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I’m Prone to Her

[ 39 ] May 29, 2015 |

It’s rare that a song grabs me by my throat and doesn’t let go. It’s a choke I welcome.

What’s the last song that grabbed you and didn’t let you go?

The Quiet Humor of “The Comedians”

[ 35 ] May 23, 2015 |

What is quiet humor? I don’t know, exactly. It’s not the easiest concept to explain. It’s not easy to explain why I really really like “The Comedians” though I mostly don’t find it laugh-out-loud funny. I find it compelling. I find it poignant. At times I find it extraordinarily clever. But its humor is quiet. Don’t get me wrong. It’s funny; it’s really funny. It’s just not loud funny.

“The Comedians” is a show within a show–a mockumentary about Billy Chrystal and Josh Gad (former “Daily Show” correspondent and OLAF) trying to get their new FX sketch show off the ground. They’re not quite gelling as comedy partners and they’re unsure about the fate of this rather risky endeavor.

I love watching Billy Crystal do subtle. Please forget everything you know his about imitations of Sammy Davis Jr. and the catchphrase “You look mahvelous.” This is not the Crystal you were looking for. The Crystal you’ll find in “The Comedians” is a low-key guy who’s in the twilight of his career sharing the stage with a guy who’s at dawn of his. There’s a little bit of bittersweet flavoring just about everything he does and every line he utters, and it’s lovely.

Josh Gad, meanwhile, is  perfection as an up-and-coming actor who’s caught between wanting to compete with or openly worship the comedy icon he’s been paired with. Watching that tension at work in Gad is gobs of fun.

I feel like “The Comedians” cribs a lot from its sister show, “Louie,” but, geez, if you’re gonna crib…why not crib from the show that’s mastered the art of wringing humor from the deeply uncomfortable situations? Let’s put it this way, if you like “Louie,” you probably won’t hate “The Comedians.” And if you like the idea of two comedians getting baked, hanging out in a grocery store and fighting with blow-up sea mammals, you’ll probably like “The Comedians.” And if you like the idea of grainy security camera footage capturing Billy Chrystal trying to steal a blow-up sea mammal by simply running out of the store with it, you may, like me,  love “The Comedians.” I didn’t know what to make of the show the first couple of times I saw it, but I’ve decided it’s a surreal and hilarious. Quietly hilarious.

Are there any shows/movies  you think are “quietly” funny?

Friends, I’m in Love

[ 11 ] May 22, 2015 |

Don’t mind me, I’m over here, making out with this gallery

Read more…

No, You Make It for Me

[ 124 ] May 21, 2015 |

I really really don’t like the he old “Don’t like it? Make it yourself” chestnut. It’s lazy and dumb. Think about this: if a bunch of tall men said to car manufacturers “Your cars are too cramped for us.” No one would say “Make your own cars, freakshows.” No one who designed, say, dishwashers or homes or computers would have that sort of dialogue with consumers. So why are people in the creative arts allowed to say things like that?

I suppose you could argue artists should get special dispensation because artistic vision is sacred, but I think there are two problems with that: 1.) You have to argue that engineers, designers, architects, etc. aren’t artists. But I would argue that a decent amount of artistry goes into designing even something like, say, a refrigerator. 2.) When an artist becomes popular, she’s not creating her art in a vacuum. She’s profiting from it. She is necessarily in a give and take relationship with the people who consume her product.

I understand why people get very sniffy about keeping artistic vision “pure.” People staying absolutely true to their vision sounds right and the idea of our vaunted genius-artists compromising their artistic vision sounds terrible.  But I think that when you become a popular artist, it’s actually quite fair for your fans to make demands as reasonable as “Hey, could you make your make your next episode less rapey?” (Yes, people in the “Princess” thread, I’m looking at you.)

I can afford to stay 100% true to my artistic vision, because I don’t have an audience–no one is reading my erotic slashfic “T-Rex Takes Clippy.” But once I start selling, you’re damn right I’ll listen to my readers. And if they want me to make it clearer that the sex between a dinosaur and computer icon is consensual, I will happily comply, artistic vision be damned, and thank you for your money.

The Old Model Minority Bullcrap Again

[ 80 ] May 20, 2015 |

 

If you speak glowingly of “model minorities,” it is fair for me to assume you are an idiot. Do not compare the experiences of Blacks to any other minority group in the States. You can’t. Black people have had a uniquely (bad) experience as Americans. They’ve been subjected to unique and uniquely awful prejudice. When you compare Blacks to, say, Asians or Jewish people, you are showing your ignorance. The experiences of these different groups simply cannot be compared.

This, ladies and gentleman, has been the latest chapter in “bspencer’s Pet Peeves and Bugaboos that Make Her Want to Slam Her Head Against a Wall Until it Explodes.”

I highly recommend reading the comments, which are–as always–amazing. But this one especially.

They Hate Us for Our Branes

[ 283 ] May 19, 2015 |

Smart!

Normally I would not link to stuff like this but I am in a weird mood. Anyway, I read it. Now you have to. What you’re clicking on is probably the unsexiest circle jerk of all time. OK, I’ll quit hedging: It’s Vox Day talking about how people don’t like him because he’s just too goddamn smart. Thanks (??) to Origami Isopod.

Another Demographic Battle Lost

[ 107 ] May 18, 2015 |

When someone in my twitter feed made this snarky tweet, I did not, as they say, “trust the shorter.”

Well, I should have. Damon Linker weighs in on religion’s (soon to be–I HOPE) waning influence on, well, everything (again, I HOPE).

“Fury’s” Feminism: A Treatise by John Nolte

[ 85 ] May 17, 2015 |

 

John Nolte really likes “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

After almost twenty years of directing nothing but kids movies, 70 year-old George Miller has picked himself up, dusted himself off, and, like a Boss, once again shown the whippersnappers how it is done.

I mean, he really likes it.

“Fury Road” is dazzling to watch and experience. The talk of no CGI is, however, pure hype. There is plenty of CGI, and that includes moments in some car stunts. Compared to the new “Avengers” movie, which is practically a cartoon for extended periods, this is a small thing and in no way takes away from Miller’s practical-effects achievements. There will be Oscars.

You know what he likes best about it? The feminism. That’s right. Nolte likes the feminism, ‘cuz it’s the right kind of feminism. Nolte-approved feminism.

“Fury Road’ is nothing like the diseased modern-day, left-wing feminism spread by the likes of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Miller’s women are not victims, are not Julias, are not dependent on a central government to solve all their problems, are not wallowing in a narcissistic cult of their own victimhood, and are not acting like men.

In fact, just the opposite is true. Miller’s heroines are beautiful, feminine, and breaking away from a cult of personality and its tyrannical central government. These are feminists who have come for their God-given rights, not emasculate. They don’t crybaby, they act. They don’t tell others how to behave, they fight. They don’t want to take away your rights, but they damn sure are demanding their own.

These are women too busy being strong and independent to collapse into a helpless ball of harpy outrage over imagined offenses.

I, for one, am excited about this convservative-approved avenue of feminism suddenly available to me. Provided I look like Charlize Theron and confine my feminism to beating people up in the desert, I will be golden!!!! Not like those whiny feminists who complain about things like the prevalence of rape in military culture and petition the government to change things legislatively. I mean, that is some straight up outraged harpy shit right there.

The only problem I see with partaking of this new feminism (because I already look exactly like Charlize Theron*) is that I just don’t think I’ll get many opportunities to beat up random folks in the desert; but since I’m guessing Nolte lives in Southern California I’ll happily volunteer to ride out there in a fixied Humvee so I can hit him the face with a shovel. FEMINISM!

*Theron a is a freckle-faced middle-aged woman with a sagging ass, right?

Friday Creature Feature: There Are Adorable Hats Swimming in the Ocean IN YOUR PANTS

[ 34 ] May 15, 2015 |

Thanks to N_B for sending me a link to some footage from the coastal waters of Puerto Rico.

Pretty much the only time you can get me to shut up about the obvious dearth of shows about hypothetical life on hypothetical planets (seriously, it’s like an obsession with me, they used to make tons of those shows) is when you make me look at footage of the life in our oceans, which is nothing short of otherworldly.

In other news, I am looking to break into the bestiality/shapeshifting/”I don’t know what the hell this is” erotica market. In anticipation of this career move I’ve prepared a few working titles, just to get the old creative juices flowing. Tell me what you think.

  • A Billionaire Turned Me Gay by Offering Me Buttloads of Money to Sleep with Him (Also He Is a Velociraptor)
  • A Philanthropist Prawn Read Me Shakespeare (Then Shook My Spear If You Know What I Mean)
  • Spanked by the Spatula (That Was Possessed by a Sexy Serial Killer)
  • Fun Guys–A Mushroom Shapeshifting Erotic Journey (To Your Produce Drawers)
  • Turned on By the Turtle (Not Shapeshifting Erotica–I Just Really Want to Fuck Actual Turtles)

Just To Be Clear: The Folks of Fox News Hate Poor People

[ 6 ] May 15, 2015 |

 

In case there were any doubt.

More here.

Impressionist Review of “Interstellar”

[ 59 ] May 13, 2015 |

  • Shot of a cornfield
  • Shot of dust storm
  • Secret NASA hideout located near farm. Convenient!
  • Look, it’s Michael Caine
  • Oh, Matthew McConaughey’s character used to be an astronaut. Convenient!
  • That robot is chunky and clunky
  • Anne Hathaway’s hair is short
  • Shot of Earth from space
  • Matthew McConaughey is crying attractively
  • Boring conversation
  • Matthew McConaughey is crying attractively
  • Relativity is an a-hole ‘cuz McConaughey’s daughter is now being played by Jessica Chastain
  • Holy crap, it’s a Casey Affleck sighting
  • OMG, is McConaughey crying again?
  • Shot of Earth from space
  • Oh, hey, here’s a cool fucking planet. Let’s spend 5 minutes there then get back to shots of Earth from space and corn fields
  • I’ll be damned: It’s Matt Damon
  • Corn fields, dust storms
  • Close-up of Jessica Chastain looking concerned
  • Topher Fucking Grace?
  • Something about gravity, another dimension
  • Dust
  • Oh, hey, Matthew McConaughey is in some other dimension instead of exploring a cool new planet, moving dust around and being a time-traveling ghost
  • Oh, hai, “Contact.” what are you doing here?  Why do you seem so familiar? Are you my dust-Morse-Code ghost?
  • Matthew McConaughey is crying again.

The End.

Dear Boners

[ 134 ] May 13, 2015 |

 

Dear Boners,

Hi, how are you? Sounds like you’re still upset you’re not King of Liberal. In fact, sometimes I wonder why you want to be King of Liberal since you seem to dislike so many liberals (especially feminist liberals). I can only assume it’s because you’re still sore about this that you typed literally 50 billion words to talk about how a few jerky tweets represents the entire Kingdom of Liberal. (Or Queendom, amirite?)

Listen, I get it. Liberals get circle-jerky; they get lazy. Yes, it’s true. Occasionally liberals fall back on parroted insults rather than engage an argument on its merits. (I would argue that often they do this because the argument has no merits, but whatev.) Anyway, you’ve discovered–to my shock and horror–that liberals enjoy the company of other liberals. And sometimes when they do this it gets a little echo-chambery. I get that.

Still, I don’t understand how a few less-than-impressive tweets and an unfunny list translates to “liberals are jerky slacktivists.” I would be the first person to tell you that when I tweet snarky tweets, I’m not trying to change the world. Nor am I trying to change the world when I write snarky comments on a blog. I do this to stay sane, plain and simple.

Here’s the thing: a lot of people make arguments that are in bad faith. A lot of people are trollin’ even when it sounds like they’re not. And when people take the time to give a reasoned response (that they may have already given 1000 times) to trolls and assholes, this is time stolen. Time that can’t be gotten back. So, sure, I know that sometimes when people respond with snark, they’re doing it because they’re lazy or because they’re afraid to engage on the substance of an issue. But sometimes they’re just snarking just to snark and they’re not trying to win converts when they do so.

Your complaint here seems to be that liberals are afraid to argue, at least substantively. So I’ve tried to tell you–substantively–why I think you’re full of shit. And I’ve done that even though I think–based upon  your past writings–that you’re a clueless jerk.

Love,

bspencer

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