Sunday, January 23, 2011

Australia

To anyone I knew and cared about in Australia, I hope you're safe and well. Stay dry.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New York State Senate approves Ultimate Fighting - Bruno to fight Spitzer in comeback bid

    ALBANY, N.Y., July 29 -- A Wednesday vote went the right way for sports enthusiasts in Albany.  For the first time in years, mixed martial arts boxing will be legal in the State Senate.  After the 32-25 senate vote, the bill will go to the State Assembly for their consideration. 

    Governor Paterson has shown support for sanctioning ultimate fighting. "Legalization of mixed martial arts boxing will bring new, and much needed, tax revenue to the State of New York," the Governor said in a press conference today.  "I am wholly in favor of it... I can't wait for it to start.  Ultimate Fighting is going to save this state, you watch... I... I... Just please don't hit me! I can't see very well and I just want to go home! Please!"

    Dana White, president of Ultimate Fighting Championship, who lobbied for Ultimate Fighting to be legalized in sporting arenas was caught off-guard by the Senate's measure.  "Look, I'm all for mixed martial arts, but I want it in a place where we can sell seats.  How many people can we fit in the State Senate chamber anyway?  How do we set up the cameras if the fights can happen anywhere in the room?"

    The first Main Event will feature two bitter political rivals, former State Senate Majority Leader, Joseph L. Bruno and former New York State Governor, Eliot Spitzer. 

    "That little spoiled brat is finally going to get the good, old-fashioned ass-kicking he deserves.  I'm going to beat him senseless and send him back to mommy," said Mr. Bruno as he bobbed and weaved, avoiding a pack of swarming FBI agents.

    "I'm a little spoiled brat and I'm finally going to get the good, old-fashioned ass-kicking I deserve.  He's going to beat me senseless!  I'm so excited!" replied Mr. Spitzer, who was sporting fishnet stockings and a leather mask.     

    "It's time to put an end to this," said Senator Hiram Monserrate, a featured fighter on the Undercard.  "The corruption of the Democratic leadership under Malcolm Smith is no match for the cold steel of my blade. Malcolm 'the Majority Leader' Smith will feel the wrath of Hiram 'the Slasher' Monserrate!"

    One of the under card matches is a surprise pairing of former cross-aisle allies, Senator Dean "Mr. Sweaty" Skelos (R) and Senator Pedro "The Commuter" Espada (D).  "Things had been tense between these two for months.  It'll be great to see them go toe-to-toe at UFC Albany," said Governor Paterson.

    "Hell hath no fury like a Republican scorned!" exclaimed Senator Dean Skelos.  "Thou shalt feel my rod and my staff on your tax-and-spending, melon-shaped head!"  

    Senator Espada was not available anywhere in his district for comment, but did broadcast a message on YouTube from an undisclosed location.  "Dean Skelos talks a good game, but he has to find me first. Then I'll teach him the meaning of the word 'respect...'  Hey, where is the nearest CVS?  I have to get the guy at the counter to photoshop my head so it looks like I was at a Yankee game."

    Enthusiasm has spread to the State Assembly, where Sheldon Silver has promised to fight in the octagon, lose badly, and then hire his own law firm to sue his victorious opponents.  

For more information, please see this article.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Congressman Nixon Apologizes to Führer Dönitz for American Imposition


BERLIN, October 10 – In a subcommittee hearing this morning, freshman Congressman Richard Nixon (R-CA) formally apologized to surviving Third Reich leader Karl Dönitz for invading occupied France.  
Bucking the trend of blaming Nazi leadership for invading other countries, looting their resources, raping and murdering their citizens, and admonishing them for committing genocide, the Gentleman from California made a formal statement to the convicted war criminals.
“I am ashamed at what happened at Normandy two years ago,” said Mr. Nixon in an open session.  With a red face and a sweaty upper lip, Mr. Nixon proceeded with his two-minute statement, requesting forgiveness for Allied invasion of Vichy in June 1944.  “Sure, there was tension, and you were definitely in the wrong for bombing London, but to make you victims of a one-size-fits-all federal government that was out to squeeze you from the outset… that was wrong, sir.  That was worse.”
While most congressmen and senators were reviled by Congressman Nixon’s statements, other politicians shared his sentiment.  Governor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, in an interview with CBS’ Edward R. Murrow, spoke openly to Mr. Dönitz.  “Herr Dönitz is not to blame for murdering twenty million people.  These are the risks you take when you engage in a war.  We were out-of-line when we freed those slaves from your labor camps.  Sorry.”
“This is a tragedy of astronomical proportions.  An entire country has been bullied into non-existence by our socialist-communist administration.  Entire industries – destroyed,” said Senator Joseph McCarthy.  “Make no mistake, my fellow Americans, this inefficient, large-scale government will victimize you, just like they victimized the SS.” 
This marks the latest in a series of strange apologies that began in 1933 when late Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak apologized to Giuseppe Zangara for taking the bullet meant for President Roosevelt.  Mr. Zangara accepted the apology.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

NBC: Gary Coleman to Star in Fall Situation Comedy

    NEW YORK, June 7 -- Former child star Gary Coleman will be starring in a brand-new show in NBC's Fall 2010 lineup, according to NBC spokesmen.  The situation comedy, "Book Learnin'" will feature Mr. Coleman as a community college professor who inspires inner-city children to succeed academically and in their daily lives.  This will mark almost twenty-five years since Mr. Coleman's last television series, "Diff'rent Strokes."

    "I've been looking for a project that would get me back into television.  At first I was hesitant to get back in bed with NBC, but when I saw the script I knew I this was an opportunity I could not pass up," an emotional Mr. Coleman said.  "I am so glad that the producers approached me with this."

    "For years the entertainment community has turned its back on Gary, and for no good reason.  He is, and always has been, a major talent.  When I saw that Gary was attached to this project, I just knew we had to greenlight it," said Brandon Tartikoff, president of NBC's entertainment division.

    "Book Learnin'" features Mr. Coleman in his first starring role in more than twenty years. In the show, Mr. Coleman will portray Professor Merwyn Cates, a prestigious Ivy-League professor who chooses to leave the ivory tower of upper academia to take a job teaching History at an inner-city community college in Chicago.

    "These days it seems like every TV protagonist has to be flawed in a major way, as if it's cool to have your hero act like a jerk.  My character isn't a jerk.  There are no questions as to why my character is doing what he is doing teaching these kids," said Mr. Coleman.  "He is just a great guy, and by being as good as he is, he inspires his students to be great people, too.  It also helps that he's really funny!"

    Surprisingly, Mr. Coleman's parents have joined the project as executive producers for the series.  This is extraordinary as Mr. Coleman has repeatedly accused his parents of absconding with his multi-million dollar fortune to the point of self-parody.  "I've learned that it doesn't pay to hold grudges and stay angry at my parents.  It's hard enough going through life with this constant anger, I was so tired of it... so I decided to let bygones be bygones, and it was like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders."

    "We love our son and we are so happy that he has forgiven us," said Sue Coleman, Mr. Coleman's formerly estranged mother. "I look forward to working with Gary everyday and getting to tell him I love him everyday and how proud of him we all are."

    "Book Learnin'" will air Thursday nights at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central and Mountain on NBC, debuting on Sept 16th.  

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Whole New World and a Whole New Venue

Hello folks. In an effort to gain a little more exposure, I've decided to add some of my content to the Open Salon web site.

Open Salon is run by Salon.com, my favorite internet news source. The Open Salon site is free to read and they have some awfully intelligent people writing there.

So while I am blogging here, I will also be reproducing my content simultaneously over there.

Please tell your friends to visit my satellite blog at  http://open.salon.com/blog/ill_will

On that site you can share, make comments, vote, rate, and if you're inclined, send me a tip that will subsidize my girlfriend's nicotine patches.  Don't get me wrong, I am not soliciting for money... but if say, you had a request for a subject for me to tackle, or more specifically, a person you would like me to denigrate -- any person... he/she doesn't even have to be famous, he/she could just be your boss... I don't care -- then let's just say a little goes a long way.

Ill Will loves you.  Don't forget it.  Tell your friends you love him back. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

NYS GOV Patterson to Slash Alphabet in Latest Budget-Cutting Scheme


ALBANY, NY -- Governor David Paterson (D-NY), in an effort to make up a budget shortfall of almost $18 billion, has declared that he will cut state funding for vowels.  In a press conference in Albany, Governor Paterson announced the cuts that will affect the classic Roman alphabet letters, A, E, I, O, U and Y.  The cuts will be made effective by the end of the next paragraph.
“This is a decision that nobody wanted, but it needed to be made.  By eliminating these vowels, the state will save approximately $7 million in this fiscal year alone,“  said the Governor.  When asked about the fate of the letter Y, which often functions as a vowel, the Governor stated that emergency funding will be made available in the event the Y must be used as a consonant.  “Otherwise,” he said, “all state communications, including oral, will be limited to consonants that do not include Ys.”
This is the latest in a series of cuts the Governor has made to keep the crestfallen state government afloat, and the move has angered his critics, most notably, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  “There is no doubt the governor means well, but like all the other cuts he has made, removing vowels from the alphabet is incredibly misguided and will disproportionately hurt those in New York City and its surrounding areas the most.”
White Plains mayor Adam Bradley, who spoke to reporters while paramedics tended to his swollen knuckles, agreed with Mayor Bloomberg.  “Really… this will cripple us.  While those counties north of Westchester, Orange and Rockland may not feel the effects of these cuts, we will.  Unlike them, we can read.”   
In the meantime, Mayor Bloomberg has volunteered to dip into his own personal fortune to make up for the state moneys that the City will not be receiving.  “If it means keeping vowels in the communications of the City of New York, I will most assuredly pay the difference – just as soon as someone finds me my change purse.“
Mr. Paterson’s nominal political opponents are divided on the issue of vowel cutting.  Some moderate Republicans have applauded the cuts, stating that it is a step in the right direction.  Others claim that it is too little, too late. 
Citing former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s policy of making all communications less than 140 characters, New York State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R-129th District) issued the following statement, “Thiz iz bul.  U ned vowls. U cn cut da alphbt & stil hv nuff rm 2 mk ur stmnts lejble. Tme&tme agn guv fals 2 step up 2 da pl8 fr NYS txpyrs.”
Other New York State politicos have weighed in, including perennial Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Golisano, who took a break from skinning and roasting a migrant worker to speak with Brit Hume of Fox News.  “For years, we’ve been leading the fight not only to eliminate vowels, but also consonants, which have plagued the state since its inception.  We’ve said this before, we already have all of these numbers.  We can use numbers to communicate.  After all, it’s only common sense.” 
When asked to illustrate how a strictly numerical alphabet would work, Mr. Golisano produced a calculator and typed 58008, which when turned upside down, displays the word, “boobs.”  “This is only the beginning,” stated Mr. Golisano.
“NYrs mst mk d w/cnsnnts ntl cnmy mprvs,” Governor Paterson reiterated. “Ths s sd dy n NYS hstry.”
These are the most severe cuts since March, when all New York State public school teachers had their personal assets seized by Albany, were slaughtered and subsequently recycled to produce Soylent Green. 


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Attack of the Whining Pussies

There is a storm gathering in America. Its winds are blowing from Alaska to Florida, from California to Maine, and Florida to New York. This storm and its winds are spreading across the country like a coordinated series of loud farts.

The tea-partiers made a huge statement this week. Nobody is quite clear what that statement was exactly. It was really just a lot of noise.

The Government is Swallowing the Entire Health Insurance Industry
Those evil bastards. How dare they… the gall of them to think that the government can administer health insurance cheaper and more effectively than private industry. Most of the folks in that protest are either old enough or crazy enough to have the evil federal government administer their health insurance... and they love it. The rest of them were mad because now everyone will be forced to buy health insurance.
"Damn socialists. If only this wasn’t originally a Republican proposal, we’d actually have a point!”
Taxes
These same people are saying they’re being “taxed enough already.” The problem is that taxes have only gotten lower, which they should love.

Incidentally, some might put the point forward that because federal taxes are too low, state and local taxes need to be raised to remedy the shortfall created by this terrible economy. Those people are evil. Of course, you can only cut taxes so much before you don’t have any government revenue to provide for the common good, unless you don’t care about the common good.

The White House is now entertaining the concept of a “value-added” tax. Most of Europe has the tax and it seems to work pretty well. Of course the idea of actually raising money by being fiscally responsible (e.g., earning the revenue before you spend it, say on two wars…) is so abhorrent that the President has dismissed it out of hand… a little bit.

The Senate has passed a resolution (85-13) stating that a value added tax is "a massive tax increase that will cripple families on fixed income and only further push back America's economic recovery." Now that’s a bold statement. Incidentally, directly after that vote, the Senate passed a resolution (78-22) that “cancer is bad.” (Question: Why did Bernie Sanders vote no on both?)

Gun Control
Then we have the gun-nuts. On April 19th, they gathered in areas in and around D.C. to protest the new gun laws that don’t actually exist. In fact, and this has been pointed out by pundits who are much smarter (and more responsive) than I, that the only reason they are allowed to carry guns at their protests is because Obama has expanded gun rights to allow them to carry in national parks. 

By the way, if anyone ever showed up at an anti-Bush rally with a gun, he would have been immediately arrested, thrown into a government van, and shipped off to a black prison in Uzbekistan.  In that prison, he would be boiled to death and fed to the other prisoners who are waiting to be boiled to death.

The President, Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader are all Communists and Fascists
The thing about communism and fascism -- you may surmise that the two are very different. Communism has the philosophy of servitude to the state while conforming to a set of communal ideals which stresses collective action. They have a command economy that is controlled centrally.
Fascist philosophy involves servitude to the leader as a representation of a specific race or nationalist movement that commands uniformity and decries individuality. They have free markets… for those who are recognized as not being enemies of the state and sent to death camps.
The only thing they have in common is that both are ruled centrally by a corrupt, oppressive, unelected, non-representative leadership. This is the major quality of authoritarianism or totalitarianism. Are you listening Tea Partiers?

Our president was elected by both electoral and popular majority. So there. Learn the difference.
There was another president that was elected without popular majority, and as it turned out, not really electoral majority? In fact, as it turned out, this president was elected out of a majority of nine un-elected officials. Can you guess who that was? Does a specific name come to mind? We don’t need to name names, do we? One question… where were you then? Where were the threats of violent revolution?



The Right Wing Echo Chamber Response to the Mainstream Media Coverage
Fox News asks the question, “Why doesn’t the mainstream media show the crazies in the left-wing protests like they do in the right-wing protests?”

For years I couldn’t answer this question… mostly because it wasn’t true. It's different these days, in that it is true -- the nutty right-wing protesters are definitely being shown on TV more than the nutty left-wing protesters. 

Want to know the reason why? The answer is profound. Are you ready? There is a very big difference between left wing and right wing protests.

The difference between left-wing protests and right-wing protests is that right-wing protesters are armed.

Guns and angry people who carry them will always attract more attention. While I may be worried that an unwashed hippie might attack me with a burning flag, I am ten times as worried that an unwashed hick will blow my head off for being a Jew. I don’t think I’m out of line in saying this.

So, Fox News, as my teachers used to tell me, there are no stupid questions, just stupid people. If I thought you didn’t know any better, I’d think you were stupid. I know you’re not stupid… you’re just incredibly disingenuous. Knowing the answer to your question and feigning being confounded by it just shows how stupid you think your audience is… and you’re right… your audience is incredibly stupid.

What is truly confounding is that most tea-partiers are fervently anti-Gay… yet they dress up in costumes and go on parades. Why don't you ask that question, douchebags?



Finally, I have to say that it's strange that these people feel that they are being taxed "without representation."  We have elections constantly.  It's almost annoying.  You're represented just like the rest of us.  You just lost this time, you whiny bitches.  Grow up.

Anyway, I loved the protests.  It is great to see crazy people, armed or not, if only to make sure they are not related to you... or live next door.  

Postscript:  Sorry about the wait in between posts.  I had to get my shit together. I also want to apologize for the obvious rustiness.  I'll get back to form soon. 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

... and then the Robot Pulled a Knife


I saw Avatar at a 3-D IMAX theater this Monday, and after a significant period of nausea, was finally able to enjoy it.

Nobody likes a critic with an upturned nose.  In fact, one of my favorite characteristics as a Jew is that my nose more is hook than pig.  You need to understand that even though I was skeptical of Avatar before I saw it, I really latched on to it once I saw the blue people with the magic ponytails.  They were great. 

It really says something about Cameron that he could create a race of people, illustrate them, give them their own facial expressions, turn them blue and convince you effectively, for almost three hours, that they actually exist.  It’s called willful suspension of disbelief, and it’s a literary formula utilized by every author of every piece of fiction ever created.

Throughout the film I was able to keep that suspension going. 

Oh, it was tested.  Trust me.

First, let me just say that Mr. Cameron did everything he could to make the aliens sexy, but he failed, and he also failed to make them sexual.  Case in point – no nip-slips.  Zoe Saldana ran around for two hours with nothing but a tiny piece of loose cloth for a top and that top did not move at all.  I wanted to see what an alien nipple looked like and never did. 

Also, the male avatars only wore tiny, loose, loincloths.  Now, I’m not gay, and more importantly, I’m not into blue people, but I was still so curious to see what alien balls looked like.  I don’t care how tight those loincloths were, if you jump from enough trees onto dragons, your balls are going to flop around.  No balls got loose in Avatarsorry ladies.

But the alien elements didn’t challenge my suspension of disbelief – it was the human element.

For instance, within the context of the film, it is believable that there is a nine foot-tall, blue avatar representation of a human being.  It is a problem, however, when the blue, nine-foot avatar representation of a human being is wearing a Stanford University t-shirt.  Excuse me, but does one alumnus cum-avatar-representation justify the production of a new t-shirt size?  Where did she pick up one of those Size A(vatar) Stanford t-shirts? 

The final nail in the coffin of my willful suspension of disbelief was hammered home in a hand-to-hand combat scene between an Avatar and a human being who was utilizing a giant robot warrior exoskeleton.  I can dig it.  I saw Aliens, and when Sigourney Weaver used a robot exoskeleton to kill the Alien Queen, I was on-board the entire way.

What set me over the edge in the similar scene in Avatar, was when the man in the exoskeleton pulled a giant robot hunting knife.  Excuse me… what is a robot doing with a knife?  More importantly, why does he have a hunting knife?  And he pulled it out from nowhere.  No worries, though.  I’m sure it will be in the deleted scenes of the DVD release.  In fact, I have a transcript.

  ENGINEER:  So, Colonel, is everything copacetic with
                    your giant, robot exoskeleton killing machine?

  COLONEL:   I’d have to say it is, but there is something missing… 
                    Ah, a knife!

  ENGINEERA knife? What would you…

  COLONEL:   Yeah, a hunting knife!

  ENGINEER:  Why a knife… why a hunting knife?

  COLONEL:   You know, for battle.

  ENGINEER:  OK, well we have this other function that will
                    extend a blade from the elbow through the palm
                    of the hand.  It’s bigger and sharper than a
                    hunting knife and it fits neatly within the arm -–

  COLONEL:   Bullshit, I want to be able to pull a hunting knife in battle!

  ENGINEER:  They don’t make hunting knives in your size, Colonel,
                    and this extendo-blade gives you incredible versatility –-

  COLONEL:   No, I want to be able to PULL a knife!

  ENGINEER:  Pull it from where?

  COLONEL:   From my belt!

  ENGINEER:  Robots don’t have belts! 

  COLONEL:   Well, why not?!

  ENGINEERBecause they don’t have pants! 

  COLONEL:   Horseshit!  I want my giant, robotic exoskeleton
                    killing machine to have a belt, a sheath...
                    don’t forget a sheath, and a giant hunting knife!

  ENGINEER:  You want a belt and a sheath… Gevalt… 
                    Now I have to go find some giant cows for leather…
                    Hey, how about a matching hat, you fucking idiot?

So, in summation, there are problems with Avatar, but as a whole a great movie.  Have fun.

  

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Fun with Israeli Hate Cartoons

This morning I woke up to find a strange, hateful, political cartoon on my facebook news feed page that wasn't American.  



Regrettably, I don't speak Hebrew anymore.  I had to ask my always helpful Israeli cousin for the translation, which reads, "If you will it, it is no dream," which for those of you who haven't seen The Big Lebowski, is a famous quote by Theodor Hertzl, the quasi-George Washington of the State of Israel.  Supposedly, this cartoon depicts Ol' Man Hertzl stabbing a present-day, left-wing, female, Israeli politician, who is depicted as a dragon.  

Now, I am from the school that you never make fun of a woman's looks (unless that woman is Sarah Palin).  It is rude and ungentlemanly.  It is also a no-no for me to depict cartoon violence against an actual person, and even more so, a woman.  It gives me the creeps.  

I'm also not a bonafide Israeli history buff, but from what I remember from Hebrew school, Hertzl was remembered more for his vision and leadership, not for his spearmanship or stabbing ability.  I would have remembered that.  They were really into teaching us smiting at Hebrew school.

But the worst part of this cartoon isn't its intent, but, and please forgive the pun, its execution.  I have no idea who these people are, but I should be able to tell what's going on, at least in a general sense.  I can't.  I had to find out in an article what was actually happening in that cartoon.  Does that even look like a sword or spear to you?  Is there any expression at all on Hertzl's face?  Why is the dragon bleeding water?  In American political cartoons, if the identity of a character is not apparent, his name will be written on or next to him.  Not here.  Hertzl looks like your average depiction of a Hasidic Jew here.  Sure, the "If you build it, he will come" text may make him slightly easier to identify, but overall, this cartoon is what a critic might call "piss-poor."

On the other side of the coin, my inability to read Hebrew and the vagueness of the events of this cartoon allow me to insert my own translated captions.  Enjoy.

 
"I'm not touching you with a ten-foot pole until you pop that thing!"



"I know we're alone, but this is still the only way we can dance together!"


"Nobody will do the Limbo until you tuck in your tail!"


"Fine, the next time we role-play, I'll be the dragon and you can be St. George.
That costume doesn't even fit me anyway.  We look ridiculous like this!"

I invite you all to write your own captions for this hideous piece of artwork.  It's not a contest because I don't have a prize to give you, but why not compete out of a sense of sport.

 
"Mom, I did my homework.  Let me go pole vault!"

See, the possibilities are endless.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Rare Honor and Privilege

I received this in the mail today.  You know, it's not often that I get this type of recognition for all the work I do for the Republican Party, or as I like to call them -- "da Gopp."






Who knew Reagan founded anything?

Either way, I'm honored.  Let this be a lesson to you all.  If you do nothing, and make no effort from within the Republican party, you will succeed so long as they have your name and address.

I HAVE JOHN CORNYN's AUTOGRAPH!  BEAT THAT!

OK, folks.  Just thought I'd share my good news with you.

By the way, I'm a registered Democrat.  I've voted and contributed to a Republican candidate or two, but never on a state or national level.  I guess they just like me.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We Do Not Want You Here

As politically correct as I like to think I am, there are certain types of people that I just can’t abide. They come from a region that is known as lawless and corrupt, rife with all kinds of gambling, prostitution and drug dealing. They come to this area, and yes, some of them work hard and deserve the benefits of our other residents, but frankly -- and let’s not kid ourselves -- some of them are just scum and we shouldn’t allow them here.

Cases in Point:

    1. Luis Vasquez, 31 and Axel Rodriguez, 23
        These two men came to Staten Island and skimmed almost $30,000 from different
        merchants along their armored car route. It’s sad to see this kind of crime being
        committed against local business owners with employees who work hard to earn the
        money that these people are brazen enough to steal.

    2. Elio Pintado, 37
        Another prime example of the filth these people our neighbors to the South produce.
        This one played “hide-the-pinky” with a seven year-old at a movie theater. He did it
        before and now he’s done it again. Just like the other two born criminals, he came
        over the border with no resistance just to commit this horrible crime.

And they’re not alone… scores of them come over the border every day and commit all kinds of crimes – murder, rape, driving under the influence, littering… but you know all about it.

Question: Do we need these people to commit another crime before we act on something we already know to be true?

Hey, I’m a pretty liberal guy, but even I can see that these people don’t belong here. Given the same rights of every other resident – residents who actually pay taxes here – these people abuse our lax borders and easy access to the goods and services this area provides. They are not to be trusted and their movements here need to be closely monitored.

You know who I’m talking about? That’s right. I’m talking about… people from New Jersey.


I live in a small New York border town. I can spit and hit New Jersey, or as I like to call it, the "Smells-Like-Ass" State. Everything that is evil comes from New Jersey, including the mafia and Donald Trump.

OK, some of you might have family and friends in New Jersey, and that is fine. I’m sure your friends aren’t killers or in some horrible rock band that should have been put to pasture twenty years ago -- but they know to stay on their side of the border, don’t they?

We just have to be able to control who comes in and out. It’s a different culture down there. They don’t share our values. They barely share a language. Have you ever heard them talk? It’s a goddamn travesty.

Hey, I’m not saying New Jersey is all bad. After all, there isn’t a better place to go to get gas. It’s cheaper there than anywhere else in the Northeast. And unlike here, they don’t charge sales tax on clothes. See, I’m no bigot. I appreciate what our neighbors to the South have to offer.

But what we need to do is build a wall from Palisades to Port Jervis. A big wall. If we can get some of that stimulus money, I’d bet we could build a wall so big it will make the Great Wall of China look like the right field fence at a little league ballpark.


Yeah, we need a big wall -- a wall that will keep us safe from those savages from New Brunswick and the Hun from Hoboken. I want a wall so fucking big, we can see it from space. And when aliens from another planet finally become aware of us and decide to land at Newark Airport (obviously), they’ll have to marvel at our wall-related ingenuity as their hover-vehicles are meticulously stripped apart for contraband at the border crossing in Northvale. 

That’s right. After the wall is built, we’ll be OK. Until then, I’ll be in the woods in Warwick with my .22 hunting for guys in gym suits -- in a killing way, not a gay way.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Celebrating Martin Luther King Day -- with Ill Will


For those foreigners who may enjoy this blog (and I know there are at least five of you), Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday that celebrates the life and work of a man who, through the use of oratory and non-violent protest, furthered the cause for racial, gender and ethnic equality. The world had not before, nor since, seen a man who, in the course of only 12 -15 years, raised awareness of injustice and fought for its end so effectively.

Sure, some of you think that Jesus may have a stronger case for this, and you have a valid point.  I put it to you, however, that it is still in question that he actually existed. Personally, I think he did exist. Even so, we already have Christmas, Easter, Good Friday, Palm Thursday, Ash Wednesday, Wing-Night Tuesday, and Monday Monday. He doesn’t need another holiday. Nice guy, though – a real mensch.

For most of us, Martin Luther King became the symbol for the fight against universal oppression by racial and religious hegemony, government policy and the free market.

I’ve always felt a great sense of pride in my belief, fostered by my parents, in equality for all people, even Gypsies.

OK, I may still need to work on Gypsies. I don’t think I know any. In the event I do find out that one of my friends is a Gypsy, I will immediately approach him with my wallet in my front pocket, shake his hand, tell him that I am impressed he is so articulate, and mention to him – in an offhand manner – how much I enjoy Django Reinhardt and Gypsy Rose Lee. 

Question: Are they even called Gypsies anymore? I've heard they preferred to be called Roma or Romany. Well, that’s just like them! But I’m resolved, as soon as I meet a Romany person, I will make him/her one of my best friends just so I can tell people, “Hey, one of my best friends is a Gypsy… er, Romany… and he’s good people… he’s alright.”


It would not be in keeping with the spirit of Ill Will and Everything Else just to praise Dr. King and celebrate this holiday. So as we, a nation, engage in a day of sedentary non-action in order to celebrate a man who epitomized non-violent protest  (why do we always miss the point?),  I would like to direct your attention to some people who may not be so pleased that the good Reverend Doctor King Jr. ever existed.

"When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either." Trent Lott

“The NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons.” Rush Limbaugh

“Detaining all Muslims between the ages of 16 and 45 isn’t racial profiling, it’s criminal profiling.” Bill O’Reilly

“Do your duty. Make more babies… By far, the greatest number are Hispanic. You know what that means? Twenty-five years and the majority of the population is Hispanic. Why is that? Well, Hispanics are having more kids than others. Notably, the ones Hispanics call "gabachos" -- white people -- are having fewer.” John Gibson

“But basically, if you're talking about a day like today, Martin Luther King Junior Day, and you're gonna understand what civil rights has become, the con it's become in this country. It's a whole industry; it's a racket. It's a racket that is used to exploit primarily heterosexual, Christian, white males' birthright and steal from them what is their birthright and give it to people who didn't qualify for it.” Michael Savage (nee Weiner, and yes, he is Jewish)

What’s the lesson? The people who rallied against de-segregation and civil rights back then are still around. The names and faces may have changed. They may not use the n-word (as much), but they’re still here. Don’t fall for their claims of a “color-blind” philosophy.

What was evil then is still evil now. The fight for equality for all never stopped. I hope that wherever Dr. King is… well, I hope he has something better to do than watch us… we’ve gotten way pathetic with our Reality TV fetish.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Boy and His Needle


Let me be the first to say this… I love steroids.

OK, so I’m not the first person to say that. I’m not that original. In my defense, however, I’m not the person who finds within himself the courage, the fortitude, and the single-minded righteousness to exclaim the safest and least controversial statements in the world about steroids… and this… and this.

I don’t judge athletes who choose to do whatever they need to do in order to earn the most money in what can only be described as the shortest and most limited arc in the history of career-dom. Most prostitutes can work well into their forties, but free agents in major league baseball rarely work more than ten years, and in the first four they’re kept out of the free market.


I believe in performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. I like it when players hit home runs. I like it when they run fast and throw hard. I also enjoy knowing that when I shell out the dough for an advance ticket, my favorite players will show up to the game because their new, Wolverine-like healing abilities are protecting them from the stress and fatigue-related injuries that accompany a 162-game season.


Mark McGwire used steroids during periods of his career, more or less, since his debut as a major leaguer. He denied it his entire career, even at one point defending his use of Androstenedione, a relatively harmless muscle-builder, as an ingeniously crafted smokescreen for the drugs he was really taking. To quote Shakespeare, this was “a very excellent piece of villainy.”

Yes, looking back, now that there is absolutely no question about it, I find that I have nothing but the highest admiration for Mark McGwire’s canniness in concealing his use of steroids. They really should teach this lie in school along with Hitler’s big whopper at Munich.

But most of all, the feeling I have for Mark McGwire, besides awe, is the incredible amount of laughter that I cannot contain.

He conned everyone, and everyone knew they were being conned. He was Don King without the mouth… until it came to commercials. Here was a guy who denied using HGH, a drug that has curative properties, and for all we know could actually be good for you, but accepted endorsements and took millions of dollars to appear in commercials for McDonald’s!



AND NOBODY BLINKED!

You know, the least the Cardinals could have done was name a field-level box seat after McGwire’s endocrinologist. I mean, hey, let’s be fair.

It occurs to me that Mark McGwire is one amazing guy, and possibly the (least-intentionally) funniest person in the western world. And it wasn’t just McDonald’s. In 1998, he was all over commercial television. He was endorsing anything and everything – all kinds of products. There wasn’t one commercial that he turned down.

I can’t find it on You Tube, but I did find the transcript for one particular TV spot:


MM:     Hello, I’m Mark McGwire.  You may know me as that guy
who hits all those home runs and looks like an slightly
uglier version of the Michelin Man.  Yes, that’s me. 
But I’m not here to talk about the Michelin Man,
I’m here to tell you about a problem that,
like many of you, I suffer from:  Feminine Dryness.
There is nothing more uncomfortable than being dry
and itchy down there. That’s why I use
Vagisil® Intimate Lubricant and Vagisil® Anti-Itch Crème. 
VO:      Vagisil®.  Mark McGwire uses it.  So should you.

If you can find this TV commercial somewhere, I swear I will pay you for it.

I’m telling you, there is no way to overstate just how much of an ingenious liar Mark McGwire was. You don’t even comprehend it.  He even had an audience with Pope John Paul II, in front of 20,000 children, and stood there as His Holiness exhorted the youth of St. Louis to condition themselves spiritually just as Mark McGwire conditioned himself physically. And there he was on the stage… smiling like the goofball he wanted us to believe he was.

Seriously! This is a man who lied to the Pope… to his face! WOW!

Say what you want about McGwire and bicker amongst yourselves about how much this affects his standing in terms of eligibility in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and how he lied to the children who watched him play, but again, there is no denying it, he is one extraordinary son-of-a-bitch.

When they erect a Liars Hall of Fame, he’ll be in the Inaugural Class.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Iconoclast v. Hack: Classic Chalkboard Oratory from a Master

I was watching Fox News one night. It wasn’t my fault. I had accidentally fallen off the step-ladder and broke my neck, causing paralysis. The impact of my fall shook my coffee table and inexplicably caused my remote control to switch to Fox News. There I was, immobile, helpless, and being tortured by a psychotic weirdo at a chalkboard.

OK, none of that was true. I’ve never broken my neck. I saw Glenn Beck once. I felt once was enough. I can handle only so much of someone insulting my intelligence. There was something about him that bugged me. I couldn’t figure out what it was. I felt that I had seen this show before.

As a former stand-up comedian, I used to study others’ acts. I wasn’t alone. We were all in competition so we all studied each other. Every now and again, we found someone who was trying to rip off material from another comic, or as in the case of Denis Leary, an entire act (see Bill Hicks). There were quite a few comics in the city who were labeled as thieves. Well, when I saw Glenn Beck that night, my “thief” alert went off.

I couldn’t figure it out. Where did I see this before? I knew that I had seen an entertainer use a chalkboard to illustrate points to a viewing audience before. I know it was some kind of conservative analyst. So I continued to watch…



Can you feel my douche chills?

I would laugh if I didn’t know that millions of people listen and watch him, and that they don’t know how to spell “oligarchy” either. Nonsensical rant after nonsensical rant at the chalkboard…



What? Huh? SEIU? Soros? Huh? Am I missing something?

Then it hit me. My thief alarm is going off because he is not making any sense. When someone steals material, more often than not, he doesn’t understand completely what works about it. He doesn’t make sense because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. All he knows is that he likes writing things on a chalkboard. Who else used to write on a chalk board? I KNOW WHO! I’VE SEEN CLIPS OF IT!

He used to have a show in New York in the 50’s and 60’s… what’s his name? What is his name? He used to write on a chalkboard too! He actually made sense! He may have been off a tad, but he makes sense! Beck is stealing from THIS GUY! Bishop Fulton Sheen!




You may not agree with him, but Sheen was 40 times the talent that Beck was. If I could, I’d edit these clips together to contrast them without clicking back and forth, but why don’t you try it by clicking on them alternately.

There are so many great clips of Bishop Sheen on YouTube. I don’t agree with him a lot, but at least I found the well of talent from which Glenn Beck has siphoned his entire act. Really, Sheen is fun to watch. He’s like Beck, without the paranoia or douche chills. Well… maybe some of the paranoia… You don’t have to watch it, but you can always enjoy the rest of the Two Wars sermon. I’ve embedded it below.

Anyway, for the record:

  








Iconoclast








Hack












Sunday, January 3, 2010

Coming Attractions: The Future of Ill Will


Over the course of the next several weeks, I will be engaged in two separate and unrelated series of articles.  Because I cannot concentrate on one subject, I will be alternating between the two which I believe are entirely unrelated. 


1. They Don’t Make ‘em Like They Used To
On the Sundance Channel, there was a show called “Iconoclasts” in which a camera crew followed around a movie star/celebrity, who followed around an older movie star/celebrity that inspired the former movie star/celebrity.    Robert Redford followed Paul Newman, Rene Zellweger followed Christine Amanpour, and Ren followed Stimpy.  I’ve never seen the show and I’m not even clear if the show is still on TV. 
What I am starting is something quite different.  We are all influenced by people we’ve seen or read about, or by people who have told us about someone they’ve seen or read about.  There’s no getting around it.  Every one of us is a copy of a copy of a copy, diluted and combined with other impressions from other copies.  Sometimes we resemble our progenitors greatly and sometimes we resemble our progenitors waaaaay too greatly.  Basically, sometimes we emulate naturally and sometimes we steal.
I may be stealing the concept of “Iconoclasts” from the Sundance Channel, but I believe I’ll be making it more interesting.   The “Iconoclasts” of the previous generation will be contrasted with the, for lack of a better term, “Hacks” of our generation.  Every article will focus on current persons and how they have stolen, misused and misunderstood the people they endeavor to emulate, and/or the people they hope we don’t remember.
For example, there is a famous Radio/TV talk show host on Fox News who may be actually stealing show biz concepts from a Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York who died thirty years ago.  Can you see where this is going?
If you have any ideas for subjects, I’m game.  Send ‘em on over. 


2. Stealing Can Be Fun!
In this period of economic recession/depression/free-falling panic, we all need some help.  Most of us seek help through the power of God, alcohol or meaningless sex.  The rest of us know better – we seek money.
You may be tempted to steal a Mars Bar at the 7-11 or a nice sweater from Lord & Taylor.  You may pad your expense account or be so bold as to take some cash right from the till.  Well, that’s chump change.  You ought to know better.  You ought to know how to steal… for real.
There are many large corporations that cannot account for all of their funds at a specific point in time.  Those who embezzle funds from their companies, large and small, are usually caught.  After all, if you’re stealing AND counting on that pension to get you through your old age, you’re probably stretching yourself a little thin.   Never mind that, these days most companies don’t have the cash for you to steal, and they’re looking for any reason to can you like a dollop of bad bisque.
You need to start thinking bigger, as in bigger government.  What better company to steal from than the company that steals from you?  And they print their own money!  Name another company that does that.
You can take advantage of so many departments and programs, and the last administration worked so tirelessly to rid the government of any of those pesky oversight positions.  Now, with the latest stimulus cash infusion, it’s time to reap that sinful apple from the overflowing tree of institutional incompetence. 
There used to be a guy in glasses dressed in a book costume who sold you a pamphlet that listed all kinds of government programs.  I killed that guy.  He’s dead.  I burned his costume and donated his glasses to the poor.  All he did was sell you a pamphlet.  That won’t tell you anything.
Every article here will be a step-by-step instructional manual featuring the many ways to strip, defraud, bamboozle, drain, and shanghai local, state and federal government funds.  I hope the articles amuse you as they fill your pockets up with cash. 
*             *             *
I know you’re going to love these series – all six of you.  If you do, tell your friends.  If not, tell NO ONE.