Irving Penn Scream

The Essential Art of Not Taking Offense

A recent controversy surrounding the stand-up comedy group All-India Bakchod (‘fuck senseless’) caused them to take down an inflammatory video of a roast they did from YouTube. My Hindi is intermediate, not good enough to follow Indian stand-up comedy, which is a huge pity: it is a cultural phenomenon that is rising like a fire-breathing dragon in the New India, a welcome appropriation from what I am henceforth calling the American Raj, our unstoppable cultural hegemony that digs deeper,

Lemmy Kilmister

Lemmy Must Not Die

Don Henley must die.

So sang rockabilly punk-rocker Mojo Nixon on the 1990 album Otis, released during the height of Henley’s popularity as a solo artist. I don’t quite agree with the sentiment (I’m too much of a pussy and would probably have written a song called “Don Henley Must Retire” if I were a rockabilly punk-rocker), but I appreciate the spirit in which it was intended.

Monsters University

Irrational Hatred of My Irrational Hatred

Can you do it? Can you bear the following six words without storming off in anger or labeling me a heretic? Consider it a test of your fortitude. I’m talking about these six words: I can’t freaking stand Pixar movies.

When I tell people I can’t stand Pixar movies (or any computer-animated cartoon movies for that matter), they become so irrationally hostile that I wonder if Moses didn’t carry a third tablet down from Mount Sinai declaring Toy Story to be God’s own directorial debut. It’s as if I told them I dislike their children.

Rockers are Doing It for Themselves

Writer and interesting guy David J. Skal once wrote that different personality types can be represented by well-known monsters from film and literature. For example, a guy who treats you like gold at first but turns on you once you’re hooked is a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The lazy user with no ambition who gets by on his charm and his willingness to leech off people is a Dracula. Those are egregious misrepresentations of Skal’s writings, but you get the idea.

When walking contradictions who can be both sympathetic and right-bastards are labeled as Frankenstein’s Monsters, I reflexively reach up to tighten my neck bolts.

Alice Eve Bra

Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Wearing a Bra

Have you heard? Starting next season, American Idol will go by the name of Celebrity Judge, since that is apparently the only thing people give a shit about anymore on that show.

Perhaps I made that up, but when was the last time anyone discussed the actual contestants around the water cooler or in the gossip rags? The last bunch of seasons has been about “Ooh look. Steven Tyler has degenerated into a drag queen and a whack job,” and “Check it out; Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey are about to get in a fist fight.”


11 Mothers Who Are Even Worse Than Yours

Ah, Mother’s Day. That annual event in which you pretend to be grateful for all the psychological damage your mother has inflicted upon you from day one of your helpless, flailing existence. She’ll even try to make you feel bad for being bitter by claiming she slaved over a hot stove and changed your diapers at the expense of her own happiness.

It’s all lies. First of all, slaving over a hot stove is infinitely preferable to bringing down prey in the wild or letting a five-year-old operate a gas burner.

Jane Levy Evil Dead

REVIEW: Mayhem and Metaphor in ‘Evil Dead’

If you want fans to like your horror movie, do one thing: deliver on your promise. The genre has always operated that way. If you show a guy in a hockey mask on the poster holding a machete and menacing teenage girls in bikinis, that must happen in the movie. It’s not the same for drama or action films. A Jason Statham cardboard theater-lobby display that depicts him holding a semi-automatic is not a promise. It’s an obligation.

Orphan Black Logo

Little Orphan Blackie

Storytellers are ever on a quest for two things: A great opening and an even better hook. So, as a writer, I had no choice but to sit back and admire the hell out of John Fawcett and Graeme Manson’s new BBC America show Orphan Black, which debuted Saturday night. Shit, even the name is great, and I have no idea what it means.

The great opening takes place on a train platform, where petty crook/scam artist Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) is bitching into a telephone at someone. She slowly becomes aware of another figure on the platform… a crying woman.