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Something's Burning

gordon ransayI'll admit it, I'm a real sucker for Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares program. (It's on Netflix, BTW) It offers me just the right combination of honest human folly followed by heart-warming redemption. After a few dozen episodes it's clear that Ramsay's portfolio is limited to little more than riding herd on the staff and simplifying the menus but it's great fun to see people's lives improved, if only for a while, by the application of his culinary expertise.

BTW, I apologize for the photo technique I used in today's comic. I tried creating each frame as a cartoon but the photos were just so much more effective. It won't happen again... soon, anyway.


the shaming roomThis week Gary Trudeau's Doonesbury is satirizing the new and onerous abortion laws, particularly Governor Rick Perry's brand of "love-the-fetus, hate-the-child" variety down in Texas. Many newspapers have already stated that they intend to censor the strips, replacing them with less thought-provoking editions, a sadly predictable reaction in this era of Conservative over-reach.

If your paper is one of those that have chosen to censor, please contact them and ask them why. But if your paper is running the full unabridged version be sure and thank them for keeping an open mind.

Here are some handy-dandy links to the cartoons:



phantom of the opera at the royal albert hallWhile perusing the Redbox listings this past weekend I stumbled across Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall, a 25th anniversary production. It was streamed live to theatres around the world last October and is just now available on DVD. Knowing Beloved Girlfriend is a fan of such things I snagged a copy and we watched it on Saturday.

BG's opinion is that it the best video edition of the broadway show yet, marred only slightly by the fact that it was structurally impossible to employ the famous "chandelier crash" in the cavernous RAH. However, as a bonus, during the encores five former Phantoms, along with Sarah Brightman (the first Christine Daae) performed a rousing ensemble performance of "The Music of the Night". (See Mike's Movie Vault, below.)

I enjoyed the spectacle of it all but, having never seen the play before, I was surprised how thin the plot was. Let's just say I'm more of a Stephen Sondheim/Sweeney Todd kinda guy.

Still, if you're one of those who love this play, and there are obviously legion of you out there, then go get a copy. Beloved Girlfriend gives it two goose bumps up. Way up!



Note 1: Legendary fantasy artist Jean 'Moebius' Giraud died today. He was a great influence on us all and to me personally.

Note 2: New York police officer reports corruption in the police department. His reward is to be hauled off to a psych ward. For this we fought the Cold War?

Note 3: It seems that LSD might be a useful therapeutical tool for alcoholism. My little mind is blown.

Note 4: You know what British coinage looks like, right? It's awesome! All we got is that "In God We Dogmatize" stuff.

Note 5: According to the data, if you're old and rich and white you're voting for Mitt Romney. That leaves a WHOLLLLLE bunch of us to vote for Mr. Obama.

Note 6: Say "Hello!" to Rick Santorum!


And now our Chart of the Day: Average weekly hours of private sector workers.

average weekly hours chart

Click here for an immensely immenser version.


Republican Job Creation Update

republican job creation3-12-2012: Last Friday members of the House attended a hearing in Saranac Lake, NY, to discuss a farm bill. And that was it for the day.

On Monday the House has scheduled a single hearing on (Are you ready?) "Explosion of Federal Regulations Threatening Jobs and Economic Survival in the West"... in Elko, Nevada.

DAMN those regulations! Damn them to HELL!

View the entire two-year list of non-job-related House activities here.


Dump Fox News

Fox News Lies! Hey, did you hear that Sandra Fluke, the woman Rush Limbaugh called a "slut" and a "prostitute", is really just a White House plant? Yup, Fox News said so, so it must be true. Uh-huh.

Click here to help Drop Fox from your cable system.

end rant

(To spare you right-wing nincompoopery all comments are moderated.)
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If you enjoy Raging Pencils, might I also recommend:
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Mike's Video Vault

Phantom of the Opera's Five Phantoms.

Can't make sense of the news? Try our selection of progressive nosh:
DailykosCrooks and LiarsThink ProgressTalking Points Memo

Today's Google Chow.

This week on Gordon Ramsay's "Kitchen Nightmares"...

Today I'm visiting a charming restaurant in Washington, D.C., that's in big trouble.

It's headed by an untested, though gifted, chef whose enthusiasm for grand cuisine seems limited to the blue-plate special.

But the waiters are revenous for bigger tips, so they're refusing to send orders to the kitchen unless the menu is changed to appeal to a more prosperous clientele.

Meanwhile the owner is stuck in the middle. All he can do is keep borrowing from the bank and hoping for the best.

It's a disaster. Inmates running the asylum is not a viable business model. Fuck me.