Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How to Fight


There. Now you know.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


AS SOME OF YOU KNOW, the earth got angry at Los Angeles again today to the tune of a 5.4 earthquake (originally reported as a 5.8) about 37 miles from our house. We weren't at our house, but in Burbank (about the same distance from the epicenter) where the quake was still a little scary but amounted to not much more than about 30 seconds of shaking.

No one was injured, but a lot of stuff fell off store shelves. My 3-year-old nephew, who lives considerably closer to the epicenter, was a little scared but otherwise unfazed by the "earthcake."

The hilarious part was how breathless the local media (who should know an important tremblor from a strong but basically harmless one) became in the wake of the shake. Admittedly, I am speaking of the very same newspeople who react to more than one day of light rain with StormWatch '08 graphics. But most of the coverage, which interrupted regular afternoon shows for several hours after, bordered on the ridiculous. At one point, all they really had to show was a pile of bricks in an alley in Pomona and home video some guy had taken of his hanging light fixture swinging back and forth. The eerie swinging of a light fixture can only mean one thing! Earthquake!

Oh could mean that the guy pushed it and then started rolling the camera. That could also be the cause.

It was only later in the day I realized the national media was equally as breathless. Talk about a slow news day. The best roundup of the coverage (and the source of the image I snagged for this entry) was Curbed LA, who also had some awesome security cam footage from a bicycle shop near the epicenter, showing people doing exactly what you're not supposed to do in an earthquake: running like maniacs out of the store into the street.

By the way, when we got home, we did find out there was some damage in our apartment. Two of my Simpsons figurines and three Pez dispensers had fallen over.


Spam Thirty-Six: Spam & the Economy

WITH THE ECONOMY STILL IN THE CRAPPER, the spam bag is brimming with promises of easy money and easy escape. The Get Out of Debt emails stayed at the #5 spot, followed immediately by Naked Angelina at #6. And if those two indicators don’t spell “recession” then I guess I’m not much of an economist.

And maybe I’m not. (I am not.) But the slow fade of the Luxury Replica emails, which were long a fixture at #2, in favor of the rise of Canadian/Online Pharmacy can be interpreted as a message from the spam-o-verse that people are more concerned with health care than with luxury items. Hell, even Designer Footwear (#16) is dropping almost off the Chart these days. See? People can't afford to spend their extra money on watches, purses and shoes made by Gucci, Patek Phillipe and Rolex anymore. They only want to assure the quality of their boners.

It's classic Keynesian economics!

(Only it isn't. Or maybe it is. I don't really know what Keynesian economics is.)

On the speculative front, three separate spins on the Nigerian Bank Scam popped up, landing at #19, oddly enough none from Nigeria, claiming to represent vast sums of money from South Korea, Spain and Hong Kong. And Stock News, which for many months was nowhere to be seen on the Chart, is storming back. Well, if not exactly storming back, at least it’s on the rise, up six spots this week to #15.

See? The economist in me (there isn’t one) is telling me these are all signs of economic downturn, of a nervous population hoping for more stability and leadership. It’s not really a good sign, I don’t think, for where we’re going. Unless...

Where we’re going, we don’t need Chart.

1,250 emails
BMS = 33% (up 2%)

((1/1)) -- 411 Boner Medication (97 VPXL, 34 Viagra/Cialis, 25 PowerEnlarge, 15 LNH Maxdik, 13 MaxGain, 9 WonderCum, 9 Megadik, 6 Erectifix)
((2/2)) -- 254 Canadian/Online Pharmacy
((3/3)) -- 159 Luxury Replica Watches/Purses
((4/5)) -- 138 Inspecific “Look at this!”
((5/5)) -- 52 Get Out Of Debt/Loan Approval
((6/7)) -- 39 Promises of Naked Angelina Jolie Movie
((7/4)) -- 37 OEM Software
((8/8)) -- 25 Online Casino
((9/12)) -- 17 Earn Your Degree
((10/9)) -- 16 Weight Loss (Anatrim/Hoodia)
((11/16)) -- 15 Foreign Gibberish
((12/14)) -- 14 Pheromones
((13/11)) -- 13 Improve Your Health
((14/10)) -- 12 Validate Your Identity (3 Chase Online, 2 eBay, 2 Google AdWords)
((15/21)) -- 11 Stock News
((16/13)) -- 10 Stop Smoking
((16/17)) -- 10 Buy Designer Footwear
((18/14)) -- 7 Human Growth Hormone
((19/--)) -- 3 Nigerian Bank Scam (South Korean, Hong Kong, Spain)
((20/17)) -- 2 Online Dating Site
((20/--)) -- 2 Zorbeez
((20/--)) -- 2 Fake Undeliverable/Returned Email
((23/--)) -- 1 Win a Custom Chopper!
((23/--)) -- 1 Air Passenger Fuel Surcharge Settlement Notice

BMS = Boner Medication Saturation
((this week's rank/last week's rank))
-- = new to the chart this week

Monday, July 28, 2008

You're a Human Hummingbird!


I came across this amazing bit of our nation's history on the amazing Modern Mechanix blog. A short Googling later, I found that this ill-conceived device was at one time considered by the Army, as the photo below shows.

According to the article I found, "The engine throttle and a few basic instruments were attached to bicycle-type handlebars fixed to a three-foot tall pedestal atop the main platform. The pilot stood to the rear of the pedestal and was secured to it by safety belts, and guided his craft by simply leaning in the desired direction of travel."

Well, thank god the pilot was attached to that tiny platform by safety belts! I'm sure he felt very safe strapped to a pole over two gigantic whirling blades, as he leaned forward or back or side to side in order to steer. How comforting the laws of aerodynamics must have been to the poor sap who volunteered for the maiden flight.

All his boss/commanding officer said was, "Who wants to try out some new equipment?"

And he probably thought, "This will be a good way to get that promotion."

Minutes later, out on the testing range, after getting a good look at the device he was about to be strapped to, the pilot asked, "So, um, this is safe, right?"

"Sure! Of course!" a scientist said. "I guess."

"You guess?"

"Well, we're reasonably sure it's safe. Look, I'll put it this way. We're sure it won't blow up."

"Actually, that possibility hadn't occurred to me. Until now. Now I'm worried about that too."

"Try not to think about that. If I were you, I'd concentrate on your posture. Like, for instance, if you have an itch on your shin or your foot, I'd try to wait until you are safely on the ground to scratch it. You know, when you think about it, riding in this thing isn't much different than just standing on the sidewalk."

"Except for the two sets of whirling blades inches below me."

"Wow! You are a real dark cloud, aren't you?"

"What do you guys call this thing anyway?"

"Oh...well...before I tell you, I want you to know that it's just a nickname. It doesn't really mean anything."

"What is it?"

"It's just a fun word to say, really. We liked the sound of it. It's not based on anything else."

"What is it?"

"Um...we sometimes call it...a...a...chopper?"


"It's just a word. It doesn't mean anything."

"I'm so fucked."

Friday, July 25, 2008

Box Office Blah Blah

I THOUGHT I WAS BEING GENEROUS, but it turns out I was being timid with my prediction. The Dark Knight destroyed the box office in its opening weekend, setting records nearly every day. As of Wednesday, the flick had brought in $222 million, making it the third highest grossing film of the year -- already. But even though I underestimated its awesome power, I was still in the mid-80s in accuracy, which is totally acceptable for me. I was a lot closer with Mamma Mia! and Space Chimps. Take a look.

The Dark Knight
My prediction: $135 million
Actual opening weekend: $158.4 million
Accuracy: 85.2%

Mamma Mia!
My prediction: $25 million
Actual opening weekend: $27.7 million
Accuracy: 90.2%

Space Chimps
My prediction: $8 million
Actual opening weekend: $7.1 million
Accuracy: 88.7%

The X-Files: I Want to Believe
This weekend, like the week and weekend preceding it, belongs to The Dark Knight. That juggernaut of a movie is still not done dominating the box office and it will be the highest grossing film of the weekend by a long shot. And everything a movie-goer might hope to get from The X-Files, The Dark Knight already has in spades. Without even seeing The X-Files, I can tell you that The Dark Knight is more tense, darker, more exciting and a has more bang for the buck. So I predict a tough go at the box office for Mulder and Scully. Also, um, is there anyone but hard-core fans of the show who want to see this flick? The early word is that if you're not a fan of the show you may not even understand what's going on. If that's true...this thing could flop hard. And that's exactly what I think it will do: flop.

Opening weekend: $22 million
Total take: $50 million

Step Brothers

The script for this film was hilarious. And, in general, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly make me laugh. But it is time to wonder if they've sort of worn out their welcome with the movie-going public. Do people really want to see what amounts to Elf x 2? It's hard to say. The movie does benefit by being the only comedy out there right now. And the trailers do generate laughs. So I think it'll do all right. It's not going to crack the $100 million barrier overall, but it will make some money.

Opening weekend: $24 million
Total take: $61 million

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Media Is Retarded

WHILE WASTING TIME INSTEAD OF WORKING YESTERDAY, I came across this priceless bit of reportage on the trusty ol' website.

And it got me thinking.

What if is right? What if an Obama presidency was actually worse for black Americans than if he didn't get elected? I guess that's what is really talking about, right? Aren't they just saying, "Take a minute Black America (or BlAmerica) and think about this. Are you really sure you want to vote for a black guy? Haven't things been pretty good for you under a 232-year string of white guys? Aren't you afraid that you'll jinx things by breaking that streak?"

Maybe they're totally right. Maybe this article isn't just a piece of bullshit journalism (who said that? it sure wasn't me!) that gives scholarly, conservative white guys a venue to voice their barely disguised racism. So those white guys can say awesome stuff like this: "So many whites want to be able to say, 'I'm not one of them, those bad whites. ... Hey, I voted for a black guy for president.'"

That's a quote from conservative smart guy Steve Sailer, who posits that some whites who support Obama aren't driven primarily by a desire for change, but instead would cast their votes for Obama as a sort of "White Guilt Repellent." (His words. And also a new fragrance from the makers of Axe!)

As if that's a bad thing.

As if, let's say, it was a bad thing that Jackie Robinson got into major league baseball if you could prove that Branch Rickey only did it because he felt guilty. As if, something as monumental as the first black President would only really "count" if it totally changed race relations forever.

Nope, sorry, none of that's good enough. I guess the ends don't justify the means unless the motivations behind the means justify the ends in the first place. Confused? Don't be! It's simple: Barack Obama getting elected president is only good for BlAmerica if all of the people who voted for him did so for non-racially motivated reasons. Because if even one white person votes for Obama out of "white guilt" then his presidency will "hurt" BlAmericans.

Makes perfect sense.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Spam Thirty-Five: Naked Angelina, Serial Killers & Tornadoes

LOTS OF FAKE NEWS ABOUT ANGELINA JOLIE in this week’s spam bag. First there was the deluge of Naked Angelina Jolie Movie emails, enough, in fact, to easily capture the #7 slot. Then, there was the horrifying subject line of “Pregnancy bleed forces Jolie to abort.” But that was leavened with the message inside the spam that said, “Official Beatles reunion to start in August, get your tickets now!”

It’s an interesting marketing ploy on the part of The Beatles. On one hand, it does get the attention of the audience, much in the same way that “Boobs! Now that I’ve gotten your attention, I’d like to talk to you about insurance” does. However, I remain unconvinced that associating your band (even if it is The Beatles) with abortion is a good way to increase ticket sales. Conversely, I think associating insurance with boobs is probably a good idea for the insurance industry. But maybe I just don’t know anything about marketing.

In other nonsensical spam news, I noticed an interesting trend in subject line/message pairings that played out like a weird sing-songy poem. It began with this three-spam sequence:
[subject] / [message]
Free tickets to Mariah Carey concert / Serial killer loves to party
Serial killer loves to party / You are about to get fired
You are about to get fired / Serial killer loves to party

I don’t know whether it’s good news or not that the serial killer loves to party. Is seems as though it’s meant to make him seem more personable to me, but he’s still a serial killer, so I think I’ll pass on partying with him, if you don’t mind. Additionally, if it’s good news that the serial killer loves to party, it’s absolutely bad news that I’m about to get fired. So, the mixed message is very confusing.

The sing-song pattern was repeated in what seemed like a Beat-era poem that I will reprint below :
[subject] / [message]
Describe your day / Wanna be cool?
Describe your day / It may shock you!
It may shock you! / Tornado!
Tornado! / Wanna be cool?
Describe your day / Vulcan!

The answer is, yes, tornadoes do shock me! Yes, I do wanna be cool! And, finally, yes, I do wanna be a Vulcan!

Chart long and prosper!

1,304 emails
BMS = 31% (down 3%)

((1/1)) -- 401 Boner Medication (75 VPXL, 56 Viagra/Cialis, 44 PowerEnlarge, 18 MaxGain, 10 WonderCum, 9 LNH Maxdik, 7 MaxHerbal, 6 Erectifix, 1 Megadik)
((2/2)) -- 286 Canadian/Online Pharmacy
((3/3)) -- 196 Luxury Replica Watches/Purses
((4/4)) -- 88 OEM Software
((5/5)) -- 54 Get Out Of Debt/Loan Approval
((5/8)) -- 54 Inspecific “Look at this!”
((7/--)) -- 50 Promises of Naked Angelina Jolie Movie
((8/6)) -- 33 Online Casino
((9/7)) -- 26 Weight Loss (Anatrim/Hoodia)
((10/14)) -- 19 Validate Your Identity (6 Capital One, 5 PayPal, 3 eBay)
((11/12)) -- 16 Improve Your Health
((12/15)) -- 14 Earn Your Degree
((13/9)) -- 12 Stop Smoking
((14/10)) -- 11 Human Growth Hormone
((14/11)) -- 11 Pheromones
((16/17)) -- 9 Foreign Gibberish
((17/16)) -- 7 Buy Designer Footwear
((17/19)) -- 7 Online Dating Site
((19/13)) -- 6 Free Dowloadable Porn DVDs
((20/18)) -- 2 Job Offer/Employee Search
((21/19)) -- 1 Stock News
((21/--)) -- 1 Confirm Your Online Winning (Dayzers Lottery Netherland)

BMS = Boner Medication Saturation
((this week's rank/last week's rank))
-- = new to the chart this week

Monday, July 21, 2008

Magazines Are Awesome!

STOP ARGUING EVERYBODY! Newsweek magazine is finally settling the argument that's been dividing the nation for the last several years. Is it the war and whether or not we should be in Iraq in the first place? No.

Is it about the increasing chasm between rich and poor in this country? No.

Is it gay marriage? Well, even though the cover looks like it could be about gay marriage, the answer is still no.

It is even more important than any of those. Newsweek finally stepped up to address the Lincoln-Darwin question. The question of who matters more.

Hmm. Um. What?

Thank god they waited until a special double issue to put this one on the cover. And good thing Newsweek isn't inadvertently proving that the print media is becoming increasingly irrelevant and that weekly magazines can still appeal to young people.

Yeah, kids, try to find an article about Lincoln and Darwin on those Internets. Just try it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Box Office Savant?

I'LL TRY NOT TO LET IT GO TO MY HEAD, but last week's box office predictions were pretty good, I must say. Even though I missed the Meet Dave number horribly, as I was waaaaayyyyy more generous than the movie-goers were with their interest. Honestly, I thought $17 million represented a pretty dismal opening weekend for an Eddie Murphy movie, and maybe I was right. But it wasn't dismal enough. The $5 million that Meet Dave brought in put it above the lifetime gross of Pluto Nash, so I guess that's some sort of victory, right?

As far as the two other predictions go, I was nearly perfect, nailing Journey to the Center of the Earth's debut on the nose and posting a respectable 93.2% for Hellboy II. Even with Meet Dave factored in, I was 81% accurate for the weekend, which is a solid B. Let's take a gander at those numbers!

Hellboy II: The Golden Army
My prediction: $37 million
Actual opening weekend: $34.5 million
Accuracy: 93.2%

Journey to the Center of the Earth
My prediction: $21 million
Actual opening weekend: $21 million
Accuracy: 100%

Meet Dave
My prediction: $17 million
Actual opening weekend: $5 million
Accuracy: 29%

The Dark Knight 
Here it comes, people: the biggest movie of the summer. And I'm not talking about Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. No movie will have a bigger debut this summer and no movie will take in more money overall. This is the movie that everyone has been talking about ever since Batman Begins left the theaters. And the tragedy of Heath Ledger's passing has only amplified the buzz. Two weeks ago, I ran into no fewer than a dozen people who were either in the process of securing their tickets for The Dark Knight or had just done so. Two. Weeks. Ago. The critical praise has been crazy good (over 90% positive on, the trailers look amazing, and everyone is going bananas already, and it's only been open for a few hours. Now that we're securely in the sweaty bosom of summer, it's time for us to meet 2008's box office champ. Embrace it. Love it. See it several times.
Opening weekend: $135 million
Total take: $400 million

Mamma Mia!
The wife always says of my movie predictions, basically, that I base them solely on my feelings about a movie. That if it's a movie I don't want to see, I can't imagine how other people might have a different opinion than mine. And I will not disagree with that statement, not entirely anyway. I do try to take the long view of things. Sometimes it's harder than other times. Like with Mamma Mia!, for instance. I know it's not a movie for me. Just like the musical of the same name was not aimed at me (even though, thanks to my dad, I was a fan of ABBA as a kid). But I'll say this: I thought this movie would easily take in $100 million when I first heard Meryl Streep was on-board. And I continued to think that until last week when I saw a clip and heard Pierce Brosnan's singing. First of all Brosnan is already a little bit of box office poison, even if he's not trying to sing. But good gravy, people! Have you heard the man's yowling? Sweet Jeebus! It's beyond bad. It's beyond embarrassing. That said, I still think the movie will open okay. But I just can't imagine people will return to hear the noise coming from that guy's face.
Opening weekend: $25 million
Total take: $70 million

Space Chimps 
Wow. Really? That's all you've got for me? Space Chimps? And your tagline is "Go bananas!" It's like a movie poster for a fake movie you would see as a prop in another movie. So, it already appears that the movie is, if not there already, on the edge of creative bankruptcy. But then there's the character design. All the chimps look the same, and they're not even cute. And, hey, studio guys, are you sure you want this in the theaters at the same time as Wall-E? You sure about that? You can almost hear them saying, "Well, after a couple of weeks, everyone will be tired of that dumb Pixar robot movie, and they'll be ready for our movie. Plus, our monkeys talk! That robot just says his name over and over again. Bo-ring!" Wait, I could be totally wrong about this! The movie could do really, really well. It could be huge! I'm kidding. It will be horrible and it will do horribly.
Opening weekend: $8 million
Total take: $51 million

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Something You Didn't Know About Golf

APPARENTLY, EVERY NOW AND THEN, two of the top players totally get it on while on the course.

It's not gay. It's just what happens when you spend all day talking about balls and clubs and holes. It's totally natural. Please don't judge them.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Spam Thirty-Four: All Quiet on the Boner Front

IN A TUMULTUOUS TIME, it is comforting to see such stability on the Boner Chart. Even though a giant lender in California went belly-up (prompting a spike in Get Out Of Debt/Loan Approval emails), the Chart arrives fairly unruffled from last week. Nearly half of the categories remained steady in their slots or moved a mere 1 or 2 notches total. The notable exceptions were the lowly (and peculiar) All Kinds of Embroideries returning to the Chart after a 20-week absence, Get Out Of Debt re-entering at a lofty #5 and Buy Designer Footwear plummeting from #7 to #16.

Other than that, all seemed business as usual on the Chart, with spammers wanting to know if I wanted “to be ready for sexxxx in a one seconds?” I was also reminded, “Don’t be sad about badboner. We will help you!” And when I needed to be lifted up with positive thinking and a call to action, I looked no further than my junk mailbox: “Hey, cat dick!” someone shouted. “You can make it much bigger, what are you waiting for?”

I don’t really have an answer to that one.

The Chart do take a bite, don’t she?

1,492 emails
BMS = 34% (up 5%)

((1/1)) -- 512 Boner Medication (130 VPXL, 48 Viagra/Cialis, 30 MaxGain, 26 PowerEnlarge, 16 WonderCum, 13 LNH Maxdik, 11 Erectifix, 2 Megadik)
((2/2)) -- 309 Canadian/Online Pharmacy
((3/3)) -- 214 Luxury Replica Watches/Purses
((4/4)) -- 95 OEM Software
((5/--)) -- 56 Get Out Of Debt/Loan Approval
((6/6)) -- 48 Online Casino
((7/8)) -- 42 Weight Loss (Anatrim/Hoodia)
((8/5)) -- 41 Inspecific “Look at this!”
((9/10)) -- 27 Stop Smoking
((10/10)) -- 25 Human Growth Hormone
((11/9)) -- 24 Pheromones
((12/12)) -- 21 Improve Your Health
((13/15)) -- 20 Free Dowloadable Porn DVDs
((14/14)) -- 13 Validate Your Identity (5 Capital One, 3 Colonial Bank)
((15/13)) -- 10 Earn Your Degree
((16/7)) -- 9 Buy Designer Footwear
((17/--)) -- 8 Foreign Gibberish
((18/17)) -- 6 Job Offer/Employee Search
((19/17)) -- 4 Online Dating Site
((19/19)) -- 4 Stock News
((21/--)) -- 1 Some Sex Related Zip File Attached
((21/-)) -- 1 All Kinds of Embroideries
((21/-)) -- 1 Win This Hour’s Cash Prize!
((21/-)) -- 1 The First Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer

BMS = Boner Medication Saturation
((this week's rank/last week's rank))
-- = new to the chart this week

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Box Office Magician

I AM OFTEN CONFUSED. This is not a point of pride. It is a simple fact. Accent on the simple. That is my explanation for last week's Hancock prediction. It's not the box office gross I chose that shows my confusion, but the total days I decided were in the holiday weekend. You see, Hancock was to open on Wednesday the 2nd, but at the last minute the studio decided to let theaters screen in on Tuesday (the 1st) night as well -- thus the 1/2 day. Because calendars are strange and foreign to me, and because my math skills are no better than those of a toddler, I added the days in my head and came up with "4 1/2 days."


Well, even though I had the number of days wrong in the holiday weekend, I still came close to the number for the (actual) 5 1/2-day weekend. And my weekend prediction was one of my most accurate yet. Not that I'll get credit for this from the wife. Oh no, she'll still harp about how right she was about Wanted, and how I was wrong about that. Well, I was wrong about Wanted. Really, really wrong. But I redeemed myself this week. Twofold. Because I also accurately predicted that the movie would not actually be very good (by most people's estimation). Let's run those numbers!

My weekend prediction: $61 million
Actual weekend take: $62.6 million
Accuracy: 97.4% (!!!)
My "4 1/2 day" holiday weekend prediction: $93 million
The 5 1/2 day holiday weekend take: $103.8 million
Accuracy: 89.6%

Onto the new week!

Do you hear that? That quiet? That silence? That inexplainable lull? It's everyone catching their breath before The Dark Knight blows everyone's minds next weekend. I think more people have already bought their advance tickets for The Dark Knight than will actually see movies this weekend. Into this gap falls another action flick based on a comic book.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army
The way the talking faces on the tee-vee talk about it, Pan's Labyrinth was seen and loved by everyone! Nothing against the movie, but the advance press on H2: The Golden A is talking about P's L as if it were a huge smash hit. In fact, it grossed $37.6 million domestically. Which is pretty good for a movie made for $19 million (that also grossed another $40+ overseas). But the first Hellboy grossed twice that. Now, I totally understand that artistically and critically P's L put director Guillermo del Toro on the map. But I'm not exactly sure of the crossover appeal from Pan's to the second Hellboy movie. However, that said, the ads look good, the advance word is strong, and I actually think it's going to be a minor hit of the summer. It may just surprise people. Starting with its opening weekend.

Opening weekend: $37 million
Total take: $121 million

Meet Dave
Eddie Murphy movies are in a category all their own. You never hear that he's making another one when all of the sudden -- boom! -- the ads are everywhere. Such was the case with this film, whose one-sheet posters look like Eddie himself produced them on his laptop. Since this is a science fiction comedy (tiny Eddie Murphy is piloting a spaceship that looks like human-sized Eddie Murphy, because tiny EM is an alien trying to learn about humans, but along the way, whoops, he falls in love) and Eddie Murphy's previous science fiction comedy was Pluto Nash (total box office: $4 million...yes, four), I'm going to have to say this one won't do very well. Yes. That's what I'll say. Also, I will say that 48 Hrs. is still a great movie and so is Beverly Hills Cop. Maybe I'll see if those are on the cable this weekend instead!

Opening weekend: $17 million
Total take: $59 million

Journey to the Center of the Earth
For those of you who have missed seeing Brendan Fraser in an action/comedy, this is the summer for you! In fact, this is the three-week span for you. Not only do you get Brendan in three incredible, jaw-dropping, Dramamine-defying dimensions in this family film, but in a few weeks, you also get him duking it out with a mummified Jet Li in the latest Mummy film. Wow, that's a lot of handsomeness and wisecracking for one summer, I can tell you that. If this weren't positioned as a family film (and it didn't have the additional marketing hook of 3D), I'd be tempted to utter my ticket sale-guaranteeing phrase of "no one will see this movie." But I think some people will. More than see Meet Dave, in fact. If the question is, "Is America ready for this Journey?" I'd have to reply, "The answer may surprise you!"

Opening weekend: $21 million
Total take: $101 million

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Spam Thirty-Three: As Old As Jesus

NEW HIGHS IN BOTH emails and in “nonspecificity.” As we creep ever closer to 1,600 emails in a week (which, for some reason, I’m excited about, as if it doesn’t represent 228 annoyances a day), we’re now seeing a bizarre new trend in the weekly spam bag. Or several really. Least of all, although probably not to the boys in the government, is the weird recurrence of anti-government spam. Last week, it was an email that just said “kill president” (and hello, again, Uncle Sam, nothing to see here but boners...move along). This week it was the weird combination of an innocuous subject line (re: Don’t forget our 2pm meeting tomorrow) and bombastically false message (terrorist attack on White House kills Vice President).

The weird thing about that email is that I got another one with exactly the same subject line, only inside it read: “Angelina admits to having previous threesome with two other celebs.” It’s hard to pick my favorite between the two. Each represents a certain kind of wish fulfillment.

Other favorites from the Inspecific bin include--

Subject: Apple files for bankruptcy
Message: Gays in U.S. Military
See? See what damage you’re causing, gay people? By letting you serve in the military, you are putting the financial viability of my favorite computer company at risk! I cannot sit idly by, gay people, while you endanger my laptop, my MP3 player and my phone. I’m sorry, gay people, I must keep you out of the military because I treasure my convenience more than I respect your rights. I apologize. But know this: had you bankrupted Dell, you could be fighting right now.

Subject: Media response to Iraq
Message: Used motorcycles
I am uncertain how used motorcycles illustrate the media’s response to Iraq. Also, I must admit, it’s a little unclear just what about Iraq the media is responding to. The war? The colors of the flag? The spelling of the name? What exactly? And why used motorcycles? This is a fancy metaphor, isn’t it, Media? Are you showing off your college-level book-learnin’ again? Fucking elitists.

Subject: Carrie Underwood nude shots exposed
Message: Videos of your neighbors making things
The subject line intrgues and then confuses me. Her nude shots are exposed? So, what now, their ruined? Someone opened the film camera in the sunlight? That’s just stupid. But after my curiosity has been (for lack of a better word) aroused, then the payoff is the promise of videos showing my neighbors “making things?” I must tell you, my neighbors are very elderly and both wear giant Lew Wasserman glasses. I’m not sure they can make much of anything. Hell, I’m not sure they can see anything.

This Chart is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!

1,577 emails
BMS = 29% (down 4%)

((1/1)) -- 452 Boner Medication (92 VPXL, 68 Viagra/Cialis, 63 PowerEnlarge, 14 WonderCum, 14 LNH Maxdik, 14 Erectifix, 7 MaxGain, 3 Megadik)
((2/3)) -- 363 Canadian/Online Pharmacy
((3/2)) -- 273 Luxury Replica Watches/Purses
((4/4)) -- 115 OEM Software
((5/5)) -- 67 Inspecific “Look at this!”
((6/8)) -- 47 Online Casino
((7/7)) -- 38 Buy Designer Footwear
((8/9)) -- 38 Weight Loss (Anatrim/Hoodia)
((9/11)) -- 34 Pheromones
((10/10)) -- 31 Stop Smoking
((10/13)) -- 31 Human Growth Hormone
((12/16)) -- 29 Improve Your Health
((13/6)) -- 17 Earn Your Degree
((14/14)) -- 15 Validate Your Identity (5 PayPal, 5 Colonial Bank)
((15/11)) -- 11 Free Dowloadable Porn DVDs
((16/--)) -- 9 Fourth of July / Fireworks (Plus Suspicious Link)
((17/17)) -- 2 Online Dating Site
((17/19)) -- 2 Job Offer/Employee Search
((19/19)) -- 1 Stock News
((19/--)) -- 1 Electronics For Sale
((19/--)) -- 1 Enter the Cute Kid of the Year Contest

BMS = Boner Medication Saturation
((this week's rank/last week's rank))
-- = new to the chart this week

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Pretty Pony!

THERE'S A NEW VIDEO UP! I just posted it on both FunnyOrDie and on YouTube. It's a little ditty I put together called "Pretty Pony."

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Take a look, if you've got a moment.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Box Office Jerk

SO MY WIFE WAS TOTALLY RIGHT about Wanted, and I was totally wrong. Both of my predictions were pretty bad. Just a C-average this week. But I will redeem myself (probably not) with my Hancock prediction! But first here's last week's numbers.

My prediction: $77 million
Actual opening weekend: $63 million
Accuracy: 81.8%

My prediction: $39 million
Actual opening weekend: $50.9
Accuracy: 76.6%

First of all, I think this will not be a very good movie. Even though, I sort of like Will Smith and I definitely like Jason Bateman. But I'm not convinced the director, Peter Berg, has much of a light touch with comedy. I'm certain he can deliver the dynamic visuals associated with a superhero movie. But this idea is sort of a deconstruction of a superhero movie, with an anti-hero as superhero. That said, it is Fourth of July weekend and this is an action movie starring Will Smith. He's pretty bulletproof when it comes to shit like this (even Wild, Wild West grossed over $100 million). So I think it will perform strongly out of the box and for several weeks, even though the word-of-mouth may be less than stellar.
Opening weekend: $61 million
Total 4 1/2 day weekend: $93 million
Total take: $189 million

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Spam Thirty-Two: The O.J. Simpson Memorial Chart

IT MAY HAVE BEEN A FEDERAL CRIME JUST TO READ the spam this week. The subject line was: Kill president. The message was simply: New video! Download now! Since I did not click on the link, I can’t be sure whether it was an instructional video or not. I’m sure that just by typing those two words into this blog, I have ended up on some government watch list. Or at the very least, the NSA is now looking at my blog. If the latter is the case, I say: Hey, spies! Enjoy the boners!

This week we learned that boners aren’t just there so you can “make better sex more often.” Or even so you can “ping pong in your bed,” whatever the hell that could mean. But if you are to properly “adore your birth giving orgasm” you must “upgrade the bazooka in your pants.” You have to, because “if you want to win sex-battles you must have heavy cannon.”

Honestly, I don’t understand why people buy self-help books. Spam seems to have all the answers. And written so concisely and clearly too. Ping pong that in your bed! If you know what I mean.

The Chart is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.

1,565 emails
BMS = 33% (down 6%)

((1/1)) -- 514 Boner Medication (169 PowerEnlarge, 67 Viagra/Cialis, 59 VPXL, 12 LNH Maxdik, 11 Erectifix, 10 MaxGain, 9 WonderCum)
((2/2)) -- 390 Luxury Replica Watches/Purses
((3/3)) -- 253 Canadian/Online Pharmacy
((4/4)) -- 77 OEM Software
((5/5)) -- 55 Inspecific “Look at this!”
((6/8)) -- 53 Earn Your Degree
((7/6)) -- 44 Buy Designer Footwear
((8/9)) -- 34 Online Casino
((9/6)) -- 24 Weight Loss (Anatrim/Phentermine/Hoodia)
((10/9)) -- 22 Stop Smoking
((11/15)) -- 21 Free Dowloadable Porn DVDs
((11/11)) -- 21 Pheromones
((13/12)) -- 17 Human Growth Hormone
((14/13)) -- 11 Validate Your Identity (6 Sun Trust, 2 Capital One, 2 Google AdWords)
((15/16)) -- 10 Chinese Earthquake News (Plus Suspicious Link)
((16/13)) -- 7 Improve Your Health
((17/17)) -- 3 Online Dating Site
((17/--)) -- 3 Get Out Of Debt/Loan Approval
((19/18)) -- 2 Job Offer/Employee Search
((20/19)) -- 1 Stock News
((20/--)) -- 1 Some Sex Related Zip File Attached
((20/--)) -- 1 Hand-Rolled Cigars
((20/--)) -- 1 A Custom-Built Chopper Could Be Yours!

BMS = Boner Medication Saturation
((this week's rank/last week's rank))
-- = new to the chart this week