Tonight I had a horrible nightmare. I jumped out of a plane and thought for a few brief, delusional moments that I could fly. I am well aware that I can't actually fly. That it violates every rule of evolution and nature and all, but just go with me on this. For a few seconds, I thought that I could fly. Anyway, a few moments later the gravity of the situation set in (both literally and figuratively) and I remembered that, delusions aside, I can't really fly.
I started to fall to the Earth at a blinding speed.
No parachute, no jet pack, none of those nifty surfboards that you see extreme sports guys flying around in sometimes. Not a downward spiral, there was no spiral to speak of. This was pure downward. Unfettered velocity sending me quicker and quicker toward an extravagant and messy landing.
Nothing could stop this from happening at this point. It's just the way that things are. I should not have jumped out of the plane in the first place. Then, I was delusional enough to believe the false hope that I was actually going to be okay doing so. In a way, it was almost a relief when reality set in and I was allowed to plunge to my inevitable and, dare I say, logical demise. It's the way of things. Always has been, always will be. The insane part was that bit when I thought that I could somehow keep it from happening.
Know what the worst part is?
Turns out that I wasn't really dreaming at all....
I'm just a Los Angeles Clippers fan.
50 years ago today, Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in an NBA game. A feat no one had done before and no one has done since. I won't tell you exactly how I plan to commemorate this event, I'll just tell you that earlier this evening, I bought a lot of malted milk balls.
Like, A LOT.
I get a lot of emails from Living Social about their special deals. However, I am a bit disturbed by the fact that about once a week for the last month, I have gotten one asking if I want a colon hydrotherapy session. They keep asking me and keep asking me and every time I say no.
It's getting to the point where I am seriously expecting an email from them with a heading that reads:
"Come on. How about just the tip?"
I think I might just let them. If I do, that means that they'll finally love me, right?
The Oscar nominations were announced today and like just about everyone, I have several major issues with who is in and who is out of contention. However, as big of a problem as I have with some of the inclusions and exclusions, a great crime has been corrected earlier today.
A crime that has been going on for over twenty years.
Alright, look, I understand that using the word "Crime" when describing anything that does not involve theft, violence or loss of life and/or property immediately negates the magnitude of anything that follows it. However, I consider this series of events to be as close as you can get to this and remain in the category of "Figurative" theft as opposed to "Literal" theft.
Today, Gary Oldman, far and away the best actor in motion pictures for over a quarter of a century, had his first Oscar nomination bestowed upon him.
If any of you are unfamiliar with this truly, truly spectacular performer, here is a recent tribute to him from the good people at the New York Times.. The quality of the image is not great for the montage, but it does include much of his best work.
There's about seven Oscar-worthy performances in there alone. Taking a step back to look at his entire body of work makes me want to go to several other actor's houses and take the Oscars they won in their respective years, melt them all down, reshape them and hand Gary Oldman and Oscar the size of a circus midget. Sorry, circus little person.
How does something like this happen? How does a guy blessed with this level of talent and blessed with the opportunity to show said talent off in several amazing roles do such with so little recognition? Sure, he's a success, he is paid well for his services and he's had significant relationships with both Uma Thurman and Isabella Rossellini, so he's not exactly a hard luck case or anything. He just deserves more, especially when there are people with such mediocre amounts of talent who get so much more. Gary Oldman's streak of Oscar has seen nominations for men of such questionable talents as Mark Wahlberg. Of course, when I say "questionable", I mean "virtually none".
Gary Oldman's problem is that he's too good. People like when a likable performer reaches down into the deepest recesses of their beings and come out with a career defining performance. Gary Oldman is far too good and far too workmanlike for something like that to happen. He can't strive to be better because he's already the best. Even when he's in terrible movies he's mesmerizing. Other creative types hate people like this. I'd hate him too if he weren't so damn good. Yes, I am aware that I am accusing the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of being player haters. What else are you going to call people who have snubbed a man who can play Beethoven, Dracula, Joe Orton, Sid Vicious Rosencrantz (or Guildenstern) and Lee Harvey Oswald along with countless other great original characters.
"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" is not just a pretty great movie, but one to which I shall forever be indebted because it has finally given Gary Oldman the credit he so desperately deserves. Does he have a chance at winning? Probably not, unless George Clooney and Brad Pitt split the coveted "Obscenely handsome" vote. It doesn't really matter all that much to me. A wrong has been righted, justice has been served.
Besides, sometimes, it's an honor just to be nominated,
Here is my moving tribute to college football coach and pedophile enabler, Joe Paterno.
It's a shame that there is no hell for him to go to.
Do you know what the worst thing about this battle for the Republican presidential nomination is? I'll give you a hint: It happened on March 3rd, 1991.
Still nothing? Alright, alright, I'll tell you.
It's the death of fantastic character Vance Colvig Jr.
Vance was flat-out brilliant and, were he alive today, he'd be a shoe-in to play Ron Paul in the eventual movie about this.
Take a look and tell me I'm wrong.
That guy is more Ron Paul than Ron Paul is. Plus, the presence of former actress turned professional crazy person Victoria Jackson makes him only the second craziest person in this scene.
I'm sure that you all know what SOPA is by now, right?
If you don't, it's the "Stop Online Piracy Act". No matter how good people get at creating both names and acronyms for laws that they are trying to push through, sometimes they still can't get them passed without people taking notice of the horrible things that they actually do. Another recent example was "Citizens United", which was approved and put into law by the Supreme Court. It's got an nice, almost philanthropic name, does it not? Yeah, well it's a horrible law that says that corporations are legally considered people and, hence, legally allowed to put as much money as they want into any political campaign as they want. As a result, you're going to see lots and lots and lots of money spent this election season on candidates for all of the wrong reasons. Be on the lookout for that, won't you? My rule of thumb is probably just going to be to vote for the candidate with the least advertising, because, chances are, they are the less beholden to corporate masters.
Stopping internet piracy is what it claims to want to do. Does it do what it says?
Not even close.
It's essentially just a power grab which would severely limit all of our abilities to proverbially surf the interwebs and find fun stuff to inform, entertain and, generally, forget about all of the painful things in life that are completely unrelated to the internet. As as result of this, several major websites are protesting today by shutting down for a 24 hour period. The most important one to me is Wikipedia, the internet encyclopedia. Despite the fact that it can occasionally be riddles with inaccuracies, it is very useful for someone like me, who is more than willing to turn hearsay and conjecture into fact if I feel that it helps shape my agenda into something more palpable for others.
WIth this in mind, I urge you all to do two things.
1.) Write, call and get involved in finding out about laws like this to help make sure that they don't go by unnoticed.
2.) Feel free to write me personally in the meantime with any general knowledge questions that you might have about anything. I am a full-fledged college graduate and, though not fully proficient in all areas, can probably give you the gist of whatever subject you are interested in. Seriously, I'm here for you. Just lay a question on me of any kind and I will do my darndest to answer it to the best of my ability.
After all, isn't people helping people what the internet is for?
Finally saw "Shame" today. Fantastic film. However, I had been mislead by critics and friends. I had been lead to believe that it was the morose tale of a deeply disturbed loner whose traumatic upbringing lead him into an obsessive life of meaningless and degrading sexual encounters which merely postpone his self-loathing, eventually leaving him with even less of a soul than he already had.
What I actually saw was an inspiring film about the most awesome dude ever living a kick-ass life on the singles scene in NYC. Finally, a relatable male role model for my generation.
Stay frosty, Magneto. You are my co-pilot.
The 2012 Iowa Republican caucus is happening tomorrow. As someone who revels is the very worst that humanity has to offer, I've found the entire experience of paying attention to the Republican candidates to be nothing short of a joy. It's like some kind of reality show to see who can say more things that I can't believe anyone would have the gall to say in public, much less in front of microphones, much less to applause. If there is one thing that this whole experience has reminded me of, it's that belief in antiquated superstitions will make people say and do some really, really horrible things. Things that you would have hoped our species would long have shunned on account of their proven counter-productivity. I hate stuff just as much, well, let's be honest, significantly more, that most people, but I don't hide behind some phony-baloney book of laws handed down thousands of years ago from a part of the world who's inhabitants I disdain in every other regard. Own up to your hate, folks. Go in commando. It feels better and you'll be thankful you did.
Anyway, according to the latest polls, it appears to be a dead heat between Mitt Romney and Ron Paul to come out on top of this one. The Iowa caucus has a tradition of not picking the person who will eventually win the nomination, so it's really more of a "Pre-Season" game anyway, but I want to look at these front-runners for a moment from a slightly different perspective. The perspective of a peaceful town in the american old west called Rock Ridge.
As featured in Mel Brooks fantastic cmoedy, "Blazing Saddles", Rock Ridge is a town of kindly but short-sighted and racist simpletons who we are meant to believe are all related. If this does not sound like the majority of the modern republican party, I don't know what does. Anyway, if you are someone who has not been paying attention to these candidates at all, first off, you are to be congratulated, secondly, allow me to explain the to leading candidates by their film counterparts.
Willard "Mitt" Romney is a Mormon businessman and part-time former governor of Massachusetts. The majority of his vast, vast fortune was made buying smaller companies and making them more profitable by firing the work force and sending the jobs to third world countries to be handled by slave-labor. Anyone blessed with even a smidgen of intelligence who has ever seen him talk can tell that looking out for the poor and less fortunate isn't only not in his wheelhouse, it may very well literally have never occurred to him. Business people like him are are like wealth-amassing crackheads and the majority of their gains are every bit as fruitless. With that in mind, I present to you, Mr. Hedley Lamarr. Here he is talking to one of his like-minded advisors.
The other guy is Ron Paul. Ron Paul is a seventy-six year old congressman from Texas. He's a fun guy to watch on account of his ability to say things that don't always toe his party line. For example, unlike the other candidates, he seems to have absolutely no interest in bombing the shit out of brown people for both fun and profit. In fact, he seems dead set on ending most of America's nationalistic tendencies all together. Cool, huh?
However, before you head off and pull a lever for this guy (Boy, that sure SOUNDS dirty, even if it isn't), you should know that almost every other place in which he disagrees with his party, his non-asshole policies are replaced with bat-shit crazy ones. He wants to end Medicare, Social Security and just about every other federally funded program there is. He was also responsible for printing a lot of racist rants in a newsletter of his in his several years ago. Plus, he's staunchly anti-abortion, which is always a deal-breaker for me. From a guy whose whole platform seems to be that people should take care of themselves, worry about their own and the guy next door can go screw, wanting to ban abortion sticks out like, well, I guess like a black guy at Ron Paul's Thanksgiving dinner table. With all this in mind, I'd like to introduce you to Gabby Johnson:
Yup, that pretty much says it all about Ron Paul.
The fact that Obama had been a disappointment of "Phantom Menace" proportions and he's STILL probably going to get reelected due to the chumps that they're throwing at him is testament to how truly crazy this political season has been.
Good luck, Iowa. You're gonna need it.
P.S. Of course I could not completely leave out a bit from Mongo, AKA Rick Perry:
If you are one of those people like myself who is registered in several facets of social media, you tend to notice certain trends emerging. I guess it speaks to human beings inherent tendencies in regards to what information about themselves they want out there. There is one prevalent trend that I have noticed amongst all of these platforms that is far and away the most common: Bragging.
I know several people on Facebook, Twitter and both Facebook AND Twitter (Not to leave out the 35 people on "Google Plus") who more or less use them as a platform to shamelessly and constantly brag about themselves, their luck and/or their accomplishments. Often, they are all melded into one long stream of self-promotion, self-aggrandization and dare I day, self-fallating. Translating for the lay-person, you're essentially blowing yourself in public. Sometimes these are smaller infractions, such as a photo of a really expensive meal you're about to have at a fancy-dancy eatery or picture of your new, surreally expensive designer boots, both complete with quasi-witty caption. "THIS is happening", or the like. Sometimes these infractions are bigger. Post-graduate degrees are awesome and not easy to attain. If you get one, I request, nay, demand that you not only celebrate it, but inform me of it. There's a drink waiting for you and it's on the house. However, I don't need you telling me that you're nearing completing the process of getting one, then getting one real soon. Then 4 Squaring that you're graduating, then posting blurry pics of you graduating, then pics of you holding your diploma, then tweeting about it, then pics of you at dinner with your mom and step-dad and family, then pics of you at breakfast with your dad and step-mom and family, then, lunch with your fellow recent graduates, then dinner with the professor you exchanged sexual favors with to get said degree. Well, I guess there are no pics of that last one. Who wants to take photos of a break-up? Anyway you get the idea. One more thing while I'm up here. If you're in some experimental group or theatre or something similar, post something about it. I may very well go. However, please don't JUST post about it. It's the humane thing to do. After I hear about something ten times, my interest in it decreases by 5% every time I hear about it again. Why do you think I've never seen any of those Robert Downey Jr. "Sherlock Holmes" movies? I haven't the foggiest what a "Game of Shadows" is and I don't care to. I did, however, choose to learn what a "Ghost Protocol" is and I'm the better man for it.
This knife cuts both ways, however. If I know a person who is accomplished and actually has a reason to brag about themselves, yet manages to make their social media feeds something more than intolerable self-promotion, I find them to be even more admirable and I am even more likely to congratulate them and support their accomplishments. There is a great quote about this, "Success does not change people, it simply reveals who they always were". I don't remember who said that. It was probably some great thinker, like Copernicus, or "Deuce Bigelow"-era Rob Schneider.
Here is the part that I think is so odd. I'm not without a certain level of accomplishment. I've never climbed Mt. Killimanjaro or "Dropped" an album or anything, but if I wanted to, I'm sure that I could find something to share with the group that is worth putting out there to make others jealous. What's strange is that I feel virtually no need to do so. Maybe it's because I hate myself too much, maybe I think that my accomplishments pale in comparison to my contemporaries, maybe I just can't take the time out from doing something interesting to tell others that I'm doing something interesting. Whatever it is, it feels very counterintuitive for one main reason: I can't seem to shut up about all of the horrible embarrassing stuff that I do. You'll never hear about me doing anything even a little bit charitable or benevolent for my fellow man, but I "Check In" on Facebook every time I attend an all night horror movie marathon or Transformers convention. I mention it every time I eat something deep-fried and I'm pretty sure that were someone so inclined, they could piece together every chapter in the endless riches of shame that is book of my existence. Why is that such a natural thing for me, and the exact opposite for so many others?
With that in mind, I offer you, dear reader, this. In the future, my new year's resolution is that I promise to be a bit more like you if you promise to be a bit more like me.
Oh, and happy new year! I can't wait for you to post some pictures of you at some party doing that kissy-face thing and that upside-down peace sign thingamajig. Top it all off with some stupid hat, would you?