Monday, May 29

In Memoriam

Memorial Day remembrance, near the Santa Monica Pier
(AP photo)

Friday, May 26

A set list for the right wing?

The National Review has offered its ranking of the top 50 rock 'n' roll songs for conservatives, Atop the list: "Won't Get Fooled Again" by The Who. The NYT has the annotated "set list" on its site.

DULLARD TAKE: To paraphrase Bono in one of his "Rattle and Hum" moments: "This is a song Dennis Hastert stole from Pete Townshend. We're stealin' it back."

Indeed, this list is full of puzzling picks. We'll give them the libertarian leanings of Rush, and they can flat-out have Sammy Hagar, Jesus Jones, Kid Rock and Creed. But with many of these tracks, it's hard to tell what message the conservatives are hearing. (Of course, Tom DeLay thinks Stephen Colbert is on his side.) To wit:

  • "My City Was Gone," The Pretenders. This song, one of Chrissie Hynde's best, is an environmentalist polemic, not an anti-regulation rant. Yes, the opening is used as the theme music for Rush Limbaugh's radio program. (Maybe even Rush can recognize a great bass line.) But his show's intro never gets to Hynde's lyrics, which are a call for preserving open space — a liberal point of view.
  • "Godzilla," Blue Oyster Cult. This one sounds like another environmentalist anthem: "History shows again and again how nature points up the folly of man." Plus, the original Godzilla film added an anti-nuclear undertone to the monster mayhem.
  • "Heroes," David Bowie. This is one of several songs listed for its Cold War value. Here, Bowie sings of a couple divided by the Berlin Wall, a tale told over a mesmerizing, increasingly layered drone created with the help of Brian Eno. It's a great track all right, but its embrace by conservatives is another example of their failure to see that the victory over Soviet communism was a decades-long effort by Democrats and Republicans. In other words, the American left hated the wall too.

Thursday, May 25

Wednesday, May 24

Yeah, Darth, I'm gonna need you to go ahead and come in on the weekend, m'kay?

The Emperor finds out about Death Star mishap.

Borat wows the ladies at Cannes

Although Reuters apparently thinks he's Jean Reno. D'oh!

Unclear on the concept

Boy, Republicans just don't get subtlety, do they? It's probably one of their strengths as campaigners, but it leads to things like DeLay putting up a clip from the Colbert Report on his defense fund website. Amazing.

Good food quickly

NYT foodie Frank Bruni takes a gluttonous odyssey across America, at any and all various fast-food eateries, provided that the restaurant in question has a drive-through. Yes, he chows down at the national chains, but also at the regional ones (including Raising Cane's, a good place for chicken fingers) and even a few unique restaurants. Bruni likes the fries at Hardee's but isn't so hot on the shrimp at Captain D's.

Meanwhile, the trailer for "Fast Food Nation" is on the Internets. The movie, lensed by Richard Linklater of "Slacker" and "School of Rock" fame, debuted at Cannes recently to mixed reviews. It opens in the U.S. this fall.

Playing with "Lost"

Do you want Kate in your cubicle with you? Jack? Soon you can. Action figures based on characters from TV's "Lost" will be released this fall, though you may place an order now if you want.

The initial batch of six figures consists of Jack, Kate, Hurley, Locke, Charlie and Shannon (even though she was killed off this season). No, no Sawyer or Sayyid yet.

Oh yeah, the show's two-hour season finale is tonight. This Newsweek article takes us behind the scenes of the episode.

Evil Androids retooled

Our friends at Evil Androids have revamped the sci-fi site. The redesign brings in comment areas and other blog-like functions while maintaining some of the permanent fixtures of the site.

Tuesday, May 23

LISTS: Cover songs BETTER than the original

  • Straight Outta Compton - Nina Gordon. It's easy to dismiss this as just pretty-white-girl-sings-violent-ghetto-rap-song. 'Cause that's what this is. But it's nice to be able to hear the lyrics.

  • Take Me to the River - Talking Heads. More of a recontextualization than a cover, really. Intentional or not, you can't help hearing this in the context of Byrne's early repressed-white-preppy-Norman-Bates persona, making you wonder what the singer plans to do once the object of his obsession has, indeed, taken him to the river.

  • My Favorite Things - John Coltrane. I'd rather hear metal shards dragged across a chalk board than hear the Julie Andrews version ever again, so it doesn't take much to eke out a victory here. But JC really sewed a silk purse out of a sow's ear with this one.

  • Tainted Love - Soft Cell

  • I Fought the Law - the Clash

  • Time is On My Side - Rolling Stones

  • Twist and Shout - los Beatles. The previous four entries are so perfect, I think many people may not be aware that they are covers.

  • Nothing Compares 2 U - Sinead O'Connor. She should have fixed the spelling while she was at it, but the distaff Lex Luthor wrenches every ounce of emotion out of this song.

  • All Along The Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix. Jimi wasn't a great crooner, but his competition on this one is only old Bobby Z. And Stratocaster es mas macho than harmonica.

  • Smells Like Teen Spirit - Ragnar Bjarnason. I'm not fooling around, this version is one of the few songs that always brings me joy, no matter what. The other? The Commodore's Brick House.

  • Jump - Aztec Camera. I seem to remember reading that the lead singer of Aztec Camera did their slowed-down tribute of this song because he thought Van Heplin was making some sort of stand against a corrupt industry with the line "Can't you see me standing here, I've got my back against the record machine," not realizing that Diamond Dave was simply referring to a juke box.

  • Dear God - Sarah McLaughlin. This one's iffy, only because both versions of this song are so good -- Ms. M. actually gives a more impassioned vocal performance, but maybe has a bit too much polish; and it's hard to compete with the chilling kid singer on the open and close of XTC's version. A push.

LISTS: Five least credible Fox News analysts

A look at some of the frequent guests on "The O'Reilly Factor," "Hannity and Colmes" and other Fox News shows.

He will say or do anything that promotes himself, and sometimes his head seems as empty as Al Capone's vault. Among his more recent exploits: Geraldo claimed to be reporting from the scene of a "friendly fire" incident in Afghanistan that turned out to be hundreds of miles elsewhere, and he was kicked out of Iraq when he drew a map in the sand on live TV that the U.S. military deemed a security violation.
REDEEMING FACTORS: Geraldo took a chair in the face during a fracas with Nazi punks on his talk show in 1988; more recently, he did some tough reporting after Katrina but again was tempted to steal the spotlight from the storm victims.

As Al Franken wrote, this woman might actually be insane, and the level of her madness is only matched by Fox host Sean Hannity. What comes out of her mouth is truly incredible, if probably calculated for maximum shock value. Usually, Ann operates in absurd hyerbole and simple vitriol, but on occasion she gets tripped by the facts, as when she swore up and down that Canada had sent troops to Vietnam during the conflict there. And then there are the questions about her voter registration in Florida (where else?).
REDEEMING FACTOR: Ann is so knee-jerk that she's an inspiration for drinking games. For example, if Ted Kennedy's name is mentioned, Ann will respond with something about Chappaquiddick within one minute. If she does, drink. If she doesn't, drink twice!

A former Marine and National Security Council staffer, North would seem appropriate for the part of "talking head" on matters of war and security. But as the central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal, he has no credibility lecturing us on the best course of action in the Middle East, or on anything else. Indeed, he has shown a willingness to bargain, on the sly, with rogue states. With Iran emerging as the new threat, it will be interesting to see how North spins his way out of his activities in the 1980s.
REDEEMING FACTOR: At least he didn't win a seat in the Senate.

This political hack has no loyalty to anyone — not to those who hire him, not to those who think like him or even those who marry him. Morris has worked for Republicans such as Jesse Helms and Democrats such as Bill Clinton. Morris was ousted as Clinton's confidante after a prostitution scandal, and ever since, he's been on anti-Hillary jihad. Morris continues to try to cast doom and gloom over anything Hillary does, but his spells do nothing to his intended target. Indeed, Morris usually only succeeds in making himself look more idiotic. Recently, he predicted that the New York senator would face a tough fight from Jeanine Pirro, but Pirro's candidacy sank as soon as it started when a page of her speech went missing on live TV. ("Do you have Page 10?" D'oh!)
REDEEMING FACTOR: Helped Bill Clinton win a second term, although that really wasn't that remarkable considering the opponent was Bob Dole.

This loathsome detective confirmed everyone's worst fears about law enforcement in Los Angeles: a racist cop who may have tainted evidence. Fuhrman's disastrous testimony in the O.J. Simpson trial was a major factor in Simpson's acquittal (asking O.J. to try on that glove didn't help the prosecution either). On the stand, Fuhrman denied using racial epithets, but O.J.'s "Dream Team" proved him a liar by producing audio tapes of him dropping N-bomb after N-bomb. Nowadays, the creepy Fuhrman churns out sleazy books, like the one about the Terry Schiavo situation, in which the disgraced detective casts blame on husband Michael Schiavo. Not even Jeb Bush would touch that one.


Parenting columnist John Rosemond has been busted for journalistic malfeasance. Among his offenses:
  • recycling old columns when he couldn't meet deadlines;
  • taking bits and pieces of real questions from readers and turning them into "composite" questions;
  • changing facts and situations in some questions.
DULLARD TAKE: Given Rosemond's hard-line views on discipline and child-rearing, we are tempted to recommend a firm spanking. But since family illnesses played a role in his poor decision-making, we will suggest "time-out" for him — but don't do it again, you hear me?

Top 50 Places to Bend an Elbow

Oddly, Tim's apartment is missing from this list.

Monday, May 22

7-year-old boy escapes from Alcatraz

A second-grader swims the cool waters from the Rock to freedom. Take that, David Blaine!

Sunday, May 21

All hail Lordi!

Lordi, the mask-wearing, GWAR-like metal band from Finland, has prevailed in the Eurovision Song Contest. The famous competition counts ABBA and Celine Dion among its previous winners.
UPDATE: Here's the view of someone who actually watched it all.

Friday, May 19

This is Jody. I just wanted to add my own little memorium in photos. I also have a whole set of them on my flickr account for those who feel so inclined to see how much we really are the kind of "cat people" we deny being.

Here is my memorial playlist.

Puddy Pat

Linus and Lucy by Vince Guaraldi Trio
The Love Cats by The Cure
I Say a Little Prayer by Aretha Franklin
Lucy Doesn't Love You by Ivy
Blue for You by Men at Work
Ding Dong by Nellie McKay
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by The Beatles
The Siamese Cat Song by Peggy Lee
Stray Cat Strut by The Stray Cats

Friday Cat Blogging

I've avoided this blogger trend until today. Jody and I are cat people, but we're not crazy "cat people." Really.

But yesterday we had to put Lucy to "sleep." It was the hardest thing Jody or I have had to do as a couple, and one of the saddest days I hope to see for a long time.

Lucy was about 14 or so. I got her from my friend Mike shortly after I had moved out from a 3-year relationship, and Mike had re-married to a woman who made him keep the cats in the basement. Mike and the little-sister-I-never-wanted, Jill, got Lucy when they were living in Pasadena next door to a woman who had abandoned her in a locked house for a week or so. She grew up rather suspicious -- and seemingly contemptuous -- of people. She became a claw-first-and-ask-questions-later kind of kitty. Somehow she found a kindred spirit in me, and I was the only one she would allow to pet her at Mike and Jill's. Mike and Jill always sensed that Lucy and I deserved each other, and to my everlasting debt, Mike delivered her to me about a decade ago, shortly after he and Jill had both re-coupled.

We had a quiet co-existence for a number of years together, punctuated by the occasional slashed forearm (usually an unsuspecting visitor) or bisected vermin (what she thought I would do with half-a-baby-possum, I don't know, but it's the thought that counts).

Then she moved in. Jody and Lucy had a rather amusing power struggle over who could take up more room on the bed (Lucy, suprisingly) and who, in general, was going to be low-cat-on-the totem pole in our little household (I'll leave Jody to address the winner there in her own blog entry....) In the end, like an after-school-special, we were all winners, as we grew to be a happy little nuclear family.

Lucy gradually inched closer to normal-cathood, and had mostly stopped clawing friends and acquaintances. She seemed to be a pretty happy cat until Monday this week, when she threw up a few gallons in our bed, and then was dehydrated for a day or so. We took her to her vet, and she got some IV liquids, and seemed ok, but then had a seizure on Wednesday. We took her to the animal hospital, and $2k and a bunch of vague diagnoses later, it looked like she was just in a lot of misery and not likely to get better. She probably had liver cancer which had spread to her stomach and brain.

Lucy was a great cat who is in a better place now. And by "great" I mean "ornery" and by "better place" I mean the cold storage facility at the cat hospital, while Jody and I debate various taxidermy options.

There's an enormous kitty-sized hole inside both Jody and I today, and we will miss Lucy the rest of our days.

Thursday, May 18

Our lives at 45 rpm

Eighth in a series on one Dullard's collection of 45s

Song: "Something to Grab For"
Artist: Ric Ocasek
Year released: 1982
Highest U.S. chart position: 47

A Ric Ocasek solo album seems unnecessary, if not outright absurd. As undisputed leader (perhaps even dictator) of the Cars, Ocasek already had the total control of that band, a level of command that many some "solo" artists lack because of record company pressures or meddling producers. The band still existed, so it wasn't as if Ocasek had no other option than to go on his own. He did anyway, at least in between the Cars' commercially slick albums "Shake It Up" and "Heartbeat City."

"Something to Grab For" is from Ocasek's first solo LP, "Beatitude." The track echoes his work with the Cars, with the requisite themes of isolation and detachment. The song's stalker-protaganist stands distantly from the one he desires, an apparently troubled woman who may be "a lost weekender." Despite the singer's yearnings, he's unable to make a move himself, asking that she give him "something to grab for" but never getting his wish.

With a dense guitar sound and tight arrangement, "Something to Grab For" has a tougher feel than most Cars records, which tended to sound loose and airy. The song is still so close enough to the band's hooky sound, however, that it exposes the quandary facing the Cars throughout their career: They weren't weird enough to be New Wave, but they were too weird to be Album Oriented Rock. Thus, they were loved by no one, even though their best work is worthy of admiration for its cleverness and craft.

Wednesday, May 17

The Onion vs. The Sad Reality of the Recording Industry

October 2002:

RIAA Sues Radio Stations For Giving Away Free Music
Onion Article. Pretty funny, huh?

May 2006:

Major Labels Sue XM Satellite Radio

Not an Onion article. Not so funny, huh?

Number 1015 in a series of stupid maneuvers by the RIAA that inhibit innovative ideas for getting music to consumers. I feel for the RIAA like I feel for President Bush: frustrated and amazed at how stupid they are.

They forgot one

The feds overlooked freedom of the press in an abridged version of the First Amendment in "flash card" format.

Once a year I read the entire U.S. Constitution. It's got some interesting stuff beyond the Bill of Rights. Here's an online version, though I read mine in my trusty World Almanac.

How Macca broke up with Heather

"It's not you. It's not me. It's the media."

UPDATE: They apparently have no pre-nup, meaning that Sir Paul's estimated $1.5 billion fortune may be at stake.

Tuesday, May 16

Nearly half our readers are pre-pregnant!

From now until further notice:

New federal guidelines ask all females capable of conceiving a baby to treat themselves -- and to be treated by the health care system -- as pre-pregnant, regardless of whether they plan to get pregnant anytime soon.

Among other things, this means all women between first menstrual period and menopause should take folic acid supplements, refrain from smoking, maintain a healthy weight and keep chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes under control."

You've been put on notice, empty vessels.


Good to see the NYC tabloids all over this latest Britney news. This is why America has a free press, to serve as a watchdog on celebrity stupidity.

Monday, May 15

When animals attack

  • A Canadian mountain biker survives an encounter with a black bear.
  • Women in Florida aren't so fortunate when they come face to face with alligators in three separate incidents.
  • On the lighter side, at least the puppies and the cat in this video can reach detente.

Sunday, May 14

LIST: Ranking the Rolling Stones

1. Charlie Watts: Great drummer; maintains "above it all" attitude yet still not arrogant.

2. Keith Richards: The ultimate survivor — assuming he shakes off the effects of falling out of a tree in Fiji.

3. Mick Taylor: Superb guitarist from the group's glory period of 1969-1974.

4. Mick Jagger: As time goes by, his talent is overshadowed by his preening.

5. Brian Jones: Experimentalism went beyond music into drugs; dying in a swimming pool is not cool.

6. Ron Wood: The bizarro Rod Stewart.

7. Bill Wyman: Seemed old when "Satisfaction" hit No. 1 in 1965; got creepier from there.

How the Zippers went to Hell

The rise and fall of the Squirrel Nut Zippers is recounted, complete with drugs, divorce and millions of dollars earned and spent.

Here's a music video from back in the day.

Friday, May 12

Little-know fact

Whales and dolphins can do it. There's something pleasantly humorous about that. But I don't know if it fills me with so much joy that I would name my DVD magazine after their offspring. But there you go.

Fill my eyes with that double vision

Movie critic Bob Mondello sounds off on movies Hollywood producers liked so much, they named them twice. Yes, he even mentions "Rochelle Rochelle" of "Seinfeld" fame.

Dullard news ticker: question edition

GOT IT BAD, GOT IT BAD, GOT IT BAD: Is this teacher too hot for a Florida high school?

YOU'VE BEEN JUICED: Is O.J. in bad taste for "selling" a Ford Bronco for his prank TV show? What a cutup!

WILD PITCH: Is former MLB pitcher Rick Sutcliffe drunk during this impromptu, in-game interview?

BATTLE ROYALE: Who will win the congressional catfight? You decide!

Presidential programming

NEWS ITEM: President Bush will deliver what's billed as a major speech Monday night. The topic is immigration.

REACTION: The wife says, "Is this going to mess up my 'Grey's Anatomy'?"

Wednesday, May 10

David Byrne's role-playing games

An earlier post on the Dire Straits song "Money For Nothing" discussed the device of "role playing" in music: the technique in which singers or lyricists take on personas of characters radically unlike themselves.

This post will look at how David Byrne and the band Talking Heads "role played" protaganists in their songs. It's a trick Byrne used throughout the Heads' career. (We will ignore the Byrne-less "No Talking, Just Heads" disc.) Indeed, Bryne seemed to enjoy playing a variety of characters not only in song, but also on LP covers, on stage and on screen:

  • the polite, button-downed egghead of "Talking Heads: 77"
  • the bespectacled nerd in the "Once in a Lifetime" video
  • the big-suited businessman from "Stop Making Sense"
  • the deadpan cowboy narrator of "True Stories"
Such characters are incorporated into the Heads music as well. Here are the top three Talking Heads tracks in which Byrne goes into character:

3. "The Big Country," from "More Songs About Buildings and Food." In the album's closing track, Byrne takes on the role of a man on an airplane trip. From his window seat, Byrne's traveler dispassionately describes what the view:

I see the shoreline.
I see the whitecaps.
A baseball diamond, nice weather down there.
I see the school and the houses where the kids are.

Then, in the chorus, he abandons the reportage for a denunciation:

I wouldn't live there if you paid me.
I couldn't live like that, no siree!
I couldn't do the things the way those people do.
I couldn't live there if you paid me to.

The song's power comes from the sudden change from neutrality to judgment. Byrne's character expresses a contempt for the heartland years before the term "flyover country" came into vogue.

2. "Psycho Killer" from "Talking Heads: 77." Beginning with the throbbing bass of Tina Weymouth, this song is one of the signature tracks of New York's New Wave movement. Here, Byrne plays a decidely disturbed man, although the song's title is its main indication of just how disturbed he might be. The lyrics are more oblique, but they nonetheless bring the listener into the mindset of a person who's not all there:

I can't seem to face up to the facts
I'm tense and nervous and I
Can't relax
I can't sleep 'cause my bed's on fire
Don't touch me I'm a real live wire

After establishing his character as one who may be menacing, he spells out his biggest gripe:
I hate people when they're not polite.

Again, Byrne plays with the idea of contrast, taking his lyrics into a counterintuitive direction. The effect is startling, especially when set against the Spartan music. (What was it like to hear this in the era of Foghat, Frampton and the Eagles?)

1. "Life During Wartime" from "Fear of Music." This song became a minor hit thanks to its "this ain't no disco" lyric, even gaining airplay on what were then called Album Oriented Rock stations. But the song is sung from the point of view of an insurgent who's too busy with his cause to engage in dancing or "lovey-dovey."

The track, which Byrne turned into an aerobic workout in the still-brilliant concert movie "Stop Making Sense," conveys a feeling that it could last forever, like a war that never ends. Byrne's character describes a life on the run and incognito, culminating in the darkly humorous line:

I changed my hairstyle, so many times now
I don't know what I look like!

"Life During Wartime" has also proven to be prescient, and it is odd to listen to in these times. Especially creepy is this line, which is more applicable to the U.S. government than it is to urban guerrillas:

We've got computers
We're tapping phone lines
I know that ain't allowed

The difference now, of course, is that our leaders argue that it is allowed.

Tuesday, May 9

Mac back on the attack

Apple, perhaps emboldened by its iPod success, returns to its roots in a new set of humorous ads pitting Mac vs. PC. The upside: John Hodgman of TV's "The Daily Show" portraying a Windows PC in need of some restarting. The downside: irritating "Baby Einstein" music.

Scientology gets Super-sized

It's not just auditing and engrams anymore. Now El Ron's teachings can turn you into a superhero! (Actual cost of superhero training is not available.)

Sunday, May 7

DIY dentistry

Succumbing to stereotype, Britain is suffering from rotting teeth and a lack of dentists to repair them. That leaves some blokes to pull their own teeth or seek treatment in Eastern Europe.

Saturday, May 6

Our lives at 45 rpm

Seventh in a series on one Dullard's collection of 45s

Song: "The Killing Moon"
Artist: Echo and the Bunnymen
Year released: 1983
Highest U.S. chart position: Unknown

For many so-called alternative bands of the early 1980s, the alternative image was as important as the music. So it was for Echo and the Bunnymen, whose image was entirely dependent on the high hair, fair complexion and pouty lips of singer Ian McCulloch.

The alterna-chicks of the day, moving on from earlier crushes on Nick Rhodes and Adam Ant, needed someone with a darker side, a true "artist" with the correct combination of sophistication and introversion. Among the choices, the vampire girls preferred Bauhaus vocalist Peter Murphy, and those who were less bloodthirsty went with McCulloch.

For all the imagery and adulation, McCulloch and his band put together a decent string of albums in their heyday. (Echo officially still exis
ts, though it's hard to understand why.) The highlight was the "Ocean Rain" LP, which included "The Killing Moon."

Like the rest of the album, "The Killing Moon" is heavy on orchestration and subtle on percussion, as drummer
Pete de Freitas throws away the sticks for brushes. With a pinging piano and squealing guitar, the whole thing sounds like it was recorded in the watery cave featured on the "Ocean Rain" LP cover.

The lyrics are typical McCulloch, gloomy yet not goth, with a flair for the romantic. The chorus doesn't convey much meaning, however, despite the singer's repeated intonations:
Up against your will
Through the thick and thin
He will wait until
You give yourself to him

In the end, "The Killing Moon" is not the place to find lyrical profundity. It's best appreciated as a confection that is forgotten the instant after it is consumed.


In a stunning overestimation of his own importance, Bush refers to the "War on Terror" as World War III.

Maybe he was thinking of "Mission Impossible III."

Loss leaders

Dozens of people dressed in khaki pants and blue shirts enter a Best Buy in NYC, sowing confusion.

Friday, May 5

Replacements redux

The Replacements are back — sort of. The beloved Minneapolis-based band has a greatest hits CD out soon on Rhino, and it will include two new tracks.

DULLARD TAKE: The new tunes exhibit the spittle and polish last seen on 1987's Pleased To Meet Me" disc. Overall, the career-encompassing compilation is smartly selected, though it does omit the essential "Waitress in the Sky" from "Tim."

Smokin' in the boys room

USA Today (who else?) tells us why kids avoid using the bathroom at school. Their top reason: the odor.

My reason, at least in junior high: Bullies who would sneak in there for a smoke. And if you weren't one of them, you got punched and ordered not to snitch.

This is why "Welcome to the Dollhouse" is the most painfully honest film ever made.

Med student wins Larry David's car!

A UCLA student is the lucky guy who will drive off in Larry David's Prius, as seen on HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm." The giveaway was a part of his wife's effort to raise awareness about global warming.

Lucas relents, is turned to plastic

Those of us who remember the original "Star Wars" trilogy as we originally saw it are finally getting what we want: those versions on DVD, without "embellishments" from George Lucas. Meanwhile, Hasbro is putting out a hard-to get action figure with Lucas' head atop a stormtrooper's body. It's an interesting choice of character.

DULLARD TAKE: Buy these DVDs. Ignore the revised editions. And pretend like the prequels never happened.

Tuesday, May 2

Will the real al-Arian please stand up?

A Florida writer muses on his resemblance to alleged terror supporter Sami Al-Arian. Even his kids have a hard time telling the difference.

Should Garafolo clam up?

Comedian/activist Janeane Garofalo has been pimping a Scientology-sponsored detox program on her radio show. Has she fallen under El Ron's spell, or has she been temporarily duped?

Monday, May 1

First-person jumper

For Dullards who don't like heights.

Happy birthday, ESB!

The Empire State Building turns 75 today.

DULLARD CONNECTION: The building's needle-like top was used as a drug metaphor in the wacky sci-fi/New Wave film "Liquid Sky" — a favorite midnight movie back in the day.