Sunday, November 14, 2004

Pugnacious Kerfuffle Strikes Back 

-- So the Sci-Fi channel has some new shows out, one of which is Ghost Hunters, which I've rather enjoyed thus far. I looked forward to it prior to its premiere and for the most part have not been disappointed. However, there was another show I was looking forward to that I have been disappointed with, called Proof Positive. This was supposed to be a show that seriously (and scientifically) investigated claims of the paranormal. Unfortunately, the result is the exact washed-out load of shit I was afraid it would be.

Every episode has three cases, and by the end of the episode one will be judged false, one inconclusive, and one proof positive. This is incredibly goddamn stupid. If you go into an investigation with a pre-conceived notion that it will be one of the three, you aren't being objective. When they're making the show, they know ahead of time that one of the cases has to fit in one of these particular brackets. So suppose they're all inconclusive (as is usually the case with paranormal investigation)? Well, they'll throw in some bullshit evidence at one case and say it's proof positive (He passed a lie-detector test! That's irrefutable proof he's reincarnated!), or use some bullshit way to throw the case out (We spent one night there and didn't see any ghosts, so that's proof that the place isn't haunted). What a load.

-- Next year they're remaking Oh God. Remember that one? George Burns is God, John Denver is a loser (great casting)? Except this time Ellen DeGeneres is going to be playing God. They're obviously only casting her due to the publicity it will receive casting a woman (and doubly, a LESBIAN) as God. I find all media-whoring, especially overt media-whoring like that, to be downright boring. But even more disgusting is the inevitable reaction from uptight people everywhere. Why, in that lovely AFA Monthly Journal that I did an entry on recently, they mentioned this in their news section, saying "Apparently it wasn't enough for actress and comedian Ellen DeGeneres to push the homosexual lifestyle on her sitcom Ellen..." Oh yeah. Naturally if a lesbian plays God, God will be a lesbian. And you gotta love that homosexual "lifestyle". Because gay people "choose" to be gay, right?

I wonder about people who say shit like that. First of all, to have sex, one must be aroused. If these people believe one can choose to be aroused by a member of the same sex, that must mean that they have been aroused by members of the same sex before. Therefore, anyone who calls homosexuality a "lifestyle" is a latent homosexual. At least that's what I think, love it or shove it. Just try not to enjoy the shoving part too much.

-- I hate modern slang. It's so puerile. I'm not going to "peep" anything, but I'll look at it if you ask me to. Likewise, I won't get too worked up over a woman "doing a milkshake", although I might take notice if I see one dancing. A rich man is not a "baller". Calling someone a "pimp" is not a compliment. And although I may become euphoric, I'll never be "crunk". Not to mention any word that can conveivably be modified with the suffix "-izzle".

Another one that bugs me, although it's ridiculously common now, is "my bad". I first heard this phrase used when I was in the 7th grade, and I seriously thought that the person who said it to me was mentally retarded. It sounds like something a fucking toddler would say, sort of like saying "What's her doing" instead of "What's she doing". It's as if the people have never heard the word "mistake" before.

One of my slang pet-peeves is "sick". Since when did "sick" mean anything other than twisted or disgusting? Now suddenly it means "cool"? I think not. Oh yeah, and part of my philosophy is, if someone calls you "dog", they're asking for an ass-kicking.

Now, peace out. Whatever the hell that means.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Surviving the Apocalypse 

Before you infer too much from the title, no, this isn't about Bush's re-election. This is about the real apocalypse. The big one.

Forget everything you know about apocalypses that you learned from the last book inside that big book that Christians read. That's not what the apocalypse will be like. No broken seals, no guys on horses, none of that. The real thing will be about four things: Fast driving, destruction, gunfire, and desert scenery. See, rather than religious text, I have decades worth of futuristic B-movies to back my shit up. So I know exactly what will happen, and what one can expect to see. Rub some grease in your hair, change your cars' oil, saw off a double barrel, and join me on my journey into...THE FUTURE!

Waitaminute! That's not Mel Gibson! Who the fuck is Michael Praed?

The Big Bomb: Some country or another dropped the big bomb. Some say it's Russia. Some say it's China. In most variations of the story (ahem...movies), the United States is responsible. After all, we're responsible for everything. In any case, whoever did it, it's usually because of the cliche "lack of oil" in the future. You know, we've been "this close" to running out of it for fifty years now, so it's going to happen eventually. And when it does...OH BOY! Somebody drops the bomb, and although the environment doesn't seem to heavily damaged by it, or the surviving people, it fucks everything up. Mean old bomb. And it either makes the whole world into a desert, or it causes everyone to move to the desert, because that's where the movie will take place.

The Stoic Hero: No matter what problem comes up in the future, an attractive thirtyish man with a broken past and lots of leather will show up to sort everything out. He will then disappear, never to be seen again. But not before stealing a kiss from the princess of the tribe he's helping. I did mention it will be a tribal culture, right? I didn't? Well, now you know.

The Biker Gang(s): This is absolutely, positively, 100% going to happen. I know this because all the movies have them. The wasteland of the future will be overrun with lots of marauding bikers riding dirt bikes. Most of them look like 1980s punk rock rejects, and they have no conscience whatsoever. We're talking about guys who eat puppies. They usually like to catch someone from the tribe and torture and humiliate him/her repeatedly, all while laughing evil maniacal laughs. The stoic hero will kick their asses, though.

The Shantytown: This is quite often where the tribe is currently living, or maybe where an evil dictator is holding their people/water/fuel hostage. It's a settlement of ruffians who drink and consort a lot, and lots of people get killed there on a regular basis. Think Tombstone, Arizona, in its heyday. In any case, the town is usually built around either mining or production of fuel. Somehow, both of these activities involve digging an endless pit. It will show the pit at least once: a dark, dirty place with lots of chains hanging from the ceiling and men in tanktops and suspenders digging all over the place. Every once in a while, a big flame will - FWOOOOOSH! - shoot out of nowhere in the middle of the men...indicating, of course, that it's a hot environment. For play (apart from drinking and screwing), the entire town usually gathers in a big arena to watch people beat the shit out of each other in a fight to the death. If the town is ruled by the aforementioned dictator, our stoic hero will have to fight here. Naturally, he'll kick some ass.

A typical resident of THE FUTURE. You'll be seeing more of this guy. Soon. Like, in the future.

Car Chases, Motorcycle Chases, Truck Chases, etc.: Fast old cars with beefed up running gear and suspensions will have lots of intimidating-looking scoops, bars, and metal skulls welded to them, and will be painted all black. Evil marauders (who may or may not be involved with a marauding motorcycle gang) will try to attack our stoic hero, who either drives a similar vehicle or a motorcycle. There are crashes and explosions and more excitement than you can shake the Excitement Stickā„¢ at. Better sharpen your driving skills and fill up with 93 octane...the future is all about chases.

Strange Trends in Fashion: You'll see it all...women who wear football helmets and shoulder pads covered in white feathers, men in fur coats, men in tight leather get-ups that must have been purchased from "Gays R Us", and some of the goofiest haircuts in the world. The men in leather will have mohawks, the men in fur coats will be totally bald, and everyone else will have floofy '80s hair. Ever see the 1988 remake of The Blob? Remember Kevin Dillon's hair? Yeah, that kind of hair.

Old Economy Cars Made to Look Tough: These deserves a section all its own, because you'll always see them. Pintos with 8-71 blowers sticking through the hoods. Pacers with cut-off roofs and Jeep style rollbars. Vegas converted into 4x4s. Volkswagens with lots of spikes welded to them. Every time.

The Bad-Assed Little Kid: There will naturally be a child to evoke sympathy. But children of the future are pretty tough bastards. They don't speak, they carry huge weapons, and they can whip some serious booty. The stoic hero will befriend one, and the kid will help him out time and time again.

The Promised Land: It might not be called that exactly, but there's always some mythical place where everything is A-OK and civilization is rebuilding itself. Milk and honey, and all that rot. Although the characters will often speak of it (and there will be at least one prominent member of the prominently featured tribe that dreams of going there some day, only to get killed before he/she has the chance), we the viewer never see it. Just as you won't see it in real life. Still, you need to know it will exist, so you can talk about it when this crap finally happens.

So there you go. Now that you know what will happen, you can't complain when you get raped by marauding motorcycle gangs or get annoyed at the goofy little kid who wants the music box you carry in your pocket.

You don't carry a music box? Oh you will. Believe me, you will. You see, in the future...

The future will really amount to an ultra-groovy deathmatch on wheels. Hell yeah!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Supermarket Shuffle 


Saturday, October 30th, 2004. Approximately 10:30 AM. I was standing in the grocery section of the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Meridian, MS near one of those television sets suspended from the ceiling. For the second time since I had walked in, I was assaulted by the cacophony of CHILDREN SINGING. Horribly off key and out of synch, they sang about their "three a day" to the tune of "Three Blind Mice", and were backed by a cow bell. It was like a study in how to make a jingle as abrasive as possible.

I promptly shot them the bird.

It had all started around an hour earlier. My parents asked me to go to Wal-Mart for them to pick up a few items. Nothing major, just some TV dinners, three cartons of soft drink, some nasal spray, and a sack of cat food. Nothing about this is unusual; I've done this type of thing many times before. But for some reason, this day's trip was a journey into banal absurdity. Or absurd banality, take your pick.

After an uneventful drive, I arrived at the perpetually busy superstore. I parked near the outer edge of the lot, as I am wont to do, and started to walk towards to big "Always" sign. Suddenly I hear a fit of uncontrolled laughter. I turn to see two young black women backing away from their car, laughing. It took me awhile to figure out that they were laughing at the car itself. It was a normal looking blue Chevrolet Lumina, nothing at all unusual. But the two of them apparently thought it was the funniest thing they had ever seen. One of them started backpedaling from laughing so hard and walked in front of an oncoming car, the driver of which blew his horn. The honking seemed to knock them back to reality. Still giggling, one of them started carting an empty shopping cart to a buggy corral, and the other started unlocking the car. I shrugged it off, then entered the building. As soon as I did, I heard:


I grabbed a shopping cart, and as I started wheeling it back into the store, I caught sight of a teenage girl lying on the bench outside of the in-store McDonald's (the same one I worked at for a few miserable months, but that's another story). The bench has a life-sized fiberglass Ronald McDonald sitting on it, and she had her head buried in his lap. Needless to say, the scene looked rather provocative. Suddenly Ronald's smile took on a whole other meaning. Randy bastard.

I continued into the store, got the TV dinners, and started towards the back of the grocery section. I suddenly caught sight of the word "lush". Naturally, I had to stop and take another look. Turns out it was "Wisp". The air freshener.

How the hell did I get "lush" out of that?

I continued to the back of the store, and suddenly the thought of Lush Air Freshener hit me. I immediately snorted, chuckled, and tried desperately to control my laughter. But it was no use: I broke into a guffaw. Everyone around me started staring at me as if I was laughing to myself for no reason. I wonder why...

So I get the drinks, and start towards the pharmacy, and then pass under the suspended TV. That brings us back to the beginning of the story. Goddamn singing kids.

After dodging my way through loads of old people, most of which were moving like pulp-wood trucks going up Mt. Everest, I finally made it to the pharmacy. I get the nose spray, and as I'm leaving, I get stuck in a sort of buggy traffic jam. As I'm standing and waiting for everyone to get out of my way, a little kid catches my eye. A goofy looking little blonde toddler, sitting in the top shelf of the cart, with his fat-assed young mother standing nearby. His mouth, which was smeared with chocolate (I hope it was chocolate), was agape, and he was pointing at me. Children. I hate children.

"What the fuck are you pointing at you little shit?" I suddenly thunder.

The mother jumps in surprise and turns to me. "Excuse me?"

"Not you. Your friggin' kid."

Suddenly she's nettled. "Nuh-uh. You won't talk to my child that way."

"Oh won't I?" I shoot back. "I just did, and if the little turd-burglar doesn't stop pointing at me, I'll not only continue to talk to him in that way, but I'll probably end up chopping off his nuts and eating them with ketchup."

"You won't lay a finger on him, you fuck!" she exclaims, her exasperation suddenly turning into thinly veiled misgiving. "How dare you!"

"Well tell him not to point at people, slutbag. If you don't teach him manners, I will."

The child promptly lowers his pointed finger and starts crying. His mother reaches over to cater to him, and I smile the smile of a man fulfilled.

"Excuse me".

Snapping out of my trance, I turn to see a smiling older lady behind me. "I need to get around", she continued.

"Oh, right," I said quietly as I moved aside and let her through. I turned back to the kid, who was still pointing at me, and whose mother still wasn't paying attention. Seeing an opening in the crowd past them, I push through and get to the aisle with the cat food.

On my way through the checkout line, an old man just manages to beat me to the one non-crowded express lane. He has an entire shopping cart FULL of prune juice. Nothing but prune juice. After the old coot has unloaded every bleeding one and the checkout girl has rung them up, she says to him, smiling:

"Nineteen. You just did make below twenty items."

The old man laughed. I didn't.

On my way out of the store, my first thought was "That was weird". Looking back now, I realize that some of the weirdest parts happened in my own head. Maybe it's not the world that's screwed up. Maybe it's me.

If you're reading through all of this, wondering why I'm sharing this, I'll leave you with this. The point I'm trying to make is that ultimately there is no point to be made.

That's all.

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