Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Finnegan sentence of the day: CHRISTMAS EDITION

Merrry Christmas blog-fans! In honor of this special day, I've got for you kiddies a special treat-- a Finnegan sentence taken completely out of context. Enjoy!

What I'm interested in is D'Souza's insouciance in bandying Pascal's Wager about without really understanding the math involved in game-theoretic decision making (if he does understand it, his argument is just totally dishonest), so that he's incapable of making discriminations among different cases which are qualitatively alike, but which, on quantitative grounds, lead to divergent conclusions.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Guest Post: King Cong

OK guys and gals, this is BIG!

So it turns out that Than Merrill, a regular Mitt Romney if I've ever seen one, was not simply content with creating the first fresh-mex restaurant in New Haven- Mexicali Grille. Of course I am not going to rehash the debate as to whether Mexicali was really fresh-mex or if J Cong's corporate raider-style takeover conversion into the Double B represented the true introduction of fresh-mex. Either way, everyone agrees that the Bulldog Cantina just kicked it up a whole notch and showed Cong-Dawg to be a veritable Lee Iacocca. Now Merrill, having been shown up by his successor, has decided to go back to the drawing board and enter the real estate world. Merrill has been so successful as a real estate magnate that he was featured on A&E's Flip This House. Well now King Cong is mad! So I gave him a forum to vent his anger and speak to the public right here on this blog:


With Beneficent Allah in Vienna, this is a perfect time to make some opera analogies. You see I am Mozart to Than Merrill's Salieri. He came first. He's got a certain workmanlike ability about him. He gets the job done. But what does he lack? Inspiration! Creativity! GENIUS!

Did Than Merrill think of adding a FOURTH type of salsa to complement Mild, Medium and Hot? No, sadly the patrons of Mexicali Grille went pico de gallo-less for months, just as the patrons of Vienna's Opera House went without the light, airy, ethereal touch of The Magic Flute for so long. The list of my innovations goes on- the Cantina, the exposed kitchen, the CNN Headline News with closed captions.

And like Salieri, Than Merrill has been trying to take me down. It seems Merrill was whispering scurrilous lies about me and my restaurant into the ear of extremely influential Play Magazine food critic Joe Scarpano just as Salieri poisoned the ear of Emperor Joseph II with lies about Mozart.

But now Merrill, having been vanquished in the art of restauranteurage, has decided to move on to Real Estate. I hesitate to stoop to the level of such a coward, but to show my range of abilities, I will try to get on Flip This House as well. Let me tell you something, for a guy whose living is basically "Flip This Quesadilla," I don't imagine expanding on the concept will be too hard.

Here is the bold strategy I am thinking of for this project:
1. Buy a dilapidated house on Dixwell
2. Fill the refrigerator with some premium GUAC from the Double B. I'm talking guac in every crevice of that thing- veggie crisper, shelves, butter drawer, you name it
3. Matter of fact, put some guac in the freezer too.
4. BOOM- Flip that house for twice the purchase price

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

De l'eau nouveau

Haven't blogged about the bottled water scene lately, but I have to report on a huge new development-- San Benedetto, or SAN BENEDETZZZ as I call it familiarly -- has taken the Danosphere by storm!

I had it in Italy several years ago but then I totally forgot about it until a couple recent pleasant reminders. First I had it at the D.E. Shaw Christmas party. (Tom and I snuck a bottle for ourselves and chugged it like I did back in High School- ahhh, those were the days...) Then I had it at the 'Bucks in Puerto Rico, and it sealed the deal.

San Benedetz tastes minerally like Ev-ee-yawwwn, but it doesn't have that cummy aftertaste. In fact that would make a great slogan:

"San Benedetto - Tastes great, Less Cummy!"




Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mingling at the DE Shaw Party

Tom and Kingspawn invited me to the DE Shaw Holiday Party again this year. It was a classy affair at Cipriani filled with some of the financial industry's elites, and I wanted to make sure I made a good impression, so my M.O. for the night was this kind of scene:

(Music blaring in background)
WORK IT HARDER MAKE IT BETTER
DO IT FASTER, MAKES US STRONGER
MORE THAN EVER HOUR AFTER
OUR WORK IS NEVER OVER,
WORK IT MAKE IT...

(I approach a group of randoms dancing together in a group)
Me (moving unrhythmically, yelling to be heard): HOW ABOUT THAT CREDIT CRUNCH! HUH! NEXT YEAR THEY'LL PROBABLY HAVE THE CHRISTMAS PARTY AT QUIZNO'S!
(No response)
Me: SUBPRIME LOANS!
(No response)
Me: FREDDIE MAC!
(No response)
Me: FRED THOMPSON

Me (muttering to myself): That reminds me, can't believe I missed the GOP debate- even after AG reminded me....

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

RNC Joke Contest

With all of these Presidential Debates aimed at adults, it's easy to miss some of the more kid-friendly events going on during this election season. Fortunately, my parents' donation to the Dole '96 Campaign got me on a mailing list, and I found out about this wonderful new event- the Republican National Committee's Children's Joke Contest! It was held in Independence, Missouri, meaning I couldn't go, but some kind soul taped part of it for me and put it on the Web- who said Republicans weren't nice folks? Enjoy:





NOTE: DON'T TRY TO LISTEN TO THIS IN FIREFOX- USE SAFARI OR INTERNET EXPLORER (sorry!) AND THIS WILL TAKE A LITTLE WHILE TO LOAD

Monday, December 03, 2007

Direct Quote

from my High School's alumni newsletter, in which most people write things like "Hey guys, I'm in law school at Cornell," or "Just had a beautiful baby boy":

T.T. Nhu Miller: "Hello from Hanoi, I moved to Viet Nam following the 2004 election disaster, vowing not to live in the US as long as Bush/Cheney are in power. The Democrats might win back the White House, but I'm not holding my breath. Remember when we were growing up, we didn't even know a Republican, except the Javits family! Later when I lived in Berkeley for 36 years

Friday, November 30, 2007

Dan the News Hound

Craziness- an armed man took hostages today at one of Hillary Clinton's campaign offices in New Hampshire! Fortunately, I have been following the story all day on my only source for news, the Captivate Network, by traveling up and down in my office building's elevator. Wait a sec, the elevator is coming back up to the 6th floor, i need to go guys and follow this story! I'll try to update when i get back from the ground floor!

Friday, November 16, 2007

New Haven weekend

The Delino Krew (including AL) is heading back to New Haven tonight! Very exciting stuff, returning to the soil from whence we sprang. Everyone else will be thinking, "Amazing, all our old college pals are here i need to go talk to them and catch up," while The Delino Krew will be like "amazing, all our old food preparers are here- Adan at G Heav, the gruff guy at Louie Lunch, the old woman at ivy noodle, Cong-Dawg at the Double B, Mark the former crack addict French chef genius at Gastro, the Burrito cart guy..."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Eat Richly SCOOP

One of the perks of having a food bloggeur extraordinaire for a brother is that you get the inside scoop on food blog trends. The scuttlebutt is that, inspired by the blog Dead Man Eating, which details the final meals eaten by Death Row inmates, Rich spent part of the spring and summer writing an entirely new secret underground blog called Eat Richly: Rural State Prisons Edition. I couldn't figure out the web address but Eric managed to snag a few of the entries using a Google cache situation- nice work, Eric:

4/14/07
Here Goes
Hey web surfers and surfettes, sorry this blog was so hard to find. But it'll be well worth the effort. Basically the deal is this: over the next few months, I am going to travel to prisons all over America and get to have a few bites of various prisoners' last meals, and then I will review them for your reading pleasure. Whoops! Can't blog anymore today, I've got to catch a flight to Birmingham!

4/15/07
Tuscaloosa State Penitentiary, Tuscaloosa, AL
While baby-smotherer Jimmie Ray Scruggs's chosen menu of Fried Calamari, Pepperoni Pizza, Tuna Casserole, and chocolate covered pretzels lacked overall cohesiveness, I must say that the chef did a fine job of bringing the meal together. In an innovative twist, the inmates are the chefs at this rustic gem, and T-Bone is a regular Anthony Bourdain. Don't miss the fried calamari, which is both crispy and tasty, and is so fresh you'd swear they cooked it right on the electric chair! It's to die for!

4/17/07
Darden Federal Prison, Des Moines, IA
Jonas "the Bonus" Janovic presented quite a contrast with Jimmie Ray. Oh, quick note on Jonas's nickname- he saw Con Air in the late '90s and figured that "the Bonus" would be really menacing like "the Virus"; no one had the heart (or the spine) to tell this triple threat child molester/murderer/library book stealer that the name was a non sequitur. As it turns out, Jonas had worked for some time as a line chef at one of the fanciest restaurants in Dubuque, La Vache Folle. With "the Bonus" as my meal designer, I was in for a real treat. We dined on garlic crabs, steak tar tar and foie gras, and shared a bottle of 1988 Merlot. Magnifique! Since Jonas and I were on the same mental wavelength (though not electric wavelength!), I'll let Jonas describe the meal himself-- "My one complaint would be that the garlic crabs were a little garlicky, but at least they were flavorful. Other than that, the merlot was superb- I've always said 1988 was the best year- it was a very dry summer. The steak tar tar had just the right dash of salt to bring out the bouquet of flavors. Finally, the foie gras was so creamy, I think they might have been feeding the geese foie gras themselves!" Move over 'et tu, Brute'- THOSE are some last words!


5/14/07
Spokane State Prison, Spokane, WA

When I was told I would dine with Da'Wayne Buchanan, a 300-lb former Washington State linebacker from Louisiana, I figured I was in for some tasty soul/cajun food. Boy was I wrong! Apparently, Da'Wayne decided it would be a good idea to go on a diet- maybe he wanted to make sure he could fit through those pearly gates! Da'Wayne was in here in the first place for slicing and dicing a 10-year-old girl like a vine-ripened tomato, so it's fitting that the first item on the menu was a modified Cobb salad with vine-ripened tomatoes. The modified Cobb salad was actually surprisingly delicious, but I felt compelled to explain to Da'Wayne that "despite what Dr. South Beach might tell you, bacon is an important counterpoint to the avocado, and I read an article in the Science Times saying Dairy's not even that bad for you." For the entree, Da'Wayne chose a delicious cut of organic salmon. Though the warden's wife Margie, who was a really nice lady, offered to fillet the salmon, I chose to eat the whole body including its head (that's how they do it in CHINA- jowls and all!). Well something set Da'Wayne off, and maybe it was the overwhelming smell of death from the fish head (we'll never know), but we had to cut short this marvelous meal. Though the food was very tasty, obviously the experience left something to be desired- let's just say this was no Last Supper!


5/19/07
Chino State Penitentiery, Chino, CA
Today's dinnermate was Rico Manuel Gabriel Noriega Diaz Gomez Lopez- what a mouthful, almost as much of a mouthful as those grande burritos at the Chino cafeteria! It turns out that Rico read this blog before meeting me, and was very excited that I would be reviewing his meal, almost as excited as he was when he choked his 94-year-old grandmother to death with a bicycle chain! He chose a predominantly Mexican meal, not only because it is the food he was weaned on, but because he felt Eat Richly: Rural State Prisons Edition was lacking in Latin American options - good call, Rico. The aforementioned burritos were tender and tasty, and the salsa piquante drizzled on top had just the right amount of kick. The guac, on the other hand, left much to be desired. Especially considering that California is the land of the avocado, the Chino chefs were very stingy with their 'cados, making up the remainder of the volume with some sort of translucent liquid that I hope was water- I told them to hold the sodium pentathol! But all was forgiven when we finished the meal off with some flan that would make Jason Congdon weep like Dan when he loses to me in Wii Tennis. It was to die for!


Monday, November 12, 2007

Motown Blues

I open the Fox News homepage - BOOM-
Cops Say They Killed for the Thrill
Murder charges filed against two Detroit young men accused of brutally beheading, mutilating man for fun.

You know what the best part of my day is? The ten seconds before the story loads, 'cause I let myself think maybe, just maybe it was Actual God and Mulatto Jesus. Now I don't know much, but I know that.

Mr. Burns as Jimbo


Check out Larry King trying to look like a twenty-something, and tell me you don't see Mr. Burns trying to dress like a teenager. I think in this photo you can actually make out that Larry is saying "Richie Rich, that's a very funny movie"...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Writers' Strike

In many ways I am upset about this whole TV and movie writers' strike. But let's look at the upside- now I can catch up on all those "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson"s I DVRed. Those things were really clogging up the DVR, and now I've got 20 hours of Scottish brogue-inflected monologues ahead of me- don't

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Contest

So I entered this Slate fake comedy news contest, and I got a sort of Honorable Mention wherein the narrator said "strong contenders" and showed my clip. Then he showed the clips that won, and I was reminded of an old Hollywood chestnut, "It's an honor just to be nominated... and then lose to some guy who looks like he's a serial killer and whose joke makes no sense and man what a fucking crock" Check that out here: http://www.slatev.com/comedynews/

Then check out my clip here:
http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1274025900/bclid1281307890/bctid1274033539

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Lester returns

Lester's alter-ego Matt, is back in the blogosphere. Though this blog is nominally about the show Californication, expect copious references to Congdon, Munz, and sex with 65-year-old Serbian house cleaners. This blog has pretty serious relevance to me, because you see my family is in the entertainment industry. You see my Mom is on the fringes of several "Save This Show" campaigns, including Deadwood, Traveler, and Seinfeld. And I was one of only three viewers of Discussion Section with Alan Kennedy-Shaffer, a short-lived, jeez how do I encapsulate this in just a one-line pitch "Jim Lehrer for the college set." for more info on the show, check this article out and scroll to the middle of the page: http://www.yaledailynews.com/articles/view/11399


Anyway, here is the Lester-blog:

Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween Redux

With Halloween coming up any day now, I figured I'd spread the holiday cheer with a little anecdote that I forgot to post about a month ago.

Me: Hey AG, you know where we're going later tonight?

AG: Uh, Tom's House?

Me: OK, OK, but after that?

AG: a bar?

Me: OK, right a bar but WHERE?

AG: I think it's in the East Village, right? Tom is that right?

Me: OK, OK but what more specifically?

AG: Um, near the Astor Place subway?

Me: OK, right, but WHAT STREET?

AG: Oh, the Bowery

Me: You mean THE BOOOOOOO-ERY!

(Everyone laughs hysterically)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Taxicab Confessional

As I hailed down a cab this weekend, one cab driver cut off another one in order to get my fare. I got in the taxi of the guy who did the cutting off, but then we stopped at the same red light as the driver who got cut off. What ensued was the following screaming match:

Other Cab Driver (Middle Eastern Accent): Fuck youuuu! You fuckin' guy.

My Cab Driver (middle eastern accent): Fuck Youuu! You ugly

Other Cab Driver: No you ugly. Motherfucker. You take my fare

My Cab Driver: You ugly, you Osama Bin Laden. (Cab driver looks back for my approval)

Other Cab Driver: Son of a bitch!

My Cab Driver: Big... big dick! (makes a hand gesture of a big dick)

And with that, my cab driver sped off down Lexington Avenue. As the ride went on, we spoke a little about this and that, where I was going and why, etc. Then, after a brief lull in the conversation:

My Cab Driver (pensively): I should have said 'cunt'.... Eh, he probably wouldn't even have gotten it.

I don't know about you, but I take comfort in knowing that people from all walks of life are thinking about comedy neurotically

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Carbo-Terrorists Strike Again!

Following up on BBC's crack reporting on Carbo-Terrorists in Iraq, it seems that even though we're fighting them over there, they've followed us over here! It appears that some of the more technically oriented Carbo-Terrorists (perhaps acolytes of Pakistan's A.Q. Carb?) have hacked into the FDA's website and created this shocking Food Pyramid aimed at small children- at SMALL CHILDREN, have they no honor at all! I'm told this is so filled with disinformation propaganda that even Al Jazeera would not show it, but since I don't have any Qatar-ese petrobillionaires looking over my shoulder, here it is:


Monday, October 08, 2007

Dennis Miller Monday Night Football

Apparently Dennis Miller has a new sports talk show on the Versus network. But what most people don't know is that Miller's initial recent attempt to get back into the field of sports commentary was an audition tape he made for Monday Night Football- Enjoy (and rate highly on YouTube/ send to liberal bloggers and pundits):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AuQRjx13Gk#GU5U2spHI_4

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Däń on Humour: Apatow/Rogen

Hello, dear readers, this is Dan. I'm pleased to announce a new feature on DelinoDeshields.com called "Däń on Humour." In this feature, my colleague Däń (see photo) will be writing brief critical essays about some of the leading topics in modern comedy. Däń is an old friend of mine who has written widely in newspapers and journals across Europe, including Der Spiegel, Il Foglio Clandestino, and Le Canard enchaîné. Däń isn't a very tech-savvy guy, so I'm letting him use my account to post. He and I tend to agree about nearly everything. Enjoy!


Let me first say that I enjoyed Knocked Up and Superbad and to a lesser extent The Forty Year-Old Virgin. That being said, I have to say that Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen are getting, in my humble European opinion, a bit too much credit for their accomplishments.

As the Mainstream Media would have it, Apatow and Rogen are really "alternative" guys who write/produce "edgy" comedies, and this whole group's rise shows that "alternative" comedy is on the upswing. And the idea is "the losers become the winners!" in their movies, which is a new idea (supposedly)

But something That Girl's dad said yesterday struck me as very appropriate here- he was talking about how we often have this notion of premium cable shows (HBO, Showtime) versus network shows, with the premium cable shows Obviously pushing the boundaries by being far edgier and more alternative. Yet as he pointed out, when you think about it, most shows even on HBO or Showtime don't push any real boundaries - they may curse or have some sexual and drug content, but those are really faux boundaries. He's completely right- getting to say "fuck" or showing some boobs or a joint being smoked hardly qualifies as challenging, revolutionary television. The Upper Middle Class already sees these things as not a big deal. Truly revolutionary, challenging shows, like The Wire for instance, actually question some of the Upper Middle Class's basic assumptions - that our society's institutions more or less work, that segregation ended 50 years ago, etc.

Which brings me back to Rogen/Apatow. On the surface you have several aspects of their films that might make you think "hey, these guys are really doing something alternative." You've got drugs being smoked, porn being shown, unattractive protagonists with Jew fros, etc. But when you look one level beyond the surface you realize a few things. As mentioned above, the whole drugs/porn thing is something the Upper Middle Class long became comfortable with, and even America on the whole is not terribly bothered by it. And the unattractive/awkward protagonist always gets the hot blonde girl in the end, which is exactly what any male protagonist in a mainstream Hollywood movie wants. Then when you really look at the jokes, for every trenchant observation about society, there are 40 dick jokes that you might cringe at if put in another context.

As for any of this being new at all, see Revenge of the Nerds from the '80s, for instance (though Apatow's are of course a little more highbrow). What has really been questioned about contemporary American society at all in an Apatow/Rogen movie? All of the various issues can be boiled down to the basic point that in the end, all of the Apatow/Rogen characters kind of "get their weirdness beaten out of them" and end up conforming to society's standards of normalcy in order to get the girl. Not to mention the question of "are these characters actually that weird to begin with?" They like to smoke pot and watch porn, they are very horny, and they have a tight-knit group of male friends- I'd venture to say this covers about 70% of guys in their early 20s. At least the characters in Apatow/Rogen movies seem real and are not being laughed at - more than can be said about a lesser work like Napoleon Dynamite.

What would an actually "bold" comedy look like? Off the top of my head, South Park comes to mind

All of this is not to say that Weeds on television or Superbad on the big screen aren't good and funny. I think they are, i'm just saying they're not as "bold" as they are often perceived to be.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Supreme Court Porn Blogging, Dispatch #1

From the Washington Post:

"Similarly, Thomas had a well-known taste for the kind of extreme pornography Hill said he brought up with her. "Listening to her, it was as if I was listening to the guy I knew speak," said law school classmate Henry Terry. Washington lawyer Fred Cooke saw Thomas, while EEOC chairman, checking out a triple-X video of 'The Adventures of Bad Mama Jama', about the interracial sexcapades of an obese black woman."

For the Delino readership's pleasure, I present you with a link to the video cover for "The Adventures of Bad Mama Jama 2"- though I have to admit that real "BMJ" fans tell me the sequel doesn't really stack up to the original; it's kind of like the Matrix Reloaded of obese black woman interracial porn.

Next week: Which Strapping Septuagenarian does Rutabaga Ginsberg have a picture of tucked underneath her robe???

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Lonely Planet's #8 Activity Not to Miss in the South

Getting whipped behind the ol' Faulkner place

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Water War: A Ken Burns Film

As summer rapidly retreats into the warm distance, I have spent the past few hours reminiscing about the Water War, or just simply The War as so many of that generation that lived it solemnly refer to it as.

So as I sat in a diner this evening for a late dinner, I flipped open the Metro Section of this town's "finest newspaper"... only to be struck by the level to which that mainstream media rag The Washington Post has stooped to, in the hopes of more advertising greenbacks through SHAMELESS product placement...

Caption: Danny Jones, 15, spent three days in the hospital. He is still trying to regain full motion in his left arm. "It was terrifying," he says of the August attack.

In case you missed it, here are some helpful red ellipses to point out the "healing touch of mother's hand combined with the fresh, all-natural restorative power of Poland Spring."


If you (my fellow Zephyrhills Natural Spring Water fans) are as outraged as I am, by this blatant bias, I encourage you to contact Deborah Howell - Ombudsman for The Washington Post at at 202-334-7582 or at ombudsman[at]washpost.com.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Connections to the Past

similar scandal in Saudi Arabia or in 1900's Russia... woman w/ part of face uncovered

http://historicparks.org/imagegallery/garnier/images/LuminaGarnier_jpg.jpg

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Mother Teresa Love Connection

Some of you may have noticed that Mother Teresa's personal letters were recently published in the book Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light. Apparently MT, despite that apparent joie de vivre we all saw on her face, was just bottling up her depression and anguish:



"I call, I cling, I want, and there is no one to answer, no, no one. Alone. Where is my faith? even deep down right in there is nothing. I have no faith. I dare not utter the words and thoughts that crowd in my heart. I am told God loves me, and yet the reality of the darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul. Did I make a mistake in surrendering blindly to the Call of the Sacred Heart?"








OK, I'll cut through the theological mumbo-jumbo for you - Mother T. was down 'cause she wasn't gettin' freakay-freakay. I think someone could have used JDate...

UPDATE: I have just found out that MTizzle actually set up a JDate account but then backed out at the last second and never posted it- here is the info she filled out:

am looking for:A date, Friend, Marriage, Marriage & Children,
ANYTHING!
Relocation:I would relocate for the right person or relationship
Relationship Status:Single
Children:We are all God's children
Plan on having children:See above


I keep Kosher:N/A
I go to Synagogue:N/A
I smoke:Non-Smoker
I drink:Blood of Christ, Diet Peach Snapple
Zodiac Sign:Don't believe in it
Activity Level:Active
Back to top

Physical Info



I am:4' 3" (70 cm)I weigh:
My hair is:BrownMy eyes are:Brown
My body style is closest to:Voluptuous

Personality and Interests



My personality is best described as:
Adventurous/Wild/Spontaneous, Artistic, Earthy,
Flirtatious/Playful, Friendly/Kind, High Energy,
Humorous/Witty, Sensitive/Nurturing/Loving,
Outgoing, Practical, Romantic, Self Confident,
Serious/Responsible, Spiritual

I like to read:
The Bible, Cosmo, eatrichly.blogspot.com/calcutta.html






























Friday, September 07, 2007

LA Public Transit

Upon finding myself without a car in Los Angeles last month, I decided I'd take the Bus. While the bus in New York is populated by old ladies, young professionals and children, I found LA to be a bit different.


Basically the scene was me, some Hispanic workers in the service industry, and the Crips. So I sat there in the back quietly reading The Economist. But it was hard to focus because of course the Crips were making all sorts of hoopla-- it turns out one of them was looking over my shoulder and he screamed "Ah told ya, son! They shuttin' tha Pyongyong Nuclea Reactah down fo real!"

Friday, August 31, 2007

From the Vault

I was clearing some stuff off my computer the other day, and I came across this audition tape from back in 2004. I am auditioning for the role of "Johnny 'Drama' Chase" and Tom (Law & Order: SVU, CATS, Nantucket Summer Stock) is doing a cold read of the character of "Turtle."


Friday, August 24, 2007

Dennis Miller early tryout

As some of you may know, Dennis Miller is hosting a new game show on Game Show Network called Grand Slam. Basically, the show pits two all-star contestants from other game shows against one another in a battle of wits. Miller provides the witty, pop-culture infused commentary about the contestants and the ongoing game.

But I have the backstory here, which is that Dennis Miller almost didn't get the job, because his initial audition tape was deemed "too esoteric." I managed to get my hands on the audio portion of this tape, and I tend to disagree with that assessment, but I'll let my dear readers be the judges. Here is Dennis Miller's Grand Slam audition tape:




NOTE: DON'T TRY TO LISTEN TO THIS IN FIREFOX- USE SAFARI OR INTERNET EXPLORER (sorry!) AND THIS WILL TAKE A LITTLE WHILE TO LOAD

Thursday, August 23, 2007

More Bad News in Baghdad

As if Iraq didn't have enough troubles, it appears that now it has been hit with a wave CARBO BOMBS! This piece from BBC News Radio has some more details:




NOTE: DON'T TRY TO LISTEN TO THIS IN FIREFOX- USE SAFARI OR INTERNET EXPLORER (sorry!)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

American yuppie, thy name is Cowardice

And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
Genesis 4:9


If I am not for myself, who will be? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?
Pirkei Avot 1:14

So my friend Peter sent me a really funny video today on Youtube, from a TV show on the Sci-Fi network called Scare Tactics. If you haven't seen the show already... the basic idea is that so-called "accomplices" take their friends on certain activities, like going to the tanning salon, camping trips, or get them jobs as entertainers, etc. While the accomplices are in on the jokes, the friends, of course, are not. Each episode positions the "friend" in an extremely scary situation, where their death seems imminent. Hilarity ensues. Here's my point: I am appalled by how quickly people bail on their friends. That said, if I were in the same situation, I have no idea how I would respond, so perhaps I am judging them too harshly. However, in each instance, whether it was an alien abduction, Big Foot murdering people, or an escaped gorilla, every person that was being filmed had COMPLETE disregard for the welfare of their companion. Judge for yourself, how would you respond?





Here are two more examples:

Big Foot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlrU-BKk3lM

Gorilla: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RW-vQr7wcFM

Friday, August 03, 2007

He Makes it Rain

Ni Hao Ma from Beijing. The first night I was here, it was torrential downpour. I cursed the weather gods at first. But then I learned that in fact the Chinese Government had MANUFACTURED the rain in order to cleanse the skies of pollution before the 2008 Olympics.

Hu Jintao, Original Gansta, MAKES IT RAIN ON DEM HOES!!!!


Hat tip to STM

Friday, July 27, 2007

Comments on Vick Case

NB: I hope this post makes sense- it is my last day of work so I am deliriously happy

Recently, there has been a lot of hoopla among the PETA/animal rights set about Michael Vick's alleged dogfighting ring. This is to be expected, as they complain about anything a reasonable male in his 20s might enjoy, like chicken paillard, fine leather shoes or a doorstop that is actually just the head of a meerkat.

What I really object to, however, is the mainstream press and liberal intelligentsia, who barely raise a peep about eating steak or having leather car seats but then are up in arms because of a dog fight. Isn't dog-fighting more humane than mechanized slaughter? Only ONE of the two dogs dies, as opposed to all of the cows. And that shit is Darwinian anyway- the weak dog didn't deserve to live.


This cow certainly wishes the mainstream media cared more about her than about dogs:










On the subject of cows and cattle, I have heard from an acquaintance who's spent time on a farm that when cattle and chickens are on the same farm, the cattle jumps atop the chicken and nuts on its stomach while screaming "HAAA! I taste so much better than you!"


If you ever want a souvenir of those encounters, try one of these canes, made out of REAL BULL'S PENIS!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

To Catch A Predator Fans

Check out this tidbit from the To Catch a Predator blog by Chris Hansen:

"
In each of our recent investigations we've found men who have seen or heard about our "To Catch a Predator" shows and surprisingly, still show up to meet a young teen. I've gotten used to the fact that this will happen, but I have never seen anything like what happened in New Jersey.

There was actually one guy who came in and instantly recognized me. He told me that he was a religious "To Catch a Predator" viewer and that he never missed an episode. Before I could formulate my next question, he volunteered that he had heard me on a syndicated radio program and complimented me for doing a good job."

I have to say that this really isn't so surprising. Even if you knew you were about to be arrested for child molestation, wouldn't your first reaction be "Holy Shit it's Chris Hansen! Mega-baller! Actual God watches you all the time, he burned me a DVD of his favorite eps! Do the thing where you're like 'I'm Chris Hansen' - do it! Here's my question- what is the deal with the Decoy Girl? Is she an actor or something- do you put up a Craig's List ad for that shit, that must be weird? Does anyone have a camera I want to take a picture with Hansen? Wait what am I talking about there are three cameras right here filming us- duh!"

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

"Crush on Obama" Backstory

Maybe some of you have seen this new YouTube music video called "I Got a Crush on Obama." In it, a busty brunette lustily sings verses like

Universal healthcare reform
It makes me warm
You tell the truth unlike the right
You can love but you can fight
You can Barack me tonight
I’ve got a crush on Obama

Well the real backstory is that - have you all seen Big Momma's House 2? Basically, what happened is that the latex makeup geniuses who made Martin Lawrence look like Grandmama applied the reverse process to our old pal political blogger Munz, making him look like a svelte brunette babe. Behind all that Latex, it is Munz singing those lines.

This is actually not Munz's family's first foray into the intersection of music and politics. I can't find it on YouTube now, but Munz's sister, Coretta Scott Munz, released a track in 1988 that was wildly popular. A lot of people actually blame the Dems' loss in '88 on Bob Shrum's decision not to use this as the campaign song:

You looked so good in that tank,
Yeah you can take that to the bank,
Tell George Bush to screw himself
But screw my bush yourself
Michael Dukak-iiis
please do bukakesss
with your cock-esss
on my stom-achs


p.s. in other political news, it turns out that Yasir Arafat died of the Super-AIDS. If only Beneficent Allah had warned him sooner!

Monday, July 16, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: STATEMENT FROM DAN'S PUBLICIST

My Publicist, Eric Sloane Zelnick, has just released this STATEMENT regarding the recent slander published by my own brother on the Marquis Grissom blog:

"I want to remind the public that Dan is in a happy and healthy relationship with his girlfriend. And contrary to popular reports, Dan stocks his fridge with POLAND SPRING, a water he drinks while watching football and hunting deer. That is all."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sharon is STILL the New Schiavo

I can't remember who first coined the phrase "Sharon is the New Schiavo," but props to him or her. Because, despite not hearing a PEEP about this from the mainstream media, Ariel Sharon is STILL in a Persistent Vegitative State. But apparently Bill Frist, after looking at the doctored photo below, has determined that Sharon is not in a PVS. In any case, it is agreed upon by all medical experts that Sharon has special needs to keep him alive, so instead of the standard intravenous nourishment, he is being fed a steady diet of Cheeseburgers and Palestinian babies (see below):

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

History Lesson a la mode de Beneficent Allah

While at Ellis Island on Sunday, I was reminded of a piece of legislation I read about in American History class- The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Basically, America said "not so fast, Asiangs!"

Monday, July 09, 2007

Light Summer Reading

I went to the beach over the weekend, and when I got the train station I realized I hadn't brought a book. So I went over the Hudson News and bought whatever light popular summer fluff they had in the little paperback rack. It was pretty good, if a little light on plot:

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Audacity of Giving Up

Fed up with all nonsense coming out of Washington, DC today, Delino contributor Tom is about to release a powerhouse new book that will change the nation's capital forever! Here is a sneak preview of The Audacity of Giving Up, with photo from the inside flap:

Folks, we've got a problem on our hands in Washington, DC today. And that problem is partisanship. Each side is hunkered down in its own camp, unwilling to listen to each other, or, more importantly, to those in the vital center.

On the left we have those who, under the guise of protecting "American jobs," would restrict free trade, thus shrinking the pie for both American workers and those in developing countries who rely on the world economy to lift them out of poverty. And on the right, we have those who, under the guise of protecting "American values," would force impoverished teenage girls to have babies they cannot afford to keep and would prevent two loving partners who happen to be of the same gender from having their relationship recognized by law.

Well, my fellow Americans, I've toured this great land, from the Rocky Mountains out West to the great plains of Iowa all the way to the Adirondacks. And in talking to the public at large, I've reached an astonishingly simple conclusion that can guide us as a nation as we confront the great problems of the 21st century... WHO GIVES A FUCK ABOUT ANY OF THIS SHIT?

That's right- most of the people in this country are fucking morons. They in turn elect fucking morons to Congress and a fucking moron President. With all these fucking morons running around in positions of power, PLUS all the rent-seeking and narrow special interest pursuits (as predicted by Public Choice Theory), how can you ever expect to change the status quo? You can go on about a carbon tax or scaling back antitrust laws or any other fucking obvious idea until you're blue in the face, but there'll always be Senator Fuckface (R-UT) or Commie ACLU Bitch to stop you. Face it- political change is impossible. Attempting that shit is just exhausting. So why bother even trying? My advice- don't try, JUST GIVE UP. Take up some other pursuit that is, I don't know, fun. Learn to play squash, read
Bitker and Eustice's delightful tax law romp, write a restaurant review blog, who knows... the possibilities are endless!

I'd like to close with a little story. A while back, in my younger days, I was down in Yorktown, Virginia. Some call it the "birthplace of liberty"; it's where British General Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington after a lengthy battle in 1781, effectively ending the Revolutionary War and marking the true beginning of America. It was there that the United States of America were forged from a mixture of blood, sweat and tears. Well anyway, I was at a diner there in Yorktown. And from all the signs up everywhere, I reckoned it was election season. So I sat right down at the counter and a pretty young girl, couldn't have been more than 17, asked me what I'd like. I told her I wanted apple pie, and she wrote it down, and she said "Apple pie's my favorite too." And we got to talking, and it turned out she was heavily involved with local Democratic politics.

"Congressman Stewart," she said, "well he's a Republican. And he voted to cut funding for after-school programs 'round here. And I tell ya I know first-hand that some of my friends, with the economy going south like it has, they used to sell drugs and steal cars, but then they started taking music classes after school. And boy, now one pal of mine is tryin' out for the all-state Flute competition, and another guy..." As she went on describing the need for after-school funding in rural areas, the only thought that came in my mind was, "Could I get a side order of your pussy to go with that pie?"

She continued, "and my friend Margine, she was raped by her daddy, and she had to drive all the way to North Carolina to get an abortion because Congressman Stewart pulled funding for the abortion clinic in town." Upon witnessing this pitiable spectacle I thought, "Your friend? Daddy likes... how about i eat one of you out while I finger-fuck the other one."

Finally, sensing she had to get back to her job, the young girl proclaimed, "I'm sorry, I know the Good Book tells me to turn the other cheek and to forgive sinners, but sometimes I just think Republicans are downright evil!" She slowly wiped away a tear from her soft white cheek, and at that moment I had a revelation... I should go to the bathroom and rub one out. And I did. You see how you can actually accomplish things when you focus on smaller, more personal goals?

Well, folks, thanks for the reading the book and may God Bless the United States of America!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

L'eau part Deux

Since my last post about bottled water, there have been some new developments. First and foremost, Tom (stage name T.L.) released a remix of the classic Biggie Smalls song "Juicy" - sample a lyric:

The Volvic and Acqua Panna keep me pissy
Girls used to diss me
Now they write letters cause they miss me
Birthdays was the worst days
Now we sip Feej when we thirst-ay

----------------------------------
So the "Juicy" remix was playing in my head in the shower this morning. I step out to dry off, walk to my window, and what do I see? A sign from the heavens...

















"Tanks Gawd!!" I exclaimed. But before I went so far as to buy that truckload of Fiji bottles, I decided I'd listen to a debate over the societal benefit of Fiji water. On the Con side was a growing number of journalists and environmental activists. On the Pro side was Beneficent Allah. Here is how it went down--

Pablo Paster, Treehugger.com, CON:

Every bottle of Fiji Water goes on its own version of this trip, in reverse, although by truck and ship. In fact, since the plastic for the bottles is shipped to Fiji first, the bottles' journey is even longer. Half the wholesale cost of Fiji Water is transportation--which is to say, it costs as much to ship Fiji Water across the oceans and truck it to warehouses in the United States than it does to extract the water and bottle it.

That is not the only environmental cost embedded in each bottle of Fiji Water. The Fiji Water plant is a state-of-the-art facility that runs 24 hours a day. That means it requires an uninterrupted supply of electricity--something the local utility structure cannot support. So the factory supplies its own electricity, with three big generators running on diesel fuel. The water may come from "one of the last pristine ecosystems on earth," as some of the labels say, but out back of the bottling plant is a less pristine ecosystem veiled with a diesel haze.

Each water bottler has its own version of this oxymoron: that something as pure and clean as water leaves a contrail.

Beneficent Allah, beneficentallah.blogspot.com, PRO:

Feej is Straight Ballin', yo,
Espesh from tha Who-Fo!

----------------------------------------------------------

Well, as you can see for yourselves, the winner of the debate was obvious. I bought the truckload of Fiji, and I'm sippin' one now 'cause I'm thirs-tay. The only sad part of this whole saga is that Biggie's lips never got to feel the refreshment of a cold Feej, since the company only started shipping to the U.S. in late 1997. R.I.P., Biggie -- I'll pour a couple millileters out for mah dead homie right now...


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Insurance

Right when Hurricane Katrina hit, I remember Tom harping on the idea that all of the New Orleans residents in the Lower 9th Ward should have had insurance. As insurance currently works, you would get back enough money to cover the costs of your house, possessions, etc., but it would still suck for a hurricane to tear down your house.

But we were recently discussing the idea of having insurance that paid back more than just the bare bones- it would pay you enough so that you'd be indifferent between a hurricane happening and one not happening. The newscaster would announce a hurricane warning and you'd be like (sarcastic voice) "Oh no! PLEASE don't let that HURRICANE hit, I'm SOOOO scared!"

This concept could be expanded even further; you'd get insured for any possible bad thing that could happen, and then you'd be completely fearless. "Oh, Mr. Bad Man, DON'T SODOMIZE me! You have AIDS too, oh NOW I'M REALLY FRIGHTENED". "Where's this train going? AUSCHWITZ? Nooo, PLEASE don't send me to AUSCHWITZ (wink at camera)" Come to think of it, that last one would make a good ad for Allstate Holocaust Insurance- "You're in good hands with Allstate"

___ _____ Rockstar!

While out on the Vineyard this weekend, I could barely make out a mystical figure in the distance, on the waves. He was like a ghost, not a fully solid form. I looked closer, and closer, until finally I had a moment of recognition. It was John Kerry, and he was windsurfing--



"Ha Ha Ha! Fuck you America, I don't care anymore - I'll windsurf as much as I want!" screamed the Kerry-apparition. The Kerry apparition then bought a garlic press at Williams - Sonoma and

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Bathroom Bleg

Despite not having been hit on the head, I have a very specific form of Amnesia of late. What happened is that one day I woke up and I was not sure whether I usually washed my hands with soap after urinating or whether I just used water. So I ask you, dear readers, to either remind me of what my long-standing practice is, or (more likely) suggest what it should be in the future. I leave my fate in your hands....

Monday, June 18, 2007

Baghdad weather

sorry to keep talking about the middle east and freedom, I just had to point out this Weather.com table for Baghdad's weather next week. After this I promise a return to posts about more important things like bottled water (i have a follow up post in the works!) Take a close look:


High/Low Chance of Horrific Sectarian Bloodshed Average Temp.
Tue
Jun 19
Sunny
111°/86° 100%
111°F
Wed
Jun 20
Sunny
111°/85° 100%
111°F
Thu
Jun 21
Sunny
111°/85° 100%
111°F
Fri
Jun 22
Sunny
112°/84° 100%
112°F
Sat
Jun 23
Sunny
112°/84° 100%
112°F
Sun
Jun 24
Sunny
114°/86° 100%
114°F
Mon
Jun 25
Sunny
115°/88° 100%
115°F
Tue
Jun 26
Sunny
117°/88° 100%
117°F
Wed
Jun 27
Sunny
117°/85° 100%
117°F

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

L'eau

Apropos of something Beneficent Allah touched on in a recent post, BA is right that Fiji is the ballinest water. But back in the day the ballinest water used to be Evian. Evian was de rigeur at all the fine restaurants. Evian ads were all over TV telling us how sophisticated we were for drinking Evian. I remember my father regaling me with stories of his millionaire clients decadently bathing themselves in Evian. But now, Evian is an also-ran in the water contest. Feej is obviously better, but - dare i say it - so is Volvic! What happened to Evian? Perhaps our bloggeurs a Paris - AG, Rich, Tom, and ARod - can figure out this mystery...

Monday, June 11, 2007

My Playlist: Kingspawn's iPod

I ended up with Kingspawn's iPod yesterday, so I figured I'd put together a fun playlist to listen to until I give it back to him. Here's what I came up with:

1. The Kids Aren't Alright >> The Offspring
2. Vietnow >> Rage Against the Machine
3. Swept Away >> Phish
4. What is Philosophy >> Bertrand Russell

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Delino Ahead of the Curve

This is unbelievable; it's downright intellectual property theft. One of my first posts ever began with the words, "What happened to you, Lindsay?" and then juxtaposed a picture of Lindsay Lohan as a cute (I wrote "statutory rape-able") 12-year-old with a picture of her now as a mess. And now People magazine has used this very paradigm for its cover story. It just goes to show you, the blogosphere is always ahead of the mainstream media. Judge for yourselves...

Exhibit A:
http://delinodeshields.blogspot.com/2005/02/lindsay-lohan.html

Exhibit B:


Monday, June 04, 2007

First Annual Tom Community Service Award

I know Tom hasn't been posting much lately, but since his long absence from the blogosphere has made him a bit frightened of jumping right back in the pool (he is currently standing in thigh-deep water, waiting to get his junk wet, if you want to continue the metaphor), I have appointed myself as his blog proxy. And so without further ado, I bring to you....

The First Annual Tom Community Service Award. And the Tom Community Service Award goes to... JAMES SIMONS. If you read that Wikipedia page, you will learn that Mr. Simons is a major philanthropist to causes such as Autism research, education and the mathematical sciences. But that is not why he is receiving this award.

Mr. Simons is receiving this award from Tom because he was the highest-paid hedge fund manager of 2006, taking home $1.7 billion. Tom asks you, dear readers, what could be a bigger community service than making the markets more efficient? Answer- nothing! Now if only Mr. Simons would stop taking some of his money out of the markets to pay for this inefficient research and charity spending (we all know the market will take care of any diseases, scientific research and any other social ill or need- DUH!), he would have this award locked up for years to come! And as Beneficent Allah might put it, being a balla is a service to the community.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Not About Delino DeShields: What Bloggers Are Reading

SURVEY
Read Any Good Books Lately?

From top left, Eric Brandon, Dave Eggers, Ursula K. Le Guin, Dan Berger, Edwidge Danticat, Alex Jacob, Tom Lehman, Richard Berger.

We asked a handful of bloggers what books they’ve enjoyed most over the last few months, and why. Their choices — from best sellers to poetry collections to a philosophy of science — are idiosyncratic and instructive.


Eric Brandon

The Gotti Diet: How I Took Control of My Body, Lost 80 Pounds, and Discovered How to Stay Fit Forever” by Frank Gotti Agnello: Great suspense and New York ambience, headlong pace, brilliant dialogue.

Hot Italian Dish: A Cookbook” by Victoria Gotti: It’s hilarious in a “Catch-22” way, but with an undercurrent of sadness that works counterpoint to all the absurdity.

These are both wonderful “summer reads.”


Dan Berger

Joseph and Hadassah Lieberman, “An Amazing Adventure: Joe and Hadassah's Personal Notes on the 2000 Campaign” For a long while now, Senator Lieberman has been writing some of the greatest poetry-cum-prose you can find in American literature. “An Amazing Adventure” does to the contemporary political-industrial complex what James Agee did to poverty — it reacts passionately and lyrically (and idiosyncratically) to a sociopolitical abomination. This book, while angry and sorrowful and bewildered, has humor, constant levity and candor, and countless moments of incredible beauty.


Alex Jacob

The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown. The kind of work that makes you gently worry for the author’s mental health. This collection of stories manages to crawl back on my nightstand no matter how many times I try to return it to the stacks. Subjects include a girlfriend with some glandular difficulties — she turns into a fat, short, hairy man at night — and parents who shrink as their son grows. Brown lives in The Vatican City, a country with its share of grief and uncertainty, but his tales are oddly buoyant, not to mention supremely addictive.


Tom Lehman

A Night Without Armor: Poems” by Jewel. Jewel, one of the most dizzyingly accomplished of our writers, delivers that rarely spotted animal, a literary drama about families that is also a page-turner. Few writers can tread the oft-explored terrain of class and race with the sophistication, grace and wit of this author. “A Night Without Armor” explores the difficult friendship between two Barnard students in the 1960s; it also contains some of the most moving and devastating prison scenes to ever appear in American literature.

Naming and Necessity” by Saul A. Kripke. One of the world's literary masterpieces. Probably most of us come to feel what the text suggests: that we contain more potential lives than real life permits us to realize; that imagination is both blessing and curse; that idealism offers both vindication and mockery; and that art's particularity liberates such generalizations (and, perhaps, people themselves) from the empire of platitude.


Rich Berger

Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health” by L. Ron Hubbard (coming this fall). This brilliant portrait of an artist as a dying young man fictionalizes the last days of Stephen Crane and also contains a novel Crane never quite got around to — the chronicle of a disastrous love affair between a wealthy banker and a “painted boy” in turn-of-the-century New York. With a sure hand Hubbard ranges over the twin tragedies of love and death, while gleefully roasting literary luminaries like Henry James and Joseph Conrad.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Age of Love

Have you readers been seeing the previews for "Age of Love," the new dating reality show on NBC? Australian tennis player Mark Phillippoussis vies for the affection of two groups of women- one containing women in their 20s and one containing women in their 40s. I'm sorry for all the Al material of late, but I just have to say that this show seems like it was dreamed up by Al. It combines two of his big non poker interests - reality television and late 1990s-era tennis.

Ideas for future season hunks: Goran Ivanisevic,

Hat tip to STM

Friday, May 25, 2007

Al

Al, I hope you still read Delino, and I miss your posts- The Chick-Fil-A one stands out in my memory but they're all great. Tom and I were in New Haven yesterday and it reminded us of Al, which got me thinking of how Al should have a catchphrase now that he does all these poker interviews. Tom reminded me of something Al used to say a lot, so here is how I think he could work it into conversation.

Norman Chad: So Al, how does it feel to win the World Series of Poker? The BIG ONE! The Big Kahuna!

Al: Pretty good, I guess.

Norman Chad: And now our very own Monica Starwood will put the silver bracelet on Alex's wrist.

(Enter Monica Starwood- stunning blond bombshell who has a ton of cleavage showing. She has an ample bosom and is literally spilling out of her dress)

Al: Looks like the Dairy Section is open.

CUT TO:

Al wearing a "Looks like the Dairy Section is open" T-shirt, holding a "Looks like the Dairy Section is open" mug, smiling and giving a thumbs up. The catchprase has

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

State Governors' First Lady Babes of the Month - May 2007

State Governors First Lady Babes of the Month - May 2007

Ms. Florida (former Ms. South Carolina, future America's Hottest Mom contest winner)


Since Dan has been too consumed in his Urban Planning studies to post Bulgarian Member of Parliament Babes of the Month recently, I am temporarily creating a new feature called "State Governors' First Lady Babes of the Month." This month's babe is Kelly Crosby Heyniger. She speaks English, she's not married and she's an actress - Dan, go for it man!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Groundhog Day 2

I have an idea for a movie- it's a sequel to Groundhog Day, except instead of waking up every day and hearing "I Got You Babe" playing on the radio, and therefore realizing he is re-living the same day over and over, the main character checks Munz's blog and sees the same post every day. No wait, that's not a movie idea, it's MY LIFE! Munz, please update, you are making me go insane every morning! I'll be less selfish, I learned my lesson OK, and I got the girl. So please, PLEASE when I wake up tomorrow morning, I want to read about something other than The Problem with John McCain

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Pumping You up, Physically and Mentally

As we all know, Finnegan is a personal trainer. Clients pay him something like $100 an hour for him to whip their bodies into tip-top shape. But it seems to me that this falls something short of his potential. You see, Finnegan is the Ayn Rand-ian Apotheosis of Man, the philosophical genius with a sinewy, trapezoidal body. So why not charge $200 an hour and get a full mind-body workout from Finnegan- give it a thought, would you Finn? Here is how I imagine a session might go down with Finnegan and an Upper East Side Trophy Wife.

Finnegan (shirtless, has a German accent for some reason): I am Dahn, and I am hee-ah to pump (clap) YOU UP!

Upper East Side Trophy Wife (UESTW): Fantastic! So I was thinking we'd do a little treadmill and then maybe some Stairmast...

Finnegan: No cahhdio! You will lift two refrigeratahs! One in each hand!

UESTW: Sweetie, on my diet I barely open a refrigerator- haha!

Finnegan: Stop it! Stop whining! I vill staht you out with just one fridge!

(Finnegan places a fridge in UESTW's hands. She promptly drops to the floor due to the weight. She is writhing on the floor, with the fridge on top of her)

Finnegan: Goood. Now do foo-ahty reps- GO!

UESTW: AHHH!! I can't lift it off me! Ahhh it hurts! You fucking asshole, why did you do that?

Finnegan: Do you think I CHOSE to hand you daat fridge?

UESTW: No one put a fucking gun to your head so yeah! Goddamnit, I can't feel my fucking toes!

Finnegan: NONSENSE! They-ah is no such thing as free will! All of the following four statements jibe with intuition but at least vahn of them must be false on pain of contradiction:
(1) Vee have free will.
(2) If the uuuniverse is deterministic, vee don't have free will.
(3) If the uuuniverse is indeterministic, vee don't have free will.
(4) The uuuniverse is either deterministic or indeterministic.
(4) is simply an instance of ze law of ze excluuded middle. If you-ah prepared to deny (4)...you-ah not actually prepared to deny (4), vatever you-ah protestations. You live by assuming de law of de excluuuded middle.

UESTW: FUCK! SO MUCH PAIN! Alright, I want to get this fridge off of me, so I have decided I'm going to do it and I can do it!

Finnegan: Vaht! Have you been listening? I am in de middle of proooving you have no free will! You have no decisions to make! Let me continuuue... So vahn of (1)-(3) has got to be false. But (2) and (3), while not truths of logic alone, look pretty sound. The denial of (2) and (3) is compatibilism, and to cut a long stooory short, it doesn't vork. So that leaves (1). It's not in whole or in part a truuuth of logic. It's not a statement with any empirical confirmation of ze sort admissible in science behind it. It's an intuuuition, just an intuuuition. "It's not just an intuition," squeals ze freeee-vill dogmatist. "I actually have ze expeeerience of acting freely." Indeed.

UESTW: See - uhhhh....(drifting in an out of consciousness) .... there is free will

Finnegan: STOP INTERRUPTING MEEE- YOU HAVE ZEE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STRENGTH OF A SMALL CRUSTACEAN! (composing himself) And many people do not have zat experience, after reflecting on it just as thoroughly as zee upholders of freee-will. And vat's more, given zee absence of free vill, dee alternative theories do indeed predict zee datum of the experience of free will. If duh uuuniverse is deterministic, then zee laws of nature and zee states of fundamental pahhhticles at duh time of zee Big Bang determine zat in 2006, Peter Johnston vill have zee experience of having free vill. If zee universe is indeterministic, then by quantum coin flip, Peter Johnston had zee expeeerience of having free will. Zee expeeerience anyone has of having free will is therefoo-ah uttahhly irrelevant as evidence for or against it. So de intuition is just raw assertion.

UESTW: Please... Call an ambulance... I beg of you...

Finnegan: Veey-ah ahh you-ah mannahs, little lady? So it might have utilitarian backing of some sort---pehhaps societies flooorish vhere belief in zee existence of free will is dominant---but zat tells us nothing about vhether or not free vill exists. Hence, of (1)-(4), (2) (3) and (4) have varying degreeees of objective backing, (1) has none. And vuhn of (1)-(4) must be false. So the only varranted conclusion is zat (1) is false. QED.

(Finnegan lifts the refrigerator off of UESTW and throws it aside. He helps UESTW up so she is standing now)

UESTW: Oh... my... God! You have taught me so much, Dan. You're right, I DON'T have free will. And despite my complaints, what a great workout too! I must have burned 500 calories under that fridge. How much do I owe you?

Finnegan: It is twooo hundred dollahhs- to be paid in eithahh cash oo-ah in protein shakes and philosophy textbooks!

(UESTW pays Finnegan $200 cash)

Finnegan (nudging UESTW): Tell all ya friends to CHOOSE me foo-ah they-ah training needs!
(Finnegan and UESTW have a hearty laugh together)
(Finnegan snaps UESTW over his knee)