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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Morning Music: Thanksgiving Puppet Song

We here at GEP sure do like Thanksgiving something powerful. Sure enough, ya'll, we just can't let Turkey Day weekend pass without featuring a rousing rendition of, uh, this here Thanksgiving song sung by some puppets or other in a church that is probably in the Southern portion of this here U-nited States.

We might not know nothing about these here puppets, but we can safely assume that their names are Cletus and Lurlene, and we can all relate to the universal concept of turkey on the plate, honey. Just look at the bewildered bemusement on the faces of the ladies in the choir loft. If you look closely, you can see a subtle swaying motion somewhat akin to dancing (which is no doubt strictly forbidden)overtake these gentle creatures. One even wags her mouth up and down in an unconscious recognition of the unbounded festive joy the holiday elicits in her blessed little heart.

That's the joy of turkey, folks--deep fried Cajun spiced turkey from Bojangles, no doubt. A turkey so flavorful and tender that God himself personally mixes the special seasoning blend and oversees the brining process. In fact, God designed the special relationship between hydrogen dioxide and sodium chloride that allows an intact piece of meat to be perfectly seasoned throughout with this very dish in mind! Oh, heaven, thanks be to thee for the succulent creations of unrepentant Southerners who are unafraid to slaughter animals for naught but gastronomic pleasure, who are uninfluenced by the puritanically bland palate of Northern naysayers, who openly defy dietary guidelines created by dairy farmers in the Midwest, and who are more likely to enjoy smoking if they do smoke and let others alone if they don't (a sure sign of a magnanimous spirit).

GLORY be to God for dappled things—
For fowl of couple-colour from a hearty Cajun blend;
For pepper flecks all in stipple upon catfish that's fried;
Fresh-firecoal peach pits; crawdad shells;
Pie crust plotted and pieced—-delicious, golden, and brown;
And all cuisines, their ingredients and techniques and garnishes.

All foods counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
Served piping, chilled; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

Deepest apologies to Gerard Manley Hopkins Read the rest of this article.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

An Open Letter to Wal-mart Shoppers on Long Island

Dear Black Friday Wal-mart Shoppers of Valley Stream Long Island:

First of all, Happy Holidays.  I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, spent some quality time with your loved ones, and indulged in that second slice of pie. Go crazy, it's the holiday season. You can always start your diet in January. Ha ha ha!

Secondly, what the hell is wrong with you?  Really?  Were you that desperate to get into your local Wal-mart Friday morning?  Seriously?  What, was there a huge sale on High School Musical 3 Toddler Tents?  Dora the Explorer sleeping bags?  Best of Jeff Foxworthy boxed sets? The way you barged into that store and crushed a man to death without a second thought, you'd think they were handing out the cure for cancer at the back of the store.
For God's sake, how do you trample someone to death?  If you knock a dude over, help him the hell up.  It literally takes seconds to reach down and hoist someone off of the ground.  You don't have to throw the person over your shoulder and wade through a throngs of greedy consumers to find a safe haven for him or her.  Just extend your hand, smile, and say your sorry.  There. You've successfully helped someone NOT get trampled to death.  Trust me, Wal-mart is not going to run out of witty Christian t-shirts or discount softcover romance novels.  You'll still find all the cheap, poorly-made crap on your list and you won't have a death on your conscience. 

I'm appalled by what happen at your area Wal-mart, citizens of Valley Stream, but I'm not surprised.  I wish I was surprised.  I asked God after hearing this story on the CBS Evening News last night to fill me with the shock and awe I once felt when astronomically ridiculous and pointless tragedies occurred around the holidays, tragedies that could have been avoided if people would go against their natural inclination and act civil for once in their greedy lives.  I'll have to wait and see if that prayer is answered, but I'm fairly certain that it ain't gonna happen.

Let's be careful out there, OK, Long Island?  I don't want to hear about any more trampled store employees or shoot-outs in the aisles of Toys-R-Us (I'm pretty sure that didn't happen in Valley Stream, so you're off the hook on that one). Let's be considerate and kind, not selfish and accidentally homicidal.  It's Christmas dammit!  Calm down!


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Black Friday Advertisement Round Up

You know what's funner than dragging yourself out of bed at 3am on a holiday morning to stand outside in the cold for two hours just for the chance to wrestle smelly ladies in sweatpants for crappy electronic? Pretty much everything not involving alien abduction, which is by all accounts a really horrible experience that I don't wish to trivialize. And torture. Recent events have raised our consciousness of torture, and really wouldn't want to imply that I think shopping on Black Friday is worse than torture. Being bullied is pretty bad too. I've experienced that one. And childbirth is supposed to be pretty painful, right? I can't speak to that one, so I'll have to omit it as well. Alien abduction, torture, being bullied, and childbirth aside, I think shopping on Black Friday is just about the most miserable experience ever and I try to avoid it as much as possible. That's why when you were out wasting a perfectly good day to do nothing, I was lying in bed assembling this, the first ever GEP Black Friday Advertisement Round Up. Let's take a look at what you wasted precious hours of your life to purchase, shall we?

Item 1: Digital Picture Watch

Our first item should delight dads and children who buy gifts for dads everywhere. What dad doesn't love his children, and what child doesn't love to exploit that love for quick and easy gift selection? Some people say that men are notoriously hard to shop for because they generally have the cash to just buy whatever they want, but I say all you got to do is slap a picture of yourself on something to make dad weep with fatherly pride. Don't believe me? Just imagine you're a dad and your son gives you a nifty watch with this picture on it for Christmas:

Pretty cool, right? If you do happen to be my dad, that's exactly what you're getting. My wife waited in line 5 hours to score this little number. And if you're not my dad (and I know many of you fall into this category), you may be getting something similar (or exactly the same depending on your gender). I can see it now; Dad's at work and someone notices his watch:

"Why, that's my boy!"

"He's handsome!"


"What, is he smiling?"

"I think he's got gas."

"They are cute at that age."

Every dad's dream come true.

Item 2: Tony Hawk Collection Apparel and Generic Athletic Apparel

When I was a kid, it was a struggle to convince my parents to buy me hip clothing. My mother loved to look through the various department store ads and point to people she wished I dressed like.

"Why don't you dress like this nice young African-American man with the pleated pants and braided belt?"

"Why don't you go to hell, mom!?! Also, can we have hash brown casserole at my graduation party?"

Now kids got a choice, man! This advertisement for The Tony Hawk Collection is the perfect opportunity for sullen, antisocial kids everywhere to show their parents that it's OK to hate life, wear baggy clothes, and threaten to attempt suicide. Now when mom is all "don't you want to look like that charming mo-ron boy with the track suit on?" today can just point to the kid in the Tony Hawk getup and say, "aw gee, mom, I'd rather dress like that sad child with the to-boggan on."

Item 3: Casual China

Speaking of mom, what mom doesn't like china for Christmas? But the problem with china is you feel like you have to keep it in a china cabinet to protect it, right? Not anymore! This is casual china that's perfect for using and abusing. It's cheap so you don't mind buying it, and it's ugly, so she doesn't mind breaking it. What's more casual than that? It's like the ugly Hawaiian shirt or truck stop hooker of Christmas gifts. It's like Tom Arnold, 'cept it's a plate...and several roosters.

Item 4: Mushabelly Snooz'ems

Next up are the cutest crew of bedtime buddies you ever did see, the Mushabelly Snooz'ems gang! Genetically engineered to have the softest bellies and the most adorable name around, the Mushabelly Snooz'ems literally live for your comfort. Their greatest desire is for you to lay your head on their soft, soft bellies, which stimulates their sexual organs. They're sterile, but they're addicted to the pleasure your cuddles provide, so when not in use, it's recommended that you keep them in the included plastic tube so they don't smother you in a fit of cuddly, passionate, urgent desire when you're not expecting it. Their emissions are hypoallergenic!

Item 5: Talking Friendship Adventure Dora

Giving the Mushabelly Snooz'ems some steep competition for your holiday dollar is the Talking Friendship Adventure Dora. Like the My Buddy and Kid Sister dolls from my youth, TFAD is as big as a real kid. But unlike earlier giant dolls, Dora can talk! Utilizing recent advancements in abducting third world children, Talking Friendship Adventure Dora uses real kid power to run, bite, kick, spit, and try to escape just like a real friend! She knows 12 English phrases and is fluent in one of 17 languages you probably don't know, but she's 100 percent adorable! Your kids will have hours of fun teaching Dora how to make the bed, take out the trash, and use modern toiletry.

Item 6: Superyard XT

If your town's like my town and passed measures to discourage leashing your children, you may be asking yourself what you're going to do with the kids while you're at work? Well, here's the humane solution we've all been looking for. Better than a leash, the Superyard XT is like a fence, but for children. Never again worry about your kids running out into traffic, pooping in the neighbor's yard when he's looking, or mating with other neighborhood children. Superyard XT gives YOU control of YOUR kids. Comes with a handy carrying strap so you can take it anywhere you want to confine kids. Read the rest of this article.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.
-the Giant Electric Penguin staff
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

31 Days of Horror: Bonus Material- The Snake Pit

The Snake Pit was recommended to me by a co-worker while I was the middle of compiling films for the 31 Days of Horror. Unfortunately, I had already chosen most of the movies and didn't have time to include it in the final list.

The Snake Pit isn't really a horror film, per se, though it does have some genuinely unsettling moments. To be perfectly honest, The Snake Pit is a little too classy for our list of mostly B-grade garbage and blood-splattered gornography. This is a film as moving as it is hokey, as heartbreaking as it is goofy. It's actually very good.

Essentially, The Snake Pit is the story of Virginia Cunningham (Olivia de Havilland), an average woman who finds herself locked in a women's mental institution after suffering a nervous breakdown. The film opens with Virginia seated on a bench outside, various voices careening through her head, adding to the confusion that is her waking life. When she is herded back into the asylum by a group of nurses, Virginia finds she doesn't remember where she is or why she is locked up. We get a little background from her long-suffering husband, Robert, as he tells Dr. Kik, Virginia's doctor and brief object of affection, the story leading up to Virginia's imprisonment.

Virginia's journey through the various wards at Juniper Hill is meant to show the audience the shocking (no pun intended?) treatment used to cure mental patients in the late 1940's. Women are shocked with electrodes, locked in straitjackets, and placed in covered bath tubs. The higher the ward number, the deeper the crazy. Virginia starts in Ward 12, makes her way down to swanky Ward 1, and, after causing a ruckus, is shipped up to Ward 33 with some of the craziest bitches ever captured on film. Virginia's experiences in Ward 33, which she refers to as "a snake pit," shock her into sanity, which is kind of dumb, but also satisfying because de Havilland is so damn likable and cute we don't want to see her stuck in a nuthouse for the rest of her life. We want to see her touch the heart of Ward 33's most violent sociopath, we want to see her justify Dr. Kik's use of that newfangled psychotherapy technique (which he uses always seated beneath a portrait of Freud) to the rest of the doctors on Juniper Hill's staff, and we want to see her ride off into the sunset with her husband to her new life on the farm.

There are some very unnerving scenes in The Snake Pit, the most effective being a shot from above Ward 33 in which Virginia stands stoically still among the screaming, twitching, shuffling denizens of the ward. As we move further away we find that the hospital walls have become rocky cliff-sides and the people below resemble wriggling inhuman beasts. In another scene, a forced bath from Virginia's perspective looks like a roiling ocean in which she is being tossed about like a piece of driftwood. When she finds something to climb into out of the crashing waves, a shadowy figure pulls at her fingers and sends her back into the unforgiven sea.

There is also a very beautiful scene that takes place at a combined dance made up of patients from the men's and women's hospitals. It is both funny and poigant and ends with a touchng sing- along.

Read the rest of this article.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What the WTF?!

If you haven't seen it yet, check out this ad the Our Country Deserves Better Committee has created to thank Sarah Palin for, um, being Sarah Palin, I guess:

REALLY? Granted, Palin has done a lot for African-American cowboys in Alaska, but what has she done for other racially diverse cowboys all over this nation?

You know what, our country does deserve better...better than Sarah Palin. And our country got better. Why won't Sarah Palin and her goofy, delusional followers just go away?

And what is it we're thanking her for exactly? Her hate-filled Republican pep rallies leading up to Election Day? Her inability to answer simple questions about the magazines she reads? The fact that she apparently doesn't know the difference between a country and a continent? Her insulting "real Americans" crack? How has she served the people of America with a servant's heart? She's the governor of Alaska not queen of the United States! She was pulled onto the political stage by a desperate old man, she provided Saturday Night Live with some killer material, and for awhile she made us consider the horror of a Sarah Palin presidency (and that SOOOO could've happened, people). Now it's over, so let's move on. I don't need to see her on my television screen anymore. I don't care about her pregnant teenage daughter or her snow-machine racing husband and his desire to secede from the United States. And I certainly don't need to hear the term GILF ever again. I'm done.
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Monday, November 24, 2008

My Wish List

If you're anything like my wife, you're probably having a hard time deciding what to get me for Christmas this year. (You also probably realize that you're missing Tuesday and Wednesday out of the 7 days of Shrek underwear collection I gave you for Valentine's Day last year, and I can explain everything, but that's not what this is about.) I know I can be a bitch to buy for--what do you get a man who buys what he wants when he wants it like the real authentic ruggedly individualistic manly man that he is? Well, a real man understands the problems of the women and less manly men in his life and seeks to provide help in any way he can. In that spirit, I offer you a list of gifts that I've magnanimously put off purchasing so you'll have something to present to me on Christmas morn that won't send me flying into a rage of resentment and regret. You can thank me later. Preferably on Christmas morning.

Potty Putter

What man doesn't love to play golf? When a man's not playing golf, he's not a man, right? Am I right? Well, I am right, but I used to not be. Used to be there was one time a man could refrain from playing golf and still be called a man: when he was on the potty. In the old days, man was relegated to merely reading about other men playing golf when he was on the potty because lesser men had failed to come up with a way to bring an authentic golfing experience to the toilet. That was the old days. Today, with the invention of the potty putter, man has no excuse. It even comes with a deadly serious "Do Not Disturb: Golf Game in Progress" sign to hang on your doorknob. Order now.

Novelty Potty Chair

What's more manly than golf? Trains, of course. The only other acceptable way for a man to use the potty is on a potty shaped like a train. This nifty number resembles Thomas the Tank Engine to ensure hours of manly fun. Just don't splash Sir Topham Hat!

Jingle Jugs

What are a man's two favorite leisure activities? Hunting big game and ogling women (both performed while playing golf, of course). What if you could combine the two pursuits? That would be awesome, right? No, they haven't genetically engineered deer with human breasts or legalized bimbo hunting; I'm talking about Jingle Jugs! They're fake tits mounted like a trophy rack! They even jiggle to a jingle, just like real breasts!

Camo Condom

Ever want to hide your johnson from unsuspecting strangers on the bus, parishioners at church, or your friends' mothers? This little bugger should do the trick. It doesn't prevent pregnancy or disease so it's probably best used mostly on people you don't know or don't plan to see again.

Hooter Shooter and Johnson Juicer (NSFW, but click anyway!)

Besides golf, hunting, and ogling women, what other leisure activities do real men engage in? Well, if I had to make a list, it would look like this: drinking with buds, drinking alone, eating pizza, masturbating to Jingle Jugs, drinking with buds, drinking with buds, masturbating to Jingle Jugs with buds, drinking with buds, peeing outside. As you'll no doubt notice, "drinking with buds" appears over 3 times on that list, so you know it's pretty important. And when I say "drinking with buds" what I really mean is forcing each other to drink way too much alcohol through various types of drinking games, novel alcohol delivery devices, and manly insults. It can take quite a bit of alcohol to get your buds to loosen up enough to let the spirit of manly camaraderie take over and agree to engage in a good old fashioned game of hide the hot dog. But with the Hooter Shooter and Johnson Juicer, that problem is solved. You get a bunch of buds in a room, strap on "a fully functional set of breast that dispense one shot of alcohol out of each nipple," and let the fun begin! But the fun's just starting. After a few dozen rounds, whip out the hilarious "dual chambered dong" that also squirts liquor out of it and you'll have dudes sucking cock all night long. Tip: For a hilarious prank, substitute your real penis for the Johnson Juicer and squirt something else in their mouths! Link not at all safe for work.

Adam and Andy Comic Anthology

Why is Adam and Andy one of my favorite comics? Because it's the only comic around that portrays a couple of really manly men living together and interacting with each other in a very real fashion. They totally "get" each other, just like I feel like me and my buds "get" each other. I mean, we share our deepest thoughts on music, sports, celebrity gossip, and hair styling tips just like Adam and Andy. We even try out wrestling moves on each other and occasionally sleep in the same bed to conserve heat. You might say Adam and Andy share a deeper bond than most men share with their wives, and I think it's beautiful. Read the rest of this article.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Morning Music: Gerbert- "Theme Song"

Remember Gerbert the singing orange fetus?  I didn't know he had his own video curriculum series, but here is the theme song in all it's creep-tastic glory.  Also, could they have made it sound any more boring?  Video curriculum series?  Really, Gerbert?  There is nothing about that combination of words that says fun times ahead.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Serious Question...

What the hell is Twilight and why was the row of Hispanic women in their early-20s sitting behind me at Role Models so excited by the trailer? Seriously? I'm not trying to be all hipstery and shit, like, "oh, I don't know what this super-popular Twilight-thing is, man--I'm so above hype and what society deems cool." I'm serious. I don't know what it is! I think it's a series of books for teenage girls or something, but other than that I'm in the dark when it comes to the cult of Twilight.

I guess I also kind of know it's about a brooding vampire or whatever, but why is he always walking around in the daytime? And why does he go to high school? That seems kind of weird and unnecessary. I wouldn't go to school every day if I was a vampire. I'd sleep all day and then at night I'd hypnotize ladies and drink TruBlood and stuff. If I was one of those vampires that could fly I would do some of that too. But I wouldn't go to school. Unless it was night school and then I'd still have to think about it. I guess if you're going to school at night it's probably a class you paid for, so I wouldn't want to waste my money. If I paid for a night class, bought the book and everything, I guess I would go.

What were we talking about? Oh, Twilight. What is Twilight? Is there any reason I should be interested in this? I see the preview twenty times a day and I wonder, "Wait, is this True Blood? Seems a lot like True Blood only not set in New Orleans and probably not full of soft-core sex scenes." Then I see the preview another twenty times and I wonder, sometimes aloud, "What actually happens in this movie? Do two pale young people just brood at each other for two hours or does something actually happen?"

And why are they in trees all the time:

Did I miss something about vampires loving trees? Does the vampire in Twilight live in a tree?
What is this thing? Anybody?
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Wish List

If you are anything like my wife, you've probably finished Christmas shopping for me.  You've chosen my gifts, paid hard earned money to acquire them, and wrapped them in festive holiday paper and bows.

If you haven't finished shopping for me or, God forbid, haven't even started, first of all, for shame, and second, here are some ideas that should help you along (because they are exactly what I want):

Naughty Kitty Print- $32.99
This framed print of a curious black kitten causing comical mayhem would look so cute in my office or dining room.  Hey, I love cats, I love Asiany things, and I loved framed prints.  You can't go wrong.  Buy it for me!

OK, I know what you're thinking: "Damn, that thing is $300!  Ain't no way in hell I'm buying that for Matt.  I don't care how super awesome he is."  I get it.  Times is tough.  But look at that thing, man!  I mean, it's almost like having a real pet dinosaur.  It chews leaves, it makes noises that Playskool believes triceratops might have actually made, and you can freakin' ride on its back. Well, I couldn't ride on it's back (maximum weight limit is supposedly 60 lbs--whatever), but I could put my cat on it and take a video of the resulting escapade.  I'm just asking you to consider it.  

Sir Fancy Rabbit Tee- $24.00

Sir Fancy Rabbit is awesome!  Lookit him in his top hat and monocle!  This gift is both adorable and practical.  Who doesn't need a shirt?  Did you know that most fast food restaurants won't even serve you without one?  It's true!  We live in country where a black man was just elected president, a lesbian is television's most popular television chat show host, and infants have the right to free speech, and I still can't walk into my neighborhood Burger King and purchase a double-cheeseburger meal deal topless?  My way right away?  What a crock! Anyway, buy this shirt for me.

Life-Size Cardboard Standups- $41.18
I'm a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, so a life-sized Buffy for my home is the perfect gift.  I can reenact all my favorite scenes from the series, share my hopes and dreams with Sarah Michelle Gellar, and cut a hole in the mouth and...well, it doesn't matter what I'd do with it, it's that thought that counts, right?

I will also accept the life-size Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft standup.  What?  It's, like, my favorite movie!  Gah!  Why are you so gross?
World Peace- Priceless
I've asked for this every year since I turned six years old.  If you can somehow pull this one off, all the cardboard standups and battery operated dinosaurs in the world won't mean a thing.  I'd gladly give up my framed prints and monocled bunny shirts for just a glimpse of what a world at total peace would look like.  

You know what though, if there is world peace, I'm going to need a shirt, so since this is priceless and all you could still probably still afford the Fancy Rabbit shirt.  And who am I kidding, world peace?  Not in this lifetime, pal!  Just get me the dinosaur.  I swear I'll let you ride it.

Bible Puppets- Various
Bible puppets require no explanation, do they?  I want 'em all!
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31 Days of Horror: Bonus Material - The Stuff

A night watchman at an oil refinery comes across a hole in the ground from which a strange white substance is bubbling up to the surface one winter's eve. Without a second thought, he dips his fingers into the thickish goo and sticks some in his mouth. A co-worker approaches from behind, asking disgustedly, "Are you eating snow?" "No," the old codger says, holding his finger out to the younger man, encouraging him to have a taste. The young man, who moments earlier was horrified by the idea of his co-worker eating snow, which I believe is essentially frozen water, seems to have no problem at all taking a lick of the weird white crap literally bubbling out of a filthy crack in the dirt.  Thus begins Larry Cohen's 1985 snack food-horror epic, The Stuff.

The movie fast forwards to a world in which The Stuff is the hottest item on grocery store shelves. We meet Jason, who awakes one evening with a powerful hunger and sneaks into the kitchen for a snack. Upon opening the fridge, he finds a container of The Stuff turned over on its side and the white goo (which looks like marshmallow fluff) crawling slug-like amongst the leftovers and the Sunny D. The next morning, Jason skips school and rampages through a local grocery store, snatching a container of The Stuff from the hands of a hungry African-American toddler, tossing frozen Stuff from freezers, and knocking rows of The Stuff off of shelves until he is wrestled to the ground by a young Eric Begosian.
Meanwhile, a group of ice cream big-wigs hire former FBI agent, David "Mo" Rutherford, to infiltrate Stuff headquarters to discover how it's made. Mo affects the speech patterns and "gee, shucks" sense of wonderment of a backwoods bumpkin, which makes it easy for him to weasel his way into the good graces of a jumpy former employee of the FDA (Danny Aiello) who approved The Stuff for public consumption, "Chocolate Chip" Charlie Hobbs (SNL's Garrett Morris) whose family members sold his cookie company to the manufacturers of The Stuff out from under him, and advertising executive Nicole, who created the ad campaign that made The Stuff a must have in every house in America.

The Stuff turns out to be some kind of sentient goo that eventually takes over its host body and exits the human husk thorough the mouth leaving a rubbery man-skin behind. Only problem is that once the demonic fluff leaves the host body, it's pretty easy to defeat. All one has to do is 1) light a match and 2) set fire to The Stuff. Simple. Also, when inside the host body, The Stuff makes human flesh so weak that a simple karate chop from a cookie magnate can shatter a man's face. The Stuff may have an evil agenda, but it doesn't seem to have the strength to pull it off. Plus, if there is a master plan, the audience never gets to find out. In fact, once Mo, Nicole, and Jason join forces, Cohen tosses all attempts at satire out the window to focus on pure silliness, for instance, introducing Paul Sorvino as a crazy man with his own personal army and several radio stations throughout the United States. From one of these radio stations, our heroes warn America to avoid The Stuff at all costs and the day is officially saved. Or is it? The final scene suggests Americans may still be in danger of a second invasion of The Stuff.

(Read the full review @ Movie Penguin, GEP's new blog devoted to the weird and wonderful world of cult film, Japanese animation, and B-trash from every corner of the globe.)
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Morning Music: Hyperactive Kid - "Medley"

Is there anything more precious than a child singing praises to our Lord? I sure hope so.
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Friday, November 14, 2008

What the WTF?!?: Coming Soon

God has finally heard my prayers: the board game Monopoly is becoming a motion picture. And if that wasn't enough, the film is being directed by Ridley Scott, so you know Russell Crowe is going to be in there somewhere.

Reportedly, Scott wants to give the movie a "futuristic sheen" reminiscent of his half-assed attempt at adapting Philip Dick to the screen, Blade Runner (Sorry. Not a fan.). Hey, put any kind of sheen on it that you want, it won't change the fact that you are adapting a board game for the big screen. A board game! Can you hear me over the millions of pained groans and forehead slaps that have undoubtedly accompanied this news? MONOPOLY IS A BOARD GAME! Monopoly is only fun when you are actually playing Monopoly. Have you ever watched people play Monopoly? Of course you haven't, because that would be boring and you are not an idiot. Monopoly is a blast until some jerk renders you bankrupt and you have to sit out and watch your friends finish the game and sometimes that can take hours. The last time I played Monopoly I was so sloppy drunk that when I was eventually bilked for all I was worth, I couldn't have cared less. I crawled off to my bedroom and passed out on the floor. The room was spinning, I was on the verge of projectile vomitting, I was promising God that I would never touch the Devil's nectar ever again...and I'll bet that was still more fun than Monopoly: The Movie can ever hope to be.

OK, so Monopoly: The Movie takes place in a Blade Runner-esque future. Then what? Are there replicants? Is there a grizzled detective running around in the rain all night? Will there be any unicorns and, if so, how many?

All those ridiculous questions aside, what about the Monopoly Man? Will this goofy little midget with his top hat and handlebar mustache make an appearance? If so, what lucky actor gets to add that role to his resume?

Presumably this is happening because of the runaway success of the Transformers movie, a film based on a popular line of toys. This, coupled with the excitement (?) over the upcoming G.I. Joe film, led studios to grab other iconic toy lines and board games and attempt to make movies out of them. At the same time Monopoly: The Movie was announced, so were plans for films based on the Ouija Board and Battleship.

How far must one have one's head up one's ass to not understand why Transformers made millions upon millions of dollars and Monopoly will epically fail. Maybe I'm wrong, but doesn't this seem like a very, very, very bad idea? I mean, I can kind of see a Ouija Board movie. I've heard a lot of sinister stories about the Ouija Board (all of them bullshit, mind you), my favorite being the story I was told at a church youth group all-nighter. I was trembling from a Coca-Cola overdose when Craig, my personal hero at the time, told us a story about these kids that tossed their Ouija Board into the fire place and were attacked by demons who had taken up residence within the board itself. I was an impressionable eighth grader at the time and I took this story to heart, vowing never to get close to Ouija Board, especially one near an open flame. A couple of weeks later though, my friend James and I asked his Ouija Board who a friend of ours, who we suspected was a homosexual (and turned out to be, I might add), would marry and it spelled out the first and last name of a boy in our class. Now there's a movie for ya!

Battleship could be a movie too, I guess, but not Monopoly. There is no good that can come from a film based on Monopoly. And you know it's going to be preachy. If not the rain-slicked, robot-clogged Future, they'll set it in the final month's of George W. Bush's America and make a whole bunch of points about greed and corporate corruption and blah, blah, blah.

Let's hope all this Monopoly movie talk just fades away like NBC's My Own Worst Enemy and If I Did It by OJ Simpson.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday Morning Music: Stars - "Elevator Love Letter"

Lately every band I discover and subsequently fall in love with seems to hail from Canada. Must be something in the air up there. Anyway, I'm so sure you'll like Stars, I'm including a bonus song, "Your Ex-Lover is Dead." Enjoy!

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Monday, November 10, 2008


The greatest threat to the future of America is not the faltering economy, escalating acts of terrorism, or the AIDS virus--it's the Duggar family! I'm serious, my friends. We have got to prepare ourselves for the inevitability of an infestation of Duggar offspring across this great land, a plague of polite, smiling do-gooders bent on enslavement of the United States and her people. Don't believe me? Jim Bob Duggar, the patriarch of the Duggar brood, has already run for office once and what's stopping him from doing it again and again and again?

There are currently 18 Duggar children, the oldest of which has just gotten married. His wife may be pregnant as I write this. Who knows? What if he decides to impregnate his young bride again and again until he too has bred a small army of creepy, hymn-singing, science-fearing, home-schooled automatons? Who will marry next? Jinger? Jenna? Janice? Is there one even named Janice? The next generation of Duggars could be 324 children strong and in twenty years there's no telling what horrific fate lies in store for society.

One thing is for sure: someday a Duggar will be President of the United States. It's inevitable. And once the first Duggar president gets a taste of power, nothing will stop the next one from stepping forth and taking the reigns after four years, and on and on, until we find ourselves living under some kind of Duggarocracy. It's almost too horrifying to imagine.

And what policies will our Duggary overlords inact upon us? Here's just a glimpse into the horrible future that awaits us if the Duggars someday come to power:

1) Not only will prayer in school be reinstated, it will be enforced. Anyone caught not praying to the appropriate deity will face expulsion and possible prosecution.

2.) Evolution will no longer be taught in school as it will now be considered heresy. Creationism will be taught as fact and the Bible will be used as the standard Science textbook. In fact, the Bible will be your child's only textbook and class will be held around large kitchen tables.

3.) All married couples will be required to have as many children as the woman's uterus can handle. Menopause or death are the only valid excuses for not being pregnant at any given time.

4.) And don't even think about gay marriage. All couplings that cannot naturally produce offspring will be made illegal, and masturbation (which will now be considered abortion, which will also be made illegal) will carry a mandatory 30 year prison sentence.

And if you step out of line, you get a paintball in the face!

Meet your future president!

How can this hopeless future be avoided? Well, first, someone needs to get a rock'n'roll CD or a Marvel comic book into the hands of just one of the Duggars. If one can be convinced that secular material will not hurt you, turn you into a raging pervert or a godless heathen, then there is hope. Second, you can stop watching their TLC program 17 Kids in Counting. Yes, it's cute and funny to see a family with 17 kids go about their daily lives (look at how much Cookie Crisp they go through! OMG--have you ever seen so many sippy cups?), but they are spreading a dangerous message, a message rampant pregnancy and mind-numbing family togetherness. If you're a mature individual with a grip on reality, go ahead and keep watching, but realize there is a whole audience of yahoos out there who eat this shit up, cling to it.
But I'm afraid it will all be for naught because the Dugger revolution is coming. They seem like nice enough people, I guess, so maybe it won't be all bad. In the spirit of accepting the Duggars for who they are (and what they will become), GEP would like to offer the following list of name suggestions for any Duggars that come falling out of Ma Duggar's vagina in the near future:
Jasper, Jim-Jam, Jaunt (may already be taken by the Palins), Jingles, Jaslene, Jigsaw, Jeorge, Jump, Juniper Lee, Jibbers, Jose, Jokey, Jasmine, Jerk Chicken, Jersey, Jalopy, Jackanape, Jackson Rod Stewart, J J, Jables, Jinx, Jiraffe, J-Dawg, Juke, Journal, Juice-box.
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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday Morning Music: Leven Puppets-"I'm A Believer

We could literally showcase nothing but puppet videos in our Sunday Morning Music feature there are so many. If you have any favorites, send us a link or just wait, we'll probably post it eventually. Read the rest of this article.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What the WTF?: Sports Edition

With all the recent election hullabaloo, I'm sure many of you missed the crowning of 2008's Slamball champions, the Slashers, who beat the snot out of team Rumble 48-46 last Sunday afternoon.

What's Slamball?  Well, according to one of the announcers of the game I watched, Slamball is a combination of "hockey" and "soccer."  I think it's more of a combination of "basketball" and "trampolines," since the basic idea seems to be to shoot a basketball through a basketball hoop while bouncing on trampolines.  Watching televised Slamball, on the other hand, can be described as a combination of "self-flagellation" and "watching paint dry."

Slamball?  SLAMBALL?  Slamball's not a sport, it's what you ignore during half-time at a professional basketball game.  

Slamball's not a sport, it's something you and your buddy try after school while your parents are still at the office and more than likely get horribly injured doing.

Slamball is not a sport, it's what a group of hip, 20-something motivational speakers do to distract you during a school assembly focused on keeping students off drugs.

Slamball is stupid.  The only thing that would make it better is if the entire court was nothing but trampolines.  Or if the entire court was one, gargantuan trampoline.  Oh, shit!  That would be crazy!  You could bounce opponents into the stands, cause some serious injuries.  I guess the way Slamball is set up now it's possible to collide in mid-slam with a player on the opposite team, but that didn't happen once during the ten minutes I watched.

See, Slamball takes the most exciting part of a basketball game--the occasional slam dunk--and makes it dull and repetitive.  Slamball is nothing but slam dunk after slam dunk after bleeding slam dunk!  Who can't repeatedly make slam dunks when you've got trampolines all over the place?  All right, probably not Stephen Hawking, but you get my point. 
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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Barack Obama, President

I don't care who you voted for or what political party you align yourself with, this is powerful, powerful stuff:

I wonder what Malia and Natasha are going to name their puppy. May I suggest Barkles? Read the rest of this article.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What the WTF!?

The long election season ends today, but that doesn't mean I can't get mad about election-related stuff. The latest kerfuffle in the contentious North Carolina senatorial race between Republican incumbent Elizabeth Dole and Democratic challenger Kay Hagen has really got my panties in a wad, and I can't keep quiet anymore. It seems that Elizabeth Dole, desperate to be reelected to her sinecure in the U.S. Senate, has started running attack ads accusing Kay Hagen of being (gasp!) an atheist. The ads accuse Hagen of taking "Godless money" from something called the Godless American's PAC and includes a woman's voice, who we're supposed to think is Hagen's but clearly isn't, saying "there is no God" at the end of the ad.

I don't know anything about the Godless Americans PAC, but the ad tells us they support the outrageous measures of removing "In God We Trust" from our money and taking "under God" out of the pledge of allegiance. They probably are the same people responsible for taking God out of schools and for erecting flying spaghetti monsters on courthouse lawns. It kind of sounds like these assholes believe in the separation of church and state, which is totally not in the Constitution and stuff.

But is the ad true? Well, I couldn't find any information about whether or not Hagen took "Godless money" (what would that even look like?), but it's pretty clear she, at least publicly, is not an atheist. She's reportedly been a Sunday school teacher and elder in her local Presbyterian church for years. I bet most Christians who would get pissed at her for meeting with the Godless Americans PAC couldn't say the same.

So Kay Hagen's upset, and I don't blame her. If I were an elder in a Christian church, I'd be pretty pissed if someone implied I was an atheist as well. Shame on Libby Dole. But also, and this is what I'm pissed about, shame on the people of North Carolina who treat atheism as tantamount to lycanthropy or vampirism or something. Every time I turn on the radio I hear how these allegations are horrible and untrue, but I never hear about how just outright bigoted the implication is. Even Kay Hagen won't stand up and say, "Look ya'll, I'm a Christian, but so what if I met with an Atheist?" Are atheists really so evil that even eating a meal at the home of one is an unforgivable sin?

What the WTF is up with all this atheist hating? Isn't Christianity (and it's the Christians that are making the fuss), by its very nature, a religion based on faith and not sight? Doesn't that mean that, however true Christianity is or however wonderful it is to those who subscribe to its tenants, it's decidedly NOT the obvious or only answer to life's big questions? For Christianity to mean anything, doesn't there have to be at least a possibility that it's wrong; and doesn't that mean, at least in part, that maybe, just maybe, there is no God? Of course a Christian chooses to believe in God, but if God's existence were a given, then Christianity isn't a religion of faith. It's not even a religion at all. It's just science. And I think religion loses something important if we view it as fact or science or a given. Plus, isn't faith, to the Christian, something that can only come through the grace of God? And if you use that faith to assert your superiority over another person or group, doesn't that kind of make you no better than, I don't know, a giant genital wart oozing your pussy hatred all over those you impose yourself on sexually?

So with that in mind, how can anyone who possibly has thought through their faith and recognized their belief as based in faith fault someone for not believing in God? Is it so obvious that God exists that only contrarian monsters would ever deny it? No, it's not, and to think this way is to be no different than racists who hate people of other colors or nationalists who hate anyone from other countries. It's just another manifestation of the mentality that says "my tribe is the best simply because I'm one of them." Fuck that. Aren't we beyond that bullshit yet? Don't pretend that just because you were brought up some way that that's the only way to be or that just because you've come to a certain conclusion about the world that everyone who disagrees is an idiot or an asshole. (Some atheists could stand to learn this lesson as well--and, you know, vehement supporters of certain political candidates [like, for instance, all of them] need this shit too.) It's just not that easy, folks. Stop being dicks. Read the rest of this article.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Morning Music: Omazing Grace

A beloved hymn of the church performed in a way that will touch your heart and trigger your gag reflex.  
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From the Editor's Desk

Now that The 31 Days of Horror are behind us, I thought I'd brighten up the place.  It was getting too dark and dreary.  Who knows, maybe now that the blog is a little brighter, perhaps the overall demeanor of our staff will change and they'll stop being so damn cynical about everything. It could happen, but don't hold your breath.

I'd like to thank everybody for making The 31 Days of Horror a rousing success.  I got a lot of positive feedback from readers, as well as, suggestions for movies we should have included.  To show my appreciation, this month I will feature film reviews of our reader suggestions along with reviews that never made it to the blog in a little feature I'm going to call 31 Days of Horror: Bonus Material.  Look for it throughout November.

I also wanted to let you know that Giant Electric has given birth to a super new blog solely devoted to film reviews called Movie Penguin. Let's say you and your lady-friend (or man-friend) want to stay in and rent a movie one evening, but can't decide what to watch.  Just visit our site, read the current review or pick a genre, and let Movie Penguin decide for you.  It's just that easy! Granted, Movie Penguin only has one movie currently posted, but give us until the new year. We promise we'll be ready to serve you.

As always, thanks for reading the blog!  We appreciate your patronage. 
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