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Where Angels Fear to Tread w/ commentary by Chico Marx

June 26, 2009 2 comments

“Hey! thatsa pretty fonny. You canta fool me boss. Thosa Transformahs ainta racists, theyah battlebots they donta race!” Chico Marx

Let me get this straight. There are some people upset about racism in the new movie Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. The pervasive destructive disregard for life, property and national treasures, that’s okay? Not to mention the dogged possibility of damage to Megan Fox. And the veritable lake size puddles of oil they leave behind. I’d be an idiot of the same stripe as they are, to read as if I’d ever condone racism. But the superficial, knee jerk reactions of such people do nothing but actually pour some of that bot fluid on the flames.

They learned a big word once—stereotype. But they learned it in the context of an explanation with negative connotations. Am I even allowed to use negative? Stereotypes, as with the verbal equivalent, the cliché, exist for one reason—they are experiential human shorthand. If it waddles like a duck, we then see a duck, not some poor kid in a mascot suit. Unless of course, it is some kid in a mascot suit. Personally, I have seen just about every stereotype in real life, these jerkoffs complain about. It would be fine with them to have a white trash moron, an Italian mob goombah, a Jewish anything, but not a person of color who isn’t in Mensa? Could’ve been worse, they could’ve had Tyler Perry in drag Transformer. . ..

Bullshit. They are the people with the problem. It is so intense of a problem, they see racist in the use of the word people. In the Sixties, I was a second generation Italian, a teenager with long hair, a beard, wore sunglasses & drove a Corvette. If you knew anything about life before you were born or say, Heaven forfend, read a book, you’d know that was a set of characteristics sure to get you special notice by authorities. Luckily, I never did get any harassment. Because I was lucky and behaved myself, and never got caught the few times I power shifted, burnt rubber and wore a hundred miles off my tires. The only time was when a guy on my softball team, a police sergeant, advised me to be careful of the company I kept. He was right too. And I did. However, if you don’t think I got a taste of prejudice back then, you are culturally bereft. Sure, I had the ability  and the option to “clean up my act,” a popular phrase of that era. Oddly, even when I did, I was still the same iconoclastic individual. My attitudes and foibles were internal. Have some groups had unfortunate extra attention? the sad answer is yes. As always, I ain’t here to do an exegesis of race relations. Just to point stuff out. Did I look like a small time drug dealer though? you betcha. Was I? Nope and that rhymes with—okay, but just that one time. And I was drunk. . ..

But including a dumbass black character in a movie is anathema? What! there no stupid blacks? how do you explain Martin Lawrence? You obviously don’t listen to WFAN. While possibly not the only choice for a movie character, if it’s an urban scene, what fits more for the point it makes? an African American with GQ cover looks and two doctorates? or some street thug. All y’all are just hater players. BTW why are you even at that movie? oh—Megan Fox! Sexist ahole huh. Or just hetero and enjoying yourself. I’d say lighten up, but I’m no racialist, you get the picture. Maybe. . ..

“Ha hah ha. Shoo, everybody knows they gotta lottsa juice in Florida. They come frommah Noo Yawk for the sunny shine!” Chico Marx

Manny Ramirez, eagerly ( LOL ) awaiting his return to Mannywood and the Dodger lineup, has caught some new attention himself. This because he is a stereotype—of a ballplayer caught using performance enhancing drugs. Apparently someone he’s been associated with has a father who is a doctor. A doctor can write prescriptions for said PED. Voila! This conduit from outside the US, up into Florida and servicing predominantly Latino jocks, is now under scrutiny. Again may I state: Boston, you are hypocrites & phonies. Have a nice day.

Wowie zowie! God didn’t waste anytime with the dead celebrity trifecta. Banging them out like ARod in batting practice. Only God can do it in the actual games too. Yeah sure Alex has had some good at bats the last few days—90 games to go hombre. Sorry, got off track there. So, Farrah Fawcett, Ed MacMahon, and Michael Jackson are at the Pearly Gates. Saint Peter sees Farrah, looks at his big book and says—-” Angel! go right in.” Ed steps up. Peter says-” Heyo!—you have all ready won. Go on in.” Then he looks at Michael Jackson, looks at the book. Looks at Michael again, then back at the book,* he asks — ” Moonwalk, eh! you were an astronaut?” Michael squeaks, ” Uh yes. Yes I was. An astronaut.” St. Peter smiles, ” Welcome to Heaven.” St. Paul throws Peter a look.  Peter looks at paul and says – “Hey have you ever heard him sing She’s Out of My Life? The way his voice breaks at the end. That’s Heaven.”

*Take 2: St. Peter looks down at his book, looks at Michael Jackson. ” Oh dear, it’s Jackson. Whew–I thought they said Michael JORDAN. . ..”

Now if he can only keep his hands off the cherubs. Good night everybody! drive safely and don’t forget to tip your waitrons.

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The Body of Her Work…

May 19, 2009 Leave a comment

Mary-Louise Parker is “bitter” because of a scene she shot for the show Weeds. In a magazine interview she states she was talked into doing a bath tub scene naked by a director. This chick previously did nude scenes and/or photo shoots at the drop of a hat, provided the hat was artistic, of course. One with a big plume, so she’d have the fan dance option.

One of the show’s honchos answered her complaint by saying he thought it was one of the five best scenes she’d done on the show. Huh? what a fucking moron. I side with M(i)L(f). She is an attractive woman with a quirky acting style. That is until this crappy show. In a previous post, I explained just how bad I think Weeds is. I seriously doubt there are five good scenes in all the episodes, of which there are about 40 too many.

If you don’t know, the premise is: widowed suburban wife faced with poverty takes up dope dealing in a bedroom community. It is about as realistic as me imagining this blog will get me a Pulitzer. Not that TV is realistic, i.e. the evening news. . .. But the writing is strictly that smarmy, inside joke, stereotype driven shit these hacks spew and get paid to write. The acting is from the “look at me, mom” school. Yack. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn this is Tyler Perry’s favorite show. For all I know, he’s appeared on it—no doubt cross dressers smoke weed and lots of it.

Not everybody likes nudity on TV. I don’t. It’s distracting from the plot. No matter what anybody says, naked is not integral to any exposition of a plot point. If it is, then so is milking a cow anytime a character has cereal. Oh she has to be naked, she’s taking a bath. What a load— Hollywood imagines every contemplative female lies in a tub filled with rose petals, sipping wine with Enya playing in the background. As opposed to slumped on the couch with a container of ice cream watching Casablanca? Casa cliché is more like it. Just ask the late Robert Altman, he loved getting female actors naked for no reason in his work. Of course he was an auteur and that was cinematic nu-diddity (sic/sick).

As usual I am much too lazy/ill to do an exegesis on the history of TV nudity. On over the air TV, its been virtually non-existent. Though some might not recall a time before subscription programming, the Federal Communications Commission (now there’s a bunch of creeps), ruled over even the tight network censorship. Once cable started raking in bucks though, nudity was available there. You paid for it—you got it.

Anyway—sigh—ML has had it rough. She has relationship issues. I have empathized with her in the past, and I’m sure her traumatic experiences with men led her in a moment of weakness to take the role in Weeds. Then she proceeded to get engaged, then un-engaged, then re-engaged, then not again to Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen), her occasional co-star on the show (he portrays her late husband in flashbacks). Has she watched those scenes he did? I have never seen a more cloying portrayal in my life, unless it was him in the show Supernatural. Shit, I’d have killed him long before he died of natural causes. Hmmmmm or did he!

So Mary Louise has been compromised artistically and immortalized on You Tube. Oddly she once did a movie—Naked in New York— in which she was not naked. Undercutting her discontent though is the fact she’s had a few other dishabille moments on the show. I guess this one bugged her for some reason more than the others. Basically, the whole show bugs me. I knew a suburban divorced wife who was a pot dealer. If she had looked like ML Parker, I’m reasonably sure I’d have requested she do a nude scene too. One thing is for sure—the writing would have been better. As for Weeds, I suggest they change the title of the show to Dopes.

The Artless Dodger…

May 8, 2009 2 comments

It seems Manny being Manny was aided and abetted by performance enhancing substances†[please see below]. All those clutch, drop the Yankees hits while with the Boston team, were bullshit. Now, while that city and its players enjoy the rewards their envy and hypocrisy continue to provide them, they need to admit they are phonies. If they can hate on and gloss the NYY as the evil empire, riddled with cheaters, then they themselves are surely the Weasel World of sports. Yankees suck? you m*****r f****rs suck and blow.

I have been watching, and for a short youthful period, playing baseball since 1956. I steeped myself in the game via what media was available then— TV, radio, books, magazines and baseball cards. It never seemed enough—sure baseball was talked year round—with friends. Nothing like the current media, carpet bombing 24 hours a day, seven days a week; pervasive and invasive coverage. Really, it’s too much. It encourages excesses and it gets them. From everyone involved.

Too much and yet the magpies who pass for talk show hosts on all sports radio outlets, discrete team owned tv, and networks like ESPN & Fox, turned a sycophantic blind eye to some tried and true practices. Amphetamines before games and shopping trips after—lining up groupies for stars. AND the last 20 plus seasons of slowly unfolding revelations of anabolic steroids and human growth hormones (HGH)usage by the big names of the big leagues.

It has resulted in the breeding of hack writers such as Selena Roberts (Sports Illustrated) who indicted the Duke Lacrosse team for party fouls at the rapist level before they were found NOT guilty*, to her present exposé book of Alex Rodriguez. These jock sniffing carrion eaters turn on you faster than a whirling dervish and they care not a whit if they are subsequently off the mark. The bullshit “court of public opinion” is the demographic they court. The lowest common denominator, once the exclusive stained and chawn turf of the National Enquirer, a newspaper no self respecting journalist would’ve been employed by when I was in J school, is catered to via sensationalism passing for reporting and writing.

It has also grown the barely literate radio talk host, most of whom have never read a book. If they have, it was about sports and no doubt, at the level of a fifth grader. Video games began cutting into the sports dollar heavily during the eighties and in some cases supplanted it for youth recreational time and bucks. The spawn of gamers are the announcers of today’s media. Dumb as rocks without the charm and personality. The majority of athletes, even less so. Easy to see how in this environment a clownish thug such as Manny Ramirez can thrive and pull the double-knit polyfiber over the eyes (and the limited intellect within their heads) of the feral media. One moment they are sucking up, the next, sucking the life out of their prey—the superstar, over paid and undereducated.

Major league baseball itself is led by a septuagenarian former team owner and used car salesman. He needs to step down; he never should have been there to need to do so. Baseball needs restructuring, it is at once archaic and contemporary, the new parts grafted on top of its decay, an aging Hollywood actor made of plastic. A Joan Rivers face, attempting to deceive the world into thinking she’s Megan Fox. A world moving so fast, it almost works—one because even if they had attention spans, most humans own the observational skills of two year olds.

No Boston fan will ever own up**—Manny ain’t theah prawblem anymore. I’m sure they’ll say he never got caught copping ‘roids down by the Charles River. He is however, the true face of the MLB, smug and bloated, and they only suspend him for 50 games? ha ha ha. Manny loves a vacation, he comes back well rested (pumped full of some new undetectable designer dope) for the stretch run and leads a slumping LA to the playoffs again. This is almost a strategic gift! Blow up baseball and bring the Dodgers back to Brooklyn—if you rebuild it they will come. But you won’t, you’re too fucking stupid. And so are your ugly, dumbass friends.

Did I mention beam me up, Simon? Simon! Theodore? ALVIN!!!**

__________________________________________________________________________

†  Ramirez tested positive for a  female(!) fertility drug HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin. HCG is popular with some steroid users because it can mitigate the side effects of ending a cycle of the drugs. Going off steroids can stop testosterone production, decreasing sperm count & shrinking testicles. Manny apparently wants to maintain those big balls as well as cheat…

* Niether Roberts nor SI printed a retraction—creeps.

** Denis Leary, Doris Kearns Goodwin & Jonathan Schwartz might, but they are exceptions because they are exceptional.

** Simon Pegg appears as Scotty in the new Star Trek movie—Alvin & the Chipmunks reference 110% gratuitous, though a nuts connotation is implicit

Parallaxatively 4th Street

March 31, 2009 Leave a comment

My life has always been lived in parallel lines. The geometrical manifestation of that which runs side by side, destined to never meet. Here’s an example or two.

When I was 20, I was a teacher aide in an inner city school, troubled by a lack of student discipline, due to drug use. Mostly marijuana, some of it heroin. This was before crack was cool & ecstasy was only a dream of getting Susie Q to third base in the back seat of the Ford.

Having just failed ( then )as an entrepreneur in the burgeoning head shop business, due to a personal ethos that dictated never selling drug paraphernalia, I got the aide gig. That was my first cosmic/ironic clue I’d have troubles making ends meet ( see parallel lines above ). But even by age 20, I’d had experience in spotting a doper. After all, most of my so called friends were—they required it, they told me, so they could be better musicians.

Eventually, after having my heart broken by girls and the music business, I succumbed one party night to trying some mushrooms, or organic mescaline, as approved by Castaneda’s Don Juan. Administered by the drummer. What fun! I almost got busted first time out of the gate. Not content with a good beer high or even a doobie buzz, I went straight—OK wrong word—directly to tripping.

It was yet another portent— I saw God—(who looked remarkably like a much older version of me!), seemed like a good guy. At the time. . .. Then, with my antennae, abnormally sensitive on a regular day, way up high, I heard the inner voice say—look out the window dude. I saw a blinking red light in the dark street, coming from next door, in the suburb we were partying.

A devotee of Sherlock Holmes, I instantly deduced — police. Ran up stairs, announcing it room to room. Much flushing took place & on cue, the door bell rang. One officer, very polite, told the kid whose parents were out of town for the Memorial Day weekend (natch), there had been a complaint about drums. Yes, he had been playing them loud + long, earlier, but he promised the cop, he was done for the night.

As he was a clean cut young man, and the back windows had been open, the cloud of cannabis was wafting points due west, away from the officer’s nose. Case closed. Me, still trippin’, I dodged bullet one. Much praise from the rest. Sadly, with one exception, they were male, the lone girl, was taken. No grateful girl to, well, you know, for saving her ass. Oh well. I did get to meet God. By the way, God told me I was going to be all right. Still waiting. . ..

Back to school. So, I knew a drugged out kid when I saw one. But after having been threatened ” I’ll cut you up Mod Squad! ” by a sister ( possibly Tyler Perry’s ) with a nail file, whose smacked out boyfriend told her–“he’s cool” I started rethinking the gig. About the same time I learned one of the students (girl) was having sex with a teacher (male). Now, I was not a teacher, I was a 20 year old aide. The reason I found out about those two though, was because I had formed a Platonic palship with the bff of the girl in question. If you knew me, you’d know when I say Platonic (paltonic?*), I mean it.

I was more flex then. Not to mention, active. I was into being monogamous and sincerely wanted just one good chick. In retrospect or in a time machine, I’d likely moderate that position. A lot. Using the Kama Sutra as a primer. Any way, when a work/study girl propositioned me in the hall one day, I closed my eyes and thought of England. It was a What Would John (Lennon) Do moment. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I still remember all their names too.

What I really wanted to say though is, any given school day I ‘d be sashaying down the hall. One conversation I’m criticized for using “college” words. The next, I’d go off in a blue cloud about junkies with sharp implements and get the worn out “using profanity is the sign of a small vocabulary,” lecture. Well, I was pissed off at the fucker who. . .oh, never mind.

It’s always been that way. I’d walk down the street in a small town and one person would comment—“you look so much better now you’ve shaved off your beard.” The very next would say ” grow your beard back.” What was most disconcerting is the former observer was male, the latter a female. Have I mentioned I’m a devout heterosexual? Well, unless the only way to get a threesome with Bridget Regan & Abbie Cornish is to go through Hugh Jackman. Tina Fey & Katrina Bowden? Sigh.

This special edition is brought to you by Norfolk-Southern Railroad. Here in Bubbadoon, I live a mile from the railroad track (more parallel lines). When I first moved here, the people in the community immediately adjacent to the tracks, voted to ban train whistles from midnight to 6 AM. The train suits ( standard issue fat white guys ) had much more clout and were able to have the legal voice of the people vote overturned. That’s why I am awake and filing this, two train whistles, 10 minutes apart at 2:30AM.

I bet there are more deaf drivers at 3:10 AM then say, BLIND ones. There are with certitude a greater amount of people sleeping than drivers crossing those fucking tracks. Why can’t these assholes just employ a few more flashing red lights. Shit, those warn even humans who might be tripping for the first time. AND that’s why I hate the South.

*©2009 Jukeofurl Prod LTD.

W is for. . ..

August 19, 2008 Leave a comment

This is about two disparate TV shows. One is now history, the other continues. Both focused on drug dealers in the early 21st Century. The shows are The Wire and Weeds. I’m not going to promote the latter, and as the former has finished it’s run, I’ll just state the obvious. If you want them they are available for purchase or rent.

Weeds has as its premise, upper middle class wife in California, suddenly widowed, & heavily in debt becomes a pot dealer. In the most cloying flashbacks ever, her late husband is shown as some kind of saint. The barf factor is high and doesn’t stop. The writer(s) obviously got their street smarts from an old Starsky & Hutch show. This woman wouldn’t last a day in the real world of dopers. In fact, she’d more likely be a vic on a CSI slab, for a nice crossover sweeps stunt, those network humps love.

The cast, who I decline to mention by name, is so filled with cliched posers & over-acters, it appears that was the goal in casting them. It’s garbage, the kind of program that thinks having a cameo by Snoop Dog is the height of clever. There is a character named Snoop in The Wire. That Snoop is one of the scariest bitches in history. Not TV history—all of history. If only she’d shown up on that MILF Meets Dogg ep! Now that would’ve been stunt casting!

The Wire is nothing short of the best TV show ever. Sure it has cops, lawyers & drug dealers. The like of which has rarely been seen in a major television production. The writing & acting burned with verisimilitude. Partly because, some of those people were from the streets of Baltimore, where The Wire is set. Characters were multi-layered and had story arcs which went from the first episode of the first season to the last of the series, a five year span.

I’ve stated before, nothing on TV, especially the so called news is that real, all the time. No work of fiction puts you there, it just can’t do it. Even when you’re there, you miss some things. Life is Rashomon, like it or not. By accident, the news gets it correct occasionally. When a TV writer gives the extra effort to give the viewer a genuine catharsis, it’s as gratifying as it is rare.

The characters of The Wire are written and acted so well, you can’t help but care about even the bad guys. As with most good writing, it was a close call, who was good. No one was left without a flaw. Most of them the tragic kind. Any attempt to choose the standouts in this would virtually demand a cut & paste of the cast list. Even as I write this, I keep thinking of how to limit it to maybe three, and it’s impossible.

And there are astonishingly fluid relationships. Things you don’t see coming, even when you’re looking for it. Some of these actors created characters so indelible, they will be forever recognized. Sure, that happens a lot. But I assure you mostly it happens due to quantitative reasons. This is purely qualitative.

For me, there is more evil in a scene of Weeds where a leering Snoop Dogg is rapping how he’d like to fuck Mary Louise Parker, than any sociopathic hit Snoop executes in The Wire. She is doing her job from her POV, as we see it, a reprehensible job, given impetus by a world she didn’t create, just uses her regrettable skill to survive it. The teleplay of the other Snoop has him being him all right, but it’s a contrived scene born of the fevered imagination of a lameass, sitting in her SoCal dreamland.

Weeds, named after one of the many slang terms for marijuana, belongs in the weeds. The Wire, which is cop talk for a phone tap, electric with a message, pumped along a wire from the twisted soul of an inner city nightmare to the true heart of art.