Thursday, April 17, 2014

How To Be Laid Off By Your Landlord


It's bad enough that one day in December 2012, I got a phone call from the radio station where I worked for more than ten years, saying that I've been laid off, effective immediately. I wasn't even allowed to go back to get my stuff. I had to call someone to help me get back my Jimmy Kimmel Live cup.

It's even worse that I have been trying for nearly 18 months to get a new job, and have failed at every turn...probably because I'm too old or have too much real job experience to dump me at a fast-food job.

Now, I get a notice from my landlord that I have to leave my apartment within 60 days, because he can.
I got a "termination of tenancy", saying I have to move out within 60 days. I asked the project manager why I had to go. She would only tell me that since I have a month-to-month lease, I can be evicted with 60 days notice.
If I still had a job, I would be upset. I would be scrambling to find a new place.
However, I am unemployed, and at the edge of homelessness. Thus, it would be pointless to fight the termination notice. I would be evicted anyway because I'll soon run out of money.

Oh, and I did ask if they can send me to another apartment within the number of complexes the company owns. The manager said she could not. It's best for me to leave.

So, after living at my apartment for eight years, being the perfect tenant, paying my bill at the first of the month, I am being told to get lost. Just like that.

Now, anything can still happen between now and June 15th, but I don't see how. Trying to reclaim my life, without any help from anyone, has been difficult. I still haven't succeeded because the world doesn't care. It's treating me as if I failed by not being Steve Jobs or some executive. It looks at me with suspicion. How come I don't have a job, or even try? Even if I am trying, how come I haven't gotten a job? Am I just like a drug addict? Those worthless piles of humanity sleeping in the streets?

Because I have to leave within 60 days, that means no buying new furniture, or clothes, or DVDs or groceries. I have to think about what I have to donate to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. I have to figure out how to store my essentials while I move to my new home under the Highway 50 overpass.

I will be 55 in a couple of months. I haven't had a birthday party in nearly 40 yrs. I want to get some appreciation for reaching 55, rather than rejection from the world.

I just want to know one thing:  who did I insult, upset, or anger that led me to the prospect of getting permanent homelessness when I reach 55? Whoever it was, I apologize.
So, can I have a decent life now?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I Am The Future of Late Night TV, And So Can You by Stephen Colbert

Take a good look at this man.
Stephen Colbert, American, ready to lead America to to a Brand New United States of American Late Night Television. He will use his understanding of American traditions and beliefs to protect the typical late night TV viewer from the evil influence of Fallon, Kimmel, Conan and that girl from E! who's quitting anyway because she can't survive Colbert's Supreme Manliness.

Never mind that fake American at 12:35. Today is a great day for America because Stephen Colbert, Uncle Steve, more American than that old Uncle Sam, will lead CBS and America to a new shining beacon on a hill, where America is America.



That will be a great day.....
.....that will never exist.

While being a Limbaugh/O'Reilly wanna-be is how Colbert became a key part of Comedy Central for many years, he's going to show his true self, and CBS and even David Letterman think it just might work. It's easy to imagine the real Colbert firing off jokes in Dave's style. He did say he'll have to add a gap in his front teeth, but that's not likely.

The real news is that the right wing pundits that Colbert pretends to embrace are finally on to him.
It may have been when he did that White House Correspondents Dinner in 2006, where he was the Colbert people see after Jon Stewart. It was supposed to be funny, but fewer people than expected got the joke. The rest thought what he said was what they believed all along.

Then came Bill O'Reilly finally telling everyone what he really thinks of Colbert. After Colbert spoofed O'Reilly's opinions on income equality, O'Reilly responded in his "Talking Points" Colbert is a "one of the biggest mouthpieces for the Progressive movement". He even said it was sort of Colbert's fault UConn students went wild after their school won the NCAA (not NAACP) basketball championship. It's all because of the grievance industry that tries to convince everyone that America is an unfair country, and Colbert is practically on the Board of Directors.

Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh (who isn't spoofed as much) is also horrified. He thinks it proves CBS is declaring war on the heartland.  "No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American values, conservatism. Now it's just wide out in the open", he said. "What this hire means is a redefinition of what is funny, and a redefinition of what is comedy. They're blowing up the 11:30 format... they hired a partisan, so-called comedian, to run a comedy show."

What does Limbaugh expect, a daily version of Real Time With Bill Maher? If that's what he thinks, he must also think Jennifer Lawrence is a threat to America because of her Hunger Games movies. Colbert will do what Letterman does, and what he also does in his Comedy Central show, when he takes the new post.
Besides, Limbaugh and O'Reilly are aware Colbert teaches Sunday School, right? Are they going to demand which Bible he uses?

The fact is this is a changing of the guard, and late night TV is different than it used to be. It's not going to be Crossfire with Jimmy Kimmel (best known for proving people don't pay attention about Obamacare), The Fallon Factor, or even The Late Show Report With Stephen Colbert. It'll be a monologue, TV and movie stars and music most of the them, even with Colbert. We'll have the occasional politician, left or right, as we always did.

The only disappointment is that Conan O'Brien won't get a second chance at 11:35. Then again, he'll be taping a week of shows at  Comic-Con next year for TBS. That's not bad, and it'll be the only time the Flaming C will be stealing the thunder from Marvel, DC and the Hunger Games.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Not The Top Ten Reasons Why David Letterman Is Retiring



This is not at the level of Johnny Carson suddenly announcing his retirement in 1992, but it's still big...
David Letterman is retiring. He's hosted the Late Show since August 1992, but actually has been part of our living rooms in the mornings in 1980, then late night since 1981.
This means no more Stupid Pet Tricks, no more weird Halloween, no more strange interruptions during the monologue, no more tossing stuff off of roofs, no more altered videos of top leaders...
and no more Top Ten Lists.

So, I'll come up with one, but I'll admit this is NOT the Top Ten Reasons Why Dave Letterman Is Retiring, just ten reasons I can dream up. I expect others, especially Letterman, to come up with a better list

First, though, the full announcement to his audience at the Ed Sullivan Theater (4/3/2014). We get some insight about why he made his decision: mainly he's been doing it for a long time, but a trip with his son convinced him it's time.



OK, now just ten reasons in general

10. He's joining the cast of CSI as a cadaver

9. He's discovered Julie Chen (Mrs. Moonves) is powered by a Dilithium crystal

8, He hopes to get better farewell gifts than Derek Jeter

7. CBS has found a younger and hip host: Geoff Peterson



6. After creating Worldwide Pants, he'll create a new company with Larry King...Galactic Suspenders

5. Let's face it: this is what he looks like to his viewers now:


4. He can now turn to Jay Leno and say, "I won!"

3. He interviewed Regis Philbin, but kept mistaking him for Bill O'Reilly

2. Every once in a while, he went to the wrong studio and anchored CBS This Morning.with Small Town News.

and not really the number one reason why David Letterman is retiring, but he did say it in his statement and the video earlier today...

1. Now he and Paul Shaffer can be married.

One thing's for sure, he'll be beating The Tonight Show several times up until the final episode, especially tonight.

UPDATE: sure enough, Jimmy Fallon has his Top Ten, and they were better than my list:




So, who's next?
NOT LENO!!!
Don't give it to him. Have Jay do an American version of Top Gear. That'll work.

Some have been speculating that Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert should get the job. However, they're the top two reasons why Comedy Central exist. I expect them to stay. If Stewart does decide to take over the Late Show, John Oliver should host The Daily Show. No other result is acceptable.
Some have suggested Chelsea Handler, since she has said she'll be leaving E! at the end of the year. She may be too edgy for 11:35, though, but she doesn't. There's word she'd like to have her own Late Show. However, there's word CBS wants her at 12:35 if Craig Ferguson wants Letterman's chair...or maybe if he doesn't.
Adam Carolla has said Ellen DeGeneres would be ideal for late night, and seeing a racier version of her would be great. Still, she's too popular in the afternoons.
How about Conan O'Brien? He belongs in New York, and and he can still go on the road the week before the NCAA Final Four. TBS is close to the Viacom empire, and it would make sense.
Or it could be someone else.
So, let's appreciate David Letterman while we still can, at least for the next year or so. Late-night TV will seem a little less ornery and ironic without Letterman around, Maybe the next time a nurse tries to interrupt his monologue, it'll be a real one this time.

National Geographic Channel Gets Totally Riffed Off


Rifftrax is well-known for putting bad movies in their place, but it's also pretty good at mocking those shorts about animals that kids saw at thousands of elementary schools years ago. That's now we learned about Moose Baby, Gregory the skunk from Little Lost Scent, Prickly the Porcupine, Wing, Claw and Fang, assorted farm animals and those poor bear cubs that was captured by some jerk named Ross.

So, for April Fool's Day, Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy decided to riff on clips from several National Geographic Channel shows that are now on NatGeo Wild. That way, Rifftrax can claim it pulled a prank on that channel behind its back.

The first hour, "Killer Shrimp and Friends", featured clips from Bad@$$ Animals and Honey Badgers. It featured the Mantis Shrimp, which apparently is from Krypton nd is praised by animal "experts". When they're called "real ball-busters", Kevin asks "they specifically target testicles"? They also ask what is so special about Dr. Carin Bondar, aka "Biologist with a Twist". They wonder if that means she's a ghost, or not a nerdy grad student. Here's a sample:



There's also a piece on the honey badger that risks being stung many times to get honey.

Bill: Why couldn't I have been born a dandelion badger instead?
Kevin: Winnie the Pooh went the same way.

There was also a story about a cocker spaniel that had a dangerous addiction...eating thongs. One question: why no Sisqo (not Coolio, thanks, Eric) jokes? We also found out that Koalas may be cuddly, but their lifestyle would rival really lazy college students.

The second hour, "Demon Bat", was from the show Man vs. Monster with really pretentious guy Richard Terry, or as Kevin calls him "not so much of an explorer as he's a guy who quit his job as a line cook at Chili's and bought a camera." Anyway, he's in Mexico looking for a "monster bat" that's been attacking villagers. They're mocking the trailer to this episode, but you get the idea.



The funniest part is when Terry talks to a villager who claims a bat attacked her, but it was too fast for her to see.
Mike came to the most logical conclusion: " The Flash has become a vampire."

Finally, there's "Guy and a Goose", which is a mix of features from Alpha Dogs, Swamp Men and Unusual Animal Friends.
It starts with the unusual relationship with a guy from L.A. and a goose named Maria, and how it led to the goose being in a video by OK Go Then two guys in the swamp learn how to capture an alligator. It involves having to put tape over its eyes, which Mike thinks he should have done before going to a screening of After Earth. Finally, a guy tries to sell an unusual cadaver dog... a cocker spaniel that doesn't eat underwear. What's more, its name is Bullwinkle, and that inspires this line: "Hey Rocky, watch me pull a cadaver out of a hat". The dog trainers are skeptical, but the spaniel gets a tough test...



Mocking cable TV shows is quite different from mocking bad movies or even Congressional hearings, although that would be overdue. The Rifftrax crew did a great job riffing on some of the more bizarre segments from the NatGeo channel. It planned to start selling digital downloads on April 4th, but the popularity convinced the gang to sell it much sooner. The shows go for $4.99 apiece, a good price for 45 minutes of comedy.

The specials will also be shown again on NatGeo April 8th, and available anytime on demand at most cable outlets. It would have been great if the Rifftrax gang  plugged their website at rifftrax.com, and the next live show on July 10th, where Sharknado gets the business. After all, if we're getting ads for the next Transformers movie, why not?



Friday, March 28, 2014

At Last: Rifftrax vs. Sharknado, This Summer!


It's been nearly 15 years that SyFy, when it was called the Sci-Fi Channel, cancelled Mystery Science Theater 3000. Maybe the channel was afraid Mike, Tom Servo and Crow would eventually riff on some of its original movies, starting with Mr, Stitch. From that moment, many fans hoped that one day, Mike and the bots would get their revenge.
That day will come July 10th.

Nine months ago,  SyFy aired the cheesiest movie ever made on cable: Sharknado, where Los Angeles is attacked by a water spout filled with sharks. Our only hopes to survive: Tara Reid and Ian Zierling.
Of course, this is even dumber than Mega Python vs. Gateriod, and that doesn't include having Debbie Gibson and Tiffany in the movie.
So what happens? Sharknado gets popular, very popular. Granted, it could be because people wanted to mock it with extreme prejudice. Then, two weeks after it aired on SyFy, it was shown at 200 Regal Theaters in midnight showings which just about sold out. Yes, people paid money for this. Were there people who heckled the movie in the theater, too?

Well, this summer, the Rifftrax gang will have its chance. It'll have a live show where they target Sharknado July 10th, three weeks before the sequel escapes to SyFy. Expect a lot of American Pie and 90210 jokes in this production, and maybe some Wizard of Oz jokes. If you bought the Wizard of Oz riff, you notice they ask during the twister scene "where are the sharks". This may have been a hint that the movie had been in their cross hairs for some time. Maybe they're curious how it holds up against Birdemic, where people use coat hangers to battle attacking video game birds.

Edited to add: Conor Lastowka, one of the Rifftrax writers, has an explanation on why it's taking on Sharknado, although some are worried it's like shooting sharks in a barrel: it's just like a summer blockbuster, only with 98% less budget and star power--and it came from TV. Anyway, here's his Tumblr post that will say it better than anyone.

Fathom Events will have this at hundreds of theaters nationwide and Canada. It will be shown again on July 15th, but tickets will be on sale starting May 2nd.

Meanwhile, Rifftrax will spend April Fools Day riffing on nature shows for the National Geographic channel betwen 8 and 11 PM East and West, with another go-around between 11 PM and 2 AM.