Tag Archive | nostalgia

It’s Not My Favorite Film

After avoiding it for twenty years, I made the mistake of watching the movie Swingers.
What an utter pile of dog shit. If you’re a fan, please, for the love of my fragile sanity explain to me just what the draw is. I mean, outside of the fraternity “Bro” crowd, I cannot see how anyone could find anything redeeming in that disjointed, poorly-written film. Had they simply taken the film from the tin and wiped it WITH that dog shit mentioned a couple of sentences back, the flow would have been more enjoyable and logical to follow.
“But it’s a nineties CLASSIC!!” these bearded, man bun-wearing hipsters will cry. I can only reply to that with a dose of reality:
No matter how you try to sugar-coat it, the 1990’s were garbage. Take off those blue mirror-tinted Gargoyles (or Heaven forbid BLADES, you moron) and turn down the Fugees, and wake to realize that films like this are worse than a splash of mustard on your Hypercolor t-shirt; a big disappointment.
Then again, I don’t like the movie Scarface. I cannot begin to put into words just how much I hate that fucking film. I can recall when it was on SpikeTV nearly every four hours, and probably goes a long way in explaining why that network sucked balls in nearly every respect outside of MXC, which should put things into perspective, having been simply an over-dubbed edit of the show Takeshi’s Castle. Say hello to acting school, you dwarf-ass guido shitbag. I don’t for a minute buy that you’re a Cuban. If you’re going to remake a film, at least do it some justice. The Pacino version is like the new Ghostbusters of remakes, only instead of being a bunch of man-hating hacks, Tony is a film-hating spaghetti bender playing a laughable Latin. Speaking of which, they’re talking about RE-remaking it. Yeah… the guy who just remade The Magnificent Seven is going to remake this slimy turd. Such talent, Antoine. You should go on a cooking show and serve leftovers. I’ve nearly gotten off track here. Where were we? Oh yeah, the LA cocktail scene of the 1990’s as seen through the eyes of a half-wit.
Swingers may have been the film that “defined” Vince Vaughn or whatever some idiots claim, but the thing is aggravatingly drawn-out and sheer and utter bromance bullshit. I really don’t want to sit there for the duration of the movie feeling embarrassed for this group of self-important failures. The entire thing feels like a rip-off of Clerks, but with characters you just wish would drop their showbiz dreams, exit the film and move back to wherever they fucking came from in the first place. You know when you watch something and root for characters to be offed? That gun scene had be thinking “well it’s about fucking TIME!!” And then in true 1990’s fashion, it turned out to be just a bunch of candy-ass parking lot posturing with a feel-good ending wherein they all get together to play video games. How dare you bring Hockey into this. IS NOTHING SACRED?!
I blame this film for the influx of douchebags and their ilk trying to be Mickey Rourke caricatures and running around quoting movies in the late 1990’s, and that crime can never be fully apologized for. Oh, you come close with the first Iron Man,  Johnny-boy. Hell, even Cowboys and Aliens or Elf to a point. But watching you in Swingers?! Fucking fuhgeddaboudit.
Like I said, Favreau went on to do some pretty good things afterward… So sitting around blaming this movie for everything is a crime tantamount to disregarding the shoddily-designed catapult that launched Wile E. Coyote into a cliff wall; sometimes you can forgive and even overlook the poorly-designed vehicle that got you to where you needed to be, even if that destination was splattered against a cliff wall in he desert. In that light, I’ll stick to implicating the film in having influenced a generation of weak-minded frat boys running around calling things “money.” And yes, if you’re quoting a Spike Lee-directed Nike commercial via a poorly written, lit and presented “movie,” well, you’re relatively weak-minded.
Short version, I fucking hate the movie Swingers. Ask me anything.

It Doesn’t Always Need to be About the Past


Why is is that every time an automaker re-designs a particular model, or brings back a nearly-forgotten nameplate, or even mid-cycle facelifts a car, that the very first fucking thing I have to read is every self-important know-it-all posting that they should have made it look like the 1961 model? SERIOUSLY?!

Here’s a quick thought, you morons: Not every car has to look JUST FUCKING LIKE THE ORIGINAL MODEL. Tastes and design requirements change. You wouldn’t sell a whole lot of Cadillacs today with giant fins or 150-lbs of trim on the flanks. Oh, you can bet your ass that there would be a half-dozen greaseball mooks on the East coast putting in advance orders (“Hey Joey… weez kin paint ‘Teen Angel’ on da continental kit! An’ I gots you some new fuzzy dice, bro!”), but following that, it would have no place in the modern day.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for brand and model continuity, and a little nod to tradition is outstanding. Hell, I bought my Challenger based on that. Then again, that car was done RIGHT. It’s not a cartoon-ish caricature of the original like a certain Camaro. On the other hand, would I have been even remotely interested in the car had it looked like the ’78-83 models? Probably not. It’s about instilling some heritage, and knowing how that will work with the current (and future) brand direction.

Consider the return of the Thunderbird in 2000. Holy moly… what a catastrophe. That whole retro-design phase ruined it for a lot of cars, not to mention design enthusiasts. Back to the Challenger, what if, in 1970, we weren’t offered a fresh take on the Pony Car concept, but rather a 1937 Dodge coupe-looking thing with a wing on the back and a dual-snorkel hood? Would have failed, and gone down as a styling flop. This would have happened because people used to celebrate design and inventiveness. Perhaps this explains why every TV show is the same regurgitated bullshit, and why reruns of said shows sell like hotcakes. Originality just ain’t what it used to be.

Nostalgia can be a great thing, just keep it the fuck away from the new car-buying public in general.

The Dangers of Poor Spelling, Episode 71: Nudity Roulette

It is “wax nostalgic,” not “whack nostalgic.”

While I may know what you had MEANT, it did not stop my brain from taking a sharp turn into “OH FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST PLEASE NO NO NONONONONONO!!!” Land. So yeah… thanks for that.
Today I had a moment to whack nostalgic, and considering the wonderful memories of bachelorhood during the internet boom, there was but one logical solution to come of it all: All things considered, I’m switching back to dial-up internet. My logic being that all of this high-speed goodness has removed the fun of searching for random things, or as I used to call it, “Nudity Roulette.”
The game was simple enough: You start by searching for something relatively tame (and a bit far from dirty, mind you), and then you’d find that one image that made you think twice before clicking away, but you’d go ahead anyway. In the early days, the algorithms (hang on a second… Internet. That dial-up beepy sound thing. Al Gore. Al-Gore-rhythms. Hmmm.) weren’t really dialed-in (oh, they wrote themselves, kids) yet, so you were taking shots in the dark as it were most days. And then it would begin loading, and with each row of pixels you’d be all like “Oh-kay… certainly NOT what I was expecting here, and what’s with the ocelot?” And then BAM!
The rest loads and “she” has a penis.
Oh, internet… let’s try that again and double-check the spelling of “Italian Pope” a bit closer.

Aunt Regina’s Missing Teeth and The Peanut Cologne Christmas Faux Pas

In keeping with the modern trend of over-thinking, analyzing and then blaming all present and future actions upon some insignificant event in ones past, I’d like to offer the following. Bear in mind that it is in no way to be considered any form of apology, but rather a blanket blame on anyone else but myself for said actions, be they past, present, future or even alternate-dimensionally. Being an “entitlement prick” appears to have advantages over “responsible adult”.

I once had a terrible experience at a family meal wherein we were served lumpy mashed potatoes. Now, it may not sound like a big deal to you, but to really understand the psychological trauma brought forth by these poorly prepared, textural tuberous terrors, you’d be better served having known my Aunt Regina and then trying to unravel what will no doubt be the subject of more than a few doctoral theses for some struggling grad students one day.

In keeping with our theme, it’s not her fault that she lost her front teeth and left-side molars in that knitting bee incident… although it is often argued that if it weren’t for her insistence that Barry Manilow had written the off-off-Broadway musical retelling of the life and times of Davis M. Knoellbecker, the forgotten laboratory assistant of George X.L. Wangrower, inventor of Enzyte (who later became a Vaudevillian-esque circus side show performer famous for a pole-vaulting act that was hands-free and truly head and shoulders above anything else you could see for three cents in his time) –you have to give the broad some credit, as her life was running somewhat in parallel with his snappy tune “Can’t Smile Without You”, if you changed a few words– versus simply agreeing with Edna “Crazy Toes” Tombeck that the supposed musical was little more than a dream sequence in a very special episode of “The Golden Girls” when they did that crossover with the A-Team and Blanche takes peyote with Murdoch that she’d share some delight in the nanosecond of flavor that is Juicy Fruit or even a full-on flossing, but I digress. Well, not yet. No, come to think of it, let’s save that little tale I just recalled for later on, and go back to digressing all over again.

You see, between her now-inadequate chompers and an over-active gag reflex, combined with her tongue being offset slightly to the left, the sounds emanating from her end of the table were downright frightening. The “squish, squish, gargle, gag” rhythm and back-beat of snorts and whistling exhales (did I mention her deviated septum? Grand tale for another somewhat food-related post sidebar), I was reminded of a horrifying visit to see Santa Claus who happened to be in the throes of anaphylaxis (anyone else recall Ralph Lauren’s brother Todd and his short-lived, peanut oil-based cologne “Georgia”? There’s another tale for yet another time in all of this involving a brief encounter with a guerilla-style cosmetics counter clerk and a “sample” spray of said cologne and my winter parka – you’d be amazed with the efficiency in which a faux fur fringe band spanning the leading edge of a hood on a blue nylon winter coat can be used to transport a substance across three departments, one of which being Lingerie, of which my younger self truly worked to put the “linger” into – I’m writing a spy thriller based on this), which I had mistook in my childhood innocence as unadulterated excitement over the Tyco slot car track (with “Nite Glow”!) I had mentioned, just prior to his expiring and drooping forward, spilling forth his final words to me on a wave of peppermint schnapps-laced breath and what I pray was saliva, which were either “Real potato chips don’t come in a tennis ball can”, or perhaps something else, possibly closer to “Find medical help for me, if you can”. To say that this event ruined Christmas would be giving far too much credit to some stranger who had obviously engaged in some rather serious vocational misadventures… Not to mention some militant malefactor of aromatic goods who accosted an innocent child on his way to see some remnant of a time gone by, both in the traditional sense as well as in the “burned-out alcoholic masquerading as a holiday symbol” way… of the two, I’ll leave it to you, fair reader to determine which is more depressing. Nay, that Christmas was ruined by something far more nefarious, and we’ll save that tale for another day, perhaps written as a Shakespearean soliloquy.

In any event, I don’t particularly care for lumpy mashed potatoes OR allergen-swollen, sketchy-at-best department store Santas. And don’t even get me started on old women named Blanche or musicals. I do, however, miss the K-Tel commercials that aired during the glorious period of syndication when I became a young man and discovered the therapeutic benefits of aromatherapy to be found in scale model car building… Again, none of which is obviously any fault of my own.

Hot Rodding History

One of the coolest places I have had the good fortune to visit in my lifetime has been the Old Crow Speed Shop. This Burbank, CA landmark is a living, working shop and museum. A true time capsule loaded to the rafters with some of the neatest hot rod and racing-related goodies you’ve ever laid eyes upon.

It’s one of those places where you just wander around slack-jawed, just trying to take it all in. Rather than write a bunch of words, and make some scientific study of the shop and the incredible collection stored between the walls, I thought it better to just throw down some photos, as though you were there with me, wandering. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do…

old crow speed shop

old crow coupe

hot rod shop

old crow collection

old crow mementos

parts counter

old crow showroom

old crow speed nostalgia

nos stromberg display

belly tank cars

old school hot rodding

bellytank pedal cars

Much more soon…

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