Archive for February, 2009


Here in the offices of the Curmudgeon, we are hopeful but not necessarily emboldened by President Obama’s  announcement today that he was withdrawing the troops from Iraq by the end of August, 2010.   Commenting on the speech, the BBC said the announcement came sans the usual “chest thumping” we became accustomed to with the Bush crowd.  Wow.  A President actually fulfilling a campaign promise.   I…I…I’m all discombobulated.

My pleasant smile was quickly turned upside down into a frown.   Across the news wire came a story about TLC’s new series,

JonBenet Ramsey

JonBenet Ramsey

Toddlers and Tiaras, a show  about child beauty pageants.   These pageants always make an interesting if uncomfortable story, I guess, for who can read or watch such a story without thinking about JonBenet Ramsey and the horror of her murder, not to mention the horror that was, is, these strange, macabre contests featuring children primped and powdered, preening across the stage like some pint-sized hookers.

I personally can’t look at their pictures – with them wearing more make-up than Tammy Faye Baker – without thinking about child molesters.  This must look like their wet dream come to life and that makes me…shall we say, uncomfortable with the whole thing.  Their schedules are grueling.  Their competitive natures ruthless.  Their looks are…hot, damn it!   What business does a five-year old have trying to look sexy?

The families profiled in Toddlers and Tiaras “insist it is a family-oriented, harmless hobby that instills important qualities like excellence, poise and confidence during such impressionable years.”  We’re fascinated, of course.  The parents insist they are “all proud of their beauty queens, all unapologetic about their decisions to involve their kids in this subculture” of Prostitutes on Parade.

UK documentary film maker, Jane Treays,  made the documentary “Painted Babies” back in 1995.  It made her famous and made us sick.  It was not a flattering look at this strange world.  Recently, she found the two girls, now 19 years old, to see how they have grown up.  We expect a couple of horror stories.  And, to show the Curmudgeon is nothing if not fair, Treays found quite the opposite.  Quoted in London’s Sunday Times, Treays said:

JonBenet Ramsey

JonBenet Ramsey

“Back in 1995, I had chosen to film two five-year-old beauties – Asia, from Louisiana, and her arch rival Brooke Breedwell, from Tennessee – and then followed them to the Southern Charm pageant in Atlanta, Georgia, where they battled it out for the $5,000 top prize and the glittering crown of the Supreme Queen.   The result was Painted Babies, which not only launched my career but provoked thousands of letters of complaint, most of which expressed the concern that these contests bordered on child abuse.

To my relief, the two shocking little Dolly Partons whom I had filmed all those years ago had both become poised, decent and disciplined young women.  Who knows?  Perhaps some of that is down to the beauty pageants.  They certainly think so.”

So one group of kids marches home and another marches on.  Maybe we should decide what’s really important.  Hey…wait…it’s time for the swimsuit competition!

For those interested, here’s a clip from the show, Toddlers and Tiara’s:

(To read the article in the London Sunday Times, go here.   “ I say, old bean, you’re rather British today, eh chap?“)

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Photo by Tooley - flickr

Photo by Tooley - flickr

Here in the lush offices of The Curmudgeon, some of our staff are trashy but by no means sleazy.   And I mean the good kind of trashy.   You know what I’m talking about?   Like (insert favorite female pop star here) in that video (insert name of song here) just makes you want to (insert vile act here).   But when the following item came across my desk and I showed it around, we all felt a little bit like trash.   And a little nauseous too.

The item was this:  OctoMom Offered $1 Million to Make a Porno.   Aw, gawd, somebody open the door to my private bathroom…I don’t want anything slowing me down when the time comes and I make a mad dash to the porcelain god.   Sure, she’s used to having multiple people inside her at once, but a porn company is going to fork over a major payload to show it on film?   Hey, if she agrees to join their stable of…actresses…thereby agreeing to make several films as a “contract girl,” they’ll sweeten the pot by giving her family full medical and dental insurance.   Nadya Suleman’s the name…porn’s the game.  Well, maybe it will keep her out of the baby business at least.

Actually, this isn’t a bad deal for her.   She’s already screwed in the head, having gone as far as medical procedures to try to look

Transforming into Angelina

Transforming into Angelina

more like Angelina Jolie with the lip “puffer upping” and all.   But a million bucks, full insurance?   She certainly could use it, but what effect would it have on the kids, except for good part regarding the insurance?   Frankly, I don’t know who would pay money to see it.   Of course, I wouldn’t pay to see John Wayne Bobbit either, who got a porn contract after Elena cut his wiener off and doctors reattached the wiggly thing.   At least that was a medical curiosity…something P.T. Barnum might have been proud of, knowing that a sucker is born every minute.

An interesting twist and shout came when rival XXX company Pink Visual offered her a full year’s worth of diapers to keep her baby maker where it belongs.   Suddenly playing benevolent grandfather, the president of Pink Visual wrote that she “will become the subject of endless ridicule and scorn.   There’s a great deal of stigma attached to being a porn star” and that Octo needs to think “in the best interest of your children.”    You think?    For a change?

Here’s the thing:  She probably has offers of free diapers for a year 20 times over.   What she needs is some scratch and she’s already shown that she and reality don’t exactly see eye to eye.   I’ll bit I can pick which side of the bed she’s gonna lie on.

Uh-oh….here it comes…excuse me, I’m going into the bathroom to call Ralph on the big white phone.

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The last thing Hoffman protested was Anne Bancrofts leg.

The last thing Hoffman protested was Anne Bancrofts leg.

Here in the enamored but not star-struck offices of The Curmudgeon, the entire staff gathered round the big screen TV in the conference room to watch the Oscars.   We call it the conference room but really it’s more of a party room, with Sam Adams and Guinness on tap.  I hardly paid attention though, for while everyone else was busy dissing the ladies gowns and watching to see who took home little gold statues, I was busy checking out the new brunette who works down the hall in the 4th office on the right and looks something like…well…a statue.   A very nice statue.   But more than that, I was looking to see who was wearing little peace signs during the really big shew.

Dustin Hoffman lead a silent anti-war protest at the awards.  Will Smith, Cate Blanchette, Tom Hanks and Elizabeth Taylor (who invited her) have all vowed to stay away from the biggest event on the Tinseltown calendar. Many of those still planning to attend the now “low-key” event–including Hoffman, Ben Affleck and Julianne Moore–intended to make a “silent demo” by wearing pins in the shape of a peace symbol.   Peace, my brother.

Many others have already gotten dresses and attire keyed down from the usual “look at me and my Armani” $100,000 dollar duds.  The sad thing is, they’ll be raked over the coals by the fashionistas in all the rag papers and websites tomorrow.  Like any of those nobodys should have an opinion anyway.  It’s as sad as watching the Oscars with a couple of old queens and listening to them criticise the beautiful people (not that there’s anything wrong with being an old queen.)  It can be funny as hell at first.  But then it just seems sad.

The thing is, I was too busy checking out the new statuesque brunette to notice if anybody was wearing peace signs.  Did anyone notice?

Meanwhile, on the Friday, 20th, across this company town at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences offices, handicapped persons protested giving Jerry Lewis the Humanitarian Award at the Oscars   The group, called The Trouble With Jerry, has long taken issue with Lewis’ depiction of the handicapped as pitiful, who has gone as far as describing disabled people as “half a person” and wheelchairs as “steel imprisonment.”   Lewis, who doesn’t take criticism well, has snarled at the criticizers,  “You don’t want to be pitied because you’re a cripple in a wheelchair?  Stay in your house!”  Hey, Lady!

Down boy.  Ok.   They have a point.   Jerry has a point, and has raised a lot of money for muscular dystrophy.   Can’t we all just get along?   I don’t have any business putting in my two cents, and that’s something those Hollywood tabloid reporters should remember late tonight when they’re writing their sniping commentary.

So, do the actor’s have any business sticking their powdered noses–real or fake–into politics?   It used to piss me off.   I was of the opinion that they should just shut up and act.   But you know what?   While the American people were being fed a big pile of excrement  (ha…I’m feeling like not saying “shit” today,)  at least some “show business” people were speaking up.   Turns out they were right.   Somebody’s got to do it, and if you and I don’t, then who will?   The “Show Business” people.   That’s who.

And just who am I to criticise the criticisers, when I am a criticiser myself?  I’m just a mug with a blog.   Maybe that should be my new catch phrase…right under the title.   The Crusty Curmudgeon – Just a Mug with a Blog.  Has a nice ring to it.

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Here in the dialectic but not polemical offices of The Curmudgeon, we are amused at the hubub over President Obama’s returning to England a bust of Winston Churchill. The bronze of the former British Prime Minister by Sir Jacob Epstein, worth hundreds of thousands of pounds if it were ever sold on the open market, enjoyed pride of place in the Oval Office during President Bush’s tenure. Figures Bush would hold up a foreigner as his ideal.  Couldn’t he think of an American, say, oh…I don’t know…George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, or Theodore Roosevelt come to mind.  Ok, so Churchill was an amusing guy and even great in his way, but come on.

But Obama chose instead a bust of Abraham Lincoln, responding to the British offer to keep the Churchill bust with a “Thanks, but no thanks.”  Makes sense to me.  Besides, there is the little matter that during Churchill’s second premiership that Britain suppressed Kenya’s Mau Mau rebellion. Among Kenyans allegedly tortured by the colonial regime included one Hussein Onyango Obama, the President’s grandfather. So it could be said that Churchill was complacent in the torture of Obama’s Grand Papa.  I’d have returned the thing too, a lot less decourously than he did. I would have dropped it out the window and when asked about it, said, “Whoops.”

Nothing against the British, you understand.  They are our allies.  They are our friends.  But they need to chill.  Is there a bust of an American at 10 Downing street?  I doubt it.  So listen up, my English friends.  Don’t be so gobsmacked.  Keep a stiff upper lip.  We still like you.  We’re chuffed that you offered to let us keep you admittedly valuable statue of an admittedly great man, but he’s yours–not ours–and we don’t have a place for it right now and thought you might like it back.

Police photo - After the beating.

Police photo - After the beating.

We wish you the best…and God save the Queen.

P.S. Oh, yeah. Did you get a load of that picture of Rhianna with her face all beat to hell?  I don’t cotton to men beating up women.  I’d like to beat the crap out of that no-talent, chicken-shit bastard.  Chris Brown says he’s sorry and he’s getting strength from God.  Aw, nuts.  Ain’t they always looking to God to bail them out?  What a maroon!

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Here in the hectic but not flustered offices of the Curmudgeon, I heard a news item, casually told, that made my head spin like Linda Blair’s.  The news item was something about the Taliban changing tack.  I really don’t pay a lot of attention to these things until something slaps me upside the head and says, “Pay attention!”  So I did.

What I heard was that no longer would the Taliban be beheading barbers for shaving off peoples beards.  WTF? fashion-5 You mean they WERE?  You can argue your cultural differences all you want, but anybody who thinks that was okie doke is whacked.  Seriously wacked.  What has the Taliban putting barbers on the chopping block have to do with that picture up there you ask?  Except for them disapproving of that sort of thing (wonder what they’d cut off in this case?) it has nothing to do with it.  Except that my alert friend Sheena Robins brought this to my attention,
thereby taking me from my normal curmudgeonly state regarding rolling heads into a state of happiness.

It seems the fashion trend for low riders and visible thong straps has taken a new daring step.  Note that my friend is Filipino and most of these pictures appear to have been taken there, proving that the impudent march of western culture will not be stopped.

I, for one, love the statement this daring fashion trend makes.  It says boldly:  I am woman.  I am confident,  I am cute.  Look at my butt.

It wont be long before the fashion trend begins—subtlety at first—on the fringes of the Taliban’s strongholds, like a waiting army, ready for attack, dropping copies of playboy by parachute into enemy territory.  So prepare
yourself, Taliban.  Lock up your women (oh wait, they already do that).  We will attack you with our ladies.  Don’t let the men see the apple. Don’t let them bite the forbidden fruit.  So pray to your made-up God, no matter what name you have given him.  We will simply say…look at our butts.  And the Taliban comes tumbling down.


My friend Sheena Robins, who alerted me to this fashion trend, is about the nicest, sweetest person you could ever hope to meet.  To read her stuff, see her profile page here.  Hey, I like her…you will too.  By the way, that’s not her up there.

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Doug Wildman - flickr

Doug Wildman - flick

Here in the productive but not slavish offices of The Curmudgeon,  I, the hoary boss, the guy in the large corner office overlooking the peaceful waters of Pelican Bay, sit self-satisfied with a cat-who-just-ate-the-mouse grin on my wizened face.  I have a troll and I just began trolling him.

For those who don’t know, a troll is a person who “trolls” the Internet looking for little billy-goats (unsuspecting people) to eat.  They will send hateful emails to this person—whom they don’t know—hoping to get a fight out of them, a response, anything to assure them that they have some meaning in their lives.  This backwards activity offers them the only reassurance that they matter, that they can affect something, and their incessant bullying of anyone and everyone probably gives them orgasms.

They talk mighty tough with the anonymity of the Internet to hide behind, but you can bet good money that in real life they are sniveling little worms, slight of build and meager-brained.  Almost exclusively males (and maybe it is exclusive to men…or boys), you can also bet that they have never had a girlfriend, have never been romantically involved with anyone, and have never had sex (excluding the family dog.)  Conventional wisdom says that you should not respond to trolls. “Do not feed the troll,” the saying goes, because once fed, they will come back for more and you never know what lengths they’ll go to to disrupt your life.

moohaha - flickr

moohaha - flickr

Here is how I acquired my troll:   I wrote an humorous article about making your own penicillin at home by nurturing mold in your refrigerator.  Then I suggested that you could cure illnesses—any illnesses—by consuming it by the spoonful.  And it was OK to give it to your kids too.  It was totally absurd, but covering my tuchus, I included a funny disclaimer about how it was a joke, that you could actually get sick from doing this, etcetera, etcetera.  So this guy leaves a comment that goes like this:
I Hate Jackasses.  This shit did not work

I did what I was supposed to do.  I ignored him.  He then sent an email to my personal account through the site, which gives me his email address but does not give him mine.  This message read:  “dumbasses like you  you are a f**king dumbass you shity (sic) redneck”  Kind of lame, true, but it still bothered me.  You never know about these people, and his elevator obviously doesn’t go all the way to the top floor.  Again, I was a good boy and did not reply.  At least not right then.  But it niggled.

And this is how I have begun to troll the troll.  I waited a couple of weeks.  I signed up for an anonymous email account that neither reveals who I am or where I live.  I should warn you here that you must be careful.  Some things are against the law.  Never claim to represent an official agency, such as the FBI or the police.  Never threaten anyone.  Do not cross the line into repeated harassment.  Although your target can’t find you by himself, if the police become involved, they very well may be able to.  Save any messages—especially the first one—from your troll.

So I sent him my first letter just a couple of hours ago. That’s called “Feeding the troll,” and I shouldn’t have done it. But I did.

How will he react?   For starters, he’ll probably have an orgasm.  Call it a scientific experiment.  If anything fun happens, I’ll let you know.  In the meantime, I’m going to come up with some more tricks which I’ll also keep you apprised of.  You know, the Three Billy Goats Gruff was my favorite folk tale as a kid and it was fun to read it again. Google it and read it, if you like.  I feel a little like the third goat right now, and it feels good.

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Boxxy art in a gallery

Boxxy art in a gallery

Here at the opinionated but not acidulous Curmudgeon, we are Internet-savvy in all things Internet. At least I thought so, but I am apparently not, at least not to the professorial degree I thought I was. Perhaps someone on my staff should have filled me in on a couple of things.   I would think that at least the Sexy Nerd Girls down the hall would have told me about this stuff, something other than the poop on the new horn-rimmed glasses.

Let me throw a few words out there for your consideration: Meme. Boxxy. an hero.  I have just learned about these things.   Imagine my embarrassment.  Or don’t. Anyway, what I learned has disturbed the hell out of me.   Most of my new found knowledge comes from fellow HubPages writer Freezepopmorality, and you should click on his link at the bottom of this post for more info than I’m going into here, but we’ll start with the meme “an hero,” with a direct quote from my new acquaintance, Mr. Freezepop, who gave me permission to shamelessly steal from him:

“The an hero meme got its start when a young seventh grader from Minnesota, Mitchell Henderson shot himself for (allegedly) losing his ipod.  Some say bullying was a factor, but when the internet found out Mitchell had lost his ipod earlier, they latched onto this as the reason and began to make fun of him for it.  The situation was exasperated when friends and family left heartwarming, yet terribly misspelled messages on Mitchell’s myspace.  One person famously saying Mitchell was ‘such an hero, to take it all away.  We miss him so, That you should know, And we honor him this day.  He was an hero, to take that shot, to leave us all behind.’  It was from this that the an hero meme began spreading around internet messageboards.” (Don’t let your child become an hero, Freezepopmorality.)

But it didn’t stop there.   They found out where his parents lived and harassed them. People called them claiming to have found an iPod.  One heartless jerk off took a picture of an iPod on the kid’s tombstone and sent it to the parents.  This behavior is, to me, unbelievably heartless and cruel.  Criminal, in fact.

Which brings me to Boxxy, also written about by Mr. Freezepop.   Boxxy became an

Boxxy. Gone but not forgotten.

Boxxy. Gone but not forgotten.

overnight sensation, by accident, you might say.   Suddenly she was everywhere on the Internet.  People either loved her or hated her.  Personally, I think she’s as cute as a button.   But as usual, the people who hated her got up to their usual criminal mischief.  They wanted her to go away and they formed the CBRC (Center for Boxxy Restriction and Control).  Then they hacked into her youtube account and got everything they needed, made a video threatening her with the release of her personal information and sent it to her, saying the information would be released unless she quit making videos and disappeared.

Boxxy obliged.  But the information did get out.   The CBRC denies it released the info, like I believe those malformed morons.  There are now rumors that Boxxy is being harrassed and possibly even being stalked by several REAL people, not virtual people.  Boxxy ain’t coming back.   The CBRC can deny all they want, but they are responsible for anything that happens to her just the same.   The things is, they won’t care.   They’ll laugh.  They’ll think themselves cute.

My account is over-simplified, of course.  Again, follow the link below for more info. Seems to me this behavior, both “an hero” and Boxxy, goes beyond the normal cruelty of boys.   This is cruel beyond pulling the wings off of flies.   This behavoir is in the realm of Dahmer as a boy, devising new ways to kill animals and then eventually people, boiling their flesh off with acid.  It is hate-filled, venom-spit.  I can picture them admiring their photo of an iPod on the teenager’s tombstone, patting each other on the back for their cleverness. It is not funny, clever, creative, or anything remotely redeemable.   It makes my blood boil and saddens me.

To a lesser degree, it’s the same with Boxxy.   What business is it of these people who hate (why all the hatin’?) things to decide what should be on the Internet and what should not?  It’s reminiscent of early societies and land control and domination. They think the Internet is for their benefit, that they own it,  and that they are the abiters of what is allowed to become popular (in Boxxy’s case) and what or what is not allowed as normal behavior.

To them I say, you do not decide what pop culture is. You do not decide what should be popular. The Internet was not meant for you and you do not own it. In fact, you are exactly who the Internet is NOT meant for.  Why don’t you get your bedsore ass off the internet and read a book?  You are not qualified to judge a turd.  You are “an moron.”

Ok, rants over. I did promise “other” horror stories.   Here’s one.   People think lolcats is funny.  Now that’s scary.

To read Freezepopmorality’s work on the subject, go to Don’t let your child become an hero.  Be sure to check out his other meme articles, The Rise and Fall of Boxxy, and Milhouse is Not a Meme is Not a Meme.   Even his lolcats if you insist, and Sexy Nerd Girls is worth a look. A long look.  But if you’re gonna do what I think you’re gonna do, beware the ceiling cat.  He’ll be watching.

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