Re: Among the other reasons I don't like South Park

1

People your age have favorite Elvis songs?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-16-10 9:37 PM
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Some of them, apparently.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-16-10 9:39 PM
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Cartman singing "In the Ghetto" is unforgivable, but him making Scott Tenorman eat his parents doesn't give you pause?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-16-10 9:40 PM
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1: I plead having early exposure to a record collection and the knowledge of how to work a phonograph.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-16-10 9:41 PM
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When I was 3, my favorite song was "Sing" by the Carpenters. You have to admit that the Carpenters' music have aged better than Elvis' music has.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:52 AM
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Elvis died the day he went into the army.


Posted by: Dr Winston O'Boogie | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 1:01 AM
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Huh. I remember someone in the liberal blogosphere referring to Stone and Parker as "occasionally clever assholes" but google gives no results for that phrase.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 5:43 AM
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You have to admit that the Carpenters' music have aged better than Elvis' music has.

Oh no. No I don't.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 6:13 AM
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You have to admit that the Carpenters' music have aged better than Elvis' music has.
hells to the no.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 6:21 AM
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If I refused to admit that Willie Nelson was a better artist than the Pet Shop Boys, I'm certainly not going to admit THAT.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 6:22 AM
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Do you mean Charpentier's music? Otherwise your claim makes no sense. It's true that Elvis' career should be properly regarded as 1953-1960, but still.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 6:33 AM
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I am not by any means the hugest elvis fan, in part because my stepfather loved him, and, being a handsome hazel-eyes man with dark hair and a pompadour, frequently imitated him in a manner so irritating as to defy description to any but my brother or sister (it being impossible to explain the epic scope of his irritatingness to anyone not present for a number of years.) he was drunk during 93 out of 100 of these impressions, as it would be otiose to mention to my siblings, but which may bear mentioning to others. heebie kind of rocked me with that live clip she posted a while back, and I am willing to give the king his due, generally, but no more so than the average person. and on the other side, we have the carpenters. hey, there's that eagles cover but-- but nothing. I rest my case.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 6:49 AM
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s
d

read-style.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 6:51 AM
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If you want to get in the game, Viva Las Vegas is your song.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 6:53 AM
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You have to admit that the Carpenters' music have aged better than Elvis' music has.

I would certainly be prepared to argue that my opinion of the Carpenters' quality is unchanged.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 6:54 AM
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On the day that al was born, the angels got together . . .


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 7:01 AM
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Weird Al's music hasn't aged well, except "Like a Surgeon."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 7:01 AM
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Somewhat OT: Bruce and Neil:

http://www.latenightwithjimmyfallon.com/video/Neil+Young+and+Bruce+Springsteen:+Whip+My+Hair+(11/16/10)/1260532


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 7:01 AM
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Stanley,

There is a great running group near you.

Sign up for a spring race, and join the running group. Fear/shame is a great way to stay motivated through the winter.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 7:03 AM
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19: Wrong thread, or are you implying that I live "in the ghetto"? I mean, there's some Section 8 housing around, but it's really a very friendly neighborhood.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 7:12 AM
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Neither Karen Carpenter nor Elvis aged well.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 7:14 AM
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Weird Al's music hasn't aged well, except "Like a Surgeon."

I still like "White and Nerdy" a lot.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 7:16 AM
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They should have just stuck with building the group around Karen Carpenter's drumming (or she should have ditched meathead). There are a few clips on YouTube, but they are all so infused with schmaltzy patter that I can't bring myself to link them. Perhaps Stanley can give us a professional opinion.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 7:22 AM
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Did Elvis play the drums? No he did not.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 7:22 AM
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I still like "White and Nerdy" a lot.

This doesn't aid the claim that Weird Al's music has aged well, since it came out a whole four years ago.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 7:33 AM
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Here you go, Elvis & Karen, compare and contrast.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 7:34 AM
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||This is kind of vague about what the prices really are, and how the thing really works. Anyone up on Medicaid? BG?|>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 7:36 AM
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Anyone up on Medicaid?

Does it cover Viagra?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 7:38 AM
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If the Carpenters' music has aged well, it is almost certainly solely due to the tribute album.

I dunno, if there are Elvis people and Beatles people, then I am so much a Beatles person, it's not even funny. But, while I've listened to Elvis my whole life, I would maintain that Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and Little Richard are far more interesting. With the Beatles, there's something for everyone, but I like some of the other British Invasion bands better, and I don't think they pushed the envelope as far as they could have in the psychedelic years.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 7:40 AM
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Perhaps Stanley can give us a professional opinion.

I was pretty sure I couldn't name a Carpenters song off the top of my head, which a quick scan of the Wiki article confirms. I recognize only the names of the (apparently famous) covers they did.

The huge gaps in my music knowledge: let me show you them.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 7:43 AM
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17: I still have a warm spot for "Another One Rides the Bus". You know, from back before he sold out.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 7:43 AM
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Also, it is still apparently big news in the Spanish-language gossip press that Ricky Martin is gay. Talk about a story having legs! I can't imagine there was anyone, even straight people, under 50 who was actually shocked by his coming out this year. Weird.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 7:44 AM
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30 Well go search Karen Carpenter and drumming on YouTube , listen to a couple of the clips and get back to us. Jeesus, kids today, don't even know how to do research.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 7:45 AM
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The South Park guys are my main piece of evidence in an important theory I have about the Republican coalition, namely, that libertarians can be screamingly funny but Christian conservatives are incapable of even the slightest joke. I think this is a big cultural divide whose importance is underestimated.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 7:46 AM
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5: "Sing" was written for Sesame Street by Joe Raposo, who wrote a lot of their great songs and sketches in the 70s. The first, definitive version was sung by Big Bird. The Carpenters version is a lame knock off.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 7:49 AM
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In life and especially in death Karen Carpenter was the anti-Elvis. Discuss.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 7:51 AM
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Joe Raposo. Fun fact from wikipedia.

Raposo's sonic trademark was his seemingly obsessive, and often exhaustively authentic, live replication of the tonal quality and exact playback cadence of the 20th-century self-operating player piano when composing for and performing on a grand, baby grand or upright piano. He appears to have specifically tuned his Children's Television Workshop pianos not only to blatantly mimic the player piano in its antique tonality, but to achieve and then maintain what became a signature ragtime tack or "saloon" piano sound by them.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 7:57 AM
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30 -- OK, it's true that both Close to You and We've Only Just Begun were covers, but they made those songs.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 7:57 AM
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actually, I rather like unfogged.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:09 AM
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libertarians can be screamingly funny

"Laughing at" rather than "laughing with" a lot of the time. South Park is at its least funny when it gets preachy - the coffee shop plot in "Underpants Gnomes" and the hate-speech plot passim.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:14 AM
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My favorite is when they launched the whale to the moon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:16 AM
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That Elvis Presley recorded and had a hit with a song like "In the Ghetto" seems to be to reveal the cultural ascendancy of a certain kind of bleeding-heart liberalism. Another indicator of this was the All in the Family episode in which the audience was encouraged to empathize with the black men from the ghetto that were robbing the Bunker home.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:17 AM
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Yes, and the the thing they love to laugh at most is caring about something. To South Park Republicans, apparently, giving a shit is risible on its face. The show kind of skeeves me, even when it's funny.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:17 AM
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I think there was a big shift in their politics sometime in the year or so after the movie came out. In their Bowling for Columbine interview, Parker and Stone actually seem like pretty sympathetic misfits. The kinda guys it would be fun to have a beer with, and they'd only say something really dickish once in 3 hours. I don't know what the precipitating event was, but somehow they descended into this whole pose of "everything in Hollywood is disgusting, including the liberalism"/"we're not racists, we hate everyone equally". Perhaps it was the result of focus groups they did for the film?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:24 AM
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It troubles me that the South Park movie is Veronica Mars's favorite.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:39 AM
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I still haven't figured out quite why, but I've never really found SP that funny, even putting aside the libertarianism. What Oudemia says rings true. Also, I just feel like they pick easy targets for humor and go after them in easy ways. The whole show just gives off a "humor of the oppressor" vibe, to me.

But I've been known to find, e.g., Howard Stern and Will Ferrell very funny, so I don't really know why SP doesn't work for me.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:41 AM
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The South Park movie's pretty good. It also predates the great Wave of Francophobia that swept across the US. They'd never call a heroic guerrilla group "La Resistance" now.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:42 AM
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It troubles me that the South Park movie is Veronica Mars's favorite.

What?! I've either missed this fact or not yet encountered it, but I've decided to pretend I didn't just read it.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:47 AM
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In the pilot, dude. Keith Mars: "Family fun night! I called out to Mama Leone's. I rented the South Park movie." VM: "My favorite."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:51 AM
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Sometimes I forget that my wife and I used to watch and enjoy South Park and had a blast at the movie. For years and years now, it's been a show we avoid at all costs.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:54 AM
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They're still at their best when they get strange and surreal and horrible. "Imaginationland" and "Scott Tenorman" and "Woodland Critters", for example. But there's a lot of eps these days that rely on the audience being terribly familiar with US daytime television.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:59 AM
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I thought the movie was funny, but generally can't stand the show.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 9:01 AM
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The movie was around the time that South Park went from being a good show to being a good show to being stupid and boring. The whole Satan/Saddam Hussein subplot was particularly dumb.

And that movie came out in 1999, which means South Park has sucked for 11 years.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 9:20 AM
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I talk about the Chebacca defense every semester in almost all my courses, and I generally show the clip.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 9:40 AM
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In China, Elvis is the King of Cats.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 9:45 AM
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SP was terrific for a while, but they've been phoning it in for many years now.


Posted by: cleek | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 11:44 AM
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Two people I know who are really srs about music theater tell me the South Park movie is a great musical. I just...I'm too mortified by scatological humor to have ever gotten into the show. Plus yeah the politics. Life's too short. There's other funny stuff to watch.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:00 PM
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Speaking of, uh, famous people, apparently Eva Longoria just filed for divorce. She's trying to send me a signal, right?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:02 PM
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too mortified by scatological humor

And yet you keep coming here.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:03 PM
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57: I think they got an Oscar nomination for, "Blame Canada."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:03 PM
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58: Yes. You're free to hook up with Tony Parker now.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:04 PM
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59: He comes for the giggles not the shits, maybe?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:04 PM
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She should get together with Evan Longoria, just because.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:04 PM
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That was a goddamn funny movie. I haven't watched the show in years, but when I've occasionally tuned in it still seemed pretty funny.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:05 PM
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61: *Swoon*


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:06 PM
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I'm too mortified by scatological humor

This place has changed. Who took my cane?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:09 PM
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64: It is, in small doses. At least mostly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:09 PM
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Hey I'm fine with cock jokes. And mortified is probably too strong a word. Just...I can never see why it's funny to anyone who isn't five years old. Except no, I find it really embarrassing. Never mind. I realize this is my own quirk, and do not begrudge anyone their f**t jokes. (See? I can't even type it.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:12 PM
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If the episode features Butters, it is likely to be good.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:15 PM
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Fart, fart, fart, fart, fart, fart, fart, fart, fart.

Poopy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:15 PM
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Smearcase is Ogged?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:19 PM
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70: Is this supposed to be like the scene in The Manchurian Candidate where Angela Lansbury shows Laurence Harvey a deck of fifty-two Queens of Hearts and overloads his circuits?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:19 PM
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No more playing solitaire to Bo Didley.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:20 PM
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Obligatory archives.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:21 PM
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That would be swell if I were Ogged. Everyone would talk frequently about how much they missed me.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:24 PM
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Thread convergence! Top thread is about"Natural Gas" and here we are discussing fart jokes! Magic!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:31 PM
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I recognize only the names of the (apparently famous) covers they did.

You don't know "Close to You"? It's like you're not a fan of The Simpsons or something.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:31 PM
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where Angela Lansbury shows Laurence Harvey a deck of fifty-two Queens of Hearts and overloads his circuits?

I thought it was Sinatra who did this.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:41 PM
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Anything Sinatra can do, Angela Lansbury can do better.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:42 PM
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You don't know "Close to You"?

Oh, wait, that's them? I *do* know a Carpenters song, in that case. And it was stuck in my head randomly just the other day.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 12:51 PM
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80: I thought you had disregarded that song since the Carpenters version is (although by far the best-known) technically a cover.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 1:00 PM
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You know what movie sucks? The remake of The Manchurian Candidate. You know what other movie sucks? The remake of Charade, The Truth About Charlie. You know which two movies were directed by Jonathan Demme?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 1:03 PM
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I haven't see the other one, but the remake of "The Manchurian Candidate" does suck and, if you consider the quality of the cast, it double sucks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 1:08 PM
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The Truth About Charlie has Mark Wahlberg in the Cary Grant part.*

* And the otherwise-very-nice Thandie Newton in the Audrey Hepburn part.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 1:13 PM
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It troubles me that the South Park movie is Veronica Mars's favorite.

It's pretty clear from the show as a whole, if perhaps not the pilot, that Lebowski is her favourite movie. As it should be.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 1:20 PM
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Elvis wrote about as many of his songs as Karen Carpenter wrote of hers.

South Park is funny in inverse proportion to how political it is. The Buck Rogers parody episodes a few years back were incredibly funny. (Cartman can't bear to wait three whole week for the Wii to come out, so he has himself frozen. He wakes up in the distant future.) The one about how people with red hair have no souls is also funny.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 2:32 PM
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I second what ajay said about Scott Tenorman. Also: the one with the stem-cells, and Kenny 'really' dying, and Cartman leading the US Congress in an impromptu performance of 'Heat of the Moment' -- that was brilliant. I seem to recall doing my impression of Cartman's cover while being driven back to some Stanford grad student's place to crash after the admitted-students soiree at one professor's particularly sumptuous hillside abode. This was the same party where I walked into a glass door--right in front of the host's wife. I'm sure they were all relieved when I ended up not going there...


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 2:48 PM
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Oh yeah, aren't there references to Lebowski in "Donut Run"?* Also yes, probably Sinatra. That makes more sense.

*aka My Favorite Episode


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 7:53 PM
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So, movie-wise, Human Centipede wasn't very good. We did flip to a Hunter S. Thompson documentary afterward that was okay. I hadn't ever heard of Where the Buffalo Roam, which I report in my ongoing series of recently noted cultural blindspots.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:00 PM
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82, 83: But the remake is completely different from the original. The original Manchurian Candidate is like a Glenn Beck book re-written by Liberace. It's completely nonsensical -- a bizarre farrago that could only have been made and taken at all seriously at the exact time and place that it was. The remake is not a good movie, but it doesn't aspire to be. It's a Tom Clancy book re-written by Yggles. It never breaks through its inherent mediocrity to blossom into the kind of Springtime For Hitler-esque camp extravaganza that the original is.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:01 PM
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The remake is not a good movie, but it doesn't aspire to be.

If they'd have put that on the poster, I could have saved $16 or whatever it was back then.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:08 PM
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Did the Carpenters write any of their own songs? I thought everything they sang was written by Bert Bacharach. (Why do birds fall down from the sky/ every time you walk by?)


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:10 PM
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I hadn't ever heard of Where the Buffalo Roam

My fondness for that movie is probably proof that I am inordinately forgiving of self-indulgent performers like Bill Murray and Hunter S Thompson.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:13 PM
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I am inordinately forgiving of self-indulgent performers

And that's who least needs forgiving.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:19 PM
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92: "Goodbye to Love" was co-written by Richard. The song an interesting story (title was of a song mentioned but never played in an old Bing Crosby movie) and good Tony Peluso guitar work (middle and end--best guitar solo in a crappy song?).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:22 PM
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Whoa. Karen Carpenter had some serious chops. Respect.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:24 PM
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Thing I just learned, it is "Carpenters" , sans "The" Talking Heads style.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:26 PM
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96: Gosh, how did you ever find that?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:28 PM
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99: Gosh. Yes. You busted me. I did what you told me to do, DAD.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:30 PM
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Er, pretend one of those 99s says "98".

/Kobe


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:31 PM
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Stanley is his own father!


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:33 PM
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I contain multitudes.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:34 PM
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The fact that that "Shadow Scholar" article has been linked now in 3? different threads leads me to believe that the author ghost comments here for three different pseudonyms.

You know what? I bet he didn't even write that article himself. Cheater.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:35 PM
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And of course my employee just posted that in the wrong thread.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:36 PM
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Stanley is his own father!

And mother, and sister, and brother. And he's had sex with all of them. Stanley is Daniel Eakins!


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:38 PM
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105: No, putting the clues together, Stanley is Rick Allen.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:39 PM
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106: Made me smirk a lot. Nice.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 8:46 PM
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Interesting! And I had heard of David Gerrold for the first time yesterday. After being reminded of the massively unsuccessful movie "Martian Child", and seeing that it was based on a popular novella, and then pondering why on earth you would take something entitled "The Martian Child" and change the title to "Martian Child", as if it was a cinema verite documentary.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-17-10 9:52 PM
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But the remake is completely different from the original. The original Manchurian Candidate is like a Glenn Beck book re-written by Liberace. It's completely nonsensical -- a bizarre farrago that could only have been made and taken at all seriously at the exact time and place that it was. The remake is not a good movie, but it doesn't aspire to be. It's a Tom Clancy book re-written by Yggles.

I haven't seen the remake, but: Natilo, if you're talking about the original film here, I agree that it is pretty weird, but you are missing out on the true Mississippi Canyon 252 gushing mile-deep offshore well blowout of crazy that is the original book. They toned it down a lot for the film.

Tom Clancy, I would say, is much-maligned. No one else could manage to write a technothriller about how stupid, pointless and destructive the War on Drugs is as a concept, compared to decent, by-the-book law enforcement, and make it the best selling book of the entire 1980s.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 2:25 AM
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I love the original (and yes, completely batshit) Manchurian Candidate. I mean, Frank Sinatra trying to light that cigarette on the train? Come on!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 4:07 AM
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108: I should look this up before misinforming you, but I think the book is maybe a lightly fictionalized memoir of his becoming a single dad through the adoption of an older child with special needs at a time when that was quite unique.

I shoukd really read the book, because the movie makes it seem like a kid with Reactive Attachment Disorder (or something; hard to tell) is healed once he realizes his new dad believes in him and won't give up. I'll bet the book has more of the implications of himself as SF writer trying to understand an "alien" mentality.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 5:49 AM
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Please, I'm begging. Somebody be my friend.


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 6:14 AM
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109
Tom Clancy, I would say, is much-maligned. No one else could manage to write a technothriller about how stupid, pointless and destructive the War on Drugs is as a concept, compared to decent, by-the-book law enforcement, and make it the best selling book of the entire 1980s.

What book are you talking about here? I've never read any Tom Clancy, but I didn't know he wrote anything like that. (I guess I could Google it and have a good chance of finding out, but (a) I'm lazy and (b) I would expect to recognize it by that description and if I don't then I want to know why.)

That Clancy is a skilled writer who happens to be a sell-out and/or a horrible person, I can totally believe. It just doesn't make me any more interested in reading his work.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 6:24 AM
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113: Clear and Present Danger.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 6:33 AM
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114: correct. I actually read this book in detail while sitting in a small box somewhere, so I can speak from some degree of authority. The book has a great deal of gee-whiz technology and military fetishism, but the bad guys are, inter alia, the stupid and weak-minded US government officials - up to and including the unnamed but Reaganesque President - who make the decision to wage an illegal war on drugs (with lots of unnervingly Bushian speeches) and get a lot of troops killed in Colombia while achieving pretty much nothing. Meanwhile, just doing things like following drug money and shutting down money-launderers - all entirely within the law - is tremendously successful. And this is all pointed out explicitly by sympathetic characters in the book - it's not like this is some weird reading of the text that I've come up with for fun. (Not like "Red Dawn is really a pro-Sandinista allegory", which I admit I didn't mean entirely seriously.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 6:43 AM
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115: Yeah, I would agree pretty much Without Remorse with your reading. Hehe.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 6:47 AM
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I read that book a goddamned lot of times for some reason. Anyhow, I always figured it was Clancy grousing about the end of the cold war and how now men would no longer be men and his war-gaming wouldn't get his dick quite as hard. (Red Storm Rising was based on a particularly epic RPG session.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 6:48 AM
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117: er, Clear and Present Danger was written in 1989.

116: I have actually read Without Remorse too. It was horrible. It's like it was written by someone who'd had their moral sense completely removed.

Early Clancy, unsubtle though it is, has its good points. Even Red Storm Rising is good in parts. If you strip out everything that doesn't involve submarines you're left with a very bleak and cold little short story about war and loss.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 6:54 AM
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118.1: right.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 7:04 AM
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Somehow it's not surprising that our friend Pauly Shore is a South Park fan. They just love to puncture the sacred cows of political correctness!


Posted by: Cryptic ne | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 7:27 AM
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110: I love The Manchurian Candidate, too. Have you ever figured out the dialog in the "Are you Arabic?" scene right after the failed cigarette lighting?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:46 AM
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121: according to this
http://richeyrich.wordpress.com/movie-reviews/the-manchurian-candidate-a-photo-study/

it's just because in the book Rosie is described as looking a bit Arabic, and they lifted the dialogue complete from the book, even though it was being spoken by Janet Leigh.

The rest of it can be interpreted as a bright, quirky girl trying to get some sort of reaction - even just a bit of eye contact - out of Shaw by saying offbeat things.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:02 AM
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118.2 agreed.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:50 AM
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