Thursday, August 31, 2006

Le Pop Culture Flotsam Quiz

Still working on the big entry, so, in order to fulfill my personal goal of an entry a week, here's this:

  • Tom Hanks and John Candy co-starred in two movies together. Everyone remembers Splash!, name the other one. Extra credit: Name the Tom Hanks/Lori Singer/Jim Belushi vehicle.
  • What was the AfterM*A*S*H equivalent to All In The Family?
  • Nancy (Facts of Life) McKeon's brother Philip, starred in this sitcom. Extra credit: Name that sitcom's only spin-off.
  • Continuing in the siblings-in-competing-sitcoms vein, Benson and Growing Pains shared sisters. Name them.
  • Before Nick Cave's The Proposition, Tom Selleck starred in this Australian cowboy epic.
  • Cheers spawned a spin-off revolving around waitress Carla's ex-husband, and starring Casey Kasem's wife. Name it.
  • Enough TV. What was the chorus to M's Pop Musik?
  • What's the deal with Kelis' Milk Shake?
  • Beverly Hills Cop was originally pitched as a project for this star. Uber-Extra Credit: Relate how this is reflected in the sequel.

Considering this comes from the recesses of my geek lizard brain, I'm wishing you the best of luck. I suppose I couldn't stop you from going to Google.

Answers to be provided soon.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

B. Jones: Going Off

"Oh, dear," you're thinking, "another basketball rant..."

Well, relax, because today I am not ranting about basketball. No, today I am ranting about sports-related tempests in a teapot.

In case you don't feel like clicking away, the nutshell version is this: Kevan Barlow (overpaid criminal*) was told by his coach Mike Nolan (overpaid criminal) that he wasn't going to be traded. Later that week, he was traded by the front office (a whole lot of overpaid criminals). Fuming over this, Barlow compared Nolan to Adolf Hitler. Cue over-reactions from fans and the media.

Adolf Hitler? This is the big deal? Are you kidding me?

I compared my father to Adolf Hitler all the time! In fact, any authority figure who has behaved vaguely or unjustly authoritarian has been compared to Hitler. And not just by me. People do this all the time, especially teenagers. I can even understand why the extreme left wing compares the chimp in office with Hitler, when they're not calling him King George (talk about overpaid criminals).

How can this be seen as remotely insulting? All due respect to the legacy of hatred and murder created by the Fuhrer, but when there are websites dedicated to the premise that there are cats that look like you, you're pretty much done as a visual icon of evil.

I'm guessing the sports world felt left out of that whole Mel Gibson thing.

Speaking of which, now I'll enter the realm of unasked for commentary...

Jews are funny, plain and simple. Jewish comedians are funny, and there are too many examples to cite here. The word "Jew" by itself is funny. Jew jew jew, jew jewjew jew.

Q: Why did the lesbian choose Pepsi?
A: Jew.

Match Game Style:

Ol' Man McGillicuddy was so crazy. (How crazy was he?) He was so crazy, that when he ate breakfast, he _________.

Tell me that placing "Jewed" there isn't funny. There is something about the word that phonetically tickles my funny bone. The word delights me.

This does not make me an anti-Semite, okay? My boss is Jewish, I've dated Jewish women. I deeply respect the religion itself, and admire its emphasis on women as largely important to its society. I'm as much of an anti-Semite as Woody Allen is (...wait for it...). I love learning new words in Hebrew (I mean, look at all this shpilkes), and I brook no hatred towards anyone who belongs to the religion, just because they practice it.

I'm not defending Gibson, nor am I saying that the Holocaust didn't happen...Simply, the word cracks me up.

I wish I could say the same about the word "Israel," though.

I forget who it was that told me about some jackass in an online community somewhere, who was able to pull off the "if you don't support the Prez, you don't support our troops" bit in regards to Israel. Apparently, if you criticize Israel for any misdeeds carried on in its name, you are an anti-Semite.

Uh...What? This bit of logic is about as asinine as anything coming out of the mouth of Billy Graham (overpaid criminal).

Look, I don't have to hate Jews to believe that the creation of Israel, in that region, was one of the worst things to come out of WWII (the worst? The reality behind the phrase "military industrial complex"). Nor do I have to hate Jews to believe that Israel's geopolitical behavior is akin to a hyper-aggressive schoolyard bully who has big brothers that will back him up if things get too big for it to handle.

Now, come here and let me punch you where you fuck.

...whoah...I feel tons lighter now.

[Edited to say: Jehovah knows that Israel has had no end of provocation from its neighbors, but it is my belief that this does not excuse anything beyond the need for self-defense or retribution against the guilty parties.--TBO]

*Confidential to You Know Who You Are: Considering your familial relationship to a good friend of mine, I assume that you'd be fun to needle. As my friend would verify, it rather easily goes both ways.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Are you a fan of Johnny Depp? Are you a fan of Sondheim?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, please head on over to the Hairshirt for an amusing blog entry.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Time Out for Fun

I think it's fair to say that my general fixation with all things Devo, was upgraded to full-blown geekspud spaz-out the moment I purchased a ticket for their upcoming concert stop in Seattle...

So, while I take some time to recollect my thoughts from the overwhelming spectacle I'm about to talk about, please consider the following: It took less than 30 years to go from this, to this (click on "Video" once you get to the site).

Wow. Wowowow.

I, uh...I'm at a total loss for words.

And yet, would it be right to call Mr. Mothersbaugh and Mr. Casale sell outs?

I don't know...Yes, we can point out the fact that both "Whip It" and "Beautiful World" were both recently co-opted to sell the Swiffer and GM products, respectively (though, it's not the first time "Whip It" has been sullied). And while we can take comfort in the fact that "Too Much Paranoias" hasn't been sold to Burger King, we should also note that Devo's 8th album (nine years after their debut) was comprised entirely of easy-listening muzak versions of their hits, arranged and performed by Mark Mothersbaugh himself.

An elaborate in-joke or a sign of things to come? Both? And if we're to accept the co-option of some of the most subversive and catchy music out there by one of the more influential Mr. Hinkydink outfits in the world; how can we avoid feeling as depressed and angered as when we first heard Iggy Pop used to sell Caribbean cruises?

That last is a particular tough sell, but it's possible. Take for granted that this collaboration would constitute a major paycheck for Booji Boy and co., and that Mr. Mothersbaugh has been well-established as a film composer since Devo hung up their collective energy domes, thereby making it easier to see this catalogue of material as having surpassed its usefulness beyond the odd buck here and there.

Let's start with this Disney-branded abomination called Dev2.0. Never mind the musicality (which is close enough to the original as to be a mindless copy), because the intended audience won't give a shit about that. In fact, the intended audience will only care about the energetic tunes provided, however spirit-less. I can see how Dev2.0 could be considered a slam dunk for the big eared corporation, seeing as it is made up of catchy tunes that are vaguely familiar for the adults, who won't mind having to listen to it over and over and over again.

After some consideration, it seems humorously fitting that the former Church of the SubGenius pioneers are now having their message and music spread by prepubescent sprats who have no idea what the songs they're singing are really about; this is partly due to the slightly altered lyrics provided by Mothersbaugh/Casale. Not sure why they seemed necessary, but it's likely that Disney wasn't comfortable with some of the messages the songs originally espoused.

Which is why a song about masturbation becomes a song about compulsive snacking ("Uncontrollable Urge"). The song that used to be anti-consumerism now celebrates it ("Freedom of Choice"). And the slam on Reaganite Republicans' worldview is now a gentle shrug ("Beautiful World").

My question is, who are these parents who'd object to having their kids listen to the unexpurgated versions? Do they exist? Are these the same people who missed the inherent irony behind "Future's So Bright (I Gotta Wear Shades)?" I mean, I just don't see the necessity for the cleaned up versions of the song. My mother may have had reservations about having me listen to the Beatles' "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds," but it didn't stop her from playing Sgt. Pepper's. Same applies to the Krishna song in the Hair soundtrack. This is why I don't work for marketers...

The more I think about it, the more I start to believe that this may be Devo's finest act of subversion yet, because sooner or later the kids that have listened to Dev2.0 faithfully will find out about the difference, and probably at a point where they'll be able to grok the original intent behind the songs. Imagine deciphering the lyrics correctly for the first time, imagine the doors of thought suddenly open to a new generation. Imagine Devo regaining relevance more than four decades after their initial break up.

This way Devo gets to have their cake and eat it too.

Either that, or they simply needed the money, and all of the above are just beneficial side effects. Who can say?

Thursday, August 10, 2006


As promised, a bunch of links.

First up, somebody who blogs in the fashion I wish I could. I mean, check out this essay on ad agency manipulation. Subtle, to the point, and witty. It's like my fists are made of ham.*

Next, I don't think anyone would be incredibly surprised to learn that the man behind the Girls Gone Wild enterprise is a skeeze, but it's somehow worse to have it verified to such an extreme degree. *le shudder* There's also an interesting sociological section in the article, delving into the whys and wherefores of the participants. Very interesting read, but it may leave you feeling like you need a shower. [Link found via the Rabbit Blog. (holy fucking hell, the Queen Bitch is preggers!)]

Lastly, I've talked about Sars in the past; I love finding a new entry on her site, but this week's essay is stellar and hilarious. Having relished in R.Kelly's similarly hubristic overture, this makes me want to witness something old/new at the same time.

*I almost finished the last sentence with "compared to this," but then I realised that I'm only outdone by Oliver Stone and Brian DePalma on a bender. Ah, well.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Pursuant to Previous Entry

The following came out of an offline discussion that I'd like to open to all:

Name a single female fictional pop culture icon from the last 100 years that was both progressive AND created by a woman...

I just thought of four, though I'm curious to see what people mention.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Women: The Power of Fuck Off

Interesting discussion over at the attack of the killer babies; add to that the results of this study regarding how race no longer plays a part in how women view themselves, and...There's just something I gots to say to the ladies of this here USofA:

Baby, I've been noticing that the tabloid rags are now pointing out when the same people they call too fat are now examples of being too skinny. I know, shit, right? They got you coming and going, don't they? Decade after decade of having the fashion rags show you nothing but examples of the swizzle sticks you're supposed to embody, being told that a size 8 is being morbidly obese, and suddenly being less than a size 2 is really unhealthy.

Then, you've got Madison Avenue and the porn industry all "your tits gotta look like this, if you don't got 'em like this, make 'em like that; your hair is supposed to be blonde; you're supposed to look good wearing this; you are old once you pass 25; men will only want to fuck you if you yaddablah yaddablah."

Yes, in this entry, I will be focusing on your looks, simply because I know that that's exactly what you're doing. I gotta tell you, I'm really getting worried about your fixation, because, baby: You. Are. Shithot.

The question is, do you fit into any of the categories mentioned above? Leaving aside the question of whether you want to, based on the constant hectoring you're receiving; would you even like to be in any of those categories, in your heart of hearts?

Hey, if you're genetically predisposed to belonging there, more power to ya, kid! I'm not about making anyone feel like shit, y'know? However, you're decidedly in the minority, loves, and this ain't about you.

Mamacita, odds are you're not being represented; and you're feeling a pressure from somewhere to be someone you ain't.

And I say, "Free yourself from those shackles, honey! You don't have to listen to any of it!"

Let me ask you something: Do you think the women of Europe are worried about this shit to the extent that you are? I can almost guarantee you that they're not.

Before you ask why, I can tell you right now, for a fact, that your latina sisters aren't either. As I stated in an entry about visiting my homeland:

...women in the states who feel insecure about their bodies could learn more than a few things from their Puerto Rican counterparts.

Maybe it's because latino men are equal opportunity lechers, I don't know, but there's an attitude to be found outside of the US that is sorely missing here. I like to call it Womanitude.

Womanitude is the opposite of "My blank is not blank enough, or is too blank." Womanitude is "not only am I caring/giving/smart/witty; not only am I these and other amazing qualities that I share without thinking about it; I am also hotter than the likes of you deserve, regardless of what I do and don't have." Womanitude is being and celebrating who you are; being in your skin; it's looking at Clive Owen, Luke Wilson, Johnny Depp, Leo DiCaprio or the manmeat of your choice, look at them with CFM intensity and saying "I know you want in this body; now, eat my ass."

All women have Womanitude, though it often goes un-nurtured. It's also under constant attack, by the magazines, commercials and images mentioned before. Movies like Deuce Bigalow, or anything set in high school (where "knockouts" become "uggos" by putting on glasses and sporting an unflattering haircut) do nothing to alleviate the situation. Fashionistas, celebrity magazines, random assholes and bitches with petty comments about your body don't do anything to help. Howard Stern and his devotees spend as much time as possible instilling the idea that there is a standard for "what all men are looking for."

Disabuse yourself of this notion as quickly as possible. Believe me, there is no such thing as a standard hottie. Those who find the women of Friends to be the zenith of what gets them sticky tipped may be more vocal about it; but for every guy who drools over Hillary Duff and her ilk, there's a guy out there who will kill to have a shot at Camryn Manheim. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Remember, Womanitude = "Fuck off if you can't deal." Womanitude = "Fuck you, mass media, for saying I'm not the shit." Womanitude = "Fuck you for making me feel inferior."

Now, gorgeous, I don't want you to go to the other extreme, and simply become all about your looks. The hoary line about beauty coming from within is still true, and a fully realized human being is still a hell of a lot more attractive than a Barbie doll.

Donyelle, from So You Think You Can Dance, has Womanitude. Iris Chacon, a Puerto Rican sensation in the Twiggy and Farrah era, had it when she was young, and she had it when she was older. And before you think I'm just about espousing the beliefs that Sir Mix-A-Lot sang about, Bjork, PJ Harvey, Allison Hannigan, and Peaches are all in possession of it.

Womanitude = Not taking any of this shit seriously.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Enough Navel Gazing!

I'm starting a pool: How long after El Capitan Castro kicks it until Havana goes back to the mob?

My money's on 12 months.

Everyone's a Critic

Or "What IT2M Would Call Another Dry And Boring Post"

It started when my pal Deni's blog was reviewed a couple of months ago. They simply left a comment saying "you've been reviewed at I Talk 2 Much" and a link for the site. They did not like his blog; while calling it well written, the critic felt it was boring. The critic's main complaint was that she (I believe) didn't like PolBlogs, felt they were a waste of time.

I thought, "well, this is a lark. What the fuck?" and submitted Missives to be critiqued.

So, I started waiting, and with that time, I became a regular reader of the site, just to see what I was going to put my writing through.

The kids at IT2M are volunteers (not exactly sure how or why they were selected), who read through the submissions of some hypersensitive people. To willingly go to blog after blog to attempt to give honest feedback, while not earning a paycheck...There's something kinda Quixotic about that, so hats off.

That said, I think it's fair to say that they wear their attitude pretty loudly. "We're Rude - Deal With It" is what their window label (or whatever the fuck that thing is called) reads; yes, they do back that up in spades. They have their preferences, though it does vary from critic to critic. They prefer quick and snarky (Joe, you're just about a shoo-in; Rob, you'd be a hit, but you'd have to work on the length of some of your entries); they prefer more attitude and less exploration of topic; they hate Blogger templates, and would prefer it if you bought your own, or find something else out there; they hate MommyBlogs, ReligioBlogs and PolBlogs, but allow room for exceptions if you blow them away. Their aesthetic requirements border on the psychopathic, in my opinion. They can be blown away, though, and I've found a number of entertaining blogs through them.

If you sense an ambivalence here, well, it's because I'm ambivalent. In a way, they kind of remind me of a gaggle of Adrian Ryans with their own web site. On the other hand, who can blame them for creating their own rules and regulations for what makes a good blog? No one's forcing anybody to adhere to what they have to say. And I can't argue with the traffic they've sent my way...we'll see if that remains steady.

Obviously, I was reviewed today. I knew they'd find me boring, and I wasn't wrong. I found it funny that, due to my preference for cash instead of plastic, I was labeled a "tin-foil hat wearer" (though someone in the comments field noted "this one isn’t even interestingly delusional", which just cracks me up). I wish they had read the Peppermint Patty entry; but I can't say that what they read wasn't representative of what I do as a whole.

le shrug