Archive for January 29th, 2009

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10 Things You Should Never Say On The First Internet Date

January 29, 2009

If you’ve taken the plunge and signed up for online dating, the odds are good that you’ll have to meet one of your “matches” at some point. You know, go for coffee or something, just to size each other up and see if that physical heartspark is there. A lot of people mesh well online and via email, but the chemistry turns out to be all wrong.

I have some thoughts on this for all you guys out there who are about to head down to Starbucks to meet PrettyMiss84519 for a triple latte. I’m hopeless at this kind of thing, though, so rather than tell you what you should say, I will advise you on what you shouldn’t.

  1. “I’m wearing my costume under my clothes just in case Doc Ock throws a car through the window.”
  2. “Weren’t you in my mom’s class in high school?”
  3. “A lot of the stuff I told you in my email was really just for dramatic effect.”
  4. “Are you okay? You look like you just puked or something.”
  5. “I was digging around in the couch to find enough change for this coffee, and I found a Star Trek action figure I lost a year ago.”
  6. “Wow, you have the same colour eyes as my dog.”
  7. “Remind me I have to pick up condoms after this, okay?”
  8. “I hope you’re not one of those people who’s hung up on stupid stuff, like brushing your teeth every day.”
  9. “The last time I tried this the girl expected me to pay.”
  10. “You remind me a lot of my ex-wife, only not as thin.”

Please don’t ask me how I know about this stuff. Good luck!

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Censored Bill Hicks Performance To Finally Air

January 29, 2009

You may not have heard of Bill Hicks, and that’s understandable. The standup comedian never reached the levels of fame his talent deserved, and he died young. But his legend has grown in the years since his death in 1993, which came a few months after he appeared on David Letterman and delivered a routine so scandalous it was censored and never shown.

The routine included references to shooting Billy Ray Cyrus with a shotgun, jokes about Jesus not liking people wearing crosses (“Nice sentiment, but do you think that when Jesus comes back, he’s really going to want to look at a cross? Ow. Maybe that’s why he hasn’t shown up yet …”) and digs at pro-life protesters. It’s pretty tame by today’s standards, but at the time, the network didn’t want it aired, even late at night. So Hicks never got his big break.

That’s about to change. Hicks’s mother is going to be on Letterman Friday night, and the show will finally air that censored routine. It’s another sign that the comedian’s posthumous star is on the rise; a biopic is in the works, and more fans are discovering his work. I recommend his Arizona Bay CD, which is one of my favourites.

Hicks was never a “polite” comedian, and that’s part of his appeal. He was a very, very angry person, and his comedy is dark. It’s probably not for all tastes. But we live in a world where Dane Cook sells millions of comedy albums without any actual ability, so it’s nice to know there’s a smarter alternative out there.

(Of course, if you’ve ever heard a Denis Leary standup routine, you’ve heard a dumbed-down version of Bill Hicks. Leary blatantly lifted a lot of Hicks’s stuff, particularly his bit on smoking and jogging guru Jim Fix.)

I’ll be watching Friday night. I hope you do, too.

(Note: That isn’t the Letterman performance in that video clip, by the way.)

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Today’s Moron: Nancy Cartwright

January 29, 2009

So, you’re just sitting down to a family supper when the phone rings. “Damned telemarketers!” you say as you get up to answer. But this is no ordinary telemarketer. It’s a robocall. And it’s no ordinary robocall. It’s Bart Simpson. And he’s telling you all about Scientology.

This could have actually happened today, because the robocall is real. Nancy Cartwright, the actress who provides the voice of Bart Simpson, recorded it for her Scientology overlords, and it began annoying people this week. Cartwright, a Scientologist, does a good chunk of the call in her own voice, but Bart makes several appearances.

So here’s the problem.

  1. The Simpsons’ actors are not permitted to do the voices outside of the studio. The voices are Fox property.
  2. Using the voices to endorse anything, without Fox’s approval, is a contract violation.
  3. Using the voices to promote a strange and controversial “religion” is a double-no-no.

The show’s producers have taken immediate steps, telling the media that Cartwright was out of line, that Bart Simpson does not endorse Scientology, and appropriate measures will be taken. Is Nancy out of a job? Could happen. Go into any college dorm and ask around, and you can find someone who can do a pretty amazing Bart (although there are more Cartmans out there, to be honest.)

If you ever had questions about the hold Scientology has on its followers, here’s proof of it. Cartwright risked her career — which, really, involves a couple of weeks’ worth of voice work a year, and for which she is paid $400,000 per episode. That’s about nine million dollars a year. And she risked it all for L. Ron’s followers.

Your feelings on Scientology aside, who risks that kind of work for anything? Stupid. You may see a new name on the Simpsons’ credits next year … someone making far, far less than Cartwright.

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