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If you turn the sound off, they send a car to blast it next to yours

If you turn the sound off, they send a car to blast it next to yours

Most advocates against driving say that by taking the bus, riding a bike or walking to work in Los Angeles helps to reduce traffic and pollution, not to mention the stress of sitting bumper-to-bumper on the 10. But I think that the most underrated asset to not being in a car is that it makes it that much more difficult for one of Kings of Leon’s songs to find you.

I don’t know how they always manage to do it, but Kings of Leon manages to have their awful not-really-rock, not-really-country, Wilco-wannabe-but-closer-to-emo retarded lyrics make their way into my eardrums under every possible circumstance.

They managed to get onto every single radio station, even ones that don’t seem to specialize in music. The same crappy “Sex is On Fire” song that KROQ can’t get enough of, will then interrupt a news broadcast. Am I the only person who thinks that this band is one of the most overrated on the radio? Sometimes the radio won’t even be in, but the car will have it turn on automatically and say, “Hey, noticed your sex isn’t on fire, how ’bout a song about having your sex on fire!” and the worst-titled name in the history of music will start playing.

What the hell does that even mean to have your sex on fire? Either it’s the worst S&M menu option on the list or he’s just so emotional about a girl having a nice pussy that he came up with this super clever and deeply intuitive metaphor. And then he wrote a shitty tune around the whole thing.

So, yeah, save the planet, drive less, save gas money and the pains of sitting in traffic. But most importantly save yourself from this overrated of overrated bands that make L.A. radio stations look like the underplay Sublime.

Right to Die: Coming this Fall only on Fox

Right to Die: Coming this Fall only on Fox

It seems like every argument over abortion, health care, right-to-die and euthanasia always comes down to pro-life and pro-choice. But where’s the other end of the spectrum? Pro-life seems very right wing. Pro-choice seems very centrist – do what you like – but where is the far left-wing opinion? The pro-death people if you will. If you use the argument that people who want to die should be able to, then you can help ease health care, social security and the primetime T.V. schedule coming up with ways to satisfy those demands.

Granted that sounds a bit murky to say the least, so they’d need a new title or a serious p.r. man, but I think you could make a legitimate argument for the pro-death stance.

This doesn’t advocate going around killing people, but it’s sort of the far end of the extreme of keeping people on life support when, by all measure, they’ve been dead for a decade. Or, same thing goes for people who have worked in a cubicle for twenty years, they’re in their seventies, single, no kids. Basically me if nothing changes in fifty years. I would deserve to go.

We could solve numerous problems if braindead senior citizens had to make the case for wanting to die: health care, which spends an insane amount of money keeping people on life support; social security, which is could go bankrupt; and Fox’s Fall schedule, which is still desperately seeking a new American Idol-type reality show.

Let’s say I keep going at the rate where I’m currently headed. Crap job, zero career prospects, single, nothing to my name, no kiddies, headed towards baldness, clinging to decent shape thanks to no social life allowing me to play sports. Let’s stay on this track for another forty years, do you really want to pay for me to keep chugging along for these stupid blog posts? Really? Or, would you spend five minutes with Fox watching me plead desperately for why a death squad shouldn’t put me out of my rightful misery? You would totally sit through a commercial break to stick around for Simon Cowell’s decision.

I’m not getting all Nazi-like either. I don’t think retarded people should be killed. Because retarded people are very entertaining. And they keep the World Wrestling Entertainment in business, which creates jobs.

But if an old guy can make the case that he shouldn’t be around anymore, why stop him, y’know?

It seems as though the only way the guy can be put out of his misery is if he commits a lethal crime and gets the death penalty. Then it seems all right with Fox News to end a life, right? Well, what if we get the killers to take care of the suicidal? We can save on producing anti-depressants, spend less money on prisons, save money on social security, ease pressure on health care and put it all on television for a fantastic night with the family.

And all this thanks to my day job that let’s me do a little bit of blogging. Maybe I’ll keep going after all.

Sold out not for NLCS but to do a "gnarly wave." Fucking LA people

Sold out not for NLCS but to do a "gnarly wave." Fucking LA people

Out of the 18-or-so stadiums I’ve had the chance to visit (that comes off more pathetic than accomplished), there isn’t one that comes close to Dodger Stadium’s disparity between how much I enjoy it and how much I hate it.

This is an awful analogy because not only do I have to reveal that I saw the Sex and the City movie, but I have to reference it in a logical argument about baseball stadiums. But every time I weigh the good and bad sides about going to a game, I have that same plus-minus list that Miranda makes about whether to forgive the cheating baby-daddy/husband-Jew-bar guy and meet him on the bridge.

On the plus side, when I’m at Dodger Stadium, I really enjoy myself. We’ve had good times together in a classic, laid-back, California sort of way. There’s a lot of happy memories that we have together. We’ll always have the beach ball and the wave. An awesome 2009 season loaded with walk-offs and the stadium itself is fantastic.

As in, once you’re in your seat and watching the game, Dodger Stadium is one of the best in baseball. It’s now the third-oldest stadium in the Majors, behind Wrigley and Fenway, and it’s rare that you find any of that mid-Century architecture in all sports, let alone baseball with all its cookie-cutter Camden Yards knockoffs. I love the pastel seats and the sightlines from anywhere are great. No matter where you sit, you can see the entire play.

Plus when you’re behind the plate, you’ve got Elysian Park and the San Gabriels in the distance. You get a perfect California sunset, warm weather year-round and this year’s great team. All-in-all, the experience itself is one of the best in baseball.

But then Dodger Stadium abuses that trust that we’ve built up and the negatives start piling up (let’s throw a basic chemistry reference into an awful joke: Dodger Stadium has more negatives than a carpet’s charged ions in the winter, am I right people?).

It’s as if because the stadium is so great, everything else has to be awful. We can start with the $15 parking fee, which is almost three times more than I paid for the individual ticket in my season ticket package. And if you don’t want to park in the stadium lot, try taking public trans– oh, that’s right, there is no public transportation to the stadium.

Because there is no bus or subway (there was a free bus last year from Union Station but it took ten times longer because you had to go to Union Station, wait for the bus, then sit in the same traffic as the cars), so you never have the fans gathering and the anticipation building as you pick up passengers en route to the game. Nothing beats the packed 4 train with energy building as you emerge out of the tunnel before 161st Street. For the Dodgers, you pay $15 for parking then walk a mile through multiple lots hoping that the entrance is on the same elevation as your parking spot. Or you can try biking up three massive hills.

Plus, Dodger Stadium is one of the only ones that doesn’t let you move around the stadium. Your ticket is only good for the section that you bought. Which – from a rich person’s perspective – makes perfect sense. From my $10/hour perspective not so much. Especially when the entire stadium is empty for innings one through three and seven through nine and all those juicy seats are begging for people to move down for the late innings.

How about, instead of pricing by section, you price by people who care about the game? Dodger fans are the worst. The loudest booing and cheering that you hear is for the success and failure of the wave. If the ump makes the wrong call at a play-at-the-plate and the Dodgers lose, the fans might grumble a little bit. But if someone accidentally hits the beach ball towards the usher who pops it, that’s the angriest booing you’ll hear on this side of the Los Angeles River.

So every time one my weekday games comes up, I have to do that constant fight in my head. I love baseball, the Dodgers are great this year, and the stadium is classic. But do I want to fight an hour across town from Santa Monica to Echo Park, pay an extra $15 to park or walk from Sunset, then endure some of the stupidest wave-crazed baseball fans in the Majors? Is this love? Is this what I married and had a love-child with the Dodgers for? I feel you Miranda. Do you meet the guy on the bridge? I feel you.

But that’s Dodger Stadium: one of the best stadiums in the majors with the worst accessibility and the least-passionate fans. So do you meet the Dodgers at the Brooklyn Bridge or not?

Studio 60 on the Mr. Saturday Night Punchline

Studio 60 on the Mr. Saturday Night Punchline

I wonder if Funny People underperformed for the exact same reason that Studio 60 got canceled. Both of them were good and entertaining. Maybe not amazing, but undoubtedly much better than other stuff that crushes. Yet both of them did way worse than things of far poorer quality.

In fact, you could probably throw Mr. Saturday Night and Punchline into this category as well. All of them were letdowns because they’re about comedians who weren’t being funny. And you know what does succeed? Comedians being funny.

Something about this seems obvious.

A comedian being dramatic seems kind of similar to hiring a plumber to fix your broken toilet and instead he sits in your living room and tells you about his emotional core that fuels the life choices that made him become a plumber.

And as a failed comedian, I completely understand the motivation behind wanting to be dramatic. You write a joke, get on stage and tell it over and over. After a while you want to do something else, and tell people something other than a joke. But no one wants to hear it.

This is why comedy clubs, jazz clubs and poetry clubs are SEPARATE PLACES. The best comedians are the ones who have nothing emotional about them and all they do is make fun of everything. This is why the best comics are bitter and soulless, because they don’t care about anything. As soon as a comic gets emotional and dramatic about stuff, it’s less funny.

Louis CK is hilarious because he talked on stage about how much he hated his wife and kids, and now he’s divorced and still hilarious. Dave Attell, bitter alcoholic, hilarious. Sobers up, still funny, but a hair less. The entire point of a comedian is to be funny and as soon as they do anything else, no one cares. Yeah, that sucks, but it’s the comedian’s job.

This is why 90% of stand-up comedians’ first movie scripts are about – guess what? – a stand-up comedian who is dealing with shit and has to get dramatic and be taken seriously. Every fifteen years or so, studios forget that those movies tank and someone with enough clout comes along to get one made, so everyone gets this, “It’ll work this time” mentality. And it doesn’t. If you’re a comedian, do your job, be funny.

Get your dramatic feel-good movie out of my dick jokes.

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August 2009