Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Thursday, December 22, 2005
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's...me! Don't mean to brag, but...
You are Superman
|You are mild-mannered, good, |
strong and you love to help others.
Posted by Benari at 12:16 AM
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Yay! We're gonna shave 2.5 percent off of the 1.6 TRILLION dollar shortfall by screwing old folks and students! Yay!!!
The Republican-controlled Senate passed legislation to cut federal deficits by $39.7 billion on Wednesday by the narrowest of margins, 51-50, with Vice President Dick Cheney casting the deciding vote.
The measure, the product of a year's labors by the White House and the GOP in Congress, imposes the first restraints in nearly a decade in federal benefit programs such as Medicaid, Medicare and student loans.
Because, you know, that's where all the wasteful spending is...
By themselves, the deficit cuts included in the five-year bill would amount to only 2.5 percent of projected shortfalls totaling $1.6 trillion over the same time frame. Republicans said the significance lies in more than mere numbers, adding that programs such as Medicare and Medicaid threaten to consume an unsustainable amount of federal revenue if their growth is not trimmed quickly.
Home health care payments under Medicare would be frozen at current levels for a year under the bill, Medicaid regulations would be changed to make it harder for the elderly to qualify for federal nursing home benefits by turning assets over to their children.
Lender subsidies are reduced as part of an attempt to squeeze $12.6 billion from student loan programs. Another provision raises $3.6 billion for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., the federal agency that protects certain pension plans. The money would come from an increase in the premium employers pay for each covered worker or retiree, and from a fee on companies that end their pension plans.
So, the government is squeezing pennies from students who desperately need all the money they can get (*cough*) and forcing employees to pay a HIGHER PREMIUM for reduced pension benefits...
Thanks GOP! You really ARE a Grand Old Party!
Merry f*#@in' Christmas!
Posted by Benari at 11:48 AM
Finishing out my first semester of grad school, I suddenly realize that 2005 is almost over.
And, in the interests of trying to keep this blog updated (and failing), I am posting a link to an April post of mine, in honor of new buzz surrounding (yet again) the planned Watchmen movie. Since the upcoming movie will most likely never live up to expectations (if it even gets made), I've decided to remain positive and celebrate the wonder of what could be a Watchmen musical, as written by me. And Ross.
Watchmen: the Musical!
Posted by Benari at 10:03 AM
Friday, December 16, 2005
End of the semester for me, which means lots of writing, very little blogging. How will any of you survive?
For those in the NYC area on Monday, come see me do a tight 7-minute set at Stand-Up NY.
Stand-Up New York
236 West 78th Street, New York City
And don't worry; the trains should all be running on time because the current unions are pussies.
You know why the MTA won't change their offer? Because the unions set a deadline of midnight last night and then...they blinked. They extended the deadline. And when they caved before getting any of their demands met, they lost.
Now, I pay $76/month for an unlimited metro pass. And I certainly want the subway to run smoothly, my service uninterrupted. But I gotta say, the unions really let me down here. Shutting down the city's transit system, that's a display of power. That's the ultimate trump card, the: "we run this city, don't fuck with us" bargaining chip. When they called off the strike, they sent another message to the MTA: we don't have the balls to call your bluff. The MTA is also winning the PR war, as their commuter-friendly contingency plan demonstrates. And so, the MTA will win this argument. The union lost all credibility and, even worse, displayed their utter lack of conviction. Sad, really.
Oh, well. At least I can still ride the train. Yay.
Posted by Benari at 5:51 PM
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Richard Pryor, the caustic yet perceptive actor-comedian who lived dangerously close to the edge both on stage and off, died Saturday. He was 65.
Pryor died shortly before 8 a.m. of a heart attack after being taken to a hospital from his home in the San Fernando Valley, said his business manager, Karen Finch. He had been ill for years with multiple sclerosis, a degenerative disease of the nervous system.
"Fuck'n is good for you, jack. Gettin' some pussy beats having a war." -Richard Pryor
Posted by Benari at 5:09 PM
Friday, December 09, 2005
The BENARI multi-media extravaganza continues! Tonight, I'll be appearing on NY1's The Call at 9 PM, for all you New Yorkers out there. Our own Danny Newbower will also be on. So definitely tune in. You don't wanna miss what is sure to be a spectacular train wreck!
Basic cable news will never be the same.
Posted by Benari at 12:26 PM
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Great Caesar's Ghost! It's BIG MONKEY COMICS! Washington, DC and nearby Fredericksburg, Virginia will never be the same!
Check out their online website.
Comic book reviews, blogs, and fan forums!
Your favorite Super Hero-themed songs on Big Monkey Radio!
Comics online! Or visit them in person at their real world locations and talk to real live human beings!
Run by DC lovin' Scipio and Seven Hells dwellin' Devon, Big Monkey Comics is sure to be a blast. Go support those comic book lovin' fools!
Speaking of which...
Thanks to the fine folks at Rocketship for another fun evening of Q&A with Swedens's own Martin Kellerman. Congrats Alex and Mary! Nice turnout, interesting discussion and a unique look at the distinction between the American comic book market and oversees markets. And, it introduced me to the world of Kellerman's Rocky, which I will be checking out more of, in the near future.
Oh, and I met more actual real live people who usually lurk 'neath the icey depths of the dark and mysterious internet. Lookin' at you, Joe. Weird. I thought bloggers didn't actually exist. Maybe I'll run into the Easter Bunny today...
Posted by Benari at 11:18 AM
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Creativity linked to sexual success
Psychologists at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and the Open University found that professional artists and poets have about twice as many partners as other people.
Their creativity seems to act like a sexual magnet.
But Dr Daniel Nettle, a psychologist at Newcastle University's School of Biology, said it is a double-edge sword.
"Poets and artists have more sexual partners but they also have high rates of depression," he told Reuters.
The study also showed that the average number of sexual partners increased as creative output went up. What the artists produce draws attention to them, which seems to enhance their sexual allure.
Motivation for me to get more writing done and start performing more...
Posted by Benari at 9:28 PM
I love comic books. I love the escapism, I love the humor and melodrama, the angst. I love well constructed tales of two-fisted heroism and savvy social criticism crammed into 28 pages or so of four-color mayhem.
Love it. It makes me happy.
Which is why I have to agree with Mike on his assessment of the dialogue in All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder. TM.
Now, without getting into the merits of Frank Miller's current writing ability or his tendency to repeat the same monosyllabic phrases several times over 4 pages, I think he's made his intentions on the book quite clear. And not in interviews. In the actual book itself. Now, it might not be your type of comic book. Perhaps you don't enjoy being laughed at or ridiculed after shelling out 3-4 bucks and waiting 6-7 months for the story. But, execution aside, I think Miller's setting up an actual character arc here with Batman, as well as Robin.
And to piggyback on Mike's comments, in the context of the story, Batman is not only trying to scare young Dick Grayson, he himself is a character in flux, an angry young man absorbed in his war on crime in danger of losing his humanity. This is a Batman who has not come into his own yet.
Let's take a quick historical look at who Batman was in 1940, before Robin burst into his life. Batman was a vigilante and a borderline psychopath who routinely killed corrupt thugs and enemies, without remorse or regret. Only after the introduction of Robin did Batman acquire his moral code and more acceptable ethical behavior. Seems to me like a Batman whose conduct is evolving is exactly the Batman of Miller's world right now. Maybe it's not just about Batman recruiting a little boy into his war on crime. Perhaps Miller is telling the story of a Batman who needs a Robin to temper him, who needs a Robin to protect his own humanity and prevent him from becoming like the common murderers he battles. This is a Batman who needs a Robin keep him from succumbing to the darkness of what he is desperately fighting against.
Perhaps All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder isn't about introducing the iconic characters of Batman and Robin as they are most famously known; instead, maybe it's about revealing the characters' journey, showing us how they became the iconic characters we know and love.
Or maybe Miller is simply laughing at everyone who ever liked his work when we were kids, slapping us around and screaming: "You can never go home again! Now watch me daterape your childhood. Slowly."
Only time will tell.
That being said, All Star Superman rocks all kinds of worlds and is all sorts of goodness which needs no further explanation. So there.
PS: A belated congrats and Mazel Tov to John Rogers on his latest endeavor at DC Comics. Can't wait to see an all-new Blue Beetle fight Lobo in a Japansese schoolgirl outfit. Now that's the kind of comic book madness I think we can all agree upon.
Posted by Benari at 8:05 AM
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Saturday, November 19, 2005
TONIGHT! I'll let Kyria explain:
Pudding on Saturday
The shows have been going great so far, yes they have! And the best part is, there's still another chance for YOU to come.
The Target Demographic in "Extra Pudding"
(It's a sketch show, but it is funny)
Kyria Abrahams! (From Jest)
Jay Bois! (From The Big Night Out)
Dan Newbower! (From VH-1)
Benari Poulten! (From School Ties)
Jason Reich! (From The Daily Show)
Erik Seims! (From Lit)
...and introducing Shirley Jane Temple as Miss Lulu Parsnips.
- Saturday 19 November, at Juvie Hall.
- 8 PM
- $8 (yeah, I know, but we gotta rent the hall)
Juvie Hall is located below the Gene Frankel Theater at 24 Bond Street, between the Bowery and Lafayette Street. (Take the B, D, F, V or 6 to Broadway Lafayette/ Bleecker Street.)
Drinking to be done after.
See ya tonight.
Posted by Benari at 10:28 AM
Friday, November 18, 2005
I have the worst study habits EVER. I swear, I'm a terrible student. I *SHOULD* be working on my full length play and the next 30 pages of my screenplay for school.
What am I actually doing?
Watching the teaser trailer for Superman Returns.
It's a little biazarre. It definitely gets me excited, but not for the movie they're trying to promote. The stirring , kick-ass use of the original John Williams score coupled with Marlon Brando as Jor-El narrating gets me psyched...for the original. Really, that's what this teaser does: it makes me want to see the original - perhaps even a digitally re-mastered, special effects enhanced version? It also makes me nostalgic for Christopher Reeve's iconic portrayal of the Man of Steel...irrational? Unfair? Yes. But I dare you to hear that score, listen to Brando saying "I have sent them you, my only son" and NOT want to see Chris soaring toward the camera.
Tying the new Superman movie into the original movie continuity is a great concept and that tug of nostalgia is a pretty powerful tool in garnering excitment... but it might prove *too* powerful, overshadowing the new film and reminding us that we'd rather be seeing the original classic, the one that first made us believe a man could fly.
Um, I should stop geeking out over someone else's movie and actually get back to writing my screenplay now...
Posted by Benari at 2:28 PM
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Oh, hi. I didn't see you there. I'm Beowulf. Perhaps you've heard of me? My song will live forever.
And now I shall atonally sing "My song will live forever" for the next 73 minutes.
If someone asks you to go see something called Beowulf: A Rock Opera, don't. Just...don't.
No matter how intriguing the concept might sound or how hilarious the idea of a musical Beowulf might be, it's not funny. Well, not intentionally. Certainly not in a good way.
But his song will live forever.
Posted by Benari at 3:41 PM
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Once again, old chum Kevin brings us news, this time of the untimely demise of William Hootkins. You'll remember him best as Porkins in Star Wars. Yes. They named the fat guy Porkins.
But true geeks and connoisseurs of good film will also remember him as Lt. Eckhardt in 1989's Batman. And the fact that he also had a bit part in Superman IV: the Quest for Peace should be enough to immortalize him in the Geek "Bit Player" Hall of Fame, along with John Ratzenberger who managed to appear in both Empire Strikes Back AND Superman II.
But William Hootkins also played Major Eaton, a small-but-essential role in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. In fact, he is responsible for one of my favorite unsung exchanges in the movie, an exchange I often quote:
Maj. Eaton: We have top men working on it now.
Maj. Eaton: Top. Men.
Posted by Benari at 9:23 AM
Tonight! I'll let Kyria explain:
We've got 45 minutes of sketch comedy for you tonight at 9pm in Juvie Hall. $5!
A big, luxurious, full-length production of “Extra Pudding” will take place at 8:00pm Saturday November 19. $8!
Juvie Hall is located below the Gene Frankel Theater at 24 Bond Street, between the Bowery and Lafayette Street. (Take the B, D, F, V or 6 to Broadway Lafayette/ Bleecker Street.)
be there and be square!
Posted by Benari at 9:20 AM
Saturday, November 12, 2005
From the AP:
A mythical monster, believed by some to have lived for hundreds of years in the murky depths of a Swedish lake, is now fair game for hunters — if they can find it. Authorities have agreed to lift its endangered species protection.
Hundreds of people claim to have spotted a large serpent-like creature in Lake Storsjon in the northwestern province of Jamtland, and in 1986 the regional council put it on a list of endangered animals.
But a government watchdog challenged the decision, saying such protection was hardly necessary for a creature whose existence has not been proven.
The regional council agreed to remove the listing this month, but declined to rule out that a monster lives in the 300-foot deep lake.
"It exists, inasmuch as it lives in the minds of people," the council's chief legal adviser Peter Lif said about the purported beast. "But I guess we'll have to agree that it cannot be proved scientifically, and then it should not be listed as an endangered species."
The so-called Storsjo monster was first mentioned in print in 1635. Hundreds of sightings have been reported since then. Some people describe the creature as a snakelike animal with a dog's head and fins on its neck. But no clear image of it has been captured on camera.
Storsjo monster aficionados said lifting the endangered species protection was a mistake, and appeared insulted by the decision.
"We are not fanatics," said Christer Berko, of the Storsjo monster association. "We see this as very interesting phenomenon that we unfortunately have not been able to document."
I don't know if this thing even exists, but if it does, we gonna make sure it don't!
Posted by Benari at 12:59 PM
Friday, November 11, 2005
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Thanks to Kevin for pointing me to this wonderful CIA-produced bit of psyops.
You see that shit there, to the left? They're giving the soldiers flowers and pies and shit! Now THAT'S how you encourage those former-Commies to treat ya when you liberate them. All you gotta do is SHOW them how to act when you save them.
The bit that disturbs me, however, is the little editorial note on the inside cover that reads:
This comic was produced by a team of American work-for-hire illustrators (now deceased)...
Now deceased! That's some hard core shit, right there. Now it really makes me wonder whatever happened to some of my favorite artists who were working in the 80s and then suddenly disappeared...
Posted by Benari at 11:11 AM
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
And we're ready for 'em with Reed Richards-esque technology:
As pirates armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades closed in on a luxury cruise liner off Somalia's coast last weekend, crew members fended them off with water hoses and an electronic device that blasts an earsplitting noise.
The device, developed for U.S. warships after the 2000 attack on the USS Cole off Yemen, unleashed a piercing barrage nearly twice as loud as a smoke detector, while passengers huddled in a dining room away from windows. Capt. Sven Erik Pederson called for full steam ahead, taking the 10,000-ton Seabourn Spirit as fast as it could go. Pederson eventually outran the pirates, who were in small boats, and sought refuge in the Seychelles, a group of islands in the Indian Ocean.
''These guys bit off more than they could chew,'' said Bruce Good, spokesman for Miami-based Seabourn Cruise Line, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp. ``The ship is seven decks high and 439 feet long. It takes a certain amount of stupidity or audacity to attack something like that.''
The pirates approached in one, maybe two boats measuring 25 feet long about 100 miles off the Somali coast Saturday morning. The Spirit doesn't go very fast -- it has a cruising speed of just 16 knots, or 18.4 miles an hour -- so crew members countered with hoses and a nonlethal weapon called a Long Range Acoustic Device, Good said.
Developed by American Technology Corp. of San Diego, the device transmits a high-pitched, piercing noise in a directed beam, without affecting its operators or anyone outside its target range, such as the ship's passengers.
Long Range Acoustic Device. It's so rad, it's L-RAD. Take that, Pirates.
Posted by Benari at 10:45 AM
I'm a few days late, but I wanted to wish one of my all-time favorite artists a happy birthday: Happy Birthday, Jim Steranko!
One of the inspirations for Kavalier and Clay, Steranko's brief stint in comics in the late 60's has left a lasting impact and his legendary images continue to resonanate today. His Nick Fury is THE definitive version, as far as I'm concerned.
He had the perfect blend of King Kirby's jagged, explosive madness and Jazzy Johnny Romita's clean, beautiful linework, fusing the best elements of all the great artists (from popular to classic)and creating something uniquely wild-yet-realistic. A world of limitless possibilities, where fantasy and reality co-mingled in a sci-fi fantasia of heroism.
And his comic books were just plain FUN.
It's 1986 and I'm 9 years old. Somehow, I have the 2-issue 1983 prestige format series reprinting Steranko's legendary run on Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD. There are no capes, no super powers, no rage-fulled mutants within these pages - and yet, I was drawn to these 2 issues, devouring them. The art, the storytelling technique, the vivid imagery and the overall wackiness of the concepts grabbed me, sucked me into this strange world of spies, danger, over-the-top villains, and outlandish gizmos.
To this day, Nick Fury remains one of my al-time favorite characters. And it's mostly due to the innovation and imagination of Jim Steranko.
His cover images tell more story than most comics tell in 12 issues these days. Evocative, moody, surreal and iconic, his images continue to inspire and allow us a glimpse into the magical world of what could be.
I leave you with one of my favorite Steranko covers - and if this Captain America cover does not give you a chill, then, to paraphrase Dave Campbell, you are a commie.
*images courtesy of the GCD.
Posted by Benari at 9:05 AM
Actual conversation, from a few weeks ago:
Posted by Benari at 7:57 AM
Friday, November 04, 2005
"I got a story to tell...!"
Peter Gallagher's first solo album, 7 Days in Memphis, debuts next week.
But this is not the first time Peter Gallagher has belted out a tune. Oh, no. Some of us remember back to a time when a determined Ray Sharkey molded a young impressionable Peter Gallagher into the rockstar sensation Caesare in the epic film classic, The Idol Maker. I highly recommend listening to the timeless hits of Caesare, blessedly archived on Peter Gallagher's own website. Seriously. To paraphrase James Lipton, this may be the most important movie ever made in the history of film making or even the world, ever.
If you haven't seen this movie, do yourself a favor and own it immediately. It will change your life forever. Cuz, uh, somethin' happened to me.
Posted by Benari at 2:49 PM
Thursday, November 03, 2005
I'll be at Siberia tonight. Why? I'll let our own hyperbolic Sam Walters, He of the Wounded Liver, explain:
What… what’s that rumbling sound? That swelling, now deafening peal of thunder?? Lord save us, it’s… IT’S… JOHN HENRY!! AHHHHHHH!!!! (And so on.)
Thursday, Nov. 3, 9 PM, at Siberia Bar, it’s time for more Crushing Rock from everyone’s favorite, curiously named Metal band. BUT WAIT! This time, John Henry plays sans drum machine! Heavy hitting Pat O’Shea will be filling in on skins providing a visceral element missing from last gig, after which everyone suggested we get a drummer and we were forced to acknowledge that two guys jumping around to a drum machine was “sorta gay.” Anyway, toast Evil with John Henry Thursday, Nov. 3, 9 PM, at Siberia Bar. Go on, try it!
It’ll make you feeeeel gooood! I mean, um, bad! Reeeeeal bad!
356 W 40th St .
(no # on door, but there’s a small red light over it.)
New song link! Yow!
Posted by Benari at 7:40 PM
Just 'cuz they're cells, it don't mean they can't get it on:
Scientists Find Fossils in Sexual Union
This was no one-night stand. Scientists in India say they have discovered two fossils fused together in sexual union for 65 million years.
The findings were published in the October edition of the Indian journal "Current Science," which said it was the first time that sexual copulation had been discovered in a fossil state, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.
But voyeurs will need a microscope to view the eternal lovers.
The fossils are tiny swarm cells, a stage in the development of the fungus myxomycetes, also known as slime molds.
The cells reproduce by "fusing," Ranjeet Kar of the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany in Lucknow reportedly told PTI. Once the cells fuse, long, threadlike appendages known as flagella, are lost, he said.
Finding the fossils in a fused position and with their flagella shed, is evidence that the two cells were having sex, Kar said.
"The sexual organs being delicate and the time of conjugation short lived, it is indeed rare to get this stage in the fossil state," the study said.
The cells were discovered in a 30-foot deep dry well in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
Wow. And you thought science wasn't sexy!
Posted by Benari at 9:26 AM
Monday, October 31, 2005
So consistently conservative, [appeals court judge Samuel] Alito has been dubbed “Scalito” or “Scalia-lite” by some lawyers because his judicial philosophy invites comparisons to conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. But while Scalia is outspoken and is known to badger lawyers, Alito is polite, reserved and even-tempered.
Awesome! He might legally bitch slap you back to pre-1950s America, but he does it with a smile.
Posted by Benari at 1:18 PM
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Oh, those crazy Austrians. You WILL believe a man can fail to fly.
GRAZ, Austria - A man who claimed he was Superman and could fly was hospitalized early Tuesday after leaping from a fourth-floor window, authorities said.
Paramedics rushed the 23-year-old man to a hospital in the city of Graz, about 120 miles south of Vienna, after he jumped from a window and suffered head and back injuries, police said.
They said the man — who apparently had drunk several bottles of red wine before attempting the jump — appeared at the window ledge at around 4 a.m. and shouted: "I am Superman! Nothing can happen to me!"
The jumper, whose name was not released, landed on part of a lower section and roof, sparing him from more serious injuries, authorities said.
Posted by Benari at 2:50 PM
On Sunday, Parks becomes the first woman to lie in honor in the vast circular room under the Capitol dome in Washington, D.C.
Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.
Each person must live their life as a model for others.
All I was doing was trying to get home from work.
People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.
Presidential Medal of Freedom:
"On December 1, 1955, going home from work, Rosa Parks boarded a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama, and with one modest act of defiance, changed the course of history. By refusing to give up her seat, she sparked the Montgomery bus boycott and helped launch the civil rights movement. In the years since, she has remained committed to the cause of freedom, speaking out against injustice here and abroad.
Called the First Lady of Civil Rights, Rosa Parks has demonstrated, in the words of Robert Kennedy, that each time a person strikes out against injustice, she sends forth the tiny ripple of hope, which, crossing millions of others, can sweep down the walls of oppression."
Posted by Benari at 10:31 AM
Saturday, October 29, 2005
So, remember that fan-made version of Superman II using lost Donner footage?
Looks like the studio got the picture:
An all-new special edition of Superman II, re-cut by Richard Donner.
Kneel before Zod.
Posted by Benari at 8:12 PM
Friday, October 28, 2005
Ever have one of those days when you just need to bitch slap some folks?
Yeah. Me, too.
Aquaman knows what I'm talkin' 'bout.
Bitch Slap o' the Day:
YOU GOT SERVED!
Vice presidential adviser I. Lewis "Scooter' Libby Jr. was indicted Friday on charges of obstruction of justice, making a false statement and perjury in the CIA leak case.
Karl Rove, President Bush's closest adviser, escaped indictment Friday but remained under investigation, his legal status a looming political problem for the White House.
The indictments stem from a two-year investigation by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald into whether Rove, Libby or any other administration officials knowingly revealed the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame or lied about their involvement to investigators.
The five-count indictment accuses Libby of lying about how and when he learned about CIA official Plame's identity in 2003 and then told reporters about it. The information was classified.
Posted by Benari at 10:39 AM
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Forget the fact that this Michigan woman was working part-time and only making $9 an hour. Forget the fact that her husband is being deployed to Iraq for at least a year, probably more. Forget the fact that corporate America sucks.
This story really drives home the point that normal America does not give a rat's ass about being at WAR.
From the AP:
A woman who took an unpaid leave of absence from work to see her husband off to war with an Indiana National Guard unit has been fired after failing to show up for her part-time receptionist job the day following his departure.
"It was a shock," said Suzette Boler, a 40-year-old mother of three and grandmother of three. "I was hurt. I felt abandoned by people I thought cared for me. I sat down on the floor and cried for probably two hours."
Officials at her former workplace, Benefit Management Administrators Inc., a Caledonia employee-benefits company, confirmed that Boler was dismissed when she didn't report to work the day after she said goodbye to her husband of 22 years.
"We gave her sufficient time to get back to work," Clark Galloway, vice president of operations for Benefit Management, told The Grand Rapids Press for a story Wednesday.
He added that other factors were involved in the decision, but he declined to elaborate.
On Oct. 16, Boler went with her husband, Army Spc. Jerry Boler, 45, to an Indianapolis-area airfield, where he and others in his National Guard unit gathered to be transported to Fort Dix, N.J. The unit will soon be deployed to Iraq, where he will help guard convoys from insurgent attacks.
Although the Bolers moved to western Michigan 14 years ago, Jerry Boler, a diesel mechanic, decided to remain with his Bloomington, Ind.-based Guard unit, the 150th Field Artillery Regiment.
Suzette Boler had received permission to take off work the week leading up to her husband's departure. As a part-time employee at Benefit Management, she did not receive vacation pay and was not compensated for her time off.
She usually worked Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays answering telephones, entering claims information and greeting visitors and clients. Boler, who said she considers herself a reliable employee with good work habits, was employed at the company for 14 months and earned $9 per hour.
Boler recalled being asked, not ordered, to start back at her job Oct. 17, the day after her husband left. She told her bosses that she would try to return that day but if she could not, she would definitely be back Oct. 18, she said.
When Boler returned home from Indiana on the night of Oct. 16, a few hours after leaving her husband at the airfield, she said she felt drained by the emotional ordeal and decided to return to work Oct. 18.
But on the afternoon of Oct. 17, she received a call from work telling her to come in the following day and get her things because she was being fired. Her pink slip said the reason was she failed to show up for work Oct. 17, a Monday.
"If I had even an inkling that I would be fired for not coming in Monday, I would have been there," she said.
Sorry your husband is being shipped off to war. Screw you, lady! But don't worry, at a Specialist's pay rate (as an E-4, his base pay will be LESS than $2,000/month), I'm sure you patriotic folks willing to sacrifice for your country will somehow manage to survive. Meanwhile, we here at Benefit Management Administrators, Inc. will continue to exploit the poor and working class through low wages while simultaneously spitting in your face as your husband defends our right to do so. Ha HA! Corporate America wins again, suckers!
Okay - so. She didn't show up on the 17th, after taking a WEEK of UNPAID vacation. Isn't there someone in the compnay who is supposed to talk to her, find out if she's doing all right, find out what her circumstances may be? Someone to say, "hey, I understand. What can we do to make things better?" Maybe they just hate military families.
But wait, Benari. You don't know all the facts.
No. I don't. I don't know what her history at the company is like. But I do know bad timing and a callous disregard for human beings. This woman is in the middle of some very emotional circumstances - at the very least, a little special care should be given to ANYONE who has to endure a deployment. I think they could cut her a little slack this time. Until the rest of the US of A begins feeling the heavy impact of WAR, things like this will continue happening. Because we're delusional. We think everything can and should run normally - better than normal! - even when we're fighting two different wars on two different fronts in two different countries. We've been at war overseas for about 4 years now. We've been at war in Iraq for over 2 years. And so far, the only Americans who have truly been impacted by this have been military families, expected to bear the brunt of America's sacrifice. It's getting old.
Now, here's something interesting. I wanted to call up this company and register my extreme displeasure at their utter disregard for what this woman may be going through. But when I went to their website, http://www.benefitsthatfit.com/, to find some contact info, I got this message:
Our website is currently down. Please check back at a later time. We apologize for the inconvenience.
I guess I wasn't the only one who wanted to get in touch with these guys. That's encouraging. And with a little more googling, I was able to come up with a number and an address:
N. Henry Bledsoe
Benefit Management Administrators, Inc.
PO BOX 17
9365 Cherry Valley Ave
Caledonia, MI 49316
Give 'em a call or drop 'em a nice letter or an e-mail. Remember to use civil language. And small words.
But, wait, Benari. All she had to do was show up to work the day after her husband got deployed! Aren't you getting a little carried away here?
You know what. When you get deployed or when your husband/wife/father/mother/son/daughter/loved one gets deployed, then you can talk to me about showing up to work the next day. Until then:
Posted by Benari at 11:12 AM
And somewhere ol' Shoeless Joe Jackson is smilin'...
Congratulations to that other long-suffering Sox team. Congrats to the White Sox on being the second Sox team in two years to sweep the World Series.
And the guy I'm happiest for? Only one of the greatest catchers to ever play the game, the man who wore both red AND white sox, the man who hit one of the single greatest homeruns of all time...
Pudge himself. Mr. Carlton Fisk.
2 curses broken in two years. Next year:
Let's go Cubs!
Posted by Benari at 9:38 AM
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
As we hit some somber milestones in Iraq, I'd like to take a moment to remember the fallen, the brothers and sisters I've lost, and ALL those who have lost their lives in war.
Yit-gadal v'yit-kadash sh'mey raba, b'alma di v'ra hirutey, vyam-lih mal-hutey b'ha-yey-hon uv'yomey-hon uv'ha-yey d'hol beyt yisrael ba-agala u-vizman kariv, v'imru amen.
(Congregation and Mourners:)
Y'hey sh'mey raba m'varah l'alam ul'almey alma-ya.
Yit-barah v'yish-tabah v'yit-pa-ar v'yit-romam v'yit-na-sey v'yit-hadar v'yit-aleh v'yit-halal sh'mey d'kud-sha, b'rih hu, leyla* min kol bir-hata v'shi-rata tush-b'hata v'ne-hemata da-amiran b'alma, v imru amen.
Y'hey sh'lama raba min sh'ma-ya, v'ha-yim aleynu v'al kol yisrael, vimru amen.
Oseh shalom bim-romav, hu ya-aseh shalom aleynu v'al kol yisrael, v'imru amen.
Posted by Benari at 10:58 AM
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Spent the past weekend outside, in the rain and bitter cold, carrying a heavy ruck and firing my M-16, crawling around in the dirt and mud, driving around in Humvees. I got back Sunday night, tired, dirty, and sore.
On the plus side, I got pampered with a long, hot bubble bath upon my return. So it works out to about even, I'd say.
Posted by Benari at 8:58 AM
Thursday, October 20, 2005
But if it's 1:30 AM and you're in New York City, you can swing into any 24-hour CVS or Duane Reade or Rite-Aid and get yourself a snack, a toothbrush, some Q-Tips, eyeliner, deodorant, a coloring book, a Hallmark card for mom ... you can even get yourself some Haines boxer briefs.
Know what you can't get if you're fella?
Normal, average, everyday, cheap white socks. They don't got 'em. Oh, they have plenty o' sox for the ladies: cotton socks, knee socks, toe socks, bobby socks, stockings, nylons...whatever. All for the ladies. But for the dudes? Nothing. No socks for the guys.
What the - ?!
Maybe it's 2 in the morning and I need a cheap pair of clean socks. What's wrong with that? People need socks. Guys need socks. And I can't get 'em. Why? Y. Because I have a y chromosome. That's why.
Equal rights, that's all I'm asking. Don't we, as men, deserve to purchase inexpensive socks at one in the morning, too? Is that too much to ask?
...cuz I ain't wearin' no ladies' socks, no way, no how.
Posted by Benari at 2:33 PM
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
I was saddened by the recent suicide of ex-SNL cast member Charles Rocket...
my condolences to his friends and family.
His death actually got Ross and I talking about that era of comedy and the ill-fated and somewhat unfairly mocked cast for Saturday Night Live, circa 1980-1985. Following the original Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time Players was no easy task and the mismanaged and disjointed production of the early 80s SNL had the misfortune of going through its evolution and growing pains live, on-air. Not to mention the petty backstage politics that I'm sure were involved ...
And Rocket seems to personify everything that went wrong during that time. I always thought it was unfair that Rocket's one claim to fame - uttering the word "fuck" on live television - cost him the rest of his career, basically. In truth, he did the one thing that everyone had been waiting for since the beginning of SNL - he proved the dangerous truth of live, late-night comedy and uttered the magic four-letter word that strikes fear into the hearts of middle America. For the briefest of moments, Rocket made SNL as dangerous, as edgy as it always promised it could be. But, as comics all know, timing is everything, so Charles Rocket was punished for the sins of the 1980 season.
And 25 years later, he took his life ("as lovers often do") before VH1 could cram him into a house with Al Molinaro and Spuds MacKenzie*.
*doG rest her soul, as well.
So, as an aspiring comic, I think it's important to pay respect to Charles Rocket ...
...by paraphrasing the end of an uber-geeky conversation with Ross, following news of Rocket's death. No, I'm not proud. But death be not proud, either.
Ross: ...my only question is, who's next.
Me: You mean, you think someone's killing off SNL cast members from the early 80s?
Ross: Like a serial killer.
Me: Like Watchmen.
Ross: So, we've just made Charles Rocket the Comedian?
Ross: You know that makes Tim Kazurinsky Rorschach.
Me: Then Eddie Murphy would have to be Dr. Manhattan. Piscopo?
Ross: Night Owl?
Me: Brian-Doyle Murray would have to be Hollis, then. What about Denny Dillon, Mary Gross, or Robin Duke? Silk Spectre?
Ross: Dude, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is Silk Spectre [II].
Me: Obviously. And Brad Hall...hm, but they came later. Like '82, the Gary Kroeger years.
Ross: Doesn't matter.
Me: What if Brad Hall was really the force behind that era of SNL?
Ross: No, he was really behind Seinfeld.
Me: Oh my God. Brad Hall is behind it all.
Me: Brad Hall is Veidt. He did it. It was Brad Hall all along.
Ross: Oh, man. We just made Brad Hall Ozymandias.
Me: You know that makes Gilbert Gottfried Hooded Justice.
Ross: I think you need to stop there.
Posted by Benari at 9:56 AM
Monday, October 17, 2005
But...but, I just got here!
Olsen twin Mary-Kate returns to LA
She gave living a normal life a shot, but it seems Mary-Kate Olsen is just too Hollywood.
The kookier one of the mega-rich Olsen Twins has gone on a leave of absence from New York University to concentrate on her role as co-president of her mega-billion dollar entertainment company Dualstar.
Meanwhile, identical sister Ashley is staying at the institution.
Mary-Kate has had a rough year, battling rumours of anorexia, cocaine abuse and failed relationships.
Not great attributes for an average college student - but perfect for a Tinseltown big cheese.
Perhaps that's why she is coming back to the West Coast - it is the one place where everyone else has just as many problems as her?
The 19-year-old twins have been in the limelight since they were a year old.
I hope Ashley is able to handle school without her twin sister. Perhaps she needs some consoling...
Posted by Benari at 9:42 PM
Well, well, well. Oh, well.
Lookit who got his and herself ranked the number one magazine cover --->
Oh, my. John's a bit nekkid there. The kids love them some naked John Lennon, I guess. Still. Quite the frivolous honor. Love is the answer.
Posted by Benari at 7:11 PM
Friday, October 14, 2005
I could tell you about the new super secret spy organization, but I'd have to kill you.
Undercover CIA official picked to oversee human spywork
By Katherine Shrader, Associated Press October 14, 2005
WASHINGTON -- A top CIA manager who remains undercover will soon oversee the traditional human spying activities for the entire intelligence community, a position created in the intelligence changes after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Publicly, he is referred to as ''Jose," said US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan's full details had yet to be released.
Jose's posting as head of the new National Clandestine Service ends weeks of debate over whether the CIA would retain its role as the primary agency responsible for traditional human spywork, as an increasing number of US national security agencies take on this type of work.
He will now broadly coordinate operations for the FBI, Defense Department, and other agencies involved in human intelligence, or the information gathered by people, rather than by technical means.
Jose now serves as the director of the CIA's clandestine service, which handles the agency's human intelligence gathering.
Forming a National Clandestine Service was one of more than 70 recommendations from President Bush's commission on weapons of mass destruction, which released a bruising report in March about the current capabilities of the 15 agencies that make up the US intelligence community.
I just hope the new spy organization gets its own kickass helicarrier!
Posted by Benari at 10:45 AM
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
A safe and easy fast to all the Jews this Yom Kippur.
The Day of Atonement.
One day blowout sale; all sin is forgiven. Just give us a day, we'll take away your sins! Come on down to schul and pray for forgiveness. If you can't pray, someone'll pray for ya! We're giving repentance away. We're so crazy, we're mishugina!
Posted by Benari at 7:25 PM
Saturday, October 08, 2005
And the cosmos rights itself. The universe puts itself back in synch once more, as everything returns to normal. The Red Sox are World Champions no more. It was a fun ride while it lasted. Luckily, after last year's spectacular performance, there's a bit of a grace period.
One year down, eighty-five more to go.
Posted by Benari at 10:26 AM
Friday, October 07, 2005
Via The Reverend Tim McIntire, the best spam ever:
From: R.V.D. Veda Prakash
Date: Oct 4, 2005 6:26 AM
Subject: Hitler Didn't die in Bunkar, I have proof
Take look at this website I wrote something about Hitler, Hitler Didn't die
in Bunkar, I have proof read Hitler section in this webpage
Any website that has "swastik" in it has GOT to be good!
And check out Jesus Second Come" (nowhere near as dirty as it sounds) where you can find the answers to such questions as:
Did Jesus was black or white?
On what Symbol based Jesus took the Birth?
What will be the shape of bible I mean old testimony and new testimony? Will be any third testimony?
I myself am an Old Testimony kind of guy, but that's just me.
And yes, there is a special Hitler section. I think it goes without saying that if you are at work, clicking on anything that says "Hitler section" should get you fired.
And don't miss out on this section: Mystery Solution!!!
Answers for world unsolved mystery's
But I am not good in english"
It might not make any sense at all when you first read it, but just follow the simple instructions and all will be made clear:
Read this section very carefully, if you don't understand this section you won't understand entire web page. Read two times or three times or four times this section only if you don't understand.
Thanks, Tim. I've just blown my entire afternoon reading through the greatest website ever.
Posted by Benari at 2:08 PM
The White House has denied that US President George W. Bush said God told him to invade Iraq and Afghanistan, as a new BBC documentary is expected to reveal.
That's absurd. He's never made such comments," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Thursday.
I know. Totally absurd. That'd be like telling a group of Amish voters that God speaks through you. It's like that time, when the President said:
“I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job.’’
Or that'd be like if the President said:
Or if he said:
"I believe that God wants me to be president."
I mean, that would be totally absurd.
Posted by Benari at 11:47 AM
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Monday, October 03, 2005
So much time, so little to do. Wait. Strike that. Reverse it.
Sox are in. Just what I need. More distractions from my school work. Oh, obsession.
Harriet Miers. No experience as a judge. Because Presidential nominees with no prior experience in the job to which they've been nominated has worked out so well in the past...
Happy New Year to the Jews! And all our goyim friends, as well.
Posted by Benari at 8:16 AM
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Keep the mojo risin', the strikes a'throwin', and the bats a'swingin'. Let's take the lead today. Hug your dads, call your moms, wear your lucky shirts, rub your magic totems, pray to your gods, light your candles, and put on your rally caps.
Let's go Red Sox.
It all rests on Schilling's ankle tomorrow. sigh.
Posted by Benari at 12:57 PM
Friday, September 30, 2005
Three games left.
The end of the pennant race.
Greatest rivalry in baseball.
And the Sox need to sweep the Bombers to win it.
They need to take two out of three to force a one game play-off.
The season on the line.
And who do I trust most to come through big in a situation like this?
And of course, my boy Jason Varitek.
Let's go Red Sox.
Posted by Benari at 7:05 PM
It may be the oddest tale to emerge from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico.
Experts who have studied the US navy's cetacean training exercises claim the 36 mammals could be carrying 'toxic dart' guns. Divers and surfers risk attack, they claim, from a species considered to be among the planet's smartest. The US navy admits it has been training dolphins for military purposes, but has refused to confirm that any are missing.
But one thing is for sure: many brave dolphins, sea lions, and assorted aquatic animals proudly serve our country every day, and have done so for over 40 years.
Learn more about the U.S. Navy's Marine Mammal Program.
And remember: freedom is on the ma...uh, swim.
Posted by Benari at 3:56 PM
So, over at Newsarama, I just saw the preview for the new ALL STAR SUPERMAN. And they have a bunch of insightful quotes from Grant Morrison...and this part in particular jumped out at me:
My first issue, for instance, has a new power for Superman and I thought I'd come up with something, well...not bad...then I just read - yesterday in fact - the story 'Superman's New Power' which appeared in Superman #125 from November 1958. And guess what Superman's new power was in the 'conservative' ‘50s. That's right - it's a teeny-tiny little Superman who shoots out from the palm of the big Superman's hand and does everything better than Superman himself, leaving the full-size Superman feeling redundant and worthless. Holy analysis, Batman! It's mindbending, brilliant and eerie work. This is what it would be like if Charlie Kaufmann wrote and directed the Superman movie and it's far from goofy or childish, it's genuinely affecting and slightly disturbing to read Superman saying stuff like 'Everyone's impressed except ME! Don't they understand how I feel -- playing second fiddle to a miniature duplicate of myself...a sort of SUPER-IMP?'
And people think I'M weird ? I %$%$^ wish I was weird like this! I wish pop comics today had the balls to be as poetic and poignant and truly 'all-ages' again, and a little less self-conscious. I feel a little ashamed for not even daring to think of a magnificent tiny Superman who makes the real Superman feel inadequate every time he springs from his hand. Those kinds of stories were like weird fever dreams and they sold millions and millions of copies every month.
Could. Not. Agree. More.
All Star Superman. November.
Posted by Benari at 1:38 PM
Fun show last night at the Telephone Bar - thanks to all involved.
For anyone who likes comedy in NYC and wants to keep up with what's goin' on, Rachel Kramer Bussel's comedy blog is must reading. She's the chronicler of all things comedic in New York City and you're guaranteed to find something to scratch your comedy itch there. It's the Time Out New York of the comedy blog world. But cuter.
So, yesterday afternoon, I swing by my favorite local comic book store, Rocketship, and in my search for more bang for my buck, I come across the latest push from DC, a collection of b&w reprints of vintage Silver Age stories which is DC's answer to Marvel's amazingly successful Essentials line. Specifically, I see Showcase Presents: Superman Volume 1. Reprints of late 50's Superman and Action Comics tales, presented chronologically. And it's under 10 bucks. A fact the cover proudly proclaims. OVERPOWERING...CAN'T...RESIST! MUST...BUY...
I adore these black and white reprints. I've actually read a good number of these Superman stories already in various other collections, reprints, or in their original forms. But seeing the pure, unadulterated zaniness of the 50's Silver Age Superman in stark black and white gives these stories an underground 'zine feel, like I'm reading some kind of bootleg, indie version of iconic stories.
And the stories themselves - the first thing that struck me was how many of these stories I've already seen reprinted in "best of" collections, further proof of how iconic these stories are. Short stories, crammed with action and characterization; self-contained and easily accessible, these stories taken individually entertain with jam-packed excitement and melodrama; while taken as a whole, they cleverly create, add to, and perpetuate the well-known Superman mythos. There's a brilliantly complex simplicity in these stories; many of them hinge upon Superman acting "out of character" until intrigued readers discover that it was all part of some super plan. Other stories revolve around Superman himself trying to figure out why the world as he knows it is out of whack, whether he's dealing with his friends and/or enemies acting "out of character" or dealing with transforming into a lion -
Yes. Superman ends up with a lion's head. Only in comic books could our hero suddenly find that he's a humanoid LION. I don't know what bizarre 50's trend this was, but it plays out in spectacular Silver Age melodramatic fashion, as Superman's main conflict is trying to fit into society with a LION'S HEAD!!! Oh, Silver Age. How unpretentious you truly were.
Now, I admit - when I was a kid, I never fully appreciated the sly wit and wacky inventiveness of Silver Age DC. But, man. Looking at it now, there was so much creative energy and imagination - despite the crushing restrictions of that era's Comics' Code, these guys managed to pack every story with subversive and mind-blowing concepts that could only be found in the 4-color world of comic books. It was escapism at its best and purest, in the hands of master craftsmen who truly knew how to exploit the potential of the medium.
Surprisingly, I think one of my favorite stories here is the oddball tale of "Superman's NEW Power!", brilliantly scripted by Jerry Coleman and beautifully penciled by the legendary Wayne Boring. The cliff's notes version is that Superman loses his powers, but gains a new one: he can materialize a tiny Superman from his fingertips, complete with all his superpowers. The Last Son of Krypton watches glumly as his midget doppelganger carries out all his super feats, silently saving the day and then returning to Superman, ready to avert the next disaster when called upon. At one point, when trouble occurs, Superman flies to the rescue, sadly aware that his only power is sending out his tiny proxy; Kal-El is now feeling like a useless bystander while tiny Superman saves the day, leading to some amazingly moody reflections, such as Superman thinking: "This is a job for (sigh)...Superman's new power."
Superman feeling ineffectual next to his all-powerful, tiny counterpart?! He's got a new power that he hates, but he has to keep using it to help mankind!!! Great Caesar's Ghost, at one point, The Man of Tomorrow is even thinking about killing his midget proxy to regain his powers! And this is before the Marvel Age of the reluctant hero! Holy Sockamagee!
The story ends when the tiny Superman sacrifices himself to save the real Superman...and Superman magically regains his powers, left to wonder whether his mini-man of steel had his own heroic thoughts or whether he was merely carrying out Superman's commands.
What pathos! What drama! What comedy! Cheese and crackers, this 8-page story had more in it than 8 issues of Ultimate anything! Well worth the 10 bucks, pick up the Superman collection. There's also a Green Lantern collection out right now, where you can thrill to the beautiful line work of Gil Kane and the hipster-cool adventures of ace test pilot Hal Jordan, the most fearless man on earth with the universe's most powerful weapon. Holy High Concept, Batman. And over the next few months, there will be collections of JLA, Jonah Hex, and Metamorpho. I highly recommend these b&w reprints, as well as anything from Marvel's Essentials line. Because as simple as these tales seem, these bombastic and moody tales prove that comic books ain't so black white ...
Posted by Benari at 9:59 AM
Thursday, September 29, 2005
For just one lousy buck, you can see some comedy tonight at The Telephone Bar.
The $1 Room
Stand Up, Sketch and Video with Cassidy Henehan, Peter Kassnove and Brad Steuernagel
149 Second Ave. (between 9th and 10th) NYC
Swing on by for some good, cheap comedy. We'll grab a beer.
Posted by Benari at 4:34 PM
Oh, the rich people want what the poor people's got
And the poor people want what the rich people's got
And the skinny people want what the fat people's got
And the fat people want what the skinny people's got
You can never please anybody in this world
It doesn't matter what you do
It doesn't matter what you say
There will always be one who wants things the opposite way
We do our best, we try to please
But we're like the rest we're never at ease
You can never please
In this world
I saw The Shaggs last night, the musical based on the real-life actual band, The Shaggs, proof that if you're gonna be bad at something, it's best to be the absolute worst.
There's a purity in the awfulness that was The Shaggs' music, an intense honesty in their dissonant chords and monotone vocals, as well as a genuine eeriness in the way in which their blunt lyrics and discordant tunes haunt you long after you'd like to erase them from your memory.
At some point, it seemed hip to laud them for their sheer atrocity - a quality which ironically made them even more rock n' roll than the slickest of rock n' rollers! From Rolling Stone to Susan Orlean, critics began recognizing the deeper emotional truth in the Shaggs' music - an unpretentious truth that is actually transcendental in a way that the over-produced William Hung phenomenon could never capture.
Because, in the end, The Shaggs weren't the instruments they couldn't really play, nor were they the lyrics they couldn't really sing. They were just some girls from New Hampshire, trapped in their father's dream, trying to be the best they could be at something they never were. And in their failure, they managed to stumble upon the elusive magic of true art.
There are many things I wonder
There are many things I don't
It seems as though the things I wonder most
Are the things I never find out
Posted by Benari at 10:23 AM
Sunday, September 25, 2005
You're Classic Batman. You're the old school,
iconic Batman that everyone knows. Your
sidekick is Dick Grayson, the original Robin,
and you also team up with Batgirl alot. You're
the World's Greatest Detective, and also one of
the best fighters on the planet. You're against
guns and lethal force. Right now, you're pretty
much in the prime of your career, before you
become haunted by Dead Sidekicks and loved
What kind of Batman are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
Posted by Benari at 10:27 PM
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Uh, okay. So being in the writing program at Tisch is a little like experiencing alcoholic blackouts. Next thing I know, it's Thursday. Of course, the actual drinking during all of this doesn't help much, either...
Also, just an observation. When you go out drinking with your class and one of your professors shows up blitzed, it can't be anything but AWESOME.
Here's where I'll be tonight:
Becky and Claudia's Supreme Offering--NOW THURSDAYS!!!
New night, same hilarious stand up, Teddy Grahams and liquor giveaway
at the end of the night
This week's comedians, as selected by God herself:
Jon Friedman (Rejection Show)
Christina McGrath (UCB NY, soon to be UCB LA)
Benari Poulten (The US Army & The Tank)
Adam Lowitt (The Daily Show)
Allison Castillo (VH1, Sweet Paprika)
Baron Vaughn (Galapagos, his one man show "Actor. Comedian. Negro.")
and your devoted co-hosts/roommates, Claudia Cogan and Becky Poole.
This Thursday, September 22nd
312 Graham Avenue--next to the Liquor Store
Between Devoe and Ainslie Streets
Take the L to Graham Ave (3rd stop in the BK) and walk a block and a half south
FREE; no minimum
Posted by Benari at 9:23 AM
Friday, September 16, 2005
The Comic Treadmill has an excellent summary of some good old-fashioned Aquaman goodness. Which is well worth a read. But for me, it once again shows why those grand ol' Silver Age comics are such classics. With their earnest exuberance and unabashed corniness, those comics offered pure escapism from all of reality. Oh, and the creators never passed up a chance for a dirty double entendre:
Posted by Benari at 6:15 PM
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Been a little too burned out to really post anything, so on this Geek Thursday, I present a gift to you fine folks out there in cyberspace-land.
In 1978, William Shatner infamously performed a rendition of Elton John's "Rocket Man." Over twenty years later, Stewie (he of Family Guy) recreated the performance, nailing the essence of it and parodying moments of it perfectly. It's funny on it's own; it's brilliantly hilarious if you've seen the original performance. And now you can. Back to back.
On this day, I give you all: Shatner vs. Stewie, thanks to GorillaMask.net.
Watch the Shatner version first - all 4 and 1/2 brilliant minutes of it. Then watch Stewie's version and bask in the glory that is Stewie doing Shatner. And then think of how our world is just a little more beautiful now.
And I think it's gonna be a long, long time....
Posted by Benari at 8:24 AM
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Friday, September 09, 2005
After his massive incompetence and ineptitude contributed to the unconscionably slow FEMA response to Hurricane Katrina, FEMA's top big-wig has FINALLY been forced off the case.
Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown, the principal target of harsh criticism of the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina, was relieved of his onsite relief command Friday.
He will be replaced by Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad W. Allen, who was overseeing New Orleans relief, recovery and rescue efforts, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced.
Michael Brown, you've just been relieved of your command, what are you gonna do?
"I'm going to go home and walk my dog and hug my wife and, maybe get a good Mexican meal and a stiff margarita and a full night's sleep. And then I'm going to go right back to FEMA and continue to do all I can to help these victims," Brown said.
WOW. I've got to help these poor victims - but first, enchilidas! Sounds a lot like what you were probably doing while Katrina was destroying the Gulf region.
Hm. I wonder what will be happening in good ol' New Orleans this weekend?
MORE than 25,000 body bags were sent to the New Orleans area as the city’s putrid, receding floodwaters began to give up their dead yesterday.
At the same time, police and National Guard forces armed with M16 automatic rifles moved from door to door to begin the forcible removal of up to 10,000 stragglers still in the devastated city.
That's almost as good as a nice, stiff Margarita.
Wait a minute, whined beaten-up Mikey Brown, right before he started crying for his momma.
"This story's not about me. This story's about the worst disaster of the history of our country that stretched every government to its limit and now we have to help these victims."
Too bad you already failed these victims, Brownie. Just like you failed at EVERYTHING else you've ever done in your life. And you would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those darned dead bodies. Enjoy your "full night's sleep." Because there's a special place in hell that's just opened up for li'l ol' you...
Posted by Benari at 3:30 PM
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Okay, so two days into my grad program and I'm already way behind. Excellent.
Meanwhile, let me pimp what is sure to be an awesome show for my lefty friends:
Tomorrow night at The Tank.
The Tank @ Chashama @ 208 West 37th Street (btwn 7th and 8th)
The always lovely Katie Halper provides the dirt:
…Come to Laughing Liberally: a night of political comedy
with special guest
Julie Goldman, just back from her hit summer in Provincetown and The Michigan Womyns Music Festival, and host of this year's LA Women's Fest.
Claudia Cogan, heard on Sirius Radio, seen at Caroline's, the UCB Theatre, and the PIT.
Benari Poulten, seen at Galapagos, Sweet Paprika, and Ars Nova
Baron Vaughn, seen at Stand-Up New York, Gotham Comedy Club, the Comedy Social and the Brooklyn Comedy Company and on VH1's "Awesomely Oversexed"
Mutha Nature's Grrrl, the band dedicated to "bridging the dangerously widening gap between folk and hip-hop one jam at a time."
and hosted by
Brought to you by the national political social network Drinking Liberally
And, as an added lazy bonus, since I have nothing new to say this week, I'll leave you with the latest and greatest Jon Stewart quote, via Daily Kos:
"Now, for you people who are saying, 'Well, stop pointing fingers at the president ... left-wing ... the media's being too hard: No. Shut up. No. This is inarguably -- inarguably -- a failure of leadership from the top of the federal government.
"Remember when Bill Clinton went out with Monica Lewinsky? That was inarguably a failure of judgment at the top. Democrats had to come out and risk losing credibility if they did not condemn Bill Clinton for his behavior. I believe Republicans are in the same position right now. And I will say this: Hurricane Katrina is George Bush's Monica Lewinsky. The only difference is this: Tens of thousands of people weren't stranded in Monica Lewinsky's vagina."
Posted by Benari at 3:29 PM
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Sunday, September 04, 2005
Some people we lost in 1977:
January 2 - Errol Garner, American jazz musician (b. 1921)
January 14 - Anthony Eden, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom;
Peter Finch, actor;
Anaïs Nin, author
January 17 - Gary Gilmore, murderer (executed by firing squad)
January 19 - Yvonne Printemps, singer, actress
January 29 - Freddie Prinze, actor/comedian (b. 1954)
February 4 - Brett Halliday, American mystery writer (b. 1904)
February 11 - Louis Beel, Prime Minister of the Netherlands (1946-1948, 1958-1959) (b. 1902)
February 28 - Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, actor
March 4 - Andrés Caicedo, Colombian writer (b. 1951)
March 16 - Kamal Jumblatt, leader of the Lebanese Druze
March 18 - Marien Ngouabi, President of The Congo
April 21 - Gummo Marx, American actor and comedian (b. 1892)
May 5 - Ludwig Erhard, German chancellor (b. 1897)
May 10 - Joan Crawford, American actress (b. 1904)
June 16 - Werner von Braun, German-born rocket scientist (b. 1912)
June 19 - Lady Olave Baden-Powell, English Chief Girl Guide (b. 1889)
June 19 - Ali Shariati, Iranian sociologist (b. 1933)
July 2 - Vladimir Nabokov, Russian-born writer (b. 1899)
July 13 - Carl Gustav von Rosen, Swedish pilot (b. 1909)
July 23 - Arsenio Erico, Paraguayan footballer (b. 1915)
August 14 - Ron Haydock, American actor, writer, and musician (b. 1940)
August 16 - Elvis Presley, American singer and actor (b. 1935)
August 19 - Groucho Marx, American actor and comedian (b. 1890)
(I can't believe we lost Gummo AND Groucho in the same year!)
September 1 - Ethel Waters, singer (b. 1896)
September 6 - John Edensor Littlewood, British mathematician (b. 1885)
September 10 - Hamida Djandoubi, last guillotine execution in France
September 12 - Steve Biko, South African activist
September 13 - Leopold Stokowski, English conductor (b. 1882)
September 16 - Marc Bolan, musician
September 16 - Maria Callas, American soprano
October 14 - Bing Crosby, American singer and actor
November 5 - René Goscinny, French comic book writer (b. 1926)
November 8 - Bucky Harris, baseball player (b. 1896)
November 15 - Princess Charlotte of Monaco
November 25 - Tommy Prince, Canadian war hero
December 19 - Jacques Tourneur, director
December 25 - Charlie Chaplin, English-born comedian
Some people we gained in 1977:
January 7 - Dustin Diamond, actor (Saved by the Bell)
January 8 - Amber Benson, actress
January 13 - Orlando Bloom, actor (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Troy)
January 26 - Vince Carter, American basketball star
January 28 - Daunte Culpepper, American football quarterback
January 28 - Joey Fatone, musician
February 2 - Shakira, Colombian musician
February 8 - Yucef Merhi, Venezuelan artist
February 11 - Mike Shinoda, musician
February 11 - Randy Moss, NFL star
February 16 - Ian Clarke, Freenet creator
February 20 - Stephon Marbury, basketball player
February 21 - Kevin Rose, former co-host of Attack of the Show and The Screen Savers
March 5 - Wally Szczerbiak, NBA basketball player
March 14 - Mervyn Colley, British kabbalist and ceremonial magician
March 28 - Devon, erotic actress
April 9 - Gerard Way, vocalist, My Chemical Romance
April 14 - Sarah Michelle Gellar, actress
April 14 - Chandra Levy, intern at the Bureau of Prisons in Washington, DC (d. 2001)
April 21 - Jamie Salé, figure skater
April 22 - Andruw Jones, Major League Baseball All-Star
April 24 - Carlos Beltrán, baseball player
April 25 - Kim Jong Kook, Korean musician
May 13 - Samantha Morton, actress
May 14 - Ada Nicodemou, Australian actress
May 14 - Roy Halladay, baseball pitcher
May 23 - Ilia Kulik, Russian figure skating champion
June 1 - Danielle Harris, voice actress
June 8 - Kanye West, rapper, producer
June 9 - Peja Stojakovic, Serbian NBA star
June 14 - Chris McAlister, American football player
June 16 - Kerry Wood, baseball pitcher
June 19 - Peter Warrick, American football player
June 27 - Raúl, Spanish international football star
July 1 - Jarome Iginla, NHL hockey player
July 1 - Liv Tyler, actress
July 8 - Wang Zhizhi, Chinese basketball player
July 14 - Victoria, Princess of Sweden - Crown Princess of Sweden from 1980
July 27 - Martha Anne Madison, actress
July 28 - Emanuel Ginóbili, Argentine basketball player
July 31 - Tim Couch, American football quarterback
August 3 - Angela Beesley, British Internet entrepreneur
August 3 - Tom Brady, American football player
August 9 - Chamique Holdsclaw, WNBA basketball player
August 12 - Plaxico Burress, American football player
August 15 - Igor Cassina, Italian gymnast
August 17 - Thierry Henry, French international football player
August 27 - Deco, Portuguese international football player
September 1 - Aaron Schobel, American football player
September 11 - Ludacris, rapper
September 13 - Fiona Apple, musician
September 28 - Se Ri Pak, Korean golfer
October 7 - Meighan Desmond, actress
October 11 - Claudia Palacios, Colombian journalist and newsreader.
October 14 - Kelly Schumacher, Canadian WNBA Basketball Player
October 25 - Birgit Prinz, German women' international football player
November 2 - Randy Harrison, actor
November 3 - Aria Giovanni, model and actress
November 10 - Brittany Murphy, actress
November 13 - Chanel Cole, singer
November 16 - Oksana Baiul, figure skater
November 19 - Kerri Strug, gymnast
November 21 - Jonas Jennings, American football player
December - Ahmed al-Nami, suspected terrorist
December 3 - Adam Malysz, Polish ski jumper
December 7 - Fernando Vargas, boxer
December 12 - Dahm triplets - Nicole, Erica, and Jaclyn Dahm, Playmates of the Month for December 1998
December 23 - Alge Crumpler, American football player
December 30 - Laila Ali, boxer, daughter of Muhammad Ali
And on this day in 1977 - me.
Posted by Benari at 9:24 AM