I’m happy to report that on March 23, 2009, The Lint Screen had its 10,000th hit, meaning Lint has been served to over 20,000 eyes, providing some of those eyes are not covered in eyepatches. My blog stats report I have minimal readership among pirates, but I do pretty well with shoulder-perching parrots.

    10,000 hits in just over eight months– not too shabby. With any luck, the next 10,000 will happen in eight days.

    To get the ball rolling, here’s a classic TV spot that certainly deserves a good gander and some swing time:

    I’m sure when this spot originally aired it didn’t have that ugly url plastered on it. It’s crass– like putting a Pepsi logo on the Mona Lisa’s face. But still, ain’t those chimps something!

    Thanks for catching Lint. Please share the Lint experience like bad germs.

Being bad has its rewards

Losing gobs of money has its rewards

    Americans own 80% of some company called AIG, which I believe stands for Assets Instantly Gone. We’ve taken almost $200 billion of our taxpayer money and shoveled it into this black hole that has lost trillions.

    Now these same inconsiderate American taxpayers are bellyaching because the brainiacs running AIG were paid a paltry $165 million in bonuses. We’re mad as hell and we want our money back!

    What a nation of ingrates we are!

    It takes brains, skill and dogged determination to mismanage funds the way these devoted AIG fatcats did. They did this all without much government oversight or regulation.

    Now many of the same politicians who accepted financial industry lobbyist funds in election support, then passed laws to deregulate the industry so that companies like AIG could engage in risky speculation, are griping and finger pointing saying that AIG gambled foolishly and came up snake eyes. They say AIG is so enormous, we have to bail them out. Then these politicians get angry because AIG bigwigs are giving themselves a bonus bump for losing at the craps table.

    Hey, if we want them to continue their excellent work, we’ve got to pay the piper. This kind of money-flushing costs money! 

You've got to pay the piper, babes!

You've got to pay the piper, babes!

     If we don’t reward these people, if we tried to once again place government regulations in place that would restrict risky speculative gambling schemes, this company could actually make money! 

    And if that happened,  politicians wouldn’t have a boogie man to blame after they approved the bailout, our tax money would be spent on things that benefit society at large and our children and future generations would not have to live under the burden of gigundo debts to pay back. How’s that supposed to teach them character and grit? 

    $165 million is a drop in the bucket for all the benefits we receive from our AIG. This is our company, let’s do the right thing. 

    Maybe we should consider giving them raises, too.

 

 

He chased the snakes, now he chases the blues

He chased the snakes, now in honor of him, we chase the blues with green beer.

    I got my under-under-under graduate degree from St. Patrick’s Elementary School in Hubbard, Ohio. It was back in the days when nuns scoured classrooms in search of children under the influence of Satan. They wielded rulers of punishment and itched to dispense swift corrective discipline to evil wrongdoers. I still have the red palms to prove their mighty swings.

    At St. Pat’s, St. Patrick’s Day was a big deal. Although the student population was probably 80% non-Irish kids, everyone wanted to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. I was Irish on St. Paddy’s Day, and pretty much every day, and I resented these freeloaders hijacking ‘our’ holiday. All the Italian and Slavic kids sported lots of green on St. Patrick’s Day. In protest, I never wore green on the sainted day.

    “Hey, Scullin,” Bobbie Vespucci would accost me dressed in green necktie and shamrock lapel pin, “you’re Irish, right? Where’s your green?”

    “I don’t have to wear green,” I’d say coolly, wishing I had a shillelagh to clobber his skull, “I don’t have to pretend to be Irish–– I am Irish.” This would cheese off all the wannabes in their green. I’m sure they’d have liked to pummel me until I wore red dripping down my shirt. Let’s face it, nothing is more threatening to kids than the one who won’t succumb to peer pressure (“you’re all jumping off the cliff? No thanks, I’ll pass.”). Rebelling was a beautifully Irish thing to do.

The wearin' of the green, it's enough to make you vomit green

St. Paddy's celebration is enough to make you vomit green.

    Today I still rebel against St. Patrick’s Day. You won’t find me in some faux Irish pub trying to swim upstream through the sea of oppressive flesh to get my jar of Guinness. I shant drink the black love until the foam seeps up my gullet and back up my gob (your body’s subtle way of saying it’s “FULL”) and have my innards projectile onto some stranger’s Timberlands. It’s amateur hour, the whole St. Paddy’s Day bar-hopping-pub-crawling-beer-guzzling-puke-encrusted-shirt affair.

    St. Patrick’s Day has grown in importance and popularity thanks to the marketing efforts of beer companies and booze distillers. The holiday is now an alcoholic tidal wave that the masses gladly surf. As an adman, I don’t begrudge these marketers anything (I do have contempt for the florists and greeting card people, though–– the shameless money-grubbing hucksters). St. Patrick’s Day has grown in popularity because adults just don’t seem to have much fun anymore. At least not sanctioned fun.

    Like Halloween, St. Pat’s is a holiday where it’s fine for adults to get silly and let their inhibitions down (the liquid courage comes in handy). It’s Christmas without the presents. The growing popularity of St. Patrick’s Day proves that society is pretty uptight and could stand to let off some steam.

    Maybe we need to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day year ‘round. This doesn’t mean we have to get blasted and stumble home. But perhaps we could loosen up, have a wee bit of the fun a wee bit more often, without beer companies telling us it’s time to do so.

    Maybe we could not be so slavish to our Blackberries or iPhones. Perhaps we could try and resist being in a perpetual state of frantic pandemonium; dodging deadlines and covering our arses with voicemail and e-mail crumbs.

    Imagine actually slowing down a tad, not living by a self-imposed over-scheduled schedule of kiddie activities and obligation to our TIVO as it gathers gobs of entertainment for our escape from reality.

    Imagine stopping, for just a moment, breathing deeply and exhaling slowly. Maybe stretching, sitting and doing nothing but letting your mind wander (a free range brain is a beautiful thing).

    Indulge, babes. Take a nap. Call an old friend. Write a letter and thank an old teacher, mentor, client or associate. Listen, actually listen to some of your favorite music. Re-live those moments of your life when you heard those songs for the very first time and let the movies of the past play inside your head. You don’t need popcorn or Junior Mints.

    Visit the priceless vaults of your memories. They’re yours and they pay handsome dividends over time.

Rebel, what a beautifully Irish thing to do

Rebelling against the norm-- what a beautifully Irish thing to do.

    St. Patrick earned his chops for chasing the snakes out of Ireland. This St. Patrick’s Day, try to chase some of the snakes out of your hectic life. Enjoy your life more.

    Stop running full bore trying to keep up with your life. Slow down and enjoy your life and all those in it who make it worth living. Try and celebrate with them more often, not just on the sanctioned holidays but every day.

    That’s my message of good cheer–– given like a nun whacking your sweaty palm.

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day–– I raise a pint to ye.

    I’ll be the one not wearing green. Cheers!

 

Madoff Found His Cell Lacking Character, Style and Gold

Madoff Found His Cell Lacking Character, Style and Comfort

    Now that 70-year old Bernie Madoff has been tucked away in prison for up to 150 years (which is not a life sentence given that Madoff sold his soul to live forever), the notorious swindler is in a new legal battle with John Thain, ex-Chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch.

    Madoff found his closet-sized jail cell “pretty confining” so he hired Thain to decorate his new crossbar home. “John has an excellent eye,” Madoff said at the time he secured Thain’s services, “I know he’ll give me something that doesn’t feel so ‘prison-y’.”

    Thain, who was lambasted with bad P.R. earlier this year for spending $1.22 million in corporate funds to renovate two conference rooms, a reception area and his office (the tab included a  $35,000 commode and $1,400 wastebasket), recently opened an interior decorating firm called Johnny T’s Fab Designateria. He was excited to have Madoff as a client.

Thain is know for 'Style on a budget'

Thain is know for 'Style on a budget'

    Two men met in Madoff’s luxurious New York apartment over three weeks in February discussing the project. “I told John I was on a strict budget, my legal fees are outrageous. I said to him, I said, ‘Johnny, you’ve only got $100 million to play with. I know that’s less than $2 million a square foot but I need something really nice on a tight budget. Please give me something cozy. Maybe a gold-plated commode with emerald-encrusted T.P. holder, a Craftmatic Adjustable Bed that vibrates and dispenses Chteau Latour Pauillac 1990 or some other fine wine, maybe some dangling beads to separate the cell and make rooms look bigger and a rec area with a sequoia pool table or platinum ping pong table. Johnny nodded his head and said ‘No prob, Maddy, I gotcha covered, babe.”

Madoff says he feels like he's "in prison."

Madoff says he feels like he's "in prison."

    Thain proceeded to bill Madoff $50 million for partial payment and got down to work. Madoff felt confident he was in great hands for the next 150 years of confinement.

    When Madoff showed up to his new home recently, he was shocked to discover no gold commode, cool dangling beads, rec center or fancy wine-dispensing bed. His cell was standard issue bland with a couple boxes from IKEA stacked on the bed. Taped on the boxes was an envelope with a note from Thain and an invoice for an additional $50 million. The note read, “Dear Bernie: Since the budget was pretty tight, I got you a GLUR, RHEA, KRIG and FIIR decorating systems from an exclusive little Swedish company I’ve recently discovered. When you put these together, I think you’ll see your cell will take on a more palatial feel. You’re gonna love it babe! Please see about expediting my final payment. I’m a little strapped for cashola and the Swedes are leaning hard on me for their money. Thanks, dude, rock on rockstar! Johnny T.”

    Madoff feels like he’s been cheated and has contacted his lawyers to sue  Thain. Mr. Madoff is most upset that he cannot correctly assemble his fine Swedish furnishings. “There’s always like three parts left over,” a frustrated Madoff said throwing a small allen wrench against the wall.

    Thain could not be reached for comment.

    I read somewhere “Ask and ye shall receive.” So, I’ve asked just about everyone I’ve ever met for $16 million and some cashmere socks. So far, no takers.

    However, in my “About da Blog” section of this website, I asked if anyone had pictures of squirrels dressed as blacksmiths. Lo and behold, someone did– a bright young man named Scott. Here’s the goods.

A squirrel's work is never done.

A squirrel's work is never done.

Who wants rabbit stew?

He's either a blacksmith or a dentist.

 

Horseshoes, anyone?

Horseshoes, anyone?

    Scott even tells the story of these intrepid rodents @ http://wookielove.blogspot.com/

    Thanks, Scott, you’re my hero de jour. Thanks worldwide interwebs, you delight me. If anyone else has some snaps of squirrels dressed as blacksmiths, fork them over and I’ll happily share them with the universe at large.

    By the way, anyone have $16 million and some cashmere socks to spare?

    Pacific Coast Highway, somewhere in Malibu. I wake up, hydraulic pistons inside my head doing a number on my skull– like Keith Moon on an angry expresso bender. My eyes are crusted. Two vultures in a tree look down on me with beady hungry eyes. Seeing me move, they slowly flap their wings and take flight, disgusted.

    It’s a couple days after the Academy Awards after-parties, and this intrepid reporter will do his best to hunt and peck the stories I have seen. The ones I remember, at least. 

After the after-parties, all you have are the memories you can remember.

After the after-parties, all you have are the memories you can remember.

    After the Awards Ceremony, I get a ride with Hugh Jackman and Beyonce and we hit Elton John’s party and I’m doing the Mashed Potato with Jennifer Aniston when who walks in but Angelina with Brad, and I’m like, Jen– ohmygod, I cannot even believe they came here” and she was like “I don’t care, I am so totally over him” and I’m like “well, yeah, but I mean can you even believe she brought him here– maybe he’s still into you after all” and Jen flips her hair and says whatever” and then Angelina comes by and drops a B-bomb under her breath and Jen just goes ballistic and she’s all over Angie gouging her face and yanking her hair and I see Brad and he’s up at the bar checking out Reese Witherspoon and making moose-shaped hand shadows on the wall for Uma Thurman’s amusement and so I try and break-up the fight and I get clocked by Mickey Rourke who climbs up on the stair railing like’s he’s going to rain a ‘Ram’ down on me and I quickly get to my feet, grab Ron Howard and shove him into Mickey who topples down the stairs and knocks Halle Berry off her feet and then I see Kate Winslet and she’s using her Oscar as a martini stir stick so I grab it and begin brandishing it at Rourke saying “You want some of this, come ‘n get it, loser!” and then out of nowhere Sean Penn steps up with his Oscar in hand and says “Hey, man, Mickey’s my bro, you can’t dis him like that!” and Meryl Streep take a champagne bottle, smashes it on a table, turns the newfound weapon with sharp shards of green glass to Sean and says “Leave Scooter alone, or I will cut you but good!” and Daniel Craig confidently steps in to calm her down and he gets a face full of Meryl’s glassy rage and he’s gushing blood and yelling that she “can’t do that to James Bond!” and she’s dancing around like Ali in his prime, ready to attack any other takers when John Mayer comes by innocently with his guitar and Meryl jabs him hard in the shoulder and down he goes and Danny Boyle decides he’s seen enough of Meryl’s rampage and he begins tossing Oscar after Oscar at the great actress as she dodges them expertly (Rourke’s picking up the Oscars like a greedy fool, giggling) and finally some bouncers come in and break it up and Hugh Jackman picks up Meryl’s broken champagne bottle and duct tapes it to the back of his hand and says “Lookit, everyone, I’m Wolverine, baby!” and he starts doing some crazy soft shoe dance and I’ve had enough and as I’m leaving the party I see Marty Scorsese talking with Steve Spielberg and I tell them, I say,”You know, if there’s one thing I hate it’s a name dropper,” and I leave and the next thing I know I wake up with some vultures are eyeing me for breakfast and up on the hill there’s the ashes of a luxurious estate.

     This here Hollywood’s one rough place.

 

Anne Hathaway wore eau de mothballs...

Penelope Cruz wore eau de mothballs...

    Hollywood was stunned, shocked and bedazzled with the many surprises that strolled along the red carpet prior to the 2009 Academy Awards Ceremonies.

     Penelope Cruz couldn’t afford a new dress so she wore some old number that had the faint scent of mothballs and pipe tobacco. She won an Oscar for her acting in Vicky Cristina Barcelona and to goose her future salary so she can afford a new garment some day soon.

    Angelina Jolie looked simply ravishing in some sort of stitched fabric device she called a gown, while hubby Brad Pitt sported a backless yellow chiffon number that rode high on the thigh. He also sported some Jimmy Choo pumps that were like totally not sensible.

    Marisa Tormei wore pumps. Just pumps. And a pole.

    Kate Winslet wore a blue bathrobe with cute duckie slippers. She apologized for having overslept saying her alarm clock is on the fritz and she’s hitting Target soon for a new one. She has her heart set on one with a built-in radio!

    Meryl Streep wore a gray dress that was a bit more fashionable than the black habit she sported in Doubt, but frankly she commanded much more respect in the nun get-up.

    Anne Hathaway showed up in jeans and a sweatshirt, said she forgot the shindig was formal and ran home to quickly change.

    Amy Adams wore red. A very pretty red, not too light or too dark, just lots of really red red.

    Melissa Leo wore a stunning dress but was turned away by security guards. She explained she was nominated for Actress in a Leading Role, but it was no use. She was bounced.

    Christian Bale showed up with fists balled and began shouting a string of profanities. He was looking for Shane Hurlbut, a director of photography, who he said was ruining “every shot in my whole f****** life!” A police SWAT force tagged him with tranquilizers and hauled him away.

   One final note. You think these Hollywood types are so glamorous and refined, but that red carpet was filthy after this herd of wild animals tracked their dirty hoofs across it. And I swear, someone spilled cheap red wine on the red carpet and that stain will never come out! I’ve tried club soda, salt, commercial cleaners– nothing works!

    Thanks, celebrities, thanks a lot!