Friday, December 26, 2008

My Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, Two Thousand and Eight
I was visiting family for about a week straight;
And mom had the tree up and all decorated,
A list of chores to be done, which I thoroughly hated;
And a plan for the next day, for family affairs
And she, Dad and sister were asleep all upstairs;

And I with my iPod and new Oakland A's cap,
Had just settled down for a Jay Leno nap,
When outside the house arose quite a sound,
I sprang from my chair to have a look all around.
Away to the window I flew pretty quick,
And before I opened the door, I grabbed a big stick.
Now, there's no snow in Cali, but the moon was quite full
So I could see things at night - which was actually kinda cool,
But then, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But some crazy-ass sled thing, and some monster-sized deer.

And then there was some dude, dressed all up in red,
A terrible disguise for a burglar, I thought in my head.
He was wearing white fur and medallions and rings
And the grill of his sleigh was all spinners and bling
He had massive black boots on, like gang-bangers do
And his hat was like something from Huggie Bear, too
Now, these deer moved pretty fast and they pulled on his sled,
And he whistled, and shouted, and he rapped as he said:
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

Now, I had no idea what any of that meant
But the deer seemed to get it, and so on they went
And these were no ordinary deer, I assure,
Freaks of nature that flew around fast, like a blur,
And before I even knew it, they were up on my roof
With the sled right behind them, leaving scuffs with each hoof

So, I headed inside, and toward the backyard,
When down the chimney this guy came pretty hard.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
With that bundle of god-knows-what flung on his back,
He looked like a drug dealer out peddling some crack.

His eyes were all bloodshot, and his teeth were -- Good Lord!!
"This guy," - I thought - "is coked out of his gourd!"
His droll little mouth was all drooly and gross,
And he stumbled around for a minute, then froze;
Then he tried to say something, but it came out all garbled,
Then he almost threw up as he stammered and warbled;
He had a broad face and a big old fat belly,
He'd been drinking for hours and his breath was quite smelly.
He was chubby and plump, maybe "swollen" is the word,
And his struggle to keep his pants up was absurd;

Then a wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon brought to me absolute terror and dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
'Started messing with stuff in my house like a jerk!
So I tackled him straight to the ground with a THUD!
And I said, "You ain't gettin' your crack money here, BUD!"
And I socked him once hard in the jaw with a crack
Then he laid me out solid, landing flat on my back
And he swung his ol' bag around fast like a hammer
But being so drunk, it began him to stammer
And he fell like a big, red, round, rosy plump mass
And he shook the whole floor with the impact of his ass

He's dazed and confused! I thought, this is my chance!
I rose up and charged at him, "Alright, fat man, let's DANCE!"
Then laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
"You won't get away, you fat old conniver!"
I screamed up the chimney at the chubby sleigh-driver
But he sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a stir,
And away they all flew like the cowards they were
But I heard him yell out, "Next stop is Atlanta!"
And that's when it hit me... "Oh, shit. That was Santa."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

In the news:

THIS JUST IN:
MIKE SCHWARTZ KILLED THE SPY KIDS!

"Noooooooooooooo!!!!!" cries an anonymous Robert Rodriguez fan.

Film at 11:00.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hitler's 3rd Birthday

Okay, so... this is a TRUE story.

There's this family in New Jersey with three kids - The Campbells. And it's the oldest one's birthday. So the Dad - Heath Campbell - goes to the local ShopRite to get a cake with his son's name on it. Only the store refuses to decorate the cake with the kid's name on it. Now, why the hell would a cake company refuse to put the name of a 3-year old boy on his birthday cake? What kind of cruel, inhumane, utterly sadistic bakery would refuse to do that? And what possible reason could they have? What, I ask you? WHAT?

The kid's name is Adolf Hitler Campbell.

And I'm not making this up. This is real. Adolf Hitler Campbell.

As you may have guessed, Heath and his wife, Deborah Campbell, are ignorant, white trash, stupid, child-abusing, racist bastards. They have another kid named JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell. Seriously. "Aryan Nation" is in the child's name. ("JoyceLynn" isn't a name, either!)

From news.com.au: "Mr. Campbell, who has swastikas decorating the family home and believes he is related to a former member of the SS, agrees that the Nazi’s were not a highly charitable bunch: 'Yeah, (Nazis) were bad people back then. But my kids are little. They’re not going to grow up like that.'”

Other fun quotes from Mr. Campbell include:
  • "I think people need to take their heads out of the cloud they've been in and start focusing on the future and not on the past."

  • "There's a new president and he says it's time for a change; well, then it's time for a change."

  • "They need to accept a name. A name's a name. The kid isn't going to grow up and do what Hitler did."

  • "Say he grows up and hangs out with black people. That's fine, I don't really care. That's his choice."

  • In reference to the several children of mixed race who came to young Adolf's birthday party, Mr. Campbell said, "If we're so racist, then why would I have them come into my home?"

And, when asked what the f**k they were thinking when he and his wife, Deborah, named their child after history's greatest monster, Mr. Campbell commented with a brilliant sense of logic, "no one else in the world would have that name." He sounded surprised by all the controversy the dispute had generated.

Their youngest child is named "Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell." He was trying to name her after one of Hitler's right hand men, Heinrich Himmler, but he was too stupid to look up how it was actually spelled.

Oh, but don't worry. Little Adolf got his cake. All that took was a trip to the bakery at the local Wal-Mart. That's right: cakes for Hitler, but no Dixie Chicks albums!

Okay, now... if I have to voice an opinion on this one, here's my take:
  1. It's wrong to name your kid after Hitler, Himmel, or to just name her "Aryan Nation". Very wrong. You're a bad person if you do this, or any variation of this action.

  2. It is well within the rights of a big-box retail store to deny a certain type of service if there is a legitimate argument for deeming the request for said service "inappropriate".

  3. It is well within the rights of another big-box retailer to grant the same request.

  4. It is within the rights of an American family - no matter how stupid and twisted - to name their children after some of human history's most sinister and evil madmen.

  5. All of these are true and fair because this is America. America is a free country, and along with all the beauty of freedom comes this. This is the ugliness of freedom. And in the end, it's still worth it.

But guess what, Deborah and Heath Campbell! America also enjoys the Freedom of the Press! So, happy birthday, kid! You're parents are on the news!

God bless America.

P.S. Not to give the plot away, but Tom Cruise totally tries to kill this kid in his new movie, Valkyrie.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Honestly! Who throws a SHOE!?!?

And all of a sudden, for the first time I can remember, I'm proud of our President, George W. Bush.

On Sunday, during a visit to Baghdad, Iraq, President Bush ducked a pair of shoes that were hurled at his head - one after the other - in the middle of a news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The assailant - later identified as television correspondent Muntadar al-Zeidi - leapt from his chair and hurled his footwear at the president, who was about 20 feet away. Both shoes narrowly missed their target and thumped loudly against the wall behind the leaders.

"Don't worry about it," the president said to his bodyguard as the room erupted into chaos. "I'm fine."

Don't worry about it? Did you see how smooth that guy was!?! Watch the video! Homeboy is cool as an effin CUCUMBER! As though he's used to having shoes thrown at his head everyday! Zoom! "Ain't nobody gonna hit ME with a damned Iraqi shoe! I'm the muthaf***in' gingerbread man, sucka!" he seemed to say.

"This is the end! Here is your goodbye kiss, DOG!" shouted the man, as he launched each of his shoes at the leader of the free world, obviously hoping to completely destroy the man and thus be greeted in heaven by seventy podiatrists.

Ironic, it seems, that Bush and al-Miliki were presently signing into legislation a law that would ban all shoes from all reporters in Iraq. Angry as he seems about this news, al-Zeidi was actually the first to comply with the new law, albiet quite aggressively.

As it turns out, it's quite the epitome of insult to be slapped with a shoe in Muslim culture - recall the image of the statue of Saddam Hussein being torn down and beaten with shoes by Iraqi civilians in the streets of Baghdad several years ago. Bush took the insult coolly, joking later that the shoe was "a size 10". He then retired to a private restroom where he quietly sobbed on the floor of an unused stall for forty minutes. "Why don't they like me?" he was overheard to cry. "WHY!?"


Friday, December 12, 2008

"THE FRONT OF THE LINE (THE SUBWAY SONG)" - Metallica

In honor of my last blog on the great 'Weird Al' Yankovic, I've decided to post one of my many, many (two, actually) personal creations of song parodies. This one is to the tune of "The End Of The Line", a rocker from Metallica's latest album, Death Magnetic. Inspired and conceived of entirely by Rob Florance, but fleshed out and written almost entirely by me, this song is from the voice of a dedcated Subway sandwich restaurant manager who proudly wants to please the customer, but is also trying to train new employees. I call it "The Front Of The Line (The Subway Song)". Press play on the player to hear the original Metallica song, and read along to the new lyrics I've written and posted below.

P.S. This just goes to show that not everyone can do it as good as The Mighty Yankovic.





"The Front Of The Line (The Subway Song)"

Need... More and more
Sandwiches today!
Greet... Customers
“Welcome to Subway!” you’ll say!
Grain... Honey Oat
Is starting to corrode
Stain... On that shirt
That’s just the way that this job goes

Choke… on our food
We’ve got a Heimlich chart!
Scorch... burned the bread
That Pizziola’s way too charred
Careful!... Machinery
Now Greg’s an amputee
Employer... You treat him well
We’re “equal opportunity”!

Meatballs and Marinara
Eat more and more
Try a double-stack! I dare ya!
Eat more and more

Check out our Coke machine
The root beer tastes like gasoline
It’s almost quittin’ time
Nevermind...
You've reached the front of the line

Breads… Got eight kinds
They’re all dry as a bone!
Cheeses! Four more kinds
From peperjack to provolone!
Toasted!… if you want
But please make up your mind
Let’s go, man!… I’m short on staff
And got six more people in line

Sweet Onion Teriyaki!
Eat more and more
Ol’ Jared’s getting stocky!
Eat more and more

Check out our Coke machine
The iced tea smells like kerosene
It’s almost quittin’ time
Nevermind...
You've reached the front of the line.

Dropping pickles in a line
Spilling olives all the time
No more mayonnaise today
We’ll be okay...

But don’t forget the mustard
But don’t forget the mustard
But don’t forget the mustard

Don’t you forget the mustard!
Need more and more
Don’t make me get too flustered!
Need more and more

Check out that Coke machine
That’s the darkest Sprite I’ve ever seen
It’s almost quittin’ time
Nevermind...
Five-Dollar-Foot-long sign
Says it’s ‘only for a limited time’
Chips & a drink today?
Now you’ll pay!
‘Cause you've reached the front of the line

The front of the line.
The front of the line.
The front of the line.
You've reached the front of the line




Sunday, December 7, 2008

'Weird Al' Yankovic - Brilliant Innovator or Total Rip-Off Artist?

It has been drawn to my attention as of late that one of my all-time favorite comedic performers may not be as beloved by all.

Alfred Matthew Yankovic was born in Downy, California on October 23, 1959 and raised in the town of Lynwood.
During Yankovic's sophomore year as an architecture student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, he became a disc jockey at the university's radio station, KCPR. Yankovic said he had been nicknamed "Weird Al" by fellow students and "took it on professionally" as his persona for the station.

He had already discovered an affinity in himself for absurdist humor and music. Combining his talents for both, he made a name for himself in 1979 with the underground hit, "My Balogna" - a parody of the recent radio hit by The Knack, "My Sharona".

Since then, 'Weird Al' Yankovic has released over a dozen records consisting of completely original compositions as well as a slew of parodies of popular songs. He has toured the world, be it in large venues or very small county fairs, for over 20 years. An overwhelmingly positive person, Yankovic has even used terrible personal tragedy as fuel for his creative fire:

On April 9, 2004, Yankovic's parents, Nick, 86, and Mary, 81, were found dead in their Fallbrook, California, home, apparently the victims of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning from their fireplace that had been recently lit. The flue was closed, which trapped the carbon monoxide gas inside the house, suffocating them. An hour after his wife notified him of his parents' death, Yankovic went on with his concert in Appleton, Wisconsin, saying that "since my music had helped many of my fans through tough times, maybe it would work for me as well" and that it would "at least ... give me a break from sobbing all the time."

A pop culture staple in the 1980s, and a performer whose music was as omnipresent as Michael Jackson and Madonna (by means of his parodies of such superstars), 'Weird Al' Yankovic's career has been consistently changing. His look, his sound, and his ability have all evolved since then and continues to break new ground today. His music videos, often also parodies of the videos for the songs that are the basis of those parodies themselves, always strive to innovate as well as entertain; (case in point, his entire "backward" sequence in the video for "Amish Paradise", a parody of Coolio's "Gangster's Paradise" from 1996).

Sometimes Yankovic uses modern songs to parody an old subject (as in the case of "Beverly Hillbillies", a parody of Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing" on the subject of the hit TV show of the same name from the 1960s) or the opposite, writing a song about a current popular topic to the tune of an old song (as in "Jurassic Park" - a parody of "McArther Park" by Richard Harris and Jimmy Webb and lyrically-based on the blockbuster movie, or "The Saga Begins", a tune that tells the entire story of
Star Wars: Ep. I - The Phantom Menace to the tune of Don McClean's timeless anthem, "American Pie"). Sometimes his songs are only "style parodies", such as "Bob" - a song in the general style of a folksy Bob Dylan tune of the 1960s while rhyming lyrics that are all palindromes: written the same backward and forward - ("May a moody baby doom a yam?")

And sometimes, Yankovic's songs are not parodies of another song at all (like "Since You've Been Gone", "She Never Told Me She Was A Mime", "Stuck In A Closet With Vanna White", and "Hardware Store").

And although his direct parodies may lead one to call Yankovic a "rip-off artist" or claim that he has no "original creative talent" (direct quotes from someone I know), I would argue that it is the aforementioned "style parodies" and originals demonstrate that Yankovic is a talented and dedicated student of music theory, who then turns what he's learned on his practice and churns out brilliant originals concepts in the studio.

Beyond his own talents, Yankovic has long surrounded himself with apt musicians and technicians who can imitate any recording's sound to a tee for the sake of an accurate parody. Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz joined Yankovic as a drummer through a chance meeting in 1981. The following year, manager Jay Levey teamed them up with a full band.
Steve Jay became Yankovic's bass player, and Jay's friend Jim West played guitar. Schwartz continued on drums. Yankovic's first show with his new band was on March 31, 1982. This has been the band line-up ever since. It doesn't hurt that his band mates are... interesting-looking gentlemen, to say the least, as it plays well in their music videos.

His comedic acting in his film UHF (1989) as well as several other cameos in films and TV shows over the years, as well as his directorial abilities on his own music videos as well as for other acts (The Black Crowes) and films (Spy Hard opening credits), prove that Yankovic is an artist in his own right and a leader in the genre of musical parody humor.

Fast approaching th age of 50 years old, 'Weird Al' Yankovic is - in my opinion and that of many others - anything but a hack.
He has sold more than 12 million albums—more than any other comedy act in history— recorded more than 150 parody and original songs, and has performed more than 1,000 live shows. His works have earned him three Grammy Awards among nine nominations, four gold records, and six platinum records in the United States. Yankovic's first top ten Billboard album (Straight Outta Lynwood) and single ("White & Nerdy") were both released in 2006, nearly three decades into his career. These are all things that a "hack" simply cannot achieve.

So, what's your opinion? Weigh in on the debate and put this argument to a vote. 'Weird Al' - love him? hate him? don't care? mildly amused? Let me know! Comment below!
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P.S. / Update

For example - here's a little slice of brilliance I mentioned before. This is an original, non-parody, non-polka 'Weird Al' Yankovic song about a guy who's wayyy too excited about the opening of a new hardware store. The design and execution of the layered vocals in the chorus, along with the amazing breakdown listing all the great things this hardware store has to offer, make this one of my favorite songs of his. And it's just stupid funny.

ENJOY, DAMMIT!




Lyrics:

[sound effects from tools]

Nothin' ever (ever) happens in this town
Feelin' low down (down), not a lot to do around here
I thought that I would go right out of my mind
Until a friend told me the news

He said, "Hey, you know that vacant lot
Right beside the gas station? Well, somebody bought it
And on that spot they're gonna build a shop
Where we can go buy bolts and screws"

Since then I've been walking on air (air)
I can barely brush my teeth or comb my hair
'Cause I'm so excited and I really don't care
I've been waiting since last June

For this day to finally arrive
I'm so happy (happy) now just to be alive
'Cause any minute now I'm gonna be inside
Well, I hope they open soon

I can't wait, (no I) I can't wait (oh when)
When are they gonna open up the door?
I'm goin' (yes I'm) goin', I'm a-goin' to the
Goin' to the (hard) ware I'm goin', really goin' to the
Goin' (hard) I'm goin' to the (hard) oh yes, I'm goin' to the
Hardware store

In my sleeping bag I camped out overnight
Right in front of the store, then as soon as it was light out
I pressed my nose right up against the glass
You know, I had to be first in line

Gonna get me a flashlight and a broom
Want a pair of pliers for every single room of my house
See those hacksaws? Very, very soon
One of them will be all mine

Guys with nametags walking down the aisles
Rows of garden hoses that go on for miles and miles
Brand new socket wrenches in a plethora of styles
All arranged alphabetically

And they're doing a promotional stunt
There's a great big purple sign out front
That says every 27th customer
Will get a ball-peen hammer free

I can't wait, (no I) I can't wait (oh when)
When are they gonna open up the door?
I'm goin' (yes I'm) goin', I'm a-goin' to the
Goin' to the (hard) ware I'm goin', really goin' to the
Goin' (hard) I'm goin' to the (hard) oh yes, I'm goin' to the
Hardware store

I'm goin' (yes I'm) goin', I'm a-goin' to the
Goin' to the (hard) ware I'm goin', really goin' to the
Goin' (hard) I'm goin' to the (hard) oh yes, I'm goin' to the
Hardware store

Would you look at all that stuff ...
They've got allen wrenches, gerbil feeders, toilet seats, electric heaters
Trash compactors, juice extractor, shower rods and water meters
Walkie-talkies, copper wires, safety goggles, radial tires
BB pellets, rubber mallets, fans and dehumidifiers
Picture hangers, paper cutters, waffle irons, window shutters
Paint removers, window louvres, masking tape and plastic gutters
Kitchen faucets, folding tables, weather stripping, jumper cables
Hooks and tackle, grout and spackle, power foggers, spoons and ladles
Pesticides for fumigation, high-performance lubrication
Metal roofing, water proofing, multi-purpose insulation
Air compressors, brass connectors, wrecking chisels, smoke detectors
Tire gauges, hamster cages, thermostats and bug deflectors
Trailer hitch demagnetizers, automatic circumcisers
Tennis rackets, angle brackets, Duracells and Energizers
Soffit panels, circuit breakers, vacuum cleaners, coffee makers
Calculators, generators, matching salt and pepper shakers

I can't wait, (no I) I can't wait (oh when)
When are they gonna open up the door?
I'm goin' (yes I'm) goin', I'm a-goin' to the
Goin' to the (hard) ware I'm goin', really goin' to the
Goin' (hard) I'm goin' to the (hard) oh yes, I'm goin' to the
Hardware store

I'm goin' (yes I'm) goin', I'm a-goin' to the
Goin' to the (hard) ware I'm goin', really goin' to the
Goin' (hard) I'm goin' to the (hard) oh yes, I'm goin' to the
Hardware store

I'm goin' (yes I'm) goin', I'm a-goin' to the
Goin' to the (hard) ware I'm goin', really goin' to the
Goin' (hard) I'm goin' to the (hard) oh yes, I'm goin' to the
Hardware store