Wouldn’t have had much fun in Stalingrad

vanmojo alerted me to something very special about this year’s Rose Parade. For those outside the US, the Rose Parade is a huge New Year’s Day event connected with the Rose Bowl college football game. Corporations make giant floats, high school bands march, and it goes on forever.

Because 2007 will be the 30th anniversary of Star Wars, George Lucas will be the grand marshal. And also because of this, the 501st Legion will be marching in the parade.

charity stormtroopersHaving a lot of Star Wars stuff in the parade sounds cool. Maybe some of the actors from the original movie, or a bunch of wookies. But no. This will be a large gathering of the Imperial Stormtroopers marching by in review.

The 501st has a long and hilarious history of charity appearances, each of which is more like an Onion article than the others. And they’re just costumed nerds, I know.

So I guess it’s perfectly fine to have the brutal, oppressive cannon fodder minions of the dark Empire marching proudly in our parade. You know, the ones who kill and burn Luke’s family at the beginning of the original movie. And it’s totally cool also to have a group named after the Nazi murderers who slaughtered millions of innocents in a horrific war of aggression, carrying out the most notorious genocide in the history of mankind. In fact, it should be awesome!

No wait, it’s that other thing: shockingly ignorant and offensive!

Someone please tell me this is a long drawn-out prank by Mel Brooks. Please.

Edit:Lucas’ extensive ripoffs from The Triumph of the Will just aren’t helping here either. Pasadena is the new Nuremberg.

Letter to the OC Weekly that will not be published

Dear The OC Weekly:

Please reboot your paper. You have maybe 3 or 4 good writers left: Arellano, Moxley, Schou. Ziegler’s Meltzer riff on Matt McCluer was good last week. The rest is painful: a depressing and irresponsible guide to holiday drinking, a Social Distortion tribute band, a review of a Paul Frank party, a botched mess of a feature that should have been excellent about the Asian sex mystique, and the worst circle-jerk of solipsistic first-person journalism ever seen. Reading the Weekly now is watching a party clique amuse themselves and each other. One friend of mine suggests that each feature should be indexed to its corresponding episode of “Arrested Development.”

There is a spanish phrase “verguenza ajena” which means “pain on seeing the embarrassment of others.” It’s the cringe sensation, and we’re feeling it for you. Improve!


The O.C. Weekly’s Best of the O.C. Weekly’s Staff’s Drinking Buddies Issue

I shouldn’t expect too much from the free weekly paper in a rich flat right-wing suburb fifty miles south of Los Angeles, but I’m very disappointed in the Orange County Weekly’s “Best of O.C.” issue. It’s an unreadable mess of office in-jokes, arch post-ironic snark, inaccuracies, logrolling, and delusions of grandeur. It is, in short, the Waiting for Guffman issue.

It begins with a bizarrely academic leader which is precious as hell but probably the best-written thing in the issue. It belongs in a painfully literary college humor magazine.

Almost all of the rest of the issue is devoted to an in-group of 25ish partyers. This leads to “My Favorite Things” spreads for a fundraiser party organizer who like Lhasa Apsos and those old 90s records, some random community college student with one of the new-fangled “blogs” who is therefore a social critic, an activist stereotype straight from the pages of The Onion, and a Chapman prof who is claimed to be a novelist but appears to be Adam Sandler playing one in a bad movie. Oh, and an apparently very nice guy who is a computer dude and DJ and stuff but is oddly described as a Renaissance man. Maybe he buys drinks for them a lot. He does seem pretty cool.

About a third of the items are in Long Beach, which is not in Orange County. However the 25ish partyers all live and hang out there and this issue is for and about them, not about their readers.

Clearly the ad salesmen did way too good a job. The issue is big and fat, and even with the high ad-to-editorial ratio they run, that was a lot of inches to fill. But they do have two or three good writers. Arellano and Moxley are of national quality, and Nick Schou is capable and talented. But instead of letting some people with skill work on this thing they just dumped in a load of garbage they could giggle to each other over. They compound the problem by adding on a few “I beg to differ!” items to the end of each “best of” item. This gives you the charming sensation of being next to their group as they pass in-jokes back and forth. I fail to understand why anyone would care which El Pollo Loco these people prefer, much less be present at a cute little fake argument about the choices available.

I suppose it doesn’t matter that my local weekly paper blows so hard. People read it for the listings and the ads, the same way they read the L.A. Weekly. The good writing goes as unnoticed as the bad by almost everyone, and this particular crowd of drunk scenesters is fooling themselves about their importance as much as I did 20 years ago at a free weekly paper, myself. But it could be good, and I wish it was. There are a lot of great things to write about here, enough to fill a Best Of issue with, some Worst Of, and with a lot more cultural and political substance and way more actual fun.

I sincerely wish these people saw their opportunity and took it.

As they say in their own post-everything bad-is-good ode to cosmetic surgery, truly it is another nail in the rational coffin.

P.S. No one thinks you’re badass for hanging out in Santa Ana at night except your mom. They’re all going to laugh at you! They’re all going to laugh at you!


The Anthropic Principle is the most ridiculous thing I have seen produced by real grown-up scientists.

It’s fascinating in a train-wreck way to watch geeks reinvent wheels. Clearly there wasn’t any need to stay awake during Philosophy 10, much less do any reading on the subject later on when they got big ideas about the place of humanity in the universe.


This is intriguing, just received via myspace. I could certainly use more glitter words in my life, but what really got me excited was the “whore me generator.” It sounds like something Captain Haddock would yell, or maybe some software that would show me what I’d look like as a whore, or even better a way to get people to pay to have sex with a diesel generator, which would be all sparky and enginey and fetishey and incredibly lucrative. And I really, really admire the idea of charging someone to steal someone else’s code and paste it to them. That’s the kind of business thinking that will turbocharge an e-strategy into cyber-success.

I think it’s time for bed.

Just want to let you know we are here to support your myspace profile. Here is a list of things we can do for your myspace account;

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Comment Box Editor.
Friend Box Editor.
Contact Images.
Online Now Icons.
Profile Counters.
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Flash Music Player (Create your own MP3 music player with your own songs to put on your profile)
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Put a Custom Image on the “xxx is in your Extended Network” Section.
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Everything you would ever want. Check it out! there is def something you could use here.