Things That Rule: Shitty Graffiti.
It’s way rebel to deface public property and everything, but this guy isn’t even trying. Urbal XTC? Did he think about this for even a SECOND before he started writing it on a garbage can in Logan Square? Here are a few things his “tag” bring to mind:
– Herbal Ecstasy
– XTC (the band)
– URB Magazine
You know what’s cooler than all three of those things? Intentional misspelling. You know what that means? The intentional misspelling in his name is the coolest thing about it. Yowza. Shitty graffiti rules. And by rules I mean sucks… I think. Something like that. Whatever.
(edit: In this post, I assumed Urbal XTC was a guy. Turns out it’s a girl – here’s her MySpace profile. I’m not sure if this counts if this counts as a victory for female graffiti writers or misogynists.)
Things That Suck: Click. (SPOILER ALERT!!!)
I’m pretty sure that whoever wrote this movie made a list of things a remote control can do with a blank space under each one, then wrote the entire movie in those spaces. I also think it took about 15 minutes. For example:
Fast Forward: Have Sandler fast forward through a fight with his wife.
Slow Motion: Watch big boobs bounce around really slowly.
Mute: Mute Sandler’s stupid wife (but make her really nice so the audience knows Sandler is a jerk for muting her)
Pause: The ol’ pause-depants-unpause gag. Also, fart in someone’s mouth possibly, then unpause? Develop concept further.
Color/Tint/Hue: Have Sandler turn himself green, talk like The Hulk. Everyone will like that.
Widescreen: Click it at someone, have it make them turn fat.
Skip Chapter: Make Sandler skip entire years of his life and then learn a lesson about the importance of family.
There. I just wrote the script for Click.
Oh – you also get to see Rob Schneider (you know – of “The Animal” fame) play an Arab prince. And Henry Winkler pretends to eat a quarter. And Sandler cries like a fucking baby when he learns his lesson. Oh, shit, but hey, I almost forgot: At the very end of the movie we find out that hey, guess what?
It was all a dream!
Holy fucking shit! Click sucks!
(note: at least one person disagrees with me: His name is Vanguardaz, and he found Click “Life Changing.” He also found Freaky Friday “Oscar Worthy.”)
Good Day, Mr. Kubrick…
Would someone please tell me how the fuck I snoozed on this for like a month?
Things That Suck: Being Emotionally Moved By Some Stupid Sign Hanging On The Wall At Jimmy John’s.
So I’m sitting at a Jimmy John’s in a strip mall in Glenview, Illinois. I’m eating a #3*, minding my own business, when my eyes happen to fall on one of the many “wacky” signs on the wall. Jimmy John’s seems to take great pride in their wacky signs, most of which feature quick hits like “Yo Mama… Wants You To Eat At Jimmy John’s!” or “If These Walls Could Talk… They Wouldn’t Need Signs Like This One!” This one that I happened to find myself staring at was different, though. This one had a lot of words on it. I love shit with lots of words on it (I was an English major, after all), so when I saw them all sitting there on that sign my pulse quickened a bit. As if by instinct, the training I received as an undergraduate kicked in. I began systematically processing the entire sign, word by word. Left to right, top to bottom.
Reading, if you will.
When I reached the last word of the last line, a weird thing happened. I started thinking about the overall message of the sign. It was delivered in a light-hearted manner, but the message of it was actually kind of… well… kind of deep, I guess. It spoke volumes about the lunacy of the American value system, about our messed up priorities, you know? I thought about what I had read for a while and sat there eating my sandwich. I thought about myself, my job, my own personal priorities. I compared myself to the guy in the story on the sign on the wall at a Jimmy John’s in Glenview, Illinois.
Then I was like “wow” – I really need to start bringing a book with me to read on my lunch breaks. I also need those books to be, like, “good” books, I guess, because apparently my brain is turning into applesauce. Seriously – being emotionally moved by some stupid sign hanging on the wall at Jimmy John’s really fucking sucks.
If you’d like to read the sign in question, just click on the dunce.
* That’s a “Sorry Charlie.”**
** That’s a tuna salad sandwich.
We’re All Going To Hell.
About six years ago, my friend Dave showed me a videotape from the bowels of his immense personal collection. Had I known how many times I’d end up watching that tape over the course of the next six years, maybe I wouldn’t have watched it in the first place. I was younger back then, foolish and naive. Plus, I didn’t know it was going to be a video of a retarded guy doing a cooking show on public access.
The video in question is called “The Merrill Howard Kalin Show.” In it, a young mental defective named – you guessed it – Merrill teaches the audience how to prepare a number of dishes including salad, jello, chicken, and stuffing. He also fucks up every single dish in one way or another and somehow finds time along the way to do impressions of Julia Child, Jack Benny, and “the oldest man in the world” among many others. Then around the end he completely flips out and forgets where he is.
He also expresses a seemingly unhealthy enthusiasm for salad dressing.
I’d like to pause the story for a moment and address something. There might be some people reading this thinking to themselves, “Wow… this guy is the biggest asshole in the entire world, laughing at a retarded person.” For years I addressed this by saying that Merrill is an entertainer, that he wants us to laugh at his show. This is horseshit, obviously. There is no defense for this behavior. I’m an asshole, and if you watch this video and laugh at it you’re an asshole too. Big deal. The most common reaction to the tape is laughter followed by overwhelming guilt, and almost every time the tape is viewed in a large group of people at least one of them says “we’re all going to hell.” I felt kinda guilty about showing it for a while, but people kept asking to see it! What could I do?! I had no choice!
Some people have suggested that the tape is fake, that he’s an actor. I’ve always responded to this suggestion in the same way: If Merrill is an actor, the motherfucker deserves an Oscar. Or an Emmy. I guess it’d be an Emmy, technically. Regardless, this tape is about more than just laughing at a retarded person. Really. Watch the way he addresses the crowd. Watch the way he gives them advice about how they should “never cook alone.” Watch the way his eyes dart back and forth like he’s trying to hide something from the camera that’s catching everything on tape anyway. Watch him unable to resist the temptation of a tomato in the salad he just made. Watch him arrange the cucumbers in the salad into a little smiley face, kinda. Watch him say “my banana got rotten” and then chuckle to himself because he just inadvertently made a semi-dirty joke. Watch how he uses a measuring cup. Watch the cameraman inexplicably cut to the quivering jello mold over and over again. Watch him go completely batshit insane, and then picture the guy behind the camera frantically waving his arms, trying to bring him back to the planet Earth.
Anyway, the whole point of the story is that someone put the tape up on YouTube a few weeks ago. It’s about time – that’s exactly where it belongs. Welcome home, Merrill – you’ve come a long way, baby. Shit really heats up in Part 3 if you’re in a hurry, but I’d strongly recommend watching it start to finish if you can. Brace yourselves, people – it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
The Merrill Howard Kalin Show – Part 1
The Merrill Howard Kalin Show – Part 2
The Merrill Howard Kalin Show – Part 3
(edit: The video has been removed at the request of the Little City Foundation‘s lawyers. This actually has me kind of worked up right now – while it’s admittedly fucked up to laugh at these video clips, I don’t think that means they should have the right to take it down. Okay, sure – it’s their “Intellectual Property.” But it’s not like the video’s availability online was somehow killing their sales numbers or something. They’re a non-profit (or very similar to one), which means that this video has been removed from YouTube at their request simply because it isn’t “nice” to have it up with all these people laughing at it on the internet. And there’s only one word for that:
gay lame (first word removed at the request of the ilga).
The Star Spangled Banner According To My New Speech-To-Text Software.
Also said a case and use see,
but the bonds early light?
What’s so for Clinton lead the has helped,
asset to lead late last remaining.
These leads to let us and let it starts,
through the perilous night.
And the rest of parts we watched,
worst of the phone him least two remaining.
As a number asked its lead glare,
the claims bursting a manner,
disease roof through the night,
this has plastic was still there.
As to say those that explains angle banner you wait?
Wasn’t full time of the free,
and that home of the rated.
Two Letters To People Whose Email Addresses I Could Not Find Who Will Hopefully Find These Letters One Day By Googling Themselves.
Dear Michael Münzing and Luca Anzilotti (aka Snap!),
Rhythm is not actually a dancer. The dictionary defines it as “a. The pattern of musical movement through time. b. A specific kind of such a pattern, formed by a series of notes differing in duration and stress,” or “c. A group of instruments supplying the rhythm in a band.” There are several other definitions I haven’t listed here, but rest assured that none of them are “a dancer.”
It is true, however, that it’s a “source of passion” and that you can “feel it everywhere.” The other part is all fucked up, though.
Dear John Hughes,
In the Michael Keaton vehicle “Mr. Mom,” Michael Keaton has kind of a rough time. After he gets laid off from his engineering job he sits around for a while and sort of lets himself go. He gains some weight, grows a beard, wears a flannel shirt… for a while it looks like he’s given up altogether. The house gets filthy. The kids suck on frozen peas for dinner while he drinks beer and watches soap operas. Eventually it proves to be too much for his wife, a suddenly career-minded ad executive who learns a lesson about the importance of family in the end. She yells at him for his untidy appearance and lackluster housekeeping skills, and I think he spends a night on the couch. The next day, Keaton begins an amazing transformation into the ultimate stay-at-home dad. Into “Mr. Mom,” if you will. Here is how we know that this transformation is occurring:
He shaves his beard off.
What exactly are you trying to imply here, Mr. Hughes? Are you saying that beards are a sign of laziness? That a clean-shaven cheek is the hallmark of the proactive man? I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you of a few bearded historical figures who I think might object to that:
– Ulysses S. Grant
– Abraham Lincoln
– Oh, I don’t know… some guy named… uhh.. what was it? Oh, yeah: JESUS.
Would a smooth face have made Confucius any wiser? Could Lincoln have not only freed the slaves, but also given them each a little pat on the back, too? Bullshit. If anything, a beard says “I honor my commitments,” not “I’m too lazy to shave.” A properly trimmed beard probably requires MORE effort than shaving regularly does. For shame, Mr. Hughes. For shame.
P.S. Unless someone photoshopped a beard onto you in this picture, it looks like you really let yourself go in 2001. Dick.
i actually feel a little guilty for helping to spread this video. i got an email with a link to it from some dude whose domain turned out to be some sort of weird branding/marketing company. so yeah, maybe it’s just viral marketing, and yeah, maybe i’m helping them with their campaign by reposting this, but you know what? fuck it. it’s funny.
speaking of marketing, american ad agencies could really learn something from the hungarians.
isn’t nature beautiful?
QVC by JMB
the only mashup that i’ve ever really enjoyed.
this is an oldie but it kinda rules.
Gong Show Clip
DAF – Liebe Auf Den Ersten Blick
if you were the other dude in this video, would you stand there watching that bullshit?
Jane Skinner Has Something On Her Mind
i’ll give you a clue: it’s cock.
Slightly Less Than Literary.
I realized the other day that despite having been an English major in college, I haven’t really been reading for pleasure very much lately unless you count snarky websites, glossy magazines, and comic books. I remember telling myself when I was still in school that graduating would be great because I’d have so much more time to read “whatever I want.” I’ve been meaning to get around to reading The Brothers Karamazov ever since, but cut me some slack – Guitar Hero 2 just came out. I’m totally gonna read some Russian classics as soon as I get 5 stars on Misirlou on Expert Mode.
So I was sitting around the other night, feeling guilty for letting my brain rot, when I got inspired and decided to scan through the contents of my bookshelf in search of some stimulation. I figured maybe I should read some books that I own but have never read. Sounds like a good enough plan, doesn’t it? Think about it: they’re sitting right there in my living room! All I have to do is open the cover and start absorbing! How easy!
Well, not quite. Here’s the problem: At some point in my life I bought these books with the intention of reading them. Maybe I started reading them but got bored in the middle. Maybe I only made it a few pages in and then decided I’d rather play Counterstrike or something. Maybe I never even opened the damn thing but thought it made me look smart sitting on my shelf. No matter what the reason was for not reading these books, there’s one underlying fact shared by every possible explanation: I was more excited to read these books when I bought them than I am now.
Which probably explains why as I scanned the shelves looking for something new and exciting, every unread book I came across made me kind of shudder a little. Here’s a handful of them in no particular order.
Season Shot: Ammo With Flavor.
Tired of shooting AND seasoning your fowl? Good news, folks: Season Shot has arrived.
Ready for the pun of the century? Ready?
Kill two birds with one stone.
A little info from the site:
Note the first difference between Season Shot and “other brands.” Apparently, one of the biggest differences between the two is the fact that one of them has “flavor.” The “other brands,” as you can see, have “no flavor” [here]. That’s an important clarification. Thanks, guys.