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Mike Reyes, aka Mr. Controversy, has considered himself a writer ever since he was a child. He wrote for various school publications from about 1995 until 2006, and currently runs both The Bookish Kind and Mr. Controversy, which is an offshoot of the regular column he wrote in High School. He's also authored several short stories such as "The Devil's Comedian", "The Devil v. George W. Bush", and most recently "Wait Until Tomorrow". He resides in New Jersey. Any inquiries for reprinting, writing services, or general contact, should be forwarded to: michaelreyes72@hotmail.com

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Friday, February 27, 2009

What Have We Learned This Week? (week of Feb. 27th)

Readers,

On this, the 250th post of Mr. Controversy, I'd like to take time to address you all personally. While I am indeed an attention whore and pop culture addict, I also care about quality and innovation. As such, I
'm trying something new out this week, and I would much appreciate some feed back. I'm trying to think up some regular features for the ol' Bloggin' Hole here and I've got a couple I'm dying to try out. One of them is "The Monday GAAAH!", which will be a free floating hostility platform that'll help wake me from the writer's block that is Monday Morning. If you want an idea on how that would work, here's an example from the past. I'll mention some general stuff that pisses me off, and some of it will be explained in detail as the week goes on.

As a book end to that, I want to have what you're about to see here..."What Have We Learned This Week?" could be in any form really: a paragraph, a pithy one liner, a lengthened diatribe, or in this week's case a simple video, that could tie up the week in rage. I'm also contemplating some business ventures I may want to embark on (audio commentaries for films being one of them) so watch this space for future developments.

Thanks for keeping my ass interested and on the Internet for 250 posts, and almost a full year. I appreciate all of you visiting and commenting and just being the fantastic audience you are. Whatever success I gain from this endeavor is your success as well. Now, with all of your asses properly kissed, here's what we've learned for the week of February 27th.

(Note: For those of you unable to access the video, what we've learned this week is this...NIXON'S BAAAAACK! Thank you.)


Watch more Futurama videos on AOL Video

Thursday, February 26, 2009

12 Reasons I’m Anxious to see Watchmen

Can it be March 6th already? Seriously, I'm anxious to see this damn movie already. Don't look at me like that...I have perfectly good reasons...

12. I enjoyed The Dark Knight profusely in IMAX. Now imagine an IMAX movie that spans time and space and ISN’T a documentary.

11. Warner Brothers has been good to me with TDK and Speed Racer, so I figured if I help make this a hit then maybe they’ll release Trick ‘R Treat. (IMAX release would be bitchin’, btw.)

10. Zach Snyder has delivered the goods twice before…if this movie is as good as it’s supposed to be, I’ll owe the man a debt of allegiance.

9. Have you read the book? The story and visuals are amazing, and the moral themes are something superhero movies don’t normally encapsulate.

8. I first read the Watchmen after hearing about the movie being made, knowing the book’s reputation. Never had a graphic novel hit me in the gut before like Watchmen did with the ending. I introduced my brothers to the Watchmen, and now the three of us are introducing our father to Watchmen, via the movie.

7. I’m a geek, through and through. Wanting to see this movie is essential to me keeping my geek cred, my fledgling comic/GN cred, and my talkback membership on Ain’t It Cool News.

6. Dave Gibbons has gone to bat for this movie, and when something like that happens you have to respect it.

5. I’m a junkie for alternate history, I’m a fiend for GOOD comic books/graphic novels. Properly mix the two together, and you’ve just created the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of literary awesome.

4. NIXON’S BAAAAACCK!

3. The look on the faces of those who expect another softball superhero movie will be PRICELESS! (Especially with the Vietnamese bar scene.)

2. Jackie Earle Haley and Jeffrey Dean Morgan look like they’ve knocked Rorschach and The Comedian out of the park. (Bonus points to Billy Crudup, simply because I like the guy. I don’t know what it is about him, but I enjoy his presence on screen.)

1. Honestly, what the hell else is out there to get this excited about in the theaters?

For the record, all I’m expecting out of this movie is a relatively decent translation of the film’s story to the screen. If it’s a good enough movie, its degree of loyalty to the source won’t matter. I don’t care if there’s a squid or not, and I will be waiting for the Ultimate Edition with Tales of the Black Freighter cut back into the film. I just want to be entertained, while at the same time seeing the story being respected. That said, I will be buying my tickets soon, and awaiting the countdown to Midnight.

(Spoiler Bonus: If you want to see some of the pages Dave Gibbons drew for the new ending…here you go! Oh, and SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SQUID SPOILER!)


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Suleman Sellout, or "How to Take a Bad Idea to the Endzone"

Well, the most disturbing news hit today…Nadya Suleman is being offered $1 million and “full benefits” to become Vivid Video’s latest contract girl. And here I was thinking that porn was supposed to be attractive and (mildly) entertaining, as opposed to frightening and disturbing. With that in mind, join me now as I embark on a sick and perverted twist on “My Fair Lady” by trying to turn the Octomom into the next porn star. Honestly, with her already whorish morals, why wouldn’t she take this offer. I will warn you all though, that this is the most depraved I think I've been, at least on this blog anyway, and it should get interesting.

- Fist First off, Ms. Suleman seems like the type of star you’d only want to film at a rear or side angle, if you know what I’m saying. (I think you do.) With a little Hollywood trickery, we can make even Ms. Suleman look mildly hot. (Though, we may want to ease off of the side angles for a while…all of that stomach skin swinging to and fro might give some viewers nausea.
- Secondly, we have a whole “Angelina Jolie” fetish market we can tap into. With her desire to look like the original trend mom, why don’t we just help her get to where she wants to be! We can surgically alter the distance and shape of her eyes to look like Angie, and we can plump up her lips a little more too. (She’ll still pale in comparison, particularly in the acting arena, but this is porn…not made for TV movies. There’s a difference.)
- Third, we need to put her through boot camp. Sexual boot camp. That amateur babymaking stuff isn’t going to cut it, we need her fit and trained for the big leagues. Therefore, we need to assemble a crack (heh heh, crack) team of porn starlets that can help shape our Ms. Suleman into all the ho-bag she can be. Better yet, we could make it a reality show on the Internet! Yes, “Crack Team Book Camp” could be the next internet sensation, and what's better it's already got a porno ready title! We’ll be more popular than the sneezing panda, I tell ya!
- Finally, I submit to you all a list of possible film titles we could feature Nadya Jolie in. (Which is her new stage name. Make sure this is compulsory in the contract, we’ve got to exploit that brand name.)

Womb Raider: The Cradle of Strife – Mara Frost is the world’s sexiest adventurer/treasure chunter. Her mission: to find the strongest, smartest, most powerful men in the world and have their children!
Mr. and Mrs. Filth – A married couple don’t realize that they’re each secretly porn stars…until they’re assigned to shoot a movie together. One liners, clothes are thrown at will.
Coocherfield – A giant monster rampages through L.A. eating men on the streets at random. Ms. Suleman’s hoo-hah can play the monster.
Spiderman’d 2 – She can star as “Doctor Octomom”, who’s powerful “baby cannon” will destroy all of society…unless Peter Pork’er can start getting it up again to bang her into submission.
He’s Just Not That Into You(r large vag) – Various singles romp and frolic as they try to find true love, and ways to grab the media spotlight by reproducing.
Dr. Fill – Nadya Jolie, as herself, is going on TV for advice from America’s leading faux psychologist/pervert Dr. Fill. Whatever shall happen next?

Now, should this whole scheme work, I'm going to have some demands. First, I want $750,000 of the $1 million contract. (We can always renegotiate to a $2 million contract, but my cut will increase proportionally. Consider them "Image Consulting Fees".) Hey, I'm in debt too bitches...I have student loans to pay off, plus a car. With this transformation under my belt (I swear, that was unintended. It's still funny, but unintended) I could help consult other talents into the market. This could build my reputation to the point where I could do this professionally, and I could retire in ten years, so why not run with it. Plus, with my skills of persuasion, you could see Britney Spears (she sure as shit can't sing anymore), Jessica Simpson (ditto), and Stephenie Meyer (replace sing with write, and you gotcha!) all following Ms. Suleman's example, and honing the trade they truly were created for...sucking at life.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The CW: Where Creativity is Overrated (especially compared to the corpses of already bad ideas!)

Good news for all you 90’s fans…Melrose Place is the latest relic to be revived courtesy of the CW (http://www.comingsoon.net/news/tvnews.php?id=53185). In “honor” of such an event, here’s a list of some shows that are BEGGING to make a comeback…

7th Heaven (Or 7th Heaven, The Next Generation)

Since the CW is ostensibly UPN and the WB, they should have the rights to this puppy no problem. Also, in this Godless, Commie, Homo loving world; isn’t it time for some sorely missed Christian morality? Here’s the twist though…we focus it on Lucy Camden’s family this time! Yes, grown up and with her husband by her side, we see their lovable brood grow and make the same foolish mistakes the first Camden family did! And better yet, we can get the rest of the family to make guest appearances, to show us what America’s number fun family has been doing these past few years! (Besides, none of them have real careers right now anyway. Well except the dad…he was great on It’s Always Sunny.) Or, if we want to go the "reality TV" route, we could just make this a show about the Palins.

Baywatch (Or Baywatch, The Next Generation)

Knight Rider is a lost cause, get over it America. Just let it die as it should, so Val Kilmer can run against Arnold Schwarzenegger for Governor of Awesomeness. That said, isn’t it time we bring back this ecologically relevant show, along with David Hasselhoff’s career? (The two are practically Siamese twins when you think about it.) Way before 24 or An Inconvenient Truth were ever blips on the American public’s radar, this show tackled both terrorism AND environmentalism. Plus, it showed off a hell of a lot of Grade A Playboy choice cut trim! (Boy, that Pamela Anderson…talk about timeless beauty?)

Star Trek: The Next Generation (or Star Trek: The Next Generation)

Hey, if the Original Series can get an update in special effects and go back into syndication, then this deserves the same respect. Besides, there’s a desperate lacking of Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, and Michael Dorn on television. Oh, and John DeLancie…he was awesome. (Why was there never a Q spin off? They could have renamed his wife A and it could have been “Q and A”. Classic!)

Tales From The Crypt

Because Nicole Richie is going to need work with a second baby on the way. (Honestly, how does she fit them in their? It’s like watching a snake digest a human head.) Or, we could make it a YouTube series and cast Rush Limbaugh as the Crypt Keeper. Just think of it...top Hollywood talent with a coheirant, yet scary message! I can see the episode titles now: "Bailout of Doom", "The Republican Blood Letting of '08", and my personal favorite "Yes We Can...Die at the Hands of Socialist Arabs".

An Original Show That Isn’t A Remake/Reality Show/Procedural/Dog and Pony Show/News Magazine about Pedophiles
…NAH! Too hard.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Horrendous Pictures: Frost/Nixon II: Dick Harder

Congratulations to all of the winners of the 81st Annual Academy Awards! There wasn't a bad film in the bunch, though to be fair not each film deserved to be nominated. (I'm looking at you The Reader.) I'll have reviews and my choice for best picture of the year up sometime later, but for now I'd like to share an idea.

Frost/Nixon was a really good movie, and as everyone knows Michael Sheen and Frank Langella are magnetic on the screen together. Well, in an effort to bottle the lightning that is the magic of Frost/Nixon, as well as provide the Academy with an action film they won't feel guilty nominating for the top prize, I've decided to write a sequel to Frost/Nixon. Unfortunately, Universal Pictures wouldn't option the scriptment that I wrote, so I'm going to have to produce it in house here at Horrendous Pictures.

Now, I don't have anyone signed yet, but I'm hoping Peter Morgan will help me write the full script, as well as having Sheen and Langella reprise their respective roles. I'd also be honored if Kevin Bacon, Sam Rockwell, and Oliver Platt would come back to play their roles as well, and finally I'd like to say that if Ron Howard doesn't want to direct this after reading it, then I wonder if Quentin Tarantino would be up for the task.


Anyway, here's the scriptment for Frost/Nixon II. Please note, it's a little far fetched, and it plays around with some minor historical details, but other than that it's pretty fun. Enjoy! If this works out, I have another sequel in the works: Frost/Nixon III: Slaughergate! (Yes, the exclaimation point is in the title.)

Frost/Nixon II: Dick Harder


(We see the Universal and Working Title logos, and then fade to black. We see a grainy image, reminiscent of a Grindhouse film as Title Cards start to appear on the screen, with a narrator reading each card.)

Title Card/Narrator: He was disgraced.

(Cut to clip of the “drunk dial” scene from Frost/Nixon.)

Title Card/Narrator: He was disrespected.

(Cut to clip of “When the president does it, it’s not illegal” scene.)

Title Card/Narrator: Now…it’s payback time.

(We cut to black and hear a phone ringing. It’s answered.)

Nixon (V.O.): Hello?

Frost (V.O.): Dick? I’m gonna need your help.

(Slowly fade in to Nixon sitting in his chair. He looks surprised to be hearing from Frost.)

Frost (V.O): I’ve been digging into Watergate, and I think I’ve found something you’d be interested in. (dramatic pause) I found out who set you up.

(Nixon sits straight up in his chair, ready for action.)

Nixon: David…can I trust you?

Frost (V.O.): Of course you can Dick…I’m your worthy adversary.

Nixon: That’s good…because we’re gonna bury these motherfuckers.

(Quick cut to Nixon opening a closet filled with guns and campaign posters for his second term. Nixon fills a duffel bag with some ammo, a couple pistols, and a copy of his enemies list. Quick cut to Nixon facing the camera. He stands like an action hero, and cocks his shotgun.)

Nixon: (triumphantly) NIXON’S BAAAACK, BITCHES!

(We superimpose an explosion and cut to the title: Frost/Nixon II: Dick Harder.)

Narrator: Frost/Nixon II: Dick Harder! Dick’s back, and he’s harder than ever to beat!

(Cut to: Nixon arriving at David Frost’s home. Frost looks worried.)

Frost: (hurriedly) Hello, good evening, and wel…

(Nixon approaches him with a second shotgun and a bulletproof vest.)

Nixon: David, we don’t have time for this right now. We’ve got Commies to hunt.

Frost: I’m…sorry?

Nixon: You heard me! Khrushchev and Mao are behind this, aren’t they? Those lousy goddamn commies, I’ll bury the whole fucking lot of them!

Frost: Well no, Dick…actually it’s Henry Kissinger. He wanted you out so he could steal the world’s gold reserves for himself. Also, he…he has Checkers.

Nixon: (drops his duffel bag in shock) That little Jew…he doesn’t know the first THING about raising a Cocker Spaniel. He doesn’t even have the patience to walk his own dogs! Let’s go bust some heads David!

(Nixon runs to the drivers seat, Frost follows but looks worried.)

Frost: Wait a minute, hold on…are you saying that we’re going to go and murder Henry Kissinger? Are you saying that it’s ok for us to go and just snuff out someone’s life?

Nixon: I’m saying that when the President does it…(Nixon cocks his .45)… it’s NOT a question.

Narrator: Worthy adversaries…now a two man army dedicated to truth, justice, and a good old fashioned American asskicking.

Nixon: Who’s our first target?

Frost: Jack Brennan.

(Cut to Henry Kissinger’s lair. It’s a very Bond Villain looking affair, complete with shark tank and gold vat. Dangled over the Gold Vat is Bob Zelnick, and dangled over the shark tank is James Reston, Jr. Kissinger is sitting in the corner, trying to teach Checkers to fetch.)

Kissinger: Now then gentlemen, you understand why you’re here, right?

Zelnick: Yes, yes we do…you wanted us over for a luau.

Reston: Bob, don’t give that scumbag anything to work with. (he looks at Kissinger with seething hatred) You’ll never get away with this, just NEVER! People will come looking for us! We have familes, jobs, lives that are irreplaceable.

(Kissinger walks up the stairs to the observation platform right next to the shark tank. He slaps Reston in the face, and starts to shake with visible anger.)

Kissinger: You’re lives are shit to me! SHIT! You will NEVER walk out of this room alive, BOTH OF YOU! I am going to show Nixon how his shortsighted…

(Kissinger uses air quotes)

Kissinger: …“honor” got us into this mess. If he had just burned the goddamn tapes, we would have gotten off scott free and I wouldn’t be reduced to plan B.

Zelnick: What’s plan B?

Kissinger: I’m going to steal the world’s gold reserves and melt them down, so I can encase all of my enemies in it. They will stand as shrines to why you don’t fuck with Henry Adolf Kissinger!

Reston: No…no, you CAN’T BE!

(Cut to: Kissinger’s back)

Kissinger: Oh yes, I am…

(Kissinger turns dramatically, and we see a familiar mustache on his face. An all too familiar and terrifying mustache.)

Kissinger: …ZE LOST SON OF ADOLF HITLER!

(Kissinger maniacally laughs.)

Narrator: In this world, terror knows no bounds…but lucky for us…

(Cut to Nixon busting down doors, and Frost following him into the house.)

Narrator: …they’ll rise to the occasion!

(Cut To: Jack Brennan, sitting on his couch, watching television. He turns his head and faces the noise.)

Nixon (V.O.): BRENNAN! WHERE ARE YOU, YOU LITTLE SHIT?!

Brennan: (whispered) FUCK! NIXON!

(Jack runs to the bathroom to hide. He has his back turned to the shower, when the door opens up and David Frost appears.)


Frost: Hello, good evening and…

(Frost shoots his knees out.)

Frost: …kneel, asshole!

(Frost steps out of the shower, grabs the henchman by the lapels, and starts to interrogate him.)

Frost: Now you’ve only got five minutes until the blood lost from your knees kills you. Where’s Kissinger?!

Brennan: (panicked) I..I don’t know what you’re talking about.

(Frost pistol whips Brennan.)

Frost: Wrong answer, cocksucker! WHERE’S KISSINGER?!

(Brennan cries.)

Brennan: He’s in an underground lair…

(Frost pistol whips him again.)

Frost: WHERE?!

Brennan: Under…La Casa Pacifica…

Frost: There’s a good lad.

(Frost headshots Brennan. Cut to: Frost rejoining Nixon in the living room.)

Nixon: Well? Where are we going?

Frost: To Kissinger’s underground lair…they’ve set up shop right underneath your house.

Nixon: Those cocksuckers! Get me my Gatt!

(Cut to: The Underground Lair entrance, where we can still hear Kissinger laughing maniacally. We also see a line of beautiful femme fatales clad in bikinis covered with swastikas and guarding the main doors. An elevator door opens, and we see Frost step out to greet the ladies.)

Narrator: One’s a man of persuasion…

Frost: (ever so coyly) Hello, g’d evening, and welcome…I’m David Frost, and I’m your lover for this evening.

(Frost tears off his suit to reveal a Speedo underneath. The ladies swoon and run towards him.)

Narrator: …and one’s a man of action!

(Nixon drops out of an air vent on a wire, a la Mission: Impossible, to hover in front of the elevator doors. He’s carrying his Gattling Gun, along with several strings of ammo.)

Nixon: DUCK, DAVID!

(Frost hits the floor, and we see Nixon mow down the guards with his chain gun. We even get a slow-mo shot of Nixon yelling in primal, Rambo-esque manhood as he sprays the room with lead. Two seconds later, all of the guards are dead except for one. Nixon stands over her, she looks at him with pleading eyes.)

Nazi Bikini Guard #12: Please, Herr President…let me at least change into some respectable clothes before you kill me.

(Cut to: Nazi Bikini Guard’s POV)

Nixon: Sorry sweetheart…I don’t do cover ups.

(Nixon aims for her head, and unloads his clip.)

Narrator: Both are bastards tough as nails in… Frost/Nixon II. Two means two times the suspence…

(Cut to Frost and Nixon hiding in a corridor)

Frost: He’s got my friends in there, Dick!

Nixon: And he’s got my Checkers in there, David! But I’m not going to blow the mission over my emotions, goddamnit!

(We cut back and forth between both of their pained expressions. Dueling faces, if you will.)

Narrator: …two means two times the danger…

(Cut to: Nixon and Kissinger fistfighting on a catwalk above the gold vat/shark tank. Frost is looking for the off switch that’ll stop his friends from being lowered into their respective tanks.)

Nixon: Why’d you do it, Henry?! WHY?!

(Nixon lands a punch. Kissinger headbutts him shortly after.)

Kissinger: Because you Americans don’t know what to DO with power. You don’t even deserve it! You triumph the weak, you lord yourself over the stupid, hell…you even worship an eagle, for godsake.

Nixon: That eagle is everything this country stands for, and you’d better salute it you Nazi kraut!

Narrator: …two means two times the justice!

(Nixon gutpunches Kissinger and gets him into a headlock. Kissinger struggles, but Nixon wins as he snaps his neck and tosses him into the shark tank. As the body hits the water, we freeze frame the image. Kissinger’s face is frozen in a permanent grimace.)

Narrator: Frost/Nixon II: Dick Harder! Coming soon to a theater near you!

(Nixon kicks down a door, shotgun in hand, and speaks directly to the camera.)

Nixon: YOU DON’T FUCK AROUND WITH THE DICK! THE DICK FUCKS AROUND WITH YOU!

(Nixon fires a shot at the camera. We cut to credits, and fade to black.)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Goodbye, Conan (for now)


As everyone knows, tonight is the final night of Late Night with Conan O'Brien. After a successful 16 year run, Conan is vacating New York and heading to California to host The Tonight Show as promised. As usual, this prompted me to reflect and get sentimental as I am wont to do, so here's a letter to Conan for all of the laughs he's provided in 16 years.

Dear Conan O’Brien,

I still remember when I first started watching your show. I was a seventh grader in middle school, and I stumbled upon your reruns on CNBC. Being a fan of late night television ever since I was a small boy, I started recording your show and watching it semi religiously. Thinking back to those first few episodes, I remember some of the funniest and most endearing characters from the Late Night family. Carl “Oldy” Olson and his creepiness, Pimpbot 5000 and his holy pimped-ness, and of course my personal favorites, the NBC Peacock and its endless shilling for Asteroid. I also remember the comedic antics of you, Andy Richter, and Max Weinberg. (Never before had I seen a band leader get so into the comedy of a show.)

Sadly Andy would move on to have his career sodomized by the Fox and NBC networks and their lack of vision, and Max would pop out every now and then to go on tour with Bruce once again, but the show was always great. What I loved most about “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”, was the off kilter humor Leno wouldn’t do. I would always defend my preference for your show over Leno by making the case that Leno was the safer, middle road of comedy; whereas you were the crazy-assed zig zag of comedy. Your jokes obscure, your references even more obscure, and your celebrity secrets ever revealing, you’ve always reigned in my late night pantheon.

Now you’re moving from New York and letting that no talent asshat Jimmy Fallon fill your headspace, and it saddens me. Sure I’m glad The Tonight Show will now have you as its host, but I’ll miss knowing that somewhere in New York you were making people laugh. I sadly never got to be a part of the studio audience for one of your shows, but always wanted to be. However, at least for now, my opportunity has passed and I mourn what could have been.

I shall end this message with a profound thank you. Thank you for the Masturbating Bear, thank you for James Lipton and Labamba in the steam room, thank you for the Stewart/Colbert/O’Brien smackdown. Most importantly, thanks for the ultimate Church hymn of our times, "I'ma Gonna Go To Hell (When I Die)". Thanks for everything.

Have a safe trip to California, may you and your family be well, and don’t forget to thaw out the Masturbating Bear,

Mike Reyes, aka Mr. Controversy

P.S. Can I have “Late Night” if/when Jimmy Fallon screws the pooch? I think I’d be suited for the job quite well.

Truth in Advertising

Double whammy of fitting retribution here.

A.) Perez Hilton is pictured here as a "clown" from Britney Spears new video for "Circus".
B.) He has the most fitting chest lettering since The Scarlet Letter.


Chris Crocker must be PISSED this ass clown got a part in Britney's new video and he didn't. Who wants to see them cage match to the death?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Shopaholic FAIL

A chick flick with only a $17.3 million opening weekend on the Valentine's Day Weekend, getting beat out by a once dying horror franchise, and another girly film is quite the fail. But what stings the most is perhaps the fact that in the midst of a FUCKING RECESSION they would decide to release a movie like this. It tastes like it, smells like it, and looks like it, so I guess it must be a steaming pile of...

You have fun with that Jerry Bruckheimer. As for you, Ms. Fisher, you're on notice. Congratulations to Friday the 13th for being the #1 film on Valentine's Day weekend. See Warner Brothers, Horror movies still make money...so give us Trick 'R Treat already damnit!

Friday, February 13, 2009

One Last Fail...

No, I'm not going to give this up, particularly since AMC is the only theater chain I can go to, and if they're going to fuck around with the public in the middle of an economic crisis, then they're going to feel it. AMC Theaters have once more removed the disclaimer that Movie Watchers can only get their tickets for $25 on their official Showcase page. Instead, they now have it on their Fandango page, in small print nonetheless.


The picture isn't to scale, but even at full size, the text is rather small and plain, so I put a nice red box around it...just like AMC should have done. You think they could have at least put the text in Red or something to catch your eye. Even better, they could have put the warning on the page where you're about to buy the ticket. It still doesn't explain the failure to make MovieWatcher discounts available to the public via an online venue. Ticketmaster is already being a bitch, don't make the public light its torches against YOU Fandango!

As for the "reimbursement" I received from the company, it was a letter and four coupons for "Free Small Drinks, or an upgrade to a larger size". I don't know how much a Small Drink costs, but each of those damn coupons better net me $2.50, otherwise I'm going to complain to you again Nick Labruzzo, Coordinator of Operations Excellence at AMC Theatres.

That having been said, I look forward to the Best Picture Showcase, and I look forward to recounting what me and my panel of experts have to say about the five films presented.

The Suleman Embezzlement, or "A Letter to Nadya Suleman"


Update: I was going to mail this out, but it'd be childish to actually do so. Not to mention, I'm sure plenty of other people have interesting things to say. I'll just be content with publishing my thoughts in my own little corner here. However, to "karmically" balance this out, I'd like to point you all to the new Nadya Suleman website (
http://www.thenadyasulemanfamily.com/), which is now graciously accepting your money. The language may be harsh, and quite rude, but how can you say she didn't have it coming?

Dear Nadya Suleman,

Lately your story has been blowing up the news, and stories have been breaking left and right on just how screwed up you truly are. I’m sorry you had a horrific childhood, but by no means does that translate into a need for plastic surgery and collagen injections. Oh wait…that’s not the worst of it, because you had those treatments done AFTER HAVING EIGHT CHILDREN IN ADDITION TO THE SIX YOU ALREADY HAVE! Do you fail to realize that money you had in your “personal savings” could have been put towards taking care of your children, instead of having eight fucking more and getting all prettified for your Today Show interview. You are NOT, I repeat NOT Angelina Jolie, and you should not be deified as such. You’re just a skank who decided she’d get knocked up twice over and pop some babies out for media attention.

You are also a fucking hypocrite. Seriously, you go on national television with your Angelina Fauxlie look, you say that money’s “just paper” and that you’re not on welfare, only to turn around and show that you are indeed on public assistance programs and $50,000 in debt. Apparently, you realized that money isn’t merely printed matter, seeing as you’re soliciting everyone’s hard earned ones and zeroes online through your website, “The Nadya Suleman Family”. Nice name, by the way. It really turns your litter of pups into the “brand name” you really want it to be, like “The Duggars” or “Jon and Kate”. “The Nadya Suleman Family” sounds like a second rate rip off of The Partridge Family!

In case you haven’t gotten this through that obviously thick vagina of yours, we’re in the midst of a recession. The Market’s in the shitter, people are losing their homes and watching how they spend money nowadays, we could all use a bailout. However, not all of us are risking the lives of human beings to get there, much less human beings we brought into this world so we felt like we were a good person. I fear for the lives of your fourteen children, and I fear that they’ll be just as fucked up as you. What’s more, the American Tax Payer SHOULD NOT have to pay for your deluded little fantasy of parental stardom. Nor should we have to pay for the Duggars, or the Jon and Kates, or any other family that decides to overburden the planet with their DNA.

If they were naturally occurring octuplets (which, by the way, the odds are VERY slim), I could see that. Hey, you blast your load, you role the dice, and pray that all the little ones are healthy and happy so you may foster them into a hopefully better world than the one you are currently given. But this?! Intentionally having children you can’t pay for, and asking for donations and items from corporate sponsors or the Government and its citizens? When did SPAWNING become a fucking sport? Are you going to have the Luvs symbol tattooed on the small of your back? Are you going to slap a Pampers sticker on your stomach to cover the unsightly stretch marks? Or are you finally going to become a spokesperson for Trojan and just STOP HAVING BABIES?!

Ma’am, I don’t count myself as a hateful person, but you’ve seriously raised my ire. I shouldn’t have to give you ANY of my money I slaved away to earn. None of us should. You want to truly raise these kids and be the “good mommy” you’ve convinced yourself into thinking you are? Get a fucking job like the rest of us, and stop being a greedy cunt.

Sincerely,

Michael Reyes

And now, for all you Doctor Who fans...some Lolz courtesy of The Master...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Cannonball Read: Entry 9 - "Run for Your Life" by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

Almost 1/10th of the way finished with my Cannonball quest, and the next one’s a fairly big book, so I don’t know when I’ll have that in store for you all. Nevertheless, another review is upon us and I hope you have as much fun reading them as I do writing them. Once again, I’d like to thank the good people at Hachette Book Group for providing me with a review copy of the book you’re about to read about.

As usual, if anyone has suggestions, requests, or dedications, feel free to post them on the Comments Board. Don't forget February 14th kicks off the two week “Miss Lonelyhearts Stomps a Child 5K”. Rules and details are at the following link: (http://gospelaccordingtoprisco.wordpress.com/2009/01/30/5k-miss-lonelyhearts-stomps-a-child/)
As always, for the uninitiated, here's where to go for all the background you need on this epic quest, http://www.pajiba.com/cannonball-read.htm . Once more, special thanks to Brian Prisco for allowing me, and all the others, to participate in this clusterfuck of literary wonderment. What? You want to sign up? Start here: http://gospelaccordingtoprisco.wordpress.com/choose-your-weapon-the-combatants/

James Patterson is one of the authors I actively collecting the works of, joining the ranks of Rowling, Crichton, and Fleming in my book. He's also a machine, with a track record of publishing seven books per year (some with co-authors) in the past two years ALONE . The man knows how to constantly churn out work, and not only does he write the Alex Cross series but he also writes the Maximum Ride series, the Women’s Murder Club series, and now the Detective Michael Bennett series, as well as many stand alone pieces. Now some of you might be thinking, "That doesn't necessarily make him a good author. Hacks write that quickly too." The difference between James Patterson and a hack is that while a hack can churn anything out and the quality will differ from time to time; James Patterson’s books all feel the same in a good way. They intrigue and grab the reader the same way no matter the book, no matter the series. The best example would be the Law and Order franchise: for the most part it’s the same formula with minor variations and different characters, but it’s in the characters that we see the most differences and not the plots. It must sound like I’m complaining, but really I’m not. I’m actually praising James Patterson for being able to somehow, undoubtedly with the help of some good co-authors, consistently provide quality thrills.

Like any other Patterson book, the story and the characters are allowed to properly develop simultaneously. The story is in the moment, with some internal flashbacks to fill us in on the details, and this helps a lot. In Run for Your Life, the story’s all about The Teacher: a killer whose motivations are unbeknownst to us except for one simple detail: he’s going to teach the world a lesson, and that lesson is going to be written in blood. With a hit list, some lethal hardware, and military training under his belt, he will go on to execute a rampage against the upper class. Naturally, the only man that can stop him is NYPD Detective Michael Bennett, recently widowed and recently the target of media speculation over a hostage situation gone FUBAR. The book jumps between The Teacher’s third person antics, and Bennett’s first person accounts of events as they unfold; and while we see a massive contrast between these two men and their motivations, we see a pretty massive overlap in their overall missions. Both men want justice, no matter what it takes, and no matter who gets in their way. The only difference is The Teacher believes killing is his justice, while Bennett (as all good heroes do) believes in the system. It is through Bennett’s ideal of justice through the system that Patterson and Ledwidge also convey undying respect for law enforcement officials.

I’ve been a Patterson fan for a couple years now (the first book I ever read of his was Roses are Red) and this is the first collaboration I’ve ever read of his. Sadly, I have not read Step on a Crack so I don’t know how Run for Your Life stacks up to its predecessor. What I can say though is that it’s hard to tell where Patterson ends and Ledwidge begins, though for my money’s worth I assume Patterson mostly developed the Teacher’s storyline while Ledwidge steered the Bennett storyline. Make no mistake; Patterson is the master of cat and mouse. He sets his characters on their respective tracks and finding all sorts of interesting ways of having them miss each other, only to cross paths again a couple times before finally throwing down. This type of overlap is interesting to read, especially in a relatively claustrophobic story such as this. (The story takes place, for the most part, in New York City.) The only complaint I have with Patterson’s work is he sometimes tries too hard to throw in contemporary references in his books. If they fit organically, it works, but reading a cop telling another cop to relax and go “krunk” with some hot ladies at a party they’re guarding takes me out of the moment. Patterson has no problem regaining his hold after these moments, but those moments are still there.

Perhaps the second best compliment I could pay the authors on their work is that like Patterson’s solo efforts the book is broken up into smaller, faster chapters. This makes it easier, and more addicting, enabling the reader to complete the book at a faster pace. It’s 373 pages, but it’s a brisk 373 pages. Patterson has always been an economical storyteller: he tells you who the players are, what you need to know about them, and lets them loose in his playground. He’s also a really good series author, in that he gives his characters so many nuances over time as opposed to trying to fit all of their personality and conflicts into one book. An engagingly fast read, with thrills and action that you’d expect from a really good TV show, Run for Your Life continues James Patterson’s tradition of literary marksmanship. Someone should hire him as a writer on a season of 24, or maybe one of the 24 Declassified books they put out, because I could only imagine what Patterson could do with a Jack Bauer storyline.

Next Time: Endgame 1945 by David Stafford

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Remembering a Genius, or “A Wondrously Geeky Occurrence”

(The following is another personal story and a tribute to a genius I hold in high regard. Sorry if I’ve disappointed anyone, but apparently when I have enough caffeine coursing through my veins, my mind can form proper discourse as opposed to mere strings of profanity. If this type of stuff bores you, I bid you good-day, and I give you this to take with you: “fuck nuggets”. There, you got me to swear.)

Jerry Goldsmith, film music genius, passed away in the summer of 2004 after a long battle with colon cancer. His musical genius was legendary, especially with film buffs everywhere, only surpassed in most opinions by John Williams as a memorable composer. Starting his career with mostly television scores in the 50’s, Goldsmith would move onto films in the 60’s and solidify himself as a true presence in the 1970’s with scores for films such as The Omen, Patton, and Star Trek: The Motion Picture. He would have been 80 years old today, and as a tribute to his everlasting contribution to the sonic landscape of Hollywood’s history I would like to share with you a memory of the time I almost saw the maestro himself in concert.

Back in 2004, while on my semester abroad, I was touring areas of the city with my classmates. One of the landmarks we came across was The Barbican, a prominent theater in the city. We would be seeing several theatrical shows in this theater as part of our curriculum, due to the fact that one of the few classes everyone had together was British Political Theater. I’m not sure how I found out about it, but somehow I was made aware that Jerry Goldsmith’s 75th birthday concert was coming up on the 17th of February, only a week past the actual birthday’s occurrence. I bought my ticket about a month in advance, excited that I would be able to hear the London Symphony Orchestra playing some of the film music that I grew up knowing and loving. When you’re a film geek, ANY chance to see the LSO is NOT something you take lightly. These are the same people that did all six Star Wars movies, and many other film scores for many other prolific composers. This promised to be the ultimate geekgasm.

When the night of February 17th came, I was excited beyond belief. I prepared myself as if I were going on a date. I showered, dressed nicely, and left with my heart beating a little faster than usual. After taking the tube to the Barbican’s own station, I walked to the theater and marveled at how much more alive the city felt at night, as opposed to “business hours”. (London is a city best enjoyed at night, just ask Jack The Ripper. Ok, bad example.) Upon entering the theater and taking my seat, I realized two things:

1.) I was actually sitting pretty close to the stage (only a couple rows away) and I had only paid ₤10 for the ticket on a special rate.
2.) The special rate ticket I bought was only ₤10 for a reason…it was an awkwardly placed seat. Still, I was paying to hear the music, and I would eventually learn the view of the orchestra wasn’t that bad after all.

After sitting expectantly for what was probably 15 minutes, the orchestra began to take the stage. Everyone erupted in applause, and already the evening had provided its first surprise. Dirk Brosse, another conductor who had experience with the LSO, came on stage and regretfully informed us that due to the condition of his health after a recent chemotherapy treatment, Jerry Goldsmith would not be attending the evening’s festivities. Instead, Maestro Brosse would be our conductor for the evening. Now this was a rare occasion, because as Maestro Brosse would explain to the audience, Maestro Goldsmith was very guarding of his work. So two treats would be in store for the audience: a symbolic passing of the baton from the older generation to the younger, and the already implied treat of hearing some of Goldsmith’s greatest hits. Introductions aside, the show began.

This next part is for all the geeks out there: Imagine the theme to Star Trek: The Motion Picture (which was also reused in part for the Star Trek: The Next Generation theme song). Imagine how you felt everytime you heard that song. Now imagine that feeling multiplied by at least fifty. That’s what it felt like when we heard the opening notes of the ST:TMP theme, courtesy of Maestro Brosse and the LSO. Throughout the night the LSO worked their way through the Goldsmith catalog, and we got to hear music from (but not limited to) Gremlins, Air Force One, Small Soliders, and even a piece from the then recent theatrical release Looney Tunes: Back In Action. After what could be described as a wondrously geeky occurrence (complete with a couple encores), Maestro Brosse and the LSO all took their bows. Then, out of the blue, the Maestro held the score book proudly in the air for all to see. The applause was amazing, for in the end that was what we all came to see, what we came to celebrate: the music of the amazing Jerry Goldsmith.

The summer of 2004 was not kind to me, mostly because of losing my maternal grandmother only two days after returning home from my semester in London. That same summer would provide me with more sad news on July 21st. I was ramping up to go to Europe again with my grandfather (we were bringing some of my grandmother’s ashes to be placed at her own mother’s grave in her homeland of Germany) when I read the news…Jerry Goldsmith had passed away after his valiant fight with colon cancer. My heart sunk even further, because I had to mourn the loss of a Hollywood great. It was nowhere near as devastating as losing my grandmother, but it was still a sad occasion, especially when recalling how that evening ended. Before I left the theater, I asked if I could stand on the stage and get a picture taken of myself standing where the conductor had just moments ago. I was granted my request, and I tried to fake being a conductor the best I could.

As I look back on that moment, the opportunity was even more rewarding than I could ever remember, because I got to stand where Jerry Goldsmith stood proudly on several occasions, making the music that he was known best for come alive. I never knew the man personally, nor did I ever get to meet him, but in that small moment it was as if I had shook hands with him. It was a phenomenon that I would encounter again in Germany a few short months later, as I made my way through the places my grandmother called home. Which, of course, is another story.

It seems at this moment I cannot find that picture. However, I will find it and add it to this story at a later date. I just wanted to make sure this went up today.

Monday, February 9, 2009

GAAAH!

Dear GOD there’s nothing to talk about at length today! Bad news, yes, but nothing to actually form a prolonged rant about. So, here’s some short bits for you all. I apologize for the lack of extended vitriol, it’s just all shite.

- He’s Just Not That Into You was number 1 at the box office = No Fucking Surprise. Honestly, who didn’t see that coming? It’s the time of year where self indulgent tripe that castigates men and belittles women is released and gobbled up by those who it belittles, while the men are suckered into watching.

- The Suleman Octuplets…couldn’t give a flying fuck. How many times does the media have to run the video of Ms. Suleman’s mother talking about how baby crazy she is, before they see that offering her media notoriety is a BAD idea. I feel sorry for those kids, because to their mother they seem nothing more than a meal ticket/extended exercise in self fulfillment.

- Dancing With The Stars announced their lineup today, and not surprisingly I don’t care about that either. Wow…you’re teaching people who wouldn’t normally know how to dance…how to fucking dance! If I wanted to watch this type of thing, I’d hang out around the local dance studio and, maybe, take lessons myself. I know some of you will say, “Oh but it’s celebrities dancing!” Well, just because it’s celebrities doesn’t make it better. By that logic, the following shows should be interesting:

o Celebrity Executions
o Celebrity Genocide
o Celebrity Bird Calling
o Celebrity To Catch A Predator

Actually, that last one could work. Get me NBC on the phone!

- The Grammys were on last night. Once again, shit reigned supreme with the performances and some decent awards were given out. I didn’t even need to watch it to know that. Though, I would pay for a YTMND meme of Chris Brown and Rhianna’s heads on the two Pikachus from that one scene in Pokemon: The First Movie. You know, the one where the real one slaps the fake one around. Bonus points if you use the song from the Doublemint gum commercial Chris Brown made. (Yes, I am a sick bastard; but No, I don’t condone domestic violence. They’re celebrities, everything’s supposed to be better with them, remember?!)

- Christian Bale apologized for his blow up on the set of Terminator: Salvation. Stop giving him shit about it. I’d rather hire an actor who cares about his goddamn performance than his paycheck, so if he’s going to chew out the DP, then let him. Besides, I subscribe to the popular belief that if McG knew how to handle a fucking set, he’d have reigned in both the DP and Bale’s behaviors. This is Lucy Liu vs. Bill Murray all over again, and guess who didn’t show up for Charlies’ Angles: Full (Retard) Throttle.

- I’m still not watching The Oscars.

- Ticketmaster still sucks, particularly with their little Tickets Now scam. People SHOULD be afraid of their proposed merger/monopoly with Live Nation, because that could be the end of mainstream live music as we know it. (Smaller venues/acts will live on, so long as they stay away from that Ticketmaster shit.)

- Dollhouse will probably last only five weeks, with three unaired episodes, and no renewal for a second season on Fox. Joss Whedon will continue not to get the hint, and develop more intriguing concepts for the network that (with the exception of 24 and House) has cornered the market mediocrity.

- You know what industry hasn’t pissed me off lately? The publishing industry, and this is not because of the reasons you might think. I’ve just found myself reading more and more lately. PRISCO, GODDAMNIT LOOK WHAT YOU’VE TURNED ME INTO!

- MSN’s entertainment writers SUCK! It’s becoming nothing more than EW left overs from the turn of the Millenium…which is about the same time I stopped reading EW regularly. Coincidence? Definitely not. Doubt me? Read their Grammy’s Recap. Here’s a sample: Conspicuous absence: Jennifer Aniston, not sitting next to honey John Mayer, who won for Male Pop performance. (Or is he just not that into her?) Kati Johnston, you best be fired. (And M.I.A.'s outfit is fugly beyond all get out. Are you blind?)

- Speaking of MSN, WonderWall is a piece of shit! It looks like TMZ and Perez Hilton had a baby that combined their father’s nosiness and their mother’s ability to be annoying to the point of self abuse.

- Tucker Max still doesn’t deserve a movie. Then again, it IS being produced by 20th Century Fox, and we know how committed to excellence they are.

- I could watch House reruns like my girlfriend watches CSI reruns and my father watches NCIS reruns. It’s my “cozy” show, meaning when there’s nothing on and I’m in the mood to turn off and just relax, I put on the reruns. (I don’t watch 24 reruns to relax, I watch them to get keyed up and take some shit down. Speaking of which…)

- Now that 24 is back, I don’t have to fear Mondays anymore. In fact, the only thing the Fox network is doing right (besides giving shows like Terminator, Dollhouse and Lie To Me a shot) is having House/24 Mondays. It is now the most holy day of the week.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Cannonball Read: Entry 8 - "Things I’ve Learned from Women Who’ve Dumped Me" edited by Ben Karlin, with Various Contributors

Book 8 and ain’t it great! I would also like to add that this is the first of several review copies I’ve been sent by Hachette Book Group. I would like to thank the fine people there, particularly my contact who will remain nameless until I gain

As usual, if anyone has suggestions, requests, or dedications, feel free to post them on the Comments Board. Also, for the uninitiated, here's where to go for all the background you need on this epic quest,
http://www.pajiba.com/cannonball-read.htm . Once more, special thanks to Brian Prisco for allowing me, and all the others, to participate in this clusterfuck of literary wonderment. I’ll also throw out there that February 14th marks the start of the “Miss Lonelyhearts Stomps a Child 5K”. Rules and details are at the following link: (http://gospelaccordingtoprisco.wordpress.com/2009/01/30/5k-miss-lonelyhearts-stomps-a-child/)

To sign up, evaluate tallies, and generally glimpse the madness that is The Cannonball Read, start here:
http://gospelaccordingtoprisco.wordpress.com/choose-your-weapon-the-combatants/ Who knows? You might just get your review published on Pajiba!

“There were no winners, and there was nobody who could seize the moral high ground. And then one day, maybe even one day in May, it stopped. We woke up in the morning, went to a bar or a party or onto the Internet, and somebody there liked us, and married us, and there was a new dawn of peace, prosperity, and babies.”
- Nick Hornby

Admit it, this does not sound like a typical book aimed at a male audience. If anything, on first glance it sounds like exactly the same type of book women take to the beach with them and gossip about endlessly, only to see it made into a movie that they’ll drag their significant others to. (I’m looking in your direction, "He’s Just Not That Into You".) Well, you’d be wrong. Totally, unequivocally wrong. This is the men’s answer to those types of books. At times hysterical, at times heartbreaking, and at times heartwarming; Things I’ve Learned from Women Who’ve Dumped Me is as educational as it is human. It’s also really, really funny.

After a brief foreword from Ben’s mom extolling his being “ a real catch”, author Nick Hornby opens the book with an introduction relating the dating habits of men to a World War II soldier’s mentality. We’re crazy, we’re cocksure, and sometimes we’re just plain stupid; but we’re not easily put down and we always comeback for more. Our emails go from crazy instabilities in our relationships to playdates and “date nights”. All of a sudden, everything changes, and while some would look at it as boring, when you look back on all those instabilities in proper detail you realize you’re perfectly fine where you are. You’re still crazy though, just in a more refined and domesticated way.

The mix of the stories in this book is very well proportioned; for every seriously heartrending story about how things didn’t turn out the way you wanted (“She Wasn’t The One”) you’ve got a tender story about learning to accept who you really are and what you really want from a mate (Dan Savage’s “I Am A Gay Man” is one of the standouts of this whole book.). We get postmortems of all different types of relationships from various notable figures. Stephen Colbert’s wife isn’t sure the public should be reading the truth about Mr. Colbert’s love life, so his entry is heavily redacted. Patton Oswalt helps us remember that while your wife might nag and get moody, she’s nothing compared to that stripper you dated way back when. Secret admirers, flaky girls who forgot that you had a dinner date at 8, unrequited loves, and a very interesting incident involving a cat, are all included in this anthology.

I’ve been surprised by the number of my friends who have said, “Oh, I saw that book at the store. I meant to pick it up, but I didn’t.” Do it. Don’t even think (and I’m not just shilling here, if I knew of this book’s existence I would have bought it). This is probably one of the quickest reads you’ll have this year, and that’s only because books like this tend to breeze by. Anthologies, especially fun ones like this, are always easy to read because you can read it in blocks or in several big sitdowns. Plus, the stories are not terribly long, so you’ll find yourself muttering to yourself, “Eh, why not one more”? I think the biggest compliment I can pay this book is something I’ve heard my girlfriend say about some books she’s really liked…it spoke to me. I found a personal message in this book, something I could take away with me. I found myself relating to so many of the stories in this book, and it was refreshing to know that while there’s many different people out there in the world, there’s just certain things that hurt us all the same. We all have some of the same awkward scenarios in our repertoire, and we tell their stories to those we know and love. It’s these stories that remind us how wonderful it is when you’ve truly found someone you love and can settle down with.

Both helpful to men who’ve been dumped and are still bouncing back onto the dating scene, or to the husband of ten years that’s just starting to entertain the question “Why did I get married?”, this is a funny, human book. One last thing, this book really made me think about my own past relationships, as I’ve been know to do. If you don't mind, I'd leave you with an unofficial 47th lesson (there’s 46 lessons and “Notes Towards a Unified Theory of Dumping”) from my own interesting past.

(For those of you who do mind and are looking for what the next book will be, it’s Run For Your Life by James Patterson with Michael Ledwidge.)

(Unofficial) Lesson 47: Take Five, or “Some Bridges Burn Themselves, Some Burn Other Bridges For You”

Back in my carefree days of high school’s freshman year, I dated a younger girl. My best friend’s younger sister had a really cute friend, Krista, and somehow we fell into dating one another. We only ever went on one date, which interestingly enough was going to see the remake of “Psycho”. Being the suave, debonair man of mystery that I was, I naturally failed to even put my arm around her without feeling a little awkward. (That “suave, debonair…” bit has a tiny disclaimer next to it that should read “in my mind”.)

She was pretty damn cool though, buying me a copy of Jerry Springer’s autobiography on a whim (which is a pretty good read, if you ever get the chance), and for my birthday I returned home from my after school Newspaper meeting to see a card wedged in the front door. It contained a card with an actual kiss imprint on the inside, and a “boyfriend” keychain. (I actually have that keychain taped to the inside of the Springer book.) Sadly, we didn’t last too long. Age was probably the determining factor, or maybe my “suave and mysterious” nature. (That disclaimer still applies.) Whatever the case, she had dumped me for a man her age, and I was left pining.

That happens to be where the real story begins, which is months after we broke up. She tried to set me up, again through my best friend’s sister, with a friend of hers. Katherine seemed nice enough: slightly geeky with two equally geeky brothers, kinda pretty, and most importantly to me at the time – she was interested in me. All that other stuff was nice, but the fact that she liked me and considered even being in the same room with me was quite flattering at the time. What was more flattering at the time was the fact that I found myself in a more physically emboldened relationship with her, despite the fact that her brothers would always have to accompany us to the movies. (They’d accommodate us by sitting several rows away from us.) It was because of her that I went to see “Dude Where’s My Car” in its whirlwind theatrical release, and it’s because of her that I learned it wasn’t they type of movie you had to watch closely. I’d never made out in a movie theater before that day, and for a teenager it’s like a glimpse of heaven. (Or, if you’re lucky, a hint of cleavage.)

What should have been the end all, know all signal towards the decline of our relationship came that Christmas when we exchanged gifts. I was working at K-Mart at the time, and to be a nice, upstanding gent I bought her this really nice necklace I saw at work. Three rings, with tiny diamonds in them, it was beautiful. I went through all that thought and a fair amount of money (it was on sale, so I snatched it up quickly), and what did you think I was rewarded with on Christmas? That’s right…candy canes. Two giant candy canes, and nothing else. Now, I don’t consider myself that greedy of a person, but I would assume that when you’re getting someone you’ve been going out with something for Christmas, you’d put more thought into it than “I knew you like candy canes, so here you go”! If she presented them in a romantic way, maybe did a little fan dance or something dirty with them, I would have been more appreciative. But all I got was a shopping bag with two thick candy canes. It’s almost as if she was trying to tell me, “Go fuck yourself”.

Shortly after a successful (read: lame) date out to her Youth Group’s karaoke get together, I had received a message from Krista. (If I’m not mistaken, it was through my best friend’s sister again. She really does deserve a medal for all of this.) She told me that Katherine was going to dump me in the very near future. I was gobsmacked, seeing as there was nothing that would betray her intention to drop me. Well, except for the candy cane bit, but I didn’t really see it as such. Whatever the case, I was put into that age old scenario: If you knew something big was going to happen, how would you handle it? Me…I did absolutely nothing. I wasn’t going t act on something I wasn’t sure was true or not. However, I did start preparing myself for the inevitability of the situation, and I think it was this that saved me in the end.

It was extremely fitting that our final date was to see the film “Vertical Limit”, seeing as that’s exactly where our relationship was at the time. We got to the theater, sat down, and I was listening to the in house radio station which happened to be playing a song that perfectly suited my mood. It was “Take Five” by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, (The shortened five minute version mind you, not the full song or the anniversary reunion live version.) which was only on the Loews Radio Network because it was in promotion of Ken Burns’ jazz documentary that was on PBS at the time. It was calm, it was smooth, it was comforting. I knew I was in control of the situation, because I knew she was going to kick me to the curb at any moment, and I didn’t have to be hurt. I got that out of the way a long time before.

We went through the make out motions, again not really having to pay attention to the movie seeing as it sucked, and before I knew it the date was over. Her father drove me back to my house, and right at my doorstep she said it. I don’t remember what “it” is, I just remembered it was the signal we were through. She walked away, towards her father’s car, and it was at that moment that I said what I had to say: “I knew.” At that point, I truly did feel suave and mysterious.

Now, this last part is open to interpretation and conjecture. Think of it as the “In Search Of…” portion of the story, seeing as I never received confirmation, but never had a reason to doubt this actually happened. Shortly after getting rid of me, Katherine started dating an older guy (who was of driving age) from her high school. Apparently, Krista got wind of what had transpired, and proceeded to bitch slap Katherine in public view. When I received this news from (you guessed it) my best friend’s sister, I was even more flattered than I could ever imagine. An ex-girlfriend bitch slapped another ex-girlfriend because I was wronged. How awesome was that?

Usually when a relationship ends, you burn a bridge. You burn that bridge that was your love and affection, and it smoulders. I’ve never been the one to strike the first match, and in the case of Katherine, I never struck a match. I just walked off the bridge calmly, and let that stupid bridge be what it was. If this story is to be believed, which I’d like to think it can be, Krista didn’t merely strike a match…she used a flamethrower to incinerate said bridge. Big time. I really should email her this and say, “Thanks for this, by the way. Whether you really did this or not, it means a lot to me that the story’s there to tell”. Ex’s can be a curse, but sometimes they can be a blessing. I would learn that lesson again later on in my life, but I’ve already told that story. However, ask me sometime about the theater girl I used to have a crush on. Now THAT is an interesting story…

Next Time: (as previously stated) Run for Your Life by James Patterson with Michael Ledwidge

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Song and Dance, Bar 5


The Doctors that delivered the Suleman Octuplets have gone on record with some medical advice, that I firmly believe in. This one goes out to all the CloverBreeders out there!

Keep 'Em Closed (to the tune of Be Our Guest)

Keep 'em closed,
keep 'em closed
Stay 'way from your husband's hose.
Just stop making all the babies, because ev'rybody knows.

That you'll try to reserve
Attention totally undeserved
Or a book about you fuckers!
Don't believe me? Ask the Duggars!

With each interview, you're scheming!
For the spotlight you've been dreaming!
But please give your uterus a well earned rest!
Give up and leave the scene
Angie Jolie is green
So Keep 'em closed!
Keep it closed!
Keep 'em closed!

Trojan Condoms,
or The Foam,
or just simply do not bone!
It's so easy, not so sleazy
To put end to all the kiddies.

Do you need
a softball team?
or do you really like to scream?
As your passing through a new batch,
lay this big thought right down to hatch.

You don't work! You just spawn!
Whilst the Today Show folks fawn,
and you make more dough than us with jobs will get!

Oh it's a pain in the ass,
to see you rolling in cash!
Keep 'em closed!
You should know, to just leave well enough alone!
Keep 'em closed
Keep 'em closed
Keep 'em closed!

And now ladies and gentlemen, to skip to the big finish!

We're so sick, we're so tired!
You're fifteen minutes, have expired!
Get your asses and your faces off TV!
Fuck Jon and Kate, Plus Eight,
Stay home and masturbate!
Keep 'em closed!
Shut 'em closed!
Sew it closed!
Lord, KEEP 'EM CLOSED!

Brood Wars (Apologies to Blizzard Entertainment)

I HATE when people shove their kids in my face. Yes, kids are cute and cuddly, but so's a koala. If someone were to throw a Koala in my face when I wasn't expecting/receptive to the idea, I'd be pissed at them too. It's not so much the children/koala I'd be angry with, it's the parent/zookeeper (same thing, in some cases) who's thrusting their charge into my personal space with the zeal and vigor that is not called for. "Oh, little Timmy said his first words today". That's cute...but am I really that invested in little Timmy's development. Come back to me when he's five, and you've got a whole bunch of status updates about your child's well-being. The last think I need is a walking Facebook status update constantly telling me that their kid took a shit. So what makes the media think i'm going to sit through an interview with someone whose sole purpose for being on TV is that they've produced a litter of children?

Recently the media has been seized with the sensation over Nadya Suleman and her Octuplets. We’ve seen the doctors who must have delivered the children with the same shit eating grins they display on TV when they announced the procedure. We’ve heard from Ms. Suleman’s mother about how she’s “obsessed” with childbirth (which seems pretty valid, considering the octuplets are children 6-14 in her family). Now we’re hearing about book deals, talk show appearances, and even parenting advice show gigs being offered to a woman who did what any other woman did…she popped one out. It’s time to put this trend out of its misery.

It’s not bad enough that there’s people out there who feel that if they have a kid it’ll take away ANY problem they could come across on God’s green earth, now we have people that do it and purposely try to have multiple kids in order to become the next Duggar family or the next Jon and Kate Plus 8. Better yet, how much do you want to bet that Ms. Gosselin’s little spat about the showerhead was less about her husband not using a coupon and more about someone trying to muscle their way into their family size (times two) spotlight? So now we have a new subcategory of celebrity, one that ranks right above Celebutard and right below Reality TV show whore: Brood Mares. People who think their DNA doesn’t stink, and want to flood the world with their chromosomes and sparkling eyes. Well, I’d like to think no one’s DNA is better than anyone else’s, because the last time that argument played out millions of people died in Europe. So why don’t you shut your legs, shut your mouth, and kindly go do something worthy of our attention if you really want us to read your book or watch your show.

Why in the world would I, or anyone else for that matter, want to read a book written by someone whose greatest achievement in life was to do the Genetic Mambo with their significant other after popping fertility treatments? Why do I care that YOU had eight kids, on top of five others? Why should the world care that you want to get pregnant every single year of your life? That’s right, I’m looking at you Duggars! That shit with the 18 babies with names beginning in J just doesn’t cut it. Someone should name the next one “Just Fucking Stop Already”, that begins with a J you know. It really doesn’t take much to be a celebrity in this world, does it? I’m amazed that these breeding factories get the big bucks, and I have to work for a living. Maybe I should talk my girlfriend into having tons of children, a number of children so great that the only way we can afford it is to become media whores. (By the way, this won’t ever happen. I’ve been told “after three, my uterus shuts down”.)

If you can’t afford the children, DON’T FUCKING HAVE THEM! We’ve already got greedy businesses asking for bailouts from the Government, now we’ll have families increasing their numbers and asking the News Media for their own personal bailout. Childbirth, while being a “miracle of life” and a self fulfilling experience, is not, nor should it ever be considered, entertainment. Unless you’re making a documentary about the process for education purposes, or making a fictional movie about the trials and tribulations of having Katherine Heigl push one out, then frankly I don’t want anything to do with you. As for these “Reality Moms”, I think they should all be subject to compulsory tubal ligations, because the world is already crowded enough, and if your kids are anything like you they’ll be even bigger fame whores than you are. And frankly, my future kids will probably kick their pansy “propped on a televised pedestal” asses.Which brings us to one last area of concern, the classic utterance of any concerned parent, “What about the Children”? Do you really think growing up in a human version of 101 Dalmatians is really going to help these kids through the self esteem and identity issues every kid has during their development? If anything, you’d think this would add onto the issues any kid faces. Not to mention, how are these kids supposed to have their own identities when their parents just keep reproducing? Think back to your own childhood, and think back to the experiences you had. The ups, the downs, the experiences that made you into the person you are. Now imagine those being shared with sixteen other people, and you’ll see my point. That point being that in a small family unit, much less a jumbo sized one, kids already have enough of a problem discovering who they are in their lives. Individuality cannot properly be reinforced when you’ve got so many other mouths to feed. It’s so much easier to treat them as a collective, or a hive if you will, and treat them all equally, all the same, and basically produce your own little cult of semi identical children. It’s also not the way a child should grow up.

A child needs autonomy, they need personal experiences with their parents besides being showed off to Matt Lauer and the other cackling chuckleheads on the morning news. (Except Good Morning America…I like them.) A child can’t possibly grow up stable in a family that consists of a high yield of children and that’s under constant media surveillance. We’ve seen what one childhood under the microscope of the news has been like (Macaulay Culkin), hell we’ve even seen normal sized families produce media ready train wrecks (The Spears and the Simpson Families). Just imagine those “successes” replicated by a factor of sixteen.

The Cannonball Read: Entry 7 - "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer (Bonus: Song and Dance, Note 4)

Warning: If you’re a Twilight fan, you probably won’t want to read this. I warned you.

You goddamn well know what it's time for, and you goddamn well know what's on the block today. Suggestions, requests, or dedications, belong on the Comments Board. All the background on The Read is here,
http://www.pajiba.com/cannonball-read.htm. Brian Prisco is the man behind it all and should be praised, and if you've got the crazy and want to throw down, go here: http://gospelaccordingtoprisco.wordpress.com/choose-your-weapon-the-combatants/ Other than that, it's time to dazzle, motherfuckers.

P.S. If you’re reading this, I love you sweetheart. Please don’t kill me! :)


I approached Twilight, the first book in the Twilight Saga like a war zone. I said a silent prayer, threw my glasses to the side, kissed my brothers and parents goodbye (in case I didn't come back to them in the same condition) and I told my girlfriend I loved her. Once I made peace with all in the world, I asked her for the first book and she handed it to me.

"You know you don't have to do this, Mike. Don't be a hero."

"It's the only thing I know how to be.", I said with a slightly gruff, yet world weary tone. I kissed her again and said, "I'll be back before you know it."


Ok, so maybe none of that actually happened, but I was given the book upon my request and I was given an out. So why did I go through with it anyway? Because when something is labeled as a "cultural phenomenon", people are bound to be interested. Besides, the last "phenomenon" I picked up a copy of ended up entertaining me. Though, that was The DaVinci Code, and not only was that book entertaining and relevant to my interests, but also Jesus didn't sparkle. Still, I was prepared to face down this growing fear in my gut that I was in for a world of pain. With that fear, I was ready. I brought the book home. and after a night of rest, I rose on the morning of that Inauguration Day to finish The Last Victim. I knew those would be the last pages of normalcy for a while, but after savoring them I was ready. With steadfast resolve, and a steel heart, I opened the paperback that'd start it all.

Looking back, I can’t say I completely hated Twilight. For starters, it wasn’t as badly constructed as I thought; and also the characters I liked in the movie were even better in the book. To the book’s credit, Bella and Edward are MUCH more likable in the novel than in the movie. In fact, I’ll admit that my perception was colored a lot by the movie and that’s why I was so against it in the first place. The book makes some headway in repairing the damage the movie did.

While it wasn’t as insultingly bad as I thought, it just wasn’t all that intriguing, mostly because they centered this universe on the two most unlikeable characters. Picture your favorite epic series, then picture it centered around the weakest characters available and you’d have a good idea of where Twilight has gone with its story. Had this story been centered on the Cullen clan, with Edward and Bella as side characters, then I might have enjoyed it more. Carlyle and Esme Cullen would have been much better leads for a story like this, especially with all of the history they’ve been involved in and all the “children” they’ve “adopted”. It could have been part historical fiction, part family drama, and part vampiric romance, but sadly that is not the road this beat up pick up truck is traveling. Nope, instead we’re treated to a mix of soap opera theatrics, a vampire story that’d make Buffy the Vampire Slayer pissed off, and the most successful Mary Sue story of all time.

Bella is Stephenie Meyer’s romanticized version of herself, perfect in every imperfect way, and Edward is her modern Mr. Darcy. As such, everything is perfect for Bella, and there’s minimal awkwardness and clumsiness involved. (Which contradicts her self deprecating remark about how clumsy she is.) True, she gets into scrapes and takes some falls, but really nothing that bad. She is awkward at school for all of one minute and next thing you know they’re singing her praises, filling her in on the school gossip, and trying to ask her to the dance, the prom, and their first college frat party two years from now. Everyone asks her for advice, and she’ll even give advice to them…if she’s truly interested. (Don’t ask her about prom dresses…she’d rather brood over Edward.) Even when she’s almost killed by a stray van, Edward saves her and pretty much the whole school turns and asks if she’s ok, while the driver apologizes profusely as if he’d almost hit the newborn savior of mankind. She has very little actual human conflict, which doesn’t give us much to relate to her with, making the fantasy conflict that much hollower. The only two people that really call bullshit on her existence are Lauren and Rosalie, and neither of them really do anything of note in this book. Even the Harry Potter series had bullying, moral conflict, and the ravages of puberty going for it, because J.K. Rowling understands that if we can’t realistically identify with these kids, no troll or Dark Lord is going to hit us as hard as they can.

It was supposedly based off of Pride and Prejudice, and reading this book only makes me that much more thankful I was never assigned a Jane Austen book in my entire life. (Though, one pattern this series seems to be involved in is mentioning the text it’s based off of in some capacity. While browsing through the New Moon teaser at the back of the book, I saw a mention of Romeo and Juliet.) The whole thing is yet another meditation on how women LOVE men who stalk them and infatuate over them, so long as they’re beautiful, dark, and mysterious. No matter what danger, no matter what consequence, if the guy is mysterious enough and looks like a model, women will fawn and drop all around him…even if he could toss them into the stratosphere with one hand, and sometimes envisions them as a very attractive cheeseburger. (Plus, if there’s anything worse than fops and dandies, it’s Americanized fops and dandies.)

Perhaps the biggest complaint I have though is the length and pacing which are, surprisingly, the only things the movie did well. This is supposed to be an introductory book, and in introductory books you introduce the good guys, the bad guys, the protagonist, set the scene, and set the stage for the epic conflict that will span the whole series. What happens? We get one whole book of courtship and infatuation, and the bad guys get shoehorned into the end of the book. At least in the movie you had the creepy element of mysterious animal attacks thrown in with the sap. . Also, the villains and the action in the third act seem tacked on in a bad attempt to “set the stage” for the conflict throughout the series. This is one of the things the movie actually did better than the book, which scattered random “animal attacks” throughout the story. By time the evil Coven showed up, it wasn’t “ZOMG Evil Vamps Outta Fucking Nowhere”!

This book could have been shorter and tighter running, if Stephenie Meyer didn’t take the time to keep reminding us how goddamn gorgeous Edward was and how wonderful he was and how this Cinderella wannabe can’t face real life, when there’s a prettier, more dazzling reality right in front of her. By time I got to p.481 in the Epilogue, the point where Bella says “Would I ever get used to his perfection?”, I thought that if Bella wasn’t used to it at that point then she really is clumsy…mentally clumsy. Part of what kills the pacing is the constant repetition of these themes. Bella always describes Edward in only the most glowering of terms, Edward always presses his lips together and grouses about the fact that he loves his adorable cheeseburger girlfriend, while also talking about how brave she is with facing death (while fearing the little things), and these both seem to happen on every other page. Less is more, and less of that would have equaled to more patience for me. To save you some trouble, here’s some drinking game phrases and keywords to look out for when reading Twilight:

- dazzling
- God, Angelic, Adonis, or any other seraphim of perfection
- Marble
- Chisled
- Edward
- Bella
- “pressed his lips together”
- Eyes
- Neck
- Cold
- stone

I probably left a lot out, but really if you have any intention of reading this book, you’ll find them. Trust me, Twilight is a drinking game book.

The most frustrating thing about this book is while I detest parts of it with every fiber of my being, I can’t kill it completely. It is still a good example of competent authoring, adequate prose, and some really good background characters. I also dare say that it did have some genuinely romantic and cute moments between Edward and Bella, it’s just that the mindless fawning and Edward’s dickery outnumber those moments. It just needed some more time in the editing room. After all, it only took Ms. Meyer 3-6 months to write this book, given a couple more months of editing and tightening I might have sat here today and ate a whole heap of Crow saying “Twilight is actually pretty good”. The most I can muster is that it was ok. Not amazing, not offensive, just meh. Maybe it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Maybe, I should have stayed away from Twilight altogether, after all Edward himself is danger incarnate. But just like Bella, I was drawn to delve deeper into the mysteries of the undead. The only difference is, I didn’t find the answers I wanted and don’t think I ever will. But who needs logic and answers when you’ve got Sparkle Lad by your side? The answer: only the extremely biased and picky readers like me. I make no apologies, and I mock this modern day fairy tale/Harlequin Novel for kids with reckless abandon. I mean no insult to anyone who enjoys these books, and I do not mean to rob you of such…delight. This isn’t a cultural phenomenon, it’ s just a more sophisticated form of dress up. If you’re into that sort of thing, have at it. Just don’t throw it down my throat 24/7 in the media, and don’t tell me it’s the next big thing. This is not the next Harry Potter.

Finally, I present a special edition of “Song and Dance”. Don’t want to read Twilight, but really want to know what goes on? Well, just “listen” to this song, and save yourself the 498 pages.

The Ballad of Bella and Eddie
(to the tune of "The Ballad of Brenda and Eddie")

Bella and Eddie,
One a brat and one’s dead-y.
They’re the king and the queen of the vamps.
Flying around real high in the trees,
like they were the champs.

She was bit of a whiner,
And he was a bit of an emo vein diner.
I’ve never seen two people involved in such overblown strife.
And Bella and Eddie have done this since 2005.

Bella had moved from her home down in Phoenix,
To escape from her unstable mom.
She moved up to Forks at the beginning of the school year,
Way before prom.

She was a little bit awkward,
And when I say “little” I mean for about five words.
Then she accidentally fell for this Edward guy.
And there we were, waving decent sense and plot goodbye.

They flirted a bit, she treats Jacob like shit,
By stringing his heart for some news.
He tells her out flat,
He’s a vamp and that’s that.
How ‘bout getting with a werewolf in lieu?
She might as well said I’d rather be dead,
At least not until book two!

(Whoa-oh. Whoa-oh. Whoa-oh. Whoa-oh.)

She confronts Ed at last,
About his oh sordid past,
Which gives him license to mope and moan.
He finally cheers,
‘cuz she’s got no fears.
But still he drips and drones.
“You should be scared, to me you’re medium rare”
I don’t care, now kiss me again!

(Whoa-oh. Whoa-oh. Whoa-oh. Whoa-oh.)

Bella and Eddie,
I’ve had it all ready.
With these shallow, unlikeable kids.
They have about as much dimension and depth,
As a coffee can lid!

But still it could have been worse now,
The movie’s so bad it makes me want to curse now.
They fucked up Jasper,
but added more about the bad guys.

I guess I’ll just have to keep reading ‘bout Bella,
It sounds like I’m not yet out of eternal Hell-a,
For now I’ll take a break then go back to Bella,
This Bites.

Next Time: “Things I've Learned from Women Who've Dumped Me” by Ben Karlin and Various Contributors