"PARENT'S GUIDE TO ANIME" (...FANDOM CHAUVINISM)
Okay, I like AnimeNation just fine as an online store
, an anime news site
, a forum
, and, now, even a domestic anime distributor, under the AN Entertainment
label. And I can certainly understand the need for a company that both sells anime and distributes it to toot the anime horn and present it as being a superior entertainment option. However, their new "Parent's Guide to Anime"
, which isn't even a guide, like ABCB.com's "A Parent's Guide to Anime"
, but an essay, and one that, sorry, reads like a well-written and properly punctuated version of an "ANIME IS TEH BESTEST THING EVAR!!!" fanboy screed.
Here is the most problematic paragraph in the piece:
"The often overlooked fundamental difference between Japanese animation and American animation is Japanese animation's unspoken policy of treating animation like any other type of fiction. Unlike American cartoons and comic books that star one-dimensional superheroes or talking animals or characters that exist only to advance a story, anime focuses on characters that think and act like real people. The characters in anime have real-world motivations, emotions, conflicts and problems. They are as fully developed "people" as characters in fiction novels or live-action movies. In effect, although they?re animated, the stars of anime are anything but cartoon characters. For example, Bugs Bunny has only his next one-liner on his mind. Superman thinks only about how to protect Metropolis while maintaining his disguise as Clark Kent. An anime character that has to pilot a giant robot to protect the Earth from alien invaders may fear being injured or killed, stress over living up to his heavy responsibility, feel anxiety over a crush on an attractive schoolmate, and worry about getting to his part time job on time, all at the same time!"
See, that's the number one thing that annoys me about a lot of pro-anime propaganda**, the cheap shots they often take at western cartoons. No, not all American or Canadian cartoons have "one-dimensional" characters. Have these people ever seen The Nightmare Before Christmas
or King of the Hill
or The Iron Giant
, which are just some examples American-produced cartoons which have at least some characters which aren't just one-dimensional? All those cartoons have strong, character-driven storylines. Even a lot of the superhero cartoons, especially those made post-Superfriends
, have characters whom do worry about things outside of their day-jobs, inspired, yes, in some cases by anime, but also their source material. comic books, has, in many cases, matured compared to what they used to be in large part due to the graphic novel revolution of the 1980s, as well as influences from more underground comic books prior to that era.
And, of course Bugs Bunny is completely one-dimensional... he's the star of seven-minute long cartoons which are basically successions of sight gags with Bugs as a "trickster" character. And some of those cartoons are absolutely brilliant in that way, because some cartoons neccessitate one-dimensional characterizations; multi-dimensional characters in one-dimensional situations wouldn't work. One-dimensional characterizations are not a sign of inferior writing, just a different style of writing. And to imply that there aren't any Japanese cartoons with one-dimensional characters is just ludicrous. Adventures of Mini-Goddess
is an example of seven-minute long gag cartoons with characters, with the exception of Gan-chan whom is the comic foil "straight man" (or "straight rat", I suppose), just as one-dimensional as anything in the Warner Brothers' Looney Tunes
stable. And, yes, there are plenty of bad Japanese cartoons with one-dimensional characters, like an awful lot of the Dragonball
or Yuu Yuu Hakusho
-clones I've seen, which, if I named them, I'd get angry e-mail from the fans which would read like "But in episode 92, so-and-so-a-character, who's usually a generic tough guy, showed some degree of anguish, therefore he isn't one-dimensiuonal!", in which case I could name "In episode XX" examples for the American cartoon shows I watch to disprove any one-dimensional claims. Yes, even for Ralph Wiggum. And Urusei Yatsura
, about my favourite anime, has mostly characters whom are one-dimensional at least 90% of the time. The times when Ataru does show his affection for Lum doesn't disprove the fact that he's a fairly one-dimensional girl chaser in most episodes.
Also, some anime fans make too much hay out of the alleged superiority of anime because these cartoons have arcing storylines, unlike American cartoons... erm, some American cartoons have had arcing storylines, like Disney's Gargoyles
*** or Thundarr the Barbarian
. And many anime, including things I like, like Urusei Yatsura
(for the most part) and You're Under Arrest
, are just as episodic as most American cartoons. Sometimes I just want episodes with self-contained storylines that don't really affect the overall continuity; even the best episodes of Cowboy Bebop
, in my honest opinion, were the so-called "filler" episodes. The story arc episodes were actually relatively boring and depressing, especially the last episode wherein Spike gets killed****.
Really, some of the arguments for the superiority of anime in the paragraph I've excerpted above are just the flipside of Todd H.'s ridiculous arguments against anime
in his e-mail to Berit Kjos's Crossroad.to
with implied ALL statements regarding non-Japanese cartoons (well, except for the claim about ALL anime being witchcraft, which is unparalleled). The problem with ALL statements is that, 99% of the time, they're easily debunked. There needs to be a few uses of "in general" or "by and large" in this article for cartoons made on both sides of the Pacific, which would eliminate a large portion of my specific objections to this piece.
"From space aliens to cyborgs to witches to even simple contemporary teenagers, anime characters think, act, and react like real, living people in realistic settings and situations. In contrast, American cartoons simply don?t deal with realistic characters in realistic settings and circumstances. So in effect, the Japanese animation industry is much more similar to the American motion picture industry than the American animation industry. And in the same way that not every movie at the local multiplex is suitable for every viewer, not all anime is suitable for all viewers."
SOME anime characters think, act, and react like real, living people in realistic settings and situations. Others act like the cartoon characters they are. And SOME of the western cartoons I've mentioned have characters acting in realistic ways... hell, there's even a Canadian cartoon based on Lynn Johnston's For Better or For Worse
, one of the most realistic comic strips there is. But realism isn't a virtue in and of itself, it depends on the intent of the cartoon. Hank Hill acting "normal" (if you ignore the comic exaggeration) would be par for the course
"Unlike live action cinema, which is limited by the technology of cinema and physical ability of actors, anime is limited only by the imagination of its creators. There are examples of Japanese animation in every genre and style imaginable, including comedy, history, science fiction, horror, romance and drama. There are anime programs created specifically for children, for adolescent girls, for teen boys, for young adult women, for families, and even for adult viewers only. And in accordance with its emphasis on believable characters and realistic situations, some anime does indeed include graphic nudity, sex, violence and other content that select viewers may find offensive. On the other hand, there are also full length anime episodes that are about events no more threatening than choosing seat assignments on the first day of school or the pleasures of a peaceful country library on a bright spring day. It's a mistake to assume that all Japanese animation is suitable for children just because it's animated. Likewise, it's also grossly inaccurate to stereotype all anime as exploitive sex and violence."
OMG!!! ANIME IS TEH MOST IMAGINATIVE THING EVAR!!!
Well, that's a little unfair summation of that paragraph, but, still, that's largely what it reads like to me. And, if you ignore books and comics, it largely true that animation has the capability to be somewhat, well, I don't think "more imaginative" is quite fair, just the capability of live-action is more restricted by budget than anime in general, but, with the advances of special effects over the past decade, the gap is closing, make no mistake about it. And animation, likewise, is limited by budget... for hand-drawn animation at least. Two characters on the screen at once are fairly easy to animate, but crowd shots are a bitch, especially if they're animated. Vehicles also are a pain in the butt to animate properly, especially if they're close enough that the perspective changes drastically... one reason why I think the You're Under Arrest
OVA episodes are severely underrated is that they animated the cars themselves quite beautifully, with no distortion or stretching when the cars turn a corner. In the You're Under Arrest
TV series, often the cars would be still images, panned or zoomed to create the illusion of motion, but that looks a lot cheaper. Another drawback of hand-drawn animation is that often character designs will be streamlined to make them easy to draw over and over. Each additional element is something else the animators have to draw and redraw. This is why, for example, Sailor Moon lost the wingtips in her hair from the original manga in the anime in the first couple of seasons (the later seasons had a bit more of a budget, so they brought them back for Super Sailor Moon).
And some anime is more imaginative than others, but 90% of anime is fairly derivative and falls neatly into one or the other category. And pure imagination is also not something that is a virtue in and of itself. One thing I certainly can't deny about Spirited Away
was that it was imaginative, but one of my biggest problems with the film was that it was so imaginative that the plot just meanders, and a lot of the imaginative stuff I didn't find all that interesting.
Plus a lot of anime is just as commercial and cookie-cutter as a lot of American cartoons. Yes, there are some auteur-driven anime from directors like Satoshi Kon, Mamoru Oshii, and Hayao Miyazaki, but those productions are the exception, not the rule. If the person whom I think wrote this (whom I won't name since this is not a personal attack; it's a person whose opinions I respect even if I do not always agree) is indeed the person whom wrote this, he'll tell you that all anime is Art, but, while technically true (anything drawn is art), I'm a pragmatic anime fan whom thinks that point of view is just pretentious. Or maybe I'd say that all anime, and cartoons in general, are "art", but very few of them would be worthy of hanging in the anime equivalent of the Louvre. (I know I've heard something similar said once, but it's not one of the "95 Theses Against Fandumb"
... maybe it was from Zac Bertschy
, whom tends to be a lot more level-headed about such things.) Sorry, I refuse to care about the artistic integrity of stuff like Pok�mon
, and to suggest that all anime is worthy of being taken as seriously as Art as Millenium Actress
just demeans Millenium Actress
. This is why I prefer to stay out of the "artistic merit" game entirely and instead just value the anime I enjoy, no matter how highbrow or lowbrow the consensus opinion seems to be.
As for western cartoons, I find Untalkative Bunny
to be wonderfully imaginative in its own weird little way. By and large, there are fewer commercially-viable genres in western cartoons, but cartoons can be just as imaginative within a genre.
"It may seem pretentious to say, but in fact, anime may be for contemporary generations the equivalent communal entertainment that stage dramas and opera were for audiences during centuries past."
Yeah, sorry, for a lot of us anime fans, saying such things is indeed pretentious. Another downside of articles like this one (and several well-meaning newspaper articles after Spirited Away
's Oscar win) taking anime too seriously as art, at least if you enjoy the sort of anime I tend to enjoy the most, it that such an attitude sucks an awful lot of the fun out of anime. It doesn't affect my enjoyment if someone else enjoys certain specific anime as high art, but a better statement would be "Different people enjoy anime for different reasons." I like a lot of Japanese cartoons which are indeed just dumb, goofy fun, like Project A-ko
or 90% of Urusei Yatsura
"At its best, anime can be educational and both morally and spiritually encouraging. The vast majority of anime, though, is simply pure escapist entertainment, enjoyable for the most innocent viewer and the most critical skeptic alike."
Now that's a much better statement. I wish there had been more like this in the article. My only real quibble is implying that the escapist stuff is of lesser virtue than the artistic stuff.
"Anime appeals to a broad spectrum of Western fans for two reasons. First, its bright, colorful and kinetic visual style is unlike anything else most Western viewers have ever seen."
Generally true. I don't feel like nitpicking that one.
"Second, unlike so many examples of American pop-culture obviously targeted at the lowest common denominator, anime largely presumes the intelligence of its viewers."
Aww... so close to ending on a high note. There is just as much "lowest common denominator" anime, especially the fan service ones like Popotan
Well, that's as much of the article as I felt like excerpting. If this isn't just a Christmas shopping thing and it may still be edited, add a few more "in general"s or "more often than not"s and admit that some anime is indeed garbage and get rid of some of the gross generalizations about western cartoons.
As for me, if I was writing a parent's guide, a general "Anime are cartoons animated in Japan for a Japanese audience" would be a sufficient explanation, and, rather than making erroneous generalizations, I'd just name many examples of anime which would be suitable for most children, taking into account the things certain parents, especially of Christian or feminist stripes, might have problems with, and I'd also mention some of the titles most popular within the anime fandom niche and say how they are or aren't suitable for children below a certain age.
**In the dictionary sense of the word "propaganda", which doesn't neccesarily mean anything sinister in and of itself.
***Actually, if you remember what I said about Michael Eisner a couple of weeks back, there's one solid thing I can name where Eisner deserves some degree of the credit for being the guy in the boardroom whom supported it.
****Meh, I think we're past the "sell-by" date on that spoiler; it's been out on DVD for three years now.
Just wondering, am I the only person in the world who finds the Nexium
commercials** (the "little purple pill"(TM)) downright Satanic? No, I don't mean "Satanic" in the literal, Bible-thumper-reading-far-too-much-into-harmless-entertainment sense, just in the sense that the people's voices are electronically adjusted when they describe the pain seemingly harmless foods will give you if you have certain ailments of the digestive tract. Damn, they're creepy; I know those commercials would have scared the shit out of me when I was a small boy, and, even at 29, I still find them a bit unsettling.
Also, I hate that the exciting part of Christmas is over (Christmas technically lasting until January 6th, for those of you in Rio Linda), and I'm the sort of guy that loves the anticipation and the commercialization of it all starting in November, but at least I'm relieved that I won't be hearing any of those Fran Drescher "Old Navy Holiday Hotline" commercials again until, at least, November 2004. Fuck, Old Navy, could you possibly have made those commercials any more grating? Fran Drescher's voice is grating enough as it is, I do not need to hear Fran Drescher talk like Snoop, sorry. "My shizzle's gone fazizzle!" And some of the other stuff she said is just insipid. "Eyes of blue, I'll connect you!" I mean, Fran Drescher's tolerable in small doses, like in Weird Al Yankovic's U.H.F.
, but having her say the same lines five to ten times an hour on some channels? I'm not the Old Navy-type, but, if I was, you could bet that I wouldn't be shopping there anytime soon.
Other recent commercials I can't stand: the Hyundai Elantra commercial
with the annoying campfire song "Ain't no flies on us"
; the Christmas commercial for Target stores with the song "These are a Few of my Favourite Things"
, done in a weird electronic style; and the old stand-by, the "Wonder of it all" commercial with the annoying lounge singer for Foxwoods Indian Casino
in Connecticut, which are all over Boston-area TV stations (which I can watch on Bell ExpressVu). Blah. ("The wonder of it all!/Take a chance, make it happen/Pop a cork, Things are snappin'/Spin the wheel, round and round we go.../Life is good, life is sweet/ grab yourself a front-row seat/ let's meet, and have a ball.../ Let's live, for the wonder of it all! (Meet me at FOXWOODS!)")
**Found only on American TV, drug companies being hardly allowed to advertise prescription medications at all up here in Canada, due to draconian CRTC regulations.
SPOILER WARNINGS: EBERT IS GETTING THE RIGHT IDEA
In response to a question regarding Roger Ebert's review of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
wherein Ebert wrote "Of all the heroes and villains in the trilogy, and all the thousands or hundreds of thousands of deaths, I felt such emotion only twice, with the ends of Faramir and Gollum" when, in fact, Faramir isn't dead, they only make it appear like he's dead where the writer asks whether Ebert confused "Boromir", whom dies, and "Faramir", whom doesn't.
"No, I meant to write that. The AM [Answer Man] got a lot of messages saying that Faramir does not die, and indeed he does not, but the movie gets a great deal mileage out of making us think he does/has/will. Notice that I mention he is "not quite dead" on his funeral pyre, and later I refer to his "end", not his death, because his end- including his near-death, his salvation, and his eventual destiny- were quite moving. Maybe this whole business with spoilers is getting out of hand. I wrote carefully to avoid giving away his survival, only to be told I should have revealed what happened."
You're damn right about that, Ebert! I've been thinking that spoiler warnings have been getting out of hand for the longest time, spoiler warnings being mainly for the people with no sense of discernment to avoid reading articles and reviews about films which they want to see "pure", in the Frank Costanza sense. You don't want to be "spoiled" for Star Wars: Episode III
(well, aside from knowing that Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader, probably the most famous spoiler in the world)? Simple, don't read articles or click on threads about the film and leave those of us that want to know everything we can about the film in peace... it really is that simple. And I hate that even critics like Ebert are now writing their newspaper reviews with the people that whine about insufficient spoiler warnings in mind, leaving out crucial details that those of us whom want to know a lot about the plot of the film prior to seeing it want to read. If you simply want to know whether or not a critic liked a film without seeing any details, most newspapers and websites have some sort of star or icon system that give you simply that information, as well as whether or not there is any violence and sexual content. Anime reviews especially have been dumbed down out of fear of getting nasty e-mail from the "spoiler warning whiners", to the point where a couple of prominent anime review sites' reviews are completely worthless for those of us whom like our reviews with a lot of "meat" content about the plot. It's time to put lots of spoilers back in reviews without warnings to teach the people whom prefer to see movies untainted to get a better sense of discernment.
(My favourite recent spoiler warning whine: some guy complaining that they showed Gandalf in the trailer for Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
even though his fate is uncertain at the end of LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring
... that's fairly common knowledge, and I had never even really read the books, and, even if you didn't know that, it had been widely reported that Ian McKellen was in all three of the fricking hilms, so I think it's pretty obvious that he does survive somehow.)
WEIRD SEARCH REQUESTS
"Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou spoilers"
Erm... Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou
(Yokohama Shopping Log
, or Yokohama Shopping Travelogue
in some translations; official English title Quiet Country Caf�
), by Hitoshi Ashinano, is one of those series that is fairly impossible to spoil, seeing as very little in terms of big events actually ever happens in it and it's a series all about atmosphere and feelings and relationships (in the Max Fischer "That's all I meant by "relationship". You want me to grab a dictionary?" not-neccesarily-romantic sense of the word, for those of you whom have seen Rushmore
Alpha finds something slightly unusual and draws some conclusion about the nature of the world around her, or merely decides not to take the water from that special spot. There, I just spoiled about half the manga stories for you. It's a series that is almost 100% about the little things in life people treasure, including the beauty of nature... not exactly spoiler material. The series is sedate to the point wherein even the slightest conflict between the characters, like Maruko thinking Alpha's life in the country is so easy for an android that it's a bit demeaning for androids like Maruko whom work harder in the city.
Well, if you're looking for the biggest spoiler of the series, namely what exactly happened to the world inside and outside of Japan and why has most of the population been eradicated... it's never revealed, though there are some hints like Mount Fuji without its cone, indicating a massive eruption of some sort. And the androids may have originally meant to have been anthropomorphized "automatic pilots", for aircraft and boats, but they were made much more versatile and humanlike than that, maybe as a way to preserve the best aspects of humanity should the human species ever go extinct? Well, it's a series that leaves only a few hints but doesn't spoonfeed anything about the background of the world to the reader/viewer, leaving a whole lot open for interpretation and "filling in the blanks" with your own theories.
Anyhow, like always, I don't want to give any links, but try looking for Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou
somewhere, if you're feeling lucky, if you catch my drift.
"AND NOW IT'S UP TO US, TO BLOW UP THE BUS!"
Proving that Christmas goodwill on the part of the Palestinian leadership is a delusional myth of naive people, homicide bomber Saed Kamal Hanani sent himself to Hell by murdering four Israelis and injuring 15 others at a bus stop in Petah Tikva
, near Tel Aviv. Fortunately, though, Saed Kamal Hanani proved to be a relatively inept 'splodeydope by 'splodeydope standards as he doesn't seem to have figured out that he would have actually been able to take out a lot more people if he actually got on the bus, as some early reports indicated he did.
So my Christmas wish to Saed Kamal Hanani is... enjoy the lake of fire you find yourself in, because you'll have to get used to it eventually, being there for eternity, after all. And... aww... Hanani's family won't be getting any fat $25 000 cheques from Saddam Hussein anytime soon.
Anyhow, this doesn't prove that the Wall and other defensive measures taken by the cool Israelis are a failure; on the contrary, they've stopped 22 other 'splodeydopes from doing similar such attacks since October. You'll never be able to stop 100% of 'splodeydopes, but one attack is a lot less worse than 23 attacks.
Meanwhile, Israel gave the world a wonderful Christmas gift by taking out one of the bad guys in a car with a helicopter attack
; Palestine Islamic Jihad chief Makled Hamid will apparently be joining Saed Kamal Hanani in the lake of fire, and, no, sorry guys, "For one day we all stop burning, and the flames are not so thick. All the screaming and the torture stops as we wait for old Saint Nick." is just a South Park
By the way, the headline refers to a children's parody Christmas song, but, I guess, it's only a local anglophone Montreal one, as I can't find it mentioned anywhere else on the Internet. "Joy to the world, the school burned down. And all the teachers too. And now it's up to us, to blow up the bus, and then there'll be no school, and then there'll be no school, and then, and then there'll be no school." I know it wasn't quite a bus attack, but close enough, since I've been waiting to use that headline.
For whomever it was, presumably a fellow Macdonald High School graduate, whom came to this blog from a Google search looking for information about a certain "you know who" in London, please e-mail me, and I'll give you some information I'd rather not give here...
SPEAKING OF AIRPORT CONSPIRACIES...
I've been looking up at the sky in the Montreal area and I've been seeing a lot more chemtrails lately, as the weather gets colder!!! And, while they're mostly high up in the sky, these chemtrails seem to come much closer to Earth in the vicinity of Dorval!!! And I did a little research on the Internet, and the greatest concentration of chemtrails seems to be in the urban areas, where the most people live and lots of people travel to
!!! I must take many rolls of photos of the sky and add arrows in Photoshop and post them on a website... but not Geocities, as that's controlled by the New World Order and if you post your chemtrails photos there, you're signing your own Death Warrant!!! I can't say more right now, but please, for your own good, go to this site for more information on chemtrails
Also, I was at the Wal-Mart in Kirkland, Quebec, Canada, and, yes, it has signs with arrows!!! And it has a so-called "garden center"!!! And handicapped parking spots (to be used by the New World Order military vehicles)!!! And, I live in Pincourt, and there are many fake snowmobile routes!!! And, ALL the signs on the highway have TACMARS stickers on the back of them, so the New World Order forces can stop their vehicles and look at the tiny stickers on the back of the "Montr�al 32" sign and KNOW THEY'RE GETTING CLOSE TO A MAJOR POPULATION CENTRE!!! One where people live!!! Read this page and panic!!!
DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT CONSPIRACY THEORY UPDATE
Beleive it or not, variations of "Denver International Airport" and "Conspiracy" and/or "underground base" and/or "New World" and/or "Masons" and/or "Murals" are amongst the most popular recurring search hits I get from Google from a couple of posts I did on this page
(I'm too tired to give the same links over, so just check that page for more links to pages with conspiracy theories.
I think it is somewhat time to set the record straight... I mentioned that I was getting hits from NIPR.MIL and other military computers, and I still do, but, about two months or so ago, I figured out how to get the referrers to show up on my Site Meter and now I can see what people were looking for when they got here, and, the truth about most of the military hits is that... they were looking for the exact same crap that everyone else looks for, with a couple of searches for "Mr. Slave" from the best South Park
ever, "The Death Camp of Tolerance". (Try here
, if pics of Mr. Slave are what you want.)
I tend to believe this guy
when it comes to Denver International Airport conspiracy theories, though, of course, he's a Mason so he's willing deceiving us, obviously. (The second half of this sentence is sarcastic, for those of you in Rio Linda.) Also, Steve Snyder, head of public relations for DIA, is quite obviously tired of answering the "same old, same old" questions from these people
... really, no matter what Snyder says, he'll be dismissed by the conspiracy people. I'm surprised he can stay polite and not mocking, even if it's only for a short time. Do I think there might be some hidden facility perhaps related to one or the other branches of the military at DIA? I wouldn't be surprised, but these people want you to think that the entire grounds of the airport are sitting above a five-storey underground city underground, which will serve as the main concentration camp for western Americans who will fail to submit to the "New World Order".
By the way, people, I have also put a slightly-edited version of this list
in my RottenTomatoes.com journal, if you want to direct link to a version of the list on a page where the direct links actually work properly. (I have no idea what the problem is there, sorry, and, this past week, I tried over from scratch with a new template and the direct links still didn't work, so I'm somewhat flummoxed.)
TOP TEN CHRISTMAS EPISODES!!! (Complete)
I wanted to do a Christmas special list, but, while things like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
, How the Grinch Stole Christmas
(the Chuck Jones animated one, duh), and A Charlie Brown Christmas
are great, frankly, they've been discussed and dissected so many times that there is nothing left to say about them. So I just thought I'd limit this to Christmas-related episodes of regular TV series. This is roughly in order, but I'm not numbering them, because, especially with my three favourites in the bottom, comparing them is very "apples and oranges" and which one I like best would depend on what sort of mood I was in when you asked me.
FAMILY TIES: "A Keaton Christmas"
Yes, a lame Christmas Carol-spoof episode, like most long-running sitcoms do at one point or another, with, duh, Alex P. Keaton (Michael J. Fox) as the "Scrooge" of the episode. However, I liked the cornyness of the scene which had Jennifer (Tina Yothers Nude**), as the Ghost of Christmas Future, show Alex a future wherein the Keatons are dirt poor, yet they still live in the same house somehow, except for wealthy rich tycoon Alex, who comes down in a helicopter, I think to give his family his laundry. Also, he's bald. Anyhow, at the end of the episode, after he wakes up a transformed man, Alex goes and buys his family "presents" at the 7-11, the only place open on Christmas morning. I think the presents included a copy of the TV Guide and an pine tree air freshener. Also, Alex got some anti-hair-loss formula (wow, that 7-11 was pretty stocked).
G.I. JOE: "Cobra CLAWs are Coming to Town"
Okay, technically, this one is only an episode which took place during Christmas, not a Christmas episode per se, as it first aired during the normal syndication run of G.I. Joe on November 7th, 1985 (yes, yes, twelve days after Marty McFly went back in time), too early to be called a "Christmas" special, but, to those of you whom might complain about me including an episode of something which didn't originally air in December, I quote what the great Cobra Commander himself once said to Hector Ramirez on the interview programme Twenty Questions, "Picky, picky!". But, in every other way, this is a Christmas episode, so I say I can include it.
As the Joes are bringing toys which they collected during a toy drive for a local children's hospital back to base, Cobras attack but then, mysteriously, they retreat. However, there seem to be a few toys which weren't there before. Even though the Joe base will be operating with a skeleton crew during the Christmas holidays, the base is safe thanks to the Joes' new automatic defense grid, an inpenetrable web of lasers. So there's no way Cobra can possible get in, right?
Well, during a Christmas feast prepared by Roadblock, the Joes learn the price of their hubris, as miniaturized Cobra troops are launched out of a wooden rocking horse and parachute to the ground, and shrunken Cobra vehicles were hidden in teddy bears and drums, and they knock out the Joes with canisters of sleeping gas, whilst the Baroness flies her Rattler and blasts the command panel for the automatic defense grid, shutting it down. Meanwhile, Cobra Commander and Destro lead Cobra forces on the outside attacking the base once the grid goes down, and they disguise themselves as Joes in order to attack Keystone City and convince the government that the Joes have changed sides, though... well, I'm not doing an entire episode summary, but they get Destro's shrinking/expanding ray gun, and a giant-sized Polly (Shipwreck's parrot) saves the day, and oranges are better for you than chocolate, apparently. (Now you know, and knowing's half the battle. G.I. Joe!)
See, I was always more of a Transformers fan than a G.I. Joe fan when it came to the actual toys, but, when it came to the cartoon (animated in Japan by Toei, but for Marvel/Sunbow), in retrospect, I don't deny its superiority over the Transformers cartoon, at least for the wacky oddball episodes that you think probably weren't as crazy as you remember them being, but, nope, they were indeed as trippy as they are in your memories. I've talked to a couple of G.I. Joe fans whom think the cartoon "jumped the shark" when they started doing the wacky episodes, but... c'mon... this episode and "The Gods Below" (the episode wherein they meet Osiris and Set and other gods in the Egyptian afterlife) and "The Viper is Coming" (wherein Barbecue keeps on getting mysterious phone calls from the "Viper" which they think are clues and which, coincidentally, lead the Joes to secret Cobra facilities like Cobra Recreational Base number three in Antarctica, "where they can play table tennis and swim in the Cobra Commander gymnasium, eat lunch in the Destro dining room or watch the Cobra Cuties in the Zartan entertainment center." Then they find out that the "Viper" is just the window wiper, who has a comical European accent.) were all *first season* episodes! The show was always like that! And, compared to some of the trippier episodes, this one was actually fairly normal. I hope we get some first season DVDs real soon...
SEINFELD: "The Race"
This is the Christmas episode from 1994 wherein Elaine dates Ned, the Communist (ELAINE: You look like Trotsky. NED: Good!), and, ultimately, gets him blacklisted from receiving deliveries from Hop Sing's Chinese Restaurant (LEW: Ah, I knew it was you! You tried to trick Hop Sing! You are on our list, Elaine Benes. And now you are on our list, Ned Isakoff! NED: You got me blacklisted at Hop Sing's? LEW: She named name!). George talks to a woman whose personal ad he found in Ned's copy of The Daily Worker on the phone in his office at the New York Yankees and he tries to make her think that he's working to destroy the Capitalist system from the "inside" to impress her and his secretary thinks that means he's a Communist and tells George Steinbrenner, whom sends George to Fidel Castro in order to get some Cuban prospects previously unavailable to American baseball teams. Jerry dates a girl named Lois (he's a big Superman fan, so this is a huge thrill to him). However, Lois's boss is Duncan Meyers, who was Jerry's rival in high school and whom still has a grudge against Jerry because Duncan thinks Jerry got a false start in a race Jerry won, so Jerry goes to great lenghts to re-hold the race, complete with his old phys ed teacher holding time, just to preserve his honour with Lois. Finally, Kramer gets a job as a Santa at Coleman's department store, along with his "little person" friend, Mickey, but he runs into Ned, whom convinces him that conditions at Coleman's are much worse for department store Santas than they are at Bloomfield's department store and gives him some Communist pamphlets, and he proceeds to feed the children Communist propaganda, which gets them both fired. (MICKEY: Communism, You didn't realize Communism was a sensitive issue? What do you think has been going on in the world for the past 60 years? Wake up and smell the coffee!)
I think the two best things about this episode was the Vangelis Superman theme playing in the background during the race (Jerry gets a second false start, thinking a bang from Kramer's faulty muffler was the gun), but the absolute best thing was the line from one of the kids, "Commie! Commie! Traitor to our country!" which is just so damn versatile.
KING OF THE HILL: "Pretty, Pretty Dresses"
Ahh... the benefits of including a King of the Hill episode on this thing is that less actually "happens" during most King of the Hill episodes than for a lot of other series, since the focus is more on the characters, so i don't have to devote more than a couple of lines describing this episode.
Christmas Day was apparently the day when Lenore left Bill Dauterive, and Peggy Hill is fearful that Bill will ruin another Christmas party by sobbing about Lenore. Bill comes to eat dinner with Hank, but he brings his pet iguana, whom he has named "Lenore", and proceeds to feed it with a cockroach on the dining room table, prompting Hank Hill to make it clear that the Hills will be eating dinner alone from that point on. So, Bill borrows the Hill's ladder and decides to kill himself by jumping off the roof... but it's only a one-storey house, so he fails. Hank, Dale Gribble, and Boomhauer take turns monitoring Bill to see if he tries to commit suicide again, and he does, several times, but each attempt is inept. In order to keep Bill from ruining their party, Peggy tries to introduce him to a woman she knows, but the woman thinks he's nuts. So Bill returns home, destroys the Christmas presents which he originally bought for Lenore. Hank goes over to visit Bill, and finds Bill in a dress, thinking he's Lenore, and Bill ruins the party again by not just acting like he's Lenore, but also by wearing a dress and jewelry, and Hank has to put on a dress himself and pretend he's Lenore, to bring Bill back to (relative) sanity, and Bill realizes that, since he has hit rock bottom, things can only improve.
To be perfectly honest, I think King of the Hill does Thanksgiving episodes much better than Christmas episodes, but this one's interesting if just for Bill's descent into a dissociative state, which I thought was handled very well for a cartoon. Not to mention the message that, no matter how low you get, things can change and get better.
KIMAGURE ORANGE ROAD: "Kyosuke Time Travel! Third Christmas"
A very Groundhog Day-esque episode*** wherein Kyosuke Kasuga, thanks to inopportune bumps on the head which activate his uncontrollable time travel abilities, one of his less reliable esper powers, finds himself reliving the same day-of-the-Christmas-party three times, trying to get to the perfect outcome wherein he can go to the Christmas party without hurting either Madoka's or Hikaru's feelings.
[NERDISH NITPICKING]Hey, howcome, if, in this episode, Kyosuke, rather than having his whole body back into the past which would result in multiple Kyosukes, just has his mind travel back into his body in the past of a "few hours ago", then why, in the episode "Birthday Comes Twice! Kyosuke Travelling Through Time", was Kyosuke's whole body transported back in time a few hours, resulting in two Kyosukes for a while?[/NERDISH NITPICKING]
BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD: "Beavis and Butt-Head do Christmas"
An hour-long special from 1995 deconstructing TV sitcoms whom do crappy Christmas Carol or It's a Wonderful Life-spoof episodes, premises so overused for Christmas episodes that they're clich�d. There's two main episodes, which I shall discuss, briefly, below, as well as Beavis and Butt-Head commenting on Christmas videos like Buster Poindexter's "Is That You, Santa Claus?" and Run DMC's "Christmas in Hollis", old Christmas tunes as they watch the fire (making fun of those Christmas log videos), and read actual viewer letters to "Santa Butt-Head" (whom can't prononce the name of one Ethan Harera).
"Huh Huh Humbug"
Beavis, goofing off while working the night shift on Christmas Eve at Burger World, falls asleep and dreams that he's the Burger World manager, who's abusive to Mr. McVicker, their principal at Highland High in the real world, and he goes home and watches a porno tape, "All-Out Porno presents Eberneezer Screw" with "Tiny Johnson", Ron Jeremy-clone "Bob Scratchit", and then Butt-Head comes out of the screen to warn him, briefly, that he will be visited by three ghosts, before returning into the screen to get back into the porno. The Ghost of Christmas Past was played by their hapless, short-sighted neighbour Tom Anderson (whom sounds almost exactly like Hank Hill from King of the Hill, since most of the male characters on B&B are played by creator Mike Judge), the Ghost of Christmas Present was played by their hippy teacher David Van Driessen (Mr. Van Driessen), and the Ghost of Christmas Future was played by tough-as-nails, no nonsense Vietnam Vet phys-ed teacher Bradley Buzzcut (Mr. Buzzcut). (Yes, I'm only doing both versions of everyone's names so I get Google hits both ways. So sue me.)
I think the funniest bit in the whole episode is the Bob Cratchit scene wherein Principal Mc. Vicker returns home with "Christmas dinner" he took from the Burger World and the dumpster, and gives his kids their Christmas presents, stick-on tattoos, which the kids are grateful for. The kids all have the same nervous tic as their father, and slur their speech in a similar way. Also, it has one of my all-time favourite Beavis and Butt-Head dialogues:
Van Driessen: You see, Beavis, some people have very little to be happy about, but they're still celebrating the spirit of Christmas.
Beavis: Yeah... He should get fired, you know, for stealing that food! Hmm-huh!
Van Driessen: Beavis, I think you should know that this is the only food the McVicker family has to eat, and, because you're such a strict boss, his children may not be around to see next Christmas... unless you give him a raise, so he can better provide for his family.
Beavis: No way! He's stealing! And that's a crime! And you want me to give him a raise? I'll fire his ass!
"It's a Miserable Life"
The people of Highland TX's Christmas wishes to God are all for something bad to happen to Beavis and Butt-Head, so the head angels send Beavis and Butt-Head's guardian angel, Charlie, to take away their lives. On a wet Christmas Eve, Beavis and Butt-Head go into Highland to score with chicks, but all the stores are closed. Charlie tries to kill them on a bridge by freezing it over and making them slide off, but, they manage to get an even footing, and it's Charlie himself whom slips off, though Beavis and Butt-Head couldn't care less and Charlie has to get himself out of the river, nor are they concerned that he knows their names and everything about them.
So, in order to convince them to take their own lives, Charlie shows Butt-Head how much better Highland would be if he had never been born; Mr. Anderson with a well-decorated house (B&B had never smashed his Christmas decorations), Burger World with lots of customers (B&B had never scared them away), Principal McVicker with all his hair and no nervous symptoms singing carols with students (B&B had never caused him any anxiety), Daria Morgendorffer**** with a boyfriend (dunno about that one; I guess Daria hadn't demeaned herself in the eyes of the other male students by being the only one whom tried to understand B&B, futile as it may be), and Beavis volunteering at the soup kitchen, under the command of an assertive Stewart Stevenson (Butt-Head hadn't corrupted Beavis in the first place, and B&B had never bullied Stewart). However, after Charlie returns Butt-Head to the real worrealizing the town would suck if he hadn't been around, Butt-Head just walks away and Beavis leaves too, and Charlie slips again, drowning this time. This sub-episode is pretty amusing, but not nearly as good as the first.
SOUTH PARK: "Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics"
Their Christmas special from 1999 featured no real plot, just Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo, introducing a bunch of songs, some original, some old standards, performed by various characters in a humourous manner, punctuated by fake news teasers from a 70s-looking newscaster saying "Fighting the Frizzies, at eleven!", which is a direct reference to the news teasers from a bootleg videotaped copy of the infamous (though not quite as bad as it's reputed to be, in my opinion) Star Wars Holiday Special from November 1978 (no, I don't have any download links, but it's all over WinMX). Some of the songs in this episode (the South Park episode, not the Star Wars special, which had the very drunken Carrie Fisher "singing") are actually better than even those in the South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut movie, in my honest opinion. My two favourite segments are the segment in Hell, wherein Hitler misses his "Tannenbaum", so Satan decides to celebrate "Christmastime in Hell" (SATAN: There goes Jeffrey Dahmer, with a festive Christmas ham. After he has sex with it, he'll eat up all he can. And there goes John F. Kennedy, caroling with his son. JOHN F. KENNEDY Sr. & Jr.: Reunited for the holidays, God bless us everyone!) and Mr. Garrison telling his class how he travels around the world and spreads the joy of Christmas in "culturally sensitive" ways in "Happy Fucking Christmas!"
"There is no holiday season in India, I've heard.
[pulls down a chart showing India's demerits.]
They don't hang up their stockings, and that is just absurd.
[Stan and Kyle look at each other and shrug]
They've never read a Christmas story, they don't know what Rudolph is about.
[holds up a book: "The Night Before Christmas"]
And that is why in December I'll go to India and shout,
[In India, next to a swami sitting on a bed of nails]
Hey there, Mr. Hinduist, Merry Fuckin' Christmas!
Drink eggnog and eat some beef, and pass it to the Missus.
[gives beef to one man, pours eggnog on another]
In case you haven't noticed, it's Jesus's birthday.
[wraps a few people in Christmas lights]
So get off your heathen Hindu ass and fuckin' celebrate.
[passes out wreaths]"
The other songs are the full-length "Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo" song, introduced by "Cowboy Timmy", a parody of "Special Delivery Kluger" from the Rankin-Bass stop-motion animated special Santa Claus is Coming to Town and performed by generic locals and Mr. Hankey, "Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel", as performed by the Broflofskis, with Cartman and Stan, "Carol of the Bells", as performed by guidance counsellor Mr. Mackey, guidance counsellor Mr. Mackey, guidance counsellor Mr. Mackey, and guidance counsellor Mr. Mackey, "Oh Holy Night", as performed by Eric Cartman, "I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In", as performed by Stan's sister, Shelley Marsh ("Shut up, turds!"), a Christmas medley of songs about Santa and songs about Jesus perfomed by Santa and Jesus, singing in the "first person", and a version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" performed by Mr. Hankey, with a sad little tribute to Mary Kay Bergman, the original voice of most of the female characters on the show, whom committed suicide days after recording her songs for this special (and the album) in the form of showing pictures of the female characters.
The episode ends with the newscaster fighting a hairy creature, presumably the Frizzie itself, in a boxing ring whilst the Dreidel song plays in the background.
SESAME STREET: "Christmas Eve on Sesame Street"
This is the original Sesame Street Christmas special from 1978, which still gets shown occasionally on some PBS stations, but not nearly as often as that Elmo Saves Christmas malarkey. Fortunately, it's now available on DVD.
I'm sorry, this is still one of my favourite, grossly underrated, Christmas specials. Ah, the memories... The characters (well, versions of the Muppet characters with slightly oversized heads whose mouths don't move) skating around that rink with "Feliz Navidad" playing in the background, jumping barrels. Oscar asking Big Bird how Santa Claus, who's built like a dump truck, can fit down that skinny little chimney, making Big Bird try to stay awake next to the chimney, as well as Oscar's song "I hate Christmas", the song "Keep Christmas With You (All Through the Year)", and, my favourite bit, a version of O. Henry's "Gift of the Magi" with Ernie trading his rubber duckie to get a cigar box (back when you could still say "cigar" on Sesame Street) for Bert's paperclip collection and Bert trading his paperclip collection to get a soap dish for Ernie's rubber duckie, and then they try not to act sad when they see each other open their presents until Mr. Hooper comes and makes everything alright.
You get to see much of the living cast as they looked when they were young, especially beneficial for those of us in Canada whom can't watch Classic "Street" on Noggin, and it has Mr. Hooper (Will Lee, whom died in 1982) and David (Northern Calloway, whom was institutionalized for much of the 1980s and whom died of cancer in 1990), well, not to mention the voice of Jim Henson as Ernie and Kermit (he died of "flesh eating disease" in 1990). And no Elmo... well, Elmo wasn't around until 1984.
THE SIMPSONS: "Marge Be Not Proud"
The second Christmas episode, from 1995. During It's a Krusty Kinda Khristmas, a Christmas special featuring (the Jewish) Krusty the Clown, Bart spots a commercial for a videogame called Bonestorm, which he asks his parents to get, but it's too expensive. Bart gets excited when he sees a sign on The Android's Dungeon comic book store advertising Bonestorm for 99 cents, but that's just the rental price, and Comic Book Store Guy has no copies left to rent. Milhouse has it, but he refuses to play together with Bart, and gets his mother to kick Bart out of their house. Bart goes over to the Try n' Save (the Wal-Mart clone in the Simpsons world), and runs into Jimbo Jones and Nelson Muntz who are shoplifting. Bart tries to resist the temptation to take Bonestorm from an open cabinet, but he imagines various video game mascots convincing him otherwise. He takes the game, but gets stopped on the way out by store detective Don Brodka, who shows him a video against shoplifting and calls his parents, whom aren't home. Then Brodka lets him go, but only after warning him not to come back in the store or he'll be sent to juvenile hall. Bart goes home and replaces the tape in the answering machine with an Alan Sherman tape, and everything seems okay. Until the Simpsons go and get their portraits taken, at the Try n' Save. Bart tries to prevent Brodka from noticing him, but, eventually, Brodka notices, and plays the videotape of Bart taking the game for Homer and Marge.
The rest of the episode is mainly Homer and Marge dealing with their disappointment with Bart in realistic, uncartoonish ways, though they still love him deep down, and by the end of the episode, he redeems himself. I don't know if it's that a lot of people fine much of this episode to be kind of a bummer because, out of Simpsons episodes from the "good" years, it's one that gets very little love, but it's not just my favourite Christmas Simpsons episode, it's my favourite Simpsons episode, period, because the humour and pop-culture references, while still present, actually take a back seat to strong writing and, gasp, character development (to an extent unthinkable on today's episodes) combined with a down-to-Earth premise. Of course, it's the Simpsons episode which is closest to being a King of the Hill episode, and I think King of the Hill is a stronger show overall, so I have a rough idea that King of the Hill fans might like this episode much better than your average Simpsons fan. This episode is so unpopular with the average Simpsons fans, that it doesn't appear on the new Simpsons Christmas DVD, even though more recent monstrosities, like the one with Gary Coleman saying "What'choo talkin' about?" and the one with Richard Gere, period, are on there, as is "Mr. Plow", which isn't even a Christmas episode.
There are still plenty of funny lines in this episode, though, as can be found on this "Marge Be Not Proud" quote page at Lardlad.com, though they don't have my favourite single quote from this episode, about egg nog, from Homer, "'Tis the season, Marge! Though we only get thirty sweet noggy days, then the government takes it away again." and he pours it on his cereal.
URUSEI YATSURA: "Pitter Patter Christmas Eve"
Wanting to seperate the lecherous, girl-chasing Ataru Moroboshi from his electrical alien princess fianc�e Lum, to whom he was engaged somewhat unconsentually (long story) and whose overbearing attention Ataru acts like he resents, Megane, the bespectacled head of "Lum's Stormtroopers" (or Lum's Guard, depending on how politically correct the translation is), a gang of four teenage guys whom are enamoured by Lum, along with Jariten (a.k.a Ten-chan), Lum's cousin who doesn't particularly care for their being on Earth, plot a fake date with a hot girl, who is really an actress Megane hires, in order to frame Ataru in Lum's eyes and set him up for the mother of all zappings. But Lum overhears the plans, and makes plans of her own to save her "Darling's" face and humiliate Megane.
One of the few episodes with a happy, romantic ending. And we get to see a chivalrous Ataru and a hint of his true feelings for Lum. Makes me happy watching it.
Maybe I'll add a supplement of episodes which didn't make the list and why they didn't, but enough of this for now.
**Actually, her name is just Tina Yothers, I just wanted to see if I get any Google hits for that, heh heh.
***Though this particular Kimagure Orange Road episode
was originally a manga story
written by Izumi Matsumoto a full seven or eight years prior to the release of Groundhog Day
, not that I think that there's any chance whatsoever that Danny Rubin or Harold Ramis had seen a series as obscure as Kimagure Orange Road
, since, as you know, I don't go for that sort of anime fanboy rip-off conspiracy theory bullshit. I was merely noting a similarity, that's *all*.
****Yes, Daria got her own MTV cartoon series later, but that was an entirely different continuity, without Beavis and Butt-Head.
ALL ABOUT QUEBEC UNIONS
It's time for another installment of "All About Quebec Unions" in which I just present things about Quebec unions straightly under the premise that I don't need to add anything to make them look bad, even to unionized workers from outside of Quebec, with musical accompaniment from the South Park
episode "All About Mormons"
But I'm feeling lazy, so I'll just cut-and-paste this Montreal Gazette article
by Sidhartha Banerjee:
Officials stay mum on plow incident
Monday, December 22, 2003
"Neither the city administration nor the Montreal blue collar workers union would comment yesterday (DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB) on the arrest of a Ville Marie borough employee said to have been caught plowing under the influence (DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB) on Saturday afternoon.
The 46-year-old city employee, who was caught by television cameras chanting "So-So-So, Solidarit�!" in slurred speech (DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB) as he was being led into a police cruiser, has since been released (DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB).
Police say the man was drunk (DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB) when he slammed his snow removal vehicle into the back of a minivan (DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB) stopped at a traffic light at the intersection of Ren� L�vesque Blvd. E. (DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB... renaming Dorchester boulevard over a decade ago, I mean), near Panet St.
The driver and his 13-year-old granddaughter were not seriously hurt but their Ford Windstar was badly damaged.
The blue collar worker's licence was suspended automatically for 30 days and he is to be charged with refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test (DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB), said Constable Miguel Alston of Montreal police (SMART-SMART-SMART-SMART-SMART).
After the crash, two passers-by detained the employee and called police (SMART-SMART-SMART-SMART-SMART).
A second blue collar worker, who allegedly tried to hide beer that was in the grader's cab (DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB), is to be charged with interfering with police work (DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB).
Both employees were released under a promise to appear in court in February.
Television footage showed the suspect sticking out his tongue at the camera as he sat in the back of a police car (DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB).
The city's administration declined to comment yesterday on the arrest, citing that the case is an open criminal investigation.
"The administration has been in contact with the borough, since he is a borough employee, and with police," said city spokesperson Darren Becker. "It wouldn't be prudent at this time to comment any further."
The Ville Marie borough administration echoed the city's no comment.
Multiple calls to union officials were not returned yesterday (DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB) and workers at the borough refused to comment (DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-DUMB).
� Copyright 2003 Montreal Gazette
By the way, speaking of Quebec and South Park
, well, it hasn't been shown in Canada yet, but I "read the script" (wink, wink) to the latest South Park
episode, "It's Christmas in Canada"
(no, that won't be the South Park
episode on my list), and it's pretty funny, and I especially like the "French Canada" song:
Rick: All right boys, prepare yourselves. We're about to enter... French Canada.
Kyle: French Canada?
French Canadians: [Before them, lots of French Canadians cavort like it's Euro Disney, with circus performers of all stripes doing what they do best.]
There'z no Canada like French Canada, it'z za bezt Canada in ze land.
Ze ozer Canada is hardly Canada. If you lived here for a day, you'd understand.
Mime: Honh honh honnnh! Welcome to French Canada.
Hockey Player: We have everyzing your heart could desire. Trapezes. Trampolines. And lots and lots of cheese.
Artist: [takes off his mustache] Would you like a moustache?
Rick: Just stay calm, boys. French Canadians are a little... odd. [behind them, two of them walk by. One is dressed in blue and looks a bit like an alien. The other is dressed something like He-Man, with long flowing locks.]
Stan: Ah, we're just passing through to see the new Prime Minister.
Mime: Well first you must answer that phone. [makes his left hand into a phone receiver] Ring-ring. Ring-ring.
Kyle: We don't have time for this.
Mime: You cannot pass through French Canada unless you take zat phone call! [holds out his "phone"] Ring-ring. Ring-ring. [Kyle responds by make his right hand into a phone and answering]
Mime: Allo. If you are going to see za new Prime Minister, then I want to go with you. He has passed a new law forbidding us French Canadians to drink wine.
Artist: [walks up to the boys] How can ze French not drink wine?? Travestie!
Kyle: Okay, you can come with us.
Mime: Honh honnnh! Very good! Let us make haste!
French Canadians: [they escort the boys out and on their way with the Mime and the Mountie]
There'z no Canada like French Canada, it'z za bezt Canada in ze land.
And ze ozer Canada.
Mime: Is a bullshit Canada
French Canadians: If you lived here for a day, you'd understand. [the small group leaves the town behind]
Mime: I think you'd understand. ...You understand.
(For Google searches: "There's no Canada like French Canada, it's the best Canada in the land. The other Canada is hardly Canada. If you lived here for a day, you'd understand. Welcome to French Canada. We have everything your heart could desire. Trapezes. Trampolines. And lots and lots of cheese. Would you like a moustache? Well, first you must answer that phone. Ring-ring. Ring-ring. You cannot pass through French Canada unless you take that phone call! Ring-ring. Ring-ring. Hello. If you are going to see the new Prime Minister, then I want to go with you. He has passed a new law forbidding us French Canadians to drink wine. How can the French not drink wine?? Travesty! Very good! Let us make haste! There's no Canada like French Canada, it's the best Canada in the land. The other Canada is a bullshit Canada. If you lived here for a day, you'd understand. I think you'd understand. ...You understand.")
OMF'ingG! RUSH LIMBAUGH HAS FINE TASTE IN "CHEESE"!
There was a magnitude 6.5 on the Richter Scale earthquake this afternoon in California
, centred about 10.5 miles north of Cambria, a town in San Luis Obispo county about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. It's a relatively low population density area (by coastal California standards), though there were at least three deaths and there was some damage, but the area's main tourist attraction, William Randolph Hearst's Castle
in San Simeon, was undamaged.
Anyhow, Rush Limbaugh
mentioned this on his programme shortly after it happened, and, in doing so, inadvertently revealed that he has much better taste in "cheese", of the cinematic variety, than I would have realized.
"...and, you know, I'm sure a lot of people, you get Tom Ridge out there announcing all these horrible things, and here comes an earthquake. It's not terrorism, folks. This is not The View to a Kill [sic], the James Bond movie where the... the evil -who, by the way, you know, the bad guy, the ba... the Bond villain in A View to a Kill was named "Zorin", not "Soren" (?), but "Zorin", and this guy was trying to create a... an earthquake in the San Andreas fault. But this is not terrorists doing this..."
Holy crap! He mentioned A View to a Kill
! And Rush talked about it in enough detail, like remembering the name of the villain played by Christopher Walken, (Max) Zorin, that he must have seen it multiple times a lot more recently than 1985, when it was released. I mean, look, I know for all you people whom take spy films seriously, that A View to a Kill
is widely considered to be one of the worst Bond movies, but it's still one of my favourites because I think it's so cheesy that it's hilariousm, which may have been the intention of the filmmakers since it's difficult to take seriously as an action film. It's got the worst Bond Girl, Charlie's Angels
' Tanya Roberts (from one of the crappier seasons), one of the worst Q devices, that robot dog thing that really only sets up for a lame joke in the ending, and one of the worst villain origins, Max Zorin's intelligence being the result of Nazi experiments in a concentration camp where they injected his mother with steroids to make him intelligent, though it left him a psychopath. And the whole plan to flood the San Andreas fault with seawater in order to cause an earthquake and sink Silicon Valley leaving Zorin the only microchip manufacturer in the world (what about Asia?) is preposterous. And the title song from Duran Duran, the first Bond song to reach number one on the Billboard
charts, while cool to listen to, has lyrics which have no discernable meaning (and which different people transcribe differently).
"Meeting you, with a view to a kill,
Face to faces, in secret places. Feel the chill.
Nightfall covers me,
But you know the plans I'm making
Could it be the whole earth opening wide
A sacred why? A myst'ry gaping inside
The weekends; why? Until we
Dance into the fire,
That fatal kiss is all we need.
Dance into the fire
To fatal sounds of broken dreams.
Dance into the fire;
That fatal kiss is all we need.
Dance into the fire."
But, as someone who thinks the more cartoonish the Bond movie, the better, ideally only slightly more serious than the Austin Power
films at points, I think A View to a Kill
is sublime, and second only to Diamonds are Forever
for total cheese value, so Rush has fine tastes.
(1985 was a good year for "cheese" overall, with one of my top "cheese" movies of all-time, Tobe Hooper's Lifeforce
, with vampire space zombies, led by the naked Mathilda May, overrunning London... a B-movie with A-movie special effects.)