Wednesday, February 18, 2009

We Now Return You To You Irregularly Scheduled Program

Sorry. Been busy.

This isn't even today's lunch. This is last Tuesday's lunch. I half-meant to post it then, but I had nieces down from up north, so there was some strictly scheduled Uncle Jim Abuse to be attended to.

There's also no movie of the day, not just because I have been busy, but because I recently sat through the entirety of season 3 of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia in the space of a week, which is actually to say four days, with the result that . . .

Well, I don't know. There are all kinds of different levels on which the show is funny, a couple of dozen others on which it's completely objectionable, it can be appreciated for the sheer audaciousness of the show, it can be dismissed as morally reprehensible . . . And then there's the absolute commitment shown by the writing and the performers, the absolutely take-it-to-the-wall, kamikaze drive, which, I think, and I could be wrong, indicates the presence of a very deep and accurate moral compass . . .

Which is a rather unsettling supposition, since the show's characters get away with morally reprehensible behavior by dint of an absolutely fluffy-light self-consciousness.

I jumped right into season 3 with little trouble; I had seen a couple of eps from earlier, and I knew a fair amount about the writers and the characters going it, but it wouldn't have presented much of an obstacle if I had gone in clean. The episodes are pretty much self contained, and stuff carpetbagged in from previous seasons is either unpacked pretty nicely or funny enough for obvious enough reasons to stand alone. Also, Seasons 1 and 2, which were packaged together, one assumes, on the assumption that the thing would have run its course by the end of the second season, has been listed in our Blockbuster Online queue as status "very long wait" for about four months now. Which is not to say I have given up on said seasons, just that I figured I could stand not to wait. I am glad I chose not to, for I have now seen season 3. And I enjoyed it. And that either makes me a very good person indeed, or Pol Pot.

So, go watch Season 3 of It's Always Sunny! Or don't! Either way, you can be pretty sure you will feel good about it! Or bad. Very, very bad. Have some soup.

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Zombie Strippers: Brought To You By Enron

FIRST things first. Today's lunch is yet another grilled turkey & cheese, which is the last time this is happening for awhile, mostly because I have run through the package of turkey, but also, at least partly, because I think my recent fascination with orange American cheese-- yeah yeah, I know, it's supposed to be called "yellow," but let's face facts-- has run it's course. It started with a classic American cheeseburger at my local joint, and has had it's numerous happy moments-- included the recent chili cheese fries, which had a slice of American in the middle, which I have decided to start calling The Cheese Bomb-- and these sandwiches, which are just kind of nifty, what with the mixture of the white American and the stuff we normally call "plastic cheese."

Today I wanted to start with that not just out of form, but because the film of the day is not, definitely not, most emphatically not Zombie Strippers.

The Wifey put this in the Blockbuster Online queue when she first saw it was coming out. The hype at the time was that it was part smart satire and part high-camp comedy. The fact of the matter is that it is a low-grade pile of dogshit dreamed up by a guy who considers himself the smartest guy in any room he ever walked into, and never bothered to hear anyone else's opnion on the matter. He claims to have based the thing on Eugene Ionesco's play Rinocerous, which is just fucking insulting, both to Ionesco and facism. And the fact that I am watching it during the Obama presidency makes the satire-- lemme back out of that-- makes the "satire" smack all the more sour. (And fuck you, I have read all the AE Houseman there is to read, including his lectures.)

Rinocerous was all about how easy it was for people in mid-century Europe to slip into facism. Stripper Zombies is about how easy it is to be a Maxim-loving frat-boy douchebag who happens to have read some philosophy way back in some bong-dimmed era. Besides that, if your idea of a hard target for satire is the Bush Administration, the administration that satirized itself, really, how smart can you be?

And while I will admit that it was fun hearing Robert Englund make a very old joke indeed-- telling one of the zombie victims they are keeping in the basement to "Make like a tree, and get the fuck out of here!"-- about the time one of the zombie strippers made a reference to The Warriors, I was just too goddamned cheesed off to finish watching the goddamned thing. Good thing I don't do this for money.

The beer of the day was a Saranac Black & Tan. Which I followed with a Saranac Black & Tan. The only thing to follow a B&T with is another B&T. After Zombie Strippers, the movie of the day could be almost any frickin' thing. Whatever it might be, it'll be better. It pretty much has to be.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Where I'm Calling From, Episode XIV-a: Delusions of Pretense

SO IT'S the chili-cheese fries again. The beers were . . . Well, it's tempting to say they were inconsequential, but you wouldn't think I meant it the way I mean it. I had the India Pale Ale (bright green label) first, and while I always expect the following beer to cower
under the glare of the IPA's high, sparkling hop note, the chili trampled that out like an elephant stepping on a match. The lager (straw colored label), on the other hand, proved much more resilient, and went along with the chili like a tag-team wrestler.
(And if you don't like belabored metaphors, you ought not to read this blog. Orange you glad I didn't say banana?)
Note the presence of the "display fry." I originally included it as an afterthought, just one fry that didn't quite fit in the bowl, and then as a taunt to the Wifey, and finally as a kind of study aide for whomever reads the stuff herein, as I seem to think, for no particular reason, that many of my readers somehow doubt the actual presence of a layer of fries underneath.
Nope. No particular reason whatsoever.
The movie of the day was almost Scrooged, which I love, but at the same time it was starting I was busy in preparation to prepare the chili, and then all of a sudden I was watching Tony Bourdain's Chicago show, which . . . Well, Chicago.
I mean, I can dig Chicago, but there's something about it I always distrust. The constant protestation that the reason they are as good as New York is that they don't have to keep crowing about how great they are. Which, y'know, is just another way of crowing. And the segments were suspiciously short, in one case just barely over three minutes. Late in the game, one of the chefs he was interviewing summed it up rather nicely: "What we try to acheive is a lack of pretension." Which is, y'know, pretentious.
And, while I'm at it, Tony? Only 2 real cities in America? New York and Chicago*? Oh, dear, my lad. Get a fucking job.
A real one, I mean.
So anyways. Scrooged. I clicked in and out while I waited for the commercial breaks to outweigh the segments of actual show, and in the mean time looked it up on Wikipedia, where I found this:
"The film was marketed with references to the film Ghostbusters which had been a great success four years earlier in 1984. In the USA, the tagline for Scrooged was, 'Bill Murray is back among the ghosts, only this time, it's three against one.' In Brazil, it movie was named 'Os Fantasmas Contra-Atacam' (The Ghosts Strike Back). In Spain, the film was titled 'Los fantasmas atacan al jefe' (The Ghosts Attack the Boss). In Italy, the movie was released as 'S.O.S. fantasmi' (S.O.S. ghosts)."
Which is a nice demonstration of the value in hiding you light under a bushel. As long as your light is under the bushel, it at least keeps people from pissing all over it.
*Not to claim that Charlotte is a real city. Charlotte is very much a fake city, which is a large part of what I like about it.

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