Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

Martha Raddatz Forces Paul Ryan into a “Bela Lugosi Moment”

Sacrilege--a moderator who moderates! Show us the math, Paul Ryan.

Paul Ryan does his impression of Dracula being faced down with a crucifix.

Everyone was talking last week about the Thursday night smackdown of Paul Ryan … by Martha Raddatz! About this across the board 20% tax cut … do you have the specifics? Do you have the math? Do you even know what you’re doing? (Well, not exactly the last one, but pretty close).

As Ryan averted his eyes and shielded himself from the glare of intense scrutiny with a more horrified scowl than Dracula being faced with a crucifix, Martha boldly advanced with her Holy Microphone! No No NO! I’m going to try to weasel around with some nonsense about Republicans reaching out for a bi-partisan solution (like THAT’S ever happened in the last 12 years). So Martha delivered the final blow: “Yeah–NO specifics!” BOOM! Score one for an objective TV journalist.

Joe Biden loved it so much, he laughed through the entire debate. Actually, Joltin’ Joe got enough solid wood on the ball to knock several so far out of the park–and Ryan along with it–that Andy Borowitz quipped that the Democrats now want Biden to take over for Barry in all the rest of the debates. Barry’s response was that he realized he gave a less than stellar performance the first time, and THIS time, he was actually going to prepare for the debate. Good move, Mr. President!

The Press–you know, the one with the so-called liberal bias–on the other hand, gave bad marks to Joe for laughing and eye-rolling at every one of Ryan’s glossing over of the facts and plain old mendacity. The same press that fell over itself four years ago to praise Sarah Palin’s winken-blinken-and-nod performance–you know, someone SHOULD have criticized her for making fun of the handicapped like that–calling it “fresh and spunky”. I guess the difference between “fresh and spunky” and “angry old man” is about 30 years. This from a press that seems to think “Moon–Green Cheese? Blue Cheese–an alternate viewpoint!” is a solid debate topic.

Anyway, now the ball is back in the big boy’s court. Let’s hope that President Obama has learned a lesson about not misunderestimating his opponent. Just because he’s a robot with a pretty hair-do for a brain doesn’t mean he can’t pack a wallop in a medium where you win by LOOKING GOOD. And that’s the way it is.

A sad note this weekend. Arlen Specter, the last Republican with a conscience, passed away after a long battle with cancer. If you want to talk about bi-partisanship, he was one of the last Republicans to believe in it. So much so that his party forced him to seek re-election as a Democrat. I didn’t always like his votes, but I had respect for the man. He–and his kind of politician–will be missed.

And if you’re wondering about my Dracula references–Hallowe’en IS on the way and my wife got me the Universal Horror Blu-Ray Collection for my birthday. Bela Lugosi is stunning in HD!

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‘The Aristocrats’, Take Deux–Oddly apropos after the past week.

A new punchline for The Aristocrats ... the Ryan Plan?

A new punchline for the world's most ummm anticlimactic joke--and I do mean anticlimactic

I prepared this cartoon the other week before Anthony Weiner’s little, errrrrr, big? ummmmm, well, let’s just say his problem was uncovered (ahem), knowing I’d be at AnimeNext in NJ this weekend. And oddly enough, it’s still appropriate. The real thing that people should be worried about which has taken a backseat to a more lurid and titillating story is, of course, the Republican plan to DRIVE AMERICANS TO THE POOR HOUSE to pay for Granny’s health care. Otherwise known as the Ryan Plan. Budget isn’t the biggest problem facing the country. Unemployment is. But the budget is being used as a means to undermine the social safety net in a cynical masquerade called “austerity.” Austerity is what YOU have to do without, not what WE have to do without, after all. And you have to do without social security, medicare and medicaid so we can keep troops in Afghanistan to protect Chinese mineral rights… I mean, make Afghanistan safe for democracy.

But the Koch Brothers-run Tea Party, the Republican party, and the big money-owned media don’t care about rising tides that float all boats. They only care about floating their own boats. But hell, even Europe is under the spell of this “austerity,” which is an attempt to drive out of a skid by yanking the steering wheel 90 degrees away from it to allow the natural braking effect of the trees to stop the car. But thinking about that is too depressing, Weiner’s wiener is much better to think about. Well, not really think about. Oh, god, I need to clorox my eyeballs to get rid of THOSE images!

Anyway, the Ryan plan forms an excellent ending for a certain misleadingly named world’s dirtiest (insert verbiage to separate the words so they don’t come together in search engines) joke. I say “misleadingly named” because it’s not a joke. It’s the SETUP for a joke. Why? Because there is no punchline.

That’s right. Joke analyzers have thought hard (ahem again) about “The Aristocrats” and wondered in what “context” the line, “We’re the Aristocrats,” is actually funny. Well, it’s not funny. What was funny was what went on before the line, and the stupid look on the audience/victim’s face when it goes from laughing like an idiot to “Huh?” What I’m saying is that if “The Aristocrats” ever really WAS a joke instead of an act of sadism on the part of the comedian then, somewhere along the line, the actual ending was dropped for the endingless ending. What is needed for it to be a real joke is a straightline followed by an actual punchline. In other words, “The Aristocrats? Why the Aristocrats?” followed by the badumbum line, “Because only Aristocrats could behave like this and still keep their dayjobs” or something like it (badumbum!). Which isn’t very funny–or probably wasn’t very funny once the immediate context–some particularly juicy bit of aristos acting badly in the news–was lost. But since it was a great excuse for coming up with the dirtiest story ever told, the hell with the punchline, I’ve got to get a look at the guy’s face when I tell it to him.

So I’m supplying a straightline/punchline combo which, once again, will not be very funny at all once the “Budget Crisis” is over. Either we forget the Ryan Plan like it deserves, or it actually becomes the basis for the US Budget. And one thing is clear. Once we screw up Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for the sake of “tightening YOUR belts”, no one will be laughing. Except the sadists who decided it would be a good idea.

And shoutouts to Alicia/Dokudel and her bf Jean-Luc, Jasmine, Onezumi (whom I missed but whom I will see at Intervention Con which anyone into webcomics, gaming and all that other good stuff should check out September 16-18 2011, at the Hilton Washington DC/Rockville) and all the other people I met this weekend at AnimeNext. And a safe trip back to Japan to Japan’s ambassador of KAWAII Yu Kimura–loved hearing you and meeting you! And check out the rock band UZUHI–they ROCK!

ANNOY YOUR FRIENDS! CONFOUND YOUR ENEMIES! PRESS ONE OF THESE BUTTONS--OR ELSE!
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