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The Daily Jim

All the wit that's fit to spit

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Archive for April, 2010

Sylvester Stallone: Giving the People What They Want

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Sometimes, when I’m tired, I forget that Sylvester Stallone is a genius.  I sleepily regret seeing things like Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot and Driven.  I wonder how films like Cliffhanger got made with only fifteen minutes worth of dialogue.  But after a few cups of coffee I recall that Stallone, the auteur, wrote all six Rocky movies and directed four of them.  I remember that he adapted David Morell’s First Blood for the screen, and has two Academy Award nominations.  Plus, he’s freakin’ Stallone … c’mon?  The guy’s been working uninterrupted for forty years creating laughably memorable characters like Marion “Cobra” Cobretti, and the professional arm-wrestler, Lincoln Hawk, from Over the Top.  And when most men his age headed for retirement, he headed back to the well to revisit the champions of his success – John Rambo and Rocky Balboa.

I celebrate Mr. Stallone on this spring morning because on August 13th you’ll agree with me.  That is the date his Mona Lisa will be unveiled to the world; and we will all be changed forever.  The Expendables is his latest action offering that has been anticipatorily headlocking the fanboy community for almost two years.  Stallone has scoured the Earth assembling a super-group of testosterone and explosives the likes polite society has never seen.  His line up includes Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Jet Li, and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  For the kids he’s brought in Jason Statham and Randy Couture.  This is the reason Robert Rodriguez had to settle for Adrian Brody in his Predators sequel. Every one else was busy.  If Stallone had grabbed Carl Weathers this movie would be perfect.  If he’d grabbed Steven Seagal this movie would be surreal.

Regardless of quality,it’s like staging an epic battle across your whole living room with all of your action figures – Destro fights Chewbacca style. This thing is destined to make gazillions of dollars and maybe get Dolph Lundgren a He-Man remake.  Please enjoy (as if you have a choice) the trailer at  Stallone, you are one magnificently crafty son of a gun!

Charlie Brown: Table for One

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Advice to a downtrodden Charlie Brown.

“You’re a good man, Charlie Brown.”  Which is why people walk all over you.  You can’t be so available that your friends don’t respect you.  Which, they don’t.  You’re their whipping boy, diligently recruiting and managing your baseball team, only to have the players consistently turn on you when it begins to rain.  They blame you for the freakin’ rain, Chuck, and you take it!  Don’t be that “blockhead.”  Below are just a few tips on becoming a great man, Charlie Brown.

Dealing With Adults
– Insist that they speak more clearly.  They demand that of you.  Make them accountable for practicing what they preach.
– If someone gives you a rock on Halloween while trick or treating, don’t take it.  Demand an explanation! “Why was I selected to receive this rock?  I enjoy Baby Ruth bars just as much as my peers … is this some slight on my character or are you so drunk that you can’t tell a rock from a Hersey’s Miniature?”  If that fails, try returning said rock to the owner through his or her window.

– The thing with the Little Red-Haired girl is never going to happen unless you actually speak to her.  Pining away is for the weak, Charlie Brown. And staring is for the creepy. State your interest to her, once, then walk away.  If she likes what she sees, she’ll come to you.  If not move on.  Violet and Frieda are nice back-up plans.  Maybe get a little jealousy thing going to drive up the ol’ Charlie Brown dating stock…
-Peppermint Patty is gay.  She’s awesome, but she’s unavailable.  Learn from her – she’s got Marice calling her “sir” for crying out loud.

Keep Your Friends Close
– I know Linus is your best friend, but he’s keeping your little sister out in pumpkin patches all night.  There’s no reason to over react, but let him know that his blanket it to be used for security purposes and nothing more.
– The ladies love guys with talent.  Sit down with Schroeder; have him give you a quick piano lesson.  If you can learn to play “Heart and Soul,” then teach it to a girl from class, you’ll never want for a Valentine’s Day card again.
-Your dog is smart enough to know the score.  Convince him to go for more walks around the neighborhood with you.  The soccer mommies at the coffee shop will say, “Look at that responsible young man walking his pet.”  Once the moms are on your side, you’ve got it made with the daughters.
-When you’re in a position of power you’ve got to crack the whip.  This year when you direct the Christmas Pageant don’t let you actors talk back to you.  Ask them about what they feel their contributions to the production are?  Try to make them part of the solution. But let them know that they can easily be replaced by dogs and birds wearing shepherds’ costumes.

The Lucy Situation

-Stop using Lucy as your therapist.  She gets a nickel out of you every time you sit next to that red booth.  She has never helped you once!  She has instead learned all of your weaknesses – like that you believe she is a better person than she actually is.  She will always pull the football away from you at the last second! Always! Now you can’t hit a girl, so you’ve got to stay in the game.  But insist that she kick.  Lucy won’t want to look like a chicken, her ego won’t allow it.  Hold the ball still every time – it will confuse the hell out of her.

Well, I hope this has been helpful.  I wish I had some insight to offer on your hair … but at least you can ride the current trend for a while.

Without the Nukes, How will we Create the Dystopian Future Promised to us in Mad Max Movies?

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

This past Thursday Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) to reduce the nuclear arsenals of the US and Russia.  This seems kind of redundant because from what I remember about the plot Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Big Blue took care of the nuclear threat back in 1987.  Although it was an unfortunate film, I distinctly recall Superman with a bunch of nukes in a giant fishing net.  He threw them all into the sun then went back to fighting Lex Luthor.

I realize our President’s a busy guy, but doesn’t he have some sort of aide that keeps him abreast of global issues dealt with in movies.   I’m pretty sure Reagan did.  Which is why he never turned New York City into a penal colony in the ‘80’s (although it felt like it for a couple of years).  It didn’t work out so well in Escape from New York.

If President Obama is just watching Fail Safe or West Wing re-runs we’re going to have a problem.  He’ll miss out on valuable intel, as well as defense protocols, regarding alien invasions, world ending meteors hurtling toward Earth and, of course, the ever present threat of Cobra Commander.

Wasn’t Kal Penn from Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle working for him until last week?  Maybe that’s why he quit; Kumar couldn’t convince him that while it will be an election year, the end of the world in 2012 is still slated to occur on his watch.

Sasquatch Reported to Have Only a Moderately Bigfoot at Size 12 ½

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Due to this week’s Chinese Yeti (although he’ll always be the Sasquatch to us) discovery, we’re re-posting this classic.  Once again is ahead of the curve.  Now if Ole Miss would get a move on and pick Admiral Ackbar as their new mascot, we’d be all set.  Take that Huffington Post!

People, we’ve all got to all agree to leave the Sasquatch alone.  I wish that was a metaphor for something dirty, but it’s an actual plea.  The guy just tries to keep to himself and walk through the woods, but we insist on “knowing” more by manufacturing hype that just doesn’t exist.  Is he too boring for us?  Is that it?  I mean, we taunt him by calling him “Bigfoot” and drag out that old photo of him from the ‘70’s. He’s even had to take on an alias, “Yeti.” We bait him by sending camera teams from the Discovery Channel practically to his front door… We all remember how that Loch Ness Monster business turned out.  Do we really need to live through that again?  Is it that we just need someone to talk about?  If so, there are plenty of idiots out there clamoring for our attention.

I immediately think of that damn Cupacabre.  That little jerk breaks onto people’s farms and feeds on the blood of livestock.  Even his name is intentionally controversial, “Goatsucker.”  Why not “Punta de Noticia?”  “Media Whore.” He loves getting caught, just so he can pose for a photo op and keep his name in the tabloids a little longer.  I don’t know who is agent is, but perhaps if his client had any talent or was a real vampire, instead of a barnyard vampire, he wouldn’t need to resort to such lowbrow tactics.

And while we’re discussing the lowbrow … Mermaids, are you listening?  Put your freakin’ shirts on!  There are better ways to get your parents’ attention.  A couple of years from now when you want to be taken seriously, those pictures are going to come back around and you’ll be know as the fish-girl who doesn’t look as good as she used to.

By far, though, the worst media hungry parasites out there have to be the Aliens.  Attention space creatures, it may seem like you’re inviting people into your spaceship to show us how normally you live, but it feels like we’re being held hostage and … I’m just going to say it… Quit it with the probing!  People DO NOT like the probing!   It’s not endearing; it’s not quirky; and it’s certainly not a skill!  It’s weird.  We find you and your people weird, which, I guess, is why we pay attention to you.

So, if you absolutely NEED a reality or tabloid fix, there are plenty of characters out there who are continuously trying to stretch their fifteen minutes of fame into another century.  Give it to them if you want, but stay out of the woods.  The Sasquatch does not want to live in the spotlight.  I’m told he prefers a damp cave.

We All Screamed for Ice Cream and Assorted Contraband

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

You take a lot of things on faith when you’re young.  Your neighborhood is essentially your world.  As a kid, it’s logical to assume that everybody else’s neighborhood must be pretty much like yours, just in a different location.

So I never thought it was strange that our Ice Cream Man, Loki, sold beer, pot, and fireworks from his truck.  He didn’t trade exclusively in these items; you could still get a Bomb-Pop or a Bubble-O Bill on a hot day.

Don’t misunderstand me; he never pushed stuff on us.  If you wanted a Strawberry Crunch-bar, that’s what you got.  However, if you wanted a Strawberry Crunch-bar, a six-pack of Schlitz, and mat of Black Cat firecrackers, he could probably hook you up too.  He wasn’t so much a dealer, as a guy who had the ability to locate exactly what you wanted and produce it immediately.  He was kind of like Morgan Freeman in Shawshank Redemption, only in a truck with a wizard waving an ice-cream cone painted on the side of it.

The first time I went to another kid’s neighborhood ice cream man, I asked for bottle rockets. He didn’t have any, but the experience taught me to ask for things I wanted and not to assume that I’d always get them.

On pilgrimages to the suburban neighborhood of my youth I still check out the local ice cream man. It’s pretty standard fare these days, nothing illegal or dangerous. I hope to see Loki as an old man, but I never do.  I like to think he’s out there politely corrupting youth.  More likely, he’s the best-loved inmate on Cellblock D, slipping in girlie posters and rock hammers for Andy Dufresne.

There’s a New Sheriff in Bartertown

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Kevin stands alone outside the CVS Pharmacy as he always does (I don’t know if his name is really Kevin, but that’s what I call him because everybody needs a name.).  His reddish beard is long but groomed and his boots look new.  Normally he doesn’t notice me because he’s busy yelling at his fingers or naming bicycle parts aloud.   But today he was interactive.  “Who runs Bartertown?” He screamed at me before I entered the store to purchase my Mountain Dew, newspaper, and a Bar Mitzvah card written in Spanish.

I answered automatically, “Master-Blaster runs Bartertown!”

Kevin’s wide-eyes looked through me.  Then he hurried to open the automatic door for me indicating that I had successfully stated the password.

When I told my wife this later she responded with, “You named him ‘Kevin?’ Wait!  What the hell is a ‘master blaster?’  Is it dirty?  Am I going to have to look it up?  Why do you insist on shopping there?”

“You know, from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.  It’s the little guy on the big guy’s shoulders.  ‘Master’ is the little one and ‘Blaster’ is the big one.”

She walked away a bit confused, still smelling a cover-up and thinking it was something pornographic.  She often overlooks the usefulness of popular culture in daily situations.  There was the time we won that plate of hot wings because I bet the bartender I could name all of Fat Albert’s gang, or when I got out of that speeding ticket because I kept trading Smokey and the Bandit quotes with the State Trooper, or how I didn’t have to pay the toll on the George Washington Bridge going into New York because I could sing all the words to “It’s Rainin’ Men” by the Weather Girls!  All super practical information.

I was just raised on useful things like Jaws and MTV, while she is a product of Easter Parade and Meet me in St. Louis.  My trivia tends to come up more often than hers because people are actually familiar with it.  “Yes, Tom Cruise was in the Outsiders.  While the Korean War only lasted three years, M.A.S.H. made it eleven seasons on TV.  And Anthony Hopkins has indeed made some fine films, but also Bad Company with Chris Rock.”

I’m sure it’s terribly frustrating for my bride to have to live with the reality that she is, in fact, a storehouse of unpopular culture.  She is ever going to win a year’s supply of cheese by knowing who sang “Luck be a Lady” in the film version of Guys and Dolls.  I think deep down she knows it, which is why she’s really mad about the thing with Kevin; so I gave her my Mountain Dew and Entertainment section of the newspaper as a peace offering and study guide.

It’s Marlon Brando, by the way. Marlon Brando sang “Luck be a Lady.”  She wants you to know that.

Are These Truly the Dog Days?

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Since the early 1900’s we’ve been able to prove that dogs are superior to cats (that one’s just a slam-dunk), but is classic animation telling us that dogs are smarter than people?  Aside from Marmaduke, the evidence is mounting.

Snoopy was obviously more thoughtful than ol’ Charlie Brown.  His silence told us that when we speak we reveal our weaknesses, like constantly whining about how no one likes us, so he kept his mouth shut, even when they wouldn’t let him into the Spelling Bee.

Mr. Peabody had to keep a constant eye on that pain-in-the-ass, Sherman as they traveled through time (also, he wore glasses that denoted his intelligence {see Velma, Brainy Smurf, etc.}).

If you spent any time in the 1970’s and subscribe to any Judeo-Christian, guilt based religion, you know Davey and Goliath.  Davey was the plaid shirted screw-up, with a heart of gold who was constantly guided by his four-legged conscience, Goliath.  Some research even indicates that Brian from Family Guy is the drunken adult version of Goliath, frustrated that he still has to save Davey’s (Peter’s) ass every episode.  Let that one marinade through your brain over a couple of drinks.

And finally, say what you like about Scooby Doo, but he always solved the mystery.  Perhaps his cowardice was something similar to Detective Colombo’s playing dumb to lull the suspect into a comfortable position.  Much the same way the Cartoon Dog Lobby is doing to us.  I heard that that loudmouth Scrappy Doo just signed on to host a program on Fox News.  Why am I not surprised, all these intelligent hounds and their forcing a freakin’ jabbering talking head on us to distract us from their scheming?

Style Watch: Superheroes Opting for No Underwear

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

It’s a long understood fact that a guy wearing long underwear is comedy gold.  Add a couple of beers to that, plus a dish towel tucked into the collar and you’ve got yourself superhero high farce that would have had Buster Keaton cracking up.  This might be the reason so many modern superheroes are moving away from multi-colored undies.  Nobody wants to show up at a bank robbery only to have the cute teller, who’s tied up in the corner, roll her eyes at you.

Even the guys who broke into the business wearing Speedos over spandex have made the move away from the traditional look.  Wolverine, Thor, Aquaman, and Hawkman have all opted for really, really, really tight slacks to modernize their looks … which I’m not so sure about.  Should I be able to see every muscle in you leg through pants?  Everyone has jumped of this fashion trend however, except for Superman.

Usually, I tend to give Superman a hard time because … well let’s face it … there’s not too much wrong with the guy and that type of perfection is infuriating.  It makes you understand where Lex Luthor is coming from. But on this one thing I’ve got to hand it to the big blue Boy Scout.  He sticks by his own sense of fashion.  Red briefs over blue tights, accented by a big yellow belt … daring in its ostentatiousness.  NOBODY else can pull that off, even Captain America threw on a pair of cargo pants a few years ago (more pockets … it makes sense).

I hate to say it but “here’s to you Superman.”  The fashonistas would refer to you as “vintage,” or “retro,” or “a throwback,” but I’m sticking with “classic,” which is why the long-johns shtick is so enduring.

NEXT STYLE WATCH – Capes:  Dashing or Dangerous?

Note: Thedailyjim is aware of Superman’s mullet through a good part of the ‘90’s, but in ’93 we all had them and most of us weren’t battling evil.

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…