Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Daily Briefs: The minimum wages of sin and payola

Posted By on Wed, Aug 27, 2008 at 10:25 AM

By CHRIS PACKHAM

From the Comments:

Jenlyn says: How dare you be such a pompous jerk about the Watchmen movie. Not only nerds want to see it. I was in line at the supermarket the other day and overheard an elderly lady expressing her fond opinion of it to the cashier. You aren't even considering the size and diversity of the audience that it will bring, so instead of criticizing something that you will pay nine dollars for anyway, shut up and let the world enjoy one of the most-hyped up movies of the year.

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Sen. Barack Obama spoke yesterday at the American Airlines Overhaul Base, but I have a friend who says he also worked out alongside a giant Secret Service detail at the Scott Fitness location in the West Crossroads early in the morning. Seriously, and no joking, you guys. She missed him by about 20 minutes, bringing to a grand total of eight her near-brushes with famous people she missed by just a few minutes, including Bill Murray, Jaleel White, JM J. Bullock and former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson. All at various Scott Fitness locations!

After the jump, some stuff I worked on all morning, as a kind of hobby. Click here, or on this photographic metaphor of me working on Internet blogs:

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"Free Mumia Abu Jamal for the 10th caller." Sometimes when I'm trying to figure out how to stretch one paycheck across two Fridays or doing other responsible shit like pouring my used motor oil in the sewer on a hot afternoon or doing my taxes, also on a hot afternoon, I occasionally miss being in prison. For all the bad stuff you've heard about it, at least you don't have any responsibilities. I learned the hard way not to volunteer for anything responsible like laundry, the library or working as Mumia Abu Jamal's sidekick on his Prison Radio show. Which is what I did the summer before I got transferred to Leavenworth.

Back in those days, Mumia's show was a "Morning Zoo" format, and we'd do things like make "Krazy Kalls" to the prison chaplain asking him to pray for nonexistent prisoners over the phone. It made the time pass a little quicker and a little easier for the cons whenever they heard the chaplain say, "Dear Lord in heaven, please bestow your blessings of hope and perseverance and relieve the pain of your faithful servant, Mike Hunt," live on the air. We'd phone Leonard Peltier at the Lewisburg Penitentiary and tell him he'd been granted a new trial. Lots of Top 40 music, lots of merch giveaways. I worked the soundboard and laughed at all of Mumia's jokes.

The show got shut down by the feds in 1998. A couple of FCC commissioners actually went deep undercover by committing a minor felony so they could get arrested and incarcerated. It had to seem real, you know? So they beat up a hooker. Their investigation ultimately determined that Mumia was taking kickbacks from the major record labels, who smuggled in cartons of cigarettes, which are like money on the inside, and envelopes stuffed with cash, which are also like money on the inside, in exchange for putting Brandy and Monica, Ol' Dirty Bastard and Xscape into heavy rotation on Prison Radio. 1998, you guys. You think Mumia cared? He was on death row, yo. The Mumia Morning Zoo was canceled and replaced with a call-in show, Shank Talk, with Richard Ramirez, which is still on the air as far as I know. Mumia had to pay a hefty fine, just like Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Mark Funkhouser's fine from the Missouri Ethics Commission for campaign finance irregularities. You see how I brought that whole thing home with a local news link? I am the king of the epic-length segue. Seriously, they should program novelty Billy Bass robotic fish to read these things aloud, because they would sell millions of them.

"Indiana Jones, searchin' for some stones..." This video comes with a whole fake diegetic narrative about having been lost since 1984 and only just now being recovered and shared with the world, but my pretending muscles are all worn out from from my back-to-back performances as Mother Superior Mary Regina in the Lenexa Repertory Dinner Theater production of Nunsense last week. So fuck all that. These guys are not 1984 guys, they are 2008 guys, and are probably geniuses or something.

Also, I know pop songs stopped coming with mid-song raps about "Chaka Khan, lemme feel for you," or "Ronnie, Bobbie, Ricky and Mike," but maybe someday they'll start doing it again. Nicely packed, bag boy.

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