Monday, November 27, 2006

TV Land's list of the top 100 TV catch-phrases

TV Land released their list of the top 100 TV catch-phrases. The only problem is they’re in alphabetical order. The actually countdown will be aired I think starting December 11th, but until then, I thought it would be fun to try to put them in order myself.

It's a pretty good list. At least 90% I can say actually belong here. The other 10% were obviously placed to try and gain cred from younger viewers I'm sure. Why else would something from "How I met your Mother" make this list?

Off the top of my head I can't think of anything that's missing. I probably will think of 30 right after I post this. Remember it's TV quotes, not movie quotes. If you guys have any additions, post em in the comments.

Ok, here we go (I've added some comments to select few):

1)"Here's Johnny!" (Ed McMahon, "The Tonight Show")
-Almost everyone can identify where this quote came from and who says it. It's been referenced everywhere, and many parodies have been made of it. I have no reason not to expect this isn't going to be number one.
2)"Aaay" (Fonzie, "Happy Days")
3) "I'm not a crook ..." (Richard Nixon)
4)"One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" (Neil Armstrong)
5)"Yada, yada, yada" ("Seinfeld")
-Do you realize how much we use this phrase in simple conversation? I know Seinfeld didn't invent it, but I highly doubt we'd be using it as much as we do without its influence.
6)"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country" (John F. Kennedy)
7)"Hey hey hey!" (Fat Albert, "Fat Albert")
8)"Two thumbs up" (Siskel & Ebert, "Siskel & Ebert")
9)"Come on down!" (Johnny Olson, "The Price is Right")
10)"I want my MTV!" (MTV ad)
-This phrase defined a generation that grew up with music videos, short attention spans and MTV. The fact that this catch-phrase is a demand says so more about the MTV generation than any explanation can.
11)"Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids" (Trix cereal ad)
12)"D'oh!" (Homer Simpson, "The Simpsons")
13)"Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy" (Lloyd Bentsen to Dan Quayle)
14)"Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?" (Grey Poupon ad)
-I just assume this is how rich people talk. C'mon, so do you.
15)"Don't make me angry, you won't like me when I'm angry" (David Banner, "The Incredible Hulk")
16)"Good night, and good luck" (Edward R. Murrow, "See It Now")
17)"Holy (whatever), Batman!" (Robin, "Batman")
18)"Yabba dabba do!" (Fred Flintstone, "The Flintstones")
19)"No soup for you!" (The Soup Nazi, "Seinfeld")
20)"I can't believe I ate the whole thing" (Alka Seltzer ad)
21)"Where's the beef?" (Wendy's ad)
-This catch-phrase was perfect because of the decade it came out in. The 80's was a decade missing substance. That old lady from the Wendy's commercial wanted to know where her substance in hamburgers went. The sad part is, no one told her Wendy's lacked just as much substance as the closest competitor.
22)"Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" (Arnold Drummond, "Diff'rent Strokes")
23)"Baby, you're the greatest" (Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden, "The Honeymooners")
-After he'd scream at his wife with threats of bruises and space travel, Kramdem normally realized how much he needed Alice and uttered this line. And somehow, we really believe he wasn't going to punch her in the face.
24)"Space, the final frontier ..." (Capt. Kirk, "Star Trek")
25)"The truth is out there" (Fox Mulder, "The X-Files")
26)"Have you no sense of decency?" (Joseph Welch to Sen. McCarthy)
-The most famous quote to come out of the televised McCarthy hearings. Kinda sums it up pretty well.
27)"Good grief" (Charlie Brown, "Peanuts" specials)
28)"Norm!" ("Cheers")
29)"You eeeediot!" (Ren, "Ren & Stimpy")
-Even though this quote was not originally from Ren and Stimpy (Peter Lorre said it in "Casablanca", and since Ren has Lorre's voice, it's only fitting he say it too), it was probably the most common kids quote in the early 90s. You wouldn't believe how many people were now eeeediots! in my immature years.
30)"Dyn-o-mite" (J.J., "Good Times")
31)"Time to make the donuts" ("Dunkin' Donuts" ad)
32)"This is the city, Los Angeles" (Sgt. Joe Friday, "Dragnet")
33)"How sweet it is!" (Jackie Gleason, "The Jackie Gleason Show")
-Unless I'm mistaken, Jackie Gleason is the only person with two catch-phrases on this list.
34)"Good night, John Boy" ("The Waltons")
35)"Now cut that out!" (Jack Benny, "The Jack Benny Program")
36)"Read my lips: No new taxes!" (George H.W. Bush)
-One good way to gage how much impact a particular quote had is by looking at how much comedy and comedians had parodied it. This one was done quite a bit. Somehow I don't remember Dana Carvey ever saying it though.
37)"Oh, my God! They killed Kenny!" (Stan and Kyle, "South Park")
38)"Well, isn't that special?" (Dana Carvey as the Church Lady, "Saturday Night Live")
39)"What you see is what you get!" (Geraldine, "The Flip Wilson Show")
40)"Smile, you're on `Candid Camera'" ("Candid Camera")
41)"I know nothing!" (Sgt. Schultz, "Hogan's Heroes")
-Coincidentally also what Schultz said at Nuremberg.
42)"Sock it to me" ("Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In")
-Ok, if you count that Richard Nixon said this on "Laugh In" once, then he has two quotes on this list too. In the 60s this line went everywhere. Aretha Franklin even yelled it in her version of "Respect" and Mitch Ryder made a whole song out of it.
43)"Whassup?" (Budweiser ad)
-Why are we honoring this one?
44)"We are two wild and crazy guys!" (Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd as Czech playboys, "Saturday Night Live")
45)"We've got a really big show!" (Ed Sullivan, "The Ed Sullivan Show")
46)"You're fired!" (Donald Trump, "The Apprentice")
47)"Book 'em, Danno" (Steve McGarrett, "Hawaii Five-O")
48)"Danger, Will Robinson" (Robot, "Lost in Space")
49)"I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV" (Vicks Formula 44 ad)
-Hack comics everywhere have made this line their own. I don't believe in the 80s, a season of SNL went by without at least one character saying it or some variation of it at least once.
50)"Live long and prosper" (Spock, "Star Trek")
51)"Makin' whoopie" (Bob Eubanks, "The Newlywed Game")
52)"I'm Rick James, bitch!" (Dave Chappelle as Rick James, "Chappelle's Show")
-Yeah, people are still friggen saying it.
53)"Do you believe in miracles?" (Al Michaels, 1980 Winter Olympics)
54)"Is that your final answer?" (Regis Philbin, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire")
55)"Jane, you ignorant slut" (Dan Aykroyd to Jane Curtin, "Saturday Night Live")
-It's still always hysterical to enter an argument by calling your opponent an ignorant slut.
56)"Let's get ready to rumble!" (Michael Buffer, various sports events)
57)"It takes a licking and keeps on ticking" (Timex ad)
58)"And that's the way it is" (Walter Cronkite, "CBS Evening News")
59)"It keeps going and going and going ..." (Energizer Batteries ad)
60)"De plane! De plane!" (Tattoo, "Fantasy Island")
-TV viewers are so mean. If a tall English speaking man uttered these lines, I highly doubt we would remember/care about them. But since Tattoo was a short ugly Spanish dude who moonlighted as a James Bond villain, we love it. We're mean.
61)"Say good night, Gracie" (George Burns, "The Burns & Allen Show")
62)"Tastes great! Less filling!" (Miller Lite beer ad)
63)"Yeah, that's the ticket" (Jon Lovitz as the pathological liar, "Saturday Night Live")
64)"Bam!" (Emeril Lagasse, "Emeril Live")
65)"Heh heh" (Beavis and Butt-head, "Beavis and Butthead")
66)"Hey hey hey!" (Dwayne Nelson, "What's Happening!!")
67)"You rang?" (Lurch, "The Addams Family")
68)"Gee, Mrs. Cleaver ..." (Eddie Haskell, "Leave it to Beaver")
69)"Who loves you, baby?" (Kojak, "Kojak")
70)"Elizabeth, I'm coming!" (Fred Sanford, "Sanford and Son")
71)"You look mahvelous!" (Billy Crystal as Fernando, "Saturday Night Live")
72)"Let's be careful out there" (Sgt. Esterhaus, "Hill Street Blues")
73)"Just one more thing ..." (Columbo, "Columbo")
74)"Nip it!" (Barney Fife, "The Andy Griffith Show")
75)"The tribe has spoken" (Jeff Probst, "Survivor")
76)"You've got spunk. I hate spunk!" (Lou Grant, "The Mary Taylor Moore Show")
-I think this might be my favorite quote that no one ever quotes.
77)"Up your nose with a rubber hose" (Vinnie Barbarino, "Welcome Back, Kotter")
-Honestly, I hate this line. I think it's so stupid, and clearly shows my contempt for "Welcome Back, Kotter". Yet, I can't deny that it was popular and did affect people. Why? I don't know. I just assume people like John Travolta.
78)"Would you believe…?" (Maxwell Smart, "Get Smart")
79)"Schwing!" (Mike Myers and Dana Carvey as Wayne and Garth, "Saturday Night Live")
-There was a short time in the 90s when saying this quote was funny. It was called Elementary school.
80)"Here it is, your moment of Zen" (Jon Stewart, "The Daily Show")
81) "God'll get you for that" (Maude, "Maude")
82)"Resistance is futile" (Picard as Borg, "Star Trek: The Next Generation")
83) "The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat" (Jim McKay, "ABC's Wide World of Sports")
84)"I love it when a plan comes together" (Hannibal, "The A-Team")
-Now we're getting into famous quotes from TV shows that didn't exactly affect all of pop culture. But, whatever.
85)"Stifle!" (Archie Bunker, "All in the Family")
86)"Homey don't play that!" (Homey the Clown, "In Living Color")
87)"That's hot" (Paris Hilton, "The Simple Life")
-For all those stupid people everywhere.
88)"Holy crap!" (Frank Barone, "Everybody Loves Raymond")
89)"Hey now!" (Hank Kingsley, "The Larry Sanders Show")
90)"I'm Larry, this is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl" (Larry, "Newhart")
91)"Never assume ..." (Felix Unger, "The Odd Couple")
92)"Mom always liked you best" (Tommy Smothers, "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour")
93)"How you doin'?" (Joey Tribbiani, "Friends")
-Kill yourself.
94)"Tell me what you don't like about yourself" (Dr. McNamara and Dr. Troy, "Nip/Tuck")
95)"Oh, my nose!" (Marcia Brady, "The Brady Bunch")
-Did Marcia actually say this when the football hit her? I don't remember. Either way, I would think the more popular Brady Bunch quote would have been Jan's line: "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!".
96)"Welcome to the O.C., bitch" (Luke, "The O.C.")
-I've never watched these last three shows, so I don't know how to rank them…I just find this line funny for some reason.
97)"Suit up!" (Barney Stinson, "How I Met Your Mother")
98)"Denny Crane" (Denny Crane, "Boston Legal")
-It appears there are two missing. Hmm. Maybe they're better than these.

This might be cheating, but where's "What's up Doc?" and other Looney Tunes quotes? I know they originally started as theatrical shorts, but they gained life on TV where younger and younger generations watched them and only knew of them from programming like "The Bugs and Tweety Show" and "Looney Tunes on Nickelodeon".

Friday, November 24, 2006

How to display a certain ineptitude while analyzing lyrics

I just realized that the Elton John song title "Jamaica Jerk-Off" is a pun. It's quite obvious in the chorus:

When she gets up in the morning
Its enough to wake the dead
Oh she turning on the radio
And dancing on my head

Its no good living in the sun
Playing guitar all day
Boogalooing with my friends
In that erotic way

Come on jamaica
In jamaica all day
Dancing with your darling
Do jamaica jerk-off that way

Come on jamaica
Everybody say
Were all happy in jamaica
Do jamaica jerk-off that way

Let the ladies and the gentlemen
Be as rude as they like
On the beaches, oh in the jungle
Where the people feel alright

So do it jamaica
Got plenty for you and me
Honky tonking with my baby
In that deep blue sea

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Late Night Ramblings

It's late, I'm sick, fuck spell check, I just have some random opinions and thoughts.

You wanna know what's weird...I just had a conversation with my Dad about Borat. That wasn't the weird part...the weird part was that he was able to quote bits from him verbatim. I had no clue my Dad knew who Borat or Sascha Baron Cohen even was. I've never seen him watch Da Ali G Show...does HBO show episodes of it at like 4 in the morning? That's the only time that I'd think he'd watch it...I don’t know. It just surprises me.

Alright, I just watch Revenge of The Nerds again. The last time I saw the movie had to be like 5 years ago, and just like I remembered, it was stupid, yet entertaining and funny. Something else I realized about it though: While a stupid college-teen comedy, it possesses a genius concept: Have a social commentary on racism, but instead of white people discriminating against blacks, have it be Nerds. Look at all the tell-tale signs--The Alpha Beta bad guys are all pure white (as are their Sorority counterparts); the Nerds are a amalgamation of every group from society that has ever been called an outcast, an outsider, or different in any way; The Nerds join up with the Tri-Lams, which is an all-black Frat, and they accept them; The Alpha Betas burn the word "Nerds" in front of their house (ala a cross), and throw bricks though their windows telling them to go away; plus much more.

Now, I know I'm not making points that haven’t already been brought out before, but that's not the point...what I really wanted to say about the movie was what pissed me off about it--specifically that the hot girl, Betty, decides to dump her jock Alpha-Beta boyfriend for a Nerd, just because he's good in bed. Now, aren't the Nerds suppose to be smart? Doesn't Lewis realize that she's just using him for sex and that she feels no feelings toward him what-so-ever? Maybe he just doesn’t care? Anyway, that's one hell of a message to send: Girls like you only for sex. That's almost as bad as the end of Grease: If you want to get the guy, be a slut.
Now that I think about it, if they were making a race commentary with that scene as well, then it is both hilarious and ridiculously offensive. It's hilarious because the stereotype of black men having huge dicks is being saddled with Nerds are good at sex and that by just having sex with a black man/Nerd, the white girl will instantly regret any previous sex with someone of less quality. You know, "Once you go black, you never go back"? That thing. It's offensive though because basically the movie says that that's the only reason why a hot girl would fall for a Nerd or white girl fall for a black guy. Apparently they have no other redeeming qualities.

I just finished reading Mark Evanier and Sergio Aragones' Fanboy graphic novel. It was pretty damn good. If you're a comic book nerd, or a fan of DC comics or of most of the classic artists, then you need to pick it up. It's hilarious, and true (mostly).

Being sick has allowed me to watch two classic cult shows that I never got the chance to really watch before hand. The Diana Rigg version of the Avengers and the original Star Trek. Now, I've seen both these shows before, but I guess I just never cared enough about either to really look at them and give them a chance. My Dad had a few VHS cassettes of the British spy show the Avengers, so I figured I might as well watch them while I'm sick (since Netflix suspended my account temporarily), since I can't really do anything else. I know that Patrick McNee's John Steed was a regular in the cast for almost the entirety of the show (a few first season episodes aside) and that he even came back for the short lived 1970s revival, but his (mostly) female counterparts changed quite a few times during the show’s 1961 to 1969 run. The most well known of his partners, and my favorite (and apparently my Dad's favorite too since he doesn't have an episode with anyone else) was the beautiful Diana Rigg as Emma Peel. The sexual tension between the two was the highlight of many episodes, especially the ones that boarder lined on plain silly in concept (super-intelligent robots taking over Parliament to make decisions for us? C'mon). Now while I have seen a few episodes with other female leads (Rigg's predecessor Honor Blackman being one), I really just can't imagine the show without the Steed/Peel chemistry. These two worked so well together; they acted like lovers but never got into bed (at least on camera)...that was the kind of mistake that ruined great shows like Moonlighting and the X-Files (well, bad writing and Robert Patrick ruined that). When the two leads finally do sleep together, you ruin all the sexual tension, and all the reasons for tuning in. Frankly, I could care less about Maddie and David after they fucked on Moonlighting. And Mulder and that final episode when they! For a show that's about the unexpected, that was the thing that everyone was expecting, but no one wanted! Anyway, check out some Emma Peel era Avengers.

Oh, I just realized Emma Peel is a pun. Emma Peel=M Appeal, or better known as MAN Appeal. Something Diana Rigg certainly had.

Now the original Star Trek. I like to thank TV Land for airing a marathon of the show, so I could finally watch some episodes. I have to say, I did enjoy them. I'm surprised how many episodes did not even take place in space, as well as how many actually had ironic morals for the real world (so many episodes were meant to make you think of the current situations and events of the 60s in a new light). The episode "City at the End of Time" was probably one of the best episodes I watched and made me laugh quite a few times. I was shocked. Now what does this make me. I'm certainly not a Trekkie. I'm also not running out to buy the show on DVD. I still say Star Wars is better too. It's a shame there's a stigma attached to Star Trek.

Michael Richards racist outbursts at the LA comedy club The Laugh Factory might have been the funniest things to come out of a LA Comics mouth ever.

Also since when does Michael Richards do stand up? I mean, I know his career was in the shitter, but stand up? Can't Weird Al make another movie or something?

Movies I still havent seen, but want to:
Casino Royal
The Fountain
The Departed

Maybe when I get money.

That new trailer for Spiderman 3 looks amazing. I can't wait for that movie. I hate Venom, and I never thought a movie with him would work, but Goddamn, it looks like Sam Raimi did it right. And friggen Sandman looks awesome!

Ok, that's it. I can hear my TV playing the theme song to Innuasha*, so I know I'm up too late. I can't breath through my nose, but I'm gonna try to sleep anyway.

*How the hell is it spelt anyway?

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

15 political movies for your Election Day fun

In case you don't feel like watching the polls this Election Day, how bout a politics themed movie night? (Wow, how lame did that sentence sound?). Here, for your approval, are a few of the best movies related to politics.

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939)-Frank Capra
The old Standby. I was watching it again last night, and there's still something that bothers me about this movie: it's too optimistic. But I guess that's it's charm..virtue overcomes corruption. The Everyman succeeds in the political process and Aristotle's "Polity" comes true. Jimmy Stewart gives us hope for a brighter future in everything we do.

Citizen Kane (1941) -Orson Welles
On the other hand, Orson Welles Citizen Kane shows corruption. Or rather, tries to humanize a corrupt figure. Charles Foster Kane attempts a run for political office, but is caught in a sex scandal right before Election Day. After his bitter loss (to someone who was much more despicable than the morally questionable Kane), he has his newspaper print that the Election was tainted. What does this show? Even though Kane was hated by some (and rightfully so) and even though Kane is not a clean, pure, likable person (as was Jefferson Smith of the movie above), he was still probably a better politician than the winner, and probably cared more for the people than any of the politicians that he shook hands with, or married the daughters of.

The Manchurian Candidate (1962)- John Frankenheimer
Now we're getting into movies that are a touch more complicated. The original Manchurian Candidate focuses on the Cold War paranoia that was spreading around the country in the 60s. Here politics and fear come head to head and an uncomfortable relationship is made between the two. What does this movie say? Just because someone is preaching the values we want to hear, doesn't mean that they will vote that way (paging Hillary Clinton!). Never assume that you see the full picture of Washington DC. Never assume that the hero you admire really believes what they say, and never fall into voting for someone out of fear.

Dr. Strangelove or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)- Stanley Kubrick
How absurd was the political chess game known as the Cold War? Very absurd. At least that's what Stanley Kubrick is telling us. The President might think he is in control of everything, but in reality, no one is in true control. A minor general could hold more power than the Commander-in-Chief, or an Air Force Pilot could determine the United States next facet of foreign policy. And what is driving all of these men? Well, of course: Sex! Sex! Sex! Don't be fooled, the President has no clue what's going on everywhere at once, and he has no way to stop what others do--that includes nuclear war!

All The President's Men (1976) -Alan J. Pakula
Or does he? Nixon had more power than any President since FDR (and that..s even debatable). The power kinda went to his head, as he and his staff thought they could get away with the Watergate break-in. So what is this movie telling us? Well, the President might think he..s a dictator, or in an "Imperial Presidency", but he's no different than you or I, and he can be taken down just as easily. Nixon was impeached, his staff was convicted, and their political careers ruined. One branch cannot become too powerful, because there's always a check and balance there to stop you. Here of course, it was the unofficial branch: the media.

Bob Roberts (1992) -Tim Robbins
Bob Roberts is about a musician that decides to run for Senate--and wins. His music takes the form of propaganda, grabbing a hold of and identifying with people. Bob Roberts didn..t just use pop culture, he was pop culture. People who vote for him are the same people who would vote for Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. Just because they're celebrities, and just because they have an opinion, doesn't mean they can run a nation or make laws. His catchy-tunes trick you just as his fake assassination attempt tricked the voters, just like TV tricks you into thinking Stewart can handle himself against the likes of Jon Ashcroft and John Kerry. This is the pop culture politician. This is Ronald Regan, this is Bill Clinton, this is George W. Bush, John Kerry, Sonny Bono, Jim Bunning, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Al Gore, Jesse Ventura. The list goes on. This is where America is heading. Pop culture and politics are the same thing now, and to understand one, means you have to understand the other.

Distinguished Gentlemen (1992) - Jonathan Lynn
How easy is it to get elected? Pretty easy it seems that even a criminal can achieve political office (see New Jersey's Senate race). As long as you have an endorsement, and a name, you can do anything. The people don't know who they're voting for, they probably also don..t care. They also don't listen to a word you say. As Eddie Izzard said: "It's not what you say but how you say it." As long as you sound like a politician, you are a politician, and therefore electable. This movie also shows us another thing: Who are the bigger crooks, the ones in jail, or the ones in the House of Representatives? In Washington, deception and corruption is King. The politics don't even matter.

Dave (1993) -Ivan Reitman
In a time when movies were filled with anti-political sentiment, it took one Republican screenwriter to bring optimism back to politics. Dave is the successor to Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, in that the good guy can succeed and do well for the people. Dave Kovic is a populist. He wants to help others, especially the people that he now seems to be the President of. Well, technically Bill Mitchell is the President, he just looks like him, but that's a technicality. Dave shows that the mistakes of the past don't mean that someone can't do well for the people now. It's refreshing to see hope again in political movies.

My Fellow Americans (1996)- Peter Segal
Many probably think this movie is a joke that takes cheap shots at both The Republicans and The Democrats. Well, there's more there than that. Though the situation both main characters are put into seems a little overkill, and though one would think that none of this could possibly happen in real life, the message of it all is something that we hope can be true. Even though people have different political parties, and political beliefs, when it comes down to it, those differences can be cast aside to work together, and help those that need help. Republicans and Democrats are not that different in the end, they just like to pretend to be (mostly for comical zingers).

Air Force One (1997) -Wolfgang Peterson
When the situation seems at it's worst, a President can over come anything by ju--yeah, just kidding.

Wag The Dog (1997)-Barry Levinson
Wag The Dog follows in the tradition of Bob Roberts. The election of the President is basically the control of pop culture. The election process is like getting a movie off the ground, you need a pitch, a budget, a crew, a trailer, a soundtrack, product placement, everything--and on Election Day, the people will come out to choose what movie they want to watch for the next four years. The President is the greatest movie character of all time.

Primary Colors (1998)- Mike Nichols
The opposite of Dave--the past of the President will come up to haunt them later on. It adds to their character. In fact, everything the person does relates to their character. Does that make him a bad man? Primary Colors says no, but the voters might think so.

Bulworth (1998)- Warren Beatty
Do you ever wonder if a politician realizes his or her own ludicrousness? Do you think they ever feel bad for it? What if the politician has the same problems that a teenager trying to identify has? Granted, we might call it a mid-life crisis, but that..s only because they're fifty. Anyway, the theory is that the politician is a representative of their constituency. What if their constituency is absolutely nothing like they are? Well, as their representative, then the politician is then forced to fight for their causes, forced to be like them. How much is too much like them though?

Election (1999)-Alexander Payne
Election takes place in a high school--true. The major party politics of Election can best be defined as Coke vs. Pepsi--also true. But here's the thing, Election might be the best critique of democracy since The Prince. The person who is seems to be the best for the job, isn't always electable, and the person who is detested by all, is the one who will do the most good. Should politics be that way? Well, if you try to change it, just going to get yourself in more trouble.

American Dreamz (2006) -Paul Weitz
Ok, so this movie wasn..t that good. There is something here that one can take from it though..the election of the President and the state of foreign policy is like the TV show American Idol. Ok, let me explain. TV is the place where everything comes together for all to see. We live in a world where people make decisions on who to vote for based upon an SNL sketch. To master politics means you need to master pop culture (something that this whole list is preaching). What..s the biggest pop culture sensation currently? American Idol. (Where more people voted for Justin Guarini than they did George W. Bush). The new political battleground will be audience-participation events, places where people can call in, or ask questions directly to the candidate. When Bill Clinton got asked "Boxers or Briefs?" on MTV we all called it stupid--now, that may be the most important question of the modern age.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

The Politics of Fear in the 2006 Elections

The Politics of Fear has become very important in recent elections. The British documentary "The Power of Nightmares" showed how fear has been used in politics since the 1950s in both America and many Middle Eastern countries. Now that were in a conflict that involves both, its no surprise that its all we hear from critics of the current administration.

According to the Democrats the Republicans are apparently causing us to vote for them and Bush out of fear, that if we don’t, the terrorists win. It’s funny, that outside of possibly Bush himself, I have never heard a Republican candidate claim this. Its usually the Democrats saying this--to scare us!

Look back; the Democrats chastise the Republicans for using fear in all elections since September 9-11. A keen observer would notice that its the other way around; the Democrats are the ones that are using the element of fear, to induce a fear of Republicans.

It can’t be more evident than the recent Senatorial Race in New Jersey between Bob Menendez (D) and Tom Kean Jr. (R). Has anyone seen the ads for this? They’re all over TV. Menendezs ads are just attack ads against Kean Jr., claiming, "A Vote for Kean Jr. is a vote for Bush." He attacks the fact that Kean Jr. supports Bush on the War in Iraq, Social Security, National Defense and everything else that defines the Bush Administration. (I’m not sure if anything from this is true, but Kean Jr. doesn’t seem to deny the accusations). Menendez asks his constituents if they want a supporter of Bush in the White House. Aren’t you afraid of what he is going to do if elected? Aren’t you afraid that he’s going to support Bush’s agenda? Aren’t you afraid that he’s going to make you afraid of Terrorists?

Please tell me I’m not the only one who sees this. For a party that claims they are for the people and for a party that screams that the Republicans use fear to get elected, they certainly aren’t below being hypocrites.

I need to mention another political event that just occurred. Senator John Kerry called our troops all idiots. No, it wasn’t in those exact words, it was more like: "Education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well, if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq." So basically he said that our troops are uneducated. Well, I’m sorry we all can’t go to Yale Senator Kerry! So, Kerry has refused to apologize, and his whole party is backing away from him. Even friggen Senator Hilary Clinton (D-New York) has come out and said that what Kerry claims is appalling and inappropriate. I don’t know what would drive the man to even make this statement and think its ok. Is this part of his attempt to be tough? Remember that whole charade, where it seemed he didn’t care what he did or said anymore? It was the verbal equivalent of Al Gore growing a beard. Senator Kerry, I’m not afraid to say this, you sir, are a shithead.

Here’s a picture a friend sent me from the troops in Iraq to the Senator. I think it gets the point across quite well:

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Larry The Cable Guy-Politician

Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has stated that Americans want politicians to be more like Larry The Cable Guy, because of his "Git-R-Done" catchphrase and attitude.

Note, he did not say he thinks Larry The Cable Guy should be a politician but rather that politicians should model themselves after the ideology that the character created by Dan Whitney preaches.

"Sometimes I think we need [a] Larry The Cable Guy running for office so we can just 'Git-R-Done' because that's what people really want out of us. They want competence. They want us to accomplish something,...I don't think the average voter is as ideological as he or she is practical."

Interesting. And not a surprise, since if you were to ask the people of Arkansas what comedians they can relate to most (and probably trust most) no doubt many will state Larry The Cable Guy and his blue-collar sense of humor.

Comedians and politics aren't two paths that haven't been crossed before. Prop-comic Gallagher tried running for Governor of California in their recall election. Doug Stanhope seems to be somewhat serious of his intentions to possibly run for President on the Libertarian Party ticket in 2008. Howard Stern (I know, not a comedian, but a shock jock that can be funny) tried running for New York City Mayor before. And lets not forget the obvious, the constant calls for either (or both) Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to run for President based solely on the reasoning that they can read jokes about the news and politics off a script that were created by a bunch of professional comedy writers, sometimes without Stewart or Colbert's involvement at all. As Mad Magazine put it perfectly in issue ..467: "no appearance by a pandering politico is complete without the kiss-ass suggestion that Jon Stewart should enter politics. At which point, the same studio audience that doesn't think George W. Bush is qualified to handle his job, happily explodes at the notion of being represented by Adam Sandler's roommate in Big Daddy."

What is it about people trusting comedians more? Is it because they quote-unquote "tell the truth"? Is it because they say things most other people would never dream of saying? Is it because politicians are fools anyway, so as Gallagher put it, why not put a professional in that position? Maybe. I'd like to think that it has to do with the power of comedy. I'd like to think that people realize that via comedy, one can tackle a serious topic, and put it in a perspective where the absurdity of it is clear to everyone. More or less, the main purpose of satire. I'd like to think that people realize sometimes that only via comedy can anything truly be said.

Is that what Huckabee is saying? Is he claiming that politicians should be more like comedians in the sense that they tell the truth and cut the bullshit? No, I don't think so. I think he's implying that they would somehow get the job done faster (something, that no one can accomplish, unless you're Michael Douglas or Martin Sheen or possibly James K. Polk). Just because comedians can shine some light on a subject doesn't mean that the whole nation will agree with him or her on it. It doesn't mean that bills become law faster. All it means is that we'll have David Cross as our Press Secretary.

The "Git-R-Done" ideology Huckabee is ascribing to suggests they'll get the work done faster, and that's what people want. Well, it's a nice idea...won't happen.

It's fitting this comes up the same week when Robin Williams and Lewis Black's comedy "Man Of The Year", about a Jon Stewart-like comedian who runs for (and wins) the Presidency opens in box offices. Watch and see how he won't accomplish anything faster.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Whatever Nugent wants, Nugent gets.

Something strange happened a few minutes ago. I was eating lunch (not the strange thing) and I was flipping through channels for something on TV (still not the strange thing). Alas, there was nothing on, so I settled for the short-attention span programming of VH1 Classic. I figured I could probably catch a few old music videos or performances that I haven’t seen in a few years (or rather since the last time I turned on VH1 Classic). All normal. But here's what was strange: The video that came on was Damn Yankees "High Enough". Now, the fact that that video was being played on VH1 Classic was not the weird part (though I would argue this is no 'classic'), but what was was the fact that I just sat there staring at the screen...almost hypnotized by their 'sensitive metal band music'. I'm not quite sure why.

Now a lesser writer would make an allusion that this hypnotism must have been what kept most of the world loving bands like Stryper in the 80s. Naw, that’s a hack point...anyone who hears it knows this music sucked, we don’t need to drive it into the ground with impossible justifications. It was bad, you know it, I know it. In my early high school days I listened to a great deal of it (I'm sorry before I had taste I was into hair metal); now I can’t stand it. Normally when it comes on, I jump for the remote to turn it off. For some reason though, I didn’t for "High Enough".

Something in the video did something to me. It can't be the song...I’m past that point in my musical tastes (at least I think)...Damn Yankees isn't even good enough to listen to ironically. It's not the band itself, consisting of guitar virtuoso Ted Nugent, Styx guitarist Tommy Shaw and Night Ranger's Jack Blades. All of them have done superior work in their original bands, and Damn Yankees was just a way to cash in on the supergroup craze alongside crap bands like Asia and Bad English and the normally-respectable Traveling Willburys. It had to be the video. What was it about the video?

The video makes no sense what-so-ever. It starts with a "typical 80s hair metal vixen" (on loan from the band Vixen) leaning up against a waiting police cruiser, asking a lazing cop what all the commotion is. The very Southern cop responds: "Its just dem Damn Yankees". Then a young man runs past the oblivious sheriff and into a house (which I assume the cop was suppose to be stopping him from doing) and is followed by two other police cruisers carrying more police officers than one could possibly hold. They look mad. Lets see why!

As the cops line up their guns against a cop car, intending to I assume drive the suspect out, the video fades to black and white with the band in the house, looking out windows and getting worried. Then the music starts.

Now, I'm confused. Is the band supposed to be representing the young suspect? Are they hostages? Was this their house he ran into? Are these his associates? Is he their manager? Something doesn’t exactly make sense here.

The rest of the video tells the young man's story, or rather, his girlfriend's story. Apparently he robs liquor stores (presumably more than one) while his girl drives the get-a-way car. They're obviously not too bright, as they both do this with their picture perfect 80's video faces uncovered in broad daylight. Eventually, while making-out, they get caught. (One tuning into this video half way through will think it's message is that if you kiss someone, you'll get arrested. How will you explain this to your mother?) Anyway, they run, she gets caught, he pauses, but keeps on running, showing that he's a heartless bastard, yada yada yada. Meanwhile all this is intercut with video of the band playing in front of gas pumps and Ted Nugent being a camera hog.

The video then jumps back to the beginning as the police finally open fire onto the house (lots of fire...more than is probably necessary). What does the young suspect inside do? Nothing...Instead Ted Nugent busts down the door and appears to defeat them with a Nugent guitar solo (seems reasonable). All this time, the cops are still firing at Nugent and the house. What do they hit though? Beer cans. Lots and lots of beer cans.

So now the girls in jail, the police rush into the house, Tommy Shaw shows off his crucifix earrings, and Nugent hogs the camera more. The video ends with one of the most puzzling sequences I’ve ever seen...the girl is meeting with a Priest, and then being lead down death row to be executed. What? Huh? I mean, I've seen "My Cousin Vinny" a number of times, I've heard their court systems in the South may not be fair, but execution for robbing a liquor store? Hell, she was just the driver! She didn’t even do the robbery. The message I’m getting out of this part of the video is that all of Damn Yankees didn’t pass high school government.

The last image of the video is hysterical. We see now that the Priest was in fact, Ted Nugent. And once again, he's a ham for the camera.

This whole video just blows my mind. What the hell is it trying to say? Stay out of the South? Don't drive a car? A Nugent guitar solo can defeat an army of police? It's full of mixed messages. I'm sure it doesn’t help that the song is a ballad about breaking up, and is placed up against a video about robbing liquor stores.

I'm looking over the lyrics to the song now. Wow, honestly, they might be some of the worst lyrics I've ever read. Here they are.

After the video was over, another Damn Yankees video came on. I didn’t even know they had more than one song. It wasn’t much better, but at least it didn’t try to include a plot line. What the hell was wrong with us pre-Nirvana?

The video can be found here.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Can't Kazakh-stand him!...that’s the worse pun ever.

It's nice to know that with all the shades of grey and questionable set morals in the world, there are still stupid people that are just outright idiots.

Doesn't the Kazakhstan government realize that their complaints on this matter only make them look worse than Sacha Baron Cohen ever did?

They find Borat offensive to their country's reputation...I guess I could understand's just like New Yorkers finding Andrew Dice Clay offensive to the city’s reputation...of course we don't sit here and complain about it...we just let him hang himself with a noose of his own idiocracy and hope that everyone else in the world is one ounce smarter than his character and realizes that ain’t New York.

I mean, I hope everyone realizes that Clay does not talk like New Yorkers...we don't talk in Nursery Rhymes all the time...we just make fun of your mother. Oooooooh!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Random acts of Revenge

From the AP/Yahoo News:

"SYDNEY, Australia - At least 10 stingrays have been killed since "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin was fatally injured by one of the fish, an official said Tuesday, prompting a spokesman for the late TV star's animal charity to urge people not take revenge on the animals. "


I don’t think I even need to say anything more. That was one of the greatest opening paragraphs ever.

ok, one more:

"He said killing stingrays was "not what Steve was about.""

No, apparently he was into hunting crocodiles. That was his name wasn't it?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Million Ways to say nothing

I just watched a news article on CBS on the Ok Go video for "A Million Ways".

The report "brought to light" the low budget filmmaking done on the video (with a home video camera and a $5 tape), and "reported" that it is the most downloaded video on Youtube. The report then went on to "reveal" that the internet has been a great source of information and an excellent way to promote a band, as the band in question has done.

First things first, just to not be the only blog in the world that hasn't linked to this video yet, here is Ok Go's "A Million Ways" video:

Next: Is CBS really that out of touch? First off, the use of "home video cameras" to achieve a cheap and homemade look is nothing new. In fact, there have been videos like this since before MTV even existed. Secondly, Since when does the news report what is the most downloaded video on Youtube? Thirdly: "They have the internet on computers now?"

Honestly, I don't know why a low budget video (albeit a very cool one that I enjoyed both the visuals and the song itself) by a band that isn't even new (what is it, like 4 years since Ok Go first arrived?) that has been shown on the internet (we'll forget that I saw it on FUSE just yesterday) is news?!?! Further, if they really wanted to report on this video, didn't it come out over a month ago?!?!?!

The real story here (if there is one at all) is that Youtube allows people to distribute videos and other moving images for free over the internet. Hell, that's not even news.

Now I know why people really watch "The Daily Show" to understand what's happening in the world.

On a lighter note, the video is great, but I still think the best part is the guy in the red vest who can't keep rhythm (a great thing for a band) so they keep on sticking him in the back. He's apparently the drummer...even better. Well, i guess every band needs a Michael Anthony.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Snoop Doggy Dogg in the Dog House

MTV has come under fire for an episode of their show "Where my dogs at?" which featured 2 women on all fours with dog leashes around their necks being walked by a parody of Snoop Dogg. Many critics have come out and... well, criticized the episode.

They claim that the episode was degrading to women. MTV claims that it was based on a real life incident involving Snoop Dogg.

I haven't seen this episode (in fact, I hate the show, but that's another story), but I can't help but wonder about these groups that are claiming this show was degrading to black women...they're obviously looking in the wrong place.
Fuck the cartoon; have any of these people seen a music video? Go tell me women aren't being "degraded" in 3 out of 5 rap videos. Go tell me they're not being reduced to sex objects and "Sexy scenery."

Now, since this was apparently based on a real incident where Snoop Dogg arrived somewhere with 2 girls wearing dog collars, I have to ask another question...Did the writers get the Dogg/Dog reference? I'm not sure if even Snoop was being degrading to women...I think he was using a pun (he's big on those if you haven't realized.) Now granted that's not a free pass to do whatever he wants in that area (Calling his female collar wearing entourage bitches is humorous at first, but is probably bordering on wrong), but it's not like he was (as in the cartoon) having them walk on all fours and cleaning up their shit.

Yeah, that's all I have to say.

I should devote another blog post to one of the dog voices on that show, Jeffrey Ross and how his career has gone completely down hill.

Monday, July 3, 2006

Being the Everyman is overrated

The film critics for the New York Times occasionally put out an article that provides intelligent insight into film theory. This article is no exception. I urge everyone to read With a Great Wink, Films Like 'Click' Trumpet One Message but Mean Another.

The article gives a few examples of where this is used in Hollywood, but falls short of pointing out that this is just their marketing trend. Almost every Hollywood movie does this.

But you don't need me to point that out for you, I'm sure you came to that conclusion yourself.

This thing I wanted to talk about with this article is the information that is given at the end: "Click" in it's opening weekend did better than "Eternal Sunshine On The Spotless Mind" in it's entire United States run. That is just sad.

I was at a College Graduation BBQ yesterday for a good friend of mine and one of the conversations that came up was movies. My friend, who's known me and my tastes for a little under ten years told me that I must see "Click" because it's the "funniest movie ever".

First, I admit I haven't seen "Click" yet, nor do I plan to. All speculation on this movie is made via previews, professional movie reviews and friends reviews. Secondly I have to admit that Adam Sandler has made some ridiculously funny movies in the past, and I've enjoyed them ("Billy Madison", "Happy Gilmore", "Big Daddy", etc) so the suggestion of an Adam Sandler movie to me is not the most horrible idea ever, but one has to admit, his movies ain't what they used to be.

Alright, the fact that people have made a movie like "Click" just shows how much good screenplays mean to Hollywood: Nothing. The fact that hack writing is considered the norm, and what people want to see is just horrible. Yes, I know the theory that sometimes people just want to see a "safe movie" or one that doesn't extract too much emotion either way out of someone, and to an extent I can understand that. But how can one sit through mindless bullshit?! "Billy Madison" was a safe movie, and was funny. But unlike newer Sandler fare like his interpretation of a Hollywood classic "Mr. Deeds" (ok, not so much new)"Billy Madison" was cleverly written and just outright absurd. Sandler played a slacker who was worth nothing, and not only won the girl and had fun (and learned a lesson blah blah blah) but also related to its audience and got us on his side. He did this all without using pure stock characters and falling into the mindless gap known as clich├ęs. "Mr. Deeds" on the other hand had him playing a ready-made charming underdog who we knew from the beginning was going to get the girl. No lesson needed to be learned because he was already perfect, it was just the world around him that was insane. His biggest flaw was his black foot, which as we remember was used to his advantage. Yes, I know Sandler was playing the same role as Gary Cooper's version of the Everyman Mr. Deeds in "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" but that's no excuse to make garbage. Hell, even the original was pure Hollywood smaltz, but at least I saw somewhat of a heart in it. Sandler's version was just garbage to keep him fresh in the public's image...I mean it wasn't as if the amazing "Punch Drunk love" didn't just finish it's theatre run, and "Eight Crazy Nights" wasn't about to come out two months later...oh wait.

Ok, this was supposed to be about "Click", right? this trend with Hollywood of course isn't just in Adam Sandler movies, but everywhere...I guess we can't stop that, because apparently it's what the people want. The fact that my friend not only suggested this movie to me, but also proclaimed it the "Funniest movie ever" is just outright sad. People want to see shit. Meanwhile gold like "Eternal Sunshine" is deemed "boring" by the masses. I don't know what to do anymore...nobody wants to work to understand a movie, nobody wants to learn anything, all anyone wants anymore is to be that everyman who from the beginning is predestined to get the girl and not change for the better at all.

Oh, and John Turturro's character was hysterical.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Girl, You have no faith in Jack White

A lot of people are saying Jack White sold out because of his new Coca-Cola Advertisement:

It's not selling out because White didn't compromise anything. The song in the commercial is one of the best Jack White songs I've ever heard. Granted, there's no Meg, and it isn't the "classic White Stripes sound", but it's still amazing. White should use horns more often.
I know that I panned the latest White Stripes album (Get Behind Me Satan) because of it's excursion from the normal sound of the Stripes. But that wasn't because of the fact that they tried something different, but more because they didn't do it well. Most of the songs from Get Behind Me Satan were carelessly written, and could have sounded better if White spent a little more time on them. The song from this Coke ad (note: I don't know it's source says "What Goes Around Comes Around" another "Love is the Truth") would fit perfectly on GBMS, and has a quality of writing that compares with their older stuff. In other words, if most of the songs on GBMS were of the quality and caliber of this coke ad song, then I would not have said anything bad about the album.

For my full review of Get Behind Me Satan from the Hofstra Chronicle click here

The commercial itself is amazing as well. It looks like it was directed by Michel Gondry, but it isn''s actually Nagi Noda, whom I can't find any other credits for. It doesn’t matter....the video looks like it could be a White Stripes video. Exactly their style.

It should be said further that along time ago White said that he wanted to do a commercial for Coke. He said it's the thing he loves most in the world. He even based the colors of the White Stripes "uniform" off of the famous Coke design. So it isn't as some claim... Coke offered White a lot of money to sell, he asked them to do it. He wanted to.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Myspace: Friend of Police

There's an article in Newsweek this week about the police using Myspace to get information on criminals and those suspected of committing crimes. I don’t have a link currently, but I’m sure there is one.

This article disturbs me. One of the incidents described in the article is about the police checking the profiles of all the friends of one kid to see if they were at his party, and possibly caused some damage (including sexually abusing the girl). Isn't there a Right to Privacy infringement here somewhere?

This also reminds me of when colleges were using to crack down on underage drinking. If they saw you holding a beer on campus in one of your pics, they gave you a reprimand.

I was slow to come onto Myspace (and Facebook) because I didn’t like what these sites did. They more or less set up a database where any person can come and find all your information and everything about you. Now I don’t mean rapists or murders or anyone like that, I mean the government. These sites seem like the first step to a dystopian sci-fi movie. Everyone is registered here, and all their info is here, and can be accessed at the click of a mouse. I’m really shocked that in this post-9/11 world people let their guards down for this. How did we go from not having listed phone numbers to filling out surveys and writing blogs describing everything about you? Honestly, this is friggen disturbing.

Then again, I guess I’m a hypocrite, cause I bought into it just as much as everyone else. I’m on Myspace finally (after saying no for like a year and a half) and I’m on Facebook (I’ve been there for almost 2 years) and I’m even on Friendster (joined that around 3 and a half years ago...haven’t checked it since). Both Friendster and Facebook were done kinda out of peer-pressure from my Nonsense Humor Magazine cohorts, but Myspace I joined on my own...why? Because I liked the self-expression option. One could express themselves in anyway possible on Myspace. Either through writing like I do, or through distracting backgrounds, slow loading pictures, horrible layouts, and loud songs. Any option you choose, you’re still expressing yourself and being an individual...the complete opposite of an Orwellian society were everyone’s the same.

Or are we just made to think that? I noticed that most peoples profiles do look the same because they’re built by the same profile builders. Maybe that’s just coincidence. Maybe.

That's why I like writing...whether it be blogs, or the extravagant amount of surveys that I fill out (my friends know what I’m talking about). The first amendment is one of our most important amendments, because it allows us to say what we want, whether that be our opinion, or the facts. It allows us to criticize our government. Criticize authority. Say what we want. If the government ever tries to take that away, tries to suppress our rights and freedoms, then we use the only amendment that’s more important than the first amendment: the second amendment. We follow what John Locke suggested in his Second Treatise on Government and we overthrow our government by force (though this is a measure you take only when all else fails), because the government is based on us. We are in a Social Contract with our government where we allow it to rule us in return for its protection and limits on its power. When they break that, we have the right to break our side of the contract. As Alan Moore wrote in his graphic novel V for Vendetta: "People shouldn’t fear their governments, governments should fear its people."

But I’m getting off topic here.

Yeah, sometimes the way the police or the government or formal authority is using databases like Myspace and Facebook makes me feel like I’m in a Ridley Scott movie (or commercial). But as much as I don’t like everyone in the world possibly knowing everything about me, I also like bragging. Speaking of which: Ladies, I’m single, in two honor societies, and graduating in May with degrees in TWO majors. C'mon, you know you like it. lol

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Freedom of Speech infringements are no laughing matter.

Comedy Central would rather let Carlos Mencia make fun of retarded people than let Trey Parker and Matt Stone make a statement about censorship by showing a cartoon image of Muhammad. I guess they figure that the disabled can't work a bomb.

But seriously:

Anyone who saw this weeks South Park knows that Comedy Central censored them. Some think that the screen that proclaimed the networks refusal to show an image of Muhammad was part of the show, but it wasn’ was really Comedy Central censoring them. Here's an article:

Comedy Central censors South Park

There's something in the article itself that bugs me. Specifically, this quote:

"A frequent 'South Park' critic, William Donohue of the anti-defamation group Catholic League, called on Parker and Stone to resign out of principle for being censored.

'The ultimate hypocrite is not Comedy Central that's their decision not to show the image of Muhammad or not it's Parker and Stone,' he said. 'Like little whores, they'll sit there and grab the bucks. They'll sit there and they'll whine and they'll take their shot at Jesus. That's their stock in trade.' "

There are so many things wrong with this statement. First off, grammar. Secondly, There's no surprise that a "frequent critic" of South Park is calling for Parker and Stone's resignation, but look at his reasons. Because they were censored, he thinks they should resign. What kind of logic is that? If someone above you doesn’t like what you do, you should resign? If I say something bad about the government I should leave the country? No I should strive for change. If I believe what I’m saying I should try to change it. If I’m the only one, then I'll fail, and that’s that, but c’mon, look at this guys logic. He's saying I shouldn’t say anything that would upset people...I should forfeit my freedom of speech. What a dipshit.

Thirdly, I love how he somehow started talking about how Parker and Stone get money for making the show. and Fourthly, did he completely misunderstand the Jesus reference? Did he even see the show? (that’s a rhetorical question, I know the answer is no).

Honestly, some people just make me want to hit them. Hard.

If Comedy Central was afraid of the response from Fundamentalist Muslims if they showed the image, then should be even more worried about how people like myself and other fans of the Bill of Rights are going to react. Freedom of Speech is a guarantee, and Comedy Central has no right infringing upon it. In the end though, Parker and Stone got the last laugh...the image of Muhammad did get aired...The cartoon Muhammad from the earlier Superfriends parody episode appears in the intro to the show. Look really close at the group shot.

Also, boycott Mission Impossible: 3. Tom Cruise is another asshole that’s trying to stop free speech. He doesn’t want the episode of South Park that makes fun of Scientology to air anymore, and its rumored that he successfully got Comedy Central to pull it from rotation. Boycott his new movie then. It'll probably suck anyway.

Mission Impossible: 3 opens May 5th. As Carsi said, be on the look out for Cruise and Katie Holmes to have their child that same week. The wedding will be around the opening of his next movie, and the divorce the one after that.

Monday, April 3, 2006

Dr Strangelove or: How I learned to write a paper comparing it to Lysistrata

I have a paper comparing Lysistrata to Dr Strangelove and Wag the Dog due tomorrow, and I’m having a really hard time writing it. I know what I want to say...I just can’t put it onto paper.

For all that don’t know Lysistrata is an ancient Greek comedy from Aristophanes. It’s a genius satire of war. The women of Athens, Sparta and the other city states are fed up with The Peloponnesian War. They decide to end it by withholding sex from their husbands and lovers until the men stop the fighting. They tease the men by dressing in masquerade and then refusing intercourse and force them to live with their painful erections and blue balls until the war ends. In the end, there is a (if my Greek terms are correct) Gamos, or ritual orgy scene, as all is reconciled and everyone’s happy. Basically a perfect example of 'make love not war'

These same satirical elements are seen in a modern war satire like Dr Strangelove. In that, the men (there is only one woman in the movie, and she’s a playboy centerfold turned into a secretary sex object) replace their sexual desires with notions of war. There’s sexual imagery all around Strangelove. The opening scene with the refueling of the plane is purely a symbol of intercourse. The long phallus like fueling pump going into the orifice on the lower plane...and then they’re moving, and shaking, and well, it looks like they’re fucking. What else: All of the powerful men have displaced sexual urges...Ripper, Turidson, Strangelove, The Russian Ambassador, hell even Mandrake have oral fixations. They’re all either smoking a cigar, cigarettes or chewing gum. Ripper's cigar is like an erect phallus to him. After he is defeated look how limp it goes. Also Ripper is worried of the Russians corrupting and stealing his 'natural bodily fluids'. He explains that he came to this conclusion while making love. And since then he doesn’t give his 'essence' to anybody (because that’s what the Russians want) other words, his going to war (to 'preserve our bodily fluids') is because of his impotence. (ironic due to his namesake Jack the Ripper destroyed female genitals, while he’s trying to preserve stuff from that area).

Further, there’s an allegory of war is like love many symbols everywhere throughout the movie...the planes are infiltrating Russian airspace...if even only one gets through, then the Doomsday Machine will kick in, and that’s the end of the world (producing no babies that way, but it will in the plan the men have at the end...i’ll get to that later). In the survival kits, the soldiers are given condoms (as well as lipstick and stockings)...when the code to attack comes in, they’re interrupted from doing things like reading Playboy. On the inner door of their safe that keeps their secret codes there are pictures of naked women. The bombs are named "Hi There!" and "Dear John". The bomb doors won’t let anyone through, and when they finally do, Slim Pickens rides that bomb all the way down...feeling the power between his it’s a swollen phallic symbol.

Turgidson’s (George C. Scott) got a great line, when he’s talking to Tracy Reed, who plays his secretary. He’s going to the War Room, but she wants him to stay and have sex and he says "You just start your countdown and old Bucky will be back before you say BLASTOFF". Of course the sexual metaphors are all over that. Though the best part is the end when the men are more interested in the 10 to 1 ratio of women to men as they try to repopulate the world. Then they get worried that the Russians will try and steal their mine space (the place that will allow them to have sex with these women) and they almost start another war fighting over the idea that the Russians can steal the mine space. The desire for sex leads to war. Basically the 'make love not war' thing is turned on its head and now its War is like making love, but making love the old fashion way gets less people killed.

Then there’s Wag the Dog. One of my favorite satires...I don’t know if it fits well into this at all. Both Lysistrata and Wag the Dog discuss how war can be controlled by people. How it is insanity that can be fabricated by men. Basically the main points I’m going to use from Wag the Dog is the line "Why do people go to war?" "To ensure their way of life" (this is from a conversation between De Niro’s character and William H Macy’s). Basically War is used to keep the status some way, the women of Lysistrata were both trying to keep the status quo and trying to change it. While they did claim that they wanted to control the money for wars, they really just wanted their lovers and husbands to be home and not be killed anymore. The whole controlling the money thing was just politics...kinda like what was also happening in Wag the Dog.

There...this kinda if I could only make five pages out of this.

Sunday, April 2, 2006

Wham! Bam thank you ma'am

I don't know why, but right now I want one of those "Choose Life" shirts that George Michaels wears in the video for "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham!. I don’t care if you call me gay, that shirt is cool.

I really should do my research on this, because I have no clue what that shirt was for. I highly doubt it was an anti-abortion statement. At least it doesn’t make sense for George Michaels to be making one. Maybe it was anti-suicide? Does anyone know?

Either way the shirt was cool. Plus, the song rules. Fuck you, I think the song is one of the best pop songs ever written.

Great, now its stuck in my head. At least its easier to get out than their Christmas hit: "Last Christmas". 'Last Christmas/I gave you my heart...'....shit.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Kurt Cobain didn't die for commercialism

Donna Gaines wrote an article in Rolling Stone called "Kurt Cobain didn't die for you". I never read the article, but I’m borrowing its title for this, because this is making me angry.

A Kurt Cobain action figure

NECA, the Nations Entertainment Collectables Association is going to be releasing an action figure of Cobain dressed in the same clothes he wore for the "Smells like Teen Spirit" video. He even is standing on a piece of the same gym floor! One wonders why they didn’t go all the way and have it also have a realistic gunshot wound to the head. You can’t tell me this isn't any more of an act of disrespect than that is!

Cobain didn’t want to be the idol of his generation. He didn't want to be looked to as a god. HE DIDN’T WANT TO BE WORSHIPED! All this action figure is doing is putting him on the level of a deity. Let me explain:

One of the first Commandments (I think it's the Second) forbids the worship and creation of false idols or "graven things". I know this hasn’t stopped Catholicism, but its still a commandment. Regardless of that, the worship of false idols continues, both in religion and pop culture. Catholics have crosses around their necks, and crucifixes on their walls. In their churches there are statues of Mary, Joseph, Saints, and even Jesus on the cross. You can’t tell me these aren’t images of idols. People light candles in front of the statue of The Virgin Mary, or burry statues of Saint Christopher or do other things like that, as an act of praying and veneration. But that’s a different topic.

In pop culture we do the same thing. To many people music is a religion. Virtuoso guitarists are brought to the level of deities. In the 60s graffiti claiming "Clapton Is God" was written everywhere in London. Wayne and Garth bow down to Aerosmith and Alice Cooper proclaiming "We're not worthy". Rock stars are religious figures.

So now this brings us to the Cobain action figure. Now that there is a tangible, transportable image of him, what’s to stop people from worshiping him? What’s to stop him from being a God? What’s to stop him from being everything he never wanted to be?

'Saint Kurt' will be placed atop shrines dedicated to him by every teenager who thinks that he's not understood by the world. Anyone claiming rebellion will want to be like him. They'll want to be a rock star, and then, they'll want to die for our sins. In the first book of Garth Ennis' Preacher the character of, I believe his name was "Ass-Face", is revealed to have a grotesquely maimed face due to him trying to be like Kurt Cobain. He shot himself in the head...and lived. And now he's disfigured as a penalty for that. I think that by introducing this figure you’re going to have the same thing. The ancient religious mysteries will be attributed to Saint Kurt and people will go through sacraments to be more like be a god like him.

Right now, as Kurt Cobain is rolling around in his grave, Courtney Love is licking her fingers for all the money she's making off of this. Cobain definitely didn’t die for that.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

America becomes stupider every time it watches Carlos Mencia

America becomes stupider every time it watches Carlos Mencia.

Watching his show makes me sick…so I don't watch it. Instead I have to hear about it from everyone of my friends who watch it and think he's genius. I should expect just as much out of them…these are the same people who thought "Crash" was a comedy.

Forget about the obvious comments about Comedy Central just giving a show to every minority they can, because it is acceptable to be racist if you're a minority. Forget about that. The problem is that these shows are just making people more racist. I think it was on 'Inside the Actors Studio' where Dave Chappelle said he needs to tweak his comedy because all it's doing is allowing white frat boys to say 'nigga' all the time. What was suppose to make fun of the stereotypes has just become flat out racism.

Maybe it's just the audience like Chappelle was talking about. Who watched 'Chappelle's' Show'? It was mostly college students. White college students. White college students who came to school expecting to be like Will Ferrell's character in "Old School". Dave Chappelle is a really funny guy, but all Chappelle's show did was turn his comedy into something it wasn't. Remember that genius skit on his first show, the black KKK member? Well, the irony of that was of course the fact he was black and a Klan member. Now, transpose that into college life where every-other-word out of some peoples mouths is "I'm Rick James Bitch!". They idolize Chappelle and the Klan skit is like their "Duck Soup". They hold it up as the essence of comedy and try to imitate it in any way. The ironic racism of Chappelle has turned into the real racism of his followers.

But I've gotten off topic. I was saying how much I hate Carlos Mencia. I'll leave that for another time.