Thursday, May 27, 2010

Columbia Valedictorian Steals From Comedian

I was always proud of graduating from Columbia University's School of General Studies. After all, we weren't the ones that invited a Holocaust denier to speak. We did, however, give the floor to a giant hack.

This week, valedictorian Brian Corman lifted part of his speech from one of comedian Patton Oswalt's most well-known routines. That's right - the guy smart enough to have the highest GPA at Columbia-FREAKING-University wasn't smart enough to realize that people don't like thieves.  

The evidence:

Thanks to this new thing called the interweb, Patton found out, and responded. After ripping Corman a new one via Twitter and his website, Patton talked to the New York Times.

"In people's heads, they think that comedians can't possibly make up their own material," he said. "They must get it out of joke books."

And that is what frustrates me most about joke stealing. It's the lack of respect for the writer. 8th grade girls are prosecuted for downloading a song illegally. But someone can give a speech in front of hundreds of people and take a comedian's words as their own - and the only repercussion is embarrassment.

Dean Peter Awn, who I respect a great deal, apologized (as did Corman). But (despite Jesse James' best efforts to show us otherwise) apologizing is not enough. 

Patton made another great point:
"Makes me wonder what he might have done to become valedictorian — I mean, if he’s willing to steal material for something as inconsequential as a speech, how rubbery did his boundaries become when his GPA and future career were on the line?"

If a college football program can forfeit wins, Brian Corman can forfeit his position as Valedictorian. As per Columbia's policy, had he plagiarized in a paper, he'd have been kicked out of school. All I'm asking for is that he not leave that school with honors.

I love the General Studies program. But the embarrassment that Corman brought upon himself is an embarrassment to every one of us who holds that diploma. I constantly get letters from Columbia asking me for money, and have yet to donate, since I find other charities to be more worthwhile than one of the largest land owners in NYC. But teaching people to be honorable? That's a worthy cause.

I will make you a promise, Dean Awn - if General Studies strips Corman's title as valedictorian, my next donation will be to you. Until then, please save your stamps.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Response to Junk Mail: Please Look My CV

This is an unedited piece of junk mail I received, followed by my response.

From:     Fran Crandall (
Subject:     Please look my CV. Thank you


I have figured out that you have an available job.
I am quiet intrested in it. So I send you my resume,

Looking forward to your reply.
Thank you.

Hi Fran Crandall! What a great name. Can I call you Frandall?

Thanks so much for applying for a job I never posted. Your ability to figure out that I have an available job is impressive, especially when I wasn't planning on hiring anyone. That is a great quality in a job applicant. Also, I'm glad you are quiet intrested. I do not like it when people are loud about their intrest. Or their interest.

Anyway Frandall, I wasn't going to hire anyone, but now that you've figured it out, I could use help with my camel insementation business. Don't worry, you wouldn't be the one actually inseminating the camels. You'd just help set the mood. Candles, music, and manual masturbation of the camel. The pay is only $5.75 an hour, but you get to keep any camel semen left over at the end of the day.

Let me know your intrest.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Captain America Harasses Women with Burrito

Thank you,, for making me aware of this three-year-old story. The version I found on might be the worst written version of the best story I ever read. And I quote:

A Brevard County doctor dressed up in a Captain America outfit was arrested with a burrito in his tights. What he allegedly did at the police station got him into more trouble.

What the reporter didn't mention is WHY he was arrested for having a burrito in his tights. Because if he was simply dressed as Captain America with a burrito in his tights, he'd have to be arrested for being awesome. Forget what he did at the police station, what the hell did he do with his burrito?

Doctor Raymond Adamcik, 54, would probably rather forget about the weekend when he was arrested on charges of battery, disorderly conduct, drug possession and trying to destroy evidence. It's not what you would expect from a doctor or Captain America.

Okay, so that's some pretty exciting stuff. But battery, disorderly conduct, drug possession, and trying to destroy evidence. I still don't understand what this has to do with Captain America and a burrito.

The Palm Bay family physician was at On Tap bar as part of a pub-crawl with other medical professionals. It was a sort of costume party on a bus that would take them around from bar to bar.

Okay,  we're now at paragraph three and still no no knowledge of what he did with the burrito. We did, however, learn what a pub crawl was. Thanks, WFTV. Now get to the damn point.

Everything was fine until, witnesses said, Captain America started getting too forward with a burrito he kept tucked inside his blue tights, a burrito that ultimately landed him in jail.

So many questions. Was he using the burrito to get forward with someone? Or was he getting forward towards the burrito? That's not a crime, that's just how some people eat a Reese's. And did the burrito place charge him, or do you comp a super hero?

It's certainly not the Captain America from the comic books. This one is accused of sinister deeds more fitting of a villain than a superhero.

Well sure. Captain America would molest a hamburger and potato salad. The man is a patriot.  

On Saturday night, when a costume party full of medical professionals stopped at On Tap Cafe, police said Adamcik had a burrito stuffed below the waistband of his costume and was asking women if they want to touch it. When one refused, he allegedly took out the burrito and groped her.

Finally! Now we know what happened. The crazy part is that everything was perfectly legal until the groping. But again - questions - was he holding the burrito in one hand and groping with the other? Or did he actually grope with the burrito? I must read on...

The woman called police and, when they arrived, the officers wrote in their report "there were so many cartoon characters in the bar at the time, all Captain America's were asked to go outside for a possible identification."

Easily the best part of the story. Out of context, this is amazing - and that's exactly how the cops must have seen it when they got there. I guess it's easier to go burrito groping when you're in a huge group of super heroes. I think that happened in Watchmen.

The woman pointed out Adamcik and the burrito was found in his boot. He was taken to the police station. There, while in a holding cell, police said, he asked to use the bathroom and tried to flush a joint, also hidden in his blue tights, down the toilet.

The fact that he wasn't searched before he was booked shows almost as much incompetence in the police as this article does in the reporting. Also, I love that Captain America couldn't even flush the joint without being caught. I'm guessing the toilet was backed up from excess burrito.

"The officer observed him try to flush something into the toilet. He tried to flush it. The officer was able to reach inside and grab part of what he tried to flush," said Jill Frederiksen, Melbourne Police Department.

Worst. Job. Ever.

The doctor wasn't in when Eyewitness News went by and didn't return calls. He may now have to rely on a lawyer instead of his superpowers to get him out of the jam.

MAY have to rely on a lawyer? MAY?

"This is definitely an unusual situation. We don't usually arrest people in costume," Frederiksen said.

I love the fact that he was in costume is the unusual situation, not the part where he groped a woman with a burrito. In Brevard County, that's just a Tuesday.

No super powers got Adamcik out of jail. He needed $2,000 cash bail and then, once he got out of jail, he still stopped to pose for pictures on the way out. It is unclear right now whether the doctor could lose his medical license if he's convicted.

Unclear? If dressing up as a super hero to grope a woman with a burrito is not the least offensive thing you've done in a night, I'm pretty sure you don't get to still be a doctor.  Then again, I'm also sure this guy isn't ACTUALLY Captain America, a point that seems to confuse this reporter. 

And finally...

Tuesday, Eyewitness News learned that Adamcik was checking himself into a rehad program and taking a temporary leave from his medical practice.

And then it hit me. This piece was clearly written by a reporter dressed as Red Skull, groping a keyboard with a chalupa.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Everything is Bigger in Texas - Even the Ignorance!

In a narrow (minded?) vote, the Texas State Board of Education approved a more conservative curriculum, with the vote going exactly down party lines. Because our children shouldn't be taught facts - they should be taught the facts according to the current governor.

Why does this affect you, non-Texas people? Because textbook manufacturers often tailor their books to Texas, since the schools buy so many. You know, to burn. (Kidding! That's all in the past. Texas hasn't had a widely reported book burning in at least 8 months).

The new lessons actually include questioning the separation of Church and State and a more favorable look at Joseph McCarthy. You know Joseph McCarthy – the paranoid guy who was convinced the subversive communists would take over America sixty years ago. He was right – it’s just they’re so subversive, we haven’t noticed yet. McCarthy used fascist tactics to try to stamp out fascism, was one of the few senators to ever be officially censured by his colleagues, and he died of hepatitis (sped up by his alcoholism). But really, he was just misunderstood.

So I’ve figured out the next few lessons that the school board will be teaching for political gain, if things keep going in this direction.

Not paying attention to foreign policy makes you a "maverick."
While the rest of our leaders are briefed on world events, Sarah Palin’s brazen stand to know nothing about our enemies, friends, or ourselves is a brave slap in the face to Washington. You know Washington – the place she desperately tried to live. But she hates it there. What a maverick!

Defending us from rational thought.

Real America is predominantly in the central time zone. 
Our founding fathers weren’t big city educated elites! Except for the ones that were, like the thirty-five members of the 1787 continental congress that were lawyers, the eleven that were securities speculators, the two that were scientists, and the four that were doctors. But none of that will be taught, because those guys weren’t the REAL founders. The REAL founders were the two of them that were farmers. Despite the 80% of Americans who actually live in urban areas, today we are a rural country, comprised predominantly of farmers. John Mellencamp will be re-writing the national anthem. Then when we remember that Mellencamp supports the democratic party, Toby Keith will cover it, and we’ll use that version instead.

Arizona is no longer part of Jesusland, since everyone named Jesus is being deported.

Gay marriage is an abomination.
Marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman. Temporarily, until they’re sick of each other, and find new men and women with whom they can be sacred. Or win a reality show with. Either or is cool, as long as there’s only one penis involved.

Marriage is just this sacred.

Glenn Beck is a rational voice of counter-culture, not a vaudevillian showman who will say anything for ratings.
Remember when Glenn Beck repeatedly discussed his mother’s suicide, despite his wife and newspapers having no idea she committed suicide? Neither will your children! If we can paint Joseph McCarthy’s rabble rousing and alcoholism as being a misunderstood patriot, we can do the same for Glenn Beck.

Is that plaid on his sleeve? That's not American! Traitor!

Pulling yourself by your bootstraps is an American tradition, that stops at our generation.
What made America great was our ability to immigrate here and escape persecution. And now that we’re here, enough with the immigrants. Unless we run out of bootstraps, they're great at making those.

Nope, no immigrants here - just us Europeans!

Government funded health care programs are unconstitutional.
There are no amendments in the constitution that say our citizens deserve health care. Except Medicaid – we like Medicaid, because we’re used to it. But because it’s not in the constitution, the government shouldn’t get involved. Because the government does nothing unless it’s a constitutional amendment. Except immigration and police and voting on text books. That's right kids - don't trust your government. Unless we happen to be your government.
Privatize it all! Because the banks and UPS do such a bang up job.

Incidentally, Texas ranks 50th in per-capita high school diplomas, ranks 46th in math and 49th in verbal SAT scores, and has just one college in the nation's top 50 - out of their 145 colleges. And those godless heathens in California have 9.

Congratulations Texas! Happy learnin'!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Response to Junk Mail: Helen

This is an unedited piece of junk mail I received, followed by my response.

FROM Mara Clifton  (

Good day!

I received a notice from dating sites I told your email and told you to look for a partner for serious relationship.

I also look for a partner so I get your email. We could start a correspondence and to know each other better. My profile on Tagged Helen_Z. I'll be very happy if you reply to me and send them to me as some of your pictures. And this is the beginning of our correspondence.

Please reply only to my personal e-mail:

My name is Helen.

Helen! So nice to hear from you. You know, I was just sitting here thinking that I would love to meet a girl who can barely speak English from a website I don't have a profile on. And wouldn't you know it, you clumsily emailed me!

I noticed you sent this from someone named Mara Clifton's email account who is apparently a Florida state employee. Did you kill her and take her identity? If you did, that's awesome - I love adventurous women. I also love women with sugar cubes on their right hand.

Love the picture, by the way. It's great that it's taken in a bar - shows me you really know how to kick back after you kill a Florida state employee. And the only thing cooler than a picture in a bar is a picture in an empty bar. Though maybe it was taken right after you killed Mara Clifton, so people left in terror. Seriously though, awesome sugar cube.

You're very pretty, in a Miami transvestite kind of way. Do you have any pictures of you where your boobs are not lower than my grandmothers? I know you're not originally from this country, but in America, we wear bras. Also, we use verbs. Yes, verbs and bras. Oh Helen, there's so much I could teach you!

Good thinking having me respond to your personal email. You wouldn't want the state of Florida knowing what happened with you and Mara. Instead, I'm just going to post my response on my blog along with your email address, in case any of my readers want to, say, send you tons of SPAM.

Save me a sugar cube!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Line-by-Line: "According to You"

Orianthi (Australian for "Kelly Clarkson") reached #17 on the American pop charts with her song, "According to You." And it's awful. I can't listen to it without being terribly frustrated at how trite and inconsistent the lyrics are. This song is so bad, I'd rather watch "According to Jim." I'm kidding, nothing is that bad.

Here's my line-by-line breakdown so you can be just as frustrated.

According to you
I'm stupid, I'm useless, I can't do anything right.

Those are terrible things to say to someone. Almost as terrible as staying in a relationship with someone who says those things.

According to you
I'm difficult, hard to please, forever changing my mind.

I’m sure that’s not true. Unless, of course, a few lines later, you are clearly not over a guy that you say has treated you terribly. Good thing that’s not about to happen.

I'm a mess in a dress,

According to Google Images, you’re more commonly a mess in jeans and a tank top.

can't show up on time, even if it would save my life.
According to you. According to you.

Really? He thinks that you wouldn’t show up on time to save your own life? So either you’re exaggerating to somewhat fit the melody or you’re a bit delusional. Either way, this is the point of the song people begin to doubt your side of the story.

But according to him
I'm beautiful, incredible, he can't get me out of his head.

Him? So you’re dating two men and you’re wondering why one of them doesn’t treat you well? Or perhaps you were dating one who treated you poorly, and instead of leaving him, your crippling fear of abandonment kept you there until you could have sex with someone else. Both of those options are TOTALLY healthy. Yes, clearly he’s the only one with issues.

According to him I'm funny, irresistible, everything he ever wanted.

Sounds like a nice guy. Or a total loser. Stay tuned.

Everything is opposite, I don't feel like stopping it, So baby tell me what I got to lose.

Baby? She’s now clearly singing a song to a guy who (according to her) treats her like garbage, and talking about possibly staying with him. So she’s indecisive, hypocritical, doesn’t have any self-confidence. According to me.

He's into me for everything I'm not,
According to you.

I’m starting to agree with the guy.

According to you, I'm boring, I'm moody, you can't take me any place.

I don’t know if you’ve spent much time with someone moody, but they’re NOT boring. Frustrating or frightening, yes. But NOT boring. There’s no way he thinks you’re boring AND moody. Unless your moods are boring and REALLY boring.

According to you
I suck at telling jokes cause I always give it away.

If he can see the punch line coming, yes, you do suck at telling jokes. Laughter is a reflex – if he genuinely thought you were funny, he couldn’t hide it. And yet – the new guy does think you’re funny, despite your inability to tell jokes. Oh no - this new guy is clearly retarded.

By the way, you also suck at meter. You jammed words into that sentence like they were square pieces in a circle puzzle. Which, coincidentally, is the homework your new boyfriend is currently struggling with.

I'm the girl with the worst attention span;
You're the boy who puts up with it.
According to you. According to you.

Yes, your attention span is so bad that you don’t remember hating this guy a few lines before you called him “baby” and asked for his advice.

I need to feel appreciated,
Like I'm not hated. oh no

Maybe do something that deserves appreciation? Like learning the definition of the word “moody.” Or writing a song that isn’t targeted at 8th grade girls?

Why can't you see me through his eyes?
It's too bad you're making me dizz-ay

Ah hah! She doesn’t even like the new guy! (Possibly because he’s retarded). She just wants the old guy to kiss her ass like the new guy is doing. Low Self Esteem, Party of One.

According to me
You're stupid,
You're useless,
You can't do anything right.

Clever! You’ve taken exactly what he said about you and said it about him. Your comeback is “I know you are, but what am I” yet you expect us to believe that you have enough wit to be funny? Maybe this guy doesn’t want to date you because he’s an adult?

According to you
I'm stupid,
I'm useless,
I can't do anything right

So you are desperately trying to hold on to a guy that treats you like garbage, yet you’re simultaneously treating someone else the same way. And somehow, you can’t understand why someone finds you stupid, useless, and unable to do anything right.

According to him, you can’t do anything right. According to me, this guy is pretty perceptive.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Damn you, Elena Kagan

For the thirteen years since I graduated high school, I have had the goal of being the most notable alumni from my high school. Until Elena Kagan (1977) was nominated to the Unites States Supreme Court, I had a shot.

When I was in high school, we had one really notable alumni - Marvin Young (1985). You’d know him better as Young MC. As much as I loved “Bust a Move,” Young MC was a one-hit wonder. All I’d need is two hits.

At the time, Mike Maronna (1995) was already sort of famous for playing Pete on Pete and Pete (Which one? I’ll never tell!). Oddly enough, he was more famous in high school than he is now. His last role was in a 2004 movie called “Men without Jobs,” clearly a documentary about his career. I have no problem being a dick to Mike in this blog, as that’s how he treated me in high school. Incidentally, he skipped prom, but wore a wedding dress to school the next day and kept telling people to grab his “boobs.” Just wanted to make sure that was in print.

When I graduated in 1997, Cynthia Nixon (1984) was doing well on Broadway, but TV and movies saw her doing the same bit parts she had before she even went to high school. But the game changed the following year when she became “Miranda” on Sex And The City. Not only was she part of one of the seminal shows of our generation, she had the honor of playing the one character no woman wanted to be. I always thought Miranda was the cool one, but I’ve since learned that women would rather be a basket case, vapid, or the town bicycle before being the sensible one that’s only mildly attractive.

Holy crap, I think Cynthia Nixon's girlfriend is Mike Maronna.

In 2002, public access boxing aficionado Max Kellerman landed “Around the Horn” on ESPN. He’s had a respectable career, but clearly Cynthia Nixon was still the alumni that set the bar. Of course, that same year, Irulan Wilson (1998) was on Real World Las Vegas. No problem – all I have to do to be more notable than her is something better than having sex with a castmate while my significant other watches from home. Oops.

Cynthia Nixon set the bar, and Irulan Wilson turned it upright and danced around it. In fairness to Irulan, she was the least slutty member of her cast. In fairness to fairness, that cast included Trishelle.

The next year, Avenue Q opened on Broadway. It is widely seen as one of the most inventive and successful Broadway musicals of all time, and was written by Bobby Lopez (1993). Sunnovabitch. Cynthia Nixon won two Emmys, but Bobby Lopez won three Tonys. Besting a one-hit wonder seemed easy in comparison.

In 2005, Jon Daniels (1995) became the youngest general manager in Major League Baseball history. He also became the first GM that previously picked on me on a school bus. Since he was hired, Jon and I have talked, and he’s actually grown up to be a soft-spoken, nice guy. And he hasn’t even made the playoffs yet, so I could still beat him.

In 2008, In The Heights joined Avenue Q on Broadway. Writing, directing, and starring was Lin-Manuel Miranda (1998). Yup – he’s not just a triple threat, he’s also younger than me. I knew Lin in high school and always liked him; twice, we were in different one-act plays in the same production. Except I had a few lines in my play, and he wrote his. Lin only won two Tony’s to Bobby’s three. Of course, Lin was nominated for thirteen of them. Oh, and he won a Grammy, too.

Of course, all that is moot now. Grammys, Emmys, Tonys, and a second place finish in the AL West, I could still possibly beat. But I could be Jerry-Freaking-Seinfeld and I wouldn’t be as notable as a Unites States Supreme Court Justice. By the way, Elena’s brother Irving also went to Hunter – and still teaches there. I had him for social studies in 8th grade. Which is right around the last time Mike Maronna found work.

Damn you and all your successes, Hunter High School. I guess I’m going to have to run for president.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Florida Is Working Hard to Look As Racist As Arizona

Just when you thought Arizona's new policy of detaining anyone with a tan was bad, in steps a congressional candidate from Florida.

Dan Fanelli (R-Idiot) has a campaign ad that depicts two darker skinned men speaking Arabic and discussing a plot that presumably involves raping our babies. Fanelli is then shown between one of the men and a white guy, and asks which one looks more like a terrorist.

It's a trick question. The definition of terrorism is "the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes." So the guy trying to scare voters into electing him is clearly the terrorist.

Here's the whole video. Hopefully it's still up, since most of the copies of it have been pulled off the internet for "copyright infringement."
I wonder if he used any threats or intimidation to make that happen.

My favorite part of the video is that Fanelli jokes that he wouldn't mind being pulled out of line at the airport if "a good looking, ripped guy without much hair was flying airplanes into the twin towers."

Ahh, nothing like mocking the deaths of thousands of people to win over the voters. Also, good looking and ripped? In case you didn't watch the video, here is Fanelli:

Yes, Mr. Turtle, you're quite handsome. "Without much hair" is also the least self-deprecating way to say "bald guy." He should be happy he doesn't have a spire on his head, or he and the Capitol would look like twins. If Fanelli can't tell the difference between himself and a good-looking guy, he probably can't tell the difference between a Saudi Arabian and someone from the Jersey Shore.

The strangest part of all of this is that they actually got two guys to play the Arabs in the commercial. How desperate are some people to be actors? That's got to be a great Craigslist ad:

"Small commercial role for an Arab actor. Large, menacing, and willing to betray his entire race. Must be SAG."

As an aside, I would like to stand outside Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's office and ask for her immigration papers, claiming she looks Canadian.

Today's Lessons: You should not vote for Dan Fanelli. Do not take a picture next to a domed building when you're bald.

Why is Dorothy Zbornak So Violent?

Dorothy Zbornak has anger issues. Just watch the opening to the Golden Girls.

First, we have a seemingly loving scene. But while Blanche hugs Rose, Dorthy has her in a headlock. It's just her way of showing affection - by applying pressure to her friend's trachea. Be careful Dorothy, Rose needs all the oxygen she can get.

Maybe she was being playful. Just an "I love you so much, I could choke you to death." Cut to the next scene.

Here, Blanche is trying to reach out to Dorothy, and Dorothy throws her hands off her. "Don't touch me, you southern hussy!" I can only assume that's what she's saying. It is muted by something about traveling 'round the world and back again.

We're now 12 seconds in, and again, Blanche is trying to be comforting - this time to Rose. And Dorothy is stopping her, by hitting Blanche's hand. Yes, like Blanche is a cat who has gotten into the food. A cat in heat, but a cat nonetheless.

Of course, Dorothy is violent to herself as well, seen here half a second later eating her own hand. Maybe she just likes the taste of Bengay.

A few seconds later, there's a cut to a clip of the first violent scene - looks like this is where Dorothy is about to threaten Rose for information. Which will be completely fruitless, unless the information is about Scandinavian poultry. But what's most alarming is the shot a few seconds after that - also from that same scene.

Here Dorothy hurls Rose clear out of the room. Seems as though when Dorothy is done interrogating someone, she no longer has a need for them.

So where does all this anger come from? Could it be from substitute teaching? Staying home every Saturday? No - the source is much more obvious.

Take a look at one of the last shots:

Here, Sophia comes charging into the kitchen with a knife. And as Blanche and Rose run for the hills (are their hills in Miami?), Dorothy calmly looks down at the table, preparing herself for another one of her mother's killing sprees.

Today's lessons: Violence begets violence. Bengay is yummy.