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Thread: I believe a better world is possible.

  1. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYatKNIGHT
    Ladies and Gentlemen, when I am President of the United States, I will deem that the Super Bowl will from now on be held on SATURDAY.

    Ladies & Gentlemen,when i'll be the king of Belgium's Kingdom,i will deem that the super bowl will from now be held in Brussel just because i get pissed off to stay awake so late to watch that game every year.

  2. #17

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    The King of Belgium. Is that like the Brooklyn Borough President?

    That Guiness sure looks inviting.

  3. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp
    The King of Belgium. Is that like the Brooklyn Borough President?
    Well he looks like Benny Hill, even his brain...you know
    And Yes Belgium is a Kingdom...Kingdom of what i don't really know but a Kingdom, maybe Kingdom of the french fries!!!!!

  4. #19

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    King Benny of Belgium?



    Benny was obsessed with breasts - which gets us back on topic. :P

  5. #20

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    LOL well done, m8!

  6. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by maroualle
    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp
    The King of Belgium. Is that like the Brooklyn Borough President?
    Well he looks like Benny Hill, even his brain...you know
    And Yes Belgium is a Kingdom...Kingdom of what i don't really know but a Kingdom, maybe Kingdom of the french fries!!!!!
    Is it true that freedom/french/belgian fries were really invented in belgium, not france, or america?

  7. #22

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    Yes, and Belgian waffles were invented in Finland.

    February 5, 2004

    OP-ED COLUMNIST

    Purity of the Powells

    By MAUREEN DOWD

    WASHINGTON — Washington is in the virtue business this week.

    Center stage is a riveting father-son drama. (No, not that one.)

    At the Federal Communications Commission, Michael Powell is trying to save America's virtue, while over at the State Department, his father, Colin, is trying to save his own virtue.

    They are both obsessing about something that should have been there, but suddenly wasn't.

    The son demanded an explanation for Janet Jackson's missing material, while the father wrestled with an explanation for Saddam Hussein's missing matériel.

    The son opened an inquiry into something everyone had already seen, as the father defended his speech making the case for war based on something nobody has seen.

    (Who could have guessed that Saddam's W.M.D. would be less scary than Ms. Jackson's pierced metal sunburst, a Weapon of Mammary Destruction aimed at the CBS chairman, Les Moonves? Or, as Jon Stewart points out, that a government so reluctant to investigate intelligence lapses is so eager to investigate a breast lapse?)

    Asked in a Washington Post interview on Monday whether he would have recommended an invasion if he'd known that Iraq had no weapons, the secretary of state replied, "I don't know," adding that the "absence of a stockpile changes the political calculus; it changes the answer you get."

    But the words had barely left his mouth before furious White House aides forced Mr. Powell to eat them. Just as Janet Jackson had to repent for revealing too much, so did the top diplomat. Secretary Powell had to go out and clarify his remarks to reporters, telling them the war was justified even if weapons are never found.

    Rummy stuck to his Orwellian guns, telling Congress yesterday that just because we don't find the weapons doesn't mean they're not there. Or, as postmodern professors say, absence is presence. (At least Ms. Jackson, like David Kay, had the grace to say, "Unfortunately, the whole thing went wrong in the end.")

    Once more, Colin Powell was left trying to square being a good soldier with preserving what's left of his reputation. His twin concerns — wanting everyone to think he is a man of purity and not wanting to fight a battle he might lose — have come into fatal conflict because of Iraq.

    The younger Powell failed to appreciate the consequences of not curbing big media companies gobbling up rivals. Colin Powell failed to appreciate the consequences of not curbing Dick Cheney, Rummy and Wolfie as they gobbled up foreign policy.

    The son vowed in 2001 that he would be patient with cultural excesses: "I don't want the government as my nanny. I still have never understood why something as simple as turning it off is not part of the answer."

    But here he is, the biggest nanny in government since William Bennett, starting a little culture war to improve his ratings. The F.C.C. asked CBS for a Super Bowl halftime tape to determine whether standards were violated. What, the F.C.C. can't pop for a TiVo? Next, the F.C.C. will ask the C.I.A. to provide satellite photography of the rogue bustier.

    The Janet and Justin show was unbelievably tawdry, but also unbelievably banal — another rehearsed pseudoshock that the media, and now the government, gladly play along with. Isn't the power of social opprobrium in a free society enough?

    It's already out of control. Ms. Jackson lost her spot as a presenter at the Grammys. And NBC's affiliates forced the network to take out a scene from tonight's episode of "E.R." because a breast was exposed for a second and a half. It was the breast of an 80-year-old woman dying of a heart attack. Sizzle, sizzle.

    Besides, should all the indignation be about a "wardrobe malfunction" when there were all those icky ads — financing our annual festival of testosterone — about erectile dysfunction? (One father I know tried telling his curious 10-year-old son the ads were about "electile dysfunction.")

    Michael Powell should stop interfering where he doesn't belong. Colin Powell should start interfering where he does belong. The secretary should get off the sidelines where the vice president and Pentagon banished him and stop waiting for them to fail so he can be vindicated. He should get more involved in rescuing Iraq from chaos.

    The hawks' war to make Iraq free and secure is slowly descending into anarchy and ethnic conflict. That's indecent.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  8. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp
    Yes, and Belgian waffles were invented in Finland.
    Indeed, belgium is the homeland of french fries (liberty or whatever fries), so as from now you can go to the Mc Donald and ask for a pack of belgium fries :-)
    For the wafels: i didn't know and didn't really care till today héhé.......


    Funny, long time ago i wanted to open a tiny restaurant, in NY, with only french fries and all sauces possible (i think like 25 different sauces.....)

  9. #24

  10. #25

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    OMG hahahaha, a website dedicated to belgian fries :-)

  11. #26

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    March 21, 2004

    FRANK RICH

    Après Janet, a Deluge

    If we lived in Afghanistan under the Taliban, perhaps it might make sense that Janet Jackson's breast (not even the matched set!) would lead to one of the most hysterical outbreaks of Puritanism in recent, even not-so-recent, American history. So what gives?

    In the seven weeks since Super Bowl Sunday, the radio jock Howard Stern, under fire for the same old salacious shtick he's mined for more than two decades, has taken on the free-speech martyrdom mantle of Lenny Bruce. Sandra Tsing Loh, a longtime commentator on the public radio station KCRW-FM in Los Angeles, has been fired because her engineer failed to bleep an expletive in a prerecorded commentary. Congress has concocted a Clean Airways Act that is itself a self-parodying bureaucratic concordance of foul language, complete with references to "hyphenated compounds" and "infinitive forms." (Google "H.R. 3687," and you'll find the scatological mother lode, rounded up at taxpayers' expense.)

    Can a crackdown at Nickelodeon be far behind? Actually, it's already here. That kiddies' network is imposing a video delay on "U-Pick Live," its interactive answer to "Romper Room," lest any of the boys and girls let loose with one of George Carlin's seven words you're not allowed to say on television.

    Not all of this can be pinned on Ms. Jackson's nipple ring. This story dates back to 9/11, or, more specifically, to two weeks after, when the White House spokesman, Ari Fleischer, condemned a historically astute Bill Maher wisecrack about America's "cowardly" pre-9/11 pursuit of Al Qaeda. Mr. Fleischer warned Americans that they should "watch what they say," and some Americans took heed. Mr. Maher's "Politically Incorrect" was dropped by a few network affiliates and advertisers and then canceled by ABC.

    The message had been sent that governmental media management was in play, and we've seen its ramifications ever since — whether in the docility and self-censorship of the news media in the run-up to the Iraq war or in an episode as relatively trivial as CBS's dropping of "The Reagans." While the current uproar over broadcast indecency is ostensibly all about sex, it is still all about politics, especially in an election year when a culture war rages. Washington's latest crew of Puritan enforcers — in the administration, Congress and the Federal Communications Commission — are all pandering to a censorious Republican political base that is the closest thing America has to its own Taliban. The media giants, fearful of losing the deregulatory financial favors the federal government can bestow, will knuckle under accordingly until the coast is clear.

    Mr. Carlin, whose own famous indecency case began on WBAI in 1973 (and reached the Supreme Court five years later), has seen it all before. "It's driven by the political calendar," he says. "They can say we're doing the Christian thing, we're using our power to go after the bad guys. But they don't do that for long periods of time and only do it when it's in their political interests."

    The strange history of Bono and the Golden Globes is a case in point. It was 14 months ago that the front man for U2 inadvertently used a contraband seven-letter word as a modifier preceding the word brilliant in expressing his joy upon winning a best song award for the film "The Gangs of New York." The F.C.C. received only 234 complaints nationwide and ultimately ruled that Bono's word, free of carnal innuendo, was not actionable. But that was in 2003. In 2004 the Bush-chosen F.C.C. chief, Michael Powell, having failed to achieve much else in his job, has reopened the case to reverse the original verdict.

    When I reached Bono by phone in Dublin last week to talk about this, he was good-natured as always, yet understandably baffled. "I guess I don't speak American, but I thought I did," he said. "There are some obscenities in our culture, and this is nowhere near the top of the list. I never meant to be offensive. That language was genuine exuberance. It was a great moment for our band. If you're Irish, you love language, and if you do, you're going to fall on the occasional expletive; it's the percussive side of language. For me, it is preposterous to have good, conservative people whom I like and respect taking on an expletive while the right to pack heavy ammo goes by. It says something eloquent, if not pretty, about where we are."

    The Howard Stern case is perhaps even more revealing about the political underpinnings of the war on indecency. I'm not a Stern fan — my addictive morning radio caffeine is Don Imus, on whose show I sometimes appear — but Mr. Stern can exert a bizarre fascination these days, as he luxuriates in his Howard Beale moment of being mad as hell.

    "I never got into radio to be political," he said on one recent show. "I don't care about politics all that much." And that used to be true: though he was a supporter of the war in Iraq and has helped boost local Republicans like George Pataki and Christie Whitman, no one would ever tune him in for polemical banter unless it was emanating from the mouths of canoodling lesbian porn stars. Now, however, Mr. Stern is referring to the president as "Mr. Jesus," calling for a "radio jihad to get this maniac out of office" and attacking both the religious right and the Mel Gibson demagogues, whom he identifies (not incorrectly) as fellow travelers in the political movement out to censor him.

    Censorship is when the government suppresses speech, so, technically at least, Howard Stern, like Bill Maher before him, has not been censored. The only sanction applied to Mr. Stern's show so far has been the action taken by a corporation, Clear Channel Communications, which yanked him from six stations it owns, as it is freely entitled to do. (Mr. Stern's program, a product of Viacom, continues to air on roughly 35 other stations.)

    But the story line is more subtle than that. Both Clear Channel's founder, Lowry Mays, and a director, Thomas Hicks, have long financial associations with George W. Bush, whether as recent campaign contributors or past business cronies (in the Texas Rangers, in Mr. Hicks's case). Clear Channel needs Washington's powers-that-be to protect its huge share of the radio market. It's only after Mr. Stern turned against Mr. Bush on the air that Clear Channel dropped his show, which is otherwise no more or less racy and politically incorrect than it always has been. A Clear Channel executive told Bill Carter of The New York Times this week that his company had "no political agenda," but those words seem like spin when weighed against the actions of its stations and personnel.

    It was another of that company's talk show stars, Glenn Beck, who convened pro-war "Rallies for America," some paid for by Clear Channel stations, to counter antiwar dissent last year. Clear Channel stations were also prominent among those that dumped the Dixie Chicks from their playlists after Natalie Maines's dustup with Mr. Bush. If anything, the company's political affiliations are somewhat more consistent than its enforcement of good taste; last month the trade publication Broadcasting & Cable cited Clear Channel's penchant for "tolerating shock jocks so raw they'd make Howard Stern blush." Even as it dropped Mr. Stern and another long-running show, "Bubba the Love Sponge," for indecency, The Daily News reported that one of the company's New York outlets, Z-100, was promoting Eamon's "I Don't Want You Back," a fount of sexual innuendo that contains the four-letter version of the contraband Bono word in its full title.

    Clear Channel's banishment of Mr. Stern has troubled even clear-cut Bush allies. In what must be a first, the conservative Sean Hannity and the liberal Alan Colmes on Fox were in agreement that, in Mr. Hannity's words, "this is chilling because I think at the end of the day, those people that have conservative viewpoints on the radio can similarly be targeted." Rush Limbaugh said, "I haven't ever heard the Howard Stern show, but when the federal government gets involved in this, I get a little frightened." He wondered what would happen if "John Kerry-John Edwards-Bill Clinton-Terry McAuliffe types end up running this country someday again" and decide that "conservative opinion is indecent" because it "causes violence." (Some days later, perhaps after realizing Mr. Stern's anti-Bush animus, he took to defending Clear Channel, with whom he is in partnership, in a Los Angeles Times Op-Ed piece.)

    Michael Harrison, the publisher of the nonpartisan talk radio trade magazine Talkers, says that Mr. Stern, with his eight-million-plus weekly audience of largely white men, "could prove to be far more detrimental to the image of George W. Bush than Limbaugh ever was to the image of Bill Clinton" and become "Bush's worst political nightmare" come November. Should Mr. Harrison be just half-right, Mr. Stern, the self-proclaimed King of All Media, would most likely have a far larger impact on the election than the liberal talk radio network that starts at the end of the month.

    But no matter what happens on Election Day, the market will call the shots in America. The market is the one god that brings even Washington's born-again Puritans to their knees. That's why you don't hear any noise from politicians about curtailing violence in pop culture now that parents are taking their kids to the sadomasochist gore fest known as "The Passion of the Christ." No one is going to threaten a hugely popular network show like "Friends," whose heroine, Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), has had 20 sexual partners in 10 seasons, by a recent USA Today accounting. No one is likely to ask a pharmaceutical powerhouse like Eli Lilly to curtail its Cialis commercials, with their talk of four-hour erections, or to succeed in interfering with the 70 percent of Americans who by choice subscribe to the cable and satellite TV outlets that bring them everything from "South Park" to hard-core porn.

    Entertainment built on violence and sex, in other words, isn't going away as long as Americans lap it up. Even now, two networks that missed out on CBS's Janet Jackson action on Super Bowl Sunday have booked her in the weeks to come — ABC for "Good Morning America" and NBC for "Saturday Night Live." Ms. Jackson's nipple ring, meanwhile, still peeks out of a CBS Web site even as the more insidious indecency, of callow media giants bedding down with cynical politicians, remains largely under wraps.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

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