Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WTF Wednesday's For Your Colon

Previously on a See You Next Tuesday, I (lovingly) made fun of a Hip Hop camp advertised as a deal on Living Social.  Well, my friend Brad (whom regular readers may know from his sardonic comments on this blog), just sent me a Groupon worthy of similar treatment.  Unfortunately, it just missed this week's See You Next Tuesday, but it really couldn't wait until next week. So, I'm going to post it as its own feature called "WTF Wednesday" and no one will have to miss out on this extremely important information:

"Like a cat atop a fence at midnight, yowling toxins and excess waste tend to loiter until someone blasts them away with a hose.  Brook no obnoxious bacteria with today's Groupon to Sacred Waters Wellness Arts Studio in Fayetteville..."
This time, I didn't even bring you the entire deal. I just took a screen shot of what was visible from my inbox because that was enough.  I don't even have a joke about the content of the description -- it's res ipsa loquitor ridiculous.

But that's not all, oh no.  While reading this ridiculous description, I got past the howling cats and the "toxins" ("poop") and the "excess waste" (they mean "poop") and the part about "blasts them away with a hose" (that's literal), only to see a curious use of the word "brook."  "Brook no obnoxious bacteria," they say.  I, for one, wasn't familiar with usage of the word "brook" as a verb, but it sounded very Middle English, like maybe something William Wallace would have said to his troops.  "Brook you no Anglish, men, lift up yer kilts!" Right?

I wanted to make a joke about this new age-y place for colon hydrotherapy (I mean "water poop") using this Middle English word, so I googled "brook verb origins."  Eventually I would come to learn that "brook" is an archaic and rarely used term for "tolerate" or "put up with," but the very first thing I found was:




So, thank you for that, internet.  Now I know that at least 45 people in the Atlanta area got a discount on hosing our their colon today, and that I cannot trust dictionaries to know rudimentary parts of speech.  Your utter ridiculousness and inanity just made me write a See You Next Tuesday on a Wednesday, which is sad and wrong.  But I won't brook idiots, internet, I won't brook them.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

See You Next Tuesday (Courtney Stodden)

See You Next Tuesday is the Boomstick's regular column. On Tuesdays, I bring you the week's most laughable scumbags, idiots, and jerks for your reading and reviling pleasure. If you don't get the name, visit your nearest middle school playground and ask the first kid you see. You can read previous editions here.

Doug Hutchinson, that creepy actor who played the sadistic guard in The Green Mile and one of the Dharma Initiative guys on "Lost," just made the biggest headlines of his career by marrying a 16-year-old.  He's 51. The marriage was legal because the couple was not "physically involved" before the marriage, and the under-aged bride's parents signed a consent form.  At first this just sounded like a sleazy old dude and a rural young 'un tying a premature and somewhat repulsive knot.  But as videos of the new couple begin to circulate on the internet, this union has started to look like something else altogether: a surreal scene that makes you wonder, as one blogger did, "what's the long con here?"

First, there's the fact that 16-year-old Courtney Stodden hardly looks 16 years old: she looks like one of those 35-year-old porn stars branded "barely legal" by virtue of a school-girl outfit.  To say she dresses "provocatively" is like saying the Kardashians have a few "black friends:" a complete understatement.  Her parents point out that she is "deeply Christian" and was a virgin at the time of her marriage.  In that case, I find it strange that she chose to wear so very little white at her wedding.

Then there's this insane video interview the couple gave where they totally over-shared about their sex life (he's a "tiger" in bed, apparently).  But worse than the TMI was the fact that Courtney Stodden appears to be less of a person and more of an SNL caricature.  Blogger Brill Bundy put it perfectly:
Here's the thing: we know what we're supposed to be creeped out about a 51-year-old marrying a 16-year-old. And we are. But not necessarily for the right reasons.
On the surface we should be up-in-arms because he's a pervert and she's somewhere between child and adulthood. But have you looked at her? It's hard to work up a believable level of "She's only 16! She's a baby!" outrage about a gal who looks like they skipped right over playing with Barbies to turning herself into one.
Which right there sounds uncomfortably to our own ears like we're blaming the victim ("If you dress like that what did you think would happen?"). But it's not just the clothes and frosted lipgloss. It's the constant dazed expression, hooded eyes, head-bobbing, hair-flicking, lip-pursing, tongue-flicking, chest-thrusting, hip-jutting, body-rubbing. That's not normal behavior for anyone, no matter the age.
And that's the truth.  Watch this video below and be amazed at her preening and pouting, her too-corny-to-be-scripted ruminations on romance ("we're flying on the wings of love together"), and the Neanderthal "mmmhmmms" that she groans in glassy-eyed agreement with her mediocre-looking husband. 

So, like, what's the long con? What's her deal?  I can understand a good old-fashioned gold-digger, but this B-list actor is hardly Hugh Hefner.  It's as if Anna Nicole Smith announced she was marrying a wrinkly, pruny, 89-year-old man, but instead of being a billionaire oil tycoon, he was just a retired CPA with a three bedroom split-level in Albuquerque and a reasonable social security pay out.  What's the catch?  If neither great looks nor great fortune is involved, WTF is she after?  And, frankly, he's a good actor who seems marginally intelligent and worldly -- what's he in it for long term?  She's hot, but she's that kind of hot that already looks tired at 16; at 25 she's going to just look like a collagen bag left in the sun and run over a few times.  I suppose it's just her sparkling personality and maternal instincts (notice how she throws the dog at him at 1:43).  Doug must be thinking, "isn't she's charming?".

To which Courtney replies, "Mmmmhmmmm."

Via Best Week Ever TV (you may have to click for animation).

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Public Service Announcement

From your friends at the Boomstick:

Friday, July 15, 2011

Flicky Friday (ft. SNL)

As corollary/follow-up to yesterday's incendiary obesity post, I give you SNL's take on high fructose corn syrup. Special thanks to my friend Sharleen for reminding me of this video yesterday, and for Bobby Moynihan for making my point better than I could:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Obesity: Part 2

Earlier this year, I wrote a defense of the proposed soda tax and I got some feedback that rather surprised me: largely positive from my liberal friends, and largely negative from my Republican friends.  Frankly, I'm rather surprised that this issue is so partisan, and surprised -- for all the reasons I named in that earlier post -- that Republicans are so against this consumption-based tax.

Sure, childhood obesity is a pet project of Michelle Obama's, but haven't first ladies always championed causes that are supposedly non-controversial? I would've thought that ending American obesity was a no-lose public health project everyone could agree with. As movements to change and monitor the food provided in public schools are growing, I wanted another chance to explain why I, who is if anything a libertarian, really support these efforts.

In my soda tax article, I wrote about how obesity causes a number of public health externalities. Obese people are increasingly more likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, etc, etc, etc.  I understand that the libertarian point of view is that everyone has the freedom to choose what they eat and the burden to privately suffer the consequences of that choice. But this argument fails because obesity ends up burdening all of us – the non-obese taxpayers – because we are on the hook to subsidize these medical costs. Obesity is more prevalent among the welfare-eligible than the privately-insured, so their hospital costs and prescription costs are largely covered by – you guessed it – taxpayers.

Buzz, your girlfriend, woof!
So, if we already have the forum of public schools, why not use them as an opportunity to educate students about making healthy food choices to lower health care costs to all of us in the long run? Come on, Republicans, isn't this a better use of public funds than paying striking teachers?  Why not stock public school cafeterias with healthy food, remove sodas from vending machines (hell, remove vending machines), and educate about fat and calories?

I’m not advocating relieving obese people of their own personal responsibility; I’m not saying it’s the government’s job to fix the fat.  I'm also not saying we should put any MORE money towards this problem. But I am saying, the government is currently taking our tax dollars to pay for the externalities of obesity – the negative health effects like Diabetes and other chronic health conditions – with no signs of stopping.  So why not nip the health problem in the bud? Why not use the same money we're already forced to spend on public schools to educate and prevent spending even more money on public health care later? Why not prevent food stamps from purchasing food that has no nutritional value? Why not have healthier public school lunch programs? Why not tax sodas and sugary drinks?

I know the libertarian counter-argument is “it’s not my job to keep your kids skinny." But, as long as we live in a system that imposes taxes on all of us to pay for healthcare, that argument has to fail. Certainly, the big, long-term picture for libertarians is overhauling the entire welfare benefits system. But the smaller, more immediate picture is legislating in a way that reduces the burdens on taxpayers in the existing system! Can't we put aside the principle of the issue for the reality of it: if we change the way children think about food, and more importantly, change what they eat, it will save all us taxpayers the cost of supporting them later.  And what’s more fundamentally libertarian than keeping your own money?

Follow Up (because it's my blog and I'm allowed to): On August 26, 2011, a new study gave these numbers: by 2030, it's predicted that the U.S. obesity rate will rise from 32 percent in 2008 to about 50 percent for men, and from 35 percent to between 45 percent and 52 percent for women. That means if we keep growing at the current rate, over HALF of Americans will be clinically obese in less than 20 years! What this means money-wise:
"In the United States, the cost of treating obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke, would increase $66 billion per year by 2030, and represent a 2.6 percent increase in overall health spending.  Spending on obesity problems alone will increase 13 percent to 16 percent per year if U.S. trends continue."
The report noted that a 1 percent population-wide decrease in body-mass index (just 1.9 pounds for an average 198-pound adult) would prevent more than 2 million cases of diabetes, roughly 1.5 million cases of heart disease and stroke, and 73,000 to 127,000 cancer cases in the United States.

So chew on that.  And then please spit it out.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Flicky Friday (ft. P.C. Matic Commercial)

Today's Flicky Fiday gets personal.  This commercial comes on every single morning while I'm getting dressed and watching the news.  It airs at least once every morning, and sometimes twice, and on one memorable Wednesday, three times.  That means I've seen this commercial more than 100 times.  That means that I begin every weekday of my life by watching this commercial.

You may have seen it, too.  It's for a product called "P.C. Matic," free downloadable virus-eliminating software.  At first I thought this commercial was just hilariously bad, but after all this time, after so many repetitions, it's really started to grate on me, get under my skin, make me think and analyze it over and over again.  I have so many questions, PC Matic!

Here's the video, followed by my growing list of inexplicable and confusing issues that it raises. Please keep in mind it takes approximately 15 viewings before it begins to gently annoy you, approximately 30 before you begin to over-analyze its flaws, approximately 85 viewings before you are so confused and frustrated that you think to ask someone else about it, and approximately 100 before you risk social ostracism to make your queries on your blog just to get some answers from anyone and feel like you're sane again.

On that note, enjoy:

1. Why do they have one car to share? I mean, it looks like they live in a pretty nice house, right? They've got a nice kitchen, looks like a big suburban residence, but at the end she says she needs "the car" tonight? Why do they have only one car between them? (Oh, we'll get to the license plate.)

2. Why didn't he know she was going out for girls' night? Why hadn't she told him earlier that she had plans?  Are they having communication problems?  Is it her know-it-all attitude about the computer that's driving them apart? Is he a control-freak who can't handle her dominance? Did he sell the other car so he could keep tabs on her?  Is she going meet her secret IT boyfriend? Doesn't this all seem fishy to you?

3. When she leaves at the end, why does she move fast like a vampire from "True Blood?" Is that the twist? Is she secretly a vampire? (The gleaming eye wink, too, right? Is she glamouring us?) Is she going to feed on him when she gets back? Is that what they're fighting about -- he wants her to stop feeding on humans and she's going out to do just that?  Is he tortured by his diminished manhood because he's married to a vampire AND he can't fix his own computer?

4. WHOA! Twist ending! Who saw that coming? Her LICENSE PLATE says "PC MATIC"! What does that imply? That she secretly works for PC Matic and is only pretending to be married to her husband to encourage him to download her company's free computer software?  Did her secret IT boyfriend give it to her?  How does she so brazenly display it on their one shared car?!?  Is "PC MATIC" really her ancient vampire name and this is all a ruse?

These questions -- and many others -- will be answered on the next episode of "Soap."

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

See You Next Tuesday (O.J. Anthony)

See You Next Tuesday is the Boomstick's regular column. On Tuesdays, I bring you the week's most laughable scumbags, idiots, and jerks for your reading and reviling pleasure.   If you don't get the name, visit your nearest middle school playground and ask the first kid you see.  You can read previous editions here. 

As I'm sure you know by now, Casey Anthony was acquitted of first and second degree murder and child abuse today by her Florida jury.  The verdict concluded three years of a much-publicized, highly dramatized murder mystery, and quite possibly ruined Nancy Grace's career.  There is so very much to be said about this trial, the media circus, the jurors, the prosecution, etc., but for today's See You Next Tuesday, I bring you the most concrete and wonderful summation of today's events I could find.  In this one Twitter screen shot, find embodied the entire popular culture of this country:

And a belated happy Independence Day to you all.