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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Three Toddler TV Shows with Implied Horrific Backstories

Most toddler cartoons are wrapped in sugary goodness and some of the most obvious morality lessons outside of Garrison Keiler. They feature happy characters whose toughest personal obstacle is determining if it's still okay to hug Elmo or not.

It's not. I'm not sure it ever was.

When personal adversity does occur, it's solved within five minutes and everything returns to normal because that's exactly how real life works and what better lesson to teach children. Even for these characters who've endured the kind of personal tragedies usually reserved for residents of Florida trailer parks.

3. Caillou

That bald-headed atrocity you're looking at is a winsome four-year old named Caillou who is completely over-indulged by his parents even as he gets into constant trouble. In fact, no matter how much Calliou disobeys his folks or whines, he's never punished. The show ends, Caillou learns a valuable lesson, and we search high and low for how to block a TV show on our DVR. Which, of course, is perfectly normal parental behavior when your child is dying of cancer.

Just think about it...this kid is four years old. Unless your name is Vin Diesel, baldness is not a fashion statement. It's either hereditary curse passed down to you from your Uncle Louie or the result of chemotherapy. And the way his parents treat Caillou, with no consequences or anger, is either because he's really Paris Hilton without her wig or because there's simply no point in imparting life lessons on someone who won't live long enough to put them into play.

2. Max and Ruby

Not pictured: Parents and crime-scene tape

A precocious bunny rabbit named Max lives with his big sister Ruby. Max is constantly getting into trouble, but Max's hijinx always work out in the end. Occasionally, Max and Ruby's grandmother shows up to take them out for ice cream. The parents never appear and are never mentioned because they're dead. 

This show raises a lot of questions. This isn't an adult-less world like in Peanuts. Max and Ruby are surrounded by teachers, police officers, scout leaders and their freaking grandmother. But it's Ruby who helps Max get dressed, who takes him shopping for clothes, and makes his meals. Apparently, whatever happened to their folks must have been severe enough that no one mentions it. In fact the whole fucking town must be in denial otherwise these kids would be in the rabbit-equivalent of a foster home.  Which is still better than the next cartoon.

1. Dora the Explorer
What could possibly go wrong in here?

Dora is surrounded by parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins (like any Mexican family. Yeah, I went there) as well as an assortment of talking animals, maps, and nylon backpacks. There's no lack of authority figures here. Only a total lack of caring that almost borders on malice. In fact, it's apparent that everyone in this cartoon wants Dora dead.

Just dig a list of places Dora has traipsed off to without so much as a parental nod: the spooky forest, raging rapids, and frozen mountaintops. I don't even let my kids cross the street by themselves. Where are they going to send her next? The pedophiles house? The haunted mansion? How about the indian burial ground? Is there a future episode where the map and backpack conspire where to bury her once and for all?

Or maybe I've just spent way too much timing watching these shows.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Minor Actors Who Stole Classic Movies

Minor Actors Who Stole Classic Movies

There are actors who steal a movie. With winning performances, dramatic roles, and enormous penises (refer to Long Dong Silver). And then there are actors who make off with the scenery, lighting, camera equipment and film reels. Like these folks:

4. Lycia Naff-Total Recall
Who the hell is Lycia Naff you say? Calm down, I reply. It's just a blog. Maybe you'll remember Lycia if I showed you these...
Why god! Why did you only give me two hands?!

Mention Total Recall and the first thing that instantly comes to mind is the three-breasted Martian hooker. Mind you, this is also a movie that has Sharon Stone on it. And we're talking hot Sharon Stone, fresh off Basic Instinct Sharon Stone, not the crazy, scarf-wearing to hide her wrinkles Sharon Stone from The Muse.

Lycia has about 30 seconds of screen time and 10 seconds of that is her getting shot with her top completely on (a waste if you ask me). But still that's the image that haunts us (and by us, I mean man-childs everywhere). It's become our Quixotic windmill. Our elusive dream (for those who never heard of Quixote). And also the answer to one of life's ultimate questions--what could be better than a pair of breasts? The answer is of course three. Three breasts. In fact the only thing that would have improved this wonderful character is if the extra boob was on her back for, you know, when you're dancing. Or four breasts. That'd be great, too.

3. Peter Sellers- Pink Panther The original Pink Panther film, A Shot in the Dark, was not contrary to what you might think about the bumbling Inspector Clouseau, but rather a highly competent jewel thief named Sir Charles Litton (David Niven). The movie itself was more drama than comedy until Peter Sellers entered the scene, then all bets were off. And those were the only scenes that worked. The four subsequent films and two disastrous remakes chucked all the drama out the window and made no hints about who the real star was...

A giant and mute pink-colored panther.

Think about it. That'd be like one of the screaming residents of Tokyo getting the starring role in the next Godzilla movie (with Godzilla never again appearing on film).

2. Trigger- The Lone RangerIn a movie this bad, even the fake cactus plants and tumbleweeds are at risk to steal a scene, but don't forget this film has Johnny Depp in it. Edward Scissorhands Johnny Depp. Pirates of the Carribean Johnny Depp. WInona Ryder Johnny Depp. The man is a freaking genius.

They had to digitally block out his enormous dong.

And yet, it's an 11-year old nag that steals the movie with sly nods to the audience and comic timing that eluded the movie's stars. Even Arnie Hammer, the man who will go down in history as the man who put the silver bullet in the Lone Ranger franchise, gave the horse his well to do props, "The horse and I are not speaking. He stole the whole movie."

1. Jack Nicholson-Easy Rider

Above: The worst Captain America Ever

Easy Rider is the seminal film of the 60's, depicting a rejection of the establishment and portraying the dichotomy that existed between disaffected youth and the 'squares'. And if you're being honest with yourself, it's also boring as shit. It's Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper riding around on motorcycles and taking very real drugs. In case you lost count, that's two activities that are much more fun to do
than watch. If only they could have thrown some soccer in there, they would have had the trifecta. In fact the only thing that saved this movie from becoming a painful but mandatory viewing requirement for anyone with a ponytail, is Jack Nicholson being just Jack Nicholson.

Jamie Wasserman is a starving writer. Help put some Ramen Noodles on his table and some fancy hats on his head. Linky

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Movie Review: Zombie Strippers

Movie Review: Zombie Strippers
The simplistic plot breakdown: A commando squad is sent to a top-secret lab (located conveniently next to a titty bar) to clean up an experiment with zombies gone wrong. But one of their own is bitten, flees to the strip club for safety, and proceeds to infect all of the dancers who are transformed into some kind of super zombies because, I don't know, girl power or something. Freddy Krueger is in it and there's some silly dance off at the end.
The scathing review: The combination of naked women and zombies should be a no-brainer--like mixing chocolate with peanut butter. How can two things so right, so pure and good, not combine to form something even better? The cinematic equivalent of Voltron, but with far more boobs.
With apologies to the pink lion, but she never took her top off.

But this is Hollywood and Hollywood is made up of people who put nipples on Batman. Who gave us Kathy Bates full frontal. They've done more terrible things to breasts than Chik Fil A, Frank Perdue, and the Colonel combined. And sadly, Zombie Strippers is no exception.

I'm a dong man!
Let's start with the positives. There are a lot of boobs in this movie. A lot. At least 1/3 of the film is dedicated to just showing the titular (pun totally intended) strippers stripping. And that's about it. I can't say anything good about the acting which is hammy, but not in a satirical or campy way, the makeup and special effects which are laughably lousy (my daughter routinely cooks up far worse horrors when she and her friends try on my wife's makeup), or the baffling lack of a plot. 

Actual picture of me after playing dress-up with my daughter

And these days, boobs only get you so far. We've been spoiled, you see. Boobs are, at any given moment, an arm's reach away. On your iPhone, television, computer. Hell, give it another year and you'll be watching bare boobs while waiting for your toast to brown. We are boob-rich, boob-jaded. Our boobeth runneth over. That is not to say the boobs aren't nice. They are Jenna Jameson boobs which, while man-made, are still a spectactle to behold (do we appreciate Michaelangelo's David any less because it is carved from stone?). There are Roxy Saint boobs which are small but wine-glass esque. There are blonde boobs. Brunette boobs. And gothic boobs. There is a boob for every boob.
And unfortunately, there are also zombie boobs. The one saving grace of this movie are the lively flotation devices which bounce happily around a stripper pole for 40 minutes. And then the strippers get zombified and the boobs become sad boobs. Angry boobs. Old, withered boobs. And you'll want to look away, but you can't. And for a long time, those will be the only boobs you'll see for a long time.
Remember when you saw Jaws for the first time as a kid? Remember how long it took to go back in the water after that? Yeah, it's like that, but with boobs instead.
Pretend instead of a shark, I'm your grandmother's breasts. Now come swimming with me!

Instead of this watch: Any Russ Meyers film. Now there was a man with a healthy respect for boobies.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Three Bands Better off with their Lead Singer Dead (An Accusation)

Three Bands Better off with their Lead Singer Dead
The death of the lead singer usually spells the end of the band. Think INXS without Michael Hutchence, Lynyrd Skynyrd without Ronnie Van Sant, or the Crickets without Buddy Holly. But for these bands, death was only the beginning.
Now I'm not saying that any of these bands had anything to do with their lead singer's demise, but this sure does establish a credible motive. If I was Morris Day, I'd be shaking in my shoes right now.
My fine, fine shoes.

3. AC/DC-
Hard-drinking Bon Scott wasn't the first musician to die from choking on his vomit, but he does get the award for coolest official coroner report ("Death by misadventure"). Why those words didn't become a track on the next AC/DC album we'll never know.
This is totally going on my tombstone.
Prior to 1980 when Bon Scott died in the back of a Renault (the least Rock n Roll car in history), AC/DC's top selling album reached only number 17 in the charts. Though they did sell respectfully and tour internationally, the band had never experienced the type of mega-stardom that prompts people to name their children 'Blanket' or 'Apple'. Enter Brian Johnson.
Pictured: The car that has blocked more cock than Portia DeRossi.
Brian joined the band just in time to record Back in Black, an album that sold 50 million freaking copies; that's second only to Michael Jackson's Thriller. They would follow that up with more hits and resurgences than Evander Holyfield, and were ultimately inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. Even today, AC/DC remains one of the most popular bands of all time.
Would AC/DC have reached that kind of commercial success with Bon Scott? That's for the courts to decide.   
Suspicion level: 6

2. The DOORS-
The Doors, sans lead singer/lizard deity Jim Morrison, recently toured the United States. Exactly three people attended these shows and one of those was Ray Manzarek's optometrist. The other two were convinced Jim was still alive. They were disappointed. Horribly, horribly disappointed.
Yet despite the fact that the Doors couldn't sell out the waiting room of a dentist's office, they continue to sell albums. As in millions of them. As in much, much more than when Jim was alive and Ray is no longer getting sloppy second groupie bootie.
 That’s right, this guy is getting more than you.
In case you're counting, that's two motives. Add to that Jim's death under mysterious circumstances in Paris, and you've got yourself a bonafide murder investigation. Hell, we had less evidence when we bombed the crap out of Iraq in search of weapons of mass destruction. Somebody at least bring this guy in for questioning.
Suspicion level: 7.5

1. Mother Love Bone-
If your immediate response to hearing this band's name was 'who?', congratulations and welcome to the 99%. For the 1% that screamed 'Andrew Woooooooood!,' it's time to put away your flannel shirts and cut off your pony-tail. Grunge is dead and it's not coming back
Andrew Wood is considered one of the pioneers of the Seattle grunge movement. Of course back in 1988, he was just a hippie with a guitar and a nasty habit heroin habit. He stuck around long enough to form Mother Love Bone, release a 6-song EP and the album Apple, none of which anyone would have heard of had he not died of an overdose in 1990.
Enter Eddie Vedder. Pearl Jam manages to transcend the Seattle scene, along with Nirvana, achieving international pop success. Flannel shirts are eventually relegated to lumberjacks in the Pacific Northwest, but Pearl Jam continues to tour. And the remaining members of Mother Love Bone weren't the only ones to profit off Wood's success. Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, Candlebox, and Alice in Chains all released tribute singles and albums dedicated or inspired by Wood to commercial success. There's even been a film chronicling Wood's short life.
Multiple indictments pending.
 Or maybe it was the shirt that did him in. You can't tell me that thing doesn't look sinister as hell.
Suspicion Level: 9

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Five Reasons That Prove Once and For All that Mr. Rogers Was Gangster

It's a debate as old as time. Was Mr. Rogers gangster? And, if so, how much? I have poured through countless archives (i.e., Wikipedia) and am happy to conclusively settle this argument once and for all. I present to you "Five Reasons That Prove Once and for all that Mr. Rogers was Gangster:"

1. He drove an Impala his entire life. You know who else drove an Impala? Ice-Cube, that's who. 

"I think I made the wrong turn for Make Believe Land."

2. He could break-dance better than Ice T in Breakin 2: The Electric Boogloo. And more importantly, he never dressed like this:
Here he is, throwing down on his show.

3. He wrote his own music and played his own instruments. If you disqualify two turntables and a microphone as legitimate instruments, that leaves only about two rappers who can hold their own to Mister Rogers. And one of those is, sadly, Flava Flav.

A second after this picture was snapped, he smashed his guitar on the stage, threw a gang sign, and shouted, "Rogers out!"

4. His 'posse' included Yo-Yo Ma and Koko the Gorilla. So yeah, he had street cred with other musicians and more muscles at his back than Vince McMahon.

Don't even think about making fun of his sweater!

5. When his beloved Impala got jacked, he put word on the street what happened and it was returned two days later with a note of apology. Not since Wayne Brady on the Dave Chapelle Show has a gangster commanded such respect.

This one's for you, Mister R!

I would've poured a 40, but Mister Rogers would not have approved. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Top 5 Pieces of Art Made from Bodily Fluids

Top 5 Pieces of Art Made from Bodily Fluids
Great artists pour their blood, sweat and tears into their work. And it shows. Michelangelo lost his eyesight for the Sistine Chapel. Van Gogh gave up an ear. And then there are these guys, who, while lacking the work ethic, drive, and talent as those other artists, said 'Wait a minute guys, what about all those other fun bodily fluids?' And that's how we ended up with these.
5. Boogers
Who among us hasn't left a miniature abstract booger artwork on the wall of a rest stop bathroom? These tiny, anonymous works of art serve to remind us of the futility of the human condition, the temporalness of life, and of course the laziness of the bathroom attendant. Restock the damn tissue holder, man!
Most of us leave our smeared signature and walk away happily, knowing we ruined someone's afternoon, never to think about 'Les Booger in Green' again. Enter James Ford, creator of the 'Bogey Ball'.

This is exactly what you think it is.

James apparently felt that the genius of his idea was enough to impress the adoring public. There was no attempt at sculpting his booger ball into, say a portrait of Humphrey Bogart ('Bogey in Boogies') or to apply his boogers to famous artworks for satirical effects ('Mona Lisa with Booger Mustache'), James just said, 'Yeah, but mine is bigger and here it fucking is.' At least our next effort made somewhat of an effort.
4. Blood
Most of us donate blood for the greater good, knowing that we're helping some poor soul in need. Marc Quinn thought, 'But how can I profit from this?' And profit he did, to close to $2 million dollars for a frozen sculpture of his head cast from his blood.
Mad props to Marc for giving us something beyond a wad of boogers, but he loses points on having an artwork that has to be stored in the freezer in between the Hungry Man dinner from 1994 that you swear you'll eat someday and the Thanksgiving turkey.

If you put your ear close to his head, you can almost hear it say, 'Moooooooonnnnnnnneeeeeyy.'
3. Poop
With a name like Piero Manzoni there simply weren't a lot of career choices for him--famous chef, musketeer, or artist. That's it. And that is how the world lost a great cook and ended up with 90 cans of human shit. Piero's most famous piece is titled, 'Merda d'artista' which sounds like something we'd gladly hang over our dining room table until we learn that it translates to 'Artist's Shit.' Okay, so he goes for the direct approach in titling his work. Surely, he didn't actually can his...
Hide every damn can-opener in the house.
Oh wait, that's exactly what he did. Hey, it's still better than most of the crap that gets donated during every canned food drive.
2. Pubic Hairs
Okay, okay, astute reader, pubes are not a bodily fluid, but there are so many reasons to love Fox Bronte and his work, I couldn't help myself:
  • He was discovered on YouTube alongside that Friday girl and the dude who who shart himself while bungee jumping
  • He often uses his penis as a paint brush which is something every guy who's been alone with a canvas and a tube of paint has at least thought about.
  • And finally, he made this:

Baby, baby, ba---cough, cough, hack. Sorry, I got something stuck in my throat.

In case you're confused, that's a portrait of Justin Bieber. Made from public hair. And not all of it is his.
If there's message in there beyond Justin Bieber sucks, I don't want to hear about it.
1. Semen
Topping this list is one of the leading artists of the 20th century. He's mentioned in the same breath as Picasso and Dali, which isn't terrible company to keep, unless the category is 'Dead White Guys'. And even if you can't name anything he painted, odds are you've heard the name Marcel Duchamp. His work was ground-breaking, pioneering, and marked a break-away from the previous, more rigid styles in existence at the time. He was an artistic genius in every sense of the word.
That's why it's comforting to know that even geniuses like to take breaks from tortured fits of creation, to rub one out every now and again. Enter 'Paysage fautif'

What you're looking at is Monseiur Duchamp's semen squeezed out on a pair of book ends with some black silk thrown in there because apparently Duchamp bought his sheets at the same store as Hugh Hefner. This lovely creation was a gift for his girlfriend at the time and his baby momma.
And my wife complained when I bought her a vacuum for her birthday.

"I didn't realize how awesome this thing is. I'm...I'm sorry," said no woman, ever.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Hunger Games- Wasserman Style

I should probably intervene but I couldn't resist this trendy feet photo with my kids killing themselves in the background. Other people get feet pics with sandy white beaches and calm, azure waters. I get the elementary equivalent of the Hunger Games.


What's more fun than spinning in circles until you puke? Watching a 2-year old spin in circles.

Meet Jonah. My two year old. Here he is spinning in circles. He does this a lot. I don't know why, but it looks like a lot of fun.

The video sadly ends after a full minute of spinning, but only because his mother came home and he feels the need to bear hug anyone who walks through our door. You've been warned.

And for some reason I sound like I've had about eight valium on here which couldn't be further from the truth. It couldn't have been more than six.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Five Songs That Aren't About What You Think

Five Songs That Aren't About What You Think

In literature class, book clubs, and porn conventions, you'll hear the word 'intent' mentioned over and over again. What did the author intend the ending/symbolism/awkward picture on the back cover to mean? What did the director intend when he let his dog run loose on the porn set? It was a dog, right? Not just some coked out actor in a dog suit? I wasn't really paying attention to that part.

Anywho, nine times out of ten we completely miss the author's intent. And whose fault is it? The fucking author that's who. It's their job to write something that can stand on its own. After all, the writer can't visit every single readers' house and explain what the symbolism of the train and the dark tunnel really mean (Isn't it obvious? Socialism, duh.).

Pictured Above: Not my penis.

But that one time out of ten, the author does their job perfectly and we still get it wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong. Like these songs which we've been cheerfully humming and butchering for years without really understanding what we're singing.

5. Just Give Me a Reason (Pink)
What you're sure it's about: A couple that has grown apart.
But really, it's about: Female insecurity. That's right, Pink, the bastion of female toughness and independence has written the anthem for insecure, clingy women everywhere. Bear with me. The song is sung in turns.

First, the female speaker:

Right from the start
You were a thief
You stole my heart
And I your willing victim
I let you see the parts of me
That weren't all that pretty
And with every touch you fixed them

Gloria Steinem is probably rolling over in her grave right now (I'm just assuming she's dead. I guess I could check Wikipedia but I'm not feeling researchy). The woman identifies herself immediately as a victim, as having been seduced, and as having needed a man to 'fix' her. And how does he fix her? By making her 'pretty'. Girl power!
"I love being the weaker sex!"

Now you've been talking in your sleep, oh, oh
Things you never say to me, oh, oh
Tell me that you've had enough
Of our love, our love

Now that we've established our stereotypical gender roles, we get right down to the accusations and insecurity. What's got Pink all shaken up and feeling lost? The fact that her man is talking in his sleep and she doesn't like what she's hearing. My wife wakes up pissed at me all the time for stuff I do in my sleep--snore, steal her pillows, blanket, panties, etc. All justifiable. But for mumbling incoherent shit while I'm having that recurring dream about living inside a kangaroo's pouch? Not once.

Just give me a reason
Just a little bit's enough
Just a second we're not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again
It's in the stars
It's been written in the scars on our hearts
We're not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again

Now we go from anger to pleading. In Pink's mind, the relationship is doomed and all because her man uttered 'Rosebud' in his sleep. Quite frankly, he's lucky she didn't Bobbett his nuts off.

I'm sorry I don't understand
Where all of this is coming from
I thought that we were fine
(Oh, we had everything)
Your head is running wild again
My dear we still have everythin'
And it's all in your mind
(Yeah, but this is happenin')

Enter our hero (i.e., the one who is not batshit crazy). The guy has just woken up. He hasn't even had time to drain the lizard, let alone unstick his eye boogers and he's already getting hit with accusations. In this stanza, we learn that not only does this poor sap have the patience of Job as he tries to reassure her, but that this has happened before ("Your head is running wild again"). I should also point out that, while he remained quiet throughout Pink's musical mood swing, she just can't resist interjecting. I could make some comment about this one being a spot on female trait, but I won't because I know my wife occasionally reads this blog.

You've been havin' real bad dreams, oh, oh
Used to lie so close to me, oh, oh
There's nothing more than empty sheets
Between our love, our love
Oh, our love, our love

Preach on, dude! Put the blame where it belongs. And protect your nutsack.

I'll spare you the rest of the song. They go back and forth. Nothing gets solved, but at the end, they're harmonizing together. And what are they harmonizing? Pink's original manifesto on insecurity. Proof positive that a guy will acquiesce and agree with a woman on just about anything if it will get him 1) laid, 2) fed, or 3) to the bathroom quicker.

Except me, honey, I'm evolved.

4. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (The Beatles)
What you're sure it's about: LSD. Duh. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds stands for LSD. Plus the lyrics paint a surreal vision (with plasticine trees and marmalade skies no less), that echo what someone dosed up might see. And it's also the name of a stoner I knew in high school so don't try to tell me otherwise.

But really it's about: Except that it's not, you jaded and cynical human being. It's about a child's painting. Specifically a drawing Julian Lennon, John's son did for an elementary school friend.

Want to know what would make this drawing better? Acid, lots of acid.

The drawing, which featured bright stars in the sky (the diamonds) was titled, you guessed it 'Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds'. Isn't that nice? Of course the madness that follows the original song inspiration is probably the result of being locked in a closet for the weekend with Timothy Leary and a new batch he just whipped up, but let's just dwell on the child part.

3. 1999 (Prince)
What you're sure it's about: Partying! Specifically, a celebration of a new millennium. And it's become the anthem for every New Year's Celebration since. At least one of you reading this, lost their virginity to this song. I hope I'm not ruining any cherished memories here.

But really it's about: The Apocalypse. War. Nuclear Bombs. End of days. No, seriously.

In fact, it's not even subtle.

I was dreamin when I wrote this
Forgive me if it goes astray
But when I woke up this mornin
Coulda sworn it was judgment day
The sky was all purple,
There were people runnin everywhere
Tryin 2 run from the destruction,
U know I didn't even care

Picture Prince, standing all calm and Prince-like while people are losing their shit around him. The world's ending and he could give a toss. He's going to party until the end of time (which apparently is about two minutes from now). But that's just the opening dream-sequence to set the mood, right?

Uh, no.

But life is just a party, and parties werent meant 2 last
War is all around us, my mind says prepare 2 fight
So if I gotta die Im gonna listen 2 my body tonight

Not direct enough for you?
Yeah, everybodys got a bomb,
We could all die any day
But before I'll let that happen,
Ill dance my life away

We get it Prince, we get it.

It's easy to get lost in the upbeat riffs and the repeated use of the word 'Party!'. Our brains are like Ogre from  Revenge of the Nerds that way. We hear someone yell, 'Party!' (or 'Nerds') and we just up and lose our shit.  Plus who hasn't tried to pick up a woman by telling her you've got a lion in your pocket and baby, it's ready to roar?

Pictured Above: Also not my penis.

2. Sitting on the Dock of the Bay (Otis Redding)
What you're sure it's about: A man taking a reflective moment to enjoy the beauty of nature, specifically the tranquility of the water.

But really it's about: Loneliness and the futility of existence.

The song follows someone who has moved 2000 miles from his home to escape his problems only to find that nothing has changed, except now he's completely alone. He reacts to this by planting his ass near the water and dwelling on the sheer futility of existence.

Once again, there's no subtlety here:

I left my home in Georgia
Headed for the Frisco bay
'Cos I've had nothing to live for
And look like nothing's gonna come my way

Still not with me?

Look like nothing's gonna change
Everything still remains the same
I can't do what ten people tell me to do
So I guess I'll remain the same, listen

Deleted Lyrics: Sun's going down on the ocean/ gosh, this arsenic tastes funny.

The problem is that every time we hear this song we have an icy drink in our hand topped with a complicated assortment of fruit, plastic swords and umbrellas. We're probably staring at the damn ocean, too. Except that we're surrounded by friends or family or that secretary at work who'd do anything for a raise. We're not lonely. We're at the damn beach! And this song comes on and Otis starts whistling and all is right with the world. Except for the poor bastard in the song who, though it's not said, is probably contemplating stuffing his pockets with rocks and going out Virginia Wolfe-style.

1. Please, Please Me (The Beatles)
What you're sure it's about: I don't know, love or something.

There the Fab Four go again, making it as easy as possible for everyone to understand and no one was listening. It's easy to see how this one was misinterpreted as this single comes off their debut album-- you know when they wore natty suits and matching haircuts and it wasn't cool to pick on Ringo yet. The song itself is chirpy, catchy and upbeat. In fact, it's so bubblegum, you probably never even thought about the lyrics. It's short, so I'll give them to you in their entirety:

Last night I said these words to my girl
I know you never even try, girl
Come on, come on, come on, come on
Please, please me, wo yeah, like I please you

You don't need me to show the way, love
Why do I always gave to sat, love
Come on, come on, come on, come on
Please, please me, wo yeah, like I please you

I don't want to sound complaining
but you know there's always rain in my heart
I do all the pleasing with you,
it's so hard to reason with you
wo yeah, why do you make me blue?

Last night I said these words to my girl
I know you never even try, girl
Come on, come on, come on, come on
Please, please me, wo yeah, like I please you
wo yeah, like I please you
wo yeah, like I please you

But really it's about: You know! You're probably slapping your head right now (the one on your shoulders) for missing this one. I mean, who hasn't begged their significant other to please, please them, just not quite so eloquently as, "Why do you make me blue?" Still, it does make you appreciate Paul McCartney even more--the guy was a giver in every sense of the word. He just never got it back.

Don't do it, Ringo! I'll blow you.

Makes you want to re-listen to that Barry Mannilow Greatest Hits Album we all know you have under your bed a little more closely, doesn't it? In fact, the only song that's actually exactly about what you think is Jimmy Buffett's Why Don't We Get Drunk and Screw, which of course is a deconstructive view of Marxist economics in post-cold war Russia.

I'm just kidding. It's about boning. Boning Marxists.
After we bone, let's go get a cheeseburger in paradise.

Did I mention that I write books? Here's my new one: Bud the Crud and the Vampire-Werewolf Wars

Friday, August 23, 2013

Top Five Most Unsettling Things Adults Have Done With Children's Toys

Top Five Most Unsettling Things Adults Have Done With Children's Toys

Children's toys are fun. Adult toys are even more fun, but they lack the innocence and idiocy that makes Toys R Us so fucking impossible to leave. In the right tiny hands, a small plastic action figure or doll can become a living breathing fairy, a superhero, or a child's best friend (just me?). In the wrong hands, however, they can become the stuff of nightmares. We're talking horrors that would make Cthulu scream 'My eyes! My eyes!' (all 24 of them) and crawl his way back into his hell dimension just to calm the fuck down.  Unsettling nightmares just like these...

5. Over-exuberance Towards Small Pink Horses (Brony's)

Hug it all you want. It can't hug you back.

I know, I know. Including these guys is so obvious, it's almost insulting. Of course they're unsettling. The juxtaposition of adult males with unicorns and a girl's toy is a recipe for creep (or an annual NAMBLA meeting). But how could I not include them? Somewhere, there's an ordinance that says that anytime you create an internet list of unsettling people, Bronies shall appear on it. And if there isn't, I'm sure there soon will be. These guys should have their own watch-list because, seriously, if you have a daughter (or horse), would you want to live near one of them?

I heard a radio interview with the organizer for one of the many conventions (Yes, they happen frequently and in many places. Probably near you. Probably right now. How's that for a morning dose of 'ewwwwwww!'?). I was expecting a deranged lunatic frothing at the mouth like a Plushy let loose in the stuffing machine at Build-a-Bear, but he wasn't. He was a Masters Degree student who spoke cogently and articulately about his fandom. And he was well-rounded with other interests in sports, literature, and of course other cartoons. And you think that might have done a little to reassure me about these guys, but it didn't. In fact, it had the opposite effect.

You know who else was smart, well-spoken, and passionate about his interests? Hannibal Lechter, that's who. And he was the scariest fucking psycho in a movie wall-papered with lunatics. Lock me away with Migs anyday. Just not Hannibal. And fuck, just not a Brony.

4. Hoarding (The Beanie Baby Dad)If you're old enough to use the internet without adult supervision (did you know there's a lot of porn out there? I wish someone had told me sooner.), then odds are you remember beanie babies.

The hat does not make this thing any more fun.

Beanie babies are quite possibly the blandest piece of crap ever manufactured. It's a fucking bean bag with a disinterested animal's face on it. What does a kid do with a beanie baby after he's hurled it at his sister's head? Abso-fucking-lutely nothing.

And there's a reason for that. It was marketed to adults. TY, the geniuses behind this abomination, took one look at the Franklin Mint and thought, you know what would make collecting limited edition plates more fun...if they weren't plates. And also they had a lot of cloth and beans lying around. The rest is history.

Beanie babies were released in "limited quantities" (i.e., act now or you'll be the only douche on your street without Fuzzy the Spitting Llama). They even restricted how many you could buy at a time. And for a while, the formula worked. People just ate this shit up and they sold for outrageous amounts. TY even made a buttload of cash (i.e., more than an armload, less than a colon-fill) selling cases to protect the tags on their stuffed animals. Let me say that again. They sold cases to protect the tags. You know, the first thing a kid (or sane person) rips off something when they first buy it. Shit, even a damn FBI warning isn't enough to stop people ripping the tags off mattresses. But then the FBI never reckoned with the passion of beanie baby collectors.

But eventually, the demand bottomed-- TY got greedy and over-saturated the market and people got predictably bored with the product. I mean how many fucking iterations of a platypus does any adult really need?
Just one. This guy. His name is Perry and he's awesome.

The end-result--100,000 Ebay auctions for beanie babies and two people bidding. But no harm, no foul. Fads come and go. People get caught up in stupid shit all the time, right?

This explains Menudo. But not the geri-curls.

I mean, it's not like anyone blew their life-savings and children's future on this stuff.

Meet Chris Robinson. He blew his children's future and life-savings on this stuff.

In this wonderful video created by one of Chris's children (who's not bitter at all, by the way), he documents his dad's descent into beanie-filled madness and how his father did his damndest to take everyone down with them.

I could point out the forced daily trips to every toy story in a hundred-mile radius of the family (henceforth known as the Trail of Tears) just so dad could pick up multiple copies of Clancy the Cow (special double-udder collectible). I could point out the mother recalling her husband's hobby through clenched teeth or the vague insinuation that it was all little Chris Jr.s fault for wanting one when he was six in the first place. But why not let the video just speak for itself? Watch the whole thing. I guarantee you'll feel a lot better about your life-choices afterwards. 

The video does manage to end on a positive note. Chris is hopeful that in another 20 years the market will rebound and Beanies will become collectible again. Now that, my friend, is a future I don't want to live in.

3. Too Much Time on One's Hands (Re-born Dolls)

As if dolls weren't creepy enough, these doll creators thought, fuck I can do better than that. These "artists" (the quotes are mine), take disembodied doll limbs and faces, then meticulously add lifelike hair and paint, until the result looks something like this.

Fuck. Just fuck. Better get the eyeball bleach.

They even add weight to the damn things so they have the right feel of a baby. If you're like me, you're picturing an artist's workshop with a giant cartoon-like scale with a baby on one side and one of those plastic nightmares in the other. The real baby is not pleased.

Not creepy enough for you? The most popular reason people order these custom dolls? To create a lifelike representation of a dead child.

Yeah, so they're possessed too.

2. Taking Dress-Up Way Too Far (Living Barbie Doll)
A lot has been discussed about Barbie and her unrealistic proportions. Someone even went so far as to PhotoShop models into Barbie-like proportions. The result, apart from being just fucking awesome and hot, was a woman who couldn't support the weight of her own boobs. I don't have a problem with this.
What does give me the heebies, is this girl.
She has the same soulless, dead eyes as my wife before 9am.

Her name is  Valeria Lukyanova and she's Ukranian which sorta helps to explain what you're looking at, but in no way justifies it. She's been called a 'living Barbie doll girl' because, I don't know, she's got big boobs and blonde hair and tiny waist or something like that. To be honest, I didn't read the full article. I saw her picture and it reminded me of this singer I used to have the hots for so I Googled her. She's gained a lot of weight since and the only singing she does in a church choir. A small part of me died today and to be honest, who really gives two fucks about Valeria She has issues and dead eyes and a dad that probably never hugged her enough. Go strip or something. This hobby of yours is just plain weird.

1. Pornography (Lego Nude Sculptures)
If you've ever Googled 'Lego Nudes'(and I'm sure if you're reading this article, you have not only Googled it, you've put it in your saved searches), then you've probably been introduced to the works of Pierrick and his photographer Jean-Yves Lemoigne. Just in case you hadn't, here's a sampling:

No, you're not looking at pixilated porn from 1995. That's a naked woman bent over on a bed in a position that can only mean one of two things: 1) She's waiting for the plumber to finish up in the bathroom so she can pay off her bill the hard way or 2) She's doing yoga and her instructor taught her how to do it wrong. Terribly, terribly, wrong.

Are you as turned on as I am right now? Well, before you go shoving your dingus in that comely woman, think again. She's made out of the same material that can split your foot open by stepping on it in the middle of the night- Legos.

Let me say that again. This life-sized sex doll was built out of plastic Lego bricks. The same shit you built a kick-ass fort out of in fourth grade before your damn little sister knocked it over. And this wasn't made by one pervy creep in his dark basement for his own gawking pleasure. It was made by a professional sculptor and his professional photography buddy. Can you just imagine how this modeling session went?

"That's nice baby, but arch your back a little more. Pierrick, can you make her boobs bigger?"

"I'm running low on red."

"Damn it, man. I can't work like this."

"Hey, what's all this white stuff on her?"

"Nevermind that, you're in my shot."

If you're like me, you probably feeling violated about now. So here's a video of a dog trying to cuddle with a baby to cleanse yourself:

Jamie Wasserman strongly believes that size doesn't matter. He's written a short book. You can download it on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles or other book outlets. Look for it in print soon!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Three Kinds of Books You Find in Amazon's Freebie Section

The Three Kinds of Books You Find in Amazon's Freebie Section
 I'm cheap. Let me get that out of the way first. You know that ass-chafing toilet paper that can only be found in high school bathrooms and state mental institutions? I buy that shit by the pallet. I can no longer sit down without a highly intricate, air-filled cushion, but I save over $20 a year. And a raw ass is a minor price to pay for smugness.
I also have no hobbies (because those cost money), never go out to eat (because they always insist that you pay the bill at the end), and for all intents and purposes live the life of a monk, without of course the natty robes and chanting.

Playa, please.
My one guilty pleasure is books.
Like all cloistered weirdos, when I'm not locked in my bedroom shouting at cars from my window, I like to read. Unfortunately, books also cost money and going to the library would require both spending money for gas and human interaction--two things that make my balls retreat into my body faster than the French during, well any vaguely military skirmish.  
Their surrender to the Boy Scouts was particularly embarrassing.
So I routinely haunt Amazon's freebie sections for books to read.
If you've never braved this veritable oasis of spiritualism, pervosity (if that's not a word, I'm coining it), and failure, then let me introduce you. Books that Amazon gives away fall into three categories:

1. Christianity

Unless the struggle is fitting into a latex body suit, I don’t want to read about it.

Ranging from non-fiction treatises on minor biblical characters who once spilled Jesus's wine at a cocktail party to thinly disguised moral-themed fiction (even more thinly disguised than Twilight), Christian books dominate the freebie section. And the worst part about it is that they never tell you it's a Christian book. You'll be reading what you think is the word equivalent of eye porn, the main characters will tear off their corsets (or other antiquated undergarments), drop to their knees and instead of four paragraphs of people doing inhuman things to one another with a feather duster, you get...prayer. This is sadly a common theme. Just when things start to get good in these books, the characters burst into spontaneous prayer. And because in addition to being a cheap, isolated, loser, I'm also OCD, I have to finish reading these books. Here's a hint--at least one main character gets killed off in these things in the most random of ways in the denouement equivalent of, "I told you so."
2. Public Domain Books

Reading her is a chore, but admit it, you’d totally hit that, right?
If you were that one kid who read everything your high school teacher assigned you back in freshman English instead of stealing the Cliff Notes from your local bookstore (remember those?), then prepare to change your shorts. It's going to get wet up in here! This section is Jane Austen's playground. In a pinch, I'll download Oliver Twist or Moby Dick or some other shit I had, up until now, successfully avoided. Though it's hard to focus with all the ghostly laughter from my old English Lit teacher resonating in my head.

3. Indies
So many books…so little punctuation. Why, god, why!
Meaning independent authors. Meaning people not good enough to have been picked up by an agent, a publisher, or apparently a public school education. For the most part, the work is awful with a wanton disregard for the rules of grammar that would require someone like Judge Dredd or RoboCop to reign back in. And when it's not being awful, it's being derivative. Do a search on Fifty Shades and see how many ingenious indies incorporated those words into the title. Buying one of these books is like ordering a McRib and expecting, well any sort of meat by-product on a bun. But occasionally, these indies produce some real gems--innovative, creative, outlandish, even poetic. Nothing publishable, mind you, but sometimes for all the right reasons. I could list all my favorites (and there are a surprising amount of them), but after wading through a dozen different 'Christian romances' whose central theme is celibacy, I'm not in a sharing mood.

Jamie Wasserman is an indie author who frequently gives away his books on Amazon.