If/Then FAIL

I am guessing that Amazon didn’t score very high on the SATs, based on the following email it sent me early this morning:

Dear Amazon.com Customer,

As someone who has purchased or rated Lego Rock Band, you might like to know that The Bachelor: The Videogame will be released on June 8, 2010.  You can pre-order yours by following the link below.

The Bachelor: The Videogame The Bachelor Videogame
Warner Bros

Price: $29.99

Release Date: June 8, 2010

Platform: Nintendo Wii

Product Description
The quest for love doesn’t have to end after the show’s final rose. Now, you can experience the excitement of the TV show in your very own adventure and compete for the affections of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette! It’s up to you to make an impression that will leave your suitor with only one option…to offer you the final rose!

“As you have purchased Lego Rock Band, logic clearly dictates that you or perhaps the 10 year old boy for whom you bought Lego Rock Band must also be foaming at the mouth to play a video game based on a reality show where a bunch of crazy drunk whores fight over a giant douchenozzle…”

Local WIN

Well folks…

When I clicked on the link, I was sure I’d found our next Burning Shame Award recipient. However, after peeping his mugshot and reading of his completely understandable defense, I totally changed my mind and realized that this story is, 100%, hands-down balls-out Local WIN.


A Church Hill man has been charged with indecent exposure after allegedly running nude through a Kingsport grocery store, wearing only a rubber mask on his face.

The man was arrested at a nearby Hardee’s, where he reportedly asked employees for clothing before hiding in the bathroom. Police say the suspect admitted to the incident, citing, “he was bored and didn’t have anything to do.”

A report from Kingsport police identifies the man as Daniel R. Lee, 22, of 612 East Main Boulevard, apartment A, Church Hill. He allegedly walked into the IGA grocery store, 3006 North John B. Dennis Highway, at about 9 p.m Friday.

Police say he was, “wearing only a rubber mask.”

Store personnel told police that Lee ran around the store exposing himself to several customer and employees. One member of the staff attempted to run Lee down as he left the store, but was unable to catch him.

However, according to the police report, the employee did nab a woman that accompanied Lee. She is identified as Katelyn M. Trent, 18, of 1849 1/2 Forest View Drive, Kingsport. She allegedly claimed Lee was her boyfriend.

The report says police located Lee in the bathroom of a nearby Hardee’s. Restaurant employees told police he entered, “wearing only an orange hoodie, ” and was, “attempting to cover himself up and asking for any piece of clothing.”

One male employee gave Lee a pair of basketball shorts, according to the report. Police found Lee in the bathroom, wearing the shorts and orange hoodie.

“Daniel advised me that he did run through the IGA nude because he was bored and didn’t have anything to do,” reads the officers report.

Lee was charged with indecent exposure, arrested and transported to the Kingsport jail.

So, Daniel R. Lee, this one’s for you, dude.

Hells YES

WIN of the Week

This week’s WIN in Random Awesomeness goes to our local Books-a-Million for this (hopefully intentional) display of sweet holiday love:

Literary Kismet

Stand For More Ridiculous Histrionics From the Dominant Culture

Oh boy. Here we go again. The War On the Imaginary War On Christmas has escalated the interweb hand-wringing. Check out standforchristmas.com, a site that has been brought to you by the outstanding folks at Focus on the Family. As the site informs:

Millions upon millions in our nation deeply value the great truths of Christmas and the holiday’s inspiring place in American life and culture. We hope you will take a moment to “Stand for Christmas” by sharing feedback about your Christmas shopping experiences.

We’re asking YOU to decide which retailers are “Christmas-friendly.” They want your patronage and your gift-shopping dollars, but do they openly recognize Christmas?

Participants are asked to indicate whether a particular retailer is “Christmas-Friendly,” “Christmas-negligent,” or “Christmas-offensive.”  Readers should know that “Christmas-friendly” does not mean merely that a store does business with one who celebrates Christmas; nor does “Christmas-offensive” mean that a store has taken an action that is hostile toward one who celebrates Christmas.

No no no! For example, check out the following review of Banana Republic:

Comment Date: Nov 28 2009 10:13 AM

Rating: Christmas-Offensive

Comment: I clicked on their ad and used their search function. Typing in “Christmas gifts” I got “Holiday gifts.” Narrowing my search, I typed in “Christmas” and got “0 results for this search.” They will get the same number of purchases from me.

If one does not use the word “Christmas,” then one is offensive.  Likewise, simply acknowledging another religion’s holiday is offensive to those who observe Christmas. Most people have probably heard about the shitstorm over Best Buy. You can see the full story, as well as the HORRIBLY OFFENSIVE AND ANTI-CHRISTIAN ad here.

Wanna know what the bigots at Stand for Christmas think? Oh you know you do!

Comment Date: Dec 1 2009 6:27 AM

Rating: Christmas-Offensive

Comment: We purchased $2000.00 of computer equipment in June & were planning to purchase a Net book & wii system for Christmas. However, I found the Thanksgiving ad celebrating the Muslim holiday offensive. I am disappointed in Best Buy and intend to make my CHRISTMAS purchases & all other puchases in the future elsewhere. I only wish I had known in June-I would have spent that money elsewhere also. I think Best Buy should reconsider their policy!!

Comment Date: Nov 30 2009 9:58 AM

Rating: Christmas-Offensive

Comment: Who on earth do these people have in their marketing department? The number one rule of marketing is to promote your items to people who will buy them. I understand that Eid al-Adha was the day after Thanksgiving, but I don’t buy presents for that holiday any more than I would for Thanksgiving. Like the majority of Americans, I buy *Christmas* presents in honor of the gift God gave to us in the form of Jesus Christ. However, I will NOT be buying them from Best Buy this year. I will Christmas shop ONLY at stores that promote Christmas!!!

Comment Date: Nov 30 2009 7:33 AM

Rating: Christmas-Offensive

Comment: Christmas Negligent AND Offensive, Best Buy. Shame on you. I have purchased much from you each CHRISTMAS Season,but not this year!This is too much for us to grasp–WHY do you feel it important to give good wishes to the Muslim community, and at the same time offend so many Christians and Americans. Maybe you need to reconsider having your business in America. May God help you reconsider your stance.

And just in case this isn’t sufficient righteous indignation, please check the full-strength unfiltered crazy here and here.

So, apparently, in order to be considered “Christmas-friendly,” a retailer must overtly and explicitly recognize Christmas in advertising, personnel interaction, and store decorations and said recognition better be happening by Thanksgiving. In addition, a retailer CANNOT recognize any other religious holidays and must understand that the only event of any importance occurring after Thanksgiving is Christmas.  Furthermore, if a retailer fails to acknowledge Christmas as separate from and superior to all other religious events, then that retailer is patently offensive to christianity.

Good grief, people. What the fuck more do you want? Oh yeah – total control, I forgot. Can’t you just settle for being the dominant culture and leave the rest of us in peace? Oops – forgot that “peace” is offensive, too.

One of My Reasons for the Season

Conservative Gift Basket Ideas

Need to give a gift to a dear conservative friend/relative/newspaper delivery kid, but have NO idea what they are into? Never fear – SFL has got you covered. I suggest you go with the “gift basket” approach – because who DOESN’T love opening up one gift, only to find that it is actually many gifts. Well, maybe this guy. But most people – yes, even conservative – are delighted to receive a vessel full of gifts that have been thoughtfully hand-picked to thrill, amuse, and inebriate the recipient.

First, you will need something to delight the eye. In light of the holiday season, I suggest something red:

Note I said something “red,” not something “read.” I know that this is made even more confusing by the fact that, technically speaking, this is a “book.” (note the review by the very excellent J.C. Patriot). But from what I read, it would appear that this isn’t so much a book, as it is an idea of what a book should be as dreamed up by people who generally do not like books, facts, logic, editing, or character development. Much like Ms. Palin isn’t so much a leader as she is an idea of what a leader should be as dreamed up by people who generally do not like books, facts, logic, editing, or character development.

Okay, good.

So now that we have dazzled the eye, how ’bout a little something for the brain?

At last! Something for those who miss the good ol’ days of Bush I and Nixon AND appreciate the good ol’ challenge of a puzzle, unlike some nasty liberals who have to make fun of everything. This challenging mind-game is based on a lovingly-rendered painting of our treasured Republican presidents in the style of that calendar guy and the guy who totally captured the good ol’days that we never actually experienced and now never will thanks to socialism.

Now we need a little treat. How about something that reminds us of the reason for the season?

Yeah – I know. These are totally awesome. But unfortunately, they are not yet available for commercial purchase. I suppose you could go with the OFFICIAL Jesus cookie, but I think it would be nicer and more thoughtful if you rolled up your sleeves and made your own cookies.*

And, of course, no holiday gift basket is complete without booze:

just awesome.

And last, something to make them laugh.

Might I suggest that you avoid the audio version, as I understand that just the sound of Gore’s voice is enough to fill people with rage and crazy.

*NOTE:  While most of the gift ideas in this blog are sprinkled with snark, the cookie suggestion is straightforward. Baking, in any literal form, rules, and there is nothing nicer than taking the time to actually MAKE something for someone else.  Also, I must point out that I really really like that cookie cutter set.

Green Jellybeans: God’s Jealousy Or Just Bad Baking?

Ummm…so I was rambling about the webs looking for gift ideas, when I stumbled upon the “official” Jesus Cookie. According to the website, this is a “…family owned business, dedicated to furthering the kingdom of Jesus Christ.”  Check out the site’s testimonial:

One day, my children and I had taken some freshly baked Jesus cookies to a bank.  People were coming from all corners of the bank to see what the delicious smell was.  We shared the cookies and a particular bank employee, dressed in a suit and well over 6 feet tall stood enjoying his cookie.  My younger son looked up at the man and said, “Oh, you just ate a green jellybean, green represents God’s jealousy because He wants us to have no other gods before Him”.  The man looked at the cookie and smiled at my son and thought for a moment and then walked away.  We never know how such a seemingly small act could potentially be life changing for someone we may meet only once.

Call me a food snob, but jelly beans in cookies is TOTALLY disgusting. Couldn’t they have used a pistachio or even a raisin to represent God’s jealousy? Why a jellybean?

So, in the interests of integrity in baking, I have decided to make some OFFICIAL secular humanist cookies. The chocolate chips represents our compassion for others because chocolate is nice and so is compassion.

Yay! Cookies!

Inexplicable Celebrity Branding, Part 37

I have had a bag of these in my freezer for, I shit you not, 4 years now. Same bag. I have no plans to EVER eat them or even remove them from my freezer (unless to move them with me to a new residence).  I just sleep better at night knowing that Dwight is a part of my frozen food collection.

Since I Started Fryin' Again...

Twilight of My Soul

Some warnings before we proceed. (1). If the ‘Twilight’ fills you with sparkly squee, you are not going to love this post. (2). If you, as I previously had, have luckily managed to utterly ignore the whole TwiThing, then please, for the love of god, leave this page right now. Save yourself. Run.


So yeah, I am aware of the whole TwiThing. I generally (**generally** NOT unconditionally) love sci-fi and horror/fantasy/whateverthefuck you call stuff with zombies, robots, killer daisies, etc.  However, I am not really into dramatic crap about vampires. I was never a big Anne Rice fan. Quit watching TruBlood after 2 episodes. Etc. HOWEVER, if you throw in some funny and/or some insane fight choreography, I am on totally on board and will sit through the mushy shit (i.e., Buffy, Christopher Moore). Because that is really the difference, isn’t it? Mushy shit. You don’t see a lot of ‘tender’ heroines fawning over zombies. And aside from the dramatic ‘human’ question, robots are more likely to be carnally used and tossed, than to be the object of some self-loathing human’s obsessive love.

But vampires? What a long history of painful, ridiculous, embarrassing “love” stories we have here. Anyone else remember cringing your way through Bram Stoker’s Dracula? I was SO delighted when Gary Oldman floated creepily about – I mean, how PERFECT was he? And then they had to go and spoil a perfectly good vampire horror story. It could have been done differently.

I am not talking about GOOD love stories – I don’t hate love.  I DO hate “love” stories that spray “love” everywhere, shove “love” down your throat, and calls itself ‘profound’ and ‘passionate.’ It isn’t “love” just because you say so – you STILL need to engage in good writing and SELL it to us. The “love story” element doesn’t have to take over and, done correctly, (see Gaiman, Neil:  anything) can enhance the horror/fantasy/sci fi elements. For example, I thought the Buffy/Angel thing was REALLY well-done for the most part.  Because it knew when to be subtle and when to be aggressive. But, unfortunately, these are the exceptions.

So, yeah, not a big fan of the romantic vampire drama genre. But I have been really terribly swamped with the lawyering work of late and much in need of some easy mind-candy.

So, I picked up the first Twilight book, or “Twilight,” as it is called. Made it through. Read the second one, moon something? maybe. Had some hope after that. You know, first book = Girl falls in love with vampire (blerg), second book = Girl rebounds with werewolf. So, I am thinking things are on a decent track. Maybe in Book 3 (there is a ribbon, kind of chewed-up looking) Girl will go on a bender and have nasty revenge sex with a whole bunch of zombies. And by Book 4 (no idea), Girl will settle down with a nice respectable robot and plan the destruction of earth as we know it.  Something told me I was going to be disappointed.

Well, I have finished the 3rd book, and I am sorry to report that it is entirely devoid of zombie. Well, real zombies. There are a lot of 2 dimensional characters that lurch around stiffly and engage in repetitive and uncomfortable speech, but they cannot be rightly categorized as zombies. See, I have read a lot of the criticisms of this series – that it is poorly (or at least not well-) written, that it is anti-female, that it is anti-feminist, that it it anti-sex, etc etc etc. And you know? All of these allegations are valid to some degree. But I was was willing to give it a shot. Because, let’s be honest, the sci-fi/horror/fantasy genre is not exactly a walk down the women’s studies reading list (but see, e.g., Tepper, Sheri).

I think I may have hit a wall. The main reason I have made it this far through the books is that I know what happens in the 4th book, and was willing to suffer through all the TLA shit with the schmaltzy Romeo and Juliet crap and the completely unworthy self-comparisons to Wuthering Heights (hands OFF the Brontes, Twi-Stuff Author!). Because how cool is the violent birth of a human/vampire spawn, right? But people, I just don’t know if I can make it.

Stephen King was right in that these books are NOT well written. The underlying plot is driving, and the backstories are interesting, but the characters are painful, boring, obvious, and/or irritating. Which would be okay, except the characters seem to thing that they are mind-blowingly profound. Please don’t use Cathy and Heathcliff references to excuse your poorly constructed characters. Why does every female have to be ONLY motivated by shopping, vanity, jealousy, or mothering? And then there is Main Girl, who painfully and pointedly is not motivated by any of these things (yeah, I GET it), but is instead motived by TRUUUUUUUUE WUV.  Arrggg… I can only take so much.

I would call it anti-female, except it is equally anti-male. Which leads me to conclude that it is really not anti-female or -male, but is instead simply anti-development and anti-depth.

Sigh. When I finish this, I am going to treat myself to the new Atwood, full price, hardcover…

I *heart* Owls

Why Can’t You Be More Like Kevin?

So, one glorious fall day a year or so ago, Mr. SFL and I were taking a kid-free ride in the car.  There was a minivan in front of us, the rear window of which was asymmetrically decorated with those booster decals.  You know, the thing with a baseball, or a megaphone, or a flute and their kid’s name? I really don’t understand why people think these are a good idea. Lecher Pervypants:  ‘Hey Tyffany – your mom asked me to come and pick you up from cheerleading practice.  The Lexis broke down and she had to take it to the shop.’ Sigh. I just don’t get it. I mean, I understand that parents want to trumpet the accomplishments of their kids, but what happened to the fine tradition of the braggy holiday newsletter? I know my parents had those awful oversized booster buttons with pictures of a young SFL doing whatever it is I did, but they would have never plastered my face or my name on THEIR CAR.  

Also, I don’t like how only certain activities get praised. It seems like judgment by omission. Kids are doing things WAY cooler than sports – why aren’t their parents honoring them via vehicular homage? What about a skateboard? Where is the 21 sided-die for the proud parent of a D&D kid?  An eyeliner tube to symbolize your love for emo-lovin’ Junior?  Maybe just a limp sock for your son who is in a period of self-discovery?  






But I digress…

So, Mr. SFL and I pull up alongside the decal-laden minivan.  As I note previously, they were asymmetrically arranged, with just one decal on the left side and four or five on the right.  Which bothers me on a fundamental level.  If you are going to ‘decorate’ your vehicle, do it with an eye to the visually pleasing.  But as we get closer, I realize that there is a method to the decal madness.  On the right side, a multitude of various symbols proclaim the athletic prowess of one “Kevin.”  Young Kevin, it appears, is quite the polymath – baseball, basketball, football, track – a real year-rounder.  Contrast this with left side of the minivan, where we have but one sad lonely baseball decal for some lazy shit named Cody.  It seems Cody doesn’t try hard enough.  Cody seems to think that he only needs to get off his ass one season a year.  

Well, we finally pass the minivan and I can see it is being driven by an older female – Mom.  Mom is in the process of vigorously chastising the scowling and slouching sluggard in the passenger seat.  And I don’t blame her, as I know instantly that this is Cody – I can tell by the smirk on his face. I don’t need to hear them to know that Cody has been pulling the same old routine, slacking off, playing video games when he should be studying, talking to that slutty cheerleader, Tyffany, at all hours of the night.  Well, I don’t know about his Mom, but I have had about enough of this – Cody needs to get his shit together and soon.  Doesn’t he realize how much his Mom worries about him?  Can’t he see how he is tearing this family apart?

Cody, you bastard, why can’t you be more like Kevin?