Friday, February 29, 2008

Douche Bag of the Week - Feb 29

For a pop culture blog, I have been leaning pretty heavily on the politics for the past month - partly because I think this is a really pivotal time in this countries history, but mostly because it amuses me. Which brings me to this weeks Douche bag - the incredibly old (and proudly sanctimonious) Ralph Nader.

Seriously, Nader, a word of advice. If you can create a map of the United States by connecting your liver spots, you shouldn't be leading said nation. I understand your passions, and completely agree with your assessment that Al Gore had the election, "stolen from him ... by the [Florida] Secretary of State and Jeb Bush" and the US Supreme Court. But we can't lose sight of the fact that it was your candidacy that split the vote and lead to such a close race in the first place.

I was at a Billy Bragg concert with (my fabulous former faux fiance) Olivia in the Summer before the 2000 election and between songs Bragg began speaking about the up-coming election. In response to a "Yeah, NADER!" from the audience Billy Boy got really serious and said that this election was incredibly important and it was not the time to split the left, or attempt to re-make American politics. I agreed with him then, and I certainly do now.

I respect the earnestness of Nader's belief that it's time for a big change in the way Washington is run but leave the running to a woman, or an African American. It's about time.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

A friend of mine is going through a heinous break-up right now. Angry texts, MySpace deletions, maintaining diplomatic relations to secure the return of books lent - it's a mess. The funny thing is, she isn't breaking up with her boyfriend - she's parting company with her best friend.

There have been times when Janie and I, especially during our adolescence and early twenties, would end up in these big arguments that drew our entire circle of friends in and could last weeks. Pauli-G and I had one huge (though very civilized) rift in our long friendship, but believe me, that one was enough. I look back with a chuckle now, but at the time they were incredibly traumatic.

In many cases your best friend knows more about you than anyone. They know all your secrets, your crazy family stories, the ins and outs of your relationship (even what's going on in the bedroom). The worst part about losing your best friend is that the only one who could make you feel better about the break-up is the one causing it. The bottom line is that ending a relationship, no matter who it's with, super sucks.

I know I'm definitely not alone on this one - I'm sure everyone has fought with their best friend at least once. Did she kiss your boyfriend? Did he steal your Barbies? Is it water under the bridge, or are you still plotting revenge? Go to the comment section below and share your "break-up" story. You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Who Gave This Guy a Show?

It's too early in the week for the official douche bag posting, but I thought I would bend the rules a little because, well, this needs to be said.

As you may or may not know, I've studied both group and individual counseling, and actually worked as a Social Service worker for a few years. I know that real change is hard won, and that the process is long and arduous. In the television world people get to have "AHA moments" thanks to Oprah, but gaining insight is not the same thing as committing to changing ones life (though it is a good start).

I have cringed watching an "expert" like Dr. Phil brow-beat his guests and wondered how anyone believes this could make their lives better. And don't even get me started on the insanity called the "Jerry Springer Show." But, even combined, they are nothing compared to the new kid on the block - Steve Wilkos.

His MO is inviting guests on and then screaming at, and bullying, them (not a big stretch for a former Marine and Chicago Police Officer) but I wonder what it's really supposed to accomplish. Especially when dealing with men who abuse and intimidate their wives, Wilkos goes after them, towers above them and screams in their faces. How is this going to protect the very vulnerable wives and girlfriends once the show if over? The fact is that Wilkos has basically confirmed everything that these men believe to be true, control through intimidation and you can make others do what you want them to. Check it out:

He even does a segment where he answers viewer emails and then responds (to anyone who objects to his manner) by suggesting (sarcastically) that he give everyone hugs instead and then suggests sending pedophiles over to the viewers house so that they can get the comfort he refuses to give them. Seriously. And he gets paid for it.

Wilkos cut his teeth at the aforementioned Jerry Springer Show as the Chief of Security and an occasional sub for the King of Crap himself. Basically, during his tenure with TJSS, it was his job to intimidate people, and stop them from fighting (though not before letting them get some good jabs in, for the sake of the viewing audience).

I'm not sure what the ratings are for his crap-ta-cular bullyfest but I'm hoping, that in this day and age, viewers are smart enough not to reward a stupid bully with respect and a following. That's how wars get started.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Rage at the Oscars

Okay, as always, the Oscars are a source of irritation. I offer a free pass to the production values (I get that live tv is difficult) and the girls at do a better job than I ever will at deconstructing the heinous garments worn by the Hollywood fem-bots. After that, it's all me!

First of all, can we get some kind of wrangler to move all the short, fat, bald men out of the way so that the public is not disgusted... I mean, distracted during the red carpet interviews. I don't know about you, but I want to yell "MOVE" at my screen every time some lame studio exec with hair plugs stands behind Harrison Ford and chats on his cell phone - it's so OBVIOUS he's on the phone with his peeps making sure he's actually in the shot. Here's a tip - if you're going to use your phone at the Oscars, dial Jenny Craig.


I get that everybody hates that the Oscars are three months long, but please - did you see how they wouldn't let that sweet (Irish?) girl speak after she won best original song? COME ON! Oops, they just brought her back after the commercial break. I have the power!

And could anyone else have done without three songs from "Ever After", or "Princess in New York", or whatever the hell that movie was called. Big hint - if you're singing a song about cleaning up an apartment with the help of a bunch of rats (and you're, in fact, alone on stage in a ball gown) the people are going to be confused. I mean, at least run the scene on the huge jumbo-tron behind Ms. Adams. Or do away with the musical numbers altogether - I'm still scarred by the slow-mo montage of the car fire from that Paul Haggis piece of crap.

Joey B was loving up Helen Mirren (he practically did a back-flip when she came out on stage to present Best Actor). He kept saying how regal she is. I pointed out that she has a tattoo on her wrist. Nothing more was said on the subject.

All in all, I think the awards went really well - Jon Stewart was much more comfortable this time around and did a great job. Still, I think the glamor (and craziness - remember soy bomb?) of the Academy Awards is gone for good. Now if we could only get rid of the attention hog trolls in their three piece suits. I'm offering my services - I hear Amy Adams knows some rats who work on the cheap. Call me.

My Brother Lies Over The Ocean

So, as most everyone knows, my brother Ian is living in the UK for 2 years and I miss him terribly. The fact that I have been in Chicago for over three has kind of helped because I wasn't used to seeing him all the time (though I do get home to visit every other month and we would hang out then) . Here's a picture of him, holding Soleil, from our (mine and Joey B's) "Hats & Moustaches" party this past August:

We keep in touch, mostly via trans-Atlantic text messages like these (syntax intact):

Ian UK Mobile: Matthew, is mean. Call and yell at him.

rage-a-holic: seriously?

Ian UK Mobile: No. Just teasin. Matthew is nice.

rage-a-holic: Check out my blog. I just posted my inaugural douche bag of the week post.


Ian UK Mobile: Paul, how is your day going? I just got back from the pub.


Ian UK Mobile: Why do boys come over to yours and play with your toys?

rage-a-holic: Isn't it the middle of the afternoon there?


Ian UK Mobile: I just heard there was a big fire toronto. boo.


rage-a-holic: Did you read my blog?

Ian UK Mobile: Yes. I liked the hillary one best. Who will be your next target?

rage-a-holic: Not sure. Suggestions?

Ian UK Mobile: Nope.


Ian UK Mobile: shopping is like work. So are boys

rage-a-holic: True. But when you find something that fits perfectly its worth all the hassle.

Ian UK Mobile: I don't think matthew is a fit.

rage-a-holic: Good to know. Plenty of fish in the Thames.

It's pretty amazing to think that we are able to update each other on the goings on in our lives. It's a brave new world my friends. That reminds me, I better send him a text and ask if he minds that I've reproduced our texts. Bye for now.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Douche Bag of the Week - Inaugural

It's Aaaaooooooooooooowful!

I will be the first to admit that I have been watching the new American Gladiators since it's premiere - the original show (or more honestly, the cast... Laser *sigh*) has a special place in my heart. It's pretty funny how my entire childhood is now being re-packaged and marketed to my niece and nephew.

Anyway, the one thing about the new show that I can't tolerate isn't the posturing of the platinum blond primadonna, Hulk Hogan, or even the pole dancer outfits the female "athletes" are forced to wear. No, no my friends, it's even bigger than that. There is something that has me reaching for the remote immediately and changing the channel. Something so vile, so repulsive, that he is the subject of our first ever "Douche Bag of the Week" posting. WOLF.

photo courtesy of

That's right, drink it in. The awful hair, terrible eye make-up, skin the color of a rotisserie chicken. These things all contribute to why he's such a total douche, but its more than that. On the show he actually talks like he is, in fact, a wolf. Saying things to contestants like, "I'm smelling fear, I'm smelling blood and I'mo eat you!" and he howls. HE HOWLS! Here's a little taste of the rabid 'roidhead in action:

Note to Wolf: You're a grown man! I'd like to believe that he can't bear to watch the shows, out of embarrassment, but takes a stoic attitude towards his new job (after all, a paycheck IS a paycheck) but somehow I think he probably invites all his friends over and forces everyone to watch in silence. He just seems the type.

If there's any justice in the world, this wolf will be captured, rehabilitated and released into the wild far away from civilization. If only life really worked like that.

Change I can believe in!

It's no secret that I respect and admire Hillary Clinton. Her mixture of poise and passion have always struck me as being exactly right for this country - now more than ever.

There was a moment in last night's debate that, I felt, managed to showcase both of the things that makes me admire her so - she is truly, first and foremost, a public servant.

I have been struck with the kinds of reasons that people give, when objecting to Ms. Clinton as Commander-in-Chief, and it often sounds (at least to me) like plain old fashioned sexism. I think it's about time a woman was calling the shots. I hope you agree.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Coming this (and every) Friday...

Beginning tomorrow, and every Friday following, rage-a-holic will name the most odious person, place or thing to have stepped into our line of fire in a posting we will call "Douche Bag of the Week" and starting in March the last Friday will be reserved for "Douche Bag of the Month".

Feel free to offer any suggestions - I am always open to hearing about those you find maddening, irritating and repulsive. The inaugural Douche Bag is a doozie. Stay tuned...

Friday, February 15, 2008


As I sit here watching the latest news conference from the NIU campus (not even a year after a similar incident in Virginia) I am so very sad. And angry. And discouraged. I live in a country that promises the freedom to pursue happiness but the reality is that I live in a nation that allows the bible thumpers and gun nuts to dictate whose freedoms supersede.

Screw the second amendment.

For me, the pursuit of happiness means that I can choose to shop on the south side of Chicago without fear of being shot in a botched robbery. For me, the pursuit of happiness means that there is still such thing as a safe campus. For me, the pursuit of happiness means being safe to dissent as this nation marches further and further away from the ideals laid out by the founding fathers.

ENOUGH! Give me a candidate who will finally enact safe gun laws in this country. Give me a candidate who will protect the rights of all citizens - not just those who shout the loudest. Give me a candidate who champions the plight of a single mother on welfare instead of bowing to big businesses who don't pay taxes, lay off workers and report huge profits. Give me a candidate for whom change is more than rhetoric, more than lip service, more than fire and brimstone. Show me this candidate and I will cry their name from the top of every building in America.

I'm not sure that candidate exists. I hope to God I'm wrong.