Friday, May 28, 2004

Eat My Dust, Ebert

Let's all go to the movies. Let's all go to the movies. Let's all go to the movies. And have ourselves some cack.
Ah, Memorial Day weekend. Ceremonial kickoff to the "big summer movie season". If you love to watch big, steaming piles of shit, Memorial Day Weekend is your favoritest holiday weekend ever. And this weekend, you're in for a special treat.
The Day After Tomorrow opens today, so all you stupid fuckers who can't remember anything and can't learn anything from previous experience can all pile into the theaters and watch Roland Emmerich get off by abusing landmarks ONE MORE TIME.
I can understand none of us knowing any better and going to see Stargate. When we saw him take the great pyramids of Egypt and have them flying through outer space, it wasn't automatically an indicator of landmark-related sexual deviancy. It was just fucking retarded. I don't care if you like the TV show or not. Well, OK, I care a -little-, but that's not the subject of today's column, so for all practical intents and purposes: I don't care if you like the TV show or not. The movie was a turd on toast. SPACE PYRAMIDS.
But after seeing the stupid space pyramids, we all got suckered in two years later with the Independence Day, didn't we? When the White House ate it in a phallic beam of destructive pure light? Roland Emmerich was symbolically skull-fucking the White House, and all we could find to bitch about was that Jeff Goldblum killed the aliens with a Powerbook. Once again, telltale signs of a deep, fetishistic problem, hidden behind 90 minutes of celluloid brain damage and Harvey Fierstein. But we DIDN'T LEARN.
Two years later, Godzilla! Sure, it's by that ass that gave us that crappy Independence Day movie, but man, it's Godzilla! Godzilla is practically... oh, shit. Godzilla is practically a landmark in his own right. So what did Roland Emmerich do to this cinematic landmark? He gave it a sex change and GOT IT PREGNANT. Hello? Am I the only one seeing a pattern here? I'm telling you, I bet there are secret arrest records that show Roland Emmerich has tried or succeeded in sticking his dick into somewhere between four and six of the Seven Wonders of the World. But we still didn't see it, and you know why? Because once again, we were distracted. Distracted by Maria Pitillo as Matthew Broderick's love interest delivering a performance so astonishingly bad, so incredibly inept, that it MUST have been an intentional ploy by Emmerich to keep people from seeing what he was doing to the 1:12 scale Godzilla model.
Then, two years later, like clockwork, The Patriot. Which doesn't actually fit with the theme, so I'm not going to waste time trying to come up with some kind of "raping history" bullshit. We're ALL better than that. The Patriot was merely a stupid, shitty movie that I did not see, so if there is any evidence of Roland Emmerich wanting to make the Beast With Five Walls with some famous building, I don't know what it is.
And now, we have The Day After Tomorrow. Global Warming! News stories about the "sciientific basis". If they get those horrible people who write those "Science Of..." books to do one for this movie, then the species deserves to die off, OK? So we have the fifth (sixth, if you count Universal Soldier) shit movie in a row from a shit director and a shit writer who's produced NOTHIING BUT FECES in his entire career, and you're all still lining up to take it. And Emmerich wrote this one ALL BY HIS LONESOME. No Dean Devlin to provide a different style of crappiness.
But the topper, the piece de resistance, that should keep you far, far away from the cinema is this. What is the single, signature shot used in all the trailers? It's the Statue of Liberty. BURIED IN ROLAND EMMERICH'S WHITE DIRECTOR-GOO. The man has a sickness. Don't feed his sickness. If you keep giving him hundreds of millions of dollars every time he simulates sex with a landmark, he'll never stop.
Oh, and Soul Plane comes out this weekend too, but I've run out of room. Anyway, if you're looking forward to the sheer hilarity of "Soul Plane" all you need to know is that Lisa Wright, morning DJ of "Mix 104" and the single DUMBEST media personality in the entire Twin Cities metro, can't wait to see it. This basically puts you in the same evolutionary category as bread mold, only without the disease-curing upside. Enjoy the movie! I hear Snoop Dogg smokes the marijuana cigarettes in this one. FUNNY.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

More Crackers, More Crackers

Memo to David Pence: YOU ARE DEVOUTLY DUMB.
The Cracker Police are at it again. And I'm not talknig about Mississippi cops. No, it's Whack-A-Catholic time again, as the debate over who gets to munch the Godbiscuit heats up yet again. And this time, in my own backyard.
David Pence is rounding up a Pastry Posse, you see. He's not actually calling it a Pastry Posse, of course. Catholics are less fond of wacky alliteration than I am, which is probably for the best. Pence's Pastry Posse, like some rogue group of Atkins vigilantes, will be doing everything it can this Sunday to make sure no stinking sash-wearers get any of that sweet, sweet Mock Jesus in St. Paul, MN.
The sash, specifically a rainbow sash, is a new thing. In the past couple of years, on Pentecost Sunday *, gay Catholics wear a rainbow sash to Mass. It's intended to send an important message, a message of tolerance, a message of changing the church from the inside. The rainbow sash proudly states, "Even though most of you hate gay people and oppose everything we stand for, we still want to come by on Sundays and bring a hot dish to the potluck because our parents taught us to believe in this one specific iteration of Mr. Invisible Sky Buddy."
To which David Pence proudly responds, in essence, "If any of those freaky homos tries, to paraphrase one Macho Man Randy Savage, to 'Snap Into A Savior', I'll be up there with my big burly manbuddies to run interference, and possibly a pick of some kind, because even though pretty much every other Sunday they've been showing up without incident, this week I can figure out which ones are the fruits."
That was not an actual quote. That was merely a comedy device. In the event of an actual quote, there will be a short siren, a flashing light, and a representative from You Are Dumb Dot Net will appear on-screen to inform you that it is ACTUAL QUOTE TIME.
"At Catholic Charities, anybody who is hungry gets fed. But the Eucharist isn't like that. The Eucharist is a restricted meal. The Church has always said you don't come to Communion unless you believe in Christianity the way the Catholic Church has transmitted the tradition.'' - David Pence, who, upon uttering the phrase "restricted meal", makes me almost regret having made the one alotted Atkins joke up in paragraph three.
The actual methods by which Pence's Posse's Pastry Prevention will take place are unclear. Pence himself has ruled out tackling, presumbably because of the risk of gay cooties. He's also claimed to be committed to nonviolence. But there will be some form of "disruption". Perhaps there will be some sort of loud noise and visual distraction, or a kind of "Hands Across Three Pews" human chain. Or possibly we can glean some tactical information from the name of the group.
See, I've been calling them Pence's Pastry Posse because the actual name of the group is so astonishingly, hilariously bad that it needs to be presented in the proper context. The official name of Pence's Pastry Posse is.... The Ushers Of The Eucharist.
Done laughing yet? No? OK. I'll wait.
Feels good to get that out, doesn't it? Ushers of the Eucharist. I hope they have the little hats. And the flashlights. "Can I show you to your wafer, ma'am?" "I'm sorry, this section has been booked by an entire group of intolerant heterosexuals. We've got a few seats here in the back, if you promise to be quiet and not make a nuisance of yourselves." "Bride's party or groom's party? I'm sorry, but only one of each is allowed. This isn't Massachussets."
Unless, of course, they meant it as a reference to top-selling recording artist Usher, whose single "Burn" currently sits atop the... nah. That'd be DUMB.
* I have no idea what Pentecost Sunday is, as my first guess, involving the celebration of the price of tiny stones, is apparently not correct.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

The Hummer People

Memo to the fine people at Hummer: YOU ARE DUMB.
I am trying to figure out exactly how this works. I mean, you've already firmly established the Hummer H2 as a crime against humanity of the first order. We get that. And this is aside from the whole seven miles per gallon thing, which is an entirely separate obscenity.
Big, boxy, ugly, gratuitious, excessive, pointless. We know. American Assholery imbued into every weld. But it seems, somehow, that wasn't enough?
H2 owners are capital A assholes. It's a magical, 100% correlation. If you drive an H2, you're an asshole. If you don't like that, tough. That's how it works. You're a self-selecting set. You're drawn to the H2 through some sort of... if you'll pardon the unpleasant term... asshole pheromones.
If you KNOW someone who drives an H2, they're an asshole, and you have to accept that and stop making excuses for them. There is no explanation for owning a Hummer that does not also apply to some other vehicle. Some other vehicle that costs less or gets nine miles per gallon. When Plymouth Aztek owners are looking at you and thinking "Man, what an asshole", there's SOMETHING WRONG.
But this is all preaching to the choir. And worse, it's an old sermon we've all memorized. Hummers. Schwarzenegger. Assholes. Earth-rapers. It's so obviously evil that even the fine people at the Hummer corporation must have figured we were getting tired of the whole thing.
Maybe there's some kind of Big Scoreboard for these fuckers. Like on a secret website or something. A place where the Richard Perles and the guy who made the H2 and Ariel Sharon and Zell Miller and all these bastards can check in and see, in relative terms, how much they're ruining things for the rest of us. And the Hummer guy, whose name I can't be bothered to Google up beyond a half-assed attempt at "Hummer CEO", which gives me all the hits for a venture capital firm and none for the car company, so he will henceforth be referred to as Hummer Guy, and Hummer Guy checks the super-secret website, and finde that he's about to be overtaken by Donald Rumsfeld, and he calls the marketing department, and in some arcane, lost language of the damned, conveys certain instructions.
And as a result of these instructions, animators are hired, footage is filmed, a 30 second ad is produced, time for that ad is purchased on a cable station, possibly the Food Network, although my memory is hazy for reasons that will soon become apparent, and I watch the ad, because for the first 20 seconds of the ad, you don't know what it's an ad for, and in the last ten seconds, you find out it's for the Hummer H2, and that's when your skull explodes and your brain flies out of your shattered skull and it gets caught in the ceiling fan and it whirs around and around and around and that's why I'm not sure what channel the ad aired on.
Because the first 20 seconds of an ad is a game of Asteroids. Just a game of Asteroids. The beloved 80's game we all know and love and have bought in various and sundry updates and classics packs over the years. Or at least I have. So there's 20 seconds of an Asteroids game, and then this white outline of what I was shortly to learn was a Hummer H2 comes on the screen with the UFO sound effects, and the Asteroids ship tries to shoot the Hummer, and the bullets bounce off, and the Asteroids ship runs away from the Hummer, and then we see some footage of some asshole driving his asshole truck down some asshole road somewhere in beautiful, scenic, Asshole, AH.
All advertising sends a message. And this ad very obviously sent the message that BRYAN LAMBERT DOESN'T HATE HUMMERS ENOUGH. Well, mission accomplished. You know, they really are assholes.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004


 Memo to the Democrats: YOU ARE DUMB.
You know why? Because they've been handed the means to win every single funding argument for the next ten years in the court of public opinion, and you just know they won't have the cojones to use it.
Oh, sure, the Dems -seem- to be growing a big pair of Rocky Mountain Donkey Eggs, with Nancy Pelosi calling Bush "incompetent", and all, but that's just the hyena mentality. Dubya's already given himself a bad leg and a wicked case of the mange, so that's why you see the Pelosis of the world closing in.
But seriously. Whenever something Republicans usually bitch about comes up for funding, the Dems now have comebacks of EPIC proportions. Let's say, for example, that the government wants to take some tax money and give it to poor people so they can eat. Republicans hate it when poor people eat, so they start blathering on about bootstraps and personal responsibility and "welfare cheats" abusing the system who in reality make up a tiny fraction of the people receiving the service.
And then, some brave Democrat, possibly possessed by the soul of Paul Wellstone, only having been dead and out of Minnesota for a couple of years, the Wellsoul no longer has any compunctions about being friendly and nice, and says, "Where do you fucks get off trying to tell other people, either the Congress or people on welfare, how to spend money? You're the people who gave $340,000 a month to Ahmed Chalabi so he could lie to you, spy for the Iranians, and plot to overthrow whatever half-assed government you install in Iraq. $340,000 a month for like THREE YEARS. That shit adds up. So get your ass back on the golf course with your cronies and let the grownups do the real work.
It would be GLORIOUS. But it'll never happen. Even if they took out the "fucks" and the "shit", which these days don't get said nearly enough on the Senate floor.
Compared to what those idiots spent on Ahmed Chalabi, midnight basketball seems like a pretty smart investment, if you ask me.
And after about five years, when the Chalabi thing starts losing its bite, and the Republicans are all up in arms because we want to send men to Mars, and they're cranky because there's no evidence as yet that Jesus ever went there, so we should spend that money right here on Earth, once again, the pissed off, dead soul of Paul Wellstone, having been made even more ornery by yet another half-decade being all dead and stuff, takes over the body of someone... I don't know. Someone with some seniority. Not Joe Lieberman. That'd just be fuckin' creepy, even for the pissed off soul of Wellstone. Doesn't matter who, anyway. And the newly possessed senator stands up and says...
"Spend money here on Earth? Let's see, you guys spent some money here on Earth a few years ago, didn't you? You gave it to Halliburton, so that they could go to the most dangerous roads on Earth, pay innocent people to drive back and forth on them, and those trucks were fucking EMPTY. Empty trucks! Your buddies at Halliburton risked innocent drivers' lives needlessly so that they could bilk us for $1,000 a trip. So sit your pasty ass down. We're going to Mars, and I guarantee there won't be any empty spaceships making the run.
Man, what I wouldn't give to see that one day. But I won't. None of us will. And it's a shame, because it sure sounds nice. But Democrats are DUMB.

Monday, May 24, 2004


Believe it or not, there -was- a heartrending work of staggering genius posted on this date, a special bit on the whole Ahmed Chalabi fiasco that I wrote in New York. Which was, apparently, lost forever due to a minor glitch when I went to correct a typo on "mustard".
I know I called Richard Perle "Satan's Toejam", and may have implied that he eats fresh baby livers, but that's about all I can remember. Ah well. The Internet is a mysterious, ephemeral medium filled with tricks and peril.
Traditional ranting, raving, use of the F-bomb, and intimations of cannibalism amongst senior administration officials will resume their normal schedule tomorrow.
And now, in order to preserve the site's formatting and pad space appropriately, here's an ironically undoctored picture of some flowers.

Friday, May 21, 2004

The Joys Of Language

Memo to everyone: WORDS HAVE MEANINGS.
I may have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. We, as borderline intelligent creatures, have developed language, a system of communication that uses symbols called "words" to represent objects, actions, and abstract concepts. It's important to associate these words with these concepts somewhat consistently, or chaos will reign. So to help you, I present the first edition of the You Are Dumb Dot Net Lingualexicographical Tome.
WMD (noun)
Acronym commonly used by the media for Weapons of Mass Destruction.
WEAPONS (noun)
The plural of "weapon", meaning "more than one weapon". USAGE: A single leftover shell from the Iran-Iraq War was used in an improvised bomb in Iraq. This shell, which contained sarin nerve gas. Because there was only one shell, it is a weapon, not WEAPONS.
MASS (adjective)
Of a grand or sweeping scale; affecting large numbers of people. USAGE: The release of sarin nerve gas was hampered by the bombers not actually knowing there was any sarin in the shell, so the result was not "mass", and only mildly affected two people.
Complete, irreparable damage, usually with great loss of life. USAGE: One decades-old shell, used by accident, releasing a small amount of a chemical agent, does not mean we found WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, you Fox News, New York Post, right wing fuckwits.
MANDATORY (adjective)
Required. An event that is "mandatory" is an event that people are required to attend, usually with some penalty for not attending. When faced with a mandatory event, individuals often respond with "grumbling", "bitching", and "moaning".
OPTIONAL (adjective) 
Not required. An event that is "optional" is an event that individuals can choose to attend or not attend as they see fit. When faced with an optional event, individuals often respond with "skipping", "passing", and "not going".
A huge mess. For example, what happens when you tell people an event is optional to avoid grumbling, bitching, and moaning, and then treat the event as if it were mandatory when people attempt to skip, pass, and not go. SEE ALSO:"Not My Fucking Problem".
IDOL (noun)
An object of worship; a person deserving of respect and admiration.
Screeching mouthfountain of mediocrity, selected over dozens of other screeching mouthfountains of mediocrity by virtue of being even louder, even warblier, and even less capable of subtlety than the rest. If the wrong warbly beast is selected over the rest, the general populace rises in protest, calling for reforms and massive changes to the warblebeast selection system. Many feel that, over time, this passion will spill over into less important areas of life, such as selecting the government.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Rio Rancho

You know, sometimes, I feel that this is a thankless fucking job. It's bereft of any kind of traditional compensation whatsoever. I go out there and expose myself, as it were, to all kinds of short-bus escapades in order to keep you, the reader, well-stocked on daily time-killing comedy content. I listen to the complaints of some that cannot make it through a day's entry without the assistance of a lingualexicographical tome. And now, New Mexico has to go and fuck with me.
I mean, I went to all this trouble to make a comedy map on Monday. It went well, I thought. And being unable to think of anything specifically dumb about New Mexio, I lumped it in with Arizona as part of "Bleak Wasteland (Hot)". And a short time later, I learn of New Mexico's iniquity, forcing me to start over from scratch and remake the whole damn map.

Arizona, I'm keeping my eye on you. I don't trust you to just sit there and be barren and hot, so you're on probation.
So. New Mexico. This is how under the radar New Mexico is. All the crazy stuff I'm about to tell you happened last year, the lawsuit about it was filed in September, and I'm only telling you about it this week because a commentary about it by a friend of one of the victims is making its way around the Internet.
Oh my goodness, he said VICTIMS. Another school shooting? Stabbing? Pencil-to-the-eye? Do we need to expand our zero-tolerance policy to include writing implements? Actually, at Rio Rancho High in New Mexico, it seems like they already have. Writing implements lead to words, and words are exactly the kind of dangerous things we can't have floating around our nation's educational system.
Rio Rancho had a poetry club. The students would write poems, perform them in public venues, and even read them over the school's closed-circuit TV network. And while admittedly, one of my own personal rings of Hell would involve being forced to sit through any performance by a high school "Slam Poetry Team", anything that gets it out of their systems before they hit college, or HBO, is fine by me.
So a student writes a poem called "Revolution X". Which, in addition to being a poor title choice to anyone who remembers the Aerosmith arcade game, featured anti-war and anti-Dubya sentiments. And performs it on the closed-circuit TV. Can you, gentle reader, guess what happens next? If you picked "teacher fired, poetry club disbanded, lawsuit filed", you would be right, although you would be missing some of the fun details that make this extra-fucked.
Details like the fact that it was the school's military liaison that made the first complaint. The school has a MILITARY LIAISON. I hope it's some ROTC bullshit, but even so, the ROTC guy's job is to sit in his office and trick jocks into killing for their country. Anything outside those parameters, such as, say, writing your own poem telling pacifists to shut their faces, and reading that poem aloud while the principal hoists a battleship flag, is PROBABLY A BAD IDEA.
Oh, and the school wanted the poem. So they could check for obscenities and "inferences of inciting violence". I'm sure, as classically trained educators, they'd train a very narrow definition of THAT on the poem. And the student's mother, who is a teacher, was also fired. Why? Because she apparently refused the principal's request to destroy the poem.
It's also alleged that following this incident, art teachers were ordered to tear down any student-made posters with political (aka anti-Bush) content. Those that refused were not rehired for the next school year.
So congratulations, New Mexico! Thanks to Rio Rancho high school, you've managed to differentiate yourselves from the average fuckitude of even the American public school system. You've really put the little town of Rio Rancho on the map.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Emile Goguen: Massachussetts Prick

I'd like to apologize in advance if this column seems a bit rushed or "off" today. You see, ever since the gays started getting married in Massachussetts, my sister has been having sex with my dog, and it's VERY disconcerting. So I may be a bit off my game. I guess it's just the collapse of society as we know it. I'd invited her over for dinner, the news was on, and when she saw the couples leaving the Massachussetts courthouse, she just up and said "Well, if they're going to allow that, I'm going to go fuck your dog. C'mere, Adama!"
It's especially disconcerting, actually, because before the gays started getting married in Massachussetts, I didn't have a sister. Or a dog. And I thought Battlestar Galactica was shit, so even if I'd had a dog, I wouldn't have named him after the late Lorne Greene's patriarchal commander. Even with the built-in joke tie-in to Lorne Greene, dog food salesman.
I guess that's what they meant by the "breakdown of the traditional family", because before Monday, my traditional family had no sister, had no dog named after Apollo's dad, and the two certainly weren't humping like crazed weasels in my living room.
You know, I'd have more sympathy for the pricks opposing gay marriage if they weren't being such DUMB pricks about it. Such screaming, raving, maniacal, hateful pricks. You know, like Rev. Fred Phelps. You don't need me to tell you Fred Phelps is a prick. If you're reading this column and this is your first time being exposed to the idea that Fred Phelps is a prick, you need to do some elementary research on that prick Fred Phelps so you can realize that Fred Phelps is a prick and why. On the other hand, as this paragraph amply demonstrates, it is impossible to mention too many times that Fred Phelps is a prick.
But in at least one significant way, You Are Dumb Dot Net is like a gay porn website. My mission is to make you aware of brand new pricks you've never seen or heard of before. And with that mission firmly in my grasp, I bring you Emile Goguen, a Democrat from Fitchburg, MA. Fitchburg, MA was not named after a deviant sex practice, but it kinda sounds like it does, and that's good enough for me. Goguen is attacking gay marriage in a big way. I'm sure he would stridently deny that he is doing so to overcompensate for his secret hidden shame of "representing Fitchburg", or as it's known to insiders, "fitching".
But lest you thing Goguen is some nutjob, he is opposing gay marriage in two time-honored American traditional ways: associating homosexual men with paedophilia, and trying to fire the judges who voted in favor of the ruling that found the law that prohibited gay marriage unconstitutional, thus leading to this week's actions after a six month waiting period in which the state Legislature was asked to come up with a solution that solved the equal protection issues the court was concerned with, only instead they farted around and tried to change the Constitution but that takes years so in the meantime all the gay people can get married. That second one is somewhat of an obscure tradition, I'll admit.
So this prick Goguen wants to get the judges fired because he doesn't like the way they judged, which from a separation-of-powers standpoint is at best iffy. But separation of powers isn't what's on Goguen's mind. ""When it comes to the floor, they'll vote for it. I want a debate on it. I want to separate the men and the boys." Notice the subtle paedophilia reference? See how he slipped that in there, as it were? That is because he is a prick.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go. Gotta get the garden hose and deal with the neighbors. They're having a huge incestuous polygamous orgy on their front lawn, complete with two elk, a raccoon with a strap-on, and a very embarrassed-looking ostrich. And they're all waving Massachussetts state flags.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004


Today's column is dedicated to the millions of souls out there, the millions of artists, writers, and everyday individuals who have dedicated things to others. Your selfless act of dedication has ensured that none of us stand alone. No man is an island, as long as something, somewhere, is dedicated to that island. And so I dedicate this column to you, in the hopes that from this point forward, you will cut that DUMB shit out. Thank you.
Personally, I blame Casey Kasem. Before Casey Kasem, in order to dedicate something to somebody, you had to actually create an artistic work. Whether it be a cheap dimestore novel, one of those old timey megaphone songs, or 8-millimeter hardcore Bob Crane pornography, you had to make the thing you were dedicating to something else, and that kept the lid on, frankly.
But then Casey came along, with America's Top 40, and the "Long Distance Dedication". Thanks to that, any middle-American asshole could take some piece of ART created by someone else, some other ARTIST, like, say, Starland Vocal band's "Afternoon Delight", and by merely writing a single touching letter to Kasem, dedicate "Afternoon Delight" to someone else and have the entire nation hear it. No effort required. Just a sob story, some stationery, and, ideally, a dead girlfriend in another state who has the same name as someone in a Toto song..
And while I'm on the subject of Casey Kasem, can anybody explain why it is, as I get older, I find that more and more of my past is revealed to have some sort of Kasem connection? When I was growing up, he was the guy on the radio. THAT WAS IT. About ten years ago, I learned he was Shaggy. I watched Shaggy all the time! Casey Kasem was Shaggy! Then, after that, I realized he was Robin on the Superfriends. Well, shit! More mysterious Casey in my past. It's like recovering repressed memories, only with a lilting, mellifluous tone and a bit of non-threatening swarthiness.
But I digress. Once the cat got out of the bag, and the American public got the impression that you could dedicate anything to anybody for any reason, things started to get out of hand. And you know how I know things are out of hand? Video game FAQs.
Video game FAQs are like the hint books suckers pay ten bucks a pop for, only they're written by dudes on the Internet who just play the game a lot. This means that they are of widely varying quality, formatting, and grammar, which means that, except for the lack of pictures, they're EXACTLY LIKE the ones you pay for.
Anyway, it's come to my attention that one particular FAQ author has added a lengthy dedication to his many, many FAQs. Colin "CMoriarty" Moriarty, as he is known, has dedicated his works far and wide. OK, not that far, and not that wide, since pretty much all of his FAQs are for old-school Nintendo games, like the Mega Man 4 Boss FAQ, the Castlevania III Character FAQ, and the Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past (SNES Version) Chirs Houlihan Room FAQ. If you're wondering how to defeat Ring Man, equip the Skull Barrier, then, when the counter counts down to ACTUAL QUOTE TIME, jump on his head.
"This FAQ, and all 24 other of my FAQ/Walkthroughs, are now dedicated to the over 6,000 innocent people killed in the World Trade Center and Pentagon terrorist attacks in New York City, New York, and Washington, D.C., on September 11, 2001. To all of the innocent working people, and FDNY Firemen, as well as other emergency workers, you will always be remembered. We won't stop until we bring these criminals to justice, your deaths were NOT IN VAIN! God Bless America, death to all terrorists of all races everywhere."
Which is just funny on so many levels. First, you can't tell this from the quote, but depending on the FAQ, "6,000" is occasionally the more accurate "3,000". Then, of course, there's that pristine, preserved-in-amber specimen of post-9/11 hairshirt jingoism. But the thing that kills me is the line "your deaths were NOT IN VAIN!".
Let's assume, for a moment, that there is a Heaven. Let's also assume that Heaven is tricked out with pristine-condition NES consoles and high speed Internet access, because frankly, if it isn't, what's the goddamned point? I think that we can safely assume that at least one of the between 3,000 and 6,000 dead people from 9/11 qualified to get into Heaven. So they're up there, chillin' on a cloud with a Red Bull, and decide to pop in some old-school Castlevania III. But there's a problem. Despite being in heaven, this individual is unsure as to the primary weapon of Sypha Belnades. No problem! Hop onto GameFAQ's, check out this Character FAQ, and... hey! Wow! MY DEATH WAS NOT IN VAIN! I feel so much better now! Gimme another Red Bull!
Let's leave the dedicating to the experts, folks.

Monday, May 17, 2004


Memo to the Catholic Church: YOU ARE DUMB.
The Catholics are getting uppity again. I don't know what it is. Maybe John Paul's gotten his 90th wind. Maybe he just feels like he has to keep his pope hand strong. Or maybe, since it's been six months or so since any priests have gotten caught having sex with children, covering up having sex with children, or paying large sums of money for having sex with children, they think they get to throw some moral weight around again.
And when Catholics need to throw their moral weight around, but don't have the time to write an entire catechism, they turn to their favorite afterschool snack, the withholding of which is, for reasons that are inexplicable to me, a weapon of great power. I can think of dozens of places even rural Catholics could get saltines and cheap wine if they wanted to. It all gets transubstantiated in the end, anyway.
So, in their ceaseless effort to crush science, progress, and the pursuit of any knowledge not contained in their 2,000-year-old moral primer slash list of begattings, the Catholics have been seriously discussing telling politicians that support legal abortion or gay marriage that no, they cannot have their cracker, and no, they cannot have their wine, and no, you cannot pretend to eat Jesus because we're right and you're wrong. Nyah nyah.
And that's... problematic, but, you know, these politicians are out in public, with public views, and if they want to let their church influence them, we can all see that, and we can decide at voting time if we want the Pope's hand up the ass of our elected official or not.
But now, one Colorado diocese has decided that anybody who VOTES for a pro-choice candidate shouldn't get their cracker and Jesus juice either. Which should be very interesting in a country with a supposedly secret ballot. In all the coverage of this, nobody has bothered to ask how they're supposed to know who gets the cracker and who gets the shaft. Seems to me they're basically exchanging giving Communion to a whole bunch of unavowed pro-choice advocates for giving Communion to a giant pile of stinking filthy liars. But that's just me.
You may be saying to yourself... "Colorado? Vanguard of religious extremism? But aren't those lovely, mannered South Park boys from there?" Yes. Colorado is not traditionally the first state that comes to mind when you think of rampant religious extremism. But to help you with the cognitive dissonance, I've prepared a visual aid to show you where Colorado stands amidst the various idiocies of the U.S.:

As you can see, Colorado is a virtual epicenter of moronitude. You've got the crazy Mormons to the west, the entire Midwest to the northeast, Jim Inhofe just over the border in Oklahoma, and do I even need to mention Texas? No mitigating influences to the north or south, so you can see where poor Colorado, adrift in a sea of national idiocy, may find itself turning to rabid Catholocism in a kind of Lord of the Flies moment.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Not giving specific descriptions of the dumbness inherent in certain coastal areas does not mean the Tan Lands are magical enclaves where reason and intelligence thrive They are just not relevant to the current discussion. They'll get theirs in due course.
Still, the great things about Catholics is that, being students of the Bible, they don't have a problem with blatant self-contradiction, as Colorado bishop Michael Sheridan so aptly demonstrates in his directive. What starts with "A" and ends with "E" and makes the crowds all scream with glee? ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"As in the matter of abortion, any Catholic politician who would promote so-called same-sex marriage and any Catholic who would vote for that political candidate place themselves outside the full communion of the church and may not receive Holy Communion until they have recanted their positions and been reconciled by the Sacrament of Penance... the church never directs citizens to vote for any specific candidate." 
Which is technically true. Using your supposed spiritual authority to intimidate and threaten people into not voting for unnamed people who just happen to have been in the news a lot lately for being Catholic and liberal is not the same as coming out and saying "JOHN KERRY IS THE ANTICHRIST!". However, in the great Venn diagram of life, those two sets are enclosed by a much larger superset, the superset we like to call DUMB.

Friday, May 14, 2004


A bold assessment, I know. In a world where Christian cavemen, drunk British husbands, and Garfield are still going strong, declaring anything to be the "worst comic strip in all of existence" would seem folly. Luckily, thanks to "Pluggers", the risk to my reputation is actually quite small.
When you think about a comic strip named "Pluggers", you immediately wonder what a Plugger is. Possibilities run through your mind. People with lots of power strips? People who love to advertise their stuff in compeletely inappropriate spaces, such as Smackstar One Wallpapers? Some vaguely awful sex act?
But that is where you hit a snag. Because apparently, the entire purpose of "Pluggers" is to define and hone the essential "Plugger" experience, in much the same way "Love Is..." attempts to define love. Except with bears instead of creepy naked children. And complete incomprehensible nonsense instead of sappy aphorisms.
Today's "Pluggers", for example, features a bear in a bed. Did I mention that "Pluggers" is single-panel? Kind of like "The Far Side", only replacing all the genius with mounds of festering bear shit. Anyway, the caption explains to us that Pluggers still sleep on mattresses bought with S&H Green Stamps. Good to know. An important piece of the Plugger mindset has been revealed, thanks to, and I am not making this up, Gladys Crowl of Liltitz, Pennsylvania.
Yes, "Pluggers" is one of those awful strips that rely on the readers to supply the content. Readers all the way from Liltitz, PA to Smallboobs, OR send their Plugger ideas to Chicago, where they are turned into bears on beds for the amusement of, well, nobody at all.
As best as I can figure, Pluggers are midwestern old Luddite old white assholes who are old. A "plugger backhoe" is a shovel. Pluggers wear plaid and old t-shirts and don't know how to work computers and... um.. are old. But why take my word for it after skimming through a month of online reprints about pickup trucks and advanced age? Let's turn to the official definition from the Pluggers website.
Pluggers are the hard-working people the world depends on. They represent the 80 percent of humanity who unceremoniously keep plugging along, balancing work, play and family life. Pluggers encounter and conquer obstacles in their lives, but they always have a positive attitude and a good sense of humor. They're the people who work hard for what they get. Even if they're struggling, they are optimistic about life.
Yes, according to this website, EIGHTY PERCENT OF HUMANITY are plaid-shirt wearing, pickup-truck driving, Wal-Mart shopping, clueless halfwits who can't program a VCR. This is what I hate most about the goddamned Midwest. The Midwest is the South, only with delusions of grandeur.
The South just blindly goes about its business of being racist redneck pigfuckers. The closest they come to having any kind of coherent "movement" is when they get together to celebrate the Confederacy. But in the Midwest, they're not just moronic, xenophobic assholes. They gotta celebrate it. There's always a name for the local branch of the fuckoid brigade. Cheeseheads. Pluggers. "Minnesota Nice". "Missouri Synod". Iowa.
They have a message board on the Pluggers website, you know. Let that shit sink in for a while. In two years, they've amassed 162 messages. Total. The only thing funnier than the idea of a Pluggers fan posting to a message board is someone deciding to TROLL the Pluggers message board. And the only thing funnier than a Pluggers troll is an indignant Pluggers fan defending his or her favorite comic. It's priceless. It's magic. It's ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"the fact that a comic isnt funny isnt how you should judge a comic. thats it plain and could, however, follow it up with a speach on how comic means to be funny, like stand up comics. but if you look at the Political comics, hardly are they funny, and have very much a serious tone to them to state what they have to say. with that said, Pluggers is a very ingenius comic where the artist has to depict what the readers send into him, that has to do with everyday life. not an easy thing, i assure you. in short, Pluggers isnt funnier than pissing out a kidney stone, but i still love to read it."
Now, I have been accused of being negative. Cynical, even. But as I sit here, looking at the pristine specimen of Plugger quoted above, I can't help but think that if this is 80% of humanity, we're nearlly five times as DUMB as I would have thought.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Game Tards

First, some maintenance. Some of you may have noticed that the site has an RSS subscription feed now. Being less than completely enamored with the whole Slashdot/blogosphere phenomenon, I don't use it, but I'm told it's very hip and trendy amongst the kind of people who read Slashdot and say "blogosphere". If you're one of those people, then the link on the left will mean something to you, and you should know how to make it work. Go to town.
As an extension of this, it appears as if the RSS feed has also been made available to LiveJournal users who, if they want, can call You Are Dumb Dot Net their friend. I am.... permitting this. I am permitting this as an act that shows my benevolent, merciful side, a side that is not traditionally expressed on this site. Because I am gracious and kind, You Are Dumb Dot Net can be like the vibration attachment for your rubber vagina, making your day that much more interesting.
And now, our main event. Memo to Salon's Game Boys: YOU ARE DUMB.
Here's your backgrounder. Salon is a webmagazine. A big, lefty, webmagazine full of news and commentary and columns and arts and entertainment and such. I like Salon. But the Game Boys suck. The Game Boys are Jeff Alexander and Tom Bissell. They are, to use the common vernacular of this column, not that goddamned bright, frankly.
Which is a shame, because I want to support the idea that video game journalism should be something more than 29-year-old nerds who've beaten all the Final Fantasy games twice ranking games on Graphics, Sound, Gameplay, and Fun Factor. We need more than that. The game industry desperately needs a Pauline Kael (or, for the locals, a Dara Moskowitz). Something better. Something different.
But when Salon tried to give us something different, what we got were Jeff and Tom, two guys who play mostly licensed-property games, spend 80% of their article fucking around like two minor characters in a Kevin Smith movie, finally get around to glossing over the main points of the game they're talking about, then sign off with some borderline non-sequitur.
Is is that hard to find people who actually love the medium? And not love it like a fat stalker in a Trek uniform loves Denise Crosby. Just loves it in a reasonably normal manner. The Game Boys wrote two frickin' pages about Atari's new Transformers game, and amidst the page-and-a-half of sub-par, nostalgic, I-could-have-written-Mallrats-dammit rambling about the flaws of the basic "Transformers" premise, happen to mention that "I'm told it's reminiscent of 'Halo', which I haven't played."
Ignoring the fact that whoever told him that should probably not be trusted to button their own shirts, this guy, who's getting paid by a major, respected Internet magazine to write about video games, has NEVER PLAYED HALO. This isn't some elitist snob qualification I'm talking about here. I wouldn't demand that a game reviewer own four copies of "Ico" and done a doctoral thesis on "Rez". But how do you escape HALO?
At least it explains why they have to waste our time telling us that robots from outer space shouldn't transform into boom boxes. Thanks for the insight, Captain Fucking Obvious of the Fucking Obvious Patrol. You should review a Star Wars game, so that you can enthrall us all with your stirring conversation about how Chewbacca didn't get a medal.
And when they do finally talk about the game, they're wildly inconsistent. Consider these four quotes, all from Jeff.
"Frankly, I'm not so into the whole robots-in-combat thing, a genre whose pleasures seem to me pretty demographically specific."
"Ten-year-olds, and perhaps those weirdos who build robots for that absolutely bizarre robot-demolition-derby show...
"It's really disappointing that you can only be three Autobots."
"Plus, when you're running around as a robot, you leave big robot footprints."
So Jeff, who is (judging from his derision), neither ten years old nor a robot builder, and is therefore not into the whole robots in combat thing, wishes he could be MORE robots in combat and loves leaving big robot footprints in the ground. This is all within the span of SIX PARAGRAPHS. It's like Sybil got a job at GamePro.
Still, it could be worse. They could decide to do the same thing with movies, and clone Harry Knowles, and have the two clones talk to each other about movies. OK, that doesn't really follow, but I didn't want the rubber vagina thing to be the single worst mental image of today's article. TWO HARRY KNOWLESES TALKING ABOUT MOVIES! RUN!

Wednesday, May 12, 2004


Memo to James Inhofe: Perhaps, when you are done hating brown people, justifying rape, and condoning the systematic use of torture by American military intelligence, could you please take your Oklahoma redneck panhandle skunk-fellating senatorial fat ass out behind the woodshed, and I know you have a woodshed, and kindly fuck yourself? Thanks.
It's bad enough when the Limbaughs and the Hannities of the world sit on their asses and call torture and rape "frat pranks" *. I expect that bullshit out of them. That's their job. But a standing senator, even a Southern one, when confronted with widespread, gross, filmed human rights abuses by American soldiers, should not be saying shit like:
"I'm probably not the only one up at this table that is more outraged by the outrage than we are by the treatment." No, and that's part of the fucking PROBLEM, you Cro-Magnon racist. Genetic stains like you who think it's just dandy to do whatever you want to whoever you want to further your dubious goals are precisely the reason why acts that should be unthinkable are now policy. Just as soon as I'm done vomiting in my own mouth at the thought of assholes like you running things, it'll be ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"The [Red Cross] report says some coalition military intelligence officers estimated 'between 70 percent and 90 percent' of the detainees in Iraq 'had been arrested by mistake. They also attributed the brutality of some arrests to the lack of proper supervision of battle group units.' " - Associated Press.
"These prisoners, you know they're not there for traffic violations. If they're in cellblock 1-A or 1-B, these prisoners, they're murderers, they're terrorists, they're insurgents. Many of them probably have American blood on their hands and here we're so concerned about the treatment of those individuals." - Senator James Inhofe, whose words were admittedly somewhat muffled as they had to be forced through a mouthful of Dubya's feces.
This guy makes Zell Miller look like Fred Rogers. They're in custody, they're brown, and they are, in his own words, PROBABLY guilty of something, so it's OK to do whatever we want to them in order to see if they'll say anything bad about their neighbors. Hooray for America! These are your leaders, people. They run your country. Little Hitlers with cowboy hats just waiting to ram a chemical light up the bunghole of anyone who disagrees with them.
"I would guess that these prisoners wake up every morning thanking Allah that Saddam Hussein is not in charge of these prisons." - Inhofe again, GUESSING WRONG about shit he should already know.
"Dhia al-Shweiri said he too was stripped naked during his stay in the prison and the humiliation was worse than the torture he endured under Saddam Hussein. 'It's OK if they beat me. Beatings don't hurt us, it's just a blow. But no one would want their manhood to be shattered'" - The Associated Press.
Oh, wait! Inhofe said even more to hate! "I am also outraged that we have so many humanitarian do-gooders right now crawling all over these prisons looking for human rights violations, while our troops, our heroes are fighting and dying."
Let me get this absolutely straight, because if there's one thing a Republican Senator from Oklahoma would like you to beleve he prefers, it's "absolutely straight". We are, in the as-specific-as-he-can-manage words of our paint-drinking president, over there fighting to stop the EVIL-DOERS. Those that DO EVIL. And according to Inhofe, our mission to thwart those who do evil is being hampered by hordes of... wait for it... DO-GOODERS. Those who DO GOOD. Yes, if it weren't for all those pesky doers of good, we'd have dealt with those doers of evil once and for all. Got it? Good. I mean, evil. I mean, um, some kind of nebulous moral area between "good" and "evil" that is the only acceptable moral outlook according to boiling anal warts like James Inhofe.
*Yeah, frat pranks do frequently include torture and rape, but I don't think that's what Limbaugh meant.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004


Ah, E3. The video game industry's orgy of, well, pretty much everything. Orgy of new games, orgy of news, orgy of drinking, orgy of ogling... even orgy of orgies, probably. Try not to think about that last one too much. Coders, game journalists, marketing guys, and hookers, all in a big pink pile in Vegas. I apologize to those of you who've just eaten.
Oh, and an orgy of stupidity. For every announcement of, say, Prince of Persia 2, there's three announcements of shit nobody wants, sequels to shit nobody wanted in the first place *, and bold new concepts that nobody will want in the future.
Like XBox Live Arcade, the latest attempt to overprice nostalgia. It's bad enough that this summer, Nintendo thinks we'll shell out $20 for a single old NES game stuck onto a Game Boy Advance cartridge. They're wrong, of course. We'll all shell out $5.44 for them when they go on clearance in October. They'll be mixed in with the "GBA Video" cartridges from Majesco that let you watch crappy versions of crappy Nicktoons for $20 a pop, but we'll manage.
Thanks to XBox Live Arcade, a new service for, well, XBox Live, you can download versions of classic board, card, puzzle, and old arcade games to the XBox. Which is a great idea. Except for the $10 per game price point.
But look at the lineup! Galaxian! Dig Dug! Bejeweled! The target market is "casual gamers". Who are these casual users that have an XBox, a $50/yr XBox Live account, a broadband Net connection, the savvy to hook everything up to a router, and aren't already sick of Be-fucking-JEWELED?! We all played it for two weeks at work a couple of years ago. We're done. Thanks.
And Dig Dug? Nobody respects the classics more than me. The Namco 80's games are great. I know they're great. They're so great, I've already bought and downloaded them half a dozen times, and could buy them half a dozen times more if I wanted to. I've got 'em on Playstation, I've got 'em on MAME, I've got 'em on Dreamcast, I've got 'em on Game Boy, I've got 'em as freebies in other games, I've bought them as a gift in a self-contained joystick that plugs into the TV.... I've got so many versions of these games I have to be careful not to play them by ACCIDENT. And Microsoft thinks I'll be psyched to shell out $10 for another copy?
Perhaps someone should have mentioned Namco Museum to Microsoft before they worked up their business plan. You know, the $20 XBox disc that has Galaxian, Dig Dug, Pole Position, and SEVEN OTHER GAMES ON IT. But hey, they've got Bejeweled.
And then there's the Phantom. Now, the Phantom's been mocked a lot since it was announced last year, but that was mainly because everyone was sure it didn't and wouldn't ever exist. But it seems to exist, and it's still stupid.
It's basically Yet Another Set Top Box, or "game receiver". You plug it into (presumably) your TV, your broadband connection, and some kind of controller, and then you start giving the Infinium people money. In return for this money, they will let you play PC games on the Infinium. It's a "game receiver", you see. It receives games.
So it's $200 for the box (unless you sign up for two years of the service), plus $29.95 a month, plus they still charge you for the games on top of that, either as $5 three-day "rentals" or as full-retail purchases. It's like cable, only you have to buy the box and your monthly bill goes straight into the coke-and-hookers account at Infinium without, as yet, actually getting you anything in return except the ability to spend more money.
I hope, for Infinium's sake, that there's some really great service they just forgot to mention to the gaming press. Because frankly, I'd rather spend that $30 bucks on Dig Dug over and over again. At least in Dig Dug, you can POP the over-inflated bastards that surround you.
* Ty The Tazmanian Tiger 2, this means YOU.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Producers Of The Useless

Memo to Producers Of The Useless: YOU ARE DUMB.
For the most part, despite being a rabid, foaming leftist, I like the capitalism. But one of the consequences of capitalism is that assholes will use it to separate idiots from cash. For example, there are a whole lot of products and/or services out there that nobody needs. And I'm not talking infomercial bullshit, like the Eggstractor or the magic flipping pancake pan. I'm talking about huge mass-market stuff, put out there for the general DUMB public to jump on board with.
Like the Panera Card. The Panera Card is a service offered by Panera, which sells bread and bagels and sandwiches and soup. I spend a lot of time at Panera, actually, which is how I know about the Panera Card, because all the signs that aren't touting the low-carb qualities of its MEAT SALAD are pushing this card. The food's fine, but I have to defocus my eyes and not read anything if I don't want to get pissed off.
The Panera Card is a refillable debit card you can use at Panera to buy things. You put money into the card, take the card to Panera, and exchange the money you've put into the card for Panera food. I have spent months trying to figure out who, apart from Panera, this helps, and I just can't do it.
You can use it as a gift card, but that's not how they're marketing it. They're marketing it for personal use. Which makes no goddamn sense. And, I think, Panera realizes this. On their website, they say, "And other times, you want to treat yourself to the convenience of plastic currency that works just like cash."Treat? Since when is currency exchange a treat? I blame Atkins. In the post-South-Beach culinary apocalypse, the only "treats" left are raw bacon and moving money into less useful forms. This is what happens when you deprive yourselves of candy, people. When plastic currency starts seeming like a "treat" to you, it's time to eat a fucking muffin.
I could see the use of the Panera card, perhaps, if Panera were some extranational Communist state which only accepted, say, pennies and German bearer bonds in exchange for food, but they take all denominations of cash, they take checks, they take credit cards, they take debit cards... they take pretty much any form of tender short of barter. And I only assume that. I haven't actually tried bringing in a goat and a hand-woven blanket to see how many garlic bagels they'll get me.
Who falls for this? Who thinks it would be better to live a life where you find yourself stopping into Panera to put twenty bucks on your Panera card because you think you might be going to Panera tomorrow to eat? Or: "Hey, let's go to Panera!" "OK, but hold on. My Panera card's almost empty. Wait a sec while I use my dial-up connection, log on to their secure server, type in my credit card information, wait for my confirmation number and e-mail... OK, we can go!" It's just DUMB.
Another useless product that sent $54 million dollars flowing from the stupid to the assholes in just three days? "Van Helsing". This is yet another phenomenon I have a difficult time figuring out. We live in an age of hundreds of different cable channels. Internet. DVD rental and purchase. Computer and video games. We are not, by any stretch of the imagination, a MEDIA-POOR SOCIETY. But something like Van Helsing comes out, and we all react like we're on MASH or something. Like we've been cooped up in a tent in Korea for a month, and headquarters finally shipped us a new movie.
There is always something better to do than go see a shitty movie on opening weekend. I don't know how much plainer I can say it. This is true of everybody in our society. If you've got the six bucks to spend on a shitty movie on opening weekend, I don't care who you are, what you do, or what your life situation is, there's something better you could be doing with those two hours and those six bucks. And it's not like the people behind Van Helsing didn't go out of their way to point out to you at every opportunity that this was going to be a shitty movie. They did everything short of actually titling it "THAT SHITTY VAN HELSING MOVIE". But millions of you couldn't find something better to do with your two hours and your six bucks.
If you people pull this again when "Catwoman" comes out, I will have measures in place to track you, find you, and slap you upside your head. Remotely. From orbit. My satellite goes up at the end of June. You go see Catwoman on opening weekend, you better park yourself under a tinfoil awning for the rest of your life, because SMACKSTAR-1 will be waiting.

Friday, May 7, 2004

We're Talkin' Baseball

Memo to baseball fans: YOU ARE DUMB.
But before we get to chastizing the stupid, numbnuts, deluded fans of the National Pastime, I would like you all to take a moment and look to the left and behold the fine work of Michael Scott Shappe, who graciously donates his mad PHP skillz so that all I have to do is type "fuck" a lot and hate things. Ain't it nice? And it's functional, too.
Right. Baseball fans. Idiots. They're like some blind, naive, 35 year old shut-in who marries a hooker who claims to be a Sunday School teacher. And despite the fact that she gives her lessons on Friday nights in the alley demonstrating the proper way to kneel to guys with $20, he still loves her, dammit.
BASEBALL IS A WHORE. The grand tradition, the noble history, the old-timey, sepiatone newsreel, Field of Dreams, Ken Burns bullshit doesn't exist, may have NEVER existed, but you all just lap it up. And when someone dares to sully your pristine whore by telling an off-color joke within earshot, you immediately cover her ears, leap to her defense, and pound the ruffian into the pavement with your walking stick.
Oh, my GOD! They're going to put the Spider-Man 2 logo on the bases! Baseball will, for the first time ever, be directly involved with ADVERTISING! Storm the ramparts! Get the torches and pitchforks! How dare they try to sell us their superhero movie while we enjoy a pleasant evening munching $20 nachos in our $50 obstructed view seats behind the $1000 skybox paid for with heaps of our own tax money? While a wide assortment of steroid poppers, racists, homophobes, criminals, and other forms of "professional athlete" stand around for four hours occasionally running back and forth? It's an OUTRAGE.
Get the fuck over yourselves. When the friggin' Olympics, where ostensibly nobody's even gettin' paid, are just another marketing opportunity, trying to hold baseball as somehow "above" mere finances is pointless. The war's over. You lost years ago. You're like some kind of tiny, yippy dog that survived the Alamo but still barks and chases after any Mexican that rides by on a horse, only to be pulled off your feet when you run out of leash. Sure, it's funny to watch the first couple of times, but the novelty wears off fast.
But hey, be happy. Your communal outrage stopped the fatcats. Sony has been stymied. There will be no Spidey ads on the bases, and as a result, you have SAVED BASEBALL.
Starting today, no more ads. All the games will be played in the summer, in open-air stadiums, by athletes making $40,000 a year across the board. Charming old men will walk the stands, offering you cool, refreshing lemonade for a nickel a glass. All the players will wear bow ties, the electronic scoreboards will be replaced by lovable orphans and bits of signboard with numbers painted on them, and everybody will be white.
Oh, and the entire country is getting together in Kansas next Wednesday to sing that stupid fucking "Center Field" song. And you'd better have the lyrics memorized, 'cause if you mess up, you'll be sent off to Guantanamo Bay where Donald Rumsfeld will shove chemical lights up your ass. Don't feel too bad. Like Rush says, he'll just be blowing off some steam. He has a very stressful job.

Thursday, May 6, 2004

Frickin' Friends

Memo to.... ah, FUCK the memo. No memos. No warnings. No quarter given.
Just when we're starting to let the LAST great American narcissistic grief-fest fade (at least until the Republican National Convention), we have to go through an entirely new set of histrionics, complete with weeping, wailing, ashes, sackcloth, self-flagellation, and black armbands with Jennifer Aniston's picture on them.
You may have heard that Friends is done after tonight. If you haven't, I would like to welcome you to the fabulous world of the future, and can only hope that scientists are able to determine the process by which you were held in stasis.
Fuck the Friends. Fuck Joey, fuck Rachel, fuck Phoebe, fuck Hawkeye, fuck... Sneezy, fuck the rest of 'em. Fuck any animals, children, or Tom Sellecks they may have added to the cast over the years to boost ratings. Fuck it all. It's going, and good riddance.
If Friends going off the air makes you sad, fuck you. You had ten years to get sick of it. If that wasn't enough time, tough. You can get in line with the stinky guys from HEAT, they've been wasting the last decade, too.
If you're planning on watching the Joey spinoff, have the common decency to take a vegetable peeler to your corneas instead. If that strikes you as a bit harsh, then at least lie on your Nielsen diary or unplug your people meter or something. It's taken us 22 years to eliminate the last vestiges of Cheers from the universe, and I'd still wanna check the sub-basement of the NBC studios in case Bebe Neuwirth laid any eggs in the boiler room.
Fuck the media, who fuel the whole thing with stories like "Cheers, Friends - Loose parallels exist between TV faves and area coffee lovers." In FLINT, MICHIGAN. The show's dying of natural causes. It's not like it rammed into a bridge support or something. Last week of Friends! Last month of Friends! They taped the last-ever Friends! You don't need to tell us some people cried once they finished filming. If they'd all flipped each other off and walked out without saying a word, that'd be worth telling us about. OF COURSE they cried. People cry at high school graduations, and that's only four years, and nobody'll buy it for strip syndication.
Fuck the syndicated reruns, fuck the DVD's. Especially the "Friends Party Pack". This is a "Best of Friends" DVD, some Friends trivia, some coffee, and some other shit that will guarantee you will have the second-worst party in the history of our species. * If youi've bought, and used, the Friends Party Pack, well, I simply cannot Google up an image of a building tall enough for you to jump off of. I'm sorry. Perhaps you could finagle your way onto the International Space Station and sort of... push off.
The only way a Friends Party Pack could even be remotely useful is if it contained Kool-Aid and strychnine. Or if it was some kind of Deluxe Party Pack that included a monkey JUST LIKE ROSS'S, only this one runs around and humps the futon and flings poop into the Central Perk Instant Coffee and finally knocks the 17" combo TV/VCR onto the DVD player, and the sparks light the box of wine on fire and it explodes and they find the charred corpses being violated by the monkey who miraculously survived due to the processing required to keep him fresh on Target's shelves.
I'm not trying to be some cultural elitist, some kind of snob. Friends was perfectly mediocre. Not "Love Boat" bad or something. It's just that it going away shouln't cause such a case of national schadenfr... THE THEME SONG. I forgot to say FUCK THE THEME SONG. Fuck the Rembrandts. If Rembrandt had drawn one thing in crayon, and it got used in the front of every book in Amsterdam until about 1650, then maybe you'd be justified in naming your band after him. But he didn't, so fuck you, too.
I'm off to the boiler room with a flashlight and a motion tracker. I swear I saw David Arquette cocooned to the wall.
* The worst party in the history of the species being, of course, the 'all the spoo you can eat' B5: Legend Of The Rangers premiere party.

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Best Buy

Who are you people that keep fucking up my shopping? Do you actually exist, or have you been made up by consultants? I'm talking about the people who want more out of a shopping experience than going to a store, looking for an item, finding that item (possibly with the help of someone who knows where they stuck it when it got stocked), exchanging money for that item, and LEAVING.
Who are the people who enjoy being greeted? Don't pay someone minimum wage to say "hello" to me. Do not force them to robotically treat me like a "guest". Give them a raise and teach them how to run a register or find a DVD. They can say "hello" to me while they climb the ladder to get the bit of gear I want.
Best Buy certainly doesn't want my money, that's for sure. 'Cause they've just announced a plan to change all of their stores to cater exclusively to five imaginary people. A small business owner, who doesn't get a fake name; an asshole named Barry; an idiot named Jill; an old fart named Ray; and a fucktard named Buzz; Notice that nowhere in that list is someone who wants to exchange money for goods in the most basic transaction our entire capitalist system is based upon. That's not "customer-centric" enough.
The five kinds of customers Best Buy wants to appeal to are not the kind who walk in, buy a loss-leader $15 DVD on the release week, and leave without buing a $400 digital camera on impulse. Smart people are not profitable people. Let's take a closer look at the five archetypes that DO make money for Best Buy, shall we?
The Small Business Owner: - They buy stuff for their business. They spend a lot, but can be talked into spending more, like the sports bar owners who came in to replace four 27" TV's and walked out with two plasma screens and two front-projection systems. I'm sure they will recoup their investment thanks to their new status as the forty thousand, nine hundred and sixty seventh sports bar to install big fucking televisions.
Barry, The Asshole: Best Buy does not refer to him as "The Asshole". They do, however, describe him as making over $150,000 a year, drives a Hummer, will shell out extra service fees to make minimum-wage employees do shit he can't be bothered with, and is NAMED BARRY. The only way you could get a more accurate description of an asshole is if you cross-bred a proctologist with William Shakespeare.
Jill, The Idiot: Or, as Best Buy likes to say, the Busy Soccer Mom. Jill is "turned off by the techno-speak of the sales staff", which, in my experience, translates to "gets pissed off when asking the clerk for the 'new Nintendo tape... hold on... I wrote it down... Fantasy Finale 12.', and he doesn't know what the fuck she's talking about". She has also bought at least three copies of "Lion King 1.5", and we hate her.
Ray, The Old Fart: These are "family men", which means they head over to the HDTV section and stare for about an hour before deciding that their old TV still works pretty good and they don't want to figure out a whole new remote control. If they do buy a new TV, they won't spring for installation, however, they WILL spend 45 minutes in heated discussion with the salesman about how to hook it up with their cable box and VCR, won't know the difference between 75-ohm RF and composite video, and eventually will leave with an incomprehensible pen-drawn diagram on the back of an invoice sheet.
And then, there's Buzz: Buzz is a "young, active man". Buzz is an early adopter. Buzz loves new tech toys. I would be Buzz, except that I'm not that young, I'm not that active, and nobody gives me $150 every time I crank out one of these columns. Oh, and also, I know what I'm doing. I'm sure, to Best Buy, Buzz keeps replacing his old iPod with a new MiniDisc player, only to then replace his old MiniDisc player three months later with a new iPod. Buzz also monitors his Counterstrike frame rate and gets a new video card every time he can up it by 20 FPS.
And the goal of all this? Because I love typing it, I do believe it's.... ACTUAL QUOTE TIME! "We want to extract a larger share of our customers' wallets." - Mike Keskey, Best Buy U.S. President. Fuck. You know who the last group was to have that as their mission statement? The PICKPOCKET GUILD.
This is why I'd never make it as a corporate strategist. I'd walk into Best Buy, say "How's about you people actually put shit on the shelves on the day it's released, charge the expected amount, get your fucking blueshirts off my back and onto a register, and make the whole process painless." And they'd set my hair on fire and shove me out the window of Sandcrawler #3 *. Because I'm just not customer-centric enough.
* That one was just for the locals.