Evolutionary psychology bingo

February 24, 2009

I am not a scientist and in fact am quite dim when it comes to science, barely able to struggle through your denser pop-science tomes without a good dictionary or access to Wikipedia. Even so, I am pretty skeptical, and the current popularity of evolutionary psychology – “Not Really A Discipline Per Se” – leads to a lot of people no smarter than I am saying vague things about “evolution” and “early humans” that don’t really sound right. And then of course that leads ME into mild discussions with people about their hazy theories that it’s “natural” that “men drive like this, but women drive like THIS!”

Soooo, evolutionary psychology bingo.

HILARIOUS. (If you have ever had one of these conversations.)

I just read something awesomely hilarious on a messageboard for screenwriters:

The big talent agencies violate the civil rights laws.

Some Dude is annoyed that the big agencies won’t read him without a referral, something he feels that he’d have IN THE BAG if he were related to Spielberg. So, obviously, there’s some hardcore discrimination – ILLEGAL DISCRIMINATION! – at work here. That’s the only thing keeping him from a blind deal and offices on the Sony lot:

I was looking around at the EEOC, the federal agency that enforces civil rights laws, and I found something interesting.

http://www.eeoc.gov/

Any employer in ANY industry that hires more than 15 people is bound by the EEOC laws. And under said laws, a company cannot have a recruitment process that disproportionately excludes people on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability.

Unfortunately, the insane requirement that the big agencies have towards people getting industry referral totally disproprotionately blocks out people across all categories, and is illegal.

So along those lines, I filed a complaint, the EEOC took it, and is investigating a couple of the big three. If any of you have your own grievances, feel free to contact the EEOC and let’s push to reform the industry. These people are not goods, and they have to follow the law just like any other industry.

There are many pages of ensuing hilariousness, in case you’re bored.

Did you enjoy the Oscars? I was surprised by the greatness of Hugh Jackman’s opening number* but did not understand the creepy Oracle of Delphi situation where previous winners came out and slathered praise on the nominees. What was that. WHAT WAS THAT.

Sean Penn’s acceptance speech, with the “Shame on you, Yes On 8 voters! SHAME!” part made me think hilarious thoughts about how many thousands of Yes On 8 voters were, right now, sitting at home, and bursting into tears. Because Sean Penn – SEAN PENN, the world’s NICEST AND MOST DECENT MAN!!! – thought they were jerks. And their feelings were hurt. And yet, simultaneously, they couldn’t blame him, because they had realized the error of their ways. My God, what had they been thinking?!? HOW HAD THINGS GONE SO HORRIBLY WRONG?!?**

Man, Sean Penn is fantastic. I would like him to next turn his amazing powers of lecturing to The Plight Of Ladies In Afghanistan. He could shame a whole nation into letting women vote and work and seek health care in peace. After that maybe he can handle global warming, male circumcision, uncanceling Arrested Development, and unsafe products from China.

SEAN PENN: AMERICA’S ANSWER TO THE FLACCID BULLSHIT THAT IS THE UN.

PS, my Young Man sent me this link, which is AS EXCITING to me as flowers might be to a normal girl: Can You Shoot Down a Helicopter With a Pistol?

*I hate musicals. The phrase “opening number” makes me FREAK OUT.
**I do not agree with those Mr. Penn felt compelled to lecture, mind you.

Lady mercenaries

February 14, 2009

So last night I was reading about how Blackwater is changing its name to “Xe” (pronounced, OBVIOUSLY, as the letter Z) due to its tarnished image.

This naturally made me think about how great it would be to have my very own mercenary company! If Blackwater, which seems to be staffed exclusively by people who think that goatees are the bleeding edge of facial hair fashion, gets government work, there’s just NO REASON that someone like me, with my military nerdery and access to the internet, can’t get some lucrative no-bid contracts.

You’re probably wondering: what will make my company different than the Blackwaters and Triple Canopies of the world? A GOOD QUESTION.

First, it will be an all-lady mercenary outfit. Second, it will be called PINKSTORM.

My mercenaries will drive giant black SUVs with an adorable little pink thundercloud logo on the doors. Our motto will be something like TO CONFUSE AND DESTROY… POLITELY. The tail vehicle in our convoys will have a sign on the back that reads “THIS IS A HIGH-SPEED CONVOY DRIVEN BY TRAINED LADY MERCENARIES. PLEASE STAY BACK AT LEAST 100 FEET AND DO NOT ATTEMPT THESE MOVES AT HOME. THANK YOU AND ENJOY YOUR NEW DEMOCRACY.”

All video edition

February 13, 2009

Happy Friday!

Here are some videos I have enjoyed this week:

Russian Army Dance Battle

The accordion guy is the best. “Check out THESE moves, suckas!”

Jumpstyle

Jumpstyle dancing is like… Russian Army Dancing+techno+young Europeans-gravity. I know about it because my little brother was all “Check out this video ON MY MOBILE PHONE of me and 20 of my friends dancing!” and I said “…?!?!?!?!??” as the top of my head came off. Man, it’s sad when you realize that it’s TOO LOUD because you’re TOO OLD.

I love how many jumpstyle videos are shot in your mom’s living room in Holland:

Dog on a trampoline

UFC fighter Bas Rutten teaches you how to win a bar fight. Although I would point out that you will almost certainly subsequently go up to the Big House for assault.

“Everybody underestimates the kick to the groin.”

Some Guy goes for the world record in field dressing a deer (There is a dead deer in this. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, vegans.)

Many things about this are amazing:
1) The “color commentary”: “Look at him go.”
2) The friend saying “You can’t record sound on those.” and then the semi-snippy “You can on this one” response.
3) “You’re spending a lot of time on those nuts!”
4) “Uh-oh, anal cavity.”
5) The dog hopefully nosing its way in at the end.

Trader Joe’s spec commercial

Now I’m snackish.

Happy Weekend, internet.

Wood-smoked burgers

February 9, 2009

Okay, so last night I’m at a diner (NORM’S) and my companion and I are sitting around talking about grenade launchers, when suddenly the hair on the back of my neck stands up, because:

This guy with an Eastern Bloc accent and CRAZY EYES has sidled up to the counter and snagged himself a stool. He is not wearing any kind of crazy-guy outfit. He has an expensive douchemeister haircut and is wearing fancy sneakers. He proceeds to lay into the female server:

CRAZY POSSIBLY SLAVIC GUY
Hey! Hey. I’d like to order. Maybe you didn’t see me here! Maybe I’m invisible.

His tone is sufficiently creepy that the other Norm’s patrons stop eating their mediocre diner food: like the moment in a Western when the black hat strolls into the saloon all menacing-like and says “I’m lookin’ for the Marshall.”

The female server ignores him. The male server comes over to deal with him.

MALE SERVER
What can I get you, sir?

CRAZY POSSIBLY SLAVIC GUY
(slams hand on menu)
This turkey! Is it wood-smoked?

The server pauses. What? This is Norm’s. Everything they sell has been deep-fried and coated in ranch dressing.

MALE SERVER
I don’t think so, but I can check–

CRAZY POSSIBLY SLAVIC GUY
Nevermind! What about your burgers?

MALE SERVER
Well, we have beef, turkey–

CRAZY POSSIBLY SLAVIC GUY
Which one is best and most sumptuous?

MALE SERVER

CRAZY POSSIBLY SLAVIC GUY
Get me someone who knows about your beef!

MALE SERVER
…sir, I don’t know who that would be–

CRAZY POSSIBLY SLAVIC GUY
(to passing female server)
YOU. Which of your burgers do you prefer?!?

FEMALE SERVER
I’m a vegetarian.

Crazy Possibly Slavic Guy throws up his hands, turns back to the male server. Fixes him with a steely glare:

CRAZY POSSIBLY SLAVIC GUY
Your burgers. Are they wood-smoked?

MALE SERVER
…Sir, I’ve never heard of a wood-smoked burger.

CRAZY POSSIBLY SLAVIC GUY
That’s ridiculous. I smoke my burgers all the time.

EVERYONE IN THE DINER TRIES NOT TO LAUGH.

Because you can’t tell if this guy is loopy because he did too much cocaine, or if he’s some kind of Serbian mobster WHO WILL CUT YOU.

Here, reality diverges. I think the following happened:

CRAZY POSSIBLY SLAVIC GUY
I’m going to get mine.

He gets up and stomps out of the diner, climbs into a Lexus, and drives off.

ELANA, WHO HAS SEEN TOO MANY CRIME MOVIES
(mentally, very quietly, not making eye contract with crazy guy)
OH NO, what if he’s going to GO GET HIS GUN?!?

My companion thought that he either said:

CRAZY POSSIBLY SLAVIC GUY
I’m going to the ATM.

Or that he meant:

CRAZY POSSIBLY SLAVIC GUY
I’m going to get my freaking wood smoker. FUCK YOU GUYS. I’ll show you how it’s DONE.

Either way, he did not return. Which is good in terms of him not coming back and trying to kill someone, but sad in terms of how great it would have been if he had some back with a smoker.

LOST HYBRID RAVEN

February 6, 2009

1) Recently the Young Man and I were taking one of our late-night fog walks along the Venice canals, and we spotted a lost-pet poster on a lamppost.

Thank goodness someone posted a picture of it on Flickr.

Yes, this person has lost their hybrid raven. Yes, he is “fully flight-capable but ill-equipt (sic) to survive in the wild”. Yes, if you see a large group of crows mobbing an enormous black bird, you should call the number below.

A debate ensued! Could this be for real?

POINT: This is too ridiculous to be made-up.
COUNTERPOINT: The number to call includes “666”.

POINT: This is LA. People do have weird pets.
COUNTERPOINT: Sure, like ferrets. A hybrid raven might not even be a real thing.

POINT: This is Venice. If people are going to have hybrid ravens, they will have them here.
COUNTERPOINT: Conceded.

2) People who live on the Venice canals do not put up curtains. I kept feeling troubled by this: I mean, you’re basically strolling through their back yard, watching them watch NCIS on a giant flatscreen while not wearing any pants (…). I PERSONALLY WOULD PUT UP CURTAINS.

But then I went home and looked up house prices on the Venice canals, and they’re all 3 million+. So I guess if I had paid three million damn dollars for a really small house on a scenic but somewhat malodorous canal (it’s the ducks) I too would probably be all “HEY. CHECK OUT MY HOUSE. IT WAS SUPER EXPENSIVE.”

3) I recently saw Taken, which is a movie about Liam Neeson being some kind of ex-spook who rescues his teenage daughter from nefarious kidnappers. It was full of excellent violence, and there was an out-of-nowhere shooting in the middle that made me REALLY HAPPY (even though later I felt sort of embarrassed that I had been so bloodthirsty as to clap my hands gleefully in a full opening-weekend theater, probably leading those around me to think that I was some kind of psycho.)

HOWEVER. There is one thing I felt remained unaddressed: the teenage daughter will NEVER be able to have a decent relationship with a boy. Ever.

NICE BOY IN COLLEGE: “I noticed you’ve been kind of down, so I got these awesome tickets to a EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY show!”
LIAM NEESON’S DAUGHTER: “That’s nice. Did I ever tell you about the time when my dad dropped everything and laid down God’s own judgment all across Paris because I was in trouble?”

NICE BOY IN ENTRY-LEVEL JOB: “Do you want to maybe get out of town for our six-month anniversary? I can get us a cabin… I know a guy…”
LIAM NEESON’S DAUGHTER: “Sure, that sounds fine. By the way, my dad has a comprehensive network of black-ops types that stretches around the globe.”

NICE BOY OF ABOUT 28: “Hey, honey? Was that creepy guy at the gas station bothering you? I couldn’t tell if you wanted me to do anything about it or not.”
LIAM NEESON’S DAUGHTER: “Don’t worry about it.”
NICE BOY OF ABOUT 28: “…That’s what you always say when we’re about to have a fight.”
LIAM NEESON’S DAUGHTER: “I’m not going to tell you what to do, Brian.”
NICE BOY OF ABOUT 28: “…Oh God.
LIAM NEESON’S DAUGHTER: “Not for nothing, but when creepy guys bothered me, my dad KILLED THEM ALL.”
NICE BOY OF ABOUT 28: “…”