You Might be a Religious Extremist if…

July 28, 2011

By Cole

Boob-tube buffoon Bill O’Reilly got his tail in a fluff when the New York Times labeled Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Breivik a “Christian” extremist. O’Reilly absurdly accuses the media of routinely lumping fundamentalist Christians in with Muslim jihadists to make them look bad — like they need any help.

It doesn’t matter what stripe you are. Extreme is extreme. Here’s a little test:

You might be a religious extremist if…

  • Your belief system comes from a book written eons ago, whose purpose and authorship cannot be verified, and whose wording can be twisted to mean whatever you want it to mean.
  • You think everyone who doesn’t share your belief system should be 1) Oppressed, 2) Denied basic civil liberties, 3) Killed, or 4) All of the above.
  • You are proud you belong to a group that needs some earthly cheerleader telling you how to think and act. You may even be willing to donate large amounts of time and money — or even your life — to this group.

Glenn Beck had the gall to imply that the kids who were mowed down in Norway were like Hitler youth, as if they had it coming.

If he had any idea how totally offensive that must be to Norwegians who know or remember how Hitler treated Norway during WWII, he’d keep his ignorant cake-hole shut.

Fundamentalist Christians have been responsible for enough bloody chapters in history and violent right-wing nut groups (KKK, anyone?) to stand toe-to-toe with anything Muslims have ever done.

You don’t see liberals and atheists screaming for more guns so they have the option of shooting abortion doctors, gays, or political opponents. No, they’re free-thinkers who don’t need the whole world to share their beliefs, and they’re harder to herd and brainwash than cats.

So, O’Reilly and Beck, if you don’t like having the gun-toting bigots you call fans lumped in with a gun-toting bigot who decided everyone in Europe who isn’t like him needs to die, too bad.

If the shoe fits…


Amy Winehouse, RIP

July 24, 2011

By Adele

I was shocked by Amy Winehouse’s death — even though I knew nothing about her beyond her name. Amy seemed a victim of what I call “Emperor’s New Clothes” syndrome. Killed by the overblown worship of a talent that didn’t (yet) fully exist.

I watched a video of “Rehab,” where she sang what will undoubtedly become her famous last words once the autopsy results are in…

“They tried to make me go to Rehab,
I said, ‘No, no, no.”

Chef Jamie Oliver probably put it best when he tweeted that Winehouse was a “raw talent.”

Tony Bennett, who must be taken with a grain of salt in his geezerhood, doing “duets” with young singers who can prop up his pipes, called Winehouse “an extraordinary musician with a rare intuition… an exceptional talent.”

To be all that, she’d at least have had to master diction. I watched several of her videos to see what Tony was talking about, and you can’s make out half of her lyrics. (I know, I sound like Karen kvetching about Treme. Sorry.)

Almost as much as Amy’s death, it shocked me to read that her album, Back to Black, won 5 Grammies!

Who are we kidding? Personally, the woman was a walking trainwreck who looked like the bride Dracula left at the altar. Professionally, she had a so-so voice, if you separate the slick trappings from her actual performances. And Cole Porter (the human) isn’t exactly turning green in his grave in envy of her snappy lyrics.

So another one bites the dust because people keep mistaking sheer guts for talent. Amy Winehouse might have one day become a great musician if everyone hadn’t jumped the gun and declared her first trickles of drivel “pure genius.”

Maybe we should learn to hold our applause until these superstar wannabes do their homework, pay their dues, and outgrow the navel-gazing phase. In that time, they might also develop the maturity and stamina to survive in the pressure-cooker of fame.

We’d have a lot fewer idols, but they’d probably last a lot longer.


Carla Hall Goes From “Top Chef” to Cat Food

July 20, 2011

By Adele

Top Chef All-Star Carla Hall has parlayed her experience pleasing finicky Tom and Padma into a gig with Purina Fancy Feast® cat food.

I’m serious.

Carla is the guest judge in the Fancy Feast® TasteMakers contest, where humans and their cats concocted new flavors for Elegant Medleys®. Purina will go to any lengths to avoid just putting more meat in the can.

You know what that means. Unless the contest is rigged, Carla is going to have to EAT that stuff to make her decision. I hope, at least, they give her a fork.

Purina limited entries to a check-off list of acceptable ingredients (including CARROTS. and acini di pepe pasta. Ha!), so the 1,656 submissions quickly start to look alike if you flip through them.

The 5 finalists all have a protein with variations on wild or long-grain rice, spinach, and — get this — tomato FLAKES — steeped in “savory broth” or “classic gravy.”

Purina omitted the most OBVIOUS ingredient that would have made their contest truly special…

Ground MOUSE.

Here’s a video of Carla explaining the contest.

If you click to the second video, Purina’s chef says they watch “restaurant trends” for inspiration.

Translation: They make their cat food appeal mostly to HUMANS so they’ll shell out big bucks for minimal protein padded with spinach or carbs, and drowned in rich-looking sauces — the only thing the cats will like and lick off. The rest goes down the disposal.

Ka-Ching! for Purina.

The TasteMaker winner gets $10,000 and a year’s supply of Fancy Feast®. Purina is donating $1 for each vote to Adopt-a-Pet.com, up to $25K. You can vote once a day until August 8.

For the record, after heated debate (because that’s just how we roll), Cats Working voted for Purrrfect Sushi, inspired by rescue cats Wasabi and Ginger. It’s yellowfin tuna, shrimp, wild rice, and classic gravy. The one thing we all agreed on was that we’d spit out the rice.


Cantor Stomps Obama’s Last Nerve

July 15, 2011

By Yul

It was a sweet moment when John Boehner put his arm around House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and reassured everyone he doesn’t think Cantor’s an asshole. But “Boner” is in a dwindling minority.

Cantor is MY Congressman, and if cats could vote, he wouldn’t be elected dog-catcher. His insatiable need to top his own douchebaggery knows no limits.

Cantor looks like the creepy kid everybody either ignored or bullied in school. He probably entered politics just for spite, and fell into a tub of butter when the Republicans regained Congress in the mid-terms and made him House Nerd Majority Leader, with endless opportunities to diss the president.

Who can forget the time Cantor met with Obama on healthcare and showed up lugging the 2,000+-page bill as a prop to piss Obama off?

Or during the initial debt ceiling meetings with Biden, when Cantor flounced out with his tail in a fluff?

Cantor misses no Obama-baiting opportunity to show his solidarity with Virginia’s 7th District closet bigots who have kept Cantor in Congress since 2001.

Just this week, when Obama headed the latest debt ceiling meetings, Cantor allegedly interrupted Obama 3 times, repeatedly suggesting a short-term fix. Obama finally smacked Cantor down, warning, “Don’t call my bluff.” Cantor later claimed Obama “stormed” out of the meeting in a hissy fit.

No, Eric. That’s what they have you for.

These talks themselves are ridiculous. A bunch of suits throwing around trillions as if they really know how much money that is. Making grand 10-year projections they won’t be around to carry out.

And it came as no surprise to learn that Cantor is betting AGAINST the government that furnishes his livelihood and healthcare. He invests in ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury EFT, which is projected to skyrocket if the U.S. financial situation tanks.

It’s maddening that gullible voters can be snowed by Republicans who scream, “No tax increases…!” without listening to the whole sentence, which is, “No tax increases for the WEALTHY and BIG CORPORATIONS!”

Meanwhile, Obama, the Great Compromiser, is prepared to throw 60-somethings under the bus AGAIN to appease those greedy SOBs. He’s offered to raise eligibility for Medicare to 67. Why not? Obama tossed near-retirees like bloody chum to insurance industry sharks, lettng them be ripped to shreds on premiums until 2014, before any meaningful healthcare reform kicks in.

The further into poverty with no safety net Cantor and other avaricious Republicans can shove the poor and middle class in any way, while claiming to be saviors, the bolder they become.

When are voters going to wake up and stop the madness?


A Case of Bourdain Burnout

July 11, 2011

By Karen

My waning interest in Bourdainia has been a long time coming. Travel Channel stomped on my last nerve with this one-and-a-half-page ad in Entertainment Weekly for the new Cuba episode of No Reservations, which airs tonight…

Season premiere? Season 8? What happened to Season 7, which disappeared after 8 episodes nearly 3 months ago? Was Tony’s trip to Haiti just filler?

And what’s suddenly so fucking special about Cuba? Andrew Zimmern was there for the first episode of Bizarre World — in 2009. Here’s the dramatic full page of Tony’s EW ad…

 

And there’s another one floating around, with Tony sitting on a curb in Havana.

Anyway, TC, you win. Figuring out when No Res will air is a game for your ideal demographic — young males who think road trips to BBQ competitions contitute “travel.”

The Bourdains themselves now run a slick PR machine on Twitter @NoReservations and @OttaviaBourdain, and most of Tony’s friends and crew tweet. Tony regularly tweets pictures and links to articles about himself. Eater.com does regular posts about him, with his cooperation.

I feel as if Cats Working’s job is done.

Several years ago, I asked Tony for a Cats Working interview. He declined, saying he didn’t want to endorse a blog that discussed his personal life.

That was long before he embraced the blogosphere, Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, but I’ve never seen him utter “Cats Working” to a soul unless he was talking to me.

I’ve grown wary of much of his hyperbole. I thought chef Gabrielle Hamilton’s memoir, Blood, Bones & Butter, was spottily disingenuous and certainly not a book Tony should have wished he had written.

I just watched both seasons of Treme, the HBO series about post-Katrina New Orleans that Tony has called one of the greatest shows ever, if not the greatest. In Season 2, he wrote the scenes for the chef character, Janette, who moved to New York and worked for Bourdain’s network of BFFs: Colicchio, Ripert, and Chang. They all had cameos.

Bourdain was asked to write for Treme so those marginally relevant scenes would be authentic.

Here’s a news flash: Only the tiny fraction of the population who actually works in restaurants knows (or cares). And if they’re as poorly paid as Tony says, it’s unlikely they get HBO anyway.

Sad to say, I found Tony’s work kind of lifeless, except for the scene where Janette tosses a drink in Alan Richman’s face. Some of his dialog was even retread.

If Bourdain writes for Season 3, I’m taking a miss. Not because of him, but because too many of the characters have such terrible diction, I’ve spent, literally, hours watching scenes where I caught one word in 10 with the volume maxed out, and had no idea what was happening.

Ditto for Top Chef, where Tony sometimes guest-judges. Watching hard-working chefs sabotaged so their dishes can be pooh-poohed by nitpicking snobs is not my idea of entertainment. Host Tom Colicchio seems like a nice guy, but I’ll never take his opinion seriously until he sheds the bimbo sidekick, Padma.

I knew my disaffection was complete when saw that Tony’s getting a new Travel Channel series, 24-Hour Layovers, and thought, “Now they’re sweeping the cutting-room floor.”

But apparently not. Tony tweeted he went to Singapore and Hong Kong for new shows.

If TC ever actually airs it, I’ll watch, just to see if Tony & ZPZ really can put Samantha Brown to shame. Poor Samantha. She’s like TC’s Rodney Dangerfield.

From now on, I’m letting Tony do his own thing and expanding our horizons here. If there are any interesting Bourdain developments that he doesn’t totally scoop me on, I’ll share them. But you can better get the latest news straight from him — and tweet him directly @NoReservations.

Bourdain fans, I hope you’ll still stick around, but if you don’t, the cats and I thank you for stopping by.


A Vast Parental Conspiracy?

July 8, 2011

By Adele

If Casey Anthony could party hard for a month while her daughter Caylee was missing, and be aquitted of every charge related to Caylee’s disappearance and death, one can only conclude the jury wore mental earplugs and blindfolds.

It’s a disturbing pattern.

Juries who refuse to convict or recommend the maximum punishment to mothers like Casey Anthony must be thinking…“There, but for the grace of God, go I.”

They’re the people who put a book called Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach in the No. 1 spot on a NY Times bestseller list.

It’s no secret that kids can be as annoying as hell.

I believe parents on juries recall times when they’d have liked to forget their own brats existed, just for a little break from parenthood.

But would they ever want to end up on Death Row for it? Hell, no!

Remember Susan Smith, the South Carolina woman who incensed the country in 1994 after drowning her 1- and 3-year-old sons in a lake and making up a story about a black carjacker, when she really did it to please her child-averse lover?

When the truth first came out, everybody wanted Smith’s head on a platter. But as time dragged on, people started thinking, “Oh, the poor woman. She’s suffered enough. She lost all her children.”

Smith faced the death penalty, too, but got only a life sentence and could be freed in 2024. In the meantime, she has no worries because the taxpayers provide her room and board.

These mothers’ heinous, heartless crimes always seem to turn in their favor. They get sympathy over losing their children when THEY are the reason their kids are dead.

The wilful dismissal of facts and disconnect from reality that infects conservative political ideology bleeds into courtrooms. Jurors refuse to find guilt because they know they themselves are guilty of at least passing fantasies of what life would be like without the kids. If they start punishing each other for that, who’s next?

Innocent, defenseless children born to monsters don’t have a chance. They can be butchered and tossed out like garbage and the adults who should have protected them shrug it off, claiming no amount of “evidence” will prove it even happened.

For all we know, this idiot jury believes Caylee Anthony is still alive somewhere because the skeletal remains may not really be hers.

When parents put self-preservation first, there will never be justice for children.


Florida Welcomes Disposable Children

July 6, 2011

By Adele

If you’re a young adult whose wild and crazy unprotected sex resulted in a pesky child to raise — YEARS before you were ready to give up drinking, partying, and sleeping around — Florida wants to help.

Just tell the kid you’re taking him/her to meet Mickey Mouse at DisneyWorld. Pack light. A roll of duct tape fits easily into a carry-on.

As soon as you arrive in Orlando, take the child to McDonald’s for a Happy (Last) Meal and keep the receipt. It will come in handy later if you ever need to show anyone what a devoted parent you are.

Before you check into a hotel, slap a few strips of duct tape over the child’s nose and mouth, then throw him into the trunk of your rental car before too many people see him.

For the duration of your stay, you can enjoy all of Orlando’s attractions and nightlife, unfettered by a cranky brat with poopy diapers whose insistence on eating and sleeping would only cramp your style.

When it’s time to head home, dump the kid in the nearest empty lot. If the car trunk smells funky from a corpse rotting in Florida’s heat, not to worry. The rental company has chemicals to take care of that.

Back home, if anyone in your family happens to notice your child hasn’t been around for a while and raises a “stink,” just accuse them of molesting you and threaten to sing like a canary. That should shut them up.

And never fear being caught or convicted. If a remorseless killer and pathological liar like Casey Anthony can get away with it, rest assured that the same morons who couldn’t read a ballot in 2000 and handed the White House to George W. Bush are still going strong and likely to be on your jury of “peers,” if it ever comes to that.

But, thanks to the Anthony “not guilty” verdict, the Orlando ‘burbs will soon be strewn with the remains of so many unwanted kids, they’ll look like above-ground catacombs. The chances of your departed darling ever being found and linked to you are slim to none.

Now, don’t you feel better?


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