Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Dear Spike And Cronenberg: We're Sorry

Welcome to Season 2, Episode 10: Sickies!

You may have thought Jeff and Scott were abducted by aliens but the truth is much worse. There is tragedy, there is pain, there is discussion that bounces all over the pop culture landscape, including thoughts on Wonder Woman, Marvel vs. DC, MST3K old and new, House of Cards, the Black Panther trailer and most importantly, their mutual love of the classic Universal monster films and Jeff's total hatred of The Mummy.

[Cross-posted to The Slumgullion]

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Whatever Happened to Spanking?

"I...am your father! But do I even get a lousy Hallmark card? No! And I left you one good hand to write with, so don't give me that crap..."

A very happy Fathers Day to all you Dark Side Daddies out there.

Happy Father's Day! (Or...IS IT?)

By Bill S.

Father's Day is upon us, and to celebrate it, here's a list of some movie and TV dads who make us grateful for the dad we had (I hope)

WORST MOVIE DADS

Henry Salt (Roy Kinnear) in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971):

I have a confession to make: I'm actually rather fond of Mr. Salt. It might have to do with the casting of late British funnyman Roy Kinnear, who managed to bring a little bit of warmth to a part that, on paper, surely didn't have any. He seems as aware as everyone else that his daughter Veruca is a pain in the ass (this is also true in the book), and we'd almost feel sorry for him if it wasn't clear that it's his own fault for spoiling her rotten. Which is why he winds up following her down the garbage chute. (Wonka assures Charlie that they, and the rest of the guests, are fine: "They'll be back to their normal, terrible selves. But perhaps a bit wiser." Let's hope so.)

Judge Joseph Palmer (Robert Duvall) in The Judge (2014): 
When you're on trial for murder, and you appoint your son to defend you, and he's reluctant to do it because he thinks you might be guilty...well, maybe you've made a parenting mistake or two. 

(This is the fourth time Robert Duvall's appeared on the list, which must mean he's the go-to actor for playing questionable fathers. Would that make him the anti-Gregory Peck?)

Mr. Leblanc in Elle (2016): We never actually see the father of protagonist Michelle Leblanc (Isabelle Huppert, giving a much better performance here than in Heaven's Gate). But we certainly learn enough about him to know he's a monster. Forty years earlier, he went on a murder spree, killing 27 people. He returned home, covered in blood, and enlisted his then-10 year old daughter to help burn down their house. The press coverage of the story falsely implicated her in the murders, which led to her making a lot of terribly self-destructive choices as an adult.

God (Benoit Poelvoorde) in The Brand New Testament (2015):

In this daring (and very funny) Belgian comedy, God has a wife (a Goddess herself, though she stays out of His way and focuses attention on her baseball card collection), and a 10 year old daughter, Ea, who's as annoyed by her parents as any other 10 year old. (His son, "J.C", has chosen the form of a figurine in the living room, coming to life only to give his sister advice and encouragement.) God is portrayed as a petty, mean-spirited deity who inflicts misery on humans for His own amusement, even going so far as to create thousands of daily annoyances ("Toast with jam always falls jam side down", "When you immerse a body in water, the phone rings") When Ea, fed up with her father, takes off for Earth, He follows her, only to be subjected to the very same annoyances He created. He's also rude and obnoxious to every human he encounters, including a well-meaning priest who ends up beating the crap out of him. 

WORST TV DADS

Clifford Blossom (Barclay Hope) on Riverdale:

On this prime-time soap, all the parents are kind of screwy, but none more so than the head of the Blossom family, who murders his son Jason when the boy finds out the Blossom's maple syrup business is a front for a drug smuggling operation. (Leave it to Greg Berlanti to make the "Archie" comics interesting.)

Barry "Baz" Blackwell (Scott Speedman) on Animal Kingdom:
He fathered his eldest child with his adopted sister. What more do you need to know? His mother, Smurf (who made last month's Mother's Day column), puts him second in command of the family business--which is breaking into buildings and robbing them.

Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino) on Supernatural:
Kind of a no-brainer to include him on the list, what with him being the personification of evil and all. In the most recent season of the show, he occupied the body of a U.S. president and fathered a child with the president's mistress. And you thought Mr. Salt spawned a monster.

Happy Father's Day everyone. Sing us out, Adrian and Audie--

Thursday, June 15, 2017

We Need a New Motto Around Here

A couple of kind commenters and emailists saw one of my bleating posts and suggested I go ahead and make this shirt available, as a public service or first offence. So here you go.



Let the world know that you will not be intimidated (mostly because you're not really paying attention. And nowadays, who could blame you?) Seems to come in a variety of sexes, sizes, and colors.

Megyn Kelly Interviews Public Nuisance on Tee-Vee, Maybe?

By Keith

Broadcast under cloud of controversy, J.P. Morgan pulls adverts, Comcast/Universal stokes publicity, and an unwelcome Father's Day present for Sandy Hook Massacre families


Megyn Kelly's new gig with NBC returns Sunday with new episode featuring "The Jones."

No, it's not the "Jones" behind the nation's current opioid crisis. And it's not that "Jones" from "Me & Mrs. Jones" either.

Having cleared a hurdle with global A-lister Vladimir Putin in her premiere excursion, Megyn dumpster-dives the D-List for an interview with the sorrowful, morbidly-derelict and preternaturally-nauseating niche podcaster Alex Jones, that guy who keeps on keeping the lovely city of Austin, TX "weird" but perhaps not in the way residents might prefer.

Your correspondent is not questioning Ms. Kelly's judgment, nor her ability to conduct television journalism.

However, I must point out Mr. Jones' earlier encounter with a somewhat legitimate news organization from a few years ago and it's a hoot an' a half. It begs to wonder whether something similar will obtain Sunday night. (Gut feeling is "Yes, of course.")

Gander fellow Crappers (pearl-clutching allowed):

(Total meltdown occurs at approximately 4:38)
Jones said the Kelly interview marks a rare example of his agreeing to a sit-down with a mainstream media figure. He said he has turned down many other recent offers but realized that Kelly will likely have a big platform with “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly.” 
“I’d be dumb if I didn’t do some of these interviews,” Jones said.
Scott adds: And we'd be dumb if we watched, so let's all avoid dumbness together, yet each in our own way.

Under normal circumstances, accepting Megyn's invitation would itself be legal grounds for dumbness, since Jones' usual method is to rely upon his mouth's high cyclic rate for bullshit and riddle his interlocutor with 900 to 1,200 Lies Per Minute, But this isn't a live television broadcast that he can dominate through sustained shamelessness and pure shouty aggression. This is going to be taped, then edited by the lesser demons who toil in the sulfur-scented pits of the MSM.

Now I don't for a second doubt Jones' uncanny, flatworm-like survival skills. I am convinced that if you cleaved him in half, an equally repulsive Jones would grow from the severed stump and begin shouting lies the instant it formed a mouth . So Alex might be obliged to bob, weave, and dodge Megyn's more pointed queries, assuming she asks any, which is assuming a lot. He might, as they tool around in his SUV, abruptly bellow like a 19th Century circus strong man rupturing himself on the midway, or tear off his shirt in the Hardee's drive-thru in an effort to distract. But even though he can't filibuster the segment because there's no producer in the booth eyeing the clock and begging the on-air talent to end this tour of Bedlam so they can cut to a Boston Market commercial, Jones is more than a match for a woman who's spent her formative years reciting the produce of a propaganda mill, and -- as we saw with Putin -- hasn't the skills for a truly adversarial interview. Hell, Putin's a dictator who murders his detractors with impunity, he invades and occupies neighboring countries, he launched a cyberwar against the United States in an attempt to put a Manchurian stooge in the White House, and barely cares if you catch him at any of it, and during their encounter Megyn still came off like she was asking Miss South Carolina her opinion of world peace.

So here's my prediction: Megyn will get off one or two mildly skeptical -- perhaps even daringly wry -- comments about Jones in her wrap-up, thus burnishing her brand as the Reasonable Conservative, but during the interview segments, Jones will dance circles around Megyn like she was a maypole and he was a pigtailed girl in a frilly white pinafore.

Friday, June 9, 2017

People Let Me Tell You Bout My Best Friend

Mary was supposed to be home today, but last night the doctors found another problem they want to correct, so she's undergoing a second, relatively minor, procedure today. Here's hoping she'll be released back into the wild on Saturday.

In the meantime, this is my fifth day as the sole adult in the apartment, and I'm beginning to feel like Bill Bixby in The Courtship of Eddie's Father, except nobody's dead, I don't have a Japanese widow to do the housework, and Eddie is two cats.

Two depressed cats.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

She's Alive! ALI--Well, I Don't Wanna Oversell It

Another quick update: Mary survived the operation last night (I realize that's an overly dramatic way of putting it, but don't judge me. We all have different ways of coping with stress, and mine involve striking histrionic attitudes from the Junius Brutus Booth playbook.)

She's suffering through some vein-poppingly intense pain, if her groans, white knuckles, and glaze of perspiration are any indication, and reportedly has enough screws and plates in her leg that she's setting off airport metal detectors from her hospital bed, but the procedure was a success. Or so I was told, and I choose to believe it's true, because given any other option, my brain will illuminate such grotesque and hideous alternatives that it'll make EC's Vault of Horror look like Marvel's Millie the Model. (I'm thinking of offering a line of custom t-shirts, with inspirational sentiments such as: "Choose Gullibility", or "I'm Fearless (Because I'm Oblivious)". Available in Sleeveless, Cap Sleeve, and Raglan Baseball T, sizes S to XXL.)