A few days ago, I stepped into the offices of Chicago law firm Hinshaw & Culbertson to appear as a witness in a major discrimination suit working its way through federal court involving a prominent Chicago gay bar that’s been accused of persecuting its Christian employees (which is the height of hypocrisy, considering that the owners of this bar vociferously accuse Christians of persecuting gays). As often happens here in Chicago, a mystery fell into my lap while I was sitting on a couch in Hinshaw’s waiting room…because there before me on the floor on either side of the large reception desk was the filthiest carpeting I’d ever seen in my 36 years on this planet. In the grand scope of all the mysteries that are out there today, “The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet” isn’t the grandest of them all…but I’m just personally boggled by the fact that a purportedly prestigious law firm in Chicago in a very expensive office building could have carpet this filthy in its waiting room. And not seem to care!
Yesterday, I wrote to the Senior Partners of the firm to ensure they knew about the filthy and unsanitary conditions in their offices…but I haven’t heard back from them yet. No doubt, men like Donald L. Mrozek and J. William Roberts are very busy so it might take them and the other Senior Partners a few days to address how filthy their carpet is and how unsanitary and disgusting their men’s washroom was on that same floor. They probably are a little sheepish about the whole situation, too, because I took pictures of how filthy the carpets are over there and showed them to everyone. Though, honestly, they knew I was coming to visit that day and they know I’m Editor-in-Chief of a popular website…and a reasonable person would have supposed I’d have some sort of photographic device on my person in the year 2013. So, they really should have had foresight to clean the carpets and tidy up the washroom before someone like me arrived for an appointment in the building (and was cleared through security to come up to the third floor!).
‘The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet” fascinates me because it’s a real commentary on how Chicago itself operates…because it’s on one level this vast garden of shiny steel and glass spikes zooming up to the sky for as far as eyes can see, with tourists clamoring for the best view of all the architectural beauty and historic landmarks…but underneath all that beauty there’s real rot and decay in this town that the political system and media here endeavor to hide under rugs.
That’s why I find it a perfect metaphor for this city to step into a suite of offices in a very shiny and spectacular office building on LaSalle, in the middle of the Loop no less, and find the reception area of a prestigious law firm to be filthier than the one in Beetlejuice, when Geena Davis and a surprisingly attractive version of Alec Baldwin went to the ghost world for an appointment they had with Sylvia Sidney. You remember that scene: the two bewildered, recently deceased humans arrive and find themselves in a diseased room covered in creepy stains, afraid of sitting in something gross, with the whole thing being Tim Burton’s grotesque version of a waiting room in purgatory. Like this:
Only, Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin were lucky because they had each other to comfort them in all that filth…but I had to sit there in the Hinshaw & Culbertson offices and stare at all of those mysterious, moldy stains all by myself!
I actually thought to write to Sylvia Sidney (who played Juno, the ghost caseworker) in Beetlejuice to ask her how Tim Burton and his design team so convincingly replicated the Hinshaw & Culbertson offices from the year 2013 in a movie they released back in 1988, but I’d (fittingly at this point) need a ouija board to reach her. Then I thought I’d ask Geena Davis what she thought of Hinshaw & Culbertson’s filthy reception area carpeting and if it reminded her of working on Beetlejuice, but while looking up her agent’s address I decided that I’d do a really good deed today and bring these filthy carpets to the attention of someone who could really help Mr. Donald Mrozek and Mr. J. William Roberts with their cleaning and sanitation problems. With a reception area this filthy, I should really enlist the heaviest hitter I could think of in ‘The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet”…Ann B. Davis, the woman who played housekeeper extraordinaire “Alice Nelson” on The Brady Bunch.
VIA US MAIL — 2/22/2013
Ms. Ann B. Davis
c/o The Artists Group
1650 Broadway — Suite 1105
New York, New York 10019
Dear Ms. Davis,
I am writing to you because many years ago you portrayed the world’s greatest housekeeper, “Alice Nelson”, on the television program The Brady Bunch. As you no doubt recall, there was absolutely no mess your character couldn’t clean up, no matter how filthy any of the (six!) Brady children were in any episode of that classic TV program. If “Greg” threw the football around and broke something, you’d pick up the pieces and restore order. If “Marcia” was sloppy and got makeup all over her vanity, you’d degrease the glass in an instant (using nothing more than vinegar, lemon juice, or magic). Whenever “Peter” spilled his drink on his textbooks like an inconsiderate and sloppy little pig, you’d dry them out and politely admonish him for being so stupid. “Jan” was just one big walking mess, but yet you always found a way to clean up after her too; FEMA can’t even do something like that today. “Bobby” and “Cindy” were pretty much just wild all the time and had that dog “Tiger” for a while that just disappeared at one point (or, more interestingly, slipped into an alternate reality where he became a tiger named “Dog”).
I can only imagine how, before he vanished and was never spoken of again, “Tiger” probably made the most messes of any member of the “Brady Family” (apart from “Cousin Oliver”, naturally)…but your character “Alice” kept the “Brady” household’s shag carpeting and other interesting 1970s decorating choices looking resplendent. I know that you were just an actress playing a role written for you by men at typewriters chain-smoking like fiends, but I’m hoping you were at least somewhat method in your craft and that while portraying “Alice” you also were imbued with some of her best spot-cleaning attributes.
I have absolutely no authorization to do this and am not affiliated with them in any way, but I would like your help in solving “The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet” that exists in the Chicago offices of the law firm Hinshaw & Culbertson. I believe this falls under my duties of “concerned citizen” and “local busybody” and is, of course, a manifestation of my First Amendment rights and my dedication to cleanliness in general.
Recently, I had an appointment at Hinshaw & Culbertson and was shocked by the filthy carpeting they have in their reception area. Here is a photo of exactly what I am talking about so that you can channel “Alice” and help address this with me, as concerned citizens and characters that people have strong opinions of:
I know it looks like the young man in black is part of some kind of cult and is dancing in front of a giant cupcake with a maraschino cherry on top, but he’s just a cater-waiter setting up for a cocktail party function that Hinshaw & Culbertson hosted on 2/20/2013 (as bizarre as it is that they’d host a major catered event in space that has such filthy carpeting). It also looks like there’s a disembodied head just floating right there to the immediate left of the cater-waiter, but that’s really a mustachioed man with glasses whose full body is hidden by the oversized reception desk (it kind of looks like he’s sitting in an elaborate shipping crate or animal pen, but I believe there’s an open space on one side for him to escape). Now that I look at it closely, it also appears that the cater-waiter’s arm ends at his elbow and that he’s firing some sort of blast of psychic ball-lightning at the floating head, like he’s a male version of the video game character “Samus” from the old Metroid series on the NES. But that’s probably just a trick of the light and an optical illusion. My boyfriend Justin really loves video games and he pointed this out to me, so don’t feel bad if you didn’t automatically get the reference because you are 80-something now and I’m 36 and this didn’t immediately leap out at me either.
Those filthy stains on the carpeting of Hinshaw & Culbertson’s waiting area aren’t tricks of the light, however. They sure aren’t “treats” either…but they’re scarier than anything I’ve ever seen at Halloween or in movies such as Beetlejuice (which you weren’t in, obviously, but you should have been in because you are really funny as an actress).
I am wondering if you ever saw stains like the ABOVE on the carpeting of the “Brady Family” house while you were part of that bunch…and not just on the set itself, but also in the backstage production areas where the Teamsters no doubt trucked around lighting, camera equipment, those fancy directors’ chairs, and all the other heavy-duty accoutrements that are needed for television production (and they probably dropped stuff and made a big mess, because they are Teamsters and that’s how they roll). I imagine the back corridors of a TV studio get pretty filthy…and I am wondering if the carpeting backstage on a 1970s sitcom production set was ever filthier than the reception area carpeting of a major law firm in Chicago in the year 2013.
How on Earth would your character “Alice” ever begin to clean filthy carpeting like this?
On the show, whenever one of those “Brady kids”, their dog “Tiger”, “Sam the Butcher”, or other characters on the show made any kind of mess “Alice” would react for the camera, make some kind of funny face, say something hilarious, and then get right to work with a bucket and some kind of scrubbing utensil. And then she’d make pork chops and apple sauce for everyone (except “Tiger”, because he’d get dog food out of a can because he was a dog).
I’ve looked through old episodes on YouTube and I have been unable to identify what sort of utensil “Alice” most usually favored for cleaning up filthy messes…or if such a utensil would be good on carpet like that found in the reception area of Hinshaw & Culbertson. I have no way of determining if this is quality carpeting or not…but I’m tempted to guess it couldn’t have been all that expensive if Hinshaw & Culbertson seemingly can’t afford to get it properly cleaned. That’s an assumption I am making based on the fact that their carpet really and truly is filthy…and I can’t imagine a firm would purposefully choose to allow carpet to get this filthy in a waiting area unless they just financially couldn’t afford to have it cleaned professionally. And that assumption leads me to believe they probably couldn’t have afforded very expensive carpeting to begin with.
But, you know the old saying of: When you assume, you make an “ass” of “you” and “Alice from the Brady Bunch”…so I should just really focus on how filthy their carpeting is right here and now and ask if you have any suggestions at all for how they could clean this up. Mind you, they have not asked for my help so this is more of a Good Samaritan effort, kind of like trying to figure out how Lindsay Lohan can get her life back on track or how Liza Minnelli can stop marrying gay guys. It’s the sort of unsolicited intervention for the hapless that all the “Bradys” should have done for “Jan”.
Since I went to their offices for a meeting but the meeting didn’t happen because the man who asked for the meeting ended up not being prepared to meet that day (I think the day got away from him and he got distracted because they were going to be having a big party that night and he might have been excited because a party was happening), I believe I will be back in their offices again soon for another meeting that will probably happen this time…and when I go I’d like to be able to share with them any advice you might have for how they can make their offices less filthy.
Hinshaw & Culbertson also has a serious problem with their men’s washroom (which you can read about here), but that’s really something that a whole lot of Clorox bleach, Windex, a mop, and some elbow grease can fix…so the real mystery is how they can clean their filthy carpets so that they look like the carpeting at every other law firm that exists here in Chicago…or any other professional business, really.
I believe your character “Alice’s” boss on The Brady Bunch was an architect and he worked from home in an office he designed himself. I also remember it always looked very professional in there, which was no doubt directly attributable to the hard work and dedicated cleaning skills of “Alice” herself. I am not sure if the producers made you stay in character and clean the whole set after filming was done for the day, but if that is remotely the case then you did a really good job with “Mike’s” office because it really does sparkle.
Perhaps working together we can impart some of “Alice’s” cleaning tips and know-how to Mr. Donald L. Mrozek and Mr. J. William Roberts of Hinshaw & Culbertson at some point so that they can clean their filthy carpet and have it look as nice as “Mr. Mike Brady’s” carpeting in his architectural office.
Thank you for your time, Ms. Davis, and for being such a valuable resource in this matter from so deep in our nation’s vast pop culture universe. You have brought me so much joy through the years while watching reruns of The Brady Bunch and I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity now to express gratitude to you on behalf of my readership for your talented depiction of America’s favorite housekeeper, “Alice Nelson”.
Awaiting your much-needed counsel to solve “The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet”,
Longtime Fan of Your (and “Alice’s”) Work
Read the rest of “The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet” on our “Mysteries” page HERE.
QUESTION for COMMENTS: What other people, companies, or fictional entities do YOU think could help us in “The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet”?
I just saw this on Ace of Spades and also saw it linked in the previous thread. Can you believe this got greenlit? Talk about low-hanging fruit!
Have at it, Buzzers.
“Politics is downstream from culture.” I remember hearing Andrew Breitbart say this once in an interview and realized that we as conservative libertarians had a tough assignment as a result. Glenn Beck has been working with his Mercury multi-media company to provide a high-quality alternative to what the liberal media and arts communities push on us. Today Kevin commented in his post about movies and theaters that by “taking the high road” we are left being ignorant of pop culture.
At the FreePac event in Dallas last month Dana Loesch reminded us that we are the counter-culture movement today. She exhorted us to get connected through Facebook, Twitter, blogs and such and make our presence known.
When Chick-fil-A was attacked we came out in droves to support them. I would love to see us do the same thing for the arts. Not only does being aware of what’s trending in today’s culture help us to understand it and the worldview that supports it, it can help us to tweak it and bend it toward what is more in tune with our mindset.
I posted Kalai’s music above as an example of someone “cool” who we can help support and promote. I heard this guy first on Glenn Beck and have subsequently acquired a couple of his albums. I think he is brilliant! Find out more about Kalai here.
Let’s vote with our wallets and our social media to get the kind of culture we would like. Down the road it will help to form the political climate we need to restore our nation.
Can you share with us some artists you like who promote a conservative libertarian view?
Clever video mocking the O. Disillusionment hangs heavy in the air. Love it when Alinskyites are Alinskyed.
h/t Ace of Spades HQ
With the Olympics on everyone’s television, what better way to highlight the true idiocy of Obama’s “you didn’t build that” comment than with a brand new meme.
Hey Missy Franklin, Michael Phelps, Gabby Douglas and all the other gold medalists… in the spirit of President Obama’s theory on human success… you didn’t win that! Somebody else made that happen! After all, you couldn’t possibly have been successful without the roads and bridges that allowed you to reach the pool and the gym! The focus, the training, the countless hours of dedication… that nice but it’s barely a footnote to the contribution of the government!
No rational person would agree with the paragraph above. And yet, millions of dutifully ignorant Obama supporters see nothing wrong with the application of the same theory towards business owners. It’s madness.
Not everyone can be an gold medalist. Can we agree that these exceptional men and women are indeed born with a natural affinity for their sport? Is it OK to acknowledge that nature does play a role in the creation of an Olympic athlete?
Not everyone can be a business owner either. It takes a certain kind of person to be successful in business, and it takes an awful lot of focus and dedication. Well beyond the level of “hard work” that most non-business-owners — including President Obama — assume is necessary.
The great thing about a truly FREE country is that we don’t all have to be superstar athletes or exceptionally wealthy business owners to be successful. But in that same vein, we should not castigate those folks simply because their success is different than ours, or because we feel inadequate by comparison, or “cheated” by the system. No, we should be celebrating the success of American entrepreneurial exceptionalism the same way we celebrate our phenomenal athletes.
Hagiography. I was not familiar with the word until reading Rick Reilly’s commentary on ESPN where he shares his thoughts on JoePa’s role in the Penn State Sandusky scandal. In this context, “hagiography” is used to mean the anointment or idolization of JoePa — those who bought in to his legacy literally thought he could do no wrong.
Reilly points out that even as the Sandusky scandal was breaking, he and others thought JoePa couldn’t possibly have had knowledge. As he put it, JoePa was “too old and too addled to understand, too grandfatherly and Catholic to get that Sandusky was committing grisly crimes.” For all intents and purposes, they believed Joe Paterno was a saint.
Even now, after the Freeh report has laid bare the extent of the coverup and of Paterno’s depth of knowledge, the Internet is alive with JoePa defenders. I admit that I find myself not wanting to believe the evidence, and I’m not even a Penn State fan. Clearly, the lure of the legend is powerful.
As I read ESPN’s article I was struck by the thought that Obama enjoys similar hagiography as JoePa. Case in point: Chris “thrill up my leg” Matthews recently commented that Obama was basically “perfect.” This from the same guy who said his job was to make Obama a successful president, and once compared Obama to Jesus. The Internet overflows with other examples of the cult-like support of Obama.
I believe that once a person buys in to a legend, in some ways they feel like they become a part of that legend. And they perpetuate and even grow that legend – and their own perceived role within it – through their own retelling. When this happens, their dedication to the legend becomes more powerful than the legend itself.
When people by in to a legend, they become incapable of seeing the truth. Anything which could shatter the legend is willfully ignored. Not just because it would destroy the legend itself, but also because it would mean the person’s investment into said legend would have been false from the beginning.
JoePa, Tiger Woods, Barack Obama. All legends, all recipients of blind hagiography.
The media really should wake up. I firmly believe that our leaders — regardless of party — should be treated tough by the media. Fair, but tough. There is no room for idolatry in a free country.
As the unnamed professor from Reilly’s commentary said, “What you media are doing is dangerous.” Yes, it is dangerous. Idolization allows Obama to be a lazy president and a weaker leader, which damages us both domestically and throughout the world. Media, take a lesson from the blind beatification of JoePa and do your damn job.
Here’s something entertaining. It seems that National Geographic Channel has run a study finding 65% of Americans believe Obama would be a better choice to deal with an alien invasion than Mitt Romney.
I suppose it’s not entirely outside the realm of possibilities that such a consideration could be made. Hawking feels that contact with extraterrestrials is “risky,” and should be avoided. The Internet is full of theories and supposed evidence that aliens are already on their way. Plus, it would explain why Obama golfs so much — might as well get it in before E.T. turns the country club into a headquarters.
On the other hand, more scientific analysis suggests that if alien life does exist, the probability of it visiting Earth is fairly low, so we shouldn’t worry about whether or not it’s hostile. Personally, I agree with this theory. NASA has already been able to identify several Earth-like plants — surely any space creature capable of traveling to Earth would have much more sophisticated equipment than us, and would be able to locate Earth-like planets closer to home.
Nevertheless, it’s an interesting subject to consider, and it got me wondering exactly how one would justify the position that Obama would be better at dealing with an alien invasion. Do they think bowing to the Saudi king prepared Obama for bowing to an alien leader?
My opinion is that if an alien invasion did occur, knowing that they would have significantly advanced technology, our success would hinge on our ability to think outside the box. Of the two men, Mitt Romney is certainly more likely to possess that particular skill. Successful entrepreneurship tends to necessitate outside-the-box thinking, whereas working in government tends to suffocate creativity of all kinds.
What say you?
I’m sure most of you have seen this photo already. It’s from the G20 summit. Supposedly, this had something to do with the discussion over Russia’s involvement in the Syria conflict.
I thought we’d try something a little different. This photo just looks so ripe for some snarky captions. Post your captions below!
Or, you can add some cartoon bubbles to the image using http://superlame.com like so:
Or, you can pop over to http://diy.despair.com and make one of those demotivational posters like so:
I decided to post this because of two stories I heard last week.
The first was about Keith Olbermann dejectedly wandering Central Park. Obviously the article is making many assumptions about Olbermann’s state of mind with very little direct evidence. However, Olbermann has certainly had a turbulent career, and his firing from CurrentTV (not to mention his failure to draw the expected viewers) was just the latest in a long string of fiery exits.
I can’t say that Olbermann has “hit rock bottom,” But his career does seem to be coming unglued. The interesting thing to me is that Olbermann is worth tens of millions of dollars. Yet here he is, wandering through Central Park almost as if he’s seeking the validation of being recognized by a random stranger. “Am I still relevant?” he might be wondering.
Normally I wouldn’t be focusing on a rich person who might be depressed. But Olbermann is a progressive. A believer in social justice. A redistributionist. A man who seems to think we can solve all the country’s problems by taking money from the wealthy and giving it to progressive government to redistribute as they see fit. And yet here he is, more money than 99.999% of the world, and still unhappy. It just goes to show you that if you think money is the answer to your problems, you’re wrong.
The second story was about Mel Gibson absolutely losing his mind (language warning). Mel Gibson is a very talented actor. Anyone who hasn’t seen it should pick up We Were Soldiers for a great movie and a great performance by Gibson. It’s one of those films that brings tears to a grown man’s eyes.
Unfortunately for Mel, being a rich, famous, talented actor is not enough to maintain even the most basic level of rational behavior. In his latest rant, he sounded like the grown-up version of a child throwing a giant temper tantrum, as if yelling and using entire breaths to say a single word somehow makes his point more relevant.
Was it fueled by alcohol? Is Mel Gibson psychotic? I can’t say for sure, but it would certainly seem that after a very messy breakup and so many tapes of insane rage coming to light that Mel is well on his way to rock bottom, at least in terms of human behavior.
Although I’ve used two celebrities in this post, it’s not just the rich and famous who suffer from this sort of behavior. Every now and then you hear stories about rich folks who throw their lives away on foolishness, or even commit suicide for no apparent reason. I bet it happens a lot more than anyone realizes, but we don’t hear about it because the people aren’t famous.
Which brings me back to my original point. Progressives would have us believe that money is the key to happiness. Class warfare is their game. They try to make it a fight between the “haves” and the “have-nots”. But “what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Or in Mel’s case, his mind? If progressives are correct that redistributing money is the key to happiness, then why are so many rich people unhappy?
It’s actually dehumanizing to suggest that happiness can be purchased like a commodity. If you have a hole in your heart, you can’t fill it with “stuff”. Sure, being poor can be stressful. I know, I used to be fairly poor. I used to have debt. But by God I worked my way out of that hole and I’m a better man for it. I dare say that if Uncle Sam had been there to bail me out with someone else’s money, he would have stolen a piece of my humanity at the same time.
What say you?
Marvel Comics is killing off the Peter Parker character, wanting a new Spiderman who is a biracial gay man.
The character’s name is “Miles Morales”…but that picture sure looks inspired by Barack Obama.
As does the biracial nature of his “compelling personal narrative”.
And the part of him being secretly gay.
Read more of this ridiculousness here.
I’m just waiting for someone to take this race-changing political correctness to a new level, where classic black characters or historical figures are replaced by white actors or otherwise reinvented.
Richard Dreyfuss as Martin Luther King.
Angelina Jolie as Harriet Tubman.
The cast of “Friends” mounting a production of “A Raisin in the Sun” in Central Park.
A “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids” live action adventure featuring the cast of Glee, but with Amber Riley (Mercedes) playing a time-traveling, crime-solving Eleanor Roosevelt for no apparent reason.
Is Barack Obama your vision of a superhero?
What are your thoughts on the re-imagining of Spiderman?
Why couldn’t Marvel dedicate time and creativity to invent a new superhero, who happens to be both black and not in the least bit inspired by Barack Obama?