token “OMG CHANGES” update that is taking the place of actual content

now, what seems to have happened to our dear old house of hate was that either someone (possibly me) fucked up the site, or at least enough of it to make everything go CRAZY, or my hosting company (who shall remain nameless, because they MIGHT be responsible, but they were also very nice in dealing with my CONFUSION) fucked up the site … and so the end result has been a lot of software repair and database updating and on and on.

so what i’m going to do is take advantage of the fact that everything went haywire on me to do the following:

01. get feedback from anyone (as in, no one) who has a comment or advice regarding the site’s design/colors/the like;
02. take advantage of all this to compensate for the fact that we’re running about a week behind right now by throwing this update out there as an “actual update” and then getting us caught up ASAP with an ACTUAL update at some point;

seriously, though, while i know no one is actually reading this, i WOULD like a little input if there’s any to offer, since my former theme and whatever work i did to customize it just got tossed. now, i don’t want to leave you with NO CONTENT here, so… how about a top-10 comedy bit of all time that perhaps, ever so slightly, foreshadows the upcoming update?

sometimes janklow finds motion pictures of absolutely no consequence make him VERY EMOTIONAL

sometimes i like to take a terrible film that’s SO RIDICULOUS and do the whole “running diary” thing (and believe me, i am sincerely overdue on my Zardoz running diary, this i know)… and sometimes i like to find something inconsequential and get totally worked up over it… but sometimes, i like to combine the two into some kind of weird mash-up and go from there. and as i have often been told that my ridiculous ideas are the best of them…


frankly, the “2010 crime film directed by John Luessenhop” known as Takers deserves neither a) appreciation of any sort or b) the type of energy required for a running diary. and have you not noticed that in the latter case, i generally have a grudging respect for those films? i tend to own them all, you know. and is this sort of picking on an easy target? well, maybe…but then you don’t tend to rip on movies that aren’t filled with garbage. but enough of this build-up!


well, what are we waiting for? also, SPOILERS AHOY.

so i think the concept for this movie was “get me Idris Elba, and then surround with as many douchebags as you can.” although i actually do enjoy TI in the movies, so that’s a little unfair

01. the audacity of Takers trying to out-Heat Heat
let me start with what is perhaps my biggest issue: i am 99.4% certain Luessenhop was trying to make his version of Heat here, only cooler. the two major reasons:

–both feature a flashy ensemble cast, if you will allow me to demonstrate:

Takers: Michael Ealy, Chris Brown, Hayden Christensen, Paul Walker, Idris Elba, T.I., Matt Dillon, Jay Hernandez and Zoe Saldana;
Heat: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, Danny Trejo, Jon Voight, Amy Brenneman, Ashley Judd, Mykelti Williamson, Wes Studi, Ted Levine, Dennis Haysbert, William Fichtner, Tom Noonan, Hank Azaria, Henry Rollins, Jeremy Piven and fuck it, Tone Loc.

now, does Takers absolutely pale when compared to the murderer’s row of leads and supporting actors in Heat? ABSOLUTELY. but consider this sad, sad fact: the Takers list is probably putting more asses in the seats. i love Trejo and Studi and Levine to death, but absolutely no one but me gives a shit, so i can see a studio executive sees no difference between the two lists. although i totally grant that Saldana is an upgrade over Brenneman here.

–both feature a mysterious set of similarities: both feature awesome (and somewhat flashy) robbery crews, perhaps even to the point of similar wardrobes, although Takers mistakes “acting bad-ass” for Heat’s ruthless efficiency; both are pursued by a detective with daughter issues at home; said pursuing detective talks about shaped charges and degrees of difficulty; both have a flashy armored car robbery; both have robbers being chased throughout the city with their massive satchels filled with money (although while Heat had robbers toting what could have been bags filled with cash, the one carried during a chase scene in Takers clearly weighs NOTHING); the list goes on and on. now, i grant you that some of these things are not THAT unique –in fairness, almost every movie involving a heist HAS to have a flashy one– but they make me suspicious in light of the ensemble cast. Takers only really lacks the “hey, we got Pacino and De Niro together at last” thing.

now, to quote everyone’s favorite show about scenic Baltimore, when you come at the king, you best not miss. Takers, however, mistakes the only way actually out-Heat Heat –making a very similar movie with an even higher level of craft and/or material– with “well, let’s TRY to do the same thing, but even flashier.” so instead of an ambulance getaway, we get a HELICOPTER getaway. instead of camera work that highlights the reality of the robberies, we get camera work going above and beyond to make everything COOL.

02. Idris Elba’s British accent in the opening robbery
so our flashy crew is robbing a bank in their not-at-all-like-Heat suits and body armor, and Elba starts to give the crowd the De-Niro-style lines about “we’re not here to hurt you” and “don’t look at me” and all the rest … and all the while, he’s using a British accent. one of the ridiculous police officers even references it later.

now, i grant you that what passes for characterization in this film is that Elba is the British one, but here’s the thing: don’t you think a member of a high-speed robbery crew who presumably doesn’t want to get caught would AVOID an identifying trait like “obviously British accent?” especially when you consider that Brits are generally renowned for their ability to adopt other accents… AND especially considering that Elba HAS dropped his British accent for an American one on many occasions, such as in the aforementioned Wire. hell, have him drop the accent ONLY during the robbery.

03. TI’s recovery of his stashed firearm and money
so we’re supposed to see how TI’s character hits the ground running by IMMEDIATELY scoring a pistol and some cash from where he’s stashed them away years ago. i have some problems with this: one, why is it that you ALWAYS see people collecting these stashes, but never setting them up for the future? hopefully he’ll die by the end of this film so that he won’t need that again! and two, really, not one single crackhead randomly found this by now?

also… tucking a pistol into the back of your pants when said jeans are clearly sagged almost beyond recognition? does that even work? i have no admit it might (this is not how i wear my jeans OR how i carry my guns), so i don’t want to make this a full-on complaint, but i have a feeling i am being sold a bill of goods here.

Chris Brown
Chris Brown, seen here giving Sean Penn a sincere challenge for the “most punchable face in America” title

04. Chris Brown, period
one of the curses of a film with an ensemble cast full of “stars” is that you inevitably find one or two who are very famous (at the time at least) and who are clearly included ONLY because they are famous and DESPITE the fact that they are guaranteed to produce a performance that makes me want to gouge my eyes out; in Takers, we have Chris Brown filling this role.

now sometimes that non-acting star is making an effort and we have to admit, “well, he’s TERRIBLE, but we can tell he’s really making an effort, god bless him,” and sometimes, what the hell, the whole concept actually works… but, here, no, Chris Brown overacts in a manner that tells me his position was essentially, “sure, i’ll lower myself to accept a six-to-seven figure salary to appear in your film, but only as long as i am a totally sexy, totally cool bad-ass the entire time!” every time he speaks –hell, every time i see him on screen– my only thought is “why isn’t someone shooting him in the face RIGHT FUCKING NOW?!”

seriously, though, i find his voice incredibly annoying; when i hear it, i find myself considering the merits of suicide.

also, if the fact that he’s a terrible actor who should be kept away from films with a team of attack dogs does not bother you because he’s just SO CUTE or releases photos of himself naked with his junk out or whatever, and you’re thinking, “well, he’s in the film to bring in women viewers” … please remember that this IS a post-woman-beating Chris Brown we’re talking about here, so that shouldn’t work, right? right? i think there’s some gender-based commentary there.

counterpoint: Chris Brown’s character is VERY annoying, so maybe this is all intentional? and it’s a masterful job casting someone who cannot help but be annoying? counter-counterpoint: there is absolutely NO WAY that the writers of Takers are that fucking clever.

05. showing me Paul Walker’s naked ass
is the demographic you’re trying to get into the theaters for this film NOT turbo-masculine men who don’t really care much for Paul Walker’s naked ass? because i don’t think they found that any more necessary that i do. plus, we already have Chris Brown in this movie to attract the ladies, making the

06. the stupid fucking money launderer scene
this is another good example of the out-Heating Heat concept. now, you may remember that a subplot in Heat involves them trying to make a little extra money by selling stolen bonds to a money launderer; note, however, that this is an idea floated to De Niro by their fence, and there’s no pretension of these guys being knowledgeable of that aspect of crime (or even that level of finance): everything’s suggested by Jon Voight and expressed in basic terms.

in Takers, however, i get treated to a scene wherein i’m expected to believe EVERY MEMBER OF THIS CREW is spouting financial jargon with a mastery of the topic and advising the money launderer as to what he should do. do you know why armed robbers pay guys to launder money for them? because they’re NOT masters of the topic. would you, as a robber, really want to trust your money to someone who listens to what YOU say to do with the money?

and then, to add insult to injury, i’m force-fed the notion that our robbers are heroes because 10% of the money they rob “goes to the usual charities.” look, i’m watching the movie through their perspectives and we all love anti-heroes in America. you don’t need to try so hard, Luessenhop!

07. this film replacing “professionalism” with “coolness”
now, there is one thing this movie COULD have stolen from Heat: the notion that a scene where a crew of high-speed, distinctive armed robbers would be immediately hanging out in public showing off incredibly expensive cars and other luxury goods is RIDICULOUS.

i suppose you could assume that these guys are unknown to the authorities (and it certainly seems that way), because if they weren’t, you’d see police having a vague knowledge of their activities… but then i remember that one of the characters (TI) has recently been released from prison after serving time for armed robbery… and having been caught in the aftermath of a robbery as part of a crew that remains uncaught. unfortunately, if you have highly-skilled robbers act like act skilled robbers, they don’t get to act REALLY COOL for the cameras.

then again, this IS a heist movie wherein the most clever member of the team (Paul Walker), who is supposedly known for meticulous planning, says things like “bet big, win big” as being the only way to operate, so it might just be more effective to overlook all the logical inconsistencies and just assume this is the single luckiest band of criminals of all time.

Hayden Christensen, unfortunately not dying
don’t worry, everyone: that tiny little man will easily beat up that team of goons in hand-to-hand combat

08. making tiny men too physically potent
early in this film, TI effortlessly hurls a Russian gunman to the ground; later on, Hayden Christensen beats up something like one hundred goons in an office when he goes to buy some plastic explosive. now, i have often railed against the concept of making tiny, 95-pound women into these wrecking machines that toss huge men around, so let me be fair and do the same thing when 95-pound men are beating up everything in sight: no. just no. stop it.

i should also note that in Christensen’s case, it’s clearly not presented as a case where his technical fighting skills overpower his assailants, but one where his tiny frame absorbs a sincere beating while bashing a TEAM of men who are all twice his size into submission.

now, i grant you that much of my “curse you, tiny women” ranting is based in pure sexism, but that should also make it matter that much more how FURIOUS this tiny man nonsense makes me. and as a member of Team Tiny Dudes, it think we all now how much it hurts me to rail against their actions. still… it must be done.

09. TI’s armored car “play-by-play”
so we finally get to the big heist we’ve been promised (the one that TI wanted to be done in the style of the Italian Job, which is the kind of planning no robber you’re supposed to believe is real would EVER make)… and TI ends up doing this ridiculous “let me overreact to everything that’s occurring” running monologue during the entire thing. it’s fucking annoying because he’s literally just telling me THE THINGS I AM WATCHING OCCUR ON SCREEN. it’s not necessary. it adds absolutely nothing to this film, unless you think the sound of TI talking makes everything better.

you know how in fiction, people say things like “show, don’t tell?” this concept also applies to movies.

note: during the armored car heist, you can see the “coolness, not professionalism” thing come out again as Luessenhop tries for his own large-scale streets-of-LA shootout; the difference being, of course, that Heat’s is an all-time classic and Takers’… well, it’s not.

10. this consistently uneven characterization that keeps occurring
okay, so we have two cops (Matt Dillon and Jay Hernandez), with the former getting a TON of screen time for his father issues and the latter almost none, despite being a dirty cop forced into it by his financial situation.. we have two masterminds (Idris Elba and Paul Walker), with the former having an incredibly amount of time devoted to his drug-addicted sister’s problems and the latter having… nothing. i think all we know about him is that he likes what is supposedly excellent Scotch.

now, Takers really moves too fast (and is too poorly constructed) for such character studies that have NO BEARING on the plot to be taking up space in this film; honestly, it really would have been better to scale back Elba and Dillon and use that extra time for making the robbery crew seem more competent and less like a band of teenage girls posing in their latest outfits.

also, speaking of characterization: Michael Ealy has some sort of a romantic sub-plot in this film. we didn’t need that either.

Hayden Christensen, hopefully dying
you are correct if you assumed that this dramatic death is as incredibly lame as it looks

11. shitty dramatic death shootout

after the inevitable betrayal by TI, there’s a shootout in the hotel where the Russians he fucked over first run into the robbery crew he’s fucked over second. this is almost –ALMOST– an interesting concept, and it’s definitely a good scenario for a shootout, but it gets ruined by this over-dramatized, lame-to-the-bone shootout, featuring problems like:

–everyone being incredibly excited pre-shootout because Chris Brown shot a cop, despite the fact that this crew of criminals was just SHOOTING IT OUT IN BROAD DAYLIGHT WITH AUTOMATIC WEAPONS AROUND ARMORED TRUCKS;
–said shootout starting with Hayden Christensen being shot in the chest/stomach with a shotgun through a door, an injury that only hinders him when it’s dramatic and that appears to cause no visible injury;
–in fact, the notion that several people are shot almost point-blank with shotguns, a wound that causes neither blood nor damage to anyone’s clothing;
–an INCREDIBLE overuse of slow-motion and people shooting locks with pistols;
–a slow-motion, John-Woo-style leap into a dramatic death by Christensen over very loud, “deep” music, which is as terrible as it sounds;
–Russians shooting through walls as a team as opposed to looking for a target to shoot at.

it’s really, really fucking bad. and just when you thought that was the worst shootout…

12. shitty dramatic death shootout REDUX

so now Michael Ealy and Chris Brown are SO SAD after the events of the film that they have to die; if only we’d gotten some back story on them, their crushing depression might make more sense (although they do find Ealy’s girlfriend dead on a bar for some reason, so i suppose that romantic sub-plot was of SOME use). anyway, the house where they find their dead Zoe Saldana and their money stolen is surrounded by the police … so they wade out the front door in the same damn slow-motion to the same damn dramatic music and die in what is supposed to be a hail of gunfire, but which ACTUALLY seems to be “the awesome power of a very bright light.”

all that being said, this scene has a ton of shots of Ealy’s grotesquely-crying face in close-up, so he HAD to die after making me gaze upon that.

also… why did Ealy and Brown dramatically tuck pistols into the back of their pants when they intended to march out to their immediate deaths? did they HAVE to favor coolness over professionalism to the bitter end?

13. Stephen King’s review?
finally, let me point out that Wikipedia tells us that while “Takers received negative reviews from critics, garnering a 30%, or 4.5/10 rating, on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes” and the like, it ALSO added that “Stephen King, in his end of the year Entertainment Weekly column, listed it at #5 of his best films of 2010.”

so i guess what i am saying is that Takers made Stephen King go insane. and THAT i don’t like.

so that’ll do it for this week; i hope none of you make the same mistake i did and watch Takers. maybe next week will contain some actual comedy? maybe?

the update where i oppose society’s long-standing policy of “respect for horses”

one of these days, i’m going to stop this thing where i bring up some old story from 2011 or so and treat it like current news people still care about. however, when i say “one of these days,” i don’t mean this week, because i am relying on at least one of those kinds of stories for a good portion of this week’s update. so it goes!

British police, doing what they do
see, if you ask me, it’s the suspicious hats and gang-colored jackets that make them look like burglars

CCTV police officer ‘chased himself’ after being mistaken for burglar

frankly, there isn’t really much way to put a positive spin on that title… so we’re just going to have to go right into making fun of British people:

“The junior officer, who has not been named, was monitoring an area hit by a series of burglaries in an unnamed market town in the country’s south. As the probationary officer from Sussex Police searched for suspects, the camera operator radioed that he had seen someone “acting suspiciously” in the area. But he failed to realise that it was actually the plain-clothed officer he was watching on the screen, according to details leaked to an industry magazine.”

but don’t worry, disarmed Britons: this is the crack force of men keeping you safe from British crime, which i largely believe to be composed of comical gangsters with fun accents and hooligans out knocking over dustbins in Shaftesbury. on the off-chance it’s not, i suppose you ought to be concerned. but alright, let’s get serious here: why did they not recognize the officer? or failing that, why did they not at least mention the DESCRIPTION of the suspect to the officer, so that he might recognize himself?

“The operator directed the officer, who was on foot patrol, as he followed the “suspect” on camera last month, telling his colleague on the ground that he was “hot on his heels”. The officer spent around 20 minutes giving chase before a sergeant came into the CCTV control room, recognised the “suspect” and laughed hysterically at the mistake.”

these things always work out best when the result is some salty old guy (and it’s always a sergeant or some similar “salty old guy” rank) laughing uproariously at the general foolishness of youth. if it was me, i might have been willing to to step it up a notch:

officer janklow: hey, what are you doing in here? (recognizes undercover officer) wait, he is following someone?
junior officer: yeah, see that guy acting suspiciously? i’m trying to lead our man on the ground to him!
officer janklow: wait… judging by the shadows, i bet he’s right behind our colleague! tell him to spin around as fast as he can and start shooting his gun as fast as possible!

this is probably why a) i am not a police officer in Britain and b) British cops don’t always carry guns. both of these things are really for the best, you see.

“The details of the operation blunder were leaked to Police magazine, which is published by the Police Federation, this week by a senior officer who witnessed the embarrassing incident. Sussex police were unable to provide further details of the incident, the officers involved or where it occurred.”

i think the word you’re looking for there is not unable, but “unwilling,” because i suspect Sussex police would be denying the story outright if there was no truth to it. maybe i’m wrong and/or desperate to mock British people on the internet, but that’s how i feel about it.

“The anonymous officer, believed to be the PC’s sergeant-“


“-told the monthly magazine: “An officer who joined a team in Sussex as a new probationary officer was soon very keen to do any plain-clothes operations and be as proactive as possible. … On one such occasion in a little market town in Sussex which has suffered a spate of town centre shop break-ins, officers were on plain-clothed foot patrol when a report was received of a suspect male in one of the side roads. The CCTV operator soon had the suspect on camera and everywhere he saw the male the keen PC was on his heels – radioing in to say he was in the same street … Every time the man darted in to another side alleyway, the PC was turning immediately into the same alleyway, but every time the CCTV operator asked what he could see there was no trace.””

so again, i understand the excitable of the young officer, and i understand the disconnect between what the scene looks like and what the video looks like … but doesn’t this depiction sound like a situation where after two or three alleyways, the officer on the scene should realize SOMETHING was going incredibly wrong with the hunt for crime? you’re rushing into street after street without catching the guy you’re RIGHT on top of? although i am now having a flashback to that article about “barring high IQs for cops”…

“On Tuesday night a spokesman for the force, which has about 3000 officers, could not provide any further details on the operation due to a lack of information. He added: “Policing is often a serious business, so we all enjoy moments of light relief.”

“he went on to add that “usually, we get our relief from beating suspects unmercifully, but in this case-” before being cut off by several officers who realized that, while beating an unarmed suspect is incredible fun, you’re still not supposed to talk about it in front of the media.” that said, i am glad the officers got their moments of light relief; hopefully it didn’t result it too many burglaries.

Marvin Potter/Jamie Curd
yes, we also keep it classy down in Tennessee

sheriff: Facebook spat led to 2 shooting deaths

now, look, i am often counseling people not to take the internet so seriously. yes, yes, i know: it is the home of 100% SERIOUS BUSINESS. this, however, does not mean that you have to take your hurt feelings –or whatever other emotions the internet engenders in you, as i know people also use it for things like “watching ladies have sex with animals”– and take them off the internet with you. here we present a cautionary tale:

“A father who was upset after a Tennessee couple-“

oh, and did you think this was going to be another Kentucky story? i totally did. you know i love those things!

“-deleted his adult daughter as a friend on Facebook has been charged in the shooting deaths of the couple, authorities said Wednesday.”

you know, i’m trying to think of a way to sarcastically justify this… and i just can’t do it. they unfriended you… so you teach them this was a mistake by shooting them? if i was shot for such a reason, my dying words would be “this… totally justifies… removing you as an internet friend.”

“The victims had complained to police that Marvin’s Potter’s daughter was harassing them after they deleted her as a friend on the social networking site, Johnson County Sheriff Mike Reece said Wednesday.”

now, in fairness, i think i can see why the police did nothing about this: it’s completely fucking ridiculous to kill someone for such a reason. can you imagine someone coming into your office and, with a straight face, telling you that they’re being harassed because they unfriended someone on Facebook?

random sad civilian: yeah, we’re being harassed by this woman we know! she’s crazy!
officer janklow: okay, let me get out my serious police typewriter. so what’s the history between you guys?
random sad civilian: well, she’s furious with us because we deleted her as a friend on a social networking site!
officer janklow: …alright, get the fuck out of my office.

“Potter, 60, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in last week’s slayings of Billy Payne Jr. and his girlfriend, Billie Jean Hayworth. The couple was shot to death in their Mountain City home in the far northeast corner of the state. Their 8-month-old baby was found unharmed in Hayworth’s arms. “It’s a senseless thing,” the sheriff said.”

we won’t touch on the part where the girlfriend was shot WHILE HOLDING THE BABY because while i would hope that someone would think twice before shooting someone who was currently holding a baby… i would also hope people wouldn’t get shot for unfriending people on Facebook. so i think it’s fairly clear that scientists developed the internet in the 1960s (with help from Al Gore, of course) for the express purpose of crushing my hopes.

“Authorities have been involved other cases where Potter’s daughter, Jenelle Potter, believed she had been slighted by someone.”

okay, remember that part where i could understand why the police didn’t take this seriously? NEVER MIND. especially because i imagine this is not the first time it’s been for a nonsense reason. frankly, police officers, this is the reason you demand sweeping powers and access to all sorts of information: to prevent criminals who you expect to re-offend from said re-offending. well, it’s not really the REASON for said powers and access, but it’s what you guys told me.

finally, let me close out the week (or blatantly fill space, whatever), with a little gloating:

British police, doing what they do
there’s a solid chance my sibling is going to punch my kidneys when she sees this part of the weekly update

horse slaughterhouses may reopen after five year ban

like the Kim Jong-Il story, this is ancient news at this point, but i imagine not many people really care very much? reopening horse slaughterhouses? what does this mean?

“Horses can now legally be butchered for human consumption in the U.S. after Congress lifted a ban on funding horse processing inspections this month.”

or, in other words, finally i can have my revenge on those long-faced, metal-footed bastards who have been pushing me around for years! although i have to admit, it has been a very long time since a horse was actively giving me static. but i can hold a grudge!

“The likelihood of Americans dining on horses, however is slight since there is no culture of eating horse meat in this country, they are revered as pets and many states have strict controls on horse meat. California and Illinois have laws banning the consumption of horse meat.”

awww, man… also, i note that it is completely unsurprising that California and Illinois are among the champions of anti-horse-eating lameness. revered as pets? i mean, i know ladies think horses are great, but it’s not like a dog or a cat. there’s a sincerely higher level of care (and money) required.

“Animal welfare advocates pushed for the ban when it passed five years ago, but horse industry advocates and the Government Accountability Office say the ban had a slew of unintended consequences: More horses were left abandoned when owners could no longer afford to keep them or use them for work; owners who wanted to sell their horses for slaughter were forced to have them shipped to Canada or Mexico, where slaughtering is legal; and horse prices became depressed in the United States, according to a report released by the GOA in June.”

further evidence that Canada is awesome! i’m not entirely sure why horse prices were depressed, though, because you’d think that the ones keep the prices high would be high-end, well-bred animals not directly competing with the kind of horses you’d typically eat.

“The last horse slaughterhouse in America closed in 2007 in Illinois-“

which, after what i just read, is ironic.

“-just months before the economic recession hit the country, according to the Associated Press. In the years since, horse abandonment and export has grown significantly, according to the GAO report.”

so granted, i know they’re trying to claim that the recession has filled America with abandoned, starving horses just begging for death, but i choose to assume this writer is claiming the cessation of horse-eating is what crippled our economy. it’s what i personally believe, anyway.

“In Colorado, for example, data showed that investigations for horse neglect and abuse increased more than 60 percent, from 975 in 2005 to almost 1,600 in 2009, the report said.”

or, in other words, not only did the recession make it impossible to feed and care for all these horses, it also made us so furious that we had to beat the shit out of all the horses we could get our hands on!

“According to one advocate, the ban also forced the bottom to drop out of the horse industry entirely. “It’s basic economics,” said David Duquette, president of United Horsemen, which advocated for lifting the ban. “Horses used to be a $102 billion a year industry, with at least 500,000 direct jobs in horse industry. That’s been cut in half.””

okay, granted, i am not an expert in economics (or even basic economics), but if the recession filled the market with a glut of horses, then how does the BAN cause the bottom to drop out? i can see how horse-slaughtering would be good in general, as well as in response to a recession… but to claim the ban cost 250000 jobs while simultaneously claiming tons of damage from the recession? a little much.

“Now, advocates say that the $62 million-a-year slaughter industry could be back up and running in as little as 30 to 90 days.”

note: i am one of those advocates.

“Opponents of the measure say that they will fight any meat processing plants that open in the coming months. “If plants open up in Oklahoma or Nebraska, you’ll see controversy, litigation, legislative action and basically a very inhospitable environment to operate,” Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of The Humane Society of the United States, told the Associated Press. “Local opposition will emerge and you’ll have tremendous controversy over slaughtering Trigger and Mr. Ed.”

let me just say this in response: fuck Mr. Ed. i saw on television that he was a racist, anyway.

“dressing psychiatrists like wizards on the witness stand”

originally, i thought i had a three-week streak of RANTS RANTS RANTS going, but then i remembered that i shoehorned that listicle in there… and then i remembered that a three-week streak of RANTS RANTS RANTS probably actually plays to what the illustrious Smiles would refer to as “my strengths,” which, aside from customizing Clark Wallabees and long-dicking wildflowers and breaking their ovaries, happens to be flipping out with rage and hoping it works its way into a joke or two. so let’s try that out…

Eddie Long ... wrapped in a Torah for some reason
that is correct: i too have no idea why they’re wrapping a sexual predator in a religious tome

Jewish leaders call Eddie Long’s Torah ceremony ‘disrespectful’

so i turn on my internet news and catch the headline of “bishop Eddie Long crowned ‘king’,” with this being the same Eddie Long you might remember from running a possibly shady mega-church (as in, i think all mega-churches are shady) and being accused of coercing a string of young men into sexual relationships, and i say to myself, “what can this possibly be about?” then i found this article ripping the event, so let’s get right into it:

“A ceremony held Sunday at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, in which Bishop Eddie Long was wrapped in a sacred Torah scroll and carried upon a throne, has the Internet abuzz and Jewish religious leaders offended and questioning its appropriateness.”

yes, i would have to say, even knowing nothing else about this, that this ceremony is absolutely offensive and inappropriate… and i am not even factoring in the part where he convinced a bunch of teenage boys to let him violate them sexually before he was wrapped in a sacred Jewish text and named a king? wait, was he named a king? because i didn’t see-

“”He’s a king. God has blessed him,” said Rabbi Ralph Messer before covering Long in a scroll “[that] may still have the dust of Auschwitz and Birkenau.” Messer referred to the Nazi extermination camps in Poland where millions of Jews were murdered during the Holocaust. A Torah’s use in a ceremony ordaining Long as “a king” is offensive to many Jews, said Bill Nigut, Southeast Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League.”

ah, okay, there we go. and we already have questions!

01. why is a rabbi naming a Christian a king as opposed to, say, someone Jewish? could it possibly be because this Ralph Messer is actually one of those not-exactly-Jewish “Jews For Jesus” kind of guys? because it doesn’t make this any less INSANE, but it does make a little more sense;
02. what’s the deal with the reference to the Holocaust? has Long been oppressed in a fashion equivalent to those Jews? i suspect we will revisit this;
03. what’s actually more offensive: the use of the Torah in a ceremony ordaining Long as “a king” or the Holocaust reference? the answer is actually “this whole damn mess.”

“The ceremony at Long’s Lithonia church, viewed more than 139,000 times on YouTube, “in no way represents any Jewish ritual that I’m familiar with,” Nigut said. “We do not proclaim individuals to be kings.””

i don’t mean to laugh at Nigut’s suffering, but i have to be honest: the BEST thing about any story like this is the part where the serious guy (Nigut) is being forced to field serious questions about some insane bullshit (whatever Messer and Long cooked up) like an adult. you can tell they’re straining against the desire to flip out completely and trash things (say, Long’s mega-church) with a cricket bat until they feel better.

“Messer said his parchment, a handwritten copy of the holiest book within Judaism, was 312 years old. His mention of Auschwitz-Birkenau implied the scroll was one of those recovered from the death camps when they were liberated by the Allies toward the end of World War II. It’s impossible to authenticate Messer’s claim without examining the texts up close, said Rabbi Joshua Heller of Congregation B’nai Torah in Sandy Springs. While rare, Torahs can be easily purchased, even on eBay, he said. “There are a fair number of Torah scrolls that survived the war,” said Heller, adding roughly 1,500 were rescued from Czechoslovakia alone.”

note: if thousands of objects exist, those objects are not “rare.” now, a Torah that survived World War II might be rare, but Torahs alone, and especially those found for sale on eBay, are PROBABLY not. and as for the notion of this particular Torah having survived the war? well, let me turn back to that original headline:

“Norry … also doubts that the Torah that Long was wrapped in is actually 312 years old, and had somehow escaped detection in a concentration camp. “The Torah is the size of a person. It’s not like you can hide one,” he said.”

because as we all know, it’s not like the Nazis took wiping out Jewish things SERIOUSLY or anything like that. but i am pretty sure that Messer probably verified the Torah’s history, right?

“Messer’s son, Minister Russell Messer of Simchat Torah Beit Midrash in Parker, Colo., said his father purchased the parchment and relied on the word of its seller regarding its provenance. “It came through that generation of Europe,” the younger Messer said.”

oh, it came through that generation of Europe? never mind, that sounds totally legitimate!

“More disturbing was the use of this particular Torah in an inappropriate setting, experts on religion say. “The connection of the Torah scroll to the Holocaust and then to Eddie Long is incomprehensible to me,” said David P. Gushee, a professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University. Gushee is a scholar of the Holocaust and has visited Auschwitz several times. “What was the point? Was it to signal that Eddie Long was suffering persecution like the Jews at Auschwitz?” Gushee asked.”

well, Gushee, i think i already made this point, but yes, exactly. what was this supposed to mean? because i happen to know people have already fawned over Long for years without it being a requirement that he be compared to millions of murdered Jews. that just seems a little tacky, you know?

“When asked for comment about the event, New Birth emailed a statement Thursday in which Ralph Messer said critics misunderstood his intent. “My message was about restoring a man and to encourage his walk in the Lord,” Messer said. “It was not to make Bishop Eddie L. Long a king.””

“…which is why i wrapped him in a Torah and declared him to be a king!”

“Ralph Messer, according to a biography on his organization’s website, is “pioneering a work to bring the ‘Good News’ of Yeshua (Jesus Christ) in the Torah to the ends of the Earth.” He is active in the Messianic Judaism movement, which fuses evangelical Christian beliefs with elements of Jewish tradition.”

or in other words, Messer is not Jewish. he’s at best one of those “Jews For Jesus” type of guys, which you might recall as “a conservative, Christian evangelical organization that focuses on the conversion of Jews to Christianity” containing members that “consider themselves to be Jews.” now, this may seem like a grey area to some, so i am going to go ahead and make a ruling: THEY’RE NOT JEWS. and Messer is not so much a rabbi capable of crowning a child molester a king as much as he is a crazy asshole. and if you had any doubt about this…

“Messer’s biography says he has ties with prominent evangelicals including the Rev. Kenneth Copeland of Lubbock, Texas, and Paula White, pastor of a charismatic mega-church based in Florida. It says he has made frequent appearances on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.”

which raises the further question of “has Messer wrapped Kenneth Copeland in a fake Jewish artifact and declared him to be an emperor or queen or anything yet, or is he waiting for Copeland to be caught fucking a dog on a pile of embezzled cash before he does that ceremony?”

“In his statement Thursday, Ralph Messer said Sunday’s presentation “was simply a way of bringing honor to a man who had given his life to the Lord and had given so much to his church, the Atlanta metro area and throughout the world.” “Lifting him on the chair was to acknowledge and honor him,” he said, adding it is consistent with rituals performed at Jewish weddings and Bar mitzvahs.”

now, look, i am not either a) Jewish or b) an expert on Judaism, but i am pretty sure that no one is wrapped with a Torah from the Holocaust and loudly declared to be a king during either Jewish weddings or Bar mitzvahs. also, is Messer admitting that he saw someone hoisted in a chair on a movie that depicted a Jewish wedding one time and decided he could just do the same thing to random guys, call them kings and have people say, “well, it must be on the level, because i once saw some Jewish guy get lifted up while seated in a chair once?” because that is the impression i am getting.

“One worshipper present at the service said it was “so much more than the video.” “If you actually attended the service you would know that Bishop Long was not ordained or considered a king in the worldly sense,” said New Birth member De’Yolanda Lowery. “I do know that Bishop Long is truly a man of God.””

please, please, PLEASE let this have been “so much more than the video.” unfortunately, she means it was meaningful or serious or something, which it obviously was not, so this only proves that New Birth member De’Yolanda Lowery –who most assuredly has no bias here– is absolutely not to be trusted to weigh in on this topic.

The bishop may have taken comfort in Messer’s message. “You can’t attack [Long],” Messer said Sunday. “He’s sealed. Wherever he turns, the power of God is there. … It’s not him, it’s the king in him.”

Messer then added, “My message was not to make Bishop Eddie L. Long a king, despite the part there where i said he was a king impervious to attack thanks to the power of God.”

“Jamal-Dominique Hopkins, associate professor of Biblical studies at Interdenominational Theological Center, said that on viewing the video, “My first impression was, ‘Who is this individual who has the authority to make Bishop Long a king?'”

a solid first impression, and much less profane than mine. and i was at work at the time of my first impression! damn this internet!

McDonald's was my spot
your local McDonald’s drive-through: TAKE THIS SHIT SERIOUSLY, PEOPLE

Cumberland County Sheriff’s deputies use Taser on woman blocking McDonald’s drive-through

okay, to start, let’s just say this: i think the whole Tasering thing is a slight bit overdone in modern America and not “funny” in and of itself, and yes, we have talked about cops responding to fast food situations a couple of times in the past. that said…

“Deputies used a Taser on a woman who wouldn’t surrender to them after she cut into a McDonald’s drive-through line and then refused to move her car without being served, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.”

…i totally support this. you mean someone has taken the raging asshole manuever of “cutting into traffic at the last second and probably from the shoulder just because they are the most important person of all” and applied it TO A FUCKING DRIVE-THROUGH LANE? Taser the shit out of them, officers. Taser them right back to the Stone Age.

“Evangeline Marrero Lucca, 37, of the 100 block of Snow Hill Church Road, pulled up to the window of the McDonald’s on Legion Road, near Black and Decker Road, on Friday afternoon and held up the line for about 20 minutes before deputies arrived, said Debbie Tanna, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.”

twenty minutes? well, this basically tells us two things:

01. all those theories that gun-loving Southern states with fair amounts of guns and concealed-carrying citizens would be swimming with random rage-induced murders CANNOT be true, because this is a situation that screams out for “totally justified murder.” would i acquit someone who shot this woman because he was forced to wait twenty minutes to pick up the chicken nuggets he legally ordered? absolutely.

02. my personal theory of “just park, walk your lazy ass in to the counter and order there” would have paid MASSIVE dividends in this circumstance … unless the counter personnel stopped working because there was twenty solid minutes of pure insanity going on in the drive-through lane. to which i would point out that while yes, this IS distracting AND hilarious, it would still be even better if we were all eating a burger at the time.

“Staff at the restaurant reported that Lucca drove her Ford Taurus to the pickup window, bypassing the order screen and payment window, and tried to order her food there, she said. “She did not want to wait in line,” Tanna said. “They told her she had to go around and wait like everybody else did and place her order that way, that they weren’t set up at that window to take her order or take her money. … She wasn’t having any of that.””

do i understand that you might pull up to a drive-through, see a long line and think, “wow, it’s going to be a while before i cram my bloated snackhole with Big Macs,” and then get frustrated? sure. but this is the point i try to make using an incredible amount of loud profanity inside my car when you assholes are driving like… well… assholes: we’re living in a society, people! ma’am, your service will still suck because of all the time they spend explaining to you why you suck at life. and you’re making everyone else who’s been waiting in line have a dinner that’s taking EVEN LONGER to happen.

ah, Americans, and you wonder why i tease you guys so much.

“The woman refused to move her vehicle and became confrontational with the employees, she said. “When we arrived, she really got mad,” Tanna said.”

HOW DARE YOU IDIOTS TELL ME THAT I CANNOT HAVE MY FOOD IMMEDIATELY! and it’s bad enough that you freely engage in the selfish part of this… but really, Lucca, you’re going to get furious when you’re called on your bullshit? yes, i know the drill, you have to grit your teeth and bluster through it when you’re caught out, but personally, i’d probably go for making a blank expression, remarking “yeah, what the fuck was i thinking,” and then getting in line.

…but then again, i don’t cut in line at the McDonald’s drive-through, so it’s very likely that i cannot relate to the kind of mind that does this.

“Customer Anthony Rich said he pulled into the parking lot to order lunch and found a long line of cars at the drive-through. He said he got in line and waited, eventually getting up to the first window, where he commented about the long line. An employee told him the woman was refusing to move, Rich said. The employee told him the woman frequently comes to the restaurant and cuts in line, and that, “We’re not having it anymore, so we called the cops,” Rich said.”

now, i’ve bolded a portion of this, because it explains the exact problem: this McDonald’s set a dangerous precedent of letting assholes be assholes. do i understand how sometimes it’s more expedient to just resolve someone’s shit behavior, keep them moving, and then turn your attention back to the actual people out there? sure. but the second time that happens, you HAVE to put your foot down, or it won’t end until i have to wait twenty minutes for my McRib and some noxious cunt is being Tasered into oblivion.

it’s like training a dog, people: you don’t let that dog run wild when it’s little and tries to, or it will ALWAYS run wild.

“Lisa Powell, who owns the franchise for that McDonald’s location, said in a prepared statement that employees called deputies “after lengthy conversation with the customer” about why her actions were unsafe.”

you know, i understand that McDonald’s has a corporate image they fuss over greatly, so i’m sure Powell was forced to read a prepared statement. but honestly, who’s siding with Lucca on this one? i think a more relaxed statement could have been allowed.

“yeah, we called the cops because there’s a point where someone is so stupid and so inconsiderate that you have to decided between calling the police to resolve the situation quickly and safely, or dragging that person out of her car and bashing her face on the pavement in sort of an homage to Irreversible, albeit with significantly less anal rape.”

and i must admit that, in fairness, McDonald’s would PROBABLY frown on my use of the phrase “anal rape,” even if my argument is 100% rock solid. so again, i get the use of a prepared statement.

“Rich said deputies soon arrived at the scene and ordered Lucca to get out of the car, but she refused. The deputies continued their orders for about 20 minutes, until they finally removed a young girl, he said. “Two or three officers entered the car with her and started trying to forcibly drag her out of the car, and that’s when you could hear the clicking sound of the Taser one time,” Rich said. “They pulled on her a couple of times, and then they Tased (stunned) her again, and when they Tased (stunned) her the second time, she just flopped out of the car like a fish.””

several points:

01. twenty MORE minutes? these officers are lucky they only had to Taser ONE person;
02. Lucca is a young girl? please, she’s 37. that’s no young girl, and there’s no reason to flatter someone who’s composed of so much terribleness with descriptions like “young girl.” even if this “Anthony Rich” character is incredibly old (like, say, 47), he should know the difference between “young girl” and “broken-down trash that’s almost 40”;
03. Rich gets a pass, though, for his use of the phrase “just flopped out of the car like a fish.”

and now a tangent: why do people use boring and probably real names in these circumstances? you aren’t going to be famous because the FayObserver quoted you once in that story about the asshole at the McDonald’s. this is your chance to use a hilarious and/or awesome alias! please know that your hero janklow would be identified by the paper as “Furious Styles” or “Copper Sturgeon” or “Cutter Matlock” or “Thor Digtown,” any of which would be awesome AND hilarious.

“Lucca was charged with second-degree trespassing. Social workers took custody of her 3-year-old child who was in the car, Tanna said.”

well, OF COURSE someone had their 3-year-old in the car when they were acting like an asshole and forcing the police to Taser them. hell, this Lucca “girl” was probably about to drive home with the bag full of McDonald’s and let her 3-year-old watch her snort heroin off some random dude’s penis while simultaneously being on the receiving end of a prophylactic-free all-anal gang-bang.

“Tanna said deputies are not allowed to use Tasers on a person who simply refuses to comply with orders without danger involved, but in this case Lucca was engaging in “threatening behavior.” “Our top priority was making sure people weren’t hurt because we didn’t know if she was going to drive the car off and run over somebody,” Tanna said. “Then there was the baby in the car we were concerned about.””

again, this is one of those situations where it’s clear why my job is not “public relations for a police department:

news guys: “so was the use of Tasers really necessary in this situation?”
sergeant janklow: “absolutely. hell, they had to talk me out of dragging this ignorant bitch out of her car and summarily executing her with my sidearm.”
news guys: “becauser Tasers- wait, what?”
sergeant janklow: “did you guys hear the first part of this story? where she CUT INTO A DRIVE-THROUGH? hell, i was off-duty at the time when i heard this come over the radio. that’s why i’m wearing pajama pants here, guys.”

but hey, that’s not the line of work i went into and it is what it is. still, on this occasion, i must salute these hardworking officers. godspeed, gentlemen, godspeed. however, the unfortunate fact is this: while it would probably be a GREAT idea on some level to have the police handing out beat-downs to nip this kind of behavior in the bud on a regular basis, you just know it’ll quickly morph into some kind of ‘morality police’ that goes around wailing on women for wearing hot pants and daring to drive cars in public… and we can’t have THAT.

alright, one last quick one before we get out of here:

is this the cover to an AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide that i own? I THINK IT IS
now THAT is what i call “expert testimony”

this is one of those stories that i want to share, but don’t think i need to add a lot to; let me preface it with the following description: there was a report that once upon a time (say, 1995 or so), former New Mexico state senator Duncan Scott introduced a legislative amendment providing that:

“When a psychologist or psychiatrist testifies during a defendant’s competency hearing, the psychologist or psychiatrist shall wear a cone-shaped hat that is not less than two feet tall. The surface of the hat shall be imprinted with stars and lightning bolts. Additionally, a psychologist or psychiatrist shall be required to don a white beard that is not less than 18 inches in length, and shall punctuate crucial elements of his testimony by stabbing the air with a wand. Whenever a psychologist or psychiatrist provides expert testimony regarding a defendant’s competency, the bailiff shall contemporaneously dim the courtroom lights and administer two strikes to a Chinese gong…”

i, for one, support this amendment to such an extent that i’m working on a crude time machine that will allow me to travel back to 1995 and MAKE THIS AMENDMENT HAPPEN. (i’ll also give myself some advice on stock purchases and watching out for women who might happen to be evil fucking whores, but that’s neither here nor there.) also, this just proves my point: if you politicians aren’t going to take your jobs seriously, then could you at least be funny about it?

“The amendment — intended satirically, one should hasten to add — “passed with a unanimous Senate vote” but was removed from its bill before consideration by the state house and never became law.”

two problems:
01. that this was intended “satirically,” instead of “100% legit”;
02. that this didn’t become law. WHAT A TEASE.

okay, that’ll do it for this week. i might have a joke or two next time. we’ll see.