So it is. And if you think about it, NYE could very well be the stoopidest of all holidays.
Yes, there should be a celebration for the last day of the year and yes, it should incorporate massive amounts of alco-mo-hol followed by copious amounts of college football the next day BUT does the celebration have be centered around a big glass ball?
This year, 1,000,000,000 people are expected to tune into the Times Square bash where 1,000,0000,000,000,003 revilers will be drinking and screaming in the streets in honor of...a big glass ball. Here in Portland, thousands are expected to watch a smaller ball fall in Pioneer Square. No matter where you are tonight, there's a good chance you'll be staring at a glass ball at the stroke of midnight.
Is this really the best we can do?
Of course not. This year, Vegas is completely upstaging the classic celebration in NYC. In addition to the town usual barrage of legalized gambling, prostitution and open containers, heavy security due to Level Orange and the largest fireworks show in the world will ring in the New Year. Blackhawk helicopters will patrol air while sharpshooters scan crowds from the vantage of hotel casino roofs. Even better, gunships will roam the streets. Military vehicles, hookers, explosions, booze, warm weather and blackjack...could there be a better atmosphere in which to mumble the words to Auld Lang Syne? Of course not.
Remember this wretched little imp? His name is Snow and he returned to Portland with a vengeance on Sunday night. Since his arrival, our streets have been drenched with his obnoxious, snot-nosed offspring.
If Portlanders fear anything more than Snow, it's Ice.
A torrent of vampires could fall from the sky and muster less fear and loathing than a trip down a frosty Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway. When the temperature drops below freezing, Portland's citizenry flees into their homes and leaves the streets to be rampaged by KGW and overconfident SUV-ers...that inevitably wind up in ditches on Skyline.
The solstice was a little over a week ago and already this is the worst winter in years. Last night, there was an inch of snow on the ground at Blog's house. A WHOLE INCH. This morning's commute to work was a less a drive than a slide. If this shit continues, it may be time to steal that saucer sled from the neighbor's kid. And invest in Thing insurance.
Time dulls the nitty-gritty realities of famous events. What runs through people's heads as they make history? What's that line from Lord of the Rings? "History becomes legend, legend becomes myth"...something like that.
Anyway, I was at the Grotto a few nights back and thought to myself, "Wouldn't it be wacky if I took a picture of this manger scene and added tired, sarcastic remarks for a Blog post?" Well, here we are. What was going through the minds of Little Baby Jesus and the gang on that faithful night a few epochs back?
"I don't care who he is, he ain't gettin' my fruit.
"'Blonde hair...blue eyes. Hmmmm, the Normans won't make it down here for another thousand years or more.
Maybe she was telling the truth. 'Im-mac-u-late conception' -who knew?"
"'*giggle* He totally fell for it."
"That son of a bitch of an inn keeper. God forbid he offer these people a spot on his cot. 'Oh, you're waters just broke? Let's get you all set up out in the DONKEY's pad.' Kings and angels are going to be stomping through here all night. I'm not going to get a single wink of sleep and what am I going to be able to show for it? Afterbirth. What a bunch of jackasses."
"What's that smell? Good Lord, humans have moved in. Here COMES the neighborhood."
"Can I eat him? Pretty please?"
LITTLE BABY JESUS
"I'm the son of God and this is the best these cock-a-roaches can do? Whatsa a living deity gotta do to get a gold plated crib and a few sacrificial virgins? With parents like this I'll probably grow up to be a carpenta' or somethin'. Who do I trust? ME that's who. All I got in this world is MY balls, MY word and MY ability to walk across water. I don't break 'em for nobody. When I grow up and learn the whole water-into-wine thing, this world's gonna be MINE."
There are three certainties on this early Christmas morn:
1. Little Baby Jesus is totally kickass. He died for our sins, gained four times his body weight and came back to life as Santa Claus. Now every Christmas Eve he flies around the world on a surfboard led by Superman, Supergirl, Robin, The Flash, Wonder Woman and Rudolph Giuliani while littering the world with presents.
2. Die Hard is the greatest holiday film of all time....second only to Gremlins.
3. If you drink, don't build gingerbread houses. If you build gingerbread houses, don't drink.
A MERRY KWANZAA TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOOD BOXING DAY!!
[Lighter snaps open] "Come out to the coast. We'll have a few laughs. Ugh." [Lighter snaps shut]
This next tale comes from Chuck Palahniuk. Blog saw Postcards from the Future a few weeks back and, in one segment, the author offered a holiday story that's sure to warm your heart. It's regurgitated below, compliments of Angela Bourdeau's Chuck Page. Apparently, he's told "The Pixie Story" countless times on his recent book tour.
Really, this could very well be the only story that's come out of his head that doesn't involve arcane trivia and gruesome factoids. Why, this could be shared with the whole family.
After Palahniuk's grandmother died, he travelled south from Portland to her home "in the desert." With his silbings, he helped clean out her house and divy-up her possesions. After sorting through 30 year-old Christmas decorations in dusty storage shed, he found a shoe box.
"I open the shoe box. And there were the pixies. For years, our parents, and our grandparents, to keep us in line, told us about the pixies. Wherever you go, whatever you do, 'The Pixies Will Be Watching You. They were made out of felt."
"So my parents and grandparents would hide these things places where they thought us kids might go. You'd move a chair, and one would be on the wall. 'The Pixies Are Watching You.' It was understood in our family. The pixies are linked to Santa Claus. Santa Claus is, of course, connected to God."
"For years, my parents and grandparents, whenever they could, would move the pixies around, so they'd never be in the same place twice. So you never knew when you were going to find a pixie. And suddenly, there they all were. And I knew I wanted to keep them."
"I was prepared to trade everything else that Grandma would have left me for them. I'm prepared to walk out there and tell my siblings that. 'You can have anything else in the house, but The Pixies Are Mine.'"
"Then I realize that this is never going to fly with my siblings. They are going to fight me for them. Then I decide that no matter what, I wanted to come home with the pixies. This is stupid--I'm this forty year old man in a workshed, covered in sweat and dust, in this heat, ready to cry like a baby over a shoebox full of felt pixies! I'm really ready to walk into the house, looking like this, crying: 'I...(sniff)...want...(sniff)...the...(sniff)...pixiiiiiiiiies...'
"So I decide that I can't do that either, otherwise I'll never get them. So I STOLE THE PIXIES. And then a few days letter my sister calls me--a message on my machine: "'Chuck? D-did you steal the pixies?' And that's when I decided to go on this tour."
Surely there's someone out there reading this. I can't be the only person bored and/or stuck at work on this Xmas Eve.
If you are bored and/or stuck at work, you should head here. Blog has done plenty of pimpin' for X Entertainment in the past few months and it's not likely to stop anytime soon. The site, which is a virtual vomitorium of '80s nostalgia, has really gone above and beyond with its Christmas coverage this year.
Accompanying daily posts devoted to 20 year old boxes of holiday-themed cereal and Family Circus TV specials is the ongoing saga surrounding the contents of a Playmobile advent calendar. This little sidebar soap opera is slow going until the arrival of a doll dubbed Mare Winningham on December 6th (the connection to the ex Brat Packer of the same name remains unclear). Not to blow the plot, but Mare's winning smile and cute pink outfit belie the evil hidden in her little plastic heart. Will she single-handedly destroy Xmas? The series concludes tomorrow.
PS: Yes, the CBS logo above was blantantly stolen from the site. Doesn't it bring back found memories of Christmas Specials Past? If you're REALLY bored and near a television, the Pac Man Xmas Special will be on Cartoon Network at 4 PM later today. If Blog can wrestle the HDTV office remote away from his Oprah-addicted coworkers, he'll be spending this afternoon of Xmas Eve ODing on childhood nostalgia.
"All we've had is moldy [Website] for three stinkin' weeks!"
Yes, Website should have been updated with a new story a long while back. Instead of the oft-put off Goonies article mentioned at the bottom of the page, Where the Isotopes Play was going to run instead (because it was going to be soooooo much easier to put together. HA!) The self-imposed deadline for this was two weeks ago. So, where the hell is it, you ask?
The #$#$!@! thing is taking forever to put together. With close to four dozen photographs and QuickTime footage to boot, it's been a lengthy process. This whole "Annual Celebration of the Birth of Christ" thing isn't helping matters either. All the pretty pictures are ready to go but the text and numerous links still need to be cobbled.
Slowing down things even further are the cookie blockers my corporate overlords have installed. I used to update Website once a week because I could do it on the clock. Now I receive a snotty error message from Geocities every time I try to access their server site from my company computer.
If this lil' project ever gets done, it's sure to be a doozy (possible a kick in the pants instead). Set up as a knock-off of those old Choose Your Own Adventure books, Where the Isotopes Play will follow the adventures of three cats as they make their way to a nuclear power plant for a picnic. Will the cats make merry with the isotopes or come to their doom? Their is fate is in YOUR hands.
So there you have it, a behind-the-scenes look at what may very well be the most self-indulgent site on the internet. Until Where the Isotopes Play appears, here's this.
OOOH Yeah We got the power and we're ready to wreck
With a force so deadly it'll snap ya neck
OOOH Yeah we're about to put this thing in motion
We'll hit ya so hard you'll have a body convulsion
OOOH Yeah We've been kickin' butt way too long
So don't get us wrong cuz we're way too strong
OOOH Yeah Anyone wants to test the king
It ain't no thing just step in the ring
Finally, undeniable proof that anything recorded on a CD can earn countless five star reviews from Amazon's customers.
WARNING: Some of these are 100% sincere...or at least they seem to be.
Jack "pale as Santa's facial hair" White was charged for assault earlier today. His crime? Totally bitch slapping Jason Stollsteimer, the lead singer of a band called the Von Bondies.
The star of Cold Mountain (fine, it's just a cameo) hit Stollsteimer seven times in the face after the two squabbled over a producer's credit on the Von Bondies last album. Stollsteimer was later treated for a swollen eye and a bloody nose at a nearby hospital. White faces a year in prison, if convicted. As of yet, Y Que has not released a "Free Jack White" t-shirt.
You should not perform "Papa Don't Preach" at the karaoke bar...
....even if you have a vagina.
...even if someone else pays for it.
...even if the crowd has cheered other unconventional performances.
...even if you sing it with a deep, masculine growl.
...even if you can get through the "I was always your little girl" line without laughing.
...even if you can blame alcohol.
You should NEVER EVER perform "Papa Don't Preach" at the karaoke bar if...
...you have a penis.
...are wearing a Transformers t-shirt with a scarf.
...the karaoke MC tries to drop a subtle hint by putting on "Live to Tell" instead.
...if the MC argues with you when you demand "Papa Don't Preach" instead.
No will get the joke. With the exception of the really drunk chicks, no one will clap. No one will admire the level of commitment required for the performance. The world just isn't ready for this sort of unorthodox karoke-ing. Just don't bother.
Yet, this week's South Park is already making jokes about beards and spider holes. That has to be the quickest turn-around for a segment of animation in the history of the form.
Regardless, Parker and Stone's conservative values really shined through this season. In the past, they've played both sides of the political spectrum against one another, exposing the fallacies of both while providing some of the most deceptively thoughtful programming on American television. Episodes negating the effects of second-smoke while supporting the tobacco industry? Depicting gays as demented mutants? The nastiest Asian caricatures since The Phantom Menace? What, was Michael Savage hired on during hiatus?
Here's hoping they go back to playing devil's advocate next time round.
You gotta check see this thing. It's the funiest fucking I've ever seen man, these guys are right on and all those pictures are helarious. Ed Aswner, what a dick. I'm totally not going to see that lord of the rings movie becaus that asshole insulted the prez in cheif. Uncle Sam, flippping the bird? Rock on. Stupid Hollewood pussies talking about shit they dont understand. Woooo!
Blog missed it again this year. This page should be filled with pictures of rampaging drunks in Santa outfits. Alas, all sources seem to indicate that that it wasn't as big a deal as it has been in past years. Aside from a brief blurb in the Mercury, no one else reported on it.
The image you see above is a screenshot from Vivendi Universal's Fight Club, a video game based on the book/movie of the same name.
Talk about missing the point.
Where to begin? First off, the source material(s) is a conflicted, often contradictory, sociopathic rant against both the emptiness of rampant consumerism and anarchism. Black-humored, anti-capitalist literature like this is probably not the best starting point for the development of a video game. What's next? George Hayduke's Punch-Out?
To make matters worse, Vivendi's effort is planned as a standard platform fighting game sans all those pesky themes and ethos. Players can play as either Tyler or Jack in context-less movie-themed environments. Following the same rules as Fight Club, the brawls end with a tap out, or when an opponent can no longer defend him or herself. Aside from the screenshots, details are vague at this point. Blog is hoping they don't wuss out entirely by opting not to include Meat Loaf's character, Bob "His name was Robert" Paulson.
It's a long stretch, but if you got the right sort of programmers together and stuffed their heads with the writings of Chuck Palahniuk, Abbie Hoffman and Edward Abbey, they might be able to turn out a quality game. It could be the nastiest game ever, something 30 times more subversive and violent as good ol' GTA. Focusing on the material's "Project Mayhem," players could be rewarded for trashing Volkswagens and destroying
corporate art displays. Not only would you have to dodge police in this game, you'd also have to ignore the nagging of your alternate personality. To win the game, the player would finally have to destroy society. A sequel could possibly dive into the pitfalls of the ensuing state of anarcho-socialism.
No, somehow, Fight Club: The Game ain't a joke. If Def Jam Vendetta can actually find distribution, in all likelihood this will be in every Target outlet in the country by Xmas '04.
Also: wasn't there a rule in the source material about no shoes?
It is now 6 PM on the West Coast and here in Portland a legion of lucky geeks are packed into Lloyd Cinemas. It's the only theater in Portland that's hosting Trilogy Tuesday. The Pixie Stick addicted fifth grader in me is screaming for blood for not being there with them. Those in attendance will be viewing Return of the King a full 72 hours before I'll get a chance to see it. Not only will I miss out on the marathon, I won't be at any of tonight's midnight shows around town. Fawk.
While I rot in a stew of bitterness here in my cubicle, my mind has wandered back to a night not long ago. Without thinking out the logistics, I bought the cardboard stand-up of Legolas the elf (seen above) for my kid sister (it's for Xmas. Honest!) at Pike Place Market. After every staff member of Golden Age Collectibles offered no less than three gay jokes, I had to haul the thing through the clogged downtown streets of Seattle.
Countless stares and snickers were dispensed. At one point, a scrawny blonde teenager leaned out the window of a passing Honda and yelled "HEY! LOOK AT HIM! HE'S GOT THE ELF!! WHAT A FAG! HA! HA! HA!"
What can we all learn from all this:
1. They should put these things in boxes instead of clear cellophane.
2. There's a reason why God created gift certificates.
3. Adulthood sucks harder than a starving leech on a fat man's belly.
After hours of quiet contemplation, Blog has come to the conclusion that New York Observer film critic Rex Reed is the human embodiment of a fart. In recent years, Reed has exhibited his complete lack of taste for lambasting such films as Minority Report, Monster's Ball and Mulholland Drive while spewing praise all over the likes of The Majestic, The Sum of All Fears and Phone Booth. He doesn't just dislike good movies, he loathes them with every fiber of his being. Take his recent critique of Big Fish:
Every once in a witch's sabbath, a pile of utter bilge pops up like a boil that needs lancing, and they throw around words like "magical." That pretty much describes how I feel about Tim Burton's Big Fish, a load of tripe that no attempt on my part could make sound half as pretentious and conceited as it really is.
It's easy to dismiss Rex Reed as an archaic hold-over, the film critic equivalent of Marmaduke until you read the rest of the review. Tim Burton's latest film opens out here on Christmas Day and has thus far been marinated in praise by other critics. Not only did Reed admittedly sleep through Big Fish, he gives away its twist ending. To make matters worse, in the same column he practically cries tears of joy over the cinematic drivel that is Mona Lisa's Smile. Not only is Reed tasteless, his reviews are downright Machiavellian.
Please, someone, send Rex Reed to the glue factory before he kills another plotline. Chop! Chop! This is my decree. Blog has spoken.
Eighty... two. I am eighty-two years old! I was born in 1918! Every morning when I wake up I flex and then grunt “Don’t age!!!!” It’s about will and determination. My wife has posed for Hustler. I promise you she is better than anything any of you have ever had. Our bedroom is wallpapered with pictures from the Kama Sutra and we make each other smile nightly. My wife and I adopted three twenty-year-old Korean sons. Why? Because we didn’t want to waste time raising them! They were raised by street gangs in the ghettos of Seoul. And someday they will fight each other to determine who will run this dealership when I am gone.
This is from a original screenplay cowritten by Will Ferrell that was written over two years ago. In a better world, this would be playing around the country now instead of the uber-blandElf. Ferrell's a great comedian, provided he has the right material. Trapped in something like those God awful cheerleader sketches from SNL, he's beyond grating. Fortunately, beginning to use his comedic powers for the forces of good.
The screenplay is called August Blowout! and it centers around used car dealers living in southern Cali. While jokes about car lot jockeys are as old and tired as time itself, this script actually sounds funny. Take the lines above, for example. The main character is named Jeff Tanner and he's god among car salesmen. He's perpetually stuck in the 1977 and every album in his collection is by Boston. For fun, he runs around Anaheim visiting such iconic spots as...the downtown Denny's and Blockbuster Video.
I'm not doing the thing justice. Read the following and then go here.
JEFF TANNER (delivered while standing on the hood of a car stuck in traffic)
Hi, I’m Jeff Tanner and I sell cars. The only thing I love more than a finely crafted American automobile is the hot rush of adrenaline I get from selling one. Meet my car: the Ford Explorer. It’s rugged, sexy and American... like me. And just like this bad boy, Jeff Tanner is fully tricked out with all the features. I come with a confident handshake, an outstanding ass, a saddle in my bedroom, and except for some screw up by JC Penny's, a near spotless credit report. And guess what? That’s all standard. For Jeff Tanner life is all about three things; speed, steel and gas. You think cheetahs are fast? Fuck cheetahs. My speed is American made. I’ll be honest. I’m hard right now.
With any luck and, given the box office take of Elf, August Blow Out! will be made next year for an early 2005 release.
The nuclear kitty photo has come down to make way for the oh-so-festive pic you see above. It didn't turn out quite as planned (my digital camera is worthless for night shots). Nevertheless, it's OK.. gimmie-ten-thousand-dollars-for- this-ugly-blurry-work-of-"art" sort of way or a hey-dad-look-at-what-i-made-you-in-shop-class-the -teacher-gave-me-a-C+ sort of way.
Take note of the martini glass. It's actually a 15 foot tall light display. Every year in December a home owner living near OHSU attaches it to his deck. The glass has become a beacon for downtown revilers to get their holiday drink on. Unfortunately, in the late '90s, the local chapter of MADD raised a stink and demanded it's removal. It disappeared but returned the following year after the home owner offered a compromise. The glass now glows undaunted until 10 every night through New Years. After that, a large slash is lit, obscuring it ala the Ghosbusters' logo. For those among us that are usually plastered before 7, it's not much of a deterrent.
Sometime later, a neighbor added a large champaign bottle to mix. It is has yet to be censored. Give it time.
If you live within a 20 mile radius of east Portland, you owe it to yourself to hit the Clinton Street Theater by tomorrow night. Currently showing is The Returner, which is at least 20 - 40% better than The Last Samurai.
In a weird sort of way, the two movies are connected and might make an interesting double feature. Samurai is Tom Cruise's stab at the likes of Yojimbo. The Returner is a Japanese take on...just about every American film ever made. If The Terminator, Gangs of New York, ET, Mel Gibson's Payback and Independence Day were all tossed in a cement mixer, this would be the result.
Miyomoto is your average low-level hood. He's soft on the eyes, good with a gun and just so happens to be hunting a criminal kingpin that steals organs from kids and sells them on the blackmarket. Milly is even softer on the eyes, better with a gun and just so happens to be a warrior from the future sent back in time to save the human race. Together, they team up to save an ailing alien that's crash-landed on Earth. If the cute little bugger dies, his intergalactic colleagues will stage a worldwide invasion. Can the two save him in time to prevent a the biggest PR disaster in history? What's up with the chain-smoking old lady with the bag of guns, that weird low flying plane and the kill crazy mob boss in saddle shoes? Go see the movie already or youâ€™ll never know.
The Returner is the Nihongo equivalent of a $100 million summer flick. The stunts and CGI are remarkably well done and it's hardly your average low-budget export. Is it actually good though? Well, that depends on your definition of the word. If you like unintentionally hilarious action sequences and explosions, then you couldn't do worse. But, if you prefer the look of Cruise's hair gently flapping in the breeze, well, you're better off with that lame Dances With Wolves knock-off.
Thirty feet from my work station is a "Giving Tree" for the Christie School, a local organization that helps troubled kids. For the past two weeks, I've passed and tried to ignore the following tag:
Would like CD: "White Stripes: Elephant"
Edited version only please
The deadline is Friday and there's about four tags left on the tree. The others are for extravagant items like in line skates. Tags for similarly inexpensive items like Bratz dolls and CDs by Linkin Park, Little Kim and Disturbed were snatched up weeks ago.
It'd be a shame for this girl to be punished for having a modicum of taste, thus the moral dilemma. The deadline is Friday. At this point, if I don't do it, no one will. The cheeseball that sits behind sure isn't going to come to her aid, especially given the Winamp tracklist on his laptop which he insists on a playing at a barely audible level during business hours. It breaks my little black heart to think the girl might go through the holidays without the aid of Jack and Meg White's bombastic domestic squabbles.
Getting the girl her CD would require $14, at least a minimal amount of effort and, worst of all, a side trip to ear-to-ear smiling hell world that is human resources (where the gift box sits).
Further complicating things is the "edited version only" request. Funk 'dat! I've never paid money for an edited CD in my life and I'm not going to start now. I don't think Elephant contains a single obscene word but, if it does, the authority figures at the school might take it away.
Is "charity" always this complicated? Screw it. That $14 is better spent on pain pills. Or Ice Cube. January 3rd, Westside Connection, Crystal ballroom, y'all!
Doo, doo, da, doo, da, doo, doo, doo, da, la dooooooo, doo, doo, da doo, da...
This has been running through my head for the last four hours. It's the 8-bit soundtrack for the first level of Super Mario Brothers 2. I tried flushing it out a quick blasts of Electric 6, Johnny Cash and Le Tigre but nothing seemed to work. The song simply will not go away.
So I've decided to spread the pain. To listen to a remix of the song and have it infect your soul, click here. To search through a large archive of video game soundtracks, click here. To read Roger Ebert's review of "The Wizard," click here.
Everything internet-related has formed a cruel vendetta against Blog. Earlier this week, the pictures on this site disappeared. Now Blogger has begun deleting posts. I'll have to rewrite the entry that goes along with this picture. That will have to wait until tomorrow.
Good question. 99% of the images on Blog and Website mysteriously vanished Sunday night. Email to Geocities' tech support have so far gone unanswered. Right now, there are two key suspects in the disappearances.
2. The Hamburgler.
Which of these two is the culprit? Only time will tell. Will my sighs and mumbled obscenities help the investigation? Probably not. $%#$@@!$!
Last week, the Portland Mercury began an online gift auction. Among the items listed was the opportunity to design the front cover of one issue. The auction ended two hours ago. Flip!
Had I known about this before the deadline, I could be on the road to vengeance. You see, a year ago I applied for a production internship at the Mercury. For some strange reason I didn't get the job. This could have had something to do with the rampant grammatical errors of my application or the work samples I provided that were crayon drawings of tanks on the back of a Red Robin paper place mat. Regardless, I'm still convinced that I wasn't hired because of the editors are a bunch of no-good, hateful, xenophobic, black-hearted, racist hipsters.
Well, racist against people that don't wear vintage clothing or faun over vinyl singles by unknown local punk bands. Oh, how I loath those happy Whos, er, indie rockers living in Whoville, er, east Portland gallivanting around town with their weekly rag funded by a east-coast media conglomerate. Am I jealous playa' hata'? Of course not. *Sniff*
Had I won the auction, my cover would have been a stroke of devious genius worthy of both Dr. Moriarty AND Dr. Pepper. The Mercury prides itself on its sardonic covers. Mine would have made those malevolent hipsters cry while simultaneously wetting their pants. It would have been simple, b & w cover with the following words written in 70-point font.
We secretly wish we were working for Willamette Week.
We also love red meat, actually detest
the local music scene and haven't
allowed a single drop of PBR to pass
our lips since we relocated here from
OK, fine. Maybe it's not so great but, in my defense, I just found out about this auction ten minutes ago. The cover eventually sold for over $600 (!!!), likely making some trust-fund artist in Laurelhurst extremely happy. Would $600 and a month without food or shelter have been a worthy trade for retribution? Maaaaaaybe.
Meanwhile, someone paid a whopping $105 for a dream date with editor WM Stephen Humphrey. There's a story behind this but we'll probably never find out what it is.
Blog was mysteriously absent on Friday and, for the most part, on Thursday too. So what's his lowly excuse? Three words: "flashing" "tons" and "beaver."
Now given the fact that you have a filthy, sinful mind, you've already put these words into the following sentence: "Blog spent Friday watching tons of flashing beavers." Unfortunately, he viewed not a single beaver, literal or figurative. This flashing was of a different sort.
Can you piece together these mysterious clues and find out what Blog was doing on Friday? Send your deduction to firstname.lastname@example.org If you guess correctly and your email is #19, you win a prize*!
*Prize may or may not actually exist. One entry per household. Contestants must be over the age of 18 and will NOT be granted a practice kick at any time. Should all of the contestants in the first round or remaining contestants in any subsequent round, miss the field goal, we will begin a Sudden Death Showdown with all remaining contestants. The first person to kick in the showdown will be the first person that kicked in the previous round. That contestant will place the ball at any location between the hash marks at his or her choosing and then attempt a kick. If successful, all remaining contestants will need to better that kick by at least one yard. If unsuccessful, the next contestant will choose a location between the hash marks at his or her choosing and then attempt a kick whoever successfully makes the longest field goal in the Sudden Death Showdown round will win the prize. Should all remaining contestants miss a field goal in the Sudden Death Showdown round, we will begin another Sudden Death Showdown round. For more information or questions please call Newsradio 1070 WKOK at 570-286-5838 during the regular business hours of 8:30 AM to 5 PM Monday thru Friday.
Last Sunday, Showtime finally aired "The Reagans," the controversial mini-series that Matt Drudge nearly had kittens over. In an effort to appease conservative critics, CBS toned down some of the more controversial scenes in the film but eventually gave in to pressure to drop it altogether. Which version did Showtime, the network that "Red Shoe Diaries" built run? The edited one, of course!
Gone are Regan's "I am the Anti-Christ" declaration and other off-the-wall scenes, leaving behind a pretty toothless biopic.
James Brolin's Reagan is not demented Oval Office Mr. Burns but rather a lovable goofball too busy fretting over Star Wars and the fall of communism to concern himself with a tiny, insignifcant issues like the recession, AIDS and Iran Contra. The mini-series even let's him off easy, blaming Alzheimer's for his involvement in the later.
So, really, where's the problem? While, admittedly, the producers glossed over "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall," there's nothing here that is worthy of the amount of controversy that was lobbed at the movie. There's no reason why the edited film shouldn't have aired. Producers always take artistic liberties when dealing with historical subject matter thus the "based on a true story" disclaimers. Meanwhile, over at NBC "Saving Jessica Lynch," which was chock full of half-truths and revisionist history, ran with little to no controversy. Anyone still convinced the media is plagued by a liberal bias need look no further.
Blog is the neglectful proprietor of "Chevy Chase: Unauthorized!" a website devoted to the man himself. Every so often, an email is sent by someone not entirely familiar with the concept of "fan website" and convinced Blog is actually Chevy Chase. Here's one that arrived yesterday:
This is a very strange question. I have a friend who would really love it if you would come and decorate her house. I told you this was crazy. But could you?
Is this earnest? Is it sarcasm? Given the context-less nature of email, who can tell? Here's what was written in response:
Sorry, but I no one associated with this site is actually Chevy Chase. As much as we wish we were, we aren't. While we'd love to coax him into decorating your friend's home, our mind control device, made mostly out of Pringles cans and old Transformer toys, is still in the testing phase. Once we get it working, we'll brainwash Chevy and send him your way.
Have yourself a merry little Xmas.
-Chevy Chase: Unauthorized.
Will K respond to this offer? Possibly. Stay tuned!
It has always been like this. Even back in that time at the beginning, when I was surrounded with so many just like me, I had these same thoughts. But they did not carry the same weight- I had not yet begun my life: I was full and I had no knowledge of anything but being full, and I had no knowledge of anyone who did not look the same as me. That was a warmer place, though. This place is rather cold and I have gotten used to it. In fact, if I were to go back to a warmer place, I'm sure the heat would kill me.
This is an excerpt from "Most Mayonnaise Lead Lives of Quiet Desperation," a excellent short story that was posted Monday on J. J. Joe Jr's Weblog. Should you read it? Yes, absolutely.
Here's hoping the author will follow up with "Fear of Growing (M)Old: the Pain of Being a Slice of Wonderbread, Forgotten Behind the Fridge."
While we're all misreading the impact of media icons on children, let's take a look at this mural. It was found on the wall of a McDonald's outside of Aberdeen, Washington during Blog's Thanksgiving search for the ghost of Kurt Cobain.
First - Take a look at the expression on Ronald McDonald's face.
Second - Take a look at what Ronald's doing to that cow.
Third - Take a look at the bovine beauty's expression.
Fourth - Take a look at the pirate's expression.
Five - Note how the Fry Guys are reacting to all of this.
Was this drawn by a frustrated artist, eager to sneak one past McDonald's corporate headquarters? Or is it purely innocent? Let's take a vote.
In order to keep this poll scientific and accurate, you should vote at least a hundred times.
Since this blogging war is getting in the way of extremely super important posts about ray guns and perverse McDonald's murals, this is the absolute last shot will Blog will fire in the Big Bad Battle Over the Big Bad "Butter Battle Book." No matter how lengthy his response to the following, be it on a goat, be it in a boat, Blog-I-Am will NOT respond to AP's rancid green eggs and...spam?
1. AP, that last post was dripping with sarcasm. Sorry if it was too arcane but take a look at this key conclusive sentence:
"Video games don't convince people to join the military, comics don't send cascading off roofs and Dr. Suess did not make AP a liberal. His environment and his parents did."
To rephrase, no single book, video game, etc can alter a person's behavior or political leanings no matter how matter how powerful Suess' pathos. To answer one of AP's queries, kids will still act like rowdy maniacs regardless of their exposure to media while their parents will always attempt to cull them with subversive children's literature. Maybe we do agree.
2. But then there's the original post which started this maddess. Take a look at this statement by AP last week:
"[That book] surely helped put the idea in my head -- as it surely helped millions of others who in recent days marched in Miami and (perhaps) London -- that war is always fought on frivolous grounds and that acquisition of better weapons technology is immoral. Now that I look back, 'The Butter Battle Book' definitely had a hand in my early philosophical thinking -- I'd bet it did for others, too."
Despite his recent backpedaling, AP is implying here, if not outright admitting, that this mere Suess book was a gateway into a world of liberal politics. In fact, he regards it as the fuel for recent protests (?!!). At no point does he refer to the anti-violent themes in countless other children's books. Later in the same post, he admits that he'll probably never allow his children to read the book. AP seems to think this book is as powerful as the Necronomicon.
Furthermore, according to Amazon, "The Butter Battle Book" was published in 1984. Even if AP's parents rushed out to purchase a first edition the second it hit the shelves, other subversive children's entertainment would have "warped him" before that. All in all, the Bernstein Bears and that creepy Winnie the Pooh show with the actors in costume probably got to him prior to Suess' opus. Why was he so eager to pinpoint "The Butter Battle Book" while neglecting the rest?
3. The moral lessons in the average GI Joe episode DO match those of "Butter Battle Book." Suess argues that "war = bad." GI Joe argues "war = good." Both are overly simplistic and hold as much water as the other. AP argues that "imbued his stories with meaning" while the "hacks" responsible for GI Joe neglected to do the same.
Really? Glorifying war doesn't qualify? Cartoon Network began re-airing episodes of GI Joe last year during their late night programming. Blog invites AP to take a look. This cartoon, with its red-white and blue logo and "real American heros" is unadulterated, flag-waving propaganda for grade-schoolers. The show is filled to the brim and overflowing with meaning when compared to the works of a certain "doctor." Given the similarly feather-weight politics of Suess' catalog, these old cartoon toy commercials are on the level.
4. AP also throws down this new challenge:
"All I intended was to point out that simple stories often have powerful meanings. And that central point, which informed my original Seuss post, still hasn't been challenged."
Not to repeat myself, yet again, but:
That they do but no story, on its own, can sway a person's politics and behavior.
What have we learned from all this? Children should be locked in closets until they reach the age of rea...wait, no. OK, really, what have we learned? Nothing. What should we have learned? That children's entertainment doesn't warp kids, their parents and environment do. Also: AP should stick with politics and lay-off the soul searching.
Not content to slunk away and admit defeat, Armed Prophet came roaring back this morning with a lengthy response to this post from last week. The subject at hand? The effects of Dr. Suess and children’s fables on impressionable tots. AP argues that Suess’ “Butter Battle Book” warped him into to becoming a preadolescent liberal. While the dispenser of neo-conservative-flavored sooths has extended the olive branch, the little devil on Blog’s shoulder is still screaming for conquest. Victory must be ours!
In his response, AP argues that, unlike children’s books, which are evidentially revered and loved like family members by most, video games are disposable entertainment without relevant themes. First off, if he doubts the impact of gaming on kids growing up in the ‘80s, he need look no further than X Entertainment or these statistics. 20-somethings have not given up their devotion to pixilated Italian plumbers. He’s also bound to find at least one vintage Nintendo ringer in his favorite Beltway bar. Mario, Link and all the rest are still as revered as any of Suess’ creations.
Maybe video games don’t have the same philosophical impact on children as the moral lessons of Suess. If AP is willing to open this can of worms, he must also acknowledge that games encourage children to be more violent. What child of the “Me Decade” didn’t impersonate Link on an elementary school playground? Perhaps more relevant is the impact of television and movies. Blog spent most of free time circa 1986 bouncing from couch to couch over carpet "lava pits: while swinging a beach towel whip. AP probably did his own fare share of Indiana Jones impersonations during the mid-80s. We all know the classic urban legend of the kid who jumped off a roof trying to impersonate Superman.
If a mere book can influence the politics of a developing mind, applying AP’s argument, then ALL media can due the same. Still, if Suess turned AP into a liberal, why didn’t the “violence is the only solution” dictates of GI Joe turn him into a schoolyard Cobra Commander?
Later in his argument, AP makes the mistake of mentioning religion. While he uses the impact of these "fables" to explain their overpowering influence, he fails to acknowledge their immersive context. Christians don’t just read the Bible once and toss it on a shelf, they attend church services, associate with like-minded colleagues, devote a good portion of their free time pouring over the principles of their religion and encourage their children to do the same.
AP admits that he grew up in a liberal household in a predominantly liberal community. The “Butter” book was only one part of the constant onslaught of left-leaning politics he was weaned on at an early age. Video games don’t convince people to join the military, comics don’t send cascading off roofs and Dr. Suess did not make AP a liberal. His environment and his parents did. A single book cannot form a child’s politics and perceptions. The predominant beliefs of peers, media and family do.