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Monthly Archives: October 2006

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Steve Irwin – Still Dead

Yeah I’m all broken up about it. At least as broken up as the average guy who has his own problems is, over the death of a major multi-millionaire celebrity who got famous doing dangerous things to animals for the amusement of the public.

Celebrities are a disease. I don’t mean literally. Well I do.

Once upon a time we had kings. Then we had outlaws. Both were legendary, famed and people envied and made up songs up and told stories of. Both also killed people. Celebrities rarely kill people but when they do, like kings and outlaws, they usually get away with it.

Celebrities are like Christmas or MothersFathersGrandparentsCreepy Uncle’s Days. They have no relevance or connection to anything in our society or our lives, yet they’re thrust on us as part of a massive marketing industry. Like Halloween and Christmas, they exist to sell things. Not greeting cards or toys but magazines, TV shows, movies and all that rot.

Celebrities like greeting card holidays oppress us by their very existence. At least the seemingly endless passage of Christmas songs end after two months or so, celebrities never go away. They’re on the news, they’re in headlines everywhere, they’re in sitcom jokes, in conversation. You can refuse to see a single one of their movies or listen to one of their CD’s or read a single celebrity magazine and still you wind up having you head filled with the idiotic details of their romances and lives.

They never go away except when they die and even then their deaths usually last longer than Christmas. When a celebrity goes you can count on at least a month of news stories, prep time for the funeral, endless broadcasts of all the people he touched and was found not guilty of touching.

And even in the death on it goes. The media builds up a celebrity. Then they tear him down. Then he dies and they eulogize him. Then the backlash begins. The media profits and anyone with an IQ over 2o begins caulking their ears shut.

Steve Irwin was an annoying TV character, who was possibly a human being, whom people found entertaining because he fit the stereotypes of Australians derived entirely from cartoons, breakfast cereals and Crocodile Dundee. For the American version imagine a guy in a cowboy hat firing six guns into the air, yelling Yee Ha constantly and trying to sell you everything under the sun. For the British a guy in a bowler hat with a black umbrella and a monocle whose sentences slide out lubricated by an upper class accent.

The media kept him around because he entertainingly did stupid things with animals. Apparently he was also an environmentalist. Then the media found him doing something stupid with animals that involved a small child and within moments a salivating press which is always eager for any outrage involving small children or nubile blond co-eds, tore him apart. Then he died and the press declared an extended season of mourning as if someone important had actually died. Then the backlash came and the media wavered between acting outraged and secretly encouraging it because in the end controversy sells paper and toilet paper commercials too.

Months have passed. Irwin is still dead. South Park seized on it with an unfunny joke, which didn’t need to be funny, because publicity was the real point of it. Bill Maher, who is to comedy what gangrene is to a salad bar, dressed up as a dead Irwin. Both were lame but ironically appropriate since what they were doing amounted to dragging Irwin’s corpse around in the hopes of getting noticed.

Is it still considered necrophilia when celebrities try to use other celebrities to get publicity? Does it count that they’re screwing the public, instead of the actual corpse? Does it matter?

Well I’ll Be Buggered

I’m now the Number 1 google search result for “He Buggered Me” thanks to my posting of the exclusive interview with deposed and forgotten Haitian President Jean Bertrand “He Buggered Me” Aristide.

So frequent were the mentions of buggering in that interview that Google which otherwise spits on me and ignores me chose to rank it first. So to the Bloke from Australia doing the buggering search, I wish you much buggering luck.

Why Battlestar Galactica Sucks

It’s not clear why Ron Moore finished up 7 years of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and after a failed stay on Voyager and an embarrassing one on teen soap opera Roswell, decided that recreating the last few seasons of Deep Space Nine was the way to go.

But it’s what he did nonetheless turning the relaunch of Battlestar Galactica along the same well worn ruts in the dirt. Don’t believe me? Try this?

*Long drawn out war that seems hopeless and futile and challenges our morality and sense of ourselves? Check.

*A plot underpinned by convoluted mysticism expressed as vague mystical symbolism, visions and prophetic signs, not actually grounded in any real religious belief. Check again.

*A Six part arc dealing with occupation by the enemy and resistance? Ummm Battlestar Galactica cut it down to four episodes. Written of course by longtime DS9 story editors David Thompson and David Weddle, who serve the same function on Battlestar Galactica.

All the spilled ink on the ‘genius’ of Battlestar Galactica’s 3rd season addressing themes of resistance, collaboration, morality in times of war, etc… etc. ad naseum don’t have the wits to realize they’re praising retreads from a Star Trek spinoff, produced by its old writers. The only thing new Battlestar Galactica has to throw into the mix are weak attempts at recreating scenes from the evening news “look plumes of smoke over grungy warehouses’ as a supposed commentary on Iraq or the LA Riots or the time the Paramount set caught fire.

All it takes is removing the Star Trek label from the show, replacing the talented cast of DS9 with a cast of mostly faceless young attractive actors and making an analogy so dumbed down and obvious that even the most cocaine sniffing Hollywood producers can grasp it, and you’re celebrated for your genius. Anyone can do it.

Want to remake Lost in Space? Easy. We’ll replace the cast with a bunch of fresh faces that wouldn’t look out of place on The Real World, leave in a few adults to keep things ‘serious’, throw in nudity and set the whole thing IN IRAQ. See genius? Lost in Space in Iraq! It’s an analogy! It’s visionary! It’s complete crap.

But why stop there? There’s tons of classic Scifi shows begging, just begging I tell you to be re- imagined the same way. Just imagine the Twilight Zone. IN IRAQ! ‘You are journeying beyond the boundaries of imagination, beyond this door lies a place called IRAQ.” Just throw in some oversaturated grainy film and shaky camera work and you’re all done.

Then there’s the Six Million Dollar Man IN IRAQ. SeaQuest DSV IN IRAQ. Small Wonder IN IRAQ. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IN IRAQ. Don’t forget Planet of the Apes IN IRAQ. Follow the human insurgency against the American Ape overlords. “But we just came to rebuild human democracy,” says Dr. Zayus. “Go to hell you damn dirty Yankee ape!” See it’s easy when you know how.

Take Deep Space Nine, subtract the adventure, the encounters with alien lifeforms, the wormhole, the relationships, the comedy (Battlestar Galactica is funny like a hole in the head), the sense of fun and the travel to other planets and you’re left with Battlestar Galactica. Subtract Adama and Tigh and you’re left with The Real World: Battlestar Galactica edition. Can the housemates get along with their new Cylon buddies. Who the hell cares anyway?

Me? I’m still waiting for Ron Moore to reimagine Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles myself.

Shredder: Give it up turtles, your insurgency is defeated and soon we will tackle the complexity of tasks involved in rebuilding your damaged sewer infrastructure.

Michaelangelo: Never! The ninja turtle insurgency will resist your sewer occupation to the last pizza breath!

Raphael: Wait, I’m having vague mystical visions of something with tilting camera angles and possibly Pizza. But I’m sure it points a way towards our true destiny.

Thank you Mr. Ronald D. Moore. That was unambiguously a work of true genius.

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