The Humanoids: You’re Still Here?

No, I’m not asking why you’re still coming back for more Humanoids randominity. I’m asking why some of this week’s targets are in the news. Some folks just keep kicking around, almost taunting us that they’re in the news and we’re not. That they’re famous and we’re not. They could just ride off quietly into the sunset but they instead keep grabbing at that addicting spotlight. But I suppose that we all want to be in that spotlight at some point in our lives. If being famous, being the centre of attention, is one of our life goals, I guess that I can understand why people are so hesitant to willingly give it.

Good news: I un-fucked up the radio show. Long story short, nobody listened to the final radio cut before it aired and it got a little disjointed in the middle. It jumped from dingo crocodiles to crazy campus cops. It’s all better now. I dropped some of sports for the added UWO police brutality talk. This version is up for download and is one of my favourite ever.

Eugene Levy
eugene-levyThe Canadian comedy legend has appeared in over 90 different TV series and movies in his career. However, in recent years, his career has slowed to a crawl. How bad has it gotten? His next appearance will be in the straight to DVD movie American Pie: The Book of Love. The first movie wasn’t bad though it was never going to challenge for an Academy Award. Now, the franchise is tired and worn out and I would imagine that Levi must be too. After all, how can you be enthusiastic about playing the same role in a cliche movie franchise for the last ten years? This guy was one of the stars of the legendary Canadian TV series SCTV. I loved watching that show on reruns when it was on the Comedy Network. Even some 20+ years after the original broadcasts, those shows were still funny. Eugene Levi was still funny. Now it’s not his jokes that are funny. I think it might be the direction his career has taken that is the real joke.

Michael Jackson
michael-jacksonKeeping with that sort of movie theme from Levi, Michael Jackson is in a new documentary that’s hit theatres this week. This Is It chronicles the very elaborate rehearsals for the King of Pop’s impending tour of London. We all know how things end so I guess this movie won’t exactly have any spoilers. This movie was touted by folks in the know as being able to gross up to $250M worldwide. It’s midnight showings grossed only $2.2M or less than one percent of the total projections. Just like MJ’s finances were rumoured to be, this will likely pull up a bit short. Also worth mentioning is a conspiracy theory that my mom has. She hates conspiracy theories but came up with a good one here. Why were the rehearsals for this concert series recorded? Sure, they may have been thinking TV special or DVD extra but a full on cinema-ready documentary? Maybe there’s a reason for the reported Michael Jackson sightings since he died.

George W. Bush
george-w-bushThe 43rd President of the United States of America has taken up a new job since leaving public office. He’s now a hot shot on the motivational speaking circuit. Well, when I say he’s a hot shot, I might be giving the president who left office with the lowest approval rating in history a bit of credit. His first public speaking engagement was actually a success. He spoke to a sold out crowd of 11,000 in Dallas and the people loved their homegrown ex-leader of the free world. His upcoming second appearance is at San Antonio and tickets are going for the astonishing price of $5. Let’s contrast this with a Bill Clinton speech with average ticket prices in the $40 range. Not only was Slick Willy about 8 times more popular with the American people but his speaking engagements must be at least 8 times as popular as Dubya’s. But Bush 43 did say one smart thing recently. He said “It’s so simple in life to chase popularity, but popularity is fleeting.” How fleeting was it for Dubya? I’d say the height of his popularity lasted just over a year starting in September 2001. Makes you wonder how accurate all those conspiracies about 9/11 being a US government setup actually are…

Larry Johnson
larry-johnsonIf you ask football writers in Kansas City, LJ plays better when he’s pissed off and underestimated and under the radar. He’ll definitely be two of those three things thanks to his latest escapade. After another big KC Chiefs loss, he went on Twitter and lambasted his coach for being incompetent. The team suspended him for two weeks (one game and a bye week) which really isn’t all that surprising. After all, in a league where tweeting could get you a fine from the commissioner’s office, an anti-coach rant was going to be worth a suspension. But if you’re LJ, it was a smart move. This suspension has to light a fire under his ass. If he gets a good number of touches when he comes back, then I wouldn’t be surprised to see him challenge for 200 yards. Then again, seeing how good that Chiefs O-line is and how good the coaching is, he’ll be lucky to run for 50 yards.

Pedro Martinez
pedro-martinez-whos-your-daddyFull disclosure, I actually like Pedro. He’s a character and baseball is almost entirely devoid of actual characters. I wasn’t fond of him leaving the Montreal Expos (But who didn’t leave Montreal? You could have built a dynasty with all the stars that came and went from the ‘Spos.) or throwing Don Zimmer around in that famous basebrawl. I also like the “Who’s your daddy?” chants that the Bleacher Creatures hurl Pedro’s way too. What can I say? I say a lot of things that don’t make sense or contradict each other but I’m like that all the time. Anyway, he hasn’t exactly been the star he has been in the past but he’s filling that a nice role between playoff-hardened veteran and pitching coach and comic relief. He’s never going to be the head of the free agent class ever again but it’s good to see him around.

Teenage Trick-or-Treaters
jack-o-lanternI detest high schoolers and college/university students who come by your place to trick or treat at Halloween. Unlike the little kids, you can’t just hand them one tiny thing and watch them wander along there merry way. No, you have to give them a few of those tiny-assed chocolate bars or you’ll spend the next day pulling toilet paper off your house or washing eggs off if you’re lucky. Ever have the neighbour’s kids hide nails in the snow behind your car? I’d like to say that all those old kids that are looking for free candy can fuck off. They can buy their own ridiculously expensive mini chocolates. We get gouged by the chocolate companies because they know that we have to buy shitloads of candies otherwise we’ll come off as cheap misers. I’d like to say that that those kids can fuck off but if I do, then I’ll be cleaning my house for weeks.

United Airlines
united-airlines-breaks-guitarsIf you’re trying to improve customer service, what’s the last thing you should do? Lose the luggage of the guy who created the YouTube sensation about United smashing his guitar. Canadian singer-songwriter David Carroll had a viral hit with his music video United Smashes Guitars. He was on a flight to Denver when United lost his luggage. It’s amazing that they could lose luggage on a direct flight when he didn’t change planes. Then again, I hopped off a plane and hopped right back on for the second leg of my flight. In that 20 minutes span, Air Canada managed to lose my luggage so anything’s possible. Unlike Mr. Carroll, I wasn’t heading to Denver as a speaker at a customer service convention. United really needs to do two things: 1) It needs to learn the definition of customer service, and 2) It needs to learn the definition of irony.

National Post
national-postCanada’s national right-wing sympathising newspaper of record is on the verge of shutting down. Not that I particularly mind as a just-right-of-centre minded person. I often found the post a bit too conservative for my liking. And I don’t mind that this also means that the Post’s parent company Canwest is having money troubles because trying to get contact info from their website is impossible. (Actually, ignore that Canwest dig because I’d like to deal with them in the future on an unrelated project.) Technically, they aren’t owned by Canwest since the Post an income trust which leads us off track. What I’m trying to get at is that I’m amazed one of Canada’s two national newspapers is in financial trouble. When you think about it, the quality of the average local daily is below that of the average blog run by someone out of their parents’ basement. You’d think that people would flock to the national papers like the Post but they don’t. Maybe I’m just an outlier because I prefer the Globe & Mail to my hometown’s Sault Star. I may not like the Post but I feel disappointed that one of Canada’s increasingly lessening bastions of quality journalism is disappearing.

Hot Clicks
jimmy-trainaI saw an article a year or two ago about the evils of SI’s Hot Clicks section on its website. The long and short of it was that blogs were changing how they write and what they write to try and get linked by Jimmy Traina, the overlord of the sports blogosphere. We had a post linked by Traina back on MySpace in 2008. It was given a very generic intro and was given one line, almost buried, but we got in the neighbourhood of 8,000 hits from that link. I had submitted our swine flu post to HC just to see if it got linked. I thought it was one of our better posts. Jimmy didn’t think it was any better than his usual cavalcade of lists and women. Seeing as it’s Sports Illustrated, I can understand why he didn’t link to a non-sports article. That doesn’t mean I’m going to change the way I write or what I write for a substantial jump in readership. The height of generic writing is all that would get me linked by the Clicks. There’s an old saying “With great power comes great responsibility.” I don’t think that Jimmy wields his great power responsibly.

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