For Image info, see item 4 and Daily Kitten.
1) Via GOB, at whose curmudgeonly feet I slaver, Jonathan Yardley of the WaPo dips into genre fiction and finds the water's fine, as the "literary" fiction being written in this country nowadays strikes me as so jejune, self-absorbed and lifeless that I am just about unable to read it, much less pass fair judgment on it.
2) Caveat: I didn't love the most recent South Park episode Bloody Mary combining a statue of the Virgin Mary having a period with Alcoholics Anonymous being portrayed as a cult whose end goal is to leave people irresponsible and helpless for their actions. I think the AA cult comparison is lame, especially since they don't take your money or stuff or disallow you to contact your family or demand unflinching obedience, but whatever- it's really just a funny cartoon show that I watch because sometimes I find the absurd and horrific amusing when fake.
The thing about the Mary plot that surprised me wasn't the content, it was the absolute predictability. I was waiting for something as way out and inventive as I've come to expect. If you went to art school as I did, you've now seen every defamatory form of Mary's privates and their activities imaginable. Yawn.
Still, I disagree with various leagues and organizations getting their knickers in a press-releasing public twist over it. To see SP skewer sacred cows means sometimes it's your Elsie on the spike. Learning to take a joke you don't like at your expense is a sign of security and even maturity. I don't suggest you should expect such content on a cooking show, but it's a comedy/satire show with potty language shown at night for adults. Don't like it? Don't watch. It can't actually hurt you or God if you believe He's as great as advertised.
If you start enforcing that people honor feelings above all, don't ever irritate or humiliate other persons through exercise of free speech and wills, especially in the realms of thought (well, occasional thought) like media and art, you end up at a situation like this: An editor of an Afghan magazine for women (an impossiblity under the Taliban) suggested that women not be stoned for adultery and that their testimony in court should count the same as a man's, and now he faces the potential for execution. He's already been jailed for blashphemy. We have got us a ways to go, but letting religious provocations slide that neither create nor incite direct, tangible damage is a great first step.
3) About ten-ish years ago, Kevin Trudeau was working the Chicago media heavily. He had Mega Memory infomericals starring trainwreck Danny Bonaduce, who repeatedly said on his radio show that he was hiding a Dodge Viper given to him by Trudeau so it couldn't be seized in response to this set of charges by the Federal Trade Commission.
Then, 2004's FTC actions against Trudeau's Coral Calcium and Biotape claims recovered $2 million in cash, real estate, and a "luxury vehicle"as judgment against him. This subsequent ruling effectively barred him from product infomercials. However, since "The order’s ban on future infomercials exempts infomercials for books, newsletters, and other informational publications," you will note the crapulent louse has turned to hawking books of dubious information. You may watch a brief ad to read a Salon article on his publishing empire. Upgrading in the meanwhile from Bonaduce, the Natural Cures website apparently has recent clips of Howard Stern carrying his water.
One product unmentioned was a Trudeau smell-o-pen thing whose foodlike aromas were supposed to control appetite and speed weight loss. In my humble, unscientific opinion, this latest armament in the fight against obesity, SprinkleThin, is more of the same. Use with any diet you like and lose weight? Such a deal.
Update: If you don't believe in the Canadian Invasion, take heed that Trudeau is Canadian. If that weren't enough, Samantha Burns admits the mission.
4) Today in 1863 Edvard Munch was born. His recently stolen Scream is still missing. What might Munch have done with Shivers?