Funny guy.

I don’t care what anyone says, and yes, I’m biased, but our guy is funnier at the White House Correspondents Dinner than their guy ever was. President Obama’s timing is great, he strikes just the right tone and whoever’s writing his material is pretty good. I loved his aside after the stuff about Michael Steele — he did the same Steele bit last year, but hey, it still works.

(Plus, he has a great smile. That’s No. 482 on the endless list of things that drive Republicans crazy about him. George Bush smirked, Sarah Palin’s still looks like the pageant runway and John McCain’s was some sort of numb rictus. But when Obama’s having fun, he looks like he’s having the most fun of all.)

Obama was in the Mitten earlier Saturday, speaking at the University of Michigan commencement. Sellout crowd. He told students to contribute to democracy and keep their minds open to opposing viewpoints. (Outside, protesters called him a socialist. Ho-hum.) The university gave him an honorary degree, his second as president. I wonder if there’s anyone at Arizona State, the first university to snag him as a commencement speaker but the only one to deny him an honorary degree, still feeling sheepish about that spectacularly boneheaded move.

Which makes now a good time to twist the knife with this Daily Show segment. Let’s all line up and give Arizona a swift kick. Boneheads.

Do any of you keep tabs on the Photoshop Disasters blog? You should, as Photoshop is one of the most pernicious forces afoot in culture today, unless I’m using it to remove a zit from a picture of me, in which case it’s OK, really. I do get peevish when I see it used to make awful people like Kimora Lee Simmons into space aliens, but am amused when it reveals who really lost a foot in that “Mad Men” episode last year. (Missing limbs are a recurring theme.) This is funny, too, considering Toyota’s recent problems. But perhaps no single person (other than Madonna) has been Photoshopped more than the “Sex and the City” quartet of perimenopausal beauties who get stranger-looking with every new chapter.

The poster is bad enough. But this Harper’s Bizarre cover — misspelling CQ — is somehow worse. I think it has something to do with the expression on Sarah Jessica Parker’s face, which looks entirely assembled from parts. Sometimes I wonder if the paparazzi would be so insatiable if celebrities didn’t hide behind this nonsense. Street pictures of SJP reveal about what you’d expect — a stew bird with veiny, sinewy Madonna arms. But I’d rather look at that than this.

A little bloggage before the first cop shop bicycle tour of the year:

Sweet Juniper teaches eco-terrorism to the children of the inner city. Kidding. But there’s something about “seed bomb” that sounds sinister. It’s not.

During my year in Ann Arbor, one of my Turkish friends referred to Greeks as “lazy and stupid people” as casually as you’d remark on the weather. I know the Greeks have given us a lot, but criminy, people, when your nation is upside-down in debt, PAY YOUR TAXES.

It seemed half my Facebook friends were sending me spam and other crap over the weekend. It was cartoonishly easy to spot, as I am a geezer and most of my friends are geezers, stick to conventional spellings of HAWT and eschew emoticons. This might have something to do with it. In the meantime, open no gifts.

A stretch, some more coffee, and then I’m off. Tomorrow: Treme so far.

Almost forgot: Good thoughts to the Bassets, flooded out in Nashville over the weekend.

Posted at 9:52 am in Current events, Popculch |

39 responses to “Funny guy.”

  1. coozledad said on May 3, 2010 at 10:18 am

    The Georgia Street Community Collective sounds like a smarter, more integral version of the Durham Food Co-op. Jane Jacobs would be pleased.

    Hope y’all pull through all right, Basset.

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  2. d.e. loveland said on May 3, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Treme rocks – never saw the wire and stumbled onto this joint after Ashley’s passing, but your excitement over the upcoming premiere got me to watch, and now I can’t hardly wait for the next episode each week. On demand has allowed for repeated viewing, and the characters (mmm, Kim Dickens) inhabit my daydreams here at the keyboard.

    I would ask for a second line at my funeral, too, but the image I have of my near and dear trying any of that strutting and buck-jumping leaves no doubt that it would be way too much to ask of my very Upper Canadian family and friends.

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  3. basset said on May 3, 2010 at 10:32 am

    thanks… I am on the courtesy terminal in an apartment company’s outer office right now, once we have a place to stay I’m going to try & wade back to the house.

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  4. Hexdecimal said on May 3, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Nance: Since I live here in Arizona, I’ll take the swift kick to the ass. But only because I’m guilty by association.

    I’m only one guy and I can’t out vote the vast tin hat crowd that lives here.

    How would you like to have this dilemma: Sheriff Joe Arpaio may be considering a run for Governor (boo). If he decides to do so he must resign from being the Sheriff (yea!) My hope is he resigns and then loses, but the thought of him being the Governor scares the hell out of me. Better the devil I know…

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  5. Dorothy said on May 3, 2010 at 10:43 am

    My husband can’t wait for the Treme soundtrack to come out, and unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be available very soon. So since his birthday is a week from today, I ordered him Kermit Ruffin’s latest “Livin’ a Treme Life” from Amazon this morning. That’ll tide him over until the real soundtrack is available.

    Oh crap – I think I forgot to link to you, Nancy! Well, maybe it did. I hope so. I love being able to drop a few coins into your account when I order there.

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  6. MichaelG said on May 3, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Good luck, Basset. It’s about your turn for a break.

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  7. Peter said on May 3, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Good luck and stay dry Bassett.

    As for the Greeks – they’re the Chicago Cubs of civilizations – sure, democracy and philosophy are great, but it’s been a 2500 year dry streak since then.

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  8. Jolene said on May 3, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Basset, those pictures are heart-breaking. What a cruel beast nature can be. Good luck to you.

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  9. Jolene said on May 3, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Oh, and yes, I agree about our guy being funnier. But he seems to have had some highly experienced help. Rumor around the web this AM is that writers from The Daily Show helped.
    Saw some criticism, though, from an unexpected source. Paul Farhi rapped O’s knuckles in the WaPo this AM for choosing to zing others rather than tell self-deprecating jokes. I dunno. He didn’t seem too harsh to me, but, I, too, am besotted w/ that million-dollar smile.

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  10. Sue said on May 3, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Any Correspondents’ Dinner that does not include Karl Rove rapping is a success in my book. ***shudder***

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  11. brian stouder said on May 3, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Jolene – the president made at least three “birther” jokes (at his own expense) – one in particular about “back in my country…” – which I thought was pretty funny

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  12. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 3, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    If you grew up around Greeks, you would cringe at what they say casually about Turks. They are still ticked about May 29, 1453 in a “like it happened yesterday” sort of way, and the whole Ottoman thing still rankles. It was, by any independent account, a nasty three hundred years of fairly brutal oppression, and it’s also why modern Greece is still pretty bad at democracy — they’ve only been doing it since 1830 or so. We had a running start from 1660 up to and through 1776/1787.

    But “lazy and stupid” are compliments compared to what I heard Greeks say about Turks in my youth. It all boils down to what a Russian means when they say “nekulturny,” but with a hint of stink in how you hold your nose.

    So someone with HBO tell me — did Creighton say FYYFF last night?

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  13. John said on May 3, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    My only criticism of the Big Guy’s Stand-Up performance, is his tendency to start laughing before getting to the punch line. Jolene is dead-on right about his mega-watt smile.

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  14. Jolene said on May 3, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    He did say it, Jeff, and he posted a video of himself saying it on YouTube, which garnered him a free drink later in the show.

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  15. Scout said on May 3, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    The Prez is a hunk. My S.O gets peeved every time I point that out. She’s peeved often.

    I too am in Aridiotzona. Trapped like a rat by my worthless real estate that goes down in value every time another Republican opens his/her mouth. If Arpaio quits Sherrif’n to take up Governor’n that might actually be a win if he loses. Let’s just hope Terry Goddard beats the whole damn dysfunctional bunch.

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  16. moe99 said on May 3, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Oh, Basset, I do hope things are drying out for you. What a disaster. My mom’s had a bit of it as well, up in Lexington and I gather Derby Day wasn’t too much fun either.

    Just a quick report from yesterday. The Lung Walk 2010 was a great success. My youngest, son Matthew, even showed up and walked with me. We had 15 team members there, all in tshirts I had made for them–grey with red Gothic lettering: “DeFeet Lung Cancer.” We were the 6th highest team in terms of money raised–over $2700 and I was the 2d highest individual. So thank you, thank you all for your good wishes and assistance. I have a second opinion consult set with Seattle Cancer Care Alliance this Friday at 10am so let’s see if we can’t learn something new.


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  17. Dexter said on May 3, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Goddam cancer. My cousin was one check-up away from officially being declared “in remission”. Then his last tests showed something bad in his marrow. He’s facing another summer in Cleveland Clinic. Best wishes to you, Moe, and I hope you get a good game plan from Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

    Stay dry, bassett.

    Last night drove me crazy because there was so much great TV on. Anybody see “Brian & Stewie” on Family Guy ? I was forced to shove aside my dinner plate it was so awfully sickening. I kept saying “no! They are NOT going to have Brian (the dog) do THAT!?”—but they surely did. I won’t ruin it for you.

    Then we had Red Wings playoff hockey from San Jose, “The Pacific”, “Treme”, and “Breaking Bad” on, and of course I had to record one and watch another until I got them all watched, and then “The Ricky Gervais Show” and “The Life and Times of Tim” on HBO. I got to bed at 5:00 am.
    All my shows are on the same night! I watch no shows at all during the week. Odd.
    So, I really haven’t seen an explosion of approval for HBO’s “The Pacific”. I don’t go to movies any more, so HBO is my main means of serious entertainment. Most people I know say “Band of Brothers” was so much better, but not to me. Jeez, after seeing both these series, though, I feel I have a more complete understanding of the sacrifices the US military made in WWII.

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  18. Joe Kobiela said on May 3, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    I have been watching the pacific and its good and gripping, but somehow different than Band of Brother, not bad just different. Breaking bad was great lastnight, it is amazing to watch as Walt does one thing and the chain of events it sets off.
    Pilot Joe

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  19. judybusy said on May 3, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Dexter, you forgot the new installment of Foyle’s War on PBS. We remembered just 22 minutes after it started!

    Basset, I hope the damage is minimal!

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  20. Sue said on May 3, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Guys, I think this is Whitebeard…

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  21. Dexter said on May 3, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Ah geez. Whitebeard was such a nice guy. Sue, thanks. This is definitely our Whitebeard.

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  22. nancy said on May 3, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Indeed, that is.

    Shit. A month ago.

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  23. nancy said on May 3, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    He last posted here on March 16. I wonder if he’s in some other place, waiting for us to notice. I feel like a maroon.

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  24. joodyb said on May 3, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    dorothy, if you ever get the chance to see kermit live, do it. he tours the midwest semi-regularly.

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  25. brian stouder said on May 3, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Well, we were all missing Whitebeard, hereabouts. I don’t think anyone should feel like a maroon, or a blooming idjit, or a knucklehead, for not knowing about his death sooner.

    Hopefully his family and friends are bearing up with this loss; speaking for myself, I miss his always-informative contributions to any discussion – especially when they involved cars.

    Then, too, we have some other regulars (Danny!) who haven’t been around for awhile. Presumeably life and work precludes others from continued conversation hereabouts, leaving aside illness or death.

    That’s always the hope, anyway()!

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  26. Deborah said on May 3, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    I liked Whitebeard. Shoot. Weren’t he and his wife raising their grandchild? I sort of remember that. Nancy, don’t feel like a Maroon.

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  27. coozledad said on May 3, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    That’s awful news.

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  28. MichaelG said on May 3, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    I kind of wondered when we hadn’t heard from him. Don’t feel badly about not knowing, Nance. I don’t think any of us really thought to check the Hartford papers until Sue did today. Here’s hoping this all the bad news for a long time.

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  29. moe99 said on May 3, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Damn. Thanks for checking, Sue. I am so sorry. And, no, Nancy, you should not be kicking yourself.

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  30. crinoidgirl said on May 3, 2010 at 7:17 pm


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  31. Scout said on May 3, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    RIP Whitebeard. We all loved you.

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  32. LAMary said on May 3, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    This is such a good group. We seem to attract and keep interesting people who share the best of themselves with us. RIP, Whitebeard. We were lucky to get to know you.

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  33. MarkH said on May 3, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Whitebeard. Dang. Lucky, indeed we were. I logged onto some of his automotive stories a while back; he knew his stuff. Here’s his flickr page w/more photos:

    I am assuming the one photo is of the grandchild of which some of you have spoke.

    RIP, friend.

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  34. Rana said on May 3, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Aw, man. 🙁

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  35. del said on May 3, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Sad news about whitebeard. I think he was living with a grandchild Deborah. I remember our Sault Ste. Marie connection fondly . . .

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  36. Sue said on May 3, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Nancy, don’t feel bad. It’s how these online communities work. Unless you want to appoint yourself our monitor, it’s up to us to sign off, so to speak. Whitebeard seemed to indicate in his comments here that he knew how much trouble he was in health-wise and could have let someone know to email you with news. It’s possible he just didn’t want to send bad news.
    I’ll miss him. We had a short email correspondence when I asked him to tell me the story of his grandson. I hope all is well with the boy who should be about 17 now, I think.

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  37. Dexter said on May 4, 2010 at 12:10 am

    Whitebeard lived in an ancient farmhouse …200 years old or maybe older.

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  38. moe99 said on May 4, 2010 at 2:44 am

    Treme in 1836 by Barbara Hambly, a favorite author.

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  39. Dorothy said on May 4, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Oh damn it anyway. Farewell, Whitebeard. Thank you for sharing some of yourself with us.

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