People Or Plastic?


by Eric J Baker

Congratulations. You survived the apocalypse.

I guess Jesus doesn’t read Pure Film Creative (despite the “topless Magdalene” tag last week), because he passed right over me when flinging souls into Hell like I wasn’t even there! However, as surprised – and slightly miffed – as I am to have been spared, it wasn’t the oddest event of my week.

That distinction belongs to Thursday night, when I found myself standing about 18 inches from Weird Al Yankovic, an entertainer about whom I had hitherto no opinion and never expected to see live from that or any distance. Such are the sudden twists and turns of life.

The venue was the State Theater, a renovated vaudeville palace in central Jersey, where I once fell asleep during the 25th anniversary showing of 2001: a Space Odyssey, despite it having been introduced by somebody. He didn’t climb into the audience and sing to the woman next to me, like Weird Al did on Thursday, hence becoming forgettable.

A new tradition: Every generation now has the plain Italo-American chick who morphs herself into an un-nuanced, overdressed, workaholic performer who champions homosexuals and habitually pisses all over the Catholic church.

As Weird Al played his set, I noticed many of the artists he parodies are dead: Jim Morrison, Michael Jackson, Coolio, Kurt Kobain. Oops. Sorry, Coolio. Not content to milk past glory, Al also mimicked Lady Gaga’s Poker Face with his version called Polka Face.

Weird Al or Lady Gaga. Which one is the bigger fake?

I read a couple of days ago that Lady Gaga has surpassed one billion YouTube views. One billion times a person has said, “I really need to watch a clip of Lady Gaga right now or else I’ll just die!” This despite her bland songs, studio-manufactured voice, and tiresome Madonna-esque, PG-13 shock tactics. I suppose she’s mildly sexy at times, if you have an android fetish.

Note: In the interest of scientific accuracy, a “female” android you can fuck is called a gynoid, but that sounds like a penis grinder to me. And I have too much respect for Lady Gaga to turn this into a vagina dentata post (in keeping with Killough’s Latin theme from Thursday).

Much as we are aching to post an image of Weird Al, WordPress keeps rejecting it. So we have to put in another of Gaga until Baker changes the subject. She isn't riding with Joey Rubin, but a faux Latino biker with plucked eyebrows wearing a crown of thorns rather than a helmet, as one does.

We all know the entertainment business is full of fakery and glamour lighting and airbrushing, and we accept perfect, white teeth in caveman movies (even the bad ones). But recent pop stars have taken artificiality to such a level that I wonder what’s left when you strip away the computerized sheen. Madonna may be more image than talent, but at least she had pubic hair. Lady Gaga allegedly teases her followers with pseudo-nudity, but I wouldn’t be shocked if, when she finally ditches her panties, we discover she has a mannequin crotch.

Does Lady Gaga know she’s a real person beneath all the marketing? Can she let her photoshopped guard down for one second? It’s no wonder young celebs often freak out from that pressure. People laughed at Britney Spears when she shaved her head and attacked a car with an umbrella, but can you imagine what it would be like to be told what to do and where to stand and what to wear every minute of your existence? Her actions that day inspired me to take a stand in my own life, using her example to fight back against The Man. But then I remembered I already shave my head, and attacking a car with an umbrella is a pretty candy-ass thing to do when you’re a guy. Plus, it was Fat Bitch Sunday at Killough’s place, and you know what that means: Carrot cake!

"I haven't had any sleep for five days, but I feel GREAT, I really do. I smoked a few bowls of this wicked ice from Mexico, scrubbed the bathroom with a toothbrush, AGAIN -- such fun -- so now I thought I'd tidy up my image a bit."

Perhaps the world’s longest, most famous pop-star freak out belongs to Michael Jackson, also known as “Weird Al’s bread and butter.” Only after his death do I understand why Michael subjected himself to those disfiguring surgeries: His life had become so fake and plastic that he needed to become plastic. He was turning his literal body into the money-making toy he already was metaphorically. Weird Al continues to play his songs (sort of) and wear his clothes. The difference is, Weird Al can take the costume off and go back to being a real person when the show is over. Michael is dead.

Lady Gaga, Katie Perry, and the like may be undergoing a form of identity replacement that is unique to modern entertainers, but they have a long way to go before they master the art of (say it slowly and with lots of reverb): Full. Body. Replacement.

Nobody did FBR better than the ancient Roman citizens of Pompeii who, to the undying gratitude of historians, had their own little apocalypse in 79 C.E. when Mt. Vesuvius erupted, burying the city in ash. Today, we enjoy plaster and silicon casts of their screaming, agonized forms made by archeologists who poured hardening materials into the cavities left behind by their long-since-decayed corpses.  If you plan to be in New York this summer, you can see many of these casts (in case you think I’m making up this zany volcano story!) at Discovery Times Square on 44th street. The museum just opened its massive Pompeii exhibit featuring all kinds of gory, never-before-seen artifacts, including a cast of a dog killed in the eruption. Good God, Discovery people! Don’t you know the rule? You NEVER KILL THE DOG.

Hopefully it had rabies and the volcano was doing it a favor.

This will come as a surprise to Baker, but the Pompeian "Chained Dog" is actually a best-selling gift store item in Naples, their equivalent of the garden gnome. Sick mafiosi bastards.

One presumes the people of Pompeii (and their retarded cousins from Herculaneum) are laughing at us right now, what with the apocalypse and all. They went straight to Hell, of course, not being Christians. At least modern man has a chance to be saved, since we know about Jesus. Whattup with that God? You hated Pompeii?

One man who has the gall to doubt the apocalypse is famed physicist and author Stephen Hawking, who recently said in an interview with British news journal, the Guardian, that he does not believe in God and the afterlife is a “fairy story for people afraid of the dark.” Though, to be fair to believers, I once walked into a half-open door in the dark. Scary! In other words, I see both points of view.

In a blistering response, Huffington Post blogger Rabbi Brad Hirschfield wrote, “… rationalists may find it hard to fall in love, dream big dreams, create/appreciate non-representational art, and, quite ironically, do certain kinds of scientific and philosophical research.”

I love HuffPo. I love how they put links for “North Korea launches nuclear missiles at Japan” next to “Sarah Jessica Parker SLAMS Justin Beiber” on the front page. But Rabbi Hirschfield hurts their otherwise sparkling credibility with this comment. Never mind the clueless arrogance; doesn’t he realize he’s picking a fight with the wrong person? Hawking predicts the same fate for both himself and the Rabbi. Meanwhile, Hirschfield is aligning with theologians, many of whom believe he will burn in hell for not being Christian. With friends like that…

SPANK ME, DADDY: Actress seeks bald, married, middle-aged writer FROM JERSEY ONLY for discreet, fun NSA action. Light BDSM. Former rockers/songwriters step to the front of the line.

Right above this paragraph is where we usually put our final image, the choice of which I’ve left to James Killough, our blog master. As much as I admire Stephen Hawking, he’s a bit unpleasant to look at (what? I’m only saying what you’re thinking). I’m hoping JK will put an attractive, petite, brunette actress with straight hair (all ethnic groups welcome) and make a joke in the caption about me having a fixation with them, which is clearly true, given the specific wording of this sentence. But I bet he’ll post yet another giant dick, if he didn’t already do that up top.

My mama warned me, “If you make friends with the gheys, you’ll be up to your ears in dick pictures in no time.” I thought she was trying to embarrass me in front of my friends with her potty mouth, but it turns out she was trying to save me from the apocalypse.

Comments: 15

  • Woman May 22, 201112:12 pm

    “Hopefully it had rabies and the volcano was doing it a favor.” I was reading this line while taking a sip and now my screen is wearing my drink!!! Interesting points about the celebrities though. Becoming plastic and all that.

  • Paula Tohline Calhoun May 22, 20111:26 pm

    Can’t even address you as OA in this one – it’s all EB! Love it, as a matter of fact, atheism aside – which is your business and not mine. Of course you know what your epitaph will have to be don’t you? “All dressed up and no place to go.” (Awful joke, sorry, it just popped into my mind. Besides, you’ll probably be cremated, in which case an epitaph might be “I am so burning hot! Why, it’s as hot as . . .no place I can think of. . .)”

    I just saw that I am figured among the null bloggers. How interesting. Aren’t I also void? Oh well, can’t have everything!

    Just one little aside for your otherwise wonderful illuminating post: Lady Gaga is called “Lady” Gaga precisely because she does have a mannequin crotch. Otherwise, we wouldn’t know she was a lady, or a she, or a whatever. She would just be Gaga – which is what she apparently leaves a lot of prepubescent boys, and some older ones – boys all, however. I personally believe that “whatever” describes her better than any word so far, but I’m working on a better one. . .I’ll let you know what it is. . .

  • oldancestor May 22, 20114:39 pm

    I love you, PTC.


    • Paula Tohline Calhoun May 22, 20117:24 pm

      Me too. Oh, and I also love you. I won’t tell Hubs.
      BTW, I have always rather liked Weird Al Yankovic. For one thing, he is a very accomplished musician, and I have appreciated that. Some of his riffs are great, others i can take or leave.

      I have always felt way too sad and sick about MJ to take many pot shots at him. I just ignored as best I could – particularly since he started out as such a talented little kid, and then morphed into Helena Bonham Carter in Planet of the Apes. . .if you don’t believe me, take a look at some photos. . .Really pathetic, in more ways than one.

      Two more things – regarding the title of your post. First, a cartoon from the New Yorker from years ago: French Revolution, some royal has his head placed in the guillotine. Little person standing beneath, waiting for head to fall, is holding a bag to catch it, looks up and asks victim, “Paper or plastic?”

      Second, a caroon by a very good friend of mine (my recent guest Jean, much heralded in my blog). Same scene, except standing ready at the bottom of the scaffold is a man in a white coat, holding a basket, and waiting by a truck labeled “Eye Bank.”

  • nrhatch May 22, 20115:54 pm

    You know why I like Weird Al better than lots of other droid entertainers? Simple. He KNOWS he’s weird and clued us in before we ever bought tickets.

    Michael Jackson and his deluded friend Liz Taylor both tried to defend his normalcy and pretend that he wasn’t a freak when all evidence was to the contrary.

    A billion views for Lady Gaga is the clearest evidence of the apocalypse that I’ve seen to date.

    Great post!

    • oldancestor May 22, 20116:01 pm

      Hahaha. I pick on Lady Gaga mostly because she doesn’t deserve to be that famous.

      We can start with Weird Al for your list of shows, if we work backward.

    • nrhatch May 22, 20116:11 pm

      Weird Al seems more Comedic than Musical. Put him on the list of Comedians you’ve seen:

      Bob Newhart
      Richard Pryor
      John Belushi
      Robin Williams
      Weird Al
      Chris Rock
      Steve Martin
      Bill Cosby

      Wait! Where are the women? ;)

  • Hanson Anderson May 22, 20115:57 pm

    I loved this! And I thought no one could top Anton Szandor LaVey’s Satanic Bible.
    However I think that with the profanity, and blasphemy in this article that you gave him a good run for his money.
    I am just so proud to be a member of your Fan Club. Can you sign my man teats? With your poison black tongue though, not with a pen.
    FYI: I am now your third biggest stalker. See you when I am in the bushes outside your bedroom window.


    • oldancestor May 22, 20116:03 pm

      Take that, LaVey! It’s been my lifelong dream to have one person think my work is superior to his.

      You’re actually my biggest stalker, if we’re talking physical dimensions. My other stalkers, though dedicated, are primordial dwarves.

  • Alannah Murphy May 23, 201112:07 am

    Brilliant Eric. How true about the Lady Gaga/Madonna comparison. I hated Madonna in the 80’s and I hate Lady Gaga now, I just don’t care for blonde plastic bimbos who can’t really sing that well but that’s just me. At least Britney was entertaining when she lost the plot, actually when actors/musicians lose the plot a bit, it’s a bit refreshing as it shows us they’re actually humans like the rest of us.
    Technology is making things worse with airbrushing, nobody looks ‘real’ in magazines anymore, it’s all becoming plastic fantastic.

    P.S Laughed my arse off about the Pompeii thing with the dog. You’re right, you NEVER kill the dog!

    • oldancestor May 23, 20119:29 am

      Thanks for venturing over here, Alannah.

      The two blond bimbos you mentioned aren’t even real blondes. Re: The grass on Madonna’s field reveals her Italian American heritage, as referenced in the caption above.

  • Alexandria Beaverhousin May 26, 20115:38 am

    Ummmm, by any chance would that redhead with the bangs that’s seeking a bald, middle aged dude be interested in women? Heellllooo! I would do her.

  • Pure Film Creative May 26, 20117:59 am

    That’s Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and you never know with actors. Is there work involved?

    • Alexandria Beaverhousin May 26, 201111:20 am

      Mayhaps…look how long people were talking about the Paris Hilton sex tape! I could make her THAT famous!

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