Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Simpsons beat South Park beat me to it

I was watching Family Guy with my roommate on Sunday, and during a fifteen minutes punctuated with a below average concentration of laughs, I said that I wanted my next blog entry to be about how Family guy is overrated. I told him directly, because I'm pretty sure he's like 50% of How Observant's readership. He replied with, "South Park just did that."

So, I checked out the South Park episodes (Cartoon Wars I and II) which, in addition to making me feel lazy (I could've written that post a month ago and I would've been ahead of the curve), it did a fantastic job satiring the media, American hypocrisy and Family Guy. I didn't really consider myself a South Park fan before, but I do think that they are the best satirists on television right now.

Anyway, Family Guy is overrated. I don't really want to say much more than that because I don't want to sound like I'm ripping off South Park.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Accordians, our misunderstood amigos.

I, like pretty much everyone, have a rather condescending view of the accordian. You might know the instrument better by some of its other names: button box, squeeze box, Satan's mating call, or concertina. I considered it a musical joke, like John Mayer. I attended two separate concerts of distinctly different styles that have changed my attitude. It was revolutionary; like that time at recess in 1st grade when Katie, while spitefully saying, "Tag," pushed Matt completely down in response to his saying she couldn't play because she was a girl, but it turned out that girls could do some stuff too.

The reason for this, I'm pretty sure, is that the most well known music to emphasize the accordian is polka, which I'm pretty sure is retribution that Polish Immigrants are dishing out on us for all the Polack jokes. This form of music is not the one that accordian opinions should be based on. The two concerts I saw were Gaelic Storm and Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience. As is evident from their names, Gaelic Storm was an Irish folk/rock band and Terrance Simien led a zydeco band. Irish folk music features the accordian to a moderate extent and the accordian in zydeco is like stupid in a Deal or No Deal audience -- it's not really zydeco without it.

Other Irish bands also use the accordian. Flogging Molly and The Pogues also use it, and better than any Central European ever. Really, if the only guitar you ever heard was pop punk, you might think, "What's the big deal? Anybody can do that." But if you hear blues or jazz or classical, you'll say, "Ah. This thing takes serious talent." It's kind of like that same idea with the accordian. Except instead of difficulty between polka and Irish or zydeco, it's crappiness.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Party Time

I was wondering recently about politics and how difficult it would be to match political parties to people while knowing only a little about them. I think it could be a fun exercise. Below are ten people and I will provide a quick bio and some analysis explaining why I think each belongs in the parties I chose. Disagree? Leave a comment and tell me why.

Let's start with somebody everyone will recognize.

1. Batman - A billionaire who, in order to avenge his parents' death he needed to dress up like a bat to fight crime. His Wayne Enterprises corporation gives away a lot to the poor and he keeps an adopted child in his bat cave. This is kind of a close call, because even though his character can be interpreted as vaguely gay, I think that his being super rich, tough on crime and driving a car that can't possibly be eco-friendly puts him in the Republican camp.

2. Prince Hamlet - One of the most famous Shakespearean characters, he is the Prince of Denmark and is called back from school when his dad dies. It turns out that his uncle did it to take his mom and kingdom, he decides to get revenge after being told what went on by the ghost of his dad. Even though taking revenge definitely sounds like a Republican trait, he was still in school and really whiny and pretty obnoxious, so I'm willing to bet this kid would be a Democrat.

3. Captain Planet - This was a cartoon that I think all of us remember as kids. Five teenagers from all over the world had powers based in their rings that they used to fix the planet and with their powers combined, summon Captain Planet! This show was created by Ted Turner to brainwash kids about the environment, so you know that the blue skinned, green mulletted superhero would not have voted for Bush in the last election. In fact, if this were around today, I'm pretty sure he'd be convincing kids to lay guilt trips on their parents for buying SUVs. Even with his military background (he reached the rank of captain, after all) he is clearly a Democrat.

4. Destro - Destro's a Scottish arms dealer who supplies Cobra with all their equipment. Not only that, his clan supplied both sides weapons during the English Civil War. Oliver Cromwell made all the leaders of the Destro clan wear the silver mask, according to the comic series. He is absolutely Republican Party material. In fact, this sounds like something Tom DeLay would do.

5. Trix Rabbit - The cartoon rabbit who only wanted a bowl of cereal, but could never quite get one himself because he was foiled by children who kept telling him, "Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids!" Well, you know what? That's ethnic discrimination, and Rabbit should be on the phone with Jesse Jackson and the ACLU to punish those kids for violating his Civil Rights. He could be a figure for all Rabbit kind, and a big source of votes for the Democratic Party.

6. Yosemite Sam - A gun totin' Southerner (or is he a Westerner?) who like to hunt his rabbit who first appeared in the Looney Tunes in 1945. He is quite fiery tempered and always gets outsmarted by Bugs, but with that goofy voice and his appearance on trucker mud flaps, who doesn't find him delightful? This is may surprise you, but knowing his stubborn personality and that he was created in 1945, he would be a Democrat, or more accurately, a Dixiecrat. Even though clearly his 2nd Amendment sensibilities seem very important to him, I think his pride and bullheadedness would keep him from actually switching parties. Think of him as the cartoon equivalent of Zell Miller.

7. Scrooge McDuck - A self-made billionaire, Scrooge is the richest duck in the world. He started out as a simple Scottish (duck) immigrant and made his fortune by finding gold in the Klondike and then expanding into a financial empire all over the world. He is also Donald Duck's uncle. He keeps his money inside of his Money Bin at Duckburg and literally swims in his money. You know this duck wants to keep taxes low and trade free. He would obviously be a Republican, but since he's a duck, I'm not sure he could actually vote.

8. Papa Smurf - The lovable red clothed, white bearded father figure of the smurf community who is 542 years old. He, like the rest of the Smurfs, is three apples tall and lives in a mushroom. That right there is representative of their hippie culture; also considering the other elements of how Smurfs live, there is really no question on this one. Communalism, no market economy, worker's style clothing - this guy, and all of his blue ilk, are reds. He would've voted for Eugene Debs, rooted for the other side in the Cold War and even looks like Karl Marx. He's a Commie. A Pinko. A Soviet. Take your mushroom induced communist ideas elsewhere, Papa Smurf.

9. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi - The mongoose who fights the pair of cobras who want to kill the family who rescued him after a storm. He defends the house, kills the cobras and destroys their young. He doesn't shy away from using military force, family values are important to him and he's a mongoose, which are definitely free market animals. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi is so Republican that they should replace the Elephant with a mongoose.

10. Mayor McCheese - The leader of McDonaldland who has been discontinued for a while due to an apparanet plagiarism of H.R. Pufnstuf. Since this guy's agenda was to spread hamburgers to everyone affordably and he wants to rehabilitate the Hamburgler, rather than put him in jail where he belongs, this mayor is a Democrat. He also dresses like FDR, suggesting that he may want to establish a New Deal in McDonaldland, but Grimace the Libertarian will lead a recall before he allows that.