Friday, May 16

It's time for the Friday Random Ten+5 to pack it in.

Hillary Clinton may have won Tuesday's West Virginia primary, but even a 41-point victory in the Mountain State only brought her 12 delegates closer to Obama's total, and John Edwards's subsequent endorsement of Obama pretty much negated that and then some. Now, a lot of people are clamoring for Hillary to get the hell out of the race, but I'm not; until her chances go from "improbable" to "mathematically impossible," she's got a right to stay in this thing as long as she wants, and I don't really buy the line that the Democratic Party is somehow being irreparably damaged by her continuing to contest the race. As long as both she and Obama keep their race civil -- and, at least for the last couple weeks, they have -- then their continued competition mainly serves to highlight just how much better either one would be than John "Four More Years" McCain.

But that doesn't mean that there are plenty of other people out there who need to hang it up. "Seinfeld," Joe Gibbs, the Citroën DS, and the "Bourne" film series all had the good sense to end on a high note and call it quits before they ruined their respective reputations; it's probably too late for this week's +5 to salvage their reputations, but nevertheless, this Friday we're spotlighting Five People, Places, And/Or Things That Just Need To Hang It Up Already.

"American Idol"
I will confess to having followed this show only once: the season that Birmingham homeboy Ruben Studdard won (and even then I only watched the last few episodes). Otherwise, I'd have rather watched vomit dry on the sidewalk, and apparently the rest of the country is starting to come around to my way of thinking -- last season's finale was down 19 percent in viewership from the previous year, and the current season's premiere was down 11 percent from last season's. Plus it's not like the winners are even going on to that much success, at least not the ones from Birmingham. Yet that doesn't stop teenyboppers from all over the Southeast from bum-rushing the Magic City like clockwork whenever there's an audition here, as if there's something in our water that will magically turn them into sure-fire superstars. (Sorry, but I'd like to be able to get a table in a goddamn restaurant without having to wait for a table of 14-year-old Carrie Underwood wannabes from Murfreesboro to finish their desserts.) Every fad burns itself out eventually, and this show's time has clearly come. Fox, please pull the plug on this thing before Paula Abdul shaves her head and mows down a photographer. You know it's gotta happen any day now.

As brazenly retarded as the idea of a civilian-market Hummer seems now, I can actually kind of see why it might have been appealing when the first Hummers went on the market back in 1992: Our Hummer-equipped army had just kicked Iraq's ass, the economy was back on the upswing, and gas was less than a dollar a gallon. And, of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger had one. Sixteen years later, though, we're no longer kicking Iraq's ass quite as handily, the economy's in the shitter, and you have to take out a second or third mortgage just to fill up your gas tank. (On my way to Columbus last weekend, I paid more than $50 for a fillup for the first time in my life. In a fucking Jetta.) Tellingly, GM doesn't even sell the original military-based Hummer H1 anymore; now all they've got is the H2 and the smaller H3, which are both based on existing mainstream SUV platforms. So it shouldn't be too surprising that a brand name that once said "tough, rugged fightin' man" now screams "I have a tiny cock and I'm too dumb to realize I just paid $55,000 for a glorified Tahoe," nor that Hummer sales plummeted 22 percent last year. GM, it's time to euthanize this pig, and start sinking some investment dollars into a decent hybrid already.

Al Davis
Once upon a time, Al Davis was known as a hard-charging iconoclast whose uncompromising "Just win, baby" attitude helped lead the Oakland-slash-Los Angeles Raiders to three world championships. Unfortunately, he's long since tap-danced over the line separating "eccentric" from "nuttier than Rocky the Flying Squirrel's turds," and with the Raiduhz holding a 19-61 record over the last five seasons, that "commitment to excellence" legacy has pretty much devolved into "the only owner in the NFL who goes through coaches faster than Daniel Snyder." Maybe it's time for Davis to hang up his spurs, ride his Rascal scooter off into the sunset, and sell the team so that a slightly saner head honcho can have a shot; Raiders fan Tom Hanks, perhaps?

Ralph Nader
Doing so may have doomed America to at least four years of George W. Bush's head-slapping incompetence, but I can kind of see why Ralph ran for president in 2000, since at that time, it was possible for reasonable people to think there wasn't that much difference between the two major-party presidential candidates. Of course, eight years, one catastrophic terrorist attack, two wars, one hurricane and a bajillion gas-price increases later, we all know better -- well, everyone except ol' Ralph, who threw his hat in the ring a fifth time a few months ago. Not that he doesn't have some legitimate points to make, nor some legitimate criticisms of both major parties, but -- Jesus, Ralph, how many times you gonna tilt at this particular windmill? You went from 2.9 million votes in 2000 to 465,650 four years later; if that trend continues, in 2008 you can expect to get lapped by the Greens, the Libertarians, the Constitution Party, and possibly even Alan Keyes. Dude, it's time to pack this thing up while you still have a better public reputation than Mike Gravel.

The "Saw" film series
The original "Saw": clever, if highly disturbing. "Saw II": still disturbing, somewhat less clever. "Saw III": OK, now you're just trying to come up with new ways to torture people. But then there was a "Saw IV" last fall, and there's going to be a "Saw V" next fall, followed by a "Saw VI" sometime after that. Seriously, how many films are y'all willing to make just to come up with the most Rube Goldbergesque way to possibly kill someone? Look, we get it, you guys are sickos; now quite while you're ahead, 'cause you make too many of these movies and eventually you're gonna be reduced to "traps" that involve lawn darts, lead paint, or Ford Explorers with Firestone tires. And has anyone noticed that the last few movies don't even involve saws?

On the waiting list: the entire MTV network, George W. Bush (obviously), Bai Ling, and the "Terminator" series. Seriously, PG-13 "Terminator" movie? Starring who, Miley Cyrus as the T-X 2.0?

Blehh. Anyway, here's the Ten:

1. Dead Kennedys, "Take This Job and Shove It"
2. Team America, "America, Fuck Yeah"
3. Dr. Dre, "Nuthin' but a G Thang"
4. Miles Davis, "Blue in Green"
5. Phil Collins, "In the Air Tonight" (Thus proving that I do, in fact, have two ears and a heart)
6. U2, "The Sweetest Thing"
7. Pet Shop Boys, "One Thing Leads to Another" (Grandmaster mix '98)
8. Suprême NTM and Cut Killer, "Nique la Police"
9. U2, "One"
10. The 13th Floor Elevators, "You're Gonna Miss Me"

How 'bout y'all? Put your own Tens, as well as your own instructions for people who need to just give it a rest already, in the comments.


Anonymous said...

Nader is a Halliburton stockholder. There's a pretty good reason why he keep$ running for pre$ident.

Knowshon is a god said...

Steve "Darth Visor" Spurrier needs to give it up and go play golf. He is never going to turn SC into UF, and is just going to look washed up and over the hill in the process.

Why just American Idol? The entire reality TV genre has already jumped the shark. Get thee behind me...


1. "Independence Day" by Iced Earth
2. "A Mi Yellow" by Yellowman
3. "Hellrider" by Judas Priest
4. "There's a Tear in my Beer" by Hank Williams Jr and Sr.
5. "Cum on Feel the Noize" by Quiet Riot
6. "Mr. Brownstone" by Guns 'n' Roses
7. "Sugar Magnolia" by Grateful Dead
8. "Girls on Film" by Duran Duran
9. "Sunday Morning Coming Down" by Johnny Cash
10. "Dark Wings, Dark Words" by Hammerfall

Anonymous said...

Great list and would definitely add all "reality" TV to the AI. Nader is a little different. He screwed Al Gore and more importantly, he screwed us in 2000, and I hate that. He wasn't a big factor in 2004, so your point that he should just drop it seems to make sense. But I would argue that Ralph and - God Bless him - Bob Barr, are important for the reason that they have the potential to keep the "centrist" candidates focused on "centrist" issues. There are small cliques of people who wield far too much influence on either party (religious right, Green Peace, NRA, etc.) because they can deliver a certain number of votes and create a swing. Ralph and Bob give those votes a place to go, and as long as both major parties have at least one renegade it's all good, imo. I really would prefer multi-party politics with no plurality-take-all stakes so that compromise and coalition building would be a fact of life rather than an occasional occurrence. But, Big Business benefits a lot from two parties - besides, how many can they really fund? - and we all benefit from Big Business to some degree. So, at least Ralph and Bob can keep the main people focused on the main points, and can concede the crackpots to the crackpot candidates without worrying too much.

Holly said...

Continuing with the Raping And Pillaging Of Childhood Movie Treasures theme, give it a rest with the remakes already. Michael Bay and Transformers was bad enough, but next on the block are Fraggle Rock and Short Circuit. I am currently accepting applications for Hollywood killing spree companions.

1. Beats International - Dub Be Good To Me
2. Chikita Violenta - Laydown
3. Kid Dakota - Stars
4. Yeasayer - 2080
5. M83 - We Own The Sky
6. Bon Iver - re: Stacks
7. Drive-By Truckers - Decoration Day
8. Magnetic Fields - All The Umbrellas In London
9. Pogues - Misty Morning Albert Bridge
10. Ester Drang - That's When He Turns Us Golden

Will said...

I thought Pixar was already doing the Short Circuit remake (aka Wall-E)?

Also, Doug, Seinfeld ended on a high note? Did you watch some episode other than the glorified clip show centered on the Good Samaritan Law from the rest of us?

1. Augie March - "Just Passing Through"
2. Oceansize - "Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs"
3. Spank Rock - "Loose"
4. Radiohead - "Backdrifting"
5. Devin Townsend - "Solar Winds"
6. Marvelous 3 - "Lefty"
7. Dredg - "Bug Eyes"
8. Between The Buried & Me - "White Walls"
9. Opeth - "Heir Apparent"
10. King Crimson - "B'Boom"

Doug said...

Oh, I meant "Seinfeld" ended on a high note in the sense that the series as a whole hadn't gone lame and stale by the last season. Independent of that, you are correct in assessing the series finale as a train wreck of an anticlimax.

Josh said...

Universal has already announced Bourne IV, by the way.