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.)

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

State of the Yeeee-OWTCH!


Well, things have gone South, Sideways, and To Hell, all in one awkward, but awe-inspiring motion -- the sort of thing that could only be pulled off by a Cirque du Soleil acrobat who's been drinking between shows.

On Friday, Mary slipped and fell on the stairs to the ladies room at the Chinese Theater (during a screening of Wonder Woman -- O Irony, thou cruel mistress), dislocated her ankle and fractured three bones ("a hat trick!" as our friend Dr. Alice observed). So rather than watching Gal Gadot kick ass, we spent most of the evening in the Emergency Room, where they relocated her ankle to a better neighborhood, applied a cast, and said, "Yeah, you'll need surgery."

The weekend passed slowly, relieved by moments of eye-rolling terror when it looked like Mary was going to fall off her crutches (again, on the way to the bathroom). Monday we consulted an orthopedic surgeon, who was of the opinion that her ankle had been set improperly, and she needed immediate surgery. So it was off to the Emergency Room again, where Mary spent four hours in an uncomfortable chair in the Waiting area, then another seven hours on a gurney in a hallway. It was a cruel test of endurance and after awhile I couldn't stand it anymore, so I started to pretend I was watching a David Blaine TV special.

And that's where things stand. I'm heading back to the hospital, where the surgery will (we're desperately hoping) take place this afternoon. I'll update as soon as there's news and a wifi signal I can steal.  In the meantime, prayers and good wishes gratefully accepted.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Oh, Ablow Me

I'm sorry for letting so much dust collect on the blog. I either need a better work ethic, or a more effective scapegoat, but the latter is hard to come by, since our neighborhood isn't zoned for livestock. I suppose I could get a dog, since they're Mankind's traditional fall guy, for everything from alleged homework destruction to farts, but "The Dog Ate My Blog" sounds less like a valid excuse, and more like a rejected song by They Might Be Giants.

Not that I don't have excuses, mind you.  My Mac died a sudden, but convincing death, for instance. Granted, it was a decade old, and the recipient of multiple transplant organs over the years -- a new video card, a replacement hard drive; also, I think someone may have stolen its kidneys in Mexico -- so it wasn't exactly untimely or unexpected, and I suspect Mac himself welcomed the sweet release of death, since he would no longer be required to visit WorldNetDaily or RenewAmerica. But it did take all my bookmarks, my assemblage of vintage ads for disgusting food (as essential to celebrating birthdays around here as my this-close-to-porn collection of reptile models in sexy poses), my various can't-afford-to-replace 'em media manipulation programs and most painful of all, my entire library of cat photos and videos.

So I'm coming to you now from my cheap, rickety, barely-worthy-of-the-name backup laptop, and we'll see how long that lasts. But in the meantime, what about some cheap, rickety, barely-worthy-of-the-name reasoning, from "Fox News Medical A-Team" A-hole, Dr. Keith Ablow?

[UPDATED below. Abelow? Whatever...]

We've talked about the good Dr. Fellatio before...Here's a picture:


Wait...Sorry. Here's his headshot...
Dr. Gherkinslurper's skill set -- aside from an obvious ability to make sweet, sweet love to the camera -- has heretofore been confined to examining President Obama's mental illnesses from such a distance that his diagnoses had to correct for the curvature of the earth.

But now that we have a president who's a paragon of emotional stability and robust mental health, Dr. Schlongsluicer has gone from Cassandra to cheerleader:
Trumping your life: How to be a better, stronger person by being more like the president
Weeks ago, I wrote the first installment of TRUMPING YOUR LIFE, delivering three ways you can change your life by following the example of President Trump.
I feel like I've already had my life thoroughly, and if not irreparably, Trumped, thank you. To be fair, however, Dr. Bollardbuffer didn't promise to change your life for the better, he simply recognized that sometimes a person wants or needs to shake things up. Besides aping the example of President Trump, other ways to profoundly change your life include the following:
1.) Give meth a chance
2.)  Have a baby - but not a human one
3.) Consider a mid-life career change, like quitting your current job and going on a Badlands-style five-state killing spree.
This is the second of five installments I plan to share.
Oh dear God.
If you take this Trump-inspired self-help advice seriously, I believe it will significantly improve your existence.
As the co-proprietor of a blog, I've had the occasional target of our gentle lampoonery advise me to "get a life!", but I admire the way Dr. Knobbobber doesn't want to cruelly raise expectations about the value of his therapy, and more reasonably advises his patients to "get an existence."
As a reminder, these were the first three ways to begin TRUMPING YOUR LIFE: 
1) Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not good enough to work toward any goal. Just don’t forget the work.
You're good enough, you're smart enough, and doggone it, you're corrupt enough. Just remember, those elections aren't going to rig themselves.
 2) Don’t mimic your competitors. Have the courage to be authentic.
"If there's one thing I'd like people to take away from this five part series on following the example of Donald Trump, it's the importance of not following the example of other people, because internally consist logic is treble clef lemur swizzle grommet."
3) Let yourself be righteously angry when people take you for a weakling, a fool or a fraud.
Or, just realize how well you must be emulating Donald Trump, and take the win.
Now, onward . . . 
4. Assume you will encounter increasing resistance as you pursue big and worthy goals.
If your goals are big and worthy enough, you might even encounter increasing hashtag resistance.
Small minds, intent on stalling or frustrating real change, become increasingly obstructive in the face of bold momentum...
But once you've got small minds working in concert with small hands, the world is your teeny tiny oyster.
you should do what I believe Donald Trump does...Turn the friction you feel from small minds into fuel for your intentions. Double down.
I don't know what this means, but it sounds like somebody decided to write some Art of the Deal slash fic.
5. Don’t be afraid to speak about things like friendship and love. Among strong people, connections of the heart are very powerful.
Also don't be afraid to stab people in the back and throw them under the bus at the first sign of trouble. And don't be afraid to keep your supporters from fulfilling their lifelong dream of meeting the Pope, because among strong people, the tears of weak people are hilarious. Remember, your enemies expect you to be an asshole and will thus remain on their guard, so sucker punch a friend! Much easier.
President Trump is known for pointing out friends in big crowds.
He's also known for pointing out protesters he'd like his big crowds to beat up. His finger is quite versatile, is what we're saying.
 He talks openly about loving places and people and projects.
And creepily about loving his daughter. His libido is versatile, is what we're saying.
 He is clearly pained by cruelty to children. After receiving a long round of applause during a recent speech in Israel, he paused to say, “I like you, too.” 
How does sentence #2 illustrate -- or remotely relate -- to sentence #1? Well, I guess even Trump realizes that applause will only encourage him to turn the world our children will inherit into an even crueler hellscape, and so figures he should respond to it like a Burnt Umber Fred Rogers.
Being powerful doesn’t mean you need to be austere.
Thankfully, I think we've got the austerity problem licked.
Creativity is enhanced by a willingness not to be so intent on appearing courageous that you can’t be very powerfully moved by emotion. Sure, Trump is tough and can be moved to anger. But he also seems able to laugh and to love.
Laugh and love? Maybe. Hates to be laughed at? Definitely. Still, you should totally base your life on a rageaholic with the emotional stability of nitroglycerin, because he just might possibly be capable of guffawing when someone gets smacked in the nuts on America's Funniest Home Videos.
You should feel free to speak from your heart, not just your head. People will hear you even better.
Depending on how good the acoustics are in your thorax.
6. After hard-fought battles, whether you win or lose, don’t assume your competitors can’t become your partners.
Unless they have video footage of you paying to Russian hookers to soil a hotel bed in Moscow, in which case they're more likely to become your supervisors.
President Trump reached out to candidates he fiercely debated during the Republican primaries and turned more than one into an ally. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson comes to mind.
It's not a sound mind, but still.
So does Gov. Chris Christie.
I think we can all agree he immediately comes to mind whenever the phrase, "Who's fetching the President's Sausage McMuffin® with Egg?" is heard.
Burning bridges may feel satisfying when you do it, but you can easily find yourself alone, on an island. The truth is that most people are pretty forgiving and can set aside some hurt feelings or even very bruised egos to pursue worthy goals with former adversaries.
Donald Trump isn't one of them, of course, but sometimes it's the exception that proves the rule.
You have to ask to mend fences, of course. You have to be willing to extend an olive branch — or two or three — even after wielding a bat. And that takes some kindness and courage and faith. But you will be repaid through synergies that might never have developed had you let your ego interfere with the greater good.
Excuse me, Dr. Weinerwasher, I don't mean to be cynical, but you completely forgot you were talking about Donald Trump and just drifted off into the canned speech you give at Rotary meetings, didn't you?
So, there you have it: A total of 6 ways to start TRUMPING YOUR LIFE
Including a live demonstration of how to lose your train of thought and wander off in a dementia fueled haze, before snapping back with spasm of caps.


Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team.
I don't know who consults the Fox News Medical A-Team, but I pity the fool.

UPDATE: Sheri writes an unsolicited testimonial to the power of Dr. Kochholster's therapy:

Thank you for sharing these wonderful tips on how to Trump my life! I learned that just because everybody else says that global warming is real, and that vaccines don't cause autism, I should buck the crowd and believe the conspiracies!

I learned that mocking disabled people, although frowned on by so-called "decent society," is fun, and is a great way to release tension! 

I learned that if a kid on Twitter says something I don't like, I should destroy her, because the best thing in life is to crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.


And I learned that standing in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shooting somebody is a great way to make friends.

So, now that I have perfect mental health, I am ready to meet Dr. Ablow and thank him personally...