Monday, December 14, 2009
It's not every day you wake up, fire up the Google news aggregator and are treated immediately to some front-page Thizz Face. I learned just this weekend what a Thizz Face is, so I was really excited. And before you roll your eyes thinking "Tony is such a white-bread noob, how could he not know this?" let me tell you exactly how much of a white-bread noob I am. I learned this because I was at a party watching a documentary about Bay Area hip-hop and the "hyphy" culture with a bunch of other white dorks. This is how I spend my time.
Today's post is a round-up of online stories--"news" doesn't really describe all of these--that I think are awesome, ironic or otherwise worthy of comment. I will comment in a humorous fashion on these stories and you will read them before reluctantly resuming your work day.
Boogie Nights: Where are they now? I happened upon this as I was looking at a legitimately interesting "A Christmas Story" slideshow. These features work for movies like that. It was made 25 years ago, starred numerous child actors who've now grown up, had an older generation of actors playing their parents--"where are they now?" is a legitimate question. Not so for "Boogie Nights." Not only was the movie made barely a decade ago, but it is so goddamn loaded with marquee Hollywood talent that "where are they now?" is a silly question. Oh yeah, Mark Wahlberg. Now I remember! Whatever happened to that dude? And who the hell was Julianne Moore? Heather Graham? John C. Reilly? Burt Reynolds? I can't believe this movie even got made with the bush league talent the no-name director had available. Honestly, the least-famous people in this entire slideshow are a couple TV actors who played minor characters in single scenes (meaning I have no connection to them or their characters). Everybody associated with this movie is so goddamn famous that even the cherry-picked no-names on pages 15 and 22 are celebrities. The first guy is Ralph Lauren's nephew, married one of the honeys from Saved by the Bell and paints nudes for Hollywood actors. The second guy is a famous soundtrack composer and is married to Aimee Mann. See? This is probably the worst "where are they now" concept ever conceived by human people. Crab people have done worse, but their online dailies are notoriously shitty and I think it's unfair to pick on them.
It was nice to see Italians engaging in their culture's typical form of political discourse: punching each other in the face. The French are really envious of this kind of freedom, but their most hallowed tradition has been outlawed. Progress never comes without cost. Here's my favorite part: the man who attacked Mr. Berlusconi is apparently a disturbed individual. He has a lengthy history of mental illness and in most societies the discussion would end there. But in Italy, this guy was just doing what most Italians wanted to do anyway. If President Obama were punched in the face, Americans would be horrified. Even the right-wing folks who despise him would be upset. I'm sure Fox News would find some way to offend the senses, but the guy wouldn't be hailed as a national hero the way this tchotchke-wielding dingbat is. The media doesn't even care that the dude is deranged, because honestly any one of 200,000 people would have loved to punch the Prime Minister in the face. They just don't want to be arrested because of the bad wine in Italian prisons.
As a person of Italian descent, I can say we are very good at some things. We can handle any activity where emotionality and passion are assets (painting, opera, sex). We fail at activities requiring precision and temperance (government, automobile design, war). This is the way of the world, and it's why the typical European model of parliamentary democracy was a really bad idea for the Italians. It's a form of government that is wacky and unstable by its very nature. The British have joke political parties and allow heckling in Parliament. They can barely keep their shit together, and these are people who design great cars, saved the world from Hitler and have terrible sex. Did Italians really think they could handle this? Really?
One more slideshow--this one's gone pretty viral by now but missing it could get you prosecuted in the Hague (it would be a crime against humanity. Ugh, this blog needs footnotes.) These pictures defy description, so please take a few minutes to absorb them. There is a distinct possibility that Mr. Steele is intoxicated for this shoot, and honestly I wouldn't blame him. The seething awkwardness of these photos practically sears my eyeballs, and props to Mr. Steele for hamming it up in what I'm sure was a really terrible situation for all involved. This is the sort of shit that comes out in therapy down the line.
Please try to understand my dilemma as a humor writer viewing these images. I am an impoverished coal miner who descends the shaft and finds himself in an undiscovered chamber filled to bursting with gold. The stuff is practically falling out of the walls into my pockets. Now, in this scenario does the miner proceed deliberately and with caution? Does he ensure he's always given himself a way out? No, he just starts swinging. He hews the shit out of anything and everything in reach because there's so much and he's never going to be able to carry it all back anyway. This sort of thing happened a lot in "The Oregon Trail." BEHOLD THE DESPERATE FLAILING OF A MAN WHO HAS LIVED OFF BISQUICK WAFFLES AND LITTLE CAESAR'S FOR THE LAST THREE DAYS.
**Either the GOP is employing midgets as interns, or Michael Steele is a lot more intimidating than I gave him credit for. Both scenarios are possible, but I think we need to see some 1-on-1 half-court between Steele and Obama. I would watch it and so would you.
**This is how I imagine most transactions between Republican staffers go. No human interaction is complete until money has changed hands.
**He's not really crushing her; she has severe scoliosis and he wants her to feel less self-conscious. You can even see the back brace outline through her shirt.
**Mr. Steele opposes same-sex marriage, but here we catch him proposing to what is clearly a live Pterodactyl. The Christian Right doesn't even believe these animals existed, and you want to marry one?
**"I'm 'a get all these white bitches pregnant." If you think that was offensive, just wait. Remember, I need these gold nuggets to feed my family.
**Imagine a giant old-timey chemical apparatus, with dozens of beakers and tubes and Bunsen burners. This is a special assembly that, through processes both chemical and arcane, can distill into liquid form the Platonic essence of awkward.
**This young man is not an RNC intern. He was actually Photoshopped into this image from a Yale promotional brochure, circa 1982. Nice belt, dick.
**Steele had never met this guy before in his life. After several frames that were too awful to even make it into this slideshow (seriously, can you imagine the stuff that didn't make it out of the darkroom?) the photographer bailed them out by suggesting they point to something off-camera.
**Trig Palin, best-case scenario, circa 2029. In 2034 he'll take over on Fox News for the retiring Glenn Beck. See, I told you to wait.
Happy Monday to everyone and especially to Rob on his first day of work! This has been a big few days at 245 South Humboldt, with Nick (the Wild Card) celebrating a birthday and Rob (either The Fat One or The Techie, he hasn't picked yet) celebrating his triumphant return to the work force. Congratulations to both you little lemmings. Thanks to everyone else for reading.