Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tucker "I'm a Christian, But" Carlson

Praise Jesus*
Ladies and Gentlemen, A Christmas Time message from Tucker Carlson:

"I'm a Christian, I've made mistakes myself, I believe fervently in second chances," Carlson said. "But Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did in a heartless and cruel way. And I think, personally, he should've been executed for that. He wasn't, but the idea that the President of the United States would be getting behind someone who murdered dogs? Kind of beyond the pale."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Movie Cliché du Jour: The Sneaky Neck Snap

"Don't kill me!"   "Shh... pretend I'm Angelina."   "Oh Hawt..."
Look we like a good neck snapping as much as the next testosterone addled X-Games fan but shit is getting out of hand. You know the move we're talking about... lethal bowflex-bodied, killing machine steals up behind unsuspecting rent-a-thug and with one Fossesque flourish breaks his neck. Rent-a-thug falls to the ground deader than Jeff Bridges' eyes in Tron. Audience nods approvingly. Let's get it on.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Carine Roitfeld: Fashion Goddess

No, not Iggy Pop's sister.
Ever wonder why women's fashion seems to hate women? Parading impossibly skinny models with unobtainable, unhealthy bodies before a female populace who has neither the time nor the genetics to look like a twelve year old boy. Mucking up women's self-esteem so they can push lines of clothes, low rider jeans for example, that look good on about 2% of women and gives the remaining 98% a blooming muffin top. And generally torturing women into spending astronomical percentages of their income trying to keep up with whatever the magazines claim is stylish. Why so mean spirited, fashion industry?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Good Old Days Can Die in a Fire

Holy shit are we White!!!  Free Puppies!!!
It begins with a wistful and nostalgic nod to a "simpler time." A time that was somehow more honest and wholesome than today. Somewhere in the middle the talk turns to taking back the country, which leads inevitably to the big finish wherein the nation's honor needs to be restored. Next thing you know you're an extra in Birth of a Nation, making pointed hats out of your 400 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets. Welcome to the myopic, pernicious lie known as "the good old days." It's easy, it's lazy and it's incredibly predictable. How predictable, you ask? Well here's a fun test you can do at home. Next time you hear someone open a fresh can of the good old days, there are two certainties - 1) they won't ever specify the date, and 2) the can opener in question will invariably be white. In fact, we'll pay five bucks for any confirmed sighting of an eighty year old black man pining for 1947.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Freakonomics Guys Drop Some Science

Yeah, Yeah... quit rubbing it in.
Look Freakonomics guys, lay off. We're doing the best we can. We're underfunded, understaffed and our intern is a relentlessly upbeat Cankdeska Cikana Community College sophomore who won't quit it with the North Dakota fun facts. Like did you know North Dakota grows more sunflowers than any other state? Do you know how hard it is to work with that kind of energy around? To make matters worse, our office is located in an abandoned Urban Outfitters. It's still full of creepy anorexic manikins in shabbily made clothes for teenagers who can't be bothered to dress like crap on their own. We lose a lot of afternoon staging elaborate reenactments of Civil War battles as fought by slacker emo kids - no one ever gets shot, but by the end the North has unfriended the South.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bristol Palin and the Old Canard

What's another way to say aged duck?
So a few words on Ghostwriting. Ghostwriting is the art of writing a speech or book or whatnot so that it sounds like your employer. The greatest compliment you can pay to a ghostwriter is, "that didn't sound like you at all." So whether you're polishing one of Bill Clinton's speeches or Keith Richard's autobiography, all the audience hears is the seamless voice of the purported author. It would have been a failure if, let's say, if Kennedy's inauguration speech had suddenly shift into 50's teen slang:

Monday, December 6, 2010

Rowan Somerville's Dark and Stormy Sex Scene

Hubba, Hubba Old Boy
The Literary Review awarded its annual Bad Sex in Fiction award to Rowan Somerville for his novel The Shape of Her. "There's nothing more English than bad sex, so on behalf of a nation, I thank you," said Somerville at the award ceremony. In their minds, the following passage exemplifies why they chose his work:
The wet friction of her, tight around him, the sight of her open, stretched around him, the cleft of her body, it tore a climax out of him with a final lunge. Like a lepidopterist mounting a tough-skinned insect with a too blunt pin he screwed himself into her.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Darren Aronofsky and the Great Brunette Obsession

We're not saying that Darren Aronofsky has a type, but it wouldn't kill Juliette Lewis and Shannen Doherty to update their resumes. Someone has to star opposite Hugh Jackman in The Wolverine and clearly it ain't gonna be Gwyneth Paltrow or Cameron Diaz.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Eugene Delgaudio: No Touchy TSA

Did someone say enhanced pat-down?
This twit here is afraid that "the next TSA official that gives you an enhanced pat-down could be a practicing homosexual secretly getting pleasure from your submission." Eugene Delgaudio made his fears known in an email to the members of the conservative, non-profit Public Advocate of the United States. Apparently, he believes that the TSA's non-discrimination hiring policy is "the federal employee's version of the Gay Bill of Special rights." Therefore (stay with us because the logic gets choppy) the gays must be quitting their jobs in droves for the scintillating opportunity to get secret jollies patting down straight men at airports.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mel Gibson's Revenge

Oy, are you talking to me, Mate?
This may not be a revelation to anyone, but Mel Gibson has been acting a wee bit twitchy lately. It came as a surprise to us because once upon a time Gibson's public persona was that of a charismatic, down to earth family guy. So when he went all antisemitic, abusive psycho on us it took a while to reconcile. Then we started wondering if we'd missed something. Were there any indications that Gibson might have always had some issues? Perhaps a common theme in his filmography that hinted at something darker in Mel's psyche?

Mel Gibson's breakout role came in George Miller's Mad Max. Made on the cheap in 1979, it tells the tale of Max Rockatansky, a cop whose wife and infant are murdered by bikers. The balance of the film is a straight forward revenge fantasy as Max systematically hunts down and punishes those responsible. Even when he is shot in the knee, Max just lashes together a brace and gets back to his killing spree like a good boy. Becoming ever more remorseless and vicious as the movie comes to an end. It's a great role for a young male actor, and it helped propel him towards stardom. What's interesting is how many times Gibson has made movies that retells Max's revenge.

By our count, he's made variations on Mad Max five times in the last thirty years: Lethal Weapon 1-4 1987+, Braveheart 1995, Payback 1999, The Patriot 2000, and Edge of Darkness 2009. In each film, Gibson's character loses his wife and/or children and before the credits roll the folks responsible all stare down the business end of his 9mm, broadsword, epee, musket or sawed-off shotgun. Generally, Gibson's characters give single minded a bad name. They disregard personal safety, the criminal code and common sense in pursuit of vengeance. If you wronged one, he's going to keep on coming until one of you is dead, possibly both. It doesn't always seem to matter to the men Gibson plays.

There's also a creepy vein of sadism that runs through these films. In many of them, Gibson's character is made to suffer and sacrifice horribly. In Mad Max, he gets shot in the knee and in Lethal Weapon 2 he's stabbed in the same leg. In Payback, his toes are smashed with a hammer while in Edge of Darkness, he is dosed with a lethal, slow acting poison. And of course in Braveheart, he is publicly castrated, disemboweled and finally quartered by a team or horses. Kind of the trifecta of shitty ways to go out. When viewed alongside the acknowledged sadism and brutality of The Passion of the Christ, does William Wallace point to some sort of martyr or victim complex? Let's be honest, it ain't easy being a Mel Gibson character. We're not saying Gibson has ever been flogged by a professional dominatrix, but we wouldn't drop our whiskey sours if he had. Where there are screams of pain there's usually fire (thank you DJ Mixed Metaphor). And we didn't even include The Bounty, Hamlet, Apocalyto or Ransom.

So which came first the abusive chicken or the tortured egg? Mad Max or the revenge theme? Did Mad Max shape the man, or was the man always drawn to gleefully sadistic tales of revenge? Hard to say if you're name's not Mel Colm-Cille Gerard Gibson, and perhaps it's not enough to reveal anything definitive about the man. But we do respect a trend and as a precaution we wouldn't recommend messing with the guy. How's that been working out for you, Oksana?