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Friday, March 29, 2013

The Continuing Sesame Street Conundrum

Look, I'm just not going to be happy until I get to the bottom of whatever the hell is happening on Sesame Street.  As my daughter's library of Sesame Street books grows, so does the mystery.  I know I'm stuck in a shameful spiral that will only lead to heartache and woe, but I can't help myself.  I'm a man who craves answers; a man who desires order in a largely chaotic universe; a man who wants to know once and for all: HOW OLD IS GROVER???

I know, I know: he's a puppet, and is, therefore, ageless, but that's not the point and I'm offended by your frankness, person I'm imagining just said this to me.  All of the characters on Sesame Street represent an age group, and usually it's pretty easy to figure out which one, but not with Grover.  Grover's age is hard to pin down.  In one book, he's attending his first day of kindergarten (with the likes of Bert and Ernie, who, as I've said previously, are obviously old college buddies and not kindergarteners).  In another, he's apparently a doctor.  On TV, Grover has been depicted as a waiter, an elevator operator, an absent-minded super hero and a world-traveling, trust fund asshole, activities a kindergarten aged child or well-educated doctor could or would never have time to pursue.  So, how old is Grover and what is he up to???

I still don't know how old he is, but I found the answer to what he's up to this morning in my daughter's latest favorite, Murray's First Book of Words.  Grover is a transvestite:
I, for one, applaud Grover's choice to live his truth.  Look at that smile!  Look at the confident stride!  Grover feels comfortable doing his weekly grocery shopping in a pink sweater, purple slacks, and a blond wig and he's not afraid to show it.  You go, Grover!

That being said, there is no way a kindergarten aged Grover is walking around town dressed as a member of the opposite sex, buying groceries.  No one would let their kid do that.  I mean, sure, Elmo is always hanging out on front stoops or at Hooper's Store without supervision, but his parents' are known alcoholics who spend the majority of each sunny day on Sesame Street in a drunken stupor.

So, I guess, Grover is still a riddle to be solved.  I'll crack this Grover Conundrum someday, I know I will, dammit!

Oh, by the way, why in the hell is this happening?:

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Splash (Season 1, Episode 2)

So, Splash didn't get any better this week, but it did open with a robot-themed production number.  It wasn't a particularly good robot-themed production number considering it was simply an endless line of silver spray-painted divers toppling lemming-style off of diving platforms of varying heights.  I guess it was as good as a robot-themed diving production number could be, but, you know, whatever.

Here's what happened tonight:

1. So, Chuy Bravo is out.  He fractured his heel, but not while attempting a difficult dive during practice or helping pull a waterlogged Louie Anderson out of the deep end after a belly flop.  No, Chuy broke his heel jumping from one table to another in the Dive Lounge (AKA the seating area in which the celebrities are asked to relax in before and after their dives).  Did you get that?  Chuy Bravo, by all appearances, aside from his small stature, a grown adult man, was jumping from one table to another like an unsupervised toddler in an IKEA.  

Why is Chuy running around on top of a table?  Granted, the Dive Lounge's tables are small and designed in the coffee-style, but still.  When my 1-year-old daughter puts her feet on the kitchen table during dinner, she gets a stern talking to.  What happens if she sees TV's Chuy Bravo leaping from table-to-table with reckless abandon like some kind of tubby Christmas elf?  Is she going to start thinking that it's perfectly acceptable to run around on tabletops all day and all night?  Bravo needs to realize that children all over America look up, and some down, to him.  His table leaping ways make him an unacceptable role model.  For shame, Chuy.

Chuy did promise to return for the second season however.  That's cute.  He thinks there's going to be a second season.

2. I don't think I mentioned this last week, but me and my wife were wondering what the winner of this ridiculous competition gets.  Is a predetermined sum of money awarded to the charity of said winning celebrity's choice?  Does the winner automatically get a spot on the Olympic diving team?  

Host Joey Lawrence mentioned something about a "crown" on tonight's broadcast, but I have not yet determined if he was speaking of a metaphorical crown or if the winner is awarded some kind of physical crown;  a golden crown maybe, festooned with shimmering jewels.  Stay tuned.

3. What's the matter with Joey Lawrence's hair?  Reminds me of Allen, Barbie's beau when she and Ken are on a break, by which I mean orange and plastic.

4. I could watch Nicole Eggert's fall from the 16-foot platform all night.  It's as close to a highlight as Splash has ever come.

5. Hold on!  Chuy Bravo's replacement celebrity is Brandi Chastain?  Chuy and Louie (Now there's a sitcom idea!) were the two main reasons I agreed to watch/write about/suffer through this ridiculous program.  Louie because fat guy fall down make ha ha; and Chuy because, well, he's small, and it would've been funny to watch a small guy jump from great heights into water.  And now we've got a legit athlete taking his place, a legit athlete who performed the closest thing to a dive Splash has had so far.  What, was Danny Devito unavailable?  What's Mickey Rooney up to?  Being 92-years-old, you say?  That's no excuse!  Get on that diving platform, Rooney!  DO IT, OLD, SHORT MAN!!!

Just Wonderin': Is Splash the most racist reality competition show ever?  This week Ndamukong Suh gets eliminated, and last week it was Keshia Knight Pulliam.  Hmmm?  I'm not saying anything, but watch your back, Kareem.

Wife Quote of the Night: During Nicole Eggert's introduction: "Is Pamela Anderson dead?"  

(My wife wanted everyone reading this to know that she was legitimately concerned about Pamela Anderson's current state of mortality.  She also wanted me to let everyone know that she was thinking about Anna Nicole Smith when she asked the above question.  I informed her that Ms. Smith is very much dead.)

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Put that thing away, sir!

Don't you hate it when this happens to you?

We've all been here before: either posing on a coffee table in nothing but a towel for a middle-aged woman with nothing much to fill her mornings so she's decided to try her hands at painting (Hell, she took a few art classes in college thirty-five years ago.  How hard could it be to pick that shit back up?) OR painting a semi-nude portrait of a person with horrifying toe fungus (Seriously, what's up with that dude's toe?  Looks like he's got a zombie nail.).

There was some joke I wanted to make here, but I can't remember it.  This commercial's sheer weirdness has eaten away at my brain like some kind of, I don't know, fungus or something, and I can no longer maintain a coherent line of thought.

What the hell is going on???

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Splash (Season 1, Episode 1)

Splash (AKA The Reality Show On Which Rotund Comedian Louie Anderson Dives Into A Pool) is finally here!  From the moment I heard that Louie Anderson (Stand up comedy; Life With Louie; slipping and falling at a Chinese buffet in Las Vegas) was going to appear on a reality diving show, I was in.  People who know me know that I have a fascination with Mr. Anderson, due mostly to his legendary book-on-tape performance of Dear Dad, an epistolary memoir about growing up with an alcoholic father.  I'm also the proud owner of a limited edition $5 poker chip featuring the smiling visage and red suited body of a young Louie, which I keep securely in my bedside table.  I also like the idea of a morbidly obese man falling into a pool.

That's what I thought I'd get tonight, but I was wrong.  In fact, Louie Anderson impressed me.  There was nothing to make fun of here, aside from Louie dedicating his dive to "the troops."  Louie performed the only legitimate dive of the night, and for this he was richly rewarded, earning a spot on next week's installment.

Correct me if I'm wrong, diving fans, but doesn't a true dive require one to enter a pool head first?  I don't remember seeing a lot of Olympic athletes jumping feet first into the water and leaving London with a neck full of gold last summer.  I mean, I can jump into a pool feet first.  Who gives a shit?  Who wants to watch a show where a bunch of celebrities jump into a pool in the style of my 1-year-old daughter?  

If a dive does, in fact, require head first entry into a body of water, than Louie Anderson is the only person who succeeded tonight.  Basketball great and frighteningly tall person, Kareem Abdul-Jabber, came second closest with his awkward belly flop/face plant combination.  Keshia Knight Pulliam (TV's Rudy Huxtable), Katherine Webb (of Brent Musburger lust fame), and Rory Bushfield (an extreme skier whose hands appear to be permanently twisted into the "Hang Loose" position) leapt from great heights, but that's about it.

In the end, there was an old fashion "dive off" (Remember those, guys?) between Pulliam and Webb, with Webb getting to stay, as she does not make home viewers intensely uncomfortable (Pulliam was Rudy, you guys, and now she's got, like, boobs.  It's very disconcerting.).

I may have forgotten to mention this up top, but Splash is terrible.  The judges are garbage ("Let's make the judge with the foreign accent an asshole, guys."  "Oh, can we give him unfunny one-liners to say?"  "Only of course!"); the hosts, one of which is TV's Joey Lawrence, who never said or even came close to saying "whoa" once, are the worst; and the idea that the American viewing public has any desire to watch D-level celebrities (and Kareem Abdul-Jabber) jump into a pool is misguided at best.  None of that matters however, because from now until it's over, Splash will be covered on the pages of Giant Electric Penguin for you, dear readers.  You're welcome.

Hey, Didja Know?: Apparently, Grey's Anatomy is still on.  Go figure.

Quote of the Night: "Doggy-style!  Doggy-style"  --Chuy Bravo, while swimming around in a pool wearing arm floaties (I think he meant "doggy paddle."  Aw.)

Wife Quote of the Night: After Louie dedicated his dive to the men and women of the armed forces: "The troops don't give a shit."

Just Wondering: Everybody on the show kept commending Louie on his commitment to a "new, healthier lifestyle," but I never once heard Louie confirm that this was his reason for appearing on Splash.

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

100 Songs I Love: 139-142

It's St. Patrick's Day and I'm already wasted, so I'm just gonna lie here on the floor underneath my desk and listen to some music.  But, please, nothing to upbeat.  I'm trying my hardest not to puke this year.  If someone could call my wife and let her know I'm down here and that I could really use something to eat.  Maybe some pancakes.  They'll probably soak up all the booze, right?  Anyway, top of the morning to you and here's what I'm listening to at a high volume to keep from blacking out.

139. "Woke Up New" (The Mountain Goats)

Just because I'm in a loving relationship and live a fairly enviable life, doesn't mean I don't enjoy a sad song from time to time.  I love sad songs, especially songs about broken relationships and the devastated people left destroyed by said breaking.  I don't think I'm better than the characters in these songs just because I'm married to a beautiful, intelligent, amazingly funny woman who loves and respects me and is the best mother in the world to our brilliant and perfect half-Asian daughter, I just enjoy the delicious sadness I can vampire-suck off of them.  I inhale the despair into my body, convert it into "good vibes" through a process not unlike photosynthesis, and I go about my business with a new sense of purpose and drive.  Sad songs are, simply put, the fuel the powers my engine.

I'm mostly exaggerating, but I do enjoy sad songs, and "Woke Up New" is one of the saddest.  It's also kind of hopeful, as the character at its center does understand, at least by the song's end, that there is a future ahead for him and all he need do is wait for its arrival.

It is difficult waking up alone that first morning after the end of a long-term relationship.  I remember when I broke up with my girlfriend of six plus years, instead of spending the first night in my new apartment, I drove to the apartment we shared and slept on the couch.  I should add, she didn't come home that night, but found my asleep the next morning and was very understanding about the whole thing.  I did spend the entire next night in my new place and, I don't remember, but I probably woke up pretty bummed.

Fun Fact: The video for "Woke Up New" was directed by the director of Looper.  You can totally tell, right?

140. "Wishes" (Beach House)

Let me just be real clear up here at the top: I was alerted to the existence of this song/video by The Must List in the most recent issue of Entertainment Weekly, all right!  Is that OK with you, Hipster McGee?  And, yes, it's true, I've never heard a Beach House song before this one.  Oh, is that blasphemous, Indie Rock Q. Scarf-in-Summer the 3rd?

Seriously though, this is my first Beach House song.  Now I want to hear all the songs.  I love this.

Best YouTube comment for this video: "This is how the second season of Twin Peaks was *supposed* to end."   -drij, YouTube user and Twin Peaks fan

141. "Actor Out Of Work" (St. Vincent)

While I'm dropping "truth bombs," as the kids say, I should probably add that I'm pretty much finished with Top 40 radio.  I'll hold for your applause.


Please, everybody, sit down.  I know you're proud of me, but this is really too much.

Look, I knew it was a phase, I just didn't know how long it would last.  And I haven't turned my back on the world of pop music (Think of me what you will, but I still genuinely enjoy "Beauty and a Beat."  I am never going to apologize for that, so don't hold your breath.), I just can't justify wasting any more precious ear hours on Top 40 radio.  Maybe I'll blog about it in the future, but if I don't, just know that those days are, for the time being, over.

What does St. Vincent have to do with this?  Well, the day my love affair with Top 40 abruptly ended (I blame both Swedish House Mafia and Calvin Harris.), I turned my radio dial to the local college station, WKNC.  "Actor Out Of Work" cranked into action as if it had been waiting for me to arrive.  It pounced, sunk it's sweet, sharp fangs into my neck, and I proclaimed, out loud to my empty car, "What the fuck have I been doing?"  True story.  "Actor Out Of Work" is not only a great song, but it was my redemption.

142. "The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton" (The Mountain Goats)

We're a little Mountain Goats heavy this week, but, screw you, this is my list and I'll put whatever I want on it.  Actually, a friend from work gave me a copy of All Hail West Texas a couple of weeks ago and it hasn't left my CD player.  I had a hard time picking one out for this post, but I think this song, which opens the album, is pretty great.  And any song that includes the repeated cry of "Hail, Satan," is OK in my book.

Other songs from All Hail West Texas that I was considering for today's post: "Jenny"; "Color in Your Cheeks"; "Pink and Blue"; "The Mess Inside" (I guarantee this one will pop up on this ever expanding list sometime soon.); "Distant Stations"; "Riches and Wonders"

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

What the WTF?!?: The Call Trailer

Wanna go to the movies this weekend, but don't have enough money for tickets, popcorn, and a babysitter without priors?  Not a problem.  Get out your favorite computing device, log on to YouTube and watch the trailer for the latest film from WWE Films, The Call, starring one-time Academy Award winner and full-time bad movie maker, Halle Berry.  You can even make popcorn if you want.  It's your night in at the movies.  Go nuts.

Honestly, Trailer for The Call, what's wrong with you?  You've basically just given us the entire film in two-and-a-half minutes.  Actually, that's probably preferable to having to sit through this piece of shit.  Maybe, Trailer for The Call, you are to be commended rather than scorned.

My favorite part: the trailer contains a flashback to an earlier scene in the trailer, you know, just so the audience can keep up.

"This is kind of a wild twist," some studio head probably said.  "I mean, Halle Berry interacting with the same killer twice, thus giving her a chance at redemption.  It's literally never been done before.  But are people watching the trailer really going to get that it's the same killer if we don't include a flashback to something shown a few seconds earlier in the trailer?  I mean, what if somebody got up to go to the bathroom, but returned in time to see the latter half of the trailer and couldn't catch up?  You don't expect people to hold in their pee, do you?  Are we really going to be the studio that demands people hold in their pee until our trailers are over?  I don't want that on my head, do you?"

"I think it'll be fine," said whoever was cutting the trailer.  "Most people aren't totally stupid."

"I'd feel better if you'd put the flashback in there.  It would help me sleep at night.  Just thinking of all those bladder infections.  And what if--oh my good God, I didn't even consider this earlier--what if someone is, like, super hungry and they decide to get popcorn halfway through the trailer and then, like the pee guy from my previous example, he or she returns with the popcorn and is totally and utterly confused about who Halle Berry is talking to on the phone?  Are we going to let hungry people starve?  I'm not willing to even consider that for a millisecond.  Put in the flashback.  I'm going to lunch."

Chances are, if The Call is the kind of movie you enjoy on a regular basis, you don't read this blog, so I'm going to wrap things up.

Have a great weekend, dudes!

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Hardest I've Ever Laughed

The truth is, I love to laugh.  It's probably in the Top Five things I love to do, along with eat, have sex, write and mope.  

Whenever I'm stressed or stuck in a situation that is seemingly hopeless, my body will automatically erupt into laughter.  It's weird.  The first time I noticed this weird phenomenon was the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of college.  I worked at Walmart (America's Sweetheart!) as a cashier, and one night, while closing out my drawer, I realized that the drawer in question was significantly lacking.  Like, there was a whole lot less cash in it than there should of been.  A sputtered laugh crawled its way out of my throat, followed by two or three more.  It was as if my body were saying, "We've got nothing else to lose--let's laugh it up!"  It made me feel better, oddly enough.  

(Oh, it turns out Walmart doesn't really give much of shit if your register drawer is short or not.  As long as the Powers That Be know that business has been cruelly stolen from some no-name, mom-and-pop establishment that day, Walmart feels just fine.)

I also laugh for normal reasons too.  Like at funny stuff.  Like recently.  I laughed harder last Saturday night than I have in a very long time, and I think it bears sharing.

Perhaps you've heard the term "podcast," perhaps you even listen to them.  I've made no secret of my love/dependence upon podcasts on this blog.  You might say, I'm a fan of the medium.  If you listen to podcasts, you might have heard of a little program called Comedy Bang Bang, and if you are super into podcasts and comedy in general, you might know that Comedy Bang Bang started as a weekly alternative stand-up show in Los Angeles, California.  If you have never heard of podcasts, Comedy Bang Bang, and/or Los Angeles, California, there's really nothing more I can do for you right now.

So, the Comedy Bang Bang live show ended last year, but a new show, aptly titled Put Your Hands Together, hosted by Cameron Esposito, took it's place.  PYHT, as the hip kids call it (maybe), is recorded and released as a podcast each week.  I recently listened to the first episode and kind of instantly fell in love with it.  Esposito is great and the first episode features amazingly funny sets from Kyle Kinane, Ron Funches, and Zach Sherwin, among others.

"That certainly was a gas," I said, addressing my iPhone at the conclusion of Episode 1.  "What else do you have for me today, iPhone, my old bean?"  What else did it have, you ask?  Oh, only THE FUNNIEST THING I'VE EVER HEARD IN MY LIFE!

PYHT's second episode ends with a set from Bobcat Goldthwait.  Goldthwait's set includes a story about his appearance at last year's Gathering of the Juggalos, the annual concert/cesspool organized by the Insane Clown Posse, America's premiere clown rap outfit.  I won't get into the specifics of Goldthwait's bit, because it really must be experienced, but I can tell you it involves a golf cart, a can of Faygo, and an individual known as Upchuck the Clown.

I've mentioned in other places that Goldthwait's story made me laugh myself into a blackout, and while this is a bit of an exaggeration, it is only that: a bit.  The first volley of laughs propelled me into a coughing fit, during which I experienced what is commonly referred to as "tunnel vision."  It was a little scary, but also a little freeing, like, the sad tale of Upchuck's misfortune as a result of his obviously ill-advised career choice I was listening to was releasing my soul into the ether that surrounds all things in the universe.  For a fleeting moment, I was one with all time and space.  I couldn't breathe, but it didn't matter.  I repeated the holy phrase "Fuck you, Upchuck!  Fuck you!" like it was, and always had been. my personal, secret mantra.

I listened to the story five times that night, coughing and wheezing and nearly passing out each time.  It was the closest I've come to spiritual experience in a long time.  Maybe the closest ever!

Now, sure, I'd love for all of you to download the second episode of PYHT, listen to the Upchuck story and very nearly die laughing like I did, but everyone deserves their own "hardest I've ever laughed" moment.  In fact, I'd be interested to hear yours.  If you'd like, you can share yours in the comments section of this post or on our Facebook page.  Whatever you do though, laugh, loudly and often.  It really will help you live longer.

Unless it doesn't.

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Friday, March 8, 2013

Last 3 Movies: The Maze/The Thirteenth Floor/Homer & Eddie

Welcome to Last 3 Movies, GEP's new feature in which I reflect on the last three movies I watched.  That's basically it.  Enjoy.

Film: The Maze (1953)

Why did I watch this?: I'm working on a project right now that I am not yet at the liberty to talk about publicly, but this movie might have something to do with it (And, no, I'm not building a hedge maze in my backyard, even though that would be so super cool.).

The viewing experience: Not nearly as exciting as the poster might lead one to believe.  No one gets trapped in any maze.  Don't get me wrong, there is a maze, but no one gets trapped in it, especially not in a manner I would describe as "deadly."

Spoiler Alert: You know what, I'm going to respect the wishes of the poster and refrain from revealing the "amazing climax" to you.  I will say, however, that a certain word on said poster gives a smallish hint as to what The Maze's "amazing (see also: "weird and dumb") climax" involves.  Think you've figured it out?  Write your answer on a slip of paper, place that slip of paper in an envelope, bury that envelope in your front yard, remembering to clearly mark the spot in which you buried it, dig the envelope up five years later, and set it on fire.  Did you do it?  Good.

Recommended?: It's a weird, kinda-horror movie from the 50's.  Of course I recommend it.  Don't you people know me well enough by now?

Film: The Thirteenth Floor (1999)

Why did I watch this: Paul Chapman mentioned it on the Dark City episode of The Greatest Movie Ever! Podcast and I realized I'd never seen it.

Quick Plot Synopsis: Video game people design their own video game people and get sad about it.

Favorite IMDB Plot Keywords: Supermarket; Reference to Descartes; Writing a Letter

Some other great "writing a letter" movies listed on IMDB: Gone With the Wind; Swing Vote; The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Recommended: You could do a lot worse, and I did!  Keep reading.

More: Whatever happened to Craig Bierko?  He's great in this movie.  I could go for some more Bierko in my life.

Two days after watching The Thirteenth Floor, me and the wife watched an episode of Special Victims Unit guest-starring none other than Mr. Craig Bierko.  He played an FBI agent and one-time paramour of Olivia Benson.  It was an OK episode.  Not enough Stabler.

Film: Homer & Eddie (1989)

Why did I watch this?!?: Just read this Netflix synopsis and tell me you wouldn't immediately drop everything you're doing to watch this thing:

Mentally disabled Homer crosses paths with Eddie, a psychotic woman who recently escaped from an institution. Together, the unlikely pair sets off on a quest to reunite Homer with his dying father -- although Eddie's got a bit of an ulterior motive.

You're not even reading this post anymore, are you?  You're already firing up Netflix or becoming a Netflix member, aren't you?  I wouldn't blame you.  James Belushi as a mentally challenged gentleman travling to see his father?  That's cinematic gold, man!  Add the fuck-centric comedy stylings of Ms. Whoopi Goldberg and you've got a fun time at the movies.

The viewing experience: Homer & Eddie took me two days to watch and not because I wanted to savor the experience.  No, Homer & Eddie took me two days to watch because I kept falling asleep.  It wasn't because the movie was boring.  A movie starring James Belushi as a sweetly disabled man by its very nature could never be classified as boring.  I think the reason I repeatedly fell asleep during Homer & Eddie was, basically, self preservation.  My brain, recognizing that it was being forced to absorb something harmful to its continued well-being, simply shut down.

It took a combination of black coffee and prayers to make it to the end of Homer & Eddie, but it was worth it.

I'm sorry.  I meant the opposite of that.

Favorite IMDB Plot Keyword: Prostitution

Recommended?: Only for Belushi completists and people who enjoy watching terrible things.

Spoiler Alert: Eddie is shot and killed in the closing minutes.

More: The following what I guess is a TV spot, presents Homer & Eddie as a good time buddies, road trip comedy, but the movie is actually terribly depressing and almost unceasingly dark.  Homer is robbed by gun-toting hoodlums (one of which is played by director John Waters) before the opening credits have ended; Eddie murders several convenience store employees in cold blood; and the less said about Homer's confrontation with his mother at his father's funeral--oh, yeah, Homer rolls into town just in time for his father's wake--the better.

Oh, and listen for the gloriously offensive description of Homer's disability in this commercial.

Oh, that edited part about Homer's name?  Yeah, Whoopi Goldberg calls Homer a "fag."  Hooray for movies!

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Get It Together, Sesame Street!

Back in January, I took issue with one of the many Sesame Street-themed books currently residing on my daughter's book shelf.  The book in question was titled Grover's First Day of School and it followed Sesame Street's adorable, globe-trotting monster Grover to his first day of kindergarten.  I, like any good father/citizen of the world, called out Grover's First Day of School for its inherent bullshit.  I argued that there was absolutely no way that Grover, a character we've watched work in restaurants, operate hotel elevators, travel abroad, and fly through the air with nary a chaperone in sight, was kindergarten-aged.  In my opinion, Grover was at least in his mid-20's.

One commenter suggested that I stop thinking about these things and get a life (He didn't write the second part as much as imply it.)  Another commenter, well, there was only one commenter, but I get the distinct impression that many more people read my post and thought the same thing: what a rube.  Sure, when I devote hours to typing, proof-reading and posting essays about the true ages of fictional monster puppets, it can come across as a little weird or unnecessary.  And, yes, maybe I am wasting the precious gift of time that God has granted me and that He can snatch away whenever He sees fit, ruminating on the children's books my wife finds in the Target $1 bin.  But this is the life I've chosen, so this is the life I'll live.

Turns out, however, that I was wrong about Grover.  He probably isn't in his mid-20's after all.  There's also still no way in Muppet Hell that he's a kindergartner either.  You see, last weekend, when I was reading Elmo's A-B-C's to my daughter for the third time that morning, I noticed something in the upper right hand corner of the second to last page:

Grover is apparently a doctor!  And a bad doctor at that.  Why is he standing in an x-ray room wearing nothing but his lab coat and a stethoscope?  That can't be good.

C'mon, every author of a Sesame Street book!  Why can't all of you get together and establish some ground rules before you run off to your penthouse apartments or your ritzy summer homes in New England or wherever it is fancy writer types write, so we, the readers, don't have to deal with all of these continuity issues.  One of these days, my daughter is going to start asking questions, and what am I going to tell her?  Huh?  "Well, um, honey, you see, uh, Grover is, um, er, uh, a kindergarten student and, um, a, uh, doctor, um, as well.  What?  Well, sure, I mean, um, I agree that is, um, total horseshit, but, um, er, uh..."  Is that what you want to happen, authors?!?  Get it together!!!

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Pure Pop Nausea: Usher & Flo Rida

Let me start this post off by saying that I like sex.  I like having it, I like daydreaming about it, and I like watching 5 to 10 minute clips of other people having it on my computer sometimes.  I'm not a prude, nor am I a guilt-ridden husk who equates sexuality with immorality.  Then again, I'm married, so the sex I'm having is approved of by most major world religions.  Look, I'm just trying to tell all of you that I'm a huge fan of sex and I aim to be until they burn my body and scatter the ashes around Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

That being said, what the hell, Usher and Flo Rida?  I've got to turn my radio on now and listen to you croon about cunnilingus and fellatio and all manner of sex acts still considered illegal in most State law books?  I've got a child in the car!  Have you no shame?

I don't know why pop songs about sex turn my stomach, but they do.  It probably has something to do with, what I call, the "cutesy cover-up."  Usher doesn't do it in "Scream," his ode to his own sexual prowess, but Flo Rida sure does it in "Whistle."  You see, "Whistle" is about blow jobs, but Flo Rida (unsuccessfully) masks this fact by pretending that he's encouraging a woman to use a whistle, because who doesn't love a good, old-fashioned pea whistle?  Oh, that's right, everyone but gym teachers.  I'm sure there's also a rape whistle joke here, but that's not the kind of thing we do here at GEP.

"Scream" (Usher)

Again, like Christina Aguilera's "Body," I don't dislike this song, but still.  I'm not one of those guys who freaks out or feigns nausea when a friend brings up the sex he had with his significant other or random internet hook-up the other night, but I'm not exactly dying to know what goes on in my friends' bedrooms.  I'm also not calling Usher a friend, although, seriously, if we ever hung out, I'd make sure Usher had an awesome time.  We'd probably start with some all-you-care-to-eat sushi, maybe do some bowling, and finish the night up with some Netflix instant-viewing.  It'd be magical.  Still, I wouldn't want to hear about his various conquests or. like, the gory details of how he likes to go down on a chick or his preferences in the realm of "butt play."  I just don't need to know about it, Usher.  C'mon, man!  Can we just watch my Child's Play: Killer Collection DVDs in peace?

Offending Lyrics

"Girl, tonight you're the prey, I'm the hunter/Take you here, take you there, take you under": More violent imagery to describe sex (see last time's "In the Dark" by Dev).  When I think "prey," I think nervous antelopes on the Serengeti; and when I think "hunter," I think hungry lions.  Then I think about chasing and chomping and blood and, later, hyenas and all the laughing.  Oh, the horrid laughing.  It doesn't make me hard.  It gives me a panic attack.

Also, "take you under?"  What does that mean?  Did Usher mean "put you under," and is he talking about roofies?  No, Usher, no!

"Imagine me whispering in your ear that I wanna take off all your clothes and put something on ya": There's nothing less sexy than the phrase "put something on you."  Or maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe if Usher is putting something (his body, I guess) on someone, it's sorta hot, like, I'm sure he's toned or whatever.  Maybe it's just kind of unappealing when it's a hairy, flabby something being put on you.  You'd have to ask my wife, I guess.

"Whistle" (Flo Rida)

Just so we're all on the same page, I think Flo Rida is awful.  Like, all of his songs are terrible.  OK.  Moving on.

Offending Lyrics

The whole thing's gross!  Get off my radio, Flo Rida, and take all your crummy songs with ya!

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