Since it’s been several weeks since Part One, let me recap: people suck at being good but try, Firefly needs to come back to television, and Emma Watson’s the stuff.
This past week I took a break from studying to hit up the local Starbucks. I paid, chatted a bit, and got a “Caramel Macchiato”, a combination of words whose meaning is entirely lost to me. As far as I know it’s just coffee with caramel in it. Glucose syrup and caffeine. So that’s cool, I guess. As I tried my hardest to look gangsta walking out of the shop holding…honestly, anything from Starbucks that isn’t water, I came to a startling, infuriating realization.
I HATE coffee. I always have.
It’s just awful. It tastes like sweaty, unapologetic ass and it makes you feel like a drug addict for a couple hours before you crash into the ground like the hopes and dreams of a child who just found out Santa is an alcoholic.
Highlight of my day was googling Santa drinking…and trying not to be surprised by how many hits popped up
So why do I drink it? The most obvious reason is to stay awake and study, because on the short term, the only options really are coffee, Red Bull, a piece of fruit, or naps. Red Bull is a last ditch kind of thing; it’s so hilariously bad for you, Death gives you an air-five every time you consider drinking one. While coffee is primarily caffeine and price-inflating bureaucracy, Red Bull has that potentially volatile bull urine (citation needed) that gives it its charming taste and the usual accelerated heart rate. While I have nothing against bulls or their urine – urine being both natural and inevitable, and bulls being plentiful and delicious – I just would prefer not to pay nearly five dollars for a can of it.
Stupid, greedy, capitalist Watusi bull.
As for just eating a piece of fruit, well, you see, I’m from Africa. Born and raised. Frankly, the difference in quality between fruit in Africa and fruit in the States is like the difference between eating at Red Lobster and White Castle. One guarantees a charming meal with friends and family and a variety of charmingly terrible fish jokes, while the other promises an incredibly unpleasant date with your toilet, along with pangs of remorse and gritted promises of revenge against Harold and Kumar and their empty lies. White Castle is grease in the shape of a patty, is what I’m trying to say.
I’ve always imagined White Castle sliders and Krabby Patties were the same damn thing
My palette simply cannot equate African ambrosia fruit with the surprisingly unregulated, hilariously overpriced “organic” variety, and so I ignore it. Oh, and I’m in college, so naps are generally just not happening. And so, I’m left with coffee. That terrible, disgusting, horrible drug and I might just get a Grande Mocha-latte-hyper-cocoa in a bit. And while I jitter comically, cry softly, and try not to die, I come to terms with the thought that…
Maybe the world really will end soon.
Why, you ask? Cars 2. I mean, if a Pixar film can get bad reviews, frankly, all bets are off. Hell, maybe OJ really didn’t do it and that If I Did It book was just him exploring his creative side.
“I’mma paint a tree!”
Not to mention, my generation seems prone to threats of the Apocalypse, and generally at the worst possible times. Remember Y2K? I was ten, and it was a week after Christmas. Remember June 6th 2006? It was the last day of school. The expected 2012 Apocalypse? The year I graduate from college. And then there’s that Harold Camping guy, an utterly brilliant practical joker who actually got thousands of people to believe that the world will end before The Dark Knight Rises comes out.
But seriously though, a 34% on Rotten Tomatoes? That’s lower than Mr. Popper’s Penguins (46%) and – I’m not joking – Beverly Hills Chihuahua (41%). How in the hell did that happen? The movie’s probably not that bad – it is Pixar after all – but I think people are just in such shock that something came out of the studio that you wouldn’t defend with your life like a soldier in the Crusades.
The only negative thing I keep hearing is that it’s geared towards kids more than adults, which…actually makes perfect sense because it’s their job to make family films. That, and keep finding new ways to severely depress the hell out of nostalgic adults. You see, that right there stresses that fact that…
We’re all hypocrites.
You probably already realized this one way or another, so rather than repeating your likely logical thought process, here’s something weird I was thinking recently. In general, in movies, we love the underdogs. We go crazy for the offbeat Mighty Ducks, the invalid Goonies, the slightly-off Forest Gump, and the slim chance that Michelle Rodriguez will actually survive whatever film she’s in. But being an underdog is usually only valid for…a short period period of time. Bruce Wayne may have been an underdog when he decided to start fighting crime, but then you realized that, oh yeah, he’s psychotically rich. Bruce Wayne could probably find ways to bankrupt the Gotham City underworld and buy better security for Arkham Asylum with one swipe of his Mastercard. Same with Iron Man. Actually, my point is most apparent with superheroes. They’re usually just regular, good-looking people, suddenly imbued with some power, who have crippling emotional issues that they come to terms with in order to beat the bad guy, who’s usually either foreign or a scientist because fuck science.
Steve Jobs is a wizard, there’s a difference.
But at some point, the hero actually exceeds the potential of the villain. It usually happens in the last ten minutes of the movie after some idiot child almost gets crushed by something heavy but gets saved at the last minute. The hero realizes, “Oh, wait a minute, I’m awesome!” and then blasts the baddie into the sequel. After the villain loses, however, technically, he or she becomes the underdog. The villain loses pretty much everything he/she worked for due to an ideological misunderstanding with some other dude. Isn’t it hypocritical to keep cheering for the hero in sequel after sequel? Shouldn’t we root for the comic book bad guy in advance, since we generally know how most films end? Is that why almost everyone dressed up as the Joker for Halloween? It’s probably why it can feel so good to be bad, because relatively speaking, society sees itself as good, and therefore, can never be the underdog that evil can. Or maybe it’s just the allure of money without all the work. But then again, everything I just said is pretty poorly thought out, and considering the fact that I’m essentially the thing I dreaded becoming for years – an adult – it follows I’d think this, because…
Adults are full of shit.
When I was young, in elementary school, I had a teacher who told me that I’d hit a growth spurt and be, “As tall as your hopes and dreams.” This, of course, was a dramatic load; I’m now 5’6” and extremely cynical. My old mailman told me in the late nineties that the Internet was a fad and wouldn’t amount to anything. Now, I’m pretty sure he has a Twitter. A relative, in my youth, told me that life would leave me behind if I didn’t stop playing with my toys. And then I saw Toy Story 3 and felt like a tremendous douchebag. Adults used to think bathing removed a protective layer of filth and shouldn’t happen more than once a year, that leeches were better than penicillin – which, in fairness, wasn’t around at the time – and that women who showed their ankles were tantamount to prostitutes.
Whew, at least her ankles are covered. Classy.
As with everything else, the next question is why?
Because it’s really, really profitable to be professionally full of shit.
There’s a difference between charming, harmless naivety and intentional, feigned close-mindedness. Try Harold Camping again, the man who predicted – incorrectly, in case you were wondering – that the world would end in 1994. His past stunt, saying that his totally accurate math no one else has seen meant that The End would come in May, led to people selling their homes, giving away their possessions and wealth to support Camping, and essentially ruining their lives in the fervor of blind zealotry. Camping, on the other hand, though wrong, is comfortably the head of Family Radio, a non-profit broadcasting company currently worth over 80 million dollars. All the free, literally scheduled donations must be terribly convenient. I bet the next time he says the world ends – some time in October, by the way – will coincidentally coincide with his next mortgage payment.
Dat cash money!