The Amazon.com Daily Elysium: Buy Stuff!
WeÃ‚'ve got a huge week planned for you at Gamers With Jobs. Certis is working on some impressions of Dead or Alive Xtreme Volleyball, and IÃ‚'m pretty certain heÃ‚'s got a new site design in the works so GWJ may look different/better soon. That alone would be enough to register as a decent week, but weÃ‚'ve also got a thick two part interview with MIT professor and gaming advocate Dr. Henry Jenkins, and on top of all that IÃ‚'ll be dusting off my own personal Soapbox. But, before we dig in letÃ‚'s talk about Super Bowl Sunday for a moment.I knew Tampa Bay had an outstanding defensive team, but I had no idea they could embarrass another Super Bowl caliber team like that. Perhaps just before the game Simeon Rice secretly replaced the Raiders' Gatorade with a cocktail of Zoloft and Percocet, but if I was Jon Gruden, IÃ‚'d be pretty busy this morning calling everyone involved in trading me away asking if they needed extra water based lubricant or Calamine Lotion after that kind of physical violation? Still, we all know football is tangential to the real reasons to watch the Super Bowl: advertising, and to make fun of halftime excrapaganzas.
IÃ‚'d like to thank ABC from the start for reminding me why I donÃ‚'t watch ABC more often by endlessly advertising the dreck they plan to braodcast in coming days. Promotions for their Super Monday lineup were about as inspiring as Bon JoviÃ‚'s vomitous ItÃ‚'s My Life performance after the game. Dear ABC, I wouldnÃ‚'t watch Veritas: The Quest if it starred a naked Gwen Stefani. Ok, maybe if it starred a naked Gwen Stefani, then yes, IÃ‚'d watch Veritas: The Quest, but only because of Gwen. Rrrrrawwwr! More on her later.
When ABC wasnÃ‚'t bandying about a series of miserable television, we got a look at several big upcoming films. Actually, was it my imagination or was there an inordinate number of trailers: Bruce Almighty, Charlies Angels 2, Anger Management, The Recruit. Some were intriguing, some contrived, some mildly embarassing, but the new Matrix trailer for one made me tingle in all the right spots. Seeing a flood of Mr. Andersons come charging out the door was really enough to make me lean forward and think that the very fabric of my sanity might someday depend on my being able to watch that happen on a big screen to a steady thumping techno beat as the heady smell of popcorn tickles my olfactory nerve bundles. A lot of people say that The Matrix is, in reflection, an overrated film, and three years down the road watching the DVD for the eighth time, itÃ‚'s easy to forget why it was such an experience the first time around. This trailer, is a good reminder.
Additionally, IÃ‚'m still holding out some pretty solid hope for The Hulk, though seeing the angry green giant twirling a tank around by its turret left me a bit skeptical. In the brief glimpses we have of the verdant mammoth, he looks a bit like CGI roadkill. IÃ‚'ll have to hold out faith that Ang Lee and James Schamus (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; The Ice Storm) can stay faithful to a comic book style without simply pandering down to silly.
The new Terminator film will probably soak up my $7.50 on a sunny summer matinee, but IÃ‚'ve got no better reason to search it out after seeing the same footage I saw two months ago put in a slightly different order. I caught the original Bad Boys on HBO several years ago. IÃ‚'m glad IÃ‚'ve still got HBO so that I can see the Bad Boys sequel someday when I feel like skipping work and getting drunk. Lastly, Daredevil may just break the opening day record for the big PresidentÃ‚'s Day weekend, though a decent church bake sale probably could as much. Certainly fans of Alias will go see it, because for whatever reason people simply can not get enough of Jennifer Garner, who spent a lot of air time parading down hallways in outfits that would make Kylie Minogue blush.
Speaking of over rated singers, how about Shania Mistress of the Dark? That was a fantastic job of lip syncing to the rhythm of her bouncing cleavage during halftime. HereÃ‚'s a question, why the hell did Shania Twain need four guitarists, and some hair-band reject with a guitar shaped keyboard? ItÃ‚'s not like any of them were actually playing their instruments. They merely pranced around expensive stages while paid corporate lackeys spilled wine spritzer on themselves and mimicked extreme, cool, paradaigm breaking behavior. And did you see her goggled drummer? What, did he fly his Sopwith Camel to the stadium just before the show? I suppose I could have some sympathy for Mistress Midriff if I had the impression that show organizers somehow forced all the performers to lip sync, but No Doubt that wasnÃ‚'t the case.
You know what I would have paid to see? Gwen Stefani storm down that stage and kick Shania TwainÃ‚'s bony country ass! Gwen is my own personal goddess, and if they erected great stone edifices to her in Romanesque temples, you bet your ass IÃ‚'d be there everyday prostrating myself to her. I donÃ‚'t know what she sees in this clown, but IÃ‚'m certain that as he watched the halftime show he turned to whomever he was with and reminded them that at night, he gets to sleep with Gwen Friggin Stefani!
You might be expecting me to say something about Sting, but IÃ‚'ve got nothing. The guy has weathered the storms, has an outstanding voice, doesnÃ‚'t need to piss around with lip syncing, and is known for his tantric stamina. Any invective hurled at him would be obvious jealousy, and IÃ‚'m still busy being jealous at this worm.
Celine Dion is an accomplished singer - as well as an obvious caricature of herself - but did it strike anyone else as odd that she was singing God Bless America? Not only is she Canadian, but sheÃ‚'s French Canadian. English isnÃ‚'t even her native language. Now, IÃ‚'m not one of those backwards American rednecks that thinks we should erect a giant tungsten wall around the nation, reinstate slavery, and sip mint julips on the veranda, but I wonder how Canadians would feel if we sent Barry Manilow to hockey games or curling matches singing traditional Canadian songs like Ã‚"˜O CanadaÃ‚' and Ã‚"˜Give Me That Maple Leaf Before I Stab You In The NeckÃ‚'.
It all serves, I suppose, as a good reminder that there is nothing genuine about the Super Bowl. It is a slippery orgy of corporations all thrusting their wet advertising phalli through our ears and eyes, and ejaculating gnawing slogans onto our collective cultural brain. IÃ‚'m surprised thereÃ‚'s not more corporate sponsorship, like the Mlife Third Quarter, the Monster.com forty-three yard line, or the Budweiser National Anthem.
And yet, I still had a favorite commercial from it all. Terry Tate, Office Linebacker even through my dim haze of cynical hypocrisy still managed to make me laugh. Maybe it was just seeing a massive, angry man thrusting hapless office workers to the ground; maybe my brain had deflated under the weight of Bud Light ads and John MaddenÃ‚'s mildly confused color commentary, but Terry Tate quickly became a personal hero of mine.
When it was all said and done, the Super Bowl left me spent and dirty, but oddly sated. Brad Johnson gave an admirable F You to everyone who didnÃ‚'t select him for the Pro Bowl, and the vaunted Bucs defense didnÃ‚'t merely stuff run-stops and execute zone blitzes with aplomb, but humiliated their opponents with a devastating four man rush and a series of nearly telepathic interceptions. All told, it was an amusing opportunity to watch a decent game, and make fun of self-important people.
By the way, Jimmy Kimmel. IÃ‚'d save some money if I were you. My watch says youÃ‚'ve got about thirty-two seconds of your fifteen minutes left.