In preperation for today's viewing of The Two Towers, I rented and watched the DVD of the super-extended-holy-shit-that-is-long director's cut of The Fellowship of the Ring. Now, the first time I saw it in theaters, I hadn't read the book (Yes, I can hear your collective gasping at my literary... um.... illiteracy), and I did not understand that the ring had more power to command men than it did hobbits. So, when I first saw the Fellowship, I thought that Gandalf was being kind of insulting in his reasoning in giving the ring to Frodo for keeping. Like, if the ring possesses Gandalf, who is an incredible powerful wizard, Middle Earth would be essentially fucked, because Gandalf would be evil, but if Frodo were to take it and he were to be possessed by the ring it'd be like... oh no, evil hobbit, watch out.

And while I was watching it again last night, I really had to wonder about Mt. Doom. Now, I've never read the Silmarilin (okay, there were less gasps that time), so there may be a story behind it, but I figure there are a couple possible explanations for Sauron's home having such a dumb name:
  1. Sauron moved there and named it Mt. Doom himself because he is a great and terrible ruler, but not very good with words, and none of his minions were brave or foolish enoguh to tell him it sounded like Skeletor's summer home.
  2. It was named Mt. Doom before Sauron moved there, and it just happened to have the right amount of fire and lava and shit flying out that Sauron liked so much, so he just went with it even though the name was dumb.
  3. Everyone outside of Mordor calls it Mt. Doom, but inside Mordor they call it something like Stately Sauron Manor, or something more appropriate.
  4. "Doom" just happens to be the the elvish or dwarfese or something for "never stops chucking out fire and lava and shit".
Yes, these are things that bug me when I'm watching Lord of the Rings movies. I had to catch myself complaining about the part where Frodo gets apparently implaed on that troll's big spear, but is okay because he wore mithril armor. I actually said, "Oh come on, even if mithril were totally unpiercable and indestructable, the force of that blow would have crushed him to hobbit jelly. Oh umm... or maybe it's like magic." I really have to work on the whole suspension of disbelief thing.

But I bet some people were livid over the DVD not having dubbed voice-overs for the scenes that were in elvish instead of subtitles. You may think that no one would really be upset by this, but trust me, I worked at Netflix. I know. People would complain about the black bars covering up the top and bottom of the movie. The placeholder DVD case for Fellowship on the shelf at the video store had "THIS IS NOT THE TWO TOWERS!!" emblazoned across the front. I asked the clerk if people really thought they could magically rent The Two Towers while it was stillin theaters. He assured me that yes, people can be really retarded.

You may be thinking taht at least they are not as retarded as those people behind the The Two Towers Protest Organization, but I am almost positive that this is a joke. I mean, no one's that dumb... are they?

Isn't it great how every post recently turns into some rant about how stupid people can be? Well, Winter break is coming up soon. I'm sure that'll improve my mood.

Well, I'm glad to see that Trent Lott resigned as party leader, but really, who was going to vote for him any more anyhow? He pissed off most of his supporters when he made those comments about Thurmond (I guess simply showing up to Thurmond's birthday party wasn't enough.), and then he lost his KKK constituency when he apologized for his statements. Now we can all go back to pretending that the republican party leaders aren't racist once again.


You know what? Fuck it. No more disclaimers. None. Some idiot died while trying to simulate a stunt seen on Jackass. Yes, I know one shouldn't speak ill of the dead, but he wouldn't be dead if he weren't such an idiot.

So how about we just take all the disclaimers in front of Jackass or in front of Beavis and Butthead, or before World's Scariest Police Chases ("Warning: Being chased by the police is not actually totally awesome.") and just use that time to show the viewing audience a few more seconds of Johnny Knoxville slathered in bacon fat and skateboarding in Notre Dame? 17.3% of MTV's airtime is dedicated to disclaimers! It's not like the kind of person who watches someone light themselves on fire on TV and thinks, "I want to try that!" reads things anyhow.

I remember writing a paper back in high school giving the argument for taking disclaimers off of everything and just letting those people who want to drink shampoo just go ahead and do it. Of course, I didn't have as in-depth a knowledge of the American litigational system as I do now, and my creative writing teacher told me that the paper had a certain facsist flavor to it, but I think certain key points were valid.

1. There's a cerrtain amount of common sense the good lord gives a person when they are born.
2. Okay, maybe not everyone.
3. People without common sense imitate dangerous stunts and sometimes die doing so.
4. That's fine with me.

I mean, I guess one could argue that having a lack of common sense is genetic, and that disclaimers are there for the benefit of people with such a disability, but it's not like we let people with "Always late, but worth the wait!" driver's license frames park in handicapped spaces just because they're cursed with awful taste and no sense of humor. At least we shouldn't be giving the sensibly-challenged driver's licenses. It's not like we have to be sensitive about referring to dumbasses in casual speech. Like, I pretty much refrain from telling jokes about wheelchair-bound people when they're one in the room, but if I start off a knee-slapper with "Okay, so this dumbass walks into a bar..." I never get cut short by someone going, "Hey, that's not funny. I'm a dumbass."

So maybe dumbasses should take responsibility for their own condition. The guy driving the car, in all likelihood, had a driver's license. Clearly his condition prevented him from operating the car in a safe manner. Why don't they check for that kind of behavior when they hand the things out? Couldn't they just make applicants sign a form that says, "I attest, under penalty of law, that I am not fucking retarded. X_________", or maybe sneak it into the written portion of the driver's test somehow?

My primary use for this vehicle will be:

A) Daily commuting (<50 miles)
B) Frequent long trips (>100 miles)
C) Occasional long trips. (>100 miles)
D) Awesome STUNTS!!!

(D Would be wrong of course, unless you've passed the stunt driving portion of the driving test and earned an S class License.)

And while they're at it, they could just put special plates on the car. In fact, why not a whole slew of new specialized symbols to help us better identify different types of drivers? I know that I tire of examining every single car in adjacent lanes for telltale signs that they're about to veer haphazardly into my lane without signaling. Think how much easier it would be to identify problem drivers with the following helpful plates:

Caution: Dumbass

Caution: Asshole

Caution: Older than hell

I've thought of going geurilla with a stencil and some spraypaint and just glazing "BAD DRIVER" across the trunks of people who exhibit clearly dangerous and idiotic driving habits. However, I did a little research and learned that doing this would actually be illegal. Can you believe that?!

It's almost as though the dumbasses are writing the laws...

Disclaimer: The author is a professional crank. Do not attempt to rant in this manner at home. Doing so can result in tension headaches, carpal tunnel sydrome or an ulcer.)

Do you realize that in 40-50 years time, The United States is going to have a bunch of senior citizens who still say "like" all the time? As in, "Hey dude, do you have any... like... Fixodent?"


Oh, and there's a new song of the week up at

Last Wednesday, the company had its Holiday Party at Dave and Buster's.

On thursday morning, I was sore.

I was sore... after going to an arcade. What the hell?

It's because every single arcade game now not only costs about a dollar to play, but takes up the same amount of floorspace as my entire kitchen because its interface consists of, for example, a life-sized fiberglass horse torso.

It used to be the case that I went to an arcade, and the interface was consistent throughout. You got a joystick, and a couple of buttons, that's it. No boxing gloves, no drum sticks, no skateboard, just one stick, and most, 4 or 4 buttons, maybe a steering wheel if you were lucky. You could easily shift between machines without doing a warm-up stretch routine. Of course, there were some trackball and dial games, but the point I'm trying to make is that none of these games was capable of physically damaging you.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for realistic, intuitive interfaces, but what with all the kids at the arcades now throwing their quarters into machines that make tham dance around on flashing aroows, they're actually getting exercise as they play video games.

Back when I was a kid, video games and exercise were two diametric opposites. They were exclusionary ideas. Playing video games was like the opposite of exercise, which was fine. For a good portion of gamers, exercise was when you got your ass kicked at baseball because you'd almost pass out from wheezing going around the bases (no one I know, of course). By choosing the opposite, video games, we..uh.. I mean they could excel in a sporting realm where mental agility mattered more than physical agility.

Okay, it may be surprising to learn, but I admit that maybe I wasn't the most enthused or talented curricular sports enthusiast. The only sport I at which I was pretty good was badminton, and not really having any all-star badminton sports heros to emulate, I think I just didn't consider it important. Still, I was quite surprised when I came home from D&B's with very sore back and arm muscles.

That damn boxing game with the ducking and the uppercuts, and the gloves that weigh 5 pounds apiece. Punching at nothing with those on really takes it out of you. Playing Hyper-Bowling (or real bowling, for that matter) can take a toll on your biceps. Also, When I play Time Crisis 2, I typically hold the gun one handed straight out at arm's length (thus creating a perceptual vector with my eye so that I can better aim my shots. If you hold the gun close to your body, it makes it difficult to picture where the bullet is going.), sometimes sideways, since I like to be such a badass showoff at the one game in the arcade at which I wreck shop. Too bad nobody watches that game anymore, but there was a day!!!

Where was I? Oh yeah, so holding the gun outstrecthed for as long as I'm typically owning the machine can leave your triceps and umm... side muscles feeling like they've been boiled in vinegar.

Or at least that's what it does to me. So since I'm so concerned about by physical health now, I picked up this great game for my PS2, it's Body of Steel and it comes with the great wireless simulated freeweight peripheral, and it's essentially this 20lb bar that I can do curls with, and then this infrared detector can sense it moving and it makes my little bodybuilder on the screen do curls. When I buy the bench press peripheral, the game can pick that up and then you can work out your little bodybuilder's pecs. The best part is, that once you have your virtual bodybuilder attain the body mass and muscle definition he desires, you get it too!

Well, as long as I'm rambling about video games, I'll let you know that this is actually not the most offensive shareware game I've seen.