there is water underground.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Things that made me go hmm.

Three pieces of news have stopped me today and made me think a little bit about the wonderful world in which we live. First, a beverage company is going to produce an energy drink called "Liquid Experience", based on the concept of Jimi Hendrix and his masterpiece album. There are people up in arms about this idea (Flea was interviewed by the AP and is not too happy), but really, is this anything new? Lust for Life promotes Heineken. Pete Townshend licensed Baba O'Riley to be used for an SUV commercial. The Beatles' Revolution was used to promote Nike (I have to imagine, though, that John Lennon turned over in his grave). Plus, the president of the beverage company says that some of the profits from the drink's sales will go to a music education charity. So fine, let there be a drink inspired by Jimi Hendrix.

But why stop there?

Let's have drinks inspired by other musicians! How about "Danish Baconnade" commemorating the exploits of Freddie Mercury? Or the "Whining Pussy", a tribute to Chris Martin? Maybe a can with a large mouth opening named for Mick Jagger or Steven Tyler? ...and maybe the "Tenacious D Protein Shake"? I'm not even mentioning the possibilities that surround Ice-T, Ice Cube, Vanilla Ice, Korn, and The Black Eyed Peas.

Another piece of news that intrigued me today was the recent bill proposed in the Japanese Ministry of Education. As a former employee, I can verify that while teachers are expected to have ultimate control of the kids (read: parents often leave all disciplining to the teachers), the teachers can't punish the kids at all. This includes everything from sending the kids to the principal's office to making them stand in the hall to beating them. A government panel has now proposed a plan to rethink all of this, possibly including the beating part.

I have two comments on this. First, I would have immensely enjoyed smacking a kid or two if it had been legal. I taught about 300 kids during the time I was there. Most of them were fantastic, some were just kinda... there, and there were two or three that just went above and beyond the description of "a kid who needs an ass-whoopin'." Secondly, regarding the domestic side - the article mentions that there are 22 US states that still allow corporal punishment, and that over 300,000 kids were physically disciplined in the '02-'03 school year. I honestly had no idea that corporal punishment was still legal here! It's sure as shit not legal in NY or any of the New England states (i think). Guess ya learn something new each day.

The third and final comment about today's news actually concerns last night's address. It was very strange to hear George Bush say "Dikembe Mutombo."

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Hi, We're The Replacements

The fourth installment of the Die Hard franchise is slated to hit theatres later this year. There are rumors flying around that it’s going to be rated PG-13; I think these rumors are bullshit. How can you have a Die Hard movie without flagrant profanity? I mean, the guy is getting his ass kicked left and right (and doing some mighty fine ass-kicking of his own), and the catch phrase of the entire franchise contains one of the Seven Bad Words: motherfucker. The action sequences and the operation of airplanes in DH2 were, respectively, unfathomably retarded and poorly-informed, but I know that the scene when he lights that lighter at the end of the film is fucking awesome.

Anyway, whenever one of the DH movies is on television (yes, even the third one...) I find myself drawn in. Willis is a great action star, and he can deliver a wiseass line like nobody's business. However, I especially like it when the movies are on network TV. Why? Because the networks don't edit the blood splattering, the glass shards in the feet, and the ridiculous body count... but they change the dialogue to be "less offensive." And this brings me back to the catch phrase.

Everyone knows the killer phrase "Yippee ki-yay, motherfucker!" It's one of those lines like "Hasta la vista, baby" or "Yo Adrienne!" that audiences just go apeshit for. Bruce Willis totally pwns that line in DH2. DH1, it's kinda funny. DH3, it's an utterance after the fact. But on network TV, they change the dialogue! So instead of saying "motherfucker," I've heard the following:

* Yippee ki-yay, mister friendly!
* Yippee ki-yay, mamma jamma!
* Yippee ki-yay, melon farmer! (that's my favorite... it's so mean!)

So I now propose to the networks a few more suggestions for replacement terms for 'motherfucker.'

* Yippee ki-yay, futher mucker!
* Yippee ki-yay, morgan freeman!
* Yippee ki-yay, mustard flavor!
* Yippee ki-yay, master finger!

I don't know what the last two mean, but just imagine that he actually said "Yippee ki-yay, Morgan Freeman!" to the terrorist. That (plus the look of confusion on the terrorist's face just before he perishes) would totally be worth the price of admission. It would be even better if the terrorist was actually played by Morgan Freeman.

One final note: I hope the fourth film is set in New Hampshire because the actual title of the movie is "Live Free or Die Hard." Of course, it won't be set there (do you think that a showdown involving the security of the country is gonna go down in Nashua?), but it'd be fun.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Bear with me.

Everybody loves Barry White, whether they know the names any of his songs or not. Hell, I've seen him in concert and although I can vividly remember his performance (girls in lingerie dancing inside huge champagne glasses; a 30-piece orchestra dressed in silk pajamas) I can only remember a couple of songs. But chances are that some of his music has been heard while you're getting it on, or it's been in the background while the characters on tv are about to get it on. Here's a clip of the late, great Barry "Ain't" White doing his thing.

Another area of pop culture that is widely loved is the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I freely admit to seeing them all on their respective opening nights, and I did re-read the trilogy before each viewing. There were definitely great cinematic moments, but some of the best were performed by a guy who was never seen. Andy Serkis was Gollum/Smeagol, the tortured soul who would follow the ring all the way to its inevitable doom. Here's a brief clip of some great split-persona acting.


Now... what would happen if those two clips had a demon child?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

That's When Worlds Collide.

Okay, I've seen only one or two episodes of CSI (and I sure as hell don't remember which cities they were based in), but this is simply hysterical. Ain't technology grand?
CSI Miami - Endless Caruso One Liners

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

All I Need to Know About Life I Learned from James Brown:

  • Make it funky.
  • Uhhh!
  • Baby baby baby, baby baby baby, baby baby baby
  • Heeeyyyyy!
  • Good god!
  • Hit me!
  • It's a man's world.
  • Take it to the bridge.
  • I've got soul, and I'm superbad.
  • Yowwwww!
  • Popcorn!

The Godfather will be missed.