Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: New Rule for the Game

“Some day in the future we are all going to have microprocessors in our heads that record everything we say and do. We’re going to pay for the privilege because it’s going to do all sorts of radical stuff, like auto-friend hot girls you pass on the street and get you the best discounts on the music you just heard. It’s going to do something else, too. It’s going to log everything you say, so that when you use 'qoph' in Scrabble, I can check if you’ve spoken it in the last five years, and if you haven’t, you lose those fucking points because there’s no God damned way that counts.”

Friday, March 4, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: Not For a Doomsday Weapon

So Nothning was running away. You know his name, right? That's the little guy whose soul you hid your doomsday weapon in, or whatever the hell is actually going on there. That's one of the two loose ends I don't understand yet. But you scared the crap out of Nothning, and he ran away, and to the best of my knowledge, you have shadowy goons chasing him.

Nothning has two very dear friends. I'm one of them, and I certainly wouldn't have the brass to talk to you if I wasn't. There's me and Furnhang. The three of us have always been very loyal, so when he ran with assassins at his back, we tailed to protect him. In that horse chase, it was Furnhang that brained your guys with a yoke. In case that story's reached here, that was him. Not me. Yes.

Your eyes tell me the stories haven't reached here. Okay. We're little people, except Furnhang. He's the big guy, flowing golden hair. Obscenely attractive. He's in one of your cells. Was captured protecting Nothning.

You don't care. Why would you? You're evil. You’re powerful. You do things.

You should care because of these two ladies. When a guy is that charismatic, love interests follow. The first was this shopkeeper girl. Don't know her name. She never talks to me. Honestly, she's kind of a bitch. She was bent on following the golden-haired guy on his big adventure, which chaffed Pandling. Commander Pandling.

See, the shopkeeping bitch is in a rivalry with Pandling over who's going to bang/marry/live-happily-ever-after with Furnhang. So when Pandling hears that shopkeeper girl is following him to certain death, she's all, "Let me die for him too, and more tragically! Then he'll love me."

A commander doesn't follow somebody into contested territories alone. She is followed by her command, in this case some five hundred highly trained foot soldiers who unquestioningly followed her highly questionable lead. They crossed over and even your army shrank back. Which we appreciated, because you totally would have had us that night if you kept going.

It was pretty startling on our side, too. So startling that Pandling's fellow commanders thought she was making a power play and moved their forces in to steal the glory. That's why you had three hulking commands bouncing into the contested territories instead of one. None of these people were coming to help Nothning. They didn't even know he existed.

Too late. They do now. I told them.

The next part is entirely your fault. I assume it's you, or some paranoid admiral. Because no sooner are Nothning and I kicking back and relaxing, no longer fearing death amongst the thousand-plus heroes around us, then your freaking Serpent Fleet comes sailing up the coast. So now three commands are looking at dozens of corsairs and cannons. Were those warning shots? Because I thought so, but the commanders did not agree. You fired in the vicinity of three overachieving commanders and immediately they called in the aquatic cavalry. That is seriously the only reason you've got an oceanic stalemate right now.

I don't know what brought on the sky-whales. Didn't think those were real until they swooped through the clouds and started eating people. From the number of ogre skeletons in their droppings, I'm presuming your side doesn't have a much better handle on them. We have no idea what they're after. Commander Pandling thinks your cannonfire woke them up. Nothning thinks they're after your weapon.

Good damned luck finding my buddy, by the way. Thanks to everyone overreacting he's got the biggest, bloodiest crowd in creation in which to hide. And if the commands retreat, he’s going with them and letting them have your stupid weapon, even though as I’ve just described, these people are nuts.

But Nothning extends you this offer: if Furnhang and I go back to him alive before sunset, we’re going underground. Permanent style. Your enemy does not get the big doomsday weapon. You don’t, they don’t, and everybody deals with the sky-whales in their own way.

Up to you how this goes. That’s only how it’s unfolded so far. How it’s actually unfolded. Maybe you can team up with the commands and we’ll all survive this mess. I doubt it - I mean, I'll survive. Providing you don't kill me, I'm digging the deepest hole possible and staying down there until the smell of whale droppings fades. I just presume you're going to charge and get everyone killed, because that's the kind of stupid drama this situation seems intent on heading toward.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: Marriage of Evolution

Crickets and violinists played in tandem for their earless common ancestors. The chimp had carried The Bride’s train since he was the most genetically similar to her, and because he looked the most adorable in a tiny tux. Simple bacteria chatted about how relevant they were to digestion until everyone was bored. Hunter/gatherers brought flowers, though it was the Neanderthal that caught the bouquet. The Missing Link read the rites and asked for their vows. The crowd waited hours for the newlyweds to kiss, a long wait since The Bride first has to pick lice from her love’s scalp. Understandable all in all, given that a gorilla was The Groom.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: Regarding Mr. Floyd, OR, Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2, Take 2

[The bar has been painted lime green, with an additional unique color to each booth. Our booth is virgin cherry pink. At the center of the booth sits DARKLOSS SOULRIPPER VON ALUCARDIA, wearing a cloak made of living bats with their wings sewn together. DARKLOSS and HIS BATS are sharing a single margarita. To DARKLOSS’s left sits MEGATRAN, a Chinese knockoff of Megatron made from blue plastic instead of white. To DARKLOSS’s right sits SAMID, wearing a pink tuxedo and pink reading glasses, scrutinizing over the liner notes in what we presume is the last compact disc case in existence.]

Samid: "We don’t need no education. We don’t need no thought control. No dark sarcasm in the classroom." What the hell is this?

Darkloss: Who needs education? Addition, subtraction, history - it's all useless. With grammar like that, of course you don't need no education.

Megatran: Double negatives are the standard in French.

Samid: Unfortunately not in English.

Megatran: Any linguistic form used reliably is grammatically correct. If they keep using double negatives, they're correct.

Samid: Firstly, if I start calling "first aid" by the name "bacterial infection," I've done something incorrect and unhelpful to everyone else who's using the terms correctly. "Do you want me to get you some bacterial infection for your gaping leg wound?"

Megatran: I don’t get infections.

Samid: Secondly, if Mr. Floyd was trying to make a point to me about not needing an education, failing to use the correct grammar you get from an education doesn't help his case.

Megatran: That's part of his point. He's expressing his argument without conforming to your educational standards.

Samid: So he's failing to use correct grammar in defense of his failing English class. Again, his argument isn't working on me. Maybe it’s all that dark sarcasm I learned at university.

Darkloss: But he's not trying to convince you. The song is directed to kids.

Samid: Directly spoken at educators.

Megatran: Using the direction at educators to make its point which is directed to kids.

[SAMID feeds the liner notes to DARKLOSS’s cape.]

Samid: Oh, well if he's so juvenile that he's attacking one group to win over another, no wonder he doesn't need no education. He’s a child.

Megatran: I don't think Pink Floyd was a person. It's just the band name.

Samid: Again, mucking up the conventions of language. He needs yes education.

Darkloss: Needs yes...?

[DARKLOSS tries to read the liner notes, but HIS BATS will not yield them. He looks in confusion to SAMID.]

Samid: If "needs no education" works, then "needs yes education" works.

Megatran: Nobody says that.

Samid: Nobody intelligent says "needs no education," because they can speak with adult grammar and because they recognize that education is important. I can find data on incomes and schooling levels if you want. Maybe set them to petulant verse.

Darkloss: I don’t see how you can take this much umbrage with Pink Floyd’s lyrics and still listen to Bob Dylan.

[MEGATRAN hides its faceplate in its robot hands.]

Megatran: Please don’t let this level of lyrical scrutiny spread to any other music. I don’t believe the institution can withstand it.

Samid: Oh, stop that.

Megatran: Why?

Samid: Because these things have to close on a clever line. If you don’t rebut in sidesplitting fashion in the next three seconds, the whole thing’s been for naught.

[MEGATRAN hesitates. They sit there.]

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: Coldblooded Body Image

“I try not to talk about it because it's unfashionable for men to have body image issues. Society is acutely aware of how unrealistic their demands are on women's appearances, but you never think how much pressure you put on a man. I spend hours in aerobics classes, arms behind my back and undulating on my belly. I've paid thousands for skin creams and mud treatments without a single scale to show for it. There's a surgery to bifurcate your tongue if you want to half-ass it. Truth is, science won't ever give you a reptilian mouth. The funding isn't there. It isn’t profitable enough. Now you're going to tell me I'm silly, that I'm too hard on myself, that nobody expects me to become a snake. Ride the rails in my shoes for just one day. How they stare at me while I’m trying to coil in my chair. They're all thinking, "What a worthless cobra he makes." But none of them are willing to help me become whole!”

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Bathroom Monologues Movie Awards

It's almost March 2011, so of course we're all talking about the best movies of 2010. If all the complaining on Twitter is any indication, I'm once again happy to have skipped the Academy Awards. Naturally I disagree with some of the winners. More naturally, I don't understand what some of the categories mean. But nothing shall dissuade me from telling a sizable democratic body of people who devote swaths of their lives to film that their mass conclusions were wrong. So here we go.

The Robbed Award
Going to the movie that got no play last year
and is still on my mind more than whatever won Best Picture

The Too Little/Too Late Award
Going to the movie I missed by several years,
but have now seen and wish I'd been on the bandwagon for at the time

The Raddest Scene Award
Going to the raddest scene in a motion picture
Regatta Race to Trent Reznor's "In The Hall of the Mountain King" remix, The Social Network

The Best Soundtrack Award
John's already used the "going to the obvious thing-award" joke,
so this is embarrassing

The Dark Horse Award
Going to the movie that was way better than you all led me to believe it would be

The "What Have I Done With My Life?" Award
Going to any kid born in 1996 who should not be nearly this good at acting
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit

You're Actually All Great At This
Going to the best ensemble in a motion picture
Everybody, Inception

The Frank/Nixon Memorial Award
Going to all actors who performed as well or better than Frank Langella did in Frost/Nixon
For the third year in a row, nobody

The "There's No Such Thing As The Best Movie of the Year" Award
Seeing as there is no such thing as a best movie amidst a field of comedies, dramas, musicals, period pieces, speculative fiction, animation, blockbusters and an international film market we're both not watching enough of as it is, the award that simply goes to whatever movie brought me the closes to both crying and laughing
Toy Story 3

(Baleful apologies to The King's Speech, Black Swan, Mother and other potentially fine films,
but for the life of me I could not convince one person to go see any of them.
Everyone else wanted to see Tron 2, so I stayed home and read a book instead.)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: The iBelieve

To hear today's blasphemy either click the triangle on the left to begin streaming audio or click this text to download the MP3.

Your religion needs an update, Father. This crucifix. Yes, it's a cross, and the image of Christ suffering for mortal sins, but those are just two functions, and most consumers see them as one. Single-use devices are unfashionable. Can't it be a keychain, too? Put a bottle opener at your Savior's feet. Can't this thing play music? I've seen MP3 players and flash drives smaller than this. You could fit a terabyte in Jesus's chest. It needs WiFi; pray with the rosary beads, fine, but get some Facebook integration so God can Like your best prayers on your Wall. Twitter integration, for short requests and pithy spiritual thoughts. Boundless functionality. Auto-updates. The Vatican authorizes new canon and bang, streamed straight to your personal iconography. Launch it next month. A new model next year. Make people feel like they've got outdated faithware. If you can't make Steve Jobs convert, you can at least convert his methods. You're not going to Hell because you don't have one; life is Hell because you don't have one. The iChrist. The iBelieve. Think about it.
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