When you’re polishing the brass railings of the HMS Titanic, it’s important to remember one thing; do it with style. Otherwise, why bother? The more you polish, the better you get. So what if the ship hits the iceberg and sinks?
Since 1998, largely to keep myself out of a rut, I’ve changed the heading of the Bands I Useta Like strip every few years. In the very beginning (when it was self-published), it looked like this:
I won’t lie to you; I’m a conceited guy. I probably possess an overabundance of confidence in my own skills. As I grow older, I try to temper this arrogance, because I’ve seen how it can drive others away; friends, loved ones, fans. But you must understand the importance of this feature (not a bug). In today’s world, you have to be crazy to get anything accomplished.
I have a “Messiah complex”, for which I blame no one but myself. My endless vitriol directed at the entertainment universe springs from the concrete belief that I can do better for you. I can give you what you really want.
I love great sketch comedy, and as demonstrated on this site, I have tremendous nostalgia for the video industry of the 1980s and ’90s. By nature I am protective of those things, out of love. I have little tolerance of exploitation of them.
I believe the modern peak of sketch comedy came with two shows; Mr. Show with Bob & David, and The Kids In The Hall (both on HBO). Since the 1990s, these programs set the gold standard. Inevitably, new sketch comedy shows are compared to them, and they seldom hold up. I don’t think The State gelled until they became Reno 911. Broken Lizard has moments; generally one or two per film. Too many comedy groups nowadays are post-UCB; all manic energy, no focus. That’s fine if the group is performing live for an drunken bar audience. TV is a different matter.
Kidding and perversity aside, we used to have “rocketry club” at school. Well, I didn’t; it was all done away with by the time I reached seventh grade. Kids could care less about the excitement of space and walking on the moon now.
I adore them. Their art, their culture, their contributions to the enlightenment of our world. Hate me all you want, but I never felt prouder of Donald Trump than I did when he refused to shake Angela Merkel’s hand for a photo op. Trump didn’t want to get France’s blood all over his hand, and Merkel’s mitts are positively oozing with the spilt plasma of Europe.
From 2002 to 2010, two childhood best friends competed for dominance in a Toronto apartment house. Those friends are Kenny Hotz and Spencer Rice, and on the Canadian reality show Kenny vs. Spenny, these competitions and their outcomes would be recorded for posterity. Each program, the loser would be subjected to a humiliation of the winner’s choosing. It provided a clearer picture of the male psyche than anything on television before or since.
Men think in terms of winning and losing. We see humiliation as undesirable but often inevitable. This runs counter to the “everyone gets a trophy” mentality. You want a trophy? You better walk through fire to earn it. Otherwise, what does it mean? And why should your trophy be on the shelf with the others?
Even though the competitions in KvS are often simple, they become psychological endurance tests, and because Hotz and Rice have such magnetism as a team, we get a complex picture of the struggle for victory. Kenny is conniving and will resort to cheating; Spenny is guileless and strives to compete honestly and respectfully. They’re a compelling yin and yang, and since they’re Canadians, they are to funny what birds are to flying. There are cameras trained on them because they are funny simply being.Continue reading →
In my experience, I can’t recall ever hearing a woman whistle. In fact, I think women hate whistling.
Whistling is used by men because it’s the only sound we can make that can be heard over distance, or loud noise. Before my voice changed back in grade school, I could imitate the coach’s whistle so well, I could call all the kids back to the gym. Women’s voices never deepen to the point where they can’t shriek, so there’s no need for whistling. Continue reading →