Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Crazy Hot Teen Sex.

News flash - young people have sex. Even those young people who promise to keep their knees together until they're married.

Huh. Who could have guessed?

Who could have guessed that young people who, in the slow march of evolution aren't biologically in synch with the timetable of civilization, might forget their Sunday morning vows in the heat of a Saturday night?

Actually, anyone not blinded by ideology and wishful thinking.

People who push abstinence-only sex education, people like Sarah Palin because it worked so well in her family. People who will tell you with a straight face that comprehensive sex ed puts ideas in young people's noggins, like those noggins aren't already buzzing like Cujo's with the procreative pull of their naughty bits.

So here's another study that conservatives will ignore in their Doris Day fantasy. They'll cover their ears and sing la-la-la so they don't have to picture little Susie doing a reverse cowgirl in the back of the family van.

That would be fine except that Susie's boyfriend is a lot less likely to wear this ring,

if she's wearing this ring.

If the thought of Susie making the beast with two backs while Mom and Dad picket a production of Romeo and Juliet doesn't make the abstinence-only crowd burst into flames, get this: Teens who take the purity pledge are more likely to go anal.

Ouch. That's gotta hurt.

I've said for years that the social conservative movement is based soley on sex. They don't like gays because it makes them think about gay sex. They don't like sex education because it makes them think about teen sex. They don't like sex in movies or TV because it makes them think about sex and sex makes them uncomfortable. I don't know why.

Maybe they're not getting as much sex as they would like. Maybe it's not the kind of sex they like. Maybe they're not getting laid at all. I don't know. But sex makes them squirm and not in a good way.

Atrios over at Eshcaton has a more cynical take on this. He says:

While the fact that virginity pledges and abstinence-only sex "ed" don't stop teens from having sex is unsurprising, I doubt that even proponents are particularly surprised. They aren't interested in abstinence, really, they're interested in making sure "bad girls" get punished for having sex by being subject to the appropriate consequences. So it actually works as designed.

Could be. Again, I don't know. People's sexuality is so mysterious, I don't pretend to know what makes their tropical zones humid.

Jesus, didn't some lawmaker this year check out while dressed in a wetsuit and scuba gear? People got kinks.

And I'll wager the title of this post brings in a lot of social conservatives searching for a little illicit peek at cheerleaders getting their pom poms fluffed.

I'm not sorry that, as they did with this year's election results, they'll have to go away disappointed.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Merry

Christmas, Hannukah, Solstice, whatever you celebrate, even if it's nothing more than the discovery of distilled beverages, I hope you have a great time with friends and family.

And, if you can, think of those who need a hand up.

As we go into our fourth year here of pointless blather and meandering prose, I wish all of you the best for the holidays and the year to come.


Here's this year's card. It's a little late for the Postal Service, but just in time for The Planet.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Once again, I scavenge content from Failblog.

I could not let this one go by without snagging it for the enjoyment and edification of those few of you who may have resisted the charms of Failblog.

This is such a perfect confluence of seasonal consumerism, cultural misunderstanding (assuming it was made in Taiwan or Vietnam), religious confusion, and just plain bone-headedness, that it made me laugh out loud in a real way, not in the Internet lol way.

I mean, someone, somewhere, had to say, "Hey! You know what would be a good idea?"

The same with the window card below. When I saw it on Failblog, I could not figure out what the hell it was. I knew it couldn't be what I thought it was, and still, the proper answer escaped me. Space shuttle? But what's it docking with? What's that squiggle? Is that someone's...?

I had read the comments to get it.

Can you guess what it is? The first commenter who gets it right (and no peeking) will get a paperback from Bleak House Books. Your choice. I'd swing for a hardback, but it's been a Bleak year for Santa.

Consider it a little gift to celebrate the Third Anniversary of A Dark Planet.

And to help you forget all about this picture.

Black fly in your chardonnay?

No, not so much.

But this story, yeah that's irony squared.

And this car sitting outside WalMart, that's irony, too.

In fact, it's my favorite kind of irony, the uptight sanctimonious kind, like when the anti-gay evangelical blowhard gets caught with his pants down in a public men's room.

That kind of irony. That's the best kind.

Mmmm, irony, perfect for the week running up to Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Welcome to Pottersville, Funtown USA.

It's that time of year when, if I'm lucky, I'll stumble upon It's A Wonderful Life and watch George Bailey see what the world would be like if he'd never been born.

I admit, I'm a sucker for the ending.

But the middle part, the part when the addled Uncle Billy loses the dough and George loses his temper is a dark dark place. Wendell Jamieson of the NY Times agrees. I thought it was just me, but he likes Pottersville a lot more than Bedford Falls, too.

All these years I thought I was alone in thinking Pottersville had it all over Bedford Falls. After all, I'd grown up in a town a lot like Bedford Falls and I could not wait to flee that cramped little hick village as quickly as I could.

But Pottersville. The hot jazz and boogie woogie. The nightclubs and high-steppers that made Main Street look like Babylon awash in Hollywood snow? Damn, that's where I wanted to spend the holidays.

As Mr. Jamieson points out, the only entertainment available to the average Joe of Bedford Falls was the Bing Crosby yawner The Bells of St. Mary's. Christ, I'd have thrown myself in the river, too.

Pottersville had life. It jumped. It danced. It had cops flinging hot lead down crowded Christmas streets, pedestrians be damned.

And what happened in Bedford Falls? A kid falls through the ice. An alcoholic pharmacist almost poisons a little boy. Dance floors open up and nearly drown a gaggle of high school kids. Barely legal Donna Reed is caught naked in the street.

Except for the naked Donna Reed, Bedford Falls was one horrible disaster after another.

But in Pottersville, a man could gamble, get a snootful and then get taken away in a Black Mariah full of strippers and call girls.

Now, that's what I call Christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Things to do while commuting to work.

I have a commute that lasts, one way, between 45 minutes and an hour, depending on the number of jerks on the road besides me.

In just the past few weeks, I've had three 18-wheelers drift into my lane and two of them, I know were texting or dialing their cell phones. I saw them.

I also saw a woman eating and talking on her cell phone at the same time, something I'd find offensive in the food court, let alone barreling along at 65 MPH.

I used to work for a guy who thought he looked like some super-badass-busy executive guy if he read while driving. He didn't know it just made him look like a jerk.

I don't mean to imply that I don't have my hazardous moments. Searching for a CD under the seat, trying to read directions, changing your pants, rolling a joint, opening a wine bottle all could, in some quarters, be considered careless driving.

I even knew a girl in college who liked to...ah, you know where this is going.

Let's move on.

I've discovered something that has made my commute, if not heaven, at least not bumper car hell. They're podcasts and since I broke down and bought an iPod, I've downloaded a bunch, from Fresh Air interviews to a bunch of British kids blathering about movies they've seen or not but it doesn't matter because it's all bollocks, innit?

I've tried a lot of different movie talk podcasts, from Elvis Mitchell's The Treatment to a pretentious show about film noir that has two post-graduate dweebs in a snoozefest about the symbolism of earth tones in Chinatown and other such English-lit esoterica. No, I am not making that up.

It was excruciating. As much I want to hear intelligent people talk about Dark Passage or Gun Crazy, I can't listen to these two guys drone on without wanting to puncture my eardrums with a number two Ticonderoga.

I've got an Italian language podcast and a podcast about music called Sound Opinions that's pretty good. I've got This American Life, which is almost always terrific, and Harry Shearer's Le Show, which I enjoy.

But the podcast I've enjoyed more than anything is the New Yorker Fiction podcast. The magazine's fiction editor, Deborah Treisman, askes a writer to choose and read a short story from the New Yorker archives.

So far I've heard:

1. Maeve Brennan’s “Christmas Eve” read by Roddy Doyle
2. "Dog Heaven" by Stephanie Vaughan read by Tobias Wolf
3. Jonathan Lethem reading Thurber’s “The Wood Duck.”
4. TC Boyle reading Tobias Wolff’s “Bullet in the Brain.”
5. Donald Antrim reading Donald Barthelme’s “I Bought a Little City.”

and, as they say on late-night TV, so much more.

The great thing, besides hearing writers read terrific fiction, is hearing the writers talk about it with Treisman. They discuss why they chose the story, what they see in it, maybe some personal story. It's so good. And the episodes last almost exactly the length of my commute.

Give it a try. The New Yorker Fiction podcast.

If you've got a podcast you like and think we'll dig it, here's the time and place.

Talk to me.

And here's something else to think about while behind the wheel:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Another assault on American manhood!

Economic meltdown, nuclear war between Pakistan and India, terrorists with names you can't pronounce and Dick Cheney still the vice president. If those things don't keep you awake, this should.

It's the danger of falling toilet seats.

Yes, dear readers, the centuries-old debate of up or down has taken a dark turn.

According to this piece in the Times, little boys have been getting their wangers mashed by falling seats.

A pediatrician at Leighton Hospital in England, Joe Philip, writes in the letters section about four cases of little boys who were injured when a heavy toilet seat fell and crushed the tip of their tender parts. [Ed. - YOW!]

One of the answers is a lighter seat. Or, some have suggested, we train our little boys to sit when they pee.

What? Sit when they pee? Why not just hand out skirts and Barbies, too?

Alert Bill O'Reilly! This is a direct assault on the American male winkie!

This will not stand!

At least not after someone's dropped a heavy lid on it, it won't.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sometimes life just works out.

Getting a ticket sucks unless you have the right shirt and a friend with a camera.

This is still a great country.

I don't know why I think about things like this, but I do.

A conversation about sneezing and the whole ritual of blessing the sneezer and the sneezer thanking the blesser made me bring this up. It's something that I've thought about for years, but never really talked about it with anyone else.

Why? I don't know. Maybe because it's just an odd little thought that pops up every now and then that distracts me.

It's the whole action of applause. Think about it. We are trained from earliest childhood to slap these two bodily appendages together to make noise. When we do it in a crowd it makes a roaring sound that, if we're on the receiving end, makes us surprisingly happy.

If we watched critters and saw them, in unison, slap body parts together to express approval, we would marvel at the weirdness and the sheer raw animal-ness of it.

Look! They're making noise by slapping their fins together. Animals are so weird.

Yet we all do it all the time and think nothing of it. We hear music, see a show, or someone makes a great speech and as a group with beat our palms together to make this noise. People are so weird.

Just a thought for Monday morning. Carry on.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hey, buddy, want a free book?

I just got myself a free book and you can too. It's a promotion from Bleak House Books and just in time for Christmas. What a concept!

Go get one and while you're there, buy a whole bunch more like I did.

Just click on through to Bleak House Books and fill up on tasty noir for the holidays.

Bettie Page died yesterday.

She will remain, however, permanently implanted in the libido of every straight male who came of age in the past 50 years.

The personification of the pin-up girl, Bettie Page made bondage gear de rigeur. Here is her obit from the Times.

The bangs, the curves, the leather, all came together in a style that still takes my breath away.


Wondering what to get your 8-year-old for Christmas?

May I suggest this H&K MP5, a fine weapon and the choice of terrorists and anti-terrorist squads the world over.

I was reading Stephen Blackmoore's fine blog LA Noir about an idiot shooting himself which, in America, is about as newsworthy as a white man dancing like a jackass at an office Christmas party.

But one of his readers commented on this tragic story, which is a high water mark for Firearms and Stupidity.

WESTFIELD, Mass. (AP) — With an instructor watching, an 8-year-old boy at a gun fair aimed an Uzi at a pumpkin and pulled the trigger as his dad reached for a camera. It was his first time shooting a fully automatic machine gun, and the recoil of the weapon was too much for him. He lost control and fatally shot himself in the head.

Captain Obvious of the Westfield police said, "It's not a toy. It's not something to play with."

What is it about guns and stupid? Why is there such a high correlation between morons and civilian firepower?

As some of you know, I've owned guns for years. I hit this target at 25 yards with a GI .45 while competing at Camp Butner. I placed in the top 5 against graduates of the military academies. Not bad for a hippie writer.

So, I'm not knee-jerk against firearms. They have their place. But giving an 8-year-old a full auto Uzi? I mean, WTF?

I've fired an Uzi on full auto. It's a fine weapon, but anything on full auto is going to ride up on you like Indian underwear, and if you're not prepared, you're going to lose control of that bad boy.

This was at a gun show. Supposed grown-ups were around. You'd think someone would have thought that 8 years old was a little young to be shooting anything bigger than a Red Ryder BB gun (with a compass in the stock). I mean, you could shoot your eye out.

But no. His father, high on cordite and testosterone, gave the kid the Uzi and switched it to full auto, grinned and told the tyke to give the trigger a tug.

Too bad the Second Amendment doesn't have a sanity clause.

But as Chico said, "Sanity Clause? You can't fool me. There's no such thing as a Sanity Clause."

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

So my doctor wants to put me on an antidepressant.

"But," I told him, "I'm not depressed. Unhappy at times, of course. Discouraged? Sure. Not optimistic about the future? Have you been reading the news?"

He said, "I just think you dwell too much on the dark side of life."

True enough. But the world is a dark place. If it wasn't such a cliche, I'd quote Yeats' "The Second Coming." That I can recall Beckett's “They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it’s night once more," says more about my education than it does my world view.

Doesn't it?

Last year, when losing our daughter seemed darkly certain, yes, I was depressed. When I lost my job and our finances were desperate, I was depressed. When my father died, I was depressed. But being depressed when things happen seems natural, and to cushion yourself against these shocks is to deny your humanity.

It is the depression that has no reason, the black dog, that might call for a pill to muzzle the beast. But for me, that black dog is there to remind me that life isn't a comfort and that sadness and struggle are all part of this existence.

I told my doctor this, and explained that when I tried Wellbutrin (even the name suggests a mediocrity of emotion) it made me feel removed from the people around me, and I found it hard to engage because I just didn't care. I don't want to not care. In fact, I want to care more.

I suggested to my doctor that if he really wanted to know how I was doing day to day, he could read this blog. I think I'm pretty open here, and for good or ill, you know how I'm doing on any given week depending on what shiny objects are attracting my attention.

He was intrigued, pulled out a pad and pen and said, "I'll do that. What's the name of your blog?"

I told him.

"A Dark Planet."

He sighed and said, "Oh, David."

So, Dr. Evans, if you are indeed reading this, let me end on a brighter note, something in a major key.

Something like Party Time!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

This makes me so proud.

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

I love North Carolina, my adopted home state, but sometimes it acts like the slow cousin who insists wrestling is real.

If you haven't been to failblog, you haven't taken a stroll through the detritus floating near the shallow end of the gene pool. It's great for a cheap laugh at someone else's expense and really, isn't that the true spirit of Christmas?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I was wrong. Apparently, everything is just swell.

Like our little friend up there, it looks like George Bush also defecates rainbows. Who knew?

In a story from the LA Times, we're told that cabinet members and other high-ranking Bushies have been handed a memo titled, "Speech Topper on the Bush Record."

This "Speech Topper" gives people who might otherwise come up blank when asked what George Bush has done to America a few talking points they can pull out of their nether quarters to make it look like the ship's not sinking, the water's just rising.

Because what America really needs right now is another month of sunshine blown up our skirt.

I woke up this morning to NPR and the news could not have been more depressing if the anchor had shot herself on the air. But in the Bush world, his tenure has been one stunning success after another. What, the astute reader may ask, did W do right? Did he manage to find his ass with that flashlight? Did he successfully pour piss out of a boot?

Oh yes, and so much more, according to the official Bush talking points. Let's take a look.

1. He kept the American people safe after Sept. 11 unless you count those people in uniform who are still looking for those WMDs.

2. He lifted the economy through tax cuts. Times are good? Tax cuts. Times are bad? Tax cuts. Managing the economy is so simple even a monkey could be as successful as George Bush.

3. He maintained "the honor and the dignity of his office," the talking points say. Honor and dignity, yes. Competence? Maybe we should move on.

According to the Times, the "Speech Topper" presents the Bush record as "an unalloyed success."

Gee, and from here it looks like one major fuck-up after another. Boy, am I glad I read this story, otherwise I'd have thought the economy sucked, we were mired in two expensive wars, we had mortgaged our children's future to the Chinese, trashed our international image like a rented frat house, treated our ideals like a call girl's virtue, and viewed the Constitution as a list of suggestions best suited for duty in the White House bathroom.

Now I know better. George Bush has done one heckuva job.

"What we have in mind with these documents is we feel the president's many accomplishments haven't been given the attention they deserve and in some cases have been purposely ignored," said Carlton Carroll, a White House spokesman.

His many accomplishments, a plethora of successes as long as your arm, from the beginning of his term when we suffered the biggest failure of intelligence in our history, to the end of his term, when we face the biggest economic failure since the Great Depression.

But that's not failure, that's just success turned upside down. Thank you, George Bush, you've been a swell president.

Now, if I could only find my gun, I'm not going to put a bullet in my brain pan, I'm just going to let in a little sunshine and fresh air.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Gun Crazy

My mother bought every late-night item Ron Popeil and his colleagues have ever shilled between the hours of midnight and dawn. She had the bamboo steamer, the tomato-slicing ginzu knives, the Buttoneer and, the strangest gadget of all, the machine that scrambled eggs inside the shell.

This single gizmo saved mankind hours of back-breaking labor scrambling eggs in a bowl.

But Mom never had this, a form that lets you fry an egg in the shape of a classic Colt Peacemaker. So go ahead, eat your gun. And just in time for Christmas.

Damn, people are strange.

James O. Born, our hero.

He's a writer, he's a cop, he's our hero.

Jim Born takes a lot of ribbing from our little circle of crime writers. But when it comes to real crime fighting, Jim's the man.

Apparently, the state of Florida feels the same way. Thanks to Mary Stella for telling us about this because Jim w0uld never mention it himself.

Congratulations, Jim, I'm proud to know you.

This from the news:

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Life Saving Medal

The Life Saving Medal, also established in December 2007, may be presented to any FDLE employee who renders assistance to a person in need and saves that person's life. The Life Saving Medal was presented to FDLE Special Agents Thomas Bacon of Palm Beach and James Born of Lake Worth for rescuing a family from a car in a canal and a young girl who had been ejected from the car, August 3, 2008.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

From the Planet mail bag.

I pass this along without comment.

The young artist was, according to the email, attempting to show Mommy working at Home Depot selling a shovel.

I'll let you be the judge.

*Thanks, Chris.

Thank Cthulhu, some people are still fighting the culture wars.

I thought after the election of Obama, that we'd turn our serious attention to the big problems of the world like war, poverty, hunger and the seemingly limitless ability of our fellow human beings to behave like giant dicks. But apparently all that stuff's been fixed.

Because a lot of people have the time to complain about these transit ads paid for by The American Humanist Association. The message of the ads is shocking, I know. That people could be good, not out of fear of being cast into a lake of fire, but out of genuine concern for the people you share the planet with.

How dare they!?

There was a time in this nation when Thomas Paine, the voice of the American revolution, could question the existence of God without anyone wetting their pants. But not today. In these enlightened times just asking the question, "why believe in god?" has brought hundreds of letters in protest.

"That ad is obscene to me! I wouldn't want my children reading that," one letter said.

Really? You wouldn't want to use this as a teaching moment to enlighten your children not only to your beliefs but the beliefs of others, and how this makes America a better country than say, Iran? You wouldn't want that?


Another threatened to call the ACLU on the grounds that the ads violated a separation of church and state. The pretzel logic of that one makes my head hurt this early in the a.m.

According to a report from WTOP.com, "It's not clear how many of those who complained actually ride the Metro system, as all but five complaints arrived via e-mail. One signed an e-mail as a "D.C. resident, Metro rider, and 'BELIEVER' in God," while another writer acknowledged, "I have never had the privilege to actually visit Washington, D.C."

That first letter writer must be a better person than you or me, because they're not only a believer, but a BELIEVER. I'm impressed by their command of the caps lock key, aren't you?

But if some of the letter writers don't live in DC, how did they hear about the ads? Why, from FOX News, of course.

Actually, I'm happy that people are obsessed with bullshit like this. Without them, I might actually have to write about important stuff. And really, what fun is that?

*Thanks for this story to Jen, a strong woman with patience and a finely wrought sense of the absurd.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A couple of posts that sadly are still relevant.

A few days ago, our friend Dusty Rhoades wrote about the latest missive from the front lines of the War on Christmas, a completely bogus annual event designed to boost Fox ratings and incite faux outrage against anyone who has the good manners to wish strangers a happy holiday this season.

I'll let you read about it here.

Three years ago I posted this:

Fun with Photoshop. I also wrote this about a real event:

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- A group of 40 people dressed in Santa Claus outfits, many of them drunk, went on a rampage through Auckland, New Zealand's
largest city, robbing stores, assaulting security guards and urinating from highway overpasses, police said Sunday.

The rampage, dubbed "Santarchy," began early Saturday afternoon when the men, wearing ill-fitting Santa costumes, threw beer bottles and urinated on cars from an overpass, said Auckland Central Police spokesman Noreen Hegarty.

(I love the smell of pine trees, gingerbread cookies and urine in the air. That says Christmas to me.)

And wrote this about a made-up event:

Undercover police stepped up the War on Christmas by busting dealers and confiscating illegal plants yesterday in a seasonal sweep code-named Operation O'Reilly. The head of the task force, Sergeant J. D. Rhoades, said, "These dealers set up on any vacant corner, even next to churches. It's disgusting."

The police burned hundreds of the offending shrubbery and accompanying paraphernalia. "There were glass balls, lights, and tinsel," said Officer Duane Swierczynski. "Doesn't anyone think of the children?"

Mayor Jeff Shelby vowed that the crackdown would continue throughout the Solstice. "Miscreants who sell wreaths and misteltoe will find no place to hide in our community," he promised.

In another story, police raided Northpointe Mall and found Polaroid photos of young children, some in tears, sitting on an old man's lap. The children had been enticed into the seasonally explicit pictures by the promises of candy canes and toys. Police also confiscated a list of alleged "naughty" boys and girls. The man in the photos, an S. Claus, address unknown, and several diminutive assistants were taken into custody in what police suspect is gang-related activity.

I look back on it now and think it was pretty lame. But isn't that the truth with all of our work? Will there ever be a time I can look back on something I wrote a few years ago and not think, "Jesus, what was I smoking when I wrote that?"

I think it was Stravinsky that called this constant dissatisfaction with our work "divine discontent," a state that forces us to work harder and yet, like Sisyphus, still be stuck with that same damn rock at the borrom of the hill every morning.

Or maybe a different rock. I heard an interview with Philip Roth the other day and the interviewer asked him, after writing more than 50 novels, if it hasn't gotten easier. He answered no, because each book is a different book and that means each book's difficulties are new.

One of the reasons this WIP is taking so long is that I'm trying to write a bigger book than Panamanian Moon. Not bigger in size, perhaps, but in points of view. Panamanian Moon was written in one person's voice, that of John Harper's, and if you've read this blog for more than a day, you'll recognize that Harper's voice is very close to my own, which made the actual writing easy. The plotting not so much.

Not that I'm John Harper. He's much cooler and smarter and tougher than I am. But he has the benefit of rewrites. I'd be a lot cooler if I had the benefit of rewriting some days. Or months. Or years.

By the way, the first picture up there is from a site called Scared of Santa. You can see more here.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

There's always that one guy.

A while back, the Typhoid Mary of American economics, Phil Gramm, chastised America as "a nation of whiners" and suggested that our economic woes were all in our head.

Jesus, what an asshole.

But, as we all know, he's not the only asshole on the block. Hell, the GOP wouldn't exist as a party without the flaming assholes they call their base, as personified by Joe the Plumber.

From Japan we get the comforting (?) news that the quality of being an asshole respects no international boundaries. That smiling man is Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso (pronounced ASS-ho) who has a history of stepping in the shimogoe.

In the past he's made fun of physicians, the mentally ill and much like Rush Limbaugh, another notorious asshole, he thinks wartime torture and brutality are all just part of the fun, like fraternity pranks.

Recently, this Aso wondered just what the fuck old people were good for. He called Japan's seniors "hobbling malingerers" and wondered why he should pay taxes to support a bunch of people "...who laze around eating and drinking and never do anything...”

Sounds remarkably like today's GOP base, doesn't he?

In an interesting parallel, this Aso may have done for his political party what George Bush did for the Republicans. See, one out of every five voters in Japan is over 70 and there's an election coming up. And just to make sure he'll never be able to find refuge in Florida, he suggested Japan would be better off spending its time attracting "rich Jews."

What an Aso.

Here, residents of the Sunshine State give Aso their votes.