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Monday, June 28, 2010

Memories of Demon Dogs

YouTube makes it all too easy to recapture one's distant memories effortlessly. Although many moments in Thundarr are super-stupid, the intro sequence is still awesome—Doomsday came in 1994, busted the moon in half and made the world into pretty much the coolest D&D/Star Wars hybrid ever. All the bickering bozos on the internet seem to agree on just one thing: cartoons today are lame compared to Thundarr, one of the ballsiest, most mom-repulsing, glue-sniffingly deranged badass odes to psycho-chaotic survivalism ever served up to children. Hanna-Barbera drew some cheapo bilgewater crapola animation (just watched a scene where Thundarr and Ariel mount their horses... I've seen smoother animation in grade-school flip-books), but in this case, they made up for it with sweet conceptual vengeance.

Now I can watch all the Thundarr I want, but it's mostly better to just recall. One time there was a Deathrace 2000-like episode where Thundarr had to race bad guys in some sort of Big-Wheel Death Machines. One was a giant gyroscopic wheel with spikes for treads. Most of all, I was scared semi-shitless by the episode where the evil witch switched bodies with the hot princess, Ariel. Thundarr almost killed Ariel himself while she was trapped. The princess's soul narrowly escaped eternal imprisonment in the old crone's body as it turned to stone. I thought a lot about how easily that situation could have ended up in the toilet.

I'm sure it helped all us 1980s children learn the valuable lesson that hot sexy women have beautiful souls, and ugly old crones conversely have evil, barbed-wire bitch souls that are sure to mount astral attacks on our girlfriends.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Spider Outwits Lion

It's one of the more inspirational toys in the topsy-turvy post-apocalyptic MutatioNation line from "Pray for Death" Toys! Watch out Thundarr and Mad Max! This wacky arachnid sucked the marrow from the A-Team's bones and lashed his feline buddy-slave to this fine chariot lickety split. When the sun goes down they scamper around the irradiated landscape in search of edible tidbits, melted shinies and glowing steamies left by the searing atomic heat. In post-EMP Alabama they're the fastest team on Satan's Doomway, ripping around like a 12-legged Charles Bronson that's never even smelled common sense. We feel confident you'll shed a tear when you learn how their lives end in a friend-eats-friend misery tantrum.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

TV Time

1. The Judge Judy Feedback Loop

As the chicken is to the egg, so is Judge Judy to that dominant mindset of our elders: that here in Hell’s handbasket, young folks are verminous and should be treated with the sourest suspicion. I rarely see Judge Judy, but today it happened, and her cold-blooded impatience shook me with the ball-cupping horror of coming awake in a sleeping bag full of snakes. Well, not quite, but as she chewed some defenseless human’s dignity off, I wondered if she causes old people (who love watching her, I’m told) to think most (younger) people are foolish scum, or if that basic retiree’s outlook is what drives Judge Judy to arrange her Theater of Justice to skin them alive. Today she all but said that she just bases her decisions on fuck-all, when she said, “You’re lucky today, ma’am—any other day, this decision could have gone the other way,” begging the question, BASED ON WHAT? Zodiac signs? Menopausal biorhythms? I know when you’re a professional bitch paid to prey on an endless parade of humps, there are no bonuses for politeness, but they do stamp the word JUSTICE on the show here and there.

All that’s beside the point, which is ratings. You don’t become a household name through careful onscreen deliberation. Much better to snap, fume and excoriate, to embody that frustrated demon that gestates in the bellies of so many elderly Americans: The World Will Never Be Good Again, Because Young People Are Lazy Nogoodniks and Liars, Not To Mention Mostly Not White. Ironically, Judge Judy is mostly not white, yet she has been channelling her fickle Dr. Laura WonderBread prejudices for so long that she gets a free pass. That’s not to say she’s racist. She just seems to hate all human weakness to the point of sadism. Today she berated a young woman for moving a 4-year-old child from one state to another, changing jobs, and for having a relationship that went bad. Well, sorry Judy, not all of us make millions on our own TV show. Some people lose their jobs, relocate, start over, and get so desperate that they appear on JUDGE JUDY to be reamed in exchange for paid legal fees.

The other day, my mom quoted a friend of hers as saying, “The world will never be the same again,” in the usual context that suggests everything used to be so much better… I think what most old people are lamenting, if they were being totally honest, is the world where they were young, and foolish enough to think they were in control of it.

There’s plenty of blame to go around. I’m laying some of it on Judge Judy/old people/Judge Judy....

2. COPS: Proof that Abuse of “Innocent” Citizens is Always Justified

Like JUDGE JUDY, COPS does a good job of painting the world in shit-tinted pigments. I always groan inwardly when my wife flips on COPS because, even though it can be entertaining and even educational, it’s corrupt at heart. First, nearly everyone is treated as if guilty until proven innocent. Then, as if by magic, 99% of all suspects end up being guilty, usually of drug/alcohol use/possession. Of course all the footage of innocent people gets edited out because it’s not exciting TV, leaving a clear portrait of Cesspool, USA: mostly poor, defeated users and abusers for us to laugh at. Laugh you should, because if you take it seriously, be prepared for a total disregard of human rights, an endless parade of cop-on-perp physical abuse and overreaction.

Of course, if you just finished watching JUDGE JUDY, you’ll be relieved to see beefy Boys in Blue punish the crap out of strung-out Mexicans and white trashoids, EVERY ONE OF WHICH is carrying either a crack pipe or a gun in his pants or his car. At first, you might mistakenly think, Hey, why are they pulling that guy over? (Oh, they say he rolled through a stop sign—OK, that wasn’t filmed, but whatever). Then you might indignantly say, Why are those THREE BIG COPS ramming that skinny loser’s face into the sidewalk? He’s obviously no threat to them! But watch carefully—all will be revealed. Yes, all suspicious-looking people are guilty after all. There’s nothing that can’t be tagged as illegal, and if the police do something REALLY cruel, they’ll edit that out for you. In the end, you’ll forget even your own Constitutional rights.

If you missed it, tonight's episode featured a Mexican guy caught peeing outside ("suspicious activity"). For some reason, not only did an officer show up for this negligible offense, he chased him down (actually the fat cop fell far short of catching him, but some quick civilian grabbed him), mashed him on a lawn and humped him a few times as if simulating prison sex, cuffed him, let two other officers pile on, jerked the guy up, clonked him around and into the squad car, bound his legs, put some kind of padded helmet on him, and found him to be intoxicated. Thank god they got that urinating menace off the streets!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Storytime: Punkin Scrochums

One Halloween, I thought it would be funny to give trick-or-treaters dried apricots and call them "pumpkin scrotums." My wife did a hilarious voice imitating an ignorant child fresh with the treat, running back to her parents, saying, "He gave us PUN'KIN SCROCHUMS!"

Then of course, the parent would say, "He gave you WHAT?" The police would promptly be notified and I'd have to turn over all my dried apricots to the authorities and stay at least 1000 feet from any schools. So, the dream of handing out wholesome, nutritious dehydrated vegetal genitalia to children died before it ever took flight. Thanks, paranoid parents.