Happy Wackin’ Jim McCrackin’

What do you think you’re doing this Saturday?

Wrong.  You’re going to Happy Wackin’ Jim McCrackin

A sword and a briefcase? Now you know you're interested.

 It’s at the John Dutton Theatre in the Calgary Public Library, at 8 pm.  Tickets are $15, $10 for CPL members, and you can preorder at www.pumphousetheatre.ca.  So, why are you going?

Well, it’s awesome.  If I can see through the vodka fueled haze, back to the halcyon days when the comedic playwright genius Amos Altman was reading me snippets of the play in the bohemian apartment we shared over a bakery in Nazi Occupied France, struggling to protect refugees as part of the resistance, well, it’s brilliant.  Is is possible I’m misremembering some of it, but I know the play is funny, even if Cliff insisted on removing all the best/gayest parts.

It’s a story of mistaken identity and a hitman, and Accidental Humour does amazing stuff where they use multi-media to enhance the show.  It’ll flip seamlessly between pre-recorded segments and live action, so it’s like a play and a movie.  It’s exciting, and intense, and hilarious, and other words that generate excitement and make you realize you really want to see this show.

If you think you can’t get there, shut up.  There’s busses.  All busses lead to the Calgary library.  And I’m not just talking about Calgarians.  You can take a bus from Edmonton or Lethbridge, or (shudder) even Red Deer, and then from the Grey Hound station it’s easy to get to the library.  Come on, no one’s getting a head chopped off over this.

And here’s why you should put in the effort.

I shouldn't have to put pictures like this on my computer.

Even if you’ve never watched Jersey Shore, you probably know who the Situation is.  If not … it’s that guy, obviously.  See, too much of our money is going to him.  Jersey Shore makes more than Greece each year.  As consumers, the people who make entertainment only listen to your money.  So you need to take your fifteen dollars, pull yourself away from the TV and come see this play.

Some of you are thinking, “What’s the harm?  It’s just one guy, and he has a sort of charm, like if you mixed John Travolta from Grease with Lenny from of Mice and Men.  It can be fun to watch Jersey Shore with ironic hipster detachment, and we can control it.  There’s only one.”

Well, friends, step into The Wayback Machine, to a year 2001, when a band showed up.  Sure, they were rather repetitive, and derivative, but they weren’t hurting anyone.  People liked their music, and they sold a gillion dollars in CDs. 

CDs are a prehistoric medium for storing music, before iPods.  You bought them with money, because pirating was hard back then.

We all thought “It’s just one band” and we were smart.  Too smart for our own good.  We had Napster, so we didn’t pay for our music.  So everyone thought that only this band was awesome, because they got all the money.  That band was…

...and they're calling from inside your house!

So basically, if you don’t go to this show, we’re going to end up with Theory of a Situation, Situationseeether, and a flood of Situation clones.  So stop it, before it’s too much, and go watch this instead.

Otherwise, it’ll be your fault.  We’ll be running around in a post-apocolyptic douchebag wasteland, fighting for gas, Mad Max style, because you were too lazy or cheap to go see a great play.


Miniblog: Jersey Shore

The second season of Jersey Shore premiered last night. 


Jersey Shore has two types of fan.  The first type identifies with the cast mates, and envies them of their lifestyle, which is mostly gym, tanning and laundry.  It’s about looking good, clubbing and hooking up.  The cast are of Italian descent, and the guys have reclaimed the term Guido, which was orignally racist, but now describes the partying lifestyle they live.  The girls are Guidettes, women who hope to snag themselves a Guido.  

The other type of fan can’t believe that these people exist.  There’s a level of … idiocy that’s often displayed.  Most of the cast is incredibly self-obsessed, certain that everything in the world revolves around them.  When they speak, similes and metaphors often die painful, terrible deaths.  The words that come out of their mouths shouldn’t be uttered in private, let alone on national TV.  They are a strange group of barely functioning pseudo-adults, who have taken the right to live their own lives, but generally have no understanding of responsiblity. 

And watching them is amazing.  You can’t believe the shit they say, do and think. 

It’s not even a secret guilty pleasure.  When you tell someone you watch Jersey Shore, if they watch it too, you both wait a moment to see if someone expresses glee at their clubbing adventures.  If they see something positive, you know you’re dealing with someone too dumb to catch your contempt. 

I think my secret shame with Jersey Shore is a bit deeper.  Some of the cast a mere parodies of humanity (Snookie,the Situation, Angelina).  Others have the potential to be functioning members of society, and just seem to be taking some time to get all the stupid out of their system.  The most normal is Vinnie. 

or "The Normal One"


Vinnie thinks and acts like a person.  You’re rarely laughing at him, and when you are, he is too.  He’s self-aware.  He’s the first to notice when things become ridiculous, and gets the least screen time because he’s the least spectacular.  The man is educated, and for all intensive purposes, should be the person I like most and identify with on the show. 

My secret shame is I really get Ronnie: 


First of all, I do not and never will look like that.  His arms are the size of my torso.  He’s a powerful man.  But he’s also insightful.  Right from the start, he knows not to get into his roommates business without a good reason.  He understands how the people around him think.  He’s smart like Vinnie, but he gets involved in everything that happens around him. 

He also keeps putting up with ridiculous behaviour from a cute girl.  Honestly, he’s too smart for Sammie, whom he dated in the first season, and she makes ridiculous demands and ultimatums on him, and he does his best by her, often to his determine. 

Then there was the time some guy kept beaking off to him, so he ran back six blocks, and dropped the guy with one punch.  It was awesome, up until the point where he spent a night in jail.  He understood every consequence of what he did.  He knows you can’t go around punching people. 

But when he does it it’s so awesome. 

That’s my secret shame.  Ronnie, from Jersey Shore, is a guy I understand, and like.  And that kind of makes me feel dirty. 

But don’t tell him and his beefy arms about the dirty feeling part.