Concept4Banner1024 The Plural of Apocalypse

 Monday, October 19, 2009

Paranormal Activity: Why what's in your bed might be scarier than what's under it...

First things first: Paranormal Activity (PA) is NOT scary, at least in my opinion. But as far as horror goes, it fits the bill. I found this movie to be creepy, unsettling, and in some ways horrific. Terrifying? Not so much. There are also some absolutely hilarious parts, so in the tradition of quality horror, there is enough humor to keep you from having nightmares.

Secondly: Katie looks like a normal woman. Which is thrilling! Really, ladies if you want to go see a movie with a normal looking woman in it apparently you have to see low budget horror movies. Katie, thank you for representing the size 8-12 crowd! WE LOVE YOU!

My favorite horror movies are the ones where less is seen and more is heard. There is nothing quite as unsettling as hearing footsteps or whispers from another room, but not knowing if anything is really there. This film excels at keeping whatever is harassing them a secret. In the end we don’t even really know what it looks like; we only ever really see the results of what it has done.

The run down: The premise is this: Katie and Micah are a young couple who have recently moved in together. Where the film picks up is several days/occurrences into their paranormal experience. Micah buys a camera with the intention of dispelling Katie’s fears, and showing her it’s nothing to be scared of. Micah also seems to fancy himself a bit of an amateur film maker and instead of just filming at night, starts filming everything. And so it begins. The first night we don’t see much, and the next day a psychic comes to the house to help them find their ghosts. This is a major turning point in the movie, and it happens barely 15 minutes in: there are no ghosts, Katie has a demon. A demon that has been with her since she was a little girl. A demon that may have set her childhood home on fire destroying everything. A demon that isn’t going away on its own, a demon that feeds on anger and fear. The psychic can’t offer any help, but gives them the # of a demonologist and warns them not to provoke the demon, because they really don’t know what they are dealing with. Demons don’t fuck around, people! Katie wants to call the demonologist and get it taken care of; Micah is convinced they can deal with it on their own. Katie clearly needs to grow a spine.

What happens over the next 20 days is an exercise in escalation and destruction. We get to witness not only the escalating of the activity, but the disintegration of Micah and Katie’s relationship. The problem really in all of this is Micah. See Micah doesn’t listen to the girl who’s dealt with the demon for 20 odd years. Micah doesn’t respect her wishes, constantly lies to her, doesn’t listen to sound advice and is convinced (in what I can only call a typical male fashion) that he alone can fix this problem. He doesn’t need anyone’s help, he is the man of the house, he doesn’t need directions, they aren’t lost!!

And so it goes, we never leave the house (we do go outside, but it’s the yard), we never see the other parts of their lives, we see nothing but what goes on in their home. This can lead to an almost claustrophobic feeling, but it can also help you understand the trapped feeling they were feeling. This movie doesn’t use cheap thrills (not cats jumping out), but it also doesn’t abuse effects (FOR ONCE!). We see what happens when they aren’t in the house, we see what happens when they sleep, and we see their reactions to these things.

In contrast we see the damage that Micah is causing. We see the sleep deprivation, we can hear the desperation in Katie’s voice, and the lines of who the real monster in this movie is are very much blurred. A few days of reflection on this movie has left me wondering if Katie’s demon was less a harmful presence and was more so trying to keep her safe from what it perceived as a threat. In the end though I think it could be argued that Katie is twice a victim, first of a demonic presence and secondly of a well meaning boyfriend who never takes the time to see what he’s done. In a way each of these forces was trying to do what they thought was best for Katie, without ever really seeing what she wanted. Katie is terrorized not only by this demon, but by the boyfriend who thinks he is trying to help her.

I know I’m getting all philosophical on your asses regarding this movie, but the more I think about it, the less I am left with images of slamming doors and swinging chandeliers and the more I am left feeling terrible for Katie. I guess in some ways she represents how a lot of women (and also men) feel about living in this world. You have a lot of people telling you what’s best for you, pulling you in different directions, when you are never really given the chance to decide what you really want for yourself. In the end if you don’t fight against these sorts of forces, you inevitably end up becoming one of them.

Another theme that I felt riding through it is the notion of “fixing it.” We live in a world where pretty much all of us believe that with a few deft strokes of the keys we can Wikipedia or Google our way to answers to fix our problems, we take pills to fix what ails us, and if we can’t fix an item we just replace it. We live in a “fix it” society, and what’s worse, is we are so focused on fixing problems on our own that we see weakness in asking for help. Micah’s fatal flaw is this; he is blind to what anyone else says or thinks, he is always right. He even at one point states something to the effect of: “this thing is in MY house, and I’m going to kick its ass out of here.” The arrogance of a statement like this is overwhelming; it’s a demonic presence not a stray raccoon. Pride does not fix anything.
The ending of this movie is abrupt. There are no credits, just a final image and a statement. This movie is so full of WTF moments, they could have called it: Paranormal Activity: The WHAT THE FUCK file. The writer/director of this movie filmed it in his house on nearly no budget. He did a damn fine job. I hear his next project involves another found footage film, only this one takes place in the wilds around Area 51. I will be seeing this movie, unless the bigger budget puts too much CG-bullshit in the movie. (cos the lack of CG-Bullshit is what was incredibly attractive about this film).

My only real bone to pick with this movie is two things: #1 they never even discuss contacting a priest or other member of the clergy. Everyone knows when demons are involved you go to the Catholics! Or you at least get some holy water, a cross and a bible. Micah continually insists that if they go to outside sources it might piss the demon off even more, and he shows Katie pictures of what happens when you piss the demon off more. Still, they could have taken precautions, which leads to my #2 issue: Salt. Where’s the salt Micah??? Micah does all this interweb research but never once does he come up with solutions regarding treating the demonic presence. Salt, holy water, crosses, blessed objects, prayers, there are a million ways to “fight demons” and they are all on the interweb. Micah, your google-fu is weak.

I guess in the end I will say this: This is a good movie; it’s not going to make you run screaming out of the theater (it may, I might just be jaded), but it will linger in your psyche for long after it ends. There is terror and horror on two levels, the seen and the unseen, and both are equally disturbing. It was worth every cent of the $9.50 I spent, and the ghetto assed mother fuckers I sat through the movie with (nothing like people yelling at the screen). It is not a movie I would buy because I think it’s the sort of movie that the more you see the less it has meaning, also a little screen is not going to give you the sense of horror you get from the big screen effect (I had the same feeling about the Blair Witch Project, and I have tried to watch it on TV with it having less than half the effect it had on me in the theater). It’s a good movie, it’s a solid movie. If you like horror movies you’ll probably dig this. If you like indie movies that work on many levels and don’t mind being creeped out, this is really for you.

 Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Epitaph One, This is the Way the World Ends

Some shows attain infamy because of what you see on TV, others, because of what you didn’t see. I have a feeling Dollhouse is going to end up the latter. Dollhouse’s “missing” 13th episode has already attained legendary status on the interwebs, mostly because of the network’s refusal to air it and all the conspiracy theories regarding that decision. This episode was developed by the studio to meet the needs of overseas distribution and for DVD sales. Last week it was aired at San Diego Comic Con to a roomful of Whedon faithful, the reviews that came out of this screening were awesome. Because I am poor, I didn’t get to attend, and thus had to wait until yesterday to watch this episode. It was worth the wait.

The episode opens on a post-apocalyptic world, with a rag-tag group of survivors trying to find some place safe to get away from the wiped and the tech that could potentially wipe them as well. What they find is the Dollhouse, Whiskey, answers and eventually hope.

The look of this episode is different than the glossy beautiful world Dollhouse resides in. In the commentary we learn that this was party due to cost (filming on video is way cheaper), wanted effect (a post-apocalyptic world is not pretty), and the crew (since the primary crew was busy working on Omega a crew who had primarily worked on “24” was brought in, also bringing in their grittier, hand held style). The juxtaposition of the future and past is well done. What is also well done is the decline of the empire, as the show utilizes flashbacks to go between the world we are used to seeing, into a slow decline into the darkness they live within now. The camera work and lighting does not come off second rate. In fact it could be argued that this is Dollhouse’s most cinematic episode. Knowing that this episode cost half of a regular episode of the show, and that this was one of the factors involved in renewing the show, I feel confident that the quality will not decrease in the second season. They can make do with far less.

Thematically this episode is classic Whedon. In reality this to me was very reminiscent of Serenity and the Firefly ‘verse, and it makes me wonder if what we are seeing connects directly to that universe in a very Battlestar “this has all happened before this will happen again” way. Humanity destroys itself with technology that someone assumed would help people, but that ends up turning people into killing machines. At one point someone refers to the tech and events surrounding the apocalypse as “children playing with matches, who’ve burned the house down.” Indeed the world has burned around them, and the imagery and metaphor used throughout the episode bashes this into your head.
Felicia Day (The Guild, Buffy) and Zack Ward (numerous credits) really stand out in this episode. They are believable survivors. Day, as Mag, comes off as an every-girl who’s been thrown into a world she doesn’t understand, but one which she either has to learn to live in, or die. Ward as Zone, is a hard ass who seems to have abandoned all hope, and almost his humanity before Whiskey and eventually Caroline (in a way) offer him a new hope. Adair Tichler (Molly from Heroes), is a really promising young actor. She pulls off her role (Iris) in this, as she did on Heroes, with a maturity that someone her age should not possess. The additional supporting cast of survivors are also fantastic, but these three end up the most relevant and the three we are most likely to see again in the future.

The lead in is this: ten years into the future, the technology that turns people into actives, has gone rogue. By rogue I mean just walking past a piece of technology can cause your own personality to be wiped out, and it is replaced with something that seems to inspire wiped people to kill non-wiped people. It seems at first the tech was just being utilized by the Dollhouse, but eventually, somehow, a military unit figured out how to remotely wipe people and imprint them (into what are referred to as “butchers” or people who are programmed to kill anyone who isn’t imprinted) using nothing but the phone (reminiscent of November/Mellie’s “There are three flowers in a vase…” moment, only without an implanted trigger, and Alpha’s means to wipe Echo on an engagement). It is implied that this may have been the Chinese (bringing forth another echo of the Firefly ‘verse), but never is it implicitly stated the who or the how, just that this happened. In addition to the phones, it is implied that a mass wipe can be done via some sort of pulse, in other words no one is really safe.
The concept of this episode is brilliant. I’ve heard it called a “second pilot” (in reality it would be the third), and while it may not be, it easily could have served as such if the show had to be sold to a new network. Instead of the typical logical unfolding of what has happened, we see flashes of the events leading up to the world going to hell, through the same technology that caused the event in the first place. It is apparent that the survivors have no real understanding of where the technology that destroyed the world came from. It is summed up pretty nicely by Zone who upon discovering how the Dollhouse used the tech says: "You mean to tell me the tech that punk-kicked the ass of mankind was originally designed to make more believable hookers?"

While they are discovering the who, what and how of what happened, there is a second plot line which is someone is killing off members of the team. First one is killed in the showers, and later we witness the murder of another member. I won’t give it away, but it is brilliantly done, and you just don’t see it coming, but it brings home just how dangerous the world has become. By the end of the episode we are left with 3 remaining people, and one of them has been uploaded with Caroline.

Because this episode was filmed concurrently with “Omega”, Echo/Caroline, Ballard, and Langton are used sparingly. This is actually to the advantage of this episode though. The supporting cast of the Dollhouse we know and love get a chance to shine, as well as our new band of merry survivors. We are running with the survivors and watching the world fall apart through the eyes and ears of people whom we assume were uploaded to the Dollhouse database while events were unfolding. I find this to be a really intriguing point; while the shit is falling apart someone within the Dollhouse (possibly Adelle or Topher, but more than likely Victor, as we see he has backed up all the Actives) had the wherewithal to back up these memories. We have no idea how far into the future (from where the show is now, assumed to be 2009), things start to go haywire. We do know that the technology involved is in its infancy in season one and that the themes, and ideas about what the Dollhouse could really be used for, which eventually cause the downfall of humanity, were already introduced as well.
We only see bits and pieces of what has happened, but I have to say Victor (Enver), Topher (Fran Kranz) and Adelle (Olivia) put in remarkable performances. Topher and Adelle go through rapid character development, and watching their self created reality be torn apart is as painful as it is satisfying. Topher is especially heart breaking, more so if you go and watch the show from the beginning because you realize his arrogance and brilliance, is both his and the world’s downfall. What is especially terrific about these flashbacks is that we don’t really get to see anything going on outside the Dollhouse, we hear about what’s going on, but we never get to see it. We just see and hear bits and pieces about what’s going on: before Topher imprinting took over two hours, the database was gathered from people getting brain scans at hospitals using Rossum’s equipment, Echo can be the imprint and herself at the same time, Boyd is injured, but we don’t know where or how, an imprint can be put into multiple bodies at the same time, Mr. Dominick is brought back out of the Attic and put back into his own body, Victor and Saunder’s scars are fixed, at some point Saunders turns back into Whiskey, basically more questions are asked than answered.

The final bomb dropped in the episode is that there may be a block or cure from being wiped, and that there is a Safe Haven, a place where people are safe from the tech that has destroyed the world, and safe from the people affected by it. My favorite little dropped hint regarding this is that Alpha seems to be responsible for this place. Apparently Caroline/Echo is responsible for the cure. Essentially the two Dolls who are the most problematic are the 2 which are also humanity’s salvation.

This episode was penned by Jed Whedon and his wife/partner Maurissa Tancharoen (both from Dr Horrible), and their commentary is surprisingly informative, considering their collective “greenness.” My favorite thought that they offer up is the possibility, that the day we see here, is a day that happens all the time to Whiskey. That somehow Whiskey is sticking around the Dollhouse for this purpose (as she says to them “I’ve always been here”), and as survivors come through, she continues to do her “job” and then sends people on their way. The idea that tomorrow she cleans up the bodies and starts all over is in a sense what the show is all about.

Overall Epitaph One is one of the strongest hours of Mutant Enemy programming ever produced. Joss has claimed that this is the future that they cannot change, although because some of the flashbacks are memories, they may be incorrect, because they are dependant on the observer who originally recorded them. Also this is a time we will revisit in season 2, as early on as the first episode. So in a way Dollhouse has now shown us its beginning and its end, which is a smart move, because now all that’s left are the details of how we get from point Alpha to Omega, and all the spaces in between.

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 Sunday, February 01, 2009

V-day, Like D-day with Hearts not Bombs

It's tradition. Every Valentine's Day I post my list of music to live, love and loathe to. It's updated. Have a suggestion for an addition? Please let me know, cos this list is fluid & I'm always looking for more music that makes me want to lie, die and cry.

Pining, it's not just for Forests Anymore:
Tori Amos – Leather
Kelly Clarkson – Beautiful Disaster
Depeche Mode – Lie to Me
Depeche Mode – Only When I Lose Myself
Depeche Mode – Rus
Depeche Mode – Somebody
Ghost of the Robot – Valerie

Ghost of the Robot – Dangerous
Jace Everett – Bad Thin
Fall Out Boy – I’m Like a Lawyer with How I’m Always Trying to Get You Off
Feist – 1, 2, 3, 4
Garbage – Number One Crush
INXS – By My Side

Avril Lavigne – Fall to Pieces
Ana Nalick – Catalyst
Kate Nash – We Get On
Nine Inch Nails – Something I Can Never Have
No Doubt – Bathwater
Psychedelic Furs – The Ghos
t In You
Relient K – Be My Escape

Sense Field – Save Yourself
Shakira – Whenever, Wherever
Silverchair – The Greatest View
Skunk Anaise – Secretly
Regina Spektor - Somedays
Mazzy Star – Blue Light

Sugar - Your Favorite Thing
Matthew Sweet – I've Been Waiting
The Cure – Letter to Elis
The Killers – Mr. Brightside

The Lemonheads – Being Around
The Urgency – Fingertips
The Veronicas – Untouched
When in Rome – The Promise

How Happy We Be:
Ash – Shining Light
Bush – The Chemicals Between Us
Coyote Shivers - Sugar High
Death Cab for Cutie - I Will Follow You into the Dark
Depeche Mode – I Am You
Depeche Mode – I Want You Now
Depeche Mode – One Caress

EnVogue – Givin' Him Somethin' He Can Feel
INXS – Mystify
INXS – Never Tear Us Apart
James – Laid
Mundy – To You I Bestow
Nine Inch Nails – The Perfect Drug
Panic at the Disco – Nine in the After
Paramour – Misery Business
Liz Phair – Supernova
Liz Phair – Why Can't I?
Placebo – Every You, Eve
ry Me
Regina Specter – Us
Remy Zero – Destiny
The Cure – Lets Go to Bed
The Flaming Lips – Do You Realize?
The Judybats – Ugly on the Outsid

Love is a Four Letter Word
Tori Amos – Baker, Baker
Tori Amos – China
Crowded House – Better Be Home Soon
Depeche Mode – Dang
Jimmy Fallon – Idiot Boyfriend
Garbage – Why do You Love Me?
Ghost of the Robot - German. Jewish.
Incubus – Wish You Were Here

INXS – Not Enough Time
Chris Isaak – Wicked Game
Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart
Keane – Somewhere Only We Know
Abra Moore – Trip on Love
Kate Nash – Foundations
Beth Orton – She Cries Your N
Pink – Leave Me Alone, I'm Lonely
Placebo – Post Blue
Shakira – Objection Tango

Space – The Female of the Species
Sponge – Molly (Sixteen Candles)
The Judy Bats – Pain (Makes You Beautiful)
The Sundays – Wild Horses
The Yayhoos – Baby I Love You (Just Leave Me the Fuck Alone)
Toad the Wet Sprocket – Fall Dow
Ween – Baby Bitch
Paul Westerberg – Dyslexic Heart

It's a Break-Up cos it's Broken:
Adam Ant – Wonderful
Tori Amos – Putting the Damage On
Tori Amos – Tear in Your Hand
Fiona Apple – Never is a Promise
Michelle Branch – Goodbye to You (acoustic version)
Jeff Buckley – Last Goodbye
Bush – Out of This World
Crowded House – Locked Out
Chris Isaak – Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing
Love Spit Love – Am I Wrong

Natalie Imbruglia – Torn
Pink – So What?
SheDaisy – Lucky 4 U
Tara Maclean – If I Fall
The Cure – A Night Like This
The Cure – In Between Days
The Format - First Single
The Waltons – Colder Than You
They Might Be Giants – Lucky Ball and Chain
Justin Timberlake – Cry Me a Riv
Robbie Williams – Sexed Up


Revenge is Sweet, Stalking is Sweeter:
Fiona Apple – Limp
Blondie – One Way (or Another)
Michelle Branch – Are You Happy Now?
Blu Cantrell – Hit 'em Up Style
Chicago Soundtrack – Cell Block Tango
Depeche Mode – It's No Good
Depeche Mode – The Bottom Line
Ani DiFranco – Superhero
Jay Gordon – Slept So Long
L7 – Shit List
Morrissey – The More You Ignore Me (The Closer I Get)
Nine Inch Nails – Sin
Placebo – Infra Red
Poe – Angry Johnny
The Police – Every Breath You Take
The Smiths – Bigmouth Strikes Again


All of This Has Happened Before & Will Happen Again:
Better Than Ezra – Desperately Wanting
Jeff Buckley – Lover, You Should Have Come Over
Cowboy Junkies – Sweet Jane
Depeche Mode – It Doesn’t Matter
Depeche Mode – Sweetest Condition
James – Lullaby
Mazzy Star – Fade Into You
Silverchair – Miss You Love
Smashing Pumpkins – Glynis
The Church – Under the Milky Way
The Cure – Pictures of You
The Lemonheads – Favorite T
The Smiths – Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me
Toad the Wet Sprocket – Something's Always Wrong
Travis – She’s So Strange

 Friday, February 29, 2008

'Sau Sightings

While driving through Wasuau I constantly see things that are stupid, unbelieveable or otherwise. So all of you can enjoy the mystique of the 'Sau I am going to start writing my 'Sau Sightings. It's like Big Foot or Alien sightings, only about the 'Sau. It'll only be the choicest insanity, I promise!

Todays Edition: Snow Fun!

Sighting: Woman with snowblower in driveway on Lavina Dr.. Woman standing in front of snowblower, while the snowblower is on and operational, jamming the pokey end of a broom into the inner workings of said snowblower. She is the reason there are warnings on the hairdryer to not use it in the shower.

Sighting: On Stewart Avenue, on the Church side. Man walking through waist deep snow. Why this is funny: the other side of the street had fully plowed sidewalks. He was either too stupid to notice this, or just enjoys snow up the legs of his pants.

Sighting: At the Farm and Fleet. Woman with tween daughter. Tween daughter is wearing a skirt that was approximately 4-5 inches long, those ballerina style keds, a tight tiny T-shirt and no coat. It was warm yesterday, it wasn't this warm. Also, tween was really a bit too big to be pulling this outfit off in any season. Whore doesn't look good on a 12 year old regardless of size or season though.

 Monday, January 28, 2008

Only White Girls Go Wild

This weekend while enjoying the newest season of Torchwood (mmmm) on BBC America I was barraged with an inordinate amount of commercials for the Girls Gone Wild DVDs (why these were on BBC-A I do not know, and it makes me question what the Brits really think us US viewers are looking for in a commercial). Now for anyone who lives under a dark and cable lacking stone, Girls Gone Wild is a bunch of drunk, 95% naked "college" girls who just can't wait to show their goodies to everyone on earth.

While watching the commercial for the eleventy-billionth time I realized something. There are no black, Asian, Hispanic, Indian (native or eastern), multi-ethnic, of unknown ethnic origins, or alien girls going wild. It is only white girls, and 'cept for a rare few, are all blonde. What the hell? Do white girls have so little control over themselves whilst drunk that they just can't stop themselves from getting naked for no residuals and in a way that will make them bubble over with shame in 2 years when they try to get a real job and their Girls Gone Wild stint ruins it? Alternately when Dr. Barbie gets that prestigious internship at some hotsy-totsy hospital and a patient looks up and says, "I know you, you were in Girls Gone Wild, I love your goodies." What will she do?

From what I can tell here are the prerequisites for ending up on a GGW DVD:

#1 Fake Tan, there is no room for pasty girls
#2 Should already be wearing clothes that barely fit the definition of clothing
#3 Should be able to look innocent and modest, while taking off skirt or licking other girls nipple
#4 Should have stick straight hair, it should be at least shoulder length, and if possible, layered
#5 is a "Whoo Hoo" girl
#6 Could also be on one of those commercials featuring starving people some where on earth, cos they are all rail thin.

Please white girls, unless stripper or porn star is a future goal, don't do GGW! That guy who runs the company is a slime-ball who might as well have pedophile printed on his forehead and his hand permanently jacking himself off.

Last night while watching Dane Cook's Vicious Circle on Comedy Central I got to watch the commercial for Girls Gone Wild Barely 18! Which apparently was supposed to feature a bunch of white sluts who just turned 18 and who have just been waiting to get their goodies out for everyone to see. Honestly, I can't imagine girls of such ethics as to be filmed for GGW are really all that big on not showing their goodies to everyone with a candy bar or a soda pop until they are 18.

Final thought: how is it that a fuckstick like Britany Spears gets to continue to live while someone as awesome as Heath Ledger dies? Seriously, if there is someone upstairs, the individual is seriously sick in the head. I'll stick with my atheism.

 Friday, January 11, 2008

Dear American (please keep all appendages inside the vehicle while in motion)

Friday afternoon rants. Cos I can. And this looks like I am doing actual work, and apparently the appearance of doing work is more important than actually doing work. I think I need to stop perusing magazines and the accidental consumption of Entertainment Tonight is apparently eating my insides. Not all of this is negative, the last few items are some small gems of joy I found yesterday, small things that give me hope that some day the intelligent may rule, but our chances still seem to be slipping...

#1 “Reality” show people are not celebrities. Omarosa, Kristin Cavallari, New York (Tiffany), anyone who’s ever been on Survivor, Sanjaya, any one of the new American Gladiators: None of these people are celebrities. None of them even deserve it. Who declared that having 15 minutes of fame meant you got to be in the news? What the fuck is wrong with the American public that just cos some rich bitch 17 year old threw a Black and White ball on Mtv 4 years ago she gets to be a celebrity. Audrey Hepburn just rolled over in her grave, did you hear that? There was a time when celebrity brought to mind beautiful people, in beautiful clothes, living amazing fabulous lives. Now celebrity has been reduced to a photo of Sanjaya standing outside of a theater in LA with a caption going something like: Even without his crazy hair we can tell it’s you Sanjaya! WHO CARES?

#2 I have come to realize that the writer’s strike is having an even bigger impact on the world than forcing me to think, watch DVDs, pick up a Ghost Hunters and Sims 2 habit, it’s contributing to world over population. Yes. It’s true. Cos real celebrities (although are any of them really real in the authentic sense?) are out of work, they are having sex, and getting knocked up. Even the kids are doing it. I mean, Jessica Alba, Nicole Kidman, Jaimie-Lynn Spears, who’s next? Miley Cyrus? Some other Has-Been’s offspring? Please, networks, moguls and producers, go back to the negotiating table, cos if Monique gets knocked up, I am blaming you. (Side note: Should Jennifer Garner-Affleck and Ben decide to go for Violet round 2, I will not be angry though, cos that is the cutest happiest baby ever)

#3 Britney Spears is bat-shit, get over it. Did we really need a People magazine cover to alert the populace to this? I mean I can’t imagine people around the country at convience stores and grocery store check-outs looking up and going “Oh God No! Not that precious little girl, what hath happened to dear Britney??” The only thing she hasn’t done yet is off her self, and if the universe works in the proper way it will happen on its own without our intervention. I mean it happened to Anna Nicole, so there is hope for those little boys yet! (no, this is not me being mean, sadly those kids have a better chance at life without her. If Larry Birkhead can raise a kid I believe K-fed can do it too. Wow, their names rhyme.) And oh yeah, bitch lost her virginity at like 15. You can take the trash out of Louisiana but you can’t take the trash out of the girl!

#4 Wait, you can’t take the trash out of the whole damn family. The whole Spears clan is fucked. Much like the Lohans, Simpsons, and every other celebrifamily. Does no one remember the Culkin cluster-fuck? Doesn’t the name Jackson conjure up memories of fucked up family? Is anyone shocked that a family that pushes their tiny children into careers that their parents are too ugly and untalented to be in themselves is approximately 3 seconds from self destruction and collapse of the family unit? I mean honestly. The parents end up celebrities in their own way, the more fucked up their kids act, the more famous the parents become for being shitty parents. And sometimes they get to write books about parenting (how to raise a super star (but they forget to mention super-fuck-up). It’s like a parent’s dream come true! Jon Benet got out easily, cos she was approximately 15 years from becoming Britney Spears. At least Lindsey’s got talent. By the way: Billy-Ray, I’ve got my eye on you. Miley’s fucked, if your achy-breaky heart couldn’t tell, you are creating a monster.

#5 Please Jessica Simpson go cheer on Tony Romo, maybe he’ll become hypnotized by your excessive breasts and fake lips. Or maybe he’ll mistake your shitty extensions for spun gold and want to suddenly be called Rumplestilskin. No matter what, I am relying on you to be there for him. Cos if you are, the Packers are so going to the Super Bowl, and once again a plague of sadness will follow in your wake. Jessica, you may be one of the signs of the apocalypse.

#6 Speaking of football: would someone take out Tom Smug-Ass-Motherfucker Brady out already? Honestly, he is fragile. He fucks a super model, so it’s not like he’s doing any heavy lifting, ever. He can’t be that hard to take out. Cheap shots are more than welcome. Could someone quick grab Warren Sapp up for the playoffs and tell him “we know you are retiring, but remember that horrible cheap shot you pulled on the Packers, yeah, we need you to do that to Tom Brady, and if you get a chance Randy Moss. Thanks Sapp, there’s a bonus in your future, I can just smell it, and it doesn’t smell like Chunky Soup.” Alternately, would someone get him a Chunky Soup contract? How’s he avoided that???

#7 Regardless of what Rachael Ray says, you can’t make one of her meals in 30 minutes unless you are fueled by a meth macchiato and have the assistance of Satan himself. I guess if I had a team of fuckers (but possibly ninjas) warming up my pans and doing all the prep and keeping an eye on everything while I stood in front of a counter for 20 minutes espousing how easy it really is to make meatballs, I too could make a meal in 30 minutes. Granted the food generally turns out tasty, but 30 minutes quickly turns into 120 minutes without the benefit of hangin’ with Kennedy or Matt Pinfield.

#8 No matter what anyone says; it doesn’t get any hotter than James Marsters making out with John Barrowman, mostly cos unlike porn, they actually look totally into it. Torchwood is the best thing to happen to the Dr. Who franchise since Christopher Eccleston. Oh yeah, they also shoot at each other, which ups the hotness. I wish American TV was as forward thinking. But I also wish that Helo, Anders, and Apollo would compete in oil wrestling versus Capt Mal, Jayne and Simon. Not all my dreams can so easily come true. (BTW girls, its okay to admit you like watching guys make out. If guys can revel in lesbians, you can admit that there is just something hot about 2 guys going after each other as if they were made of roast beef and they hadn’t seen food in 2 weeks.) Torchwood's Coming Back, now with more Marsters!!!

#9 I give a shit about what Penn Jillett has to say. You should too. Penn Jillette is on my list of large men I would let violate me. (This list also involves Seth Rogen who isn’t that large and Kevin Smith, just cos I’d be hoping that some of his genius would be left behind. I am sick and need help. I know this) But he's also hella smart. Also he is an avid fan of if you are gonna be crazy then go whole heartedly into the abyss. He agrees with the pope on everything, except that whole god thing, and that makes my day:

Finally #10: If you are familiar with the infamous Patton oswald rant on the KFC famous bowls you can't help but find this to be raucously hysterical: Patton Taste Tests the Bowl on the howling rim of Famous-ity Also if you haven't been watching, I suggest tuning into A Daily Show with John Stewart, without writrs John has readily admitted that his show is slowly devolving into his own personal version of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Anyone who calls Larry King a "talking Gnome" I am gonna keep watching.

 Friday, November 30, 2007

It's the Most Horrific Time of the Year

Christmas. Fuck.

Don’t get me wrong. I like the idea of Christmas, the getting together of friends and family to eat excessively and give each other gifts cos some teenaged mother had a baby 2,000+ years ago. The idea of good will and good cheer and familiar drunkenness and the iconization of a fat man in a red suit (he’s like a golden calf, only he wears red and is hairy) are just fine by me. Conceptually it’s fine. The actuality is not so much.

It started in September, the talk of Christmas. Then on November 1st, the Halloween costumes weren’t even put away yet and already Christmas music had taken over a station on the radio. Suddenly it appeared that Thanksgiving had been lumped together with Halloween in the décor department, and now that Halloween was over, clearly it was time to stock the shelves with trees and ribbons and wraps and ornament and cards! (Don’t forget many smallish animatronic toys which annoyingly play some sort of carol of yore but with different words, to further destroy the remains of Christmas past)

When I was younger there was this whole month in between Halloween and Christmas, apparently that whole month has been reduced to a few hours in the wee hours of All Saints Day. Fuck me. I remember clearly that at some point holidays went like this: Halloween, Deer Hunting (a general holiday in WI), Thanksgiving, then Christmas. Now I think it looks like this Hallowgiving, Hunting, Christmas. An entire holiday was overlooked in order to get that Christmas shit on the shelves and into consumers homes even sooner!

2 weeks ago, nearly a week before Thanksgiving, Nick called me in a near panic at 6:15 in the am (I was still awake too, so it’s not like this was a real emergency) to tell me that in the 10 hours we had spent together, somehow downtown Wausau was converted from a quaint hellhole into a quaint hellhole that Christmas vomited all over. It was decided that from now on, side roads were the only way to avoid this treachery. Turkey had not yet been consumed, but there was a goddamned Christmas tree in the square and tinsel and lights on the street lights.

Now it is the official Christmas season and you know what? I’m already all Christmassed out. They played the Grinch earlier this week. IT’S NOT EVEN DECEMBER IN CASE NO ONE GOT THE MEMO, OR OWNS A CALENDAR, SHIT YOUR CELL PHONE AND CRACK BERRIES HAVE CALENDARS HOW CAN NO ONE REALIZE IT IS NOT DECEMBER YET??????????????????

What is the world coming to? What is wrong with people? On top of it, even though it’s the spirit of giving, it seems to have been reduced to the season of Road Rage, Cart Rage, pushing, shoving, being rude and thinking that for some reason one’s own need to get their hands on the latest tickle me bullshit is more important than anyone else’s right to shop. I am actually scared to drive near the shopping here. Mostly cos I am pretty sure someone is going to take out my car on their way to the Best Buy to pick up the Beverly Hillbillies on DVD!

I am already sick of Christmas, I don’t want to put up my tree, or decorate my house, cards and gifts seem like a lot of work. I would just assume skip the whole thing cos you know what? Come December 26th already talk will turn to “starting next year’s Christmas shopping early!” I am generally not a “fuck Christmas” kind of person. I usually take a day off of work to put up the tree and decorate it and enjoy it. This year it sort of nauseates me. I even offered my tree to Wendi cos she is having a Christmas at her house and my tree works well in an apartment, what with it being all skinny and prelit.

I keep thinking I need to go out to the garage and find the Rubbermaid with the cards in it, so I can start filling them out. I decided I would put up my small tinsel tree cos if I put no decorations up and my parents stop by I will be chastised and made to feel a fool. Mostly I hope if they show up that they will stock me with some fire wood, and not make me feel crappy about my messy apartment or lack of Christmas spirit. The tinsel tree though is so weak it can not hold lights, thus it’s not even like a bright cheerful Christmas extravaganza.

I’ve half heartedly started my Christmas shopping but the gifts are so generic this year they hardly feel personal. I am usually a damn fine gift giver, paying attention all year to the tiniest mentions so that come Christmas I can be all “Surprise! Someone listened to you! I am the bestest ever!” but this year I just don’t care. I even tried to get out of gift giving with A2 cos I have no idea what to get her (at all, seriously, how much alcoholism paraphernalia and serial killer shit can one person really need?), at least K is the kind of person I can buy something for that I want, cos she probably wants it too. The rest of the gifts are so scattered and without theme or anything that I don’t know why I’m bothering. I am still looking forward to the wrapping, but that’s my favorite part of any gift giving I do.

I am not really looking forward to receiving any gifts! I have too much shit already! I provided my mother with a short, specific list of shit I want for Christmas, what I’ll get is 1-4 things off that list and a bunch of shit she thinks I need. The woman has no concept of me living in an apartment, already having a garage and storage unit full of shit, and having no more room left for any additional shit. I am shit out of room.

So overall this year, I’d like to skip Christmas. Granted this means I am pushed ever closer to the big 29 year old birthday which I am looking forward to about as much as a colonoscopy. But at least I wouldn’t have to put up with bell-ringers, going broke, and wondering why as it inches closer to the actual holiday all the TV programming stops being about Christmas and you can’t find a Christmas show or movie on to save your soul. Bah Humbug!