B-Side Single Video Production

If you’re a band and looking to create a video for a B-side single, the least that you can do is hire a B-movie director to craft the thing. It just makes sense, you know?

Focusing on the golden era of music videos, I can’t help but imagine “Murder By Numbers” from the Police, set as a Larry Cohen short film, with the numbers in question bridging It’s Alive with a slightly more cerebral The Stuff. Better than that, a Troma Pictures-esque video for “How Soon is Now?” from the Smiths… Or even a super-low budget Robert Rodriguez-directed “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell, which, while not a true B-side in that form, it was originally a Gloria Jones tune (1964; re-released in ’76, and then covered by Soft Cell in 1981 should you be keeping score), which could be an utterly epic, if not campy sci-fi-thriller about imported love that is, well, tainted with a virus. Or a present-day Jerry Lewis in a Rob Zombie-directed remake of Michael Jackson’s Thriller short, but using the original cut, “Starlight.”

Or we can abandon the B-side thing in favor of an Adam Jones stop-motion epic for The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” (which was the A-side to the terrible “Seconds” – don’t get me wrong, that whole JFK thing could work as a John Waters send-up), set as a peek into the breaking mind of a jilted lover… So many ideas.

Garage Band Performance Art

I know… Most cover bands opt for the hits; the better-known songs, and sprinkle a set with a few key B-sides. What makes this trio what they are is having three members.

Wait, no… That’s not where I was going.

These guys have managed to capture the decline of Guns N’Roses… The years of infighting, manic-depressive behavior, and drug addled ruin, and packaged it in one take.
Seeing it this way elevates it from mere “learning curve” stature, and boost it to something more, transcending the headache it inspires.

It’s not a jam session.

It is PURE performance art.

…at least through the eyes of a modern art critic, I’d imagine. Welcome to the Age of Entitlement. Grab a trophy on your way out.

You Can’t Just Hand Someone Entitlement

A successful culture builds upon the past, providing each generation to follow with not only the tools to continue their growth, but the foundation to build upon.

However, watching these Sanders supporters in action, it’s painfully obvious that the new idea is to eliminate the last generation of free-thinking Americans. The ones who were fortunate enough to listen to first-hand accounts of horrors brought forth by rogue governments and dictators and despots. The generation following mine is somewhat clueless, having been the first of the hard-core “participation trophy” and “no-spanking” bullshit style of passive parenting. And THEIR kids, these miserable, candy-assed, lazy fucking douchebags…They teeter on barely functioning, intellectually, and utterly clueless issue-wise, yet they sure as hell have no problem rambling on and on via 140 character-long rants of piss-poor grammar. They’re distracted and entitlement-borne, and primed to usher in the golden age of another “leadership” disaster. And don’t kid yourself, you saw it this week already: The fix is in. They’re not even wasting time with the lube and dirty talk they had to employ in 2008 and ’12. They’re diving right on in, because they’ve already laid claim to it when you opened that door the first time.

Hyphenate it any way you want, but Socialism is Socialism, and it has NEVER WORKED, PERIOD. Erase history and rewrite it all you’d like, but simple facts remain. To function at even the most base levels, that idea requires a working class. And expecting that class to be earning a huge salary only leads to crippling inflation, and a lack of demand for product, which eliminates the jobs. The ouroboros eventually runs out of tail to munch upon.

Yet, if you’ve raised a couple of generations on empty promises and worthless goals like celebrity and material worship, anything with “free” in the name becomes nearly impossible to NOT want, and by the act of merely offering it you can garner support. After all, nobody actually expects it to be delivered upon; they’re conditioned to live for the thrill of that moment when it’s MENTIONED, bracketed by whatever hashtags are trending. It’s brainwashing and conditioning, and they’d realize this if they had to attend any of the classes they’ll pass simply for having signed-up in the first place. And you can’t expect any of them to pay for shit they don’t use, right?

It’s 2016, and the future is fucked.

The Science of Snack Foods

You know why Sun Chips come packaged in those opaque bags? I think it has a lot to do with that near baby-shit brown coloring of the chips themselves. Had they been packaged like normal snack foods, you’d see them behind that little window in the bag and think “Those look more Earthy than the name implies. Perhaps more like the contents of the colostomy bag found attached to a mummy. I am an American, and demand that MY Sun Chips look more yellow, as the sun itself,” and then Neil Degrasse Tyson could step in and reclassify the snack as something else, because that’s what astrophysicists do, obviously.

And don’t even get me started on the potential of a sixteen show series from Michio Kaku that would dig deeper into the mystery of the off-colored “red giant” chip, or the even more rare stellar collision, wherein two chips have merged into one unit (occasionally, there’s like five PLUS in some globular cluster, forming this nebula of not-quite Sun Chippy-goodness that you avoid because it’s more like the weird characters in Tod Browning’s 1932 film Freaks than some food, and you just can’t bring yourself to touch it, but can rest assured that some talent-less hack would have stolen the entire premise for a shitty cable series like some eighty years down the road).

That said, try a little fucking harder, Sun Chips. I demand accountability from my snacks. Now, about this “Milky Way” bar, and the obviously sloppy anatomical research by the “Butterfinger” people…

Thinking of You

Exchange out of context, passive-aggressive edition:

“Every time I hear a ‘Dumb Polack’ joke, I immediately think of you.”

“We have something in common! Every time I hear the opening bars of ‘Disco Inferno’ or ‘It’s Raining Men,’ I think back to when we went to watch your Dad ride that long pink float in the parade and your mom cried a lot.”

Titanic Number Two: The Remnant

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Oscars on your mind? Me neither, because I work for a living. But that didn’t stop me from crafting a little Movie mash-up for you. I’m a giver, after all. That said, enjoy this blended mash of Titanic and The Revenant. I call my treatment Titanic Number Two: The Remnant.

All I ask is that you sticklers suspend your “timeline” and “historical facts” bullshit for this overview. This is a movie. They’re meant to entertain. We have books and whatnot for “facts” and “historical preservation.” Go read one.

A Gilbert Grape-era Leo is in steerage aboard the Titanic, which is transporting French carnival animals to the US, because the American ones don’t smell enough to be taken seriously (also, Chris Rock needed a paycheck, and his reprising of the whole Zebra voice-over role really adds a Jar-Jar Binks quality that many dramatic films seems to miss lout on). While a stowaway, Jack Grape befriends a bear, and the bear shares his food, and Jack draws pictures of it in fecal matter (whose, exactly is never discussed) on the walls as dramatic music is played. Stanley Kubrick can guest-direct this scene as an homage to his own work, that self-important hack. Eventually, a bored First-Class passenger wanders to the lower decks in search of adventure and trendy bohemian-looking trinkets to steal from the dying, or to trade items from the cheese cart with the near-dying. Leo meets this girl, and they do it in front of the bear. Sex back then wasn’t all that romantic. Hell, these two do it right there, and Jack even draws a picture of it using fecal matter, the source of which is known this time.

The Titanic is taken hostage by a group of Russian paramilitary types, and their poorly-drawn map (stolen from a Dora the Explorer activity set) guides them straight into an iceberg, placed into the script so that the Liberal director can voice his opinion on global warming by killing eleven hundred penguins (again, suspend your geographical knowledge). As the boat sinks, Jack chooses the girl over the bear as sex with her proved slightly less painful. However, the bear survives, making its way South through Canada (in the two movies it takes to cast many, many cameo appearances) to find Jack, where it wreaks a revenge similar to Misery, but all Smaug the Dragon-like, assuming that he were breathing poo instead of fire.

Leo gets help from three penguins who survived the original wreck by latching onto his nipples (to explained in the Director’s Cut), all voiced by Liam Neeson, and they capture the bear, and skin it for a rug in their new home.

Credits.

In the alternate ending, we learn that the whole thing was a dream, taking place in the subconscious of Jack’s alternate personality.

More credits.

The Chains of Acceptable Absurdity

All of this “racial equality” talk surrounding the Oscars really got me thinking. While I can agree that some feel slighted, it’s the prevailing attitude of “my personal feelings and cause are the most important thing in the world” which always leads down the same path toward “screw logic and making sense,” and that’s not always a good thing. I mean at least not in the sense of accomplishing anything, anyway.

In my world, it serves grand purpose. And that purpose is absurdity.

Demanding that someone be nominated, even when they’re not qualified in comparison to whatever the field happens to be is just another case of “everybody gets a trophy,” and that tarnishes the $10 dust collector. ANY award should be a symbol of the hard work put in to best the competition, correct? If you just give everyone praise, regardless of the quality of work presented, you wind up with a society loaded with self-important idiots. You can’t name everyone a Spelling Bee Champion… Otherwise you have to deal with some stupid motherfucker who can’t spell “probably” or doesn’t know the difference between “lose” and “loose.” Sounds pretty straightforward, right?

That said, I’ll just cave to the dumbing-down of everything, and agree that we all deserve a trophy to ensure an inflated, false sense of ourselves. And with that whole Oscars thing fresh in our minds, why not just remake a film to suit this attitude? A lesser man might look to the 1980’s and an action film or cartoon to start with, but I am not “lesser.” I’m going big.

Imagine, if you will, Roots as a racially-equal feature film. The feel-good comedy of the Summer, starring Jim Gaffigan as Kunta Kinte. Where the miniseries was biased toward having many black actors, this new version will have total equality. I mean sure, we’ll have to change most of the plot, and rewrite nearly every scene, but what’s more important? Some “story” or “everybody gets a part?” I’m thinking “road comic nails sit-com deal, but finds the contract to have all sorts of hidden clauses, and hilarity ensues as he tries to get out of the deal.” Based loosely on The Producers and Tootsie (and assorted chapters from the first three Dianetics books… I mean who has time for all of that self-analysis bullshit in the fourth?) I’ll hire Tyler Perry as a co-writer and we’ll bring the funny across demographics and whatnot. I already have the marketing tag line:

“The original had people in chains… But this remake will leave you in stitches!”

See how fucking stupid the whole thing sounds? You want to change things moving forward? Write an intelligent script that avoids racial stereotypes and pitfalls, cast it properly and produce the damned thing with some care. THAT is what will win awards; not bitching and boycotting. Besides, what the fuck have you done of any note lately, Jada? Roll credits. (stinger to feature Roger Moore as me dropping a mic and exiting the screen via levitation)*

* Consider the genius of a William Castle-esque gimmick, wherein the audience that sticks around for the stinger feels a bump on their feet following the mic drop, and they receive a souvenir microphone that plays a half-dozen phrases from the movie

 

Pulitzer Polonophobia

Help me to understand:

Self-important celebrities are boycotting the Oscars due to some inequality in the nominations based upon race, correct? That’s nearly, but not quite as weird as Bruce Jenner being nominated for AND WINNING a “Woman of” award. I would like a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary based solely upon the criteria of there not being a winner with a Polish surname in the history of the award. That is Polonophobia, pure and simple.

It’s a fucked-up world when it’s acceptable for someone to make jokes about my people, but NOT reward my people for writing jokes. I’d totally express my anger if I could get a few friends over to help me change the light bulb (I don’t want to strain my eyes writing in the dark).

That said, I am going to submit an article outlining just why I deserve the award based upon my heritage and that alone, and when nominated (and I win), the circle of utter ridiculousness will be complete. All of known reality will implode upon itself, my having done something to highlight my deserving something for nothing being the prime mover, of course. It’s very complex, this something-for-nothing stuff.

Sim Despot and His Dad

The other day, my son was playing Sim City, and I realized that it’s not only a grand metaphor, but also a fantastic tool to have handy when preparing for parenthood later in life.

“Seriously?! That’s all they do is complain!”

“What?”

“My citizens all want things, but it’s always stuff I don’t have money for! They just keep whining and complaining. Don’t they get it? We can’t afford that right now. You have a home and food and other stuff. Leave me alone.”

“This sounds familiar.”

At this point, it took an ugly turn. There was fear that the people living in his city may pack up and leave. As a parent, it’s one thing to see your kid fail. In this case, it was a moment of pride as he showed his true colors and switched from harried city planner to despotic overlord:

“How can you leave when I’ve shut down the buses?! In fact, I’ll just take the buses away. There is no escape. How do you like me now?”

Back to the Welles in a Hearst

My Jeopardy dreams are recorded in front of a live studio audience. I know this because I scanned every one of their stolid eyes. Even the ones with one eye, of which there were four.
 
Alex: “After his gat explodes and he switches his mind back to freak mode, both Nate Dogg and his buddy Warren G were in need of something else.”
 
Me: “What are ‘Dames that is sexy as hell?'”
 
Alex: “You’re tweaking into a whole new era, Brian.”
 
Me: “If the questions are a buster, I’ll regulate, Alex.”
 
Alex: “Save it, motherfucker.”
 
And then he shot me. As I lay there in a slowly expanding pool of the blood which was pumping from the wound on my neck, I couldn’t help but think “to be honest, I don’t think that Sajak would have been nearly as violent.” Then Bud Collyer stepped on my hand and whispered “to tell the truth, pal, he’d have been the least of your worries.” As he mashed my knuckles into the polished marble floor, he added “and my real name is Clayton. How do you like THEM apples?”
 
“That was sort of my hope,” I managed to say over the sound of snapping bone and tearing sinew. “Also, considering the blood loss here, it may not be MY time to beat the clock, you know?”
 
“Save it for the BONUS ROUND!!!”
 
As the crowd erupted into a frenzy, Collyer mouthed something but all I heard was what sounded like a thunderclap, and was thrust into consciousness and the feeling of my butt cheeks vibrating to the largest fart I’ve released in months. Having regained a sense of the moment, but one mysterious word was left ringing in my ear… “Dotto.”
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