davidbell

We are marching as to war

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2009 at 9:35 pm

“What’s with the douchebag uniform?”
Normally when I walk through the grocery store, I get comments like “Would it kill you to get the facts right in a story once in a while?” or “Didn’t you used to host that radio talk show? Yeah, I like the new guy better.”
But this was a new one on me. The guy who asked – Ted from Ted’s House Painting Emporium (“I put the paint in my mouth and spread it on the walls via a Danny Thomas spit-take. It’s very time consuming. I’m not doing very well in this economy.”) – explained it to me.
“The douchebag uniform consists of short sleeved, collard golf short worn over a white t-shirt and both are untucked from cargo shorts that generally break just above or just below the knee. Footwear is flip-flops – also known as thongs – that have no arch support and a toe divider.”
Well, firstly, I like polo shirts because it’s 300 degrees in Havasu and these with shorts are considered work attire in this town. Plus I don’t wear a t-shirt under it and my shoes are sneakers, not flip-flops.
“Probably a regional deviation.”
So what’s the big deal about this “uniform?”
“It’s worn by college students to mid-30s as a way to identify each other. Much like a university tie, fraternity pin or single earring. It lets douchebags know they are in the presence of another douchebag. Another self-involved narcissist whose life experiences consist almost entirely of getting drunk, telling others how drunk they plan on getting, telling others how drunk they were and reminiscing with fellow douchebags about how drunk they became together (generally an action that occurred less than a month previously).
“And when talk isn’t about drinking, it parroting lines from movies or TV to each other, generally something from Office Space or Swingers – ‘Vegas, baby!’ – as if watching something equates to life experience.”
Ted said the douchebag uniform is worn until the mid 30s. So that must mean these douchebags grow out of this condition and since I’m in my late 40s that proves I’m not a douchebag.
“That’s when the douchebag uniform changes. Now it’s a tropical/resort shirt with buttons – like a Tommy Bahamas shirt – still untucked over a pair of shorts that break above the knee. Chinos are fine but silk or seersucker is better. And the shoes are huarache sandals.
“That lets the douchebag know he’s with other ‘mature’ douchebags so the conversation is more adult. About flipping properties, complaining about taxes, how big their boat is, what country their last vacation took place in, what country they will go to on the next vacation (second or third of the year), of course, drinking. Only now it’s Johnny Walker Blue instead of Anchor Steam beer.
“Oh, and repeating lines from Caddyshack, Stripes and Animal House to each other.”
Holy cow. I have all those things (although I don’t wear them much). And I can repeat all those movies (Fast Times at Ridgemont High too) I just don’t do the drinking, boating and vacationing out of the country. And I don’t earn enough to complain about taxes. But even still…
“No drinking? No vacations in a foreign country?”
Nope, once a year it’s off to San Diego with the family for ComicCon.
“Oh. You’re not a douchebag then.”
Whew.
“You’re a loser.”

Hey Kids! Comics!

Am I late to the party on Slackerz?
Of course I am.
Doesn’t mean I couldn’t catch up. And so can you.
Knowing geek speak helps but not required.
A lack of respect for authority though, that you need to bring to the table.
And you can’t get all worked up over “bad words.” Be a grown up.
They’re just words.
So go read it.
Don’t cost nothin’.
The end.

Got a weird thing to tell you, so tell all the boys and girls

In Uncategorized on June 25, 2009 at 6:54 am

Nothing good can come of walking in to Katsumi Patel’s Irish Pub on Swanson and seeing five women you know at a table, all holding chocotinis.
“So Dave, tell us, have you ever squirted yourself in the groin with shaving gel?” Cindy the beautician asked.
Intentionally or unintentionally?
“By accident.”
Regular or menthol?
“Regular.”
Naked or wearing a towel after a shower?
“Naked.”
In that case….yes.
At that point I was rescued by Vinnie, who pulled me back by the dart board.
“I need to get to know more gay people,” he said.
Although in retrospect, I’m not sure rescued is the right word. Anyway, I’m down with the diversity thing and it was nice to learn that Vinnie was too.
“’Cuz I need to find someplace with more gay music.”
Yeah, I should have seen something like that coming.
So what exactly is gay music? Are we talking about the Village People?
“Village People suck! No way! Well, yeah, I guess so, but I mean pop-dance music you’d hear in a cool gay club. Like stuff by Jamiroquai or Kylie Minogue. Just the kind of stuff people can dance to without feeling like the whole thing is choreographed by Tommy Tune.”
So that whole man’s man tough guy East Coast gambling ginzo act is just a front and you’re coming out? Good on you, Johnny Cakes.
“Nah. It’s just that there’s no place in this town that plays good dance music. It’s all bars too small for live music hosting bands that play thrash industrial death metal or dance clubs with a playlist of just Kanye West and Jamie Foxx hip-hop rap nonsense.
“Don’t get me wrong, some is ok. NWA’s ‘Straight Outta Compton’ is a brilliant song, but sometimes it’s easier to hear Digital Underground’s ‘Humpty Dance.’”
Cool. Vinnie is a Tony Manero wannabe. Who knew he had the moves?
“Dance? Me? Nope, I just want someplace to listen to the music. I like that stuff.”
So Vinnie is not gay and doesn’t dance but wants to find a club with gay people to listen to dance music. Right. So why ask me?
“You remember that shaving cream questions the women asked, where you had them clarify things? Was there any combination of the options you gave where you answer no?”
One.
“That’s why.”

 Hey Kids! Comics!

Nothing really doing this week.
I was thinking of recommending League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. While the first book is really good, the second is ok and the third is…well, let’s put it this way: Alan Moore tries to riff Shakespeare as Shakespeare as part of the story.
Look, I think Moore, who wrote Watchmen, is a great writer (although a pompous douchebag because he gets all worked up about editors making changes to his stories while his stories all use the works of others) but dude. No one but Shakespeare can write Shakespeare.
So instead, I’ll just say that the first Superman installment of Wednesday Comics (DC Comics’ version of the old time single strip full comics pages of the 30s and 40s) will be in USA Today July 8. After that the Superman strip will run in the paper’s online edition.
While I would have preferred the Joe Kubert Sgt. Rock story or the Ryan Sook Kamandi pages, it’s still sounds cool.

Everyone has one special thing

In Uncategorized on June 15, 2009 at 6:09 pm

“So where have you been?”

Lou Anne had a legitimate question, as I’ve been MIA for a bit. I dunno. I just didn’t feel like being around people because I just haven’t been feeling too funny lately.

“You’re supposed to be funny?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Really? Here too?

Anyway, I’m back and, as it turned out, the timing was right. Because talk at Crazy Willy’s 24 Hour Bistro and Diesel Station (on South Palo Verde) was about the News-Herald.

“We heard you’ve been kicked off the movie set.”
Quick digression: Lake Havasu City is playing host to the makers of a movie, Piranha 3D. Back to the story.

No, I wasn’t kicked off the set, I’m not covering it. But they are prohibiting the News-Herald reporter who is covering it from coming around and no cameras. Turns out one of the local radio guys fancies himself Army Archerd and leaked photos he took with his phone to every horror movie website and blog on the planet. And that irritated the director enough to issue the closed set edict.

“Well, that’s just dumb,” Lou Anne said.

And I agree. It’s not like an 80-year-old fake voiced radio guy is going to become the next Ryan Seacrest because he took a couple of pict…

“No, I mean that’s dumb of the director. And especially the producers and the studio,” she said. “Having a steady stream of data coming from your movie is one way to build anticipation and that means box office.

“Think about it. This is a cheesy, low budget flick that, if it’s lucky, will get a March release date on a few hundred screens and then disappear in a week. Hopefully it can make back its money on the DVD release that will happen less than a month later.

“But, if they allowed the newspaper to come on set once or twice a week, that will get picked up by the horror movie web sites and blogs. A couple of pictures of the sets, maybe an actor or two – not during shooting of course but maybe chatting with the people on set – and that’s buzz.

“And it’s not like the paper is going to break anything newsworthy on the set. The fish are CGI, right? So no one will see them until the release. The ending? Like it matters. But even still, it’s easy enough to politely ask the reporter to not ask about script points while giving them access.

“And best of all, it’s free. Free positive blurbs – about how nice the crew is, how much money they’re pumping into the economy, that sort of thing – on a weekly basis, building anticipation about a movie most people will forget about five minutes after it’s released.

“But I guess the director and producers are too smart to do something as business savvy as that.”

Is now a good time to mention that MTV was here last week and had the same closed set policy to the paper?

“Of course they did,” Lou Anne said. “MTV hasn’t been relevant since Kurt Loder celebrated his 65th birthday at Clinton’s first inauguration. Why would they want to build buzz – free buzz – about something no one will even know is on?”

Let me guess: the restaurant hasn’t seen an uptick up business since they arrived.

“Would it really kill Ving Rhames to come in an order a tuna melt every now and then?”

 

Hey kids! Comics!

Some books are a product of their time and may not translate well today.

Howard the Duck is one of those books. And I don’t care.

Howard the Duck was created by the late Steve Gerber as a way to use a familiar cartoon icon – the talking duck like Donald or Daffy – to satirize everything wrong with the 1970s. And he pulls it off perfectly. From the drug culture and disco to political scandals and the decay of U.S. metropolitan areas, it’s in the book.

And the Gene Colan art is simply perfect.

Howard started in a comic book, expanded into a newspaper comic strip and eventually moved into a black-and-white magazine before the bloom fell off the rose. After all, the 70s couldn’t last forever.

There were a couple of super-hero guest appearances, because that was needed to get the book into the hands of the typical comic reader in the 1970s. But it’s just a minor intrusion and shouldn’t interrupt your enjoyment.

Now if you didn’t live through the 70s, you may not relate and this book probably isn’t for you. But if you did, or like a fun house reflection of recent history, you should love this book.

Oh, and forget about the George Lucas movie. It’s not reflective of the book’s quality at all. Although it is a great indicator of the quality of the Star Wars prequals.

There’s a giant Howard the Duck omnibus that collects all 32 issues of the comic and a bunch of other appearances in color but it’s really expensive (even after the Amazon discount it’s over $60) and doesn’t even include the magazine or comic strips. Go with the black and white Essential that has 27 issues. Even though it’s out of print, you can get the Essential for under $10 on eBay.