My TV Reality: Superbowl Supersized Edition


Other Schtuff

The Online Dating Chronicles, Week 3

After last Saturdays mishap in which me and a girl who I met on the internet stood each other up, I was able to reschedule, and take her to a local college poetry night on Thursday. I wouldn’t really call it a date since we met briefly and then headed straight to the reading (literally walking for all of two minutes).

The reading was actually this presentation called “I Speak”, which started off as forty-five minutes of open mic, followed by professional slam poet Kirk Nugent.

Not having any of my work on me, and not knowing it was an open mic, I quickly rushed to the library to print out two pieces, and promptly came back to perform them. Coelena (that’s the girls name) had already heard them over the phone, and from what I could tell, liked them. One was “Your Song” and the other was “The Dead Grandmothers Society”. You can find both in the creative section of the IP forums, under the poetry contest thread. Tell me what you think.

I’m not so sure if they went over that well with the audience. It was a predominantly black audience that seemed to prefer the more bombastic and didactic renderings of other poems. That’s not intended to be a racist jibe, though it was uncomfortable being the only white guy in the entire place who stepped up to the mike. I do feel awkward being the only of something wherever I am, despite the need to differentiate myself from everyone else. The thing I don’t like is the mentality of large groups. The kind of behavior that exists in any large group, that isn’t exclusive to race. Whether it be rowdy sports fans, headbangers moshing, or fraternities hazing newbies, it disgusts me. These are all examples of tribal idiocy and I can’t stand it. or. And I hate the people that give into this and pander to the crowd.

What is this need to immediately exclude others, include only like minds and elevate oneself? This desire to use large numbers of people as a safety net that’s supposed to render any and all ridiculous activity as an act of righteousness. Many of the poems at the reading were awful, and many of the jokes and comments made by the MC were uncalled for and unfunny, and yet because of the audience who felt he was one of them, he was allowed to get away with anything. He went off on a tangent about loving light-skinned women. Another about how calling a girl a cocksucker is a compliment. And they ate it up.

It does not take skill or talent to entertain a crowd, but rather a business sense, those intuitive skills that are honed in business classes. Telling people what they want to hear. It does have it’s place, and certainly I resort to that behavior, but there has to be substance, meaning and value too.

Kirk Nugent, the professional poet was terrible and was the epitome of everything I’ve been rallying against thus far here. His poems were not poetic as much as they were ham-handed and didactic. His rhyming skills were satisfactory, but there was nothing you could take out of the poems. It was the bastardization of poetry. Slam poetry gets like that a lot of times. Writer’s give in to the rhymes and try to write pieces that sound good, but carry no weight with them. It’s as if poetry is pop. Poetry is one of the last seemingly pure forms of art, and to see it marginalized into a gimmick is appalling. Is Mr. Nugent good at giving people what they want? Absolutely. He was paid to come to our school and perform, and from what I saw they loved what he did. Poems about practicing safe sex and pursuing your dreams must be what people are looking for. It’s easier than having to deal with a poet that forces you to think and look into your own dark insides. The desire to have a good time has overridden the need to be intellectually stimulated. Performance poetry should be a compromise between both substance and style, where both are given equal credence. Repeating the same mantras and messages that we’ve been told since were five does not constitute as poetry. As you can tell, this is a subject I am very adamant about, and I expressed these feelings afterwards to Coelena after Mr. Nugent’s performance. There was bitterness in my voice from not having my poems go over as well as I would have liked them to, but after seeing what they did like, I think that it’s for the best. Let them eat their cake. Perhaps the problem with expressing my true feelings about how I disliked the poetry I saw instantly made me appear less attractive to Coelena as a human being. I was pretentious, angry, and bitter; In other words, she saw me in my true form. That’s not supposed to happen on a first date. You’re supposed to slowly swim through customary motions, but not I. I let loose, and it might have cost me in the long run. I know that in the end, who I am, what I do, and what I think will cost me true love and happiness. So please, take as much from this as you can. It might be all I’ll really have to give someone else.

This Saturday I’m taking her to an art museum. I think this time I’ll try to be on my best behavior. We’ll see how long that lasts.

News in Haikus

Call Terrel Owens
Desperate Housewives took home
SAG Comedy prize.

CSI won too
Winning for best drama group
That’s a major crime

Happy Days returned
No shark jumping came about
So ratings were good

Postcards From Buster
Has conservatives in uproar
Fucking imbeciles.

The Column Proper

Are you ready for some homoerotic action in which grown men who use the word faggot wear tight pants and run in to each other? Yes, the Superbowl, a time honored tradition where two teams controlled by the same conglomerate square off to give the facade of actual competition. A place where the Tsunami Superfriends can mug it up for the camera, where Michael Douglas can thank and honor those few brave souls who sat through It Runs in the Family, and where it’s okay to needlessly plug a dead guy as long as he’s black and blind. For the first time ever, I gambled on the Superbowl. I placed ten bucks on the team with all the black guys on it and lost. Regardless of that misfortune, the real reason I watch the Superbowl is to bask in the Capitalist glow of America and judge the best of the best accomplished by hard work and efforts spent by heartless ad executives. That’s right, it’s the first annual Bowlies, the only award dedicated to Superbowl commercials. With over two million bucks being paid per thirty second spot, someone should give recognition. If actors and advocates of peace are able to get superfluous awards then why not Madison Avenues finest? Here we go!

The Big Brother Apple award for best commerical goes to- Fed-Ex. Burt Reynolds dancing with a bear, plus seven other super bowl ad cliche’s. Creative, funny and memorable. It was even better than that other Fed-Ex commercial, Castaway.

The Frasier Crane It Should Be Funny but isn’t award goes to- Career Builder, and their series of ads about a man in an office full of monkeys. It’s monkeys. Why am I not laughing? Maybe it’s because this year’s commercials were so tame, that putting monkeys in ads seems more like an act of desperation than a legitimate attempt at being humorous?

The Toby Keith Award for turning jingoism into a commodity goes to- Anheuser Busch . You’d have to be pretty drunk to accept sincerity FROM A BEER COMPANY!! I support the troops as much as anyone, but garbage like this makes me wretch. Whose more manipulative and evil; Busch or Bush? This left a worse taste in my mouth than their crappy beer.

The John Stossel Give Me a Break Award goes to Ford, for their ad in which a group of ravenous bikers flees in terror when they approach a bar and see trucks parked outside. They’re really scared because they know that those trucks are even more dangerous to the environment than their bikes.

The Matrix Revolutions What the Hell Was That All About Award goes to a NASCAR ad with pirates in it? How does raping and pillaging across the high seas equate to rednecks driving around in a circle for five hundred miles? Do I have to call it Nascaaaarrrrrrrgggh now?

The Andy Dick I Wish I Was As Clever As I Think I am Award goes to McDonalds for their two ads about a guy finding a French fry that looks like Lincoln. Lincoln is such a tame, lame choice. What about Abe Vigoda or Annie Lennox? This was trying to be irreverent, but it turned out being as boringly safe and predictable as Paul McCartney’s halftime performance.

The X-Men 2 I’m supposed to like this because I’m a comic fan but I still don’t because it blows award goes to Visa for having some Marvel superheroes in a spot. What was with Spider-mans’ voice? Still not as cool as that milk ad they had a few years back that had Hawkeye in it. That ruled. This didn’t.

The Madonna She’s Trying So Hard To Be Edgy and Sexy but comes off as laughable Award goes to for their whore at a senate hearing commerical. Oh no, one of the straps of her tank-top fell off!! Get Michael Powell off the unemployment line, we’re going into a state of emergency!

A Look at the Simpsons and American Dad

I decided not to review The Simpsons in its traditional format this week, so if you missed reading it in that style, I’m sorry. It’ll be back next week. Last night’s episode wasn’t too bad. The cameos were a bit forced(in their inclusion and in the poor voice acting), but a lot of the jokes worked. Was it just me, or was the show extremely violent on South Park levels? Not just in the Ned Flander’s movie scenes, but overall. The Mario sequence was awesome, even if it had been done before. That kind of nostalgic humor remains funny. The big revelation of course was the Comic Book Guy telling Flanders his real name. Jeff Albertson. This moment didn’t work for me. It was pulled off well enough, but the act itself sucks. I don’t want to know the Comic Book Guys name. He’s my favorite character, I love seeing him in small increments, but I don’t care about him falling in love with other characters are being built upon as a character. It’s one note joke. He’s fat and mean and he sells comics. That’s all there should be to him, end of story. There are enough other characters that deserve fiddling with. I must admit though, he does look like a Jeff.

A few years ago when Fox aired the Superbowl, it premiered Seth McFarlane’s Family Guy, a show that would go on to flounder in the ratings before becoming an after-life phenomenon due to die-hard fans who couldn’t accept the show dying. Now they’re bringing it back, and to prove that too much of a good thing isn’t a good thing, new episodes are going to be aired alongside another McFarlane property, American Dad, which got was also given a post-Superbowl premiere night. You know what they say about lightning striking twice? Well I don’t either, but regardless of that, this show is doomed from the start.
Anytime a creator comes along with a new project after one that was so good it looks as though it can’t be topped, chances are it couldn’t. One can’t help but think of Family Guy when watching American Dad, and while Fox thinks that is the shows greatest strength (since people will watch due to the association), it is in truth its greatest weakness.
I won’t go through all of the similarities, but suffice it to say, this show is not going to find it’s own identity. Using virtually the same animation style and having it revolve around a quibbling family hurts the show immensely. The biggest difference between the two shows, as McFarlane would have you believe is that this show is going to be more political. With the patriarch of the family being a conservative and the daughter being a liberal, I don’t think their going to be able to do anything remotely new or interesting. We’ve seen this dynamic before with All in the Family, and also between Homer and Lisa on The Simpsons. Based on what I saw Sunday, it’s the same old “we disagree and hate each other but deep down inside love each other” formula that’s been done to death.
Instead of a witty British baby that wants to take over kill his mother and take over the world, we get a talking German goldfish who wants to have sex with the matriarch of the family. Talking German goldfish aren’t funny. They just aren’t. Don’t ask me to explain why because I couldn’t tell you exactly why. Replacing the acerbic dog Brian is the Paul Lynde sound-alike alien Roger who is the funniest character on the show, but that’s probably due more to my affinity for Paul Lynde than the quality of the lines Roger spits out.
I really hope that the shoddiness of the animation was due to the fact that pilots work on reduced budgets.
There already appear to be to many glitches with the show to fix before it premieres and may, and unlike the show I’ve compared it to, when this Dad takes the big bullet, no amount of outcry will be strong enough to bring it back.