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Bullshit!

Here's where you'll find things that annoy me and things that I feel like ranting about.

Asshole of the Week - "Cheap Baristas"

JJ Mortimer

Right away, I don't want to call people who make near minimum wage and create a generic cup of bitter black sugar water with tasteless spermicidal foam on top as "baristas".  You are either a "coffee dude" or a "coffee chick."  And those quotes should only go around the word "coffee", because Juan Valdez just decided to re-immigrate back to Columbia because of the death of his legacy.

Anyway, what pisses me off the most is not necessarily the coffee makers as a general whole (because I've had a few over the years who know how to make the shit out of a cup of coffee), but the ones who fill your large, near-$5 cup about two-thirds of the way up and leave their idea of "foam" to fill the rest.

Years ago, your local coffee maker would ask if you'd like to leave room at the top for foam.  You'd respond typically with a "no", and they'd fill the cup the rest of the way with the fluid you actually paid money for - you know, the fluid that actually has weight and substance and doesn't dissolve like cotton candy in water when you blow lightly on it.  In the recent years, and especially in the last couple weeks, prices have just been announced to be INCREASED. 

Starbucks is the main asshole here.  I usually go to Coffee Bean now about once a month on a special occasion, only because I started to feel gypped with the light weight of my cup of diarrhea that, amazingly, helps me clear my bowels in a brown slushy sleet storm.  Both major chains are following suit on a company that makes a shit-ton of money serving people addictive liquid shit - they needlessly raise the prices, and at the same time give you less quality AND quantity.  Starbucks just happens to run point on this assault of assholery.

So, back to the foam-ish substance layering the inside of my coffee cup lid.  I didn't ask for foam.  They gave it to me.  And they gave it to me hard.  I take the cup, and it feels about the weight of a shot of whiskey.  This I find hilarious, because in about two years, we are going to be paying roughly the same amount for a cup of coffee as you would a shot of decent liquor at a bar, and for pretty much the same amount of liquid. 

I'm not a public complainer - I save it for blog entries and angry rants because it's more fun to hide behind a computer and troll than it is to make a public declaration and act like a total ass.  The reason I don't speak up and complain in public is because of my decided "social contract".  I worked customer service for over ten years, and I've heard just about everything a minimum wage employee can hear while working behind a counter.  Regardless of the joyless banter you get from 90% of people you serve hand and foot on, I never slighted anyone.  I never treated anyone with disrespect or discourtesy.  Even the ones who threatened to get physical, which I loved the most because anyone stupid enough to try anything would have been put to sleep.

But fucking come on.  I just paid $4.55 for a large latte that, when I took the lid off of the cup, the liquid was one-and-a-half fucking inches from the top.  And here's the best part:

Last month, the last time I got a cup of coffee and had the same effect of "lack of coffee in my cup", there was the foam issue.  Today, I took the lid off, and...there was no fucking foam.  No foam to at least take up the space.  I literally paid $4.55 for a cup of coffee that would have fit in a medium, or a spilled-over small. 

"These are your pitiful First World problems."  Fuck yeah they are.  And I am going to complain my ass off and be pissed about it without any kind remorse because I do live in the United States, I do work for my money, I do expect to get what I paid for, and I do want my $4.55 worth of motherfucking coffee in my motherfucking stomach so that I can have a decent shit before playing video games on my giant television set.

So here's to you, coffee bitches.  A send-off from the Caruso:


"You're an Asshole!" - Banks

JJ Mortimer

I can go in so many directions with this one.  I could complain about literally anything involving money and say it's "the bank's fault".  I can talk about the housing crash and say how it was all the bank's fault in lending money to anyone just short of a gorilla.  But the big ideas aren't what I'm after.  I'm complaining about the physical buildings - the banks themselves with people inside of them.

But first off, how fucking stupid do advertisers really need to make everyone think they are by shortening every name in existence.  Bank of America is now BOFA.  Washington Mutual is now WaMu.  Pretty soon Chase is going to be a clicking sound made on the upper palate with the tongue. 

"Yeah, but some of those abbreviations are just easy ways for the company to get people to remember their ticker name in the stock market."  Exactly why they are assholes, though.  They want you to remember their abbreviation so that MORE of your money can go to them.  The banks are like a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos - the white balls are your testicles, and the banks are biting rapidly to eat them.  I know that has nothing to do with money, but that's just what it feels like sometimes to let a bank hold your money.  They have you by the balls.  With their fat, ugly mouths.

Anyway....

So I walk into the bank as I always do because I enjoy seeing my check physically go into someone's hand, and I like having interaction with a human being as they hand me some cash back.  I enjoy saying the words "thank you", which is something I would only look insane doing saying to an ATM machine.  I stand in line and quickly fill out my deposit slip.  As I'm finishing doing so, two other people walk in and go directly past me five seconds before I finish.  They don't offer to let me have my space in line.  They just ignore the fact that I was ever there.  Now, these people don't have to let me have my space, and I won't ask for it.  I just think it's a dick move to just cut in front of someone in line at the bank as they're just finishing up filling out a slip.  Me, I wait for a moment to see if the person ahead of me is just finishing filling out their forms, so therefore I feel people who don't wait at least a couple seconds are complete shit-covered assholes.  That's just me, and it has nothing to do with the banks because tangents are addicting and I like apples.

There are now five of us in line.  I was second into the bank, and somehow now fifth in line.  Fuck it.  I look ahead, and no tellers are at their windows.  Two women are standing behind one that is closed, counting money and typing shit into a computer.  For all I know, she's found a way to update Facebook on a computer that doesn't support that ability.  There's another teller, but she's slowly doing a merchant service, which for those of you who have had to deposit money for a company know that this can take a few minutes.

What really pisses me off is that the bank tellers often get in to the bank with enough time to get their shit together, have their money counted, and be ready to work once the door is unlocked.  This time, they did not.  And they looked like they didn't even give a shit.  Cool, the bank is like the supermarket.  Maybe the person in the front of the line can start a conversa.....

Fuck.  The guy is totally talking to the one working teller about how he starting working on his planes again.  Go fly off a fucking bridge, you cock-nosed goon.

Finally I get up to the teller, I hand her my check (as I do every two weeks) and say "hello, how are you?" as I always politely do.  I then use a very specific group of muscles to contort my face so that my lips make this very specific shape to form a physical acknowledgment of pleasantry that just happen to show my slightly-yellowed teeth.  She returns the greeting.

"Hello, how's your day so far?" she responds, at 9:12am, as though I've been awake for several hours like a crack-addicted Japanese man who hasn't adjusted to the time change from Tokyo to Los Angeles.  I let it slide, because it's a casual greeting and nobody gives a shit anymore about those.  "Well, not much has happened yet.  I did take a nice shit, so I have that going for me."

I didn't really say that last part.  I said the day was great, but got somehow immediately annoyed with her following comment.

"You know you can just deposit your check and take care of all your banking needs through the ATM.  Have you ever tried direct deposit?"

Both of these things fucking irritated me.  I like talking to people.  I don't want to allow a company to send my money to the bank on their own electronic whim.  If I allow that, I might get lazy with double-checking to make sure all my funds are accounted for (since i work on a clientele basis).  I also like human interaction, and again this woman was trying to be as robotic as possible to really make me consider going to the ATM and asking it if it would like to have lunch with me.  It felt to me as though banks are trying really fucking hard to get people out of the actual bank and into the sphere of online banking (without the use of cash) with credit and binary code.  I can almost understand the anger and resentment in the machine-like nature of the teller because she's essentially trying to get rid of the need for her job, which includes....her actual job.  She's trying very hard to be jobless by way of desecrating her position, is what I'm saying.

What's worse is that my bank now has thick, bulletproof glass protecting the tellers and our ears from the sound waves emanating from the human voice box.  They install this thick plastic material in front of these people's faces, yet the tellers don't seem to understand that you can't whisper through a wall and expect the person in the other room to hear you.  The most common word I hear inside the bank now is, "What?"  I would prefer "pardon me", but that's another subject of for future reporting of assholery.

On a personal note:  Every time I walk into my bank I'm looked at as though I'm going to rob the place.   Bald and bearded is very uncommon; apparently, nobody in my town has this look.  So I have two options - one, I look like a complete moron and make dumb faces as I stare blankly at my check over and over while in line to make myself look less threatening; or two, I play the role and keep the most sinister look on my face in hopes that something comes out of it.  Some bit of excitement, like the FBI responding (somehow faster than the local police) and detaining me because I look like 367 other suspects that recently robbed a bank in Tulsa.  Could be fun.

Lastly, I can't fucking stand how so many stores that are interesting, like ones selling trinkets, games, movies, candy, sex toys, etc., are closing and being replaced with banks.  Every gawdamn shopping center needs two banks in the 21st century - one on both ends to bookend your spending habits with an ability to close in on the rest of your money like a metaphorical vice.

Shopping centers used to be about fun.  You'd go to the local arcade or video store, buy something new, or pay some of your allowance to buy an ice cream cone.  Mom & Pop stores that existed and thrived on you spending your money.  Now, all we have are banks.  Banks that want to take your allowance and put it into one of their accounts that benefit you in almost no way in the long run, with constant fees and interest rates that would even make an Italian loan shark from Jersey say, "That's...pretty fuckin' high."  Your ten dollars would become $4.50 by the end of the month.

All I'm saying is, people need to continue being people to each other, and not try to pawn us off to be subject their electronic services.  And by electronic services, I'm also talking about their machine-like demeanor with their customer service.  Otherwise, put a fucking pinball machine in the corner of your bank and at least make these wastes of building space worth going to.

Comedian of the Week - Tom Segura

JJ Mortimer

Tom Segura is like a scathing, bearded cherub who makes some of the most accurate observations that any listener who doesn't see the context in which he is telling his jokes will think he is an ignorant racist.  He is far from that, and from his style of up-front "tell-you-how-it-really-is" comedy we get some gems such as this:

I first got a look at this guy years ago on a Comedy Central special where I mistook him for Zach Galifianakis.  I'm glad I was wrong, because Zach isn't a very good stand-up comedian.  What I liked immediately about him was his no-fear attitude, and how he isn't afraid to speak about "touchy subjects" involving race (and midgets) using facts that people are often uncomfortable hearing about.

I stress that if you get a chance to listen to one of his albums, listen to "Completely Normal" and listen for his bit on Steven Seagal.  He nails on the head exactly how full of shit the martial arts "master" really is by commenting on the reality show that highlighted his duties as a Louisiana police officer. 

Tune to the Tom Segura station on Pandora, and hopefully you will come across it.

Game of Thrones, Ep. 10 (FINALE) - Final Thoughts (SPOILERS)

JJ Mortimer

As the sadness soaks in that this was the last episode we will see for nearly a year, I have had a sobering moment of time to think back at the events of the 4th season of "Game of Thrones".  There were many moments that could be considered my favorite (two of which were my favorite so far in the entire series), but one thing stood out to me that gave me faith in the future of George R.R. Martin's tale of the comings-and-goings in a happy little place called Westeros - there are significant character arcs that (at least for me) became very evident for the first time since the beginning of the first season.

There were a couple things I knew with about 83% certainty (which is a lot considering the surprises the show has thrown in our face):  One, I knew The Hound would die by the end of this season; and two, Tyrion would survive.

I also had a 0% idea that skeletons would rise from below this tree, resulting in a live-action scene from the game  Everquest.

I also had a 0% idea that skeletons would rise from below this tree, resulting in a live-action scene from the game Everquest.

In the terms of The Hound, I followed some of the story development and character development ideas that I learned in my time in film school to come to my conclusion of his character.  Basically, give a 'sort-of major' character a big scene, followed a little later by a really well-acted back story confession, and you have all the drama necessary to end their life with the emotional investment of the audience.

In the very first episode of this season, The Hound had that sit-down in the tavern with the King's Landing soldiers, and we got to see again just how badass he was when he called the king a "cunt" and proceeded to verbally, then physically, mutilate a handful of men.  We also got to see a glimmer that he was beginning to care, or at least invest himself, in the well-being of Arya Stark.  He dispatched the men in the tavern for his own benefit, yes, but he also did so out of her own volition.  That, and he also wanted free chickens.

Later in the seventh episode of the season, after being bit by the bounty hunter, Sandor "The Hound" Clegane finally had a moment where he opened up his life story to Arya, giving us a LOT of understanding as to the anger toward his brother, his fear of fire, and the slightly submissive attitude toward authority.  We get a grasp as to why he is referred to as "The Hound" and not typically by his birth name.  In this was where I knew his character was either doomed or destined to be doomed, shall we say "off screen", for the extent of the series. 

The way in which Arya leaves "The Hound" to be with his wounds at the dying will of nature was heart-breaking and a bit anti-climactic.  In a way, we see him admitting that he is the man watching over the last Stark woman, but at the end, he attempts to squeeze mercy out of the hands of Arya by saying all the things one would expect would drive a person to stab them through the heart.  Instead, she gives him the cold stare of a girl who has grown too fast in a world that harbors no innocence.  "The Hound" is left to die like the dog we knew him to be, but did not want to believe he had become. 

"At least leave me a chicken dinner if you're not going to kill me.  Oh, and the king is still a cunt."

"At least leave me a chicken dinner if you're not going to kill me.  Oh, and the king is still a cunt."

In the terms of Tyrion, one of my predictions was that he would be broken out of prison by his brother, and I was right.  I somewhat was cheated with information on this correct prediction because of what I had learned about not just storytelling in general, but about the storytelling of George R.R. Martin himself.  I had read that Tyrion was Martin's favorite character and the one he enjoys writing for the most.  In this, no good author would kill the one character they themselves are most closely connected to - at least, not yet.  This would be the character that motivates them to get up every morning, put on their robe, and make a pot of tea before sitting down at their flashing DOS prompt and begin typing a new chapter.

The moment that I felt was the most rewarding of the entire final episode of the season was the brief moment where, in all the hectic commotion of his jail break, Tyrion stops Jaimie to say thank you, and the two embrace in true brotherly care and companionship.  We knew Jaimie had redeemed himself, but in this, he has come down as one of the few humans in Westeros who is a true good guy with a conscience to spare.  It just so happens that he's also living in the most deviant and dastardly of cities and is also member of one hell of a crude and evil family, which makes his actions feel even more redeeming.  I understand he still fucks his sister, but there are skeletons rising from the grave and dragons burning little children, so things like that aren't so weird in this crazy little world.  I also just threw up a little.

I enjoyed how this season (adapted from the third book of Martin's series) concludes with a bit of resolution instead of a giant cliffhanger.  In the vein of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings", we see two characters heading off to a new future - Arya sailing away on a ship towards a new town, and Tyrion shipped off in a crate on a cargo ship.  These are two characters leaving on a new journey that can take them anywhere but where they expected to be due the betraying actions of evil men and women.

In Arya, her character is becoming the woman her father said she couldn't become.  In Tyrion, he was able to have the justice he deserved by killing the bitch who, over the course of two-and-a-half seasons, pledged her undying devotion and love to him only to betray him despite his life-threatening choices to keep her safe.  He had been warned that a "whore is a whore", and in the end, that's exactly what she was.

Tyrion also had the most righteous of justices by putting two bolts in his mother-fucker of a father, albeit while the man took a shit.  I get the impression that if the man were constipated in the moment he saw Tyrion standing before him with the crossbow, he certainly shit himself within a minute.  To paraphrase Cartman from "South Park", the last thing you do before you die is crap your pants.  The scene is also that much more poignant considering it aired on Father's Day.

In the end, the episode wasn't groundbreaking by any means, but did the right thing in opening many doors for what's to come in the future of the series.  Will we see a Frankenstein's Monster in the form of The Mountain?  Will Bran transform into a bird and fly away?  Will Dany lose control of the power she so desperately seeks in the justice of bringing freedom to people who may not really want it?  Will Ned Stark's rotting head come back to life? 

I know that last thought is bullshit, but seriously, when Hodor and Bran went into the cave under the big tree I was half-expecting to see some form of undead or spirit Ned Stark.  I don't know why, but I just keep thinking he will be brought back.  Though, in reality, George Martin is doing a justice in bringing true mortality to the realm of fantasy, showing that Death is death, and death is Death.

And there still exists some justice in King's Landing.

 

OBSERVATIONS, CONCLUSIONS, & PREDICTIONS

1)  "The Hound's" death was off-screen, implying that more can be done with his character in the complexity of the magic of the realm.  Again, I have not read the books, but I still think that since we didn't actually see Sandor die, he very well could wind up somewhere in the future of the series.  Even in the context of a brief silent cameo just for the fans, at least one could hope.

2)  Cercei will become the King's Landing version of Dr. Frankenstein (with the help of that Dark Ages phlebotomist) and send her monster, in the form of Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane, to hunt down Tyrion.

3)  The Hound will appear out of nowhere in the fifth or sixth season to finally battle his now-undead brother "The Mountain", and finally get the justice he deserves but was not awarded at the end of this season.

4)  I'm very curious to see how anyone BUT Jaimie can be blamed by Cercei for the escape of Tyrion.  They are going to be having some mean, angry incest sex in the future.

5)  The show has been seriously lacking some full-on hard core sex scenes that were so evident in the first couple seasons.  I'm not sure why this is, because "It's not TV - it's HBO."

See?  It's an "H" followed by a butt and a boob with a giant nipple.

See?  It's an "H" followed by a butt and a boob with a giant nipple.

Assholes of the Week - "Duck Face" Abusers

JJ Mortimer

The duck face, also known as the "myspace face", was cute for about a day-and-a-half.  That girl you may have had a crush on back in the early 2000s might have used it, and you thought to yourself, "Hey, I bet she kisses really well with lips...shaped like....an asshole."

"Fuck," was the word you then completed your thought with, especially when you considered that the "face" resembled more an overly-expressive rectum than an actual duck.  The original face was intended for the upper lip to push out further than the lower in order to give the impression of a duck's bill.  Over time, the people who used it got lazy, resorting to simply tightened their lips in a wrinkled sphincter-like circle, and evolving into today what is known as the standard "duck face".

Now, why are the people who use this "duck face" assholes, you may ask?  Well, obviously I'm going to say, you impatient fuck.  The reason using a "duck face" makes you an asshole is simply because you still use it, according to the studies I'm pretending to have done.  The "duck face" assholes are the ones who still use it while taking their self-indulgent, self-centered 'selfies', and do so without any sense of irony.  The ones who use it ironically are just douchebags.  Anyone who does it, in the end, is just an asshole (pun intended).

The duck-sphincter-asshole-rectum face actually isn't cute.  Some people thought it was, but those people were actually baboons taught to navigate social media.  You may be a good looking woman (I say woman because the only men who do this shit are the orange-tanned New Jersey frat boys still duck face with their flipped-up-collar polo shirts, and they aren't really considered human so I won't acknowledge their existence), but making the part of your face that started the career of Angelina Jolie look like Mickey Rooney's dead anus just goes to show that you really don't give a shit about the good qualities you may have.  You also don't understand in your attempt to make yourself look as pleasing, cute, energetic, and inspirational as possible by making a face that originally resembled an animal that eats rotten bread and shits more than pigeons, you are showing you don't give a shit about how stupid and entitled the rest of society views you.

"Why should anyone follow what anyone else thinks of them?  If she wants to use a duck face, then let her use a duck face without being afraid of what other people think!"  OK, fine, but these are the same people who will then make general posts about how nobody takes them seriously and how people need to respect and show them courtesy.  The "duck face" is a skewed emblem, much like how the swastika became a symbol of the Third Reich.  It once stood for something else, but the moment it's taken out of context and turned into something much, much worse, it's your fucking fault for continuing to use it in hopes that it becomes something it no longer is.  

Presenting the 1912 Canadian ice hockey championship team, the Windsor Swastikas.  The swastika used to be a symbol of peace and luck before ze Germans looked at it cross-eyed.

Presenting the 1912 Canadian ice hockey championship team, the Windsor Swastikas.  The swastika used to be a symbol of peace and luck before ze Germans looked at it cross-eyed.

Yes, I compared making a duck face to the skewed swastika used by the Nazis.  I'm not saying that by using the duck face that you are a Hitler-sympathizer, but I AM saying you are an asshole for being so self-centered as to not realize just how self-centered making your mouth look like it's inviting a proctological exam truly looks.

For the love of God, please, PLEASE, I beg of you - STOP using the duck face unless you already physically resemble a fluctuating chocolate cavern.  In that case, your life is already over because you are a lamprey, not a human.

P.S.  If only one of those hockey players in the picture above had impersonated a duck...

Game of Thrones, Ep. 9 - Final Thoughts (sorta SPOILERS)

JJ Mortimer

Jon Snow the leader, fucking giants with arrows the size of canoes, a 500-foot windshield wiper, a little boy deciding the future of Jon Snow's relationship with an un-bathed wildling woman, and Samwell getting that much closer to getting laid.

When I first heard that an entire episode was going to be devoted to Jon Snow and the Night Watch, I was curious, and only a little interested.  Then, before watching the episode on Sunday night, I thought to myself, "This season has been flawless up until now, so I have really no right to think that this is going to be an odd choice of story telling for a show that has so flawlessly jumped from multiple characters and stories inside of every episode up until now."

What ends up being a narrative first for the entire series ends up being, in my opinion, one of the most action-filled episodes in the show's four-season run.  The episode starts slow with a lot of focus on Samwell Tarley and his concern for his woman.  We get long discussions and wildling campfire planning, and I started to sense that there was going to be needless time spent in this one area when I'm sure there is still TONS more material to be finished up in only one more episode this season.

Then the giants on wooly mammoths showed up.  And holy shit did the episode immediately become awesome.  The asshole Night Watch captain, Alliser Thorne, finally admits to Jon Snow that he was wrong for not listening to him and his advice to barricade the cave entrance to the wall.  From this point on, the man decides to fight the incoming wildlings approaching from the South (including Jon Snow's angry ex-girlfriend and the cannibal dudes who eat children's parents), and rallies the men in a surprisingly inspirational moments.  The guy also fights pretty damn well.  Alliser Thorne = redeemed.

And fucking giants.  This episode had fucking giants.

And fucking giants.  This episode had fucking giants.

Sure enough, everyone in command is either injured, eviscerated, being added to a cannibal's menu list, or hiding like a coward.  So, Jon Snow takes up command atop the wall before entering the battle below.  He chooses a handful of men to defend the cave entrance as a single behemoth of a giant enters.  We don't find out until the end of the episode that all the men perished defending it, but also fell the giant beast.  Heroic defense = success.

Amidst the battle we finally see a more confident Samwell (who finally gets the balls to kiss that damn woman) as he kills his first man (with a crossbow shot to the face).

Jon Snow fights his way in the lower battle and ends up in a confrontation with the lead cannibal guy (who looks eerily similar to Bellator heavyweight fighter James "Colossus" Thompson), and kills him MC Hammer style (you know, with a hammer to the skull = Hammer Time!).  Then his woman is there, pointing her bow and arrow at Snow, but before she can choose to kill him or fuck him, the small boy in the Night's Watch nails her in the chest with an arrow of his own, and gives a nod to Jon Snow as though saying, "You didn't want to deal with that bullshit anyway, Snow."  And then in her dying words, she concludes their relationship the way it wall began.

"You know nothing, Jon Snow."

And OH FUCK does the wall have an awesome last line of defense in the shape of a giant anchor that can sweep clean the side of the mountainous wall!

Jon personally takes command...commandingly...of the Night's Watch, which shows his transformation into the man that Ned Stark could only have dreamed his bastard son would have achieved.  He goes to the cave and decides that he needs to go have a "peaceful speak" with the Wildling leader, Mance Rayder, to end it all.  My perception is that this will not end well for Snow.

What I liked about the episode in a general, narrative sense was that, amidst a season full of the darker moments of the entire series (and immediately following one of the three hardest episodes to watch) comes a glimmer of hope.  So many times George R.R. Martin has given us reason to rally behind characters only to betray us and kill their storyline with a crushing blow.  In this moment, with the men of the Night's Watch who arguably could be considered the most "written-off" of characters given their situation and standing amidst the hell that is Westeros, we are given glimpses of heroism, redemption, and flat-out uplifting successes. 

Against lesser odds, bigger men have fallen in "Game of Thrones."  But, in one of the most overwhelming of odds, the outnumbered men that are essentially the bastard "forgotten ones" of the realm achieve the greatest success (albeit temporarily) of any others in the "Game of Thrones" history.  In that, we the viewers are given a refreshing breath of fresh air, and a slight reason to hope that some good can come to at least a few of the characters we love.

P.S.  Notice the fade-to-white at the end of the episode?  In film making, that typical portends to good dealings or "happy endings" as opposed to the more finite fade-to-black method.  I know as I write this, some "Game of Thrones" novel enthusiasts are laughing their asses off at my expense.

And fucking giants being killed by men.  Bad-asses.

And fucking giants being killed by men.  Bad-asses.

Game of Thrones, Ep. 8 - Final Thoughts (SPOILERS)

JJ Mortimer

A black-haired Sansa, a disappointed Hound, and one of the most disturbing, gut-wrenching death cries I can remember hearing in contemporary televised fiction.

What you must remember is that I am learning about Game of Thrones from the show, episode to episode.  I have NOT read the books, so for the amusement to those who have, I will make presumptions about future dealings and character fates - many of which I know will be dead wrong.  All I ask is that nobody spoil anything about coming events for both myself and for others who are new to the story.

As with many episodes, there were many story lines with multiple characters and drama within, but the part of the episode I want to focus the most on is the final act - the battle between the Mountain and "The Red Viper" Oberyn Martell.  This was a conflict that had both a personal agenda, and held the fate of Tyrion Lannister.  After episode 7 and the scene between Oberyn and Tyrion in the prison cell, I found myself becoming very fond of both characters.  Tyrion has always been a favorite, but we were finally able to see a very vulnerable side to him in a situation he could not wittily talk himself out of or simply walk away from.  Oberyn, on the other hand, became one of my favorite characters in that one scene alone.  I should have known to not let myself get attached....this is a George R.R. Martin story.

There were two thoughts in my mind going into the Trial by Combat:  One, and the one that was set up via certain dialogue choices before the battle, was that Oberyn would be victorious and save who is arguably the main character of the show, as well as get the justice he was seeking.  I also felt that he would use that spear to possibly impale Cersei or Tywin, just for good measure after felling the Mountain.

Two:  what actually happened.  The reason I'm an idiot in not initially thinking this would happen is because how the FUCK would Martin doom both a fan favorite character from this chapter of the story AND the main character of the entire season (and from the book, I'm also presuming).  Then again, I look back on the other deaths he has incurred, and thinking more upon it this morning, I should never have been so surprised.

The battle was an odd moment for me because I became so invested in it.  I can't remember a show where my hands sweat so much in anticipation.  I had two weeks to rewatch episode 7 and love every word spoken from Oberyn's mouth; how much I wanted him to get his revenge and receive his justice, and how the story pumped up the drama to make us all think he was going to be that rare character that, for probably the first time in Game of Thrones history, actually saves the day and shows a light of hope at the end of at least one or two character's journeys. 

Oberyn showed impressive moves, getting knocked around a bit, but then landed the first significant blow.  OH!!  He slices Clegane's calf muscle, and fells the giant (I was verbal at this moment, shouting a loud "Yes!" in response).  Oberyn begins to declare why he took the fight, and demands the Mountain confess what he had done to his sister and her children many years before.  Then he makes that flying move and impales the Mountain.  For a moment there I was a bit hesitant, thinking the Mountain would stab his sword upward and catch Oberyn on the way in.  Then the spear lands, and I cheer once again.  All is safe, and all is well.

Then Oberyn pulls the spear out, and the moment becomes very personal.  You can see the urgency on Tyrion's face, and the face of Oberyn's lover.  They wonder why he hasn't finished the fight, but Oberyn wants the Mountain's last breaths to be in confession for his crimes.

Then, Oberyn was on his back.  I remember not saying anything - not a "fuck" or a "damnit".  Nothing.  I have never been in shock before, but I imagine it is similar to the feeling I had in this moment.  I was quiet, watching as the Mountain knocked Oberyn's teeth out of his head.  "Maybe he will still be OK?" I was able to sneakily think.  But...no.  Heroes don't have missing teeth.

Then Clegane's thumbs start to press in on Oberyn's eyes, and that's when the screaming starts.  My heart and stomach still hurt from that sound - the hero not just falling and failing in his success, but being decimated in return.  Normally, you would be disappointed because you would say the man made a mistake out of pride.  But Oberyn's dilemma was not a mistake out of pride, but out of a need for justice.  The pain and suffering he had felt for much of his life out of his hate for the Lannisters started with this behemoth of a man who now sits upon him, confessing his crimes in a sick joy of personal reflection, making Oberyn's pain both immensely physical AND emotional.  Oberyn got what he wanted, but was feeling first hand the excruciation of Hell confessing through the hands of a monster.  And there wasn't a thing he could do but hear the words he so desperately wanted to hear but in the midst of his impending, and devastating, death.

Sure, we may be mourning, but she just watched her lover's face then skull get pulverized and squashed, and Tyrion just watched his future flash before his eyes.

Sure, we may be mourning, but she just watched her lover's face then skull get pulverized and squashed, and Tyrion just watched his future flash before his eyes.

After seeing his body lying there, his head exploded from the Mountain's death crush, I felt then not just the disappointment of that character's death, but the impending death of Tyrion.  If the show plays out the way I think it will, again another two things could happen:

One:  Much like the Ned Stark execution, Tyrion will be put on the stump, ready to be beheaded.  We will be led to believe that at any moment, something or someone will come to his rescue.  But, nobody will.  And where this season will differ from the first is that we will have known that his death was coming for a little while now, where Ned Stark's was ultimately a surprise.  This time around, we as the viewers have to stew at the thought of a Game of Thrones without Peter Dinklage, and where the show (and story on which it is based) will go from here.

Two:  The show leads us to believe (and find some sort of comfort, like accepting a man's fate on death row) that Tyrion will be executed, but then some freak occurrence saves the day.  I have a few theories (THIS will be entertaining for those of you who have read the books):

Tyrion's Possible Fates: 

Theory #1 - Jaimie Lannister sacrifices himself for Tyrion, something I thought he would do initially by becoming his champion (which he did not).

Theory #2 - something to do with The Hound.  The scene where he and Arya were talking on their way to the Eyrie had some snippets of dialogue that may portend to future dealings.  Although the amount of time it would take for them (or the reasoning behind him returning) to reach King's Landing wouldn't work considering they will probably execute Tyrion almost immediately.

Theory #3 - some kind of deus ex machina in which Tyrion will be sneaking-off last second or transported in some way out of the harm of his sister's crooked smile.

Theory #4 - somehow the Others (or the White Walkers, whatever they are called) have made it to King's Landing, and their attack breaks off the execution.  But, in the process, Tyrion is mistaken for a child and turned into a White Walker himself by that high priest-looking dude with the natty gray hair and white skin.  And then internet memes will be made for "Zombie Dinklage".

Theory #5 - some kind of fuck-up with the fact that one of the trial's judges was a chosen champion AND was killed, making for some kind of hung jury/mistrial of a Westeros sort.  In the process, a retrial will be made with a new judge coming in as a Tyrion sympathizer, and will prove that there was no way Tyrion could have poisoned Joffrey because of a "glove doesn't fit" inquiry.

Theory #6 - they just chop his fucking head off.

I literally can't stand this.  I had trouble sleeping last night and YES I do get that much into this show.  The writers and directors, working off of George R.R. Martin's material, have done such a wonderful job of building up anticipation and dramatic prose to only make the majority of it come crashing down before any of it can be resolved. 

That is the genius of the show, and also the masochistic nature of the story - there are very little lights at the end of the big tunnel of darkness filled with blood and agonizing screams.  And Oberyn's deathly wail was one of the worst things I have heard on the show.  I rewatched his scene with Tyrion on episode 7 before watching his death again, and I must say that in all rules of drama and storytelling, this show (as well as the book, if the show is following it closely) breaks many grounds and will be something that could either change for the better of drama or ruin storytelling for the future.

Either way, I look forward to the final two episodes of the season with great anticipation and with a HUGE sense of loss and demise.  This is conflicting in my mind because I have accepted the fate of a character, but there may be that chance, that little itty-bitty chance, that something/someone does come around and pulls Tyrion out of his execution.  But, since Ned's execution and the Red Wedding, George R.R. Martin doesn't want us to have strong male leads to have faith and hope instilled upon.  We are left at the agony of a realization of a murderer's vision of what fantasitical "Dark Ages"-like living is akin to, and the realization that Westeros may, in fact, be some realm of Hell.

R.I.P. Oberyn Martell, and may the gods be with Tyrion Lannister.

Seriously, this image is engrained in my memory.  Doesn't help that I'm constantly looking at it while I'm typing th--AAAAAAAHHHH God!  That's his SKULL!!!!

Seriously, this image is engrained in my memory.  Doesn't help that I'm constantly looking at it while I'm typing th--AAAAAAAHHHH God!  That's his SKULL!!!!


Assholes of the Week - Express Lane Conversationalists

JJ Mortimer

You go to the supermarket for some Pepto Bismol.  You have explosive diarrhea, and your stomach has settled just enough for you to be able to venture away from the comfort of your own bathroom.  The only cure rests in the aisle of remedies, and in your ability to make it home in time before the second "wave" of watery #2.

You reach the "express" lane and are relieved to see that only two people are ahead of you.  You quickly enter the line stiff-legged and clenched, breathing in and out deeply in perfectly timed intervals, all while staring at the stained ceiling tiles, praying to God.  Wanda, the checkout lady, is doing her best to speed the line through so she can smoke her fifth cigarette of the morning.

Then you hear it.  You hope your ears are deceiving you, but they are not.  The middle-aged bitch ahead of you, who only has a bottle of vodka and aspirin, proceeds to ask the checkout lady about the weather.  We're not talking conversation on the subject of the current warm weather outside the building, but legitimate asking about the weather as though the lady scanning her hopefully suicide-related materials is a fucking meteorologist and knows what the current swell coming up northwest from the Gulf of Mexico is doing.

You stare at Wanda first, and you try not to judge her for the ongoing banter, but it is difficult not to, considering she is also engaging in long-worded sentences in response to the customer's queries.  Then you see Wanda look behind you, and what was once a very empty line is now five customers deep.  You can see that she understands the dilemma of time in relation to the urge of her nicotine addiction, and tries to get the bass-mouthed bitch moving.  But, it is far too late.

The woman begins to ask the checkout lady about her son.  Wanda responds quickly and nods with an appropriate air of dissatisfaction.  Then the woman spits out something about her son, and how he's been graduated from high school for fifteen years and still doesn't have a job, and how she envies Wanda's gay son.  Then she continues on (loudly) about something involving social security, and how she hopes she can find a way to get pregnant from the non-existent-since-the-sixties milk man in hopes of collecting alimony checks.  Wanda laughs agitatedly, and looks at you with sorrowful eyes - sorrow for her and her need to put something long and stiff in her mouth, and sorrow for you in the realization that you should have purchased more toilet paper.  You just shit your pants.

Even If you didn't have diarrhea, you still would have shit your pants just then because the bitch just pulled out her checkbook.  And she wants a pack of cigarettes to go with her cocktail of pills and regret.  But that's an issue of bullshititude in the Arena of Assholes for another time.  Right now, you just want to scan your credit card through the machine and get home, which is difficult because the bitch is still continuing the conversation outside of line, engaging Wanda in a way that takes her focus away from hitting enter on the gawdamn computer, so you can run fast enough away before the wafting, lingering scent of shit can be directly attributed to you.

Moral of the story:  Express lane or not, SHUT.  THE.  FUCK.  UP.   Please and thank you.  And sorry about the smell.

Comedian of the Week - Dave Attell

JJ Mortimer

I saw Dave Attell at the Irvine Improv a number of years back, and he was drunk off his ass.  He was so drunk, he literally had to hold himself up against the brick wall with one hand while the microphone lazily flopped in his other.  For the majority of his set, he barely looked at the audience as he often lightly stumbled from one side of the small stage to the other.  And you know what?  He killed it.  He absolutely fucking killed during his set.

This just comes to prove that a drunk Dave Attell is still better than 90% of the working-class comedians that are out there today, making shitty jokes about cliche' subjects like their marriage and flying.

Dave Attell has always been funny, and his delivery is unique in the ways he can segue from one subject to the next.  What makes his segues funny is that they aren't flawless, and he just easily changes from a normal subject like "crappy music" straight into somehow relating it too venereal disease in a single moment.

I was a huge fan of his show "Insomniac" when it used to air on Comedy Central.  Now you can see him on "Comedy Underground" on Sunday nights. 

Here's the first part from his album, "Skanks for the Memories."  Listen to the whole album if you get a chance.  Dirty Attell at his best.

Assholes of the Week - Bathroom Grunters

JJ Mortimer

Many noises don't belong anywhere outside of your own home.  Your snorting, your erratic throat clearing in a quiet movie theater, the smacking sound your lips make when you lick your fingers, all of which should have had focus groups and "anti" ads long before smoking or not wearing your seat belt ever did.

What gets me the most piss-on-a-baby-seal's-face angry is just how easy it is for some men (I won't say women, because women don't shit - ever) to walk into a public restroom stall, drop their pants, pray to God aloud, and grunt out what could only be described in tomorrow's newspaper as "the first ever birth to a softball-sized stone out of a human asshole."

In all seriousness, I've seen videos of women giving natural child birth making less sound than some men who take public shits.  The agony apparent in the sounds of their voice can give immediate visuals to what twisted nature their face must be in; the thoughts in their mind must only be acute upon the nature of changing their habit of eating Taco Bell on the way to and from work.

"Unnnh!  Rrrrrnh!  Gaaaaaahhh!"  Plop.  Ploooop.  Ffffpppppllllllbbbbbssssshit!

Fucking hell.  Have some consideration for other people in your vicinity.  The outright nature with which you chose to go into a place that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people have sat their asses on, separated only by a thin door with a half-inch crease in between for any 10-year old to peer in and laugh at you, must be something that only a caged polar bear in a zoo could understand.   So why, in all that is good and great in Nature, would you treat a public environment (created for humans) like your own private pig sty?

I for one am very uncomfortable using a public restroom (obviously).  I hate the fact that anyone can tell who specifically is currently taking a shit just by looking at the brand of shoes that are visible under the door.  Then there's the paint-peeling smell that is unmasked by walls, and open to all of the public.  These are all minor details when compared to the sound of someone actually pushing out their shit.  The explosion of diarrhea from the man who tried the Hot Pocket Diet is a thing of wonder, but the agony in his voice is enough for you to question whether humans have it in themselves to continue on as a species. 

I have never taken a shit, even in the comfort and solitude of my own home, that required anyone next door to hear me having a potential aneurysm.  So why, on God's good brown earth, would you want complete strangers in a busy, public restroom (who are going to see you in a matter of minutes by the the Cinnabon you just ate at) to hear you cursing in Klingon while presenting the world with a shit that is in defiance of the confines of natural human anatomy?

Keep your mouth shut, and eat cleaner foods.  If you're taking a shit at the gym, and everything coming out of your ass sounds like an empty Heinz ketchup bottle giving it's last breath of air, you need to reconsider how you lead your fucking life.

You eat like shit and you'll shit like shit.  Maybe your ass will stop burning if you drank more water, and we won't all have to hear you pledging your allegiance to a random Greek god for your shit to have safe passage to the nether realm of Hades. 

Keep up this ass violence, and diarrhea will become the top of the food chain because of how much it's eating your insides out.

Lose weight with the "Hot Pocket Diet!"

JJ Mortimer

hotpockets.jpg

Nearly every week I get at least one person who wants nutritional advice and tips on losing weight.  For some, I am very detailed with my breakdowns on what foods to eat and at what times of the day to eat them, depending on their daily activities and nutritional needs.  More often than not, the particular person will appear ecstatic to have learned something new that will change their life in one of the most energy-fueled and positive fashions.

Cut to one year later, and the particular client's weight loss has either subsided, not moved an ounce, or flat-out gained weight.  "I don't know what the fuck I've been doing wrong," they might say, clearly angry at the apparent sleepwalking-based stuffing of food into their faces.  "I've done everything you've told me to and I haven't lost a single pound!"  Essentially, they call me (in less extreme words) a fucking asshole who is somehow responsible for them having failed at losing weight.

"Well, what did you have for breakfast thi' smorning?" I may ask in my typical early-day slur of speech from all the bullshit I've just been fed. 

"I had two cups of Cheerios, and a cup of fat-free milk..."

"OK, that sounds totally fine and delicious," I respond, clearly rushing my words due to the gagging sensation I get from the smell of cow feces emanating from their mouth.

"...well...."  The way that word rolls off of their tongue immediately discourages me and portends of a dark foreshadowing, much like the disappointment following your crushed childhood memories as you witness your favorite professional "wrestler" from the 90s shooting steroids into his nuts in the gym locker room.  My heart sinks because I know I am about to be told the holy grail of nutritional shortcomings.

"...well....I do put a scoop of sugar on top of the cereal, too." 

A scoop.  Not a spoonful, a pinch, or a lump or two.  A fucking scoop.  So, all the planning I've done because you asked me to help has been completely thrown aside like an 80s hair band reunion tour.  I received the sense of blame because you took what I wrote down for you as, "Eat what I just planned out for you, but go ahead and add a donut on top of that egg white omellette because you're at least having an egg white omellette."

THEN, they tell me that they heard from a doctor on TV that a lemon juice and cheyenne pepper "cleanse" for two straight weeks will do the weight loss trick.  What in the donkey dick HELL are you paying me for?!

In response, I've decided to get to the point of this fucking rant and just add my two-cents into the whole shebang of "quick and easy diets" that make absolutely no fucking sense whatsoever nutritionally for a human being (but may work if you were a gawdamn human chrysanthemum - I'm talking to you, you "breatharian" idiots).

The HOT POCKET Diet!!!!

Here's how it works, step-by-step:

1)  You wait until Hot Pockets go on sale at your local supermarket.  Go to the market with $10 and buy 13 boxes of them, because any "meal" that costs less than a dollar must be good for you.

2)  Throw away your leftover bananas from the banana diet that didn't fucking work.

3)  While you're at it, throw away your "Paleo diet" handbook that you bought from your local Crossfit instructor who is apparently also very knowledgeable in the field of archaeology and the comings-and-goings of the Stone Age weight lifter.

4)  Prepare one (1) Hot Pocket sandwich for breakfast, two (2) for lunch, and one (1) more for dinner.

5)  Wake up the next morning, and shit out said Hot Pockets in a stream of diarrhea that will weigh at least 2 1/3 pounds in a mixture that includes the inner lining of your lower intestines and an inch of your colon.

6)  Curl up in bed and wish you'd just listened to the advice you paid for a year ago.

If you intend to lose weight the right way, it will take a little bit of time that includes the digestion and absorption of a healthy balance of essential and non-essential nutrients.  Or you can lose weight the Hot Pocket way.  Just stock up on those wet butt wipes (the flush-able kind, unless you want to plunge your memories of bad decisions a few days later).

Comedian of the Week - Patton Oswalt

JJ Mortimer

I may not see eye-to-eye with Patton Oswalt's views on politics or religion, but when the man veers away from such touchy material, he is one of the best story tellers in the comedy universe.  He also gets a pass on our differing views because he DID play one of my favorite characters from the fourth season of the FX show, "Justified."

When I first was introduced to Oswalt, I didn't like him.  I thought he was dry in wit, and used references that were very obscure and difficult for the average comedy viewer to follow.  But, over time, he became an acquired taste.

One of my favorite moments driving to work (or on any long drive on the freeway) is when Pandora radio cuts to a Patton Oswalt story.  One of my favorites stories of his is the following video, one in which he describes "the wrath of the warlock", or how a "comedy magician" who he once opened was shorted a few bucks, and proceeded to "hate-fuck" the crowd.

My other favorite story is one in which he describes what he would do with a time machine, and how he would go back in time and kill George Lucas before he could develop the "Star Wars" prequels.  His impersonation of Lucas is fucking hilarious.  Enjoy:

Game of Thrones, Ep. 7 - Final Thoughts (SPOILERS)

JJ Mortimer

It was a scene, and a story, told in one man's eyes.

In the span of one four-minute scene, we learned more about Tyrion's back story, and his relationship to his family (especially with his sister, Cercei) than we ever learned over the course of nearly four seasons of "Game of Thrones."  We also learned how noble, eloquent, inspiring, and (dare I say) caring, Oberyn Martell really is. 

Before this episode, I had my mind set that the two champions that would be chosen to fight for the judgment of Tyrion would be Bronn (chosen by Tyrion himself) and Jaimie Lannister (chosen by their father, Tywin).  The stones were set in previous episodes for this to be a very possible choice, with much drama that could be mined from such a match-up.  Would Jaimie kill Tyrion's champion, a man he just happened to be a sparring partner with, or would he sacrifice himself to allow freedom to his ridiculed, tormented imp of a brother?  I was actually looking forward to this possibility - I think any writer would have salivated at the thought of what noble act (or devious act) certain characters in this show could devise from such a set-up, but the choices that (seemingly) were made became somehow far more rewarding.

We learned that Gregor Clegane, "The Mountain", is chosen by Cercei to be the champion against her brother's chosen champion.  The Mountain is a behemoth of a man, one that Bronn was too intelligent to fight (having declined the opportunity as champion once more for Tyrion, due to other soon-to-be-wedded obligations), as was Jaimie when asked by Tyrion early in the episode.

Upon the two declinations of champion, Tyrion was not his typical witty self.  He was indeed a man of smart words, but there was an understanding to his voice that forgave both Jaimie and Bronn for not accepting.  He did not despise them, nor did he beg them.  He gave them promises, but nothing more.  He reminded me a bit in nobility of Mel Gibson's portrayal of William Wallace in "Braveheart".  When offered a liquid to ease his suffering, Wallace declined, stating that taking such a potion would "numb his wits."  As with Tyrion, his straight-forward attitude only made more harrowing his words in court from the previous episode.  He has accepted his fate, and is almost taking everything else as just a hopeful cherry on top.

When Oberyn entered Tyrion's cell near the end of the episode, the setting was much the same as with Ned Stark's (Sean Bean) final episode in Season One:  Dark, moody, with a foreboding presence of doom.

Oberyn sits, and gives the most disheartening story of his and Tyrion's first encounter, when Tyrion was but a baby and Oberyn was but a young boy.  He tells Tyrion of the words he was referred by as a child - essentially, the "demon baby" with claws, a tail, and red eyes.  Tyrion hears these words, and that they were spoken by both his sister AND his father, and the pain was all but too apparent upon his face.  Masterful acting on Peter Dinklage's part - emotional, yet with a certain strength that only a person of his ridiculed nature could ever adhere to.

Then, in one moment, not only is a scene told, but an entire story of a character is told through a single camera shot, held on Peter Dinklage's face as he's told by Oberyn that he was not the monster his family had led people to believe.  He may have been a bit misshapen in size, but he was just a little boy.  A human boy.  And his sister treated him with hate and disdain that only a heartless bitch could ever do. 

The tears in Dinklage's eyes become less shed from pain and torment, but of inspiration and enlightenment.  They told a story of sorrowful discovery, and yet at the next moment, of heart-filled enchantment. 

Oberyn says he wants justice, and all the people he knows of who could give him that justice for the wrongs committed against his family are right there in King's Landing.  Tyrion tells him that he has come to the wrong place for justice.  Then, in probably my second favorite moment from this season, Oberyn declares that his justice begins with The Mountain - the man who murdered Oberyn's sister.  In this, Oberyn chooses himself to be Tyrion's champion.

Masterful writing on both the television show's writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and of George R.R. Martin for not choosing the obvious Bronn/Jaimie angle (if indeed this was the same as was in the novels).  And even more masterful acting by both Peter Dinklage and Pedro Pascal.  Pascal was able to underline and define both his and Dinklage's characters in one speech, and give the light of gravitas that some writers, directors, and actors could spend a lifetime of film making and never achieve.

Emmy worthy.

Emmy worthy.

Assholes of the Week: Food Complainers

JJ Mortimer

The comic above is meant to be a mood setter.  I understand it has nothing to do with the topic with which I advertised this rant for, but I also want you to understand that my anger is not violent OR unintentional.  I INTEND on sounding as pissed off as I sound through type/text, only because without subjects that piss me off, there would be a very limited amount of things that entertain me throughout my day (let alone my past working in customer service).  So, without further adoo-doo:

Fucking people who complain about cheap food at restaurants!

Here's the thing:  If you're at a high-end sea food restaurant, say, a mystical place called the Sea Unicorn in which a typical plate costs upwards of $50 a shot, then you have the absolute RIGHT to get your order RIGHT. 

"The unicorn steak is just a tad too medium.  Could I get it more on the well side?"  Of course you can.  Fancy restaurants expect that limit of perfection, as long as you aren't too nit-picky.  What I'm complaining about are the assholes who order a fucking McOnion at, say, a Johnson's Sausage Factory and complain about the fucking onions being on the onion burger.

People through-and-through in most of the restaurants in cities I've been to are entitled, penny-pinching cock-masters who want everything to be fuckin' perfect, when clearly they're paying for food that requires quotation marks around their names because legally they can't be called "eggs" or "meat" (because 40% of it isn't that).

What I'm saying is, if you go to a McRestaurant or a Jack-in-your-Face, and you get onions on your burger when you didn't ask for them, keep your gawdamn mouth shut and drive home.  Use your greasy, snot-covered fingers and pick the onions off yourself.  Shit, I would even understand if you mailed the onions back to the restaurant in a manila envelope with a note saying, "I wish to tell you fuckers that you got my order wrong, but I didn't want to make a scene in a public place or hold up any other hungry patrons who are also hurting for cash, because I don't want to come across as a person who is better than the establishment which I was ordering the food from in the first place, but would also like you to know that quality should be upheld to a certain degree."  THAT would be understandable AND hilarious in context, and probably make a better statement to the restaurant's quality control than being an entitled prick who demands a perfect fuckin' steak at Sizzlers.

Again, the point I'm trying to make here is that YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.  If you're paying for $10 meals, you're getting $10 quality with a voice of complaint worth about .25 cents.  In other words, be polite to the minimum wage workers, and just hope that the next time you get your order it's better than the one you are currently eating.  Move those unwanted pickles to the side with your fork if you have to.  If you act like you're rich and you're eating at TGI Friday's, you have less of a right to open your fucking mouth.

Seriously, I've just hit about three different themes, and each one of them is making me more and more pissed-the-fuck-off!  In summary:

1)  If you order a unicorn steak, it should probably be perfect.

2) If you are eating an .89 cent burger at McDickhead's and you don't like it, throw it away.

2a)  If you are poor, you will like it anyway, especially the extra toppings.  It's more food.

3)  If you act rich at a lower-end restaurant, you look like MORE of a cock gobbler if you "demand" the "chef" gets the color of the "steak" correct.

If you need more of an incentive to keep your fucking mouth shut, watch the film "Waiting..." and you'll think twice about complaining.  Fucking assholes.

 

Comedian of the Week - Louis C.K.

JJ Mortimer

louis_ck_660.jpg

Louis C.K. is hands-down the most honest and hilarious comedian working today.  Having spent years writing for numerous television shows (including early seasons of "The Simpsons", and most recently his own FX network-produced show, "Louie"), he made his mark in the pantheon of comedic expressionism by headlining some of the most unrestricted and realistic stand-up specials I've ever witnessed.  Louis C.K. somehow manages to stay away from most common comedy tropes and themes, yet finds humor in the darkest places of the human psyche (including his scathing portrayal of what it's like to raise his daughters and what is going through his mind during all the bullshit he puts up with).  He shies away from no subject and is first to acknowledge his shortcomings in life, which in turn is probably what makes it so easy for the audience to connect and agree with him and his points-of-view.

This bit of comedic genius, entitled "Of Course...But Maybe", is from his most recent stand-up special, "Oh My God", in which he talks about some horrible things that are CLEARLY horrible, but may actually have another point-of-view to consider.  Digest.

Big Screen return of the Power Rangers

JJ Mortimer

Seriously, what the hellfuck?

Bombs, bombs, bombs, bombs everywhere.  Nearly every movie reboot/remake/re-imagining is crashing hard at the box office, mainly because they are related to a product that was popular over 15 years ago.  Of all the kids who thought the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were "hip" and "with it" back in 1995, probably 10% would enjoy the concept of a big-screen reboot today only because those 10% have brain development issue and still love the "pretty jumping punch-punch colors."

I figure that Hollywood should just go balls-out and mix the newest rendition of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" with the Power Rangers, and have an hour-and-a-half long smack-down that retarded children, pedophiles, and 300-pound fanboys can all enjoy as they masturbate to images of the Pink Ranger kicking Donatello in his non-existent balls.

Straight-up reboots and re-imaginings are just about the laziest decisions that producers have been making since the early 2000s, with only a handful being either truly successful or enjoyable.  Off the top of my head, I can hardly think of one that was either, except maybe the G.I. Joe movies which were sort of fun and made their money back (I'm sure in hindsight I could think of more if I did the research, but I'm not going to do work while I'm pissed off for fuck's sake).

What I CAN tell you off the top of my head are more than a handful of remakes/reboots/re-imaginings that were either very shitty movies or just plain-ol' fucking wastes of production money.  Many of these movies were terrible because they either came out at the wrong time (being remakes of films that were timely in their release and theme), missed the mark completely on why they were made in the first place, missing nearly ALL of the things that made the original great, or were just plain DULL:

Nightmare on Elm Street, The Fog, Total Recall, Red Dawn, Clash of the Titans, The Amazing Spider-Man (yes, I put that because it was FUCKING UNNECESSARY), Planet of the Apes (Tim Burton version), Alice in Wonderland (Tim Burton version), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Tim Burton version), Halloween, Halloween II, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, Amityville Horror, The Hitcher, Arthur, "I, Frankenstein," Conan the Barbarian, Superman Returns, .....fuck, my head hurts.

I'm sure we'll be adding Robocop, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the inevitable Poltergeist remake once I see them.

Why the new "Godzilla" will be fantastic...

JJ Mortimer

May 16's "Godzilla" will be great.  And there are quite a few factors that will make this inevitable.  First, I would like to get the potential negatives out of the way.

NEGATIVES going for the film:

1) Director Gareth Edwards is completely unproven in Hollywood, having only the low-budget indie horror film "Monsters" to his credit.  Handling a big budget summer tent-pole like "Godzilla" may be too big a horse for him to rein in.

2)  Many audiences still have a bad taste with the "Godzilla" name, and not just because of the Dean Devlin/Roland Emmerich 1998 slaughtering they put on the screen.  The original TOHO-produced "Godzilla" films have been a butt-end-of-the-joke for many American audiences, especially those who never quite got that (aside from the very first, black-and-white 1954 film) the films were never meant to be taken seriously and were intentionally campy.

And now, the POSITIVES going for the film:

1)  The trailers have been fantastic, focusing on the less-campy, more destructive nature of that original 1954 classic.

2) The Godzilla creature design is more in line with the original, and far away from the "Jurassic Park"-inspired, midget version from the 1998 film.  The scale of the creature is also enormous, as it should be.

3) The fact that relative newcomer Gareth Edwards is directing the film may just be the injection of life the suffering franchise needs.  Look at how well Marvel has chosen directors and writers for their "Avengers" universe films.  They picked relative unknowns in most cases, and the results have been astounding.  I feel the same may be the case here with Edwards and Warner Bros. taking a risk with him.  He needs to prove himself.

4)  Japanese production company TOHO, the ones responsible for the original "Godzilla" films we watched as children, signed off on this American production - USUALLY a good sign when the original creators give their blessing (and also quite uncommon with all the remakes and reboots being produced since the early 2000s).

5)  The cast, including "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston and Oscar-nominated "The Last Samurai" star Ken Watanabe, looks fantastic.

6) Oscar-nominated cinematographer Seamus McGarvey shot the film.  He is also known as the cinematographer for Marvel's "The Avengers", which is great because he knows how to shoot action that the audience can actually see, and doesn't normally rely on an overabundance of shaky cam.  His use of color and lens techniques is also quite refreshing in such a digital-heavy age of film making.

7) Six-time Oscar nominated musical composer Alexandre Desplat is scoring the film.

8) Overall, the quality behind the camera - the men and women supporting director Gareth Edwards - are top notch hard working people.

9)  The film is being released on the 60th anniversary of the original film.

10) Most importantly, I'm excited to see it, which means there is an 87% chance it will be great.

I have no doubt the film makers and producers over at Warner Bros. got the film right this time.  But, as with any film with a good trailer, let's just see the film and check on the quality for ourselves.  A good trailer does not a good film make.  But damn, if that trailer isn't fantastic!

Lastly, here's a piece of movie review gold written by the legendary late Roger Ebert, in response to his viewing of the 1998 "Godzilla":

"One must carefully repress intelligent thought while watching such a film. The movie makes no sense at all except as a careless pastiche of its betters (and, yes, the Japanese Godzilla movies are, in their way, better--if only because they embrace dreck instead of condescending to it). You have to absorb such a film, not consider it. But my brain rebelled, and insisted on applying logic where it was not welcome."


Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

JJ Mortimer

"Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare", or "Halo of Duty 4: Battle Titan" as it should be called, considering the major cash cow the FPS (first person shooter) genre has become in modern video gaming, and how identical they are all beginning to feel.

My love for any genre of video game (or movie, for that matter) only goes so far until the third, fourth, or in this case, 117th (or so it seem) iteration has been released.  Many people had a love for the series that lasted up until either "Modern Warfare 2" or the first "Black Ops", and many of the 'true believers' in the series even jumped ship at the latest installment, "Ghosts".  "World at War" was so difficult in the single player at parts that it almost made me consider studying in the advancement of artificial intelligence so that my television could become sentient, and I could then passionately murder it and feel some kind of satisfaction from doing so.  I had fun playing all of them but "Modern Warfare 3" (which I never purchased because I was too busy with what felt like the ninth "Halo" game), but the longevity of my interest only went about three months this most current time around. 

In earlier versions, I went an entire year invested into the multiplayer aspect of the game, enjoying the rush of fighting head-to-head with expletive-spurting, school-failing thirteen-year olds who apparently have a doctorate in the advanced studies in mental deficiencies considering how often they called me "retard."  The experience was great, but seriously became repetitive to the point that each game began to feel like a simple 'mod' updating the prior entry, and not like an entirely advanced new product.

"Advanced Warfare", on the other hand, cares not for the "Call of Duty fatigue" many players are feeling.  Activision and Sledgehammer hired Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey to play a character in the game, using motion capture footage that makes him look either SO good or SO fucking creepy as to make Tom Hanks in "The Polar Express" appear comforting.

I for one truly wish Infinity Ward and Activision would take some time off from producing these games, before they fall into the Madden effect (releasing a game every year for 14 years until people realize you are just releasing the same game each time, but with new player names and numbers on the back of their prison uniforms).  This new game will no doubt be enjoyable to play, but for how long?  Before you feed the masses, you need to make them salivate their palate a little before shoving an entire pumpkin pie down their throat. 

I am beginning to choke on the dryness of "Call of Duty".  I need some milk.

Stop this shit (May 1st Edition) - "Weapon" control

JJ Mortimer

I really wish people would stop naming other potential "weapons" or tools that are still legal as fodder to why some politicians would promote gun "control" while still allowing other said objects to be readily available.

"How can you try to take the guns out of our hands but still allow protractors in schools, scissors with sharp tips, letter openers, and cigarette lighters?!"

Don't get me wrong - I support our right to own firearms through and through.  I support the NRA, and happily sport a "Don't Tread on Me" sticker for my own personal reasons.  But, your idiotic fucking argument is going to potentially get THOSE OTHERS THINGS banned as well. 

Just remember how short-sighted, ill-advised, and often un-or-mis-educated most politicians who push legislation on the banning of certain items really are.  If you give them more fodder, we will be back to eyeballing ovals when we should be drawing circles in geometry class, using those dull scissors that don't cut shit, getting paper cuts on our fingers to open junk mail about some asshole politician's re-election, and making everyone believe you lit a match because you just dropped a giant ass cloud in the kitchen. 

Support your right to own a gun, but give examples as to why owning your firearm(s) is beneficial, not by making alternative examples as to how other things aren't being focused on as "dangerous".  There are very few times where this technique even works.  Don't allow your politicians to think, "Wow, these people are correct!  ALL OF THESE THINGS SHOULDN'T EXIST!  People are ALL CRAZY and lack responsibility on a subconscious level and WE should help them by padding all their walls.  Oh, and while we're at it, everyone should wear this jacket so that they don't use your arms to accidentally grab a potentially dangerous "WEAPON" and, without their will or control, viciously stab someone 47 times with it.  AND here's some duct tape for their mouths, because words are now considered WEAPONS and shouldn't be used, either."

If the world turned into THAT, then THAT would be a good example as to how owning a firearm would be beneficial to help stop that world from happening.  That, and I fucking love firing one and knowing that if someone tried to break into my house, they would be greeted with the world's loudest flute hole.  Ah, fuck; now they're going to ban flutes.

The grave of Atari's "E.T." unearthed

JJ Mortimer

So, baby diarrhea and used condoms AREN'T the worst things found here.

So, baby diarrhea and used condoms AREN'T the worst things found here.

Turns out the urban legend was true. 

Since the release of what is considered THE worst video game of all time, the Atari 2600 version of "E.T. The Extra Terrestrial", it had been widely rumored that the developer wanted to hide its creation for good.  Buried deep in a grave filled with dirt, concrete, and shame lies over a million copies of the rushed-together piece of shit "game".  One of my favorite Internet sensations, James Rolfe (The Angry Video Game Nerd - see cinemassacre.com), used this game as the basis for much of his "nerd" character's rage.  For anyone who had the displeasure (or pleasure, if you're a masochist) of playing this game and enjoying the childhood disappointment after the dream-like fantasy that is the film version of "E.T.", this is an event that should warrant at least a smile upon nostalgic comprehension. 

Film makers are using this unearthing as the basis for a documentary they are making under the production of Microsoft, and is to be shown in the future to all XBOX Live subscribers.

Seriously, reading about the story this morning makes me believe in more "urban legends" being true.  If we can find the carcass of a chupacabra left by a one-handed Sasquatch that accidentally left his hook dangling from the driver's-side door of a sunken Jimmy Hoffa's car that was brought to shore by the Loch Ness Monster with the help from a wench attached to an escaped Area 51 U.F.O., then we will be on to something I'm sure Michael Bay would love to make a shit movie based off of.