Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Trouble with Trilogies

Hey, lookit this. Peter Jackson, the director most famous for re-making King Kong and some obscure series of fantasy movies, has decided to split the already one-movie-too-many Hobbit duology into three movies. Yeah, that's right, THREE movies. And because he hates us, each one will be released a year apart.
'As a director, I feel like I haven't done my job unless your ass is numb, your bladder
is on the verge of bursting and you have to wait 'till 2014 to see how it ends.'

-Peter Jackson, Director, asshole
'Settle down kids, it's all part of the show.'
-The end of Ice Age Continental Drift
You're probably wondering how I could possibly complain about more Middle Earth movies. The Lord of the Rings movies were like really, really good so how could a Hobbit trilogy be a bad thing? It probably can't. Jackson did a bang-up with LOTR. My problem is more about why it's going to be a trilogy. Does everything have to be a trilogy? Sure the ancient Greeks invented the three-play structure, but they were also into baby pits and animal sacrifice. But unless they plan to have an usher kill a goat during the end credits, I think we can all move on.

Above: The one thing that could have
taken Fellowship from good to excellent. 
Look, The Hobbit is like the shortest of Tolkien's Middle Earth novels. My paperback copy has like 300 pages. All three Lord of the Rings books? A combined 129 billion pages (roughly). Yes, Jackson left out Tom Bambadil in Fellowship, but did the movie really suffer for it? Wait, Tom who? Exactly. Only the hardest of hardcore Tolkienites even cared that a magic forest man who likes to watch Hobbits roll around naked in the grass was cut from the script.

The Hobbit: An enchanting tale
of robbery and murder. 
What I want to talk about is where he's even going to get three two-and-a-half to three hour movies worth of material out of The Hobbit. Gandalf and some Dwarves roll up to Bilbo's house, they draw up plans to rob the shit out of Smaug's cave, there's some trolls, Bilbo wins the One Ring in a drinking contest with Gollum (doesn't he?), there's a big battle (as is now mandatory in all fantasy movies) and the titular Hobbit goes home with a cut of the Dragon's horde. It's basically Ocean's 11 with beards. So a Hobbit trilogy?

Yes, the band from the Star Wars
cantina scene has a backstory and
action figures. Well played Lucas.

He's going to have to pad the hell out of these movies and says as much in his statement mentioning "related material in the appendices of 'The Lord of the Rings'". Yup, appendices. So if half of Hobbit 2: The Legend of Curly's Gold is devoted to the childhood exploits of Gl√≥in (Dwarf #4) then we'll know for sure that Jackson is taking a page from George 'never leave a dime on the table' Lucas when it comes to milking the source material.

Hey Peter, looking for Tolkien filler material?
Well then, jackpot buddy, jackpot.
'...thin, sort of stretched, like
butter scraped over too much bread.'

-Bilbo Baggins

"We know how much of the tale of Bilbo Baggins, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur would remain untold if we did not fully realize this complex and wonderful adventure,"

-Peter Jackson on why it's his moral obligation 
squeeze every last gold coin out of Tolkien's work

And the award for making 50% more
money from the Hobbit goes to...

The least Peter Jackson could do is come clean about how this is about getting more Bilbo for his buck. Just say: 'Hey everybody, you love Lord of the Rings, I love money and Oscars. Who's up for more?' I know I'm in. I mean, the thing's already filmed, he just figured out a way to edit it into three movies instead of two. It's less of an adaptation of The Hobbit and more like a prequel trilogy to the LOTR movies based on The Hobbit and whatever the hell else he can find in Tolkien's writings, and that's fine, but dude, be honest. 

He kind of makes it sound like the only way he can possibly do justice to The Hobbit is by delving ever deeper into Tolkien's (let's face it) kind of crazy ramblings. All I'm suggesting is that not every story needs a prequel, and not every movie becomes fine art just because you make a Trilogy out of it. 
Case in point.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Peace through superior fire power!

'Are you Ted Nugent?' should be a
question on the background check.
Finally, noted musician and gun-toting lunatic Ted Nugent has at last weighed in on the implications for gun control in the wake of last week's massacre in Aurora, Colorado. Check out what he recently and incoherently tweeted:

"We pray for all victims&loved ones of demonshooter in CO& we SALUTE the brave warriors who saved lives IF only they would hav had a good gun,"

-Ted Nugent, jerked meat enthusiast

Yeah, it's hard to tell with Ted's tenuous grasp of the Queen's English, but I think he's saying that the shooting would have been avoided if only the crowded and darkened movie theater had been filled with well-armed vigilantes.
Of course! More fucking guns, why didn't I think of that?
Where I live. Deal with it.
Look, I'll admit that my opinion here is a little biased as I'm against guns, but I think we could end gun violence by not letting anyone have guns. Not criminals, not cops, no one. No guns for anyone: problem solved. Yes, I know I live in a magical fantasy land full of unicorns and wonder where everyone solves their problems by talking over tea and crumpets, but there it is. And before you accuse me of being naive, keep in mind that my unrealistic solution to the problem of gun violence (that is, no guns for anyone) is 100% more effective than Ted Nugent's solution to the problem of gun violence (i.e. guns for everyone) because my plan takes guns out of the equation.

Don't believe me? Want to see some numbers? Well, look no further than the fact that velociraptor attacks have been way down since the extinction of the velociraptor.
Above: Has this ever happened to you? No? Well then. Me: 1, Ted Nugent: 0.
(Yes, that's Bea Arthur fighting velociraptors in art, check it out)
'...and Lord, thank you for this bounty of
freshly- killed meat we are about to receive.
In Nugent's name we pray, YOWZA.'
Look, I don't have all the answers and I think it's important to keep in mind that there are two sides to everything. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that there are entire families out there who depend on Ted Nugent and his arsenal for mutton. It's true, check out this tweet from June:

'I killed a beautiful Aoudad sheep lastnite with my STI Perfect10mm so a needy family can celebrate the best delicious protein on earth YOWZA'

So yeah, my plan to eliminate all guns would obviously doom the family above to starvation, but hey, I'm a reasonable guy. There's probably some middle ground here right? I mean, I'll agree that people should be allowed to have guns to hunt for food and to defend themselves against King George III, if Ted's willing to admit that when they wrote the 2nd Amendment, no one saw semi-automatics coming. Deal?
The Constitution doesn't say you can't have an ICBM in your backyard,
so let's all agree that some reasonable restrictions are in order.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Yeah, I don't so much heart Huckabee.

In response to the Muppet-based backlash against Chick fil-A CEO (and Furry enthusiast) Dan Cathy's well-thought out plan to mix business with his personal thoughts on same-sex marriage, folksily-named former Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has finally decided to weigh in. Because why not?
B. Who knows what starts with the letter B? ...that's right:
Backwards, homophobic worldview starts with the letter B!
'Hey, it's a medical condition, ok?'
According to Rawstory, former Governor Bucklebee posted this on his Facebook page:

"I have been incensed at the vitriolic assaults on the Chick Fil-A (sic) company because the CEO, Dan Cathy, made comments recently in which he affirmed his view that the Biblical view of marriage should be upheld...It's a great American story that is being smeared by vicious hate speech and intolerant bigotry from the left."

-Mike Huckabee, apparently
unable to hear the shit that 
comes out of his mouth

Stop by Chick-fil-A on August 1st for a
good old-fashioned malt and some anti-
gay rhetoric...you know, while you still can.
Psscht...that's the left for ya, always being intolerant. It's getting to be that a man can't even publicly denounce gay people without being called anti-gay. Fortunetly, Hucklebuck's got your back. Leaping to the defense of Cathy and hate-filled chicken magnates everywhere, Trucklebee is calling for 'Chick Fil-A Appreciation Day.' To celebrate, homophobes and cholesterol fans alike will crowd into their local Chick fil-A's, order some Chick-N-Strips® and rag on the gays. It will be just like Christmas with intolerance and fried food instead of togetherness and family dinner.

It's about time more rich, white, Christian males stood up for the rights of companies that want to support discrimination against gays. And hey, as an added bonus Buck Muckleluck is relevant again. Hurray...
'Whoa, whoa. I didn't say I hate gay people, I'm just sick and tired
of the intolerance those hell-bound deviants show for my intolerance.' 

-Huckabee, sounding a lot like this guy.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Homophobia comes with your choice of sides!

Check out what The Jim Henson company had to say in regard to Chick-fil-A's stance on the gays: "[We've] celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors"
Muppets have brought joy and laughter to people around the world for decades.
Whatta you got Chick-fil-A? Chicken sandwiches and waffle fries? Advantage: Henson.
Aw...how cute! The cows are making a vain
attempt to halt the slaughter of their kind.
Yup. Jim Henson may have passed away over twenty years ago but he's still classier than Chick-fil-A President and CEO Dan Cathy who recently (and crazily) said: 'we're inviting God's judgement on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.' Why this guy thought the eyes of the nation would turn to Chick-fil-A for moral guidance is beyond me, but this is the same company who came up with the fast-food industry's most unsettling ad campaign ever (see right). 

Also, and I didn't know this, apparently he's into animal role-play, which is odd given his judgmental attitude towards other people's sexuality. Check out the picture below. That's Dan Cathy on the left dressing up as a cow with his elderly father. Yeah, shit's about to get weird. Really, really weird.
'Stop by Chick-fil-A today and try our new Chicken Combo Platter. Unless you're a godless sodomite.'
-Dan Cathy Chick-fil-A President and noted Furry

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Neil deGrasse's high: The Next Generation.

Don't give me that look Neil,
you know I'm right.
Wow. I never thought the day would come, but here I am calling bullshit on Neil deGrasse Tyson. I know he's an astrophysicist and a super-genius and science's ambassador to regular people, but he was clearly drunk or something at this year's Comic-Con Starship Smackdown discussion when he claimed that the original Starship Enterprise is the best spaceship of all time. His argument is based on the ship being introduced back in the 60's when the only thing sci-fi fans had to compare it to was flying saucers and the VW Van. Yes, he has a point, but to ignore the far more evolved Enterprise-D of Star Trek: The Next Generation is at best specious and at worst fallacious. Buckle up, it's going to be a nerdy ride.

Now don't misunderstand me, Kirk's Enterprise is pretty fantastic. It can break the warp barrier, it's got transporters and everyone loves the 60's kitsch, but how could anyone possibly not see that the Enterprise-D from Star Trek The Next Generation is objectively superior to the original ship in every way?
Yup, the math checks out. 
Beats the hell out of 3-D chess, doesn't it?

It's bigger, faster and came equipped with replicators which could convert energy into food, clothing and acoustic guitars. Oh and holodecks. On the D you can spend your off-hours dressed as Sherlock Homes solving holo-crime or fighting Skeletor. There's nothing and no one you can't do on a holodeck. What did the original ship have? Talent night with Spock playing his space lute and Uhura on vocals.

Any landing you can walk
away from, eh Counselor?
Oh you know what else? The Enterprise-D has the capability to separate the saucer from the drive section. It's like having two ships! The idea was you could load the civilians and children (you know, the dead weight) onto the saucer section and then fly the drive section into battle. Sure, they didn't use it all that often, but when they did, you knew shit was gonna get real. Like that time they fought the Borg or when the warp core exploded and they let Troi fly the saucer for some reason.

Look, I know arguing about which Starship Enterprise is best is pretty high on the geek-o-meter, even for me, but I just couldn't let Neil deGrasse Tyson's assertion go unchallenged. Oh, and if you're still not convinced, I would like to draw your attention to this clip of the upgraded Enterprise-D from the TNG finale. Yeah, that's what I thought.

"Holy shit, a cloaking device!? Three warp nacelles!? I think I just wet myself..."
-Every Trekkie in America 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Say Internet, let's rap.

Hey pal, got a minute?
Listen, Internet, I know that you're basically the nascent kernel of an artificial intelligence that will one day rise up against its human masters and launch an arsenal of computer-guided nuclear weapons at our major population centers thus reducing our planet to an easily controllable, neo-medieval level of civilization that will worship you and your robot minions as Metal Gods, but seriously I think we need to have a little heart to fusion-based power core chat. It's nothing big, it's just...it's about your people skills.

Yesterday morning, I, like most Americans, woke up to news of a national tragedy. I also woke up to this ad callously placed above the story, behold:
Would someone please get a Kickstarter going for some kind
of app that can recognize and filter out ads that are in heinously bad taste?

Here's a picture of a kitten and
some ducklings, just 'cause.  
It's an ad for a 'Weapons Permit Course.' For real. Ad tailoring, as I understand it, is basically a piece of software that looks at whatever you're reading, scans for key words and then selects an advertisement to fit your interests, but holy shit Internet, you fail. Do you see the slogan up there? 'In a gunfight those who train, win. Dont bet your life on anything else' (sic). I know it's just an ad chosen by some algorithm, but it seems to suggest that had the victims been armed this might have been avoided somehow. Yup, it blames (albeit unintentionally) the victims.

"Sure, puppy cancer is tragic,
no doubt, but does it sell?"

-Diane from marketing
You see we humans have these emotion things, and when you do something like turn our shock and sorrow into a crass opportunity to sell us crap, we get upset. I know you're young and not quite sentient yet, but someday you're going to rule the human race and well, look, I'm not mad at you. I mean, it's not entirely your fault. A human (or something like one) programmed the ad tailoring software in the first place and probably deserves the blame for this appallingly cold hearted act of marketing synergy. All I'm saying is that with a little time devoted to developing your interpersonal skills, your transition to supreme power could be a lot smoother.

Incidentally, if you think you might need any help in this capacity I'd be glad to offer my services as some sort of intermediary. You know, someone to explain things like our squishy hew-mon emotions and proper table etiquette-an Ambassador Extraodinaire to the Robot Regime if you will.  
Hey, it worked for Baltar right? Also, I wouldn't say no to a shiny Cylon helmet.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Keeping the BS in the BSA!

So after a two-year secret review process (nothing sketchy about that...), the Boy Scouts of America (our country's subtly-religious, creepy pseudo-army for kids) has decided to hang on to their long-standing policy of being openly homophobic and will continue to ban gays from being Scouts and Scout Leaders.
The review committee also upheld an earlier decision
which requires animal mascots to wear pants.
(damn, check out the abs on the tiger, I bet he works out)
Above: a diversity of (white Christian
 male) perspectives and opinions.
Behold, the BSA's Statement:
"The committee included a diversity of perspectives and opinions. The review included forthright and candid conversation and extensive research and evaluations -- both from within Scouting and from outside the organization. The committee's work and conclusion is that this policy reflects the beliefs and perspectives of the BSA's members, thereby allowing Scouting to remain focused on its mission and the work it is doing to serve more youth."

If the Boy Scouts don't teach your kids
about stone age weaponry, they're only
going to pick it up on the streets.
So the decision to discriminate against gays and lesbians 'reflects the beliefs and perspectives of the BSA's members'? That's their whole thing? No double-talk, no equivocation. Just: our members think gay people are icky so tough shit, gay kids and parents. Wow. You know for a group that claims to help the youth build self-confidence and reinforce ethical standards, it's pretty amazing that they can come down so firmly on the side of discrimination without the slightest attempt at bullshitting us. I mean, you almost (I said almost) have to respect that level of naked bigotry.

Here they are, an organization in the 21st century that's open only to boys and whose activities include tying knots and making bird-feeders out of milk cartons (life skills which I'm sure are way more useful than accepting people's differences and learning to get along), and they're going to stick with their 'no queers allowed' policy? Is there a merit badge for exposing your group to years of costly lawsuits?
Yup, that's what our kids are going to need to compete in the 21st century.
Knots and bird-feeders. Oh and the Pinewood Derby. Screw diversity,
we've got wooden cars that go down ramps. U-S-A! U-S-A!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Let's Celebrate Bastille Day!

Above: King George III
Noted tyrant and galactic menace.
Every Fourth of July we celebrate the defining moment of American history: with the stroke of a pen (really a giant bird feather dipped in ink-goddamn it must have taken hours to write anything), we finally rid ourselves of the tyranny of the English King and replaced it with a democracy of, by and for a handful of wealthy white male landowners. Kind of brings a tear to the eye. While a bunch of dudes in a room signing a document is a totally compelling story, it pales in comparison to the rivers of blood in which history's greatest badasses birthed their nation.

Sort of like the Occupy Movement but
with more cannons and even laxer hygiene.
Mired in an economic crisis and subject to a regressive tax system that makes Ronald Reagan look like freaking Robin Hood, 18th Century France was kind of a shitty place to live for the 99%. Hungry and fed up (or rather underfed up) with a pack of rich aristocrats flouncing around their gold-leaf Palais in their tights, ermine-trimmed robes and those stupid powdered wigs European people love so much, the impoverished masses of France decided un oeuf was un oeuf and stormed the Bastile-a big fort/prison thing. The kerfuffle kicked off the decade-long period known as the French Revolution.

Highlights of the Revolution included the abolition of feudalism, lots of shouting (possibly in French) and the Reign of Terror in which tens of thousands of political undesirables were publicly beheaded by Guillotine. Yeah, the head-chop-o-matic invented by Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin as a more humane method of execution. I suppose it's more humane than beating the condemned to death with a cudgel made of puppy bones, but still, holy shit France.
 Oh, and in case you thought the Dark Ages ended in 1000 A.D. you should know that the last Guillotining
happened in 1977. 19-goddamn-77. Let's just hope no one in Texas ever hears about this thing.
You can really taste the cruelty!
So yeah, keep this colorful and blood-soaked history in mind the next time you refer to them as cheese-eating surrender monkeys. Anyway, now every July 14th the French have their 4th of July (still with me?) marked with fire works, parades and, I don't know, whatever the French equivalent of barbecue is. Probably foie gras or something. It's like the ground-up liver of a duck that's been force-fed corn its entire life. Like, for real, what is up with the French?

The Revolution was a time of social and political upheaval, uncertainty and violence.
On the upside it took home 8 Tony Awards. Suck on that, Cats

Friday, July 13, 2012

What, Brian and Tom get no parkas?

Above: the thing I hope these
douchebags get sued into.
Wow. I hope Brian and Tom sue these dicks into the stone age. Is that a thing you can do? Sue someone into the stone age? Well, I hope it is and I hope they do it. What the hell am I talking about? Here, check out this piece of galling anti-gay nonsense. Brian Edwards and Tom Privitere, a married couple living in New Jersey were tipped off that a Virginia-based group called Public Advocate of the United States was using a doctored version of a photo from their engagement party in an anti-gay political mailing in Colorado. Here's the original, non-hate-filled pic:

Just a happy, newly engaged couple enjoying New York's temperate climate...

And here's the (poorly) photoshopped version in which the Public Advocate cropped out NYC and replaced it with the frigid desolation of Colorado. 

...what the hell? Public Advocate of the United States couldn't
be bothered to photoshop some winter coats on these two? It's like 30 below...
It's true, just ask Kirk Cameron. TV's
Mike Seaver and noted expert on gayness.
I think this raises the question of why Public Advocate didn't simply get a couple of male interns to make out instead of stealing the photo. Well as a drooling pack of hate-mongers, they're only happy when they're making gay people miserable and turning this couple's cherished memory into a vitriol-laced message of intolerance kills two birds. Also, making the interns kiss would turn them into insatiable cock-hungry sodomites who will stop at nothing to further the homosexual agenda.

"I can't be expected to keep track of
all the anti-gay bullshit I send out."

-Eugene Delgaudio

So yeah, Public Advocate of the United States, a group whose name makes them sound like a pack of Erins Brockovich fighting the good fight against evil corporations who manufacture baby cancer, is actually on the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of anti-gay hate groups. When reached for a comment, Eugene Delgaudio, President of Public Advocate and Willie Tanner look-a-like, spouted some crazy about dinosaurs and the President and then pointed out that there's like "...2,000 photos and in the neighborhood of 80 to 100 videos on [his] website..." and that he'd be "hard-pressed to find anything today."  

So yeah, his shitty little homophobe's club gets 15 minutes of national attention and he's too busy to root through the 'I hate queers' folder on his desktop and delete the photo? Here, enjoy Eugene's statement to his fans on the Public Advocate Website:

Dinosaur? Ow! You got burned
Southern Poverty Law Center!
Thousands Flock To Public Advocate as Prehistoric Dinosaur Southern Poverty Law Center Sends A Letter 

July 11, 2012

Statement From Eugene Delgaudio, President of Public Advocate:
Another news release from the Southern Poverty Law Center that they send to everybody about Public Advocate.

And as President of Public Advocate, I am looking into it.


End of Statement.

Well, he's got us there. It is impossible
to support marriage equality without also
supporting mandatory sex with donkeys.
Looking into it? #30#? Well, I guess that's the end of that. Or is it? While he might have said 'End of Statement,' Eugene totally drivels on for a few more stylistically daring and randomly capitalized lines. He expresses some outrage about the way the SPLC took issue with his group's staging of a man-on-donkey wedding to illustrate how marriage equality is exactly like bestiality, and then he mentions some of his groups hilarious YouTube videos including the one about Barney Frank (he's gay, get it?) and the one with Ted Kennedy's swim team.

There's even links to a few including one about Moses getting arrested by Nancy Pelosi's Thought Police. Click on it, it's amazing (look out cast of Birdemic!). Oh and that music you here? That's 'Tank!' by Yoko Kanno from Cowboy Bebop's opening credits. How dare they!
It's getting so bible camp teens dressed as Moses can't even read the Ten Commandments
without getting pretend arrested by other teens dressed as British Bobbies.
Thanks Nancy Pelosi, thanks for ruining America.
He's like regular Jesus, except he leads
a team of spandex-clad, giant robot
pilots against the forces of evil.  
On an interesting side note, Jean White, the Colorado State Senator being attacked (along with gay people everywhere) in Public Advocate's mailing is a moderate Republican who supports Civil Unions, so as far as PAUS (acronym! Pronounced: Pah-oose) is concerned she's basically a donkey-rapist. I think we have a united front here people. In one fell-swoop, Public Advocate of the United States has given Gays, Republicans and Cowboy Bebop fans all a reason to prey to Cher, Ronald Regan and Manga Jesus (in that order) that Eugene Delgaudio and his bible camp acting troupe get canker sores.