s skippy the bush kangaroo: December 2007

skippy the bush kangaroo

Monday, December 31, 2007

skippy's new year's eve nite music club

brett & link - new year's resolution song


posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 4 comments

say hello

to dispassionate liberal.


posted by skippy at 7:54 PM | 1 comments

award of the state


the only award that counts in blogtopia, and yes, we coined that phrase, of course is the monkeyfister annual golden turkey awards.

we say this because we won one last year at this time. so we know quality when it scratches our back.

many great blogs won this year, some of which we actually read. among those of our friends who received the accolades are down w/tyranny, cannablog, wtf is it now?, mahablog, whiskey fire and blue girl, red state.

congratulations to one and all upon receiving this most important of all awards anywhere ever!


posted by skippy at 5:22 PM | 5 comments

out-sourcing endorsing

we still have not endorsed a candidate as of yet in the horse presidential race. but we admit, skippy has gone to hear sen. edwards speak, and enjoyed what he had to say. (plus, skippy saw the back of edwards' head at recent wga picket line!)

as we have been quite disappointed with edwards' campaigning this season, we are most heartened to see his sudden surge to the top of the polls in iowa.

and we notice that the agonist has endorsed sen. edwards. intrepid liberal journal, like us, also is leaning edwards.

here's hoping he does well in iowa.

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posted by skippy at 5:03 PM | 2 comments

forever blowing (housing) bubbles

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

sub-prime meltdown keeps creeping upward. mortgage defaults are at a record high, according to bloomberg:

defaults on privately insured u.s. mortgages rose 35 percent in november to a record, an industry report today showed, adding to evidence the u.s. housing slump is deepening.

the number of insured borrowers falling more than 60 days late on payments jumped to 61,033 last month from 45,325 in november 2006, according to data from members of the washington- based mortgage insurance companies of america. the missed payments, often a prelude to foreclosure, represented a 2.9 percent increase from october.
worse, housing starts are at their lowest in over 15 years. landscape management (as goes landscape management, so goes the nation):

single-family housing starts declined 5.4% in november to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 829,000 units, the lowest level since april of 1991. meanwhile, permit issuance for new single-family homes declined 5.6% in the month to 764,000 units, their lowest level since june of 1991, reported the national association of home builders on dec. 18...

nationwide housing starts declined 3.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.19 million units in november as home builders continued to put the brakes on new-home production, according to newly released data from the u.s. commerce department.
worser, the sub-prime mess is creeping into the economy in the guise of lay-offs. sf biz times:

the nation's mortgage woes took their toll monday [dec. 10] at washington mutual, which is closing offices, laying off workers and cutting its dividend as it copes with larger-than-expected fourth-quarter losses...

the company said it plans to set aside $1.5 billion to $1.6 billion for loan losses in the fourth quarter. and the worst is far from over -- the company anticipates higher loan-loss provisions through the end of 2008.

the company also said it will discontinue subprime lending. as part of that move, wamu will close 190 of its 336 home loan centers and sales office and will shave 22 percent of its mortgage staff, or about 2,600 jobs. the company (nyse: wm) will cut 550 corporate and support positions as well.
worsest...it's effecting the whole economy. asspress:

the housing and mortgage meltdowns have raised the odds that the country will fall into a recession. and, the situation has given democrats and republicans_ including those who want to be the next president — plenty of opportunities to spread blame around.

the economy's growth is expected to have slowed sharply to a pace of just 1.5 percent or less in the final three months of this year. the big worry is that housing and credit troubles will force individuals to cut back on spending and businesses to cut back on hiring and capital investment, throwing the economy into a tailspin.

to help bolster the economy, the federal reserve has sliced a key interest rate three times this year. many economists are predicting the fed will lower rates again when it meets in late january. yun said he preferred to see the fed make one big rate reduction at that time, rather than make a series of modest, quarter-point cuts.

on friday, the government reported that new-home sales plunged by 9 percent in november to a pace of 647,000, the lowest in more than 12 years.
happy new year!

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posted by skippy at 4:44 PM | 0 comments

down the penrose lane


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posted by skippy at 1:26 PM | 0 comments

we're all crooks now

according to the riaa.
...now, in an unusual case in which an arizona recipient of an riaa letter has fought back in court rather than write a check to avoid hefty legal fees, the industry is taking its argument against music sharing one step further: in legal documents in its federal case against jeffrey howell, a scottsdale, ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a cd to transfer that music into his computer. - wapo
what next? illegal to play the music on a sony walkman?

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 1:14 PM | 4 comments

no munching this mooched meat

talk about lack of food safety.
14,800 pounds of missing ground beef thought to be contaminated with e. coli bacteria has prompted u.s. regulators to issue a public health alert.

the united states department of agriculture (usda) said in a statement that a trailer containing the ground beef was reported stolen by texas american food service corporation, based in ft. worth.

the health alert pertains to ground beef products packaged for consumer use carrying the establishment number “est. 13116” on the package labels. - brownfield network
tip o' the kangaroo tail to the ethicurean

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:45 AM | 0 comments

#1 story in santa barbara this year

Zaca Fire Plume
Originally uploaded by santa barbarian
i think has to go to the zaca fire.

we were reminded of just how long term damaging the fire is on christmas day. the winds kicked up and blew dust and ash from the burned areas down into town. it looked and smelled like there was a fire somewhere, and for people like me with asthma, it was hell breathing.

what was the #1 story in your neck of the woods?
posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:28 AM | 35 comments

question for the last day of 2007...

what the hell went wrong?


posted by Jim Yeager at 8:38 AM | 4 comments

Sunday, December 30, 2007

skippy's sunday nite music club

another request from cookie jill...

jose feliciano & andy williams - hi heeled sneakers & autumn leaves


posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 1 comments

our ailing health care system

john edwards has proposed affordable health care insurance. yay! families with no extra money will be able to pay for the right to have their medical procedures denied by cigna. this is a populist, progressive plan because? or am i reading it wrong?

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posted by George at 8:22 PM | 3 comments

parodies aside

in our recent analysis of the state of american movie parodies, as well as our review of the current hilarious musical biopic send-up walk-hard, we analyzed the pro's and con's of a number of spoofs over the last decades.

some of our readers took issue with our positions; others simply added a few titles we had neglected to mention.

we thought we'd share those here.

the marked hoosier takes great exception with our analysis of mel brooks, whom, he insists, is "a genius." we can see the argument for that, as we once made it ourselves in our younger days. and we admit that spaceballs tickles our fancy ("you fool! you captured their stunt doubles!").

and, speaking of brooks, anonymous (a very prolific commenter on blogs) reminds us that the only word spoken in silent movie was uttered by marcel marceau. anonymous also insists that only scary movie 1 and 2 were done by the wayans bros., and 3 and 4 were helmed by david zucker of the zucker/abrahams team, whom we praised so highly. we are the first to admit that zucker/abrahams are not gods; witness mafia! w/jay mohr & christine applegate, two funny actors who could not save that terrible mess of a movie.

anonymous (probably another anonymous) says student bodies was a "gooder," and, if we remember it correctly, it wasn't that bad as a parody of teen slasher flicks (written by mickey rose, woody allen's early partner on bananas). but it also reminded us of two other parodies of that genre, thursday the 12th (renamed pandemonium) and saturday the 14th. of those two, saturday is definitely funnier than thursday (saturday stars richard benjamin, with whom skippy has worked, and thus we are a bit favorable).

dee loralei recommends shaun of the dead as a zombie spoof. we have not seen shaun, but we have seen hot fuzz, made by the same team, and thought it was a pleasant enough diversion as a take-off of violent cop action films. we agree w/dee loralei that hot fuzz had characters that you could actually care about.

our own jim yeager suggests a mighty wind as the last good musical biopic parody he has seen. made by christopher guest, one of the masterminds behind this is spinal tap, we agree that a mighty wind was a funny movie. tho it parodied folk music in general, we are of the opinion that it treads that fine line between farce and parody; it wasn't really a parody of a movie genre, rather than a movie about folk music full of parodies of that musical genre. still, we liked a mighty wind a mighty much.

what movie parodies work for you? please consider this an open thread to discuss various opinion thereon; spoofs we have mentioned and those we haven't, or even the iowa caucus, a parody all unto itself.

addendum: the sailor of vidiotspeak and steveaudio, who couldn't get our comments section to work too well, asks how we could forget mike meyers' spoofs of the bond films w/his austin powers franchise. point taken, tho we find all those films woefully inconsistent. and carl of simply left behind takes us to task for not including this is spinal tap in our musical biopic parody list. we are not so sure it's a parody of a movie, but a movie about a parody of a musical act, but at this point, who cares? it's a damn funny movie (and we suggest everyone rent the special edition dvd, on which there's a commentary track w/michael mcclean, christopher guest and harry shearer doing commentary in character as the spinal tap band members. even funnier than the film).

trish wilson also tells us the lost skeleton of cadavra is a hoot...it's a parody of those cheesy 50's horror films, and we've been trying to remember the name of that flick for weeks, to put on our netflix queue! thanks, trish!

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posted by skippy at 1:24 PM | 11 comments

say hello

to coffee house studio and the left side of the gorge and darkblack.


posted by skippy at 1:24 PM | 2 comments

caucus? they don't even know us!

joe gandelman at the moderate voice has a (in his words) long analysis of the campaigns on this weekend before the vote in iowa, including word from bob "traitorous traitor traitor guy" novak that huckabee's numbers are starting to fall.

and the allspinzone also reports on huckabee's declining fortunes, as well as john edwards' sudden surge into a three-way w/hillary & barack.

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posted by skippy at 1:13 PM | 0 comments

good, hard cox

as we discussed in our previous post, we had all but given up on the state of movie parody in the last decade or so. in our minds, naked gun (the first one) was the last movie parody worth watching. the recent crop of parodies have been simplistic, expected and puerile.

imagine our pleasure, then, to see walk hard - the dewey cox story -- judd apatow & lawrence kasdan's foray into making fun of the musical icon biopic...a very specific movie genre that has seen almost too much product as of late.

walk hard is a laugh-out-loud parody of the old school variety, like airplane! it mines most of the recent musical biopics (moslty ray and walk the line, but also great balls of fire, the buddy holly story, and everything from la bamba to the gene krupa story, with a tiny bit of i'm not there thrown in for good measure). but unlike recent parodies that simply re-create specific movie scenes with a stupid joke tacked on at the end, apatow and kasdan make fun of the entire structure and cliche universe of the genre, with hilarious results.

two great aspects that raise this flick above the usual watered-down spoofs are the spot-on costumes and art direction which convey the various decades thru the years. we have mentioned that part of doing good parody is to do it with a straight face; the pitch-perfect clothing (by debra mcguire) of the buttoned-down 50's, psychadelic 60's, funky 70's and bland 2000's were the straight face the movie presented.

also raising the parody pedigree of this film are the great songs. the musical pieces are all co-written by real song writers like marshall crenshaw, and manage to both poke fun at, and pay tribute to various rock genres. like spinal tap and the rutles, walk hard spoofs out of knowledge and affection.

john c. reilly, who sings his own songs, is perfect as dewey cox. in one of the funniest gags of the film, he plays the singer at practically every state of his life, except for when connor rayburn plays 8 year old dewey at the beginning of the movie, when he slices his brother in half in a terrible machete accident, which haunts dewey thru-out the film. dewey's father (the excellent character actor raymond j. barry) constantly reminds him that "the wrong kid died."

we first see reilly as 14 year old dewey cox, playing with his band in his high school talent show. his band mates, of course, are real 14 year old boys, and the sight of reilly standing with them, dressed like a kid is laugh out loud funny. and when the band plays, the teenagers in the audience immediately stand up and start dancing, as if the music compels them, while the adults stand up and start shouting about "devil's music."

also in this scene we meet kristen wiig, of snl fame, playing dewey's 12 year old girlfriend ("am i really your girlfriend?" "of course you're my girlfriend, i pointed at you from the stage, didn't i?") who runs away with dewey and marries him.

another great cliche that the film makes into a running gag is stilted dialogue full of exposition. chracters constantly tell each other their age in new scenes (i'm 21 years old! i've got my whole life ahead of me!"), or call each other by their full names, as if the audience couldn't guess who they are. "gee, thanks for the advice, buddy holly," cox tells a bespectacled, white jacketed frankie muniz as they stand backstage watching elvis presley (played by the white stripes' jack white) perform.

dewey, on his rise to the top, of course constantly struggles with falling prey to different temptations (including, late in the film, the real temptations as they sing "my girl"). tim meadows (another snl alum) plays dewey's drummer who introduces dewey to various and progressively harder drugs (culminating with viagra when the characters are in their 70's). the introduction to marijuana was particularly brilliant, as cox argues himself into trying it.

and in a lift right out of walk the line, temptation also comes at its most beautiful in the form of the beautiful back up singer darlene, played by jenna fischer (from the american version of "the office"). dewey falls in love and marries darlene, but unfortunately, he's still married to first wife kristen wiig. ("you can't be married to two people at the same time! it's illegal," she tells dewey, who responds "but what if, if you're famous?")

tho the title song is a direct take off of johnny cash, dewey manages to go thru every style of rock n' roll, as well as every rock cliche. reilly's best singing, in our opinion, is a wonderful orbin-esque number "life without you is no life at all." you may remember reilly's show-stopping number "mr. cellophane" in chicago. reilly is more than up to the different vocal stylings that the history of rock and roll demands.

when dewey decides to try protest rock, the movie suddenly becomes black and white, and dewey's in a press conference denigrating the press, a la cate blanchett in i'm not there. and the dylan-esque twisted metaphors he sings about are hilarious.

even funnier is when psychadelic dewey joins the beatles to meet the maharishi in india. paul rudd as john lennon is wonderfully over the top, and justin long (the "mac" guy from the pc and mac commercials) is funny as george harrison. and tho we are big jack black fans, we thought he was miscast (and rather plump) as paul mccartney.

the key to good parody, which kasdan and apatow seem to realize, is not only a wide knowledge of the devices of the genre being spoofed, but an affection for the subject as well. by the time dewey cox dies (three minutes after his performance at his lifetime achievement award presentation), we have grown quite an affection for cox.

walk hard gives us hope for parody movies again. we give it a big tails up!

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posted by skippy at 9:50 AM | 1 comments

Saturday, December 29, 2007

skippy's saturday nite music club

donna summer - i feel love


posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 1 comments

two wrongs don't make a write

we've got sort of good news and really, really bad news about the writers strike.

the sort of good news is, while most late nite shows are planning to defy picket lines and go back on the air sans writers (and, we suppose, actual jokes) next month, david letterman's world wide pants incorporated has struck and interim deal with the wga to let the writers back on late night w/david letterman and the late late show w/colin ferguson. nytimes:

the reason is that mr. letterman’s company world wide pants, owns both those shows. the company announced two weeks ago that it was seeking a separate deal with the guild that would permit the two world wide pants show to return to the air. the talks seemed to be at an impasse until today when the deal was completed.

a spokesman for mr. letterman’s company declined to comment.

beyond the obvious advantage of having writers to supply comedy material that other shows will not have, mr. letterman’s and mr. ferguson’s shows will likely gain a benefit by being able to book guests who will not appear on shows still being struck by the writers guild.

representatives of some of the other late-night shows have reported difficulty booking some the top-name actors in hollywood, who have indicated reluctance to appear on shows whose networks are still among the entities the writers are striking against.
and the really, really bad news is, the amptp have decided to screw everyone in hollywood by refusing to negotiate w/the writers. nikki finke:

i have learned that last week jeffrey katzenberg tried and failed to backchannel a compromise that would have brought both the wga and the amptp back to the bargaining table. it was an effort that was laudable. but the fact that it was unsuccessful dramatically points up disturbing realities, i have learned: that the ceos are deeply entrenched in their desire to punish the wga for daring to defy them by striking and to bully the writers into submission on every issue, and that the moguls consider the writers are sadly misguided to believe they have any leverage left. i'm told the ceos are determined to write off not just the rest of this tv season (including the back 9 of scripted series), but also pilot season and the 2008/2009 schedule as well. indeed, network orders for reality tv shows are pouring into the agencies right now. the studios and networks also are intent on changing the way they do tv development so they can stop spending hundreds of millions of dollars in order to see just a few new shows succeed. as for advertising, the ceos seem determined to do away with the upfront business and instead make their money from the scatter market. i'm sorry to break this disappointing development right before christmas, but i pledged to stay objective in my reporting and i can't ignore this major news development. the truth often hurts. but don't blame the messenger. and, no, this info wasn't dumped in my lap, either. (that only happens over at variety or the los angeles times...)
as we have mentioned before, the screen actors guild will most probably go on strike next year when their contract is up for re-negotiation, especially in light of the amptp's stance with the writers.

hope you like re-runs and reality shows, folks!

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posted by skippy at 11:11 PM | 6 comments

posthumous is better than no humous, we suppose

matt bai has a nice piece in the nytimes sunday mag on the late great steve gilliard...would that they had bothered to publish it when he was alive, or maybe at least tried to raise some money for his health insurance.

driftglass has some thoughts on the piece, as does group news blog, including some corrections on the original nytimes piece.

steve was a good friend to skippy's blog, as well one of the few bloggers who refrained from the petty sniping back and forth blogtopia. his was a distinctive voice, a pioneering presence in blogging, and he is missed every day.

we would echo doc wendell's assesment of matt bai's approach...we, to name but a few, knew steve was black.

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posted by skippy at 5:18 PM | 1 comments

what's in a name

the texas liberal points out that most people can't correctly guess what nationality somebody is by their name or their appearance...so why is it so damned important?

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posted by skippy at 5:04 PM | 0 comments

understatement of the week...

rainbow demon of coffee house studio says, "huckabee is a douchebag."

oh, he certainly is. please go read...


posted by Jim Yeager at 12:16 PM | 2 comments

she was murdered, end of discussion...

josh marshall pretty much destroys the pakistani government's assertion that benazir bhutto died from slamming her head against her car's sunroof:

...this is from a late report from cnn...

dr. mussadiq khan of rawalpindi general hospital, who treated bhutto before she was declared dead, said she had "a big wound" on the side of her head "that usually occurs when something big, with a lot of speed, hits that area."
the key details are there, something big at high speed. i guess 'big' is relative in this context, but that sounds a lot like she got shot or hit by a bomb fragment. and frankly, how likely is it that someone shoots at you several times at point blank range, near so (the video suggests no more than ten feet), and then detonates a bomb a few feet away from you and a few minutes later you're dead and it had nothing to do with either of those things?

i'd say, not likely.


cnn national security analyst ken robinson, who worked in u.s. intelligence in pakistan during the clinton administration, said he suspects bhutto's enemies are attempting to control her legacy by minimizing the attack's role in her demise.

"they're trying to deny her a martyr's death, and in islam, that's pretty important," robinson said...
this is one incredibly petty stance on the part of the pakistani government. benazir bhutto may have a checkered legacy, but even if the government's account of her death is the correct one, she is not the slightest bit diminished or trivialized by it...

(related reading: juan cole shows that the assassination of bhutto is no laughing matter in pakistan...)

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posted by Jim Yeager at 10:57 AM | 2 comments

not that this matters one iota within the grand scheme...

but my left hand is much stronger than it was now. all it needed was a good deal of rest. it's still a little stiff and still not quite as strong as it used to be, but it's strong enough for my own doctor, who is an internalist, to give me a green light for running a printing press after my vacation's over. works for me.

losing some control over the hand was a bit scary for me. like it or not, i need two good hands to pay my bills, put food on my table, and pay for room and board. the two extremities i had to work with for a couple days were, for functional purposes, a right hand and a left paw. paws are all right when they're attached to a puppy climbing up on your chest while you're lying down, but when a paw is attached to you, it isn't a whole lot of fun to deal with.

i've learned my lesson. next time this happens to me (the flying spaghetti monster forbid it), i'm just going straight home. no more "good little trooper" role-playing for me -- i don't mind having to work my tail off now and then, but i'll be damned if i'll let it render me crippled...


posted by Jim Yeager at 2:30 AM | 5 comments

Friday, December 28, 2007

skippy's friday nite music club

turk murphy's jazz band - mandy make up your mind


posted by skippy at 5:10 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to the ptarmigan nest.


posted by skippy at 4:06 PM | 0 comments

edwards in a three-way w/clinton and obama

ewwww...thanks for that image!

but seriously, the waterloo-cedar falls courier is reporting edwards has snuck up into a virtual tie w/the other top two dems:

a new iowa caucus poll from lee enterprises newspapers shows the democratic race is a virtual three-way tie, with john edwards rising to tie barack obama for the lead and hillary clinton rising to just one point behind.

on the republican side, mike huckabee remains in the lead with a 7-point edge over mitt romney.

the poll, conducted with 500 likely caucus goers from each party on wednesday and thursday, showed edwards and obama tied with 29 percent to lead democrats, followed by clinton with 28 percent. bill richardson was fourth with 7 percent. joe biden was fifth with 3 percent. chris dodd and dennis kucinich both had 1 percent and 2 percent were undecided.

for republicans, huckabee leads with 34 percent, followed by romney with 27 percent. fred thompson is a distant third with 11 percent, followed by a three-way tie for fourth between rudy giuliani, john mccain and ron paul, with 8 points each. duncan hunter had 1 percent and 3 percent were undecided.
we can just hear the paulistas' spin on this: ron paul is tied with rudy guiliani, but the mainstream media won't report it!

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posted by skippy at 12:29 PM | 3 comments

bhutto killed by sunroof

agence france-press:

pakistan's interior ministry said friday that benazir bhutto was killed after smashing her head on her car's sunroof while trying to duck, and that no bullet or shrapnel was found inside her.

the ministry also said it had intercepted a phone call from a top al-qaeda figure congratulating a militant for the attack on her thursday, and said there was "irrefutable evidence" the group was trying to destabilise the country.

bhutto's death after a suicide bomber blew himself up at her campaign rally has plunged this nuclear-armed islamic nation into turmoil, but the ministry said she would have lived if only she had stayed inside her car.

"if she had not come out of the vehicle, she would have been unhurt, as all the other occupants of the vehicle did not receive any injuries," ministry spokesman brigadier javed cheema said.
a terrible irony that ms. bhutto's desire to be with her supporters is what led to her death.

meanwhile, speculation runs rampant that this could mean the end of musharrif, as well. forbes:

in stepping down as head of the military, pakistani president pervez musharraf bet his future on gaining political legitimacy. following the assassination of opposition leader benazir bhutto, the chances of that occurring have diminished sharply.

in a nation marked by personality-centric politics, bhutto’s violent demise thursday has led opposition leaders to declare that holding parliamentary and provincial elections as scheduled on jan. 8 would be a farce. bhutto's longtime rival, the ex-prime minister nawaz sharif, has vowed to boycott them.

“with bhutto’s death, the bush administration’s game plan to widen political support for musharraf’s war on terror through a deal with bhutto’s party has fallen flat,” said g. parthasarthy, a retired diplomat who served as india’s ambassador to pakistan.

“if pakistan holds elections on schedule, sharif will boycott them and bhutto’s party will be rudderless. then the pro-musharraf party [pakistan muslim league—quaid-e-azam] is likely to win, but the entire exercise will lack credibility and the democratic process will suffer,” he said.
if the military gets tired of propping up musharrif, it will be pretty bad for him.

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posted by skippy at 12:04 PM | 1 comments

Thursday, December 27, 2007

skippy's thursday nite music club

vladimir horowitz - polonaise in a flat minor - opus 53 by frederick chopin

this is the chopin everyone knows, and horowitz does it flawlessly...a true master


posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 3 comments

parodies found - a prelude to some good cox

when skippy was a young man in the 70's home from college one summer, he decided to go to a movie one afternoon to spend some time by himself away from his parents (they were, after all, two of the main reasons he left home in the first place).

he went to see a comedy, which he had never heard of before. he remembered seeing a coming attraction for this comedy a few weeks previous. nothing from the preview stuck in his mind except on quick scene: a character shouted out "pour every light you've got onto the runway!" and a quick cut to a dump truck unloading table lamps, light bulbs and lamp shades onto concrete.

it was corny, it was goofy, but it was fast and unexpected; it was airplane!

parody is much like frosting...incredibly inconsequential in the grander scheme of things, but much, much harder to make than one would think. and if not done well (and it's usually not), it leaves a bland, unremarkable taste in one's mouth, and sometimes creates the need to keep one's natural gag reflex from kicking in.

the zucker brothers (w/abrahams) discovered, accidentally or otherwise, the secret of good parody: do it w/a straight face. airplane! used real (and real good) actors, delivering their lines as if their characters were actually in the situation that the film had them in...never winking or nudging at the audience, never stepping out of the moment to comment on the action.

and, at the same time, the zuckers' writing went beyond mere distorted buffoonery of known movie scenes, and remarked on the visual language of movie making itself. robert stack walking out of what was established as a mirror, but turned out to be just a doorway in airplane!; val kilmer's manager's voice is heard in voice over repeating the note val reads, only to be revealed that the manager is sitting next to him, using a megaphone because his throat hurts in top secret!; alan north walking thru a door while leslie nielsen walks around the edge of the movie set wall in police squad!.

the zuckers and abrahams didn't just stop at inserting the obvious joke in a famous movie situation...they deconstructed the entire process of how movies were presented, and sent it up on its ear.

parody is different from satire in its most basic core: satire makes fun of content, whereas parody makes fun of structure. and a good parody has within it several other elements of comedy: slapstick, low gross humor, word play, farce...and yes, sometimes even satire.

of course, there were elements of parodies in movies before and after the zuckers/abrams oevure. buster keaton did some remarkable movie-deconstruction with his own sherlock jr. (the theme of which was also taken up by chuck mccann in the projectionist). hope and crosby used parody, if not as structure, at least as bricks in building their road pictures. and in practically every jerry lewis film you could find a call back to whatever movie was big at the time (we love jerry mimicking bogart's captain queeg, nattering on about the strawberries while rolling ball bearings in his hand in don't give up the ship. and, of course, woody allen used parody to butress his character development in his early romantic comedies play it again sam, and bananas.

however, we are hard, hard pressed to think of entire movies that were parodies of entire other specific movies from beginning to end. most films used parody as a device, not as an entire tone, keeping, however slight, the pretense of original characters and plot. in other words, you could watch the road to morrocco and still laugh without ever having seen a rudolf valentino or douglas fairbanks flick.

some exceptions: neil simon's murder by death (so bad it should have been called murder by boredom); larry gelbart's movie movie, which made specific fun of two 30's classic genres, the little-guy-from-the-streets-makes-it-big-as-a-boxer film, and the backstage musical w/george c. scott as spats baxter, the adolf menjou character. (this was a highly under-rated movie: when eli wallach, whose daughter is going blind, comes back from the doctor, he screams in frustration, "do you know how much an eye costs? an arm and a leg!")

one of our favorites was a pre-airplane! disaster parody called the big bus, in which joe balogna leads an all-co-star cast transferring the airport disaster flick cliches to a cross-country bus ride. also good: the made-for-tv western spoof evil roy slade, with john astin as the meanest villain in the west; whenever good guy dick shawn's character, singing cowboy bing bell, was named, everybody thought someone was at the door.

and, speaking of western parodies, we cannot forget mel brooks. blazing saddles broke new ground and old wind as one of the most audacious, low brow and high comedy put-ons of the cinema. and his next flick, young frankenstein, follows the original frankenstein story almost beat for beat.

(brooks' previous effort, the producers, while parodying broadway musicals with the show-within-the-film, still had an original plot, divorced from parody. and the 12 chairs was actually based on a real book, w/no very little parody involved.)

but unlike the zuckers/abrahams endeavors, brooks never did anything with a straight face. brooks doesn't just wink at the audience; he grabs you by the lapels and screams in your face "get it?? it's schtick!!" thank god for gene wilder and madeline kahn, who managed to bring some semblance of reality to their characters; and of course, young frankenstein was originally written by wilder and blazing saddles was written by andrew bergman, another funny film-maker...we are of the opinion that the producers notwithstanding, brooks by himself is just not that consistantly funny a film-maker. witness men in tights or dracula: dead and loving it. some gags work, but most come from the joke telegraph service...humor so obvious that not only do you see it coming, it calls you for a ride home from the airport.

so the zucker/abrahams team seems quite like the orson wells of parodies (let us take a moment to mention the team that produced the hot shot films...they could be considered the george cuckor of parodies). they lifted the genre to such heights that most efforts pale in comparison, both before and since.

and especially since.

we're not sure, and we have no documented proof of this, but we think the wayans brothers are responsible for an incredibly steep and tragic downward spiral of quality in parody movies. the scarey movie franchise is comprised of jokes so shallow and obvious, they make the sketches form in living color look like oscar wilde. there's no sublety, no surprise, no complexity. if not for anna farris, there would be no depth to any of the characters, which are all so one dimensional that calling them "characatures" would be a compliment.

worse, in terms of structure: the movies that the franchise makes fun of are all over the map in tone. obstensibly they are spoofing horror films. we suppose we could spot them the goofing on the disparate atmospheres of signs versus the ring scary movie 3. but, opinions of marshall mathers aside, what is an 8 mile parody doing there?

other sophomoric entries into the genre of recent years are even less entertaining (as we said, at least the wayans were smart enough to cast anna farris). the jokes are few and far between, and none of them unexpected in date movie, epic movie, the upcoming meet the spartans (at least, if the coming attractions of that film is any indication), not another teen movie (tho we admit a slight fondness for that one; but don't ask us why...we suppose we're suckers for ugly duckling films, even parodies of them).

these recent forays into parody look as if kids were allowed to make movies, which is a common and easy mistake to make (but not easy to watch). sure, the jokes in parody are sophomoric, but that indicates the level of humor, not the grade the writers are currently in. and, as we said before, there are many different elements, as well as levels, to a good parody. sure, there are low jokes, but there should be high jinx as well as middle brow goofs, word play and witticism, dick jokes as well nuance.

colin jacobsen, in his dvd movie guide review of the afore-mentioned the big bus, puts the problems w/this new generation of parody succinctly:

crummy flicks like scary movie do nothing more than repeat scenes from other movies with some allegedly comic twist; it’s humor based on recognition and nothing more.
exactly. the wayans and their peers put no further effort into their comedy than the direct lift of other's work with a school-yard put-down attached.

which is why we felt like starving men invited to a feast when we sat down to watch walk hard - the dewey cox story.

we shall review this film soon (hopefully, tomorrow).

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posted by skippy at 10:18 PM | 6 comments

swift gratitude

jon swift, one of our best friends in blogtopia and yes, we coined that phrase, put together a years-end-best-of-2007-blog-posts (chosen by the bloggers themselves)!

mr. swift is not only one of the finest writers in this medium (we know this because so few people understand him and, to us, that's the standard of excellence we strive for everyday), he is also one of the few blogs left who is more than generous with linkage.

now, we haven't mentioned mr. swift's piece simply because he included one of skippy's finer attempts from 2007, no, we are not that craven.

we bring this to your attention because his post also linked to by memeorandum; maybe we'll get some traffic from that site as well (that's how craven we are; you obvioulsy underestimated our cravenosity).

but we must take a moment to urge you to read some of the other bloggers' efforts as well; they are, after all, the "best of 2007," so they're pretty darn good!

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posted by skippy at 8:21 PM | 0 comments

huckabee's foot hearts huckabee's mouth

mike "the huckster" huckabee fumbled two points as well the image that he knows anything about foreign policy today in response to benzair bhutto's assassination. cbsnews:

with about 150 supporters crowded around a podium set up on the tarmac of orlando executive airport (and about 20 ron paul supporters waving signs outside) mike huckabee strode out to the strains of “right now” by van halen and immediately addressed the bhutto situation, expressing “our sincere concern and apologies for what has happened in pakistan.”

[**update: the huckabee campaign later clarified the last quote, telling cbs news: "gov. huckabee while speaking at a campaign event earlier this morning in florida intended to extend his deepest sympathies to the people of pakistan when he used the word 'apologies.' he is outraged and saddened by the attack and the loss of a world leader whose life he believes was a profile in courage."] …

he made a bad choice of words when saying the u.s. needs to consider “what impact does it have on whether or not there’s going to be martial law continuing in pakistan.” he should have said whether or not martial law will be reinstated – it was lifted nearly two weeks ago. a minor slip, maybe, but not a subject he wants to mess up on when he is already considered weak in the area of foreign policy.

[**update: the huckabee campaign later clarified this last point, telling cbs news: "governor huckabee firmly believes that emergency rule/martial law in pakistan, as a practical matter, should not be viewed as having been completely lifted until the restrictions imposed during that period on the press and judges are removed. although general musharraf let the pendulum swing a little more freely in the last few weeks, the overall policy, which is what the governor was addressing in his comments, has been, and continues to be, repressive."]
in our opinion, he not only made a bad choice of words, he made a bad choice of campaign songs for his base. seriously, how many southern baptists rock out to van halen? just askin...

not that we care what the atlantic thinks (andrew sullivan and matt yglasias never linked to us, and megan macardle stopped linking to us way back when she was still jane galt, blaming her co-blogger for the linkage problem), but marc ambinder shows how the establishment hearts to hate huckabee:

it's not the mistake itself that will raise eyebrowses -- it's huckabee's lack of intellectual ease, his lack of felicity, with foreign policy at a critical moment when everyone is paying attention.

mitt romney, for example, may have the same degree of experience, but he's boned up and is much more comfortable answering complicated questions about foreign policy.
we don't heart huckabee either, but we heart watching the hardly-ever-right wingers hoist themselves on their own petard of the huckenstein monster they created in the last 8 years as it rises up to throw off its chains and fight its craven masters, if we can mix metaphors so badly as to lose all of site our original meaning by the end of the sentence, which is coming up shortly; ah, here it is, now.

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posted by skippy at 7:46 PM | 1 comments

say hello

to to the center, a zine dedicated to the idea that most people don't " have a political left or right, but really feels somewhere in the middle."

we are happy to put to the center on our blogroll, as well.


posted by skippy at 7:16 PM | 1 comments

like a surgeon

good luck to pam of the indefatigable house blend, who went under knife today for a gall bladder operation.

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posted by skippy at 7:02 PM | 0 comments

bhutto in bhlogtopia**

in this corner, joshua holland at alternet's peek who reminds us that bhutto came to and stayed in power the way most people do...ruthlessly and corruptly.

and in this corner, our bhlog bhuddy melina at ripcoco who maintains that bhutto was a ground-bhreaker and important figure for women bhoth in third world and the first (and we suppose in the second as well). also in this corner is liza at culture kitchen.

we didn't know ms. bhutto. we are always in favor of opposition, just on general principles, and we are always against assassination and violence on those same principles. so we are sorry to see today's events unfold.

bhut that will not bhelay us from bhad jokes about the spelling of her name.

addendum: jill, over at bhrilliant at bhreakfast, points out that john edwards was the only...repeat, only...candidate to call musharrif today to ascertain the situation in pakistan.

**and yhes, whe choined thhat phrhase!

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posted by skippy at 6:02 PM | 0 comments

bhreaking: bhutto bhlown away in bhig bhlast

benezair bhutto, opposition leader in pakistan, was killed by a suicide assassin today. cnn international:

pakistan's former prime minister benazir bhutto was assassinated thursday outside a large gathering of her supporters where a suicide bomber also killed at least 14, doctors and a spokesman for her party said.

while bhutto appeared to have died from bullet wounds, it was not immediately clear if she was shot or if her wounds were caused by bomb shrapnel.

president pervez musharraf held an emergency meeting in the hours after the death, according to state media.

police warned citizens to stay home as they expected rioting to break out in city streets in reaction to the death.

police sources told cnn the bomber, who was riding a motorcycle, blew himself up near bhutto's vehicle. watch aftermath of the attack. »
this will most certainly destabilize an already tenuous situation in pakistan.

addendum: scorpio of the bhlog eccentricity, points out that the bhomb bhlast did not do bhutto in, bhut rather it was a bhullet that bhlew her away. bhbhc news:

ms bhutto - the first woman pm in an islamic state - was leaving an election rally in rawalpindi when a gunman shot her in the neck and set off a bomb.
and so we bhid ms. bhutto bhye bhye as she travels to the great bheyond.

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posted by skippy at 10:17 AM | 10 comments

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

skippy's wednesday nite music club

keeping in the spirit of the holiday season...

the chemical bros. - the boxer


posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 3 comments

damn those illegals, not destroying the american healthcare system!

physicians for a national health program (via rants from the rookery via the sideshow) gently points out that the meme that illegal aliens are breaking our healthcare system has been proven wrong...by two separate organizations:

so, it’s more than gratifying when two different entities on two different coasts of the nation, independently release studies that say the same thing: “undocumented immigrants are not a burden on society.”

this week in california, the university of california’s school of public health released a report that found undocumented latino immigrants do not cause a drag on the u.s. healthcare system as they are always being accused.

in fact, the vast majority of undocumented immigrants don’t even have a regular doctor or healthcare provider and only visit the er as a last resort.

“low rates of use of health-care services by mexican immigrants and similar trends among other latinos do not support public concern about immigrants’ overuse of the health care system,” the researchers wrote.

“undocumented individuals demonstrate less use of health care than u.s.-born citizens and have more negative experiences with the health care that they have received,” they said.
it’s a finding that is repeated in today’s released study by the immigration policy center (ipc), the think tank of the american immigration law foundation.

the ipc study found that:

per capita health care expenditures were 55 percent lower for immigrants than for natives in 1998. on average, immigrants received about $1,139 in health care, compared with $2,546 for native-born residents. although all immigrants are eligible for emergency medical services, they had lower expenditures for emergency room visits, doctor’s office visits, outpatient hospital visits, inpatient hospital visits, and prescription drugs.
too bad, there goes any legitimate reason to hate brown people...now the repubbbs are just going to have to admit they're bigots.

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posted by skippy at 8:27 PM | 4 comments

adolf hitler explains his comments, said he "doesn't really like will smith" after all

(skippy the bush kangareuters) - explaining that his remarks were "taken out of context," adolf hitler went on record today saying that he never liked will smith or his movies.

a scottish newspaper recently quoted hitler as saying that "even will smith doesn't get up in the morning and say 'i'm going to make the most pandering, lowest common denominator film i can.' i didn't mean to imply i actually liked the guy."

the national association of film critics accepted hitler's explanation that he never praised smith. "it's an easy mistake to make," said spokesman richard roeper. "i personally enjoyed kevin james' performance in 'hitch.' before i knew what was happening, people were saying i gave thumbs up to the film."

in a related story, people who write blogs on the internet have now revised 'godwin's law' to mean whoever uses the word "dawg" first in an argument, loses.

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posted by skippy at 4:17 PM | 1 comments

one gas bag needs another

blog post title of the day: it's hard out here for a blimp. firedoglake:

slate is on blimp beat:

there’s something perfectly paulian about the blimp. it’s a stunt, in the best sense of the term—big, memorable, and utterly silly—a lot like ron paul’s candidacy itself, at least in the eyes of outsiders. the project isn’t affiliated with the paul campaign—fec regulations forbid collaboration—but it does try to preserve the spirit. “we see what they’re doing, and we try to fit their image,” hornal says.
i think they've succeeded.


posted by skippy at 3:26 PM | 1 comments

say hello

to the peoples voice and aloha politics.


posted by skippy at 2:50 PM | 0 comments

happy boxing day

we received the following holiday story in an email from a friend:

a family is sitting at the dinner table and the son asks, "dad, how many kinds of boobs are there?"

the father, surprised, answers, "well, son, there are three kinds of breasts. in her 20s, a woman's breasts are like melons - round and firm. in her 30s to 40s, they are like pears - still nice but hanging a bit. after 50, they are like onions."


"yes, you see them and they make you cry."

this infuriated his wife and daughter so the daughter said, "mom, how many kinds of 'willies' are there?"

the mother, surprised, smiles and answers, "well dear, a man goes through three phases. in his 20s, his willy is like an oak tree - mighty and hard. in his 30s and 40s, it is like a birch - flexible but reliable. after his 50s, it is like a christmas tree."

"a christmas tree?"

"yes, dead from the root up and the balls are just for decoration”
happy holidays, everyone!


posted by skippy at 12:04 PM | 4 comments

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

skippy's xmas nite music club

the perverse in us looked for an anecdote antidote to all this xmas music...

james cagney - i'm a yankee doodle dandy


posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 6 comments

the surge is working - christmas edition

at least 33 people were killed in two separate bombings in iraq. reuters:

two suicide bombings targeting u.s.-backed neighborhood patrols on tuesday killed 33 people, highlighting the volatile situation north of baghdad, where the u.s. military says al qaeda gunmen are regrouping.

in the city of baiji, salahuddin province, a suicide bomber driving a vehicle rigged with explosives blew up at a checkpoint near a residential complex.

iraqi army major shamil mohammed and a senior provincial police official said 23 people were killed and 77 others wounded. the u.s. military and interior ministry in baghdad earlier put the death toll at 20.

in the province of diyala north of baghdad, a suicide bomber wearing a vest packed with explosives struck a funeral in the city of baquba, killing 10 people and wounding five, the u.s. military said. iraqi police said the blast wounded 21 people and said all casualties were members of the neighborhood patrols.
but the surge is working!

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posted by skippy at 4:52 PM | 1 comments

ps i'm not going to help you win that football game

skippy was quite amazed to receive this composition in an email on a family list that he is subscribed to (by blood, not by choice). most emails from this family list, which comes from the heartland, are full of faux news-like propaganda and exortations to agree w/limbaugh (there's a reason it's called the "heartland," and not the "brainland").

so it was quite nice to receive the following:

dear children,

it has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking my name out of the season.

maybe you've forgotten that i wasn't actually born during this time of the year. it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate my birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival, although i do appreciate being remembered anytime.

how i personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children and grandchildren of your own.

i don't care what you call the day. if you want to celebrate my birth, just get along and love one another.

...now, having said that...let me go on...

if it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting my birth, then just get rid of a couple of santas and snowmen, and put in a small nativity scene on your own front lawn. if all my followers did that, there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree instead of a christmas tree. it was i who made all trees; you can remember me anytime you see any tree. decorate a grape vine if you wish...i actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who i am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. if you have forgotten that one about the vine, look up john 15:1-8.

if you want to give me a present in remembrance of my birth, here is my wish list; choose something from it:

1. instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way my birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. they are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. i know because they tell me all the time.

2. visit someone in a nursing home, not just during christmas time, but all through the year. you don't have to know them personally. they just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. instead of writing "george" complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year...then follow up. it will be nice hearing from you again.

4. instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. tell them the story of my birth and why i came to live with you down here. hold them in your arms and remind them that i love them.

5. pick someone that has hurt you in the past...

...and forgive him or her.

6. did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.

7. instead of "nit-picking" about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. give them a warm smile and a kind word. even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "merry christmas" ,that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. then stop shopping there on sunday. if the store didn't make so much money on that day, they'd close and let their employees spend the day at church and at home with their families

8. if you really want to make a difference, support a missionary -- especially one who takes my love and good news to those who have never heard my name.

9. here's a good one. there are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. if you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts giving them to the salvation army or some other charity which believes in me. they will even make the delivery for you.

10. finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to me, then behave like a christian. don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in my presence. let people know by your actions and words that you are one of mine.

don't forget; i am god and can take care of myself. just love me and do what i have told you to do. i'll take care of all the rest. check out the list above and get to work; time is short. i'll help you, but the ball is now in your court.

and do have a most blessed christmas with all those whom you love...and remember...

...i love you!

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posted by skippy at 11:20 AM | 7 comments

merry christmoose!

and happy holiday greetings from smokey santa barbara, california.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:42 AM | 0 comments

Monday, December 24, 2007

skippy's monday nite music club

long-time readers of skippy both know that this time of year we usually run a feature asking for input on the best (and/or worst) of holiday songs, movies and television specials.

we decided to forego this exercise this year, mainly because the results were always overwhelmingly the same in the past few seasons.

instead, we thought we'd just cut right to the chase. so, without further ado, here is the song that always won our readership poll for best christmas carol of all time:

the pogues (w/kristy maccoll) - fairy tale of new york

and here's wish everyone a happy holiday season and peaceful and prosperous new year from the whole staff at skippy the bush kangaroo!


posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 5 comments

going paulistic

ron paul, who turned down the libertarian party's invitation to the dance in the presidential race, has not ruled out an independent run, should he not get the repubbb nod for candidate. washpost:

paul said that while the chance of his running as an independent was slim, "i deserve one wiggle now and then." he ran for president as the libertarian party candidate in 1988.
personally, we'd love to see a ron paul independent campaign.

there's nothing like kicking a national political party when it's down.

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posted by skippy at 8:02 PM | 0 comments

mr. smith, please report to room 101

the fbi is spending $1 billion to build a biometric database system. don't worry, it is only for "bad guys". apparently they have identified 55 million evildoers already. no word on which awol/cheney partner in crime has the inside track for "winning" the bid.

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posted by George at 7:38 PM | 0 comments

it could have been worse, she could have married felix navidad

the asspress tells this heart-warming holiday story of a woman who really didn't think her marriage thru to its logical conclusion. her first name is mary, and she got wed to a man whose last name is "christmas," resulting in the expected giggling this time of year:

"it was meant to be," mary christmas told the daily herald of provo. "god has a sense of humor. what are the chances that it would ever happen?"

she has found, however, that she is not alone. mary christmas has been working at ancestry.com for three years and discovered there are as many as 100 other mary christmases in the united states.

the last name of christmas has its origins in wales, she said.

"it was given to people that were born on christmas day," she said. "somewhere back there someone of my husband's ancestors was born on christmas. it is not a super common name."

christmas said her husband's grandmother, joy christmas, once was stopped at a counter at jcpenney, under suspicion for using a phony name.
her maiden name apparently was mary happy new year.

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posted by skippy at 12:49 PM | 1 comments

(b) logrolling in our time

many thanks to avedon carol of the sideshow for her multitude of links to skippy's late nite music club this holiday season.

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posted by skippy at 12:45 PM | 0 comments

be sure to say hello

to politicat.

in lieu of tagging, we simply hope that politicat has the best and most wonderful christmas possible!


posted by skippy at 12:22 PM | 1 comments

it just had to happen the day before my vacation started...

no more seventy-two-hour workweeks for me: i've lost part of the use of my left hand.

i'm taking this in stride, though. at least i still have a left hand -- and i can still blog with it. but it's trickier than i want it to be. i'll keep everyone posted as i learn more about this problem.

til then, merry christmas to all, and to all a good night. i'll be fine, one way or another...


posted by Jim Yeager at 8:18 AM | 7 comments

say hello

to hedgetoad.


posted by skippy at 12:47 AM | 2 comments

Sunday, December 23, 2007

skippy's sunday nite music club

in keeping with the spirit of the season, altho admittedly not the expected spirit, probably the reality of the spirit:

elvis presley - blue christmas


posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 0 comments

skippy's late nite music club: bonus trax

here's a little nugget we found last year:

we belive it's the ink spots (please help us out if we're wrong about the singers) - i'm dreaming of a white christmas

a cute little video.

addendum: upon further research, we are informed the song is done by the drifters, one of our fav groups of all time.

double addendum: lea-p informs us the wonderful animation was done by joshua held. thanks, lea!

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posted by skippy at 11:58 PM | 3 comments

give us this day our daily fruitcake

part four of the passion of the claus by our good friend james napoli.

(in case you missed them, here's parts one and two and three)

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posted by skippy at 9:47 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to mediacrity.


posted by skippy at 4:19 PM | 0 comments

god speed, bill

or as he would put it...bod geed spill.

washington is not exactly known as a center of verbal, much less musical, wit, which makes all the more grievous the loss this week of bill strauss, the antic, cerebral founder of the capitol steps satirical group and a sort of puckish polymath for all seasons.

strauss, 60, who died dec. 18 after an eight-year battle with pancreatic cancer, somehow combined the dyspeptic fatalism of a failed idealist with the rapier mischief of a court jester in a way that put a human face on washington's political shenanigans. he taught an entire generation of elected leaders to laugh at themselves. - wapo

he will long be remembered as the creator of the "lirty dies" routine and many capitol steps songs. bill was counsel for a senate subcommittee when the capitol steps started back in 1981. - capsteps.com

in memory of bill, perhaps sing a round of "gun nuts boasting they can open fire (sung to the tune of the christmas song) or here come democrats! (sung to the tune of here comes santa claus.)


posted by SantaBarbarian at 3:30 PM | 1 comments

quote of the day

joe gandelman at the moderate voice:

on the other hand, the continued bad news for the gop, as the post points out, is that, more than democrats, the republicans tend to choose as the nominee someone who is perceived to be “next in line” for the nomination.

that political custom seems to be inoperative this year: vice president dick cheney isn’t running — and, unless former florida governor jeb bush wants to change his name, 2008 ain’t gonna be his year (unless he changes his name to “none of the above”).
we'd quote more of joe, but he links to david broder. we'd suggest you go read joe's interesting analysis on how the gop coalition is splintering.

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posted by skippy at 1:01 PM | 0 comments


the gang at the albany project shows us exactly what a nosedive looks like:


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posted by skippy at 9:51 AM | 1 comments

say hello

to drexel democrats.

we are pleased as a platypus to add the drexel dems to our blogroll.

it's the (un)official blog of the democrats at drexel university.

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posted by skippy at 9:47 AM | 1 comments

Saturday, December 22, 2007

skippy's saturday nite music club

tho we are looking forward to seeing the jason lee movie, we're old school...

the chipmunks - the chipmunk song (christmas don't be late)

including the intro to their sat. morning cartoon show


posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 0 comments

skippy's late nite music club - bonus trax

chris isaak and kenny dale - christmas medley


posted by skippy at 11:58 PM | 1 comments

crack in eggnog form....

broguiere's eggnog and huell howser!
Originally uploaded by chotda.

broguiere's eggnog.

yeah...it's that season for getting my crack...er, eggnog hit. i picked up a bottle (yes...glass bottle) at the local santa barbara gelson's but it sometimes gets a little bit difficult to find. (chowhound has posts on folks searching for a hit of the addictive liquid crack....) if you can't find some...contact the "dealer" directly....

broguiere's farm fresh dairy
505 s maple ave.
montebello, california
(323)726-2957 fax


posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:09 AM | 0 comments

environmental stories saturday

ca: yosemite
Originally uploaded by smif
tainted rainfall affecting parks. bits of ammonium - a nitrogen compound associated with agricultural operations and fertilizers - are hitchhiking on the snow and rain that fall onto yellowstone, glacier and other national parks in the intermountain west. - billings gazette

drip, drip, drip sounds the slow death knell of santa’s lapland hideaway. time is running out for tourists in search of real snow and an authentic father christmas at rovaniemi on the arctic circle. - london times

tree planting mandatory, cutting prohibited in ri action plan. the forestry ministry wants the government to issue a policy making it mandatory for each indonesian citizen to plant a tree every year to store more carbon. - jakarta post

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:15 AM | 2 comments

awol thinks the economy is booming

but ask those in his home state (yeah, he's not really from texas) how the "booming" economy is working for them.

amid this holiday season, food pantries in lower connecticut are reporting a surge in the number of residents seeking a decent meal.

..."i have had to turn people away," said joyce gumbus, who oversees the 164 wilson memorial food pantry in stamford. the pantry is providing groceries for up to 400 people a week, compared with 200 a week last year, ms. gumbus said.

...for the food bank, the clearinghouse for some of the pantries’ food, that translates into some difficult challenges, like providing thanksgiving turkeys for 6,000 families this year, versus 3,000 in 2006. it means handling about 500 tons of food annually, 161,000 pounds of which were distributed in november alone, ms. lombardo said. "the need has doubled in the last year," she said. "and we don’t expect it to get better anytime soon." - nytimes

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:52 AM | 4 comments

ceo salary of $12.35 million or a liver transplant for a 17 yr old

cigna apparently didn't think it could afford to pay for one of these.

teenager dies after insurance firm refuses to fund transplant

cigna's rejection on december 11 led sarkisyan's doctors at ucla medical centre, including the head of its transplant unit, to write a letter to protest that the treatment which they proposed was neither experimental nor unproven. they called on the firm to urgently review its decision.

in the absence of a response from cigna, doctors told the sarkisyan family that the only alternative would be for the family to pay. but they could not afford the immediate down payment of $75,000 (£38,000). - the guardian

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:01 AM | 7 comments

Friday, December 21, 2007

skippy's friday nite music club

keeping on with the spirit of the season...

bing crosby & david bowie - little drummer boy/peace on earth


posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 1 comments

extra special skippy's late nite music club bonus trax xmas edition

blame kevin of the american street for brining this one to our attention:

the wet spots - fist me this christmas


posted by skippy at 11:58 PM | 1 comments

skippy's late nite music club - bonus trax

also in the spirit of the season...the season of zappadan, that is...

frank zappa & the mothers of invention - call any vegetable


posted by skippy at 11:57 PM | 2 comments

'tis the season for reruns

if it's good enough for the networks, it's good enough for us...

no christmas could go by without a trip down to the skippy vaults to dredge up this old chestnut: yes, viriginia, there is a war on christmas:

[ed. note: this is a reprint of the famous 1897 column from the national review online. we think it is as relevant to today's issues as it was back then]

we take great pleasure in answering at once the communication below, expressing at the same time great gratification that its author is numbered among the friends of nro:

“i am 8 years old. some of my liberal friends say there is no war on christmas. they say it’s just another code-word-filled wedge distraction to keep us from discussing real issues like iraq, the deficit, the patriot act, katrina and the administrations abysmal record on human rights. papa says, 'if you see it on the internets, it’s so.' please tell me the truth, is there a war on christmas?"

virginia o’scamlon

virginia, your liberal friends are wrong. they have been affected by the secularism of a secular age. they do not believe except what michael moore tells them. they think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their godless minds.

yes, virginia, there is a war on christmas.

it exists as certainly as lesbian feminazi’s who want to abort all the babies in the world exist, it exists as certainly as communist jewish pinkos who want to force children to worship satan in the schools exist. alas! how dreary would the world be if there were no war on christmas! it would be as dreary as if there were no loofas or falafels. there would be no unquestioning faith in republicans, no pollack jokes, no unfettered greed to make tolerable this tenuous economy. the eternal light with which childishness fills the american dream would be extinguished.

not believe in the war on christmas! you might as well not believe in the war on terror. you might get your papa to hire men to watch all the malls during december to catch godless communists trying to force people to say “kwanzaa hannukah ramadan,” but even if you didn’t see anybody try to wrestle christ away from the true believers at the gap, what would that prove? nobody ever sees secular heathens actually try to drink the blood of christian children, but that is no sign there is no war on christmas. the most real things in the world are those that neither logical men nor rush limbaugh can see. did you ever see jesus ride a dinosaur? of course not, but that’s no proof that he didn’t. nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are available only to the truly faithful, who shall delight in watching their enemies be smitten down in flames when the lord takes his rightful place in the mall.

you tear apart a david brooks argument and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the most evil liberal, nor even the united strength of all the hateful secularists and the aclu and all godless jews who ever lived could ever tear apart. only undying allegiance to talk radio, complete loyalty to fox news and our beloved leader, george w. bush, can push aside that curtain and view the eternal joy of the beauty of the faithful, rejoicing by god’s side as the evil-doers burn in torment, including those who watch the daily show and listen to al franken.

is the war on christmas real? ah, virginia, in all this world there is nothing else more real.

no war on christmas? thank god it lives forever and ever, as long as filthy multi-culturalistic pedophiles want to keep christ out of the malls in december. a thousand years from now, virginia, nay, 6,000 years from now, because the earth itself is only 6,000 years old, the war on christmas will continue to make glad the heart of neocons all over.

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posted by skippy at 8:11 PM | 0 comments

credentials where credentials are due

talkleft has received press credentials for the iowa cauci!

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posted by skippy at 6:49 PM | 2 comments

right about the right

john cole at balloon juice promises a fun time at gop convention...because

the business con – social con split won’t go away because the fundamentals have not changed since june. the chamber of commerce still desperately needs immigrants of the legal and illegal variety, and the social cons will go on demanding that their candidates make the immigrants go away. the neocon vs. paleocon rift and the intramural theocon cage match aren’t going away either. every faction of the old coalition has their own candidate, and for whatever reason (imminent defeat maybe) they’re going at each other like thieves in the third reel of a crime movie.

if you don’t think that the ‘08 rnc convention will be a meltdown for the history books then you’re not paying attention.
we'll be there in the front row w/popcorn!

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posted by skippy at 4:53 PM | 0 comments

christians fight the war on christmas, keep 9 year old from xmas party because he "didn't believe in jesus"

the uk daily mail tells us that the war on christmas is being fought valiantly by the hardly-ever-right wing:

douglas stewart was forced to stay at home while his friends received presents from santa and tucked into ice cream and jelly.

his parents were told he was not welcome at the celebration because they had pulled him out of religious eduction classes earlier in the year.

headmaster ian davidson said that because the youngster had no interest in religion he could not celebrate the birth of christ.
makes sense to us. why should those who refuse the cult of christ be allowed to share in joy and humanity?

but the godless liberals rallied and eventually won this skirmish...the little boy was allowed to go to the party after all:

she contacted moray council to find out its policy on school parties and was told these were non-religious.

after the council spoke to the school, the decision to exclude douglas was put down to a "misunderstanding".

callum was allowed to attend his party a few days later and douglas received a present santa had left behind.
damn those liberals! making sure a child has fun this time of year! why do they hate america?

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posted by skippy at 3:47 PM | 3 comments

around blogtopia*

brilliant at breakfast wonders how anyone thinks we can negotiate a fair healthcare system with an industry that allows a 17 year old to die just to save a few $$$;

the brad blog documents the rise and fall of diebold;

and jane at fdl finds a petition to sign to tell comedy central to get back to the negotiationg table in the writers strike.

* yes! we coined that phrase!


posted by skippy at 1:53 PM | 1 comments

holiday donations to skippy are not tax-deductible

so don't make any. keep your money and spend it on your loved ones.

blogs don't need money. families need money.


posted by skippy at 10:24 AM | 3 comments

the all-important blogging endorsement

sure, mccain is racking up the dead-trees endorsements right and left, but who is the all spin zone going to back?

the editorial board of asz believes that john r. edwards has consistently demonstrated the best skillset of all the leading candidates to navigate the country through the rough waters that lay ahead.

since senator edwards’ first run at the presidency in 2004, we’ve watched him grow as a statesman, a politician, and a man. he was the first of the 2008 democratic candidates who proposed sweeping reform of the healthcare system in the u.s. while he did vote for the initial iraq war authorization during his time in the senate, edwards has been refreshingly candid in admitting he made a terrible mistake when he joined almost every other congressional democrat (admittedly, in a post-9/11 environment) to authorize the unprovoked use of force against another sovereign nation. perhaps more than anything, at a time when more and more americans are struggling every day just to get by, and the gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” continues to grow wider, john edwards brings the promise not just of leadership, but empathetic leadership that will sharply focus on the economic and social needs of the working class.
the editorial staff of skippy is still polishing off the eggnog; we might get an endorsement out of them next week.

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posted by skippy at 10:14 AM | 0 comments

but it doesn't fly

ok, it looks like:
it does not fly. it does, however, get 300 mpg with a price tag of $30k. i thought that was expensive, until i realized that my car cost $25k. yikes.

the aptera electric car
posted by The One True Tami at 6:23 AM | 3 comments

casting a paul over white supremacy

ron paul will keep $500 donated by a white supremacist. asspress:

republican presidential hopeful ron paul has received a $500 campaign donation from a white supremacist, and the texas congressman doesn't plan to return it, an aide said wednesday.

don black, of west palm beach, recently made the donation, according to campaign filings. he runs a web site called stormfront with the motto, "white pride world wide." the site welcomes postings to the "stormfront white nationalist community."

"dr. paul stands for freedom, peace, prosperity and inalienable rights. if someone with small ideologies happens to contribute money to ron, thinking he can influence ron in any way, he's wasted his money," paul spokesman jesse benton said. "ron is going to take the money and try to spread the message of freedom.

"and that's $500 less that this guy has to do whatever it is that he does," benton added.
we kept trying to come up with a joke about a white supremacist named black, but the irony of paul keeping $500 thinking it would keep the money from being used for something bad is too funny for us to compete with.

meanwhile, over at shakesville, jeff fecke thinks the problem with paul is not so much his appeal to neo-nazis, as much as his refusal to extend his libertarian ideals to women and people of color.

today's case in point begins with dana goldstein, who notes that it's hard to square paul as a true civil libertarian given his reactionary stance on abortion:

ron paul is virulently anti-choice. first dennis kucinich said he would appoint paul his v.p. and now andrew sullivan, defender of gay rights, idealizes the guy. earth to liberals and moderate conservatives who value individual rights and liberty: ron paul is not your guy, at least not if you believe women deserve the same freedom as men.
indeed. one needn't even get into ron's games of footsie with the racist fringe to see that paul is very invested in civil liberties when it affects the rights of white men, not as much when it affects anyone else. he has decent views on iraq and on gay rights, but his views on race and gender are nightmarish, and his views on eliminating the government are utopian, to put it charitably, and foolish, to put it bluntly.
meanwhile, dr. paul has again bested the fund-raising record with a $6 mill haul last weekend. asspress:

supporters of the campaign broke a record sunday when they raised a little more than $6 million in an internet campaign for paul, a 10-term republican congressman from texas whose antiwar, libertarian message has caught on with an enthusiastic and generous segment of the electorate. it raised an additional $360,000 on monday.

the donations eclipsed a previous one-day fund-raising record of $5.7 million, set by senator john kerry in 2004 after he accepted the democratic nomination for president. paul's previous single-day fund-raising high was $4.2 million nov. 5.
must be lots of neo-nazis w/spare cash out there.

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posted by skippy at 12:36 AM | 3 comments