Local News - English
Teacher Learns a Lesson; Japan Home to the World's Humblest Man; New Metric
System to include Metric Time; Roadworks Flag Men Go Insane and Cause Carnage;
Hot on Tokyo Menus: Greenpeace Treehugger Sashimi; Local Woman Thanks Man
for over 10 minutes, more.
International News - George Jr. Anxious to "take the country out for a spin"; Electoral College Still Protecting Americans From the Tyranny of the Majority; "Excessive" Military Spending Actually Not Excessive.
Editorial - Cars kill more people than cigarettes do!
Arts and Entertainment - Eyes Wide Shut - Director's cut; Virtual Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame Established; Joe Esterhas to Star in New Joe Esterhas Movie; Local Writer: "My Writing Level is Way Beyond Anyone's Understanding," Rumors! Rumors! Rumors! more.
Society - Birth Rate Among Gay Couples Dangerously Low; Pig Latin on Endangered Languages List, Society to Promote Keanu Reeves' Canadian Identity.
Technology - Scientific Team Discovers Why Sky Is Blue; New "Spork-Knife" an Instant Hit.
Business - Publishing Industry Seeks Ban on Cut and Paste Function; Katzenberg Calls Eisner "Big Midget".
Features - Quote of the Week, He Said/He Said: English major vs. Engineering major; Wieners and Loosers; Hissy Fit of the Weak
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Japan Home to the World's Humblest Man - The long search for the world's humblest man is now over - he lives in Japan! Teinei Ishii, 86, of rural Same-gun in Nagoya prefecture has been named the world's humblest man after a ten year search by the Meek Institute of London, Ontario, Canada. When the previous humblest man in the world, Meek Institute founder Brian McCormackle, died in 1990, the search began for his successor. After interviewing thousands of applicants, the institute decided on Ishii, who is the mayor, postmaster, police chief and fire captain of his small town. Mr. Ishii refuses to take any credit for his various civil duties, insisting that he is merely holding the position until someone more qualified can be found. During Mr. Ishii's time in office, petty crime and occurrences of fires are down, while employment and postal efficiency are up. "This town was a mess before he showed up," says local resident Ruri Hasegawa, "but Mr. Ishii solved all sorts of problems all by himself, working tirelessly and being totally devoted. He's a saint, he is." Mr. Ishii, who earned a PhD. in engineering from Tokyo University, but returned home to work to improve the quality of life in his village, refuses to accept any salary from the town, hoping that it will keep taxes low. "I really don't need the town's salary, since I have a small inheritance from my father," Mr. Ishii told Head Cheese. "I don't want to be a financial burden on this town just as things are improving. I can only be thankful that I can work with so many talented people. This town is their home, everybody has helped me so much, I really am very grateful." Conversant in five languages, Mr. Ishii also acts as the town scholar, translating documents and instructing school children in his spare time. "I'm glad I can share some of the education, which I have so unworthy of, on the young minds of this town. They are our future, and will pick up and continue where I couldn't. It is important that we invest in them, no matter what the sacrifice to ourselves. And this is the way I do my part." Mr. Ishii has declined acceptance of the title of World's Humblest Man and sent back a medal that the Meek Institute sent him. "I am afraid that I really cannot accept this great honor, I'm certainly not worthy of it, there are many much humbler than I," was his only comment.
English Teacher in Japan now knows what it feels like - Mova teacher Jennifer Pond experienced a shock when she was asked to appear at a Japanese elementary school for international day. Pond, representing the United States was surprised to discover that the other people invited to attend did not come from English-speaking countries. "They were all from like China, Korea and Romania and couldn't speak English. They all spoke Japanese fluently even though most of them have been here less time than I have. The principal addressed us in Japanese, and I couldn't follow what he was saying, but the others didn't have any problems understanding." Furthermore, Pond's scant use of Japanese did not elicit the usual "Nihongo ga joozu desu ne" from the teachers. " I just couldn't compete with them," she added. "After the classes they were all yapping away in Japanese and I couldn't join in the conversation. What's more, the Chinese people started speaking in their own language and I had no idea what they were saying. I was going to say something like 'Hello, I'm here too,' but then I remembered an incident a couple of weeks ago at Sam and Daves IX where the Japanese wife of a co-worker was left out of the conversation for close to two hours. John's wife Tomoko came to our monthly get-together at Sam and Dave’s. Usually she talks to Darren's wife, who is also Japanese, but Darren's wife couldn't make it so she ended up being the only Japanese at our table. Darren, John, Michelle and I all got into a heated discussion about the US election fiasco and forgot all about Tomoko. Finally, John noticed that she was not having a good time and vainly tried to explain the electoral college to make up for it, but it didn't seem to help. Now I know what it feels like." - with reporting by Quentin Quigglesworth
New Metric System to include Metric Time - The international standard of weights and measures known as the metric system will be expanded in the new year to include metric time. The system, which was created in France in 1790 and implemented in most countries around the world since the 1960s and putting an end to unwieldy and varied systems of weights and measures, never included time in its original system. Time is not broken down into units of ten the way that other measures are, rather a day has 24 hours, an hour 60 minute, a minute 60 seconds. A second is defined as 1/86,400 of a day, but will now be defined as 1/10,000 of a day. 1 metric second (ms) will be slightly shorter than a traditional second. 10 seconds will be a decisecond (ds), 100 seconds will be a kilosecond (ks). A metric day will have 100 kiloseconds. A metric week will be 10 metric days, a metric month will have 10 metric weeks, and a year will have 3 metric months. Every second year will contain a metric leap-year month, and every tenth metric year will contain two extra metric leap-year months. Failure to comply with new metric time will result in fines and punishment from the new Metric Police, newly established by the United Nations and armed with nuclear weapons seized by the U.N. in Iraq. Billions of replacement metric time watches and clocks have also been produced and calendars have been changed accordingly.
Roadworks Flag Man Go Insane, Cause Carnage - A road works man in Shiga prefecture yesterday went insane and used his flags to cause road carnage. Minor road repair on the main Kawabata town thoroughfare Route 272 was being done by a small team of laborers. The repairs had stretched out to three times the projected time, due to supply problems, and some of the workers had been tense due to the fact that they had to live in temporary housing as they lived too far away to commute. At 5:15 after a hot sunny afternoon, flagman Joshi Sugahara appears to have suffered from a lapse of temporary insanity as he used his flags to direct traffic in the wrong direction, often stepping out in front of cars, causing traffic snarls, urging drivers to collide with other cars, and even vomiting on some vehicles. Construction had to be shut down for the day and an ambulance had to be called for Mr. Sugahara, who also seemed to be suffering from a case of extreme diarrhea.
Hot on Tokyo Menus: Greenpeace Treehugger Sashimi - A hot new item has hit the menus of Tokyos trendiest sushi bars: "greenpeace treehugger sushi." Named after the environmental association that opposes Japanese whaling, the main ingredient is in fact the meat of captured Greenpeace volunteers. The volunteers, usually in Japan to sabotage whaling efforts or on Greenpeace vessels like Rainbow Warrior attempting to stop Japanese whalers, are tried, executed, and their bodies sold to sushi bars around Tokyo. A meal of "greenpeace sushi" costs about 50,000 yen, or $500, but is difficult to find because of its immense popularity. When asked if the concept of "greenpeace sushi" was unethical, all of the diners questioned responded with the same answer. "Why should it be unethical?" asked Tokyo resident Sashi Miyake. "Nobody thinks that eating cow or pig is unethical. Some people might suppose that Greenpeace volunteers are human, so eating their meat is unethical, but in fact they aren't human at all. For example, mermaids aren't human either and nobody has a problem eating mermaid sushi, so why not 'greenpeace sushi'?"
Instant Amnesia - Same lesson taught endlessly as students instantly forget lessons - Instant amnesia has been reported as a widespread ailment in Japan recently as sociologists and educators are trying to better understand this newly defined ailment. Instant amnesia, which seems to be most common in learning situations, occurs when the brain can only retain newly required information for less than 50 minutes. English teacher Brian Gumble, who coined the term, describes his early findings. "Now I'm not an educational psychologist or anything, but I did notice that something was amiss when I found myself teaching the same lesson to the same students week after week. For example, I'd spend an hour going over the concept of 'this' and 'that' to my students one week, then when I found that they had no recollection of those ideas one week later, I'd teach the same lesson again. They seem to have made no progress since I took over the class a year ago, in fact we are still on the same lesson but trying a different approach so that we can get around this impasse. A while back I began asking around a bit, I discovered that the Japanese language also includes words that mean 'this' and 'that', so these are not novel ideas to the kids. Yet my students can't absorb them. So I dug around a bit and found a convenient scapegoat to explain away my failings as a teacher and voila - instant amnesia." The phenomenon is currently being studied clinically and in schools all around the country, and a report is expected to be made available to the minister of education later this month for further consideration.
Local Woman Stretches a "Thank You" out to much over 10 minutes - Witness in Kyoto yesterday reported an incident of a local woman stretching out a thank you message to over ten minutes. Kuniko Matsuyama, a prim 72-year-old Kyoto woman, yesterday met milk deliveryman Imo Satsuma on the street and proceeded to thank him for his excellent delivery service throughout the year. She began with thanks for his tireless service, moving on to thanks for continued commitment to her, despite her age and slight infirment, then sympathizing about the hardships of life in modern Japan, the ailing economy, difficult weather, construction hazards, illegally parked cars, reckless students, weeds growing between cobblestones, finally hoping that continued loyal service wasn't hindering Mr. Satsuma's family life of irritating his lovely wife, to whom Mrs. Matsuyama also owes a debt of gratitude. Having finished her message of thanks, Mrs. Matsuyama moved on her way, Mr. Satsuma breathed a sigh of relief, and observers stopped their stopwatches. Time: ten minutes, eight seconds.
Chiba named after Sonic Youth Album - At a press conference in Chiba yesterday, government officials finally confirmed rumors that Chiba prefecture is actually named after a Sonic Youth CD release. "Sonic Youth has always been popular in Japan," Entertainment minister Yoshida Hayao announced in the 10 minute address, "and some of their biggest fans work right here in government. When the CD 'A Thousand Leaves' was released in 1998, we thought it would be pretty cool to use that as a name for our prefecture, since "thousand leaves" written in Kanji can be pronounced Chiba, which has been the band's affectionate nickname for their overweight drummer for years anyway." We at Head Cheese also agree that “Chiba prefecture” has a nice ring to it.
"R" Declares "L" Redundant - In an intense linguistic struggle, the letter "R" declared the letter "L" redundant. The historical battle, which sets a new precedent in the English language, took place on an episode of Sesame Street sponsored by both letters. "R" cited other languages that make no use of both "r" and "l", such as Japanese and Mongolian, a stunned "L" was unable to repond to the charges and was declared a loser. The inpromptu debate, which more closely resembled a cleverly-planned surprise attack, lasted a mere ten minutes, but will have far-reaching effects. In the future the phrase "Larry and Laura ran from the rally" will now be written "Rarry and Raura ran from the rarry," although it can stirr regarry be prounounced as before.
Woman Calls Off Wedding After Taking First Drive With Fiancee - When Ms. Yoshida Yuki took her first drive with her fiance Kuni Chan, she got quite a lot more than she bargained for. As Ms. Yoshida and Mr. Kuni both live in Tokyo and aren't able to afford a car there, their first opportunity to drive together came when visiting Mr. Kuni's parents in their home-town in Nagano prefecture. "I couldn't believe Kuni-san was the same person when he got behind the wheel,” Ms. Yoshida told reporters. “First of all he turned the fan up high, then cranked the music. I couldn't understand anything he said, although actually he practically ignored me the whole time. At every stop sign he came to a rolling stop and then hit the gas. I was slammed against my door a few times and hurt my arm even. When we came to stop signs he'd wait until the last minute then slam on the brakes, and when we were driving he'd pump the gas, even accelerating when traffic lights turned red just in front of us. I was always jerking forwards and backwards, left and right. He'd get angry at other drivers and yell at the windshield. He was always cutting people off, then he got lost and blamed me for not telling him he missed the exit on the highway. It wasn't my hometown, it was his! He couldn't parallel park, so we wasted ten minutes trying to get in a space, then he gave up and we ended up parking at a street corner in front of a fire hydrant. He was at least a meter out from the curb! Other cars and bicyclists had trouble getting by him. He didn't know the first thing about driving. How he got his license is amazing. I'm probably not the best driver in the world either, but I would never do any of the things he did. He drives worse then my little brother. He even drives worse than my dad! I tell you, you think you know someone, but you never really know someone until you drive with them. I'm glad I had this experience, though, it opened my eyes to a lot of things. I'm definitely not marrying this guy." When asked for comment, ex-fiancee Kuni Chan seemed quite bitter. "It's probably a good thing I'm not marrying that scrawny, uptight little loser. How she can even cross the street without panicking surprises me."
Wimpy Man Lifts 2000 Pounds! - David Jones may be a 98-pound weakling, subject to threats and ridicule from the average high school student – but most people don’t know that he can lift 2000 pounds! As he explains, "I start off every year at the gym with the ten pound weight. If they are too heavy, I use the five pound weights and try to do a few repetitions. But I always make sure to write down how many repetitions I do. This year I have done over 200 repetitions with the ten pound weights, which means that I have lifted over 2000 pounds this year. This is an improvement from last year, when I only lifted 1500 pounds." Staff members at the gym now refer to Mr. Jones, who is clearly the skinniest person attending the club, as the 2000 pound guy. A collection has been taken up to pay for a medal to pin to his non-existent chest.
Women Fondle Breasts in Public - Local resident Peter Hoflich was alarmed on Friday as he noticed two women fondling each other's breasts in public. The incident occurred at approximately 8:30 P.M. at the live house Fandango, an establishment Mr. Hoflich enjoys frequenting. He had been keeping his eye on two attractive women in front of him, and would occasionally glance their way during live sets and speculate on what type of hair products they use to keep their hair robust and shiny. At point he noticed that one women was touching the other woman's breast, squeezing it or pushing her hand against it. After a few moments, they switched and the other woman felt the first woman's breast in a similar fashion. Nobody else seemed to notice the incident. "It seemed a little unusual," Hoflich reports, "so I couldn't help notice it. I tried not to be too obviously staring at them, but here were two women poking each other's breasts in public. It wasn't so much a sexy thing, more than just a casual touch touch. Maybe they both had implants and were comparing, I don't know. It made me want to reach right out, but I didn't want to start a riot. Now more than ever I wish I were a woman - they get away with everything!"
Days of Week to be Renamed after Christian Saints - The Christian Coalition group announced last week that it would be renaming the days of the week after Christian saints starting from January first of the new year. The days of the week will now be Sunday, Matthewday, Markday, Lukeday, Johnday, Peterday, and Paulday. According to Christian Coalition spokesman John Holiman, "we felt it was time to clean up our act as a modern society and get rid of the vestiges of paganism in our society. It’s really no longer acceptable to have our days of the week named after Norse deities like Odin, Thor, and Freya. It was like some sort of comic book or something. Now we can truly call ourselves a Christian society and actually part of the 20th century." Reflecting on Christian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein's belief that language is the source of understanding, the Coalition has sent out notices to calendar companies and world time organizations on the decision, although none have responded yet, leading Holiman to wonder, "do you suppose that they think this is some kind of joke?"
Student of Japanese Makes Important Discovery - After 17 years of living in Japan and studying the Japanese language on and off, local English teacher David Chalmers made an important discovery - that "samurai" is actually a Japanese word, not a borrowing word from English. "All this time I thought that the word 'samurai' was originally an English word that the Japanese used as a borrowing word, when in fact it is a true Japanese word from way back. Now, with hindsight, I wonder how I could have ever thought that it came from English. Strange things happen when you learn languages - like I had been studying Japanese for ten years when I realized that I didn't know how to say 'pillow' in Japanese, something I use every day, but I could write difficult kanji for various fish that native Japanese couldn't even read. And then a few years ago, I found out that 'ginzu knives' are not a Japanese product, and that 'ginzu' is just a made-up word. Wow, I have to write this in my diary."
Divorced Couple Having Affair - John and Betty may have divorced over 5 years ago, but these days they are still as "in lust" as ever. Now remarried to other people, the hot couple began a smoldering affair three years ago that still has the bed sheets of local area motels on fire. "I can't believe his passion," Betty, who asked that her last name not be used, told Head Cheese. "He makes me tremble from head to toe. I can barely stand when we are in the same room together. It is like a dream and a nightmare at the same time. I've never felt this way about anybody before. Wow!" John, whose name has also been withheld, has similar thoughts. "Wow, Betty is awesome. I can't believe that we were married once and it didn't work out at all. I think we had to divorce before this could happen. We have no plans to remarry each other, it’s better this way. I feel bad about my present wife, she must know what's going on. I wonder if I divorce her if things will improve between us, though."
Woman Answers Every Question With Same Phrase - - A local woman,
Shizuka Hashitanimoto (26), has become famous in recent weeks when friends
and acquaintances noticed that she habitually answers questions with the
same phrase, "naniyaro." The phenomenon first came to attention
of her English language instructor and her fellow classmates. "I
would ask her things like 'what's your favorite color'" says local English
teacher Simon Phillips, " and even 'how are you?', and she'd always start
her answer by saying 'naniyaro,' pausing, then composing her answer.
I thought that this was just an in-class phenomenon, but the other students
said that she always says it after class when she's conversing in Japanese
with them, etc. I think it's kind of weird." Mr. Phillips added
that it is also common for his students to answer "naniatake" when
they are asked an English question, but the effect is not as common as
it is in the case of Ms. Hashitanimoto, and is also not carried over into
"Excessive" Military Spending Actually Not Excessive - Citing studies that indicate that U.S. military spending is in fact well below the level of wealth owned by the United States, privately or through government, sources in the Pentagon have restated their claim that "excessive" U.S. military spending is in fact not excessive. "If you look at the approximate estimation that the U.S. controls approximately 40% of the international wealth, and compare that to actual U.S. military spending, you will realize that the military spending is in fact quite modest," Chief of Staff John Burger told reporters. "If you keep this in mind, nothing will really seem excessive except the whole economy. And that would be un-American."
A & P, Not AMP - Toronto. In the city of Toronto last week, a young child learned that his mother's favorite store was actually called "A and P", not "AMP" as he had always thought. "My mom always says it so fast, like 'I have to go to A & P today, I have to go to A&P today, I have to go to AMP today,' I just got mixed up. Kind of reminds me of the time when I thought the shop 'Firestone' was Fires-Tone, instead of Fire-stone."
Woman Heard Farting - Yesterday in Louisianaville, Washington, a young woman was reportedly heard farting. John James, 26, was in a convenience store shopping for toothpicks when he thought he heard what sounded like a fart. He instinctively looked around the store for the perpetrator, assuming it to be another male since "it sounded pretty ripe," realizing finally that he was alone in the store except for the young female cashier who appeared to be busy with her work. "At first I thought I might have been hallucinating - you know, like a sound hallucination? I get that a lot. Anyway, I forgot about it, but later when I went to pay for my toothpicks, I smelled that awful stench. It was disgusting. I surely wasn't hallucinating that!" Louise James, 23, has not admitted to the fault. According to her store manager, she will not be disciplined.
The Story Behind Boxing Day - We all know that Boxing Day is the day after Christmas when we get to go downtown and revitalize the stagnant year-end economy with our Christmas loot at Boxing Day sales. But how many of us stopped for a moment to wonder where the term "Boxing Day" comes from? Legend has it that a man called Horni whose wife was called Daisy (affectionately called "Day") came up with the term, which uses the term "Boxing" as an euphemism for the act of procreation that traditionally takes place every year on December 26th. Due to the former religious overtones of the Christmas seasons, superstitiously pious women wouldn't "give their husbands any" during the holy season, but could do nothing to prevent the act of sinful copulation on the first regular day after the season, hence the term. Statistics show that there is a sharp rise in births occuring at the end of September. As for the legend of Mrs. Daisy Horni? She had seven children, six born in consecutive years between September 20th and October 10th!
Cars kill more people than cigarettes do! - Taking on big tobacco
must have been the last decade's most nobly misguided cause. While
there's nothing wrong with punishing the makers and promoters of a dangerous
product, the big guns have all been fired in the wrong direction: it seems
to me that cars actually kill more people than cigarettes do. Why
have the car makers been allowed to get off scot-free and only the tobacco
makers have been sued of all of their ill-gotten gains? Probably
because of modern society's love of the freedom of owning a car.
Humanity grew and prospered for a million of years without them, and will
certainly survive on and on if every last one of them were to disappear.
And while cigarette-smokers tend to live 10 or 20 years less than they
might if they hadn’t begun smoking, cars don't discriminate who they kill
- age is no barrier, from the newborn infant riding shotgun to the geriatric
pedestrian. If the greedy do-gooder lobbyists want a new cause, go
after the car-makers, they've got plenty of blood on their hands.
I'm looking forward to the day I see bumper stickers that say "They Can
Have My Car Keys When They Pry Them Out Of My Cold Dead Beer-Stained Fingers."
Now that's class!!!
Virtual Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame Established - New home to Spinal
Tap, the Stains, the Rutles, and Wyld Stallyns - Jacksonville, Tennessee.
Last week, local officials attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the brand-new
Virtual Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. On hand to cut ribbons were members
of Spinal Tap, the Rutles, the Stains, and Wyld Stallyns, as well as director
and actor Christopher Guest. Spinal Tap were slated to play a short
set to mark the occasion, but were eventually unable to due to their drummer's
fatal drug overdose on the morning of the opening. "We don't seem
to have much luck with drummers, do we?" offered Tap lead singer Nigel
Tuffnel. The members of the bands got to see their groups enshrined
in the museum with articles of touring costumes, musical instruments, and
other memorabilia such as a chair that Corrine Burns of the Stains once
threw into the audience at one of their shows. "Yeah, it hit some
guy in the head and split his head open," said Burns, "but he held onto
the chair, took it home and bled on it. He kept the chair, sat on
it a lot, then decided to donate it to the museum. Nice guy, I'm
sorry I threw a chair at him now, but I guess there's still a happy ending
to the story." Other bands enshrined in the museum are the Metal
Corpses and that punk band that the Stains once toured with.
Critics Undecided as to Whether "the Bone Collector" is Worse Than "Copycat" - As the film criticism season winds down, there is still some hot debate among a certain group of critics who can't agree whether the recent "Bone Collector" film is worse than "Copycat." Both films deal with a serial killer, a housebound expert guiding a rookie assistant, bad acting, ridiculous plot twists, and a final confrontation in the housebound character's house. "The Bone Collector" stars Academy award nominee Denzel Washington in one of his worst roles ever, and "Copycat" stars Academy award winner Holly Hunter also in one of her worst roles, but there are other factors that have set the film criticism world into a flurry of debate. "On one hand, it is mysterious why any of the fine actors involved in these two movies took these roles," says Sun-Times critic John Davis, "except for the money, that is. But besides that there are other issues, like why the production companies thought that the world needed another film like this, or why they decided that they really needed big name actors. And the disappointing use of talented actors even in minor roles, like Queen Latifah and Michael Rooker strikes me as odd as well." Davis contends that "the Bone Collector" is the inferior film of the two, as it lacks even a clear motive for the killer involved. Rival critic at the Times-Picayune Brian Smith contends that "Copycat" is in fact the worse film of the two, pointing out that there is not a single moment of true suspense throughout the whole movie, except that created by the high-strung pacing of Ms. Hunter. "Davis doesn't know what he's talking about," he also added.
Embittered Local Comic "Puts One Over On Them" - Local comic Joe Polito, embittered that he has not yet received any calls from casting agents and directors in Hollywood, has made it his new mission to "put one over on him." Regulars at the Comedy Barn, where Polito most often performs his act, have noticed a subtle shift in his routine. "Well, he used to make the regular dick and fart jokes, maybe sometimes something about his mother-in-law," says Comedy Barn fan Linda Smith, "but now he always seems to poke fun at successful Hollywood figures. I mean, you can make a joke about the weight Leo DiCaprio has put on, but what's interesting or funny about attacking Johnny Depp, or Quentin Tarantino? I think it's a case of sour grapes." Polito himself was indignant about the criticisms, claiming that nobody was off-limits to his scathing barbed tongue. "They don't like my jokes, they don't have to come. These Hollywood creeps just smile and deliver the product and nobody thinks about what shams they are. We've all been fooled. Al Pacino? He's awful. I'm not even going to say anything about Jim Carrey. And Gwyneth Paltrow? She's not beautiful at all - just look at her arms!"
Eyes Wide Shut - Director's cut - Universal Pictures this week has announced that for the DVD release of last year's hit movie "Eyes Wide Shut" they will be able to release a director's cut. Mr. Kubrick has returned from the grave to supervise the construction of the DVD set, which will include 6 discs, and has given permission to include out-takes and a running scene-by-scene commentary. Now for the first time, fans of Kubricks films will be able to see a whole series of takes for various scenes, such as Tom Cruise walking across the room (35 takes), Tom Cruise ogling a prostitute (50 takes), Japanese businessmen ogling a prostitute (60 takes), and Nicole Kidman looking on numb with fear (a record 125 takes). The controversial orgy sequence that was filled with digital obstructions will be revised, and technicians will add more obstructions as per Mr. Kubrick’s requests. A planned European version will have the digital obstructions removed, and new sex scenes have been filmed and added to it. Harvey Keitel’s deleted scenes will also be included, as will Jack Nicholson's legendary "Here's Tommy" cameo, also deleted in the studio cut.
Joe Esterhas to Star in New Joe Esterhas Movie - With a public waiting in eager anticipation for a new film based on one of his scripts, Joe Esterhas has upped the stakes by announcing that he will not only write but also star in his next hit film. The burly screenwriter, who some say looks like a cross between Rob Zombie and an actual zombie, will play the part of a burned out police detective trying to kill his wife while he escapes from a killer on his trail, all the while navigating a horror house of drugs, incest, necrophilia and narcolepsy. "I always made films before for art," said Esterhas in an interview in Interview, "but this one is for the fans."
Post Attention Deficit Disorder: the Movie - Arnold Schwarzenegger has always made movies with a bang, now he has made one with a mission - to educate people on the suffering caused by Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADS. As filming for his next hit movie Post Attention Deficit Disorder wrapped in Hollywood, Schwarzenegger himself gave a press conference to announce this important new film. "ADS is a very serious new ailment and it's wreaking havoc in the most important part of our society - among the children. If kids can't pay attention, how can they mature enough to take over from us when they inherit what we are building for them in society today? When I was a kid myself nobody understood this condition and our teachers always told us 'pay attention!' or 'stop daydreaming' or they asked us if we were stupid. Now we can help kids like that more, although there is still a lot about ADS that even doctors don't know, like what causes it. Still, we do know something, and that is what my film tries to investigate. It is an important film, I hope you all find the time to go watch it. Thank you." In the film, Schwarzenegger plays John McQuaid, a New York cop who discovers a conspiracy to spread ADS right in his own building. It affects everyone in his family, and he has to fight off the effects himself. What he soon discovers, to his horror is that it is all the work of his twin brother's clone's split personality! Schwarzenegger has already signed up for a sequel, the Revenge of the Not-So-Common Cold, and has already begun to lose weight for his next film about male bulimia.
Customer Film Reviews Reveal That People are Idiots - A study conducted by Mensa, an organization of the top one percent of intellectual humanity, has concluded that customer film reviewers are idiots. In a report published after studying various customer film comments and review pages, among them the film pages on Shamazon.com and theMovie Database, researchers discovered a trend among customer reviews that tended to glorify trite, manipulative, packaged films while trivializing the work of award-winning film makers and slighting critically acclaimed films. Among the films being praised and flattered shamelessly on the net are the Bone Collector, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the films adapted from Tom Clancy novels, the Avengers, the Mod Squad, Supergirl, Toys, Addams Family Reunion, Escape From L.A., the Exorcist 2: the Heretic, the Darkman sequels, the Mortal Combat series, the Highlander sequels, the Star Trek sequels, the Crow Sequels, the Police Academy sequels, even the films of Demi Moore. Typical comments were "I was mesmerized," and "I can't understand the negative reviews of others on this list," when negative reviews were in fact very few. By contrast, the reviews for Casablanca, Gone With the Wind, the Godfather, Life Is Beautiful, Being John Malkovich, Pi, and the Usual Suspects, among others, were full of disparaging comments like "what a waste of time" and "this movie was awful!" "Our only conclusion is that people are idiots," says Mensa spokesperson Marcia O'Grady. "Although maybe we're the idiots for taking the time to establish something that we've known all along."
Best Movies of Last Decade Made For Same as Mel Gibson's Single Film Fee - In a study released by Filmbusters Magazine, it was discovered that the best movies of the last decade were made for the same ammount of money as Mel Gibson earned for his latest screen opus: 25 million dollars. The Patriot, a remake of Mad Max but set in the past instead of the future shows the "patriotic" early American Mel getting revenge on the dastardly British. Diplomatic relations between the U.K. and the U.S.A. are expected to suffer. By contrast, the best movies of the '90s, among them Being John Malkovich, Pi, Cube, the Usual Suspects, L.A. Confidential, Life is Beautiful, the Wallace and Gromit short films, Bound, the Big Lebowski, Fargo, the Straight Story, Glory, the Sweet Hereafter, the Blair Witch Project, and others were made for less than 25 million dollars combined.
Charlie's Angels Not Realistic - Anyone who's seen the remake of Charlie's Angels with Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu knows that there is plenty of action and eye-candy for anyone who wants some, but everybody seems to be forgetting how incredibly unrealistic it is - no Angel is ever seen using a gun! Whatever prompted producer Barrymore to adopt a "no guns" policy may be the kiss of death for this otherwise very good film, which would be a shame. Making a Hollywood action thriller without firearms is not only un-American, it is also totally un-Hollywood! What about protecting the fifth amendment, people?
New David Lynch Movie to Feature Even More Has-Been Actors - Tristar Pictures announced yesterday the casting for the new David Lynch bizarro-thriller. Digging even further into the realm of obscure washed-up thespians, Lynch located and cast former actors Lee Majors, John Ritter, and Henry "the Fonz" Winkler. Lynch, who has a penchant for forgotten actors, looks forward to working with once much-loved actors Majors, Ritter, and Winkler. "Washed-up actors are like junkies that need a fix, I find them easy to manipulate," says Lynch. "They'll do anything, which is really what I need for the types of films I do." The new film, tenatively titled "Parker's Death Fix," is to be a dark study in the sick and twisted obsessions hiding behind ordinary Americana. "I'm looking forward to working with David," Majors told reporters. "I just hope I don't have to do any heavy lifting."
Character Actor Plays the Same Role Yet Again - 67-year-old Australian
actor James Cromwell still has a job: he gets to play a cranky superior
officer with hidden motives in yet another film. "This is the 10th
film in a row where I play essentially the same character. I had
a bit of trouble with it for the first few films, and my work isn't my
best there, but I think I have the hang of it now." Cromwell, who
caught the attention of Hollywood in his surprise hit "Babe," got his start
in acting playing a lovable old farmer who has faith in a pig. Hollywood
casting agents seem to agree that this type of role doesn't quite suite
the gaunt actor, and are much happier getting him to play cranky superior
officers with hidden motives. "Well, he was so good in 'L.A. Confidential,'"
casting agent Johanna Ray told the press, "that we had to get him back
for one more. And then one more. And then one more..."
Book Reviews: This book is just one long exercise in building similes and metaphors, like some sort of a long hallucinatory trip - "The Consumer" is the new book by former Swans lead singer M. Gira and it is a collection of short stories and scenes describing life in the undercurrent of society describing depraved characters and situations like some sort of collection of surreallistic classified ads. The carefully etched skeches are lush and filled with feathery words that tickle the mind like some sort of soiled paintbrush or a martini that has been made with too much vodka. The book is essentially a long exercise in building similes and metaphors, like some sort of long hallucinatory trip, it's a signpost on the way into the downward spiral of madness and depravity. Now thanks to Mr. Gira, we don't need to take the trip ourselves and revel instead in the passage he describes like yuppies who pay to watch junkies have sex through one-way windows.
Book Review: Book Title, by Book Author - This book by this author is a whirlwind ride of suspense, thrills and chills. From the first page you will not be able to put it down until you get to the last page, and then you will want to read it again. You are in for an orgy of fear and murder. The suspense will become almost unbearable. You won't be able to turn the pages fast enough. The climax will stun you with a nightmare ending of violence, thrills and surprises calculated to make your blood run cold. For the author is the supreme master of plot. So intricate, so sinister, so chilling, so utterly plausible you will scream inwardly. The book will seduce you with a fast-paced, riveting plot, challenging you with adroitly conceived clues and leave you gasping at a totally unexpected ending. The author consistently cleaves love's emotions like a diamond cutter, splitting off gem after gem of insight. Once in a while, words unexpectedly crystallize and emerge before us with the radiance of a sparkling jewel. The book is such a gem, one whose light is especially brilliant. The author's style is the most arrestingly original since Naked Lunch. Also, the author has a classic sense of the absurd, a foolproof ear and a great heart. The author's place is in the front rank of this generation of novelists. His work has the power, the intimacy with suffering and morality, the honesty and moral urgency of Dostoevsky's. A tour de force, simply his best work to date. This is the most purely literary novel the author has written, a virtuoso orchestration of language. You are invited to the opening of an American masterpiece. RSVP. PDQ. A master stylist with hideously interesting new-fangled manners and the heart of an old-fashioned moralist. Funny and ingenious. It's tempting to call the book an "auspicious" book, but that doesn't say enough; in fact, the author has already delivered the goods. First rate fiction. The author has created a world that is etched in a particular era - and yet one that transcends, as all fine fiction does, that time and place. The novel is set to become a unique popular classic: a wonderfully engaging mystery story that also forms a completely accessible and lucid introduction to its subject. Remarkable. Monumentally gripping... a compulsive epic. Another classic page-turner... will keep many a flask of midnight oil burning. Secrets and their revelations are what his books are all about... a master of the cliff-hanger. Probably the greatest story-teller of our age. A compulsory page-turner. Entertaining. Absorbing... the pages fly by. The author does it again with this novel, it has the best first 50 pages for pure storytelling impact that I have ever read. Absorbing and filled with wonderfully eccentric characters and a protagonist who battles himself as he battles the dark side of his world. Worth staying up till 2 A.M. to finish, the pages almost turn themselves. A classic adventure. Exciting and tinged with wonder. Intriguing... ultimately quite moving with a subterranean pull as old and potent as myth. And on top of all this it also has a great cover - a hole cut in the paper reveals a full color spread inside the cover with a remarkable, lush painted scene. If you do not buy and read this book you are living an empty life.
Bloom County Now Completely Forgotten - A decade ago it was one of the most popular syndicated comic strips in the whole country, compiled in various books that rivaled even Peanuts in sales, eventually spawning a classic screen saver. Often compared to Doonsbury, with its cutting political humor, Bloom County added more than a little surrealism to the mix. But now a full ten years after creator Berkeley Breathed hung up his pen, almost nobody among the over-30 men and women polled remembers the once-loved cartoon strip. "Bloom Country? Isn't that the thing about the penguin? A big nose penguin that can talk? Kind of like Dumbo? Yeah, I remember it. What was that bird's name? Dumbo or something?" was the comment of one woman polled. Bloom County calendars have not been printed since 1995.
Local Writer: "My Writing is Way Beyond Anyone's Understanding"
- Peter Jeter is a local writer who has a way with words. Perhaps
he has too much of a way with words, which has resulted in a series of
books written way over the heads of the average reader. His first
trilogy has been rejected by ten publishers, all of them citing the fact
that none of the readers could make sense of the interconnectivity as their
reasons for rejection. "He wrote in the style of Pynchon and Burroughs
and Bowles and Kerouac all mixed up together with a plot that might have
been produced by that guy who wrote Remains of the Day," says Doubleday
editor John Knowles. "All of those writers are successful in their
own ways, but to mix them all together is lethal." Jeter has no plans
to continue seeking publication for his works. "My writing is way
beyond anyone's understanding," he told the press, "so these days I just
write for myself. At least that way my books will never get a bad
Birth Rate Among Gay Couples Dangerously Low - With an all-time low birth rate of 0.01% among homosexual couples, some sociologists doubt whether the species will be able survive after this generation dies off. "Nobody knows how these people will be able to reproduce themselves," says National Gene Pool advisor Arthur Isaac, "but I suppose nature will find a way to keep the gene pool diverse." No research is being conducted on the case of the potential extinction of this species, although many scientists are maintaining a healthy 'let's wait and see' attitude so rarely seen in the scientific community. There is some hope that fag hag culture and recent Madonna movies and videos will help to bring the birth rate up, but it will be another 20 years before anyone really knows for sure.
Pig Latin on Endangered Languages List - There is a new language on UNESCO's list of endangered languages - pig Latin! The language, once a secret domain cherished by children in several English-speaking countries, is now on the decline as younger and younger children find their primary means of secret communication focused on the internet. A campaign by the Ationalnay Igpay Atinlay Ocietysay to promote internet Pig Latin sites has faltered, and a drive to introduce the language to emails and bulletin boards has failed to catch on. "Pig Latin may one day go the way of it's ancestor, Latin," says Ocietysay founder Ohnjay Ayjay Reyfay. "At the moment it finds itself in the company of Esperanto and the Basque and Okinawan languages, which I am sorry to say we can do nothing to save either. What a damn shame. The most we can do is make sure that a written record survives for future generations to revive." The language's last hope may be in a crossover pop hit by someone like Ricky Martin or another superstar. "We're keeping our fingers crossed," says Reyfay, "but unfortunately the names 'Ickyray Artinmay' or 'Elinecay Ionday' don't have a nice ring to them. They should continue recording in their native English languages."
"Society to Promote Keanu Reeves' Canadian Identity" Founded
- Ottawa - "Did you know that Keanu Reeves is Canadian?" is a phrase oft
heard in international company, often when vain Canadians desperately seeking
recognition discuss their nation with naive, dumbstruck Americans.
Efforts to promote the famed thespian's nationality finally got a huge
push this week as the Society to Promote Keanu Reeves' Canadian Identity
was founded in Ottawa. The society, using Canada Arts Council grants
for funding, will seek to promote the Canadian actor's background through
emailing and internet advertising campaigns whether the actor likes it
or not. "Mr. Reeves may not be the finest actor that Canada has ever
produced," stated Society president Linda Blare, "but he is certainly the
one with the highest profile. He has also helped pave the way for
other great Canadians like Shania Twain, Polly what's-her-name (that girl
in Go - you go girl!), William Shattner, and others. I think it is
abewt time that he was recognized as a Canadian." When asked whether
the fact that he was born in Beirut has any effect on his Canadian identity,
Ms. Blare merely pointed out that the fact that many Canadians were born
in other countries did not make them any less Canadian. Mr. Reeves
declined any comments, although he would not deny that he is in fact Canadian.
Kid's Corner: ...That's How Rumors Get Started! - Ever wonder
how rumors get started? So did we, so we tried to find experts to
tell us more about the science of rumortology. Since there are no
experts in this science (we made the name up), we appointed ourselves experts
and sat down to write this article. Basically there are two types
of rumors: the ones that are based in truth and the ones that aren't.
While it isn't always easy to separate the rumors that are based in truth
from the ones that aren't, it is quite easy to make a rumor not based in
truth. First you take a person, say Richard Gere. Then you
take an object – a hamster for example. You invent an incident with
Richard Gere and the hamster, say he had to be hospitalized when he put
the hamster up his butt and couldn't get it out again. Then give
it a time and a place – say Hollywood about ten years ago – then set it
free. Don't forget to write it down, date it, and seal it in an envelope.
See how long it takes to get back to you. It's that easy. Try
it out with one of your family members or one of your best friends at school.
New "Spork-Knife" an Instant Hit - Sometimes science just needs
to take its time to complete it's way of thinking, as is the case with
the new "spork" knife: combining a spoon and a fork to make a "spork" was
one good idea, but combining a "spork" with a knife is an even better one!
The 1992 invention of the "spork" was big news, but plastic cutlery industry
leaders expect the "spork-knife" to be an even bigger hit. "Why go
for 2 in 1 when you can have 3 in 1," asks leading "spork" manufacturer
Spork Industries press agent Jack O'Nancy. "The Swiss learned that
half a century ago. Mind you, they have even achieved 100 in 1, but
unfortunately there are still limits to what you can actually do with plastic
cutlery." The traditional "spork" puts short teeth on the front lip
of a spoon, but the new "spork-knife" adds a sharp knife to the handle
of the "spork" itself. People using the "spork-knife" must be careful
not to cut themselves on the knife/handle of the "spork-knife," but so
far test groups have survived with very little blood shed. "At first
there seemed to be some confusion as to how to use the "spork-knife" to
hold down food and cut it at the same time, but we have solved this by
making the "spork" head detachable!"
Publishing Industry Seeks Ban on Cut and Paste Function - Following the lead of the music industry's crackdown on MP3 file sharing, the publishing industry has taken a crack at dismantling its biggest bane - the cut-and-paste function that is standard in nearly all computers sold these days. "We have to put our information on the internet for promotional purposes," says Association of Publishing Interests co-chairman John Macy, "but people come along and just cut and paste these words, that we have rights to, and save them on their hard drives, distribute them in emails, and what have you. This freedom has got to stop." An early solution was found and some publishers began putting their text information on their home pages in the form of scanned pages, which could not be lifted out as text but as one single .jpg file. The slow speed of sites filled with such information discouraged visitors to such sites and the practice was abandoned, but not before it did irreparable damage to the experimental sites in question. "Several companies have lost share value as a direct result, it has been proven," continues Macy. "When I see the music industry getting into a tizzy about recordable tapes and MP3, I think about how our movement is being overlooked. Nobody seems to care about the omnipresence of photocopiers and the whole cut-and-paste revolution. It's not really fair, is it? I think we should change our name to the Society to Bring Awareness to Industrial Double Standards."
Katzenberg Calls Eisner "Big Midget" - In what is being called
a minor news event, last week Jeffrey Katzenberg admitted to once calling
Michael Eisner a "big midget." While it is true that tall men are
very rarely the figures of fun, this didn't prevent Katzenberg from making
the alleged insult. Eisner seemed unshaken by the barb, responding
merely by saying "I don't care what the little midget thinks about me."
Quotable Enough to Quote: "Japanese men's penises might not be so big in general, but they get incredibly hard. Like diamonds." Okabe Takuya, computer repairman
He Said/He Said - a forum for white males to express opposing
He said: I Wish I hadn't Chosen English as a Major: When I was in my last year of high school I had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. People were telling me to study law or business, but that seemed stupid, boring, and not a life I wanted to build for myself. I entered college in the arts department, thinking I could take a few courses and figure out what I liked best and make a major around that. What I didn't know then was that there weren't any good majors at all in arts. My parents weren't too happy with that, but it was my life and they weren't paying for it so there wasn't much that they could say. After one year, I figured that I would probably enjoy four years of reading novels, since I enjoyed reading fiction anyway (it kept my head in the clouds and away from the troubles of real life – so hey, why not?). As a perk, the most challenging types of assignments we’d get would be to write flaky reviews disguised as critical essays. I was also told that the arts had the most chicks, and I figured that to be a nice bonus, but later when I saw who the chicks were I found out that it was no perk at all. I think I went four years without getting laid. In the end, I had a degree but no future, and the only way I could be employable was if I took grad school courses - four years was not enough, I was really signing up for six years of expensive post-secondary education. Being in the right place at the right time is really the way to go. I should have taken a job in a sector that I liked, built up experience, figured a thing or two out about life, gotten to know people, earned money, had fun, hung out with strippers, then maybe go to school or something. Well, I maybe didn't make the perfect choice. But at least I didn't waste four years in the hell that is engineering studies!!
He said: I Wish I Hadn't Majored in Engineering: When I was in my last year in high school, I didn't really know what I wanted to do with my life (I should have said "I wanna rock," like the kid in the Twisted Sister video) so I decided to go with my parents' advice and get into engineering since I was strong in the maths and sciences anyway. Wow, the next four years went by like a blur. I think I only came up for air once or twice. It was an intensely painful torture, lugging those books around, being called a geek and a nerd, not developing any social skills, never getting laid, hanging out with pimply guys. If I had been able to speak Parsi or Cantonese I might have been able to get a grip on my life. Finally I graduated and discovered that I was an engineer, qualified to do engineering type jobs. The world had changed in four years, and it was the engineers who were getting paid big bucks to do computer grunt work. I began to wonder what all the pain and long hours had been for. I began to wish that I had made some different choices when I was a 19-year-old, like backpacking through Mexico, gettin' to know some working girls, stuff like that. But I guess I can live with my decision. At least I didn't end up an English major - those guys seem like a bunch of fags!
Wieners and Loosers: An information table where we decide who is a wiener and who is a looser.
Newsweek: For putting out a better magazine than Time.
the Economist: For putting out the best news magazine around.
Bill Gates: For being richer than anyone associated with Time magazine.
Time: For putting out a crappy, manipulative, uninformative news magazine.
Time: For being a newsier version of Life, with less information than People.
Time: For having the audacity to expect people to pay for their crappy rag.
Hissy Fit of the Weak: Time vs. Newsweek
|Name: Joey Joe Joe Shabadoo
Occupation: Publisher of Time magazine
Best Punch: "If Mad won't stop satirizing [sic] Time, we'll just buy them out. Time smash puny Newman."
|Name: Alfred E. Newman
Occupation: Mad magazine figurehead
Best Punch: "What me? Worry?"
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