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Friday, October 29, 2010

GM Recalls Cars, Kmart Recalls Everything They Ever Made

In a bit of financial news today, we focus on the growing number of recalls in the United States.  

With more and more companies adding their products to the federal list of recalled items, American consumers are starting to understand why the phrase MADE IN AMERICA isn't what they want to see when they inspect their purchases more closely.  With companies like GM, Maytag and Toyota all having major recalls at this point, other companies have started to assess their product line and determine if anything they make could suffer the same fate.  It's a smart move from a business perspective, but it's something that should have been happening all along with consumer safety in mind. With many companies however, consumer safety has always been an afterthought, especially when it got in the way of profit.  But now with Uncle Sam sticking it to these corporations, many are wondering if they should get out of the game all together.

 In an effort to stop the bleeding before it started, Kmart announced earlier today that they will recall everything they have ever made.  The move came when the company realized that pretty much everything they have ever produced, marketed or sold was a complete piece of shit.  Though they had been hearing the same cries from their patrons since their opening in 1962, it took until the year 2010 before the company finally admitted their negligence, if you can even call it that.  Their move has prompted several other "crappy stores," like The 99 Cent Store or Stuckeys, to make similar shifts that seem to indicate they'll be doing the same thing shortly as well.

 "We live in such a hyper sensitive society," defunct Kmart CEO Chip Winkly said in his statement to the press, "that financially speaking, it isn't worth the risk to run a company here in America anymore.  People sue corporations for nothing these days, and the public loves it cause of the whole David versus Goliath thing.  And considering what we do at our stores-- I mean, have you ever been inside a Kmart?  That was enough for me to realize we need to close it up immediately before someone took us for all we're worth."

Their urine scented showrooms not withstanding, the 5 or 6 shareholders in the corporation should be pleased to see their stock continue to rise as Kmart's product line is returned to them one item at a time.  And with plans to liquidate their surplus of inventory to poorer, stupider nations where recalls don't exist, they can expect their stocks to split and double several time over in the coming months.  While this is hardly the recall many American consumers would have hoped for, it's out of sight out of mind for most people.  "One man's trash is another man's treasure after all," Winkly casually joked to reporters.  "And since our country ships them all our actual trash anyway, what's one or two hundred million tons more, right?"

Our thoughts exactly.  Kudos to you, Kmart!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

On Eve of Prop 19, Childhood Pot Addiction Higher Than Ever

As we approach November 2, California sits poised to narrowly pass Proposition 19, effectively legalizing marijuana, in small doses, for the general public to carry or use as they see fit.  Prop 19 would eliminate approximately 50,000 misdemeanor citations and arrests associated with the substance while at the same time generating some 15 billion dollars in revenues for the state annually.  Less paperwork for the cops, and more paper for the state!  It's a win/win, plus it ensures that your lip-ringed skateboarding flannel-shirt-wearing 19-year-old "alternative" child won't get picked up on pot charges  (They'll get him for something else, like loitering!*).  And while many who are in favor of the law are quick to cite these benefits amongst the bevy of others associated with it's passing, they've yet to address perhaps the biggest debate within the debate, the question that leaves many Californians undecided: in our over-medicated society, should we really be legalizing another drug for our country to abuse?

Those voting yes on November 2 say that the law, or the overturning of the law, rather, is a long time coming.  "It's not a question of abuse, it's a question of reassessing society's needs and wants," Stems Enseeds said on the footsteps of the mayor's office in San Francisco last week.  "So many people have been cultivating and smoking marijuana in this state that it's time we recognize it for what it is; not as a problem, as many naysayers conceive it, but as an end to the persecution of those who use it regularly and still go about their regular lives as a functioning member of society like everybody else."  Indeed many of the misconceptions about the substance seem absurd even compared to 5 years ago.  The Reefer Madness stereotype long gone today, marijuana is as common place in California as economic inequality or racism.  It's made the debate about the drug harder than ever to ignore, and with California being broker than a Toyota Camry, the scale may already be tipped in it's favor.

All that being said, it's hard to ignore many of the social questions raised by Proposition 19.  With medicinal marijuana already being in place in California, many of the major questions that come from full blown legalization have already been tested on a beta-level.  And with many dispensaries being located near schools or churches, the state has seen a major rise in marijuana use by children of all ages.  Just last week we received the image featured above, depicting a group of infant pot addicts sitting around accomplishing nothing.  Mothers everywhere were outraged.  "This must be stopped!  I can't even get my 8-year-old Gregory to take out the garbage anymore.  He just sits there and plays Xbox all day, eating fudgesicles.  We need to help these and other babies and stop Proposition 19 before it's too late!  Otherwise your baby could wind up like the ones in this picture. They'll grow up and only go to a middle tier private university instead of an Ivy league school.  And they'll be middle class, not even upper!  With a fulfilling career and beautiful family, to boot, as if happiness is worth more than cash.  This is downright shocking and we are not okay with it.  As a society, we must do something immediately."

Though November 2 is still two weeks away, it's clear this debate has many unanswerable questions.  And with Prop 19 only passing by 6% if the polls closed today, it seems like it will be a day-of decision for many Californians.  Though the state sits on the brink of making history and thus affecting the policies of the rest of the nation in it's wake, we'll have to wait and see just how many stoners roll out of bed in time to vote.

*Consarnded whippersnappers!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Green Minded Futurists Declare Comedy Dead By 2050

The environmentally friendly world of tomorrow: clean, breathable, and completely recycled.  "That's the only way we're going to survive as a people," Randy Bigs gushed to the press as he left the first annual Conference For Tomorrow, Today.  "But don't ask me, ask one of the actual scientists here for the conference.  There goes one now.  I'm sure he knows something."

"It's as simple as this: if it can't be recycled or reused 20 years from now, then we'll have to do away with it," McCoy Realerson announced flatly to the throng of listening reporters after we made our way over. "There's simply no other option.  With the population continuing to grow and room running out, we'll have to prioritize, decide what is most important for future generations of men and women, and go from there."

This drew many cries and scoffs from the crowd, who apparently took the quickest bus from their book burning that they could.  Still, it did raise an interesting argument.  What could be saved?  What was the number one top priority for mankind in the future?  The obvious answers come quickly, though they are perhaps the most insurmountable: water, food, shelter, clothing, taco bell.  But after all the essentials are covered, what exactly is at the top of the list?  And how do we even begin to part with the litany of things we hold so important to us today?  Glenn Baldino, associate professor of your mom at New York University, attempted to shed some light on the subject.

"Ownership and possession are notions that need to be removed from the global consciousness.  And a lot of things we take for granted today won't even be factored in to the equation in the future, so the whole conversation will change before this becomes a reality.  The world of tomorrow won't have room for luxuries, period.  In fact, the very idea of rich-versus-poor will be completely extinct as well.  Not because the wealth isn't there, but because we will have realized as a planet that we're all on the same team.  So the money will be distributed towards what we need most: desalinization efforts, spaceships to other earth-like planets, and producing millions of solid color tunics for everyone across earth to wear so we look like a team when the bad guys come with all their iggly-wiggly space arms and slime."

Far fetched as the notion may be, some people are starting to take interest.  Namely, those in special interest groups seeking to protect their legacy for future generations.  Though their efforts have proved fruitless so far, it's making every industry across the world reevaluate and reassess their worth.  "One thing that won't make it with us is comedy," Realerson added to the few reporters still listening to his absurdest drivel.  "Think about it.  Jokes are funniest the first time around.  They may work one time after that- 50 years later- but for the most part, comedy, in general, is a commodity that cannot be recycled.  It losses it's affect after the first go-round."

The theory was immediately met with several examples who prove it completely false.  The Jay Lenos, the Dane Cooks, the Joan Riverses, the Carlos Mencias-- these people, and many like them, have been recycling jokes for years and no one has seemed to take notice.  And granted, there is the overarching question if what these performers do should technically be considered "comedy," but there's no debating the fact that they are occupying and wasting performance platforms that other actually funny people could be using.

But if they are actually comedians, hypothetically speaking, shouldn't their model be copied and followed by every generation to come?  Or has it already been done in the email forwards and bad jokes our grandfathers told us?  Have we, as a society, been killing comedy slowly but surely for the past 50* years?  Is it too late to do anything about it?  It's because of these lapses in social consciousness that many scientists, like Herb Stanchy, say yes it is.  "Until people wake up and smell the farts, I really see no future for this medium.  It's far too subjective and people are far too stupid." 

*or whenever the first "talkie" was released in theaters.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Scientists Descend Into Volcano, Come Back Dead


As if out of some science fiction movie that is supposed to be taken seriously but is actually a comedy cause the story and the performances are so absurd terrible, scientists closest to the center of the earth this week got even closer, making a descent into an active volcano to collect data for the first time in 30 years.  What data you ask?  In this case, the scientists were determining how close a human being could get to liquid magma before they spontaneously burst into flames. 

But instead of simply dangling a dead body down there until it cooked through, which is what any sane person with an overabundance of corpses would have done, they wanted real life results- from real life people.  So N.O.R.M.L., the National Organization of Reactive Magma: Lesbian Branch, spent 6 months assembling and training a team of what the U.S. Government called, "complete idiots," to make the descent themselves.  They also set a challenge to the civilians in the United States, much like the recently privatized space race, asking for any and all new technology that may aide in the fight against liquid, or "soft" rock. 

Their goal was to inspire the American people to create, interpret, and perhaps challenge every conventional idea they had about volcanoes from the past.  "We saw this as a renaissance opportunity.  A chance for us to get people back into geo-science and perhaps excited about the earth's core again," one loner lesbian scientist said, near her windowless van.  But it didn't work that way.  Instead, what they got was a collection of half baked ideas from America's unemployed elite: the Magma socks from the English major turned inventor, the volcano life raft from the lawyer turned garage shut-in, the anything from a woman.  With each new idea being more terrible than the last, financiers of the project wondered if it would even get off the ground.  Still, they forged ahead.

Last Tuesday, N.O.R.M.L., in collaboration with the USGS, officially moved forward with their plans.  The 8-week research project commenced on schedule, and as the team descended into the magma, their deafening screams only made it more clear that they were really on to something important.

"The operation was a complete and total success," a USGS representative commented at the team's funeral last week.  "Sure everyone died, but that's the problem with America: we always focus on the negative.  You can't make an omelet without cracking a few eggs."

"Unless you're in a volcano," he added.  "Then the eggs pretty much explode cause it's so damn hot." 

Friday, October 08, 2010

Growing Fresh Water Concern Prompts New Law

For those of us here in Los Estados Unidos, we've come to take fresh water for granted.  We water our lawns, spray our sidewalks, and even leave the shower running for 10 minutes to "let the water warm up."  In the past, no one had given this a second thought.  We are America after all, the richest and most powerful nation in the world © 1998, and if we want to squander the pittance of fresh water this planet gave us by cleaning our sidewalks, then god damn it, we are going to do it.  It's our birthright. 

But then, somewhat recently, people in this country started getting really concerned for those in the less affluent '3rd world' nations claiming they didn't have fresh water to drink.  The notion of water waste became a very hot topic issue here in the states, and groups like Unicef became the impoverished minority's biggest voice abroad.  Their work over the recent years has lead to a complete 180 in public opinion, leading to stricter water usage laws, conservation efforts, and more efficient technology in every home in America.  Until recently, our country's ability to adapt proved astounding as we crossed another item off the US Agenda "to do" list.  Diplomats?  Try WORLD SAVERS.  Cause that's what we are.

But it wasn't enough.  Somehow all that water vanished, so we here in America have had to cut back more and more to make sure those ailing nations have enough to go around.  Lawns are dieing, sidewalks are dryer than they have ever been.  And just yesterday, the US government took it one step further after Obama approved and signed the Natural Usage Law, effective November 1, 2010.

According to the new law, citizens in areas that get rainfall an average of 150 days or more per year are now required to shower outside-- while it's raining.  The Federal Department of Water and Power will be handling the matter as it passes instructions down to each local governing body in the coming weeks.  The rule would require city wide DWP stations to power down their water before a storm hits and leave them off until the last drop has fallen.  Though this won't affect most of the southern half of the United States, it has left many Seattle residents livid, and raises even more questions about Alaska and what snowfall means with this rule in place.

 Sally Dubois, of Spokane, WA (pictured left) met reporters on her first "trial run" earlier today.  "It seems pretty fun, for now.  But come see me in January.  I do like the idea of bathing with my clothes on though, cause then I get my clothes washed too.  Plus the men can't see my goodies while I wash."  More like decent-ies, but they understood what she meant.  And while many conservations are singing the praises of the law, it's clear there is still some gray area that needs addressing before it can ever be considered practical.

In any event, it marks a dramatic step forward in the US's dedication to the global cause.  With strides like these, those once-3rd-world countries may someday climb out of the gutter.

And then we're all screwed.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Matthew McConaughey and Dolce & Gabbana Split After Advert Misprint

"All right, all right, all right."

In a bit of questionable news today, Matthew McConaughey and his longtime advertising partner Dolce & Gabbana parted ways over what the actor's camp called "complete and utter misrepresentation."  The ad campaign, featured above, was launched earlier this week to coincide with Dolce & Gabbana's new gay line, DolceGAY.  Within minutes of it's launch, McConaughey's camp had filed a cease and desist order with the clothing designer that leaves the actor without a secondary income and America wondering once again, "is he or isn't he?"

The design house claimed they had no idea McConaughey would even be upset by the ad.  "Any guy that exercises with his shirt off that much kind of has to be gay, doesn't he?" an anonymous rep for the company gushed to the press during a phone interview this morning.  "Find me one straight guy that is in that kind of shape, and then maybe his people will have a real complaint about what we did."  It's a strong argument, and one that the actor's camp has heard before when McConaughey took roles in Failure to Launch and How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.

"We're certainly well prepared for this," his agent at William Morris Endeavor said in a prepared statement.  "So well prepared in fact, that this statement I am currently making is one I recycled from 2001.  Even with these sentences here, and the reference to the year 2001 I just made.  Like I said, people tell me he's gay a lot.  And he pays us to be ready for that.  But he's not gay.  Not even a little.  And that's the point we're trying to make." 

While 'trying' may be enough to appease an actor like McConaughey, many wonder if it will be enough.  Already, Hollywood insiders are debating what his next move will be, and exactly how it will be interpreted by the general public.  Will the actor's career finally bottom out, or will he return to form with more work like We Are Marshall and Dazed and Confused?  Perhaps Guy Manly of the West Hollywood Newsies Journal summed it up best.  "The simple truth is, if McConaughey wore a shirt just 20% of the time, we wouldn't even be having this conversation."

With that, this is Great Scott!, reporting.

Monday, October 04, 2010

From the Archives: 3WS Live @ The Side Door [12.30.98]

From 3WS's "Mr. Mustang" show (circa 1998)


Set List:
Got Caught - MU330
Same In The End - 3WS
My Left Toe - 3WS
Out All Night - The Pietasters
Cafe @ 2nd - 3WS
Booze Song - 3WS
Same Old Song - The Four Tops
I Think She Likes Tito - 3WS
Sell Out - Reel Big Fish
Never Again - 3WS

DOWNLOAD THE SHOW HERE

Show Notes:

Recorded December 30, 1998 at the Side Door in St. Louis, MO, this is the only known live recording of the band 3WS that is still in circulation.  A winter storm hit St. Louis earlier that day making many of the streets too dangerous for driving.  Because of that, the band played to a house of 30 people (at most), but were still given the royal treatment of a free meal at the bar afterward.  This was also the first show that Mark Kelly joined the band as "#10," the band's 10th member and backup vocalist/skanker.  Though the band did several shows after this date, this was their most significant club gig in their history, and includes many of the original songs the band wrote in their 2 short years together.

What Happened Next?:

I would go on to leave the band putting #10 in charge to run the show.  The band performed one final concert (where, I have no idea), and then broke up.  Half of the brass section went on to form the band "Hazard To Ya Booty" in Kirksville, MO, while I joined "The Pantry Raid" based out of Columbus, OH.  My new outfit would go on to be featured in Cleveland's "Scene Magazine" and record a full length album and an EP.  Our drummer in the 'hen's nest' moved to Chicago where last I heard he was pursuing a music career as well. 

The band has never reunited since the the glory days of '98-'00, nor have they made any plans to do so.  While it is awesome to entertain the notion of a reunion for the group, you can bank on the fact that it will probably never happen.

Requests:  If any of you out there have any photos or video of the band, and would be willing to share it, please EMAIL ME! I would really appreciate it!