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The 25 actors and directors nominated in their categories at tonight's Academy Awards will receive a gift bag worth a reported $100,000. That sounds like a lot, but it's really a load of crap.

Thirty percent of that total is a coupon for plastic surgery. About half are coupons for food, vacations, and self-help sessions. Most of the rest are beauty products or drugs (chocolate, cannabis-infused edibles, and absinthe). There's also a book, a bracelet, a bow tie, and a plunger. But it's not just any plunger! It's the Mister Poop Fully Functional Plunger!

But wait, that's not all! According to their press release:

"The Oscar® nominees receiving gift bags will each get a Mister Poop Toilet Plunger, and a T-Shirt emblazoned, "Crappy Products that Really Work'."

That beats their first draft: "I was nominated for an Oscar® and all I got was this lousy t-shirt promoting a shitty plunger."

The release goes on to warn us announce that the manufacturers, who paid a minimum of $4,000 just to have their products included in the gift bags, are "in talks" with retailers about shelving their products. (They do know that there is already a poo-shaped plunger on the market, don't they?)

Mister Poop Plungers and Toilet Brushes, coming soon to a 7-Eleven near you.

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The rest of everything I watched in January. (It was a good month.)

15. (1454.) Eighth Grade (2018)
I like Bo Burnham's comedy and I like coming-of-age films, so of course I enjoyed his directorial debut. It can be very, very hard to watch, but that is so much the point. Totally recommended.

16. (1455.) Holiday (1938)
Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy were certainly movie magic, but the same could also be said of Hepburn's pairings with Cary Grant. Here the two fight against a world of conformity with predictable but delightful results. I loved it.

17. (1456.) Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
What a streak I was on! The formula of the romantic comedy is set in stone because it works no matter the setting as this movie proves once again. The ending is never in doubt, and knowing that in advance can let you just enjoy the ride. Lots of fun.

18. (1457.) Torch Song Trilogy (1988)
The strength of Harvey Fierstein's three act play about a drag queen's very star-crossed love life is Fierstein himself. A good antidote to the soul-rotting commercialism lampooned (but not disowned) in Crazy Rich Asians.

19. (1458.) The Favourite (2018)
I have only two complaints about this period dramedy: terrible musical choices and a worse ending that strikes an extra sour note just before you leave the movie. Otherwise, Emma Stone in a corset: yes, please.

20. (1459.) Rappin' (1985)
Exploitation films can be hard to define, so in the future I think I'll just point people to this, the bastard child of West Side Story meets Breakin'. I promise if you watch this, it will leave an impression. Here's the trailer:

Yes, that was Ice-T. You're welcome.

More to come.

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Not so long ago I went to YouTube looking for the opening to the first season of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, which I consider to be the greatest opening in the history of television. Cheers is second, but I really dig Buck's building orchestral march while Gil Gerard falls through a stack of vinyl records. Rock on!

It turns out that the season 1 opener (featuring Cannon's William Conrad voiceover) — which is distinctly different from the season 2 opener (featuring Quinn Martins' Hank Sims voiceover) — is kind of hard to find. I assume that's because Universal has some sort of problem with people seeing the best part of Buck Rogers for free.

My search wasn't entirely fruitless. While I was looking, I found this video which is reportedly the intro used by the movie in its original theatrical release. Like the original Battlestar Galactica, which also was released to theaters (and also created by Glen Larson), Buck Rogers debuted on the big screen in 1979. (Everyone was chasing that Star Wars money.) This James Bond-themed opening is nuts, but I have to say, Henry Silva is better looking than I remember.

Anyway. I finally found the season 1 opener on Vimeo. I expect Universal will get around to ruining that, too, eventually.

Meanwhile, Wikipedia has documented the text of all three narrations PLUS the slightly different narration used when the movie re-aired as the pilot television episode. Because the Internet, as storehouse of the sum knowledge of humanity, would be incomplete without that. Thank the maker!

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During a commercial break in the evening news, Mom says, "I keep getting this jingle stuck in my head." She was talking about the ad for Ozempic, which sounds more than a little like this:

I wasn't alive in 1974, but Mom was, and she says she's never heard of Pilot or their single, "Magic." Obviously, there's only one explanation for this: all documented instances of Pilot are part of an elaborate counter-intelligence campaign created by Communist trolls for the purpose of destabilizing our American capitalist corporatocracy by fooling rubes like me into believing that some kind of popular culture preexisted the marketing needs of greedy pharmaceutical conglomerates. Those bastards!

Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time for my federally mandated once-weekly semaglutide injection.

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I've had a lot of bad things to say about the Miami Dolphins as of late. Enough that after today's game, friend Keith sent me this text:

Dude. Stop complaining. Ya'll won for fucks sake.

Yes, we did! With the longest play from scrimmage (69-yards) to win a game with no time remaining in the fourth quarter by any NFL team since the 1970 merger. (I know that's a long qualifier, but I'll take what I can get.)

Woot.

Watch it on YouTube.

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From Late Night with Seth Meyers broadcast on September 19. Batman's dick jokes start at 2:28:

IGN.com reported that Batman's penis was removed from digital copies of Batman: Damned #1 because "because it wasn't additive to the story." Well, it added something.

For reference, here's one of several panels containing Li'l Batman after the redaction. Click to toggle the "original" version.

Batman's black hole

If Batman has been packing hardware like this, no wonder he wears a second pair of trunks over the outside of his pants.

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We welcome the 13th Wriphe.com Batman and Football Month with the UGA home opener!

First things first, today's season opener was quite possibly the hottest game I've ever attended. Thermometer said 95°, but I'm positive that it was much hotter in the direct sun. Mom was particularly affected, and rather than tempt a case of heatstroke, we left halfway through the second quarter. That's by far the earliest I've ever departed the stadium. Of course, by then, UGA was up 24-0 on the helpless Austin Peay Governors, so it didn't fell like I was missing much. (Final score would be 45-0. The game was so lopsided and the heat so bad that the teams agreed to skip playing the last 5 minutes of the fourth quarter. Even the teams went home early.)

The game was notable for another reason: the debut of the offseason renovation to Sanford Stadium, complete with a new locker room, larger video monitor, and revision to the pregame ritual. Players now enter the field from the west endzone.

All that's nice, sure, but I personally found a more notable change to be that the television time-out official now holds up a large digital timer that lets fans know exactly how much longer the time out will last. That's an improvement, but given the weather conditions, it felt like I was looking at an oven timer telling me how much longer until I was done cooking.

Most of you reading this know that I spent the entire offseason debating whether I wanted to continue purchasing UGA season tickets. The school has capitalized on its SEC championship and national second-place finish by making a naked cash grab, including increasing ticket prices by 50%. With the season finally underway, I feel I need to get twice the enjoyment from my games to justify the price. Did I do that today? Yeah, I probably did. If nothing else, it was a unique experience I wouldn't have gotten on my couch.

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It could be worse. It could be a commercial for ass cream.

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I have not been able to get this song out of my head for the past week. Maybe embedding it here will help.

Nope. Still in there. Anybody have any suggestions about what I can use to dislodge it? I'm thinking maybe a hammer.

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This is why no one smokes anymore. Superman killed Nick O'Teen.

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To be continued...

 

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