From Oscar Pistorius to Oscar Night- Beware the Disappointments of February [California Seething]
Look, we all know the world is a disappointing place. Sure, we wish that we lived in a world where the sun shines all the time (but not because of global warming), our favorite teams always win and Oscar Pistorius doesn’t murder his girlfriend, but that just ain’t the case. The fact is, we live in a world of blizzards and hurricanes (and not just because of global warming); the only thing that our favorite team wins is ESPN’s “Worst of the Worst” every Friday when they show the fucking butt fumble clip on the “Not Top 10”; and Oscar Pistorius became the single most disappointing disabled role model since the now infamous “Is Stephen Hawking gonna have to choke a bitch?” incident of ’97- as chronicled on his hip-hop album A Brief History of My Foot Up Your Ass.
While no month has a monopoly on disappointment, February seems to have more than it’s share. The days are short and the weather is cold but the goodwill, glitz and gluttony of December’s merry holidays have long since been replaced by bigger waistlines and broken promises of a better you. Even the laziest, and drunkest, dads have finally emerged from their Two and a Half Men, Bud Lite, Papa John’s coma long enough to throw the desiccated brown corpse of their once proud Christmas tree out on the street like a kid who flunked out of El Camino Community College, where it lies around hoping that if it just looks pathetic enough, someone will take pity on it and haul it away like the goth-chick scowling in the back of math class, who hopes that if she just looks sad enough the quarterback will see the Disney princess hidden behind the black eyeliner and will whisk her away to his magical world of school dances and date-rape. Sadly for her and the tree, and the neighbors of the people with the tree who are sick of seeing it on the fucking curb but too lazy to do anything about it themselves, (I’m looking at you, “Eric Sims”) nobody comes to get it. Very disappointing, indeed.
Even the holidays of February are set up to disappoint many people. Valentine’s Day is disappointing for single people (“oh great. Another Valentine’s Day single. Looks like I’m having a WILD, MEANINGLESS threesome with Ben & Jerry tonight. And after that, I guess we’ll eat ice cream. Those crazy Horne brothers.”), Groundhogs Day is disappointing for East Coasters (“It’s snowing, again??? WTF??? I thought that rat said winter was OVER!!! Let’s blow him up- somebody call Bill Murray! But not Bill Murray from Groundhog’s Day, Bill Murray from Caddyshack! I mean, what good is Bill Murray from Groundhog’s Day gonna do? You might as well call Bill Murray from Lost In Translation so he can whisper something unintelligible yet totally life changing in the groundhog’s ear in the middle of Tokyo. Oh, I don’t know, maybe something like ‘LEARN HOW TO PREDICT THE FUCKING WEATHER YOU FUCKING WORTHLESS FUCKING RAT!’”), Superbowl Sunday was disappointing for 49’ers fans (BOOO!) but also disappointing for Patriots fans – ‘cause they didn’t make it (HURRAY!!) The Superbowl wasn’t disappointing for Jets fans, though. LIFE is disappointing for Jets fans.
So- surely you would expect a month as disappointing as February to have a bunch of disappointing stuff happen in it. Well, this is one area where this February DIDN’T disappoint. Here are some of February’s big disappointments:
Oscar Pistorius Shooting
The vast majority of Americans suffer from Livestrong Syndrome- the compulsive belief that disease and disability automatically make one wise, inspiring and noble. This is actually going to be added to the DSM 6 next year along with “Harlem Shakes” and “Compulsive Vaguebooking” – “Trying hard to stay patient today” WHY??? “Wondering if it’s all worth it” WHAT????, seriously- if you’re going to shit out little pity droppings all over the place, the least you can do is let me know how concerned I should be. I mean- “I thought this time would be different” ??? What the fuck am I supposed to do with that? Did Chris Brown beat you up again or did they misspell your name at Starbucks?
Anyhow, it ‘s an understandable enough condition- Livestrong Syndrome, that is, not Compulsive Vaguebooking. There’s not excuse for Compulsive Vaguebooking- seriously take your non-specific sympathy spam and shove it up your ass and then post “finding it hard to sit down today” so I don’t know what the hell is going on. Livestrong Syndrome, though, is understandable- I mean, none of us can know what sort of disease and disability we might face in our lives. Horrible shit happens to good people all the time – and it’s only natural to want to believe that something good might come out of the horrible shit we face- that it might make us wiser or more inspiring or more noble. But, here’s the thing- sometimes horrible shit happens to good people and sometimes horrible shit happens to incredibly shitty people. It’s not divine will, it’s medical science- and when horrible shit happens to an incredibly shitty person, like, let’s say, Lance Armstrong, he doesn’t necessarily become wise, noble or inspiring- sometimes, he turns into a big fat “cheater, cheater testosterone eater- had seven Tour de France titles but couldn’t keep em”, to quote Oprah (she’s turned into a real bitch in her old age). Oh, Lance, if only there was some drug you could take that would improve your performance in the role of “human being” – maybe Estrogen? I mean, sure, you might get breast cancer- but just think of all the pink Livestrong bracelets you could sell to raise money for Lance Armstrong awareness.
Anyhow- I’m not saying that Oscar Pistorius is a murderer – it’s possible that he’s just a walking argument for gun control. I mean, maybe his girlfriend never ever ever once got up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, so when he heard her in there, he made the only possible, logical, natural assumption he could make- that an intruder broke into the house and locked himself in the bathroom so that he wouldn’t be disturbed while he was stealing all the toilet paper and Bath & Body Works Pomegranate Lemongrass Vanilla Orange Spice hand soap or maybe the intruder was just taking a much needed piss (SOUTH AFRICA TRAVEL TIP #1: If you’re on the road and you really, really need to use the bathroom, DON’T BREAK IN TO OSCAR PISTORIUS’ HOUSE. Seriously- find a Starbucks or a gas station or an empty Mountain Dew bottle. It’s not worth dying over.) And so Pistorius did what any sensible person would do and fired four times blindly through the bathroom door killing whoever was in there (SOUTH AFRICA TRAVEL TIP #2: If Oscar Pistorius invites you to stay at his house- for the love of God- DO NOT drink a lot of water before going to bed. You will die.) Or, it’s possible that he murdered his girlfriend and he’s a “liar, liar, stumps on fire” as the chief investigator in the case stated at Pistorius’ bail hearing before going off to his own murder trial. Seriously, is everyone is South Africa on trial for murder? Either way, it’s a pretty major disappointment after his valiant participation in last year’s Olympics. At least that wasn’t testosterone they found in his house. I mean, Performance Enhancing Drugs in the Paralympics? What’s next? Huggers on HGH in the Special Olympics? The Yogi Yahooeys being stripped of their metals from the Hanna Barbara Laff-A-Lympics after positive tests for anabolic Scooby snacks? I don’t think I could handle that level of disappointment.
The Pope’s resignation
Pope Benedict XVI resigned earlier this month, in Latin, because he felt he was too old to continue with his work, which inspired millions of senior citizens around the world to mumble incoherently and give up on life. Not that it’s a huge disappointment to see him go- what’s one less red-shoe wearing ex-Nazi closet case enabler of child molesters in a position of immense power? Oh, come on- you didn’t know he was gay? Seriously? Any man who wears ruby slippers has got to be a ‘Friend of Dorothy’- I mean every time he was confronted with allegations of covering up abuse, he just clicked his heels together and said “There’s no blame in Rome. There’s no blame in Rome.” And we all know he wasn’t going to be around forever, I mean, when they picked him, they said he was a “transitional Pope” – and it had already taken him wayyyy longer than expected to transition from “alive” to “dead”. But by just quitting this way, he took all the fun out of his “transition”. I mean, when JP2 was riding his Popemobile to heaven, he took fucking forever to get there (and had the left turn signal on the whole time)- which meant there was loads of time to potiff- icate about who would be next (pontiff-icate- HA! I slay me! No, wait, that’s Oscar Pistorius who’s slaying me. CRAP! I knew I shouldn’t have had that 32-oz Slurpee on the way to his Oscar party. Hah! Oscar party! STOP SHOOTING AT ME.) Every day, there was more delicious speculation when he would die and who would be next. Would it be Cardinal Bertone? Cardinal Scola? What about Cardinal Arnize from Nigeria? Or Cardinal Sandri from Argentina? What about Timothy Dolan? Or Cardinal Ouellet from Canada? COULD THIS FINALLY BE THERE YEAR WE GET A CANADIAN POPE?? It was as if the NFL said- “hey, we’re gonna have a Superbowl this year, but we’re not gonna tell you who’s playing or when it’s going to take place or let you see it- we’re just gonna release white smoke to let you know who won. “ How awesome would that be? Actually, it would be terrible because we wouldn’t get to watch the Superbowl, so it’s kind of a shitty analogy- but you get the idea!
By going and announcing his resignation, Pope Buzzkill took all the fun out of my morbid speculation over his mortality and replacement. What a dick. I mean, I hardly even had a chance to get to know who the candidates are this time around- though, to be fair, it’s pretty much the exact same list as last time. I guess that’s the advantage of a “transitional” pope- if you’re a really cardinal, you get more than one chance to take your shot at the Big Chair- and if you’re Cardinal Mahoney you get more than one opportunity to make a mockery of the suffering of molested children by voting for the new Pope regardless of the fact that your disgustingly incompetent handling of child abuse cases is a global disgrace! Catholic tradition: 2 – Common decency: 0.
BTW- I don’t know about you, but my favorite Pope name has always been Pope Urban. I hope they use that again this year, although if they do choose one of the African Cardinals, that’s going to seem kinda tacky.
So, OK, the telecast was whatever- sort of moderately amusing and not really better or worse than any other year. At least, that’s what I gleaned while I was at work following the telecast via everybody’s updates on Facebook (which was FAR preferable to watching the damn thing myself.) It was the usual cocktail of un-funny banter, moderately funny satiric songs, heartfelt speeches and Captain Kirk. OK,so the Captain Kirk thing was funny, but honestly, it would have been just as good to have a couple of new Priceline commercials, and the show would have hell of a lot shorter. The problem with the Oscars, aside from the fact that nobody beat Kristen Chenowith to death with a sledgehammer, is that the movies these days just aren’t very good. I know I’ve complained about the crapitude of Hollywood on numerous occasions but I’m not sure why we should keep rewarding professionals in this industry so lavishly for churning out such staggeringly mediocre work. It’s like giving a $10,000 a year raise to a temp because she showed up on time 3 out of 5 days and didn’t take a dump on her desk. I mean, they should just change the name of the Best Picture category to “The Only Eight Movies This Year That Didn’t Completely Suck Ass And Two That Sort of Did But We Stuck Them in Anyhow Cause Ang Lee Directed One of Them.”
Take, for example, Argo. I mean, sure, I was sort of glad it won Best Picture- and not just because it was one of the two Best Picture nominees that I was actually willing to sit through because it didn’t look like it would bore me to death or fucking INSPIRE me. I hate being fucking INSPIRED. Argo was sort of fun- kind of a heist movie with a political twist against a historical background- like a cross between Oceans 11, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Lincoln, only not as completely unwatchable as I just made that sound. It had some funny lines, interesting characters and suspenseful bits. It was like a very good Econo Lodge. Clean narrative, comfortable clichés, reasonably appealing characters and a short history of Iran tacked on to the beginning like a complimentary waffle bar. But the Oscars shouldn’t be about Ramada Inn vs Econo Lodge, the Oscars should be about the Waldorf Astoria vs Ritz Carlton – a battle for the best of the best- otherwise, we’re just picking between the lesser of two evils, and that’s what Presidential elections are for.
Maybe Best Sound Editing had it right. Maybe every category should just be a tie for last and instead of getting the Oscar, the nominees can just be lined up against a wall and shot (along with Kristen Chenowith.) Or maybe it’s just a sign of the times. Now that the “Everybody Gets a Trophy” generation has turned into the “Nobody Get a Job” generation, we can acknowledge that mediocrity is the new excellence, failure is the new success, Postponing Sequestration is the new Passing the 13th Amendment and that, much like Jennifer Lawrence, even when we do something great as a nation, we’re bound to fall on our face when the whole world is watching. So- in an age like this, is it any wonder that the Best Picture we can come up with is a Ben Affleck vanity piece that, in a better year, would have been lucky to be nominated for Best 80’s Hairstyles and Most Righteous Walrus Moustache on a Supporting Actor.
So, maybe it’s not just February that’s disappointing. Maybe it’s actually just the age we live in.
Huh. Wow. Now that’s a disappointing thought.
Oh, by the way, if you’re wondering, the other Best Picture nominee that I saw was Django Unchained. Great fucking movie. I was seriously disappointed it didn’t win.
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