Saturday, January 17, 2009

Things I Can't Un-See

Ever have one of those times when you see something so bizarre and inexplicable, you wish you had a camera to capture the moment? This is one of those times.

Yesterday morning I was walking down Sunset Blvd. to my local coffee house (lack of free internet equals increased focus on the writing). Along the way I passed 3 latino day laborers sitting on a low wall, three painters or dry-wallers taking their first break of the day. They looked fairly typical, wearing the day laborer uniform of ball cap, t-shirt and jeans. Except for what they were holding. Day laborer number one was noshing a Burger King breakfast sandwich. Number two was getting down on some hash browns. Number three? He was staring off into the distance as a red G-string hung from his loose fist in front of him.

What exactly had happened here? Could he not afford a BK breakfast sandwich? Was he dreaming wistfully of his lost love from an all-nude show from the night before? Were they his? He didn’t seem terribly envious of his compatriots’ meals. He wasn’t gazing longingly at it. The g-string was just there, the way one might idly dangle one’s keys. Maybe it’s his. Maybe he was thinking, “If I can just get through today, I can unwind on the pole when I get home.” Maybe it’s his lucky charm. If anyone has a reasonable explanation, please let me know. Probably the most mystifying thing I’ve seen
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all month.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The All Time Tops

When I was a kid, the top grossing movies of all time list always captured my interest. I remember when E.T. surpassed Star Wars, and then Return of the Jedi took it back. Or something like that. There was always a new top movie of all time, and it was always one that I liked, so it was fun to watch.

Even later, in the next era, when Jurassic Park took the top spot, I was cool with that. If I was gonna have my childhood fantasy universes implode in upon themselves by the knowledge that no longer did everyone share my version of a perfect movie fantasy world, it might as well be by a movie about dinosaurs. I mean, if you can't have light sabers, then a T Rex in the modern world will have to do.

Then came Titanic. Yeah, I saw it in the theater. It was a first date, too. NOT a good idea. She was funny though, and we both bitched about what a depressing first date activity it was, then went to a bar and sang karaoke to lighten the mood. The story sucked, and the fact that people were crying in the theater at the end actually seems kind of funny now (is that wrong?), but it was kind of cool to see what it might have been like to be on that ship on that day. No one had ever showed that before. But number one of all time????!!! Clearly the world's tastes had shifted. For the worse. Very disheartening. Where was the 1980s optimism? Where was the 1970s sense of fantasy? Did most people really want to see not just tragedies, but tragedies that REALLY HAPPENED? With sappy ass pseudo-Celtic theme music performed by a hateful anorexic witch?

After that I kind of stopped paying attention. I suppose it could be likened to the rest of the baseball playoffs, now that the Cubs are out of it. I was so jaded I didn't really care what movies took over. I'm sure there were a few other huge box office phenoms that I barely noticed.

Thankfully, America (and I guess, the world) came to its senses. We FINALLY had Lord of the Rings, then a couple Spider Man movies to kick off a new era of superhero related blockbusters. No longer would I have to endure obscure rubber-suited crapfests of my childhood heroes (Swamp Thing). I actually can't believe they made two of those. But I digress.

The next era was marked by a tug of war within my heart. Fantasy worlds stayed on top, which was nice for a geek like me. Too bad they were the worlds of Shrek, Pirates of the Crapibbean, Independence Day, and the ultimate heart breakers, the new Star Wars movies. THAT period of time was really like watching the Cubs make the playoffs every year only to get swept. I had such hope. Oh Mr. McDonald, what a fool believes, indeed.

This was followed by a short stint of kickass redemption. And by short I mean two movies: Ironman, who took the heart of the ocean and shoved it in his chest to power up, and The Dark Knight, in which two Titanics are forced to sink each other. Sweet.

I fear for the next swing of the pendulum though. I really do. I mean compare these lists of top films from each era:

Late 70s / Early to mid 80s:

1. Star Wars
2. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
3. Return of the Jedi
4. E.T.
5. Raiders of the Lost Ark
6. Jaws
7. Superman
8. Ghostbusters
9. Back to the Future
10.Beverly Hills Cop

Fuck yeah.

The 90s:

1. Titanic
2. Jurassic Park
3. The Phantom Menace
4. Forest Gump
5. Independence Day
6. The Sixth Sense
7. Ghost
8. Terminator 2
9. Toy Story 2
10.Batman Forever

Ok, some good ones in there, but...ok 2 good ones in there, and some real turdburgers. You can see where this is headed.

The Oughts (2000s):

1. The second two Pirates of the Caribbean loot your wallet
2. Charlie and sucking factory
3. Harry Potter discovers he's gay
4. The second two Matrix movies discover they're gay
5. Bruce Almighty
6. Cars/Robots/Other inanimate objects made further inanimate by Disney and Pixar
7. Signs (that M. Night Shyamalan's career has peaked)
8. Superman Returns in the same movie but with worse special effects than the one 30 years ago
9. Evan Almighty
10.The Polar Express to soullessville

What a dark, dark time. And then:

The Late Oughts (2007-08):

1. Ironman
2. The Dark Knight
3. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Go Fuck Yourself

Alright, two outta three ain't bad. But here is what I predict for the future:


1. Beverly Hills Chihuahua nips away your taste
2. The Bratz movie
3. Paris Hilton fucks a dog
4. Hanna Cyrus: Sticky Sweet: Books Are For Burning (concert film by Martin Scorsese)
5. Leo and Russell Crowe and Colin Farrel do something tough
7. Night at the Museum 4: National Treasure 6
8. National Treasure 7: Night at the Museum 5
9. Harry Potter Almighty
10.Alvin & The Chipmunks (re-release)

I weep for our future. I wonder what's number one right now? What? What do you mean IT'S STILL TITANIC?!?!?!

Friday, September 5, 2008

The 50 Worst Album Covers of All Time - Part II

Here we are, friends. The second and last installment that you've all been waiting for: Numbers 25 - 1.


This one goes out to JT.


Jonah's manager, a marketing wunderkind in his day, knew they'd have a hit on their hands if they could somehow combine cone bras and construction. This debut fared much better than both its follow-ups, "I backfill floozies" and the more honest "I pay for sex."


This record sold surprisingly well, mostly because people thought it was a comedy album. It contains, in fact, 128 funeral dirges.


Nice of these gals to prop themselves up like that, so's not to get in the way of the road. It's the only way in or out of Dreamtown!


Nobody wants this story, Slim. No-body.


Roger doesn't remember it, but this photo shoot took place in just 28 seconds, using only his "got any crack?" face.




I can answer that one for ya, Fos: it's "estra." Kudos to the photographer, though, for getting this pre-trampling shot.


New accent? How bout a new sharpie? Seriously, you spent less money on this font work than Foster Edwards (although you did fit all the words in). You could have had wigged elephants, Man!


You're welcome, Mikey. You're welcome.


My vote for #1. Hands down. Too soon?


Sorry, I've seen Skid Row Joe. He does NOT look like that. And he can't sign his name. On account of he's dead.


Hey, fuck you. I like this cover. It has rainbow-punching, a sportscaster, and a monster guy. What more do you want, you pricks? Next you'll be telling me Sesame Street Disco is bad.


You want to know where Kankakee, Illinois is? It's right here, my friend. It's all right here.


Proof that not every Sears portrait should be an album cover. Dad sure looks happy to be here, though.


I don't know, Cody. You still haven't returned the last one you borrowed. Remember, when you came by last week for a cup of retarded?


Ah, who could forget the Scottish Liberace? Certainly not the poor souls it ate.


Nothing about this could really be described as "live."


This is fucking gangster, bitches. You see that crack in his hand? Roger would KILL for some o' that shit.


Organ does not, in this case, refer to the musical instrument.


Dammit! I already blew my organ joke.


This is the kind of happiness that Merrill seeks. The blood red kind.


Before Rush Limbaugh was king of the airwaves, he was king of all the taverns. And of the retarded laugh. And of being a fat sweaty pig. Jesus.


Ron experimented with many methods for navigating his home-built "go-buggy-dune-kart" before finally settling on the simplest: an anthropomorphic female robot with an opening in the back of its head. This created a "look ma, no hands" effect, while the actual steering was done by Ron's penis. What Ron did NOT account for was that his "boner-pilot" system required an erection from the driver, which Ron was unable to maintain. The whole thing ended very badly shortly after this photo was taken.

And finally...


I just....I don't...William Butler Yeats would not possibly have the words.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

50 Worst Album Covers of All Time - Part 1

My friend sent me this list from Redeye, a free daily edition of the Chicago Tribune. There, now I've given them credit, which is fine because these are pretty good. However, as they declined to provide any commentary on the photos, I figured I'd add my own. So here we go...


It's as if Meathead's family was in Sears shopping for matching outfits when they realized you could get a portrait done in front of a barn mural! Incidentally, this album came with a bucket of fried chicken, and a tire.


I have so very many questions. Is that Dickie? Does she really have that many arms? And what does an inhibited drum rhythm sound like?

This is an obvious fake. First of all, Russians don't smile. Second, there has never been a balloon in or around Russia, ever. Third, this guy in the front, if he were really Russian, would have eaten that thing instead of wearing it on his head.


Thank God he told us it was him, Orion, reborn! I never would have recognized him behind that mask. I might have known, though, since the original Orion wore more than one color. And a belt. Well played, sir.


Your guess is as good as mine. Let me just tell you that one of them bites the guitar for most of the act.

Apparently, Tucker was plagued by horrible nightmares. Huh? It says trucker? Oh God, that's even worse.


The first thing to understand about your Swede is where to put the apostrophe, and any extra "e's" you might have layin around. The second is where to hide if he's carrying an axe and a sack.


C'mon, this is kind of clever. Especially considering the mule thought of it.


If this were a list of the fifty BEST album covers of all time, this would take number one hands down. Somebody fucked up here.


Incomparable. Talk about "le mot juste." When it takes FIVE masters to present you, and your name is in chrome, you are truly incomparable. Look how close he is to that mirror. Magnifique! That is a mirror, right?


The Julcia clan tried to cash in on the new "love and peace" era that had made their kind of folk music obsolete. They started by offering "lots of it." They even convinced Papa Louie to have his first and last names appear in pink and blue. It wasn't easy. Papa Louie hated coloreds.

The point was moot, however, as the entire family was killed in their sleep by "Little Jackie," who insisted he was NOT "one of the boys."


Sadly, Ken didn't get many requests. But he wouldn't have been able to hear them anyway. Ken was catatonic.


For one brief, shining moment each morning, Rick really was free. Free from his shadow. Free indeed. The goddamn file folder was another story.


You know Les originally wanted to call this space boners or some shit. Fuckin Les. He was like that.


You do not EVER want to know what it takes to make Merrill happy again. Seriously, right now you have about four minutes to get out of the room.


Yep, that's right. He has a "best." I wonder who would win in a death fight between him, Merrill, and...


Tony was like a God. King of all he saw. Looking down on his world. Of insanity.


One member of this "band" has murder in her eyes. Another one has the weapon in her hair. Those McKeithen boys never stood a chance.


I don't see what's so wrong about this.


And grows up to be Leatherface.


A) Nothing is dead here except your eyes, Weela. B) What kind of a name is Weela? Is that supposed to be like Phil McKracken or something? Because I don't get it. C) Your "adult comedy laugh-in" features clowns, monkeys, and straw hats. D) You used the phrase "an hysterical." I sentence you to death before you kill the monkey, too, you fat bitch.


I'm not gonna lie. I want to hear this album.


That's nice. Dress up some poor blind girls in terrible clown outfits and do their hair like it's Halloween, then take their picture and sell it. Why don't you set some cats on fire while you're at it?


C'mon, now. This is at least a little bit clever. It's a play on that Herb Alpert cover, but with old ladies. They have to know that they're....oh dear God you're right, it's disgusting.


Everything that needs to be said is already there. Joyce. Fifty Cents.

Next time: #25 to #1!