Archive for the ‘The Simpsons’ Category

Minority Report Card: Last Man Standing, Malibu Country.   Leave a comment

“You want to pick on immigrants? Then pick on Willie!”-Groundskeeper Willie

“Willie, please, the children want to pick on someone their own size.”-Principal Skinner

For every major network premiere this season I will be looking at whether it passes the Bechdel test, a test that asks whether the premiere has two female characters who have a conversation about something other than a man. I will also see whether it passes the same test modified to apply to people of color (the “Troy and Abed test”) and then modified to apply to queer people (the “Will and Jack test”). This week we had the very last trickle of network premieres, with Last Man Standing and Malibu Country.

Last Man Standing (ABC)

Tim Allen’s sitcom returns for a second season.

Bechdel: Pass

Troy and Abed: Fail

Will and Jack: Fail

Notes: What’s interesting about this show is that the main premise and protagonist have scared off a lot of people who would probably actually enjoy it. The title and the fact that Tim Allen is the star suggest the story of a man trying to deal with a woman’s world and his values being questioned– an icky premise for people in search of progressive shows. However, the female characters are far from being the embodiment of ideas for Tim Allen to refute with old-fashioned morals. Instead they are fleshed out, intelligent, independent human beings who it’s easy to sympathize with. To give you an idea of how far this show is from being the outdated man’s man sitcom it appears to be from the ad campaign, the opening scene is the four female characters all discussing politics. As someone who’s been monitoring how often female characters are allowed to talk, on their own, about things other than boys, this scene was music to my ears. While the development, intelligence and prominence of the four female characters is very surprising and refreshing, the show is pretty lacking in representation of queer people and people of color. Hector Elizondo’s Ed isn’t given much to do besides be a sounding board for the Tim Allen character. A lesbian character was featured in an episode last season, but even though she was established as a neighbor and became friends with the protagonist, it seemed clear she was a one-off character. While more progressive than you might expect, this show still lacks the diversity of most other ABC sitcoms.

Malibu Country (ABC)

Reba McEntire’s new sitcom centers on a recently divorced mother who moves from Nashville to Malibu.

Bechdel: Pass

Troy and Abed: Fail

Will and Jack: Fail

Notes: Jai Rodriguez provides the only non-white character, in a role that seems very one-dimensional. His character is most likely gay, since this does not seem like the kind of show that would give a character stereotypically flamboyant mannerisms and then make him anything other than homosexual. There’s another male character I’m somewhat intrigued by who claims to be gay, but is later revealed to regularly kiss girls. This doesn’t seem like the kind of show that would handle bisexuality or pansexuality well, but I might keep tuning in to find out where they’re going with this kid.

Well, premiere season is over! Here is a list of the premieres that passed every test:

 

Glee (Fox)

Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Modern Family (ABC)

Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)

The Amazing Race (ABC)

The Good Wife (CBS)

Congratulations to ABC for being the clear winner here.

With premiere season over, my monitoring schedule will be much less clear cut. I’ll continue tracking American Dad! until it manages to pass one of the tests. Other than that, I’ll be watching whatever grabs my interest or seems popular enough to warrant taking a look at. If there’s a show you’d like me to look at, I’m completely open to suggestions (keeping in mind that I don’t have premium channels).

Reading Digest – 5 November 2012   Leave a comment

“Finally, I just stopped caring.  Luckily by then it was the 80s and no one noticed.” – Reverend Lovejoy

CNNlogo As you’d expect, most news outlets are running generic campaign coverage (Romney and Obama race to finish!, yadda yadda yadda), but there is always fun to be had on CNN.com, and here on the morning before the election, it’s this:

Less News, More Graphics

It’s video clips of CNN’s election night coverage from every presidential election from 1980 through 2008.  What’s so fascinatingly macabre about it is that you can watch the news content become gradually overwhelmed by graphics and bullshit.  In 1980, it’s people sitting at a desk reporting the news.  (Come back, Bernard Shaw!)  By 1992 we’ve got a panel of “experts” yammering away, and then by 2004 and 2008 it’s crazy computer walls and fake holograms and the election itself is almost an afterthought.  You can actually see CNN go from one of the best news organizations on the planet to a tittering laughing stock in just two and a half minutes.  It’s amazing.  And, of course, there’s this, which is right below that sad history lesson:

Election Night, Buddy!

Yep, CNN’s history gets two and a half minutes, Pauly Shore gets nearly four.  Maybe we’ll get lucky and Atlanta will go out of business before they can embarrass themselves further in 2016. 

DailyBeastLogo Newsweek Jr. is feeling dignified this morning:

Leave Michelle's Clothes Aloooooone

A fine sentiment, too bad that this was running in the exact same spot just two weeks ago:

fashiondebate

You suck, Newsweek Jr.

DailyCallerLogo Tucker & Friends certainly won’t let a pesky thing like an election distract them from offering soft core porn for their dick pill demographic:

Election Slideshows

They call this a news site.  It’s amazing.

Posted November 5, 2012 by Charlie Sweatpants in Reading Digest, The Simpsons

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Mitt Romney: Dismounted Horseman of the Apocalypse   3 comments

Your guilty conscience may force you to vote Democratic, but deep down inside you secretly long for a cold hearted Republican to lower taxes, brutalize criminals, and rule you like a king!” – Sideshow Bob

No Apology: The Case for American Greatness
by Mitt Romney
St. Martin’s Press, 2010, 323pp

As Williard Mitt Romney’s ill designed campaign for the presidency works its way toward its very probable and widely expected defeat (according to the numerically literate, anyway), it’s worth taking a look back at the book he, ahem, wrote* to underlie his campaign. (*There is no secondary author listed, but these days it is safer to assume ghostwriter involvement than not.) Like most campaign books, this one needs to be read and understood in its proper context: as little more than an over long pamphlet dedicated to the greater glory of Mitt Romney and why he should be our paramount leader. It’s not going to tell you anything you couldn’t find out from a campaign website. Of course, given Romney’s ability to switch positions on issues within a single day, it’s actually like a very out of date campaign website. And when you consider his well documented habit of telling any audience he’s with whatever it is they want to hear regardless of whether or not it’s the least bit true (or he even believes it), it’s actually like a very out of date campaign website that was hacked by a drunken intern.

But that very mendacity and obsolescence are what makes No Apology worth revisiting now, as the public phase of Romney 2012 comes to a close. We’re within spitting distance of the finish line that this book was designed to help Mittens cross victoriously. In the interim, his public image has broadened and changed, he’s gone from being an obscure business celebrity to one of the most famous people on Earth, and he may yet become the President of the United States (dear Jebus, let that not happen). And this book, No Apology, is what Romney thought the American people really wanted to hear. In that sense, far from being meaningless fluff or outdated pablum, it’s maybe the most honest thing we’ll ever get out of him.

So, what was on Romney’s mind as he brooded in defeat during the long winter of 2008-9 and dreamed of 2012? Mostly it’s that America is great, and it would be that much greater with him at 1600. (The book’s subtitle is “The Case for American Greatness”.) Romney thinks America’s economy is, while suffering right now, the best darned economy in the world, and wouldn’t it be better with him in charge? He thinks Iran, China, and Russia are run by very mean people, but that none of them have anything on America so long as our president (hint, hint) is super tough with them. He thinks labor unions and taxes are bad, and he’d give ’em both what fer if he was in charge (nudge, nudge).

Mittens thinks that a national heath insurance plan like the one in Massachusetts would be just dandy nationwide, and that he could get it done if – oh, wait, he actually took that part out in subsequent editions when it looked politically inconvenient during the Red primaries. But you get the idea. America is awesome, and could be even awesomer with a president who understood the world as well as Mitt Romney does.

His go to gimmick, to let you in on his impressive but common sense insights, is self serving personal anecdotes that show a) how smart he is, and b) how foolish this or that government policy is. Mitt serially recounts old political and business war stories that always have him in a starring role and consistently demonstrate his fitness for leadership. So the book reads like what it is, a sales pitch for Romney’s America, where church attendance and the gross domestic product will be way up, taxes and unionism will be way down, and it will always be morning.

The problem isn’t with Romney’s goofy, self-refuting vision of a Republican utopia (well, other than the fact that it’s monstrously anti-social, mathematically impossible, and generally insane). The problem is that here, in his earliest and most carefully thought out campaign literature, the man reveals himself a dunce. No Apology covers all the major issues on which a presidential candidate must have an official position, and it tells humbling personal stories that explain how he came to all his iron clad convictions on this and that. So far, so ho-hum, but No Apology suffers from a fatal stylistic choice. While it dutifully describes the world’s problems and Mitt’s solutions, it is relentlessly sunny and optimistic about them. Nothing could be further from the public’s mood, especially among the people Romney needs to vote for him.

These are very grim times for the American right. On virtually every issue that matters to them, they see themselves falling behind. For the Jebus people, we’ve become a new Sodom, a place where homosexuals cavort in the streets, little girls have “rainbow parties” (thanks for that one, Dr. Phil, you fucking asshole), sex and porn are everywhere, and you can hardly find a wife who’ll do the housework and doesn’t mind taking the occasional beating. Not just millions, but tens of millions of them believe that they’re going to see some kind of Biblical apocalypse in their time.

For the racists of all stripes, from respectable white people who just get a little nervous if they see a black guy in their neighborhood up to the neo-Confederates and white power twits, the browning of America is a terrible thing. That the declining percentage of their definition of “white” is inevitable, and the accompanying whiff of Darwinian failure that clings to to that oft repeated fact, just makes it all the worse. They see schools with more minorities and get unnerved. They see people darker than them working as everything from doctors to fast food clerks, and they wonder what the world is going to look like in the future. Above all, they see a black couple in the White House. They think the America they knew, that beat Hitler and the Soviet Union, that spreads freedom and that was a great place to live, is dying in front of their eyes. Whenever you hear someone say they “want their country back”, you can just read that as “I’m at least a little uncomfortable with [mild ethnic slur of your choice]”.

For the money people, they’ve seen themselves seriously disrespected for the first time since Truman left office. And while you might think that’s peanuts compared to the real setbacks suffered by the Jebus and racist people, it worries the shit out of them because they all think the peasant revolt could start at any moment. It’s not for nothing that they talk about “class warfare” likes it’s some kind of civic plague that would destroy the country.

The professionals and successful small business people live in gated communities and have their homes wired with security systems. Above them, many of the truly rich (even the ones who wouldn’t be recognized anywhere outside of a prep school reunion) now travel around with twenty-four hour security. Can you imagine what that does to a person’s mind after a while? To be so frightened of your fellows for the things you own? No wonder they shriek at the President’s use of the word “fatcat”.

Nor does it help that they believe that the country is drowning in debt and will soon be bankrupt. The rich and merely well to do see riots in Athens and Madrid every few months and wonder if it could happen here. While not quite believeing that the guillotine is coming back any time soon, they don’t like the way the poor are starting to grumble, and they really don’t like having the term “1%” become some kind of epithet.

Plenty of rank and file money conservatives, to say nothing of Charles, David and the rest of the wrinkled wealthy, believe all that bullshit about debt cliffs and how public unions with pensions and health care are one or two quarters away from turning us into a penurious basketcase like the ones they’ve got in Europe. Everywhere they turn, the Reds are feeling squeezed in and restrained. Even on issues where the legal fight is going in their direction, notably with anti-woman and anti-labor legislation, they’re motivated more by fear than by anything else.

Consider the misogynists who want to ban women from getting decent medical care but like to fantasize about what kind of specifically inhumane sexual assault they think would actually merit an abortion. They aren’t pushing for trans-vaginal ultrasounds and restrictions on contraception because they think they’re winning. They’re doing it because they think women have much too much freedom these days, and it frightens them so much that they invented creepy rituals like “purity balls” to compensate.

The religious conservatives have lost more than anybody. There are swear words all over television, evolution keeps getting taught in the schools, and gay rights are being “rammed down their throat” at seemingly every turn. It’s not for nothing that end times novels sell in the millions, and more than one in every four Americans think the world is going to end soon, possibly within their lifetimes.

All of them feel like they’re under assault, and all of them think things are getting worse not better. The last thing any of them want to hear is a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed pitch about American greatness from a rich Mormon. Romney is famous for misunderstanding the lives and viewpoints of people who aren’t worth at least eight figures, and No Apology is a three hundred page example of that failing. The book is bereft of gloom and doom, with everything pushed aside to make way for bland pronouncements on how easy and simple all of America’s problems really are if only we all lived inside the same charmed bubble as Willard Mittens himself.

For example, what are the fabled working class white voters, so crucial to Republican electoral success lo these last forty years, to make of anecdotes about how impressed Romney is with the draconian but highly productive working conditions in China? (p102):

Never before had I seen people working with such concentration, speed, and efficiency. As we toured the assembly lines, not one person glanced up at us as we passed. No radios offered potential distractions, and not once did I see a pair of workers sharing even a few quick words – everyone was intently focused on their work.

You can almost feel his erection for total control of the workers here: not even a radio! No idle chitchat whatsoever! It is positively Dickensian, but Romney evinces not a single sentence of sympathy that this might not be a pleasant work environment. He simply marvels at how fast and efficient they are and you can practically hear him wanting to ship your job over to them.

Shortly thereafter he defends America as being more “productive” than China, though he lays most of it at the feet of automation and Americans doing more sophisticated work. Again, nevermind the people actually doing the work, or the American workers who see those well controlled Chinese doing their jobs at seven cents an hour. Romney manages to describe outsourcing jobs like it’s the most natural, side-effect-free thing in the world; and the one time he does sympathize with ordinary people it’s a justification for free trade and phony “job training” programs.

So while No Apology contains all the requisite Red arglebargle (“There is good and evil in the world. Many do not agree; they dismiss such a claim as simplistic and moralistic”), dick waiving (“America is a decidedly good nation. Therefore, it is good for America to be strong”), and Obama bashing (“Never before in American history has its president gone before so many foreign audiences to apologize for so many American misdeeds, both real and imagined”), it is a book without an audience. Mittens has nothing but childishly simplistic, factually incorrect, and crashingly bland descriptions of America and its place in the world. (His explanations of international relations read like a recap of a particularly dull game of Risk.) Anyone who even halfway follows the news has a perfectly sound grip on the background he offers, and those who don’t pay attention are unlikely to be interested in the anecdotal minutia of Mitt Romney’s life experience and governing philosophy.

Looked at in that light, it’s not hard to see why his campaign for the White House has generated no real passion and instead has been forced to rely on hate reflecting off of President Obama. In their bones, the deep Red partisans know that even if Romney wins, even if he appoints Scalia Jr. to the Supreme Court, bombs every dictatorship on Earth, and lowers the top marginal tax rate to -4%, it won’t cause women, minorities, paupers or those insidious homos to remember their place. One look at the guy shows you that he is a man contented, that there is no trace in him of the desperation so many of his supporters feel. His runs for national office seem to have come about because he literally has nothing better to do, not because he belives the barbarians are at the gate. So even if he didn’t have the personal charm of a malfunctioning toaster, he simply isn’t offering anyone on the right what they want to hear.

Ultimately, Romney, his campaign, and his book exist in a world apart. He has hardly any sense of the one the rest of us inhabit, and even less of the people he’ll need on Tuesday. But No Apology is likely true to its word. When he goes on television around 11:30pm Eastern on Tuesday to concede, he won’t say he’s sorry for blowing the only chance the Reds have to rid themselves of that troublesome negro. He’ll talk about how America is still great, how he wishes Obama well, and how he still has hope for the future. His supporters, meanwhile, will read from Revelations, buy more gold, and scan the headlines for further signs of the apocalypse.

Posted November 4, 2012 by Charlie Sweatpants in Reviews, The Simpsons

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Reading Digest – 2 November 2012   Leave a comment

“My God, the Mad Magazine special edition!  They only put out seventeen of these a year!” – Bart Simpson
“Boy, they’re really socking it to that Spiro Agnew guy again, he must work there or something.” – Milhouse van Houten

CNNlogo Give Atlanta credit, they’re still mostly focused on hurricane stories and recovery.  Take away said credit, because they’re back to doing shit like this:

Dating Tips for Magazines and Pumpkins Over 50

FoxNationLogo It took a day, but the various tentacles of the Murdoch empire finally got on the same page:

Rove Is Always Right

Well, I’m convinced.  Ooh, also:

Daniel Day Lewis

This is clearly over.  Why even have the election?  Clap harder you fucking proles!

DailyCallerLogo Tucker & Friends continue their mission to publicize crap that even FOX News thinks is juvenile and irrelevant:

FAIL

The article is even funnier:

The 2.6 grade can’t be confirmed, is contradicted by some evidence, and it doesn’t say anything about the courses, professors and associations Obama was immersed in during his two-year stay in Columbia.

If that’s not worth impeaching him, I don’t know what is. 

ABC Logo Apparently Disney can’t help but keep track of its wayward youth oriented product positioning experiments:

Mouseketeers In Trouble

You can quit the Mickey Mouse Club, but no one ever leaves.

Posted November 2, 2012 by Charlie Sweatpants in Reading Digest, The Simpsons

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Reading Digest – 31 October 2012   Leave a comment

“There’s some candy right here, sir.  Why don’t we eat this instead of stealing?” – Mr. Smithers
“Oh, very well.” – C.M. Burns

FNLogo Thankfully, supplies of wingnut butthurt were unaffected by the storm:

Storms Are Part of God's Plan

It’s a video where two white dudes talk about how “Some in Media” have had the temerity to mention that Romney has said he’d gut the federal agencies tasked with hurricane tracking and response, and two different opinion pieces about how wretched the New York Times was to dare continue covering the presidential race while it was raining.  One suspects that anything short of an editorial extolling the virtues of supply side disaster recovery would’ve earned equal opprobrium. 

FoxNationLogo The nationalists are on the same trail this morning, but they’re hunting bigger game:

Forward Is a Dirty Word

The details are even more amusing in terms of oversensitive paranoia:

President Obama may have suspended his campaign rallies due to Hurricane Sandy, but he managed to squeeze in his campaign slogan — intentionally or not — during a briefing Tuesday with federal emergency officials.

"The president made clear that he expects his team to remain focused as the immediate impacts of Hurricane Sandy continue and lean forward in their response," the White House said in a statement about Mr. Obama’s video-teleconference that he conducted from the White House Situation Room. "Forward" is the slogan of his re-election campaign.

First of all, Obama didn’t “suspend” anything, you’re getting him confused with McCain ’08.  He just stepped off the campaign trail to, you know, do president stuff.  Second, you’ve got to be Princess and the Pea sensitive to political insult to think that saying the word “forward”, especially at the beginning of a gargantuan task like cleaning up after an unprecedented storm, is a campaign move. 

DailyBeastLogo Newsweek Jr., half-assing it on the Halloween photo spread beat:

Breaking - Celebrity Celebrates Halloween

Let Tucker & Friends show you how it’s done . . .

DailyCallerLogo Boom:

Sluts Love Candy and Tucker Carlson It’s a holiday, so none of that “10 great asses” stuff they usually do.  Nope, today they’ve got fifty(!) “sluttiest” costumes, with art!  (And if you think most of the images are just pictures taken from costume advertisements, you would be correct.)  Don’t worry, though, it’s not all for the ladies.  Men anxious about the relative manliness of their hobbies can also be assuaged:

Grrr, My Hobby Is Mainlining Testosterone and Getting Into Fights At the Bus Stop

Manly hobbies “for men”.  What is this, a testicular cancer support group?  Oh, and as a special Halloween treat, a guy dressed like Professor Snape literally took candy from the mouths of babes:

Snape Took Our Every Flavor Beans

May I suggest a better subhead?:

Asshole takes candy from babies, we praise him for it because we’re assholes too.

Minority Report Card: Happy Endings, Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 and More.   Leave a comment

“Look, dad, I made a modest studio apartment for my Malibu Stacy doll. This is the kitchen, this is where she prints her weekly feminist newsletter– dad, you’re not listening to me!”-Lisa Simpson

For every major network premiere this season I will be looking at whether it passes the Bechdel test, a test that asks whether the premiere has two female characters who have a conversation about something other than a man. I will also see whether it passes the same test modified to apply to people of color (the “Troy and Abed test”) and then modified to apply to queer people (the “Will and Jack test”).

There were only two premieres this week, plus I also have my report on the latest episode of Vegas, which I’ve been continuing to watch each week since it hasn’t passed a single test. (Note: I’m still following American Dad!, which also hasn’t passed any of the tests, but it was cancelled this week because of baseball).

Vegas (CBS)

This new series from CBS didn’t pass a single test in its first three episodes. The following is my report on the fourth episode.

Bechdel test: Pass

Troy and Abed test: Pass

Will and Jack test: Fail

Notes: Yes, after three weeks of failing miserably, this episode had a conversation between two black women before the first commercial break! I was stunned. During the second commercial break CBS’s website froze and I decided to stop watching since I feel like I would have hurt about it if Vegas had suddenly introduced two queer characters. Let me know if I’m wrong!

Happy Endings (ABC)

This sitcom that follows a group of friends in Chicago returns for its third season.

Bechdel test: Pass

Troy and Abed test: Fail

Will and Jack test: Pass

Notes: Max and the physical therapist’s interactions are brief, he’s not much of a character and you don’t find out he’s gay until Max mentions he’s had sex with him and then he’s never seen again.

Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 (ABC)

This sitcom about two roommates and James van der Beek returns for its second season.

Bechdel test: Pass

Troy and Abed test: Fail

Will and Jack test: Fail

Notes: The supporting cast includes two people of color: Mark Reynolds (Eric Andre) and Luther (Ray Ford), who is also gay.

Reading Digest – 29 October 2012   Leave a comment

“I think a hurricane is coming!” – Lisa Simpson
“Oh, Lisa, there’s no record of a hurricane ever hitting Springfield.” – Homer Simpson
“Yes, but eh records only go back to 1978 when the Hall of Records was mysteriously blown away.” – Lisa Simpson

DailyCallerLogo As you’d expect, most media outlets are all Hurricane Sandy all the time this morning, which means that they’re well below normal levels of stupid.  Fortunately, Carlson’s House of Wingnut Welfare has cut through those boring preparedness stories and warnings about when the storm is coming aground to bring you a billionaire boner:

Bloomberg Boner

From the article:

Either Bloomberg gets super excited about emergency preparedness, his personal area was caught on-camera at a weird angle, or he once had a particular fondness for a woman named Sandy.

This being Tucker & Friends, they’ve also got to talk about the supply side of elderly erections:

Ice Cream Babes 2 - Cream HarderAnd:

From Jezebel to Janet Reno

Apparently, the women of loose morals named Sandy slideshow will have to wait until tomorrow. 

usatodaylogo McPaper has the usual hurricane coverage, but digs a bit deeper than most to come up with something really idiotic:

Hurricane Stocks (Limited Time Only)

The stock market is actually closed today thanks to the hurricane, but that doesn’t mean that wild financial speculation need cease! 

WSJlogo1 Hurricane or not, the Journal always has op-ed space for tax lunatics:

Steve Forbes: The Fiscal Duty of Congress’s Lame Duck

Remember Steve Forbes?  He’s back, and he “wrote” a “manifesto”:

Mr. Forbes, the chairman of Forbes Media, is co-author of "Freedom Manifesto: Why Free Markets Are Moral and Big Government Isn’t" (Crown Business, 2012).

I eagerly look forward to reading Comrade Forbes description of the glorious revolutionary flat tax owners paradise.

Posted October 29, 2012 by Charlie Sweatpants in Reading Digest, The Simpsons

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Reading Digest – 26 October 2012   Leave a comment

“Mary Bailey isn’t going to fire me if I don’t vote for her.  I’m for Monty Burns!” – Homer Simpson

CNNlogo Stay classy, CNN:

Is Stupid a Factor in CNN Headlines

The linked story isn’t nearly as bad as the headline, basically just a rundown of the New Hampshire doughboy’s idiotic remarks and immediate ‘clarification’.  But to put a leading question mark on that headline on the homepage like that will give who knows how many thousands or tens of thousands of people the wrong impression about what happened.  Not that CNN’s featured stories have ever been a bastion of dignity and important information:

Gangnam Perry NEWS

usatodaylogo What’s curious about this headline, is that it’s labeled “Travel” instead of “Business”:

Hilton in Vegas . . . Ewww. This isn’t as bad a finding cruise line deals for people, but it’s also hardly anything more than a nice free ad for Hilton:

The upscale, contemporary chain, known for giving guests chocolate chip cookies, will offer Hilton’s loyalty program members a spot on The Strip after a nearly 14-year absence. The Tropicana will be integrated into Hilton’s websites and toll-free reservations number.

USA Today: The Hilton loyalty program member’s national newspaper. 

WSJlogo1 Bravo:

Three Musketeers

Wittingly or not, that’s a great summation of respectable winger thought these days.  First, balance the budget but don’t touch military spending.  Second, George Washington wanted this to be a Judeo-Christian nation because history.  Third, employers intimidating their employees about their vote should be embraced because employers obviously know more about politics than any little peon who has to cash a paycheck to make ends meet.

DailyCallerLogo And what would a day be without Carlson’s House of Wingnut Welfare giving old guys a little spank material:

Attractive Clients

I think everyone’s getting what they want here:

For the third year in a row, the feminist firebrand says one of her clients could offer testimony that would incriminate Romney. It has something to do with Bain Capital and Staples or something. (Does it really matter?)

In light of this promising claim, here are nine of Allred’s fine, upstanding and attractive clients.

Give Tucker & Friends credit, they can find their way to “women in bikinis” from just about any topic you give them.  Lawsuit against one of Romney’s business partners?  Hot law clients, boom, slideshow. 

Minority Report Card: Suburgatory, Nikita and More.   Leave a comment

“Will that girl ever shut up?”-Homer Simpson

For every major network premiere this season I will be looking at whether it passes the Bechdel test, a test that asks whether the premiere has two female characters who have a conversation about something other than a man. I will also see whether it passes the same test modified to apply to people of color (the “Troy and Abed test”) and then modified to apply to queer people (the “Will and Jack test”).

This week we’ve only got three premieres and the two shows that I’m still monitoring due to their thus far terrible representation (“Vegas” and “American Dad!”) didn’t air episodes, so it’s a light week indeed. Here are the results for the three shows that premiered.

Emily Owens, M.D. (The CW)

This new drama on has been described as “Grey’s Anatomy meets Mean Girls.”

Bechdel test: Pass

Troy and Abed test: Pass

Will and Jack test: Fail

Notes: Even though this episode didn’t pass the third test, the lesbian doctor played by Kelly McCreary was very prominent and distinct. It seems likely that they’ll add love interests for her in the future.

Suburgatory (ABC)

This sitcom about life in the suburbs returned for its second season this week.

Bechdel test: Pass

Troy and Abed test: Fail

Will and Jack test: Fail

Notes: The representation of people of color in this episode was atrocious. The Latina housekeeper sat silently in scene after scene of white people saying racist things. Having white characters say racist things and trying to pass it off as satire doesn’t work when you don’t let the people of color be real characters.

Nikita (The CW)

This spy drama returns for a third season.

Bechdel test: Pass

Troy and Abed test: Pass

Will and Jack test: Fail

Notes: The lead character is an Asian woman and the show generally does an awesome job with representation of women and people of color. However, they need to get some queer characters in here.

Posted October 22, 2012 by lennyburnham in Minority Report Card, The Simpsons

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Reading Digest – 22 October 2012   Leave a comment

“I bring you love.” – C.M. Burns
“Is that the love between a man and a woman, or the love of a man for a fine Cuban cigar?” – Dr. Hibbert

CNNlogo Again with the five things:

5 things to watch in tonight’s debate

There’s a lot of dumb and banal ideas in that article, but this one takes the cake:

3. The other stuff

Yep, one of their five is “other stuff”.  That’s the kind of perceptive and insightful analysis that can only come from the most trusted name is gossip, or maybe a thousand monkeys working at a thousand laptops.  Either way.

PoliticoLogo Because vapid analysis and tired gimmicks transcend mastheads, Swampgas Daily has their five as well:

Presidential debate: 5 things to watch Monday

This is probably the best one in terms of unadulterated obliviousness:

4. Night of the gaffe?

Even Obama wouldn’t be watching this debate in real time if he wasn’t actually required to be onstage.

He’d be part of the untold millions watching his beloved Chicago Bears take on the Detroit Lions (Romney’s childhood hometown team) on Monday Night Football. Baseball fans have their own big event too, in the form of a potentially decisive game seven of the Cardinals-Giants National League Championship game.

Those distractions, coupled with the debate’s foreign policy focus, will cut into the robust viewership enjoyed by the first two debates. And that means most voters will rely on a media filter, which tends to kill context and catch sound-bites, one-liners and gaffes.

Moreover, these are two men who don’t like each other, are tired from weeks of nonstop campaigning and are starting to feel relaxed in each other’s company. This is when people say stupid things.

The density of stupid is pretty high there.  Criticizing the “media filter” after going on about things that have nothing to do with “gaffes” is good (especially coming from Politico), but the prize goes to concluding with the contradiction that Obama and Romney don’t like each other but are starting to relax around each other.  Huh? 

Presumably a professional editor read “these are two men who don’t like each other . . . and are starting to feel relaxed in each other’s company”, but it’s hard to be sure.  It reads like a high school essay written an hour before it’s due. 

usatodaylogo McPaper would like you to enjoy a fabulous cruise:

A Word From Our Sponsors

I can’t quite put my finder on it, but there does seem to be something less than newsworthy about cruise lines running a sale. 

NPRlogo Meanwhile, part seven in NPR’s eye opening look at the bikini:

TV - The Coming Technology That Lets You Watch Your Radio

DailyCallerLogo While NPR is describing the newfangled moving picture show that comes right into your home, Carlson’s House of Wingnut Welfare is again displaying its sexual hang-ups:

Cigars and Babes!

Tucker & Friends like cigars and pictures of women sticking things in their mouths and don’t care who approves.  Take that, nobody! 

Posted October 22, 2012 by Charlie Sweatpants in Reading Digest, The Simpsons

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