Cinco Cosas Para 23 de Septiembre 2013

Psych! This ain’t gonna be in Spanish. I don’t speak a lick of it, folks. Sorry.

1) So, I’m getting the feeling that my fellow humans are untrained in the basics of wiping one’s ass. I don’t know if it’s because folks are lazy as all hell these days, or if some feel that someone else should wipe their ass for them, or because they’re just fucking heinous in general. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was example number three.

Instead of folks getting off their lazy asses–so to speak–our friends in the asswipe industry, have come up with a few products to aid in the evil-eye wiping process.

(via Gawker)

(via Gawker)

They’re baby wipes for grownups, and bravo! What a grand idea! However, there’s a problem–you ain’t supposed to flush these things, and as a result, these wipes be cloggin’ up the sewer systems.

Via the AP.

“The problem got so bad in this western New York community this summer that sewer officials set up traps — basket strainers in sections of pipe leading to an oft-clogged pump — to figure out which households the wipes were coming from. They mailed letters and then pleaded in person for residents to stop flushing them.

“We could walk right up, knock on the door and say, ‘Listen, this problem is coming right from your house,'” said Tom Walsh, senior project coordinator at South & Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer Districts, which was dispatching crews at least once a week to clear a grinder pump that would seize up trying to shred the fibrous wipes.”

“My team regularly goes sewer diving” to analyze what’s causing problems, said Trina McCormick, a senior manager at Kimberly-Clark Corp., maker of Cottonelle. “We’ve seen the majority, 90 percent in fact, are items that are not supposed to be flushed, like paper towels, feminine products or baby wipes.”

Let me get this straight–some paper product companies have dudes on staff whose jobs are to set up traps for dirty asswipes, then go to the offending household and tell the denizens of said abode(s) to stop flushing the wipes and perhaps learn how to CLEAN ONE’S DIRTY ANUS WITH ACTUAL TOILET PAPER, YOU KNOW, THAT KIND THAT’S ACTUALLY FLUSHABLE?

Perhaps bidets aren’t such a crazy concept after all.

2) Go for it. I’m not done making fun of you yet, Mrs. Palin.

3) Neil Patrick Harris needs to sit down. I’ve never seen a more self-involved awards show host in my entire life. Due to his over-inflated ego (and the fact that he produced the show), we had to sit through two too many song and dance numbers which eliminated four ACTING categories from last night’s broadcast to make up for time. All of the guest performer awards were given out at the “You’re Not Important Enough for the Real Emmys” event that probably took place in a bathroom in Griffith Park.

(via entertainment.time.com)

(via entertainment.time.com)

Also, very short clips of of the nominees’ performances were shown–you know–like they do during the Oscars. Someone help me out here–the Emmys are an awards show for tee vee performances, yes? The performances are awarded, same with the writing, directing, etc. It’s not a venue for showing off your dancing and comedy chops to the audience. Hey, NPH, there is such a place for that act–tis called a one-man show.

4) See, this is why science is GOOD. It’s VERY, VERY GOOD. We get to learn tidbits like this.

via Discovery.com

Kaboom! Milky Way’s Black Hole Erupted 2 Million Years Ago

(via Discovery.com)

(via Discovery.com)

5) Veep Dickem Cheney got mocked by a dude in a kilt for being a shitty shot.

I’ll just leave this here.

Five for Friday: September 20, 2013

So, I’m going to continue with this Five Things idea for a bit to see where it takes me.

1) I got this little gem via a journo listserv I’m a member of.

“An unnamed digital media company in Chicago seeks stories at $7 a pop.”

I’ll keep the next few sentences simple since I’m sure you’re also in a state of shock due to what you just read. We want four AP style stories a day with a word count hovering around 400 per story. Great communication skills are a must. Please send your resume and 4 clips to fuckthewriter@bohica.com.

After I fashioned a bag of ice over my sore noggin (it’s sore from banging it against the wall after reading the listserv email), I tried to imagine the level of the mind that believes it’s okay to pay a writer a measly $7/post. Why the hell not? Them’s just words! Anyone can do it! You know, that makes total sense so sign me up!

I’d rather eat ground glass.

2) I wanna know the methodology that was used for this study.

Penis Map Of The World Exposes Weenie Size In Each Country

Plus, ain’t it kinda a cool that dong size has little to do with potency? See, that’s how it’s done denizens of certain South American and African countries. Not only are the Indians and Chinese kicking our asses in so many other ways, their wee schvantzes are helping to produce shitloads of humans to ensure that they’ll be kicking our asses for generations to come. In other words, size ain’t an issue … in some instances.

(via rosalie-schweiker.wikispaces.com)

(via rosalie-schweiker.wikispaces.com)

3) This is real. Not kidding.

(via Inquisitr.com)

(via Inquisitr.com)

It’s the latest Boeing 777 in Eva Air’s fleet of flying machines. Eva Air, by the way, is the Taiwanese airline. You can get in touch with your inner-confused hipster who sports ironic tats, facial hair, piercings and fedoras, by taking one of the three flights between Taipei and Los Angeles each week. Then, you can Instagram it, put pix of you acting all goofy inside the plane on one of your many Tumblrs, then get a tat of the plane on your lower back.

4) Now, this tat was on a “20 Tattoos That You Should Get Removed” page. I’m confused though–I don’t see what the problem is.

(via RedCastle83)

(via RedCastle83)

5) Aaaaaaaaaaaand I’ll just leave this here. Enjoy!

Five Things: September 19, 2013

I thought I’d put my Feedly reader to good use and point out some of the more outrageous/interesting/heinous/gnarly/silly, etc. stories cruising around out there.

1) Apparently, Stand Your Ground REALLY only applies to white folks when they shoot black and brown folks, not the other way around. How dare you think that the law is applied evenly and fairly? You think it is? Then, it’s time to take off your fucking rose-colored specs because they’re blinders smeared with shit. Seriously. Don’t believe me? Check this out.

H/t to politicalblindspot.com

ANOTHER Jailed African American In Florida Is Told ‘Stand Your Ground’ Doesn’t Apply To Him

Screen shot 2013-09-19 at 3.28.59 PM

Michael Giles (courtesy of PoliticalBlindspot.com)

Funny thing about laws, they gotta apply to everyone. Oh wait, this is Florida so there’s the rub. While I am not a fan of online petitions, this one might be worth signing.

2) It’s deja-vu–1991 style–all over again.

Why?

Gennifer Flowers is back in the news. She’s now yammering about how that if it weren’t for Chelsea, she and Bill would be all married up n’ shit by now. Oh, and Hillary’s a bi-seck-shul, by the way according to Gennifer via Bill. AND, Hill’s eaten more pussy than Bill. Just sit with that one for a minute. Let it absorb in your being and ooze in and out of your  ….

I know what you’re trying to do now–you’re trying to get that image of Hillary muff diving out of your mental Rolodex. You know what? IT CANNOT BE DONE. I’m sure some of my Sapphic Sisters can relate though.

(courtesy of monstersandcritics.com)

(courtesy of monstersandcritics.com)

You get what’s going on here, yes? Well, Hillary will probably run for POTUS in 2016, so the Right Wing is starting early with the rumor mill. HOWEVER, what they probably don’t realize is that by saying that Hillary swings both ways, she’s collected all of the gay money and has shored up the gay vote. Gays have lots of cash and lots to say, and unfortunately for our brothers and sisters on the right, lots and lots of influence. Nice try, RWNJ, better put a call into Monica to see what she’s been up to lately, you know, as a ‘just in case.’ If Monica is busy, there’s always her.

3) Good luck, Felony. You’re gonna need it.

(via imgur.com)

(via imgur.com)

4) Bring up your dead. I know you saw what I did there.

This case is still very much alive in Boulder these days.

Here’s what I’m talking about. Apparently, some folks just can’t let dead baby beauty queens stay dead. This was a horrible case–not just the actual crime, but how it was handled and screwed up by the Boulder Police Department and the Boulder DA.

(via KTLA)

(via KTLA)

But, what’s extremely important here is the indictment against the Ramseys was never made available to the public. It was presented to a grand jury, they voted to prosecute the Ramseys for the murder of their daughter, JonBenet, but the prosecutor never signed it. Why? This is what Charlie Brennan, a reporter for the Daily Camera and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press would like to know. Simply put, in a so-called free society, there has to be transparency. As journalists, this is our main job–to be watchdogs for and of society. We uncover the corruption, the crap–the bad behavior if you will–that so many of our esteemed elected officials would rather you not know about. I know I’ll be following this story because I don’t think it’s over yet. Stay tuned.

5) Finally, a song for today. Tis a grand one too. Enjoy.

Dawg Daze

Why, yes–I am back.

For the moment at least.

I’ve been buried in a story about this dead gal, and while it’s been quite the education, it has also taken over my life for the past month. I’m done and now I wait.

Yeah..yeah..yeah…I know we’re in the Dog Days of Summer and my three readers are probably either on vacation in Branson, or in prison. See, I figure that it’s been a while since I’ve paid any attention to this blog, it’s best that I don’t jump in–tits first–since most of my writing for the past month has been about serious stuff. I don’t know what’s funny anymore.

Fortunately, I have my fellow humans to once again prove to me that we live in a world that is always chock-full of weird and wacky shit. So, attention must be paid.

You know what? Sleep is so overrated. It is. Eight to 10 hours of shut-eye a night is for pussies. I’ve been an insomniac for years, and I’m not *quite* sure why my body/mind doesn’t require sleep, but I have a damn good idea as to what might be one of the many causes.

All I can say is HOLY FUCK.

New Spider from Laos Named after Actor Dominic Monaghan

I don’t give a red rat’s ass that there’s a spider named for some actor, it’s the fact that Mother Nature has decided that this world needs another fucking spider. Why a spider? WHY, DAMN YOU?!!? Is a new species of spider *really* necessary? Why not something harmless like a new horse species? Or an even hedgehog? (like that’s possible)

I’m off to buy a hermitically sealed house.

Oh… this kid needs therapy. Peepee whacking in this case should be done by someone with sharp stick. Yes, I understand this is what young lads do, but there is something fakakta about a ‘tween jackin’ it on mom’s Martex towels she got on special at Macy’s.

Yeah..yeah..yeah…Anthony Weiner. Big whup. You’re a choad, not because you were sexting (I mean really, who cares?), but because you said you weren’t going to do it anymore after your last very public “oops.” Plus, you think that New Yorkers are stupid, which we all know ain’t the case. True story–New Yorkers will always be the first ones to tell you just how smart they are. *YAWN.* What I love about this story is how the word ‘slutbag’ is now part of the McCrabass vernacular. The said thing is, Barbara Morgan will probably get a new job before I do.

I like this hed better: “Monkeys throw poo at selfish people.” Too bad the story isn’t about poo-flinging because that would be something I could get behind.

Finally, I am a journalist because I hope to cover a story like this someday soon.

Passenger said he only wanted to travel together with his ‘beloved’ pet
Screen shot 2013-08-02 at 8.48.17 PM

Aaaand I’m done.

 

Reality TV: A New Crop of Crap

Or How We’ve Become A Nation of Fame Whores.

Reality tee vee has been the “It Girl” of Hollywood for well over a decade. Americans can’t seem to get enough of them which is why the tee vee industry feels compelled to keep churning ’em out. The shows are cheap to produce and they give ordinary folks a shot at stardom (refer to Andy Warhol & his 15 minutes of fame claim). We’ve witnessed ordinary people top the douchebag chart after stints on a reality tee vee show, and as a result, we are slowly turning into a nation of entitled half-wits who believe they are due for a spin in the spotlight at whatever cost.

Mark Burnett and Andy Cohen need to be taken away and reprogrammed since they’re both partially to blame for the dumbing down of American society. Well, Mr. Cohen more than Mr. Burnett. All Mr. Burnett really did is introduce us to watching relatively thought-free, yet pretty people, run around nekkid in some of the more remote locations on Earth. So, he opened the flood gates a titch. And, to be fair, I watched maybe 3 episodes of “Survivor.” I just couldn’t get into it, and I found that watching my toenails grow to be much more interesting.

Now, Mr. Cohen, probably believes it would do society good by giving us the “Real Housewives” series. Again, I watched more than my fair share of those shows, but when I realized that the women featured in the episodes were basically the lowest common denominator, I had to change the channel. In a weird way, Mr. Cohen should be commended for elevating mediocrity to an art form. <slow clap>

Of course, there is a plethora of crappy tee vee–not just the reality sort–scattered about, and no one is forcing me to watch it. But watching such low-brow tee vee is better than me cutting myself to take away from the pain from witnessing those with room temp IQs profit nicely while the public watches.

Since my three readers are curious as to which shows have my Costco knickers in a wad, well, here they are.

This idea just hurts. Seriously–what woman, in her right mind would want to plunked down in the middle of the wilderness, all nekkid with NO feminine hygiene? Yes, that’s the first thing I thought of when I heard one of the participants was a woman–how is she gonna deal with getting her little red friend when she’s fighting off bahrs and other wild life? Don’t get me started on the whole not bathing deal and having to forage for food in order to FUCKING STAY ALIVE part of the show. There must be an easier way to achieve your 15 minutes–how about blowing a d-list celeb in a Gremlin and having a friend record & post it on the Internets? Or, cause a ruckus (preferably with breastesses flinging about) whilst being arrested for stealing a chicken leg and get a friend to once again, record  and post it online? These folks surely coulda come up with something better. “Naked and Afraid” is just a few clicks away from entertainment–it’s almost sadistic–it’s misery wrapped up in pit viper bites, chafed testicles, malaria and uncontrollable diarrhea.

It premieres on June 23rd on the Discovery Channel.

Screen shot 2013-06-17 at 5.57.13 PM

Full disclosure here–I’ve watched all three episodes of this next show. Honestly I couldn’t help myself because not only is it scraping the bottom of the reality tee vee barrel, but I gotta see if one of these broads actually hooks up with some dude. I’m talking about “Pregnant & Dating” which airs on WETV on Fridays. Oh, and this show is a huge self-esteem booster for someone like me. Why, you ask? Hey, I may not have a job or a ton of money, but at least I’m not single, pregnant and so fucking desperate for some dick that I’m hauling my pregnant ass out on dates OR hitting up a matchmaker for help instead of concentrating on having a healthy baby. That’s exactly what these women are doing.

Don’t believe me? Take a gander, won’t you please?

These women are the apex of awful. So are their friends. Call me crazy, but shouldn’t your first concern be when you discover you’re in a family way, be to make sure you spew a healthy spawn from your haunches in nine months time? Oh wait! How dare I forget! Kids are accessories these days and it’s more important for most pregnant women to look good (“don’t gain too much weight now!”) than to make sure their time on the nest is as worry-free and safe as possible.

Screen shot 2013-06-17 at 6.25.54 PM

What gets me is the women get upset and pissy when the dudes they’re out with act all aloof and shocked upon learning that their date is with child. It’s also apparent that if the cameras weren’t rolling, these men would leave skid marks as soon as their date uttered the words “I’m pregnant.” No offense to the men, but who would want to date a woman who’s carrying a child that isn’t even theirs? Yes, yes, I’m sure there are men out there who would step up to the plate, but the men featured on “Pregnant & Dating” so far have the depth and character of a shoelace. In short, I don’t see it happening. But, it’s early in the season, maybe they’ll each find someone who won’t mind recording the episiotomy for posterity, and will help make shampoo and other yum yums out of the placenta.

WETV has turned out to be Darwin’s Waiting Room when it comes to reality shows. The people featured on their shows aren’t the best or the brightest. Case in point: “Bridezillas” is now entering its tenth and final season. Thank dog. For those of you not in the know or aren’t into watching people who have as much class as a fart in church, this show is about bridezillas, or horrible women who are about to get married. These women are so awful, they’ve even left me speechless at times with their unty-cay behavior. If you know anything about me, it takes a mighty display of largess to render me speechless.

A taste. (Warning: you’re gonna need a sedative–or 12–after watching. Fuck it, take ’em before watching the pre-matrimonial mayhem)

At first, naive me thought, “Naaah … no way. People don’t act this way. Nuh uh! Noooo waaay! What would their mothers say if they witnessed such abhorrent behavior?” But after ruminating about it for a bit, it became obvious to me that why yes, people DO act like assholes no matter who’s around. It’s the way we were wired, and it can be quite profitable if there’s someone filming it.

However, “Bridezillas” is not the main focus here. “Marriage Boot Camp: Bridezillas” is. Surprise, surprise, some of the bridezillas have found themselves smack-dab in the middle of shitty marriages, and since they’re trying to stretch their 15 minutes out for as long as possible, they’ve decided that fixing their poisoned unions is best done in front of millions of people.

Jesus be a fence. That’s all I can say about the whole, sordid subject.

Yes, it does get worse. But this time, with a real bad wig on an adult thumbsucker.

 

A Little of This, A Little of That…

Major rant coming on, then the news!

First, a word about blogging, blogs and their readers. While I love reading the blogs I subscribe to (they’re all so good in their own ways), I hate the arrogance that some folks on WP have with regards to allowing people to ‘like’ a post and subscribe to a blog. Some WP bloggers have disabled both options for reasons that I don’t quite understand, but I’m slowly beginning to see that it’s ego run amok. The author is forcing you to comment on a post you like instead of pressing the ‘like’ button–which to me–is classic passive-aggressive behavior. This is becoming more popular for some reason, and I’ve noticed that at least half of the blogs I subscribe to are starting to do this. It’s such a pain in the ass that I’m going to stop reading the blogs that I can’t participate with in the way I desire.

Why wouldn’t the author of a blog want readers to like a post they’ve worked tirelessly on? Why have the only option for subscribing to a blog via email? See, that shit drives me nuts. I don’t like clogging up my email with alerts from WP–even though I only do that for a select few. I like having all of my subscriptions in one place–in my WP Reader. Maybe this is done by some WordPressers because their worlds don’t exist much outside of WordPress and this is their way of controlling things. I don’t know. All I know is it’s so gauche, and I’m growing weary of it.

<<<END RANT>>>

It’s been some time since I’ve done a news round-up. Why? Well, the news has been a major doggie-downer as of late so the thought of writing about it was causing me to feel like I was going through heroin withdrawal. I’m not a huge fan of vomiting, writhing on the floor and soiling my knickers uncontrollably. If that’s your thing, then hey, knock yerself out.

But, I’m holding off on having those things happen to me until I’m at least 90 years old.

On to the news.

Have a piece of schadenfreude pie, Joe Francis.

Apparently, Mr. “Girls Gone Wild” and all-around douchebag, has his knickers in a bunch because someone stole his iPad that contained a sex tape that he made with his gal pal! Francis is quite steamed about it because the thief is currently shopping said sex tape around to the highest bidder. Waah waah waah!

Joe Francis and his co-star. (photo courtesy of LAist.com)

Joe Francis and his co-star. (photo courtesy of LAist.com)

Francis is the emotionally retarded chap who made underage titty flashing the new thing to aspire to for so many girls who consider “cracker” to be a term of endearment and who frequent spring break getaways like South Padre Island, Ft. Liquordale, and the like. Oh, and he’s been in trouble with the law–he doesn’t like to pay taxes, can’t comprehend the meaning of ‘consent’ and doesn’t quite seem to glean what ‘underage’ means exactly–just to name a few. Oh for fun, get on the google machine and type in ‘Steve Wynn vs. Joe Francis’ and you’ll read some of the best unintentional comic material ever.

 

Question: What comes with an $800 sex toy?

Also, I hate it when this happens. See folks, this is why I keep my sex toys in a locked box in my panic room.

Bravo to Spain for taking a stand on dog poop scofflaws. You know, in Chicago, I think we should have the option of smearing the dog feces on the owners OR smearing them on a Cubs/Sox/Hawks/Bears/Bulls jersey in front of the owner. It all depends on which team the owner supports, and the messier the poop, the better. That’ll never happen since our sleazoid of a mayor is too busy engaging in a circle jerk with no-bid city contractors and parking meters companies.

This made me smile. China Eastern Airlines is getting all of their flight attendants trained in the ancient Chinese secret art of Kung Fu, as a way to protect themselves against hijackers. Tis a noble effort and I had no idea CEA was a target for hijackers. I do hope they’ll channel the surprisingly un-Chinese looking Kwai Chang Caine whilst unloading a high-kick to a hijacker’s noggin.

(courtesy retroland.com)

(courtesy retroland.com)

However, I have a sinking feeling it’ll be more like this:

As for the ear worm, you’re welcome.

 

Slayer Player Slayed?

On Thursday, 49-year old Slayer guitarist, Jeff Hanneman died of liver failure at a Los Angeles hospital.

Now, liver failure is not all that unusual–especially for a hard-livin’ rock star–but in this particular case it is. Some in the medical field are saying that a spider bite Hanneman received 2 years ago was the catalyst.

You read that correctly: A SPIDER BITE.

(courtesy Billboard.com)

(courtesy Billboard.com)

Here’s how the story goes: Apparently, whilst Hanneman was partaking in the ancient art of hot-tubbing, he got hisself bit by an arachnid. The owie healed–sort of–but Hanneman didn’t get medical help and soon necrotizing fasciitis set in.

Don’t know what that is? Well, I was about to post a pix of folks who had this ick, but the pix I found even made me wanna hurl, so I nixed it.

You’re welcome.

While I am not a huge Slayer fan (their music is too damn mellow for McCrabass), and I initially half-ignored the news of Hanneman’s death until I heard about the spider bite.

Some of the worst pain I’ve ever felt was when I got nipped by a Black Widow years ago, which is why this death-by-spider-bite-two-years-later angle has me flummoxed.

Spider bite deaths are rare in this day and age, which is why I am intrigued by what allegedly happened to Hanneman. I’ve heard of people almost losing body parts due to the toxic Brown Recluse bite.

But dying? There’s gotta be more to the this tale.

Until more is discovered, here’s a sweet, little slide show about the most toxic spiders on the planet. Hat-tip to the Daily Beast.

 

 

 

 

Boned

Why am I surprised when an infamous person’s 15 minutes of fame is extended thanks to the brilliant idea of making a sex tape?

I keep hoping that humanity will man-up and put the kibosh on this phenom and actually heap huge rewards upon those of us who worked out asses off and played by the rules. But, as long as there’s a buck or two–or a million–to be made, Z-list celebs and their penchant for recording every fucking move for their half-wit fan base will continue until the sun explodes and kills us all.

Let this sink in and we’ll discuss it.

From The Daily Beast.

Report: ‘Teen Mom’ Signs $1M Porn Deal

“Looks like Farrah Abraham’s “sex tape” is being made into a porno after all. The Teen Mom star reportedly inked a nearly $1 million deal with Vivid Entertainment for the release of her tape, after initially claiming it was for private use only. The porno with James Deen allegedly comes with a classy title, too: “Farrah Superstar: Backdoor Teen Mom.” While most suspected the tape was good old-fashioned porn, Abraham and even Vivid founder and co-chair Steven Hirsch ran with the “sex tape” ruse for a while. Deen, meanwhile, tried to set the record straight that no one would believe it was for private use. “I said I’m like the worst person for this job because, not to be arrogant, but people are gonna know me,” he told The Daily Beast.

farrah.abraham.500x332

For those of you who don’t know who Farrah Abraham is, she is one of the stars of MTV’s reality series “Teen Mom.” Like all of the participants on that show, Farrah realized that as soon as her water broke, being a teen mom just plain sucks wang because not only does she have to deal with the trials and tribulations of being a teenager, she’s also a new mom! From what I’ve heard, being a new mom at any age is the toughest gig around. From time to time I would watch the season which featured Farrah, but had to stop due to the chronic laryngitis I got from yelling at the tee vee.

Admittedly, Farrah was different from most teen moms featured because her baby daddy died in a car crash prior to the birth of their daughter, Sophia, so she didn’t have worry about which baseball cap the baby daddy would be wearing when he picked up their kid for a play date with his new girlfriend’s kid. Or whether or not his facial hair was properly cared for.

Admit it–that’s mighty sad.

However, throw in her porn paramour, James Deen

main_308960k

 

the sage advice of the King of All Snake Oil Salesmen, Dr. Phil,  and we can use an egg timer to tell us exactly when she’ll be spit out of the ass-end of the porn industry. Well, that and the fact that she’s about as bright as a dove bar.

Am I completely surprised by this? Nah, but what this tells me is I need to have a teen mom, make a sex tape and collect a sub-mental fan base.

I’m going back to bed.

The Balcony is Closed

It’s been a while, I know, and I was all ready to write about something I came across earlier in the week.

However, I feel the need to pay tribute to someone who’s work meant a great deal to me–Roger Ebert–who died today after a long battle with cancer.

The Eberts at an event I covered in 2007.

The Eberts at an event I covered in 2007.

His death saddens me tremendously because he was a huge voice, not only in film criticism, but in life in general. His prose and wit were unmatched (except by his late-partner in crime, Gene Siskel), and there isn’t a film critic today who comes close to his abilities. He knew how to read a film, then discuss it in a way that wasn’t condescending or obnoxious.

Ebert was a writer, first and foremost, and that made him so good at his job. His love of film just added to that talent.

As most I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in the Chicago area, so watching Siskel & Ebert, and eventually just Ebert, was required of all Illinois citizens. Also, we had to read their columns to learn how to write criticism, and well, how to write in general. After Siskel died, Ebert was the only critic I paid attention to. Sure, Kenneth Turan, A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis are fine, but…meh…their work doesn’t compare to Ebert’s.

I’ve met Ebert a few times and each meeting, he was kind, gracious and witty. The most memorable was years ago when I was a senior at the University of Wisconsin. My father had the same lawyer as Siskel and Ebert, and said lawyer had an open house at his fab, newly rehabbed greystone in one of Chicago’s tonier neighborhoods. I was an obnoxious, know-it-all film student who became quite verklempt when I heard my father say, “Oh Mr. Ebert, I’d like you to meet my darling daughter, Julia. She’s a film student at Wisconsin, and will be graduating in a few weeks. Hey, any advice you can give her would be GREAT! THANKS!”

Aaaand, my dad disappeared toward the bar.

Thanks, dad.

Great.

This guy is gonna eviscerate me, test me on my knowledge and I’m gonna, like, dieeeee. Imagine my surprise when the exact opposite happened. Ebert and I spent the next hour or so discussing Kurosawa and how important his films are to not only the film world, but to the world in general. We discussed other film makers as well, but I believe that Ebert was touched by the fact that someone so young with an odd hairstyle, dug someone like Kurosawa. Siskel eventually tagged in and the two of us discussed Truffaut for another hour or so.

Needless to say, it was one of the most memorable moments of my life.

I could go on and on about Ebert, but I won’t. I do suggest reading his past columns and his essays on contemporary American life. He had a lot to say and the world will feel this tremendous loss for years.

I leave you with two things–one of my fave Ebert’s quotes, and a Sneak Previews/Siskel & Ebert episode where the two critics discuss the disturbing trend of violence toward women in films.

“’Kindness’ covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.” —Roger Ebert

And the clips–

Plus, a bonus out-take bit with Gene. Classic.

RIP, Roger. The City of Big Shoulders won’t be the same without you.

Damn.

The Lure of the Sideburns

One of the hidden joys of being unemployed is the amount of craptastic tee vee watching I get in on a daily basis. I’m not just talking about the political shows, but shows from the days of yore like “Bewitched”, “Murder She Wrote” and my personal fave “Emergency!”

When my sisters and I weren’t putting on our version of “Godspell” for our patient parents and our slew of household pets, we watched shows like “Emergency!” Hey, what can I say? We were kids growing up in the ‘burbs of Chicago, and there wasn’t a lot to do at night except chase fireflies and spy on the neighbors. Even after a while, the spying became tiresome. I mean, how many times can one watch the neighbor across the street get drunk and pass out on the steps?

“Emergency!” was special because it introduced me to my first tee vee boyfriend, Randolph Mantooth. He was tall, dark and handsome. And for some reason, he never combed his hair and that made him all the more foxy.

Mantooth1

Also, the show introduced me to that dynamic duo of Bobby Troup and his wife, Julie London. You may know him better as the guy who wrote the classic song “Route 66”, and she was a fine lady crooner in her day.

Then, there was Kevin Tighe (Roy DeSoto) who went onto portray, according to Weebs, “some of the meanest, mother fuckers ever.”

kevintighe

Of course, the supporting cast was just as memorable as the stars. And, they sported the best sideburns and porn star staches ever.

cast-station2-bw emergency_cast

“An English Visitor”: Season 3, Ep. 04, (1973) A paramedic from England has a stint with Station 51 observing Roy and John, whose rescues include: a structure fire; a gunslinger’s partner; a car accident; and a man trapped in heavy machinery, where the visitor saves John’s life. At the hospital, Dr. Brackett treats a rock singer in a diabetic coma and Dr. Early has problems with a defiant nurse. (courtesy imdb.com)

Above is the official version, but the following is what I saw.

The episode starts out with the station treating some burned-up cop in an elevator shaft of an old building, which anyone with a trained eye can tell is a building on the backlot at Universal Studios. Guess someone started a fire via Molotov Cocktail which is causing all sorts of drama. God damn militants! Stay tuned…

So, there’s a fella from the other side of the pond visiting Station 51. He’s sportin’ a big-sexy, 70s style ‘stache. Who knows what he’s up to, guv’nuh. Jason (his name), the Brit, is only staying with Station 51 for a few days, then he’s off to Miami to check out another program and hopefully chillax with some ex-pat Cubans. I’m not sure about the ex-pat Cubans part, I just made that up since this particular scene was cut with an axe–it’s that bad.

Meanwhile, a lovely lady who appears to be some sort of  rock star, is passed out in the ER. Dixie thinks she’ remembers her, and is certain she has seen her somewhere before. Cue ominous music…

Gage and DeSoto then go out on yet another call to some sort of Wild West Show gunslingin’ has-been, Homer, who has retired in the north Valley (why there is anyone’s guess). Homer’s wife, Martha, has some sort of cut and is quite scared. He was the best, Martha opined whilst DeSoto worked on her. Then, Homer fired his wee gun at an ugly flower-pot in the beige living room, and the boys skidaddled outta there before they too were covered in beige plaid and bullet fragments. Good riddance, was my reaction.

Back at the hospital, there is dissention in the ranks as Dixie dresses down a nurse who has been defiant with Doc Early. See, there have been complaints against this one particular nurse and she has to realize that she works for Dixie now and that’s that. No if, ands or buts about it! You see, folks, Dixie, is the only one who gets to have ‘tude around Rampart and don’t YOU forget it. 

Patsy, the comatose rock star, has diabeetus, the flu and is exhausted and Doc Brackett AND his sideburns are seeing to it that she gets the proper care. So, he’s never going to leave her side which should be, well, interesting …

Now, a dude with something that resembles a JewFro is wondering why his client –Patsy– is still so sick. He thinks it was the militants, Brackett thinks that maybe she was doing some illegal pharma ingesting and maybe took too much brown acid, or it could the myriad of health problems mentioned above. Who knows, but we’ll find out in the 3rd act. I just want Brackett and this guy to get into a whole “My hair is foxier than your hair” type duel.

Update on the policemen.. Doc Early and Dix are discussing him, now Dixie is whining about the nurse with the ‘issues’, but I really wish they’d break into a version of “route 66″–that would make the scene so much more enjoyable.

If the catheter passed through the tourniquet, it could float in his lungs..” something no one wants to hear EVER. So it’s off to the cath lab to retrieve that sucker. Side note here: you know a scene is uber-dramatical when you hear the swelling of the strings section over the rest of the orchestra.

Oh no, Patsy is circling the drain, but dammit! Doc Brackett is gonna do everything in his power to save her! He said something like “I WANT YOU TO LIVE! I WANT YOU TO LIVE!” while holding her face and probably dislocating her jaw.

Back to the wayward nurse, Sheila. She blames herself for the tourniquet oops and now Dixie is trying to calm her–not through song, but through reason and a comforting tone. So hot–I hope they go at it later.

Uh oh, Jason is hitting on the nurses which ain’t cool since that’s Gage’s MO. See, Johnny Gage is hot–everyone thinks so, and the running joke of the show is how many nurses he can bang. However, since this show was on in the 70s, ‘bang’ was not a euphemism used to describe ‘screwing,’ and come to think of it, ‘screwing’ wasn’t used on the tee vee then either. Hmm. I’m perplexed — I don’t know what term they used.

Next rescue: A major truck accident on the WB backlot–er, I mean in the “North Valley”. The boys had to use some version of the jaws of life to pry the demin-clad Waylon Jennings lookalike from his rig. They had to be careful considering he was wearing some rather rad bell bottoms, and no one in their right mind would want to harm that fashion goodness. Poor dude has a busted ankle and Johnny ain’t feeling too great.

You know why?

Because the truck is loaded with HOOCH! MOTHER NATURE’S HAIR! MARY JANE! POT! All of the fireman instantly ran to the truck to “help” while Vince the ever-present LAPD motorcycle cop looked on with a creepy smile on his face. Yeaaah…it was alll so….niiice…

I bet those folks never figured that the pot would be legal today in California. My oh my have the times changed.

Back to the rock star– Doc Brackett thinks she’s burned out with being all sick and shit. She’s not responding to treatment, and “she may die.” Dumbass Manager JewFro doesn’t quite get it because “you gotta hit it while it’s hot.” Just as Doc Brackett is finishing up his lecture, Patsy crashes! It doesn’t look good folks, but they made sure they covered up her lady bits before saving her life, and kept them covered.

“If we don’t kill this infection, this infection may kill her!”

The finale emergency involves a mishap at a gravel pit. Wait..did LA ever have gravel pits? Really?

So, Jason gets to join Gage and DeSoto on this particular rescue, much to Gage’s chagrin. Hmm..I think something nefarious is about to happen to our guest. Back to the initial rescue, turns out this dumbass guy is trapped in a rock grinder. I mean really, so much for being careful. And just as the rescue was happening, Gage goes and slips and Jason saves his sweet ass from plummeting to his death, and Gage ends up getting a nice wedgie in the process.

“Pull man, PULL!”

Meanwhile that other guy’s legs are dead I bet.

No, no–of course they aren’t! This isn’t “ER”! He ends up getting rescued–of course–and his tuchas is shipped to Rampart for further treatment probably by .

And speaking of Rampart, Patsy is out of the woods, for now. Dixie has re-applied her nude lipstick, and Doc Brackett’s sideburns are still all kinds of awesome. Jason cock-blocked Gage from getting that hot nurse up in orthopaedics AND we learned that our English visitor is a real, live genuine hero. Tally ho, pip pip and all that then, guv’nuh.

I think I’m in love all over again.