This is fact: cancer doesn’t care about politics. It doesn’t give a rat’s ass whether you think Newt Gingrich is a hero or a creep, and it doesn’t pay attention to the charged conservative-religious agenda that always seems to make comprehensive health care for women an intense and never-ending struggle. Cancer doesn’t care about your personal beliefs or your back-room power deals or your agendas, whether you are rich or poor, black or white…no, cancer is a really excellent example of a non-discriminating entity.

So, what does cancer care about? This: the ability to continue to spread and grow unchecked, and to eventually choke its host to death. It does so with incredible efficiency and accuracy, unfettered by guilt, doubt, or a conscience of any kind. Cancer and its army of merciless, multiplying, mutating cells strikes fear into the hearts of all who hear its name, whether whispered inside the mind with hope it never arrives, or in a doctor’s office, said aloud, shattering a world in a surreal, heartbreaking moment on the day it does.

With these things known, it is an act of deep and unconscionable betrayal that today Susan G. Komen For The Cure, America's best-known and most-powerful breast cancer charity, has chosen to remove its funding to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings. What this action means is that Planned Parenthood, the sole source for ANY kind of healthcare for thousands of women across America, will be unable to provide 170,000 women with the breast cancer screenings they otherwise will not likely receive elsewhere.

Roll that around in your mind for a minute and try to see the faces, a few of those 170,000 women. There are those over 40 who are trying to do the responsible thing for themselves and their families by going in each year for a breast exam as recommended, those who have already experienced cancer and want to catch it quick if it returns, the young and old alike who feel a lump and have no other way to know what they are facing. Screenings save lives and because of them more women are beating breast cancer than ever before. I bet you know some of them, too, and you may even be one of them. Each one of those 170,000 women are just trying to stay healthy and stay alive.

What have all these women done to be denied like this? More facts: they all suffer from the crime of being poor, or have either no or limited healthcare insurance, or live in areas of the country that simply offer no other places to go for breast cancer screenings. Once again, their lives are put at risk, pawns in a political game of hardball over – horror of horrors! – the independent health decisions made by women.

Or, if you’d like the real bottom line: women will die because some very powerful folks (primarily men) in this country believe that contraception and abortion services should made available to no woman, even though both are legal in the United States. Some – not all – of the almost-800 Planned Parenthood locations offer those services, but it’s hardly all they do. The mission of Planned Parenthood is very, very simple: to offer women of any monetary means the ability to responsibly take control of their bodies, their health, and their lives through education and preventative, wellness-oriented care. But that doesn’t matter to those who burn with righteous fever, who will continue to do everything possible to force abortion providers to quit…including removing funding for any organization that has anything to do with full reproductive health services. This is what has happened in this sad situation, despite a pathetic claim that Komen withdrew support because of “ongoing government examination of Planned Parenthood.” The hyper-focused mental cases in Congress like Cliff Stearns (R-FL) that spend all their time trying to ban abortion and dismantle clinics rather than create job plans or a construct a workable budget will poke and poke and poke. They won’t get any dirt and know it – it’s just sheer intimidation.

I am livid that Susan G. Komen For The Cure, named for a woman who died of breast cancer and whose name has become synonymous with hope for millions of breast cancer survivors, has caved to reprehensible, intellectually-backwards thinking, and extremely dangerous religious political pressure. Those within the organization should be ashamed to have signed off on this, and the resultant death warrants of possibly thousands of women. Those who best know and understand the cost of the suffering and still choose to resign the powerless to it earn a very special place in Hell, whether in the imaginary fire locale or simply minds that will forever remind them of what they have done.

And to you miserable, fear-and-shame based theocrats who are determined to use your personal religious beliefs to force women to forever live as lesser human beings, bound by biology to submit to your false God’s will by refusing sex or live with bearing unwanted children? Grow up, deal with your own screwed-up psyches, and stay out of others’ lives. I cannot even imagine the festering ugliness that lives within you, and how afraid you must be, in those moments when your brain forces you into reason, to feel the horrific chill in the little nagging voice telling you that you got it all wrong, and there won’t be any salvation waiting for you at your final breath.

While we are here, we best serve the world by directing our charity towards the living, to those whom without our help will suffer. Susan G. Komen For The Cure has abandoned this ideal, so we must do what we can to alleviate the damage done. Please choose to keep ALL the women in this country safe and healthy by clicking HERE to sign a petition asking Komen to refund Planned Parenthood, and by clicking HERE to donate to Planned Parenthood's Breast Health Emergency Fund, as I have done this evening. By doing so, you give someone’s dear mom, aunt, sister, or friend a better chance to find and fight cancer, and to live a longer, better life. If we are talking about “choice,” that is always the right one.


Don't kill me, Interscope.


It seems very common-sense, doesn't it? You, whatever that is you think of as the you of you, are your brain. Your brain is everything, the real Wizard of Oz, Captain Of The Ship, Master Of The Universe. It's the best and most powerful thing you own or will ever own.

So why why why why why WHY do we not treat it with the respect and care it deserves?

This terribly sad story from CNN reminded me that no sport, no game, nothing is worth the loss that Nathan Stiles' family now must endure. The 17-year-old Kansas high student lost his life from the cumulative brain damage he acquired playing high school football. Recent studies have shown that the effects of only two or more concussive head injuries over a lifetime can lead to long-term neurological damage, and may possibly be linked to early forms of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and ALS, as well as chronic depression and personality changes.

This is not good news for millions of people who have experienced multiple concussions, and I am included in that number. Over a five-year time period in my teens I had a series of five accidents, all of which resulted in concussions with a loss of consciousness, most of which could have been prevented or made less serious:

-- a fall at home;
-- a skiing accident on icy ground, no helmet;
-- two major car accidents within two months, no seatbelts worn;
-- crowd surge at a concert, hit to back of head.

After the last one, at age nineteen, my doctor looked at me very grimly and told me that I was walking on thin ice. He continued to say that with the next head injury, my luck could very well run out, and I could have permanent brain damage. I nodded, went home, and cried my eyes out, scared to death. At that age, everything had seemed random, not my fault, out of my control. But it really wasn't. I could have been more careful, more safety-conscious, and should have been. Sure, I was young and young people naturally make mistakes, and I don't beat myself up about it. But I do have to live with the real possibility that someday my brain may age faster or differently than it would have if I had not had those accidents. I don't dwell on it, won't dwell on it, but...well. You know.

So my simple message that I would like pass on to anyone reading this is that even though your brain can be a real jerk sometimes, please remember to show it some love. If you ski, wear a helmet, even if you are just on the bunny hill. If you are riding on a bicycle or motorcycle, ATV, whatever, wear a helmet every time. If you are in a car, always wear a seatbelt. Have fun, but be smart. And parents, think very very very hard before allowing your kids to play traditional football or any other sport where hard hits to the head are not only common, but part of the game. Protective equipment is getting better, yes, but it's still not good enough. It just isn't, especially as more and more research comes in on the brains of former college and pro football players and boxers, and the puzzle pieces are coming together, telling us it doesn't take more than a few good blows to possibly alter the brain in significant, negative, permanent ways.

We are our brains. Ask anyone who has had to care for a parent lost to dementia, or had to bury a beautiful 17-year-old child because he played football with the rest of his friends, and who misses them so very much.


It's to be expected -- many of our memories fade or disappear with the passage of time. I hate that, but I understand that there's a function to it. If we were constantly being bombarded by old brain content, it would be hard to make new brain content, right? Also, our psyches sometimes suppress content that is disturbing or unproductive to our sense of well-being. It is possibly the latter mechanism at work for me in the case of an event I had completely forgotten about until reminded by my friend Lahna, my former next-door neighbor, a couple of days ago.

In the small south-central Wisconsin town where I spent my first nine years, where I first learned to walk, ride a bike, swim in a lake, where my dad was Mayor for four of those nine years, where I got freshly-made foot-long pretzels at the tiny bakery and bought 16 Magazine at the drugstore with a single shiny quarter, there is an annual event, much-beloved and now in its 85th year. There is no doubt I must have attended this as a child, and possibly did so several times.

Ladies and Gentlemen, today is the Delafield Coon Feed, held at the American Legion Post Hall.

Yes, that's raccoon meat they are serving up, along with ham, turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, sauerkraut, coleslaw, bread, and surely beer. 

And I had forgotten this. I am shocked and need to have a stern talk with my brain, for as disturbing as this kinda really is, it is also utterly awesome. This is SO WISCONSIN, in its strangeness and, yes, sweetness. Something I do remember about growing up in Delafield, even though I have specifically blocked out the COON FEED, is that I loved these kinds of gatherings. There was the potluck at the Christ the King Lutheran Church, the Pancake Dinner served in the cafeteria of Cushing Elementary, and the summer fair which I also now cannot remember the damn name of, but do remember that it was a celebration of OLD DAYS and history and the very old Hawks Inn would be opened to the public and I got to ride once in a Model T rumble seat in the parade. There were these events that brought the community together, young and old, and it felt like you really belonged to something.

I left Wisconsin for good in 1984, headed West, and never lived in a small town again. It was certainly the right decision for me, but I think a part of my character will always miss these quirky gatherings with so many familiar friendly faces, something that city life can never really provide.

Lahna also kindly informed me of this Sky Full Of Bacon mini-documentary about the Coon Feed, which you may now share in viewing, too. I swear to you my accent is not that heavy. Anymore.

If I were in Delafield today, I would absolutely turn up for the Coon Feed with a face-splitting grin...although I think I'd opt for the ham.

UPDATE: 3:32PM -- I just spoke with my mother, also 85, and she confirms that our family went to the Coon Feed every year we lived there, and that I ATE THE RACCOON, and that one year there was also BEAR on the menu, shot with special permission from the WI. Dept. of Natural Resources because the bear was bothering a bee farmer. OMG.


For today's content I am going to direct to you Back Beat Seattle, where I have a little write -up about TONIGHT'S premiere of PBS' "Great Performances -- Tony Bennett: Duets II," airing at 9PM PST here on KCTS9 (other areas of the country please check your local listings). I was excited to view the press screener for this wonderful 90 minute program, especially after having the opportunity to photograph Mr. Bennett at Seattle's Paramount Theater last December. So go ahead, click HERE to read PBS on BBS and don't miss the show!

(Tony Bennett, Paramount Theater, December 17, 2011, shot for Back Beat Seattle)


In the tight 30-minute space I had this afternoon between picking up Mr13 and picking up MissNine from their schools today, I decided to fit in a trip to Ross Dress For Less. (Do you think that there's a guy called Ross Dressforless somewhere in the world? Oh, I hope so.) I am nearly physically unable to make myself pay full retail for anything, so I get quite a bit of the family gear from places like Ross and TJ Maxx and Marshall's, and I think we look pretty decent on most days. Anyway, my practiced eagle-eye was zooming in on potential scores on the clothing racks when I gradually become aware of a very loud, repeated sound, which could accurately be compared to THIS.

Everyone else in the store was also aware of it, as I could see in the turning heads, frowns, and clucking disapproval noises coming from the other shoppers. This terrible, brain-melting sound was not at all a Moluccan Cockatoo, but what looked to be an 18-mo-old boy rattling around unsecured in his mother's bright blue Ross shopping cart. He was not ill or injured, just VERY VERY UNHAPPY about shopping at Ross that day. Now, as a parent, I totally understand that young children are prone to making loud outbursts of displeasure or joy; they are to be expected and, I believe, reasonably tolerated. HOWEVER, Mrs. Moluccan Cockatoo earns my digital wrath today, for she did absolutely NOTHING to better her child's shopping experience nor show the rest of us shoppers and the captive Ross workers any consideration whatsoever by taking her child out of the store until he was calm. She slowly kept on shopping, stopping often to text or look at an item of clothing, completely ignoring her child and the blindingly obvious aural discomfort he was causing EVERYONE.

This kept on for the entire 30 minutes of my Ross visit. The child's screeching was so loud that you could not hear the music over the store PA (a good thing) or have a single unshattered thought (a bad thing). I wondered if somehow he had grabbed a discount kitchen implement and had accidentally disemboweled himself in the cart; no, I looked, no baby entrails strewn about. Had he pinched his fingers in the cart? No. Was he on fire? No. Was his mother on fire, and he was trying desperately to alert us? Sadly, no.

It gets better, folks.

As I made my way towards the checkout, I made the mistake of looking to my right for a nanosecond at a shiny object in the purse aisle. BAM!!! My cart received quite a jolt, and I was startled and instantly VERY VERY UNHAPPY. As I looked over, I saw yet another toddler and her sister, who was about three years old, and that they had teamed together to procure an empty Ross cart and were happily busy slamming it into anything in their path. WELL, OK, I seethed to myself, THEY ARE VERY VERY YOUNG, BUT WHERE IS THEIR G*DD*MNED MOTHER? OH. OH. LIKE FIVE FEET AWAY, WATCHING AND NOT DOING ANYTHING. I SEE. I stared at her in disbelief as she stood, WATCHING THEM, and TEXTING, and NOT WATCHING HER OTHER TWO KIDS EITHER. Did I miss something? Was Ross having a sale on HELL today?

After about two minutes Mrs. Cart Slam made the weakest possible effort to reign in her daughters, saying in the quietest, lamest voice, "Hey. Stop. You guys." Of course, the kids either didn't hear her or didn't care, and no one at Ross was willing to step in and say, YOU KNOW, MA'AM, IT'S A NO. As the toddler made another run at my cart, I caught her eye with my own Deeply Honed Stinkeye, shook my head in the gravest manner possible, and said, "NO" with some finality. Her tiny face dropped a bit as she stared back at me, and she walked away from her cart and back to her lame-ass mother.

I finally got to checkout, where I noticed the Customer Service Agent was cringing and rolling her eyes at the ongoing outbursts from Cockatoo Boy. I looked at her, sympathetically, and said, "Just pretend he's some kind of exotic tropical bird from the zoo. It helps."

She burst out laughing, said "Oh my god, you're right!" and kept laughing as she finished checking me out, and I escaped out the sliding glass doors to the sweet, blissful sounds of the late-afternoon suburban parking lot.


I don't think there's much more to add to these two examples of leadership other than this: think carefully about the character of the people you choose to vote into office, and remember that despite the corruption and game-playing and division, there are still good people out there who wish to serve the public honorably.

(via The Huffington Post, 1/25/12)

"Arizona Governor Jan Brewer traded words with President Obama after she greeted him at a Phoenix airport Wednesday.
Brewer and Obama "spoke intensely for a few minutes" after he landed at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, according to a White House pool report. At one point, the GOP governor shook her finger at the president.
"He was a little disturbed about my book," Brewer told a reporter after the incident, referring to her political memoir, "Scorpions for Breakfast." In the book, Brewer depicted Obama as "patronizing" during an earlier meeting.
"I said to him that I have all the respect in the world for the office of the president," Brewer said. "The book is what the book is. I asked him if he read the book. He said he read the excerpt. So."
Brewer said Obama told her "that he didn't feel I had treated him cordially."
"I said I was sorry he felt that way but I didn't get my sentence finished," Brewer said. "Anyway, we're glad he's here. I'll regroup."


There's nothing like a hot, delicious bowl of soup on a chilly winter night to comfort the body and soul. Here are a few from Campbell's that you might like to pick up the next time you go to the grocery store -- be sure to ask a clerk for them if they are hard to find on the shelves! MMM MMM GOOD!


OK, err buddy...TODAY is the DAY! Before we go any further, please take a moment to play this 23 second fanfare:

Today is Popthomology Redesign Day, complete with a BRAND-SPANKIN'-NEW LOGO designed by YOURS TRULY, who is NORMALLY NOT A DESIGNER! WOOOO! (Ed. note to readers on Open Salon and RSS: this will make no sense at all to you unless you go to the site itself, which I hear increases lifespan, brings monetary good luck, and makes you irresistible to Tremendously Attractive People)

Fun facts: the cartoon girl is writing on a device from the Distant Past called a "Typewriter," and the Popthomology logo font is from the The Mary Tyler Moore Show. I'm gonna make it after all (hat toss)! I'd tell you how long it took for me to put the glasses on the letters just the right way, but it might be too embarrassing to confess.

It's a big change overall from the last groovy incarnation of the site, and a HUGE difference from how the site looked when I started it almost 4 years ago as Diarrhea Island. All the usual content like People Like Lists and Weirdo Picture Corner remains along with the now-MASSIVE archives, but some things like the daily posts are compacted so the page loads faster and it's easier to navigate. There's a cool new Flickr slideshow and nifty social media buttons to find even MORE content I have (like concert photos and my Twitter blather) or to share stuff you like on the site with your fave social media sites, email, etc. There's a paginator and a back-to-top button, and an Amazon widget you can click if you'd like to get the blog on yer Kindle or buy a few other things I worked on over the years. There's a gorgeous and bold new background image from Canadian poster artist Vittorio Fiorucci from a 1965 film festival, indefatigable Copyright Go-Go Dancers and the weirdest and therefore funniest thing of all...Popthomology SWAG! Yes, although it doesn't really make a lot of sense, now you can actually buy Popthomology t-shirts, water bottles, mugs, and BEST OF ALL, UNDERWEAR! My entire life has been leading up to this moment, where I might someday know that a stranger on the internet has something I made on his or her unmentionables. Did I mention the underwear is MAGIC and FREE KITTENS come with every purchase? No? Oh good, because that's totally not true.

As I have the web design and coding skills of a not-terribly-bright monkey, this deal only got done through the extremely generous and tenacious efforts of my dear friend WN, who spent hours with me online trying to figure out how to make everything I wanted to have here work in a template that was NOT HAPPY about being modified. Where I would have given up in frustration, thrown a stick at my laptop and screamed, "EEE EEE EEE EEE!," he persisted until all the problems were solved and bugs were gone. There may be a few still lurking, but I think most everything seems good to go. We'll probably play around with it a bit more in the next few days, so it might look a little dodgy for a few minutes here and there. Be sure to call CNN about it, though; they need important stuff to write about there.

Anyway, I hope you like the new look as much as I do, and it's back to the business of getting stuff on here that is fun and/or interesting for you to read! Thanks!


I've been working hard at a BIG site redesign the last few days, and by "working hard" I mean spending hours looking for cool widgets and drinking peppermint chai. In-between widget wrangling and peculiar beverages, I also happened across some pretty funny images that I thought I would put up here for you, all Tumblr-style. Oh, imagine, I think I will say to my kids, imagine that once upon a time I lived in a world of teacup contest monkeys, a $2500 15MB hard drive, toaster bacon, Bob Barker in Sonny Bono's fur vest, and the Stove-A-Sink-A-Fridge!

Back to design "work" I go, and maybe to water my monkey.


Tonight, after my ire and despair buttons were poked hard by yet another painful GOP debate (this time coming from South Carolina), I remembered something I hadn't thought about in a long time. It was something a friend said -- a friend I really liked, a very bright, funny, loyal guy. He had grown up in Georgia, moved to the West to go to school, and stayed out West to build his professional career and raise a family. I found out that he held some markedly different viewpoints than I did on the topic of Black Americans, which I found very puzzling and very, very disappointing. He didn't at first elaborate much when asked directly about justifying racism. He just said this, and I have never forgotten it:

"You can't understand. It's different down there. The culture,'d have to have lived there to know what I'm talking about."

My immediate reaction was defensive, although not out-and-out combative, not wanting to have some kind of stupid fight with him over my kitchen table on a relaxed and sunny Sunday afternoon. But how dare he say I couldn't understand, and worse, implied that if I had ever lived in Georgia, I would agree with him! Me, a born (Midwest) Northerner and Western transplant! A liberal, even! Not very likely, pal.

"It's different down there."

Well...sure it is, of course. Everyone knows that the Civil War still seems to be going on in many of our Southern states, the effects of hundreds of years of slavery and slave ownership deeply rooted. But...why? My friend seemed to be saying that the "culture" of the Southern Black was to blame, not the bitter Mr. White Water Cannon. He didn't have any problems at all with the black people out West, he said, as I struggled to hold back comments that would have wiped away his wide, friendly grin. His take on the general interests, habits, and activities of Southern Blacks were a litany of racial stereotypes, offered with no smugness, no searing hatred, and with some amount of self-aware embarrassment, but offered nonetheless.

It was hard to sit there, because I knew I could never really see my friend in the same way again. My anger slowly filtered down to a resigned, final sadness, nothing that could be seen by him from my smile as we changed the topic and I brought him a cold Bass beer from the kitchen.

What do I know about the South, really? Personally? Nothing. I've spent very little time in any of our Southern states, other than multiple vacations in suburban-y Sarasota, Florida, which of course doesn't count as "the real Southern experience," a few days running up and down Texas, a day trip to Lake of the Ozarks, and time so briefly spent on roads and hotel rooms in Oklahoma, Kentucky, and West Virginia as to offer no memorable "culture" moments at all. What do I know about Southern Black Culture? What the hell is Southern Black Culture? I don't know. Does it exist, and if it does, whose version of it should I believe? Can I understand, or can I never understand what it is like to be anything other than I am, or be able to intake the complexities of having been raised in a place that once sold humans like farm animals?

In 2012, I hear men running for United States President use barely-concealed racist code words in their speeches, to cheers and claps from their audience members in South Carolina. I remember my friend and his words, and my heart breaks a bit, again.


Once again, some artwork handed to me by MissNine with no explanation. She's correct, of course.


I can't think of a more plainly-spoken genre of music than good ol' American country. Hip hop comes close, but I find the urban-style plain-talk to be liberally interspersed with lots of bragging exaggeration, too. No, country music has thrived for years on simple, direct expressions of down-home life, which millions of people all over the world can relate to, even if they do not drive a truck, have all their own teeth, and have never been further south than Toledo (Ohio or Spain).

Country music is also often funny, by winking intent or sincere misadventure. (For the latter, please click HERE to enjoy the wonder that is Red Sovine, GENIUS.) Today, I am going to bring you a few vintage country gems addressing those lyrical unblessed...with traditionally-appealing physical features. Ladies and gentlemen, Five "Ugly" Songs of Country Music! Please to enjoy!

Country music legends Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty team up here to sing "You're The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly." That the White Stripes didn't cover this is a massive disappointment. It needs to be resurrected!

The Maddox Brothers and Rose just are not pulling any punches here in advocating a girl who is "Ugly and Slouchy." This is a sentiment-companion to the infamous "If You Want To Be Happy For The Rest Of Your Life."

Kris Kristofferson wrote "I Hate Your Ugly Face" when he was only 11 years old. Here he is performing it quite a few years later. Brilliance, young sir, brilliance.

Bobby Bare slides an old joke into some generic country-pop and calls it a hit: "I Never Went To Bed With An Ugly Woman." That's not all he slid an "old joke" into, HA HA.

And finally, George Jones and Johnny Paycheck own their own less-than-movie-star looks with 1980's "When You're Ugly Like Us (You Naturally Got To Be Cool)." And rich, guys... don't forget rich!


Today, this is the question that is being asked, where the "me" in question ranges from internet giants like Google, Wikipedia, and Reddit all the way to...Popthomology, which as we know is just actually me.

Would you miss me, or them, or almost any internet site you may visit on a regular basis if someday you logged in, expected to search for info or watch a video or listen to a cover song made on Garage Band by some mom and her kid and saw something like this instead?

If the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect Intellectual Property Act currently being discussed in Congress pass into United States law, your Internet will not be your Internet anymore; it will belong solely to the U.S. government and Big Entertainment corporation lawyers. No warning, no recourse, no recovery. Sites would just be gone. We already have legislation in place to combat Internet piracy, so ask again: why are the backers of SOPA/PIPA throwing millions at our government representatives in order to sway them to vote for these bills? Make no mistake about what the endgame is here: more corporate control infiltrating our government, and a very heavy hand on the throat of free speech and the First Amendment, in the cruel guise of protecting art.

Please take a moment to watch this video from Fight For The, which explains the issue further in a nicely-viewable way.

And you have to know something is REALLY bad if even Hitler is against it.

Just a heads-up: if SOPA/PIPA pass, both of the videos I've just posted could be removed, Popthomology shut down, and YouTube and Vimeo held criminally responsible for hosting them. Not a joke, and not unlikely.

So today is the day where you take the time to write your Congressional representatives and tell them that SOPA/PIPA must not be allowed into law. If you are an artist, you might like to sign this form; everyone else can use this link.

Would you miss me? Would you miss us, and the Internet as a place of free expression and information? Would you wish you had done something before it was too late?


Dear Wisconsin,

Today is an Official Day of Thanks for me. My deepest gratitude goes towards the over one million citizens of Wisconsin who signed petitions in support of recalling Governor Scott Walker. In a state with only 5.6 million residents, 25% of whom are under 18, getting this amount of signatures in such a short time is a stunning political achievement. It's historic, unprecedented in American recall history.

Over one million people, in these jaded, apathetic times where hope is sometimes very hard to come by, decided that they were going to fight back, clean and legal. Over one million people sent the message that any Governor who claims to represent Wisconsin must represent all of Wisconsin. Over one million people believe that Wisconsin is not going to be a state that is bought up and run by billionaire businessmen as a solely-for-their-profit enterprise.

Over one million people still believe that each one of us has value, and we deserve a voice in our futures.

So, I thank...

...the everyday people who took the time to stand out in the freezing winter weather, day after day even over the holidays, to gather signatures.

...the everyday people who went door-to-door, took the time to speak thoughtfully and civilly with people about the issues surrounding Walker's actions, inactions, and agendas, and about why they are so harmful to the state and our country.

...politicians like Kelda Helen Roys, Chris Larson, and Peter Barca, who despite being completely shut out from being able to represent their constituents, never gave up, and served to inspire people all over the country and the world with their tenacity and guts in speaking out against political corruption.

...all the people who signed: the Democrats, the Republicans, the Independents, the 18-year-old first-time voter, the 100-year-old who has voted in every election...every single one of you who stopped what you were doing when you could have kept on going and signed the petitions, all while being carpet-bombed by pro-Walker commercials and ads paid for from unlimited corporate coffers.

All of you are my heroes today, as I see those everyday people haul in box after box after box of signatures to be verified and counted. Amazing.

Today we celebrate. And tomorrow we must keep fighting. Walker and his backers will go down ugly, count on it, and will throw every possible roadblock, dirty trick, and disinformation to try to remain in power. Keep talking, keep giving out facts over lies, keep cool, keep focused. Wisconsin, you are more important than you could ever know.

With love, your Milwaukee-born friend,



It's true: I devote almost none of my time to television or movies. I don't say this as some kind of a brag, which would be silly and potentially obnoxious as it can be when you are talking to a guy about that seething undercurrent of jealousy between Mary Ann and Ginger on "Gilligan's Island," and he says drily, "I've never seen that show. We didn't have a TV; we read the classics and played lacrosse." Get outta here, Mitt. Anyway, I suppose the bottom line is that most days I like to DO and MAKE things more than WATCH things, and it just takes a certain amount of time each day to locate screaming goat YouTubes and make hacky political Photoshops for this blog. You understand.

So, with that in mind, why did I choose to watch the Golden Globes broadcast last night when I saw only TWO of the nominated films and exactly NONE of the television series last year, and I just LOATHE pompous, over-long awards shows? Well, watch host Ricky Gervais! He's very funny, smart, and completely untrustworthy, which are qualities I really like in an entertainer. Wisely, I put the show onto my DVR to lessen the pain of commercials and 1000 cuts to faces of bored Botoxed celebs in the audience.

Therefore, with little relevant artistic content rattling around in my head to confuse me, I bring you my brief list of likes and dislikes from the show. (All photos/video courtesy Golden Globes)

LIKE: Ricky Gervais. He was indeed smart and funny, and really too smart and funny for that show, which made it all enjoyably awkward. I only wish he would've done MORE. If you are not getting drinks thrown at you or if you are not removed from the show during the show, you do need to work harder.

DISLIKE: Ricky Gervais' shiny red suit. Unflattering and odd. I could change this to a "LIKE" if he wore it just to piss people off.

LIKE: That one of the two movies I saw, "The Artist," won a bunch of stuff.

DISLIKE: Bringing on the cute but extremely-hyper Jack Russell Terrier who also starred in "The Artist" took attention away from the sincere guy who was trying to say a nice acceptance speech about his dad and stuff.

LIKE: Tina Fey photobombing Amy Poehler's nominee close-up.

DISLIKE: The horrible, horrible, horrible and obvious orange spray tans. Rob Lowe's was especially hilarious as he stood next to fellow presenter and very pale person, Julianne Moore.

LIKE: Morgan Freeman's acceptance speech, by far the best of the night, was funny, sweet, humble, reflective, and perfectly delivered and timed.

DISLIKE: Madonna. Just every single thing there would be to dislike about a person is there for me. Pathetic Euro Trash accent? Check. Revolting gristle arms (someone on Twitter called them "snow crab arms," HA HA HA) and creepy plastic surgery? Check. Overtalking? Check. Desperately unfunny and clumsy attempt to zing Gervais? Check. Smug, gargantuan ego-drenched acceptance speech, which mentioned "MY song" and "MY movie" about a zillion times? Oh, check. As it has been since the first day I saw her writhe around on MTV with her ho gear with a voice best suited for not singing anything EVER, I wait for the day she explodes into tiny pieces of carbon and silicone from her own prodigious methane output.

LIKE: Miss Golden Globes, Andie McDowell's daughter, was lovely and adorable, which is not unreasonable as her parents were both supermodels.

DISLIKE: Zooey Deschanel's overly-adorable mugging during her nominee close-up. There is a shelf life of "Hello Kitty" cutesy, and in another five or ten years, it's going to look like Bette Davis in "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" Which, of course, would be STONE COLD AWESOMELY AWFUL.

LIKE: Jean Dujardin's smile. Oh my goodness. HiiIIIIIiiiiiIIIIIIiiiiIIII.

DISLIKE: The questionable facial hair grooming of several of the guys. Too metrosexual (Bradley Cooper) or too Charles Manson (Jeremy Irons), and I so hope William H. Macy's 'stache is for an acting role.

LIKE: The way Helen Mirren, Jodie Foster, and Meryl Streep improve with age.

DISLIKE: That Kate Beckinsale didn't go for the comedy when Seth Rogan cracked that he had a boner. She totally should have reached over and done a 2-second package check and reported back.

LIKE: Winner Woody Allen, for not attending.

DISLIKE: The Beverly Hilton Hotel. The room looked like it hadn't been updated since 1976. Also, smashing all the tables together so that it was difficult for winners to get to the stage to accept their awards made was lame.

LIKE: Winner Martin Scorsese, for attending.

DISLIKE: Elton John, who is looking (even more) like a sour-faced Poodle groomer these days.

LIKE: Matt LeBlanc, for not dying his hair. Guys, don't dye your hair. It rarely looks better and/or real.

DISLIKE: George Clooney finding it necessary to let us know how awesome his good pal Brad Pitt is.

LIKE: Christopher Plummer thanking his beautiful wife in a poetic and romantic way, causing the calloused Hollywood folk to actually audibly swoon.

DISLIKE: Jessica Lange's dress, which served to highlight all the things one doesn't want highlighted. See Jane Fonda for how to totally rock an evening gown in your dotage.

LIKE: Winner Octavia Spencer's beautiful lavender dress and wickedly-sharp up-do.

DISLIKE: Angelina Jolie's all-too-spooky Vampira Skeletor look.

LIKE: That the show convinced me that I should at least see at least a couple more of the movies, and go see "The Artist" a second time just to sigh over Jean Dujardin again.

DISLIKE: That Jean Dujardin is married, dammit.


As someone who grew up in the Midwest, I am rather charmed by the giddy reactions from Miss Nine and our dog Ellie to today's rare Seattle snow. Please to enjoy, too.