Monday, December 15, 2014

I have to admit, I feel a little surge of joy in my heart whenever someone says actual "Merry Christmas" to me and not "glad tidings in what happens to be this 12th month of the year that has nothing to do with Christmas or anything, doop de doo." OR WHATEVER. I mean, no one says "season's greetings" in bloody April, and that's SPRING for pete's sake. That's a much better season!

I've no ill will towards anyone who celebrates other holidays or chooses not to celebrate at all, but I DO celebrate Christmas and I like hearing it. It reminds me of my childhood. When the world was happier. When I was happier.

No I'm not trying to "save Christmas" lol. I'm just making a little birdhouse in my soul.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Possible Stupidest Headline I've Ever Seen of the Day:

"Rihanna's 41 Best (and Nippliest!) Looks"







I quit.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Worthless Yahoo Headline of the Day:

"Amanda Bynes Shows Off Slender Frame in New Twitter Selfie

The 28-year-old, who has been battling mental illness, has resurfaced on Twitter..."

Yes, because when you're battling mental illness, the most important thing is that you have a slender frame.

Fark off. This is why we can't have nice things.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Why I haven't been writing here much

Sometimes there's a fine line between negativity and snark. As a MSTie, I've always taken great joy in mocking things I think are stupid, and by making it funny it becomes a positive for me. That's pretty much snarking, riffing, whatever in a nutshell. It's also healthy to vent about something that pisses you off (and then try to forget about it).

I don't feel the world is becoming more negative. I think there's still a lot of great stuff and people out there. I think what's being presented to us is becoming more and more negative. All these awful news stories that are splashed all over everything. There's always been bad news, but at least it used to be contained to the morning paper and evening news. It wasn't IN YO FACE 24/7 via the internet and all day cable news. If the world has actually become more negative, I think it's been perpetuated by that.

So I choose to avoid that and focus on the positives of life. Oh, I'm sure some things will come my way I'll want to gleefully snark on, but I find that in seeking things out I open up a box of negativity that is best left closed. And since snark is mostly what I like writing, that means posting will be less frequent. I might do occasional positive things as well like Feel Good Friday, but let's face it, happy things are more fun to experience than to read or write about. My pen is dipped in sarcasm, and this is not a bad thing. It will just be used a bit more sparingly as I continue my search for the sweet, sweet valley of sanity in this crazy world.*

*or at least, the media wants you to believe it's a crazy world. Cause when I go outside, the world seems to be spinning the same as it always has.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Yahoo Headline of the Day:

"Gronk meets Bieber, for some reason"

Gronk, nooooo! Get away from that, you don't know where it's been! :(

So much for my dream Patriots-Packers super bowl.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Oh thank God (no pun intended), I can go back to thinking Kirk Cameron is batcrap insane again. Whew. Giving him an amen about anything was unsettling my stomach.

I've seen a couple reviews of this thing, and now I HAVE to watch it. I need something new to snark on. It has Santa beating the crap out of someone who doesn't believe in Jesus?!? Santa is like, an enforcer on Jesus' hockey team apparently. Well that's a brilliant SNL sketch or South Park episode. Or...

I'm still celebrating the HELL out of Christmas, though.

Happy December!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Christmas! Because you can.

How can I agree so much with someone I disagree with so much?!!

I'm pretty much the polar opposite of Kirk Cameron. I have nothing against Christianity - I'm a believer myself, just not a churchgoer - but I have everything against fundamentalism of any religion.

But see, tradition is nice. Think back to when you were a child. My mom, while not religious, did all the things mentioned in this article. She made Christmas awesome. By being too "cool" or "modern" or "feminist" or whatever the fuck to bring that to your own household, aren't you denying your own family what you grew up with? And yourself? Naturally, this goes for whatever tradition you follow, not just Christmas. Including purely secular traditions. Cause who the hell doesn't like the smell of pine trees?!

So yeah, I agree with Kirk fricking Cameron about something. Or maybe I just hate the pointless over-modernization of society that the tone of this article reeks of even more than I hate fundamentalism. At least this time.

And for all the feminists who are grumbling about why does it have to be the wife... because men won't do this stuff. You know they won't. So just suck it up and do it. Not everything has to be a feminist punch to the gut. Some things are just nice to do.
Sadly, Rocktober has come and gone, leaving us with one of the most boring of all months, November. More like Nofunber, amirite? So anyway, I'm gonna keep the Halloween season going a little longer with some horror talk.

First, last week's Walking Dead. Mullet Scientist, nooooooo! :( Can I just say how much I wanted to believe in Mullet Scientist, not just for the future of the human race but because he was a scientist with a mullet, fighting against the odds! I wanted our hero to be an odd smart dude with an early90sVinceGill!mullet. But, nope. He lied about the whole thing. He's just an odd, smart coward. Not a Mullet Scientist, more like a... Mullet Savant.

So, now what? There's no cure, so what is there to strive for now other than pure survival? And what will happen to Eugene? I hate what he did, but I still oddly kinda care about the guy. He was endearing.

Second, I watched a movie a few days ago called House of the Devil. I'm not sure I've written about this here before, but I mostly HATE horror movies of the last 20 years. The atmosphere, pacing, writing, and general creepiness of my favorites from the 60s, 70s, and 80s have been replaced by cheap scares, CGI crap, and gore that serves no purpose other than to be gross. I'm a fan of gore, when used properly. When it's genuinely scary and not used in place of real plot. Gore is an enhancement to a good scary movie, not a raison d'etre.

But my main complaint with most modern horror movies is the godawful pacing. Everything's FAST and LOUD and IN YO FACE. The characters are annoying; it's near impossible to make them anything else with that style of filmmaking. They've forgotten that some of the scariest moments in horror are the QUIET moments, the parts where nothing's happening that are building up to a big scare. This creates tension and suspense, and without it, the scares are MEANINGLESS. It all goes back to "Automatic" again. We want everything RIGHT THE FUCK NOW, we can't even wait for a build up in this attention deficit world. And it makes for truly awful filmmaking.

They also seem to have forgotten that characters need personality traits other than "obnoxious" and "sex crazed" to make them compelling and, you know, people you actually give a crap about. Now I'm not asking for highly developed characters in a slasher film, but don't make them utterly 2D and for god's sake, don't make the people you're supposed to root for so hateful. A perfect example: The original Laurie Strode and Dr. Loomis in the Halloween series, versus the same characters in the godawful remakes. Likeable vs hateful. I just don't get it. Once again, it totally lowers the stakes and your involvement in the movie.

So back to 2009's House of the Devil. I've watched many, many 80s horror films, both popular and more obscure, and if I hadn't known this movie was made in 2009, I would have thought it was an 80s film I somehow missed. That's how right they got not only the look and sound of the 80s, but the pacing. Words can't express how refreshing it was to see a horror movie that felt like real life again, instead of stuff jumping in your face all the time. The lost art of suspense in the age of automatic. And no CGI! Not only do you NOT need CGI to make a good scary movie, I think it actually hurts it most of the time. Because it takes you out of the movie. It's so obvious, it lowers the stakes. So I'm genuinely impressed with House of the Devil, and it will become one of my semi-yearly standards.

The other more recent horror movie I enjoy is Trick R Treat, in fact it's one of my top favorites. It gets the pacing and storytelling just right, and it's very original. Where House of the Devil is more of an homage to 80s "satanic cult" horror films, Trick R Treat is like nothing else really. Both are genuinely creepy and I highly recommend, especially if you also hate the Cheap Scare Era of filmmaking.

Now I'm off to watch last night's American Horror Story, another show that gets it right. I've only written about that show here once I think, and it was more about how I miss portable radios and the good music that was played on them, but yeah. it's a great show.

From two Novembers ago:

"I was watching an episode of American Horror Story (best show ever pretty much), and it was a flashback to the 60s and this guy was alone with a little portable radio, and it was playing one of those 60s doo-wop type songs and the guy was just ROCKING OUT to it like it was the only thing in the world, and I was like holy frick, I miss the days when all you needed to be happy was a radio and a good song. People were just happier then. There's no way they couldn't have been. Then his wife was killed by aliens or something, but that's beside the point. The point is, it takes too damn much to be happy now."

Yep. And it's just getting worse out there. So find what you love, and hold on tight.

Saturday, November 08, 2014


Amusing Yahoo Headline/Photo of the Day:

"Obama nominates new attorney general"

Congratulations, chia attorney general! You've come a long way since you were a bunch of seeds slathered on a pot. My chia pet just sat on a shelf and collected dust. Lazy slacker.

Now YOU can have your own chia attorney general for the low, low price of only 19.95!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Murr. I'm at a bit of a loss what to write about right now. Lately I've been really into 80s music, shopping, horror movies, and eating strawberry pocky. I think I'm 13 again :D

Friday, October 31, 2014

Feel Good Friday - Happy Halloween

In honor of my favorite movie, which we'll be watching tonight, and HALLOWFUCKINGWEEN BABY - it's feel good time!

Headline about stupid-ass thing of the day:

"Happy Orange and Black day: Canadian schools turn against Halloween"


This garbage pisses me off SO MUCH. In case you couldn't tell. Look, I know this could be seen as small beans in comparison with terrorists and ebola and other depressing ass crap going on in the world, but here's why it actually isn't: BECAUSE of all the depressing shit in the world. We NEED fun things like Halloween, and taking it away because a handful of people might get offended is not only ridiculous, it makes the world a bleaker place. Everybody loses.

Not only did I love celebrating Halloween as a kid - what kid doesn't - I still cherish those memories 30 years later. Those kind of childhood memories are something I turn to for comfort when the world gets to be too much. So not only are kids today missing out, their future selves are too. What's next, banning camp songs? Baking cookies? Going outside without supervision - oh, wait. :(

Remember when the OMG OFFENDED types used to be the enemy? A source of derision, like the Harper Valley PTA? And now they're actually winning. I don't want to hear about political correctness or sensitivity for fuck's sake, Halloween has nothing to do with race, religion or anything that gets people's panties in a bunch. And if it for some reason does, well they can just wear bunched panties for the day.

My childhood memories are pretty sacred to me, and this kind of crap is like someone spit on them and stomped on them and then vomited candy corn all over them. It's out of control, and it needs to be reigned in by common sense before we lose all the things that actually make life enjoyable.

I need feel good Friday, stat.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I would like to address one of the stupidest, most overused words on the internet (and real life too, thanks Taylor Swift): "Haters." This word meant something at one time, I think, but is now spewed out with such frequency it has lost all meaning.

I briefly touched on this in one of my Cher Lloyd posts. I said something like, "If you suck, you do not have 'haters.' You suck, and people are reacting accordingly."

Because "haters" is now used to describe pretty much ANY kind of criticism. Criticism is and always will be valid if it makes a point. I get that "haters" is meant for youtube trolls and the like, sad little people who put down others to feel better about their shitty lives. But that label does not apply to someone who is making a genuine criticism, even if it's edged with snark. (Cause really, it's a lot more fun to read and write that way.)

"Haters" is nothing more than a blanket statement now. It means nothing. If someone disagrees with you, they must be a hater! If someone doesn't like your product, they're just jealous!

NO. It's called having an opinion. It's kind of been going on for a while.

But, you might ask, shouldn't you promote "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all?"

In most contexts, yes. That is appropriate advice for, say, a family reunion, or your neighbor's ugly Christmas sweater. It is not appropriate in the field of pop culture, except when people focus on criticizing someone's weight/clothes instead of their actual work. That is a hater. Saying music you think is shit is, in fact, shit, will never be "hating." It's necessary.

Another reason why growing up in the 80s really was better:

I watched this today for the first time since it aired in 1983. This special had a profound effect on me as a kid, so much that I remembered it all these years. I think I enjoyed it as much today as I did then, though partly for different reasons.

Watch how kids acted/were portrayed back then. Like... real people. Not the ridiculous, cartoonish, over the top, camera-mugging stereotypes of the Disney Channel and their ilk today. When was the last time you saw something where kids actually acted like kids? To be fair, one of the kid actors in this special is Christian Slater, but the little girl who didn't go on to be famous was also incredibly good. I miss this so much. The 80s had their share of annoying, precocious screen kids, but there was also plenty of stuff like this. And nothing as obnoxious as those Disney channel characters now! Blecccch.

The other reason I like this special so much is the same reason I liked it back then. It inspires kids to use their imagination and explore. Which is exactly what I did. The weekend specials were shown at like 11AM on Saturdays, and after I watched this one I spent a good part of the afternoon exploring my basement and backyard for hidden rooms and treasure. This was over 30 years ago, and I still have a clear memory of that day and how much fun I had just being a kid and letting myself imagine. I hope kids today with all their tech things and playdates and mall trick or treating get to experience stuff like that sometimes. Because if they don't, they're missing out on the kind of childhood they'll remember all their lives.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I often see the phrase "what is real country music?" thrown around, as in FGL fans arguing, "Who are YOU to say what real country is?"

While what makes a musical genre sound authentic isn't exactly quantifiable, it's kinda like "you know it when you hear it," I'm gonna take a stab at it anyway. What is country music to me?

1. Not FGL. Okay, okay, serious time.

1. Traditional country instruments. Fiddle, steel guitar, banjo (not spamjo), etc.

2. Strong vocals that sound like a human being singing, not a robot.


3. Lyrics that tell a story or make some kind of point about life. Humorous, serious, or some of both, on topics that are generally relatable to the everyman and woman. Love, heartbreak, family, loss, working, drinking, etc.

4. And on the subject of drinking... country music generally has some kind of moral center, even when talking about cheating or alcohol abuse. There are consequences. Classic drinking songs aren't about gettin' drunk, gettin' laid, and... that's it. Because that's the plot of a porno, not a song. Classic drinking songs are usually two sides of the coin. Drinking and regret - you know you drank too much. Maybe you're an alcoholic, maybe you were drinking to forget. You wake up saying you'll never do it again, but you probably will. Or, drinking to blow off steam. You work hard all week, so Friday night you're gettin' drunk. These are the fun drinking songs, but there's a relatable theme. The other side of the coin is you have to go back to work on Monday, so live it up while you can.

Whereas most of today's drinking songs are just about getting drunk for no reason, and with no consequences. BOOOOOOOOORING.

So in summary: traditional instruments, strong vocals, no additives or preservatives, lyrics that have a point and some kind of moral center. That's country music to me. That is not most of today's popular "country" music. Hence my umpteen rants on this blog. And to those who insist country must evolve, yes, music always have and always will evolve. But when it loses sight of the basic qualities that actually make the genre what it is, like real instruments and meaningful storytelling, can it really be called country music anymore? If humans evolve into... giant bugs, would they still be human?* No. They'd be giant bugs. Excuse me while I find my can of Raid.

*Yes, I do find the categorization of Sam Hunt or FGL as "country" about as ludicrous as humans turning into giant bugs. It's bad science fiction ludicrous.
I'm bored. Quick, somebody do something stupid!


Not even a worthless headline to be found. I never thought I'd miss stories about what spangled running shorts some starlet wore to the proctologist, but HOLY BALLS is everything depressing and somber right now. I take back everything I said, bring back the stupid!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ehh country music is so freaking BORING right now. FGL sucks again, ho hum. They took a one-song break from sucking. I don't even find their brand of suck interesting anymore. It's like watching a dog do the same trick for three years.

There are a couple decent songs out there I guess. Carrie Underwood's new single is strong, but she's only had one really bad single (ironically, the duet with my favorite current country artist, Miranda Lambert) so nothing new there. And no gloriously bad new thing for me to snark on. Just BORING. So yeah, that's the state of country and my blog right now. A thousand yawns.

At least I have Rocktoberfest.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Feel Good Friday

Since it's Rocktober - yes, I've committed to that - here's another upbeat 80s classic!

Tomorrow night we're going to the Deadmonton Haunted House, which is almost as good of a pun as Rocktober.

Friday, October 10, 2014

And just in case anyone thought I was being ridiculous, "sexy Chinese takeout" exists.

As does sexy house (???) and sexy Big Bird. Just waiting for sexy Oscar the Grouch, cause seriously, I would be all over that.
So it's that time of year, when a woman such as myself must decide which unnecessarily sexy thing to be for Halloween! Sexy pineapple, sexy insurance salesman, sexy ball of twine? The possibilities are endless! I think this year I'm going with sexy oatmeal. Cause nothing says hot like a nutritious breakfast!! (I wanted to be sexy Dora the Explorer, but they only make those for up to age 6. *weeps for society*)

*leers at pineapple* How you doin'?

I don't actually dress up for Halloween.

Feel Good Friday - Do you remember where we used to dance? edition

I want to hug all these songs. And my childhood. ♥

My disdain for current pop culture has somehow made me a HUGE Journey fan. Like, even more than I was in the 80s.

I think the exact moment I retired my last give-a-damn for current pop culture was when I was stuck in a bus station, and they had that soul-obliterating TMZ show on. I'd somehow managed to steer clear of this abomination up to that point, maybe because I have half a brain, but when you're stuck waiting for a bus you apparently have to surrender the last half of your brain. I have never wanted to literally throw myself in front of a literal bus before, but holy crap. That was the end, my friends. I think I finally went into the bathroom to escape. Yes, staring at a toilet in a bus station bathroom is better entertainment than TMZ. And certainly less full of shit.

But at least these songs exist forever.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Aaaaaaaaand worthless headline of the day:

"Jessica Simpson Is Airport Chic In Lace Shorts"

Cause when you think sexy, you think airports, amirite? I know when I'm about to be felt up by security, I want to be wearing lace shorts. Makes the experience more intimate, you know?
I Don't Know What to Call it Headline of the Day:

Red Bull: Energy beverage maker agrees to $15 million settlement for false advertising claims

You mean... it doesn't actually give you wings?! WTF, I am so disappointed. Next you'll be telling me Chihuahuas can't actually talk and my clothes aren't soft because of an anthropomorphic teddy bear who lives in my laundry basket.

My main thought after watching The Flash last night: OMG ED!!! Like I used to watch that show every week, but I totally forgot that guy existed. Then I looked him up and he's OMG CANADIAN!! For some reason, my head was telling me he was actually from Stuckeyville, Ohio.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Meow meow meow meow...

Oh. My. God.

You know when you feel like something was written just for you, even though rationally you know it wasn't? Yeah. The Meow Mix jingle sung as a parody of bro-country. The world actually makes a little bit of sense right now. I'm gonna go buy some Meow Mix, they have earned my loyalty forever with this one. Also, my cats ask for it by name!

Feel Good Friday, sort of - October edition!

To celebrate the start of my favorite month, here's my list of top 5 "eerie" sounding classic rock songs:

5. Bad Company - Bad Company
4. Rhiannon - Fleetwood Mac
3. Bad Moon Rising - CCR
2. Don't Fear the Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult
1. Hotel California - The Eagles

Cause in Rocktober, it feels good to be creeped out!

Yes, I said Rocktober.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The two reasons I have never been able to stand Family Guy, despite its funnier moments:

1. The same reason Eric Cartman and everyone else finds fault with this show; the gags that would have been funny for one minute but instead go on for seven. No one seems to like this, yet they keep doing it, like the writers are sticking their tongues* out at us and going "nyaaah, you're gonna watch it anyway!" Nope, I'm not.

*it's family guy, so that's probably not what they're sticking out at us :/

2. I thought this was just me, but I saw it highlighted in an article today and am so glad! That is, the treatment of the young female on the show, Meg. Maybe it's meant to be a jab at misogyny, maybe it's actual misogyny, but either way, it comes off as actual misogyny. And it kind of drives me nuts to see young women watching this show, when the main young female character is treated like garbage for no reason. I've watched several episodes of this show, more than I wanted to, and I have never seen this character do anything offensive to warrant her treatment. If that's the joke, I don't see it. The way she's treated sets young women way back. It boils down to, "you don't matter." And it's not funny.

Let's contrast this with Lisa Simpson who, despite the show running on empty for the last 10 seasons, is overall one of the strongest young woman characters to ever be on tv. I haven't watched the show in a long time, and I fear Lisa has probably fallen into the same stereotype trap Homer and all the other characters have, but while the show was fresh Lisa was one of the freshest parts. They could have just made her a foil for Bart, and those moments are funny, but they chose to develop her as a character too. She's smart, sensitive and caring and it's not just played for laughs; you genuinely feel for her.

So yeah, Meg is the anti-Lisa. And that's not cool. We need more Lisas out there.

Monday, September 22, 2014

I just noticed Inspector Gadget is holding a couple PBRs in my last post. LOL hipster robotic police inspectors.

Oh, and I haven't been keeping up with "country" the last couple weeks, but apparently Florida Georgia Line sucks again. Wow, that was fast. I haven't actually listened to the song yet - I might never, if I can avoid it - but I read the lyrics. And they're pretty much exactly what I envisioned for "generic dumb summer song (that's coming out in September for some reason)" EXCEPT - holy crap is this thing raunchy! Not the usual silly double entendres, nope, this isn't even a single entendre (thank you MST3K):

"If I'm lucky yeah I might get laid"

Yep, that's the whole line. Wow.

There is one double entendre, in the mix of them blatantly stating they want to get laid and do drugs, and it's a doozy:

"I sit you up on a kitchen sink
Stick the pink umbrella in your drink"

Okay, the amusingness of him comparing his manhood to a pink umbrella - *SNERKLE* - is kind of lost in how disgusting this is. This is COUNTRY MUSIC, folks. What the hell happened? And what super girly thing will they compare their manly bits to next? "Shake my balls like pom poms and watch me score!" Oy. I mean, go team?

The song is called "Sun Daze," which sounds like a fun sugary fruit-flavored drink for kids, except you know, filthy. Like FGL took a glass of Kool-Aid or Sunny D and splooged in it.


It's my mission to avoid hearing this song as long as I can. I feel like if I let it into my system, it will trigger an effect much like the security guard escaping the military base at the beginning of The Stand. I'd like to prevent all that needless death and suffering. Won't you join me?

And just to have a good laugh at myself, here's what I wrote about "Dirt" back in July:

"I'm not sure I can overstate the message I think FGL's "Dirt" conveys. I don't mean the message of the song itself, which is nice and warm and sentimental and all the things I like. I mean the message of the hugest act in country putting out a song like that right now. In the heart of the summer, when they could have given us a song called "(I Love Them) Girls in Bikini Tops and Daisy Dukes, Aww Yeah!" instead they gave us a song about something. No, it's not the deepest country song I've heard by a longshot, but I don't only like it because it's "not shallow." As in, it's not bad so it must be good. No, it's not just an attempt to be good, it's actually good. It makes me feel things other than nausea, which is not actually an emotion.

Now I don't feel the two mannequins in FGL are particularly deep fellas, and they'd probably follow whatever trend they're told to. Make a children's album dressed as clowns? Okay, sure dude! Flamenco? I don't know what that is, isn't it a bird? But yeah, cool bro! In this case though, I think they are firmly designated as the trendsetters and others will follow. Unlike "Girl in a Country Song," which is cool as a one-off, I want more songs like "Dirt." No, not about actual dirt... if Jason Aldean releases a song called "Clay" next month I will not be happy. Ha. But, you know. Human experience songs."

In retrospect... "Clay" would have probably been a much better choice than *shudder* "Burnin it Down." And yeah, FGL did make "(I Love Them) Girls in Bikini Tops and Daisy Dukes, Aww Yeah!" They just saved it for their next single. In September. Seriously, they can't come up with a nasty rhyme about pumpkins? It's FALL, people, and if anyone can turn your hayride into a smutfest, it's FGL! Don't let me down boys! ... Well, at least they kept Back to School out of their mouths. Ewww. (They're saving that one for Luke Bryan *cough*)
Today, two minor life annoyances!

WHY do people who comment first on something on the internet comment with... "first?" Okay, I get why they do it, they're attention-seeking idiot whores. But why just "first?" Isn't that kind of self-evident? It's like the number one holding up a foam finger saying, "I'm number one!"

People who don't push the bloody grocery checkout divider thingy down so I can reach it. Maybe this isn't a problem for some people, but I'm barely 5'2" and have the armspan of an 8 year old. I am not Inspector Gadget,

nor am I one of the Incredibles.

So push the damn thing down!! No one wants to have to reach across you and all your crap, even if their arms are long enough. Okay that one actually really bothers me lol.

I've been neglecting my blog. Not much to say lately. I've been listening to a lot of 80s music and enjoying the sunshine. Hopefully I'll be bitter and angry about something again soon! I mean... um.

Monday, September 08, 2014

And from the What-the-Actual-Fuck department...

Today's weather is crappy, so I'm stuck inside. I'm a big NFL fan, so I tend to follow NFL news more than "regular" news (which seems to have two settings, depressing as hell or stupid as fuck.) Anyway, I clicked on a Ray Rice story. You know, the super bowl-winning woman beater. NFL: Hey, at least he's not a serial killer like the last guy!

So yeah. I just watched a video of a woman getting punched in the face by a pro-bowler. I really wish I hadn't. The "good" news is, he's been released by his team and suspended indefinitely by the NFL. They should lifetime ban this goon, there's a tape of him PUNCHING A WOMAN UNCONCIOUS, but at least it's better than the two games they originally suspended him for.

But here's the part that made my brain curl into the fetal position and cry. This woman was his fiancée, and she has since become his wife.


Does this woman have no... nothing? No family, no friends, no sense of self-preservation? No alarm bell went off that someone who punches you in the face is not prince charming? HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN??? I mean, a man who hits doesn't just hit once. I get that she's consumed by evil love goblins, but does she not have parents? A concerned aunt? Anyone? Somebody, please get this woman a restraining order and a drink. And possibly a fairy godmother, I think she could use one.

Last night I kicked off my fall horror movie season with the remake of Carrie. I'm a big fan of the original movie and the book, so I wanted to like it but had some doubts. I'll say, it wasn't awful. It was watchable like on a Saturday afternoon. It doesn't even begin to hold up to the original though, which is kind of sad. I can see why they'd want to update it, as the old one is very LOL 70s looking. But that's just the characters' clothes and hair; the overall look and feel of the movie is pretty timeless. The effects are great, better and more effective than the remake. Surprise, surprise.

The casting was pretty good. The lead actress looked too pretty to fully embody the role, though I do feel she tried. Julianne Moore was great, she actually held a candle to Piper Laurie acting-wise but I thought the character wasn't as well-written. I liked Sue and Tommy. The head mean girl, Chris, was a bit over the top.

Oh yes, Chris. Chris is pretty much the whole reason I'm writing about this movie, for reasons that will probably only be entertaining to me.

One of my nemeses on this blog is British pop brat Cher Lloyd. I haven't written about her in a while, but her and her devoid-of-all-humanity song, "Want U Back," are forever stuck in my craw. So here's Cher, and here's mean girl Chris:

I SWEAR TO GOD IT'S THE SAME PERSON. Right down to the perma-snot facial expression. I half expected Chris to end every line with a sociopathic grunt. UNGH!

Best. Casting. Ever.

(Click on the "my craw hurts" tag to see my other posts about Cher Lloyd.)

The prom scene in the remake wasn't as effective to me emotionally as the original. This is where the lead actress' looks became a real detriment. In the original, Sissy Spacek actually looked really plain through the whole movie, up to the prom scene. Even then, she was still this very awkward girl, but she started looking beautiful not only because of looking different, but feeling different. She was having a good time, and it caused her to glow. That kind of comes through in the remake, but it wasn't a stark enough contrast to really stand out like it did in the original. And it was so important that she was having fun (almost like a rebirth of her character), because it made what happened to her that much more tragic.

I'll end with a comment on the story in general. For some reason it really struck me watching the remake, the scene of her on stage dripping with blood, how they turned her into a monster. (Not that that doesn't come through in the original and the book; I think I was just approaching the story with fresh eyes.) Through the whole movie, she was never a monster, and even at the end it's hard to think of her that way. She might look like one then, but the real monsters are the bullies and the society that turns a blind eye. That's why it's such a classic story. The best "monsters" are the ones you sympathize with.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Worthless Yahoo Headline of the - Oh, Wait!

"Miley Cyrus Wears Pasties Instead Of A Shirt, Continues Being Shocking"

That's right... it's a Yahoo headline that's a parody of a worthless Yahoo headline. Someone, somewhere, has some actual sense! And decency.

Okay, maybe not decency.

Blogger, in what I'm sure is some kind of self-defense against stupid, will not let me post the photo featured in this article. It is worth seeing, though. Not for the Miley ice cream pasties... HOOOOO HUMMMMM... but for the totally bored-looking dude standing behind her. He's like, whatever bitch, nothin' I ain't seen before. It pretty much sums up the proper reaction to this boring, talentless little hack. I mean, a blind man could pretty much see Miley coming at this point.

"If you still have the energy in your weary bones to be shocked by Miley Cyrus prepare to be rattled once more," the article begins. Oh, common sense writer, how I love you. "Saturday night, September 6, whilst you dreamed sweetly in your bed, Miley Cyrus was wearing pasties to the Alexander Wang's after party. (...) Where one buys such things is unclear. It's possible that Cyrus made them herself, seeing as she is a nascent artist with a prolific set of homemade bongs and other crafts to her name. Or maybe she just ripped them off a shirt from Delia's."


Or, you know, it's just really snarky and awesome.

Usually comments on the internet make me die a little inside, but there were a couple gems at the top.

"She uses shock because she lacks any other talent!" Yup. Sadly, it still works. And while this writer is giving her the undeserved attention she wants, at least she did it her way. Cause you know someone had to write about it, and I'm glad it was this person and not someone feigning actual shock.

"I heard someone hacked into her phone and saw pictures of her fully clothed and with her mouth shut. She was not happy."

You win this battle of snark, random internet commenter. And to all parties involved here, thanks for making my night.

... Until it gets down to the rape comments, anyway. Goddammit internet.

Tomorrow I'm going to talk about a movie! Wheeee!
Worthless Yahoo Headline of the Day:

"Ariana Grande Posts Butt Selfie at NFL Kickoff"


And the entire world just got collectively dumber.

Yeah, that Amish thing's looking pretty sweet right now. A land where the words "butt selfie" hold no meaning. They have crops to till, you lazy butt-goggling assholes!

Friday, September 05, 2014

But just when you're ready to give up on the internet and run into the woods and become spontaneously Amish, you come across something like "Foods banned around the world:"

Probably the silliest ban on the list, the French banned ketchup from their primary schools because they were afraid students will use it to mask their traditional French cuisine. The idea is that public schools are not only supposed to be feeding children, but teaching them about French cuisine, and ketchup ruins a lot of French cuisine. Ironically, students are still allowed to use ketchup on their French fries."


... Do the Amish celebrate Christmas? I sort of need to know now.

Holy crap! Apparently I'm not the first person to wonder this. When you type in "do the amish" on google, "do they amish celebrate Christmas" is the fourth one down. I feel strangely at one with the universe right now. Thank you, google.

The answer is YES!; in fact they have two Christmases. Take that! From (you can't make this stuff up, folks):

"December 25th is always reserved for fasting, meditations, scripture readings, and other religious activities that focus on the solemn celebration of the birth of Christ. December 26th, or Second Christmas, is meant for celebrating the season with family and friends with gatherings, feasts, and gift giving."

So they celebrate the heck out of Christmas, but ignore the time-honored tradition of after-Christmas sales. I now have a sudden desire to see two women in long dresses and bonnets fighting over a 60% off waffle iron at Wal-mart. This would possibly complete me.

My mind goes weird places. Also? Going by that article I just read, the Amish pretty much own us in every way.

"These nativity scenes are often put together by the Amish children in order to better understand the story of the baby Jesus and might consist of wooden or clay figures. They are often made into quite elaborate scenes with painted backgrounds, live plants, and even running water. The entire Amish community or family will often get together to build the church or home nativity scenes which are meant to evoke quiet contemplation and focus on the meaning of the season."

So yeah... religious stuff aside if that's not your thing, that pretty much takes a sledgehammer of shame to our McChristmases and our McSociety in general. I have nothing else to say. I'm going to ponder my existence for a while.
Also? The Fucking Internet, summed up:

Commenter on a kitten video: AWW :-) I would of already picked this dear sweet little kitty up and started cuddling it :-)

Reply to commenter: No, you would "have" already picked it up.

OMFG. Look, I care about proper grammar and spelling. I try to write as coherently as possible here, when not doing otherwise for effect. But TIME and PLACE, people! If someone makes a sweet innocent comment about a KITTEN, on a KITTEN VIDEO, you look like a GINORMOUS DOUCHENOZZLE* if you correct their fucking grammar. And that was their entire comment, they didn't even say anything about the little adorable wobbling kitty. Does this guy just troll kitten videos looking for bad grammar to correct?

*yeah, that's the kind of thing I do for effect.

I love that I already had this tag in my list. Hmm, what did I use it for?

Okay, enough reading things on the internet. I'm entering full-blown "I want to wake up in 1962" territory.

It hasn't been the best week. What to do for feel good Friday, what to do... wish I hadn't already used "The Wind." :P Okay. I haven't always had the bestest feelings about this guy but I've come to terms with it, and his 90s stuff is top notch. This is one of my absolute favorites from the decade. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

"Hell is other people" - Sartre

Now I'm pretty sure Mr. French Philosopher wasn't referring to nerds arguing on the internet when he wrote that, but... holy shit, hell is nerds arguing on the internet. Why the hell am I talking about this?

Well, every once in a while I wonder what it would be like if anyone actually read my shit and knew who I was. There's one site in particular full of people who like to gleefully snark on popular culture and a lot of them seem to be MSTies. People kind of like me, except not living in obscurity. So I think in passing, wouldn't it be neat to be on a site like that? ...Even though I'm way too shy to actually do so, but that's beside the point. The point is:

HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE. While googling information about some of my favorite people on the site, I'm suddenly blindsided by a huge DRAMA PUNCH to the face. OMG infighting! OMG nerdly arguments of doom! No one is immune to this shit, not even cool MSTie types who should be chill and get along. So as much as I'd like to be heard by an audience sometimes, in the end I'd rather just keep to myself.


Came across this today, and it's now pretty much my favorite thing in the world.

On Body of Evidence: "We are asked to believe that Madonna lives on a luxury houseboat, where she parades in front of the windows naked at all hours, yet somehow doesn’t attract a crowd, not even of appreciative lobstermen.”

That is the best thing that's ever been written about anything. I will never, ever top that. I can only continue to try.

There's a whole one movie on the list I thoroughly enjoy, Jason X. Of course it's bad, it's Jason Voorhies in space. Doesn't mean I don't love it though!
Scarily Ironic Headline of the Day:

"Phil Robertson Thinks ISIS Members Should Be Converted Or Killed"

Well with that kind of talk, I think you just qualified yourself for membership. Congratulations, dumbass.

You Can't Make this Shit Up Headline of the Day:

"Woman Steals $144 In Eyeshadow, Mugshot Convicts Her"

Yeah, it probably wasn't the best plan to put on all $144 worth at once. But at least she gets a mugshot that looks like a bitchin' 80s video! Tubular. Totally.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Okay, I know I said I wasn't going to mention this little squirrel fart in my blog ever again. But dammit, he got his Bieber-cooties on my country music.

So here's the little creep, in full shirtless wannabe-thug mode, appearing to mock Johnny Cash.

Yes, you heard me right. Justin Bieber, in his douchey flat-brimmed ballcap, is daring to invoke the Man in Black.

Is this meant to be some kind of tribute instead of mocking? Well, it sure doesn't look like it to me. If it is, take off the damn ballcap and wipe that smirk off your face. Oh wait, I don't think he can. This clown just has the most punchable face I've ever seen. It's impossible not to hate him. I'd feel sorry for him, if his personality wasn't equally punchable.
Look. I am the last person to ever be a victim-blamer. Really. I find it disgusting. BUT.

WHY do people take nude photos of themselves in the first place???

Normally I wouldn't give a flying fig about celebrity nude photos, but this latest thing is a pretty big deal it seems. I get the outrage and invasion of privacy and all that, I really do. It's nasty. Obviously, what the hackers did is worse than taking nude photos which you have every right to do, blah blah. It's not the victims' fault in any way. THAT SAID.

People who are comparing this to every crime under the sun, from credit card theft to rape, are missing a pretty big point. Unlike making financial transactions, or... going outside while being a woman, taking nude photos is NOT A NECESSARY PART OF LIFE. This is a crime, yes, but it's a preventable one. There's a difference between victim-blaming and common sense. And none of it compares, in any way, to rape. A woman could walk outside stark naked and should not expect to be sexually assaulted. A nude photo is a thing that exists; rape is something that is justified only in the mind of the attacker. It's totally different.

"The act is the digital equivalent of approaching a woman on the street, pulling down her shirt, snapping a photo, and passing it around." No, it isn't. It's the equivalent of having something sensitive you said in confidence made public. It's an invasion of privacy, not a physical assault. No one had their clothes ripped off by some slathering maniac. "When hackers steal credit card information, the public isn’t blamed for daring to shop." Again, bad comparison. Buying things and paying bills are necessary in life. That's only a preventable crime if you pay for everything in cash. Maybe I'm a big ol' prude, but last I checked taking nude photos isn't part of one's everyday routine like paying your phone bill or buying a book on Amazon. It's such a silly, narcissistic thing to do in the first place, it's just not something I can raise my banner for. (That doesn't mean I blame anyone. It means I find it too silly of a thing to do to work up much sympathy over. Two different things.)

I think men who wear makeup* and/or skinny jeans is one of the stupidest looking things on the planet and I want to punch them in the face. Especially if they're straight, not that being gay is an excuse to look like an idiot. But I don't think they should actually be punched in the face, or are asking for it, I just think it's stupid as hell. (Unless they're listening to terrible emo music. Then they're fair game.) Obviously I'm not talking about male to female transgendered people, as they identify as women. But if a female to male transgendered person wore makeup, that'd annoy me. No idea if that's an actual thing that ever happens, just clarifying. It's a confusing world we live in, folks.

*unless they're part of an 80s new wave band

You again, Douchebag McGee?? Ack, no! Get away!

Then there's the "feminist" response of "why must women's sexuality be so shameful!" Well... it isn't, to me. My stance of naked-photos-are-dumb has nothing to do with gender. I'd feel the same way if it was men. Also, naked photos =/= sex. Sex is natural, not narcissistic.

The only hyperbole that flies around here is my own.


I love how all the comments are people describing their trucks. PRICELESS.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Awesome Yahoo Headline of the Day:

"Peng Shuai reaches U.S. Open semis"

Just because I read it as, "Feng Shui" reaches U.S. Open semis" and was like, yes, placement of the net in relation to... other tennis-y things is very important!

Yeah, I don't really know anything about tennis.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Feel Good Friday

"People livin' in competition
All I want is to have my peace of mind."

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

One of the big stories in country music this summer was the unprecedented amount of violence, drunkenness, and general stupidity taking place at country shows. Most all of these incidents took place in the northern US. Having lived in both the north and south for many years, I can say location was probably a factor. When I lived in New England, country music was like non-existent. It was all rock. But since then, rock/pop/bro/crap country has brought in a new crowd of fans, many of them the sort who go to shows just to party and get wasted.

Another factor given, which I also think is valid, is the drop of quality in the music and the encouragement in its lyrics to drink and party and act like dumbasses.

But the question was still there: what really is so different today from even, 10 years ago? What is making so many people act like slobbering dumbasses on a regular basis and on such a grand scale?



Now I'm not anti social media at all, that would be pretty authentically ironic coming from someone tapping away on a blog. BUT, for better or worse, it has completely molded the minds of the people who've grown up with it. And that, I think, is the major difference now. Young people frame their lives in terms of social media. Never before has there been this massive lair, this hive where countless people can congregate and live together. This can be a good thing, but unfortunately it can also spread stupid like the plague. Now for every stupid idea you have, every shitty song you share, every "woooooo!" drunk photo you post, there are at least 10 "friends" enabling you with a like or "lol" or "awesome." I think having this lair out there encourages and rewards stupidity with "coolness" and faux "popularity," resulting in more stupid than ever before. If this was USA Today there'd be a handy chart illustrating my point, but I think you get what I'm saying.

Now I've posted photos of me at beer fests before, so I'm not saying you should only post photos of you on your way to church or something. But I wasn't drunk, or making stupid faces, or begging for validation of my coolness. I was just enjoying an oatmeal stout.

I don't have a solution for this, other than, you know, go outside sometimes. WITHOUT YOUR PHONE. I'm just putting it out there.
Okay, two songs I wanna touch on today. First Debbie Gibson, I mean Taylor Swift's, new song "Shake it Off."

She's "officially" a pop singer now, as opposed to being one unofficially before, I guess. Which is fine. But the young woman once known for her thoughtful songwriting like "Teardrops on My Guitar" has given us a song that can best be summed up by an internet cat meme.

This sounds more like something a 15 year old would write than the stuff she wrote when she was 15. I get it. POP MUSIC = DUMB. :/ I guess the future was, in fact, electric youth. Who knew? And oh yeah, this is still pretty much the best pop song I've heard all year. Let's ponder that for a moment. Done? Okay.

Second, this damn guy. Goddammit, Blake Shelton, you piss me off like no one else. Taylor Swift's next song could be called "I Can Haz Cheeseburger" and it still wouldn't be as infuriating as you, Blake Shelton. I used to be a fan. Then Boys Round Here happened, and I cried a little and moved on. That's right, I shook it off.

This song bothers me in a special, special way. It's an "almost." I almost like it. It's almost country. But it misses the mark in such a huge way, and Blake himself seems so oblivious to it, it actually kinda scares me. So let's start with the maddeningly positive things, before we get into the maddeningly negative things.

Blake has a very good country voice, and it's strong on this song. That alone should be enough for me to like it, right? Since his voice has been so wasted on garbage like Boys Round Here? If only. *sigh* Also, the song has pretty decent lyrics, especially the chorus. It's a very country theme, somewhat in keeping with the last song I wrote about, "Jukebox with a Country Song." "There's a neon light, at the end of the tunnel..." yeah, sounds like it could have been a 90s hit. Not bad at all. I like the melody of the chorus too, and the way he sings it.

There's a banjo on here, which sounds good to my ears... sort of. We'll get back to that. Okay, I really do like the chorus of this one. But the verses, UGH. What's with that dumb, poppy repetition of words? You're trying to get back to more traditional country - I think? It's hard to tell really - yet you give us a lyrical style that reminds me of nothing more than this:

The Grand Ole Opry presents, Taio Cruz! "We gon' rock this club, that's how we do do do do, put your hands up in the air air air ..." The future, ladies and gentleman. Now more than ever.

So why does this song, a song that's actually closer to being what I call "country," bother me even more than say, Sam Hunt's song, which is straight up pop, or even most of FGL's stuff? Well I'll tell you. Those things never tried to be actual country, and failed. They didn't even put on the fake nose and glasses. "Neon Light," however, almost succeeds, and that's what's so scary about it. Because it sounds like someone took a good ol' hit from 1992 and put in a drum machine and dumb repeated lyrics and produced it out the ass and THAT, folks, is the new country normal. And I'm scared because I feel like people can't tell the difference anymore. That goddamn processed drum beat is so intrinsic it's starting to sound organic, when it's the farthest-ass thing from it! Even the banjo gets the spam treatment. Spamjo? Yes, I'm going with spamjo.

This is Chef Boyardee spaghetti and meatballs trying to disguise itself as this:

"Here's some fine country music! With truffles! No it didn't come out of a can, what are you talking about? See it has banjos! And TRUFFLES!"

Blake Shelton compared this song to something George Jones or George Strait would have done. To be fair, take out the dumb repeated lyrics and the awful overproduction and I could totally hear George Strait singing, "there's a neon light at the end of the tunnel." But a little bit of country wrapped up in a whole lot of crap isn't gonna cut it for me; in fact it's gonna really piss me off. Because if this is what passes as "real" mainstream country now, something that says all the right things but has the same slick produced sound as all the other crap, then we're really in trouble.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

This is very relevant to my interests.

I don't have kids, so I don't know about today, but I've seen some evidence that it's not too far off from what they describe here. Which is really, really scary. I can vouch for the 70s stuff being 100% fact, because it was the same in the early/mid 80s when I was in grade school.

So I wonder, if you do have kids today, can you still choose to keep raising them simple, like it was back then? Or do the societal expectations make it impossible, unless you homeschool? Cause bloody hell, I had a Pigs in Space lunchbox and a bologna sandwich and a number two pencil and life was FINE. Oh, and a Lisa Frank trapper keeper with unicorns and rainbows on it, duh. It was the 80s. But that was all I needed!

Monday, August 25, 2014

AWESOME Yahoo Headline of the Day:

Maine lobsterman catches rare blue lobster

HOLY CRAP THAT'S A PRETTY LOBSTER! I'm glad it's not being turned into bisque.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Feel Good Friday

This song is the soundtrack to my happiness. This is me flying down a country road in a yellow convertible on a crisp late summer day, leaving sunshine and butterflies and unicorns in my wake. This is everything music should be, and that I even heard this song on the radio in the Age of Bro is pretty amazing and testament to Zac Brown's awesomeness.

Worthless Yahoo Headline of the Day:

"Kim Kardashian Is 'Waist Training' With A Super-Tight Corset"

Boldly leading women back to the 1890s! Yeehaw!

Also, is it wrong that my only real response to this article was, "Starbucks makes a $2 coffee?!"

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Worthless Yahoo Headline of the Day:

"Casper Smart -- I Won't Be Banging JLo in My New House"

This is on the front page of Yahoo "news." I wonder how many kids will read that today. Why don't they just put straight-up porn on there? Obviously this is not "news" outside of some tabloid gossip column, and it's also reeeeeeally inappropriate for such a mainstream page.

Translation of headline: "Someone I've never heard of cause he's only 'famous' for dating someone who's actually famous buys house; does not have sex in it." There you go, your "news" for the day. Well I guess when the other news is some of the most depressing-ass crap I've ever seen I understand the need for something lighter, but AGAIN: "banging" is not appropriate terminology unless it's a story about carpentry.

I'm just waiting for comment from said house. My guess is it'll be, "Whew."

Saturday, August 16, 2014

I've missed Feel Good Friday twice in a row, eek! Well, yesterday was my 2 year wedding anniversary and the week before that we were on vacation, so I have a good excuse. :D Next week we'll return to our regularly scheduled feel-goodness.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Neon, the light they always leave on

Remember when country music was like this?

Yeah yeah, another dreamy nostalgia post. But this song is such a perfect illustration of why MUSIC REALLY WAS BETTER THEN.

I really like a song that tells a story instead of just shouting random imagery at you. "There's a BEER on a TAILGATE on a TRUCK by a LAKE and here's some CATFISH..." Not every story has to be long and carefully crafted like say, The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia, though I love the hell out of that too. No, in country music you can take a simple premise like the ownership of a bar changing hands and make it seem totally relatable and somehow about the human condition at large.

Doug Stone, who had a fair number of hits in the 90s and is woefully underrated, narrates this song with such perfect humor and everyman likeability you almost forget it's a song at all, it's like something that's actually happening. There's another thing I miss in country music - and country stars - a sense of humor. Not today's bro-ey humor, but that grin and shrug, ain't the world crazy but hey I'm just gonna keep doin' my thing kind of humor.

So here's our simple story that works so well, and is so undeniably country. Doug has been in a relationship for 3 years now, a good one, but they have a bad fight. Doug yearns for the comfort of his favorite old bar, which he hasn't been to since he met his gf/wife/whatever. So he drives down the familiar dirt road to drown his sorrows and find camaraderie with his old drinkin' buddies, at least for the evening.

I'm not a man, and I can already put myself in his place. That's good storytelling.

But when he gets there - there are no more swingin' doors! No sawdust on the floor, no burns on the bar, presumably no antlered things on the walls or mason jars on the tables or other comfortably rustic delights. Nope, there's ferns and snooty waiters and guys in suits probably talking loudly on those giant early cell phones and some dj blaring corporate rock in place of his beloved jukebox. His stomping grounds have turned into the dreaded Yuppie Bar.

Hi, I'm Bob Yuppie.

I'm imagining this as the bad rock song spinning, when all this poor guy wants to do is drop a quarter and hear a commiserating country song. Like Hank Williams, or George Strait, cause yeah man, those guys know what it's all about. They understand. Maybe it'll all be okay. But for now, I just wanna sit here and drink.

But nope, Michael Damian!

I love how "Jukebox with a Country Song" sets the scene and puts you in the narrator's place, and never takes itself too seriously. It's a perfect country song. Country music needs Doug Stones. It needs the Everyman, and woman. That's the heart and soul of country, and always will be.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

And back to country music. I have yet to buy Sunny Sweeney's new album, Provoked (other than the single Bad Girl Phase months ago), because we are literally broke ass po' after our vacation. And we have cats to feed. But anyway, I will buy it as soon as I have money and I pretty much can't wait, cause from what I heard it's an explosion of country awesome in your ears.

I suppose I could listen to song clips or even full songs on youtube, but Sunny is special to me and I want the old school, buy the full album and listen to it experience. I miss that, and this is one album I think will warrant it.
Okay! Since I made the mistake of reading Actual Fucking News this morning (facebook snuck it in while I was looking at cats, grrr), today's post will not be silly or fun. But it will be something that's important to me.

Earlier this year, I made a post entitled "Deep thoughts (soaked in delicious, delicious meat grease)." Here 'tis:

My premise was this: "...we've become overly sensitized and totally desensitized at the same time, and in all the wrong ways." This is like, a theme in my life. The search for the sweet sweet valley of sanity.

I started by talking about how reality show "celebrity" culture has desensitized us to the actual purpose of celebrites, i.e., watching someone who has talent and actually does something... do that thing. Dumber celebs = dumber us.

I then went into the number one culprit of this dichotomy, childhood and parenting today. Now I am not a parent, so I'm not gonna bust out the right/wrong way to raise kids crap. BUT. I can draw on my own childhood experiences, and the way I was raised, to make a point. I'll set the stage by saying my parents had the traditional parenting roles. My dad went to work, and my mom stayed home. Having a parent at home is nice in like, all these little abstract ways you don't even think about until you don't have that anymore. Cause here's the thing. Was I hover parented, back in the 80s? Hell no! I was independent at age 6! I walked to school, and the library, and the rec center, either by myself or with friends. I went to the park and the pool. I walked all over town. We played outside for hours, sometimes all day.

Bringing up these things has become pretty cliché but lemme tell you, sometimes things are cliché for a reason. This was A GOOD WAY TO GROW UP. And I feel like having a parent at home actually made me more independent and adventurous as a child than I would have been had I felt on my own. Cause pretty much any time of day I walked home, mom was there. It was truly "coming home." Which is not to say my mom just sat at home all day. We also did a ton of stuff together, both in town and out in the wild world. I grew up in a stereotypical small town, El Segundo, CA, a little haven that's in close proximity to many more adventurous LA locales. And my mom took me everywhere. I got an education before I even entered school.

In short, I fucking loved my childhood. I loved the freedom, and I loved having a parent there for me when I was done with freedom for a while. I love my small town and I love the crazy world of LA and the beaches I got to see when we ventured out. I grew up in a great time and place, and I count myself blessed.

Until my parents got divorced and it was all over. BUT ANYWAY. Here's something I wrote in my original post, on the subject of kids no longer being allowed to use their legs except in pre-designated leg-using areas:

"...Because while being wrapped in these billions of protective layers, kids are becoming more and more desensitized to things like feelings, and compassion. And these kids are becoming adults. As in, the future of ALL HUMANITY. Maybe letting them walk on their own for a couple blocks would help them experience and feel connected to the actual world. And take the goddamn... texter out of their hands so they can look at some damn trees while they're doing it."

And cut to an article I read today, with an actual freaking DOCTOR saying the exact same stuff little ol' me said months ago.

"The contrast between Edward and George's childhoods is highlighted in a report which warns that the mental health of 21st-century children is at risk because they are missing out on the exposure to the natural world enjoyed by past generations."

Oh ho! Really! You don't say! I'm not a doctor, yo. I'm not even a high school graduate. My education is life, books, and television (especially MST3K :)). But freaking DUH!! How can this not be obvious to like, everyone?

""If children haven't had contact with nature, they never develop a relationship with natural environment and they are unable to use it to cope with stress," he said.
"Studies have shown that people deprived of contact with nature were at greater risk of depression and anxiety. Children are getting less and less unsupervised time in the natural environment.
"They need time playing in the countryside, in parks and in gardens where they can explore, dig up the ground and build dens.""

Yes! Preach on, brother!

So there is the overly-sensitized peak of insanity. Children live in safe bubbles, yet they are at risk for going nutso cause they LIVE IN FREAKING BUBBLES.

Aaaaaand now we scale the other peak, on the opposite side of the valley, the peak of stupidity and desensitization. The kind of thing that makes you wonder, hmm, maybe we do need to be supervised after all. I hope you're wearing the appropriate footwear. Let's go!

"The "fire challenge" has been spreading on social media with people pouring flammable liquid on themselves, lighting it, trying to quickly extinguish the fire and then posting a video online."

Yeah people are fucking stupid. THE END! *Looney Tunes music*

No wait, wait. Surely I can offer more social commentary than "people are fucking stupid." I must have a better response to the ills of our wayward society than a Troy Dyer-esque superior smirk. But maybe he was right. No... NOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Okay, so not only did someone come up with a "set yourself on fire" challenge for facebook (I'm waiting for the "sprinkle ebola on your cereal" challenge now) but someone went, "Yes! That sounds perfectly reasonable, challenge accepted good sir!" and picked up the damn gauntlet. WITH THE HELP OF HIS MOTHER. Okay, maybe sometimes having your parents at home isn't such a great thing. I can't possibly get into the minds of people like this, but I do think it illustrates the other side of the valley pretty well. I mean, this is an isolated incident, but I'm guessin' these are the same kind of people who are doing all that dumb shit at country shows suddenly, these sad, desensitized idiots. I can't blame dumb things in society for this completely; in the end the responsibility comes down to you. BUT. When you have a whole generation raised on stupid, fake music and stupid, fake celebrities and everything just congregates in this social media hive, maybe that is the only choice they have. Cause they don't know anything else. And that's where it is ALL of our responsibility to ensure our children's society isn't any lesser than the one we knew. And hopefully greater.

Unless your mother is batshit crazy and helps you set yourself on fire. I really have no advice for that one. I'd delete your facebook account, for starters. I think you're a little too... shall we say, involved. And while most young people have the sense to not set themselves on fire, they are tangled in the whole social media web to an extent I think will have long term damage. There's just so much more to the world and without that, without trees and grass and adventures, there's no telling what kind of crazy will ferment. Because the imagination that was once channelled through building forts and running through the woods is now being channelled through... the internet, and all the fucking idiots that live on the internet.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

OMG I think I just solved an existential crisis. That's like 2 in 3 days people!! Woohoo!

I don't think I ever wrote about Catcher in the Rye and Holden Caulfield here, but I always wanted to. I just wasn't sure how to say what I wanted to. Basically, it's a book and character that you either love or you hate, and I'm on the love side. I don't love the character because he's lovable. He isn't. I love this book because while Holden is messed up, he also makes some really damn good points about the world we live in - which are still relevant today, like a million years after the book was written - THAT'S some good writing! And you can see your own questions and random thoughts and insecurities reflected in Holden's, and not in a way that makes you hate yourself. It's more like, "Oh. It's not just me, then." That is, if the book speaks to you. A lot of people find it insufferable and horrible. Cue the answer to my long-suffering question, "Why do some people hate Catcher in the Rye?"

They react to Holden like I do Troy Dyer. There! I get it!!

So why do I hate Troy, and relate to privileged, neurotic Holden? Well... Holden is vulnerable. He speaks to you, he wants you to see what he sees, and doesn't insult your intelligence. He has the sensitivity to care if someone writes "fuck you" in a museum. He's genuinely struggling trying to make sense of the world and his place in it. Troy just wants to smirk at you if your IQ is one point lower than his.

I always thought Catcher in the Rye love/hate was kind of an introvert/extrovert thing, and that might still apply. Introverts would tend to relate, while extroverts would see Holden's worldview as whiny and even threatening to the status quo. But mostly yeah, they probably think he's an awful little pissant like Troy. And while I don't agree, I think there's a lot more depth to Holden, I do get it. Finally.

Okay, now for the post I'd been planning to write, brought to you by the weird, wonderful year of 1994.

First, 1994 was 20 years ago. TWENTY DAMN YEARS AGO. Ima let that sink in for a moment. Okay. So a movie called Reality Bites came out in 1994 that, for better or worse, kind of exemplified the times. I hadn't thought much of this movie in the ensuing 20 years, but watching a review of it yesterday brought back something that I realized had been lurking in my craw all this time. So today, I will finally get closure on the most simultaneously hatable and enjoyable movie I've probably ever seen.

When Reality Bites came out, I was younger than the characters, but I was a "young adult" and therefore in the target demographic. Which probably explains why I like some parts of the movie.

WHAT I LIKE: The outfits. From Winona's doily dress to Janeane's 70s vintage* to yes, even Ethan Hawke's hipster collared shirts. Because really, they were only annoying by virtue of being worn by Ethan Hawke's awful, horrible character. But we'll get to him later. I'm totally standing by the shirts being cool.

*In the 90s, we got like, really obsessed with the 70s. The Brady Bunch and 70s cartoons and retro fashions. I guess that means we're meant to be obsessed with the 90s now, so this review is actually topical - 20 years later. I did see an awful lot of those 90s flowered-print dresses and skirts when I last went to the mall, and I totally had a Brenda and Kelly moment.

The dialogue. Some of it, anyway. This movie had some pretty great one liners. "Welcome to the maxi pad." I still say "I'm bursting with fruit flavor" to this day. And the Good Times game. There was some actual funny stuff in there. And... a LOT of 70s references. Which I get. They grew up in the 70s, and were struggling with becoming adults, so they turned back to the comforts of their childhood. (Hence, my 80s obsession.) That might not come through watching the movie today, unless you were around back then. You'd just be like, why are they obsessed with some random old tv show? But it fit the time perfectly.

Steve Zahn's character. A real character who happens to be gay. Nothing token or stereotypical at all. A shy, funny, quirky guy who has to tell his Texas parents he's gay. Why didn't he get more story instead of Ethan Hawke's douchebag Troy??? BUT WE'RE GETTING TO HIM.

Ben Stiller's character. Just the character, itself. The treatment of this character by this movie, which was DIRECTED by Ben Stiller, by the way, is the most puzzling part of this movie and why it doesn't work for me in the end. Does Ben Stiller like, hate himself or something? Cause the consensus seems to be his character was pretty cool and likable, yet he's HATED in the movie. Only in the post-80s, slacker/grunge/hipster whatever 90s, would a character be reviled simply because HE'S A YUPPIE. HE HAS A JOB AND MAKES MONEY OMG. Remember when that was like, your dream man? Well, I think we've moved past that particular 90s excess. But God was it awful. If they'd made the character a greedy, slimy, hatable yuppie, it would work. But he was CHARMING and FUNNY and a GENTLEMAN. That didn't fly in 1994, folks. Put on your slacker shirt and ride your... bike, or whatever.

Yep, it's time to get to Troy. *deep breath*

WHAT I HATE: Troy. Lelaina and Troy. Lelaina for learning ABSOLUTELY BUTT-NOTHING from Molly Ringwald and picking the wrong guy at the end of the movie. Did we learn nothing from Pretty in Pink, people? It's like Andy and Blaine all over again, except it's the 90s instead of the 80s, so she chooses the POOR asshole instead of the RICH asshole. There's your difference in decades, folks. In the 80s, the guy who didn't get picked was nerdy and poor and OMG SO FUNNY AND NICE TO HER. In the 90s, the guy who didn't get picked had money and was OMG SO FUNNY AND NICE TO HER.

I mentioned "90s excess" above, and here's what I mean by it and why I hate it. When thinking of "excess," you'd probably go straight to the 80s cause yeah, it was totally the decade of excess. And not all of it was bad. Some of it made for a pretty interesting culture. But in the 90s, that kind of excess and anything even perceived to be "yuppie" or "shallow" was suddenly THE DEVIL. Because here come the slackers. *sigh* 80s material excess turned into 90s philosophical excess. And it could not possibly be exemplified in all its douchey glory better than the character of Troy Dyer. So in that sense, the character works. But you know how the character doesn't work? BY MAKING HIM THE GODDAMN HERO OF YOUR MOVIE.

There is no way I can convey the sheer smug, self-congratulatory, condescending, superior, I'M SMARTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE NYAH NYAH prick-level orange nature of this character by typing mere words. He must be seen to be believed. He bothered me smack in the middle of the 90s so, I can't even imagine how he'd come off now. He would have been a great character, IF HE HAD LOST IN THE END. If the nice guy had won, and ol' Troy was left to ponder his inadequacies. Cause seriously, you have never seen someone so full of themselves for doing absolutely nothing. And that was the point, of course. That's why only then, in slacker-muddled 1994, could this guy have won the movie and the girl. It was enough to just be smart and spout off smarty things while smoking cigarettes and drinking cheap beer. That was "cool." The guy with the job and the tie, NOT COOL, even though he was actually much cooler - wait for it - ON THE INSIDE. Gee, shallow much, 1994?

There's one scene in the movie that's the absolute pinnacle for me, because it's a great, well-written scene that had a chance to turn this bus around in the right direction. Basically, Ben Stiller's character TOTALLY calls out ol' Troy on all his bullshit, and he NAILS it.

Michael: Oh, I forgot, I'm not qualified to talk to you. I'm sorry I can't be Mr. look a me I'm Buddha on the mountaintop. Know what you are man, you know what you remind me of? You're like that guy, you know, with the hat and the bells you know...
Troy: Court Jester.
Michael: Yeah, where everything is so easy to laugh at from a safe distance back in clever-cleverland. You know what happens to him? They find his skull in the grave and they go- Oh, I knew him... and he was funny. And the guy, the Court Jester, dies all by himself.
Troy: Where'd you hear that, a Renaissance festival? Besides, everyone dies all by himself.

Okay, Troy, so Mr. "Cheeseball Yuppie" completely eviscerates your facade, and that's all you have to say? A joke that totally proves his point, and some philosophical crap? Instead of learning anything or growing as a person, all you do is show you're exactly who he's saying you are. Because he wears a tie, he's automatically wrong and you're right. Seriously, that's the big message of this movie, or at least what I get out of it. Because Troy ISN'T RIGHT. He's WRONG, and immature, and completely undeserving of everything he gets. But he gets it anyway. Not by any kind of change or self-redemption, nope, because in this movie he's perceived to be right all along. The world "owes" him a Snickers, indeed.

Because after the awesome clever-cleverland scene - THAT'S IT! They don't run with that football at all, nope, Ben Stiller is never even SEEN again, Troy learns absolutely nothing and goes on being his guitar-strumming hipster douche self, only now he gets to do it with Winona Ryder. And, despite being a smart and witty woman, she falls for it. She's all over him. COMPLETELY INVALIDATING ANY CHARACTER GROWTH OR INTEREST SHE COULD HAVE HAD. God, this whole movie is like reverting back to the womb.

Lelaina turned herself off to me way before that anyway, when she, a recent college grad struggling to find employment, has dinner with her family and the following happens: Her dad offers her a car. But not a "regular" car that "real" people drive, oh no, a BMfuckingW driven straight out of 80s hell and right into the hipster nightmares of poor little Lelaina. "I'm not driving a BMW!" she says, aghast, in an effort to... NOT sound entitled and rich. Honey... let's think about this for a moment. Choosing NOT to drive a BMW is pretty much a million times douchier than choosing to drive a BMW. I guarantee you there is some guy in Kentucky driving to his job at the coal mine in a pickup truck from 1967 going PUTT PUTT black smoke the whole way and he's just praying it runs one more day. I'm sure there's a woman with three kids somewhere who can't take her sick 2-year old to the doctor cause she has NO CAR. I bet she'd be pretty goddamn thrilled to have that BMW, don't you think, you entitled little shit? But no, not you! Your unemployed ass is too good for a BMW. You have standards. God, how did I ever like this movie?

So, despite some good one liners and characters, despite having an on point feel for the times, Reality Bites is a pretty bad movie in the end. And this brings me to my closure. When I first saw this movie, I liked it. I liked the people in it, I liked the script, I liked the Brady Bunch references. I liked that damn doily dress. I laughed quite a bit. But I was left feeling unsettled in a way I couldn't put my finger on then. And that was, of course, because of Troy. And Michael. And Lelaina. See, the ONLY way Michael "wronged" Lelaina was he messed with her "art." Her beloved documentary of her slacker friends. His company turned it into a cheesy Real World style reality show, and he was too goddamn "uncool" or whatever to recognize it. Despite being a gentleman to her in every other way, despite offering to help produce her documentary in the first place - she watches it and RUNS out the door like a spoiled child. Because, you see, she's an "artist," not some MTV whore!

Okay, I get it. I do. If someone messed with this blog, I would choke a bitch. I also admit, I didn't find the "Real World" style thing as bad back then, because it wasn't every single goddamn show. So that part was maybe kinda visionary, who knows. But anyway, that's not the point. The point is HER REACTION. She doesn't even try to rationally say to this guy, hey, that wasn't really what I was going for, could we make some changes, like nothing even close to professional. Nope, she turns into a Troy. She has a hissy fit and breaks up with the guy, all because he was "uncool." Seriously, that's what it boiled down to. So maybe she and Troy actually did deserve each other. But is that the kind of leading man and woman you want to see in a movie? "Well, those two assholes deserved each other. ...Hurray?"

So I've had this weird ambivalance about the movie all these years. It kinda spoke to me then, I mean, I had a sort of disdain for society like Troy did, just not in the same damn arrogant way. But I never liked how the movie ended, and I was never able to admit it to myself. I always thought I was the weirdo, I liked the gentlemanly guy with a job because I'm a traditional girl, which is not cool so I'll just keep my mouth shut. I was, in my own mind, a Troy apologist. "But... I'm supposed to like him, right? So I guess I do! Who needs a nice guy with a job, this guy gets free Snickers bars WITH HIS MIND."

But NO MORE. This ends today. Troy's ego takes this movie down, and he takes the rest of the cast down with him like Godzilla in downtown Tokyo. Except Steve Zahn. He was great. But I no longer have to pretend I like Troy, and I can let this movie time capsule stay buried. Hell I don't even dislike society anymore; now I just politely avoid eye contact with it like a stranger in the elevator.
I think the best way to survive/endure/enjoy life is to just be as ridiculous as possible. So in that spirit, I'll be trying to widen my snark and general silliness scope on this blog.

I've been talking mostly about country music lately because I got back into it in a big way. It's funny, how the BADNESS actually helped rekindle my interest. First by snarking on it, and then being inspired to hey, actually seek out some stuff that's GOOD (and afew guilty pleasures). Country music is at a weird kind of standoff right now I think, between the waning bro-crap and the brotests and the, you know, actual regular country music that's trying to make a comeback. I'm interested to see where it goes next, but right now it's kind of wait and see. I will say this - I disagree with people who say mainstream traditional country is dead, and here's why:

This is country music. Country music is this motherfucking tree. It's natural and strong, and it will break through your concrete by sheer FORCE OF WILL. I believe this strongly. It might take some time for those roots to spread, but they will spread. Because they're a part of us all.

This is actually a totally different post than the one I was going to make. Oh well. I'd like to add that yesterday, about an hour after I had my thought about surviving life by being ridiculous, I read that Robin Williams died. And my first thought was, Oh hell no, life got too ridiculous for Robin Williams. And then I just felt sad. It's been a shitty year for celebrity deaths. We've lost Robin Williams, Harold Ramis, Tony Gwynn, and my beloved Colonel Meow. It all makes me wonder when Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian will take an ill-fated skydiving trip together. <----------- OOH CHEAP SHOT. But seriously, go away useless pieces of crap. Don't die, just go away. And RIP to the good souls we've lost.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Feel Good Friday

A little extra feel good since I'm leaving on vacation this weekend!

Two songs that in the "computer music" age, bring back that feeling of love and passion for MUSIC. Not just music, but musicianship. Music as organic human expression. The feel of a guitar in your hands. Making music because it's what God (or the deity of your choice) put in your soul. The juke box hero and the neon rainbow. Enjoy, and I'm off to the Rockies. :)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday music musings:

I see the phrase "rose-colored glasses" thrown around by the "music must change/evolve/whatever we need to say to justify making crap" crowd. So I check myself sometimes, to be sure my view of the past isn't overly rosy. Long story short: it isn't. It really, really isn't.

Music has become less and less musical with the advent of technology. I am not anti-tech, BUT, I think I might start saying this every week: JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN DO SOMETHING, DOESN'T MEAN YOU SHOULD. That's right folks, capslock and italics. I mean business. A computer will NEVER replace the sound of actual musicians, nor SHOULD it. My real worry is that people growing up now will think that IS what music sounds like, and actual instruments and voices will sound foreign to them. That is a scary thought, and no one could possibly say that is good for music, or natural "evolution." Music is made by musicians. EDM has its place, where it's always been: in da club. Leave it there along with the spandex and lime jello vomit.

Music HAS evolved over time, and it IS natural. But technology has forced upon us an unnatural evolution, like that guy on South Park who made the 4-assed monkey. Yup, we've entered the 4-assed monkey age of music.

The inspiration behind Jerrod Niemann's new song.

Looking back at popular country music of the early/mid 90s, a mere two decades ago, I really have to look to find anything I'd call "bad." Probably the worst was "Achy Breaky Heart." But even though it was a huge hit, largely due to the line dancing craze, it didn't exactly break country music. Here's a list of number one singles from the achy breaky era:

May 09 Neon Moon Brooks and Dunn
May 16
May 23 Some Girls Do Sawyer Brown
May 30 Achy Breaky Heart Billy Ray Cyrus
June 06
June 13
June 20
June 27
July 04 I Saw The Light Wynonna
July 11
July 18
July 25 The River Garth Brooks
August 01 Boot Scootin Boogie Brooks and Dunn
August 08
August 15
August 22
August 29 I'll Think Of Something Mark Chesnutt
September 05 I Still Believe In You Vince Gill
September 12
September 19 Love's Got A Hold On You Alan Jackson

Yep, right back on track, including a better, if still cheesy line dance anthem in "Boot Scootin Boogie."

But today, it's like everyone is Billy Ray Cyrus. A less talented Billy Ray Cyrus. With a dumb bro-ey backwards baseball cap. That's the new normal. Yeah, I'm looking at you, Chase Rice.
Worthless Yahoo headline of the day:

"Beyonce's Surfboard Instagram Is What You've Been Waiting For"

Oh Yahoo, you read my mind. Try to guess what I'm thinking now. Go on, I bet you'll never guess!

Is this what some people's lives really consist of? Waiting for celebrities to post photos on social media? I'm starting to feel disoriented again. Though I guess when your news alternatives are plane crashes, ebola virus, and never-ending conflict in the middle east, I understand the need for some sugary cereal. But you could also put down the computer and go for a walk. Listen to some music, play a game, read a snarky blog, surely there are better places to escape than silly celeb worship?

Whatever, at least Beyoncé actually has a job title other than "celebrity."