Letters From The Fishbowl

The life, times, fiction, and mind-lint of V.B. Rising. Enter at your own risk, traveler, for here there be rants and misplaced modifiers.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Kiss Me, I Support Cultural Genocide

I have a problem with the petition to make St. Patrick’s Day a national holiday.  This nonsense pops up every year, and every year it bugs me a little more.  Basically, this says to me that there are too many people out there who not only feel the need to drink for twenty-four straight hours, but also want it to be government-sanctioned so that their boss can’t give them shit when they come to work hungover the next day.

Listen, if you want to be drunk, stupid, and reeking of vomit all day and night, that’s fine.  But why not call the holiday by what it really is?  You’re not celebrating the saint named Patrick.  You’re not celebrating Irish culture, unless you really and truly believe that the only two laudable things that ever happen in Ireland are drinking and fighting.  And if you do believe that, please go to Ireland and get eaten by a banshee cuz you’re a fucking moron.

When you think about it, it’s pretty ballsy of Americans, natives of the land that invented the WWE and beer pong, to imply that the true meaning of being Irish is to get bombed on cheap beer and get in a fight with a bouncer.  The 20ish per cent of me that’s Irish?  Yeah, she’s pretty insulted by that.

Here’s a country that gave us James Joyce, the Cranberries, Oscar Wilde, the hypodermic needle, Halloween before it was all Spongebob costumes and “fun-sized” candies, and Liam frigging Neeson.  And yet, every St. Patrick’s Day, millions of Americans manage to forget any actual cultural contributions, in order to get shitfaced in the name of Irish culture without distraction.

And even if you do try and make the lame excuse that you’re just celebrating the patron saint of Ireland by raising a pint in his name, tell me, who exactly was St. Patrick?  If you don’t know, then stop pretending to be intellectual and just drink up.  We like you better when you’re passed out on the floor, you pretentious jerk.

In case you’re wondering, St. Patrick was a British missionary, arguably most famous for his de-snake-ifying of Ireland.  Now since Ireland is an island with no native snake species, what the legend of St. Patrick chasing all the serpents from Ireland really means is that he banished all the native pagan beliefs up to and including Druidic practices that had been in place for thousands of years, to make way for Christianity.  Yes.  You read that right.  The patron saint of Ireland was British dude who chased away all the native Irish culture.*

So let’s be honest.  You’re not petitioning for St. Patrick’s Day.  You don’t want a nationally accepted St. Patrick’s Day.  You’re not celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.  What you’re celebrating is Get Drunk And Act Like A Jackass Day, but that doesn’t look as nice at the top of your forwarded e-mail petition, does it?

*When I learned this, I immediately regretted wearing green every year to score free ice cream from Stewart’s.  My boyfriend said, “So how did it taste?  Did it taste like… heresy?!”  The answer is, “Yes, if heresy tastes like delicious cookie dough.”

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Of Hacks and Hawkdudes

Originally published March 2009.

“Hello, suckers!  Welcome back.”*

Of my three siblings and I, only one of us liked Watchmen.  Guess which one?**  It was me, but that’s really beside the point.  The point of today’s article is that the guy who played Hawkdude*** was not, as I had previously thought, a total unknown.  Turns out, he was in another blockbuster that disappointed thousands, Phantom of the Opera.****

There was a moment of deja vu when my sister informed me that Hawkdude had played Raoul, the Viscount of BadWigLand, otherwise known as Whiny Starlet’s useless suitor.  Oh, how we had laughed at him.  Much in the way that I had laughed and gagged at Gerard Butler’s performance, only to discover later that he had actually done decent work in his lifetime.  And the way I laughed at Miranda Richardson, “Ha, this is what’s become of your career!”

All three of these actors has done passably good acting at one point in their careers.  So what is the single uniting factor in their suckage?

Yes.  You guessed it right.  IT’S JOEL FUCKING SCHUMACHER!

I can just imagine what it’s like at a production meeting with this hack.  You got Joel, wearing a Keifer Sutherland t-shirt, and you got a person whose job it is to bring Joel good ideas to jump on.
Good Idea Person:  Here’s a cool-looking project.  Why don’t you try directing a Batman movie?

Joel:  Like, oh my God, I’ve always wanted to be Tim Burton only horrible!!!

Alfonso Cuaron:  Back off, man, that’s my title.

Joel:  Oh, sorry, Fonsy, I guess you’re right.  Okay, how about instead of using a formula that actually appeals to people, we throw in cornier dialogue, neon facepaint, and floppy icicles?  Anyone know what Ahnold’s up to these days, cuz I so see him as the tortured soul that is Dr. Freeze.  Also, can we get a smug, smiley Batman?

Good Idea Person:  Um…  Actually, you know what, how about something else?  Here’s a script called Phonebooth we could look into…

Joel:  Sold on title alone!

Good Idea Person:  Okay, but it might need some fleshing out.

Joel:  Nah, it’s fine as is.  We’ll just make sure we stretch thirty minutes of content into a full-length movie.  I’ve always felt that market was ripe for cornering.

Good Idea Person:  If you say so.

Joel:  Oh, and after my big musical debut with Fantasm of the Opera House, I’m thinking of branching into suspense-

Good Idea Person:  That’s actually called Phantom of the Opera-

Joel:  Whatev, I am speaking!  God, rude much?  As I was saying, suspense!  You know what’s really scary?  Numbers!  And you know what the scariest number is?  TWENTY-THREE!!!

Good Idea Person:  …  I…  I quit…

Joel:  Who’s more brilliant than me?  Okay, gotta cut this meeting short, babe, I have to go fellate myself.
Wow.  That was an intensely fun and cathartic exercise.
*I don’t hate you guys; I just really love Velma Kelly.

**Research shows that only 25% of snarky movie-going siblings will enjoy Watchmen, indicating either superior or inferior intelligence, or that 25% of snarky movie-going siblings is actually the forgotten lovechild of Stan Lee and Arlene Sorkin.  Mommy?  Daddy?  WHY DIDN’T YOU LOVE ME?!

***Or whatever his name was.  You know.  The guy with the ass.

****See this article for my thoughts on that cinema hacksterpiece.