April 30, 2008

Mother's Little Darlings: Part IV

I have to go with the classic "chocolate milk" kid this time around. All I can imagine is an exhausted single mom trying the best she can, trying to hold down a thankless, low-paying service job while raising her little boy in a 1-bedroom apartment. She sleeps on the couch. She forgoes spending her diminutive holiday bonus on her much needed reconstructive dental surgery so she can buy her little bundle of joy an XBOX and the Rainbow Six video game.

April 29, 2008

Clear Channel's List Of Songs With Questionable Lyrics

From Eric Nuzum's Parental Advisory: Music Censorship In America... Following the September 11th terrorist attacks, Clear Channel Communications, the largest owner of radio stations in the United States, releases a list of more than 150 "lyrically questionable"songs that stations may want to pull from their playlists. Few songs portray explicit violence, but most have metaphoric themes that ring a bit too close to the tragedies.

  • Drowning Pool "Bodies"
  • Mudvayne "Death Blooms"
  • Megadeth "Dread and the Fugitive"
  • Megadeth "Sweating Bullets"
  • Saliva "Click Click Boom"
  • P.O.D. "Boom"
  • Metallica "Seek and Destroy"
  • Metallica "Harvester or Sorrow"
  • Metallica "Enter Sandman"
  • Metallica "Fade to Black"
  • Rage Against The Machine All songs
  • Nine Inch Nails "Head Like a Hole"
  • Godsmack "Bad Religion"
  • Tool "Intolerance"
  • Soundgarden "Blow Up the Outside World"
  • AC/DC "Shot Down in Flames"
  • AC/DC "Shoot to Thrill"
  • AC/DC "Dirty Deeds"
  • AC/DC "Highway to Hell"
  • AC/DC "Safe in New York City"
  • AC/DC "TNT"
  • AC/DC "Hell's Bells"
  • Black Sabbath "War Pigs"
  • Black Sabbath "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath"
  • Black Sabbath "Suicide Solution"
  • Dio "Holy Diver"
  • Steve Miller "Jet Airliner"
  • Van Halen "Jump"
  • Queen "Another One Bites the Dust"
  • Queen "Killer Queen"
  • Pat Benatar "Hit Me with Your Best Shot"
  • Pat Benatar "Love is a Battlefield"
  • Oingo Boingo "Dead Man's Party"
  • REM "It's the End of the World as We Know It"
  • Talking Heads "Burning Down the House"
  • Judas Priest "Some Heads Are Gonna Roll"
  • Pink Floyd "Run Like Hell"
  • Pink Floyd "Mother"
  • Savage Garden "Crash and Burn"
  • Dave Matthews Band "Crash Into Me"
  • Bangles "Walk Like an Egyptian"
  • Pretenders "My City Was Gone"
  • Alanis Morissette "Ironic"
  • Barenaked Ladies "Falling for the First Time"
  • Fuel "Bad Day"
  • John Parr "St. Elmo's Fire"
  • Peter Gabriel "When You're Falling"
  • Kansas "Dust in the Wind"
  • Led Zeppelin "Stairway to Heaven"
  • The Beatles "A Day in the Life"
  • The Beatles "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"
  • The Beatles "Ticket To Ride"
  • The Beatles "Obla Di, Obla Da"
  • Bob Dylan/Guns N Roses "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"
  • Arthur Brown "Fire"
  • Blue Oyster Cult "Burnin' For You"
  • Paul McCartney and Wings "Live and Let Die"
  • Jimmy Hendrix (sic) "Hey Joe"
  • Jackson Brown "Doctor My Eyes"
  • John Mellencamp "Crumbling Down"
  • John Mellencamp "I'm On Fire"
  • U2 "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
  • Boston "Smokin"
  • Billy Joel "Only the Good Die Young"
  • Barry McGuire "Eve of Destruction"
  • Steam "Na Na Na Na Hey Hey"
  • Drifters "On Broadway"
  • Shelly Fabares "Johnny Angel"
  • Los Bravos "Black is Black"
  • Peter and Gordon "I Go To Pieces"
  • Peter and Gordon "A World Without Love"
  • Elvis Presley "(You're the) Devil in Disguise"
  • Zombies "She's Not There"
  • Elton John "Benny & The Jets"
  • Elton John "Daniel"
  • Elton John "Rocket Man"
  • Jerry Lee Lewis "Great Balls of Fire"
  • Santana "Evil Ways"
  • Louis Armstrong "What A Wonderful World"
  • Youngbloods "Get Together"
  • Ad Libs "The Boy from New York City"
  • Peter Paul and Mary "Blowin' in the Wind"
  • Peter Paul and Mary "Leavin' on a Jet Plane"
  • Rolling Stones "Ruby Tuesday"
  • Simon And Garfunkel "Bridge Over Troubled Water"
  • Happenings "See You in Septemeber"
  • Carole King "I Feel the Earth Move"
  • Yager and Evans "In the Year 2525"
  • Norman Greenbaum "Spirit in the Sky"
  • Brooklyn Bridge "Worst That Could Happen"
  • Three Degrees "When Will I See You Again"
  • Cat Stevens "Peace Train"
  • Cat Stevens "Morning Has Broken"
  • Jan and Dean "Dead Man's Curve"
  • Martha & the Vandellas "Nowhere to Run"
  • Martha and the Vandellas/Van Halen "Dancing in the Streets"
  • Hollies "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"
  • Sam Cooke Herman Hermits "Wonder World"
  • Petula Clark "A Sign of the Times"
  • Don McLean "American Pie"
  • J. Frank Wilson "Last Kiss"
  • Buddy Holly and the Crickets "That'll Be the Day"
  • John Lennon "Imagine"
  • Bobby Darin "Mack the Knife"
  • The Clash "Rock the Casbah"
  • Surfaris "Wipeout"
  • Blood Sweat and Tears "And When I Die"
  • Dave Clark Five "Bits and Pieces"
  • Trammps "Disco Inferno"
  • Paper Lace "The Night Chicago Died"
  • Frank Sinatra "New York, New York"
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival "Travelin' Band"
  • The Gap Band "You Dropped a Bomb On Me"
  • Alien Ant Farm "Smooth Criminal"
  • 3 Doors Down "Duck and Run"
  • The Doors "The End"
  • Third Eye Blind "Jumper"
  • Neil Diamond "America"
  • Lenny Kravitz "Fly Away"
  • Tom Petty "Free Fallin'"
  • Bruce Springsteen "I'm On Fire"
  • Bruce Springsteen "Goin' Down"
  • Phil Collins "In the Air Tonight"
  • Alice in Chains "Rooster"
  • Alice in Chains "Sea of Sorrow"
  • Alice in Chains "Down in a Hole"
  • Alice in Chains "Them Bone"
  • Beastie Boys "Sure Shot"
  • Beastie Boys "Sabotage"
  • The Cult "Fire Woman"
  • Everclear "Santa Monica"
  • Filter "Hey Man, Nice Shot"
  • Foo Fighters "Learn to Fly"
  • Korn "Falling Away From Me"
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers "Aeroplane"
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers "Under the Bridge"
  • Smashing Pumpkins "Bullet With Butterfly Wings"
  • System of a Down "Chop Suey!"
  • Skeeter Davis "End of the World"
  • Ricky Nelson "Travelin' Man"
  • Chi-Lites "Have You Seen Her"
  • Animals "We Gotta Get Out of This Place"
  • Fontella Bass "Rescue Me"
  • Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels "Devil with the Blue Dress"
  • James Taylor "Fire and Rain"
  • Edwin Starr/Bruce Springsteen "War"
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd "Tuesday's Gone"
  • Limp Bizkit "Break Stuff"
  • Green Day "Brain Stew"
  • Temple of the Dog "Say Hello to Heaven"Sugar Ray "Fly"
  • Local H "Bound for the Floor"
  • Slipknot "Left Behind"
  • Slipknot "Wait and Bleed"
  • Bush "Speed Kills"
  • 311 "Down"
  • Stone Temple Pilots "Big Bang Baby"
  • Stone Temple Pilots "Dead and Bloated"
  • Soundgarden "Fell on Black Days"
  • Soundgarden "Black Hole Sun"
  • Nina (sic) "99 Luft Balloons/99 Red Balloons"

April 28, 2008

PIZZA TEEN! Readers Poll Results

QUESTION: Which of these famous 20th century inventors has had the greatest influence on your daring, high-fashion look?

  • Thomas Suillivan, inventor of the teabag (1904) 50%
  • Garrett A. Morgan, inventor of the gas mask (1914) 12%
  • Charles Strite, inventor of the pop-up toaster (1919) 12%
  • Francis W. Davis, inventor of power steering (1951) 25%
Be sure to vote in the current poll!

The Concise Guide To New Order

"What?! You call this 'concise'? There's no 'Bizarre Love Triangle,' fool!" That's correct. Simply put, I'm sick of that track. There's plenty here which captures that same spiraling-out-of-control, dark-side-of-decadence mood.

Retrotech: Hagar's Video Computer

(referred from a video technician co-worker who doesn't have a website or blog for me to promote) This is some interesting historical footage of an analog video system for...uh... what the hell? Man, this guy is cool. The viking helmet, the huge microphone necklace with patch cable flair, the way he nervously picks up his coffee cup just to set it right back down. They don't make nerds like this anymore.

April 27, 2008

F'd Puppet of the Week 4/27/08

In honor of my sisters' birthday.

April 25, 2008

PIZZA TEEN! Required Reading: "For a Pinball Survivor, the Game Isn’t Over"

There's a great article over in today's NY Times about Stern Pinball Inc., the last remaining company in the world dedicated exclusively to the manufacture of pinball machines. > Read it here < The short 3-part video below is from a cable show called "Made In America" and takes you into the same Melrose Park, Illinois factory discussed in the Times' article. This post gives me a chance to slip in a video of the only pinball machine which actually gave me the creeps: Williams' Funhouse. Here's a software simulation of it on the Wii. I agree that there's nothing like interacting with real kinetic art, but for software, it's pretty compelling.

April 24, 2008

Curious Phobias

Taken from the Phobia List:

  • Alektorophobia- Fear of chickens.
  • Allodoxaphobia- Fear of opinions.
  • Ambulophobia- Fear of walking.
  • Aulophobia- Fear of flutes.
  • Bolshephobia- Fear of Bolsheviks.
  • Coprastasophobia- Fear of constipation.
  • Ephebiphobia- Fear of teenagers.
  • Epistemophobia- Fear of knowledge.
  • Helminthophobia- Fear of being infested with worms.
  • Hobophobia- Fear of bums or beggars.
  • Homilophobia- Fear of sermons.
  • Ithyphallophobia- Fear of seeing, thinking about or having an erect penis.
  • Lutraphobia- Fear of otters.
  • Nomatophobia- Fear of names.
  • Novercaphobia- Fear of your step-mother.
  • Octophobia- Fear of the figure 8.
  • Orthophobia- Fear of property.
  • Panophobia or Pantophobia- Fear of everything.
  • Peladophobia- Fear of bald people.
  • Pentheraphobia- Fear of mother-in-law.
  • Pogonophobia- Fear of beards.

Zubaz: The Next Generation

From the offical Zubaz clothing website: "Our bold patterns and classic styles are back...still just the way you like them. In the fall of 2007 Zubaz made their proud return, featuring classic patterns and bold colors, just like you always remembered. With only slight refinements, our Zubaz pants are ready for the next generation." Yeah, the next generation of date rapists, abusive husbands, felons, Italian jerkoffs, pill-poppers, Camaro IROC-Z/28 captains, wrestling fanatics and assorted semi-sentient humanoids. I hope that when they say "slight refinements" they mean that miniature GPS locaters have been woven into the fabric so State and Federal authorities may quickly locate and subdue a suspect before he flees the scene of the crime. A vast amount of suffering could be prevented if we just cut to the chase and stationed animal wranglers near the in-store displays. Like a deer to a salt lick, the would-be criminal will be unable to resist his attraction to the Zubaz. Drop a net, clip off his balls, cauterize the wound with a brand, and release.

A Zubaz rapeling emerges from its pod. Within 24 hours, it will have perpetrated its first assault. The rapeling joins its brood for a feeding of anabolic steroids & Jägermeister. View additional documentation of the Zubaz fan lifecycle here.

Stairway To Stardom Double Feature

The videos below are almost incidental. This post is, oddly enough, about the YouTube comments which, as I've said before, I typically loathe, but there's something about these Stairway To Stardom videos which attracts some real zingers. Your opening act tonight is Stairway To Stardom regulars All The King's Men. WARNING! Once you have viewed singer Steve Luisi's slithery dance, you will need to shower. My favorite comments:

  • "Steve Luisi inadvertently pioneered singing in a hairnet by coming straight to the gig from his waitering job at Carmine's in Little Italy."
  • "I want a glittery sign on the keyboard stand like that for MY band."
  • "that outfit wasn't even okay when Neil Diamond wore it"
  • "so cool to see early strokes footage on youtube!"
Now for the headliner: comedienne Wayne Rubin. My favorite comments:
  • (regarding the zippered armpits) "It makes it much easier to comb his waist length underarm hair."
  • "what would happen if Jerry Lewis had a telethon for getting Wayne Rubin to shut the fuck up?"
  • "When I close my eyes, it does sound exactly like the Third Circle of Hell, I'll hand him that."
  • "and you know his breath smells like dog shit"

April 23, 2008

Bill Moyers Journal: "Buying The War"

Continuing with a somewhat sober week here on PIZZA TEEN!, I just wanted to provide a space for disseminating Bill Moyers' excellent & important feature-length report "Buying The War" which picks through the smoldering carcass to understand the failure of the mainstream press and its role as an enabler of the lies crafted to sell the war. "Four years ago on May 1, President Bush landed on the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln and delivered a speech in front of a giant 'Mission Accomplished' banner. Despite profound questions and the increasing violence in Baghdad, many in the press confirmed the White House's claim that the war was won. How did they get it so wrong? How did the evidence disputing the existence of weapons of mass destruction and the link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11 continue to go largely unreported?" You can view the report on Bill Moyers site here. Or jump right into it, starting with the video below. Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8 - Part 9 Where's the Walt Disney cartoon about this foolishness?

Acceptable.TV: "Superhawk"

This bit popped into my mind again after a four month absence.

April 22, 2008

Walt Disney Presents "Education For Death: The Making Of The Nazi"

This was my second favorite Disney World attraction; way cooler than the Tiki Room and the Main Street Electrical Parade, still not as cool as the Carousel of Progress. Gotta love how it demonstrates the foolishness of the German people who fell for the lies of the Third Reich while employing a similar strategy of mind control to get YOU hopped up on hatred & national pride.

A Nomination For The Scariest Quote Of The Year

From the NY Times article "Politicians as Comics: A Sideshow on Pop TV" by Alessandra Stanley, April 22, 2008: "Elitism is to the 2008 campaign as communism was to 1950s politics: a career breaker. And pop TV is the antidote, a free platform to rub shoulders with viewers who only glancingly pay attention to the news. Making nice on a cooking program or game show is the macropopulist equivalent of knocking down pins in a bowling alley in Altoona, Pa., or belting down Crown Royal whiskey in a bar in Crown Point, Ind., only better: the setting, be it Rachael Ray’s kitchen or Howie Mandel’s array of suitcases on “Deal or No Deal,” is as familiar as home to millions of viewers. None of the presidential candidates want to be seen as snooty or overeducated, which must be why on Monday all three provided taped greetings to wrestling fans watching 'WWE Raw' on the USA network." Read the full article It reminded me of the Meet The Press interview with Cosby below, although the connection to the quote above is not perfect. My point is that, to court the first time voters of the next election (a.k.a. the kids Cosby discusses), candidates will be required to align themselves on some level with the increasingly stupid culture which those voters celebrate. Yes, I'm aware that general stupidity and anti-intellectualism are nothing new, but you have to admit that the way they are marketed as something to aspire to is far more powerful than ever before.

Six Post-1970s Eno Vocal Treatments

"And Then So Clear" (from the 2005 album Another Day On Earth) very well may be my favorite thing he's ever done. In the video below, Eno discusses the process he used to distort his voice for this and other tracks on that album.

April 21, 2008

ChipotleFan.com Burrito Generator

Have you ever fantasized about building your own virtual burrito and then generating an image of that burrito to stare at and share with friends? Well, now you can! The folks over at ChipotleFan.com have created a burrito generator to accommodate your wishes. Unfortunately, you are restricted to Chipotle's approved ingredients--no floor grit from a New York City yellow cab and old woman poop wrapped in a chicken gristle tortilla. Then again, the generator is still only in beta. You've NEVER seen anything this magical before. Ready? Okay, check this out. Right now, I have a fantasy about staring at a cross-section of a burrito made with nothing but sour cream. POW!!! Pure magic! Now I'm in the mood to look at a big wad of lettuce wrapped in a tortilla. BOOM!!! My mouth is salivating at the thought of staring at a burrito made of cheese and corn salsa. ZAP!!! Give me the meat! SHAZAM!!!

PIZZA TEEN! Readers Poll Results

QUESTION: Which of these highly anticipated video game releases are you most excited about?

  • Sims 2: Carter Administration Expansion (PC) 9%
  • Christopher Cross's Virtual Sailing (XBOX 360, PS3) 63%
  • Best Buy's Great Merchandise Exchange/Return Line MMORPG (PC) 0%
  • Bed Bath & Beyond Online (PC) 27%
Be sure to vote in the current poll!

Retrotech: Ondes Martenot

The Ondes Martenot (pronounced "ond marteno") dates back to the twenties. Its distinctive, ghostly sound is attributed to the vacuum tubes used to produce oscillating frequencies. It can be played just using the keyboard, or by placing a metal conductive ring around the right index finger and sliding it along a band. The location of the ring corresponds with the note on the keyboard. While the right hand controls pitch, the left hand controls volume by pushing a pressure-sensitive lever. In playing technique, this makes it very similar to a theremin (another 1920's electronic instrument). While remaining obscure, dozens of pieces have been written for it by modern classical composers over the years. I saw a Tom Waits Opera a couple years ago which included this (along with the Glass Armonica) in the orchestra, and I was utterly spellbound by its ethereal quality. More recently, anyone who's seen There Will Be Blood heard the Ondes Martenot prominently in the ten-minute wordless opening sequence. It was composed by Jonny Greenwood (of Radiohead), easily the most recognized contemporary promoter of the instrument. Here's the piece, titled "Smear". It isn't included on the soundtrack CD (also excellent) because it was written and recorded before the film was made. Greenwood also contracted this ersatz-martenot keyboard controller to be designed and built for him, now available to the public. (one more note... this instrument is often confused with the electro-theremin, most famously used in Brian Wilson's "Good Vibrations" and best described as an idiot-proof theremin, but both the martenot and the traditional theremin have more nuance).

April 20, 2008

F'd Puppet of the Week 4/20/08

I could use a couple of these little fellows right about now...

April 16, 2008

Stairway To Stardom: Dante

A look back to a time before "snarky" and "ironic" were common adjectives in all of our vocabularies. I typically loathe YouTube comments, but these ones were pretty good:

  • "Kneel before Zod!"
  • "He grooms his comb-over with that medalion."
  • "his 'take my hand and walk this land with me' comment is no doubt a metaphor for beat me off in a bush"
  • "shouldnt he be singing in klingon?"

April 14, 2008

Retrotech: Big Trak

(video is not embeddable: click here to view) Aw, look. The kid has programmed it to do an act of kindness. You can also have it deliver dad's daily martini or heroin shot. If he's the angry type who beats his children on sight, the Big Trak could literally be a lifesaver. Looking like a cross between the Landmaster and the Ark 2, this 1978 robotic wonder obeys a sequence of up to 15 commands (forward, backward, left, right, hold, fire, and dump) on the built-in control panel. It has a rabid following among hackers. More here. I was inspired to look this up because I just finished reading Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asberger's by John Elder Robinson, which I don't recommend. Robinson was an electrical engineer for Milton Bradley in the late 70's and helped design the big trak. He also went on tour with Kiss and built their special effects. As long as I'm going off on tangents, here's an ad for an item that was on store shelves around the same time. Could this be the worst toy ever? Imagine asking for a Big Trak for Christmas, and getting this instead. How many seconds of playtime before it's sent to the back of the closet or the dumpster? But the commercial is worth a laugh for immature types like myself: "with a few pumps... you can make The Thing expand in size!" (giggle)

April 13, 2008

F'd Puppet of the Week 4/13/18

I LOVE this guys stuff. It is for me the perfect blend of horror, gore, humor and genuinely well executed puppet arts. Enjoy.

PIZZA TEEN! Readers Poll Results

QUESTION: Which individual stated "I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart"?

  • Andrew Dice Clay 14%
  • Johnnie Cochran 0%
  • Florence Henderson 0%
  • Josef Mengele 0%
  • Steve Perry 42%
  • Anne Frank 42%
Be sure to vote in the current poll!

April 12, 2008

A PIZZA TEEN! Original: "Conan Memories"

I grew tired of trying to convey to friends how entertainingly absurd Schwarzenegger and director John Milius's commentary track is on the Conan: The Barbarian DVD, so I created this. Enjoy!

April 11, 2008

Mother's Little Darlings: Part III

It's all about the kid at the 1:35 mark. UPDATE! The video Stexe linked to in the comments really needs to seen by a larger audience. Watch in terror as young Tommy's embrace transforms a woman into Bacon-Face.

April 09, 2008

Billy Idol: Stand-Up Comedian

In the religious police state of the near future, a sexually titillating situation comedy titled "In The Midnight Hour" showcases the adventures of a radioactive, epileptic, albino liberal, and is beamed directly into the brains of the lowly, homeless masses. In this installment, the albino's disembodied head is reprogrammed by Dear Leader to infiltrate the Druidic Order of the ACLU. Cyborg triplets are dispatched to destroy the albino with their asses. GuitarBot is activated. Hijinx & hilarity ensue. The albino prevails and is rewarded with a Slurpee bath. He ejaculates upon an Alpha Female.

April 08, 2008

Human Giant "Thunderblast"

Have to say I enjoyed this one.

April 07, 2008

Retrotech: Teletext

It doesn't get much more retrotech than this. Keyfax tried a subscription-based interactive television system in 1982. The trial service was offered only in Chicago. It isn't surprising that it didn't catch on; people were still getting used to paying for television (cable tv was first available just two years earlier in my neighborhood) and Keyfax wanted $10 per month for their 100 pages of information, all of which you could get in a daily newspaper. Still, it's the first of its kind. No, this isn't special effects outtakes from The Last Starfighter. This is Nite-Owl, Keyfax's other venture, a midnight-to-six show on WFLD (channel 32 on UHF). The opening credits soundtrack is Tangerine Dream. I stayed over at a friend's house when I was twelve and we watched this for at least an hour. There was simply nothing else on. Seeing it here again, I realize it's far more worthwhile than just about anything else tv was offering at the time. A whole hour's worth of news, weather, trivia, and no sponsors or commercials. For these reasons, it didn't make money and was yanked. Keyfax also died a quick death, and nothing like it came back around until internet television in the mid-90's. But that's another post.

Selections From "The Copulatin' Blues Compact Disk"

From Alan Greenberg's editorial review on Amazon.com: "For the last century and more, the only place in a black American's world safe from the bossman's grasp has been the bedroom. A sense of this freedom in all its audacious raunch and hilarity fairly leaps from this brilliant anthology of bawdy blues recordings from the late 1920s through the 1930s. There are many raw delights to savor, such as Sidney Bechet's thrilling clarinet on "Preachin' Blues"; Tampa Red's Hokum Jazz Band with horny little Frankie Jaxon vamping his lead vocals on "My Daddy Rocks Me with One Steady Roll"; "Don't You Make Me High" by Merline Johnson, the Yas-Yas Girl; and "Get Off with Me" by Coot Grant and Kid Wesley Wilson. The most outrageous gem in the trove is "Winin' Boy" by Jelly Roll Morton, who, in black tie and tails, performed this vulgar masterpiece before unsuspecting governmental dignitaries in the Library of Congress just before World War II."

PIZZA TEEN! Essential Viewing: "A Lad An' A Lamp"

This one is difficult to top. It's got several citations of political incorrectness, the weird "mmwow!" sound, explosions, a bully, a despondent magician, and the best series of events involving a crazed, drunken chimp I've ever seen. "Go to 3rd and Broadway. A drunken monkey. Shoot to kill. That is all."

April 06, 2008

F'd Puppet of the Week 4/6/08

PIZZA TEEN! Essential Viewing: "Readin' And Writin'"

Very few of the kids here are "cute," and in my opinion, that makes them 10,000 times more compelling. They seem like authentic kids, not little actors. Brisbane could very well be a creepy, 25-year old midget for all we know. I love his exchange with the blacksmith in part 1. Sherwood, the kid who recites the poem, is just so damn weird looking, whenever he's on screen, I can't help but laugh.

April 02, 2008

Me Ka Hali' A Aloha

PIZZA TEEN! Readers Poll Results

QUESTION: 200 years from now, what has become of the human race?

  • Humans have transcended the limits of flesh by merging with technology. 0%
  • Humans have accidentally or intentionally annihilated themselves. 11%
  • Humans have been annihilated by a natural or cosmic catastrophe. 11%
  • Humans have become subservients to their technologically superior masters. 11%
  • Humans have devolved to a subhuman, Morlock-type state. 11%
  • Humans are more or less the same as they are today. 55%
Be sure to vote in the current poll!

The Story Of The Bad Little Boy

By Mark Twain, 1875

Once there was a bad little boy whose name was Jim -- though, if you will notice, you will find that bad little boys are nearly always called James in your Sunday-school books. It was strange, but still it was true that this one was called Jim. He didn't have any sick mother either -- a sick mother who was pious and had the consumption, and would be glad to lie down in the grave and be at rest but for the strong love she bore her boy, and the anxiety she felt that the world might be harsh and cold towards him when she was gone. Most bad boys in the Sunday-books are named James, and have sick mothers, who teach them to say, "Now, I lay me down," etc., and sing them to sleep with sweet, plaintive voices, and then kiss them good-night, and kneel down by the bedside and weep. But it was different with this fellow. He was named Jim, and there wasn't anything the matter with his mother -- no consumption, nor anything of that kind. She was rather stout than otherwise, and she was not pious; moreover, she was not anxious on Jim's account. She said if he were to break his neck it wouldn't be much loss. She always spanked Jim to sleep, and she never kissed him good-night; on the contrary, she boxed his ears when she was ready to leave him.

Once this little bad boy stole the key of the pantry, and slipped in there and helped himself to some jam, and filled up the vessel with tar so that his mother would never know the difference; but all at once a terrible feeling didn't come over him, and something didn't seem to whisper to him, "Is it right to disobey my mother? Isn't in sinful to do this? Where do bad little boys go who gobble up their good kind mother's jam?" and then he didn't kneel down all alone and promise never to be wicked any more, and rise up with a light, happy heart, and go and tell his mother all about it and beg her forgiveness, and be blessed by her with tears of pride and thankfulness in her eyes. No; that is the way with all other bad boys in the books; but it happened otherwise with this Jim, strangely enough. He ate that jam, and said it was bully, in his sinful, vulgar way; and he put in the tar, and said that was bully also, and laughed, and observed "that the old woman would get up and snort" when she found it out; and when she did find it out, he denied knowing anything about it, and she whipped him severely, and he did the crying himself. Everything about this boy was curious -- everything turned out differently with him from the way it does to the bad Jameses in the books.

Once he climbed up in Farmer Acorn's apple-tree to steal apples, and the limb didn't break, and he didn't fall and break his arm, and get torn by the farmer's great dog, and then languish on a sick bed for weeks, and repent and become good. Oh! no; he stole as many apples as he wanted and came down all right; and he was all ready for the dog too, and knocked him endways with a brick when he came to tear him. It was very strange -- nothing like it ever happened in those mild little books with marbled backs, and with pictures in them of men with swallow-tailed coats and bell-crowned hats, and pantaloons that are short in the legs, and women with the waists of their dresses under their arms, and no hoops on. Nothing like it in any of the Sunday-school books.

Once he stole the teacher's pen-knife, and, when he was afraid it would be found out and he would get whipped, he slipped it into George Wilson's cap -- poor Widow Wilson's son, the moral boy, the good little boy of the village, who always obeyed his mother, and never told an untruth, and was fond of his lessons, and infatuated with Sunday-school. And when the knife dropped from the cap, and poor George hung his head and blushed, as if in conscious guilt, and the grieved teacher charged the theft upon him, and was just in the very act of bringing the switch down upon his trembling shoulders, a white-haired, improbable justice of the peace did not suddenly appear in their midst, and strike an attitude and say, "Spare this noble boy -- there stands the cowering culprit! I was passing the school-door at recess, and unseen myself, I saw the theft committed!" And then Jim didn't get whaled, and the venerable justice didn't read the tearful school a homily, and take George by the hand and say such a boy deserved to be exalted, and then tell him to come and make his home with him, and sweep out the office, and make fires, and run errands, and chop wood, and study law, and help his wife do household labors, and have all the balance of the time to play, and get forty cents a month, and be happy. No; it would have happened that way in the books, but it didn't happen that way to Jim. No meddling old clam of a justice dropped in to make trouble, and so the model boy George got thrashed, and Jim was glad of it. Because, you know, Jim hated moral boys. Jim said he was "down on them milksops." Such was the coarse language of this bad, neglected boy.

But the strangest thing that ever happened to Jim was the time he went boating on Sunday, and didn't get drowned, and that other time that he got caught out in the storm when he was fishing on Sunday, and didn't get struck by lightning. Why, you might look, and look, and look, all through the Sunday-school books from now till next Christmas, and you would never come across anything like this. Oh no; you would find that all the bad boys who go boating on Sunday invariably get drowned, and all the bad boys who get caught out in storms, when they are fishing on Sunday, infallibly get struck by lightning. Boats with bad boys in them are always upset on Sunday, and it always storms when bad boys go fishing on the Sabbath. How this Jim ever escaped is a mystery to me.

This Jim bore a charmed life -- that must have been the way of it. Nothing could hurt him. He even gave the elephant in the menagerie a plug of tobacco, and the elephant didn't knock the top of his head off with his trunk. He browsed around the cupboard after essence of peppermint, and didn't make a mistake and drink aqua fortis. He stole his father's gun and went hunting on the Sabbath, and didn't shoot three or four of his fingers off. He struck his little sister on the temple with his fist when he was angry, and she didn't linger in pain through long summer days, and die with sweet words of forgiveness upon her lips that redoubled the anguish of his breaking heart. No; she got over it. He ran off and went to sea at last, and didn't come back and find himself sad and alone in the world, his loved ones sleeping in the quiet church-yard, and the vine-embowered home of his boyhood tumbled down and gone to decay. Ah! no; he came home as drunk as a piper, and got into the station-house the first thing.

And he grew up, and married, and raised a large family, and brained them all with an ax one night, and got wealthy by all manner of cheating and rascality; and now he is the infernalest wickedest scoundrel in his native village, and is universally respected, and belongs to the Legislature.

So you see there never was a bad James in the Sunday-school books that had such a streak of luck as this sinful Jim with the charmed life.

April 01, 2008

Wrestling's Greatest Fan

Ride it out to the end. Just ride it out.