Mascots Under Attack

Chuck E.
Image via Wikipedia

First, there was Beat Mor Chiken. The Chick-Fil-A cow was mugged.

Then, McGruff the Crime Dog, savagely beaten by a Metro bus driver.

Was that all? Rats, no it isn’t. Chuck-E-Cheese was curdled.

If you are a big fuzzy lovable mascot, be afraid. Be vewy, vewy afwaid. The citizenry has had enough of your antics and is fighting back.

Zemanta Pixie

The Fine Print of the Immigration Bill

Fortunately, the Senate gagged on ramrodding (which is different than “Hillary Ramrodding”) the immigration bill down The People’s Throat. It’ll give us more time to hoot and hollar and threaten to vote for the other party. James Lileks offers these highlights of the immigration bill this morning, and it’s amazing what they thought they could slide by us. Bah. Put the Hokey Pokey back in, you nimrods (which is different than “Hillary Nimrod”):

6 (1) (D) Undocumented Xenonationals who have been in the country since noon March 16, 2004 (this language reflects a compromise between the hardline “AM” faction and moderates who wanted to extend the deadline to 4:57 PM) will have to report to a government office to announce they are departing. This is the HIMBG Provision, or the “Hello, I Must Be Going” provision. Immigrants will have to return to the Mexican border, put their left foot in, put their left foot out, put their left foot in and shake it all about. (Language requiring that the applicant then “do the hokey pokey was removed over an inability to define the exact nature of said action.) The immigrant is then required to return to the place where he announced he was leaving, present a notarized photograph of himself sticking a portion of his body into Mexican airspace; at that point, he will be eligible to receive a “Q” visa, which enables him to start the process towards a “Z” visa, which estabishes a legal framework towards a “path towards citizenship,” although applicants who have paid 67% of their adjusted tax burden over the last 14 years, minus inflation, will be put on a “jogging path” towards citizenship.

The entire process will take no less than seven years, during which the applicant may not work, but must stand absolutely still in a small room while reciting the Constitution. (Spanish is permitted for the boring Amendments.)

I. (7) (3.14) There shall be a fence stretching 356 miles. The fence shall be three feet high. Paper mache crocodiles shall reside on the other side, arrayed in a threatening manner ($400,000 shall be appropriated to determine the optimum angle of the opened jaw; the final crocodile shall represent a consensus among herpetologists, and reflect a crocodile who is defending his position but showing his teeth to warn off, and not necessarily threaten violence.) Every nine miles, there shall be a sign that reproduces the FBI warning that precedes all DVDs and videotapes and warns of criminal liability for breaking the copyright law. (It has worked so well thus far the language might as well be used intact.) The fence shall be raised to four feet in the event the population of any state becomes 51% undocumented Xenonationals. The fence shall be raised to five feet in the event GOP presence in the Senate drops below 4 seats. The fence shall be raised to ten feet after a nuclear device is smuggled in from Mexico, providing the yield of the bomb is at least 4 (four) kilotons. A bomb with a yield between 3 and 3.99 kilotons will be a sufficient trigger to raise the fence only if the attendant radiation is carried by prevailing winds a distance greater than 20 miles.

T. (t) (t) $779,000 shall be allotted to create Inez, a mascot who provide a welcoming and comic presence to the INS offices.; $3.2 million for an ad campaign that raises awareness of Inez; $2.9 million to be put in escrow from the inevitable sexual harassment suit after Woodsy Owl learns about here; that bird can’t keep his wings to himself; $1.2 million to buy out Woodsy’s contract

7 (b) (f) (f) The government shall, at its discretion, ignore the hell out of any of this

II. 5.6 All legal immigrants will be required to go through the entire process again, just to rub their noses it in. Mark Steyn shall sit in his car on a bridge between Canada and the United States until he learns his place.

R. R. (x) Any illegal immigrant from a state known to sponsor terrorism will be required to renounce terrorism by an oath of utmost solemnity. This act shall also supply funds for translators to determine the equivalent of “pinky swear” in other tongues. The translator will work through the world’s languages in reverse alphabetical order.

XX (vi) Employers found guilty of employing illegal aliens must perform the crying aria from Pagliacci.

F. (U) This bill shall be passed before anyone can read it.

Pink Panther Returns

I wrote last month about how I’m having trouble enjoying Hollywood movies and critiqued the latest Pink Panther movie as an example. Needless sexual entendre and poorly implemented slapstick spoiled what could have been a funny movie.

The American Spectator today agrees:

In addition to that first tedious scene of Clouseau trying to park a ridiculously small Smart Car in a space big enough for a Humvee, the movie includes a lot of unnecessary references: Viagra jokes, allusions to Internet porn and sex, and a few extremely graphic — but fully clothed — sex antics. Despite these elements, the film is still rated a mere PG and, if the previews of animation films and ads for McDonald’s are any indication, it is being targeted at a very young audience, namely children ten and under. It’s an adult-themed film being sold to children, an indication of a substantial error in marketing and production.

The article is excellent and gives examples of how today’s sexual jokes are blatant and crude compared to the intellectual humor regarding sex in past Hollywood movies.

The new film will no doubt prove an “it’ll do” DVD rental or airplane movie; but the script, the lewd humor, and perhaps our own time, will never allow the actors to make a real Pink Panther movie: something witty, sexy, and extremely funny. Without at least two of these elements, a comedy can hardly been a box office success.

If you want to watch a Pink Panther film, skip the new one and buy or rent the originals. For those who appreciate the occasional cocktail, by all means sip away as you watch and laugh. These films, especially the earlier films, provided a way for adults to laugh at themselves. And if children happened to be watching, as was the case when I was growing up, the innuendos and humor convinces them all the more that adults are simply a strange breed and not nearly so reasonable as a child.

Are there any “adult” movies anymore that do not include gratuitous sex and/or violence scenes? Are there any movies at the theater today that are worth watching?

Kenya Mission, Day 4

December 30, 2005

Goodness, can it be Friday already?  We left Houston Tuesday afternoon and we’re still not at our final destination.  It’s like Africa is on the other side of the world or something.  😛

We woke up in the Methodist Guest House in Nairobi, and in the light we could see how quaint this place is.  We me in the breakfast room for fruit and toast and coffee.  Something I had never seen before, the cream for the coffee is heated, very hot.  Makes sense; why pour cold milk into hot coffee?  Then we had a short prayer and discussed our plans for the day.

Piling back into the van was an interesting exercise. The van seats 10 and counting the driver, we had 9 people. In our case, though, the van also had to seat all that luggage. There were 13 very large bags plus 1 or 2 carry-on items per person. It looked like we were building little forts inside the van. I took the far side window behind the driver which gave me some leg room (I have really long legs), but getting in and out was like a combination of Yoga and the game Twister.

The roads out of Nairobi was gentle at first, but then turned into terrain almost indistinguishable from the terrain. A good driver is mandatory because staying on your own side of the road isn’t part of the culture. Kenyans drive where the potholes are not, so there is significant weaving from one side to the other. There were several times I thought a head-on collision was imminent, but at the last moment both cars would swerve to their side of the road.

Road from Nairobi to Kitale

Out the window of the van, far off in the distance, we saw wild zebra. And once we stopped to let a baboon family (unrelated to me) cross the road. And far off in the distance we saw pink flamingos covering a lake so that it looked pink. No pictures of any of these; most were too far away, except for the baboons which were too quick.

Our morning break after about 2 hours of driving was at a scenic overlook above the Rift Valley, looking toward the Chogoria mountains. The scenery was just spectacular.

Rift Valley Kenya overlooking Chogoria mountains

We stopped for lunch in Nakuru. I eat adventurously when traveling so I had irio for lunch. It was mashed potatoes blended with spinach and then maize stirred in. The maize was sort of like corn, only bigger kernels and not nearly as sweet as our yellow corn. Anyway, it sort of looked like this big green mush with yellow lumps and tasted about the same, too. I have no idea why this is a Kenyan favorite, I won’t order it again on purpose.

Back on the road after lunch, we were stopped several times by armed policemen. They stop cars by laying down a strip of 6″ spikes across the road that you have to drive figure-S style through them. We asked the driver what the police were looking for; he said, “money.” The general consensus was that they do not have enough money to buy the bullets to go into their guns, but I don’t know of anybody that would ever test that hypothesis.

We finally arrived at Kitale, our destination, and checked out our surroundings. We were staying in a nice compound (we wouldn’t know until later how nice it really was), with a couple of buildings with a variety of bunk beds and multiple showers and bathrooms. We dropped off the gear and headed to town to buy breakfast for the morning. The grocery store for some reason was called “Trans-Mattresses,” complete with a picture of a mattress on the billboard. Most of the signs for businesses were in mostly-English, I’ll call it, with a mix of Swahili thrown in.

Buying groceries in a strange country is an interesting experience. You wander the aisles trying to figure out what the ingredients are and what you can combine to make something edible. They had eggs, fruit, and bread, so we mostly settled for items we recognized.

Outside Tran-Mattresses we came into one of Kitale’s developing problems. Boys outside the grocery store, living off of handouts, sniffing glue in broad daylight. Even though Kenya adults discourage this among the street children, the street children get enough handouts and a sympathetic adult somewhere to buy them glue. Shopkeepers told us that these children live to maybe 20 or 25 years old before dying of violence or their brain rotting. One of the hard lessons for missionaries to learn is that giving money directly to those in need can have devastating consequences; it’s far better to contribute to an organization that will provide food, shelter, or medical care. Even if you give these street children something that they need, like shoes, they are likely to sell them for glue money.

We took our breakfast groceries, our bottled water, and mosquito netting back to the compound where we probably spent 3 hours trying to hang them. We were handicapped by a lack of tools, but the bunk beds were handmade and oversized and the netting wouldn’t stretch properly. Some nets were cut with scissors (ok, it was tiny nail file scissors) and then duct taped back into a larger net. I hadn’t seen a mosquito all day, and it was the dry season and very likely to see one. I was also taking malarone to prevent malaria, so given all that I went without netting.

Tomorrow’s a busy day; the plan is bathe street children and orphans at a local church.

Cartoon Violence Continues

I’m amazed at the violence from the Muslim world. I don’t think they’re convincing me they’re not a violent religion.

I certainly understand their anger. When Christians get upset, we write letters. Storming an embassy looking for infidels to kill? I don’t recall Christians doing that.

But for goodness sake, they’re cartoons. There is hypocrasy on both sides. There are editors in the northeast that are saying the cartoons should never have been published because they were offensive, yet these same editors saying that Christians shouldn’t get upset about “art” showing the Virgin Mary covered in dung. Are they for or against being offensive? It appears they’re selectively being offensive.

And the Muslims outrage over cartoons. Perhaps I could be more sympathetic if I saw the same sort of outrage over the beheadings.

American Values Awards for Movies and Television

Apparently I’m not the only person irritated by the Oscars this year, dominated by sexual immorality and politically controversial left wing movies. Michael Class has started a new awards program, American Values Awards for Movies and Television, to reward those movies that are more family friendly.

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – A conservative US filmmaker, angered by the awards success of films such as the gay drama “Brokeback Mountain,” launched a rival cinema prize to honor American “moral” values.

In a year where films starring homosexual or transgender characters or those dealing with thorny political issues such as US oil interests in the Persian Gulf are dominating Hollywood’s awards season, right-wing film industry figures are hitting back at what they say is a vacuum of morality in Tinseltown.

Former dot-com entrepreneur turned movie producer Michael Class is calling on conservative media groups to support his American Values Awards for Movies and Television.

“I want media leaders with a sense of patriotism and respect for family to join with me to turn the American Values Awards into a high-profile event,” he said.

This year’s Oscars race is led by “Brokeback” and also features “Capote,” the story of gay US author Truman Capote, and “Transamerica,” about a man in the process of undergoing a sex change.

In addition, two politically-charged dramas starring George Clooney are also competing for awards gold.

“Good Night, And Good Luck,” the Clooney-directed story of US newsman Ed Murrow’s fight against the right-wing communist witch-hunt of the 1950s, and “Syriana,” about US oil interests in the Middle East.

“Skip ‘Syriana’, ‘Munich’, and ‘Brokeback Mountain’ unless your only criterion for seeing a movie is aesthetic merit,” said Class, referring also to Steven Spielberg’s contentious Middle East violence thriller “Munich”.

“They are morally confused — I don’t want my kids seeing them,” Class added.

“‘Syriana’ blames America for terrorism. ‘Munich’ confuses justice with vengeance. ‘Brokeback Mountain’? What’s positive about a film whose main character’s sexual behavior destroys a family?,” he said.

Instead of the awards frontrunners, Class, head of a tiny independent studio called Magic Picture Frame Studio, applauded the values of films including “Cinderella Man,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe,” “Star Wars: Episode III” and “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”

Also honored by the new awards were “The Great Raid,” the story of US heroism during World War II, “End of the Spear,” about religion and the British film “Millions,” about a family that ends up doing the right thing after finding stolen loot.

“Cinderella Man,” starring Russell Crowe, is the saga of a depression-era US boxer overcoming adversity, while “Harry Potter” and “Star Wars” are tales about good versus evil, according to Class.