Search This Blog

Friday, November 7, 2014

4 Romantic Gestures Killed by Technology

Romance is dead and, for once, it wasn't killed by my stained boxer shorts and "complete and utter disregard for everyone except myself."  This time, the culprit is technology. That portable phone/computer/camera/bottle opener you carry  around in your pocket all day just mere inches from your genitalia isn't just slowly making you sterile. It's also crushing any hopes of impressing the opposite sex in any kind of significant or meaningful way. Nowhere is this more evident than by taking a quick look at films from the last 10-20 years. What was once considered grand gestures of romanticism have been retired faster than a Beanie baby commemorating Hitler's regime. And on that terrible metahphor, let's move on to a few examples.

The Mix Tape
The entire movie High Fidelity is an ode to the highest and single most important art form of the 1980's (and early 1990's)-- the mix tape. In this film, John Cusack wins and loses the love of his life all on the strength of plastic, metallic tape, and songs recorded off a tinny tape deck off the radio.

I'll defer to a better writer here:

To me, making a tape is like writing a letter. There's a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again. A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. You've got to kick off with a corker, to hold the attention (I started with "Got to Get You Off My Mind," but then realized that she might not get any further than track one, side one if I delivered what she wanted straightaway, so I buried it in the middle of side two), and then you've got to up it a notch, or cool it a notch, and you can't have white music and black music together, unless the white music sounds like black music, and you can't have two tracks by the same artist side by side, unless you've done the whole thing in pairs and...oh, there are loads of rules.
What do kids do today... Send links to the YouTube? Swap MP3 players? I don't know. My kids didn't even recognize what a tape cassette was and now even CD's are a thing of the past. Everything is digital. Gone are the days of composing a 90 minute ode to the person you love. Now all we've got is three-minute links to an underage singer writhing around on a bed explaining how her big ass is something we should be super excited about.

The Boom Box Serenade

You know the scene- John Cusack (again) stands outside the girl's window in his adorably ruffled trench coat with a boom box blaring Peter Gabriel held over his head. The song was 'In Your Eyes' though most people couldn't hear it over the collective sound of a million panties falling to the floor. It is the single grandest gesture in the history of movies. And I'm including Sophie's Choice.
What do kids do today... If my street is any indication, they blare their car radios and honk their horns while their frustrated date tries to convince their father that the marks on her neck aren't hickies but an allergic reaction to wool and that she will, without a doubt, be home by 11pm in the same clothes she left in this time. Promise.

The Anonymous Love Letter
There's an entire movie dedicated to the anonymous love letter. It's creatively called the Love Letter because in the 1980's a much higher value was placed on cocaine than imagination. You know who writes letters now? Your grandmother and serial killers. That's it. You're either someone who still thinks of ballpoint pens as a pretty nifty idea or you're living in a murder dungeon sending taunting letters to the police. There are no in-betweens. what is sending an anonymous love letter going to get you? Either relegated immediately to the friend-zone or placed on a government watch list.

What kids do today... Texting I guess. But compared to leaving a hand-penned, syrupy ode to love in someone's locker, 'I can haz feelings for u. Howz bout u?' leaves a lot to be desired.
The Car Door Test

This actually turns up in a few films but my favorite is Singles. In it, the main character who is surprisingly not John Cusack opens his date's car door and then smiles when she leans over to open his. It's a simple little gesture that showed that she was not only appreciative of his chivalrous gesture but was thoughtful enough to return the favor. My best friend dumped several women on the sole basis that they failed this test. But he also had the luxury of being attractive to the opposite sex and not a loathsome person like myself which makes being choosy much easier.
What kids do today... Remote-click open the door. It's not a grand gesture if all you have to do is press a button. And if you escort a young lady to her side of the car these days all you're going to get for your trouble is an annoyed look and a snarky comment along the lines of, "So what, your car door's broken and you're too cheap to get it fixed?"

With technology killing romance faster than a choleric baby, it's a wonder kids are even getting together anymore.  Eventually we won't even need to have sex. Humans will reproduce only in cold labortory settings. Candles, cornish game hen, Marvin Gaye, and Mad Dog will be a thing of the past. At least until some maverick stands up and fights against the cold system. That'd make a great movie wouldn't it? And you can bet your edible undies it'd probably star John Cusack.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


I would like to issue a correction on yesterday's article which, as some astute and clearly bored readers pointed out, treaded the fine line between inaccurate and "outright lies".
1. Q. Lazzarus is netiher a band nor a man. She is a woman and I'm sure her mother thinks she is quite lovely.
2. "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey was not used by the Clinton campaign. That honor went to Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop" although close enough should count for something
3. Finally, I would also like to apologize to any remaining readers of this blog who thought that I possessed any sort of journalistic inegrity or strove for any kind of accuracy. Honestly, it's a good day when I can drag myself over to Wikipedia to verify any of my wild and unsubstantiated claims. 99% of this blog is pulled directly from my butthole and sent straight to your eyes. You do the math.

Monday, November 3, 2014

5 Classic Songs Ruined by the Movies

Movies and music go together like peanut butter and an over-heated sheep. That's not how the saying goes? There's something deeply wrong with me? Well, that's an article for another day. Today's topic is the seemingly blissful marriage of classic songs with film. But, like any marriage, things occasionally hit a bump. You come home to find your spouse in a spandex body suit covering herself in glitter and nothing is ever the same after that. Sure, you smile at each other and show up at all the kids' events, but you know, deep down, nothing short of a Tinkerbell/Captain Hook roleplaying session is ever going to please your mate. And you can't, you just can't, wear the hook. Not even for her. I've lost track again. Something about marriage. Or music. No, movies. Music and movies. And the movies that ruin those songs forever.

Sheep have such judgmental eyes.

5. Stuck in the Middle With You- Stealer's Wheel
Stuck in the Middle With You is not a Bob Dylan song despite what every user on Napster circa 1998 would have you believe (and every mis-labled illegally downloaded mp3 since then). The song was recorded by Stealer's Wheels, a band whose most notable accomplishment outside this single was recenlty reforming without any of its original members. The song is rambling, upbeat, sunny and a bunch of other adjectives that could also be used to describe the decade in which it was recorded ("shag-carpeted"?). 

Until, of course, it was completed ruined by Reservoir Dogs. Tarantino's first, and probably best film, blends 70's style, music and swagger with modern day violence and mayhem. And of course this also happens:

You know the scene. You see it even when you close your eyes. Michael Madsen's uber creepy dance with the open razor in his hands. The gasoline. The ear. The blood. So much blood. And all of it set to the tune of Stealer's Wheel chirpy little tune released in the middle of the most harmless decade of all time. Try hard as you might, every time you hear this damn song, you replay this damn scene over and over and over again. It's Tarantino's greatest crime.
Well, second.

4 Q. Lazzarus's "Goodbye Horses"
Q. Lazzarus may as well have titled their biggest hit "Goodbye Horses", the "Penis Tucking Song" instead. In the film Silence of the Lambs, the song supplies the soundtrack to this bit of movie magic.  

Can you imagine how happy this obscure artist was when he found out that his song was going to be used in a major motion picture featuring Sir Anthony Fucking Hopkins and Jodie Foster? Can you picture his face as he sat in the darkened theatre on opening night anxiously awaiting the moment when he'd hear the words he'd written played as the movie unfolded? You can almost hear him bragging to his new lady friend (who in any other circumstance, would have been way out of his league by the way). 

And then this happened.
I can't stop posting this picture!

Like burning down your last place of employment, that's the kind of thing that doesn't come off the ol' resume.

3. Dont stop Believin- Journey
It's hard to ruin a Journey song, seeing as how shitty they are to begin with. In fact, Don't Stop Believin is one of those songs that's been ruined more than once (beyond just by Journey's releasing it). But this song is resilient. This song has returned more times than John Travolta. Check it out. 
  1. Bill Clinton appropriates the song as his unofficial theme. Later, BJ puns ensue.
  2. Glee covers the song in their premiere- more BJ jokes ensue. 
  3. And that takes us to The Sopranos
In the shittiest (or best, depending on how smart you want to appear) finale ever, Tony Soprano is gunned down (or is he?) to the tune of Don't Stop Believin'. What is the significance of this song at this moment? Much has been written. None of it makes sense. It's a shit song that raises my ire every time I hear it. Tony Soprano deserved a lot of things in the finale-- Journey was not one of them.

2. Singin' in the Rain- Gene Kelly
Even if you have never seen the film Singing in the Rain starring Gene Kelly, you know the song. Maybe you hate puppies and rainbows as well, I'm not even going to speculate as to why you'd deny yourself the pure joy that is seeing Gene Kelly dancing in the rain with nothing but an umbrella and a streetlight. 
This is not the rain scene I was referring to.

Go to Youtube and watch it now. Did you do it? Are you smiling? Well, then obviously you've also never seen Clockwork Orange.

Because you've clearly just time traveled back in time from a futuristic society where television and movies are no longer a thing, I'll explain Clockwork Orange as well. It's a movie so violent, it was banned in Britain for years (and this is a country that didn't bat an eye when the Spice Girls arrived). And one of the most violent scenes in the film features the main character beating the ever loving shit out an older man with a cane, all to the tune of Gene Kelly's incredibly bouncy classic song. 

Now whenever I hear Singing in the Rain, I find myself adding 'Whap whap whap' after every verse. I imagine giant concrete dildos and penis masks. And yes, this is all in the movie. I'm not giving you a glimpse into my tortured soul. Quite frankly, you couldn't handle it. 

5. Bohemian Rhapsody- Queen
If ever there was a Queen song that showed off Freddy Mercury's incredible vocal range or ecclectic musical influences, it's Bohemian Rhapsody. This single is probably the unlikliest rock and roll hit of all time, fusing hard rock and opera of all things into an eight minute song that every man, woman in child in America can sing along, too. And, unfortunately, also Canada. Because Canadian Mike Myers liked the song so much he stuck it in his extended Saturday Night Live sketch/movie Wayne's World. 

You know the scene-- a bunch of slacker douchebags head banging in a shitty car, rocking out to Queen. Which is unfortunately what anyone who sings the song alone in their car also looks like. The movie's biggest crime here is holding up a mirror where no one wanted one to begin with. There's a reason why there's no reflective surfaces at the Sizzler. 
Feel the judgmental sheep eyes on you?