162. Allergy season sucks. I sneeze like 14-year-olds jerk off: constantly and all over myself.
163. I went out with the wife and kid for some late afternoon Cinco de Mayo drinks in Manayunk. Our outdoor table at The Goat’s Beard was great for people watching and catching some sun. The wife waited until I was on my second drink to say, “I think you’re getting a little old to wear tee shirts when you go out. If you look around, guys who are thirty-plus are wearing polo’s or button up shirts. You could get away with a solid-colored shirt that doesn’t have any design on it, but the tee shirt thing is over.”
Don’t you love when someone waits until you are out and enjoying yourself to tell you that you look like an asshole? Thanks honey. You wouldn’t want to relay this information when the rest of my wardrobe is ten feet away. I’ll just sit here and think about how stupid I apparently look.
164. “I just don’t feel sexy right now” has to be the most frustrating phrase in my wife’s rolodex of excuses for not doing the happy dance. Isn’t sexiness determined by whether people want to have sex with you? By that measure, you are obviously sexy. I am the only other person in the room, and I’d like to bang you. It’s a flawless approval rating. In my mind, I look like Ryan Gosling after someone gives me the impression that she’d consider having relations with me.
Never too old for that shirt.
9) This Guy (William Atherton) is a total douche. Sure, you may recognize him as the TV Reporter from Die Hard I and II or maybe as the crazy scientist from Bio-Dome. Whatever you remember him by, in Ghostbusters he is known as EPA Inspector, Walter Peck and the one who almost causes a permanent influx of ghostastrophe into the city.
8) Ernie Hudson, known as Winston Zeddemore in Ghostbusters I and II, is the only Black person living in NYC. Yes, I realize that Reginald VelJohnson (Family Matters’ Carl Winslow) makes a 2.5 second appearance as a guard in jail, but rumor is that they filmed that scene in Los Angeles so he doesn’t count.
7) Chevy Chase is the 6th Ghostbuster. Fortunately for humans that like genuine acting, Rick Moranis grabbed life by the horns and told Chevy to pack his bags for National Lampoons.
6) Anything that dies in New York City automatically becomes a prehistoric bitch.
5) No matter what you resembled while you were living, you come back looking like Rosie O’Donnell in the afterlife.
4) Bill Murray’s teeth are made from shattered porcelain. I love Bill Murray’s work as an actor, but if you have watched every single moment of these films 6,113 times like I have, you start to notice the little things.
3) Sigourney Weaver is a total hoe bag. First, Rick Moranis then Bill Murray then some dude from her orchestra she had a kid with then back to Bill Murray? She is attractive in a Lady Gaga Halloween costume sort of way after about 10 Dos Equis.
2) Eddie Murphy was the 7th Ghostbuster.
Yesterday I went to the ill-fated local Hair Cuttery for another shitty haircut. It was the middle of a sunny Sunday afternoon that also happened to be Cinco de Mayo, so I was hoping to get this errand out of the way quickly so I could indulge in some day-drinking. Prospects didn’t look great. There were five or six people waiting and they had just three “stylists” working.
Side note: It takes a lot of nerve for these ladies to call themselves “stylists”. That would be like if I told people that I was a writer as if I may have been responsible for your favorite episode of Breaking Bad. They are “hair care enthusiasts” at best.
A stylist assured me that it would be about twenty minutes. What a coincidence! That’s exactly what they always say. I’m busy as hell during the week, so I figured that I had no choice but to roll the dice.
I relaxed and immersed myself in the latest Grantland offerings, until I heard I heard a young man say, “Sir? Nobody has ever called me ‘sir’. I’m not a sir…” It was an obese fourteen- or fifteen-year-old with a buzz cut, wearing a bright yellow shirt and red mesh shorts. He was examining the hair care products on the wall while talking to himself and aggressively biting into a lollipop.
I surveyed the rest of the shop, and I was surprised to see that only one stylist was tending to a customer (the fat kid’s mother). Were the other two ladies on a smoking break? It had been forty-five minutes. Nobody else was waiting but me. This kid had already gotten his haircut. I recognized him from when the waiting area was full and he was quietly waiting to be seen.
Now the chunky fella was pacing and the talking gave way to humming. It wasn’t melodic humming either. He just wanted to make some noise while he paced the eight-feet-or-so of waiting area space. He grabbed another lollipop and savagely bit into it. What's with this guy? His expression didn’t tell me much. He didn’t look anxious or frustrated. What's the deal with the pacing? Why is he stepping so close to me that I have to pull my legs in so he can pass by? As I was asking myself these questions, he started scratching his balls. Okay, now I get it. This kid’s retarded.
This went on for another ten minutes or so. He consumed about six lollipops and he nearly scratched a hole through his red mesh shorts, and the humming didn’t stop for a moment. Meanwhile, there was no sign of the other stylists emerging.
Finally I said fuck it, and threw in the towel. This was a sign that I can no longer subject myself to haircuts that I know will be terrible.
I drove home and was greeted by my wife, who told me that she thought my haircut looked great. She doesn’t really look at me anymore. I explained that I didn’t get a haircut and I told her the story of why I left.
She said, “Then you just wasted your time. You would probably be getting your hair cut right now if you hadn’t left.”
“Did you not hear me? I left because the ‘stylists’ went missing and I had spent the past fifteen minutes staring at a fat retarded kid scratching his balls. At a certain point, it’s time to find a different salon.”
There is no gesture more powerful than the finger. Let’s not take for granted how lucky we are that we can easily convey a sign that provides a universal symbol for “fuck you”.
The “blow job” gesture is fun, but it’s a little too crass and it requires a fair amount of effort. Plus if you’re a straight guy, you have to worry about whether you look like you enjoy mocking the act of performing fellatio a little too much. The “you’re crazy” gesture of circling your index finger in a little circle by your temple doesn’t have any pop whatsoever. What other symbols have any meaning? Thumbs up? OK? If Eddie Murphy couldn’t make the “OK” gesture look cool in 1984, it’s never going to be cool.
He should be giving the camera the finger right now.
Not only does flipping the bird send a powerful message, it’s also fun. If you are having a rough day, I suggest you flip off your computer monitor or cell phone right now. Feel better? Me too.
I did some light research about the origin of the finger. According to Wikipedia…
“The middle finger originated in Ancient Greece, where the gesture was used as a symbol of anal intercourse in a manner meant to degrade, intimidate and threaten the individual receiving the gesture. It also represented the phallus, with the fingers next to the middle finger representing testicles…”
Greek dudes threatened each other with rape? I don't think anyone would try to rape me after I finished a gyro and a large yogurt. "Please don't... This is going to be a nightmare for both of us."
In the medieval era:
“A legend had it that the middle finger as a gesture originated from the Battle of Agincourt, fought between England and France in 1415, during the Hundred Years' War. According to the legend, French soldiers cut off the middle fingers of English archers, to prevent them from using the English longbow, which required the middle finger to operate. In an act of defiance, the English soldiers supposedly made the gesture with their middle fingers towards the French.”
I’m no soldier. If there was any danger of being shot with an arrow or having any fingers cut off, I’d just surrender.
In the United States:
"According to anthropologist Desmond Morris, the gesture probably came to the United States via Italian immigrants. The first documented appearance of the finger in the United States was in 1886 when Old Hoss Radbourn, a baseball pitcher for the Boston Beaneaters, was photographed giving it to a member of the rival New York Giants."
Wow. I love the Beaneaters for several reasons, and none of them have to do with baseball.
This is the story of how I fell in love with giving people the finger:
When I was a freshman in high school, a hot junior that I had gone to overnight camp with drove me to school every morning. Needless to say, this immediately gave me a big head.
On the very first day of class, I spotted two of my friends walking about three blocks away from the school. While approaching the guys, I interrupted the driver to explain that I knew those fellas. She offered to pick them up, but I urged her to simply slow down a little. As we passed them, I lowered the window, enthusiastically extended both fingers and yelled, “Hey, fuck you guys!” (I might have called them fags because this was 1995 and that’s how fourteen year-olds talked to each other) I’m strangely not embarrassed to say that I made that a daily tradition for the rest of the year. Even with a foot of snow on the ground, those guys were treated to the one-finger solute and some vulgarities. If the driver and I were mid-conversation, I might of half-assed it a little (just a simple, “Hey!” with a finger out the window and no eye contact), but I never took a day off.
Believe it or not, there have been instances in which people haven't appreciated getting flicked off. A part two of this story is coming soon...
There is a certain type of woman that can’t be trusted: The lady that relays the details of a horrifying or heart-wrenching incident and then says, “I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.”
Say what? You are obviously trying to demonstrate what an empathetic person you are, but you actually just announced that you spend an inordinate amount of time daydreaming about tragedies occurring to someone you don’t like. You’re not a nice person at all. You’re a fuckin’ monster.
Whose mind works like that? Why are you thinking about your worst enemy that much? What exactly do you wish happens to this person?
I think that if someone volunteers, straight out of the blue, that she doesn’t want something to happen to another person, it probably means that she wouldn’t mind that shit happening… Or she desperately wants it to happen… At the very least, she wants something really bad to happen to a particular person, but she thought about it and concluded that she doesn’t want something quite that awful to happen.
I’m always curious about the background of the aforementioned “worst enemy". After all, not every worst enemy is created equal. Ever see the movie Gladiator? I’m not gonna ruin it for you, but let’s just say that Juaqin Pheonix was a real asshole. You could hardly blame Maximus if he wished something pretty horrific on that guy. I, on the other hand, don’t really have a mortal enemy. Nobody has ever cut the breaks on my mother’s car or attempted to seduce my wife, for instance. There was an ex-roommate who was a real dick, but I wouldn’t start wishing terrible things happened to him just because he wasn’t a good sharer and he never vacuumed. I assume that whoever this lady considers her nemesis is probably just a passive aggressive bitch she works with that is marginally more attractive and takes better vacations.
I get a kick out of the derivation of the “worst enemy” remark; which is, “You wouldn’t wish it upon your worst enemy.” Really, bitch? I think that’s for me to decide. I can feel free to wish whatever the hell I want. That's what's so fucking cool about wishes. Nobody else has jurisdiction over them.
Meanwhile, this is a great thing about being a guy. We only hate people for good reasons, so in those few instances when we have the opportunity to talk about someone we don’t like, we don't need to pull any punches. A guy would say, “You hear about the dude who lost control of his car and slid off an icy road, down an embankment? He was stuck in the wilderness by himself for a month, and he had to eat his own cock to prevent starvation... I wish that shit happened to Steve. Fuck Steve! That guy’s a fuckin’ tool.”
Maximus isn't wishing that good things happen for Commodus.
Unlike bad guys in the real world, the best fictional villains are almost always more interesting than their bland, heroic counterparts. There are two ways to judge the quality of a bad guy. He will either be so much fun that you find yourself rooting for him when you shouldn’t, or he’s so convincingly evil that your hatred for him crosses the threshold of a rational reaction to a fictional character.
10) Apollo Creed from The Rocky movies: Rocky’s initial adversary was considerably smarter and funnier than the dim-witted protagonist. If a real-life Apollo Creed were to materialize today, he could singlehandedly revitalize heavyweight boxing.
9) Scar from The Lion King: The meanest animated motherfucker Disney ever created. Scar killed his brother, King Mufasa, so that he could take over the happy kingdom and make everything in Africa suck. He didn’t just stop there though. He told his nephew, who had just lost his father, that it was his fault and that he better run away and try to fend for himself for the rest of his life. What?! Beneath the colorful characters and fun musical numbers, this was a pretty dark flick.
8) Detective Alonzo Harris Training Day: You figure out pretty early on that he can’t be trusted, but you still want to believe him because he’s so damn cool. Every moment he’s not on screen, you wonder when he’s coming back.
7) Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men: Chigurh is a bizarre, detached monster that brings a sinister intensity to many unsuspecting Texans. The guy is pretty much just a killing machine. That should logically mean that there wouldn’t be anything too compelling about him, but it somehow has the opposite effect.
6) Calvin Candie from Django Unchained: The owner of a gigantic Mississippi plantation known as “Candieland” is a sick fuck that likes to see pain inflicted on his slaves. The level of contempt you feel for him increases with each of his scenes.
5) Bodhi from Point Break: He’s a surfer/bank robber/adrenaline junky looking for the perfect rush. Plus, he’s Patrick Swayze. You can’t blame Johnny Utah for not shooting Bodhi when he had the perfect chance.
4) Biff Tannen from the Back to the Future series: This prototypical, self-assured meathead reminds us that assholes will always be assholes. He’s a douchebag as a teenager, as a middle-aged man, and as an aging grandfather. In a parallel dimension, he’s an incredibly rich douchebag who gets away with murder because he owns the police. We even learn that his grandfather, Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen was a dickhead too.
3) The Joker from The Dark Knight: Heath Ledger’s iconic performance helped to make this mysterious madman the most captivating movie villain ever. He was ruthless, fearless, and completely insane. A sadistic, grinning anarchist with no faith in humanity is the perfect character to place opposite Batman.
2) Hans Gruber from Die Hard: The dapper thief had a brilliant plan to take over the Nakatomi Plaza and steal $640 million dollars. Did he lose his shit when a balding off-duty cop from New York fucked up his plans? Hell no! He had one-liners and attitude to spare. Even as his crew of henchmen were rapidly being picked off, Hans stayed composed and Euro-slimy until (spoiler alert!) John McClane popped a cap in his ass and let him fall about thirty stories to his demise.
1) Commodus from Gladiator: A character that serves as a fantastic reminder that you need to limit your pity for the sick people who do nothing but inflict harm. Commodus was completely neglected by his emperor father, he couldn’t control his incestuous feelings towards his sister, and he felt so unloved that he wasn’t capable of remorse or compassion. And you know what else? Fuck him. He is the standard bearer in terms of fictional character hate-worthiness. I’m still not sure I’ll ever forgive Joaquin Phoenix for the shit he pulled in that movie. I’d be surprised if I ever have stronger feelings against a fictional character. In no particular order, the toughest omissions from this list were Simon Phoenix (Demolition Man), Col. Hans Landa A.K.A “The Jew Hunter” (Inglourious Basterds), T-1000 (Terminator 2), John Kreese (The Karate Kid), and a certain character from The Usual Suspects that I refuse to spoil for the morons that still haven't seen the movie 18 years after it came out. Your welcome.
In no particular order, the toughest omissions from this list were Simon Phoenix (Demolition Man), Col. Hans Landa A.K.A “The Jew Hunter” (Inglourious Basterds), T-1000 (Terminator 2), John Kreese (The Karate Kid), and a certain character from The Usual Suspects that I refuse to spoil for the morons that still haven't seen the movie 18 years after it came out. Your welcome.
A bunch of women at my office recently entered the third trimester of their pregnancies. When they said that the northeast got pounded hard during Hurricane Sandy, they weren’t kidding.
When a lady in my office approaches the end of her pregnancy, one of her yenta friends throws a baby shower and everyone is “invited” to contribute money or a gift. Naturally, I kick in some cash. I’m pretty sure that some kind of gay alarm would sound if I walked into a baby shower holding a wrapped item for a newborn (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
My first forays into the world of baby showers have been eye opening experiences. There’s usually 20 chicks and about 3 dudes. Are the other guys cheap, or do they give money and opt not to participate in the estrogen show? Fuck if I know. The bottom line is that if I can help a coworker and house a few cupcakes, I’m doing it. That’s the kind of guy I am. My involvement in the festivities is pretty minimal outside of my consumption of baked goods. The other females do more than pick up the slack.
Women go absolutely ballistic at those things. Each gift that is opened is met with a spirited round of “Oooooh!!!” and “Awwwww!!!” The collective enthusiasm over onesies and baby books is endearing and more than a little bizarre. Meanwhile, if you are sitting in the right part of the room, you’ll hear me saying, “Oh okay… Good one.”
The experience made me empathize with how women must have felt when guys gathered to cheer for the carnage inflicted during an episode of Jackass. Apparently, to chicks, another girl receiving baby clothes parallels the excitement of watching a compilation of dipshits getting the shit beat out of them. The key differences are that our joy isn’t fake and we don’t secretly wish we were the Jackass dudes. It’s nice to be a guy.
The world needs villains. If a bad guy doesn’t present himself, we’ll turn someone into the bad guy. Life is more interesting when you look at someone and say, “That motherfucker needs to be stopped.”
When Kobe Bryant tore his Achilles tendon on Friday night, it most likely signaled the end of the meaningful portion of the career of the greatest sports villain of our era. With all due respect to some of the other villainous athletes from the past twenty years, nobody else comes close. It’s difficult to even consider the other candidates.
Roger Clemons and Barry Bonds were cheating douchebags who were never interesting enough to be great villains. Kobe inspired a significant portion of the country to join the dark side and root for him. Could you imagine the Rocket or Bonds pulling that off? Even their local fans didn’t miss them when they retired.
Football fandom is so merit-based that nobody who is consistently productive is seen as a bad guy. You can’t hate someone who helped you make the playoffs in your fantasy league. Some defensive players like Bill Romanowski and Ndamukong Suh have been mean-spirted shitstains, but they haven't had enough control over the game's outcome to inspire the fear and begrudging respect of opposing fans.
Kobe’s teammate, Ron Artest/Metta World Peace, is worthy of disdain, but he was only an elite player for about fifteen minutes. He’s more like a ruthless henchman than a criminal mastermind.
Undefeated boxing champion Floyd Mayweather is an arrogant, racist, homophobic dickhead. He’s also a transparent self-promoter. You get the feeling that it’s all an act to help garner interest in his fights. He doesn’t really inspire you to hate him as much as he makes you roll your eyes.
You’d have a hard time inventing a better bad guy than Kobe. He possesses all of the key traits: He’s charismatic, fearless, ruthless, and immensely skilled. He has an inhuman focus and work ethic, and a disdain for others that can’t match his passion and talent. Most importantly, he embraces his role as the antagonist. The guy nicknamed himself The Black Mamba, which is the most dangerous snake in Africa. Per the Wikipedia page, a bite from a Mamba is almost always fatal if no anti-venom is introduced. That’s probably the most bad-ass self-administered nickname of all time.
Now Kobe is going to be gone for up to nine months, and it's unlikely that he'll return as the same type of player. Basketball is definitely worse now. For those of us living in cities with perennially uncompetitive teams, rooting against Kobe in the playoffs has been a great subplot for the past fifteen years. Ever since he started utilizing his, “My teammates are inept and my coach doesn’t understand how amazing I am” face, you wanted to see him go down in flames. Like a good action flick, the stakes seem much lower now that the bad guy is out of the picture. Things just got much less interesting.
837 – Halley's Comet and Earth experienced their closest approach to one another when their separating distance equalled 0.0342 AU (3.2 million miles). Despite being told that this is a once in every 76 years occurrence, nobody under the age of twelve cared.
1816 – The Federal government of the United States approves the creation of the Second Bank of the United States. All of the bank’s employees were very impressed with themselves, but their friends didn’t understand what they actually did all day.
1856 – The Theta Chi fraternity is founded at Norwich University in Vermont. Perfect location for that fraternity. How long did it take for someone to come up with, “Theta Chi! Theta Chi! Let’s Get High!”? Five minutes? Maybe they chose those Greek letters for that reason.
1865 – American Civil War: A day after his surrender to Union forces, Confederate General Robert E. Lee addresses his troops for the last time. He sarcastically suggests a dramatic war reenactment might buoy their spirits.
1874 – The first Arbor Day is celebrated in Nebraska. – In the inaugural Arbor Day speech, the crowd is told, “This might not seem like a big deal now, but… yeah, okay. It’s really never going to be a day people give a shit about.”
1912 – The Titanic leaves port in Southampton, England for her first and only voyage. There wouldn’t be a bigger disaster out of England until Russell Brand was cast as the title character in an ill-advised remake of Arthur.
1916 – The Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA) is created in New York City. The original members immediately decided to go hang out someplace a little less… diverse.
1925 – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is first published in New York City, by Charles Scribner's Sons. Fitzgerald would be proud to know that millions of high school students lie about reading his novel every year.
1940 – Katyn massacre Mass execution of 40 thousands Polish officers and intelligentsia approved and signed by USSR leader Joseph Stalin. Stalin then intimated a deep insecurity to one of his closest subordinates, “This Hitler fella gets a lot of press, but my stats are dwarfing his. I’m the worst, right? Do you think I’ll be the one who is equated with pure evil in the future?”
1953 – Warner Brothers premieres the first 3-D film from a major American studio, entitled House of Wax. Sixty years later, there has yet to be a 3-D flick with a decent script.
1970 – Paul McCartney announces that he is leaving The Beatles for personal and professional reasons. Then he founded Wings and continued to thrive as a huge star without having to contend with the massive egos of the other Beatles. So McCartney won by becoming a kajilionaire and the world lost.
1971 – Ping-pong diplomacy: In an attempt to thaw relations with the United States, the People's Republic of China hosts the U.S. table tennis team for a weeklong visit. A young Private named Forrest Gump was utterly dominant during the games. His experience in China became the inspiration for the John Lennon classic, Imagine.
I finally saw Argo last weekend and it didn’t disappoint. Ben Affleck deserved the acclaim he received.
I can identify with Ben Affleck. Not just because we’re both multi-talented millionaires who marry foxy brunettes and pal around with Matt Damon. We both got off to hot professional starts before making questionable decisions and falling into a rut. That's why it was exhilarating to see him put the exclamation point on his triumphant comeback.
Affleck’s career arc takes the shape of a square root symbol. He started off hot with Good Will Hunting (the only aspects that don’t hold up about that flick are Robin Williams' beard and the hacky title). The subsequent years were good to Affleck, but he hit a rough streak in 2003 (Check his brutal 2003-2006 stretch on his IMDB page. Things turned around after Hollywoodland, but more on that later). He was seemingly exposed as the Garfunkle to Damon’s more talented Simon, and the whole world mocked him mercilessly. Now, of course, he’s reinvented himself as a maestro behind the camera, and his career is doing better than ever.
Ben Affleck will ultimately go down as an elite director and a passable leading man. What most people fail to recognize is that Ben Affleck is also terrific as a character actor/cameo guy. If things stall out for him again, it will be because he starred in too many movies instead of directing them or popping in for small roles.
These are Affleck’s greatest supporting roles and cameos in chronological order.
Dazed and Confused: A young Ben embodied the overzealous meathead who took hazing rituals way too seriously. This would have been an easy role to screw up, but Affleck nailed it. We all have met a few pricks like O'Bannion.
Mallrats: Affleck wasn’t Affleck yet, but he was perfect as a goon named Shannon Hamilton who worked at “Fashionable male” and was known for trying to coerce underage women into buttsex.
Boiler Room: In his one memorable scene, he pulls off about 70% of an Alec Baldwin. I definitely mean that as a compliment.
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back: He was very much in his “Sexiest Man Alive”/awful romantic comedy phase when he supplied two memorable roles to this movie. First (here), as his Chasing Amy character who assumes that the Miramax guys will stupidly decide to cast Ben Affleck and Matt Damon as Bluntman and Chronic. Later he pops up as himself in a parody sequel of Good Will Hunting; Good Will Hunting Two: Hunting Season. “Apple sauce, bitch.”
Extract: As a drug-addled bartender with an abundance of shitty ideas, Affleck is the highlight of an otherwise mediocre movie.
Hollywoodland: He was rightfully nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of George Reeves, the original Superman. If you haven’t seen this movie, you should check it out. Or don’t. I don’t really care.
Bonus - “I’m Fucking Ben Affleck” video on Jimmy Kimmel. You can’t give Ben Affleck too much credit for this, but it doesn't happen without him.