Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cobain Rolling in His Flannel-clad Grave

You may have heard that "Guitar Hero 5," the latest installment of the yes-tiny-plastic-guitars-ARE-awesome series, features Kurt Cobain as an unlockable avatar and led to a fun little legal rights quagmire. Sure, it's great to get to play through "Smells Like Teen Spirit" with him fronting your band, but what took his estate and friends by surprise is the fact that you can then use him to sing the Cardigans or "Push It" or some shit.

His friends & bandmates Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic have decried the situation and let everyone know they had nothing to do with it. That falls on his estate, which is controlled by widow Courtney Love. Unfortunately this is a woman who introduces herself to the person in the mirror every morning. Love scholars have deciphered her tweets (including gems like "ucking nmegafraud and youve got to show for it Kurt LUNCHBOXES CONVERESE SNEAKERS AND ACTIVISION SMUGLY BOASTING OF RAPE") and told us that she is very unhappy about the situation and never thought Activision would use Cobain's image as they have.

Of course, Kurt isn't the only icon to have his reputation dragged through video game mud.

  • In the Da Vinci Code tie-in game, players can unlock and use James Joyce in place of Robert Langdon. Joyce is then forced to say lines like "I need to get to a library, now!" and "I've never met a cryptogram I couldn't crack" and "Any idiot knows that Mediterranean cultures at the turn of the millenium had mastered the use of bronze as a ritual vessel, as discovered by Riehausen in 1874. That's why my best friend is really the killer, and why you're going to sleep with me, hot foreign woman."

  • In the 1992 Super Nintendo game "Mario Paint," players could unlock Vincent Van Gogh and force him to draw shaky, rudimentary spray-paint images of Mario having sex with Princess Peach and Yoshi.

  • After beating Grand Theft Auto IV, players have the option to turn every civilian into Heidi Montag. Now I literally cannot stop running down and shooting civilians. This one's actually pretty awesome.

    Share on Facebook

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rescue Ink on National Geographic Channel

Rescue Ink is a new show starting Sept. 25th on the National Geographic Channel, or NatGeo for those of you who stay at home on Friday night (which means I call it NatGeo). It follows a group of huge tattooed biker types cruising the greater NYC area rescuing animals and scaring the bejesus out of their abusers. Here's a description of the premiere, from the website: "Rescue Ink comes to the assistance of a U.S. war veteran and his pit bulls; the guys are called in on a wild hen (and rooster!) chase in Queens; and they confront a man accused of shooting stray cats with a pellet gun."

One can only assume how the pellet gun man meets his end at the hand of this rogue inked hog-riding unlicensed animal control squad.

Don't get me wrong. I love animals. I put their abuse somewhere in the neighborhood of pedophilia. But one can't help but think the Great Dartboard o' Reality Programming is getting a little worn, yes?

We've got two completely unrelated reality memes linked up in this show: motorcycles (see "Orange County Choppers") and animal rescue (see "Animal ER," "Milo and Otis," "The Rescuers," "Denise Richards: It's Complicated"). What other themes can we tie in? Talent competition, multiple children, cakes, terrible overprivileged people, harsh judges, STD vectors looking for "love" (read: low effort income), fat people.

I'll save the TV execs some work right now and give them the formula for the best show ever. Two sets of overweight trust fund octuplets have to bake the best pimped-car-themed cake ever for Simon Cowell and Padma Lakshmi while pairing off on exercise dates with Brett Michaels and Flava Flav. Also Gary Busey is there. Done and done. Make checks payable to Colin Fisher.

Share on Facebook

Monday, September 14, 2009

2009 VMAs; or, You Call This Music? Get Off My Lawn!

That's right, I'm back. After a long hiatus of not doing very much at all, I decided to kick the ol' blog back up. Not so much to specifically talk about the VMAs, but when such a trainwreck of pop culture happens in front of you it's hard not to talk about it. So let's get started!

I'll be honest, I enjoyed this year's show much more than recent years. I don't know why, but I more or less knew what was going on this time. Much less of the "Who's that girl? What does she do again?" than before. Madonna's tribute to Michael Jackson was weird and stilted, but this is the star of "Swept Away" we're talking about so that's no big surprise. Her perceived relevance will never cease to baffle me. Then the show immediately reached its high point of the evening, if not the decade, when Janet Jackson performed a duet with the video from "Scream." Classy, touching, and really entertaining.

I enjoy Russell Brand's style, but in this situation he makes me feel like I'm nearing the first drop of a roller coaster. I'm not sure what's coming up; it'll probably be fun, but maybe someone's going to die. His crack about the Jonas Brothers ("They have to forgive me; they're Christian") was actually really funny without being too personally aggressive. And Brand truly buys the stuff he's always spouting about love and togetherness, and you can't fault a guy for that. Given his complete lack of regard for network execs and people's opinion of him, I did hope he'd lay into Kanye for the rest of the show, but I guess he handled that alright.

By the way, Kanye West is a whining, dripping, ungrateful, fetid douchebag. And I mean that in the meanest way possible. And that's about all I've got to say about that.

Pink (or I'm sorry, is it P!nk?) had a fantastic performance, and Green Day turned what I thought was going to be a control booth-nightmare ("I want as many people on this stage as we can get right now") into a fun party moment (go back on your DVR and watch Pete Wentz run out to Billy Joe like a high school girl with a big grin on his face). A few performances reminded me of the state of the industry, though, when the fiance or I remarked that "she actually can sing" or "she's actually singing right now." No, Beyonce, we are not talking about you, so go back to being classy with Taylor Swift.

A word on Lady GaGa. Did she get her own dressing room at Radio City? Did that entail one of her people calling ahead and telling the stage manager, "Lady GaGa will be wearing no less than four batshit crazy outfits and will need space in which to store them and be wedged into them." Or did she run to the bathroom with a dry cleaning bag every fifteen minutes? Is she really sticking around? Really? We're all buying this?

So yeah. I hadn't even planned on watching the show last night, much less did I remember it was on til we flipped over there. Not a bad way to kill a Sunday night I suppose. Now back to another year of forgetting what the "M" stands for in MTV.

Share on Facebook