Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Celebrity Onset Medication Alergy Syndrome (COMAS) - The Noisy Killer

The Face of an Epidemic
Despite all the fundraising to raise awareness and combat disease. All the millions poured into cancer research, diabetes and autism. Why is it that COMAS continues to get so little attention in the mainstream media? Have we become so callous that we overlook this scourge because it only effects a tiny minority? Perhaps they are a minority but this catastrophic epidemic is shattering the lives of celebrities on a daily basis. Can we really standby doing nothing while dozens suffer? Tuesday was our wake up call.

Tuesday morning as details began to surface about Charlie Sheen's tragic brush with disaster, we couldn't help but shudder at the thought of what might have been. Apparently, around 1am, Charlie Sheen was subdued by police in New York at his thousand dollar a night Plaza Hotel suite. He was, in no particular order: drunk, ranting, buck naked, and busily destroying his hotel suite like a roadie for Zeppelin. Did we forget anything? Oh right, there was a woman locked in his closet. The woman was naked. The woman was also described by the police as a "semi-pro." Now thank god, his wife and children were staying in another room at the hotel, but what a close call! What if they'd been locked in the closet with the naked semi-pro too? Think on that as you pin your breast cancer awareness ribbon to your smug little lapel.

Sheen's spokesperson, shortly before boarding a flight to Hell, told reporters that his client was hospitalized after suffering "an adverse allergic reaction to some medication." Of course, it all made sense. COMAS strikes again. The scourge fo the jet set. The obvious question is why are so many celebrities violently allergic to medication? We never hear about Chuck Shean the accountant from Cleveland going berserk at the Holiday Inn outside Toledo. We never hear about Walt, the beloved president of the Elks Lodge, renting a room at a Motel Six, stripping naked, slathering his belly with peanut butter and putting his head through a television. No, it's always a celebrity. But why?

What makes celebrities so uncommonly allergic to prescription medication? We need to think like House. What is the common vector? One doesn't see outbreaks in closed populaces without some common factor at play. Is it genetic? No, some celebrities may be inbred but not with each other. Environmental? Some weird bacteria in the $55 Bling H2O bottled water. Or viral? No, then carpenters and makeup artists who come in contact with celebrities would have similar allergic reactions. It's too complex a question. We need a team working around the clock. We need a dedicated lobby in Washington. We need a cure now! How many more blackeyes must Kim Kardasian suffer at the altar of Botox? Brittany Murphy, Michael Jackson, Heath many more?!

That is why, as a first step, Die in a Fire declares March 17th, 2011 COMAS Awareness Day. We will be hosting the first COMAS 10K Stumble for the Cure. Runners will be required to washdown a fistful of Ativan with a bottle of chardonay before the race. That way we can say we've all wobbled ten kilometers in Charlie Sheen's shoes. We've already chosen a tasteful off-vomit color for our lapel ribons and livestrong bracelets so come on America! Together we can stagger for a brighter day for all celebrities.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fancypants Chefs Can Die in a Fire

Sorry, I ordered a Burger.
Chefs, what is with the damn ramekins of ketchup? Has Top Chef got you pining to be taken seriously as an artist? Got you wanting to stretch your cheffy legs, and whip up gastronomical miracles? Great. Good for you. But cold shower moment: if you offer burgers on your menu then you're not that fancy. Stop lying to yourselves. Ground beef on a bun is the international symbol for low rent. Dressing them up a little and serving condiments in little metallic spittoons isn't fooling anyone into thinking they're dining at Le Cirque. It just reminds us what pretentious jerks are running the restaurant. Also ordering a cheeseburger and fries is a good indication that we're not looking to be wowed. Nothing wrong with being wowed. Enjoy being wowed, but there's a time and a place for it. Sometimes a simple cheeseburger and fries is all a feller is looking for. So bring us the bottle and leave us in peace. Spare your waitstaff the ignominy of making three trips until we've built a ketchup fortress of solitude around our plate.

And stop trying to "improve" standards. You know exactly what we're talking about. If you're looking to create a signature dish then do it on your own time. Keep your hands off our Eggs Benedict. Sunday brunch is no the time to be fucking with a man's expectations. Sunday brunch doesn't need your "interpretation." And what is with the faux-Jazz terms anyway? You're a cook not Thelonious Monk. You're a recession away from working at Sizzler. If we're out to brunch, and order Eggs Benedict then there had best be two poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, Canadian bacon and an English muffin on our plate. No brioche. No red peppers. No crab meat. No creative flourishes. Nothing, nada. If you want to improve it then call it something else. Call it Eggs "Insert Name of Chef Here". That way we know to avoid it.

We give things names for a reason, Chefs. That way, when you ask a carpenter to install a new "door" at your restaurant, you don't come back five hours later to find a nice bay window instead and a carpenter who felt inspired! It just leads to anarchy. So the next time someone orders a Club Sandwich, think twice before you serve them a lobster fennel salad instead. Maybe, just maybe, they used the words Club Sandwich for a reason.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Glass House Award: Meghan McCain

Hi, I'm Meghan. Have You Met My Resume?
Breaking news: McCain is scared of Christine O'Donnell's candidacy. It made The Washington Post on Monday. Apparently, McCain was on ABC's This Week and the subject of O'Donnell came up. He said that O'Donnell was a "nutjob" and that her candidacy scares him because O'Donnell "has no real history, no real success in any kind of business." A Republican Senator taking shots at a Republican candidate? Wow, no wonder The Post ran it on A4. That is serious news.

Sorry, what? Meghan McCain was on This Week and said that about O'Donnell? Are you fucking with us? Really? The twenty-six year old tartlet of John McCain doesn't think that O'Donnell has a legitimate place in politics because she is inexperienced? Have we got that about right? That it's just so scary to Ms. McCain that someone with so little experience is being catapulted into the national spotlight. We get that. Would you feel better, Megs, if she first wrote a blog about her famous Daddy? Would that qualify as enough "history" to deserve a voice on the national stage? Perhaps if she spun it out to book length and gave it some coy, hipsterish title like Dirty Sexy Politics? Could she run for public office then?

For Meghan McCain to say that with a straight face, without a hint of irony or self-awareness... well that's just next gen hypocrisy. But this is what we've come to... the Paris Hilton of politics vetting the curriculum vitae of Senate candidates on national TV. Exactly when did This Week hire the casting director from Entertainment Tonight? Maybe the show could book Miley Cyrus to offer her thoughts on the Pakistan insurgency. Or go all out and schedule an entire week of political insights from children of successful people. And Washington Post, no more burying these important news stories on A4. We're weeks away from a pivotal mid-term election so the next time Meghan McCain has a thought - front page all the way. Above the fold where it belongs. After that you can get back to contemplating why Howard Kurtz jumped ship for The Daily Beast.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Stop the Ground Zero Brooks Brothers!!!

The American Flags are a Nice Touch.
Paying a visit to Ground Zero this past weekend, we came upon a horrifying sight. A sight that made our blood run cold. Steady yourselves. There is a Brooks Brothers at Ground Zero. 1 Liberty Plaza to be exact. It's not in development. It's not a proposal on the table. We're talking an open for business Brooks Brothers plying it's foul trade openly and without shame. That there wasn't a boisterous protest being staged leads us to the reasonable conclusion that Brooks Brothers is part of some vast conspiracy. First they bomb us, then they sell us Luxury All-Cotton Non-Iron Regular Fit Royal Oxford Dress Shirts.

It's as if they think we've forgotten 9/11. Nine years ago, nineteen heterosexual men hijacked four airplanes with the firm intent of waging war on the United States. They attacked having been promised a whole passel of virgins in the afterlife. Virgins, Virgins, Virgins. This craven and horrific act, committed in pursuit of the heterosexual agenda, remains an open wound in our national psyche. And now, they think we're going to sit idly by while heterosexual men shop openly at a Brooks Brothers on Liberty Plaza? Not in our America, buddy. No men's fashion at Ground Zero! It is an outrage! Nay, a desecration! But it doesn't end there. That move to convert a Burlington Coat Factory into a mosque? Just a cover-up. We've obtained secret documents that paint a very different picture. There was never going to be any mosque. The mosque is just a ruse to distract us from the Burlington Coat Factory selling reasonably priced men's overcoats so close to Ground Zero.

Look, we're not saying all men attacked us on September 11th, but we didn't hear Brooks Brothers or Abercrombie and Fitch condemn the attacks either. That tacit approval gave well appointed comfort to straight guys everywhere and therefore makes them guilty by association in our book. It's time for Brooks Brothers and all the other purveyors of fine men's fashions to voluntarily shut up shop and withdraw to a more respectful distance. Take your tainted business and move straight uptown. Saks and Barney's are in Midtown. What's wrong with Midtown? Do the right thing, Brooks Brothers.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Virus Theory of the November Elections

Vote O'Donnell! (Yeah, we said it)
Folks, there's a lot of batshit crazy loose in the territories. Well, to be honest it's always there, lurking under the surface, but the nation's immune system is more compromised than Mexico's police force. Its weakened condition is due to a rare confluence of events: bad economy, shifting demographics, ten years of war, hot button social issues and a political system incentivized to fail. As a result, America's ability to fight off political extremism is limited. That's right, political flu season has arrived America.

The initial symptoms were well documented: rage, rabid political extremism, loss of higher cognitive function, and a severe allergic reaction to logic, facts or common sense. It was also confined to certain population segments, which led to a certain complacency and the assumption that the whole thing would burn itself out. But during the primaries we began to see a new symptom: the tendency to vote for whomever was promising the most outlandish solutions to a problem. It was as if someone rounded up homeless paranoid schizophrenics, cleaned them up and encouraged them to rant into a microphone. What once made people give someone a wide birth on a city sidewalk was suddenly getting them nominated for the Senate. A sure sign of a of a full blown, political pandemic.

The general consensus seems to be that should any of the infected get elected to the House or Senate that it would be a disaster. We disagree. It would be a disaster if they all got elected, but it would also be a disaster if none were. Allow us to elaborate.

Crazy ideas are like viruses; they're extremely contagious and tend to spread out of control. Particularly when times are hard as previously discussed. Like any body, the United States needs time to develop antibodies but in the meantime we're looking at serious collateral damage. Right now, Christine O'Donnell and her ilk, in the abstract, sounds good to a lot of people who have been exposed. The candidates have staked out crazy positions, labeled their scapegoats and proposed hardline solutions that will punish the un-American among us. It's appealing on some level to unleash O'Donnell or Sharron Angle on the Senate because no one that voted for her stopped to imagine them on the Senate Appropriations or Foreign Relations Committees. Stop now, and imagine it. We'll include a soothing visual to help calm you down after:

Focus on the duckies... so cute.
We're sorry we had to do that, but don't you feel your immune system is a little bit stronger now? Majority Whip Sharron Angle! Dirty pool, but can't you feel those white blood cells multiply? It's tough love, but it's the only way. That's why we're rooting for Christine O'Donnell in November. Rooting big. We won't start to feel safe until we see Senator O'Donnell crack one of her big, loony smiles on the Senate floor. It's not that we're admirers of O'Donnell. Her pro-witch, anti-masturbation stance conflicts with our pleasuring ourselves in ruby slippers fetish. But it's no longer realistic to just let this thing run its course. Pro-active, CDC style measures need to be implemented. We need a vaccine.

What is a flu vaccine? It's where you take a small, relatively harmless strand of the virus and inject it into the healthy body. The body's immune system reacts by developing antibodies so that when the real thing comes along the body is already mobilized. Christine O'Donnell is our vaccine. We don't want all the crazies elected, but we do want one.

On her own, Christine O'Donnell will be harmless, embarrassing and will remind people what happens when you elect contentious incompetents to high office. Her lunacy, and ineffectual dimwittedness will be center stage and as people react with horror to having elected her, the government and nation will develop antibodies. Now, we know that having her roaming the corridors of power is an unappatizing thought. And yes there's the possibility of her doing a little damage, but on her own it will be limited and she will make the thought of anymore of her brethren getting in patently absurd, but it's either inject a little now or risk coming down with the plague later.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Extreme Makeover: High Fructose Corn Syrup Edition

Don't Call Me Syrup, Baby...
Aging celebrity bad boy, High Fructose Corn Syrup is in the market for a makeover. Only a few years ago, his appeal was nearly ubiquitous and like a caloric Jude Law it was tough to go anywhere without seeing High Fructose Corn Syrup's name. His fan base was huge and ravenous for any taste. And his influence on their fashion, style and pants size was impossible to miss.

But High Fructose ran upon hard times. He was still in the game, but his status as an A-Lister was in jeopardy with the Starbucks set. High Fructose could see the writing on the wall when he was dropped from some of his most enduring franchises. Bye-Bye Gatorade. Bye-Bye Ocean Spray. Bye-Bye Wheat Thins. Things were getting serious, and it was time to take action. But, what to do? What to do?

Normal people might do a little soul searching. Take personal responsibility for the toxic behavior that turned people off. Maybe do some image rehabilitation - a little charity work, a little giving back. Or... you could follow the time honored tradition of troubled celebrities and point fingers, offer a tepid apology and return defiantly to wallowing in your dysfunction (see also: Lindsey Lohan, Charlie Sheen, Corey Haim). Obviously, high Fructose went with Plan B.

It's not High Fructose's fault. It's yours. Cue the folksy ad spots. But that's not enough. People are mocking your ads on Youtube. You need to think really outside the box. We refuse to change, so what can we change? How about the name? It's not that High Fructose Corn Syrup is bad for people, it's that people associate High Fructose Corn Syrup with bad things. Aren't Americans needlessly judgmental, bigoted jerks; it's not that they actually care about their children's health. And all this talk, well, it's akin to hate speech to call it High Fructose Corn Syrup. The only solution is to change the name.

So the only question is what to rename yourself. It's got to be something with pizazz. Something that says good health and long life. Something that says, America we will not make you morbidly obese or give your kids diabetes." Like Super Corn Energizing Sauce. Rejuvenating Corn Elixir would work too. Corgasm? Too obvious? Fine, but let's not rush into anything. Wait, Corn Sugar? You want to go with Corn Sugar?  Well, okay... That doesn't really sound good for you. We like corn, but sugar? Well we have heard that "natural" sugar is more healthful than processed sugar, and corn is natural, right? At least it's not High Fructose Corn Syrup. That stuff'll kill you, and it's a relief to be free of it. Maybe we'll celebrate with a large, corn sugar infused Coke at the movies. We want to see the new one staring that girl, Linda Motan. You know the one we mean, she looks a lot like Lindsey Lohan but without the messed up personal life. We're stupid.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tom Brokaw Gives The Greatest Generation an STD

Wasn't Guatemala One of the Beaches at Normandy?
Greatest Generation just rolled off the tongue, didn't it Tom? You just had to go and play myth-maker, and make preposterously hyperbolic statements like, "the Greatest Generation that any society has ever produced" who "fought not for fame and recognition, but because it was the right thing to do." Unlike the thirty million men who died in WWI for the chance to be Europe's Next Top Model? But seriously, why couldn't you treat them like real people instead of a Madison Avenue slogan? People who lived in a contentious, complex era whose motivations were equally complex. Some were great, some were good, and some purposefully infected Guatemalans with syphilis and gonorrhea in the 1940s. Whoa, wait, what was that last thing? Now we have questions. That doesn't sound all Greatest Generation-y, Tom. That sounds more like the experiments Mengele was running at Auschwitz.

Do the revelations of what was done in Guatemala define that generation, or mean they were Nazi-esque? No, of course not. We're not that cavalier. It doesn't define them anymore than Tuskegee, Guadalcanal, Omaha Beach or Jim Crow define them. No one thing defines a generation, and no three word definition describes millions of people. That's the problem with constructing overly simplistic narratives and trying to shoehorn an entire generation into it. How would you like if someone concocted an overly simplistic, three word definition for your profession like "the lamestream media"? How you're all biased, East Coast, liberal elitists and then interpret your every action through that prism? Yeah...

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Lingerie Football League and Other Stuff We Wish We Were Making Up

Fourth and 99 for the Suffragettes
Despite sounding like a Paul Verhoeven sci-fi epic, The Lingerie Football League is not an ironic nod to our dystopian future but an actual, practicing "sports" league.The brainchild of Mitch Mortaza begins its second season this week with the motto: "True Fantasy Football" (we wish we were making that up). The season will begin on a somber, ceremonial note as a copy of Title 9 is shot out of a cannon. Mötley Crüe will sing Girls, Girls, Girls in lieu of the National Anthem while players duct tape Julie Foudy and Mia Hamm to a goal post and force them to watch the game a la Alex in A Clockwork Orange. With team names like the Los Angeles Temptation and the San Diego Seduction, what could go wrong? Grab your kids for a family outing that little Susie won't soon forget.

Chris Rock once joked that, "they don't grade fathers. But if your daughter winds up a stripper, you fucked up." Well, we don't have daughters, but if we did somehow we'd rather they wound up at a strip club than playing football in their underwear. At least stripping is honest... seedy and sad, but honest. If you're at a strip club, whether as employee or customer, there's no pretending why. No, you're not a dancer and no, you're not a patron of the arts. Stop lying to yourselves. We don't like this trend of Hooter-izing innocuous activities. No, you're not at Hooters for the wings. And no, you're not at a football game, you're watching grown women run around in their underwear. We can't believe we're saying this, but...have some moral integrity and go to a strip club.

At least Mike Wise will be happy...