From Susan Boyle to the Apocalypse in Four Short Steps

Posted: April 21, 2009 in Jeff Holland, Threat Quality
Tags: , , ,

Deadlines piling up at work, so let’s just toss out some thoughts and see how long it takes before I start talking about the apocalypse:susan-boyle

–          Susan Boyle: I don’t get it. It’s not that I don’t think she has an excellent singing voice – as a matter of fact, I still haven’t bothered listening to her, as I’m not much of a Les Mis fan. It’s not that, if you take away the whole “singing” aspect, you might assume she’s actually Jack Black in drag on some kind of Funny-or-Die skit.  It’s that the underlying reason for the clip’s popularity seems to be “Oh look, unattractive people can also sing!”, which is so mindbendingly stupid and patronizing that I cannot for the life of me understand how it’s gained as much notoriety as it has.

–          Gangs of New York: Thanks to scheduling mix-ups on Fox, Tad and I finally sat down to watch this, after upwards of five years of saying, “Boy, we really should watch this at some point.” It’s a really great movie, marred only by the presence of Leo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz. Now, I’m starting to realize that my irritation with DiCaprio is based more on some irrational hatred of the man and his pinchy, squinty, punchable face and AW I HATE HIM SO MUCH RAAAAGE so let’s focus on Diaz.
She isn’t bad – and her comes-and-goes Oirish accent is far less egregious than, say, Heather Graham’s “cockney” in “From Hell” – but in a movie with Jim Broadbent, Brendan Gleason, and Daniel Frickin’ Day-Lewis, she sticks out in contrast as a relative lightweight actor who was given this kind of prestige role seven years ago but now stars in romantic comedies opposite Jack Black. Having an actress indelibly linked to early 00’s popularity takes a bit of the timelessness out of a period film, y’know? (See also: Wynona Ryder in most films.)

–          DiCaprio, for his part, is taking time to teach life lessons to the next generation of young, impressionable stars, including Zac Efron, whom he apparently told, “”There’s one way that you can really f— this all up. Just do heroin.” Efron, to his credit, did not reply, zac-efron“DUUUUUUUUUR.”
In fact, that Zac Efron might not be an idiot at all, which troubles me, because he is also pretty like a girl. Elsewhere in this GQ article People magazine is quoting (“People Magazine: We Read Other Magazines For You”), he says, “It’s common sense. If you’re gonna be drunk with your friends, don’t get wasted at the Chateau Marmont and hook up with some famous chick. It’s not rocket science.”
And I was astonished. And then I realized, I was astonished because a young actor did not appear to be a complete mental midget. So I had to go to bed and cry for a little while. But I’m okay now.

–          A young actor who may not be a total dolt may be a sign of the apocalypse, but I can’t be sure, because it has yet to show up on the History Channel on Sunday. And apparently, the cable channel (which had previously been devoted to Things That Had Occurred, it should be noted) devotes the entirety of its Sunday programming to Potential Causes of the Apocalypse. Please do not be alarmed, but Killer apocalypse_vasnetsovRobots is higher on the list than you might have thought (also, were you afraid of roving black holes slowly sucking our universe into nothingness? Well, History Channel says you might want to keep an eye on that).
But who can we blame for this possible end of life as we know it from, oh let’s say a supervolcano? History Channel’s got you covered there, by ending the evening with a special on Secret Societies and How They Totally Exist, Assuming You Don’t Listen to One of Our Experts. Its first expert? DAVID FUCKING ICKE. “Space-Lizard-People are our ruling class and eat and rape our young” David Icke. Is quoted as an expert. On the History Channel.
You stay classy, History Channel.

  1. Tad says:

    How can the History Channel have a program on how terminators are going to take over the world, feature Stephen Hawking as an expert on the subject, and then not make reference to this Onion classic?

    Also, I just noticed that Jim Broadbent is joining Brendan Gleason on this year’s Harry Potter movie. That I just notice, but EW is force-feeding me Twilight 2 casting news every day…

  2. braak says:

    Yeah, the Susan Boyle thing is kind of weird. Like, I thought that everyone knew that for every American Idol contestant, there were fifteen or twenty far superior singers that just weren’t pretty enough to be on television.

    Somehow the general population was surprised to discover evidence of this fact. What’s weirder is that it was in England, which does not generally have a high index of attractiveness in the first place. You’d think if ANYONE knew that, it would be the English, who were perfectly content to watch Tom Baker in Doctor Who for the better part of a decade.

  3. Jeff Holland says:

    “Once, Stephen Hawking used to comment on our list of apocalyptic threats. Now…he IS one!”

    Thinking about it now, I’m also a little annoyed that Galactus, Devourer of Worlds, was left off the list.

  4. aejr says:

    Susan Boyle: Don’t we have mothers… Don’t our friends have mother’s… Don’t our mother’s have friends… who can sing? Why is this a big shocker that old ladies have voices?

    Leo: Is it just me, or does he look like he never completely grew up? I mean, he got bigger, wider, stockier. He lost that boy skinniness, those shining, dreamy eyes. But he still looks like a teenager. Every time I see him, I wonder when he’s going to start looking like a MAN, like Clooney or Pitt or something.

    Gangs: The best part is when Lewis gets shot at in the theater. He grabs the guy and says “Who’s man are you?” three different ways, stressing different words each time. Who’s man ARE you? Who’s MAN are you? Who’s man are YOUUUU? It’s like he tried out all three before the scene and Scorcese (sp?) just couldn’t decide which one he liked best. “Oh Dan, just say ’em all!”

    Efron: I caught his punked episode on TV. He handled it really well. He had complete control over himself, acted very graceful. (Unlike Zach Braff, who acted like a two year old who’s Mom won’t buy him a candy bar, and made us realize why Garden State sucked so bad.)

  5. Mary Jones says:

    I don’t know if Icke originated the 12-feet-tall interdimentional shapeshifting lizard overlords, but if he did, I want to thank him.

    Eh, the History Channel was always the Hitler/Bible Mysteries channel, so I’m not overly surprised they’re down to using guys like Icke and talking about 2012.

  6. Erin says:

    On Boyle: It’s not about her or her appearance or even her singing: it’s about the audience and the judges. Watch the video. The six minute video; not just the song excerpt. If you don’t like the song, you can mute that part and just watch the audience reaction.

    You can hate the music industry, society as a whole, and the news cycle blowing this out of proportion, but the video is as sweet as a goddamn kitten smoking a candy cigarette, so go watch it.

  7. Megan says:

    I’m going to agree with Erin. I hate that my sisters said “That mean of the judges to judge her by her looks.” This coming from one very vain sister indeed. But when I first saw her picture online I thought they were giving her a Steven Hung response and ignored it. Why would I want to waste my time with this stuff. Then it keep popping up and they talk about it on the radio. It was definitely worth it. She has raw talent. I’m thrill the judges were honest about their first impressions.

  8. threatqualitypress says:

    Don’t agree with Erin. NEVER agree with Erin. It gives him the wrong idea.

  9. Erin says:

    I agree with Braak.

  10. V.I.P. Referee says:

    “The History Channel” and “A&E” once touted PBS-level legitimacy, later realizing the hand that feeds “E-Entertainment Channel” and “Spike TV” has more vittles to go around. Pick a theme: Aliens, Apocolypse, ghosts, psychotic tyrants or serial killers—bonus points if you can combine any of those topics into one gooey, exploitative bang and have the opinion of a psychic or an “expert” of an obscure subject of study (“John C. Torkelharrington III, Professor of Intergallactic Intraspecies Neuropsychology, MIT”) on hand to do your bidding.

    – Leonardo Dicaprio has sported every style of facial hair imaginable in an apparent attempt to look more rough-and-ready. This seems the usual expression of self-awareness for former pretty boys in the limelight; they make every effort to look totally disheveled and feral in an attempt to appear as traditionally masculine as possible. But many ignore the fact that it takes an entire youth of fighting and binge-drinking to emerge as Russell Crowe.

    – The Apoc-pic: Is that “Conan the Barbarian” as a rider of the Apocolypse? If so, count me for hoping to experience it within my lifetime.

  11. david says:

    it’s not so much Boyle herself who attracts viewers to the clip, as it is watching the smug looks of the audience and judges vanish. That is invaluable and very satisfying.

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