December 2009


I really like horrible movies. I own Crossroads and Showgirls, I’ve seen The Room more than once. I’ve been a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000 since well before I actually had Comedy Central. My friend Mark and I once went to a video store specifically to rent It’s Alive 3: Island of the Alive, the final part of a trilogy about mutant, killer babies.

I’m establishing a little background here so that you can understand that I know from awful when I tell you that Vampires Vs. Zombies is the Worst Movie I’ve Ever Seen, and a hot contender for Worst Movie Ever.

I would try to give you a capsule description of the film, but I totally can’t. The plot has so many flashbacks, and nightmares, and waking up from nightmares into another nightmare, but they’re both flashbacks that it’s impossible to tell what was actually happening, what was imagined, and what order they might have happened in. There is no cause and effect. It’s like a really shitty version of Jacob’s Ladder. Add in characters who show up for one scene, do something that makes them seem important, then vanish, or show up several times, do nothing at all, then vanish, and I’m left assuming bit parts were given out to investors in exchange for a scene or two that doesn’t really impact the overall “plot”.

The movie is supposed to be a modern adaptation of Sheridan Le Fanu Carmilla, a Lesbian Vampire novel that predates Stoker’s Dracula by 25 years. There are several elements of the original story present, but none of them are coherently explained, so to anyone who isn’t expecting a General to show up out of nowhere, they’re just one more shitty broken bit of plot. There is all the lesbian sex, which one would thing would improve things, but it’s so clumsy and awkward that it’s just kind of boring. The zombies don’t seem to have anything to do with the vampire plot, and in fact, mostly come out of nowhere. I’ve got a theory that the producers realized they couldn’t afford many extras, so they put the few they had in zombie make-up, it would explain why every location in the movie was more or less abandoned.

If any of this made the movie sound fun, or sexy, or so bad it might be fun to watch, it’s not. It’s just boring, frustrating and stupid. Mark, the friend who so happily laughed his way through Doomsday with me, got so frustrated after one of the “this character is safe. NO IT’S A DREAM. No, that was a hallucination, they really are safe. NO THEY AREN’T.” sequences that he stood up, flipped off the screen, said “Fuck this.” and left the room until the movie was over.

I’ve had cable TV for a couple years now, but generally, you wouldn’t know it. If you were to track the signals on our television you’d see a lot of movies, a lot of stuff streamed from the computer, a lot of movies and, really, only one channel. Food Network. I could easily blame my wife for this, and wouldn’t necessarily be lying, but it would be dishonest not to admit that I do enjoy the hell out of Alton Brown and Chef Duff.

What I don’t enjoy is shitty advertising. There are a lot of terrible ads on Food Network, both sponsored spots, and house ads promoting the network itself. Then there’s the Competition shows on Sunday ad. I can’t claim the ad is the worst, but it is the one I hate the most. And it’s not the ADHD* quick cut edits, or the obnoxiously red color pallet, it’s the mother fucking song. Even that’s not true, because it isn’t the whole song, shitty as it is. It’s one part. AHEM:

Come on baby,
you can walk the walk
you got to move it on up
can you talk the talk?

Oh my shit, WALKING THE WALK IS THE HARD PART. Being able to talk the talk is stupid, and should not be the challenging question part of the song! How can you have a job like this and not know whether walking the walk or talking the talk is supposed to be the impressive part? Who the fuck are you people?

On the up side, sometimes Giada de Laurentiis wears low cut tops, and you can see her boobs, which are pretty awesome.

It should be noted that this picture is a link to a much bigger picture, and that despite her intense over-pronunciation of all Italian words, she pronounces jalapeƱo “hala pea no.”

*I was diagnosed with ADHD at age 17, and am allowed to make jokes about it, because I actually know what it feels like.

Have you ever owned a good wool coat? Man, I gotta say, it’s good stuff. Most people I know especially here in Seattle, which is notoriously damp, own at least one fairly serious coat. I’m surprised however how many of them focus on synthetics for the coat. Wool man. Wool is awesome. It keeps you warm, even when it’s wet! Denim doesn’t do that! DENIM GETS SUPER COLD AND KILLS YOU. Wool would never do that.

Some of you are going to mention down. Down is great… FOR THE FIRST TWO OR THREE YEARS. Down is on an inexorable downward slide in quality. Little by little the feathers and fluff will come out, your coat will get thinner, and then you’re just wearing a mediocre synthetic jacket. Awful.

Wool. Good enough for your grandpa’s suits, and good enough for you.

Yet another good way to piss someone off.
1) Be wearing headphones.
2) Ask someone a question with a complicated answer.
3) While they answer look at them intently yet blankly.
4) When they stop talking say “Yeah, I still have these headphones on. I didn’t hear any of that. This is really loud.”
5) Ignore any reply and go back to what you were doing.
6) Now someone is angry with you!

AWESOME.

The Bad News Bears is the best sports movie ever. It established a lot of the tropes that would go on to define the Underdog Makes Good genre for years to come, but at its core, there are some key differences. Sure, the worst team is able to add a couple new players, build confidence, and confound expectations, but for The Bad News Bears, that’s not the focus.

The movie isn’t about winning so much as it is about the kids being treated with enough respect and compassion that they develop enough confidence and self respect to actually enjoy themselves. I know Matthau’s Buttermaker is kind of a drunk asshole, but his brusque nature and refusal to coddle the kids is the first time anyone has respected them enough to expect them to do anything but fuck up.

The other major theme is that sports parents are assholes. People usually remember that, counter to the eventual standard, the Bears lose their big game against the Yankees. What people forget is that they lose by choice. Buttermaker pulls the best kids and puts the benchwarmers on the field. He does this because seeing the Yankee’s coach slap his kid jolts him into realizing he’s turning into the kind of person who tries to make up for his failures by pressuring kids into success. Success doesn’t matter. Winning won’t make you a happy person. Assholes with trophies are still assholes.

…I just want to throw down another example of Secret Proof Our Culture is Misogynist. Take these names: Evelyn, Gertrude, Tracy, Carol, Beverly, and Robin. What do they all have in common? They are all historically masculine names that have been adopted by (I would argue, have been abandoned to) women. Culturally speaking, we have no problems with girls having boy’s names. I have a cousin named Wallis, a variation on the popular popular men’s name from the 1920s. The Television show Pushing Daisies features a female lead who goes by the name Chuck. My step-sister is named Cameron. All historically masculine names, all totally acceptable. Now try to imagine a guy in 7th Grade named Evelyn. This kid is not having an easy time.

Why?

Because men are something to look up to, and admire, and of course we would give women men’s names, it’s cute for them to try to live up to standards of masculinity. Of course, naming a boy after a girl is nothing short of child abuse. It’s the same reason tomboys are cute and feminine guys are played for laughs or revulsion. When a female takes on male characteristics, she’s impersonating dominant role. When a male acts in an effeminate manner, he demeans himself.

Our culture still doesn’t respect women, and doesn’t hold them as equals to men. If you don’t believe me, suggest that someone name their son Susan.

AND NOW AN EXCERPT FROM AN ALTERNATE POST WHERE I FELT LIKE TALKING ABOUT RACISM INSTEAD OF SEXISM

The simple fact of the matter is that giving a child a distinctly urban black name, like Terangelo is going to impact the way they are perceived throughout their entire life, and will in all likelihood lead* to a lower average level of education and income. As long as this country is racist, having a name that constantly re-identifies you as urban black will probably be an impediment.

Our current president being named Barack Obama is an incredible fluke.

I’m aware of studies already attesting to a correlation between these types of names and things like education and salary, but I’ve never seen one that corrected for initial income and education of parents. As it stands, I realize I’m somewhat guilty of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, but I would counter that post hoc ergo propter meus balls, which my or may not translate as “after this, therefor because of my balls.”

In response to the alarmingly world wide concern about the fact that a rich, famous, attractive man was fucking around on his wife (oh man, that never happens), I have one thought that actually seems meaningful.

If we switched the roles here, and Tiger’s wife was cheating, and he had chased her out of the house while wielding a golf club, causing her to crash her vehicle, the story would not be so focused on the horrible transgressions of a cheater. Blame would be distributed a little differently.

Here at KillAllTheWhiteMan, we’re proud to continue our holiday tradition of largely ignoring Christmas, Saturnalia and Yule, while paying lip service to Hanukkah, a holiday Jews don’t really give a fuck about because the solstice ain’t shit when you live in a desert near the equator.

The lip service will be paid in the form of one post per night, for all eight nights of Hanukkah.

This post counts for the first night. It’s like the crappy socks you get on the first night. Except that I can’t really promise these will get progressively better.