Friday, February 18, 2011

Witz Pickz: Presidents' Day Starting Five

I tend to shy away from sports posts, especially sports like soccer that aren't widely loved in these parts, so as not to alienate my audience (which, given what I keep in, really makes you wonder who I think my audience is). HOWEVER, in anticipation for Presidents' Day this Monday, the day my indoor soccer team usually has a game, I came up with my top five US Presidents that I would want on my squad. Even if you don't like soccer or sports, I think you'll agree:

Goalkeeper: Abe Lincoln -- Not a tough decision. Our tallest president at 6'4'', the man's got reach. Add his strong work ethic and willingness to put himself on the line (read: end-slavery), and you've got yourself a wall of a keeper. Forget Paul Pierce, it shouldn't take long before Honest Abe is known only as, "The Truth."

Defense: Ulysses S. Grant -- In 20 years, Wayne Rooney is going to look exactly like this 18th President of the United States. At 5'8'' with some weight on him, Grant could anchor the defense while making the occasional run up front to put one in the back of the net. Plus, everyone could call him "The General" and that would be awesome.

Defense: Andrew Johnson -- Johnson is a bruiser, simple as that. He might not have been the most talented or have the softest touch, but he's a man that's been through some shit and you need a guy like that on the field. Tough, resilient, and determined. Even after Tennessee seceded from the Union, Johnson remained in the Senate, making him a hero in the North, and by all accounts, one stubborn son-of-a-bitch:

Striker/Midfielder: James Madison -- Our 4th President clocked in at a Carlos Tevez-esque 5'4'', and like Tevez and height-mate Paul Scholes, Madison would absolutely have a chip on his shoulder. I mean look at him-- the man popped his collar long before it was cool, and well before The Three-Six Mafia was rapping about it. Scrappy, determined, and a team player: when deemed the "Father of the Constitution," Madison replied that it was instead, "the work of many heads and many hands." It wouldn't be long before J-Mads would be one of the crowd favorites.

Striker: Barack Obama -- This shouldn't surprise anybody. Say what you will about his effectiveness in the White House, Obama's clearly our most athletic President; which everyone says, but seems vaguely racist when I type it out like Tall, in good shape, and he knows how to move (at least on the basketball court: ala Steve Nash). Can inspire a team in a time of crisis and adds a little bit of diversity to what is currently, a really really ridiculously white lookin' squad.

I know what you're thinking, but no, JFK would not make a good addition to the squad. He'd be the guy going over to the stands when he was on the bench and hitting on the women, and he would tear the team apart...And Millard Fillmore looks like a flopper.

Isn't It Weird That As Long As the Internet Exists, There is One Day Out of Every Year When the Band "The Presidents of the United States of America" Will Remain Relevant?,

Friday, February 04, 2011

Witz Pickz: The King's Speech

(Nothing about the movie is as playful as that tagline...)

The other night, M-Dash and I went to the movies to see The Fighter. We both wanted to see it, and while we heard that The King's Speech was good, we both agreed that we were in a The Fighter mood-- Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale always seem like a better option than Geoffrey Rush and Colin "It's not the length, it's the" Firth.

We were half an hour early for the 7:45 showing, and bought our tickets. "That specific theater doesn't have heat right now, so if you think it's too cold, you can get a refund up to twenty-minutes into the film," she told us. "Whatever, it's probably not a big deal," we thought, and went ahead into the theater.

And ya know what? It wasn't a big deal. What was a big deal was that the room we walked into was about the size of my Brooklyn apartment, had maybe 40 chairs, the screen was only slighter larger than a big screen TV, and it was empty. Oh yeah, and several chairs were broken, ripped, and contained "Out of Order" signs, and the ones that were "In Order" were stuck in various states of recline, and stained in curious ways. There are only so many descriptive words you can use without just coming out and saying, "Rape Room," so there it is; it looked like a storage room where people had been getting repeatedly raped by chimpanzees. There was no doubt in my mind that it had bed bugs, and that those bed bugs had gonorrhea. I expected to look at the walls and see pictures that Dexter had taped there before he murdered his victims. It was your classic murder-rape room that would make an Austrian Dungeon Owner jealous. It looked like an exhibit at the MoMA called, "Personification of AIDS." It looked as though 28 days earlier, someone had been bitten by an angry, infected monkey. We turned around and walked out.

"It's a little cold," I told the ticket girl. "Can we see the 7:20 King's Speech instead?"
"Yeah, no problem," she said, and exchanged our tickets. We ran up the stairs to check the other theater. We opened the door and looked out over your typical, upscale, quality movie theater. We found some seats, and both had the same thought: "It is appalling that they charge the same amount of money to go see a movie in the nice stadium style theater and the super sketchy Spunk Dungeon." I'm assuming we both independently thought of the phrase "spunk dungeon." The movie started.

I knew from the minute the first title appeared the screen reading, "In 1925, The Duke of York was asked by his father, King George the V, to give a speech at Wembley Stadium," that I was NOT in a The King's Speech mood. I was in a The Fighter mood, and so was M-Dash. She laughed audibly at the first title, and I nodded. The first scene then proceeded to play out like the infamous "Answering Machine Scene" in Swingers. I don't think I'm spoiling anything by telling you that Colin Firth's character sucks at speaking. He's just miserable at it. As good as Kanye West is at sounding like a crazy person, is how bad this guy was at talking. Watching him stammer through a sentence for five minutes of my life made me want to knife everyone in the theater, but, as we all are aware by now, we were in the wrong room for that. Like most of the people in the character's life, I wanted to shout, "Ok, I get it, but JUST FUCKING SAY IT, MAN!" Painful.

(How M-Dash and I looked during the first ten minutes of the movie)

"Wait-- so this whole movie is about the Duke of York's speech impediment?" M-Dash asked, and I nodded in agreement with the implied judgement and incredulity. Shockingly, despite our negative internal reaction and my slight squirming and barely audible sighs, they kept playing the movie for everyone, and it didn't take long for me to start slowly caring about the characters. Geoffrey "No, seriously, I was the bad guy in Pirates of the Carribean!" Rush was engrossing, and Colin Firth's acting was Oscar worthy, so slowly but surely, the film won me over, which is pretty impressive. Really, the only slow parts were the parts where Colin Firth couldn't get his gggg-gg-g-g-ggggggggg-gg-gggggg-gggggggggG-GODDAMN WORDS OUT! So, if they just cut out all the parts where the King speaks, I think The King's Speech would have been a really great film. And I didn't even need to delouse myself afterward.

"Is this movie NOT about Elvis!?",