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The Daily Jim

All the wit that's fit to spit

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Archive for March, 2010

Davey Crocket Never Killed a Zombie. And That’s a Shame.

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Zombies: nightmarish flesh eaters or the key to healing our fractured national psyche?  Why can’t they be both?

While the presence of zombies is terrifying (and my wife thinks “gross”), every citizen’s ability to take matters into his own hands by resisting them is downright American.  In a nation where we are constantly told to consume and fall, lock step, in line with the crowd, we, in our hearts, crave uniqueness.  Our great American fear is not that our bodies will be devoured by a pack of violent, zombie mall shoppers, but that our individuality will be devoured by the millennial phalanx embodied by mall shoppers.  Each one of us will cease being distinct, and therefore, unable to make diverse contributions to our greater good.  Zombies ain’t building cities or writing poetry, people; they’re eating brains.

Cue National Anthem.

Brothers and sisters, these are challenging times.  Occasionally in order to gain perspective, we must stare into the dead eyes of a zombie and let them look back at us.  My advice is to go home, pop in the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead (which takes place in a mall and is directed by Zack Snyder of 300), and settle in for ninety-minutes of good ol’ American spirit.  With each zombie decapitated, breathe your right to think for yourself.  Every ingenious way to destroy a zombie using a common household appliance must be applauded for the pioneer spirit that built our country.  And in the end, when the zombie horde rages on even after all their hard work taking heads, remember that America is an idea that must constantly be refreshed (even if it’s by Ving Rhames and Phil from ABC’s Modern Family).  We’ve got to keep working at it, because zombies never sleep, they just eat brains and make more zombies.

The Realities of Cartoon Villainy: Part I

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

I try to give credit to cartoon villains whenever I can.  It really is a thankless job … I mean, the whole world wants you to fail.  You’re there to take the hit so a bunch of grubby kids can learn a lesson that their parents are too lazy to teach them.  It takes a certain kind of personality to endure the certainty of daily defeat and keep getting up for work in the morning.  Wile E. Coyote, Skeletor, even that freakin’ Cobra Commander … these guys have disastrous track records, but at least I learned that “knowing is half the battle.” These evildoers can hold their heads high knowing they were crushed in battle by superior intellect, or the quest for a righteous world.  If, however, your arch nemesis is a child wearing an enormous bonnet, who smells like fruit or a group of tiny blue woodland creatures who live in mushrooms, you might want to think about a career change because, you, my friend, are at the bottom of the bad guy barrel.

Purple Pieman. Strawberry Shortcake is a little girl!  You are pretty much one episode away from having Chris Hansen and the To Catch a Predator crew show up in Porcupine Peak.  Give it up, man!  You obviously like to bake; maybe you should focus on that.

And Gargamel … You haven’t been able to wipe out Smurf Village yet?  Your big plan to distract them by creating Smurfette, who would eventually betray them, didn’t work!  In fact the opposite happened!  You’ve actually given them the means to breed now, so I think the battle is lost.  Also, what’s your angle?  Genocide is pretty stupid to begin with, but still it takes some work, a lot more than a creepy shut-in, who never gets out of his pajamas is willing to put forth.  Look at Sketetor.  He’s a skeleton for crying out loud, but he still gets out and hits the gym.  Where do you think he met He-Man?

So here’s to the cartoon villains!  Be proud of your work that gets foiled weekly, but also challenge yourself to find a suitable nemesis and try to conquer the world or at least a kingdom of some sort.  If you can’t ask yourself the hard questions, maybe you should go back and live at your mom’s secret lair until you get a plan.

Portrait of the Young Man at Thirty-Seven

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Contributor, Jimhill, takes it to us again with a story of the eternal struggle within Pop Music and how he’s been riding his BMX bike for a quarter century while waiting for the next radar ping.

At 14 I liked pretty girls, BMX, and music I could call my own. Back then you were either “Metal” or “New Wave” (or you listened to Milli Vanilli and Wham, therefore negating any input you might have on important matters). Whether you liked Tears for Fears or Black Sabbath, you convinced your parents to let you wait outside Tower Records all night for concert tickets.  Those days I was on my bike every non-sleeping, non-schooling, non-working hour of the day.  There was some Nintendo in there too, but the focus was clearly to be out in front of something that few people knew about.  My older brother had God given talent for anything he tried, so I had to find something way off of his radar, and BMX was it.  The only people doing it were the people who died for it.

Pre X-Games, in the early ‘90’s, when BMX magazines started folding and parts became harder to get on shop shelves, I went a little more mainstream … I got a guitar. I tried to learn anything from Steely Dan and Van Halen to really cutting edge bands and whatever came on the radio, whether I liked it or not.  Music had become the next challenge.

Now here we are.  I’m still the God fearing fool I was 24 years ago. I live with 3 pretty girls, own maybe six BMX bikes (yeah I’m thirty-seven, WTF), play guitar, and listen to everything from Taylor Swift to Slayer (sometimes back to back).  Funny thing is, that what I hated in 1995, I’ve learned to accept along the way, like (see {some}) Oasis.

I know what I like. But I don’t know what I don’t like?  I love extreme sports, but they seem commonplace now?  I think Puffy killed rap, and Kanye came along and made sure it was dead.  Same as when Nirvana … Oh nevermind, you get my point. What can bring back excitement?  Where is the next NEW thing?

As I wait, I ride and I listen to music with my daughters. They like U2, Beck, and Stereophonics, but Z100 has also made Pussycat Dolls and Love Game unavoidable, which might be okay, because I secretly listened to Wham a bit as a kid.

The Germans Think You’re Your Own Evil Twin!

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

When his wife isn’t looking Mr. Pete places tiny tinfoil hats on his infant twins.  He doesn’t like the idea of them talking to each other with their minds.  He’s not alone. Anecdotal evidence indicates that one will grow up to be evil, and there’s no sense in corrupting the other one so early.

Me, I’m from the Hollywood version of twins, where the bad one isn’t “evil,” so much as the good one has a stick up his ass!  Like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito, those girls from Double Trouble or Hayley Mills in the original Parent Trap.  While twelve-year old Lindsay Lohan needed an identical sister to start some hijinks in her 1998 Parent Trap, adult Lohan is her own evil twin, what the Germans call a “doppelganger.”

You got to give it to German precision.  They’ve come up with a word that means one’s malicious duplicate who is not a sibling.   Just like nighttime Lohan, Bizarro Superman or Tyler Durden from Fight Club.  According to German wordsmiths, at some point your clone, or the future you, or an angry phantom who looks like John Locke, or even your own mind could snap and you’ll literally have to fight yourself.

There is, however, one instance where New World twinning meets Bavarian internal struggle: David Hasselhoff.  The episodes of Knight Rider when he played both Michael and Garthe Knight battling for dominance were all critical successes (at least in my house).  And while in modern America his career has become unfortunately unspectacular, his doppelganger, singing Hasselhoff, is a German icon.

We also have the Germans to thank for pretzels.  Yay!

garthe knightmichael knight

Evil Lurks in the Cabbage Patch

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Children of the ‘80’s, we’ve been unconsciously influenced; our free will has been ripped from us.  It took a good fifteen years before we saw it, but there it was, and it’s still continuing.

I have been able to trace it all back to 1983 when cult leader, Xavier Roberts birthed his nightmarishly adorable handy work upon the toy stores of America.  That’s right brothers and sisters, because of his damn Cabbage Patch Kids we grew accustomed to first and middle names like, Bryce Mackenzie, Hunter Ashlyn, and Addison Taylor.  Even if you didn’t own one, the imprint was left in your mind.

Roberts was intent that no two of these little horrors could be named the same, but because of increasing sales he quickly ran out of real names and began reaching outside of the, then limited, baby name books.  He started with cities: Madison, Sydney, Austin, moved to his favorite celebrity last names: Jordan, Dylan, Jagger.  Then he got a little ethereal: Trinity, Faith, and Destiny. Finally, he just started putting a couple of letters together in random sequence and adding “yden,” Jayden, Brayden, Hayden. The best part was that the names were unisex, so it didn’t matter what gender the doll was.  Diabolical!

The fad ended and everything seemed fine for years until it came time to start naming our own children. Some sort of mental switch must have tripped in our collective psyche and we began to search for the names with which we were programmed.  “You know, I rather like ‘Cheyenne,’ for a girl’s name.  I remember my sister had a doll that name.  Man, did she love that thing… she’s dead now … so let’s name our baby after my dead sister’s doll.” And so on.

My real issue with the Cabbage Patch is that because we’re using more exotic names for our kids, the pool of stripper names has been almost depleted.  Which is why I’m encouraging all the dancers working the lunch crowd at Forbidden Fruit on Kendall Avenue to start adopting old lady names as aliases.  “Let’s give a big hand for Beatrice! Shake it, Bea! Now on the main stage, dancing to Motley Crue … Gladys!  She’ll be followed by the sexy Martha in the Champagne Room!”

OUR FIRST NEWS STORY: “It’s a Trap!” Unrest at Ole Miss

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

NOTE: As frequent readers can attest, is not a news outlet.  With that being said, it is our belief that the growing unrest on the campus of the University of Mississippi will be overlooked by the general media in order to focus on the passing of the Health Care Reform Bill.  The Bill is important, as it affects every American, however WE will be covering the Mississippi controversy, because…well… it’s pretty awesome!

Ole Miss is a school divided. In the summer of 2003 the University officially retired Colonel Reb, the mustachioed Southern gentleman mascot of the Rebels created in 1979.  The school cited a move away from the “Old South,” Confederate connotations in favor of something more universally respected for a modern university.  And for seven years the Rebels have been mascotless at athletic events, although Colonel Reb still appears on a variety of promotional items.

On February 23rd the Ole Miss Associated Student Body, through an online vote passed a referendum to establish a new mascot.  Students wishing to be on the Student Mascot Committee were required to complete an application co-created by Student Advisory Council and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee by March 11th.

While a large segment of the alumni and student body wish to reinstate Colonel Reb on the grounds of tradition, there is a significant move to upgrade to a higher ranking military figure, namely Admiral Ackbar, the Supreme Commander of the Rebel Alliance Fleet from Return of the Jedi! His notable catch phrase, “It’s a trap!” is also being put forth as the school’s new rallying cry.  This movement is gaining considerable momentum online and on campus, but also causing considerable, legitimate tension throughout the Ole Miss community. will continue to cover this story as it continues to evolve over the weeks.


The Hamburglar: A Psychological Analysis

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Billy D. called from the road.  He told me there was something about the McDonald’s Hamburglar that he just didn’t trust.

“Well … he is a burglar.” I responded.

“That’s not my issue Duke.  I know several career criminals who are upstanding and trustworthy people.  This little creep’s a textbook example of a whacko.  What’s the story with the striped jumpsuit?  If he just escaped from prison he should change clothes in an attempt to blend.  But instead he puts on a Zorro hat and mask… I think he might be dangerous.”  Billy D. spends his career in his car.  Too much time alone and he gets consumed by one conspiracy or another.

“That’s Mayor McCheese’s business.” I said as fast as I could, just to put it out there.  “If he and Big Mac, the cop, can’t clean up McDonaldland, both of them should be ousted!  Can they get someone to wipe down the ball-pit too?  I hear kids pee in there.”

Billy D. continued as if he didn’t hear how funny I was.  “What I don’t like is his obsession with one thing.  Hamburgers.  It’s dangerous.  Remember in high school … Lennie from Of Mice and Men?”  He must have been thinking about this for miles. “Lennie’s infatuated with owning a freakin’ rabbit; next thing he knows, his best friend’s gotta put a bullet in his left ear.”

“Are you asking me to shoot you?  I honestly don’t know how I feel about that.”  The other end of the phone was silent.  “Okay.”  He obviously wanted to discuss this seriously.  “Okay.  What about jewel thieves?  They’re obsessed.  Or the Trix Rabbit?”

He interrupted.  “You ever met a jewel thief?  Nope.  You know why?  Because no one is actually a jewel thief!  It’s too myopic!  Thieves take what they can get their hands on then sell it.”  Now he was annoyed.  “That damn Trix Rabbit is just what I’m talkin’ about, though!  What happens at the end of the commercials, when he finally gets his hands on the Trix?  His eyes go all swirly and he passes out.  He never gets to enjoy the delicious cereal!”  He lowered his voice, “Obsession, Duke, is a cruel mistress.”

I wanted to yell into the phone that, he was, in fact, the Hamburglar!  His mistress is other people’s obsessions.  Instead, I very calmly spoke, “Robble, robble.”  Then I hung up.

An Open Letter to Superman

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Dear Superman,

Firstly, thanks for handling that end-of-the-world thing last week.  I’m glad you’re focused on the greater good, which brings me to the delicate topic at hand.  This might be hard to hear, but you need to cut that crybaby, Jimmy Olsen loose.  That redheaded pest is nothing but a time burglar, slowly stealing valuable minutes from your day and subsequently endangering us all.  Every time somebody at the Malt Shoppe gives Jimmy a hard time it’s, “Oh golly… I seem to have gotten myself into a prickly situation with some local hoodlums.  I’ll just ring up my ol’ pal Superman and he’ll give them what fore.”  I’ve got two words for that freckle-faced twerp, “Krav Maga.”  He needs to start watching his own back instead of looking to you to clean up after him.

Let’s say you’re busy handling an Earth threatening meteor shower or fighting another one of Lex Luthor’s humongously villainous machinations, when all of a sudden you have to stop what you’re doing to give a stern lecture to Butch and Worm about picking on the creepy kid with the camera.  But the thing is, you do it, without fail.  You must be the nicest guy in the universe.  Or Jimmy’s got incriminating pictures of you.  Or you still have unresolved codependency issues stemming from your parents giving you up for adoption.

I hear people talk about the neediness of Lois Lane, and her uncanny ability to be the sole witness to whatever this week’s super criminal has planned, at least she’s hot soup.  Good for you, dude! What does Jimmy offer?  Nothing but problems in a bow tie.  I heard that’s the reason Bizarro Superman dumped that albatross, Bizarro Jimmy, years ago; so he could spend more time with Bizarro Lois (who’s quite attractive in a square jawed, carnival worker sort of way).

You must take a stand.  You don’t see the Fat Albert Gang calling the Brown Hornet when they get into trouble.  No, sir.  They just sing a song then run away.  Let Jimmy learn to run away, for all our sakes.

Thanks again and good luck defeating General Zod in the Phantom Zone this weekend(again).

American Idolization

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

While my intern Ben was working out the travel details with I’m with the Cult winner, Jimhill, one thing became apparent … he is definitely one of us.  Below, he rants about drinking in Penn Station while trying to reform pop music against Pandora’s best advice.  This makes him the very first outside contributor to, allowing me to start drinking even earlier than usual.

In order to pre-game for the Clapton/Beck concert at Madison Square Garden, I went to the TGI Fridays (better known as Charlie O’s) in Penn Station with a buddy of mine from work who happens to have seen Mr. Eric Clapton every decade since Cream’s 1968 Farewell Tour. Now for some reason we were discussing American Idol. He, being a man of 55 years breathing, said, “The only thing to amount to anything on that show is Kelly Clarkson and the ‘Underwood chick.’”  Well, as much as I’d like to play the fool and agree, my guilty love of pop tells me too many have gone on to a hit or two. Has AI, in fact, killed the radio star? Well no, they’ve just become half of the radio stars.

At any time you can turn on the radio or walk through the mall and blaring out of some radio is Wadda Ya Want from Me or Live Like We’re Dying. Now it’s not that I don’t like them…Well … No, I really don’t like them … But why not?  Well I’m a purist, I don’t like watered down, which brings me to my hate for the band One Republic, more specifically, their lead singer, Ryan Tedder.  He has written several hits for voices over the last few years, but it became a crime against music when, in March of 2009, he sold Already Gone to our ol’ AI friend, Kelly Clarkson. You see, six months earlier this song was released by Beyonce, only it was titled Halo. It’s the same song written by the same guy and the stupidity of radio has let it slide! Unacceptable!  In my day, Bruce Dickinson or Blackie Lawless would have dealt with this guy over a few beers in the parking lot behind Nassau Coliseum.

Now, is there a parallel with why popular music and popular movies suck worse than ever? I believe so. With technology, we’ve become lazy. Musicians are lazy, getting up at noon, counting on their girlfriend’s parents to get them through the next week. All the clichés are true, but now a bad formula has been established for rap (see Kanye), rock (see Nickleback), and country (uhh … it’s not really country just because you have a southern accent) that everyone is following, and it usually involves a pitch corrector. Movies on the other hand will not invest in new scripts, so we’re left with forgettable remakes of Psycho and even worse, movie versions of your favorite TV shows. (Did we really need SWAT?)

There are plenty of really good bands and music out there; you just have to be lucky enough to fall across them. It used to be that your friends would lend you a tape or make a mix and viola, new discoveries. Throughout the ‘80’s I discovered a lot of music in BMX and skate videos. Today we have Pandora to tell us, “well you like Eric Clapton so you’ll probably like Jeff Beck, or Beck, or Daughtry, or …” And this is why I have an iPod.

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

“Drunk” is only a superpower at Red Sox home games and ex-girlfriends’ weddings.

Lessons in Bad Media Franchising and Merchandising

1) Saw 8: The Reality Television Gameshow 2)Live action movie of Hungry, Hungry Hippos 3)The Tonight Show, starring Chewbacca 4) Deadpool vs. Punisher: The Musical 5) The Human Centipede sleeping bag 6) C-Span Live Action Role Playing Group 7) The new Texas Chainsaw Massacre ride at Six Flags Over Texas 8) Your Parents Basement is Always […]

Where is Our Modern Barney Miller?

The single camera glory that was Barney Miller can probably never be reproduced.  There’s heavy debate in the office whether it should be or not. It was essentially a 22-minute, 3-act play with minimal characters and only one set (after Season One that also featured Barney’s dining room at home).  The thing is, the writing […]

Non-John Hughes High School Movies from the ’80s

Yep. Most of the high school biggies were our man, Hughes. But if you can name the 1980s high school movie quotes listed below, your might have been paying attention to something else in ’88 other than the MTV Beach House and that cute girl with freckles in your 11th grade Chemistry class. 5)”Last night, […]

Mark Your Calendar, Nerds!!!

This Weekend is legendary Indy 500.  Please don’t think geekdom is limited to cosplay and app programming.  Oh no, my friends. Two years ago our Mid-West correspondent, Billy D, and I watched those car dorks jump a humongous Hot Wheels truck  over a bunch of school busses and twice as many drunks while Florence Henderson […]

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Attention lonely geeks! “Drunk” is only a superpower at Red Sox games and ex-girlfriends’ weddings.

Gentleman Jim

  • MONDAY – Movies. Their glory and their hilarious tragedy.  

  • TUESDAY – Television.  Our favorite drug; constant and comforting, but often packaged with regret.  

  • WEDNESDAY – Wildcards! Probably a piece of weird fiction in which Spider-Man has to talk down Laura Ingles from making a bad decision.  

  • THURSDAY – Thesis-level Dorkdom. Jargon, geek terms and weird insight explained for the rest of us.  

  • FRIDAY – Fantasy, Sci-fi, and comics.  Like living in your parents’ basement only without the inherent desperation. Well…