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Archive for the 'Guest Column' Category

Piranha 3D: Filleted By Fish

Posted by scott on August 29th, 2010

D.Sidhe was kind enough to give WO’C first crack at publishing her review of Piranha 3D, and naturally we leaped from the water and snapped at it. Enjoy!

You know, I’d say I was disappointed with Piranha 3D, but that would require me having expected it to be good cinema or filmed with an actual script or something. It was 90 minutes of naked tits, in 3D. The second half, there was blood on them.

In terms of plot-oriented-excuse-for-blood-and-nudity, you have an inland lake, a pile of drunken college kids, a female sheriff (Elisabeth Shue), her teenage son (Steven R McQueen), his underten precocious sister and stubborn brother, and some random chick the teenage son sort of likes, and the random chick’s jerk boyfriend. Also, Eli Roth, who is not required to act but merely to spray water on drunken t-shirted college girls (and what the point of that is, I dunno, we’ve got naked fucking tits across the screen for much of the film, and we’re supposed to be in any way interested in clothed ones? Who bothers to hold a wet t-shirt contest with chicks who’ve spent all damned weekend in string bikinis in and out of a lake to begin with? It’s like watching a porno director dismiss the stars to film ten minutes of drawings from bathroom walls). And you have the guy from Sliders, who is pretending to be the guy from Girls Gone Wild with the serial numbers filed off him. (It’s been noted in some reviews that this is an attempt at satire, but I would suggest it’s actually just an excuse for gratuitous sex and violence. Robocop may have managed satire in its over-the-top violence, but this is closer to asking your sister’s friends to take off their shirts so you can satirize men who want women to take off their shirts.)

The creepy director (Jerry O’Connell) hires the teenage son of the sheriff to be his location scout around the lake, despite the teenage son having already agreed to watch the underten siblings. The kids agree to lie to mom and stay home and out of trouble, for cash, of course, and promptly decide to hop into the canoe and go fishing on some little barren island in the lake, thus setting up a future rescue of adorable kids rather than just drunken sluts, who, frankly, mostly do not get saved. See? A moral message!

You also have some random earthquake which releases a bunch of prehistoric piranha into the lake who, while crazed with hunger and attacking everything in their path, actually eat surprisingly little of it, and in The Scene You’ve Already Heard All About actually spit food out. Because, you know, millennia in an underground lake and resorting to cannibalism is one thing, but when someone sets out a buffet, it’s only polite to try a little of everything.

Without spoiling it too badly, I will say Eli Roth would probably have wanted to go that way, though he might have preferred going the way that guy from Sliders did. Elisabeth Shue has three kids and no discernible belly, to my partner’s delight. And, holy fuck, people, they make transparent swim fins for a reason! For THAT reason! That reason right there, the two naked chicks making out underwater with the stupid blue flippers on. Man, spend a little cash.

Everybody dies who you’d expect to die (Another pointed theme of the movie: Men who refer to women as “bitch” will die, and people who try to save themselves rather than others mostly will die as well. Who says horror can’t be morally upstanding?), and also a whole lot of people you never see before they die, and now I’m considering a theory that there’s a specific number of people you can kill in a horror movie to hit the sweet spot between too-few-boredom and too-many-boredom. I mean, apocalypse movies are different, having the whole world end seems disturbing on some level, but when they’re killing several hundred people in ten minutes or so, you basically don’t give a damn after the first dozen or so, especially not if they’re people you know damned well you’d fucking hate to begin with. Also, attn: directors. When you’ve got fish killing and maiming several hundred people in ten minutes, it’s fairly stupid to (almost) pause the carnage around minute seven so you can play sad music and kill someone you think we’re supposed to care about. Because, you know, we really won’t.

The resolution of all this caused actual groans of annoyance from the people sitting behind us, being the sort of plan MacGyver might come up with after repeated head trauma. It’s basically the same ending as Piranha 2, with added stupid. (My God, what they can do with advanced movie technology nowadays!)

Also, try not to let your marketing people fuck up the last scare by stuffing it in all the damned commercials.

None of which is to say I didn’t like it. It definitely benefits from low expectations, and I personally will watch anything that involves aquatic creatures eating humans, because I am easily amused. Piranha 3D isn’t My Dinner with Andre, but it’s not Mansquito either, and it is absolutely watchable if bafflingly high budget. To be scrupulously fair about the movie, when it was over I couldn’t remember any lines from it, and neither could my partner. Just an awful lot of boobs and blood. We remember laughing, and at things that were even intentionally funny, but don’t remember what any of them were. So it’s a great movie if you’re looking to waste a couple hours in an amusing and entirely pointless way.

It would actually probably be the best piranha movie I’ve seen if I was, you know, really into blondes or big tits, but I’m not. My nod still goes to Siffy Channel’s Mega Piranha, starring Greg Brady and what turns out to be a surprisingly hot aging Popstar Tiffany (After seeing this one and Debbie Gibson in Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus, I can’t wait for them to cast Britney Spears opposite a hoard of slowly invading venomous sea cucumbers), if only because of the sheer missing-the-pointness of the whole piranha concept. Look, piranha are scary because they’re small enough to sneak up on you, and while one can’t do that much damage, they tend to bring their buddies. If you have piranha big enough to leap from a river and destroy buildings and bridges and naval destroyers, you wind up with a movie where most of their victims die from being crushed, and you have to wonder why they didn’t just CG in, say, meteorites or rains of elephants or something. Killer bees, for example, are scary. But if you’re alone with one of them the size of a polar bear, how much scarier is that than simply being in a room with a pissed off polar bear? Decide what kind of money shot rampage you want your beasts to go on before you pick a genus, is all I’m saying. Especially when the plotlike pseudoreason you’ve decided to go with is, “Well, we wanted to make giant fish to feed the hungry! So, you know, gigantic pack killers who’ve been known to attack humans! I mean, sure, pacu might taste better–or even, say, cows–but what’s the fun in that?” (If you haven’t seen it, do try. Tiffany can’t act and toward the end simply dissolves into a puddle of her own hilarious melodrama, screaming about how she just wants all the fish dead, in amazing imitation of  13 year old girl “I hate you! I wish I was adopted!” tantrums.)

My partner wishes to note that the very worst most unbearably stupid part of this movie was the scene where Agent Taciturn McJaw is attacked by giant piranha who leap from the water, and defends himself by falling on his back and kicking them away one after the other. Also watch for the magically morphing getaway cars in the jungle chase scenes. Given Mega Piranha‘s provenance ( The Asylum–yes, the people who just announced they’ve signed Urkel to star in Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus) it’s possible at least some of the laughs were intentional.

Piranha 3D is inexplicably referred to by assorted reviewers as a remake of the 1978 Joe Dante-directed Piranha (now rereleased on DVD without closed captions), which I guess it sort of is, if you assume they were concerned about being sued for infringement if their plot made any sense. (Director Alexandre Aja says it’s not, but who listens to what the director says?) The original movie, you may recall, involved a climax at a summer camp full of underten girls and significantly less–not to say no–nudity, or for that matter violence. Ah, we were more innocent back then, sort of.

Plotwise, Piranha 3D is actually closer to Piranha 2: The Spawning. But I would say James Cameron still gets to keep his line about the best flying killer fish movie ever, since these guys don’t fly, they just sort of jump. Piranha 2, a largely troubled film that is apparently what scared James Cameron off of attempting plots more complicated than his graphic effects, is a passing fancy, most notable for early eighties hair, Lance Henriksen, and fish that squeak and actually flap their pectoral fins to leave the water. It is not without gratuitous nudity, though we now know that there’s a point far beyond gratuitous.

I’m completely ignoring the 1995 remake, as I haven’t seen it and Wikipedia suggests it’s basically new actors reading the 1978 script, with special effects footage actually lifted from the first movie.

I’ve decided not to see anymore movies in 3D, though. I don’t think my brain works that way.  All I got was blurry edges, and flat but layered dimensional effects. It was like ninety minutes of watching crew carry standees of the actors back and forth past each other. Like when your Bible study teacher cut out those pictures of the apostles and pasted them to popsicle sticks for the puppet show, only with T&A and more swearing, though possibly a similar amount of drinking.

In any event, probably the best part of the movie was seeing a great many small children being brought into the theater. It was a matinee, but still. Some eight year old girl was brought in by what was clearly her dad and that friend of her dad’s who her mom thinks is such a bad influence. We moved to sit two rows behind her, because, frankly, I hate kids, and I thought her reactions would be entertaining. In retrospect, we’d have been better off behind the three thirteen-ish boys who were escorted in and abandoned by someone’s mother’s lackadaisical  parenting  skills. They clearly enjoyed the female nudity (giggles, smirky nudges, “Dude, you’re gettin’ a boner, I can see it!”), the male nudity not so much (gagging, farting noises, “That’s gay!”), and The Scene You’ve Already Heard All About had them yelping and hunching over their laps. That said, the kids all clearly knew what they were in for, and none of them seemed unduly traumatized, which, actually, might mean they’re already fucked up beyond where a movie like this can take their little psyches, but there you go.

The saddest part was the trailer for Tron: The Legacy, at which no one in the theater hooted derisively. Really, audience? Really?

You’ll be delighted to know that the guy at BigHollywood with the silly macho name just loved this movie, especially the naked chicks making out underwater, which for whatever reason didn’t annoy him the same way it annoyed me. Either he was willing to overlook the clunky blue swim fins, or he wasn’t actually focusing on the actresses’ feet. Meanwhile, the Movieguide.org people have apparently elected not to review it at all, which is just as well, I suppose, since they think Eat, Pray, Love is going to lead you into new age darkness. Also, their “high” profanity count is 25 instances, which I’m pretty sure we hear in the first three lines of Jerry O’Connell’s dialogue. After twenty five “fucks”,  Ted Baehr probably goes over like a fainting goat and neg-3s your appalling worldview just on principles. If they get around to it, I would expect them to make much outraged note of the fact that Elisabeth Shue’s husband is not in evidence, and possibly to note that the young daughter declares bras unwearably “itchy” as part of its feminist worldview, because they have a way of picking out the weird shit to freak out over.

Focus on the Family’s Pluggedin.com, however, took the hook, and is choosing to look on the bright side, at least briefly–they note that various characters behave heroically in saving the unsaved partiers. Hilariously, they offer as “spiritual content”: “The Wild Wild Girls director whispers to a girl, ‘Your body is a temple and now is the time to give thanks,’  as he licks her bikini-clad and tequila-covered body”. Credit where it’s due, at least they remembered some lines.

The much-touted girl-vomits-at-the-audience-in-3D scene is highly overhyped, but the other Scene You’ve Already Heard All About is gratuitously everything they say it is, even if it makes no real sense. If you want more details, the good folks at themoviespoiler.com provide. There’s also an official movie website piranha-3d.com and, in case you can’t find brief flashes of bare tits anywhere else on the web, a site for the movie’s “Wild Wild Girls” content linked from there. Me, I’m hoping the already-announced sequel (“Piranha 4D: Ad Infinitum” *) will include candiru.

For the record, there are quite a few real life piranha species and some of them… eat fruit. And I have now, in addition to crushing your joy, taught you at least one thing. Unless you already knew that. Lastly, let me show you something pretty, from Ray Troll (No boobies, but if you wander his site you will see a few in paintings, generally in the form of visual puns.) This picture of the prehistoric megapiranha is not yet available on a t-shirt, but lots of other cool things are.

* Yes, I made that up. Not about the sequel, but the title. I’m actually guessing they’ll go with “Piranhas” and skip attempts at sorting out what sequel ordinal this deserves.

Save One of Those Poppers for Maggie Gallagher. She’s Gonna Need It.

Posted by scott on August 4th, 2010

Well, I don’t know how long we’ll be allowed to savor this victory, but I’m going to savor the hell out of it while I can.  In the meantime, Bill S. pointed us to this secret strategy from the National Organization for Marriage and released by WikiLeaks.

And in conclusion, Bill has composed a hasty but heartfelt little ditty for the occasion:

(to the tune of “Oh, Happy Day”)

Oh, happy Gay! (Oh, Happy Gay!)
Oh, happy Gay! (Oh, Happy Gay)
When bigots lost (bigots lost!)
When bigots lost (Really lost!)
Oh, when they lost (Bigots lost!)
On prop 8 today
(Oh Happy Gay)

Oh, by the way (May I say)
Oh, by the way (May I just say)
Their case was weak (Weak it was!)
Oh, lame and weak (Weak it was!)
How week it was!
Testify, Tisinai!

I hate kick someone when they’re down, but, “ suck on that!”
Unless they’re just a dumb, spiteful clown-or NOM Asshat!

Oh happy Gay (Oh happy Gay)
Oh happy Gay (Oh, happy gay)
Equality (Quality!)
Equality (Quality)
Equality (Quality)
In Cali-for-ni-a

-Bill S

Update: Our friend Evan at Truth Wins Out has a delightful compendium of anti-gay wingnuts working their bile ducts like a pump handle.

Google Street Vi-EWWW!

Posted by scott on July 24th, 2010

Here’s a subspace distress call we just received from our good friend and drinking buddy, Chris Vosburg:

Captain’s log, Stardate 100724:

Stellar Cartography has identified an anomaly hovering over one of the Camerford System planets, and a class 3 probe launched to investigate has disappeared without a trace. An attempt to dispatch Ensign Crusher to the site in a shuttlecraft has been scotched by Doctor Crusher, who has unfortunately been made wary by the repeated attempts to shove her son Weasley out the nearest airlock.

In other words, one of the local Jays has boldly shat where no bird has shat before, right on the dome of Google’s passing Street Level camera vehicle.

Personally, I have no problem with the Googlemobile, but as I have learned from repeated attacks, the Jay is a very territorial bird, and moves quickly– and accurately, i might add– to defend what’s hers.

How do I know a Jay did that? You might well ask, as did the authors of this book.

No shit, you could look it up.

Simple Twits of Hate

Posted by scott on April 9th, 2010

Guest Column by Bill S.

Other bloggers have already waxed more eloquently on the Constance McMillen imbroglio than I’m likely to do, but I’d still like to put in my two cents. For those who still don’t know about it: Constance was a high school senior, a lesbian who wanted to attend the prom with a female date. When the school board rejected the request and then canceled the prom altogether, she took legal action, and the prom was back on. But the senior class held a seperate prom the same night, and didn’t invite, so the only people who attended the real prom were Constance and 7 others, two of whom had learning disabilities.

But is all this enough to make Fulton, Mississippi “the meanest town in America”?

At the website LA FIGA, two students posted comments to offer their side of the story. The first, who went by “begleg10,” but later identified herself as Lindsay, offered this:

**Open Minded Readers Only**
I am a senior at IAHS and I’ve known Constance for 6 years. Please hear our side of the story before you decide on our fate.

You mean we get a vote on that? Oh, goody. If only I was Carrie White…

The party we had in Evergreen (the county neighborhood I live in) is 30 mins away from the school. we rented out the community center, hired vendors, decorated and our parents ran the security/chaperone staff–but it wasn’t prom.

It was just a quiet little get-together for 400 people.

Prom was at the country club where constance and 7 other students were. The reason the senior class boycotted the actual prom was not because we hate gays. We just wanted a drama-free gathering to celebrate 3 great years and 1 lousy one together, and we wanted to lay low. We also wanted to do it without the main cause of the lousy. What people are failing to realize is that much of the fault of this whole stink lies with Constance, not her mistreatment by the school district, but her crazy-reckless need for attention.

Yeah, she should have accepted that mistreatment and kept her mouth shut.

It sounds mean an horrible and like we planned it all specifically to embarrass Constance, but we didn’t. We let her have her prom with her girlfriend and her tuxedo and we went to party it up in the “boondocks” not because we wanted her rights violated, but so we could salvage what has turned into a total fiasco.

Yes, the mere presence of a lesbian couple at a prom would make the festivities a “total fiasco.” What a perfectly reasonable reaction.

As a whole we didn’t support her decision to throw the district under a bus, or her insinuations that we’re all just a bunch ‘a hicks driving around in beater pickup trucks spitting tobacco juice and burning crosses.

And this was a perfect way to dispel that image.

IAHS is one of the top schools in the state and I’m proud of that, and I’m proud that took a stand and said, you know what? Forget it, we have just as much right as you do to have a party for ourselves. So we did, and now we’re getting flack because poor Connie’s ego got a bit of a bruising. She’s playing the lesbian card to prove she ALWAYS gets what she wants. This time, we just didn’t let her.

In the previous paragraph, Lindsay said they weren’t setting out to embarrass Constance, and now, she’s admitting, flat out, that it’s exactly what they were trying to do. And, y’know, if you want to prove you’re not a homophobe, you may want to steer clear of saying things like “she played the lesbian card.” And you might also want to dial back the righteous outrage too. Because if you remove the fact that Constance is a lesbian from this scenario, you’ll see just how ridiculous it is:

“That Constance! She always gets what she wants!”

“What does she want this time?”

“She wants to attend the prom…with a date…who accepted her invitation.”

“Sheesh, what a spoiled bitch! Wait a minute, isn’t that the same thing we want?”

Take it as you will, because I’m sure it sounds like we faked her out, but understand this — the decision NOT to attend the prom had nothing to do with the school or with Constance’s sexual preferences — it had everything to do with proving we we’re going to let her or the ACLU steamroll us into doing what Constance wanted. We flexed the muscle of the majority and we’ll suffer the consequence.

Oh, I see. So you weren’t doing this because you’re a bunch of reactionary bigots. You were just innocently ganging up on one kid because you just don’t like her.

That’s a lot better.

Another student, identified only as “softballgirl10,” had a few things to say as well:

as another student at IAHS im TIRED OF THIS. it has made me LOSE FAITH IN THE MEDIA. NONE OF YOU KNOW CONSTANCE. she has been pulling this stuff for years and I doubt she’s a lesbian frankly.

Golly, you’re right. I don’t know her, so I guess I’ll just take your word for it that she’s — wait, I don’t know you either.

but whatever she’s got her college paid for and she got to wear her “different” tux and everyone loves her and she’s got exactly what she wanted…

And all you got was the award for the best imitation of Regina George.

and i don’t understand the disabled kids stuff. we don’t even talk to them, so stop judging. they could have come to our prom if they wanted to.

So they weren’t excluded, they just weren’t told about it. Thanks for clearing that up. Hey, I thought Lindsay said it wasn’t a prom?

also i’m proud of our administration for backing us up by the way instead of running away from all of you. that’s courage, not trying to get away with wearing weird clothes.

Yes, it’s truly courageous to crush any sign of nonconformity.

you know what i mean by weird. what if she wanted to come to prom with a police siren on her head? one that’s really loud would you defend her then??

Of course not — it’d clash with the tux.

that’s what SHE WAS DOING THIS FOR TO GET PEOPLE TO STARE AT HER. she is using the lesbian thing as an excuse to look like a victim but she JUST WANTS YOU TO LOOK AT HER. she ruined our year…

Your entire school year was ruined because she dresses differently? How mature.

So, let me just see if I’ve got this: Constance wanted to attend her senior prom with a female date, and wear a tux. Neither of those things would have actually harmed anybody, so there was no reason to refuse this request. In fact, if she was likely to raise a fuss, the logical thing to do was allow it and move on. Unless of course, you were anticipating drama from somebody other than Constance.

But the school not only rejected this request, it canceled prom altogether, punishing not just her, but the entire senior class. Since the only effect this could have was turning Constance into a social pariah, the was obviously the only purpose of it.

So Constance sued, which was logically in the best interest of her class, since she was getting back the prom the school took away. And how did her class respond? By branding her the troublemaker, and, with the assistance of their parents, holding a private prom from which she was excluded.

I guess I have misjudged them.

They’re even bigger assholes than I thought.

-Bill S

Are You “With It” in a “Happening” Kind of Way? I’m “Dope”…

Posted by scott on February 20th, 2010

Wo’C Cultural Correspondent Bill S. takes us down to Funky Town by way of Electric Avenue, because the inbound I-94 is usually a mess this time of day…

Hey Folks!

If you think CPAC is nothing but a bunch of old, white bigots, lemme drop some knowledge on you:

Here’s a vision for this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference: outside, Lou Dobbs is waxing cranky on the country’s economic decline. Inside, the hip crowd will be playing video games, watching movies, eating snacks, and listening to rap music.

Organizers say the conference, which kicks off Thursday in Washington, has had a large college contingent for years now.

…who get bored very easily, which is understandable. And hungry too.

But they are making an extra push to to attract that crowd with youth oriented talks and the addition of something called the XPAC lounge-a room one organizer dubbed, “the hub of fun.”

That’s where the video games and junk food will be.

The XPAC lounge is the brainchild of Kevin McCullough (’nuff said) and actor Stephen Baldwin, who ceased to be interesting or useful the day he stopped baring his ass in movies. Just the sort of guys who can relate to our nation’s youth. In that they have the combined mental age of a 12 year old. But that’s not all…

There’ll be a distinct conservative component, no doubt. Icons of the right like Ann Coulter and Republican National Comittee chairman Michael Steele are expected to speak there and work the room.

Well, if that doesn’t draw the youngsters, nothing will. I’ve never thought of Coulter as an “icon” — she’s more like a hood ornament. Still, it should be exciting; I’ll bet when she stands in the glow of the video games, you can see her internal organs. And if Michael Steele plays “Dance Revolution,” please, please let there be video footage.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody of Joe the Plumber stature came in three times a day to come in and rally the kids,” CPAC spokesman Ian Walters said.

Oh, neither would I.

But organizers are putting a premium on the fun factor…It will be the scene of a late-night “rap/jam session” on Thursday and a conservative comedy lineup on Friday.

Something tells me the “rap/jam” session will be funnier than the comedy lineup.

[CPAC director] Lisa De Pesquale said conservatives in general are starting to get back in the game of attracting young people-and suggested they make up a vibrant counterculture on college campuses…”To be a rebel on campus, you have to be a conservative”

Ben Shapiro’s a rebel and he’ll never ever be any good. Really. Never. Ever.

McCullough said young conservatives are plenty capable of being active in the movement, particularly with new media. He said they just need to be “empowered.”

Instead of merely entitled.

He cited James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, activists both in their 20′s known for their ACORN sting operation last year.


If those are the kind of assholes they want to attract, then I say, keep ‘em distracted with video games and rap music for as long as possible.

But these attempts to appeal to youth culture are nothing new. Back in 1965, when Barry McGuire topped the charts with , a song that touched on troubling events of the day like the threat of nuclear war, the War Over Water, Bloody Sunday and the Kennedy assassination. a trio called The Spokesmen felt the need to offer an alternative point of view. The result was “The Dawn of Correction,” and answer record to “Eve of Destruction.” To fully appreciate depth of their accomplishment, you have to watch this video from Hollywood A-Go-Go:

I especially like the trio of improv dancers in the background. For those who didn’t follow them, here are the lyrics:

The western world has a common dedication
To keep people free from Red domination
And maybe you can’t vote boy, but man your battle stations
Or there’ll be no need for votin’ in future generations.

Sure, you could get your head blown off just a few months out of high school. But that’s the sacrifice you should be willing to make for your grandki — oh. never mind.

So over and over again you keep sayin’ it’s the end.
But I say you’re wrong, we’re just on the dawn of correction.

In “Eve of Destruction,” the refrain is “over and over again, my friend.” But these guys know who they’re addressing and wisely leave the “friend” part out.

There are buttons to push in two mighty nations
But who’s crazy enough to risk annihilation?
The buttons are there to ensure negotiation
So don’t be afraid boy, it’s our only salvation.

I think the Holy Hand Grenade is more effective. And I’m confused: in the first verse you were saying the Russkies are threatening us with world domination, and now you’re saying we really shouldn’t worry about it, because they’re not crazy enough to actually nuke us?

So over and over again you keep sayin’ it’s the end
But I say you’re wrong, we’re just on the dawn of correction.

You tell me that marches won’t bring integration
But look what it’s done for voter registration
Be thankful our country allows demonstrations

In another country, you’d go to jail for going out in public and peacefully protesting. So shut the fuck up and go home.

Instead of condemnin’, make some recommendations

Here’s one: burn your guitar.

I don’t understand the cause of your aggravation

Selma, Alabama. It’s right in the lyrics, dumbass.

You mean to tell me, Boy, it’s not a better situation?

I could explain why “boy” in this context is insulting, but I don’t want to step on Bob Roberts’ toes here.

So over and over again you keep sayin’ it’s the–

Ah, you know the rest.

You missed all the good in your evaluation
What about the things that deserve commendation?

Someone explain the concept of a “protest song” to this guy.

Where there once was no cure, there’s vaccination
Where there once was a desert, there’s vegetation
Self-government’s replacing colonization
What about the Peace Corp. organizations?
Don’t forget the work of the United Nations

Or National Lampoon’s European Vacation
And the joy of sexual liberation
Even if you’re single, there’s still mastur–

So over and over again you keep sayin’ it’s the end
But I say you’re wrong, we’re just on the dawn of correction.

And there you have it. The single entered the charts in September of 1965, rocketed all the way to #36, and then vanished like the Titanic two weeks later.

As for the band that propelled that song to the middle of the charts, well, I have no idea what happened to them. Anyone care to venture a guess?

–Bill S.

Because We Pride Ourselves on Being Current and Topical

Posted by scott on February 13th, 2010


World O’ Crap continues its tradition of speaking truth to power, by presenting another in a series of hard-hitting, close textual analyses of Charlene’s 1982 hit pop song I’ve Been to Paradise (But I’ve Never Been to Me). Today’s fearless gadfly is frequent WO’C contributor Bill S., who has resurrected an old bit he posted to the comments at Pandagon, because where Truth is concerned, there is no such thing as sloppy seconds. Take it away, Bill.

Hey, lady, you, lady
cursing at your life
You’re a discontented mother

There’s another kind?

And a regimental wife.

Third battalion.

I’ve no doubt you dream about
the things you’ll never do

Like what? Fly?

But I wish someone had a talk to me like I wanna talk to you

Um, thanks, maybe some other time (damn, where is that taxi?)

You see, I’ve been to Georgia and California and anyplace I could run

But the authorities kept catching up to you?

Took the hand of a preacher man and we made love in the sun

Then he went on TV, wept for an hour, and his audience sent him another $5 mill, right?

But I ran out of places and friendly faces because I need to be free

Everywhere you went, people got sick of you. Got it.

I’ve been to paradise, but I’ve never been to me

Is “paradise” by any chance the name of a psychiatric facility?

Hey lady, please, lady, don’t just walk away
‘Cause I have this need to tell you why I’m all alone today

I figured that out already. Why do you think I’m walking away?

I can see so much of me still living in your eyes

My god, I must look horrible today.

Won’t you share a part of a weary heart that has lived a million lies?

I already do. It’s called “visiting my parents.”

You see, I’ve been to Nice, and the isle of Greece , where I sipped champagne on a yacht

Must have been a lot of champagne to make you mistake Greece for an island.

I moved like Harlow in Monte Carlo and showed ‘em what I’ve got.

A drinking problem? A lack of personal boundaries? Syphilis?

I’ve been undressed by kings

Yeah I’ll bet — Don King, Larry King, and Burger King.

And I’ve seen some things that a woman ain’t s’posed to see

You saw Rush Limbaugh in a thong? I almost feel sorry for you now.
[actually, there are so many possible punchline responses to that one ridiculous line we should have a contest to see who comes up with the best one]

I’ve been to paradise, but I’ve never been to me.

How could it even be paradise, if you were there?

Then we get to that spoken passage. Do you remember the “Family” skit from Carol Burnett that had Eunice competing on The Gong Show? Her act was a sappy rendition of “Feelings” that she made even worse but inserting her own little spoken passage. Every time I hear the one in “I’ve Never Been To Me,” it reminds me of that.

Hey, do you know what paradise is?

You mean it’s not getting wasted and boinking strangers?

It’s a lie, a fantasy we create about people and places as we’d like them to be

To escape the horrible trap of our miserable real lives.

But do you know what the truth is?

The truth is I’m talking to a wackadoodle.

It’s that little baby you’re holding

My sister’s kid? I’m just watching him while she and her husband look for second jobs.

And it’s that man you fought with this morning. The same one you’re going to make love to tonight.
That’s truth, that’s love…

That’s stalking. How the hell else would you know what goes on in our house? I’m calling the cops.

Sometimes I’ve been to crying for unborn children that might have made me complete.

Yeah, the unborn ones are better. Once they’re born, your self-identity flies out the window.

But I took the sweet life and never knew I’d be bitter from the sweet.

So the lesson to take from this is, “Hindsight is 20/20?” That’s what you’re wasting my time on? I’m outta here…

I’ve spent my life exploring the subtle whoring that cost to much to be free

What the fuck does that even mean?

Hey, lady, I’ve been to paradise, but I’ve never been to me.

Well, trust me — you ain’t worth the trip.

-Bill S

Bill S.’s Picks for the Dumbass Oscars

Posted by scott on February 3rd, 2010

Join our Special Correspondent Bill S.as he mans the Red Carpet at the 2010 Culture War Awards:


Not content to prove that he’s stupider than Jonah Goldberg, Master Ben Shapiro has of late, tried his hand at movie criticism, in an apparent effort to prove he’s also dumber than Michael Medved. We first got a taste of this back in 2006, with his Townhall Column, Why I’m skipping the Oscars this year. Just about everyone second-guesses the Academy Awards, but only Ben, with his unique brand of dumbassery, can render this harmless pastime completely annoying. Brad at Sadly, No! already gave that piece the smackdown it deserved, but there are three additional points I’d like to add:

1. Ben Shapiro opens the column with this line:

Every year since I was old enough to stay up late, I’ve watched the Academy Awards.

Then goes on to say:

If a film tackles a “deep social issue”…you’ll have an excellent chance of grabbing a gold statuette…The combination of declining product quality and rising Hollywood disdain for mainstream America has opened the door to the agenda film crowd. It began with the 1994 Oscars

It bears repeating the Ben was born in 1984. This means his disillusionment with mainstream Hollywood movies is either entirely retroactive, it’s a pose designed to make him appear more knowledgeable (an epic fail since he seems to be saying message movies weren’t invented until the 90′s) or he’s parroting a line of B.S. his elders fed him in the hopes of winning a cookie from them. Hell, it’s probably all three.

2. I’m not sure what’s more hopeless, his math skills or his logic skills:

In 2003, homosexual agenda films like The Hours, Frida and Far From Heaven grabbed the largest share of nominations.

Um, not quite, dumbass. Let’s look at the actual tally, shall we?

Chicago 13 nominations (6 wins)
Gangs Of New York 10 nominations (0 wins)
The Hours 9 nominations (1 win)
The Pianist 7 nominations (3 wins)
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 6 nominations (2 wins)
Frida 6 nominations (2 wins)
Road To Perdition 6 nominations (1 win)
Adaptation 4 nominations (1 win)
Far From Heaven 4 nominations (0 wins)

So the three movies he listed grabbed “the largest share of nominations” as long as you add their individual nominations together and ignore all the ties. Since you could get the same result from any three movies from the above list, this proves…nothing. (Side note: since John C. Reilly has roles in Chicago, Gangs of New York and The Hours, he must have more influence over Academy voters than the gay lobby. I wonder if he knows that?)


Turn Off the Lights

Posted by scott on January 14th, 2010

Teddy Pendergrass
Born: March 26, 1950. Died: January 13, 2010.
Teddy was the lead singer of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, and went on to a successful solo career throughout the late ’70′s and early ’80′s, even after an auto accident that left him paralyized in 1982.
Here he is singing his biggest solo hit, ““, in a live performance from 1979.

So Pat Robertson’s still here. Rush Limbaugh — still up and walking about. But we lose this guy.
Life ain’t fair.

–Bill S

Bill S. Walks a Mile in Rob Lowe’s Christmas Shoes

Posted by scott on December 31st, 2009

I’ve got a treat for you, kids. Today we’re fortunate to be visited by longtime Wo’C guest columnist Bill S., scourge of wingnut movies and critics alike, who had the nerve to go where I feared to tread this year. Take it away, Bill!

Earlier this month, the Lifetime Movie Network treated us to a heartwarming trio of films aired back-to-back: , a made-for-TV movie inspired by the Worst. Christmas. Song. Ever., followed by its two sequels, The Christmas Blessing and The Christmas Hope.

[Note from Scott: It appears that the movie, The Christmas Shoes was based on a novel, which was based on a song -- at least, that's the lineage according to author Donna Van Liere, and why would a writer lie about swiping her literary premise from the crappiest Christmas carol ever (unless she's just trying to shift the blame a bit)?]

I taped them all, with the intention of offering a review of all three in time for Christmas. Unfortunately, I was only able to get through the first one, so the other two will have to wait til next Christmas. Something to look forward to, I suppose. Even more unfortunately, I still hadn’t finished writing the first draft by Christmas day, so you’ll excuse my tardiness. You might think of this as a package that arrived a bit late. Or maybe a fabulous post-holiday markdown. Or a slice of leftover, moldy fruitcake. I like to think it’s all three…

Our story begins, fittingly enough, in a cemetery. Rob Lowe is visiting his mother’s grave on Christmas Eve. The only other visitor is a mysterious young man in a baseball cap, standing at another grave just a few feet away. Who could he be? We don’t know yet, but we soon will, as the film flashes back to a Christmas many years ago…

It’s 1985, although many of the cars, and Rob Lowe’s face, are clearly from two decades later. Rob is a lawyer, and his wife Kate is a stay-at-home mom who looks after their daughter Lily. They seem to have a perfect life, except he’s such a busy, workaholic yuppie he has no time to enjoy the small, incidental pleasures like attending his daughter’s concert recitals, or actually talking to his wife. What a tool.

Lily begs him to attend her next concert, and Rob promises her he will. His conviction is so strong, so clear, that we know, without a shadow of a doubt, that he will screw up and miss it. While in town for some important lawyering, a delivery truck whizzes by him and a package drops out the back and hits the ground by his feet, flying open. Rob picks it up to examine its contents: a pair of tacky red women’s shoes with little sprigs of holly drawn on them. CHRISTMAS SHOES! Noting they aren’t his style (he actually DOES say this), he tries to return them to the truck, which by this time is about half a mile away. His attempt to return the box consists of standing in the same spot, holding one shoe aloft and saying, in a slightly louder tone, “Hey!” What a tool.

Later, he passes the home of Maggie Andrews (Kimberly Williams). She’s out in the front yard, teaching her son Nathan the finer points of hurling footballs at moving vehicles. Rob gives her pointers and departs. Nathan races his mother back to the house, but Maggie seems to be having trouble keeping up. Her pace gets slower and her breathing gets shallow, which either indicates that she’s got a Movie-of-the-Week disease of the week, or she’s just trying to match the director’s tone, since most of this movie is slow and shallow.

Maggie’s husband, Jack, is a schlubby auto mechanic. Nathan pleads with him for a puppy, and his mother supports this. Jack, however, shoots down the idea by going into Nathan’s room and hauling out a bowl containing a pair goldfish floating belly-up. He declares Nathan “irresponsible,” which is ironic coming from a guy who let his son keep a pair of dead fish in his bedroom for two weeks.


Today’s Guest Column is by Bill S.

On October 28, the President signed The Matthew Shepard act, which expands on the existing federal Hate Crimes law passed in 1969. It was historic — to the best of my knowledge, it’s the first federal law to acknowledge that LGBT people are citizens of the U.S., deserving of equal protection under the law. This has not gone over well with some people, particularly those who refuse to believe that anti-gay hate crimes even happen. In 2004, there was even a segment on 20/20 that attempted to raise doubts about the Shepard murder. That piece was widely discredited by most people directly involved in the case, including the primary investigating officer, Rob DeBeers.

“I have never worked on a homicide case with this much evidence,” Rob says, all these months later a bit of wonder still bleeding in his voice. “It was like a case of God giving it to us. I’m not kidding. The whole way it broke down from beginning to end-it was like, here it is boys, work it. It’s almost like it pissed off God, and he says, oh well, come here, let me walk you over here, walk you over there, pick up all that. It was just a gift.”Bruce Garrett adds, “I drove that same path when I was in Laramie, to the extent I was able to before coming upon all the ‘private property signs’, and that same impression swept over me like a cold clammy sickness. You simply cannot drive the path that Shepard’s killers took and come away from it believing it was simply a robbery gone bad. Unless of course that is what you need to believe.”

Which is what leads to vile garbage like this column by Pam Meister.

Quick: When I say “Matthew Shepard”, what do you think? A man killed because he was gay? Or a poor sap in the wrong place at the wrong time?

When I say “Pam Meister,” what do you think? Brainless nimrod? Or heartless asshole?

A crime is a crime. It shouldn’t matter if the victim was a target because he was black, because he was gay…

…said the white heterosexual. But she’s right. Since when does motive matter, except for, oh, every single time?  Yeah. Murder is murder. And vandalism is vandalism, when you deface a billboard by painting mustache on the model’s face, or deface a synagogue by painting a swastika on the door. And arson is arson, whether you torch a warehouse to collect insurance, or burn a cross on your neighbor’s lawn. They’re exactly the same, and affect communities in the same exact way. And when investigating those cases, we should look for the same suspects.

And what of Shepard? He was a troubled young man who was HIV positive and into the drug scene too. This is not to say I blame the victim-far from it.

By “far from it,” she means, “So close she’s practically rimming it with her tonsils.

But his issues are relevent to what happened after his death. Cliff Kincaid explores this theme further:
“…The gay rights movement wanted to depict Shepard as a victim of a homophobic society. This played into their demands to curb so-called “Hate Crimes”.

But ABC and Vargas ALSO show Shepard to be a very depressed young man, on the verge of suicide, because of his homosexual lifestyle. The “gay rights” lobby doesn’t want to face up to that. Matthew Shepard wasn’t “gay” and “proud”. He was profoundly troubled.

doesn’t look like a young man who was troubled by his sexual orientation.

If Matt was battling depression, it’s more likely because three years prior to the murder, while he was a student abroad in Morocco, he was beaten and raped. Strange how people trying paint him as a druggy slut tend to omit this traumatic event from his bio.

I believe I speak for everyone when I say , “Go French Kiss a chainsaw, you ignorant sack of jackal vomit.”

Speaking of which, Gary Cass of The Christian Anti-defamation Commission has launched a protest against the Hate Crimes act, set to be held in D.C. today, at 1:30 PM.

“The Rally For Religious Freedom” in front of the Department of Justice is intended to force Attorney General Eric Holder either to address the issues or be put in a position of ignoring those who say they are violating the provisions of the federal law”, Cass told WND. “We’re going to declare the whole council of God, including those parts that some may consider ‘inciting a hate crime’ to see if the attorney general is going to come down and arrest a group of peaceful clergy exercising their First Amendment rights.”

Since the Hate Crimes Act is perfectly clear on the matter of speech, my guess is that as long as they’re peaceful, he won’t do anything.But that won’t stop Cass & co. from their little publicity stunt, which has drawn support from some charming people:

…Rick Scarborough went on Janet Porter’s radio program yesterday to discuss it and Porter pledged to join them in standing outside the Department of Justice as they seek to get arrested for preaching the Bible.  According to the program, Porter, Scarborough, and the others will be joined by Matt Barber and Gordon Klingenschmitt (as well as Brian Camenker of Mass Resistance).

What, no Pete LeBarbera? I guess it’s the absence of a crowd of Leather Daddies keeping him away from it. Scarborough adds this:

“To test this belief and protest a clear violation of First Amendment freedom of speech and religion, various clergy will preach short sermons and read passages from the Bible regarding homosexual behavior. Like Dr. Martin Luther King and the Sixties Civil Rights movement, they will engage in civil disobedience to protest injustice.”

Did anybody else’s Bullshit Meter just explode?

Well, we know they won’t get arrested for this little display, any more than a person quoting Shakespeare’s line, “The first thing we’ll do, let’s kill all the lawyers”* will be arrested for issuing a death threat. But something tells me they will get arrested for something. So I leave it to you, dear readers, to put on your psychic skullcaps or what have you, and predict what will happen during or after this stunt occurs. It’ll be interesting to see who comes the closest to getting it right.

*Henry VI (Part 2), Act IV, Scene II.

-Bill S

Apparently the rally didn’t really go all that well.  (And frankly, I never imagined that dainty, girly-girl house-muffin Janet Folger Porter sounds like an adenoidal 14-year old boy yelling at his little brother for taking his collectible action figures out of their original packaging.)