Thursday, July 29, 2010

Saved by the Eclipse

Alright, fangirls, we're onto you.

Men everywhere have been scratching their head as to why an undead & obsessive 120-something-year-old without a pulse is an attractive suitor. And why, in the most obvious of horror-creature literary cliches, a lovelorn female protagonist suddenly caught in a love triangle between the creature-of-the-night vampire and moon-loving werewolf is something a) new and b) interesting.

Now, some men are proposing that women are a creature far more mysterious and peculiar than either werewolves OR vampires. But I think I have found a pattern of behavior that can explain the most recent craze that has absolutely nothing to do with horror mythology. It has to do with what makes a popular and obsession-worthy character for the female literary market without the stigma of a romance novel.

(Who wants to read a book with Fabio shirtless on the cover? Your mother, that's who. And that won't do.)

At their core, the characters in the latest fad can be understood by looking back at another craze that everyone was obsessively caught up in: Saved by the Bell.

Watch a TBS rerun of Saved by the Bell. I dare you. You'll watch, sit in a nostalgia-induced stupor and quickly start to ignore the part of your brain that is telling you that no... this show really isn't that good.


It's true. Admit it: Mr. Belding is cheesier than a Taco Bell Quesadilla. A.C. Slater has terrible hair. The jokes aren't really that funny, and they certainly are not timeless. And that "after-school special, lesson-learned" conclusion at the end of each episode is little more than a vapid, television-secluded, teachable moment existing only in an ethical vacuum that the characters will forget about the following episode.

(Actually, come to think of it, perhaps the show really IS a good interpretation of high school!)

But ongoing popularity insists that there is something special about Saved by the Bell, just the same as the Twilight book/film series. And if you take a close look at the characters of both shows, and you will see the similarities that elevate them to fangirl superstardom:

The Winner: A Shiny Bad Boy

Look at the two of these high school studs. Sure, one of them probably doesn't have a soul (and the other one is a vampire. ZING!). But they both glitter like a diamond in the sunlight. Each is a sweet "bad boy" who makes bad decisions but deep down has a redeemable heart. Both are shaped by their relationships with their lady lovers and find their true love. Also note the use of product in the hair, and the lack of a mullet.

At this point, I'm obligated to point out that Dorothy was lying when she said she loved Scarecrow most. She was absolutely having some sort of unholy affair with the Tin Man. The guy was looking for his HEART for God's sake. How could she resist knocking ruby boots with that kind of sensitivity?

The Loser: A Bad Hair Transformation

A word of warning to the world of men: there are some mistakes that the most reasonable woman will never forgive:

1. Forgetting her birthday
2. Forgetting your anniversary
3. Forgetting that anything that even flirts with being a mullet is off limits.

Sure, you can give yourself a new haircut, spend your days in the gym and become a glorified Adonis. Look at how both "Slater" and "Jacob" blossomed:

There are six packs, and then there are what those guys have now. They look like Hercules and Superman had a child with a Latino/Native American supermodel, and then were trained by Ivan Drago and Rocky Balboa.

But you know what? Both these guys get beat out time and time again by their sparkley competition. Their previous hairstyle debacles weigh down their game like a pocket protector. No matter how well cut they are now, their Casanova days in a fictional universe will be an uphill climb. So what if they can beat the tar out of their pasty Anglo-Saxan competitor? So what if they are more sensitive (and only modestly more ambiguously gay?)

Being some embodiment of Death is fine, so long as you look good doing it. And bad hair and a tendency towards feral behavior will (like yourself) come back to bite you.

In Conclusion:

It will always pay to be "Meet Joe Black", not "Meet Joe Dirt."

Monday, July 26, 2010

Leonardo DiCaprio's "On Screen Romance" Record

If you haven’t seen Inception yet, I suggest climbing through your Rita Hayworth poster-hole and escaping whatever detention facility has shackled you from seeing it. The film provokes several thoughts: from how the complexity of a dream-in-dream-in-dream plot was delivered to how damn freaking cool Tom Hardy is (“You mustn’t be afraid to dream a bit bigger, darling”)


However, there is one thing I noticed at one point during the film; there is a consistent trend across Leonardo DiCaprio films of ending in misery and sadness, or at the very least being separated from whoever his cinematic squeeze may be at the time.

SPOILER ALERT: All of Leonardo DiCaprio’s roles are discussed in the following breakdown

Leonardo DiCaprio’s “On Screen Romance” Record

Critters 3: I’m going to assume with a title like “Critters 3”, a first-time actor did not fare well. Prove me wrong, internet. Critters vs. Leo: Leo 0-1

Poison Ivy: Like the Batman villain? Again, assuming the word “poison” in a title bodes ill. Batman vs. Leo: Leo 0-2

This Boy’s Life: According to Wikipedia, Leo enjoys emotional, verbal and physical abuse. Yeesh. Happiness vs. Leo: Leo 0-3

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape: Leo is mentally challenged. In the movie! Tears vs. Leo: Leo 0-4

The Foot Shooting Party
: Leonardo has friends come over to shoot him in the foot so he doesn’t have to go to Vietnam. 27 minutes long. Romance? Probably not. Sandals vs. Leo: Leo 0-5

The Quick and the Dead: Sleeps with a lady who pretends not to care afterwards. Shot to death afterwards. Quick/Dead vs. Leo: Leo 0-6

The Basketball Diaries: DiCaprio ends up on drugs, stealing and prostituting himself. 3 points! Lebron James vs. Leo: Leo 0-7

Total Eclipse: Leonardo DiCaprio dies from cancer in this true-story tear jerker. Werewolves vs. Leo: 0-8

Romeo + Juliet: Juliet, you died! I’m going to kill myself now. Wait, you weren’t really dead? Crap. Oh, but you can kill yourself now too. Sorry Paul Rudd… geez, this marriage really did not go well. Shakespeare vs. Leo: Leo 0-9

Marvin’s Room: In a mental asylum for setting fire to his mother’s house. I kid you not. Marvin’s Room vs. Leo: Leo 0-10

Titanic: “Brrr…. This water is cold! I hope Celine Dion doesn’t sing my theme song.” Icebergs vs. Leo: Leo 0-11.

The Man in the Iron Mask: I remember one of his girlfriends hangs himself. One of the two DiCaprios lives with an Iron Mask for years of his life. The other DiCaprio ends up with it for the rest of his life. Leo vs. Leo; Leo: 0-12

Celebrity: Do people see these movies? Can’t figure out what he does in this movie. But the movie is apparently largely about divorce. Ticket Sales vs. Leo: Leo 0-13

The Beach: DiCaprio goes a little bit crazy and leaves his friends behind forever. But he gets a tan. Insanity vs. Leo: Leo 0-14

Don’s Plum: Now I think Wikipedia is making things up. Obscurity vs. Leo: Leo 0-15

Catch Me If You Can: Let’s get married. Uh-oh, here comes Tom Hanks. G2G, TTYL? Marriage vs. Leo: Leo 0-16

Gangs of New York: Isn’t your girlfriend a prostitute thief? Dead Rabbits vs. Leo: Leo 0-17

The Aviator: Ah, the social life of a shut in. Good times. Agoraphobia vs. Leo: Leo 0-18

Blood Diamond: Poor Leo doesn’t make it but he gave the diamond to Djimon Hounsou! Africa vs. Leo: Leo 0-19

The Departed: Hey, I got out of this undercover thing ok! And I can hook up with Vera Farmiga! Life is goo-- *BANG* ah crap. Boston vs. Leo: Leo 0-20

The 11th Hour: A documentary about how the world could end. Armageddon vs. Leo: Leo 0-21

Body of Lies: The CIA still loves you, Leo. Lies vs. Leo: 0-22

Revolutionary Road: Leaves his wife. Abortion vs. Leo: 0-23

Shutter Island: Haven’t seen it yet, don’t want to spoil it, but guess who isn’t going to end up with a lady. Shutter Island vs. Leo: TBD

Inception: Sorry Mal, you’re just a projection of my subconscious. But seriously, stop screwing up my business.

Ending up with the girl at the end of the movie vs. Leo: Leo 0-24, 1 TBD.

No wonder the ladies love Mr. DiCaprio: he is film’s forbidden fruit... the uncatchable unicorn.

The Bean, The Bag, or the Bull?

After finishing school, many young workers begin their post-collegiate career by following a daily routine that mirrors the high-octane Jason Statham film Crank.

7:00 am: Wake up disoriented
7:01 am: Remember purpose in life
7:02: Contemplate showering vs. the odor-masking abilities of Axe Body Spray
7:12 am: Begin assaulting body and jumpstarting heart with caffeinated beverages while battling fellow commuters

The energy caffeine provides is indispensable on the road to post-graduate accomplishment. As Thomas Edison once famously said, “Success is ten percent inspiration, ninety percent perspiration, and one-hundred percent fueled by my cocaine habit.”

Yes… I know what you are thinking: caffeine and cocaine are not the same! But Coca-cola once was brewed with small amounts of cocaine, and Thomas Edison had a much smaller selection of high-fructose corn-syrup cocktails from which to derive stimulation.

So for the daily liquid defibrillation, what is the poison of choice? Lucky for us, this is America, and there are three beautifully choice options: tea, coffee, and red bull.

The Bean (Coffee)

Pro: The existence of coffee houses; Unrelated: crack houses
Con: Coffee jitters lead to insomnia, anxiety, and viewings of Last Call with Carson Daly
Pro: Opportunity to support global fair trade in developing countries
Con: Hides narcotics from drug-sniffing dogs

The Bag (Tea)

Pro: Multiple, diverse flavors with a fancy hint of class
Con: Political assumptions and the presumption you like dressing up as a founding father on workdays
Pro: Ability to add a meal to the day in England
Con: Tea-bagging jokes

The Bull (Red Bull)

Pro: Goes well with Jägermeister
Con: Resulting wings may lead to being mistaken for an angel, leading to irritating requests for miracles
Pro: Jägerbombs! Jägerbombs!
Con: Green urine

There are, of course, many lesser options that have ranging merit:

The Bad Decision (Sparks, etc.)
Pro: Saving the time required to manually add alcohol to your energy drink
Con: Waking up in jail

The Badass (Rockstar Energy Drink)
Pro: Twice the size of red bull
Con: Named “Worst Energy Drink” by Men’s Health… with half the taste of a Red Bull

The Bite-size (5 Hour Energy)
: Easily conceal your caffeine addiction
Con: Lousy commercials: people falling asleep in an office, vs. Red Bulls’ car-jumping-over-a-bridge stunts

The Boring (Regular Soda)
Pro: It’s what polar bears and Santa drink
Con: If you’re calling this an energy drink, you probably also think that Antiques Roadshow is exhilarating

The Blow (Blow Energy Drink Mix)
Pro: The packaging is made to look like a brick of cocaine
Con: Has that “Flower Delivery” van been parked outside the house for a week now?

The Bleh (Diet Pepsi)

Pros: N/A
Cons: Longer than the Facebook Privacy Statement

Now you know the risks and rewards… go forth caffeinate!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fatal Error

Last week, Steve Jobs admit that "Apple is not perfect"-- quickly driving devotees bananas. The shock of hearing such blasphemy caused earthquakes on the East Coast (or… at least in Washington D.C.) for the first time since Nikola Tesla tested his Earthquake machine.

Apple fans have a sense of loyalty and devotion matched only by rabid Twilight-philes. Foaming at the mouth for the next iPhone, some left-handers may begin switching from southpaw to “northpaw” in order to hang onto AT&T’s choosy service. True Apple Believers will resort to chopping off their left hand in an attempt to end the temptation to use what has popularly been dubbed “the Death Grip”—a way of holding the phone that immediately lowers service bars. Even MORE faithful Apple Believers may chop of their right hand and replace it with an iPhone.

Apple clearly has finished a complete rebranding of itself since the near-bankruptcy days of 1997. At that time, Big Brother Bill Gates bailed out Apple, which prompted a brand new political party of partisans dressed as Johnny Appleseed.

In light of Apples’ success, a history of the company is in order:

4000 BC- Adam picks an iPhone out of the tree of knowledge because Eve says he doesn’t call her enough. God is not pleased.

399 BC- Socrates is decried as a heretic for suggesting the use of Windows (-395) instead of Apple software, and is forced to drink diet Pepsi. Death follows.

985 (AD) - The Dark Ages lead to the destruction of Apple’s history. Many iPod users are burnt at the stake as witches.

1390- William Tell shoots an apple off his son’s head while listening to his own Overture on his surviving iPod.

1692- Remaining Apple products are found in Salem, Massachusetts. Users are forced to watch “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” until death and products are burned.

1715- Isaac Newton re-founds Apple. However, an orange falls on his head, making him all but forget the company. He proceeds to found gravity and calculus.

1978- Steve Jobs re-re-founds Apple and sells Macintosh personal computers. Oregon Trail becomes a new national pastime.

1996- After too many snakebites on the Oregon Trail, Apples’ popularity wanes. No new products are created. Apple is in trouble.

1997- Apple is bailed out by Bill “Pearly” Gates.

2004- Steve Jobs finds William Tells’ iPod, and releases it to the world. World learns what a gigabyte and Napster is.

2006- Fiona Apple is arrested for copyright infringement against the Apple Company. She escapes and is now a wanted Criminal.

2007-2010- Apple comes out with new products before the last ones have even been shipped. “Apps” become a legal tender in Europe.

2010- Apple loses steam over their newest iPhone. Steve Jobs loses 3 seconds of sleep.

December 21, 2012- The four horsemen of the apocalypse arrive to “Ride of the Valkyries” on their iPods. The world ends in an ironic blue screen of death

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Transsexuals Are From Pluto

In 1992, a certain book that SHALL NOT be named hit American bookshelves with a bang. The American people became inescapably aware that men originate from a particular red planet neighboring Earth, and women are in fact from a planet coated with poisonous gas. Meanwhile, the common practice of storks delivering infants to mothers was halted once and for all when ornithologists ended a 25 year survey of stork behavior, concluding that most of the wild birds were not qualified to deliver children, and may in fact carry some sort of avian flu. Thereafter, UPS has delivered all children from their planet of origin, although interplanetary UPS portals all sadly lead to female uteruses.

By the way, in case you were wondering, yes—that is the first time in the history of mankind that the word “uterus” has been pluralized.

There is a chance that you, the reader, could be sitting around right now, scratching your head as to why there is a man/woman/demonic possession that is trapped inside your body. Will this post help you: Probably not. But it WILL help you if you are a Plutonian who feels unceremoniously discarded by the Solar System Club! Three cheers for niches.

For those of you aliens who haven’t read Earth mythology, you are in for a lesson: Venus is the Roman name for Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Love. Sometime long ago, a wise Greek philosopher looked up at the stars and named one of the shiny orbs “Venus” after that Goddess. It turns out that the Greeks were making a pernicious social commentary on love, because the atmosphere of Venus will kill a human being faster than a Baconator from a Wendy’s Restaurant. Those Greeks were a precociously anti-feminist bunch, because they also blamed a woman named Pandora for opening a box that released a film by James Cameron.

As said earlier, it is an established premise that male persons are from Mars and female persons are from Venus. But from what planet do those of us who long to cut off our penises hail?

By the way, using penises and uteruses on the same page might qualify this writing for some sort of English textbook on plurals. Should that become the case, I strongly recommend all future preteen readers draw penises on this page specifically. I would also be impressed if anyone can manage to draw a uterus from memory.

Clearly, the answer to she-males is this: you come from Pluto, of course! Just as Pluto confusingly changed status from planet to… whatever Pluto is today, you challenged society’s mores, hid your Adam’s apple and removed your manhood! And of course, I do not wish to leave out that segment of women that somehow become men… but frankly that entire concept is even more mysterious to me than volunteering to be a Castrato. In any case, just as Pluto used to be a planet, and now it is not, so transgender people have ceased to be the man/woman they once were

*Author’s Note*
For the record, the author is not a transsexual or transgender individual, nor a Plutonian. He was born a man, just like Twilight’s Robert Pattinson. Rumors that he or Robert Pattinson were not born men are dirty lies. Robert Pattinson and the author should not be subject to unfounded, vicious rumors that we used to be females. Robert Pattinson. Not a man. False. Tell your friends.

*A Second Author’s Note*
If you have been offended by any of the contents you have read so far, please take the following test.

Do any of the following describe you?

a. A tween Twilight suicide bomber, willing to explode herself to a heaven full of 40 Robert Pattinsons
b. Glenn Beck
c. A member of the Church of Glenn Beck
d. My mother
e. A transsexual/transgender individual not named Robert Pattinson

If you answered any answer a-d, please delete this blog from your web history immediately. It will only break your heart further.

If you answered e, you are in luck! I have no more thoughts on the transsexual/transgender community, whom I support full-heartedly and hope that a little fun at their expense is not taken as malicious.

Concerning Zombies: Plan Z

Living in close vicinity to the Pentagon, I have developed a habit of glancing here and there over at the building—the largest office building in the world—and wondering: what kind of scenarios have they cooked up in there? Those thoughts make you wonder. There is no doubt that there are war games being played by military experts day-in and day-out in that building. Sure, most of those games are probably grounded, realistic scenarios based on current or foreseen conflicts. But the greatest military on the planet has to be prepared for anything, right?

I imagine one lucky day at the office going as follows:

Clark: Good Morning Jones. Another day exploring the scenarios of what will happen if Kim Jong Il goes nuke-happy?

Jones: Yep. As always, our nukes outnumber him 40,000 to one. Kaboom.

Clark: Say, did you ever finish that strategic report on how our military should respond if his shoddy nuclear facilities mutate him into a 40 foot tall Supreme Leader?

Jones: Of course. We move to DEFCON 2, corner him onto a tall building and launch the biplanes. Naomi Watts has been briefed.

Of course, I’m not suggesting that this would be a typical day’s conversation. But for all the classified action plans the government keeps sheathed in its military databases, at least one or two sci-fi doomsday scenarios must have made the cut as “plausible”. So what ascends to the level of potential threat to America and her interests?

The Zombie scenario takes the cake as a realistic platform for ending humanity, although alien invasion certainly does contend for the honor of “most likely adversary”. When it comes down to it, it doesn’t take much imagination to make the leap from society as we know it to a post-apocalyptic land of the undead. Let’s face it; some of the unkempt strangers you see in the subway are passing for zombies already! Sure, you’re not certain that it is brains that the decrepit person in the corner seat is chewing away at like a dog with a squeaky toy. But would it be so surprising? At the very least it would explain the smell.

The zombie virus of fiction is traditionally transmitted via bodily liquids—i.e. blood, sweat, tears—in short, the ingredients to Diet Pepsi. So when the “Pepsi Generation” begins their attack on society, a few tips will assist in your survival.

1. Someone will be bitten
This is one of the sad inevitabilities of the zombie apocalypse. Someone in your clustered survival troupe is going to be attacked. You will fight off the necromantic attackers with all manner of baseball bats, blunt objects, swords, guns, and Barbara Streisand albums, but someone in your crew will soon bear the mark.

2. That person will turn into a zombie
If you’ve survived walking around the zombie apocalypse to assemble a survivor’s group then you probably were aware of the risk in number one. But this second tip is where people go soft and it all ends in zombie tears. A productive discussion should go as follows:

“Hey, Bob, you got bitten didn’t you?”
“No, you guys. I’m fine.”
“Fuck you Bob. No you’re not. You’re a zombie now, you asshole.”

3. Boats are your friend
Have you ever seen a zombie film where the undead are doing backstroke? NOTE: Stay out of the shallows. Ocean, fresh water containers, and lots of fishing bait are your best bet.

That's all I have. Apologies, I'm not a survivalist. AND there is an entire book of well written survival tips by the son of Mel Brooks. Well you know what? Suck it, Hollywood. You don't have a monopoly on the zombie concept. In fact, that's the last place the hungry dead would look for.... braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaains.

Maybe the Pentagon?