Monday, November 30, 2020

We're not here for bookclub.

Every year, as a teacher, you're guaranteed to get that kid. The one that's only happy when everyone else is utterly miserable. And last year, that student was a young lady named...well, let's call her Joanna. Joanna hated everything about school. Every adult. Every kid. Every subject. No lie, for someone who was weeks out of elementary school, this young lady was terrifying.

But before she got kicked out for coming to school high (at age twelve), not coming to school at all, telling most adults exactly where they could go (and what they could do to themselves when they arrived), and basically trying to fight everyone, I decided we were going to be friends. Best friends. Our bond? It was going to be over books. Good books. And whatever book was her favorite?

I was going to read it. IMMEDIATELY. And we'd have our own little book club. 


This is something that I did.

Somehow, in my almost forty-something years on the planet, fifteen as a teacher, thirty-five plus as a reader, and all of them as a horror-loving weirdo, I had never read anything by R.L Stine. Welp, turned out ol' Joanna was a fan of the Goosebumps series, and with 235 books to choose from, she recommended/demanded I start at the beginning with Welcome to Dead House. And, to my absolute bewilderment, it was actually pretty scary. Not Joanna during standardized testing scary, but close. *shudder*

For the Halloween season, me and the other residents of the fallout shelter didn't watch all that many scary flicks, but we did manage to crank up (and out) 2015's Goosebumps flick and it's moderately disappointing follow-up, 2018's Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween. Though my kids were not super into the idea of watching these spine-tinglers initially, by the end of the double-feature (spread out over weeks, because of course it was) they'd been converted into fans of all things R.L. Stine. So when I broke their fragile, little hearts with the news that there would not be a third film, I figured the fact that there are literally hundreds of books they could choose from would ease their pain. It did not. You have to read books, with your eyes and your brain, and even my own kids are like, nah, we're good.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

...I'll eat a bat with you.

It's amazing what you can get used to. 

When even the absolute craziest shit ever, might get you to glance up from your phone for a blink or two, you know humanity is pretty much f--ked. They always talk about lowering the bar, but we all know the goddamned bar melted at the earth's core years ago. And when it did, it didn't even trend on Twitter. Maybe because some handsome young dude said he liked wearing dresses that day, because that? That's UNBELIEVABLE. I mean, what about the children? Won't anybody think of the children?

Anyway, when you do get shocked, you know, when something finally rattles your cage a bit, it can make you feel alive. 

Or dead. It kind of depends on who's behind it.

As the poster may or may not tell you, Sacha Baron Cohen has the biggest balls in Hollywood, and in case that slipped your mind, he reminds us all in the Amazon-exclusive, Borat Susequent Moviefilm. Released way back in October, when Trump was still officially? the President, the sequel narrows Cohen's crosshairs not just on dumb Americans, but dumb Americans under Trump. It's a lot like the first one, but now with added racism! Who knew you could cram any more in there?

It turns out the events of the first film brought great shame to Kazakhstan, so the setup here is that Borat will have to make amends. His plan is to go to America a peace offering (in the form of a monkey), but Borat's newly-discovered daughter becomes the gift instead. It all doesn't really matter, because all absolutely f--king insane. But really f--king funny, too.

Where you and I need oxygen and sunshine to survive, apparently Cohen is able to live and breathe on a combination of danger and cringe, so it's a good thing the second Borat films has a shit-ton of both. Clearly, the guy is an absolute mad-scientist of satire, a giant in whatever-the-Hell genre this is, and as hard as Subsequent Moviefilm can be to watch at times, doesn't mean it's anything short of legendary. Cohen straight up risked his life for this shit!