The Nerd’s Dream Cabinet

There has been much talk lately about who Obama will appoint to the U.S. Cabinet. I don’t know enough about the current mix of possible nominees to make predictions or picks, and I’m sure the people he picks will be statists and so I won’t be a fan.

So, I decided to come up with my own list! The rules: the Cabinet is made up of fictional characters, and only one is allowed from each SciFi “universe” (although I play fast and loose with that definition and include characters from, for example, multiple incarnations of Star Trek). Here’s what I came up with:

Position Nominee Rationale Policy Statement Photo
Secretary of State Jean-Luc Picard The best diplomat in the Federation! “Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment, because it will never come again. Make it so.”
Secretary of the Treasury Hank McCoy With things being what they are today, we need the smartest we can get. Plus, he’s blue. “As Churchill said, ‘There comes a time when every man must…’ Oh, you get the point!”
Secretary of Defense Bill Adama If he can lead the military of the entire human race, he can definitely do the same for America.  Besides, is there a difference? “There’s a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.”
Attorney General Nathan Petrelli He’s a lawyer. Are there any other SciFi lawyers? “Only together can we be the stewards of our own destiny.”
Secretary of the Interior Clark Kent If anything bad happens, he can fly fast enough around the world to reverse time and fix it. He needs to be in charge of something American, since that’s what he stands for. “Truth, justice, and the American way.”
Secretary of Agriculture Samuel Beckett He has multiple PhDs, and the best picture I could find of him he was holding a pig. Plus, we need farmboy Clark Kent at Interior. “Oh, boy.”
Secretary of Commerce Quark A small businessman. Also, we need a token Republican. “Greed is the purest, most noble of emotions.”
Secretary of Labor HAL 9000 In the future, all labor will be performed by robots. We need someone who they can identify with. “I know I’ve made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I’ve still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you.”
Secretary of Health and Human Services Stephen Franklin A true doctor’s doctor. “Sometimes you have to heal the family before you can heal the patient.”
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Lando Calrissian The mayor of cloud city has experience in an urban environment. “Here goes nothing.”
Secretary of Transportation Hoban “Wash” Washburne C’mon, he’s Wash! “Like a leaf on the wind…”
Secretary of Energy Tony Stark He built a tiny and safe personal nuclear reactor! “Is it better to be feared or respected? I say, is it too much to ask for both?”
Secretary of Education Clara Clayton We need some more diversity on the team: not enough time travelers. Plus, what other teachers are there in scifi? “Golly!”
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sarah Connor She certainly understands PTSD and the way a soldier thinks. “The unknown future rolls toward us. I face it, for the first time, with a sense of hope. Because if a machine, a Terminator, can learn the value of human life, maybe we can too.”
Secretary of Homeland Security Fox Mulder He is the only one who sees the truth that is out there. Aliens. Threatening the homeland. “Sometimes the only sane answer to an insane world is insanity.”

The Deadliest Animals

I thought this comic about how cats are trying to kill you was right on the money, and I know a few of my readers are cat lovers. Hopefully you’ll appreciate it.

It also reminded me of the excellent Simpsons educational video Meat and You: Partners in Freedom.  “If a cow ever got the chance, he’d eat you and everyone you care about!”

I meet the Hodg-man

Tonight I went to a booksigning for John Hodgman‘s new book More Information Than You Require.  It was an excellent time.  I have not yet read the book but I intend to over the next several days.

I am, however, going to subject you to more puns.  The pumpkin names in the previous post was certainly not the end of these portents.  When I got up to the table to discource with John Hodgman as he signed my book, the exchange went something like this:

Me: Hi, I’m Greg.

The Hodge: I’m John.

Me: I have had this pun bouncing around in my head and I can’t help but let it out.  If you converted to Islam and visited Mecca during the high holy times, you would be entitled by tradition to change your name.  What could you change it to?

The Hodge: Er… Greg?

Me: No, Hajji Hodgman!

The Hodge: Ah ha!  And my wife’s middle name could be Sweet…  No, nevermind.

He then proceeded to call me a punster.  I don’t know if that’s a good thing. But his “Sweet” comment was impressive off the cuff. I’d had plenty of time waiting in line to construct my spiel.  I was very impressed.

My parents and I were talking recently about famous people we had met; I only had one on my list until tonight: Bill Nye.  So now I can say I’ve met The Science Guy AND The Resident Expert.

You Don’t Know Me (at ALL)

Ben Folds has a new album!  It’s called Way To Normal.

The way I learned about this is through the modern technology of Tivo.  I’ve told my Tivo to record any show on which Ben Folds appears, and he was on Conan last week.  You can watch him perform “You Don’t Know Me” feat. Regina Spektor on NBC.com, though you probably have to watch a commercial first, then fast forward to the fifth section of the show.

Anyway, I picked up Way To Normal today and have listened to it twice so far.  It seems to be about Ben’s divorce and how to get over it and get back to normal and, as you can imagine from the post immediately below, you can see how that would resonate with me.

Anyway, so you should watch the performance.  Ben is my favorite musician and Regina Spektor is also on that list.

Last Comic Standing: Season 6 finale

An Olympic themed farce. It had a very live feeling. What was that ribbon hanging in front of Joe McHale? Some sort of streamer? Amateur Hour. And why didn’t they show Dat Phan in the past winners section?

Then, suddenly (minute 21) some stand-up comedy happened! Jon Reep didn’t do as well as I remembered, but he did alright. It was very Foxworthy-like.

I was really tired while watching this episode so I might not be good at judging the jokes. And my man Jim got eliminated second out of 4. A little depressing! That being said, I think any of the final five deserved it.

But Iliza won it, and she deserved it. She worked all season to be the best and now we see she is. Very good.

All my last comic standing posts.

Last Comic Standing: Season 6, Episode 11: The Five Finalists

So this is it? The last performance show? Did they cut it short for some reason? I guess it’s probably the fault of the Olympics. This season has been so unbalanced, I wish I had had a blog back when things were a little more stable. Oh well, it should only end up being two more posts, right?

They opened with a musical number as though it was the Oscars or something. Everyone’s doing the Jack Black thing lately, even Marcus! Marcus and Iliza got the most applause when they came up to announce that they were going to be the last comic standing.

Luckily we went right to the performances. Here’s my review of each comics in order of least-liked to most-liked.

Bill Bellamy doesn’t believe in punchlines? I never thought I’d be asking for them to bring back Jay Mohr.

Jeff Dye did a whole section on a board game, a man after my own heart. Who knew “Guess Who?” taught racism? I like him a lot (I’d be happy to see him win) and I smiled but I didn’t end up laughing enough to rate him high enough on this list. Plus he was mean to his parents. Who does that?

Ron G rocked the mohawk. I think that’s about all he rocked. He has really good energy, though, and he tied everything up in a neat little bow at the end, calling back all his previous jokes and impressions. He is technically very talented but he just doesn’t do it for me. So sad when they kick someone off the show just after they come off a performance!

Sean Cullen fell flat except for the Australian James Bond villain. That one short bit redeemed the whole act for me.

Adam Hunter always goes for the political stuff. He seemed nervous up there but I think he did really well. The jokes came rapid fire and they didn’t really tie together very easily, but it didn’t really matter becaue his energy kept it moving. I feel like everyone did well tonight.

Marcus gets his first real chance to perform on stage tonight, and he gets to go first. Hopefully that doesn’t mean people will forget his performance. Doing a whole music-themed set with some impressions and some standup seems like a great idea. A few more impressions would have hit the spot, but he did well as was expected.

Louis Ramey goes the patriotic route, he does a great redneck impression and he has them pegged. He doesn’t go negative, he’s even, experienced, and he finds a tone right down the middle: a consummate showman. Of course he made it into the final five.

Iliza Shlesinger represent! She started off on drinking games, which I don’t have enough experience with to relate to, but then she got into office culture and it was good. So smarmy! I think it’s to her credit that she’s the one on the show with the most balls. I’d be happy to see her win the whole thing.

Jim Tavare I had very expectations for. I think he met them, I’ve liked him since the very beginning, I like that he carries around a giant Bass and finds good and interesting ways to incorporate into his act. I laugh when he tells jokes. He’s in the final five and he’s going to WIN!

Vote for Jim Tavare!

All my last comic standing posts.

Last Comic Standing: Season 6, Episode 10. Surprise Democracy!

Midgets? They stooped this low?

Marcus finally got to do some impressions in the Hibachi section of the show, and Jeff Dye just ruined it. It made me laugh, actually, but the little people didn’t seem to care too much for his irreverence.

Actually, everyone seemed to do alright in the Japanese restaurant warm-up challenge thing, and since it didn’t seem to really matter to the outcome of the show, it was nice of the producers to skip over most of it and just show the funniest clips.

Then we arrive at the challenge that does matter: telling bedtime stories. I don’t know whether to be happy or unhappy that every season they seem to end up doing less and less in the house and more and more at auditions and in the finals. They could have stretched this season out 3 more episodes by only eliminating one comic at a time. That being said, they seem to have eliminated the right people and those who remain I want to see perform on stage. It ends up okay.

Marcus did a great job, more impressions this episode; he was wrong about being the only one to do voices, though, Iliza also did some. He was one of the few who didn’t seem to get nervous being around the girls next door. I also liked what I saw of Iliza and Jeff’s stories. Marcus definitely deserved the immunity he got.

They really put the pressure on the comedians with this rule change. But it also means the comedians will be judged not only on their comedy, but on their personalities and their daring and their perserverance.

I guess I’m obligated to vote, since I’m so invested in the show as a self-styled LCS-blogger. I’ll cast ten votes using nbc.com, and I’ll tell you how I voted right now. My thinking on the various sets tonight, in order from worst to best in my humble opinion:

Adam Hunter1.877.386.6901 He started out very strong. The first two jokes, I laughed. The last joke was crude but it got me. In the middle there were a few smiles, but it wasn’t overall what it needed to be to earn my vote. I’m also still angry at him for the vegetarian joke in auditions!
Sean Cullen1.877.386.6903 “Thank you humans!”? Is he channeling the Interloper from the first episode? The jokes fell flat. The song was good, but it wasn’t as good as the one he did in Las Vegas, and it feels like he’s channeling Jack Black who simply can’t be beat for showmanship. I like Sean Cullen a lot, but this performance didn’t get me there.
Jeff Dye1.877.386.6905 I really like Jeff Dye, I think he’s creative and pretty cool, but essentially he didn’t tell enough jokes. He stretched out the first joke way too long and then all of them sort of ended up running together as if he ended up only telling one joke. I did like to see him get in a few Nintendo reference at the end. I’ll toss him a vote for that.
Ron G1.877.386.6906 I didn’t like Ron G in Vegas or in the auditions, but he has high energy, which I respect. His set about being single also happened to resonate with me at this point in my life. I laughed. I’m gonna toss him 2 votes.
Louis Ramey1.877.386.6907 Louis seems like one of the most experienced comics on the show. I thought his set was solid, good, I smiled, a few chuckles. I think he’ll move on and so I’m not going to cast a vote for him.
Iliza Shlesinger1.877.386.6902 **** I wonder which of these were the new jokes. The whole thing was good, but the audience didn’t seem to get into it until around the middle section. She ended very strong, which is what you need in a competition like this. She’s also going to get sympathy votes because she is having to work a lot harder than the other comics, having been up 3 times already. 2 votes for her.
Jim Tavare1.877.386.6904 Jim Tavare brings out the bass! And he does the British humour so smoothly. I was grinning the whole time and there were a few laughs. Mostly grins though, the kind you end up with when you’re watching Monty Python. I predicted he would win, and I’ll stand by that judgment based on this performance tonight alone. He gets my remaining 5 votes (plus one phone vote just to see what it’s like (Bill Bellamy yells in your ear, it’s unpleasant)).

Let me know how you voted!

All my last comic standing posts.