News anchors call for Half Naked Wonder Woman while Thor Gets transformed into a ladyboy. Popeye loses his pipe.

FOX and Friends recently made comments about how certain comic book characters have been ‘wussified’.

article-2693269-1FAA40A600000578-394_634x960First, they complained about recent test footage for a Popeye cartoon, where he did not have a pipe or tattoos. They lamented the fact that smoking is a masculine activity and Popeye not engaging it makes him less manly.article-0-1C2A3E8200000578-879_634x670

First, do they really believe this? Here’s a shock: This is no longer 1953 and women are allowed to smoke, publicly. Second, isn’t smoking in movies considered wrong because of the conservatively run MPAA? If you truly have a problem with this, maybe you should be talking to your own people. Finally, I always felt not showing smoking in TV and movies because it ‘glamorizes’ it is ridiculous. You want to show smoking without glamorizing it? That’s easy, show the negative effects. Show Popeye going through cancer treatment and dying a long, lingering death. Maybe that will satisfy FOX and Friends.

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FOX then complained about the fact that there will soon be a female Thor, something that was mentioned many months ago, which gives you an idea how ‘in the know’ these people who are in the news business are. In fact, the one guy kept going on about how Thor now has breasts, which really points to the fact that this guy has some issues…

 

 

Comic book fans would be more upset about a woman becoming Thor if not for one thing: It happens all the time. There have been a number of superheroes who have been replaced not just by women, but by minorities as well. And, guess what? It never lasts. Eventually, the original Thor will go back to being Thor, and the woman replacing him will go on to do something else. (FOX and Friends would probably suggest that she go back to doing housework.)

FOX even complained about the Wonder Woman costume shown for the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice movie. They complained about it not being red, white and blue enough, but more vehemently because it was not revealing enough, and suggested that if Wonder Woman has a hot body, she should flaunt it and shake that moneymaker.

Though I do not think all super-heroine costumes are over sexualized, you have to admit that a lot of them look like they’re ready to go dance on a pole.

But, still, maybe we should not pick on FOX and Friends so much. They just want women to stop engaging in manly activities; to flaunt their goods if they have it; and to make them a sammich.

 


Comic book fans would be more upset about a woman becoming Thor if not for one thing: It happens all the time. There have been a number of superheroes who have been replaced not just by women, but by minorities as well. And, guess what? It never lasts. Eventually, the original Thor will go back to being Thor, and the woman replacing him will go on to do something else. (FOX and Friends would probably suggest that she go back to doing housework.)

FOX even complained about the Wonder Woman costume shown for the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice movie. They complained about it not being red, white and blue enough, but more vehemently because it was not revealing enough, and suggested that if Wonder Woman has a hot body, she should flaunt it and shake that moneymaker.

Though I do not think all super-heroine costumes are over sexualized, you have to admit that a lot of them look like they’re ready to go dance on a pole.

But, still, maybe we should not pick on FOX and Friends so much. They just want women to stop engaging in manly activities; to flaunt their goods if they have it; and to make them a sammich.

Dr Suess and His Book of Lies

green eggs

I’ve been having a little bit of stomach trouble lately. It’s nothing serious, so there’s no need to worry. I merely had a basic misunderstanding with the advertising policies of the Chinese Buffet down the block from me. Apparently “All You Can Eat” is neither a challenge to my abilities, nor is it an enforceable matter of law, so I guess I don’t have to keep eating until everything is gone. I tried to explain to the doctor that it’s not my fault and anyone could make that mistake (that is pretty ambiguous wording if you ask me), but she seemed to be more concerned with operating the stomach pump than hearing my side of the story. Now, apparently, not only am I a danger to myself, but I’m also an insurance liability to the restaurateur community at large. To make a long story short, I have to cool my heels at home for a couple of days.

Since I have some free time on my hand for once — and you can only watch so many episodes of Boy Meets World on basic cable before you’re ready to suck-start a shotgun – I’ve been doing some much needed soul searching. Somewhere along this odd road I’ve traveled in life, my personal views of food have been dangerously skewed. Since the moment my appetite was perverted was most likely not a moment I was shoveling potato chips or macaroni salad down my gullet it shouldn’t be too hard to narrow down the list of culprits. I’ve reviewed all the empirical evidence, checked all my personal records and I’ve come to the harsh conclusion that this is all Dr. Suess fault (because it sure as hell isn’t mine).

I know you’re all standing in line for the once-in-a-life-time-chance to argue with me about this because no one in their right mind would ever dare insinuate that Dr. Suess is anything but a beloved icon of childhood whimsy and an American national treasure; but hear me out because I’ll bet you haven’t taken anywhere near as many anti-psychotics as I have. I would propose to you that this tongue-twisting word-sorcerer has dodged his share of the blame for my enormous man-tits for far too long. From the moment I first learned to read, he was there, misinforming my youthful understanding of what’s acceptable to shovel down my throat without any regard for my well being later in life. The result: whenever I think about Green Eggs and Ham, I end up in some kind of downward addiction spiral that ends with the police finding me under the counter at a Dunkin Doughnuts with my mouth wrapped around the butter-cream spigot. Now I’m wanted in seven states, I’m not allowed within five hundred feet of Paula Dean and I’m receiving sexually explicit letters from Wendy’s, but Dr. Suess suddenly doesn’t have any more keen advice for me in his fun little dime bag of lyrics.

Who the fuck would eat this shit?

Who the fuck would eat this shit?

Look, I’m well aware that by this stage in life, I should have learned on my own not to lick candy bar wrappers off of highway asphalt; I can accept that. But what I can’t help is the fact that when I was just an impressionable child I had it repeatedly reinforced in my brain that it’s okay to eat the first platter of farm-runoff that finds its way into my mouth because the green eggs and ham didn’t hurt that irate manic-depressive mutant. From there it’s really just a short mental leap to believing that Reese’s Pieces in milk is an acceptable substitute for cereal. I get that the whole story was written with only fifty words, but I think he could have made one of them “gastritis;” it only seems fair to warn the children.

So you get a better idea of what I’m driving at, let’s take a closer look at Green Eggs and Ham:

On the surface, it looks like a delightful little song about trying new things and not judging a book by its cover – the kind of shit that’s supposed to make us grow up into the kind of well adjust adults that wouldn’t threaten to murder an Olive Garden waitress for failing to refill the breadstick basket. The whole thing is written in circular rhymes and has a recognizably catchy beat behind it, so you’re almost too hypnotized by the wordplay to recognize the very disturbing fact that the eggs are fucking green. I’m no nutritional expert, and my opinions on anything that comes out of hen’s ass should be taken with a grain of salt; but I do religiously observe the one all important rule that allowed the human race to evolve thus far: don’t eat the green eggs. I stand by this advice with every jagged inch of my regularly inflamed lower intestines.

Bon-apetite.

Bon – Appetite

Whatever the original intention of Dr. Suess’ message may be, nothing offsets the self-evident fact that he’s portraying this roasting pan of chemical weaponry as something that’s both safe — and fun — to ingest. All you have to do is look at those eggs and you know that they’re cold, greasy and probably smell vaguely of sardines. No one in his right mind would think a meal like that would lead to anything other than an unnecessarily painful death. If our great childhood hero Dr. Suess wanted to be in the least bit realistic, he would have written a sequel to Green Eggs and Ham explaining the effects of salmonella on your social life (here’s a spoiler, kids: it causes an unfortunate condition called “anal leakage”).

mutant hen

“I”ll have the chicken please.”

You know that food has to be nasty too, because both Sam-I-Am and the understandably cranky chain-smoker he’s pestering are both dogs and that ass-ham survives all the way to end of the story. Do you know how rancid meat has to be before a dog won’t eat it? I once watched a dog eat half a wicker basket, go outside to throw it up, then come back and eat the other half. If neither of them are all that keen on devouring this dish of leftovers from Christmas dinner three years ago, then the only reasonable thing to do would be to bury it at the low water mark where the water ebbs and flows because it most likely violates at least three articles of the Geneva Convention.

Ever wonder where green eggs and ham come from?

Ever wonder where green eggs and ham come from?

The sales pitch should be the first clue that something’s wrong with that situation. Sam-I-Am is suspiciously aggressive in pestering this poor guy when he’s made it more than clear he just wants to sit alone with his news paper and presumably wait for the merciful peace of a cold grave. Crack-pushers with mafia debts aren’t this insistent. Not to mention it’s been my experience that the only people who offer food to perfect strangers while on public transportation are minimum wage workers forced to work in a soul-crushing marketing campaign and the occasional child molester. You’d think he’d take the hint and just move on to the next lonely bastard who looks like he could use a random meal shoved in his face; but he doesn’t budge.

Even this guy thinks Sam-I-Am comes on a bit strong.

Even this guy thinks Sam-I-Am comes on a bit strong.

In fact, the longer this showdown lasts, the more absurd Sam-I-Am’s offer becomes. His impressive list of haggling techniques includes sweetening the pot with a mouse in a house, a train in the rain and a fox in a box. What kind of sex-dungeon did this guy pilfer before the story began? And why would anyone think that taking a train across the set of Avatar after a forest fire would make a spoiled breakfast any more enticing? This is the kind of activity that would only be conducted by a socially dysfunctional, hyper-aggressive delinquent. Why the fuck would we give a child a book that even approaches suggesting that someone like that is a reliable source of nourishment?

Despite every bit of empirical evidence that he should kick that plate of death-gruel into the nearest sewer, the anti-social moody-dog finally cracks under the psychological torture and accepts his fate as the latest casualty of the all-too-unregulated industrialized food complex. Then there’s a half a second of story left where this jackass claims to actually like green eggs and ham and then the song abruptly ends before he shits himself to death and Sam-I-am cuts off his ear to keep as a trophy.

The war criminal has escaped justice for far too long.

The war criminal has escaped justice for far too long.

Okay, I think I may have gone a little bit off the rails with this one, but I can’t help but be passionate about the malicious themes oozing out of this ubiquitous storybook. The simple fact is that Green Eggs and Ham sets up a dangerous paradigm of trusting strangers touting poorly thought out dinner ideas and then we wonder why the Chinese think it’s okay to sell us freeze-dried sewage in foil as a snack-food. Maybe if we didn’t show them pictures of discolored eggs and tell them not to be such picky eaters, our children wouldn’t grow up to eat deep-fried butter on a stick later on in life; that’s my theory anyways.

I can’t be alone on this issue. The news is constantly showing me videos of cellulite-riddled whale-spawns struggling to waddle up the schoolhouse steps every morning and proclaiming it the new national epidemic. This is America, and though it may be the land of the free and the home of the brave, it’s also the origin of the stuffed-crust pizza, so I’d say we’ve all probably got a few skeletons in our dietary closets that we might want to address. Maybe it’s time to take a collective stand and hold Dr. Suess posthumously responsible for the fact that we have become a country of ravenous vacuums sucking up whatever reheated bullshit gets dumped on the buffet line. Admit it and be free: it’s all because one rhyming jackass led us to believe those fucking green eggs were okay.

The eggs are not okay.  They're just not.

The eggs are not okay. They’re just not.

So, to sum it all up, if anyone asks why I’m not in to work today, then just refer them to the nearest copy of Green Eggs and Ham and explain that I have a tendency to take things a bit too literally sometimes.

EggoWaffles: Why I’m Now In Jail

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I had an odd moment this morning. I was at work, just coming off of my mid-morning nap and wanting a quick snack before I took my ten o’clock smoke-break. When I wandered into the lunch room and opened the fridge door, I noticed some Eggo Waffles in there. I was about to steal one (because if it’s in the damn fridge then it’s fair game and you all know it, so quit sending me passive-aggressive e-mails) but I stopped myself because I remembered the slogan: “Leggo my Eggo”. There must be some kind of a Jedi mind-trick-thing going on here because I left the waffles alone for the morning and wandered back to my desk to stare at the clock for a while (just as I is stated in my job description I assume).

But I couldn’t get the waffles out of my mind for the rest of the day, and the distraction totally ruined my afternoon Minesweeper marathon. I grew up in the eighties and breakfast food commercials were all the rage on Saturday mornings. You’d watch some overly conservative cartoons, eat cereal with warm water because you were out of milk and the magic TV box would show you some bullshit about what breakfast is supposed to be like (apparently it looks suspiciously similar to your brain on drugs). A commercial like that should have faded to background noise in my memory — along with everything I learned prior to sixth grade considering how much model glue I’ve been huffing lately — but the Eggo slogan has survived in there alive and well to this very day.

I think the reason it stands out so much is that it’s the only slogan of its ilk that relies completely on generating conflict. Most other products have a lighter sales pitch by comparison. Currently, the Cheerios people are trying to guilt-trip you into eating their cereal by reminding you that it will reduce the chances of your children watching your heart pop like an infected pimple because they know you’re pumping more Mountain Dew through your veins than blood at this point. Raisin Brain seems to want to just stick to the facts with their “Two Scoops” campaign, so that’s pretty nice. It’s short, to the point and goes out of its way to pretend you give a shit about the raisins which is naive but you have to appreciate the effort. Tony the Tiger just says, “They’re great!” so I’m guessing his scarf has started to cut off the circulation to his head and that’s the only thought left his brain can form what with the oxygen starvation – but at least he’s not acting like a dick.

Kelloggs could have gone with any number of tactics to push their toaster-ruining-butter-delivery-systems, but they chose to reach out to the hyper-aggressive pricks in all of us. Doesn’t it seem like “Leggo my Eggo” is a shortened version of what originally continued with, “… or I will fucking cut you.” There’s definitely the hint of some ambiguous threat in there, like they’re just waiting for someone to step up and start some shit. And you know what? It’s clearly worked because here it is, twenty years later and I’m still thinking about it, which is exactly what every advertising executive’s wet dream is. I don’t know whether the marketing team that came up with it deserves a handshake for successfully figuring out how to manipulate a bunch of sugar-high adolescents into fighting over what basically amounts to stale toast, or if they should be punched in nuts for turning us into a generation of greedy waffle-hoarding chest-pounders. Whatever the case, I’d love to see their cutting room floor. Here are my predictions:

  • Pop Tarts: They’re two to a package and if you touch either one of them, I’ll punch you as hard as I can directly in the asshole.
  • Granola Bars: I truly and sincerely hope with all of my heart that you choke on it, you self-centered jack off.
  • Aunt Jemima Pancakes: There are eight in every box. Now go fuck yourself.

The more I dwell on this the more I feel there’s something malicious at the heart of it. Prepackaged breakfast foods are supposed to be fun and light-hearted. Why did the Eggo people have to go and try to piss me off? I was perfectly fine, going about my life in my happy little bubble when suddenly I’m being challenged to a pit-fight over some toast-able shit-wafers. The next thing I know, I’m wrapping a brick into a towel and I’ve got grease paint under my eyes (because for some reason, that seems to help).

The whole thing is making me paranoid. With everything else I’ve got going on in my life, now I have to worry about waffle thieves? Is this a problem in other areas of the country or something? Maybe it’s one of those unexpected results of Obamacare I’m always hearing about. Whatever the case, I’m pretty sure no one’s trying to steal my food; yet Kelloggs has me growling like an underfed pit bull every time someone wanders within smelling distance of my breakfast and it’s greatly decreasing my chances of getting a promotion anytime soon.

It’s sad to think about how I used to be relatively safe to be around. I’m normally pretty calm unless disturbed during one of my clearly scheduled workday nap-times. But the Eggo slogan isn’t just a warning about marauding bandits seeking out freshly frozen morning-time confections. No, there’s a challenge in there. They’re looking for trouble and I’m only human. Once that gauntlet has been thrown down, my lizard-brain takes over and I start seeing feeling the need to exert my dominance. It’s the law of the jungle and the alpha-male is going to get to eat what he wants or die trying. This is what the aggressive Eggo marketing campaign has pushed us to as a society: a perfectly reasonable man being driven to punching a secretary in the throat just to steal her freshly popped Eggo waffles.

The weird thing is I don’t even like Eggo waffles. I think they taste like they could give you hepatitis C. You can’t even get butter to spread evenly on them. It just ends up melting into the little pockets and creating this soggy little swimming pool that you have to lap up like a thirsty dog. At this point, you might as well just melt of stick of butter in a cup and drink it because it’s a whole lot easier to get the same affect. Why would I risk my freedom as an American citizen and the rights and privileges intrinsic therein for a half-burned, dried-out biscuit that – let’s face it – is mostly air? These are the thoughts that run through my head as I lock myself in the bathroom trying to cram as many waffles into my mouth as possible before the police come to drag me off to yet another arraignment hearing.

I’ll admit, maybe this is more of a personal problem regarding my unhealthy relationship with food than a broader social issue; at least that’s what the district attorney keeps telling me. But it doesn’t excuse the Eggo marketing team for turning to the dark side in order to up the sales on their tasteless food-discs. I haven’t been this angry since my ill-fated attempt to eat just one Lays potato chip ended up in an armed standoff with federal law enforcement.

The point here is that this is America, and we’re kind of prone to violence at the best of times. It seems irresponsible to push our angry-buttons just to sell some prepackaged ass-cakes. We’re all trying to hold it together long enough to get through another nerve-grating day in the cube-farm while the invisible hand of the market keeps trying to bitch-slap us into throwing punches over snack-food. I think responsibility for any altercations should rest totally on Kellogg’s shoulders and all I need is one juror to agree with me on this.

You know what? I’ve got a good feeling about this trial.

 

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Joe Bob Briggs – A Eulogy

I’ve recently been thinking about one of my heroes when it comes to pop culture commentary: Joe Bob Briggs.

I first saw him on the Movie Channel as a host of Joe Bob Briggs’ Drive-In Theater, which would show B-movies, often horror films, you would expect to see in, well, drive-ins.
He wasn’t your typical horror host, dressing up as a monster and making crass comments on the movies. No, instead, he dressed as a cowboy (I think he WAS a cowboy) and had an affable way about him. He was also not your typical movie critic, who treated their job like they were performing God’s work while boiling down the quality of a movie by utilizing such simple minded techniques as a star system or ‘thumbs up and thumbs down’. Briggs actually exhibited affection for these movies, no matter how bad, and the closest thing he came to giving the audience the idea of the movie’s quality was saying something like: “10 breasts, constant aardvarking, 5 explosions, a nail to the head, a sword in the chest, constant playing of ‘Riders on the Storm’. Joe Bob says, check it out.”

honeyJoeBob2

When his show was cancelled, he later appeared as the host of Monstervision on the TNT network, where he pretty much did the same thing.

I read his newsletter, which had reviews and insightful essays about anything that was in his brain at the time, as well as an ‘advice for the hopeless’ column. There was a ‘name that movie’ section where people would describe a scene of a movie that they could not remember the name of, and readers would write in the answer.

Briggs was in an episode of Bill Maher’s Politically Incorrect (a show known to get incendiary with its views) where he said the funniest line of the night:

‘Can I give the redneck opinion on divorce? Now, we Texans would love the 50/50 law they have in California, because it would mean we would split a $20,000 credit card bill.’

Joe Bob’s alter ego was known to Daily Show viewers as John Bloom, a correspondent  who did a segment called God Stuff, in which he commented on the crazy stuff televangelists did. He could have been vicious in his criticisms, Instead, he was gently irreverent, not mocking religion but rather the silliness of people in general. He went on to publish ‘The Door Magazine’, billed as “the world’s pretty much only religious satire magazine”.

What I appreciated most about Joe Bob Briggs was he realized the folly of criticism. He knew he wasn’t the final authority on anything and saw no point being nasty, especially since you were discussing the work of people who were doing the things you wished you were doing. I try very hard to be like Joe Bob Briggs, to the point I sometimes take on an irreverent persona to make a ridiculous point. Sometimes I fail because I get too passionate about the things I care about – but I do try. It’s too bad other critics, especially we amateur bloggers, do not strive to do the same.

Check out the video of Briggs in action and watch the smooth brilliance in action.

 

G.I. Joe: The Real American Police State

Yeah, it’s time to go there.

If you grew up in the 1980’s, there’s no doubt you’ve been exposed to G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and its ubiquitous themes of good vs. evil. It’s just the kind of thing that we needed to gobble up as children to make us all good, pure Americans: there are hero‘s, there are bad-guys, and the only way to determine what side wins is to duke it out urban-combat style on top of the Statue of Liberty. Back then there wasn’t all this subtext and humor involved in the production of after-school programming: just make sure you can market a toy line (and try not to draw nipples on anything) and you were good to go.

So I’m sitting at work, drowning in a sea of mindless paperwork, dwelling on my misspent youth and then I get to thinking about how G.I. Joe was probably the most suspicious thing running on television in the 1980’s (and yes, that’s what I think about at work because damned it, I can’t leave it up to you). You see, while we were all getting jazzed up about Duke, Flint and the rest of the A-Squad of stock cartoon hero’s suiting up for battle against the D-students of international terrorism, we were secretly selling out our own country to the moneyed interests that now control the world (thanks a lot, Hasboro).

Already I sense I’m losing you, but hang in there because this shit gets deep. Sure, we’ve all got our warm-fuzzy memory goggles on when we think about our old cartoon heroes, but what do we really know about them? Think about G.I. Joe for a moment: Who the hell are these people? I know what they tell us they are, but do you trust the government enough to believe it? Because it’s been my experience that our military has a very strict dress code and half these guys would be thrown in the brig for showing up to work dressed like that. Sure, they all kind of wear something that looks like a military uniform, but it’s all personalized for branding purposes; and then there’s whatever the hell Scarlet was wearing that looks lingerie over a scuba suit.

And let’s not forgot that this was the era before Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, so does someone want to explain to me what Gung-Ho was all about?

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That guy looks like he’s got his own leather bar named after him. I’m not judging; I’m as liberal as the next guy and I think it‘s great that he‘s open about his sexuality. I’m just saying that back then, you weren’t allowed to be out in the military and there’s no way he wouldn’t have had a couple of “personal conduct hearings” scheduled every other week.

So, were they military? No, they were mercenaries, plain and simple. They didn’t answer to the hierarchy of the American government or the people represented thereby. Maybe they swore an oath or two (they seem like the idealistic types that would do that pretty regularly) but at the end of the day, that paycheck wasn’t coming from the taxpayers.

You might be thinking, whatever, big deal, they‘re American Heroes. Well it is a big deal because look at what kind of hardware they’re working with. They’ve got fighter jets, heavy ordinance missiles, tanks, etc… They’ve even got real, working jetpacks and their own aircraft carrier. I don’t think I’m comfortable with someone’s private military having access to this kind of arsenal, I don’t care how damned American they want to call themselves. I know there’s this huge debate about Second Amendment rights and what they mean and who they mean it for and I’m not here to arbitrate that stuff (yet). I’m just saying that they have all this tech and a huge base that’s got anti-aircraft guns hanging off of it every three feet and I’m wondering what the hell they’re planning because it’s probably not cool.

And who the fuck is bankrolling this? We all know there are bearded, pot-bellied militia guys out there ready to take on the government the moment Jesus gives the go-ahead; but let’s face it, they don’t have the kind of money it takes to buy an aircraft carrier. Even Blackwater can’t cough up that kind of cash. There’s some real high rollers calling the shots over at G.I. Joe headquarters and it’s making me damned suspicious. Anyone else think if you go up the chain of command far enough, you get to one of the Koch brothers?

Speaking of douche-nozzles with dreams of controlling the world, who the hell is Cobra? As far as I can recall, they only had one goal in mind: global domination through brute force, which included such brilliantly drafted schemes like creating a weather device that blows up when you look at it cross-eyed. Who the hell thinks like that? They couldn’t successfully dominate a 7-11, let alone the world. And where are they getting their money from anyways, the other Koch brother? Even so, do they really warrant the kind of resources G.I. Joe is spending fighting them? Wouldn’t we be better off if the Joes were looking at something a bit more pressing, like Al-Qaeda or North Korea? I’m just saying, if they were on the up and up they’d be getting somereal shit done and Cobra Commander would be the laughing stock of Guantanamo Bay right now.

Despite all of this, the part that really gets my hairs up are those stupid PSA’s they ran at the end of every episode. I think we all remember the setup: some prepubescent delinquent sets his mom’s house on fire because it’s the first time he’s ever even seen a lighter and one of the Joe’s shows up in the nick of time to lower the collective I.Q. of America by saving the little brat before natural selection can take its predestined course. Anyone ever wonder why these guys are just wandering around the streets of Every-Where-You-Look America, having private, teachable moments with children? Am I the only one who thinks this is fucking weird? Can you say “propaganda warfare”? I went my entire child-hood without seeing some sweaty mercenary on a playground stopping me from sticking myself with discarded hypodermic needles; and damned it I’m a better man for it.

What the hell are they doing there anyways? Shouldn’t they be in some kind of post-traumatic-stress group-therapy or training for their next mission to save the world or something? No, they’re strolling around ice-cream parlors, looking for the weakest links among us to brainwash, getting us used to seeing paramilitary personnel on the streets for our collective “safety“. Maybe I’m just crazy but that strikes me as being the setup to a complete takeover of America and the beginnings of martial law. Who knows where it goes from there; after all, they’ve got that creepily ambiguous saying: “Knowing is half the battle.”

What’s the other half, ethnic cleansing?

That’s right, I’m on to you, G.I. Joe. I’m out there every day getting the word to the people. You won’t take this country without a fight. The message is resonating: we know who you are and we know what you’re up to. This is our country and it’s not for sale, so your corporate overlords will have to find a new stretch of dirt to invade with its private army. Pack up your troops, your bases, your tanks, your aircraft carriers, leave Scarlet and her leotard behind, and leave us in peace, less you find yourself facing an enemy that uses actual bullets.

Now, if you’ll all excuse me, I have to go take my medication and get back to work.

Taking the Face Off Reality TV

I’m not usually a fan of reality TV, because it’s often aimed at the lowest common denominator. I admit, I watched the first season of Survivor, because there was nothing like it on TV before, but got tired with how the venal people won because it turns out people who play dirty always win in the end.
Still, it got much worse. Suddenly, there were shows about spoiled rich people who would be working at a fast food restaurant if they weren’t living off daddy’s trust fund, because they lack any marketable skills or souls. And, white trash, who would proudly show off their stupidity for small amounts of cash like a homeless man in a bum fight.
Still, once in a great while, there is inspirational reality television. I enjoy the second half of Biggest Loser, since the first half is written by evil corporate executives coming up with creative ways to taunt and mock fat people. But, the second half is about the hard work these people put into becoming… well, better. We watch as these people not only lose weight, but fix psychological damage that had held them back for years. By coincidence, there is usually one couple a year who fall in love and have a successful marriage, which, when you compare that to the Bachelor, where nobody ever ends up happily ever after, seems like quite a magic trick.
My favorite show, partly because it is a genre show, is Face Off on the SyFy Network. Face Off is about ridiculously talented special effects artists who are put in a competition where they are tasked to make different get-ups. One week, they’ll be asked to create zombies in Wonderland, next week it’s a realistic alien creature, still another an original super hero. The show is fun for me because we get to see how creative minds work, the troubles they have to go through, and, shockingly, these creative people actually helping each other out. When it should be in their best interest to watch a colleague fall on their face, they help them open a mold or give an opinion that leads them to a better idea. The show ends with these amazing make-ups, and the worst one has to leave the show. The winner ends up winning money and the chance to do make-up for an actual movie or TV show.
I have had people make snipes about the show – about how real movie shoots wouldn’t put you through that and it’s doubtful any of these people will truly get their dream jobs. But, isn’t it better seeing these successful people showing what it takes to be successful, than to see a teenager getting pregnant in the hopes that their stupidity will lead to an MTV show?