Dagen McDowell scares me.
Don’t get me wrong, I love her to death. She’s beautiful inside and out, and one of the single funniest woman on the planet, which is an enormously huge statement, because there are precious few funny women on it. She’s also very sweet, incredibly kind, and, like they might say back in her hometown of Campbell County Virginia, she’s “real” smart. There is no debate that she is one of the best, most informed financial news anchors out there.
But she’s also kind of like the much younger, way hotter version of that Crazy Great Aunt we all have, who is…oh, let’s say for the sake of being demure…unpredictable. I am convinced, after knowing her for 10 months, that Dagen is capable of saying or doing…anything. She knows no fear. She has no filter, no “governor” to prevent her from acting purely on her instinct. Which I’m starting to think is that of a person who could be legally declared “Bull Goose Loony.”
It probably began with a note from the kindergarten teacher informing Dagen’s mom and dad that she didn’t “play well with the other children,” then escalated to suspensions from middle school for bringing loaded weapons to gym class, and most likely wound up with some kind of work release program arranged by the state, allowing her to re-attend high school as long as she provided 150 hours of community service and promised to attend an anger management class.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I’m afraid. I’m very, very afraid. Because just when you think she’s all hearts and flowers and sweetness and light, all of a sudden the pig blood drops, the gym doors slam shut, and the girl goes completely “Carrie” on you. Stuff starts flying around the room, there’s lightning and thunder, monkeys go berserk…I’m telling you, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse would take a rain check on being in the same room with her.
Recently, she revealed to Imus some professional envy extant between herself and Fox Business Anchor Connell McShane, who is prettier than about one-third of all business anchors on every network, but not prettier than Jenna Lee, Dagen, or, some might say, Stuart Varney. (Although I do think that proper British accent of his is what really makes my Stewie Bear so dreamy).
Connell made the unfortunate move of talking about Dagen with the I-Man without the benefit of Dagen being in one of the little pop-up windows that adorn the TV screen when more than one person speas from an individual location; it’s a directorial choice that sometimes causes The Imus in the Morning Program on the Fox Business Network to resemble the opening credits of The Brady Bunch. Somehow, Dagen popped herself on from her location a number of floors above our studio, and threatened to take some of Connell’s hair, dry out an apple, and fashion a likeness of him.
That’s right. Dagen McDowell was going to make a Connell McShane voodoo doll.
I’m not saying she’s a Santeria priestess, but the girl DOES have a Gris Gris bag. She says it’s her portable makeup kit, in which she also carries her “spare set of drawers,” but the damn thing has SKULLS on it. I kid you not...it’s not adorned with stripes, or polka dots, or even plaid. The thing is fashioned with a piece of fabric with a pattern featuring cartoon HUMAN SKULLS. And I’m assuming the only reason she uses it is because she couldn’t get the one with ACTUAL REAL HUMAN SKULLS on it through security at Fox.
This might be unrelated, but after this morning’s show, Connell began limping. After removing both his shoes, found he had grown two Planter’s Warts, each approximately the size of a baby’s head. And it may be pure coincidence, but nobody has heard from Dagen’s husband Jonas for a few weeks either. (In a related story, when the cable company came to check on a loose connection under their porch, Dagen chased them away with a Bowie Knife.)
I love her. She’s a dear, dear friend. But I’m putting a broom across my doorway tonight. Just in case.
Rob Bartlett's Stuff
Dagen McDowell scares me.
The Society of Professional Journalists Award Winner for Criticism, Anneli Rufus, has put together a piece for Tina Brown’s Daily Beast blog site that demographically dissects the frequency with which people engage in sexual activity. Using published research findings, everything from the National Opinion Research Center/University of Chicago study, “American Sexual Behavior: Trends, Socio-Demographic Differences, and Risk Behavior” to Trojan’s “2010 Pleasure Study” (yes, condom companies DO conduct research), Ms. Rufus finds some surprising revelations about the nature and regularity of getting some. For example: approximately half of Americans say they have sex at least once a week, a fact suggesting that in addition to uncovering patterns about the way we sexually relate, she has found that about 50 percent of U.S. citizens…are liars.
There are other interesting factoids to be found: Miami residents are 59 percent more sexually active than people who live in Minneapolis St.-St. Paul. Startling, when you consider that the residents of any city in Minnesota would be 59 percent more likely to want to do anything physical just to keep warm. I know I certainly have, in an amorous August moment, heard the excuse, “It’s too humid,” but apparently Florida is hot…in every definition of the word. Teenage girls, it seems, are 6.5 percent more sexually active than teenage boys. Well, where were they when I was in High School?
Children whose parents read to them less than once a week are 33 percent more likely to be sexually active when they become teenagers than children of parents who read to them at least once a week. Given the plethora of anxious parents worried about the increase in teen pregnancies, this should do wonders for sales of “Goodnight Moon.”
Rufus also discovered that men have 16 percent more sex than women do. With this finding, one could conceivably draw the conclusion that, other than with each other, men are more likely to want to have sex with themselves. Although, men over age 70 are reportedly 215 percent more likely to get some, which doesn’t mean that women aren’t also more likely, they just don’t remember having it.
There are other astonishing disclosures in Ms. Rufus’ piece, such as that artists and poets have 233 times more lovers than those who aren’t artists or poets, and that African Americans have 8.2 percent more sex than Caucasians. Which means Maya Angelou must be getting her freak on regularly.
I guess now we know what she meant by “Still I rise…”
Today, the above-the-fold, banner headline on the front page of the New York Times is “The Afghan Struggle: A Secret Archive,” referring to previously classified documents that provide a much grimmer portrayal of the war than the official version. The venerable New York Daily News features “Sex Police,” about the NYPD probe of officers cheating on their spouses with each other. But today, the blue ribbon for Best Front Page Headline goes to the New York Post for their account of confessed wife-killer Johnny Concepcion’s controversial organ transplant:
“Liver Let Die”
Pop Quiz: Which of these three papers are you going to buy?
There is simply nothing better than the wordplay that winds up on the covers of our daily papers, except imagining their conception. One wonders how much high-fiving went on in the editor’s office when the head of the city desk came up with the classic “Headless Body Found In Topless Bar.” Or if there was a wager made amongst the staffers of the Wall Street Journal on whether or not the headline “Colleagues Finger Billionaire” would ever hit the streets (it did.). Like musicians and night club owners, newspaper-people lead very complicated lives. At least ones with long hours that undoubtedly make them a little punchy, resulting in the delightfully lurid head captions on the covers of our favorite tabloids.
Obviously, the point is to draw attention to the story in an effort to motivate the purchase of the paper. But often the context is pretty fast and loose within the pages themselves, or, even better, from the Associated Press release, like “Tiger Woods Plays With His Own Balls.” It happens so often that Jay Leno has made recitations of them a signature part of his “comedy” shtick on The Tonight Show.
In the digital age, with the circulation of actual, physical, newsprint dwindling exponentially, it wouldn’t hurt the Times to come up with some more suggestive, double-entendre, florid banners to help sell more copies. And with no shortage of bad news surrounding the issues of the day, there is something for the staid and stuffy Grey Lady to learn from the media outlets that know how to grab attention. The story behind “The Afghan Struggle: A Secret Archive” might be more eye-catching if they led with “Afghan Knits Different Pattern.” Similarly, “BP Is Expected to Replace Chief with American” might be more attractive if it had “The British Are Going” at the top.
Unfortunately, I don’t think you’ll ever see a headline in the Times sports section even CLOSE to Chris Duncan’s AP story about a New York Yankees 13-0 win over Houston back in the 2008 season, when the Taiwanese Pitcher Chien–Ming Wang sprained his foot running the bases and Alex Rodriguez hit a three-run homer:
“A-Rod Goes Deep, Wang Hurt”
Stop the presses.
As BP has proven (some would say too well), even the big dogs in the corporate world can step on their johnsons every once in awhile. It’s especially frustrating, however, when it comes to hip, cutting edge companies like Apple. One of their most anticipated gadgets, the iPhone 4, has a glitch that’s causing quite a few frowny face emoticons in text messages. Nobody’s LOL-ing over the problem with the antenna placement that reportedly causes the iPhone 4 to abruptly drop calls. But don’t worry, the problem only materializes… when you hold the phone in your hand. WTF?
Of course, you should always use your hands-free headset anyway, lest the microwaves do to your brain what it does to a pouch of Orville Redenbacher’s “Movie-Style Buttered.” Nevertheless, it must be incredibly irritating, especially for those who spent days waiting in front of their local Apple Store so they could be the first on the block to get one. Of course, these are the same people who camped out in the street in the rain for a week prior to the opening of the final three episodes of the Star Wars saga, so it’s not like they had anything even resembling a life to put on hold.
It’s really surprising that this development has presented itself, given that Apple has always been at the forefront of technological breakthroughs. They were the ones who spearheaded the concept of apps, the mini-applications that the iPhone runs, making it the ultimate PDA, giving a big ol’ “F.U.” to Palm Pilots. These are the people who brought the world “iFart Mobile,” a third-party developed program that allows the user to play an enormously comprehensive collection of flatulence sound effects bearing names like “Burrito Maximo” and “Forrest Dump.” Why Apple CEO Steve Jobs didn’t get a Nobel Prize for creating a platform that supports software like that is beyond me.
The New York Post has offered some relatively low-tech solutions to the reception problem. Apparently a rubber band, stretched around the perimeter of the phone’s case will do the trick, as will the application of some clear, chip-free nail polish, or, that old handyman standby, duct tape.
It’s a bit disturbing to wrap one’s head around the concept of using a two cent, old-fashioned rubber band to rectify a serious problem with a three hundred dollar piece of high tech equipment. It would be like trying to repair a leak in a heart/lung machine with a chewed piece of Juicy Fruit. I know a few Apple devotees who swore by their 3G units with a pride usually saved for the accomplishments of grandchildren who are now ready to travel to Cupertino to bitch-slap Jobs. Because they maintain they would get better reception using two empty bean cans attached to a piece of string.
But then they couldn’t use the iFart.
With the advent of modern technology, you’d think that BP could find a way to cap the oil well; that a poor Texas woman wouldn’t have contracted a staph infection from her 38 KKK breast implants; and that Apple could make a phone that wouldn’t drop calls when you hold it in your hand.
Especially when you consider that an octopus can infallibly predict the winners of the World Cup.
Paul, the Prophetic Octopus, was a media sensation for the last eight games of the FIFA tournament, when he, from his tank, chose the winners of the finals. Flawlessly. Not bad for something without an internal or external skeleton. Although Octopi are known for their problem-solving capabilities, forecasting sports results isn’t usually among their skills. Finding shells on the ocean floor to use as protection from predators? Check. Figuring out the line on the Dallas / Washington game? Not so much. Until now.
No one knows how a cephalopod mollusk can be prescient, but bookmakers in Vegas are already investing in calamari futures. There’s no data as of yet to suggest that squid are also predisposed to uncanny intuition, but I suppose that even if they don’t prove to be psychic, they’re still pretty tasty when fried and slathered with Fra Diavolo sauce.
The world went buck wild for the Clairvoyant Coleoidea to the point where he actually received death threats. Those crazy soccer fans. If they’re not shooting a goalie, they’re menacing hectocotylus-baring creatures with expressions of intention to cause harm. But what the erstwhile aquatic assassins have actually done is effectively validate the eight-legged, suction-cup-laden animal’s status. He is now considered a credible resource, one that can be exploited for the gain of us homo-sapiens. It won’t be long before octopus breeding farms start cropping up in hopes of developing the next Slimy Kreskin From the Deep to help solve the world’s problem through the uncanny wisdom of one of the creepiest looking occupants of the sea. Saltwater tanks instead of think tanks.
Which is why it’s somewhat disappointing that “Paul,” prior to his retirement, used his powers of prognostication to set the odds at the many sports books around the world and not to solve the many woes of mankind.
Unless, of course, he didn’t have any ideas about how to cap the BP oil well either.