Thursday, July 12, 2007

PG-13? Well fuckfuckfuckshitfuckmotherfuckerfuck that.

It's been a while since I've written anything. I haven't felt like it. Fuckin' sue me. Anyway, something happened recently in my life that has prompted me to express my thoughts. Plus, now all zero of you that have been pestering me to write more might leave me the fuck alone for a while.

So what happened that inspired me to write? The only thing that could. The long-awaited return of John McClane to the big-screen.

I saw Live Free or Die Hard last week and have a few things to say. First of all, the title is fucking horrible. I appreciate the effort of working the words "Die Hard" into a phrase, but they could have done better. For one thing, the "Live Free" part hints at some kind of patriotic shit that isn't present in the movie. Besides taking place on July 4th, it really isn't relevant. But more importantly, as long as "Die Hard" is in the title, shouldn't it come at the beginning? I, for one, would have much preferred something like "Die Hard or Live Free" or "Die Hard: Not the Car Battery" or "Die Hard: The Hardening" or "Die Hard Episode 4: Return of the LAPD" or "Die Hard With Even More of a Vengeance". The one they actually went with makes me think they were trying to be too clever. What will they come up with for the next one? "Heroism Will Never Die, Hard As it is to Believe Sometimes". Plus, there is someone with OCD somewhere whose alphabetized movie collection will force him to sort this movie separate from the first three. Roll your eyes if you must, but this guy exists somewhere and he is already stressed out about it. One more thing about the title. Wouldn't "Live Free and Die Hard" make more sense? The "or" makes it sound like a choice. Isn't John McClane living free and dying hard throughout the movie? Sorry Alex, but I still think "Die Hard 4.0" would have been much much better.

Nitpicking aside, I thought the movie was tremendous. That kid from those horrifying Mac commercials was actually pretty entertaining. Bruce Willis is still master of the wisecracks and weary chuckles after blowing up a whole bunch of shit. There were plenty of 'splosions. Bald John McClane was only slightly less cool than Receding Hairline John McClane. All in all, I give it an 8.

Did I mention the film was rated PG-13? I was prepared to hate it based on this alone. Actually, I said to myself going in that if there were less than five fuck's I would be disappointed. As it happened, there were zero. But from what I hear, there was a lot edited out of the final cut. Which makes me hopeful that the DVD might have an unrated version with all the language and blood that we have come to expect. As it turned out, aside from a few conspicuous instances of McClane calling somebody "jerkoff" and bad guys falling out of cars/helicopters right before they blow up, the PG-13-ity wasn't really very noticeable. Still, let me state for the record that whoever made the decision to tone down the movie for fuckin' teenagers needs to suck my balls immediately.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The "Top" 10 Moments in Devil Rays History

The following is something I wrote a while back. There was a new website starting up consisting of humorous blog-style baseball commentary and I had been planning on writing a few columns about the then-Devil Rays. That never really got off the ground, so I have this 1500 words of BS that I wrote for nothing. But anyway, I came across it recently and figured I would throw it up here just for the hell of it. For those of you who don't pay attention to baseball, this will make little to no sense. But you can still enjoy my tasteful use of boldface and italics...


Opening Day is just around the corner, and Tampa is ready. Hopes here for the new season are as high as ever, and folks are starting to yearn for something to complain about now that the Bucs' season has mercifully ended. The 2007 Devil Rays are more than ready to oblige.
In order to do my part, I have decided to start things off with a countdown of the more memorable moments in Devil Rays history. And since this is the their tenth season, it seemed appropriate to start with a top ten list. As well as being a great refresher course for the hundred or so lapsed Rays fans, I hope that it will serve as a fond look back at the sometimes inspiring, sometimes pitiful almost-decade that marked the first (and possibly last) era of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

10. The Rookie
In 1999, 35-year old Jim Morris made his major league debut with the Devil Rays. He accomplished this despite not having pitched professionally in 10 years, having recurring arm problems, and looking nothing like Dennis Quaid. Morris's first appearance was memorable, as he was able to strike out Rangers shortstop Royce Clayton on four pitches. Yeah, inspirational and all that, but come on... Royce Clayton? I'm fairly certain I could strike out Royce Clayton, and I have the baseball skill of a ...well... Royce Clayton, actually. Wait, now I'm confused...
Here's my point. Are we sure the managers didn't get together before the game and decide to throw him a bone? Or maybe some movie exec that saw blockbuster potential pulled some strings? I would have just like to see how he would have fared against Palmeiro or Juan-Gone in that situation. Maybe they would have made that into a Randy Quaid movie.

9. The *hit Show
The signing of sluggers Vinny Castilla and Greg Vaughn in 1999 led to a marketing phenomenon. Alongside Fred McGriff and Jose Canseco, the quartet was dubbed the "Hit Show", and promised to bring hordes of fans to the ballpark to see these players crush the ball at every opportunity. And they would have, had all four of them been about 10 years younger (and, in Canseco's case, even more anabolic). What fans were treated to instead was the birth of a new, and possibly unofficial, slogan: "The Tampa Bay Devil Rays: Where careers come to die."

8. Tropicana Field Renovations
Tropicana Field, not exactly an architectural marvel when it was built in 1990, was an outdated eyesore by the time the first baseball games were played there. Despite an 85-million dollar renovation prior to opening day, the field was widely considered to be the worst in baseball. In 2006 this would all change. In addition to an impressive new sound system and a whooooooooole lot of paint, the stadium added the spectacle of a tank in right field, complete with actual, relatively small, and completely unintimidating stingrays! These renovations and the new promise of free parking to all games is what elevated the Trop from being the worst stadium in baseball to being merely among the worst four or five stadiums in baseball.

7. New Uniforms!
The good news: The ugly multicolored lettering and stupid looking stingray are gone.
The bad news: The uniforms still say "Tampa Bay" and "Devil Rays" all over them.

6. The Crime Dog Returns
The Rays announced last month that they have decided to bring in former All-Star Fred Mcgriff to be a special advisor during Spring Training. Awesome! I think what this team needed was for someone like McGriff to drop by. This way, they can learn all about the finer points of laziness, apathy, and horrible, horrible defense. Also, he can teach them some of his proven techniques for success, such as: how to hit a single off the outfield wall, the proper method of not running hard but making it look like you are running hard, ways to get eaten up by throws in the dirt even when they aren't in the dirt, and giving your Full Endorsement on every play. I just hope someone told him that he won't be allowed to resume his death march to 500 homers once the season starts. From the Rays website: "McGriff said [Rays president Matt] Silverman contacted him to see if he was interested in returning to the Rays in some capacity. This opportunity will allow McGriff to wear a couple of hats to see what he likes." No word yet on whether one of these hats will be that weird blue one from the Tom Emanski videos.

5. The Delmon Young Incident
Early in the 2006 season, Delmon Young threw a bat at a minor league umpire, hitting him in the chest and arm. Whoops. Well, at least it's out of his system now. I'm sure he will be a model citizen from here on. I'm predicting he won't crack the top 20 in arrests this year (well, unless we are talking AL only). And one other thing: obviously it is completely, totally unacceptable to throw a bat at anyone, even umpires. But in Young's defense, there is no way that was a strike.
An unrelated tidbit I learned while researching: the Devil Rays' AA affiliate? The Montgomery Biscuits. I can only imagine the intensity of their heated rivalry with the Birmingham Sausage Gravy. Maybe even more delicious than Yanks-Red Sox.

4. Sweet Lou Comes Home
2003 was a banner year for the Rays. Manager Hal McRae was finally put down (or fired, I don't recall which), as their record from the previous year, 55-106, was markedly below the bar set by his predecessor, Larry Rothschild. That bar being at, of course, 60 wins or so. This season also signaled the Rays' transition from "laughingstock" to "laughingstock even though they have Lou Piniella." (Incidentally, I'm fairly certain there never been an instance of a new coach or player saying they signed somewhere because it was "close to home and/or family" without that really meaning "I don't care if I suck at my job anymore. I'm old.") Who knew that this change would lead to unprecedented success (see 1 below)? More importantly, did anyone care?

3. Victor Za-Jesus, look out!
Lou Piniella's arrival in 2003 was big news in Tampa Bay; people all over the area were "thrilled" and "fired up", "anticipating" the new era of "success" that Piniella would "bring." Amidst all the hoopla, however, one player was able to ignore the media circus and deliver a truly spectacular, career-defining performance, and make history in the process. Victor "The Other" Zambrano achieved previously unthinkable levels of wildness, leading the league in walks, hit batsmen, and wild pitches. Zambrano thus became the first player in major league history to earn the Triple Crown of Wildness (and the accompanying Rick Ankiel Trophy). Sadly, Zambrano proved unable to repeat his feat in 2004, leading the league only in walks. The Devil Rays, let down, shipped him off to the Mets, despite receiving only some scrub pitcher (Cashmere something-or-other?) in return, in a trade that still haunts the Rays to this day.

2. Forgetting 1986 (Not Really)
Years of religiously feasting on chicken, exquisite mustache grooming, and lots and lots of mistresses finally paid off for Wade Boggs in 1999, as he became the latest member of the 3000 hit club. The Devil Rays, in honor of this accomplishment as well as his two mediocre seasons in Tampa Bay, would eventually retire his number.
Really, is that necessary? Was the team that desperate for something to celebrate that they honored a career of a guy that became famous playing for someone else? I have two theories on this. First: Management suspected that no hall-of-fame caliber player would stick with the team after free agency, and they had to seize the only opportunity they would have for many years. Second: The team needed to hang up something in the stadium that would cover up the old Checkers ad that proved to be surprisingly difficult to remove.

1. 70!
2004 is when it would all come together for the Devil Rays. With most experts predicting a 7th consecutive last-place finish as well as a possible team-wide demotion to AAA, the Rays shocked the world. Led by young players such as Aubrey Huff, Carl Crawford, Rocco Baldelli, and not Dewon Brazelton, they ended the season finally reaching the 70-win plateau and finishing in 4th place in the AL East, both firsts for the team. The celebration could only last so long, however, as in 2005 the team quickly reverted to its more accustomed losing ways. I guess all dynasties have to end eventually...

Honorable Mentions:

--Pitcher Dewon Brazelton disappears for two weeks following a demotion to AAA. This would be much more of a problem if Brazelton was, you know, good at pitching.
--Rocco Baldelli quickly becomes a fan favorite due to his hustle, personality, and especially the fact that it is always fun to cheer for someone named "Rocco".
--"Devil Rays: under construction"
This 2006 offseason ad campaign has me excited for a minute, as I am imagining a new state-of-the-art stadium, maybe somewhere in the vicinity of Tampa, complete with swimming pools, unnecessary hills in the outfield, and maybe even a roller coaster. I am crushed when I discover that the slogan is actually referring to Jae Seo.
--Curt Schilling's big mouth and Dewon Brazelton's lack of intelligence contribute to a few Rays-Sox brawls and the lamest rivalry since the one between the two dads on "My Two Dads."
--The Rays are honored to open the 2004 season in Japan with a series against the Yankees. The resulting extensive let lag and fatigue will haunt the team for the remainder of the season and lead to a disappointing 4th place finish in the AL East. Oh waaaaaaiiit...

Friday, February 09, 2007

Why is it so hot/cold/hot/freezing in here?

As I sit here in my germ-filled bedroom, with my trusty Gatorade and thermometer at my side (current reading: 99.6) I feel compelled to write. In the past few days, as some kind of virus has been slowly eating me away from the inside, I have come to some revelations about the universe. Pondering my own mortality in between bouts of shivering, certain truths about life and existence have presented themselves to me. Some of these may have just been hallucinations, but I can't help but feel as though I am being used as some sort of vessel, an intermediary between some higher power and my fellow earth-bound mortals. I feel it would be selfish to keep this knowledge to myself, and so I present it to you, the lucky reader…

--Anna Nicole Smith is dead! Long live Anna Nicole Smith! This sad news blindsided me yesterday; I am still trying to process my shock and grief. Just kidding, I don't care. This may sound horrible, but I consider this to be sort of a happy ending. For one thing, the grieving mother is reunited with her son, which is kind of nice. But more importantly, that new baby will have an exponentially less fucked up life now. By the way, if any of you find this inappropriate, do remember that I am running a fever and cannot be held responsible for my poor judgment.

--Holy shit! Jack killed Curtis! Holy shit! Jack's brother is Dr. Romano! Holy shit! Jack is excellent at cutting and styling his own hair in under nine minutes! Being sick, I have finally had the opportunity to get caught up on 24, and it has been well worth it. However, I would like to take this opportunity to say, "Fuck you, FOX network!" I went to the 24 area on their website because I wanted to know if episodes were available to watch from there. So of course, I'm looking around for approximately two seconds when I see a major plot twist written out in giant bold letters. Dammit FOX, isn't it enough that you ruin baseball and football for me? I really think it's only a matter of time before Joe Buck appears as some fill-in CTU agent with a dark secret.

--Remember that old computer game, Oregon Trail, that we got to play in school sometimes? I have found a site where you can play it and like 20 million other shitty old computer games online: You're welcome, and I hope you don't get dysentery.

--Why is it that cereal boxes don't come with prizes anymore? When I was a kid, I would always hound my mother relentlessly if there was a cool prize, even if I didn't like the cereal that much. And I was the calm one. Scott was perpetually 30 seconds away from becoming the Tasmanian Devil on meth and running laps around the supermarket. So as long as he was aware of the prize, it was as good as in the cart, lest we be ejected from the store. I may be exaggerating. My point is: why wouldn't this work today? Or are shitty plastic toys not as appealing to kids of the Xbox and Playstation age as they were for us? Really, what I am getting at is that I just want a Count Chocula wristwatch.

I feel I've done a service here—if any of you are half as enlightened as I was after reading this, I will sleep well. Until my fever comes back and my blankets try to strangle me again. In case I die in my sleep tonight, I just want to say that I love at least 40 percent of you. Godspeed.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

30 Things You'd Never Think to Ask

1. Have you ever been searched by the cops? Regular--no. Full Cavity--absolutely.

2. Do you close your eyes on roller coasters? No but I cover my face with my hands and then peek through my fingers.

3. When's the last time you've been sledding? Not since "the accident."

4. Would you rather sleep with someone else, or alone? It really depends on the "someone else."

5. Do you believe in ghosts? I believe in Patrick Swayze.

6. Do you consider yourself creative? I consider myself destructive.

7. Do you think O.J. killed his wife? I don't know, after all, the glove didn't fit. Just kidding, yes.

8. Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie? Vince Vaughn.

9. Can you honestly say you know ANYTHING about politics? That's the thing with the old dudes that talk about boring stuff, right? Count me out.

10. Do you know how to play poker? Much to Jeff's chagrin...

11. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight? I never felt more alive. And sleepy.

12. What's your favorite commercial? The old Christmas Folger's one where "Peter" surprises his mom by coming home always makes me misty.

13. Who was your first love? The theatre.

14. If you're driving in the middle of the night, and no one is around you, do you run a red light? Depends on how drunk I am. Wait, what?

15. Do you have a secret that no one knows but you? Ryan Phillippe made me swear to take it to my grave.

16. Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees? Whichever is the one with Jeter. Mmmm...

17. Have you ever been Ice Skating? Actually no...

18. How often do you remember your dreams? When I am toiling away behind the assembly line, I remember having dreams once.

19. What's the one thing on your mind? Now and always, the theatre.

20. Do you always wear your seat belt? Depends on how drunk I am. Wait, what?

21. What talent do you wish you had? To do that thing where you sort of bend your tongue back and make spit shoot out from under it. Gleeking? Sometimes I do it by accident but I can never duplicate it.

22. Do you like Sushi? It's possible, although I've never tried it.

23. What do you wear to bed? Only one way to find out, ladies... and that is by me typing, "boxers and a t-shirt."

24. Do you truly hate anyone? You know who you are, motherfucker. Also, Scott Stapp. You know, the dude from Creed.

25. If you could sleep with one famous person, who would it be? Larry David's wife from Curb Your Enthusiasm. Awwwww Yeah. Drew knows what I'm talking about!

26. Do you know anyone in jail? I met some of my best friends there.

27. What food do you find disgusting? Whenever there is green and orange on the same plate. I am part autistic.

28. Have you ever made fun of your friends behind their back? Only Ames. Haha, just kidding, Ames.

29. Have you ever been punched in the face? Some little Jewish kid punched me in the face when I was like 14. It didn't hurt.

30. Do you believe in angels and demons? I believe in The Da Vinci Code.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Are You Ready for Some American Football?

Well, we have made it to week 9 of the NFL regular season, which marks the official 9/17ths point of the season! I’m gonna get crazy and call it “halfway” for people who don’t like math. Anyway, I’ve received pleading e-mail after pleading e-mail, a brick through my window, and several death threats for going a whole 8 weeks without presenting my thoughts and observations on the current season. (Actually, the death threats were from this greasy Italian mafioso I witnessed whacking a couple guys. (And by “whacking”, I mean “performing masturbation upon”.) Needless to say, this guy is itching to “frost my cannoli”. Also he wants to murder me.) So anyway, here are my observations:

--Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was ejected for stomping on a guy’s face with his spikes. Ummm… well done! Not just any player would have the balls to pull that off. Sure, underneath a pile-up, there is probably a bunch of eye-gouging and nipple-tweaking and wet willies and stuff like that. However, that is all out of the view of referees and cameras. But Haynesworth is no coward! He was, no doubt, aware of the dozens of FOX cameras capturing his defiant act, as well as the millions of spectators cheering him on. And yet, he was unfazed. He was suspended 5 games, certainly a small price to pay for the opportunity to make a statement to society. The statement? “I am a guy who will step on your face with spikes for no reason.” Godspeed, Albert Haynesworth.

--I think TO has been getting a raw deal. The guy is a freak show, but he is not the Antichrist. Probably. He’s just an average guy like you and me, except a multimillionaire and a sociopath. But as they say, money does things to people. Can any of you honestly say that if you had millions of dollars, that you wouldn’t do pushups in your driveway, OD on creatine, or call Jeff Garcia a fag? I thought so.

Although I will say this: Bitching out your receivers coach during practice? Not necessary. Come on dude, it’s not his fault that Drew Bledsoe is old and shitty and less mobile than Christopher Reeve. You know, after he died. (Actually, if you paid close attention, you might have noticed him calling snaps in the first quarter of some games by mumbling “oil can” out of the corner of his mouth.)

--I just recently found out that NFL quarterbacks Tim Hasselbeck and Matt Hasselbeck are brothers. In hindsight, this probably should have been obvious. By the way, it’s pronounced Hasselbeck, not Hasselback. I’m looking at you, Chris Berman. I know you are reading this. “Hasselback” sounds like some obscure species of snake you would see on the Discovery Channel. “Here we observe the deadly hassel-back python. It can be identified by its distinctive yellow-and-black stripes and its career 71.4 passer rating.”

--Bucs QB Chris Simms was placed on injured reserve, officially ending his season after rupturing his spleen a month ago. Tough break for the guy. But I could have sworn you needed your spleen for something. Anyway, there are several positive silver linings for Chris to latch onto here:

-- He now has one less thing to rupture during a game.

-- He now is the NFL's all-time leader in touchdown-to-spleen ratio.

-- He is only slightly more vulnerable to certain types of infections.

-- He led a fourth-quarter scoring drive while suffering with severe internal injuries, then almost died right after the game. That has to get you some ass.

-- He is eligible for all kinds of cool nicknames now. Like, “The spleen-less wonder.” Or “Chrissy no-spleen”. Or “I’ll never be as good as my dad” Simms.


People often ask me why I don’t pay more attention to the news and current events. (And by “often”, I mean like 2 or 3 people ever.) “Kevin,” these hypothetical people say, “Shouldn’t you read the papers or watch the news more often? Do you not care about current events? Don’t you want to hear about what is happening in the world?” The answer to that? Actually, “not really.” To explain further, let me just give an example of what greeted me when I fired up my computer the other day. A selection of headlines:

n Ex-JonBenet suspect: Child porn case dropped

n Toddler died from E. coli tainted spinach

n Amish schoolgirls laid to rest

n Disturbing finds in child sex raids

n Her eyes tell the story: gang-raped at 3

n Sex offender found living in hole next to school

n State lawmaker suggests arming teachers

n Babysitter takes wrong child home from school

n Learn about foreplay at church

Let me just ask: What the fucking Christ is happening in our country? I barely got through the first half of the screen and I already wanted to hang myself. I’m trying to decide what is more depressing: the fact that so much fucked up shit is happening on a daily basis, or the fact that these are the things that people are most interested in reading. Fact is, these things are at the top of the page because people keep clicking on them.

Incidentally, I didn’t scour two weeks’ worth of headlines and news sites to find these tidbits. These were 9 of the 11’s “Top Stories” for one day.

I don’t want to sound like I am trivializing any of these stories; for the people involved, these are obviously the most important things going on. But what about the general public? Like everyone, I was horrified to hear about the Amish school shootings; I can’t imagine what the families of the victims must be going through. But after a week, is this still really the most important story for the rest of the country? Isn’t there a war or something going on? What’s this I am hearing about elections coming up?

Is this the only reason I avoid the news? Well, no. I am too involved in my own sometimes trivial bullshit to read the paper every day. I mean, who wants to listen to Brian Williams for an hour when you can make an animated monkey swear at people? But I just wanted to point out that I am not completely ruled by my apathy.

For those of you who were curious, of the two headlines I skipped over, one was related to the stock market. The other? “Outrageous Cher costumes fetch millions.” I’m surprised this week’s thrilling episode of CSI:Milwaukee wasn’t interrupted by a CBS Special Report for that one.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Zack Morris' Day Off?

I recently got my hair cut, and I just want to say one thing to all the employees of SuperCuts and Fantastic Sam's and places like that: Leave me the fuck alone! I realize they are required by law to make inane chit-chat and put me "at ease" while they hack off my lettuce, but most of these people need to learn to take a hint or five. If your first two attempts at conversation result in nothing more than mumbled one-word responses and an absence of eye-contact, maybe it's time to focus on making me beautiful and direct your conversation back to the voices in your head. You know, the ones that told you it was a good idea to choose a career where you touch strangers' disgusting heads all day.

It's not that I am unfriendly or anything; I just could never get with the whole "small talk for the sake of small talk" thing. If you have nothing of interest to say, why is it so wrong to just not say anything? I can see some people might be uncomfortable with the awkward silences, but if that is your f-ing job, you need to get used to it at some point, right? As if having your hands all up on some guy's dome isn't awkward enough in itself. Besides, you're not a bartender; nobody comes to Great Clips to complain about their ex-wife and "haircut all their problems away." I am there to have less hair on my head; the quicker the better, please.

Here is a brief recap of my last visit:

"Looks about time for a trim, huh?"

"Yeah, just a little off the top and a 2 1/2 on the sides and the back I guess."

"Wow, your hair is really fine, it's messing up my clipper."


"So did you just get off work?"

"I had the day off today."

"Do you go to school?"




"Oh yeah, my daughter goes there."


"So what are you studying?"

"Computer Science."

"Oh, ok, ok... Ha ha, maybe you can come over to my house and show me how to get rid of all these darn pop-up ads!"


"So where do you work?"

"I work about three shifts a week at OH MY FILTHY CHRIST, WILL YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP AND CUT MY FUCKING HAIR, FOR FUCK'S SAKE! I'm 28, I'm an Aquarius, I have three little brothers, I didn't vote, I don't watch American Idol, my johnson curves a little to the left! Is there anything else!? OK THEN! SNIP-SNIP, BITCH! SNIP-SNIP!"


Ok, I might be exaggerating a bit. But really, is it too much to ask to be able to just go in and zone out for a bit? I'm already on edge due to the knowledge that the way I look for the next month or so depends on the skill of this broad with the pit stains (whose own hair is more than questionable). I just want to sit down, stare at the hot receptionist through the mirror, and pretend that the blue shit the combs are floating in is delicious Ice Blue Kool-Aid (even though I'm almost positive it's not).

And on a related note, what is with this new trend of businesses asking for your fucking phone number whenever you buy something? I blame Radio Shack. They started doing that shit like 10 years ago. Now other businesses are saying to themselves, "Unnecessarily bothering customers by asking for personal information when they are just trying to buy a screwdriver, thereby making them less likely to return for fear of the hassle? Why didn't we think of that?" At least at the hair places, they use it to keep track of your hair preferences. That way, the ten seconds it takes them to look the shit up allows them to save the three seconds it would take for me to actually use words and tell them. But when I go to Sam Ash and I want to buy some guitar strings, or, for example, a pick that costs 30 cents, I have to fight off the barrage of questions in addition to the dozens of circling salesfuckers. It's gotten to the point where I have started fake-numbering these people. Cold, I know, but I have no choice.


I was watching an old episode of Saved By the Bell the other day, and it got me thinking. Did anyone ever notice how similar the first two seasons are to Ferris Bueller's Day Off? Think about it: They both had the boyishly handsome protagonist, who got himself in wacky predicaments and almost got caught like 18 times but ultimately got away by the skin of his teeth; and you always rooted for them because of their handsome boyishness. They both had the nerdy, insecure best friend. They both had the boyishly handsome protagonist banging (I mean, "going steady with") the hottest hot chick in the school. They both had the ineptly villainous principal who wanted nothing more then to put the handsomely boyish protagonist in detention for a month. Shit, in the early days, Zack Morris would even break the fourth wall and start talking to the camera all Bueller-style. And you know he and Screech would have come up with that tape-recorded doorbell answerer if it hadn't been done already. All we need to make the similarity complete now is for Dennis Haskins to get arrested soon for kiddie porn. Come on, Mr. B! Make it happen!

Notice how I said "first two seasons"? That's because, starting around junior year or so, the show started getting all different. Zack became less boyishly handsome and more adolescently greasy, Kelly Kapowski got a rack, Mario Lopez ended his endorsement deal with Z. Cavaricci, and Screech went immediately from being sort of a goofy kid to full-fledged freak with no warning whatsoever. And the show got away from the surreal weirdness of the early years and sort of became a more normal teen show. Which meant they had to get rid of Screech's ridiculous robot (the tastefully named Kevin) and that retarded magician waiter who served no purpose whatsoever. That was also the end of such plausible storylines as Screech getting ESP from a lightning bolt and Casey Kasem hosting dance competitions at the Max.

In the later years, the show got all preachy, and I learned some valuable life lessons. Among them:

--Driving drunk is bad.

--It is NOT ok to not be attracted to fat chicks. However, they do like it if you dance with them once out of pity.

--Big oil companies are evil, because they cover ducks with oil and don't even care.

--Doing "dope" is bad, even if you are Johnny Dakota.

--Just because the new chick wears motorcycle gear and talks like a dude doesn't mean she is a lesbian. She might just be a fugly girl in motorcyle gear that talks like a dude.

--Beware of "OD"-ing on caffeine pills. You might just have a hilariously melodramatic meltdown in front of your friends.

I imagine if there was a "Ferris Bueller 2" it might be similar. Cameron successfully becomes an emancipated minor after having his face shattered by his overbearing father, Ferris and Mr. Rooney grudgingly develop a mutual respect for each other, and Jennifer Grey is lured into a life of crime and drugs by Charlie Sheen.

Actually, that might be the worst movie ever.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Why Elmo Sucks and Other Sesame Street Thoughts

So I wanted to write a few words on what has happened to my favorite show when I was a wee lad: Sesame Street. From age 2 to about 7, I watched that shit every day. Why? Well, what else is there to do when you’re 3? Regardless, it was a great show. Funny characters, moral lessons disguised as entertainment, cartoons about numbers, what’s not to love? In fact, I would still watch that old show now if I was illiterate or had some kind of brain disorder.

Anyway, I happened to be watching TV one morning a couple weeks (years?) ago and came across my old favorite and I was horrified. Apparently the show is now called The All Elmo, All The Fucking Time Hour. I think this is the reason that kids are shooting up schools. Not violent movies, not video games, not the absence of school prayer. Elmo.

See, back in my day, there was a balance. You had a little Grover, a little Big Bird, of course Cookie Monster, and the Siegfried and Roy of the muppet world, Ernie and Bert. They all served their purpose, and were on in small enough chunks so you didn’t get sick of them. A well crafted ensemble, if I may, reminiscent of the 2004 Red Sox, or even the cast of Seinfeld. Now? Constant Elmo. I guess there’s nothing inherently bad about Elmo, besides the fact that he’s fucking irritating. I get that kids enjoy his stupid squeaky voice and retarded personality, but what are they getting out of him? I find it hard to believe that Elmo is anywhere as educational as my boy Grover.

Grover taught us. He inspired us. And yes, he moved us. Grover represents the goodness that lies inside us all, yearning to be free. I am the person I am today because of the lessons I learned from Grover. Like, for instance, Near and Far. Also, counting and shit. But more importantly, Grover taught us how to live. Obviously he was not that bright, or coordinated, but he always tried his best and never complained. Like when he was Super Grover and always crash-landed everywhere. He just got up and kept trying. Or when he was the waiter, and that fat blue asshole muppet kept sending his food back and being a dick. Did Grover tell him off? No. Did he dip his furry blue muppet scrotum in the guy’s soup? I doubt it. No, he kept trying and trying and running back and forth, and eventually, he got the shitface what he wanted before immediately collapsing from congestive heart failure. (And you know that fucker left 10%). Plus, he was hilarious. And adorable. When I have kids, I want at least one to look just like Grover.

Wait, let me think about that. Okay, no, that would be fucking creepy.

But anyway, is Elmo any of these things? Not that I can see. Every time I’ve seen this guy he’s just asking people stupid shit like “What is air?” and “What happens to food after I eat it?”. Dude, it’s called an encyclopedia. Stop wasting our time. This shit would have pissed me off when I was 4. I’m sure it wouldn’t be bad in small doses, but this situation reminds me of the last few years of Family Matters, which were basically just Urkel doing progressively more retarded shit, and to hell with everyone else. I wanted to know what Aunt Rachel was up to, dammit!

So why is he so popular? Cute, yes, but so are most of the muppets. No, here’s the real reason: Elmo is a Giant Whore. Toys, cartoons, books, female lubricants; he is everywhere. I’ve even seen him as a guest on talk shows. Talk shows! He isn’t even real! I see on Wikipedia that he made at least three guest appearances on The Tony Danza Show. Now, obviously, Tony Danza is not very intelligent. But how does he not know Elmo is a fictional character? He had to have seen the puppeteer at least once. My point? Grover didn’t need to pimp himself out, he was too busy teaching the world how to love. And making me want to be a better man.

And that is why Elmo sucks.

Also, I read a while back that they were trying to get kids to eat healthier by having Cookie Monster eat vegetables. What the f? First of all, when you’re a kid, vegetables are disgusting. They won’t eat that shit no matter how much they idolize Cookie. It’s that simple. Also, has Cookie Monster sold out or what? No fucking way does he eat vegetables; just as there is no fucking way some guy can tell him “cookies are a sometimes food” and he’s gonna be okay with that. His name is Cookie Monster. He is a monster for cookies. That is the whole basis of his existence. His entire purpose is the acquisition and consumption of cookies. How is he gonna cut back? Is there a clinic? Either he’s doing it for a check, or this is the worst example of character assassination since Zack Morris scored a 1500 on his SAT’s and got accepted to Yale. Although, I can’t help but wonder if maybe he wouldn’t have such an obsession if he would just slow down and swallow some of the cookies, instead of shoveling them in by the fistful and chewing so maniacally that the chunks just fly out of his mouth like pieces of tree limbs out of a wood chipper. Take your time, man! Savor the cookie!

Savor the damn cookie!