Thursday, June 30, 2011

6.30.11 Bee-otch of the Day: Paramount Pictures


Name: Paramount Pictures
Age: 99
Occupation: storied movie studio
Last Seen: Hollywood, CA
Bee-otched For: making it a three-peat

Some of the greatest movies ever made may never, ever be seen ever again.

One of those films is called The Way of All Flesh, a 1927 film about a man who is thought to be dead, but is still alive. German-American actor Emil Jannings played August Schilling, a Milwaukee banker who's on a business trip to Chicago to deposit $1,000 in securities. On the way, he ends up meeting a seductress on a train who flirts with him and ends up at a saloon run by a crook. The next morning, Schilling wakes up in a broken-down bedroom with the money gone. He finds the woman, pleads with her to return the funds only to get punched by the saloon owner and dragged unconscious to a railroad track. He strips Schilling of all identification, but when August regains consciousness, he fights with the man, who is thrown in front of a train and killed. August flees, but wants to take his own life.

However, since the crook has all of August's IDs, his dead body is believed to be August's, and it's reported in the news. August ends up living in seclusion as an old, unkempt tramp 20 years into the future, making a living picking up trash in a park. One day, he learns that his young son has become a popular violinist and goes and sees him in concert. After his show, he goes to his house - which the Schilling family still owns - and pays a visit to his son. He never reveals his identity, and walks away into the snowy city with a dollar little August gives him.

I know, I know. I gave out the whole movie. But chances are, unless somebody finds a copy of this film in a private collection, you'll never see it. Despite the fact that Jannings won the first ever Best Actor Oscar for his performance in this picture, it's a lost film. The two sole fragments of this movie were featured in a special called (what else?)Fragments on Turner Classic Movies a few months ago. One fragment was that of Jannings watching his son play his violin in a theatre, which was featured in a short subject Paramount made in the 1930's about its past called Movie Memories. The other fragment was the movie's final few minutes, where August Sr. and Jr. made their exchange before Sr. walks away and the iconic Paramount "The End" logo appears on screen without the Paramount logo in the background. Of course, Paramount should be happy that their logo wasn't in the film's end since the last few seconds of the film have warped into a sea of nitrate decomposition.

So, why did Paramount lose The Way of All Flesh? Simple. When silent film production ended in 1929, they were no longer popular. Since there was no television, home video, internet and all that back then, Paramount - and almost all other studios - had no way of profiting from their old movies anymore. So, the studios chucked their negatives and other prints mainly for the silver needed to make more film. Even worse, the film itself was made from nitrate, which was severely flammable and decomposes in hot, humid conditions. As a result, around 80% of all silents ever made (c. 1894-1930) are lost, and so are half the films made prior to 1950.

According to one source, of all the silents made by Paramount, only a quarter of them still exist.

It's pathetic that Paramount saw no value in Emil Jannings' Oscar-calibre performance, yet, they went ahead and made a THIRD Transformers movie. The latest heap of shit,Transformers: Dark of the Moon, was released on Tuesday and so far has made $15 million in two days. Not shabby, especially since the film took nearly $200 million to make. Most of the cast from the first two movies are back sans Megan Fox, who was fired for making anti-semetic remarks about director Michael Bay, comparing him to Hitler which angered executive producer Steven Spielberg.

I skimmed through a writing of the film's plot, and I wasn't interested. Quite frankly, I'm sick of the phenomenon about the series, since it's confusing as hell. Even Roger Ebert gave this film a whopping one star because it was nothing more than a confusing mixture of special effects and a weak plot. I'll even admit that I saw the firstTransformers and thought that it was only OK. I saw the second one only because I was up in my old hometown of Elk Rapids, MI, and the local movie theatre I grew up attending had just remodeled. The Cinema Theatre's owner did a wonderful job of restoring its original beauty, but goddamn he should have chosen another film.

Well, I'm swearing off Dark of the Moon. PERIOD. I'll only see it if 1) a hot chick wants me to see it with her, and she's promising me hot, horny sex or 2) there's a gun pointed to my head. Sorry, but I'm 30 fucking years old. Yeah, I played with Transformers toys as a kid, but I'm not a kid anymore. It's too bad that there aren't any more "adult" pictures out there, or else I'd be at the theatre this July 4th weekend.

Summer: the worst time to watch a movie. 


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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

6.29.11 Bee-otch of the Day: Rick Snyder


Name: Rick Snyder
Age: 53
Occupation: failed CEO
Last Seen: Ann Arbor, MN
Bee-otched For: silencing the music
To many, the day the music died was February 3, 1959.
But to those in a tiny northern Michigan school district, it's been changed to June 27, 2011.
Monday night, the Forest Area Community School district, serving Fife Lake (pop. 466)  and South Boardman (unincorporated) with two elementary schools and a 7-12 high school announced that they are discontinuing music education for the 2011-2012 school year due to budget cuts that most schools in Michigan are facing.
The announcement was made in front of people protesting the decision by superintendent John Smith in the band room at the high school in Fife Lake. He said that he didn't want to cut the program, but with the district's $260,000 shortfall, it had to happen.
Many students are upset over the decision, including Sara Bevis who told Traverse City NBC affiliate WPBN that if it weren't for the program, she would have dropped out of school. Her sister even stated that the program helped her express herself and showed people her talents.
It seems that the Fife Lake/South Boardman area has had its share of bad luck. After all, Forest Area Schools were created in 1975 when the two towns' schools - both only K-7 - merged because neither Kalkaska nor Manton schools accepted their 8th grade students. Today, if you're a teen in those two towns, you're already in a sea of nothing to do since the nearest fast food's 10 miles away in Kalkaska, the closest movie house is 30 miles away in Traverse City, but, hey! You have a bowling alley out in the sticks and a few bars and restaurants that appeal to drunks and old people!
At least Fife Lake has a fairly new supermarket, Fife Lake Village Market. In 2003, the town lost it's then-sole grocer, Kimball's - which had been in business since the early 1900's - thanks to competition from other towns and an apparent lack of interest from its then-owners to keep the store running. The Village Market opened two years later bringing a nice, fresh, new store in town, but sadly, they're now probably planning to stock up on condoms since, well, the only thing for teens to do in Fife Lake is to screw like crazy.
Same goes for South Boardman's Country Store/Marathon gas station, a former IGA that no longer sells meat or produce (although their butcher's block is still intact in the back). Say, don't they still sell Hustler? (innocent whistle followed with a Cheshire grin)
Point is, the youth of Forest Area need an outlet for their creativity, and it's been taken away from them. Guess who took it from them? The Forest Area school board pointed their fingers at none other than "state leaders". Translation: the tough turd.
Yep! Gov. Rick Snyder is mainly to blame for Forest Area's silence because he slashed 10% of its budget and other school districts for the 2011-2012 school year, or about $715 per student. Yet, he's given the state's wealthy $1.8 billion in tax breaks.
So, while a 16-year-old in South Boardman will never learn how to play the trumpet and will probably resort to teenage pregnancy thanks to a lack of anything to do, the DeVoses will plan another LipDub in a nice part of Grand Rapids. Yeah, yeah, Snyder only took a $1 salary for this year, but it's not enough to boost his reputation.
Here's some simple math: a 14-year-old today will be how old in four years? RIGHT! 18! If today's 14, 15, 16 and 17-year-olds are getting screwed educationally thanks to Snyder today, they can all help chip in to help vote this loser out! Now that's a concept!
But, he'll probably find a way to screw that up. Maybe he'll hire Justin Bieber (or any teen star of 2014) to help with his campaign that year. Hey! He spent over $10 million of his own money to get into the Michigan White House (competitor Virg Bernero spent nowhere near that), so anything's possible.
Once again in the end, don't blame me, I never voted Republican in my life.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

6.28.11 Bee-otch of the Day: Michele Bachmann

Name: Michele Bachmann
Age: 55
Occupation: Minnesota Congresswoman
Last Seen: Stillwater, MN
Bee-otched For: running for president, even though her facts aren't straight
This broad went to Oral Roberts University and walked out an idiot who's just a few steps away from Sarah Palin.
Michele Bachmann thinks she has what it takes to beat President Obama in the 2012 elections. She thinks that he knows nothing about improving the economy, and that it will be her top priority. She's a Republican, who is for teaching religion in public schools, against the minimum wage, for phasing out Social Security and Medicare and anti same-sex marriage.
But like her fellow Tea Party leader from Alaska, Michele has proven that she too has no friggin' brain.
In an interview, Bachmann told a reporter that she's from Waterloo, IA, which is also the birthplace of John Wayne. She even compared her campaign to Wayne's life. However, she's either that stupid or she should learn how to read.
You see, John Wayne wasn't born in Waterloo. He was born 150 miles west in Winterset, not far from Des Moines. However, Waterloo was the home of another person named John Wayne... GACY.
Yep! John Wayne Gacy, the maniac who raped and killed 33 young men while playing a clown at birthday parties. Kinda sounds like what Bachmann will do as president: she'll rape and plunder the American people, especially those who work every day.
Yeah, yeah, Obama's not perfect. His troop removal in Iraq ain't much, the economy still blows and he's mum on protecting unions. But, we've captured Osama, we're improving health care and tough on companies that raise gas prices for the average driver. If she's an expert on saving the economy, she needs to prove it.
Thanks, but I don't want another Bush in office.  


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Monday, June 27, 2011

6.27.11 Bee-otch of the Day: Clear Channel

Name: Clear Channel
Age: 39
Occupation: radio behemoth from Hell
Last Seen: San Antonio
Bee-otched For: once again making bad programming decisions in Grand Rapids

Once again, Clear Channel Grand Rapids doesn't know the hole from its ass.
But even better, at least they've demoted Glenn Beck to two signals here in the Furniture Capitol.
I went up to northern Michigan last weekend... Without my Sirius. Even worse, my smartphone's signal coverage only covered the southern portion of the state, so I got stuck listening to crappy ass northern Michigan radio. Nothing like several repeated channels of 1970's butt rock, country and oldies with a splash of crappy-ass pop music.
At least I'll give WCCW some credit for FINALLY giving their 1996-era "OldiesRadio" jingles the boot.
But coming home, I was still flipping the channels like a madman, and almost puked having to listen to .5 milliseconds of Rush Limbaugh on WOOD-FM 106.9. Yep, nothing like Cheap Channel shoving right-winged moronicism down our throats cuz hey, they're paying that fat bastard $400 million to blab endlessly.
What's funny, though is that CC owns two different talk stations here in Grand Rapids: WOOD 1300/106.9 and WTKG 1230. WTKG has always been a bottom feeder in the ratings, and a lot of it's due to CC making them a throwaway stick.
And it's still going to be that way as long as CC owns it.
A few weeks ago, they FINALLY got rid of Glenn Beck on 1230. He had been on both 1230 and 1300/106.9 since WOOD fired their mid-morning team of Scott Winters and Michelle McKormick (the latter just recently joined Citadel's 1340 WJRW). But now, even he's gotten the boot from WTKG.
The bad news is that his replacement's none other than... Fox and Friends commentator Brian Kilmeade.
Yep! They canned Beck on 1230 for the man who gave us the great quote "all terrorists are Muslims". Really, WTKG.
True, Kilmeade has no chance in Hell that he'll beat Beck in the ratings, but that's CC protecting their asset. Meanwhile, the person who should be from 9a-noon, Stephanie Miller is only heard locally on the weekends on tape delay.
Folks, that's Clear Channel for ya. Instead of throwing liberals a bone, they let it rot with mold and then throw it. Do they expect something out of Kilmeade? Not really. As long as WTKG gets a .5 in the ratings, they could care less.
Maybe they make more from WTKG as a tax write-off instead of it being a functional station. Who knows...


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Thursday, June 23, 2011

6.23.11 Bee-otch of the Day: Westboro Baptist Church

Name: Westboro Baptist Church
Age: 56
Occupation: hate group
Last Seen: Topeka, KS
Bee-otched For: being Jackasses

This world is so filled with Jackasses.

And yes, Fred Phelps is one of them.

The independent baptist church with less than 100 members, famous for their multiple "God Hates ____" websites and protests of American soldier funerals is at it again. They plan to protest the funeral of Ryan Dunn, the member of the hit MTV series Jackass who was best-known for his stunts involving jumping into sewage and shoving a toy car up his ass.

It was also noted that in Jackass: The Movie, Dunn drove a golf cart with co-star Johnny Knoxville as his passenger into a plastic pig, hoping to be crushed. However it didn't, and the cart ended up flipped over with Knoxville landing on his neck. During the film's director's notes, co-star and CKY co-partner Bam Margera stated that Dunn was a bad driver.

Dunn died Monday morning when he lost control of his 2007 Porsche 911 GT3 when it swerved off the road, flew through 40 yards of woods and crashed into a tree in rural Pennsylvania. The accident also killed his passenger, Zachary Heartwell, who was a production assistant on Jackass: Number Two. It was revealed that Dunn, Heartwell and a friend were all drinking that evening since it was posted on Dunn's Twitter account. Toxology reports have revealed that Dunn's blood alcohol content was .196, more than twice the legal limit in Pennsylvania, which is .08.

Speed was also a factor in the crash that killed Dunn; it was believed that he was driving upwards to 140 MPH; the speed limit was 55 MPH.

Needless to say, Dunn's death left Jackass fans saddened and stunned. However, his critics came out of the woodwork. Roger Ebert - who never reviewed any of theJackass films - wrote on his Twitter "Friends don't let Jackasses drive drunk". His tweet angered many, including Perez Hilton, who called his tweet "insensitive". Even Dunn's friends slammed Ebert, including Margera, who wrote (and yes, I've combined his tweets since they're over 140 characters):

"I just lost my best friend, I have been crying hysterically for a full day and piece of shit roger ebert has the gall to put in his 2 cents about a jackass drunk driving and his is one, fuck you! Millions of people are crying right now, shut your fat fucking mouth!"

(Um, Bam, I'm deeply sorry for your loss, but I hate to break it to you that Roger Ebert can no longer talk - or eat - because of cancer surgery several years ago that destroyed part of his face and vocal chords.)
Since the tweet, Ebert has done damage control by writing a blog about the situation. He even revealed that Dunn was also arrested in 2005 for another drunk driving incident. Needless to say, people have given him mixed responses for his post, but then again, who hasn't made a tweet or post that has pissed off everybody? Hell, I do it all the time!

But, sadly, then there's Westboro Baptist.

In a press release, the cult stated:

"This arrogant jackass, famous for his 'vulgar stunts' at which this nation snickered,  died in a car accident in Goshen, PA (one of the most evil states to ever exist) after tweeting a picture of himself & two "friends" drinking - just hours before a 3 AM high-speed crash left him & his passenger dead & in flames. This is no prank! In His wrath, God cut off this young man in the prime of his life, because he made a mock of sin, and taught his fellow man to grievously sin against God! God will not acquit an arrogant, proud, filth-loving sinner, who spent every ounce of every resource God gave him to pimp grotesque, nasty (and not even slightly funny) sin!"

Dunn's funeral will be this Friday, June 25th at the DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith and Boyd Funeral Home in West Chester, PA with a public memorial to follow. Heartwell's funeral will also be held at the same funeral home on the same day.

You know, I will agree. Ryan Dunn was an asshole for not only putting his life in danger, but others as well. He was doing both shots and beer, which can be a lethal combo. But dammit, he did stuff nobody would ever do with a 30-foot pole. He made us laugh. That's what he wanted to do. He mixed damn near killing himself at times and making us laugh. Hell, look at Harold Lloyd: he put his life in danger by hanging on to a clock hand 30 stories off the ground without a net. But guess what? His movies made millions and he was one of the big pioneers of silent film.

Thing is, we're human and we make mistakes. Many learn from their foibles, others don't. I'll bet that despite Ryan Dunn making a huge mistake by drinking and driving, people will still watch Jackass movies and TV shows and laugh. Kurt Cobain did massive amounts of drugs, put his kid in danger and blasted his brains out and he's still a hero of rock. John Belushi speedballed to death and he's still funny when he chugs down an entire bottle of Jack. So on and so on.

My point is, yes, Ryan Dunn fucked up. Big time. But his family and friends still need their privacy. It's pathetic that the ultraconservative Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of Westboro, stating that they do have the right to protest funerals. I hope the Jackass army shows up to the funeral home on Friday to beat the shit out of the Phelps clan and give them a message. Ryan Dunn was a human, the LGBT community's 
human... WE'RE ALL HUMAN.

They should take that, insert it into a condom and shove it up their ass. Sideways. 


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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

6.22.11 Bee-otch of the Day: MSNBC

Age: 17
Occupation: cable news channel
Last Seen: New York City
Bee-otched For: getting a roundhouse kick from Keith Olbermann

Current: the little cable network that could.

Several years ago, struggling satellite radio provider Sirius made a huge gamble in luring Howard Stern from terrestrial radio. End result: millions of new subscribers and a merger with XM.

Now, it's Current's turn. It was launched six years ago by former Vice President Al Gore as a DIY news channel aimed towards 18-34 year olds and so far, it hasn't touched many nerves. Many smaller cable companies don't carry it and in recent months, they've resorted to showing movies to boost ratings, especially on the weekends.

However, it's sparked one well-known internet meme: clips of their show Vanguard showing homophobic African preacher Marvin Ssempa telling crowds that gays love to engage in fisting and "eating da poo-poo".
Now with Keith Olbermann bringing his Countdown to the network, chances are that MSNBC are, well, quite frankly shitting their pants. The new version of Keith's show debuted on Monday. The show's slightly stripped down from its MSNBC counterpart: there's no live shot of Rockefeller Center in the background, no news crawl on the bottom and it's in glorious 480i over high def.

But, most of the magic is still there. Keith's as feisty as ever and many of his old contributors are still there also. His shows on Monday and Tuesday I thought were well done considering that this isn't MSNBC. The right-winged BS isn't there mainly due to Al Gore being Current's principal. The sole problem so far is Current showing the program every five minutes, causing me to constantly reprogram my DVR, but it's worth it.

And the viewers agree. On its first day on the air, Countdown defeated CNN in several key demos.
In my mind, I think if the new Countdown is still successful down the road, I wouldn't mind seeing the likes of Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz leaning forward to Current. Even Michael Moore on Twitter thinks that it would work, calling Current the United Artists of cable TV.

Look, folks, say what you want about Al Gore, Keith Olbermann and the like, it's time to take the media back. The Bill O'Reillys, Sarah Palins, Glenn Becks, Rush Limbaughs and Sean Hannitys of the world have polluted our minds long enough. Cookie cutter journalism has done nothing but destroy our minds all for big business. It's time for intelligence and smart opinions to return to the airwaves and for Republicans to keep their damn mouths shut.

As for MSNBC, OK, you've lost Keith and who knows who's next? It's truly time to Lean Forward.


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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

6.21.11 Bee-otch of the Day: The Supreme Court

Name: The Supreme Court
Age: 222
Occupation: lawmakers of the United States
Last Seen: Washington, DC
Bee-otched For: kissing Walmart's ass


Walmart-1, women-zippo.

It's official: the Supreme Court hates women. The nation's highest court voted Monday to block a massive lawsuit that would have cost the nation's top retailer billions. The class action lawsuit involved 1.6 plaintiffs, and it was the killing point of the lawsuit. The court rejected the suit, claiming that it would wrap too many women with different positions into one lawsuit.

Some of the women in the suit could file their own suits against the retailer, but with way less money.
The suit was filed claiming that most of Walmart's lowest-paid positions are held by women. Plus, women are usually passed on regarding managing positions; most of the company's store managers are men.
As expected, the five justices who voted in favor of Walmart are the conservative justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts who was made Chief during the Bush administration. However, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says that there was enough evidence that Walmart could have lost the suit, stating that "Walmart's delegation of discretion over pay and promotions is a policy uniform throughout all stores."

You know, I hate it when judges will side with Walmart with everything. Remember the case regarding the employee from Battle Creek who sued them because he was fired for using medical marijuana? Tragically, the right-winged Republican judge, Robert Jonker ruled in favor of the retailer because, well, he made a statement that was basically gibberish. But, we all know what he was truly saying: Fuck the working class, all hail Queen Mother Walmart.

Folks, this is another reason why I'll never shop at Walmart. The Walton family's all worth over $20 billion, their CEO makes $30 million and their average worker makes only $14,000. Plus, they've screwed over American jobs by making companies sell for below profit and the fact that they STILL won't sell albums with the Parental Advisory sticker or anything with Howard Stern on it only makes them hypocritical. As much as I hate Grand Rapids, I'm thankful that there's a lot of stores around here so I won't have to go to Walmart at all, period. Although Meijer is now almost as bad as Walmart in many areas, they're still the lesser of all evils.

Thanks, but I believe in equality. People should get promoted for doing a good job, not because they have a penis.

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