I’ve made an image meme for all those folks making image memes.
There are two Americas.
I live in the America that considers Chris Brown a crazed thug. In my America, we have only the vaguest notion that he also makes music.
I live in the America that has never listened to a Whitney Houston song on purpose, but somehow knows all the words to them. “I decided long ago never to walk in anyone’s shadow…” Damn you, Houston!
I live in the America that is pretty certain that “Skrillex” is a disease you get at a dub step show.
I live in the America that knows that “moves like Jagger” are not necessarily something to brag about.
I live in the America that didn’t watch the Grammies, but knows all about them thanks to Facebook and Twitter. It’s like the news, but replace that “liberal media bias” with the 140 character limit bias.
On Monday, Herman Cain was asked if he agreed with President Obama on Libya. Admittedly, the question is phrased poorly – “So you agreed with President Obama on Libya… or not?” First of all, that’s not a question, it’s a weird statement with rising inflection at the end to indicate its inquisitive nature. Secondly, Libya is not an opinion, it’s a nation-state. You can’t agree with someone “on Libya.” You can agree with the actions they took with regards to Libya, but seriously, who could guess that from what the journalist said?
Anyway, much hay has been made over the fact that Herman Cain didn’t really respond for… oh, about a minute. Sure, that looks bad. I mean, if you don’t have anything to say, you can probably just say, “That’s a complicated issue,” and then think about it, or ask the journalist to be more specific, or something. In the opinion of the esteemed ninjas here at the Master Ninja Institute, we are very much pro-thinking. The problem, however, is that it didn’t look like Cain was thinking. It looked more like he was lost and his GPS was telling him to go straight at a T-junction.
So here are ten things Herman Cain could have said in response to that half-asked question instead of remaining silent for almost a minute.
The best part about Master Ninja’s Thing of the Week is the unqualified nature of the Thing. It might be great. It might be good. It might just be a thing.
This Week’s Thing of the Week is the film The Grand.
The Grand is a mockumentary a la A Mighty Wind or Best in Show or This Is Spinal Tap… except it wasn’t written or directed by Christopher Guest, so it’s not as good as those movies.
Still, it has Michael McKean, so you might mistake it for a Christopher Guest mockumentary!
The writing of The Grand isn’t tight. There are lot of extraneous bits that waste time, and the bulk of the content doesn’t follow the setup – so it turns out to be an ensemble movie, but the opening ten minutes don’t give you that impression at all.
The good part of The Grand is that you will laugh at it (if you like Christopher Guest movies). It has some of my most favorite people in it – David Cross, Chris Parnell, Estelle Harris, and Cheryl Hines, with tiny cameos by Jason Alexander and Hank Azaria. Plus, Werner Herzog comes out of nowhere with a great performance as a crazy German. Ray Romano also turns in a great performance despite his years on that painful show where everyone loved him.
The Grand also sends up Poker as a TV sport, although it’s not particularly full of biting witticism to that effect.
All in all, The Grand is something to watch if you’ve got some spare time and a Netflix subscription. It’s on Instant Watch as of this posting. Enjoy!
The wonderful thing about living in this day and age is that you can Like Long John Silver’s on Facebook. Do it. If you have Long John Silver’s as one of your Facebook interests, it always works. If you’re a hipster, it looks ironic. If you live in a metropolitan area, it says, “I don’t care what you think – I like to party ass-deep in fried food.” If you’re a hillbilly, it says, “I eat where you eat, my hillbilly compatriots.”
Master Ninja’s Thing of the Week this week is reheated Long John Silver’s Chicken Planks!
Sure, it’s not good for you. Sure, something about the microwave process makes the grease all come to the surface, so the first bite tastes like the Land o’ Lakes Indian Princess is taking a dump in your mouth. But it is damned tasty.
Halloween 2011 is gone, but now we can look ahead to Halloween 2012! We at Master Ninja have already researched what the top 5 costumes for 2012 will be!
1.) As the Mayan Calendar comes to the end of its cycle, chaos will reign and the dead will rise. This is a problem for everyone… except the vacillating Republican Party, who will finally have a candidate for 2012 (and a great costume idea) – Zombie Ronald Reagan!
2) The catastrophic earthquakes, predicted accurately by the Mayans (who did not have indoor plumbing or computers, but were real whizzes with calendars) decimate California, leaving great crevices in the ground. But those crevices soon erupt with our next 2012 costume idea, Carnivorous Mole People!
3) Don’t worry – this is good news for celebuttantes like the Kardashians or Paris Hilton. They will soon be the unwilling brides of our third costume idea – The King of the Carnivorous Mole People! (Sadly, Kim Kardashians marriage to the King of the Carnivorous Mole People will also end after 72 days, when the King of the Carnivorous Mole People messily devours her.)
4) Dead gods will rise as the earth opens up to consume humanity, leading to our fourth costume idea, Zombie Ur-Zababa, Zombie God-King of the Sumerians! (People love zombie costumes.)
5) As the world crumbles around us, humanity will finally and tragically embrace the wisdom of their ancestors, culminating in our fifth and final costume idea, Sexy Ancient Mayan.
Hopefully, this will prepare you for Halloween 2012, as well as the doom and destruction that lay over our horizon. Happy Halloween!
This is our first installment of Master Ninja’s Thing of the Week, where we at Master Ninja recommend something (usually some sort of entertainment thing) to you, the loyal reader, or recommend against something, or just discuss something without particularly judging it.
This week’s thing is Peep Show.
Peep Show is a British comedy starting David Mitchell and Robert Webb. I know, nerds are supposed to love British comedies, but this one is actually funny no matter how nerdy you are. Still, nerdiness helps with some of the jokes David Mitchell’s character makes sometimes.
Peep Show’s unique element, which makes it stand out from a thousand other sitcoms, is our access to its main characters, Mark and Jez. The camera often takes a point of view shot from one of the characters, but more importantly, the inner thoughts of the two main characters are also done as voice-overs. With this storytelling method, we get a secret look into how completely awful Mark and Jez are on the inside.
But the dark truth is – Mark and Jez are not more awful than your average person. They are selfish, insensitive, and driven by lust and greed, and you can’t help but feel they’re horrible people. However, at some point in watching it, they’ll think something horrid that you’ve also thought, and you’ll come to realize you’re not much better than they are.
Seinfeld made a business of using immoral jerks as main characters, and having them suffer ignoble situations because, in the end, you didn’t have to feel that bad for them. Peep Show takes a new angle on this – by peering inside the minds of the characters, we come to understand that so many of their problems are a result of their insecurities, their unfaithfulness, their cowardice, their dishonesty, and their general tendency to be ruled by their weaknesses. And we do feel bad for them, even though we know it’s their own faults.
The most interesting aspect of Peep Show, to me, is that there are actual lessons to learn through the misadventures of Mark and Jez. Sure, the sitcom has long been a breeding ground for lessons like “Don’t lie” and “Listen to your parents” and “Don’t use drugs.” But these lessons are forced down your throat in the form of an awful exposition at the end. And, while Peep Show and Seinfeld share some similarities, Seinfeld was a show about horrible people in funny situations, and while one could almost always derive the lesson that dishonesty leads to trouble, at the end of each episode, everything was mostly back to normal.
Peep Show is much more subtle than, say, Full House. (Of course, a bazooka is more subtle than Full House.) In many of the episodes, the lesson is simply, “See how these guys got into trouble? You should avoid the behaviors that got them into trouble.” And thus the show encourages honesty, self-motivation, resolve, self-esteem, and actually thinking. Since we hear the characters’ thoughts, it’s easier to understand the whys of what they’re doing, and thus how their personalities lead to their problems.
The actions of the characters also have more immediate impact, unlike your usual sitcom. If something awful happens at the end of an episode, the characters are still dealing with it in the next episode. It’s more serial as a result, which isn’t uncommon of British shows when compared to American ones.
So, go watch Peep Show, laugh at Mark and Jez (and feel bad for them at times), then go out and don’t do what they do.
Peep Show is on Hulu Plus, which is how I peeped it, but it’s probably on DVD or something, too.
Wired.com recently posted an article by Mr. Marty Continas entitled “9 Essential Geek Books You Must Read Right Now.” I don’t mean to question Mr. Continas’s authority, but obviously we at Master Ninja have some insight on these matters ourselves.
Firstly, I don’t agree with Marty’s – may I call him Marty? – with Marty’s title. I think it’s really “9 Essential Geek Books You Should Have Read Before You Were 18 If You Want Any Geek Cred, Seriously.” I, for instance, do not recommend actually reading the AD&D Dungeon Master’s Guide. It’s a book you flip through and chuckle sentimentally about now – you should have read it when you were 13.
But let’s review the list in its entirety.
There’s a great video game out there called Terraria that’s pretty popular with the kids. I play video games, so I gave it a try. Terraria has a character customization screen, which anyone can tell you is my favorite part of a video game. My friends call the whole mechanic, “Barbie Dress-up” and we love it. Terraria has pretty simple graphics, but you can still have a lot of fun making your character.
But what really surprised me was that, when I went in to make my favorite members of the Republican Party, Terraria was uncannily accurate with their likenesses. Check it out:
This post was originally going to be cool and interactive. It turns out that’s a huge pain in the ass in WordPress. You get what you pay for, I guess. Well, in the meantime, I will try to learn how to more easily circumvent WordPress. For now, enjoy this article in its uncool, non-interactive iteration.
The whole Anthony Weiner debacle has left us with more dick jokes than we could ever need. But these are a foundation of humor, so we should be thankful that we’ll never be without them.
Still, I heard a lot of commentators struggle with euphemisms for what Weiner might have been doing on Facebook with all those ladies. They didn’t go for the classics – polishing his knob, bopping the bishop, flogging the dolphin. Instead, because everyone knows what those phrases mean and thus it might constitute filthy language, they tried to come up with new euphemisms to joke about Anthony Weiner’s supposed cybersex. They failed. The euphemisms were bewildering and often kinda disgusting.
Euphemisms can get very confusing, and that’s what I want to demonstrate today. If you’re going to launch into a metaphor, you need to follow a pretty narrow path, or your listeners will completely miss it. So let’s get on with the demonstration.
Ask yourself – are the following euphemisms obfuscating a reference to masturbation or sex?
2. ”Visiting a paleontological dig site to unearth a prehistoric bone”
3. ”Calling up a catcher from the minor leagues”
4. ”Singing karaoke at Steve Perry’s house”
5. ”Deboning the chicken”
6. ”Giving Little Billy Johnson a spinal screening”
7. “Sailing with Magellan”
8. ”Spamming the inbox”
9. ”Bobbling the handoff to the halfback”
10. ”Taking Peter to confession”
And there was supposed to be a nifty AJAXie way for you to choose which was which, then have those results displayed in some sort of bar graph. Obviously, that didn’t work out… at least not quickly enough for me. Well, WordPress is free, Master Ninja is free, and you can’t really complain, so I don’t care.