Friday, July 29, 2005
2) Chris Rock, "No Sex"
3) Eric Cartman, "O Holy Night"
4) Andrea Bocelli, "Time to Say Goodbye"
5) Ned's Atomic Dust Bin, "Saturday Night"
6) U2, "Until the End of the World"
7) Guns N' Roses, "It's So Easy"
8) Old 97's, "What We Talked About"
9) Outkast, "Funky Ride"
10) Bruce Springsteen, "The Big Muddy"
I have a date tonight, so obviously numbers 2 and 3 aren't exactly setting me a'grinnin'. Numbers 7 and 9 could be positive, but just as easily could just pile onto the misery. And I don't even want to think how "The Big Muddy" could play a part.
It will be interesting, at the very least. I met this girl last week in court. I was there protesting a ticket, she was there supporting a friend who'd gotten fined for running a red light. And she didn't even get mad when I blindly assumed she was from Mexico when she's obviously Cuban, which is a good sign. As long as she understands I'm just another dumb white guy from the very beginning, we'll be fine.
Numbers 2 and 3, though...
That sounds beautiful - to me, anyway. Somebody needs to make that happen. I know our bullpen needs some work, but what about left field? Is Kelly Johnson really the starter for a World Series winner? I get wet just thinking about an OF of Griffey, Andruw Jones and Jeff Francoeur.
And by the way, Chipper Jones is my hero. I was at yesterday's game, and watched him go from angry, to friendly, to increasingly frustrated in the span of about 45 seconds. His last quote is one for Cooperstown.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
This week, I'm sitting through a series of orientation meetings designed by Captain Obvious. You know, a lot of teachers aren't exactly the brightest bulbs out there, but I really don't need to be told I shouldn't physically hit children. Also, anybody dumb enough to download porn onto their work computer - which was told to a big group by an instructor who didn't take her eyes off of me - deserves to be fired. Other things I apparently need to be told not to do: don't wear short shorts, don't handcuff kids to sinks, and don't tell parents their children are "fucking retards."
Seriously, though, I'm not making this up: a lot of your kids' teachers are complete morons, so much so I do think some of these meetings are legitimate. During my grad school career, I have gotten through boring classes only by making fun of my dumber compatriots. At first I thought maybe it was me who was exponentially smarter than the average person, but after the 20th drool puddle I had to step over, I realized it was just my chosen profession.
Anyway, maybe that's just the frustration talking. I've wasted two days at these meetings, and will likely consider tomorrow's 6-hour marathon unworthy as well. So while I'm languishing in the depths of Moronicaville, I will sit back and think of perhaps the funniest thing I have ever seen (not even remotely safe for work, unless you have headphones).
Friday, July 22, 2005
Yeah, my mom moved just outside the small Florida burg a few years back, and even your average Floridian looks at Palatka as "too redneck." And man, that's saying something. Let's see what the Friday Random 10 foresees happening during my three-day jaunt to 1957.
1) U2, "Smile"
2) U2, "Elvis Presley & America"
3) The Pogues, "Fiesta"
4) Outkast, "Movin' Cool (The After Party)"
5) Homestar Runner, "Everybody Everybody"
6) Rod Stewart, "Forever Young"
7) Outkast, "Gasoline Dreams"
8) The Pogues, "Tuesday Morning"
9) Duran Duran, "New Moon on Monday"
10) Pearl Jam, "Immortality"
Hmmm... "Fiesta," "Smile," "Movin' Cool" - sounds alright. Rod Stewart, though? Unless that means I'm going to score with Rachel Hunter, I think I'm doomed. (And, for the record, I have no idea how that song got in my iPod).
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Last year's best commercial was their frenetic piece showing Ben Roethlisberger, Torii Hunter, Albert Pujols, Brian Urlacher and Mariano Rivera practicing their respective sports, only to reveal the athletes wearing masks that distinctly fit their personality (all put to the strains of Cop Shoot Cop's wicked "Migration").
They might - just might - have outdone themselves.
Joey's comin' home.
Joey's my friend. Joey's my roommate. And Joey's, thank God, just as tubby as I am. The two of us live in a house near Five Points with, count 'em, four roommates. Four thin roommates.
We've always been the huggable, Mr. Belvedere-types in the group, due in no small part to our teddy bear figures. But we worked well together. Having Joey around always made me feel better about my appearance, and it's possible I did the same for him. But that's about to change. For the past four months, Joey has been hiking the Appalachian Trail, all the way from Maine to Georgia. Since June, Joey has been living day and night in the woods, drinking spring water, hiking miles at a time, sleeping in a tent and finding new and interesting uses for leaves.
I haven't seen Joey since he left, but another of my roommates has. His latest report says that Joey has grown a full beard and is, get this, pretty buff. This sucks. So Joey will get back to Athens in December, and he'll have changed. He'll look like Tom Cruise; I'll look like Tom Arnold. He'll be the Han to my Jabba - the "Jaws" to my "Free Willy."
Of course, it's not that bad. According to various height/weight charts, I'm the perfect, ideal weight for someone 6 feet 3 inches tall. Oh yeah . . . I'm only 5 feet 11 inches.
Don't get me wrong - I'm proud of my pudge. In fact, my moment of elementary school zen came when I beat up a kid for making fun of my weight. He called me "the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man," so then I called him "Mr. Down On The Floor, Crying Like A Baby." Anti-violence advocates would think twice about their beliefs if accosted by a lanky skater punk whose mouth is bigger than his brain. By the way, I hear he's flippin' burgers somewhere in south Georgia today.
Anyway, I've decided it's time for the horror to end. I'm not gonna let Joey get the best of me. For years, I've been saying I'm gonna get in shape. I've tried a few self-imposed diets, and I've stuck with them for an average of six hours. I've visited the SPACenter (the Ramsey Center, to you fresh faces), and while I enjoy the atmosphere, it's those darn machines and heavy things I don't like. But now I have something to push me forward. Now I have something to make me reach my goal. Joey's comin' home.
My dreaded "Freshman 15" stayed my Freshman 15. Luckily, I didn't have a Freshman 30, Freshman 50 or anything else. But I did have one unexpected addition - a Sophomore 15. And then a Junior 15. Now, as a senior, I'm takin' it all back. I'm ready for the Senior Negative 45. Because, say it with me, . . . Joey's comin' home.
So I have three months to do it, and three months to stick with it. If you see me go toward the elevator at the J-School, tell my fat butt to take the stairs. If you see me at I-Hop at 3 a.m., give me a water, a lemon and my check. If you see me at the SpaCenter, spot me or do whatever the hell you do in weight rooms. And all this is because I have to lose weight. I have to get in shape. I have to.
Joey's comin' home.
(2005 addendum: It didn't work.).
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
I'm conservative, so much so I voted for GWB twice - but pro-choice. Actually, I first typed "very pro-choice," but I hesitate to slap that label on my forehead as to distance myself from extremists. If anything, I take the libertarian stance - abortion is an ugly thing and should be a last option, but it should never be outlawed. And now that we have that out of the way...
Let me announce to both sides, screaming it in my best echoing "Dragoooooo!" voice: Roe v. Wade is in no danger at all of being overturned. Democrats need it, so they can scream "They're going to take away your choice!" at all possible times. Republicans need it, so it can be a campaign issue that energizes their religious right base (a group that most elected Republicans merely give face-time to, but don't take seriously).
In the next few days and weeks, though, you're going to hear all about it from both sides. Leftist interest groups are going to be screaming Roberts is pro-life, right-wing organizations will rail on his pro-choice credentials. A point to remember: these groups rely on hysterics for their own fundraising. A pro-life group needs to rally the troups against some big, often imaginary foe so the donations will keep coming in - and likewise for the choice folks. Whatever you hear about Roberts from either side, take it with a grain of RU-486.
Honestly, abortion is like The Bible - we'd all get along a lot better if it didn't exist. That's an odd statement, because as much as I'm pro-choice, I'm even more pro-Bible. Sadly, though, our society has degenerated into such a "they don't agree with me, so they're eeeeeeevil" mentality, the common symbols of our extremism only serve to bring us further down than up.
Here's hoping this confirmation process goes smoothly and quickly, and the partisan claws aren't fully extended. Here's my prayer: Roberts doesn't like abortion, but honestly believes it isn't the court's place to legislate it. And most of all, he's a conservative in the mold of true less-government-is-more conservatism (COUGHoverturnkeloCOUGH), something our country could truly benefit from.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Friday, July 15, 2005
No weddings, no golf, no parties, no poker nights, no Braves games, no nuthin'. Combine that with my summer classes just wrapping up, and my schedule looks refreshingly open. Of course, that could change in the next five minutes - and heck, I welcome it all - but for right now, I'm just going to relax.
1) Monty Python, "Eric the Half a Bee"
2) Alanis Morissette, "Right Through You"
3) Ray Charles, "Mess Around"
4) Glenn Frey, "You Belong to the City"
5) Prince, "When You Were Mine"
6) U2, "I Threw a Brick Through a Window"
7) U2, "Everlasting Love"
8) Bruce Springsteen, "Human Touch"
9) Cheap Trick, "Surrender"
10) Outkast, "ATLiens"
Whenever the Trick shows up, you know you're in for some high times.
So I saw Wedding Crashers last night, and I don't think it's a good sign I'm focusing on what was wrong with it. I definitely laughed out loud many times, and if I had any influence, Vince Vaughn would get a Best Supporting Actor nomination (I'm not joking; the guy is like a Bobby Abreu at the Home Run Derby here, just smashing anything thrown near him). However, 12 hours later, I just can't get over how much it missed its potential.
I lay this all at the feet of director David Dobkin (Shanghai Knights). In fact, any success the film has comes despite him. The guy just loves his extreme close-ups, putting the camera so tight at times you can count Vaughn's pores. And in perhaps his most egregious move, he's directly from the George Lucas School of Wipe Cuts (when the film changes scenes by "wiping" across from left to right, used most famously in the "Star Wars" films). This is a film nerd observation, to be sure, but I couldn't help but think Dobkin was confusing 2005 with 1979.
There are more basic problems, though. Why not take advantage of Christopher Walken if you have him? Plus, the film's "villain" (Bradley Cooper, so good in "Alias") is pure unlikable evil, when a better movie would have had him show at least some good - or at least funny - qualities (and ask yourself how his private eye knows all of that information,... or better yet, don't). And the movie comes to a thudding halt for about 20 minutes in the third act, made even worse with a "surprise" cameo by an actor - a once-welcome face - who's quickly wearing thin in this type of role.
Ugh, I don't like the way this sounds, only because I actually did like the film. It has the best opening 45 minutes of any movie in recent memory - just rapid fire laughs, the kind that come from deep in your chest. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn are the best combination of that "group" we've seen (you know, the one also including Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell and Jack Black). Rachel McAdams is Hotty McHothot, and if I could buy stock in "the next big thing," I would bet huge on her. Plus, the movie is shameless with its R-rating, and it's nice to hear characters that have as dirty a mouth as me.
It's just that a little more could have been done with this premise - genius, by the way - and the cast. As it is, the movie is a solid double, and Vaughn takes it on his back by himself and legs it out to third. It really is worth your time just to see him.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Each Thursday, I will post "flashbacks," articles written when I was in college and actually funny. The following unaltered column was originally published April 1, 1998 in The Red & Black in Athens, GA.
Vacations and I don't get along. We never have.
The past few months of my life have included painful, yet solid, trips to Tennessee, Florida and New York, some of them recounted in columns such as this. Spring Break '98 was no different: a lot of fun mixed in with some terrifyingly messed-up stuff.
My brother Justin (Golden Pantry Guy, you may remember) moved from Athens to Key West in September, and that seemed to be a perfect destination for my break. Free room and board never hurts.
A regular column, though, can't do the ups and downs of my trip justice. In a daringly stupid move, I've decided to write my first play.
"Key West: Spring Break Revisited," by Josh Massey
Setting: Fort Lauderdale Airport.
AIRPORT GUY: Sorry, but your connecting flight has been delayed for a year and a half. We must put you in a car, drive you to Miami and then fly you to Key West. Sorry for the inconvenience.
JOSH: Bite me.
Setting: Josh and Friends have met at the Key West apartment of Justin. The crew consists of Josh, fellow University students Dave and Ben, high school friends Dennis and Lexie, and Lexie's very cute friends Jen and Marette. (Josh is the only person with a significant other, so all scenes focusing on his friends hitting on members of the opposite sex while he sits around bored have been deleted). Justin's strange roommates, Irishman Tom and couch-dweller Kevin, are avoided by the crew at all costs. They travel to Mulcahy's Tavern.
JOSH: Boy, it's great to be in Key West. It's sunny and beautiful.
DAVE: And this bar is great. Cheap drinks. Lots of 'em.
DENNIS: Look at that drunk girl! She's dancing on the bar topless!
(Enter half-naked girl with extremely large breasts).
DAVE (dropping his beer): My God! She's deformed!
Setting: It's Oscar night, and Justin hasn't paid his cable bill. Instead of playing drinking games with friends, Josh sets off in search of a TV. He finds an Oscar party at Diva's, the gayest bar in a string of Key West gay bars.
JOSH: I'm glad I'm not afraid of homosexuals.
GAY PEOPLE: Come in! Join us!
BILLY CRYSTAL: And now presenting the next Oscar, Madonna.
GAY PEOPLE: You go girl!
JACK LEMMON: And the Oscar goes to Matt Damon and Ben Affleck!
GAY PEOPLE: My God, they're gorgeous!
JOSH (at the bar): I'd like an Amaretto Sour I mean, um, a shot of whiskey! Two of 'em! (whispering) I hope that's manly enough.
Setting: The entire group signs up for a snorkeling trip. Beer aboard the boat is free.
JOSH (stretching out his arms at the very front of the fast-moving boat, after roughly a dozen beers): I'm the king of the world!
DAVE: That's not funny, Josh.
JOSH: I'm the king of the world!
DENNIS: Sit down, Josh. You're embarrassing us.
JOSH: Woo-hoo! I'm the king of the world! Get it? It's from "Titanic!"
BOAT LADY: More beer?
JOSH: Hell yes!
Setting: After the fun snorkeling journey, the group sets off for some deep-sea fishing. A four-hour tour.
JOSH: Boy, this is fun.
DENNIS: Look, I caught an eel.
JOSH: Um, this is getting less fun (clutches his stomach).
JEN (clutching her stomach): Yeah, you're right. I'm getting sea-sick.
CAPTAIN: Only three hours of rough, choppy water left!
JOSH and JEN: Ugh
Setting: Mere hours after fishing, Josh and Jen have recovered and the group wisely decides to play drinking games.
JUSTIN: I'm glad you all had a bad time today, because I wasn't there. I have to work every day at Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffett's restaurant. I don't want you having fun without me.
MARETTE: Shut up and drink, boy! You're the three-man (author's note: Three-Man was the drinking game of choice).
LEXIE: Hey, isn't that strange roommate Tom coming in the door right now?
TOM: Ooh boy, it's four in the morning, and I'm coming home drunk. I think I'll urinate in the toilet.
DENNIS: Why is he urinating on the kitchen floor?
MARETTE: He thinks it's the toilet.
TOM: I like urinating in the toilet. (He passes out face-down in his own urine on the kitchen floor. The group erupts with laughter).
Dave and Josh wake up early to catch a plane. They're going home after a fun-filled and sickening week.
JOSH: To get to the shower, I have to walk through the den. So I'll do that oh my gosh!
KEVIN: I'm Kevin, Justin's other strange roommate. Instead of sleeping at 6:30 in the morning, I'm engaging in a hardcore pornographic act on the den couch with a stranger. Hint: 70 minus 1.
JOSH: I think I'm going to be sick!
DAVE: Let's go home, Josh! I don't think we're ready for Key West.
(2005 addendum: Yes, that's the worst ending to any column I ever wrote. Sorry, Dave).
My problem with this is Joe Buck's involvement. I had always looked to him as a decent voice to the game, but this is very disappointing. And I'm almost more pissed at myself for not catching it; the weird mention seemed a little off-putting at the time, but I certainly didn't put two and two together.
I never thought I'd say this, but I need to get more cynical.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Have no fear, dear readers - I sat on my ass a lot over the past few days, and do have some stuff to report. Again, this is somewhat of a rebirth of my old Red & Black capsule movie review feature, which was my favorite thing to write back in 'da day. It will hopefully provide you with a sliver of direction in which to take your movie-watching, but more than likely it will just serve as an insight into the kind of crap I voluntarily watch. In the Red & Black, I had to see pretty much everything. Now you can point and say, "You actually chose to watch White Noise?"
No, I still haven't made it out to theaters more than a couple times this summer, but I do have plans on seeing Wedding Crashers on Thursday night. (That movie, by the way, is really stirring those "Why the hell didn't I write that?!" vibes in me). And there is no way I am missing The Dukes of Hazzard, Domino and The Aristocrats on their respective opening weekends.
Oz: Season 3 (1999) Call me kooky, but I just love prison rape. Actually, to my great dismay, the third season of HBO's acclaimed prison series is very light on anus pounding, instead focusing on good ol' fashioned neck-stabbing-with-blades-hidden-in-eyeglasses-type violence. In all honestly, "Oz," despite being quite R-rated and very adult in nature, probably has an even harsher reputation than it deserves. The first four seasons, before it practically turned into science fiction during its last year, are worth checking out (for some reason, I had seen every season but this one). (A-) DVD
Reno 911!: Season 2 (2004) Everybody loves "The Chappelle Show," and yes, it does make me chuckle. However, the best live action show Comedy Central has to offer is far and away "Reno 911!." This series started with an easy-to-fail premise (a parody of "Cops," which is pretty much a parody unto itself) and managed to create one of the funniest half-hours this side of "Arrested Development." Bonus points for this "Season Two" package - the show's rampant profanity (bleeped out on TV) is here in all its glory. "'F' you, 'F' you, and fuck you!" (A) DVD
Stander (2003) Note to self: Don't believe Internet geeks. I got tricked into watching Boondock Saints and Hellboy because of wild overpraise from 16 year olds, and now Stander joins that list. Tom Jane stars in this purportedly true story of a South African cop who rebels against apartheid by..., uh, robbing banks. Sorry, but stealing money and buying a mansion to protest apartheid reeks of "I'm going to take this TV because I'm pissed off about Rodney King"-type opportunism. The movie really tries to sell Stander's morality for a while, but by the time it started showing cracks in his armor I had lost interest. (C-) DVD
Stalag 17 (1953) A quintessential "guy movie." Billy Wilder (Some Like It Hot, The Apartment) directed this World War II-era comedy-drama set in a German P.O.W. camp. Much like The Great Escape (one of my top five favorite films), the film's thrust comes from the prisoners' attempts to get as much past their captors as possible. Trouble is, signs are growing stronger that one of their own is in cahoots with the enemy. Could it be the shifty Sgt. Sefton (William Holden, who won an Oscar for this role)? This fantastic film at least proves that the "twist ending" wasn't something created by M. Night Shyamalan. (A-) DVD
Update: "Domino" was just delayed from its August release to October, causing me no small amount of consternation. Apparently the real Domino Harvey died, and now Tony Scott needs more time to finish the film... blah-de-blah-blah. I need me some Keira!
Sunday, July 10, 2005
This is worth a trip to New York City all by itself.
The inevitable introduction of Taimak into the Swayzeverse is making my knees tremble.
Saturday, July 09, 2005
Friday, July 08, 2005
1) U2, "Discotheque (David Holmes Mix)"
2) Black Eyed Peas, "Labor Day (It's a Holiday)"
3) U2, "Babyface"
4) John Williams, "Krypton Fanfare"
5) Cutting Crew, "(I Just) Died In Your Arms"
6) Goldfinger, "Feel Like Making Love"
7) The Bangles, "Going Down to Liverpool"
8) U2, "Running to Stand Still"
9) The Simpsons, "Canyonero"
10) The Doors, "The End"
Man, that was a fitting #10, huh?
Thursday, July 07, 2005
One of the more interesting things about my job is the feedback from readers. Not that most of you apathetic jerks ever stop drinking long enough to write or call, but there is a vocal minority.
Last week, my column about conformity started a small fire burning. A small fire the size of Nigeria. I wrote a list of "hip" things to do that were, in fact, no longer hip (playing golf, watching "South Park," listening to Marilyn Manson, etc.).
Oh, and I made a joke about Linda McCartney.
A cascading tidal wave of letters (about 15, actually) came my way, some nice, some mean. Most mean.
One such letter arrived in my mailbox, overflowing with hate. And as much as I enjoy nice mail, bile-filled letters are more fun to read. As most students don't get mail reading "I wish you dead" on a regular basis, I thought it might be interesting to dissect an average example of what journalists like to call "hate mail."
The following (in italics) is an e-mail I got last week. The letter was signed, though I've decided to leave it anonymous here. So here goes:
Where does Josh Massey get off?
OK, I wrote an answer to this, but decided to edit it out. Even I have some good taste somewhere. I'll just say it involved my bedroom and boxing gloves.
I realize that as an entertainment "critic," part of his job is to write what he thinks of movies, but this is starting to get ridiculous. I used to like to read his columns because I thought he gave some interesting perspectives. I read his reviews and thought they were the work of someone who really knew his stuff.
Well gee, thanks.
Now I read both the column and the reviews as one would view a car crash at the roadside - hoping everyone's OK and hating yourself for being so voyeuristic.
Oh, never mind. Ouch.
His column on conformity was the last straw. Who made you God, Mr. Massey?
My mom said I could grow up and be anything I wanted. I chose God.
I doubt very much that people who may fall into your categories appreciated some of the observations you had.
That was the point, genius.
Granted, the idea that originality is passé is one that I hadn't thought of much before, but, honestly, Josh.
Honesty is good.
Tacky jokes at the expense of Linda McCartney and her admirers? She was an amazing woman and a good role model for animal lovers worldwide.
For God's sake, the woman played a keyboard and not even very well! I love animals too, but when I've taken my dog to the vet, she never once offered to foot the bill. I hope Paul and Linda had a wonderful life together, but I doubt he was torn up over what was in a small Athens, Ga., newspaper. And has anyone ever considered themselves a Linda McCartney "fan"?
Oh, and please spare me all of your rhetoric on how uncool you think "Titanic" is now. If my memory serves me correctly (is it conformist to forget stuff?) you gave it a pretty good grade in your original review.
Yes, I gave it an A and named it one of the best films of 1997, something I still agree with. However, brainiac, I never insulted "Titanic," just people who are proud they are among the few who've never seen it.
Oh, one more thing? The one person who hasn't seen "Titanic?" You're reading a letter from her now.
Did I strike a nerve? Guess so.
I am not planning to see it simply because I have no desire to.
You go girl.
My friends don't understand why not, but they do not make jokes.
Well, they should start.
My life is nothing but special effects. Observe how I poof out of your life now by ending this letter.
But you are really sexy.
OK, she didn't write that last thing, but I know deep-down she believes it. Anyway, she spent another long paragraph explaining how she was going to end the letter, but I'll skip that and end right here.
– Josh Massey is a staff writer for The Red and Black. His column appears each Wednesday.
- The Secret Organization of Al Qaeda in Europe.
But no, you're right. We should announce a date our soldiers are going to withdraw from Iraq, and let these guys just wait it out. Oh, and seriously, one more report of us treating our prisoners to the horrors of Christina Aguilera music and cold air conditioning, I'm going to form a sit-in or something. Even if they are the ones who could give us information about stuff like this, that's just barbaric.
Friday, July 01, 2005
1) Outkast, "Ain't No Thang"
2) Alan Jackson, "Chattahoochie"
3) Hootie & the Blowfish, "Old Man and Me (When I Go To Heaven)"
4) U2, "Holy Joe (Guilty Mix)"
5) U2, "I Will Follow (Live at Foro Autodromo, Mexico)"
6) Modern English, "I Melt With You"
7) U2, "Mysterious Ways (Apollo 440 Magic Hour Remix)"
8) Pearl Jam, "Red Dot"
9) The Dust Brothers, "Who Is Tyler Durden?"
10) The Killers, "Jenny Was A Friend of Mine"