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Where I write all things Justin. Call me a Daydream Belieber!
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Ted Cruz Can’t Win

The 2016 presidential race has finally, officially, really begun. All those articles and videos and news pieces you’ve been seeing for the last 18 months about 2016? They were just the pregame show. This week the starter gun went off at last with the entry of the first declared candidate in the race: Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz.

Cruz started his campaign off with a bang this week, announcing his candidacy at Jerry Falwell’s (fully accredited, seriously) Liberty University during the morning convocation, which is a compulsory part of the school’s curriculum. The excitement was palpable!

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The Gayes Are Ruining Everything

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 3.03.08 PMJust as the near-universal outrage at the verdict in the “Blurred Lines”/”Got To Give It Up” plagiarism trial seemed to be dying down, the controversy over whether it was a just ruling seems to have morphed into a contest to see who can be the more unsympathetic party: the loathsome Robin Thicke, or the heirs to Marvin Gaye’s estate.

It seems that a $7.4 million judgment — nearly half of “Blurred Lines”’ total earnings — is not enough for the Gayes. Per The Hollywood Reporter:

The Gaye family is now pushing for the judge to “correct” the jury’s verdict to add Universal Music, Interscope Records and Star Trak Entertainment to the list of infringers. Additionally, the judge is also being asked to set aside the jury’s decision to give Clifford Harris, Jr. (aka T.I.) a pass and hold him accountable too.

They are also hitting Thicke with another plagiarism suit for having a superfluous ‘e’ at the end of his surname.

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The Robin Thicke Verdict Is Wrong

Justice is pretty hard to come by these days. The people who tanked the economy got off scot-free, as did the people who lied us into a devastating war. Cops are killing civilians and not even being charged, much less convicted. Beck won Album of the Year over Beyoncé. So it’s nice to see one of history’s worst douchebags publicly humiliated in a court decision that may very well end his career.

Yesterday a Los Angeles jury found Robin Thicke and his credited “Blurred Lines” cowriter, Pharrell Williams, guilty of plagiarizing Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got To Give It Up,” and awarded Gaye’s heirs $7.3 million in damages.

I am 100% in favor of Robin Thicke suffering for his crimes, which include (but are by no means limited to) publicly cheating on a wife most men would kill for, writing startlingly rapey lyrics, singing into a gold microphone, wearing a Beetlejuice suit in public, wearing aviator sunglasses indoors, and taking half of the credit for a song he now admits Pharrell wrote by himself.

Unfortunately, those crimes do not in my opinion include plagiarizing Marvin Gaye.

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Hillary Rorschach Clinton



With only 20 months to go until the 2016 presidential election, the (as yet unannounced) Hillary Clinton campaign was rocked by the biggest scandal since Abu Ghraib. Or it barely had its hair mussed by a trumped-up charge of something that’s not even illegal. One of the two, depending on where you get your news.

It seems Mrs. Clinton conducted all of her correspondence during her tenure as Secretary of State (2009-2013) through her own private domain,, routed through a private email server, rather than a .gov address routed through government servers, which raises an awful lot of questions about her transparency (it seems it would be very easy to omit anything unflattering or untoward from the public record if you have sole control of those records), her compliance with the law (all government employees are required to conduct business on official .gov accounts), and her competence (if National Security is the first item on your job description, it seems awfully risky to take your own cyber-security into your own hands).

But wait! Democrats are insisting that this is no big deal at all, because all previous Secretaries of State also used their private email accounts to do official business! And the law mandating that all government correspondence go through official servers wasn’t enacted until Clinton was out of office! And she just turned over 55,000 pages of emails to the State Department!

This may or may not affect Clinton’s chances in 2016, but it’s a perfect demonstration of how completely fucked American democracy is in the 21st century and I’m giving up and going to live among island natives and subsist on rainwater and seaweed.

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Patricia Arquette Is Not The Problem


Welcome back to WHEEL OF OUTRAGE, the game where we take the innocuous comments of a public figure, distort their meaning and intent, and turn allies into enemies! Let’s see who was dumb enough to say something into a microphone this week!

Let’s say hello to tonight’s contestant, actress Patricia Arquette! You may remember her as Alabama Worley in TRUE ROMANCE (I certainly do), that lousy CBS show where she was a psychic, or most recently as the struggling single mom in BOYHOOD — a role that just won her a richly deserved Academy Award!

Looks like Ms. Arquette made the mistake of trying to say something in her Oscar acceptance speech, because this week has been full of thinkpieces decrying her appallingly insensitive and racist statements. Let’s see what she said:

“We don’t have equal rights for women in America and we don’t because when they wrote the Constitution, they didn’t intend it for women. So, the truth is, even though we sort of feel like we have equal rights in America, right under the surface, there are huge issues that are applied that really do affect women. It’s time for all the women in America and all the men who love women and all the gay people and all the people of color that we’ve fought for, to fight for us now.”

Wait, that’s it? Rewind that, let’s see it again.

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Fire Brian Williams (Or Don’t)


It’s been a rough couple of weeks for NBC News anchor Brian Williams. First he had to weather the indignity of his daughter getting her salad tossed on HBO, and now he faces legitimate questions about his truthfulness and integrity.

It seems that Mr. Williams, in paying tribute to a war veteran he met in 2003 during the Iraq invasion, embellished the story of their shared adventure, claiming that their helicopter had been shot down when in fact no such thing happened; Williams’ helicopter was trailing one hit by RPG fire and landed without incident an hour after the stricken aircraft made an emergency landing.

Veterans quickly took issue with Williams’ story, made worse by the fact that Williams has been telling this story for years, most recently on Late Show with David Letterman two years ago. Williams offered an apology from the anchor chair a couple of nights ago, saying he had somehow accidentally “conflated” the two helicopters (the one that was hit and the one he was riding in) and insisted it was an innocent mistake.

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American Sniping


Remember when Seth Rogen was a hero of free speech and the American way?

It seems like just a couple of weeks ago that THE INTERVIEW, written and directed by Rogen and his partner Evan Goldberg and co-starring James Franco, was the talk of the nation.

THE INTERVIEW, in case you spent the Christmas holiday on the moon, features Rogen and Franco as an entertainment reporter and his producer who get invited to North Korea by Kim Jong-un for an exclusive interview; the pair is then recruited by the CIA to use the opportunity to kill the crazed leader.

The North Korean government, oddly enough, took umbrage at the premise of the film, and promised grave repercussions if Sony Pictures went forward with the release; soon after that Sony’s computer systems were hacked, embarrassing private emails were released, theatrical releases were leaked to the Internet before they could be released, and the party claiming responsibility (the Guardians of Peace, or #GOP) promised more mayhem if the film was released.

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Rolling Stone, Covered With Moss

1035x1407-Nicki_Cover_SML copyI’m going to give you a list of names, and I want you to see if you can guess what they have in common: Nicki Minaj, Marilyn Manson, Cat Stevens, Fall Out Boy, Sleater-Kinney.

Stumped? That’s okay, because it’s a trick question. None of these names have anything at all in common other than belonging to musicians that breathe oxygen, and the fact that they were all featured on the cover of Rolling Stone that somehow infiltrated my mail slot a couple of weeks ago.

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Stop Not Watching The Bachelor


I came terrifyingly close to making a huge mistake last week. No one would have been hurt or anything, but my quality of life would definitely have been affected, and I want to discuss it a little this week because I suspect that most of you are making this mistake on a regular basis.

Monday night came and went, and then Tuesday, then Wednesday. It wasn’t until Thursday that I found myself in front of my TV, scanning my DVR inventory, and saw the season premiere of THE BACHELOR waiting patiently. And I don’t know what got into me, but I very nearly didn’t watch it.

Although it has brought me great amusement in the past, the side of my brain that writes, and performs, and took more Shakespeare courses than were required in college said “Come on dude, can’t we do better than that bottom-feeding tripe?” And for a moment, I almost listened to that stupid, stupid voice.

But the other side of my brain, the one that has no shame or compunction about things like this, the one that dips graham crackers into Nutella and finishes with a spritz of whipped cream straight to the trap said “It’s not like there’s anything else on.”

So I did it: I watched the season premiere of THE BACHELOR, and it was the smartest dumb thing I did all week.

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Sarah Palin Is Right


It’s hard to think of any public figure I dislike more, or have less sympathy for, than Sarah Palin. Elevated in a weak moment by former Republican presidential nominee John McCain to become the most manifestly unqualified running mate this side of Tom Eagleton in 2008, after losing the election Palin then resigned as governor of Alaska and leveraged her name recognition, political experience, and cheekbones to move into the lucrative world of television punditry, appearing as a Fox News contributor and star of a couple of TLC reality shows.

Though she still pops up now and again to complain about “the lamestream media” (her favorite phrase), her star has fallen considerably: she has no influence on Republican Party policy, no one is clamoring for her endorsement, much less floating her name for any office above PTA secretary, and the only TV coverage she got last year was when her entire brood piled out of a stretch Hummer limo to start a yard brawl at a backyard barbecue. No longer pulling the big checks from Fox News or TLC, she’s been reduced to starting her own Internet channel, where she’s seldom heard from, which is just the way I like her.

But she’s back in the news this week because she posted a photo of her son using the family dog as a stepstool, and people are outraged, claiming animal abuse and poor parenting. Palin quickly fired back at her critics, pointing to a nearly identical photo Ellen Degeneres posted of a little girl standing on a Golden Retriever that won warm applause when Degeneres showed it on her talk show and calling PETA, who denounced Palin and had named Degeneres Woman of the Year in 2009, hypocrites along with everyone else who was piling on.

I strongly dislike everything about Sarah Palin, from her victim routine to her empty-headed demagoguery to her uninformed policy prescriptions to her ignorant fearmongering to the faux-folksy, condescending, snarky tone she uses for nearly everything, including her statement. Even her famously good looks are eroding much faster than can be blamed on Father Time; the hate and ugliness she so tirelessly pumps into the world seems to be reflected on her face, looking more and more like an involuntary, permanent scowl. This person is contributing nothing but negativity to our society and is provably, empirically wrong almost every time she opens her stupid yap.

Which is why it so pains me to say she’s absolutely right about this.

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