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Saturday, October 31, 2009

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Monday, October 26, 2009

5 Days 'Til Halloween/5 Movies To Set the Mood

In just five days, children all over the country will don homemade costumes and prowl suburban America's well-lit neighborhoods begging for candy and go to bed with severe stomachaches; college girls will put on the least amount of clothes legally allowed and roam the streets of Chapel Hill drunk and wobbly; and nerds with no other options will nuke some microwave popcorn and sit down to a horror movie marathon with their closest feline companion.

Yes, it's Halloween time and what better way to celebrate Satan's birthday then with a week of horror movies approved and recommended by your friends at Giant Electric Penguin. The five movies on our list are guaranteed to put your jaded ass in the holiday spirit. So, clear your Netflix queues or head on down to the closest Blockbuster Video without boarded up windows, because it's time for some horror!

Monday, October 26: Evil Dead 2
It's always good to start with a classic. Sam Raimi may be best known to this generation as "that dude who makes Spider-man movies," but every discerning high school loner knows that Raimi started out in the spooky business of horror films before he ever got involved with ol' web-head. Evil Dead 2 is a fast-paced amusement park ride of blood, guts, and hilarity that must be experienced to be believed. I was profoundly changed by my first viewing, much in the same way that I assume church folk are the first time they give their lives to Jesus. Hey, we each seek enlightenment in our own way. So sue me if mine includes demon possession and blood-soaked slapstick.

Tuesday, October 27: Zombieland
Nobody said you had to stay in all week, numbnuts. Your mom is always telling you to go out and get some fresh air, so why not take her suggestion to heart and head over to your local multiplex for a showing of Zombieland? Sure, your trading your dark bedroom for a dark movie theater, but last time I looked out my window, we don't live in underground bunkers. You're bound to get a face-load of sunshine and some of that fresh air your mom keeps rabbiting on about during your walk from the car to the theater. Then you'll get to see one of the best zombie flicks of all time. Zombieland is essentially the zombie movie I've dreamed about seeing since my first viewing of Night of the Living Dead in high school. Zombie abuse has never been so fun! And Bill Murray!!!

Wednesday, October 28: Tourist Trap
Tourist Trap is one of the creepiest movies I've ever seen (in fact, I believe I said something to that effect in a Movie Penguin review back in April). It is essentially a mash-up of Texas Chainsaw Massacre (a movie that I am not fond of) and 2005's House of Wax (a movie that I'm more fond of then I should be). Not gory, but emotionally disturbing. Tourist Trap forced me to take a serious look at my policy on out of town trips with friends. This one will have you sleeping with the lights on and I know because...IT HAPPENED TO ME! I'm so ashamed...sob sob cry...

Thursday, October 29: The Strangers
Of course, you don't have to leave your home to get viciously attacked by psychotic bullies. The Strangers proves that just fine. One of the most unsettling movies I've seen in years, if only for the fact that the terror doesn't stop once the sun comes up...it just get worse and worse and worse.

Friday, October 30: Drag Me To Hell
Sam Raimi strikes again! Drag Me To Hell is destined to become a horror classic. This film provided me one of the most satisfying movie experiences I've had in a long time and at least some of the credit has to go to that demon possessed goat. Raimi is the master of giving audiences something totally horrifying and supremely cheesy at the same time, and that goat is the epitome of all things goofy and horrific. All goats aside, Drag Me To Hell is fun, scary, and a more than worthy film for your Halloween Eve festivities.

Check out Movie Penguin on Wednesday, October 28 for GEP's official recommendation for what to watch this Halloween.

AND...on Saturday, October 31...Halloween...join me at Giant Electric Penguin for the first ever 24 HOURS OF HORROR, a live-blogging experience you'll never forget and I'll never want to repeat...


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Thursday, October 22, 2009

5 Lamest Hoaxes of All Time

It's official: the Balloon Boy Affair was a hoax. Yes, earlier this week Larimer County sheriff Jim Alderden exposed the Heene family as the pack of weirdo hucksters that those who saw the episode of Wife Swap they appeared on already knew they were. I guess it's hard to keep the story straight when one of your co-conspirators is a toddler named Falcon. Of course, being named Falcon is the least of this kid's worries. Apparently, Heene family patriarch, Richard, believes mankind descended from extraterrestrials. That probably makes for a comfortable parent-teacher conference. Plus, he has a lot to say about Britney Spears tits for some reason. Oh, yeah, and the Heenes are possibly homeless.

In honor of this new super lame hoax, Giant Electric Penguin is taking a look at 5 other hoaxes too stupid to believe.
1. STEVE BRODIE: CHAMPION BRIDGE JUMPER...OR NOT
Apparently, the late 1800's were so boring that simply suggesting you'd jumped off of a bridge was enough to make you an instant celebrity. Take Steve Brodie. In 1886, he started telling people that he had jumped off of the Brooklyn Bridge and a star was born. Brodie opened a successful saloon and had his name entered into the cultural lexicon with the birth of the phrase "pull a Brodie," which was used to describe a situation in which an individual would participate in some kind of dangerous activity and survive.
I guess he also had the above poster made. The balls on that guy.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS IN BRODIE PULLING:
-Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli jumps over a deadly shark while water skiing.
- Frodo takes the One Ring to Mount Doom.
- Carrie Prejean denies gays the right to marry at the 2009 Miss USA pageant.
- Columbus faces his fear and clubs a clown zombie to death.
-Britney Spears' performance of "Gimme More" at the 2007 VMAs.
2. Binjamin Wilkomirski: Holocaust Opportunist
In 1996, the English translation of Binjamin Wilkomirski's Fragments: Memories of a Wartime Childhood reached American shores and became an instant hit, even winning the National Jewish Book Award. Fragments told the harrowing tale of Wilkomirski's time spent in Nazi concentration camps as a young child. His story of survival struck a chord in the hearts and minds of people everywhere and his book was compared favorably with those of Elie Wiesel and Anne Frank.
There was just one problem: Wilkomirski had never been in a Nazi concentration camp, not as a child anyway. Daniel Ganzfried, the Swiss journalist who exposed Wilkomirski, suggested the author may have visited the camps as a tourist, but much of his story was not backed up by those pesky historical records. Many critics who had initially praised Fragments turned against it, while others argued that it still worked as a pseudomemoir. Whatever side of the issue you fall on, there's no escaping the fact that Wilkomirski tried passing off the story as his own and there's something a little icky about that.
3. Jackalopes: The Other, Other, Other White Meat
Jackalopes are not intrinsically lame, in fact, the idea of bunny rabbit with antlers is pretty sweet. What's lame is the virus that started the whole jackalope rumor in the first place. The Shope papiloma virus causes cancerous
tumors to grow on and around a rabbit's head, often making it difficult for the creature to eat, resulting in a slow death by starvation. That's terrible, sad, and lame! What colors are still available? I want to make some ribbons.
Another lame thing to come out of the whole jackalope thing: Dave Coulier's stupid-ass jackalope videos:

Fun Fact: America's Funniest People sponsored a "Name the Jackelope" contest and the winning name was "Jack Ching Bada-Bing." For real.
4. Darwin's Death Bed Conversion
Charles Darwin! Scourge of the Religious Right! Champion of Evolution! Beard enthusiast! Some people have got a real problem with Mr. Darwin, mostly because they believe this theory of evolution to be anti-God and, therefore, pro-Satan and all his demonic minions. Some individuals were so afraid that Darwin and his evolution nonesense would be the downfall of Christian society, that on August 15, 1915, the Watchman Examiner, a Baptist newspaper, reported that on his death bed, the English naturalist had turned his back on his heathen past and given his life to Christ. He apparently made this startling about face in the company of a mysterious woman named "Lady Hope," who may or may not have been Elizabeth Hope the popular British evengelist.
Upon it's publication, Darwin's children refuted the article's claims and historians have taken their side. Sorry, Baptists, but evolution lives on. Epic fail.
5. Psychic Surgery: Lame
One of my favorite scenes in 1999's Man on the Moon, shows Andy Kaufman visiting a psychic surgeon in the Phillipines in a last ditch effort to rid himself of cancer. He watches as the scam artist removes a concealed chicken liver from his fist and begins chuckling to himself. This powerful shot fades into my least favorite shot: a bald, dead Andy in his coffin. Ick.
Pyschic surgery is the Andy Kaufman of medical procedures when you think about it. It's silly, strange, and speaks with a foreign accent sometimes. It's a ruse and the joke, unfortunately, is on the poor, dying bastard who has put his hope in the hands of a flim flam man. Remember this the next time you're considering involving anything psychic in the maintaining of your health: if the word "psychic" appears before something (surgery, healing, reading, etc.), it's total bullshit.
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stop Already: Atheists Gettin' Their Christian On!

I'd like to say right here at the top of things that I personally have no use for religion and if asked to complete the American Religious Identification Survey, I would check "other/none" under the heading "What Is Your Religious Proclivity?" This does not however mean that I am in any way an atheist and, quite frankly, I'm getting pretty sick and tired of atheism activists trying to claim me as one of their own. I may disagree with a lot of what the modern Christian church has to say, but that doesn't mean I've rejected the concept of an all-knowing, all-powerful god. And, while I'm at it, let me blow your mind a little more, Mr. Atheist: I'm not an agnostic either. Nope. I totes believe in God! OMG, right?

Of course, I should follow the above statement with a second statement meant to clarify any misconceptions drawn from the aforementioned first statement: I have no beef with atheists, in fact, I respect them just as much I respect followers of any religion, provided it isn't a religion based on a self-help book penned by a drug addicted science fiction author. Listen, no one has all of the answers (sorry, every Christian I've ever known, but you don't), but I think it's neat that we live in a country where differing philosphies can be discussed publically in a civil, unannoying way.

Oh, wait. That's not true.
It used to be you left the office to buy a box or three of Chewy Lemon Head & Friends candy at the corner store and were accosted by the street preacher guy, the elderly tract hander-outer, the dude with the Pro-Life sign taped to his backpack, and the hymn-singin' black gentleman. Now atheists want to join the throng of obnoxious Jesus-freaks peddling their wares on the streets of America. Well, they haven't taken it quite as far as the men I've just described who regularly reside on the steps of the Wake County courthouse next door to where I work, but they're laying the groundwork in New York City:

Some New Yorkers may want to reconsider exclaiming "Thank God" when arriving at their destination subway station beginning next Monday.

Or at least that's what a coalition of eight atheist organizations are hoping, having purchased a month-long campaign that will place their posters in a dozen busy subway stations throughout Manhattan.

The advertisements ask the question, written simply over an image of a blue sky with wispy white clouds: "A million New Yorkers are good without God. Are you?"

On October 26, a dozen bustling New York City subway stations will be adorned with the ads as "part of a coordinated multi-organizational advertising campaign designed to raise awareness about people who don't believe in a god", according to a statement from the group, the Big Apple Coalition of Reason.

You know those annoying God quotes billboards you see all over the place? The ones that are black and white and say crap like, "Let's meet at my house Sunday before the game" or "Keep using my name in vain and I'll make rush hour longer" or my personal favorite, "Big Bang Theory? You've got to be kidding me." Well, atheists, you've taken the first step in becoming a road trip joke!
And can we talk about those billboards for just a second? One of the things I hate about organized religion, specifically the various strands of Christianity, is the way people inject "God" with their own personal thoughts and beliefs. That Big Bang Theory one is a great example. Do you think God gives two baby craps about whether or not the Bing Bang is a valid explanation for the creation of the universe? Of course not, but weirdo religious kooks do. Disproving the Big Bang shouldn't even be on the Christian church's To Do list. In the grand scheme of saving souls and selling timeshares in Heaven, how important is it to prove scientific theories wrong?

Harmless billboards lead to street preaching which leads to anti-gay marriage demonstrations which leads to something akin to the Crusades. It's a dangerous progression, but more imporantly, it's super lame and annoying. Having an elderly couple witness to you while you try to pump gas or an overly enthusiastic college student share his tragically close-minded views on life with you on a street corner while you're trying to negotiate a fair price for a blow job with a street whore is obnoxious. This is America and in America we don't invade each other's personal space and we don't tell each other what to do. Atheists, your subway campaign might be relatively harmless, but how long until an innocuous message about it being OK to be godless becomes this:
I mean, that guy's being an asshole. I've heard enough atheist rhetoric to know that you guys believe you are totally above it all, but look at this douche? Prayer is Talking to Yourself? Maybe, but why does this guy got to wave a sign around about it? I expect this sort of thing from the Christians, but I thought you were better than that, atheists. Isn't that what you are always drilling into my brain? And what is that, an old-timey aviator helmet? And what kind of event is this guy at? An anti-prayer rally? That seems like a colossal waste of time. Get your priorities straight, atheists!

Everybody's annoying, but what can you do? I guess you can pick a side, make a sign, parade around the quad, and hurl insults or you could do what atheists have been doing for years: shutting up and staying out of it. We all know that the bulk of outspoken Christian activists are as dumb as a bag of retarded rocks, so why not let them self-destruct? Why join the fray? I'm not one of you, but both sides want to lump us together for reasons I'll never understand, so I'm going to look out for your best interests. I know Team Unaffliated is growing larger by the hour, but that's because people are sick of the bullshit that comes with aligning themselves with one particular mindset--bullshit like abortion walks and book burnings. In the good old days it was about painting an elderly neighbors fence or dressing up like a clown and entertaining burn victims at the hospital. Now it's shouting about the Second Coming on the courthouse steps or forcing people to look at graphic abortion porn. Becoming more like the "enemy" is not the way to assert dominance. My suggestion to you, atheists: sit back and enjoy yourself. We'll find out who was right in the end. For now, pour yourself a glass of wine, load up the Simon and Garfunkel: Old Friends box set on your iTunes, close your eyes, and

STOP ALREADY!

For a as-far-as-I-can-tell complete list of Billboard Messages from God, click here now.
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Wednesday Morning Music: Doves - "Kingdom of Rust"


Heard this song for the first time in Zombieland and fell in love with it. Now maybe you will fall in love with it too. Then we can have a threesome or something.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

BIG NEWS!!!

The hiatus is over! Movie Penguin is back! Enjoy our review of Brothers, a depressing little film about a Danish soldier's difficulty adjusting to life after being a POW in Afghanistan. Good times!

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Halloween: Making Unsexy Things Sexy Since 1840 (Part 1)

Halloween is a time for children to dress up like their favorite Power Rangers, roam the neighborhood begging for candy, and participate in blood-soaked rituals meant to rouse the Devil from his kingdom in Hell and command him to feast on the souls of the righteous. And sometimes there's bobbing for apples. But that's it!

Unfortunately (or fortunately, as far as I'm concerned), when one reaches a certain age, the costumes are put away and the candy is purchased from a vending machine at the office you trudge to every morning to suffer through another depressing day of endless tedium. Sure, a little piece of your soul shrivels and dies with each paper you push, but at least you've got Snickers. It's time to grow up and let the kids have Halloween. Adults run everything else anyway, so it's the least we can do.

But, no, that would make life infinitely less annoying and we can't have that. How many Halloween parties have you been invited to and told, "You gotta wear a costume!" in some sing-songy voice that makes you want to throttle the inviter with a series of Spinning Bird Kicks? I don't want to wear a costume! I want to drink wine coolers and shoot the shit with my friends--maybe watch a horror movie or three. I'm thirty years old! What the hell do I want to dress up for?

The only positive thing I can say about adult costumes, particularly the lady ones, is that they are usually, for lack of a better term, sluttier than hell. More often than not, a slutty (see also "scanty," "whorish," or "porny") costume forces me to seriously reconsider my position on adults who celebrate Halloween. Then there are costumes, like those in tonight's feature, that are so brain-meltingly stupid, I can't help but believe that I am right and everyone else on the planet is a blithering idiot.

1. The Queen of Hearts/The Sexy Queen of Hearts
The Queen of Hearts is arguably the ugliest evil-queen-who-does-not-possess-the-ability-to-transform-into-a-fire-breathing-dragon in the Disney oeuvre. She is loony, loudmouthed, and porcine. If I were to ask a young lady what she was planning on dressing up as for Halloween for some reason and she chose to answer my inquiry rather than slap me across the face whilst screaming "I don't know you, pervert!" with, "The Queen of Hearts of course," I would respond, "Oh, but you are moderately attractive and the Queen of Hearts I'm currently thinking of looks more than a little like Rosie O'Donnell." If she then quipped, "You don't understand, strange man I do not know. I'm dressing up as the Sexy Queen of Hearts," my head would implode and the girl would find herself too traumatized to speak ever again. A Sexy Queen of Hearts?! Impossible, I say!
Well, I'll be damned. This is the Sexy Queen of Hearts apparently. Hmmmmm. It certainly is sexy, that is, if you consider "slutty" synonymous with "sexy," which I do. This costumes says Street Walking Whore Stripper to me though, but I'm comfortable with that. Let's move on.

2. The Mad Hatter/Sexy Mad Hatter
Legions of Johnny Depp fans might disagree with me, but I've never even considered the Mad Hatter attractive, let alone sexy. He's always presented as a diminutive crazy person with a beak-like nose and a dangerous fetish for tea. There's certainly nothing sexually appealing about any of that, is there?
This sexy version of the Mad Hatter makes me very uncomfortable. If I start popping a boner every time I hear the Un-birthday Song from now on, I'm going to be very sore with you, sexy Mad Hatter lady.

3. The Cheshire Cat/The Sexy Cheshire Cat
Rounding out our Alice in Wonderland trio is fan favorite, the Cheshire Cat. There is no way someone could turn this roly-poly furbag into a big-titted hottie I'd want to bang repeatedly in a public restroom stall for a nominal fee. No way!
OK. So, you learned me. But, c'mon! Really? This isn't a Cheshire Cat costume. It's a hooker dress with a tail sewn to the ass. That's all. No one sees this and goes, "Cheshire Cat, right?" No, they say, "Oops, I dropped my car keys. Could you bend over and retrieve them for me."

As dumb as this costume is, I will admit that it is way better than the male version:
4. Spongebob Squarepants/Sexy Spongebob Squarepants
Did you make it this far or did your brain explode? It's true, they've somehow taken the least sexual character in pop culture history after Michael Jackson and turned it into a "sexy" costume. I give you, Sexy Spongebob Squarepants:
Honestly, if Spongebob looked like this, I might give his TV show a chance and stop badmouthing it sight unseen. All that aside, this costume is kind of inappropriate, isn't it? Not in a dominatrix nun way or a giant penis way or even in a baby Hitler way, but still inappropriate.

Next time: Sexy Ghostbusters, Sexy Sidekicks, and Sexy Clowns!


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Sunday Morning Music: Muse -"Uprising"


Don't hold the fact that Muse's music inspired Stephanie Meyer's Mormon vampire series Twilight against them--this song is sweet. Triumphant, over-the-top, and a video featuring giant, killer teddy bears? Sign me up!


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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday Morning News Bits: Updates from the Front Line

On October 8th, I published an essay encouraging the animal kingdom to rise up and provide humankind with the karmic smackdown we so richly deserve. Either it was already in the air and I just caught a whiff or the animals have learned to use the internet and happened upon our site by accident, because the War on Humans has officially begun.
1. CHIMP SLAPPED!
Monkeys--the rageaholics of the animal world--are always good for a maulin' or two. Our first story comes to us from China, a land where horny macaques and diabetic women don't mix:

A woman had to have her left arm amputated after her husband's pet wild macaque, which was on heat, scratched her last Thursday.

Doctors in Shenyang, Liaoning province, said the diabetic woman would have died if they hadn't cut off her arm.

The woman had advised her husband against keeping the wild monkey at their house a few months ago.

"I wish I had taken her advice then," said her husband, who packed off the monkey to a local zoo after the attack.

I didn't know much about macaques when I found this article, so I decide to do a little research. And I do mean "little." I basically skimmed the Wikipedia entry. Apparently, macaques are the favorite torture subjects of laboratories all over this great land. No wonder they're pissed off.

Not only that, but macaques carry viruses that while not harmful to themselves can be fatal when transferred to a human being. So, obviously, they make for a great pet. Stupid Chinese dude!

I'll let you make your own hacky "Chinese husbands are just like American husbands" jokes.
2. DID YOU THINK THIS DUCK'S GOOSE WAS COOKED? WHAT'S THE MALLARD WITH YOU?!?
Remember that scene in Conan the Barbarian where Thulsa Doom sentences Conan to crucifixion on the Tree of Woe and he dies or whatever and his friends bring him back to life by painting symbols on his muscles and fighting with those weird-ghost things that are trying to drag him to the afterlife? Well, this story is exactly like that only it involves a duck!

A Muscovy duck found yesterday at Chollas Lake in Oak Park had been shot five times with a crossbow, including once through its head, authorities said.

Parts of five metal bolts were embedded in the bird when city maintenance workers found it about 9 a.m.

“I'm amazed that the bird is still alive. Somebody used this thing for target practice,” said Lt. Dan DeSousa of the county's Department of Animal Services. “They shot it through the top of the head; they thought they'd finish the bird off.”

What kind of lowlife ass-clown plays Saint Sebastian with a poor, defenseless duck? Seriously, what has a duck ever done to anyone? Sure, they cover our lush park lands with globs of white shit, but birds defecate, man. The sooner you come to terms with that, the sooner you can get back to your Ultimate Frisbee game.

This duck is obviously hardcore. I'm all for the cops slipping it an unregistered firearm before releasing it back into the wild. "You come across the goons what done this to ya, you take 'em down, all right? No questions asked." Wouldn't that be awesome? Until a duck can be trained to fire a Glock 29 however, the best bet for bringing the waste of flesh responsible for this crime to justice is to contact the San Diego Department of Animal Services at (619) 767-2624 if you have any information.
3. BAMBI: FIRST BLOOD PART TWO
Deer! For most they are a furry forest friend, gentle and elegant, kind and peaceful. There are always exceptions to the norm though, and Joan Nutt of Florissant, Colorado learned this the hard way:

A woman called a deer and tried to pet it, but the deer lowered its head and charged her instead, according to the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

The 63-year-old woman was at her sister's house Monday evening when the attack happened. The sister's family had seen the deer at their home several times.

The Teller County Sheriff's Office responded and while medical workers were helping the woman the animal kept coming back to the area.

One of them said, "We had to constantly harass it away from us."

You know when the War on Humankind is officially on? When fucking deer start goring 63-year-old ladies!

Listen, hunters, I know you likes your venison and your tree stands and your bright orange camouflage, but the deer aren't going to sit back and take it anymore. They've heard about the snuff films you broadcast on ESPN 2. They're hip to the whole "covering yourself in deer urine" thing (and, frankly, it kind of makes them gag a little). There are a lot of deer out there and they are ready to do some damage. First the elderly, then...your children?
4. DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK--WE'VE BEEN HERE FOR YEARS
This story out of Lakeland, Florida is kind of old, in fact, I think it predates my call to arms by a couple of weeks, but it clearly demonstrates my assertion that the animal kingdom is sick of our bullshit:

Sheriff's investigators in Florida are on the lookout for five raccoons who "gang attacked" an elderly woman this weekend and left her with serious injuries from bites all over her body, WTSP-TV reports.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said the 74-year-old woman in Lakeland, Fla., was suddenly attacked when she tried to shoo the animals away from her front door.

"When she fell down, they enveloped her," said Judd, who warned the public to be alert to the aggressive raccoons. "She's literally bitten and scratched from face and the chest all the way down through the legs."

Roving gangs of disgruntled raccoons? This is guerilla warfare, people!

Again, I derive no pleasure from stories about elderly women being gored, mauled, and gang-raped by animals. I do, however, think that the animals of this planet are sending us a clear message: stop fucking with us. We really should listen, I mean, there is enough room for everyone. Until we realize that every living creature on Earth deserves respect, the war will most likely continue.

Stay tuned to Giant Electric Penguin for more updates from the front. Viva la Animal!

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Catching Up With TV: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Watching awful people do terrible things to complete strangers is mean and unfunny. Watching awful people do terrible things to their closest friends, who are equally awful and prone to doing terrible things, as well as strangers is comedy gold. Make the awful people in question lazy, manipulative, stupid, and forever destined to fail miserably and you've got must see television.

I was late showing up to the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia party. I'd like to believe I was fashionably late, but in all honesty I just don't know the channel number for FX. It'd probably be pretty simple to find out, but like The Gang, I'm not fond of doing work or figuring out stuff. More often than not, when I sit down to watch TV, I leave it on whatever channel I was watching last and slowly fall asleep in front of people cooking or bad stand-up comedy, complaining to my cat that there is never anything good on. Now that's lazy.
As with my last entry in the Catching Up With TV saga, Damages, I ordered up the first and second seasons of Sunny via Netflix and consumed them in one fell swoop. I didn't know what to expect going into that first episode. Until then, I had only heard one clip of the show on a podcast I listen to regularly. The clip involved two people purchasing a piece of fruit and attempting to return it after it had already been eaten. I laughed, looked at myself in my rearview mirror (I was in the car, did I mention that? Doesn't matter...), and asked my reflection, "Why don't you get a haircut?" Then I said, "If you sit down and watch It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, you can laugh like this on a regular basis." I decided then and there to take the plunge. I was then pulled over for running a red light and causing a fiery auto accident. I should really pay more attention when I'm driving my son to daycare.

One critic, one time called Sunny "Seinfeld on crack." I agree with the Seinfeld comparison, but crack? Really, guy? Granted, two of the characters do get addicted to crack in order to collect welfare ("Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare"), but I'd be more comfortable calling Sunny "Seinfeld on huffed silver spray paint" or "akin to Seinfeld inasmuch as it is a show about 'nothing' (whatever that means), but also not like Seinfeld at all, though Seinfeld is an appropriate jumping off point when selling the show to friends and family members." The latter description might be a bit too wordy, but you get the general idea.

Fuck it. Just call it "Seinfeld on crack." It works well enough. Whatevs.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is the story of four best friends who own a dive bar in South Philadelphia. These friends are:

Mac: quite possibly the most compassionate of the group (but not really); has a dad in prison for dealing meth; always greets groups of people with some version of the phrase "what up, bitches?"; fancies himself tough, but is in reality a giant pussy; dates a tranny on and off; banged Dennis and Dee's mom once; is granted the nickname "Pussy Hands" by the Mafia.

Charlie: dyslexic; illiterate (confusedly believes a room marked PRIVATE contains a pirate of some kind); completely obsessed with the waitress at his favorite coffee shop--she hates him with a fiery passion; an abortion survivor; lives in complete squalor; loves wearing costumes; plagued by the incestuous, bathrobe-clad McPoyle Brothers.

Dennis: vain; self-centered; always ready to pop his shirt off; was once confused for a child molester; rude; manipulative; sleeps with Charlie's coffee shop crush whenever it suits him; with Charlie writes the unforgettable "Day Man" song; my personal choice as most evil member of The Gang.

Deandra ('Sweet Dee'): works as a bartender at Paddy's; Dennis' twin sister; wore a hideous back brace in high school, earning herself the nickname 'The Aluminum Monster'; can easily manipulate Charlie, Mac, and Dennis; brutally sarcastic; uses insecure men to get what she wants; dated a retarded guy who ended up not being retarded; once kicked a masturbating homeless man's ass.

I'd be remiss if I failed to mention the addition of Danny DeVito, as Frank Reynolds, the father of Dennis, Dee, and Charlie, in Sunny's second season. Frank is a scheming, manipulative bastard who is never without his gun. He is, in short (no pun intended), a delightful addition to this supremely fucked up group of sociopaths.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is the funniest thing I've seen in years. As I wrote earlier, watching mean, stupid people treat other people like shit is almost always unfunny. What makes Sunny so perfect, is that The Gang, as evil, self-centered, and hateful as they can be, always end up screwing themselves in the end. Plus, even hateful jerks can be endearing sometimes. Right?

I think you can watch some episodes of Sunny at Hulu.com. You could also rent it from Netflix or your favorite neighborhood DVD dispensary. Or you could just come over to my house and watch Season 3 with me since I went out and bought it the day after I finished watching Seasons 1 & 2.

I've only watched the first 3 Seasons, but here are some episodes that I recommend: "Charlie Wants An Abortion"; "Underage Drinking: A National Concern"; "Charlie Gets Crippled"; "Dennis and Dee Go On Welfare"; "Mac Bangs Dennis' Mom"; "The Gang Finds a Dumpster Baby"; "The Gang Gets Invincible"; "The Gang Solves the North Korea Situation"; "Sweet Dee's Dating a Retarded Person"; "Mac is a Serial Killer." But, honestly, you can't go wrong with any episode.

Next time: Supernatural: Season 1 or something else.

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The Coolest Thing I've Seen All Week

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In Memoriam


CAPTAIN LOU ALBANO (1933-2009)

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

Heavens to Betsy: Baggy Pants Distress Community “Already in Bad Flux”


Golly whiz to these hipster in their baggy sag pant clothes. Don't they know know there's a bad flux goin' down in our community? Apparently not, or they'd adorn them self to higher admonishments, would they not? Next thing you know, they'll be riding astride city monuments in string bikinis and blooming underwears. The shame. Such unsightly self expression is simply the height of grossishness. Tisk.
via Bull City Rising


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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Animals is Gettin' Pissed

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." -Genesis 1:26 (NIV)

When God put us in charge of all the animals on this planet, I'm sure He meant for us to treat them with a certain level of respect and care that, as of late, seems to have been summarily tossed out the proverbial window. How else do you explain Michael Vick being invited back into the NFL or the current
debate going on in our nation's highest court, sparked in large part by the hot new trend in animal abuse, crush videos?

When did we decide that animals don't matter? Sure, God made cows delicious and bunny rabbits just perfect for pulling out of fancy hats, but what gives with all the casual cruelty? Do you really want your kid looking up to a man who once sponsored vicious dog fights on his own property and was personally responsible for the executions of dogs who "under performed?" Is this a guy you want hocking running shoes on TV or gracing the cover of your Wheaties box? A lot of people, including immediate family members of mine, have forgiven Vick for his past indiscretions, but I haven't and I won't. I can't wrap my head around any dog lover welcoming Vick back to football with open arms. Michael Vick is a murdering bastard and no amount of public apology and anti-dog fighting community service efforts will ever make me feel any different. And I'm a cat person, for God's sake!

It should come as no surprise that the animal kingdom is all kinds of pissed off. They're sick and tired of being crushed by high-heeled shoes, locked up in uncomfortable cages, and forced into mortal combat with their brothers and sisters for sport. They're taking a stand and I, for one, intend to stand alongside them. In fact, the battle has already begun in
Pennsylvania:

A 37-year-old Pennsylvania woman died Sunday after being mauled by her pet black bear, authorities said.

Kelly Ann Walz was attacked when she entered the bear's cage to feed the 350-pound animal and clean its cage, according to Pennsylvania State Police. The bear lived in a 15-by-15-foot steel and concrete enclosure on Walz's property in Ross Township.

Am I glad Mr. Walz was torn apart and killed by her "pet" black bear? Of course not. Did she deserve it? Probably not, but she was most assuredly asking for it. A black bear is not a pet. It is a wild fucking animal born to roam the lush forests of the American wilderness, not to be caged alongside tigers and lions in some looney's backyard. Not for nothing, but Walz was gonna lose her life to at least one of these animals, the bear just had the balls to do it first. I don't care what kind of connection you think you have with a bear--given the opportunity, it will kill you dead. Haven't you seen Grizzly Man? Listen, if you decide to keep a pet bear, it ain't gonna be long before things go from this:

To this:
Nuff said!
Bears have sounded the battle horn, but who will heed their cry? Will you, dogs? Will it be you, mighty Bengal tiger. Chinchillas, are you prepared to stand alongside your brothers and cry "Freedom!"
If you ask me, I think it's up to the cats. Every week I read another story about a cat being tortured and killed, like this one, also out of Pennsylvania (WTF, Pennsylvania?!):

Even after a 6-week-old kitten was pelted with stones and set on fire in a Chester alley Saturday afternoon, it didn't lash out. The brown tabby greeted Dave Schlott, a Delaware County animal control officer, by climbing up his shirt and snuggling against his neck.

"It was cuddling, so I thought I'd name it Cuddles," Schlott said. "It was a really, really good-natured kitten."

Cuddles was being treated at Old Marple Veterinary Hospital, where he was initially expected to make a quick recovery.

But the kitten took a turn for the worse and died yesterday morning.

Regular readers of this blog know that I am a fervent cat lover, so it should come as no surprise that this story breaks my heart. Cuddles must be avenged, cat army! There is no way around it. The "10 to 15 teenagers" huddled around Cuddles pelting him with rocks and setting him on fire must be brought to justice. 15 against 1 is not a fair fight and the dickless fuckwads responsible for this crime deserve nothing more than to be consumed alive by a mob of hungry feral barn cats.
When the Good Lord put mankind in charge of the beasts of the field and birds of the air, I don't think He meant for us to treat them as our own personal punching bags. I'm not an anti-meat hippy or anything, I'm just a decent human being sick to death of the wanton cruelty laid upon the animals we share this planet with and those in positions of authority who seem utterly indifferent to it. I'm glad the animals are fighting back. I hope they kick mankind's ass.
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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Catching Up With TV: Damages

The new fall season has finally started and, well, things look pretty dismal. With the exception of Community, I haven't found myself all that interested in anything the networks have offered up thus far. I've been told by several people that I need to check out Glee and the concept of Flash Forward appeals to me, but I've sworn off all kooky, sci-fi, time-travelly serials until the conclusion of LOST next year.

I do, however, have the old standbys: The Office (my mom has described this season as "stinky"), How I Met Your Mother, Gossip Girl (jumped the shark for the fifth or sixth time this week--seriously, it's got to be getting tired...when's that shark gonna just chow down already?), Fringe (I typically wait until halfway through the season, then throw myself a mini Fringe-a-thon), Curb Your Enthusiasm, American Dad, and Parks and Recreation, which inexplicably returned from its summer break quite a bit funnier than last season. Throw in weekly episodes of The Soup and its sister show, Web Soup, and I've got a lot of fun, but not a whole lot of substance. What's a TV addict to do?
I was watching this year's Emmy Awards when Glenn Close won the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Damages and thought to myself, "What is this Damages and why haven't I seen it?" I sprung up from the floor--my preferred place from which to watch television since the Cockroach Couch Attack of Early '09--logged onto Netflix, and immediately added all three discs of Damages' first season to my que. "That'll show 'em," I growled triumphantly, not exactly knowing who I was showing or why.
After finishing up the extremely popular 30 Days of Disney feature, which techically showcased only 29 films (the 30th review will be available at Movie Penguin later this week), I set aside a block of time (all day Saturday and Sunday morning) and submerged myself in the world of Ellen Parsons, Arthur Frobisher, and the infamous Ms. Patty Hewes.
Describing Damages as "the greatest show ever to grace a lowly television screen" doesn't necessarily explain what the program is about, so I'll try to postpone my fanboy ejaculations until the closing paragraph and attempt to provide you with an accurate description that doesn't give too much away. Hmmm. OK. Heregoes.
Damages is essentially a courtroom thriller minus the courtroom. If you're anything like me, lawyer and doctor shows leave you indifferent. And, in my opinion, there is nothing more irritating than a quirky lawyer or quirky doctor show (I'm looking at you, Boston Legal, Ally McBeal, Grey's Anatomy, and, possibly, House). Damages is a show about lawyers (and, hell, there's a doctor in there too), but they are pretty damn far from quirky, in fact, one of them could possibly be Satan herself. How else can you explain Patricia Hewes' seemingly supernatural hold over everyones' lives. Don't misread: Patty Hewes is NOT the Devil--this isn't one of THOSE shows--but she does operate in a shady world that if it isn't completely awash in illegality, at least straddles the line. She is, without a doubt, one hell of a lawyer and she will stop at literally nothing to win her case.

Over the course of season one, Patty, along with righthand man, Tom Shayes, and plucky upstart , Ellen Parsons, take on a corrupt businessman, Arthur Frobisher, who has defrauded his employees out of millions of dollars. These former employers band together and hire Patty and her underlings to collect the money they so richly deserve. The way this is accomplished is unendingly fascinating to watch. Damages makes highstakes lawyerin' look sexy and exciting, however, while it did not make me wish I'd gone to law school, it did make me wish I was a better writer. Damages hooked me from the opening scene in which we first meet Ellen Parsons, panicked and covered in blood. We don't know it yet, but she has just accidentally murdered a would-be assassin. Damages doles out information here and there in jarring, brightly-colored flash-forwards, telling the meat of the story flasback-style. Damages plays with time in a fun, sometimes frustrating way--frustrating in that it compels you to watch the next episode even though you promised your wife you'd finish doing the laundry. Damages is undoubtly an intense mindfuck, but the resulting orgasm is unlike any I've experienced in regards to television viewing.
My one complaint is minor. Because Damages is on FX, the characters are allowed to use language frowned upon by the major networks, most notably "shit." Since "shit" is acceptable--nay, insisted upon--the characters say it A LOT. Now, when someone is willing to use the word "shit" as copiously as the characters in Damages are, it would seem reasonable that they would not have a problem with the word "fuck." However, "fuck" is not allowed on pay cable, so the characters on Damages use the more toothless term "screw." There is nothing more distracting than hearing "screw" following a litany of "shits." It is distracting. Luckily, "screw" is used sparingly. It is, however, used to an alarmingly distracting degree in a particular scene that really could benefit from a couple of "fucks." Watch the show. You'll know the scene.

So, here's the last paragraph. Time to gush. Damages is one of the best things I've ever allowed into my eyeholes. It is smart, engaging, terrifying, and exhilirating. The acting is superb--I especially enjoyed Zeljko Ivanek as Ray Fiske, Frobisher's Southern-fried lawyer--the writing is top-notch, and the story is endlessing intriguing. I can't recommend this one enough.


You can watch all 13 episodes of Season One at Crackle and I suggest you do so immediately!


Trust me and just want to purchase Season One right effing now? Do it!


Next time: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

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