This is a list of random things that have been annoying me lately. Basically, a series of mini rants that aren’t worth doing as their own posts but put together might give you some amusement. It’s also nice just go get this stuff off my chest, which is the primary reason this blog exists.
Here are nine (9) random things driving me bonkers:
-I’m sick of the lame ideas we’re hearing about the potential Star Wars spinoff movies. If rumors are to be believed, LucasFilm/Disney is considering doing standalone films for Han Solo, Yoda and Boba Fett in addition to J.J. Abrams‘ Episode VII. I’m a lifelong Star Wars nerd, and I’m sorry, but these ideas couldn’t be less interesting from a creative standpoint. It’s like they took a focus group, and 25 people were asked, Who is your favorite Star Wars character? And of course, aside from Darth Vader, most people would answer Han Solo, Yoda or Boba Fett. When given this information, predictably, Disney’s response was, “Oh, well then let’s make separate movies about each of those characters! Ka-ching, mothafucka!”
My primary issue: here again we see them making the safest possible decisions instead of the more daring ones. Instead of accepting the challenge of creating interesting NEW characters and doing movies about them, we’re gonna get the backstories of familiar, established characters instead. The Star Wars universe has literally infinite potential for awesome post-Return of the Jedi characters and storylines. But no, instead of exploring any of that, let’s go back and revisit the oldies. I’m sorry, but going backwards is the George Lucas way, and I was under the impression after the sale that we were moving on from the Lucas way. Apparently old, shitty habits die hard.
Yoda is one of my all-time favorite fictional characters, but I’m sorry, even I can’t picture watching the little green guy as the main character of his own movie for 2 hours. Similarly, I couldn’t imagine Peter Jackson making a 2-hour movie just about Gollum. As far as Boba Fett goes, we’ve already been shown his basic backstory in the prequels. So, what now? We find out how he became a bounty hunter? Do you really think Disney is going to allow a dark story like that to be made the way it should be made, as a hard Dark Knight-style PG-13? Fuck no they aren’t. So what’s the point? Don’t do it! While we’re at it, why don’t we do a 3-hour epic on the life and times of Jabba the Hutt? How did he meet that little bastard Salacious Crumb? Where did he buy the Rancor from? Who wipes him after he takes a shit? 3 hours of Jabba sitting on his fat ass in his palace. That makes just as much sense to me as a Yoda movie.
Matt Goldberg at Collider did a fantastic editorial on this subject, and he and I are on the exact same page.
-I’m sick of certain internet lingo. And I’m not talking about abbreviations, like “LOL”, “STFU” or “smh”. After all, you’re reading someone who likes to say, “O, HAI” when referring to attractive females in his posts. No, I’m talking about certain internet-specific terminology. For example, the next time a writer claims something “broke the internet” or somebody “won the internet this week”, I’m gonna asphyxiate that person with an ethernet cord, so that the internet will actually break them. I also hate the many variations of this, such as “Beyoncé‘s thighs won the Super Bowl.” It’s twice as bad when adults over the age of 21 say this crap. I’m talking to you, Bill Simmons, who thinks that something new “breaks the internet” every damn week. (I’m curious…has the internet been repaired yet from Manti Te’o breaking it?) In general, I’m sick of middle-aged writers pandering to a younger audience in a blatant attempt to stay relevant. I hate to pick on Simmons, because I do like him, but he is a master at this. It’s a shame, too, because he’s talented and smart enough to write like an adult 100% of the time and still be compelling.
-I’m sick of girls teasing me at the gym with these ridiculous outfits. Maybe I’m imagining this, but I feel like to a lot of girls, the gym is their daytime nightclub. Some girls desperately need attention 24/7, especially when they’re out in public. They’re not just gonna look sexy when they go out at night, they have to look hot at work, they have to look hot when they’re out shopping, and they’re damn well gonna look hot while they’re working out. I’ve said for years that nothing is more off-putting than a hot chick who knows she’s hot. These are the worst people in the world. And you can always tell which girls are wearing this stuff to get attention, and which ones are doing it because they genuinely find skintight pants and sports bras comfortable for their workouts.
Don’t play ignorant. You know the stuff I’m talking about; yoga pants, booty shorts, push-up sports bras or a tiny tank top, typically paired with those brightass neon Nike running shoes that are all the rage. Or they’re wearing tiny t-shirts with a knot in them so you can see their stomach and lower back. These are the girls for whom tanning is the most important portion of their workout. They may as well have a spotlight on them as they walk around the fuckin gym. “Look at me! I’m hot! Look at my tight body! You can’t resist staring at my cleavage and my ass as I work out! That’s exactly what I want, too, but I’m gonna look down on anyone I catch checking me out! That’s not a contradiction AT ALL!”
Look, I’m not one of these assholes who says that a girl wearing a tight miniskirt in public is asking to be raped, but I will say that many girls are begging to be ogled at in the gym based on their attire and the way they carry themselves. Personally, I’m more than happy to oblige if that’s what you want. And if they don’t want the attention but still dress like that, you ought to know that guys can’t help themselves. On top of that, your selfish attention-whoring is distracting me from getting my workout done efficiently, goddammit! To be clear, I’m not sick of girls wearing these things. I’m just sick of the tease. But I also love it…
Of course, I could go into all the douchey things guys do and wear at the gym, but that’s been done ad nauseum in dozens of other posts around the net. Google “douchebags at the gym”.
-I’m sick of shortsighted, trendy Hollywood casting. It seems every couple of years, the list of people who are allowed to star in mainstream Hollywood movies is about 10 deep. If these people aren’t the frontrunners for a highly sought-after role, then they’re always on the “short list” (an apropos term if ever I’ve heard one) of people the studios want. Are you sick of Bradley Cooper yet? Cuz I am. I don’t care if he is talented; I want a greater variety of actors in the movies I’m paying to see. You can’t use the excuse “Oh, well he’s a big star now, so they have to use him.” Bullshit. Bradley Cooper hasn’t opened a single movie not named The Hangover. And guess what? Nobody goes to the Hangover movies because of Bradley Cooper’s character! Yet Mr. Cooper is now the first choice for any lead male role in a drama for a character between the ages of 35-40. I’ve said it a thousand times: audiences make movie stars…studios can’t simply force new ones down our throats by putting the same person in 3 new movies a year. Ask Taylor “John Carter/Battleship” Kitsch how forced movie stardom is going.
Who else qualifies as being grossly overexposed right now? Well, allow me to drop some names for ya: Emma Stone, Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who I adore, but let’s be honest, he needs a vacation), Josh Brolin, Paul Rudd, Jeremy Renner, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Worthington, and Mark Wahlberg. If you want a younger looking black guy right now, your choices are Anthony Mackie and…Anthony Mackie. Need a 40-something black woman? Well, if Viola Davis isn’t available, you better rewrite that part to be a white woman, because if I’m to believe what I’m seeing on screen, there are no other middle-aged black actresses working today. And finally, Mr. Scorsese, it’s time to find another leading man other than Leonardo DiCaprio. We get it. You like each other. Fine. However, you’ve only got so many more movies to make in this lifetime, and plenty of fantastic actors you haven’t worked with yet. Perhaps make a film with a lead actor who isn’t white? THERE’S something you haven’t done in almost 20 years!
Go to a movie in theaters right now, and I dare you to go through an entire trailer reel without seeing a movie advertised starring one of the people I just mentioned. You can’t do it. Unless your name is Ryan Gosling or Jessica Chastain, you don’t need to star in more than 2 movies a year.
-I’m sick of Terrence Malick being Terrence Malick. Can we go ahead and admit he’s now a parody of himself? He is to grandiose arthouse fare what Michael Bay is to summer blockbusters. This is what Malick does now: nature films featuring shots of people doing random things with blabbering existential voiceover on top of it. Seriously, what does this guy have against actors speaking dialogue? What’s wrong with characters who actually say what they’re thinking? Somebody who isn’t me needs to do a spoof video of Terrence Malick clichés. It wouldn’t be difficult. My advice to Mr. Malick: just make a goddamn nature documentary and get it out of your system, dude. But leave out the shots of people looking at each other (but never SAYING ANYTHING), people spinning in circles, frolicking, turning and looking at things, women staring at the sky and men staring at the ground. If Terrence Malick were a Sith Lord, he would be Darth Pretentious.
Here’s the trailer for Malick’s newest film, To the Wonder, which is basically a highlight reel of Malick-y Malick-isms:
But it’s so pretty!
Note: Despite my ranting, I will see To the Wonder, if for no other reason than I like the actors involved and I like good photography. I don’t expect to enjoy it as a movie or have any connection whatsoever with the “story” being told, if there even is one. Perhaps the film will inspire me to head down to the beach, where I can take my shoes and socks off, run freely in the sand with my arms outstretched, and then stare longingly out to sea for an hour or two. Doing these things should now and forever be called “Malicking”.
-I’m sick of Al Gore’s hypocrisy, and the media’s refusal to do their journalistic duty and report it honestly. Allow me to remind you of some of the things they so willfully ignore, as Gore’s hypocrisy is multi-tiered. Several years ago, while he was being worshiped for his global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth, it was revealed that Gore’s mansion in Tennessee uses at least 10 times as much energy as the average American home. Of course, like many “Do as I say, not as I do” liberals, Gore frequently travels via gas guzzling private jet and is likely driven around in expensive SUVs, the automotive Satan of liberals everywhere. However, Gore’s big fat hypocritical mountain of bullshit reached its apex just a few weeks ago, when he sold Current TV, the left-wing news outlet he co-founded in 2005, to Al-Jazeera for $500 million (a disgusting price that no American company would ever have paid for it, as the network has been a colossal failure).
Why is this such a massive sham? Well, Al-Jazeera is a state-owned, mostly anti-American Arab news outlet based in Qatar. Still don’t get it? Okay, let me spell it out for you: Mr. “let’s get America off of foreign oil and onto renewable energy, let’s reduce our carbon footprint for the sake of the future” sold his company to a foreign country whose chief source of income is OIL!!! I think Bill O’Reilly put it nicely and succinctly when he said, “Gore sold out his principles to people who are unfriendly to human rights, who make massive money trafficking in oil and who couldn’t care less about global warming.” But who gives a fuck about sticking to your principles when you personally pocketed $100 million off the sale!!! When it comes time to put his money where his mouth is, Al Gore has ZERO credibility, and it’s shameful he is still held in such high regard (as a hero by many) by Democrats and liberals, who REFUSE to practice intellectual honesty.
It should also be mentioned that Gore is now worth more than Mitt Romney, that old, white, rich Republican who doesn’t give a shit about regular folks. Does anyone believe the national media would have ignored this story if Mr. Romney had sold one of his companies to Al Jazeera? *crickets* Me, neither. Please also read Bernard Goldberg‘s excellent column on the matter.
-Speaking of politics, I’m sick of liberals whining about Fox News being biased. Hypocrisy. Denial. Ignorance. Stupidity. Pot calling kettle black. I’m not sure what the correct terminology is to describe people who do this; perhaps it’s all of the above. Of course, the most amusing thing about these people (and I know a good deal of them) is that they don’t actually watch a minute of Fox News. Most never have, but they’re gonna tell you it’s biased and evil and call it Faux News, because that’s what the internet says is the right thing to do. That’s what Jon Stewart says on his show, and he’s really hip and cool and funny, so he must be right. That’s what the other networks say, so if everyone else says it, it must be so.
I mean, why do any critical thinking of your own? Why do your own research? Why be skeptical of groupthink? Meanwhile, EVERY OTHER NETWORK either leans left or is overtly left in its news coverage and editorials/analysis, but not a whisper about that from people who claim Fox is practicing bad journalism. What is MSNBC’s onscreen slogan these days, “Lean Forward”? That’s not even a bad pun; they now have a sign on the front lawn that screams DEMOCRAT TALKING POINTS MOUTHPIECE, and they’re damn proud of it. Show me the last time Fox News used conservative terminology as their official motto. As an independent who actually watches Fox from time to time, I’d put their bias level at a 7 out of 10. Meanwhile, MSNBC’s is an 11/10, but focus your rage on Fox, because you don’t actually care about honest journalism, you’re more interested in confirmation bias (whether you realize it or not). And don’t forget, you don’t have to be openly pro-Democrat to lean left. The biggest crimes being perpetrated by the TV networks and major newspapers these days are sins of omission. It’s the stories they choose not to cover (i.e. stories that show Obama’s policies failing or digging deeper into the true cost of Obamacare) that most frequently show their bias, yet it’s still a BIG FUCKIN PROBLEM that one network out of 10 generally leans the other way. That makes tons of sense. I don’t even like Sean Hannity, but I’m glad his show crushes all his left-wing counterparts in the ratings.
I’ll give some credit to CBS for being the least biased major network. I DVR and watch The CBS Evening News almost every weeknight, and my boy Scott Pelley does a fantastic job for the most part. However, they frequently commit sins of omission, and some of their biggest contributors and morning show anchors are about as Obama-friendly as they come. I’m looking at you, Bob Schieffer.
True, honest journalism is dying a rapid death in this country, as most media outlets exist now simply to rubber stamp the Democrats’ agenda or cover “human interest” stories. Blame the 24-hour news cycle that turns minor local stories into national news. Blame our obsession with celebrity and “reality” television. Blame the internet, where liberalism is simply cooler than having traditional values. But don’t get it twisted too much; more and more news people prioritize having their personal views validated over getting to the truth. Facts that paint Obama or his platform in a negative light are simply ignored on most networks, and then morons accuse Fox of being anti-Obama racists when they’re the only ones who will cover these things. That should scare you as an American citizen. It’s the news media’s job to be skeptical of any government, and for the most part, our journalists are failing miserably at that fundamental task. It’s no wonder the average American is so ignorant. Aside from the fact that most of us simply don’t care about why things are the way they are, we’re also being woefully underinformed and misinformed by the people that are supposed to give us that information.
-I’m sick of people who insist you watch their favorite YouTube videos. Everyone knows somebody like this. More often than not, this happens while you’re at work. You’ll be sitting around, nothing to do, minding your own business, and That Guy will decide it’s time to show you his new favorite YouTube video. No, you don’t have a choice, and despite your displaying every form of body language imaginable to indicate you aren’t interested, despite TELLING HIM that you’re not interested, he’s gonna keep that video paused and cajole you until you come over and watch the fuckin video…in its entirety. Fine. You walk over and laugh or act shocked as you watch it, whatever reaction they expect out of you, and you pray it’s over quickly. My trick was to hope this person wanted 2 or 3 people to watch the video at the same time, then after he began playing it, I’d slowly fade into the background, turn and walk away to do something else. ANYTHING else. I’d rather actually work than indulge these people sometimes. However, if you’re alone with that person, and you don’t want to be outwardly rude, sometimes you just have to suck it up and watch the thing.
The video may only be 2 minutes and 34 seconds long, but that’s going to be the longest 154 seconds of your life. The best part is when the person showing you the video stares at you while you watch it, making sure you react the same way they did. Oh, that’s my absolute fave. I have a hard time pretending not to be annoyed, so I will often sit there silently or fake laugh, and when it’s over show no reaction whatsoever. Then this person has the audacity, nee…the BALLS, to get mad at me for not loving it exactly the way they did?! Hey, bub, I didn’t ask to watch the goddamn video. I didn’t guarantee you I’d like it, and P.S. you’re an idiot for assuming everyone has the same taste as you. If this were something that actually interested me, I’d go look it up myself at home. Sometimes you just wanna scream at the top of your lungs, “No! I don’t give a fuck about Epic Meal Time!”, “No! I don’t give a fuck about some college kids pulling practical jokes on one another!”, “No! I don’t want to watch Daniel Tosh‘s standup comedy routine! He’s not funny!”, or “No! I don’t want to watch cell phone footage of a male rhino mounting a female walrus from behind at the zoo! All set, thanks!” I’m getting annoyed just thinking about this.
-Finally, I’m sick of not having Game of Thrones in my life. The gap on HBO between Boardwalk Empire and GoT is excruciating. How soon is March 31st, and how can we make this day arrive faster?
One more thing…
GET OFF THE STREETS!
(If the GIF isn’t playing, click on the image and it’ll play separately.
Trust me, it’s worth it.)