If you insist on singing an additional patriotic song in the middle of the 7th inning while virtually everyone is taking a piss, please change it to “America the Beautiful,” or “America” by Neil Diamond, or better yet, “This Land is Your Land.” But, whatever you do, end the practice of singing “God Bless America.” Not everyone believes in God, and even some of the people who do don’t believe that God is blessing America.
Your loyal fan.
P.S. “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” is perfectly patriotic enough, isn’t it?
It has been months since the fervent “Best of 2013 List Feeding Frenzy” reached its peak in late November, even before most of the big contenders were released in theaters. As I am a man of modest means - and bereft of a press pass - my list doesn’t come out until near Oscar®time. So, here is the belated list of the top ten films according to me. There are also additional awards doled out by me for things I liked and/or hated.
Note: My opinion is unimportant, as is the opinion of anyone trying to tell you what the best movies were. Your personal taste is best. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy the list.
- 12 Years a Slave
- The Hunt
- Inside Llewyn Davis
- All is Lost
- Prince Avalanche
- Blue Jasmine
- The World’s End
My birthday is on Saturday. My golden birthday. I thought I would check in to see how I felt on each of my birthdays leading up to this one.
- My teeth hurt.
- Walking is hard.
- Note to self: Do not hit kid with putter because he cut in front of you at putt-putt.
- School is hard.
- America Online?
- Why is my wee wee doing that?
- There aren’t that many people at my party this year.
- Why are kids calling me fat?
- Why are kids calling me fat?
- Man, I’m fat.
- What up, girl? Oh, that’s right. I’m fat.
- Oh, that’s why it does that.
- At least my dog came to hang out.
- Man, high school is hard.
- What up, girl? Yeah, I got a car. Yes. I am still fat. That’s right.
- Hey, I’m not fat anymore! What? I’m getting braces?
- Fuck. I’m going to college with braces.
- Thank God I figured out how to work that thing.
- This was a good one.
- Hi, Scotch, nice to meet you.
- What up, girl? You want to have sex? You do? Um… coooool…
- Life! Here I come!
- Man, life is hard.
- At least I can rent a car.
- Prometheus is really not a very good movie.
- We say that experience isn’t nearly as important as finding the right person. Well, the right person has experience. And someone else always has more than you. Sorry.
- We’re looking for intangibles that you can’t quantify on a resume. Having said that, we look at resumes to find the intangibles we’re looking for.
- Beautiful people preferred. Note for beautiful people: please send your resume via the secret e-mail address given to beautiful people at birth so we don’t have to interview the plebs.
- That reminds me! Is your father well connected? He doesn’t need to have connections here, but I, the hiring manager, am always on the lookout to advance, so I’ll give you preferential treatment if you promise to set up a lunch with me and your father. By preferential I mean you’ll be the only one interviewed.
- Unless you have at least 250 followers you will not be considered. Yes, we know it’s only a receptionist job.
- Confidence over intelligence, please.
- Whoever said, “Just be yourself, you’ll go far,” never had to work in an office. Be someone better.
- I tell people I’m rooting for every applicant who is interviewed, but once I did this over 100 times I became jaded and am now secretly rooting for you to fail. In fact, I can’t wait to meet you because I’m running out of stories to tell at cocktail parties.
- “Salary commensurate with experience” is HR speak for “You’re not upgrading to Macy’s anytime soon.”
- You should not post things like this on your Tumblr.
The film society I am in is completely run by people not yet paid to see movies. As such, our lists for best films of the year are due around Oscar time in order to allow us to see the most films. I only saw 45 this year and overall, I was generally disappointed with this year’s crop. 2011 was a very strong year, one the strongest in recent memory, in fact. But, 2012 left me feeling bewildered and bored most often. Even my top films of the year have some serious flaws, and my final few I probably will never watch again. It’s not that these movies were bad, they just weren’t good. Watching movies this year felt like an episode of SNL. It’s fine and all the parts are there, it just doesn’t rise above mediocre. With no more ado I present my top 10, and a couple misc. awards of my own design.
Top 10 of 2012
- The Master dir. Paul Thomas Anderson
- Bernie dir. Richard Linklater
- Moonrise Kingdom dir. Wes Anderson
- Jiro Dreams of Sushi dir. David Gelb
- Django Unchained dir. Quentin Tarantino
- Flight dir. Robert Zemeckis
- Cloud Atlas dir. Andy & Lana Wachowski and Tim Tykwer
- Take This Waltz dir. Sarah Polley
- Killer Joe dir. William Friedkin
- Skyfall dir. Sam Mendes
I wrote a thing. The Huffington Post thought it was good. I guess I fooled ‘em.
So, according to NPR, it’s impossible to make pop-culture references in comedy now without alienating your audience. Unfortunately, this article blows its wad talking about comedic references in a fragmented culture, when it could be using the tired fragmented culture motif to discuss how comedy is changed as a whole.
But, before I get to that, I would like to first make a point on references. Pop-culture references are a comedic gimmick. They are there simply to get a cheap, quick chuckle out of the audience. Or, they’re meant as a loving homage or inside joke on the part of the writer. That’s not to say references are bad, but that is why they are there. References endear you to a show, but they’re not what keeps you watching. What keeps you watching is substantial, genuinely creative comedy and (God willing) characters you care about and are interested in. The author cites the “Lincoln" SNL bit that spoofs Louie:
On a recent episode of Saturday Night Live when the comedian Louis C.K. played host, one skit parodied his eponymous show on F/X. It riffed on the theme song and the discursive style of his comedy.
But here’s the thing: Fewer than 2 million people watch Louie. About 7 million watch Saturday Night Live. That means even optimistically, at least two-thirds of the audience is missing the joke.
What? What’s funny about the Lincoln bit is seeing Abraham Lincoln walk around in today’s modern world, watching him do stand-up, and seeing him awkwardly feel entitled to have black friends. The fact that it’s a spoof of Louieis just an added bonus. It’s the Rainier Cherry on top of a hot fudge sundae in Seattle. It tastes good anywhere, but it has the added benefit of being familiar to a select few.
There is a real ignorance about comedy nowadays - which, is ironic considering we’re living through a comedy boom. People don’t think of comedy as an art form the way they do music. People like to think that comedy is universal. That if it’s funny, it’s funny. But, we also say music is universal, and yet we accept that we won’t like or “get” all music. The comedy scene, like the music scene, is just as fragmented as the rest of society. There are genres of comedy now where 15 to 20 years ago that wasn’t the case. Now, there are indie comics and rock star comics and everything in between. You even have an old guard that sits around and talks about the old days. So, what needs to be understood by people like the author of this NPR article is that not every piece of comedy is meant to make them laugh. Because if you don’t get it at all, that’s fine. You don’t have to, maybe you’re not meant to.