Krangbang

Shredder!  You lured me from Dimension X

With the promise of conquest and hot Foot Clan sex

Now my Technodrome’s home is in Earth’s molten magma,

And those turtles stay triumphant while I still haven’t shagged a

Single purple robo-ninja, shit, I’m still just a brain!

I wanna get mindfucked, but all you do is complain

Cause you can’t get your turtle soup, and the fights you always lose,

While I sit around here waiting for the secret of your ooze.

 

Shredder!  Build me a body so you can bone it!

I wanna unzip your fly like it was Baxter Stockman

And then I’ll make you crumble like you were one of my rock men

I’ll keep your cock Rocksteady while I Bebop your balls

And gnaw like Rat King on your fat thing in the Technodrome halls

I’ll give you schizophrenia like it was VD

Then we can teabag the Neutrinos and drop deuce on Usagi

So go ninja go ninja go!  Respect what I’m sayin’

Cause you ain’t Tatsu, bitch, and I ain’t goin’ or playin’.

 

Shredder!  Build me a body so you can bone it!

Now is the Splinter of my discontent!

Yeah, I wanted a body, but this is where you went?

Great, you can finally can open my can

But it’s attached to a tubby rubber bald eunuch man!

I’m a galactic fucking warlord, no one’s running because

You dressed me like a go-go dancing punker from Zardoz!

So stop the stomach skullfucking and give me some dread

Or I will toss your fucking salad with the fork on my head

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Bizarro Masterpiece Theatre: Beavis and Butt-Head, Vol. 4

 

That Mike Judge has returned to where his bread was first buttered and resurrected Beavis and Butt-Head to self-satirize yet another MTV generation is cause for celebration.  This collection of the show’s first revival season shows that this isn’t a mere retro-humping cash grab; in fact, Judge’s years of work on the more straight-laced King of the Hill has clearly made him a better storyteller, and the evidence is that these new stories of his bastard boys are some of the best Beavis and Butt-Head tales to date.  Beavis and Butt-Head are the same chuckling, hopeless white trash they’ve always been, and their misadventures are no less pointless or destructive as before, but now there’s definitely a much smarter sense of comedic timing in their antics.

Watching Beavis spaz out into his caffeinated alter ego Cornholio and become a cult’s messiah may feel sort of inevitable, but the twist in which he gets bored and unknowingly sets his loser friend Stewart up for hot culty group sex is kind of a nice payoff.  Showing Beavis and Butt-Head as unwitting pawns of the Intelligent Design and anti-Planned Parenthood movements makes for some bizarrely pointed social commentary.  (In the latter, the pair take a Jesus fundie’s assertion that a women’s health clinic is a whorehouse seriously and enthusiastically, with delightfully painful results.)  The episode in which Beavis and Butt-Head confuse a field trip to an old timey tourist village with time travel results in some hilariously dim-witted attempts at causing time paradox.

Yet the best episodes are the same now as before, featuring the idiots rambling around town with no agenda, warping their environments with their askew worldviews.  Nothing in this collection was so delightful as the episode in which Beavis and Butt-Head reacting to a supposed apocalypse by raiding a 7-11, or the one when they simply wandered around the mall like gleeful teenage perverts, or Butt-Head making fun of Beavis for the rest of their lives because an onion made him cry.

If there is a problem with the revival of Beavis and Butt-Head, it’s that everyone is now in on the joke.  Like the metal bands they revere, age has made these two moron savants respectable.  Where once Beavis’ wide-eyed pyromania had to be hushed and up due to a kid supposedly self-immolating in imitation, and the pair’s destructive tendencies had to be preceded by a Don’t Do This At Home disclaimer, our twitchy friends are once more given free reign to smash shit and shout that fire is cool.  (Beavis also makes a few references to being molested, which comes off as disturbingly comedic.)  And today, I doubt that anyone howls that Beavis and Butt-Head is poisoning the youth of America.  People have finally caught on that the show is at its core Looney Tunes in human form, giving it an aura of benign slapstick.

Where this becomes a problem is when Beavis and Butt-Head know they’re cool.  Despite being from a time when MTV had total control over youth pop culture, the old series wasn’t big on name-dropping pop culture to prove its cred.  Instead, they cheered for the awesome videos and verbally mauled everything that didn’t pass their standards of cool.  As such, the show became something of a musical tastemaker in its own right.

Today’s Beavis and Butt-Head are much more with the times and behind the curve.  They riff on Twilight.  They reference Grand Theft Auto.  They know the entire cast of Sex and the City.  (Sure, that knowledge is only used to suggest a mash-up sequel to Sex and the City and The Human Centipede, but still).  Worst of all, they watch a lot of Jersey Shore.

A few blessed music videos show up for Mystery Science Theater-style mockery in Volume 4, but far more often, the modern Beavis and Butt-Head watch a lot of shitty MTV shows.  I know that between the old series and now, MTV all but killed off music videos ‒ which, by the way, isn’t to say that the art form no longer exists ‒ but having Beavis and Butt-head instead make fun of MTV’s post-video programming isn’t an adequate replacement.  No matter how fine the ridicule, it’s not biting or edgy.  It’s redundant advertisement.

Furthermore, flooding this show with clips from those shows ‒ even if it’s to burn them with some pretty genius wit ‒ makes this show secondary to those ones.  The fifth time I heard Beavis and Butt-Head refer to The Jersey Shore’s “Smoosh room,” I began to wonder if I was watching a commercial for those guidos, juiceheads, and gorillas, if the true goal of reviving Beavis and Butt-Head was merely to raise the profile of all of MTV’s other shit.

I watch the old series for the video mockery first and the cartoon episodes second, and in the new series my preferences are somewhat reversed.  Nonetheless, the new series is a much more clever, focused, and polished animal than its wild beast predecessor.  Take that for what it’s worth to you, but there is a great humor in noting that a show once hailed as a sign of pop culture’s apocalypse is now one of pop culture’s best shows.

 

The Designer’s Drugs: Chuck Palahniuk – Damned

 

Medium: Literature

Stimulus: Chuch Palahniuk ‒ Damned

 

 

In Chuck Palahniuk’s new world, Hell is Hollywood.  Hell is also Hell, full of the typical wailing, gnashing teeth, and rising lakes of wasted jizz that serve as Hell’s equivalent of global warming.  But if we’re stacking up the hierarchy of the awful, consider this ‒ even Palahniuk’s Satan has a script he’s trying to sell.

Damned promotes itself as The Breakfast Club in Hell, and if Madison, its pudgy, oft-neglected hero, resembles any member of that Saturday morning detention crowd, it’s the Ally Sheedy neurotic girl.  (In discussing that 80s film classic, our girl notes that she howls with terror when the popular cheerleader gives said outcast a condescending makeover.)  Madison’s quite a bit more than that dark, mousy type, however.  In true Palahniuk fashion, this preteen is quick to assert that she knows middle of the road words like gender, excrement, tenacious, and feign ‒ yet in casual moments she nonchalantly drops bigger words and phrases like colonoscopies, biological imperatives, vivandiers, and coals-to-Newcastle.  I have no idea what that last phrase even means.

This newly lost soul spent life as an unloved prop to her vapid Hollywood parents, the sort of people who adopt kids from around the world shortly before shipping them off to boarding school, the sort of people who fly their kids via private jet to ecology retreats.  I get the impression that there’s a healthy portion of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in these absurdly cosmopolitan celebrity caricatures.

After dying from a marijuana overdose, Madison meets up with the requisite Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, and Judd Nelson characters, and this infernal Breakfast Club goes traipsing around the hoary netherworld in search of misadventure.  As time goes by, Madison gets kind of awesome.  She preaches the joys of damnation in her telemarketing job, beats up Hitler in grand, hilarious style, and goes on a spew-soaked revenge haunting.

The last book of Chuck’s that I picked up before this one was Snuff, whose porno gangbang setting was the most obvious and inevitable thing an author inclined toward burying his readers in freakshows and trivia could have produced.  That book was so over the top as to become really, really boring.  In contrast, Damned is kind of delightful.  Perhaps the choice of setting absorbs some of that stereotypical shock.  Sure, Palahniuk’s paintbrush colors up a pretty disturbing landscape of the inferno, but it’s Hell, so that’s kind of expected.  With the need to shock sort of canceled out, the story ends up relying on wit and characterization, and Palahniuk, perhaps having no choice, ended up writing a book combining the scope and cleverness of Robert Olen Butler’s Hell with the innocent charm of Judy Blume, right down to beginning each chapter with “Are you there, Satan?  It’s me, Madison.”  Damned seems to be a reworking ‒ if not total subversion ‒ of Chuck Palahniuk’s established formula, and as such, it made me a fan again.

 

Death of Conservative Pundit Andrew Breitbart Convinces Liberals that There Is a God

 

Yesterday, churches of all denominations across the country saw a stunning rise in attendance of church services.  The new parishioners were hundreds of thousands of left-wing Americans, some of whom had never set foot in a church before.  When asked why they were attending the church services, these new members of their congregations replied, almost to a person, that the death of right wing pundit Andrew Breitbart had convinced them that there was a God who loved us all.

Breitbart, often characterized as the right wing’s political assassin, has spent the last few years serving as one of the greatest thorns in the side of the liberal viewpoint.  One of his last marks was New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, whose sexting scandal, exposed in grandstanding style by Breitbart, caused him to resign.  Such was the ire he drew from American liberals that, upon his sudden death at the relatively young age of 43, his detractors immediately declared his demise to be an act of God.

John Franklin, a small business owner from Spokane, Washington, displayed a typical attitude among these new converts.  “Holy crap!  I thought we were gonna have that bastard around for at least another 20 years!  I wasn’t sure that God existed until he smote that son of a bitch to smithereens.  Now I’m a believer!”

Kyra Archer works for Planned Parenthood in Omaha, Nebraska.  As such, she has had a number of run-ins with religious authorities.  Despite this, she chose to attend a local church service in order to pay her respects.

“You know, God’s a patriarchal, close-minded, jingoistic tyrant,” Archer said.  “But he really did us a solid on this one.  I just stopped by to tell God thanks ‒ thanks for scraping that pompous, hateful human sewage off the face of the earth.”

It’s not only the Christian faiths that saw a surge in numbers.  Salim al-Ameen is one of thousands of lapsed American Muslims who attended mosque services in the wake of Breitbart’s death.  al-Ameen broke with his religion after coming out as a gay man in his teenage years, yet yesterday he attended a mosque in his hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in celebration.  There, he found no issue with his well-known homosexuality, the communal jubilation over Breitbart’s demise washing away all other distinctions.

“The prick is dead!” al-Ameen cheered after prayer.  “Allah frickin’ rules, baby!”

Buddhist temples reported no new conversions on Thursday, as Buddhism does not have a god who could take personal interest in Andrew Breitbart’s downfall.  Conversely, liberal American Hindus weren’t sure whom within their expansive pantheon to thank for the death of Breitbart.

Neopagans of many different stripes held celebrations in American forests and public parks to give thanks to their myriad gods and goddesses, yet these conclaves reported few new members.  The Venerable Bear Mule Moon, head of the Pan-American Association of Pan Worshippers and Panhandlers, explained the Neopagans’ failure to capitalize on Breitbart’s death as being due to their gatherings being held in secret, their only neighbors being errant Frisbee Golfers.

“Man, we really need to start having these things in community centers,” he said.

As a response to these mass conversions, the Catholic Church has been said to be quietly looking into having God take out right wing hidden camera con artist James O’Keefe as a means to restore its prestige in America.  An anonymous source within the Boston Archdiocese has also suggested that the church is exploring the option of having God take out “certain members of Fox News,” though the source refused to name names.

When asked about this rumor of God being used as a political assassin, Archer responded with strange aplomb.  “Hell, if God bumps off everyone at Fox News, I’ll start protesting Planned Parenthood myself!”