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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

DAYSbreak: March 30, 2004

George and Karen, sitting in a tree…
To combat the stinging allegations launched against it last week by former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, the Bush White House is turning to an old friend, Karen Hughes. Hughes kicked off a six-week, national book tour yesterday to promote her tome Ten Minutes from Normal, a glowing memoir about her years serving alongside George Jr. both on the campaign trail and during his first two years in the White House.

This week’s issue of Time Magazine includes excerpts from the book that reveal how Hughes really feels about the president, and she doesn’t hold back in her assessment. She refers to Bush as "humble," "wonderful," "tough-minded," "decent and thoughtful," with a "laserlike ability to distill an issue to its core" and "a knack for provoking discussion."

Hmmm, pretty revealing. Let’s break this down, shall we?
“Humble” = Bush knowing deep down that he doesn’t deserve to be where he is.
“Wonderful” = He’s so cute.
“Tough-minded” = Thick-headed
“Decent and thoughtful” = He pays me well.
“A laserlike ability to distill an issue to its core” = Dumbing complex issues down to a very simple, black-and-white, with-us-or-against-us view.
“A knack for provoking discussion” = Continually pissing people off.

Time also reports that Hughes believes “the president’s tendency to mangle words is a sign of a ‘highly intelligent’ mind outpacing a sluggish tongue.” Do I even need to comment on this twisted logic?

You can catch more of Hughes’ public love letter to George this coming Wednesday on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. We hear there may even be a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ during her appearance, oh goody.

Mapping Money
An amazing, and somewhat frightening, new website called FundRace.org launched earlier this month that allows visitors to quickly and easily find out the political leanings of their neighbors. At FundRace.org anyone can punch in their address, or any address for that matter, and get a full listing of all surrounding residents, complete with addresses, who have given to any of the presidential candidates, whether it was a $25 gift to the now-defunct Dean campaign or a $2,000 boost toward Bush’s re-election campaign.

Developed by a Manhattan-based non-profit organization called EyeBeam, the site brings public disclosure to an entirely new level. The site’s founders, Jonah Peretti and Michael Frumin note that all the information is already publicly available at the Federal Election Commission's website. "Anyone who is a crazy stalker, if they really wanted to, could have found this information before.” So basically, Peretti and Fruman have lifted the heavy burden of researching targets from the daily rigors of stalkers and rabid political wackos everywhere.

For instance, thanks to FundRace.org, I now know where all three of the Bush donors on my block live which means that instead of randomly lobbing Malatov cocktails through my neighbor’s windows hoping to hit a Bush ‘Ranger’ or ‘Pioneer’, I can target them with accuracy. I also now know why the woman’s apartment two floors down from mine always reeks of patchouli and wheat grass: she gave $100 to the Kucinich campaign.

A Washington Post report on the site revealed that the top GOP address in the nation’s capital can be found at 666 11th St. NW, proving once and for all that Satan is responsible for the Bush political juggernaut.

Dinner Theatre
Last week, at the annual Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association Dinner, President Bush stuck with the dinner’s tradition of self-effacing humor when he presented a tongue-in-cheek slideshow, complete with knee-slapping commentary on the slides from the commander-in-chief himself. The Nation’s David Corn was a witness and reported it thusly:

It's standard fare humor. Bush says he is preparing for a tough election fight; then on the large video screens a picture flashes showing him wearing a boxing robe while sitting at his desk. Bush notes he spends "a lot of time on the phone listening to our European allies." Then we see a photo of him on the phone with a finger in his ear. There were funny bits about Skull and Bones, his mother, and Dick Cheney. But at one point, Bush showed a photo of himself looking for something out a window in the Oval Office, and he said, "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere."

The audience laughed. I grimaced. But that wasn't the end of it. After a few more slides, there was a shot of Bush looking under furniture in the Oval Office. "Nope," he said. "No weapons over there." More laughter. Then another picture of Bush searching in his office: "Maybe under here." Laughter again.

Pretty fun shit, no? You know what we at Days think would’ve been really funny though? If while Bush was stomping around the Oval Office posing for these shots, he had inadvertently stepped on a landmine and lost both his legs. Now that would’ve been hilarious! It probably would’ve even made George Medina of Orange County, who lost his son to a Baghdad landmine in November, laugh aloud.

This from the March 26 New York Daily News:
George Medina, 43, of Orange County, who lost a son in Iraq, heard about Bush's remarks when his outraged daughter, an Army sergeant, called him yesterday. "She was very upset," Medina said. "This is disgraceful," Medina continued. "He doesn't think of all the families that are suffering. It's unbelievable, how this guy tries to run the country." His 22-year-old son, Spec. Irving Medina, died Nov. 14 in Baghdad when an explosive device struck his convoy. Charles Celestin, 28, of Coral Springs, Fla., and Irving Medina's brother-in-law, blasted the commander-in-chief's remarks. "To be poking fun; it's just a travesty to the soldiers who lost their lives. I think it's disrespectful," he said.

Amen brother, Amen. We’re not laughing either.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

The Madness in All of Us
By Jed F. Hamilton
Friday, March 26, 2004

A small group of us were huddled toward the back of the classroom, obsessively poring over complicated sheets of paper filled with names and numbers and lines and charts and hopes. We were bickering excitedly over the contents of these papers, arguing fervently and making the case for our selections. In the background, the teacher droned on about dangling participles, double negatives or some other seemingly inconsequential rule of grammar. She didn’t understand.

“Mr. Hamilton!” shrieked Ms. Eklund. “I told you I didn’t want to have to ask you again. Hand ‘em over. Now!”

Thus endeth the great Shorecrest High School NCAA Basketball Championship Tournament Pool of 1990… or so Ms. Eklund thought. I smiled wryly at my friend Nate as she gathered up our sheets of paper, each one carefully customized after hours, nay days, of research into each and every one of the 64 teams and their chances at winning it all. But we were too smart for Ms. Eklund. We’d done this before, we knew the risks. We’d made copies. And so, the pool lived on; but not until the end of fourth period.

Every spring, like a rite of passage, the National Collegiate Athletic Association stages what is perhaps America’s greatest amateur athletic spectacle, commonly known as March Madness. Sixty four teams, from all corners of the country, are scientifically selected and paired off by a mysterious 13-member commission known as the NCAA Selection Committee. Like clockwork, on the third Thursday of March these teams hit the hardwood to square off against one another in a three-week battle of attrition.

In the first weekend alone there are 48 games played. The tournament field is whittled down from 64 to 16 teams. The format presents a devastating lose-and-go-home scenario, so every game is filled with great anxiety for players and fans alike. For the collegiate athletes who participate in the tournament, it is the most important and gut-wrenching time of their young lives. Ninety nine percent of them won’t go on to play basketball professionally, so this is probably their last chance at athletic glory. And for the fans, it is a time of guaranteed excitement.

It is fair to say that March Madness is truly a national epidemic. Typically, March Madness means a ratings coup for CBS, the network that has owned the rights to the contest for 22 years. This year was no different, as the first weekend drew 11 million viewers and vaulted CBS to the top of the mid-March Nielsen ratings once again.

Terra Lycos, an Internet search firm, reported this week that “March Madness” held the top ranking in its weekly most-searched rankings, blowing amateur porn star Paris Hilton out of the #1 spot by more than double the searches. Every year, come March, this is the case, and the primary reason for the top ranking can be found in the annual ritual of “office pools.”

Office pool is a generic term for the number of amateur, and therefore illegal, gambling contests centered on the NCAA tournament that take place in offices, schools and retirement homes every year. According to Gambling Magazine, the FBI has estimated that more than $2.5 billion is bet illegally in office pools across the country every year; that’s in addition to the $80 million legitimately wagered in Nevada.

March Madness has certainly affected my life. I’ve been captive to its spell since I first attended a Final Four, the moniker given to the last weekend of the tournament when only four teams remain, at the now-exploded Kingdome in Seattle in 1989. I can remember at least two years in which I feigned illness to stay home from school to enjoy those first two days of tournament coverage. This tradition would follow me into adulthood as I’ve called in sick to work on numerous occasions in recent years for the very same reason. It seems silly I know, but it’s like religion, and no employer complains when workers stumble in late after attending Ash Wednesday services.

Thankfully, I’m not alone in my unhealthy obsession with March Madness. A study released two weeks ago by Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas estimated that the NCAA Tournament costs employers $1.4 billion in lost productivity for the time people spend at work comparing brackets, checking scores and talking about teams.

On the Tuesday before tournament action was to begin this year I realized I was not enrolled in any office pools, illegal or otherwise. Frantically, I called my friend Bryan in Seattle to ask him if he was participating in any: “Dude, of course. I’m in three. At least.” I knew I could count on Bryan.

Growing up in Seattle I spent my early spring afternoons in friend’s basements glued to each and every second of every heart-stopping game. These days, my tournament-watching ritual finds me in New York City, typically in a bar with friends, glued to each and every second of every heart-stopping game. Things have changed, but not much.

With 16 teams in action on the first Friday this year, my friend Richard and I wandered into a packed sports bar in Murray Hill to enjoy the festivities. It seemed as though every team had a contingent of fans to cheer them on. Nearest the giant screen, a group of rowdy Boston College grads shouted for their team to “Wake up!” In a corner booth, a group of young female fans from the Universtiy of Wisconsin, properly adorned in Badger gear, stare at the multiple screens apprehensively as their Badgers eke out a win over Richmond. In another corner, four recent grads from Duke University share a pitcher and a plate of nachos as they watch their team breeze past Alabama St. At the bar, a woman sports her “Gettin’ Lucky in Kentucky” shirt to show support for her UK Wildcats.

It is the upsets that make this annual ritual so much fun. Every year, a smaller, overmatched underdog of a school, like this year’s University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers, rises up and shocks the world by knocking off a perennial Goliath like Kentucky. This is what makes March Madness so special, and so much fun to watch. The Southern Illinois University Salukis. The University of Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos. The Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners. Every year, at least one of these types of teams plays the role of David.

Things change in this world all the time. But like clockwork, come spring, I know I’ll have the University of California-Irvine Anteaters to cheer on. Go Anteaters.

Friday, March 19, 2004

DAYS: March 19, 2004

“I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it.” – Voltaire

Thank you Janet, you’ve started a culture war.

Yes, in the wake of your Super Bowl peep show, the federal government has morphed into full-on Puritan mode. Since that now infamous evening (does anyone even remember who won the game??), the decency police have been out in force. Before the pasties could even be removed from Ms. Jackson’s nipples, Congress announced it was launching an investigation into indecency on the public airwaves. The Federal Communications Commission, headed by none other than Colin’s son Michael Powell, announced it would increase the fine for acts of indecency from $27,000 to $500,000. Yes, that’s half-a-million for every boob shown, which means poor Courtney Love cost herself a million the other night on Letterman. Once the federal government got involved, the dominoes began falling quickly.

CBS was the first to cave (no surprise there) when the network immediately instituted a five-second delay on its airing of the Grammy Awards. NBC’s Must-See-TV was the next to yield to the morality movement, cutting a 3-second snippet from that week’s ER. The cut portion briefly revealed an elderly woman’s breast; of course, the breast was shown in the least gratuitous context imaginable: a breast cancer exam. Nonetheless, the geriatric boob had to go. That same week ABC’s NYPD Blue, they of the landmark Dennis Franz butt shot, also cut a few seconds of nudity from its broadcast, marking the first time in 11 seasons on the air the series had censored itself. The Oscars then announced that they too would implement a tape delay on the cermony’s “live” telecast; too bad they couldn’t slice an hour or two off the tedious, self-important spectacle altogether. MTV, never to be named producers of the Super Bowl halftime show again, began moving its racier videos until after 10 p.m. Even TNT announced that it would institute a five-second delay on its broadcast of NBA games, because no one wants to accidentally catch a glimpse of Marv Albert’s crusty ass.

Oh Janet, Ms. Jackson if you’re nasty, who would’ve thought one little nipple slip could cause so much trouble. Of course, maybe we should be blaming Justin Timberlake for this whole thing. After all, he was the biggest boob on stage that night, wasn’t he?

But the FCC may have finally bit off more than it could chew. In mid-February, Powell’s crusade levied a massive fine of $715,000 against shock jocker Bubba the Love Sponge, a ribald Florida DJ known for his crude behavior and content. Bubba, an employee of corporate monolith Clear Channel Communications, was summarily given his walking papers. Clear Channel, headed by longtime Bush buddies Lowry Mays and Tom Hicks, is a well-known disciple of the Bush morality crusade. Owner of hundreds of entertainment venues and more than 1,200 radio stations nationwide, Clear Channel was the force behind the wave of pro-war – er sorry, patriotic – rallies across the country in the midst of the Iraq debacle. Clear Channel was also first in line to ban the Dixie Chicks after Natalie Maines publicly bashed Der Bush. The company has proven time and time again that it will do whatever the Bush administration wants it to. They’re kind of like the MoveOn.org of the conservative right, but with more money, more power and more crooks.

After the Love Sponge incident, Clear Channel set it sights on one Mr. Howard Stern, knocking him off the air in six markets across the country due to indecent material aired on February 24. Yes, the Howard Stern program did something indecent. Shock. Since then, Stern has launched a crusade against the Bush administration’s conservative agenda. I am not a regular Stern listener and so it came as quite a surprise to me in reading reports of the current controversy that he has been a staunch supporter of Bush’s until now. Seriously, Howard Stern is the last guy I would envision as a model Republican. How many Republicans do you know that speak regularly about their fascination with midget lesbian clown porn? Nonetheless, Stern was a Republican, but no longer. He now says that “Powell is freaking out because he doesn’t know whether fining me now and knocking me off the air will cost Bush the election.”

Ok, that seems a bit far-fetched. But with 8 million loyal listeners, the Stern army could actually make a difference, who knows? The only thing I’m certain of is that I plan to listen to as much shock-jock radio and watch as many butt-baring repeats of NYPD Blue as I can for fear that the FCC will get its way and we’ll be forced into listening to nothing but Debbie Boone records and watching reruns of the Patty Duke Show.

“I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.” – Rita Rudner

In another sign that the culture war is heating up, the controversy of same-sex marriage splashed itself all over the pages of our periodicals beginning on Valentine’s Day when San Francisco’s maverick mayor Gavin Newsom performed marriage ceremonies for hundreds of gay couples. Massachusetts had already legalized same-sex unions and since then the issue has spread from San Francisco to New Palz, NY, Portland, Ore. and Seattle.

It is no coincidence that this issue, as well as the FCC’s decency crusade, has hit the mainstream at the heart of an election year here in the US. These issues act as lightning rods to solidify the conservative base and ensure support for the current administration. When same-sex unions began spreading like wildfire across the country, it scared the bejeezus out of conservatives. They wanted action from the administration. They wanted a guarantee that this type of immoral and illegal activity would not be tolerated by their leaders. And so, Bush gave them what they wanted and publicly proclaimed his own homophobia by vowing to “protect the sanctity of marriage,” which is pretty ironic considering that Bush most likely strokes Karl Rove off before bed every night.

Same-sex marriage and decency standards also act as distractions so the administration can avoid speaking about issues of much more import such as the economy, joblessness and the war in Iraq. In a sense, by pushing this issue, civil rights activists are playing directly into the hands of the Bush administration. It seems extremely unlikely that a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage could ever be adopted… don’t all the amendments guarantee rights as opposed to taking them away? Whatever the case, it’s a much better topic for the Bushies to focus on then the myriad of issues they have managed to completely fuck up (i.e. the deficit, Iraq, Medicare, unemployment, etc.). It’s much easier to simply say, “we hate gay people” and watch the money roll in from their rich, bible-thumping supporters.

Fact is, why should anyone really give a damn who marries who? If two people love each other then by god they ought to have the right to receive a piece of paper that says so, and the benefits that go along with it. Nobody proposed a ban on pop stars nuptials when Britney ill-advisedly stumbled to the altar in a pair of denim cutoffs and a tube top. Ahhhh yes, the sanctity of marriage, we must preserve it at all costs.

“A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”—Lenin

As were all very aware, today marks the one-year anniversary of ‘Shock and Awe’. Beginning last weekend, the NeoCon disciples in the Bush administration flooded the zone to defend the decision to launch a pre-emptive strike on Saddam and his “stockpile” of deadly chemical and biological weapons. 365 days and 550+ American military deaths later, no weapons of mass destruction have been found and no link to Osama has been uncovered. The disciples have a lot of defending to do.

So the whole of Bush’s cabinet hit the Sunday morning talk show circuit to launch said defense, beginning with Secretary of State Colin Powell who proclaimed on ABC’s “This Week” that he and others in the cabinet would not “be campaigning for the president on these issues”. He then proceeded to defend the actions of the administration, paint Bush as the most capable steward of the “War on Terror” and slam Democratic nominee John Kerry. Nope, no campaigning here.

Next up was Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” who amazingly proclaimed “We may still find the WMD.” Oh Rummy, it’s so cute when you’re in such heavy denial. Sure we’ll find ‘em, don’t you worry about it. (I haven’t the heart to tell him) Just keep it up you senile old bastard! If you wish it, they will be found.

And to complete the triad of distortion, National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to say that “Saddam and Iraq was the most dangerous threat to peace in the world.” Oh Condy, you drank the Kool-Aid too huh? You’re right though, it’s a good thing we caught him, otherwise who knows what unspeakable acts of terror al Qaeda may carry out. Seriously, if it weren’t for Uncle Saddam’s removal, al Qaeda’s foot soldiers may smuggle bombs on to trains in a major European city and then explode them or something… oh, wait. Damn, too late.

The Bush people are putting there money on W's post-9/11 leadership and his steady stewardship of the war on terror in order to get re-elected. The Bush team likes to cite the fact that there have been no terrorist attacks in the domestic US since 9/11 as evidence of this leadership: “We haven’t been attacked; it must be because of how great a president Bush is!” Please, that's like saying I haven't had a fire in my apartment the last four years because I'm the best darn fire preventer there ever was. The final seven years of Clinton's presidency went without a terrorist attack on our shores as well, so I guess he was a pretty great president too, right?

But the Madrid bombings seem to show that nothing's really changed. Don’t get me wrong, I too was comforted in the days after 9/11 when King George looked into the souls of the American people and assured us that everything was going to be alright... and to keep shopping. But what has changed? According to the administration, toppling Saddam was supposed to make America and the rest of the world safer, but since Saddam's removal we've had big al Qaeda attacks in Madrid, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Morocco… the list goes on and on. Who knows, if we’d pressed on in our efforts to capture Osama instead of diverting our attention in order to settle an old score with Saddam, maybe Osama would be the one locked behind bars. But it is only now, just in time for the election season, that we are finally turning our attention back toward those actually responsible for 9/11. Coincidence? I don’t think so. I fully expect to see Osama lowered from the rafters in a cage at Madison Square Garden during the Republican Convention later this year. “Surprise! We got him! Vote for me!”

From Europe to the US, the Madrid bombings have raised everyone’s internal terror alert level. Even if we’re still officially at Yellow, our psyches are at Orange. Londoners are bracing for an attack they feel is inevitable. Australians the same. In Montpellier, France, a man was so distraught by the recent attacks in Spain he tried to run down a pedestrian he thought was Osama bin Laden. No joke. And here in New York, security on the trains remains high. Mayor Bloomberg ensured us the other day that we were safe, saying we’re “more likely to be struck by lightning than be a victim of a terrorist strike.” Sure, tell that to the Jim Caviezel, the actor who plays the Christ in the Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ – he was struck by lightning TWICE during filming of the thing, but I’m sure that was just God’s way of providing Mel with a sign of his support for the film. I wonder if God made Mel’s bed before or after he smote Caviezel?

The Passion opens up a whole other can of holy worms that I’m not ready to tackle just yet. For now, I’m gonna turn Howard Stern up, watch a whole boatload of porn and maybe marry someone of the same gender before the conservatives take all my fun away.

Oh, and Happy Anniversary Iraq! The lights will come on soon, we promise.

“The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.” – Mark Twain

Ruminations of the Days
(filched from www.ruminate.com)

When she asked, "Is that a roll of quarters in
your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?" we
both just had to laugh, because, being a peep-show
girl, it really didn't matter to her either way.


You'd think with me assuming the weighty
responsibility associated with sitting in
an emergency exit row, the flight attendant
would've given me my fifth beer free.


As the doctor removed the fourth peanut butter cup
from my rectum, I came to a very, very important
realization: There *is* a wrong way to eat a Reese's.


After setting the orphanage on fire, I stood
back and watched the kids clawing and scrambling
to get out the front door, pushing, shoving, even
trampling one another. Children can be so cruel.

ORIGINS: www.thestranger.com/current/last_days.html
GREAT MUSIC: www.katefenner.com; www.nikkianddara.com
GET YOUR CUSACK ON! www.thecoopervane.com
COOL TUNES, GET THE BKLYN CD! www.harrisradio.com
WANNA SMILE? WATCH THIS: www.thatwasrandom.com/video/heyya.php
MEL LIKES THIS SITE: www.sortakinda.com/look/withyoualways.shtml
WE’VE ALL WANTED TO DO THIS: http://clarkson.edu/~wirkusf/stfu.swf
SOME FUNNY SHIT: www.lowculture.com
ANOTHER VIEW: www.thenation.com
TAKE ACTION: www.moveon.org
ALL THE LIES, IN ONE CONVENIENT LOCATION! www.house.gov/reform/min/features/iraq_on_the_record/
RAISE YOUR VOICE TOMORROW: www.unitedforpeace.org/calendar.php?caltype=17

DAYS: One boob to rule them all.
Jed F. Hamilton
Brooklyn, USA
**please publish, just not without author's permission

“I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” – James A. Baldwin

“When we got into office, the thing that surprised me the most was that things were as bad as we'd been saying they were.” -- John F. Kennedy


Monday, March 15, 2004

DAYS: 1.24.2004

"Anyone that wants the presidency so much that he’ll spend two years organizing and campaigning for it is not to be trusted with the office.” – David Broder

“Politics is applesauce.” – Will Rogers

I saw democracy in action the other night, and it scared me to death.

The better part of my Monday evening was spent watching middle-aged Midwesterners bicker about tax cuts, health care and farm subsidies over brownies and coffee in order to make the ultimate choice about which corner of their neighbor’s living room to shuffle over to. This is how we choose our leaders, at least in Iowa. I won’t go into detail about just how a caucus works because frankly, none of us need to think about it again for four years. Let’s just say that it’s a very confusing and disorganized way to kick off a presidential campaign, but its tradition, and so we do it every four years. God bless America.

Political geek that I am, I had been anticipating this moment for months. I was hoping for some excitement in those community centers and school gymnasiums. Maybe a fistfight would break out. Maybe someone would get drunk and vomit all over a candidate’s placard stack. Or maybe the aliens would come back for their leader, Dennis Kucinich. Anything to add some spice to the action. But none of that happened. The Iowa caucuses were about as stimulating as you’d think watching people argue in grange halls and senior centers might be.

In a caucus, real Americans with real concerns and real bad haircuts get together for an evening in youth centers, church basements or private homes to voice opinions about their chosen candidate and barter with friends and neighbors for additional support. If when you arrive at your caucus site your candidate is short on support, other candidate’s supporters will try and persuade you to jump to their side. And people will use any means necessary – intimidation, gentle persuasion or downright bribery – to try and build their ranks. (i.e. “If you join the Kerry camp I’ll bake another batch of those cupcakes just for you…” “Sold! Screw Dean, he never offered me cupcakes… Kerry is my man!”)

Folks, this is reality television. That crap that fills our TV screens every blasted evening is nothing but manufactured reality. Real life doesn’t involve a group of 30 women lined up on a paradise island just for the right to date you. Real life involves receding hairlines, bad sweaters, skewed logic, tea and cake.

After all the speeches, all the debates, all the rhetoric, all the attack ads, all the pancake flipping, and all the baby kissing, the people finally spoke. Kerry rolled, Edwards surprised, Dean tanked and Gephardt bowed out. That’s the long and the short of it. And now, we head to New Hampshire.

The battle in New Hampshire should be extremely entertaining, even for those of you who don’t have C-SPAN programmed into your remote control. The only casualty from Iowa was Dick Gephardt, confirming that voters are reluctant to put yet another Dick in the White House. Gephardt’s exit allowed Kerry, Edwards and Dean to survive Iowa and move on to the Granite State, where they will be joined by Joe Lieberman and General Wesley Clark, who both chose to skip the Iowa caucuses. This creates a five-way scrum for the votes in New Hampshire between a Vietnam vet, a four-star General, a hopeful young lawyer, a mensch, and an angry man with a very large skull. Let’s take another look at the contenders:

John Kerry The pundits declared Kerry dead-in-the-water shortly after he rode a Harley onto Jay Leno’s stage in mid-November. They were wrong. It is easy to understand how the “experts” could have come to this conclusion. A few short months ago Kerry’s campaign seemed to be in disarray. He’d fired many of his top aides. He was sagging in the polls. He was unable to generate excitement. He feigned tears at a diner and was laughed at. He was dead in the cornfield. But on caucus night, all speculation went out the window.

Despite losing his voice on the final day of the caucus race, Kerry found his stride just in time to come back and shock the field. He won people over with his calm demeanor, his status as a veteran and war hero, and hey, free cupcakes! But forget all the issues – health care, the deficit, jobs, the war in Iraq. When you really drill down in this campaign, the key issue is electability. In other words, who has a realistic chance of standing up to and defeating George Bush next November. Kerry frankly was just boring enough to seem like a real politician, which brings us to…

Howard Dean Bye bye Iowa. Kiss off cornheads! Howard Dean couldn’t wait to get out of the Hawkeye State. The frontrunner for the majority of the Iowa campaign, primarily because he was the loudest and angriest, was slammed into the wall of reality on Monday night. This guy is a fascinating character study. He’s angry. He’s loud. He’s bombastic. He’s crazy. When you see him it’s like watching a gorilla in a cage. You can’t help but look at the guy… one, because his head is just so damn big; and two, because you want to see what he does next. So you stare at him and you just wait… ‘Come on Howard. Come onnnnn. Just do it! Do it! Do it!! Explode damn you!!!’

There was a bumper sticker circulating through Iowa on the last days of the campaign: Flirted with Dean, Married Kerry. This proved to be the most apt description of what happened in these caucuses. Dean was the sexy choice. He got you excited. He played on your emotion, your passion. But when it came down to it, Kerry was the steady, safe choice for the long run to the White House. Would I like to see Dean take on Bush in a streetfight? Hell yes. Do I want to see him in a civilized debate with Bush? Uh, no.

The Democrats want, nay need, a candidate who has a realistic shot at beating Bush in November and frankly, it appears as if Dean would lose his shit whenever challenged by W in a debate. This is not to say that the mad doctor’s campaign is dead, just severely damaged. He needs a strong showing in New Hampshire to sojourn on. He’s down but he’s not out, and as long as his head doesn’t explode in the middle of one of his trademark, teeth-gritting, vitriolic rants, he still has a shot. After all, Bill Clinton fought through a scandal a week in the ‘92 primaries, and he eventually emerged with the nomination and the White House…. we shoulda known.

In this race however there is a wild card stacked up against Dean that Bubba didn’t face: A young, smooth-talking, good-looking Southerner riding a campaign of hope…

John Edwards Edwards has been an afterthought throughout much of this campaign. When it began, the young senator from North Carolina was viewed as too inexperienced, too naïve, not-ready-for-primetime and too nice to challenge for the nomination. But Iowans love nice and that vaulted Edwards into a strong second place behind Kerry and well ahead of the maniac from Vermont. Edwards attempted to stay “above the fray” of attack politics and it seems to have worked… in Iowa. He doesn’t seem to have received the “big bounce” in New Hampshire many experts said he would from his strong showing in the caucuses, but maybe he’s putting his money on the next primary in South Carolina, where he hails from. But if Kerry were to steal both Iowa and New Hampshire, South Carolina may be too little too late for Edwards. Besides, is it just me, or does it feel sometimes as if Edwards is hosting a children’s show when he speaks? (“Hello boys and girls. Today, we’re going to be learning about budget deficits.”)

While Edwards’ niceness played well in Iowa, the country at large wants a strong president, someone who can stand up to foreign leaders and special interests alike, someone who’s been through combat and war. Hmmmmm…

Wesley Clark Ahhhhh, the General. New Hampshire will provide the nation with the first real glimpse of Candidate Clark. People still don’t know quite where Clark stands on the issues. We know he has a decorated military record. We know he has the support of many former Clintonites… and, uh, Madonna. And we know he has an impressive collection of sweaters in his closet. But that’s about it.

While the other candidates were pounding the pavement and knocking on doors in Cedar Rapids, Clark was busy laying the groundwork for his campaign in New Hampshire. While all eyes were on Iowa, Clark’s poll numbers in New Hampshire steadily rose. But Clark has spent the entire time positioning himself as the anti-Dean candidate. When Dean flopped in Iowa, Clark’s shine wore off. His arguments seemed less relevant suddenly. How the General responds to this shift is anyone’s guess, but through the weekend he’ll have a chance to thrust his voice upon the American public… let’s just hope he’s figured out if he’s a Republican or a Democrat by the time the polls open on Tuesday night. Wesley isn’t the only candidate to test the skip-Iowa-and-focus-on-New-Hampshire strategy however…

Joe Lieberman Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman doesn’t honestly have much of a shot to win his party’s nomination, he’s more in the role of spoiler. But he’s the Republicans worst nightmare, which is the message he’s now stressing. If this race really was about who is the most “electable,” Joe would be in the lead. New Hampshire’s largest daily newspaper has endorsed him for this very reason. He’s probably the most centrist of the Democratic candidates. Often times, he sounds more like a Republican than a Democrat, which means he could pull support from the all important “swing” voters in a general election. He has supported the removal of Saddam all along, and hasn’t tried to deny like other candidates who voted for the war resolution in October 2002. What he opposes is the planning – or lack thereof – for post-war Iraq, which means that Lieberman can combat the current administration’s inevitable charges of treason and spineless foreign policy better than anyone else. Joe looked better and more rationale when Saddam was finally pulled from his hole. He scares the Republicans more than anyone else. He’s best equipped to take on the formidable Rove/Cheney-fueled Bush campaign. But he doesn’t have a chance.

Accepting reality, Lieberman must realize that the spoiler role is a very powerful one. He’s able to say and do just about anything to damage his rival’s presidential viability. He has free reign. He can go as negative as he wants. He can challenge the other candidates without fear of damaging reprisals. He can be as loud and angry as he wants. Of course, I don’t envision mild-mannered Joe popping off or raging ala Howard Dean, but if he wanted to, he could – he’s got nothing to lose. Much like…

Dennis Kucinich The weird one. We’ll miss you.

Al Sharpton The funny one. We’ll miss you too.

Richard Gephardt The lifelong Democrat and stalwart politician from Missouri had to bow out of the race after a disappointing showing in Iowa. Frankly, we knew Gephardt’s campaign was in the crapper when he put aging crooner Michael Bolton on stage at his final campaign rally. Godspeed Mr. Gephardt, we hardly knew ye… but we know you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the entire Bolton oeuvre in your retirement.

So there you have it, New Hampshire in a nutshell. Within a few weeks, after contests in South Carolina, Missouri, Delaware, North Dakota, Arizona and Oklahoma on February 7, the field will be whittled down even further. By early March, it will be down to just two. That means my longwinded ramblings about the multiple machinations of this campaign and the election process should become less long… but probably more winded.

But Days is not just about politics. I do realize there are more important things than politics in this world: J.Lo is officially single again, (sweet… my dream lives!). Paris Hilton is up for an Emmy. Michael Jackson has opened up a daycare center at Neverland. Steve Irwin continues to feed his babies to the crocodiles. Britney continues to provide a shining example of the “sanctity of marriage”. Art Garfunkel has been busted for pot, (coo-coo-ka-choo). And Brooklyn has a ball team again.

Days will return to its pop culture roots and scour the news for stories like this to poke fun at next time. But until then, enjoy this country’s grand political process as it unfolds before your very eyes… after all, there may be cupcakes in it for you!

DAYS: Spamming you for five good years.
Jed F. Hamilton
Brooklyn, USA
**please publish, just not without author's permission

"One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." -- Plato

"Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire." -- Neitzsche


DAYS: 11.18.2003

DAYS would like to offer our fair president some words of advice ahead of his trip to the UK.

Dear King George,
We hope this note finds you in good spirits. Actually, knowing that your handlers are hell bent on keeping anything resembling real-world criticism out of your sight, we hope this note simply finds you. In the off chance that it slips through your filter and inside your bubble, we hope you find some of this useful as you prepare to hop the ocean and visit our friends in London.

Knowing that you’re probably the least worldly world leader the world has ever seen, the Days staff felt it important to provide you with an idea of the response you should expect from the Kingdom and its citizens. First off however, we have to ask an important question: Why in the hell are you doing this? If you’re looking for some good photo-ops, this is probably not the best place for you to be… but maybe you don’t understand that.

Like most of the world, these people don’t like you, it’s important for you to realize that going in. Understanding that you don’t read the news we fear that maybe you’re under the false impression that everyone adores you and fully understands what it is you are doing with our foreign policy, but that simply isn’t the case. In fact, most everyone around the world despises and fears you. A recent poll in England revealed that 60% of Britons believe you are the world’s biggest threat to peace, so bear that in mind as you unload your folksy bullshit on our cousins across the pond.

Unlike here in the States, where your handlers skillfully keep protestors and anti-anything sentiment shielded from you by filtering the news you receive and herding the rabble-rousers into out-of-the-way ‘protest pens’, you will be faced head on with thousands upon thousands of Europeans who bristle with contempt for you and your legion of doom. They may call you names. They may throw rotten fruit in your direction. They may burn you (or tear your statue down) in effigy. Don’t let this get you down. They’re doing it out of love… for America and for peace, not for you.

Ahead of your departure, you flooded the British media in an attempt to soften the public resistance to your visit. It was a pretty smart move to put First Lady Laura out in front of the cameras and microphones over the weekend – she talks, who knew?!! We have to disagree however with your decision to sit down with the BBC’s David Frost. There’s a reason your staff has limited you to the fewest press conferences ever by a modern-day president. This is primarily due to the fact that when you speak you sound like a total moron. Try not to do that (speak) through the rest of this trip, ok? Just smile and nod and wave and give your boyfriend Tony Blair a big, sloppy wet one for the cameras. But don’t talk, ever. Please. You embarrass us when you try to think on camera… it’s painful to watch.

Upon your arrival on Tuesday night, you will be greeted by none other than Prince Charles, (yes, he’s the one with the goofy ears – try not to laugh). In light of recent bombshell allegations of sexual impropriety dropped on the Prince, please try and refrain from referring to him as a butt-reaming homo. Along similar lines, the word ‘fag’ in Britain is slang for cigarette, so if Chuck leads off by asking if you’d ‘like a fag’, resist your intolerant urge to pop him square in the mellon, ok?

On Wednesday, after settling in to your appropriately monarchic quarters at Buckingham Palace, you’ll have a chance to meet the Queen. Apparently, the last time you met her highness, in 1991, you joked that you had “God Save the Queen” stenciled onto your cowboy boots. Two requests: 1) Try not to joke – you’re not funny. And, 2) Leave your cowboy boots at home.

We do understand that this is a dangerous trip for you. Terrorists could very easily use the chaos and mass demonstrations surrounding your visit as an opportunity to inflict harm or wreak havoc. With this in mind, we know that the need for tight security is crucial, but kudos to the Brits for denying your request to essentially shut all of London down for your three-day visit. Your handlers requested that all anti-Bush protests be kept from your sight, but this isn’t going to happen. You’re going to see the animosity, and hopefully, you’re going to feel it. Your handlers also requested that the secret service be immune to prosecution should they be required to deal with protestors by “shooting them on sight.” Apparently fearing a mass slaughter, the Brits also denied this request. Thank god. Lastly, your request to fly an F-16 into London and land it on the Palace’s roof has also been revoked. Mission Denied.

You’ve apparently cancelled your scheduled address to British Parliament out of fear that you will face intense heckling from the members, which is no doubt true. To this we have but one thing to say: you’re such a freaking coward. Again, your people are shielding you from the reality of the situation. Hopefully, the sight of thousands of ordinary citizens marching against you in anger will be enough to open your eyes. If not, perhaps you should go back to Australia and take some more abuse from them. And while we’re speaking of contentious debates, I would advise you against getting sucked into the age-old British battle of Vegamite vs. Marmite -- there’s no way to win this one, trust me. You’ve sown enough divisiveness between our countries without taking sides on this.

Wednesday night is a big night for you, get ready! Put on your coat and tails, shine up your belt buckle and your boots and put on a little extra Old Spice – you’re having dinner with the Queen! Yes, Wednesday night you’ll be the guest of honor at a State Dinner hosted by the Queen at the palace. Don’t be disappointed when the royal kitchen staff refuses your request for “a little Tex Mex on the side”, it ain’t going to happen. And don’t be disappointed when the royal orchestra looks at you in befuddlement when you request a rendition of Achy Breaky Heart.

On Thursday you plan to meet with families of British soldiers who’ve lost their lives in your war. Because you haven’t attended one military funeral here in the States and your administration won’t allow the media to film the returning body bags or wounded from Iraq, you may not realize that people are actually dying as a result of your war. We hope the sight of bereaved families doesn’t come as too big a shock to you. While we commend you for your willingness to directly face those who’ve suffered the greatest consequences from your Iraqi adventure, it would be nice if you could extend the same courtesy to US soldiers and their families.

We wish you a safe journey and hope our little letter, assuming it’s not being peed on by Karl Rove right now, helps you make it through what will no doubt be a very trying and difficult trip for you. If you remember a few simple things however, you’ll be fine. Don’t slap the Queen on her arse. Be sure to knock before you enter Prince Charles’ chambers. Don’t ask for BBQ sauce with your fish & chips. Try not to invoke God, again. Don’t overdose on mayonnaise. If someone calls you a ‘tosser’, they aren’t referring to your football playing days. And don’t worry when the people and the media refer to you as ‘daft’, it means, uh, brilliant – yep, they’re calling you brilliant! Remember these things and you’ll be brilliant… er, daft.

Good luck and Cheerio, you big tosser you!

All the Best,
The Days Staff
(you know us, were on Ashcroft’s watch list…)

DAYS: Bob's Your Uncle!
Jed F. Hamilton
Brooklyn, USA
**please publish, just not without author's permission


DAYS: 11.4.2003

“Democracy is being able to vote for the candidate you dislike least.” – Robert Byrne

Welcome back everyone… we uh, sort of missed October, but Days hath returned with a vengeance. Well, ok, maybe not with a vengeance – we’re still shaking off our Halloween hangover – but we’re here, ready to dive back in. And since we’ve now dispatched with both All Hallowed’s Eve and the New York City Marathon (Run Diddy! Run!), this installment is designed to put the focus squarely back on a truly terrifying race: The Race for the White House.

As long-time readers can attest, politics is somewhat of a passion for us here in the Days newsroom. While we truly enjoy skewering pop culture and the lampooning of American society, it is politics that provides us with the lifeblood to keep pumping this baby out to the masses every month. With that said, this installment will mark the beginning of our long trek toward election night 2004, only 363 days away! The coming year promises to provide us with more back-stabbing, mud-slinging and character assassination than you can wave a flag at.

Over the next twelve months, Days plans to provide continual updates and observations from the campaign trail, (don’t worry, they’ll be shorter than this one). Our coverage will include reports from the road during a possible excursion to the Granite State for the New Hampshire primaries in January, the traditional kicking off point of the political season… Live Free or Die! Of course, the journey will culminate a year from now on the first Tuesday on November 2, 2004 when we’ll find out if King George can be dethroned or not. Along the way, in addition to our trip to New Hampshire, we’ll report from the frontlines of both the Democratic convention in Boston and from what’s sure to be a riotous occasion at the Republican convention right here in New York next September.

In this installment however, Days will set the stage by profiling the nine Democratic candidates vying for the party’s nomination to become the only hope to take down the Bush junta in 2004. For reasons of conciseness, and to spare our readers yet another profanity-laden, anti-Bush rant, we’ll refrain from spewing about just why we feel little George needs to go, instead focusing on those who oppose him. Print this out, take it on the subway and grab hold of something... this is gonna be a long one.

Those Who Would be King: A 2004 Democratic Nominee Primer
It’s going to be a long and entertaining road to the White House this year as the political climate in the country is more heated and contentious than at any time during Days 5-year history. Moving forward from here, Days will provide constant updates on the campaign trail, sometimes embedded within the context of these laborious monthly diatribes, and sometimes in the shorter form of a CampaignDAYS update… boy, if only I had a blog of my own. Hmmmmmm.

Cutting through all the empty rhetoric typically involved in these campaigns is not an easy task. Apparently, all of the candidates are pro-American, which is a good base to build a platform on I guess. From Howard Dean’s simple “Dean for America” slogan, to John Edwards “Real Solutions for America” and Wesley Clark’s “New American Patriotism” (as opposed to the Old Foreign Patriotism apparently), America is front and center in this campaign. And of course, we can’t forget Dennis Kucinich’s “A Prayer for America” slogan, which maybe instead should read “Kucinich Doesn’t Have a Prayer,” or something along those lines. Yep, America is something every candidate can rally around, Go America. But finding the differences between these candidates is the hard part, and that’s what we’ll try to do here today.

A quick note before we get started however. NBC News has announced that it will plant “embeds” with each candidate to cover the Race for the White House from inside the trenches, thus becoming the first media outlet to invoke the term ‘embed’ in a non-combat capacity. Days thought this was a pretty good idea, so, as you’ll see, we have assigned a special ‘DAYSembed’ correspondent to travel along the campaign path with the candidates. We’ll check in with them from time to time throughout the campaign to get an insider perspective on the proceedings.

Now of course we all know that we shouldn’t judge candidates on their looks, their mannerism or their last name. But it’s fun. So we do. Let’s take a look.

Howard Dean
CYBERMAN: Ok, if Dean manages to pull this thing off and win, he’ll be the first candidate to ride into the White House on the sheer power of spam. He’s the Spam Candidate. I wish I’d never signed up for that damn newsletter… Joe Trippi, if you don’t stop e-mailing me, I swear to god I will pound you over the head with a block of Vermont cheddar until you’re bleeding out of your ears. And no, I don’t want to ‘meet up’. Leave me alone.

THE SKINNY: A former physician and governor, Dean leapt into the political spotlight when he passed the nations first ever Civil Unions bill through the Vermont state legislature in April 2000. He makes Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum very, very nervous, which we like very, very much. A native New Yorker, Dr. Dean has enjoyed frontrunner status through the majority of these early, meaningless stages of the campaign primarily because he’s been the most consistent anti-Bush rabble-rouser of the group. Of course, as Bush’s poll numbers slip and more soldiers die, all the other candidates have decided to adopt a much more antagonistic approach toward the current Commander in Chief, but Dean has been there steadily from the beginning, opposing the Iraqi adventure with fist raised. Dean has produced plenty of a momentum in these early stages by adhering to a very John McCain-esque straight talk demeanor. But this no bullshit policy ruffled a few feathers this past weekend as Dr. Dean claimed he wanted to go after as many voters as possible, including the guys “with Confederate flags in their pick-up trucks.” Hmmm, perhaps a little too much ‘straight talk’ Howie, or was that just ‘dumb talk’? Besides, don’t you know that Bush already has as a stranglehold on the bigoted Southerner electorate?

CHANCES: Dean enjoys the luxury of claiming to be an ‘outsider’. As governor of Vermont, Dean has been able to paint himself as anything but the typical Washington politician. See, we’re supposed to like him because instead of rubbing shoulders with the fat cats and policy makers, he’s been munching cheese, bobbing for apples and building a tree house in the frightening wilds of the Green Mountains. I don’t know good doctor, sometimes ‘outsider’ can mean ‘inexperienced,’ ya know? But as a bonus, Dean says he plays the harmonica, piano and guitar – stick that in your sax and smoke it Billy Clinton! Now, this capsule may seem like a Days endorsement for Dr. Dean, which it was, until we learned that he is currently embroiled in a torrid affair with Senator Santorum (R-Pa.).

DAYSembed: Barbara Bailey. Like Dean, Barbara is an outsider – not to politics, but to the journalistic community. An innkeeper by trade, she decided to sign up with the Days correspondent team to follow “that sweet, ass-pounding governor of ours.” We couldn’t resist her charms, so we hired her. Barbara’s on medication; we wish her well.

Dennis Kucinich
TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER: Man, this guy is creepy looking… does everyone in Ohio look like that? Please, someone from the Buckeye State help me out here. Kucinich appears to be the twisted offspring of a rare alien breed, which probably landed in an Iowa cornfield in the 50’s, conceived a lovechild with Warren Christopher, and never found its way out. So he’s got that going for him.

THE SKINNY: Officially dubbed “The Kooch” by some supporters, Kucinich is the weaselly spoiler of the group. No one knows much about him. He’s a senator. He’s from Ohio. He was one of very few congressmen who voted against the Iraq war resolution a year ago, he’s made that pretty clear.

CHANCES: Kucinich is in a wonderful position in this campaign. Like a few other candidates, he has nothing to lose. He knows darn well that he’s not going to win, unless his alien masters have convinced him otherwise. Keep an eye on Dennis to play the role of menace, saying whatever the hell he pleases in that extra whiny, sorta patronizing voice of his.

DAYSembed: Timothy Sampson. We haven’t heard from Timothy in over three weeks. We’re pretty certain that candidate Kucinich devoured him somewhere in Minnesota.

Joe Lieberman
SUCH A GOOD BOY: You gotta love this guy. He’s just such a mensch. Lieberman, a senator from Connecticut and former vice presidential candidate, made a smart move earlier this month by pulling his resources out of the Iowa caucus, the traditional jumping off point in the race for the White House. Joe would’ve surely captured the votes of all six of the Iowa Jews, but he decided his money and resources would be better spent in New Hampshire.

THE SKINNY: As one of several candidates who voted for the resolution to go to war a year ago, Lieberman has been rather mild on his criticism of Iraq up until now, but he was also the only member of the field to plead for a post-war plan prior to going in – clearly, that plea went unheard by the current administration. Lieberman has also railed against the Hollywood community, citing the violence depicted in popular movies, television and music as a scourge that needs to be cleaned up and eradicated, losing the crucial endorsement of Quentin Tarantino, Arnold Schwarzenegger and 50 Cent in the process.

CHANCES: Joe’s pretty smooth. He’s been down this road before. Hell, next to his former running mate Al Gore, Lieberman came across as a freakin’ party animal in the 2000 campaign. But without wooden Al, Joe just kind of comes across as an uninspiring schlub. But typically, Lieberman does stand out as the most intelligent and, other than maybe Al Sharpton, quick-witted of the crew. He’s certainly one to watch. His running mate selection will be key; as long as he doesn’t choose Al Gore, he should be all right.

DAYSembed: Sheila Rabinowitz. Days wanted to select a truly objective embed for this assignment so we plucked Sheila right out of Joe’s hometown New Haven synagogue. She also makes a mean salmon and spinach Kugel and plans to keep Joe well fed throughout the campaign.

Wesley Clark
GOLDEN BOY? General Wesley Clark is the newest entrant into the fray. Out of nowhere, he seemed to ride in on a plethora of exciting credentials. He’s a military guy (good, we need). He’s a southerner… hell, he’s from Arkansas! He’s a Rhodes scholar. He went to Oxford, (wait, haven’t we heard this before?). He enjoys the same outsider status as Dean, a career military man, not a career politician. He’s Baptist, he married a Catholic, and oh, wait a minute, his father’s uncle’s brother was Jewish! Yep, the dream candidate. The Bush exterminator. The total package. Wait, he voted for Bush? He voted for Papa Bush? He voted for Reagan??

THE SKINNY: This guy is like the job candidate with the stellar resume that the whole office fawns over until he shows up to the job interview in flip flops and Bermuda shorts, picking his nose and scratching his crotch. On the surface, he looks perfect… but you don’t have to dig too far to find the guy’s shortcomings.

WHO MADE WHO? When Clark initially entered the race he was reported to be a friend and plant of the Clinton cabal, Terry MacAuliffe and the like. The media seized on the story painting him as “Clinton’s candidate” and tagging Hillary as a possible running mate. This all came out of nowhere and Clark instantly topped the polls before he’d even faced the cameras as a candidate. Days believes this was primarily due to respondents unawareness that anyone else was opposing him at the time. Since his exciting and buzzworthy leap into the race we’ve learned that Clark is not only not a Clinton creation, he may not even be a registered Democrat.

CHANCES: Frankly, the polish has already worn off this guy, his opponents attacking his past Republican-friendly behavior and his flip-flopping stance on the Iraq mess. What Clark should be saying is, “I had faith. My faith was broken by this administration, so greatly that I have decided to fight against them. Yes, I’ve shifted. That should tell the people here that I have the conviction and the ability to kick this bastard out of office.” Of course, if he did, he’d just bring Clinton and the good ‘ol boys in for some boozing, some smoking and some groping, but hey, that’s what were looking for isn’t it?

DAYSembed: Skip Donoghue. Skip joins us from the Columbia School of Journalism. In the first days of his assignment, Skip questioned a directive from the General. He’s since been locked inside a fortified brig just off the coast of New Jersey receiving liquids and vitamin pellets through a small hole in the ceiling. With good behavior, Skip will be released and back on the campaign trail by Christmas.

Al Sharpton
CLASS CLOWN: Reverend Al’s presence in this race is a godsend. He’s the one who will say anything that pops into his head. He’s the one who cracks all the jokes. He brings levity to this campaign, and we’re all better for it. At one point during the fourth debate I really thought he was going to kick CNN host Judy Woodruff’s ass, which would’ve instantly clinched my vote for him.

THE SKINNY: Ok, maybe skinny isn’t the right word to use in reference to Mr. Sharpton. A checkered past indeed, Sharpton doesn’t have a realistic shot at winning the nomination. He’s mostly there to throw a monkey wrench into everyone else’s plans, which we appreciate. This millennia’s Jesse Jackson, Sharpton would have to fight off allegations of mafia-connected drug deals and retellings of the Tawanna Bradley incident if he were to win the nomination. But he’s from Brooklyn, so we’ll root for him to create a little havoc along the way.

CHANCES: Sharpton knows he has little chance to win, but he’s still up there to question the motivations of his fellow candidates and interject some humor into the campaign. And how much fun would it be to have Reverend Al in the White House? God bless ya Al, we hope you’re around for a long, long time. But we know you won’t be.

DAYSembed: Thurston Fairchild III. Thurston got his ass kicked by Sharpton’s campaign staff during his first day on assignment when he mentioned that he enjoyed spending time on his yacht munching caviar and listening to old Perry Como records. We’re currently searching for a more suitable replacement.

John Kerry
IF I ONLY HAD A THING: John Kerry, senator from Massachusetts, looks like a strange cross between the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz and Lurch from the Addams Family. God he’s weird looking.

THE SKINNY: The distinguished gentleman from Massachusetts has plenty of political experience to draw upon. Kerry, a decorated military man, has been in Washington since the mid-80s. He has the inherent advantage that all New England Democrats do, Democrats such as Michael Dukakis… oh god, whatever you do John, don’t put yourself in a tank. That didn’t work too well for Mike in ‘88. A few weeks back, Kerry invoked the spirit of Edmund Muskie when he broke down in tears during a photo-op with an unemployed mother of three. For his tears, John was labeled as soft and he has since attempted to reclaim his manhood by beating the crap out of our embed Perry Francis (see below). Kerry could come under fire for his matrimonial decisions however, leaping like a vulture in 1995 to snag the widowed wife of former senator John Heinz, a marriage that instantly made Kerry the richest member of Congress. Well, at least we know he’s an opportunist.

PLATOON: Did you all know that Senator Kerry served in Vietnam? He’s done his best not to bring that fact into the campaign for fear people may perceive it as exploitation of his combat experience for political gain. He keeps slipping however. When asked by moderator Judy Woodruff in the CNN debate what his favorite food was, Senator Kerry replied, “Well Judy, while I was in Vietnam, I really fell in love with peanut butter.” Now that General Clark has entered the race, he’s lost his unique position as the military candidate. We hear the two may engage in winner-take-all steel cage match to settle the score; the loser will be sent to the frontlines in Baghdad.

CHANCES: Kerry was an early favorite due to his New England roots and his impressive experience in both government and the military. However, his deadwood personality has severely hindered his chances at the nomination in recent weeks. People need a candidate they can get excited about, and Kerry is about as exciting as a Siegfried and Roy show without Roy, or the tigers.

DAYSembed: Perry Francis. Perry is still recovering from injuries suffered at the hands of candidate Kerry, but he’s promised to bounce back and follow John around for the remainder of the campaign, a box of tissues at the ready.

Bob Graham
Hey, where’d he go?

Dick Gephardt
SEE DICK RUN: Gephardt has been positioning himself for this run since the Clinton impeachment scandal of 1998, jumping out quickly to defend the actions of our former horndog-in-chief. A friend and supporter of Bubba, former House Minority Leader Gephardt has avoided tempting fate by refusing to hire any interns for his campaign.

THE SKINNY: Gephardt has a bit of a Howdy Doody-esque quality about him. A St. Louis native, Dick exudes all the charm expected of a native of the bowling capital of the world. His biggest advantage over rival candidates is the support he draws from the labor union crowd, a crucial endorsement to snag on the way to the Democratic nomination. Dick too has jumped on to the Bash Bush bandwagon, latching on to the phrase ‘miserable failure’ to describe everything from Bush’s Iraq policy to soaring unemployment rates to the disappointing performance of the St. Louis Rams in their loss to the 49ers this past weekend.

CHANCES: Gephardt appears to be chasing after the moony-eyed soccer mom vote by invoking the Clinton name about as often as he promises to lead America back to prosperity. With a solid Midwestern base, the support of the labor unions and solid debate skills, Gephardt should be in this thing for some time. As long as Dick can keep his pants on, we see him as a constant threat to the other contenders in the race.

DAYSembed: Charlie Turner. A recent graduate of UC Santa Cruz’s vaunted journalism & drinking school, this Banana Slug brings to our coverage a hardened resolve and an amazing ability to remain standing after a dozen tequila shooters. Last week however, Charlie got into a bit of a row with NBC’s embed on the Gephardt Campaign, Melissa Chivers. Attempting to get Melissa liquored up on Peach Schnapps and slipping a roofie into her Alabama Slammer only succeeded in getting Charlie a cold, hard slap across the face and a subsequent, indefinite suspension from the campaign trail. Pending the success of his current stint in rehab, we hope to have Charlie back with the Gephardt posse by January.

Carol Mosley-Braun
THE SOFT SELL: Mosley-Braun appears to be the perfect antidote to the flag-waving, chest-thumping, fratboy contingent George Bush has so successfully rallied from the brink of extinction. Her mild demeanor and gentle attacks on the meathead-in-chief have been a welcome change on the national political landscape, but sadly, no one takes here seriously. Frankly though, we trust her more than any of these other goons.

THE SKINNY: A Senator from Illinois, Mosley-Braun was the first African American woman to be elected to the US Senate, riding the Clinton revolution in 1992 .She lost her seat in 1998 but was awarded the post of US Ambassador to New Zealand, so she’s got the Kiwi thing working for her.

CHANCES: Mosley-Braun has conceded from the outset of her campaign that she’s not really in it to win it, but rather to “advance the cause of women in higher office, paving the way for a woman president," (Helloooo Hillary!). This is, of course, an extremely admirable and honest admission by Carol, which is why she probably won’t be in the race for too much longer. A honest politician? Puh-leeeeeeeeze!

DAYSembed: P.Diddy.Yep, after his successful running of the New York Marathon, Sean Combs has decided to pursue an even loftier goal: getting Mosley-Braun the Democratic nomination for president. Clearly the best dressed of all of our embeds, P.Diddy brings his bling bling to the campaign trail. Certain to be our most entertaining embed, we just hope he doesn’t pass the Courvasier over to Gephardt embed Charlie Turner too many times.

John Edwards
PSYCHIC? No, this is not the same John Edwards from the sadly popular Crossing Over series, but for name recognition’s sake perhaps he should let the voters think he is that John Edwards. It would probably be better for people to think he’s a television psychic than his true occupation, a trial lawyer.

THE SKINNY: The youngest candidate in the race, Edwards has received little to no attention thus far. Days has to question this guy’s loyalties as a close examination of his resume will reveal that he received degrees from both N.C. State and the University of North Carolina – in Tar Heel and Wolfpack country, that’s tantamount to treason. But this guy does have one thing going for him: he’s the best looking of all the candidates. Sadly enough, that may be enough to get him pretty far down the road toward nomination.

CHANCES: With Floridian Bob Graham dropping out of the race last month, John Edwards appeared to hold the advantage of being the lone Southerner in the race, until the emergence of that pesky Arkansan Wesley Clark. But Edwards’ Carolinian upbringing will no doubt provide and advantage in the key early primary state of South Carolina, as long as Dean doesn’t steal away all the bigot votes in the state. Look for Edwards to ride his telegenic looks and his Southern drawl as far as it will take him, which may not be far beyond South Carolina.

DAYSembed: Billy Buck Beauford. We scraped Billy Buck off the pavement outside a biker bar somewhere in North Carolina. We’re just hoping he and Charlie Turner don’t get into a knock-down, drag-out somewhere down the line… but hey, if it does happen, we’re putting our money on Charlie.

Wow, could it be? A Days installment without one mention of Britney Spears, Kobe Bryant, David Blaine, Christina Aguilera or J.Lo? What kind of pop culture critic am I?? Don’t worry, while we plan to spend plenty of time over the next 12 months on the campaign, we’ll be sure to stick to our tried and true formula of skewering celebrity culture and outright weirdness from around the world as well. But for this installment, it was all about the candidates.

Hopefully, this little round-up has helped to inform to some degree, but don’t take any of this too seriously – Days is not even close to providing an endorsement of any kind. We’re waiting for Eddie Vedder, Howard Zinn, or that guy Bob from The Bachelor to enter the race. Those guys rock. But for now, this is our hope for the future… god help us all.

Until next time, put your anti-spam block on for Dean, build a scale-model mountain of mashed potatoes for the Kooch, stand at attention for Clark, hope for Kerry to get a personality, tell Gephardt to turn the tanning bed down, get Mosley-Braun a prayer, Edwards a platform, Lieberman a backbone, and for god’s sake, would someone please take the donut tray away from Sharpton? We’ll see you all again soon, somewhere along the path to the White House.

Ruminations of the Days (stolen directly from www.ruminate.com)

I don't fit in with either political party.
I can't be a Democrat because I like to keep
the money I make, but I can't be a Republican
because I like to spend that money on drugs.


I'm really pissed off that this year's presidential
ballot offers no candidates who are against
education, healthcare, families and children.


If running around town naked, screaming at
tourists and throwing feces at them as
"Monkey Man, the Simian Defender of Justice"
is wrong, then, baby, I don't wanna be right!


World's toughest job? How about being the
guy who has to put the whoop-ass into the can?

DAYS: Butternut?
Jed F. Hamilton
Brooklyn, USA
**do not publish without author's permission


DAYS: 9.17.2003

“The summer wind, came blowing in, from across the sea…” – 'ol Blue Eyes

Batten down the hatches, here comes Isabel!

I’ll tell you one thing, no one can ever claim that a hurricane ‘snuck up’ on them. For days here in New York – which is unlikely to be in the path of Izzy’s mighty wind – we’ve been hearing about the largest hurricane to hit the East Coast in years. I’m thinking back to 1999 when ‘hurricane’ Floyd was approaching and promised to devastate the coastlines of New Jersey and New York… but Floyd did little more than soak our sidewalks. So, as Roger Daltry once said, I won’t be fooled again. I mean, I’ll bring an umbrella to work on Friday but that’s about it.

Since Days began the summer dissecting the Hamptons party scene and Isabel is now almost here, potentially setting her sights directly on the playground of the rich and despicable (fingers crossed!), it seems appropriately synergistic to recap some of the events of the now kaput summer season in this installment. So, without further ado we’ll dive into the somewhat-delayed, end-of-summer blowout edition of Days. And what a long strange summer it was, eh kids? From blackouts to Terminator politicians, it seemed like the past three months have been chock full of signs that the end of the world is indeed nigh. But hey, we’re now two years and a week beyond the official start of the apocalypse and our cable still works, so it can’t be all that bad, right?

There are still plenty of things to appreciate about this world. We still have Ben and Jen, sort of. We still have Temptation Island. We’ve still got Madonna, Britney and Christina – er, Xtina. We still have Newlywed Jessica Simpson’s tuna confusion. We still have the Hilton sisters. Hell, we still have Joe Millionaire Part 2 to look forward to. And as long as they don’t slide into the ocean, we’ll always have California to laugh at. (Yeah, that’s right Governor Ahnuld, I said it… you want a piece??) So you see, this summer offered up plenty of things to look back on and smile about. The apocalypse may be on its way, but we’re going out in a blaze of big fat, lazy glory.

Naturally, we have to begin with the summer’s biggest event, The Blackout. Well, at least for residents of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Ohio, Michigan and our friendly Canucks up north it was the biggest event of the summer. Honestly, the blackout of 2003 was one of the more amazing moments the city has offered up to me in my five years here. Those readers here in New York know exactly what I’m speaking of, and many experienced their own humorous, entertaining, maybe somewhat horrific, or downright life-changing evening a little over a month ago. But for those of you outside the Apple, let me just once again say how unbelievable it was here in New York. While they rioted in parts of Michigan and Canada, we in New York took it all in stride. Maybe 9/11 helped prepare us for a city-wide shutdown such as this, but after the initial panic of not knowing what was happening subsided, everyone I know ended up in essentially the same place: drunk off their ass and happy about it. There was no looting. There was no civil disobedience. There was little panic. There was just lots and lots and lots of drinking. Hallelujah.

In the early moments of the blackout I, like most everyone else, was convinced this was the left cross before the mighty-blow uppercut from Al Qaeda submerged the city into complete chaos. But thankfully, that feeling disappeared pretty quickly... the booze helped. But my favorite moment from the first hour of darkness was listening to Mayor Bloomberg on a battery-powered radio tell the city that “everything would be ok. New Yorkers are tough, we’ll get through this. Let’s just pray that nobody DIES.” Thanks Mike, I’m sure that settled everyone down.

But what was truly unbelievable about the blackout was how everyone in this city that never stops moving, well, stopped moving for a change. When the TVs and cell phones and computers and lights went out, it was as if everyone looked up, looked around and said, “I guess I’ll talk to some of these people for a change.” Neighbors introduced themselves for the first time. Shop owners, city officials, taxi drivers and mass transit employees dropped their surly veneer and began helping each other out. And what do we do when we don’t have television, video games and the Internet to entertain us? We play Uno. I won’t delve into the specifics of my own personal experience that evening, let’s just say I’m a big, big fan of blackouts. I say, let’s have one every year. Who's with me?

While the East Coast experienced the country's largest ever energy blackout, those on the left coast (California specifically) have been experiencing a series of serious 'intelligence blackouts' all summer. The utter folly of California politics had just begun when Days last hit your inboxes. The Governator had just announced his intention to run in a bid to replace the supposedly hapless Gray Davis in a recall election. The timing of the announcement deprived us from properly skewering the Golden State at the time, but as the situation continues to drag on – and continues to get weirder and weirder – Days will put its two cents in. No this won’t be an in-depth analysis of what caused this or the potential ramifications of the recall debacle, but rather a quick opportunity to echo the refrain of, “What the fuck California??” The simple fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger, the creative force behind such thought-provoking masterpieces as Predator, Commando and Kindergarten Cop, has emerged as the favorite to replace the disgraced Davis is a sad commentary on the state of the American political and cultural climate. Clearly, brawn has won out over brains in the hearts and minds of the American public... which doesn’t bode well for me at all. And when the heck is Gary Coleman going to make his move?? I’m dying to see a debate between the diminutive Diff’rent Strokes icon, Schwarzenegger and Larry Flynt. Hell, they could sell tickets to that and probably erase the national deficit in one fell swoop.

The summer also saw the continuation of reports from the post-war war still raging in Iraq about young American men and women losing their lives in battle on a daily basis. The Bush administration was very pleased however that most of us quickly flipped past Wolf Blitzer’s grim accounting of the situation in occupied – er, liberated – Iraq, and past the constant threats from Al Qaeda, and past Rummy’s warnings that Iran or Syria could be next until we stumbled upon something that truly mattered: The Bennifers. Yes, celebrity culture yet again surpassed the trivial details of a world quickly spinning out of control and gripped the attention of the American public. And oh boy did our beloved and abhorrent celebrities do a good job of keeping us distracted all summer. From the Olsen twins coming of age, to Nelly’s “Pimp Juice,” to R. Kelly’s assertion that “Osama bin Laden is the only one who knows exactly what I’m going through,” our celebs kept us thoroughly entertained all summer long.

Topping the list of celebrity indulgence this summer was, of course, the ongoing saga of J.Lo and Ben.Lo’s pending nuptials. At the time of this writing, the GIGli is apparently up between the two of them, (oh no, whatever well society do to cope??). Amazingly, this story just won't go away. And although the latest reports say they've split, don’t be surprised if in a week or maybe a month’s time these two vapid, narcissistic, talentless losers come out to say, “psych! We did get married after all!” Oh joy. But it wasn’t just the Lopez’s that kept us occupied. Madonna threw her pointy brassiere back into the pop-culture ring when she engaged our skanky friends Britney and Christina in a world-stopping liplock of unprecedented proportions. Hey, at least I finally have something good for my computer’s wallpaper.

Of course, I would be remiss not to mention the numerous celebrity losses we experienced over the summer. Most recently, and most notably, the passing of monumental music legend Johnny Cash, which was heartbreaking but expected, and the passing of comedic icon John Ritter, which was heartbreaking and completely unexpected. When I was growing up, I wanted to be Jack Tripper… it may sound sad, but it’s true. I mean come on, the guy was hilarious, charming and he lived with two hot chicks – as a ten-year-old boy, how could you not want to be him?! Add these recent losses to the devastating summer departures of such luminaries as Warren Zevon, Barry White, Katherine Hepburn and Gregory Peck and it really was a painful couple of months. But we’ll digress from celebrity sadness for now, there’s plenty of time for that in the Days to come.

We’ve got bigger fish to fry. With election season about to kick into full swing, Days is heading directly into its sweet spot. Gear up, the campaign season is underway and Days plans to be right there, pandering to the masses and stumping right along with the candidates. While our blunderer-in-chief may not being paying attention yet – he said he was too occupied by the Redskins/Jets game a week ago to watch the first formal debate between his potential Democratic opponents – Days is planning on providing a full accounting of the triumphs, heartbreak, missteps and embarrassments the impending campaign has to offer. And if the Bush faithful think their man is unbeatable, check out the resume of newly-christened Democratic golden boy Wesley Clark. That’s not an endorsement, just an observation. The fact of the matter is, this election will be much closer than many today think it will be, and Days will be there every step of the way. Victory #1 of the election season? My hometown Seattle voters shot down the proposed ‘latte tax’ yesterday, thank god.

By this time next year, Days’ faithful readers will be so familiar with the candidates – even the shitty ones like Kucinich and Graham – and their platforms, you’ll be able to beat Duhbya in a debate. And if all continues to proceed as it is now, the 2004 GOP convention in New York will make Chicago ’68 look like a bake sale. And Days will be right there at the front lines armed to the teeth with a gasmask, a protective shield and plenty of snarky wit. Stay tuned.

So that was summer, now on to fall. Football (Go Cougs!), back-to-school, rap wars in Queens, political punditry, another Mariners collapse, and Fashion Week in New York – don't worry, we’ve still got plenty of things to make fun of.

MILK ‘EM IF YOU GOT ‘EM I’d like to begin this installment’s second half with a retraction. Last month, I puzzled and sort of mocked the notion of the recently-opened Harvey Milk High School here in New York, a school specifically designed for students who have suffered through bullying, taunting and hazing at public schools here in New York. Of course, the media painted Harvey Milk strictly as a school for homosexuals, but in reality, it is a school for any student who has been relentlessly harassed for simply being different. When I first heard about it, it seemed somewhat unecessary to me. That was until I saw what happened as students attempted to access the front doors on the first day at Harvey Milk a week ago. The simple fact that a large group of Neanderthalic fanatics from Topeka, Kansas flew in to New York with the sole purpose of protesting against these poor kids, touting such despicable signs proclaiming obscenities like “God Hates Fags” and “Thank God for 9/11,” completely swayed my opinion in this matter. If fuckheads such as this will go so far out of their way to harass and taunt a group of innocent teenagers, there’s clearly a need for a school like this.

RED, WHITE AND EWWWWWW I believe that blind patriotism, which has been at an all-time high for the past two years, is finally starting to lose its luster. For one, the models at Fashion Week here in New York this week are finally clad in something other than red, white and blue. And then there’s the case of Sam Walters, a comedian performing in a Cambridge, Mass. comedy club last week. As part of his act, Mr. Walters apparently unzips his pants to expose his penis, which is fully decked out in red, white and blue. The crowd did not laugh. Even more surprisingly, the crowd didn’t break into a spontaneous “U – S – A” chant… of course, that may say more about Mr. Walters penis than it does the level of patriotic fervor flowing through the country right now. God Bless Sam Walters for trying though.

AND YOU THOUGHT GARFIELD WAS FAT Over the last few years, we Americans have heard a ton about how obese we all are. The Days staff and its daily box of donuts unfortunately can’t disagree with the assertion that the nation has gotten fatter and lazier, but is this necessarily a bad thing? I mean, our lazy-yet-innovative culture has made it possible for us to hop on our Segway personal scooter to avoid that pesky walk from the door of our homes to our cars so we can make the 3-block drive in our gas-guzzling SUV to the 24-hour Taco Bell drive-thru to stock up on bean and cheese burritos… with extra sour cream please. And then of course, when we put on 50 pounds in a week, we can sue Taco Bell for not informing us that 14 bean and cheese burritos with extra sour cream is not a healthy meal choice. Last week the obesity issue may have reached its zenith however when it was reported that 1 in 4 pets in the Western world are overweight. Apparently, cats too enjoy a good bean and cheese burrito now and again.

POP A CAP IN YOUR ASTEROID Well, we know when the apocalypse started but now we know when it will end. Scientists last week announced that an asteroid is headed directly for us and could collide with Earth in 2014. In fact, the prognostications don’t just predict the year but even the exact date: March 21, 2014. The impact of asteroid 2003QQ47’s (I’m calling her ‘Betsy’) would have an effect similar to that from the explosion of 20 million atomic bombs, roughly the same effect the Bush administration will have had on the rest of the world by the time its term is up.

HE’S A MAGIC MAN Days’ favorite illusionist David Blaine is at it again. This time, he’s brought his act to London where he has suspended himself over the Thames in a glass box with the intention of surviving for 44 days with no food. Londoners don’t seem to be too impressed with Blaine’s stunt however as they have repeatedly pelted Blaine’s box with everything from eggs to golf balls – and he’s only on Day 12. One man was even caught by police earlier this week for attempting to cut Blaine’s water supply. Bookmaker William Hill reported yesterday that odds on Blaine’s survival had dipped to 4/9, but we at Days think that may just be wishful thinking. Besides, if you really want to impress us, stuff yourself in a crate and mail your ass across the country like that crazy fucker from Brooklyn did last week.

Some of you may have noticed that this installment of Days is coming to you yet again from a new e-mail address. Yes, I got lucky and found my way out of unemployment pretty quickly, no thanks to George Bush who would not return my phone calls pleading for his assistance.

Some may have also noticed that there was no 9/11 memorial edition of Days this year. There are reasons for this. Primarily, I feel there are enough people exploiting the day for their own personal, political or financial benefit. I’ve seen enough 9/11 paraphernalia, from the ‘Kill Osama’ t-shirts, to the ‘We Will Never Forget’ bobblehead dolls, that I don’t feel the need to supply my faithful readers with yet another sob-eyed retelling of the day and what it meant – I’ll keep it to myself from now on. Some may wonder however why our president wasn’t at ground zero last Thursday. The official line from the White House was that ‘lil George wanted to keep the second anniversary “low-key.” In truth, he’s waiting until the 2004 GOP convention next fall to roll out the full exploitation machine.

It was said after 9/11 two years ago that our country would change. That people would become more engaged, more involved, more educated. Yet just last week the Washington Post released the results of a poll which spelled out just how untrue that optimistic thought from a few years ago was. Apparently, 69% of the American public still believes that Saddam Hussein was directly responsible for the 9/11 attacks. This is seriously disturbing to me. Instead of turning into a thoughtful, worldly nation, we’ve turned into blind, patriotic sheep who will swallow whatever the Bush administration feeds us. I’m hoping it’s just the summer hiatus that is keeping these disturbing numbers up. If its not, then maybe ‘Betsy’ needs to get here sooner.

And on that rather troubling note, I’ll finish up this month’s screed by reminding everyone in North Carolina to wear their windbreakers tomorrow and start drinking now… it worked for us during the blackout, it can work for you too. And remember the words of our fearless mayor: “Let’s just pray that no one dies.” Thanks Mike.

Ruminations of the Days (stolen directly from www.ruminate.com)

When is McDonald's going to realize
they'd get *much* bigger sales with,
"Do you want porn with that?"


One morning my wife said, "I had the weirdest dream.
I dreamed I was helping Halle Berry have a baby."
"What a coincidence," I said. "I dreamed I was
helping Halle Berry have a baby, too." Then my
wife got all tweaked! Talk about a double standard!


Whenever my young son cries too much, I show him
his birth video in reverse and telling him that's
what happens to kids who don't stop crying.


If Ohio is the birthplace of both aviation
and rock and roll, I'd say they owe
that Buddy Holly fella an apology.

DAYS: 'Are you still here?'
Jed F. Hamilton
Brooklyn, USA
**do not publish without author's permission

“I will beat you to death with your own shoe.” – Dep. Jones


DAYSbreak: 8.6.2003

“Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do.” – Oscar Wilde

“What a night! Almost makes you not want to go back to work tomorrow doesn’t it…? Don’t Go! DON’T GO!” – Perry Farrell, Jane’s Addiction, at a ’91 Irvine Meadows concert

With unemployment at a 20-year high, the staff here at Days encouraged me to go deep, deep undercover to explore the unseen world of the unemployed. They insisted I report back on the turmoil of the nation’s jobless, tell the tales of despair and solitude that go along with it, and speak of the ever-rising unemployment figures and the worsening condition of our country. I agreed that this was a worthy assignment. True guerilla journalism, I thought. And so, I promptly went and got myself laid off.

Yep, in a brilliant stroke of genius I was purposely caught spending an entire afternoon in the can, with the Wall Street Journal, a two-week old issue of Newsweek, a racing form and the New York Post to keep me company. For some reason, my bosses didn’t see this as a productive use of my time. And so now, faithful readers, I am here to import unto you the trials and tribulations – or rather, the joys and wonders – of unemployment.

I’m sure for many the thought of unemployment is not a pleasant one. But if you enter into it with the right attitude, you’ll love every minute of it… at least until the money runs dry. It’s like a permanent vacation, but without the beach or the fruity drinks. But hey, the government will actually pay me for sleeping in every day! How cool is that? And oh yeah, I plan to milk the government completely dry.

Since I assume just about everyone on this list is either already laid off or is teetering on the precipice of unemployment, I thought I’d provide a bit of a primer – a day-by-day guide if you will – for the jobless. First off, on the day the axe comes down I implore even the most sober among us to find a seedy bar, settle into the corner stool, begin with a shot of something and don’t move for the rest of the evening. This may sound extremely depressing, but at the end of the night, after your third fall from the barstool, you’ll have an epiphany and realize, “Hey, I don’t have to get up for nothing tomorrow morning!” At this point, climb back onto the barstool and order another shot. Repeat as necessary.

That next morning will feel like the first day of the rest of your life... and after all the shots from the night before, the rest of your life won’t be looking so hot. But have no fear, once you shake off the hangover with a double cheeseburger and eighteen cups of coffee, you’ll be feeling better. If you can stand the smell of tequila spilling out of your own pores, don’t bother taking a shower – it’s really not necessary.

By now, it’s probably nearly 4 pm on your first day of unemployment and you’ll be panicking, punishing yourself for being such a fuck-up, and determined to do something productive before the closing bell sounds for the day. So you settle in front of your computer, pull up your resume and your contact list, and focus… on all that Web surfing you haven’t been able to do while on the job. Oh yeah, you’ll intend to throw a few resumes out, but by 8 o’clock that evening, your eyes will be crossed and bleary from all the online games, gossip pages and porn you’ve been intently focused on for the past four hours. You’ll feel like a loser. You’ll feel as though you’re wasting your time. You’ll start thinking you’ll be moving back into your parent’s basement in no time flat. But pull yourself together, step away from the computer and head back to the seedy bar. After all, they know you by name there now… and what do you have to do the next day?

You’ll tell yourself that your going to get up early the next morning so as not to fall into the trap of sleeping ‘till noon for the rest of your life simply because you can. Of course, you probably won’t actually rise until 11:55 a.m., but hey, that’s still morning… technically. Next, you’ll think about maybe going for a run, or hitting the gym, or taking a long walk through your neighborhood to start the day off right… but trust me, you’ll get as far as the coffee shop before you decide to just buy yourself a big fat latte and read the paper for an hour. Then, you’ll be ready for the day’s first nap.

Upon waking from said nap, it will now be nearly 4 pm again and that same panic and self-frustration will enter into your head. You’ll set yourself up in front of your computer again, this time determined to do something productive. Of course, then one of your ‘working stiff’ buddies will shoot you an IM saying, “Hey man, heard about the job… sorry ‘bout that.” Of course, you’ll hear this from so many people in the next several days that you should try to make a habit now of not providing long, drawn out explanations of what happened and how you feel about it. Just shoot back with a quick message saying something like, “Hey man, I’ve already smoked half a pack of cigarettes and drank three shots of whiskey – and I’m still in my boxers! How’s your day going?” He will most likely send an irritated message back about how he’s been staring at spreadsheets all day, or some other work-related tedium, and he’ll be jealous of you. This will make you feel good. Tell him you’re about to do a line of blow and order yourself a hooker and you may just persuade him to walk into his bosses office and quit on the spot… you know, for the hookers and blow.

By the third day you will most likely be feeling a far-ranging mix of emotions – anger, despair, panic, glee, loneliness. This last one can be a bugger. You’ll find that the lack of daily social interaction does start getting to you eventually. No matter how comfortable you are in your own solitude, you’ll be craving the chance to get into a shouting match with someone on the subway, or to argue with a cab driver about the best way to go from the Upper East Side to Park Slope (aka Alaska to Alabama). It is for this reason that I am the only person left in America who has not yet signed up for the Do Not Call List, and now I’ve got an eclectic mix of friends that call me all day, every day! There’s the woman from Caribbean Cruise Lines (I think she’s kind of digging on me), or the guy from RapidInstall Satellite USA (a jokester, that one…), and I now have so many Psychic Friends that I can’t even begin to get into it.

When you roll into your local coffee shop at noon for the fourth day in a row, the staff may start to wonder about you – especially if you haven’t shaved or showered since the axe came down. Don’t be surprised if 1) They ask you if everything is ok; and, more likely, 2) They ask you to leave and take your stink with you.

All in all, being unemployed isn’t that bad. I don’t see what the big deal about a 20-year high in unemployment is. As far as I can tell, it just means there are more well-rested, unshaven alcoholics roaming the country, and how can that be a bad thing? Besides, we have President Bush on our side. Just last week he asserted in his press conference – or, as I like to call it, the most humorous hour of reality television to date – that he would continue fighting every hour of every day to make sure that every American has the opportunity to work. Apparently, that fight starts in the Texas brush where Duhbya is currently enjoying day five of his 29-day ‘working’ vacation.

Finally, for the benefit of my readers, I’ve compiled a short list to outline my own personal Virtues of Unemployment. After reading these, I guarantee you to will want to lose your job.

The Top 10 Virtues of Unemployment
1) The biggest decision at the start of each day – whether that is 8 am, noon or 3 pm – is whether to shower or not.
2) Lifetime shows the Golden Girls at least 15 times a day. How cool is that??
3) Underwear is optional.
4) Happy Hour starts at noon!
5) It gives me a really good opportunity to catch up on my porn.
6) My alarm clock is getting a well-deserved rest.
7) Monday? Tuesday? Friday? Sunday? I don’t know what day it is, and better yet, I don’t need to.
8) I get to watch every minute of the Kobe trial! Yippee!
9) Maybe I’ll grow a beard… maybe I’ll never leave Brooklyn again.
10) Hookers and blow at any hour of the day. ‘nuff said.

So go on, lose your job – it’s liberating! Really, it is… I mean it. By the way, does anyone know of any openings out there for a well-rested, unshaven alcoholic?

YOU’VE GOT MAIL? WE DON’T CARE. The New York Times reported last month that the White House has significantly tweaked the process for submitting e-mails directly to the administration, making it much less user-friendly. Surprise, surprise. Apparently, what used to be a simple process of clicking a link and sending your thoughts, grievances and/or praises directly to the White House has now become a complicated, dozen-page navigation nightmare. At the start of the 12-page screening process, a user is prompted with the question, “Do you or do you not support the administration’s policies?” Supportive letters go directly to the president himself, while non-supportive inquiries are sent directly to a chimp in the White House basement to be ripped up, defecated upon, stuffed into an envelope and sent back to the original author along with a note from John Ashcroft detailing what the sender should pack for his or her forthcoming, one-way trip to Cuba.

HOOP SCREAMS Another summer, another high-profile celebrity court case. If you don’t know by now that NBA sensation Kobe Bryant has been accused of raping a 19-year-old Colorado spa employee, you must be in a coma. I see more of Kobe Bryant on the nightly news than I do anything else, and this at a time when our military is still fighting a brutal guerilla war in Iraq and Al Qaeda is threatening new attacks against the homeland. You see, this is why women’s professional sports will never catch on – we love this shit. We eat it up like it was a triple ice cream cone with a cherry on top. The bombastic owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, said earlier this week that the NBA could only benefit from all the attention being given to this case, and he’s right. Whenever our high-profile athletes get themselves into trouble, ESPN, Court-TV and the league experience huge boosts in ratings and merchandise sales. But it’s always male professional athletes that get into trouble, and for that reason, Lisa Leslie better shoot up a nightclub or something, otherwise the WNBA is going under. By the way, how did this never happen to Wilt Chamberlain?? Times sure have changed…

SEGWAYS, SCHOOL SPIRIT AND KILLER BARBECUES It’s been an interesting summer in the Apple to say the least. Amid the City Hall shootings and reports of another Grubman fender-bender in the Hamptons, a few other interesting pieces of news have come out recently. Last week, the NYPD revealed its plans to test a dozen Segway scooters for its patrolmen. The Segway, if you’re unfamiliar with it, is that extremely silly looking stand-up moped you’ve seen touted by everyone from Justin Timberlake to President Bush. Each Segway costs the department $5,000, and with a strong wind behind you, they can apparently reach the heart-racing speed of 12 mph. Add in the fact that these sidewalk SUVs make anyone who rides them look like a complete dink, and this is clearly one of the most ill-conceived ideas ever considered by the City’s Finest. Speaking of bad ideas, I’m sure most of you heard last week about plans to open the nation’s first-ever all gay high school, Harvey Milk High, in Greenwich Village. I don’t really understand this… I mean, hasn’t Manhattan’s famed School for Performing Arts been serving this purpose admirably for years? While it appears the school will not put a football team on the field, we hear that the wrestling squad has a waiting list a mile long. Lastly, a report came out last week that two hours of exposure to an open grill or charcoal-burning barbecues releases the equivalent amount of cancerous dioxins as 220,000 cigarettes. In response, Mayor Bloomberg has proposed a bill to shut down all of the city’s barbecue establishments and make outdoor cooking a felony.

HAS ANYONE SEEN MY THUMPER?? A few weeks ago, stories began to surface that a new “game”, organized by a group called Real Men Outdoor Productions and dubbed ‘Hunting For Bambi’, was being promoted in Las Vegas. The game purported to allow men to pay thousands of dollars for the opportunity to stalk young, naked women through the desert. The goal of course was to find the women and blast them with a paintball gun. The lucky hunters, according to the stories, would even be allowed to have sex with the women after putting them down. Naturally, this story attracted outrage from every imaginable corner of the world, and rightly so. But some of the critics were somewhat misguided, including a gentleman on an Internet chat-board who apparently claimed, “This is just a bunch of jackasses giving paintball a bad name.” I agree. Why can’t these women put some clothes on and bring the pastime of paintball the proper respect it deserves? Damn sluts.

BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE The Harry Potter phenomenon – something of a Days staple now – has ‘sparked’ another embarrassingly sad incident for one woman in Madrid. Last month, the 21-year-old woman and clearly rabid Potter fan, decided it would be a good idea to emulate one of the potion’s detailed in the most recent edition of the popular children’s novels – in her kitchen. Less than an hour later, half her home had been destroyed by fire. Although the authorities were unclear on what potion the woman was attempting to recreate, we here at Days understand that the flammable mixture of oil, water, alcohol and toothpaste is used to summon the spirit of the now-infamous, Harry Potter spin-off toy, The Nimbus 2000. This makes me understand better the thought-process behind the ridiculous scheme… I mean, come on, she was lonely.
So that’s it for this time. I hope everyone is enjoying their summers to the utmost. Try not to worry about the ever-present threat warnings, the outcome of the Kobe trial or the dangers of barbecue. And remember, if you lose your job, have no fear… while you’re awash in cigarettes, alcohol and depression, our president will be fighting for your right to work with a smirk, a folksy witticism nobody understands, and a tax cut for the rich. Thank god he’s fighting for the people.

Tell next time, happy unemployment everyone!

Ruminations of the DAYS (stolen directly from www.ruminate.com)

Well, if masturbating in Denver doesn't really
make you a member of the mile high club, that
means I have nothing at all to put on my resume.


Remember, there's no "I" in "TEAM" --
but there *is* an "EAT ME" if
you're willing to use the "E" twice.


Just because I mail pipe bombs to people, my friends
are calling me a "terrorist." Yeah, right, I suppose
having sex with other men makes me "gay" as well.


My sister's kids are such crybabies. I had
them over to watch "Monsters, Inc." and they
whimpered the whole time, even during the
happier scenes like when Billy Bob Thornton
bones the living crap out of Halle Berry.

DAYS: We Have a Flag
Jed F. Hamilton
Brooklyn, USA
** do not publish without author’s permission.

“Work is a four-letter word.” – Morrissey


“This is such a happening tailpipe of a party. Like sugar the guests are so refined.” - Eddie Vedder, from Bu$hleaguer

Thinking that Days’ loyal readers - all three of you - may like to know, I asked outgoing presidential press secretary Ari Fleischer if I could possibly have a few moments of Dubya’s time (you know, in between naps) to ask him a few questions about the war, the future of our country and the world. Ari simply looked at me, put his index finger to his lips, and said, “Shhhhhhh, be vewy, vewy qwiet… we’re hunting weapons of mass destwuction.” So instead, for a change, I thought I’d focus on a few less important things in this installment. Let’s just call this episode “Days Light,” shall we?

For one, summer’s here… boy is it ever. There’s been this bright, reddish-yellow cylindrical object hanging in the sky the past few days, which I believe is the sun. It really makes a difference. Warms things up a bit. Actually, it warms things up a lot. Mother Nature has been going all Cybil on us the past week. We've gone from 60 degrees and rainy to nearly 100 degree temps and thick, sticky humidity. Prior to Monday however, this place felt like Seattle... Yep, last Saturday, while the rest of the country celebrated the arrival of the summer season, I believe Noah’s Ark was spotted floating past Saks 5th Avenue here in Manhattan.

Despite the record rainfall here in New York during the month of June, we did have several clues that summer was on its way. For one, the first dead crow with West Nile disease was found in Westchester County a few weeks back, a sure sign of summer. Wildfires are raging out West, another sure sign. Also, we’ve already had our first roller coaster fatality of the season. Last weekend, a Harvard-educated woman and coaster enthusiast decided it was good idea to undo her safety harness and stand up in the middle of a loopty-loop (technical term), further validating what our president has already proven: Just because you have an Ivy League degree, it doesn’t mean you’re the sharpest tack in the box.

Aside from disease (Monkeypox anyone?) and amusement park deaths, the other sure sign of summer is the Hamptons party scene here in New York. Although it has gotten off to a bit of slow start (rain delay), the season will no doubt yield plenty of fantastical and hilarious moments of celebrity inebriation and embarrassment. Heck, even “Girls Gone Wild” entrepreneur and wanted felon Joe Francis is planning to take a camera crew out to the East End, no doubt to produce a “Hamptons Gone Wild” video - reserve your copy now! No word on whether Snoop Dogg will be accompanying him, but shizzle my Shag Harbor fanizzle if he isn’t.

Since not all of us are glamorous enough to infiltrate one of these parties, I thought I’d take you all on a little tour of the scene… let me be your guide.

We’ve decided to crash this Saturday's premiere party for Reese Witherspoon’s vapid sequel to the equally-vapid Legally Blonde, supposedly one of the hottest parties of the summer. Follow me…

As we enter the doors to the Witherspoon manse we are greeted by our host - er, hosts. “Hey Reese, who’s this guy?”
“Like, ohmigod! That’s my husband, Ryan Phillipe. I’m sure you know him.”
“Uh, yeah… sorry, I don’t. I thought he was Justin Timberlake.”
“That’s ok, no one really knows him anyway, I’m soooooo much more successful than he is. Justin will be by later though - ohmigod, he’s such a hottie!! The bar is toward the back. Have fun! And don’t forget to smile!!!”

God she’s perky… I’m already annoyed.

It’s early evening, the sun is just now dipping below the horizon. A cool breeze provides mild relief from the current heatwave. The place is decked out, and teeming with celebrities. This should be fun, let’s go have a look… oh, wait, let’s get a drink first.

Hey, Billy Joel is bartending! “Hey Billy, how’s it going?”
“Alright. What can I get ya?”
“Scotch and soda please. Hey Billy, is this a good idea? You know, you bartending? I mean, after you rammed your Mercedes into that tree last year, and rumors of your alcoholism ran rampant, don’t you think it would be a good idea for you to maybe separate yourself from the party scene a bit?”
“Hey, screw you man! I’ve got a Broadway hit. I’ve been nominated for a Tony for cripes sake. I can do anything I want. I’m the Piano Man!!”
“Ok, ok… calm down Billy, don’t get all diva on me. Hey, aren’t you also dating like a 25-year-old or something?”
“Yeah, what of it??”
“Nothing Mr. Surly, I just thought I’d ask… I mean, she’s like, what, 40 years younger or something like that, right? Nice going!”
“What do you expect, I’M THE PIANO MAN!!!!!”
“Yeah, I know. I heard you the first time Billy. Thanks for the drink… I’ll be seeing ya.”

Man, that guy’s got some serious issues… We move away from Mr. Joel, drink in hand, and head outside to the veranda. Oh what a scene this is, star power to the max. Hey look, it’s Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. Oh, it looks like Demi is letting Ashton have the keys to the car for the night… hope no one gets Punk’d!

Ahhhhh, what would a party be without Nicky and Paris Hilton? Civilized, that’s what. “Get off the table Nicky! And put your shirt back on Paris.”

Hey! Where’d all the food go?!! Ohhhhh, Anna Nicole Smith just walked in… that explains it. Anna has tendency to suck entire buffets into her gullet whenever she inhales. “It’s ok Anna, we still love you. Here, look at this: a bright, shiny object just for you… have fun!” That should keep her busy for a while… let’s move on.

Wow, is that Gerard Depardieu getting beat down over there? Clint Eastwood and Governor Schwarzenegger must have found out he was French. That’s right, beat the escargot out of that flag-waving, surrender monkey’s limp wrist. That’ll teach him to be French!

Alright, the French are being beat to a pulp, now it’s party! Oh, and NOW it’s really a party - Jennifer Lopez and Ben.Lo just walked in. I’m all atwitter with excitement! Oh, and look Jen’s the one wearing pants, how appropriate. Uh oh, Puffy’s here… hope he left his party favors (aka his pistol) at home this time. Good to see he brought his man-servant with him though…

Wow, American royalty! Bill and Hillary just walked in.
“Hey Bill. Hey Hil. What’s shakin?”
“Well, I’m glad you asked. Hillary’s book is taking off and she thought it would be a good idea to make an appearance here, you know, so she can hobnob with the constituents. I’m pretty much here to score some tail.”
“Well Bill, you’ve come to the right place. Look at all these nubile young things, running around without a care in the world - and hey, they’re all good and liquored up to!”
“I know, I know…” Bill winks at me. I’m uncomfortable.
“So, uh, Hillary, things are looking up for you huh? I mean, your book was at the top of the bestseller list for like a whole week… until that pesky Harry Potter threw 900 pages of mystical fiction into the mix.”
“Yeah, well, that’s just fiction. My book is full of nothing but the truth.”
“Uh, yeah… sure Hil, whatever. Have you met my friend Jayson Blair? You and him have a lot in common.”
“No, I haven’t met him. Hey, where did Bill go?”
“Oh shit. Bill? Bill?? Oh no... has anyone seen Anna? And where did that guy who was passing out cigars go??”

Not wanting to get any more involved in the Clinton saga, we move toward the garden where we see a smashing young man and his posh date. Oh my, it’s David and Victoria Beckham! Oh, don’t worry, we’re in America, you’re not supposed to know who they are.

Oh look, it’s the Yankees' Roger Clemens hocking his balls for $400 a pop - now that’s a Hall of Famer. And he brought David Wells - quick, hide the kegs!

As we slip away from the self-promoting mound-men, we nearly knock a small, suited, leprechaun of a man down. “Oh, excuse me, I didn’t see you there. Mayor Bloomberg?”
“It’s ok, I’m used to it.”
“Times are kind of tough in the city right now aren’t they Mike?”
“Yeah, but you know, you all just have to get over it.”
“But sir, a lot of things you’ve done are really hurting people in this city.”
“Get over it.”
“People are actually moving because it’s become so expensive.”
“Get over it.”
“Uh, my rent is going up, my subway fare has gone up and now the taxi fares are going up… it’s getting really tough, ya know?”
“Get over it.”
“Taxes have gone up across the board, and-"
“Get over it.”
“Sir, people think you don’t really relate to ordinary folks and they think you don’t care about the plight of the people, why do you think that is?”
“I don’t know. Get over it.”
“I see… you wouldn’t per chance have a cigarette I could bum?”
“You can’t smoke here, we’re in New York.”
“Oh really? Get over it.”

As we proceed to smoke in the mayor’s face, we are drawn to a crowd gathering in the corner of the garden. Oh, how sweet, it looks like Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones brought their new baby to show off. I just can’t resist the urge to coo and giggle at the cute little thing, let’s go have a peek. “Hey, Catherine, is that your new baby Carys?”
“Yes, it is. Would you like to see her?”
“Why yes, I would love to!”
“Ok, that’ll be $20,000.”
“Excuse me?”
“Well, we’re not going to just let anyone look at her without getting paid! We’re not stupid. Michael honey, wake up, its time for your arthritis pills.”

God I hate these people…hey, there’s Potter author J.K. Rowling. She’s not really a celebrity yet so she’s probably still relatively unpretentious; let’s go introduce ourselves. As we approach, one of her handler’s grabs us by the arm, “Don’t bother her, she’s counting her money.” Sigh. So much for that. We move on.

Wait a minute, who’s that coming out from under the table there? Oh wait, that’s Ari Fleischer! I thought he said he was busy, what is he doing here? Hmmmm, he now appears to be trying to uproot that tree at the far end of the garden. What on earth is he doing?? “Hey, Ari! What’s up buddy? What are you doing here?”
“I told you, we’re looking for WMD. Seen any?”
“Here? Uh, no.”
“Well, we have to find them somewhere. If we don't, I’m hoping to plant them in the trunk of Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins’ car… damn hippies.”

Oh good, Winona Ryder just walked in. I know she’s a criminal and all, but she’s just so adorable. Every time I see that sweet, innocent face I just want to give her a big hug. You know, she really has gotten a bad rap, I think people really need to back off- hey, where’d my wallet go?!

Speaking of criminals, guess who did the catering for this thing? Yep, Martha “It’s An Illegal Thing” Stewart. Every time I try to cut myself a piece of the cake, I discover another nail file… glad to see she’s preparing herself for the big house.

Oh my god, what the hell is that thing coming up the driveway?? It looks like… could it be? Yes, it’s Justin Timberlake - and he’s on one of those ridiculous Segway motorized scooters that are threatening to take over our sidewalks. And who is that on there with him? Is that Michael Jackson?? Oh my god, it is. And he’s towing his infant son behind him in a wagon - Segway Skiing! Boy, this party just got really weird…

I wonder where Justin’s N’Sync bandmates are? I haven’t really heard much from them since he broke off and went solo…
“Canapé sir?”
“Oh sure, thanks. Hey, you’re Joey Fatone from N’Sync! I was just wondering what happened to you guys… a little catering for the summer, eh?”
“Yeah, that prick on his Segway left us in the dust… times are tough man, gotta do something.”
“True, true… don’t worry, I think I just saw Mike Tyson and Eminem show up, chainsaw in hand. I have a feeling we’ll see a little ex-Mouseketeer blood spilled before this evening is over.”

Oh god, who invited the Osbournes? “Ozzy! Hey, Ozzy! Put the cat down, ok… bats are one thing but if you lay a finger on Ms. Kitty Fantastico’s precious little head, I will personally come over there and beat the shit out of your annoying, drug-addled, faux-punk children!” Man, Ozzy used to be so cool…

Suddenly, an SUV comes crashing through the gates and careening down the lawn, right toward the party! Oh my god, everyone run!!! It’s Lizzie Grubman!

As the guests begin to scurry for cover, we decide we’ve had just about enough. And as Lizzie’s SUV makes a sharp left, skidding across the pool deck and heading straight for a crowd including Barbara Streisand, Carson Daly, Ben.Lo, Cristina Aguilera, Anne Coulter, Cameron Diaz, Dr. Phil, Scot Peterson, Bill O’Reilly, The Sex In The City girls, Ryan Phillipe (who is that again?), Gwenyth Paltrow, Joan Rivers, Rick Neuheisel, Ashford and Simpson, P.Diddy’s manservant, Kelly Clarkson, Simon Cowell and the AFLAC duck, we make our exit. Say good night to the celebrities everyone… get ‘em Lizzie.

LIGHTNING DOES STRIKE TWICE Last summer the nation was obsessed with what seemed like a dramatic increase in the number of child abductions. The summer before, paranoia arose over what seemed like a sharp uptick in the number of shark attacks. Perhaps this year the media will make us believe that killer lightning has descended upon the planet. You see, last week 20-year-old Ryan Sayers, a student from Colorado, and his girlfriend survived a lightning strike while mountain climbing in Cheyenne, Wyo. Relieved, the two sat out the rest of the storm, thankful to have survived. As they headed back up the mountain less than an hour later, Mr. Sayers was tragically hit a second time by lightning, this time killing him and proving that he is, by far, the unluckiest man in the entire world.

BARBIE’s GOT A GIRLFRIEND NOW A 14-year-old Queens girl who was suspended from school for wearing a t-shirt which read “Barbie Is A Lesbian” is suing the school district, and rightly so. I mean really, is it any shock that Barbie went to bat for the other team? Have you looked to see what is - or better yet what isn’t - inside Ken’s pants?

DOH! HOMER THE GREAT Our loyal coalition brothers and sisters across the pond have spoken. In a recent poll, the Brits nominated the animated Homer Simpson as the greatest American ever, beating out the likes of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and George W. Bush. I do understand that last one, but what does it say about us if our friends in England view a donut-obsessed, beer-swilling cartoon character as the best of our society? Well, I guess it shouldn’t come as too big a surprise… I mean, Dubya did make it to the White House. Mmmmmmmmmmm, pretzels.

FLYING NAKED AND DRIVING WITH YOUR PANTS DOWN And now, a few items from Days’ extensive nudity file (aka my porn collection). A Pennsylvania man, Richard Clader, was ticketed last week after several motorists reported him to police. Apparently, Mr. Clader was blaring his horn as he sped down the highway in order to get the attention of other drivers. Why? Because he wanted to be sure they saw that he was, uh, pleasuring himself on the open road. His excuse to the judge was that he “felt neglected by his wife”. Maybe you should masturbate in front of your wife then Mr. Clader, and not in front of all of us thank you very much. In a somewhat related story, two Southwest Airlines pilots were recently busted for flying ‘al fresco’. Similarly, two businessmen have announced their plan to launch an “All Naked Airline”… well that should make it more difficult to smuggle a box-cutter on board. Lastly, in the spirit of the summer season, the Shangri La Ranch, an all-nude summer camp for teenagers, has opened up in Mesa, Ariz. thanks to the folks at the American Association for Nude Recreation. As 16-year-old campgoer Danielle Faber said, “It’s just like any other camp, just without the clothes.” Sure Danielle, just don’t stand too close to the bonfire, ok?

Well, I hope at least a couple of you enjoyed our little diversion from reality… and hey, not one mention of the end of the world, how refreshing! I do have one political message to convey, and this is aimed at the senatorial Democrats currently in office: WAKE UP! When your party was in control of the Senate, the Republicans were relentless in their efforts and desire to have Bubba removed from office because he lied about receiving a blow job. Now, the president has taken us to war, sacrificed American lives and made a mess of the geopolitical world under false pretenses and you’re just sitting on your asses, scared of appearing unpatriotic. DO SOMETHING you useless cowards!

Ok, thank you for indulging me… you didn’t think you’d get off without at least one mini-rant did you? But hey, the government would prefer we stopped paying attention after Dubya’s triumphant Top Gun act aboard the aircraft carrier, so let’s just forget about that Iraq thing ok? It’s summertime, why worry about silly stuff like that? So, grab your swim trunks, your flip-flops, your Habachi, hop on your Segway and head to the beach - summer is finally here!

Oh, and one other thing, may I just say thank you to whomever decided to bring the mini-skirt back into fashion for the summer? God bless the mini-skirt.

Peace, love and SPF 40 to everyone. Have fun this summer.

Ruminations of the Days (shamelessly ripped off from www.topfive.com)

Monkeypox. Like we needed yet
*another* reason to shoot prairie dogs.


I cut the bill for my 900-number phone calls in half!
Now I just talk dirty to my Psychic Friend.


After setting the orphanage on fire, I stood
back and watched the kids clawing and scrambling
to get out the front door, pushing, shoving, even
trampling one another. Children can be so cruel.


I love using big words in sentences even
though I haven't a clue as to their meaning.
It makes me feel superfluous.


From what I hear, it's good
to be a man from Nantucket.

DAYS: Fair and Balanced
Jed F. Hamilton
Brooklyn, USA

“The haves have not a clue.” - Eddie again

www.jackmittleman.com (Swede dude...)
www.katefenner.com (get the new CD!)
www.nikkianddara.com (get this one too!)
www.celbratebrooklyn.org (summer concerts in the park)
objective.jesussave.us/creationsciencefair.html ("My Uncle Is A Man Named Steve - Not A Monkey.")

"We're actors - we're the opposite of people." - Tom Stoppard
"I don't care what is written about me so long as it isn't true." - Dorothy Parker
"I'm going to stay in show business until I'm the last one left." - George Burns

"I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it." - Voltaire

"Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong." - Oscar Wilde

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