Thursday, January 26, 2006

Soul Mates for Dummies

This is a topic that has really been bothering me, and I’ve been meaning to get to it for some time.

Lately, I’ve been faithfully watching Beauty and the Geek Season 2, which the WB calls Ashton Kutcher’s sociology experiment. And I can’t help thinking as I watch that there is so much needless categorization and labeling of people nowadays.

When the truth is… there are really only three categories and one question necessary to determine whether you are compatible with a person for a lifelong commitment, for a job opening, or for being seen with them in public places. That question is:

Do you find ventriloquism creepy, funny, or lame?

And the answer to this simple question will easily allow anyone to determine whether or not someone is a suitable candidate. Now, I’m not saying that there is a right answer, but I’m sure going to look at you differently if you pick one of the other two.

Truth is, providing this important service is why professional ventriloquism is the vibrant, flourishing business that it is around the world today. You won’t find evidence of this in any official ventriloquist (or vents as they currently like to be called) literature, but you can believe that they’re gunning to put dating services, employment agencies, political parties, and reality show hosts out of a job.

So Ashton, if you want my opinion, stick to inter-racial and inter-generational relations (and punking celebrities, that’s pretty funny) and leave the sociology to the professional vents.

[Ed note: Ken was drinking a glass of water while he typed this post.]


Rich said...

Did you say you've been faithfully watching, "Beauty and the Geek, Season 2?" It's late, and I haven't had much sleep in the last few days, so I know I'm seeing some things. At least I sure hope I am.

You might want to check that cup you're drinking your water out of to make sure there's no Cascade lacing the bottom of it or something.

Um, other than that... uh, interesting post.

Brett said...

Come on, Ken. Everyone knows that ventriloquism is both creepy and lame.

codepoke said...

You mean I might have a soul mate?

Rich said...


I think you rolled sevens on that answer.


It's always funny when the smartest guy in the room uses self-deprecating humor. Personally, I try it a lot in my Sunday School class where I'm teaching 4-year olds. For some reason, I'm not funny there either.

Rich said...

I'm not believing that I'm the only one giving Ken grief for watching Beauty and the Geek 2.

Does that mean all you guys/gals are watching it, too?

Civilization is crumbling.

Rich said...

One last comment:

With that movie (it may have bee a 70s flick) Magic, the whole Chucky series, and even The Ventriloquist (Arnold Wesker) and Scarface in the Batman's Rogues Gallery, it seems they may have added to the creepiness of ventriloqusm. Although, as a kid I have to admit that I was fascinated by people who could talk thru dummies without moving their lips.

Well, it might be a "chicken or the egg" argument.


WandaV said...

Uhm. What is Beauty and the Geek? I've never heard of it.


p.s. Sherri Lewis was charming. The old man and the dummy in the tux was creepy.

Rich said...


Why, it's the predecessor to Beauty and the Geek 2, of course :)

DugALug said...

I find vents to be the height of lame and creepy (Remember the movie Magic?... Hopefully not). Then there was Best In Show, where Christopher Guest played a guy who was studying venting in his spare time.

I put the dummies right up there with clown dolls. Yes clown dolls, remember Poltergeist? Yes that little freeky-smiling doll trying to strangle the kids... So darn fitting. Burn them, burn them all.

When I was a kid (4 or 5 I think), I went to the circus and I fell, scratching up my knee. Some clown came over to try to stop me from crying, he/she had on a big smiling clown-face with a big red nose. I'm thinking: 'What the heck is this clown smiling for? This hurts like a mother!' My response was to cry harder. No love for clowns or dummies here.

Okay now I sound creepy.

Ken, I don't know you but, beauty and the geek 2?!!! I think I can safely put that up there with vents as well.


Rich said...


Comments like the one found in your last paragraph in the comment directly above this one is the reason you are Commenter of the Week.


Rich said...

Ouch! The subject/verb agreement in my comment above looks a little creepy as well. Sorry about that. Still, you get the sentiment.

P&S said...


The site I linked in the post is a directory of current vents all over the world (complete with family albums), and it looks as if Shari Lewis' daughter has picked up the mantle (actually a sock) from her mother to continue being charming for the next generation.

The creepy fellow I think you may be referring to is Edgar Bergen, father to Candice Bergen of Murphy Brown infamy. Charlie McCarthy who wore a tux was his most used dummy, but he had a couple others, too. He had to be one of the worst ventriloquists of all time. He didn't even attempt to keep his lips still.

Doug: I'm disappointed that you've stooped to Rich's level. His sophomoric pot-shots at my music and TV show watching are a cry for help.

I can only assume that as his friend you have chosen to be an "enabler", but perhaps you've forgotten that encouraging his immaturity only makes him worse.

I think the tough love approach that you used when you corrected his spelling in your first few comments on this blog is more in line with the tenor we need to strike.

P&S said...


I'm also very sorry about your knee.

Scot said...

Since this is somewhat of a literary blog, perhaps you all would prefer a written-form of ventriloquism.
I attempted it with this post, could you tell?

DugALug said...


Rich can vouch for my love of banter. We started a bible study in college called the 'in your face Bible study.' Par for us, and tons of fun for all who attended.

Saying that someone knowingly watching Beauty and the Geek 2 is, at best, peculiar, is hardly 'sophmoric'.

A sophmoric response would equate this behavior to some infatuation with Demi's Young Gun, or maybe associating the geek to needing a dummy (aka 'Beauty') of his own like a vent. Both of these would be juvenile, and Lord knows I am not that (please don't strike me dead, God).

BTW I really liked the Ed note on your post... that was pretty clever.


P.S. Thanks for the knee sentiment (A whole lot more than that clown gave me). It got better.

DugALug said...


Another sophmoric reply:

Isn't watching 'Beauty And The Geek 2' really a cry for help too?!

There still time buddy, hang in there.

---> Now that's sophmoric!


P&S said...


Thanks for thinking of our little blog as somewhat literary. We try.


You're right. It turns out that you are capable of so much less.

Also, I love to banter as well. Especially, when I have no personal stake or emotion wrapped up in the particular argument. It's fun for me, and I tell people that if they take me seriously more than about 10% of the time, they're taking me way too seriously.

And hopefully, if I ever cross the line and offend someone here in the Realm, they'll just keep it to themselves.

DugALug said...


I am glad that you now know the pathetic depths that I am capable of. Unfortunately I have only scratched the scummy surface.

There is a group called Flemming and John, I don't know if you have heard of them.

They had an awesome song called Writing Letters In My Head (I think that was the name) on their Delusions of Grandeur album.

The jist of the song was that she wished she had a wire hooked to her brain, so she could write down letters this way, but when she picked up the pencil or pen, she didn't say what she 'should have' said.

Marriage has helped that me to better disconnect that wire from from brain. But there are still those paths that make my fingers twitch, and bring a chuckle to my face.


Rich said...

Has anyone said anything about dummies for a while?

P&S said...

Doug, Scot...

Anybody smell something just blow through this post?

Was that you codepoke?

P&S said...


Turns out it wasn't anything, just the post next door.