Spiraling Toward Irrelevancy

Never has a blog title spoken quicker to the absolute truth than "Spiraling Toward Irrelevancy" ...


The Slow Leak: TGO Radio's Greatest Hits (Part Two)

Awaiting the relaunch of TGO Radio's official website, here is a link of the second of 17 tracks selected thus far for the compilation / website. Best if saved to your hard drive and listened to after the fact, but the file will, of course, work if you click and listen. PARENTAL ADVISORY! and stuff.

Track Four: "The Old Prostitutes Home." Length: 2.22; file size is 2.17 megs.
(Right click, "save target as ...")


"Pirates of the Caribbean" Stinks / More on "Spider-Man 3"

1) Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.

The reader ought not misconstrue the meaning of that statement. Often, when someone sees a particularly awful movie, they’re almost always tempted to say it was one of the worst they’ve ever seen because they can think of no other way to convey their lack of satisfaction. So let there be no misunderstanding. Even with the pass that allowed me seven dollars off the ticket price, meaning I paid only 50 cents for entry, I still overpaid. The trip to the bathroom taken just before I sat to write this blog entry produced a result that was not only more tightly constructed than Pirates, it also made more sense.

Pirates’ greatest sin is that it descends to what has become Hollywood’s most disturbing recent trend (most recently employed in Spider-Man 3, but also notably in such unintended disasters as King Kong): It’s drastically, terribly overwritten, and because of that, everything else suffers. I can only imagine that the final shooting script must have rivaled Atlas Shrugged in length.

In a desperate, mad dash to make Orlando Bloom’s character interesting for the first time in three films, (what feels like) twelve plot twists involving Turner are inexplicably woven into the story. The goal is to create an illusion of unreliability around him, but the actual result is that all this “Is he or isn’t he?” gets old, and at a record pace. On several occasions the main characters are forced to confront each other, and you’re never really sure why, because in the end, the notion of Turner as heel is so preposterous, you know everything will work itself out, and everyone will end up on the same side.

Same with Keira Knightley’s character, who until At World’s End has been interesting only because she comes close to genetic perfection, with a sexy-as-fuck accent. We find her not far from where she was this time last year, although in the beginning a vehicle for a pretty good gag about the large number of weapons she’s able to keep on her person. In short enough order (if there can be such a thing with this movie), she’s a captain, then a King; and then, as their ship swirls around the rim of (what amounts to) a giant toilet bowl in the ocean, hers and Bloom’s characters manage to both swordfight the villains and take marriage vows, administered by Barbossa. While I appreciate the desire to be tidy and tie all loose ends, I staggered away knowing it could have been done utilizing more creativity and forethought.

But never mind those two. John Depp makes the franchise, and it’s Depp who suffers the most from this unrestrained overwriting. On the verge of ushering a truly iconic character into the American cultural lexicon, Depp is instead contractually regulated to the material provided him, which turns out to be even more slapdash and wasteful when it comes to Jack Sparrow than the others.

Depp may be a socialist twat, but he’s also a fucking genius as an actor – the unfortunate byproduct of the meandering script is that his great talents are wasted because the writers wanted so badly to add a little more silliness and mental instability to a character that seemed perfectly silly and unstable in the first place. (Depp’s first turn as Sparrow didn’t earn him an Oscar nomination for nothing.)

The music employed throughout is positively ponderous, and never lets up. (Thank Christ it’s there, or else I wouldn’t have known how to feel!) Of course, Pirates is not unique on this score (no pun intended), but as the movie continued, and continued, and continued (with a running time of 2:47), it seemed in this example to be particularly relentless.

Also disturbing were the long, rambling monologues our heroes are forced to utter. I’m not against them, per se; when properly written and undertaken, a long monologue can convince the viewer to offer their undivided attention. (There are many examples, but the first that pops into my head in Christopher Walken’s turn in Pulp Fiction.) In regards to Pirates, the speeches are inserted because the writers have done such an awful job of explaining their plot for the last two pictures, and need desperately to get out from under their own work.

Everything in the world of entertainment should come back to HBO’s Deadwood. Any writer thinking of adding long diatribes to his script should first, by federal law, be forced to watch all three seasons of Deadwood, wherein they will learn how important it is to know their characters, the circumstances that bring them to this moment in their script, and the importance of foresight.

The special effects are, of course, marvelous. But if you’re over the age of 18 and have already seen much of what Hollywood has to offer in that area, special effects can only mean so much. The opening sequence, where wave after wave of people are hung for their support of pirates, is perfectly dark and well assembled; but that is the last interesting idea the film has to offer.

2) Having now spent nearly 900 words slamming Pirates of the Caribbean, I turn back to Spider-Man 3, which I am sad to say I have not appropriately damned to the five dollar bin at your local video store.

Writing about Spider-Man 3 for National Review, Ross Douthat says some fun and interesting things, with which I agree wholeheartedly and excerpt here for your enjoyment.

“… [It] isn’t a good sign for the franchise that I was more interested in figuring out what it takes to kill off Spidey – four punches from the Sandman’s elephant-sized fists? five? six? – than in anything else that had happened on screen in the previous two hours. There are rumors that this was the most expensive movie ever made, eclipsing even the inflation-adjusted price of the Taylor-Burton Cleopatra, and the money wasn’t exactly spent in vain: Spider-Man 3 is stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey [i.e., overwritten], with more villains, more love interests, more special effects and (alas) more dance numbers than the previous two numbers put together. Indeed, given the price tag, I suppose it’s almost understandable that a Sony Pictures accountant looked hard at the balance sheet and decided that if they were going to finance all the CGI, they couldn’t afford to shell out for a screenplay, too.

“Or maybe they splurged on four screenplays and then hired a team of baboons to run them all together…. That [Peter Parker’s transformation to the “dark Peter Parker”] is supposed to be sinister rather than hilarious is just one of the many problems with Spider-Man 3…. But when the meteor carrying the black goo happens to land ten feet from the web where Peter and Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane are making out, with no explanation save coincidence, the audience grown restless; when the Sandman happens to be the real killer of Peter’s uncle, thus undercutting a major plot point from the first movie suggesting a certain stakes-raising desperation in the filmmakers, the grumbling grows louder; and when the tycoon’s son turns out to have a butler, heretofore unglimpsed, who happens to offer a revelation at a crucial moment without explaining why he never mentioned it before, the only appropriate response is heckling, or maybe giggles.”

Here, here, Douthat. Well said, though I wish I’d said it first.


"Indoctrinate U"

In the lead-up to the Iraqi War, I released a long essay entitled “Troublesome People And Their Ideas,” part of which documented portions of Evan Coyne Maloney’s short film “Protesting the Protesters.” Maloney plunked himself amongst the rabble at an antiwar protest and asked them simple questions about the war to come. Their reactions were all at once typical of the breed and unsettling.

Maloney granted me permission to excerpt his film before the essay’s initial release in February 2003, and again just before large portions of the essay were pruned away for The Unabrian Manifesto in January 2006 (read the portions of Maloney’s film on pages 66 through 68). In my dealings with Maloney, I found him pleasant and gracious in offering me his permissions.

Wednesday I was pleased to learn that Evan Maloney has completed and released a full-length documentary film called Indoctrinate-U, about the Left’s ongoing, pervasive, and successful indoctrination of students at colleges and universities everywhere. A grass roots movement is springing up around the film; its aim is to not only arrange screenings but also to convince a distributor the film is worth the gamble. Count me in.

Learn more by reading the Stanley Kurtz article at National Review Online, then visit the official website here (which includes a fine preview).


The Slow Leak: TGO Radio's Greatest Hits

Available now for download, a track from the upcoming “TGO Radio’s Greatest Hits.”

PARENTAL ADVISORY, AND THE LIKE: There isn’t even a passing moment of this selection that isn’t wall-to-wall filth.

Best to download this track and listen independently. Total run time is 10 minutes and 32 seconds; file size is 9.6 megs.

Track 3: “A Thoughtful Analysis of Pat O’Brein’s Sexual Harassment Voicemails”
(right click the above link, “save file as …”)


Songs for Hillary / Further Reax to Vegan Fuckwits

1. Senator Clinton asks young people to pick her a campaign song; read a brief version of the story here at MSNBC.com. I suggested the only appropriate song: the Soviet National Anthem. Makes her pine for the good old days, when she had the Soviet flag hanging from her wall and no one batted an eye; various boys would drop by, raid her fridge and smoke very low-quality weed. They'd ramble on about capitalist oppressors, Das Kapital and the like, and eventually have awkward sex because they felt compelled to, as failing to do so would have somehow let their generation down. I'd guess she reflects upon those times still, not being smart enough to know there was nothing particularly interesting or good about them....

2. An acquaintance references, on her blog, the story I mentioned here, about the vegans who starved their child to death because they somehow didn't possess the intellectual wherewithal to know babies have to eat (see post from 11 May, below, for link to the story). Left a comment on her blog, and figured I'd also post it here, because I write so rarely these days, I'd like to make sure I give myself proper credit:

"You know what you never see from meat eaters? Smug, self-satisfaction as to their decision to eat meat – and further on that point, you also never see meat eaters dissolve into outraged, tragic fucking minstrel turns whenever someone near them orders a salad (or the like) for dinner, as opposed to a steak.

"Jihadist vegetarians ought be as concerned for their fellow Man as they are for animals (or shrubs, or slugs, et cetera); alas, you’ll find that is rarely the case, or at least that is rarely the case when push comes to shove and they’re forced to choose.

"But that's beside the point. Execute these two motherless whores on the courthouse steps, and let them sit out and rot as a lesson to others. Maybe after enough people use their corpses as a Port-o-San, a consensus (a fine overall point which seems to be lost in every accounting of this story) will begin to spread: There is nothing in the world that will allow you a pass when it comes to the proper care and feeding of innocents, whether you’re a dirt worshiping heathen (like these two Social Darwinists), or someone who eats three steaks a day."


TGO 7 / TGO Radio's Greatest Hits / Vegan Heathens

Because even if I’m working on something no one will ever read, it’s still better than having no Purpose whatsoever, I’ve narrowed potential ideas for another book (henceforth “TGO 7” until an actual project is decided upon) down to five, and began floating them among a few intimates Thursday afternoon. Close to 11pm Thursday I received a text message from a female I know in Tennessee; she liked two of the five. “Noted,” I typed back. “Thanks.”

But apparently simply voicing a preference wasn’t good enough. In another text message about 30 minutes later, I was informed of the following: “If [one of the ideas] makes someone cry on national TV, I will personally drive to Indiana and give you a blowjob. You can even pull my hair and call me names.”

Brilliant. Hard to argue with that.

Work on “TGO Radio’s Greatest Hits” concluded last week, but I can’t help but think something has been missed, so some more time will be taken to see if other material exists.

Headline: “Vegans Sentenced for Starving Their Baby.” You bet. Here’s the pivotal exchange: “Defense lawyers said the first-time parents did the best they could while adhering to the lifestyle of vegans, who typically use no animal products. They said Sanders and Thomas did not realize the baby, who was born at home, was in danger until minutes before he died.” And we’re not talking about a couple 15-year-olds to whom no one was paying attention; Mom was 27 and Dad was 31, and somehow their lifestyle precluded them from remembering babies need food, or else they’ll die. Fucking heathens. Better to execute these jackasses than put them on the jailhouse rolls.


Update re: Fucking With Stoner Teens

For those who need to catch up, see the first item on the post below.

About 10.15pm Tuesday night I posted a note for the stoners. On a blank index card I wrote, "is it safe?" with a fat black marker and taped it up where they were standing when I saw them Tuesday afternoon. Will start watching for them about 3pm Wednesday; further developments on this very entertaining waste of time as they warrant.

Stoner Scum / "Spider-Man 3" / "Super Size Me" / Governor Corzine / NFL Draft / TGO7 (?) / Reading

1) For someone with much too much time on his hands, seeing two kids smoking a joint behind the building next door to mine is like a dream come true. If I linger in the doorway of the study, I can see them there; one white kid and one black kid – the black kid works on getting the joint together while the white kid keeps a look out. They were eventually joined by a big titted girl, but until and unless she starts pulling a train for the two of them, her presence is uninteresting.

I intend on posting notes for them on the wall they were leaning against; further developments as they warrant. This could be a very entertaining week after all.

2) Waiting to see Spider-Man 3? Well hell brother, you may as well wait five more months, rent the DVD and save yourself $10 - $20. You won’t be missing anything.

3) Finally saw Super Size Me a few weeks ago; Propagandist Tripe. Should I think of something as succinct that more graphically gets my thoughts across, I'll let you know.

4) While away I missed the opportunity to comment on New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine’s SUV accident. He was on his way to – um, mediate? – the meeting between Imus the First and the Rutgers ladies basketball team (in all their bulletproof glory) when he went off the road; having almost died in a car, I appreciate his recent struggles.

But, uh, I couldn’t help but notice: no seat belt, speeding, and he was driving a SUV?! Don’t all those things in tandem get you kicked out of the Wacky Liberal Club? If all that weren’t enough, the motorcade taking Governor Corzine from the hospital home was, at times, tooling along at 15 miles per hour over the posted limit with no emergency lights flashing. These lights would have at least made other motorists aware they were presence of someone for whom traffic laws, from front to back, just do not apply.

5) Pleased to announce that for the second consecutive year I beat out a small group of anti-social, like-minded loons to win our annual NFL Draft contest. These were my correct picks, for which I received two points apiece.

One - JaMarcus Russell (quarterback, Louisiana State) to the Oakland Raiders.
Two - Calvin Johnson (wide receiver, Georgia Tech) to the Detroit Lions.
Three - Joe Thomas (tackle, Wisconsin) to the Cleveland Browns.
Four – Gaines Adams (defensive end, Clemson) to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Five – Levi Brown (tackle, Penn State) to the Arizona Cardinals.
Six – LaRon Landry (safety, Louisiana State) to the Washington Redskins.
Seven – Adrian Peterson (running back, Oklahoma) to the Minnesota Vikings.
Fifteen – Lawrence Timmons (linebacker, Florida State) to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Twenty-nine – Ben Grubbs (guard, Auburn) to the Baltimore Ravens.

For the second straight year, a late round pick killed the rest of the league; this year on the twenty-ninth pick, last year on the thirty-first. For predicting the Beloved Denver Broncos would draft Jarvis Moss (defensive end, Florida) with the twenty-first pick – it didn’t, but traded up to seventeen to get him – Team TGO received a point for an accurate team-player call, making the grand total of nineteen points. The nearest opponent scored seventeen points.

6) Once Lincoln’s Tomb collapsed, I started thinking of something else to do; something rare and interesting. While chatting with The White Yoko last week, I brought up that old political autobiography idea again, but there’s no point to that. It ought not be written, and besides that, I’m fucking sick of myself.

Something did finally pop into my head late Saturday night / Sunday morning; it rendered me sleepless (to which an unfortunate Law student at The People’s Republic of Columbia University can attest; she was pelted with dopey text messages and one phone call). Will spend a couple weeks looking into the feasibility of the idea.

7) Currently reading Gerald Posner’s book about the Kennedy assassination, Case Closed. Upcoming, The Wages of Destruction, a study of the Nazi economy; another light, breezy read. Between the two, I intend to squeeze in The Education of Ronald Reagan, about the former president’s time at General Motors, and how he evolved into conservatism.


"TGO Radio's Greatest Hits"

Approximately 57 minutes worth of material has been gathered for the “TGO Radio’s Greatest Hits” compilation, including such undisputed long-form classics as “A Thoughtful Analysis of Pat O’Brien’s Sexual Harassment Voicemails” and “A Thoughtful Analysis of Jenna Lewis’ Home Porn Movie.” The 17 tracks selected range in length from 31 seconds to 11 minutes and 30 seconds.

Here are the tracks selected so far; in roughly the order they will appear in the compilation.

1. "Openings and Beginnings" (5:36)
2. “The Birth of a Running Joke” (:31)
3. “A Thoughtful Analysis of Pat O’Brien’s Sexual Harassment Voicemails” (10:32)
4. “The Old Prostitute’s Home” (2:21)
5. “The Woodchipper” (:33)
6. “The Kid” (1:39)
7. “The Amish” (:46)
8. “The Back Passage” (5:29)
9. “Irony, Catch It” (:50)
10. “Falling Down” (:55)
11. “Random Splotches” (1:00)
12. “The Degenerate” (2:00)
13. “Mike Forbess, Comedic Genius” (3:46)
14. “Ayn Rand Would Love This Show” (2:06)
15. “The Floating McDonald’s” (4:29)
16. “Kosher Pet Food & The Post” (2:08)
17. “A Thoughtful Analysis of Jenna Lewis’ Home Porn Movie” (11:30)

Jeff will have hold of the CD today; hope to have the TGO Radio website up and running in the next few weeks.