Essentially the story of my working life in 2 minutes:
Now I need to know everything about Aziz Ansari.
Essentially the story of my working life in 2 minutes:
Now I need to know everything about Aziz Ansari.
I’ll apologise in advance for yet another anti-Facebook/Twitter/Internet post, but this story blew my mind, and I can’t believe we haven’t seen it featured more prominently in ANY Australian news media outlet:
‘TALIBAN USES SEXY FACEBOOK PROFILES TO LURE TROOPS INTO GIVING AWAY MILITARY SECRETS’
The story in a nutshell goes that the Taliban are using fake Facebook profiles to ‘befriend’ troops in the Australian Defence Forces serving overseas in Afghanistan. See that picture up there? That’s ex-World Wrestling Entertainment superstar Maria Kanellis, just one of the hot chicks enticing our fighting forces to click ‘Accept’. Once the Australian soldier accepts the friend request, the Taliban then uses this access to gather info based on the soldiers’ status updates, posts, photos, etc.
The bigger problem is that Facebook’s geo-tagging tech also logs the specific location that soldiers are posting from. So once a soldier updates his status to shit its hot, or OMG check out my RPG!!!!! 🙂 , the Taliban knows exactly where they are.
All of this has prompted a review by the Australian Defence Force into DoD use of social media, and will probably necessitate the introduction of social media training courses for all members of the Defence Force.
Now, I’m not criticising our brave men and women serving overseas. They show incredible courage doing a job I never could, and make us as Australians proud every day.
But who knew that our troops weren’t made aware before they were sent into a war zone about geo-tagging?
Or that members of the Taliban are apparently big fans of WWE Diva’s like Maria?
That in one of the most dangerous areas on the planet, some people are still preoccupied with posting Instagram photos of their food, duck-facing in front of armoured vehicles, and doing those quizzes to see ‘Which Disney character are you?’
That when it comes to manipulating social media, we have been (in the parlance of Jeff Probst) out-witted, out-lasted and out-played by… the Taliban?!?! Who presumably have faster, more reliable internet connection in the mountainous regions of Afghanistan than I do in the western suburbs of Melbourne.
And that apparently any remake of ‘Stripes’ would now include John Winger doing way less push-ups and much, much more tweeting?
Serves as a handy reminder to all of us not to accept a friend request from someone just because SHES TOTALLY HOT BRO OMG SEXYB!TCH!
Admittedly this is advice that’s easier to dish out when, like me, you’re the kinda guy whom unnaturally attractive women avoid like a new chemically engineered strain of black-plague-herpes-canceraids.
But it’s good advice regardless.
Finally, should any of you who are reading this be currently serving in the Australian military overseas, be safe guys and gals, and come home in one piece.
I was saddened this week to hear the news that actor Michael Clarke Duncan passed away, due to ongoing complications from a heart attack he suffered over a month ago. He was 54.
In an acting career that lasted ostensibly for less than 15 years, MCD starred in a wiiiiddddeeee variety of both high quality flicks and classic crap. Amongst the former? ‘The Green Mile’, ‘Sin City’, ‘Bulworth’, ‘Talladega Nights’ & ‘The Scorpion King’ (a real guilty pleasure of mine).
Amongst the latter? Well, there was ‘Daredevil’, ‘Green Lantern’, Burton’s ‘Planet of the Apes’ remake, ‘The Island’ and… well… pretty much anything starring Bruce Willis.
The one common thread to most everything I ever read about Duncan off-screen was that he was the archetypical ‘gentle giant’, and a quality human being. I’m not going to lionize Duncan’s acting ability or screen presence. But, thanks to THAT voice, and his size, Duncan was invariably at the very least fun to watch, a surprisingly underrated quality in a movie star these days when you stop to think about it.
Ironically I’d been thinking just several days before he passed about ‘The Green Mile’, and about 2 other performers in that flick, Tom Hanks and Doug Hutchison.
I remember eagerly awaiting ‘The Green Mile’ before its cinematic release. I was (and remain) a huge Stephen King fan, and had loved ‘The Shawshank Redemption’. So when I heard Frank Darabont was adapting the latest King novella, you better believe I was there on opening day.
Literally opening day. 10:30am on a Thursday morning, to be precise (ahhh, to be a University student again, with less than 12 contact hours per week…). Whatever misgivings I may have had about a) seeing the film alone, and b) seeing it in a cinema with less than 5 other people, were quickly dispelled as I immersed myself in the story of Paul Edgecombe, the giant John Coffey (like the drink, only spelled different), and the 2 dead girls…
To me it remains, to this day, a movie forgotten by the moviegoing public far too quickly. Well cast, with some decent (if a little Oscar baity), actor-ing including a breakout performance by Duncan. A calmly paced, sprawling script. Interesting direction. Sure, it’s not the life affirming classic Shawshank is, but the prison period-piece is still a well worth revisiting by Darabont.
Having said that, one of the most memorable parts of that film is the loathsome prison warden, Percy Whitmore. Whitmore, compellingly played by a relative unknown (at the time) Doug Hutchison, is a cruel cowardly man, trading in on his family connections to keep his job at the Green Mile (death row in a Louisiana prison in the 30’s). After the flick however, Hutchison was rarely seen, his most notable acting role in the ensuing years being a short-term role in one of the latter series’ of ‘Lost’.
I just assumed that maybe Hutchison had been too effective in his role as the Green Mile’s antagonist, that he was forever typecast as the creep, the petty scumbag.
And then there was this…
That’s right… Doug Hutchison, freaky weirdo from ‘The Green Mile’, is THAT GUY, the 51-year-old dude that married 16-year-old (coughcough) wannabe starlet Courtney Stodden.
News broke this week that now that Courtney has turned 18 (coughcough), she was willing to pose for Playboy! To which Playboy responded, and I quote, “Nobody really wants to see that”.
BAM! PLAYBOY ZING!
Perhaps in Doug’s eyes, appearing in TMZ with this prematurely withering, ditzy, spray tanned, peroxidal crone once a week means that he’s once again relevant in Hollywood. Sigh… and at what cost relevancy, say I.
At around the same time as Doug’s latest fame-crazy facepalm, Tom Hanks was reaffirming for the world why he’s more beloved than Santa Claus, rainbows, and a basket of playful kittens COMBINED!
Hanks went viral after a young man asked him to pose for a series of photos in a restaurant, where he pretended to steal Tommy’s glasses. What followed…
To remind us…
That Hanks’ everyman appeal shall never wane.
How to tie all this together?
Well, after hearing of Duncan’s untimely passing, I did what many a movie-geek would do – I sought out his most notable performance, and slapped the disc into my DVD player for a reminder of how we lost a talented individual way too soon.
I soon found it virtually impossible to divorce my knowledge of 2012 celeb-u-tainment from a movie I’d previously enjoyed. Even the twin doses of MCD mourning and Hanksian charm weren’t enough to quell the revulsion I have for a man and his ‘child’ bride (coughcough) so desperately clawing at the underbelly of Hollywood’s D-list.
Which is strange, because as distracting as ‘Stoddison’ (you’re welcome, tabloids) is, is Hutchison any worse than… say… Charlie Sheen? Because I can still watch ‘Major League’ without picturing Charlie beating/shooting the female team owner. I can still watch ‘Grease’ without conjuring up images of Danny Zucco twisting Kenickie’s arm for a deep tissue massage. I never once imagined Batman losing his shit at Lucious Fox over the key lighting in Wayne Towers during ‘Dark Knight Rises’, and I’m pretty sure I’ve sat all the way through ‘The Terminator’ without making an inappropriate ‘Target Acquired: Latina Maid’ joke to The Wife.
And yet I legitimately cannot watch ‘Mean Girls’ without being distracted by the human shipwreck that is Lindsay Lohan. I cannot giggle at Michael Richards OTT entrances in any given ‘Seinfeld’ repeat. And I cannot suspend disbelief long enough to separate Percy Whitmore the villain from Doug Hutchison the… well…
Why should one scandal weigh more heavily upon my psyche than another? Why should Lindsay’s slow, Winehousian descent be more distracting to me than Ah-nuld’s transgressions? Am I making unconscious, moral judgements? Am I on some level condoning Sheen’s ‘alleged’ physical abuse of (multiple) women, but condemning vacuous fame-whoring? Does this make me no better than the billions of ‘Two & a Half Men’ fans out there?
Ughhh… too much to ponder. I just wanted to watch a Tom Hanks movie featuring a ‘magical negro‘ character (conceived by a white writer, natch), death by electric chair, and an unnaturally long-lived mouse.
So thanks, Doug… that’s one more neuroses to clutter up my brain, and one more DVD gathering dust and just taking up valuable space in my collection.
Which isn’t to say I gave up altogether on celebrating Duncan’s life in my own, small way…
Because hey… any day you manage to find time to watch The Rock and MCD motherflippin’ sword fight whilst simultaneously rocking some seriously bad-ass hair extensions… that, my friends, is a good day.
Which is my ridiculously long-winded way of saying you will be truly missed, Mr. Duncan.
And eat a bag of dicks, Mr. Hutchison.
A refresher course about ME:
I am pop culture obsessed. I write about any number of things. I blog about bad TV, and awesome movies. I document a generation singularly focussed on the trappings of celebrity, and the occasional kooky news story. I sling metaphorical monkey faeces at modern-day monsters, and enjoy photoshopped images of Velociraptors.
I own a small, obscure corner of the internet (and that’s just the way I like it) where I rail at my oh-so-many petty grievances.
And I do it for YOU, dear reader. All 6 of you. Or at least that’s what my WordPress stats tell me.
Except for the past few Tuesday’s. On Tuesday’s my readership experiences quite a bump. 2 weeks ago that meant over 2000 visitors to this site in 1 day.
What did I write? What sparkling prose attracted so many new friends? What kind of spectacular insight had I offered into the human condition that resonated so with this new audience?
Not a damn thing.
No, the reason Tuesday is my good news day is solely because of this…
And the dozen or so variants of ‘Lara’ & ‘Bingle’ & ‘Nude’ people subsequently typed into Google Images, which led them right here.
Where there are NO pictures of Lara Bingle nude, I might add. There is one post that touched on the Lara Bingle / Brendan Fevola camera-phone incident a few years back. Apparently that’s all it takes.
THAT is a reality check.
Tim Minchin expressed what I’m feeling far more cleverly (and musically) than I ever could. Ladies and gentlemen, a reminder of the limitations inherent in trying to express yourself artistically in any way on the interwebs:
‘MELBOURNE ‘ZOMBIE’ TERRORISES STRANGERS’
Sigh… why do I start so many of these posts with a disgusted exhalation at the state of the world around me? WHY?!?!?!
I swear to you the only reason this story initially caught my attention was because it happened right around my neck of the woods in sunny Melbourne. Click the link above to read.
Key point here is that self-professed professional comedian and prankster Alki Stevens filmed the latest of his of rib-tickling pranks for YouTube, a skit where he dressed as a zombie and leapt out at unsuspecting passers-by.
I read about Stevens a while ago in our local newspaper, in a story that attempted to make an awfully big deal about the fact that he invented the internet craze ‘cone-ing’. Never heard of cone-ing? It’s where you buy an ice-cream cone from McDonalds, only to take it from the person serving you and hold it by the wrong end / start eating it in a bizarre fashion / stick it to your forehead / etc.
As a ‘comedian’, I guess my first question for Mr. Stevens regarding his ability to jump on this zombie fad only… I don’t know… 3 or 4 years after the rest of the internet, would be… why?
What’s the point? What are you trying to say? What’s the ‘joke’ here? Is there even a joke? Is the joke merely to elicit some form of an instinctive response from people?
Even the worst comedy is about something. I’d buy you maybe grasping at straws, and trying to find your own humorous take on the sudden mainstream awareness / media coverage / fear of the walking dead after the now infamous ‘zombie’ attack in Miami a few weeks back… had you not gone to great pains in the story above to specifically say that the timing or any kind of link was purely coincidental.
So as far as I can tell, most of your work relies on people reacting to you doing craaaaazzzzyyyy, disgusting, or unexpected things.
Bravo. You are the fake dog poo of internet comedy.
And on a side note: if I personally saw some fucktard zombie-shuffling after me (or a group of young schoolgirls… seriously you ass clown?!) while I was walking the dog, or leaving the shopping centre, or riding my bike, then yes – I’d punch him as a reflex. I’d punch him likely as hard as I possibly could.
And then I’d punch him again when I saw it was just some idiot with a handi-cam and some fake blood, playing dress-ups.
And then I’d punch him a third time. In the balls. Whilst filming it on my iPhone.
There. Am I an internet comedian and prankster now too?
Who knows… maybe I’m wrong and Alki Stevens really is a comic genius, a voice for his generation. What a shitty reflection on an entire generation that would be.
So, until someday soon when ‘Idiocracy’s’ satirical take on the future of comedy, ‘Oww My Balls’, actually becomes a reality, with its own YouTube channel and everything…
Enjoy your hi-larious pranking and internet comedy, Gen Y.
Some actors make interesting ‘choices’ when it comes to their performances…
And then there’s Nic Cage.
Almost hypnotic, isn’t it?
Oh, and a healthy reminder this awards season – that guy has been nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award more than once.
Huh… so Brad Pitt is the pre-eminent bird-flipper of our time… who’da thunk it?
Scary accurate, huh. Can you tell James Gunn is a writer / director?
See, I knew I was missing something… ‘exceptional literary talent’… but it’s not too late to still develop that whole bag o’ tricks, right?