Friday, March 2, 2007

Dis, dat and da other...

It appears the Van Halen reunion tour is already about as dead as Bobcat Goldthwait’s career.  David Lee Roth, being uncharacteristically diplomatic, said, "We have fragile politics in Van Halen.  Please accept that as a partial answer," following this week’s announcement of the tour being cancelled.  To wit, he and Eddie are already at each other’s throats.  Evidently, they barely even got through one rehearsal for the tour, which comes as no great shock.  I’m glad to see this tour won’t happen now because based on Dave’s megalomaniacal tendencies and Eddie’s instability/unreliability, this thing would have seriously trashed the band’s already-tarnished legacy even further.  Word has it that everyone who was ever a member of Van Halen except Gary Cherone WILL attend the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame ceremony a week from Monday, but the Van Halens (Ed, Al, and Wolfie) are reserving their own table, so Diamond Dave, Sammy and Mikey are on their own, I guess.  Velvet Revolver has been drafted to play their songs for the show, too.  Better yet, why not just play some concert footage from back in the day when it was real?  It would do the band's legacy more justice than seeing Slash and that dumbass druggie from Stone Temple Pilots playing their stuff...

Lock up your daughters—Sir Rant-A-Lot's on the loose again!

I stumbled across Al Roker (quite possibly the whitest Black man in North America) on the tube this morning doing his "Today Show" shtick from the site of yesterday’s devastating tornadoes in Alabama.  First off, Al Roker is to meteorology what Chevy Chase was to talk show hosting, and secondly, ain’t it just a tad tacky that amongst all the destruction and sadness, he’s standing there telling the rest of the country what the weather’s going to do in Walla Walla?

It pisses me off when TV news and weather people use the scene of a tragedy as the stage for their shows.  I first noticed this phenomenon in the aftermath of the San Francisco earthquake in ’89 when Dan Rather sat behind a desk parked right in front of a collapsed Oakland freeway (probably still full of dead people) and I found it to be completely tasteless.  All the major networks are guilty of doing this following Hurricane Katrina too.  Reporting live from the scene about the tragedy itself is one thing—I have no problem with that—but it’s another thing entirely to use that scene as the backdrop for reporting the rest of the day’s news and/or weather, as if being there somehow magically enhances your credibility.  Local stations use a similar lame tactic on the 10:00 news when they recap a story about some courtroom verdict with some schlub reporter standing outside the darkened courthouse that’s been closed for five hours.  So asinine!

Have I ever mentioned before that I have issues with today’s electronic news media?

Caught an interesting show on Animal Planet the other night all about Tazmanian Devils, and was shocked to learn that they don’t look anything like this guy…They’re actually over-sized ferrets and are a hundred times meaner than some pit bull dogs. They may look cute, but don’t be fooled by appearances… IF I HAD A DOLLAR…
…for every time I turned on my radio and a Boston song was playing, I swear I could retire!  It drives me nuts how often that band gets played on Classic Rock radio.  People think I’m making this up, but it’s astounding how often I’ll tune in one of our two Classic Rock stations here in K.C., and there’s a Boston song already playing, or one comes along within the next 5-10 minutes.  Don’t get me wrong:  I don’t dislike Boston—or at least I didn’t before they got played to death on the radio.  As I mentioned before in my Best Debut Album list, Boston was a VERY good band, and could have been as big as Led Zeppelin if they hadn’t gotten mired in internal strife, perfectionism (eight years to make their third album?!?) and egos and all.  But jeez Louise, for a band that only had two albums and change worth of good material, they get way too much airplay in my opinion.  Shit, Zeppelin and The Who combined don’t get near as many spins as "More Than A Feeling" does.  And I could leave the damn radio on all day and not hear one solitary Kiss song, too. So here’s a desperate plea from yours truly to all you radio station programmers out there:  I’m begging you—stop the madness!!!  Or, better yet, just start giving me those dollars every time you play Boston and I’ll shut up...

I read today that someone is thinking of making a TV series based on these lame Geico Insurance TV ads with the caveman!  It figures.  First, they ran the talking gecko into the ground (he used to be funny), and now they're milking this sorry-ass caveman bit (which was never funny) for all it's worth.  I think Jed Clampett summed it up best, "Pitiful...Pity-Ful!"  By the way, Geico sucks anyway—their rates aren’t any lower than Allstate, State Farm, MetLife, et al, and their sales tactics are real high-pressure too.  Avoid them just like you would avoid a Rick Astley CD!

In a similar development, it seems that actor John Ratzenberger, aka Cliff Claven on "Cheers", will soon be appearing on "Dancing With The Has-Beens—er uh, Stars". I'm not Jewish, but here's a hearty "Oy, Vey!" anyway...

Have I ever mentioned how much I abhor, despise, loathe and just plain HATE "reality" TV shows?  I much prefer canker sores over them...

I am now OFFICIALLY old!

Received a flyer in the mail this week for my 25-year High School reunion, which I have NO desire to attend.  I attended my ten-year reunion in ’92 and in spite of the free beer, it was so depressing that I said, "Never again!" and I’m sticking to that.  Most people romanticize so much about how their high school years were "the time of our lives" and all, but for the most part, I hated high school.  I look back on those three years now as kind of a void in my life, from which I’ve blotted out a lot of the memories over time—I have more vivid and happy memories of junior high than I do of high school.

What sucks about the Raytown school district is the boundary lines for the individual schools themselves.  I had attended school for ten years with more or less the same group of people through elementary and junior high and knew everyone pretty well, but when high school came along, we got split up because of the boundary lines for the high schools, so about a third of us attended Raytown South, and the other two-thirds went to Raytown High.  Thus, I was forced to deal with a whole group of new people in high school, which I found difficult because I wasn’t the most outgoing person in the world then.  To make matters worse, I was always a pretty good student prior to that, but my grades gradually got worse in high school, especially by the time I was a Senior because I was so burned-out on going to school altogether.  And then I turned right around and went to college right after graduating, but that’s another story…

High school was a fairly miserable period for me personally, and that ten-year reunion only served to point out a shitload of missed opportunities for me in the socialization department, especially with the opposite sex.  I was never properly taught how, much less encouraged, to be open with people and socialize when I was growing up—no one in my immediate family is exactly a social animal—thus I didn’t make many new friends in high school, male or female, and I’m still paying for that even today.  Hell, I never even dated anyone until I was damn near 21 and that’s always haunted me, too.  No one to blame but myself, but I was just kinda invisible to everyone in high school, therefore I don’t look back very fondly on that time of my life.

Getting back to the reunion thing, I got a kick out of the list of the two dozen or so people that the organizers were unable to track down—most of them aren’t worth looking for anyway!  Did they check the local jails?  I imagine at least a couple of them are probably still working at Wal-Mart too.  Anyway, the irony of this whole thing is I’d probably enjoy attending my friend Tom’s 25-year reunion at Raytown High more than my own class reunion—I’d know more people at that one!  As for the South reunion, there’s only a handful of people I even care to see again (including a couple girls I lusted mightily after), and I don’t care to put myself through something so depressing again.

However, in conjunction with the reunion, they’re holding some sort of golf event just down the road from my house.  Maybe I’ll just take a cooler full of beer with me and do a Bill Murray and crash that little party and wreak a little havoc on the links instead!  FORE!!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The New "Ugly Betty"

I'm sorry, but this girl is far too pretty to be playing a character called "Ugly Betty":

This is America Ferrera.  She plays the title character on the ABC comedy "Ugly Betty".  She requires a bit of help to look the part—bad wig, fake braces on her teeth, Sally Jesse Raphael eyeglasses, et al, but as you can see, she's quite the cutie in real life...

I have found a much more suitable candidate for the role of "Ugly Betty".  This is Melissa Rivers, or as I usually refer to her, "Joan Rivers' Ugly-Ass Daughter".  As you can see, she's a natural for the part, and requires absolutely no augmentation whatsoever to fit the role.  I'm fairly sure she works cheap too...
While I'm on a roll here, can someone please explain to me what in blue blazes qualifies Joan Rivers (and her ugly-ass daughter) to be a fashion expert?  This woman is hardly a fashion plate herself, so who the hell is she to criticize what anyone else wears?  This is akin to a quadriplegic teaching physical education class...

Good answers

Questionnaire:  "How do you normally meet single women?"
Me:  "Very infrequently."

Judd Hirsch:  "You’re an outpatient at Riverdale Mental Hospital?"

Richard Mulligan:  "At times."

Sigmund Freud:  "Are you paranoid?"

Jimmy Carter:  "No, I’m a Baptist."
(Old comedy bit from the ‘70s)

Fred Scuttle:  "Give me two pronouns."

Bob Todd:  "Who, me?"
("Benny Hill Show")

Lt. Dan:  "Gump, have you found Jesus?"

Forrest Gump:  "Was I ‘spose to look for him?"
(Forrest Gump)

Quiz question:  "What was Louis XIV responsible for?"

Skyler Fishhawk:  "Louis XV."
(Shoe comic strip.)

Edith Bunker:  "Not now, Archie, I ain’t in the mood."

Archie Bunker:  "FOR WHAT?"
("All In The Family")

Bill Cosby:  "Why did you and your wife have five children?"

"Because we did not want six."

Hawkeye Pierce:  "Who gets an ‘A’ in fidelity?"
B.J. Hunnicutt:  "RCA-Victor."

Junior High metal shop quiz question:  "What device is used to create a grooved-seam?"

My longtime friend John Jefferies:  "A seamstress."

Quiz question:  "Name the five senses."

Skyler Fishhawk:  "Sight, smell, touch, horse and common."
(Shoe comic strip.)

Benny Hill:  "What kind of man marries another man?"

"A vicar."
("Benny Hill Show")

Charles Bronson:  "Do you believe in Jesus?"
Terrified criminal with gun pointed at him:  "Yes."
Charles Bronson:  "You're gonna meet him..."
(Death Wish II)

Mary the housekeeper:  "Do you like boiled mutton?"

Fred Sanford:  "Does anybody?"
("Sanford And Son")

Quiz question:  "Who said that the treatment of the American Indian is a national disgrace?"

Archie Bunker:  "Geronimo?"
("All In The Family")

Mrs. Yogi Berra:  "I saw ‘Dr. Zhivago’ yesterday."

Yogi Berra:  "Geez, what’s the matter with you this time?"

Girl:  "I met Andy Warhol at a really chic party..."

Guy:  "Blow it out your ear, 'cause you work at Hardee's!"
("Instant Club Mix", Dead Milkmen song)

J.T. Walsh:  "What does three up and three down mean to you?"

Robin Williams:  "End of an inning."
(Good Morning, Vietnam)

Henry McGee:  "How long has it been?"
Fred Scuttle:  "Different lengths at different times, sir."
("Benny Hill Show")

Monday, February 26, 2007

Up The Academy

I used to love watching award shows on TV when I was younger, but The Oscars are about the only one that I’ll go out of my way to watch anymore.  The American Music Awards and the Grammies are a joke now (the latter has always been a joke), the Emmys honor nothing but HBO shows now, the Golden Globes are rendered redundant by the Oscars and the Emmys, and I don’t care about the Tonys, so to me the Oscars are really the only relevant awards show remaining.  In a way, the Oscars have a Super Bowl-type quality about them that makes it fun to watch.

But before I comment on last night’s Academy Awards, let me turn on the TV and check to see if the damn ceremony is still going—nope, Ellen DeGeneres is gone, so I guess it finally did end!  Good gravy, people—three hours and 45 minutes—there have been murder trials that didn’t last as long as this show!  I watched pretty much the whole damn thing, but my attention span was severely tested throughout.  When will the Academy people ever learn that bigger isn’t necessarily better?  As usual, there were way too many film montages (the only one that’s necessary is the annual montage honoring those who passed away in the previous year), and way too much emphasis on foreign films (who actually gives a shit about these besides foreigners?) and the technical awards (Best Art Direction, for example).  By the way—how does one go about "directing art"?  "Okay, you, Mr. Painting—for this scene, all you gotta do is just hang there on the wall, and DON’T MOVE!  Now, you, Mr. Statue—you just have to stand there, and again, DON’T MOVE!"

Getting back to the show, I’m sure all the conservatives out there were reaching for the smelling salts when Melissa Etheridge said, "I’d like to thank my wife…" during her acceptance speech (I loved it!), not to mention the wardrobe malfunction Jennifer Hudson damn near had during her performance with Beyonce—if she’d have leaned forward one more time, her right breast would have popped right out of that dress and millions of TiVos would have been busy!  Then again, the conservatives probably didn’t bother to tune in to begin with, since "that damn Ellen DeGenerate" was the host.  I was pretty underwhelmed by Ellen myself—I’ve never found her to be all that funny in the first place, and most of her staged attempts at humor just fell flat.  As for the rest of the presentation, it wasn’t bad—if nothing else, it was kinda nice to not have to look at Johnny Depp all night, unlike last year.  But at the risk of sounding like Bill O’Reilly and his ilk, I could have really done without the Al Gore lovefest and all the ass-kissing directed at him throughout the night, as if he’s suddenly some sort of beloved Hollywood icon.  Gimme a fucking break already—up until Gore made this global warming documentary, he was nothing but a punchline in Hollywood.  ‘Scuse me while I hurl…

As for the winners, this was one of the more interesting Oscar nights.  Although I haven’t seen any of the nominated films yet, I was pleased to see some good people win Oscars, especially Martin Scorsese (The Aviator notwithstanding) and Forest Whitaker.  I would never have bet good money on an "American Idol" contestant (Hudson) winning an Oscar, either.  And even though my girl Kate Winslet didn’t win Best Actress, I was delighted that Meryl Streep didn’t win either for that Devil Wears Prada crapfest.

Memo to the Academy for next year:  How about considering Jerry Seinfeld to be the host?  His bit last night about cleaning up after ourselves in movie theaters was ten times funnier than anything DeGeneres did, and he seems like a perfect fit for the job.  And please do us all a favor and to try and lop off about an hour’s worth of stuff for next year’s ceremony, mmm-kay?  These yearly rituals are getting to be more interminable than Super Bowl pre-game shows…