Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gonzo Hotrod Video of the Week

Last week MTV posted a preview of the network's reboot of Beavis & Butthead. And while I remain optimistic that the show might be worthwhile (or at least entertaining), the fact that the network is throwing in clips from reality shows like Jersey Shore and Teen Mom with the standard rotation of music videos that the duo riff on, leaves me with the sense that it's not likely to be much more than an pointless MTV circle jerk.

In its prime, it was one of the smartest shows about idiots ever made, and the roster of music videos featured on the show stands as pretty much the best of medium. One of the greatest travesties of the DVD era is that fact that the box set of Beavis & Butthead includes a mere fraction of the great videos included in the show. So I've decided to post a video that has the distinction of being one of the only ones in the series that the duo watches without mocking or riffing on it. If you manage to catch the episode, they simply watch it and enjoy (sadly I can't for the life of me find video of this, so you'll have to trust me). . .


The Butthole Surfers are largely remembered as a novelty one-hit wonder of the mid-90s, but for those who saw or heard about their live shows, they were one of the most ridiculous showmen this side of GG Allin, and this video is probably the closest approximation of the band's live act that one can imagine (minus the live sex shows and genital mutilation films). I mean, the song kicks fucking ass. It's got trippy Ed Roth-inspired animation, and a hot rod race showdown with the grim reaper. What more could you ask for?

Two things you might not know about this song/video: 1) the song (along with the rest of the album that spawned it) was produced by Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, which largely accounts for its high level of rocking, and 2) the bartendender in the video is indeed none other than Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist and coolest-motherfucker-of-all-time award-winner Flea.

I Used To Love I.T.

Dear John Facebook,

Hey, how are you? I hope this letter finds you in good health. Look, this isn't easy for me, so I'm going to get right into it: I don't love you anymore. I mean, I still love you, but I'm not in love with you. Please understand how difficult this is for me. We have been together a long time. Over seven years at this point. We've both changed a lot since then. When we first met, I was a fresh faced, precocious 19 year old college sophomore in need of a haircut, and you... man, you were special. You were new in town, and everybody wanted to be with you, but you chose me. You wanted to be with me. Sure, there were other guys at other schools. I'm not blind or naive enough to think otherwise. But you and I? We had something special. We really did.

But now? Now I just don't know. I mean, you've changed so much while I have essentially remained the same. Sure, I'm 30 lbs heavier than I was then, and I did finally get that haircut, but what makes me who I am is no different than it was 7 years ago. You, though? You I barely recognize. And no, this isn't about someone else. I won't deny her existence, nor will I deny that we have fun together, but she's far too shallow and stupid to ever truly satisfy me. Not the way you used to.

God, you were just so damn cute when we started. You had all these little quirks that made you seem more real. Sure, some of them were a bit egotistical, like the "A Mark Zuckerberg Production" on every page. And a couple were just plain weird, like the "Too close for missiles, I'm switching to guns" that was at the bottom of every screen. But that's who you were, and I loved you for it. Half of the people reading this haven't even known you long enough to know what I'm talking about, but I do. I know you just about as well as anyone. I even knew you before you changed your name.

Now, to be fair, not all of the changes you have gone through over the years have been bad. The wall was a mess when you first tried it out as one big, blank, malleable canvas that anyone could alter, but you figured out how to fix that soon enough. And it took you a little while to straighten out photo sharing and tagging, but when you finally did, it was great. Status updates are an integral part of everyone's daily routine now. And the newsfeed? I remember people complaining about the newsfeed when it first started, but now I can barely remember life without it.

But you didn't stop there. You got overzealous. Scrolling through people's photo albums is far too over-produced now. You're trying too hard with the face recognition technology for tagging. Groups were maybe the best thing about you, and you just phased them out. Don't give me that crap about pages being the same thing. They aren't. But you didn't stop there, either. You turned all my interests and favorite things into links to said pages and eliminated my ability to type freely within those fields, stifling my creative voice in the process. And what the fuck happened to messages? Now everything is one big chat session? No, that won't do. I don't want to have a record of everything I said while I was drunkenly chatting with someone. I never complained when you made yourself available to literally anyone with an email address - even children, which I do not approve of, by the way - so it's only fair you not monitor and record all of my personal correspondences. I can't be in a relationship where trust doesn't go both ways.

And comments! My god, how have you not figured out comments yet?! I don't need 26 emails just because I said one thing about someone's status update. But I digress.

Look, this isn't goodbye. I will never forget all you have done for me over the years. You have helped me start new friendships. You have helped me rekindle old ones. You have helped me get laid. (Though that never happens anymore. You were so much more fun-loving and carefree 6 years ago.) You showed me the error of my ways when I was dating that trashy hussy as a young man. You have helped me force my thoughts and ideas on people who would otherwise be safe from them, and for that, and everything else, I am truly grateful. I can't picture my life without you in it, nor do I want to. But I don't like where this is going. You have traded intimacy for accessibility, and don't get me wrong, I understand. You said from the start that you wanted to be a star, and you have more than achieved your goals. I'm happy for you, I really am. I'm just tired, that's all. And at the rate you're going, I'm only going to get more exhausted.

So, even though it rends my heart to do so, I'm breaking up with you, Facebook. I'll still check up on you from time to time, but I can't do this anymore. You just aren't the social networking site I fell in love with all those years ago, and it's clear you never will be again. I'm sorry, and I hope that in time, we can still be friends.

Ever so sincerely,

Dan

Friday, August 26, 2011

Watching the Watchmen

It's been two years since I wasted 3 hours of my life and a good night's sleep in order to catch the opening-day midnight showing of Zach Snyder's widely despised adaptation of Alan Moore's legendary Watchmen series. Since TNT has been airing the film, and post-recession America seems to increasingly resemble Moore's Cold War end-times dystopia, I decided this was a good time watch it again and reassess whether the film was quite the pile of cinematic horseshit I had initially believed it to be, or if perhaps my expectations were just too high.


Even with fresh eyes, it's difficult to find anything redeeming in Snyder's uber-literal interpretation of the graphic novel, which succeeds in mechanically reproducing the visual style of the comic while possessing a bare minimum of the grit or existential dread of its source. And even if you avoid the unfair comparisons between the book and the film, it still seems pretty lame. It rushes through the story so quickly that it's impossible to care about any of the characters other than the vigilante anti-hero Rorschach, and makes for the most uncomfortable sex scene that's ever been filmed. Nevertheless, the one thing I do remember appreciating about the film was the ending. It was the one obvious point where the film splits from the the comic in a way that actually makes for a better film, and still largely keeps the spirit of the book in tact.

For those that are unfamiliar with (what the fuck is wrong with you?) or perhaps don't recall the original story, it ends with the villain Adrien Viedt (aka Ozymandias) staging a mock alien invasion which destroys much of New York City and kills millions in the process, but nevertheless succeeds in averting a nuclear standoff between the US and Russia. The film simplifies this somewhat by taking the alien creature out of the equation and has Viedt framing the god-like superhero Dr. Manhattan for the cataclysmic explosions. I mean, the idea of an alien invasion solving a seemingly insurmountable world crisis seems so hokey that it seems totally out of place anywhere other than a comic book. . .


Oh. My. God. I should have known! New York Times op-ed contributor Paul Krugman is actually a maniacal super villain.


I mean, if I've learned anything from watching action movies, it's that a goatee is a surefire predictor of villainy. Of course, Krugman probably isn't incorrect. After all, the reason that the ending of Watchmen is so unsettling is that Viedt's plan actually ends up working. But why would the devoted follower of Keynesian economic theory divulge his master plan to the world so readily? Unless. . . this is all part of his plan. Perhaps he's stating this, so that when it happens he can plausibly deny involvement.

I'm not saying that a real alien invasion is out of the realm of possibility. Or that if it happens, that's it's just a hoax to get our economy back on track. But if it does, there's one Nobel Prize-winning economist that's gonna have some explaining to do.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Addendum: Further secrets of Gay Life


As if today's MVOTW wasn't enough rainbow flavoring, I could not help but be outraged by today's revelation from Indiana Gay (and GOP rep) Phillip Hinkle that his recent encounter with an 18 year old Craigslist rentboy consisted of nothing more than an innocent discussion about baseball.

Well, fuck you Phillip. Some of us had a good thing going here. All this time and effort convincing the public that our fantasy baseball drafts were actually anal sex free-for-alls has been ruined.

Jig is up fellas. Guess we gotta go get ourselves girlfriends.

Music Video of the Week: Gay Pride

So, Dan asked me to post this music video of the week. While I generally choose my own subject matter, he demanded via a super bitchy gchat sesh that I review this video by walking engorged cock Matt Zarley.



His idea was I should get all loud and proud on this over-gymed faggot, talking about how wrong this is and how it badly represents the gay life, blah blah blah. Well Dan, if you had a dick in your ass as opposed to your head, you'd know this video is an entirely, 100%, scientifically accurate depiction of gays all around the globe.

Footballas: Contrary to popular belief, gays are really into sports. I've never understood how people could think we wouldn't be. It's an excuse to get sweaty and scantily clad with your fellow man. In fact, any major sporting event you attend is guaranteed to be at least 40% homosexual, more if it's a Gotham Knights game. Where do you think "tailgating" comes from?

Homostead: Like the water temperature of tropical fish, gays need to be kept in the right environment. Without adorable suburban homes with gardens and pools, we will succumb to sickness and fabulouslessness. For the urban variety, a trendy loft with all mod cons will suffice. Additionally, we usually devote a wing of the house for our posing light boxes.

Open your mouth:
Gay voice is a proven fact, but did you know we are born auto tuned? We don't bust it out much, but give a man poppers and you'll swear T-Pain just showed up.

Cum over: Be warned, entering onto a gay man's property will make you gay. That UPS guy, the gardner, and the mover at the end were decent heterosexual citizens with families until this fucker went all 9/11 on their assholes. Something about gay face has a hypnotic effect if you go in unprepared. If you are a mailman, check to see if you are delivering any of the following magazines: Details, Nylon, or Paper. Anything one-worded with a hyper pretty person on the cover is a good clue. If you're not privy to the mail, I highly suggest you invest in the appropriate defensive apparel.

I must applaud the creative force behind this video; the work is on par with a Jane Goodall study. I'd also like to take the opportunity to further harangue Dan for his laughable naiveté about the gay lifestyle. Next time you want to open the doors of bigotry, I suggest you get out there and do some actual field work.

Don't Wear Deodorant? Please Go Die In A Fire

I live in Brooklyn. More specifically, I live in the hipster mecca known as Williamsburg, though thankfully I am a comfortable distance from the main drag, Bedford Avenue. I also go to yoga classes in Williamsburg. (Yes, my fat ass takes yoga. Yes, it's as funny to behold as you would imagine.) In Williamsburg, people wear plaid shirts to yoga. They wear jorts. They wear all kinds of silly shit that they think looks cool. What too many of them do not wear, however, is deodorant.
Wear this. Do not ever not wear it.
I know, I know. What kind of adult wakes up in the morning, looks in the mirror and says, "Nope, no deodorant for me today."? And to not put it on before exercising is even more reprehensible. But these people exist. I worked with one in a restaurant in Philly. He was one of my fellow servers, and a hell of a nice guy, but he smelled like ass. He was also a hipster musician. Perhaps not coincidentally, he didn't make a lot in tips. And apparently he isn't alone in his enthusiasm for patchouli. In what seems like every other yoga class, someone who has neglected to wear deodorant is sitting way too close to me. It happened again in my most recent class. And this time, as is shockingly often the case (i.e. ever), the offender was a woman.

Now I don't plan on getting all sexist here, as everyone over the age of 10 should wear deodorant, regardless of gender. But this rings especially true if you are a woman. You're called the fairer sex for a reason. You're supposed to look nice, smell nice and (on the surface) be nice. Your odor should not remind me of wrestling in gym class in 7th grade. The same goes for your armpit hair, which should not exist if you have any intention of letting someone see your armpits. But that's a whole other epidemic in the 'Burg that I'm not going to get into right now. For now, I will settle for neutral aromas. Help me out here, Brooklyn. I'm not asking for much.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Classic Victor: All Good Thing Must Come To An AACK!!

Things have slowed down a bit this week at the home office, so you all know what that means: another delightful edition of "Classic Victor"; where I feature (rerun) vintage articles from my primary blog "Victor Sells Out" for all you current readers to enjoy. To paraphrase the old NBC slogan, "if you haven't seen it, it's new to you"!

Today's edition of "Classic Victor" comes from August 13, 2011. As I sit here in the scattered ruins of my home, a fortunate survivor of the harrowing Great New Jersey Earthquake of '11, I am reminded that it was merely a little over a year ago that another devastating disaster unexpectedly entered my life; really all our lives. I'm talking of course of the news that the comic strip "Cathy" would be ending its run. While it has been a difficult year thus far since the last "ack!" graced my copy of the Bergen Record last October, somehow I and most of America has managed to move on. Hopefully the (lightly) shaken residents of the tri-state area will find similar strength this time around to rebuild and recover:


So after thirty-four chocolate craving, shoe obsessing, yo-yo dieting, mother stressing years, it appears that long time comic "Cathy" will be acking off into the sunset. I can't say that it's all that shocking, the writing was on the wall when she married Irving in 2005. For a comic devoted to the daily travails of a miserable, love (and chocolate) starved, single woman getting Cathy to finally marry was the equivalent of Beetle Bailey being dishonorably discharged from the army, or the Lockhorns filing for a divorce, or Garfield being diagnosed with feline AIDS.

As a staple of the newspaper comic section I occasionally read a "Cathy" comic or two growing up and I, like most males and people under 50, had always written off "Cathy" as an unrelatable, unfunny, waste of ad space and printer's ink that had long since lost any relevance; living a lazy, half-assed existence recycling its tired old jokes and tropes while enjoying its comfortable tenure. During my recent Lockhorn archiving experiment (currently on hiatus), my perusing of the daily comics got myself a chance to reevaluate many of the old comics I grew up with, including "Cathy", and after looking at the antics of Cathy through the wizened perspective of an adult I must say it still sucks.

Why anyone would have any interest or empathy for this miserable, annoying, shrill troll of a woman who somehow manages to be both ugly on the outside and inside is a mystery. What's even more perplexing is how "Cathy" has a reputation as some sort of female cultural icon. So what exactly is there in this patently offensive hideous caricature of the modern female that fellow contemporary women can take to heart? Are women deep down all really that superficial/hysterical/whinny and "Cathy" is some common gender relating figure? If you did the old gender switcheroo and instead of Cathy Guisewhite it was her husband who created and wrote "Cathy", I don't think it would have been nearly as successful.

Then again, maybe I'm just unfairly picking on "Cathy" since most comic strips suck. I can't say I'm sad to see it go so this stops short of a eulogy, but for something that has consistently existed everyday for my entire existence to soon be gone forever, at least some attention must be paid. Now all that's left is to speculate about what the big finale would be October 3rd. There definitely isn't enough development time for a baby but I'm thinking maybe she'll get pregnant (as horrifying as the implications are). Although I'd be willing to completely reevaluate my comments on the entire series run if the ending is anything like the insane existential nightmare Garfield strips that ran the week before Halloween in 1989.



P.S. While google image searching for a decent sized picture of Cathy, I came across this horrifying "Cathy" parody that someone created for their blog. It is beyond "Not Safe For Work" it's more closer to "Not Safe For Human Eyes". Click at your own peril, but remember you can never unsee it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Inspiration For This Website Revealed

My roommate is a colossal nerd, mostly in the figurative sense, though he is not a small man. He is also a professional nerd, earning a very respectable living working in an IT department. We have lived together for over three years at this point (known each other for 9) and during that time, he has complained about a lot of things. In fact, while doing so, he introduced me to the phrase "nerd outrage", which I find infinitely hilarious. The original idea for this website was for me to transcribe his various, hysterically angry rants into written form, but seeing as he refuses to do anything other than rant organically, that was not to be. He has, however, taken the time over the last year or so to start a list of things that piss him off. If you don't know him, it's still very funny. If you DO know him, you will laugh so hard that it will bring you to tears. For a frame of reference in case you do not know him, just picture a very smart, very pasty, reasonably doughy man who is probably eating a slice of pizza while bitching about the things on the upcoming list (all of which appear in the order in which he added them).

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Commentary


Lately, in the past year or so, it has been the vogue thing for many to be down on facebook. Sometime between everyone's parents getting accounts, the reoccurring flare ups over user privacy issues, the "Social Network" portraying founder Mark Zuckerberg as a sort of socially stunted, scheming, evil genius, and Google+ setting up shop, the social networking site seems to have lost its once seemingly unstoppable momentum and essentially flawless reputation.

I for one still find facebook to be alright in my book. Sure it has its imperfections but really what service doesn't? Things would have to get a lot worse before I would actually decide to cut myself off. At this point, it has become for better or for worse such a regular part of my daily life that I can't really turn back over a few complaints. It's like the post office. Sure, sometimes the lines are long or the service is lousy and the prices seem to be going up every year but on the whole it works; your Netflix dvds are delivered and turned around in a matter of days, letters and packages are sent to far flung regions at home and abroad with relative speed and dependability at a price that is still unbeatable. Are those other complaints really grounds to completely cut out mail service in your life? You still need it to keep in touch with the world (in fact, in terms of keeping in touch with the world, I use facebook far more than the postal service). Also Google+ has the potential to be better, but I have about 4 friends on it and I'm not about to go out and try to find and recreate my current facebook friends list.

I have only one real complaint when it comes to facebook: commenting. In all the years that the little comment link has existed, Zuck and crew have yet to make it so one can individually respond to comments. Commenting on someone's posted message has always been this needlessly one-size fits all, all or nothing affair with everyone on the chain getting everyone else's contributions; becoming at times a major nuisance to everyone involved. Sometimes I just want to make one comment about someone's post and quickly walk away.

For example, let's say you posted some great incisive comment:

"I think Dick York was the superior Darrin on 'Bewitched' hands down!"

Friend A might come along and say: "No way Dick Sargent was better!". Then Friend B shows up and posts "What the was name of Darrin's boss?". Now Friend A, who just wanted to quickly make his comment about the superiority of the second Darrin and nothing more is forced to be constantly updated about the back and forth between You and Friend B talking about Darrin's boss Mr. Tate. Then Friend C shows up and agrees with Friend A's original comment from way back in the chain about the second Darrin and the updates get exponential. Friend D shows up and starts talking about Uncle Arthur and now you've got yourself a comment clusterfuck!

Did I also mention that while all this is going on there's no way for You to address each friend individually? You just have to write a huge comment with @Friend A, @Friend B, etc.

More than a few times I have avoided commenting on someone's post to evade the possibility of being inundated with everyone other subsequent poster's comment which I have no desire to follow. Often times I've been tempted just to post a message on their wall in regards to their posted comment so as to avoid the queue. This is especially true with any type of congratulatory response to posted good news. Got engaged? Had a baby girl? It's your birthday? Aced your finals? Great! I'd like to send my congratulations but I don't also want to get updates from the 50 other people who are also congratulating you after me. I'm sorry I guess I'll just have to punt and give you a weak "like" click, which is immune to the kind of unwanted dissemination that the comment link has.

Maybe there's some feature I'm missing out on here? Maybe there's some hidden button that I'm not aware of and this issue to totally moot? If that is the case, I'd appreciate it if somebody told me about it (it did take me a while to figure out you can completely block needless status updates on the feed). You can definitely expand and shrink your comments and responses on Google+. All I'm saying is this is 2011, I think we can figure out how to route these messages properly.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

5 Products in Search of an Exit

Sometimes a product comes out that seems to have been made just for you. It's not like a "I should have thought of that" moment, but more a product that captures a certain need you believed to be alone in having - an eerie sense that there's a genie out there making your consumer fantasies a reality. It happens once in a blue moon, but damn if I don't feel like I'm in the Truman Show when it does. Submitted for your approval, here are 3 products that have come true, and 2 that I'm still waiting on.

AT A STORE NEAR YOU:


1) Jack and Coke in a can: Yeah, yeah, I know I could make this myself in a bottle, and have before for easy street drinking. I also know there are a lot of other pre-mixed cocktails out there, but this one is in a CAN. This is American dammit! I demand my thirst quenched, my body caffeinated, and my brain made fuzzy, all with zero effort on my part. Plus, the satisfaction of smashing aluminum against my forehead once I have completed drinking . Not only is this convenient, but it opens the door for a whole new line of novelty alcoholic beverages. It's also a great excuse to bring back some retired sodas that could mix well with hard liquor. Crystal Pepsi with Sauza tequila? Jolt Cola with Makers Mark? Disgusting? I'm sure. Intoxicating? Guaranteed.



2) The Duet: Or, the flash drive dildo. A truly amazing product. While it should be adapted to meet the needs of all orifices, you have to admire it's innovative nature. Keep your fap files and tool all in one convenient place. This fits into a general product category of sex toys in everyday things. Sunblock lube (SPF 30), keychain cockrings, or the fleshlight cell phone could be only months away.



3) The Walking Sleeping Bag: For those who weren't quite ready to leave the womb and are afraid of the world. Your life can now be one never ending slumber party. After a night of one too many cans of Jack and Cola, I know I look forward to cuddling up in my walking sleeping bag with my Duet. I would also like to point out that it makes perfect sense for a country that has had no real military for over 60 years to have invented this product.

STILL WAITING:

4) The Triple Triple Oreo: If you're a glutton and have been following GNN (or been to the Midwest lately). You'll know that Nestle has finally released the Double Triple Oreo. Look, I think it's great that they're teasing us, drawing out the inevitable like the 7th Harry Potter movie, but I.AM.HUNGRY. Enough. Just get it on the shelves already. Make the third cookie strawberry flavored or yellow or mint or whatever, I don't care. Get it down my throat. I've been jury rigging them for too long. Also, Shaq and Shaq alone should be endorsing these cookies.



5) Tackling Taxes with Grover Norquist: You thought I was going to say Hoverboards, didn't you? Fuck you. America's favorite proponent of starving and asphyxiating government in it's own home would make a great income tax software product. Every year you would owe $0.00. Except if you are in a union, in which case an animated Norquist will appear and demand you pay back all the money you've stolen from big business.

"My Heart Belongs to You, But My Dick is Community Property"


(Ed. note: I fucking hate VEVO. I'm sorry about the ads. Just bear with me on this, I promise it's worth the wait.)

Ah, Steel Panther. The greatest glam metal band of all time (not the stiffest competition in the world, but still). Originating over a decade ago as an 80s cover band, Steel Panther gained national acclaim a couple years ago when they cut "Feel the Steel", which hit #98 in the U.S. at its peak. The album, which includes the above song "Death to All But Metal", is hysterical from start to finish. Also, it rocks pretty damn hard, in a hair metal kind of way. Seriously, how can an album that includes songs called "Asian Hooker", "Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)", and "Party All Day (Fuck All Night)" NOT be awesome? While it's true that the gimmick wears thin after the 20th listen or so, by then, who cares? The new album drops this fall. I'm so in.

Oh, and here they are covering "I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys:

Steel Panther is fucking awesome.

Friday, August 12, 2011

. . . And The Stars Look Very Different Todaaaay

A few months ago I was working on a pitch video at work, which for my part involved watching and pulling sound bytes from Carl Sagan's classic PBS mini-series, The Cosmos. As a former member of Eldorado High School's third place New Mexico State Science Bowl team, I had a vague understanding of Sagan's work, and remember seeing snippets of the show as a child, but never truly appreciated how great it really was (if you're curious you can watch all 13 episodes on Hulu).


Admittedly the visual effects and score feel more than a little dated (this is after all, public television from 1980), but the series still succeeds in illustrating some pretty weighty scientific ideas to a mass audience without ever seeming like it's dumbing down the material. Sagan keeps the dry scientific facts to a bare minimum and instead emphasizes his own doe-eyed wonder at the universe, which he conveys with trippy visuals and charmingly low-budget historical reenactments, all explained with his own signature slow-burn oratational style, which I assume was the basis for the agents in the Matrix films. On a related note, Sagan also wrote one of the most compelling and well-reasoned arguments in favor of recreational marijuana use, and his widow, Ann Druyan, is on the board of directors of NORML.

So naturally I was thrilled to find out that Fox is rebooting Sagan's landmark series, to be hosted by none other than People's "Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive", Neil deGrasse Tyson. However, I was considerably less thrilled to learn that the series is being produced by self-indulgent animation mogul and object of my disdain Seth Macfarlane.


But before I go off on an anti-Macfarlane rant here, I do have to give him credit for just getting this project off the ground. I can't imagine that the executives at Fox were chomping at the bit to produce a primetime science education series, and Macfalane is clearly one of the few people with enough clout to make that happen. And hopefully putting his name on this project will get the show strong enough ratings that they won't just cancel it after the third episode. So in the interest of giving Macfarlane a chance to redeem himself after his latest string of self-indulgent vanity projects, I've decided to set forth a couple of ground rules for not desecrating the legacy of one of the greatest scientific minds of the 20th century. . .

1) No lounge music. We all know that you have a pretty decent singing voice Seth, but in the words of Dan Hedaya in Clueless - you think the death of Sammy Davis left an opening in the Rat Pack?

2) No show-stopping song-and-dance routines. As entertaining as it might be to insert a Busby Berkeley-style dance routine to illustrate the movements of celestial bodies, Fox already has enough programming devoted to musical theater nerds. It's time to give a little love to the potheads and science geeks.

3) No nonsequitur cutaways to wholesome 70s sitcom characters doing inappropriate things. This one probably speaks for itself.

4) No cameo appearances from any of characters from your other shows. I know it would be totally topical to throw in a little bit with that alien from American Dad, but that character is NOT FUNNY. Neither is the fish with the inexplicable german accent, or that fucking bear from The Cleveland Show. Neil deGrasse Tyson is a great TV personality. He doesn't need any help.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Plugged In and Ready to Fall


Last night I saw Alkaline Trio play at Irving Plaza in Manhattan, and, as always, they were tremendous. If you're sitting here reading this and wondering who Alkaline Trio is, that's forgivable. The only reason I'm familiar with them is because my best friend in high school sat me down and forced me to listen to them one summer. For that, I am eternally grateful. Musically, while they rock pretty hard, they aren't the most complex band in the world, as no rock band with only three members is. But when it comes to lyrics, they have very few peers.

Originating in Chicago, they've been around for 15 years, and though they definitely have a devoted following, they're hardly huge. And they certainly aren't the kind of band that has had many songs make it to the radio. A lot of that has to do with the fact that most of their songs are profane homages to drinking, relationships gone awry, drugs, death, or all of the above.

"Radio", featured in the above video, is without question their most popular song amongst their fans, if not their biggest hit. And with good reason, too. The opening stanza says it all:

"Shaking like a dog shitting razor blades,
waking up next to nothing. After dreaming of you and me,
I'm waking up all alone, waking up so relieved."

Damn, that's poetry right there. Sweet, tortured poetry. You could say the same about the vast majority of their work. I strongly recommend checking it out.

And now for an outraged aside: crowd surfers can all go to hell. Are you male? Do you weigh more than 125 pounds? If the answer to either of those questions is "yes", let alone both, then you should NOT be crowd surfing. Look, I get the appeal. But you need to consider the rest of us before you hoist your heavy, sweaty ass on to our heads. Some of us are getting old. Some of us don't want to worry about your damn feet hitting us in the head. Some of us don't want to shove our hands up your butt. Some of us just want to enjoy the kickass show, dickhead. So stop crowd surfing, especially in a venue as small as Irving Plaza. You wanna go to Bonnaroo and and traverse two football fields of stinky hippies? Fine. That's cool. But in a small venue where you're only gonna be up for about 15 seconds? Fuck. Off. You're not cool, and you're making everyone else's experience considerably less pleasant. If you're that desperate to get fisted by a bunch of dudes, shoot Nick an email. I'm sure he can work something out for you.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Spoiler Alert! No More Spoilers!

Earlier this week, I was a guest on the world famous EAST COAST BIAS podcast. It was a great time and I recommend everyone check these guys out. We covered a wide variety of topics, including a brief discussion on A DANCE WITH DRAGONS. We provided a pretty extensive spoiler alert before beginning the conversation, and I think the discussion was largely spoiler free. This, however, brought up some issues I have with these so called “spoiler alerts” that I was not able to elaborate on during the show.

What is the statute of limitations on these things? I can understand not wanting to discuss critical or surprising plot details of a book or movie that is relatively new, but do we really have to put spoiler warnings for a book that was released over 15 years ago?

It’s hard to imagine literary scholars discussing the works of Shakespeare without “spoiling” the major plot points, why should be take extra precautions for a series that is over a decade old? Do we need spoiler alerts for every movie or book or television show that warrants discussion? Do we still need to include spoiler tags when talking about Star Wars? Harry Potter? Dallas?



From now on, I will personally be following a much more defined spoiler policy. I will not purposefully spoil anything that is less than two years old. So I won’t spoil anything from A Dance With Dragons (SPOILER ALERT: nothing happens). Any other book in the series is fair game though. You have been warned.

I’m sorry if you missed the train on A Song of Ice and Fire, but coming to a party 15 years late does not necessarily entitle you to a spoiler free experience. Some of us were fortunate enough to be plugged into the sci-fi/fantasy scene for the last decade plus, usually with disastrous consequences to our sex lives. Forgive me for not feeling sympathetic for some possible missed spoiler warnings.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Shark Weak


Yesterday marked the end of the 2011 edition of that venerable basic cable programming tradition, Discovery Channel's Shark Week. Maybe I'm just not getting it but why would anyone who has ever seen any one of the other 23 editions of "Shark Week" (seriously, they've been doing this since 1987!) even care at this point. I think it's a truly impressive example of great promoting and marketing on the part of the Discovery Channel that they can somehow hype up a week of previously run filler shark documentary programming dabbled with a few "new" shows about sharks and make it seem like some sort of worthwhile cultural phenomenon. I mean everybody knows of "Shark Week" but who actually gets excited every year for this stuff?

Don't get me wrong, sharks are totally cool. Like many I find them to be both terrifying and immensely fascinating. If I were to go to an aquarium, I'd immediately head first to the shark exhibit. If I catch the last half of "Jaws" on TV, I literally have to watch it until it is over. As awesome and as bad ass as they are, after two plus decades how many more original documentaries can be made about sharks? It's not like we're finding a whole bunch of new radically different shark species every other day. It's not like filmmakers have discovered more innovative ways to film them in the wild. It's not like marine biologists have been completely rethinking all the basic shark facts we all know. In fact, if I recall one of my shark facts, I believe sharks haven't even evolved in like a 100 million years. There's nothing novel here. So then why do people keep getting so damn excited about this every year?

I might understand if Discovery held back on all shark related programming for the entire year and Shark Week was the only time you could catch programming about sharks. Or if they started incorporating more nontraditional shark related shows; maybe throw in a whole bunch of shark movies ("Jaws" series, "Deep Blue Sea", "Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus"), or even episodes of the above "Street Sharks", reruns of classic San Jose Sharks games perhaps?

Also, why do sharks have to get all the attention? Couldn't they vary the type of animal every year? I consider bears to be just as deep and interesting as sharks. Ants are pretty fascinating. How about whales (mammals represent!)? And really, no group of animals on earth have ever been as astonishing and as endlessly interesting as dinosaurs! Dinosaur Week, I can understand being a hit for 24 years and beyond. The subject doesn't have to be limited to different animals, there is an endless amount of worthwhile topics to explore in the physical world: volcanoes, hurricanes, the Amazon rain forest, other planets, time, the intricacies of the human genome, the future, the physics that power the stars, the myriad unsolvable mysteries of life. It doesn't even have to end there, as Hamlet said to Horatio, "There are more things in heaven and earth...than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Are sharks more worthy of a week than any one of these other topics?

I'm just saying there are other options out there.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Open Bars: More Trouble Than They're Worth


In theory, an open bar is a great idea. You pay one price, and you drink all you can. It's the same principle upon which every keg party has been founded, and it's a good one. But it has been corrupted. You see, the problem with most open bars these days is a time limit. More often than not it is two hours or less at some bar or club trying to get as many people as they can to show up, get drunk, and then stick around and pay $8 for a beer after the open bar is over. This also tends to lead to people getting way too shitfaced, way too fast. The following story covers just such a situation.

Let me just preface this by saying that open bars without time limits, at things like weddings and New Years Eve parties, are fine ideas. If your wedding doesn't have an open bar, you have failed and will probably be divorced soon. I also don't have a problem with binge drinking or getting shitfaced, all things considered. I just don't like it when I have to cram it in before 11pm, like I and three of my friends had to do one fateful evening in October of 2003.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Gamesmanship

This past weekend I had the misfortune of seeing Cowboys & Aliens, the fourth in a series of irredeemably bad alien invasion movies that Hollywood has released in the past year. But as if to foreshadow the lame excuse for a summer blockbuster I was about to witness, or perhaps just to remind me how stupid I am for expecting that any studio might actually come up with a decent script before approving the $100 million effects budget, I was forced to view the following trailer:


This is, of course, a very effective teaser, because it left me with so many unanswered questions. Among them:

- What is that giant metal eagle thing?
- Is it aliens?
- It's aliens, isn't it?

But the most vexing question of all is, why would anybody bother making a movie based on a pre-World War II board game that is essentially a glorified version of "Go Fish"?

I've also heard, that there are currently Monopoly, Candy Land, and Ouija films in the works, along that new Hugh Jackman movie, which ostensibly has no relation to Mattel's "Rock Em Sock Em Robots" toy in spite of an uncanny resemblance.

I've resigned myself to the fact that Hollywood is completely bereft of ideas and that no studio is dumb enough to release a movie that's dependent on something as paltry as ticket sales to make money. So it makes sense that to adapt things like toys, board games, and theme park rides, which provide recognizable, well-loved brands, along with valuable corporate partnerships and ideas that are so nonspecific that screenwriters can pretty much do whatever the fuck they want with the material, like a multi-million-dollar doodle exercise.

We know that there's at least one decent film that's been adapted from a board game, but it still seems like Hollywood is adapting some of the lamest board games while there are so many great board games out there just itching to be turned into box office gold. So I've decided to come up with a couple of games that I'd like to see get made


Mouse Trap


A team of scientists is trapped in their lab with a vicious genetically engineered mouse that's slowly picking them off, one by one. They must create an elaborate Rube Goldberg-style mechanism to trap the beast, but not before one of the scientists bravely sacrifices himself, diving head first into a large bucket or acid to keep the machine going.


Pictionary
An FBI agent is in relentless pursuit of a sadistic serial killer. His only lead is the one victim that got away - a deaf/mute woman who can only communicate to the outside world through the pictures she draws on her sketch pad.


Risk
Set in a bizzarro Napoleonic world in which two rival generals battle it out for total control of the world, culminating in an epic battle at Kamchatka (or possibly Siam). If they truly wanted to justice to the game, this would be an interminably long HBO series that you would give up on before anybody wins.


Mystery Date
Some girl (Emma Stone) goes on a blind date with a guy (Channing Tatum). They're comically mismatched but fall in love anyway. . . Something something. . . Asshole guy played by Bradley Cooper. . . The rest writes itself.


Settlers of Catan

Just kidding. Nobody would watch that shit.



Music Video of the Week: I Wanna Pull It Out

So it's been a rough week everybody. Tension has been running high all across the globe. With the heat, a near economic collapse, and the Norwegian rampage, the shits are hitting the fan more often than a regular at Chipotle.

I think it's time we de-stress. I think it's time for a music video of the week.



What can I say? Walking, talking, engorged cock Henry Rollins does a pretty good job of convincing me he's angry. I like the whole Travis Bickle thing, and I'd probably take this over seeing Taxi Driver for the 50th time. I do have a few suggestions for Henry on how to deal with his anger management issues.

1) Find a new job - There's probably nothing more stressful than driving a cab. You have to deal with drunk people, people in a hurry, people who don't know how to get where they need to go. It's not a healthy lifestyle. The guy should work at a gym or as a kindergarten teacher or something.

2) Find an outlet for your rage - It's good that he's writing, but does he have to do his homework with the TV on? It can't be making you more productive. He clearly exercises, but I get the sense he's thinking about beating people up while he does it. Maybe try something more passive, like some yoga, or tai chi.

3) Leave New York - Seriously, it's a trying town to live in. With cramped living conditions and excitable diner patrons, you shouldn't live here unless you have thick skin or the monies of a Ted Danson. Kansas City, or perhaps San Francisco would be more your speed. I know it's hard to leave but here you're just an Anders Breivik waiting to happen. They have bagels on the West Coast, ya know.

4) DO NOT TRY THE INTERNET! If all that's making you upset are some crowds or a demanding job, you do not want to enter the 21st century. There are millions of people online, and they are always trying to get a hold of you. Please, please, do not go onto Reddit. It will ruin it for everyone.

I hope Henry finds some solace. I'm here for you man.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Yup, We Tweetin' Y'all

Yes folks, the time has come. Nerd Outrage finally has a Twitter account. Please follow us. We'd be ever so grateful. And we will totally follow you if you follow us, unless you think that's creepy and you don't want us to. But it isn't creepy. Everyone likes having more followers. Here's what you get if you follow us on Twitter:

- timely updates on the website as soon as anything new is posted
- remarkably brilliant and scathing wit in 140 characters or less
- to the minute advice on Magic cards from Emerson
- Thursday Crochet with Victor (coming soon!)
- Dan bitching about baseball
- Dan bitching about fantasy football
- Dan bitching about pretty much everything else
- all kinds of pop culture commentary and reviews from Nick and Jimmy
- probably a bunch of gay stuff from Nick
- dong shots* (at 10,000 followers)
- whatever the hell else we feel like

And so much more! We're partying like it's 2009, people. And we totally got a keg of Natty. Don't be left out.

Also, please check out friend of the website Kevin Bartini. He plays softball with me, does stand up, has a kickass podcast in which he reviews movies based solely on the previews, and is a darn funny guy in general. You see? You pimp us, WE PIMP BACK. Everyone wins.

*dongs in question will not necessarily be those of the members of this website. Only time will tell.