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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Reality Bits: British people are as bad as we are. Maybe worse.

This video has been popping up a lot on the old Facebook this week:

From what I've gathered, people are posting and re-posting this clip from Britain's Got Talent's 2012 auditions because it is inspiring or something. Usually the poster has included some version of the old cliche "you can't judge a book by its cover" when sharing said video, which is odd because by this point in the evolution of reality-based competition shows, everybody, regardless if they watch the program in question or not, understands that when an overweight, unattractive, awkward human being shuffles to center stage and lifts a microphone to his or her pudgy, sweat-drenched face, the voice coming out of that face is gonna be supernaturally amazing. Would millions of people waste their time sharing a YouTube clip of a fat kid who sings like a donkey? Probably not. When I see a weirdo on a reality show--and I mean a super duper weirdo--I just assume that he is going to bring the house down. A fat, awkward, weird cover usually means the book is gonna be pretty great. And a little boring, because we've seen it countless times before.

I'm not posting this video to shame the fringe "friends" who shared the Charlotte and Jonathan opera video on Facebook. And I'm not posting it to poke fun at Jonathan for his weight or his hair or his awkwardness. This isn't elementary school and I'm not a third grade bully. The fact that Jonathan looks like Dan Fogler if he ate Jack Black whole isn't the point. The point is who the hell listens to opera?!?

I mean, c'mon! When Charlotte and Jonathan get into it, fine, it's pretty intense. "Wow," I thought, "that kid is singing the shit out of some opera. Do it, son!" I get the audience's initial reaction. They can't believe this is the same shy kid that shambled onto stage deferring to his partner and playing with his hair. I do get it. But then things get a little silly. Audience members are shown nearly falling out of their seats and quietly sobbing to themselves. Then comes the standing ovation. It's all a bit much, no?

But, fine, this Jonathan guy is pretty good (I agree with Simon that Charlotte seems like deadweight). Stand for him. Cry into your folded hands. Clap until your palms bleed. Post a video of him singing on your Facebook page and claim him as your Messiah. But don't you dare try to tell me that you enjoy opera music. You don't and you never have! Seriously! The friends of mine who posted this dumb thing have never, to my knowledge, mentioned opera any other time on FB.

I don't follow Britain's Got Talent, so I don't know (or care) how Jonathan and Charlotte have fared this season, but from the reaction of the audience and the judges--my favorite comes at the 3:00 mark--these two could go all the way. And that's the problem with these reality talent shows. The weirdest people are rewarded. Like, what happens if Jonathan and Charlotte win and get some kind of record deal? Will they record an album of opera standards? Then what? A tour? A second album? There's no way that happens! Even if every hardcore opera fan on the planet bought their debut album, Charlotte and Jonathan are guaranteed to fade into obscurity within a year of its release.

It's like America's Got Talent when ventriloquist/impressionist/singer/wife-abandoner Terry Fader won. American's like ventriloquism that much? There's no way they do! Ventriloquism is antiquated and dumb. And not funny. Who is entertained by a ventriloquist? I mean really entertained?

Look, Britain, the best thing you can do for Jonathan and the girl-shaped albatross tied around his, um, let's say neck, is to boot him off of Britain's Got Talent as soon as possible. Let him move forward with a serious opera career. Don't string him along, convince him he'll be the biggest thing since fish and chips, only to abandon him for the next boy band that spawns from your jolly ole sewers and slowly conquers the world's hearts and minds. Let Jonathan go. It's for the best.
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday Morning What the WTF Music?!?

So, I heard this newish Blink-182 song for the first time last weekend:

Now, I've never kept my enjoyment of Blink-182 a secret. I like them. Their music meant a lot more to me in high school and college, but I still dump a load of their tunes onto my iPod from time to time and, you know, rock out or whatever. I kind of even like this song. I just have one question...

Why does Tom DeLonge still sing like that? I don't mean the whininess. He's always rocked the whininess. It's the oddball pronunciation of certain words. Like, no one says "demon" that way. Or "year." At least, I think he's saying the word "year." What the hell?

Tom DeLonge is 36-years-old. Thirty-six! Why is he still singing like a snotty teenage asshole? It's offputting. Tone it down a little, Tom. Sheesh.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tawdry Tuesday: New and Improved and Sexxy

So, yeah, Tawdry Tuesday has pretty much been a bust up to this point. Melrose Place failed to provide the cheap, titillating thrills I had hoped for. Plus, it kinda sucks. I mean, have you actually seen an episode of Melrose Place? It's crappy. Even by 90's standards. And I'm pretty sure it doesn't get any better. Also, I've not seen a single episode of Mad Men, yet I was totally prepared to watch seven seasons of Melrose Place. There's something deeply wrong with that.

So, yeah, I didn't like Melrose Place. I do, however, like Tawdry Tuesday. Monday is the dreaded first day of the work week and, therefore, a total bum-out; Wednesday, known in some circles as "Hump Day," is the day Americans traditionally hump one another; on Thursday most people flip the switch to neutral and coast into Friday; and Friday, well, you've got to get down on Friday, right? I mean, everybody's looking forward to the weekend weekend, RIGHT??? What's Tuesday got? Nothing. So, I'm filling Tuesdays up with tawdriness galore. Here's what you, dear perverted reader, can look forward to on Tuesdays in the coming months:
April--Body of Evidence

Madonna, Willem Dafoe and Joe Mantegna?!? That's almost too sexy (you know, except for the Willem Dafoe and Joe Mantegna part).

May--Original Sin

Sinning is, like, the sexist thing a person can do. I can only imagine the varieties of sin Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie could get into together.

June--Blown Away

That's right: the Coreys made an erotic thriller. I don't believe it either. We'll get to the bottom of this soon enough.

July--The Last Seduction

Get your tube socks ready, gentleman and ladies. I have a feeling this one is gonna be eroticker than hell.

Meet me back here one week from today for the all-new, Melrose Place-free Tawdry Tuesday. I promise it'll be the sexiest thing you ever do aside from actual sex.

(Also, don't wait until next Tuesday to visit GEP. There's going to be all kinds of stuff to new stuff to read before then. Just sayin'.)

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hunger Games sold out? What's a person to do this weekend?

So, every showing of The Hunger Games is sold out at your local multiplex, huh? I know it seems like the end of the world, but I promise it isn't. The Hunger Games will be there for you next weekend. Of course, by that time, everyone in the know will have already seen it, discussed it, purchased and listened to the soundtrack thirty or fifty times, ordered their very own Katniss Everdeen throw pillow to snuggle with at night, and probably seen it a second or third time, but, whatever, you chose to wait. Like a chump.

But, OK, fine, you're not going to see The Hunger Games this weekend. You'll live (if you call that living...). I don't get to see it this weekend either. Think I'm crying about? No way! I mean, I did, earlier, but now I'm kinda all cried out and ready to find some alternate activities to fill my weekend with meaning. After all, what's a weekend without activities? Answer: a pretty good weekend. What's so great about activities?

Anyway, here are some things you can do this weekend if you failed to purchase advance tickets to the only movie that has ever mattered in the history of movies.*

1. Crack a book for once in your life!--You do know The Hunger Games is based on a popular series of books, right? Why not visit your local public library this weekend and check out a book or two. They don't have popcorn at the library--that would be sooooo great!!!--but they do have books. Lots of 'em! I'm a voracious reader myself. For instance, right now I'm reading two books: Philip K Dick's The Transmigration of Timothy Archer and Kitty Kelley's The Family, the unauthorized biography of the Bush Dynasty. I'm not saying you have to read either one of these, even though they are both pretty good, just find something you might like and read it. Or read to your kid. Or read a magazine. Or read this blog! Just read something!

2. Go see something else!--There are other movies you can see this weekend, you know. Like this one:

Yes, October Baby, the film The AV Club so expertly describes as being "
no less than a pro-life revenge fantasy." As you probably couldn't really tell from the trailer, October Baby tells the story of a young woman whose birth mother tried to have her aborted unsuccessfully. This failed abortion attempt led to the girl's premature birth and adoption by, I'm gonna guess, a family of diehard, pro-life, right-wing Christian folks. The film follows the aforementioned abortion survivor's quest to find the birth mother that tried to have her snuffed out. And, hey, she gets a little help from A Different World's Whitley along the way.

This is not a horror movie. This is a film premise that enough misguided people believed in to get it written, directed, and paid for. What does Hannah, the aborted, stand to gain from meeting the mother who never wanted her? What is meeting the baby she tried to abort going to do to that mother? Pro-life or pro-choice: nobody loves the idea of dead babies. But Hannah doesn't know why her birth mother chose the abortion route, I don't think. Do they tell adopted kids that story? Ick, I hope not. This is awful. Don't see this. Maybe this though:

I've heard this is awesome. Let's go tonight. You guys in?

3. Stay in and watch a movie--If you aren't one of the rats that have abandoned the slowly sinking ship that is Netflix, why not check out 2009's Gamer on instant view. Like The Hunger Games, Gamer takes place in a futuristic world that kinda sucks, where individuals are forced to kill (or hump) one another for the amusement of the masses. Unlike The Hunger Games, it's full of tits and blood. And it's from the team that brought you the Crank series, so you know it's going to be at least a little fun. And it'll probably make you throw up in your mouth. GEP approved! [Watch the trailer

4. Get your house ready to put on the market--That's what I'm doing this weekend. Fun.

5. Spend some quality time with your family--You want to spend your entire weekend sitting in the dark staring at a giant screen? I don't. I want to play Little People with my daughter. I want to discuss the most recent episode of 30 Rock with my wife. I want to take my cat to Monkey Joe's (don't tell him--it's a surprise). In a nutshell, I wanna do family shit. You should too.

6. Beg someone for their Hunger Games tickets--Sexual favors will probably yield the most positive results.

*I don't really think that, but I am excited.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Perving Out: Best. Olsen. Ever.

Hey, it's the first day of Spring, the perfect time to totally perv out to Elizabeth Olsen. Forget Full House, I'll take Silent House any day.

Actually, I heard that wasn't very good. I'd probably rather watch a Full House episode or two. Remember that one where Michelle, Stephanie, and Uncle Jesse got locked in that garage and Michelle almost missed her circus party? That was totes touching, yo.

I'm sorry. I didn't mean to delay GEP's First Annual Elizabeth Olsen Perv Out. Enjoy.

Anybody remember how Uncle Jesse and the girls got out of that garage? Omigod! What if they're still in there??? That should've been the plot of Silent House.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Jersey Shore's Dark Side

Life at the Jersey Shore seems like a lot of fun. The beach, the Sunday dinners, the fist pumping, the catchphrase-laden t-shirts—the Shore appears to promise and deliver a non-stop orgy of summer good times.

But there is a dark side to
Jersey Shore that I’ve up until this point failed to weigh in on. I think it’s because if one chose to dwell in this shadowy place for more than a couple of seconds, one would quickly realize that Jersey Shore might possibly be the worst thing that has ever appeared on television in the history of mankind.

I’m not 100-percent on this, but I’m pretty sure no one from the
Jersey Shore has ever presented him/herself as any kind of role model. Maybe I missed that episode. Has The Situation ever looked into the camera during an interview and earnestly explained, “I’m just trying to be someone kids can look up to, you know?” Of course he hasn’t! He has, however, lifted his shirt, gently stroked his abs like a Bond villain petting his evil feline companion, and said something derogatory about the entire female race that Mtv has had to bleep out.

It took becoming a parent, specifically the father of a daughter, to help me see the icky underbelly of
Jersey Shore. Well, becoming a father and breaking the spell Jwoww’s breasts had over my fragile male mind. Damn you, Jwoww’s breasts!

It isn’t the fact that Snooki is an unrepentant alcoholic that bothers me. It isn’t Ronnie’s rage issues. It isn’t even the fact that the cast’s dangerous tanning regiment will assuredly lead to skin cancer for all in the near future. It is, simply put, the rampant sex-having, and all of the disrespect and misogyny that comes with it.

I’m not against young people and Mike Sorrentino having a little “roll in the hay” from time to time. You’re young! You’re wieners and hoo-hahs still function efficiently! May as well smoosh ‘em together. But the ease with which these guys (and it is mostly the guys) admit to a cameraman, and, thus, the viewing public, that they intend to use a sweaty dance club as their sexual grocery store, that their one and only goal for the evening is to discover a new hole to passionlessly hump, is not only shocking, but stupefyingly depressing. Presenting life as one giant drunken fuck-a-thon isn’t Mtv’s intention, is it? Omigod! I bet it probably is!

Listen, I’m 33, ok? I’m an old man. My views on sex and relationships are old fashioned, out of touch, and totally gay. I get that. But I’ve also been kicking around on this planet long enough to know that the
Jersey Shore crew does not have it all figured out. Dudes who vag hop and refer to women as “hippos” and “grenades” without any emotional attachment to anything, are not the dudes you should be modeling your life after. I know the Jersey Shore guys are just living their (edited) lives, but, seriously, you guys can’t go one night without burying your bronzed boner in something?

And isn’t entirely Mike, Pauly or Vinny’s fault. It takes two to do that one dance people like to do or something. Seaside Heights appears to be full of lonely, fame-hungry young women DTF with the GTL crew. What, does providing Sitch with a blow jibber before summer’s over give you the high score at life? Is this really all you Shore girls have to look forward to in your life, to have intercourse with Vinny while Pauly D bangs your best friend just three feet away? Vinny and Pauly have had their names etched forever into the hallowed pop culture tablets. You, however, will simply be remembered as “Karma Slut #1” or “Frizzy-Haired Grenade.” Or you won’t be remembered at all. (Fun Fact: It’s that second one.)

Jersey Shore showcases a lot of despicable behavior—excessive drinking, violent street fighting, gleeful stereotyping, water wastage (all that laundry! Sheesh!)—but somehow the meaningless sex is the worst.

(I'm done now. No more Jersey Shore talk until Snook's shoots out her baby. Thanks for reading.)

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Eff You Jersey Jerks: A Revealing Look Back to January 17, 2011

[Boy, has my tune changed. Such vitriol. Still funny, but, wow. I guess I've become what I once hated. I still don't have any desire to dine with any of these people. "Nighty-night fist pump" is damn hilarious though. I gotta give myself a fist pump for that one. Not of the nighty-night variety, you perv!]


It's good to be passionate about something. If human beings didn't have hobbies or distractions that we visited from time to time, we'd probably go insane. My life would be empty without movies and comic books, just as yours might if someone took away all of your Star Wars action figures or the VHS copies of the She-Ra series you keep under your bed. Reading, model-building, stamp collecting, international travel, bird watching, sports betting, smoking: these are just a fraction of the extra-curricular pursuits that make life worth living. It can't all be working and family! It can't be! We've got to make time for our passions.

Of course, some passions are stupid, like,
this young lady's. She loves the Mtv "reality" program Jersey Shore. How much does she love it? This much:


This makes my soul hurt. In a world full of noble pursuits, Daniela has decided to devote whatever spare time she has to a television program about four misogynists, three foul-mouthed slutbags, and an orange-tinted, pickle-sucking cave troll who live together in a wood-paneled hovel on the New Jersey shore and spend their entire summer listlessly and lovelessly humping any vagina/penis that wanders into their bleary-eyed field of vision and perpetrating a negative Italian-American stereotype that has most regular, hard-working, non-orange Italian-Americans longing for the days of The Sopranos and the Godfather movies. That's what Daniela likes, nay, loves. But don't take my word for it:

"Everyone knows I am obsessed with all things Jersey Shore. I own a TEAM SNOOKI tshirt and I also have a Jersey Shore poster in my room. My life REVOLVES around Jersey Shore. If i win this dinner with Ronnie my dreams would come true and I would absolutely die inside SO EVERYONE HAS TO ATTEND. YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND."

No, we understand. You're sick. In your brain.

For those of you don't know, Jersey Shore's Ronnie is famous for being the guy who repeatedly cheated on his girlfriend, Shore castmate Sammi, and denying it until an anonymous letter spelling out each and every one of his indiscretions was passed along to said girlfriend. Don't worry, as of Season 3 Episode 2, they're still together. Yes, apparently when you are a respected member of the Jersey Shore elite, you can treat your lady like a pile of dog vomit and continue to expect her undying devotion along with your nightly hand-job, or as the guido community calls it, a "nighty-night fist pump." This is who Daniela wants to break bread with at some point. My soul just vomited.

Here now is a list of passions GEP deems far more acceptable than a passion for the Jersey Shore program. Feel free to choose a new one from this list, Daniela. In the end, we think you'll be a whole lot happier.

-toy trains
-Big Band music
-ironic t-shirts
-crime scene photography
-butter churning
-Disney World pin collecting
-gasoline huffing
-Harry Potter fan fiction
-knitting sweaters from hairballs
-Precious Moments figurines
-upskirt photography
-heavy/death/black metal
-Nazi memorabilia

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Gym, Tan...WRITING?!?!?!?

So, maybe you're one of those stuffed-shirts who looks at the cast of Jersey Shore as nothing more than a pack of yammering, orange-tinted buffoons, put on this earth to mock and disparage; brain-dead sex robots fueled by pasta and suntan lotion; fat-headed jerks with less than a single brain cell to share between, a brain cell that is in danger of tumbling from their cavernous skulls to be crushed on the sweaty dance floor at Karma. Well, I just have one question for you: have you ever written a book? The Jersey Shore has.

OK. Maybe you have written a book, but was it ever published or are you like that sad Jeopardy contestant who is referred to as a writer during his Johnny Gilbert intro, but during his "getting-to-know-you chat" admits that he has written three science fiction novels that only his mother has read? You're probably like that guy. Or maybe you are that guy. If so, what's Alex Trebek like? I have a feeling that he's nice.

Anyway, when certain members of Jersey Shore cast aren't tanning, fighting or drinking to excess, they're writing. Books! Real, honest-to-God books you can hold in your hand, read with your eyes, and toss into the garbage can with that same aforementioned hand when you finish.
1. The Rules According to JWOWW: Shore-Tested Secrets on Landing a Mint Guy, Staying Fresh to Death and Kicking the Competition to the Curb.

It's having huge breasts, right? That's the secret to achieving all of these things, right? JWOWW wrote a 224-page book about her gigantic knockers, right? Right?

Of course she didn't, bro! This is a book... I mean, this book is so... Help me out, Amazon:

Are you stuck in a relationship with a stage-five clinger? Maybe your date is more like a man-whore than Mr. Smooth. Do guys only call you late at night when they're looking for a quick hookup? The Rules According to JWOWW can change all that.

Famous for both her cleavage-baring tops and her tough-as-nails approach to life and love on MTV's hit show Jersey Shore, JWOWW tells it like it is. And now she's laying down the rules she has learned and lived by on smushing, smackdowns, and standing up for yourself. JWOWW's advice on what she wears to get a guy's attention at the club, how she keeps her man in check, how she maintains her sick body, and what she does to satisfy her guy will have you with a man ready to wife-up in no time.

"Stage-five clinger?" "Smushing?" "Wife-up?" Is that like a "Power Up" or something? Look, I might not understand the terminology, but if I'm going to trust anyone to give me advice on my love life, it's going to be the sick-bodied Jenni Farley. ("Sick" is good, right?)

One satisfied Amazon customer, who gave the book a rousing 5-star review, was also kind enough to list some of the topics discussed in The Rules According to JWOWW: Blah Blah Something Boobs. Here are some of my favorites:

1. JOWOWW's favorite clubs in Miami, Jersey Shore and Long Island

Finally, a comprehensive guide to only the best [i.e. loudest, sweatiest, most disease-laden] clubs in three places I've never been to.*

2. Five ways to fight right (not physical)

So, with your mind then? Is this chapter about telekinesis? Maybe one unlocks their latent telekinetic abilities when one taps into one's inner JWOWW. One wonders.

3. Exercise routines to work specific body parts.

Got something for the penis in there, Jenni?

4. Best places to bury a body in the Pine Barrens.

Wait, really?

2. Confessions of a Guidette

Snooki has written two books, which makes her two times better than you, ya dip. One of these books is this one, that, according to one reviewer (to whom Snooki was rude allegedly), contains "lots of previously unseen pictures of Snooki and her home life." That sounds like fun?

Pretty much, Confessions of a Guidette looks like a rehash of JWOWW's Guide to Clubbing and Boob Maintenance, only with a lot more pickle references. The Snooki booki I'm more interested in is...
3. A Shore Thing

It's Snooki's first crack at fiction! What's it about, dammit, WHAT'S IT ABOUT?:

It’s a summer to remember . . . at the Jersey Shore.

Giovanna “Gia” Spumanti and her cousin Isabella “Bella” Rizzoli are going to have the sexiest summer ever. While they couldn’t be more different—pint-size Gia is a carefree, outspoken party girl and Bella is a tall, slender athlete who always holds her tongue—for the next month they’re ready to pouf up their hair, put on their stilettos, and soak up all that Seaside Heights, New Jersey, has to offer: hot guidos, cool clubs, fried Oreos, and lots of tequila.

So far, Gia’s summer is on fire. Between nearly burning down their rented bungalow, inventing the popular “tan-tags” at the Tantastic Salon where she works, and rescuing a shark on the beach, she becomes a local celebrity overnight. Luckily, she meets the perfect guy to help her keep the flames under control. Firefighter Frank Rossi is exactly her type: big, tan, and Italian. But is he tough enough to handle Gia when things really heat up?

Bella is more than ready for some fun in the sun. Finally free of her bonehead ex-boyfriend, she left home in Brooklyn with one goal in mind: hooking up with a sexy gorilla for a no-strings-attached summer fling. In no time, she lands a job leading “Beat Up the Beat” dance classes at a local gym, and is scooped up by Beemer-driving, preppy Bender Newberry. Only problem: Bella can’t get her romantic and ripped boss Tony “Trouble” Troublino out of her head. He’s relationship material. Suddenly, Bella’s not sure what she wants.

The cousins soon realize that for every friend they make on the boardwalk, there are also rivals, slummers, and frenemies who will do anything to ruin their summer—and try their relationship. Before July ends, the bonds of family and friendship will be stretched to the breaking point. Will the haters prevail, or will Gia and Bella find love at the Shore?

For everyone who loves MTV’s hit reality show, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi’s sweet, funny, and sexy novel perfectly captures the heat, the energy, the fun, and the drama of Jersey Shore.

Just in case you skipped reading the above plot description, there is a character in this novel named Bender Newberry. And one named Tony "Trouble" Troublino. For real. Also, one of the protagonists saves a shark's life. I'm not kidding.
4. Here's the Situation: A Guide to Convincing People You Are 29-Years-Old When You Are More Likely Damn Near 40

We already made fun of this one.

Beach reads!

*I have been to Long Island. I dyed Easter eggs there.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Beating That Beat Up All By Himself

OK. Maybe I was a little premature with my whole "good-bye forever, Jersey Shore" thing. Apparently, rumors abound that some members of Jersey Shore's cast want to wring one or two more seasons out of this whole situation. Other sources report that the cast members pretty much despise one another and are ready to get back to gymming, tanning, and laundering solo. Another even more differenter source says that The Situation has gained 300-pounds and taken to wandering around his sparsely furnished mansion in a stained Hawaiian shirt, mumbling to himself about the time everybody thought he ate the cake Deena and Snooki made for Danny even though he didn't and how it made him hella sad. Again, these are just rumors.

I guess I thought Jersey Shore was coming to a close because of the reports that Jwoww and Snooks are currently filming their own spin-off show and Pauly D's new program, The Pauly D Project, premieres on March 29 at 10:30 PM on Mtv. Oh, you hadn't heard? Then I guess you haven't seen the preview yet either, have you?

Why this might be good:

1. Despite the ridiculous hair-plateau he sports, Pauly D (real name Paul DelVecchio) seems like a fairly decent guy, and I don't mind it when fairly decent guys make good. I mean, imagine a show that follows Mike Sorrentino around post-Jersey Shore. What does that guy do? Sure, Pauly plays records for a living (I could play records for a living. Seriously. Somebody pay me to play records at your next party. I guarantee you'll enjoy yourself.), but The Situation does nothing. For reals.

2. That fat guy's girlfriend is pretty hot.

Why this might/probably will be bad:

1. Ryan is your best friend/wing man, Pauly? What about Vinny? I've spent five seasons of Jersey Shore watching a love affair blossom between you two crazy guidos, and now I've got to hear from an extended first look at your spin-off show that you already had a best friend and that best friend's name is Ryan? Bullshit!

2. As mentioned earlier, Pauly D plays records for a living. This is a show that follows him around. So, this is a television program that follows around a guy who plays records for a living and shows him playing records. That sounds horrible.

3. I don't see any Jersey Shore cast member cameos in this commercial. Surely, Snooki stops by with a jar of pickles at some point, right? Maybe Deena shows up at a gig and flashes her vagina to a group of fist-pumping frat boys. One can dream.

4. Wait. Pauly D is signing a record deal? How does a DJ get a record deal? Is the deal that he will buy all of the records he plays exclusively from 50 Cent? That's gotta be it. An album from a DJ is just a mix tape, right?

Time will tell, but I'm going to venture an educated guess and say that The Pauly D Project is going to suck meatballs, which is too bad, because I like it when fairly decent guys make good.

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Dr. Fistpump or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Shore

This Thursday--or "Jerzday" as it's known in the Lawson house--marks the end of a glorious era. On March 15, 2012, America says its final good-byes to The Situation, DJ Pauly D, Snooki, Ronnie, Sammi Sweetheart, Vinny, Jwoww, Deena, the Duck Phone, Danny, The Shore Store, Karma, and the Seaside Heights Police Department. I think I'll miss you most of all, Duck Phone. I never figured out if you were quacking or farting. I guess...we'll...never...know...

In this paragraph, which I'm going to go ahead and call "The Second Paragraph," I'm guessing most of you are expecting me to crack wise on Mtv's reality horror show that was Jersey Shore. Many of you probably want me to poke fun at Snooki for her unnatural love of pickles and showing her vagina to any and every one. Or complain about how Mike tries to work his ridiculous nickname into every other sentence. Or scoff at Vinnie's "Let Go and Let God" chest tattoo. Or compare Jwoww's appearance in the final season to that of an anorexic praying mantis. Or suggest that instead of a brain, Deena's skull contains a spinning hamster wheel. You might be expecting these things, but you will not get them, because I, Matt Lawson, very much like Jersey Shore.

I love that Snooki loves pickles so much. I love pickles too! I like that Deena is dumb. I don't tune in to watch her do math equations on a giant white board. I watch because she gets drunk and falls off of couches. Watching Ronnie punch some greased up guido in the chops is like listening to a beautiful symphony. Seeing Jwoww parade around in a series of outfits that would embarrass a stripper puts a little spring in my step. And, let's face it, Pauly D and Vinny's budding bromance is one of the most fulfilling and beautiful relationships on television today. They love each other so friggin' much, bro!

I don't know why I like Jersey Shore so much. On the surface, it does not appear to be in my wheelhouse, as "they" say. I don't hang around with douchebags in my day-to-day life, and yet I tune in to watch these douchebags drink, fight, hump, and stab each other in the back every Thursday night. And I don't think they're douchebags. Anymore. I did when Season 1 reared it's greasy head waaaaaaay back in 2009. "Ugh, what's this, a sideshow?" I snarked, tuning in to point and laugh at the stupid dumb dummies. Then those same tanned stupids were whisked off to Miami and I was all, like, "Oh brudder, I don't know how much more of these dum-dums I can take." And then I realized I was watching every episode. And not just once. I would watch the same episode over and over again. My wife and I would lose ourselves in Jersey Shore weekend marathons. I found myself rooting for Snooki in her quest to smoosh Vinny. I wept alongside Ronnie and Sammi as they attempted to navigate the minefield that is First Love. I cheered each time Pauly D bellowed one of his charming catch phrases ("Yeah, buddy!; "Cabs are heah!"; "Oh, yeah, [INSERT WORD HERE], yeah!). I didn't just want to watch MVP enjoy T-shirt Time...I wanted to be there enjoying T-shirt Time with them!

Listen, I don't know what it is about Jersey Shore that keeps me coming back like a junkie. Maybe it's that whole "everybody likes a good train wreck" thing, though, to be honest, I'm not really that into checking out train wrecks. They're probably pretty awful, all that twisted metal and severed limbs strewn every which way. Jersey Shore isn't a train wreck, but I don't know what it is. It's dumb people doing things I hate (excessive drinking, going to clubs, working out, etc.), yet I can't get enough.

Obviously my love of Jersey Shore is something I've got to work through and I'm going to do so all this week, as we countdown the days until we all say our final good-byes. I don't know what a world without Jersey Shore is going to look like, to be honest with you. Probably a little less orange, but maybe a little less fun too.

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Sunday Bloody Sunday: New Music Tuesday is gonna be awesome, you guys!!!

On Sunday mornings, my wife divides the paper, making a pile for each of us to read during breakfast. She gets the crossword puzzle, coupons, and the North Raleigh News section; I get the funnies, Parade magazine, the part of the Arts & Entertainment section that houses "Dear Amy," and the Best Buy sales paper.

My favorite part of the Best Buy sales paper is the music page, since, you know, I hate most of the music Best Buy chooses to showcase (They obviously have a lot of leftover copies of "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" right now). This morning's announcement of Tuesday's New Releases seemed especially horrific, so much so, that I felt compelled to devote a
Sunday Bloody Sunday column to them. So, what comes out this Tuesday that Best Buy thinks I'll love? Let's find out.

Ruben Studdard: Letters From Birmingham

Even Ruben can't believe he's recorded another album. Look at his face. He's either disgusted with himself or fast asleep. I think it's probably a combination of the two, like, he was so let down by the album that he ate himself into a food coma.

That isn't fair. Maybe this record is great. Maybe Ruben will make the comeback of the year. Probably not, but I'm not gonna count the Velvet Teddy Bear out. After all, there must have been an outcry for a new Ruben Studdard album, right? I mean, record companies don't release new albums by artists nobody likes or listens to anymore, right? Right???

The Ting Tings: Sounds from Nowheresville

Ooooo, creepy cover. This band is obviously on the cutting edge of bad-ass rock and roll. Let's take a listen.

Wait a minute...

Oh, by the way, that girl is 29-years-old. Take that however you want.

One Direction: Up All Night

Ironically enough, I see this album going in one direction: toward my garbage can.

But, seriously, where are these dudes staying up all night? A youth group lock-in?

I'm just busting your walnuts, Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry, and Louis. You seem like nice, clean-cut young men. Not sure why you're grabbing that one guys boob, but, hey, they wouldn't call it friendship if some good-natured grab-assery wasn't involved.

So the boys of One Direction are nice guys. What about the music? I'm glad you asked. You won't be.

Wait a minute! These guys break tables just for a laugh? Do you know how much tables cost these days, One Direction? I bet you don't, what, with your millions of dollars and your private butlers and your astronomical table budget. Maybe these dudes aren't so nice after all.

Spend your allowances wisely this Tuesday, teenage idiots!

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Friday, March 9, 2012

BLANK meets BLANK: 17 Movie Pitches Too Insipid Even For Hollywood (Prolly)

I could write something super reactionary and bloggy here and be all, like, "Hollywood doesn't make good movies anymore. All they do is crank out sequels, reboots, and remakes, and every single one of them sucks mud!" I could write that, but I won't. This sentiment has been shared before, by bloggers sloppier and more unshaven than I. Also, it's simply not true. Plenty of good movies pop up here and there every year, you've just got to know where to look and, I guess, have the desire to want to seek them out. The sad truth is, as long as the majority of the moviegoing public wants sparkly vampires, warring space robots, and inexplicable actioners based on board games, that's what we're going to get. Vote with your dollar. Blah blah blah.

Anyway, instead of complaining about the state of modern moviedom on a blog three people read (thanks, you three!!!), GEP has decided to take action against Hollywood's perceived unwillingness to try anything new and exciting. No, we're not going to pitch our best movie ideas--those will go with us to the mass grave our future robot overlords toss us into when the inevitable robo-takeover commences. Our plan is to pitch ideas so utterly inane, that the studios will have no choice but to go, "Wait, is this really what we're doing now? A fourth Transformers? This blog's snark has inspired me to try harder. To do better." Or something.

Our pitches will be laid out in the classic style of "[INSERT MOVIE HERE] meets [INSERT DIFFERENT MOVIE HERE], because it is easy.

For the record, the "Whatever-the-hell meets Whatever-the-shit" thing never works. I was recently telling a friend about my #2 favorite movie of 2011 Hanna and described it--against my better judgement, mind you--as "art house meets the Bourne movies." I don't know what I was thinking, OK? Stop judging me. The moment I said it, my friend made a frowny face and I knew I had failed. So, yeah.

So, listen up, Hollywood! We got some pitches for ya. Remember: you are NOT to make any of the movies on this list. I repeat, you are NOT to make any of these movies. If you do, however, how 'bout tossing a couple million bucks GEP's way?

1. Die Hard meets Flatliners
2. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? meets Schindler's List
3. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants meets The Thing
4. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan meets Everyone Says I Love You
5. Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer meets Irreversible
4. Donnie Darko meets Sleepless in Seattle
5. Snakes on a Plane meets Paul Blart: Mall Cop (that might not be that bad actually)
6. Meet the Parents meets Meet the Feebles
7. My Left Foot meets Jackass: The Movie
8. Toy Story meets Seven
9. Crank 2 meets Dancer in the Dark
10. Godzilla meets Winter's Bone (I might see that one)
11. Surviving the Game meets American Beauty
12. Sophie's Choice meets The Pit
13. The Bourne Identity meets Somewhere in Time
14. Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation meets Hostel 2
15. The Day the Earth Stood Still meets Love Actually
16. Dawn of the Dead meets Serendipity
17. Humanoids from the Deep meets Valentine's Day

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

STFU, Condescending Homeless Guy!

While walking to my car after work this evening, a smiling homeless man flagged me down to talk. At first, I thought he was simply sending a friendly hello wave my way, so I waved back and kept walking. He waved again and said something. I pulled off my headphones and asked, "What's that?"

"What's the scenario?" he asked again, smiling his brown toothy grin.

"I have no idea," I shrugged at the friendly gentleman.

"You probably don't remember," he continued, "but we met right about here, um, two weeks ago and you had some excuse why you couldn't help me out."

Here we go, I thought. What I said was, "OK. Well, the scenario still is that I don't carry cash on me." With that, I replaced my headphones securely to my ears, turned, growled the word "dipshit" and continue the trek to my car.

"Hey, man, I'm just playing. You have a blessed day," he called after me.

The balls on this guy! First of all, I walk the exact same route from my car to the office and then back to my car at the end of the business day. I've been walking this route for five years. I'm intimately aware of the businesses I pass and the people I encounter. I have never encountered this deceptively friendly homeless individual. Not two weeks ago. Not two months ago. Not two years ago. I have no idea what this guy was talking about.

But, OK, let's say I'm a dick and I have talked to this guy and I just don't remember him. Does that really make me a dick? I've encountered lots of homeless people when walking to and from work. I'm supposed to remember them all now? I'm supposed to cordon off a little area in my brain to store my memories of them and their stories? I don't remember the names of half the people I work with and I'm supposed to remember what I said to a homeless guy "that one time?"

Secondly, the whole "I don't carry cash on me" thing isn't a little scenario I use to stick it to the poor and unfortunate. I don't carry cash. That's it. I never throw in for funeral flower arrangements or Boss's Day presents at the office because I do not carry cash money on my person. And until very recently, I didn't know what my PIN was. I'm serious. For years (years!) I've had money in my account but no way to get to it in a pinch. I'm a slave to my debit card. But, what, I'm going to explain this to every homeless person who asks me for spare change? I don't have that kind of time. Hell, homeless people don't have that kind of time! So I say, "Sorry, I don't carry cash," and usually that's enough. Not with this grinning jackass though. No, he had to make me feel bad about my unwillingness to look through my desk for the PIN State Employee's Credit Union provided me. I'm lazy, OK? Believe me, if I had a couple of bucks to toss your way, I would, but I don't, so lay off the weird guilt trip.

Do I feel guilty though? Not really. I'm not going to feel guilty about having a steady job I hate or a bank account full of money that is spent mostly on snacks and sodas. It's my money and if I want to spend it on Tapatio Doritos, I'm going to spend it on Tapatio Doritos. Have you tried Tapatio Doritos yet? They're amazing.

And, listen, I gave out enough money to homeless people in my day. I'm not saying that I single-handedly solved the homelessness problem and have retired from philanthropic pursuits forever. I could do more. I could work a soup kitchen once a month or something. I could give my time and money in other ways. I want to do those things.

I was just amazed at the condescending tone in this man's voice. I'm sure he hears one-hundred scenarios a day. Turns out I was being truthful--if, in fact, we've ever met, which I still highly doubt--but how would he know that. Maybe writing this post is the ultimate dick move.

Nah. I was right this afternoon. That guy is a dipshit.

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

100 Episodes I Love: #3. "Space Madness/The Boy Who Cried Rat" (Ren and Stimpy) (Season 1, Episode 3)

There's a lot to love about Ren and Stimpy--particularly in the salad days when John K was still in charge, though there are still plenty of good ones post-K--but I'm partial to a good, old-fashioned Ren Hoek freak-out. "In The Army" and "Sven Hoek," in which an enraged Ren pisses on an electric fence and blasts himself into Hell, feature two of my very favorite freak-outs, but "Space Madness" is a tour-de-force of complete psychosis. In the episode, Ren plays a spaceship captain on a 36-year mission to the Crab Nebula, his faithful science officer, Stimpy, by his side. During an entry in the captains log, a device that literally sucks the thoughts out of his head in chunks, Ren mentions the titular condition and seems to fear that it may be coming upon him. However, it is time for Commander Hoek and Cadet Stimpy to take a six year vacation. They start with a quiet meal, but the lack of food choices--they're pretty much stuck with tubes of goo, in flavors geared almost exclusively to felines--sends Ren into a mini-frenzy. Stimpy suggests a calming bath, and it is during this bath that Hoek goes off the deep end:

Ren and Stimpy Space Madness by jtechno0550

It is a classic moment from a classic show, and it leads to the complete annihilation of all history thanks to Stimpy's inability to refrain from pushing the History Eraser Button.

The second cartoon in this episode finds Ren and Stimpy in their roles as hungry, homeless vagrants willing to do anything for a quick five bucks. In "The Boy Who Cried Rat," the duo come up with a pretty ingenious plan: Ren will dress up as a mouse, which really doesn't take much more than a pair of Mickey Mouse style overalls and a Mouseketeer cap; sneak into an unsuspecting homeowners previously vermin-less home; and in the morning, Stimpy will show up and present himself as a skilled rodent exterminator. The scam goes rather well, until Stimpy actually catches Ren and is expected to eat him.

Moments I Love

The commercial for Sugar Frosted Milk, the breakfast treat that murders your cereal apparently.
Pipe-Smoking Homeowner: Man, that's the ugliest mouse I've ever seen. And he's beating up on our cheese!
I particularly like the scene in "The Boy Who Cried Rat" where Ren and Stimpy are in the kitchen enjoying sandwiches while continuing to play act that they are engaged in a vicious, life-or-death battle. Slicing the tomato substituting for a violent stabbing is a nice touch.
Commander Hoek (to his beloved "ice cream bar"): We're not hitchhiking anymore. We're riding!
The list of chores Ren and Stimpy are expected to do to make up for there mouse infestation ruse: wash the dishes, vacuum the rug, paint the lawn, mow the hedge, and shave the chickens.
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Sunday Morning Music: Jesus Christ!


1. That little guy can dance!

2. What or who is on trial in the courtroom scene? And why does the judge allow one of the lawyers to strangle that dude on the witness stand?

3. Why does the big guy break the little guy's neck? Furthermore, why does he flashback to a time he was praying in church after he does it? It seems like after the flashback to that time in church, the big guy is given the strength to hurt more people. Kind of a conflicting message.

4. Best line: "With Jesus in my life, my suffering will be brief." No doubt about it, there will be suffering, but it'll be brief suffering, so be cool.

5. I kinda wish the whole thing was that stuff during the end credits. Oh, well.

In conclusion: Good job, guys. You can't sing and I can't follow your narrative, but you did something, and that's more than I've ever done.
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