Thursday, March 26, 2009


Thank you so much, folks! We've got a great show for you tonight!

Have you guys heard the new single by "Nickleback" called "Something in Your Mouth"?* You know, I'm a person who believes in free speech, and the idea that all people have a right to be heard, even if their message is unpopular. That being said, everyone involved with "Nickleback" should be JAILED.

But speaking of rock bands, somone recently pointed out to me that there's a book called "Metallica and Philosophy." I guess I'm not surprised. I learn an important philosophical lesson from every Metallica song. That lesson? Don't be a member of Metallica.

I guess you've all heard about Circuit City declaring bankruptcy? Turns out that now they'll have to close more stores than they first expected because the company couldn't find a corporate buyer. Supposedly they had one buyer interested, but it fell through when Circuit City started trying to sell them on an "extended warranty" plan.

You know, the Pope came under fire this week after he said that condoms don't help the spread of AIDS, and that distributing them only aggravates the problem. Sounds like the Bush administration's science advisors have found a new job! 

And speaking of politics, last year Ann Coulter broke her jaw and had to have it wired shut. Yeah, that's true. Now that she can talk again, she finally explained how it happened. Apparently you can only swallow so much conservative bulls*** at one time!

Oh, and you're not going to believe this. But on a lighter note, a few nights ago I actually heard a guy at a bar say "Come here often?" to a girl. You know, at that point, buddy, you might as well walk up to her and ask, "What's your favorite clichè?"

We've gotta take a quick commercial break folks, but we'll be right back. Fantastic show tonight! An angry mob of "Nickleback" fans will be joining us!

*I refuse to link to anything related to this for fear of exposing anyone to it. But suffice to say, yes, they really did.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Candy Post

"The Learning Channel" is the new "MTV."

In much the way that people ask what MTV's programming has at all to do with music, we now have to ask how much "Learning" is going on in shows about tatoo parlors and people with lots of kids.*

In fact, they should really have to put "Learning" in quotation marks, even in the abbreviation: Tonight on T "L" C. *

Or maybe they could put a hyphen in the middle of "Learning," forcing the reader to sound it out. Making everyone say it as "The Learn-ing Channel," the way Ralph Wiggum might pronounce it, seems like an appropraite denegration.

For now, the Discovery Channel proper, T "L" C's parent station, remains a pretty good network. But it seems like only a matter of time before their other stations fall into the "Lifestyles" gutter.  Soon Discovery Health will be nothing but celebrity weightloss and more "look how many kids we have!" shows. The Military Channel will consiste of programs about custom Humvee's that celebrities drive., and of course, military families that have 6+ children. 

Animal Planet will, somehow, broadcast nothing but reality dating.

These people have made a living of selling info-tainment. It is their stated thesis. Yet their credibility is regularly called into question by flipping over to the Food Network, where one episode of "Good Eats" references science more frequently than T "L" C can manage in a day. 

*As of this writing, the top story on TLC's homepage is "What's Your Bridal Style?" Seriously.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A VH1 Counterpoint

There are two mysteries of humanity that I'll probably never understand.

The first one is why Kenny Rogers Roasters, though a commercial failure in the United States, is a huge success in the Philippines Apparently southern U.S. cuisine resonates strongly to the "Asian country with a strong Hispanic influence" palate.

The second mystery is why people retain any affection for the 1980's*.

Imagine for a moment that a small child brought you a picture he drew, but instead of the usual smiling stick figures, sunshine, and grass, it was a wash of bright neons and pastels-greens, pinks, and purples all jammed together.

You would take that kid to a psychologist, wouldn't you?

And you'd be right to do so. This is the aesthetic of a crazy person.

Combine those hideous colors with the 80's affinity for the screeching of a keyboard synthesizer and you've got quite a psychosis going.

It's no wonder, then, that there were so many good movies about time travel during the 80's. "The Terminator," "Back to the Future," "Flight of the Navigator," and "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" (yes, I consider that a good movie, even now) all represent a generation of creative minds who were thinking very hard about finding a way to get out of their decade.

How we finally shook free of the 80's is a matter for debate, but there seems to be a general consensus that the 80's lasted until about 1992. In that year, the rise of a grungier, minimalist idea finally toppled the shoulder-padded, tube-topped neon wall that had blotted out the Earth's sun for so long.

Some say that Nirvana's "Nevermind" signaled the cultural shift when it toppled Michael Jackson's "Dangerous," but personally I think it was the "Wayne's World" movie.  Here we have a film about two metal heads (grungy)  making a show in their basement (minimalist) who get swindled by a slick-haired producer (Rob Lowe portraying a typical clean cut  materialist).  It was a huge hit, transformed the pop-culture lexicon of the time, and maybe saved us from the 80's.

*Which is really best viewed as a recovery period from the 70's.

Friday, March 6, 2009


I don't retain any particular fondness for high school, but I also don't look back on it with the seething disdain that so many people seem to harbor. A big part of the reason is that I simply don't remember that time (I usually can't remember what I did more than a couple of days ago without some thought.)

I guess this is good, in a "Tiger or the Rocks" sort of way, because it suggests that I won't miss out on life's little "strawberries." I don't know if that's true, but I can tell you that it makes for awkward Monday morning conversation when someone asks what you did over the weekend and you genuinely don't know. (And then you have to convince everyone that your amnesia isn't chemically induced.)

But I can say that high school was definitely weird, and now I have the persepective to see why. 

It's a time of intense scrutiny.

It is a place where, if you knock over one of the poles on the rope-barrier for the lunch line, making it clang on the floor, the room will go quiet and 300 people will sarcastically applaud you. 

That's not a joke. That's something I saw happen. 

And that's a pretty typical response. When you take a group of people who's grip on social grace is somewhere in the "fumbling" range, put them together in a space that's roughly equivalent to Gilligan's Island, then begin sorting them into recognized groups, that tends to create a somewhat cuthroat environment.

So if I could give those in high school one piece of advice, it's this: 

In the real world, for the most part no one gives a crap about you. 

It may sound harsh, but it's actually quite liberating!

*Post 100