Friday, September 23, 2011

The Hypno-Toad Is Everywhere

It’s Friday night. I’ve got pizza in me. I’ve got Butter Pecan ice cream. That’s the kind of combination that makes a man think. Thinking about entertainment. The Wife’s downstairs watching dreck. I don’t know what it is, it’s all dreck. Either it’s a show that’s pretending to be smart, like CSI started out with all its beakers and people looking thoughtfully at dust motes; or it’s pretending to show that man’s inhumanity to man ultimately loses out to telegenic folk, ala standard cop shows; or it involves a doctor or a lawyeror a sexy woman pitted against something or other.

I think she’s watching something called “A Gifted Man” about a high-powered, driven doctor (gifted man, get it) who sees dead people (gifted man, get it) and likely solves crimes or mysteries or medical mysteries or helps the dead move on or somesuch dumbfuck drama. “Medium” plus “Ghost Whisperer.” Dreck.

I tried watching a few minutes of it but the epidemic of wino cameramen who can’t hold a shot steady and randomly zoom is too much for me. And the editors, my god, what happened to the editors? Is there a telethon or fund to donate to? Jump cuts. Jump cuts within jump cuts. It’s like the editors are caught in temporal displacement and screaming for assistance.

TV has always served advertisers. But weren’t there shows that wanted to do just a little more? Star Trek, the Twilight Zone, I Spy, The Prisoner, Dr. Who, Twin Peaks, In Living Color, Seinfeld, Chappelle’s Show, Kids in the Hall, The Storyteller, Homicide: Life on the Streets, MASH, The Wonder Years, Tribeca (a dollar to anybody who remembers that show), Mary Tyler Moore Show, Room 222 (swear to god if anybody mentions “Glee” in the same breath I’ll punch a hole in a squirrel), The Gary Shandler Show, Northern Exposure, Frank, Roc—it’s a proud list. There have been creators wishing to engage an audience as opposed to simply sitting them in front of the Hypno-Toad long enough for commercials to sink in. I’m not even going to explain what the Hypno-Toad is; look it up. Everything is online.

After I turn my TV off there’s nothing about “A Gifted Man” that’s going to stay with me. I won’t be able to discuss an idea, an image, a turn of phrase, insight or creative visual flair. It’ll just be over, flushed to make room for whatever show follows it. Maybe I’m trying to watch 21st century TV with obsolete eyes. But there hasn’t been a television show that excited me enough to want to give it an hour of my time on a regular basis for quite a while now.

Which is sad. I’d really like to get one of those cool, flat panel HDTVs, but there’s nothing on.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why Does Everything About Politics & Diplomacy Have to Taste Like Wet Ass?

I've got no particular beef with Israel. God's chosen people? Bullshit, that's crazy talk no matter who's trying to claim it. The whole "You can't exist," "No, YOU can't exist," Israeli-Palestinian tournament: dumb. Boom. Done. Bang the gavel, next order of business. How much saving face in the world does there have to be before one more death is too many? Is land holy? Last time I looked the heavenly glow of the vacant lots around me weren't replacing the broken street lamps. Land is land. You occupied it, means you were an aggressor. Am I pretending my country tis of me knows nothing of that? Hell no. United States of America was schizophrenic from the start. "All men are created equal...except for the indentured servants, slaves and women, and those folks who pretty much welcomed us here with open arms--yeah, sorry how that went down; oh, and the French, fuck the French, plus the English, fuck 'em all. Inalienable rights over here, bee-yotches!" Probably have to paraphrase that a little bit for teaching in grade school.

But Palestinian State? Boom, done. Palestinians, stop fucking killing Israelis. Israelis, stop fucking killing Palestinians. Both of y'all grow some vegetables and chill. Blinding light of the obvious, Palestine: Israel has the bomb and is crazy enough to nuke your ass. So y'all chill over here; they chill over there; anybody unchills the U.N. freezes both nations' twitter and Facebook accounts. Damn right I went there.

Yes, all over the world people act like assholes whether they've got a podium in front of them and a freshly pressed suit on their backs or are just sitting in front of a keyboard encapsulating an intractable conflict in 4 paragraphs or less. But I've heard the expression "Fake it till you make it." Is paradise for all just a simple matter of each of us waking up and saying "Today I will not be an asshole toward anyone else"? Today I will not lie. I will not kill. I will not cheat. I will not harm. I'll probably covet but only if he/she is sexy. I will not fail. I have already succeeded. I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me. (sorry, Rep. Al Franken)

Globally-thinking, if we could get Palestine and Israel to chill, the ripple would be huge. Bloods & Crips would say fuck the dumb shit and start building playgrounds together. Republicans & Democrats would tie their political careers to measurable results and would resign on their own honor if those results were not met. The word "peace" pretty much only applies to Christmas cards right now. But what if those two bloodied nations actually found peace, real peace, not brittle-marriage peace? We'd all be forced to realize that peace was possible and real. A tangible thing. Couldn't hide behind the shifting mirrors of irreconcilable differences anymore. Muslims versus Christians, you're fighting for the same damn thing, what the hell? God is good. Boom. Done.

There we go, y'all. Boom Done. Either in a good way...

Or not very good at all. Personally, I don't wanna ever have to say, "Waiter, there's a mushroom cloud in my soup."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Weight Loss Blog, Part 5

Today I looked at my body quivering like a chihuahua even though I stood still and I thought to myself 'This is not Star Fleet material.' Seriously, if our dreams are our better selves then that dream I've always held of being summoned to the bridge and seeing Spock and Kirk making impossible decisions but making them like men, does not include belly rolls, moobs, or a uniform I'd need Garak to let out at the seams (yes, mixing my Trek; if you don't get it I weep at your uncoolness).

So I worked out yesterday. Yes, I had some chocolate covered almonds but let's stay focused: a full 30 minute, fully sweaty workout. Some may call the modified motions I was doing the "Old Lady Turbo Jam" but let me tell you something: an old lady's workout will kick your ass. Particularly a doughy, flabby one that hasn't broken a true exertion sweat (folding laundry doesn't count) in months. I did sweat from playing tennis but that was mainly from trying not to fall down. But I stuck with it, my friends, the whole 30 minute "Gilad: Bodies in Motion" VHS tape I taped off Fit TV before Discovery Health sucked the network up and turned it into the "What Tumor Am I?" marathon. Me, Gilad, and a bevy of background exercisers so toned I should've gotten a contact orgasm. 30 minutes in the basement, just me and the sweat blinding me to the point I looked like Laurel Hardy crying.

Felt pretty damn good. Had a few more chocolate covered almonds when I finished. Is this a breakthrough? Not yet. More a yes and no start. I'll be back down there but won't take months in between to do it. If I ever get to be beamed down I don't want the ship to have to break out the extra large transporter to do it.

Best believe that.

Live long and prosper, y'all.

Friday, September 9, 2011

What Changed?

Homophobia? Here.
Jingoism? Present and accounted for.
Xenophobia? In spades.
Greed? Yeah.
Lies? Congress.
War? Ongoing.
Death? Piling.
Suffering? Omnipresent.
Fear and paranoia? Exquisitely cultivated.
Generosity? Only if there are cameras around.

“Everything changed.” Ignore that slogan no matter how many times it’s repeated. Remembrance requires introspection beyond “where were you” and “who’d you tell you loved”—if we are to truly honor the fallen of the world we must stop being who we were that day and rise to being worthy of today. Out of all the nations on the earth America can truly rise. And shine.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Conspiracy Theorists

According to still-prevailing internet theory this blog should have netted me an agent, a lucrative multi-media deal including book publication and major PR blitz, appearances on The View and/or Ellen, oodles of money, an opportunity to do a Tiger Woods with a book store employee or a Red Robin waitress (love me some Red Robin!), and a shot at being a half-baked pundit for the local news outlets.

Internet theory sucks.

This blog has, however, been indulged by all 3 of you reading this. Group hug all around. The Glorious Revolution has had Palins, Boners, Tea Baggers, Limp Noodlers, Bachmanns, Man’s inhumanity to damn near everything, book store inequity, acts of God that make you wanna say “Dude, fucking chill,” Abrams/Orci/Kurtzman’s Star Trek, not a single autographed love note from Rosario Dawson (or Pam Grier – what’s up with that?), and mourning the last interested damn anybody gave in making sense anymore. But guess what? Vive la Revoluccion! Until we are driven to extinction, we, this magnificent band of you and me, will blog, read and write till our last breath! We will not believe that hype elevates crap. We will not believe that vital resources like oxygen should go to any television show with the words “Housewives” in its title. We will demand intelligence, demand wit, demand a bit more in our lives than Snooki is currently able to provide. We will be stupid but be smart about it, and we will not let mouf-breathin’ sumbitches tell us the moon is made of cheese. We will disengage the Borg aspects of our lives. We will not talk more, talk anytime; we will shut up! Van Morrison will sing hymns to the silence. We will ask questions that we don’t think we already know the answers to; we’ll listen to songs in languages we don’t know to see if we’re still able to feel. For the love of God we will NOT see Transformers 4.

Simply won’t do it.

It’s my privilege to thank all 3 of you for allowing whatever service these words provide, however slight, however brief. I’ll continue being perturbed even though I don’t know that you’re there. Somebody’s got to be perturbed. Otherwise the Nightly News will look even more like TMZ.

(Future historians: TMZ was a butt-noxious televised foray into the notion of “celebrity”; it was much like being hounded by that drunk friend at a party, a party you’d wanted to leave for quite some time already.)

What if internet theory holds true though? What if fame and fortune and everything that goes with it…entraps me? Well, to paraphrase Freddie Mercury, “I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face and I’ll never lose.” We are the champions, my friends, and I only do this because of you. If I was Christ riches wouldn’t tempt me. The flesh—well, within reason. To quote myself: “We all have people we’d like to mash our faces into till we come out the other side.” That kind of passion can’t be denied. No, if I was Christ my temptation would be to simply go away, to leave any semblance of pressure or responsibility behind. But as I’ve been known to get burned by holy water I can definitely say I ain’t Christ.

So I’ll be here awhile come agents or high obscurity.

Keep the inner revolution going, my friends.