Wednesday, December 8, 2010

obama to liberals: "how many times do i have to tell you guys to GO FUCK YOURSELVES?"


obama held a press conference yesterday and he used it to lob another hearty "blow me!" at liberals. it's like bill clinton all over again. the guy almost seems to enjoy telling us to drop dead.
This notion that somehow we are willing to compromise too much reminds me of the debate that we had during health care. This is the public option debate all over again. I pass a signature piece of legislation where we finally get health care for all Americans, something that Democrats have been fighting for for a hundred years. But because there was a provision in there that they didn't get, that would have affected maybe a couple of million people, even though we got health insurance for 30 million people, and the potential for lower premiums for maybe 100 million people, that somehow that was a sign of weakness, of compromise.

according to doctors who support single-payer, the uninsured will number something near 23 million nine years after the plan has kicked in. but hey, fuck them too!
If that's the standard by which we are measuring success or core principles, then let's face it: We will never get anything done. People will have the satisfaction of having a purist position, and no victories for the American people. And we will be able to feel good about ourselves and sanctimonious about how pure our intentions are and how tough we are.

This country was founded on compromise. I couldn't go through the front door at this country's founding. If we were really thinking about ideal positions, we wouldn't have a union.
slavery went on and on thanks to compromise. and then the south fired on fort sumter. but naturally, some of his enablers on the left cheered BO's hippie bashing routine.

there's something fundamentally wrong with people who don't get what a pissy jerk-off obama sounds like there.

at some point in the future they may wake up to how utterly bankrupt the "enlightened adults know that compromise is the way to get things done" position really is when the other side is a group as detached from mainstream ideas as the republican party.

i'm not among those who believe that obama is a "manchurian candidate", but he is doing immense damage to the cause of progressivism right now. to keep insisting time and again that borderline-crazy republicans have to be placated to get any legislating done ignores the fact that this kind of behavior clearly emboldens them. somebody needs to stand up or this will never stop. when democrats are in control they'll continue to barely address the concerns of most of the country and the watered-down legislative gruel we get will be rammed down our throats with a reminder that "it could have been so much worse" or "hey, we had to do something or else...". there'll always be an excuse for doing as little as possible and explaining that we should be grateful for it.

no.

we all understand that the democratic caucus is too unwieldy for certain things. that doesn't excuse obama for giving away the store BEFORE negotiations even begin.

beyond that, indulging the republicans as they get more and more extreme is simply a mistake. it's bad for the entire country in the long run. obama is not stupid. the democrats are not stupid. they have to know what a huge mistake they're making. meeting lunatics at some halfway point brings one dangerously close to crazy territory.

if i recall correctly, obama told us to push him in the direction of progressivism, didn't he?

"Let the Republicans back in power." that's a typical threat obama supporters use. they have no idea how hollow that starts to sound when it's repeated over and over and over.

not all of those who disagree with obama are doing crazy things like forging alliances with anti-tax zealot grover norquist the way jane hamsher of firedoglake has. some of us are simply raising entirely legitimate questions about why it is that obama seems almost eager to sell out progressive ideas going into every single fucking negotiation.

(this post is nothing more than a slightly edited version of some comments i posted on "zandar vs the stupid". what can i say? i'm lazy.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

andy harris: asshole of the week

andy harris gets the booby prize this week. he's the newly-elected tea-party republican congressman from baltmore who ran on repealing the healthcare bill, but at his freshman orientation got all bent out of shape when he found out that his new congressional healthcare plan wouldn't kick in until 30 days after being sworn in. it's douche-y and i did get a pretty big laugh from it, but i can't get worked up over the story. the guy now has a job that includes healthcare benefits. what's he supposed to do, turn them down? he didn't run promising to repeal the congressional plan, he ran promising to repeal a plan that would have absolutely no bearing on his life and health if he got elected. and people voted for him! how can you not laugh at shit like that?

he's no different than any other tea party-er. they're great when it comes to yammering against welfare and lazy people, yet there've been numerous funny stories in the news detailing tea party candidates who've been more than happy to take a suck on the ol' government teat when times were trying for them. some (like joe miller in alaska, who lost his senate bid anyway) have come pretty close to what might be seen as abusing the system. i guess it's ok when they do it, because, y'know, they're not lazy malingerers. it's those other people. the ones who, uh, look different. right?

shit. now i am worked up. i'm going to baltimore to kick andy harris right in his fucking teeth. i'm sure the congressional plan includes dental, so it shouldn't be a big deal. plus it'll give him one more reason to bitch about having to wait so long for his healthcare benefits. that'll be good for another chuckle. hey andy! long after your plan kicks in, nearly 40 million americans will still be uninsured!

asshole.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

she said "no"

there are 2 new clips up on my youtube channel as of yesterday, but this one (like "false canoe") is exclusive to the blog.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

the softest thing

howdy. here's a personal favorite of the many songs i've written and recorded. if you check my blogger profile there's another blog listed there with links so that you can visit my youtube channel and download most of the songs i've posted. based on the stat counter reports, i know a lot of people who don't much care for me are visiting from the av club. personally, i can't imagine why you'd waste your time. in all the years i've been posting there i've looked at maybe a half-dozen of your user profiles. to each his own.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

things to come...

one of the reasons i don't post much here is that i spend a lot of time writing posts on other folks' blogs.

this steaming pile of horseshit is from a blog i visit quite frequently.

A huge power shift is going to come while the economy stabilizes and hopefully begins to come back. Wastefulness will no longer be chic, and creativity and hard work will divide the long term winners from the losers. The geek shall inherit the earth. That's our silver lining, but the journey we take will be a tough one. There is more to this than learning how to clip coupons and recycle leftovers. This is an attitude adjustment, long overdue. With a little humility and eye opening, we will get through.

i responded:

there won't be any winners other than that very small percentage of the population with the disproportionate share of the world's wealth. the "creativity and hard work" folks (a group i assume you consider yourself a part of) that you talk about? in relative terms, they're now earning a lot less than their counterparts in this country 40 years ago and that trend is not going to change. social divisions and the enduring inability of humans to look past cosmetic differences to find obvious commonalities will enable some people to delude themselves into thinking they've won something. what most of you will be winning is more work, longer hours and (again, in relative terms compared to those in similar positions years ago) less money. but you won't be flipping burgers like those dummies at mcdonald's or begging for change like those losers on the corner or sleeping in an old refrigerator box under the bridge, so "whoopee!" you win!

"we'll get through" means nothing. more and more people will sink and those of you/us who don't follow them will find any number of excuses not to give a serious fuck (ie: actually DO something), same as we do now. statistical maps and charts will be trotted out on a regular basis to offer any number of objective explanations why more and more people are going hungry or homeless while the rest of you/us will knuckle under and accept less money for the work we do in the desperate hope of avoiding a slot on one of those charts. america is no longer a first world country and it never will be again. market rules dictate that labor either has to be completely devalued (the way it is in much of the service sector) or cowed/conned into accepting considerably less than what it deserves (the way things are for most of the rest). do you see america moving away from a "market rules" economy anytime soon? really? good luck with that.

our fucked up economy will always be characterized by bubbles. those peaks and yawning valleys keep everybody unsettled and unsure. the folks who keep their heads above water will continue to do only that. they'll never look at those who are failing and see anything other than that failure.

in a few years when things are even worse than now i'll pop in and remind you of this post.

have a good weekend...

signed,
a regular reader who hates libertarians and their repulsive social darwinist bullshit.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

fuck john boehner in the eye socket.

so john boehner thinks that last night's election results were a message from the american people. fair enough. but if that's really the case, what exactly were the election results in november 2008? because i've never seen evidence that republicans have any interest in listening to messages from the electorate when they lose elections.

of course obama called boehner up and congratulated him. i hope the republicans do impeach obama. the guy is a clueless/spineless idiot, like almost all the democrats. i vote for them, but sweet fucking jesus! they make me sick.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

done

either this song is a sensitive attempt to address the issue of statutory rape, or it's a crass excuse for me to sing the line "babe, i can't wait until your panties drop".

yikes!



i dunno. if you saw this poster outside a local restaurant would it function as some kind of incentive to get you in? or would you be creeped out by "gyro lady/jersey housewife-possible tranny" here and run, RUN GODDAMMIT! to some other establishment?

maybe it's a cultural thing. i see this poster in the window of a gyro joint near me every day and the weirdness of it never ceases to unsettle. why? i have no idea. it's not like there're human fingers in her gyro (i've checked). she's just fuckin' creepy.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

teadoust has a dream!

i rarely remember my dreams. months, even years go by without the slightest memory of what takes place in my head at night. this morning, i actually remembered something i dreamt and decided to write it out...

i'm working in a large office space with many individual cubicles. there are potted plants hanging all over the place and some larger ones on the floor as well.
i'm chatting with a few people at a cubicle when a dumpy looking woman walks by and i insult her, which seems to be a regular routine for me.
"hey, why don't you try shoplifting your clothes from someplace besides goodwill?" i ask her as my coworkers laugh.
she calmly reaches into one of the hanging plant pots, pulls out a knife and attempts to stab me with it.
i manage to wrestle the knife away from her.
she then walks over to one of the larger floor plants, from which she produces what appears to be a samurai sword.
"i've got weapons stashed all over the place" she says coldly, "and i'm going to kill you."
"why?" i ask.
"because you've been insulting me from the minute you were hired!" she says, lunging at me with the sword.
"that's ridiculous!" i yell back at her as i run for an exit, "i was working here for at least 3 hours before we even met!"


that's all i remember. funny, no?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

adults should know better...


one of the more depressing things about the internet is the free reign it gives to people's worst instincts, especially men.

there's an interesting article up on the av club site this week about overly distracting actors in movies. naturally, the nerds who congregate there were glad for an opportunity to let off steam about any number of supposedly insufferable performers. as expected, julia roberts came under heavy fire. disclaimer here: i like roberts a lot. whatever constitutes a "movie star", julia roberts has that quality in spades as far as i'm concerned. that doesn't necessarily mean i think she should be universally appealing. but the degree of invective the woman inspires in certain circles amazes me. i may not be the biggest audrey hepburn fan on the planet, yet i don't have trouble being objective and seeing what others might respond to with her. there's precious little of that on the av club site regarding anybody though and the stuff people casually write about roberts is just... weird.


*Rupert Giles

Somehow I totally missed Ocean's Eleven's release, and first caught it on TV, having heard nothing of the casting (I know, I must have been living in a freakin' cave), except Clooney & Pitt. When they waited by the grand stairs for Tess to descend, and the camera slowly panned up from her feet for the reveal, I was dumbstruck. Julia fucking Roberts?!? The ONLY WOMAN IN THE MOVIE, the glamorous prize, the object of studly men's fawning and drooling, and that's who they chose? I actually gasped out loud. Most overrated magazine-cover celebrity in history, with a bizarre giant mouth.

*Everybody here calls me Vicky

I used to find Julia Roberts charming until it became evident that the whole leaving-Keifer-at-the-altar thing wasn't just a product of youthful nerves and that she is in fact a megabitch who thinks the sun shines out of her ass.

I still think she's extraordinarily attractive, especially considering how horsey her features could be when taken separately (see Nancy Kerrigan for an example of those same features NOT working well), but the vulnerable, forehead-veiny thing she does so well can no longer fool me, and I wish people would stop inviting her to awards shows because she cannot shut the fuck up about herself.


how does one get to be an adult and write such craziness with such a disarming lack of self-consciousness? i'm not a particularly big nic cage fan, but other than casually tossing "i wish he'd go the fuck away" into a post where i was discussing him, i can't muster anything resembling the kind of personal animosity these julia roberts haters manage to tap into. cage's recent embarrassing problems with bankruptcy don't matter to me and even if i wanted to have a laugh at his expense, it'd be pretty hollow considering that the guy's comic book collection is worth more than i've earned in my entire life.

the posts above were pretty polite compared to this though:

*Unregistered Asshole #1446387

Julia Roberts was tolerable enough in "Pretty Woman," but after that her "shit don't stink" personna turned me off for good. I didn't care too much for Cameron Diaz back in the day, but the way Roberts' character sabotaged her in "My Best Friend's Wedding" made me like Diaz in that movie much more than her, because I know they wrote Roberts' role to fit her personality. Ashamed to admit, but I almost cheered to her character getting raped by her husband in "Sleeping With The Enemy." And how much more fun do you think "Conspiracy Theory" would have been if Mel Gibson had demanded a BJ from her?


note that homeboy has no problem with using mel "you should get raped by a pack of n*****s" gibson to help make his point about JR. how do adults reach a point where it makes sense to express sentiments like these in public? how do other adults tolerate such things? it's part of what makes the av club such a fascinating place. most of the people who post there are genuinely intelligent, yet many of them see the 'net as nothing more than a vehicle to express feelings otherwise unacceptable in the real world. i felt compelled to answer.

*teadoust

isn't it great that roberts exists though? she gives you an outlet for your rather obvious misogyny. it's amazing that people like you can post offensive tripe like this on a regular basis and not feel embarrassed about it. that's why i find posting here so funny: in the av club court of public opinion, what you wrote is actually acceptable. fucking astonishing. if you had any common sense you'd contact the av club editors and ask them to delete your post for the offensive misogynist garbage it is. if they had an ounce of decency that's what they'd do without your even asking.


nobody will pay much attention to that. the offensive comment won't be deleted. and likely as not, somebody will come along later and call me "teadouche" for posting it.

gwyneth paltrow also comes under fire a lot on the av club boards. bet you didn't know that every day millions of people are FORCED to visit paltrow's lifestyle site "goop" did you? i didn't either, but it must be so because there's no reason for anyone to get upset about anything paltrow does when she isn't making movies, right? ok, if "goop" was devoted to disseminating white supremacist propaganda, or if there was evidence floating around that paltrow spent hours each day physically torturing her children i'd completely understand rejecting her as an actress. but she runs a goofy lifestyle website and says dopey things in interviews? those are deal-breakers for you? get a fucking life already, freak.

*Maliah

Ugh, I haven't been able to stand Gwyneth Paltrow since she was a whiny, self important reporter in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Remember that one? I remember seeing her in an interview saying that she was interested in the part (which was terrible) because it was closer to being an art film than to an action movie. She drives me nuts.

Although so does Katherine Heigle, so perhaps I just hate tall blondes with classically pretty features and annoying voices.


not so bad, right? don't worry, it gets worse.

*Annoying Tall Blondes? Big Surprise...

They both confuse my penis, because it would like to penetrate them both, but somehow my brain is capable of overpowering this natural urge by reminding me of the stupid shit that comes out of their mouths in real life.

Think somebody said it best on this site a while ago: if nothing intelligent is going to come OUT of your mouth...

Great tits, though. I'll give her that.


haha! i get it, bro! stuff a COCK in that mouth! FUCK YEAH!

crap like that is why so many people have an idea that the majority of men who post things on the internet are frustrated perpetual loners with serious issues regarding women and intimacy.

oh, i have referred to nic cage as "a fucking idiot" several times on the av club boards. however, cage is a man and i'm not being entirely serious when i call him names anyway, as opposed to the rather obvious hostility some of these people are expressing towards women. i understand that some may see me as a hypocrite though.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

fun on ebay!

like many people, i'm in the middle of an ongoing project to reduce the clutter in my apartment. if i were a genuinely good guy, i'd probably donate to some charity, but i'm kind of a dick. plus i'm poor, so to heck with that anyway. charity begins at home.

ebay offers 100 free auction listings per month to anybody who wants to list items with a start price of less than one dollar. since i sell most of my good merchandise on other sites (glyde and amazon), ebay's 99 cent special is one way for me to get rid of stuff that isn't worth much elsewhere.

if you've ever bought anything on ebay you're familiar with their feedback system. you get to give detailed ratings whenever you purchase something, based on how accurate the description of the item was compared to what you actually received, how quickly it was shipped, how reasonable the shipping charges were, etc etc. and if you sell things you also get to leave feedback about your customers, though it's not nearly as specific as what they can leave for you. which is too bad, because i'd really like to warn other sellers about some of the whiny schmucks lurking around out there. as a seller one would probably be expected to leave feedback for a customer as soon as they pay, but this is actually a bad idea. the first week i sold a bunch of 99 cent stuff on ebay i was so happy that i immediately gave positive feedback to everybody who paid promptly. big mistake. that first batch of jimokes who bought from me and knew i'd already given them positive feedback turned out to be the nitpicking-est bunch of assholes on the planet when the time came to enter feedback about me. i learned my lesson though. as a shopper on ebay i'd certainly noticed that sellers as a rule generally don't give feedback until you've given them feedback first. i found out why. but i'm not as stupid as i look (that would be pretty much impossible) so i resolved not to repeat the mistake i'd made.

and the next week when i sold a bunch more stuff, i held off on the feedback, with the expected results. people were suddenly a lot less free with the carping and whining. which suggests that there was nothing much to carp about in the first place, but most folk'll take any opportunity that presents itself to treat somebody else like shit if they think they can get away with it.

this brings us to the point of today's post: my run-in with a rather demanding customer on ebay. i'm not going to print his real username here, so for this post he becomes 'dragonwheelz'. and i'll be 'sellmeister'.

'dragonwheelz' is a classic idiot. he buys a cd off me for 1.11 and thinks that i owe him my life. yes douche, thanks to your measly dollar and change i can enjoy name brand dog food tonight instead of generic. bless you, kind sir. ass-for-brains wins his auction, pays 4 hours later and then, in a note included with payment asks that the cd be shipped soon as possible AND for his (he assumes) positive feedback. oh, really?

Dear dragonwheelz,

Just got back from the PO and they close at 4pm, so your package won't be shipped until Monday. As for feedback, I'll leave yours after you leave mine. That's generally how it works around here.

that's pretty polite, under the circumstances. it's a friggin' 1 dollar cd. the guy's lucky i even bothered to answer his dumb letter. at least that's the way i saw it. it'll come as no surprise to you that 'dragonwheelz' didn't see it that way.

Dear sellmeister,

No, that is not generally how it works. It works like this: I buy from you and pay immediately and you leave me feedback reflecting a quick payment. And you get yours once the item(s) arrive in the condition listed in the auction. Not you wait and see if I leave you a good feedback first and hold mine hostage just in case. Been on eBay a long time, buyer and seller and I know how it works. So please leave mine soon.

technically, he's probably right. but there are all sorts of other things to consider. maybe we're not really done yet. maybe the cd doesn't play on his cd player. maybe the jewel case gets damaged in transit and the issue is whether i packed it properly. and maybe, just maybe, i don't give a flying fuck and will enter his goddamned feedback when i'm good and goddamned ready. of course i couldn't write that. but i was thinking it.

Dear dragonwheelz,

Yes, that IS the way it works. You're welcome to keep insisting otherwise, but that won't make it true, anymore than insisting that there IS a Santa Claus will put presents under the tree if Mommy and Daddy forget to buy them. I've never gotten feedback from anybody I bought things from BEFORE I left anything for them. So you'll get yours after I get mine.

that may just seem like an ordinary snide letter to you, but it turned out to be a wildly waving red cape for captain excitable.

Dear sellmeister,

I would suggest you not talk to me like a child again, you asshole! You obviously think you can make the rules up as you go along but you see that I have 100% positive feedback of 328 and what is yours 62? I think I have done this quite a few more times than you and I was once a seller and I have always left my good customers feedback right away! You are just a tool who thinks he is better than everyone and can just talk shit and be a prick and get away with it. I tell you this much, had you condescended to my face the way you did in an email and you'd be mending broken bones for the next 6-8 months! If I were you I'd just shut the hell up now!

"ooh, cower before my mighty feedback rating of 362 you peon!" what a wackadoodle. i wonder how exactly he came up with the "6-8 months" estimate on my hospitalization? does he have experience in medicine or insurance and thus know precisely the kind of beating which would lay me up for that time? or has he given beatings to other people who've condescended to him in the past and has 6-8 months been the median convalescence time for them? all fair questions in retrospect, but i didn't ask any of them in my response.

Dear dragonwheelz,

I'm not making anything up as I go along. You're just wrong and like most people you have a pretty serious problem accepting that. As for all the feedback you're so weirdly proud of, maybe it's proof that you're spending a little too much time here on Ebay. Have you forgotten your manners? Is there really a need for the sort of profanity you felt compelled to use? I'm a good Christian and take exception to that sort of thing. You'll note that I did not employ foul language in my messages to you in spite of the fact that you are completely wrong regarding how things work here and something of a boor as well! I may have to forward your nasty and upsetting letter to Ebay along with a formal complaint letting them know how nauseated I was after reading it. That should do wonders for your miraculous "100 percent positive" rating. How the heck did you even get that? I'm 100 percent positive that some kind of mistake has been made there. Now you settle down. Take a deep breath. And go sit in the "quiet corner" for a bit with the rest of the potty-mouthed CHILDREN.

i'd like to go the hospital for a while. longer than 6-8 months if possible. i figured if i laid the condescension on a little thicker, the beating would be that much more severe. there's got to be at least a year's hospitalization ahead after 'dragonwheelz' beats the living crap out of the jerk who wrote that letter. and the jerk is me!

Dear sellmeister,

Fuck you and fuck the feedback you dick! You talk big in an email. I don't let douchebags talk to me like that and you should be careful how you treat people because you say the wrong thing to the wrong guy and all of a sudden you have no teeth! You may well go fuck your holy rolling douche self!

well. i don't even know what to say to that. i was thinking he'd call me "smellmeister" or something. i certainly wasn't expecting an angry blizzard of "fucks" and even more threats of violence. he's right about one thing though: i talk big in emails. in real life, i'm a pussy.

Dear dragonwheelz,

Are you trying to tell me something? Does this mean I'm not invited over for the big 4th of July barbecue this year? Y'know, we'll laugh about this later. We'll be hanging out and you'll hand me a beer and say "Man, I called you a holy rolling douche! Can you believe that? If anybody fit that description it was me!" I'll laugh and reply "Yes, you are indeed a holy rolling douche. Whatever the heck that is." Then you'll pass out drunk after one beer (you never could hold your liquor) and I'll have sex with your wife. Again. Well, better me than those guys down at the truck-stop, right?

Enjoy your cd, friend!

i'm not proud of that. making jokes about screwing somebody else's wife is in the same zone as "accusing" somebody of being gay. it's low and childish. and i reiterate: i'm not proud of writing that. it is funny though. captain snappy answered in kind.

Dear sellmeister,

Well, I am not married but you need to tell you mother to dust her pussy off every once and a while! It was tight though! Plus when she pulls out her teeth, your mother gives great blowjobs! Besides, any woman I'd marry wouldn't fuck a retard like you and none of what you've said was clever in anyway so you can stop patting yourself on the back you bitch! I would love to see you face to face and watch you gulp hard when you see what a huge scary man you've made want to beat your stupid bitch ass!!!

curiously, i was patting myself on the back when that email came in! but that's 'cause i had just scored a bingo playing online scrabble. i love it when that happens. anyway, this letter does (sort of) answer the question i had about the 6-8 month hospitalization-after-beating issue. if he's a big scary man, it stands to reason that an ass-whipping delivered by him would likely be pretty damaging. i mean, he wouldn't lie about something like that, would he?

Dear dragonwheelz,

Clearly I am no match for your wit and wisdom. The spirit of William Shakespeare is alive and well and buying cds on Ebay! Good luck with the next great American play or novel, oh great one. After reading these remarkably witty letters it is clear to this instant fan that you most certainly have the magic touch. "Dust her p*ssy off every once in a while", INDEED! I am honored to be the recipient of such a well-crafted and thoughtful epistle, surely destined to end up in the Smithsonian! Strange that a charming and literate fellow such as yourself hasn't found worldwide acclaim for your brilliance! Must be that crazy mother of mine with her awful dusty old cooter, keeping you away from your scholarly and artistic pursuits! I'll tell her to put the false teeth back in and get along down to the local public restroom if she wants to suck random penises. Now, I don't want to monopolize too much of your time as I'm sure you've got any number of stimulating debates going on with hapless fools who began correspondence with you in the mistaken belief that you were rational. So put your tin-foil hat on, smear some more of your own (or somebody else's, if that's what you enjoy) feces across your face and go bother somebody else, you frigging nutbag.

there it ended. of course i did report him to the people at ebay. what can i say? he's a big scary man and i'm just a douche who talks big in emails. i hope they have cable tv at whatever hospital i spend the next couple of years recuperating in.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

racism and empathy

the screen shot below is from the user account page for a fellow who used to post on the av club under the name mantan moreland. if you like old movies, you probably know mantan moreland, a black actor from the 30s and 40s who worked in a style that has become extremely embarrassing to blacks nowadays. a shuffling, eye-popping, mumbling, malapropism-spouting racist cliche of the most egregious kind. why would anybody want to post under that name, you might ask? mostly to engage in the kind of snarky, pseudo-racist "look how UN-pc i can be!" bullshit that occasionally soils the av club comments boards. blacks seem to be the most frequent targets of this stuff. and though common sense would dictate that this sort of "humor" would likely offend many blacks, it persists. mantan's posts generally consisted of half-assed jokes written in a loose approximation of the original mantan moreland's speech patterns. yes, in 2010 this is what some idiot thought would be funny. and the big surprise is that most of my fellow av clubbers didn't find him offensive. certainly very few registered any open complaints on the site.


personally, i don't have a problem with someone posting stuff that is openly racist, because it can be called out for what it is. but the mantan moreland character bothers me. it strikes me as a deliberate attempt to smear racist content across public boards in a way that seems cowardly and almost passive-aggressive. i don't understand the compulsion that makes some whites engage in this kind of behavior and why so many on the av club site are so blase about it. i attempted to address this by creating a character myself, stepin fetchit. i followed mantan moreland around for a while, adding on to his posts with some fairly heavy-handed commentary and criticism, written in a deliberately grating approximation of the original stepin fetchit's speech patterns. surprisingly, i received more complaints for doing this than mantan moreland ever received for his schtick. a few posters suggested that whatever the intent, "mantan" and "stepit" were both simply boring. one rather jaded person came right out and said that explicit racism was no problem in their opinion, we just weren't funny. for lots of post-pc people, that's an important point, i guess. it's okay to be obnoxious as long as one isn't boringly sincere about anything like racism, because the av club is a pop culture site and nobody's interested in tiresome discussions of racism and morality. many take the position that those issues can't be settled, so there's no purpose in arguing them. many of these same people are more than happy to engage in long arguments about which quentin tarantino movie is the best. they rarely convince anyone else, but it'd be a waste of time trying to make them see the futility of their actions, because the only topics worth arguing are the ones they select.



anyway. i don't know exactly what effect i expected my stepin fetchit posts to have but after about a day and a half, i ran out of things to say in that guise and my nemesis was still going strong. i decided to switch tactics, based on two things: a letter i'd received from an av club staffer to whom i'd made a complaint about mantan moreland and a short article that appeared on the site which linked to a profile in esquire magazine about film critic roger ebert and the disfigurement he has suffered as a result of his ongoing battle with cancer. the letter i received from staff in regards to mantan moreland was pretty straightforward. they said that they would not be deleting mantan moreland's account, because he was offensive but seemed harmless. i thought about this for a bit and then came up with an idea. the ebert article made it fairly clear that most of the av club staff revere the man. i decided that the best point i could possibly make would be to show the staff something they would find offensive and perhaps they might come to understand that "offensive but harmless" is something of a contradiction in terms. drop dead jawless, a play on the phrase "drop dead gorgeous" and featuring a picture of roger ebert's cancer ravaged face for an id, is what i came up with...



and the account was deleted within a day of its activation. less than 30 comments were posted under this name before some offended staffer pulled the plug. meanwhile, mantan moreland was busily plugging along, having posted well over 100 comments after less than a week and half's activity. what's even funnier is that for the most part, other av clubbers either refused to acknowledge drop dead jawless or they informed me in no uncertain terms that "the joke" was in poor taste. especially dispiriting for me was the non-response of one of my favorite commenters on the site, the intelligent and extremely prolific lone audience of the apocalypse. he ignored drop dead jawless even when i directly addressed him, yet on multiple occasions in the past he'd played along with the mantan moreland gag. i guess he's another of those who thinks that if he isn't offended by something, it simply isn't offensive. in other words: he's a douchebag.


i hadn't yet run out of things to say as drop dead jawless, so i opened another account, this time as drop dead jawless again and immediately posted a direct question to staffer scott tobias as to why my account had been deleted while mantan moreland was still going strong like some damned racist energizer bunny. i got "no idea, wasn't my call" in response. but within an hour of this exchange, drop dead jawless again was deleted by staff. then mantan moreland's account was finally removed as well.


i don't feel as though i've won anything here. i like the av club site articles and a lot of the people who comment on them are smart and funny. but many of them seem to be wholly lacking in empathy for anyone or anything outside their own circle of recognition. maybe they have that peculiar human problem whereby generalized tragedy doesn't affect them, whereas when things are personalized, they respond. but the idea of some unknown number of blacks (and it doesn't seem as though many of them visit the site) being offended just didn't register as being comparable with how personally offended many of them felt when they saw me "making fun" of poor roger ebert's travails. the fallout in the thread above was about what i expected in the long run; one poster who agreed with me but had severe reservations about the way i made my point and a lot of posts that said i was wrong and/or stupid, plus a staffer (not mr. tobias) who suggested that calling attention to an ass by being a bigger ass seemed counter-productive. the older i get, the less i understand people. i made a point in an extremely ugly way after other methods failed. nobody seemed to get the idea that the anger they felt at my seeming contempt towards roger ebert might be exactly what a black person would feel if they saw a mantan moreland post on the site.

many whites who post on the av club site come off as almost enraged by the idea of "political correctness". they see it as an intrusion on their right to free speech and a coddling of minorities which serves no purpose. but if so much "free speech" is spent attacking powerless groups, what's the value? av clubbers spend an inordinate amount of time making jokes at the expense of women and gays and blacks. what's the real agenda there? this isn't about free speech on the internet, it's about an angry majority that doesn't like the constraints imposed by civil society. maybe "political correctness" does go too far, but returning to the "good old days" when whites could (and did) say whatever they wanted about already marginalized groups doesn't strike me as the solution and the never-ending urge of some whites to go back to that time needs to be examined. things are inarguably better (if not perfect) for minorities now. is that what's troubling many whites? i have no answers, really. i wish i did, because these questions scare the fuck out of me sometimes.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

the couch potato: john ford's 'cheyenne autumn'

this is a post i started quite some time ago and then completely forgot about. i hate seeing things go to waste, so here 'tis...

john ford's 'cheyenne autumn' was a failure when it was released in 1964. though ironically, if it had been made cheaper the way ford himself had originally envisioned, it might have turned a modest profit. the studio system was essentially falling apart in the 60s and the elephantiasis that afflicted many hollywood films of the period is one of the odd, sad reminders of how desperate the moguls were to reclaim the audience they'd lost to television. during this period execs were either nickel-and-diming a movie to death, or frantically piling money into a film in hope of making it a roadshow attraction/event.

'cheyenne autumn', like much of ford's work, is problematic. i'm not among those who consider ford a genius. he was an inarguably talented man who made some great movies, but even his finest works are fraught with contradictions and flaws which, to my mind at least, defy the efforts of his staunchest defenders to contextualize and/or excuse them. i'm not talking about certain offensive aspects of ford's films like the racism or sexism that his boosters generally claim are so misunderstood. no, i'm talking about structural defects that often damage the films, like clumsily offhand plot devices or corny comedy relief. i wouldn't ever argue that 'the searchers' isn't one of the most important films ever made considering how influential it is, but even if one disregards the ugliness of its politics, the film has a number of clumsily staged sequences (the night ambush and even some of the climactic raid) and some nearly unbearable comic interludes.

so a film like 'cheyenne autumn', which even ford's most devoted acolytes admit is considerably less than great, is interesting to me. as an (i think) objective viewer, i enjoy coming to something like 'cheyenne autumn', because there's no advance chorus proclaiming the inarguable greatness of the film before i get to see for myself.

'cheyenne autumn' is based on historical events. it concerns the remaining members of the cheyenne tribe in 1878 and their troublesome decision to return to their home in wyoming from the desolate reservation in utah where they'd been remanded by the government. though ford spoke of a desire to tell this story from the perspective of the indians, most of what takes place in the film involves white characters. from the conflicted cavalry officer played by richard widmark, to carroll baker as a mormon missionary who accompanies the indians on their trek, to edward g. robinson as the sympathetic secretary of the interior, down to jimmy stewart in a rather long and unnecessary cameo as wyatt earp. yes, the indians are depicted respectfully, but they are more like dramatic props than real people. that's an understandable mistake given the terms that ford has set for the film. the indians are noble, but they're also inarguably the victims here. one gets the sense that ford may have esteemed the cheyenne so much as to not want the audience to pity them. this distancing strategy (if that's what it is) works, for the most part. depressing as the circumstances are, the indians never become laughable or pathetic figures.

unfortunately though, the dramatic personae ford chose to tell his story just aren't especially interesting. 'cheyenne autumn' mostly fails to ever fully engage. widmark and baker give good performances but both are stuck playing rather boring people. robinson's secretary of the interior isn't even vaguely interesting, as he's an inherently decent public servant without an ambiguous bone in his body. karl malden turns up as a german cavalry captain who is fully prepared to carry out inhumane orders, for the sole purpose of inviting rather obvious comparisons to the nazis. while it's pretty impressive that ford would go down this route, it's a bit heavy-handed. then there's jimmy stewart and the infamous (to ford fans) dodge city-wyatt earp sequence. this broadly unfunny 20 minute segment plops itself right down in the middle of the film and aside from stewart's likable performance, has nothing going for it. film critic and ford historian joseph mcbride explains this section of the film as being part of ford's tradition of adding comedy relief to even his most serious work. mcbride also talks about the sequence making a point about the generally unfounded hysteria regarding indians, and also being illustrative of ford's deepening pessimism regarding corruption among whites in so-called civilized society. i'm willing to acknowledge all those points and still say that the dodge city sequence stinks. it isn't funny and the 20 minutes drag by like molasses going uphill on a cold day.

oh, and three of the main indian roles are filled by hispanic actors (ricardo montalban, gilbert roland and delores del rio), with victor jory and sal mineo handling the other two. no, those last two guys aren't indians either. so much for ford telling the story from the indians' point of view. nice try, sean.

funnily enough, 'cheyenne autumn' is fairly entertaining in spite of its flaws. it's awe-inspiringly beautiful to look at. the only oscar nomination the film received was for william clothier's cinematography and it was well-deserved. the first hour is especially stunning, filled with shot after gorgeous shot. it's almost too much. ford's favorite location, monument valley in utah, has never looked better. and ford knows how to tell a story, so even though the film wasn't blessed with especially felicitous dialogue, it moves along at a good clip. real problems don't set in until the cringe-inducing dodge city segment, after which the film never quite regains its momentum.

Friday, February 26, 2010

memo to terry gilliam: STFU

here's terry gilliam being a horse's ass on the subject of james cameron's 'avatar', a film which really brings out the worst in people who should know better...

"There are so many small, beautiful film-makers and actors and directors with so much potential that just can't get a look in because the studios are just pumping all their money into these huge projects," he complained at the London Evening Standard British Film Awards.

"There are such incredible lower-budget films that are magical, but we've got our work cut out with things like Avatar coming out. How are these young talents supposed to get a look in without the budget? That's the sad thing, because they are just as good."

The director of Time Bandits and Brazil added: "Those huge blockbusters that the studios spend millions upon millions of dollars on ... I mean, Avatar, they spent like $400,000 just promoting the thing. How can anyone compete with that?"

i especially love gilliam's complaint about studios pumping so much money into pictures like 'avatar'. you know, stuff that they might actually see a return on, as opposed to gilliam's sure-fire money losers. gilliam's latest, 'the imaginarium of doctor parnassus' cost its woebegone investors 30 million and has earned about 7 million here in america. it may turn a small profit, as it hasn't done badly abroad (most likely because johnny depp puts in an appearance), but it won't be any box office bonanza, that's for sure. 'the brothers grimm' a few years ago cost 88 million and brought in domestic grosses of less than 40 million. 'tideland', a small film that gilliam made in between 'grimm' and 'parnassus', took in a whopping $66,453.00 in domestic rentals. yup, that decimal is in the right place, the movie made a little over sixty-six thousand dollars. 'avatar' isn't stopping anybody in hollywood from making the kind of movies gilliam thinks should be getting made. people who make one money-losing flop after another like terry gilliam are doing that. if terry gilliam wants hollywood to make more interesting movies, he might try making a movie that someone's actually interested in seeing. it's called "show business" for a reason, terry.

accidental poetry?

i've
>
> > heard about the monk book and all the time and
> research that
>
> > went into it. read 'straight, no chaser' back
> when i
>
> > first "got into" jazz a few years ago and
> will
>
> > probably get this new book eventually, though it's
> not
>
> > like i needed convincing in regards to monk's
> talent or
>
> > anything. hopefully the book doesn't go too far
> in
>
> > trying to establish that monk wasn't somewhat
> damaged
> > mentally though. it would be silly to ignore the
> fairly
>
> > clear evidence that the man had some kind of serious
> problem
>
> > which should have been treated. normal people
> don't go
>
> > twirling around in circles at the drop of a hat. maybe
> there
>
> > has been a bit too much focus on that aspect of his
> life but
>
> > it's still an integral part of monk's story.
> he
>
> > clearly seems to have had a serious breakdown at the
> end and
>
> > it was probably foreshadowed by what some revisionists
> want
>
> > to dismiss as mere "eccentricities". or am i
> wrong
>
> > and does the book offer a fair consideration of all
> the
>
> > angles?


> > copeland
>
> > is an odd case. i heard him do a couple of
> interviews
>
> > promoting that book and i had the same split reaction
> both
>
> > times. he's obviously a smart, interesting and
>
> > well-spoken fellow but he also seems to be somewhat,
> er,
>
> > obnoxious. he expresses so much relentless hostility
> towards
>
> > sting that it gets wearying pretty quickly. and keep
> in mind
>
> > that i used to be a charter member of the "sting
>
> > sucks" crowd until i outgrew that shit, so
> copeland
>
> > must be laying the haterade on pretty thick if
> i'm
>
> > responding that way. does he elaborate in the book, or
> did i
>
> > just seize on the wrong thing from those interviews i
> heard?
>
> > i suppose if i saw his book for cheapsies i'd pick
> it up
>
> > anyway, whatever reservations i might have about the
> guy.



> > i'm
>
> > winding down on a pretty big book called
>
> > 'nixonland'. it's not exactly a biography
> of RN,
>
> > it's more about the zeitgeist of the country
> during the
>
> > 60s-70s and how nixon exploited it to become
> president.
>
> > i've also been reading some philip marlowe
> detective
>
> > stories by raymond chandler. 'slavery by another
>
> > name' by douglas blackmon has been laying around
> my
>
> > apartment for a while now, so i'll probably start
> on
>
> > that after finishing 'nixonland'.
>
> >
>
> > saw 'iron man' yesterday and
>
> > really enjoyed it. i was also pleasantly surprised
> by the
>
> > will ferrell flop 'land of the lost', which
> turned
> > out to be pretty funny. i like ferrell but don't
> make it
>
> > a rule to catch everything he does (i missed the
> recent
>
> > basketball and skating pictures he was in). when i do
> see
>
> > his movies, i usually enjoy them. otherwise, lots of
>
> > foreign/indie stuff. saw a very good german movie a
> couple
>
> > weeks ago called 'antares'. and this weekend
> i
>
> > should be getting a pair of american indie movies by
> the
>
> > director lodge kerrigan that i've wanted to see
> for a
>
> > while. 'clare dolan' and 'keane'.


> > still
>
> > snowing as i write this. usually my view is
> rooftops
>
> > and trees. today it's mostly whiteness with
> rooftops and
>
> > trees struggling to be seen. it's fucking
>
> > beautiful.
>

Thursday, February 4, 2010

are you really upset about the oscar nominations? then you're an idiot. sorry.


blah blah blah, 'citizen kane'. understand? no? (sighing). ok, when they gave out academy awards honoring the best work done by the motion picture industry in 1941, orson welles' monumental and historic masterpiece 'citizen kane' was overlooked for best picture. in 1951 marlon brando was nominated for portraying stanley kowalski in 'a streetcar named desire' but did not win for one of the greatest performances any actor has ever given. and so on and so forth.

get it? the academy awards aren't about fairness or quality or merit. they're about popularity, industry politics and the perception of quality as it applies to (primarily) mainstream films. so relax. yes, sandra bullock got nominated for best actress. it doesn't mean anything. yes, 'avatar' was nominated for best picture. stop shrieking. yes, 'blind side', the sandra bullock vehicle about a sassy white lady who adopts a black kid and teaches us all a lesson about racism while he plays football, also got nominated for best picture. wha-at? hey, waitaminnit: that's fucked up. that movie really does sound like a piece of shit. we have to do something about this. call your congressman. let's have a march on hollywood or do sit-ins at theaters or something!

nah, i'm kidding. i love movies, but find it impossible to take the oscars seriously. not long ago, nic cage won for best actor. nic cage, for fuck's sake! i'm honestly surprised that previous winners didn't just throw their oscars out after that. i'm kidding again. sure, most sane people think nic cage is awful, but some people like the guy. and there's the crux: even if hollywood obliged you serious movie lovers by making more good movies, you'd still bitch and moan the day after the nominations were announced because something you thought was worthy got overlooked by those douchebag members of the academy. maybe some of you just like bitching and moaning? visiting some comment boards and chat sites after this year's nominations were announced, i had that thought. it was especially amazing to see the same folks who've been screaming about the awfulness of 'avatar' for 2 long months get a second wind and start screaming about how awful it is that 'avatar' got nominated for best picture. aren't you guys tired yet? it's only a movie. i saw it and found it fairly entertaining. was it 400 million dollars (the reported budget of 'avatar') worth of entertaining? i don't think so, but that's just my shitty opinion. nearly 2 billion dollars worth of paying customers pretty much squash any mild criticisms i may have about 'avatar's lack of originality. kids don't even know what the hell 'dances with wolves' is anyway. and they should get the hell off my lawn, now that i think of it.

i'd like it if hollywood made better movies too. but there's no reason to believe that the large number of people who go to the movies on a regular basis are all that disappointed by what they're getting, so don't expect the producers in hollywood to go the "if we make better pictures, the audience will come" route anytime soon. commercial filmmaking produces a lot of crap, and for people who really love movies, a little bit of good stuff. that's how it's always been, really. film historians will tell you that back in the fabled old days they were making classic movies with the same dependable regularity that general motors was pumping out cars. but they really did have an assembly line for movies and a fair amount of the "product" from any of hollywood's so-called golden years has an oddly anonymous quality. the craftsmanship is exactly that: uninspired labor by people who were just doing their jobs. and there are a lot of horrible movies from "ye olden days of glory" too. they don't seem so gratingly awful to us because of the somewhat reliquary quality time has bestowed on them. i'm simply not among those who think that movies are really and truly worse now than they once were. studio moguls were selling something different once upon a time: a genteel america that was as much a product of their imagination as the films themselves. strip away the classy veneer of many old films and there's little worth half a damn left. that's my long-winded way of telling you to shut the fuck up about how great it once was and how 'avatar' would never have gotten nominated for best picture in 1939. build yourself a goddamned time machine and go marry 1939 if you like it so goddamned much.

much as i like complaining about the complaints other people make, i still have an objective interest in the academy awards. on the morning the nominations are announced i check to see who made the cut and who was excluded. and while i haven't been able to stomach the show itself in years, i always check first thing the next day to see who won. so i don't want to come off as "mister holier than thou" on the subject because the oscars do interest me. just not to the degree that i'd expend much energy debating their importance as a calculus of the real artistic merit or worth of any film. many cinephiles out there will make the point that they're only concerned about what gets nominated because they love movies and they hate to see mediocre or substandard work elevated by the academy, but i don't buy that argument, in spite of the intense sincerity with which it is often delivered. these are the same people who rant about the shitty taste and general stupidity of the lumpen masses so frequently that the obvious contempt they feel for those same lumpen masses is impossible to ignore. these people don't want "better movies for everyone", they simply want their own aesthetic preferences confirmed by the imprimaturs of the general public, the awards circuit and a consensus of the critical establishment. ie; a new status quo imposed on everyone just as arbitrarily as the old one, only this time following a set of guidelines they approve of. which is supposed to be ok, y'know?-because they have better taste than the rest of us. it doesn't make sense for them to get upset about what other people choose go to see or who and what wins at the oscars, yet they do it anyway, as it represents a real injustice in their minds when the things they love aren't embraced with the same intensity by the rest of the public. friggin' boneheads.

now a few words about the nominees:

best picture
avatar, blind side, district 9, an education, the hurt locker, inglourious basterds, precious, a serious man, up, up in the air

if i'm rooting for anything this year, i'd have to say it's for 'avatar' to win best picture because it'll really irritate a lot of stupid assholes. that's about what it boils down to for me. sure, i enjoyed 'up' and 'inglourious basterds' more than i enjoyed 'avatar', but there won't be a deluge of anguished posts online the day after the oscar show if those pictures win. i was underwhelmed by katherine bigelow's 'the hurt locker'. something just seemed to be missing. it strikes me as a sort of a tabula rasa of a war film, vague enough in its perspective so that the viewer can project whatever he or she wants onto it. the coen brothers' 'a serious man' was also a disappointment. have i been missing something with the coens? are they really still making movies populated with the same ugly and inhuman caricatures after so long? couldn't they have made 'a serious man' 20 years ago? lastly, 'up in the air' probably wouldn't have been great even if it had worked from start to finish, but jason reitman's film has the most egregious third-act flameout ever committed to celluloid. really, it's embarrassing to watch the wheels spin so conspicuously and fruitlessly in a movie. i have no interest in seeing 'the blind side' or 'precious' and 'district 9' and 'an education' are strictly rental items. eventually.

best actor
jeff bridges-crazy heart, george clooney-up in the air, colin firth-a single man, morgan freeman-invictus, jeremy renner-the hurt locker

i really have no horse in this race, though i'm guessing the oscar will go to jeff bridges for his performance as an aging country musician in 'crazy heart', another picture i hope not to see anytime soon. i'm pretty sure bridges has never won in the past and he seems well-liked and that's about all it really takes. however, if 'the hurt locker' turns out to be "the little war movie that could", bridges may go home empty-handed. actually, even if it loses best picture to 'avatar' academy voters may compensate 'the hurt locker' by giving its star jeremy renner the best actor award. other than those two guys, there's morgan freeman playing nelson mandela in clint eastwood's middlingly received (by both the public and critics, not a good sign) 'invictus'. oscars have gone to a few black men in the last several years and, depressing as it may be to consider, that'll likely have an adverse effect on freeman's chances, along with the fact that he already has a supporting actor oscar for eastwood's 'million dollar baby'. though it's possible academy voters won't even remember freeman's supporting actor oscar, since nobody really gives a flying damn about those anyway. none of that stuff matters as far as colin firth and george clooney are concerned. neither of them has the vaguest chance in hell of winning an oscar this go-round.

best actress
sandra bullock-blind side, helen mirren-the last station, carey mulligan-an education, gabourey sidibe-precious, meryl streep-julie and julia

it's possible that streep could win because she's been nominated without winning so many times in the last few years (her second and most recent oscar victory came for the 1983 film 'sophie's choice') that academy voters may decide she was somehow cheated and now's the time to make amends. gabourey sidibe for 'precious' is also a possibility, as not that many black women have been scooping up oscars since halle berry's freak win a few years ago. then there's the dreaded sandra bullock, known to all as a swell human being who donates loads of money to charitable causes and a total sweetheart to work with. yup, i wouldn't be at all surprised if bullock won. seriously. and nobody should be yelling or hissing as they read that! helen mirren (who just won a best actress oscar about 2 years ago) and carey mulligan (whose rather manly-sounding name will just confuse older academy voters anyway) can go play monopoly with firth and clooney on oscar night, 'cause the only thing they'd be doing at the show is clapping and smiling when other people win awards. which is ok for the most part, until that point in the evening when you find yourself clapping and smiling for some schmuck who's just won what you'd come to think of as your oscar. fuck that.

best supporting whatever
the best supporting actor oscar is a lock for christopher waltz as colonel landa in 'inglourious basterds' and i'd say there's a pretty good chance that mo'nique has BSA locked up for 'precious', but to paraphrase bill murray doing his oscar predictions on SNL's weekend update: who really gives a shit about supporting performers? after winning his oscar, chris waltz will make a couple more appearances as a villain (in movies NOT written by quentin tarantino) and suddenly everyone will notice what an irritating little kraut he is. will chubby black comedienne mo'nique get a lot of movie roles after winning her oscar? crystal ball says "not likely". a syndicated sit-com on one of those channels that cater to (or insult, depending on how you look at it) the black populace is what the future holds for mo'nique. and so it goes.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

jim derogatis: asshole of the week!


chicago sun-times rock critic jim derogatis doesn't like rock band vampire weekend. he thought that their first album was one of the worst things released in 2008 and he gave the follow-up 'contra' a negative review as well. what constituency is a rock critic speaking to when he says that a band he already hates has made another poor album? do you purchase new releases from bands that you hate? "aah, that detestable band of vomit-inducing posers has a new album out, i must purchase it immediately!" how does that make sense? hell, once i decide a band has no chance of producing anything i want to hear, i go out of my way to avoid them. don't you?

derogatis is the worst kind of numbskull. the kind who takes his initial dislike of a band's music and makes it into a critique of everything about them. vampire weekend have some bizarre contrived preppie image that derogatis finds abhorrent, so he yammers about it constantly. this week on the local NPR program 'soundcheck', derogatis made a strained effort at conveying the repulsiveness of VW's image by first comparing them to KISS and then to racist skinhead bands. jeez. i'm not a particularly big fan of vampire weekend (though i'll admit to really liking the song 'cousins') but how does an adult get so wound up in hating a band that he retreats from common sense when criticizing them? 'soundcheck' has a regular segment called "smackdown" where critics with differing opinions on bands and trends debate the merits of those things. derogatis was on the show debating VW's worth with a woman named marisa meltzer. at one point derogatis suggested that since meltzer liked bret easton ellis, her affection for vampire weekend could likely be explained away by her obvious poor taste. really! anybody who disagrees with jim derogatis has poor taste. this guy must be in his middle-40s. how the fuck does a person reach adulthood while remaining so defiantly childish? what an asshole.

you can listen to the show here. the magic "you have low standards" moment is 11 minutes and 23 seconds in. thankfully, derogatis obnoxious rudeness seems to have annoyed ms. meltzer enough to make her call him out on how silly his ranting about vampire weeekend really is. at one point he even goes so far as to suggest that he'd like to see them walk through some tough neighborhood, presumably in the hope that they'd receive a beat-down or something. yup, a grown man said that. unfuckingreal.