Wednesday, January 26, 2011

For The Fiscally Responsible Collector

Need some solid financial advice from Shakesville's resident Wall Street Insider™? (That's me, by the way!) Buy some of these! They are guaranteed to appreciate in value! It's practically like buying cash money at half off! It's all about the Benjamins! It's all about the Biebers! Yes! Get in on the ground floor of the Bieberdollar bubble!

5 cards! 1 sticker! No purchase necessary! (I have no idea! Shoplifting, what?) Stock up now! Rare and foil cards! And remember: After the Bieberpocalypse, the only currency recognized by the NBO (New Bieber Order; Glenn Beck's ghostwriters are already working on a new novel) will be the Bieberdollar! Don't be left behind! Don't be Left Behind! Ages 9+ only!

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Incredible Melting Man

Astronaut Steve West (Alex Rebar, the toughest-named actor this side of Rock Hudson) gets himself irradiated out near the rings of Uranus Saturn. This kills his crew and turns him into the Incredible Melting Man of the title. How he gets back to Earth from Saturn isn't ever explained. But I guess we're just supposed to accept the premise that his gooey self is back home and running amok.

He's melting and more than a little agitated. He harries a nurse, some children, a fisherman (whom he decapitates), and a pair of feisty geriatrics. Apparently being irradiated and melting makes one hunger for human flesh. So, Steve (or Melty, as I like to call him) eats his way from one end of town to the other.

Determined to put an end to his killing spree, The Doc (Burr DeBenning) and The General (Myron Healey) are in hot pursuit. And by hot pursuit, I mean they have dinner, sit around the house a lot and occasionally go for a ride in their Land Cruiser.

Despite looking like he's spent the better part of the week in a crock pot, Melty remains pretty spry. He even manages to kill both the General and Jonathan Demme (cameo!) before disappearing into a... factory of some sort. Actually, it looks like your typical movie Steam and Flame factory, but without anything in the budget for steam or flame. Though, there are plenty of stairs.

Stairs and catwalks to be precise. And you know what that means. Yup, several people fall to their deaths, because you can't have a catwalk in a movie without someone falling off of it. But surprisingly Melty doesn't topple to his death. Most everyone else does...

As for Melty, he... well, he melts. The film ends with him being mopped up by an indifferent janitor. Poor Melty.

Directed by William Sachs • R • 1977 • 86 minutes

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Overton Window: Chapter Thirty-Two

Hi there, chapter thirty-two! And hello to your companion, Part Three! Yes, we're starting Part Three. All these parts, it makes me feel like I'm reading Tolkien; this chapter being less than two pages, not so much.

Since this is a new section, an arc for our story, I thought it might be a good time to recap what's gone on since we started our little journey across the shire together. First, though, let's look at our friends in the tale:

Dullis Personae:

Noah Gardner: Presumed hero of the piece, maybe. PR genius, maybe. Patsy, definitely.

Molly Ross: Our Heroine. Teabagging lady and True Patriot. You go, girl!

Darthur: Bad guy. Noah's father. Runs PR for the New World Order.

Danny Bailey: Youtube star, teabagger and sometime weed dealer.

Stuart Kearns: FBI agent undercover posing as former FBI agent. Has a bomb.

Hollis: Teabagging manchild, gun aficionado. AKA Ragnar Benson, noted author.

Beverly Emerson: Molly's mother. Salt of the Earth™.

Charlie Nelan: Awesome Lawyer.

Warren Landers: Darthur's head of security and Sith Lord.

Elmer: Domestic terrorist, planning to nuke Harry Reid's office.

Pretty straightforward, right? I mean, I think that's everyone and their role here. The writing is a little muddy, so it's hard to tell who is good and who is bad in this tale. But knowing Beck as I do (we went to summer camp together, we still exchange Christmas cards) I am leaning toward the teabagger camp being the good guys, and the NWO being bad. (The NWO is always bad. It seems so unfair.) Noah is the wildcard, except, you know, he's In Love, and so, by the end of things I expect him to be teabagging right alongside Molly.

Previously on The Overton Window:

Noah meets Molly and falls in love almost immediately. They go to a teabagging show together where Beverly gives a speech and so does Danny. The show is raided and Hollis is tazed and Noah gets hit on the head. Awesome Lawyer Charlie gets everyone bailed out. Everyone but Danny. Noah and Molly spend the night not fucking. Kearns takes Danny undercover to sell a nuclear warhead to Elmer. Molly and Noah break into Darthur's office to snoop at a Powerpoint about the New World Order. Later, Molly drugs Noah and she and Hollis go back and steal the Powerpoint. Landers tells Noah he's a sap. Darthur tells Noah the NWO starts tomorrow.

So far, so good, right? That was totally worth 212 pages.

Chapter Thirty-Two

The good news here is there's less than 80 pages left in this story. And as a bonus, this chapter a mere two. I mean, that's good because it's a short chapter. On the other hand, it's not bringing us much closer to the finale.

Noah washes his face and takes a piss in "the elegant stall in the corner of his father's private restroom." (Really, that's a direct quote.) He then storms off down the hall, because if nothing else, this book features plenty of movement: down halls, sidewalks, in limos.

He heads to the mailroom and demands info about Molly from her supervisor. It's poorly written and awkward and kind of convoluted because she's a temp and that info is only available at the temp agency. Nonetheless:

"You're talking about that temp girl, Molly?" Another of the mail-room staff had apparently overheard the conversation, and he came nearer. "Somebody called here for her over the weekend. I picked up the voice mail when I opened up this morning."

"Do you have that message?" Noah asked. "It's important."

"I deleted it, and I didn't write anything down, since it was a personal thing. The fellow who called must have just tried all the numbers he had for her. He said her mama was in the hospital."


As the news gripped him there he remembered what Warren Landers had said, up in his father's office. We'll make them sorry. That's how Mr. Landers had put it.

Poor Mama! She's the first victim of Darthur's evil scheme. Well, there was that janitor in the desert from the prologue. But who gives a fuck about him? Poor Bev. May I call you Bev? Poisoned, no doubt. Or maybe tazed. NWO likes tazers. (See above.) Will she pull through? Who knows.

But I sense a decision point coming up for young Noah.

Battle Beyond the Stars

God bless my mother. She took me to see this when I was just a wee lad of nine. She sat through it without so much as an ill word. It's a testament to her strength, and her willingness to put up with no amount of shit from her youngest son, that she sat there next to me the entire 100 minutes and even patted me softly on the head later when I gushed about how good it was.

That became our de rigueur mode of interaction over the subsequent years. I'd do something stupid (usually far worse than choosing a crappy movie) and she’d be at my side, no matter what. Raising kids ain't easy especially when one of them is a queer little boy with a taste for truancy, vandalism and petty theft.

That I grew into anything other than a reprobate is nothing short of a miracle, especially in that environment.

Nowadays I get in trouble a lot less, and usually only burden my mother when I need a shoulder to cry on. Or need to borrow money. She never fails to comfort me, though lately, it's not very easy to get any cash out of her. She's got her retirement to think about, I guess.

This movie is just about what you'd expect in a Roger Corman produced sci-fi rip off of The Magnificent Seven. Shad (Richard Thomas) is a naïve young flyboy who is sent to the far reaches of the galaxy when his home world is attacked by Sador, a real baddie played by John Saxon.

Shad-boy assembles a ragtag band of mercenaries made up of George Peppard, Robert Vaughn, Sybil Danning in big hair and little else, a space lizard, and a couple midgets. So, you know the home world is safe.

There's a lot of really bad sexual innuendo, a lot of real bad special effects, and a lot of scenery chewing from John Saxon. There an old man with a robot body, an effect achieved by placing an actor inside a cardboard box with lights attached to it. There's a space ship with knockers.

Now, all of this went over my head as a child. My mother, no doubt, got it all. That she never complained shows you what a great woman she is. I suppose I should call her and apologize for all the crap I put her through in my youth, starting with this film.

Directed by Jimmy Murakami • PG • 1980 • 104 minutes

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Overton Window: Chapter Thirty-One

You know what I missed these last few chapters? Speechifying. But thank heavens for chapter thirty-one, because it makes a huge comeback here!

In case you forgot (and who'd blame you), chapter thirty ended with Darthur asking to be alone with his son Noah. Noah had just got the lowdown on how he'd been made a patsy for Molly's gang of clever teabaggers, who'd doped him up, broke into Doyle & Merchant and ran off with some secret computer files. Whoops!


Arthur Gardner's office suite was rumored to be the quietest place on the island of Manhattan. It had been designed that way, as an environment of uninterrupted solitude, completely free of unwanted outside sounds. There was no street or city noise, not a whisper from the heating or cooling vents, no intrusion on the ears from the bustling office floor outside.

Rumored by whom exactly? I was sort of under the impression that Darthur and his organization were relatively unknown. By design. Shadow PR firm doing its shadow business in the shadows. Besides, back in chapter nineteen it's made clear that "few employees ever had occasion to set foot in these rooms." So who is gossiping about the relative quiet of Darthur's office? That said, I am sure there are plenty of quiet places in New York. It's just another ridiculous moment meant to convey how powerful Darthur is: He can afford soundproofing. Also, Darthur doesn't like other people because they are noisy.

Noah apologizes, but Darthur will have none of it.

"There's no need to apologize to me. It was more an insult than an injury, the idea that they managed to use you in an attempt to damage our company and our clients. We've known of these people, of course, and we'd thought we were adequately prepared, but they surprised all of us, didn't they? And I must say this avenue they chose, the seductive infiltration by this girl, it shows a great deal more ingenuity than I would have expected, given the source. It was inspired, really. Ruthless though it was."
Huh? So Darthur and everyone knew someone was likely to attempt (a second) infiltration and they did nothing? Jebus. What shitty security. Personally, I've no fear the NWO is going to get anywhere, because, frankly, these clowns appear to be incompetent goobers. Doubly so if they think the old seduction gambit was ingenious.

All of which is neither her nor there. Especially to Darthur. He's got important shit to tell Noah. Why? I don't know. Noah seems like a weak link, and not to be trusted, at least in the short term. But I'm no PR genius with the quietest office in New York, so pay me no mind.

Darthur spends the next five pages speechifying about how people aren't fit to govern themselves. Only supergenius PR men and his cronies are. Or something. Needless to say, but say it I will, the writing here sucks. It's the same weirdo nightmare scenario Beck has concocted and fed to his viewers over and over.

I'll go ahead and drop some highlights here for you, and let you all hash it out as to what they mean. (Hint: Beck is a doofus.)

"I came to understand at an early age that Thomas Jefferson himself couldn't really have believed what he'd written in his Declaration. No slave owner could. Nor could any man with his intelligence, and his great knowledge of history, believe himself to be equal in any way to the ignorant masses of his time. He was preparing to do battle with an empire, making his case against the divine right of kings, so he brazenly invoked the Creator on his own behalf. He proposed that God was the source of these inborn rights of man, and that, contrary to the popular mythology of the times, the Almighty would not be on the side of the British royalty if the conflict came to war.

"That these rights were granted by God, it wasn't the truth, you see, it was what Jefferson needed to say to give his revolution the moral authority to proceed. But he also must have known he was putting far more faith in the common people than they've ever shown the courage to deserve."
"There's a tale from the close of the Constitutional Convention, in which someone asked Benjamin Franklin what form of government the people would be given, a republic or a monarchy. Do you remember what Franklin replied?"

"'A republic,'" Noah said, "'if you can keep it.'"

The old man nodded. "If they could keep it, yes. Such a thing had never been attempted before, not on the scale these men proposed. It was a bold experiment whose outcome was far from certain, and it could have worked. But its founding premise was also its great weakness: that these common people of the United States, for the first time among all the people in recorded history, could somehow prove capable of ruling themselves—to hold on to the fragile gift they'd been given. And time and again they've proven they're not equal to the task."
"There have always been only four kinds of people in the world: the visionaries who choose the course, and we are the fewest; the greedy and corruptible—they're useful, because they'll do anything for a short-term gain; the revolutionaries, a handful of violent, backward thinkers whose only mission is to stand in the way of progress—we'll deal with them in short order; and then there are the masses, the lemmings who can scarcely muster the intelligence to blindly follow along.

"There are far more of them than there are of us, and more are coming every day. When I was born there were two billion people in the world; now that number has more than tripled, all in a single lifetime. And it isn't the Mozarts, or the Einsteins, or the Pascals, or Salks, or Shakespeares, or the George Washingtons who are swelling the population beyond the breaking point. It's the useless eaters on the savage side of the bell curve who are outbreeding the planet's ability to support them.

And, of course:

"The American experiment has failed, and now it's time for the next one to begin. One world, one government—not of the people this time, but of the right people: the competent, the wise, and the strong."

Darthur finishes with some ominous news:

"My clients came to me with a problem and I gave them a solution. We start tomorrow morning. I've stood by and watched the glacial pace of this decline for too many years. Now the remnants of the past will be swept away in a single stroke, and I'll see my vision realized before I die. Order from chaos, control, and pacification of the flawed human spirit. Call that hope if you like, but it's coming regardless. The experiment that begins tomorrow will not fail."
Yes, call that hope if you like, but the New World Order starts tomorrow. Uh oh.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Headline of the Day

"Tea Party Group Decries SmartMeters." Of course. Of course they do.

Thursday, January 06, 2011


The $380 million jackpot was won last night in the Mega Millions lottery. Two lucky (maybe) ticket holders with the winning numbers (4, 8, 15, 25 and 47, with the Mega ball number of 42) will split the prize.

And approximately 16,234 Lost nerds will be queueing up to collect about $150 each.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Photo of the Day

[Image of church sign that reads: Sermon: "The Peter In Me." Whoops!]

Saturday, January 01, 2011


Taken Thursday morning:

It was an exceedingly cold and misty morning.

"What Do You Want Me To Do About It, Bust Out Cryin'?"