Tongue-In-Cheek: April 2008: Archives
In the following video, Jon Stewart tackles the question of abstinence-only sex education (with all of the appropriate sarcasm) and the fact that it has proven ineffective in reducing teen pregnancies and the transmission of STD's.
He first offers us a look at some of the techniques used and some of the arguments being offered by those opposed to comprehensive sex education. You're bound to love the dirty toothbrush example as well as the "god stick and shame cave" analogy that Stewart attributes to the likes of Senator Brownback. It's a good thing we've advanced from more primitive deterrent strategies and adopted these advanced measures of preventing children from exploring their sexuality.
He closes the segment with a pubic service announcement promoting dry humping as a reasonable alternative to getting 'dirty'. Stewart tells teens that dry humping is safe...it avoids the need for those disgusting condoms...and it allows you to still get into heaven.
Tagged as: Abstinence-Only Education, Condoms, Humor, Jon Stewart, Pregnancy, Religion, Senator Sam Brownback, Sex, The Daily Show
Daniel DiRito | April 30, 2008 | 2:16 PM |
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In the following video, The Onion reports that the vast majority of praise (compliments) is not sincere and is actually offered with sarcasm.
It reminded me of a Seinfeld episode titled The Good Samaritan. In the episode, George jumps the gun on acknowledging the sneeze of a woman in the presence of her husband. The husband is angered because George didn't allow enough time for the husband to issue the first "God bless you".
As the show progresses, the Seinfeld crew continues to debate George's alleged faux pas. During the discussion, Jerry decides that telling someone "God bless you" after they sneeze isn't really all that meaningful. Instead, Jerry suggests it would make people feel better if we said, "You're so good looking".
Since virtually everything on Seinfeld had to do with sarcasm, it seemed to perfectly complement the tongue-in-cheek satire offered by The Onion. With that said, next time you hear someone sneeze, give Jerry's suggestion a go and see if you get a thank you or a glare that tells you your smart ass sarcasm isn't appreciated.
Tagged as: George Costanza, God Bless You, Humor, Jerry Seinfeld, Sarcasm, Seinfeld, Sneezing, The Good Samaritan, The Onion, Video
Daniel DiRito | April 30, 2008 | 1:01 PM |
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A sad day indeed. This Friday was the end of the season for HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher. What will I do with my Friday nights now? Well I guess The Daily Show and The Colbert Report provide a safety net for those in need of irreverence...but it's still difficult to see Bill Maher drop off the scene for a few months. OK, enough with the lamentations...it's time for this weeks New Rules.
Bill starts out with a swipe at the high price of gas...call it the nine tenths rule. He then argues that psychedelic screen savers are a gateway drug...which may explain his reference to all things prickly.
Maher shifts to the upcoming wedding of Jenna Bush to remind our president that he's not losing a daughter...just a war. He knocks the obsession with cosmetic surgery and the need to bring our children to work, and he suggests those who think that Obama is a Muslim might want to be sure they haven't married their cousin.
Maher takes a jab at liberals and their oil burning and bumper sticker laden vans. He then closes with a segment on the lingering Democratic nomination in which he points out that the obsession with everything Jeremiah Wright may be Hillary Clinton's secret weapon...though I doubt the Reverend will provide the Clinton campaign with the offense Maher suggests will be needed to put her over the top.
Tagged as: Barack Obama, Bill Maher, Cosmetic Surgery, George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, Humor, Jenna Bush, Jeremiah Wright, New Rules, Religious Fundamentalists, Religulous, Screen Savers
Daniel DiRito | April 28, 2008 | 9:41 AM |
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Drinking stories are clearly a part of our culture...especially on college campuses. In the following spoof, The Onion provides the "research" on the most popular phrases 18-24 year olds use to describe their state of drunkenness to their roommates from a weekend of partying.
Ironically, little has changed over the years with regards to getting trashed. When we're young, the goal is to be the most outrageous drunk...the one everyone talks about the next morning. Wearing that badge becomes the objective. Then as we get older, the goal seems to shift to being able to drink the most without showing any tell-tale signs of impairment.
On the one hand, the unedited is celebrated...on the other, masking one's actual status becomes preferential. Perhaps it's all a result of societal expectations. We're willing to allow youthful indiscretion until the point at which we require adult inhibition. Makes one wonder if either approach makes any sense. I find that realization to be a downer..but then again, we're talking about drinking, eh?
Tagged as: Alcohol Consumption, College, Comedy, Drinking, Humor, Impairment, Research, The Onion
Daniel DiRito | April 22, 2008 | 9:56 AM |
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This week Bill Maher argues that mailing our tax returns shouldn't require a stamp, that the airlines provide such dismal service that they ought to start loading us in the cargo hold, and that the Pope ought to wear a slip under his holy garments...especially in light of the church's long history of cover ups. Maher then blasts Blockbuster's plan to takeover Circuit City...calling it an effort to create the worst retail experience in America.
He closes with an excellent observation on the latest Barack Obama bitter-gate brouhaha. Maher isn't buying into the manufactured maelstrom when he seeks to understand how in the hell one defines an elitist in America. He then insists that those who think Obama is an elitist need to reconsider what lies behind the candidacy of John McCain and the presidency of George W. Bush. Instead, Maher suggests it is he who should be bitter at the fact that "shitkickers voted twice for a retarded guy they wanted to have a beer with".
Tagged as: Air Travel, Airlines, Barack Obama, Bill Maher, Bitter-gate, Blockbuster, Catholic Church, Circuit City, Elitism, George W. Bush, Humor, John McCain, Pope Benedict XVI
Daniel DiRito | April 19, 2008 | 7:48 AM |
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We've all heard the expression, "Her floor was so clean, you could eat off of it". In the following video, Mo Rocca wants to know how many people would actually give it a go. OK, he doesn't ask them if they would sit down and have their meal served on the floor...but he does explore people's views on the infamous five second rule.
I suspect the number of people who will eat something they've dropped on the floor is higher than one would imagine. I could be wrong, but I'd bet the number of individuals who throw away absolutely everything that falls on the floor isn't all that large.
Feel free to share your own rules, regulations, and rituals with regard to eating off the floor. Unfortunately, when I saw this video, all I could think of was David Hasselhoff lying drunk on the floor and eating a burger. That's enough to make anyone reconsider the five second rule.
Tagged as: 180, Cleanliness, David Hasselhoff, Five Second Rule, Food, Germs, Humor, Mo Rocca
Daniel DiRito | April 14, 2008 | 8:54 PM |
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Bill Maher walked a fine line tonight...and he may have even crossed it a couple times...so much so that Jason Alexander tells him (while holding two fingers close together), "You've got to be just this far from madness at all times".
Regardless, tonight's New Rules was one of the best Maher has delivered since the end of the writer's strike. He starts off with the obvious...you can't protect the Olympic torch (or much of anything for that matter) with security forces on roller blades. He follows that with a comment on astrology and boring children's birthday parties...neither of which drew much laughter.
Next he nails a segment on Virgin Airlines' new ad campaign which touts a woman blow drying her hair at her seat. Maher laments the decision to turn already dismal flights into flying locker rooms and he finishes by sarcastically suggesting he'll now have time to shave his balls.
In a segment worthy of the title of his prior show, Politically Incorrect, he criticizes the Aetna Insurance decision to appoint Magic Johnson as their spokesperson. Amidst moans from the audience, Maher essentially states that he refuses to take health tips "from an HIV positive fat man" (ouch!).
As if that weren't enough, he pivots to offer a lengthy and scathing indictment of the Pope and the Catholic Church. While referring to the raid on the Texas polygamist sect, Maher sets the table for the evisceration of the Catholic Church when he tells us that the combination of a secretive compound, religion, and weirdos in pioneer outfits is bound to result in children being molested. He closes by drawing an insightful analogy between the bail out of Bear Stearns and the free pass given to the leadership of the Catholic Church.
While I've only included a clip of the New Rules segment, the entire show was noteworthy. If you have the time, head over to YouTube and have a look.
Tagged as: Aetna Insurance, Astrology, Bill Maher, Catholic Church, Jason Alexander, Magic Johnson, New Rules, Olympic Torch, Pope Benedict, Virgin Airlines
Daniel DiRito | April 11, 2008 | 10:02 PM |
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Should we laugh at the fact that The Daily Show provides a more accurate version of the facts that underly the news than does Fox News? Here's your chance to decide by watching John Oliver's documentary on the two faces of Fox News.
Funny as it is to watch this piece in which the many Fox News correspondents spin an issue one way if it favors the GOP and another should it cast a positive light on the Democrats, it provides a frightening commentary on the degree to which Fox News is neither fair or balanced.
It really is amazing to see the blatant partisanship that has come to typify much of what is disseminated by Fox. It is even more amazing that they are able to attract the formidable audience they do.
I'm reminded of my one of my favorite quotations. Horace Mann once stated, "We go by the major vote, and if the majority are insane, the sane must go to the hospital". As it now stands, I'm currently scheduling my exploratory visits. If Fox News wins over many more viewers, I'll soon be seated at the admissions desk.
Tagged as: Bill O'Reilly, Comedy Central, Democrats, Fair & Balanced, Faux News, Fox News, George W. Bush, GOP, Humor, John Oliver, Jon Stewart, Partisanship, Sean Hannity, The Daily Show
Daniel DiRito | April 11, 2008 | 4:51 PM |
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If the American Family Association had their way, I suspect they would require a Bible in the glove box of every car and nonstop airing of The 700 Club in all hotels. Yes, the loons that boycotted Ford for being gay friendly have now decided to tackle the scourge of hotel porn. The AFA wants Marriott International to stop offering adult content movies to their guests and they are seeking a meeting with company officials to make their case (and view a few examples).
Several conservative groups, including the American Family Association, are asking Marriott International Inc. to stop giving hotel guests the option of ordering pay-per-view movies with strong sexual content.
AFA, based in Tupelo, said 47 "pro-family leaders" have signed a letter asking chain's chief executive, J.W. Marriott Jr., for a meeting to discuss their concerns.
Marriott was told that stopping "porn movies" would be in keeping with the corporation's position of "promoting the well-being of children and families," AFA said in a news release.
AFA announced last month that it was ending a two-year boycott of Ford Motor Co., saying the company had met most of its demands, which included ending donations to groups that support same-sex marriage.
Ford said in a statement that its principles haven't changed, but that it has reduced overall advertising and charitable spending in recent years because of losses in North America. Ford lost $2.7 billion in 2007.
Among those participating in the letter to Marriott, according to AFA, are James Dobson, chairman of Focus on the Family; Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council; Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission; Bishop Harry Jackson, chairman of High Impact Leadership Council; and Robert Peters, president of Morality in Media.
Now I'm no religious expert but isn't it the individual's responsibility to resist temptation? Since these movies aren't mandatory and they can only be viewed if one elects to see them and agrees to pay the fee, I'm at a loss to understand how this impacts the well-being of families? If daddy or mommy have a predisposition to watch porn or to engage in adulterous affairs, I doubt they need to run to a hotel to achieve either. Further, there's no reason to believe that the effort to force Marriott to cease offering porn will strengthen or save a single marriage.
I've long argued that these religious fanatics are constantly looking for rules and regulations because they simply haven't the will to resist their own wanton desires. Rather than look within for answers, they run around demanding the world erect barriers to save them from themselves...and that's a tall order. Truth be told, the newspapers are filled with examples of the lengths to which people will go to fulfill their misguided motivations.
It will take a lot more than a Bible in every Ford, a ban on hotel porn, or a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex unions to save the institution of marriage. Last time I checked, divorce rates have been increasing for years. Pardon my snark, but those numbers primarily reflect the failure of holier than thou hetero marriages. Homos have long been on the outside looking in...and from my perspective...the grass isn't all that green on the other side of the fence.
As usual, stories of this nature always seem to inspire my sarcastic side. With that in mind, I've created a new top ten list. The following are the top ten reasons hotel chains must not stop offering movies with adult content to their guests.
How would we ever catch governors in the act of destroying their political careers?
The innuendo behind "Feel the Hyatt touch" would be totally inappropriate.
Sexual intrigue sells...Watergate scandals are so passé.
It could potentially encourage a closeted minister to arrange clandestine hotel meetings with a male prostitute.
Corporate America couldn't afford to hire traveling salesman if the perks were suddenly eliminated.
Motel Six would have to change its slogan to, "You must leave the light on".
Hotel chains can't afford to alter all of their door hangers to include wholesome explanations like "Do Not Disturb - Prayer In Progress".
What would evangelical adulterers use to ready themselves for their extra-marital trysts?
It could spell the end for that popular Las Vegas ad campaign...the one that states, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas".
It's better than allowing polygamous religious lunatics to build marriage beds in their temples.
Tagged as: 700 Club, Adultery, American Family Association, Bible, Divorce, Ford Motor Company, Gay Marriage, James Dobson, LGBT, Marriott, Pornography, Religion, Same-Sex Marriage, Tony Perkins
Daniel DiRito | April 11, 2008 | 11:58 AM |
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Did you ever wonder what happens to your vision when you've had a few too many cocktails? The following visual is from an ad campaign aimed at drunken drivers and it simulates the effects of being intoxicated. The ad format has been used in prior campaigns but I thought it was rather effective in pointing out the risks of drinking and driving. Regardless, I simply like visual images that mess with our brains.
On a lighter note, I find it amusing to compare today's attitudes on drinking with the one's that existed when I was in high school. At the time, one of my teachers was known for his many oddball comments. One of my favorites related to his take on drinking and driving. With his signature deadpan delivery, he would tell us the following, "If you're going to drink and drive, make sure you have a car." Today, I suspect such a comment might land a teacher in hot water. So much for the good old days.
By the way, to get the full effect of the visual, click on the following thumbnail image and it will open a full sized one.
Tagged as: Ad Campaign, Advertising, Alcohol, Drinking & Driving, Humor, Visual Illusion
Daniel DiRito | April 9, 2008 | 10:37 AM |
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In these political times, every day brings a new endorsement. In the following video clip, Lewis Black gives us the skinny on the value of celebrity endorsements. Once Black finishes skewering the merit of endorsements from the likes of Kal Penn, Dick Van Patten, Heidi Montag, Rosie O'Donnell, Tom Cruise, and Donald Trump, he moves on to the creme de la creme...Oprah Winfrey. Black shows us a few Oprah clips to make his point that Oprah's exuberance for Obama may not be all that...well...exuberant.
I think the truth of the matter is that celebrity endorsements do very little to influence politics and more likely serve to influence the appeal of the celebrity making the endorsement. Then again, given the propensity of politicians to mouth the lines of their handlers, who better to judge actors than fellow actors, eh?
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Celebrity, Dick Van Patten, Donald Trump, Heidi Montag, Humor, Kal Penn, Lewis Black, Oprah Winfrey, Political Endorsements, Rosie O'Donnell, Sean Penn, The Daily SHow
Daniel DiRito | April 9, 2008 | 8:57 AM |
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Who would have ever thought that Jimmy Kimmel could be a Richard Simmons' protege? In the following video, Richard does his best to save Jimmy from the ravages of a life of leisure...and poor hygiene. Try as he might, Richard can't seem to get Jimmy to shed his bad habits...or his extra pounds.
In the end, Jimmy can't change his ways and his fancy pants makeover is a total failure. Turns out Jimmy would rather remain "a piece of s@#%". Richard, on the other hand, will be forced to kick his way out of another celebrity's closet while waving his magic wand. And so goes the work of a fitness fairy...not that there's anything wrong with that.
Tagged as: fitness, humor, Jimmy Kimmel, LGBT, Richard Simmons, Sam Elliott
Daniel DiRito | April 7, 2008 | 2:55 PM |
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Bill is on a tear in this episode of New Rules. He begins with an assault on the TSA and their plans to make the screening process more comfortable - Maher just wants them to get him through the line well before his shoes are out of style. He takes a swipe at Bubba Clinton's extracurricular activities with an picture from the campaign trail - let's just say that Monica won't like the inference.
Next up, I'm with Bill when he says he's sick of Heidi and Spencer. When he asks, "Who are they and who cares", that pretty much sums up my sentiment. Maher then shifts to bowling and suggests Barack borrow a "ball" from uber alpha-male wannabe Ann Coulter. Oh, he also tells us Bush is quite the bowler...especially when it comes to preemptive strikes.
Maher closes by admonishing those Democrats who are whining that Hillary needs to drop out to save the party. Simply stated, he suggests Democrats take one of their children's chill pills and allow democracy to unfold. Instead of lamenting the close contest, Maher suggests Democrats "grow a pair" and cease with the pompous circle jerk alliances that have infected a number of well known web sites. After all, as Maher suggests, why all the fuss when everyone knows that elections in America are decided by the Supreme Court?
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Ann Coulter, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Bill Maher, Democrats, Hillary CLinton, Humor, Monica Lewinsky, TSA
Daniel DiRito | April 5, 2008 | 8:56 AM |
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It's one thing to be uneducated; it's another to be stupid. If a new report on drop out rates in major U.S. metropolitan cities is to be believed, fewer Americans are educated. If the following video represents a cross section of the United States, far to many Americans are also stupid. Taken together, they paint a frightening picture. It's a mixture that may well explain our diminishing economic advantage and it may also signal our waning relevance on the world stage.
From The Washington Post:
WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration announced Tuesday it will require states to report high school graduation rates in a uniform way instead of using a variety of methods that critics say are often based on unreliable information.
Education Secretary Margaret Spellings announced the change at a news conference at which a report was released showing that 17 of the nation's 50 largest cities had high school graduation rates lower than 50 percent.
Nationally, about 70 percent of U.S. students graduate on time with a regular diploma and about 1.2 million students drop out annually.
"When more than 1 million students a year drop out of high school, it's more than a problem, it's a catastrophe," said former Secretary of State Colin Powell, founding chair of the alliance.
Now take a look at the following video. While this piece was a tongue-in-cheek presentation aired on Australian television, it is difficult to ignore the subtle threads of truth that underly the humor.
When I traveled around the world in late 2004 and early 2005, it became apparent that many foreigners were beginning to mistrust the American public. Generally speaking, the message I received was that the world could excuse the unfortunate election of George Bush in 2000...but his reelection in 2004 had set in motion doubts about the electorate's judgment. Further, the prior willingness to separate the unpopular actions of the U.S. government from the generally positive perceptions of the average American was beginning to erode.
At the same time, I sensed a forgiving tone predicated upon America's long history as a force for good in the world. Notwithstanding, it was apparent that granting the benefit of the doubt would eventually come to an end if our trajectory remained the same.
While the 2006 election may have been viewed as a step in the right direction, I think it's safe to surmise that little has happened since my travels to reassure the rest of the world that a sea change has occurred. The seeming ineffectiveness of the Democrats to reduce or remove our troops from Iraq couldn't have been encouraging.
The world may well view 2008 as our defining moment. Should the American voter install a president who "stays the course", I would anticipate a much stronger backlash and an accelerated erosion of credibility.
In the end, it becomes a question of the meaning of freedom. America has always been a beacon for independent thought and the champion of the oppressed. If our actions in November appear to be an affirmation of the status quo and an acquiescence to conformity, I suspect we will not only be seen as uneducated and stupid; we will soon be relabeled as representative of a mindset that chooses dictation over diplomacy and preemption over persuasion.
If that should transpire, the world may rightly conclude that fear has become the catalyst that will lead a once fearless people to further embrace the suspension of freedom. Hopefully, most Americans are smarter than that. Only time...and the ballot box...will tell.
Tagged as: 2008, Australia, Diplomacy, Education, High School Drop Outs, Humor, Intelligence, Iraq, Israel, John Howard, Preemption, Tony Blair, War on Terror
Daniel DiRito | April 3, 2008 | 12:51 PM |
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With the Bush presidency coming to an end...with talk of a lame duck administration...and despite the negative reviews on George Bush's ambitious yet seemingly endless epic, The Iraq War...GWB Studios, in conjunction with GOP Tax Cut Productions, is moving forward with plans to release an astounding sequel that is destined to put an exclamation mark upon the 'Mission Accomplished' era.
From the director who brought us The Doubling Of Debt...get ready to witness the most startling event since the release of The Great Depression. Not since Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, has America faced such an unfettered onslaught of "peckery". When the curtain falls on this startling production, you'll not only be missing the shirt off your back, your pocketbook will have been plucked cleaner than a spiral ham bone.
History is about to unfold...America is about to unravel...and George Bush is certain to have a legacy unlike any of his predecessors. My fellow Americans...prepare yourself for the premiere of R-E-C-E-S-S-I-O-N: The Ownership Society - You've Been Pwned.
Tagged as: Alfred Hitchcock, Depression, Economics, George W. Bush, Humor, National Debt, Ownership Society, Recession, Tax Cuts, The Birds
Daniel DiRito | April 2, 2008 | 4:25 PM |
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If you're going to attempt an April Fool's prank, it ought to be good. In the first of two videos that follow, the BBC has created one that definitely meets this criteria...flying penguins. In the second video, the BBC...
Tagged as: April Fools, BBC, Corona, Guinness Beer, Humor, Penguins, Rain Forest, South America
Daniel DiRito | April 2, 2008 | 9:33 AM |
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The Onion has some fun with the work of Christian charity groups in foreign countries. In the following faux video, the Onion anchor interviews, Josephine Bates, founder of "God's Hands", a Colorado Springs based charity. They proceed to discuss...
Tagged as: Abortion, Africa, Christian Charity, Evangelical, Heaven, Humor, LGBT, Muslim, Pro-Choice, Religion
Daniel DiRito | April 2, 2008 | 9:01 AM |
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