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THE WEBLOG ARCHIVE: News Analysis

February 12, 2006

"The vice president has got an ambulance on call" | 04:54 PM

I find it heartening that the vice president is shooting people himself now. Way to get into the spirit of things, Cyborg Overlord Cheney!


February 08, 2006

The new champions of free speech | 12:10 PM

It's a brave new world out there. Who would ever have guessed that America's conservatives would stand up to defend the rights of cartoonists to mock Jesus, and his fanatical and violent followers?

What's that you say? It's not Jesus, it's Muhammed? Oh. Well, then. My mistake.

Hey, remember The Book of Daniel? Remember how the Christian Right called the TV stations that wouldn't air it "cowardly," and lauded NBC as "brave" for "defending free speech"? You don't? Huh.


December 19, 2005

Open Letter To The House of Representatives | 11:22 AM

Sirs, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Yours,

JVG


December 14, 2005

MTA: Fair & Balanced | 02:10 PM

Strike Contingency Plan
Current as of 12/14/2005 1:00 PM

Negotiations between the MTA and the Transport Workers Union are continuing in an effort to avoid a strike. In the event of such an illegal action, however, travel options for customers will be limited.

(Italics mine)

* MTA Strike Contingency Plan, MTA.info


October 28, 2005

Wal-Mart: Rolling Back Prices, Common Decency | 12:53 PM

An internal memo sent to Wal-Mart's board of directors proposes numerous ways to hold down spending on health care and other benefits while seeking to minimize damage to the retailer's reputation. Among the recommendations are hiring more part-time workers and discouraging unhealthy people from working at Wal-Mart... The memo noted that Wal-Mart workers "are getting sicker than the national population, particularly in obesity-related diseases," including diabetes and coronary artery disease. —NYTimes

Health care for Wal-Mart employees: now, it's your responsibility! Put on a happy face!


October 14, 2005

U.S. Creates Fake Spy Agency from the 1950s | 12:04 AM

The brand-spanking new "National Clandestine Service" or "NCS" will be run by a man known only as "Jose".

In this wacky fictional universe, "John Negroponte" and "Porter Goss" are the names of the National Intelligence Director and Head of the CIA, respectively. Oh, why can't those darn TV writers create convincing nomenclature?


October 12, 2005

The Oldest Pot Noodle | 03:14 PM

4,000 year old noodles unearthed in China. According to the BBC, "The discovery goes a long way to settling the old argument over who first created the string-like food." I say: the debate rages on!


Lock comments: "I'm inclined to agree. "

July 20, 2005

30 Seconds of Heaven: Pre-Movie Commercials | 03:49 AM

According to The Houston Chronicle via a blurb on IMDb, "[movie] exhibitors maintain that they have received few complaints from the public about" pre-show advertisements in movie theaters. AMC spokesperson Pam Blase confidently backs this assertion with hard numbers: "the chain receives one complaint for every 600,000 guests."

Personally, I haven't been complaining because the idea subjecting an employee working for minimum wage to a tirade regarding a corporate policy over which they have no control seems, at best, painfully obnoxious. And I prefer to save my painful obnoxiousness for friends, family, and people I meet at parties. But the Chron concludes: "As long as theaters are getting a steady income stream from commercials and as long as patrons aren't complaining, you can bet cinema ads are here to stay." Displeasure, it seems, must be expressed explicitly, so to whom shall we explicitly express it?

Can we regard Ms. Blase's statement as an invitation to whine to her? Certainly we can, based on simple statistics: out of every 60,000 guests at AMC cinemas, not a single one has told us not to pester Pam Blase about commercials. Which means, according to Ms. Blase's logic, that it's not a problem. As further evidence in support of this supposition, Ms. Blase's email address is readily available via a google search. QED: Complain away, explorers!

In the same article Jim Kozak, editor in chief of In Focus, the magazine of NATO, the National Association of Theater Owners, offers this charming insight: "When (patrons) get there early to get a really good seat, they like to have something to keep them busy, something to do besides talk to the person they came with." Proposed new NATO slogan: "Nothing says you don't care like a ticket to the movies!" As long as we're complaining, Jim seems as good a choice as Pam. He can likely be reached thru InFocus Magazine. In fact, make a day of it and email both!


aeu comments: "Wow, if you're going to update this site I might get to start reading it again!"

December 09, 2004

Pale Hawk Down | 09:50 AM

Seems to me that if the self-interested residents of 927 5th Avenue are willing to evict one longtime resident because they're worried about bird crap and dead pigeons, then they'll be willing to let that resident come back if it's proved that he and his mate aren't responsible for the bird crap and dead pigeons. If, for instance, the bird crap and dead pigeon kept appearing at 927 5th Avenue, despite Pale Male's eviction. Like, even inside people's apartments.

If you know what I mean.

Anyone visiting 927 any time soon?


Hazel comments: "I'd like to find someone who has access to an endless supply of bird shit (such as someone who works at a zoo, vet office, or pet store) that would be willing to collect the feces. If so, I'd be willing to mail it in sweet holiday boxes to all the 927 5th Avenue residents except for Mary Tyler Moore. Please let me know if you have some I can get. Thanks"

November 11, 2004


November 05, 2004

Attacks on America begin! | 02:20 PM

But from an unlikely source: The National Guard.


Debate rages on new PhotoBlog! | 11:28 AM

I should have used the main blog to link long ago to AlexisRobie.com for the amazing photography. But I didn't, and so I am linking for the first time to point out a political debate raging in the comments.

UPDATE: In response to JR's comment "The left knows alot about hate. They are so blinded by it they have lost there way," MLE puts it better than I've ever heard it:

HATE? Hate involves judgment, and those of us on the side of social freedom don't have the room to judge others' choices of how to live their lives.....Hate is the luxury of those who are scared of the unknown, those who are threatened by those who they have not met.....


November 02, 2004

Vote! | 11:45 AM


Dr. Eisnaugle, you couldn't be more wrong | 11:38 AM

From the Times:

Dr. Eisnaugle said of the president; "He is really connecting with people. We are in a crisis in this country, and I really sense George Bush is the man who can bring us together."
Unless by "us" you mean "Bush supporters," Dr. Eisnaugle, you are sadly mistaken. How can a man who couldn't keep united a country united by 9/11 unite a country divided by his divisive policies? Are Bush supporters really so blind to the hatred their candidate inspires? Or do they just whine "liberal media" and blindly pull the lever?

Coming up after the election: JVG.com gets un-politicized. Woo!


Dr. Eisnaugle comments: "Listen up you commie pinko, If you had the guts, you'd address me personally instead of criticizing me behind my back. Why don't you go back to Haight-Ashbury where you and all your long-haired artiste comrades can sit around and deconstruct the meaning of the latest editorial in the Village Vice I mean Voice, and let the Eisnaugles of the world go out and fight a real man's battle against terrorism and islamic fundamentalism? So the next time you wanna quote me, quote me on this: "All you hipster, turtle-necked, tattooed, dope-smoking, dog-owning, Craig's List-reading, New York Times-worshipping, latte-drinking, Starbucks-dwelling, bottled water-toting, Williamsburg-dwelling liberal punks...suck." --Dr. Eisnaugle, PhD "

JVG comments: "Dearest Dr. Eisnaugle, I hardly think that a public website — which you, if you are in fact you, seem to have found — can be construed as "behind your back." And, considering that your contact info was not made public, how could I have addressed you directly? Furthermore, when you comment using the address of a fake website, are you not the one lacking the guts to address the cause in a forthright manner? And perhaps hiding behind a false name? My email and AIM are available on this site — why not contact me directly if you wish to engage in a political debate? But never mind. Never mind that the myth of the "real man" is usually a sign of repressed homosexuality. (In the immortal words of Shakespeare, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks.") Never mind that the "battle against terrorism" seems to have been abandoned in favor of an ill-advised invasion of Iraq that is creating more terrorists than it eliminates. Never mind that Christian Fundamentalism is potentially just as dangerous as any other type. Never mind that I'm neither hipster, nor do I wear turtle necks, nor have a tattoo, nor smoke dope, nor have a dog, nor read Craig's list, drink latte OR bottled water, visit Starbucks, or dwell in Williamsburg. Nor, in fact, do I spend my religious holidays kneeling before an effigy of the Grey Lady, chanting "All the News That's Fit to Print" in Latin. Let us, as men of your ilk are wont to do even as they pull the lever to select the next commander-in-chief, ignore the facts, and move on. There are more important things to say. Dr. Eisnaugle, you have a silly name."

October 24, 2004


October 21, 2004

Mmmmmm... Democracy! | 12:56 PM

• Sucking Democracy Dry


October 13, 2004

Democracy in Action | 04:21 PM

I think we can all take comfort in the fact that the Afghan presidential elections seem to have run just as smoothly as the last US presidential election.

In other Grey Lady political coverage, far too few people seem to have read Frank Rich's review of 'George W. Bush: Faith in the White House', "a documentary conceived as a rebuke to "Fahrenheit 9/11" [that] is nothing if not its unintentional and considerably more nightmarish sequel." I say we get copies of this to Jewish Dubya supporters (vaughnfilmy, know anyone?); might make them think about whether Bush's support of Israel comes from his feeling that Jews might be easier to convert to Christianity than Muslims.

"Faith in the White House" purports to be the product of "independent research," uncoordinated with the Bush-Cheney campaign. But many of its talking heads are official or unofficial administration associates or sycophants. They include the evangelical leader and presidential confidant Ted Haggard (who is also one of Mel Gibson's most fervent P.R. men) and Deal Hudson, an adviser to the Bush-Cheney campaign until August, when he resigned following The National Catholic Reporter's investigation of accusations that he sexually harassed an 18-year-old Fordham student in the 1990's. As for the documentary's "research," a film positioning itself as a scrupulously factual "alternative" to "Fahrenheit 9/11" should not inflate Mr. Bush's early business "success" with Arbusto Energy (an outright bust for most of its investors) or the number of children he's had vaccinated in Iraq ("more than 22 million," the movie claims, in a country whose total population is 25 million).


October 08, 2004

Pre-Debate Reading | 03:37 PM

• Flip-flop.


skippy comments: "Dude-- I use to come here alla time to chek out the cartoon but no its gone. WHUSSUP WIF DAT????"

September 21, 2004

Shocking! Shocking! | 08:19 PM

Basing a news report on forged documents? SHOCKING! Why, the only thing that could be worse would be to base a war on obviously forged documents!

Confidential to CBS: Instead of apologizing, why not just claim that the news report was "a success," and let it go at that?


lebowitz comments: "Where is the new strip??? Don't tell me you need Lebowitz to fill in again?! Come on, let's get cracking! "

neilfred comments: "Yeah, seriously, I'm getting tired of seeing Cyborg Cheney..."

Leeb O'Witz comments: "For gosh sakes, change the strip already!!!! What's the matter? Are you okay? Have the Republicans paid you a visit or something??"

wvg comments: "Get the filthy republicans off the site ! Change the script !!!!!!!!!!"

aeu comments: "You could just draw some kitties!"

July 24, 2004

Shell Game | 08:20 PM

Duck! Cover!Research for Cold War Burlesque led to MPEGs of this well-known gem from 1951. How far we've come. How very, very far.

• Bert the Duck & Cover Turtle (1951)
• Herman the FEMA spokescrab (2003) and the FEMA for Kids Rap!


June 09, 2004

Ode to a Dead President | 06:49 PM

At first, I thought this statement won the prize for most inane news commentary heard during coverage of Reagan casket procession: (I'm 12% sure it was on NBC. I was flipping channels.)

"I think he was glad to be here... and glad to be Ronald Reagan."


But then I realized, it's only one syllable short of being a brilliant Haiku:

I think he was glad
To be here, and glad to be
Ronald Reagan


May 17, 2004

Required Reading | 01:50 PM

From "NBC NEWS' MEET THE PRESS," Tim Russert interviewing Colin Powell:

Russert:  Finally, Mr. Secretary, in February of 2003, you placed your enormous personal credibility before the United Nations and laid out a case against Saddam Hussein citing...

[camera pans away from Colin Powell]

Powell:  Not off.

Emily:  No.  They can't use it.  They're editing it.  They (unintelligible).

Powell:  He's still asking me questions.  Tim.

Emily: He was not...

Powell:  Tim, I'm sorry, I lost you.

Russert:   I'm right here, Mr. Secretary.  I would hope they would put you back on camera.  I don't know who did that.

Powell:  We really...

Russert:  I think that was one of your staff, Mr. Secretary.  I don't think that's appropriate.

Powell:  Emily, get out of the way.

Emily:  OK.

Powell:  Bring the camera back, please.  I think we're back on, Tim.  Go ahead with your last question.

Russert: Thank you very much, sir... [asks question, Powell answers, signs off] ...And that was an unedited interview with the secretary of state taped earlier this morning from Jordan.  We appreciate Secretary Powell's willingness to overrule his press aide's attempt to abruptly cut off our discussion as I began to ask my final question.

• Full Interview


jba comments: "So topical! From now on, jvg.com will be my only source for news."

May 12, 2004

Now Playing at a Theater Near You | 10:40 AM

The industrious folks over at Creative Priority have come up with this movie promo poster for a film about — you guessed it — ME.

vangiesonmoviepromo.jpg

And, with judicious editing, the movie description from Fandango works masterfully.
"It is the late 19th early 21st century. Famous monster hunter blogger Gabriel Jonathan Van Helsing Gieson ([played by] Hugh Jackman [with a cardboard cutout of a drawing of JVG glued to his face]) has come to Eastern Europe The Lower East Side with capable heroine Anna Xina Valerious (Kate Beckinsale [thinking "that nose," as indicated by a series of circles next to her head]) at his side. The showdown is near, between Van Helsing Gieson and the world's most evil forces, including Count DracLockula, the Wolf Steele Man and FrankenLockhartstein's Monster."


avr comments: "That pleased me. Almost as good as that incredible film. So close."

aeu comments: "It pleases me, too. It pleases me greatly."

jba comments: "This disturbs me."

April 26, 2004

Objections to The L Word | 01:52 PM

A small Australian Christian organization has lobbied advertisers to withdraw support from the Showtime drama "The L Word," objecting to scenes of "self-insemination," in which the characters, well, self-inseminate with donor sperm.

The main problem, as described by the Aussies, is that the lesbians are "bringing children into the world who haven't got fathers."

Xina observes: "Like... umm... JESUS?"


aeu comments: "That's pretty freakin' funny"

April 02, 2004

At long last, some sense of Decency | 01:59 PM

Broadcasters looking for a template upon which to base the suggested "decency code" need look no further than the Comics Code enacted in the 50s. In fact, were television to follow the code to the letter, the world would immediately become a better place, as it did in 1954 just moments after the code was put into effect for comics. Juvenile delinquency plummeted, grammar improved, and levelheadedness prevailed. Now, let us work together to create a television-watching world that will never again be subjected to the horror that is a woman's unclothed nipple, leaving only good, wholesome entertainment about beating the fuck out of Jesus!

EXCERPTS FROM THE COMICS CODE
• Policemen, judges, government officials, and respected institutions shall never be presented in such a way as to create disrespect for established authority.
• In every instance good shall triumph over evil and the criminal punished for his misdeeds.
• All scenes of horror, excessive bloodshed, gory or gruesome crimes, depravity, lust, sadism, masochism shall not be permitted.
• Scenes dealing with, or instruments associated with walking dead, torture vampires and vampirism, ghouls, cannibalism, and werewolfism are prohibited.
• Profanity, obscenity, smut, vulgarity, or words or symbols which have acquired undesirable meanings are forbidden.
• Although slang and colloquialisms are acceptable, excessive use should be discouraged and wherever possible good grammar shall be employed.
• Nudity in any form is prohibited, as is indecent or undue exposure.
• Suggestive and salacious illustration or suggestive posture is unacceptable.
• All characters shall be depicted in dress reasonably acceptable to society.
• Divorce shall not be treated humorously nor shall be represented as desirable.
• Passion or romantic interest shall never be treated in such a way as to stimulate the lower and baser emotions.
• Sex perversion or any inference to same is strictly forbidden.
• Respect for parents, the moral code, and for honorable behavior shall be fostered. A sympathetic understanding of the problems of love is not a license for moral distortion.


March 17, 2004

For The Record | 02:42 PM

I'd like to state for the record that I have never, ever claimed to be famous.

"Famous" was simply a word thrown around by a few discontented troublemakers in the liberal media, and to suggest I, or anyone else in the JVG.com administration, should be censured by congress for "lying to the public" is ludicrous — even if, as some pundits claim, the U.S. invasion of Iraq was a direct result of my famousness.


December 29, 2003

Damn those pirates | 03:16 PM

From IMDb's Movie News:

In New York, ticket prices broke the $10 barrier for the first time, with admission prices upped to $10.25 for adults and $6.75 for children... Nationally, ticket prices rose about 4 percent in 2003, the Wall Street Journal observed, noting that despite the rise, gross revenue for the year declined about 1 percent, translating to a drop of 4.23 percent in actual ticket sales. The newspaper suggested that a significant cause of the drop may be attributed to piracy.
Oh, yeah. The piracy. It MUST be the piracy. The fact that the price of a movie ticket in New York is twice the hourly minimum wage has nothing to do with it. Everybody thinks a family trip to the movies is worth more than a full day's salary.

THE MATH
Salary:
8 hours at $5.15/hr = $41.20
Total salary after taxes = $32.67

Movie Tickets:
Two adults @ $10.25 = $20.50
Two children @ $6.75 = $13.50
Total tickets = $34.00
Plus Popcorn = $678.25


December 09, 2003

But They're Both so PRETTY! | 11:09 AM

Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman breaking up? Not if I can help it!


Jen comments: "This is like Larry King's column in USA Today. Make it stop!"

Gosh and Golly Gee Gordon Liddy! | 11:07 AM

What's all this I hear about a Paris Hilton sex tape? Wow!


October 30, 2003

Election 2004 | 02:56 PM

My research for the "2004 Candidates at 30" series over on Blog of Ages, raises an interesting question;

Should a presidential candidate be automatically stricken from the ballot if their official campaign email address is @aol.com?

My current pick for 2004: 74-year-old recent college graduate Ms. Evelyn Louise Vitullo (pictured right, also a candidate in 2000).


April 04, 2003

Insider Info? | 02:13 PM

Based on the success of Chicago, and the catastrophic performance of its recent releases, Disney's Imagineers are toying with a new concept: animated musicals. Only time will tell whether the studio can successfully merge two such diametrically opposing genres.


March 29, 2003

Good News! | 11:50 AM

War on Iraq: 100% Successful!


March 24, 2003

Protest Sign Awards | 01:44 PM

I think we can all agree that the most important thing about any political debate is not who's right or wrong, but who has the best signage. With that in mind, I am pleased to present the jvg.com Protest Sign Awards for March 22-23, 2003:

MOST CONSONANT | Winner: Anti
"Bush: Don't bag Baghdad for your bad dad."
Go ahead, say it three times fast.

MOST GENITAL | Winner: Anti
"Don't follow that Bush, find your own."
Poses the question: Which is better, war on Iraq, or women masturbating? Where's the polling data on that, CNN?

MOST MUSICAL | Winner: Anti
"Brahms not Bombs."
I suppose the opposite position would be "Bach not Iraq".

MOST UNDERREPRESENTED | Winner: Anti
"Corporate Lawyers Against War"
One guy in a suit. The Daily News was interviewing him.

MOST STRAIGHTFORWARD | Winner: Anti
"Bush is a fucking idiot."
The best the pro-Bush folks could come up with to counter was "Bush is NOT a fucking idiot."

MOST EDUCATIONAL | Winner: Pro
"Iraq is French for Hollywood."
See, I didn't know that, because I never studied French.

MOST ROMANTIC | Winner: Pro
"Saddam and Bin Laden Love War Protesters."
Remind me to make this one into a bumper sticker and put it on my SUV.

FIGHT THE REAL ENEMY AWARD | Winner: Pro
"$ for Freedom, Not the Board of Ed!"
This on the heels of the announcement that the administration will be holding a nationwide bake sale to buy bombers.

(Gathered by jvg.com reporters on the scene in NYC, and other news media)


March 18, 2003

Condition Orange | 12:07 PM

I don't know about you, but me, I sure do love the sound of army helicopters in the morning. Boy howdy.


March 14, 2003

Wascally Wabbit | 12:47 PM

If you haven't yet been up to Kingston, NY to pick up your copy of today's Daily Freeman, then you missed this article, in which Public Defender William Myers fights for your right to euthanize bunnies with a baseball bat.


February 27, 2003

Airport Security | 10:59 AM

I feel safer already.


February 17, 2003

Rooney v. France | 11:56 AM

Did you see Andy Rooney last night? In a well-argued opinion, he claims he's better than France.

Is it true? Let's compare:

ROONEYFRANCEWINNER
OldAlso OldTie
CrochetyDittoTie
6 Letters6 LettersTie

Conclusion: Andy Rooney and France are, in fact, the exact same person.


January 15, 2003

Man meets his ultimate competitor | 07:25 PM

LS is the obsessive reality TV fan, but I'll certainly be tuning in tonight for Man Versus Beast, which – if I'm interpreting the commercials correctly – will attempt to answer the age-old question "human or giraffe: who can eat more midgets?"


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Illiterate
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buy 30 | buy 40
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Featuring the Discontented Elf.

I Know Them All
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