American Idle

May 22, 2006

People are still going apeshit over American Idol and I don’t understand why. It’s bad enough that the majority of the people voting on the show probably don’t even bother showing up on election day to vote for the president of the United States, but now the local evening news in my area covers the show like it’s actually, you know, news, so I’m going to rant about it like an old man, cause that’s what I do.

1. What the fuck does Simon Cowell know about music? Show me something that snotty British dildo “produced” that was worth a damn. Anybody.

2. Paula Abdul is a host. At least she has a background in music… But then again, that was in the 80s, and her music blows.

3. The contestants are incredibly boring and tasteless. It’s all mindless vocal masturbation, hollow cover songs that are supposed to showcase the singer’s skills when all it does is show how completely unoriginal they are. It’s like they’re all trying to be Michael Bolton or something. Why, god? We already have one. He’s more than enough.

4. Would Johnny Cash have made it on American Idol? I doubt it. Ian MacKaye of Fugazi / Minor Threat? Doubt that. Bob Dylan, with his nasally voice? I doubt that too. I could go on and on with just about anyone who makes good music, really. Michael Jackson would fit in well on American Idol, but he probably wouldn’t make it either, because it looks like someone ran over his face. They wouldn’t air that travesty.

5. Reality TV shows have no basis in reality. Isn’t that enough to make you turn it off? I don’t understand how people can sit there and take it seriously, knowing all the while that they’re being toyed with by a bunch of rich peckerheads in an office somewhere. It’s all about money: what will get the viewers to tune in next time and what will get them emotionally involved so they’ll talk about the show next day at work. If you wonder why your favorite idiot got voted off, that’s why. Just like any television show, it’s planned.

6. American Gladiator was better. If you don’t recall, that was the show where regular Americans would do fierce, padded battle with huge steroid-addled Gladiators. Jousting, the racing of giant hamster balls, deadly rock climbing. Heart. American Gladiator came from the heart. It came from the heart and it came for YOUR heart, and it took it. Because when you saw that shopping mall security guard with a mullet face that pulsing vein of testosterone that was any given Gladiator, male or female, you knew he was trying his god damndest to win. Those contestants thought of nothing but giving every ounce of their soul. And I guarantee you it’s twice the soul any American Idol contestant could ever give. Praise be.

Beirut and Felix Gum

May 18, 2006

beirutgulag.jpgBeirut – Gulag Orkestar. This is one of my new favorite albums. They don’t use guitars at all (their preferred instruments are “mandolins, ukuleles, violins and glockenspiels”) and the band is partly composed of members from Neutral Milk Hotel, so you can’t go wrong there. The singer is apparently 19 years old, which makes me angry and jealous, but aside from that, they’re solid. There are songs to sample, as always, over at Amazon.com. I suggest you do so. Do it, and let the English see you do it. Then get the album for yourself. Pirate it, copy it to cassette, make a vinyl, whatever. That’s really all there is to say about that.

There’s only one thing as good as this Beirut cd to me right now, and it’s the Felix the Cat gum I’m chewing on like cud. I suggest you do the same. Chew and listen, chew and listen. Moo. Everything goes well with Felix the Cat Gum, really. Someone once told me that they use whale blubber in this here gum, but I don’t know if it’s true or not and I’m not sure I care. Its strange, heavenly scent is enough to let me overlook the slaughter of innocent and endangered animals. It would take days of Greenpeace harrassment via megaphone to make me give up this blubbery goodness. Mmm.

Actually, I just acquired a box of it after going without for more than 17 years. The last time I partook of its powers, I was 5 and I was in Japan. A search on Google a while back didn’t find anything at all, so I assumed they just didn’t make it any more. It’s not like Felix the Cat can still be that big over there, can he? I doubt kids nowadays would even know who the hell he is. Much to my astonishment, though, a friend of my father’s snatched some up on a recent trip, which proves it is still floating around out there somewhere. Ah, nostalgia.
felixgum.gif
For anyone out there looking for some of their own, it’s made by Felix the Cat Productions, Inc. Determined Productions, Inc. San Francisco, CA. I’m not sure if that helps. More than likely you’ll just have to go to Japan, or order from one of those weird Google sites.

Seriouthly

May 10, 2006

When does it stop? Getting your wisdom teeth pulled is supposed to suck, but this was not a part of the deal. This is beyond suck. This is new territory I have discovered. I am the Christopher Columbus of suck. There should be a holiday declared in my name.

The past couple of days my stomach has been spasming in pain; it builds and builds like a crescendo and then I expect an alien to burst out of me, but nothing happens. I eat something and maybe it helps for a little while, but not for long. As consequence, my diet is mainly consisting of delicious and colorful Pepto Bismol, and blood.

Nobody warned me about the stomach thing. I can’t sleep because my stomach hurts, and when my teeth hurt I don’t wanna take pills cause I don’t want my stomach to hurt any more. I got like 2 hours of sleep last night! 2! This is coming from a man who normally needs 10 to operate at full capacity. Tossing, turning, cold sweat. It’s like I have malaria or something. I would seriously rather have just kept the wisdom teeth at this point. Had I known the pain I’d be in, I wouldn’t have shook the hand of my bastard oral surgeon after he wheeled me out to the parking lot, mouth full of gauze. Alas, I was high and knew no better. Now I hate him — I hate him very much.

Really, I’m just confused at this point. It’s been far too long for me to be hurting any more. I shouldn’t have any more blood or weird tastes. I can either call and see if I can get an early appointment or I can hack it out until Friday and see him then… where he’ll probably call me an idiot for “hacking it out”.

Somebody get me a fuckin Tic Tac or something. And a gun. Stat.

I want a new mouth

May 7, 2006

Wisdom teeth are called so because of the wisdom you acquire about pain when you have them taken out. How to handle it, more importantly. I think that finally hit me last night when I was lying in bed and holding my head, trying to focus not on my giant, swollen face or the taste of blood or the incredibly awful stabbing pain in my lower right jaw, but on the comfort of the situation…the blanket’s warmth and how it felt good to lay down since I was exhausted. It’s weird how when you get down to it and you’re in a situation like that, you can separate or channel things in your head. The pain is always there, of course, but there are layers of comfort and agony to sort through and you can make it hurt a little less. A little.

I tried to focus on the “good” and ignore the hurt for about 4 hours or so until I thought it was safe to take another couple of pills and I downed those fuckers as quickly as possible. Lesson learned: pills good, pain bad, thinking happy thoughts doesn’t really work. Try to do something fun with a knife stuck in your jaw and see if you can focus on the “fun”. It doesn’t happen, unless you’re some sort of Zen master or something.

I didn’t sleep much, and when I did, I drooled blood all over my pillow. What fun — every 45 minutes or so I’d wake up to glance at my TV, take a drink of water, and move my face out of the muck. The Mr. Olympia competition came on all through out the early morning hours, but I couldn’t be bothered to reach down, find the remote, and change it in between unconsciousness, so along with the pain and blood and being unable to sleep I was tortured with watching sweaty manbodies pulsate and flex any time I opened my eyes. In high definition. After taking opiates all day, that was a little surreal.

Oddly enough, it’s just one side of my mouth that is giving me utter hell; everything else is minimal in comparison. I actually remember waking up through the anesthesia mid-surgery and clenching my fist to try and fend off the searing pain I felt there, not once, but a couple of times. Crazy. When they were done, the doc said they had “a fun time” removing my lower teeth, and now, a couple days later, I think I know what he meant. He must have had a construction crew there pummeling the side of my mouth with a fucking jackhammer or something. That side of my face is just FUBAR.

Work tomorrow is either going to be impossible or one huge pain in the ass. The last thing I wanna do is go in there and inhale dust all day long, all the while I’m worried about splitting open the sutures or not healing and getting dry socket — dry socket being ten times more painful than what I’m experiencing now, apparently. Fun, fun fun, and all for some teeth that shouldn’t be there anyway…

Well, I’m going to go roll around in misery and pop pills until my stomach lining gives way and I vomit blood now — have a great day!

I love pirates, or at least pirate history, as modern day pirates don’t necessarily strike me as very cool (Come on, gas powered boats and AK-47’s? Poseurs.) and I’m also one of the many straight men out there officially gay for Johnny Depp (butt pirate), so why does the trailer for the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie look like total shit to me? Davey Jones and his crew, of locker fame, are angry and appear to want to kill Captain Sparrow in the next movie, causing all sorts of chaos. Sounds OK, you say to yourself. The catch is that Davey Jones is a walking, talking squid in a pirate outfit and his mates are hammer head sharks and crustaceans or something. See for yourself. “Oooh, ooh, and now,what I want in the next scene, is the squidfaced Davey Jones playing a piano with his tentacles! Ooooh, they’ll love it!” The fuck? Who, why, where…and again, why?

Can’t we just have a movie about real pirates drunkenly attacking each other, boarding merchant ships, shooting Red Coats, destroying things for the sake of destruction, that kind of stuff? That would be just fine. That’s all we need. Think of the original POTC ride in Disneyland when you were a kid. Yeah, that! But with bloodshed! It’s not like the genre is prone to failure, as there aren’t any recent pirate movies out there. All of the classic pirate movies are from years and years ago, like Treasure Island, and they are just that — classics.

I loved the first POTC movie for about the first 30 minutes. Depp is a rum guzzling swashbuckler, yadda yadda, can’t really beat that. But the ghosts and computer graphics came out of nowhere and just ruined my day. I want a gritty, realistic, gore-filled swashbuckler, like Braveheart or Troy but on the high seas. The best I have right now is Master and Commander, and that isn’t about pirates at all, it’s just about boats blowing the shit out of each other in the 1800’s. Somebody somewhere is slacking big time, that’s all I have to say.

Since the movies nowadays are lackluster, every now and again I’ll pick up the book The Buccaneers of America and pick through it for some carnage. It was actually written by a Dutch buccaneer in the 1600’s, and there are some interesting things about their lifestyle in there that I didn’t know about (thanks to Hollywood, who refuses to teach me through the wonder that is the cinema), like how Buccaneers abided by a certain code for divying up captured goods. Those who were injured were compensated for their losses based on the specific injuries they received while attacking ships or towns. A code of honor based solely on whether or not you got a limb hacked off. Yes! From the book itself:

Then came the agreed awards for the wounded, who might have lost a limb or suffered other injuries. They would be compensated as follows: for the loss of a right arm, 600 pieces of eight or six slaves; for a left arm, 500 pieces of eight or five slaves in compensations. The loss of a right leg also brought 500 pieces of eight or five slaves in ceompensation; a left leg, 400 or four slaves; an eye, 100 or one slave, and the same award was made for the loss of a finger. If a man lost the use of an arm, he would get as much as if it had been cut off, and a severe internal injury which meant the victim had to have a pipe inserted in his body would earn him 500 pieces of eight or five slaces in recompense. These amounts having first been withdrawn from the capital, the rest of the prize would be divided into as many portions as men on the ship.

Not to question the pirates, who probably knew what they were doing, but wouldn’t an eye be worth about the same as an arm? You’re telling me if I lost an eye and the guy next to me lost a pinky, we’d get the same amount of slaves? That blows! I suppose they figured that you’d look really cool with an eye patch, so more money wasn’t necessary. Now, you might ask, “What would your average now-fingerless pirate do with all of his money?” Why, he would head into port and waste it all on whores and booze. The next day he would find himself penniless and he would then be forced to raid another ship with his buddies. I wonder if there were any pirates that actually planned for their futures and saved any money to buy a house and some slaves? Probably not. Again, I give you a paragraph from The Buccaneers of America:

For that is the way with these buccaneers — whenever they have got hold of something, they don’t keep it for long. They are busy dicing, whoring, and drinking so long as they have anything to spend. Some of them will get through a good two or three thousand pieces of eight in a day — and the next day not have a shirt to their back. I have seen a man in Jamaica give 500 pieces of eight to a whore, just to see her naked. Yes, and many other impieties.

My own master often used to buy a butt of wine and set it in the middle of the street with the barrel-head knocked in, and stand barring the way. Every passer-by had to drink with him, or he’d have shot them dead with a gun he kept handy. Once he bought a cask of butter and threw the stuff at everyone who came by, bedaubing their clothes or their head, whatever he best could reach.

That’s how cool pirates are. Really fucking cool. Straight gangsta. There should be no debate about this, Hollywood. Peter Jackson, I’m looking at you, dude. If you can drop a billion or whatever on Lord of the Rings and King Kong, you can make a good pirate movie about making strangers drink with you and then pouring butter on them. Get on it.