Head Cheese 1 - the news as you think it should be!
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Local News - Two Men Approach Japanese Woman In Bar; Gaijin Sets Record For Making Bad Japanese Puns; OL Walks From Station to Home While Staring Into Pocket Mirror; Last Tamagochi in Japan Finally Sold; Foreigners Ignore Each Other For Over 20 Minutes; more
International News - U.S election to be decided by coin toss; Bush Sr. admits to standing in for Bush Jr.; Mexico changes name to "Exico"; No news in the rest of the world; more.
Editorial - "Bushi" and "Gor" should have their Japanese Backgrounds Probed.
Opinion - You took too much dental floss; I object to the word "madman"; Can't stand tofu.
Fashion - Instant elegance - just add shawl!
Arts and Entertainment - Yet another shitty '70s TV show turned into a Feature Film; Last Shakespeare reinterpretation ever; reviews.
Technology - Cell-phone that doesn't give user brain cancer developed.
Business - Microsoft to sue two Japanese cities for copyright infringement.
Sports - Woman's Basketball To Endorse Platform Shoes.

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Local News

Surge in English Aptitude - In the first increase in English aptitude tests in the last thirty years, 99% of pre-schoolers proved to be familiar with a wide variety of English words such as "pocket" and "monster."  Citing one of the first ever positive influences of television and the entertainment media in learning, officials have been quick to praise new educational opportunities offered by the various cartoon shows.  "If children can so quickly learn such words as 'pocket' and 'monster', I guess I can say that I have gained new faith in the power of the entertainment media to have positive influences on the minds of our youth," once-skeptical education minister Rikarudo Takataka told reporters yesterday.  "Who knows, in future seasons of these popular shows, children can be taught to recognize and understand the meaning of such words as 'death ray', 'helmet', and 'karium.'"

Expat Complains Fellow English Teachers Not Paying Any Attention To Her - Local English teacher Linda Jones has no complaints about her new life overseas.  None, that is, except for one thing: "I just can't get a date!" she repeated over and over again in an interview.  After coming over from Los Angeles and taking some time acclimatizing to her new surroundings, this young single woman began to pay more attention to her social life.  "I'm, like, one of the only women working here.  All of the foreign staff pretty much are guys, and some of them are pretty good looking.  I try to get to know them.  Some of them I even kind of flirt with, but none of them pay me any attention.  I'm starting to get pretty lonely, actually."  Ms. Jones' work colleagues claimed to have taken no notice of her actions these past months.  "Linda, she's a nice girl.  Sure, I guess she was kind of flirting with me once a while back.  She's cute.  I guess I could say she's pretty - a little large maybe.  If she's looking for dates, I'm sure she wouldn't have any problem back home.  I can't really even think of asking her out, though.  I've got a girlfriend, plus tons of dates on the side.  It's hard enough to balance my schedule as it is without involving someone I've got to see at work most days.  Besides, how can I learn Japanese from her?"  Other co-workers seemed to have the same opinion.  "She's a nice girl, but she's not nearly as nice as some of the girls I'm going to be meeting later this week.  Va-va-va-voom!!" crowed head teacher Richard Gaynor.  None of this is any consolation to Ms. Jones.  "I'm probably going to develop a drinking problem here," she complained.  "I think I'm going to meet some of the other female teachers in town for some drinks one of these nights and find out how they cope.  They seem like a pretty close, happy bunch."

Talentless Burger Flipper Promoted Instantly at Japanese Customs to Valued Teacher - Continuing the program of local customs organizations' "International Skills Recognition Week," two talent-less burger flippers were granted 10-year teachers visas upon entry to Japan.  "We were just over here to play some pachinko, but since we're here I guess we could get jobs as English teachers and put down some roots, sew some wild oats, etc. etc."  Once in a hotel, the talent-less burger flippers visited a bar for some drinks and were soon approached by an attractive young woman in a mini-skirt who worked for an English school that was recruiting talent-less burger flippers to be English teachers for young high school students hoping to enter the more prestigious national universities.  "I'm glad I was born speaking English as my native language.  Imagine if I was Latvian, or something," one of the talent-less burger flippers was overheard saying.  "In my country I’ve always just been looked at as a talent-lessburger flipper, but here I'm like god or something.  The only qualifications I need is that I know how to speak my native language - good thing I'm usually not too bad at that!  And teachers are respected here.  Wow... I'm a teacher!  It's weird to hear it for the first time, but I guess I'll get used to it eventually."

Two Men Approach Japanese Woman In Bar - In a gaijin bar in Osaka on Friday night, two local gaijin approached an attractive Japanese woman.  After having watched her for some time and discussed what they could say to her, the gaijin in question finally summed up enough courage to approach her.  Beginning with questions about her age and weight, the two foreigners told her that she was very attractive, and indeed looked like a certain well-known pop star.  Despite the embarrassed silence coming from the girl, the two gaijin persisted, finally gaining courage and attempting to speak to her in Japanese.  Encouraged by her giggles, they became bold and began experimenting with words that they had just learned from their work chums, among them "threesome," "bondage," and "internet pornography."  After twenty minutes and several beers, the pair noticed another woman even more attractive than the one that they had approached and moved away without another word.

Gaijin Sets Record For Making Bad Japanese Puns - In a stunning marathon of bad puns and jokes, local English teacher Richard Anderson broke the all-Japan record for making bad puns in Japanese.  Anderson made 656 bad puns in two hours, with his highest single-minute rate a shocking 20 bad puns!  The previous record had been set by former Swedish ambassador to Japan Swen Malmsteen.  Some of the bad puns included puns on people's names, place names, katakana-English puns, alternate kanji readings, kiddy Japanese puns, food puns, place-name puns, and apparent in-joke puns.  Despite the fact that had alienated all of his students, as well as his foreign and Japanese friends, Anderson remains optimistic: "my wife is ready to divorce me, but she'll change her mind when she hears about this.  I always knew that I'd be recognized for something one of these days."

OL Walks From Station to Home While Staring Into Pocket Mirror - Last week in Osaka a private detective was hired by a young man who believed that his girlfriend was cheating on him to follow the young woman in question.  During his investigation, the detective noted that the woman was able to walk the whole way from her subway station to her home while looking into a small pocket mirror and applying make-up.  "It was incredible.  She moved around obstructions like dogs and small children, stepped over potholes, dodged cars, the whole while putting on the make-up.  I've seen this plenty of times with women examining their cell phones read-outs while walking some place, but this is the first time I've seen a make-up trick.  The girl is obviously a professional."  When asked to speculate why the young lady in question was applying make-up on her way home, the detective was too distracted to be able to come up with a likely answer.

Last Tamagochi in Japan Finally Sold - Finally ending the fad that began five years ago when tamagochis were sold for up to $1000 apiece, the last known tamagochi was finally sold in a small tobacco shop in the Fukui prefecture town of Gominomiya.  According to store-owner Ohara Sukareto, the tamagochi had been there as long as she could remember.  "Some drunk customer who was trying to flirt with me finally paid for it.  I charged him 300 yen.  I have no idea what it was really worth, but I usually sell nice cigarette lighter key chains for 300 yen, so I gave it to him for that.  I hope he doesn't feel ripped off, but he was drunk and probably doesn't remember anything.  I get that a lot."  Several attempts to revive the classic tamagochi over the years have all failed, including the disastrous "gold tamagochi" special edition.  The mass amnesia has entered most people who once owned tamagochi but insist they never did is now being investigated by scientists.

Man Accidentally Buys Tissue Packets - Yesterday in Osaka, an American man walked into a convenience store and made several purchases including a multi-pak of mini tissue packets.  Only once outside of the store did Joe Fraser realize that he had bought something which is regularly distributed free.  Realizing that he had spent money unnecessarily, he went back into the convenience store and tried to refund his money for the tissue packs, but the convenience store staff appeared confused at his request.  Frustrated at his inability to make himself understood to the Japanese teenagers who staffed the convenience store he tried to use his insufficient and clumsy Japanese, before trying again in English.  Speaking slowly and deliberately did not help, so he raised his voice, and finally stormed out of the store.  When asked for comment, Mr. Fraser actively tried to look on the bright side,  "Yeah, sure, I made a stupid shopping choice, but I really like the convenient size of these tissue packets.  I guess in a way I'm also helping out Japan's stagnant economy.  Those tissue packets must have been on the shelf for quite some time.  If I didn't buy them they would have just gotten stale and been thrown out unused, and the thing I really hate most is wastefulness."

2 Foreigners Ignore Each Other For Over 20 Minutes - In a packed hospital waiting room in Amagasaki last week, two foreign residents of that town successfully ignored each other for over 20 minutes.  Jim Smith, visiting his physician for a routine AIDS test, claimed to at least try to make eye contact.  "I would have probably at least nodded to him if I had made eye contact, but he was staring at posters on the wall, completely oblivious to my presence.  He must have at least noticed that there was another English-speaker in the room when the nurse came over and spoke to me in clumsy English.  That was proof to me that he was actively ignoring me."  Jiovanni Pasini, also visiting the hospital for a routine AIDS test, claimed to have not noticed anything out of the ordinary.  "I didn't notice any other foreigners in that waiting room.  If there had been someone there, I surely wouldn't have ignored them.  Oh, wait a minute, there was one guy with blonde hair, but I thought that was just a Japanese kid with a dye job.  Maybe I've been here too long."

Woman Takes 2 Hours to Get Made Up for Trip to Store - Yesterday, local Higashi Osaka native Yuko Totori took over 2 hours to make herself up for a trip to the local convenience store.  "I needed some milk, but I couldn't go out just in track pants, so I spent a while finding a nice outfit, I washed my hair, I did the spray, got made up.  I tried on three different types of boots before I settled on one that looked pretty good with my outfit, then I was ready to go.  I transferred my wallet and cell phone into a bag that I liked, and walked out the door, feeling pretty hungry at that point - it was my day off but I hadn't had anything to eat yet.  I got about half way to the store when I remembered that I had a nicer bag and a better pair of boots - thigh highs.  I went back and changed, and that did the trick.  I got my milk, went back home, took off the make-up and had a shower, then slept for the rest of the day."

Chinese-American Gets Pissed Off! - Diane Lee, a California-born Chinese-American English teacher for a large chain of sexy station-front language schools, nearly exploded in rage in a ramen shop in Shinsaibashi yesterday.  "This is the tenth time today that people have spoken to me in Japanese, they all think I'm Japanese even though I barely know konnichi-wa.  I've only been here a week.  Can't anybody see that I'm obviously not Japanese?  My eyes are different, I don't have bleached hair or wear platform boots or rabbit-fur jackets – I don't even had a cell phone yet."  Lee, who was recruited in Los Angeles by her employer, claims to have initially been interested in the competitive salary and the chance to travel in Asia, as well as opportunities to eat cheap sushi.  "Sushi is way cheaper back home, I have been so ripped off.  I think one of these days I'm just going to answer people in Chinese, although my Mandarin kind of sucks.  But they wouldn't know that!  I met this Italian guy the other day who speaks good Japanese, he translated all sorts of stuff for me.  Now that was weird."

Disgustingly Obese men excel at sports ; popular with the ladies - Yamamoto Kenzo weighs over 400 pounds.  Yet he is one of the best athletes in his field, often winning competitions.  His trophy rack is full to overflowing, so he is looking around for a much bigger one.  A few of the smaller trophies he has won have already been given to his female admirers, of which there seem to be quite a number.  "Before I entered sumo, most people in my high school didn't know my name, they just called me lardass or whatever.  I never had a girlfriend.  Look at all the scars I have from my heart being broken repeatedly," he says jokingly as he lifts his shirt to reveal his blubbery breasts.  "Well, that's all changed now," he says with a wink.  He pulls out a picture of his latest lover, recognizable as a major film talent.  The affair is no secret, and the lady in question has seen a surge in her career recently through association to the big star with a heart of gold.  "I nearly chose a professional name for myself the other day, but I'm really still not sure if I should chose 'virile dragon' or 'monster cock.'"  Kenzo is not alone in toasting his good luck, as there are other young stars just like him in his club.  "When I was a kid everybody was skinny and I tried to starve myself to shed the pounds, but my mom had a vision for me and encouraged me to eat more and more potatoes, rice, starchy foods.  I love it here - we're encouraged to eat and nap, and when we get together all we do is make 'skinny people jokes' - no offense!"

Momiji Season Makes Local Canadian Man's Heart Surge With Pride - Local English teacher and Vancouver native Joe Turner's heart surged with pride once again this year at the start of the momiji (maple leaf) season, when billions of tiny maple leaves on Japan's millions of Japanese maple trees turn red at once.  "I almost feel like I'm back home," says Turner, who often goes by the moniker Joe Q. Canada and arrived at Kyoto's Sanzen-in temple decked head-to-to in made in Canada clothes, many of which had red maple-leaf designs.  "I have been out every day this week if I didn’t have to work, these maples are incredible, and besides that I love nature anyway.  I think it's amazing that this country I have decided to live in would pay such stirring tribute to my home and native land, the second-biggest country in the world.  I haven't been back home in nearly ten years, but this takes me back every time.  It also helps me to forget my anger over seeing Canadian cities portrayed as... ugh... American cities in film.  I'll never forget my disgust when Jackie Chan tried to pass Vancouver off as New York in that piece of crap 'Rumble In The Bronx.'  I mean, what are those big Rocky mountains doing ringing 'New York City' in that movie.  Give me a break."

Japanese Car Maker Eyes New Demographic - Mitsubishi Motors, a car maker specializing in compact cars, or "mini cars" as they are called these days, is eyeing a new demographic - sumo wrestlers.  With over 10,000 active and retired sumo wrestlers around the country, Mistubishi see this as an unexplored niche market among compact car makers.  The Hawaiian-born former ozeki Konishiki, now retired, is the reportedly first happy customer.  "Only a mini has the suspension that my 600-pound frame needs," he has told reporters.  Car design specialists have discovered that a mini equipped to hold a single rotund passenger has better balance and less air resistance than most cars, somewhat resembling a ball on wheels.  "We tried to call it 'the sumobile'," says Mitsubishi chairman Jaku Wuerushu, "but the [sumo] federation wouldn't give us the rights, so we're just calling it 'the big roller.'  Order yours now."  Authorities are preparing for a flood of overweight Japanese men on Mistubishi dealers, and have already made plans to widen nearby sidewalks.

International News

U.S. Election Decided With Coin Toss - Election officials in Florida revealed on Monday that the election results there have in fact resulted in a perfect tie, requiring the election of the 43rd President of the United States of America to be decided by a coin toss.  The coin toss, the first ever in a national election, will be held in Tallahassee on January 1st using a silver quarter once believed to have been owned by George Jones, first governor of Florida.  This event has caused an influx of witch doctors, soothsayers, druids, deadheads, and other sorcerers, in addition to the national media and other ambulance chasers.  Al Gore is said to be consulting the nation's premier ouija board professional, while George Bush Jr. had his tarot read after attending church services in various denominations and lighting 10,000 votive candles.  Riot police are standing ready whatever the outcome.

Election Coverage in 3 Nations Pre-empted to Show U.S. Election Coverage - November 7th was election day in the United States of America, but it was also the scheduled day of elections in Burundi, French Guinea, and Azerbaijian.  Although it was a popular day for elections, the Neilsons ratings company has shown quite clearly that the U.S. election had the largest share of election coverage in the world: at 99.5 percent of world share, it was virtually the only election covered in the world on that day.  Even in the nations of Burundi, French Guinea, and Azerbaijian, national election coverage was quickly pre-empted on the official public-run news stations in favor of updates from Washington by Burundian, Guinean, and Azerbaijiani news teams showing crowd footage in front of Congress, graphs of election coverage by state, as well as reports on votes cast on the electoral boards.  "Zees was an unfortunate case of bad timing," said an election official in French Guinea.  "November 7th has always been zee day of election in our country, but we have never had problems like zees before.  Eet ees just another example of American cultural hegemony and deesgusteeng imperialism.  We nations of la Francophonie must adopt new measures since the old ones have failed."  U.S. election coverage will continue until a winner is announced.

Mexico Changes Name To Texaco - After nearly a hundred years of confusion, Mexican parliament finally passed a law to change its name to something more easily remembered: Texaco.  "We figured that since people had been mistakenly calling us Texaco for years anyway, there was no reason to hold out any longer," legislatural representative Juan Bendeho announced.  "Well, it was either that or Exico."  After a tough campaign, the vote passed 98 to 2.  The laws will become effective January 1st, 2010.  "We expect a 10 year period to be long enough to get people ready for the new name.  Hopefully we can be annexed by the United States at some point soon after that."

George Bush Sr. Stood In For Jr. - Close inspection of election coverage videos taken in the month of July show that on at least three occasions, ex-President George Bush stood in for current presidential candidate George W. Bush, a.k.a. George Jr.  While these claims were initially denied, despite the fact that it is clearly the ex-President giving speeches in Billings Montana, and Butte, Idaho, the George Jr. HQ was later forced to confirm the reports.  "I didn't think that there was anything wrong with it," Bush Sr. told reporters.  "I have a lot of friends in Billings and Butte, and I haven't been able to get out there in a while.  I had a lot of support there in '92, and to tell you the truth, I thought I'd do a better job for George Jr. on this one than he could himself.  I want the people of Billings and Butte to know that when they vote for George Jr., they'll be getting two presidents for the price of one.  I stand behind my son all the way."  When asked if he will run for election in 2004, possibly opposing his son in the primaries, ex-President Bush simply stated "I haven't decided yet.  That just depends whether George Jr. is a good boy in office."

Whisky vs. Whiskey - Dispute of the spelling of a favorite national drink has brought two proud nations to the brink of war.  Angry trade representatives of Ireland and Scotland have been in furious negotiations to try to establish an international standard for the spelling of their national drinks.  "They can call it scotch if they want to, but whiskey is whiskey," claimed Irish trade representative Liam O'Hara.  Scottish trade representative Scott Macpherson responded to this by saying: "Whisky is whisky, whether is it scotch or not.  In this case I see that we have the backing of several other countries, most notably Canada and Japan, although I dinna understand what these countries can understand about real whisky if you ask me."  This comment was answered by some furious cussing and name-calling.  "Those gits practically drink all of their own 'whiskey' themselves anyway, what right do they have to dictate an international standard?" the Scottish representative asked loudly.  "Whiskey comes from the gaellic anyway, so who's mincing words now?" countered the Irish representative.  "Those cunts can't make whiskey, they can't drink whiskey, and they can't play football neither."  The meeting carried out of the room and into the street, onto the football field and into the bars.  The trade meeting concluded amicably, sometime around 2 in the morning, but as nobody could remember the wording of the agreement (or even the general idea), negotiations continued from scratch the next morning, with all members nursing bad, bad hangovers.

No News in the Rest of the World - While the November 7th election was going on across the United States of America, the rest of the world paused all activities and held its breath to wait for the results.  During the month-long deadlock that resulted from the virtual electoral tie, the rest of the world continued to hold its breath, turning quite blue in the face as a result.  Afraid to take a breath, lest it somehow negatively affect the results of said election, the rest of the world is in fact almost ready to drop dead.  As a result, barely anything happened in the rest of the world - no civil wars or terrorist attacks, no earthquakes, floods, or famines, and certainly no celebrity scandals.  Hopefully the naming of a successor to president Clinton will invigorate people enough to encourage real action and rally a resurgence of hard news.  Violence and chaos are expected to erupt the moment a successor can be named.


"Bushi" and "Gor" should have their Japanese Backgrounds Probed - When researching a family tree, personal revelations regarding mystic eastern origins are not completely unheard of, even among presidential candidates.  With this in mind, someone obviously should have dug up the truth on “Bushi” and “Gor” a long time ago.  "Bushi," as that handsome devil George W. is known in Japan (not to mention his dignified dad), is the Japanese term for "warrior."  Just watch Mifune Toshiro in "Tsubaki Sanjuro" or "Yojimbo" to see what I mean.  The late Mifune-san even bears a slight resemblance to the Bush family warrior Jeb Bush.  Yikes!  On the other end of the American political spectrum, however, lies “Gor,” the enemy of manga king Tezuka Osamu's creation "Magma Taishi," the volcano-born robot and defender of the earth-mother Gaia - he can only be tied by his name both literally and symbolically to the Democratic candidate Al Gore.  Like his cartoon counterpart, Gore can be seen only as an esoteric, cartoonish villain spouting epithets such as "Tax the rich," and "I have come to kill the earth."  If we know these things about the U.S. presidential candidates Japanese backgrounds, how can we expect them to govern given four years in office?


"You Took Too Much Dental Floss!" - by Angus Dehavilland
I was watching my kid flossing his teeth the other day and was finally struck by something that outraged me completely - he took 25 cm. of dental floss where 15 cm. would have been more than enough.  I can't believe I never noticed it before!  I make sure that he flosses every day, so I wonder how many miles of dental floss he has wasted over the years.  It just makes me sick to see waste.  I am going to try and find out how much toilet paper he uses - in my opinion, two or three squares is enough and any more is excessive.  Some kids pull on the roll just to see how much they can get in one shot, then don't even wipe properly (how could you with such a thick wad?!?).  The same thing happens all day all over the house - excessive use of the remote controller wears out batteries quicker, so I have taken it away and we use the manual buttons on the front of the TV. – why else are they there?  Taking a clean cup every time someone wants to drink something increases use of detergent, and polishing shoes more than twice a year uses up the shoe cream.  Using Q-tips to clean the ears is not done in my house any more since I discovered reusable Japanese ear picks, but how many tissues does one person go through when they have a cold?  My solution is that handkerchiefs for everybody from now on.  The other day I caught my kid throwing away a wafer-thing slice of withered old soap – he claimed that he couldn't get it to stick to the new bar, and it always fell to the ground and was slimy and difficult to pick up.  No analytical skills, that kid!  Just wait until he has to live on his own and sees for himself what all that waste costs him.  These days I have been cutting off 15 cm. segments of dental floss for him to use, but he has begun tying them together the crafty bugger!  He should be more grateful – when I grew up we didn't have dental floss and had to use the strings from celery stalks.  No gratitude, the kids of today.  No perspective either.

"I Object To The Word 'Madman'" - by Sven Thoorsson
Time and time again I hear people using the word "madman."  "Who is that madman driving?"  "What kind of madman would send his kid to a school like that?"  "What can those madmen in government be thinking?"  Even the term "work like a madman" is already commonplace.  In this era of political correctness, have we forgotten the feelings of entirely half of the human population?  Everybody knows that mad acts are not only attributed to men.  In fact, most of the crazy, stupid, insane acts are the inspiration of dumb chicks who don't take a second to think things through!  Just because it is men who run government, doesn't mean that all of the failed projects are the result of the "mad" ideas of "men."  The point is that when we don't fully understand the subject that what we're talking about, we should never ever assume the sex or identity of a lunatic, in any situation whatsoever.  After all, if you assume, you make and "ass"” out of "u" and "me."  Nine times out of ten the stupid idiot in question turns out to be female in persuasion anyway, so I think I should start introducing the word “madwoman” to the English language and see if it catches on since it is statistically accurate.  It should, if there is any justice in the world (but watch this space for updates as to whether or not there is any justice in the world just in case, you madwoman).

"Can't Stand Tofu" - by Wendy G. Witch
Lots of people take one look at me and how I dress and just assume that I must be a vegetarian (read: tofu lover), but again and again I am forced to stand up on the furniture and shout to the whole world that I am indeed and will always be a carnivore!  With that little anecdote aside, let me just begin to talk about the problem with Japanese food in general – too much tofu!  This is really the land of gross food.  I only really like some of the fried food and the Kobe beef and some of the bread, which is almost like the normal bread that I'm used to, but when I see something that slithers across my plate I just can't put it into my mouth and chew it, whether it be a piece of slimy tofu or a living shrimp.  I have a theory that too much tofu can stunt your growth or even cause you to shrink – just look at some of these people, especially the ones over 90!  If I put myself on a regimen of wood pulp I'd probably start having health problems too, and that's what tofu tastes like to me.  I can never get over these keeners who come over here and jump whole-hearted into the Japanese eating experience – eating anything raw with great relish, thankfully chomping down on boiled dandelion leaves or whatever those mountain salads are made of, and gorging themselves on thanksgiving tofu casserole.  At least they make good beer here, some of which almost tastes as good as the normal beer we have back home.  One of the best, most basic pieces of cooking advice should be introduced here – once you start making things too fancy you just mess them up, so just stick to the simple things like meat and potatoes.  Maybe it will catch on, who knows.  Till then, do you know any place around here where they serve proper food?


Instant Elegance - Just Add Shawl - Not enough elegance in your life?  Simple - just throw a shawl over your shoulders.  Whether you're trying to make a good impression on a first date or going to the office or just watching TV, a shawl will add all the elegance you need and then some.  Shivering from the cold?  The fact that these elegant bolts of cloth keep in the heat is just an added bonus, so why deprive yourself of even an ounce of elegance when you can keep yourself warm at the same time?  These great new fashion accessories go with any look, from stiletto heels and black leather mini-skirt to jeans and sneakers, a shawl will hide your gangly arms and place extra emphasis on that beautifully overlooked part of the female body - the shoulders!  Need to look good as you walk to the store for some cigarettes?  Just add shawl.  Need something to fumble with and balance as you walk your dog?  Just add shawl.  Need something to hide mysterious packages, fresh scars, track lines or bruises?  Just add shawl.  How many times do I need to say it?  If you don't have a shawl this season, you really just can't be considered attractive.

Arts and Entertainment


New Music Inaccessible to Non-Drug Users - A local area man who has just come off of a 3-month long drug high has “woken up” to find that he can't stand any of the music in his CD and record collection.  "I can't stand any of this music.  Electronics, techno, Grateful Dead, the Flaming Lips, Krautrock, Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd, all this psychadelia, it doesn't make sense to me when I'm not flying on my head."  Similar reports have been confirmed by other drug users.  Conversely, local area non-drug users find large sections of the pop market utterly inaccessible.  "When I look at the top 20 lists, I have to wonder how much drug use is going on out there, because half of these CDs are totally boring.  Makes no sense to me why anybody would like any of these groups.  I've given up trying to figure it out.  There are whole sections of the music store I don't even bother checking out any more," complains local music lover Dwayne Parsons, who for undisclosed reasons still refuses to experiment with drugs.  "I'm not a music snob, or anything, I want to try new things out musically, but for the life of me that is something that I don't get.  That and white rap."


Yet another Shitty '70s TV Series Turned Into a Movie! - In recent news from Hollywood, sources have revealed that a shitty '70s TV series will soon be developed into a major motion picture, starring current stars instead of the aging original stars.  In an effort to generate interest in the project, studios are not revealing exactly which shitty '70s TV series it will be, but there are rumors that it is to be about three zany roommates - one man and two women - living in fabulous swinging San Francisco.  Since the studios have been unable to confirm any of these rumors, we have asked our readers which shitty '70s TV show they would like to see turned into a movie, and were given these answers:
Top 5 Shitty '70s and '80s TV Series we want to see turned into movies:
    the Streets of San Francisco
    the Love Boat
    Spenser For Hire
    T.J. Hooker
see also related article in Holy Smokes, Folks gossip column.

Holy Smokes, Folks. - gossip, by Goofy Pete.
Holy smokes, folks, didn't those guys in Hollywood learn that crap 70s and 80s TV shows just don't make good feature films when they made the Avengers and Inspector Gadget?  Do I even need to say the dread words the Dukes of Hazard?  How about the Six Million Dollar Man?  Or dare I say... the Fall Guy?  Our kids are going to make fun of us relentlessly when they see us standing in line and forking over 10 hard-earned bucks for Knight Rider 2 - the Movie starring some new guy who doesn't even look like the main star.  Sure that Michael Knight guy is a big TV star again (sans that K.I.T.T. car, of course, the real star of that series) with all those hot baybes, but who really wants to see him on the big screen?  Who besides the Germans, that is.  Nobody wants to watch trailers for his films when they see other films in the theater.  Nobody wants to see his face on posters all around their city, and nobody wants to answer embarrassing questions by their kids when they get a Knight Rider promotional Happy Meal (tm) at McDonald's.  What we really need to do now is figure out a way of punishing the studios that develop these films and manipulate us into seeing them by clever publicity.  How about storming out en masse and asking for refunds five minutes into the picture?  Or maybe all of us people who hate '70s TV series should just kill ourselves.  Then they'll be sorry.

DVD Reviews: by Beau Hemian
Jurassic Park: the Lost World - Thank God for DVD because now all have great excuses to watch such classic films as Jurassic Park: the Lost World again.  For those who haven't seen this fantastic piece of Hollywood magic, for shame, but luckily you still have a chance to see it right.  Amazing dinosaur effects, the return of Jeff Goldblum, and an unbelievable plot make this an even finer film than the original Jurassic Park - if that's possible!!  The enhanced DVD has comments by the director and the acting staff - even the gaffer and best boy have a thing or two to say.  And don't forget the extra scenes: one of the best is with Samuel Jackson, best known for his portrayal of Jedi master Mace Windu in the Phantom Menace, whose scenes were cut when it was pointed out that he very definitely dies in the first film.  A shame, since he is even better here than he was in the Phantom Menace, but at least we DVD viewers will be none the wiser.
Toys - A touching film by Barry Levinson about comic genius Robin Williams living in a toy world.  This is clearly the role that Robin was born to play, as it suits his character like no other has since his work as Mork from Ork.  As a child-man who believes in the therapeutic power of toys and who just wants to play in his romper room all day, he finally has to come out of his shell to defeat his evil Swedish uncle who wants to be a military contractor.  Can any message be simpler than "denial good, war bad"?  If you don't understand this film, we'll put you back in front of MTV, but for the other normal people of the world it is time to rediscover this sadly over-looked classic of the '80s.  As a bonus, the DVD contains scenes of Robin Williams singing songs from Andrew Lloyd Weber classics, as well as some of his zany cocaine-fuelled backstage antics - just try to keep track of the celebrities and characters he mimics!
Crow 2: City of Angels - For the sulky goth on your Christmas list the perfect thing - a DVD of the Crow 2, the smash sequel to the sulky goth classic the Crow.  Starring Iggy Pop as a bad guy (you're so bad, Iggy) and as the Crow himself, that French guy who was in that sexy Isabelle Adjani film about a queen Maggot.  Yes, a French guy, so for those of you who still refuse to believe that a French actor can be watchable on film (I know, I know, I found it hard to believe myself), here's proof that there's at least one.  If you saw the original film, you'll love this one because it has the same plot but a new Crow, new bad guys, and new dark, garbage-littered streets.  Only the Crow's friend, a bird, repeats from the original.  The DVD shows a secret cameo by former Crow, Brandon Lee, who was fatally injured during the filming of the original Crow but went to heaven after his mission of earthly revenge was completed in the final days of filming.
Sequel Mania!  Everyone knows that "there's joy in repetition" and that "you can never have too much of a good thing," which is why the gods of Hollywood created sequels.  Heck - even Goethe wrote two Faust plays, and Shakespeare did quite well in the pocket-book for the sequels to some of his tragedies.  And if it weren't for the DVD revolution (you heard it here first) think of all the great sequels that would slip from the public eye.  But now with the new demand for media, we have chances to watch such classic sequels as Escape From L.A. (Snake Plisskin - just call him either Snake or Plisskin), Darkman 2 (that guy's dark!), not to forget the previously mentioned Jurassic Park: the Lost World and Crow 2: City of Angels.  And lest we forget, there are all those hilarious comedy sequels like those hilarious Police Academy films (remember the guy who does all those sound effects) and those great Naked Gun films (Frank Drebbein, even the name cracks me up).  They should have a page on Amazon just for sequels (and maybe another for prequels!!!).
Scarface - If you're like me, you've seen this film ten times and can't get enough of machine guns and piles of cocaine, not to mention a young Michelle Pfeiffer (she's hot!).  So as a reward to all of the loyal fans of Al Pacino's lovable and enduring character Tony Montana (who have been deprived of sequels by evil director Brian DePalma's 11th hour decision to kill poor Tony off), there is a special treat on the DVD of scenes that were cut out of the film (are those guys in Hollywood crazy?  If they are, then this is ample proof) that show good old Tony killing more ex-comrades, snorting bigger mountains of blow, and buying more mansions and gold trinkets.  Contains 108 new swear English curses and even a few in Spanish.  Say, did you ever notice that "Al" looks a lot like A-1?  Al's an A-1 actor in my book... and I'm not talking about steak sauce either!
the Mod Squad - After a long drought of Hollywood TV adaptations comes just the thing we've been waiting for - the Mod Squad!  Check out these stylish young detectives and crime-busters: bad kids who picked up street fashions and indie cred, but turn good and rid the world of evil.  The sweetly angelic Claire Danes is finally matched up against someone with her star quality, and boy to these kids look good in clothes!  Extra scenes show tantilizing bits of an impromptu onstage orgy!!  Hot, hot, hot!
the Saint - Wow, what a flick.  If you thought that Val Kilmer was good in Batman Forever wait till you see the great project he dropped out of the Batman series in favor of - the Saint!!  Also inspired by a heart-warming comic book about a tow-headed orphan who empowers himself by skirting the world of evil, the young Saint takes his inspiration from the saints of the Bible (and from that guy Fletch) and changes himself completely whenever he has to.  His lucky girlfriend must be the luckiest rocket scientist in the world - she gets a thousand boyfriends for the price of one!
Postman - The only bad thing about Kevin Costner is we often have to wait over a year for one of his films, even longer for one that directed by him.  This one is worth the long wait, though, as Kevin again stars and directs in a stirring tale of a man who reluctantly leads a rag-tag group of freedom-lovers on a quest for freedom.  The bad guy may be one scary red-head psychopath, but he sure is no match for our all-American leader.  And although Mr. Costner may not have fins of gills in this flick, you can still think of it as Waterworld on land - and what better inspiration can a film have?  Watch Kevin give new meaning to the term "going postal."
6 Days and 7 Nights - Harrison Ford and Anne Heche find modern-day pirates (and a bit of love - rarr rarr!) during six days and seven nights in the air, on land, and in the sea.  Lucky for us film producers have managed to squeeze all into about two hours (did you really think that the film was six days long?).  The action is great, but what really sizzles is Harrison and Anne's steamy love scenes - can somebody find out if there was any offscreen flames happening there?  Put a hat on the man, give him a whip, and call it Indiana Jones 4.
the Avengers - Not the Marvel comic as I at first thought, this is the British film starring hot film properties Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman.  Check out Uma in that body suit!  Besides the body suit, other great things in the film are the plot, the special effects, and Sean Connery's first appearance ever as a villain.  But mainly you should really watch it for the body suit.  (Rumors are that extra footage of Uma sans said body suit is available on the DVD, but you didn't hear it here)


Sheriff Killed in Stephen King Novel! - (warning: this article contains a spoiler)  In Stephen King's new novel, "the Hurt," yet another small-town sheriff is killed off approximately two thirds of the way through the novel.  While nothing new to the world of Stephen King thrillers, the author claims to have had a new idea in mind with the character of Barny Armsworth, a small-town sheriff who is killed while investigating mysterious goings-on in the town that it is his sworn duty to protect.  "I'm not Jim Thompson.  I know what I can do.  I knew that I could either kill him off, or make him the sole survivor.  I had already made him to be a strong man, but with certain weaknesses.  In cases like these, I knew that he would probably have to be killed off, but I also wanted to make him different, so I gave him a heroin addiction.  And since it was a small town, he had to be the heroin supplier as well as the main user.  This created a lot of problems in this town.  And it gave me enough mayhem to set a story in.  Great, these small towns.  Microcosms.  You can do anything with them.  And there's an endless supply of them," he hinted ominously.  When asked to elaborate on his last point, Mr. King terminated the interview and shuffled off, leaving only his bodyguards.

Last Shakespeare Reinterpretation Ever! - Noting increased audience annoyance with repeated reinterpretations of the plays of William Shakespeare, a trend that had been ongoing at least since the classic "Romeo and Juliet" was reinterpreted as "West Side Story", an international group of directors has declared a ten-year moratorium on further reinterpretations of any of William Shakespeare's plays.  "From now on," says Legion of Actors and Directors chairman William Falstaff, "the plays of William Shakespeare will be performed as they generally have been for the last 400 years."  According to L.A.D. guidelines, this is to include all reinterpretations of Shakespeare plays, including feminist versions, Marxist versions, queer versions, Disney versions, alternate settings and time-frames, comedies done as tragedies, tragedies done as comedies, vaudeville Shakespeare, ethnic Shakespeare, techno Shakespeare, politicized plays and trendy agenda manipulations.  Several interest groups have already begun campaigns to extend the 10-year moratorium to over 50, in order to push the era of Shakespearean reinterpretation out of living memory.  According to the statement issued by Artists Against Reinterpretation, "Only when the last of our generation has died off, will it be acceptable for any director to even reconsider another reinterpretation of a Shakespeare play. The penalty for breaking this moratorium can only be... death!"


Cell-Phone That Doesn't Give User Brain Cancer Developed! - Scientists this week have finally unveiled an invention that will only help to increase growth in the rapidly-developing telecommunications sector - the no-cancer(tm) cell phone.  "A cell phone that doesn't give the user brain cancer is probably the last hurdle the telecommunications market needs to complete full market saturation.  Ever since we hit the ceiling of 89% and couldn't get past it, our marketers realized that there were a few health-conscious sticklers who refused to get cell phones," industry spokesman Scott Gilbraith told reporters at an industry press conference yesterday.  "Just to win them over, we have developed this new phone that is guaranteed by several noted doctors in the Falkland Islands to leave users' brains free of cancer and disgusting malignant growths, even several years down the road.  Naturally the long-term effects of these things aren't known, but if you are worried about brain cancer they are certainly a lot safer to use than the ones that people have been playing with for the last five years anyway - yeah, sure, by a long shot!  Whew, I sure wouldn't want one of those little isotopes next to my ear making me demented and power hungry..."

Y2K Plus 1 - Nobody Suspecting Real Computer Breakdown Coming After Last Year's Y2K Dupe - In a marketing coup that computer technicians the world over are still congratulating themselves over even 11 months later, it is virtually assured that nobody will suspect that the dreaded and unpredictable new Y2K bug that will shut down all the background systems that shape our lives is actually going to hit exactly one year later, at midnight of the year 2000, hence the adapted media buzz-term "Y2K + 1."  Somewhat coincidentally, most of the powerful and knowledgeable computer gurus the world over have booked flights on December 31st, none of them suspecting that 2001 is the true first year of the new millennium (do the math, buddy) and not 2000 as many people besides Arthur C. Clarke falsely believed.  "Hey, as much as I'd like to party like it was 1999 again this year, I'm afraid I only have the stamina to do that once in a lifetime," head air traffic controller/ATM computer network manager Dean Deans told reporters.  "As soon as I get off work on the 31st, I'm jumping on a Concorde and flying off to Tahiti."


Microsoft to sue two Japanese cities for copyright infringement - In a questionable and unprecedented move by a wise multinational corporation, Microsoft has announced its plans to sue two Japanese cities for copyright infringement.  Sanda-city, a suburb of major metropolis Osaka, and Mita-ku, a borough of Tokyo city, both have alternate writings that use the same two Kanji characters.  Coincedentally, the two characters in question, when combined, bear an uncanny resemblance to Microsoft corporation's "Flying Windows" trademark.  "Although we understand that these areas have used this name for several centuries," a Microsoft spokesman told a packed press conference yesterday in Seattle, "the fact is that the flying windows trademark has been registered and protected in most countries in the world, including Japan.  We can suggest that these areas write their names without the controversial kanji characters in question, or reverse them, or rename themselves entirely."  The spokesman further notes that failure by these towns to comply within 24 hours would result in their being sued in international court, after which the bankrupt towns would probably be bought up by Microsoft itself and incorporated into the company, along with 10% of the free world.  On a final note, the spokesman pointed out the precedent for this type of lawsuit had been set by Japanese corporations themselves in the 1980s in the United States of America, resulting in names changes for the town of Sunny, Massachussets, the Heetahchi tribe reservation, and the Tushy Bar chain of sports bars.


Woman's Basketball To Endorse Platform Shoes  - Finally giving in to lobbyists representing fashion shoe, hobby gaming and adult entertainment fetishists, Women's League Basketball officials in Japan have finally deregulated platform shoes for use by women basketball players in their league.  In the future, players will have the option of wearing platform shoes, not to exceed the height of 50 cm., to enhance their games and give new sex appeal to this under-appreciated sport.  All players who opt to use shoes higher than previous regulation sports shoes will have to sign a serious injuries waiver as well as assume responsibility for anybody they might fall on or squash, but the new law already has fans among the trendier players on the court.  "I like platform shoes," claims Occult Swallows basketball team forward Yamamoto Yoko.  "I wear them to and from games and practices anyway, and I get lots of looks from the guys.  Nobody wants to look at me on the court when I wear those ugly white plastic things.  Basketball shoes haven't been trendy since 1997.  Plus you should see my new slam dunk."  Many other players feel that the platforms give them the edge over other players.  "I can slam dunk a ball without even trying," says Nishinomiya Nixons forward Maia Asuka.  "Sure I wobble a bit, but anybody does that after a few beers anyway, so what's the difference.  We're here to win, but we're also here to look good - platforms can only help us do both!"

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email: Peter Höflich
created December 12th, 2000
All writings copyright Peter Hoflich, 2000
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