Friday, September 29, 2006

Time To Watch Sesame Street

So I'm watching channel 11 for no apparent reason, checking out today's incarnation of "Sesame Street" and whatever other shows the geniuses at PBS have offered the unsuspecting youngsters of the world. But this whole current incarnation of "Sesame Street" is scary.

Not surprisingly, Ernie, Big Bird, and Kermit all sound very odd and nothing like the way they once sounded before Jim Henson took his dirt nap. I don't know who they hired to take over the job of voice characterizations for the aforementioned, but let's just say that Mel Blanc he ain't.

Grover just introduced a segment having to do with making tie dye shirts. Hello? They are showing footage from Jamaica, as the shirts are dyed. Hello Hello? Can we just show the little tykes out there how to roll a joint? I'm waiting for the next segment, when Grover takes us to a gas station to buy some Chore Boy and glass tubes for constructing a standard crack pipe. Jeez, and they have some Jamaican burnout demonstrating the tie dye process, and if I had the closed captioning turned on, it would've had "((pot smoke)) ((heavy pot smoke))" surrounding each nugget of dialog.

Ok, add "The Count" to the ever growing list of characters that sound nothing like they once had. The Count now sounds like a permanently horny 20 year old misanthrope from Rotterdam who is way too interested in dams.

Oh I hate this muppet/monster/character named Telly. He consistently comes off as the prototypical retarded guy having his first orgasm. Am I peeing? He's that stupid.

Then there's the infamous Elmo. A third of the entire show is devoted to this moron, via "Elmo's World". His bloated, annoying face is posed around 18 inches from the camera and he makes his typical baby talk for the enchanted dozens out there that actually have the attention span to tolerate this disaster's full 20 minute tragedy. This stuff is so idiotic, it's clearly geared toward those children out there who are under the age of zero.

Big Bird, in his feminine voice, began conversing with the infamous "Bob", a real human. Oy, Bob is still on the show. Gayer than a French Horn. I would've thought the Plague would've knocked off this friggin' pillow biter by now. Oh, wait, he can't be gay; he married deaf Linda, queen of sign language and diversity. At least she never hears him scream as he gets walluped by a rent-a-rod named Otis in the adjoining room.

Oh goodie, now they're rolling out all the wheelchair kids. Happy day. Hopefully Elmo get run over! At least the show finally gave up on parading those Downs Syndrome kids like they did in the 70s. They must've fallen into the garbage cans too frequently.

Oscar the Grouch has a wife or girlfriend. It's just Oscar with a shower cap and curlers. Oscar's chick looks like most of the old hags in the post office. Shall we wonder how he met this lovely gal? Are we supposed to figure out how this grouchy thing might've cast such a spell that she'd follow him back to his garbage can for some naughty time? Is he still grouchy when he's throwing a big load on her furry bosoms? Is Grover filming this at the time? I'd happily offer him a sawbuck for that footage. Nah, maybe a fin.

Why can't Elmo at least speak the fucking language correctly? He talks like an overzealous Chinese woman. "Elmo like dance" "Elmo happy!" Elmo grammatically incorrect.

Oscar's pet worm "Slimy" is still the cutest thing in the world. But now they have Slimy whimpering and making noises. NO! Don't screw with Slimy! It is adorable that Slimy has his own little bed now. Damn he's the cutest. Ok I sounded really queeny for a minute, but I do have my softer side. Just like Sears.

They now have a character named "Doctor Feel", meant to emulate Doctor Phil. Both have styrofoam in their heads. Amazingly, I wanted to beat the hell out of the puppet version as well.

Gordon's still bald, Susan's fatter, Maria's fatter, and Mister Hooper is still being devoured by maggots.

At least they modified their cultural strategy. In the 80s, the only things blacker than this show were MTV and a rib joint at 31st and State Street.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Things You Shouldn't Say In a Neighborhood Bar

Things you shouldn't say in a crowded, creepy tavern

- Who likes fraud?!

- I'll give you 3 bucks to manually dehydrate your testicles.

- I hate people with hair

- Hey, bartender, you promised you'd extinguish all the Mexicans for me!

- Gimme a Hitler Martini with a twist of Jew

- Anyone wanna star in a snuff film?

- Can I please collect the cheese from where the fat guys were sitting?

- Hey Frank, that's not a prostitute. That's a vending machine. Ah, nevermind.

- I'll take the Cubs on that bet.

- Does anyone have change for a hundred? (saw that one coming)

- I may have missed the gay bar, but my compass is still pointing north!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Chicago Redux

It's less than endearing to hear radio commercials that are supposedly "local" commercials, geared to Chicagoans. The stereotypical "Tcheh-kah-goe" accent is the order of business for the Los Angeles based character actors who are hastily hired for these idiotic adverts. Car dealers, national pizza chains, merchandising chains, and similar conglomerates are proned to pitch supposedly localized commercials in the mode which we local city dwellers might perceive to be legitimately locally produced and sincerely of local origin.
Invariably, the same pathetic means of localization rear their ugly heads: they mention "Bears, Bulls, deep dish pizza, no ketchup on a hot dog, the sears tower, the Nort Siders, the Sot Siders, blah blah blah".
Here are some tips for you idiots that think you could manufacture a typical Chicago resident.

We don't all talk like the "Da Bears" blue collar thing. It's stupid and I rarely hear this accent from anyone in my daily local pursuits. There may be a few out there, but it's sadly exaggerated, like the typically sham Italian accent, Irish Cop, Chinese "ah so" crap, and the like. Pitching the accent as such is just insulting and uneducated.

Locals NEVER say "Chi Town" or "Da Windy City". News anchors may say "Chicagoland" or just "Chicago area". Most of us just say "the city". It's that simple. "Chi Town" is embarassing and not of local origin, you idiots.

We don't thrive on deep dish pizza. We eat whatever is convenient and good. Is this all you bozos can produce? Pizza? Hot dogs? No ketchup on the hot dogs, yeah yeah.

Chicago actually has white collar workers. It's primarily those who can still afford to live in the overpriced lofts, townhouses, condominiums, and single family homes in the city limits. Taxes and property values are ridiculous, so most of the people that live in the city are more refined, snobby, and successful than any of you moronic radio advertisers that claim to know the character and nature of our residents. This isn't 1923 any more. Move on, dorks.

Again, nobody says "Chi Town"

Sportscasters and the like, when covering a game, like to have their Goodyear Blimp or Outback "Bloomin' Onion" dirigible focus on the downtown skyline of our fair town. Invariably, they mention how it's such a beautiful city, such a great place, etc etc. Jump in my car, I'll show you more of our beautiful city. I'll take you by Stateway Gardens and watch some crack deals. Then off to 47th and State to be shot. Like prostitution? Let's roll. You wanna rent a nice car? I'll show you some pot holes that will absorb that Mustang like a thirsty drunk Polish guy.

I love when PGA golf tournaments are held in distant towns like Medinah, IL, or Long Grove, many miles away, and the broadcasters chirp up "in beautiful Chicago!" If the skyline isn't visible on the horizon, you ain't in town, Mister Costas.

Yes, Chicago as a whole is tougher than New York. We don't want to go to New York, but we'd take you in a fight. We have some bad dudes. I wanna see our worst neighborhoods in a rumble against New York's worst neighborhoods. Oh, see ya. Iraq couldn't defend a couple of our gangs. Nyah.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

TV Show Observations Part One

- Why do crappy shows like "Full House" and "Saved By The Bell" have the token athletic episode where one of the principal characters is in a big game/match? WORST of all, it's invariably broadcast, play by play, on radio. Who the hell is listening? AC Slater's wrestling match? On radio? The Fresh Prince scoring 1000 points? Joey Gladstone playing league hockey? On radio? Please.

- Why do relatives always burst in to "surprise" the main characters? "I thought I would surprise you!" Hilarity ensues.

- In MASH, who exactly was the guy that made all the announcements over the camp's P.A. system? We never saw him.

- In Full House, Jesse (played by John Stamos) is Greek and clearly with jet black hair and dark features. He is the brother of the late wife of Bob Saget's character. All of the offspring are bright blonde and with light features. Huh?

- I complain about reality shows these days, but I shouldn't. It's proof that the viewing audience at least insists on legitimacy. How stupid were people in the 1970s? Fantasy Island? The Bionic Woman/Six Million Dollar Man? Incredible Hulk? These shows all were way too long, stupid, and beyond the scope of realism. And why were all these shows an hour long, with has-been "guest stars" that we all knew were simply typecast as Carol Brady, The Hollywood Squares People, the Dorito Guy, Klinger, Barney Miller, and Reuben?

- Ever notice that every white character injected into "The Cosby Show" was stupid? Even the kids. The token whites, that occasionally might be lingering around a wealthy neighborhood. Cosby's spiteful portrayals in this show sucked all the credibility out of his preachy essence.
And could the mother in that show be any more condescending? I hated her with a passion.

- Norman Lear, much like Cosby, tried portraying a stupid white guy; in this case, Archie Bunker. Everyone loved Archie's quips and for all the reasons that contradicted Lear's guilt based intentions. Oops.

- Three's Company was a great show. It gave kids my age (at the time) lots and lots of fantasies.

- Why were the six main characters of "Saved By The Bell" always the leaders of every club/team/organization/uprising? Did anyone at Bayside find fault with this? Why did Slater's wrestling matches require a cheerleading squad? Of two? Yes, Kelly and Lisa, from the main group. Anybody remember that a significant love interest of Screech's was portrayed by Tori Spelling? That's a shame. Mister Belding was quite a card, though.

- Happy Days... oh man, who though Fonzie was actually cool? Winkler couldn't even ride a motorcycle in real life. Plus he was really old already. Too wholesome a show. All these fights between a character and a bad guy were in the offing, and they'd always be resolved by Fonzie's appearance and his stupid banging of the fist on something. Oh and that harsh language... "Sit on It". Wow, I've seen more ribald aphorisms in the book of Exodus.
Fine, Richie got drunk once, and eventually Joanie started being rebellious, but otherwise the show was almost as flavorless as "Leave It To Beaver".

- Forget about Roseanne. Boy did she drive that show into the ground. Not worth the extraneous typing.

- I'm tired of Cosby's jazz fetish.

- Who decided that "Hogan's Heroes" would be a funny show, given the setting in a Nazi prison camp? How about a new show set at a gas chamber? "Oops we gave him helium first..." (prisoner screams, in a cartoon high voice) "Help meeeeee!" Ok that's funny.

- Why were all the "detectives" on "Barney Miller" always chasing down petty thieves and similar miscreants? Any police officers around the old one-two?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Reduction and Realization

I've been watching tapes of Live Aid (July 13 1985 for the uninitiated) and saw, during Eric Clapton's set, a bit of an epiphany. I'm watching Clapton's current drummer, in tandem with Phil Collins, and am thinking "wow that guy is on so much blow...". Sure enough I correctly guessed it was Jeff Porcaro, a heavy user who died in 1992 from a "reaction" to toxic gardening chemicals but clearly had a weakened heart. Upon confirming the identity of this shaky, over-excited lad with sunglasses, I had nothing but anger and resentment for someone so talented wasting themselves in such a pathetic way.

While hard to write publicly, it's most cleansing to write of my realization why I lost all my friends and/or supporters during ridiculous periods of substance abuse and mental instability. I need not wonder why I, these days, write to the open sky that is the internet, textually shouting the epiphanies therein, with nobody left to receive them or acknowledge them. The circumstances that shroud such hindsight are not hard to understand, but I do wish I had my friends back in my corner; they ran away and certainly should have done so. But lest we forget that a vast majority of the human populace are, unfortunately, victims. As a reformed, loving, caring individual whose phone no longer rings on Friday, I can only ask those that might be hurting their beloved with weakness - don't allow the weakness to breakdown the rarest of all treasures one might find - close friends and caring people. They will support you but not unconditionally.