Love my woman, love my baby, love my biscuits sopped in gravy.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Fox to Air "Baby Swan"

Following the success of the reality show "The Swan" the FOX network has developed a new series set to air this fall called "Baby Swan." In the series, parents will bring their babies to a group of experts who will physically, mentally, and emotionally mold them into cherubic dolls that will compete in a baby beauty pageant. The parents of winner of the pageant will get a $15,000 shopping spree at Baby Gap and the recognition that comes with having the most beautiful baby in America.

Infants from three to eighteen months will compete in the pageant. In addition to sessions with the most respected child psychologists available, the babies will undergo complete physical makeovers with the latest technologies in brow lifts, liposuction, rhinoplasty, and facial reconstruction.

"With the success of 'The Swan,' it was the next logical step. Everyone thinks they have the cutest baby in the world, and with the help of our experts, our contestants will," said Eugene Horowitz, the creator of the program. "Not every baby is a so-called Gerber baby, and in fact we're looking for the less than average looking children to compete."

While the idea of subjecting an infant to severe plastic surgery may sound extreme to some, the response FOX has received has been mostly positive. "We've had a few calls, but our viewers are ready for something new. Babies are very resiliant and recover quickly, and the improvements in their looks really justifies the temporary trauma they experience," Horowitz said.

One ascpect of the show that differs from the original Swan is that babies have the option to be made over into baby celebrity look-alikes.

"Imagine an adorable baby version of Calista Flockhart," Horowitz said. "This child would have a lifelong advantage over other children growing up."

Press Release:


From FremantleMedia,NA and Galan Entertainment - the third season of the hit FOX Network Reality-Makeover Show.

Do you have a baby that could be Baby Swan? Does your baby have what it takes to work with our world-class team of Life Specialists - including stylists, coaches, therapists, trainers, nutritionists and plastic surgeons - and compete to transform your baby's life for the better?

Is there something you always wanted to be - but haven't been able to get there, because of how your baby looks, or how you feel about your baby? Do you feel if you had the right tools at your disposal that your baby could have the poise, beauty and confidence of a beauty pageant winner that you might lack?

If so, BABY SWAN, a ground-breaking reality show that offers participants the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to undergo a FULL-LIFE MAKEOVER, is for you.

Our experts will work with your baby to makeover his or her life - face, body, and confidence - to give you the chance to see what you could accomplish - when you have the opportunity to compete to reach a dream goal. Work hard and you could change your life, become the parent of Baby Swan, and win thousands of dollars in prizes.

We're looking for women with infants, who believe that our Full Life Make Over could really change their baby's lives, and give them the chance to make their dreams come true.

The pageant will take babies with little physical beauty and transform them into miniature versions of today's popular celebrities. Could your baby look like J-Lo, Pamela Anderson or Anna Nicole Smith? We can make that happen. With stylists and minor plastic surgery for liposuction and facial enhancements your baby may be the next tiny celebrity look alike.

If your child is between the ages of three to 18 months and you are interested in seeing if your child could become Baby Swan, contact our Casting Department.

For more information on the THE SWAN, please visit the FOX website here.


Contact Information:
Swan Season 3 Casting Department
Galan Entertainment
523 Victoria Ave
Venice, CA 90291

On CSIs and Tivos

I find that ever since Tivo has been added to the entertainment center, I'm watching a lot more TV that I would probably skip otherwise. Now it's possible to watch everything that is even slightly interesting. Reality TV is the best programming on TV these days, which frustrates actors. Garry Shandling said something to the effect that he likes commercials now because there are real actors and a plot. Thank goodness for Tivo, then, because I'm skipping all of that.

Turns out if you watch three hours of TV a week you're going to see something like 3.7 days of ads in a year. So get a Tivo, and add six months to your life over the next 50 years. And put down as the guy who referred you.

Problem is, I end up using that extra time to watch more TV. I have a feeling that extra six months will all be CSI, Andy Griffith, and reality shows.

There's the Get A Job genre of reality TV, which started off with the Apprentice. This is a fun show to watch, and one that takes itself pretty seriously.

Luckily, the spawn of this has been the Fox angle on it. Fox tends to take a concept someone else came up with, usually, and improve on it. They actually have two Get A Job shows, both of which are compelling.

The first, called My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss, debuted Sunday and is a send up of the Apprentice, where the contestants are humiliated time after time by an actor playing a billionaire.

This guy puts them through the ringer with a straight face. He tells one that he's too short to be on the show. He hits on the girls. He has them panhandle for money, and the losing team has to sleep under a bridge.

The other show they concocted is called The Rebel Billionaire. Now, everybody knows the Virgin name brand, but the guy behind it is an English entrepreneur (on trip manure) who has more nerve than any of them, and will apparently do any daredevil stunt FOX can conjure.

He takes his hopefuls, who are playing for his job, up in a couple of hot air balloons and has them walk a 4x4 across between them. The losers of this event have to climb on top of the balloon and have tea with him. It is ridiculous.

I guess Fear Factor has shown that there is a group of people, mostly from Los Angeles, who will do anything for fame and fortune knowing it only lasts a few weeks. They must think, "If they just see me on TV eating a pile of dog butts, they'll know, deep down, that I'm the next Lindsay Lohan."

Another reality genre out there is the Take My Wife, Please category. This is another one conceived by one network and duplicated by Fox.

Here a mom leaves her family, and goes to live with another family for a week or two. It freaks everyone out, and usually, every one in the whole show ends up crying because of the situation.

For instance, one mom could be a pampered, fat pig, who has no rules in her house other than don't eat the almond rocas out of the kitty litter box. She will invariably be put into the house of a mother who cleans five hours a day, eats only rice and drinks only water, and is in top physical form. They trade spots and hilarity ensues, as they say.

There's also the Mary Poppins variety of reality show, where a person with common sense but dressed like Ms. Poppins is sent into a house full of young brats in hopes to get them to stop biting and beating up their parents.

There's the I Was A Teenage Drag Queen shows, like the Swan.

On top of all of this there's the Put A Dozen Idiots In A House And See What Happens type (which includes Survivor), and the Philanderer's Island genre, where contestants perform unspeakable acts for money. They all do that, though, right?

Also, we cannot neglect the It's a Mad, Mad etc etc World genre, like the Amazing Race.

Tired of reality TV yet?

It's worth looking at at least one show that has real actors in it. CBS has a show which started out pretty good, and since it did well, decided to make three versions of it. Of course I'm talking about CSI.

You would think they would have learned from Regis and his millionaire show that ran five days a week in prime time on ABC that you can overdo it. So far, though, their efforts have been successful.

Hopefully these programs will die out in the order they came out. First there was the original CSI, which takes place in Las Vegas.

This is the Green version of CSI, where everything has a green tint, and the lead character finds a dead body and starts quoting obscure poetry and literature. In the last year or so, he has grown a beard, to make him look smarter. He tends to look at people over his glasses quite a bit as well, to enhance his professorial style. It's those little acting tricks that make it real, baby.

Next came Red CSI, which is supposed to be in Miami. The filter they use on this show is red, so David Caruso's hair blends in nicely with the skies. He's the pistol packing CSI and every week finds a way to shoot someone.

This guy always has a nice little zinger for the captured crook. His delivery is well planned, too. Say a guy killed a harem of prostitutes by smothering them in chocolate.

"You'll never pin it on me, see!" he says to Caruso across a red table.

"The evidence," pauses Caruso, "proves otherwise." Another dramatic pause.

"And that, my friend," he says, taking off his sunglasses and wincing toward the ground, "is sweet." Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

Third in line is Blue CSI which is in New York, and has the best actor of the bunch in charge, Mr. Gary Sinise, probably best known as Lt. Dan in Forrest Gump. He's the most realistic of the bunch, too, as far as I can tell.

His character is a step above his cohorts on this show. As with most of the franchise, the supporting actors in this seemed to have been hired for their good looks. There's a Ryan Seacrest lab dude, who is hard to take seriously, and an even funnier lady with huge lips and uh, stuff. Sinise's character seems to be the only person hired for his acting skills. He's more human than the rest.

Thanks to the blue hue everyone on this show looks cold or suffocated, and it's hard to tell the dead bodies from the live ones, but for the makeup job that shows half a head or a missing limb.

So yes, there is a lot of TV out there, and I haven't been this hip to what's on since I was about 13.

Tivo, I don't know whether to thank you or curse you. At least the Twilight Zone was being recorded while I wrote this.

I guess that means thanks, Tivo!

You cute little TV bug.

Friday, November 05, 2004

News: "The number of U.S. citizens visiting Canada's main immigration Web site has shot up six-fold as Americans flirt with the idea of abandoning their homeland after President Bush's election win this week. "

Please go! If you are a disillusioned Democrat, and feel that the US is just gone nuts, please consider bailing. We don't want you here, anyway! Here's a county by county map of election results. Red is Bush, blue is your international man of chin, John Kerry. I grabbed this from

If that makes you sick to your stomach, consider Canada, a beautiful country. They have mountains, miles and miles of land, polar bears, socialized medicine, and they speak French. Head on up to the Yukon and enjoy a croissant, tea, and a copy of the latest Canadian paper.

Not to put too big a point on it, but I recently received an email friend who sent me a rather long discourse from a demoralized Democrat. It was a long and rambling tirade, that really went nowhere. It did expose the fuzzy thinking, emotional retardedness, and snob mentality of these rich people who didn't get their way this time around. (I'll throw the email in at the end of this post. It's amusing and sad at the same time. This guy has kids.)

Last point before I go away for another three months. I live in the heart of Kerry country according to the above map, on the Left Coast where boys want to marry other boys and everyone else has no problem with that. I went down to Monterey, which is a beautiful town full of Republicans, and got a Bush/Cheney '04 yard sign. The lady actually gave me two of them. I didn't have the nerve to set it out in the yard. Around here, people with those yard signs get rocks thrown through their windows, and stickers on their cars get scraped off with a key by Democrats. Scotts Valley is supposed to be the conservative side of Santa Cruz County, but the Democraterrorists are in full force there. This is the same part of the country where Earth Day is celebrated by burning down an animal clinic or knocking down a power line. I made a comment about some parents getting their kids to skip school to protest the war in Iraq, and a guy I know immediately asked if I was a war mongerer. "Yes, I'm a war mongerer," I answered. I monger wars. In fact, I was out mongering last night, and accidentally nicked my self. I also monger wheat, fried potatoes, and occasionally, I monger African coffees. Once I mongered too long at car wreck and caused a traffic jam.

Usually, though, they're harmless, misguided, twits. They probably start out OK, but then along their path to nowhere they decide God doesn't exist. They've been convinced by their professors, who serve as their high priests, that people who believe there is a God are less intelligent than them. They want to be part of the intellegensia, so they can't believe in God, no matter how lame this makes them. Once absolutes are out of the picture, they are on the way to unhappiness. So if there is no absolute, and morals are relative, pass the dope. They coat their lungs and brains with bong resin, and the ability to think logically fades. They become miserable, yet defiant. Someone tells them that all life (except the unborn human) is sacred, so no more furs, meat, or leather. Don't eat anything with animal products. Soon they'll realize plants are sentient, and will stop eating them. All that's left is dirt. Eat that, hook up with your gay partner, and soon they'll be extinct. Dirt eating gay hippies. It's a sight to behold around here.

Onto the email from the rich Pansy. This is only the first half of it. This guy should have a blog. He's got more money and time than sense.

Everybody, Friends (well, OK, except Republicans):

Last night I was reading 'The Ugly Duckling' to the children and I started crying towards the end, just as the duckling discovers he's a swan. I just couldn't stop crying, and I couldn't explain to the children what was wrong with me, since I didn't know myself. I told them, between sobs, that I guess I wanted so much for fairy tales to be true. I've never cried in front of the children before. Marguerite said she didn't know grown-ups could cry, since she'd never seen a grown-up cry, certainly not her mother.

Ok, this might be a chick or a dude. It's signed Dave, but it's a new century. Maybe mom is named Dave.

I turned on the TV an hour or so later, about 9:30 pm, for the first time that day. It was at least an hour afterwards before I realized what I had been crying about. Subconsciously, I think, I knew what had happened, even though I wasn't thinking about it at all while I was with the kids.

Now, I feel like I -- and many of you, or us -- have been living in some sort of fairy tale world. We talk to people who are like us, and we listen to TV reporters who are like us. The tension and even anguish I saw on the faces of some of the mainstream reporters last night was palpable. Or, who knows, maybe I was imagining that too.

Here's the confession:

My children go to a very upper-class public school; it's almost like a private school, really. About half of their classmates are from Tiburon, half from Belvedere. Tiburon has been ranked the 13th richest city in the US; Belvedere, 6th richest. 50% of Belvedere is Republican, the highest percentage in the Bay Area. Yet in class-wide polls of the first graders, the vote for Kerry was 2 to 1! Even among all those Republicans! That tells me that the educated, establishent rich, who no doubt would pay far lower taxes under Bush, must think very strongly that the Bush administration is an unmitigated disaster all round. You have to feel pretty strongly about something to vote against your own self-interest

Am I misreading this? First graders voting for Kerry, 2 to 1! Now kids, get back to learning addition.

But I guess that's just not the way people think, outside of my own pretty little circle. Economics or not (and pretty soon, we're going to see that there's nothing prudent about Bush's economics) I guess there's a very irrational, visceral reaction that's happening in America, in the heartland. They're scared, they're vengeful, and they're very susceptible to ideologues who are in their own ivory towers with their own delusions of grandeur.

And yes, I do think that for a little while, things will get better economically. My prediction is that the stock market will do very well next year. I think that corporations -- the big ones especially, who domintate the market indexes -- will make very nice profits. And that will help me, since I've got a lot of stocks. But of course, it's going to be just as hard for me to find a job, since companies will push their current people even harder to produce more, instead of hiring more people. Under the Bushies, I believe, the 'haves' will get more, the 'have-nots' will get less. The spirit of squeezing more blood from the turnips will continue.

Yes, those bloody turnips they serve up there in the Marin County. Swerve the Bentley if you see them on the road!

And I think that the appearance of a rising economy is going to exacerbate the messianic zeal of the neo-cons. I think they'll be looking for other countries to become vassals. I think they could even go after Iran. They're sure not going to go after the countries that really harbor terrorists, like Saudi Arabia. They're going to be even closer to the greedy princes of the House of Saud than they were before, if that's even possible. And they'll continue to support Israel in its repression, and eventual take-over of the Palestinians. I feel very strongly that if the US just: 1) cut their financial support for Israel; 2) pledged to support Israel's security, but 3) insisted that Israel cut a fair deal with the Palestinians -- and gave them their own state, with viable, contiguous boundaries -- that: 4) Islamic terrorism would wane. And if the US would genuinely support self-determination for all the peoples of the Mideast -- fundamentalist, Islamic governments for those who want them; increasingly liberal monarchies (with a better distribution of wealth) for those who want them; and represesntative democracy for those who want them -- that the entire Muslim world would come toward us, and terrorism would become largely a thing of the past.

But I don't think that's going to happen.

I think, in the end,

Or is it, with the end?

that most of the Bush agenda is about oil, and the profits of a handful of companies and their shareholders. (Hey, you say, pretty frickin' brilliant, how long did it take you to figure that out?) I don't think that George Bush knows just how much his brain is soaked in oil. He's grown up with an assumption that oil companies are good. (And to be honest, I've grown up with the opposite assumption, so I know how he feels. I feel his pain.) Bush doesn't even know how biased he is toward Big Oil. I will concede to him that oil companies provide us with a valuable, necessary, product, upon which our whole modernization depends, and (hitherto) at reasonable prices, more or less. But the oil cartel's priority -- and, in fact, its duty to its stockholders --profit at any cost -- is the dominant theme inside Bush's brain. And Cheney and Rice, who do most of Bush's thinking for him, are representatives -- virtual lobbyists -- for the international oil industry. They really do believe that what's good for General Motors (or Standard Oil) is good for the country. And they're willing to kill lots of people for it, especially since they're not doing the killing, and personally don't know anyone who is killing or being killed. They justify it by pious claims of 'spreading democracy' (like in Kuwait? In Saudi Arabia? Go figure.)


I saw a really interesting guy on the 'Book Channel' (ESPN 2, my favorite TV network) the day before yesterday. His name's Ted Rall, and he wrote 'Generalissimo el Busho'. Sounds kinda light-hearted (you know, comparing Bush to the Fascist dictator Franco), but Rall was one of the most logical speakers I've ever heard. I don't remember the specifics of what he said, but the gist of it was that the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were all about oil (or in the case of Afghanistan, the pipeline), since, one by one, he argues that none of the other arguments -- promotion of democracy and womens' rights, removal of the terrorists, ending the opium trade, etc. -- make any sense, or stand up to scrutiny based on what actually happened. I'm going to look into this further, in my copious free time. (Since a number of people think I must be sitting around goofing off instead of actively trying to re-enter the workplace, well, maybe I ought to just 'goof off' more, examining things that should be 'irrelevant' to me, like what the he**'s happening to our country.)

Gosh, I suppose I should shut up now, since, Lord knows, Ashcroft may be reading this. It really wouldn't surprise me at this point. I can only take comfort in the belief that there are so many people who think like I do -- well, about 47% in fact -- that the Bushies can't possibly have the resources to go after all of us -- that they'll have to tolerate some dissent.

Note: Forward to John A. 47% of the people think like you do? That explains the popularity of shows like Friends and the OC.

And they will tolerate it, because they know that in the end, we won't do them much harm. They've got it all now -- all three branches of governement. I don't know how long it's been since they've had this much power before.


See? They're just harmless little kitties. I'm going out to try out my new power, and see if I can fly.

To Canada.