JusWondering… What Would You Put On Your Scale Of Fury?

This has been something I’ve been meaning to transcribe for a while now, and even by doing so, rage has bubbled up from the depths of my… say, what’s it called if you don’t have a soul?

Anyemptyvessel, this is my Scale of Fury.  It’s a series of missteps in pop culture that shake me to my core me, ranked on a scale from 1 to 10.  1 equals “infuriating” and 10 equals “someone must die.”

Let’s begin:

1) Invention of the word Squeakquel

This filmed monstrosity should not have occurred once, let alone twice.  It’s already cloying enough without an unnecessary pun.  Much like my pun above.

2) The Prequels

Not too long ago, and not very far away, I would have ranked Jake, Hayden, Jar Jar, and Ani much higher on my Scale of Fury.  But a few factors have changed that.  One – The Clone Wars cartoon series is really good.  Two – there’s a lot more crap out there that pisses me off more.

3) No guns in E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

Steven Spielberg needs to make some new friends.  George Lucas no doubt inspired Spielberg to go back and tinker with (and tinkle on) his classic 80’s family film.  Why remove the guns?  That’s how we knew the bad guys were bad guys.  Sure, they were aiming them at little kids, but we knew they weren’t going to use them.  Just like it was with the Russians and their nukes…

4) The Special Editions

Where to begin with these nut shots?  Jabba the Shitty CGI.  Young Anakin’s Jedi Spirit.  The replaced musical numbers.  This:

5) Cancellation of “Arrested Development”

It could be higher up on the list, but it did get three (2.75) full seasons.  Was it Fox’s fault for shitty scheduling?  Or is America primarily full of According to Jim fans?  I think the questions answer each other.

6) Emo Spider-Man

I’m sure I hope Sam Raimi had a better plan for what could have been the best Spider-Man film of them all.  Instead, we got Sandman, a rushed Harry Osborne vengeance/rebirth subplot, a wasted Eddie Brock/Venom, and this:

7) Cancellation of “Firefly”

You can blame this one on me as much as everyone else.  I kept hearing all the rave reviews about this show while it was shortly on the air, and I never watched.  Could just one person have made a difference?  If that one person was me, then yes.

8) The Last Airbender movie

I wanted earth, wind, water, and fire from this remake of the incredible Nickelodeon show, and all I got was fart noises.  Must. Repress. My. Diatribe.  (More on my thoughts on M. Night Shyamalan)

9) Indiana Jones and the Give Me a Fucking Break

Again, the Spielberg with the Lucas.  To distract myself: anyone else ever notice ol’ Steven’s initials are “S.S.“?  Ironic, no?  (More of my thoughts on Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)

10) The “LOST” Finale

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  Fu. Ck. Th. Is. Sh. Ow.  For years, I defended it, telling people the writers weren’t making it up as they went along.  They were making it up as they went along.  (More of my thoughts on LOST)

Musical Musings… Happy Birthday “Voices That Care!”

Remember this?

Well, actually yesterday was the 18th birthday of the song Voices That Care, and it is quite the time capsule.  Made originally to raise money for the Red Cross during Operation Desert Storm, it has now, well, let’s reflect on the highlights:

  • Gotta love the flag opening.  Reminds me of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crap.  Unfortunately.
  • Celine Dion was just a baby.  I wonder if her creepy-old-manager/husband-to-be was tapping that yet.  (Also, she has kind of that Amy Grant vibe going.  Much better than the future Vegas chest thumping.)
  • Peter Cetera!  Why isn’t he making music anymore?  Am I the only one that wonders where he went?  (Maybe he’s hanging out with Steve Perry.)
  • See Bobby Brown.  See Bobby Brown sing.  See Bobby Brown not get high and smack a ho.
  • Is that dude in the cowboy hat from Warrant?  Yes.  Yes, he is.
  • Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson’s singing voices mesh perfectly with Luther Vandross.  (Actually, all the sports stars have wonderful pipes.)
  • Who’s singing with Garth BrooksAmy Grant or Celine Dion?  Was hair really that big back then?
  • BONUS: More Warrant!  Nope.  It’s just Nelson.  Why is everyone wearing cowboy hats, yet Garth Brooks did not (a true rarity)?
  • Michael Bolton was pretty good in Office Space, doncha think?
  • Will Smith even got to rap.  That tickles my soul.  Isn’t it weird he got his start “rapping,” but now it seems weird to see him rap?
  • One good thing about the arrival of CGI – no more neon coloring on B&W footage (hopefully).
  • The Chorus.  You gotta love the Chorus.  I can’t even begin to dive into the Chorus.  All I have to say is this: Michelle Pfeiffer AND Jon Lovitz.  No?  Fred Savage AND Meryl Streep?  Not enough?  Gary Busey AND Chevy Chase?  Yes.  That awesome. 
  • Wait was Mike Tyson’s arm around Debbie Gibson?  (She was my first concert – at the Sea World in Orlando.)

In my research, I stumbled on this must-see Where Are They Now video.  Check it out.

InASense, Lost… Indiana Jones and the Mosh Pit

Let me preface with this:

After seeing this film at !2:01 am on May 22 – I was livid.  I was beyond livid – I was destroyed.  Not only had my nostalgia for “Star Wars” been tainted, but could I wash the taste that was “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” out of my Mt. Dew and Reese’s Pieces dirtied mouth?  (Overall, that’s a pretty disgusting sentence.)

Turns out the answer was, yes: by spending two weeks spewing vitriol wherever my typing fingers would guide me.  I read and forwarded every damning review.  I reveled in the posts that tore any positive commenter a new one.  And it’s true what they say – time heals all wounds.

Well most of them.  With the arrival of said dread film on DVD, I opted to take a second viewing, and too be honest – it wasn’t as bad as I remembered.  Sure the big ones still, well, pulled a candiru for me: the groundhogs, the monkeys, and Mack… but I surely didn’t feel as slighted.  I actually enjoyed Indy and Marion’s reunion this time.

I was going to write this as the first blog in a series I want to call “In Defense Of” (this one would have been “IndyFence Of”), but instead I went with my “InASense, Lost” because it is more like innocence lost.  Check it:

Spielberg and Lucas were younger and more adventurous when the earlier romps for Indy were made.  Also, “The Last Crusade” came out at the end of the living cartoon 80’s films after “Die Hard,” and along with “Batman” and “Lethal Weapon 2.”  The original trilogy was right for the times, capturing the mood and the spirit of its creators. 

To put this in terms from my own life to make a point, I will be referencing my experience with mosh pits.  (If I was geekier, or could even remember how to make geometry proofs, I would do that now.  I’m not sure which precedent is stronger, or if they’re even separate…)

EXAMPLE (A) I’m 22 years old.  It’s my first punk concert – Rancid – at the State Theater in downtown Detroit.  Three of my high school buddies are there.  The show starts, as does the mosh pit.  Having only been to a Debbie Gibson concert prior to this (at Sea World in Florida, no less), I have no hesitation and jump in.  Wailing and spinning and flying bodies.  Fights without fighting; punching without punches.  I get up and body surf a couple of times.  The bouncers throw me around like a rag doll.  I leaned down to tie my shoe in the pit at one point, and a cadre of fellow punkers split the pit open like the Red Sea so I wouldn’t get trampled.  In other words – “Raiders of the Lost Ark” totally.

Flash forward to 1990 and on (for Steve and George, duh): rumors and lies and hopes and dreams exist that make Indy 4 seem like a simultaneous inevitability and impossibility.  Yada yada yada they pull the trigger (or should I say, cracked the whip!  Nah…)  The stars and the Stars align (minus Connery) and success!  It’s done!

But the end result isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  How can this be?

EXAMPLE (B) I’m 32 years old.  It’s my latest punk concert – Say Anything – at St. Andrew’s Hall in downtown Detroit.  I’m with my brother, Scott, and cousin, Steve, and we’ve just left the casino.  (They were 13 and 12 in the first example.)  I won ten bucks and charged all our drinks thus far.  They’ll get mine at the show.  I wonder which arena will end up having the better deal on beer.  While partaking in more drinking before Say Anything’s set, a couple of girls approach Scott.  I assume Steve’s glow-in-the-light monster truck shirt isn’t helping him.  The show and mosh pit begins, and we swarm to it.  I keep thinking I want to go up, but I find that I’m the guy launching people.  I’m the guy controlling the crowd when people drop.  As the show goes on, I finally surf once – over three rows of teens.  Amazingly, the bouncers still throw me around like a rag doll.  I get kicked in the head as much as I did ten years ago.  In other words – “Crystal F-ing Skull.”