Archive for November, 2008

The Gayest Cartoon Characters Ever

Posted in Uncategorized on November 23, 2008 by DJ D

We here at the Great and Secret Show work on our own timetable. Regular readers are pretty well aware of this. The last 2 posts were supposed to be 2 of 3 where I covered everything I did and bought for Halloween. I’ve got a lot more to talk about, but being that it’s less than a week away from Turkey Day, I honestly can’t be bothered with making that third post. So, I’m going to just sprinkle the rest of my spooky stuff (of which there is quite a bit) here and there throughout the next few posts…if I feel like it. Either way, you nuts will show up and read it anyway, so screw it. For now, I’ve got other stuff to discuss.

Which brings me to this. I love cartoons. Love ’em. Always have and always will. But, it has occured to me lately that there is a certain segment of the animated community that is a little, shall we say, light in the loafers. As my grandfather used to say, “he’s got a little sugar in his tank.” Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m just saying. I know that I’m not the first to notice this and I’m not the first to point it out, but I’m leaving some of the more obvious ones off the list, because it’s more fun that way. So, you won’t see any Ace and Gary here, and as much as people protest otherwise, there will be no mention of Batman and Robin. For one, they weren’t originally cartoon characters, and for two, I just don’t have the heart. Also, you’ll notice that not everyone discussed is necessarily a cartoon character. I’m kind of extending my definition to a few puppets and people in suits here and there.

So, having said that, I give you my list of all those funny (and i’m not talking funny ha-ha) characters, in no particular order, that are not only friends to us all, but more notably, Friends of Dorothy.

Snagglepuss

snagglepuss2

The other day I was flipping channels and came across an old episode of the Hannah Barbara Laff Olympics. These things were great. All the old HB characters came together to compete in wacky games. It was the only time you ever got to see all these guys together in the same place. I remember loving it as a kid. They were hosted by old Snagglepuss up there. So, I was excited to find this on TV again. I sat back, dug into my bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats, had a laugh, and let my thoughts wander to a better time. A time when Saturday morning cartoons reigned supreme. A time when Halloween and Christmas never came fast enough. A time when-

Oh my God, Snagglepuss is so gay.

I mean incredibly gayer than gay. I mean, have you heard him speak? Again, I’m not criticizing. I just never noticed it till now. Apparently, it took adulthood for me to develop any kind of gaydar. But let me tell ya, it’s pinging all over the place now, firing on all cylinders, e-ven!

Bugs Bunny

bugs-bunny

Now, while I’ve always been more of a Wile E. Coyote kind of guy, I still really like Bugs. And I know a lot of other people do too. But, let’s face it. The cross-dressing. The rabbit-on-man kissing. The love of show tunes. He could just be a debonair showman, but I’m not ruling out any possibilities.

Yogi Bear and Boo Boo

yogi

All I’m saying here is that I never saw any female bears having any pic-a-nics with Yogi. And if Boo Boo is supposed to his kid or his nephew or something, it would be nice if they had cleared that up at some point. All we know is that he’s his “little buddy.” Yeah, I think we know what that’s all about.

Bert and Ernie

bert-and-ernie

Even at the tender age of 5, I knew something odd was going on here. It wouldn’t have been such a dead giveaway if they didn’t sleep in the same bed. I gotta say, they do deserve some credit for being TV’s first out couple, even if it was never directly addressed. I suppose they didn’t have to though. They bicker like a married couple anyway. And even though it’s been years since I made a point of sitting down and watching Sesame Street, I’m sure if you paid close attention to their apartment, it’s faaaabulous. Rubber ducky, you’re the one.

Big Bird

big-bird

I never really suspected anything when I was a kid, but it became pretty apparent when I got older. But I have another theory about BB though. I’m not just going with gay. I think he’s all out pre-op tranny. I mean think about it. Does anyone really know what gender he/she is. Well, whether it’s an inny or an outy, BB’s OK in my book. He’s not hurting anybody. Now Snuffleupagus, that’s a different story. He’s about 3 missed Prozacs away from snapping and taking out half the street.

Peppermint Patty and Marcie

pp-and-marcie

There’s not much to say about the Indigo Girls here that hasn’t been said already. From Peppermint’s tomboyish and forceful style to Marcie calling her “sir” all the time, it’s pretty clear who’s wearing the pants in this relationship.

Velma

velma

My personal favorite of the Scooby Gang. I mean, how could you not like Velma? While Fred and Daphne were sneaking off to do whatever they do and Shaggy and Scoob were “eating Scooby snacks” (cough, cough), poor Velma was always left to do the real work. I know that everyone always assumes that Fred and Daphne were sneaking off to get up to some hanky-panky, but let’s face it. That ascot of Fred gave him away. While he doesn’t deserve an actual spot on this list just because he’s lame, I do have to mention that he was a little swish himself. I think the more likely story was that Velma was secretly pining after Daphne. Who knows, maybe Daphne was pitch-hitting too. All I know is that Sarah Michelle Gellar might be hot and all, but for my money, in the Scooby-Doo movies Linda Cardellini is where it’s at. Jinkies!:

velma-movie

Tinky Winky

tinky-winky

Do I really need to say anything here?

Vanity Smurf

vanity-smurf

Now, a case could be made that all the Smurfs were one big, blue bathouse of fun, but the truth is, it was most likely just an unfortunate sausage fest. While it’s no secret that Smurfette’s mushroom mansion of merriment has been the ruin of many a poor boy (who hasn’t smurfed her by now?), it’s also no secret that Vanity’s the only one in the clan with a season pass to the American leg of Cher’s 43rd fairwell tour. Way to rock that flower, you sexy mothersmurfer.

He-Man

he-man

This breaks my heart. I don’t want to admit it. I really don’t but you can only live in denial for so long. After going back and watching many an episode of He-Man in my adulthood I can’t ignore the tell-tale clues anymore. Now, as a child I worshipped He-Man. I think I might have had just about every He-Man related toy on the market, and could quote entire episodes. Next to Batman, he was probably my favorite fictional hero. Hell, I even had the underoos. But, being a little more wordly now, it’s pretty apparent that he and his magic flaming sword are probably all the rage down at the Eternia Gym. And while I’m at it, what’s up with Man-At-Arms and that mustache? By the Power of Gayskull! (sorry, I couldn’t help myself)

Waylon Smithers

waylon-smithers

There is so much wrong with him and the Mr. Burns situation I don’t even know where to start.

Stewie Griffin

stewie

Proof that even in infancy, it’s pretty apparent which way some people swing.

Ziro the Hutt

ziro

So there I am. Sitting in the theatre, enjoying the The Clone Wars movie. Yeah, that’s right. I said it. I liked it, even though no one else seemed to. I like the TV series too. So, put that in your pipe and smoke it. Anyway, I’m sitting there getting geared up for the chance to see another Hutt character. I mean, let’s face it, as disgusting as Jabba is, he lights up the screen in a way. So, here comes Ziro…

Elton Jumping John, he’s gayer than eight guys screwing nine guys. I mean, the feather, the lisp, the movements. It’s not even subtle either. At least with C3P0 (yeah, like you’ve never noticed that one either), there was some debate either way. Again, I’m not criticizing, I just never thought I’d see the day that a Hutt would run the most limp-writed disco in the galaxy.

Hey there, Sailor. Is that a light saber in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

Halloween: The Aftermath–Part 2: DJ D Does the Nine Inch Nails Tour!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 13, 2008 by DJ D

Right, so this doesn’t really count as anything to do with Halloween specifically, but a lot of what I’m going to talk about happened during that week, so whatever. Hey, I’m just looking for an excuse to write about it. Over the last few months or so I’ve been lucky enough to see NIN 3 times on their “Lights In The Sky” tour. Some other big events happened too. It went something like this:

Aug. 18th–NIN in Duluth, GA
Oct. 5th–Layed off from my job (insert angry face here)
Oct. 31st–Halloween
Nov. 1st–NIN in Greenville, SC
Nov. 2nd–Birthday
Nov. 3rd–NIN in Greensboro, NC
Nov. 4th–Obama Day

What a week. So, I decided I would share the experience with everyone. The pictures I’m going to post are a mixture from all 3 shows. Honestly, it’s hard to remember which show some of them came from, so I might not really specify, but you know, whatever.

First, let me tell you about the concert going experience for us. I went to all 3 shows with my friend Donna, who’s a huge NIN fan. I was a casual fan before, but am a serious fan now. I gotta say they put on one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen in my life, and I’ve been to quite a few. We vowed that we would get as close as possible. The last few shows I had been to before this we were lucky enough to get really close (7th row to The Cure!). Little did we know our efforts would pay off so well. For all 3 shows we managed to get either presale tickests or general admission tickets and would arrive super early to stand in line for several hours in the freezing cold every time, but it was totally worth it. For all 3 shows we were either right on the rail in the front row, or right behind the people that were, so pretty much front row.

We were noticing that an aquaintance of ours from here in town was showing up to every show we went to. This was going on before we ever went to our first NIN show. Every time we saw him he would always be in the front row. Now being that I’ve been a DJ with a certain amount of contacts and ways of getting things, even I couldn’t get us in the front row every time till now. Thus, he became known to us privately as Rat Bastard. I didn’t know him that well, but now after having seen him and talked to him at the last 4 or 5 shows I’ve been to, RB and I are somewhat friends, although I refuse to call him anything other than that. He’s even listed in my phone as such. Also, at the Duluth show we met a girl who was directly in front of us called Elle, who also knew RB from the NIN shows. We’re pretty good friends with Elle now too. You spend enough time with the same people over and over again at the front row of concerts and you make a few friends. It’s an elite club I’m glad to be a part of. Another friend of ours told us we were becoming the NIN version of Dead Heads, the way we’ve been following them around on tour lately.

Ok, I gotta preface the pics first by saying that NIN has an amazing, groundbreaking screen technology on this tour. I’ve never seen anything like it. They have 2 enormous screens-one behind them and one in front-that are equipped with thousands of tiny lights that are able to be manipulated in order to be completely interactive. Not only can the screens broadcast huge images and patterns and things, but they’re somehow touch sensitive and interactive so that the band members can just walk up to the screens and the colors of the lights will change if they’re touching them or even standing near them. I’ve never seen a more interactive, cool visual at a show. Every image on both screens is perfectly timed to every beat of the music. Here’s a short vid taken from NIN’s YouTube page that illustrates how it works. I recommend watching it before you look at the pics. It helps to make sense of it all:

Ok, on to the pics:

3-keyboards

This is them performing with these 3 small keyboards and one slide guitar in front of the small space between the first screen and the edge of the stage. This was cool cause they were super close then. My crappy camera on the phone doesn’t do it justice because you can’t really get a good feel for exactly how close they were. Plus it has a hard time with bright lights so even though there might have been something cool on the screen behind them it just washes it all out in one big bright light. If you want a better example of what I was trying to capture above, here’s a vid of them playing the same song in Europe:

The next 2 pics are taken from 2 different shows at different angles, but it’s them performing a few songs from what’s called “The Ghost Set”, where they combined several songs into one big flowing one. I think I took these while they were playing “Piggy”, where they used xylophones, a stand up bass, some wood instrument that looked like a recorder, chimes, drums, and a banjo. Yes, I freaking banjo!

ghost-set-2

ghost-set

Here’s a random shot of Robin Finke–amazing guitar player:

robin1

Here’s an example of one of the cool little tricks they did. Trent was behind one of the screens, looking into a small DV camera that someone else was holding. The image the camera was recording was broadcast on the giant screen. It was mostly a closeup of his mouth. At one point, he came out in front of the screen and the guy holding the camera followed him out. This is him, standing in front of the screen, singing and looking into the cam:

nin-blue

Here’s a better version of that, with a better look at the screen, taken from NIN’s website:

trent-mouth

Here’s another cool screen affect. They were playing between the 2 of them, and both had these giant white swirls, like milk flowing through water, going across them. It was really mesmerizing and timed perfectly to the music:

white-swirls

Here’s one of the coolest screen effects of the entire show. Trent is behind the front screen, which is filled with white noise. As he walks toward it, a black hole opens up around him and then follows him everywhere he walks. If he backs away from the screen, it closes again. The effect is illustrated really well in the last part of the first vid I posted above:

only

During the Greensboro show (Nov. 3rd), Trent came out and gave a little speech about how he was in a good mood and that he thought that things were going to change soon. Keep in mind this was the night before the election. He encouraged everyone to go out and vote, and then said something like, “I hope we never have to use the background to this next song ever again.” Then, they played “The Hand That Feeds.” Broadcast on the screen behind them was a HUGE picture of President Bush. During the course of the song, his face slowly morphed into a picture of John McCain. Creepy. Well, I guess Trent (and most of the crowd based on the cheers after he said that) got their wish. So did I. Here it is:

bush1

At the end of every show, before the encore, they bring down the front screen with this. It’s awesome:

red-nin

And then the encore. For the 3 shows I went to, they kind of varied on a couple of the encore songs but they always did “God Given”, “Hurt”, and then ended with “Twilight.” The “Twilight” thing is awesome because it’s always the last song of the show and they play it out by having each member one by one put down their instrument, wave, and walk off stage. They take turns doing this until only Trent is left, playing just a piano with a spotlight on him. He finishes the song, waves, walks off, and thats it. Amazing.

Here’s a shot of Trent singing “Hurt.” If you know the song, you can imagine how powerful it was to be in the front row, all the lights out, and looking around, hearing thousands of people singing it all at once, with lighters thrust into the air:

hurt

And now I present to you the best NIN moment of them all and probably the single best concert moment I’ve ever had. You’re going to have to just take my word on this one cause the only proof I have is this picture and I guess thousands of witnesses. During “Survivalism” at the Greenville show, the band turned a camera on the front row and pointed it at…you guessed it, yours truly! And my friend Donna too. They had the screen behind them split into several smaller screens. In the top left screen, there we were! Our faces were right there for the entire song! I just about lost my shit. We had other friends who were there seated in other places in the coleseum and both our phones lit up with texts from them screaming at us that they could see us on screen. I spent that entire song dancing with a big dopey grin on my face for the whole place to see.

I tried to take a few pics and this was actually the best I could get. I know you can’t make out much, but see that thing that looks like two hands holding up a phone?…Well those are my hands. That fuzzy lump just to the left of my arms is Donna. I pinky swear all to God this is true. Just ask the few thousand other people who were there. My cheap little phone camera just didn’t like all that black and white noise in the picture and wouldn’t get a good image. Best concert moment ever:

survivalism

After that show was over, we met up with another friend who was there named Weenie. Yep, that’s her name. Every time I run into her on Halloween I have to resist the urge to say “Happy Halloweenie!” She’s used to it and also sick it of by this point. Anyway, Donna, Weenie, and Weenie’s friend and I all ended up going to a really cool late night restaurant/bar that Weenie knew about. The show was on the night of Nov. 1st and ended about 11:30ish or so. My B-Day was on the 2nd. Donna and I realized that midnight hit while we were driving to the restaurant. They had this really fun little country/folksy band playing there and someone in our group told them that it was my b-day so they played “Happy Birthday” for me and everyone in the bar sang along. It was awesome. I ate a really great burger (amazing for late night bar food), and we all sat and talked for a long time before hitting the road to make the long drive back to Columbia. I tried to take some pics in there, but it was so dark none of them came out. Anyway, it was an amazing birthday all around. The day after, I saw NIN again in Greensboro. And the next day, new president.

Like I said…what a week.

Halloween: The Aftermath–Part 1: The Birthday Massacre

Posted in Uncategorized on November 5, 2008 by DJ D

Wow. Where the heck did I disapper to for so long? It’s been over a month since the last post. Back into my little coffin of job hunting, Halloween shopping, going out of town to visit the family, and celebration I guess. Celebration? What’s all this about celebration? Well, Halloween of course. Oh yeah, and there was that other thing…

Sunday was my birthday!

Man, there’s so much to talk about regarding birthday stuff, Halloween of course, our new president…where to start? Well, first off, you guys have been putting up some really groovy stuff lately. I would recommend anyone reading this who doesn’t read the other blogs on my blogroll to click on any random one, sit down, have a drink, and get comfortable. You’ll be thoroughly entertained, I assure you. I’m also jazzed that I finally got out of my slump and started posting on X-E again. I’ve sooooo missed it. Sometimes I just crawl into my cyber coffin and hybernate for a while, as you regular readers well know. But, I’m back for a while with a whole slew of stuff to write about. No, I’m not making any kind of convoluted promises or anything cause God knows I can’t keep ’em! Just saying the last week has been REALLY eventful and I’m really excited about writing about it.

Ok, what to do first. Well, as of this writing, about one hour ago Barack Obama gave his victory speech. I have no intention of turning this blog into anything political because I honestly just have other things to talk about. Catch me one-on-one and we’ll talk, but I’m going to steer clear of it here. I will say that while I don’t completly trust or get too excited about any political candidate I am really intrigued by him and his speeches just give me goosebumps. I mean, the man is just inspirational. It may all be total B.S., but I like him. For now, I’m really glad things turned out the way they did. I think we’re better off as a country tonight than we’ve been in a while.

Ok, now on to the fun stuff! I’m gonna talk more later about what I actually did on my birthday, but let’s go back to Halloween for now since it’s been while since I’ve posted anything. With that, I give you…

The Great Punkin’ Carving of ’08!

My cousin and I have a tradition every year. We usually sit out on his porch or in the garage and carve up our punkins while listening to a CD of skeery Halloween sounds. We’ve been listening to that same CD with an old boombox for years. Here it is in case you care.

halloween-cd1

Well, because it was raining this time we moved everything indoors and did it at the kitchen table. Then, my cousin came up with a really groovy idea. One of my favorite horror movies from one of my favorite years (1985!) is The Midnight Hour. Even though it’s a Halloween themed movie and the big day has now come and gone, I suggest you check it out if you’ve never seen it. It’s got a little something for everybody–zombies, a werewolf, a guy in love with a ghost, a completely random song and dance number, and not to mention LeVar Burton–aka Geordi La Forge, aka Kunta Kinte, aka Reading Rainbow. Depends on which way you swing, I guess. It’s equally genuinely creepy, funny, over the top, outlandish, and is one of the most amazing things ever put to film in all of American cinema.

So, with The Midnight Hour playing on the TV in the background, we set about the dirty deed of putting knife to flesh. Here’s a pic of the 2 that we got from Wal-Mart. They’re really dirty as you can see, so I spent some time just cleaning up mine before I started carving. That’s mine in the foreground there.

2-punkins

Now, my cousin and I have 2 totally different ways of carving. In my bloated ego, I fancy myself to be quite the artist and am very anal about drawing everything out before I start cutting. I spend a lot of time planning out every little stab and detail. He just takes a knife to the thing and starts hacking away with no plan at all–complete freestyle. The result is that it takes him all of 5 minutes and he’s always happy with it. It takes me the better part of an hour and I’m constantly going back and looking at it and finding a million things that could be better. Such is my life. Anyway, here it is with the design drawn on–pre carved:

drawn-punkin

Here she is all carved up:

unlit-punkin1

And now, the finishing touch:

lit-punkin

Isn’t that just precious? Remember what I said about my cousin’s freestyle way of just hacking away at it? Well, check it out:

larrys-punkin

I’m not sure exactly what’s going on there. That’s obviously an eye on the right there–classic triangle shape. We can make out the wonky mouth too. Now that diamond shaped thing in the middle is supposed to be the other eye. I finally had to break down and ask him exactly what in the hay that thing is on the left is. He said it was “a scar.”

I sat right next to him the whole time he was carving it. I swear he wasn’t drinking.

Right, so what punkin carving story would be complete without finding out the eventual fate of Toothy McGrinnerson over here? Well, he ended up on the porch with my other decorations I got from Wal-Mart. I really wanted to go all out this year and put a lot more into decorating the yard since I finally actually have one, but having just gotten layed off 3 weeks ago, I gotta watch the spending until I get more work. So, I got this nifty little graveyard scene. Everything you see here (minus the punkin of course) came together in one package and only cost $15:

decorations

The skeleton actually had feet popping out too but they didn’t fit in the picture. I only had one group of like 8 trick-or-treaters that came all at once. They greedily took giant handfulls of candy, almost emptying my bucket. Then I found later as I was leaving to go out for the night that they had stolen one of the hands from my skeleton. UNGRATEFUL BASTARDS!!! If I ever find out who took it, I’ll be replacing it with the real thing. Oh yes. Real bones once attached to the plump limb of a thieving, sugar filled 8 year will look so much better in my yard of the damned.

Oh yes.

So, after the tricking, treating and petty theft were done, I headed out to my local haunt (puns are fun) to look at costumes and hold up the wall. This was the first year in about 4 years that I didn’t dress up. I’ve done the same thing for the last few years–going as Buffallo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs. I walked around with a bottle of lotion inside of a bucket which had a rope tied to the handle. On my shoulder was a little poodle (Precious). I’d walk around the bar, standing on tables and lowering my bucket down. “It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again!” SotL is one of my favorite movies of all time and I can just about quote every line of it. I figured I’d played out that costume though, so it’s retired for now.

Best costume I saw at the bar: Joker from The Dark Knight in nurse outfit with wig. There were like 5 Jokers, but the nurse outfit made all the difference.

Worst costume and thing that made me want to scrub my brain: Giant bloody tampon. Ew.

Moving on. So, what became of the punkin after Halloween came and went? Well, as you know, they don’t last forever:

old-punkin

Poor old coot. He’s in his final resting place now–the woods out behind the house. He will be missed.

So, that does it for Part 1 of The Halloween Aftermath. I’ll try to return tomorrow night with Part 2 where I’ll tell you guys all about the 2 Nine Inch Nails concerts I’ve been to in the last few days. Got loads of pics and stories from those.

Oh, btw I called this one The Birthday Massacre for the obvious reasons but also because it’s the name of one of my new favorite bands. Listeners of my show have probably heard me play them from time to time. I want to kidnap the lead singer and take her home with me and keep her forever and ever and ever. Here’s why: