Thursday, June 26, 2008

alec baldwin's ass... not nearly as wide as you think. in fact, even though i've never seen him in person before today, i would say he's slimmed down a bit.

from five feet away, listening to him talk to a front desk employee at the equinox gym on the upper west side, he seemed like a nice guy. and he rides a blue cannondale.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

barry's emmy, part VIII: the lyin' king

i've never been good at keeping secrets. what good is a secret if you don't share it with at least one person...?

warning: homosexual kissing

i was delighted to find this gift in my email this morning. it's another action alert from dear old don wildmon at american family association (not to be confused with american family insurance, another friend of mine.) don and his kin got their undies in a bundle over this television commercial from england. here's what he says about it (my comments in parenthesis):
June 24, 2008

Dear ,
(after all this time don still can't remember my name. bitch.)

I thought you might be interested in seeing the Heinz ad featuring a homosexual family and two homosexuals kissing. (only two?)

The ad features a "homosexual family," referring to one of the men as "mum." (for the record, i never call my partner mum. sweety, moonface, punkin, girlfriend, and pandabear yes. but never mum.)

We suggest you forward this to all your family and friends letting them know of the push for homosexual marriage by Heinz. (i'm blogging about it!) This ad is currently running in England, but no doubt can be expected in the u.s. soon. (no doubt. right after we recruit all of your children, starting with the wildmon klan. oops, clan.) It is the kind of ad which we can expect to see in California (we? wildmon you loonbag, you live in mississippi or something!) as they prepare to vote on homosexual marriage. Homosexual marriage is illegal in England. (don't follow your logic there, wildy.)

Love and Hugs,

Wide-Stance Wildmon
okay, i added that last part. wildman wildmon also includes this:
Make a phone call to Heinz. Their corporate headquarters' phone number is 412-456-5700 and their toll-free number is 800-255-5750.

i think that's a great idea! let that giganto corporation know that we absolutely love their ketchup on our dogs, and we strongly support their obvious push for gay homos to take over the world, one weiner at a time.

UPDATE 6/26/08 -- homophobia in action: the wildmon crew was successful in pressuring heinz to pull the ad in the u.k. (heinz says it received "over 200 complaints" about the ad. i find that sort of encouraging; i think i can handle 200 people hating me because of how god made me. and hey, i've received 200 complaints before, but haven't pulled anything.)

in response to the 200 frightened heterosexuals wildmon was able to scare up, an online petition to reinstate the ad is underway and already has nearly 7000 signatures. you can sign it here. and please do.

okay ted, let's go to the video:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

reverend al & count patula

this is from the current ad campaign for al gore's alliance for climate protection. al sharpton and pat robertson sitting on a loveseat by the ocean. what's more romantic than a loveseat by the ocean?

is it just me, or does pat robertson look more and more like bela lugosi as he gets older? scary, white and pasty. or...maybe he looks more and more like dracula.

it's not exactly hiatus...

the monkeys are here, they're just not particularly inspired as of late.

once they mastered moving that robotic arm with their minds, everything else seemed a little less thrilling. (and yes, it's the same monkeys move robotic arm with their minds link that i've used in the past. i just think it's really cool. and planet-of-the-apes-scary.)

sleep seems to be a bit more important right now. and hawking t-shirts at the palace theater.

there is a small group of chimps, however, feverishly working on the next installment of "barry's emmy". i'll see what i can do to hurry them along. in the meantime, try humming or something.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

the sanctity of war crimes

from maj. gen. antonio taguba, the army general who conducted the investigation into prisoner abuse at abu ghraib prison in iraq:
"After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."
taken from a new report compiled by physicians for human rights, which provides for the first time medical evidence to confirm first-hand accounts of men who endured torture by u.s. personnel in iraq, afghanistan, and guantánamo bay. the men were never charged with any crime.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

the sanctity of life

from yesterday's senate torture hearings:  october 2002.  jonathan fredman, a lawyer for the cia's counterterrorist center, visits guantanamo to discuss "aggressive" but acceptable interrogation techniques like "the wet towel technique," also known as waterboarding. 

referring to what the law permitted when it comes to interrogation, fredman said:
"it is basically subject to perception. if the detainee dies, you're doing it wrong."
to that, guantanamo chief of staff, lt. col. diane beaver added: "we'll need documentation to protect us."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

the sanctity of june sixteenth

as of monday, june 16, 2008, same-sex couples in california could legally marry under state law. (same-sex couples are not eligible, however, for any marriage rights under federal law.) 

monday, june 16, 2008 also happened to mark eight years that my partner rob and i have been in a committed relationship.

a heterosexual couple that met yesterday and marries tonight will have a marriage that, in the eyes of many conservative christian folk, carries more weight and is more worthy than my relationship will ever be.

even if the opposite-sex couple only stays together for a couple of months, or a couple of minutes. even if they never have children, or intend to have children. even if they are agnostic, or atheist. even if their relationship is marred by constant abuse and adultery. their union is certainly no threat to the "sanctity of marriage." 

but mine would be.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

i saved a giant frog's life

on my bike ride home tonight, on a quiet street near the milwaukee art museum, i nearly ran over a ginormous bullfrog. bigger than any frog i've ever seen, anywhere. ever. including zoos, and canada.

the only frog i've ever seen that was this big was the one in my mom's rock garden 35 years ago and he was made out of some kind of ceramic material and had been painted by my sister-in-law at a magical place in burlington, wisconsin called "off the wall." painting ceramic frogs was big in the 1970's. housewives in burlington would get together on wednesday nights to talk about their husbands and new tupperware and the hottie-mc-hotterson high school senior who clips the lawn every other week, while they would paint all sorts of ceramic things: frogs, roosters, a grizzled old cowboy on a tired looking horse. my mom used to take me along. i loved wednesday nights.

but this frog tonight was not ceramic, he was real. i took a couple of pictures of him. he didn't seem to mind. unfortunately, as far as you know this is a tiny little frog, since there is nothing else in the photo to give perspective. you'll have to trust me. he's the size of a small dog.

there wasn't much traffic, only a car or two every now and then. but i was sure that i was about to see this creature come squirting out at me from under someone's tire.

i biked back down the street – maybe a block or two – frantically looking for a stick. i don't know why, but i didn't want to touch him. sure, i grew up touching frogs, but it's been a while. i eventually found a stick i determined to be long enough for the job, and biked back.

it was dark. i took the bike light off my handlebars, and held it in my mouth as i coaxed the big guy first to the side of the street, then over the curb, and finally up onto the grass, mumbling at him the whole way. "git!" i'd say. "that way, you!" a couple walking by looked at me kinda funny. "i'm saving this frog's life," i said with a bike light in my mouth. they kept walking.

i figure i did save his life, if only for a few minutes. that giant bullfrog, now he owes me big.

Friday, June 13, 2008

dr. laura goes for the honey

how perfect that i come home tonight, turn on cnn, and they're discussing tim russert. i switch to msnbc, and they are of course discussing russert. cnbc? russert. even the local news is devoting a chunk of time to russert.

and on fox? dr. laura ingraham is pinch hitting for bill o'reilly on the factor, and she's talking about acquitted r&b singer r. kelly pouring honey on his dancers to simulate urinating on them. good ol' dr. laura, she's always taking the high road.

tim russert dies

for someone who follows politics fairly closely, this is shocking, sad news. russert was 58 years old.

trailer trash

what you've all been waiting for, i'm sure:
the facebook/myspace trailer used to promote
MY FRIEND BARRY'S EMMY, part VII: "i want an emmy".

Thursday, June 12, 2008

more non-global warming tornados

look. i know global warming has nothing whatsoever to do with the crazy weather we've been having lately. nothing to do with the storms. nothing to do with the flooding. nothing to do with the ice caps melting either. nothing to do with hurricane katrina, nothing to do with drought, nothing to do with the heatwaves, and nothing to do with a tornado sucking up some boy scouts in iowa tonight (is that in the manual?)

but even though global warming has nothing to do with all of it, why shouldn't we clean up good ol' earth? even if you don't believe all the "global warming alarmists" (to quote sean hannity) why wouldn't you want to give future generations – your kids and grand kids (providing they haven't been vacuumed up out of their pup tents by a twister) – glaciers, fresh air, clean water, and polar bears?

when i go to a coffee shop for some java and fancy biscotti (in real life i never say java or eat fancy biscotti) i do my best to clean up when i'm finished. i throw away my trash, i put bottles or cans in the recycling bin, and i wipe off my table. in fact, i've been known to wipe off other tables, even though i have absolutely no food-service experience: never been a waiter, or a bus boy (but there's still time.)

i just like to leave the space i've used as clean as or cleaner than i found it. i think that's a nice thing to do. i know it might not make a difference to the next customer, but it might. so i do a little extra.

can't we stop arguing about whether or not global warming is caused by my can of aqua-net and just clean off the friggin' table for the next guy?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

charlie sykes can blow me

"Have you noticed the lack of whining? We haven’t heard the screams of where are the FEMA trailers... People are not standing on their roof tops wailing for the federal government to come in, (for) the federal taxpayers to bail them out.

There is a huge cultural difference between the people who sit on the porch and wait for people to come and fix (their) house versus... the Midwestern values of the people who are gonna roll up their sleeves... fix those their neighbors and...take care of themselves."

– charlie sykes
milwaukee's wtmj talk show host

comparing wisconsin residents' reaction to the
flooding and flood damage in their state
to louisiana residents' reaction to hurricane katrina.

(katrina: 1,836 people lost their lives.
2008 midwest flooding: 15 deaths.)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

live-blogging hillary's long goodbye

11:44 a.m.

the clintons were just introduced over the public address system, and they're making their way through the crowd. the most interesting thing so far is that the announcer didn't introduce hillary as "the next president of the united states" as terry mcauliff did on tuesday night, when it was painfully clear she was not going to be.

she looks fantastic. she's wearing black. symbolic? the death of her campaign? the entire clinton family, bill, hillary, chelsea, and hillary's mother. they won't let her start. the crowd is cheering and cheering her. she's tried five, six times now, in earnest, to begin her speech. she's gonna cry. if she isn't already.

"this isn't exactly the party i planned but i sure like the company."

"thanks for the homemade signs. thanks for knocking on doors. thanks for arguing with your friends and neighbors."

one has to think, if this was the hillary clinton we'd all seen six months ago, we might not be having this event today. she seems proud, but sincere. the smile is genuine. she looks like a seasoned, albeit somewhat weathered, strong leader.

cnn reporter candy crowely has said several times, when you talk to people coming out of a barack obama campaign event, they say "he's inspired me, he gives me hope." people coming out of a hillary clinton campaign event say "she is just so, so smart."

she just said "gay and straight" in a list of groups who stood with her throughout the campaign. every time a politician includes gays and lesbians in a speech (in a positive way) it gives me hope. you can think that's silly, but it's true. imagine if she said "thank you to all the middle age, white men who voted for me." (wait...she did say that at one point, didn't she?)

"the way to continue our fight now, to accomplish the to take all our energy and elect barack obama the next president of the united states."

she is very, very strong here.

"today as i suspend my campaign, i congratulate him, and endorse him, and throw my full support behind him."

she is now, seemingly, trying to control the small part of the crowd booing obama's name, as a few of them seemed to be doing. and it's working. each time she comes around to the line "and that is why we must elect barack obama," there is less booing and more cheering.

she is much better at this than she used to be. she's much more comfortable, more passionate.

gay rights. she said it again. hope.

she smiles when she talks about herself.

"democrats have won three out of the last ten presidential elections. and the man who won two of those elections is with us today. " she smiles, and applauds him. it's a genuine, dear moment.

"...stretch the boundaries of the possible."

YES WE CAN. she uses obama's phrase. and she's said this at least three, maybe four times: "we need to elect barack obama our next president." and she's said it strongly. forcefully.

again: "we must help elect barack obama our president." she's turning it into a catch phrase. hoping, i think, that the crowd joins with her. do they? they haven't yet. but the booing has stopped and now, when she mentions obama, there is nothing but cheers.

she now almost seems to be chastising the crowd. will we go forward together? or will we stall and slip backward?

if she's auditioning for the vice presidency, she's good. i can't imagine it, though. she would far better serve this country elsewhere. back in the senate. governor of new york.

women. she's leading the women's cause. she's fucking tough. look at her. she is not smiling anymore. this is the woman who could have been president, sitting across from world leaders.

she just pulled out the phrase "my friends." i love her for co-opting john mccain AND barack obama (one in a sly way, one in a smart way.)

"always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in."

"don't go there..."

...she tells her staunchest supporters. if she hasn't brought them along to the obama campaign through this speech, i'm not sure what else she could do.

she has not once mentioned bush or mccain. not once. pundit after pundit said she would bask in the glory of her campaign and take potshots at bush and mccain. and she's stayed completely positive and above board and on message. for that, for her amazing campaign, and for this stirring, stunning exit, she deserves a heap of credit. i'm proud of her, and again, proud to be a democrat.

Friday, June 6, 2008

barry's emmy, part VII: "i want an emmy"

sometimes, when the stakes are really high, there's just no other way to express yourself. and i'm not talking about breaking into shakespearean verse.

p.s. this is episode seven. think you've missed an episode here or there? click on the logo above and ketchup. catsup. catch up.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

here's lookin' up your old address

you may notice some changes to tuesdays today, and in the coming days. the first being: you no longer see the old address in the url window at the top of the page. it should now say

in the process of shifting to a custom domain name, however, some of the images on the site have, well...disappeared. oh joy. be assured, our team of highly trained monkeys have stopped controlling robot arms with their minds, and are now working tirelessly to get those images back.