Thursday, July 23, 2009

On the internet, everybody knows you're a perv

I'm going to start with a digression. The title of this post is a reference to a famous New Yorker cartoon by some guy named Peter Steiner. The cartoon has one dog using a computer, talking to another dog. The computer-using dog says: "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog." And that's the joke. He's a dog, and nobody knows it -- on the Internet. You know it's a good joke because it has the word "Internet" in it, and the internet is inherently humorous if you're a print cartoonist or Jay Leno. It's really quite droll, trust me. Just think about it.

Oh, there it is up there. Ha! A dog. Oh man, the life of a New Yorker cartoonist must be difficult. First you have to find out what are some good joke topics by spending upwards of five minutes listening to CNN while you make breakfast, and then you have to come up with a sentence that includes one of those topics. And then draw a picture. (In defense of Peter Steiner, his quotes in the linked Wikipedia article make it sound like he thinks the joke was dumb too.)

Anyway, a few years ago I was innocently browsing the IMDB user reviews of the movie Hook (I have no idea why), when I noticed an interesting review by one "Mr. SNL." Here it is, in its entirety:
I liked this movie a great deal. I enjoyed the actors performances a lot and I am glad to see such great actors in these roles. The story is well done as well with all of the original cartoon's aspects as well as some new ones. My favorite scene in the movie is where they're all at the table eating their imaginary supper. That is, until Peter starts a huge food fight. That's why it's enjoyable for kids because they all end up getting pies in the face and getting messy. I liked how they even threw pies at Tinkerbell. And it always makes me laugh to see Tinkerbell's bare feet get covered in messy pie and then she slams her bare feet down in the mess. I also find it hilarious when all of the cake and mess squishes up between her toes. Even Robin Williams stands in the mess on the table in his bare feet. I like how actors will do lots of stuff like this. This is a very good film.
I clicked on Mr. SNL's name to see the rest of his reviews, and I started to notice a theme. Let's see if you can detect it as well, dear readers. Here is the review that Mr. SNL (email address: simmadownnow) wrote for "Malcolm in the Middle":
They're a real family, bare feet and all!

This show is very realistic. I especially like how all of the characters act like real members of an average family. They all seem like they ARE part of a family. I also like that they don't always stay in their shoes like on other shows. They walk around in bare feet and the actors aren't afraid to take their shoes and socks off and show their bare feet and soles on camera. All in all, this is a very realistic show.

And his review of "Bill Nye, the Science Guy":
Great show for kids!

This is a great show and i hope it sticks around for a long time. It teaches kids many different things about science and uses things that they find enjoyable and fun to watch. For example, on the dinosaurs episode, they had two kids put their bare feet in paint to make footprints on love to get their bare feet very messy! On the momentum episode, they had pies thrown at Bill's face. I don't know anyone who doesn't like getting a pie in the face! Kids like to walk around in bare feet also, and in one episode, these two guys were in their bare feet and they fell over in their chairs so you could see their bare feet. It was great. I really like how this show relates to kids. Kids love it and I hope it's around for a long time!
Although he wasn't quite as positive about the 1999 Seth Green vehicle "Idle Hands"; it seemed to be lacking some important elements:
Amazing movie, but....

This is a very funny movie from start to finish. It is very interesting how the actors interact with the hand. I like how Devon Sawa did very well manipulating his hand the way he did. I notice in films and on TV that actors sleep with their socks on. I like the way that Devon slept in bare feet and put his bare soles on the table for us to see. They were dirty bare feet which was also realistic because after walking across the floor, your bare soles do get dusty. I think an added piece of humor would have been if someone popped up and smashed a pie onto Devon's bare feet. It would have been interesting to see him react to his bare feet being covered in pie. I think Seth Green should have been in his bare feet in his house too. All in all, this was a good movie.
If only the director had listened to the fans for once, then Idle Hands could have been a blockbuster, at least among the pie/foot fetishist set.


I encourage you to read the rest of Mr. SNL's reviews. They're full of childlike naivete and/or unspeakable perversion. The best comments are those in which he makes suggestions like "I think if they wanted to make it funny, they should have used cream pies instead of mousetraps and still had them walk in their bare feet and step in the pies," or just when he makes little observations such as "kids love messy feet," and "kids love having messy bare feet," or even "Who doesn't love pies in the face and messy bare feet?" Who indeed. It's like this guy's never heard of porn. Frankly, he would be a lot less creepy as a porn collector than as somebody who watches regular TV shows and movies in the hopes of glimpsing a bare foot and/or pie. However, he is less creepy than accidentally stumbling across a foot fetishist's flickr photostream, and infinitely less creepy than the time an innocent flickr picture of my wife was favorited by -- I shit you not -- an apparent gaucho pants fetishist.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A question for cellphone designers

Is there a functional reason why cell phones are deisgned to explode like a Rock'Em Sock'Em Robot when dropped? I'm only asking because I would feel slightly better to know that my phone's histrionic part-shedding explosions weren't just for the benefit of some sadistic product designer who gets off on that kind of thing. Of couse it can't be the work of one man, since literally every phone I've owned has lost its battery and back case when dropped from more than a few inches.

The first person who tells me their iPhone doesn't explode when dropped gets punched.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Back again, my face

I'm back. I was in El Salvador last week. No, not for the last month. I just haven't felt particularly inspired with the blogging and whatnot.

What was I doing in El Salvador, you ask? Why, I was building houses. Houses for POOR PEOPLE. What were you doing? Something not as awesome, I bet. (I am fronting here because in the real world I feel a mixture of (a) reticence about mentioning that this was a charity trip so as to not sound like a self-righteous dick and (b) genuine excitement about the fact that I did actually get to do something really cool that helped some really needy people. But that kind of complexity doesn't play well on the blog, see?)

The highlights of the trip were spending time with a great team of people from my church, building a house, hanging out with lots of kids, and eating a shitload of beans and rice. We had a $275 food budget for 10 people over 7 days -- and we made it! On the other hand, it will be a while before I can see a corn tortilla without retching. I'll cover the trip more later. In short, it was a great time and I got to translate the phrase "lago con fuego y azufre" (lake of fire and sulphur, that is) at least once. Good times.

Getting home was kind of a pain in the ass. My flight was to land in Houston -- where Baby and the girls were waiting for me -- but it got diverted to Austin due to poor weather. But I couldn't get off the plane in Austin and had to wait for the plane to refuel and fly back to Houston, so that I could take the airport shuttle to the crazy half-finished hotel Baby chose for us, where we stayed the night before driving back to Austin. The girls liked the hotel, but a roach encounter early on meant that they were talking about roaches the whole time we were there. (Mainly this consists of Alia saying "Daddy! Woach! Daddy! Woach! I saw woach!" over and over again.)

Shortly after getting back to Austin, I decided I was going to surprise Baby by shaving my glorious, full, beautiful beard, the pride of my face. (I did this partially because yesterday was our seventh anniversary, and partially because my sunburn/beard/tattered clothes combo was making me look more homeless than I usually aspire to.) Unfortunately my face seems to have grown accustomed to my laissez-faire shaving policies and has revolted against the razor. In short, I look like Michail Gorbechev headbutted me on the mouth and his birthmark came off on my face. Or sort of like I have face herpes. Or perhaps like the Phantom of the Opera. Or maybe it's more like I'm wearing a pain muzzle. Or possibly that I'm sporting a youth minister goatee made of suffering. Regardless, it's fucking embarrassing to be seen in public. I am really looking forward to getting my beard back, but it seems unwise to grow it out until my face is healed from whatever the fuck is wrong with it. Yesterday, nobody at work was tactless enough to mention the SARS mask of abomination clinging to my face, so I thought "perhaps it's not as noticeable as I'm thinking." But that was only because Mustafa took the day off. The first thing he said to me this morning -- after ten merciful days of not seeing one another -- was "what happened to your face?"

And I had nearly forgiven him for saying my beardlessness made me look "very chubby" when I shaved last year.