February 24, 2011

Radiohead's New Album (if the tracks were titled honestly)

Dear Radiohead,

There was a time when you deserved even the over-hype.  Not any longer.  You could say you are phoning-in the new album, "King of Limbs," quite accurately, as most of the songs appear to have been recorded on or through cell phones of varying quality.

I could understand this if you titled the tracks with something approaching Truth In Labeling standards.

I'll do it for you.

Here are some suggested honest Radiohead song titles, in no particular order because they are pretty much interchangeable...

- Sleepytime Mumbling / We Dare You To Remember This Song
- Disinterested Tapping On Electronic Drums
- Passionless
- This Song Starts Then Ends A Few Minutes Later
- Sleepytime Mumbling (With 50% More Music-Like Substance!)
- The Sound Of One Band Not Caring
- We're Pretty Sure We Were Going For Something Musicy Here
- Something We Did With Echo Effects 
- Wait!  Was That Being Recorded?
- We Pretend To Not Care, But We Are Secretly Panicked By Our Lack Of Creativity
- Half-Hearted Keening (With Generic Backing Ambiance)
- Cool Kids Will Pretend They Hear Something Meaningful In This One

I hope this helps you to be more fair to consumers in the future.


February 19, 2011

How To Not Tell A Joke #2 - Short Play


Joke Teller
Joke Victim

everywhere, anywhere, somewhere, not nowhere

JOKE TELLER: Is your refrigerator running?


JT: Are you sure it's running?

JV: I think so.  It was working fine this morning when I left my place.

JT: Is it running now?

JV: Probably.

JT: Sure?

JV: Not entirely, but...

JT: What if it isn't?

JV: I'd have to check and...

JT: 'Cause maybe it isn't.

JV: Maybe not.

JT: Then what would you do?

JV: (beat) Get it fixed?

JT: You know what you wouldn't have to do?

JV: No.

JT: If it wasn't?

JV: If it wasn't.

JT: You wouldn't have to chase it.

JV: Chase it?

JT: You would be able to go home and see - There's my refrigerator, right there!  You could just stay home then and not chase it.

JV: Okay.

JT: Maybe even open it up and get some food for supper.

JV: Not if it wasn't running.

JT: No.  If it wasn't running.

JV: Right, food might be rotten.

JT: Why would it be rotten?

JV: The fridge is dead.

JT: No, it's not running.

JV: Then I wouldn't want to eat rotten food.

JT: What?

JV: It'd be fine if it was only a couple hours or something.

JT: But it would still be there.

JV: Yeah, it...

JT: So, what's the problem?

JV: It's not running... like you said?

JT: So, everything's cool then!

JV: Not my fridge.  It's not.

JT: Yes!  It's right in front of you!

JV: At home?

JT: Yes, not here, at home.  It's not running!

JV: Wait.  How do you know it's not running?

JT: Because it's a fridge!

JV: So what?  It's pretty new.  A good brand.

JT: But it's a refrigerator!

JV: I know, but how do you know it's not running?

JT: Because refrigerators don't run!

JV: You have bad luck with fridges or something?

JT: No!  No fridges run!

JV: What the hell...?

JT: What's wrong with you?!

JV: Listen, I...

JT: You must live in some strange world where refrigerators can run?

JV: Of course I do.

JT: Seriously?  Shit, that's dangerous!  Fridges running around, crushing people, smashing into cars, killing...

JV: Ohh!  Ohhhh!  Running! Not... running! I get it.

JT: See?  See?

JV: Yeah! Chase it... I wouldn't chase it.

JT: Get it?

JV: Yeah, I get it.

JT: Funny joke.

JV: Yes.

(long pause)

JT: My brother can fix you fridge, you know, if it's not... running.

JV: Okay.

JT: He's really good.  I have his business card in my...  Here let me get it for you.

(JT fishes in pocket, lights fade)


February 17, 2011

How To Not Tell A Joke #1 - Short Play


Joke Teller
Joke Victim

Wherever, whenever, however

JOKE TELLER: Have you heard this one?

JOKE VICTIM: I don't know.

JT: This one.

JV: I haven't heard it...

JT: Good, good, good...

JV: ...yet.

JT: 'Cause it's funny as hell!

JV: But.. the joke? Yeah, okay.

JT: So you haven't heard it?

JV: Yeah, no... I guess not... let's say no.

JT: Cool! Here it is!

JV: Go for it.

JT: Okay, okay... There's this road... highway... a road, like any road, I think... a road...

JV: Right...

JT: No... not a highway, too big... a road, just a road... any road, I think... smaller probably...

JV: A road.

JT: Not a path! No!

JV: I didn't say path. Did I?

JT: Not a path, a path is too small. It's a road.

JV: A road, yes. I heard road.

JT: Definitely. A road is right there.

(long pause)

JV: There's a road...

(long pause)

JT: Probably paved! A paved road!

JV: Great!

JT: ...asphalt or concrete something...

JV: Doesn't matter.

JT: Doesn't matter.

JV: Doesn't matter, no.

JT: No, doesn't matter.

JV: Okay...

JT: Not gravel.

JV: No.

JT: Gravel's not funny.

JV: It's not?

JT: Not in this joke, gravel would be stupid. It would ruin the whole joke.

JV: Yeah.

JT: Don't you think?

JV: Gravel?

JT: Yeah.

JV: No, no gravel.

JT: A paved road.

JV: Great!

JT: Asphalt, I think. And there's this road. This road is there, like right in the middle of town, not the outskirts or a rural area, right in town, because it would be gravel in the country, not that all country roads are gravel, because they're not. I've been on lots of roads that were paved in the country. Gravel ones out there too, but we're not talking about gravel.

JV: No.

(long pause)

JV: We're not.

(long pause)

JT: (bursting loudly and quickly) A chicken crosses it!

(JT laughs loudly for quite a while, ad libs chicken running motions and appropriate phrases and sounds)

JV: I wonder why.

JT: (trying to gain control of the laughter) Why?

JV: Why a chicken crosses it.

JT: The road?

JV: Yeah. Why?

(long, thoughtful pause)

JT: I don't know.

(waits a couple beats)

JV: Could you find out?

JT: Yeah... yeah... Yeah! I could! I can do that!

JV: Great!

JT: Thanks! (starts leaving, talking to himself) Awesome! Awesome! Why? Why? Why? Gravel? No... concrete, maybe... asphalt?

(lights fade out, JV hangs head)


February 16, 2011

How Do They Follow Up "Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus?"

Few films have inspired more to less, nor answered the appropriately unasked question, "I wonder what Debbie Gibson is up to these days," than the epic-like, blockbusterish, middle-school produced, simultaneously not- and over-acted, unladen with meaning, suckapalooza that is "Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus."

Critics agree! This film actually has that title!

They are likewise unanimous that it seems to be "a movie" with people "saying words" that must have been "recorded in some way" to be played back later on a device of the viewer's choice.

Consensus opinion from those in the know indicates it was "made in 2009."

Its date of production stymied me given the special effects appear as if they had been filmed in some sort of digital bathtub with rubber miniatures, which is timeless as a production value. 2009? 1943? 1604? It was, is, ever shall be.

Usually when technology advances, special effects leap forward. "Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus" defiantly stands up to the bully of high tech cinema by using every computerized trick at its disposal in the worst possible way - like opening a new Word document on your computer then writing your essay on the blank screen with crayons.

The acting, when visible and/or audible, made me long for mimes. Even bad mimes.

Deborah Gibson, (Don't fucking call her Debbie, you miserable bitch!), formerly Debbie Gibson, (Whoopsie! Sorry, Ms Gibson!) has really matured. Indeed, she seems to be at least twenty years more mature than the last time she merited any attention. Her acting does cardboard a disservice. Oh! Cardboard! Why has thou abandoned us?

Lorenzo Lamas, (Please don't call him Debbie), abusively donning a ponytail and sideburns from a different decade, rasps his way through scenes with quips that were fresh in 1963 and intelligence that probably maxed out the same year.

But wait! There are other actors in the film; the Mega Shark producers really worked that angle.

Thrill at the sort-of Irish guy with no apparent purpose!

Wonder at the marvel of the Asian scientist who has to have sex with Debbie Gibson!

Confuse yourself at the width of Debbie's pants in a pastoral sunset silhouette!

But, best of all! Best! Of! All!

Drool, saturate, drench yourself in your own spit at the sight of the apparent method-acting of the Incredibly Intense Submarine Operator (the IISO) who strains himself into a double hernia and a couple minor aneurysms when charged with steering the submarine through a deep-water chasm that JUST TOO DAMN NARROW!!!

(To be fair to the IISO, this is a far better sex scene than the Asian guy and Debbie. Mmmm... long sub... tight chasm... too tight... can't make it... pull out now... no, don't... mmmmmm...)

This would all be fine if evidence suggested that the movie was purposely campy, but it lacked any humor or indicators that it was to be perceived as anything but a deliberate entrant into the realm of cinema.

To address the scientific, continuity or logical errors in the movie would require a book. A book so large that perhaps even Mega Shark itself could not fit its gaping maw around it.

Okay, sorry. I lied. I do have to address one science-y aspect of the film: the size of Mega Shark.

We are told that the eponymous Mega Shark, who I assume also does not wish to be called Debbie, is a live species of the ancient shark Megalodon. Truly, a large and fearsome fish it was. Experts have come to a consensus that adult Megalodon topped out around 60 feet in length.


But horror films would shit out a paltry 60-foot long monster like that. So you expect some exaggeration for the genre. What? Maybe a specimen of 100 feet? 150? 300?

We never know. Most of the "full body" shots of the shark give nothing against which to assess size.

We do see this, though...

(DEAR READER! PLEASE BRACE YOURSELF AND DON'T ASK HOW THIS HAPPENS. I would call this a spoiler alert, but, if you really think this "spoils" any aspect of the movie, then your spoilage threshold scrapes along somewhere near a sand mandala in a ceiling fan superstore. Besides, spoiling something implies an initial state of ripeness.)

(Acting note: In case you missed it, "Holy shit" guy mentions to the flight attendant that he's "getting married in two days." Why? Character development, I guess. Motivation for him getting out of his seat during the turbulence, maybe. So we sympathize for his soon to be comically devoured ass, perhaps. The director really, really wants you, Le Cineaste, to recognize and identify with holy-shit-guy's tragic story arc.

As he plunges seaward, you are meant to think: "I once was going to get married in two days." or "He's so in love that even turbulence scares him; just like turbulence scares me so I must be so in love too!" or "I worry about sharks rudely intercepting my flights and canceling my wedding plans!" The filmmakers want you to get it, you know? It is rather complex, and I wish I could explain to you more fully, but science calls.)

Back to "reality," that's a 4-engine jumbo jet, and the shark looks like it's about twice the length as the plane. A little research tells me that jumbo jets average around 75 meters in length, making the shark somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 meters long. That's about 490 feet. We'll round up and say this shark is 500 feet long.

Later in the movie, in one motion, sharkyface bites completely through the deck of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Like so:

(Acting note: I know! That was Lorenzo Lamas! Acting! Amazing, right!?)

Sorry, back to the science-like essay.

Now, the Golden Gate Bridge stands about 200 feet off the water where Ol' Giant Gills chomps down, and the bridge deck is 90 feet across. So, in terms of size, this seems a more likely fun-time task when compared to JUMPING INTO THE FUCKING CLOUDS to snatch a jumbo jet biscuit.

However, please keep in mind that the Golden Gate Bridge has survived winds over 70 miles per hour and earthquakes above 7.0 on the Richter scale with essentially no damage. I cannot overestimate enough how much more powerful 70 mph winds and massive earthquakes are than a shark bite, even a shark mega bite.

How much force would the shark have to exert to break so facilely through the cables, steel girders and concrete in one bite? I don't know, but I'd bet good money a shark couldn't do it.

Lorenzo "Debbie" Lamas? Sure, Lorenzo could, but he sports the 1994 Ponytail of Armageddon. Not a fair comparison.

Why am I bothering to write about this? Just setting the table for a little list, and cleansing my soul of this offal. I love bad movies, but this one took itself so seriously. If you're going to move beyond irony, please also move beyond shitting all over the screen.

I thought the purging might be helped by listing some future movies in the franchise.

Let's go:

1 - Irresistible Force vs. Unmovable Object II: This Time It's Even Less Personal
2 - Tornado vs. Dirty Harry
3 - Paul Bunyan vs. The Ents
4 - Ultra Scorpion vs. Peevish Hedgehog
5 - 2007 Handlebar Mustache of Irony vs. 1994 Ponytail of Armageddon
6 - Super Bounty vs. Massive Oil Spill (Documentary)
7 - Terror Bite vs. Terra Byte: The Hardest Drive
8 - Dyna Hitler vs. Knifey Smurf
9 - Large Building vs. The HVAC Smell of Much Mystery
10 - Intellect vs. The Tea Party
11 - Debbie Vader vs. MechaGaGa
12 - Giant Octopus vs. Giant Octopussy
13 - Productivity vs. Uber Facebook
14 - The Spunky Li'l Firefly vs. The Angriest Black Hole
15 - Tsupernami vs. Sponge Warehouse and Wholesale, Inc.
16 - Megathis vs. Enormothat
17 - Morality vs. The Highly Effective Push Up Bra

February 10, 2011

I'm Going to Pretend The White Stripes Did Not Break Up and, Instead, Released the Following 11 Albums

Shit. Just shit shit shit. I am not happy with this. I repeat, shit.

The White Stripes have ceased to be, and while I think Jack White's many other projects have merit - particularly "Van Lear Rose" with Loretta Lynn - there was something about The White Stripes which perfectly blended the angriest demon howl of the blues with the resonance and urgency of pure rock.

Anachronistic and vitally new.

The White Stripes always knew exactly when to pull back and when to smack the side of your head repeatedly, and you thanked them for it.

So, what I will do is pretend.

La la la, la la la. They didn't break up. Didn't happen. No.

And... what's this? Look! A new album, and another, and another. One after the other over the next decade.


Don't believe me? Well, how come they even have titles, huh? Clearly, if these releases have names, they must be real!

1 - Icky Thumpier
2 - Little Songs
3 - While My Guitar Gently Screams
4 - Songs To Concuss Your Brain To
5 - Ugly. Sloppy. Beautiful.
6 - We're Actually Trying To Suck, But It's Not Working
7 - Bruises
8 - Crush Crush Face Face
9 - You Fail At Rock And We Do Not
10 - Bigger Bruises
11 - Apotheosis Time

February 9, 2011

Further Variations on "There Are Only Two Types of People in This World"

There are only two types of people in this world: you and people who won't have sex with you.

There are only two types of people in this world: people who are cruelly dismissive and those other assholes.

There are only two types of people in this world: people who burn banana stands and people who know there's always money in a banana stand.

There are only two types of people in this world: people who know the second group is lying and people who know the first group is telling the truth.

There are only two types of people in this world: people who can correctly caulk a wagon to float it across a raging river and people who die of dysentery

There are only two types of people in this world: people which math good and the trillions of people who write well and properly.

There are only two types of people in this world: people who lust for power and that guy who ate an extension cord.

There are only two types of people in this world: people who are still reading this and people who are done reading this.

February 8, 2011

Variations on "There Are Only Two Types of People in This World"

There are only two types of people in this world: people who make simplistic, absurdly extreme comparisons and people who are exactly the same as Hitler.

There are only two types of people in this world: people and people who are not part of that first group of people.

There are only two types of people in this world: dead people and people who are becoming dead.

There are only two types of people in this world: people who lie and people who lie on top of them.

There are only two types of people in this world: fish and robots.

There are only two types of people in this world: people in this world and people in some other world.

There are only two types of people in this world: people who are right-handed and people who walk backwards.

There are only two types of people in this world: people who fit an idealized condition and people who fail to meet that same condition and who are now deserving of your scorn.

There are only two types of people in this world: people who argue good smart always and stuff.

There are only two types of people in this world: people who don't trust anyone to listen to what they're saying and MORONS WHO DON'T LISTEN TO WHAT SOMEONE IS SAYING!

There are only two types of people in this world: people who may or may not be me and people who may or may not be me.

There are only 10 types of people in this world: people who know binary and people who don't and, apparently, eight other types of people, too.

There are only two types of people in this world: people who finish what they start,

February 4, 2011

Possible Titles for My Newest Autobiography

1 - I Get Angry At Bridges

2 - Just Eat This And Shut The Hell Up

3 - Compassion: My Greatest Virtue?

4 - You're A Stupid Fuck!

5 - This Book Understands Everything That Torments You And Will Instantly Make Your Life Perfect As You So Richly Deserve

6 - Please Stop Touching My Underwear

7 - Conspiracy Theories On A Budget

8 - The Brendoning

9 - I Believe I Shall Have A Light Snack

10 - You Are The People About Whom This Book Is Not

11 - Get Ye Gone And Other Ways I Castigate Wenches

12 - My Story: Why I Put That Under Your Pillow

13 - Why Is No One Touching My Underwear?

14 - How I Did In School: The Annotated Transcripts, Death Threats And Tardy Slips

15 - Guided Tour Of The International Museum Of Me

16 - The Brendoning II: Twice The Ing!

17 - Where The Cucumber Doesn't Belong: A Recollection

18 - Paths Not Taken And Other Things I Will Write About Not Being Able To Write About

19 - Fondlicious

20 - Many Good Words Died For This Book

21 - All My Nobel Prize Thingies

22 - There Is No 'I' In 'Me'

23 - Love And Everything Else You Should Pretend To Care About

24 - Here Be Dragons Would Be A Cool Name For My Next Rap Supergroup

25 - Nap Your Way To The Top!

26 - Self-Titled By Myself

27 - What's That Smell?

28 - The Brendoning III: Number 3 Of Three In The Trilogy of III!

29 - A Complete Listing Of Everyone I Write Better Than

30 - Apologies Other People Probably Owe Me

31 - I Wish I Had A Tail That Shot Lasers. That Would Be Great!

32 - Observations And Other Observations

33 - Caring And How To Avoid It

34 - Word, Sentence, Paragraph, Chapter, Story: The Useless Death March

35 - I Choose To Tolerate You

36 - Stab! A Man, A Knife, A Musical, A Plausible Defense

37 - I Greatly Enjoy Yogurt