It's Oscars time. Somebody wake the Grouch.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Miller's Movie Mania

I referenced my new computer in a very humorous (if I do say so myself, and I must because no once else did) posting to our blog recently. I've hit a snag in getting it going as I have been unable to find any printer ribbons for my new Tandy DMP-133 dot-matrix printer. Don't worry though I have my wife working on the problem as we speak.



Anyway, today I come to you with yet another pointless confession. I really haven't been up on the latest movie offerings and have neglected even reviewing any new movies for weeks. With that off my chest, I want to bring you a review of Tom Cruise latest spectacle: M:I-III (or as it's known to its fans: M:Eye-EyeEyeEye), although I'm afraid I am too uninformed to make it any good. The movie is of course a sequel to Mission Impossible and M:Eye-EyeEye, the runaway success starring Tom Cruise when people could stand him.

M:Eye-EyeEyeEye is the story of Tom Cruise, as Ethan Hunt, who tries to convince Philip Seymour Hoffman, as a much better actor, that eating the placenta of your newborn child is a good idea. Mr. Hoffman decides instead to act completely over-the-top in the movie, in hopes of never having to act opposite Cruise again. We don't know if he's successful because there may be some sort of contract provision he doesn't know about. Cruise then proceeds to kill a lot of people and blow a lot of things up, which may include Ving Rhames but we all hope not because people DO like him. This isn't part of the movie this is just something I think Cruise might do if Mr. Seymour Hoffman crosses him because, hey, you don't cross Tom Cruise.

The movie then proceeds to Vienna, Austria because that sounded like a good place to me, where Cruise takes on a mystery guest villain. The mystery villain turns out to be Peter Graves who cocks his eye at Cruise until he is rendered an unrecognizable pulp.



After this meeting Peter Graves takes over Tom Cruise's persona and ends up on Oprah about once every three months talking about his love for Katie Holmes. This, however, turns out to be rather unsettling as Peter Graves is 108 and keeps asking to see Oprah's knickers. Graves is banned from the show and sent back to the Hollywood Actors Retirement Center in Pico Rivera, CA.

That's really all I know about the film at this point so if you want to go see a randy old centarian making jokes about gladiators, be my guest. I'm going to go see The Da Vinci Code. Be watching for that review next week, it ought to be a lulu.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Maybe he'll accidentally shoot himself?

Apparently, notorious terrorist and murderer Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is a bit more incompetent on the battlefield than he makes himself out to be. According to several sources, outtakes from Zarqawi's recently released video message to would-be jihadis contains a scene where his automatic rifle jams and he can't get it fixed without help, and also a shot where one of his associates takes the weapon by grabbing it by the hot barrel shortly after it's been fired. Also, he apparently prefers New Balance running shoes. I suppose the Glorious Caliphate brand sneakers, with the scimitar swoosh, aren't as comfortable as the Al-Jazeera adverts make them out to be.

Obviously, given the number of civilian and military deaths Zarqawi and his ilk have inflicted on Iraqi, U.S., and others, their ability to do harm is no laughing matter.

However, as they are a bunch of murdering, heartless, vicious blaggards, we should do all we can to mercilessly ridicule them. By we, I mean Stew, Juan, Zimpter, and I. If CENTCOM gets a glimpse of them, by all means fire away, make jokes later.

So, in that vein, I hunted down "additional footage" of Zarqawi and discovered that the man is a walking blooper reel.

**********

Outtake 272

Translated from the Arabic -

(Zarqawi is standing in front of the camera holding an uzi. Several thuggish associates are behind him holding weapons.)

Zarqawi: We will destroy the occupiers and their Zionist pig agents! We will fill the streets with their blood and entrails and... their blood and entrails and... (long pause) Line?

Off-Screen Associate Thug 1: (Whispered) ...defile their whores and cattle.

Zarqawi: (Confidently) Defile their whores and cattle! That is what we will do to them! Yes!

Off-Screen Associate Thug 2: (Whispered) Do you know you're holding a Zionist-made weapon?

Zarqawi: What?

O.S.A.T. 2: (Whispered) A Zionist weapon. That Uzi, it was made by the Jews.

Zarqawi: By the who?

O.S.A.T. 2: By the...

(Zarqawi shoots Off-Screen Associate Thug 2 dead.)

Zarqawi: By the Druze! I think that is what you mean!

(He walks away from the camera angrily)

Zarqawi: (Shouting in background) Where is Jameel the prop-man?! He gave me this weapon! Someone go and cut his %$#&!$... (audio unintelligible).

**********

Outtake 461

Translated from the Arabic -

(Zarqawi is standing in front of the camera holding an AK-47 with a large sticker on the butt of the weapon that says in Arabic "This weapon not manufactured by Jews." Several thuggish associates are behind him holding weapons.)

Zarqawi: (Off-screen) Do you really think I look like the Terminator?

Off-Screen Associate Thug #13: (Whispered) We're rolling!

Zarqawi: Oh! (To camera) This week, we will drown the Zionist, devil, oppressor, occupier, stupid gits in their own blood and spittle! We will fill them full of lead and burn them alive on giant George Foreman grills in their fancy Nike Michael Jordan footwear! (Shoots gun in an apparently celebratory manner.)

(Zarqawi loses control of the weapon and begins to spin around wildly. In the process he takes out several of his thuggish associates and the cameraman. The camera falls to the ground, leaving only a shot of Zarqawi's New Balance clad feet staggering around from the force of the weapon. The firing stops and the feet stand still.)

Voice of Zarqawi: Yasser! Ali! Jamal! Frank! Why didn't you duck?!?

Voice of Off-Screen Associate Thug #27: Hey, do they get their 72 virgins if you're the one who killed them?

(A single gunshot)

Zarqawi: Go and find out, idiot!!

**********

All right, I readily admit it's not all the light fun of a Star Trek: The Original Series blooper reel. Still, maybe Zarqawi will take himself out one of these days? I think a lot of people would pay big for that footage.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Welcome to the End of the Universe

Proud, pocket-protector wearing planet pursuers have discovered what nobody would have imagined about the sheepish neutron star. It can take a joke!!!!! "The thick skin of the star allows it to maintain its composure when made fun of and even participate if some self-deprecating humor of its own", said Professor Red Ganjafreak. "We've been watching these stars a lot lately and they seem to be pretty self confident lot." However, it was also reported that they are more dense than originally thought, so maybe they just don't get it.

What I found more interesting about this story was the fact that a Starbucks has been observed on some of these seemingly hot, lifeless bodies. This discovery begs many questions, primary among them: Why would anyone need a Machiatto Soy Latte in space, much less on a star that would burn them to a crisp before they even set foot on it? We asked one customer, a Mr. Zaphod Beeblebrox.

Me: Mr. Beeblebrox, why Starbucks on a neutron star? Why not, Baskin Robbins on a Red Dwarf or Dunkin Donuts on a comet?

Zaphod: Don't call me Mr. Beeblebrox, Your Majesty will do. Oh baby, why not live life to the fullest? Sure, you've got the whole fusion reaction to deal with but I won't let that keep me from the biscotti. It actually loosens the stuff up.

Me: What are the advantages to having a Starbucks on a neutron star?

Zaphod: To be honest there are none. But have you tried the Green Tea Frappacino? You can't get that sort of thing anywhere around Betelgeuse, I'll tell you that. I usually order mine with 12,000 shots of expresso. Whoo wee baby that'll knock one of your heads off, but who's complaining, huh.

Me: I thought you lived strictly on Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters?

Zaphod: Well, one has to take what one can get. The Orange Mocha Frappacino is very close as long as you add a quart or two of benzene. (showing flask) I never leave home without the stuff.

Me: Thanks for answering my questions.

Zaphod: You're welcome, but no pictures please.

Me: I didn't ask for one.

Zaphod: Yeah, right.

Well hey we're movin' on up!!!!!!

Sorry for my absence but I have been staging a protest to show solidarity with my illegal immigrant brothers and sisters. OK, it wasn't that but I do hope they clear that mess up soon, it makes eating at Jack in the Box very troubling these days. Anyway, I'm back now and the first thing I'd like to do is show you my newest broken Spanish rendition of the National Anthem which I have... Hmm, seems Earl's already covered that one... pretty thoroughly in fact. Well, still I haven't told you about the new driver I was hitting the other day, I mean the ball was just sailing... oh, Earl covered that too. Well this is a quandary. Has anyone heard I'm getting a workable computer to hook up to the old World Wide Wide?

Yes, I am moving into the digital age at last, setting my sails and moving the great ship into the seas of information and connectivity. There are some problems I'm encountering with my foray into the world of computers, so you may have to suffer with me for a short time. The first problem is that my new IBM 386 is gasoline powered. Normally this wouldn't be such a problem but with gas prices where they are it can put a nick in the old bank account. That, and having to mix the 2 cycle oil at the right viscosity can be very difficult, but I'm getting the hang of it.

The gas problems aside I am pretty excited about this hoss of a machine. The salesman told me it is lined out with the latest goods like a 2400 bps modem, 60 MB hard drive, 16 MB ram, running UNIX. I'm pretty stoked. I'm getting this baby next week and as soon as I can run some wire and build the exhaust system it'll be up and running and you can count on two or three posts a day. Got to remember to update my carbon monoxide detector. Anyway, here's a picture of the new beauty.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Anthem Versus Earl

After conducting my little experiment in translating the Star Spangled Banner to Spanish and back, yesterday, it suddenly occurred to me that the national anthem of the United States of America has more than one verse. Given the intense interest in immigration issues, fueled by members' of the U.S. Congress fear that they might soon be out of nannies, gardeners, and low-cost chef salads, I figured this would be a nice way to revive interest in the blog, and perhaps tempt Juan Carlos Vega out of his temporary blogging limbo (much less Stew's temporary blogging limbo...soon, I'll be posting about "Why I haven't posted in a week" if this keeps up).

So, by popular demand (meaning me) here are the other 4 retranslated verses of La Estrella Spangled La Bandera or in English, "The Saucy Los Lobos Groupie." Compare it to the original!

On the beach in the dark through the smog of the treated effluent in the bay,
Where those jerks on the other side's stuck up posse are sitting around giving us the silent treatment,
What is that in the wind (Was it you Francis?), over that tall thingy there,
As it agitatedly performs an act we can't describe on this blog, now you see it, now you don't?
Now the sun is shining on it, yep, still shining on it,
You have to admit, it's a pretty cool looking flag, and now something about a shiny stream (Francis! Lay off the ale!):
It's the Saucy Los Lobos Groupie: Long may she attend concerts and blow kisses at these talented musicians with the unusual facial hair.
Over the territory of the free and the crib of people who won't back off, jack!

And where is Aerosmith, who so cursed or promised something (not sure there)
That when things get messy in war and people don't know right from left in battle
A house in the Hamptons and a country estate should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution. (Amazingly this line translated perfectly! Even the "wash'd!")
No hidey-hole could save the white-collar and blue collar (not to speak of the migrant worker)
From a white-knuckle 12:15 a.m. from St. Louis to L.A., or the really depressing atmosphere of the cemetery:
And the Saucy Los Lobos Groupie in triumph does a little shimmy
Over the territory of the free and the crib of people who won't back off, jack!

Listen jack, this is how it is when free people get out of their seats,
Between the nice little three-bedroom cottage in the suburbs and a Stanley Kubrick film about martial conflict;
Blessed with winning the big game, may the heaven-rescued neighborhood
Praise God that made the country and allowed us to hang out.
Then open a can of you-know-what, when the time to throw down comes down,
Sing it with me: "In God is our trust"
And the Saucy Los Lobos Groupie in victory does the Macarena
Over the territory of the free and the crib of people who won't back off, jack!


And when giant ducks fly over Boston, trying to decide whether to have the kung-pao or Mu Shu
And large dimpled robotic Sasquatches play accordion in the Kennedy Center;
How many times will Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch play gin rummy
How often does a Mazerati get stopped for speeding on Interstate 5, only to be given a warning when the occupant flashes their SAG card,
Don't worry, it was just Charlie Sheen or Emilio Estevez...I'm not sure...the one who can't act,
There was a large moose in the back seat, wearing a cardigan and smelling of Bartles and James (the guys, not the wine coolers)

And the Saucy Los Lobos Groupie is exhausted from all the dancing
Over the territory of the free and the crib of people who won't back off, jack!

I just know we're going to get mail from this.

Update: Someone suggested to me that there are only 3 more verses to the anthem after the first verse. I double-checked and as it turns out, I went too far and retranslated the lyrics to Shakira's hit song "Poem to a Horse."

Sunday, April 30, 2006

El Anthem Nacional - mas o menos

In the heat of the immigration reform controversy, a group of Spanish-language popular musicians have recorded a new version of The Star Spangled Banner in Spanish. The inspiration? A British music producer. I suppose the sessions were financed by the Sultan of Brunei and the record is being shipped by Toho?

However, all politics aside, modern translations of old songs are notoriously risky, mainly because the language of the past doesn't often translate into other languages as straightforwardly as contemporary language might. As an example, the title of this new anthem is Nuestro Himmo or "Our Anthem", mainly because The Star Spangled Banner doesn't translate so well. According to Babelfish it's La Estrella Spangled La Bandera, which rather sounds like an especially saucy Los Lobos groupie

Several people have already popped the new version of the anthem into Bablefish and retranslated it back into English and gotten some interesting results. Knowing a little Spanish myself, I thought I'd give it a swing as well. The results are below. Admittedly, I mostly know slang words.

O boy!, check it out, by that sunlight waking me up and getting in my eyes,
What we were diggin' and jawing about at the sparklely 6 a.m.?
Whose big old stripes and 100-watt stars, during the dangerous rumble,
From the fire escape we were gawking, were blowin' in the wind?
And the Tomahawks' red intense stare, the smart bombs going off like firecrackers in the air,
Strongly suggested that through the darkest and quietest part of the sun's cycle, when everyone is usually asleep, except for newspaper boys and Chuck Norris, no one had yet busted a move on our flag, nor even put a hole in the thing, or damage those nifty little fringes.
Tell me now babycakes, is that Los Lobos groupie still waving around up on that flagpole
Over the territory of the free and the crib of people who won't back off, jack?

I have to admit, it does drain a bit of the poetry out of the thing.