Archive for February, 2009

RESPONDING TO THE NEEDS OF MY PUBLIC

Posted in Uncategorized on February 22, 2009 by butthorn

Apart from constantly looking at my “blog stats” and basing my self-worth on the number of page views I’ve gotten, one of my favorite functions of the website is the list of search engine terms that lets me know what people were looking for when they gave up and settled on my unhelpful blog instead.  To kill time while waiting for the Oscars to come on, I thought I’d delve into what makes my readers tick:

DEBBIE HARRY

Far and away, the thing that ends up attracting people to this page most often is the handful of Debbie Harry pictures I’ve reasonlessly included with my occasional Commodore 64 posts.  This doesn’t displease me.  Ogling famous women of the ’80s is nothing to be ashamed of.  Pictures of Debbie Harry are to be enjoyed by all. 

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BRUCE LEE

Coming in at a not-at-all close second is good old Bruce Lee.  The only thing that upsets me about this is the fact that I would think there would be many more online sources for Bruce Lee information that would pop up before my blog, which mostly just talks about his C64 game, which the poor guy never even got to play and would probably think was a crappy stupid waste of time.  Actually, that’s a ridiculous thing for me to assume.  If someone makes a video game in which you are the protagonist, you’re going to be at least initially intrigued.  Furthermore, where Bruce died in the early ’70s, he’d probably think the mere fact that moving a stick magically causes a little cartoon guy on the TV to move around was amazing enough.  His being the little cartoon guy would likely be a secondary marvel.  But I digress. 

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Yeah!  You want some of that right in the chops?  And that guy was just trying to remember where he parked his car.  Imagine what he does to people who actually deserve it.  Man, I wish it looked anywhere near that cool when I kick people in parking lots.  I think I’ll just stop doing everything I do and stare at this all the time.  I’ll tell you what, Debbie Harry can’t do this.  It wouldn’t even occur to Debbie Harry to do this.  I’m guessing this was for a movie, and not, say, a candid shot of Bruce Lee outside being an asshole, so the assumption is that he wasn’t putting 100% of his power behind that kick, but I bet that guy still wished he were dead in that moment.  It couldn’t have tickled.  Can you even imagine what the stuntmen that worked with Bruce Lee went through on a daily basis?  Waking up each morning knowing that within hours Bruce Lee would be striking you repeatedly?   

OLD GRAND DAD

I want to meet the person who sits around at home thinking “Hmm, what to do with my evening?  Maybe I’ll fire up the ol’ PC and google Old Grand Dad.”  What does one hope to learn about Old Grand Dad from the Internet that a quick taste of it cannot tell you?   The only two sensations that can possibly be gleaned from Old Grand Dad are “Yuck” and “Where is the toilet?”.  It tastes bad and prompts immediate albiet hampered excretion.  And it has a very sad old man on the label, who is presumably named Old Grand Dad.  Maybe people are actually trying to find information on a long lost relative when they google this term, but I doubt it and hope not. 

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Evidently there is also a kangaroo named Old Grand Dad. 

AGED WOMEN MOVIES

Is this a genre that my blog is legitimately a trusted source for?  And do people really call them “aged women movies”?  Pardon me, sir, where is the aged women movie section?  Is that a thing someone would actually ask of a video retail clerk?  Ten people to date have misguidedly sought discourse on aged women movies on my blog.  Googling images of “aged women movies” has led me to posters for such cornerstones of aged women entertainment as “Fred Claus” and “We Were Soldiers”, so I guess ending up at my website isn’t markedly less useful.  The Internet clearly needs to bone up on its supply of aged women movie entertainment information. 

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In regarding this poster I suddenly feel like eating a Werther’s and mailing twenty dollars to my grandchildren.  Did anyone ever watch this movie, by the way?  I haven’t viewed it and I don’t believe the film has crossed my mind in the past three years.  Thank God I googled “aged women movies” or it may have disappeared from my brain entirely.

DEBBIE HARRY PUSSY

Sorry to disappoint, folks.  Something tells me she hasn’t taken it upon herself to have it photographed and posted on the Internet.  I’ll be sure to let you all know if she contacts me about setting something up.  For now, however, it turns out that googling “Debbie Harry Pussy” only results in the following picture:

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I’m not sure that’s what people are looking for when they enter those words into their computer, but I should think that’s a nice enough surprise all the same.  I’d proudly hang that, by God!

PISSED IN MY ASS

This is interesting for a number of reasons, but chiefly because of the “my”.  When one types that phrase into a search engine, one can only assume that person is looking for either written or pictorial data related to an event in which someone or something urinated into the searcher’s rectum.  Do they think the Internet exists only for their benefit, and that when they use such a pronoun, only information relative to the user’s life will be displayed?  Is there a way one can subscribe to an Internet configured in such a fashion?  And when did I discuss ass-pissing-into on this blog?  Did I at one point possess knowledge related to the subject that I thought everyone in the world who owns a computer might like to be made aware of?  Does the pissing take place during actual penetration, or is it from a distance, a game of skill not unlike Beanbag Madness except with asses and pissing?  And what picture will I get when I google “pissed in my ass”?

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!!!!

ALF “SEX CRIME” COMMADORE

Well, that’s flat-out bewildering, that’s what that is.  What?!  Now if it was just one guy searching for that mess, then we could simply chalk it up to insanity or a lazy web searcher ineffectually trying to kill three birds with one stone, but five people have looked for this exact phrase, unless it was that same weird guy refusing to take Google at its word.  Is there actually a person who goes by the name Alf “Sex Crime” Commadore?  Is this Randall “Tex” Cobb’s rarely-discussed cousin?  Let’s find out!  Help us, Google!

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Well, whaddaya know?  It’s the kid from the old Encyclopedia Brittanica commercials!  I always wondered what that guy’s name was, and now I know: He’s Alf “Sex Crime” Commadore! 

PRETEENS IN PANTIES

I think you’ll find my site is regrettably low on that particular item as well.  Can I even google that phrase without police coming to my house?  I got moderate safesearch on, I should be fine.

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My God!  That’s from an entry I did talking about some yard sales we went to, where I bought those two books!  So when pedophiles search Google for “preteens in panties”, they’re presented with a photo of my hand holding “The Celery Stalks at Midnight” and “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing”?  I can almost guarantee you that is not what people are looking for when they enter that phrase into their search engine.  I’m of half a mind to write a letter of complaint to Google.  That’s just bad customer service.  I sincerely apologize, everyone.  I never meant for this to happen.  I just wanted to share with everyone the fun things I found at yard sales.  In doing so, it was never my intent to prevent you all from looking at preteens in panties. 

DEBBIE HARRY TITS

People!  I’m just a regular guy trying to make a light-hearted little blog!  This is not the home page of “Cummy Juggs Up Your Dildo-Ravaged Turdpipe” magazine!  Control yourselves!  Cool your jets!  The woman is a talented and critically acclaimed musician!  “The Tide is High”, you ever hear that?  That’s a nice song by a nice lady!  Have some respect, for Pete’s sake!  But I can’t diverge from the pattern, so what do we get when we google “Debbie Harry tits”?

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Why, it’s a miniscule picture of Frank Drebin from the “The Naked Gun”, of course!  I can’t for the life of me begin to imagine why it would be anything else.

CRAPPY HOUSE CONSTRUCTION IN MAINE

Ha ha ha!  I’m legitimately sorry I don’t have any real information regarding this, but I imagine there are a good number of people in my beloved state who would dearly like to know more about that particular subject.  What a sad and funny thing to type into a search engine.  Let’s see what it results in:

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No idea what that is, but I wouldn’t want to reside in it.  If I asked someone to build me a house, and that’s what they came up with, I suppose the word “crappy” would more than likely come to mind.

And finally:

PAPA JOHN’S GARLIC SAUCE RUINS SHIT

Sorry to hear that, my friend.  I hope my little blog helped you out with your problem, although I suspect that it probably did not.  You gotta be careful with that stuff.  It’s right up there as shit-ruiners go. 

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And, as most anyone with half a brain in their head could easily have predicted, typing the phrase “Papa John’s Garlic Sauce Ruins Shit” results in a picture of actor Keanu Reeves.  You know, if I’ve learned anything from this experience, and I haven’t, it’s that the Internet, while funny, does not work at all.  And with that, I’m going to go watch Mickey Rourke not win the Oscar he so richly deserves.  Enjoy your night!

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I LOVE ANIMAL CROSSING AND SLEEPAWAY CAMP.

Posted in Uncategorized on February 16, 2009 by butthorn

My blog output of late has been subpar, perhaps even subbogey.  Sometimes you just don’t wanna do anything.  I was going to say something smart like “It is during these times that we truly come to know ourselves” but that doesn’t really make much sense, or if it does I don’t get it, so I’ll just chalk it up to sloth and a general absence of stimuli, or in any event a failure on my part to seek same.  Right now my wife is playing Animal Crossing, and I can only, haltingly and without a great deal of skill or success, just begin to convey how difficult it is to ever get anything done with this game in the house.

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Even more difficult is to try to explain to someone unfortunate enough never to have experienced the game why anyone would ever want to play it in the first place, let alone every damn day for the past five years.  It’s really more of a duty than a game, but that isn’t right either because I hate duties.  Also, my parents used to refer to using the toilet as “doing your duties”, and nothing about the act of playing Animal Crossing suggests excretion, other than the overwhelming sense of completion upon landing a red snapper or barred knifejaw when fishing.  Did anyone else’s parents call crapping “doing your duties” or was I just brought up by crazy people?

Animal Crossing is a Nintendo game that you can play on Gamecube, DS, or Wii.  Though the three versions differ only subtly, we made sure to purchase all three in order to savor even the slightest alterations and new features.  Just to glaze over it, in the interest of people maybe continuing to read the entire entry: you move to a new town, where a business-minded raccoon named Nook (who would ideally be played by Dustin Hoffman in the film version) agrees to provide you with lodging in exchange for a brief internship at his store and unstructured mortgage payments.  In order to pay off your house, you must earn “bells”, the favored currency of the town, by catching fish and insects, digging up fossils, and picking fruit, then selling your bounty to Nook for a fair price, which you can then essentially give right back to him through the bank.  While you are lackadaisically fulfilling your end of the bargain, you communicate with animated beasts, who more often than not have something interesting to say, or even an errand they wish you to carry out for them.  The game takes place in real time, so holidays are observed, morning and night happen, and the fish and bug availability changes with the passing of the season.  There’s a lot more to it than what I’ve laid out here but my assumption is that you are already putting on your jacket to go buy the game so I want to leave you some discoveries.

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I am at a loss to explain it, but I’ve found I could eliminate the possibility of ever playing any video game other than “Animal Crossing” from my life and really not care at all.  I was never very good at first-person shooters in the first place, but there was a time when I at least understood their appeal.  Now I don’t know why anyone would ever want to shoot anyone when you could simply have a brief, lively conversation with them that culminates in your giving them an apple in exchange for an exotic cabinet.  My wife and I have been at least somewhat instrumental in persuading several of our friends to irrevocably work this game into their daily routine, so we know it’s not just us.  If you happen to own any of the fine Nintendo consoles manufactured in the last eight years, I would strongly suggest you at least rent this game and see what it does for your life.  If you don’t enjoy it, well, there’s always death to look forward to.  The new “Raving Rabbids TV Party” game is pretty fun as well, if passing away isn’t your “thang”.

What else is transpiring?  Our kitchen sink is reluctant to make cleanliness-producing and thirst-eradicating water come out of a hole in its face.  That hasn’t made the general kitchen area very appealing to look at or get a whiff of.  Also the ceiling and kitchen window occasionally leak yellow water, which doesn’t smell like urine exactly but what other liquids are yellow?  It ain’t Mountain Dew or lemonade, unfortunately.  Wouldn’t call the landlord about lemonade dripping from the ceiling – that’s a good drink as it goes.  Anyway, calling the landlord doesn’t seem to be an effective solution to much of anything.  It certainly has not resulted in the landlord coming to our apartment and futzing with the sink or applying sealant to errant crevices.  This is only a passing irritant, as really I would just as soon the landlord continue his policy of not coming to our home, but given the option of clean flatware and dry floors as opposed to eating Cheerios out of a baked bean-encrusted bowl under a selectively permeable membrane, I gotta tell ya, I’m leaning toward the former.  The process of acquiring real estate seems like less of a potential nightmare with each passing day.  Too bad my credit score starts with a decimal point.

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All right, I had to take a break real quick to check turnip prices and donate a parasaurolophus skull to Blathers’ museum.  On to “Return to Sleepaway Camp”!  Yes, a new direct-to-DVD sequel to the original 1983 slasher classic, one of my favorite films of all time.  Non-theatrical sequels are not new to the “Sleepaway Camp” franchise (parts two and three, though not boring, bear an unwelcome nudge-nudge wink-wink sensibility, and are not worthy of extensive discussion), but “Return” is special in that it’s helmed and written by the original director, Robert Hiltzik.  

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God love him, that guy up there isn’t a very good writer or director of films, though I can’t be called upon to make needless unkind remarks concerning his skills as a self-employed lawyer, which he what he is these days.  But with 1983’s “Sleepaway Camp”, he really did try to make something different, in a genre not known for trailblazing or heart.  The original “Sleepaway Camp” is chockablock with shoddy (though sort of effective) gore effects, fascinatingly inept usage of profanity that recalls your younger sibling learning to swear (somebody tells someone to “eat shit and live”), and numbskull characters that exist solely to hurt one another’s feelings.  All in all, a not inaccurate representation of growing up in the 1980’s, despite existing in no known reality, then or now.  

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I have no great love for slasher movies, though I’ll stop for a moment if I happen upon one while flipping channels.  I feel comfortable in the gossipy, illicit atmosphere they recall and create.  I like remembering frenzied eyewitness accounts from exaggeration-prone playground compadres attempting to recreate scenes from such movies as “Happy Birthday to Me” and “Friday the 13th”, and I enjoy remembering how I wondered at the unspeakable atrocities I was surely missing out on thanks to my parents, who were cruel and wise enough to prevent me from seeing them.  But they’re not usually that good when you take the time to actually sit through them.  I recently bought a twofer copy of “Friday the 13th” parts one and two off a friend who was selling castoffs from her vast DVD collection to make some spare money, and fell asleep before getting even an hour into the original movie, which I’d remembered as not being all that terrible.  If anything, typically their chief fault is that they take awhile to get going, and either fail to deliver the “goods” or provide more genuine unpleasantness than the viewer bargained for, which is just no fun.  For example, without caring to put a great deal of passion behind it, I’d argue weakly that the notorious 1978 rape revenge “video nasty” (as the Brits put it) “I Spit On Your Grave” is well done for what it is, but I never want to watch it again, and I’d hesitate to recommend it to even the most hardy of horror fans.  Sometimes a literal ordeal is exactly what you’re looking for in a film, but there’s ordeals and then there’s “I Spit On Your Grave”.  To say nothing of “Cannibal Holocaust”, and numerous others.  

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“Sleepaway Camp” defies classification while still making sure to tick every box on the 80’s summer camp slasher to-do list.  There’s questionable fashion, cruel pranks (including one memorable scene in which the camp geek is somehow “hypnotized” into mashing his face into another boy’s bare ass), outlandish death scenes (death by bees, death by boiling corn water, and worse), and nubile nudity (though not a whit of it is at all alluring).  But rather than concentrating on style or bothering to create a tangible sense of foreboding, Hiltzik plunges right in, giving us a horror movie that an unsupervised 80’s-era fifth-grader with more imagination than talent might come up with under the right circumstances.  It’s pure entertainment, and beyond that, Hiltzik is obviously trying, however hamfistedly, to get across a message of some sort involving sexual identity and child rearing that I’ve never fully been able to glean, despite my 30+ viewings of the film.  Far be it from me to be the one who ruins the movie for you if you’ve never seen it, so I’ll leave it at that, but if you’re already pretty sure it isn’t something you’d ever want to see, just Google “Sleepaway Camp” and all will become clear with a click or two.   Let’s just say there are endings and there are endings, and the denouement of “Sleepaway Camp” falls squarely in the latter category.

Much like “Animal Crossing”, there’s a charm, a real charm, here that dumb blog blatherings can’t do much justice to.  My wife doesn’t like slasher movies at all, and even she had to admit (after being subjected to it more than once [I gotta watch it at least once a year]) that it has a certain something.  I believe the French coined the phrase “je ne sais quoi” with this film specifically in mind.  That’s right, not once had a French person ever uttered the words “I don’t know” until “Sleepaway Camp” came along.  Before that, French people knew EVERYTHING.

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Professed love for “Sleepaway Camp” is nothing rare.  But don’t take it from me.  Take it from whoever this joker is who got the bright idea to tattoo it on the inside of their forearm, for Pete’s sake.  I don’t even like it that much.  People like this movie, and maybe you will too.  Today I celebrate two relatively unheralded items of entertainment that transcend their medium of choice.  This is what makes a favorite, if you ask me.  

Well, that all aside, what I was gonna talk about was I got “Return to Sleepaway Camp” from Netflix, and I’m happy to report that, though terrible in aspects innumerable, the 2008 direct-to-DVD sequel is a return to roots, in that the inimitable shocking/bewildering/sincere spirit is more than half recaptured.  Inexplicable exchanges, joyously gloppy makeup, abhorrent acting, and a 100% unsympathetic protagonist who befriends frogs and whose oft-repeated catchphrase is “Your ass stinks!”

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There aren’t many good stills from this movie floating around on the Internet, so bear with me, but the deal is that no one at camp likes that crying fat kid, and they pick on him incessantly.  This would be angering if the fat kid were in any way likable, but in truth he deserves everything he gets and then some.  That’s what you get when you run around telling everyone their ass stinks.  Yes, the “hero” of “Return to Sleepaway Camp” is a character whose graphic, drawn-out death you increasingly yearn for with each passing frame.  See, Robert Hiltzik isn’t interested in your expectations.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that he does not know what they are.  These are the types of people I want making my movies.  

Anyway, just like before, kids start getting bumped off in gross and funny ways, and everyone thinks the fat kid did it.  They express this by renaming the fat kid “Blowjob” for some reason, and then gathering the entire camp together to chant “Blowjob!  Blowjob!  Blowjob!” until the kid snaps and runs into the forest, whereupon even more people start dying and in even more stupidly disgusting ways.  A good number of familiar faces from the original return, including foulmouthed camper Ricky (an all too brief appearance by the still likable Jonathan Tiersten); rugged, short-shorted counselor Ronnie (Paul DeAngelo, defying all forms of probability by displaying acting skills that have actually gone downhill since the original); and, of course, Angela herself (Felissa Rose, who doesn’t look a whole lot different and who more or less pulls off another insane twist ending).  A couple of slumming “name” actors join the cast as well, including Vincent “Big Pussy from The Sopranos” Pastore as the new camp director (he’s no Mike Kellin, but at least he doesn’t phone it in, and SPOILER ALERT he gets to die by having a birdcage full of rats locked onto his head, so hey) and the late great Isaac Hayes, lamentably capping a lengthy resume with a bad-joke appearance meant to capitalize on his South Park character.

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“Return to Sleepaway Camp” isn’t going to end up on anybody’s top ten lists, least of all my own, but speaking as a longtime fan of the original, I was pretty damn satisfied with the results, and I’d read a lot of online reviews preparing me for the worst, so I was nervous and unhopeful at the outset.  I respectfully submit that the naysayers have missed the point (except for this guy and especially this guy).  Fans of “Sleepaway Camp” are not coming to a long-awaited sequel for a grade-A quality film, or to be at all frightened (unsettled, absolutely, but frightened, no, not at all, in no way, no).  We just want the heart.  The weird, bad, audacious, adorably fucked-up heart.  It’s muted and off-tempo, but still very much there for those who still care to hear it.

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