I’m NOT with Stupid

May 11, 2010

We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard.  ~Voltaire, Dictionnaire Philosophique, 1764

People love to quote the beginning of this quote, but it is like the right to bear arms there is a qualification to free speech if you’re an ass than you’re an ass at your own peril. No one is going to stand up and defend your rights to free speech just because you make a group of assholes. If one guy walks in to a gay bar and starts telling everyone that gays are a blight on society and AIDS is god’s way of fixing the world. He’s gona get his butt kicked and he’ll deserve it and no one will think that this is a freedom of speech disaster. So why if you make a group of likeminded assholes does it become freedom of speech

The neo Nazi says how freedom won out and this is a great day for freedom, no it didn’t and no it was not. It isn’t freedom when every punk gets to antagonize people. What were they marching for? They were not using the march to spread an idea, it was a publicity stunt meant to use the outrage of innocent people to get media coverage.

When Voltaire said “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” he would defend your right to express yourself and spread new ideas in their proper setting. He would not defend this, using other peoples discomfort to aggrandize your own beliefs. This is not even akin to shouting fire in a crowded theater, its pure stupidity. It truly saddens me that the cutting edge of free speech is not to enlighten the public, but to malign it. Freedom of speech is no longer about the spread of ideas and a fortress against tyranny, rather it is the tyranny against the gullible public a tyranny where right and wrong have no meaning and the battles are not fought with ideas but with PR campaigns set to Spin their side as an abused minority speaking out against the cruel overlords who have the outrages crass to be upset about people who hate them using them.


April 21, 2010

Christmas Special Part 2

The first thing that came to my mind after watching this “Special” (they must mean special like the mentally disabled), was “Please god if this is how specials go, please please never ever let them make an Arrested Development special”. In the end these specials where two hours of nothing just so that David gets to tell Finchie to fuck off and for Tim to get the girl. This whole Christmas Special felt like Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant didn’t like the way the story ended so they decided to put in an alternate ending. It’s too bad that they didn’t even try to hide that behind an interesting episode.

One of the reasons The Office worked was that David’s ego got in the way of his job. So even though certain things might make business sense, he went with whatever helped him feel special. So you saw a guy who was promoted just passed his ability to be productive whose ego finally got him fired. You did not see a bumbling idiot who couldn’t do anything and resorted to throwing out party favors in dingy clubs. The entire episode was just sad, I guess Ricky and Stephen feel that they vindicate David as he actually has a conversation with a woman that doesn’t look like a tub without talking about her breasts or butt and not only that after two seasons of abuse from Finchie he finally tells him to fuck off. Whoop dee do, not only does it not fit with the entire two seasons, in this episode it totally wrong. The entire episode I was thinking how would this guy have ever got a job sorting mail, never mind run an office? Then all of the sudden it’s like WAIT we only have two more minutes left to tell the story of David Brent! Quick get a pretty girl to say she would date him and let him finally grow a pair.

The other part of the story was at least consistently horrible. It felt like I was watching Garden State again (yes again unfortunately the movie came out when I still loved Scrubs), the one thing that I loved about The Office was its authenticity. When they finished season 2 they let Dawn say no, they fired David, Gareth gets to become Big boss Man. I was happy. Now either to sell some more DVDs or to give themselves a happy ending in their own minds, they took that away from me. They switched from a show that was funny and gritty so it could get away with being a little harsh into Friends – the coffee shop. Even Gareth was just odd what in god’s name is he doing here?

Unfortunately the scale is one to five so I can’t give this the negative twenty it deserves so I’ll rate this a“Special” a 1


April 16, 2010

Christmas Special Part 1

Ok I understand in the real world (the one where it hasn’t been a week since the end of season two) it has been over a year since the last episode aired and that means you need to reintroduce the characters. This might get new fans to buy the DVD, old fans might be a little fuzzy (whose that fat guy selling office supplies? Oh Yah David Brent! Well that’s alright then). So we need a recap, but a forty five minute one of how everyone gets to the party? Why? That’s just cruel and unusual punishment. What this episode needed was one of those: “Hi I’m Chuck, here are some things you might need to know about me”. I can’t deal with those when I see them, but I can understand why you would need it if this is the first time a show airs in over a year.

Now try to imagine how I felt watching the show. Because of an amazing ending I had finally reconciled my personal issues with the show and thought of it quite fondly. Then came Christmas Special part 1. I was ready for an episode that would be OK. I didn’t think it would qualify for greatness, but I was willing to give them a pass. The show was a major hit and won a lot of awards so I felt they deserved to cash in on that and milk the cow one more time. I thought there would be something like a Christmas rugby game between Wernham Hogg, and David’s new office, or some other lame excuse to get the band together again for a few laughs, wind up Gareth, have David say a racist joke and sing silent night. It would have been a nice little stand alone episode and that’s it thank you all for coming out. Unfortunately, that’s not what I got. Instead I was treated to a depressing show of nothing.

David’s inability to find work just adds to the question of how did he ever end up with that job in the first place and maybe for me it was just a little too similar to my life and the year long search for employment that I went through last year. It was just pitiful to watch Gareth pitying him while Neil picks petty fights with him even though he I beyond down and out.  The most disturbing part of the episode for me however, was this: Who thought this up? Austin Powers? Even completely pathetic people don’t think he’s funny.

Maybe worse than having to watch David’s complete waste of a life was the return of Tim & Dawn. SHE SAID NO! That was the end I don’t want to hear them pining for each other like Shia Labeouf and Megan Fox in the sad excuse for a long distance “relationship” in Transformers Two. Funny would be one of them is married maybe even a kid and they awkwardly introduce each other. It is not funny to continue to beat a dead horse. The only real joke of the whole episode was what happens if we really try really hard to pretend all of this was a real documentary, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, but that was the joke of the last two seasons you need a little more than just that.

I’m seriously hoping Part Two will vindicate this bad rehashing 1.5


April 9, 2010

Season 2 Episode 6 Interview

First of all thank God she said no. I was starting to really enjoy the episode and then Tim and Dawn. It was like the last episode of friends all over again, all you needed was Dawn to get on the airplane. I mean how cliché do you get? For a TV show that prides its self on outside the box she could not say yes. The show started on the anti classic story ending, instead of off to the happily ever after, you get fired. Then out of nowhere, BAM! Take out your trusty sitcom manual and there it is Rule # 356 Article c-3 “When ending a show, the great couple that just never worked out come together and ride off in to the sunset Roll credits” Sub-clause A-1 “it is better if the male overcomes great physical harm.” So when Tim turns his mike back on and says “She said no by the way” I went Oh thank God!

David’s melt down from almost giddy to be on the way out, to sniveling “Pu…pu..puleeez let me stu.. stu…stay”. All of this reminded me of the scrubs episode with the stages of grief. Where the annoying shrink keeps on popping his head in to the frame, “Denial! Bargaining!” David starts out with the denial. First thinking that everyone will miss him and the whole office will implode, than that this is the best thing ever to happen to him. We see him quickly move to anger, going karate kid on his desk. Then it was on to Bargaining, where all of the sudden he isn’t on top of the world anymore and he begs to be able to keep his job. The Depression is quite obvious. Lastly his little soliloquy at the end where he gives his little acceptance speech was a brilliant way to end the series. I know there are Christmas specials, but they don’t count. They are like the Sex in the City movies every fan saw them, but they don’t carry the same weight. So this ending was very apropos, start with David comparing himself to Jesus and end with him rambling in David speak, roll credits. No conventional everyone all together photo shoot ending, just Stop. Roll credits, like No Country for Old Men.

A brilliant way to end the series 5


April 8, 2010

Season 2 Episode 5 Charity

My feelings about this show had very convoluted evolution. More specifically, I went from thinking David Brent was basically a caricature of “The Boss Man” on “reality” TV, too Oh! Well I guess he’s somewhat of a pitiful man-boy who can’t quite fit in; too Awww that’s sad he lost his job, too WOW David Brent is real and his name is Ricky Gervias and man is he an asshole! Maybe he’s also a man-boy who never quite fit in and now he’s got himself his very own TV show.

Let me explain, today was the first day I went back to work after taking off for the holidays. So naturally I had a crapload of work sitting on my desk and naturally instead of actually doing my work I started to browse the internet. Like I do every day I check out The AV Club and I found that Zack Handlen had just done a piece on The Office UK. So convincing myself that I’m not being lazy and actually doing work I read the article. After reading what Zack had to say I was convinced, for a short period of time, that my previous understanding of David, as the boss in the Dilbert comic strip on ego-steroids, was a little flawed and in fact David was actually what happens to that shy kid in your class that wasn’t a nerd or a jock just kind of so so at everything and no one remembers his name at the five year school reunion (Oh Joe right we were in home room right, Trig? and you sat next to me? Really? Oh, oh yah). So I kind of started to feel for the guy, instead of why is he making an ass of himself I started to feel like maybe we should give him a break, he tries so hard come on laugh at his joke just once it’s like charity (and you’ll feed children in Africa).

After this brainwashing I actually sat down to watch the episode and I liked it again! I still take umbrage at the whole pointless Tim and Dawn bit, the episode is about firing David stop confusing me with Tim playing with Dawn’s heart and his feelings for Rachel or is it his understanding of what he’s doing to Dawn that he’s showing with his charity kisses? I don’t know, but quite frankly I couldn’t care less. Tim Hiding all of Gareth’s things while he hops around is enough, leave the character development and story arc and all that mumbo jumbo that critics like to talk about to the real point of the episode, we all know it’s coming, so stick to what works. Even with this side show going on I still loved the episode. My new understanding of David and the perfect platform to watch his antics, culminating in David being fired in a weird chicken suit, it was the perfect tragedy. When he walks in to the office to explain that he’s been fired and the Chicken suit makes him look like the little man-boy he is playing dress up I was sure that somewhere William Shakespeare was smiling.

Unfortunately, for my relationship with David Brent, my search for the true David Brent didn’t end there. I was curious to know what was going on at the filming of the show so I decided to watch some of the extras to see if they could help me out. They couldn’t. I did get to see Ricky or at least what Ricky wanted me to see of the real man behind the mask and I think my original feelings and Zack Handlen’s are both correct. I no longer think of David as a contrived character embodying the boss from hell, but I don’t think Zack’s awkward boy all grown up in to awkward boy-man is right either. I think David Brent is Ricky Gervias, that’s not to say Ricky is a cubicle dwelling nimrod, but he does come off as a prick of the highest order. He’s also a man-boy who might have just been that awkward kid who grew up to believe he was only awkward because no one could understand his genius and now he’s gona show us. I guess he did. He got to make out with Jennifer Garner didn’t he.

I give the episode a solid 4 (and Ricky Gervias a 3.5)


March 23, 2010

Season 2 Episode 4 Motivation

When watching this episode I decided to throw the past away and just pretend this was the first time I ever saw The Office. All my preconceived notions of what The Office should be, why I felt It was leaving the “purity of its birth” and all that BS that I was judging it on out the proverbial window. I just sat down and said it’s been a really long day, let me sit down and let these people make me laugh. Well I definitely laughed.

Think of this scene you’re at work, on your way to the bathroom and you see two coworkers kissing all nice and 80’s prom like. Now the girl who’s being kissed is someone that you’re attracted to, but never acted on that.  A normal person thinks two things; one this is awkward get a friigin room, two shit I guess she’s not that into me. Not Gareth, he walks right up to them and first talks to Tim like Rachel is not there, “how can you go after a bird that I fancy?!?” really he calls her a BIRD! It doesn’t end there though he turns to Rachel and asks if she thinks he could still rate a hand job! That is funny it’s like an Awkward Five from Scrubs’ The Todd Awesome.

Then David’s motivational speaking gig (I am even willing to forget the fade outs, what fadeouts in a documentary?!?) that was amazing. More amazing because, gun to their head most people who never gave a motivational speaking course would probably go the same rout, your problems are not so bad and pipe in some inspirational Tina Turner.  However, David out of his element going in to hyper overcompensating mode earring, tee shirt, and backwards cap trying to motivate business men out to make their first million by telling them to own their problems and remember Tina Turner’s Simply The Best, needless to say funny stuff. I only wish I could be a fly on the wall if my boss was ever in that situation.

Past forgotten this episode gets 4.5


March 23, 2010

DISCLAIMER: The Office has lost my love and is now graded like a regular run of the mill TV show.

Season 2 Episode 3 Party

Its Sunday afternoon again so that means me and my daughter are watching The Office whilst my wife is asleep. What I mean by watching The Office is, turning it on, pausing to go look for a pacifier (it seems like I’ve bought hundreds but I can never find them when I want them), turning it on again, pausing to change a dipper, turning it on again, pausing to try to understand why my daughter is crying, turning it on again, etcetera etcetera.  perhaps it is because of the disjointed way that I watched this episode that I came out with this impression, The Office seems to have morphed in too two different shows one about Tim love life and one about the battling egos of David and Neil.

The two story arcs are not bad in and of themselves, but they don’t help each other out either. It isn’t like the A story and B story in The Hardy Boys, where Chet’s new boss is also the maniacal killer that Mr. Hardy is tracking and the same person after poor Mrs. Hathaway’s prize petunias.  They are more like a bad Family Guy episode where Stewie becomes president of OPEC and Peter becomes a hooker, the stories run at the same time (or was that just a flashback?!?), but they definitely don’t help each other out.

The whole episode really started getting trippy for me towards the end, where they kept switching to the other story with no discernable break. First David is hitting on drunk birthday girl, quite horribly in his “I’m sooooooo superior don’t you see how come your not already in bed with me” kind of way. Then boom Tim caressing his new quazi rebound girl. Don’t blink though, because we’re right back to David making an ass of himself in a public display of his “sexual prowess”. Wait is that a shot of Dawn looking crushed? Is that because of Tim? I guess, but how would we know?

It is funny and made me laugh more than once (thank you Gareth), but still this episode can’t get more then 3.5