Monday, August 31, 2015


The London Daily Mail is reporting that Susan Sarandon, 68, has been dumped by her 31 year-old boyfriend Jonathan Bricklin in favor of Pablo Picasso's granddaughter Marina Picasso, who is 64.

When asked why he made the switch, Bricklin said he wanted to date someone more age-appropriate.

Last Saturday night's "Super Moon" marked the first of three in a row when the satellite is going to be closest to earth all year.

Several astronomers are taking umbrage at the preferential designation, however, and are starting a campaign called "All Moons Matter."

Thousands of people took part in Philadelphia's Naked Bike Ride event over the weekend.

Spectators agreed that it appeared to be the first time most of the participants had ever engaged in any physical activity whatsoever.

Signs reading "HILLARY FOR PRISON 2016" have been repeatedly stolen from the Amagansett yard of Andy Sabin.

While Sabin hasn't gotten a good look at the culprit, he's reported catching a glimpse of a pantsuit and the sound of "an annoying cackle" each time.

ISIS revealed over the weekend that at the centerpiece of its goal to bring down America is a concerted effort to weaken the U.S. dollar and replace it with gold currency.

Shortly after, Sen. Rand Paul announced he was flying to Iraq to find his running mate.

A study at the Paris Cardiovascular Research Center suggests that women are more likely than men to die from heart disease because they check their breasts more than their cholesterol.

A parallel study suggests that men aren't helping any.


Thursday, August 27, 2015


Upper East Siders are reported as being "shocked" at the work being done on the late Joan Rivers's apartment by new owner Prince Muhammad bin Fahd. Neighbors claim that the apartment is being torn to shreds, to the point of being unrecognizably hideous.

In response, Prince bin Fahd said that he was only paying tribute to Rivers' face.

Researchers have found that 20% of the ground beef sold in the U.S. contain samples of horse meat.

Coincidentally, those are better odds than what customers find at OTB.

A specially trained Labrador named Bear is being credited for sniffing out the flash-drive containing child pornography owned by former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle.

Bear's owner says that the dog was originally trained to sniff out artificial ingredients at Subway restaurants, but collapsed from overwork. 

Upon hearing the sentence, Holmes asked his lawyers, "Can we rethink this no-death penalty thing?"

When asked why it took so long to agree to the surgery, Xiuzhen said, "It made a great can opener."



Wednesday, August 26, 2015


The smile only a gullible
woman could trust.
Philosophizing about his own randy love life, Errol Flynn once said, "Women won't let me stay single, and I won't let myself stay married." And if he were alive today, he'd happily amend that to, "... and I won't let myself stay off the internet." 

How did married people have affairs before Ashley Madison? Did they actually have to go out and meet prospective paramours in person? Jeez, that's the way they found their future spouses -- and you see how well that worked out for them.

But at least you knew that it was a real person you were talking to in the corner of a dimly-lit bar. Former Ashley Madison employees claim that 90% of its female profiles were made up in-house. How dare they live a lie!

Ashley Madison's slogan -- "Life's Short. Have An Affair" -- now might as well be "Life's Short. Make a Spectacle of Yourself."  Especially when clients include self-righteous Christians like sibling-molester Josh Duggar, who espoused "family values" and condemned gay marriage while admitting he was into "experimenting with sex toys," "extended foreplay/teasing" and "giving oral sex" -- and presumably just to prove he's an old-fashioned guy at heart, "cuddling & hugging." Sounds like every woman's dream, except when those "likes" are reserved for inamorata and not the wife. 

Biden and his wife
couldn't be closer.
The latest alleged celebrity to get caught in the Ashley Madison spiderweb is Robert "Hunter" Biden, whose father is alleged presidential candidate Joe Biden. (Appropriate, since several of the Ashley Madison clients used a address.) Unlike the fallen Christians, however, Biden claims that he's the victim here, even if it was his credit card used to make a $268.95 payment. 

If you doubt that politics is in Robert's blood, check out his denial: "I am certain that the account in question is not mine."

Let's step back a moment. Presuming you have never partaken of Ashley Madison's faux-other women, a conversation might go like this:
REPORTER: Have you ever had an account on Ashley Madison?
YOU: No.

Compare that exchange to this:
REPORTER: Have you ever had an account on Ashley Madison?
BIDEN: I am certain that the account in question is not mine.

Show of hands: which reply doesn't sound like it was written by a Washington lawyer?

Just to make sure that we know it's Biden's mouthpiece doing the talking, the rest of the official statement double-downs on the certainty:

Damn, are we sure his last name isn't really Clinton? This is the kind of answer I give my wife when she notices a pile of crumbs under the table after I've swept the kitchen floor. "From my understanding, over time the bristles of the brush become stiff and separate, causing the crumbs to stay in their original position in front of my chair, rather than being swept up into the dustpan as planned, and I am certain this is what happened in this case." 

Now, considering Biden was thrown overboard by the Navy last year for failing a cocaine test, his parsing might be leaving some wiggle-room.  "Hey, there was one night when I was just flying on some awesome yayo powder, and I might've opened an account just for shits and giggles. Things happen, amirite?"

Notice, too, Biden uses the phrase "account in question" -- as if he actually opened an account under a different name. It makes as much sense as the guys who claim they opened an Ashley Madison account but never used it. Or, even better, did so for "research" -- and kept renewing their accounts at $268.95 a pop. That's some kind of research grant those guys get.

Errol Flynn had no secrets. But as for the rest of you guys -- go back to the dimly-lit corner of the bar. And if anybody asks who your female companion is, don't say, "I'm certain she's my niece." 


Tuesday, August 25, 2015


History was made in Saudi Arabia this week when two women registered to vote for the first time.

One of the women, Jamal Al-Saadi, told reporters, "We look forward to having a say in how the government will continue to deny us all our other human rights. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for my daily beating."

Rene Angelil has said that he wants to die in the arms of his wife Celine Dion.

"That way," he said, "she won't have the chance to sing that stupid Titanic song for the millionth time."

In a memo to his baristas, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz requested they be especially sensitive to customers because of the stress they may be feeling over the plunging stock market.

Schultz said, "Please make sure that their coffees are 20% less burnt than usual, and the delay time for their Frappucinos is kept to five minutes, while keeping them oblivious to the fact they're losing more money buying our overpriced products than they are in the stock market."

A new study has found that women are more likely to be bisexual than men.

"And really," the 9,000 women surveyed said, "can you blame us?"

The gunman who was disarmed by American passengers on a train in France two days ago had only meant to rob people, said Sophie David, the lawyer who interviewed him after the attack said Sunday, adding, "He is dumbfounded by the terrorist motives attributed to his action."

Hillary Clinton was overheard saying, "That's the lawyer for me!"


Monday, August 24, 2015


I feel bad for kids these days. What must they think when they see stocks falling like Great America's Drop Tower? The job market being transformed into a convention of robots? 

And don't get me started on rents! I recently found a cancelled check from my first New York apartment circa 1981. While I haven't got it in front of me, it was in the range of $400 -- and that was split with my roommate. That $400 will now get you a place in line to bid for the same apartment which now goes for $2,500.

Twenty-three year-old Leonie Müller of Germany decided she had enough of sky-high rents -- although, in her case, sky-high meant $450. What on earth could be cheaper than that? A train ticket? Why, yes, as a matter of fact. The Washington Post reports: 

Not everybody is adept at living on trains.
Man, you couldn't pay my daughter $380 to wash her hair in an Amtrak bathroom. So much for her calling the Northeast Regional home.

And speaking of Amtrak, the food on German trains has got to be better than what you can get here. Müller probably gets the finest sauerbraten, sauerkraut, and any other sauer food $380 a month can buy.

As for her personal belongings, everything fits in a backpack. Do I envy her! I've made two trips to my daughter's off-campus housing in the last month, and she still doesn't have everything yet. Just the price of car rentals is approaching her tuition. 

Yes indeed, Ms. Müller is one resourceful Fraulein. Living on a train between classes can't be the easiest way to live, but somehow she's done it. That "somehow", however, comes near the end of article:

I used to know people like this, only they traveled on the subway, and we called them freeloaders. While I'm sure the BF has no problem with Müller dropping by for what the Germans call anschließen, her friends, she reports, "feel offended by the fact that I question the ordinary way of life and living."
This is homeless?

Nein, Ms. Müller. I think they've had it with you mooching off them for your own professional reasons -- like giving interviews to network news programs, and keeping a blog where you laughingly refer to yourself as "homeless." I see homeless people in New York everyday, and none of them look as spanking clean and made-up as this girl. And when they travel on the subway, they carry not a backpack with an iPad and clean clothes, but an aura of stink that allows them to have the car all to themselves. 

I will bet my last Deutsche mark that Müller's scheme from the beginning was not to save money or prove a point or even seek adventure, but to turn her blog into a best-selling book, which would then land her a travel show. It's obvious, phony and manipulative, and I'm sorry I didn't think of it first.


Friday, August 21, 2015


We've all seen representatives from the Black Lives Matter movement confront various presidential candidates in the last few weeks. It's a cute way to get on the news, but from my armchair it does nothing at all to advance the cause.  Cops are still shooting unarmed black men, probably even as we speak. 

And speaking of the presidential race, the corporate candidates are falling like logs in an Alaskan landslide, while the primary outsiders, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, are getting the biggest crowds. Trump, in fact, is leading the Republican pack. But do you think the people who run the two major parties are going to let those loose cannons come within a mile of even a White House tour? 

Oh, they'll let you think you have a say in how the country's run. But by the first Tuesday in November, you're going to have your choice of who the party elders and their masters want.

That's why I'm starting my own movement: Nothing Matters. 

Now, those who think I'm just being my usual misanthropic self, look into your heart. If you've spent any amount of time living a sentient life, you will admit this makes more sense than any other political movement of the past 50 years.

The majority of voters want economic equality but will never see it? Nothing matters. Middle-class getting screwed by the Man? Nothing matters. Protesters ignoring unarmed children getting shot by criminals? Nothing matters. Middle-East countries have a total of four million troops who can't take on 20,000 ISIS goons? Nothing matters. Bible-readin', God-fearin', right-wingin' Alabama is the home of the most Ashley Madison clients in America? 

No. Thing. Matters.

The deck is stacked, and the dealers win the pot every time. You, friends, are holding a royal flush of Jokers. Now go on another beer run and refill the salsa bowl, pronto. 

Hillary Clinton could admit passing secrets to Vladimir Putin while they were bathing in a gold-plated tub filled with vodka, and Howard Dean will still go on Morning Joe and reassure us that he sees no problem with it. Jeb Bush could hire the same nitwits who got us into Iraq -- and he already has! -- and his fans (whoever they may be) will still nod when he says, "I'm not my brother." Nothing matters.

Right now, as I write this, the Dow has dropped 300 points, and it isn't even lunchtime. That's on top of the 350 points it fell yesterday. Working people are going to lose big time by the time some guy with a shit-eating grin rings the closing bell at 4:00 this afternoon. 

Nothing matters.

Say it loud. Sing it like Mitch Miller was at the podium while you follow the bouncing ball. Shout it from the top of the nearest Legionnaires Disease-infected cooling tower. 

Nothing matters.

Feels good, doesn't it?

No movement is complete without a logo, and mine is right here. Soon, you'll be able to display it proudly on your t-shirt, baseball cap or coffee cup. Let the world know where you stand on the important issues of the day: nowhere, nohow, no way. Because... no use.

And if you think I'm going to disrupt the next political speech to get my message out... well, you haven't been paying attention.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015


From the left, right and middle, the question everybody's asking is: What the hell does Hillary Clinton think she's trying to get away with, with this whole offsite server and scrubbed emails thing, and all the bad jokes about being investigated by the FBI, thereof? 

But what if Hillary & Co. know exactly what they're doing, and that they're playing us all for the suckers they believe us to be? 

I've always believed that a person who describes every word against her as a "conspiracy" must know an awful lot about conspiracies. Remember, Hillary was on the the Impeachment Inquiry staff during Watergate, so she saw first hand how a master does it. 

OK, try following me here. When she's Secretary of State, Hillary decides to keep a private server -- the one used for "personal" emails. 

She then decides to up the ante by having the back-up server in a bathroom closet in Denver because, uh, why not? (I suppose people in Denver don't like to keep soap or shampoo on hand.) That server really is used for emails regarding yoga, Chelsea's wedding bills, and Bill's travel schedule so they never have to be in the house at Chappaqua at the same time.

The private server at Chappaqua is also used for the same emails. At the end of her term, she wipes those clean, knowing full well there's nothing of interest there outside the Washington Post society page. The government, meanwhile, has the official emails.

Hillary then has one of her staffers -- Huma, is that you? -- "leak" the story about the private server. The press gets interested. The FBI decides to take a look. 

But, more importantly, the Republicans predictably go haywire. Congressmen who routinely keep in touch with mistresses via email suddenly are shocked, insulted and sickened that Hillary Clinton kept a private server for "classified" information. 

But that still isn't enough. She gives her lawyer a thumb drive of those same emails. It's all aboveboard. I mean, what kind of person gives classified information to her lawyer for safekeeping?

Meanwhile, Hillary convinces her good friend Donald Trump to run for president in order to make the entire Republican side look even crazier than it does already. Trump, never one to pass up a challenge or a camera, agrees to do so, even if it means giving up his TV show and running his business for the time being. Hey, he's worth two, no, four, no, eight billion dollars. And those are the most fabulous dollars you've ever seen. And did you know he beats China all the time?

Then, as time goes by, the same staffer -- Huma, haven't you got a child to take of (and I mean your sexting husband)? -- drops a dime on Hillary regarding the Denver server. Now everybody's interested in what's going on, even as it gets more complicated. In fact, that's the point -- who's got time to connect the dots or unthread the strands when people are getting ready to send their kids back to school?

Hillary then trots out the "politics as usual" meme even as it's her former boss' administration who's leading the charge. Because that's the dog whistle all her acolytes hear. 

After much hemming and hawing, Hillary then "agrees" to hand over the servers to the FBI. Only far from being wiped clean, they've been merely been given a light dusting, allowing the emails to re-emerge. The personal emails are dull, the official emails not classified after all.

This allows Hillary to play the victim once again -- "See, I told you so! It was a conspiracy!" 

The outcome? Hillary makes her hatred of the press look justified. The Republicans appear goofier than a deer eating fermented apples. And more than ever, her fans will work themselves dizzy to see a woman elected president (as long as it's Hillary Clinton). It's the triple judo back-flip/
hip technique/thrusting strangle move. 

It all makes sense now.

And as for Bill? He's just scratching his head, thinking, "Who needs a server in a closet in Denver, anyway? I got served in White House closets plenty of times!"


Monday, August 17, 2015


"A, you're adorable..."
In less enlightened times, women involved in scandals were usually held to higher standards than men -- particularly when sex was involved. When Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter, that fat red A wasn't emblazoned on Rev. Dimmesdale's vestment.

As times changed, women decided they had every right to cash in on their notoriety the same way their male counterparts did. Well, not exactly the same way. For a while, whenever a woman was involved in a scandal, the first question was, "When does she pose for Playboy"? Even "The Women of Enron" hopped on the bunny trail. And I thought you needed to be named Tiffany or Brittany for that honor.

But now in the sophisticated 21st-century, women realize they have another, more profitable choice. Take Christine Ouzounian, the nanny who allegedly came between Ben Affleck and his wife Jennifer Garner. As the New York Post quotes one source:

Wait a minute. A "showbiz career" means you've got some kind of talent, right? Even Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian proved they could endure humiliating sex acts on video in order to get their TV series. So what's little Christine doing to prove her worth?

If you're a nanny and can drop 43-grand on a car, you've got talents I can only begin to imagine. Ouzounian's allegedly include getting paid by the paparazzi to let her know where she's going to be so they can get the best shots. But still -- that's a lot of "candid" pictures.

I don't see her changing diapers in the
near future.
None of the nannies I see on the Upper East Side resemble Ouzounian. For one thing, they all come from Jamaica (the island, not the city in Queens). In fact, the question many people are asking is, "Why the hell would Jennifer Garner hire a nanny who looked like that?" 

Now, I seem to remember reading that it was Affleck who hired her when he took the kids on a vacation while Garner was shooting a movie. Because that's what all fathers do when they're on vacation with their kids -- hire a cute 28 year-old woman to travel with them. And Ouzounian just kind of became part of the family. Like the "mistress" part. Allegedly.

Hey Michael, don't tear off his toupee!
None of this should come as a particular shock. As more than one person has pointed out, whenever you saw Affleck and Garner photographed together, she was all smiles -- often looking adoringly at him -- while his expression was more like Please God, get me out of here.

The last time they both actually appeared close was at the premiere of Daredevil in 2003, when he was still dating Jennifer Lopez. And even then, co-star Michael Clarke Duncan had to smash Affleck's head next to hers for the shot. 

Jennifer Garner has learned, albeit too late, that the L.A. model nanny is to be avoided. As the New York Daily News  put it, the "new nanny is clearly older." She's not a comely bottle blonde, either, but a normal-sized, middle-aged black woman. While she probably stands out in Hollywood, she'd fit right in on the Upper East Side, where mothers rest easily knowing their nanny will take good care of the kids without being sexual competition at home.

And as for the husbands? They're crossing their fingers and hoping that Christine
Ouzounian lands her much-hoped for TV show. The poor kid's earned a little happiness.


Thursday, August 13, 2015


A day after he was let go for breaking the jaw of New York Giants teammate Geno Smith, Ikemefuna Enemkpali has found a new home with the Buffalo Bills.

Ryan told reporters, "This isn't to excuse Enemkpali's actions. In fact, had he done the same thing to his girlfriend, we would have waited a week to hire him. Week and a half, actually. Actions have consequences, you know."

Matthew V. Scannapieco, 71, the former Republican Mayor of Marlboro, New Jersey, admitted to detectives that he had sexual contact with a female child relative 50 to 60 times between 2006 and 2008, beginning when she was six years old.

When asked for a comment, Evangelical presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said, "At least he isn't gay."

KFC China has introduced a fried-chicken sandwich on a black bun, and a "rose-flavored" chicken leg sandwich on a pink bun.

KFC fans, however, don't like the new additions, and want the chain to return to its original Kentucky Fried Cat sandwiches.

Public urination has gotten so bad in San Francisco that the city has painted nine walls with a repellent paint that makes pee spray back on the offender.

Human rights advocates condemned the move, saying that people shouldn't be urinated on in public except by a consensual partner.

While the marijuana crops destroyed are unlikely to cause any statewide supply issues, it could disseminate a familiar smell.

In related news, fast-food chains in the area are reporting their best business in years.

Psychology Today reports that romantic break-ups are harder on men than women.

Men who didn't agree with that conclusion responded, "I'm fine, goddammit, now leave me the fuck alone!" before downing 12 shots of Wild Turkey and falling down in a puddle of their own vomit and tears while screaming, "What did I do wrong? What did I do wrong?!"


Wednesday, August 12, 2015


A spokesman for the FDA said, "The only medically proven way to avoid morning sickness is to avoid looking at pictures of Kim Kardashian"

Fans and sponsors are lining up with offers of vodka, speed, and black tar heroin.

A Taliban spokesman said, "What was wrong with beheadings? Do you know how much explosives cost these days?"

The bear was immediately arrested for putting her children's health at risk.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015


When the great horror movies of the 1930s are talked about, Maniac is nowhere in sight. This is an unfair omission. Not that Maniac is up there with Island of Lost Souls. Its budget was probably in the mid three-figures, its actors either incompetent or more over the top than Donald Trump's hair, and its dialogue written by someone under the influence of some particularly bad synthetic marijuana.

All of these supposed negatives, however, make Maniac disturbing on more levels than has Candy Crush. The work of self-styled auteur Dwain Esper, Maniac was shown exclusively in "adults only" grindhouses and, when those weren't available, tents set up outside of city limits. That's what nudity, insanity and animal abuse will do to a movie's distribution.

Maniac rips off Frankenstein and several Edgar Allan Poe stories while still managing to be altogether unique. Dr. Meirschultz, a mad scientist (is there any other kind?) is working on a technique to bring the dead back to life. His assistant, Don Maxwell, is a former vaudevillian on the run from the police for unknown reasons. It would seem, however, he's wanted for impersonating an actor, and rather badly at that.

Maxwell strikes a blow for every
overworked employee in America.
Meirschultz is able to revive a suicide victim, who now walks around his house like a negligee-clad zombie. But what he really wants is someone with a "shattered heart." (Like all mad scientists, he's got a fresh, beating heart inside a Mason jar on his table.) Meirschultz suggests Maxwell kill himself in order to be brought back to life. Maxwell counters this intriguing proposition by shooting him

"Hey, look what I found!"
Since Maxwell naturally keeps his stage make-up kit in the lab among the hypos and beating hearts, he's able to pass himself off as his late boss. But once he gives an insane patient named Buckley a shot of "super adrenaline" (launching the funniest/creepiest transformation scene in movie history), Maxwell realizes that there's more to being a mad scientist than powdered hair, spirit gum and a Bela Lugosi-accent. 

Buckley kidnaps the zombie femme and, in a sop to the more demanding audiences of 1934, shows his love by undressing her before grabbing her by the throat. We never learn what becomes of them, but I don't think it was a honeymoon in Bora Bora.

Toss in Maxwell's ex-wife, an inheritance, and a sloppy climactic fight between two women who think the other's insane, and you've got a 50-minute movie that stands the test of time, even while most people today can't stand it.

Remember the Republican debate?
Maniac attempts to be a serious take on mental health issues by occasionally describing the actions we're witnessing. Accompanied by queasy violins, these onscreen analyses are to make you feel less guilty for watching a tasteless melodrama aimed at ticket-buyers -- men, mostly -- who couldn't get their hands on porn. 

"Excuse me while I consult with
my colleagues."
If the audience found words like "dementia praecox" beyond their ken, however, they received visual cues whenever Meirschultz or Maxwell go on their insane rants. From out of nowhere, images of smoke, hypnotic hands and laughing devils (stolen from a silent movie) appear to let us know that something isn't right in Maniac Land. Next time your doctor starts giving a rundown of what's wrong with you, picture him or her like the guy on the left.

This is what drove grandpa wild back
in the day.
A brief scene featuring Maxwell's wife and her friends exists only as an excuse for a bunch of women (I hesitate to use the word "actresses") to parade around ungracefully in their underwear. In addition to being utterly inept, they all wear furry, high-heeled slippers, an item of clothing I've never seen anywhere except old exploitation movies like this. What was hot stuff in 1934 is just icky now.

An eye for an eye for a cat.
The ambient sounds on Maniac's soundtrack -- a noisy camera? air conditioner? -- can't hide the priceless dialogue, which reaches a peak in the movie's most notorious scene. Maxwell, by now in the depths of paranoia, is convinced that a black cat has the "gleam" of the devil in its eye. As the cat appears to be tossed across the set by an off-camera stagehand, Maxwell gives chase. Finally catching his prey, Maxwell squeezes out its left eye and, holding it to the light, proclaims, "It's not unlike an oyster or a grape!" before giddily chowing it down. 

To make the scene that much more realistic, a one-eyed stunt cat was used for the close-up. You can only picture the want-ad Esper put in the trades: "ONE-EYED CAT NEEDED. MUST NOT MIND HAVING GLASS EYE VIOLENTLY SQUEEZED OUT OF ITS SOCKET." That the two cats don't look a thing alike is secondary. Show it any CGI-drugged audience today and watch 'em gag.

Satisfied customers leave L.A.'s Gayety Theatre during
Maniac's original 1934 run. Note the added attraction
of onstage "SEX MODELS."
Even among fans of the strange or bizarre, Maniac is an acquired taste, despite playing the grindhouse circuit into the early 1970s. It's too weird to be simply sniffed at as "bad," too ugly to show to unprepared audiences, and way too politically incorrect to run at college film festivals. (I didn't even mention the brief subplot involving a guy who skins cats for a living.) Nobody actually enjoys Maniac in the accepted definition of the word. At best, most viewers sit there in slack-jawed disbelief, as if they're watching a living nightmare. 

Circulating prints, however, are in surprisingly good shape -- a little scratchy, but otherwise quite sharp for an indie movie over 80 years old. At least somebody cared to preserve it.

And it's educational, too. Thanks to one of the onscreen diagnoses -- "failure of memory, poor retention, and failure on the part of the patient to curb his primitive tendencies" -- I learned I had paresis. Thanks, doc!


The original 1934 trailer for Maniac. If you can't watch it, go here. It will make thy blood to creep. Honest, it says so!