Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hu's on first

There's an Abbott and Costello routine here somewhere...

Condoleeza: These foreign leaders have some strange names. For example, Hu is the president of China.

George: Who is?

Condoleeza: That's right!

Ok, this guy is 64 years old and doesn't have a gray hair on his head? None of those communist party guys seem to ever go gray.

I wonder, do they all dye their hair secretly and and deny it to each other or is it some sort of despot bonding activity?

"Hey, Zhang, I'd love to talk some more about oppressing Tibet but I need to go touch up my roots, wanna come with?"

I've dyed my hair black before, it is not a simple procedure. Next time you see one of these Chinese leaders, consider that they're spending at least an hour in the bathroom each week with a plastic cap on their head and black goo dribbling down their ears.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Harrison Ford v1.0

Imagine my surprise on seeing this credit in the Lon Chaney movie "Shadows" (1922).

It seems Harrison Ford was a successful leading man, appearing in 80+ films through the silent era.

He's not bad. He has a star on Hollywood Boulevard that is probably often mistaken for the star of the replicant Harrison Ford.

Here's Lon Chaney in the same movie playing "Yen Sin", a Chinese laundryman.

There had been several notoriously negative portrayals of chinese immigrants in movies at that time. "Shadows" may have been an attempt to counter the stereotypes, but I suspect it was concocted just as much to see how far out Chaney could go in his appearance.

It's only somewhat more convincing a transformation than, say, blackface on Al Jolson, but Chaney creates a great character none-the-less and "Shadows" turns out to be a pretty good film.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Making it with Music

It isn't easy selling classical music. It's not unheard-of for sales of a CD by a major orchestra to only get to the double digits. So when I see this... only surprise is that it wasn't "shagging".

It seems RCA has also released "Bedroom Bliss with Beethoven" and "Making Out to Mozart" CDs.

(Cover art apparently drawn by someone who has no has no first-hand knowledge of the human spine)

"Handel for Handjobs" and "Porking to Paganini" can't be far off.

But what ever will they do with Fauré?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Land of Opportunity

Proof, once again, that in America any boy or girl, no matter what his or her background, can one day grow up to dress like a used car salesman.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Wiring, schmiring...

It turns out the Kuwaiti company building the US embassy in Iraq has been doing shoddy, overpriced work and possibly using forced labor to do it.

Even sprinkler systems fail at U.S. embassy in Baghdad

...The previously undisclosed problem in the $592 million project was discovered several weeks ago when the fire-safety systems were tested and pipe joints burst...

...In May, when kitchen facilities at a guard camp that is part of the embassy complex were tested, the electrical system malfunctioned and wires melted. A subsequent inquiry showed that First Kuwaiti had used counterfeit electrical wiring that did not meet specifications...

...allegations that First Kuwaiti abused foreign workers and illegally brought some workers to Iraq against their will

I thought that's what we were paying Halliburton for!

Although $592 million for an embassy sounds like a lot, that's a bargain compared to $500 million for the W monument to be built here in Dallas. But maybe the George Bush Library needs blast-proof walls too.

Our embassy better have a helicopter pad on the roof. It's going to come to that...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Making the Band

From the "well, duh!" desk in the newsroom of Vanity Fair magazine comes this report that Lou Pearlman, producer of most of the big boy bands of the 90's may have had his hand on more than just the audio mixing board in the control room.

I'm sure Michael Jackson is slapping his forehead now saying, "Boy bands! Why didn't I think of that?!?"

Something that has not been properly studied in either of these situations is... WHAT were the parents thinking when they delivered their sons to spend the weekend at these gentlemen's homes?