Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Earlier today, CBS announced an astonishingly controversial format for the 13th season of "Survivor," a show I've never watched.

But will now.

When the hit show returns next month, the competing tribes will be separated by race. Whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians will be represented in four groups of contestants.

In a world increasingly strangled by political correctness, I can only say "Bravo!" Keeping something fresh through 13 installments is tough enough, but to weather the storm Jeff Probst and Co. are about to experience is even more difficult.

Look, is this good for society? Is this going to bring us closer together in racial harmony, as the show purports to be intending?

Hell to the sort of. Hang with me a minute here.

Look, whites are going to root for whites, blacks for blacks, Hispanics for Hispanics, and Asians for Asians. It's human nature, and quite unavoidable. (Of course, how my half-white, half-Japanese girlfriend is going to cope isn't even a question. She'll be Asian All the Way, as everybody knows if someone is half-white, half-something else, they'll always side with the something else. White is boring).

So Probst's quote - "I think it'll come down to what it always comes down to: Who do I like?" - is a Tribal Council of bullshit. What's left? Unadulterated, player-hating, bloodlust competition. In other words, the best kind. This, though, has the added bonus of being tongue-in-cheek, at least to the more enlightened (read: not really racist) of us out there.

Honestly, I would love to watch this in a bar with patrons of all races. Blacks going crazy when they won an immunity challenge, Asians celebrating when the white girl falls off the tree trunk, whites clinking our Zima glasses when we win the swimming challenge (we probably will).

What this could be reminds me of the best thing about college football: the trash-talking. I absolutely love going to a UGA game out-of-state, and enduring the friendly taunts of the opposing fans. Sure, some young punks and a few others (mostly people that didn't go to their favorite team's college) take it too far, but mostly the jabs are good-natured. If "Survivor" works the way I envision, maybe it will highlight our racial differences while at the same time giving us the chance to laugh at them.

Ignoring a difference between the races is asinine, almost as much so as presuming superiority of one over another. If we can recognize that and have a little fun with it, maybe we can take a small step (a very small step, as we're still talking about "Survivor" here) toward getting this monkey off our backs.

Wait, no, I meant ...

Hard target search

It is time for yet another round of "How the Hell Did You Get Here?," the game that tells me - the blogger - how you - the reader/time waster/mistaken clicker - got to this website. This enlightening experience is brought to you courtesy of Sitemeter, which reads how individual folks were brought to Martians Attacking Indianapolis.

The recent Google searches delivered people to my Internet doorstep:

"Indianapolis deer statue"
"emmy 2006"
"keira knightley dr. martens"
"John Mark Karr II myspace page"
"U2 -Live at indianapolis 2006"
"buckhead bettys"
"blogs written by guys who look like Brad Pitt"

Ok, I made that last one up.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Something sloppy this way comes

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported some sad news tonight:

And no, I'm not referring to the loss of Hawks forward Al Harrington. I'll somehow get over that. I'm referring to the second story. Yes, the legendary sci-fi author Ray Bradbury has passed aw...

Uh, hold that thought. Click on the link and find this.

The AJC copy editors strike again. And yes, the link was removed within minutes of me finding it.

Dark half

I just realized I'm 30-and-a-half today. Oh, how to celebrate?

Cash gifts will be accepted in lieu of presents, of course. Paypal payments can be made to Since I'm a public school teacher, maybe it's all tax-deductible. No idea.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Did you hear about the new pirate movie? It's rated Arrrrrr...

In the late '80s, the policy in my house was simple. If I wanted to see an R-rated movie - I was just a lil' button-nosed preteen - two things needed to happen:

1) My parents were interested in seeing it.
2) They would actually go, and then deem it OK for my visual consumption.

So if I wanted to peruse 976-EVIL - and I did, dammit - I was likely out of luck. It really wasn't mom and dad's cup o' blood and bile.

However, if my desire was to the tune of Young Guns, A Fish Called Wanda, or Midnight Run - and they were, dammit - I watched my parents head out, then waited the oh-so-long hours for them to render a verdict. And actually, they were fairly reasonable. The Untouchables, Rambo III and Rain Man all got a thumbs-up. Not so much for Tequila Sunrise, Cocktail and Coming to America.

See, my parents weren't concerned with violence or nudity. They realized I was intelligent enough to realize a guy being shot wasn't actually being shot. And my mother had a very European sensibility about the human body - everybody has one, so why shield it from prying eyes?

The limitations set in with the easily imitable acts of profanity and sex. Hearing Eddie Murphy asking "How the fuck can I steal a house?" in Beverly Hills Cop II was off-limits. Seeing a bullet go through Brigitte Nielsen's forehead in the same film was not.

That might seem like flawed logic to some of you, but it makes perfect sense to me.

It was much more likely I would eventually ask my 7th grade teacher, "How the fuck do you spell this?" than I would shoot him for giving me a C. And my parents, God bless 'em, actually thought I had a chance of replicating the sexual acts I would see in the forbidden D.O.A. and No Way Out. If only.

They had a bonus rule, incidentally: If I read a book, I could always see the movie. Hence, mine eyes got to see classics like Presumed Innocent, The Bonfire of the Vanities, and - oddly enough - Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (seriously, there was really a book).

Well, one humid night in July 1988, I waited over three hours for my parents to get back from their dinner-and-a-movie date. The anticipation was particularly breathless that evening, as I had completely fallen in love with a movie simply by seeing its trailer. I was already imitating it, tying a garden hose around my waist and jumping off my dad's truck. Yelling "Yippie-ki-yay!" the entire time, of course.

It was Die Hard.

Around 10 p.m., in walked the 'rents. Forgive me for not remembering this 18-year-conversation word-for-word, but it went something like this.

Dad: "Oh, Josh. You won't believe this movie. I don't say this often, but that might be the best movie I've ever seen. The action doesn't stop, the one-liners are hilarious, and - just, well, my God, that was a great movie! You would love it!"

Josh: "So I can see it?!?"

Dad: "Oh, no way. Far too much bad language."

It was crushing. Not being able to see my beloved Die Hard was one thing, but knowing the experience would change my life made it a lot harder. I looked for a novel to exploit that parental clause, but failed in finding one (and this especially hurt a few years later, when I discovered it had actually existed - but with a different title).

The wait was on.

It turned out it wasn't as long as I feared, however. Die Hard immediately became one of my favorite movies when I saw it - on video, as a 13th birthday present. Seriously, my parents rented me a movie as a birthday present, and even worse, I was freakin' thrilled. My parents scammed me into being happy with a $3 birthday present, and I swallowed it. The cheap bastards.

Well, since 1988, Die Hard has spawned two sequels: 1990's Die Hard 2 and 1995's Die Hard With a Vengeance. And I actually got to see both of those in theaters. They were alright, I guess, but neither held the proverbial candle to the Classic-with-a-capital-C original. That is perhaps why I'm not over-the-moon about the recent announcement of the fourth film in the series.

Live Free or Die Hard.

Seriously. That's the title.

In a season already filled with sequels - new installments of Pirates of the Caribbean, Ocean's 11, Shrek, The Bourne Identity, Spider-Man, 28 Days Later, Fantastic Four, Bruce Almighty, Harry Potter, and Rush Hour are all due in summer 2008 - it pains me to say a continuation to The Greatest Action Movie Of All Time might get lost in the shuffle.

From the article:

The film, titled Live Free or Die Hard, features his John McClane police officer attempting to stop a techno-terrorist from shutting down the nation's computer systems on the Fourth of July. The story takes place around Washington, D.C., and will be directed by Underworld: Evolution filmmaker Len Wiseman.

What is the most troublesome detail of that paragraph?

a) the dumb title
b) "techno-terrorist," which sounds like the nation's dance clubs are in danger
c) "will be directed by Underworld: Evolution filmmaker Len Wiseman"

Actually, I'm sorta thrilled that my expectations aren't through the roof. They were for the previous two Die Hard sequels, and those flicks were disappointments even though both were perfectly acceptable. Just not as a follow-up to TGAMOAT, I guess.

Lower expectations give hope. And if Rocky can return to glory - and he will, dammit - John McClane can be up to the task.

Yippie-ki-yay, motherfucker.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sorry, it struck me funny

This was found, of course, on John Mark Karr's MySpace page. It's obviously real.


From CourtTV, circa a few years ago:

To this day, John and Patsy Ramsey have lived (Ed. note: Not lately, Pats) up to their promise and continue to search for their daughter's killer. They have posted a composite sketch of a suspect compiled by the late psychic, Dorothy Allison, on their Internet site ..."

I call bullshit on psychics as a general rule... But it is a bit creepy, no?

That obsessive freakshow is full of crap, though. He had nothing to do with the murder.

Personally, I would be investigating this guy:

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Doesn't "yellow jacket" offend their Asian, Members Only-wearing population?

The front-page headline read "Tech nixes political correctness." Could this be the first recorded instance of anything cool - well, except for a few things - happening on Georgia Tech's campus?

Nope, they were ordered to do so by a judge.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Hey, at least he got to star in "The Fly II"

American Movie Classics has been airing Back to the Future this week, which led me to recall the filmmakers' original casting decisions. Most notably, Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly.

Stoltz worked on the film for a few weeks before director Robert Zemeckis and executive producer Steven Spielberg realized it just wasn't working. I assume Michael J. Fox's phone rang shortly thereafter. The Stoltz footage still exists, but has never seen the light of day - even on the deluxe DVDs that came out a while back. Still photos, though, have crept out from the shadows over the years.

That just looks weird.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I blame Angelina Jolie

white girl (hw-i-t) (gûrl)

  1. Gwyneth Paltrow.