The Californians

This is from last week, but I just watched it and loved it. Fred Armisen’s first couple lines had me on the floor. The accents are so over the top that it works. Kristen Wiig is also predictably great, and I love how they zoom in on her and Hader just as they’re cracking up.

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The Prospects of Several Presidential Candidates…as Arrested Development Characters

Note: This post first appeared on Bob Loblaw’s Law Blog. 

By Zach

If I were Ron Paul or Newt Gingrich, right now I’d be screaming “I’m a MONSTER!!!” at the top of my lungs. The game is up for these guys. Their thunder has effectively been hidden. The money in the banana stand has gone up in flames. Oscar Bluth won’t be seeing weed legalized anytime soon, and Lucille II will not become Newt’s fourth wife and the inaugural First Moon Lady.

Yep, we know who we’ve settled on for our general election: Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. But why don’t we analyze them a bit further, and for that matter take a look at their potential vice presidents and cabinets? As you can probably see from the opening paragraph, I’ve decided to do so using the platform of Arrested Development. If you want to question that choice, go right ahead. I don’t understand your criticisms, and I won’t respond.

Mitt Romney = Gob Bluth

I see numerous parallels between Gob Bluth and Mitt Romney. Right now, flush with that primary-victory-aura that you usually only find in pregnant women (Lindsay Funke, this excludes you), Mitt’s cruising around on his Segway, waving (and bloodily attempting to sheath) his samurai sword with confidence. Largely, he stayed above the Boyfight that developed among the other Republican candidates. And with good reason; Mitt and Gob view themselves as born winners. They’re the guy with the $5,000 dollar suit — I mean, COME ON!!

Barack Obama = Michael Bluth

It might be a little unfair to the Republican field, comparing Obama to the only sane character on the show. I thought it rather apt, though, considering the collective dysfunction of the Republican field vying to run against him.

Look, it’s not like Obama is always successful with his policies. When you run a country, you’re going to get hop-ons.

Rick Santorum = Tobias Funke

Santorum may have peaked too early — he shot his wad prematurely on what was supposed to be a dry run, and now  he has a large mess on his hands. Whoops, lotta poorly chosen words there. But maybe they’re fitting, considering how the gay community has named a unique liquid mixture after everyone’s favorite indignation-machine.

The game’s not necessarily up for Santorum, though. He could still make the Romney ticket, if only to satisfy their rabidly anti-female, tea partying base. But if I were them, I’d be worried that Santorum might come out as a never-nude, or even get caught in a rest stop bathroom with Barry Zuckercorn, their feet straying. Santorum has such a rich history as an analyst and therapist for the nation’s gays, women, immigrants and amateur pornographers that you wonder if his business cards might be getting at something else.

Nevertheless, Santorum has to have his sights set on Romney’s ticket. I’m sure that right now he can just taste those meaty vice presidential man parts in his mouth.

Joe Biden = Carl Weathers

I’m sorry, Joe. I know you’re probably a normal and minimally goofy man, but the Onion and Jason Sudeikis have completely and utterly skewed my perception of you. And I just can’t help but envision you sitting at a table chiding Tobias for finishing his drumstick. “Whoa, whoa, whoa. There’s still plenty of meat on that bone. Now you take this home, throw it in a pot, add some broth, a potato. Baby, you’ve got a stew going.”

Newt Gingrich = Barry Zuckerkorn

Their personas aren’t all that similar, but I find them to be similarly competent in their chosen professions. If only Newt’s bluster was as endearing as Barry’s dependence on Ask Jeeves for legal matters. Whatever the case, Newt and Barry will have to content themselves with a place in the background, itching the rash on their foreheads.

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Theorems By Gator

By Zach

I was going to call these “Gator’s Theorems,” but I liked how “Theorems By Gator” gives off a more elegant vibe — it sounds like we’re marketing a high-class perfume. Anyway, these are just some random Sunday afternoon thoughts:

– I’m not surprised that the Secret Service has been dabbling with prostitutes, only that they were caught doing it. Those people are specialists in discretion. If anything, I’m surprised that they were only soliciting prostitutes, not working as them. Wouldn’t being a Secret Service agent be the perfect cover for your moonlit career as a hooker? The clients would know in advance that you’re trustworthy, and it’d cut out the middleman when dealing with politicians.

– Every time someone tweets “#makeitplatinum,” a Vermont microbrewery finds a possum floating in the fermentation tank.

–  Survivalists would be much more successful at what they do if they wore edible underwear.

– From Taylor, in a preview of our forthcoming satellite Tumblr, TextsFromTaylor: “When you see homeless people/hobos talking or yelling to themselves, they’re in fact talking to an invisible deity that only appears to people at a dramatic level of poverty.”

– I’ve watched an unholy amount of 30 Rock over the past two days, and have decided this: If Alec Baldwin jumped into the Republican presidential race, in character as Jack Donaghy, accompanied by the promise that if elected he’d shape all policy decisions around the mantra “What would Jack do?”, he’d immediately surge ahead of Mitt Romney. I would vote for Jack Donaghy in a heartbeat. He’s a businessman of the people, someone who thinks about the employees, the pensions, the kittens he uses to test the strength of his microwaves. Donaghy2012.

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Ma’am, Is This a Preexisting Condition?

You mean, was I BORN on fire?  For some reason I think this would’ve been a lot funnier if the firefighter had a Southern accent. But it’s still a decent parody.

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Which Dystopian Societies Taylor Admires Most

Recently, at the behest of my girlfriend and the rest of society, I saw the current cinematic attraction The Hunger Games. After the film I had a number of questions, comments, criticisms and critiques. All of which, once enunciated , were instantaneously countered with a resounding, “You NEED to read the book!!!” Well too bad, society. As an American I’m upholding my God-Given Constitutional Right to never read ever. Not EVER. Also if you’re wondering why I haven’t been posting, I was busy.

Anyways, the post-apocalyptic dystopia “Panem”, as presented in the film seemed a little lac-“But you didn’t rreeead the booo I GET IT. As I was saying, all-in-all the future didn’t really seem as bleak/soul-crushingly empty as it could have for the citizens of Districts 1 through 12..13? 14?? So you’re a little hungry, each year you lose a couple of teenagers, and alright there’s a pinch of total government control over your lives? #nbd I proudly present a short list of films and novels containing my personal favorite/ most admirable dystopian societies.

Logan’s Run – Directed by Michael Anderson, 1976

Why? City run by maniacal computer overlord, everybody dies at 30 to avoid “overpopulation”/human uprising, 1970’s visions of the future #hilarious, and this robot that tries to freeze people/is a refrigerator.

Children of Men – Directed byAlfonso Cuaron, 2006

Why? This director found a way to take the crushing sadness of real-world British socialism and go even further. No need for Hunger Games when teenagers no longer exist, is there? Despite all of the important religious symbolism and social commentary that I missed while Clive Owen was staring into my eyes, this movie was intense. I believe it’s safe to say that this film proved, beyond any doubt, that the children are our future.

Equilibrium – Directed by Kurt Wimmer, 2002

Why? Do you like art? How about feelings? Too damn bad, go back to Amherst. In the meantime, someone in this glorious dystopia decided it would be a good idea to give Batman (played by Christian Bale) a magic pistol that never runs out of bullets…I hope he doesn’t start to sympathize with the resista-THE END. Also starring Taye Diggs.

Running Man – Directed by Paul Michael Glaser, 1987

Why? Just read the first sentence of the plot description from Wikipedia: “By 2017, the global economy has collapsed and American society has become a totalitarian police state,censoring all cultural activity. The government pacifies the populace by broadcasting a number of game shows in which convicted criminals fight for their lives.” Are you terrified yet? How could this be the future of America? What government leader would use its people’s fascination with entertainment to distract them from enormous debt, a failing economy, growing police control and overcrowded prisons?!? My god…

Fahrenheit 451 – Written by Ray Bradbury, 1953

Why? Oscar Wilde once said, “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” Well Oscar Wilde was a communist. Taylor B. Woodward once said, “As an American I’m upholding my God-Given Constitutional Right to never read ever. Not EVER.”  Taylor Woodward was born out of a giant egg found in a nest at the top of a massive sequoia, high in the Sierra Nevada mountains. In this horrifyingly clairvoyant depiction of mankind’s growing obsession with alternative forms of media and entertainment, the true horror lies in the glaring similarities between Fahrenheit 451‘s dystopian nightmare, and our own decaying society.

I weep silently knowing that Ray Bradbury has lived long enough (91 years old) to see the dawn of e-books, 72 inch televisions, and programming such as: 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom, The Jersey Shore, I Used to be Fat, Every show on MTV, 19 Kids and Counting, Cake Boss, Extreme Couponing, Long Island Medium, Mamas Boys of the Bronx, Say Yes to the Dress, Dance Moms, Toddlers in Tiaras, Pawn Stars, Full Metal Jousting, Swamp People, Big Shrimpin’, Hairy Bikers, and Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars. I’d go on but my rage levels are soaring, instead I’ll leave you with another quote.

“We have too many cellphones. We’ve got too many internets. We have got to get rid of those machines. We have too many machines now…” – Ray Bradbury, prophetic author & humanity’s last hope

1984 – Written by George “The Orwell” Orwell, 1949

Why? Spending the next week writing would barely be enough time to explain all the ways in which 1984 is magnificent. So I’ll just say this:

In 326 pages George Orwell presents a hellish nightmarescape devoid of reason and thought in which an eerie calm surrounds the soulless, faceless masses, eyes unblinking in a synchronized march towards a future without change or hope. Pulling us helplessly into an overcast realm of gloom in which a careless glance, or slightest hesitation means death, or worse. George Orwell stabs the reader in the heart with the cold, raw reality of our own emotions and self-doubts, breaking us down from the inside outward, until finally unleashing a conclusion so devastatingly unforgiving that we are forced into the most powerful crygasm of our entire lives.

The End.

A Book For All You New Parents Out There: How To Make Love To Your Child

By Zach

A woman just called me at work in the hope of publicizing her parenting book. Its title? How to Make Love To Your Child.

So for any of our readers who are with child, or who even have a little bundle of joy toddling around sticking forks in electric sockets as we speak, check out this masterpiece of parental advice. Available in paperback and in Kindle form! I was pondering buying a copy for Anthony, but then I realized that I’d be sternly greeted by police officers at all of Brooke’s future birthday celebrations.

On a side note, this book is 20 years old and self-published, and this woman still expected us to publicize it. But I guess I should expect nothing less from someone who thought it’d be a good idea to give her parenting book an incestuous title.


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What The Shit is Going On?

By Zach

It’s a Sunday morning and I’m at work. Usually I can count on these shifts to be slower moving than an NYPD car in an ethnic neighborhood, but today the world is blowing up. White guys are shooting black guys in unclear but suspiciously Zimmermanian circumstances.  Four cops were shot in Brooklyn (though, happily, not killed). Geriatric 60 Minutes commentators whom I’ve never heard of are dying. I’m getting so excited, I’m using the plural for singular subjects! This was not what I bargained for when I drank those seven sessioned ales last night. I don’t even know what a sessioned beer is, but it makes me sound like a Brooklynite beer aficionado and thus I duly persist.

UPDATE: According to Urban Dictionary, a sessioned beer is “low in alcohol and has a balanced flavor of both hops and malt. The purpose being so that it can be drank over a long session of time with out overwhelming the palate or getting the drinker too intoxicated.” Does that make Busch Light a sessioned beer? Busch is about as antithetical to intoxication as the American Pie series is to comedy.

Which brings me to two nights ago, when I found myself sitting in a movie theater watching Sean William Scott poop in a cooler of beer. The sad thing was, that was one of the funnier scenes in American Reunion, the totally necessary (a sarcasm font would be useful here) fourth reprise of said teen sex-comedy franchise. As my girlfriend pointed out afterward, Tara Reid and Chris Klein couldn’t act their way out of a paper bag, and the rest of the cast doesn’t exactly pick up the slack. And while we’re on the subject of Tara Reid, there’s an unintentionally hilarious scene where she accuses her ex-boyfriend of thinking that they had sex (which would make her a slut, naturally) because, well, they woke up naked in a bed together. Reality hits that scene with an ironic haymaker that the writers really should have seen coming.

While we’re on the subject of fidelity/commitment, I have a couple thoughts on all the wedding announcements I’ve been writing lately. The process has been instructive on a number of levels. Here are some of the things I’ve learned, while keeping in mind that I’m a company man through and through:

– There are people in finance who are so far removed from the real world that they’re literally incapable of speaking English. “What do I do? Well, I restructure Delta-one municipal bonds into equity swaps, providing clients with optimal securities optionality while allowing them a market share of ETFs and futures.” I literally had a guy at JP Morgan tell me,  “I don’t advise clients. I work with clients to find the optimal solution.” After receiving an email like that, how can you be mad? Wording like that is worth its weight in Krugerrands, a metaphor made all the more fitting by the abstractness of the industry in question. 

– There are also people who think they’re incredibly interesting (so said the blogger in the post about his life). An example: the couple who made a website for their wedding, complete with nine different pages detailing every aspect of their impending nuptials. This included lengthy biographies of the groom and bride, a page dedicated to the proposal in Grand Central which featured a band and family and friends in hiding, and links to YouTube videos of the proposal. Pretty nauseating, but you’ve got to give them credit for their shameless pursuit of attention.

– Let’s end this post with an empirically true, hopefully harmless stereotype that would seem to fly in the face of all existing background data on their mothers: Jews are really chill about their weddings.

What I’ve Been Doing While Not Posting

By Anthony

Well if you haven’t noticed, I’m just going to come right out and say it: I’ve been posting with the regularity of a grass-fed hippie on calcium pills. For my triumphant return, I thought I’d fill you, the avid reader, in on all the glorious things that I’ve been doing to occupy my time away from the keyboard on which I should be mashing out comedic genius.

And speaking of Occupy, that brings me to my first time suck. Occupy Wall Street is back, if you didn’t know. They are planning a ‘general strike’ May 1st and to plan for it they’ve tagged just about every square inch of Buschwick and Williamsburg with the Sharpies their moms got them for Christmas last year.

But ugly graffiti aside, I thought it was time I jumped on the bandwagon. Who knows, maybe this time we’ll leave the annoying drums behind and actually manage a competent and engaging protest.

Until then, as the newest member, I get stuck with some gross tasks — like washing all the recycled feminine products. By using hemp, and reusing it, (again and again)  we show the corporate dogs at Tampax that we don’t need them or their fancy wing features and bright colors.

I’m also the resident vulture shoo’er. Since it smells so rank in the grounds, sometimes the older members pass away with out anyone noticing. Until the vultures come, at least, and that’s where I come in. Both thankless jobs with long hours.

I’ve also picked up a part time job at the Artisanal Pencil Sharpening Factory as an “Eraser Breaker-In-er.” Pay is lousy but the networking is great. Just in case I ever want to become a head sharpener.

Getting to work takes significantly longer now, too. The L “bane-of-my-existence” train has killed more people this year than the Hundred Years’ War. I now avoid it entirely and walk to work. Which is easier some mornings than others. Like when I wake up in a Chinatown alley after drinking all night.

I’ve also been practicing my women’s self-defense (though not in the way that you’re assuming) after being punched in the face by a girl on St. Patrick’s Day. More on that another time, maybe.

Lastly, living in Brooklyn has instilled in me an appreciation of absolutely nothing. Basically, if it exists then I want nothing to do with it. So that means I do nothing worthwhile, really.

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Rap Lyrics That Apply to My Lifestyle, Part II

By Zach

A while back I wrote a post detailing the startlingly numerous similarities between rappers’ lifestyles and my own. And even though I discovered that Rick Ross and I share the same philosophy regarding the gun placement in our Maybachs, and that Jay-Z and myself both face the daily challenge of fending off an irksome surplus of high class poontang, it was a flawed study. Sorta like the current research on global warming.

But liberal conspiracies to cripple American automobile production are neither here nor there. One thing I’ve discovered as I listen to ill track after dope jam of the most hood hip hop music ever bumped out of a spoiler- and rim-adorned Civic in a New Hampshire strip mall parking lot is that there’s a plurality to the message of most rap songs. In any given track, there are lines that don’t necessarily speak to me. So I thought I’d break a couple songs down line by line. Lyrics in italics, my comments in normal font, in case you get confused.

Rick Ross – “I Love My Bitches”

(A feminist message! I can roll with that.)

Ohh man, I love my bitches — Agreed.

Tongue kissin’ a dark skinned vixen — This is a great message of empowerment for African American women.

50, 60 racks, I might go blow a 100 though — The Bawse loses me here. A populist message might have been more prudent. I usually stick to 50 or 60 racks, but 100 borders on a papal level of excess. 

Jet owner, G5, where you wanna go? — What I just said. I normally stick to first class on my model-accompanied trysts to my private island in undisclosed Caribbean waters. Did I mention that said island incidentally has its OWN private island? Don’t sweat the mind-blowing geographical implications. 

Fuck your ex’s baby, really, that’s your past? — Unkind, frankly, to the former men in your women’s lives. My chicks’ exes are normally treated to the dignity of a complimentary bottle of Courvoisier and flippant yet respectful eye contact upon their forced departure from the club. It helps ease the pain of loss. 

Load up your carry-on’s and all of this is cash — At first I thought this was laughable — who uses carry-on, or luggage for that matter? I always buy a new set of designer linen upon arrival in Ibiza. But then I heard the last part and I totally get it — Rick Ross has his girls transport his duffels of stacks. Which contrasts with my strategy of simply having a member of my posse fly ahead with a suitcase of bills to ensure the promptest possible resumption of rain-making. I guess I just have superior asset management.

Eminem – “Cleanin’ Out My Closet”

See what hurts me the most is you won’t admit you was wrong — Agreed, Em. That hurts the most. Except for that other thing. But people who won’t admit they’re wrong hurts the second most.

Bitch do your song – keep tellin yourself that you was a mom! — Woah, looks like Eminem’s not going to Motherboy anytime soon. I usually call my mom a hooker or tell her she’s acting like a big ol’ d-bag whenever I notice wrinkles in my slacks or burnt parts of my chocolate chip cookies, but to each his own.

But how dare you try to take what you didn’t help me to get — I can relate to that. My mom always tries to take credit for my accomplishments with boasts like “I’m so proud of you honey.” What an obnoxious braggart.

You selfish bitch; I hope you fuckin burn in hell for this shit — If anything, this line is a little overwrought. I’d go simple here.*

*Sincere apologies to my mother, whom I appreciate dearly.

A Study in Creepiness: A Guy At My Gym and Marilyn Monroe

By Zach

I have two entirely unconnected stories for you, but they both concern a subject I find fascinating: creepiness. Now, I should probably precede this with the disclaimer that I appreciate creepy things and people. They’re actually really funny, to a certain extent.

Of course, this is very subjective — the line between what’s creepy and what’s not can be drawn anywhere between Herman Cain with a couple cocktails in him and necrophilia. And obviously there’s a massive existential difference between a creepy guy on a crowded street in the daytime and a creepy guy who’s duct taping you to the lathe in his apartment. But in its most harmless form, I find creepiness to be a good source of comedy.

So here are two recent instances of creepiness I’ve observed. One of them I found kind of humorous, and one of them less so.

The gym

Do you ever notice someone at your gym who’s ALWAYS there? Even if you go at different times of day, they’re there? It’s 6 a.m., hey there. One in the afternoon, don’t you have a job? 9 p.m., whoa, it’s you again. It’s rather creepy. I’ve also discovered with some discomfort that there are certain people who regularly violate my number one rule for going to the gym: don’t under any circumstances make eye contact with anyone else.

Well, I have a guy who fits these criteria. He’s probably in his forties, he has long hair, yesterday he was wearing a wrestler’s suit, and on multiple occasions I’ve seen him flexing into the mirror with the same face that Christian Bale has in American Pyscho when he’s filming himself boning those two chicks whilst flexing.

He’s one of those guys who’s a little too friendly with everyone there, maybe struts around a little too much with a little bit of a creepy smirk on his face. He looks like R. Kelly in a middle school.

Also relevant: I’ve noticed that this guy lifts the maximum amount of weight on most of the machines. Needless to say I can’t let him catch me laughing the next time he poses in the mirror.

The movie theater

I went to see My Week With Marilyn a couple nights ago with my friend, who assured me that it would be totally normal for two heterosexual males to go see a movie about Marilyn Monroe together. He was a film major, OK? Lay off me.

I have mixed feelings about the film. The storyline got old as it progressed and the acting, outside of Michelle Williams as Monroe, was pretty pedestrian.

But let’s focus on Williams as Monroe. Though I haven’t watched many of the legendary sex icon/mistress’s movies, Williams seemed to capture Monroe’s essence. And now that I have a general idea of what Monroe was like, I think it’s kind of creepy that she was lusted after to such a boner-popping extent. The little girl voice, the confused demeanor, the temper tantrums. Combine all that and…ewww. Did that really rev the engines of American males for a good decade?

I understand that she came off as more elegant onscreen, and I certainly recognize that on a very basic evolutionary level she was desirable (good birthing hips and breasts — my family produces very thirsty babies), but in My Week With Marilyn, at least, her persona comes off as very childlike, even babyish. And considering she was a sex icon, that’s really creepy.

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