14 May 2006

More proof that God hates the Kennedys

Well, there's not much of a need to explain the theory, the history speaks for itself. But thanks to our friend irony we get this fun...

Hot on the heels of his gas-bag son's "brave admittion of drug dependency," our old fat friend Teddy Kennedy has ended up in the news.

'nuff said


04 May 2006

Ole - dammit!

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, The Empire had an expertly penned, truly entertaining, moderately culturally insesitive rant about Mexico's recent decriminalization of all illicit drugs but thanks to the Nascar-fast U-turn by President Vincente Fox that two pages of comedic glory is completely worthless. Thanks, Vinny.

So, in absence of the snarky, we give you the funny. And in the immortal words of Quagrmier:

"Hehe, Ole!"

The Empire salutes this, the greatest American holiday, Cinco de Mayo!

Enjoy it folks.

Happy 6-A, my little muttenchop.


27 April 2006

The Burden of Availability

Someone once said, "You are what you eat." Some witty executive later penned, "you are what you wear." Well, I think both are right. I think, you are what you wear, say, do and advertise. And I believe in truth in advertising.

I want to be clear, I am not talking about print ads, television commercials, or radio plugs. I am talking about properly representing yourself. If you walk down the street in fuzzy jogging pants that say "slut" or "pornstar" in pink glitter letters across your ass then, girly, you had better be willing to toss that leg in the air if I fan a crisp fifty in your face. If your shabby-chic t-shirt exclaims "talk dirty to me," I don't want the creepy, 270-pound, comicbook store owner with blood red acne to get slapped across the cheek when he asks to "drill his #*$% into your tight bald !&@^." And if your ironic skater hoody has a glorified drawing of Che Guevara on the back then you had better not complain when I get a policeman to gut slug you and take your money, bling, watch, iPod, and fancy new cellular phone.

Which brings me to my main point, your cell phone. The cell phone is a staple in our society. It is a highlighted fixture in our everyday lives. It is, perhaps, the single most integral and yet at the same time irritating innovation of the last quarter millennium. But here's the thing. If you carry a cell phone, THEN PICK THE DAMN THING UP WHEN SOMEONE CALLS YOU!!!

Each and everyone of you knows someone, is married or related to someone, or is stalking someone who just refuses to use that damned phone in the manner of which it was intended.

I call you. You don't pick up. I leave a brief and descriptive message. You don't call back. 4 hours pass and the ice in my vodka is melting. I call you. You don't pick up. I don't leave a message. 10 minutes pass and my vodka is finished and a white-haired man at the bar is making hump-me eyes in my direction. I order another vodka. 10 more minutes pass. I call you. You don't pick up. I leave a passive aggressive but seemingly cute message. I get drunk and wake up next to the bartender who, thankfully, is not the white-haired man. 2 days pass, our paths cross idly and you have a perfectly reasonable excuse for not picking up the f*cking phone and spending 2 blessed minutes to say, "I'm caught up with my roommate and her drama addicted boyfriend, sorry I can't make it out for drinks." I accept your apology and spread rumors around your workplace that you have VD.

Nobody Wins!

If you carry a phone, answer it. If you're not going to pick up your phone, if you're not going to return calls in a respectable amount of time, if you're going to just sit there while your sister calls and calls and calls and calls and leaves 8 minute long rambling diatribes on your voicemail, then don't carry a phone. It's a phone! It's a communications device. It's not a fancy time keeping accessory.

It drives me up a wall to hear people bitch and moan about "not being able to get away." Get away? It's not the Gestapo coming down your block! It's your mother wanting to know if you had a nice week. There's no harm in saying, "Hi, I can't talk long. What's up?" No one is going to hunt you down if you break the conversation with, "Gee sorry, I have to hang up. I'm in the middle of something." It won't kill you to just be responsible.

Cell phones were made to make life easier for everyone, NOT JUST YOU! Completing that call makes the whole damned scenario of living go more smoothly. And if you don't want to get calls or if you don't want to return them? Don't carry a cell phone. Just meet up with people when you can.

Picking up your phone is your damned job. And if you can't pick it up, get back to me in less than 2 hours explaining why because I've got other things to do than sit around waiting to hear your half-baked excuse. And by the way, I've heard them all.

And don't come back at me with, "Oh right, like you don't ignore calls." 'Cause that's right, I don't. You're talking about a guy who has, on more than one occasion, answered his phone mid-coitus. I pick it up when you call and I'm asleep. I pick it up when I'm out to dinner. I carry a cell phone everywhere and when I can't talk I pick up and say so. Or I step away and call back in 10 minutes, NOT the next day. People expect to be able to reach me. And I give my people what they want. That's why they buy me drinks. That's why I believe in truth in advertising...

Sigh. And one last thing. Keep your damned appointments.

My mother often asks me, "Wow, what did we do before cell phones?"

My reply, every single time: "Ma, we made better plans."


21 April 2006

Hot off the Ice Cold Presses: Things We Have Learned

Alright, there it is, a solid month. Are ya happy, you grouchy masses? Geeze, it’s really true, everyone IS a critic. And a voiceless critic at that! At least the New York Times has an Op-Ed page. The Empire has no such luxury. We’re stuck, day in and day out, listening to a bunch of self-righteous chattering monkeys who complain but never contribute. It can seriously wear you down! And what’s worse, is that it eventually takes away from the principle desire to create anything at all. People are so demanding. Sure, we’ve always got something to say, but who wants to say it if we’re going to get shot down like a plane full of “Little Debbie’s” cruising over fat camp. [Sigh, a fat joke. Now you see what I’ve been reduced to? Give it some time. Two paragraphs down I’m liable to be waxing comical in the style of Carrot Top. Got to shake off the rust.]

Through this reoccurring scenario of brutal criticism we have learned one thing here: you will always remember the jackass who tells you that you suck at life, and you will always forget the man who pats you on the back and says, “Good job.”

It’s just not easy to take the compliments. Self-pity addicts like us just aren’t used to it. You see, unless they’re egomaniacal jerks, most people consider every insult a veiled and painful dose of constructive criticism; a sickening sliver of truth in an otherwise over-flattered existence. And sure, a lot of times people will criticize your weakest qualities, but what happens when they rip on your best? Are they hurling stones at a Sherman tank or are they lasing flaming arrows through a papier-mâché façade? Tough to say. Most of us are willing to drudge through our lives second-guessing everything we do. Every decision is suspect; every choice is fallible. And in the end we’ll just suck it up and hope that our rent checks don’t bounce because, frankly, there are more important things in life… like a new feature!

The Empire is proud to present “Things We’ve Learned: This Month"

- We have learned that having friends with money is tough stuff. [Please ignore the obvious reference to the recent film of same name.] Seriously, it’s a piece of cake in college because everybody’s broke as a joke except for the trust-fund babies with their own airplanes and, let’s be serious, they buy all the beer and that’s helpful. But yeah, having close friends who make bank is rough. They buy nice cars, they have swanky apartments, and the worst? They buy h-o-t hot hot new plasma TV’s that make you not-the-friend-with-the-huge-TV anymore. Hrumph.

- We have learned that food poisoning sucks major billygoat ass. No, there is nothing quite like watching your delicious lunch flow out of your mouth like an cut-loose fire hose of liquid orange creamsicle death. And nothing against the hard-working indigenous people of Central America but let’s be serious, the fact that a burrito was involved does add, let’s say, a bronze [or sun-baked brown] lining.

- Point! Counter Point! We have learned that George Steinbrenner is unpopular. This will be filed under the category of “Duh!” We have also learned that fans of the Boston Red Sox are just insufferable bastards in general. We’re talking about people who pick fights with little old ladies, children, and lost tourists! Sure, support your team, but don’t take out the fact that you were jilted by your high school sweet heart when she stood you up for the prom to be part of Def Leppard’s “after party” on a six year old boy who happens to like Derek Jeter. And furthermore, we have realized that NO ONE turns on their own players faster than Sox fans. Sure, yesterday this player was hot at the plate but today they’re screaming for him to die of violent ass cancer because he struck out with the bases load. Lighten up people. No one can be clutch every day.

- Continuing with sports. We’ve learned that it’s not just college football players who fall under the category of amazing-jock-douche-bags. Yeah, for anyone who doesn’t know, college lacrosse players also have the stunning capacity for treating other human beings with as much reckless distain as Naomi Campbell treats the help. [See? Carrot Top ain’t that far]

- We have, unfortunately, learned that Tom Cruise will stop at nothing in his attempts to make me want to kill him. Come on, this cock-jockey is working WAY too hard to make us think him rod rises for women. Tom. Tom! Just go back to making good movies. We don’t care how you spend your nights. Stay off the newsstands, television, and radio. Just go quietly into the dim of pop-media obscurity and surface each spring in a reasonably entertaining blockbuster. We all saw Magnolia; we know you can really “act."

**Breaking News** Holy fricken crap, this was so unbelievably nasty and relevant we had to bust into your entertainment for a last minute announcement. Our friends at the New York Opinion decided to bring this amazing story to the forefront of today's news.

And now back to our normally scheduled programming:

- And speaking of gay [awkward segue from Tom Cruise], can someone please explain why Brokeback mania won’t abide? We saw it. Good movie. Not earth-shatteringly good, but good. [Stop, you’re going to make a joke about it being ass-shatteringly good. Just don’t. Leave ol’ Carrot boy some material.]

- We have learned that, after a long deliberation, Saw and, by proxy, Saw II stank like David Wells at 2AM on a Sunday. We have decided, based on this knowledge, that there hasn’t been a decent scary movie in over a decade. Honestly, House of Wax? Final Destination 3? How can you have more than one FINAL destination? What happened to Wes Craven? Is he dead? Abe Vigoda is still alive! Make something scary! Please. Enough with the suck.

- And finally, we have definitely learned that summer is coming. And that makes us so, SO, much nicer. Really, we’re drinking way way less. Well, we’re drinking less whiskey, more gin, but definitely less whiskey.

Anyhow, we’ve rambled on long enough. It’s late. The buzz is wearing off. The weekend is nearing. And I’m pretty sure there’s not a drug in the world that will make the Phil Collins/Genesis jukebox in our skulls turn off. It is very much time for bed. Go see Kinky Boots. Don’t rent Shoot The Piano Player. Be good to your mother. And go go Giambino!


21 March 2006

Why Can't I Hate Right

Sometimes we, as consumers, have absolutely no control over what we want. We buy trendy overpriced clothes, prototype electronic goods, and first generation cars that just always break down. And we continue to do it, over and over again. We know we're doing it but we just can't seem to stop. Well, doesn't the same thing kind of go for the pop media that we consume? Television is all crap. Every plot line is a rehash of something that intruiged us years ago, yet we still watch. Movie stink. Remake after remake, we see the same generic characters and storylines played out, but we still cough up ten bucks on a Friday night. Pop music? Let's not even open that can of worms. It seems we continue to love things that just undeniably suck.

So, it is in recognition of this puzzling situation that The Empire would like to examine the top 5 Pop culture icons that we simply Hate to Love:

5. George Clooney. This jackass is one of those truly upsetting examples of a movie star who would be just excellent if he could learn to keep his big fat mouth shut. At any given moment over the last decade Clooney could be heard spouting off his bassackwards opinions on politics, social "injustice," or public policy. He has no shame in his blathering on and on, backing up nothing more than his own personal agenda. And he is completely unapologetic in his gargantuan self-absorbtion. But damn does that sonovabitch have some screen presence! He makes funny movies, enjoyable crap-action movies. He's pretty convincing in a drama and knows how to throw in a playful satire from time to time; a true entertainer. Even during this year's Oscar ceremony, you could kind of see shadows of the Jack (The True Great One) Nicholson in the grey-haired ER alum. Wouldn't life be a lot easier if this bonehead could just stick to being a great star and not just another loud ignorant "actorvist?"

4. Katie Holmes. Granted, this is an entry based strongly on recent events but let's call a spade a spade. Where once stood the fair-skinned, dark-haired young beauty with the crooked smile we couldn't help but have wet dreams about, now lies the twisted ruins of a Hollywood nutbag gone horribly wrong? Pregnant, unwed, careerless, scurying around the world with Capitan ElCreapo the grinning midget and his "aliens are gonna get us" cult, Katie has done a complete 180. Or shall we say a 666ty. Forget hurricane Katrina, what about this arbitrary destruction and meaningless suffering that is our former Joey Potter? And yet, through the glory of preserved media we can still toss in a DVD, pull out an old magazine, or punch in a Google search and pretend that she's still the innocent, mediocre actress we loved circa 2002. The trouble is, we still know the sordid and tragic truth. She'll never be pre-TomKat Katie again.

3. The 80's. Tube socks, Debbie Gibson, day-glo, New Coke, crimping irons, and Richard Grieco. Do we really need to go into more reasons why the 1980's were a stunning disaster? But let's face it, millions of people just seem to have a big soft spot for decade that God forgot. Hell, there's a president of a Phil Collins/Genisis fanclub out there who truly relishes the 80's Dance Night at his favorite local club. There are legions of girls who pull their hair back into the off center ponytail once a month. For goodness sake, The Empire has even been known to rock out to Billy Idol from time to time. It's hard to deny. We love the 80's. But don't you HATE THAT!?

2. ....one of the truest Man Codes states, "It's okay to like Snatch, Seven, and Fight Club, but it is not okay to like Brad Pitt." I think this is a concept that men, and even most women, can really get on board with. Brad Pitt is kind of a dick. He seems completely unable to be faithful to even the most amazing of women. He's literally dropped one after another, like a fricken branch-hopping monkey, on the simple matter of convenience. "Gee, made a movie with her, better start cleaning her pipes. To hell with my girlfriend, fiance, wife." Let's be serious here, this ponce broke the heart of Jennifer Aniston, arguably one of the world's greatest natural resources since crude oil. And to top it all of, the bastard is smug, seriously smug. It's as though he walks around knowing he's the greatest piece of ass on seven continents. And dammit, it's pretty widely accepted that he is. So, it stands to argue that we should like him. But on the same token, it stands to argue that we should hate his perfect guts. Screw Brad Pitt. We just wish he made crappy movies.

1. Abs. There is not one thing more overblown in all of the world of pop culture than abdominal muscles. News flash, they're not even that important in the grand scheme of health. Yes, it's important to have good back support from them but no one, NO ONE, needs a rock-hard chissled 6-pack. But everyone E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E seems to want them. Meaning wants to have them on themselves or have access to touching them on someone else. And why can't we stop the obsession? Because we're weak-willed, insecure, shallow, superficial, image-obsessed drones. Yeah sure whatev' we don't hear any chicks complaining about Richard's lack of intellectual depth.