Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Bible Summarized by a Smartass, Part Twenty-Five: The Gospel of Matthew

At last, we come to the New Testament, with the first of the Gospels about the life of Jesus. Let's dive into it, shall we?

Chapter One
We begin with the Bible’s favorite pastime: genealogy. Some prophet or other said the Messiah will be a descendent of David, so Matthew starts at Abraham and delineates everything in convenient little packages of fourteen apiece. 14 generations from Abraham to King David, 14 more until Jechoniah and the Babylonian Exile, and another 14 to Joseph. Then our story can start. So, once upon a time, Mary gets knocked up by the Holy Spirit (and not some Roman solider or something), and Joseph decides not to marry her. But an angel tells him that she’s pregnant with God and is still a virgin, although that’ll all be irrelevant when the kid pops out, won’t it? The baby is the Messiah of prophecy, the virgin birth based on a mistranslation from the Old Testament. Which, hilariously, makes that genealogy irrelevant, since at best Joseph is really the Messiah’s stepfather; David’s bloodline has nothing to do with it, does it? And Jesus is born.

Chapter Two
King Herod the Great runs into some wise men who have determined the King of the Jews has been born in Bethlehem. Herod, who actually is a king of the Jews, gets nervous and asks the wise men to find the baby so he can pay homage (of the bloody, steel-tipped kind). The wise men don’t trust him (imagine!), so they visit Jesus, give him some gifts, and hotfoot it out of Bethlehem. An angel sends Joseph to Egypt, so Jesus isn’t hanging around a week later when Herod has all of the infants in Bethlehem slaughtered. When it’s safe, that pushy angel sends Joseph back to Israel, to Nazareth in Galilee. Matthew loves to show connections between the events and the prophecies (seriously, he quotes Isaiah so much he should be paying royalties), and makes it sound like Joseph is doing these things to fit in with the prophecy, which isn’t supposed to be how prophecies work. I guess Matthew’s never read The Golden Bough.

Chapter Three
John the Baptist is out being a religious fundie and telling everyone to repent and prepare and all that. He’s this crazy guy who lives in the wilderness and baptizes everyone (except the Pharisees, because he hates the Temple). John preaches all of the Day of Judgment rhetoric, and one day Jesus comes out of nowhere and defers to John, asking to be baptized. John recognizes Jesus right off as the Messiah, and God presents Jesus to the world. Or, you know, to the people gathered around the Jordan River that day.

Chapter Four
Jesus fasts in the desert for 40 days, enduring temptations from Satan, turning down food, the chance to prove his demigod powers, and power over the entire world. John the Baptist gets arrested, so Jesus takes up the “Repent, for judgment is nigh” shtick, and starts gathering disciples—brothers Simon/Peter and Andrew, brothers James and John. They go about preaching the good news (“Good news! I’m here to end the world and judge everyone!”) and healing the sick.

Chapters Five through Seven
Jesus gives the Sermon on the Mount. Here are the high points:

1. Blessed are the poor, mourners, the meek, those who want righteousness, the merciful, the pure, peacemakers, people persecuted for their beliefs, and the falsely accused.

2. I’m not going to overthrow the prophets or the law, just modify them drastically and then judge everyone.

3. Even insulting someone is a sin.

4. If you even look at a woman and think about fucking her, that’s adultery.

5. If any part of your body causes you to sin (use your imagination here), it’s better to cut it off than let your soul suffer.

6. Getting a divorce is adultery, and so is marrying a divorced woman.

7. Making promises is a sin—no promises, just deeds.

8. If someone tries to kill you, don’t defend yourself, just turn the other cheek and let it happen.

9. Love your enemies, as irritatingly self-righteous as that sounds.

10. Don’t be all religious just to show off and make people think you’re better than they are (pot, kettle on line one).

11. The Lord’s Prayer: learn it.

12. Be forgiving, show mercy, give to the poor, don’t hoard stuff you don’t need, you can’t serve both God and money.

13. Being worthy in the eyes of God is more important than even food or clothes.

14. Only worry about today, and leave tomorrow for tomorrow (doesn’t exactly leave much room for progress, does it?).

15. Don’t judge, because you’ll be judged.

16. Just visualize it, and it’ll happen! Or something.

17. Treat others the way you would be treated (just like Confucious said, thousands of years before Jesus).

18. Hardship builds character.

19. Beware false prophets. Just the sort of thing a prophet would say…

20. Believing isn’t enough—do good works and love God to prove your faith.

The crowd is pretty wowed because, apparently, Jews are easily impressed by that sort of homespun shit fat Midwestern housewives are.

Chapter Eight
Jesus is out cleansing lepers when a nice bit of self-serving foreshadowing arrives in Capernaum, in the form of a Roman centurion. He begs Jesus to save the life of his beloved servant, and Jesus tells the centurion that no one else in Israel has believed in his powers so readily as the Roman. Which is really a way to justify the Church being in Rome, because Romans apparently have greater faith than Jews. Wow, and some historians say that Christianity is founded on anti-Semitism, can you imagine? Jesus uses his powers to calm a storm and performs an exorcism.

Chapter Nine
Jesus heals a paralyzed dude and recruits Matthew. The Pharisees shit a brick because Jesus hangs out with sinners, so Jesus gets all judgmental and says sinners are cool. Then he turns water into wine and brings a little girl back from the dead, heals a blind guy, and performs another exorcism. It’s like a traveling medicine show!

Chapter Ten
Jesus has 12 disciples, and he deputizes them to do what he does: Simon/Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, another James, Thaddeus, another Simon (not Peter), and Judas, “the one who betrayed him.” Way to give the plot away, Matthew.

Chapter Eleven
Jesus defends John the Baptist to the crowd by proclaiming his own massive importance.

Chapter Twelve
Jesus’s disciples pick grain on the Sabbath. The Pharisees get all pissed again, but Jesus defends their actions with a simple “Dude, they were hungry.” The Pharisees have it out for Jesus, trying to entrap him into breaking the law. Jesus then rejects his family.

Chapter Thirteen
Jesus wanders around spinning parables and homilies and all that crap.

Chapter Fourteen
Herod II has John the Baptist beheaded at the request of his niece/stepdaughter/lust object. Jesus tries to flee, but the crowd follows him to a place with no food, so Jesus multiplies what little food they have in a bottomless basket. Jesus also walks on water, but Peter has to try it himself before he can believe it.

Chapter Fifteen
Jesus tells his disciples that the Pharisees are worthless “blind guides of the blind,” and says the Temple teaches human doctrine over the word of God. Peter, of course, needs it spelled out for him. Jesus also needs to be talked into healing a Canaanite woman’s daughter, because he was only sent to help the Jews. Then he does the multiplying food dealie.

Chapter Sixteen
Jesus warns against the teachings of the Pharisees and tells his disciples not to say he’s the Messiah. He has whole terms of endearment thing going on with Peter, first praising his faith and strength and calling him a rock, and then calling him Satan because he tells Jesus not to go and hand himself over to the Pharisees to be killed (God’s plan and all that). Jesus also talks up the Day of Judgment and says it is coming within their lifetime.

Chapter Seventeen
Peter, James, and John go up on a mountain and see Jesus as a divine being, speaking with Moses and Elijah. Jesus says that Elijah, who was supposed to return before the Messiah, has already returned as John the Baptist. Jesus is getting pretty sick of putting up with what he calls a “faithless and perverse generation,” and announces that he will be betrayed and killed, then resurrected.

Chapter Eighteen
Jesus warns everyone to be humble like children and to have mercy.

Chapter Nineteen
Jesus goes to Judea and preaches that divorce is adultery (again), and to keep the Commandments, and blesses the children.

Chapter Twenty
More parables and healing.

Chapter Twenty-One
Jesus cleanses the Temple and tells a bunch of parables. The parables are getting old. Imagine if everyone answered a question with a meaningful story about a farmer—dude, just answer the question, alright?

Chapter Twenty-Two
I’m convinced that the Pharisees want Jesus dead because they’re sick of the condescending parables. Jesus proclaims himself God and says the only important laws are to love God and love your neighbor.

Chapter Twenty-Three
Jesus denounces the Pharisees.

Chapters Twenty-Four through Twenty-Five
Jesus tells his followers that there will be wars, famine, and earthquakes preceding the Day of Judgment. Hedging his bets, I guess, since we know from the Old Testament that God gets around to shit whenever he bloody well feels like it. Jesus talks about this for several pages.

Chapters Twenty-Six through Twenty-Seven
Jesus is anointed at Bethany, Judas betrays him, they eat the Passover feast, Jesus prays at Gethsemane, Jesus is captured and taken to the high priest Caiaphas, Peter denies Jesus, Jesus is given to the Roman governor Pilate, Judas hangs himself, the crowd asks for Barabbas to be free and Jesus to be crucified, and Jesus dies on the cross. Basically everything in Jesus Christ Superstar, but without the rock music to make it go faster.

Chapter Twenty-Eight
A week later, an angel appears to Mary Magdalene (who was mentioned for the first time 3 paragraphs earlier as a witness to the crucifixion) and Mary (mother of James and Joseph, not Jesus’s mum), telling them that Jesus is risen. Jesus appears to his disciples and leads them away. The priests, in another bit of explanatory anti-Semitism, spread the news “to this day” that the disciples really stole Jesus’s body and ran away with it. Jesus commands his disciples to go forth and spread the word of his return and the coming Judgment.

Next week: the Christians loved the story of Jesus so much, one version wasn't enough. Be here for Mark's remake of Matthew's Jesus story!

Trapped in a World He Never Made!

This is my entry in the Trashy Movie Celebration Blog-a-Thon going on over at The Bleeding Tree.

Well, this is the one. The one that’s going to lose me all of my credibility with anyone who reads this blog. But I don’t care. Because I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. I just believe in having a good time.

I love Howard the Duck. There, now it’s out there. I love it.

First, some background: Steve Gerber created Howard in 1973 as a character in a Man-Thing story in the Marvel comic Adventure Into Fear; he appeared again in Giant-Size Man-Thing (now there’s a misnomer for you!), and was given his own series in 1976. The series was never one of Marvel’s bestsellers, but it did have a cult following and was one of the best-written comics they’ve ever published. Gene Colan was the series’ longest-serving artist. Gerber also served as the editor of Howard the Duck, and was able to have a degree of creative freedom, often getting experimental (in one issue, Gerber satirizes his own inability to meet his deadline in an issue-long text conversation between himself and his id). Such freedom led to creative issues with the publisher, and Gerber was removed from Howard the Duck. The first highly-publicized “creator’s rights” lawsuit in the comics industry followed, and other writers (such as the terrible Bill Mantlo) came onto the book. But none of those are really canonical or worth reading. It’s Gerber’s two years on the book (and his 2001 six-issue wrap up) that are one of the greatest reads in comic history. This is the kind of social science fiction Marvel only dreams of doing these days. Harlan Ellison was a fan; so were Philip K. Dick and Chrissie Hynde, among others.

The character Howard is from another dimension, but is pulled through a wormhole and into our world. Gerber used him as a sort of mouthpiece about everything that was wrong and mad about the seventies, satirizing the Moonies, censorship, New Age health, the hippies, and the presidential election. Howard is the voice of reason in a world not of his making, in which he finds a few friends (former nude model Beverly Switzler, rich gal Winda Wester, folkie Paul Same), but most often runs into bizarre inanities that are hard for him to suffer gladly.

In 1985, George Lucas was fresh off the success of Return of the Jedi. One of his best friends, Willard Huyck (who, with his wife Gloria Katz, had rewritten Lucas’s American Graffiti and written Lucasfilm’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom), has an idea to make a film based on Steve Gerber’s comic. And that’s pretty much what happened. At the time, Lucas could’ve gotten any movie made that he wanted. And he did.

The film deviates from the comic in several ways. Instead of the meandering (but wonderfully loopy) plot of the comic, we have a more straightforward deal. Howard’s arrival on our world was the result of an accident involving an experimental space transit beam; an accident which has also sent powerful beings, the Dark Overlords of the Universe, scouting to Earth with a takeover in mind. Beverly isn’t a plucky former model, but the troubled leader of a cheesy eighties punk band. And Howard has gone from being a whip-smart, curmudgeonly malcontent to a sort of whining Everyman (Everyduck?) who becomes the sort of self-sacrificing hero that Steve Gerber fought against making him.

But I’ve never been one to let something as pedantic as “being faithful to the source material” stop me from enjoying a film on its own merits. And the fact remains that, taken for what it is, Howard the Duck is just fun as hell. The movie isn’t bad, really, it’s just not conventionally good. It’s stylized in a way that not a lot of people seem to get. It’s too appealing, too quirkily charming, to dislike it. And it may be mired in the campiness of 1986, but that’s a part of it’s charm twenty years later. How is “campy” a criticism of a movie that set out to be a campy spoof to begin with. It’s not like anyone was ever going to take a movie about a talking duck seriously enough for this movie to be made for adults with adult humor. In the 70s, maybe, but not in the 80s.

The cast is pure 80s cheese. Lea Thompson plays Bev as a wounded girl with a dream—or as I like to call it, the same way she played every other role (but that’s why we loved her then). Side trivia: the role was originally offered to Tori Amos, then the unknown actress/model/singer who would start a band that had one album (Y Kant Tori Read, The Big Picture). Belinda Carlisle and Phoebe Cates also auditioned for the role. Tim Robbins—himself no stranger to campy movies in the eighties—has some obvious fun as a wannabe scientist, and one of my favorite actors from the decade, Jeffery Jones, plays the possessed bad guy.

But what I especially love is Howard himself. Yeah, he’s a midget in a suit, I get that. But that doesn’t take away from the effect for me. The filmmakers actually take the character seriously, something I really appreciated. Away from all of the duck puns (an almost heroic amount) and away from the sarcasm, Howard’s just kind of a sweet-natured guy trapped in a lousy situation who wants out of it. He’s got these expressive eyes that are sallow and blue, and… you know, he kind of looks like Harlan Ellison to me.I wonder if that’s intentional or not? I’ll bet Unca Harlan would kill me for saying that. It’s the acerbic wit, I swear!

Side note: I remember reading that George Lucas was quite put out by the popularity of that idiot live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. The turtles were obviously guys in suits, which had been one of the chief criticisms of Howard the Duck: it’s obviously a guy in a suit. Lucas supposedly said: “I guess we just backed the wrong animal.”

The movie was, predictably, a box office bomb. It cost $37 million and managed to scrape $16 million. But here’s how that bomb affected film history. First, it got the odious Frank Price (the man who tried to murder Brazil) kicked out of office at Universal. And second, Lucas had hoped the film would get him back in the black. He had spent $50 million building Skywalker Ranch, and Lucasfilm was hemorrhaging cash. When the film failed, he was forced to start selling assets. He had launched an experimental CGI facility to use computers to do special effects in film (their first work was the stained glass knight in Young Sherlock Holmes), and could no longer afford to keep it. Steve Jobs offered to buy it…and called it Pixar.

How can this movie not be on DVD? For me, Howard the Duck holds up next to movies like Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits or Joe Dante's Gremlins or Richard Donner's The Goonies. It’s silly fun, it has imagination, and it’s so campy it becomes positively surreal. It’s not so bad it’s good—it’s just good. So, I’m not sure what the problem is with this movie, except for the usual boorishness of “that’s not how the comics were!” or the fanboy refrain of “it’s not Star Wars, me wantee more Star Wars, except that I’m going to whine about it when I finally get them!” Howard the Duck is funny, it’s charming, and even if they went the family-friendly route, it’s still a damn fun movie. Maybe it plays to a niche audience, sure, and Steve Gerber hated the movie, but so what? Divorce it from its origins, as you should, because any movie has to stand on its own two webbed feet. And taken on that level, Howard the Duck is pure awesomeness from start to finish.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Tonight's the Night!!!

Throwdown 4/6

15 random thoughts, questions, and observations for the week.

1. Great news! Disney has decided to do at least one more wave of their excellent Disney Treasures series, and this new wave is going to include The Chronological Donald Volume 3, which will hopefully finish off the entire series of Donald Duck cartoons, and a collection of some (all?) of Disney & Iwerks’s Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons! I’m thrilled that we’re getting at least one more wave, though I’m sure there are other things I’d love to see come out (say, the People & Places series).

2. Anna Faris is getting divorced after three years of marriage to Ben Indra. You know, I would consider myself a pretty decent-sized fan of Anna Faris (she got me to see Scary Movie 4 in the theater, for God’s sake), and I had no idea she was married. And I don’t know who Ben Indra is. But CNN decided to cover the story…

3. There’s a bit of a kerfuffle over release dates right now. Watchmen and Indiana Jones and the Early Morning Mallwalkers of Death are both set to open on 22 May 2009; Spider-Man 4 is set for the same month. 13 June 2008 will see a fight between The Dark Knight and Hulk 2. 19 November 2008 sees the release of both the new James Bond movie and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. And 11 July 2008 will see the release of three high profile movies: Sin City 2, Hellboy 2, and The Mummy 3. Wow. If any of those fucking movies had even been made yet, that would be a real problem.

4. So… the rehab worked, then? Jeez, I can smell the Absolut and cum stains from here.

5. Hilarious video of Hayden Panettiere responding badly to being mistaken for Lindsay Lohan. It’s cute that she doesn’t want to be thought of in the same way, but I have a feeling she’s going to go the way of nearly every young actress I like. I’ll let an anonymous commenter take it from here: “Give her a year or two and she'll be snorting lines off some black dude's 13" dick right before he uses her face as a urinal. It's sorta like the fat gene, you can tell what sluts have that sort of potential at an early age. Trust me, it will happen.” And lest we forget this, from over a year ago:Sadly, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of pictures of them hanging out together.

6. Damn it. I finally get Hilary Duff back and she starts “hanging out” with that Stavros guy? That’s it, I’m out. Again.

7. Wait, Anderson Cooper and Jodie Foster may be gay? I’m about to have an aneurysm from not being shocked!

8. I usually hate this kind of ironic humor, but I like what Alanis Morrisette does here with the most idiotic song ever recorded, “My Humps.”

9. Rose McGowan and Robert Rodriguez were having an affair during the shooting of Grindhouse, and now he’s left his wife. Huh. See, all that makes me do is wonder about Salma Hayek. I mean, she did used to be in all of his movies and, well, who could resist trying? Now if only Rose McGowan could be as hot as she used to be (before she lost all that weight and her face apparently caved in), that would be great. On the upside, this means that Rose McGowan might be playing Ava Lord in Sin City 2 instead of Angelina Jolie, who is pretty much a joke now. So that’s good. My biggest concern right now anyway is whether or not Rodriguez is going to finally, finally, finally make Red Rocket 7.

10. Can you believe this? Board game manufacturers are now introducing “faster” versions of their classic games because America’s meth-and-Red-Bull-addicted children are whining that everything takes too long. So now The Game of Life will be played with a Visa instead of cash (I’m not making this up), and Monopoly Express takes something like 10 minutes to play to the end. Hello, the whole point of Monopoly is that it takes several hours to play. It’s supposed to make you think about money and value and…you’re not listening anymore, are you?

11. *shudder* My grandma is one of those women who think that Laura Bush is a “real lady” because she has the apparently good grace never to open her mouth unless it’s to say something incredibly stupid about nothing at all. But look at this picture. Laura Bush looks like one of those reptilian aliens from V, just waiting for this photo op to be over so she can go home, peel off her human facsimile cover, and eat mice while her husband goes about the business of eradicating the species. Seriously, this woman creeps me out and is going to drive me to start drinking heavily.

12. Scarlett Johansson, it turns out, is not going to be doing a nude scene any time soon. I know I’ve railed against actors who won’t do nudity on this site before (it’s one of a number of things that I think makes you not a real actor, because you won’t think about the moment instead of your long-term career: those are things you think of before you’re talking a director into letting you play a fully-clothed stripper), but I’m going to give ScarJo a free pass on this one. I’ll tell you why. I’ve seen her in a ton of movies now, and one of the things I like about her is her apparent willingness to take on any kind of role, no matter how large or small, in any kind of film. She seems to be motivated more by a love of acting and less by a desire for stardom (unlike many others I could name). And she hasn’t made a career (the way, say, nudity-fearing Jessica Alba and Elisha Cuthbert have) of taking sexy roles that are based more on sex appeal than skill, and then hypocritically refused to do nudity. You don’t take a role as a porn star or a stripper and then refuse to take your clothes off. It’s not honest. It’s not acting. It’s not creative. And you’re limiting yourself when you say that; you can decide not to do nudity, but there are big, serious directors who probably write you off when you say things like that, because they don’t want to argue with some starlet over artistic integrity. Anyway, Scarlett has been nothing but a real actress so far, and I think she’s going to be able to continue on in the same direction. Plus, her manager or whatever did say that nudity is off the table “for now.” So she could change her mind. Maybe she’s an exception to my rule. She’s too good to rule out.

13. Yeah, it’s Good Friday. Could serious news outlets stop reporting this every year as though it were a surprise in any way, or important somehow? I mean, I’m a comic book fan, but I don’t expect serious news outlets to report it every time DC Comics decides to kill Superman or bring in a new Robin. So stop bothering me with stuff that’s only relevant to the insular world of Jesus fandom.

14. That’s sad. Bob Clark, the director of A Christmas Story, died in a car crash. He was driving with his son, and they were hit by a drunk driver who had the bad taste to live through it. Clark was 67; his son was 22. How weird that I got one of his movies, the original Black Christmas, in the mail from Netflix this week. I guess I’ll watch it and remember when he made fun movies, and not his later, terrible work. It’s sad that anyone dies the way he did.

15. After years of covering up, Lucy Pinder finally shows her nipples! Hey, it’s my favorite story of the week.

Batman's Gonna Get Linked in the Face

My alter ego went and got his name in lights with

There shall be no peace as long as Sanjaya lives. This week's American Idolatry and castaway. (Modern Fabulousity)

Johnny Yen wonders where the time goes.
Skullcave has a ton of Harry Potter pictures.
Postmodern Barney posits Shakespeare's message board (this is genius).
Dr. Zaius still loves Nancy Pelosi (she deserves it).
The Onion A.V. Club interviews Mindy Kaling from The Office.
What Your Girlfriend’s Hollywood Crush Says About You.
The Rude Pundit imagines America with democracy.
HI-WATT-cha Doing? deconstructs Avril's new image.
L.A. Weekly has a Grindhouse roundtable.
Cap'n Dyke on Bush's interpretation of the Constitution.
RetroCRUSH interviews Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Edgar Wright.
Empire Magazine 2007 Reader Awards.
Apropos of Something: 20 Coolest Superhero Costumes Part 1 and Part 2.
Arianna Huffington on the Democrats and why they're avoiding the war on drugs.
Tom Gilroy on the surge and its uselessness.
Little-Known Easter Facts by the great Peter Lynn.
5 Alternatives to Christianity to Consider This Easter.
Skullcave on Lucy Pinder finally baring all.
The New Lulu makes her debut to the world!

Go and vote on the Popoholic poll: Who Should Play the Dame in Sin City 2? The current leader is Angelina Jolie. The correct choice is Rachel Weisz. If one of the choices read "Angelina Jolie Six Years Ago," I'd completely agree. Now...

And I want to give a holla to JA at My New Plaid Pants, who has a fun post, The Hall of Hubba Hubba, in which he credits my own My Sexual Icons series as inspiration. Which makes me feel good. Sharing the childhood crushes. Nice.

Batman's Gonna Get Shot in the Face

Thursday, April 05, 2007

From Bushspeak to Plain English, This Guy's a Dick

More, more, more! How do you like it? How do you like it? More, more, more! Alright, Bushie, you've got to be on top today. Remember, we're asking for more troops. You're the king, G-Dub, you're the king!

"Good morning, Amurrica. I am your king. Well, the extra troops are going into Iraq, whether the House and the Senate want it or not. They don't support the troops! I support the troops! They're trying to tie the hands of the troops! But not me! I'm all into troops! Seriously: troops, troops, troops, troops! Support the motherfucking troops, or you're a terrorist! And supporting the troops means sending more of them to die so's I can retire to a mansion in Saudi Arabia made out of cocaine and oil!"

"All the Congress and the Senate care about is pork! They keep loading up the bills I need to support the troops with lotsa pork! Like, fr'example, you know what they did? They took my perfectly expensive troop-supporting bills and tried to trick me into signing them after they attached wasteful fripperies like hurricane recovery and national security. I wanted to add $24 billion for stuff I need, but they wouldn't let me do that!"

"And now, since they won't pass any of the bills, I'm not gonna be able to spend money on this war! Which means we'll have to stop fighting it! I ask you: how the hell are we going to keep putting more and more young men and women in a position to get killed so my family can make some extra green on our oil connections, unless the Congress votes for more killing! God damn it!"

"Now, your questions."

Q: Darth Dubya, what's your big fucking problem with Nancy Pelosi going to Syria?
"Nancy Pelosi is a bitch! She makes people work at their jobs, and she makes me look dumb by being smarter and a better leader than me! I fucking hate her, and if she gets Syria to deal with the United States when I've already failed at that--I mean, when I've made them an ultimatum and cut off diplomacy--I'm going to look like a bigger asshole than I think you think I am!"

Q: Hey, maybe we should give up some of our Iranian hostages to entice Iran to give up the British hostages.
"That's Tony Blair's shit, don't bother me with that."

Q: What about the US attorneys you keep firing? Didn't you only hire them because they were sycophants who would do whatever you wanted? Did they stop doing what you told them to?
One banana, two banana, three banana, four. "I'm sorry, was that a serious question? No, they did nothing wrong, I just decided to replace them, you know, just cuz."

Q: What about the people--you know, 75% of the population--who say that we shouldn't be in Iraq?
"Well, I've ignored those concerns, obviously, because I don't care what anyone has to say about the Iraq War. My Saudi masters have promised me a lot if I weaken the Middle East enough so they can take over. I mean, we can do it, we just got to. And some guy in a army costume said it was a good idea, so there! America, you know. Wow, America. Hey America, you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind!"

"And you know, let me just say this right off: I mean, yeah, there's murders and suiciders 'n' stuff, and it's dangerous and all that, but they're just trying to make us think that it's unwinnable, even though it isn't! It just isn't! Why won't anyone believe me? That army guy said he could do it! Iraqis are children, they can't govern themselves. I mean, c'mon, man! Gaw!"

Q: Matthew Dowd said you were a punk. Your response?
"Aw, Dowd's alright. I mean, he knows I could send his son, who's in the armed forces, to Iraq at any second, and still he talks shit about me. I just wish he thought stabilizing Iraq was as important as I do. The consequences of failure are like that Domino Thingy we had in Vietnam; all of the Muslims in the world will hate America, and we'll just give them a haven. I mean, did those 9/11 guys come from America? Did they train and plot and learn to fly planes in America? No! Were they Saudi nationals doing me a favor so I'd fight a war in Iraq that would be entirely to their benefit? Never! So there! Yeah."

Q: Is there actual evidence that Iran is building a nuclear bomb, or is that just smoke you're going to use as an excuse to lengthen our military action in the Middle East?
Ooh, I love to dance around the white step, now they see me, now they don't, I've come and gone! "Huh? Oh, I haven't decided yet. I just don't want them to be in power. And I don't want the region to become all destabilized. Cuz it hasn't happened yet, right?!"

Q: Yeah, but, is there any actual, you know, like, evidence this time?
"You know what? Fuck you, I ain't talkin' about it. Hey, dude, I love Iran! It's not the fault of the people their government is made up of assholes. I mean, if they want to revolt, that'd be pretty fucking cool, save us the trouble of bombing."

Q: Cut the shit, when's the gas price going down?
"Hey, if my Saudi masters sent me to Iraq to lower the price of oil, it would be lower. Sorry, they jacked it up, but it's not like I pay for my own gas, anyway, am I right? Huh? Anyone? Hey, how about you stop wanting oil so much? And even though it only took America, like, three years to build the atomic bomb, it's going to take us 10 years to reduce our use of gas by 20 percent or so. Don't want to wean off the money teat too quickly, right? Hey, blame Congress. I want to help the environment, they just won't get the bill back to me."

"Oh, hey, David Gregory put on a show--"

Q: Yeah, they know. Shut up with the distractions.

"Well, I just--"

Q: Got it, back to work.

"Seriously, it fucking rocked."

Q: Fine! Seriously, I know you have a big chubby for blaming Democrats, but didn't the voters, like, elect them so that Congress would take over foreign policy because, how can I put this, you suck at it so bad?
"Shyeah, right! The voters want Congress to support our troops! Troops, man! Trooooops! God, give the surge a chance before you criticize it, will ya? I mean, seriously, if another thousand of our soldiers die, then maybe we can decide if it worked or not. Quit rushing me!"

Q: So, the Supreme Court has given the federal government power to restrict greenhouse gas emissions; are you actually going to do something this time?
"Well, it's taking me a long time to read the new law, cuz I don't get it all and I colored on some of it a little bit cuz I was bored. You know, it's up to Congress. I just don't want to do anything that stops me from making all the money I can get. Seriously, now is the time to be a total pussy about inventing shit to help save the world. I mean, gaw, China isn't doing anything at all! My lip service is better than nothing! God, stop pressuring me!!"

Q: Is it wrong to be gay?
My God, that man's got the shiniest head I've ever seen!

*two minutes of silence*

*sound of crickets chirping*

*audience begins to get uncomfortable*

*someones sweat falls*

*a cough*

Oh, shit, it's the big meltdown! Those Henson people guaranteed me another two years! I hope those snipers are ready!

*servos whirr and click into place*

"Sorry, what?"

Q: Is it wrong to be gay?

"Umm...hey, don't you have a question? Yes, you, over there? Sammon?"

Q: Oh, um, don't you think that Congress is just going to cut off funding if you keep vetoing their bills?
"Well, I disagree with their decisions. A timetable sends mixed signals that we actually have a plan and anticipate success in the near future. I mean, blah blah blah send a message, blah blah blah America blah blah troops blah blah security and safe haven and blah blah blah 9/11 blah blah so we don't have to fight them here and blah blabbity bloo Maliki blah blah eye-dee-ology blah blah blah liberty and hard work and shiz."

Q: Emperor, do you think you're the most isolated president in US history?


Q:Isolated, sire. You don't listen to what other members of your party have to say?

"Ma quando vien lo sgelo, il primo sole e mio, il primo bacio del aprile e mio! Come on, guys, I ain't doing this for my health. Does anyone else have a question, or what?"

Q: Hey, uh, isn't Homeland Security supposed to be keeping us safe? Doesn't that kind of, like, make the war unneccesary?
"Just trust me when I say that they want to attack us again, alright? I gots a plan, I just ain't telling you what it is. We're doing a lotta shit to make sure that they can't hit us again. We don't want them to have a safe haven outside of the several terrorist cells that are already in the United States, usually coming in through Miami or Canada. Just remember: you are under the constant threat of an attack, and the only way you'll be safe is if you just do whatever I fuckin' tell you and don't question it!"

"That's why I'm coming for you, terrorists! I'm going to fight you wherever I can fool the American people into believing you are! I'm going to send my troops up your ass, and then sit back and watch the whole thing on TV! In my undies! With a beer and an eightball!"

"And then I'm gonna force you to accept capitalism with my mind powers! And my troops! Troooooops! TROOOOOOOOOPS! TROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPS!!!!"

"Troops, away! Fly, my pretties, fly!"

Fucking mugs... "This interview is over. Away with you all!"

*shamble, lurch, shuffle*

Now, how did that go? Friends bad, fire...good?