Some Fun, Specific Wiki Pages

Advertisements

What I’m Watching Today: Fear of a Punk Planet (1999-2000)

Link to Episode 2

Link to Episode 3

So, I can’t even really remember where I heard about this one. I just wrote it down on my ever-growing “To Watch” list without any context. The title itself caught my attention, it’s the name of a Vandals album from 1990, and in fact, Joe Escalante of the Vandals appears in the show as the owner of a punk club called “Baby Seal”

I can only find 3 episodes of the show online, however Joe Escalante’s Linked-In page says he was the showrunner for 7 episodes. It was created for an early internet television network called The Digital Entertainment Network (DEN). It was the only show on the network that acquired a fan base, and this is likely due to the punk in-jokes that appear throughout the episodes. Apparently, a comic book based on the show was released last year in August, and the episodes are actually available on DVD.

What really intrigued me about the show, and why I ended up watching it, was the inclusion of bands like NOFX and Sick of it All. This is, I think, what makes the show memorable. Kyle Gass, of Tenacious D fame, stars as the Fire Marshall that is always after those dang punk kids, trying to shut down their beloved club.

I really don’t know what to make of this show. At times, it seems to be /r/fellowkids material, but the script was actually written by Joe Escalante as well, so he definitely does have some insight into the scene. Some of the kids on the show make edgy jokes, (warning: shitty joke about sexual assault to follow) like one where the girls of the group talk about how “rape-able” a guy is. Even though these things make me pretty uncomfortable now, it did remind me of some of the kids I hung out with back in the day, and, unfortunately, it is something that would have been said. That said, I still think it’s a dumb and dated thing to include in this script.

The show is cheesy, the jokes are corny, the plot is predictable, and the characters are all straw men, but for some reason I couldn’t turn it off. It has an undeniable charm to it for reasons I can’t entirely explain.

Highlights: 

  • The theme song is The People Who Are Going to Hell by the Vandals, which I love.
  • Kyle Gass is the main highlight of the series. The show’s script is terrible, but he manages to make some poorly written lines laugh out loud funny with his delivery. His first line is actually a great example of this. Joe Escalante, as the club owner is upset with Gass, as the fire marshall, tells him that the club is a fire hazard, and Gass responds:

This place is a fire trap…the wiring is shot, the ventilation is bad. Look, I’m not going to compromise the safety of anyone, even these deviant children.

  • Right after he says that, he calls an Asian girl, “Mulan.” Ooof.
  • Another golden Kyle quote: “It’s time for your freaky friends to go back to whatever misfit holes you crawled out of. This club is unsafe!”
  • Joe Escalante is not a gifted screenwriter or actor.
  • The censorship on the show is interesting. It was only ever on the internet, so they say ‘fuck’ freely, but for some reason the word ‘dick’ is bleeped out?
  • This is definitely a realistic depiction of what a low-budget punk club looks like, though.
  • The fire marshall is so against punks that he CHAINS UP THE FIRE DOOR and frames the club owner for doing it. That’s a fucked up level of corruption.
  • One character condemns another for making a gay joke, and then proceeds to make a bunch of gay jokes about the male-dominated hardcore scene.

“If you’re going to make a gay comment, save it for your H20 dudefest! I mean, do they even let girls into hardcore shows? Or do they spoil your homoerotic cretin moshpit?”

  • The guy in question responds to that comment with “Aaaayyyy! Watch that shit! I’m Italian!”
  • The corrupt Fire Marshall finally gets Club Baby Seal closed, which leaves the punks to figure out how to save their favorite venue.

Punk 1: So, what’s the deal? Why’d they close the Club Seal?

Punk 2: Because they think we’re freaks! So they took away our club hoping we’d disappear! I’m sick of it! I’m tired of being treated like a criminal ’cause my hair is different, and the music I like isn’t on MTV!

  • The dialogue in this show is seriously taking me back to things I said in middle school, and it’s incredibly embarrassing.
  • One girl is a crusty punk, and the butt of many crusty jokes. When Italian guy says, “Ayyy! Leave the little anarchist alone!” She corrects him and says she’s a Republican. Her explanation? “Less Government.”
  • There is a montage of the punks doing research into how to save their club, which has some spectacular shots of late 90s-early 00s punk websites.

anarchy

  • So, as the website says, the punks decide to make the club a non-profit so that damn Fire Marshall can’t shut them down! But then, when they take it to the club owner, he’s not so enthused. But the gang ends up convincing him by shouting his own band’s lyrics about fighting the man at him. Can you imagine if a bunch of teenagers were shouting your teenage poetry at you? Ugh. Makes me shudder even thinking about it.

So, despite it’s obvious weirdness, I think Fear of A Punk Planet is worth watching for any nostalgic former (or current) punk kids.  Also, I would love to hear another human’s feedback, because I’m still not totally sure how I feel about what I just watched.

 

 

Some Happy YouTube Videos to Get You Through

I’m someone who has struggled with depression for a long time, so for the last couple years, I’ve kept a playlist on YouTube called “Make Me Happy,” so if I ever need a laugh, or a reminder that the world can be a good place, I can go watch my playlist.

I have a feeling some of you are going to need to be cheered up today, so I thought I’d share some stupid internet videos that get me through the tough times.

Deep breaths, folks. It’s all going to be okay.

I saw this video years ago, when I was still in high school and it’s just always stuck with me. It’s a really fantastic little animation, made by artist Dimitri Frazao as his senior film at CalArts.

This video will allow you to feel joy again, however faint the feeling might be right now.

This fish has perfect comedic timing.

Look at this giggling newscaster! One day, you will laugh again!

Go, Pablo, Go!

 

What I’m Watching Today: Pagan Invasion, Vol. 1

From the height of Satanic Panic comes this video guide for parents on the dangers of Halloween. Even though this video is 20+ years old, you can still buy a boxset of all 13 videos.

Highlights: 

  • Did you know that the public school system is the biggest propagator of Halloween? Damn public schools, ruining our children!
  • The top selling genres of film are pornography and horror–proof that our society is going to hell in a hand basket!
  • To ensure the accuracy of horror movies, producers hire practicing witches or satanists as advisers  (Seriously, @7:54)
  • Filmmakers are always trying to convince us that the gentle psyches of American youth cannot be damaged by these gruesome horror films, but in reality copycat crimes from horror movies happen ALL THE TIME
  • A person who grew up with satanist parents and grandparents is interviewed. I wonder if his memories came out while under hypnosis.
  • Crimes involving the occult are reaching epidemic proportions! (says man from 1992)
  • Witchcraft CANNOT be divorced from demonology. Thereby all practicing Wicca or Pagans are evil.
  • There are now (probably) as many practicing witches as there are Christians in England!
  • Roger is a Witch/Martial Arts Expert

witchandmartialartsI wanna know what Roger has a degree in.

  • Satanic ritual abuse is “The Crime of the 90s!”
  • Oh, Jesus Christ! They show mutilated animal bodies! Watch out for that. I didn’t see it coming.
  • One ex-Satanist says that once you do animal sacrifice you just crave more. It’s like cocaine that way.
  • This video has the best green-screened backgrounds

Wow! I wonder what Gothic castle they filmed at?!

  • 87% of 9-year-olds have expressed a desire to kill someone (????) — How do you even gather that kind of data?!

 

What I’m Watching Tonight: Make Room For Daddy

There’s something so strangely fascinating about 50s sitcoms. So many sexist and racist jokes, so many simplistic plot lines and archaic jokes. There’s something charming about it all.

Some fun facts about this one from imdb

-Danny Thomas, who played “Daddy/Danny Williams” in this series was probably a massive dick/misogynist:

He could not stand her attitude or what he considered her slovenly appearance. During one rehearsal he is said to have have shouted “For God’s sake, Jean, put on a little lipstick”. She left after the third season and, at the beginning of the fourth season, to assure that she could not come back he had her character die.

-It was on this show that the character of Andy Griffith and the town of Mayberry were first introduced. I honestly had no idea that Andy Griffith was a spin off.

-This show ran for 11 goddamn years, and despite my interest in old TV shows and hours of watching TV Land as a child, I have never heard of this. It doesn’t even have a TV Tropes page!

Highlights: 

  • Oh god. They have a black maid that talks in an awful stereotypical way. So that’s why this was never in reruns.
  • One fascinating scene starts at 11:04. Danny/Daddy is giving his son a bath while the mother talks to her preteen daughter about why her father forbid her from going to the dance. Danny tells his son confidently that men are smarter than women, and that he is smarter than his mother. In talking to her daughter, the mother makes a jokes about how dancing with a boy is “only 10% dancing, and the other 90% is defending yourself” (cue laugh track)
  • Actually, it’s pretty cool that the dad is shown giving his son a bath. I’m sure it was done for gendered reasons, but we don’t see dad’s in a caregiver role like this on TV very often, even today.
  • Also from this scene, Rusty, the son, announces that he’ll marry Mickey Mantle. Which the dad shuts down pretty quickly.
  • Oh, gross. It ends with a weird sentimental talk from Danny Thomas and then him crooning a song about his daughter being “Daddy’s Little Girl”