I recently received the following letter from a reader:

I am only two years short of being an official senior. My fingers are arthritic and gnarly. My hair is thinning. I have one or two chronic illnesses. My best friend is dying of cancer. My old house has never been renovated and it is falling apart. My dog is very farty. I don't have any savings. Do you think granite countertops would give me a much needed boost? If so, do you know where can I find someone who would be willing to pay for my new countertops in exchange for my "friendship" (wink. wink.), or something else that I can afford to swap (maybe the farty dog????)?

This letter presents me with an unusual challenge. For the most part, I spend my time transforming seemingly insignificant things into promises of future disappointments, disillusionments, and tragedies. I focus on how one unimportant decision can result in totally unintended and appalling consequences, or how one stupid, selfish butterfly in Brazil can flap its stupid, selfish, flappable wings and cause me to make an unimportant decision that then results in totally unintended and appalling consequences.

What I find it difficult to do is to respond in a flip, glib, or hyperbolically pessimistic way to someone already well aware of life's hazards and griefs. It's the people who burble on about how you should always be positive and how I should really read The Secret I'd like to trick into watching anything by Ingmar Bergman, followed by anything by Lars von Trier, followed by Up

So, because I can't make snarky, negative comments about much of this, and telling someone her life might be really hard at the moment, but her sense of humour and her use of "farty dog" in such a manner as to make it sound like a euphemism for something naughty and distressing should really be a great source of comfort is trite and unconvincing, I'll focus on the one thing I can in good conscience catastrophize: the suggestion of exchanging sex for kitchen renovations.

It's entirely possible that granite countertops would bring you a much-needed and well-deserved boost. I also think it's entirely possible you could find someone who'd provide you with some countertops free of charge if you subjected him to your feminine wiles. The problem is, such a man would undoubtedly be either a) a dangerous pervert, or b) desperately lonely and vulnerable and dull and interested in you for more than your wiles. Either way, you'd find yourself resenting those granite countertops that initially promised so much pleasure and delight.

I have found, though, that feeling smugly superior to other people can also inspire sensations of pleasure and delight. So I recommend the following: visit the houses of people you know who have beautifully-renovated kitchens and bulging savings accounts. Then, concentrate on how boring they are, how much less funny than you they are, and, if they leave the kitchen for a moment, encourage your dog to fart on their counter.

POLITE DISCLAIMER: This site is intended for entertainment purposes only. If you are not entertained, fair enough.

I'm pretty sure I'm not in favour of SOPA. Also, I'm feeling under the weather today.
The other day, I suddenly remembered Anthony Weiner and reflected upon the fact that he is still out there, somewhere, and that wherever he is, he has a perfect view of the ruins of his life. Remember Weiner? He's the former politician-on-the-rise/friend-of-Jon-Stewart who tweeted photos of his crotch to random ladies, for some reason trusting that random ladies would for some reason decide not to tell anyone else about it. 

I have frequently deplored the lack of crotch-related scandals in Canadian politics, but recently there was at least a Twitter-related scandal to tide me over. Tony Clement, Conservative politician and proud unnecessary-gazebo-builder, decided it would be a grand idea to call a teenager names. Clement, providing unasked-for insight into his intellectual preoccupations, tweeted the following while watching Hockey Night in Canada: "Coach's Corner gave me a lot to think about tonite." Keith Pettinger, of Parry Sound High School, responded: "If you can't spell, how can you run Canada's treasury?" Later, he generously offered Clement the opportunity to join him at Parry Sound High School in order to learn how to spell.

So far, so good. We have a politician desperately trying to be relevant and relatable in 140 characters or less, and we have a smart-ass kid who has already won my vote for whatever position he might end up wanting to run for as a grown-up. 

But then, Clement suffers from some kind of strange, non-pervy Weiner attack. Instead of simply concluding that teenagers are all mouthy hooligans who should be jailed indefinitely for misdemeanours, he decides to send a private message to Keith and the following exchange occurs:
Clement not only thinks it's appropriate to call a fifteen-year-old a "jack ass"; he, like Weiner, cannot seem to envision a scenario in which someone he doesn't know might share with the public something embarrassing and inappropriate that he's done. 

I'm sorry for calling him out. I just want someone so involved with my, and Canada's money, to behave properly and treat people with dignity and respect and  at least have the good sense not to write down and then share the mean things he thinks about teenagers who've actually done their homework.

POLITE DISCLAIMER: This site is intended for entertainment purposes only. If you are not entertained, fair enough.

When I grow up, I wanna be righteous,/ I wanna be holy,/ I wanna be a Christian.
You may already have heard about the eerily eager, fervently faithful, God-loving children who have become an internet sensation by God-ding up some almost-still-current popular songs. They cleverly transform Fergie's "My Humps" into "My Faith" and risk improving the Pussycat Dolls' "Don't Cha Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me?" by redoing it as "Don't Cha Wish Your Saviour Was Right Like Mine?".

They have created a storm of controversy amongst people who a) don't appreciate musical proselytizing, or b) hold that lyrics such as "I'm a get, get, get, you drunk,/ Get you love drunk off my hump" should never be taken in vain or adulterated. 

But wait! I know it's difficult not to be filled with indignation, not to revel in the kind of delicious outrage always inspired by tiny, preaching, Jesus-praising children. In this case, though, you would be better off putting that indignation on hold and saving it, say, for a re-watching of Mike Huckabee's 9/11 cartoon for kids, because the whole thing is a bizarrely-convoluted gag. 

The "Praise Bop" videos were produced by an outfit by the name of "Manka Bros." It has a website, albeit a disorienting and murky one, and claims to be "the world's largest media company." For the world's largest media company, it has a suspiciously low-rent site, and some suspiciously low-rent products, and so it's not entirely surprising to discover it's some complex and, to my mind, profoundly unsuccessful attempt to lampoon media conglomerates. Or something. 

A guy from Warner Studios thought it would be hilarious to parody the bombast and delusions of a production company by creating a fake one. Maybe my problem is that I just don't think he's done it very well. I don't think it's so funny. It's like a badly-organized website version of a sub-par Christopher Guest movie. 

So that all that righteous, pop-culture-deformed-into-Christian-propaganda-related anger won't have been rustled up in vain, here's some high-quality, creationism-themed edutainment for kids. As far as I know, it's on the level.

POLITE DISCLAIMER: This site is intended for entertainment purposes only. If you are not entertained, fair enough. Also, I'm not very good at copy-editing, so if something looks wrong, it was put there by axident.