prevented from returning to Iraq, said there was a "smear
campaign" to prevent him from doing his work, telling a British
newspaper, "I have my detractors in Washington. There are
bastards who spread things around, of course, who planted nasty
things in the media." He's obviously just full of sour grapes
because the U.S. and British military found the weapons of mass
destruction so much more quickly than he could.
Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts called for the
resignation of University of Massachusetts President William
Bulger after Bulger failed to assist the FBI in finding his
brother, James "Whitey" Bulger, who is on the Ten Most Wanted
list in connection with 21 murders. (The UMass president took the Fifth Amendment before a congressional committee.) Bulger says he has no plans to leave office. And just because a family member is accused of killing 21 people, that doesn't mean every member of the family killed an equal number.
Muslim clerics in Indonesia are enraged by pop singer Inul,
who does a form of dangdut dancing called "the drill" while
dressed in clingy pink jumpsuits. Based on bootleg photographs,
we can report that Inul's whole dang dangdut duts.
Jerry Springer announced he might run for U.S. senator from
Ohio in 2004, but he's testing his candidacy on a Web site first
(www.runjerryrun.com). Springer's political career started on the Cincinnati City Council, from which he resigned after admitting he wrote personal checks to pay prostitutes. (Is that illegal? Should he have used a business check?) He was later elected mayor of Cincinnati but lost in his bid for the Democratiac nomination for governor in 1982. Altogether now: Jeh-REE Jeh-REE Jeh-REE.
Baltimore filmmaker John Waters, of "Hairspray" fame, is
threatening to sue Nickelodeon's cartoon movie "Rugrats Go Wild"
for stealing "Odorama," the scratch-and-sniff cards used for his
1981 comedy "Polyester." Paramount, which is releasing the new
film, not only used the name "Odorama," which Waters had
trademarked, but the logo on the card is similar. Julia Pistor,
director of the Rugrats movie, doesn't deny that she was inspired by "Polyester," but says her movie is less stinky overall.
Two Toronto men, Michael Leshner and Michael Stark, became
the first gay couple to be married in Canada after the federal
law banning same-sex marriage was abolished. Yes, everyone
brought M&M's to the ceremony.
David Beckham, most famous soccer player in the world, was
sold for $50 million to Barcelona by Manchester United, the only
team he's ever played for. But before the deal can go through,
everyone has to wait for the outcome of the Spanish presidential
elections, with various candidates expressing opinions about the
wisdom of paying that kind of money for a 28-year-old player who
doesn't score enough. Beckham is married to Victoria, the former
Posh Spice, and the Spanish parliament has not yet expressed its
opinion of her singing.
A waiter at a steakhouse restaurant in Norco, Calif.,
became enraged when a husband and wife didn't leave a tip. (The
wife had asked for vegetables, she says, but the waiter brought
back a small salad, "practically threw it at her," and told her
to get the dressing herself.) So the waiter went to the couple's
house, police say, and vandalized it with eggs, duct tape and
toilet paper, before being arrested. Thank God they didn't ask
for separate checks.
Four people in Wisconsin came down with monkeypox, a virus
normally found only in West Africa, and the disease has been
traced to prairie dogs from a suburban Chicago pet shop, where
they may have been infected by a Gambian rat. The National Rifle
Association called for an immediate prairie-dog hunting season,
to thin the population before the vicious beasts get out of
Spike Lee filed a lawsuit against Viacom, which plans to
rename its TNN channel "Spike TV." "The media description of this change of name," said Lee, "as well as comments made to me and my wife, confirmed what was obvious -- that Spike TV referred to Spike Lee." Viacom is billing Spike TV as "the first network for men," not "the first network for black male film directors with attitude," but Lee might have an even greater problem: Spike is not his real name. That would be Shelton Jackson Lee. But wait! No friend-of-the-court briefs from the estates of Spike Jones and Spike Milligan? What about Spike Jonze? He's a DIRECTOR. Hey, maybe it IS the first network for film directors with attitude.
A freelance photographer wants $500,000 for his nude
photographs of Amber Frey, mistress of murder defendant Scott
Peterson, but the only offer he's gotten so far is $50,000 from
Hustler publisher Larry Flynt, who says they have "absolutely no
erotic appeal" but could possibly be used in news stories. What's more humiliating -- to be exposed in Hustler, or to be called a skag by Larry Flynt?
One month after banning Maxim, Stuff and FHM from Wal-Marts
nationwide, the chain was at it again, announcing that certain
women's magazines would be sold only when their cover content was hidden. The offensive magazines are Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Marie Claire and Redbook, all of which make frequent use of "How to Have Great Sex" headlines. It's a moot point, since people who spend a lot of time at Wal-Mart are no doubt all having great sex already.
Sultaana Freeman, who never removes her Muslim veil in
public, was told by a Miami judge that she can't be issued a
drivers license unless she makes her mug available for a camera.
After all, she could be hiding a cell phone under there.
Marilyn Manson has been banned from the Six Flags amusement
park in Darien Lakes, N.Y., where he was originally scheduled
to appear with Ozzy Osbourne's Ozzfest this summer. Park
officials fear that Manson might be mistaken for one of the
The French Government Tourism Office, faced with a one-third decline in American visitors to France this summer, launched a new ad campaign called "Let's Fall in Love Again," with Woody Allen, Wynton Marsalis and George Plimpton all trumpeting the virtues of France. French airlines and hotels are also slashing fares and rates for the high season, and one waiter on the Champs-Elysees has agreed to smile at least once a day.
The Star Spangled Ice Cream Company was formed for people
who like the taste of Ben & Jerry's "but do NOT enjoy seeing your money funneled to wacko left-wing causes." Claiming to taste equally good, but with 10 percent of profits going to U.S. armed forces charities, the Baltimore company features flavors like I Hate The French Vanilla, Iraqi Road, Smaller GovernMINT, and Nutty Environmentalist. It's expensive, at $76 for four quarts, but the price of freedom needs to be high enough to wipe Burlington, Vt., off the map entirely.
When a powerful earthquake struck northeastern Japan, the
deputy governor of Akita Prefecture contacted the disaster agency by cell phone, then decided to go back to his pinball game. Even though the Japanese people love the game of pachinko (vertical pinball), they sent Takashi Chiba a "Tilt" message: he resigned.
Abas Amini, an Iranian seeking asylum in England since 2001, was so upset by the failure of the Home Office to process his application that he sewed his eyes, mouth and ears shut and
refused to eat or drink. Amini, a dissident poet, had spent six
years in Iranian jails where torture was practiced, and he wasn't about to go back. A week after he sewed himself up, the Home Office relented and said it would no longer oppose his asylum application. He had chosen the perfect form of protest for England, where they'll do anything to avoid the unseemly.
Stitched-up living mummies would qualify.
Joe Bob Briggs writes several columns for UPI. Contact him
at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his Web site, joebobbriggs.com.
Snail mail: P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, Texas 75221.
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]