George Carlin's Modern Man

Pure comedic genius. The transcript is below.

I’m a modern man
A man for the millennium
Digital and smoke free

A diversified multicultural postmodern deconstructionist
Politically anatomically and ecologically incorrect

I’ve been uplinked and downloaded
I’ve been inputted and outsourced
I know the upside of downsizing
I know the downside of upgrading

I’m a high tech lowlife
A cutting edge state-of-the-art bicoastal multitasker
And I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond

I’m new wave but I’m old school
And my inner child is outward bound
I’m a hot wired heat seeking warm hearted cool customer
Voice activated and biodegradable

I interface from a database
And my database is in cyberspace

So I’m interactive
I’m hyperactive
And from time-to-time
I’m radioactive

Behind the eight ball
Ahead of the curve
Riding the wave
Dodging a bullet
Pushing the envelope

I’m on point
On task
On message
And off drugs

I got no need for coke and speed
I got no urge to binge and purge

I’m in the moment
On the edge
Over the top
But under the radar

A high concept
Low profile
Medium range ballistic missionary
A street-wise smart bomb
A top gun bottom feeder

I wear power ties
I tell power lies
I take power naps
I run victory laps

I’m a totally ongoing big foot slam dunk rainmaker with a proactive outreach

A raging workaholic
A working rageaholic
Out of rehab
And in denial

I got a personal trainer
A personal shopper
A personal assistant
And a personal agenda

You can’t shut me up
You can’t dumb me down
‘Cause I’m tireless
And I’m wireless

I’m an alpha male on beta blockers
I’m a non-believer and an over-achiever
Laid back but fashion forward
Up front
Down home
Low rent
High maintenance
Super size
Long lasting
High definition
Fast acting
Oven ready
And built to last

I’m a hands on
Footloose
Knee jerk
Head case
Prematurely post-traumatic
And I have a love child who sends me hate mail

But I’m feeling
I’m caring
I’m healing
I’m sharing
A supportive bonding nurturing primary care giver

My output is down
But my income is up
I take a short position on the long bond
And my revenue stream has its own cash flow

I read junk mail
I eat junk food
I buy junk bonds
I watch trash sports
I’m gender specific
Capital intensive
User friendly
And lactose intolerant

I like rough sex…
I like rough sex
I like tough love
I use the f word in my email
And the software on my hard drive is hard core, no soft porn

I bought a microwave at a mini mall
I bought a mini van in a mega store
I eat fast food in the slow lane

I’m toll free
Bite sized
Ready to wear
And I come in all sizes

A fully equipped
Factory authorized
Hospital tested
Clinically proven
Scientifically formulated medical miracle

I’ve been pre-washed
Pre-cooked
Pre-heated
Pre-screened
Pre-approved
Pre-packaged
Post-dated
Freeze-dried
Double-wrapped
Vacuum-packed
And I have an unlimited broadband capacity

I’m a rude dude
But I’m the real deal
Lean and mean
Cocked, locked and ready to rock
Rough tough and hard to bluff

I take it slow
I go with the flow
I ride with the tide
I got glide in my stride
Drivin’ and movin’
Sailin’ and spinnin’
Jivin’ and groovin’
Wailin’ and winnin’

I don’t snooze
So I don’t lose
I keep the pedal to the metal
And the rubber on the road

I party hearty
And lunch time is crunch time

I’m hanging in
There ain’t no doubt
And I’m hanging tough
Over and out.

Naturally, the words are the George Carlin’s copyright, and only he could have come up with this genius concoction.

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Condensed knowledge for 2007-09-19

A bit of a health theme to this edition of condensed knowledge:

  • A new CPR technique was discovered. It’s called OAC-CPR (Only rhythmic Abdominal Compression). As its name implies, you only press on the abdomen, eliminating the risk of broken ribs, mouth-to-mouth, and fatigue from pushing so hard. Definitely worth looking into this!
  • Prozac found in the drinking water in the UK. Apparently so many people are on the anti-depressant in England, that it can now be found, diluted, in the water supply, after having passed through their bodies, into the sewers, through the water treatment plants, etc. Although the “experts” are saying there’s no risk, I doubt it. I mean, this is a drug, found active, in the water supply!
  • WD40 turns out to be a great help for bad joints. Despite the precautions written on the cans, rubbing it into the skin was of tremendous help to a man suffering from joint pain. Not sure that I’d recommend this.
  • Aspartame is the behind the spike in suicides for teen and pre-teen girls. Apparently, it’s a powerful mood-changer — it causes depression. Something to think about the next time you buy your children something with Nutrasweet or Aspartame as the sweetener.
  • Exercising in traffic is bad for your heart. Now that’s something I’ve known was wrong for some time. It just didn’t make sense to me when I saw people running on the sidewalk, next to heavy traffic, breathing in all those noxious fumes. When I run, I want to breathe fresh, healthy air, not someone’s nasty car exhaust. I just couldn’t get why they’d put themselves through something that unhealthy. It turns out the particulates from vehicle emissions decrease our blood’s ability to clot, and restrict the amount of blood that reaches the heart immediately upon exposure.
  • Mobile phones are as dangerous as smoking. So reads a recent headline… People have gone back and forth on the safety of mobile phones for years. Now the EU has finally decided to pick a side and take action. The article’s in Romanian, but what it says is that governments are starting to take mitigating action, first by warning people of the risks, and then by looking at ways to minimize exposure to WiFi radiation. They’re recommending that people go back to using wired Internet connections instead of wireless ones.

Now for some funny stuff:

And some economic discussion:

  • Greenspan on Iraq war, oil link. He confirms what I’ve thought and said for some time. In his talk with Matt Lauer, he touches on the housing bubble and the fiscal irresponsibility of the current administration, but he has no compliments for the Democrats, either. Last, but no least, he says the dollar may be replaced by the euro as the reserve currency of choice.
  • Transparent Investing: what your broker doesn’t want you to know. Here’s a site that offers a purportedly frank discussion of index investing. Definitely worth a look.

Condensed knowledge for 2007-08-21

  • Knight News Challenge: Round 2 Launches. The Knight News Challenge, in which winners get grants ranging from tiny to huge, is in its second year. It awards big money for innovative ideas using digital experiments to transform community news. The contest is run by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Last year’s winners won awards ranging from $15K to $5 million. If you’ve got a worthwhile idea that’s news-related, by all means, submit it!
  • ProBlogger.net has a great post that points out five WP plugins that can help with managing your comments and responding to readers.
  • Brian Auer of the Epic Edits Weblog has a post on the differences between exposing for highlights, shadows or midtones.
  • A couple of Russians put together a wry video where they demonstrate a new product, the Americanizer. Their English accent is a bit thick, so pay close attention.
  • On the same blog, English Russia, you’ll find another post with HDR photos of the Moscow sewers. These are pretty well done, and I do believe I spotted a crocodile in two of them…
  • The top tech blogs are revolting against Wikipedia’s “no follow” link policy by using the same rel=”no follow” tag in their outgoing links to Wikipedia. Alright! Wikipedia’s been getting a lot of link love for years, and I think they’ve been entirely ungrateful by not responding in kind.
  • Sal Marinello, writing for BlogCritics, has a few words to say about the famed “300 Workout”, the physical regime that prepared the actors for their roles in that movie. A lot of people got it wrong. Also very worth checking out is the site of the physical trainers that put together that workout and trained the actors, Gym Jones. Have a look at the Video section. Very different stuff from what you see in gyms today, but you can’t argue with the results.
  • Mental_Floss has a GREAT post on life before air conditioning. Why is it great? Because it points out why today’s construction is so horribly shoddy — our overreliance on air conditioning lets builders get away with using cardboard and plywood for what passes for homes in the DC area. The homes of old were built with thick insulation, out of stone or brick, and they could do just fine without A/C. If we’d be without A/C nowadays, we couldn’t live in our homes. Kind of makes me sad for all these people buying McMansions on River Road and Georgetown Pike and the like. I see the way they’re built, and it’s an insult to millenia of good building practices…
  • The Daily Mail has an article on spotting illness by looking at our faces.
  • On a similar note, Deputy Dog has a post on the 5 scariest medical mistakes. Don’t read it during lunch…
  • Have you ever wondered about the 100 Inuit words for snow? Here they are.
  • Hans Rosling gave a speech at TED this year, and they’ve posted it to their website. It’s really, really good stuff. You will not regret the 19 minutes spent watching it, I guarantee it. It’s about poverty and developing countries, but he’s got a very different take on things.

Humor and societal norms

If I’d taken some sociology classes in college, I might have gotten this point sooner: humor is driven, by and large, by societal norms. Furthermore, it is usually in contrast (marked or absurd) to those same norms. Allow me to illustrate.

Japan: most of us know that public conduct there has been driven by very strict rules, for as long as history holds. For the most part, it still is. Everyone’s supposed to be proper and dignified. The very regimented lifestyle, and lack of personal space, I might add, leads to the desire to escape it all, to do something completely different. Hence, Japanese humor and comedy focuses on the absurd, on the unlikely, on the odd, the weird, etc. If I’d gotten this sooner, I wouldn’t have asked why Japanese ads are so embarrassing a while back. Now I understand, and I can begin to enjoy it.

Take a video like this for example, a “study” of the best way to escape farts. Only the Japanese could have dreamed this up.

Or how about this follow-up to the Human Tetris video I posted before?

England: No need to explain much here. In the land of the stiff upper lip, public behavior was excruciatingly dry and complex, at least for a particular class — so much so, that most English humor focuses entirely on it, and the contrast between said behavior and that of the lower classes. A search for Benny Hill, Mr. Bean or Harry Enfield on YouTube suffices to illustrate my point. The behavior of the upper classes is so captivating when skewered, that even bastardized versions of such behavior, the ones that trickled down to the bourgeoisie and the middle class, are fascinating. Keeping Up Appearances was one show that capitalized on this.

USA: You might ask why current humor here in the good old US kind of stinks (at least I do). Well, to answer my own question, I think it’s because we’ve been free of restrictive societal norms, at least when it comes to public behavior. In a way, we’ve neutered one of our most potent sources of humor, though it wasn’t done on purpose. We started out with a few civilized cities and mostly wilderness and farms, and it’s still pretty much that way ;-).

Most people are still relaxed in public, and getting even more relaxed. Americans just don’t ascribe to certain norms when out in society, and to a certain extent, this is excusable. In a melting pot like ours, standards differ from family to family, and without huge, focused, national efforts to introduce some standards, things will not improve.

Fortunately, we did have those annoying yuppies in the 80s and early 90s, and we could make fun of them for a while, until that got old. The movie Trading Places (1983, IMDB listing) has some pretty good examples of pseudo-aristocratic behavior just ripe for skewering.

So, here in the States, we’re fresh out of good material unless we tap into history. Or, we could always make fun of how indecently relaxed people have become in public. For example, not a day goes by that I don’t see people wearing unsightly plastic clogs (you know, the “fashionable” kind, the sort that give you athlete’s foot and make your feet smelly) or low-cut jeans that make me wonder what’s more disgusting — the fact that they’re not falling off even though I can plainly see the butt crack, or the plentiful layers of fat that flow over the waistline.

At any rate, the point that I wanted to get across is that I finally get it: humor, by and large, is driven by societal norms, which of course, differ from society to society. I’m beginning to enjoy Japanese humor. I even get why those ads featuring American celebrities are so absurd. They have to be. When you wear a suit and have to act proper all day long, even at home, you long for something completely different.

No matter what culture or nation we talk about, as people, we all share a basic set of needs and wants. One of those is laughter. While the things that make us laugh may differ from region to region, we all want to laugh, and we enjoy ourselves even more when we laugh with others. It’s nice (at least for me) that I can get to understand other cultures through their humor. It’s certainly an interesting way to look at their societies.

Funny videos

It’s Monday and I’m swamped. I’ve got a ton of photos to post-process, and various other things have piled up as well. There are a couple of reviews in the queue, plus a few condensed knowledge posts, so watch for those later. Today, you get funny videos.

I love this computer monster. If all computer “monsters” were like this, working in IT would actually be a fun job. Not to mention that this would be a great way to dispose of old hardware.

Those Japanese are at it again with Human Tetris:

A compilation of people getting frightened:

Here’s some more great Harry Enfield stuff: The Conjugal Rights Guide.

Do you enjoy the mind-numbingly ridiculous security checks at airports? Yeah, me neither. That’s why we can all relate to this “TSA-approved” video:

Darth Vader spoofs are particularly funny to me. Perhaps it has to do with the marked contrast between the movie persona and what we see here…

… and here.

British comedy

I’ve always had a soft spot for British comedy. It’s hard to pinpoint why, but there it is. My favorites are Benny Hill, Monty Python and Mr. Bean. I’ve recently discovered Harry Enfield’s work, and I love his black and white mockumentaries (but only those, not his color work).

Here’s Benny Hill, in “The life of Maurice Dribble, from womb to tomb”:

Or how about this classic hospital scene? There’s the classic Benny Hill twist at the end:

Here’s Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean), in a couple of clips from another famous show called “Blackadder”. In this first clip, a secret mission is planned.

In this second Blackadder clip, the origin of WWI is discussed:

John Cleese performs his own eulogy in this clip from the 2006 International Comedy Festival:

Harry Enfield’s comedic genius shines in this clip, entitled “Women keep your virtue”:

While British humor is still likeable nowadays, it has lost its lustre and subtletly. It’s now crude and lewd. Have a look at this clip from a show called “Extras”. This is definitely a few orders of quality below the vintage British comedy I like.

The Awful Truth (1937)

The Awful Truth (1937)Ligia and I just watched The Awful Truth (1937) for the second time. We love it! The cast was perfect for the roles, the script was witty, and the direction was wonderful. Cary Grant plays Jerry Warriner, a husband who finds his wife Lucy’s tale (Irene Dunne) of car trouble hard to swallow when she tells him she spent an innocent night at her father’s cabin with her music instructor. He, of course, has his own tall tale to tell — or rather, avoid telling.

They argue, and they divorce, but there’s a 90-day grace period. And of course, there’s Mr. Smith, the dog — Jerry uses him as a pretext to visit Lucy. During that time, each does his and her best to split their rebound romances through all sorts of wacky shenanigans. It’s a pleasure to watch them dog it out, each motivated by the love they still bear for the other. There’s a wonderful conclusion to the film, driven home eloquently by the director’s use of a grandfather clock and his/her figurines, animated by Cary and Irene. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!