Proof positive that it is impossible for me to take my own advice
Last week, I ran a column detailing three stories to ignore if you wanted to roll in the New Year with your sanity fully intact. This week, I’m going to run a column that illustrates how bad I am at following my own advice. Most of these aren’t necessarily rage-inducing news stories, but they do show that I haven’t been sane since Coca-Cola discontinued Surge. Sure, I get my caffeine fix from coffee now, but the hole it started burning in my stomach years ago has now edged its way to my brain. As a result, I write crap like this. On the plus side, I’m pretty much that John Travolta character from “Phenomenon” now.
Top Hilarious Celebrity Feud (tie): Spike Lee vs. Quentin Tarantino/Quentin Tarantino vs. John Ford
Beginning with the latter, Tarantino recently gave an interview where he took Ford, a legendary mid-century director of such nigh-unf***withable films as “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” and “The Searchers,” to task for perpetuating the myth of the American Indian as “savage” in most of his films, and accusing the director of killing them off “like zombies” in such movies. Which is pretty funny because, given John Ford’s infamy for drink, no-bullsh**ting, and making John Wayne cry (seriously), Zombie Ford would kick Tarantino’s ass six ways from Sunday.
Complaining about the perpetuation of Manifest Destiny in old Westerns is like getting upset at anti-Russian sentiment in “Red Dawn” or “Rocky IV”: For one thing, those films are profoundly, awesomely terrible. For another thing, they were an aspect of the cultural zeitgeist that, however misguidedly, was shared by large demographics of people. Finally, it is so, so easy to criticize outdated facets of our culture for being dangerous and misguided. It takes exponentially more courage to stand up in the midst of such conflict and denigrate it for the slobbering nonsense that it is. Like, you know, John Ford did when he called out Cecil B. DeMille for trying to get everyone in the Directors Guild of America to sign a loyalty oath.
Regarding the first one, Spike Lee said in an interview that he was boycotting Tarantino’s new film “Django Unchained,” which many critics are calling one of 2012’s best, because it “turns slavery into a spaghetti western.” Two things: yes, Tarantino has a penchant for pseudo-glorification of violence, as well as tragic historical events. But come on; “Inglorious Basterds” ended with Eli Roth tommy-gunning Hitler’s corpse into uncooked blood sausage, and I don’t really think there’s anyone out there who doesn’t approve of that. I haven’t seen “Django Unchained” yet, but if slavery is one of the film’s focal motifs, there’s a pretty good chance that we’re going to see Jaime Foxx pistol-whip Leonardo Dicaprio so hard, his top in “Inception” won’t ever stop spinning.
In other words, both of you shut up.
Top Victim of the Mainstream Liberal Media: Todd Akin
Oh Todd, you poor, poor thing. Not only were you the unwitting, innocent victim of a liberal smear campaign, but the slickness of your forehead — due to stress-induced flop sweat — now refracts light even better than a prism. Now every time your loved ones try to look at you, they hear “Great Gig in the Sky.” Oh Todd, how lonely you must be, as all of your loved ones dance to a song only they can hear.
Yes Todd, we conspired against you. It’s the same reason — “Game of Thrones” spoiler alert — Joffrey got poisoned several books into the “Song of Ice and Fire” series. To paraphrase Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage): We have had cruel Congressmen, and we have had stupid Congressmen, but we have never had a cruel, stupid Congressmen.
We’d like to keep it that way.
Top Album I’m Still Listening to After Ten Years: “I Get Wet,” Andrew WK
I first saw the video for Andrew WK’s “Party Hard” when I was in high school, staying up late enough to try and catch some jiggly butts on BET. MTV2 was one channel higher, so I’d flip over there to watch metal and indie rock videos during commercials. This was back when MTV still played music videos, so MTV2 was showing the weird stuff.
And weird it was: When a video begins with a dirty hesher psyching himself out in a filthy bathroom mirror while calmly combing his hair, then punching his third-hand Aasics, you know you’re in for… something. What I didn’t expect was that that something would make me stupidly, inexplicably happy.
And I think that’s why I keep listening to this album. Andrew WK is like a six-year-old boy who is so utterly convinced that every new thing he experiences or feels — partying in “Party Hard” or love in “She is Beautiful” — is the greatest thing he will ever experience or feel. And while most of us would be reduced to exhausted, gibbering masses of something that once resembled flesh by living our everyday lives like that, it’s healthy, I think, to occasionally let yourself be swept away in simplistic, childlike enthusiasm.
Plus, when I listen to those two songs at the beginning of a 5K, I shave three minutes off my time.
Top Bond Villain-Level Organization: National Rifle Association
Since the discovery of gunpowder, men have used guns as an inverse dick-measuring stick. Which means that Ghandi was incapable of falling forward, and Ted Nugent is a time-traveling Mattel executive’s inspiration for the Ken doll. I research horrible people routinely for this column, and I can tell you without a doubt that threatening to shoot Hillary Clinton in the face is the best way to tell the rest of the world that you’re not only a complete creep, but that you’ve got the bulge of Mary Tyler Moore.
To the NRA’s credit, they’re embracing it. After every mass shooting, these craggy eunuchs hold a press conference where they lament the fact that if only there had been armed guards at that location, or if guns were made more available to citizens, then this tragedy wouldn’t have occurred, which is kind of like saying we can eliminate diabetes by making bigger Snickers. Never mind that, y’know, there were armed guards at Columbine, and that Virginia Tech had a police department all its own.
Obviously, no amount of bullet-riddled children will convince the NRA to change their tune. Don’t worry though; with no effective means of spreading their stupid-seed, it’s thankfully only a matter of time before they, along with their reprehensible, irresponsible demagoguery, die away. You Might Also Like: