Sunday, December 31, 2006

Poker Sucks

I've said it before and I'll say it again, nothing fills me with angry boredom more quickly and more thoroughly than seeing poker on TV, listening to people talk about poker, and seeing people actually play poker (which happens about 1/10,000th as much as they talk about it). Why do I hate poker? Because it's boring as shit, that's why. I'll be as happy when the poker fad fades away as I will be when the moustache fades back out of style a decade from now after its unyielding return in a few years.

(Above) Virtual poker being played by actual losers. Notice two of them have chosen the Jamiroquai outfit, two others the gay Frenchman getup, and the remaining two have tried to fool their opponents with seemingly innocuous avatars: old woman and Mets fan with hat backwards. Riveting.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

My dinner last night

My dinner last night was a 2.5-hour long grazing session that included:

1. Half a BBQ pork sandwich and french fries
2. Tortillas and salsa
3. Saltine crackers and peanut butter
4. Half a bag of red hot potato chips
5. 2 cookies and a glass of milk

I don't know why, but I just couldn't stop eating until I felt sick, and I sure as hell felt sick when I finally stopped eating. But it was delicious.

Then I threw up and yelled at myself in the mirror for 30 minutes about how fat I was.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I spent the majority of my Saturday making single dollar bets on decade-old episodes of Double Dare 2000 and Guts on Nickelodean for Graduates; it's the channel above the HD History Channel and the one below Sunrise Earth. It was amusing betting on kids in every physical challenge or Mt. Crag event (though it wasn't amusing watching my dollar go to the guy who bet on the girl every time), but it really brought me back to a time when physical competition in completely unrealistic events was the norm in Hollywood (or Burbank?)---and American Gladiators was the pinnacle of that.
Here's why American Gladiators is the best TV show that will ever exist.

Hospital drama: boring and redundant
Family sitcom: lack of creative space between an "Urkel" and a "Screech."
Quirky character-driven apartment sitcom: Friends sucks
Nature documentary: who watches these besides me and my grandfather?
Cartoon comedy: played.
Live athletic, high-contact competition pitting juiced beach-mutants against wormy accountants and failed runningbacks and strangely reminiscent of Running Man:
Sounds fantastic.

Let's take a look at some of our "favorite" TV characters.

  • "Ross" from Friends> a big pussy. Bumbling meant nothing until Ross stepped onto the scene. How could fuck up both pretending to be British AND let that prettyboy Joey take Jennifer Aniston away from you?

  • "Kramer" from Seinfeld> self-described racist and bigot. I heard they cut the Seinfeld episode where Kramer refers to a black man running down the street as a "spook with the heat on him."

  • "Agent Scully" from X-Files> hot, but never got naked.

  • "Dr. Doug Ross" from ER> easily the sexiest man alive for at least 2 nonconsecutive years, but his smugness could stop a monkey-driven rocketsled in its tracks.
Now let's look at the cast of American Gladiators.


Jesus Christ. I had to take a breath halfway through. There's just so much goddamn energy in there. It's Perfect. And that Turbo guy, what a name! I'm so pumped just thinking about how awesome Turbo is, I think he could easily win the next Presidency. And not only is the cast 4 times larger than any other TV show, but every single person is a model of physical fitness and Muscle Beach fashion sense in the late 80's. I mean, it's obvious that the production staff of American Gladiators just asked the nut-brained gladiators to think of names that reminded them of transformers, X-Men, hookers, and airports they've been to lately. But hey, in Hollywood, it works.

While American Gladiators could have chosen to have scripted sequences that flip between playful, witty banter and instructive, meaningfully-emotional moments, like Friends, they instead chose to fire tennis balls at scrambling competitors at over 100 miles-per-hour using compressed air. Instead of resolving disputes with quirky neighbors by hilariously unorthodox subterfuge, like Seinfeld, American Gladiators put everyone in huge metal spheres and forced them to uncontrollably roll around an arena for 5 minutes. X-Files liked to pique the viewer's bewilderment by mysterious twists and endless conspiracy theories, but American Gladiators seemed content having the gladiators try to pull people off of a 60-foot climbing wall.

Check out Billy Wirth's (Axl Rose) victory against gladiator Malibu (Dave Mustaine) in the Assault in Season 1.

It's pretty obvious to me at least that Malibu is a younger, healthier Dave Mustaine. He must have gotten embittered to the internal politiking within the American Gladiators cast set.

If it's not enough to have a cast of characters to rival a Dickens novel and a series of bone-crunching, ponytail-tangling competitive events, they "went there" and created THE ELIMINATOR. I capitalized the entire word out of respect and awe. I can just imagine the show's muscle-bound creators cackling in a dimly lit room buried in the heart of a mountain somewhere in the Urals.

Running up a 45-degree incline on a reverse treadmill is a tough way to start The Eliminator, but then you have to run across a 40-foot rotating cylinder while gladiators toss heavy boxing bags at you to knock you off. If you fall, the pit below is filled with venomous Cobras genetically bred with cat legs. Many unfortunate souls fell victim to these mutants' fangs (and claws). Then comes the 50-foot cargo net that I, personally, mastered in 5th grade yet, so I never understood the people who managed to nearly hang themselves in it. The zip line was put in for good measure, it didn't really take any athleticism. In fact, it would've been quicker for the contestants to simply leap off the platform into the bean bags but zip lines were all the rage in the early 90's, thanks to the Rambo franchise. Somewhere in there was a hand bike event, which while probably the most physically demanding (even moreso than the zip line!) section, it was only interesting when someone had trouble with it.

The kicker in The Eliminator was the endgame, where the contestants had to choose one of four paper doors to run through to the finish line. Immediately behind two of the four doors was a gladiator with a shield and a trident who would impale the unwise contestant who chose poorly. It really made for great television when contestant Wesley "Two Scoops" Berry thought he had easily beaten his rival in the race, threw his arms up in victory just before running through the paper door and having a medieval weapon pushed into his neck. It was sometimes difficult to gauge victory on the occasions where both contestants ended up dead, though. Later seasons saw the production staff convince the gladiators to replace their medieval weaponry with cushions, probably at the behest of the families of the deceased. Instead, and somewhat ironically, to give the competitors more motivation, the show would suspend their loved ones from the ceiling and slowly lower them into a vat of acid.

Here's the thrilling conclusion to Season 5 featuring Mark Ortega and Tim Goldrick. Mr. Goldrick's family didn't make it out of the studio with their lives that afternoon.

After reading this, it's pretty difficult to deny that American Gladiators was not only the most novel, entertaining television show ever created, but also accurately circumscribed the complex moral and political atmosphere that shaped the early 1990's. If you're like me, then you should feel a visceral duty to sign this petition to bring back American Gladiators.

I Want to Own an Aviary

- by Count Langenhoffen

An Aviary (capitalized because I would own it, and everything I own instantly accords pronoun status) is a large enclosure filled with trees and such for the purpose of enclosing birds. You've seen aviaries in such blockbuster classics as Jurassic Park 3 (dazzlingly directed by Joe Johnston, between October Sky and Hidalgo) and The Haunting (which features a pre-celebrity Owen Wilson decapitated by a haunted fireplace[seriously]).

So, essentially, the birds think they can fly through the webbed steel forming the aviary, but it turns out that steel reacts to birds the same way it does to everything else; they hit it, fall, and usually die. BUT, as Darwin taught us, the next generation of birds will know how the system works, and shall obey it unflaggingly, and so they become the living attraction of said Aviary.

Now, my Aviary will be fucking enormous; not because the birds need room to fly, but because I'm a big guy. In fact, my Aviary will be devoid of those dirty ornithological rats. If birds find a way into my Aviary, it's probably entirely coincidental. As soon as you walk into my Aviary you'll be confronted by some kind of spike or boulder trap; notice I use "you," since I would never fall for my own traps. If you make it past the trap(s?), you'll notice the air is pungent with a tenebrous pall, due in large part to the still black pond to your right and the cobwebbed man-sized iron cages squeaking longingly towards the floor which are numerous and hanging from the roof.

Spiders are rampant, though not so many so as to draw your attention too much from an omniaural moan permeating the wispy white fog. There's some wilting shrubbery that's not been clipped for years, but its plainly obvious they were shorn to resemble souls writhing in the fires of Hell. Twisted trunks of half-dead trees litter the place haphazardly; there's a pretty cherry blossom, too (for contrast by juxtaposition). This is obviously just to create the mood for my Aviary, so that the next door neighbor's kids feel compelled to breach my Aviary.

Then, once inside, they'd be forced to serve me (not sexually) until their premature death or embark as a group on a dangerous quest for a pirate ship full of gold hidden in a secret cave within the sewers of the town. If none of the kid's are Asian, then they won't have the quest option, since no one can convincingly yell, "Booby traps!"

Now, being a business-minded person, considering the logistics of maintaining a model aviary requires some serious rumination.

First, manpower. Simple. Pay some poor Polish countrymen to immigrate over and upkeep my aviary (I wouldn't use "Aviary" in the newspaper ad so as not to stir suspicion). Their rudimentary belief in the spirits of the Old Country would surely remain alight as they torment in my hellish Aviary. And while they toil and cry out at spirits nonexistent, they'd come to me begging to allow their indenture to end. I, of course, would grow to twice my size and cackle ghoulishly at their simple beliefs and hilarious terror. I might allow them put a bird in my Aviary if they agree to stop being fed, but the odds that they learn conversationl English are slim to none.

Another important logistic is always making sure the troops are officious in their duties, so once in awhile I'd release a pack of hounds or swarm of locusts into the Aviary. I might also release one of those badass string-tripped swinging log traps that did in the Predator, and I think also may have taken care of Benicio's character in the cinematic feast that is The Hunted.

If the INS or similar got too hot on my Aviary, I'd just cover it with a tarp whenever they came by looking for missing Poles. If they ask what's under the tarp I'd probably just make the whole damn thing send itself into another dimension, and then return when everyone's not looking.

What's most important for an Aviary is, of course, having a secret room where you crossbreed various hapless animals via torture. There'd be strungup bunny rabbits, kittens, otters, dolphins, parrots (since they can talk), chicken (in the form of buffalo wings in the freezer), and then a couple of random beating cows' hearts connected to more electrodes than seems necessary for good measure. I'd also pay Edgar Allen Poe's great grandson to sit in a tall black chair and read aloud The Telltale Heart and The Raven at odd temporal intervals. When the creatures I manifest are ready to unleash doom upon the world, I'd make sure they go straight for the places of worship, just to fuck with everyone's psyche.

One last item, let's throw in some gargantuan pterodactyls with lasers attached to their shoulders like those Dinobots.

I feel that building from this simple Aviary template, I'll have countless hours of entertainment to tide me over until my battleship is complete.

Leave Your Footprint

If you read something on this blog, and you like it, hate it, agree with it, disagree with it, find it revolting, find it empowering, or it makes you able to travel through time, put in a comment. It's the only way I'm going to make the millions I need so that I can retire early to spend more time with my possessions. And yes, you'll be invited to join me.

- The Mgmt.