Friday, November 30, 2012

I Now Pronounce You Man and Moons Over My Hammy®

Our friend KWillow mentioned this in comments to the previous post, but I thought it deserved a bump to the front page.  First, let's set up the clip:
Remember my "Mall-themed Wedding"?
Absolutely, K.  It was one of the wittiest (and yet, oddly, most practical) of the many amusing responses to Mary's Ultimate Wedding Theme Smackdown Challenge:

I like the idea of a wedding in a Mall Food Court, and not a fancy-schmancy mall in Hollywood neither, more like a mall in, say... Reno, or Fresno CA... Orange Julius/Dairy Queen will provide the ice-cream-cone wedding cake, Sbarro's will share food catering with Hot Pot Asian cuisine, McDonald's will bestow the "bibelots" from their Happy Meals on the Bride's (dress from Hot Topic, accessories from Claire's) friends. Grooms clothes will come from Tuxedo Junction and Bridesmaids dresses from Victoria's Secret.

Shoes from Payless Shoe Barn (half-off 2nd pair!). Bridal bouquet from Michael's: it'll never wither!
Liquor will be cheap "white wine" and "rose" from a box, purchased at a nearby Walmart (tho not a part of the mall, the price was too good to pass up!) "André" will be the champagne for toasting the happy couple, with Orange Julius stepping in with complimentary OJ.
Ohhh, K...What gossamer threads of whimsy and fantasy you weave with your delirious flights of fan--

I'm sorry, you had a follow-up?
Denny's read my comment obviously....
Oh oh...
Denny's new Las Vegas restaurant puts weddings on the menu
Denny's, the 24-hour American diner, opened a restaurant on Thursday in Las Vegas with a wedding chapel where couples can tie the knot after a meal of bacon, peanut butter and bananas between two slices of French toast finished off with a bacon vodka chaser.
So apparently, holding a solemn wedding ceremony requires not only planning, but also the purchase of an entree and beverage.  There are only two problems I can see with this approach. 1.) if you serve the food and drinks first, then Uncle Roger will puke on the Maid of Honor during the ceremony rather than the reception, so you might want to go with a patterned fabric for the bridesmaid dresses, and bear in mind that muted, autumnal hues generally do the best job of hiding the stains of half-digested bacon and peanut butter French Toastandwiches®.  And 2.) If the pre-wedding reception takes place before 5 PM, they might not honor my Coffee Coupon.
The restaurant is near the Las Vegas strip on historic downtown Fremont Street. Its modern curves, neon and steel are meant to fit in with the city's "over the top" feel
That'll be a refreshing change.  If there's one criticism I might level at the typical Denny's, it's that the architecture and appointments are a trifle bespoke. 
"A normal Denny's is not going to cut it in Vegas," she said, adding that the restaurant is the first of 1,700 Denny's worldwide that will have a wedding chapel and photo booth. It is one of fewer than 50 Denny's with a full bar.
Only 50?  It's rather shocking to realize that in most Denny's today -- thanks to antiquated blue laws and restrictive zoning -- it's impossible to get cut in the face with a broken beer bottle, and the average customer must still -- in 2012! -- settle for getting shanked in the parking lot. 
The restaurant's neighbours include a zip line that carries visitors above street-level traffic and a restaurant that holds a Guinness Record for the highest-calorie burger. The area soon expects to have what is being billed as the world's largest gay nightclub.
"Woo!  I'm really digging this hard house!  So...!  You come to Denny's often?"

Book your wedding now, and be eligible to dine from our Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Menu (for a limited time only), featuring such middle earthy fare as the Hobbit Hole Breakfast Scramble, and Gandalf's Gobble Melt.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hollywood Parade Confidential

The venerable Hollywood Christmas Parade has come and gone, and thanks to some grainy, Zapruder-like shots of the backstage area, Wo'C got a glimpse of the contentious, off-the-record tussle between the Media and certain besieged celebrities that took place just before the event:
REPORTER:  Mr. Kermit!  What was your reaction to the recent accusations against Elmo!
KERMIT:  No comment!  I said,  no comment!
REPORTER:  But why won't you address the growing concern about --
KERMIT:  Because I have the right as a Muppet to have no comment and who the hell are you to tell me I can or not?  Besides, I don't even know this "Elmo"...
ELMO:  Hey, Kermit!  Buddy!  Over here!

KERMIT:  Look...Whatever allegations may have been made in other contexts or venues, they have no relevance to the current situation, and do not in any way reflect on the integrity of the Hollywood Christmas Pa--
SMURF:  I've got a vagina!
GRINCH:  Yesss...Yes you do...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

There's More Wattles Around Here Than The Reagan Administration

Jean Arthur and Lillian Roth hunt down Early American pants thieves in Pardon My Blunderbuss!

Happy Turkey Day, guys.  I hope whatever your plans for the day, they come off smoothly, without stressful traffic, discomfiting diatribes from conspiracy-quoting relatives, or untoward diplomatic incidents with your Native American hosts.

Mary and I are traveling about 11 feet today, from the bedroom to the living room (well, she's going all the way into the kitchen, so it's probably more like 15½ for her, which is why I advised her to leave early), and will be having something food-like while watching Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

And in that spirit, enjoy a quick compilation of classic bumpers from the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Turkey Days of yore:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Red Dawn at Morning, Critic Take Warning

Friend o' the blog acrannymint reminded us that today marks the debut of the long awaited Red Dawn remake, which has been sitting in the can, relentlessly testing its shelf life for the past three years like some weird David Blaine stunt.  What caused the delay of this hot and eagerly anticipated film?  Well, it was shot in 2009, the same year Obama took office, so clearly Hollywood was hesitant to offend the Powers That Be by releasing a movie that tells the truth about Kim Il Jong's plans to conquer America by sneaking his army into the U.S. and having them plug in a bunch of blenders and blow combs and VCRs all at once, thereby tripping our national circuit breakers and making it impossible for us to retaliate because our clock radios would be all screwed up and our armed forces would oversleep.  Also, taking out the electrical grid in the Pacific and Mountain Time Zones would render it impossible for the Navy to launch ICBMs from sea, because apparently our submarines are all electric now and are connected to the mainland power grid by really long extension cords.

Anyway, cranny went on to write, "In honor of the new version, you really need to repost the original" review, which appears in Better Living Through Bad Movies (in fact, we devote an entire chapter to it).  So here you go.  We hope to compliment this with a review of the remake, as soon as certain financial reverses reverse themselves.  In the meantime...WOLVERINES!
Red Dawn (1984)
Directed by John Milius
Written by John Milius (the semen stains on the screenplay confirm this) and Kevin Reynolds. Story by Kevin Reynolds

The story of Red Dawn is familiar to anyone who had a C. Thomas Howell-induced wet dream during the mid 1980’s: Russians and Nicaraguans invade the United States after the Soviet Union suffers its “worst wheat harvest in 55 years,” which somehow allows them to conquer the world. I found this perplexing but inspiring, since I was recently fined for putting a Rubbermaid storage tub on my balcony. Taking a leaf from the Commie playbook, I poured a bottle of Round-Up into the planter in the courtyard and killed the hydrangeas, which should permit me to conquer the Condo Board and rule the Homeowners Association with an iron hand.

Anyway, this lurid peek into John Milius’ porn collection clocks in at a surprisingly epic 1 hour and 54 minutes, which admittedly sounds long until you actually watch it, at which point you’ll swear that sometime prior to the closing credits the Sun collapsed into a neutron star and humanity evolved into a species of pure energy.

Our film opens in South Park, Colorado. It’s a typical all-American commuity, except they apparently  don’t have cable TV, which means that 1) nobody has been able to switch on CNN and see that the Red Army has invaded America, and 2) they won’t be able to enjoy this movie when it eventually enters heavy rotation on HBO with Ice Castles and The Beastmaster.

Patrick Swayze drops his brother Charlie Sheen and Some Other Guy off at South Park High, whose football team is named…the Wolverines. (Pay attention! Later in the movie this seemingly trivial detail will become an extremely important source of irritation.) It finally dawns on the oblivious townsfolk that something is amiss when Soviet spetsnaz troops parachute onto the campus and blow up the cafeteria. (Apparently their battle plan read: 1) Secure major access roads. 2) Detain local authorities. 3) Destroy all stockpiles of Sloppy Joes and Sporks.)

In the midst of the invasion, Patrick roars back into the parking lot to pick up Charlie and Some Other Guy. Bullets and rocket propelled grenades are flying around the school, teachers are being cut down by machineguns, busses are exploding and burning, but none of the kids seems all that upset, since this basically gives them the equivalent of a Snow Day.

Cut to: a bumpersticker that reads, You’ll Get My Gun When You Pry It From My Cold Dead Hands. Pan down to the vehicle’s owner, who is lying dead in the street with a gun in his cold hand. A kindly Russian soldier pauses to make the corpse’s dream come true.

Patrick collects a motley assortment of future direct-to-video stars and drives them to a service station/armory run by C. Thomas Howell’s dad. Suddenly, there’s an explosion in a distant vacant lot, and Patrick realizes the special effects crew is closing in on them. Under Dad’s expert guidance, they quickly gather up survival gear (soup, toilet paper, a football) and weapons (.38 revolvers, Red Ryder BB guns, Jarts) and pile into Patrick’s pickup.

They get about ten feet before the truck breaks down. The only way to fix it?  Urinate into the radiator. (Although the truck bed is overloaded with supplies, no one thought to bring Antifreeze, or even a bottle of water. They do have several crates of New Coke, however). It should also be noted that co-scenarist Kevin Reynolds again celebrated the salutary effects of man piss ten years later in Waterworld, where the Kevin Costner character is introduced gulping down his own pee like a Jello shot. Anyway, having voided their bladders for the cause of freedom, the daring neo-Minute Men of Red Dawn resume their panicky flight.

Meanwhile back in South Park, the Soviet day players are conquering the hell out of the town. Suddenly, through the billowing fog of war strides Cuban revolutionary Ron O’Neil as Commandante Super Fly! A breathless subordinate tells the Commandante that U.S. Army tanks are approaching the town!

Super Fly doesn't care -- main battle tanks are easy.  What really worries him are the local Tea Party patriots who might just decide to open a can of Second Amendment whoop-ass; for the Commandante knows that these doughy, middle aged men have honed their predatory instincts through many a half-drunken Saturday afternoon spent firing randomly into clumps of sagebrush in an effort to wing a pen-raised quail. The Commandante orders a couple of loitering soldiers to go stop the Third Armored Division, while he routs the real enemy by sorting through a file cabinet at the sporting goods store.

How did it come to this? U.S. soil, invaded and occupied by the Red Army and the Buena Vista Social Club! Well the movie was made in 1984, which means the invasion took place during the end of Ronald Reagan’s first term of office, a time when the President was admittedly having trouble focusing on details. (He later delivered a stirring mea culpa: “A few months ago I told the American people I did not let Russians and Cubans invade the United States. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not.” Good enough for me, Dutch!

Still, you have to wonder why we didn’t annihilate the invading Soviet forces with any of those tens of thousands of thermonuclear weapons on our ICBMs, B-1 bombers, and submarines. Well, the answer to that is two little words: Good sportsmanship. Or we were so busy watching The Fall Guy and Finder of Lost Loves that we didn't notice we'd been invaded until the Russians were waiting for their luggage at the Denver Airport.

Meanwhile, the Band of Brothers and Other Guys have reached the mounains, and are camping beside their piss-powered 4x4. Several of our sniveling heroes suggest that the only rational course is surrender, but Patrick Swayze is visibly a’swell with the spirit of patriotic defiance, and will brook no whisper of capitulation. He delivers a spine-tingling oration that puts Henry V’s St. Crispin’s Day speech to shame, with lines like “Here, haul ass, take your shit!” and “This is your chance—git walkin’!” Patrick and Charlie Sheen spontaneously hug. Patrick shakes hands with Richard Beymer from West Side Story, then they all snuggle in close as Patrick explains that he and Charlie have been coming up here to Brokeback Mountain for a lot of years, and they can hunt and fish and avoid the invading Soviets and their increasingly suspicious wives for a long time.

It’s now October. Patrick, Charlie, and C. Thomas are all heavily accessorized with pine boughs and ferns (apparently they took time out from the insurrection to appear in the second season of Project Runway). The camouflage suggests that these nascent guerrillas will use their command of wood lore to approach their enemies unseen, or  else we caught them in the middle of some cosplay fantasy in which Treebeard gets it on with that talking apple orchard from The Wizard of Oz.

C. Thomas shoots a stag, and Patrick and Charlie haze C. by making him drink its blood. “You gotta do it,” Patrick says, handing him a cup full of steaming gore. C. gazes queasily into his beverage as Charlie solemnly nods and murmurs, “Then you’ll be a real hunter.” Well, then you’ll be an easily browbeaten moron with a mouthful of bloodborne ruminant parasites, but let’s not quibble.

C. obligingly chugs it down and then grins at them through his blood mustache, and they all exchange manly, plasma-soaked handshakes. Charlie leans in close and confides to C., “My dad said, once you do that, there’s gonna be somehing different about you.” Yeah. It’s called Lyme disease. Enjoy.

As the group opens its last can of Campbell’s Chunky Smoked Chicken with Roasted Corn Chowder, they figure, hey, it’s been a month; they really ought to head to town and find out what happened with their families and that whole invasion thing.

As they approach South Park, Patrick, Charlie and Other Guy are shocked to see that people are strolling around freely, the streets are safe and quiet, the stores are open, and unlike, say, Baghdad in 2003, the town apparently has running water and more than 3 hours of electricity a day. So the main thing I learned from Red Dawn is that George W. Bush should have subcontracted the invasion of Iraq to the Cubans.

Our heroes learn the Commie forces have rounded up local men in violation of the Geneva Convention, and thrown them into a makeshift camp where they rot away without due process. Fortunately the prison is at the drive-in, so the boys can visit their impounded families and still catch that double feature of Blame It on Rio and Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment.

But when they approach the camp under cover of darkness, the boys are aghast at the conditions. Prisoners are beaten mercilessly during interrogations and kept outdoors in a chain link enclosure like animals.  A voice drones constantly over the loudspeaker, “America is a whorehouse,” while soul-crushing propaganda images flash on the screen, interrupted occasionally by that “Let’s All Go to the Snack Bar” commercial.

Patrick and Charlie find their father, Harry Dean Stanton, who takes rather smug satisfaction in the news that his sons are alive.  He gloats, “See? I was tough on you—did things that made you hate me,” but apparently his unique brand of discipline—the verbal abuse, the floggings with extension cords, the forced chugging of doe blood—it built character. So I guess the joke’s on them.

Dad sternly orders Patrick and Charlie to never cry again for the rest of their lives, then he’s dragged away, shrieking, “Avenge me! AVENGE ME!”  The boys turn and saunter off, their body language seeming to say, “Yeah. Sure. We’ll get right on that, Pop.”

After the motivational death of their dad, Patrick, Charlie and C. head on over to Old Man Exposition’s farm, where they learn that South Park is in "O.T.," (which stands for "Occupied Territory") while the far side of Brokeback Mountain is “F.A.” (which I assume is product placement for "Franco-American," the makers of SpaghettiOs).

Old Man Exposition tries to cheer up C. by revealing that the Russians shot his Dad on account of all the guns and Fresca they took from his gas station. C. feigns grief by letting out an ear-splitting shriek, then turning to the farmer’s wife and burying his face in her ample and wizened décolletage (which is as close as we ever get to sex in this movie).

As a consolation prize, Old Man Exposition gives the boys his granddaughters (Lea Thompson and Jennifer Grey) as a consolation prize. He also gives them horses; Jennifer gets her own stallion, but Lea has to ride behind C., and she mounts up with a look that seems to say, “As soon as they yell ‘cut!’ I’m calling my agent and accepting that Howard the Duck offer!”

Our heroes finally start the revolution by murdering three Russian tourists who were in the midst of comically mistranslating a Forestry Service dedication plaque. But they do a crappy job of it, and only succeed in maiming the unarmed men.  However, Patrick corners one of the helpless victims, and summoning the courage of his frontier forefathers and our 46th Vice President, shoots him in the face. (And then presumably drinks his blood. Rules are rules.)

Jennifer and Lea also prove their mettle by catching up to another seriously injured man as he crawls pathetically on hands and knees, and shooting him in the back with a submachinegun. Apparently, this baptism of fire turns them into radical lesbian feminists, because later they angrily refuse Charlie Sheen’s suggestion that they do the dishes. Charlie can’t understand their righteous indignation, but for the sake of union cohesion he grudgingly tries to make peace by offering to pay them for sex.

The Russians line up two dozen townspeople in front of a firing squad, either in reprisal for the Wolverines' attack, or because they're singing a rendition of “America the Beautiful” that’s really off-key and grating. (Here’s a tip for future victims of Russo-Cuban atrocities: When you get to the “above the fruited plain” part, never go up an octave on “fruited” if you just don’t have the range for it.)  Commandante Super Fly orders the civilians gunned down before the local guerrillas can attack, and particularly before they get a chance to belt out that stupid “O beautiful for Pilgrim feet” line.

Charlie observes the massacre while dressed like a sheave (with the coming of fall, our heroes have naturally switched from ferns to wheat and wild grasses to preserve that Fashion Forward look). When he later returns to Brokeback and reports the mass murder, he breaks down and weeps bitterly until Patrick grabs him and screams, “Don’t cry! Don’t you ever cry again as long as you live!  Don’t do it!” He tells Charlie, who just saw their father murdered, to let his grief “turn into something else.” Perhaps a butterfly, or a Pop-Tart—he doesn’t specify.

Back to the uprising. Jennifer Grey destroys a Soviet tank by giving the crew a booby-trapped picnic basket (as seen in Yogi Bear: The Final Conflict). Then, “the greatest pro-gun movie ever” proves that your deer rifle really ain’t gonna cut it come the Conquering Commie Horde, because suddenly our heroes have rockets and grenade launchers, Kalashnikovs and .50 machine guns. They proceed to
slaughter the highly trained Soviet paratroopers, pausing only occasionally to below, “Wolverines!” (Originally the insurgents called themselves “The Magilla Guerrillas,” but the brand performed poorly in focus-testing.)

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any more tedious, the Russkies shoot down Top Gun Colonel Powers Boothe (callsign “Backstory”), who tells the kids that America was conquered by illegal aliens. Apparently, itinerant farm workers opened the door and “the whole Cuban and Nicaraguan armies just waltzed right in” and took over the whole country. I don’t know about you,
but my support for that UFW grape boycott is over!

The seasons pass. In real time. The snows come, and Patrick takes to wearing a white burnoose like Lawrence of Arabia. Some tanks suddenly appear and things get confusing: Ralph Macchio dies, and he wasn’t even in this movie.

Richard Beymer goes to town, and in an astonishing twist, he’s betrayed by his own father, captured by the Russians and tortured until he swallows a tracking device that will lead the invaders right to the Wolverines! Finally! Something exciting happens—too bad it all happens off screen and we just get to hear about it later. Oh well.

Patrick decides to shoot Richard in the face, because frankly, he does one thing, and he does it well. Afterwards, he sits alone and sobs, the little hypocrite, while mooning over a picture of two 8-year old boys in Little League uniforms. This is never explained, which I think is all for the best.

The Russians decide to insult the Wolverines' intelligence by pushing crates of food off moving trucks to lure them into a trap, and they decide to fall for it. Our heroes collect and devour the provisions—providing further proof, as if any were needed, that there is nothing more exciting in an action film than the sight of people eating cornflakes--while the director seizes this belated opportunity to give his characters a shred of personality by having Jennifer Grey squeeze orange juice onto Patrick’s head.

Suddenly, a Soviet attack helicopter appears and shoots Jennifer in the gut, which is tragic, because only moments ago she was so alive, dribbling citrus juice on a mediocre actor’s do-rag. Patrick shouts, “Nobody shoots Baby in the gut!” and throws her onto his horse and rides away, but accidentally drops her.

C. thrusts his rifle in the air and bellows, “Wolverines!” which the Russians interpret as a request to shoot him with a variety of projectiles until he is primarily a stain. Meanwhile Jennifer, despite taking a small rocket through the sternum and falling off a galloping horse is still alive, which seems kind of cruel (what the hell do you have to do to get out of this movie?) and she quite reasonably asks Patrick
to shoot her in the face. But suddenly he’s too much of a whimpering little pussy to pull the trigger.

“Give me a grenade,” she whispers. “I don’t want to be too cold.” Yeah.  That’ll warm you right up. She explodes, taking one of the Russkies with her.  Unfortunately, when it comes time to put her together again after the stunt, they can't find her original nose and she has to go with a loaner.

Back at Red Army HQ, tender, haunting music plays while Commandante Super Fly writes a voice over to his wife, complaining about the weather. It's a beautiful and moving scene, surprisingly evocative of Ken Burns' The Civil War.  ("My Dearest Consuela...Snow blankets this land in the chill mantle of death.  My heart is heavy for want of you, and my soul is sick with the desolation of war.  So many of my comrades lie dead or wounded, the people stare at us with the dull, sullen gaze of caged beasts, and all of our radiators smell like piss.")

Patrick and a Russian Colonel face off in a Wild West style shootout. “You lose,” Patrick sneers, just before the Colonel shoots him to excess.

Although Patrick's lungs now contain a lavish assortment of bullets, he still manages to lift the wounded Charlie -- who's losing a lot of tiger blood -- and carry him to a playground, while Commandante Super Fly watches and whispers, “Vaya con Dios.” They die together, embracing by a swingset.

Meanwhile, Lea and Some Other Guy re-enact the end of The Sound of Music and walk over the mountains to F.A. (turns out it stood for "Free America"). Then she morphs into John-Boy Walton and sums up the Third World War with a pithy and listless voice over which reveals that even though everybody’s dead, we won.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Why I Should Never Be A Wedding Planner

Most girls grow up, dreaming of how perfect their wedding will be.  Not me. I'm not most girls. Do  you know how I know I'm not most girls? Because my boyfriend became my fiance by turning to me one night while we watched an MST3K episode and muttered, "You wanna go to Vegas and get married?"

I shrugged and said, "Okay."

Based on this exchange, I would probably make a horrible Wedding Planner.

To test this theory (and because I've been stuck on the couch for the last three days with a miserable sinus infection and have already re-read all my comic books), I decided to come up with a variety of Themed Weddings, which I thought were awesome, but which I suspect most women would burn me at the stake for even suggesting.  Which actually makes me want to be a Wedding Planner even more  (I'm a matrimonial masochist, apparently).

So if you don't mind, I'd like to dump the contents of my scratch pad onto the blog and see if any of these ideas tickle your romance bone:

1. The Wedding Themed Wedding:

In this scenario, all the guests would be required to wear the same outfits that they wore to their own nuptials (so the Happy Couple at the altar would be competing with pews full of women in poufy white gowns and men in hired tuxedos and polyester cummerbunds). But what if you've never been married?  Well, chances are you've still been in a wedding, so protocol would oblige you to wear that outfit, whether it was a hideous bridesmaid dress or a flower girl's pinafore.

Now I know what you're thinking: "What could this possibly accomplish, besides a lot of rage and humiliation?'  Well, if you're one of those people with a bloated and unwieldy list of Facebook contacts, this should help streamline things, because I guarantee you the day after the ceremony you'll be greeted by a blizzard of "Unfriend" notices.

2. The Saw Themed Wedding:

There comes a point in every reception (usually right about the time when they start doing the "Bunny Hop") where you think, "I'd give my right arm for a good excuse to leave."  Well, here's where we find out just how sincere you really are.

Suggested party favors include petite hacksaws, decorative scythes, and whimsical Chinese Finger Traps that can only be escaped through traumatic amputation.  (As your wedding planner, I would instruct the caterer to put up a sneeze-guard to prevent getting excessive blood spatter on the cake.)

3. The Thunderbirds Themed Wedding:

This theme would require the wedding party to act like Supermarionation characters.  The dress code would include molded plastic wigs, thick, caterpillar-like eyebrows, and words that were completely unsynchronized to your mouth movements, while guests would be encouraged to get into the spirit of the affair by rolling their eyes slowly from side to side, and prancing around like the Lonely Goat Herd from The Sound of Music.

So, those are my horrific Wedding Theme ideas. Do you have a nightmarish nuptial concept? I mean, more horrible and horrifying than mine?

If you do, please share it in the comment thread, and Scott and I will decide the winner based on its degree of horribleness and the likelihood of it helping you shed friends and estrange family.

The winner will have their idea brought to life should Scott and I ever decide to renew our vows.  (Which, I'll grant you, isn't likely.  For instance, unlike most couples who freeze a piece of their wedding cake and eat it on their first anniversary, Scott poured lighter fluid on ours and burned it in the driveway, because that's what he used to do with his Aurora model kits when he was a kid, and at the moment, I couldn't seem to muster a compelling counter argument.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Them The People

Hi Y'all, Keith here. It's dreary and damp today in my neck of the woods, so why not enjoy a romp over to WorldNetDaily and see who's hanging out in the peanut gallery?

Hey, looks like Larry Klayman has an interesting take on the election:
Many times in the history of the world, God has destroyed His people and started anew when they strayed from His word. Just ask Noah what the flood was all about!
Larry, this is a persistent problem with g*d. The terrible and unpredictable temper tantrums revealing a disturbed, conflated narrative (too many script-doctors, etc).

And "what if" we were able to ask Noah about the flood? Might he have said: "Best pipe I ever boogied down with -- dawg!"? But before delving deeper into this, we advise that if you are quoting the word of g*d, please use a capital letter for "Word." He/She would appreciate the thought. Remember, Larry, the universe began with the "Word" (Logos).
This time, even with the floods of Hurricane Sandy and the re-election of the President Barack Hussein Obama, God has spared us for the moment. Instead God has sent a dire warning and encouraged We the People to rise up, in His name, to restore His kingdom.
Larry, again, and I don't mean to be a nit-picker, but it's "His Kingdom." WTF is wrong with your shift key?
Had Mitt Romney been elected president, many among the flock would have been lulled asleep and deluded into thinking that a Moses had appeared to deliver us out of the Egyptian-like bondage we find ourselves in --- thanks to our "Mullah in Chief" and his growing voter hoards of socialists, communists, anti-Semites, anti-Christians, atheists, radical gays and lesbians, feminists, illegal immigrants, Muslims, anti-Anglo whites and others who last Tuesday cemented his destructive hold on the White House and our country.
Oh Larry, not Moses ... not after Noah. Many of the flock would have dozed off watching reruns of "Antiques Roadshow" or emptying their toasters of crumbs. And while not an historian of antiquity, did you ever consider that Egyptian-like bondage might be fun? Besides, what is an "anti-Anglo white" exactly, would you please?
It is now clear that there is no Republican Moses. 
 "Because I'm dead."
Indeed, if Mitt Romney could go back in time, he should have first advocated putting the Grand Ol' Party into bankruptcy, along with Chrysler and GM.
Larry, false on two accounts. Charlton Heston was and will forever claim the title of the Republican Moses,  just as Jeffery Hunter will always be anointed the Republican Jesus.
Jesus or Thor?  You make the call!

In addition, Chrysler in particular is doing very well and GM is doing respectably well. Ford never required a bailout. Which of these is your broker shorting for you today?
Now, with this latest stunning political defeat, the party has finally had its last hurrah and is dead once and for all. Good riddance!
My sentiments, exactly. Larry, you be spot on, bro!
The bottom line is this: Americans of faith and those who believe in capitalism and hard work as the means to achieve, not "Atlas Shrugged"-portrayed government handouts, have now seen their country taken over largely by uneducated and lazy morons, goons and thugs who want to dismantle all our Founding Fathers conceived of and fought for.
Gee, the last moronic, goonish thug I remember who wanted to dismantle the Republic was ... Ayn Rand?
And, their hateful Marxist desire to destroy Western civilization is not limited to the "Great Satan" the United States, but to its biblical Judeo-Christian roots, embodied in the nation of Israel.
Mr. Klayman, let me remind you that Marxism is a product of Western Civ. Don't go into trading commodities without having read the first half of "Capital." Really. You'll get burned.

Now, this column would have concluded, due to disinterest, except your next paragraph actually produces a bit of a "buzz" and a challenge!
With no racial slur intended, but only to employ the same lingo used sarcastically by many of Obama's supporters to describe their past plight, if we do nothing and simply look to future elections to restore the nation, we will soon become the "new niggers," relegated to the back of the bus -- as the bus speeds away to quickly fall over the fiscal, social and moral cliff. African-Americans were right when they said this years ago, and we're now right to feel the same way today.
Well, that's quite something. We need to parse this ...

First, in my conservative, Southern Baptist household nothing would get you to the "woodshed" faster than using the "N"-word. We may have been a dysfunctional family but we did have some decency.

Second, the white male is already the Jew of liberal fascism -- can't you be satisfied with that?  Topping off the Suburban Shoah with a dollop of blanched Jim Crow seems a bit piggy, as though you were making your third trip to the All You Can Eat Outrage Buffet.

Lastly, Mr. Klayman, have you ever taken the bus (any bus) anywhere? If you have, where the fuck do you get off?

Monday, November 12, 2012

World's Worst Poetry Slam

The other day we marveled (from a safe distance) at how the results of the Presidential election had driven Mary Matalin into a kind of fugue state, in which she was only able to communicate in words that began with the letter "D" ("The President is a debauched, declassé, and dandified dentifrice with dandruff, dressed in a daring dashiki and downing Darjeeling.  He's deaf to deacons, dowses for dimes in the demimonde, and dances with demons as he defaces the Decalogue!")

Well, Weird Dave discovered (via rumproast) that she went on CNN and performed this same masterpiece of alliteration as a one woman show.  Enjoy!

Someone defuse her before she detonates.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Murder By Micro-Donation!

Novelist and Friend of Wo'C Debbi Mack is taking a bold step into the New Future of Old Media, shifting paradigms and geisting zeits at will, and all while dealing with crabs (or so I assume; I mean, she lives in Maryland, and the one time I visited Chesapeake Bay the locals seemed primarily interested in shoving soft shell crustaceans down my throat).

Anyway, Debbi is the author of the Sam McRae books, a fun series of twisty and suspenseful murder mysteries about a Baltimore attorney who is sort of the female Perry Mason, except she has more sex than Perry did, and likes to get on top occasionally.  She even has her own version of Paul Drake, so if you ever wanted to see Raymond Burr and William Hopper doff those somber suits and loud houndstooth sport coats and get down to some serious flirting, this is the series for you.  Unless you're Della Street, in which case you'll probably just wind up going home alone to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry's Lusty Lawyer Lingonberry and watch Body of Evidence with your cat.

I've been meaning to write reviews of the first two books (I'm still hoarding the most recent volume as a hedge against a boredom emergency, such as Jury Duty, or the flu), but suffice it to say that I'm a fan of the series, and I'm not alone:
In 2011, the first Sam McRae novel, Identity Crisis, made the New York Times ebook bestseller list. That book and the sequel, Least Wanted both became Kindle Top 100 bestsellers. Both novels also went on to reach the Top 100 on Amazon UK, with Least Wanted hitting the Top 10 and reaching at least as high as #6 on the charts.
Debbi has launched a kind of Kickstarter-ish campaign to publish hard copies of the McRae e-books under her own imprint, and to fund the next volume, and I'm hoping her efforts are a big success -- not just because I look forward to the series continuing, but because this is something Sheri and I are considering for the sequel to Better Living Through Bad Movies.

So click here to find out more about Debbi's books, and her scheme for world domination.

Bonus Weekend Caption Contest!
Jobless Grim Reapers, who claim they were fired after voting for Obama, wait for their numbers to be called at the local unemployment office.  "It was worth it," said one.  "The economy is my number one issue, and Obama promised Death panels!  Finally, a jobs program for the working stiff!"  However, a spokesman for their former employer, the Angel of Death, denied the assertion, stating that the three were discharged for "abusing their paid holidays and playing chess during working hours."

Drop yours in the comments.  And here's hoping you have Monday off.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

This Post Brought to You By the Letter M and the Number 2

My grandfather was a tough old bird.  A rancher and a gun-totin' member of the San Dimas Sheriff's Posse, I once watched him kill a rattlesnake with a shovel, then stomp its head under the heel of his cowboy boot.  The rattler's venom sac burst, which I mention only because the resulting spatter reminds me a bit of Mary Matalin's current output at National Review:
Mendacity and Malice Won
What happened? A political narcissistic sociopath...
By which she means Obama.  Ordinarily I'd reject this kind of language as bitterness and hyperbole, but Matalin worked closely with both Karl Rove and Dick Cheney,  and while I can disagree with her diagnosis of the President, I can no more dismiss her knowledge of narcissistic sociopaths than I could tell Orville Redenbacher to bone up on popcorn.
 ...leveraged fear and ignorance with a campaign marked by mendacity and malice rather than a mandate for resurgence and reform. 
Obama could have made this election about alliteration, but he refused to take the high road.
Instead of using his high office to articulate a vision for our future, Obama used it as a vehicle for character assassination, replete with unrelenting and destructive distortion, derision, and division.
I respect Ms. Matalin; she's been a professional wordsmith for many years, and I appreciate her sharing a few tricks of the trade.  For instance, if your deadline is looming and you've got nothing in the way of an original or coherent thought, flip the dictionary open to a random page, pick the first four words you see, and use them in a sentence.  I guarantee the results will be delightful, delovely, delicious, and De Soto.
Mitt Romney distinguished himself and conservatism with a grounded, courageous, forward-thinking problem-solving reform agenda for a nation ready to renew and starved for leadership and maturity.
So Mitt Romney's platform makes perfect sense, provided you're suffering from low blood sugar, a bloated belly, and dangerously depleted electrolytes.
He is a man of integrity and character
The character, for those playing along at home, is Baron Münchhausen. is his whole family. And unlike in the 1996 and 2008 Republican campaigns, which — though led by men of great personal integrity — were marked by dead-end policy prescriptions, Romney/Ryan laid a durable philosophical and policy foundation for the next generation of conservative leadership.
Those prescriptions sound pretty amazing, and would probably benefit the current generation of conservative leaders; but I guess they've been earmarked for the next generation because children are our future (teach them well and let them lead the way), and because actually zeroing in on Romney/Ryan's position on any given issue is a bit like an Easter egg hunt, and despite their refreshing lack of shame, even John Boehner and Mitch McConnell might feel a bit conspicuous wandering around with gaily painted baskets stuffed with plastic grass, hard-boiled eggs, and durable philosophies.
Unfortunately and unfortuitously, forces of nature bookended the general election:
I hope they exchanged insurance information.
Our convention was compromised by one weather disaster and our momentum stalled by another. 
When you carefully consider it, the outcome of the Presidential election is really just a matter of opinion: liberals think Romney was beaten by Obama, while conservatives believe he was trounced by Thor.
Two human hurricanes also radically altered the political atmosphere: 
American boxer Ruben "Hurricane" Carter and Irish snooker player Alex "Hurricane" Higgens -- neither of whose intervention in our electoral process, I might add, was predicted by Nate Silver.
Bill Clinton’s unique windbaggery constituted a campaign updraft, while Chris Christie’s deplorable and gratuitous gas-baggery infused the campaign with a toxic political pollution.
So basically, the American People were happily sharing an elevator with Mitt, when Chris Christie farted.
We live to fight again. See St. Paul from today.
Okay.  Nice enough looking town, I guess, but I'm still not voting for Paul Ryan in 2016.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Oh! I've Got a HORN!

The entire 2012 Presidential Election in condensed, evaporated form, courtesy of Mystery Science Theater 3000:

These Suffragettes Are Taking Things a LITTLE Too Far

As a bit of inspiration to see you through the end of a long and exhausting campaign season, I give you Mrs. Lucile Wheat, who we find exercising her franchise on August 26, 1930, the first election in which voting machines were used in Los Angeles.

So I guess we should be thankful that while these newfangled touch-screen devices may be tricky to operate, at least they don't require you to dress like a Smurf.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

It's Hard Out There for a Pimp


But that's not going to stop me from taking out my Pimp Hand, rubbing some Lubriderm Pimp Hand Lotion on it, and pimping these fine products (even, if necessary, resorting to a dazzling display of Jazz Pimp Hands):
My friends and colleagues, the multi-media kingpins of stoner comedy/criticism, Mike and Ike, have just released a couple of entertainments target marketed at two of your five senses.

First, I recently had the pleasure of joining them again on their All-Star Summer Jamboree (or ASSJam) podcast, along with an international cast of geeks, for a strange and funny chat about Star Trek -- the series, the movies, the Priceline commercials -- which quickly snowballed into a time zone-spanning, trans-Atlantic Trekkian throw-down.  Brits vs. Yanks! Spock's Brain vs. Deep Space 9! Shirts vs. Skins! (I'm assuming, anyway -- it was a Skype conversation, so the odds seem high that at least 30 percent of the participants were nude.)  It can be found at the link below:

ASSJam Episode 36: It's All About the Penis

(I admit the title is at least partially -- okay, mostly -- my fault, but in my own defense, I was provoked to a penis-driven rage by an intemperate allusion to Rocky Jones, Space Ranger.)

Second, the latest (and sadly, last) episode of their video series is a treat for the eye (particularly if that eye is smeared with a vaguely star-shaped blob of greasepaint and shoots badly animated laser beams), because happily, the Boys are going out with a bang by giving their patented CommentaRIFFING treatment to:

 Oh yeah, baby.  You know what Daddy likes... 

The video is introduced by Webberly Rattenkraft, the Fact Rat, from KOFY TV's Creepy Movie Time.  Unfortunately, the sound on his (or her) segment is low and a bit difficult to make out -- at least, it was on my computer -- but Mike and Ike's commentary (which starts at about the 3:00 mark) is extremely clear.  Unlike the plot of KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park

Meanwhile, Jim Donahue of The Velvet Blog, who has turned Sheri and I on to many a bad movie (including the execrable art house offal, It's All About Love) has an article in the latest issue of Cashiers du Cinemart on the stunningly inept After Last Season (imagine a film smacking a gob.  Forever.).

As Jim informs us, "It's kind of a review/interview hybrid. I tracked down several of the actors in it and interviewed them via email. One of them really dished."

A trailer for the film (which looks Birdemic-like in the scope of its ambitions and the limitations of its execution) can be seen in this post on TVB.  Click the link and treat yourself to 100 CCs of pure, uncut, intravenous crap.

According to Jim (the author, not the crappy sitcom), "The issue also features articles on Bloodsucking Freaks and the Findlays' Flesh trilogy, so it also makes a great Mother's Day gift."  He adds that while there are a "bunch of ways to buy it, but probably the easiest/cheapest is the Kindle version, available here.

"May I add for those old-school folks out there that Cashiers du Cinemart #17 (edited by Mike White of the Projection Booth podcast) is also available in a dead tree edition. I got mine yesterday, and I have to say ... man, print is cool, isn't it? It just has something that e-books don't.

"The print edition--which has illustrations not in the Kindle edition, I believe--is $8 (plus shipping) as opposed to the Kindle $5. It's perfect bound and looks great. For anyone who remembers the 'zine movement, this may be better way to go."

It's available here.

And finally, Mary, who's an early riser, has already completed her daily rounds of the Internet, and learned that today is the 9th Blogiversary of Thrilling Days of Yesteryear, which Ivan is celebrating with a New York Review of Books style thumbsucker:

In a world where social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter become more and more popular with each passing day…blogs are starting to become the equivalent of a Model T. 
He always gets so pensive around the holidays.  But the question remains, when the kids start zipping past your rattletrap old blog with their sporty Twitters, and even soccer moms are running you off the road with their massive Sport Utility Facebooks, do you call it quits, or head to the show room and trade her in?  Click here to find out, then wish him seasonally appropriate felicitations, and stick around to read the latest episode of The Adventures of Sir Galahad.  The Black Death has never seemed quite so goofy.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Personality: The Cheaper Alternative to Birth Control

According to Plato, Socrates said, "I know one thing, that I know nothing," or words to that effect. To be honest, I don't know the actual quote, and I'm not just saying that because I want you to think I'm smart.

So clearly, ignorance is the gateway to wisdom; and therefore, by the same logic, if one hopes to get an intelligent answer, one must ask a stupid question. Enter our cerebral friend, Selwyn Duke.
Why accept contraception as a women's issue?
Exactly.  It's like Romney's statements about Jeep moving its manufacturing jobs to China -- just because he says it doesn't mean we're obliged to believe it -- and if we're truly serious about this whole "sexual equality" business, then the ladies should be subjected to the same standards; and that means men are under no compulsion to accept the claim that birth control is a "women's issue" just because women have a vested interest in controlling when they give birth.
While many points have been made about this campaign's contraception controversy, there's one that I haven't yet heard anyone mention.

Why do we accept contraception as a women's issue?
Frankly, I think this unrelenting emphasis on birth control is taking the focus off other, equally important issues of public health, such as the plight of women afflicted by bad prostates.
After all, there is a prophylactic designed for use by men, and insurance policies would have covered it no more than they would female birth control. 
I wonder if Selwyn carries liability insurance for accidental death or dismemberment caused by trying to parse that sentence.  Anyway, while he's checking his policy, he might want to read the rest of the brochure and note that insurance companies actually do cover "female birth control" -- the Free Market having decided that pills are cheaper than pregnancies. 
Even more significantly, contraception is unnecessary unless there's the possibility of conception, something impossible without the participation of a man. In other words, contraception is always used by both sexes.
Back when I was still on the dating scene, I never understood why my girlfriends would insist on popping their prescription birth control every day -- even when we weren't planning to see each other.  Yes, they'd hand me some scientific gobbledegook about "hormones" and "cervical mucus" and "placebo pills," but logically there's no reason for them to have taken the Pill on days when they weren't having sex, so clearly they were all cheating on me.
The likely response here is that I'm being obtuse.
Well, that's certainly the usual response...
 "Don't you know, Duke, that women generally have to assume the responsibility for birth control?" But hold the phone.
That's not the phone you're holding, Selwyn.  I'll, uh...come back when you're done.
 The feminists have long maintained that men should shoulder half the burden of contraception and that thinking otherwise is "sexist." So why did they make that antiquated, "sexist" assumption an implicit centerpiece in their argument for government policy?
Selwyn is right to reject the fanciful notion that a gap exists between aspirations and reality.  When I was little I wanted a pony, so shouldn't I be going out to the stable that must therefore be somewhere in our apartment, and shoveling horseshit every day?  Or is reading Selwyn's column enough?

Personally, I think men will "shoulder half the burden of contraception" only when they start getting pregnant half the time, but then, I'm a sour old cynic, and not a dewy idealist like Young Dr. Chinfinger.
Additionally, the burden stressed when defending the contraception mandate is the financial one. But not only is birth control quite cheap, it isn't entirely true that this expense is footed only by the fairer sex. 
Men often pick up the dinner check and movie tickets that require women to spend money on contraceptives.  (But you don't always score, so if you do find yourself contributing half the cost of birth control, be aware that current IRS law allows you to amortize the cost of each Pill over three separate trips to The Sizzler.)
After all, if a man and woman truly are a couple, expenses are often a mutual responsibility.
You buy half her tampons and birth control pills, she buys half your Rogaine and porn -- it's the only rational way to approach public health policy.
 And not only is this especially true of married couples, it's also a fact that husbands are much more likely than wives to be the main or even sole income source.
Is Selwyn married?  I've never seen him mention a wife, but considering that RenewAmerica doesn't actually pay its contributors, perhaps that's all for the best.
 So is it primarily "female" or "male" dollars that pay for birth control? It would be interesting to see a study to that effect.
Well, since Selwyn's image of family finances dates back to the Fifties, a time before the birth control pill existed, I'm not sure how we could possibly devise a study that would validate his assumptions without also causing a dangerous causality loop that could produce a rip in the space-time continuum and lead to Selwyn accidentally impregnating his own grandfather.
Of course, then there's the type of single woman targeted by the statist contraception appeal, the species known as the Fluke. 
Anyway, enough manly joshing...let's get on with the initiation.  Duke, your Delta Tau Chi name will be "Nematode"...
Single women who have one-night stands or who enter into other low-commitment sexual relationships aren't going to collect tolls before allowing partners in lust to cross the bridge to nowhere
I'm not sure, but I think he just called Sarah Palin a slut.
so they would have to pay to play (who, however, pays for the dates?). 
Yeah, I'm sure Selwyn knows nothing about that.
But this raises a question: is facilitating such behavior good social policy?

So our government funding has gone from midnight basketball to midnight...well, you know. Paying for people's healthful recreational activities was bad enough; now we have to finance their recreational sex. 
Hm.  Someone seems a tad bitter.  Frankly, I'd be willing to pay Selwyn not to have sex, just as a gesture of goodwill to my species, but I have a feeling that'd be like bribing an oyster not to compete on So You Think You Can Dance.
And since these tax dollars come partially from women, robbing the taxpayer to pay for contraception is as much a "women's" issue as is the use of it.
Tax dollars?  What tax dollars?  I thought the issue was over requiring private insurance plans to cover contraception.  Alright, never mind, let's just go with it...So women are paying taxes, and part of their taxes go to pay for something that women use, which means that they're being themselves...

Hm.  Maybe if I finger my chin it'll become clearer...

Nope...Okay, let's trying focusing on Selwyn's larger point -- that there should be an equal division of labor and resources when it comes to contraception, just as there was in hunter-gatherer societies, where men did the hunting and women the gathering.  Therefore, I believe what Selwyn is proposing is that we divide up "birth control" 50-50.  Women get the "birth," men get the "control."

And Selwyn gets to "hold the phone" (at $2.95 a minute).

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Birthday, Chris V!

Thanks to everyone for the very kind birthday greetings -- they were much appreciated, and all the more so considering this latest natal anniversary was no mean feat, and required a tremendous amount of determination, stamina, and just good old fashioned elbow grease to achieve.  But I decided, way back in 2010, that I was going to age another year, and based on my rheumy gaze, joints that crack like tortured bubble-wrap, and the gray hairs that are sprouting about my person like toadstools after a rain storm, I have not only achieved my goal, I've Exceeded Expectations.  I expect that fact to be reflected in my next employee review.

But as much as I'd like to rest on my laurels (mostly because I have one of those reclining laurels, and once I've sunk into it, it's really hard to get up again), other people are aging too, albeit more gracefully, and with less of an obvious, Type-A commitment to results than I've shown this year.  Nevertheless, they are equally deserving of recognition, so let's all pause to celebrate ChrisVmas!

Yes, it's the natal anniversary of our good friend Chris Vosburg, raconteur, wicked smart commenter, guest columnist, and a guy who has forgotten more behind the scenes Hollywood trivia than I'll ever know (which, considering I know a lot of useless Hollywood trivia, means he's got a serious memory leak, and should maybe get his hard drive defragged, or perhaps try those gingko biloba supplements.  Or is it bilboa?  I forget.).

So please join me in offering seasonally appropriate felicitations to Chris, and getting into the spirit of the day by turning to the person next to you (friend, co-worker, sullen drunk guy on the adjacent stool who's glowering at his reflection in the mirror behind the bar with an air of barely suppressed violence) and wishing them a Happy ChrisVmas!

Now, as promised, here's Della Street with a Special Comment:
"Would Counsel like to voir dire me in my boudoir?"