Boobs of Terror

** Warning: There are pictures of boobs below.  They are not meant to be gratuitous; they are presented to make a point.  If you are offended by images of boobs, then please do not look at the pictures below.  If you are offended by images of boobs, then I would like you to continue reading, however, because you are the person I do not understand.  If you are a man, then you are not reading any of this now, because you have already quickly scrolled down to look at boobs.  You others have been politely warned.**

In movies, our future is often depicted as bleak.  There is a popular movie out right now based on a book called The Hunger Games in which teenagers set in a dystopian future are forced to battle each other to the death on television.  In a similar plot, The Running Man, based on a Stephen King short story, showed a future in which convicts could gain freedom, if they can survive being hunted on television.  In the movie Jason X, the future has a large, hockey-masked, slow-walking, indestructible person stalking through a spaceship in the 25thcentury and killing people in unlikely ways…. I’m ashamed to admit that I actually watched that one.  As bleak as these futures are, however, none of them are what we

"Hey, Number One... why does the new engineer have a machete?"

should fear.  Clearly, the biggest threat to our future as a civilized society is boobs.

I am basing this assumption on the reactions I often read about or have seen on TV whenever a boob-related catastrophe occurs.  There have been many examples.  The one that initially inspired me to want to write about this was when I read about a year ago that a lady in a museum started pounding on a 80-million dollar Gauguin painting and trying to remove it from the wall because it was ‘evil’.  It was a painting called Two Tahitian Women in which their breasts are exposed.  After her arrest, the lady said, “I feel that Gauguin is evil. He has nudity and is bad for the children. He has two women in the painting and it’s very homosexual. I was trying to remove it. I think it should be burned”.  She also went on to say, “I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you”…. I bring this example up because I think that it strangely echoes the sentiments of many people in this country.  The, um.. the part about nudity

An oil painting from 1899... OF EVIL!!

being evil.  Less so, the part about radios in heads.  For whatever reason, of all the things we can tolerate and subject ourselves to viewing, naked breasts are ridiculously taboo.  The lady in the above example was clearly loon balls, but she isn’t the only one who thinks that boobs are evil.  And why go all the way to the museum to see filthy smut, when you need to go no further than your TV?

Powerful forces are at work to ensure that evil images of boobs are not defiling our children on the silver screen.  Entertainer Nicki Minaj has discovered this, as she has been the subject of complaints on multiple occasions for her show of breasts.  During a recent performance on American Idol, she realized that one of her boobs was bouncing out of her low top and quickly turned away to tuck it back in.  She was quick to apologize afterward, as she probably wanted to avoid the backlash that she received last summer when one of her nipples was briefly exposed during a morning show performance.  Because if a boob is evil, then a nipple is the Eye of Malevolence, apparently.  Nothing draws the ire of terrified, conservative, “family values” people like an errant nipple.  We know this because Nick Minaj is but the student of “wardrobe malfunctions”.  The master did her show in 2004.

Janet Jackson, of course, is the one who brought “nip slips” into the mainstream during her Super Bowl halftime show.  Although, it wasn’t so much a nip slip as it was a strangely-accessorized breast thrown in our faces.  This seminal event inspired a firestorm of complaints led by the PTC (Parents Television Council)… the aforementioned “family values” watchdogs.  Hundreds of thousands of calls were placed, leading to stricter censorship standards on TV and years of old classic rockers performing Super Bowl

"Maybe this was a bad idea"

halftime shows.  Without exposing their breasts.  The strange thing about this moment igniting the “decency” flame, is that it occurred during an entertainment break of an event that glorifies large, helmeted men trying to violently maim each other.  Parents and their children can watch this and be perfectly content, but then a boob pops out and it’s, “OH MY GOD!!  JOHNNY, CLOSE YOUR EYES!  LOOK AWAY FROM THE SCREEN!!  I can’t believe they let that filth on my TV!  Poor Johnny’s sweet innocence…. sigh… now, Johnny, go run along and play your video games.  You know, the one where you shoot people in the face.  Good boy.”

After her wardrobe malfunction, Janet Jackson's PR team had its hands full.

That halftime show was the notorious moment in our country’s timeline of boob exposure that began the age of hypersensitivity to… boob… exposure.  Since then, there has been a shameful and tyrannical witch hunt for all things boob, with angry mobs throwing boobs in water to see if they float, for if they do, then surely they must be burned for the witches they are!  But why?!  As I alluded to above, we seem perfectly okay with allowing violent entertainment to pervade our culture.  Sure, some people fight against violence, but that fight has been much less audible or successful than the fight against boobs.  There is research to support wanting to shield our society from violent entertainment.  Some studies suggest that exposure to violent entertainment increases aggression in children.

I bet Clinton would have brokered more successful peace talks at a nudey bar.

There are no studies that I’m aware of that indicate that exposure to a boob adversely affects children.  And I’m fairly certain that it would not increase aggression.  If anything, exposure to a boob would probably pacify a person!

. . . . .

Now… allow me to come clean about something.  For I am only a man.  I once had a dream, true story, in which I was lying on a beach and saw a 50-foot nude woman running my way, when she tripped and fell, breasts-first onto me, crushing me dead.  I remember opening my eyes instantly from the dream when I died and trying to figure out if it was a bad dream or a good dream…  I admit that it may be difficult for me to be objective about what is and isn’t considered decent when it comes to boobs, as I am susceptible to their charms.  I have spent some time trying to analyze what

Attack me.

it is about boobs that makes them so interesting, and I just can’t figure it out.  Superficially, they are simply concentrated flesh-bags of fat located in the pectoral region of a woman’s body.  That sure doesn’t sound sexy.  Concentrated fat in other regions doesn’t seem to be considered so tantalizing.  Is it the nipple that makes it appealing?  I wonder, because exposed nipples really increase the terror level of the conservative folks.  But men have nipples.  And it seems perfectly fine for men to expose their nipples.  But mens’ nipples don’t make me lose my concentration.  When I consider why boobs are so appealing, I like to think that I’m more than a simple bag of hormones bird-dancing at the whim of Darwinian sexual selection…. but then my penis usually tells me to shut up and quit killing the mood.

Even seductively working a sub sandwich, I am not attracted to his boobs.

Another thing I should explain is that I’m not advocating for public pornography.  I have three children, including two daughters, and I do have a standard of decency that I expect my children to adhere to.  I’m just saying that if I happen to be watching TV with my children and Justin Timberlake happens to rip Janet Jackson’s boob leather off, my reaction would probably be, “Whoa, that’s a boob.  Girls, don’t show your boobs to everybody like that, ok?”… I wouldn’t call for the destruction of the TV network, the NFL, Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson, and worldwide boobs.  Simple perspective is all I’m asking for.  Seeing a boob won’t destroy my children.  And it won’t destroy yours either.

And it didn’t destroy me.  I remember my first experience being attacked by unexpected, explicit rogue media boobage.  I think I was about ten years old, and I was watching the movie Sixteen Candles with my mom on HBO.  The movie was rated PG. There was a scene in which the female protagonist, Samantha Baker, was scoping out her competition for the affections of her high school crush, Jake Ryan.  The movie cut to a sudden view of his current girlfriend’s naked body in the girls’ locker room shower.  My mom flipped out.  While I was trying to hear Sam’s expressions of angst at the perfection that was Caroline Mulford, my mom was ranting about how a PG-rated movie could contain such filthy smut.

According to Wikipedia, PG movies suggest the following guidelines: Parental Guidance Suggested – Some Material May Not Be Suitable For Children. These films are generally

This topless scene made my mom blow her top.

appropriate for children age 9 and older and may contain milder swear words, brief smoking, crude or suggestive humor, short and infrequent horror moments and/or mild violence. Usually no drug use is acceptable in this category. Topless men may be present but topless women are not usually acceptable unless in an educational or scientific context or if the nudity is only shown briefly. A few racial insults may also be heard.

Now, let’s quickly review these criteria and see where this scene might fall.  I don’t think it’s a short horror moment.  Unless you count my mom’s reaction.  I don’t think it’s mild violence.  Unless you think that water is too hot or is hitting her naked body too hard.  I’m pretty sure that is not a topless man, so that’s ruled out.  So, either this scene was considered educational/scientific, or brief enough not to elicit some sort of harm to the viewer.  It wasn’t brief, as I seem to recall them showing a close up of the boobs, initially, then lingering on the shower scene while Sam and her friend talked about the girl’s body and Sam’s unlikely odds to steal Jake Ryan’s notice… I’ve watched this movie a couple times.  So clearly, this scene qualified as educational/scientific.  Indeed, the scene is a practice in researchers scientifically studying a remarkable specimen.  And I was educated in how angry movie boobs make my mother.  And it’s nice to know that since I was older than 9, it was finally okay for me to hear racial insults.

So, what made my mom so angry?  I have mentioned in a previous post that my mother is a bit of a feminist, and therefore resents and deplores the objectification of women.  That’s cool.  But this was an educational scene.  It only served to show that this more physically attractive, yet vapid character was not interesting enough for the brooding, vapid Jake Ryan.  My mother should have seen the important message I was learning, instead of reacting to a superficial shower scene.  I mean, the hot, naked girl lost, right?!  She got stuck with the geek!…. hmm.  Perhaps I didn’t learn anything, afterall.  And perhaps I just figured out why I have an unrealistic sense of worth.

Anyway, now that I’ve cleared those things up, let’s get back to modern boobs.  I want to talk about a couple of other recent examples brought to light by famous breasts.  Jessica Simpson recently posed nude on the cover of Elle magazine, ticking off people and prompting store owners to place tacky cardboard signs over the majority of the cover.  I thought this was a

A clearly tacky magazine display.

silly reaction because Jessica Simpson is covering up her privates with her hands more than many bathing suits I’ve seen out there manage to do… and because Jessica Simpson is very pregnant in the picture.  I can’t fathom what could possibly be considered threatening about a pregnant naked lady covering up her parts.  A part of me has wondered if the general outrage against boobs was being spearheaded by insecure women who simply felt threatened by perceived sexual aggressiveness on the part of women who expose their boobs.  But if so, a married, pregnant woman should not qualify.  Even if it is Jessica Simpson and her large, baby-ready mammaries.

Thank you. Much less tacky.

“Baby-ready mammaries” brings me to the most infuriating point about our nation’s irrational breast terror.  And that’s the issue of public breast-feeding.  Beyonce became somewhat of a hero of mine recently when she made a point of performing this very natural act in a restaurant when her baby was wanting.  This, of course, rankled the feathers of some people; but also, thankfully, inspired many others.  I can’t express how absolutely crazy it makes me to read about some poor mother being harassed, or fired, or discriminated against for simply wanting to nourish her child in the most natural and healthy way, without having to first seek cover somewhere isolated from the eyes of people who may be uncomfortable with it.  Again, these are people who probably have no problem watching violence, but can’t handle breast feeding.  And I could be taking a leap in the wrong direction here, but it seems that many of the people who are so protective against boobs are religious folks who trumpet modesty.  I would be willing to bet that a mother feeding her baby in the manner that He intended exceeds modesty on God’s list of importance.  I don’t remember reading “Thou shalt not exposeth thine breast”….

…. In fact, I think that breast-feeding should not only be spared the indignity of societal shunning, I think it should be celebrated as a nationally televised spectacle!  I dream of a future in which world-renowned mother-contestants face off in packed stadiums, much like the ones that currently display Super Bowls and controversial halftime shows.  The contestants might have clever nicknames like Fran the Feeder, or Nancy the Nourisher, or Milk Maid Mary.  These women would battle to see who could produce the most nourishment for their babies.  The one with the fattest baby wins, but instead of a jeweled championship belt, perhaps she would win a jeweled championship bra.  With an easy-open flap.  And maybe we could call this celebrated spectacle… The Hunger Games.  I have cool ideas.

Contestant "Vitamin D-Licious" was famously disqualified from The Hunger Games when her cleavage ironically swallowed a baby.

 

 

People, I’m just saying please stop thinking boobs are harmful or evil.  Let’s embrace boobs.  Especially me.  Let me embrace boobs.  Thank you.

 

 

 

 

And now a series of silly Janet Jackson boob picture captions!

Oops.. looks like somebody pulled Janet's boob lever!

After tearing her boob flap off, Justin promptly began serenading the boob.

Many were surprised to see Janet Jackson's boob adorned with a cartoon pink star.

"Captain, we're detecting a strange anomaly ahead. It appears to be.... a Star Nipple!!"

Soon after a wardrobe malfunction in a galaxy far, far away... "I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and anger. I fear something terrible has happened."

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One of the few.. The proud.. The Ophiuchi.

This is that topic I wrote back in March but never posted.  It’s silly, but what the hell…

I saw the sign.  And it opened up my eyes…

I’ve never really been one to put much stock into hokey beliefs.  Especially ones that use the stars to predict the future.  That’s why I’ve only ever had a vague awareness of astrology- just enough to know what my sign is so that I may answer appropriately, should an attractive potential mate, who actually does put stock into hokey beliefs, ever might ask me.  I have only read my horoscope a few times, usually only when there was absolutely nothing else better to do.  For instance, once when I was seventeen, I was waiting at a gate in the airport for a plane to New York to see some old friends of mine I hadn’t seen in years.  Having read much of the rest of the paper, I looked at the horoscope just for kicks, and it said “A nostalgic journey will bring you in touch with old friends.”  See?  Totally stupid….. actually, that one was eerily dead on… Be that as it may, I have never been swayed to believe in astrology.  But a brilliant new astrological marketing campaign has me thinking differently these days.

Earlier this year, it was announced that the zodiac signs were misaligned and that they have been rearranged.  Not only that, but they’re adding a 13th sign!  As I said, this was announced in January, so it’s old news for some of you- and it turns out it’s very old news for you astrologists in the know, as the celestial alignment that is responsible for this shift apparently happened hundreds of years ago.  Apparently astrology is similar to Catholicism… takes a little while to catch up.  (Sorry, Catholics- I love many of you).. Anyway, as should be expected, this realignment has caused a controversy in Astrologyland, with some disputing it and some supporting it.  Normally, I would have all the interest in this debate as I have when Lucky Charms changes a marshmallow, but it turns out that I receive a major boost in zodiac status with the realignment, and so I side with changing it up.

Pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, green clovers, AND blue diamonds... oh, and purple horseshoes, and red balloons, and shooting stars, and leprechaun hats, and rainbows, and hourglasses.... screw it, just throw everything in there!

Until now, I have been a Sagittarius.  Sagittarius is “The Archer” with the torso of a man and the legs of a horse.  And he’s drawing a bow.  Being a centaur has been pretty cool.  Having the lower anatomy of a horse has its advantages…. because walking on hooves is better than walking on feet.  The shoes last longer.  And are luckier.  Like purple horseshoes in Lucky Charms.  Not sure why Lucky Charms keeps popping into this thing.  Anyway, as a Sagittarius I have been “Optimistic and freedom-loving.  Jovial and good-humored.  Honest and straightforward.  Intellectual and philosophical.  Blindly optimistic and careless.  Irresponsible and superficial.  Tactless and restless.”  I know I have been these things because this site said so.  But now, I am none of these things.  Because, thanks to the realignment, I am no longer a Sagittarius.

It turns out that I am now the brand new 13th sign, Ophiuchus!  And it turns out that Ophiuchus is not pronounced o-FYUK-us, as I have been imagining it, but a much less humorous OFF-ee-YOO-kuss… actually that’s pretty humorous too.  Now, I suppose you’re wondering why I would be embracing this sudden and complete change in my identity.  You’re probably wondering how a man could take every trait that has ever defined him and abruptly trade them in for something new and unknown.  Perhaps you’re wondering if you’ve already wasted too much time reading this and if there’s anything good in your pantry to snack on.  Like some Lucky Charms cereal.  Well, loyal reader, (dad), it turns out that my new sign is much cooler.

Oh it has nothing to do with my new traits.  In fact, my new traits are a total downgrade.  Now I am “A seeker of wisdom and knowledge.  A flamboyant dresser who favors bright colors.  Someone who will have a large family and abandon it.  And my lucky number is 12.” per this site.  Certainly nothing to write home about… or a blog post about.  But too late for that!

No, there are three reasons why I like my new sign better.  One is that it’s “The 13th Sign”.  That just sounds cool.  If you’re a dude who struts around proudly with an unlucky #13 branded to your soul, it hyper-elevates your street cred.  Girls like a bad boy, and if you’re number 13, you’re just bad.  People who fear the number 13 have triskaidekaphobia… or Bradaphobia, for short… are you getting how much tougher I am now as an Ophiuchus?….  I know that the #13 isn’t actually all bad.  It’s a baker’s dozen.  It’s Dan Marino.  The 13thSign is a bad horror movie.  Heck, 13 is just one number higher than my new lucky number!  But nobody has to know any of this.  If someone is superstitious enough to ask me what my sign is, then they’re probably superstitious enough to think that 13 is a bad number.  Cool.

Counterclockwise, it's a sleepy face with drool in the corner of its mouth. Clockwise, it's a collar bone with nice cleavage. What's so unlucky about 13?

The second reason I feel upgraded is that Ophiuchus is an especially exclusive sign.  While some astrologers felt the apparent need to add a 13th sign of the zodiac, they did not add a 13th month to the calendar.  At least as far as I know.  Because of this, the signs had to shift to make room for my new sign.  Some of you are no longer the signs that you used to be.  The interesting thing about this realignment is that each sign is not given equal days.  Ophiuchus only has an 18-day window (Nov 30 – Dec 17).  It’s not the most exclusive sign- that distinction belongs to Scorpio now.  They only have 7 days (Nov 23 – Nov 29).  This information really upset my wife, as she has always been a Scorpio (her birthday is Oct 27th), but is now a Virgo.  See the new alignments here.  She thinks my support of the realignment is ridiculous.  I think she’s just mad that I’m gonna leave her and all the kids.  It’s one of my new traits, after all.  Anyway, Ophiuchus is the second most exclusive sign, and I can dig that.

But the main reason I like my new sign is because it’s way more badass looking than my old sign.  This is was my old sign:

The Centaur's graceful bow form has been known to attract nearby frizzy-haired damsels.

This is my new sign:

The Serpent Holder's graceful form has been known to attract all women near and far.

I was The Archer.  Now I am The Serpent Holder.  Wielding a bow and arrow is cool.. but wielding a massive serpent from betwixt my legs do be much cooler.  Yes, yes, I know…   Saying that I prefer a sign in which I am holding a massive serpent between my legs does seem a bit sophomoric.  And writing several paragraphs on the topic seems even more so.  But then the whole concept of astrology seems silly to me too, so I may as well have some fun with it, right?  I like to imagine that a classy, pretty lady may come up to me some day, soft-spoken and demure, and ask me what is my sign; to which I will abruptly reply by suddenly stripping off all my clothes, pulling a giant serpent out of my bag, pulling it up between my legs, and saying, “THIS!”… That is something I simply can’t do as a Sagittarius.

"You see, Lucy. Those two stars make the arm, and then you go down and.. oh dear. Look away, Lucy."

So, if you happen to see me strutting around with a new air of confidence, it’s because I have become a believer in astrology and I’m now a badass Ophiuchus.  I would like to thank my mother for the excellent timing of my conception.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go read some tea leaves and play with a ouiga board… hang on.  I just read that this realignment will only be applied to those born in or after 2009.  But I thought this all happened hundreds of years ago?… So I’m still just a Sagittarius?  I’m back to being optimistic and freedom-loving?..  Jovial and good-humored?..  I’m no longer a flamboyant dresser who favors bright colors?.. My lucky number is not 12?..

Yeah, this astrology stuff is all crap again.

By the way, my “research” on this topic was very breezy and superficial.  If you do care about this topic, do not take anything you just read as factual.  And if I have to tell you that about any of my blog topics, then you probably shouldn’t read.  Anything.

Jake the Snake Roberts. The original Ophiuchus.

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For Those About to Pass a Rock, I Salute You

Before I get into the excruciating topic of my first (and hopefully last) kidney stone, I’d like to quickly explain my lengthy absence from this blog.  Many months ago, I began writing a post about astrology.  Conceptually, in my mind, it seemed pretty funny; but after writing most of it, and reading it, I found it to be very not funny.  Even by my standards.  After that, it kind of took the wind out of my sails, and I just didn’t feel like writing again.  But I recently experienced something that has inspired me again.  It’s probably not funny either.

Now.  About that stone.  They say that passing a kidney stone is the male pain equivalent of a woman giving birth.  While some may suspect that I indeed have a uterus, I can honestly say that I have never experienced uterine contractions nor birthing a child through my vagina… er, A vagina.  But now I can say I’ve passed a stone.  The entire ordeal lasted a week, ending with a bang at the urologist’s clinic.  Allow me to share my story.

The type of stone I had. 4mm of this being forced through 2mm of Brad tubing. No fun.

I first felt the pain while bending over sanding a picnic table in my backyard.  Initially, I thought I may have strained a muscle because it occurred just as I bent over to reach a far corner, and I felt a sudden pain in left mid back region.  At about that same time, my wife and the kids came home from shopping and I went inside to greet them.  They quickly dispersed when I entered, and I sat down trying to find a comfortable position.  At this point, the pain was beginning to increase pretty rapidly, and I couldn’t find a position or pressure to the area that alleviated it in the slightest.  I knew it wasn’t muscular pain then, and I began to worry.  Within a span of about ten minutes, I was down on the floor with my eyes closed tight and my jaw clenched, trying not to sound too wimpy while I called for my wife.  She and I knew it was probably my kidney from the symptoms I was having, and she called the ambulance.

Now, I have heard other people tell stories about their kidney stones and offered cursory sympathetic remarks, not ever really giving it much thought.  That is because, unless you go though it, you really don’t know what they’re talking about, and therefore can’t empathize appropriately.  So I have tried to think of a way to best describe this pain in a way that everyone can relate to.  And I think I have it.  Okay… you know how when you’re role-playing with your spouse in the bedroom, and she wants to play the part of the plumber and you’re playing the part of the clogged pipe, and she decides that she needs to unclog you with a steel-bristled snake pipe cleaner, and she jams it into your weiner hole, and it hurts quite a lot, but you’re trying not to break character, so you just grin it and bear it, and then she tries to show off her skills so she puts some hard English on her steel-bristled snake and angles it up through your bladder and into your ureter and drives it all the way up to your friggin’ kidney?…. You know what I’m talking about?  Well, it’s a lot like that.  Except the pain is unrelenting and you don’t have a safe word to stop the pain.  Trust me, I tried screaming Dorito a thousand times and the pain never stopped.  And I’m sure the paramedics weren’t sure what to think of the strange man writhing on the floor screaming “Dorito, Dorito, oh god, Dorito!!!”

A Dorito. Cheezy, crunchy, and gets the party started... and stops the party if things get a little out of hand.

Hmm… I’m not sure why my wife likes that particular role so much.

So then the ambulance came and they filled me with pain drugs and I went to the hospital and laid around in half a stupor for hours.  I ended up staying the night and the pain was gone in the morning.  They X-rayed me and said I could go home.  About 2-3 hours after I got home, it all happened again.  Seriously.  I had assumed that the stone had passed to the bladder, and that’s why they let me leave, but it hadn’t and I was in agony again.  And I had to have my wife call the ambulance again.  I was trying to be tough, but it was the vomiting that prompted her to call.  I forgot to mention that there was a lot of vomiting over those two days, due to extreme pain.  Anyways, I remember my wife and I had a pretty comical conversation as we were waiting for the ambulance to come get me again.  While doubled over, I walked over to the book shelf and grabbed the book I’ve been working on and went over near the front door.  My wife asked me what I was doing.  I explained that I found myself incredibly bored the previous day in the hospital waiting hours at a time for a doctor to poke in intermittently and ask me how I was feeling, so I wanted to take a book this time.  She told me to give her the book because I would look ridiculous taking a book on the ambulance.  I argued about my impending boredom.  She asked me how bad my pain was.  I said it was about a 5 out of 10.  She said “About a 5 out of 10?!”  I explained that the extreme pain came in waves and that currently it was a “AAAAHHH!!!”…. the pain got bad again.  So my wife took my book away, worried that I would lessen my pain credibility by casually taking reading material into the ambulance with me.  Whatever.

So that night they surgically removed the stone.  Well.. they called it a “procedure”, so I guess it wasn’t technically surgery.  All the same, they took me into the operating room and brought the mask down over my face.  A scary thing, that.  Even totally doped up on drugs, I remember the anxiety of that mask coming down and the lights going dim.

Recovery wasn’t too bad.  I was groggy from all the stuff and peeing was no fun, but I was glad to know that it was out.  They had to shove a stent in me to help drain stuff, and it would have to be removed in a week.  I watched a lot of TV (since I didn’t have a book to read!) and found some movies to watch.  I will now give my super-quick review of the two and a half movies I saw while recovering in the hospital under the influence of strong pain medications:  True Grit (the new one)- this movie might have been great if I was watching it under different circumstances; but I found it pretty emasculating watching a movie about a 14-year old girl braving the wild west to avenge her father’s death and losing her arm in the process, while I was lying in a hospital bed because a pebble was in me.  TRON

"Seriously? A pebble, man?!"

Legacy- I also found this movie hard to fully enjoy because I was drowsy and I kept thinking that there was a bunch of hidden meaning everywhere but I wasn’t clear enough to figure it out and then I wound up just asking myself why I was watching nothing but Jeff Bridges movies.  Green Hornet- Let’s just say I was glad I got discharged before I had time to finish this one.

The week following was pretty uncomfortable.  There was a constant urge to urinate, and when I did, it hurt and was bloody.  I had a constant aching pain where the stent was in my left ureter.  But the worst thing during those few days after leaving the hospital was the constipation from all the pain drugs.  It was awful.  It got so bad after a few days, I considered asking my wife to role-play the part of a construction worker so she could jam a jackhammer up my ass and break that brick up… for some reason, I have a feeling she would have liked that role too.  I remember sitting on the toilet for thirty minutes at a time, with my legs falling asleep and me drifting into delirium.  You know that scene in the movie 127 Hours where the dude has been stuck for a long time and he’s thirsty and delirious and he starts fantasizing about a torrential downpour that hydrates and frees him?.. Well, I was having dreams of torrential flows… Did I just compare my constipation to being stuck in a rock and having to amputate your own arm to survive?.. Yes.  Yes I did.  I was taking stool softeners and laxatives and developing new toileting techniques..

"Man, I just wanna poop so bad!"

anything to help loosen it up!  FYI, it does help a little to lean laterally and pull your cheek to the side and then rock over to the other side and do the same.  Fired a few bullets that way.  You’re welcome.  Anyway, when all the laxatives and stuff finally took affect, I swear I heard angels sing on that toilet.  Fantastic relief.

The stent removal was a whole ordeal on its own.  I made the mistake of googling “ureter stent removal” the day before I was to go in and came across a bunch of horror stories, and a picture of the stent that was in me.  It’s a fairly long plastic tube with sizable coils on each end.  I remember looking at the picture of the coils and then looking down and imagining the size of my penis hole and trying to do the math on how that was gonna come out.  I scheduled my appointment for lunch time during a work day.  You know.. a routine removal of a long coiled tube from out of my wiener while downing a sandwich, and then

I see two places where that's gonna hurt coming out

back to work!  After producing a urine sample, I was led to a room where a lady prepped me for the “procedure”.  I found it really funny, as she directed me to sit on the patient chair, pull down my pants and underwear to my knees, and drape myself with this flimsy paper drape.  Then she moved the drape and put a paper drape over me that had a circular cutout where my penis is.  I oddly remember wondering what the purpose of the drape was at that point.  It’s not like I’m overly modest about my thighs.  My privates are hanging through a hole, lady, your drape is a waste of paper!  So then she has me lay back and she blasts some numbing gel into my urethra.  That was uncomfortable, but just a primer.  After a few minutes of her prepping, and me looking up to the ceiling trying to not notice that I’m being fondled by some strange lady, she says that I’m ready and goes to call the doctor.  I glance down at my prepped region and notice that, for some reason, my penis is clamped down to my abdomen with some metal straps.  I remember looking at my little Brad, with him staring back at me with its creepy little one eyebrow furrowed in consternation, silently wimpering, “Why?”…  I silently replied, “I don’t know.  I guess my diet is unsatisfactory.”  He answered back, “After all the abuse you’ve put me through over the years… do you even realize that we don’t have actual sex?!  Your wife just finds new ways to abuse us and you think it’s okay because she calls it ‘sex games’…”  I lamely attempt to mollify, “I trimmed you up for the occasion.  You look so pretty.”  Angrily, with a tear in its eye, “I’m not talking to you!”… and I let him be with his pain.

The doctor came in and we exchanged stupid jokes while my penis lay clamped in a paper hole on my lap.  I spent most of my time staring up at the ceiling, but occasionally chanced a look at what he was doing to prepare.  I saw him grabbing a long metal wire and I knew I was in deep shit.  As he approached me and instructed me to “take deep slow breaths”, I desperately fought the urge to start blurting “Dorito, Dorito!!” as he went about his cruel work.  It was quite uncomfortable.  And the two coils I pointed out earlier?  Holy damn.  I was pretty sure my penis was tearing off when those parts came out.  And then when they were done, they pleasantly told me I could get dressed and they left.  I was laying there with my pants down to my knees with my own urine all over me (apparently a natural reaction to something being pulled from the depths of your kidneys), and my poor, beat up penis sobbing in a fetal position.  I went back to work after that, but had to leave early when I started experiencing some pretty bad delayed pain that, thankfully went away later and hasn’t returned.

It’s been a few days since the stent was removed, and the only residual effects from the whole deal is that I feel an increase in urinary urgency.  The doc said everything should normalize in a month, but I don’t think it will take that long.  My penis still isn’t talking to me, but time will mend our relationship, I’m sure.  I recently was telling my folks about the entire experience and my mom confessed that she has had a kidney stone before.  I asked, “Really?  What did you do?”  She said, “I crawled up in a tub, gritted my teeth, and got through the night.”  Finally being able to empathize with this story, I said, “Ugh, that’s awful.  What happened after that?”  My mom then leaned in slowly, looked intensely into my eyes, and said, “I got up the next morning and went about my day.”…. My mom has a way of turning my penis into a vagina with mere words.

So that was my kidney stone experience.  I am sorry for any of you who have gone through this or may yet go through this.  I, for one, plan to drink lots more water.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, my wife is calling me in to the bedroom.  She’s wearing overalls and she’s holding a hoe, so I think I know what she has in mind.  Sigh.. come on, little buddy.  It’s time to be the garden again.

By the way, Mother, if you’re reading this, I want you to know that I don’t actually engage in weird sex games with my wife in which I allow her to take various tools from various trades and stick them into my various orifices.  I have way too much respect for tools to do that.  Love you, Mom!

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Geriatric Gen-Xers?!

I think a lot about aging.  This is largely due to the fact that I work in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.  It’s pretty difficult to spend your days working with 80-100 year-old folks and not have your mind drift toward the inevitableness of your own life path there.  Should I be so lucky…  Or unlucky.

Until recently, I have not really been one to dwell on my own aging too much.  But the effects are starting rear their ugly head.  Literally, as one of the effects is that my head is getting uglier.  I’m seeing a lot more gray in my hair, which, I understand, would be a “distinguishing” feature, if not for the accompanying hair line recession- (I plan to do a whole separate post about my baldness-battling adventures).  I no longer have the energy to hop right out of bed in the mornings like I used to.  The lingering pain from attempted athletic endeavors takes a bit longer to go away.  There is an increased frequency with which I must pluck sudden, large renegade hairs from obscure, random locations on my body.  I’m becoming more aware of “heart health”.  And I’m realizing that I’m just a hop, a skip, and an invasive prod away from having to keep tabs on my prostate size.

Okay, ladies.. I won't complain about the prostate checks too much.

When I think of very old people, I think of people who grew up on farms.. people who went to major wars.. people who suffered through the Great Depression.. people who weathered significant hardships.  They are the “Greatest Generation”.  It is a generation of men and women who are so easy to respect and feel compassion for because of all they’ve been through and how hard they had to work just to survive.  I think of people huddled around radios listening to their favorite music and shows, as well as presidential addresses.  I think of people who, having worked a hard week on the farm, got excited to go out dancing on a Saturday night to some fine swing or big band music; the fellas, perhaps emulating Fred Astaire, while the ladies donned the shoes of Ginger Rogers.

My generation's grandparents used to be able to do this.

I think of a generation of people in which everybody knew somebody who was killed in a war.

Some of the places I work in have small theatres with old movie posters.  Gone with the Wind and Breakfast at Tiffany’s with Audrey Hepburn adorns one.  I can often get a toe tapping by putting on some Duke Ellington or Dean Martin.  I have spent a great deal of time smiling over incredible pictures from the 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s.  It’s a bitter-sweet sharing by them… these pictures with me.  Sweet for the memories that sustain these wonderful people; bitter for the distance that separates them from it.  I have welled up many times over these pictures.  A 101-year old woman showed me pictures from her teen years.  She was the captain of her basketball team.  I had no idea there were female basketball teams in the 20’s.  A man in his 90’s showed me pictures of him during his army days.  He had served in three wars and was wounded four times (once severely).  He liked to tell me that he was “170 pounds of pure muscle back then”.  Many people show me pictures of their spouse that has passed away.  Those always choke me up.  Many of them have pictures that show when they were first together, and then a picture of a 50th

Ruturning home from war with a classic kiss.. a prelude to a baby boom.

anniversary in the same frame.  And there are lots of pictures of their children growing up into adulthood, which are tough to see because I recognize them as the same as my parent’s pictures of youth.  Often times, I will visit with these children and am stricken to see that they are in their 60’s and 70’s, and realize that my children will be 60 some day, perhaps visiting me.  Which makes me realize that the chain of time is ever being pulled.  Link by link.

Earlier, I described some of the more superficial aspects of aging that have gained my attention in recent months.  But that’s not the part that really trips me out.  It’s the idea that my generation is someday going to be in nursing homes.  This absolutely boggles my mind when I think about it.  I come from Generation X.  I’m not even sure what in the world that means- “Gen-X”… There was the “Greatest Generation”, which created the “Baby Boomers”, which created “Generation X”…?  I don’t know.

X = 3... give or take 10. That makes us generation -7 to 13! I do not miss algebra.

Perhaps X is simply a variable, by which X = BB + 20 (give or take 10), in which BB = Baby Boomers…. my algebra teachers always hated it when I wrote (give or take 10) on the tests.

Anyway, someday the chain link that holds Generation X will be pulled into the geriatric phase of life, and that is just near-incomprehensible to me.  I simply can’t wrap my mind around the idea that the Betty’s and Esther’s of the current geriatric generation are going to be replaced by the Sarah’s and Jennifer’s of mine some day.  The contrast between that generation and mine could not be more…. contrasty.  I have described their generation- at any given time, they didn’t know if they were going to die from starvation, disease, or Axis firearms.  My generation, on the other hand, probably experienced the least amount of stress of any in American history.  Ours was one born after the tumult of Vietnam and enjoyed most of our prime years before the tumult of 9-11.  The last great threat of my youth essentially fell with the Berlin Wall- an event that I didn’t fully appreciate during my blissfully ignorant youth.  I was probably more excited to get a piece of the wall (as I was in Germany at the time), than I was for what it actually meant.  The only real horrific event that comes to my mind during my young adulthood was the genocide in Rwanda.  What was my generation doing during that time?… the Macarena.  My generation saw the rise of hip-hop music and the internet.  Phones became

Rwanda?.. I don't know what that is, but check THIS out!

more portable and smaller.  Years of political correctness left us desensitized to such… sensitivities, as our taste in TV and movie humor reflected our apathy and our crudeness.

…. When I read what I just wrote above, it sounds like a verbal sneer directed at my own generation.  I don’t entirely intend it that way.  Part of it is based on fear.  As I said before, it is very easy to respect the current geriatric generation.  That respect is evident in the care I provide and witness by other caregivers for these wonderful people.  When there is a “Wall of Honor” that shows pictures of these folks during WWII, you can feel nothing but respect.  My concern is that when I am one day in a nursing home, that natural respect will be harder to muster by the caregivers of that time.  Is being very old enough to garner that respect?

What will our nursing homes look like?  What movie posters will be on our theater walls?  When I think of the music from our generation playing in nursing homes, I can’t help but crack up.  For some reason, I usually get a ridiculous image of C&C Music Factory blaring

"Gonna make you sweat til you bleed... umm, but first check your list of prescriptions and make sure you're not on Coumadin, or something like that. Thank you."

and a bunch of us breaking our hips trying to dance to it.  I have known some people who watch the same shows continuously.  I Love Lucy is popular with one of the ladies I have known.  Which of us will still be watching Seinfeld episodes everyday?

… Or, maybe I’m not thinking futuristically enough.  Perhaps there will be so many of us living so long that they will need to just keep us in large rooms with rows of beds plugged into a neural network that allows us to experience a happy non-reality, a-la the Matrix.  I think I would choose sensations that

Marky Mark will still never wear a shirt.

aren’t real over the vague awareness of applesauce dripping down my chin from my spoon-feeding.

Nah.. that’s silly.  Right?…  When a nursing aid comes in some day to change my diaper, how will that go?  I may have dementia, be hard of hearing, and be yelling at him/her.  Perhaps it will sound like this:

Aid (yelling): “Mr. Golden, I need to change you!”

Me: “What?!  Go away!”

Aid: “Mr. Golden, please put down the Nintendo controller!” (The aid pries the controller

Damnable arthritis better not ruin my gaming love.

from my gnarled hands)

Me: “Hey!  Damn you!  That was my last life!”

Aid: “The TV isn’t even on, Mr. Golden!  Can I please turn down your music?!” (he or she turns it down)

Me: “Hey!  What the hell’s going on here?!”

Aid: “What was that music?!”

This will be old people music?! So hard for me to imagine.

Me: “Guns ‘n Roses!” (my cracked, old voice screeches “Welcome to the Jungle!” while I feebly attempt to bang my head)

Aid (smiling): “That’s great, Mr. Golden!  Who is that on the movie poster there on the wall?!”

Me: “That?!  Why, that’s Jim Carrey!  He was a funny sumbitch!”

We will have to turn up our hearing aids to hear "the most annoying sound in the world"

Aid: “Never heard of him!”

Me (mumbling under my breath): “Yeah.. you probably haven’t.  Hey, is Friends on TV Land?!”

Aid: “It’s not time for TV, Mr. Golden.  It’s your turn at the Holodeck!”

Me: “The what?!”

Aid: “The place where you go to see your family!”

Me: “Oh!..  Yes!”

And then the aid wheels me away to a place where I see a program of my young family and confusedly play out my role as a husband and father during the early decades of this century, smiling ignorantly the whole time….  A thought that is entirely bitter-sweet.

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Silly Love Songs and Random Grammy Observations

You’d think that people would have had enough of silly love songs.
But I look around me and I see it isn’t so.
Some people wanna fill the world with silly love songs.
And what’s wrong with that?
-Paul McCartney

Sir Paul asked this question in 1976.  I think we finally have an answer to his question, “What’s wrong with that?”  A love song that has been pretty popular lately is so ridiculous that it has inspired me to write.  I’m watching the Grammy’s right now, and it was

"What's wrong with silly love songs?!"

performed, so I suppose that validates its popularity.  Crazy.

But before I talk about the song, I’d like to say that I am not one who hates silly love songs.  I rather enjoy them.  Sometimes to an embarrassing degree.  That stupid Train song Marry Me made me well up the first couple of times I heard it.  It sounds sort of Richard Marx-ish, who is a silly love-songer I used to enjoy a lot.  Even if the lyrics are kinda creepy.  I mean, the Train song reveals that he wants her to marry him… if he ever gets the nerve to say hello to her!  He’s already marrying her and he hasn’t even met her!  Stalker.  Of course, Richard Marx also had some creepy songs.  Hazard comes to mind.  I think he killed her.

Anyway, I like love songs.  But some are just bad.  There have been bad love songs throughout history and, despite their badness, many have gone on to be quite popular.  Do you remember that Meatloaf song?  It was immensely popular when I was in high school.  He would do anything for love.  Ugh.  They played that song endlessly!  It was so bad.  This

"I WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR LOVE! SERIOUSLY, YOU NAME IT, I'LL DO IT! I'D EVEN DO THAT!!"

may sound mean, but if you look like Meatloaf, you would do anything for love.  Even that.

.. Skewing slightly off topic, (as I often tend to do), I’m seeing the popularity of that Lady Antebellum song I Need You Now.  It’s not a terrible silly love song.  But I can’t help but cringe when I hear it, thinking of how many vulnerable, drunken redneck ladies are being taken advantage of and the little redneck babies that are going to be born out of wedlock thanks to the lyrics.  Poor little, fatherless children of the future.  All thanks to you, Lady Antebellum.

Anyway, as bad as that Meatloaf song was, there is a new one that takes the cake.  I can’t imagine silly love songs can get any worse than that Bruno Mars’ hit Grenade.  I didn’t even know that was the name of the song until I just looked it up.  That makes me think it’s even more ridiculous.  If you’re not familiar with Bruno Mars, he is a young, attractive Latino with a fantastic smile.  If you put him on a motorcycle in a tight beige uniform in the 1970’s, he would be Ponch from the excellent motorcycle cop drama CHiPs (1977-1983).  I guess that would make Justin Beiber the other guy in CHiPs- (I looked it up, his name was Jon). CHiPs was revolutionary.  It sparked a torrent of shows featuring a light-haired male partnered with a dark-haired male who drove vehicles quickly.  Dukes of Hazzard (1979-1985) with Bo and Luke.  Starsky and Hutch (1975-1979) with… Starsky.. and.. Hutch.  Whoah.  I just noticed that Starsky and Hutch came out before CHiPs.  Well, that pretty much ruins my point.  Wait.. that wasn’t my point.  Why am I talking about this?!

 

Ponch and Jon then

Ponch and Jon today?

Here is a link to the Bruno Mars song.  I should mention that I really enjoy Bruno Mars’ song Just The Way You Are.  It reminds me of an old Joshua Kadison song I liked called Beautiful in My Eyes.  Sort of the same vibe, lyrically, but the Kadison one is more about finding his lady beautiful even as she ages.  It’s just nice.  So.. I’m not a Bruno Mars hater.  But..

Hang on.  Another digression.  Mick Jagger is just impossible.  How does he still do it?!  I completely expect his skeletal corpse to be performing when he dies.  Like the Grateful Dead in that video.  But with good music…. Oh my god!  Barbara Streisand is singing Evergreen!!!  Now THAT is a beautiful love song.  Excuse me.. gotta go get my hanky.  Just

Thank you for showing them how a love song is done, Barbara.

beautiful.  Sniff.. sniff… ahem.  And now, for some reason, I am imagining Barbara Streisand and Bette Midler arguing about what love is… Babs: “Love is a soft easy chair.”  Bette: “No, love is a river.”  Babs: “Love is fresh morning air.”  Bette: “Umm, no.. love is a razor.  It’s a hunger!”  Babs: “Love is a rose under the April snow.”  Bette: “No!  It’s… actually, yeah.  It’s a flower.  And you’re it’s only seed.”  Then they make out.  Just beautiful…… And now Rihanna has me thinking dirty things.  I want to say her name.  Oh na-na… So many emotions watching this.  Now Lady Gaga is saying that Whitney Houston was her inspiration for her new song.  Somewhere, Whitney Houston is sitting on a couch smoking crack saying, “Aaaw, that’s sweet of that girl to say.. Who’s Whitney Houston?”

Ok, where was I?.. Oh yeah.. I don’t hate Bruno Mars, but look at these lyrics:

Easy come, easy go, that’s just how you live
Oh, take, take, take it all but you never give
Should’ve known you was trouble from the first kiss
Had your eyes wide open, why were they open?

Gave you all I had and you tossed it in the trash
You tossed it in the trash, you did
To give me all your love is all I ever asked
‘Cause what you don’t understand is

I’d catch a grenade for ya
Throw my hand on a blade for ya
I’d jump in front of a train for ya
You know I’d do anything for ya

I would go through all this pain
Take a bullet straight through my brain
Yes, I would die for you, baby
But you won’t do the same
No, no, no, no

…..

Now that is just some ridiculous shit.  It’s made even more ridiculous by the music and the dramatic background vocalists.  So goofy.  “Had your eyes wide open.  Why were they open?”- with a dramatic “Hooo” by the background guys.  Is it really that bad that her eyes were open?  It was your first kiss.  Maybe she didn’t know if she could trust you.  Maybe she’s afraid of the dark.  Who knows?  It’s not so bad.  But let’s move past that.  The chorus is going for a “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Ain’t No Valley Low Enough” vibe.  Trying to get across the point that there is nothing he won’t do.  But she won’t do the same.

Let’s break it down:  He’d catch a grenade.  Throw his hand on a blade.  Jump in front of a train.  And put a bullet straight through his brain.  I have many problems with this.  The obvious is that it comes across as sadly desperate.  I mean, a young Erik Estrada shouldn’t have to work this hard for any woman!  Another thing that bothers me is the arrangement of the lyrics.  Logic dictates that if you’re going to present a series of dramatic acts you would perform for the unreturned love of a lady, you should arrange them in order of increasing peril.  He starts off with catching a grenade… but then he says he would throw his hand on a blade.  Dude, you already caught a damn grenade.  Throwing your hand on a blade is no longer impressive.  Hmm.. unless he’s saying that he would throw his now blown off hand down on a blade.  I am now picturing Bruno Mars using his good hand to throw his grenade-dismembered hand down on a blade.  Gruesome.  And now he is staggering over to some train tracks, holding on to the bloody stump of his blown off hand.  His foot kicks over the blade that now impales his dismembered hand on the ground.  The light of an oncoming train grows larger, as Bruno Mars limps over to the tracks.  His face and body are charred from the blast of the grenade that he caught for some bitch that could care less.  The engineer of the train sounds the whistle as he stares wide-eyed at this staggering, one-armed, white-teethed handsome Latino with great hair staggering toward the tracks.  Bruno throws himself and a disturbing thud is heard as the speeding train crushes his heart-broken body.  The engineer looks at his bloody windshield in horror as he sees the disfigured Bruno sliding slowly off with his eyes wide open.  Why are they open?  He’s still alive!  No.  But yes!  He has not yet proven that he would do anything for the woman that he inexplicably loves.  The engineer watches as his face slides off the windshield and his body rolls onto the ground, gathering grass and mud.  You might think he is a destroyed man.  But he’s not

"But you won't do the same!"

done.  His bloodied, one-armed, grassy, muddy, broken body painfully slithers on the ground toward a gun.  He apparently planted the gun here earlier, precisely calculating where he might slide off of the train.  He slowly grabs the gun with his one hand.  His hand is shaking with the effort of lifting the heavy gun to his head.  He shoots himself in the brain.  He lies there bleeding for several minutes.  Then he stands up, walks over to the girl he loves, who happens to be watching all of this, and says, “But you won’t do the same”.. horrified, the girl runs away screaming.  As she flees she yells, “That’s why my eyes were open, you psycho!”

Stupid song, huh?

Some people wanna fill the wooorld with silly blog posts.
And what’s wrong with thaaat?
I’d like to knooow.

Cause here I gooo,

Agaaaaaain!!

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Star Wars vs LotR Closing Statement

Boy, am I glad this thing is over.  And judging by the number of people that now read this blog, so are you.  The only people who have happened upon my blog lately are those who accidentally found it by looking for pictures on Google.  And my dad.  There’s a section in my blog management that tells me key words people typed to find my blog, and someone who found my blog used the search criteria “picture of woman strangled”.  It’s nice to know that my last two fans are my dad and a potential serial killer… unless it was my dad who did that search, which would mean I only have one fan.  Thanks, Dad.  You may be a creepy internet stalker serial killer, but I still love you for reading my blog.

When I embarked on this Star Wars vs Lord of the Rings thing, I truly did not intend for it to spin out of control like it did.  I was just offering a rational argument as to why I believe LotR was a better movie series than Star Wars.  Somewhere along the way the ‘rational’ and the ‘argument’ parts kind of dissolved away, leaving an insane meshing of the two stories.  I lost myself in this vortex and came to the realization that I probably love both franchises equally.  But I started this argument, so I’m gonna finish it.

I began by comparing the stories, the production, the metaphysical powers, and the memorable moments.  I realize now that I failed to acknowledge the brilliant music in each movie under the production section.  Both are fantastic and perfectly capture the moods of each movie, but I clearly have to give the nod to John Williams’ classic score.  Nothing in LotR beats the Imperial March theme.. especially when it’s performed like this.

..And then I got to the characters.  I love the characters in both and didn’t know a good way to resolve an argument as to which was better.  So I thought it would be fun to have a silly series of death matches between common protagonists and antagonists in the movies and see who comes out on top.  I originally planned it only to be a series of matches that stood alone from one another, but it got pretty convoluted along the way turned into a weird sort of story.  On the surface, it appears that Star Wars won the characters debate.  There were thirteen matches and Star Wars won seven of them.  Brad Denny (with whom I am having this imaginary debate) always used to cite statistics when we would argue about football.  To him, this is easy.  Star Wars wins 7-6.  I rarely use numbers as the heart of my arguments.

The death match story revealed a couple of things to me as it unfolded.  For one, it was very easy to pair off similar characters.  Again, the stories are quite similar.  Another thing I noticed was where the strength of characters were.  What I mean by that is it became apparent to me that the heroes of LotR were more heroic than those of Star Wars and the villains of Star Wars were more villainous than those of LotR.  Allow me to elaborate…  We saw in Episode III (Revenge of the Sith) that Anakin began tilting toward the dark side with the death of his mother when vengeance seeped into his heart.  He finalized this transition from light to dark when he lost Padme.  Luke never had to suffer that type of loss.  Yes, he lost loved ones, but he didn’t lose his mother and his lady love.  In the death matches, Luke lost his sister.  This drove him to darkness.  When Aragorn faced Luke, this descent into darkness proved his undoing.  Similarly, Gandalf’s persistent selflessness in attempting to save Middle Earth gave him the resolve to destroy the powerful Yoda.  Who is apparently a Gremlin.  On the other side of the coin, the evil of the Sith overpowered the evil of Sauron…. I’m going to ignore the part where Vader achieved redemption because it screws up my argument.  My point is that this category of characters should not be decided by the quantity of characters left standing.  The category of characters should be decided by strength of character.  And Lord of the Rings won at that.

Hey, Denny- I have issued an argument that may not be strong, but is so unfollowable that you have no choice but to concede defeat.  You have lost.  What do you have to say about that?  (see Brad\’s response)

Because Brad Denny prefers stats, I will end my argument with these numbers:

Three…

were given to the Elves, immortal, wisest… fairest of all beings.

Seven…

to the Dwarf Lords, great miners and craftsmen of the mountain halls.

Nine…

nine rings were gifted to the race of Men who, above all else, desire power.

For within these rings was bound the strength and will to govern each race.  But they were all of them deceived.

… for another ring was made.

In the land of Mordor, in the fires of Mount Doom, the Dark Lord Sauron forged in secret a Master Ring to control all others.

… and into this Ring he poured his cruelty, his malice and his will to dominate all life.

One Ring to Rule Them All

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Star Wars vs LotR Deathmatch #13 – (Finale- Finale)

Battle of Dark Ones:

Darth Sidious

Sauron

 

 

 

 

 

Frodo falls and Sam is dragged down again.  The two Hobbits lie motionless for several minutes, breathing hard.  The mountain tremors roughly and the Hobbits hear a deafening explosion.  Soon after, the two evil figures fall from the sky and roll on the rocks above where Sam and Frodo lay exhausted.  Sam watches as the tall, armored one gets up and disappears into the side of the mountain, and the robed one follows soon after.  Sam had been so close.  It has to be the opening Gandalf spoke of… but Sam can not move.  His muscles scream with every agonizing movement.  His lungs feel as though they might burst.  Frodo looks no better.  Even if they didn’t require Gollum, Sam doesn’t think he could even drag himself up to where the opening is.  Sam starts to cry… so close…

*   *   *   *   *

Darth Sidious enters the opening and sees Sauron.  He is standing on a walkway that comes to a ledge that drops off into the fiery pit of Mount Doom.  Sauron is halfway to the ledge when he turns to face his adversary.  Battered and limping, Sauron prepares to make a final stand against the Sith Lord.  He holds his mace ready.  Sidious walks slowly toward the black-armored Dark Lord, his lightsaber gently waving back and forth.  The volcano rumbles.  Sidious speaks, “It ends here, Sauron!  I will take the Ring.”  Sauron waits, expectantly.  Weapons clash again, as the two figures of ultimate evil – the two Dark Ones exchange parries for the final time.  The weary warriors show their fatigue as strikes become more lethargic.  They have battled to their near limits.  Sauron motivated to defend the Ring.  Sidious motivated to obtain it.  Darth Sidious comes off of a blocked strike and spins while swinging overhead.  His strike comes down on the handle of Sauron’s mace, as the Master of Mordor holds his weapon on either end above his head, holding back the red blade.  Gritting his teeth, Palpatine pushes down hard on his weapon, forcing the weakened Sauron to a kneel.  He struggles to hold the mace, his arms wavering now.  Darth Sidious takes advantage and maneuvers for the kill strike.  Sliding off of the mace, Sidious spins and side-swings his red blade toward the head of Sauron.  But Sauron was ready.  Turning his mace vertical, he blocks the deathblow and jabs Sidious in the face with the butt of his handle.  Momentarily stunned, Sidious doesn’t see Sauron wind up for the mace’s uppercut swing that sends Sidious high into the air, his lightsaber flying back out of his hand.  Sidious lands hard on his back.  Dazed for a few seconds, he looks up and sees two Saurons lifting maces above their heads.  As his double vision corrects, the two Saurons slowly converge into one, standing right over him ready to destroy.  With a wicked yell, Palpatine reaches up his hand and his lightsaber flies quickly into it.  As Sauron brings his black mace down, Sidious swiftly activates his saber and swings at Sauron…reality flickers…  Sidious is a man wielding a broken sword, swinging it desperately at Sauron as he reaches down for him.  Flicker…  The swing of his lightsaber finds the hand of the Dark Lord.

The severed hand, still clutching the mace, spins in slow motion in the air and comes down to the ground.  Sauron looks down at his arm and sees that his hand.. his Ring is gone.  He screams and his body starts to glow brightly and lose substance.  Specks of him start to flutter away as he turns to ash.  His glowing body then explodes and his ash is strewn about Mount Doom’s innards as his armor falls empty to the ground.  Darth Sidious, slowly removing his shielding arm from his face, looks to see that Sauron is no more.  He looks down to where the empty armor lies and sees the severed hand… with the Ring.  He crawls over to the hand.  The anticipation of taking the Ring and putting it on his finger sends evil shivers down his spine.  He picks up the hand and it crumbles away, leaving only the One Ring in his palm.  It shrinks down from Sauron’s finger size to Palpatine’s.  He slides the Ring onto his middle finger and feels its power fill him.  The Ring begins to glow and Sidious starts to laugh.  The volcano rumbles as his laugh grows louder and louder until he is screaming in maniacal laughter.  As he speaks, his body flickers between an image of his own and that of a Dark Galadriel, “In the place of your Dark Lord, you will have a new Dark Lord!  Evil, hideous, and terrible as the Morn!  Treacherous as the Seas!  Stronger than the foundations of the Earth!  All shall fear me and despair!!”  The flickering stops when he stops talking.  He raises his hands up and black lightning shoots from his fingertips up toward the volcanic opening as he continues to laugh.  The lightning becomes concentrated and converges into a dark purple beam that blasts through the opening endlessly into the sky… the world flickers… Mount Doom is now Minas Morgul emitting a solid beam of green light up into the sky… the world flickers again and the Dark Sith Lord is at the ledge holding his hands up and laughing again…

*   *   *   *   *

Gandalf stands on a balcony with Pippin.  Pippin: “I didn’t think it would end this way.”  Gandalf looks down, considering: “End?.. No, the journey doesn’t end here.  Death is another path, one that we all must take.  The grey rain curtain of this world rolls back and all turns to silver glass… and then you see it.”  Pippin: “What, Gandalf?  See what?”  Gandalf, smiling: “White shores… and beyond… A far green country under a swift sunrise.”  Pippin’s face takes on a look of calm serenity: “Well, that isn’t so bad.”… Suddenly, a dark purple beam of light shoots into the heavens up in the distance.  The two look at the beam- Pippin’s serenity is replaced by fear- Gandalf has a look of concern.  Gandalf, with a sullen quiet: “We come to it at last… the great battle of our time…”

*   *   *   *   *

Sam and Frodo are inching their way up the side of the mountain on their hands and knees.  The occasional tremors of the rumbling mountain send them falling on their sides and waiting for calm.  This time the calm doesn’t seem to come.  The echo of an evil laugh is heard coming from the opening that is so painfully close.  And then Sam sees the beam of energy blast through the top of the volcano.  Frodo, breathing heavy: “What was that sound?”  Sam: “I think we’re too late, Frodo… I think we’re too late.”…

*   *   *   *   *

With his arms still in the sky shooting lightning, Darth Sidious closes his eyes.  He maintains an evil grin as he uses the power of the Ring to summon his forces to Middle Earth with his mind…

*   *   *   *   *

Sam sees a blast of red light ahead smash into Mordor’s walls.  Remaining Orcs and other minions scream and flee as rock crumbles.  More laser fire slams into the city.  Sam sees a large, triangular structure come into view in the sky.  And then another.  Giant walking machines are approaching on the terrain.  Laser fire rains on Mordor…

*   *   *   *   *

Helm’s Deep rains arrows fruitlessly at the superior force, as Imperial Walkers emerge over the hill and fire upon the fort.  The sky darkens with Star Destroyers.  The fleers of Rohan look up at their doom…

*   *   *   *   *

Rivendell is burning.  Its once serene beauty now awash in mayhem and death as laser fire lights it up.  The Elves fight valiantly to defend their home.  Elven magic, marksmanship, and pride make it a fight.  But the Elves are eventually overcome by the giant Imperial machines…

*   *   *   *   *

Helpless Hobbits run in terror as the peaceful green Shire is laid to waste in fire and mayhem wrought by the destructive forces of the Empire.

*   *   *   *   *

The battle rages on at Pelennor Fields.  Orc and man are engaged in a desperate fight for Minas Tirith, which stands white and majestic in the background.  The ground quakes…  It quakes again…  The combatants take pause as they begin to notice the giant shapes approaching in the distance.  Imperial Walkers begin to shower the battlefield with deadly red light.  Many die before humans and monsters begin to work together.  The Orcs turn their catapults and other war machines against the Empire.

Han Solo is at the wreckage of the Millennium Falcon mourning his fallen mates.. his friends and his ship.  The battle around him seems to be changing in some way, but he only vaguely notices.  He hears a harsh voice: “Hey!… Hey!  I’m talking to YOU!!”  Han looks over to see a gruff-looking Dwarf with redish brown hair holding an axe.  He looks ready to use it.  “I understand you’re the one who killed the Elf.”  A brief look of sadness touches the Dwarf’s face and then is replaced by anger.  “He was my friend!”  Han Solo laughs softly and looks over at the Dwarf, “He was your friend?.. I killed your friend?!”  He stands up and faces the dwarf angrily…

*   *   *   *   *

Sam and Frodo clutch each other tightly with tears in their eyes as the rumbling of the mountain grows more violent.  Beyond the Star Destroyers in the sky, Sam notices a large, red, round shape beginning to cover the sun.  He speaks softly, “The red moon rises…”  Frodo looks confused, “Moon?…”  The voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi permeates the air, “That is no moon…”

As the red Death Star moves slowly into position, the odd convergence of worlds is becoming more unstable.  The line that separates them is becoming blurred and battlefields begin taking on a bizarre mesh of combatants.  Orcs are wearing various parts of Stormtrooper armor while riding speeder bikes, and Stormtroopers are carrying spears while riding Wargs…  Imperial blasters fire arrows and archers pull back beams of light… AT-AT Walkers are stomping around with giant tusks while Oliphants are firing head-mounted lasers…  Star Destroyers have gigantic leathery wings…  Han Solo and Gimli are seen battling- Han with pointy ears and long, blonde hair- Gimli with an R2D2 dome helmet and a third mechanized leg…  Insanely terrifying monster mixes between Cave Trolls, Rancors, and Balrogs run amuck…  A black-hooded Boba Fett, swinging a flail, jet packs over the battlefield… A short, green Gandalf is seen battling back enemies with his staff… Aragorn cuts through Orcs and Stormtroopers alike with a green lightsaber, dressed in a tight, black outfit…  Arwen is fighting in Rivendell with hair buns on either side of her head, firing a blaster…  The Shire burns, as Ewok-Hobbit hybrids run, panicking from the attack…  Ents are being destroyed as Fangorn Forest burns…  The meshings change every few minutes, as the world flickers and reality is blurred further and further…  The world begins to grow dark as the sun is covered by the ominous red moon….

*   *   *   *   *

Darth Sidious is trembling.  Not just from the shaking Mount Doom, but from the power that is surging through him.  He has positioned the massive Death Star with his will through the power of the Ring.  It is ready to destroy Middle Earth.  His laugh takes on a wicked shrill and flickers between his own and that of shrieking Nazgul.  The world is shaking violently…

*   *   *   *   *

Sam and Frodo are still crying on the rumbling mountainside, as the sun is nearly covered by the red moon.  A green beam from the concave on the surface of the red moon comes to center.  Another comes to center, converging with the last… Sam and Frodo hear a robotic voice nearby say, “I can’t carry it for you.. but I can carry you!”..  Two black arms scoop up the Hobbits while Sam clutches the dead Gollum…

Darth Vader stumbles into the opening of Mount Doom.  The trembling is making it very difficult to walk steady, but Vader wastes no time hurrying to the Emperor.  Palpatine has his back to Vader and the Hobbits, still with his eyes closed.

- Another beam converges on the Death Star -

Very near now, Darth Vader puts the Hobbits down.  They manage to find enough strength to carry the Gollum to the ledge where Sidious stands.  Sam yells to Vader, “WE HAVE TO DO IT AT THE SAME TIME!!”

- Another beam converges -

Emperor Palpatine hears the voice and turns to see the Hobbits next to him at the ledge.

- A final beam converges with the others, completing the Death Star’s beam.  The point of convergence begins to ball up as it prepares to unleash its unbelievable power and destroy Middle Earth -

Darth Vader picks up Palpatine.  The Emperor starts spraying himself in the face with his still-emitted dark lightning.  The Hobbits hoist the Gollum overhead, watching Darth Vader.  Darth Vader flickers as he has two arms and then only one while hoisting the Emperor over his head.  “NOW!!”, yells Sam, and Vader throws Palpatine at the same time that the Hobbits throw Gollum.  The world flickers madly… Emperor Palpatine falling down the shaft in the Death Star… A live Gollum falling to the fires of Mount Doom… as they both fall together, the Ring jumps between Palpatine’s finger and Gollum’s finger… the flickering is occurring super rapidly as the two bodies fall in slow motion with the Ring jumping between them.  The Ring is flickering so fast between the fingers that is a blur.. a golden line that connects the fingers of Palpatine and Gollum.

- The Death Star beam fires -

The Ring suspends between the two bodies as they all fall.  Palpatine, Gollum, and Ring land in the fires of Mount Doom…

An explosion from the bodies landing in the fire sends Darth Vader and the Hobbits flying out of the entrance.  As they fly out of the volcano, a giant explosion above lights up the sky as the Death Star also explodes.  The violent tremors continue for several minutes… and then gradually begin to die down………..

*   *   *   *   *

Middle Earth is as it was.  The Shire, green and peaceful, has Hobbits celebrating some event…  Minas Tirith is unscathed, white and glorious against the mountains…  Citizens of Rohan happily go about their daily chores…  Elves of Rivendell discuss magic and philosophy…  Minions of Mordor merrily prepare an assault on Gondor…  Any sign that beings from a galaxy far, far away were here have disappeared… except for one.

Darth Vader watches with the Hobbits as Gandalf, riding a giant eagle, lands near them.  None of the denizens of Mordor seem to notice the figures at the base of Mount Doom.  Gandalf is greeted warmly with hugs by Sam and Frodo, who appears to have his vision back.  Gandalf smiles as he bends down to embrace the Hobbits, but glances toward Vader with a look of concern on his face.  He addresses the black-caped Sith, “I am glad Theoden’s words to you did not go unheeded.  Thank you.  You have saved our world.”  Vader simply nods.  Gandalf, glancing to the ground, says quietly under his breath: “I wonder, though… why you are still here.”  He looks back to Vader and speaks louder: “This mount is sturdy.  But I don’t think it will hold all of us.  I will call for another and it should…”  Darth Vader cuts him off speaking to himself: “I sense something… a presence I haven’t felt since…”  Vader looks up and notices the wizard and Hobbits staring at him.  He speaks, “Please take them.  There is something else I must do.”

The Hobbits graciously thank Darth Vader for his help and climb on the eagle.  Gandalf puts a hand on Darth’s shoulder and says, with sincerity, “Thank you again, friend.”  Gandalf then turns to mount the eagle, the concerned look returning to his face.  Gandalf and the Hobbits fly away…

Darth Vader doesn’t have to wait very long.  He hears footsteps approaching behind.  They stop and Obi-Wan Kenobi’s voice says, “Look familiar, Anakin?”  Darth breathes robotically.  Kenobi looks around, “This looks very much like Mustafar.  Where we had our first fight.  It ended pretty poorly for you, if I recall correctly.”  Vader turns to look at his long-time adversary.  He speaks: “I remember.  You were a worthy opponent then.  Our last meeting on the Death Star… you have grown old and weak.”  Obi-Wan chuckles, “I am not weak, old friend.  I was merely providing a distraction for the lad and his friends.  My perceived death helped him grow… This place… this ‘Mount Doom’… This is a much more fitting place for us to settle our past once and for all.  Let’s do it, Darth.  Let’s have our true final battle.”  Darth Vader hesitates only briefly, and then answers by extending his red light of death.  Obi-Wan smiles and draws his weapon.  The two men step into a nearby fighting ring and put in mouth guards.  Obi-Wan: “You know, Anakin, it’s too bad we gotta get old.”  Vader: “Ah, just keep punching Obi-Wan.”  Obi-Wan: “You wanna ring the bell?”  Vader: “Ding-ding.”  The two combatants dance around the ring for a few seconds, then pull back their lightsabers and jump at each other while swinging their blades.  The picture freezes and fades into a painting while the band Survivor plays the song “Eye of the Tiger”……..

**Darth Sidious takes the Ring from Sauron** (Star Wars 7, LotR 6)… but Middle Earth is saved when the climaxes of each movie are concurrently made to happen, disrupting the blur between the very similar plots and characters.

Sam and Frodo can't climb any further as they watch the Dark Ones enter the mountain

Inside of Mount Doom

Darth Sidious walks in and faces his adversary for the last time

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sauron faces Sidious within Mount Doom

Sauron knocks Sidious to the ground and comes in for the kill

Reality flickers and Palpatine is Isildur cowering beneath Sauron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sauron stands above Sidious ready for the kill

Darth Sidious swings his blade from the ground

Sauron's hand flies into the air with the Ring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sauron disintegrates without the Ring of Power

Palpatine crawls over to the severed hand with the Ring

He puts on the Ring

 

 

 

 

 

 

Darth Sidious feels the power of the Ring fill him

Reality flickers as Emperor Palpatine sounds much like Galadriel during her Ring temptation

Sidious fills Mount Doom with dark lightning and shoots upward out of the volcano

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reality flickers and the purple beam becomes the green beam of Minas Morgul

Gandalf tells Pippin that death isn't all bad and then they see the purple beam in the distance

Sam and Frodo hear evil laughter.. Sam: "I think we're too late"

 

 

 

 

 

 

Darth Sidious uses his new power to summon Imperial Death

The skies of Middle Earth fill with Star Destroyers

The ground rumbles with the advance of Imperial Walkers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mordor's walls crumble from Imperial might

Helm's Deep falls to the power of the Dark Side

The Elves of Rivendell are no match for Imperial might

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Shire burns while terrified Hobbits run in vain

Orc and man turn to face Imperial forces at Pelennor Fields

Han Solo is mourning his friends at the crash of the Millenium Falcon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gimli wants a piece of Solo for killing Legolas

Han Solo tells Gimli to bring it

Sam: "The red moon rises"

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obi-Wan: "That is no moon"

As the Death Star moves into position convergences between the worlds run rampant

Storc Troopers engage in battle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oliphants shoot lasers from their heads

Star Destroyer Beasts rain death from the sky

Legolasolo battles with...

 

 

 

 

 

 

R2-Gimli2

The Balrancor is terrifying

Boba-Witch Fett screeches while jetpacking about

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yodalf is very skilled

Aragorn Skywalker is a Jedi king

Princess Leiarwen is buntastic

 

 

 

 

 

Sidious laughs as he prepares to destroy Middle Earth

Beams start to converge on the Death Star

Darth Vader picks up the Hobbits and carries them into Mount Doom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another beam converges

“WE HAVE TO DO IT AT THE SAME TIME!!”

Another beam converges

 

 

 

 

 

Darth Sidious turns when he hears Sam's voice

The Death Star beams have converged and build power

Vader picks up Emperor Palpatine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ring blurs between their fingers as Gollum and Darth Sidious fall to the fires below

The Death Star fires

Sidious, Gollum, and the Ring land in the fires of Mount Doom

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is an explosion within Mount Doom

And an explosion in the sky as the Death Star is destroyed

Middle Earth celebrates

 

 

 

 

 

Gandalf arrives and is upset to see Vader still in Middle Earth

Sam and Frodo are happy to see Gandalf

“I sense something… a presence I haven’t felt since…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gandalf and the Hobbits fly away

Obi-Wan shows up and taunts Vader into a rematch

Darth Vader accepts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It ends with the rematch that should have been- and dialogue from Rocky and Apollo

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