Every generation has its defining cultural moments, those where-were-you-and-what-were-you-wearing events that capture and crystallize the zeitgeist. For Cro-Magnon rockers, it was Elvis on Ed Sullivan. For American idealists, it was the hit on JFK. Tonight camp-loving hedonists of the new millennium experienced an equally unforgettable chunk of history, as Comedy Central aired the first new episode in five years of the legendary BBC-based comedy series Absolutely Fabulous. For fans of booze-soaked psycho-slapstick, it was a dream come true. Jennifer Saunders, star and co-writer, continues to make short work of exhuming the bones of slapstick, grinding them into bits, and snorting them up her nose. (Extra points for the show's new level of cruelty--the festering wound on the neck of Saffy's school chum nearly drove us to a dreaded puke-laugh.) As for supporting star Joanna Lumley: To give her any available acting award for her eternally stunning portrayal of glamorous booze-slut Patsy would be an insult. Based on tonight's forehead-self-injection scene alone, she should be given the Nobel Prize. Truly, Last Days' satisfaction with the return of AbFab was matched only by our impending dread of hearing drunk homosexuals scream, "Eddy Pie-hands! Eddy Pie-hands!" every time we get within 10 feet of a gay bar.


Speaking of splashy comebacks: Tonight CBS aired the star-studded "tribute concert" in honor of and starring Michael Jackson--and the results were as mind-blowingly freakish as we'd hoped. From the gushing hymns of praise (were guests contractually obliged to call Jackson "the greatest entertainer in history"?) to the self-canonizing video montages to the appearance and performance of the mystery man himself, Michael Jackson: The 30th Anniversary Celebration was a gawk-worthy horrorfest par excellence. Like all great entertainers, Jackson managed to exceed audience expectations and deliver a level of weirdness beyond our wildest dreams. Strategically placing his hand over the lower half of his face for the majority of his time onstage, Jackson managed to conceal his lip-synching (has surgery jeopardized his ability to move his mouth in rhythm?) while hiding the spanked-red skin color that emerged from beneath his layers of pale makeup as the sweat rolled down. (Don't fret: Jacko returned from each commercial break freshly powdered and ready for another battle with nature.) What's most heartbreaking (besides, of course, all those potentially molested children) is Jackson's adamant obscuring of the one non-humiliating aspect of his fame: his talent. When the sick fuck drops the lip-synchs and tributes and just sings, he's extraordinary. But so long as Jackson favors hype and self-aggrandizement over art and self-expression, he'll remain nothing more than a morbidly fascinating freak.


Speaking of freaks: As conservative nutbags around the country continue their fight against parental rights for godless homosexuals, today brought not one but two stories of innocent children murdered by their God-fearing, heterosexual parents. The first story comes from New York City, where a woman who believed her four-year-old daughter was possessed by demons killed the girl during a makeshift exorcism. Reuters reports that Sabrina Wright, 29, was charged with murder after an autopsy revealed the girl was drowned. Meanwhile in Chicago, a married pair of Jehovah's Witnesses have been charged with first-degree murder after admitting to beating their 12-year-old daughter to death with an electrical cord. According to the Chicago Tribune, Larry and Constance Slack, both 41, took turns beating their daughter Laree (who was tied face-down to a metal bed frame) after the 12-year-old neglected to do her chores; when Laree's back started bleeding, the parents ordered their teenage sons to untie their sister and flip her over; the Slacks then continued their pounding on Laree's chest. A short time after the beating, Laree Slack was pronounced dead from multiple blunt force trauma at South Shore Hospital. Her sicko parents may not fare much better: Noting the particular heinousness of the Slacks' crimes (as well as each parent's videotaped confession), Illinois state legislators say they may seek the death penalty.


Tonight brought night number four of the thrice-annual atrocity known as sweeps week. During sweeps, networks revise ad rates according to audience popularity, and haul out the blockbusting tits, ass, and trash accordingly. The influence of sweeps pervades every level of broadcasting, from local news (KOMO 4's unbelievable Tuesday scoop on "Convicted child rapist Mary Kay LeTourneau's sexy secrets!") to daytime talk shows (where sweeps = makeovers) to mainstream prime time, where tonight ABC set a new standard for sweeps-week salaciousness with its broadcast of The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, the most disturbing thing to hit the tube since Carrot Top's face. Boasting 60 minutes of starving women forced to march around in expensive underwear, the shameless soirée was hosted by semi-popular homosexual Rupert Everett. Having long idealized Everett for his performance and Morrissey-esque good looks in the seminal closeted-gay-boy classic Another Country, tonight Last Days lost all respect for stupid Rupert, who, judging from his behavior and appearance, was being paid for his degradation in coke and cosmetic surgery. As for the "models," what can we say that hasn't been said? They looked horrible, and so malnourished that for audiences to stand idly by while they execute their joyless death marches feels like criminal negligence.


Hey Muslims! Put down that Snapple, throw away those Pringles, and turn off that Baywatch--today begins Ramadan, the super-duper Muslim holy month marked by fasting, prayer, and the cultivation of God consciousness. Most interesting fact about Ramadan: Throughout the month, Muslims abstain from food, drink, and other sensual pleasures from dawn to sunset in order to focus on their relationship with God and learn compassion, patience, and self-discipline. Second most interesting fact about Ramadan: If you add two letters, it spells "Ramada Inn."


Speaking of cultivating compassion: Today First Lady Laura Bush delivered a national radio address denouncing the treatment of women and children in Afghanistan. Focusing on the distinction between legitimate Islamic beliefs and the terrors executed the Taliban, Laura Bush called on our "common humanity" in the fight against the brutality routinely visited upon Afghanistan's women and children. And while Lady Bush stayed on the sunnier side of the Taliban street--no mention was made of female genital mutilation or acid-burned faces, only of how "the Taliban threaten to pull out women's fingernails for wearing nail polish"--anyone calling for better treatment of women and kids gets a thumbs-up from us.


Today: A hygienic dilemma from the hills of Queen Anne. That's where a 40-year-old woman named Grace was unpacking her purchases after a trip to the miraculous Northgate Target. Among the items was a new Reach toothbrush. Upon popping the brush from its plastic casing, Grace watched in horror as her new brush slipped past her fingers, flying through the air and landing bristles-down on her bathroom floor. "It was right near the base of the toilet," reports Grace, adding that the floor had last been cleaned "a few weeks ago" and sported no visible filth other than "a few hairs." Unsure of what to do, Grace shelved the iffy brush and called Last Days for guidance. We now put the question to you, dear readers. Should Grace:

A. Throw the brush away.

B. Run the brush under hot water and use it without shame.

C. Try to return the brush to Target.

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