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May 22, 2007

Exclusive: Lileks Obtains Current Draft of Amnesty Bill

Going all Dave Barry:

I. (7) (3.14) There shall be a fence stretching 356 miles. The fence shall be three feet high. Paper mache crocodiles shall reside on the other side, arrayed in a threatening manner ($400,000 shall be appropriated to determine the optimum angle of the opened jaw; the final crocodile shall represent a consensus among herpetologists, and reflect a crocodile who is defending his position but showing his teeth to warn off, and not necessarily threaten violence.) Every nine miles, there shall be a sign that reproduces the FBI warning that precedes all DVDs and videotapes and warns of criminal liability for breaking the copyright law. (It has worked so well thus far the language might as well be used intact.) The fence shall be raised to four feet in the event the population of any state becomes 51% undocumented Xenonationals. The fence shall be raised to five feet in the event GOP presence in the Senate drops below 4 seats. The fence shall be raised to ten feet after a nuclear device is smuggled in from Mexico, providing the yield of the bomb is at least 4 (four) kilotons. A bomb with a yield between 3 and 3.99 kilotons will be a sufficient trigger to raise the fence only if the attendant radiation is carried by prevailing winds a distance greater than 20 miles.

Look, it's the best compromise we can get, so why are you bitching?

Lilieks goes on to punch up an MSM dope who wants to see "credentials" of bloggers not reporting news or analyzing military strategy but merely... reviewing books and movies.

What a singularly inappropriate field in which to assert the privileges and prerorgatives of credentialism.

We need to see their credentials. And they need to prove, not merely assert, their right to an opinion.

Surely this sounds harsher than the author intends; surely he does not want the Reading Public to resemble a nestful of hungry hatchlings, throats wide and beaks open, trembling in anticipation as Mama Reviewer settles down to throw up a meal of expertly digested, credentialed worms into their gullets.

The lack of critical faculties asserts itself rather quickly, you know. No one tunes in daily to read fanboy raving, unless they’re also a fanboy, raving. If that’s the case, it’s unlikely they’re in the market for finely-tuned ruminative lit-crit, anyway. They want someone else to shout how AWESOME book nine of the STELLAR FIRE: WARFIRE AT FIRE STAR series is, even though Commander Xhonuff dies at the end although he’ll probably come back because he had the clone-chip upgrade at the end of book six, right?

Prove our right to an opinion? On books? On movies? On TV shows?

There's a fine line between stupid and clever, and there's an even finer line between stupid and pathetic defensiveness verging on self-parody, and I think he walked right over the border to do the job of reviewing shit that Americans just won't do.

You want to see my credentials, Mate? Okay, here's my goddamned credentials:

Little Miss Sunshine is a beautifully acted, wholly original and entirely unexpected treat that tugs at the hearstrings even as it tickles the funny-bone. Alan Arkin was so funny in playing the not-even-remotely-cliched Old Dude With Strangely Antisocial Habits that I swear if he were within arm's reach of me I'd grab him firmly by the cock and and begin masturbating him with the manic repetitive fury of a malfunctioning industrial robot.

There. That seems to satisfy the Minimum Entry Requirements for professional critics -- or, perhaps they'd like to give their rather mundane occupation a more impressive name, like Certified Public Aesthetician and Textual/Cinematic Engineering Consultant (CPATCEC).

Thanks to "someone."


BTW: Of course I'm a fan of Alan Arkin.

And of course I'm a fan of the Old Dude With Strangely Antisocial Habits type. It's often very funny.

But... um... given that this now-stock comic type has appeared in virtually every Adam Sandler movie, every Allen Covert movie, every David Spade movie, every Ben Stiller movie, and every, um, Dodgeball movie... can reviewers kind of, you know, stop pretending that the Alan Arkin character here was some kind of "refreshingly original" comic creation?

I think this character type is now pretty much played out (thought inventive comic minds can always come up with some new unexpectedly antisocial habits for the elderly, and make it work again -- Shirley Jones' claim in Grandma's Boy that she "invented the handjob" was a nice new addition to the trope).

But, um, Professional Movie Critics? This really hasn't been "refreshing" since Happy Gilmore, and it wasn't even original when Dana Carvey did his hilarious impersonation of Jimmy Stewart recounting the details of his unexpectedly criminal/murderous life ("I spent seven months in Tijuana shacking up with a thirteen-year-old whore in a haze of Tequilla and mesc, waking up in pools of my own sick and the blood of men I couldn't even remember killing" -- now just imagine that in an exaggerated old-dude Jimmy Stewart accent).

It often works, but that's not really the same as being original.

And the fact that you think a comedy staple is "original" kind of casts some degree of doubt on your claims of special expertise, doesn't it?

Oh... CAD Daddy notes that Jack Nicholson has been playing this stock character more or less exclusively for twenty years in all of his movies, and also, pretty much, in his actual life.


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posted by Ace at 03:06 PM

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