Grave Satirical

Lists, 2003: The Year in Left-wing Conspiracy Theories

laweekly-listissue-cover.jpgIn last week’s year-end “lists” issue of the LA Weekly, Joshuah Bearman put forth a wonderful compendium of “Real Names of Classified Concepts in the Military Planning Document ‘Air Force 2025’‘. The list is disturbing, to say the least, in that it’s really, really hard to pinpoint whether or not this list is satirical in scope or merely an illustration of some of the foolish ways in which our tax dollars are spent.
For instance, is the catalog number for military research into these destructive projects really limited to a six-digit range? One would have thought that former Defense Secretary Dick Cheney alone could have brought at least 100,000 ideas to the table when his administration took office. Anyway, here’s Bearman’s list, included below in its entirety:

No. 900481: Destructo Swarmbots
No. 200015: Distortion Field Projector
No. 200023: Surveillance Swarm
No. 900258: Oxygen Sucker
No. 900299: Hunter-Killer Attack Platform
No. 900336: Cloaking
No. 900364: Bionic Eye
No. 900522: Space-Based A.I.-Driven Intelligence Master Mind System
No. 900288: Swarms of Micro-Machines
And INCAPACATTACK: The Strings of the Puppet Master

We here at low culture think the editors of AlterNet, that wacky left-wing “news and opinion” site, have missed a golden opportunity here to follow up on Bearman’s piece above and spew forth some wild, ill-researched conspiracy theories on this past weekend’s devastating Iranian earthquake.
Included forthwith, “Classified, but Extant, Weapons for Eliminating Axis-of-Evil Nations”:
1. No-fault WMD Insurance
2. The Flatline
3. Detonatron 2000
4. Andre 3000 (“shake it like a Polaroid picture”)

Satirical Shallow

Cagelings in Canada

Monday, December 15, 2003: For Immediate Release:
Following the phenomenal critical and commercial success of HBO FilmsAngels in America, the two-part television event, HBO Films is proud to announce an original, all-new sequel currently in pre-production. The film, called Cagelings in Canada, will air sometime in late 2004.
Pulitzer Prize winning Angels in America playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner will not be writing the script for Cagelings in Canada, but he will be executive producing the project along with Angels director Mike Nichols.
The film will deal with a host of ‘hot button’ issues ranging from domestic partnership for gays and lesbians, senior citizens buying prescription drugs in Canada, the legalization of Marijuana, and the brief—but terrifying—SARS epidemic of the early 21st Century.
“This film’s gonna have it all. And maybe some more,” said HBO Films Associate Senior Assistant of Marketing and Worldwide Distribution Todd Wentworth. “Seriously, people. Angels in America made you think, and cry, and even laugh. This one’s gonna do that and it’s gonna make you stand up and cheer, dance in the aisles, and wanna fall in love. If you loved America, wait ’till you get to Canada!”
The projected six-hour film will be written by a team of writers that will include Marci X screenwriter Paul Rudnick, Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, and to get the women’s perspective or whatever, multiple Oscar-winner Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Other writers to be announced.
Directing the sure-to-be star-packed film will be a veteran of Angel-themed films, McG, who will bring his unique visual flair and personal interest in America’s neighbors to the north to project. Says McG: “Well, I’m definitely gonna bring my unique visual flair to this project. Only this time, I’m gonna make sure it’s more unique and more flair-y, you know? Also, I’m totally interested in Canada, like, personally. Hockey, beer, um, socialized medicine: anyone who knows me knows these are my main obsessions. Also, this movie will let me, like, continue the messages of my earlier films like Charlie’s Angels and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle and that message is that we all love to have a good time, just rock and roll and have fun! But we also have to worry about dangers like satellites being hooked up with GPS-enabled Nokia phones or seniors getting affordable drugs and partnerships among gay guys and lesbians being legally recognized. And I don’t just mean the good looking lesbians, either. This is about civil rights, not about being one of those hot Vivid Video-type lesbians.”
Stars and budget will be announced at a later date.

Grave Satirical

Saddam’s Omnipotent-no-more Smite List (Final Edition)

saddam-god.jpgThough Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was notoriously secular, his uncanny resemblance, when captured, to our beloved contributing editor God was striking, to say the least.
Even more startling was the mad proclamation he supposedly decreed upon his seizure this weekend by U.S forces. Though these words are entirely uncorroborated, it seemed to be in everyone’s best interest to get this document out ASAP for those few remaining loyalists to His, erm, his, regime.
Smite thee, fedayeen!
an esteemed decree by the deposed Saddam Hussein
1. Whomever ratted me out: It was my gravest error to not have Uday and Qusay take you out earlier, you shameful Ba’ath party disloyalist. Perhaps, too, I should have toasted you more frequently with palatial visits and plentiful amounts of Hollywood DVDs. Yes, that would have been wise.
2. L. Paul Bremer: Indeed, I didn’t exactly cling to Islam as anything more than a political prop, but I at least have this one thing in common with God, I mean, Allah. That’s his name, right? Allah? Forigve me, I have been in this cave for too long. A very dark, damp and oh-so-Godless cave.

Satirical Shallow

This Isn’t It

Rolling Stone published its 50 Best Albums of 2003 this week. Making the list without breaking a sweat is everyone’s favorite well-bred New York City hair band, The Strokes, with Room on Fire. According to RS:

The Strokes’ second album is a virtual double for 2001’s Is This It in every still-winning respect: the guitar combat of Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond Jr.; the switchblade flick of the hooks and bridges; the acidic magnetism of Julian Casablancas’ voice. In fact, the Strokes can go on like this forever—the Ramones did it for a quarter-century—as long as the songs stay this good and the attitude doesn’t dry up.

Before you go renaming East 7th Street Julian Casablancas Place, check out the band’s really, really early stuff. Back when their name was slightly different and their sound… well, their sound was out there, man. And they made their own cover art, to boot!
Talk about indie cred.
Earlier thoughts on The Strokes from low culture.

Satirical Shallow

Your low culture Advocate, Isabelle Asterisk, Introduces Herself

eotm_thmb_11.02.jpgWhen low culture invites you to be the first person charged with publicly evaluating, criticizing and otherwise commenting on the website’s integrity, it’s hard to say no: this is a pretty invigorating challenge.
After meeting with Matt, Jean-Paul and Guy, I appreciated that this would be an especially difficult task. Their atrophied sense of integrity and largely incoherent rambling suggested that this would prove a far more difficult task than I first imagined. I’d never heard of low culture before I received their email, and I’m still not quite sure what they do. But I’m here to help.
So who am I?
I am both liberal and conservative. I enjoy reality television and scripted half-hours. Palestinians and Israelis? They’re both right. And I never met a fundamentalist I didn’t like.
I am married, live on the Upper West Side, recycle and compost, and I send my children to public school. I am one with myself. I am two with nature. I desperately want you to like me.
Can I buy you some coffee? If you’re worried about worker’s rights, I’ll brew some of my own Concerned Coffee. But if you think that whole thing is overblown, we’ll go to Starbucks. It’s no big deal. And if you need help moving or anything, I’m the girl for you.
Since my appointment was announced, my friends have all offered their heartfelt congratulations. They seem to think it will do me well to get out of the house. Here’s wishing good luck, and good will, to us all. But more good luck, and good will, to you.

Satirical Shallow

Proposed SNL skits for Al Sharpton and Sharpton’s notes to writers

sharptonSNL.jpgWith apologies in advance to Uncle Grambo‘s best buddies, Nummer and H-Bomb, we at low culture were impatiently scouring the basement of Rockefeller Center this afternoon, trying to decide between Pret à Manger and Hale & Hearty for lunch, when we settled upon this top-secret nugget of gold on NBC stationery: a series of notes regarding SNL writers’ proposed skits for this week’s episode, and guest host Al Sharpton’s responses to them. Not promising.
1. “Al as President of Hair Club For Men-‘I’m not just a client, I’m the President'” [This could work. Maybe.–Rev. A.S.]
2. “Shattered Glizz-ass: Finesse as Jayson Blair, and Sharpton as Times managing editor Gerald Boyd” [First, that Snoop language is so done, and second, journalistic navel-gazing is worse than Rudolph doing Versace–Rev. A.S.]
3. “Sharpton as Baptist Minister-turned-informercial pitchman” [Infomercial? Can’t we make fun of something contemporary–Rev. A.S.]
4. “Outkast: Sharpton as Big Boi, and Finesse as Andre 3000” [I’m aligned with Russell Simmons, not L.A. Reid–Rev. A.S.]
5. “Sharpton as Tony Soprano” [David Chase is so 2000. I’m all about 2004–Rev. A.S.]
6. “Sharpton as hotdog vendor outside Republican convention in 2004” [No go: Black folks don’t sell hotdogs–Rev. A.S.]
7. “Sharpton picks Ol’ Dirty Bastard as his VP candidate in 2004” [NO WAY. And it’s Dirt McGirt, you idiots. And you can’t have someone who’s been arrested on your ticket. Or maybe you can.–Rev. A.S.]
8. “Sharpton made over by Queer Eye guys!” [People. You. Are. Getting. Desperate. – Rev. A.S.]
9. “The Ghetto Life: celebrity politician Sharpton visits the urban terrain of NYC” [You have how many wealthy white writers on staff?–Rev. A.S.]
10. “Jimmy’s stoned dorm room character interviews Al on his web cam” [Hello? The digital divide, ever hear of it?–Rev. A.S.]
11. “Al Sharpton meets Mango!” [Mango isn’t even on the show anymore: c’mon, people! Try at least. We’ve got issues like healthcare, education, defense spending, and civil rights to worry about here, not me interacting with some little guy in hot pants. Funny? No. Advancing the issues to shape the Democratic Party platform in 2004? No. Does anyone know if MAD TV brings on guest hosts?–Rev. A.S.]

Satirical Shallow

Death Becomes Them

mockingbird.jpgYesterday’s announcement by record company Murder Inc. that it is changing its name to The Inc. has had far-reaching implications in the entertainment industry. As Island Def Jam Chairman and The Inc.’s corporate head, Russell Simmons told reporters, the change was designed to “get you all off [Irv Gotti’s] ass.”
A similar name change met Death Row Records when label head Marion ‘Suge’ Knight was released from jail and reopened Tha Row earlier this year.
Following The Inc. and Tha Row‘s lead, several other media and entertainment companies have altered the names of their films, books, and other properties to reflect greater sensitivity to violence. Also, it gets all of you off of Harper Lee’s ass. Here’s a sample:
Death of a Salesman becomes A Salesman
Death in Venice becomes In Venice
As I Lay Dying becomes As I Lay
Death Be Not Proud becomes Be Not Proud
Murder on the Orient Express becomes On the Orient Express
Meat is Murder becomes Meat Is
Death Race 2000 becomes Race 2000
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie becomes A Chinese Bookie
Murder in the First becomes In the First
Kill Bill vol. 1 becomes Bill vol. 1
Kill Bill vol. 2 becomes Bill vol. 2
Death to Smoochy becomes A Very Unfortunate Film That Should Not Have Been Made

Satirical Shallow

Alternate Histrionics

While today’s New York Times’ op-ed page affords Nigel Hamilton the opportunity to less-than-methodically imagine a world in which JFK was never killed, somehow Hamilton managed to overlook the obvious impact Kennedy’s un-assassination would have on the entertainment industry. Well low culture is here to fill in the blanks, following in the Times’ illegible footsteps.

Satirical Shallow

Meet the Lefty Spice Girls

spicegirls.jpgAmong the 150,000 protesters who greeted President Bush in England this week were the members of The Lefty Spice Girls. On the left (naturally) we have Fiona (aka ‘Anti-Globalization Spice’); in the middle is Johri (aka ‘Stop War Now Spice’); and in the back is Alex M. (‘Environmental Justice Spice’). Not pictured: Alex G. (aka, ‘Workers’ Rights Spice’) and Miranda (aka, ‘Legalize Marijuana Spice’).
Tell me what you want, what you really, really want… If you want my future, correct your past/If you wanna get with me, end the slog real fast…
Sidebar: What is the deal with photographers only shooting pretty girls at protests and rallies? I mean, that has to be the oldest scam in the book: “Hey, why don’t you give me your number and I’ll give you a print of this. You know, I’m pals with the photo editor at the paper, I can definitely make your whole sign visible…”
Check it out: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5. I could go on forever here. Don’t make me go on forever, okay?

Satirical Shallow

A low culture exclusive: Michael Jackson Bombshell!

Perry Watson-Hoover III, as Michael Jackson, leaving a Santa Barbara Court House
D.A.: Jackson to be charged with child molestation; Bail set at $3 million
Charges that Perry Watson-Hoover III, a professional Michael Jackson impersonator, molested Jonathan Lipnicki‘s stand-in on the set of Stuart Little II were dropped when it was revealed the stand-in was 29 year-old Peter Feuerman. The Santa Barbara District Attorneys Office issued an official apology in the matter and Watson-Hoover expressed his relief and hope that he can continue to impersonate Michael Jackson for years to come.