Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Abridged Print Edition for 02/25/11

 Last week, I wasn’t feeling all that great last week, which is why you missed me (you know what I mean). By the time Wednesday rolled around, I was at the point where I had to make an “emergency” appointment with my doctor- who I’d just seen 13 days earlier. In fact, I was just three days removed from 10 days worth of antibiotics for my recurring tonsillitis. Wouldn’t you know it, pneumonia. Again. Sinusitis. Again. And laryngitis from coughing so much. So on the couch I dwelled from Wednesday evening until Monday, when I finally managed to go back to work. For part of the day, anyway… I was out driving Tuesday afternoon on the way home from doing a survey, and saw a guy walking down the road wearing some racing tee shirt. I know, you’re thinking- “big deal, you live in Georgia. Of course you’re gonna see some dumbfuck redneck in a racing tee.” Thing is, this guy wasn’t your typical redneck. Or didn't seem like one, anyway. He appeared to be from somewhere on the Indian subcontinent. (I guess that makes him a brown neck?) I thought it was funny, anyway… I’m all for looking for alternative energies and things like that, but really- what good does an electric car do? (Not talking about hybrids.) Seriously? Where do you think electricity comes from? Telsa’s fucking ghost or something? The Edison fairy? Nope. In the United States, you’re 89% likely to be getting your “juice” from a non-renewable power source, and nearly a 50% chance it’s from a coal-fired power plant. So what? So you’re not polluting while you drive. So stop acting like you’re some superior fucking specimen just because your car doesn’t have any emissions- because your condescending attitude is just as noxious as diesel exhaust, you asshole… A couple of commercials have gotten under my skin recently. The first one was a spot for a certain home improvement chain for their Presidents’ Day sale. Part of the voice over said you could save “Washingtons, Lincolns, Franklins…” and that’s where I always lost it. Franklin. Was. Not. A. Fucking. President. It would be one thing, I guess, if some Mom and Pop outfit made a goof like that in their local spot, but a major fucking chain? Don’t you people have staff to check out shit like that? I mean, I’m assuming you missed the day in school when they went over the presidents. And then there’s the one from the restaurant chain featuring their February deals. With Washington and Lincoln getting what’s obviously supposed to be a birthday cake. From Ben-fucking-Franklin. No wonder kids nowadays seem like idiots, “learning” shit like that from TV… For the first time in two years, I had to cancel my Saturday night gig last weekend, thanks to a) not being able to talk above a whisper and 2) coughing up chunks of lung with what seemed like every other breath. They managed to carry on without me (evidently they were able to find a fill in), but I think the guy’s not particularly popular (in the words of one of my semi-regulars, via Facebook “I hope you recover quickly because (it) Sucks without you!!!”)… Oh- another commercial that just makes me nuts in the one for the ginormous whipped coffee thing that features the two fucktards spasmodically beating on the table in some kind of “Stomp” inspired “dance.” Seriously- how’d you like to be sitting next to those two asspipes? I think I’d be pounding out a beat on their heads. Wait- no I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t be eating in that particular shit-pile of a restaurant to begin with…. One good thing (?) about being couch bound for five days, I made quite the dent in my Netflix queue. Whoever came up with the idea of streaming movies is a genius. I’ve been watching all kinds of stuff- some good, one or two excellent and more than a few just complete trash. One of the ones I watched Sunday was a decent, early 80s slasher flick. It had Avery Schreiber in a dramatic role. That part was kind of hard to take seriously, ya know? It’s not a particularly annoying commercial, just puzzling- but have you seen the one where the guy keeps popping his out of the doorway and says “honey, we’re out of toilet paper again”? I think that guy may need to see a doctor… That spot also reminds me of a “Beavis & Butt-head” episode. I don‘t remember the specifics- I just remember Beavis kept saying “I poop too much”… The first time I read Stephen King‘s novel "The Stand" was actually the date that the beginning of the book takes place. And I had the beginnings of a cold- which made the book even creepier than it already was. And, of course, since I was sick all weekend, what did I watch? A show about the Black Plague. And how some other, equally nasty devastating population killing germ is just lurking in the shadows, ready to wipe most of us out. I’m a genius... Any of you watch the IBM/Jeopardy shows? They just seemed like lame, half-hour commercials for IBM to me. And I wasn’t impressed, because all it demonstrated was that “Watson” had a fast processor. It‘s not like it had to press a signal button like the humans did, which seemed an unfair advantage to me. Of course, I still think Ken Jennings is an idiot- missing that FedEx question... Ever go to a company’s website and run into nothing but blank pages and broken links? Seriously, it’s not like the internet is some new-fangled ad gimmick- it’s been around. I don’t think there’s any excuse for a company not to have a properly functioning site. Otherwise, why bother?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Abridged Print Edition for 02/04/11

Sunday afternoon- instead of being productive and raking the yard- I parked myself in my ass groove on the couch and vegged to watch movies, starting with “Resident Evil: Afterlife.”
I guess it was my lucky day or something, ‘cause when I’d finished staring glassy eyed at Milla Jovovich and Ali Larter (mainly Milla, but Larter’s a cutie herself and- honestly- Jovovich was the main reason I ever watched any of the movies to start with), I flipped over to SciFi to see what was on.
Lo and behold, it was “28 Days Later,” a really good flick- again, about a virus that wreaks worldwide have.
Pet peeve one (and I’ve mentioned this one before) is how people insist on calling the “things” in “28 Days Later” as zombies, when- in the classical sense of the walking dead- they’re not. They’re infected with the “rage” virus. They’re fast, too- sprinting after victims. Again, unlike classic zombies. And they can be brought down by things that would bring down a normal human (if said normal human was a pissed off speed freak, bent on seriously fucking you up).
Anyway, I caught the tail end of “28 Days Later” (I guess I only saw two days’ worth?), but that was okay. I’ve seen the movie I dunno how many times, and I have it on DVD. There wasn’t anything else on, though- and we’ve already established I wasn’t going to be productive (try to keep up).
After that, the “Dawn Of The Dead” remake came on. Now this is a movie I absolutely love (actually, I’m cool with either version, really- they both have their own outstanding qualities). The problem was, it was on regular TV.
Neither version of this movie is suited for regular TV, though. It’s violent. Very violent. Very bloody. There’s nudity (you think the walking dead would really care about their naughty bits hanging out? I’m pretty sure the answer would be “no”). And copious profanity. A metric fuckton of profanity. Oh, and did I mention the violence?
Anyway, when this movie’s shown on SciFi (this was the third time I can remember it being in their line up), it is hacked to bits (kind of like some of the zombies, really) for it’s content. Which turns it from a great movie to an extremely frustrating one.
Look, I get that SciFi (and other “broadcast” networks) has to worry about squeamish advertisers and whether or not Little Junior Sonofabitch (thank you, “Family Guy” writers) will be traumatized by their programming.
At the same time, let‘s think about this:
A) (as I said before) this movie (nor “28 Days Later) is not suited for “regular” TV. They were rated “R” for a reason. That means children under 17 weren’t supposed even supposed to see the thing in the damned theater without being accompanied by a parent or guardian. (A reminder. You know, just in case you’ve been under a rock for the past forty years or so.)
2) If SciFi, or some other “broadcast” channel is going to show the damned thing, is early evening really the best air time? Or do their programmers not think there’s a chance Little Junior Sonofabitch and his friends aren’t going to be tuned in on a Sunday afternoon?
C) If the answer to 2 is “they don’t think he’ll be watching”, then what in the fuck is the purpose of editing the damned things for content, if you’re expecting that adults will be the only ones watching? You think someone who’s offended by profanity or violence is gonna see a movie in the TV listings called Dawn-of-the-fucking-Dead and think ‘ooh, that sounds like a fun-filled viewing experience’?
Seriously, I realize at some point since I left the teenaged years behind that it became unfashionable for parents to actually set rules for their children, but give me a break. Time slot aside, why can’t the parents take some freaking responsibility of their own and say “okay, Junior- this isn’t appropriate for you to watch, so we’re turning it off”? I mean, I can remember being around 12 or so, and Dad and I were watching HBO late one night. A George Carlin special came on.
The curtain goes up and out comes George- already ranting. His opening gag? “You ever notice that women who are against abortion are women you wouldn’t wanna fuck in the first place?” My dad quickly grabbed the remote and said “no way.” (Meanwhile, I was chewing the inside of my cheek to keep from braying laughter.)
Anyway, I know calling for parents to be strict would actually require that Mommy and Daddy Sonofabitch to actually be accountable, and that’s not a popular stand. But- if you’re not into that whole, you know parenting thing, then keep your pants on in the first damned place.
And, should little Junior break the rules, how about a belt to the backside?
I know. Somewhere around the same time it became unfashionable to actually act responsibly as an authority figure, it also became passé to implement corporal punishment.
When I was in grade school, you could expect to be paddled if your misbehavior crossed the line (and- for me- I could expect another ass whooping when I got home). Even by the time I got to high school, the paddle was still around- though, by then, it was option. They had to have your parent’s permission. (I lobbied my Mom and Dad to forgo such permission, arguing successfully that it was akin to double jeopardy to get be punished twice.)
Seeing as nowadays striking a child is (for some reason) viewed as barbaric, the lack of “dire” consequences leads to a lack of rules for kids. Seriously, how can being sent to their room when they have a TV, laptop, internet access, video game, cell phone, etc. in there really be punishment?
Without the threat of unpleasant results (I.e., said blistering of said ass), Junior can pretty much give the middle finger to the rules (and the people making them)- and the rest of us are stuck watching a stripped down version of a movie that should- by all rights- scare little Junior shitless, and into turning it off after five minutes…