Sunday, July 29, 2012

Why You Might Want to Consider Being a Lutheran

A review of my friend Daisy Rain Martin's Juxtaposed: Finding Sanctuary on the Outside:

Years ago, Saturday Night Live had a sketch set in heaven. As I recall, the sketch ended with some mortal asking Someone In The Know (An angel? St. Peter? Dana Carvey? I forget) what the one true religion is. Someone In The Know said, "Lutheran." After reading about the diabolically patriarchal upbringing of Ms. Martin and the Pentecostal culture which supported it (with a little help from the Good Book, of course), you may want to consider MISTER Martin's arguments for being a Lutheran (he sold me at "Lutherans go to church for 59 minutes flat and we get to the Olive Garden before everybody else"). Growing up Lutheran myself, I certainly can't recall my mother saying that she had to obey my father in all things simply because the Bible told her so. Ultimately, though, this Christian memoir isn't about claiming that there's one denomination (or even religion) that will get you the closest to God. That alone is refreshing. The brutal honesty here is also something greatly to be admired, even when it leads the reader down the same dark roads of abuse and other familial betrayals which Ms. Martin was forced to travel. The frank critique of conservative Christianity by a, yes, true believer with almost unheard of (for a religion-tinged memoir) frank language gives us the feeling that a real honest-to-Someone person is doing the narrating. While T.V. preacher Joel Osteen--he of the football stadium-sized church and megawatt smile--might put all the inexplicable negative outcomes on planet Earth into what he calls his "I Don't Know" file, Daisy Martin breaks it down the way you or I or Forrest Gump might. She says, "Shit happens." And while there is, no joke, some tough shit to get through in this memoir thanks to the villain at the heart of its darkness, Martin's sense of humor, sharp observations, and vivid imagery always keep the narrative compelling. In short, to offer up another relevant cliche, she lights a candle in the dark.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Dark Knight Experiences Erectile Dysfunction But Pops Enough Viagra to Get Thru The Trilogy

It's a rare movie indeed that I'm a tad "meh" about after a first screening but feel it's worth a second look...and that second look convinces me that it's pretty darn good after all. But that's what happened with The Dark Knight Rises. Actually, I liked it okay even after the first screening. After all, I wuz "meh" about Batman Begins, and I thought this wuz certainly a better flick. But it ain't The Dark Knight (and that's cool--did we really expect chapter 3 in Christopher Nolan's epic to be better than the best comic book movie of all time?). I think you'll more likely appreciate TDKR, then, if you aren't expecting the rocketing rush of cops and crooks and Joker madness that wuz TDK. Also, Bane, as Kurt Loder has said, is little more than a pro wrestler and has none of the great dialogue that came from the J-man's twisted mug--and sum of his dialogue is hard to understand because of that fucked up voicebox he wears (don't hold yer breath waiting for a clear explanation of why he needs such a contraption). Furthermore, just like Ra's al Ghul from Batman Begins, the Banester unfortunately calls to mind an absurd Bond villain (remember: RAG had a giant frickin laser at the end of that doubt a part of his "Alan Parsons Project"). Sure, at first it sounded cool in those trailers when badboy Bane sez to Bruce Wayne, "When Gotham city lies in ruins, you have my permission to die," but that's really not so different from, "No, I expect you to die, Mr. Bond." And if yer like me, when you learn that Bane can rain total destruction down on Gotham BUT HE DECIDES TO WAIT FOR FIVE MONTHS TO DO SO, yer kinda yearning for Scott Evil to walk on the scene and say, "No, godammit, flip the switch now! And why the hell didn't you shoot Batman when you had the chance?! Okay, just give me a gun and I'll go do it myself. What?! You fucking left him in India? WHY IN GOD'S NAME WOULD YOU DO THAT, YOU COSTUMED ASSHOLE? You do know he's just gonna regain his strength and come back to kick your ass and dismantle the bomb before you can set it off, right? Okay, fuck it...doesn't matter. Just give me money for plane fare and hook me up with some guide and a gun when I get there. I'm gonna kill that guy. But seriously, the minute my plane flies outta here, will you PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY SET OFF THAT FUCKING BOMB?!" Ah, but I digress. Anyway, despite such illogicalities (and the movie has a shitload more of them), this is still a sturdy finish to a damn fine trilogy; and if its epic scope in depicting a city under siege winds on a bit too long...well, that's what epic scopes do, right? I wuzn't surprised at all, in fact, to hear a bit of Charlie Dickens read near the end of the film. Nolan wants to show you Gotham City from the POV of the kid in the orphanage all the way up to the upper crusters at their charity balls. Also, the movie is fairly adept at resolving themes that were addressed in the first two films. Hell, I've even rethought Batman Begins after seeing parts of it again on T.V. recently. It, too, is better than I first thought (FYI: it wouldn't hurt to view that movie again before you finish out the trilogy). Finally, hey...that Anne Hathaway, her sharp acting, and her skin tight Catwoman costume--yikers--are alone worth the price of admission. Hmmm...perhaps the man in black didn't need Viagra after all.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Norco Dream

I axed God, "Why can't you & I
go flying thru the universe?"

God said, "Cuz most of it
is just dead bodies."

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Sweet Destiny OR The Sugar Daddy Cometh!

One fateful night, John Candy, mild mannered porn star, fell into a magic vat of high fructose corn syrup. Was he drunk? Probably. What was he doing near a vat of high fructose corn syrup in the first place? That, friend, is a tale for another day.

Anyway, from that vat emerged a bold, supersweet, generally priapic ambisexual being known as Sugar Daddy. The magic high fructose corn syrup is now in his blood, and he secretes it thru touch--and bodily fluids, of course. It then goes to the part of the brain that makes people spend their money on worthless crap, and they end up giving cash to Sugar Daddy instead. He exists in an alternate world where Jolt Cola is still around (and contains cocaine), and if he drinks a can of that magic elixir he can temporarily beat the shit out of almost anyone (maybe not Lou Ferigno, his nemesis). And yes...while on the junk, he is pretty damn flexible and acrobatic.

Unfortunately, when the Jolt wears off, SD always gets a massive case of narcolepsy. One time he wuz fighting Lou Ferigno, and he leaped to deliver a roundhouse kick but fell asleep in midair. LF then proceeded to take a bunch of crazy naked pictures of Sugar Daddy and put them on the internet. Of course, SD's alter ego, John Candy, makes crazy naked pictures for a living, so his mild mannered nature allowed him to forget about the whole episode. He still wants to punch Lou Ferigno in the balls, though.

Is he a hero? Is he a villain? Are you young and hot and do you need someone to help you pay for college and give you a generous allowance in exchange for sexual favors? Call Sugar Daddy!