A Fine Line Between Stupid And Clever

Now With Electrolytes!

Archive for July, 2007

Observations

Posted by bmac on July 31, 2007

I was going to post on this “So You Think You Can Dance” controversy, but Ace beat me to it. Also, I wasn’t sure I wanted to admit I watched this show. I have an excuse though, as my wife’s sister is a choreographer, so I kind of have to watch it. I will admit I like it, but I clean my guns and lift weights, and smoke cigars while I’m watching it. Just kidding, I don’t lift weights.
This show is good family entertainment, the dance version of American Idol. But last week they just had to do an anti-war dance, to John Mayer’s “Waiting for the world to change.” With the obligatory white clothes (surrender?) and Peace Sign on their shirts, each dancer did the same solo dance to the same song, which, by the end of the show, made me declare war on John Mayer. The whole thing just seemed horribly out of place. I get the dancers and choreographers thinking this would be just the coolest thing evah, but the producers clearly have no clue who watches this show, namely, the same people who watch American Idol, many of whom have family in the military, and enjoy this show as I do, a pleasant distraction. A dance competition is pretty much the last place you should be making Political Statements. How do you get to the point where you’re producing one of the biggest shows on TV, and be that stupid?

Apparently, the Common Sense gene, has been bred out of most people, I see it all the time. The Michael Vick thing comes to mind, a promising career thrown away, millions of dollars that could have supported that idiot and his family for generations, gone, so a bunch of thugs could feel like bad-asses, fighting dogs. By the way, anyone that could do the things those assholes did to dogs, like electrocuting them, and throwing them off bridges, would absolutely do the same thing to humans.
I see it at work all the time too. I own a business in a shopping center, that has a big chain store as an anchor. As a result, shopping carts everywhere. These shopping carts have a magnetic lock in the wheel, that engages when the wheel passes a line under the asphalt. Every day I watch people with one bag in the shopping cart, and, as the wheel locks up, instead of taking out that one bag, just push really hard on that shopping cart, till they get to their car. Because, God forbid, they may have to actually carry a bag. Or, in a display of ignorance and selfishness, they like to park the cart, with the one bag, directly in front of my door. Literally, in front of my door, so you can’t get in. Then just leave it there. Totally oblivious. Every morning I come to work, and I see what looks like a herd of shopping carts, that were suddenly stricken down, in their prime, en masse, by some mysterious shopping cart plague.
Anyway, oh yeah, Politics on a dancing show is stupid.

Posted in Personal Stories, Pop Culture | Leave a Comment »

Suburbia

Posted by bmac on July 31, 2007

22_suburbia1.jpg Watched an HBO show called “Weeds” last week. A show about a widow, who is a pot dealer in her up-scale suburban neighborhood. Heard a lot of good things about it, so got it on Netflix. Have to say I was a little disappointed. I suppose it had it’s moments, but it’s become so predictable to portray the suburbs as a bunch of desperate white people, who are utterly soulless. I guess because living in a nice house and having a job somehow sucks all the morality and decency right out of you. On Weeds, the voice of reason is provided by the drug dealing black family that sells the weed to the widow. All the employed white people are total basket cases, that are either secretly gay, cheating, or getting cheated on, or just have to be high all the time to deal with, I guess, having a job and living in a nice house.

This suburb bashing has been going on for as long as I can remember. Movies like Edward Scissorhands had montages of pastel colored “McHouses” with husbands all leaving and coming home from work at the same time, and Weeds has this same type of montage in the opening credits. Other movies like American Beauty, one called Suburbia, TV shows like Desperate Housewives, the list goes on and on, all with the same message: The Suburbs are soul-killing wastelands, that turn parents into secretly gay, serial-cheating, drug-addled lunatics, and children into zombie-like apathetic drug-addled whiners. Most of the Grunge movement in the ’90s was also based on this premise.

Posted in Pop Culture | 4 Comments »

Bias?

Posted by bmac on July 27, 2007

This is from a reporter at Yahoo! Sports(?), on the Michael Vick dog-fighting case, on the Yahoo home page, titled Racial Divide. I posted on this earlier, but decided to change my take on it.
here was America in full force, full vision, mixing it up while Vick pled not guilty to federal charges pertaining to an alleged dog-fighting ring on property he owned in rural Surry County. And front and center, impossible to ignore, was race.
almost all of the people supporting Vick or holding signs pleading for “due process” and “innocence until proven guilty” were African American
On the other side was an emotional, angry, passionate anti-Vick group that was overwhelmingly white.
Already, we have a problem. I wasn’t there, so I will have to guess on some things. I know that in a high profile case like this, groups send out people to stir things up. On the Pro-Vick side, I would guess the agenda was to make this a racial issue, that a black celebrity is getting railroaded. On the “other side”, animal activists, probably PETA, using this for their agenda. Both are despicable.
But let’s concentrate on the “writer” for Yahoo! Sports(?), and how he chooses to portray both groups.
Here’s a sample of the “anti-Vick” crowd:
“Burn in hell you (expletive) (expletive),” repeatedly screamed one woman.
Die like those dogs,” shouted another.
Now, the “people supporting Vick”:
“I wouldn’t say it’s a racial thing,” said David Williams, an African American, in a hopeful tone. “It’s not racial. But for these animal rights people to take one person and crucify him isn’t fair.”
Two black women held a sign declaring: “I support Mike Vick due process.”
Pretty big difference there. The “people supporting Vick” just want “due process.” The “anti Vick” crowd, all but want to form a lynch mob on the spot. I’d say there may be some bias happening here.The Yahoo! Sports(?) guy then goes on to offer this:
That a case involving dog fighting can break so quickly along racial lines is a testament to how it bubbles below just about everything in this country. We all wish it wasn’t so, including both sides here. No one wanted this. Almost no one even wanted to acknowledge it. But it was there, plain as day in black and white.
Wow, just wow. I guess the PETA people really lost this one.
If you want to read it it’s here: http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=dw-vickhearing072607&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Posted in Idiots | Leave a Comment »

War Is Bad (We Are Stupid)

Posted by bmac on July 26, 2007

Hollywood is getting ready to release a slew of anti-war films, so I guess the McCarthy-like, liberty killing oppression of the Patriot Act is finally over. Let’s take a look at some of the Oscar nominated films we’ll be seeing soon.
On Sept. 14, Warner Independent Pictures expects to release “In the Valley of Elah,” a drama inspired by the Davis murder, (Davis, an Iraq war veteran, was killed by 2 fellow veterans) written and directed by Paul Haggis, whose “Crash” won the Academy Award for best picture in 2006. The film stars Tommy Lee Jones as a retired veteran who defies Army bureaucrats and local officials in a search for his son’s killers. In one of the movie’s defining images, the American flag is flown upside down in the heartland, the signal of extreme distress.
Wow, sounds great. Anti-war, Anti-soldier, and an upside down American Flag. Just put a retard in there, and OSCAR GOLD!
Other coming films also use the damaged Iraq veteran to raise questions about a continuing war. In “Grace Is Gone,” directed by James C. Strouse and due in October from the Weinstein Company, John Cusack and two daughters struggle with the loss of a wife and mother who is killed on duty. Kimberly Peirce’s “Stop-Loss,” set for release in March by Paramount, meanwhile, casts Ryan Phillippe as a veteran who defies an order that would send him back to Iraq.
Awesome! A rollicking fun time for all! An effeminate Mr. Mom (Cusack) and a deserter (the super hot Ryan Phillipe). Each of these movies will accomplish 3 things for sure :
1) They will bomb horribly.
2) They will be nominated for, and will probably win, Oscars.
3) Most importantly, they will show us, the Inbred Redneck Hillbillies that Hollywood believes we all are, that:
1) War is really bad.
2) War, (which is really bad), has consequences that Inbred Redneck Hillbillies like you never consider while you’re cleaning you’re gun collection, and listening to country music.
3) War is bad. Only Inbred Redneck Hillbillies would ever go to war, ever, cause war is bad.

Posted in Politics, Pop Culture, Sarcasm | 1 Comment »

The Best

Posted by bmac on July 23, 2007

OK, my list of the best comics:
Bill Cosby– The Master. Cosby appeals to everyone, all economic and ethnic groups, funny without being vulgar, great story teller, he’s the best.
Jerry Seinfeld– Almost Cosby’s equal in apealing to everyone, probably the most imitated comic of the last 20 years.
George Carlin– Lately, he has kind of lost it, but in his prime, amazingly original. His wordplay is genius. He has become a bitter old man, and if his last couple of HBO specials are any indication, he may be on his way to the worst list.
Eddie Izzard-His stand-up is like a history lesson, and “Cake or death” alone pretty much puts him in the Pantheon.
Eddie Murphy-The leather suit movies, “Delirious”, and “Raw” are classics. My friends and I still quote from those, 20 years later.
Chris Rock-“Bring the pain” is awesome, one of the best stand-up’s ever filmed. Too bad he couldn’t bring it that good again. Been going downhill ever since.
Steve Martin Circa 1977– I can’t stand him now, but he was awesome in the white suit days.
Carrot Top– Ok, I know what your’e thinking, bmac, you’ve just lost all credibility. But I have to be honest, my wife got us tickets to see him, and I was skeptical to say the least. I then laughed harder than I ever have, at any comic, ever. I thought maybe it was the drinks, or maybe I was tired or punchy, so we invited friends to go see him, our treat. They laughed harder than they ever have, at any comic. Saw him a third time, same thing. I know he’s the punching bag of comedians, but seriously, props or not, that dude is funny.

Posted in Pop Culture | Leave a Comment »

Dis-Honorable Mention (Bad Comics part 2)

Posted by bmac on July 23, 2007

Back from camping, and just want to finish off my worst comics list with minimal commentary, or dis-honorable mention.
David Cross– Only funny as an ensemble player. His stand-up sucks.
Dane Cook– I must be too old to appreciate Dane Cook, because he ain’t all that.
Kathy Griffin– I used to like her, until her reality show, (yes I watched it, shut up) showed what a nasty person she really is. I believe she would blow a dog in Times Square if it paid enough. Especially despicable because she performed with the USO, and now bad-mouths the war.
Margret Cho– See Ace of Spades.
Andrew Dice Clay– One joke, 20 years.
Whoopie Goldberg-30 years of not bringin’ the funny.
That about covers it for now, I’m sure I’ll think of twenty more as soon as I turn off my computer.
Next, the best.

Posted in Pop Culture, Scathing Opinion | Leave a Comment »

That’s So Not Funny

Posted by bmac on July 20, 2007

Big post at Ace’s about Carlos Mencia, or Ned Holman, or whatever his name is. I love this stuff, because I’m a big fan of comedy, and what’s the point of having a blog if you can’t criticize entertainers? More than a few names kept coming up, so I want to get my two cents in. Here we go, the official “is this thing on”(incidentally, the title of my blog refers to what a comic says when they are bombing) list of the worst comedians:
Robin Williams– So predictable, it’s literally not even funny. He’s been doing the same tired shtick for 30 years. Watching him getting interviewed, is like a form of torture, especially for the interviewer, who has to laugh uncomfortably at Williams frantically throwing 50 jokes a minute at the wall to see what sticks.
Bill Hicks-Probably the most over-rated comic since Lenny Bruce(also not funny). Being dead gives you a lot of gravitas. I recently watched a documentary about Hicks, hosted by another terrible comic, Janeane Garafolo. The tone of the show, was that Hicks was a comic genius who was ahead of his time, and nobody would book him because he was too “controversial”. They showed plenty of clips, and here’s the gist: Rush Limbaugh and George Bush(41), and Ronald Reagan are The Devil. Genius. And he was baffled why no one would book him. Although comedy, like all great art, is based on anger, the trick is to make that anger funny. Blurting out stuff like “Republicans are eeevil!” is just idiotic. Instantly alienating at least half of your potential audience, is not what I would call genius.
Janeane Garafolo-Ugh. She just sucks so bad, I can’t even analyze it. Another comic that can’t separate anger from funny. She rode that “Edgy Grunge Chick” thing for all it was worth, too bad the ’90s are over Janeane. Of course, where do all pissed off unfunny comics go? Political commentary. Which brings me to:
Bill Maher– The only funny thing about Maher is the size of his melon, which is like an orange on a toothpick. It’s like Sputnik, it’s got it’s own weather system! I can steal jokes too. Being a smug, arrogant asshole is inherently unfunny, especially when you look like a Smurf. A complete failure until he went into the safety zone of failures, Political “humor.” That leads us to:
Al Franken-An also-ran for almost 20 years on SNL. While amazing talents like Joe Piscopo and Rob Schnieder sailed past him, Al ran to the promised land of, well you know.

I got more…

Billy Crystal-Most people don’t consider Billy a standup, but that’s how he started, and he’s equally unfunny when he “acts.” You can tell Billy’s probably a total dick in real life, it just ooozes out of him. Another really angry guy, also doing the same stupid Robin-esqe accents and mugging for the last 30 years. Hey Billy, do that hilarious Sammy Davis Jr. impression again. Or the old black jazz guy. Billy’s like the last of the “catskill” type vaudevillians.

I’ll have more, cause this is fun, but I’m goincampin‘ for the weekend.
Also, a best comedians list.

Posted in Pop Culture, Scathing Opinion | Leave a Comment »

Dependence On Foreign Oil (Hell Yeah!)

Posted by bmac on July 17, 2007

I made a comment at Nice Deb’s about this, and I think it just may deserve a post. There seems to almost be a consensus among liberals and conservatives, that we need to end our dependence on foreign oil. I don’t know that we’re “dependent” on foreign oil. We have plans for alternate energy, if we need it. In the meantime, we’re draining the only resource of potential enemies, unless you count sand as a resource. While they pilfer the trillions of dollars made from oil on stuff like this:

The Sultan’s palace,a monstrosity that boasts 1,788 rooms and is larger than the Vatican-in a tiny country with just 300,000 inhabitants. When the Sultan’s daughter turned 18 he bought her an Airbus. For himself he prefers his own jumbo jet, originally designed to carry over 400 people.

We power our economy and military on their only precious resource.

Seems like a good idea to me.

When their oil dries up, and it will, they will be left with……a whole lotta sand. And a lot of pissed off citizens. And no real economy.

Side note: The Sultan mentioned above, is the Sultan of Brunai. He had 2 identical mansions built here in Las Vegas, which he never moved into, and I believe subsequently sold. I had some friends who worked on them, and they told me a couple of interesting things. For example, there were armed guards on site 24/7 due to the expensive materials, like solid gold doorknobs throughout the house. All workers had to be searched before they left. The power requirements were obscene, the power co. had to basically put a small sub-station in each house.

Posted in Politics | Leave a Comment »

Seperating The Art From The Artist

Posted by bmac on July 10, 2007

There was a thread about the Beatles at Ace’s that I found interesting. There was a lot of vitriolic Beatle-Hate going on, mostly attached to their counter culture status, and general loathing by conservatives of hippie’s. Conservatives have a major problem separating the art from the artist. I do too sometimes, for example, I cannot stand to look at Sean Penn’s stupid face. Or Tim Robbins. Or Danny Glover. But those guy’s career’s are long over. So I’m OK with them, mostly. Sean Penn ain’t no Johnny Depp, know what I mean? No one’s gonna put Sean Penn in a 100 million dollar movie. Those guys don’t matter, in the scheme of things.
I hate hippies. Really bad. But I love hippie music. Love the Grateful Dead, I even like Phish (one album). I think John Lennon was a total tool, and his solo career was dismal, at best, but when he wrote with Paul? Pure genius.
I myself am an ex-musician, and having spent most of my life around musicians and artists, know what makes them tick. They are incredibly insecure, and are pretty much terrified of reality. Kinda like Conspiracy Theorists. They were the kids that were picked on and bullied in school. Your not gonna see many Rock Stars or Painters that were star quarterbacks. Actors maybe, but I don’t consider the majority of them to be artists. They live in a dream world, where simple tasks like having a job, are almost too much to bear. And they’re incredibly lazy. I personally know guys that are pushing 50, who’ve never had a real job, never really made it in music, and still live like 24 year olds, in crappy apartments, driving disposable cars, because you know, they’re “married to music man.” And they’re angry, really angry. Most great art and music is born from anger. Happy people make crappy art.
Most artists are pretty clueless, and sometimes that’s exactly what makes great art, being able to dis-connect from reality. Because someone is a complete loon, doesn’t mean they can’t create meaningful art.

Posted in Pop Culture | Leave a Comment »

Tales From A Record Store

Posted by bmac on July 7, 2007

In my early twenties, I worked at a record store in Studio City Ca. This would have been the mid-80’s. I was a young musician, and the dream job for aspiring future alcoholics and drug-addled rock stars was the Record Store.(cue angelic choral singing). You don’t have to cut your hair, you can listen to music all day, get all the new releases first, you know, total slacker heaven. It’s kind of weird to me that Record Stores are pretty much history now, but hey, that’s progress.
This particular Record Store was not the most fun place to work, but because of it’s location, we got a lot of celebrities in. Also, the owner, I’ll call him “Dick”, was a low-level Hollywood Director, and complete lunatic, and may have had some sort of mob ties, which made for a lot of interesting days.
Quick anecdote featuring Dick: One afternoon, I was at the counter as usual, and Dick was in the back office with a guy that I would say looked “Italian” or”like he would rip your face off with a pair of pliers.” There were probably 5 or 6 customers in the store, and you could hear the conversation in the back starting to get heated. Dick comes running out, past all the customers, through the front door, turns around, and locks the door from the outside. Locked me and the customers in the store with “rip your face off with a pair of pliers” guy, who I’ll refer to as RYFOWAPOPG for the rest of the story. Dick was a little guy, and there he was, safely outside, while I, and like 6 other people were trapped in a small store with RYFOWAPOPG,who was getting more pissed off by the second. Dick was frantically waving his arms, mouthing “Call the police” to me. Heck of a guy, Dick was. Meanwhile, RYFOWAPOPG was asking me to open the door, in let’s say, an intimidating manner. I had to explain to him I didn’t have keys to the place, and prepared to have my face removed, plier style. Thankfully, RYFOWAPOPG had mercy on me, and went in the back to call someone, probably named Pauly, or Petey. At this point, Dick opened the door, and released the hostages, who in 2007, would have sued his ass. Dick then went back outside, and kind of huddled out of sight, as RYFOWAPOPG saw daylight, and left the store. Dick instructed me to follow him and get his plate # from his car. I hesitantly tried to do this(I was young and stupid), and RYFOWAPOPG turned to me, and said “Don’t even try it” in a voice that, for dramatic purposes, sounded like Satan. That was the last I saw of him, and I still have a face to show for it.

Posted in Personal Stories | Leave a Comment »