Friday, September 30, 2005

Bobby Lightfoot and the Sword of Destiny

I meant to post this much earlier in the day, but I got distracted. I'm pretty much only capable of functioning between the hours of midnight and 4 AM, so... hey. Anyway, the first draft of this post went like this:

They used to say when I was a boy, if you wanted to be the best in the world at something, you should probably never leave your hometown. Cause if you did, someday, you'd probably end up stumbling upon Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. And I said to myself, weeel, I just happen to have a crowbar with the name "wolfgang amadeus mozart" inscribed on her. So I had no worries. No one ever told me I might stumble upon Mr. Bobby Lightfoot, though. And I reckon that old crowbar just ain't up to the job. Need something stronger to take out a son of a bitch like Bobby Lightfoot. Like some kind of mystical sword maybe.

But then I thought, that's pretty gay. So I scratched it. But the point here is that Bobby Lightfoot is one bad-assed man and an insightful son of a bitch as well. And I don't feel at all bad for thinking he's probably an asshole.

Just check out this post on Tom Delay's recent legal troubles. That post won him a corndog courtesy of Mr. Res Publica. Goddamn I want one of them corndogs.

But even better in my opinion, was his America at a Crossroads post. And just to loosen up those link clickin fingers, here's a taste.

You see that's what America could be, and what we should aspire to.

You wanna click on that one and then you wanna check out his one on NeoCon polesmoking felcheteers

And if that don't convince you than the problem is you.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Time To Get All Literary on You Motherfuckers!!!

Since it's banned books week, kids, according to those bastards at the American Library Association, I thought it might be time for some trenchant and insightful commentary on a few books that made ALA's top 100 most frequently challenged books. I haven't read many of them. But then I tend not to read very many books with titles like "Daddy's Roommate." But that's mostly just because I'm not a 12 year old boy trying to come to terms with my pa's homo-gayness. Nevertheless, I've read a few. Should we burn them? Well here's my opinion.

1. Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz
Don't remember much about this one. Fuck it. Let's burn it.

5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
I don't know what the objection here might be, except for the constant use of the phrase "nigger jim," a word verboten, even on this blog. Should've called him "Nigger Jed" or something. Good story though. A tale about a runaway slave and an illiterate boy's adventures on the mighty Mississippi. Sounds pretty goddamned American to me.

6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

The story of a coarse okie and his amiable retarded pal. A couple dead rabbits later, and I don't want to give away the ending, but the retard somehow ends up president. Burn it.

8. Forever by Judy Blume
Read this one in the third grade. Don't remember much, but the bittersweet tale of adolescent love and the characters' wonderous discoveries of the mechanics of their filthy budding bodies was mesmerizing to 8-year-old jedmunds. You don't ever really change.

13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
"Then Holden found Jesus and died while saving some orphans from a fire. The End." That would have been a great ending. But instead in a gesture of karmic justice, it shall be used as kindling to burn down an orphanage. You fucked up, Salinger.

19. Sex by Madonna
I haven't read it, but I've seen the pictures. Let's put this one back on the shelf shall we? We shall.

41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I do recall Jem being insufficiently perturbed by Scout's muddy drawers, but that's no reason to ban a book. It's no Forever by Judy Blume, but I kinda liked this one.

43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Pony boy and Soda Pop did indeed save some orphans from a fire or some shit. I feel like it kind of glorifies gang violence though, but not gratuitously, like Grease did. I'm not saying there's not a place for the gritty realism of a film like Grease, but I would rather burn that than this book.

44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel

You have a weird old man with nothing to lose but his collection of pig figurines. And two awkward teenagers who spend way too much time with him. The formula for success is right there, but I guess Zindel was too much of a pussy to pull the trigger on it. Burn it.

45. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

This book is filled with good jokes about retarded people, then he gets all smart, and though easier to read, becomes much less funny. I think there's an erotic scene though if I recall correctly. And some real perv shit too. All in all, that makes it my kinda book.

51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

You shouldn'ta written that poem about the Nazi pedophile who kills himself with a discarded douchebag, Shel. I know. I know. Who knew it would be so easy to read between the lines of "Moon Catchin' Net," and discover it's hidden dark meaning. But you can't market that shit to kids ya know? Not in this crappy country anyway.

52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Well then what are we going to read when we want something more prescient than Orwell's 1984? Yevgeny Zamyatin's We? Surely you jest.

60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
A little social commentary never hurt anyone, other than all those Irish babies. But hey, we're talking about hookers here. Not babies.

62. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Yeah, so I read a couple Judy Blume books as a kid. Fuck you.

69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
It's too bad Vonnegut's such an asshole, cuz this is a good book. Let's burn Timequake, while reading this one aloud, and toasting marshmallows.

70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
I should go back and read this book, again. I recall it having some cool-assed themes that, having achieved maturity and erudition, might be worth another wade into.

71. Native Son by Richard Wright
A semi-literate black guy kills a white girl, rapes his girlfriend, beats her till "her face resembles a wad of wet cotton," and thanks to a shoddy faux ransom note is able to briefly shift the blame to a highly educated socialist jew. Helluva book. But we gotta burn it.

Read Lauren, Lindsay, and Amanda of Pandagon for some more takes.

Out With The Old, In With The New

House Majority leader that is.

"It's not easy to fill the gap left by our leader, Tom DeLay, who's done a tremendous job, but all of our team is going to come together like we haven't ever come together before." -- Temp Leader Roy Blunt.


Les Eclats De Rire Est Mort! Vivre Les Eclats De Rire!

Ratings for Arrested Development, universally agreed upon as the best show ever, the contrarianism of a few douchebag holdouts for some overrated HBO filth aside, are in the fucking crapper. Monday’s episode garnered a 2.7 rating equaling about 3.9 million viewers, finishing in fifth place in its timeslot behind some show called Seventh Heaven. The premiere attracted a disappointing 4.5 million viewers, much less than the 6 million averages it held during seasons 1 and 2.

How can such a phenomenal show have such low ratings? That’s an easy one. Americans are stupid. More pressing is the reality that Arrested D has been barely able to survive with their former ratings. As such, this drop in ratings is a dire threat. A dire dire threat to our supply of comedic material. And I don’t know what to do about it. I feel so helpless. So impotent. What can one man do? I can’t be 1.5 million viewers.

I’ve felt this sadness before. About 15 years ago, FOX had a funny little show called Get a Life starring Chris Elliot. Originally conceived as a grown-up Dennis the Menace, it was about a 30 year old paper boy who lived with his parents, and … did funny stuff. A combination of gross physical humor and a certain wittiness, influenced by the British comedy the Young Ones, made it the exemplar of cutting edge comedy in a popular format of its time. It lasted a scant two seasons, if I recall correctly, abruptly cancelled due to low ratings in its Sunday time slot. That style of humor would live on however in shows like The Simpsons, back when it was still funny (You have to be of a certain age to remember when the Simpsons was funny). Looking back on it, Get a Life doesn’t seem as funny as it did in its original context, just as even the old Simpsons don’t seem all that funny any more either, and even old Seinfeld episodes don’t seem so hot either.

Comedy changes quickly. What was once cutting-edge eventually becomes commonplace, and eventually stale. That’s probably the primary reason why comedies with a strong narrative inclination age better than those without. Ten years later the gags seem predictable and unfunny, and so the story is called upon to bear a greater burden of the entertainment value. It might be hard to fathom now, but ten years from now, Arrested D won’t be that funny. Or at best, it’ll be funny the way a show like – what’s that show with the fat guy and the hot wife whose dad is played by Jerry Stiller? Anyway that one.

Despite this inexorable fate, or perhaps even because of it, we must cherish this time we have with our beloved Arrested D. I know not how much longer it is for this world. Whether its death is to be premature at the cold ruthless hands of a cynical and calculating FOX exec; or if in its struggle, it survives and thrives and grows gracefully, blooming to full maturity, and then gracefully exiting in its twilight with a soft and reverent breath with all due glory and tribute. With hope and a bit of luck we might be fortunate enough to witness the latter, but if not, I’ll be ever grateful for the moments we have and will have shared. Just as I treasure the laughter emitted during the halcyon days of the Simpsons, Seinfeld, Mr. Show, Roseanne, the Wonder Years, Married With Children, and etc etc. Those laughs are gone. Never to be brought back. Such a fleeting, almost sad, joy that comedy is. But today we have Arrested D. And no need to worry from where tomorrow’s laughs shall come.