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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Perving Out: Whatever the Weather

I spent most of last week watching CNN, HLN, Fox News, and reality shows (Hardcore Pawn; some hunk of shit called Auction Hunters, which is basically [or, exactly] a rip-off of Storage Wars, only one of the guys has stupid tattoos all over his dumb, bald head). I was visiting my in-laws, so I really didn't have much of a say on what we all sat down to watch after the kid went to bed, and that's fine. I'm not complaining. Well, I am, but not, you know, seriously. I mean, I didn't spend the entirety of our visit arms crossed, frowny faced if that's what you're thinking.

When we weren't watching CNN describe the manner in which George Zimmerman was chained for his first court appearance or the Etan Patz slideshow for the fiftieth time, we watched the local news. My wife's parents live in South Jersey, so they watch the news out of Philadelphia. NBC 10, if we're being specific, and why shouldn't we be? Now there's really nothing that special about the NBC 10 newscast...oh, wait, yes there is. Say hello to NBC 10's smoking hot meteorologist, Sheena Parveen.

Wow. All we have in North Carolina is this barrel-chested, oak tree of a man who calls himself "Big Weather." Lucky Philadelphians.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Gone Fishin'

The family and I are taking a little vacation this week, so there won't be any posts for a little bit. Don't worry, GEP will be back with all new material next week, but this week, well, I need a break. You see, life can be stressful and annoying, and sometimes the only way to right oneself again is to pack up the car, drive to New Jersey, and consume as many Wawa Shortis as possible in the span of four days.

While I'm gone, please enjoy this exciting clip from the 1989 film No Holds Barred. Marvel at the sheer brutality of a Hulk Hogan unchained! Stare awestruck at the greatest fight choreography ever committed to film! Witness the most shameful line reading in movie history (FYI: It's at the 2:00 mark)! I'll see you guys next week. Have a nice vacation, me.

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mike Tyson: America's Tone Setter

A lot of people have e-mailed me privately to ask, "Hey, Matt, why hasn't GEP weighed in on the Trayvon Martin thing yet?" Well, first of all, is Snooki involved in any way, because if she isn't, I probably don't have much to say about it on this particular Web site. And second of all, why should I say anything when Mike Tyson summed up my feelings--and I assume yours, dear readers--in an interview with Yahoo News this week:

"My personal feeling is that, as a young kid that was beat on by a bully, that was pretty much singled out—the guy [Zimmerman] stalked him, didn't follow instructions from a superior officer, when they said, 'Stop following the kid.' That tells you everything right there. But my all-around perspective, I wasn't there, I don't know what happened. But it's just so widespread and overt what happened.
Even though this is the best country in the world, certain laws in this country are a disgrace to a nation of savages. It's a majority versus a minority. That's the way God planned it. He didn't want to do something about it, He wanted us to do something about it. And if we don't, it's gonna stay this way. We have to continue tweeting, we have to continue marching, we have to continue fighting for Trayvon Martin. If that's not the case, he was killed in vain, and we're just waiting for it to happen to our children. He'll have gotten away with impunity. It's a disgrace that man hasn't been dragged out of his house and tied to a car and taken away. That's the only kind of retribution that people like that understand. It's a disgrace that man hasn't been shot yet. Forget about him being arrested--the fact that he hasn't been shot yet is a disgrace. That's how I feel personally about it."

Mike Tyson always says what everybody's thinking and that's why he's such a national treasure.

I'm actually being a little facetious, for you first time readers. I do that quite often, sometimes to humorous effect. Certainly I think George Zimmerman needs to answer for his senseless crime, but as far as it being a "disgrace" that he hasn't yet been shot and killed himself or dragged behind a vehicle for an extended period of time, I'm not so sure. I'm actually quite proud of the American public for keeping their emotions in check and not resorting to more senseless, stupid acts of aggression.

I guess the reason I'm highlighting Tyson's thoughts on this story is twofold. First of all, why is Mike Tyson ever asked his opinion on anything? He's a violent weirdo with a rapey past, right? Sure, he talks funny and loves pigeons and he sang that Phil Collins song in The Hangover, but he's still mostly a creep. Right? I mean, who cares what a funny-talking, punchy creep has to say about the latest news stories? I don't.

Secondly, this story isn't shocking to anyone, is it? Mike Tyson saying something crazy? I'm sure this happens a lot more than we even know. The entire rambling statement, with its pseudo-religious gobbledygook at the front and its call for violent retribution on the back end, makes little to no sense. Read it again. Slowly. Brain hurt yet?

In summation, Mike Tyson shouldn't be asked about anything other than boxing, pigeons, and what human flesh tastes like. He shouldn't be allowed to talk about anything else, especially hot button news stories. Or tattoos.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

100 Songs I Hate: 27-29

27. "A Case of You" (James Blake)

Listen, I don't know what kind of music you like. Maybe you think this Joni Mitchell cover is the most beautiful thing you've ever heard in your entire life up to this point. I think it sounds like, Aaron Neville doing a shoddy, over-the-top impression of himself, like, at a party, for laughs or something. It's boring and it's garbled and I don't like it one bit.

I get this weird feeling when I listen to this song--and the five other songs by Mr. Blake I sampled before concluding that most of his oeuvre is utter garbage--that people who like this guy, probably rabidly like this guy. James Blake seems like one of those artists that has the kind of fans that would be severely and irrationally super pissed off by anything that appeared to denigrate their golden rock god in any way, like, if some bald asshole trashed his music on a little-read, in-no-way-influential pop-culture blog. So, I'll just reiterate that this isn't for me, but if you like it, go ahead and like it.

Also, who would want to drink a case of someone? That's serial killer shit right there, son.

28. "Somethin' 'bout a Truck" (Kip Moore)

Another list of things rednecks enjoy posing as a legitimate song. Hot diggity dang!

Apparently, there is something about a truck, ice cold beer, private property, and drunken swimming at 2 in the morning that is so damn important, Kip Moore just had to write a "song" 'bout it. I think that something is date rape, but I can't be 100-percent certain. I don't want to put words into Moore's mouth, you see. I don't want to put anything in Moore's mouth, especially any more of that ice cold beer. This seems to be how things progress in the song:

1. Moore and a lady friend are driving around in his truck late one night when they come across a farmer's field with a NO TRESPASSING sign posted. They are almost assuredly intoxicated.

2. Ignoring the sign, they drive onto the farmer's land and crack a couple more beers.

3. Moore notices the lady friend's red sundress and decides he needs to take "sexual action" before he makes a "mess" (premature ejaculation?) of himself. The lady friend continues to drink.

4. They kiss. Beer is consumed. Moore probably slips something in the lady friend's drink.

5. They find a creek, take their clothes off, and go swimming.

6. In the water, Moore makes his move.

7. The lady friend does not respond positively, so country singer Kip Moore drowns her in the creek.

8. After drinking the rest of the beers, Moore drives his truck home and records the demo that will eventually become "Somethin' 'bout a Truck" in his home studio.

I sort of had to guess at some of the later stuff, but it's sick, right?

29. "Cartoon Song" (Chris Rice)

I'm almost 99-percent sure GEP has shared this song before. How could we not? It is utterly ridiculous.

First of all, if cartoons got saved, why wouldn't they just say hallelujah in the same normal way other saved individuals say it? I'm not sure I agree with Rice's premise that they would start singing praise in a "whole new way." I think they'd probably join a church and kind of, you know, follow everybody else's lead. It'd be chaos if everyone was doing whatever the heck they wanted during a church service. I've been to a pentecostal church. I've seen it. It was like a circus in there. Some people were running up and down the aisles; others were dancing in front of the altar; the guy next to me was screaming and yelping. Imagine a couple of cartoon characters thrown in doing their own thing. Like, imagine Yogi Bear is next to you shouting "Hey-Boo-Boo-lujah!" To quote Rob Dyrdek, that would be pure ridiculousness.

Secondly, they wouldn't be singing praise in a "whole new way," they'd just be singing praise period. They just got saved, man, I think it's safe to assume they were not singing any sort of praise up to that point. But that's kind of nitpicky, I guess.

Thirdly, Kermit the Frog is not a cartoon. Baby Kermit was, but, c'mon, surely Baby Kermit was in no position to make an informed decision on whether or not he wanted to dedicate his life to the god of the Christian Bible. He was a baby! Babies drool and cry and pee their pants. I know. My daughter is a baby. They don't know what's going on at church. For example, we took Shrimpkin to church on Easter Sunday to see her Pop-Pop in the Easter play and she loved it. She clapped along with the music and shouted excitedly during communion. She didn't know any better. I whispered, "Don't enjoy this too much," to her, but then admitted that the music was pretty good. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I like a hymn.

Fourthly, everyone knows the Smurfs are Hare Krishnas. Duh!

Fively, why are Beavis and "that other guy" denied salvation? That to me is the most despicable moment in the song. What is Chris Rice saying exactly? That there are limits to Jesus's love? Sorry, Rice, but I believe Beavis and Butthead were the exact types of people Jesus was hanging with when he was doing his Father's work on Earth. I can just see Jesus on that couch between Beavis and Butthead, chomping on nachos and poking fun at Public Image Ltd.

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Post (A Little Late)

And now, as Easter draws to a close, the Easter Bunny can get back to doing what he does best: hating the shit out of you:

Hope Easter 2012 was a happy one.

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Friday, April 6, 2012

100 Songs I Love: 122

122. "Dream Weaver" (Gary Wright)

When I started working for the government (i.e. The Man) five years ago, I was delighted to learn that employees were allowed to listen to music at their desks. The temp job I held for two years before this did not permit such distractions, even though I spent my days filing, stuffing envelopes, and/or staring forlornly at the carpeted walls of my cubicle praying for the sweet release of death. Music could've really come in handy, you know; chase the suicidal thoughts away or whatever. But none of that mattered anymore. I was no longer a temp. I was a respectable, gainfully employed member of society now and respectable, gainfully employed members of society get to listen to music while they work.

So, I purchased a cheap radio/CD player from Wal-mart. It proved itself a hunk of shit right out of the box, but it provided the sweet tune-age my brain required to maintain it's sanity, so I was delighted. Then, when I got tired of listening to the same Asobi Seksu album over and over (I listened to
Citrus five times in a row one day--that's not a bad thing, it's a great record), I had the radio option (by this time I had moved up to the 8th floor and had a window in my office). I listened to NPR almost exclusively and for awhile it was a good fun time. Soon, however, the radio/CD player's inherent shittiness became too much to bear, plus, I had an iPod now and I mostly listened to podcasts anyway, so I donated the radio to my newborn daughter. "Here's a piece of garbage CD player with a short in it somewhere," I said, dropping it off unceremoniously in Quinn's bedroom. "Enjoy yourself."

What does any of this have to do with Gary Wright's "Dream Weaver." I'm gettin' to it! Patience!

When Quinn turned about eight months or so, me and my wife decided to turn the guest room into a guest-room-slash-play-room thing. We moved Quinn's toy box, her various puppets, and her Little People Little Talker's Zoo into the room. We also moved the crappy radio/CD player. The thing will hardly play a CD any more--the conditions have to be just right--so we turned to the radio for our musical needs, settling on 96.1, Raleigh's "hybrid" classic rock station.

Hybrid, you ask. Yes. For every expected classic rock band they play (Led Zeppelin, ACDC, Steve Miller Band), they'll play something from the 90's (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the song "Linger" by the Cranberries). As far as radio stations go, it's pretty great. For better or worse, there are no DJ's, so we get a pretty solid, uninterrupted block of rock every night during playtime. The classic rock appeals to my wife, while the 90's alternative satisfies my listening needs. I like some of the classic stuff too. I do mistake every other song for "Jessie's Girl," but most people do that, right?

(A note on that "Jessie's Girl" thing: Until this morning, when I was telling my wife about my plans to write the very piece you are now reading, Jen was under the impression that my whole "this is 'Jessie's Girl,' right?" thing was a joke. It, sadly, is not.)

We've been listening to 96.1 in the playroom for a long time now and I've noticed something: They never actually play 'Jessie's Girl."

Also, they never play Gary Wright's "Dream Weaver." I've had limited exposure to classic rock radio, but there was a station I would sometimes listen to in Charlotte that presented itself as a classic rock station, and they played "Dream Weaver" all the time. What gives, 96.1? You'll play every single ZZ Top ever released and Tesla's "
Love Song" 50-times a day, but no "Dream Weaver?"

I like "Dream Weaver." It's weird and nice. And it reminds me of
Wayne's World. I liked Wayne's World.

I've been threatening to call 96.1 and request "Dream Weaver" for, like, three weeks now. I think I'm going to do it. Maybe they can play it between "Thunderstruck" and "La Grange" one day. Dammit, I hate "La Grange." But that's for an entirely different feature. I'll let you know what happens with this whole "Dream Weaver" situation.

NEXT TIME: GEP calls out 96.1 FM for never paying Europe's "The Final Countdown."

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Good Friday just got even better

This seemed appropriate for today. Sigh. Nothing like a visit from an old friend.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tawdry Tuesday: Perverted in Portlandia

Younger readers of Giant Electric Penguin might know Madonna only as the elderly woman who sang with a choir during this year's Super Bowl, but back when I was a kid, Madonna was the hottest thing on two legs with a conical bra. Remember when Mtv banned the video for "Justify My Love" from its airwaves? Watching the video now, it seems about as racy as a modern day perfume ad. Is it sexy? A little, but mostly it makes me want to drive to Macy's and buy my mom a bottle of something expensive for Mother's Day.

Has the world gotten more perverse and, therefore, less concerned with the amount of sex shown on its television screens and at its cineplexes? Absolutely. It's why are country is going to Hell and the reason we need Rick Santorum to step in and right the ship again. But this is Tawdry Tuesday, not Political POV Late Afternoon Thursday (coming soon!), and on Tawdry Tuesday we revel in all that is kinky, seedy, and perverse. And today our focus is on Madonna and her 1993 film Body of Evidence.

The faces of hand fun.

Before sitting down to watch it, I knew exactly one thing about Body of Evidence: at some point in the movie, Madonna drips candle wax on Willem Dafoe. That's it. What I didn't know--besides the details of the derivative plot, the rampant bad acting, and the abject boredom brought on by actually viewing the film--was that Madonna doesn't "drip" candle wax on Willem Dafoe, as much as she "dumps" candle wax on Willem Dafoe's balls. Yes, that's what was going on in the candle wax scene a 14-year-old Matt could only dream about in 1993. I'm sure back then I probably thought the idea of Madonna pouring hot wax on some dude was dirty and exciting. Of course I did! It was weird, and I was into some weird stuff. Plus, I hadn't yet developed the thick layer of chest hair I sport today. I didn't think of the consequences that a night spent flinging candle wax around would bring. I didn't have to. Today all I could think about was the clean up process the next morning.

But that's not the point. The point is, Madonna unequivocally saturates Willem Dafoe's scrotum with molten candle wax. There's nothing fun and sexy about that. If that's your kink, more power to you, but it's not for me, man. I don't like to have my balls ignored during a sex session, but maybe when melted wax is being prepared for the specific purpose of being dumped all over my boys, too much attention is being paid. I mean, c'mon, ladies. Let's use some common sense.

Here's the thing though: I think by this point in the evolutionary development of humankind, women understand the fragility of a man's balls. No virgin is starting off her first time with a quick uppercut to her lover's bing-bongs, right? You wouldn't like to be punched in the vagina, right, nameless virigin I just made up? Well, your partner doesn't want to be clocked in his junk neither. We all understand balls, I think. Let's move on.

I guess what really matters here is if Body of Evidence is, in fact, tawdrier than the first five episodes of Melrose Place. Simply put, yes. Body of Evidence is way tawdrier than anything on Melrose Place. I don't remember anybody ever pouring candle wax all over Billy's nutsack or giving Jake a hand-job in an elevator. Maybe that's in episode six.

For everything Body of Evidence isn't (i.e. thrilling, kinky, good, etc), it is, without a doubt, tawdry as all heck. Here is a quick list of the tawdriest acts depicted on screen: sex tapes, "reverse cowgirl," hand cuffs, Willem Dafoe butt shots, elevator hand fun, parking garage cunnilingus, stairway Frenching, adultery, Julianne Moore nipple suckage.

Yes, Body of Evidence is a tawdry romp on the mild side of sex, but it isn't particularly good. And, despite what you might think from the list above, it is surprisingly tame. Madonna's involvement implies, to me anyway, that a film is going to get all kinds of freaky, but in Body of Evidence, Willem Dafoe's character seems blown away by the dull fact that Madonna and her elderly lover video taped themselves having sex and watched it later. Oh, that's crazy!

NEXT TIME: ORIGINAL SIN (I don't know anything about this movie, but a quick Google image search yields a plethora of pictures displaying Angelina Jolie and Antonio Banderas enjoying a naked embrace, Jolie's boobs strategically blocked by Banderas' arms in each one. Move your arm, dude!)

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Oh, before we forget...

(you should totally see your face right now)

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A New Era Begins 4/1/2012!!!

I've been bitching and moaning in an entertaining fashion about pop culture for 4 years now on the pages of Giant Electric Penguin and, frankly, I've grown tired of the whole endeavor. I'm 33-years-old, for Crom's sake. All that snark? Sheesh. And apparently I can't even type a sentence without shoehorning some nerdy reference into it. I hate me sometimes.

Anyway, in the word's of Michael Joseph Jackson, I'm gonna make a change, hee-hee. From this moment forward, Giant Electric Penguin is turning its back on the Snookis and Situations of the world and focusing solely on silly cat pictures, like this one:

And this one:
And this one:
There aren't enough silly cat picture sits on the internet, so, I'm throwing my hat into the ring. I wish I could say these last 4 years have been fun, but they haven't. All of the terrible television I've watched. All of the awful movies I've subjected myself to. All of the horrible, horrible music I've shared with my readers. And don't even get me started on my extremely unpopular The Most Horrific Thing I've Read This Week series. Did you know I once included a story about a woman chopping her infant in half with a samurai sword? What's wrong with me?

So, tell your friends the good news: Giant Electric Penguin is a funny cat picture site now, safe for families, babies, and the elderly. Hipsters are still welcome. Shut-ins are encouraged to submit their cat pictures. Let's make the next 4 years a fun, furry adventure, guys! Cats!!!

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