Back from the dead?


I've got some stuff I want to write out of my system, anyway.

A lot of reality shows parade across the various TVs in my home these days. Back when I was single I rarely watched TV at all, mostly, I suppose, because I never had cable until I moved in with SuperWife (then SuperGirlfriend) but also because to me, a TV is largely a monitor for whatever technology I hook up to it that shows me movies. I love movies, I hate most TV.

And the TV I hate above all other TV is reality TV.

So there really isn't any reality TV that doesn't fill me with the warm sweet urge to empty a full clip of ammo into the television screen, but even amongst the intellectual and creative wasteland that is reality TV, there are pockets of horror that transcend the normal horrors of the banal, arid, and sterile genre. Such pockets go by names like ROCK OF LOVE, or I LOVE MONEY, or pretty much anything that features a family we're supposed to find fascinating because apparently the parents either refuse to make responsible use of birth control or are too stupid to figure out how.

But even with all of these, well, I generally figure that the one saving grace of reality TV, if it can be said to have one, which is probably doubtful, is that everyone involved in these horrifying shows is there voluntarily. In fact, they line up by the stadiums full in hopes of being singled out for the wonderful privilege of being humiliated, insulted, and abused on national TV. And I figure, if they're that stupid, well, they get what they get.

Still, the longer I live, it seems, the shorter the list of People I Do Not Want To Kill With A Chainsaw becomes.

Stacy London and/or Clinton Kelly, of the TLC reality show WHAT NOT TO WEAR, are definitely not on that list.

I've occasionally gotten glimpses of this show as others in my family have avidly perused it. And the brief glances I've had before I flee screaming from the room have always infuriated me. These two morons London and Kelly, who have somehow gained the apparently unshakable and nearly criminal delusion that their opinions of what other people choose to clothe themselves with actually matter in some meaningful way, essentially walk the Earth like Cain in KUNG FU, seeking out poor hapless dumbasses who fail to dress they way these buttheads think is proper. Having found a victim, these twittering shitbags then prance about snarkily for the next several days, belittling and badgering their chosen target over said target's taste in clothing, after which they destroy the poor guy or chick's clothes and replace them with a batch of froo froo crap that looks like the sort of thing a human version of Barbie or Ken might wear, if we presume Barbie or Ken is homosexual, was raised by retarded preppies, and is so neurotically insecure that upon being braced by a couple of fashion Nazis who have apparently been spying on her without her permission for the last several weeks and who want to invade her closet and destroy all her shit, she doesn't immediately smash both their larynxes with the heels of either hand and then coolly watch these fuckwipes choke to death on their own thin, inbred blood.

I hated this show when I thought the poor cretins who were taking this abuse were actually volunteers, as seems to be the case with every other reality show. But yesterday my children informed me that on WHAT NOT TO WEAR, the people singled out to have their fashion sense forcibly upgraded are not, in fact, volunteers... they are folks whose relatives and friends have sent in their names to the producers of WHAT NOT TO WEAR, after which, cretins London and Kelly film them surreptitiously for days or weeks to establish exactly how poorly they dress, prior to walking up to them and saying "Surprise, you don't know how to dress yourself, we're going to insult and abuse you on TV!"

It amazes me that nobody has killed these little shits yet.

Amazes, and appalls, and disappoints me.

That's one thing, and I feel much better about it now, thank you very much.

Here's another:

I have a lot of geek t-shirts. Nowhere near as many as I'd like, mind you, but, still, I have a lot of them. Some of them are reliable attention getters when I wear them outside the house, and none has proven to be more so than the one pictured to the right.

There are many interesting things about this t-shirt, but probably the thing I find most interesting is that it's like an Instant Geekiness Level test. You can pretty much figure exactly how deep into the Nerd Abyss a particular comics fan is by how many of the heads on that t-shirt they can correctly name. (You get into a whole different level of Comics Nerddom when you find you can name every artist represented on the shirt, too, although, really, there are only three... but, still, you have to be a pretty dedicated comics nerd to know that every head on that shirt except two were drawn by the same artist... and while many comics nerds can quickly tell you who that artist is, only a small percentage can pick out the two heads that weren't drawn by said artist, much less who drew those two.)

And, well, I have to tell you, to date I am the ONLY person who has ever named all 16 characters depicted on that tee shirt correctly. Even the serious geeks I encounter at geek shops who can name every other person shown on that shirt always falter and fail at the guy in the bottom row, second from the right as you're looking at the graphic. You know, the guy next to Wolverine. (I'm sure you knew that was Wolverine. If you can't pick Wolverine out of that kind of line up, then I cannot imagine what wild concatenation of circumstances brought you to this blog, much less saw you reading down through any one entry on it to this point without either surfing onward in irritated bafflement or simply falling into a coma from rampant boredom.)

Now, if you can name every other character on it, but you can't name that one guy, well, don't feel bad. To describe that character as obscure would be a vast, vast understatement. There is no way that character deserves representation in any format alongside all those other characters. I mean, some of those other characters are kind of obscure to a non-serious comics fan (by which I mean, some of them have never appeared in any other medium besides comics, and a few of them haven't appeared in any comics for at least ten years, that I know of, anyway), yes. But that one guy that nobody but me has ever been able to identify? That guy isn't even a sidekick. I don't think he even qualifies as a supporting character. His greatest claim to fame to date is that once upon a time the She Hulk used him as a boytoy for several issues of a not particularly good run of a classic comics title featuring a superteam this bozo was never a member of back in... what... the early 90s? No, more likely the mid to late 80s. And Jesus, I'm old.

(Now, if Mike Norton is reading this, of course, he knows who that guy is. But comics fans with the kind of insane indepth knowledge of arcane Silver Age superhero trivia like Mike Norton and I are pretty rare on the ground these days, I think.)

I'd like it if someone out there would put out a similar t-shirt as the one pictured, but with all female heads from the Silver Age Marvel Universe, instead. It would be a nice little item for the girl geeks in the audience, and what the hell, I'd buy one, too.

Here's another page with some really cool t-shirts, too. Don't just look at the first page after either link. Go on to the next several. For me, at least, there are several "OH MY GOD I WANT I WANT!!!" items on each page.

But I'm shallow like that, I guess.

Tieing this all back to the opening item in this post, if some horrifying cretin were to sic London and Kelly on me, well, I'd certainly have to render London and Kelly down into gruel, and I would be entirely justified in doing so, because I'm fairly certain that the very first thing they'd sneer haughtily at would be any t-shirts I had like those on these pages. And for such an offense, a slow boiling down in a 55 gallon drum to one's component chemicals would be justice, pure and simple.

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