Sunday, February 28, 2010

How Bout That Crazy Curling Huh?

Another Winter Olympics gone, another two weeks of lazy curling comedy out of the way. Comedians, we get it. Curling's weird. Shouldn't be a sport, let alone Olympic. Black people don't like ice/snow/skating. It's cool, point proven. Your task over the next four years is to come up with something new. Maybe something about how they're competing in the Olympics in polo shirts and slacks. They could be striving to see who's the best in the world, or they could be waiting tables at Applebee's.

And is shuffleboard on ice really that much stranger than throwing yourself off a ramp on the side of a mountain with two pieces of wood strapped to your feet and seeing who can fly the farthest? I ask you.

Seriously, when Leno's using curling in promos for his return to hypnosis of the elderly, you know it's a dead horse.

Set your sights on the Trampoline event at the 2012 London games. That shit's weird. And sort of awesome.

Monday, February 8, 2010

What the Super Bowl Ads Taught Me about Myself

As I am a straight white male age 18-34, CBS is very glad I tuned in to the Super Bowl last night. As I am an intelligent critical-thinking cynical ad-proof liberal, I was pretty pissed off by what I was told I'm supposed to like. The advertisers see me as they want to see me, in the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions: a man's man who cannot be himself because he carries the heavy yoke of a relationship with a woman; all I want to do is drive my car and drink bland, watery beer, but I can't because a woman cast her menstrual spells on me and now I have to carry her purse and watch movies with Valerie Bertinelli and/or J Lo. And they tell me I hate abortions. As an atheist Democrat this is partially true; the Democrat in me wants to carve up all the pregnant bellies in America, but the atheist in me wants to eat those babies alive. Tough call.

If I may drag Orwell's dead body into this again, and I may, the reason I find all this irritating is that it's just so lazy. Cliches are shortcuts, which is why they're necessary in 30-second TV spots, but they do your thinking for you. Fact: I married my wife because, among other reasons, I enjoy hanging out with her, I can truly be myself around her, and we let each other do what we want. Myth: men always force themselves into marriage to fit societal expectations and/or get someone to feed them for free, then resent their wives because being an asshole is no longer tolerated. I encountered similar thinking during my engagement. I'd tell an older guy that I was getting married, and he'd bitch about his wife. It's not my fault you made a terrible decision as a younger man, so don't make me feel bad for holding out for the good stuff.

And you guys all realize that none of the beer advertised during the Super Bowl is American, right? I didn't see any Sam Adams commercials, or Yuengling or Sierra Nevada. Even PBR, the largest American-owned brewery now that European conglomerates bought all the other big ones, outsources its brewing to South Africa. Not that I would drink the crap if it was American. I went through that phase. It's called college. The reason beer is an acquired taste is because everyone starts out drinking the worst of it. Was your first beer a Dogfish Head Brewery creation, or a Rogue ale, or something European you couldn't pronounce? No, it was room-temp Natty Light out of a red Solo cup, which you were drinking to get drunk, not to complement a steak. The owner of Dogfish Head Brewery told me (and about 200 other conventioneers) that the major beer companies all make pretty much the same product, which is based on a centuries-old German edict limiting beer to three ingredients: water, barley, and hops. There's really only so much variation you're going to get in products made by that guideline.

Sure, I got a few chuckles out of last night's broadcast (thank you Betty White and adorable Doritos kid; no thank you Leno, not ever), but given the amount of hype and the disgusting amounts of money spent, shouldn't we have gotten better?

And hey GoDaddy, moderately attractive women in plain tank tops with your logo across the chest just aren't as hot as you seem to think.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Confused by the 'Lost' Premiere?

[spoiler]You're an idiot![/spoiler] But seriously, this will be a spoiler-free post.

A lot of digital ink has been wasted on how confusing and befuddling and mind-breaking Lost can be. Let me clue you in to something: it's not that hard. Getting cheap healthcare to a first-world nation without accruing massive debt is hard. Predicting ups and downs in an economy that may or may not be following Keynesian cycles is hard. This is just a TV show. They have to make money. Thus, they have to please a lot of people. Thus, they have to provide answers at some point.

This is where the "confusion" sets in. Answers will be provided. They will not be provided when you want them. This is not confusion. This is just impatience. This isn't Twin Peaks (and even if it were, that wasn't as obfuscating as people make it out to be); David Lynch doesn't rely on cause-and-effect. Abrams and crew most certainly do.

Let's say character X died in season two, yet in this season we see X walk out of the jungle in a suit. "Whuuuh?" you say, cheese dip and sweat mixing on your upper lip. "But he's...he's...DAID!" Well, clearly he isn't, and in a matter of time the writers will tell us why not. No confusion necessary, just patience. And don't bother trying to explain it yet, because chances are you don't have all the necessary information, which will be provided at some point. Congratulations to me! I just nullified hundreds and hundreds of silly conspiracy-laden fan sites.

Now, let's say someone like David Lynch is in fact behind the show. Character X dies in season two, probably by autoerotic asphyxiation. In this season, he walks out of the jungle in a suit, scuba gear, and point shoes, talks backwards for a while, farts on Sawyer's face and exits. X is never mentioned again. X's actions in no way advanced the plot. At this point, confusion is not only acceptable, it's the only sane reaction.

You were given a one-hour recap before this last season premiere, not to mention plenty of time to catch up on DVDs. You have a whole season in front of you in which the writers will wrap up loose ends and explain that initial cold shock of the season premiere. And by now you damn well oughta know how the show works. So why are you so stupid?

And why do I care? I guess because at this point, it's become a cliche that Lost is such a confusing, dense show with hundreds of unanswered questions, and I'm of the Orwellian school when it comes to cliches. They're lazy; they are mannequins of actual thought. It's a great show. Sit back and let it prove that to you.