Make It Stop

Posted: Monday, March 29, 2010 by Greg in

It's sad to admit, but the days of "timeless" cartoons is over. Go ahead, name one character you know of that your best friend's 5 yr old sister does as well. 90% of you probably just said 'Spongebob,' and as annoying as he is to me, I have to agree. Maybe it's a lack of original storylines, or an over-saturation of the Toon market, but for whatever reason, it appears to be impossible for a new cartoon to achieve iconic status these days. Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Snoopy, Garfield... They just don't make em like they used to anymore.

Odds are, if you celebrate Christmas, you can add one more to that list. Its actually more like three, and they go by the names Alvin, Simon and Theodore. Every November, radio stations everywhere bust out the old Chipmunks Christmas Single for our yearly reminder of what helium can do when inhaled. Don't get me wrong, I love it. I've been hearing it since I was 5, and I appreciate Christmas tradition more than anyone.

This is why, when they revamped the Chipmunks for a live-action release, I was skeptical. Hollywood had already brutally murdered one of my childhood favorites, so I didn't need it happening again. Not when Santa is involved. From what I've been told by girls who saw it (no guy would be caught dead), it was cute. Nothing special, but cute. That's fine. No legacy tarnished, no damage done.

Then came The Squeakquel. (You know somebody is still patting himself on the back for that title.) I received the same verdict for this one too: passive but cute. I was ready to close the book on this, and call it an overall success. Besides Tron, I don't expect any remake/revamp to ever outdo its predecessor. So in my mind, 'no damage done' is a success, and that was how this had gone down.

That was until they released the Squeakquel on DVD. It's availble March 30th, and comes with a second disc called The Squeakalong. Its exactly what it sounds like: a dvd of songs, in chipmunk voices, made to be sang along to.

Here is where I draw the line. I've been in media production for years, and I know how hard it is to compose an audio mix (I only ever finished one I liked). But one thing is NOT hard to do: increase the pitch of a vocal track so it sounds like the Chipmunks. It takes 5 seconds, period. But for some reason, YouTube is RIDDLED with morons who are real impressed with themselves, turning out unofficial "chipmunk" versions of every song you've ever heard. Go ahead, type 'chipmunks remix' into a YouTube search, see what happens. I'll wait.

Who listens to that trash? People who appreciate room for improvement? "Man, this song would be DOPE if it was humans!" It blows my mind. I don't need to know what Lil Wayne sounds like on helium, I'm just getting used to what he sounds like on xanax. The only thing I ever found OK with this short-bus phenomenon was that the actual Chipmunks weren't endorsing this garbage themselves.

WHOOPS. So much for that. Thanks Chipmunks, I officially respect Heathcliff more than you now. And NOBODY respects Heathcliff.

Stay Tuned

Posted: by Greg in

So as you all know, I live in LA. Everyone out here has their big idea. I'm telling you right now, I just had mine, along with my closest friends. All I can say is: drunk news. That is all. We are doing the test run now, and we haven't stopped laughing. Let me know of your thoughts.

- Greg


Posted: Saturday, March 27, 2010 by Greg in Labels:

Google Analytics tells me I actually have some pretty regular readers in the UK. (That's awesome. You guys own.) I also have a pretty decent sized niche in New York, which is also pretty tight. For the England crowd, this might be something you already know about. But for New York peoples, it's probably news to you, and it's coming your way soon. Everyone else, just appreciate the epic. It's the dopest concept I have ever heard, and I am infinitely jealous that I can't take part in it yet.

The new ill shit in England is Rebel Bingo. Yes, bingo, the game with numbered balls in a huge tumbler that you use to mark squares on a card. The one your grandparents are playing at this very moment. Except they took Bingo, made it an alcoholic, gave it three piercings and got it laid. This is the single coolest thing I have seen in a long, long time. The actual times and locations of RB events are kept secret to the last minute (I miss raves right now) so law authorities can't shut them down. Thats right, this is so badass the cops are after them AHEAD of time.

Rebel Bingo is essentially an underground dance club network that just happens to play bingo while they drink, dance, party etc. Check out the photo section on their website, this isn't just a handfull of people sitting around. They pack warehouses regularly, in five different cities across England. And from the looks of it, not one person in the building is ever sitting still. Ever.

The entry code is hilarious. "No old people." "No suits." "No Boring People." I'd kill to see someone get turned away at the door for general suck-at-life status. Scratch that, I'd kill to be the one doing the turning away. New dream job right there.

Basically, if you live in England and you somehow didn't know, get on that shit. If you live in New York, do me a favor and go on their opening night. It's May 21, and tickets are on sale now on their website. I just need to live vicariously through one of you before it gets to the West Coast.

It's Only Fitting

Posted: Friday, March 26, 2010 by Greg in

Anybody who first found me at my weekly collaboration blog Klean Up Your Act already knows how I feel about frivolously wasting URLs. Long story short for whoever doesn't know, that blog actually has an official nemesis. Her name is Tanya Parker. She took the URL for, posted on it twice (with horrible grammar) and then abandoned it. Hence, we had to use a K. Boom, nemesis.

Is it a stretch? Maybe. But is it a valid reason for spite? Absolutely. As much as I want this blog to have a designated enemy, this case is just too pitiful for hate. I named this little venting-post 'Check Ya Self!' mainly because I start a high percentage of my sentences with "Yo check it...", and I happen to be a huge Ice Cube fan. It just kind of rolls off your tongue, and its pretty tight I have a default theme song.

Once again however, I was forced to settle on a second choice URL. This time, its too funny to be mad even. Go ahead, look. It's great.

I would LOVE to meet whoever did this. First off, unlike Tanya this genius never even made it to post #1. Which means he took the time to sign up for the account, check the availabilty of the URL, set up a template... and they was all set. Thats a lot like setting up everything required to make a sandwich, then leaving it on the counter and going back to bed. Really?

The cherry on top, however, is that for whatever reason he/she was suddenly inspired to attempt proper grammar, just moments after being too edgy to spell correctly. "Check your self, fool." What, NOW the word 'ya' is beneath you? And as much as I love the effort, you can pump the brakes on the space bar homie, yourself is one word. Honestly, how redeeming could this whole process have been? "I made a blog today! Maybe tommorow I'll open up a window!" Low expectations people, they do happen.

So no, this nameless person shall not be my nemesis. I will have plenty of targets to snipe from here. Instead, I think he shall be my mascot. Whoever he is, he's reppin for me now.

Check your selves, fools.

Call This My New Hit (But It Ain't New Though)

Posted: Thursday, March 25, 2010 by Greg in Labels:

Let me start off by saying right off the bat, the homeless and their plight have NEVER been things I make fun of. Ever. I know that I am blessed to be where I am both on Earth and in life, and there are people who are just not as lucky as myself. Truth be told, If I ever met the guys who started BumFights I would probably catch an assault case. Takes a special kind of d-bag to do that kind of thing.

So my ultimate hope for this story is that the guy in question KNEW what he was doing, and was being so amazingly ironic and self-aware that he has a better grip on how to get a laugh out of life than I could ever hope to achieve. Because honestly, if this is intentional, its comedic genius.

I am one of the few people in LA who actually lives downtown. For anyone else across the country reading, this isn't necessarily a common choice to be made. While the apartments themselves can be pretty gorgeous (lofts with skyline views) the actual surrounding areas are a mixed bag. My block alone features one of Downtown's most exclusive and expensive nightclubs, and a low-income housing complex. There is just this weird co-existence of too much money and not enough, with a few of us falling safely in the middle.

Because of this, as in any city, there are homeless people. Having gone to school in Boston, I am well versed in how to interact with them. There is actually a pretty well-recognized code to all of it, which at least maintains honor on both ends. I never ignore them, and generally offer a quick but polite response when asked for money. The only time I ever avoid them entirely is when I have things they can't afford, which is usually after shopping, just because I'm sure the last thing they want dangled in front of their face is what they cant have.

So there I was, walking home with a couple bags from Macy's, as my path happened to cross in front of the local homeless shelter. Its LA, so most of the tenants spend their time hanging outside in the perpetually bomb-ass weather. My plan was just to walk past, head down, quickly as possible. Today the crowd was a bit bigger than usual, so I had to slow down for a second to find my way through.

That's when something strange caught my attention: a cell phone ring. The phone belonged to one of the tenants. This alone is at least intriguing. It might either be frivolous, or a sign of the times we live in, but for a homeless man to have a wireless plan just seems odd to me. I have to imagine if I didn't have a home, anytime minutes would be the least of my worries, but it's his life, not mine, and maybe he needs it. Who am I to say otherwise.

On its own, this wouldn't be worth mentioning. But like I said, this man could have the single greatest sense of humor of anyone on this planet. Not only did his cell phone ring, but he had a custom ring tone. (Again, if I'm homeless, my money is better spent than on ring tones.) The song the guy picked is priceless, and based on the fact that he was cracking jokes with his buddies, I have to imagine this guy is really just the man. The song this guy chose was "I Get Money" by 50 Cent.

I had to laugh. I felt bad at first, but he was loving life too, so I just had to. That moment alone will be in my mind probably until the day I die. A homeless man with "I Get Money, Money I Got" bumpin out of his cell phone, outside of a homeless shelter.

Ya'll can think I'm being a dick for finding this hilarious, but real talk, I'm just saying this to give some perspective. Sometimes people take life too seriously, and at the end of the day, homeless or not, that dude had a smile on his face, which can be pretty hard to come by for some of us. Now I just need to track this guy down, hes already funnier than 75% of the writing staff at Saturday Night Live these days.

Left or Right: Funny Is Funny

Posted: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 by Greg in

I try to say as little as possible about politics, because you really only make enemies doing so. I'm also not so concieted as to believe my beliefs should apply to anyone else, but that's a different story. In this case however, the only underlying theme is 'awesome' which I think we can all appreciate. I had heard a few days ago Vice President Biden had been caught on air telling the President something was "a big fucking deal." That's cool, I mean we all have a slip of the tongue, but there's really nothing to it that's notably funny. Until now.

If you didn't know, The VP was introducing El Presidente after the health care reform bill was passed. As usual, this involved a lot of standing and clapping, with some camera flashes thrown in for effect. As Biden handed over the podium, the two bro-hugged it out like boys will do. I honestly have watched the video five times and barely caught it on the fifth run. For whatever reason, Joey B indeed decided to tell Obama the reform bill was "a big fucking deal" during their man-embrace. What his motivation was, I will never know. Barack did whisper something first, so maybe it was just his response to that. Who knows, the guy is old, let him have some slack.

Since then, the media blew it up, and it had the chance to turn into a huge Bush-like embarassment. Whoever the damage control representatives are in the White House are clearly both hilarious and awesome, as their moves since then have illustrated.

First, almost immediately after it happened, the White House Press Secretary tweeted "Yes, Mr. Vice President. Your right..." That's awesome. Back your guy up, and do it with some humor. But thats not all. Just click the link below, and what shows up should pretty much speak for itself. Don't care what side your on, this administration's got some jokes.

Let GAS Stay Dead

Posted: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 by Greg in Labels:

Having spent the last 8+ years learning and working in television, I find it difficult to attach myself to any one TV show. I'm at a place now where I find myself noticing the things I would have done differently on the production side, instead of just enjoying the story. Besides, all I ever hear from my friends is how awful LOST and 24 have gotten. This really leaves me with a couple genres left to enjoy. The first is animation, since there is no live production involved. (Sidenote: Archer is the best show on TV. Ever.) The second is reality, but I absolutely refuse to watch anything brainless like The Real World. I'm basically left with skill-based reality (like Top Chef, Kitchen Nightmares, Project Runway) or game shows.

Most game shows these days suck in my opinion. The shows I grew up on had creativity, and actually demanded skills from contestants. Since my channel was Nickelodeon, they offered little more than Space Camp and British Knights as prizes, but the kids on the show didn't care. It wasn't about making a million dollars for picking a random suitcase. It was about being the MAN in school on Monday.

So naturally, I was bummed when my place back home didn't get Nick GAS . GAS = Games And Sports. Pretty much, it was every show you remember getting wicked invested in every time it came on. Double Dare, GUTS, Figure It Out, Legends of the Hidden Temple; the list was endless. Just thinking about it made me feel like my parents whenever they turned on the 'oldies' station back home. "This is from when I was a kid, when TV was still good!" I sounded like one of the Golden Girls.

Growing up, my Big 2 on Nick were Global GUTS and Legends of the Hidden Temple. Any time either one of those two came on my television, the world stopped. Global GUTS took its original show (Guts, obviously) and added this entirely fabricated Olympics element to it. For whatever reason, 'contestant vs. contestant' didn't get it done anymore, so it had to be 'country vs. country'. Since I'm from America, this was obviously awesome to me. As for Legends, it was just creative genius. They conceptualized an entire jungle world, complete with a talking stone-God named Olmec. Essentially every valuable artifact ever conveniently landed at the center of an obstacles maze in this jungle. What kid doesn't wan't to snag Harriet Tubman's Walking Stick from a forest?

GAS was taken off the air in 2009, which I couldn't believe at the time. I thought that channel would stay on forever. Since I missed the GAS experience, I thought I was getting great news when a friend of mine just located almost every individual Legends and GUTS segement catalogued on youtube. Read that again: I thought.

I'll say this right now, before any of you waste your time: IT'S PURE TORTURE. My enjoyment with this lasted for all of five minutes, for one simple reason: THE KIDS ON THE SHOWS SUCKED. I was clearly just too young to realize how incredibly awful the contestants were. Now it makes perfect sense why GAS came off the air. People like me were ready to put a hole through the TV every episode.

Since you can tell I was emotionally invested in this, you can imagine I would have taken it damn seriously if I ever ended up on either. I would have attacked that with more strategic planning than D-Day. This is why I was entirely insulted when the kids who DID make it onto the show seemed to have been pulled from under a rock, where Nickelodeon is non-existent.

First of all, Global GUTS was about as global as Epcot. "Israel" really just meant 'jewish,' and any Latin country really just stood for your ancestry, no matter how far back that went. Every now and then, they threw a Russian in there just to have him get decimated, most likely as revenge for the Cold War. Seriously, don't think they won anything ever. As for the athletic ability itself, one word: abysmal. I am mostly sure every kid on that show, except for a select few, were the gym class rejects back home. Is it REALLY that hard to climb a rope wall? Honestly. Ball is shot at your head, you stop it. The end. Unless you're these clowns.

As for Legends, it's appalling. They used the same maze every week, so the path literally never changed. And yet there they were, kids living my childhood dream, going the complete wrong way week after week. One room involved assembling the Silver Monkey before you could continue. It had three parts: base, body and head. You may remember doing similar puzzles in preschool. To these kids, this might as well have been a Rubix cube. Anybody who watched a single episode of this show could tell you how to put it together, but not these brain wizards. Even if they did win, what are these kids going to do at Space Camp? They're barely smart enough for this planet.

I personally think they need to bring these shows back, but give people like me a shot against previous 'winners.' It would be eerily similar to Globetrotters vs Washington Generals. If not, this is one part of my youth permanently clouded. Thank God its impossible to ruin Gushers.