THE ONION REPEATS ITSELF
The Onion recycling news? Sad but true. Anyone remember www.barryploegel.com?
It's now been re-packaged and re-launched, but remains essentially unchanged.
Friday, November 28, 2003
THE ONION REPEATS ITSELF
Posted by Stephen at 1:00 pm
Thursday, November 27, 2003
One very effective way to waste otherwise-productive work time is imagine what sequels you could produce by combining together two different movies with similar titles – such as A Beautiful Dangerous Mind, or Steel Magnolia Dawn, or Zoolander II: The Quickening, or The Soylent Green Mile, or The Wedding Singer Planner, or Urban Legends of the Fall, or Who Framed Gilbert Grape?, or Accidental Paperback Hero, or The Invisible Bicentennial X-Man, or … you get the idea.
To really make it fun, though, you’ve got to try to work out a coherent plot summary:
The Juneteenth Warrior – a segregationist Southern US Senator is murdered by the mysterious Eaters of the Dead. Seeking to avenge his killing, an Arabian swordsman finds himself Orientalised, constructed as "The Other", and rendered the "Invisible Man" by his twelve Nordic companions.
The Matrix: Loaded – In a Sydney back street, Keanu Reeves and Alex Dimitriades … actually, you probably don’t want to know any more details.
24-Seven – a serial killer is stalking candidates in the California presidential primary, plotting to set Bill Clinton’s pants on fire and to puncture Howard Dean’s skull with a pair of surgical scissors.
Bring It On The Road – Blonde cheerleaders on acid pile into a kombi-van and steal one another’s best moves.
Charlotte Kray – Charlotte and her twin sister, Charlene, do gruesome things to members of rival French Resistance gangs, all the while addressing them as "sunshine".
Ciderhouse Dune – The malign sisterhood of the Bene Gesserit, unable to dominate Michael Caine, plot to assassinate him after they realise that one of the many unborn he’s aborted was the future Kwisatz Haderach.
Dorsey’s Creek – An ambitious young high-school senior, Ned "Dorsey" Litter, wants to be a prefect – but his teachers and fellow students are wary of him because he doesn’t seem to have a steady girlfriend. So he enters into a sham dating arrangement with Stacey, the girl-next-door and his best friend since childhood. However his best friend Payson Weary is angered by this betrayal and so, to get back at Dorsey, has a one-night romance with Jen, who in turn seduces Rico, whose girlfriend is Stacey’s sister… Eventually, by third season Stacey has decided she secretly loves Ned after all and tells him she wants to start dating for real. Ned refuses: "This is what we agreed, Stacey! Don’t you remember that? Don’t you respect that?" But Stacey is not deterred: "We have something between us, Ned! It was real! Don’t try to tell me that it wasn’t real!" (and so forth until the actors have all turned 37 and can no longer convincingly play teenagers...).
Meet Joe Black Dirt – Death takes human form, wearing a disgusting blonde mullet that’s obviously been lemon-bleached …
Remember the Titan AEs – After Earth has been destroyed by alien invaders, Terrans roam the universe as wandering refugees, treated like outcasts until one day a boy has a vision of a legendary gridiron football team that will restore them to their rightful place…
Sorority Report – new technology allows frat boys to see into the future to watch co-eds undressing in that very room.
The Hannibal Run – Last one across the line gets eaten by specially-trained wild pigs.
The Princess Turner Basketball Diaries – a free-thinking but unpopular teenager puts on a black trenchcoat and flies a plane into the Genovan embassy in Washington DC as a protest against the New World Order. THEN her classmates finally appreciate her for Who She Really Is.
Now: anyone want to devise a plot for Random Hearts in Atlantis: The Lost Empire?
Posted by Tom R at 12:17 pm
Wednesday, November 26, 2003
SOME MORE FUN WITH CHRISTMAS
A quote for the header of this site:
This speaks for itself really.
THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT IS A FALSE SPIRIT
Bishop S.C. Johnson (deceased)
Edited and Revised
Bishop S. McDowell Shelton (deceased)
The Truth Now Being Declared
Bishop Shelton Rapha Chabash Luke
Apostle and General Overseer
The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith
Posted by Stephen at 4:38 pm
WORLD'S WORST CHRISTIAN WEBPAGE
Have you seen this website? It is an abomination that causes desolation - it is without form and void. Peddling the word of God for a profit would be a complement to this tangle of mismanaged images and links that would surely rival the Gordian knot.
Look very closely and you will find a "Do Not Click" button somewhere on the page. Imagine where it will take you if you do ...
Posted by Stephen at 4:27 pm
Monday, November 24, 2003
FELOWSHIP OF THE RING FOR DUMMIES / GLADIATOR FOR IDIOTS
Just discovered, and in time for The Return of The King! A site which tells the FOTR is simple words and thumbnail characters pictures.
Find it here
There is a similar site parodying Gladiator here. I will call it "Gladiator for Idiots" because, like the Dummies / Idiots duopoly on stupid books for stupid people, the Dummies version has primacy because it came first, and it is better.
Posted by Stephen at 4:36 pm
Sunday, November 23, 2003
Saturday, November 22, 2003
COCKTAILS AND DREAMS
Recently I finally finished watching the movie Cocktail starring Tom Cruise, Bryan Brown and Elisabeth Shue. What made it interesting for me was not the fact that I had to watch it in three separate sessons (the movie is only about 1 1/2 hours long my I am pinched for time so often now I shouldn't even be writing this), but that it represents one of the great canonical texts of the 1980's that I did not see as a youth.
I think it is up there with Cruise's other work from the decadent decade, Top Gun, which filled and fuelled adolescent male fantasies about militarism and hot older chicks. I even heard that it was deliberately made as a recruiting film for the US military. That would not surprise me.
Other "canonical" 1980's texts that I did not get to see at the time include that new age pot-boiler Ghost , and Swayze's other neurotic romantic sludge fest, Dirty Dancing. I am still yet to see Ghost in its entirety and have never more than looked at the cover of the latter flick. And yes, although Ghost does bust the margins of the 1980's as it is actually a 1990's release, it is heavily imbued with the prevailing 1980's zeitgeist.
The list goes on (Flashdance, Wall Street), but my point is that while others have seen digested and excreted these works of historical fiction, my contact with them is only indeirect through the attitudes, behaviours and values that my age-peers have osmotically imbibed from these texts.
As the "1980's" is a little "hip" at the moment, it seemed to be that this nostalgia fest was analogous to a form of psychoanalysis, where the antecedents of todays' behaviours and outlooks may be discovered through careful investigation of one's past - in this case, the collective past of 1980's pulp cultural garbage.
So let us turn to Cocktail - this is not intended to be a review. For an excellent take on the cultural smear campaign that was Cocktail, see this quasi-review from IMDB.
IMHO, Cocktail needs a series editing job, and as a budding proto-amateur film maker, here are my suggestions.
Cut the entry of Mr Cruise into the Big Apple - it is long and turgid, and also contains scenes which may offend some viewers (images of the WTC - we only spell them now, as writing "World Trade Center" merely inflames the passions of Those Who Would Attempt To Poison and Destroy My Brothers)
Also ditch all the job interview and college nonsense - absolutely irrelevant and quite pathetic. Indeed in the hope that Cocktail was the Cheesiest (C) movie of all time, I imagined that the professor from Business college who trashed Tom's essay might have appeared in the final scene as a drtunken Irish-Catholic boozehound, willing to let bygones be bygones and shout another round of drinks.
Keep the secnes with Bryan Brown and Tommy Boy yarning in the bar - it provides agood intro to the characters.
Cut straight to them throwing drinks arond, and then straight to the Cell Block where they throw drinks around. Bothe these scenes have excleent footage of the enormous coiffes sported by the male and female customers. Nothing like a coiffe (a kind of puffy mullet) to get the heart pumping, eh boys? And Tom's hairdo grows larger and smaller and then large again as the movie progresses. Watch for it next time.
Eliminate the loveless sub-plot with the photographer, but keep the fight between the two male protagonists over her. It will confuse the audience. You also need a little footage of her as she is in the key scene where Tom wants to go to Jamaica.
Keep all of the Jamaica footage, especialy the romantic plot with E. Shue. Cut after Tom walks off with the older, haggier, wealthier woman. The last scene is poor of Elisabth trying toforce some tears out on the beach.
It struck me later than any half-sensible audience should feel any sympathy towards her, as she has been dating one of the resort staff while on holidays,. Of course it's a fling. As far as she knows, the local bartender gets a new girl every Sunday when the next crop of tourists fly in from the States.
Eliminate all the scenes of Tom as a toy boy. Adds nothing to the film - but maybe keep the fight with the sculptor at the schmooze-in just for laughs.
Return to the main thrust of the narrative when Tom shows up at the diner and then at Elisabeth's pad in NYC, and continue from there. By the way, this reminded me of the scene from Family Man when Nick Cage shows up at Tia Leonie's apartment as she is moving to France, and it struck me that this is an archetypal film scene, where the male shows up at the female's house only to be rejected. With persistance, he wins her love. I am sure this scene is in dozens of films.
Continue film until end, including talk with uncle at bar, death of Bryan Brown etc.
What you have left is a schmatzy romantic comdedy with a tinge of sadness. Tom is not a sex-charged Lothario on heat for 98% of the film, and he comes across as a much more decent caharcter. There is tragedy in the death of Brown, but he has a much smaller role to play. The relationship between Cruise and shue seems much more genuine too, and its consumation in marriage seems based more on love than the "White Wedding" promised by contemporary, Billy Idol.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Mocktail.
Posted by Stephen at 6:39 am
MOM FINDS OUT ABOUT BLOG
MINNEAPOLIS, MN—In a turn of events the 30-year-old characterized as "horrifying," Kevin Widmar announced Tuesday that his mother Lillian has discovered his weblog.
From The Onion
This will have to be one of the most blogged about web pages of the year.
Posted by Stephen at 6:30 am
Friday, November 21, 2003
WWJD or Where would Jesus Dance?
Not new news, just news. Dancing allowed at Wheaton U! Reminds me of the song with the lyrics "we were cool on Christ . . .". from Dance Hall Days by Wang Chung. Unfortunately, the lyrics are NOT "cool on Christ" but "cool on cries" OR "cool on craze" BUT I still like "Cool on Christ" - and it goes with the story, too.
BTW "Wheaton" is a type of chocolate biscuit / cookie here in OZ, similar to a "Digestive"
Posted by Stephen at 1:31 pm
Thursday, November 20, 2003
I have been wasting a lot of time lately on eBay and recently heard this song by Weird Al Yankovic (It's probably years old but I just heard it OK? Don't think I'm not cool because i just dsicovered a recent song! I maen, if it was 20 years old like "Eat It" I'd be sooo coooool, right? So, at least it's by the same guy. Anyway, here it is in full (to the tune of I want it that way by the Backdoor Boys):
A used ... pink bathrobe
A rare ... mint snowglobe
A Smurf ... TV tray
I bought on eBay
My house ... is filled with this crap
Shows up in bubble wrap
Most every day
What I bought on eBay
Tell me why (I need another pet rock)
Tell me why (I got that Alf alarm clock)
Tell me why (I bid on Shatner's old toupee)
They had it on eBay
I'll buy ... your knick-knack
Just check ... my feedback
"A++!" they all say
They love me on eBay
Gonna buy (a slightly-damaged golf bag)
Gonna buy (some Beanie Babies, new with tag)
(From some guy) I've never met in Norway
Found him on eBay
I am the type who is liable to snipe you
With two seconds left to go, whoa
Got Paypal or Visa, what erev'll please
As long as I've got the dough
I'll buy ... your tchotchkes
Sell me ... your watch, please
I'll buy (I'll buy, I'll buy, I'll buy ...)
I'm highest bidder now
(Junk keeps arriving in the mail)
(From that worldwide garage sale) (Dukes Of Hazard ashtray)
(Hey! A Dukes Of Hazard ashtray)
Oh yeah ... (I bought it on eBay)
Wanna buy (a PacMan Fever lunchbox)
Wanna buy (a case on vintage tube socks)
Wanna buy (a Kleenex used by Dr. Dre, Dr. Dre)
(Found it on eBay)
Wanna buy (that Farrah Fawcet poster)
(Pez dispensers and a toaster)
(Don't know why ... the kind of stuff you'd throw away)
(I'll buy on eBay)
What I bought on eBay-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-y
Posted by Stephen at 3:23 pm
Loooking for a way to while away a lazy afternoon? Try these reviews of the weirdest stuff.
Case in point: SPAM reviews. Who would have thought there was something worth reviewing here? Dunno
What about SOAP reviews? Yes, folks, soap. Here it is:
Don't these people have anything better to do with their time? That's me speaking isn't it? And I run a blog. You get the rest. Ciao.
Posted by Stephen at 3:14 pm
Friday, November 14, 2003
Thursday, November 13, 2003
MORE TO KEEP THE BOAR'S HEAD TAVERN GUYS ENTERTAINED ... This one was composed nearly a decade ago, when the Pet Shop Boys released their cover version of the Village People hit, so some of the references are a bit dated now. But blowed if I'm going to tamper with the word that stands written ...
THATCHER - she is dead and gone
MAJOR - he is living on
CLINTON - is a redneck sleaze
KEATING - wants to bring back fees
YELTSIN - should be tried and jailed
CASTRO - is a light that failed
FRED NILE - shall face a People's Court
'COZ - he won't let you abort
Keep Left - life will be so great
Keep Left - once we've smashed the State
Keep Left - there'll be no more losses
Keep Left - once we've killed the bosses
TERRY - will be a commissar
EVAN - will drive a big black car
MELISSA - will make abortion free
BRYAN - will run the KGB
Keep Left - 'cause out hearts are pure,
Keep Left - and our numbers fewer
Keep Left - have no worries, darling -
Keep Left - we won't end up like Stalin
And then if the air ain't clean
we'll form a front between Red and Green
And too, 'cause we're so pragmatic
We'll tell the masses we're democratic …
Keep Left - now we'll seize the hour
Keep Left - set up workers' power
Keep Left - with our theory strong
Keep Left - how could we go wrong?
My last few parodies have been aimed at the Left. I'll post something soon to redress the ideological imbalance.
Posted by Tom R at 3:11 pm
Thursday, November 06, 2003
ELECTED A LORD, TWO VOTES TO ONE... No, this is not a spoof from The Onion. It's a genuine news report ...
[UPDATE: Apparently, how it works -- if I've got this right -- is that when Tony Blair's government legislated a couple of years ago to make the House of Lords a mainly appointive chamber, 92 of the 1,000-odd (some very odd) hereditary peers were allowed to stay in the Upper House for a few years longer. This grandfathering provision laid down a specified number of Lords to be elected by and from the former members of each party in the Lords -- X number by the Conservatives, Y from the Labour peers, and so forth. So this particular casual vacancy in His Lordship's seat was filled by a vote of his, err, peer group, not by a direct vote of the great unwashed; hence the very small turnout -- fewer votes were cast than there were candidates standing. Never let anyone tell you that Britain's small-C constitution isn't arcane.
[To be fair, though, I myself have voted to elect a Lord over a decade a go -- Brisbane's Lord Mayor, James "Lord Jim" Soorley, Hizzoner from 1991 to 2003. He didn't get the red ermine cloak, though.]
"Hereditary Peers By-Election Result"
"Nominations for the by-election to replace Lord Milner of Leeds closed on 24 October.
11 candidates registered to stand for election, as follows:
• Lord Biddulph
• The Earl of Carlisle
• Lord Clifford of Chudleigh
• Lord Grantchester
• Lord Hacking
• Viscount Hanworth
• Lord HolmPatrick
• The Earl of Kimberley
• Lord Monkswell
• Viscount Samuel
• Lord Vaux of Harrowden
The result was announced by the Clerk of the Parliaments in the House at 3 pm on Thursday 30 October 2003.
Three votes were cast. Lord Grantchester received two first-preference votes and Viscount Hanworth one. Lord Grantchester was therefore the successful candidate".
How can one help but be reminded of ...
King Arthur: I am your king!
Woman: Well, I didn't vote for you!
King Arthur: You don't vote for kings.
Woman: Well, how'd you become king then?
[Angelic music plays...]
King Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king!
Dennis: [interrupting] Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!
from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Posted by Tom R at 3:53 pm