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Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Reh Dogg Report

I've been meaning to devote an entire GEP feature to internet rap sensation Reh Dogg for a long, long time, I've just been looking for the best way to introduce our readers to this MC above all other MCs on the Earth and below the Seas.  A couple of years ago a friend sent me a link to the video for Reh Dogg's biggest hit to date, "Why Must I Cry," and, needless to say, I was instantly hooked, fan for life.  Perhaps you have seen pictures of me on Facebook wearing my official Reh Dogg t-shirt or are lucky enough to be a related to me and therefore forced to watch the "Why Must I Cry" video multiple times over the past few years.  I cannot praise this man enough. Reh Dogg is the hero of my life, hence this brand new, ongoing feature dedicated to the man and his art.

Sure, I could share the video that changed my life, but first I think it is imperative that you get to know the man before you delve into the colorful world he creates in his music.  So, here is a video of Reh Dogg spending a quiet Thanksgiving alone with his liquor and a video camera.  I don't know about you, but starting Thanksgiving '09 this is my new tradition: I will fix a plate, ask the Lord's blessing over my meal, and adjourn to the computer to shovel turkey and stuffing into my mouth while Reh Dogg burns himself on the sweet potato casserole and casually mentions to his empty kitchen that "Dallas sucks."  I can't think of a more special way to honor the friendship between the Pilgrims and their savage neighbors, can you?

I give you: Thanksgiving with Reh Dogg: Part 1 of 2.  Enjoy.
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Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar Fashion Report: Lights! Camera! Boredom!

So, did you enjoy last night's Academy Awards?  Did anything memorable happen?  Seriously. I'm not asking a rhetorical question.  I turned it off around 10:00.  I literally have no idea what happened after that.  I also don't care, so you can actually forget about answering those questions.

Some people are calling the 81st Annual Academy Awards the best Academy Awards in a long time.  To me it was just yet another indulgent, three hour, Hollywood circle jerk with a couple of clever Hugh Jackman musical numbers and a rare nugget of old fashioned Ben Stiller hilarity.  I also enjoyed Judd Apatow's short film and Tina Fey's presence.  Other than that: BORRRING!  

All that aside, I am a sucker for fashion.  I guess you could say it's my passion. OMG!  I totes have a passion for fashion, y'all!  Here are some of the best and worst dressed celebrities at this years Oscars.  
Miley Cyrus looks like a living Christmas tree in this dress.  I just want to cover her in tinsel, hang a few balls from her arms, and jab a star into her skull.  The only living Christmas tree I ever want to see is that one at the Baptist church down the street made up of friendly choir members.  Or that one that always starts singing when I pass it at Rite Aid.
If Angelina Jolie were my mother, I would still masturbate to pictures of her.  I would be a severely screwed up little kid.
Tragically, Whoopie Goldberg was gunned down by a big game hunter as she exited the Kodak Theater late Sunday night.  This dress is quite possibly her biggest mistake since not giving me a larger role in the film Eddie.  I was meant for more than crowd scenes, Whoopie, and you would know that if you'd just watched my audition tape!
The first of many actresses famous, in part, for their luscious breasts, hiding those breasts from the home audience.  What gives, Jessica?  I think she kind of looks like one of the Muses of Greek mythology, in fact, she inspired me to turn the TV off and read a book.
Really, PSH?  You couldn't take the knit cap off for three hours?  You look like a complete douche.  I'm glad Alan Arkin called you Seymour Philip Hoffman.  
Another actress known for her amazing knockers denying the world even the slightest glimpse. C'mon, girl from Mama Mia, help a brother out.  Great shoes though, girlfriend!
I assume Lisa Rinna was at the Oscars to conduct red carpet interviews.  What other reason would there be for this puffy-lipped, woman-sized insect to be there?  She looks more horrible than usual, and that's pretty damn horrible.  Sometimes I weep for Harry Hamlin.
Proof that Hollywood is not immune from the current economic crisis.  How much do you want to bet he found that tux in a dumpster?
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Sunday, February 22, 2009

If You Haven't Seen It Yet...

...watch it here immediately.  You will not be disappointed.
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Sunday Morning History Lesson: World War 2 Explained

In Loving Memory of the Egyptians.
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Saturday, February 21, 2009

And the Winners Are...:Going for the Gold on Oscar Night! Play Hard!

Here they are, readers, the Oscars that REALLY matter.  We've wasted your time with predictions in the Best Actor, Best Actress, and Awesomest Song categories, but now it's time to run with the big boys (that's a thing people say, right?).  So, let's cut the bullshit and get to the predictin'!

BEST DIRECTING:
David Fincer (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Ron Howard (Frost/Nixon)
Gus Van Sant (Milk)
Some Dude (The Reader)
Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)

AND THE WINNER IS...
That's David Fincher (I know, right?).  Listen, I haven't heard one good thing about this Benjamin Button nonsense, but Fincher directed my favorite movie of all time, so I'm picking him for Oscar glory.  I'm also a pretty big fan of Slumdog director Danny Boyle and would be just as pleased if his name were called tomorrow night.  Unfortunately, I'm also quite fond of Gus Van Sant and think it would be pretty neat-o burrito if he came out victorious.  I'm pretty torn about this one. Leave this one blank on your Oscar Party Scorecard for now and try to write in the winner when he is announced Sunday night before anyone can see you.

As for the other nominees: I actually like Ron Howard too, but not nearly as much as the three directors I've already picked to win.  And I didn't care enough to do any research on whoever it is that directed The Reader.  Sorry, guy.

BEST BRAND OF POPCORN SEASONING: 
Pop Co. Flavor Dust
Dr. Corn & Sons Old Fashioned Flavor-salt for Popping Corn
Kernal Season's
Bret Michael's Extreme Popcorn Dippin' Sauce
Papa Spears' Sprinkle Cheese

AND THE WINNER IS...
Kernal Season's not only makes the best popcorn seasoning money can buy, but it also has the distinction of being the only non-fictional brand of popcorn seasoning in the above list.  Look at all these flavors!  We keep a shaker full of white cheddar in our cabinet at home for popcorn-related emergencies.  Not pictured: Caramel and Chocolate Marshmallow (I know, right?)!

BEST PICTURE
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
Milk
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

AND THE WINNER IS...
You read it here first, folks: The Dark Knight is going to take home the Oscar for Best Picture. Christian Bale is going to storm the stage, punch some motherfuckers out, and proclaim the Oscar for The Dark Knight.  Then he's going to scream at the audience for a full half hour, kick Hugh Jackman in the balls, take some questions from the press, and lead Los Angeles police on a 15 mile car chase in the Batmobile.  It is going to be epic!

See you on Oscar night, everybody!  And look for our unbelievably cruel critique of Oscar night fashions the very next day!  Ciao!
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In Praise of...Conan O'Brien

Conan O'Brien's final show aired last night, thus ending an era of supreme weirdness in the world of late night television.  I've been a huge Conan fan since high school, though after graduating from college we lost track of one another.  I fall asleep too early now, but that's something I'll have to answer for some dark day.

To pay tribute to the future host of the Tonight Show, I've included what Conan picked last night as his favorite moment during his Late Night career, a bit he wants shown at his funeral.  I, for one, feel it sums up why America loves Conan O'Brien so much. Enjoy!
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Friday, February 20, 2009

Oscar Mania 2009: Part II: Place Your Bets Gentlemen and Ladies! Go For Win!

Welcome to night two of Giant Electric Penguin's exclusive look at this year's Oscar winners two days early.  What other blog can do that, huh?  That's right--no other blog, only us!  How do we do it, you ask?  No, we don't own some sort of time travel device or frequently communicate with a practitioner of the so-called "dark arts."  We at GEP have a vast knowledge of movies, award shows, and statuettes and we think that gives us the inside edge when it comes to predicting the winners at an event like the Oscars.  That being said, let's get this party started quickly, right?

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Doubt
Frost/Nixon
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

AND THE WINNER IS...
I've never read Q & A, the book Slumdog is based upon, but I did buy it for my sister for her birthday and I can't say enough good things.  It was affordable, that's the first thing I noticed.  It had a sturdy cover.  The photo on the front cover was awfully charming as I recall.  There were some positive blurbs peppered here and there on the back and inside cover.  Overall I was happy with my purchase.  And it sure was easy to find at my local booksellery.  I just typed the title into a friendly computer and...BAM...there it was!  What will Borders think of next?  

As for the other nominees: Doubt is based on a text-less pop-up book for preschoolers, so that counts it out. The Reader is apparently about an illiterate, frequently nude, Nazi war criminal which seems like the kind of thing the Academy likes, so it could pull out the win. Frost/Nixon, based on a little read F. Scott Fitzgerald novella, had too many typos for my taste. And the less said about The Curious Case of Forrest Gump the better.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
Frozen River
Happy-Go-Lucky
In Bruges
Milk
Wall-e

AND THE WINNER IS...
I've heard good things.  Plus, I can't think of anyone I'd rather hear read a script than Colin Farrell.  His Irish brogue makes me wetter than a rained out church picnic.

As for Wall-e: I came up with the idea for Pixar's Wall-e when I was in fourth grade.  Somehow they entered my dreams and extracted the idea while I was sleeping, but since I can't prove it, I've kept quiet all these months.  Oh, well, I probably never woulda done nothing with the idea any-how.  Shucks! 

As for the other nominees: Never heard of 'em.

BEST SONG
"Down to Earth" -Wall-e
"Jai Ho" - Slumdog Millionaire
"O Saya" -Slumdog Millionaire

AND THE WINNER IS...
More specifically "O Saya."  I just asked myself, "Which of these songs features M.I.A?" and went with that one.  The other two songs are fine.  If I'm still awake by the time this award is given out Sunday night I will be all kinds of surprised.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Wall-e
Kung Fu Blah Blah Blah
Blah Blah Blah Blah

AND THE WINNER IS...
Wall-e was basically the best fucking movie ever, so if it doesn't win I'll eat my cat.  I mean hat.  I'll eat my hat.

TOMORROW: BEST DIRECTOR, BEST SOUND EDITING, MOST FLAVORFUL POPCORN, MOST HELPFUL RETARDED TICKET RIPPER, AND BEST FILM OF THE YEAR!!!  BE THERE.  BE HERE.


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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Oscar Mania 2009: Predictions You Can Set Your Watch By

This year I saw only one of the films nominated for Best Picture and two films with nominated actors (both nominated for Best Supporting Actor), so who better than myself to predict the big winners at the 81st Annual Academy Awards airing this Sunday on ABC. Friday I'll make my picks for Best Animated Film, Best Writing, and Very Bestest Song and Saturday I'll break through all the studio hullabaloo and tell you what film will be going home with the trophy for Best Film Ever of All Time! Tonight it's the actors' turns to shine. Lights! Camera! Totally awesome Oscar predictions!

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:
Josh Brolin (Milk)
Robert Downey Jr. (Tropic Thunder)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Doubt)
Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road)

AND THE OSCAR GOES TO...
Since defeating his drug demons, Robert Downey Jr. has been on the fast track to best actor in the universe status. Whether he's playing second-tier super hero Iron Man or Aussie method actor Kirk Lazarus, this dude is exciting to watch. It's unfortunate he's nominated the same year as shoo-in Heath Ledger, who gives a brilliant performance as Batman archenemy, The Joker, but a newly-minted Academy rule requiring that the winner of the Oscar cross the stage and accept the award on his own behalf may work in Downey's favor.

As for the other nominees: Call me crazy, but could a film about milk really be all that great--count Josh Brolin out. I seriously DOUBT Philip Seymour Hoffman is going to win (tee-hee). And finally, who the fuck is Michael Shannon and what the fuck is Revolutionary Road? Seriously. Oscar night is for movie stars, ok, not glorified extras.

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:
Amy Adams (Doubt)
Penelope Cruz (Vicky Christina Barcelona)
Viola Davis (Doubt)
Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler)

AND THE OSCAR GOES TO...
Amy Adams (pictured here looking ravishing near a Doubt poster, rather than frumpy and nunned-up) is a pure delight. I haven't seen Doubt, nor do I have any plans to do so in the near or far-flung future, but I'm sure she does an adequate job playing a nun or whatever. I like when she's a magical princess who sings songs and speaks to squirrels.

As for the other nominees: In no particular order, "really?" "you're kidding, right?" "who?" and "no joke--I've literally never heard of this person in my life."

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Richard Jenkins (The Visitor)
Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon)
Sean Penn (Milk)
Brad Pitt (The Curious Case of Who Gives a Shit)
Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler)

AND THE OSCAR GOES TO...
In The Visitor, Richard Jenkins plays the victim of a vicious dog attack or flesh-eating virus, as far as I can tell from the above photo. I'm sure he acts with class and dignity and whatever else the media says about elderly character actors when the Academy finally recognizes them. All I know is that Jenkins was on Six Feet Under and that show was pretty darned great. Good luck, Dick!

As for the other nominees: Again, a film about milk? I know you are a rebel who likes to do his own thing, Sean Penn, but I don't know how in the world this picture got so many nominations. I love putting milk on my Honey Bunches of Oats, but that doesn't mean I want to watch a two hour movie about it. I guess I wouldn't mind if Mickey Rourke won. He'd probably get teary-eyed and dedicate the Oscar to his dog who recently passed away. That might be touching and stupid. The other two can suck it.

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE:
Angelina Jolie (Changeling)
Melissa Leo (Frozen River)
Meryl Streep (Doubt)
Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married)
Kate Winslet (Titanic)

AND THE OSCAR GOES TO...
This isn't the movie where she finds out she is the princess of a made-up country, is it? If it's not, Hathaway is the winner for sure.

As for the other nominees: Meryl Streep? More like Meryl Wins All the Time (am I right?)! Changeling was virtually impossible to beat off to, so I gotta say no to Ms. Jolie (Plus, didn't she just have octuplets? She should probably just stay home Sunday night.). I don't know who Melissa Leo is, but I'm sure she is just awful. And Titanic came out a long time ago. Nice try, Winslet.

TOMORROW: BEST SONG, BEST ANIMATED FEATURE, AND LEAST ANNOYING SCREENPLAY!

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What the WTF?!?: Indian Boy Marries Dog to Avoid Random Tiger Attacks

Sagula Munda, a two year old boy living in Bhubaneswar, India, wed his neighbor's dog this week in an effort to break a curse brought about by an errant tooth. The marriage will hopefully protect the child's village from vicious animal attacks, specifically those from the tiger community.

Before you scoff, imagine you've just been informed that you could be attacked by bloodthirsty tigers at any moment. You could be walking down the street, whistling a jaunty tune, not a care in the world and...KABLAMMO...tiger attack. You might be enjoying a fancy dinner with your sweetheart, recounting a charming tale from your youth in the Midwest and...KABOOM...you're tiger chow. I think you'd do just about anything you could to avoid random tiger attacks, including being bonded in holy matrimony to your neighbor's schnauzer. Here is a list of things I would be willing to do to break the curse of neverending, random tiger attacks.

OTHER THINGS I WOULD BE WILLING TO DO TO BREAK A TIGER ATTACK CURSE:
1. Read the entire Sweet Vally High novel series.
2. Take a dump live on national television.
3. Play "7 Minutes in Heaven" with porcine stand-up comedian Louie Anderson.
4. Receive pudding enemas three times a week.
5. Drink a liter of Kool-Aid that has been stirred by Poison front-man Bret Michaels' dick at the conclusion of the Vh1 dating reality show Rock of Love Bus.
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Reality Report

To write about every television show I watch on a weekly basis, I would need to quit my job and work on the blog full time. Sadly, this is not going to happen (I asked my wife last night and she said no), so instead I thought I'd lump all the current reality programs I watch/accidentally come across/hate with a fiery passion/secretly kind of love together and write a little blurb about each in a feature I'm calling...The Reality Report.

1. The Amazing Race (ABC): Human-gecko/Hollywood screenwriter Mike White is apparently amazingly racing around the world with his father on the latest season of this mega-popular reality globetrotting adventure that I've never seen in my life. You may know White as the writer behind School of Rock or, my personal favorite, Chuck and Buck. I did see White, his father, and the other contestants rolling large wheels of cheese down a hillside and that was amusing, I guess.

2. From G's to Gents-Season 2 (Mtv): On the DVR. Haven't watched it yet.
3. Tool Academy (Vh1): A lot like From G's to Gents only here the contestants are just pathetic as opposed to frightening and pathetic. Plus, the Tools participate in various challenges with the girlfriends who brought them on the show in the first place. Favorite part of the show: when a contestant is expelled from the Academy, the program's host says, "So-and-so, I'm sorry, but you're just a tool." Classy.

4. Spouse Switch (TNT): Oh, man, have you been watching Spouse Switch this season? It has been one humdinger after another! For instance, last week a born again mother of seven swapped places with a high priestess in the Church of Satan. The Christian lady's husband, a former youth pastor and current assistant manager at Chick-fil-A, was kind of a dick, making the Satanist eat in the basement and sleep in a padlocked coffin, but the Satanist husband was kind of a cool guy. He actually hand made a sombrero for the visiting wife. People sure do learn a lot about themselves on this show. It's neat.

5. 17 Kids and Counting (TLC): Last night the Duggars flew to El Salvador and handed out Christmas presents. They also gave candy, punch, and cookies to starving orphans, mocked the Spanish language, and laid hands on a sick baby. Why bring a poor, dying baby medicine when you've got the power of prayer? The Duggars are all right!

6. Hell's Kitchen (FOX): On the DVR. Haven't watched it yet. I prefer Top Chef now anyway.

7. The Dog Kickerer (Anti-Animal Planet): Time Warner Cable recently gave us a bunch of new channels (Bravo, Out&Proud, The Parade Network) and with them came a buttload of new reality shows, like this one from Anti-Animal Planet, a channel I don't really care for and whose programming I've been unfortunate enough to accidentally see while mindlessly flipping channels I wish I could burn forever from my brain. The Dog Kickerer is what you'd expect from a show that bills itself as "The Dog Whisperer's Evil Twin." Got a dog that won't behave? Cesar Millan not answering his phone? Call the Dog Kickerer. He'll come over to your house and kick your dog repeatedly until it shapes up, cowers and pisses itself whenever you enter a room, or dies. And it doesn't have to be dogs. I saw an episode last week where the Dog Kickerer (a former member of the Hell's Angels named Bunky) kicked the mess out of a insubordinate parakeet. Someone get this station removed from my TWC package. Please!

8. Jon and Kate Plus 8 (TLC): Jon and Kate bought a bigger house in which to shelter their lively brood. The house sits on several acres of land that includes a vast forest for hiking and camping. Unfortuanely, Jon has learned that the sextuplets absolutely hate hiking, but adore squashed rats and dried cow shit. Oh, and tractor rides! Kate still yells a lot, mostly about coupons. 9. The Real Housewives of Orange County (Bravo): Thanks to Time Warner Cable's addition of Bravo to my cable package (see above), I've been able to watch Conan O' Brien on Inside the Actor's Studio, discover superior cooking competition show Top Chef, and marvel at the vast stupidity of the filthy rich on Real Housewives. My favorite housewife is Gretchen, pictured here getting stupid drunk. At this particular dinner party, the grown son of one of her fake friends' that make up the remainder of the program's cast attempts to lure Gretchen into bed for some hot, drunken, MILFy sexual intercourse. This program is horrifying. I love it.

10. Retarded for a Day (Style): I think the title sums this one up pretty well: able-bodied people of average intelligence discover what it's like to be mentally disabled for a day. Participants are strapped into helmets, squeezed into ill-fitting outfits, and forced to endure the endless pity and "thumbs ups" of society. Most of the people involved don't make it through a whole day; some see the inherent advantages of such an existence and look for ways to remain permanently disabled. Whoever created this show should be tied to four horses and torn asunder. Horrible! You don't even win money.

11. Bad Girls Club (Oxygen): I've seen no more than 30 seconds of this show, but they were the right 30 seconds. Topless girls in a bubble bath fondling their own breasts? Check. Wet, soapy, topless girls being dragged by other scantily clad girls across a linoleum floor? Check. Topless girls running around an inground pool? Check. 12. American Idol (FOX): I decided not to write a regular column devoted to American Idol this season for the simple fact that I had hoped to avoid watching American Idol at all costs. I'm sad to report that the cultural juggernaut has grabbed hold of me once again and doesn't seem to want to let go. Where does that leave us? Well, I will occasionally take to Giant Electric to discuss some aspect of AI that has either elevated my spirit or royally pissed me off, but for the most part it should appear to our readers that I've never even heard of such a program let alone watched it religiously like a lonely old shut-in.

This season's final 36 have been chosen and America is currently in the process of whittling this down to an easier to handle Top 12. For the next three weeks, 12 contestants will perform (poorly) Tuesday night and on Wednesday night only the very best (i.e. most loved by those television viewers who have nothing better to do than call an 866 number all night long, voting for someone who will most likely never be heard from again after this season of American Idol is over) will remain: one girl, one guy, and one hemaphrodite. If there is no man-lady, then the next highest vote getter will advance. Week Four will be a wild card show and then American Idol can begin. That's right, the show proper hasn't even fucking started yet. Why do I do this to myself?

Aside from Ryan Seacrest's ill-advised high five with a blind contestant (above), the dumbest thing to happen so far this year has been the repeated approval given to painfully unfunny contestant Nick Mitchell and his glittery-shirt wearing alter ego, Norman Gentle. Nick-Norman, as the judges call him, is interesting only for the fact that they've never allowed an obvious saboteur to get this far in the competition. From Norman's first appearance it was obvious that his schtick was some kind of morning radio comedy bit or amateur improv gone horribly wrong. I don't know. Maybe the judges are putting up with his shenangins so they can revel in his tears when he finally breaks down and admits that it has all been a joke and that he can't go any further with his ruse. America's got your number, Nick-Norman. Your days are numbered!

And that's The Reality Report.

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Wednesday Morning Music: Elliott Smith - "Thirteen"



Elliott Smith as an extremely earnest teenager who commandeers his small town church's music equipment and sings songs about the power of rock and roll, youthful innocence, and sexual intensity in the church's youth room/basement/bingo parlor.

At least that's how I like to read this Big Star cover. Maybe not better than the original, but very true to it, and pulling off the right kind of angst-filled innocence without seeming like an emo cliché or a twee drama nerd (or, worse, a pathetic old fogey), is a pretty neat trick IMHO. Read the rest of this article.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Ask a Pastor: Tattoos!

In an ongoing effort to be your source for spiritual guidance, religious insight, and good old Bible-based logical positivism (the Bible is THE synthesis of verifiable scientific fact and poetry, after all), we here at GEP introduce our new Ask a Pastor segment where we ask a world-class religious pastor your questions and let him give his answer though the magic of YouTube.

This week's question:

Dear Ask a Pastor Pastor:

With all the pain and suffering going on in the world, what do you think is the biggest threat to today's Christian family?

Thanks,

Definitely Interested Christian


And the response from our top-notch professional pastor:



Got a question? Post it in the comments, and we'll either consider it for a future installment of Ask a Pastor or judge you mercilessly, just as God so judged us. Read the rest of this article.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Morning Music: Girl Groups!

When I think of Sunday morning music, I think mainly of insane (in a good or bad way) religious music. But I also think back to those halcyon days of childhood when a Sunday morning wasn't a Sunday morning unless it was spent sitting in the back seat of a car on the way to church with butterflies in my stomach (I always--ALWAYS-- got nervous going to church)and the sweet sounds of the '60s on the car stereo.

Any discussion of '60s music, I think, has to start with the girl groups that started appearing in the late '50s--groups like The Shirelles, The Ronettes, The Dixie Cups, The Adorable Pumps, The Femmettes, the Chinets, and The Amazing Excitable Woman Band. Every other important type of top 40 music in the '60s grew out of or was a cousin to the girl group sound: Soul music (at the very least the girl groups helped legitimize other soulful sounds), the British invasion (the Beatles covered "Chains" and adopted the girl group dynamic--everyone else copied the Beatles), sunshine pop (inspired by the sonic experiments of Phil Spector as well as the naive, innocent charm of the girls themselves), even American psychedelia (just look at this clip of Vanilla Fudge covering "You Keep Me Hanging On"). But this isn't a discussion of '60s music. This is Sunday morning music, and all this is just an excuse to share with you three songs from modern musicians making music inspired by the girl group sound that are perfect for listening to on a Sunday morning. So here they are.

She and Him - "I Was Made for You"



Zoey Deschanel and M Ward's She and Him project throws back to a lot of wonderful things in several wonderful ways but I think the two lesser-known girl group inspired tracks are great fun all by themselves.

From the opening drums, to the piano flourishes, to the spot-fucking-on guitar tone and background vocals, this could have been produced by Phil Spector. Such slavish adherence to an earlier form usually turns me off, but this--this--it's just so damn adorable it makes me want to give a homeless man a kitten.

She and Him - "Sweet Darlin'"



Like "I Was Made for You," but like 5 years more mature with a more advanced echo chamber and a steel guitar. Ain't nothing wrong with that.


The Pipettes - "Pull Shapes"



The Pipettes are the closest thing we have to an actual honest-to-God '60s type girl group in 2009. "Pull Shapes" has more of a '70s flavor (it mentions disco), but it's still several miles of fun in one compact, adorable, 3-minute ditty. If you can imagine The Spice Girls populated with three Lily Allens singing music inspired by the Shirelles, then you have The Pipettes. Or you could watch the video. Hopefully you already have.



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Saturday, February 14, 2009

From the Editor's Desk: It's a Celebration, Bitches!

Sure, it's Valentines Day, but more importantly it's Giant Electric Penguin's 1st Birthday! That's right, one year ago today GEP posted its first blog entry (a hilarious review of the failed family film Mac and Me) and history was made. Since then we've kept America laughing with popular features like Stop Already, Sunday Morning Music, and What the WTF!?; provided valuable information to a culture hungry for knowledge with People's History of Rock and Movie Smackdown; and delighted the nation's youth with our heavy use of swears and snark. The internet has provided the world with a quick and easy way to shit all over popular culture, and we're so glad to be one of the many Web sites taking advantage of this great privilege. Of course, GEP would be nothing without the hard work of our various contributors who I will be thanking in no particular order right now:

Jonathan: GEP wouldn't be half as funny without you. Actually, it would be exactly half as funny and, at this point, that is completely unacceptable. You've elevated the whole enterprise since becoming the official co-head honcho of whatever this is, and I just want to thank you right here and now for all of your love and support. Now get back to writing, you lazy bastard!

List Lady AKA The Wife AKA Jen: GEP is a brighter place because of your hilarious lists and insulting comments about various America's Next Top Model contestants. Most of what you do is behind the scenes (she gives me the ideas for almost half of what I put up here--she created both the 25 Days of Horrible Holiday Decorations and the 14 Days of Love, for example), but your input and support is what keeps me motivated. Plus, you have sex with me on a regular basis. Thanks for that.

Any bands who responded to the My Favorite Movie questionnaire I sent out, various comment jockeys (but mostly Gabe, Nick, Jenny, and Jordan), readers who never comment, Slamball enthusiasts, David Archuleta (an early supporter), reality television: Thank you so much!

Person who anonymously commented on our Jon and Kate article last July: Kiss my ass. Seriously.
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14 Days of Love: Day 14

Type: true love

Example #1: Adam and Eve
Granted, they were the only two people around at the time.  And, yeah, I'm sure Adam was pretty pissed at his woman for that whole getting them kicked out of the Garden of Eden thing, but what else was he going to do?  Hit the local tavern and pick up some strange?  Impossible. There was no tavern (unless Adam built one with his own two hands, and I don't remember reading that in Genesis).  And if there had been a tavern, there wouldn't have been any other ladies in it because there was only the one lady and she happened to be the one that doomed the whole human race.  Also, what if the tavern had a gorilla bartender?   That would be sweet!

Example #2: Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet's short courtship ended in senseless tragedy, but their story is one that has resonated with young and old alike throughout the ages.  Their young, doomed love has been the inspiration for films (West Side Story; Romeo and Juliet: Sealed with a Kiss, which is literally about cartoon seals in love), songs (that stupid song by the The Reflections), and books (Romeo and Juliet: For Kids from the Shakespeare Can Be Fun series).  Has your love ever inspired anything?  Probably not.

Example #3: Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly
The Greatest Story Ever Told!  Some people use this hackneyed phrase to describe the birth of Jesus Christ.  To me, it describes the almost sickeningly adorable love story of fictional sweethearts Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly from the popular American version of The Office.  Each week their tale of true love and devotion grows sweeter and deeper and more hopelessly adorable.  In a perfect world actors John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer would be together in real-life, engaged to be married and working alongside one another at a paper company in Scranton, PA.  They're the fake couple every real couple should strive to emulate.  I just hope the whole thing doesn't end in suicide or banishment.


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Friday, February 13, 2009

Kittens: Inspired by Kittens

I give you the greatest YouTube clip of all time:
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14 Days of Love: Day 13

Type: bro love

Example: Seth and Evan

"But, GEP, you already talked about brotherly love! What gives?"

Not brotherly love, a-hole, bro love.

"Wait, but you already did the whole homosexual thing. I'm confused."

Of course you're confused, jerk-off. You're a crackhead.

All that aside, bro love doesn't necessarily have to be gay. The bond between bros can be stronger than that of actual brothers. It can span the years and the miles and never waver. It holds strong through the good times (marriages, the birth of a child) and bad (death of a pet, bro whacked in the balls by a television remote). Bros are what life is all about. Like the Good Book says, "Yea and it is so that bros must forever cometh before the hoes for it is written."

Two of my favorite bros are Seth and Evan from Superbad. Together they venture into the frightening world of wine, women, and song with the simple goal of getting laid. Do they succeed? Does it matter? In the end, all that matters is how much quality time you spent with your bro (or bros). Though, c'mon, if a smoking hot chick struts by asking for a piece, it's totally OK to put the bro shit on hiatus. Bros aren't idiots after all.

Other examples: Dwight Schrute and Michael Scott, Zack and Screech, me and Garbage Read the rest of this article.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

14 Days of Love: Day 11

Type: brotherly love

Example: Drake and Josh

I didn't have a brother growing up (thanks a lot, Mom and Dad!), but I imagine it's got to be pretty great. The shared bedroom, the bunk-beds, the wacky adventures, the budding rock-n-roll career. You miss out on so much when you're stuck with a crummy old little sister (no offense, Kristen).

I was fine sleepwalking through life without a brother to help me fix up my old dune buggy or assist me in creating a prize winning salsa recipe, until I saw the Nickelodeon program Drake and Josh, a sit-com for tweens about two step-brothers with divergent personalities who find common ground in their predilection for getting into humorous situations and their hatred for Drake's sister, Megan. Oh, the situations these two lovable goofballs would get into each week and sometimes four to five times an afternoon! Like, remember when they rescued that chimpanzee from a guy who ate chimpanzees? Man, that was wacky as shit!

Other examples: Zack and Cody, Cain and Abel, The Kray Twins

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Wensday Morning Music - The Lonely Island - "Boombox {Feat. Julian Casablancas}"



Remember when LSD could broaden your mind, roving gangs of skateboarders would cruise around town looking for old ladies to help across the street and rats to cook and feed to homeless men and women, and boomboxes could bring about world peace? Well, in this post AID/9-11/Gay Clay Aiken environment, nothing is ever quite what it seems: LSD can help you loose your ego, but you just might loose your mind too; skateboarders can be helpful, but they also write rude grafitis on walls; boomboxes can save the world or destroy it.

Lonely Island and Julian Casablancas bring us this paean to the boombox (in the glorous tradition of simmilar pop-culture-phenomenon-as-a-means-to-change-the-world songs such as "Convoy," "Skateboards Across America," and "Yo, Slap Bracelets Cure AIDS") that turns into a timely cautionary tale about the dangers of having too much of a good thing. Watch that turbo bass button, folks. Read the rest of this article.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Special Valentine's Special: Ask the Love Proctologist


Recently GEP founding editor and one of the top guys here Matt called a meeting of GEP editors and staff members to determine the future of the site. Matt had some interesting suggestion (talk about porn more, watch more porn so we can talk about it on the site, pledge money to starving AIDS patients, eat some more pizza, interview some porn stars), but I had some good ones too. One of my ideas was to find a cardiologist to answer some questions about love and relationships from our readers, and we'd call it "Cardiologist of Love," and we'd post it as a Valentine's special report or something. Matt said, "that's only mostly stupid," so I took that as a go and ran with it. Since I don't know any cardiologists at all, I just asked my proctologist, Dr. Suna Elohssa, and he, thankfully, agreed. So here, without furthur ado, is the most excellent love advice of esteemed proctologist and in-network physician Dr. Suna Elohssa.


Dear Love Proctologist,

I want to do something special for my wife on Valentine's day, but I can't think of anything. Any ideas?

Very Anxious Guy

Well, VAG, yours is the perennial Valentine's day problem. You can always get her flowers, chocolates, jewelries, or take her out to dinner, but who hasn't done those things? It's not special when everybody does it, right? I've got a solution I'll bet you've never even thought of that's guaranteed to have your woman squealing with delight, just like in commercials and in situation comedies. Instead of spending the night in a crowded restaurant, how about taking your woman to the proctologist for an anal cancer screening? It shows you care about her health, she can have drugs if she complains about the pain, and afterward she'll be clean and tidy for when you penetrate her anus with your penis.


Dear Love Proctologist,

I can't seem to find a lover no matter how hard I try. I do everything I've read about on TV, including looking directly into her eyes, feeding her all natural foods, and shouting "no!" when she bites someone, all to no avail. What am I doing wrong?!?

Craving Anal Nookie In Near East

Are you looking for an human woman or an animal woman, CANINE, because it's not at all clear from your letter. If you want an human woman, you really need to stop looking directly into her eyes. Women interpret prolonged eye contact as an hostile act, so avoid it at all costs. Often women wear necklaces with charms that dangle down to their chest or purposefully display the folds between their mammary glands; these are perfect points of focus to help you avoid angering your female human before you can mate with her. Otherwise, it sounds like you're doing fine.



Women often wear charms you can look at to avoid angering them.

Dear Love Proctologist,

I just can't stop thinking about my high school sweetheart. We're both married now with kids, but we recently reconnected at our high school reunion and there were definitely sparks. To make matters worse, I still love my wife, but she's frigid and also won't have sex with me. Should I try to keep in contact with my high school sweetheart in hopes of starting a relationship, or should I just leave well enough alone and stay home with my current wife and quietly touch myself to college football cheerleaders?

In Christ's Eternal Service

That's quite a problem, ICES, and I'm not sure I can answer it, but I'd start the decision-making process by setting both women up with a proctologist, preferably one that's board certified, and making sure each woman's anus, colon, and rectum are in good working order. Try to be present for the digital examination so the proctologist can show you how all the parts work (if you're lucky he might even let you put on some gloves and dive right in). It's fascinating stuff, and if you feel a polyp or other imperfection, it might make your decision a little bit easier.



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Stop Already: Watchmen Soundtrack Album


Just shoot me.

Just like anyone else who's ever read a comic book, I'm looking forward to the Watchmen movie, but I have some reservations. Those reservations have a name. It's Zach Snyder. I liked Snyder's take on Dawn of the Dead. It was blood-soaked and sadistic and an all-around good time, but it wasn't exactly inspired, and it has nothing on the original. 300 is entertaining, but it's also bloated, melodramatic, completely devoid of humor, and it spawned thousands of shitty parodies that you can't just dismiss as shitty because they're absolutely spot on true and make you laugh in spite of yourself. For that, I will never forgive 300.

Adding to my unease is the Watchmen soundtrack album I stumbled across last night on iTunes. You can see the track list for yourself or you can just trust me that there's a bunch of period stuff and mood music on it that's non-offensive, predictable, and boring. You got your "Sound of Silence," "I'm Your Boogie Man," and "The Times They Are A-Changing," all by the original artists! And that's fine, but this is Watchmen, a thoroughly engrossing, thrilling story that's filled with fine details and surprises. It practically dares you to come to it with preconceptions or expectations just so it can shoot them down, spit in your face, and laugh at you when you thank it for it's trouble. And Zach Snyder is sitting there thinking about what songs to put on this thing and he says, "this movie's about unrest in the '60s and '70s. We'll need Dylan, Simon and Garfunkle--oh, and we'll totally need some KC and the Sunshine Band!"


KC and the Sunshine Band? You can't be serious.

But out of a sea of predictability, two tracks stick out like oil platforms in the Florida Keys (I hate myself). The first is My Chemical Romance's version of "Desolation Row." I actually hate their version--they give it an almost halfway authentic sounding early punk vibe--but it has no reason to exist except to add a bit of crossover appeal to the soundtrack and the film. A bunch of movies do this, sure, and I know I'm being a dick on par with Mr. Moore himself (and he can be a dick all he wants as far as I'm concerned) when I say this, but I just don't want to see this kind of shit in Watchmen. Please use this song in an interesting, innovative way and prove me wrong, Mr. Snyder.


My Chemical Bromance...with Zach Snyder -or- Desolation Hoe

The second song I want to complain about here is Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." Please don't get me wrong. I love Cohen's "Hallelujah." It's one of the greatest songs ever written, but it seems like it's been co-opted by lazy directors (or whoever happens to be in charge) as a cheap way to add some cheap gravity to a cheap scene. I admit to being moved a bit by its use in Shrek, but I credit that more to the song than the movie, and it's since been used ad nauseum in television dramas, including House, The West Wing, Third Watch, The O.C., and even fucking Scrubs. According to LadyBears in this DisBoards thread it was even used at the end of an episode of Dateline to commemorate the Virginia Tech Massacre. Fuck me.

You know what? Stop it. Stop remaking perfectly good songs as pop punk songs for no good reason (even if they aren't completely terrible). Stop ruining irrefutable classics of western music by shoving them down our throats every time we're supposed to feel sad, or excited (in the case of "Ride of the Valkyries," also include in the Watchmen soundtrack), and while you're at it, quit using KC & The Sunshine Band period. Read the rest of this article.