Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Friday Buzzkills: Sell! Sell!

Hey, it's the weekend! Time to kick back and relax and stop worrying so much about all those dumb things you can't control or even begin to understand–you know, like money! This week everybody was all like, "Blah blah blah market collapse yadda yadda worst financial crisis in decades bankruptcy bailout buyout layoffs crippling foreclosure hey where'd my pension go?" KnowhutI'msayin'? But come on, man! Now that it's the weekend it's all, like, whatever dude! I mean, you've got money, right? So, you know, fuck it! Why waste time worrying about stuff that's all, like, totally imaginary anyway? And besides, everyone knows if you're going to play the market, you have to take a bath once in a while. (Metaphorically speaking…We think. The sum total of our knowledge of the stock market is limited to what we gleaned from watching Trading Places.) But, if you simply must invest, why not buy shares in a stock that will only ever see rising dividends–namely those bullish blue chips of human misery known as Friday Buzzkills? Your future is safe with us!

- With the market in a state of dizzying, brother-can-you-spare-a-bailout? flux, it's reassuring to read about those who have managed to weather the storm by adhering to all those fundamentally sound business principles we've been hearing about. Take Internet retailer Mr. Costumes, which proudly announced via this totally tactful press release yesterday that they're doing booming business, thanks to The Dark Knight–and oh yeah, the exploitation of a certain dead actor. Cha-ching!

Following the success of the megahit Warner Bros. film, The Dark Knight, and the tragic death of actor Heath Ledger who portrayed the Joker in the movie, demand for adult-size Joker disguises on the Mr. Costumes website has skyrocketed. The popularity of the movie and the cultural effect of Ledger's death have propelled seasonal demand for the villain costume while effectively boosting the sales revenues and overall popularity of MrCostumes.com, an emerging player in the Halloween Costumes market.


Yeeeeah! What up, player? You know, most of us were trying to ignore the morbid subtext of millions of dudes (and a few sexually confused dudettes) dressing up like a recently deceased film star, but we get it. You're just trying to find the silver lining here. Way to take a sad song and make it better! If only Ed Norton would off himself, maybe you could unload some of these craptastic Incredible Hulks.

Illustration for article titled Friday Buzzkills: Sell! Sell!

- By the way, if you're still trying to decide on your own Halloween costume (and ladies, as much as we'd love to see armies of kittenish librarians with machine guns, not everybody can be Sarah Palin), here's a leftfield suggestion: Beverly Hills Ninja. "You mean Chris Farley's critical and commercial bomb that managed to make his collaborations with David Spade look like the Marx Brothers in comparison? But that movie hasn't been culturally relevant–even as a punchline–in over a decade!" Au contraire, hypothetical (and kinda out-of-touch… The Marx Brothers? Really? We're surprised you know how to operate a computer) dissenting voice! You'd actually be ahead of the curve on this one, what with the recent announcement that Beverly Hills Ninja 2 has been greenlit as the first mainstream Hollywood film to shoot in South Korea. (Hey, thanks for all those Hyundais and Kias and for aiding in our diplomatic relations with North Korea, guys! Here's… this!) Of course, without Farley's patented "fatty-go-boom" comedy styling to anchor it, Ninja 2 is a sequel in name only–and judging by David Hasselhoff coming aboard to drain the last of his lingering ironic cachet, it's probably going to be a painfully self-aware one. Perhaps that would explain the plotline, which focuses on an orphaned ninja wannabe who gets caught up in a "crime in Hollywood." Meta much?

- Speaking of sequels nobody asked for–as well as crass opportunism–Sex And The City author Candace Bushnell recently looked up from crafting her latest pun-filled empowerment fantasy (working title: The Powerful And Also Pretty Businessladies Who Did Important Businesslady Things, Then Let Their Hair Down And Slipped Into Some Fabulous Animal-Print Shoes And Had Some Totes Fun Girl Talk About All The Tiny-Penis-Having Men Who Can't Commit And The City) and noticed that Gossip Girl had stolen all of her thunder with teenagers, most of whom probably relate to Bushnell's characters about as much as they want to get "sexified" by New Kids On The Block. Sure, graceful retirement could be the answer–as would (gasp!) allowing her craft to mature beyond the literary equivalent of a little girl smearing on lipstick and prancing around in Mom's heels–but why do that when you can just pitch Sex In The City: The High School Years and call it a day? And indeed, Bushnell recently announced plans to craft The Carrie Diaries, a series of books about SATC's Carrie Bradshaw navigating the various pitfalls of adolescence to be targeted at pre-teens–because it's never too early to start embracing materialism as a way of shoring up low self-esteem, foregoing creating your own identity to neurotically obsess over boys, and formulating shallow ideas about living in New York.

- Then again, it's not as though kids are suffering from a dearth of toxic role models to help them keep their standards low yet their ambitions outlandishly high. Take MTV, which these days plays the part of one of those enabling, undermining friends who tells you can be famous and act as spoiled as you want because you're totally hot and stuff, then calls you a "skank" behind your back while blast-emailing that phone-cam video they surreptitiously shot when you passed out and your panties were showing. Of course, most of the time MTV specializes self-destruction, which is both mostly harmless and hilarious. But it takes a truly once-in-a-lifetime show like Real World/Road Rules Challenge to internalize that sort of Absolut masochism© and turn it into an environmental disaster. The new season finds the usual batch of hysteria-and-herpes-prone co-eds hunting for treasure on a small island in the Republic of Panama–an idyllic setting for making great reality television once you hire a group of policemen to keep the locals out, string up a few dozen generators, and raze a large plot of rainforest so you can install a tiki hut where castmates can hook up and barf on each other. According to reports from nearby residents, MTV left the formerly unspoiled beach "ravaged," with one local witness saying in a statement, "I have seen the aftermath of a tornado and this was almost as bad." Well yeah, but did the tornado have a bunch of screaming shirtless dudes? (Ok, maybe it did… But we bet they weren't nearly as ripped!)

- But hey, we're talking about Panama here–it's just an isthmus, the pussiest landmass in all of geography! What the fuck are they gonna do about it? Not let us use their canal? (Confidential to Panama: Please let us use your canal.) If they really want to send a message about poisonous Western culture maybe they should grow a pair–like the "prominent Saudi Islamic cleric" who recently issued a fatwa against Mickey Mouse. According to a report in Israeli Today:

Sheikh Mohammed Al-Munajid told Saudi Arabia's Al-Majd Television that his beef with Mickey is that he is a mouse, a creature that Islam sees as "repulsive and corrupting."

Al-Munajid explained that Islamic law refers to the mouse as "little corrupter" and a creature that is "steered by Satan," and grants permission to all Muslims to "kill [mice] in all cases."

Therefore, according to Islamic law, insisted the sheikh, "Mickey Mouse should be killed."

Yeah, good luck with that Sheikh; law students and smartass artists have been trying to do that for years. Anyway, can it be mere coincidence that this story leaked at the same time as this nebulous announcement from Disney that they are hoping to replicate the success of Pirates Of The Caribbean and the "success" of The Haunted Mansion and The Country Bears by turning yet another portion of its theme park into a film franchise by casting Dwayne "Please Stop Calling Me The Rock" Johnson in a scintillating project known only as Movie That Is Not Officially Based On Tomorrowland But With Which Tomorrowland Is Nevertheless Always To Be Mentioned In The Same Breath? Taking great pains to explain that evolving the concept was not, as you might assume, as simple as walking some poor screenwriter over to Space Mountain and saying, "Hop to it, wonder boy. We start shooting in six weeks," the studio pointed out that "the nascent project is an original script." While no plot details have been released (most likely because they don't actually exist yet), we think this recent confluence of events makes for a story that practically writes itself. Picture it: Islamic terrorists invade Tomorrowland to wipe out that infidel Mickey Mouse; Johnson plays the steely-eyed, suspiciously muscular monorail operator with a secret, sexy past. When all hell breaks loose, only Johnson can save the day by leading them in a low-speed chase on Autopia that ends in Innoventions, where the terrorists are so bowled over by AT&T; Microsoft technology that they renounce Islam and embrace American consumerism. Cut to credits, perhaps scored with a Gym Class Heroes' update of "There's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow." We'll be waiting for our check.

- Capping off a week that began mired in dispiriting, gone-too-soon death, yesterday we were given the sad news that Willy Graves, former bassist for now-defunct noise-punks The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower, has passed away. The band issued this statement:

Willy brought so much to our band artistically, aesthetically, and in terms of general morale. When the going got tough (and believe me, things would get fucking rough), we could always count on Willy to be the eternal optimist. Whether we were getting beat up in Salt Lake City, having our tires slashed in Baltimore, or getting pint glasses heaved at us in Wellington, NZ, we could always count on Willy to crack a joke or act silly to distract us from the lows. Same goes for all the highs we experienced together. All the amazing shows we got to play, amazing places we got to see, and amazing friends we got to meet; Willy lived all these things 100%. I've never seen him happier than when we raising hell in some foreign country. We discovered so many things together, went through so many things together - it's unbelievable that he is gone so young. He had a lot more love, humor and art to give the world. This is everybody's loss. Please keep him in your hearts and remember him for the son, brother, musician and friend that he was.


Here's the band in happier, louder times.

Have a super weekend!

[Friday Buzzkills will return October 3.]