Saturday, November 26, 2011

Orson Welles, You Fraudulent Whore

I can't say no to an apocalypse. I'm putting together a funny story about the end, and I just finished a book about it, which I already told you about. That got me thinking about a man named Hal Lindsey, who wrote The Late Great Planet Earth, which became a TV special. I decided to find it on the web, because the web has every terrible program that ever appeared in the 70's and 80's. And also because it supposedly wrecked the childhood of a friend of mine.

This is the first part -- you can find the rest of the series on the site, which is called It was ridiculous, because it made all kinds of dire predictions back in 1979 about the decades to come, and here we are unraptured and not burnt to nuclear cinders at all. But the fact that Orson Welles narrated this really smacked me in the face...

...Because this is him narrating another end-of-the-world piece of shit about Nostradamus:

My friend was scarred by Lindsey's show. But the Nostradamus video is the one that ruined my life. I spent the entire 1980's waiting for the guy in the blue turban to destroy us all, which was supposed to happen sometime between 1994 and 1999. There were other predictions that didn't come true: massive earthquakes that levelled San Francisco, famines that turned us all into cannibals, and Ted Kennedy becoming president. And all of this bullshit was delivered with the same gravitas as the recommendation to buy Paul Masson wine.

So there's a pattern emerging here. Maybe we should have noticed:

That fat bastard spent a good chunk of his career irresponsibly scaring the wits out people. Sure he was a genius. And yeah, he gave The Muppets their first big break in Hollywood. But he kind of peed on the childhoods of people who grew up during the late Cold War years. Now all the stuff he said looks dated and silly and wrong.

So... maybe you should remember this the next time someone tells you that the end is coming. Maybe you should keep in mind that the Big Crunch always delays getting here, and the ordinary death rate is still holding steady at 100% for all of us.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hi. I'm Your Salmonella Hallucination.

It's me, Teddy Roosevelt. The 26th President of the United States and the hero of San Juan Hill. I'm here with Ming the Merciless and the kid who beat you up in fifth grade dressed in a buckle hat. We're going to pay you a visit about 12 hours after you finish that Thanksgiving dinner and the Salmonella Enterica develop a nasty colony in your intestines. Bully!

Kind of ironic, really. I was always a fan of taking chances and living the adventurous life. I probably would have slapped you on the back and chuckled in approval when I heard you were going to prepare one of those giant mail-order turduckens. But now I'll probably just hover over your bed with this threatening grin on my face as you become more and more dehydrated. But that's what adventures are all about, aren't they? Sometimes you win an election for governor, and people want you to battle corrupt political machines. Sometimes you improperly thaw a chunk of poultry and spend three days throwing up and begging someone up in heaven to kill you.

Ming wants me to say hello. He can't wait to sing the Ave Maria while you desperately try to claw the cap off the Advil bottle. He's been practicing and everything. I think he sounds pretty good, but you be the judge.

You know, it's not like I haven't had my share of sickness. I suffered incredibly debilitating asthma, and I was as weak as a kitten. My father drove me to exercise and take up boxing until my condition improved. Your situation will clear up much, much sooner than mine -- assuming you don't actually die when bacteria spread to your bloodstream. But let's not spoil the surprise.
Ha. I said spoil. That's kind of funny.

Before I go, I will give you a couple of tips. The second Jack Daniels will actually help you slide through this a little easier. But the third definitely will not. That'll just give you the kind of headache that will make Ming's Rack of Despair feel even worse. Also, don't get up and have some pie when you think you're on the mend. You fucked up the pie too.

Oh, and one more: When you finally make it to the bathroom it's going to give Rough Rider a whole new meaning.
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