invitations, all of them from the ladys’ husbands, all of them to duels.

To whom it may concern...

After practicing his sharpshooting with a friends in a nearby barn–and failing to hit even the broadside of it–he decided to leave town, and was hiding in the mining camps above Silver City when he heard the story that eventually became “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calevaris County,” and launched his career. Mark Twain lived a life on the social margins, told stories about violence and attacked the values of middle-class America with impunity, and got paid obscene amounts of money for doing it. He also dropped the n-word like a bad job. Surely, this man was the original gansta rapper.

And he wouldn't pull some sell-out ish and join Law and Order

A new edition of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is replacing the word “nigger,” mentioned 219 times in the book, with the word “slave.” The reason is obvious; the word is immensely offensive in almost every context, reminds us of the deep painful history of racism that is woven into the history of this country, and keeps the books out of libraries and schools where it could actually do some good. It’s an impulse that teachers have been fighting for a long time, but in the interest of being able to teach good literature without worrying about a political firestorm, it kinda seems like a good idea, doesn’t it?

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Republican Debate Recap: Live From South Carolina!

Hello and welcome to the very first 2010 Republican Debate live from South Carolina featuring the very best top-tier candidates from across the country: Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Congressman Ron Paul, Former Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain, Former Senator Rick Santourm, and someone’s grumpy libertarian uncle….

Gary Johnson: No, I’m Gary Johnson, okay. I was the governor of New Mexico.

All of the candidates poorly tailored suits were provided by the Men’s Warehouse. Men’s Warehouse: You’re gonna like the way you look unless you are current on men’s fashion.

Chris Wallace: Thank you all for tuning in. I’m Chris Wallace joined tonight by my colleagues Juan Williams and Megyn Kelly. Our first question is for Governor Pawlenty. Sir, you are listed by many pundits as a frontrunner but voters find you terribly unexciting. Would you care to introduce yourself?

Tim Pawlenty: Thanks to Fox for hosting this discussion and to my opponents for allowing me the opportunity to appear vastly superior than I will be in future debates.

I share a deep bond with the hard working people of South Carolina. I grew up in a blue collar meatpacking family. My father like his father before him worked hard at the meatpacking plant and we took pride in our work. Like the good people of South Carolina I’m a regular American with…..

Rick Santorum: Excuse me.

Juan Williams: Yes Senator Santorum

Rick Santorum: I am offended by Mr. Pawlenty’s sexual overtures and find them inappropriate for this discussion.

Juan Williams: Thank you Senator Santorum

Megyn Kelly: Mr. Cain you are fairly new to the Presidential scene what can Americans expect from a Cain Presidency?

Herman Cain: Americans can expect from me what they can expect from Godfather’s Pizza, which is a light fluffy crust of a man dripping with the finest sauces and cheese at an affordable price. Like our pizza I prepare each and every day using the freshest ingredients and…..

Megyn Kelly: Thank you Mr. Cain

Chris Wallace: Mr. Santourm, you are entering this race as a staunch social conservative but have been referred to by many as, and I quote, “Kind of a dick about it.” How do you respond to this?

Rick Santorum: Chris, that question is condescending and beneath me and I will not answer it. Also, Mitch Daniels is a heartless man lacking a soul.

Juan Williams: Congressman Paul……

10 Obnoxious Paul Fans: AHHHHHHH! WHOOOOOO! WHOOOOO!

Juan Williams: Congressman Paul. You have called for the legalization of drugs…..

10 Obnoxious Paul Fans: WHOOOOOOO!

Juan Williams: But fail to address the consequences of drug use in America. How would you answer your critics?

Ron Paul: Well people can do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t bother anyone else.

Juan Williams: Don’t drug addicts create a negative impact on society and bother others?

Ron Paul: Ludwig von Mises. End the Fed.

10 Obnoxious Paul Fans: WHOOOOOOOOO!

Gary Johnson: Ummmm excuse me? Nobody is paying attention to me. I have a tremendous amount of important things to say.

Megyn Kelly: Mr. Johnson, what would you like to address?

Gary Johnson: *Frowns* Now that I have your attention, okay, I would like to talk about how this audience, okay, is ignoring the values of classical liberalism. People are going to vote for me because I don’t lower myself to social issues unlike these other candidates.

Megyn Kelly: Please stop talking with your eyes closed. You look like a blowhard.

Chris Wallace: Mr. Pawlenty I’m going to give you an outdated question about stem cells. Can you hit it out of the park for me?

Tim Pawlenty: Surely.


And now a quick word from our sponsor.

Hello, I’m G. Gordon Liddy and I developed the Watergate plan that got Richard Nixon impeached…….   ……   …..    ….. You should buy gold!

Alright back to the debate.

Juan Williams: Mr. Cain the recent union challenge to block Boeing from building a plant in South Carolina has many in an uproar how would you address this?

Herman Cain: Unions are an important part of the American work force. They work hard for their families and help our country move forward. Like American Unions, Godfather’s Pizza is committed to working hard for your family. Whether it’s our on-time delivery guarantee or our family value meals we strive…..

Juan Williams: Thank you Mr. Cain.

Megyn Kelly: Senator Santorum, why are you here?

Rick Santroum: I’m not a big fan of Mexicans.

Chris Wallace: Mr. Johnson, you are, literally, the only person in this room who is not Pro-Life how does that make you feel?

Gary Johnson: Grouchy. *Frowns*

Chris Wallace: I’m going to ask each of you a question on an issue that will most likely sink your already floundering campaigns: Governor Pawlenty, You voted for a Cap-and-Trade Bill would you care to defend your actions?

Tim Pawlenty: Chris, what you failed to mention was that I didn’t not vote for an anti-pro cap-and-trade bill not just in committee not but in the Governorship.

Chris Wallace: I hope someone uses that in a commercial. Senator Santroum, the last time you ran for office your campaign was used as an example in all major political science textbooks of how not act as a candidate, what have you to say to that?

Rick Santourm: I wear searsucker suits in the winter.

Chis Wallace: That is unfortunate. Congressman Paul, you have the most classless and annoying followers of any candidate in the last twenty years. Is there anything you would like to say to them?

Ron Paul: My supporters can do whatever they want as long as they aren’t bothering others.

Chris Wallace: They are bothering others.

10 Obnoxious Ron Paul Fans: WHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Chris Wallace: Governor Johnson you have publically admitted to smoking marijuana before yet you don’t look nearly as fun as any of my friends that smoke marijuana. What do you say to that?

Gary Johnson: Statistical Charts.

Chris Wallace: Thank you Mr. Johnson. Mr. Cain, I heard Godfather’s pizza really isn’t any good?

Herman Cain: I will punch you in the face.

Juan Williams: Alright that’s all we have for tonight. I would like to thank all of our candidates for stopping buy. Stay tuned to hear Sean Hannity repeat this week’s Republican talking points and throw a Nerf football like a girl.

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An Honest Republican Debate

Screw Water for Elephants. It’s Robots for Republicans. Get ready for CC’s Live-Tweeting GOP Debate: Follow us at:




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5 Simple Ways To Save The Oscars (Better Movies Not Included)

The Oscars, that time-honored tradition of insanely beautiful and wealthy people handing each other golden statues, is strangely drifting away from mainstream America. This year, the program dropped 9 percent from 2010, down 5.7 million from that year, and this coming on the end of a ten-year slide in rating, dropping far below the 1998 record at 57.25 million (that year there was this little indie-movie-that-could called “Titanic,” if you remember). Since then its all been downhill quicker than a spinoff series. Doing a little quick math, we can conclude that pretty soon the Oscars will even be in danger of losing their core audience of gay men, elderly grandmothers and those assholes at Blockbusters who roll their eyes when you rent “Observe and Report.”

There are many reasons for this, and an excellent article in the SF Chronicle explains most of them, but really it comes down to this: In the last 15 years there’s been a drift away from what made the Oscars great, and this change is emblematic of the widening cultural shift between Hollywood and the rest of America. Once upon a time, the program was hosted by the likes of Steve Martin, Billy Crystal and David Letterman, solid choices from Middle America.

My memories of those years were rousing musical numbers, wit and aplomb for acceptance speeches and a sense that they were here to entertain the audience, of all things, all played out to the grinning approval of Jack Nicholson in the front row with his 23-year old date. Yes, we knew she was boinking him for the Laker tickets, but in that one magical night a year, we had the chance to feel like they did, to be in their world, and it was kinda like we were all boinking Jack Nicholson for his Laker tickets.

At its best, Oscars is a celebration of not just one year in cinema but a whole tradition in America, going back to the Golden Age of Hollywood of Frank Capra, musical comedies and the films that got the country through the Great Depression. America has always had a love-hate relationship with Hollywood–love their products but hate the people that make it. We read tabloids of their divorces and calculate who holds the record (Elizabeth Taylor, by the way, at seven marriages and counting) and rail against their spiritual fads and moral decadence, all while going to their films in droves.

Meanwhile, they in turn lecture us about the evils of the American way of life with pedantic documentaries about the electric car or nearly-endangered African insects or whatever the hell else won Sundance this year, while making a full-time job of pandering to their audience for ticket sales. The Oscars were like a yearly truce, a chance when both sides had the opportunity to remember what brought these two groups together in the first place: their love of movies.

But after some point, it’s been all out war. It began when Michael Moore accepted for best documentary in 2002 and condemned George W. Bush for creating the Department of Homeland Security (yes, he really was that big of a douchebag). The hosts became Jon Stewart and Chris Rock, the former who could not stop commenting on how little he thought of the event, and the later who insulted the nominees to their faces. Somewhere in there the acceptance speeches became long rambling recitations of names that meant nothing to anyone outside of LA.

The event has taken on all the fun and spontaneity of a national convention for orthodontists: it means a lot for the people who do that for a living, I’m sure, but I don’t really want to watch it for four hours. Oh, and then there was that year when Bill Maher wore a leather business suit and made fun of Americans for believing in God–a dick move, to be sure, but note that it was not a leather jacket, but an entire suit made out of leather. I don’t have a point here, I just wanted to remind people that Bill Maher is a massive tool, and that he actually did that.

Simply put, it’s become too self-referential. The Oscars are tanking because they are not entertaining, and for all the crazy piles of bullshit that America is willing to put up with from Hollywood, boredom is not one of them. So, allow me to explain to the Academy how we can put the razzle back into the dazzle, and save this beleaguered tradition from the ash-heap of oblivion that has befallen other great American traditions like literacy and non-steroids baseball.

1) Cut out the technical categories, and save yourself an hour-and-a-half. I’m dropping a truth-bomb here: ugly people don’t deserve Oscars. I know that these people are the “unsung heroes” of Hollywood and all, but I am completely serious when I tell you that literally no one cares. Film editing, art direction, sound editing, sound mixing…we don’t even know what these mean, literally do not know, and that’s the way we like it. Outside of LA these are known as the Boring Parts, the ones that we must endure until something interesting starts to happen again. There is already a separate ceremony for other technological breakthroughs that year, which is really where this belongs anyway, and it may not be fair, but we have got to cut the four-hour telecast down. It is ungodly long, and this is the place to cut.

2) Separate categories of Best Picture. Last year, the Academy at least recognized that the Best Picture category is unfair when they expanded it from five to ten nominees, trying to broaden the category beyond the dominance of drama, but they should go further. The Dark Knight was a brilliant film that didn’t even get nominated because it was unmistakably action, while (500) Days of Summer was easily the most innovative romantic comedy of the decade, and was ignored for the same reason. Do it like the Grammys and Emmys, a “best of” for each category, so comedies and action movies can get their own well-deserved recognition. It would draw in a larger audience, those that didn’t get out to the independent theater in downtown but still check out Will Ferrel on NetFlix. While we’re at it, create a category for best independent film, too, because I’m sick of my art friends bitching about this.

3) Gratuitous explosions. Enough said.

4) Pick better hosts. I enjoy James Franco as much as the next average American (which is to say I don’t know who he is), but this crap needs to stop. Academy, stop degrading yourself. You’re like the woman in the club who’s pushing 40 so she gets out the spiked heels, tapes her breasts together and starts buying drinks for the guys at the bar. It’s pathetic, and this cycle of self-destruction must end. You will not attract a younger audience with these hosts, so stop booking them. Chris Rock didn’t get black people, Jon Stewart didn’t get the college crowd, and Steve Martin didn’t even get back your old audience (they all died 10 years ago…sorry). Instead, focus on steady choices, people that are entertainers, who are fun and exciting and controlled, and let the demographics be damned. Ellen DeGeneres was a great choice, and should be considered again. If you can create a solid program, Americans will watch it. Make a strong show, and you won’t need controversial hosts to generate interest.

5) Stop lecturing us! I said enough about this at the top, but it bares repeating. We put up with one ridiculously preachy movie from you chowderheads a year, that’s our courtesy to you, so don’t abuse it. The fact is, the acceptance speeches have gotten more preachy–George “Hollywood-Is-Responsible-For-The-Civil-Rights-Movement” Clooney, I’m looking at you–as have many of the presenters. Whatever the merits of Al Gore’s movie, when you give him unfiltered airtime to advance his theory you are essentially telling the American people that Hollywood is here to correct their politics, free their minds and save their souls, and that this is the official position of the Academy. I cannot imagine a more contemptuous attitude to take, or one will turn Americans away faster.

This is not a place for celebrities to voice their charity projects or make a statement, this is a time to celebrate achievements in film and to entertain, and everyone involved in the ceremony needs to understand that. I don’t want to hear about the Third World or whatever else these people do to assuage the guilt of whoring themselves for the last four months of publicity tours just to get here. Save that for Twitter. As far as I’m concerned we gave Oliver Stone a career, so we’re even. Put on your dancin’ shoes and do a two-step, that’s what you’re good at. I’ll take economic lessons from an actor as soon as I go see a movie made by an idiot who can barely conceive of a linear plot. And I’ve already seen “The Last Airbender,” so count me out.

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God help us

John Boehner is stepping up his attacks against Planned Parenthood, which offers several health care services to low-income women.  Though no tax payer dollars are used for abortions, he wants to make extra sure by stripping away all government funding. Apparently, his religion tells him abortion is evil and we all know that mixing church and state is cocktail recipe for reason and good decision making.

But heck, if the eggs are already cracked, why not make a good omelet out of it? Ya dig? So here are some more heathen institutions I think we should defund as well.

1. Public Schools: Did you know they teach that cockamamy evolution theory in those dens of sin? Well, not only are they filing our childrens’ minds with that fearful book learnin’, but they’re also teaching them about condoms and birth control! Those godless fools should know the only form of contraception is abstinence! Abstinence! (U.S. states whose residents have more conservative religious beliefs on average tend to have higher rates of teenagers giving birth…but whatevs, more little ones for the flock)

2. Department of Corrections: Why spend money punishing criminals now when we all know that they’ll have to respond to a higher authority?

3.PBS: Bert and Ernie sleep in the same bed?  Grover once learned how to practice civil disobedience? Oscar is homeless and still accepted in society? WTF.  Sesame Street promotes tolerance, equality and inclusiveness. Not okay with me, Jose, everyone needs to be just like me and believe what I believe. (Though children who watch Sesame Street do statistically better in school then those who do not, they’re probably going to be gay)

4. Center for Disease Control: Prayer is the best medicine.

5. Libraries We only need one book and I think we all know what it is. More books are just going to give people more ideas. Ideas will only get them thinking and reasoning. Libraries have been known to carry books by such godless pagans like Judy Blume, Lois Lowry and J.K. Rowling. And do we want our children exposed to works of fiction meant to impose a set of morals and guidelines on how to live decently? NO. Well…

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The Cure for the Oscar Hangover: not “More Cowbell”

A Langley Delano Roosevelt Joint

Oscar fever; oh, the wondrous sensations that it brings.  The dresses, the glamour, the speeches, the burning urination (no, just me?), wondering whether Kirk Douglas is crazy or just old… it certainly is an amazing time of year.  You underwent weeks of research for your Oscar pool, only to lose because Nine Inch Nails icon Trent Reznor won Best Original Score over A.R. Rahman’s 127 Hours.  I bet you even watched Winter’s Bone, shocked when you saw Jennifer Lawrence sporting a hot red dress instead of an ugly plaid flannel shirt.  Personally, I watched 13 of the 24 “real” movies nominated for awards and 8 of the 10 best picture nods.  Did it do me any good?  A rhetorical question.  The answer: no; my sleeper, Hailee Steinfeld, failed to oust a much older Melissa Leo.  So, where are we left?  Prepare to embark on, historically, the worst two months of cinema.  I like to call this time of year, The Oscar Hangover.

If you accept that we have a problem, at least until Thor releases May 6th (please don’t judge), then we can work together and find a solution.  You can try to dust off your Playstation, crack the spine of that book that you’ve been meaning to read for eight months, or even delve into the reruns of Saturday Night Live on the E! Channel.  Together, though, we can do something far more substantial – find a good movie, a needle in the haystack that is first quarter Hollywood.  Lucky for you I’m not a team player and I’ve already done the work.  To be honest, this is been my hobby since I was a wee child.  I reveled in the ability to find the underground “Progressive Metal” bands that my friends envied.  I went as far as making the trek to Allentown, Pennsylvania to watch a former Medieval Times knight sing on the grand stage of The Crocodile Rock (if any reader knows the band, I applaud).  I thought my taste had matured when I discovered Bradley Cooper’s Midnight Meat Train.  Yes, that is the dude from The Hangover, and no, the movie is not a pornographic feature.  How naïve I was…

Finally, my patient readers, I have become a seasoned veteran of navigating the deadly March/April waters also known as the AMC Theater.  As such, in my grizzled old age, I bring you news of the cure: a 72 minute feature known as Rubber.  I understand the name is equally as perverse as How to Train Your Dragon, addressed by the astute James Franco, but it will do the trick to renew your faith in the ingenuity of Hollywood’s lesser known constituents.  A self-proclaimed “homage to the no reason,” this French film, originally released in said country but shot it English, is perversely entertaining.  On half a million dollars, Quentin Dupieux manages to bring us a dark comedy whose messages are socially relevant and oddly poignant.  He even managed to find actors with names eerily similar to the huge stars that we have grown to love: Ethan Coh[e]n and David Bow[i]e.  Rubber falls somewhere between noir and nouveau, following a homicidal tire that serves as a metaphor for something far larger than its 16 inch diameter.  If you are of the class that outsmarted Inception (I do have to give Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas credit for at least trying), I challenge you to watch this movie with the attention that it deserves.  On the other hand, if you found Inception to be overly confusing and incredibly smart, I suggest hitting the bowl before Rubber and laughing for the next 72 minutes.  Either way, you deserve better than mainstream Hollywood can provide.


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