Monthly Archives: September 2016

A Thought on Campaign Funding, the Internet and Technology

shutterstock_276785897.jpg

Hello. I’m Bookshelf Q. Battler, noted ugly rights advocate, champion yeti fighter, proponent for a cure for Lightning Infused Toaster Paper Toilet Death (we must find the cure in our lifetime) and the owner of a website owned by 3.5 readers.

Blah blah blah, you know my spiel about not getting political.

But here’s a thought I wonder if everyone couldn’t consider.  And I’ll say up front, I’m not sure how it could be carried out.

It just seems like it is becoming too much that people are able to cut a check to a candidate for huge amounts of money and then say with a straight face that this transaction doesn’t mean the candidate’s loyalty hasn’t been bought or that the donator is doing it solely on ideology and not expecting some kind of quid pro quo.

The problem has always been that the money has always been needed.  You don’t take it, your opponent will, your opponent can then buy a lot of TV ads and attack you 24/7.

But look at the tech today.

First, it is easier to collect small donations from the little guy.  Few people have the attention span to remember to write a check, address an envelope and mail it to the campaign of their choice.

However, if the laptop is already on your lap, burning your genitals while you’re watching Scandal Thursday nights on ABC, it doesn’t take much effort to send your candidate whatever you are willing to part with.

Should there be a cap?  Hypothetically, yeah, if its limited to, say, a hundred dollars per person then I’m not sure the average politician would become beholden to someone for a hundred bucks.

In other words, its never been easier to collect small donations from the general public and those donations won’t necessarily lead to an unsavory phone call demanding that a politician engage in sketchy behavior.

Second, and here’s the big one – video and/or other content has never been easier to produce, create, and share.

Seriously.  If some kid in his dorm can generate a million followers on YouTube by buying everything he needs at the local Best Buy, then surely the prospective leaders of the free world can.

Really – buy ad time? Seems like an outdated concept.  Turn on your smart phone, say something controversial about your opponent, post it, and then the media will pick it up.

OLD WAY: Buy millions of dollars worth of ads to play a commercial about how your opponent is a butt face.

NEW WAY: Turn on cell phone camera.  Say, “My opponent is a butt face.” Post. Wait for major networks to report that you called your opponent a butt face. Heck, your ardent followers will even spread your message to all their friends, informing them that you think your opponent is a butt face.

IN CONCLUSION:

  • It’s never been easier to raise a lot of money from a lot of little people who don’t have the power call you at 3 a.m. to ask you to do something to compromise your integrity because of a $20 donation they made on your site.
  • Content has never been cheaper to create or share.

AND THE BEST PART:

  • The average person who is a semi-respectable, non-douche with good ideas but hasn’t spent a lifetime being a henchman/woman for people making giant donations might, just might, be able, with a few simple, affordable pieces of tech available at Best Buy, be able to spread meaningful content about his/her ideas that goes viral and becomes as formidable as content created through enormous donations, thereby allowing better, less douchy people to rise to the top.

What say you, 3.5 readers?

 

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Have a nice day, 3.5 readers

That’s all I’ve got today.

Tagged

#31WaysToDefeatAVampire

shutterstock_115841446

Suck you very much.

By: Count Krakovich, Asshat Vampire

Bleh! Bleh!  Good evening 3.5 children of the night.

I vant to suck your blood! And it’s 2016 so shit like that is cool now. #Progress

Perhaps you remember me from last year, when around this time I, Count Krakovich, Asshat Vampire extracted my revenge on the League of Vampires for kicking me out for being an asshat.

So I got a couple hundred of my fangy friends killed through my gross incompetence.

Shit happens.  Am I right?

Last year, I told you just a few ways to defeat a vampire.

Now, this October, I will tell you one way to defeat a vampire every day for thirty-one days.

Bleh! Follow the hashtag on Twitter and Facebook – #31defeatavampire and share your ideas for defeating vampires.

Remember, all vampires are douche faces and I hate them all and yes, largely because they won’t let me use the vampire club house anymore so now I have to pay for my own cable.

And really…who pays for cable anymore?

I’m such an asshat.  Bleh.

It all starts Oct. 1 here on this dumb blog.  Read it. You literally have nothing better to do.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Zomcation – Chapter 15

shutterstock_225100087

A middle-aged man sat Indian style on the floor of his office with his arms spread out, his hands held with the palms up.

“In with the good,” he said in an Eastern European accent as he breathed in deeply.

“And out with the bad,” he said as he exhaled loudly.

The man’s head was bald save for a patch of blue dyed hair in the middle of his head that came down to a curl over his forehead. His boney, nearly nude body was covered by nothing but a pair of tight, white underpants and a floral patterned silk kimono.

“Yes, very good, Mister Reynaldo,” the man said, referring to himself in the third person. “And now in with the ying….and out with the yang.”

Mister Reynaldo stood up, stepped into a pair of floppy yellow crocs and put on a pair of red shutter shades, the kind with the slats that go right across the eyes that were popular in the 1980s.

“Oh Mister Reynaldo,” the man said as he gazed upon his less than impressive physique in a full length mirror. “You are looking so utterly fabulous. How you do not just stay in this room and have sex with yourself all the live long day I will never know.”

A fist knocked on the door.

“Who dares disturb Mister Reynaldo?”

“Kevin, sir.”

Mister Reynaldo sashayed to his door and opened it to find his young, sweater vest wearing intern Kevin waiting for him with a water bottle, a clipboard and a Segway.

“Hydrate me, darling,” Mister Reynaldo said as he clapped his hands together. “Chop, chop.”

Kevin, who’d clearly done this many times and knew the drill, held his hand up in the air with the water bottle pointed downward. Mister Reynaldo, much like a thirsty hamster, wrapped his lips around the spout and sucked away for a full minute.

“Ahh,” Mister Reynaldo said as he wiped his lips on his forearm then mounted his Segway.

Kevin shut the door to his boss’s office. Stenciled on the glass were the words, “Mister Reynaldo: Coordinator of Wombat World Performances.”

“Tell me of my schedule this fine day, darling,” Mister Reynaldo said as he took off on his personal conveyance.

“The Power Action Ninja Soldiers have stunt shows at ten, noon, and three,” Kevin said as he studied the notes attached to the clipboard and jogged just to keep up with his boss as he zoomed down the hall.

“Oh those has-beens,” Mister Reynaldo said. “All the jumping and punching and kicking. So blasé. What else?”

“Sal the Sloth’s Ridiculously Slow Hoedown is at one-thirty,” Kevin said as he broke a sweat.  “But the performer who usually plays Sal called in sick.”

“Sweet Streisand’s saggy knockers, Kevin,” Mister Reynaldo said. “I swear, no one is willing to suffer for their craft anymore. What’s he got?”

“A mild head cold, sir,” Kevin replied.

“Pshaw,” Mister Reynaldo said. “I once starred in the role of Lazarus Houlihan in an off, off, off, incredibly off broadway show of Sally’s Got a New Harpsichord with a severe case of pneumonia and a herpes sore on my lip the size of a pomegranate and not only did I not complain but the theater critic for Village Semi-Weekly Tattler wrote that my performance was among the best seventeen renditions of that role that he’d ever witnessed.”

“That’s impressive, sir,” Kevin said.

“Call this fool at once and tell him to drag his oily hide here this instant,” Mister Reynaldo said.

“I already called his understudy,” Kevin said.

“Ahh,” Mister Reynaldo said. “Even better. Give another actor a chance to breathe new life into the role of a hilly billy sloth who sings and dances country tunes in a ridiculously slow manner. What would Mister Reynaldo do without you?”

“I don’t know, sir,” Kevin said.

A.J, B.J, C.J, and Davey, the four shaggy haired members of Boyz a’Plenty walked down from the opposite side of the hall. Mister Reynaldo flew into a rage when he saw Davey chomp down on a candy bar.

“Davey!” Mister Reynaldo shouted as he screeched his Segway to a halt. “What is that?”

Davey balled a fist up around the candy bar and then quickly hid both hands behind his back. “What’s what?”

Mister Reynaldo tipped his Segway forward, which allowed him to stare Davey down until the boy band member started leaning back himself.

“Don’t take me for a nincompoop, darling,” Mister Reynaldo said. “I saw that unapproved chocolate treat that you were shoving in your gaping maw as if you were some kind of put of control gorilla with an insatiable appetite.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, bro,” Davey said.

Mister Reynaldo scoffed. “Swear on one of Liza Minelli’s nine thousand black dresses that you are not being a little piggy!”

“What?” Davey asked.

“Swear to me!”

“OK,” Davey said. “I swear!”

The coordinator looked the boy band over. “Weigh-ins are now twice a week.”

The boys groaned in disgust as they walked away.

“Damn it,” A.J. said.

“And I was going to have an almond on Thursday,” B.J. added.

Mister Reynaldo and his intern continued down the hallway.

“Was I too hard on them?” Mister Reynaldo asked.

“Not at all, sir,” Kevin said.

“I hate to be such a catty bitch but I like to think that one day those boys will be in movies and when they’re having the sexy sex with all the ladies they’ll thank me for keeping them from becoming little piggies,” Mister Reynaldo said.

“I’m sure they will,” Kevin said.

“I once lived on nothing but broth and storm drain water for an entire year while I played the role of a lean longshoreman in a high school production of Love on the Wharf,” Mister Reynaldo said. “The authorities eventually escorted me out of the building when they realized I was forty-seven but still, if I can suffer my art then those boys can too.”

“An excellent story, sir,” Kevin said.

“Oh Kevin darling,” Mister Reynaldo said. “Promise me you’ll get out of show business. The entertainment industry has become such a dirty whore in bargain basement pumps that I perish the thought of her getting her claws in another soul.”

“I promise, sir,” Kevin said.

A dozen very angry little people wearing medieval cloaks walked down the hallway towards the duo.

“Mister Reynaldo,” a little person said as he held up a pair of pointy plastic ears in his left hand and a stapler in the other.

“What?” Mister Reynaldo asked as he stopped his Segway. “Why are you vermin in Mister Reynaldo’s way?”

“I need a word with you,” the little person said.

“Fine, fine, Marvin darling,” the coordinator said. “But make it snappy, for Mister Reynaldo is busier than a one-legged prostitute on a pogo stick and he does not have all day to listen to your foolishness.”

“Would you care to explain why the wardrobe manager just informed us that the studio is no longer willing to spring for the non-toxic glue we use to fasten our pointy elf ears?”

Mister Reynaldo clutched his chest. “Surely you are pulling Mister Reynaldo’s leg!”

“No,” Marvin said. “And then we were told if we want to keep our jobs, we need to staple our elf ears onto our regular ears. We realize that most people are too ignorant to treat us with the respect we deserve, Mister Reynaldo, but its downright unconscionable for a multi-national corporation worth billions of dollars to expect us to maim ourselves just so they can save a few bucks on glue.”

“This is an outrage, darlings,” Mister Reynaldo said. “I shall not stand for this. I shall demand that ear glue be ordered posthaste. Ohh…”

“What?” Marvin asked.

“It’s just, when the children visit the elf grotto and don’t see any elves there…”

“We can still dress like elves,” Marvin said.

“Oh no, darling, no,” Mister Reynaldo said. “I appreciate the thought but you see without the pointy ears you are just teensie weensie little people that God took out of the oven too early before you were all fully baked and the children will begin to doubt whether or not elves are real and frankly, they might lose faith in Wombat World altogether.”

Marvin and the rest of the little people looked down at their feet in sadness.

“Gee Mister Reynaldo,” Marvin said as he looked up. “We wouldn’t want that.”

“I know darlings,” Mister Reynaldo. “But really, its fine. We must put your ear comfort above the hopes and dreams of baby children.”

“We’ll do it,” Marvin said as he led the little people off. “Come on, gang, it will only hurt for a minute.”

“Oh what wonderful tiny men you all are,” Mister Reynaldo said as the diminutive actors walked away. “I shall tell everyone they are wrong about little people. They have souls after all.”

“Should I order more elf ear glue, Mister Reynaldo?” Kevin asked.

“Are you kidding me?” Mister Reynaldo asked his intern. “I cut that shit out of the budget because it was either that or my morning espresso and we all know Mister Reynaldo can’t make the magic happen without his jolt of va va va voom.”

The pair pressed onward. As they turned a corner, the sounds of a girl fight filled their ears.

“Ally, you bitch!” Jess shouted. “Take that dress of right now or I will roundhouse kick you right in the cooter!”

“I’d like to see you try it, slutzilla!” Ally replied.

Mister Reynaldo gasped at the sight of Jessica and Ally, both clad in pink Princess Paulina dresses, blonde wigs, and crowns, locked in a rigorous slap fight.

“Ladies, ladies!” Mister Reynaldo said as he beeped the horn of his personal transport. “What is the meaning of this? You know that the only drama Mister Reynaldo wants to see is on the stage.”

“Mister Reynaldo,” Jess said. “Tell this psycho hose bag that I am Princess Paulina.”

“No, Mister Reynaldo!” Ally said as she stomped her foot. “You already gave this part to me.”

Jess’s nostrils flared. “What?”

Mister Reynaldo slowly backed his Segway up, then stopped. Jess confronted him.

“Is that true?” Jess asked.

“Darling,” Mister Reynaldo said. “Didn’t you get the memo?”

“What memo?” Jess asked.

Mister Reynaldo slapped his cheeks with both hands. “Sweet Mariah Carey’s underwire! You didn’t get the memo.”

“No,” Jess said. “I did not get a memo.”

The coordinator turned to his lackey. “Kevin! Why did you not send Miss Flynn a memo?”

“What memo?” Kevin asked. “I didn’t know I was supposed to send anyone a memo.”

Mister Reynaldo looked to the ceiling and rested the back of his hand over his forehead, took a deep breathe, then looked at the young man.

“Darling boy,” Mister Reynaldo said. “Whenever an actor or actress turns thirty they’re supposed to be sent a memo explaining official Wombat World policy which clearly states they aren’t able to play a human character anymore.”

“I’m so sorry sir,” Kevin said.

“Yes,” Mister Reynaldo said. “You really should be darling.”

“Are you kidding me?” Jess asked.

“No darling,” Mister Reynaldo said. “Yesterday, you hit the big three-oh so you playing Princess Paulina is now a no go.”

“But I’ve been playing this part for ten years,” Princess Paulina said.

“Ugh,” Mister Reynaldo said. “Don’t remind me darling. You’re not helping your case at all.”

The coordinator turned to the younger princess.

“Alyson, you are dismissed.”

“Hooray!” Ally said as she strutted away. She assumed a Princess Paulina voice. “Tra la la la la!”

“This is bullshit!” Jess shouted as she took her wig and crown off and spiked them both on the floor. “That is my ‘tra la la la la!’”

Mister Reynaldo’s lips pouted. “Oh you poor, precious thing. You’ve yet to wrap your little brain around the fact that you are aging.”

“I’m thirty,” Jess said.

“Oh please, darling,” Mister Reynaldo said. “Don’t say it so loud. People might hear you. Eat your fruits and vegetables and you might pass for an out of shape twenty-nine year old for at least two more years.”

“This…this…you can’t do this.”

Mister Reynaldo turned his conveyance around and started back the way he came.

“Walk with me, darlings.”

Kevin followed on his boss’s left. Jess took Mister Reynaldo’s right.

“My dear Miss Flynn,” Mister Reynaldo said. “An actress’s career is beautiful, yet tragically short. Like a daisy in a grassy field, she grows, she blooms, she dazzles, she inspires and then, BZZZT! She’s cut down by the lawn mower of time and a prettier, younger flower grows in her place.”

“Thirty is not that old,” Jess said.

“Oh darling,” Mister Reynaldo said. “If you insist on advertising your ghastly age to the world there’s little Mister Reynaldo can do to help you.”

“I can’t believe this,” Jess said.

“Darling,” Mister Reynaldo said. “Little boys come to Wombat World to ride Wombat Copters and dance the Willy Wombat shuffle but little girls? They come to dream…yes! Little girls dream of being beautiful, of being rich, of being famous, of being a princess married to handsome prince but do you know what they don’t dream of?”

“Having self-worth?”

Mister Reynaldo laughed. “Oh good for you, darling,” Mister Reynaldo said. “You made a funny. That, but also, little girls do not dream of being thirty. No one wants to age past twenty-ninee. Darling, Mister Reynaldo is fifty-two and he would slaughter a thousand adorable baby kittens with a rusty butcher knife and drink their blood if doing so would cause him to remain twenty-nine or younger forever.”

“Age is just a number,” Jess said. “Its how you feel, isn’t it?”

The coordinator laughed again. “Oh stop it darling! You shall have to try out to be a comedienne of the deaf comedy jams.”

“I’m glad my pain amuses you,” Jess said.

“It doesn’t, darling,” Mister Reynaldo said. “Mister Reynaldo also knows what it is like to be aged out of show business, to one day be twenty-nine, in the starring role of Bartleby Ashcroft in the Sheboygan Dinner Theater production of Bartleby’s Back from War to being thirty and being cast as random peasant number twenty-seven in an indie film about the dark ages produced by three college students. By the ring of Beyonce, so many people were naked on that set and…Kevin?”

“Yes sir?”

“When we’re done here Mister Reynaldo needs you to look into whether or not he might have accidentally starred in a pornography film.”

“Right away, sir.”

The trio entered Mister Reynaldo’s office. The coordinator parked his Segway, hopped off, took Jess’s hand and led her to the full length mirror.

“Do you know what I see, darling?” Mister Reynaldo asked.

“No,” Jess said.

“A beautiful butterfly that is aging slowly, gracefully, thanks in large part to good habits and excellent body maintenance,” Mister Reynaldo said.

“Well,” Jess replied. “I do work out.”

“Oh and it shows, darling, it shows,” Mister Reynaldo said as he placed his skeletal hands on Jess’s cheeks.

“What are you doing?” Jess asked.

“Such distinct features,” Mister Reynaldo said. “Such high cheekbones…such porcelain skin…”

“Umm,” Jess said. “Thank you?”

“But look!” Mister Reynaldo said as he pinched a bit of Jess’s cheek flesh between his left thumb and forefinger. “A wrinkle!”

“You’re making that,” Jess said as she watched the coordinator pinch her cheek in the mirror.

“Am I?” Mister Reynaldo asked.

“You clearly are,” Jess said.

“Oh,” Mister Reynaldo said as he took his hands away. “Aren’t you a smart one.”

“So that’s it?” Jess asked. “Ten years of working for this company and I get tossed out like a piece of trash because I’m not in my twenties anymore?”

Mister Reynaldo chuckled. “Oh darling, don’t be so dramatic. Just because you can’t be Princess Paulina anymore doesn’t mean you can’t still perform.”

“What did you have in mind?” Jess asked.

The coordinator wagged his finger in the air. “Wait right here. I have the perfect role for you.”

Mister Reynaldo opened the doors to a large, luxurious walk-in closet. Kevin and Jess stood in the office and watched as Mister Reynaldo threw all kinds of crazy garbs out of the closet and onto the office floor.

“Where is it?” Mister Reynaldo asked as a big, gray Ernie Elephant mascot suit came flying out of the closet, followed by a Zed Zebra outfit, a Ginger the Fox suit, and a set of leather BDSM gear complete with chains and a red ball gag.

“Woopsie!” Mister Reynaldo shouted. “That last one is Mister Reynaldo’s! Ahh! Here it is!”

Mister Reynaldo walked out of the closet holding a large, furry, googly-eyed Willy Wombat mascot head in his arms.

“No,” Jess said.

“Yes,” Mister Reynaldo said.

“Not happening,” Jess said.

“Darling, please,” Mister Reynaldo said. “You’ll be the star of the show! The character that everyone comes to see.”

“I refuse,” Jess said.

“I’m sorry, darling,” Mister Reynaldo said as he placed the mascot head down over Jess’s head. “But its either this or the unemployment line.”

Jess gagged as she sniffed the putrid, sweaty stink of at least twenty of the past wearers of the suit.

“Son of a bitch,” came Jess’s muffled voice from inside the mascot head. “Do you people even wash these things?”

Mister Reynaldo sighed. “Kevin, you’re not washing the funny animal character suits?”

“Umm,” Kevin said. “I was supposed to?”

Mister Reynaldo threw his hands in the air. “Mister Reynaldo needs an espresso.”

Tagged , , , , , ,

Alternate Presidential Choices

Folks, just want to remind you do have options.

Uncle Hardass and the Mighty Potentate are also running.

Also, if you’re unfortunate enough to live in East Randomtown, please vote for me for mayor. Leo McKoy is a douche and I’m ninety-nine percent sure he’s also a robot.

Tagged , ,

Who won the Presidential Debate – Trump or Hillary?

Pbbht. Yeah, I’m not going to talk about that.  I’m just putting the post out there in the name of shameless search engine optimization.

Come to me, my sweet, sweet, delicious clicks.

Talk about it if you like or if you prefer, what is your favorite kind of pizza? Personally, I like mine with a little ham, maybe some pineapple. Delicious.

Y’all been Rickrolled, baby. Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, please buy my book if I ever get around to publishing one….

Tagged , , , , , ,

Is this blog dumb?

Discuss, because I gotta be honest, sometimes my inner magic eight ball comes up saying, “All Signs Point to Yes.”

What say you, 3.5?

Tagged ,

Trump vs. Hillary Debate

I don’t like to get political but from a TV viewership angle, this thing is going to be YUUUUGE.  Even up against Monday Night Football, they’re expecting over 100 million people to tune in.

I don’t care who you’re rooting for, everyone is allowed an opinion.  I just hope that to get extra ratings, Trump and Hillary end up engaging in naked mud wrestling.

And honestly, I think a lot of the tension between them is sexual.  For the good of the country, they should just bang one out on live TV just to bring everyone closer together.

Only blur it out because no one wants to see that.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Zomcation – Chapter 14

shutterstock_225100087

A beautiful woman with short black hair road a motorcycle onto the backlot of Wombat World. It was a big old hog, with shiny chrome plating and exhaust fumes belching out of the tail pipe.

She didn’t wear a helmet. She didn’t believe in them. She felt the wind in her hair was worth the risk of damage to her brain. She did wear a pair of torn, scuffed up jeans and a leather vest over a plain white tank top.

Naturally, her biker image wouldn’t have been complete without the requisite tats. “Life” was spelled out with a different letter on each of the four fingers of her left hand. “Death” was written out with a letter on each of her four right fingers and her right thumb.

“Jess” was scrawled in neat cursive across her bicep, surrounded by a red heart with a dagger stuck through it.

To complete the look, her eyes were hidden under a pair of aviator shades and a cigarette dangled out of her mouth.

As she putted her bike slowly through the backlot, all the magic was happening around her as cast and crew got ready for the day. Actors, actresses and miscellaneous performers wandered about in a hurry. There were kings and queens, aliens from outer space, monsters, demons, clowns, jugglers, acrobats, and of course people in full furry mascot suits. There was a Ferdinand Ferret, a Chester Chimp, a Lonnie Llama, a Jimbo Frog, even a Wanda Wombat but curiously, Willy Wombat was nowhere to be seen.

The rider parked her bike in front of Studio 1A, a large, warehouse style building. Her leather boots hit the ground and she strutted inside. She passed four teenage boys, each one wearing a white dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up.

They were in the middle of a rehearsal.

“Girl…don’t you know I need you girl, girl you’re my entire world, oh girl, oh girl, tell me you’ll be my girl.”

“Hello Boyz A’Plenty,” the rider said.

“Hello Jess,” the boys sang in return.

Jess moved on, right past a gaggle of clowns. There were male clowns. Female clowns. Happy clowns. Sad clowns. One particularly crazy looking clown with yellow eyes, red hair and a face painted all white but for some simulated red blood drops on his chin jumped out in front of Jess’s path and screamed a guttural guffaw.

“Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”

Reflexively, Jess kneed the clown in the groin, which knocked him flat on his ass.

“Oh Jesus, Ted,” Jess said as she helped the clown up to his feet. “I’m sorry.”

“Oww,” Ted replied. “No, its ok.”

“Seriously though, buddy, you know I can’t help it,” Jess said.

“I know,” Ted said.

“I see clown and my body immediately goes into ‘knee him in the dick’ mode,” Jess said.

“Most people do that,” Ted said. “It cool. I just have to find a better gig.”

“Feel better, man,” Jess said.

“I will,” Ted said as he limped away. “I need some ice for my clown nads.”

Jess took a right and headed down a long hallway. She passed by a man wearing a pink bunny costume. His human head was visible. He carried his bunny head under his arm.

“How goes the battle, Pete?” Jess asked.

“Eh,” Pete said. “There are worse jobs I suppose but I swear the kids keep getting meaner and smellier.”

“I’ve noticed that,” Jess said.

“I blame the Internet,” Pete said. “There are some things you just shouldn’t be able to look up until you’re able to legally buy enough beer to forget what you just saw.”

“Agreed,” Jess said as she pressed forward down the hall.

An old man wearing a neon orange suit and a ridiculously large top hat stopped Jess and held up two ties, a red one and a purple one.

“Look at these, will you?” the old man asked.

“I’m looking,” Jess said.

“Which one do you like?” the old man asked.

“Norm,” Jess said. “You’re Mayor Diggsley. Mayor Diggsley always wears an orange tie.”

“Yes,” an annoyed Norm said. “But an intern spilled cottage cheese all over my orange tie so now Mayor Diggsley will have to change it up for the first time in his long history as leader of Fancy Town.”

“Oh,” Jess said. “Then you can’t go wrong with purple.”

“I knew it,” Norm said as he tossed the red tie aside. “Purple it is.”

“Break a leg,” Jess said.

Jess walked past a few more weirdoes until she finally reached her dressing room.

It was a tiny space, little more than a glorified closet, but it was hers. She turned on the light and shut the door behind her.

Soon, she was out of her boots and biker duds. Her shades were off and her smoke was extinguished.

In her underwear, she sat in front of a mirror and put on some makeup, being sure to put some nice rosy color in her cheeks. She coated her lips with red lipstick and smacked them  together until the color was just right. She finished the look with some mascara, long eyelashes, and just a hint of glitter on her cheeks for a sparkly effect.

An adorable pink, fluffy gown hanged on a coat rack. She stood up and put it on, then put on a blonde wig, followed by a golden crown.

The dress was long sleeved so Jess’s bicep tattoo was covered.  She pulled on a pair of long white gloves to cover up her knuckle tattoos.

Jess then returned to her chair, stared at her reflection in the mirror, and batted her eyelashes.

A bottle of water sat on her table. She took a swig, then coughed to clear her throat.

She changed her voice to a Marilyn Monroe-esque baby doll pitch and proceeded to get into character.

“Tra la la la la, tra la la la la! Animals of the forest, how I’ve missed you! What’s that, boys and girls? You’d like to have your picture taken with me, Princess Paulina? Why I would be delighted.”

Jess ran her lines for awhile longer until she heard a disturbing sound coming from the hallway. It was another woman speaking in a Marilyn Monroe-esque baby doll voice.

Yep. Another woman was singing, “Tra la la la la” and it wasn’t her.

Jess stood up, threw open her door and stepped out into the hall way only to find herself staring at another woman dressed as Princess Paulina.

At a time like this, Jess was only able to think of something very un-princess like to say.

“What the fu…”

Tagged , , , ,

Movie Review – Hell or High water (2016)

Bank robbers. Sadness. Landscapes. Intergenerational poverty.

BQB here with a review of Hell or High Water.

SPOILER ALERT – Be forewarned of spoilers.

Chris Pine and Ben Foster team up as brother bankrobbers Toby and Tanner Howard in a scheme to rob and screw over a Texas bank chain that screwed them.

However, despite Chris and Ben’s performances, the state of Texas is the star.  Some great cinematography in this film where you, the viewer, end up feeling as though you’re practically driving through the Lone Star state yourself and able to look around the flat plains and see land for miles and miles in every direction.

We’re also taken into the world of poor southern life and poverty in general, how problems are passed from one generation to the next and it usually takes one generation to do something pretty drastic (bank robbery is definitely too drastic) to change the situation for the family’s future.

I don’t know what a good example of a drastic change would be to change a family’s financial future.  Maybe inventing robot underpants or some great new gadget that sells well.

Sorry. That was out of left field. Moving on…

There are a lot of themes in this movie, as well as attempts to get viewers to pay attention to problems they may not be aware of.

For example, we see the blight and decay facing many poor Texan towns, communities that used to thrive around farming and ranching, now falling apart and losing population because there are few, if any, opportunities left due to corporate takeover of many of these industries.

The banking industry is the villain of the film as Toby and Tanner are put through enough crap in their lives that you end up sort of understanding (though not necessarily condoning) why they end up driven to a life of crime.

Hunting the brothers down are Texas rangers Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) and Alberto Parker (Gil Birmingham.)

I won’t explain this well because I don’t know about how Texas lawmen are ranked but ultimately, Marcus is the head ranger, lamenting his upcoming retirement and Alberto is his second-in-command, slated to replace him as the boss.

They have this great buddy cop, love to pick on each other bromance that in my mind, may go down as one of the top (and most heartwarming) bromances in movie history.

Marcus makes mean, highly politically incorrect jokes about Alberto’s Mexican and Native American heritage.  Alberto returns the favor by joking about how he can’t wait for Marcus to croak.  There’s definitely love there.

And the thing about good writing is by the end of the movie, you find yourself hoping that some how everyone will win.  You want the brothers to get away. You also want the rangers to catch them.

Fear not, I won’t tell you what happens.

Instead, what I will tell you is that some how, some way, and much to my surprise as an ugly rights advocate (note my many columns on the #OscarsSoPretty movement in which I demand that the Academy nominate more visually displeasing actors and actresses), Hollywood suits were prevented from filling up this film with good looking people.

Chris Pine is basically the only one in the film that could win a beauty contest.  (I assume there’s a requirement that all movies must have at least one over the top good looking person in them.)

Now, I’m not dumping on the rest of the cast when it comes to looks.  Ben Foster, for example, has built his career on playing psychos and true to form, he looks and comes off as one in this movie.

And Jeff Bridges looks good for an old dude and I can only assume he bagged his fair share of chicks when he was in his prime. Hell, for all I know maybe he still is.

I’m talking about the extras.  Watch this movie and look at the bars, the casino, all the people who are either in the background or maybe have a line or two – many are ugly (or well, to put it in more PC language, “not traditionally good looking”).

Instead, many of them look haggard, broken down, depressed, like they’ve lived lifetimes of woe and misery as poor Texans and it shows on their faces.

I don’t know how they did it. Maybe they put out a casting call for people who look like all their dreams have failed.  Surprised I didn’t get a CC on that memo.

But that’s not all.  What really warmed the cockles of my heart was that hot and chubby actress Katy Mixon (you may know her as Mrs. Kenny Powers in Eastbound and Down) is featured as a love interest to Chris Pine.  Chris friggin’ Pine.

Just…I mean…holy shit, people. I don’t think you understand how big this is for Hollywood.

A movie was made in which epically handsome stud muffin Chris Pine played a character that fancied a chubby woman.

Sure, they found the hottest chubby woman available but still, this is great progress for Hollywood.

CUE THE RE-ENACTMENT

HOLLYWOOD SUIT #1 – Sir, we need you to approve this film that features Chris Pine taking a romantic interest in a chubby woman.

HOLLYWOOD SUIT #2 – How fat are we talking here? Orca fat or had a little too much on Thanksgiving and could get rid of it with a few months at the gym fat?”

HOLLYWOOD SUIT #1 – The latter.

HOLLYWOOD SUIT #2 – How’s her face?

HOLLYWOOD SUIT #1 – Hot face. Hottest chubby chick we could find.

HOLLYWOOD SUIT #2 – Approved. Ugly rights advocate BQB will literally shit his pants in the theater when he sees this.

And I did. I feel bad for the movie theater clean up crew. Those aren’t milk duds.

It is now only a matter of time before they cast a hideous gargoyle like me as a love interest for Charlize Theron.

Eh…ok.  We’re not quite there yet. Baby steps, Hollywood. Baby steps.

Be optimistic, ugly and/or chubby people.  We will see ugly and or/chubby people doing it with good looking people on screen by the year 2050 now that the path towards ugly acceptance has been started by this film.

There are traces of Oscar worthiness in this film.  If it were to be nominated as a Best Picture, I think that would be great. On the other hand, it was released kind of early. Most Oscar type movies are released at the end of the year.

So we’ll see.  But even so, it is, IMO, the best movie I’ve seen in 2016 (at least when it comes to serious drama as opposed to comic book type movies) thus far.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

Tagged , , , ,