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The Daily Jim

All the wit that's fit to spit

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Archive for August, 2010

I Learned Spanish Just to try to Understand Mexican TV

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

There has been talk for years about the escalating craziness of Japanese television.  People get injured on a regular basis, there are a ton of zany costumes, everything happens at lightning pace, and anyone who knows what’s going on can’t stop laughing long enough to explain it to the viewer.  All valid statements.  Now add scantily clad Latinas and you’ve got yourself Mexican television!

Ahhh … Telemundo!  Where a Saved by the Bell – style show like La Escuelita VIP features male students in their ’50s (one is always inexplicably dresses as a sailor holding a lolly-pop and another in a Luchador wrestling mask) and female high schoolers in their ’20s in various stages of undress. Women battle men in La Guerra de los Sexos, a gameshow that features mud wrestling, handfuls of snakes and an unusually high tolerance for pain. Brozo the Clown is considered a top journalist and respected athletes wear colorful masks.

Once, my wife, Red, in a need to understand the light and sound turned on the Spanish SAP (second audio program) on our TV and couldn’t figure out how to turn it off.  Everything became Spanish for a month; which turned out to be muy bien in the long run, but didn’t help me understand Telemundo one bit.

Brozo the Clown challenging political corruption from his anchor desk.

Brozo the Clown challenging political corruption from his anchor desk.

An artist's rendering of champion wrestler, Alejandro Muñoz Moreno, better known as the "Blue Demon."

An artist's rendering of champion wrestler, Alejandro Muñoz Moreno, better known as the "Blue Demon."

Some of the "kids' from La Escuelita VIP.

Some of the "kids' from La Escuelita VIP.

Demon Dogs! Thundarr the Barbarian Fights for Respect Among Geeks

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

I am a geek.  You, our one fan, are a geek.  Wear that badge boldly in this Golden Age of Dorkiness!  That being said – and with all respect, some people geek out on stuff I forgot even existed!

What do you get when you simmer a stew out of pop culture ingredients like Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars, Planet of the Apes, and Conan?  If it’s 1980, you get Thundarr the Barbarian!


Let me set the scene in case you’ve forgotten: “The year, 1994. From out of space, comes a runaway planet, hurtling between the Earth and the moon, unleashing cosmic destruction. Man’s civilization is cast in ruin. Two thousand years later, Earth is reborn. A strange new world rises from the old. A world of savagery, super-science, and sorcery. But one man bursts his bonds to fight for justice. With his companions, Ookla the Mok and Princess Ariel, he pits his strength, his courage, and his fabulous Sunsword, against the forces of evil. He is Thundarr, the Barbarian!”

I love a “fabulous Sunsword” as much as the next guy, and I’m all for He-Man dressed as Barney Rubble! Heck, in my darker moments I can even get behind what appears to be, a horse/bear hybrid riding another, less fortunate, horse/bear hybrid, but I don’t follow ’em on Facebook!  And I certainly didn’t know that 10,831 other geeks had signed an online petition to have AOL Time Warner and Cartoon Network release the show’s 21 episodes on DVD.


Let Ookla the Mok carry your freak flag to victory my brothers and sister (there’s got to be at least one woman in there somewhere), but don’t be surprised if the Jem and the Holograms lobby steals your glory if this thing spirals into a cable news item.


Where’s Lex Luthor When We Need Him?

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Frequent contributor, Billy D. called late-night, as he sometimes does.  “Duke (I have no idea why he calls me that, but he always does.)! Duke, we’ve got a supervillain problem.  Do you think that cat lady thief in New York City and that dude who dresses as Darth Vader to rob banks have the same boss?”

“What, at like Wal-mart?  That would explain why they don’t have great costumes and …”

“No you idiot,”  He interrupted.  “Do you think they’re part of some sort of syndicate of evil?”

“Are you asking my if I think the guys who battled the Superfriends … if I think the Legion of Doom is real? Of course I do.  I just think they need a better PR machine.”

“Good!  This real world superhero thing is out of hand!  There must be checks and balances Duke!  What’s a hero without an appropriate villain?  I’ll tell you what.  A whack-o in spandex, that’s what.”  Then he hung up the phone.

I assumed Billy D. was referring to the growing prevalence of the Real Life Superhero Project that registers and provides support for citizen vigilantes.  Several heroes just appeared as recruiters during this year’s Foo Fest right here in Providence.

Now, nobody likes street crime, except street criminals.  So supervillains would have to step up their game (quit it with the muggings and shootings you dopes!) and their theatricality -calling cards; little puzzles for crime-fighters to solve, moving them one step closer to apprehending these daring scoundrels.  None of this online “crime” either!  Supercriminals get off their butts and mix it up with good guys!  They don’t live with their mom because the rent is free and Monday is meatloaf night. No.  They live in poorly lit, but lavishly decorated secret lairs.

An over-the-top evil union of costumed desperadoes would not only provide nemeses for heroes but also make the morning paper more fun to read.  “The Wretched  Diamond Cutter has Struck Again!” “The Scorpion Brothers Foiled by Madame Midnight!”

I hate to say it but … Billy D. is right.  Regular criminals have run-ins with regular cops. These crooks need to give up crime and get a job at Game Stop or really commit to the lifestyle.  If people are going to get all gussied up then throw the word “super” in front of “hero” they should be prepared for the A game of evil, not some jerk doing 40 in a 35.  I appreciate their efforts, really, but let’s see how they do against robot spiders or mad scientists.


Monday, August 16th, 2010

“Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes … well, he eats you.” – Sam Elliott’s ‘Stranger’ from The Big Lebowski

Monday, August 16th, 2010


Monday, August 16th, 2010

“I’m haunted by nightmares of mole-men.  And my lame superpowers are no defense.”

Monday, August 16th, 2010

“So then I said to Julianne Moore … I said, ‘Nice cowboy hat Julianne Moore.  Can I buy you a gelato on this hot day?'”

Monday, August 16th, 2010

“Wait.  Is Mumm-Ra, the bad guy from from Thundercats, a mummy cat or does he just dislike cats?”

Monday, August 16th, 2010

“I was late for work because I’m still mourning the death of Cheez Doodle creator, Morrie Yohai.”

From Flintstones to Fight Club: Versions of the Men’s Social Club

Friday, August 13th, 2010

As evidenced by The Flintstones, guys have always needed a place to get away from the pressures of work and family, to drink a big mug of cactus juice, play a little rocknasta with Sam Slagheap and the boys while plotting the demise of their mothers-in-law.  Fred and Barney favored the Loyal Order of Water Buffalo, but it didn’t stop there.  The men’s social club has had a long tradition, with generally predictable results.

Royal Order of Water Buffalo

From their boys only clubhouse, Spanky and Alfalfa started the He-man Woman Haters Club.  It was volatile name, that Alfalfa quickly learned to regret after Darla gave him the cold shoulder to cuddle up to Waldo (not rascally at all), who admitted to actually liking women. The club was folded shortly after (before the introduction of mothers-in-law as comedic fodder).

he-man woman haters

Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton (No, not that one.  We’ll talk about Tyler Durden later.) were members in good standing at the Raccoon Lodge located somewhere in the wilds of Brooklyn.  There they drank, bowled, wore awesome jackets and coon-skin caps, and discussed the various ways to painfully dispatch their mothers-in-law.

Racoon Lodge

Howard Cunningham’s only break from doling out wisdom to Richie and The Fonz was when he served as the Grand Poobah of  Milwaukee’s Leopard Lodge No. 462.  They we’re pretty tame with the exception of their national conventions where tassel adorned burlesque dancers were a fixture. No jackets, but snazzy leopard print fez-style hats.  We assume the mother-in-law jokes were reserved for off camera (it was a family show).

Leopard Lodge

They might have been Married with Children, but the fellas in No Ma’am (National Organization of Men Against Amazonian Masterhood) essentially watched porn and plotted against, not only their mothers-in-law, but also the wives and kids.  Occasionally, they’ d get drunk and take field trips to either the bowling alley or the bathroom.

No Maam

Over in Springfield, USA, the town’s men took refuge in the masonic-like Sacred Order of Stonecutters.  Their roster boasted Mayor Quimby, both Carl AND Lenny, an alien, Steve Guttenberg, and a guy from the Egg Council.  They had bigger aspirations than mother-in-law jokes, until Homer screwed it up by initiating colobus monkeys into the club.

Sacred Order of Stonecutters

Finally we come to the dream that was Tyler Durden’s Fight Club.  An idea so simple and far reaching it could only have been conceived by a split-personality insomniac.  Not interested in gin rummy, bowling, or mothers-in-law, this social club, ironically, sought the end of society. Eventually, internal fighting (literal id/ego conflict) and Meatloaf getting killed brought about an end to the group, although underground factions are said to still thrive.


So, there it is.  Man at his best and worst still needs the company of other dudes to drink with, goof on, dress weirdly among, compare varieties of mother-in-law to, sometimes punch in the mouth, and watch action movies with ( NOTE: The Expendables opens Friday, August 13th opposite Eat, Pray, Love.  Try calling that one a coincidence!).

“Ack, ack, a-dak.  Dak, dak, a-ack.”  Thank you Brother Flintstone.

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…