Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Worst 9 of '09 (and late '08)

I'm baaaaaaaack! Yet again! No guarantees that I'll stick around, but here's a long rambling post for ya to get things going again (maybe).

I hadn't really been feeling particularly inspired to rage about anything in particular until the holiday season reared its ugly head once again (as early as the first week of September in my neighborhood), thus forcing me to notice that not much has changed over the past year. Many of things that angered me towards the end of last year and the first half of this year are still around, and perhaps worse than ever!

So without further ado, here they are!

9) The perfume ads have returned! Many, if not most, of the ads from last year are taking up almost all airspace yet again. Some scents (such as Pink from Lacoste) are slightly different-still just as annoying but now with a new song and new girl running about. I didn't think it was possible, but I think there might be more this year than there were last year.

8) P. Diddy or whatever you call him is still around and still bothering people. His I Am King advert still pops up on TV and he is still a douche. His wax figure was recently unveiled at Madame Tussaud's and guess what? He gave MT a bottle of I Am King so that his figure could be as accurate a representation of him as possible. Douche.

7) Tiger Woods is more of a whore than ever. Back in January I ranted about how Tiger Woods will do anything, and I mean anything, for money. The man, as far as I could count, had 9 major advertizement deals. Well, it turns out that he ain't just a whore for money. The guy likes his women, and lots of them (at least 9-what is it with the number 9 this year). It looks like he won't have as many advertizing deals going into 2010.

6) The Liskula Cohen skank ordeal just won't die. Remember Cohen? The former, failed model who sued Google over a blog entitled "Skanks in NYC?" Well, it turns out that Cohen won the case and the blogger had to reveal her identity. I'm not sure which part of the story is more sad, the fact that someone as obnoxious as Cohen could actually get away with suing Google or that the previously anonymous blogger did not turn out (as I'd predicted) to be an awkward 16 year old but one of Cohen's prior acquaintances. Lame.

5) Yo Yo Ma is still too happy. I was a little unsettled by his never ending smile when he played in a suit at Obama's inauguration (it was freakin' cold outside) and wondered if he could ever frown. Don't think so. I saw him play at the Royal Albert Hall a couple months ago and he is possibly the happiest person ever to live. Okay, I'll admit it, I love you Yo Yo Ma!

4) Actors who want you to think they have standards but don't. Last time it was Pierce Brosnan and George Clooney. This time it's Patrick Dempsey (McDreamy) and Matthew Fox (Jack from Lost) getting all gelled up for L'Oreal. Proof:


This second one might be allowed because Fox is, well, a fox.

3) PETA still sucks. Aretha Franklin, on the other hand, gets her own and dresses all out in fur. Way to go lady.

2) Sarah Palin still won't shut up. Just give her a freakin' reality show already. No one takes her seriously, and if they do, well, there's just no hope for them.

1) I still find myself feeling like Mugatu. Not because of U2 this time (although that never really goes away) but because of Muse. Granted, I do kind of like them (I can't help it!), but I really don't get the obsession everyone has with them. Every single one of their songs sounds the same. I have a really hard time telling the songs apart on their albums and was a bit confused when their "new" album came out a couple months ago. This is new? It sounds like more of the same.

That's all for now!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Guerilla Radio

One day, driving home from school, I turn on the radio to hear a song called "What's Left of the Flag." The artists, Flogging Molly, has become one of my favorite bands. Now, sitting here, wearing my Flogging Molly T-shirt, I discover that the radio station I was listening to all those years ago has just shut down.

I grew up listening to WBCN, and I had come to consider the station as a landmark in the electromagnetic spectrum of Boston. So naturally, the news of its imminent demise came as bit of a shock &mdash a very concrete example of how modern media is changing.

The tendency is to blame iPods and MP3s for killing the radio, but I'm not sure if it is true. NPR's podcasts give me the opportunity to listen to programming that I enjoy, such as Car Talk, without me having to tune in on a Sunday afternoon. WBCN's song list will even live on via the station's website.

Infinity bigshot, Oedipus, sticking to his pseudonym even on PBS's Greater Boston, points out that only half of a radio station's job is the songs. Good radio content is determined by character, and the homoginization and nationalization of radio content has made the airwaves boring.

The Rock of Boston built its reputation on the creation of personalities, and a commitment to Boston's local scene. However, in recent years BCN lost the spark that introduced me to bands like Flogging Molly, the Dropkick Murphys, and showed the country bands like U2 and The Pixies (It also had a strange affinity for Irish bands).

So Boston says goodbye to an a piece of history, even though the golden age may have ended years ago. Whether it is the cause or the effect, the trend seems to be clear: The airwaves are full of naught but the most mainstream of media, and listeners are turning to internet and satellite radio for niche and novel content.


An addendum for people in the Boston area, one of BCN's major local features, Boston Emissions, is slated to continue on WZLX 100.7 in August.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

You've got to take her out

Energy drinks are great! What else is there to keep you going when it is four in the morning and you have an after party to attend. (besides cocaine of course) In highschool, when I was bored on a Saturday night, there was nothing better than shotgunning two Mountain Dew Amps, bouncing off the walls for two hours then collapsing in a sugar coma.

However, in the seemingly endless field of bull-piss-fueled, super-power-endowing quaffs, it is hard to get the attention as the trucker reaches into the gas station ice box. Let's face it, giving wings worked well for Clarence, but it is not for everyone. Now that you mention it: "I want to live!" would make an awesome tag line for on of these sodas. The trend now seems to aim at the not so bright, yet health conscious crowd — you know the people who work out and/or diet all the time, but whose knowledge of nutrition is "calories are bad".

See Exhibit A:

I understood 5 hour energy's angle, the high sugar content definitely makes energy drinks far less appealing than your standard cup of coffee. (This is not to be confused with 6 Hour Power, which gives you head.) Celsius' shtick totally takes advantage of the fact that everyone wants to be skinny, but doesn't understand how thier bodies work.

The ingredients are the same as if you added some vitamin C and B to a diet Redbull. This means that the "calorie burning" effect comes from the raised metabolism that is associated with the "energy" giving ingredients which you cannot pronounce. So, yes, it will help you burn calories, but so does coffee... and cocaine. So, I suppose, if you are looking to supplement your diet, but for some reason can't seem to score and eight ball, you can always go down to the supermarket and pick some of this stuff up.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Headline: Judge Falls for Bernie Madoff's Retirement Scheme

In case you have been hiding under a rock, Bernie Madoff has been sentenced to a 150 years in prison for his "evil" crimes. If the sentence sounds absurd to you, that is because Madoff will be serving the sentence on years he will be borrowing from people who don't understand how the stock market works. My guess is that Judge Denny Chin (whose name sounds like what you get from eating too many Grand Slams) assumed that the case was fictional when she read the amount Madoff is alleged to have stolen, and thus responded accordingly.

However, this sentence was a little on the conservative side for victim Burt Ross, who was hoping for Madoff to be sentenced to the inner circle of hell [as per the NYTimes article I cited earlier]. Though the sentence dwarfs the defense's plea of 12 years: with Madoff at 71, if he survives twelve years, he will probably be more of a financial burden than a threat. Admitting this the Honorable Chin, declined because it seemed absurd to give Madoff a sentence applicable to possession of a quarter ounce of marijuana.

So, finding herself through the looking glass, Judge Chin decided to eat the other side of the mushroom instead. My metaphor seems more appropriate with the language that was bandied about. In addition to references to Dante's inferno, Judge Chin claimed that, in addition to legal precedent, the symbolism of sentencing Madoff to a million years in prison was for "retribution," dismissing the acts as "evil." If you have ever watched a crime drama, you know this is a bad sign in a judge.

To be fair, nothing Judge Chin could have done would have satisfied me. White collar crime needs to be taken more seriously in this country, and to me (and the bottom line mentality of white collar criminals) whatever sentence would have come across as what it is: a life sentence to a prison where Madoff will receive better treatment than your granny receives in her old age home. However, booking him with a sentence that is usually associated with serial killers, after a trial filled with drama which would make Arthur Miller blush, sends just as bad of a message.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hmmm...-Worthy: You Make this Rockin World Go Round

My partner in crime has got me paying attention to the pictures that get include as the headline for news articles. Op-ed pieces tend to provide the best fodder — nothing betrays subtle bigotry quite like the picture you subconsciously chose to represent your works.

To this effect, my attention was drawn by this New York Times piece by Ruth La Ferla, about the "trend" which has "rotund" clothing designers putting out lines for "plus-sized" women. (How dare they!)

This photo which headlines the article is not quite as deliciously random as the BBC Gem Rageoline picked up, you understand why it's there. This picture is more like one of those 3D pictures, that looks like random noise until you relax your eyes, then you see a whole new dimension of questionable style choices.

I get that it is an advertisement for a Traget line of clothes, but did she have to be in the frozen foods section? Why, exactly, is she holding a bag of fried chicken? Was ice cream cliche? Bird's Eye peas too kink? I would love to have been a fly on the wall at this photo shoot. I picture the photographer saying:

"Stand more like a line backer. No don't clutch the chicken nuggets too your chest. Can you look hungrier? Random guy in the back! Don't move, that's good, look frightened! Now just let me get on my knees to give this shot that 'Godzilla rampaging through Tokyo' feeling.


I would agree.

* * *
I should take a moment to thank Annalee Schafranek over at Bitch for turning me onto this article. If for some reason you felt compelled to read the text in the NYTimes article, and are wondering why no one told Ms. La Ferla that "rotund" is not a nice way of saying "fat" you should read Annalee's article.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Ghost Blogs and a Lack of Common Sense

Speaking of ghosts, I'm not dead. Still here. Yup. Miss me? Didn't think so.

Have you ever started a blog only to abandon it within a few months? Of course you have. But why? Either you got bored, got busy, or your (ex) BFF misinterpreted one particular post? In order to solve this grand mystery, the folks over at the NY Times (discovered here) have asked a few people to reveal why they've left all of these blogs to waste away on the internets.

The reasons for neglect boil down to:

1) Procrastination and, you know, life
2) Attempts at fame, money, and an established audience have failed
3) Distractions and new forms of expressing one's ideas such as Twitter and Facebook (What do you mean distractions? I always pay atten...what's that?)

My problem with the piece is that Douglas Quenqua, the article's author, as well as the bloggers he interviewed, all seem to overestimate the power of blogs. The last few years have made us question the value of print media and forced us to reassess whether we still need to print and bind books or whether we should digitize anything and everything. It's the new way andeveryone wants in.

Quenqua writes, "Getting started is easy, since all it takes to maintain a blog is a little time and inspiration. So why do blogs have a higher failure rate than restaurants?" He answers his own question here. Something that takes "little time and inspiration" to "maintain" will hopefully be more readily abandoned than something which costs someone's lifeblood and savings to establish. A restaurant owner needs to find investors, staff, a chef, a location, and must have good business sense in order to succeed. Not just anyone can set one up. However, Teeny McTweeneyson can set a blog up for free within five minutes on many different sites. Now let's say that Teeny has a blog about her cat and her crush (Hottie o'Dreamyguy) but gets frustrated after a few months because no one ever comments and it just hasn't taken off. Maybe she'll come back to it every so often to rant about her life but it's no longer that vehicle she hopes will transport her to SuccessTown.

Why on earth would something like Teeny's blog fail? Is it the fact that she can't spell? Or the fact that she uses too many !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!? Or perhaps because there are approximately 8 gazillion blogs already devoted to cats? Maybe. But there were probably about 8 gazillion minus one blogs devoted to cats before Lolcats came along. Teeny simply failed to do her research or put any creative effort into her blog. There are many Italian restaurants in the States, but that doesn't mean that new Italian restaurants will automatically fail. Americans will always love Italian food and surfers of the internet will always love reading about cats. But one day even Lolcats will bore us and we'll have to come up with a new feline sensation.

The point is, being a blogger will not lead to automatic success. In fact, the likelihood of a blog doing well is probably slimmer these days than that of a book getting published. Our thoughts are summarized in 500 words or less, we demand images and instant updates, and our hands shake when we hold a pen to paper for more than 15 minutes. The digital age, as awesome as it may be, should not signify the end of skill, talent, or perspicacity.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Jay Leno: Adieu, Until Tomorrow

A long time ago, NBC realized that its programing was so bad

**How bad was it?**

So bad that the only way it could lead in the ratings was to put programming on later than any other channel. The Tonight Show was born.

Tonight, Jay Leno takes the stage one last time after hosting for seventeen years, when he picked the job from the bucked teeth of David Letterman, who then seceded to CBS. Yes in this metaphor, the Abraham Lincoln is being played by Conan O'Brien, because he is lanky and would look very good in a stove pipe hat.

The host of the Tonight Show is like the president of comedy, in that he is over worked, over-rated and no one likes him until he has left. In a certain way he represents the country's sense of humour, and it marks the end of an era when he leaves. After so long it is hard to believe that Jay will no longer be there delivering his own particular brand of mediocre least common denominator comedy.

...That is until this fall when he will have a slightly earlier time slot. It is almost like I have moved to the central time zone.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Float like a butterfly and sting like a ...

I just watched a 12 year old (correctly) spell omphaloskepsis, a word that google doesn't even recognise. And Google knows EVERYTHING!

There are few things in the world which leave me in more awe than the national spelling bee. There are few words to describe the skills these kids posses, and they are probably the only ones who can spell those words. These children are the pinacle of home school education in this country, and they represent the future generation of American recluses and hermits... Something we never really beat the Soviets at.

It looks like we are trying really hard.

This really comes down to a competition of who responds better to parental pressure. The collection of scenes from tonight's national spelling bee have ranged from adorable to terrifying &mdash From giggling at a word containing "doodle" to bursting into tears because they could not spell hernio-something.

Spelling is a bitch, and this is because English is the slut of world languages. A patchwork of Latin, French, Greek, German, and a cocktail of Norse dialects mean that phonetics operates on several different systems, and good luck figuring out which one is at work (this is why all the contestants ask for etimology). This is exacerbated by the tendency to pick up words willy-nilly from other languages, each working on their own transliteration system. A great example, emphaloskepsis is a portmanteau stolen from ancient Greek to describe eastern meditation.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

UConn v USF: Singing in the Rain

We've all been there: Super bored during a long rain delay at a baseball game. When UConn and the USF found themselves in this situation, they turned life's lemons into the sweet lemonaide of a dance-off.

And if you must have the audio.

Florida lived up to their name as the University of Super Freak and scored high points for turning that tarp into a slip and slide (I've wanted to do that for years!!!), but UConn took the game — with the killer instinct to take their shirts off and get down and dirty. (Okay so UConn actually won the game by scoring more points than USF, but I like my version better.)

For the rage portion of my post:

I found this through a Deadspin post, which I found through this Jock Bitch post. In his post, blogger Dashiell Bennet cites this swingin shindig as the reason that College Football and Basketball are 'superior' to college baseball. First, no one puts baby in a corner! Second, this baseball boogie shows a level of sportsmanship and comradery that is rare in any sport today. Especially for these kids, so much is at stake in these sports that it is easy to forget that this is a game.

BTW: That's right I would rather be known as a person who reads Bitch than a person who reads Deadspin.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

So angry, can't type properly, ahapowr34#_(*&##%@Q)!

I told myself I should never blog when I'm this angry, but I'm afraid that if I don't blog then I will break something or someone. Before I say anything else, I just want to say, WTF AMERICA? For a short while after Obama was elected I hoped that maybe changes were really coming but I had a feeling that they weren't, or at least not all that quickly. Don't get me wrong, I have always loved America, but maybe not in that blind "I'll die for anything" way. Living in the UK means that I regularly have to defend Americans from being called "ignorant" and America from being called a place not really worth visiting for a second time. Next time it happens though, I'm not going to say anything because America's getting on my nerves.

The new American Idol is Kris Allen and not Adam Lambert? Really America? My brain cannot compute how this makes sense in any way but one: American
s are a bunch of ignorant assholes (except for anyone who voted for Lambert, of course). As far as I'm concerned, there was no competition between Allen and Lambert. As a friend pointed out to me, Allen looks like "he's taking a shit" every time he sings. See pictures for comparison. I'd say that's a fairly accurate assessment.

Aren't there already a million singers who sound exactly the same as Kris Allen and have that same "style?" Now he can just become another one of those bland voices we hear on the radio (except worse because he can't really sing). And I can't think of anyone more boring to go see in concert.

You cannot deny, whether you don't like his style of singing or not, that Adam Lambert is a much better singer and stands out much more than Kris. He has done so since the beginning of the season, making me actually watch the show, which I normally stop doing a few episodes in. He made songs interesting, didn't freak out if he wasn't in his comfort zone like Kris would if he didn't have his guitar, and has personality, which Kris doesn't. The thing that makes me really angry is that there were many, much better contestants who I maybe would have been okay with beating Adam (Allison, Gokey, or even Noop for the entertainment factor), but not Kris.

The only possible explanation I can think of for this is that Adam Lambert is openly gay and Kris Allen appeals to 13 year old girls. Almost every single criticism I have read about Adam felt it necessary to include the fact that he's gay. How is that even relevant? Hey 13 year old girls, do you think that Kris will actually fly into your bedroom at night and serenade you with his stupid guitar? David Cook, last year's winner, wasn't exactly your typical Idol (especially not over Archuleta), but he was a better singer and performer so he won. This year, even though Adam was clearly better and Google had predicted the results the straight Christian guy from Arkansas won. Just to get the point across, Kris Allen: shitshow. Adam Lambert: The best there ever was:

America, we're done. That was the last straw.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bailouts, Brits, and Explosions!

It is no secret that American car companies are hurting. Fiat just bought a portion of GM, Chrysler is declaring bankruptcy, and Ford is trying to change its name.to Honda. However, I think I may have stumbled upon a solution.

A British Invasion.

For my fellow Yanks, the silver-templed man with the bald spot is called Jeremy Clarkson, and in the metric system, he is a bad ass. Rageoline introduced me to Top Gear while I was in London, and I didn't really think much of it at the time. In my mind, a formula one racer on British TV seems a contradiction. However, after watching him feed Gordon Ramsay a rack of lamb cooked on the radiator of a Subaru Outback, I changed my mind.

I'm not entirely sure why they haven't tried to make an American version of this show yet. I guess crashing cars and having celebrities do silly things just isn't our cup of tea.

It seems as though the land of Country Music and NASCAR has fallen out of love with cars. If you really loved your pick-up you would drop your trailer on in. Car ads in this country are a barren landscape of computer generated hyperbole and hamsters. Watching Tiger Woods drive around Mars doesn't get me excited about Range Rovers, but watching one burst into flames just might. People really only watch NASCAR for the crashes, so let's cut the foreplay (in Daytona a series of left turns constitutes foreplay, Hiyo!).

What Barack Obama needs to do, is hold a nationally funded demolition derby. Buy a bunch of Chevy's, Fords and Jeeps, and put them through absurd tests! Like "Which Pick-up truck can destroy the most Ford Focuses before stalling." who wouldn't want to watch that? We could have a contest to see how far you can drop a full sized sedan before its axle snaps, or how many soccer moms it takes to flip over a given SUV.

Not only would this give ridiculous amounts of money to car companies, but it would also create a lot of jobs! Someone has to be selling cold flat American beer while this is happening. Also people would have something to brag about with their cars. Next time an uppity Touareg cuts you off in your Explorer, you can say "Sure, his car has all that low end torque and extra vowels, but can it barrel through 18 outhouses in a row? Mine can!"

Sunday, May 17, 2009

An Expression of Words

So, I was doing my bi-weekly reading of the nytimes.com blogroll to see what is making me mad/who is not featuring me this week, I stumbled upon a little of both.

Schott's Vocab is a blog that is dedicated to vocabulary. How did the grammarians get a blog? I thought the internet was like kryptonite to vocabularists... yes, in this metaphor I am considering correct punctuation a superpower. You have to be psychic to figure out where the comma will be next. It took me a good fifteen minutes to read this eight line blog post, Schott managed to use at least three words I'm pretty sure he made up -- vocabularist, assemblage, Schott (notice the blog isn't about spelling).

The Grammarians would be a great name for an indie rock band BTW.

This blog presents weekend-ly competitions fo the readers to talk about their favorite words. Today's contest asks readers to make up their own favorite words for  "modern assemblage."  You know how there are ridiculous words for groups of animals: gaggle of gease, murder of crows, turmoil of porpoises. Well, the idea is that a bunch of people who read a grammar blog will make up modern versions of these words.

Grammar enthusiasts are traditionally not funny. Entries range from the pedantic "google of searches" to the alliterative "Twitter of twits" (which would have been funnier the other way around) to the somewhat anger tinged "deceit of Cheneys." To be fair there are only multiple Dick Cheneys so that the first one can harvest organs from them. However, this article does answer one question I have held for a long time: "Who the hell comes up with this crap."

Does anyone know where I can apply for a poetic license?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Things that make you go hmm...

Every so often something will catch my attention that makes me wonder what on earth the person responsible was thinking. Some of these things are simply obnoxious and others seem wildly inappropriate. Yet somehow, they are supposed to pass as being cool, or professional, or even creative. Here are a couple of things I came across today:

Wikipedia's use of the word "orphan" in regards to Wikipedia articles. According to Wikipedia, an orphan is "A page with no links from other pages." Wikipedia decided that it was okay to use the word "orphan" to describe an isolated article. Maybe I'm just being a bit sensitive here, but doesn't it seem a bit odd to use that word? What if an actual orphan wants to look up something on Wikipedia and sees the following message:

"This article is an orphan, as few or no other articles link to it. Please introduce links to this page from other articles related to it." 

That orphan will now cry because Wikipedia has just reminded him or her that he or she has few or no links. Just when he or she overcomes the painful memories and is able to scroll down the page, this heading appears:

"Suggestions for how to de-orphan an article"

The other thing appeared BBC's website, an article entitled, "Are there women paedophiles?" 
I don't want to get into the subject matter of the article, but hasn't that question already been answered? Click on the link and take a look at the picture BBC decided to use for the article. It's a blonde woman and a possibly Asian boy walking down a beach. They are walking away from us so we can't see their faces. What do I find creepiest? Her arm is around his neck and her sleeve is positioned in such a manner that we can't see her hand. WTF BBC? Clearly the photo suggests that this is not supposed to be a mother and son walking down the beach. But why would a paedophile be going for what almost looks like a romantic stroll down the beach with her 9 year old hottie? Can you imagine being the people posing for this picture?

"Now, yes! Hold that position, that's perfect. Just put your arm around his neck but don't pull him too close! Oh, what's this for? Um, you know, something about paedophilia." 

The kid will look at this picture many years from now and have nightmares. But are there women paedophiles? Maybe. Perhaps Wikipedia will have an orphan on it. 

Saturday, May 2, 2009

FX (UK) shall face the wrath of none other than ME!

While living in the UK I am, for the most part, able to dismiss many of my American cravings. I get used to smaller containers of shampoo, eat different candy, and forget about major sporting events (to some extent). But one thing I will never be able to forget. That one thing has given me inspiration in my rage and makes me laugh until I can no longer breathe. What is it, you ask? This.

I just heard him make a series of swine flu inspired puns (a-pig-alypse, oinkmaggedon). Remember when he almost had a Hungarian bridge named after him? How can you not love him? 

Apparently FXUK does not. They claimed that the show did not have enough viewers and so they have not renewed its contract. Hmm...no viewers. When was the show on? After midnight! No wonder it didn't have any viewers. Even I have to record it every day. We can't watch the show on Colbernation.com because we're not in the US and now we can't watch it on TV. 

You know what FXUK? FU! Do you want to fight about this FX? Bring it. I need Colbert to survive. Let me guess, FX, a network owned by FOX, a typically right leaning organization, realized a bit too late that Colbert isn't actually a republican? 

I guess it's time to turn my good ol' buddy, Hotspot Shield on again (which you didn't hear about from me). 

Join the twitter fight with #saveourcolbert!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Was That Movie Supposed to Be Funny?

Last Friday, it dawned on me that the last time I had been to the movies was to see Tropic Thunder back in September, and even though Robert Downey Jr is a meal of an actor, I decided it was time to see something new.

I threw a dart at the newspaper, to decide which movie from the post-Oscar nightmare-scape to go see. The dart landed fortuitously on Sunshine Cleaning, the remix of the movie Little Miss Sunshine, but with Amy Adams instead of Steve Carell.

I suppose I should put up one of this obnoxious warnings: IF, FOR SOME REASON, YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW THE PLOT OF THIS EXTREMELY ORIGINAL MOVIE, STOP HERE. Seriously, you have never seen anything like it before... That is, if you haven't gone to the movies since 1924.

The idea is simple, two sisters come together to pick the last scraps off the rotting carcass that is their shattered lives. And there is plenty about fifteen minutes of black humour along the way. A solid fifty percent of this movie is close-up shots of Amy Adams about to cry — This movie is an actor's wet dream.

In hopes of making more money, Amy Adams and Emily Blunt (the sisters) open up a crime-scene clean up crew. In going around cleaning up the remains of other people, they learn to cope with the suicide of their own mother, who died like 20 friggin years before the events of the movie. I'm not particularly a huge fan of movies which are about people overcoming a traumatic life events which happened a long time ago... I'm looking at you, Wes Anderson! I will admit, that some of the cleaning scenes were pretty funny, but there are only like two of them in the movie.

The movie follows in the footsteps of Little Miss Sunshine, in its wry humour, and its themes of suicide and following your dreams despite the fact that you screwed them up years ago, and they are pointless anyway. It does tack on new themes like letting go of the past and abusive relationships, and Emily Blunt not noticing that the moderately attractive girl from 24 totally wants to get into her pants.

To sum it up, this movie might be worth seeing, if you are into emo crap (or if you like laughing at emo kids). I spent most of the movie not sure whether I was laughing with the movie makers, or at them. So if you are looking for a good cry, wait a week to see that not even Hugh Jackman looks good in sideburns. Oh, topless Hugh Jackman makes everything better.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Worst Post Ever

This winter just won't quit. While driving to vist my family for Easter, I was pelted with a "wintery mix,' which is not the assortment of holiday candy my sister thinks it is. I guess God must be pretty mad for the death of his son/self (alternate joke for Jewish readers: Yahweh must be mad at the whole slavery thing). I don't know if you have ever encountered sleet, I'm not sure if people have it outside of New England, but imagine if the weather can't decide which it would rather do: rain or snow. Instead, soggy wads of snow cascade from the sky, spattering on your windshield while you hydroplane.

But I survived, which is the important thing, especially when there are pirates out there. Why are there pirates!? Sure, piracy has been rampant in other parts of the world, but Americans haven't seen pirates in decades (unless you count privateers, which I don't). How can I maintain my blissfully ignorant image of pirates as people who wear eye patches, search for treasure, and occasionally walk into bars, when I am forced to face the fact that there are real pirates out there?

Anyway, I figured I'd get that off my chest. At least there is going to be a new Matthew McConaughey movie, and I'm totally not going to embed a trailer because they won't let me.

Stinkerton out!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Rage Down: Fake Fake Doctors and Women with Balls

I haven't posted a while, so today I bring you a fast breaking rage straight to whatever you kids are tweeting with these days.

First, Dr House M.D. completely defied me with who they decided to kill off this season. I won't give anything away, but it suffices to say that I assume they made this decision because the actor left to pursue his career (and only one actor on that show has a career). Now I'm not counting myself out just yet, maybe the writers on House will take a page out of J.K. Rowling's books and keep one-upping themselves. So this season, two people will die. Next season, a character people actually care about will die. Finally, for the series finale, Hugh Laurie will have to diagnose patients while dodging the frightful curses of Lord Voldemort, who has been brought back from the dead with the blood of Omar Epps.

Now, completely changing pace, lets talk about basketball. This weekend, the Huskies (men) were kicked out of the NCAA finals by Michigan State University. If you ask me, Detroit needs to spend less time training basketballers and more time teaching them how to make cars that run for more than four years. What are we here at Uconn going to do without our boys! All we have left is the best womens team in NCAA history. Great! That is like being the winner of the talent portion of the Miss America Pageant! I don't care how smart, beautiful and talented they are, if they aren't going to run off to the NBA before graduating, I'm just not interested.

Finally, I'd would like to take a second to say: Banana Nut Cheerios... teehee.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My New BFF

While Stinkerton may be my partner in crime and rage filled blogging, I think I may have stumbled upon my new potential BFF (Best Friend Forever for all you old people). I am referring to YouTube's jimmy0010. I'm not sure how old Master 0010 is, but I'm pretty sure we could have a good time hangin' round the park throwing sticks in front of roller bladers. His hair style might change from time to time, but his quirky anger never fades. A bit of Ricky Gervais, a bit of British angst, and a whole lot of rage. And maybe a bit Adam Lambert without the guyliner?

See for yourself.

I'd have to agree, it is a bit mental that the Queen's never had a cream egg.

I have also noticed that there always is some guy in the back of the bus playing music on his speakers and have frequently noticed crying women on buses.

Lovin' the new doo Jimmy.

So come on Jimmy, be my new BFF. I think I might be kinda older than you, but it's cool, yo, I have babysitting experience.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Maybe I should get to screen writing

Why? Because I'm pretty damn sure that I could come up with a more interesting story while on the toilet than James Gray and Ric Menello did for the movie Two Lovers. This post will be entirely devoted to crapshow that is this movie, so if you don't know want to know what happens (as if you couldn't figure it out within the first five minutes), then don't read. I guess I should throw in some of these:

*SPOILER ALERT**88**@#(*$_()@$*!!-------------------------------------

Now that you've been appropriately warned, here's the plot. Joaquin Pheonix plays this messed up guy named Leonard who lives in his parents apartment. He works at his father's dry cleaning store and was apparently once engaged but now is bipolar and tries to kill himself by jumping off a boardwalk, which is only a few feet above the water. Nice. His parents are buddies with another dry cleaning family and are coming up with a business deal for the two stores. They just happen to have a daughter, Sandra, who is kinda obsessed with Leonard because she once saw him dance with his mom. The two have a thing and she falls totally in love with him. Meanwhile, Leonard falls in love with his neighbor Michelle, played by the ever (not so) convincing Gwyneth Paltrow. Michelle, a drug addicted law firm assistant, is having an affair with her boss-who of course, has a wife and family. In the end, Michelle gets her boss to leave his family for her and Leonard winds up getting engaged to Sandra. Aww, everyone's happy, right? No. Not me. Here are my top reasons for not getting the hype:

1) Hmmm, I feel like I might have seen this movie before? Oh yeah, Match point. Except Match point was more interesting and kept my attention for longer than two minutes at a time.

2) The casting. Yes, Phoenix did a really good job, and so did Vinessa Shaw who played Sandra. However, how old are these people and how old are they meant to be? All of them either living at home or pretending to be about 25? Well, I remember seeing Paltrow playing the same types of rolls 10 years ago, so I'm a little unconvinced. Has Paltrow ever played anything other than a straight blond haired object of someone's affection? I think the only thing I've ever really liked her in was Shakespeare in Love. Her acting was pretty bad and so was her over the top New York accent. I really had a hard time believing that Phoenix was supposed to be whatever age he was supposed to be. 

3) The screenplay. How many movies are there about women in dead end affairs hoping that their lovers will leave their families for them? A whole lot. If you were to write a text book about how these scenes are typically done in movies, wouldn't you include a piece that goes something like this?

Woman to friend: You just don't understand. I know, this is awful, but he's different. He's a really nice guy. You don't think I'm crazy do you? What am I doing?
Friend says either: No, you're not crazy
End it now, for your own sake and his family's.
Woman: But I love him. And he's promised that he's going to leave his wife for me. He promised! (Begins crying, maybe storms off)

And that's what Two Lovers did. Exactly. No variation of its own, nothing new, nothing surprising, just boring and entirely predictable. And cheezy, in a bad way, not in an awww my heart melted way. 

At the end, Leonard buys a ring for Michelle. However, once he realizes that she's going off with her boss, he tries to throw it into the water. He walks into the sea, and somehow a pair of gloves that Sandra gave him fall out of his pocket and into the water. He slowly picks up the gloves and realizes that he still has her. Oh, and then he magically finds the ring again so he can conveniently give it to Sandra. Didn't see that one coming!

4) This would never happen in real life. About 30 minutes into this movie I could tell that it was written by a man. Why? Because there was an utter lack of understanding of how a real woman would react to Leonard's stalkerish ways in real life. He's tried to kill himself a few times, lives in a creepy room, looks kind of like Big Foot, and you're expecting me to believe that two beautiful women become obsessed with him? Not just kinda like him, or flirt with him, but develop immediate attachments to him in the period of a couple of weeks? 

Leonard asks Michelle into his apartment after she gets in a fight with her father. The two chat in a friendly, neighborly way. Fine. But then, Leonard follows her to the train station, gets on her train, gets off at her stop, and accompanies her to work. She offers him her phone number and he starts to text and call her right away. What? Do you know how this would go down in real life? Michelle would be friendly to Leonard, but would avoid directly giving him her number unless asked. Being stalked is not really sweet, but a bit sketchy. She doesn't even show any signs of apprehension. Sandra, on the other hand, is a normal girl who apparently has guys chasing her. Yet, she wants to "fix" Leonard? Do men really think that all women are that weak and need to mother someone at all times? What would have happened if Leonard had been a woman, and Michelle and Sandra were two guys. Would Michelle's male character accept a nerdy, somewhat disturbed, woman chasing after him? I don't think so. I don't know about the rest of you, but I've always been wary of overly eager guys. It's just not attractive or mysterious, or whatever the screenwriters wanted it to be. Yes, his character was sweet but Michelle's instant BFF? Come on.

Best moment of the movie:

Michelle yells to Leonard: You're crazy!
Leonard looks up with crazy face: That's what they told me! (Because they did...) 
Unfortunately, I don't have a screen shot, but just remember, this is what Joaquin Phoenix looks like now: 

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Daylight Savings? Sounds more like schmaylight schmavings to me

What is this time change business? I never used to question it that much in the past but I've come to realize that it's utterly useless. Twice a year our whole schedules get messed up because for some reason we need to have darkness or extra light. Friends get confused about lunch dates, people show up to work extra early or super late, I get confused as to which clocks I've already changed/need to be changed and am never sure which clock is tellin' the truth. 

From my understanding, Daylight Saving was introduced for a few reasons. It first appeared around World War I so that factory workers could actually spend some time outside in the sunshine after working hours were over. It also helps to reduce energy spent on artificial lighting. From almost everything I've read about it, Daylight Saving appears to be viewed more positively than "regular" time in the fall and winter (with the exception of that extra hour to sleep in, of course. Oh, and the fact that it gets too dark in the mornings so the time shift makes that less of a problem, or something). 

So, if more people like having that extra sunshine in the evening, then why bother "falling back" later in the year? Why not just stick with this schedule? I really don't think Earth gives a crap. Would it somehow mess up our calendar? I'm not really seeing the big deal here. Many countries in the world don't follow these stupid time changes and, as far as I know, they haven't exploded yet. Would anyone miss the time changes? I know I certainly wouldn't. If keeping the extra hour saves energy, then why bother going back in time at all? It can't possibly be just because of the morning light business. Farmers, construction workers, and all them other folks who tend to work outside don't tend to do as much outdoors during the colder months. 

I remember learning a theory about how businesses would try to figure out how to maximize worker productivity. Almost out of the blue, workers would begin to receive rewards or bonuses for good work. After the reward system was introduced, productivity would go up. After several months, productivity would remain reasonably high, but wasn't as great as right after the introduction because rewards were expected. So after about six months, the reward system was taken away, which left workers feeling like they no longer deserved to be rewarded. Again, productivity would rise. Eventually, the reward system could be introduced again. Is this what daylight savings is all about? Is our extra hour of sunshine in the spring just a reward for being good all winter? Then our schedules get mixed up again in the fall so we don't get into too much of a routine. Daylight Saving isn't mandatory so maybe there's some sort of mentality that if we don't work well, our daylight will be taken from us. 

Maybe what needs to change are our own attitudes towards schedules and the outdoors. We are obsessed with time, being on time, working for a certain period of time, waking up on time, etc. Of course being aware of time does increase productivity, but why should we need to rely on an enforced time change to make sure we're waking up at the right hours and going outside at a certain time of day? Shouldn't everyone be responsible for that?

Here's what I mean: 

You work in an office for eight hours a day (okay it's more like 9 hours because of your lunch break). Other than your lunch break, you are not able to leave the office unless you have an appointment of some sort. This means that in winter, the only time you will spend in the daylight, is the time it takes you to walk to your car in the morning and your trip to and from lunch. When you leave work, it will be pitch black outside. Your entire day has been spent in artificial light, looking at the fleeting sunlight outside. However, during the summer, you actually get a few hours of sunlight after you leave work. No wonder people suffer from seasonal depression! For half the year, you don't really get to see the sun, other than on weekends of course. Shouldn't employers be responsible for ensuring that workers get to spend time outside during the day? Wouldn't productivity levels be higher if employees felt good about life? Artificial light may temporarily alter moods, but it doesn't provide vitamin D. It doesn't provide a sense of fresh air or wind on your face. Altering the work schedule so that employees get at least 30 minutes outside during the day would probably help to increase attention levels and focus. It shouldn't be up to the government to force sunshine upon us-it should automatically be part of our lives. 

So please, get rid of this time change business. Stick with one time (preferably daylight savings) and we'll all be happy. Why bother with a tradition picked up from World War I?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Shepard Guide Us

I was debating between this title and "This Fairey Steals Your Money", but that's what this dude gets for having two professions as his name.

Shepard Fairey's plagerism case, has been pissing me off a lot lately. I don't really care that he stole the image for the Barack Obama "Hope," poster from a (probably underpaid) member of the Associated Press, but Shepard is really getting on my nerves by turning around and suing the Associated Press because of the famous "he who hast smelt it, is the party that dealt it" law.

I suppose I shouldn't expect anything less, since Shepard has made his name by skirting vandalism laws, to draw attention, and give himself that bad boy image that gets you laid. However, what is really getting to me, is this Huffington post post which Fairey posted, and which I heard of through this Bostonist article (It turns out that HuffPost is the Kevin Bacon of Blogs). In his post, Fairey defends his idea-thievery in true "the kid with glasses and straight A's totally cheated off of me" fashion. His arguments range from legally prudent douche-baggery to the proclamation of an truly disturbing world-view.

"...I did not think (and do not think) I needed permission to make an art piece using a reference photo. From the beginning, I openly acknowledged that my illustration of Obama was based on a reference photograph... which I found out much later was taken by Mannie Garcia..." It is not a reference if you do not cite your source, which you clearly cannot do if you don't know who created the work.

Admittedly, it takes balls to do this and then complain that "...people try to demean my Obama poster as being 'stolen' or that because I used a photo I 'cheated'." This is like having a conversation with a cheating student &mdash What you don't seem to understand, Shepard, is that you aren't cheating because you used Wikipedia, you are cheating because you passed someone else's work off as your own. You say that many great painters worked from photos, but the difference here is that paintings are made in a studio, and your poster was made in photoshop.

Almost universally, the only thing interesting about Fairey's work is his use and contrast of colors, and the actual images are always taken from other sources. So while the pictures are evocative and exciting (until you realize that this Fairey is a one trick pony), a remix loses a considerable amount of depth if the original is not available.

Fairey claims that he went to Rhode Island School of Design, an impressive alma mater &mdash "At RISD I was taught to draw from life, to draw from photo references..." Well it's too bad this fancy school didn't teach you to reference your works. This is surprising, in academia people are only worth as much as their ideas. So when you steal someone's ideas, you steal their lively-hood. It is a big deal. I also find it interesting that for all his defense of working from photo references, Fairey sure doesn't seem to have a very high opinion of photography.

On this point, Fairey's post isn't all juvenile, there is plenty of room for the asinine. He argues that it was okay to use the image because he wasn't reporting news, but instead using the image to promote Obama. This actually makes matters worse. Shepard Fairey was using the photo to make "a political statement" that he had no idea that Mannie Garcia was even cool with. Even though Mannie did turn out to be an Obama supporter, Shepard admits that he didn't even know Mannie's name when the poster was created, so he obviously had no respect for the photographer's intent. I know I would hate if Shepard Fairey somehow managed to use my words here to steal money from the AP in this lawsuit.

My personal favorite argument from Fairey is that Garcia's work would have "faded into obscurity" without the Obama poster. What sort of arrogant asshole sells himself as a gritty street artist, then asserts that he can get away with copying someone else because he is more famous? Although Fairey claims that he is defending the artistic expression from excessive copyright laws, this is actually what copyright laws are meant to do. Even though in recent years it seems like copyright laws are there to protect large company trademarks and the canned crap which we hear on the radio, they are actually there to protect the small time artist from having his (or her) work stolen by larger more famous bullies. Despite his image, Shepard Fairey is the bully in this case, and he is using his fame to control lesser known work.

Of course there is nothing wrong with being a bully, it is nearly impossible to be successful without being at least a little bit of a bully. But don't try to shove some idealistic crap down my throat so that I think that you are freeing my mind when you are really just giving me a wedgie.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Things that bite... In Connecticut

I don't know how I feel about all of Barak Obama's press conferences, he has had two already, and all of these questions.... these would have got Bush through the better part of his first term. I don't care how candid and honest he is, when I try to turn on American Idol, it is because I want to forget my troubles, not be frankly reminded of them.

I digress.

Usually when people think of Connecticut, the fiercest thing involved is Chris Dodd (Oh, no you Doddn't). However, things seem to have been turned upside-down lately. There was the famous incident about a month ago. A woman was attacked by a monkey. This attack even got congress to take a break from giving out money to talk about a pointless bill to ban the interstate transportation of monkeys.

If this wasn't enough, a few weeks ago, some woman found an alligator crawling out of a sewer drain. I'm not entirely sure why this woman was living in a sewer drain, but I would like to think that she is safe from vicious clawed baby animals which are adorable.

For the coup de gros, last week a woman and her husband got in a fight. Now, I assume she must have been some sort of conflict counselor, because she realized very astutely that nothing ends fights quite like handcuffs. So while her husband was sleeping she locked the bedroom door (from the outside somehow), and chained herself to his wrist. Everything was going well until he started to called the cops, so she was logically forced to bite him.

Now, I'm note exactly sure how long full moons last, but I don't think that you can blame what has been going wrong on astrological phenomena. Maybe people are just really excited about womens basketball. To top it off The Haunting in Connecticut came out last week, so if we keep this up, we might surpass Texas as the creepiest state! Well at least then I will be able to tell people "Don't mess with Connecticut, or we will confuse you with spelling."

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Nothing is more efficient than Diesel

Ok, so we have had a bit of a dry spell. I have been very busy doing things that you couldn't possibly understand.

I just installed a firewall on my computer, and for no apparent reason the BBC has been trying to access my computer every fifteen minutes for the past couple of days. I don't know what I could have done to piss off "the company", but they are ruthless and I am screwed.

I also bring some good news. For the past few years, our lives have been missing something — I'll give you a hint — children love it, where-ever it goes there are explosions, and it has huge deltoids. Give up:

That's right he's back! I can't wait to stare into his lifeless eyes, as he draws out his phrases syllable by syllable. I expected the second coming of Diesel to be as the governor of a state, but I will have to take what I can get. This movie is gonna be awesome! The first one was so cool it convinced people that bad-ass meant green ligths on the underside of your car.

"But didn't Vin refuse to do a sequel to this movie 8 years ago when it was relevant?" You ask. Well, first, don't use his first name, you don't know him... no one knows him. Second, this recession is so bad, that not even Keifer Sutherland can car-chase us out. So we brought in the big guns! After all, it is a movie about the triumph of the old-time values of American muscle over Chinese people doing awesome acrobatics with Japanese-made zip.

Does this mean that we have adopted late 90's early 2000 nostalgia? Are Eminem and Saliva going to be ironically cool now, because I had finally gotten "Click Click Boom" out of my head. More importantly, are we going to finally be done with 80's nostalgia? Because that would be awesome.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

"Reality" TV is pushing it

Now in my confusion from daylight savings time*, I turned on The Simpsons an hour early, to discover that the Fox network was even more brilliant than I originally thought. About a year ago, America rediscovered the Japanese gameshow which was normally relegated to the depths of basic cable. Giving birth to instant classics such as Wipeout and I Want to be a Japanese Gameshow. During the great writer strike of `07-`08 these shows were appealing, because they combined the mindless pleasure of Grey's Anatomy, without the pesky writers who want things like wages, and integrity.

I am surprised that I was unaware, but every Sunday at 6:00 Fox airs a show called Hole in the Wall. The basic idea of the show is that the Fox network pays who knows how much to cut shapes into large foam walls, and then the walls slide along a track, and contestants need to jump through the holes without getting plowed by the wall. Think Super Mario Bros. with break dancers and contortionists instead of plumbers. Of course, a Youtube video is worth a thousand words, but you only really need two: "Oh Crap".

If you haven't noticed yet, "Hole in the Wall" is a double entendre referring to the cut-outs in the foam wall, and the camel toe that results from those skin tight silver jumpsuits. If you think that is bad, I think I went blind in my right eye from seeing the shine off the Bulge in the pants of the Hispanic break dance "crew" the "Flying Tortillas." And in the Australian version of the show, the Lifeguards are all in banana hammocks.

*I'm banking on the fact that no one will realize that if I was actually confused by daylight savings time, I would have tuned into The Simpsons an hour late and discovered that King of the Hill is still making new episodes, which I didn't know.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Social networking sites will destroy the universe

If we don't continue checking Facetweetikrspace every 108 minutes, the world will deconstruct...oh wait, that might be the island from Lost, my bad (I'm only on season 2, don't say anything!). 

I'll admit, I do check Facebook more than I should. I'd quit it, but I don't want to right now...YOU CAN'T TAKE IT AWAY FROM ME!

How else will I know when my friends have headaches, have a paper due, or are happy such and such football/baseball/basketball/rugy team won? How? How will I survive without seeing pictures of so and so's new dog or one of my former bosses getting completely wasted at a wedding? 

My anxiety related neurodermatitis is acting up simply at the thought at not receiving at least one Mafia Wars invitation every day or knowing how many people might be attending the "Find the Penguin" event at the LSE or being able to read 25 "random" facts about each of my friends. 

Do you remember a time when we didn't need to know every single detail of our friends' lives? When we could remember a friend without associating them with their overy glittery Myspace page (which also played the same stupid indie song over and over again)? Remember when contacting a new friend or a crush was a challenge? A guy I liked in high school found my AIM* screen name through a friend of a friend and I was ecstatic! The lengths he had to go to just to send me, "Hey wut's up? How's your summer?" My initial reaction of, "Holy crap, who is this person? Do I know him or her?" And then when I find out, "OMG!!!!" 

Now just imagine if this same event had gone down over Facebook. 

10:15am: OMG! Crushface just friended me!
10:16am: Oh, he also just friended like 10 other people
10:30am: Why is he writing on her wall? He hasn't written on my wall yet. 
11:15am: Who is that girl that tagged him in this photo? Why is he having so much fun with her? He just added me, that means he likes me right? Or that he at least thought of me? Right? Right? 
11:17am: So I deduced from the friends that they have in common, this mysterious girl is really his cousin. 
1:29pm: Oh no! Crushface is now listed as being in a relationship! Tenth grade is ruined!
1:31pm: Oh, he's in one of those fake relationships with his best guy friend. *Sigh.* 
2:00pm: He likes that band? Wow, I just lost a lot of respect for him. But, whoah, we have, like, all the same favorite TV shows!

The next day at school: 

Me to friend while Crushface walks past: Wow, I can't believe that happened on such and such show last night!
Crushface: You watch that show? That is my favorite!
Me: Really? I had NO idea! That is cool! 
CF: Yeah, my cousin introduced it to me over the summer. We went to the beach for a week, but it rained.
Me: I know, I saw the pics..I mean, crap, oh really? That's cool. 

And this is how the world will end. People such as myself, who are already prone to anxiety, will become even more so until we all pull out our hair and go Why did that person defriend me?!! No!! I want to be in your top 8!!! Why would she update her status but not respond to my message?

Social network sites destroy hope and real curiosity. In high school I never knew all the top gossip, mostly because I didn't care. I'd find out months later that people were dating, had broken up, etc. Now I know everything and still don't really care but find myself learning more and more. It was great thinking that Crushface had a crush on me too. The only crazy thoughts I could get were created by me, and not his status updates or comments on his wall. It was awesome. 

Oh, and people can get famous for doing absolutely nothing, like this girl in Argentina. I tried to figure out why this 17 year old is famous and discovered that she didn't really do much. She just got a ton of comments on her fotolog page. This is just nuts. The NY Times article explains that she gets paid to show up to events and promote products. She gets to stay in 5 star hotels and travels everywhere for free. Okay, I wonder if I could become world famous if I update my Facebook status every minute of every day? No? 

In another news, Follow Rageoline on twitter!

*For those too old to know, (or too young and hip) AIM stands for AOL (America Online) Instant Messenger

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Top uv the Mornin, Guvner

I inform you that I am in England by using a traditional English colloquialism (apparently the British are lol-cats). That's right, I'm minding the bullocks here in jolly old England. No, it has not been foggy, nor does everybody break into song and dance sporadically, however, I did pee on one of the royal guards and he did not move.

The first thing Rageoline made me do, after making out with Hugh Grant of course, was to make a b-line to Camden Town, to buy some second hand clothes. After I had donned my tweed jacket and doc martins (urban camouflage in London), we proceeded to hit every market in town — I have never gotten the opportunity to be a tourist before, and I must say, that it is much more tiring than I realized. In my effort to try and see as much as possible, I haven't had a moment to sit down since I got off of that plane. I must say, Londoners have a lot of useless crap to sell.

I later got around to doing the more traditional tourist things, seeing Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the London eye, Rowen Atkinson etc. Somewhere along the way, it dawned on me, that London is kind of like Disney Land with Shakespeare plays instead of Walt Disney cartoons. At the Tower of London there is an exhibit where children can practice being tower guards by putting on helmets, playing with crossbows, and slitting imaginary princes' throats.

London has been very fun, even though there is no Office (American version) or 30 Rock, so I'm stuck watching Grey's Anatomy, where apparently they have run out of characters for Catherine Hghlglhl to sleep with, so they have brought characters back from the dead. At least there is American Idol, Guyliner and glitter ftw.

P.S. This is Rageoline and Co's 50 post, and we would like to thank all of you out there who have made this blog successful. Especially to all the Hughs out there (Laurie, Jackman, Grant) without you being angry just wouldn't be as much fun.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Elevator etiquette and moaning about the weather

Elevators are supposed to make life convenient and help you get around more quickly.  They are for helping those who are carrying heavy loads or for those who are not physically capable of making it up and down stairs easily. They are not a means of avoiding exercise. If you take the lift up one floor and you look perfectly capable of walking up the stairs, don't be surprised if you hear me exclaim, "Are you freakin' kidding me?" This especially bothers me at the library. People will wait several minutes for the lift to appear, and then will get off one floor later. Why? I'm lookin' at you 20 year old size 4 girl not carrying any books. I will not buy your excuse if it's, "Well, I'm too out of shape and going up the stairs is painful." You know what gets you in shape? Climbing the stairs. Walking up the escalator rather than standing there. Don't make crowds of people, waiting for the down elevator from the 3rd floor wait for you to go up one floor to the 4th. Really, it's super lame. Oh, and if you are going to get off at the first floor, be the last one in the elevator, not the first. It takes longer for the rest of us to get anywhere if people have to get out of the elevator in order to let your lazy ass off.

My second cause for rage today: People moaning about the weather. It's March, not June! Did you expect the end of February to magically bring spring? Before moving to London, I spent my last five winters in New England. Freak snow storms always appear towards the end of March and even through early April. Sure it will feel nice for a couple of days, but the temperature will drop down again. It really doesn't ever start getting warm until mid-April or May. The snow may stop, but we'll get rain, sleet, mud, and everything else instead. My memories of spring from freshman year involve me running down the long walk through the never ending rain, hoping to not be entirely drenched by the time I got to class so I wouldn't have to sit there shivering. The great thing about March is that we finally get some sunshine, but warmth? Nope. 

And for people who complain about the so-called "dreariness" of the London winter and current weather, I'm not buying it. We've had more sunshine and warmth this winter than I ever saw in Boston or Connecticut. If 46 degrees and sunny equals terrible winter, then you've never fully experienced a real winter. It really doesn't rain all that much here, and when it does, it usually doesn't rain very hard or last for very long. If you want to experience bad weather, go to Ireland. 

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Skincare Boutique of Dr Moreau

I am going to spare you the March came in like a lion joke, which seems to be almost obligatory for news sources who are covering the fact that here in New England, we just had a friggin Blizzard! What the hell! I am totally going down to Pennsylvania and am going to kick that ground hog's ass!

Ok, I shouldn't be this pissed off. I'm a New England native, and late snowstorms are pretty common here. I can also take this time to catch up on my work and to plan my lessons. But this winter set on early, and I was hoping it would go out in the same way. However, just like that drunk who comes early to your party to start in on your booze, now, at 3 am, old man winter is asking where we keep our bourbon.

At least school is cancelled so I have a chance to simultaneously get work done and melt my brain with some daytime TV. While looking at school closings in my area, this segment came on the TV. Now it is no secret that I have long sought after the secret to un-frizz my hair, but some of these products are just too much.

Is the battle against gingivitis keeping you up at night? We finally have a solution: Pearly Dreams. No, this is not a porn website or a Chinese restaurant, instead it is a product which combines the minty freshness of toothpaste with the soul crushing addiction of sleep medication. You will never forget to brush your teeth again.

I don't know why no one thought of this before. Huge Lips is a lip plumper that includes an appetite suppressant. This is great, I quote 'beauty expert' Jenn Falik "...just bring it to a cocktail party, keep applying it and you will leave skinnier than you came." and Today Show: "...I think I might be having an allergic reaction." That's right ladies, you can now hide your anorexia behind Angelina Jollie-size lips. Jenn should totally be an expert in looking sexy : "Just apply and tell yourself not to eat!"

For our last product today, we talk about WrinkleFree Eyes. These little plastic patches go under your eyes, and while you sleep, they zap the bajeezes out of your crows-feet. Is there any problem a few volts of electricity can't fix? It's like electro-shock therapy, but for your wrinkles! Don't take my word for it, Jenn gives a stunning review: "I tried it, and I can still see!"

Now if you don't mind there is a man with a plow trying to kick me out of my parking space.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Some days I feel like Mugatu

Okay, so I didn't invent the piano key neck tie, or try to kill the Malaysian prime minister, but I can definitely relate to his "I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!" moment:

Mugatu's feelings about Derek Zoolander's facial expressions pretty much sum up how I feel about U2. Maybe my strong dislike for them stems from the fact that when I was little, my dad only listened to about seven bands/artists: U2, REM, Eric Clapton, Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon, Rod Stewart, and anything involving Mick Jagger. And by only thing he would listen to, I really mean that these were the only musicians he would listen to. Okay, so maybe you could slip some Phil Collins and David Bowie in there for brief periods of time, but they weren't as long lasting. From about 1989 until 2005 those were the only bands I would hear every time I got in his car. For whatever reason, I always hated U2 more than the rest. I remember going to homeroom one day in 4th grade and hearing my teacher and some of my classmates going, "Let's listen to U2!! They are so awesome!!!" My immediate reaction was, "What? That is definitely old people music." Even in 4th grade I thought their music was repetitive and tedious.

And now many years have passed and has U2 disappeared like they should have? No. Has their music evolved or gotten better? No. In fact, it's gotten worse, although there may have been a slight improvement since their super crappy period at the end of the '90s (remember Sweetest Thing?). People are obsessed with this band and I just don't get it! I have only heard the single off the new album and it sounds exactly like all their other music! Why do they get all this attention? Why do they get to play on David Letterman every single night in a week? "Secret" concert on a rooftop in London? Okay, that is kind of cool, but I'm still not sure they're worth it. Bono is a complete douchebag. Maybe he has done a lot of good for the world, but he's also ridiculously full of himself, or at least that's the impression I've gotten since I was little. Every single live performance I've seen on TV has involved him getting all up in the camera. He owns a hotel in Dublin and got caught smoking in it after the ban was put in place. Douche. Need more proof? Watch this. Not only do U2 and Greenday manage to destroy a great song, they also demonstrate a completely unrealistic understanding of how the world should be saved!

Every song is exactly the same. Every single one. See for yourself.

Sunday Bloody Sunday-1983

New Year's Day-1983

Where the Streets Have No Name-1987

I Still Haven't Found what I'm Looking for-1987 (unfortunately, this song will forever be linked to some of my memories from when I was 10)

Mysterious Ways-1991

Staring at the Sun-1997 (yuck)

Sweetest Thing-originally from the '80s, re-released in 1998

Beautiful Day-2000 I have a really hard time distinguishing this song from a lot of their others. It also sounds like something Coldplay completely ripped off.

Elevation-2000, My dad made me listen to the album this was on over and over again on a long car ride and I haven't fully recovered yet.

Vertigo-2004 For a long time I thought this and Elevation were the same song

Get on Your Boots-2009 This sounds a bit more like some of the older stuff, which isn't really that different from the newer stuff. Dumb.

Maybe I'm just nuts, but I'm not hearing a huge difference between this new Boots song and something like Mysterious Ways. Or Beautiful Day and Sweetest Thing. Even Mick Jagger's music has changed more in the last 20 years. Will the band ever break up or do I have to wait for Bono to kick it?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I Can't Haz Billion Dollarz?

I am very excited. I get to do a follow up article! It's like I'm a real journalist. How often do you get to be angered by something more than once? It's like lightning striking twice, and hitting you in the shins each time. Very exciting.

In one of my more popular posts, I reported on Leona Helmsley, loaded Hotelier and frequent feature in the New York Times crossword puzzle who passed away back in 2007. In a move which is part out of love of animals, and part out of spite for her free-loading family, Mrs. Helmsley left her $6 Billion estate to a charitable trust dedicated to the welfare of animals, and dogs in particular. She reportedly got this idea from Hotel For Dogs.

Now 6 Billion dollars is the type of thing that you go to court for. That is just what Leona's freeloading brother and grandsons did. Much to the dismay of Leona's Bichon Frieze, today a court ruled that the trustees are free to assign benefactors as they see fit. Mrs. Helmsley's relatives say they will use the money for charities which covers "...healthcare, medical research, human services, and education... ." This of course translates into "... our wives' plastic surgery, wives' experimental plastic surgery, hookers' plastic surgery, and putting our kids through college... ."

I'm not a huge fan of this ruling — if I will my heirs to flush my estate down the toilet in small denomination bills, they better damn well do it, or I will haunt them. However, there is apparently legal precedent that leaving billions of dollars to a dog is insane.

That's right, someone has left there entire estate to dogs before.

But, it is probably for the best that this ruling went down the way it did. The Helmsley estate is worth more than the GPC of some small countries, and I have never been one to trust charities... doing things for free, sounds fishy.

Above: Slum-dog, not Billionaire. Still cute.

Are the Oscar folks caving to peer pressure?

Granted I haven't yet watched the Oscars this year, nor have I seen the majority of the nominated movies, but something just doesn't feel right about a lot of the results (and nominations). The two awards I agree with, although I haven't seen more than a few clips from the movies, are Sean Penn for Milk and Kate Winslet for the Reader. But Slumdog for best picture? Heath Ledger for best supporting actor? Penelope Cruz for best supporting actress? Oh, and Robert Downey Jr. nominated for his role in Tropic Thunder? Either the Oscars are really trying to please everyone this year or the other movies must have really sucked.

Don't get me wrong, I really loved Slumdog Millionaire. It was sad, happy, and everything in between. The story was heartwarming and the characters were great, so was the music and cinematography. But it was ridiculously cheezy and unbelievable, or at least the whole destiny crap was. Some parts were pretty predictable and by the end I wanted to scream when they showed that scene of Latika at the train station for the 8 bajillionth time. I left the movie feeling happy I'd seen it, and did recommend it to a few people. But I wasn't going around saying, "You MUST see this movie immediately!!!" like I did after seeing No Country For Old Men last year. So either the Oscar folks were afraid that the world would egg their houses if they rejected it, or perhaps they simply wanted to pick a feel good movie (if death and betrayal make you feel good) since we're living in some fairly depressing times. 

Heath Ledger did a great job in the Dark Knight, but I'm sure the other actors did great jobs in their respective movies as well. I kind of feel like if Ledger hadn't died, his nomination would have been similar to Johnny Depp's nomination in Pirates of the Caribbean. A nice head nod of appreciation but no real expectation that he would win. Although, looking at the other nominees, everyone else looks boring-oh and Robert Downey Jr. is in this category too. What competition! Would he have won if he hadn't died? Maybe, but I'm not so sure. And once he was nominated, how could he ever lose? 

Penelope Cruz's win really pisses me off. Marisa Tomei did a great job in the Wrestler, but the writing for her part sucked so she didn't have a great chance of winning. But I've heard that Amy Adams and Taraji P. Henson did great jobs in their roles! And Penelope Cruz? She played the same part she's played a million times. Crazy Spanish woman who seduces main character, comes off as kind of evil, and then shows that she has her weaknesses so that we all fall in love with her? Oh I've seen that one! Was it Blow? Or was it perhaps the Italian Non ti muovere? Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's the one (although Cruz is technically supposed to be Italian, not Spanish, in this movie)

So kids, this year's Oscar lesson: You too can win awards if you just remember to take too many sleeping pills and play the same role again and again until someone eventually pays attention to you.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

How wrong was I!

It's finally Oscar night! I'm so excited, I just got to watch three hours of Tim from Project Runway pretend that it is cool for Penelope Cruz to wear an 8 year old dress, and it is finally time for Hugh Jackman to come on to stage! Oh my god Hugh Jackman! He is singing AND dancing! This is amazing! He can pick up Ann Hathaway? That means he can totally lift, like, 35 lbs!

Oh, but now it is time for the first award! The counsel of elder supporting actresses had come out to present the award. It is my first opportunity to be wrong, and I do so brilliantly! Penelope Cruz! But she is wearing fashions from eight years ago! I suppose this is great for her though, it is amazing that she has overcome our latent stereotypes: that Woody Allen movies can't have good acting. I guess she was channeling Jarvier Bardem, that must be what she is saying in Spanish.

Why are the writing awards now? Is the Academy finally admiting that they don't give a shit about writers? How come space chimps didn't get nominated for an Oscar? Damn you Wall-E! Well maybe they should have been Kung-fu space chimps! I am totally copyrighting that! Don't steal it, this idea is going to put my kids through college!

Now for the technical awards which no one really understands what they mean, and usually get thrown away to whoever spent the most money. Daniel Craig and Sarah Jessica Parker are on stage, I would totally sleep with one of those people. I'll let you guess which one. Benjamin Button just got its first win for make-up, because it was difficult to make Brad Pitt look any more like a twelve year old?

Now, Fifteen minutes of Seth Rogen and James Franco are pretending to be funny again. There is something about them smoking pot and watching every major Hollywood movie produced last year. I don't remember there being this much self advertising in the Oscars. When did Meryl Streep become the new Jack Nicholson? Hugh Jackman has acknowledged her existence way too much. I guess this is what happens when get a Broadway star to host... speaking of which he is now dancing with Beyonce. I might be wrong about the Milk thing, this has been the gayest Oscars ever.

What is it with this whole award gang-bang thing that they have going on? Why do they need five best supporting actors give a dead guy an award? By the way... I totally called this one! This makes me 1-1! But then again, this has been coming since last April. You go ahead and cry Ann Hathaway! You'll probably have to die before they give you any awards.

It's time for the Documentaries, which means its time to check out what else is on TV. Bill Marr... Blah blah blah... Ooooh, shiney car chases and... Benjamin Button won for visual effects? Did you see Slumdog Millionaire? They somehow got that girls skin to get like 8 shades lighter as she grew up! That is totally the same thing as Benjamin Button! Oh, they just took film editing, which is like visual effects but artsy-er.

Now we get a Jerry Lewis montage with Viva La Vida. Which gives me an idea: we should totally neuter Coldplay! Oh man, and that guy totally just prayed to Allah on stage! Here go the ridiculous best song performances! At least they are all Bollywood, which adapts very well to cheesy stagyness. Oh man! They are keeping the Bollywood dancers and beat for the Wall-E song. The auto-tuner is messing up on this guy, way to pull a Kanye! I just got my second call right: Slumdog swept the songs!

Slumdog just took best director, who apparently is the whitest dude ever. Here goes the line-up of former best actress women, they are not nearly as old as the supporting actresses, and a little more French. Oh, damn, Kate got it making me 2-2. But I have my revenge as she now has to fight all the previous Best Actresses to the death. Funny story, this tradition is where Adrien Brody broke his nose.

Ouch! I just lost the best actor too? This is terrible! At least Sean Penn agrees with me that it makes no sense that he won. And Best Picture! I totally blame Stephen Speilberg for this one. Even though it is small consolation that a good movie won.

So to recap, Slumdog Millionaire was the big winner, and I was a loser going 2-3 in my picks for oscars.