Show Prep!

Hey, gang!  Just a quick li’l blog today to give some shout-outs to five of the most useful websites on the Interwebs.  Specifically useful for my particular line of work, which is that of radio asshole and dick-joke teller at the legendary 98.9 the Bear in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  Contrary to popular belief, a lot of what I share or refer to on the air has been gleaned from a variety of sources.  Television, video games, etc. are part of what we in the biz call “show prep.”  But son, if you gon’ be legit, you need to immerse yourself in the culture of the internet.  And it’s not just the on-air stuff anymore; nowadays anyone in ANY branch of the media has to have a Facebook and Twitter presence at the very least.  The pages I’m going to share will allow you (yes, YOU!) to steal good ideas with impunity.  See, none other than the legendary voice-over guy/announcer Don Pardo once told a friend “Amateurs borrow.  Professionals steal.”  Okay, then.  Away we go…

5) Cracked

cracked

First things first: this site would be much higher on the list if I was ranking on the basis of quality writing and depth.  This page has that and more.  Good God, there are so many well-written and hilarious pieces here that you can easily spend hours upon hours reading and, yes, learning.  It’s so goddam wonderful. Actually, Cracked is so rich it often does the OPPOSITE of helping my radio presentation. I get sucked into a wormhole of delicious facts and stories and look up and OH MY GOD!!! I’VE GOT TO GIVE AWAY TICKETS TO SEE HINDER AND SAVING ABLE!!!  FUCK!!  For sheer on-the-go show prep, it’s not as handy.  For immersing yourself for a bit and sipping a nice single-malt scotch while laughing your balls off, it’s perfect.  Fun fact: I sort-of cribbed the look and layout of this page from the Cracked model.  I have less stuff, so it appears more streamlined.  But really, I wish I had more stuff.

I know.  You’re asking “wait!  What about the Onion?!”  the Onion remains great.  It is the Daily Show of the internet.  But since I can’t very well use parody stories as actual talking points (as I am not FOX News) I had to leave it out.

4) Gorilla Mask

gorillamask

Firstly, don’t make the mistake of going to gorillamask.com…that’s not where you want to end up.  Especially at work.  gorillamask.net is where it’s at.  Unlike Cracked, there’s less original content here and fewer written articles.  But what Gorilla Mask does offer is an amazing rundown of everything…and I mean EVERYTHING interesting on the internet.  In addition to the links to sites like Cracked (and other sites on this list as well as some honorable mentions) and galleries of hot chicks, the “news feed” layout gives you links to the hottest trending crap the web has regurgitated in the last several hours.  I’ve discovered many wonderful websites just by clicking away happily.  If you’re a rock jock looking for stuff to talk about, go here first.

3) The Chive

thechive

The mighty, mighty Chive.  #KCCO. Mind the Gap. Hump Day.  DAR.  My God, how this page has shaped the way we view (and sift through) the imagery and stories of the daily digital flotsam. I’m so very proud to say that the founders of this colossus of the internet hail from Ft. Wayne, the same town in which I ply my trade.  I actually ran into one of the fellas at the airport last year as I was flying to San Jose. (I think it was John.  Or Dan.  I think there’s a Dan.  Or a Doug.  Not sure, really.)  Like an idiot, I shouted “CHIVE ON!” and like a gracious person, he smiled and waved back.

Anyway.  Where was I?  Oh, yeah.  Some will deride the Chive the same way they like to poo-poo their favorite band when that band becomes successful and has millions of downloads and is seen partying with porn stars at the Whiskey.  Yes, much of what you see in the DAR galleries and such has been featured on Reddit or somesuch already.  Hey, good for knowing that, you fucking hipster.  Good.  You’re better at going to Reddit than I am. Fuck you, I was busy having sex and drinking Negra Modelo’s at Bree Olson’s pad (she’s from Ft. Wayne, too) while she grilled up some vegetarian lunch or some shit.  Excuse me for not grasping the importance of the fact that your goddam Grumpy Cat meme post was getting upvotes a week before it made it to the Chive. (Editor’s note: I want to make it very clear that while I have been to Bree’s place and had a lovely time, at no point did we have sex. With each other, anyway.)

The Chive is a lot like America’s top 40 Countdown with Casey Kasem (not that Seacrest crap.)  If you manage to make one of the Chive’s galleries or get mentioned somehow or spotted wearing one of their Bill Murray shirts, then you’ve made it to the Top of the Internet.  Take a bow.  That’s what’s great about the Chive.  It’s the big-leagues, motherfucker.  Recognize.

2) I Heart Chaos

iheartchaos
 

Now, this site is a lot like some of the ones I’ve already mentioned.  But it’s also nothing like those sites.  Sure, they let viewers/readers submit their own links and content.  Unlike Reddit or 4Chan or whatever, IHC does tend to supervise the content so it doesn’t end up being a terrible mish-mash message-post sort of thing.  In that respect, it’s sort of Chive-like.  But whereas the Chive is a perfect example of slick, capitalist marketing and promotion, I Heart Chaos is more like a punk-rock DIY community, and frankly it feels like that to me.  The Chive is a club you join and has its own language and secret handshakes.  IHC is an actual clubhouse and there’s a little grime in the corners and mildew in the community shower.  And god damn it, I love that.  There’s also a propensity by the moderators (primarily the founder, CranberryZero along with some trusted cohorts) to delve into the Neil DeGrasse Tyson-fuelled world of popular science.  You’ll see videos from a lab in Russia that has managed to demonstrate actual photon teleportation alongside a sexy cosplay of a female Link.  There are metal music videos and movie rumors.  It’s pretty much perfect.  Like any such site, there are times when I’ve already seen the trailer for “Pacific Rim” on another page.  Fine by me.  Because I can watch it here AND check out the NSFW galleries before clicking on that speech by Carl Sagan.  I heart I Heart Chaos.

1) Reddit

reddit_logo

Mos Eisley Spaceport.  You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. All true.  However, you know what else you can find at Mos Eisley?  Huh?  Do you?  Here’s a hint:  it’s why the fuck Ben Kenobi took young Skywalker there in the first place: a ship.  More generally, a means to go anywhere.  Everywhere.  It’s the best and worst of everything.  It’s the wild west.  Precious gems and exotic spices side-by-side with runny-eyed whores who have weeping, festering sores on their lips, just down from a couple of addicts clawing in the dust in the withering Tatooine midday sun.  That, my friends, is Reddit.  Like Mos Eisley, Reddit is not the safest place for wide-eyed, innocent internet travellers.  Best watch your step, son.

But MY GOD the stuff you find on Reddit.  So. Much. Stuff.  It’s not all good.  It’s not all what you need or want.  But trust me, it’s THERE.  Important tip for first-timers:  browse the front page a bit.  Get your feet wet before you dive in.  Then, once you’re comfortable, create an account.  Seriously.  This serves two purposes. The obvious first benefit is that you can then submit and comment and downvote or upvote and all that.  But the secondary purpose of an account is to customize your Reddit experience.  Don’t want to see posts from r/wtf or r/gonewild showing up on your frontpage?  Done.  Want to keep the Star Trek subreddit front-and-center?  Okay.

Beyond that, there’s no way to adequately describe Reddit except to say that you will spend the rest of your life there.  Good luck and God speed, friend.  Now go put your show together.

 
 

Super Questions…

Well, it’s been a good week and kind of a “meh” week.  On one hand, Reddit hates me because I trashed “Big Bang Theory.”  It’s okay:  that’s what Reddit does, and I’m cool with that. At the other end of the spectrum, one of my Tweets made Tosh.0 the other night.  Score.  Andy Warhol said that in the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.  But he said that in the 70’s.  Adjusted for inflation, everyone will be famous for about the length of a “Guy on a Buffalo” video.  Shit, I almost made it…

Anyway.  In part to make up for the geek-related hatred my last blog spawned, I thought I’d ask for your help in clearing up some  comic-related issues I had.  For example:

Wolverine’s Healing Properties

So, Wolvie’s gone through some serious backstory/retconning over the last fifteen years or so.  (SPOILER ALERT: his name isn’t Logan!)  Once, he had all the adamantium removed from his body by Magneto.  Ouch.  The good news is that he discovered that his healing properties were actually being hindered by all that metal.  Once, he was completely incinerated…and GREW BACK!!  That got me wondering.  What if Wolverine got cut in half?  Is it beyond the realm of possibility that he would grow into TWO Wolverines? Like cutting a worm in half?  Or would his lower torso just shrivel up and die?  If he did grow a whole new self, it would be kind of selfish of him NOT to cut himself in half a bunch of times in order to grow a whole army…ARMY X!!  SNIKT!!

HULK WANT TWO WOLVERINES!!

Planet of the Apes

This is a stretch, but in the far-flung future, when Apes Rule Everything Around Me, what if one of them were bitten by, say, a radioactive spider?  What would he call himself?  “Spider Monkey,” of course.  But that would be like a modern-day superhero calling himself European American or somesuch.  Also, what good would the ability to climb be to a race of beings that, well…already climb real good-like?

A crime is in progress...must throw poop!

Superman is a dick

Cracked covered this in one of their articles about movie editing, but it’s always bothered me, so we’ll discuss.  In the movie “Superman” ol’ Supes flies to the rescue of a town that’s about to be wiped out by a breaking dam.  But by so doing, he lets Lois Lane die when her car gets all fucked-up by the earthquake.  Superman gets all sad, and you remember what happened next: he flies around the world, super-fast…backwards…to REVERSE TIME! (Suck it, Einstein!)  Then he swoops down, says something witty, and rescues Lois.  Yayyy!  Love conquers all! Except that, you know…by rescuing Lois, he’s nowhere NEAR the GODDAM DAM (see what I did there?) that’s about to break and wipe out a village of 3,000 souls.  Did I miss something?  I mean, shit, even Spock knows that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.  Way to go, Superfag.

In fairness, THIS is the worst thing to come out of the Superman franchise.

The Hulk’s pajama jeans

They’re really the only possible explanation.  But why purple?  Purple stretch jeans that don’t get ripped to shreds and expose his big, green junk to the world?  Where the fuck do you even BUY those?  Jesus, Dr. Banner…I thought you were a genius or something.  Too bad you dress like a homeless guy hanging around outside of Denny’s.

You wouldn't like me when I'm angr-GAAHHH!! BEES! BEES IN MY MIND!! I'LL FIGHT YOU!

Geek Rant: Big Bang Theory Isn’t Funny.

Okay, goddammit…I can’t take it anymore.   It’s come to this.  Listen to me carefully, people.  Listen with your ears, and hear me with your soul.  The television show “Big Bang Theory” is bad.  Really bad.  Like, terrible.  And every time I bring that up to someone, they look as if I’ve sodomized their grandma’s cat whilst wearing my Obama t-shirt.  I hear responses like “Un-fucking-MURICAN! Fuckin’-A, IT’S FUGGIN HILARIOUS!!  EAT SHIT AND DIE, FAG!” And so on.

A little back story.  If you’re not familiar with this particular network television offering, the premise of Big Bang Theory centers around a bunch of physicists and their crew of stereotypically smart-yet-socially-awkward genius friends and the hot whore that lives across the hall.  Imagine “Seinfeld” if Jerry happened to work at the JPL and Kramer was a hot blonde actress.  Oh, and in order for this comparison to work you’d have to lose all of the funny stuff that made “Seinfeld” watchable and add a big, stupid, obvious LAUGH TRACK OVER EVERY GODDAM JOKE, ASIDE, LEER, SIGH, OR AWKWARD PAUSE.  But I digress.

MAKE HIM STOP! I'M PEEING MY PANTS! AGAIN!!

It’s funny to me that most of the people who find it odd that I don’t DVR every episode of “Theory” are not what I’d call “geeks.”  In fact, most of them are softball-playing frat boys or golf-addicted pseudo-jocks.  It’s like they know I’m a geek and expect me to love this piece of network crap simply because “well…them guys are all nerds like you!”  Brilliant. And therein lies the problem.  See, this show was created by Chuck Lorre.  Remember that guy?  He’s the creator of a show you may have heard of called “Two And A Half Men.”  Yes, the show with John Cryer and, oh…what was his name…the other guy? Gosh, can’t seem to remember.  He kind of disappeared after gracefully exiting the show.  Huh.  Anyway, “Men” is a huge success, and is based on the same formula that’s been used for television comedies for, well… EVER.  The Odd Couple, Three’s Company, Gilligan’s Island, House…the list goes on and on.  When it works, it’s comedy gold.  When it doesn’t…it’s “Big Bang Theory.”  God, even the name of the show pisses me off.  See. it’s a physics-related phrase that also has the word “BANG” in it, like “boy, we half-dicked science nerds sure would like to BANG a real female vagina…wait!  There’s a hot chick across the hall that would never even look our direction in real life, but now she’s woven into our lives to create sexual tension and give everyone something to masturbate to!”  BAZINGA!!

Bazinga.  Don’t even…no.  Not going there.

Yes. We know.

Comedy.  That’s what this show needs.  You know what this show has instead?  “Jokes” like these.  Seriously, here are some honest-to-god quotes from the show.  Try not to bust a gut…

“Scissors cuts paper, paper covers rock, rock crushes lizard, lizard poisons Spock, Spock smashes scissors, scissors decapitates lizard, lizard eats paper, paper disproves Spock, Spock vaporizes rock, and as it always has, rock crushes scissors.”  BWAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!!! GET IT?  STAR TREK!!

 “A fear of heights is illogical. A fear of falling, on the other hand, is prudent and evolutionary.” WOOOO-HOOOO!  HE SAID “EVILOUSHUN!”  GEEKS ARE SOOOO FUNNY!!

“I don’t know how, but she is cheating! Nobody can be that attractive and this skilled at a video game.” I KNOW, RITE?  CHICKS CAN’T PWN NEWBS ON “NUKETOWN!”

“A neutron walks into a bar and asks how much for a drink. The bartender replies, ‘For you, no charge.’” Okay, so that one’s actually pretty funny.  Damn it.

The point is, these jokes are written, I’m guessing, by non-geeks who lurk on Reddit or have friends who’ve bought t-shirts from J!NX, and then try and write to an audience they don’t really “get.”  It’s like Michael Richards writing to the Spike Lee crowd, only with much less hatred.  But now the show has become wildly popular with the non-geek crowd, in part, I think, as a response to the fact that geeks are taking over the world.  Zuckerberg, Jobs, Gates, the Google guys…they are our new overlords.  The Large Hadron Collider makes CNN now and then when the CERN guys make a breakthrough.  Movie stars are seen wearing “Portal” shirts.  For a non-geek, the paradigm has shifted and maybe they’re just trying to catch up.  In which case, maybe I’m over-reacting.  Maybe I should welcome the frat boys who have traded in their Hollister shirts for a “Halo” or “Gears of War” t-shirt.  It’s a start.  (When I see them sporting “Team Fortress 2” or “Deus Ex” shirts, I’ll be impressed.)

SOME of you have got to get this...

In the meantime, me and the rest of the nerd, dorks, geeks, and wonks will be watching OUR shows.  Galactica, Dr. Who, Firefly, Mythbusters, and Arrested Development.  Some of those shows are obviously no longer on the air.  Maybe when the “Affliction” crowd catches up, those shows will be given another chance.

With a laugh track, of course.