Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture

The Captain & Tennille Split Up: Millions Rejoice

Prescott, AZ—1970s pop stars The Captain & Tennille have called it quits. On January 23, 2014, keyboardist Daryl Dragon was served divorce papers by wife Toni Tennille at the couple’s Prescott home, effectively ending their 39 year marriage. The Discord is only posting this now because our site admin is still reeling from the news.

Plague Outbreak Slows Down Discord Production

Plague Outbreak Slows Down Discord Production
Alex Bone

Collapsing Shack, AZ—The Daily Discord film crew was forced to push back the start date of their soon to be Oscar nominated epic “Belch of the Mogollon Monster.” The latest S.T.Q. blockbuster was slated to be filmed on location in scenic Picture Canyon, conveniently located just outside of Flagstaff, but less than a week before the shoot the site was closed due to an infestation of plague-bearing fleas.

The Discord’s writer, editor, actor, producer, stage hand, prop boy, bar back, driver, and animal trainer, Zano, had this to say: “This is obviously a government plot, which means we are getting close to the truth. What is in Picture Canyon that they don’t want us to see? What secrets are they worried that we will uncover? Oh, and what time is it? Cokie asked me to pick up her dry cleaning.”

Alex Bone, the Discord’s Senior Camping Correspondent, towel boy, and Yig advocate added, “This isn’t going to help us either professionally or personally. Most of us are homeless and needed to camp in the Canyon just to make sure we were there on time. Zano didn’t even want to tell us about the plague and we only found out about the shutdown while we were on a beer run. He wants to start the filming again tomorrow, but I can’t get out of my wet sleeping bag and my body is now covered with purple growths the size of goose eggs. This time they aren’t hickies, honey, honest!”

Cameraman Greg was heard saying. “I wish I had known too. I parked my ride there and the plague infested prairie dogs must have mutated somehow, because they drove away with my car. I found it trashed downtown and the cops told me they had what the kids are calling a Plague Party, which is where the young prairie dogs have fleas bite them until they catch the ‘Black Buzz.’ Then they vomit and crap everywhere, just like Bone. They shit all over my Karman Ghia. Looks like I’ll be sleeping on the broken folding chair in Ballz’ basement again.”

Zano tried to plead with Winslow for more funding for the project, but was told that if he already spent the fifteen dollars allocated for the three month project on beer then he was shit out of luck. After sending photos of our plague infested bodies, Winslow suggested we shoot a zombie movie instead, adding, “Think of the money we’ll save on makeup, Zano!”

We also learned too late that passing around joints and bottles of tequila when some of the people in the room have the Black Plague is a bad idea as well. As we all laid on the floor of the Man Cave counting our black plague boils we were informed by Ballz’ mother that it was time to leave. Stricken and homeless and losing limbs, we hit the streets.

What do you call a punk rocker without a girlfriend?


What do you call a punker rocker without a girlfriend who has the plague?

Gutter Goo.

The show must go on so Belch of the Mogollon Monster will be filmed later this month near Sunset Crater. It will star all of the survivors. It doesn’t help that Winslow pulled our health insurance this year, the bastard.

Cosby’s Giving Me a Woody

Tony Ballz

With all the hoo-ha surrounding the Bill Cosby’s recent allegations, this seems like a good time to talk about Woody Allen. Whenever the media needs an easy punchline for a child molestation joke (always in good taste), they inevitably turn to Woody Allen. Countless blogs and entertainment outlets love to dribble on about the “sick” relationship between the film director and the much younger Soon-Yi Previn, his ex-lover’s adopted daughter, aka “that poor girl.”

What poor girl? You mean his WIFE, the woman he’s dated for 24 years and been married to for 18? The woman he has two adopted children with? THAT poor girl? The one who’s 45 years old?

Time for some background. In 1966, soap opera actress Mia Farrow (age 21) married singer Frank Sinatra (age 50). Farrow quit acting to be Sinatra’s hausfrau, on his insistence. The next year, after a bored Farrow accepted the lead in Rosemary’s Baby, Sinatra filed for divorce. The movie made her a star.

In 1970, Mia Farrow (age 25) became pregnant by conductor Andre Previn (age 41), who left his wife to marry her. Before their divorce in 1979, the couple had three children and adopted two more, including Soon-Yi, a Korean orphan whose birthdate was estimated to be around 1970.

In 1980, Mia Farrow began a relationship with Woody Allen, who put her in twelve of his films. The couple never married or lived together. They had one child and adopted two. Farrow has admitted there is a good chance the father of their “biological” son is actually Frank Sinatra, whom Farrow had sporadic affairs with in the years following their divorce. If this is true, it places Farrow at age 42 and Sinatra at 71 at the time of conception.

In 1991, Mia Farrow discovered that Woody Allen (age 56) was having an affair with Soon-Yi, then 21 and living by herself. And the shit-slinging began. Woody Allen says that he never had amorous feelings toward Soon-Yi until she initiated their relationship by sending him nude photos in 1991.

FACT: Soon-Yi Previn is not Woody Allen’s adopted daughter. Soon-Yi has stated that her “Dad” is Andre Previn and that Woody was never a father figure to her, just Mom’s boyfriend.

FACT: Before 1992, Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn did not live under the same roof at any time. After her parents’ divorce, Soon-Yi stayed with her Dad. Allen and Farrow never co-habitated.

These two facts blow all the “Creepy Stepfather Molesting His Adopted Daughter” or “Old Pervert Selects His Child Bride” (“yeah, her over there, the cute one”) nonsense out the window.

Here’s a question no one can seem to answer: If Woody and Soon-Yi’s relationship is so sick … Why are they still together? Why hasn’t she wised up and left him yet? She isn’t stupid; she was taking college courses in her early teens and speaks better English than you or I do. She’s not in an Ike-and-Tina or Phil-and-Ronnie situation where Woody keeps her imprisoned in a tower like Rapunzel.

Have you seen pictures of them? Soon-Yi Previn is a big robust Korean woman in her 40s and Woody Allen is a 79 year old Jewish man around 4’1 who looks like he weighs about as much as her shoes. She could easily push him over and run away. Hell, she could sneeze in his direction and the force would probably kill him.

Does he have her permanently hypnotized? Maybe a voodoo curse? Some sort of mesmerism? Funny, I don’t see any armed thugs surrounding her in any of those pictures.

I mean, just LOOK at them! What possible attraction could there be? Why is she even with him?

I don’t know, maybe because he’s WOODY ALLEN? Maybe because he’s rich and famous and respected all over the world and charming and funny and intelligent and stable and plays the clarinet and works with top Hollywood stars and doesn’t drink and doesn’t take drugs and doesn’t cheat on her and doesn’t mentally or physically abuse her or their children? Ya think?

And maybe because he made Annie Hall and Manhattan and The Purple Rose Of Cairo and Sleeper and Crimes And Misdemeanors and Radio Days and Zelig and Broadway Danny Rose and Hannah And Her Sisters and Bananas and Love and Death and Play It Again Sam and Shadows and Fog and Stardust Memories? Ya think?

Maybe she LOVES him? A lady who finds a man with the above resume can easily overlook any shortcomings (pun) he may have in the looks department. Shit, I almost want to schtup the little guy now.

Recently, one of Allen’s and Farrow’s adopted children claimed that Woody had sexually abused her. The case was thrown out after a court-appointed psychiatrist testified that she was either delusional or coerced.

If Woody Allen is a pedophile, why the hell is he happily married to a 45 year old woman?


Tony Ballz

A hipster will put up fliers for his band’s show but the location won’t be on it because if you’re cool enough you’ll know where the show is. When a hipster wants to “rock out”, he’ll put on Franz Ferdinand instead of the Stooges. A hipster will have zero CDs by Elvis Presley, but at least one by ABBA. A hipster always makes sure the lyrics to whatever he’s playing aren’t offensive to his girlfriend, even if he doesn’t have one.

A hipster will dislike something not because of the thing itself, but because of the low coolness level of the people who do like it. Examples:

Heavy metal/hard rock – Metalheads are easy to mock, and no hipster wants to be mistaken for one. A hipster wouldn’t be caught dead listening to Kyuss or The Melvins, but High on Fire and Boris and Sunn O))) and Mastodon are OK (even though they’re all highly derivative of the first two) because they have a little indie sprinkled on them. My Morning Jacket’s music is obviously rooted in 1970’s stadium/Southern rock like Lynyrd Skynyrd (tres unhip) but the group hails from Louisville, which is cool because Slint were from there and Louisville isn’t REALLY the South.

Country – Same as metal. NO hipster wants to be mistaken for a redneck. Outlaw country like Merle Haggard is hip, if only just to have one album prominently displayed that is never listened to and cost a dollar. Johnny Cash is hip because he had a photo taken of him flipping the bird and got busted for drugs and recorded songs by Nick Cave and Danzig, but no one knows who Charlie Rich is.

Hipsters LOVE tortured artists and tragic dead guys. Townes Van Zandt is lionized not only for his spectacular songwriting, but because his life was such a mess. No hipster gives a damn about John Prine because he’s still breathing and there’s not a lot of good stories about how he ruined the lives of his friends and family.

Speaking of dead, Nick Drake’s stuff is nice but it’s barely a pimple compared to the incredible music his buddy John Martyn made in the same time period. Of course, Drake was painfully shy, battled depression, and killed himself at 23 (extremely hip) while Martyn was extroverted, a chipper fellow to the end despite having half a leg amputated, and died of being old (BOR-ing). Nick Drake’s hipness even survived a Volkswagen commercial, but only because he was already dead.

The Fall were probably a better band than Joy Division, but … dead guy. You won’t see a hipster wearing any of The Fall’s LP designs on a t-shirt. The point of a hipster’s t-shirt is to advertise his hipness, not to champion obscure groups that girls don’t care about. That’s the parvenu of record collector scum, who are basically hipsters without sex lives.

It’s hip to like The Beatles, but not their solo stuff. It’s hip to like The Rolling Stones, but only from 1968-1972. It’s hip to like The Beach Boys, but not the cars and surfing songs.

Fifteen years ago, it was the opposite of hip to like Bruce Springsteen. Now it’s the epitome, and so is acting like you knew he was cool all along. I used to dare people I could find a Springsteen song in their CD collection and then make a beeline grab for MTV Unplugged by 10,000 Maniacs (because everybody had it) and point to “Because The Night.”

“Oh, I LOVE that song!”

Maybe I did my little part to make The Boss hip to these cretins. You’re welcome, Bruce.

Western Breweries Fight Drought With New Extra Dry IPA

Western Breweries Fight Drought with new Extra Dry IPA

Carlsbad, CA—The water is about gone in California and breweries are responding to Governor Jerry Brown’s call to action. Instead of moving back east with their parents, many master brewers are thinking outside the box. Many California residents are praising brewpubs owners for their ingenuity, but others are questioning the final product.

Drought Brewing is excited to announce the release of their Arid Ale as well as a Bone-Dry Bitter. Jack Parched, the Master Brewer of H²No Brewery, said, “We’re also aging a barley wine style beer as our seasonal. I call it the Barley Drinkable.”

Dusty Mugs of Desert Fountain Brewery said, “I think we can work around this no-water issue. First off, during the growing process we’re only watering the hops with our own spit and urine. Then we kind of skip the second part of the brewing process.”

One regular of Dry-as-a-Stone Brewery said, “Hops are crunchy and spikey and very hard to swallow. Sometimes my gums bleed after a pint.  I’m going to need a dental plan.”

Others locals remain hopeful, “At my age fiber is fiber. I like it. I drink less too, as it takes me all the way until last call to finish a pint.”

My Shitty Kids

Tony Ballz

Raising children is tough. It’s a pretty thankless job. Do my kids ever thank me for all the stuff I’ve done for them over the years? Heck no. I mean, I change their diapers, buy them food and clothes, lose hours of sleep while they cry all night, help them with their stupid school projects … it’s wasted YEARS of my life. But I’m not bitter.

The other day, my daughter Dorinda made a peanut butter sandwich for her brother Elmo and, good gravy, you would have thought Cuban revolutionaries had been through my kitchen. I mean, she didn’t put the lid back on the jar, she left the knife dirty, there was a big old smudge on the table … it was crazy. I said: “Hey Che Guevara, the next time your troops want a snack, tell ’em to wipe their boots off when they’re done!” I thought it was kind of clever, but they just ignored me. What a couple of spoiled little twerps.

My children’s names are Dorinda and Elmo. Ain’t that a hoot? Oh sure, my husband and I could have chosen something nice for our daughter like Jessica or Katherine, or something cool for our son like Clark or Steven, but that’s boring. We went through those baby name books until we found the ones that made us laugh the hardest. They’re definitely the only Dorinda and Elmo in their school. Probably in the whole state! Dorinda and Elmo. That just cracks me up. I’m a good mother.

My children are lucky. They really are. I bet they don’t know ANYONE that has a mother who writes a column describing every single embarrassing detail of their childhood, especially the ones that tick me off, and publishes it in a free weekly newspaper for all their classmates (and everyone in town) to read! And I use their REAL NAMES too! Why they aren’t the most popular kids in school, I’ll never know.

One time I was snooping around that pig trough my son calls his bedroom and under his mattress I found the Sears ads from the Sunday paper with the photos of ladies in their underwear, all carefully folded up. That night, when he was studying with the pretty little blonde-haired girl from down the block, I yelled: “Hey Willie Wanker! Why don’t you tell your girlfriend how much you enjoy reading the SUNDAY PAPER? Especially the SEARS ADS!” He turned seven shades of red and looked like he wanted to die. It was so cute! My husband and I laughed and laughed. I could scarcely wait to write about it.

Last month, Dorinda started her period. She tried to hide it from me, but nothing my kids do escapes mother’s all-seeing eye. She used up almost half a roll of toilet paper! I said: “Hey, Bleeding Betty! Now that you’re a woman, why don’t you get a job in the alley behind the pool hall so you can help pay for some of this?” I thought it was hysterical, but she just locked the door to her room and started crying. What a pampered little bitch.

Our family doctor and several members of the PTA have told me that giving my kids strange names and parading their childhood mishaps in a public forum such as my column may be damaging to their mental health and make them outcasts among their peers. And that using my idiot offspring as fodder for my mediocre writing smacks of self-absorption. I say: So what? What the hell do they know? I was never popular in school and my mother was a relentless harridan whom I despise to this day … and look at me! I turned out OK.

Next week: the funny stains on Elmo’s bed sheets and Dorinda’s poopy undies! Bye-bye!

Music Is Still Free!

Tony Ballz

Anyone remember how CDs are indestructible? How about the scene in Back to the Future 2 where Marty’s in an alley and there’s the huge stacks of old CDs waiting to be junked? Anyone remember portable turntables? Not the kiddie close-n-play kind, the name-brand ones that cost $200. Listen to your LPs in the car! On the beach! Take ’em to the office! (“Did you bring ‘Master of Reality’? Biiitchin’, crank it.”) Absurd, right?

Anyone remember those 8-track players shaped like a big apple? Or the TNT detonator ones with the handle you could push down on? KABOOM! Anyone remember Quad? I don’t, but my stepdad’s 1975 Fisher Quadrophonic receiver is one of the finest pieces of stereo equipment I’ve ever seen and yes, it still works. That thing freakin’ rocks, it weighs like 35 pounds.

Anyone remember how DAT was going to be the greatest development ever and then it just sort of disappeared?

A while back, I wrote a semi-satirical article on the joys of downloading and the invisible ethics of the music industry, which the fine semi-subversive website you are now eyeballing saw fit to print. Since then, I’ve received some feedback on the subject from sources as diverse as: fellow high school music nerds I haven’t seen in over 20 years (“…why do you want to rip off Rush? Those guys are cool!”), vague acquaintances drunkenly slinging a viselike arm around my shoulders at various downtown drinking establishments, as well as random obscenities hollered on the street by total strangers. So, I’ve decided to follow up on several points, as well as touch upon some peripheral subjects, in a fun Q & A format. Whee. Here goes:

Q: Isn’t file-sharing just like theft? Don’t you WANT to give Rush money to show your gratitude for the awesome music they make?

A: 70-80% of what I download is music I already own or have owned, either in LP, cassette, or CD form. I bought all of Rush’s albums years ago, and several again on CD. That music’s been paid for, some of it twice. How many times does the record industry want me to cough up more dollars for stuff I have already? (Answer: How many new formats can they think up?)

Q: Don’t bands benefit from signing with major labels due to promotion, distribution, etc.?

A: It depends on what you want to achieve. If you want your band/self to be a household name, recognizable to Main Street U.S.A. like John Mayer or Vanilla Ice, majors are probably the way to go, if you can play the game. They will deposit your music in Wal-Marts from Idaho to Nebraska (once all your filthy potty-mouth language and heretical ideas have been neutralized) and get your ugly mug on Jimmy Kimmel’s show as well. Some indie labels can do this stuff too, just not as often.

Maybe you can even play on one of those MTV spring break shows (do they still exist?) in front of a giant Coors banner. Remember at the end of the day, all the promo posters, free CDs, record release parties, crazy Vegas coke binges with expensive hookers, new gear and automobiles, manufacturing and shipping costs etc. is being charged to YOU. It all comes out of your sales, thanks to the magic little word “recoupable”. The label just fronts you the cash, they expect to get repaid for all this junk. And if the record stiffs, guess where the money comes from? That’s right, your ass.

Q: Your comment about record labels taking a cut of bands’ touring profits, is that for real?

A: Yes. Back in the day, labels were only concerned with record sales, any money made on tour was gravy for the bands. It usually wasn’t much, but a new industry sprung up surrounding the manufacture and sale of t-shirts, posters, bumper stickers, etc. with bands’ logos and/or faces on them. For the most part, this was money the labels couldn’t touch, since none of the products infringed upon the actual copyrighted music contained on the albums.

This is how a band like Wilco, within five years of their existence, could be pulling down a million dollars a year on tour while their records weren’t selling jack diddley and you never heard them on the radio. They built their fan base through live shows and word of mouth. Problem was, the band was making all the money, not their label, and they were soon dropped.

With the advent of downloading, record sales fell sharply and the music industry started sniffing around for other ways to make a profit off of those it had under contract. In the last five years, the tour percentage clause has become standard in most deals struck with new acts, who accept it as another stepping stone to stardom.

One article I read centered on the group Paramore, a young nondescript band with a female singer, who would still be playing nightclubs and campuses for peanuts, had it not been for the major label push. Paramore was one of the first acts signed with the new clause in place, and the band couldn’t be happier. Right now, they’re too stoked over hearing their songs on the radio and seeing themselves on TV to worry about money they aren’t making. Till the hits dry up, of course. Then it’s too late.

Q: Doesn’t downloading sound the death knell for record stores?

A: Yes and no. The big chain stores have market analysts who spotted the trend years ago and advised them to pull out before they started losing too much money. Even I was shocked when Tower Records closed its doors. I never shopped there, but I kind of thought it was one of those places that would always be around, like McDonald’s.

So, having the big boys out of the way is beneficial for independent mom-and-pop stores, who are free to mark up their stock as high as they want, now that most of their competition is gone. And people still like to go shopping, that hasn’t changed.

Oddly enough, digitizing music has caused a resurgence in popularity of the format it was meant to replace, the 12″ long-playing disc. You can download thousands upon thousands of CDs, both legal and non-, but you can’t download a record album, you need the actual artifact, and this requires buying it from somewhere.

Raising the sticker price of LPs above that of CDs was a masterstroke. Whatever corporate toady thought up that one deserves a fat raise. He’s got vision. The industry is happy you’re still buying what they’re selling. They don’t care what shape it comes in, as long as they can keep jacking the price up every five years or so.

Q: You still listen to cassettes? What’s the point in that?

A: Why not, I’ve got HUNDREDS of ’em! They still sound fine, and I’m not going to get rid of them just because a bunch of fat cats decided it was a dead format. I have a suspicion that the very public “Death of the LP” malarkey from 20 years ago was a smokescreen for what the industry really wanted killed: recordable cassette tapes. Small, portable, decent sound, you can fit close to two hours on ’em … and if they break, there’s a pretty simple mechanism inside that’s easy to fix. How the hell do you fix a CD? Answer: You don’t. You just throw it away and buy another. And another. And another.

Keep in mind why CDs were forced into being the industry standard over LPs: at that point in time, YOU COULDN’T DUPLICATE THEM. You had to understand digital encoding, and the only manufacturing plants were in Germany and Japan. Nowadays it takes less than a minute to make a perfect digital copy of a compact disc, and the music business sees this as lost revenue.

But the problem has gone beyond that: more and more consumers are storing their fave jams on hard drives and portable MP3 players. The music itself is just data, it’s invisible. There’s no longer any need for a delivery agent, a thing you can hold in your hand like a CD or tape that costs money.

The industry’s PRODUCT has been eliminated; it’s a marketer’s worst nightmare. They’re trying to sell you something intangible, something only your ears can pick up. Sure, they still want you to pay for music through iTunes and such, but why bother when you can go to any number of websites (or a friend) and get it for free?

You can bet that right now, someone somewhere is trying to figure out a way to charge you every time you LISTEN to a song they own, whether or not you’ve legally paid for it. The next time your neighbors or roommates complain about the volume of your stereo, tell ’em you’re saving them hundreds of dollars.

The entertainment industry has traditionally dragged its feet and tried to block any technological developments that have been beneficial to consumers, usually by virtue of affordability. Cassettes. DAT. Burnable CDs. I-Pods (Read up on the VHS vs. BETA wars for more tales of the customer getting screwed). All they have to do is lay on the guilt by calling it theft and people will roll over. I’m an American, I don’t steal. I do what my daddy did: pay for everything through the nose.

They have famous mouthpieces like Metallica’s Lars Ulrich or Gene Simmons of KISS, who said in a recent interview that anyone who downloads music should go to jail because he needs that money to take care of his wife and kids. Never mind the fact that his wife spends $40,000 to have her hair and nails done and his kids get Hummers for birthday presents. And they have their own TV show.

The music business dug its own grave. If they had just kept prices low … but no, they’ve been at it too long, no one’s about to take a salary cut even if this ship is sinking faster than the Titanic. All that shameless greed is finally catching up with them. They’ve never been a friend to the consumer and we don’t care if they lose their cushy jobs.

Ha ha. Kiss my lily-white ass, you fuckwads. This aint 1979, but twenty bucks is still a lot of money for some of us.

Manmade Vs God-Given Rights

Mick Zano

To me the ‘unalienable rights’ part of the Declaration of Independence means absolute rights that cannot be tampered with. Whereas the origin of these rights remain open to debate, the rights themselves are not. Pokey worries that without defining the origin-part, liberals will try to change shit. On that note, there’s as much Athens as Jerusalem in our founding documents so let’s begin by replacing ‘God-given’ with ‘Zeus-given’. Then let’s draw a really cool lightning bolt over the entire next paragraph and change the name of this thing to the Bill of Smites.

[Winslow: This is a continuation of a debate that has sadly been allowed to continue.]

To benefit from the spirit of our Constitution we needn’t define the God-part. Our Founding Fathers (FFs) had a healthy dose of atheism, so they avoided naming the particular deity in question. The WHO who bestowed these rights is moot, and with good reason. The Age of Reason comes to mind, or the flip side Sharia Law. Of course, our FFs were more worried about the Church of England at the time. Damn Protestants. They understood God could be any God, Gods, or higher power. But please avoid cartoon Gods where prohibited.

Some believe these rights are bestowed by a bearded guy in the clouds while others do not. But one day YOU WILL ALL KNOW the glory of the Flying Spaghetti Monster! To me the key is that these rights are inherent and irrefutable. Sure the FFs stated the “right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” comes from God, but then these same folks spent no small amount of time ensuring a clear separation of church and state.

To me unalienable means—

[Zano’s 17 page Ancient Alien rant rejected by the editor]

Whereas you, Pokey, are looking at colonial times from solely a Christian standpoint, I realize our founding documents were an amalgam. Sure it’s an amalgam with clear ties to The Bible but, taking a page from Ken Wilber, I believe our FFs were operating at a much higher level of consciousness than the norm for that time period.  The idea of starting with some basic tenants that could not be overruled by anyone from a lower, or even a higher perspective was brilliant (no matter how you slice it). They were certainly light years ahead of either party today. They only used this fundamental origin-myth to protect the essence of their vision, not the least of which is that all men are Created Splenda. (Sorry, but I already changed that part, because Equal causes cancer.)  

After all, they started this schitznik with We The People, not We The Children of God. The people had the sovereignty here, not the all-mighty, or the all-mighty dollar. That came later. The whole tug-o-war between a Christian Nation vs the Wall of Separation between church and state remains ongoing, then and now. I’m not an all-or-none thinker and the answer, as usual, lies somewhere in between:

“The founders were not as Christian as those people would like them to be, though they weren’t as secularist as Christopher Hitchens would like them to be.”

—Richard Berkhiser

Let’s look at the rest of that phrase “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”


To me life means breathing and stuff.  The GOP seems to only find life in the womb sacred. Discuss any post-natal rights and they get all snotty. Post-natal drips?  I believe The GOP has become a cult of death. Climate change? Nah. Dying oceans? Nah. Overpopulation? Nah. The need to shift to alternative energies? No thank you. We prefer a better life, through death.

Republicans love children and they show this profound Christian love by gutting education, child protective services, and all regulation of food and water. They always just want to turn their heads …and cough.

So in this nirvana of yours the church is supposed to take care of the mentally ill with prayer and with cookies? You don’t need to be insured, you don’t need medical care, you don’t need basic sick leave or any basic wage to function in our current society. You don’t need workers’ rights, you don’t need vaccinations from deadly illnesses…you know, the ones once eradicated through said vaccinations. You have the freedom to either die in the lobby without coverage or die in your designated sweatshop. That’s a wonderful interpretation of our Founding Fathers’ vision. You have the right to life…until our policies kill you. Mass extinction sold separately.

Is life longer and fuller without healthcare coverage? Do you really believe that?

“Just live a little. No really, just a little. That’s all we’re funding.”

—John Q. Republican


Let’s take liberty…no really, take it. James Madison extended the Constitution to include the Bill of Rights to protect said liberty. The Bush Administration essentially junked the thing indefinitely post 9/11.

And what about the War on Drugs? That shit-show cost us dearly. Ever heard of the Rico law? Your house car or cash can be confiscated by the police if they even suspect anything you or your family member might have done related to a drug offense. And you’re trying to tell me that having a well-funded emergency room in your town trumps all of these affronts? Isn’t it more likely you’re being duped? I think NSA is all we agree on this topic.

Suffice to say, once you can by picked up off the street by your government without due process, held indefinitely, and then tortured, uh, I think that might infringe on your liberties ….a tad.

 “Never ever get a writ of Habeas Corpus.”

—Groucho Jefferson

The Pursuit of Happiness

Let’s ignore my hedonistic view of happiness for a moment. Sex, drugs, and rock & roll sold separately. Christian “values” keep people from dying with dignity and it keeps them from having access to pornography while in hospice care—which is no small point when your last request is spiritual midget porn. If given a chance Christians would impose their version of happiness on us all. The FFs understood this part, even if you don’t. On a related note, I come from a long line of Impuritans.

One nonstarter is how a Christian Nation invariably tries to remove temptation. They would block even any chance of sin, which is a ridiculous approach to helping someone move toward spiritual growth. Try interviewing some altar boys to see how well that’s working out. This is also why the decriminalization of all drugs must occur. Did God remove the Tree of Knowledge from the Garden of Eden? Hell, he didn’t even block porn in that liberal Portlandia. Eve? Is that you burning frankincense again, you naked hippy chick?

I think there’s a big difference if you call something like healthcare an inherent right, but universal healthcare does seem to work in everywhere it has been tried. Sorry, but freedom didn’t die anywhere it’s been tried. The taxes associated with healthcare costs polled well in all 18 countries. Again, I think there’s a middle ground at play here, well, should our republican friends outgrow their middle school playgrounds. Pursuing happiness from poverty is possible but not always preferable. I don’t want to belittle the efforts of our churches, but they are not the whole picture—they’re not even the previews.

Rick Santorum, a guy cut from your cloth, would like to see the church prominent and powerful again. He feels the separation of Church and State only goes one way. He feels the government itself must be separated from any church, but churches can petition the government as much as they want.


—Our Founding Fathers amidst a collective face palm

And that was just their reaction to his latest sweater vest. If you recall the context back in 1776, our FFs obviously wanted a very clear separation of Church and State. Hey, why not shift the whole wall on our southern border back to where our Founding Fathers intended? …between Church and State.  Lest we forget the church had full control of the West for many centuries. It was called the Dark Ages.

Back to the Other Main Point: The Constitutionality of Obamacare

I never said the individual mandate was a clear violation of the Constitution. I said I had concerns about that one aspect of that 1,000+ page law. I am not a constitutional scholar, nor am I an all-or-none thinker, so I am forced to leave that important task to our partisan Supremes. Any ruling that arises from your infallible document—the one handed to us from God himself—is deemed constitutional or not depending on the ratio of D to R appointed judges during said ruling.  Funny how that works.

Meanwhile, Senator Orin Hatch (R) and Senator Fred Upton (R) have just proposed an alternative health plan, which is suspiciously similar to the ACA, minus the individual mandate. They want to give tax credits to compensate for this emergency room penalty. In their version you can keep coverage for your existing condition as well. But unless you counter the high risk pool with lots of other people that approach makes no sense (See: any other proposal by republican in the 21st century).

Things may go down as Starsky and Hatch are proposing, but essentially it will be Obamacare under a new name and without any viable way to pay for it. Of course, if we elect a republican president what we call the ACA will be the least of our problems.

Others have already come up with some individual mandate work-arounds, as previously mentioned here. I won’t strip millions of Americans from their healthcare coverage for a piece of this law that is not remotely fatal, for a piece of this law that is currently deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court, for a piece of this law that may well be correctible. If you change ‘unalienable’ rights to unconscionable then I think you have a point.

How is having access to an emergency room destroying your freedom, Pokey? Could we afford the fire department needed if every household in the U.S. burst into flames? The government takes a lot of your paycheck and it always will, so why is this bit so hard to digest? How much of our check goes to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, fire, garbage, infrastructure, schools etc? If you don’t have a kid, you still pay a school tax. If you don’t have a fire you still pay for that fire department. And now, if you don’t have a medical emergency there still an emergency room down the street should you need it.  You peeps always complain about the money associated with a basic functional society, yet you ignore the fact you can’t unionize, get a raise, get time off, or get a life. Freedom…you’re doing it wrong.

Excuse me if I don’t want to pay for your ‘personal responsibility’ from my pay check. It’s a shared burden…like Fox News. If you don’t like it, live off the grid, nature boy. You’re making much ado about healthcare. And what are you complaining about? You and your ilk are winning. We don’t invest in infrastructure, we don’t take care of our most vulnerable, as we devolve into a third world nation. How do you folks twist reality into such a pretzel? Don’t ask me to get inside the head of a republican; I have weak constitutions. See? I just threw up on my amendments again. Oh and sorry, Pokey, but I changed some of the first part too:

We the Spoof Bloggers , in order to form a more perfect Onion.

What da ya think? Oh, and I already changed the Zeus part again. I’m kind of partial to Dionysius, but I’m still keeping the lightning bolt. It doesn’t have to make sense. Hell, republicans don’t.

Farewell Jon Stewart, You Propaganda Spewing Buffoon!

Mick Zano

I’ve read a lot of articles about Jon Stewart’s departure and most of them seem unusually harsh. Both left and right seem ready to see him go, for decidedly different reasons of course. Republicans don’t like Maher or Stewart because there’s nothing like them on the right, but the left’s whining is sad and unexpected. Kidding, SNL’s Doug and Wendy have nothing on libs.

Comedy doesn’t really work on the right because being constantly angry, wrong and paranoid just isn’t the best recipe for humor, but there’s way more criticism from the left than I would have expected. Slate Mag says get lost here and The Daily Banter says good riddance here.  The gist of the Slate article is that Stewart is too centrist and should have been even more of a liberal attack dog. The Daily Banter article is just critical that he didn’t hire more transgender eco-feminist minorities, or some dipshit. Wow. Okay.  Guffawrmative action?

Regardless of the topic, the best fodder always comes from the right. You can set your don’t watch by it. This wonderful bash came courtesy of HotAir: Stewart Sacrifices his remaining Credibility Defending Brian Williams? And the New York Post-Journalism brings us: How Jon Stewart Turned Lies into Comedy and Brainwashed a Generation. It says it was written by a guy named Kyle Smith but I’m thinking his main source for this one was Charlie Sheen after a yearlong Rave party. Of course, there’s no actual examples of lying or brainwashing in the article, but let’s give Kyle some credit, or at least a V for Vendetta.

Funny how republicans always say “You Lie!” and then invariably fail to explain said lie. Remember that guy who yelled “You Lie!” to Obama while Congress was in session? According to PolitiFact that was wrong too, but who’s counting? No, really, they don’t believe in math either.

Similarly the only ‘lies’ that Mr. Smith offers involves Stewart’s handling of the Brian Williams affair:

“Finally, someone is being held to account for misleading America about the Iraq war. It might not necessarily be the first person you’d want held accountable on that list. But never again will Brian Williams mislead this great nation about being shot at in a war we probably wouldn’t have ended up in if the media had applied this level of scrutiny to the actual f*cking war.”

—Jon Stewart

Apparently this is a lie, except for the whole being true part. After lambasting Stewart for not understanding the complexity of the Iraq War, he then attacks him for defending his friend to a fault. This is the only dirt you could come up with in 16 years? Really? Either Jon Stewart is the full-Cronkite or you didn’t do your homework. Stewart admitted Williams screwed up and was disappointed. I guess Stewart just lacked the necessary zeal to tear his friend to shreds like a grizzly at a trout farm. Speaking of fish, then Smith jumps the shark:

“Thanks to polemicists and clowns, the myth that ‘Bush lied’ has caught on, and now a majority of Americans believe it. Stewart-ism won the day.”

—Kyle smith

People believe Bush lied us into war for the simple fact that Bush lied us into war. Smith, yet again, blames the intelligence community for the invasion of Iraq. Bush should be retroactively impeached for Iraq and should hang for torture, in either order. That is not hyperbole that is what international law demands.

A Wholly Unnecessary Iraq Summary Alert:

  1. We have the transcripts of the Downing Street Memos, which essentially say:

Hey Blair,

Help me come up with an excuse to blow the shit of Iraq.

Love George

P.S. Oh, and can I get to drive one of those big red buses?

  1. I personally remember when inspector Hans Blix was begging to continue his work. He said that Hussein was cooperating and it didn’t look like there was any WMDs present. Bush essentially said, “Wrong answer. Get out of Dodge, Hans. It’s time for operation Shuck & Guffaw!”


“The invasion of Iraq was indeed a massive failure of intelligence, just not the kind you think.”

—Mick Zano

I know you forgot that part, Mr. Smith, in the same way you and your ilk conveniently forget every lesson from history of any significance. Jon Stewart is a comedian, yet he’s brighter and more journalistic than just about anyone on your team. While Jon understands the main points of the 21st century, you and your ilk simply do not. 

Then comes this gem:

“College students, of course, are both little acquainted with realities of adult existence and walled off from conservative views, so they’re the perfect audience for Stewart’s shtick, which depends on assumptions that are as unquestioned as they are false.”

Then Mr. Smith must have gone to Washington, because he kind of forgets to mention any of these false assumptions, aside from the Iraq thing (which is your own, sir). False assumptions on the right are more prevalent than snowflakes at Fenway, yet this is your argument for the left’s delusions? Is there anything of substance spoken on your side of the aisle, ever?

So this Counts as Brainwashing a Generation:

Being on the air for 16 years as a comedian and 1.) Accurately understanding Bush’s deception during the lead up to the war in Iraq. 2.) Admitting your friend lied but not attacking him like grizzly in a trout farm.

And this doesn’t:

Fear Porn 4 Scared Fucks
Fear Porn 4 Scared Fucks

Okay, I can see that. I believe over the years that I have made a strong case that Fox News is a brainwashing machine while you, Mr. Smith, need to find another hobby. Journalism…you’re doing it wrong.

When Bush left office there was an endless list of lies and real scandals. By contrast, when one of Fox’s arch enemies retires, you can’t even muster a beer fart? An article that mentions zero actual lies is pretty sad—even for you people.

Will the right ever acknowledge their own lack of any insight? That’s a rhetorical question. As long as they run cover for each other, this will never end. They will always have a false comparison on the ready. I might write something like ‘study suggests Fox News viewers are least informed’ followed by a link to said study, and they will forever counter with Zano is a Lying Asshole. They will then back up this claim by citing some other guy who watches Fox News and also believes that to be the case. In truth, I cannot defend the ‘asshole’ part. See? Even when I make up a fake headline, it ends up being half true. So how do they never stumble upon even a half-truth once in a friggin’ while? WTF?!

Summary Alert:

Stewart is a comedian and Fox News is a joke.

Stewart has skewered Fox News over the years and he will be missed for exposing their lies. His top ten takedowns here. Conversely they seem to have nothing on him…and did I mention he’s a comedian? I will miss your antics, Jon, and your important contribution to this War on Reason. Oh, and by the way, Jon Stewart also does retractions. The only thing the rightwing media has retracted in the 21st century is the word retraction. On the bright side, Fox News’ 24-hour news cycles have helped lower overall unemployment rates as PolitiFact and their ilk have had to quadruple their staff to keep up with their constant stream of bullshit. This may have been key to getting Obama re-elected, so thanks.

50 Shades of Grey Crayons Are a Marketing Bust

50 Shades of Grey Crayons Are a Marketing Bust

Easton, PA—A marketing idea that started with a collaborative effort between the makers of Fifty Shades of Grey and Crayola Crayons has failed. Their idea seems to have collapsed on several levels. Parents and teachers complained about the S&M themed color names and the children soon got sick of only coloring storm clouds and castles.

The CEO of Crayola takes full responsibility for the business decision, “I really don’t know what we were thinking, but the original idea did come from our Denver branch. The mile high city, if you know what I mean. But I want people to know we’ve already pulled our Breaking Black and our Beauty and the Bestiality series. I just want people to know we’re taking this seriously.”

The story broke when a mother voiced her concerns to a principal outside of St. Louis Missouri. “I don’t think my child should be coloring with All of Grey’s Anatomy and Sex Slave Dungeon Wall Grey. Not to mention that one was way too light.”

The CEO of Crayola responded by saying, “Look, remember Bugs Bunny had jokes on different levels, you know, to keep the kids and the parents watching? Shit, we could have used that. Bugs Bunny grey, nice one. We really struggled with the names for the final 35—even with help from all the Denver people. I came up with Grey Goose Vodka Grey but they shot that one down. Dicks.”