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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Odds and Ends

  • Hollywood Bites: Let's make it official. For reasons I can no longer explain, last week I rented A History of Violence, a film starring Viggo Mortensen and Maria Bello, about a former mob killer who restarted his life in a small town by marrying, having kids, and opening a diner. And after years of bliss his past catches up with him, and Mayberry goes haywire. We finally got around to watching it tonight. Just finished a few minutes ago. Now, I'm going to go take a shower and huddle shivering in the fetal position. Then I'm going to run into the street in front of a moving car, and hope any merciful impact erases what I saw from memory. This was a bad film, not just bad, but stupid. For the first 30 minutes I couldn't figure out how a picture starring two accomplished actors - both of whom I liked before seeing A History of Violence - could be so disjointed and stilted. It was bad like a car accident on the side of the road. Even though you know you shouldn't look, the more you see the more you can't help yourself. Then it hit me. It wasn't the actors. It was the writing, the plot, the script. Hollywood is a giant con game, all about fast money - very similar, in theory, to pimping and prostitution. And guess who's getting pimped at the theater? Badly written flicks are for mindless drones who don't care what they're watching as long as someone gets shot, Rogered, or both. Until they start writing dialogue and scripts that either successfully take us into Fantasyland and allow us to laugh at or dream about the improbable, or reflect some reality of the world today, then we're gonna keep getting fed crap. And no this isn't sour grapes or Hating because I wasted nearly $5 on this movie. I rented Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigalo once...on purpose. But at least that film's corniness forced you to laugh at it. I say boycott Hollywood, until we get one solid year's worth of good movies - comedies being the exception, of course, because all our senses of humor range from scary to goofy. So good comedy is relative. That's just my take. You're welcome to disagree.
  • Mutton Head of the Day: We were rolling into the parking lot at Target (pronounced Tar-Zhay when you're shopping for furniture), and I was forced to slam on the breaks, because a guy in a big sedan ran a stop sign and whipped in front of us. As he was turning into our path I leaned on the horn to let him know it was a stupid thing to do. And I may have saluted him. I don't remember. Yes, Miami-esque responses to stupid driving have fully rubbed off on me. So we got to the next stop sign and wouldn't you know it? He stops this time! But only to open his door, lean out, turn around to face me and ask "Hey, so what is your big hurry?" Come again. My big hurry? I wasn't in a hurry. I couldn't be 'cause you, dumb dumb, cut me off. In my mind I responded "Hey Speed Racer, you are disqualified, ha ha! You have proven that you cannot drive, ha ha! You are no longer allowed to eat fresh food, ha ha! Nor can you look both ways before walking into traffic, ha ha!" But, because my wife thought he may have been nuts for stopping and confronting me, I only called him a name and told him to quit asking rhetorical questions and move his car out of the intersection. I admit it was probably stupid of me to call this guy out. He could have been an illegal gun-toting psycho. But see, what he did was also stupid, 'cause I may have been the crazy one. And how bad would his day have gotten if I'd yanked him out of that car by his nostrils and proceeded to fling him like a pendulum a la Bamm Bamm Rubble? Alas, I am too pretty to go to jail. So he did not get flung. Instead, he got off with a verbal "warning." But I'm really getting into this road rage thing. Who knew that six months in Miami could make me kooky as a native, when I'm behind the wheel?
  • Myspace: My neighbor, who violated my chill space a couple of months ago by draping towels, clothes, and other random wet stuff over my fence is at it again. The first time I caught heat from at least one person (that's right Big Daddy; but I forgive you) for allegedly being a suburban snob. But I don't live in the 'burbs, and I busted my hump to make that yard look good. And I'm no snob. I just don't want to see your mildewed towels and dirty drawers hanging in my yard. Put that stuff in your dryer, especially if you have one that works (and my neighbor does - don't ask how I know). I didn't say anything to him the first time he did it. Now, I think I have to. My vision of tranquility in that corner of my yard doesn't include looking at raggedy towels, and old, dingy pup tents, I mean great-grandma undies. What's next, cars on cinder blocks being parked in my driveway?
  • WBAs: Finally, don't forget to try and think of nominations for Sunday's Weekly Behavior Awards. If you've seen an extraordinarily good or extraordinarily bad act over the past week or so, let's hear about it.


  • I could write a diatribe about your entire post, but I've got to make another (mmm hmm another) noise complaint phone call to my trusty local precinct about my neighbors and their booming bass/reggae/super bad limbo songs that have been blasting since 2PM... it's now after midnight. My house is vibrating. And not in a fun way.

    So, let me just say that the driving thing? Oh man, watch it in those parking lots. Not to mention the actual streets. Had anyone dressed in all black walk out in front of your car well after dark yet? You will. It'll scare the crap out of you and you'll fight the urge to hit them just to knock some sense into them.

    By Blogger Melissa, at 12:34 AM  

  • Never mind your neighbour using their dryer, what about a clothes line? Temperatures your showing at the top of your blog the stuff would be dry again, ready to take in within the hour, & no nasty greenhouse gases!

    WBAs - don't know if you do one for creativity & causing great enjoyment but I'd like to nominate the ladies of the Portsmouth & District Branch of the Embroiderers' Guild (UK) who have an exhibition on in Emsworth (Hants, UK). The work is amazing, the skill almost intimidating - except that the Stewards are all really friendly.

    By Anonymous Bronchitikat, at 3:31 AM  

  • I nominate the folks at United Airlines.

    Also, the guy at O'Hare who said to the Japanese guy "Go back to your own country, asshole!". He should get a weekly bad behavior award.

    For good behavior? the lady at the lunch counter at the airport, who made me a sandwich like she was making it for her own child, smiled at me, made sure I had extra napkins (She GAVE them to me, I didn't steal them-LOL!) made sure I had a straw and wished me a good day. yeah, I know that's how you're SUPPOSED to act, but that's uncommon. SHe made my day. Also, as a nomination for the weekly good behavior awards, the fine men and women of the US Military, for bringing an end to the violent and bloody regime of Zarqawi.

    By Anonymous og, at 2:03 PM  

  • OK, let's get political.

    Bum of the Week Award

    I nominate the idiot, or any idiot, who reckons that the three prisoners at Guantanamo Bay who committed suicide did it as a PR move for their cause. Insnesitive or what?

    By Anonymous Bronchitikat, at 2:36 AM  

  • CRack*** is gone and I now have a nice quiet couple living next door.

    Thing is, all our terraces are attached in this building, with only half a wall blocking the view into your neighbor's terrace. So my new neighbors have decided to use their terrace as a kind of storage for all the things they don't want to keep in the house.

    And I too cherish my beautiful "backyard," which I worked at to grow beautiful plants. THere is really nothing I can do, I suppose. You don't really see all their junk until you step further out into the terrace, but once you do see it looks so, well, trashy and is a total eyesore. I just think it shows these folks aren't taking a whole lot of pride in the way they keep the exterior side of their unit, which is available for other neighbors to get a glance of.

    At first I thought they were storing stuff there while they moved in and got organized, but now I'm pretty sure it's permanent.

    Good luck with your situation! Hanging laundry over the fence is not cool! Keep us posted.

    By Blogger Manola Blablablanik, at 4:20 PM  

  • Take the clothes, and when he comes to get them remind him to put them where it is more appropriate!

    By Blogger ChargeOfQuarters, at 5:20 PM  

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