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 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 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. 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 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!