- Memorial Day Musings May 29, 2006
I woke up this beautiful Memorial Day and immediately turned on VH-1 to see if they were playing Shakira’s “My Hips Don’t Lie.” This is the best video on tv right now because although her hips don’t lie, Shakira’s hips do just about everything else humanly possible. And it features Wyclef Jean, which makes my Haitian-half proud to see him getting some work again.
But before Shakira’s truth-telling hips I saw a tragic music video. It was Mary J. Blige re-making U2’s “One,” with U2 playing background. Now I respect Mary J. Blige as an artist. After all she is the Queen of Hip Hop Soul, a genre that contains 1 artist, Mary J. Blige. And she did give us the words “hateration” and “danceree.” But her version of “One” is just bad. “One” is such a great song and hearing her do a Taylor Hicks to it is painful. I think U2 probably allowed her to do it, knowing that it would not be as good and that no one would dare re-make their songs again.
I think I worry about this because my greatest fear is that some group is going to come along and remake a Guns N’ Roses song, which will mark the end of mankind. But re-making U2 is pretty close. And the song is only 15 years old. Shouldn’t we wait a little bit longer? If the majority of your fans know the original, they will not choose your version Ms. J. Blige. So stop.
But this weekend made me reflect on something else. X-Men 3 opened this weekend for that coveted “Memorial Day weekend” movie spot. Yet another holiday that we seem to have lost sight of. How did honoring the sacrifice of troops become Movie Weekend? Well as long as your car has loads of symbolic ribbons in the Mall parking lot, I guess it’s ok. I am not judging or trying to be Mr. Patriot, but I am truly curious how this happened. Was it like 30 years ago after Vietnam and some family went to see Jaws or something like that and little Johnny said, “Mom, why are we going to see a movie today.” And Mom said, “Because Daddy and Grandpa would have wanted us to. Now do you want Junior Mints with your popcorn?” And a tradition was born.
CD – TOMORROW – BUY, LISTEN, ENJOY
- HBO May 24, 2006
The beginning of the end?
Not so long ago Sundays belonged to HBO. Between The Sopranos (seasons 1-5), Sex and the City (which paved the way for other “empowered” qwhoretets like Desperate Housewives, which I maintain is why terrorists hate us for our freedom), Entourage, The Wire, Rome, Deadwood, etc. HBO was so dominant that even Arliss, the worst show ever made, lasted around 5 seasons. But now 2006 may mark the end of HBO’s dominance.
The Sopranos has failed to beat the Houswives like Bada Bing strippers (“First of all Tony, she was a who-uhre” – Season 3 – Ralphie if you don’t know). And the Sopranos has sucked this year. Did David Chase get fooled by Brokeback Mountain into thinking that the driving plot of the season should be how mobsters deal with homosexuals? And, unlike many of my friends, I enjoyed the Tony in a coma part, but with an understanding that the season would go somewhere. Awful work by the Sopranos. This season was the Artie Buco of the 6 seasons, an annoying waste of time. And to make us wait 2 years for it is criminal.
That brings us to Deadwood – HBO’s second best show (now that the Sopranos is languishing in the Carnivale territory). HBO recently announced that Deadwood may be ending after this season. Just when you thought cunt and cocksucker finally found a home in mainstream America, there they go taking it away. Ian McShane is tremendous as Al Swearenjen, funny, vicious and the best voice on tv (Hugo Weaving – best voice in movies – Agent Smith, Elrond). Furthermore, great supporting cast, led by Timothy Olyphant, who plays Seth Bullock, or as I like to think of him – Michael Biehn, if Michael Biehn could act (The Abyss, The Rock, Terminator 1-his only good performance). It would be a huge mistake to cancel Deadwood.
That takes us to The Wire, simply the best show on tv. I have nothing really to say about it. They gave The Wire a Season 4 (fall ’06) as a gift for its quality, but Season 4 stands a very good chance of being the last. That would mean that 2006 would be the death of The Sopranos (8 episodes in Jan/Feb ’07 notwithstanding because it may have killed itself with the past 11 weeks), Deadwood and The Wire. That would be like telling Disney that it had to destroy the prints of The Lion King, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. Horrible indeed.
That leaves HBO with Rome, Big Love, Entoruage and Dane Cook’s Tourgasm. HBO I appreciate the effort with Tourgasm, but it may be overkill putting a show about 4 comedy buddies touring the country having fun, getting chicks, being famous right after Entoruage, a show about 4 acting buddies touring the country having fun, getting chicks, being famous. We get it, being young and famous is cool. But needless to say I will be watching both, but under my alternative title of “The Jeremy Piven/Gary Gulman Comedy Hour.”
Rome was an excellent addition to HBO (coming back in ’07), and the world of full frontal male and female nudity on primetime tv (think Real Sex with british accents and blood), but with the death of Julius Caesar, the show could go good or bad from here.
Big Love. Have not watched it yet, but the ads intrigued me a negative amount. At best it could be a Six Feet Under, a decent show that I don’t watch.
It just hurts to see a network that has been far and away the best on tv losing a substantial amnount of quality and wathcing shows like “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” and “CSI” dominate the ratings. I used to be able to say, “Ha you stupid people who watch only network crap.” Or, “Ha, you poor people who cannot afford HBO.” Now, if HBO keeps it up, the networks will be better.
So HBO – keep The Wire and Deadwood for ’07/’08. let the Sopranos die with dignity, not with a pool cue up its ass. And if you have to, bring back Sex and the City, so women will know that if you want to be insecure whores with shitty dialogue you don’t do it in the suburbs. You do it in the city.
- 2 Movie Weekend May 21, 2006
protests and popcorn
So this weekend I saw two films. On Friday evening I saw Poseiden on the IMAX and then I saw DaVinci Code on Saturday.
Where to begin with this film. The effects are good, but not great. It helped seeing it on the IMAX, but that just made the dialogue enormously bad. And when a filmaker wants to cast Josh Lucas, they should not use his name, but rather, they should be required to label him, “We Wanted Matthew McConoughy But He Was Doing Another Shitty Romantic Comedy.”
Secondly, for me, whenever I see Kurt Russel I think that some studio needs to cast him and Dennis Quaid in a film called “Rugged White Men Who Almost Became A-List Actors.”
Thirdly, Kevin Dillon cannot act, unless he is Johnny Drama on Entourage. I love his character on Entourage, but his brief performance in Poseidon is one of the worst performances in film history, along with the kid in Over the Top and Sofia Coppola in Godfather III.
Lastly, in Poseidon approximately 6 of 2000 people on the boat survive the disaster (sorry to spoil it, but when a movie is not good I do not feel bad about spoiling). The worst part is you end the movie wishing the other 6 had died.
Grade – C-
THE DAVINCI CODE
I arrived at the theater to protests. Some had funny signs:
“Dan Brown sold out for 30 silver pieces”
“Only Catholics go to Heaven”
I told them that I did not know Over the Hedge was such a controversial film, but I am Catholic so no harm, no foul.
The movie was interesting and aroused deep concerns for me. It raised a fundamental question about a very large, powerful group in this country. The book and movie claim that Mary Magdelene, known as the Bible’s official prostitute, had a kid with Jesus. And they were married.
Where has the outcry been from the Hip Hop community?
A popular mantra of hip hop has always been “You can’t make a ho a housewife.” And here comes Dan Brown claiming that the most famous Ho in history was a housewife. Think about the turmoil the platinum-and-diamond crucifix industry will go through with this news.
Just imagine an industry built upon the degredation of women as a foundational element of its success learning now that one of its cornerstones was baking bread and having a kid! Videos like Big Pimpin; will have no more meaning. All those bikini clad women will have to be re-cast in tasteful clothing doing chores and balancing check books. Album sales would plummet. White suburban kids would have no idea who to imitate.
The movie was pretty good (B+), but like Michael Moore films and Fox News, the people worldwide are basically just flocking to a fictional film (second biggest opening world wide) to seek a factual basis to their support their faith that faith is not real. I would never do that.
Now I have to get back to watching Passion of the Christ.
- DaVinci Code: Calm Down May 19, 2006
Before I start two important news items:
-Racial Chameleon will be ready to ship in less than 2 weeks. Go to the store to pre-order.
-The long-awaited Gulman-Cauvin photos are up in the media-photos and the blog-photos section
Now on to what promises to be one of the biggest movies of the summer. The DaVinci Code is opening today and I couldn’t be more luke-warm excited. I thought the book was good, but like Harry Potter I simply read it because I did not want to be behind on a major pop culture phenomenon, in case there were jokes to tell. It was a decent book, but I have some major problems with both sides (my Catholic homies and my secular homies):
First for the Catholics:
-It is just a book.
-Some of those Opus Dei dudes are kind of crazy – see e.g. Robert Novack, formerly of CNN’s crossfire and full time angry penguin-looking fellow.
-If you can praise the Passion of the Christ (which I did) then you can’t hammer a book/movie that isn’t as favorable. Love thy neighbor’s movie as you love thine own. But do not covet thy neighbor’s movie, key distinction, especially if they are home movies meant only for persoanl viewing.
-Tom Hanks’ hair will guarantee less box office power
-Unnecessary and exagerrated measures (hunger strikes, boycotts, etc.) are absurd and only galvanize the people who think you are loony to begin with (see Passion of the Christ again)
And for the anti-Bible people:
– See the irony in reading a fictional book to discredit the New Testament. Even if you are not inclined to believe much or any of the Bible, two fictions do not make a fact. Tom Cruise is married to a woman. She gave birth to a baby. It does not make him straight.
-Of course some Christians and Catholics will be upset by the story. Boycotting is unnecessary and ridiculous, but if someone believes Jesus to be the Son of God, it will be a little alarming and jarring to think that before he was crucified he had to take Jesus Jr. to a soccer game. And the mother was a prostitute. Short of Julia Roberts, no one would really be confortable with that notion. Especially becasue that means Richard Gere would be playing Jesus and that is just weird.
– No one complained when Battlefield Earth came out and questioned its authenticity. Everyone was just fine listening to John Travolta talk about giant aliens coming to Earth thousands of years ago. In all fairness though, the Scientologists are the Pittsburg Pirates of religions, whereas Christianity is the New York Yankees – everyone hates the big dog.
So as you go to see the DaVinci Code just remember, both sides, that it is just a movie and that we should be concerned about far more pressing matters. Taylor or McPhee in American Idol. Cauvin out.
- GULMAN IS THE MAN May 14, 2006
and hecklers do not stand a chance
Last night I went to Gotham Comedy Club in NYC to see Gary Gulman. Just to prove to how popular he is, my blog last blog which compared yours truly and the Gulman was tied for the most commented blog I have so far written (3 comments, tying my Reggaeton-bashing blog – meaning that my fans like tall comics and hate Reggaeton). Also that blog earned an e-mail of praise from none other than Gary Gulman. Cool, but back to the story.
The show began simply enough with some gin, tonic and good comedy, especially comedian Buddy Bolton (who, when a female patron left to go to the bathroom, grabbed her camera and placed it down his pants and took a photo). And then it was Gulman time.
He took the stage and began to go into one of his signature bits on The Pill, when some people, who apparently came to Gotham to hear themselves tell Gary Gulman jokes, started shouting out bad alternative punchlines to Gulman’s good jokes. What Gary did for several minutes is nicely make fun of the ideas these people had so that the crowd could still enjoy the show even though these people were fucking it up. So everyone continued to enjoy the show even though there were some speed bumps early. At one point Gary said “I have told this story 500 times and this has never happened.” Comedian for: “As comedy audience members go, you hecklers are historic pieces of dung.”)
Personally I have not mastered this skill that Gary flaunts so effortlessly because when someone messes with me on stage I calmly say “FUCK OFF!!” and then stage dive on them Axl Rose-style. I need to work on that.
So the show went on nicely and the hecklers realized that they sucked and no one wanted to listen to them. So Gulman continued his routine and my girlfriend leaned over to me and said “He’s good looking.” After I slapped her for being insolent I realized my girlfriend likes tall, good looking, funny men. Phew – I have at least 2 of those, if not 3. But what if she decides one day to come at with me, “No, I said tall, good looking, funny AND successful.” That might have been her last Gary Gulman show for a while.
So the show ended and we got to meet the Gulman, who actually spotted me, probably by the fact that everyone in the Club was 5’8″ and shorter and like two Trees in The Lord of The Rings with hobbits all around us we could easily spot each other. He pointed to me and said “J-L” and I said “Yes.” Some key points from our brief encounter:
-When I shook his hand we did not explode, proving that we are in fact not the same person at different stages of our comedic lives, a la Timecop and that when I cut my face a scar did not appear on Gulman’s face. Apparently my last blog was just a collection of coincidences and nothing more.
-Gulman is really cool. He told me he liked my blog and I told him that another comic had just called them digusting and self-indulgent. Gulman replied – well they are, but I stil like yours.
– Gulman said he would listen to my cd when I have a copy sent to him. And that he would tell me what went wrong and what I should re-record. Laugh at me or with me on this one.
– He was nice enough to take photos with me and with my girlfriend (for scale – but when the photos get posted in the media and “blog photos” section – notice where she chose to stand).
-He also told me that my career looked like it was on its way. I told him, “thanks, so does yours.” He chuckled, which tells me in a room full of Gulmans my material would kill.
-He did not accept my challenge for a Walk-Off.
So I say thank you Gary Gulman – great show – cool dude.
To everyone else, buy my f—ing CD. Please.
- GULMAN vs. CAUVIN May 7, 2006
Meeting My Comedic Role Model
In less than one week I will be venturing to Gotham Comedy Club in NYC to see Comedian Gary Gulman. If you have looked at my links page you will see that he is the first comic listed under my “favorite comics.” I suggest that you check out his site and buy his cd. It is hilarious. But enough free advertising.
Other than his comedic genius I think the real reason I appreciate Gary Gulman is beacuse there are many startling similarities between our lives (and last names – 6 letters each). You be the judge (side note – all info listed for Gary Gulman is from his cd and myspace page and in no way reflects a White Goodman-esque use of the Freedom of Information Act – “finally the hippies got something right”):
GG – 6’6″
JLC – 6’7″ (+1 for me)
GG – Boston
JLC – NYC (+1 me)
GG – Boston College
JLC – Williams College (According to US News and World Report +1 me, but both located in Mass.)
GG – Football
JLC – Basketball (D1 football = +3 for Gulman, benchwarmer in DIII = -1 me)
LIVED AT HOME UNTIL…
GG – 26
JLC – 27 and counting (+1 Gulman, although struggle and sadness is supposed to enhance a comedy career so this may end up proving huge for me, plus I have grad school loans)
GG – Last Comic Standing
JLC – Georgetown law (-1 me)
MY SPACE FRIENDS
GG – 2000+
JLC – 91 (let’s just call this one +1 for GG)
GG – former accountant
JLC – lawyer (draw)
GG – Tourgasm w/ Dane Cook
JLC – Prema-Tour Ejaculation (GG +1)
OLDER SYBLING MAKING MORE MONEY
GG – yes (as of cd)
JLC – doubled up by older brother (draw)
GG – Worthy Concepts Inc.
JLC – Worthy Concepts Inc. (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – draw, +1 Steve Axworthy)
So right now it appears that Gulman is kicking my ass like Bill Romanowski (steroided ex-BC football player). Even worse is that when I see Gulman in 6 days I will not yet have my cd (it will not be available until the end of the month). The reason that this is bad is becasue I wanted to do my own version of Hustle and Flow. Allow me to explain:
In the movie Hustle and Flow a pimp (Terrance Howard) learns that a hometown hustler turned platinum rapper (Ludacris) is coming back to town for a show. He decides to work on his demo to get it to Ludacris. He gets it to Ludacris and thinks that he has made a connection, only to find out that Ludacris threw it in the toilet in the bathroom. In response, Terrance Howard shoots Ludacris, goes to jail, but has one of his “bitches” bring the tape to radio station and Howard’s “Whoop that trick” becomes a radio hit.
Now I am aware that I do not have a gun, hustling abilities or whores, so I was just hoping to deliver my cd to Gulman and mumble “let me know what you think please.” But I won’t have the cd yet so I will have to just say, “Funny stuff man.” And then I will try to awkwardly explain one of my jokes to him and why it is awesome and he will politely laugh and say “that could be funny, but right now some chick wants me to sign her cleavage.” And then I will ask my girlfriend what the f–k is she doing? +1 Gulman
- WEIRD SCIENCE May 4, 2006
Fe = irony
According to the NY Daily News, there are 11 middle schools in NYC with the word “science” in their official title. At 6 of these 11 schools, a majority of the eighth grade students failed the State Science Exam last year. NYC has been pumping out lots of ads for Science and math teachers. Unforunately, they have not been advertising enough for science and math students. Interestingly enough, these statistics do once and for all disprove the theory of intelligent design.
Leading the way was my hometown borough, the Bronx, where at the “Math, Science and Technology Through the Arts Intermediate School” 13% of eight graders passed the exam. Perhaps instead of teaching science “through the arts” they should try teaching students “through the science” or change their names to “Burger, Fries, Large Coke Through Inattendance Intermediate Babysitting.”
As a side note, before getting back to science, The article also cited the “Bronx Writing Academy,” where over 80% of eighth graders failed the English exam. When asked to comment the school’s principal said, “The tests results is wrong.” Through an interpreter. I have since learned that they have re-named the school the “Derek Zoolander School For Kids Who Can’t Read Good.”
At the Academy of Environmental Sciences, 15% passed. When asked whether he thought global warming was real or required more study, the school’s principal replied, “Never heard of it.” Then he was appointed head of the EPA.
Through student interviews I have discovered the causes for these declining test scores. Here they are in the students own words:
“I’m in the middle of a Madden Franchise on PS2,”
“The school still does not provide the eighth graders with day care facilities,”
“if I already made it to eighth grade without studying or going to class, why starts now?”
“F–k that S–t”
I think what we are losing sight of is that 8th grade science is not rocket science. In fact it is not even biology. In most places it is Earth Science. Rocks. The kids of NYC are failing rocks! The phrase “dumb as rocks” has now been replaced with “you’re as dumb as a kid who failed rocks.”
One person in the article did offer a legit response. She said that you cannot judge a kid’s ability on one test. Many of the kids at her school have trouble reading and doing math. That is an excellent point Principal. So, how did he or she get to the 8th grade in the first place? I remember making fun of kids who had trouble reading. It was not nice of me. I was also in the 1st grade. In 8th grade if you cannot read, you either require braile or should not be in the 8th grade.
Next week the city will be releasing the foreign language results. I received early results and only 33% passed. In all fairness English is very difficult.
- Subway Etiquette May 1, 2006
I take the subway approximately 7 days a week and there are some problems I would like to address that can make the subway a lot better for me and many other people. Here are my suggestions.
1) If I can hear the lyrics to the song playing in your ipod you are either deaf and in need of medical attention or inconsiderate and should be accidentally bumped into so that your ipod falls and breaks. Headphones were invented to make listening to music a personal experience. They were not invented as a challenge to assholes to adapt their ways to annoy people on the subway. Turn down the volume.
2) Stop selling me candy on the subway. I get it young people “you are not selling candy for no basketball team (nice double negative).” Maybe if you were in school at 11 am, instead of on the subway selling me “M & M peanut” (I prefer to call them peanut M&Ms), you would know what a double negative is.
3) People who wear backpacks on crowded subways are gigantic pieces of dung. Take your backpack and put it between your legs. If you do not I believe it is the right of every subway passenger to raid you backpack until it is thin enough to not take up the space of another person.
4) Just because you can squeeze into a seat, does not mean you should. I do not believe that people should sprawl accross three seats on a subway, but if there is half a seat available, there is always someone who takes it as their personal mission to fit in. And that person is almost always huge. Stop it.
5) Small children who do not pay a fare should not get a seat. You wanted Jr? Carry him, let him sit on your lap or hold his hand – I am tired and I paid my $2. Or give the kid some M&M peanut to sell to pass the time, you know so he can do something positive with his life, stay out of trouble.
6) If you are panhandling – just come up with a good story. If you are on the same train all the time, do not tell me that your house burned down last week and then 9 months later tell me that your house burned down last week.
7) Stop littering. Washington D.C. has given 12 year old girls fines for eating on their train. And you know what – they are spotless and clean. NYC subways are filthy, as are the stations. I have not littered since about the age of 8 because I learned that it was inconsiderate, like everything else on this list. m
- Mr. Softee Season April 26, 2006
da duh da duh da du da duh de duh de de dah duh de de duh
I am glad warm weather has finally arrived because that means Mr. Softee will be parked squarely outside of my office building until October. And just like kids, except fatter and more tired looking, my office mates and I flock for the delicious soft-served ice cream and shakes. And as an adult bonus some of the names they give their specialty cones are downright dirty: the nutty dip deluxe, the red merlin, the two face, the rusty trombone. Ok, only three of those are on the Mr Softee menu, but I have no idea what a red merlin is.
Sidenote – the Good Humor truck lacks the artistry and craftsmanship of Mr. Softee.
But something dawned on me my senior year of high school, when I officially became 6’7″. Mr. Softee, who often loomed so tall, often about 7’0″ when standing in his vehicular/dairy majesty, had stepped out of his ice cream trailor to reveal a man who was no more than 5’3″. Several things dawned on me from that point on:
1) I could never be a Mr. Softee, unless it came with a sun roof.
2) Ice cream truck people are a small breed.
3) There is not one Mr. Softee, but a legion of small men working for Mr. Softee.
4) Mr. Softee trucks are like small mobile homes that only come with a kitchen and ice cream.
But I have discovered a new wrinkle with Mr. Softee. There is a Mrs. Softee. At my job, the truck, which can barely fit an oompa loompa, not only has a small man, but also his small significant other, which is a nice sight because it means that someone answered the man’s personal ad that said: “Small man seeking even smaller woman who likes ice cream and being cooped up in a truck. Blenders and riding shotgun a must.”
That is why I really like Mr. Softee because he reminds us that there is always someone out there for you, even if you are 5’1″, have an obsession with ice cream, live in a car and only know one song.
- THANK YOU April 23, 2006
I will keep this short
Well, the show was a success on Saturday. It was a sell out and I am looking forward to hearing the recording at the end of this week. I am hoping to release the CD by early June.
Nothing too funny here, so I just wanted to say thanks to all my friends and family who came to the show and to everyone who helped me put it together.
Funny stuff later in the week. For now – I need some rest.