Archive for the ‘Satire’ Category

2015 was a Kingdom of Bullshit. We were assaulted by a relentless barrage of bullets and bile from real-world terrorists & political hate-mongers, all while media-trolls across the spectrum stoked the blazes for revenue clicks. It all fed our frenzy so hard we became indignation wendigos, our frothy jaws devouring each other’s fury and spewing it back so forcefully we even hated those we should’ve considered comrades. South Park killed it this year with its satire of the Outrage Industrial Complex, but the most 2015 show by a hair has to be Mr. Robot. It captured the zeitgeist perfectly without ever quite snagging the zeitgeist’s attention, but something tells me (even if it’s just wishful thinking) it’ll have a much bigger cult by the time Season 2 starts in 2016. Yeah, in a lot of ways Mr. Robot is just picking up where Fight Club left off 16 years ago— but goddammit, it’s about time somebody picked up where Fight Club left off.

2014 Was a Flat Circle

2013 Was The Climb, Time After Time

2012 Was Louis C.K.’s Foolish Flailing

2011 Was Walter White’s Mad Cackle

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Satire on False Perspectives - William Hogarth, 1754

Satire on False Perspectives – William Hogarth, 1754

…I saw this study once many years ago, from Ohio State University, the graduate program there. They did a study of self-identified conservatives and self-identified liberals, and they got a group that self-identified in those categories, and that also both sides identified as fans of [The Colbert Report], and they had them watch the same video, then they said, ‘What do you think his actual political position is here?’ Democrats believed that I was a liberal or liberals believed I was a liberal pretending to be a conservative, and conservatives who enjoyed the show tended to think that I was a conservative pretending to be a liberal pretending to be a conservative…

And I don’t really want to correct either side, because there are times I agree with my character. And I really don’t want the audience to know when I do. I love that, man. That’s the triple gainer. I purposefully jumped over the line a lot at the beginning of the show so people would be confused.

Stephen Colbert, interviewed by Judd Apatow for Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy

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Press play & sing along.

Barack ObamaBeyoncé,
Matthew McConaughey,
Lena Dunham, Boko Haram,
Bill deBlasio

Polar Vortex, Richard Sherman,
True Detective, Immigration,
Pete Seeger, Derek Jeter,
Maya Angelou

Neil deGrasse Tyson,
Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Battle in the Ukraine,
and Malaysia’s missing plane

Colorado’s legal weed,
Daft Punk’s got a Grammy,
Malala Yousafzai,
Donald Sterling, goodbye!



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Murder is a crime! Unless…

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Dr. Korchek’s glorious love letter from Steven Soderbergh’s Schizopolis. Happy Valentines.

Dear Attractive Woman Number Two,

Only once in my life have I responded to another person the way I’ve responded to you. But I’ve forgotten when it was or, even if it was in fact me that responded.

I may not know much, but I know that the wind sings your name endlessly, although with a slight lisp that makes it difficult to understand if I’m standing near an air conditioner.

I know that your hair sits atop your head as though it could sit nowhere else.

I know that your figure would make a sculptor cast aside his tools, injuring his assistant who was looking out the window instead of paying attention.

I know that your lips are as full as that sexy French model’s that I desperately want to fuck.

I know that if I could, for an instant, have you lie next to me, or, on top of me, or sit on me, or stand over me and shake, then I would be the happiest man in my pants.

I know all of this and yet, you do not know me. Change your life. Accept my love. Or, at least let me pay you to accept it.


Dr. Jeffrey Korchek

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Over at FLAPPERHOUSE, I review Stanley Kubrick’s least-famous Lost Film, Stanley Kubrick’s Shit Happens:

IT’S EASY TO FORGET THAT STANLEY KUBRICK, the pensive, punctilious director of 2001 and The Shining, was also the cheeky, impish ringmaster behind wickedly funny films like Dr. Strangelove and Full Metal Jacket.  Read any critique of Kubrick’s work– even a favorable one– and chances are you’ll find words like “clinical” and “icy-balls.”

Perhaps that’s because so few have ever seen (or even heard of) this esteemed filmmaker’s least-famous Lost Film.

Click for the rest

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At first, it was brilliant: Toward the end of its 5th season premiere, Archer reboots, as its now-unemployed spies decide to work together trafficking literally, not figuratively a ton of cocaine. And for much of the episode’s third act, we see what appears to be Archer’s fantasy of what kind of wild adventures would ensue from said cocaine trafficking, in the form of a kick-ass trailer.

But it turns out, if the last paragraph of this AV Club interview with Adam Reed is true and not just a prankish misdirection, that this trailer is an actual trailer of the kind of wild adventures that will ensue from said said cocaine trafficking in season 5. Which disappoints me at least a little. Spoilers, for one. And oh, how I would’ve loved for one of the coolest seasons in TV history to have been merely a three-minute montage. And also, I feel slightly cheated, because the camera totally zooms into Archer’s eye right before the trailer, and we all know you should only zoom into a character’s eye if you’re gonna show one of that character’s memories or fantasies. If they zoom into Archer’s eye and show flashforwards, he either has to be in some kind of LOST-like purgatory (which would be lame, even though it was cool on LOST), or he has to be psychic (which would be lamer), or it would have to be revealed at the end of this season that this all was in fact Archer’s dream, and the next season will go back to how things were at the end of the fourth season, just like they did for season 9 of Dallas (which would be Family Guy levels of lame).

Ultimately though, the biggest disappointment here is that Archer did something extremely unexpected, and then did something even more unexpected on top of that, but apparently the second unexpected thing was, in truth, simply telling us what to expect.

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Remember those TV commercials from the early 1980s that were like bouncy slabs of bourgeois absurdity flecked with the occasional menacing dystopian undertones, as if the director had just finished watching Terry Gilliam’s Brazil? I think they were all produced by an agency called Ally & Gargano? There was the one with the Fast-Talking Fed Ex guy (who later became the Fast-Talking Micro Machines Guy)? And also there was “Where’s The Beef?” and maybe “Time to Make the Donuts”? A bunch of them were compiled for a Mattel party game called “Commercial Crazies,” but it was never much fun to actually play the game, it was way more fun to just watch the commercials? Well whether you remember these or not, here they all are in one magnificent YouTube playlist.

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The following nugget originally appeared on 10Listens.com  as part of the “10Listens 500:” 

It’s more story than song, though the music is key to the message. It’s waggish and meta, yet tender and moving. Rambling folksy warmth cloaking prickly acid satire. Baby Kafka swaddled and lullabied by Grandpa Twain. Loopy hippie liberalism hiply dismissive of Big Bureaucracy and The System, and wise enough not to be strident about it. And instead of romanticizing war, it chuckles in war’s face. Far as I’m concerned, “Alice’s Restaurant” is America’s National Anthem.

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