Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Day They Kicked God out of the Schools. . . I think it was a Tuesday. . . It was rainy. . . I woke up late, so I had a quick breakfast. . .

Traffic was congested, as usual. . . When I got to work, John, my co-worker, said "Hi." I said "Hi" back. . . Not "Hi back," mind you, but rather said back to John, "Hi" . . . "Some rain we're having," he said. "Yes," I replied. "It is a hard rain that is going to fall," I said. . . But then it stopped raining, and the Sun came out, though it was still cloudy. . . In my early morning haste, I had forgotten to pack a lunch, so I went to Wendy's, to buy a Mandarin Chicken Salad with Thai Sesame dressing. It was delicious, and though the meal seemed light, I found it quite filling . . . In the afternoon, there was a meeting. My co-worker John was there, as were other co-workers, like Melissa from accounting. Perhaps it was the informal atmosphere, or perhaps it was my co-worker Danielle's liberal and, if I may say, quite racy use of Microsoft PowerPoint. . . but there was something about that meeting, something about that time and place that made it very special to be a part of. Maybe it meant something, maybe not, in the long run. But no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time in the world. Whatever it meant. There was madness in any direction, at any hour. You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. And that, I think, was the handle - that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting - on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark - that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.

Anyhoo. . . Here's a video, courtesy of the Jewish Atheist.

Friday, April 13, 2007

MAAVELAA!!!!!!!. . . or, What's the Turkish Word for "Sadistic Jacuzzi Rapist?"

In fall of last year, shortly after I discovered the masterpiece that is Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, my friend Cal Hilde of Pox Eclipse fame introduced me to another intriguing facet of Japanese popular culture. . . JAPANESE SPIDERMAN!

For those of you already familiar with the basics of the Spiderman mythos. . . that won't help you much, since those magnificent bastards at the Toei corporation completely fucked up the Spiderman story. For instance, in the Japanese version, our friendly neighborhood "Supaidaaman" is not a square-yet-constantly-stoned-sounding science geek named "Pitaa Paakaa" but rather a fucking moter-cross champion named Yamashiro Takuya. And he doesn't get his powers from a radioactive spider, but rather. . . well, this is gonna take awhile.

The show begins, as all Japanese shows must, with a giant robot. This robot, referred to in the series as the "Marveller," crashes into the side of a mountain conviniently located in the suburbs of Tokyo. This giant robot, being, as it is, The Marveller, is capable of doing marvellous things, and as such is sought by an evil group of Borg-looking motherfuckers and one hot chick known, according to all the internet sources I could find after five minutes of Googling, as the "Iron Cross Army."

Meanwhile, Takuya-san, while in the middle of catching some sweet air on his orange Suzuki moterbike, starts to hear voices in his head and see giant spiders and spider accessories in unexpected places. In most situations, this could be dismissed as hallucinations caused by all the carbon monoxide fumes he breathes in while running his motorcycle indoors. But soon he enough, after witnessing the death of his Uncle Ben-san and getting his ass handed to him by Iron Cross Putties, he runs into a cave, falls into an even deeper cave, meets a man from the "Spider Planet," gets injected with "Supaidaa Elixuu". . .

You know what, just watch the fucking thing:

And there you go: a motorbiking, hallucinating, Arachno-zord controlling Spider-man who must verbally order is "supaidaa suturingu" to fire from his bracelet. In addition to everything else, Supaidaaman actually illustrates something that I noticed when watching Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: that English has basically become the Latin of Japanese pop culture -- the goto language whenever you want something to sound cool and otherworldly, be it magic (PGSM) or alien planets and sci-fi technology (Supaidaaman).

When Cal first showed this to me way back in twenty ought-six, I felt both grateful and more than a little upstaged, and I've been trying to find a way to return the favor. Last week, I found what I was looking for.

Ladies and Gentlemen (and especially Cal Hilde), I give you. . . 3 Dev Adam, aka, MOTHERFUCKING TURKISH SPIDERMAN!

That's right, the Turkish word for "Sadistic Jacuzzi Rapist" is, in fact, "Spiderman", which also seems to be the Turkish word for "Cardboard Tube Gerbil Torture" and "Look at Those Fucking Eyebrows!"

And who can stop this evil madman? Only Captain America and his. . . Mexican wrestler? As if we needed another country to fuck up Spiderman.

Anyway. . . Cal, I accept your concession of defeat in advance. And to anyone who may be reading, Cal or otherwise, please leave a comment. Inserting these YouTube videos directly into my blog is a tiresome ritual, and I'd like to know someone's actually bothering to read/watch.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Metal is Stronger Than Ice...

What's more, this slaughter of innocent (would-be) Americans, supposedly carried out by Ice-lamic terrorists, was used two years later as justification for one of the worst wars in American history (even though there was no connection between radical Ice-lamism and the German government!)!

I'll show myself out.

Friday, April 6, 2007

I Can't Wait for Turkish Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon

What I'm about to show you may well be the stuff of legend. Six film classics, one amazing cinematic tradition. They are:

Turkish Star Trek
Turkish Star Wars
Turkish Wizard of Oz
Turkish E.T.
Turkish Superman
Turkish Exorcist

These aren't parodies of American films, nor are they really films themselves. Most of them simply rip off footage from American movies and spice in scenes with Turkish actors. I assure you that I have been assured that these are real Turkish films released in the 1970's and 1980's. Apparently, Turkey was in a period of tremendous political upheaval, so it was difficult to import actual American films (from Wikipedia). As a compromise, well, we got this.

First, Turkish Star Trek:

This is the first part of Turist Ömer Uzay Yolunda. This was released in 1973 as part of the popular comedy film series Turist Ömer (the last part, incedentally), so this one actually was a parody. Still, if you saw for the first time, you'd think it was a rip off. You can watch all nine parts on YouTube at your discretion, and you can read more about it here.

Turkish Star Wars:

These are the beginning (sorry about the French subtitles) and ending scenes of Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam. I especially like the inclusion of Disco Battlestar Galactica. It gives it a ring of authenticity. You can read about it here and here, and if you really want, you can watch the whole frakkin' thing on Google Video.

Turkish Wizard of Oz:

Read about it here and here.

Turkish E.T.

Read about it here.

Turkish Superman:

Turkish Exorcist:

You can read more about this one here.

Finally, I'll show you a video made by a single visionary, Albert Wikowonkavitz, trying to revive this brilliant cinematic legacy. Enjoy!

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