Friday, July 16, 2004

Spastic Topic Monkey Friday II: The Spastening

In a new "I, Robot" TV spot I saw yesterday, Will Smith says, in character: "Robots building other robots? That's just stupid." I think that sums up the movie in a nutshell right there. The one part of the script that's likely to make any sort of sense, and Our Hero thinks it's dumb. What does he think, that when we start making robots, they're going to be artisinally hand-crafted by the Amish?
I know some of you, reading this, are gonna go anyway. You can't help it. I'll have the same problem when Alien Vs. Predator comes out. It's going to suck, but it still attaches to some kind of geek receptor in my nervous system. But try to fight the urge anyway. This is Akiva Goldsman we're talking about here. This isn't Ordinary Summer Bad. This is the man that wrote "Lost In Space". Just let go.
When you think about it, "I, Robot" isn't really an adaptation of Asimov's classic stories. It's actually an adaptation of the 80's video game, "Berzerk". You've got a lone human running through hallways shooting at robots who are trying to kill him for two hours. It's a pity Brando died, frankly. He'd be perfect for Evil Otto. Stop the humanoid. Stop the intruder.
I'm not even going to get into the whole Whoopi Goldberg, "Hollywood Hatefest" thing. It's only mid-July. There's going to be almost four full months more of this bullshit before we get to vote, anyway. I gotta pace myself. If I blew an arterial gasket every single time the right went on one of its hypocritical tirades at the left for being a smidge harsh, I'd be forced to drink Fix-A-Flat every morning instead of Vanilla Coke.
I do think it's a pity that a comedy pioneer like Whoopi gets slammed just because she happened to be the first person in the country to finally realize a possible sexual connotation to Bush's last name. I just hope nobody finds a way to "crude up" the name of our beloved vice president, Mr. Richard Cheney.
OK, maybe I'll get into it a little. Whoopi Goldberg making Bush jokes and John Cougar Mellencamp calling the President a "cheap thug" is not a HATEFEST. You know how I know this? Because I've been presiding over a fucking hatefest myself since the start of this year, I've never used the words "cheap thug", and I only made the obvious Bush joke once. And it was filler. But "Hollywood Mild Attack Of Sporadic Grumpiness" doesn't roll trippingly off the tongues of your Fox News anchors, so I guess all us real hatefests have to deal with a wimpy, half-assed poseur who just crashed our annual convention.
And the next day, Dennis Miller, whose resume for the past three years has at least eight different entries for "redefining pathetic", spoke at a Bush fundraiser, said Kerry and Edwards should "get a room", and called James Carville a "Satanic Chihuahua".
I'm actually not particularly concerned with the controversy. I'm just enjoying Miller's slide into oblivion. You look at his material now, and it's almost impossible not to imagine his writing process. I picture a dark hotel room, a bottle of vodka, a thick stack of Bushie talking points, and a laptop. And on the laptop there's two windows open. One to Google, and one to an elaborate Excel spreadsheet that tells him the last time he made a "Beverly Hillbillies" reference.
Gulp of vodka. Talking point: Flipflopper. Hm. Did Buddy Ebsen ever flipflop? What else flips? What else flops? Gulp of vodka. Google "flop". Flophouse. Megaflops. Those sandal things. Gulp of vodka. Stare out window. Remember being funny on Weekend Update. Stare at joke in progress. "This guy..." Need a verb. What was that talking point again? "This guy flipflops... " I'm supposed to say he does this a lot, right? Vodka. "This guy flipflops more than..." OK, cultural reference time. You can still do it, cha-cha. You've sold books. You've done movies. You were in "Bordello of Blood", for fuck's sake, so you can damn well think of something he flipflops more than.
Shit. Nothing. Back up. What about a Match Game thing? "This guy flipflops so much that..." and then the audience yells "HOW MUCH DOES HE FLIPFLOP!". Wonder if I can count on that. We'll be in Wisconsin. More vodka. Screw the audience. I don't need an audience for my CNBC show, dammit. "This guy flipflops so much he needs..." what's that thing? That thing in the car? Google it. A GPS navigation system! That's hip new technology. I'll seem cutting edge. "This guy flipflops so much he needs a GPS navigation system to know which way he's gonna vote." There you go. You still got it, man. You still got it.
Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.