Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Rosie the Riveter, Updated


It's just gonna take plenty of transparent clothes and side-boob.

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see the film Lucy. It's built around that well-known law that people only use ten percent of their brains. Why? Scientists are divided. Some say most of our brain cells are disabled from underuse, but others believe they're just saying, "Shut up! I'm taking a nap!"

All agree, though, that the brain is different from other muscles. If you're not using 90% of your quadriceps, for example, you can reverse that by doing squats. That'll throw them all into action. 90% of those cells won't say, "I'm resting! Find some other schmuck to do your dirty work!" 90% of your brain cells, though, will simply refuse to fire up. If we had really tiny microphones and listened in as you tried to divide 8 into 74, we could probably hear 90% of your brain saying, "Why don't you go pull turds out of a duck?"

In Lucy, though, Scarlett Johansson takes some weird drug, and immediately those hibernating cells wake up. With each new group activating, she discovers she can do something new. Here's what Morgan Freeman says:

At 20%, she can manipulate the world around her.
Now, if I had my way, the movie would just stop here. Because how great would that be, a woman manipulating the world around her? I'm picturing the first hour just showing Lucy redecorating her apartment, and maybe in the second hour she buys a tiny dog.

At 24%, she can control the cells in her body.
Some might feel their disbelief firing up, but it still sounds scientifically accurate to me. Researchers have known for years that you can alter your body through sheer brain power: that's why Stephen J. Hawking is incredibly handsome and has a bangin' six pack.

At 40%, she can control matter.
Now, I'm clearly just using 10% of my brain, because I have no clue what Mr. Freeman is saying here. Does this mean Scarlett can point at a lamp and say, "Hey, you, don't go anywhere!"? Wait: does it means she can fly? Einstein was really smart: why we didn't see him flying around? Maybe you get invisibility here too.

At 62%, she can control other people.
This is the place where I get a tiny tingle of excitement. The mind boggles at the vast possibilities! Think of how different the world would be if, for instance, women could somehow get dudes to buy them food.

Though some so-called "smart" people will say the whole concept is preposterous, I must respectfully disagree. Not many people know this, but all of our scientific laws have odd dependencies built into them. It's like our traffic laws: they're all incontrovertible, hard and fast rules until a blonde shows up in a convertible. We shouldn't be surprised that, say, Newton's laws of motion can be disabled by a teenager who drank some Red Bull and then did homework. Did you think it was sheer fantasy that if fourteen idiots in a Dallas multiplex clap, Tinkerbell and three ragamuffins can fly?

Pythagoras said that in a right triangle the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides unless the Dutch wins the World Cup. If David Letterman beats Jimmy Fallon in the ratings, Mandelbrot Fractals start looking like a chicken in a compact car. Relativity? You might not know this, but Einstein said E doesn't equal MC squared when Kristin Bell is wearing a crop top.

Though I can vouch for the film's accuracy, I'm not so sure about its entertainment value. It might just be another film about somebody with superpowers. Me, I think they should have gone the other way.

At 8%, you can't find your car keys.
At 6% you choose a favorite sports team.
At 4% you send money to Nigerian princes.
At 2% you get your own show on E!
What happens when you get down to zero? I don't know, but I really hope you enjoy my blog.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Food Network has had such incredible success exploiting all things Kitchen that recently they decided to expand to other parts of the house. We just heard from an anonymous insider that the channel that brought us Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay and Rachael Ray is hard at work filming these shows you'll definitely want to catch in the fall:

America's Test Laundry: Instructors from the Ablution Institute of America discuss common stain-removal tips and then investigate their effectivity. In the premiere episode, they use lighter fluid to remove red wine stains from a lady's blouse, then debate whether it's correct to toss water or salt on an out-of-control chiffon fire.

Den Nightmares: An interior decorator with anger control issues travels the country in search of unattractive family rooms that he can transform into welcoming wombs. Watch the cranky creative barely hold himself together upon encountering an odd box seemingly designed to hold remote controls, only to totally lose it when confronted with a singing fish.

Foyer Confidential: Patterned after the book that was nearly a New York Times best seller, this hidden-camera reality program promises to "blow the lid off of what really happens between the welcome mat and the umbrella stand."

Hell's Backyard: Ten people who have never been outside before are tasked with upgrading the landscape behind a San Pedro bungalow. In an episode screened for critics, the two teams must construct an Olympic-sized swimming pool just three hours before some really hot children want to go for a swim.

Cutthroat Powder Room: Four socialites are challenged to complete their usual high-end grooming routine using miniature mascara wands, stucco "deodorant," and toilet paper made from slices of American cheese.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I've been a member of the IHG Priority Club for many years now. It's like a frequent flyer club for a few hotel chains, including the classy Intercontinental and the reliable Holiday Inn. Since I travel a lot, it makes sense that today's hotel visits earn me a little something for tomorrow.

Through frequent stays I've attained Platinum level, and though I never looked into the details I assumed it'd mean amazing surprises when I checked into the Intercontinental Budapest. I couldn't have been more wrong: while the lobby was jammed with Midwestern seniors in fanny packs and floppy hats, and 90% of their rooms overlooked the stunning castle district, my room looked directly into a run-down office building literally fifteen feet away.

I looked online and found an explanation. It seems IHG has several levels of membership, and mine wasn't particularly close to the top. To save you from similar disappointment on your next IHG stay, I've summarized the perks that come with each level of membership, below:

  • Sapphire level: Enjoy the special Executive Club floor, with free food, drinks, and cable TV.
  • Diamond level: In your room you will find upgraded amenities and a free daily newspaper.
  • Platinum level: You can go squeeze a Pekinese until it barks Puccini.
  • Sapphire level: Guests at this level get complimentary room upgrades, when available.
  • Diamond level: Guests at this level can purchase room upgrades for a small fee.
  • Platinum level: Guests at this level can bend over and whistle like a chicken on a Schwinn.
  • Sapphire level: Members get VIP check-in 24 hours a day.
  • Diamond level: Members get priority check in, allowing you to dodge those irritating lines.
  • Platinum level: Membership enables you to go pull turds out of a duck.
  • Sapphire level: Enjoy limousine service on every day of your stay.
  • Diamond level: Enjoy free car service to and from the airport.
  • Platinum level: You can go rub a lamp but it don't mean shit's gonna show up.
  • Sapphire level: Guests at this level get free extended stays, based on availability.
  • Diamond level: Guests at this level get a free night with every four stays, based on availability.
  • Platinum level: Guests at this level can fuck a dead mule with my grandma's dick.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Movie Review: "Maleficent" (SPOILERS)

Maleficent opens with the happy young fairy living alone and ruling an Edenic world. On the sexism scale, it's maybe a five out of ten: Maleficent protects stuff, which is empowering, but it's just flowers and fairies. In today's terms that's kind of like opening a cupcake shop.

A boyfriend backstabs Maleficent, turning her bitter while simultaneously making him king. She casts a spell on his daughter: at the age of 16, she will prick her finger on a spinning wheel, and only true love can wake her up. The king orders his soldiers to kill Maleficent, but she has magic on her side. She casts another spell that surrounds the moors with a mile-high wall of thorns. Aside from changing Maleficent into a nice but spurned young fairy, Disney has also modified spells. They used to be wordy, like this one in Macbeth:

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Crazy, huh? And that's just eight of 38 lines. If I was the intended victim, about halfway through I'd be screaming, "HOLY GOD, JUST SHOOT ME NOW!"

By the time Bewitched came around, spells were four lines, max. Here's how Samantha Stevens turned a statue into a man:

Though of marble you are carved,
for a woman you are starved.
So back to flesh and sinew,
the fairest of them all will win you.
Of course, we've got cellphones and Kardashians now, so we're not going to sit through all that shit. If Maleficent wants to turn a dog into a cow, she just points at it and says, "Into a cow!" Now we're ready for the 21st century, though one hopes Maleficent avoids phrases like, "After lunch I went into a drugstore!" or "Rub some lotion into my feet!"

To protect Aurora, the king has his soldiers destroy every spinning wheel in the county, and he sends her to live in the forest. It's a little like worrying your kid will join a gang and sending him off to live in East L. A. One day, though, an attractive young man rides by. He doesn't have much going for him, giving off a wimpy vibe. They exchange a couple lines of dialog, but there are no sparks. Maybe this is feminist -- a girl doesn't fall for the first guy she meets -- but maybe this is weird. An audience should not be left thinking a movie would take a drastically different turn if somebody lived in the Bronx.

Of course, all-powerful Maleficent finds the girl, and before she knows it she learns to love her perky innocence. Which is lucky, because aside from that the girl's just got perky feet. Since she can't revoke the curse, she takes Aurora into the moors to protect her. Aurora discovers that Maleficent was the fairy who cursed her, so she runs back to the castle and her father, once again causing audience members to shout, "HEY, WASN'T THERE A FUCKIN' WALL OF THORNS?"

The king puts Aurora in a tower for safekeeping, just until her birthday is over. Unfortunately, though, she stumbles upon that big room where the king has kept all the semi-destroyed spinning wheels. Aurora pricks herself and falls asleep.

It's an incredibly intense ten minutes before Maleficent finds Attractive Horse Dude and he's pressing himself up against the comatose stranger. She doesn't wake up, which leaves AHD confused, like it's good news and bad news. Before you can say "unwanted sexual advances," Maleficent kisses Aurora goodbye -- and that wakes Aurora up.

See, Disney has also updated "true love." It doesn't have to be a soulmate now! Which is good news, because between Grindr and autocorrect I'm losing boyfriends after a week or two. Now it can be some old lady who watches you from afar. That curse is a whole lot easier to counteract, though I don't envy the mental checklist that your friends and family members will have to run through: "Well, did he ever say 'Hi!' to the mailman?"

In the end, Aurora is named queen of both the kingdom and the moors, forever to be known as "Sleeping Beauty." Yup. A little weird: I mean, if I'd been nicknamed for something I did for ten minutes, right now I'd be saying, "And that's another Movie Minute from Mr. Puking Shrimp."


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I heard good things about a band called Lower, so I went to Spotify to check them out. I typed "Lower" into the search box, and got the following results:

LOWER THAN ATLANTIS
MARK LOWER
LOWER CLASS BRATS
"Lowering The Tone" by THE BRAD PITT LIGHT ORCHESTRA

Okay, I thought. It's an obscure band, and Spotify can't have everything. But just to double-check, I typed in the record name, "Seek Warmer Climes."

ALBUMS: "Seek Warmer Climes" by LOWER

Got that? The band was there. The record was there. Spotify just assumed I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT.

The same thing happens on Google. I type in "band lower" and the top five links are for Low and Lower Dens. Before the band Lower actually turns up, in fact, I'll probably see Flower, the skunk from Bambi, and a line drawing of someone's intestine.

All of a sudden it hits me. The internet thinks I'm dumb.

It's perfectly obvious in retrospect. Websites are ignoring what I type to give me more popular returns. They're thinking, "He typed in the name of an obscure, hip rock band, but he must not mean it. He's probably looking for this popular, lousy one." I don't know why nobody else is complaining about this, because it certainly wouldn't fly in person.

FRIEND: I got so sick from a chigger bite yesterday.

ME: That's interesting, but I'm pretty sure you mean a chalupa from Taco Bell.

FRIEND: I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art the other day.

ME: That's interesting. However, I know you inside and out, so I'm guessing you went to Mickey D's.

FRIEND: I'm so excited! I just got a copy of the London Philharmonic playing "Les Sylphides."

ME: Dude, I've been reading everything you've typed over the last fourteen years. You said syphillis wrong.

The last time I looked on my computer, I had 14,357 cookies. They contain everything from my name and email address to my height, weight, and how many dates it'll take for me to go down on a dude. (SPOILER: That cookie only needs to be one bit long.) Why, then, can't I have a cookie that says I'M NOT AN IDIOT? Something that says, "HEY, WHEN THIS DUDE TYPES IN A WORD, THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT HE MEANS"? Instead every website thinks, "I'll bet he spilled his Big Gulp on the keyboard. He's probably looking for the Frozen soundtrack."

It got me to thinking: there are thousands of cookies on our computers, all in the service of various companies. Why doesn't somebody write some GOOD cookies that'll be in service of US?

  COOKIE
    NAME
                        MEANING
NO SKIGOLF User doesn't click on things that assume he has a retirement plan.
OWWW Even twenty seconds of Seth Rogan getting hit in the crotch will not sway user to see one of his films.
NO SLIDES Better put that shit on one page, because user isn't clicking through forty pictures to see Brooklyn's best pies.
NO PROACTIV User spits up a little when he sees Young Adam Levine's faceful of zits.
NO PIRATE BOING User occasionally downloads movies but never clicks on animated gifs of topless meth-heads.
NO RUBE No matter how fast your ad flashes, user will not believe he's the millionth visitor.
CMYKNO User knows the print cartridges are running low and doesn't care if everything is printed in turquoise, for fuck's sake.