Death. Disease. Pollution. Fascism. Gamers. Our societal collapse seems imminent. We are in freefall. School children are taught to cross out the first half of the famous line “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” What remains? What hope do we have?
The 2017 Academy Awards!
Jake and Glenn are back with the ninth edition of our longest running feature: picking the Best Picture winner so you can skip the ceremony, instead having missionary sex with your husband and go to bed early on a work night.
2016 BEST PICTURE NOMINEES
Jake says…The biggest problem with Hidden Figures is how it reminds me of all the times I lost my toys when I was a kid. I lost them all the time. They were always in the same place, too: inside the stomach of whichever sheep was living with my family at the time. This is why I didn't like this movie. I didn't see it, either.
Glenn says… Unlike Jake, I was legally allowed to see the movie. Though I didn’t, I know it spends a lot of time dissecting what it was like to be a woman and black and an astronaut. If you’re into that, I would recommend previous Best Picture winner The Adventures of Pluto Nash instead.
Jake says…I would be “lion” if I said I didn't love this movie. It had me roaring! It is my mane pick for Oscar’s Movie of the Year this year.
Glenn says… Puns aside, finally we have a movie marketed towards the adopted! A growing demographic, we have a lot of pride at our stories finally being told on the big screen. However, the well documented biases of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences against adopted families is likely to blunt Lion’s chance at Best Picture.
Manchester by the Sea
Jake says…Manchester is not by the sea. It's by an ocean. Not even one of the good ones, either. It's by the Atlantic, the Terence Trent D’Arby of oceans. Still, a cool movie. I liked the clothes.
Glenn says… I deeply enjoyed this movie, but more deeply enjoy defending accused sexual offenders like Casey Affleck. Remember: innocent until proven guilty and even after proven, still innocent. Separate the art from the artist!
Batman V Superman
Jake says…When Superman and Batman fight the winner is the American public! When Batman punches Superman and Superman punches Batman I was like “oh hell no!” but what I meant was “oh hell yeah!” I was so excited I misspoke. And I'm eloquent as heck.
Glenn says… Having an extremely tiny dick and microcephaly, I LOVED this movie! To see these two hulking brutes punch each other so hard, wrestle so voraciously that they almost kissed...this was ecstasy for me. The climax of the movie involving a surprisingly explicit penetrative anal sex scene was enough to pull this film out of “comic book hell” and right into the Best Picture category.
Jake says…Dumb alien shit for virgins.
Glenn says… Smart alien shit for lotharios.
Jake says…More like “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan Ridge. Just kidding, this is a movie about building a house on a Ridge, which is boring. It's also 3 months long, which is too long. I have business meetings to go to for this fucking plant watering app I'm trying to get off the ground.
Glenn says… I won’t forgive Mel Gibson and I’m not sure the Academy will either. He told his wife that he hopes she gets raped by a “pack of niggers.” That’s pretty fucked up! Occasionally soapy on the homefront but cataclysmic in combat, Hacksaw Ridge is a worthy addition to the WWII canon. If it loses, it’ll be the last we see of Gibson who has promised to kill himself at the ceremony.
Jake says…If there was a real suicide squad I would join it because this movie sucked so bad I killed myself after watching it. The Joker isn't funny like he is in the Batman joke books I read as a kid.
Glenn says… Scathing reviews did not stop this comic book-style film from being nominated nor the controversy surrounding Jared Leto wearing Heath Ledger’s skin for the haunting portrayal of Bane. A huge money-maker, grossing over $15,000 its first weekend, this is the film to beat on Sunday night.
La La Land
Jake says…Everybody loves this musical about singing in LA. It's about a cisgender heterosexual white man who dreams of opening a jazz club. This movie is what happens when you elect a reality TV vulgarian to the highest office in this country. Now we have to endure four years of dipshit white people dance in IMAX 3D and we have no other recourse than to give it a fucking Oscar. The only solace we can take is that we will all be dead soon, but not soon enough.
Glenn says… I liked the songs.
Jake says… La La Land will win and we will all suffer. There's an old saying that goes “Jews run the media,” well guess what, fuckhead: white nationalists who are dumber than I am are running the whole country. We're giving mentally ill people guns, so why not give this white washed bullshit movie an Oscar. Fuck it all!
Glenn says... As a white nationalist, I have no vested interest in any of these films winning. However, if you set aside the sentimentality, the “politics” behind them or who the ZOG wants to win, and instead just rank them objectively, it’s pretty clear that your best winner will be La La Land. Until man finally realizes how to suck his own dick, Hollywood will continue to do it for us.
The last thing this rotten world needs is another David Bowie memorial with a "personal twist," but it's all I have to give. He died a year ago today.
The above four pictures are the oldest ones I can find saved on my computer (evidence below) and they raise the following three questions:
- Why do I have seemingly random pictures of Bowie on my hard drive that haven't been opened in ~15 years?
- Why do, on further inspection, the pictures perfectly encapsulate his four major periods of creative excellence?
- Why am I still using the same computer that I was at the turn of the century?
There is no great victory in being into the music of the present era. In the late 90s for me that meant some combination of rock, alternative rock and grunge rock. I simply didn't listen to anything that was popular before "my time." While we could blame many players for this cultural deficit - my parents, my friends, Tipper Gore - the point is that my ignorance of music was holding me back. I lost an election for class president based on tired references to nu metal and killed myself in front of my English class because my favorite music video of all time was Pearl Jam's Jeremy.
My much more learned and culturally adventurous friend Bryan didn't have these problems and it was through his suggestions that I got into David Bowie. Using money I stole from my fast food job, I bought 1999's ...hours and 1972's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars on CD from Best Buy. I remember earnestly and passionately watching the Thursday's Child music video on VH1 (internet did not yet exist) and blasting Moonage Daydream from my Sony Discman on my grandma's couch. History will ultimately judge which album is better but it didn't take long for me to get hooked.
1999-2000 was not Bowie's "coolest" period but he was still cooler than me - and had a vast mythology and discography that hinted at something deeper my favorite bands of the alternative rock era. His back catalog had recently been rereleased on Virgin and I spent the next few years searching out these and rarer versions - the rarest being two RCA releases from the early 80s that sounded like complete shit but looked different and may sell for as much as $50 now on the CD black market. Later in life I randomly won an auction that included a rare version of the All Saints instrumental collection that is apparently worth hundreds of dollars. Still haven't sold it.
Alas, I am not here to brag about how many cool CDs I own. The point is for the first time in my life I was discovering that older music had just as much to offer as modern music - if not more! I started to make the connections between Beck's Mellow Gold-Odelay-Mutations-Midnite Vulture transformation and Bowie's Man Who Sold The World-Hunky Dory-Diamond Dogs-Young Americans roller coaster ride. Apparently music history can repeat itself, at least amongst devoted Scientologists.
Bowie had all the same periods all of us young men go through:
- Faux folk
- Weird spaceman
- Sensitive poet
- REALLY weird spaceman
- Pale weirdo
- Orwell obsessive
- Soul singer
- Coked out Nazi
- Weird Nazi
- Sell out
David Bowie was not a perfect man nor was he a perfect musician. He released some absolute shit in his career and honestly I doubt I'll ever go back through and take the time to learn his worst albums when I still haven't heard things like Blood on the Tracks or Double Fantasy. Would I have gotten into artists like Lennon and Dylan without going through Bowie first? Probably, but because he was first I'll always feel the deepest connection to his music, his weird endeavors with the internet, his ambiguous sexuality, his wacky personas and all of the other stuff that makes someone larger than life. If you want to talk more about best saxophone solos in his catalog, just let me know.
Ranking: Every David Bowie Album From Worst to Best
Making resolutions for the upcoming year is, like voting, something we do to assert control in our unstable and uncertain lives. Many times this is the right choice and things actually change for the better. I did not make substantive resolutions in 2016 and the year was a disaster. Compare this to a wonderful year like 2014 where I strongly resolved to stop eating candy and cookies, which led to Robin Williams finally killing himself. It's too late to consider reviewing the material of two years ago so let's assume it all went as planned and dive right into 2017.
Add fruit snacks and yogurt to my banned food list
Like anyone else battling an eating disorder (vegetarianism), I find control from and define my identity by what I put into my mouth. Over the last three years I have successfully cut cookies and candy, as your brain can conceive of it, out of my diet. But like a river finding a new path around a dike, my sweet tooth forced alternate methods of satiation. Have you ever snorted Stevia? Anyway, this dietary whack-a-mole has forced me to add fruit snacks (or essentially any "non-candy" hiding in the candy aisle) and frozen yogurt to the banned foods list.
Take two concrete steps to learn more Spanish
¿Hablas español? I don't, as evidenced by the fact I used the very casual tü format in that question and then incorrectly used an umlaut instead of an accent when trying to explain my mistake. I do however have a background in studying the language and a very real need to get myself back up to a level where I can at least buy drugs or explain why all JJ Abrams creations produce existential disappointment. Taking a class is also a great way to meet friends!
Have a Dave Matthews Band Renaissance
I could have put a different artists in this slot (as there will be multiple renaissances this year) but since this list is online I want to follow the standard online playbook: say something in the most controversial way you can and then slowly walk your audience through unpacking it afterward. In the pretend vision of my social world, getting unironically back into DMB is only a step or two below ironically re-joining ISIS. But I want to be one of those people who loses hang-ups and biases as I get older instead of the people whose world view and interests solidify like the stone monuments I never helped ISIS destroy. So this year I will become a "Davehead" and listen to more sweet ass jams.
No more solitary games
...And I don't just mean solitaire! (Though I certainly mean that.) Whether on the phone or computer, I find myself going through distinct and powerful phases of filling boredom/dread/whatever with games. I'm not officially a gamer, but at one point a few years ago I played Euchre on my phone for a few hours straight! Most recently, I regressed during a trip to visit my parents by getting back into early high school favorite Warcraft 2. This resolution wouldn't be needed if I could leave this shameful the activity there (like my kids) or relegate it only to weekends (like my other kids), but I don't have that level of self control.
Watch a non-TV movie once a week
You: "Glenn you watch movies all the time! Feels like every time I open my AtHome app, I see you on that couch with a cold beer staring at the screen with that dead look in your eyes. Why would you possibly need to make a resolution about watching MORE movies on TV?"
Me: "Hear me out. First of all, the movies don't have to be on TV - they could also be in the theatre. Second of all, the movies I'm watching on my very limited cable package are usually terrible Hallmark or Lifetime productions. I watch them because they're on. By setting this goal, I'll be forced to intentionally choose something hopefully more highbrow - and I can use my new Letterboxd app to track it! Third of all, I hope you enjoyed what I did on Tuesday night. It was for you."
Thanks for reading. Let's check in at the middle of the year to see how everything is going. Below are some things that might help you out as you plan your 2017 resolutions:
How to Make Friends Faster
7 Simple Rules for Getting Lean in 2017
Old habits die hard. Here's how to change your life in 2017
To Live Remarkably, Repeat This 1 Affirmation Every Single Day for the Rest of Your Life
What a Sensory Isolation Tank Taught Me About My Brain
Play Warcraft 2 Online
By Jake Merch
Nobody will argue with you when you say that the singularity is imminent. Sure, you might be standing on a milk crate on a corner downtown, using a makeshift megaphone made out of newspaper you pulled out of a trashcan to preach. And sure, to most people that might wreak of insanity. Yet, that does not make the points you're barking invalid. It just makes them louder. And it makes people avoid eye contact with you, although that is a sign of autism spectrum disorder.
The singularity-- the moment when machines become more intelligent than humans-- is coming folks. That seems impossible, right? Surely there is no indicator of human idiocy. There's not a troll running for president tricking people into voting for him through hypnotically terrible hair and hate speech lifted directly from Adolf Hitler (a notorious jerk). Clearly, we are maintaining a superior level of intelligence. The kind of smarts it takes to respond to mass pollution and the change in climate that it causes. Or at least we have the brains to deny it all because it's easier and there's so many dating competition shows to watch and blog about.
What should we do if the singularity dawns? We do what humans always do when confronted: we get racist, then violent. Racism is the heat source that boils into violence. That violence could even be throwing boiling water in the face of our enemy. Usually it's a bit more hamburgery than that, but there are no rules when it comes to violence.
I have come up with a few racist things we can call robots: clink clanks and bleep bloops. And when you see a group of clink clanks clattering down the street, you can nudge your buddy with your elbow and say, "Looks like the circuit's in town." That's just a jump off point. As the bleep bloop overlords over take humanity with their cold metal fists, we will surely get more desperate and therefore more racist. Yet, you cannot get to that level of racism until you are truly under the threat of oppression. Like how cops must feel when they see a black teen eating ice cream at an honor society meeting.
Feel free to leave a comment telling how you would be racist toward a robot.
By Glenn and Jake
There's a common saying that goes: "there's only two things in life that are certain: death and taxes." And while that may have passed for humor 200 years ago, today we need something that pushes more buttons. That's why I move to add a third certainty of life: school shootings. School shootings have become a common occurrence in modern America, like losing socks at the laundromat or being impotent from watching extreme porn, the kind that involves poop.
In this debate, Glenn and Jake are going to attempt to take each other to school and riddle the rhetorical hallways with verbal bullets. Are school shootings tragic or surprisingly positive? Find out here.
Glenn: School shootings are terrible! My mere participation in this debate is a debasement - it actually makes me feel like I’m living through such an attack right now. I have several reasons in support of my position but I will start with the strongest: each school shooting builds the drumbeat towards common-sense gun regulation. In the past year alone, each of these terrible shootings felt like pound-pound-pound of Keith Moon drumming towards the aforementioned dystopia. But instead of leading us towards an ecstatic climax of Roger Daltrey’s booming voice and Pete Townshend's guitar windhill, these shootings bring us closer to a reality where assault weapons won’t be accessible. Thank you.
Jake: It's funny that you mention The Who, the rock and roll band, and especially Pete Townshend. The reason this is laughable is because it plays into my first point so well: if children kill each other then Pete Townshend will have less kids to fuck and/or masturbate to nude pictures of. He will have to stick to his current cache of child pornography of children who are surely dead by now.
School is boring. Shooting guns is exciting. No wonder all the kids have stopped raising their hands and instead are raising arms.
Glenn: I agree that school shootings are exciting, but just because something is exciting doesn’t make it good. Plenty of things raise the heart rate: watching your cat get run over by a truck, opening a possible acceptance letter from an unaccredited for-profit college, having sex. But, especially regarding sex, the excitement is not worth the pain caused to you and others. Many university professors argue that school shootings are fake, that the survivors are all “crisis actors” and such. Even if they’re half right, a world where SOME people have died is not one I want to live in.
Jake: Everybody will one day die. I, for one, cannot wait for the day the Grim Reaper places HER icy hand upon my shoulder and drags me to the grave. I imagine it to be like the buried alive match between Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Undertaker, but with less heavy machinery and smoother.
I wish I were still school age. I would love to be riddled with bullets, errant or intentional, from a psychopath's gun. Nearly everybody agrees that mass shooters are mentally deficient, but until Donald Trump is elected president and puts another holocaust into action, we are just going to have to deal with the repercussions of living with the mentally ill. We might as well strap ourselves in and enjoy this wild ride.
Glenn: Recently I read (over several months, on the toilet) the book Columbine by Dave Cullen. It was the definitive account of the first school shooting in American history and it taught me a lot. For example, did you know that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold weren’t bullied - or at least no more than you and me in high school? Secondly, did you know that an older teen helped them get their gun? Many things went into making that school shootings, and others, a success. But the success comes at a cost: in the past 15 years children are incredibly more likely to be suspended for jokingly threatening to kill someone or expelled just for acting out while black. These are the legacies of school shootings - a legacy we need to shoot dead.
Jake: I vividly remember a time, back when I was a youth in tight pink shorts, when baseball was America's past time. Now the bats have been replaced by guns and the balls have been switched out for bullets. Or, perhaps more accurately, it's like an automatic ball pitcher at a batting cage is an automatic assault rifle and the balls are still bullets. The point being: baseball is boring as shit and school shootings are exciting. Sure, they both involve math, but you can shoot anybody who tells you about it during a school shooting.
Going to school was boring when we were kids, up until Columbine happened, then it was suspenseful because you might die. We went from living that Jim Jarmusch life to Alfred Hitchcock. And The Birds is more fun to watch than Broken Flowers.
It feels like just last year we successfully (and unethically) predicted the Academy Awards Best Picture winner. This has been a huge year for films and an even bigger year for movies. In 2014 we saw crazy surrealism, measured proselytizing, shooting and a boy literally grow up right before our eyes. Finally the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences listened to White America and refused to nominate any people of color for major awards unless you count Mexican Alejandro González Iñárritu or twee Wes Anderson. On February 22nd, thousands of people will gather in front of their smart phones and illegally stream the 2015 Academy Awards, holding the device in one hand and a printed copy of this article in the other. Watch out for paper cuts when you scream in exaltation at our correct prediction of Best Picture winner!
Jake says... Everywhere you go these days everybody seems to be talking about Game of Theory. All the nudity and dragons has America harder than a sodoku puzzle and wetter than your mom's pussy when she's watching Lonesome Dove. This is a TV show so it has no shot.
Jake says... Mortdecai was a very surprising pick for the Academy. This nomination is more shocking than the time The Mountie used hid shock stick on Job Bush at the 2015 New Hampshire primaries.
Jake says... This prequel to Parenthood is missing the heart of the original film: Steve Martin. Getting Zachary Braff was a great casting move, but making it a musical seems like a real blunder. Boyhood needs to go through puberty.
Jake says... Is he a bird or a man? He's a Birdman. Michael Chrytron has done it again and this time it's personal, because this is a biopic. Chrytron is known for being ice cold in his crime epics, but this movie will give you frostbite.
Jake says... Not often does the Academy nominate three movies as one nomination, but I guess they did this time around. I'd like to look in their heads and see how they tick, you know. Just look at all of those wires and those gears turning, lubricating the bits that need it. I guess that's just the clock maker in me coming out. There might not be a god, but these movies prove that there are still quality films being churned out in Hollywood.
Jake says... I hated when the president of the Selma fan club murdered her.
Jake says... American Sniper? What is this movie about: legendary roast master Jeffrey Ross? Seriously though, being hired as a murderer by the government should give everyone pause and make them reevaluate the system we are participating in and making movies glorifying it is despicable. Plus, having a cartoon cat named Buzzby telling Chris Kyle to shoot brown people is in poor taste.
Jake says... I would FIRE anybody who doesn't PLANes to see this movie and RESCUE anybody who is being sexually assaulted in front of me.
Jake says… For the first time in over 1200 years of film, I think the Academy is not going to award any movies a statue. It's a shame, too, because all of these movies were very funny.