Skip to main content

This Week with Kenji | No. 1

Our friend, Kenji Phlange used to write about politics for the now-defunct Monopoly Men site. We have invited him here to spiel on anything with a vaguely political bent that grabs his interest during the week. And with out customary inventiveness we are naming this section as above. Pretty good, huh?

This entry can also be found at

G'day Citizens,

"Who Throws A Shoe? Honestly." Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery asked this in his 1997 film. We now know the answer is Muntazer al-Zaidi, a television journalist who lobbed his size 10 loafers at President George W. Bush during a Baghdad press conference, a week ago, when the 'leader of the free world' was visiting Iraq.

President Bush's idea was to spin the unpopular Iraq War. Something along the lines of "Hey you guys, The Surge is working real well, even though you all said it wouldn't. Who looks stupid now?" It's all part of his all singin', all-dancin' GEORGE W. BUSH THE LEGACY SHOW, touring now in the last days of his presidency.

Mr al-Zaidi ruined 'The Surge is Good' story for President Bush. The hurled footwear became the story and anything else Bush wanted to say about the amazing job he thinks the US has done in Iraq, was obliterated by the pictures of the President niftily ducking Mr al-Zaidi's TWO attempts at braining him. (President-elect Obama is doutless thinking of a major security overhaul right now.)

Mr al-Zaidi shouted that his act was a 'farewell kiss' to Bush and it was for the Iraqi widows and orphans that the war had produced. He is currently in prison for this incident, although many view him as a hero. According to the The Times, Mr al-Zaidi has had a unting effect on his countrymen, " Thousands gathered in cities across the country, Sunni and Shia, to show solidarity with the Shoe Man," The Times said.

See, George W, Bush has brought the Iraqi peoples together.

The sideshow story of the week is the tale of the Pennsylvania supermarket that refused to write the name Aldolf Hitler onto a child's birthday cake. The child, three-year old Adolf Hiltler Campbell, made the news when his parents thought it would be a good idea to get their fifteen minutes of fame by complaining to the media about treatment they received from the Shoprite Supermarket. Luckily, a Wal-Mart store, thankfully free of the ideology and ethical burdens of the Shoprite people, eventually agreed to make a cake with the offending name rendered in yummy icing.

Although the parents, Heath and Deborah Campbell have two other children with neo-Nazi themed moncikers (e.g. JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell) they don't see what all the fuss is about. Mr Campbell apparently believes that people, "need to take their heads out of the cloud they’ve been in and start focusing on the future and not on the past." Perhaps he should have named his kid after someone other than the most feared and reviled dictator of the 20th century. That one thing right there, might be seen as irrevocably tying his son to the past., but never mind.

Defenders of the Campbells have pointed out that according to US law he has a Constitutional right to name his child whatever stupid and offensive thing he and his wife choose. Interestingly, Wal-Mart will write Hitler on a cake, but not a profanity. A fact, that in our view, infringes every American's First Amendement rights. If on their son's fourth birthday the Campbells want a cake that says Happy F**king Birthday, Adolf Hitler, then they'll have a Constitutional fight on their hands.

Kenji Phlange


Popular posts from this blog

What's with George Eads' Hair? & David Edwards

Hey Zeitgeisters,

Bet you thought this blog would never top “What’s with Bradley Whitford’s Hair?” For those of you who weren’t part of that historical blog entry, it was the glittering moment where I wondered what’s with West Wing star Bradley Whitford’s hair. Good times.

However, tonight, while watching the current series (in Australia) of CSI :Original Recipe, I was forced to witness the unpleasantness of George Eads’ new(ish) 'do and I felt compelled to blog on’t.

George plays the part of Nick Stokes and has spent some 5 or 6 seasons with a haircut “you could set your watch to,” as Grandpa Simpson might say. It was always short; it always had that US Marine Corps vibe; it was always as dependable as the ebbing and flowing of the tides.

Now in something of an El Nino effect, I note that someone in Jerry Bruckheimer’s organization has decided to mess with the length of George’s crowning glory.

Although I chiefly watch CSI waiting for Grissom…

What’s with Bradley Whitford’s Hair?

Okay, Zeitgeisters, that’s as shallow an attention-grabbing start as one could ever want, but I really want to know. And sure, I’m really talking about Josh Lyman’s hair. (I’m like one of those people who insist on calling an actor by their character’s name – only in reverse. e.g. “Go Knight Boat!”)

Whitford plays Deputy Chief of Staff, Josh Lyman, in the Aaron Sorkin-created, NBC television series The West Wing. He plays this part to a tee and now he’s set to do great things in the new Sorkin drama, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. I know this last bit because the Angriest Ex-Video Store Clerk in the world told me.

Oh, and Whitford’s married to the awesome Jane Kaczmarek who plays mom, Lois, in the series Malcolm in the Middle. So Mr Whitford’s your regular pop-cultural icon and yardstick for excellence. We’re here in this, frankly, puzzling cultural landscape, because I’ve just finished watching season four of The West Wing on DVD. And Josh Lyman’s hair has bothered me throughout. It’s…

The Spice Must Flow

The other night I Facebooked and Tweeted: If you're channel switching on the free to air my Perthian FBB's, David Lynch's DUNE (1984) is on 9. "Muad'Dib!” Among the replies the following morning were some quotes:

“For he IS the Kwisatz Haderach!”
“The spice must flow.”
“His name is a killing word.”
“Walk widdout riddum, It won't attract the worm.”
“I see the truth of it...”


“For once I regret my lack of an actual TV”
“Soooo much unnecessary voice over”

If you saw DUNE at the right time, somewhere around its release, or perhaps at the right time in your development as a fangirl, geekboy whatever, there is some chance you love this movie. Obviously, my filmhead friends and I have a great affection for it, but in many ways, it’s not an easy movie to love.

It’s probably best enjoyed by people who have read the Frank Herbert novel on which it is based. If you don’t know the book before you see the movie and if the movie itself doesn’t turn you off with its weird pa…