As much as my heart of hearts wants to believe that these photos are fake, I know they're as real as Dick Cheney's pacemaker. Years from now, I will be thankful that I saved this montage of the cast of Election 2004 so that I may recall them fondly beside a crackling fireplace as the wind rustles through my Personal Retirement Savings Account.

Some of these photos are unintentionally hilarious, and some contain less subtle comedic value. But they share in common the fact that, as Americans, we have no recourse but to laugh at them. Enjoy.

Edwards proposes we send sharks with frickin' laser beams on their heads to Iraq

Note: $500 prize to anyone who can explain why the Governator is pointing a weapon at a handicapped person



Top Secret: Dick I think Condi likes you. Do you like her back? y/n?

"I wonder if he likes me…….."


Bush practices his patented solution to dealing with the suffering of others

So it's come to this……

"This is how I solve all my problems."

Women indeed……..


"Holy shit! A colored person!"

No administration has ever been so successful at mixing macho military gun-lust with homoeroticism

This is why we have elections: because we couldn't possibly make these people up. May God have mercy on all of our souls.

and father taught us boundaries…

Have you been looking to donate to moveon.org but, like me, are too apathetic and lazy to donate money without getting anything in return? I came close with the amazing Errol Morris switch ads, but, like most, I just couldn't crack my wallet.

Well, here is everyone's chance. This week only, Mission of Burma's vocalist/guitarist Roger Miller is selling off a chunk of his private Mission of Burma collection, both records and ephemera, on ebay. All proceeds go to moveon.org. As far as I can find moveon.org, coming out of their virtual yard sale, isn't shooting out an email or promoting this on their webpage, so I'm getting out the word here.

Because really, if the chance of owning Roger Miller's own acetate copy of "Signals, Calls & Marches" isn't going to get you to crack the piggy bank and donate, then nothing is.

today's health section(s): playing to your target market.

I like reading the New York Times online, if only for that magic moment that occurs every so often when you realize that it's core demographic makes over $100,000 a year. Usually that time is reserved for their Travel Magazine section, but today's Health Section gave me a whooper: How Young Is Too Young to Have a Nose Job and Breast Implants?

I love that parents need to be told the following statement from a doctor: "'Diet and exercise, not liposuction', he said, 'are the proper ways to treat excess weight in children.'" Really?

The article also highlights which ages are appropriate to begin having certain kinds of surgery done as the body of a teenager is going through puberty and changing all the time. "But they have found that nose growth ends earlier, and now do nose jobs, known as rhinoplasty, on girls at age 13 and boys at 14."

And if this following statement doesn't upset you it may mean you have no soul: "By the age of 6, kids can participate in the decision to have surgery and understand why it is being done." Quote the Dr. Steven J. Pearlman, a facial plastic surgeon in New York, whose potential financial interest I'm sure in no way conflicts with his medical advice.

I'd really rather you be a crack mom leaving their child home all day to play with hot pipes than encouraging and paying for your 6 year old to get a quick nip/tuck. I think the crack would be better in the long term for the well-being of your child.

Keeping with the theme of target demographics, this made me check out the Health Section of south-side favorite The Chicago Sun-Times today as well. Their lead story covers current sports medicine: ACL tears not what they used to be. It's funny, as the level of authority in tone and overall knowledge and presentation of medicine is significantly higher in the Sun Times article.

I will now give a summary of the following target markets. New York Times: how soon is too soon to give my child plastic surgery? Chicago Sun-Times: can a quarterback recover from a tear to his anterior cruciate ligament?

God bless the second city, everyone.


What follows, as hard as it may be to believe, is an authentic release of information by Motorola. Irrelevant portions of the release, which is quite long, have been removed:

Motorola to Cut 1,000 Jobs
September 28, 2004 12:00:00 PM ET
By Deborah Cohen

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Motorola Inc. (MOT), the world's No. 2 maker of cell phones, on Tuesday said it would cut 1,000 jobs in three of its units as it puts its effort behind wireless communications in an increasingly competitive market.

Motorola said the job cuts, which represent 1 percent of its work force, would not mean that its total work force would be reduced. It said it would take a pre-tax charge of $50 million for severance payments, and a separate charge of $80 million for the early repayment of debt. It will make no cuts in its cell phone business, ranked second behind Finland's Nokia .

"This doesn't mean our work force number is going to go down," Weyrauch said, adding that the company continues to hire new workers.

Now, maybe I'm un-American and maybe my colors are running, but the last time I checked, laying off workers sort of implied that the number of people one employs would fall. Unless they're planning on hiring an additional 1,000 people in other areas within the immediate future – and they have indicated no intention to do so – then…well…..um…..the number of employees goes down, right?

They appear to be acting on the assumption that so long as they will – at some indeterminate point in the future – get back to the number of employees they have now, they are not really laying anyone off. So if a company lays a bunch of people off now, on the basis of the fact that at some point before 2095 they will likely be back to or exceed the current number of employees, they have not really laid anyone off.


Saturday with Rosenbaum

Film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum talks about Essential Cinema. Sat 9/25, 3 PM, Barnes & Noble, 1441 W. Webster.

This man is so heroic to me that if an eagle was to majestically land on his forearm while he was giving his lecture I wouldn't even miss a beat.

there's a point where it's just rude.

"Corporate lobbyists are writing the rules for the EPA under the Bush administration." When I've made that statement in the past, I've never meant it literally – I've only meant that the EPA are supporting corporations in a way that makes it look like the corporations are telling them what to do.

Well, it turns out I was wrong there. Lobbyists are actually writing for the EPA. On Wednesday the Washington Post found that EPA's report for Mecury regulation was nearly identical to a lobbyist's proposal, the third such instance they have uncovered:

The Aug. 5, 2002, memo from Latham & Watkins, submitted during the public comment period on the rule, said hazardous air pollutants other than mercury did not need to be regulated.

The EPA used nearly identical language in its rule, changing just eight words. In a separate section, the agency used the same italics Latham lawyers used in their memo, saying the EPA is required to regulate only the pollutants under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act "after considering the results of the study required by this paragraph." The memo uses the word "subparagraph" instead of paragraph but is otherwise identical.

Eight word! They didn't even change the italics! Two of our staff are grad students given to grading undergrad papers, and though I don't do it myself, I could only assume that they are disappointed at the poor levels of plagarism displayed by our appointed officials.

So there you have it. Regulating chromium, lead and arsenic pollution levels in our drinking water is a matter left to the market. Granted it's possible that the lawyers at Latham & Watkins have people's best interests at heart, but just seeing their webpage makes my skin crawl. There's a point where President Bush is just rubbing our face in it. I understand that you've sold out the people's faith in an independently run government agency protecting the environment, but could you not be so, ummm, obvious about it?


Police in Wabasha, Minnesota issued a motorcyclist a ticket this week for driving 205 miles per hour on an interstate highway. That's 140 miles over, or 2.15 times, the speed limit.

Being a man who feels prepared to engage in intense driving when necessary, I am compelled to lavish such awards as the Ginandtacos Foundation for Highway Safety will allow on this gentleman.

His honorarium will consist of a Tom Collins toast in his honor, a bronze plaque of his speedometer at the velocity in question, and a bound and gilded set of MapQuest maps. Being the type of driver that he clearly is, he will of course discard the latter, understanding that maps are for pussies and rules of the road are for the God-fearing.


Funny how, in 2000, the absentee ballots of military personnel serving overseas were widely hailed as being important in determining the narrow electoral outcomes of military-heavy states like New Mexico and Florida. Funny how Bush was so adamant about waiting until all those (Republican) ballots got counted before declaring any winners.

Funny how, 4 years later, the absentee balloting of the 160,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan is in chaos and many of them will not end up being able to vote. Funny how no one in the Department of Defense or military seems too terribly concerned that these people – who, after 18 months of getting blown up, shot full of holes, burned, beheaded and reviled, might not be so Republican anymore – won't be casting ballots.

It is truly an amazing coincidence, and you would be a fool and a terrorist to assert otherwise.

Erik's Epics: Fall 2004, The Trip To Maker's Mark

epicLong narrative poem employing elevated language and telling of the deeds of a legendary or historical hero. Epics often involve complex sequences of adventures as well as an underlying philosophical understanding of human actions, choices, fate, and the course of events.

Every so often, mankind is forced to deal with a set of circumstances so large, so important, so laden with digital pictures that he has no choice but to create a special blog page to contain it all. The word for this is epic, and these things happen to our own Erik Martin every four months or so. As such, he is forced to try and describe these events as only he can, in a new quarterly feature called "Erik's Epics."

Before, in the Spring/Summer of 2004, Erik's Epic was the Competetive Mustache Growth. In case you haven't, go back and read the trials and struggles of men growing facial hair with a level of determination that could only be described as heroic.

Now, Fall 2004, brings you a new level of epicness that will test all the members of the ginandtacos.com staff:

The Trip to Maker's Mark


Sky mike and the World of my weekend.

  • I've fallen into the hype and picked up a copy of of Susanna Clarke's book Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. It must be getting very popular as it was sold out nearly everywhere I went. If you read this before 12:30pm Monday, you can catch the author downtown for a signing.

    It's being hailed as a "Harry Potter" for adults. This strikes me, and people who have read the book already, as a marketing ploy. Granted it is about magic as a gentlemen's scholarly pursuit in early 19th century England, but it reads as a homage to, and slight parody of, British social comedy novels. I've enjoyed the Harry Potter books but I'm not a nut about them. I generally eschew historical novels along with fantasy and/or sci-fi but I'm digging this book so far. I'll have more to say as I continue.

    Side note: As a person who grew up with comics and the Sandman saga, it always amazes me the reverence our culture has for Neil Gaiman. The way Sandman was able to hit a massive audience was probably one of the high-water marks for DC Comics. There are only two back quotes to this book and one of them by Gaiman. He never does quotes, and this one is huge and imposing ("best English novel in seventy years…."). So if you like Gaiman at least check this out. It's on the Long List for the Booker Prize as well.

  • Did anyone else think Arthur Miller was dead? Well I guess he's not, and he has a new play at the Goodman. This completely ruins my fantasy of an afterlife where he is playing cards and drinking too much with Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee and Eugene O'Neil while mocking dead French playwrights and causing no good (picturing the tb-ridden O'Neil calling Camus a "little bitch" on a sea of clouds entertains me to no end).