Monday, June 29, 2009

The One Stop Shop for Your Next Period Piece

You know how period films are all kind of the same? Like you can expect that there will be adorned bosoms, tea cups, English accents even if it's set in France, and some sordid interclass sexual relations between two white people that the rest of the upper crusties turn their Anglo-noses up at until it's discovered that the poorer party is really a prince or inheritor of his estranged father's tea biscuit fortune? Thus true love is allowed to thrive while keeping all of the same crappy social conditions that prevented it in the first place. (The same bizarro logic exists in rom-coms too: be an unhappy single woman and kvetch to everyone about your destitute, lonesome life and you'll get swept off your feet by a handsome man who loves slobbery dogs and will unrealistically find your moodiness and bitter quips about the terribleness of the male species completely charming.)

Anyway, I find the trailer for Cheri hilarious, because it really is a cliche of itself. I mean, sub the actors out and the formula could be used for ANY period piece trailer. Start with ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE, CUE VIOLINS!, INTRODUCE KEY FORBIDDEN LOVE CHARACTERS, CUE VIOLINS!, CUT TO TEA TIME WHERE NOTHING INTERESTING IS BEING SAID, CUE VIOLINS!, SHOW POST-COITAL LOVAHS, CUE VIOLINS!, CUT TO HEARTY ENGLISH LAUGHTER, CUE VIOLINS!, MORE HEARTY ENGLISH LAUGHTER, CUE VIOLINS! And scene.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The future is totally frakked.

In the parental oligarchy that is Park Slope, anxiety prone caregivers have hijacked the sport commonly known as little league baseball and reformed it-- the batter swings (and swings and swings) until he hits the goddamned ball. The fielding team merely tosses the ball in the right general direction to score an out. I mean, I understand the desire to build a saccharin world free of hurt and rejection for the precious being that came into the world care of your doula and a Cat Stevens album, but God forbid the imminent future looks like an aluminum wasteland and Wall-E has been specifically designed to annihilate the human race and your kid doesn't even know what it feels like to be struck out at home plate.

Monday, June 22, 2009

OH FRAK. I kind of made a bargain with myself never to post a cute animal video based on an unproven theory that CAVs are the gateway drug to, like, Daily Kitten subscriptions, and PETA memberships, or worse 100 million hours of YouTube videos metatagged: ANIMALS, LOLS!, ADORABLE that become an Interwebbian mandate as your brain craves more and more dopamine, and eventually only novelty clips like a Golden Retriever puppy spooning a handicapped cheetah will suffice. But I'm making an exception for this Slow Loris video my friend sent on Friday. Because the Slow Loris is being tickled. And it is so cute. And because I'm sure as soon as Pixar sees this YouTube video they'll exploit our Slow Loris friend in some animated feature. You can say you saw it first here.

Word to the wise: The Slow Loris is an endangered species so if you see one please tickle it and give it one last LULZ. For the Internet minions.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

When Duty Calls


Not even the unemployed, or the soul-destroyingly employed. Which may be why they screen a video first thing airing all the complaints of people like you walking into the court building for jury duty. The powersuit: "But I have SO many projects at work going on. They need me at the office!" The colorful Hispanic woman: "Why they show me bloody pictures?! What they want me for?" A pixelated 1970's Diane Sawyer offers a brief soliloquy on the nobility of jury duty and the rule of law, nevermind betch was probably just coming off her stint as Nixon's press aide. By the end of the video an American flag is waving in the breeze (meaning: justice has been served), and kvetchers are reformed, Intervention-style. The theme song from Titanic or Braveheart or The West Wing commences and the former naysayers spring out onto the court steps enthusing about their enlightened views. A Wall Street tycoon with a face like he invented roofies tells you his clients can wait because his first priority as an American is to be good citizen. A bird passes above some Melanie Griffith-in-Working-Girl head, which really only reminds you of the fact that you're inside a windowless room with archaic fluorescent bulbs. A room that reeks of medicinal farts and the sounds of throaty mucus.

The man running this shindig is mean. Every time an innocent approaches the podium with a question he answers him or her straight into the microphone despite the fact the confused party is standing inches away from his face. Thus littered in between role calls are caustic one-liners like: "Let me teach you how to read." "Funny, you LOOK like someone who knew how to listen." "How do you pronounce this crazy name of yours?" There's one guy in the second row who looks like Rick Moranis, who maybe actually could be Rick Moranis, who laughs at every single one of these. I've labeled him the Betrayer, he reminds me of the Jewish guards who ran the ghettos. Closer to home, home being this electronic light box burning up my lap, the overweight Army man next to me is a mouth breather. I know he's an Army man because he has a buzzcut and his computer screen is a rendering of a beefed-up Uncle Sam with the slogan, "IT'S WAR TIME. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO HELP?" My typing annoys him. I can feel his rage in the form of heat and I imagine he's really upset right now that he's not spanking recruits out on a grassy field.

The Internet connection here blocks, it seems so undemocratic. And what they call straws are really stirrers and the sucking force they necessitate is putting me at risk for a brain aneurysm. I feel like a betch for betching, you know, it's just jury duty, but my shoes have been wet all day, now my feet are dank and cold, and I've just gotten to the part in the book I brought where one Euro satanic metal dude eats another Euro satanic metal dude's brain and I guess I just feel like a relatively good person comparatively and maybe like I deserve this outlet. Even if maybe I don't.