Five Things That Make Me Weep Like A Fishwife For Society At Large…

9 Aug

1.  The upcoming “Judge Dredd” re-make

Yeah, I said it.   They’re actually remaking “Judge Dredd” (insert woeful sigh or bewildered gasp here).   Indeed, the barrel that Hollywood has been scraping the bottom of recently in order to deliver us such seminal cinematic masterpieces as “Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star” and  “Wrath of the Titans” seems to have developed the supernatural ability to keep producing films long after the actual bottom has been worn through.  In fact, it seems that we are being forced to subsist on the mildewey sludge that collects on the bottom of the bottom of the barrel in order to satisfy our opiate-like addiction to terrible movies.  It is one thing to re-make a film for the sake of introducing a loveable character or an interesting premise to a new generation of lemmings… it’s another thing entirely to re-boot a movie because you couldn’t possibly fuck it up any worse than the original.  Somewhere, in a dark basement cluttered with empty Hot Pocket packagings and sugar-free Redbull cans, a writer is swinging from his chandelier because he couldn’t sell his screenplay to the guy who was busy remaking the worst Stallone movie of all time.  Come on, worse that Cliffhanger?  Worse than Rocky V?  Oh yeah…  degrees of the opposite of genius maybe, but yes.  And the bleakest tragedy in this latest Hollywood holocaust is that in some posh house in L.A., a producer is preparing his money silo for a Scrooge McDuck-like swim amongst his stacks of cash… all because he threw a dart at his DVD collection and it happened to stick in the unopened packaging of the worst movie of 1995.  Bravo, people.  If you could make a few million dollars repainting five dogs playing poker in crayon and magic marker, I’m sure you would.

 

2.  People that aren’t me who drive a car… anywhere

I was rear-ended by a tow truck driver last week.  Now, the convenience of said collision not withstanding… are you fucking kidding me?  Not only was the irony of the situation searing my brain like a George Forman grill as I realized exactly who hit me, but I swear that I looked into my rear view moments before impact and saw this human mullet rack on his cell phone.  My internal monologue in those two to three seconds was as follows: “That’s an awfully big truck.  I wonder if he’s calling his buddy to ask if he should slow down when approaching another car stopped at a red light in front of him.  No, no… he’s ordering tickets the Eddie money show this weekend.  This is not going to end well.”  So, while Lenny (that’s a reference, read some Steinbeck, will you?) was busy securing two tickets to paradise, I was already getting my insurance info out of my glove box and wondering how I was going to get a ride to work tomorrow.  Eddie money is a guilty pleasure to many, yes… but never would I have thought that he would ruin my weekend without me actually attending one of his concerts.  The sad fact is, when society at large gets behind the wheel, I feel like a deer in the crosshairs of the highest powered asshole rifle available for public consumption.  Come to think of it, you fucking deer aren’t helping matters much, either.  Several weeks ago, I actually saw a deer run into a parked car in the middle of northern Philadelphia.  I’m sure the poor thing was confused, but that was no excuse for him to be talking on his cell phone the whole time.

 

3.  The Entire City of Detroit

Wow, what a city.  The embers of productive industry having been long extinguished in Michigan’s deepest hole, I’m afraid my professional diagnosis is that the entire metropolis of Detroit, as a singular entity, has a severe case of borderline personality disorder.  “Oh, you’re from Detroit.  That must be nice.  What?  Well, fuck you and your mother, too!”  Now, as a lifetime resident of Philadelphia, I understand what it is to wear the city that you’re from as a badge of honor on your sleeve.  What I don’t understand is how you can still do that with no sleeves on.  Seriously, Detroit… get a real fucking shirt.  I suppose you’re well within your rights as residents to be bitter about the declining state of affairs in your community, but that doesn’t make it okay to rev the engine of your Charger like an asshole and try to run me off Eight Mile Road just because I have a Pennsylvania license plate.  Just keep your hands on the wheel and don’t make eye contact.  I’m sure that Robocop will have this city cleaned up in no time.  And if he can’t, here’s some advice for anyone planning on visiting this emotional time bomb of a commonwealth:  Slap a Lions bumper sticker on your car, grab a toothpick to chew on, start practicing referring to almost anything as “some bullshit,” and hold on for dear life.  If you’re not from Detroit, you’re clearly against Detroit… and you should be punished accordingly.  After all, that’s what you get for being some uppity yuppie from somewhere else; and if you continue to insist on speaking in complete sentences and having an opinion other than “fuck that,” we’re gonna have a problem.

 

4.  Lance Armstrong and Associated Parties            

First of all, let’s just roll with the assumption that there’s some sort of chemical imbalance involved in making the choice to be what can only be described as “decked out” in pro cycling gear at any point in one’s life.  Even if you’re a pro cyclist, that’s no excuse for looking like a tightly cased sausage in public.  That said, my gripe with Lance Armstrong lies not in his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs, but in the fact that his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs has made me pay attention to anything related to pro cycling.  Seven Tour De France wins… don’t really care.  A courageous comeback from testicular cancer to rise to the top of his profession… meh.  Starting a charity that has helped thousands of people to deal with life-altering afflictions… yawn.  The fact that he almost certainly used chemical enhancements to accomplish all f these things… Goddamn it, I sort of care.  I can’t help it.  Blowing out someone’s candle to let yours shine brighter is no noble thing, but a candle that big being blown out in such a public spectacle… makes me feel a little warm and fuzzy inside, I have to admit.  Somehow, I think, him being outed as a cheat and a liar makes me a better person… or at least, significantly more confident in my cynicism and ability to loathe anybody more successful than I am.  The fact is, I don’t have the motivation or the gumption to cheat my way to even one Tour De France victory, let alone seven.  If you think about it, that’s a feat worthy of acclaim all by itself.

 

5.  Workplace Reality Shows

Okay, I get it… crab fishing is really dangerous, baking cakes is harder than you might think, and running a pawnshop is… glamorous?  Let’s clear that up right away, just go to ANY pawn shop.  Working in one of those places has to be the professional equivalent of working the lost luggage counter at the Detroit airport… or any other job in Detroit, for that matter.  Whatever happened to the good old days of watching twelve barely sentient, morally reprehensible sacks of meat run around an Island together pretending to have an ambition other than being on Television?  Now I have to watch people getting their cars repossessed while having one of the lowest points in their lives filmed without their permission?  It’s a good thing that legally, nobody can be filmed without their permission and ALL of those people are actors and NONE of it is real.  So, what’s the deal reality TV?  Did you really peak with “The Simple Life?”  And why hasn’t there been anybody on “The Real World” in fifteen seasons that I don’t immediately want to drown in my bathtub that I’ve filled with the tears that I shed when Paula Abdul was fired from “American Idol?”  She didn’t know where she was, anyway… what’s the harm in keeping her around for my entertainment?  Now I find myself rooting for some thrift store owner to win a storage locker auction in the hopes that, inside that locker, there might be a far more interesting subject for a reality show.   Next on “Non-Ice Road Truckers,” Curly drives in the same direction for what seems like an impossible amount of time.  Tune in next week when he cries alone in the cab of his truck, trying to convince himself that he’s moved past getting blown by some skeevy dude hanging around some shady truck stop.  Don’t worry, I’m warming up the DVR right now.

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