Friday, May 30, 2008

Stop what you're doing, and read this now

Yesterday I said we'd have "practical money tips for families looking to save." That was a lie. Today you're reading this instead. No, it's not related to the Burns campaign at all. Don't care. Read this. I promise it's better than whatever I would have written.

The Last Hero
G. K. Chesterton

The wind blew out from Bergen, from the dawning to the day
There was a wreck of trees, a fall of towers, a score of miles away
And drifted like a livid leaf I go before the tide
Spewed out of house and stable, beggared of flag and bride
The heavens are bowed about my head, raging like seraph wars
With rains that might put out the sun, and rid the sky of stars
Rains like the fall of ruined seas from secret worlds above
The roaring of the rains of God, none but the lonely love
Feast in my halls, O Foemen! O eat and drink and drain!
You never loved the sun in heaven, as I have loved the rain!

The tide of battle changes, so may all battle be
I stole my lady bride from them; they stole her back from me
As I wrenched her from her red roofed halls, I rose and saw arise
More lovely than the living flowers, the hatred in her eyes
She never loved me, never wept, never was less divine
And sunset never knew us, her world was never mine
Was it all for nothing that she stood, imperial in duresse
Silence itself made softer with the sweeping of her dress
O you who drain the cup of life! O You who wear the crown!
You never loved a woman's smile as I have loved her frown!

The wind blew out from Bergen to the dawning of the day
They ride and race with fifty spears to break and bar my way
I shall not die alone, alone, but kin to all the powers
As merry as the ancient sun, and fighting like the flowers!
How white their steel! How bright their eyes! I love each laughing knave
Cry high and bid him welcome to the banquet of the brave
Yea, I will bless them as they bend, and love them where they lie
When upon their skulls the sword I swing falls shattering from the sky
That hour when death is like a light, and blood is as a rose -
You never loved your friends, my friends, as I will love my foes!

Know you what you shall lose this night, what rich uncounted loans
What heavy gold of tales untold you bury with my bones
My loves in deep dim meadows, my ships that rode at ease
Ruffling the purple plumage of strange and secret seas
To see this fair earth as it stands, to me alone was given
The blow that breaks my brow tonight shall break the dome of heaven
The skies I saw, the trees I saw, after, no eye shall see
Tonight I die the death of God - the stars shall die with me!
One sound shall sunder all the spears, and break the trumpet's breath -
You never laughed in all your life, as I shall laugh in death!

We now return to our regularly scheduled Burns campaign. Be sure to tune in on Monday, when (as always) we'll have our weekly Current Events sonnet!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Try these exciting alternatives

It seems a lot of people are opposed to the death penalty, which, for a presidential candidate, is sort of disappointing. It's like becoming the King of NASCAR and then finding out nobody likes racing. Still, democracy is about nothing if not appeasement, so, in no particular order, here are the Future Burns Administration's top alternatives to the death penalty for convicted felons:

Send them to Mars.

Okay, with current technology, they have maybe a 50% chance of getting there. For an astronaut, not so great. For a Death Row inmate? Why the heck not? Advantages to this plan: renewed public interest in astronomy. Disadvantages: felon may fly shuttle back to Earth, wreak havoc, fire missiles. Note to self: do not include missiles on shuttle.

Make them attend first-time novelists' book signings.

You wrote a book? Yeah, that's precious. But hey, there's no reason we can't still stroke your ego! Think of the joy in that new writer's heart when he sees a big long line of people, some of them literate, waiting to have their books autographed. Also, listening to the author talk about their inspirations is a pretty good replacement punishment for lethal injection. Everyone wins! Except the authors, who will almost certainly be killed.

Put them on Survivor.

See, it's called "Survivor," but in this case it literally means...what? Oh, you got the joke already. Well, fine then. Moving on.

Have them run for president.

They can't be much worse than the current batch. Present company excluded, of course.

Make them test amusement park rides.

Think about it...they just built this great new machine, where they lift you up five hundred feet and drop you straight down, and then at the last second, you're caught by a piece of rubber as big around as a golf ball. Nobody's ever tried it before. So...who's first in line?

Hey, how about the guy with half a family in his meat locker?

Give them political blogs.

Oh snap.

Use them as motivational speakers.

Typically motivational speakers are people who have overcome great adversity. They get lots of applause, but deep down, we all know that's sort of depressing, because we ourselves will never, never do anything even remotely as inspiring. Wow, you had brain, lung and pelvis cancer, and still won three gold medals? That's cool, I forgot to take out the trash today, but I think next week it's going to happen for sure.

Now, if we had Death Row inmates up there, it's a heck of a lot better. 'Cause I mean, maybe my life is and will always be a series of predictable, mediocre, ultimately meaningless achievements, but you know what? I didn't garrote anybody.

Put them in big plastic brightly-colored bubbles and set them adrift on the ocean.

I don't know. I thought it might be kind of fun?

Present them as an achievement award for World of Warcraft players.

Once you have him, you can use him for farming...dungeon grinding...the possibilities are limitless. Just don't be giving him your password. You know how those murderers can be!

Use them as roundhouse-kick-to-the-face practice for our new Secretary of Homeland Security.

Oh wait, that is the death penalty.

Any other ideas? Post them in the comments! And be sure to tune in tomorrow, when Paul Burns will offer practical money tips for families looking to save!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My's full of stars!

Say what you will about leadership, wisdom, charisma, and character, you just aren't truly great unless you get something named after you. Preferably something big and important, and hopefully more than one something. Abraham Lincoln has a city; George Washington has a state; Christopher Columbus has a country; Amerigo Vespucci has two continents. All these pale, of course, in comparison to Princess Andromeda, who somehow managed to snag an entire galaxy.

Well, it should be pretty self-evident that Paul Burns is a greater human being than any of these people; and so it is with great pride that I announce today that the Multiverse has officially been renamed "Paul Burns."

The Multiverse is, of course, the set of every universe in existence, comprising the totality of all matter, antimatter, and energy, every dimension, all numbers real and imaginary, all planes of being, every quantum fluctuation, every aspect of space and time, every entity rational and otherwise, and, basically, everything that has or will ever exist or could ever exist in any way, without any exception whatsoever.

This is a very exciting step for the Burns campaign, and of course we want nothing else than to bask for a month in the light of its wonderful, wonderful glory. However, the sad truth is that even for an act as straightforward and sensible as naming the entirety of existence after a U.S. presidential candidate, there are naysayers. Below, we debunk a few of their arguments.

This is completely stupid.


Paul Burns doesn't deserve this.

Oh really? May I remind you that Hudson got a bay named after him, and he wasn't even from around there. When it comes to the Multiverse, Paul Burns is a native!

The entirety of existence shouldn't be named after a person.

Oh really? And what should we name it after? A word?

It'll be confusing. When we say "Paul Burns," how will we know whether we're talking about the presidential candidate, or the sum total of all conceivable realities?

You have to base it on context. For example: "Paul Burns has my vote for president in 2008." Clearly this refers to the human being. Sets of universes are not eligible for the presidency. "Paul Burns contains all matter that has ever existed, or could ever exist." This probably refers to the Multiverse, which also has the property mentioned. "Paul Burns is super awesome!" Here we have some ambiguity. You might respond with something like, "I agree, but out of curiosity, are we talking about the presidential candidate, or the indescribable conglomeration of an infinite number of infinities?"

How can you name something after something else that's already inside it?

Now you know.

If this is what we're calling the Multiverse now, then forget it. I'm leaving.

Oh? And where would you go? To some elaborately constructed hypothetical location carefully designed to lie outside of our arbitrarily defined framework for the Multiverse? Well, too bad for you that any such construction would by mere virtue of its hypothetical nature lie inside the confines of the Multiverse based solely on the inherent vagueness of its aforementioned, broadly inclusive definition! Ha! Ha ha! Ah, hahahahahahahahaha!!!


Be sure to tune in again tomorrow, when we'll discuss alternatives to the death penalty!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Calling this "poetry" borders on false advertising

And we're back, once again, to abuse you in our usual fashion:

Current Events Sonnet #5 in D Minor

We had a day for soldiers Heaven tends
Now Clinton wishes someone else would die
Our missile plan has won no Russian friends
In South America, the hopes are high.
Tornadoes caused some damage this past week,
And famed director Pollack's also died,
But not all of the latest news is bleak;
Our very own J. Alba is a bride!
Now Burma's letting more aid workers in
As Indy hopes the fourth time is a charm
The Phoenix lander's made of epic win
We watched a giant star that bought the farm.
To those who say there's nothing on TV,
Nintendo says, "Hey, don't forget the Wii!"

If, after reading our latest sonnet, you're masochistic enough to want still more blog content...then be sure to tune in again tomorrow, when the Burns campaign will start talking BIG!

Friday, May 23, 2008

This post can probably be considered "non-canon"

Big news! Jessica Alba, the running-mate of U.S. presidential candidate Paul Burns, has married movie producer Cash Warren! We at the Burns Campaign congratulate her and wish her the very best of luck in her new life.

No word yet on whether Alba's famous "no-nudity" policy will apply to her marriage as well as her movies. If so, she will likely spend her honeymoon inventively posed so as to narrowly avoid an R rating. No word yet, either, on where the honeymoon will actually take place.

In fact, practically no details at all have been revealed about the wedding, which was a small and extremely private event. What's more, the new husband himself is shrouded in secrecy; as of this writing, typing his name into Wikipedia merely redirects to Alba's page, and even the Hollywood gossip pages seem to know little about him.

So why all the hush-hush?

As with most things that happen in this country, it's part of an elaborate Machiavellian conspiracy orchestrated by Paul Burns. You see, Mr. Warren is no ordinary Hollywood pretty-boy. He is the ultimate secret weapon in this election.

Dear readers, I will let you in on a little secret. Jessica Alba's the living reincarnation of Ronald Reagan.

Sound crazy? Naturally. But Cash Warren - whose name is an anagram for "We Can Has R.R.?" - is a Hollywood producer, and who better than a producer to channel the spirit of an actor? Who better than "Cash" to hold the soul of a president known for his tax breaks? And above all, who better than a complete unknown to be the vessel for the Greatest American Ever?

With Reagan as, quite literally, a "spiritual advisor" to Paul Burns - a sort of "Teflon Obi-Wan," if you will - this candidacy is now unstoppable. Reagan's easygoing, conservative attitude will balance out Burns's more radical ideas. Throw Jessica Alba into the mix, and you have the Trifecta, the invincible combination of past, present and pseudoscientific future that will obliterate all who oppose and usher in a new Golden Age of America.

Yes, yes; it makes beautiful sense now. Come a little closer, drink the Kool-Aid. It'll all be done soon.

I, um...yeah. Anyway, enjoy your Memorial Day, and be sure to tune in again Tuesday, when we'll have our weekly Current Events Sonnet!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Does this man look smart to you?

It's a pretty well-known phenomenon that in politics, no one is ever required to answer an actual question.

Now, there are a lot of reasons you might not want to answer a question. Maybe the answer is politically damaging. Maybe you're stalling for time. Maybe you simply don't know. Of course, none of those reasons could ever apply to Paul Burns, who - in addition to being omniscient - has a political platform which literally exists in a state of quantum flux. Still, for lesser men, the temptation to avoid questions is real.

And the technique is amazingly simple. If someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, just say some words that are related to whatever the subject happens to be. If they ask it again, do it again. If they call you out on it, merely claim that you did answer the question, and you can't see why they don't understand that. Time is limited; eventually they'll move on.

Except sometimes they don't.

What follows is a transcript of an actual exchange between host Chris Matthews and guest Kevin James, from the May 15 episode of the political talk show Hardball. Chris asks a question; Kevin avoids it; and over the course of three consecutive minutes, Chris repeats the exact same question a total of twenty-seven times. Ladies and gentlemen, this is no mere willful ignorance. What we are witnessing here is a mental emptiness that borders on Zen-like.

(Transcript taken from here; there's also a video.)

MATTHEWS: I want to do a little history check on you because the president‘s referring to history. He attacked those who would imitate Senator William Boar of Idaho, who was a Republican isolationist back in the late '30s, who supported whatever, some notion of getting along with Hitler better. Let me ask you, what did Chamberlain do wrong, Neville Chamberlain do wrong in 1939? What did he do wrong?

JAMES: Oh, come on. It all goes — it all goes back to appeasement.


MATTHEWS: No, what did he do? Tell me what he did.

JAMES: It‘s the key term. It‘s the key term.

MATTHEWS: You have to answer this question. What did he do?


JAMES: It‘s the same thing. It puts it all — we're talking about appeasement.

MATTHEWS: Well, tell me what he did. What did Chamberlain do wrong?

JAMES: His actions — his actions enabled...

MATTHEWS: What did Chamberlain do?

JAMES: ...energized, legitimated. It‘s the exact same — it‘s the exactly same thing.


MATTHEWS: I‘m not going to continue with this interview unless you answer what that thing is. What did Chamberlain do in '39? Tell me, in '38. What did he do? What did he do?


JAMES: Well, '38, '39, Chris. What year do you want? It doesn‘t...

MATTHEWS: What did he do?

JAMES: It doesn't — it's the exact same thing that happened, Chris.


MATTHEWS: What did Chamberlain...


JAMES: He‘s talking — he's talking — he's talking about appeasement.

MATTHEWS: What did Chamberlain do?

GREEN: Chris...

MATTHEWS: Just tell me what he did, Kevin. What did Chamberlain do you didn't like?

JAMES: Look...

MATTHEWS: What did he do?

JAMES: What Chamberlain did — what Chamberlain did that I — what the president was talking about? You just said the president was talking about — you just said the president was talking about Barack. Look...


MATTHEWS: No, no. I want you to tell me, Mister. You‘re making a reference to the days before our involvement in World War II, when the war in Europe began. I want you to tell me now, as an expert, what did Chamberlain do wrong?


JAMES: Look, you're not going to box me in here, Chris. President Bush was making that. I‘m glad — I'm glad the president...


MATTHEWS: You don‘t know, do you? You don‘t know what Neville Chamberlain did in Munich, do you?

JAMES: Of course. What Neville Chamberlain — yes, he was an appeaser, Chris. He was an appeaser.

MATTHEWS: What did he do?

JAMES: And it energized and it legitimatized...


MATTHEWS: Kevin, Kevin James, Kevin James, what did Neville Chamberlain do?

GREEN: Chris, may I try to answer?

MATTHEWS: He doesn't know. You are me.


MATTHEWS: You are talking about a critical point in American history, in European history, and you can‘t tell me what Neville Chamberlain did in Munich. What did he do in '39, '38?

JAMES: Chris, Chris, Chris, I wasn't the one that raised the Hitler comment. My point is—my point is, what President Bush has done is, he has taken this shot across the bow, all right?


MATTHEWS: You don‘t know what you‘re talking about, Kevin.


MATTHEWS: You don‘t know what you‘re talking about.

JAMES: ... know what I‘m talking about.

MATTHEWS: Tell me what Chamberlain did wrong.

JAMES: Neville Chamberlain was an appeaser, Chris. Neville Chamberlain...

MATTHEWS: What did he do?

JAMES: Neville Chamberlain was an appeaser, all right?

MATTHEWS: What did he do?

JAMES: Neville Chamberlain, his — but his policies, the things that Neville Chamberlain supported, all right energized, legitimized...

MATTHEWS: Just tell me what he did.

JAMES: ... energized, legitimized, and made it easier for Hitler to advance in the ways that he advanced.



MATTHEWS: I have been sitting here five minutes asking you to say what the president was referring to in 1938 at Munich.

JAMES: I don‘t know what the — Chris.

MATTHEWS: You don‘t know. Thank you.

It's hideous...but I can't look away.

Anyway, be sure to tune in tomorrow, when we will make an exciting announcement!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Crazy people are crazy

Perhaps you do not like either of the two remaining candidates. Perhaps you believe John McCain is a shortsighted, two-timing, economically-challenged, kitten-killing old warmonger, and Barack Obama is a dope-smoking, unpatriotic, un-Christian, puppy-killing shell of a human being. Boy, that's depressing, isn't it? I mean, you want to vote, but these are your only options? How lame is that?

"But wait!" you say. "There are more than two candidates for president! Why, I think I'll vote for a third-party candidate! These long-shot underdogs have the kind of character and principles we need to start a real dialogue for change!"

Ah, yes, the noble third-party candidate. Surely their quixotic quest for the White House will inspire us with the American dream. Let's look at some of these precious electoral gems, shall we?

Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party - Chuck is a radio talk show host, which is a pretty impressive start already. Mentored by Jerry Falwell? Even better! But what are his positions on the issues? Hard to say for sure, since his website doesn't actually mention them, but perhaps the website for the Constitution Party can answer our question...

Ah, here we go. The Constitution Party asks that "no further funds be appropriated for any kind of foreign aid program." Well, that makes sense - after all, Baldwin is a conservative Christian, and it was Jesus who said, "You know those desperately, unbelievably poor people in other countries? Don't help them at all."

But I'm sure Mr. Baldwin has a good reason for not giving any sort of relief to the literally millions of Burmese who are starving to death under the heel of an oppressive military regime. Let's see what it is...ah, yes:

"There is no constitutional basis for foreign aid."'s a valid point, but it does come across as sort of stupid, and inaccurate. Maybe we could help them out by revising a bit?

"Although foreign aid represents the most basic form of human decency, there is no constitutional basis for it, except for in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution."

Much better!

Bob Barr of the Libertarian Party - Okay, so Bob Barr isn't the official nominee just yet. But he is a Libertarian, and Libertarians want to keep the government out of people's lives.

So it makes sense that he wrote the Defense of Marriage Act, tried to get the Pentagon to bar Wiccans from the military, and pushed to outlaw the horrors of medicinal marijuana.

Look - it's complicated.

Gene Amondson of the Prohibition Party - Now this is a candidate who has thought things through.

Position on alcohol? Alcohol should be banned.

Position on education? Alcohol should be banned.

Position on civil rights? Alcohol should be banned.

Position on the Iraq War? Alcohol should be banned.

Position on negotiating with rogue nations? This is a complex and multifacted issue that must be approached on a case-by-case basis, resisting the temptation to let empty rhetoric sway our views. Also, alcohol should be banned.

In conclusion: The only constitutional amendment to actually be overturned by another constitutional amendment? Yeah. We want it back.

Brian Moore of the Socialist Party USA - If you're having trouble finding his website...just google "Brian Moore." It'll be the second result that comes up. Right after Brian Moore Guitars.

If you're having trouble believing that a $15/hour minimum wage, a 30-hour work week, and the abolishment of the CIA would solve our nation's problems...well, that's tougher.

John Taylor Bowles of the National Socialist Order of America - Yes, we have an actual Nazi running for President in 2008. No, I am not kidding.

In conclusion: what kind of president would you like to have in 2008? If you answered, "I'd like a president who has positions on more than one issue, lists these positions on his actual website, doesn't want to dismantle the CIA, doesn't change his positions every five years, and isn't a Nazi," then vote Burns!

Be sure to tune in tomorrow, when we'll take a look at someone in politics who isn't crazy. Just horribly, horribly stupid.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Are sonnets covered under the Geneva Convention?

That's right; much like Hillary Clinton herself, we just won't f***ing stop.

Current Events Sonnet #4 in D Minor

So Clinton got the West Virginia win,
Obama got John Edwards and his crew,
McCain's keen eyes have seen past 2010,
Meanwhile the war goes on; what else is new?
In China, millions weep for thousands dead
In Burma, no surprise, things still are rough
And in South Africa, still more have bled.
Bin Laden thinks we haven't killed enough.
Our president was in the Middle East
Bestowing peace and liberty for free
Our senator is not quite yet deceased
He's shaken but unstirred, just like the Wii.
In California, things are getting gay;
At least one Trekkie knows that that's okay.

Well, that's enough for one post. Be sure to tune in tomorrow, when Paul Burns will explain why third-party candidates (aside from himself, of course) never get any votes!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Experiencing technical difficulties

...please check back tomorrow. Don't worry, we promise everyone a full refund!

In the meantime, have a chuckle.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The source of his power...revealed!

...but is this an illegal alien?

Be sure to tune in Monday, when Paul Burns will deliver his weekly Current Events Sonnet!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A word from the veep

Hi everyone! It's me, Jessica Alba, Paul Burns's running-mate in the 2008 US presidential election. I thought I'd do a post to talk a little about who I am and what I bring to the campaign, and let you, the voters, get to know me better. So, let's do it! W00t!

(I don't know what that means. They said a lot of nerds read this blog or something. That's cool! Nerds are people too! Also, candy!)

Anyway, the main point I want to address is that I feel like a lot of people don't take me seriously as a politician. They objectify me - you know? Now, it's somewhat understandable, since of course I am, how can I say this, hotter than the sun. But people, come on! I am an intelligent person, with thoughts and feelings of my own - not just some picture for you to click on!

That's what this post is all about - getting you to see me as a human being, not an image.

Now of course, some might say to me: "Jessica, you have no political experience at all! What makes you think you're qualified for a job where you may be called upon to run a country?" Great question, hypothetical voter! Let me give you my answer.

You see, as an actress, I have had to get deeply in tune with human nature. I understand how people think - how they speak - how they behave. I can pick up on subtle visual cues from world leaders that an untrained eye might miss. I can deliver uplifting, inspiring speeches. And there's more.

My role in Sin City has prepared me to deal with crime. In Fantastic Four, I learned important techniques for national defense, and also how to make myself physically invisible. In Good Luck Chuck, I learned...well, okay, I didn't learn anything in Good Luck Chuck.

But look - actresses make good presidents! Ronald Reagan was an actor, and he was the Greatest American Of All Time, Ever (no, I'm not kidding). And he was old! I'm young, and I'm very excited about serving my country.

Remember: I'm a person, not a picture! Vote Burns!

P.S. Be sure to tune in tomorrow, when Paul Burns will talk about some kind of...political...stuff. Or something. Look, whatever, just make sure you read it okay?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Beating inflation, metaphorically

A lot of people these days are asking Paul Burns this question: "What would you, as President, do about inflation?" And a lot of other people are saying: "How could you, as President, do anything about inflation, since by your own admission you know nothing about economics?"

I answer both of these questions with a resounding yes.

You see, inflation is all about money. (Not so dumb after all, eh, "experts?") The more money you have, the more inflated you are. This is why rich people tend to be fatter. Contrapositively, the less inflation you have, the less money there is; ipso facto, the answer to the inflation problem is getting rid of money.

How precisely does one get rid of money, without actually spending it?

Well, the Federal "Burn Your Dollar Bills in a Big Heap" Initiative has thus far not met with much success; nor has the Federal "Are You Allergic to Pictures of Benjamin Franklin? Why Risk It" Campaign. Certainly getting rid of the penny would help, but that is a one-time thing, and we can't just keep getting rid of coins forever.

Of course, there is only one logical solution.

That's right: we need slipperier money.

See, when someone accidentally drops a coin - or a dollar bill - and it goes down a drain or a dog eats it or a hobo burns it for fuel or whatever, that money is lost to society. But people don't drop them that often! Paper bills are, well, paper, and coins have those abominable ridges around the edge. What we need is a coating - a lubricant, if you will - to make coin-dropping a more frequent occurrence. Joe Schmo drops his quarter trying to get a soda, money supply decreases, inflation goes down, bam! Everybody wins.

But wait, you say. Won't slippery money make people really, really mad? Won't that be a really unpopular idea?

Oh, right, of course. I forgot. Because you can't do that in politics.

Be sure to tune in again tomorrow, when Paul Burns's running-mate Jessica Alba will make a special guest post!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The good (?) life

When you're running for president, you live in a different world than the little people. That's hard for some folks to understand, but it's true. People come up to you on the street and say things like, "Hey! Here is a hundred dollars," or "Thank you for saving my son's life; how can I ever repay you?" These are just examples, of course; they may or may not have actually happened. Probably. You don't know.

But it isn't all free money and non sequitur praise; the electorate, selfish peons that they are, make demands. They want things.

Listen. What do you think, that the government exists to serve the people? Seriously.

Anyway, the biggest request, repeated over and over like some sort of hypothetical fractured musical disc...object, is: "Will you be the commencement speaker for our school's graduation?"

And the answer is, yes, because you only graduate once. Unless you go to college. But there are rules.

First, Paul Burns decides when your graduation date is. Not you. Do you think he has time to fit his schedule into your schedule? Um, he's campaigning to be President. Of the United States. What are you doing? Teaching? Yeah, good luck with that.

Second, it will not be cheap. However, because Mr. Burns recognizes that not all universities are as affluent as they would be had they pursued other, more meaningful endeavors, he has kindly provided the following price gradient so that each client can find a solution for his/her/its budget:

$10,000 - Distinctly uninspiring
$20,000 - Moderately uninspiring
$31,415.92 - Inspiration. But they'll have to work for it.
$50,000 - A speech that comes so near to inspiration, so heartbreakingly close, that when your students realize that what they thought were their dreams are in fact the deluded imaginings of a futureless, prospectless, deeply indebted soul, it will be much, much worse than had he not spoken at all.
$51,000 - Sublime

Third rule of grad speech: you do not talk about grad speech.

Ha ha! Fight Club reference, everyone.

But seriously, you can't tell anyone about the speech at all. Because that would be plagiarism. And the punishments for plagiarism can be quite...inventive.

Or at least, they will be.

Be sure to tune in tomorrow, when Paul Burns will tackle inflation metaphorically.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Yes, we are still making these

And you thought the first two Current Events Sonnets were bad!

Current Events Sonnet #3 in D Minor

Obama rules in superdelegates
Now that the Carolina stats are in;
McCain is glad to match his rival's wits.
It's cute that Clinton still thinks she can win.
There's no good news for Burma's struggling poor
Beirut is likewise fighting for its life
On Mother's Day, maternal spirits soar
The daughter of our Chief becomes a wife.
Anonymous continues kicking butt
As James says sayonara to the cult;
The Racer is in something of a rut -
The Ferrous Wonder gets another jolt.
Each drop of gas gets harder to replace...
A pelican hits someone in the face.

...and that's a wrap (till next week, at least).

Be sure to tune in tomorrow, when Paul Burns will discuss his policy on giving graduation speeches!

Friday, May 9, 2008

About time we cleared that up

This is it, people - moment of truth. In an unprecedented move, Paul Burns is going to reveal the very Meaning of Life Itself.

Now, you probably think he's going to pull some kind of a cheap cop-out, right? An easy answer? Something like "42," or a dictionary definition, or a weak Monty Python reference. Or maybe you figured we would say something lame like "Everyone finds his own meaning," or "Do unto others," or "Just be good people." Or we could have just said that there is no answer, or claimed that your purpose is to vote for Paul Burns, or just shown you a hot picture of his running-mate.

Yes, we could have done any of those things. But you know what? You deserve better. This nation...deserves better. And tonight, we are going to find out for real.

And we're going to look into our hearts, where we knew the answer lay all along.

Children of the world, be at peace. For the meaning of kittens.

Have a great weekend, and be sure to tune in Monday, when (as always) we will wrap up the week's news...sonnet style!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Putting the "BS" back in "SDUNTBS"

Much is made these days of "protecting national security." Which brings up a troubling point: how exactly does one protect security? Doesn't security mean that the item in question is, well, secure? If security isn't protected, then there's nothing to protect! It's like trying to moisturize wetness.

I digress.

In the interests of, let's say, maintaining national security, the United States government has established a hierarchical structure of document security classification. We've got:

  • Unclassified. A document classified as unclassified? Well played, Mr. Hoover. Anyway, this pretty much means that anyone can read it. Examples: Your Myspace page. Unfortunately.
  • Confidential. Protected by basic security, but if confiscated, may be read aloud to the whole class. Examples: DO YOU LIKE ME? Y/N
  • Secret. This is where, like, ok, no joke you seriously can't tell anyone, not even kidding. Examples: Omigosh Kyle's brother said Nikki is like totally hott!!
  • Top Secret. It's like secret...but more. Examples: Oh that's very clever...wouldn't you like to know?
To keep the public safe, Paul Burns proposes a new level of classification: Super Double Ultimate No Take-Backs Secret, or SDUNTBS. SDUNTBS would cover Area 51, the Kennedy assassination, the plot of Robert Jordan's last book, the precise location of Dick Cheney's heart, the source code for Office 2007, and the actual meanings of everything Alan Greenspan has ever said.

And if you leak a SDUNTBS secret?

Oh, they'll find you...and it won't be pretty.

Be sure to tune in tomorrow, when Paul Burns will in fact reveal the meaning of Life Itself!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Putting the "bib" back in "biblioteca"

Some say that when Obama went after McCain while still battling Clinton, it was a sign of overconfidence. Paul Burns would like to respectfully disagree. You want overconfidence? Paul Burns isn't just going after McCain - he's planning his own Presidential Library.

You have to be careful with that kind of planning, though - you don't want to end up as with the first ever all-Kindle Wifi Chief Executive Hotspot or anything like that. So we took a tour of the current PLs, and here's what we came up with.

First off, let's not mince words - Reagan's library is frickin' sweet. Yeah, he has the life-size replica of the Oval Office, that's standard. But check it out: he has his Air Force One jet in the library. (We'll do the Air Force Zero, of course.) He has an F-14 Tomcat. Let me just say that again. His library has an F-14 Tomcat. Aside from equipping your archives with an actual functioning thermonuclear warhead, I'm really not sure that can be improved upon. And of course, the way they glossed over the whole Iran-Contra scandal...thing, was pretty cool too. Now, Paul Burns has a scapegoat for all his peccadilloes, but even so...let's sweep as much under the rug as we can, shall we?

But enough about Ron. Let's talk Lincoln. His library is a late player in the game, but it's sporting life-sized, realistic statues of him and his buddies just doing their crazy thing. There's really nothing that says "idolize me" quite like a three-dimensional image of oneself, and it's good to see that crucial principle getting a little love. Also, it sets an important precedent by encouraging ugly people not to spend too much time around Paul Burns. That's right: your ugliness might get immortalized.

The other presidents have their highlights too, naturally. Kennedy's library has the Actual For-Serious Presidential Coconut, Nixon's library has its very own scandal, and Coolidge's library...well, it sure does have a lot of books.

But Paul Burns has always been a little different, and he wants to make sure his own library has lots to offer that's unique. So, after lengthy consideration, he's now ready to announce that the Paul Burns Presidential Library, Archive, and Video Arcade will be the first ever to feature:

  • A mile-high statue of himself (take that, Burj Dubai!)
  • A holographic reenactment of each and every moment of his life, without abridgment, from conception onward
  • A suggested donation of $100 to the Paul Burns Fund Charitable Fund For the Betterment of Paul Burns
  • Guards with Uzis to suggest donations
  • This
And, of course, half-price drinks on Thursday. Because Thursday is like Friday...for Friday.

Be sure to tune in tomorrow, when [TOP SECRET] and [CLASSIFIED] with a [GTFO].

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Yes, this actually happened

Although the Presidential Fish Slapper has not yet begun her official duties, she has found her first target. The Fish Slapper, as you know, has been charged with identifying instances of incredible stupidity and striking the offenders with a fish, both to satisfy karma and to make an example for others. And folks, we've got one that's fishworthy.

Last week, a man in Fort Worth, Texas, walked into a bank and tried to cash a personal check for $360 billion.

Let's try and put this into perspective. Say you had a stack of ten hundred-dollar bills. Now say you took a thousand of those stacks and put them into a big chest. Now say someone gave you a thousand of those chests every day for a year. Folks, this is more money than Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and all the Rockefellers combined; this would be $54 from every man, woman and child on our planet.

Yes, the guy appears to be a pothead (big shocker), but I want to believe there is a certain point at which that ceases to be an excuse. What part of your brain tells you this is an acceptable amount of money to request from a bank teller? For, you know, a record company?

While science may never know the answer, it is Paul Burns's profound hope that the offending cerebral particle will be dislodged by the impact of an eight-pound trout to the left frontal lobe. Repeated blows may be necessary.

But don't worry, folks. It's not like she'll enjoy it or anything.

Be sure to tune in tomorrow, when you (yes, you) can find out what Paul Burns has in store for his Presidential Library!

Monday, May 5, 2008

As if the first one wasn't bad enough

And now, the news!

Current Events Sonnet #2 in D Minor

The government in Burma's good with guns,
With helping after cyclones, not so much,
Poor Gates finds Yahoo doesn't want his funds;
Perhaps some other friends will be in touch.
The Dragon and the Lama had a talk
We're hoping they will end up BFF -
We also think new superheroes rock;
The deadline came and went for blaming Jeff.
The President is at a record nadir
And Nader isn't doing very hot;
While Clinton wants to make Iran a crater,
McCain is pretty pleased with what he's got.
Now Indiana has the nation's focus
They're ready for their stunning non-event;
Another movie's armed with hocus-pocus -
Perhaps that's where the rebates will be spent.
And good ol' Ronnie's looking to be king
That is, um, if you like that sort of thing.

Be sure to tune in again tomorrow, when someone will get slapped with a fish!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Step 4: Revise Step 2

Every luminary has his critics, and Paul Burns is no exception. Some say his plan for attaining the presidency is poorly planned, while others claim it does not even exist. The fact of the matter is that before today, the Burns Campaign's overall strategy simply had not been revealed. Well, wonder no more. The path to D.C. is unveiled at last!

What you say? Internet memes?! No this is not plagiarized!! sure to tune in Monday, when Paul Burns will deliver his weekly news-sonnet.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Winning hearts and minds

Paul Burns: supremely intelligent, unimaginably wealthy, master of politics, oratory, law, all science, and the culinary arts. But what goes on behind those implacable, vaguely sinister eyes? We delve into the inner workings of the candidate's mind in this, his first-ever interview.

Burns For America: Thanks for being here, Mr. Burns.

Paul Burns: Thank you for having me.

BFA: So what made you decide to run for president?

PB: Well, as you know, I'm supremely intelligent, unimaginably wealthy, master of politics, oratory, all science, and the culinary arts. Also, my first and last names are each only one syllable, thus making them easy to pronounce. This is a feat previously achieved by only three presidents: James Polk, George Bush, and George Bush.

BFA: What about Bill Taft?

PB: Don't get cute.

BFA: How do you respond to allegations that you are not eligible to be president, as you are not yet thirty-five years old?

PB: Once elected, I will amend the Constitution to retroactively make my election legal.

BFA: Is there any precedent for that?

PB: After I do it, there will be.

BFA: What do you think is the biggest issue facing America today?

PB: Hard to say. I guess...well, probably ambivalence. I mean, some would say apathy, but I don't really care about that.

BFA: What advice would you give to our nation's young people?

PB: Grow up.

BFA: Is that all?

PB: Well, I wouldn't get too attached to the Twenty-second Amendment, either.

BFA: You've come out very strongly pro-kitten. What is it about kittens, precisely, that makes you support them so much?

PB: When I was four years old, a kitten saved my mother from wolves. They were Nazi wolves. With chainsaws.

BFA: What made you choose Jessica Alba as a running-mate?

PB: "PB&J: Spread the word."

BFA: Are you suggesting that you chose your future vice president solely on the basis of her first initial, for the purpose of making a pun?

PB: Well, she's also pretty hot.

BFA: Are you concerned that that answer might alienate female voters?

PB: There are female voters? Since when?

BFA: 1920.

PB: Wilson. Figures.

BFA: What would you say in answer to the criticism of your plan to blow up the moon, which has been met with - and I quote - "absolutely universal derision," one critic going so far as to call it "the single worst idea I have ever heard, ever, period."

PB: See, that depends, because maybe he just hasn't heard a lot of ideas. If the only ideas he's ever heard are this, and, like, root beer floats, then of course the root beer floats are going to win. You just can't beat that.

BFA: I imagine he's also heard of the concept of language, given that he communicated his criticism in English.

PB: Yeah, language is pretty cool too.

BFA: What do you think are your odds of winning? Do you consider yourself even remotely electable?

PB: Well, let me think about that. Hm, while I'm thinking, maybe I should get a drink of lemonade. Ah. This is tasty. You should try some. No, really, go on - it's delicious. No? You sure? Well then how about a nice tall glass of shut the hell up.



BFA: Hypothetically, which state in the U.S. do you think we could most afford to lose?

PB: Well, the states are like my children - they're all loved equally, I mean, you can't pick just one. But of course, if I had to pick, it would be Boston.

BFA: Boston is not a state.

PB: You're not a state.

BFA: Correct. I am a person.

PB: Your face is a person.

BFA: I...Mr. Burns, I'm at a loss.

PB: I win!

BFA: Indeed you do.

Well, there you have it - the first (and possibly last!) ever interview with Paul Burns.

Be sure to tune in tomorrow, when Paul Burns will explain his strategy for attaining the White House!