RANTING ON USC, NCAA, KIFFIN, THIS SEASON AND THE FUTURE OF THE UNIVERSE.

As you can see, this year I am bucking my normal format and spending more time live tweeting during games, the response has been insane.  Those of you that are tweeting with me, it’s been a blast.

For those asking why the new format?  Mainly, I feel like I’ve said as much as I want to say about Tempe, Arizona and Seattle after all the years covering the game.

Now, I am more interested in what is going on with the team, where is the program going and any games that are coming up where we have something to say.

Truthfully, the strangest part of this season is figuring out what goal we’re looking to achieve.  We’re the Kings of the Sanction Era officially.  The NCAA is bracing for the O’Bannon floodgate to open and has decided that all penalties will be wristslaps.  The NFL just quietly handed out 3/4 of a BILLION dollars to about 4500 former players and future law suits so they wouldn’t put the concussion issue on display any more.  EA is not doing NCAA Football anymore.  Well, they are.  But they won’t use the NCAA name.  And the SEC is out too.

Why?  Well, because they are guilty.  Anything they put their name on is just creating more people that are going to sue.  I kind of have a hard time celebrating the game in general.  I am still happy to see USC play.

Fact is, I think we fought the battle and we’ve launched the final missile.  We’re just waiting for it to explode.

We’re the martyr.  Congrats, America.  With two free hands, USC is the best boxer in the land.  With one free hand, we’re still managed to have a winning record.  Every other school has pretty much, at worse, gotten a couple fingers taped together.

I’ve had a hard time with the media story about Texas and USC falling so far.  Texas aside, because, well, let’s not talk about barbecue land because they haven’t been sanctioned.

They listed our post 2006 falling off.  A falling off that includes 3 Rose Bowl wins…  Let me stop you there.  Every school in the Pac 12 except maybe Oregon would have killed to have 3 Rose Bowl wins since 2006.

Then they go into post 2009, but no mention of the most unjust, crippling sanctions of all time.  And I know it’s all about fuck Kiffin right now, but even during these sanctioned seasons, we still won the Pac 12 South once, beat Oregon that year and probably were going to a 4th post 2006 Rose Bowl.  WSU would chop down their apple trees for that resume.  Oregon State would skin all their beavers for that resume.  Arizona State would give up all the breast implants in Tempe for that.

I’m sorry, America, but USC won the National Title for not going down after getting shot in the stomach with a howitzer.  There’s been no losing seasons.  Just disappointment at sanctions, at not being excellent every time.

I’ve taken a step back and I’m saying that even though Kiffin is probably not the guy to take us forward, he deserves a lot of love for taking a job none of our more illustrious NFL alumni would take because of sanctions (Fisher, Del Rio) and he’s kept us from falling that far, gave us some great years with Matt Barkley and Robert Woods and Marqise Lee, and basically taught the world how to dress in all white after Labor Day.

Sorry if the medicine tastes bad, but when Kiffin leaves, and likely soon, you should tip your hat.  Our team dropped off for OUR standard, not college football in general’s.  You’ve seen all the sanctions and no one, not anyone, has had anything near us despite the fact it’s hard to discern how Oregon’s “crime” was less severe than ours.  They’d agree, the rational ones that I live amongst in Oregon.  Once they realize that I wasn’t rooting for their sanctions, they realize that it’s all absurd.  All of it.

All that said, Kiffin is on the thinnest of ice with the Bearfighter.  It comes down to one thing.  It comes down to not picking a quarterback.  Kessler will probably be fine now that he’s the quarterback.  You need the growing pains.  Leinart looked like garbage in his first game, we were just so damn good we beat Auburn on the road.  His numbers were fine, but it’s easy to forget when he grew into a legend that he wasn’t 4th and 9 at Notre Dame from day one.

Not picking a quarterback is losing control of your offense.  I don’t want Jack Del Rio.  I don’t want to pretend Chris Peterson is coming.  Fuck all that noise.  The Bearfighter endorses Clancy Pendergast and his defense which will win us some big games.  This is the steely glance of you’re not ever getting in my fucking endzone.

It worked with Pete.  Defense first and then bring in some offensive coordinator who can manage to draw up valuable plays that lead to touchdowns with superior talent.  We won a lot of Rose Bowls under a lot of OCs. The reason we scored so much back then was we ALWAYS HAD THE BALL.

So chill out Arrogant Nation.  Let’s win as much as we can and stay behind the team.  It’s fun to commiserate on Twitter when our offensive game plan is bubble screening like this girl:

That said, it’s more fun to enjoy the ride because we’re going to win more Rose Bowls.  That’s a fact.  It’s history.  It’s future and not one team on earth would question it and if they did, they wouldn’t bet pink slips on it.  And they shouldn’t.  We haven’t fallen, we’ve slipped and landed on a hot girl and now we’re going to grab drinks.

Who is Utah State?  I DON’T KNOW AND I DON’T CARE.  I just want to see how our defense plays against their offense and I want Clancy to prove he’s as good as I know he is.  You can’t sanction the endzone, but we can sanction yours again.

I’ll see you on twitter RIGHT HERE tomorrow and we’ll get down.  Embrace the new format.  Embrace our new defensive set up.  Embrace Kessler and enjoy the fucking ride Trojans.  Don’t trip out.  That’s what they’d want you to do, whoever they are.  I don’t know, I don’t pay attention.

Our greatest strength is always that rooting for an 0-12 USC team is better than rooting for anyone else ever under any circumstances.  I feel like a winner every time I hear the fight song and that goes with me to work everyday.

FOR MY ON CAMPUS READERS:  My best friends, the dudes that were in my band when I was at USC are blowing up right now and they are playing at Tommy’s Place on Tuesday.  See them now before they are charging you 80 dollars to see them open for Mumford.    Here’s a video:

Here’s the details:

Relevant Details:
Date: Tuesday, 9/24
At: Tommy’s Place
Cost: FREE
Time: Show starts at 8pm - we’re on around 10pm.
Other Stuff: ALL AGES, OPEN TO PUBLIC
Address for student who are too drunk to remember where Traddy’s is: USC Ronald Tutor Campus Center, 3607 Trousdale Pkwy, TCC 330, Los Angeles, CA, 90089-3102
Just go to the thing, I may delay my return travel to Portland to come that’s how much I enjoy it.  So go, tweet/instagram me that you did.  I’ll post it here next time I decide to tear the system an new one and celebrate Clancy.

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THE ONE WHERE I TALK ABOUT WASHINGTON STATE

Thursday is the new Friday again, Arrogant Nation.  That’s a big win for the agency because we’re going to talk last week and this week today.  As in right now.

Tonight is the Fall Sports Rally at Galen and for the first time in 3 years I am not hosting it.  I want to believe this is because I am in Portland, but maybe it’s my documentary or my newfound “keeping it realositiy” that went on during the game on Twitter.

I decided that live tweeting is more fun that a traditional recap (although if there’s an epic game, you know I’ll weigh in like the Bearfighter I am).  I mean, having fun at Kiffin’s expense was so fruitful, I was trending in Los Angeles.  From Portland.  Because two quarterbacks.  Arrogant.

Truth is, we all evolve.  I don’t want to stay the same.  I want to talk football and continue to bleed so much Trojan blood that I use it for bitters in my Old Fashioneds.  That said, you can expect me to be LIVE TWEETING every game I can, so if you don’t follow me yet, maybe FOLLOW ME.  To the death.

THE PART WHERE I SUM UP THE HAWAII GAME…

I dunno.  I’m torn.

Let’s start with some positives.  Kiffin came out in all white like some ghostly necromancer committed to not committing on anything.  Larry Scott already ruined our college football opening day by scheduling us on Thursday so “more people would watch it” which I am sure they didn’t.  At least Kiffin’s white knight visor costume was there to remind us of days passed.

NCAA Football: Southern California at Hawaii

Let’s talk about Clancy’s Ghost Recon 5-2.  I loved it.  As much as Hawaii sucks at everything but vacation, they commit hard to testing DBs.  We took the ball four times from a team that often drops 24 points on their opponent even when getting blown out.

It was all about swarming the QB and beating his ass as much as possible.  This year, the way to slow down the up-tempo spread is going to be to hit the QB in the backfield when he playfakes or does anything deceptive.  When the Oregons of the world have a running back and a wide out converge in the backfield, the game plan is “kill the QB” because he “might” have the ball.  I think this team is suited to execute that.

Defense will keep us in some games.  I’m hopeful.

Also, Tre Madden and Justin Davis showed a lot of moxie, burst, wheels, [insert word] in that second half when our O Line started to get it together.

Albarado’s pink punting boot and George Uko’s belly also are candidates for player of the game.

On the bad side, our O Line didn’t block in that first half (which largely fucked Kessler) and Marqise Lee forgot how to catch the ball and turned a 300 yard game into a 100 yard game (which fucked Wittek).

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These factors led us to have NO STARTING FUCKING QB AND NOW IT IS WEEK TWO.  At least we are 1-0…

THE PART WHERE I TALK ABOUT THE COUGARS.

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We get to play Washington State again, which is amazing because they have the worst logo on the planet. It’s like a 4th grade design contest to redesign their logo actually yielded their official logo.  What the hell is going on here?  I’ll show you in a new feature I call YOUR LOGO SHOULD DIE ALONE.

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Refute that.  I dare you, Palloose-folk.  Look, I’ve been out into the deep woods on Washington now that I live in the northwest and I still can’t find a human that knows where the hell you are hiding your school. I feel like you just give the opposing teams coordinates instead of street directions.

It wasn’t even at this awesome lake I went in to cool my stomach down from bourbon and campfires…

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It’s also a team named after the least original cat ever.  In fact, it’s a name more associated with mothers that have sex with younger men than cats.  I mean, you name your team the Cougars because you just don’t give a shit what you name your team.

How will WSU deal with us not having a quarterback?  They’ll have to prepare hard for one QB who throws the ball into the line and one that throws it a mile past everyone.  GOOD LUCK GAMEPLANNING THAT.

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If there’s one thing to fear this week, it’s the WSU fans who may make the trek.  They have an INCREDIBLE booze-drinking reputation.  They hit bars and empty kegs.  They fucking drank an airplane dry (not sure if that means they drank the blue toilet water and the jet fuel too).

I mean, hide your kegs, hide your wines.

Mike Leach gets his first shot against USC in a series the Trojans own to the tune of 57-8-4.  USC are 15 point favorites and assuming Leach doesn’t lock Marqise Lee in a shed before the game (too soon?), we ought to win this one at home.

Ought thought presumes we kick field goals when they are presented, we catch passes and we block people trying to tackle our people.

Kiffin hopefully spent the week flexing, doing uppers and imparting the philosophy that losing the Pac 12 South is one thing, but losing it because you lose at home to the Cougars is another.

QB Connor Halliday went off against Auburn last week, but threw 3 picks.  The 5-2 will have to hit him a lot, but when you look like Napoleon Dynamite, there’s no telling how he’ll react.

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In fairness, this guy slings the ball, our secondary is a little banged up and if we leave them in the game, the reality that the kid who played banjo in Deliverance might beat us will add unnecessary pressure to the situation.

Need to get it right and get it tight.

THE PART WHERE I PREDICT THE SCORE…

KESSLER USC – 14
WITTEK USC – 17
STIFFLERS MOMS – 17

THE PART WHERE I PLUG SOMETHING COOL…

There’s a dude at my office who loves CFB and he also is hell on a piano.  He wanted to commemorate the beginning of football season.  Well, read this:

Ansel Wallenfang, a writer, director, classical pianist, and football fanatic currently in Wieden+Kennedy’s W+K 12, made a short film and composition called Fantasy Football and Fugue. As a tribute to the upcoming NFL season, Ansel mashes-up the NFL theme songs of CBS, ESPN, FOX, and NBC through classical counterpoint, stunning photography,  and a great sense of humor.

If you don’t want to watch a video like this made by a man named Ansel Wallenfang, you have learned NOTHING FROM ME.

Also, one of his cheerleaders (Shea) was a Song Girl, so click because you are a Trojan and stay for the talent.  I got a kick out of it.

CLICK HERE and watch.

FTFO until you PTFO.

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THE ONE WHERE I TALK ABOUT HAWAII RAINBOWS

It’s a new year.  I’m in a new city surrounded by ducks and beavers.  The grey flannel blanket has yet to be pulled over Portland, so it’s hard to picture football returning, not now, not so far from home and in the middle of a historic Dodgers playoff push.

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But my legion of readers have been tweeting and messaging and emailing me en masse.  From up in the woods, the Bearfighter must answer the call.  There is football tomorrow.  And that is good.

While I have no idea how I will see any of the games up here, I will find ways.  Missing a game has never really stopped me in the past.  That said, I want you to know I plan to experiment with posting this year.  I don’t know if I’ll keep with the AGP/AGR model.  I might, I just don’t know.  It’s my kitchen, you eating what I’m cooking?

We’ll see.  Since Hawaii is not a real game and we’re all bored of Norm Chow jokes, this AGP will be more of a season preview as I’ve had a long offseason to ponder what the hell it all means.

This is about as bad as it’s ever going to get.  Sanctions are over(ish), but our cabinet is as bare as it will be.

We’ve overhauled a coaching staff.  We’ve got a new 5-2 defense being installed.  We haven’t picked a quarterback, which is pretty arrogant, except that it usually helps in winning to pick players to play specific positions.  In interpretive dance, fuck it, you go over there, you spin around in a circle over there.

In football, someone has to put his hands under the center’s junk and lead the offense.

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Kiffin is at his final stand.  I was not invited to host the pep rally this year, like the Lakers, I couldn’t three-peat.  There’s just a ton of uncertainty about what to expect from this season.  Frankly, it reminds me of when I first started writing about football.

What are we to expect from this season?  Well, let’s get into some of that.

The perennial powerhouse gets to be an underdog.  Not an underdog for a national championship (which who fucking wants anyway, the BCS dies with a death gurgle this year).  We’re being called underdogs to win the Pac 12 South.

I’m sorry, there’s never a time on earth USC is not the favorite to win the South.  The South was designed to give USC an opportunity every year to play in the Rose Bowl and make everyone lots of money.

But meanwhile, people are picking UCLA and sometimes Arizona State to win the South.  I understand the ALL UNIVERSE TROJANS last year underachieved, and the UPSTART CAGEY BRUINS won some games.  I understand the blue moon happened and they even beat us.  I am sure they will make a fucking t-shirt to commemorate it.  That’s what Bruins do.

I made shirts to commemorate sanctions.

On that note…  Way to go NCAA.  While they are finally handing out the penalties that make sense for the crimes, they still haven’t apologized to me personally or Pat Haden or Pete Carroll.  Johnny Manziel is sitting out ONE HALF OF FOOTBALL for what Terrelle Pryor sat out a few games (of his choosing) for.  Oregon got a phantom back rub as a punishment for using a recruiting service whose only service was being friends with athletes that they wanted to sing (or buying influence as the rest of the world would say).

We’re still eating shit tacos, but hey.  The BCS is dead.  NCAA Football is no longer a video game and the O’Bannon class action lawsuit is coming.  They are right to limit the people they piss off right now.  Too bad they pissed me off first…  COUGH COUGH

This is just a weird year for college football.  It’s hard to know what to make of any of it at all.  I do know this, I hated seeing all the tweets of people flying to Hawaii today.  I mean, I am glad their going but seeing people flying to Hawaii to watch football and stare at Song Girls while you are walking to the office with your gym bag is like your boss telling you about the vacation he took with your wife.

Anyway, we might as well talk football because Kiffin won’t.

THE PART WHERE WE TALK ABOUT THE GAME

Hawaii returns (insert number of players) from a team that will 100% compete with Arizona for most haka dances done before losing football games.  The only time I really appreciate a haka dance is when I am in the serenity pool at the Four Seasons Wailea waiting for them to come light the torches as I decide if I should drink more or go eat a tuna cone from Spago.  It was also pretty good when Riggins (older, drunker one) had the team do it in Friday Night Lights.

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Norm Chow will unleash his throw short to the wide receiver offense which only worked at USC, because Mike Williams.

Let’s all just stay super honest that this is a practice game for USC.  It always has been.  Not even when Colt Brennen was throwing the ball five hundred times a game did they beat us.  They never will.  If they do, I won’t believe it.  I’ll think I’m dead, like it’s the Sixth Sense and it’s all made up.  Basically, even if it happens, it didn’t.

This is a vacation day.  The NCAA won’t let you pay players?  Well, you get a trip to Hawaii if you play on our team.  But really, go to LSU and enjoy the sights on campus playing Northeastern Louisiana Tech Polyphonic Spree University.

WE’LL TAKE YOU TO HAWAII.  Your parents who love you didn’t even do that for you.  Play football for us, get on a plane with our drunken band and our nails hot Song Girls and play a practice game in Hawaii and you will even see the same haka dance you would see back at the Four Seasons.

Sign on the line, son.

This game is so practice game we’re not even naming starters.  Kiffin said he spent five minutes thinking about the depth chart.  Everyone check your inboxes tomorrow.  You might be starting.  Kiffin doesn’t know or care.  You know why he doesn’t think he’s on the hot seat?  When it’s always 300 degrees on your ass, eventually you feel nothing.

In my mind, Kessler probably won the job and we don’t want to piss off our Mater Dei pipeline by sitting Wittek, who also seems more likely to transfer.  But either way, they will both be pissed off when Max Browne is starting next year so let’s rip the damn band-aid off already.

I don’t see us as National Championship contenders this year and I don’t care because it’s still the BCS and it doesn’t mean much anyway.  I do, however, want us to play in a bowl that I have heard of.  The Rose Bowl, specifically.  That can happen a multitude of ways and us having an easy schedule is one of them.

While the prognosticators are picking UCLA to win the South, Bovada still keeps it real.  USC is favored to win at 9/4.  While UCLA is a close second, let’s keep it extra real.  If after their previous season you were so convinced they are fixed that even switching Oregon and Washington in for OSU and WSU still has you stoked on their win total, you watch a lot less football than I do.

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Based on schedule (home v away) alone, USC and it’s two quarterbacks, it’s cupcake schedule, it’s hot seated coach and it’s new defense are still the favorites.  Our two QB slug line still leads on the ESPN ticker.  WE ARE ALWAYS THE FUCKING STORY END OF STORY.

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Even our sanctions were the biggest and best.  We had the noisiest mediocre year of all time.  Even when Matt Barkley slipped in the draft, our enemy’s coach moved up to pick him.

And that has been my thesis all along.  It doesn’t matter.  The sun never sets on the Trojan Empire.  Even when we underperform, we over perform in underperformance.

And that’s what makes the world go round.

For this game in the absence of caring about special teams since Kyle Negrete left, here is my score prediction:

HAWAII – 17

KESSLER’S TROJANS – 24

WITTEK’S TROJANS – 17

MARQISE LEE – Looks good in aviators, loves Mai Tais.

New season, new look Bearfighter.  Roll with the punches, stay hydrated with bourbon. If you come to the OSU game, get at me.  I’ll see you at the Coliseum at Game To Be Named Later.

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Movie Review: Lovelace (2013)

In 2005, I graduated without honors from the greatest film school ever conceived by man.  Less than 1% of applicants are accepted and entry t0 my program is statistically more inaccessible than Harvard Law School. However, since graduating I have failed to truly utilize the incredibly important skills I mastered at the USC School for Cinematic Arts for the purpose of bettering the world through knowing film the way a British aristocrat knows a woman who likely is a chambermaid in his estate.  I know film in this way.  We’ve made love.  Now, I need to let you into my bedroom. 

The following film review is intended not for your enjoyment, but for your betterment.  I am finally willing to offer my resources to you so that finally you too may have an educated opinion on “cinema”, something few people in the world would be willing to spend half a million dollars earning an intense four year Bachelor of the Fine Arts degree to achieve.  

This review will make you better at the hardest skill in the world:  Watching movies and knowing how you feel about them.  You’re welcome, obviously.  It was no trouble.  I’m highly educated.

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LOVELACE (2013)

Directed by two people whose work does not include explosions and does not make you want to eat popcorn.

Written by a guy who’s other credit is a movie directed by Ross from Friends

Starring Amanda Seyfried with freckles, a coked up Peter Sarsgaard and what’s left of Sharon Stone.

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Lovelace is a movie about proving Amanda Seyfried is willing to show her boobs for less money than Anne Hathaway.  The subplot is a true story based on real life porn star and domestic abuse victim Linda Lovelace, who starred in Deep Throat.  Deep Throat is most often associated with the name of the Watergate informant which is awesome because the moment American politics truly got ugly for the public was lightened up by naming the event after a movie famous for blow jobs.  That thought works hard in proving what Dazed and Confused already did so eloquently, which is that the 1970s were pretty fucking awesome.

dazed-and-confused

Lovelace was made famous for starring a pornographic film about a woman who’s clitoris is tragically in her throat, thus requiring her to “Deep Throat” in order to achieve sexual satisfaction.  This film grossed 600 million making it the Avatar of films about blow jobs.  It was Blow Javatar.  It’s not that it made the money that provides cultural commentary.  It’s that in the 70s, the world made it possible to say to your significant other, “The world is just messed up and you know, government, man.  I need a break.  Let’s go sit in a room with strangers and watch pornography” and have that experience be totally the societal norm.  Oh, and cocaine.

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Lovelace transports us to an “outta sight” world where women must obey men because Sharon Stone (who underwent eight rounds of beef jerky dehydration to play the role of Lovelace’s mother) reminds us that God gives women husbands because science.  And with T-1000 playing the part of her husband, it’s easy to see why she believes in divine matrimonial intervention.  Or nuptials by intelligent design.  Either way, if my husband was a time traveling robot assassin that could turn into liquid metal, morph into anyone he touched and turn his body parts into weapons, I’d probably think God wanted me to obey him too.  I’d also make sure the acid I was on was safe, which Sharon Stone did in researching this part.  [Source: that time I saw her at the Golden Globes and she was dancing alone while chairs were still being set up for the InStyle party where I smoked cigarettes with Nia Vardalos and Stiffler's mom (true), talked shit about Diane Lane with them (true) and then totally didn't smoke Halfling's Leaf with the non Frodo and Sam hobbits.]

 

Lovelace starts out as a girl from Yonkers who now lives in Florida because she had a baby and gave it away for adoption, which is the worst thing ever if your mother is made of beef jerky.  She spends her time sneaking cigarettes, hanging with her kind-of slutty friend, tanning with those metal reflector things and getting called a slut by her beef jerky mother who also slaps her sometimes because Jesus.  T-1000 is kind of nicer, but given he’s a liquid metal robot, it’s hard to know if it’s for the right reasons.  We’ll have to see where the writers take his character in the sequel.

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Lovelace meets Cocaine Peter Sarsgaard at a roller rink and he proceeds to spend a montage or two convincing her to smoke weed, do coke, learn porn star style oral sex, marry him and bail him out of jail.  A classic American love story that draws upon both early British romantic fiction and also Rockwellian family dynamics.  There are 8mm and 16mm shots used to show them falling in love, which was super French New Wave of them, which is also the name for another kind of oral sex that didn’t have a famous movie about it.

Eventually, they run out of money for coke and people trying to kill Oscar-sure-shot Cocaine Peter Sarsgaard, so he decides he is going to make Lovelace be in an actual porno directed by Agador from The Birdcage and the guy that hung out with Tyrion Lannister in New Jersey in The Station Agent way before he got to move to Westeros and be on HBO.

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Adam Brody arrives and plays the part of Dick Long, who acts in the porno with Lovelace.  I never realized Brody’s natural acting environment was portraying an actor so bad he acts in porn, but now I realize his entire career of being on bad television shows and movies was to prepare him for a sequence of riveting scenes where he gets a blow job and recites lines from a famous porno.  He excels as a man who cannot act or last long enough during oral sex to be an effective porn star.  He clearly has been method acting for years.

Sarsgaard delivers the funniest line of the film while doing blow at a nightclub and claiming he is a part time gynecologist.  A man asks if the blow “is what he thinks it is” to which he responds “it is if you think it’s coke”.  I laughed, which made me feel bad because then Sarsgaard sold his wife for sex.  I truly felt like I learned more about Sarsgaard than the real Linda Lovelace or Sarsgaard’s character.  Basically, I know Sarsgaard is equally effective as a creeper sniper who wants to explode some heads in Jarhead as he is playing a creepy pseudo-pimp who makes sex dolls based on his wife in Lovelace.  Versatility is an actor’s greatest tool and he is making strong choices in this tour-de-force at every turn.

Amanda Seyfriend said in Mean Girls that her boobs could tell if it was raining, but throughout the weather changes in this film, it was unclear if she had lost that power.  Meteorology played less of a role in this film than I expected, especially since when they are earning big money they were “making it rain”.  Maybe in Lovelace 2 we can hope for more weather related content.

SPOILER ALERT:  apparently all the real people this film were based on died because of porn and heart attacks and car crashes, so Lovelace 2:  Adventure on Throat Island is being delayed until the team that greenlit The Lone Ranger redux figures out how to get around the realities of the story.  Since Johnny Depp is auto-attached to play a part, Helena Bonham Carter will also be played the part of Beef Jerky Mom’s Ghost or something equally creepy.  Tim Burton will be masturbating in the corner and making points on the backend.

Mr. Big showed up because he was tired of working with old women on HBO and movies based on HBO shows.  His contract included a no Sharon Stone scenes stipulation, which the producers of Lovelace graciously honored.  He also got to whip Sarsgaard with a belt, which I have no idea was Behind The Scenes footage or scripted.  I mean I’ve seen actors do weirder shit at parties in the Hollywood Hills.  Truthfully.

James Franco played Hugh Hefner for ten minutes and solicited oral sex from Lovelace in a movie theatre while watching Lovelace perform oral sex in Deep Throat.  The whole sequence was brilliantly meta.  It was a blow job in a movie theater during a movie about a blow job in a scene in a bio pic about a woman who got famous for making a movie about a blow job.

Chloe Sevigny, who also performed oral sex in a movie (Vincent Gallo’s possibly rapey Brown Bunny) had a brief cameo, which I took as a high five to oral sex in the cinema, which insiders say might be the theme of the Oscars this year.

Chloe rehabbed from Brown Bunny by doing an HBO show about being one of three wives that ended up being way more about sex than it sounded like.  It sounded like a show about three people constantly telling me to put the toilet seat down.  Either way, I still love you Ginnifer Goodwin, even if you had sex scenes with the older brother from Weird Science who also was the star of Twister and went around the moon with Tom Hanks once in Apollo 13.

In the end, Lovelace teaches us that in the 1970s, doing porn and cocaine were both potentially bourgeoisie professions, but marrying a guy who pushes you into doing both may be dangerous even if he has elaborate facial hair and was so high on blow that he didn’t realize the French Connection wasn’t subtitled.

Another theme of note, if your mother looks like beef jerky, don’t listen to her about marriage.  Beef jerky was a total motif in the film, true grotesque imagery as a foreshadow not scene since Tess of the D’Urbervilles stalked Angel in that magical UK forest with snails crushing beneath her toes warning of a foreboding doom associated with love that could set her free, but likely would dirty her.  (This reference was brought to you by my expensive film education, no pictures please).

The film also taught me that Peter Sarsgaard, minus the domestic violence, would be hilarious to take to 1970s Las Vegas with Johnny Depp as Hunter S. Thompson.  He could turn some Oscar heads, especially if the aforementioned theme for the show is true.

RATING:  I give Lovelace 2.5 Sideburns up out of a possible 4, with 1.5 of them based solely on the fact that Peter Sarsgaard is a total animal and scared me in a good way.  Like riding a shark.

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Final BachCap

Wow.  Did we have one of Bachelor’s finest moments?  Did we waste more of our lives?  Where do we go from here?

I don’t know, but I know tomorrow is all sunshine and college football.  I’ve survived my 6th season (I think?) and we’re going out with a bang.  Unlike the fantasy suites which were more like “high school dance” suites.

This episode was strange.  The live element is always confusing.  Harrison keeps us waiting and continues interviewing women from the Island of Misplaced Singles who ranged from clingers, to people-who-are-glad-Palmolive-moisturizes-hands-while-you-scrub-pots to just lonely ass people who would rather live in someone else’s surreal life than their own existence.  What is the test they give you to be in the studio audience and where can I get a copy?

Sample questions:

1.  Have you ever cried in public because you thought you knew how a bird was feeling?
2.  Pink highlighter is perfect as a substitute for blush.  True or False?
3.  You consider Sean and Des your first breakup.
4.  Favorite Twilight novel?
5.  Have you had sex with your middle age husband in the last 4 years?
6.  Do your group of friends totally think you are the Zooey Deschanel of the group?

Or you could just be that weird ass dude in a blue satin shirt who snuck in possibly as the ass of a two person horse costume.  What the fuck.

On the island, Des looks like a Big Stick popsicle as she cries, alternating between red and yellow as she cannot get over the part of her uterus that makes her love chasing a man who at best doesn’t like girls and at worst doesn’t like her specifically.

She wants to go home.  She can’t go on.  How can life ever be the same now that a man who never claimed to love you admitted he didn’t love you?

Even scarier, somewhere on that island is your brother who is stalking jungle cats and planning to kill them with a switchblade.

Des still has dates to go on thanks to Chris Harrison giving her some MDMA and she makes a duck face in the mirror putting on her big stick makeup and then jumps on a horse, riding it like she is keeping carrots in her ass in case the horse gets hungry.  I’ve seen cowboys that lost their farm look happier on a horse than she did.

She gets to Valerie Kilmer who found a way to wear two pastels and also sported the best sweat stain of the season across his chest.  It was a total Harry Potter Voldemort lightning bolt sweat.  Or just a jagged wound from where Des ripped his heart out.

They rode horses with carrots up their asses down to a beach where Drew didn’t last 15 minutes before getting gutted like a luau pig.  He was all “I don’t know” so many times in a row that it was the total opposite of this classic song by Bill Withers.

He tries so hard to cry, but I feel like he was relieved because, like I said, this really good guy that I’d be proud to get a beer with doesn’t seem to like girls.  He tried to cry so hard.  It was amazing.  He was like cancer, dead puppies, dead puppies dead from cancer, famine, James Gandolfini, being late to a rack sale…  NONE OF IT WORKED and after all of it he was rewarded with a ride in a pastel molester van.

HUNGER GAMES BITCH.

Des was getting dressed and crying and you couldn’t help but notice her abs are in top form confirming the best diet is still being constantly dumped.

You notice right away with Middle School Dancer she’s in a good mood.  Like, she might even eat today.  They go on a “private” catamaran with about thirty other people and then drink Planter’s Punch or something cool and then swim and shit.  No helicopters, but she didn’t seem to want to drink Drain-O so I kept wondering what was next, if Brooks would pop out of the kelp and be like “hey” or if Des would try to rub her face on some coral until it hurt more than her heart.

Truthfully, Chris did great.  He was quite a rock and just hung in there and Des was like you are a loyal friend, which killed boners nationwide.  Still, this episode was about Des possibly breaking the convention girls everywhere never can…  COULD SHE PICK A MAN WHO MIGHT ACTUALLY LOVE HER?

It’s so weird because if a girl with a dickhead boyfriend were to ask her friends, they wouldn’t want to be with that guy themselves (unless they secretly hate their friend, in which case watch the throne, bitches).  Your friends always like the cool dude who makes your friend stable, brings wine to parties and will listen to you when you get kicked in the junk by another dude you were chasing.

I was dying to see if Des was going to make a change that’s so, well, un-Bachelorish.

Chris gets to meet the family and he dresses like he’s going to Toast on 3rd with a hangover.  Oh well.

We get to see Des’ brother again, dressed like he escaped a naval jail and he literally is the inspiration for Sean Penn in every film ever.  He looks like he is goating you to fight him all the time.  It was awful to watch Des unenthusiastically endorse Chris who she loves “today” or “in the moment” which totally sets the kill instincts off in her bro.

I honestly am terrified by him.  I wish he was the next bachelor.  It’d be like.  Everyone gets a knife. Whoever can cut themselves the longest gets to get a rose.  Here are your knives.

Regardless, we were getting close to the real deal happening.  Chris gets permission from Des’ father who seemed genuinely just happy to be on an island and not camping or whatever Des used to say her family did to survive.  It’s also hard to concentrate with his murderous son in the bushes holding a machete in his teeth claiming “I have to do this”.  Whatever that means.  I don’t wanna know.

Des clearly was specific with the cushioned cut diamond instructions because Neil Lane (or the plastic skin grafted plastic surgery frankentstein that runs Neil Lane’s company as Neil Lane) shows up to get his annual ring loan out of the way.  Weeks later, he gets it back.  He brings some bombs.  Chris picks one.  Des probably already picked it.

We get to the morning montage and we’re all wondering what’s going to happen and I have to say I was legit surprised.  I mean, Chris goes up there and he’s pretty chill albeit stop talking in poems dude, she’ll eventually consider how to kill you in her sleep and fuck the first surfer she can find.

Then, right at proposal, she stops him and we have that HERE WE GO moment.  She basically is about to talk about Brooks some more but totally turns it around being the first girl on television (and one of eight girls internationally) to ever get over someone they only liked because there was nothing there to go for a guy who will love them probably forever.

It was the most touching ending of the show I can remember.  Des even seemed happy on the after show, handling Brooks, whining from Valerie Kilmer and all the rest.  The only time I think she cringed was when Chris gave her a bunch of roses he hand framed with ANOTHER POEM JESUS! and I realized he has a lot in common with all my high school girlfriends.  Who keeps roses past prom?

Des is off into the sunset and so am I.  It was a pleasing end…  UNTIL WE WENT DIRECTLY TO PLEASURETOWN…

Juan fucking Pablo is the new bachelor.  My job is so easy.  For 6 seasons I’ve been calling dates Juan on Juans.  He is a walking sex bomb who will using Camila (Cah mee lah) for an aphrodisiac and this man will take every helicopter, rappelling trip, etc he can.

I am totally ready for January, I think it may be my finest work.

To my readers who may leave me now, may I thank you for another fun season.  I love messing with you guys and it’s a real treat in the football offseason.  This winter, I plan to write about some things beyond sports, so please don’t shut me out completely.  You have to accept this rose.

I’ll miss you, but you know where to find me.  I, for Juan, look forward to our next meeting.

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BachCap Week Nine

I can only imagine the experimental drugs Chris Harrison stole from a lab and combined with a 90s dance party’s worth of Molly to come up with the idea of calling this week and next week “a two part finale”.

I know ONE big thing happened, but really, nothing happened and venom coursed through my veins overtaking the bourbon like our troops on D-Day as I watched.  There were at least three segments separated by commercials where it was just the same shot of Lady Tom Brady holding his graying hair (we caught you) and crying with the saddest girl in the history of Antigua (and I am sure in the pirate era there were some pretty downtrodden pirate wenches if you’ve ever watched any of the classic true stories of the Spanish Main “Pirates of the Caribbean”.

But I should try to go in order as we reach our final two BachCaps before the powers that guide my fingers and make me hell with a pen release me to write about football, playoff run baseball and pretty much anything I want until Brooks, Juan Pablo or Zak end up the Bachelor starting in January, conveniently when college football ends.  It’s almost summer vacation for me.

So, let’s BachCap like we did last summer…

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We started off with a montage that basically reminded us how totally shitty her choices are.  This is like choosing between an arraigned marriage with a man who is not physically attracted to you, another guy just like the first one, a dude who writes bad poems and puts condoms up his nose with his dad or drowning yourself in the ocean.

Actually, that’s exactly what her choices are.  Fuck.  Your life seems better in comparison, doesn’t it.  That’s why we watch this shit in the first place, right?

First date goes to Valerie Kilmer and Bargain Bach can’t stop talking about how hot he is kind of like we can’t stop talking about his insistence on pink shirts and not being sexually attracted to women.  Instead of a fun adventure date, ABC pulled out all the stops and just let Des spend up to 18 US dollars at some markets with some more fucking street musicians.  I know this is a cool spot in Antigua, I was going to go there and this is cool place to watch sunset.  But there’s also a casino and James Bond was probably at it, maybe even having sex with a model and murdering a terrorist.  Which would you choose?  If you are ABC, don’t answer.

All I could stare at was that Val is a total toe walker.  I was afraid he would fall off a cliff the whole time until I realized that actually might raise the bar this season of vague markets, cheap dates and being places for the right reasons, which despite being the mantra we’ve all endured hearing, no one seems to be except the nose condom guy from Oregon.

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Valerie keeps saying that he is falling more and more in love with Des which leads me to believe he read The Secret, so if he just keeps saying he loves her over and over, maybe he will.  But Drew, set yourself free.  Love who you want.  We love you no matter what.

ABC was too cheap for an alternate plan so when their date was rained on, they went straight to the fantasy suite (FAHN TAH SEE SWEETSSS) where they got to read Chris Harrison’s note asking if they wanted to go to the fantasy suite, which they were already fucking in.

FACESMACK.

But that’s fine, skip dinner folks, go right to dessert.  Drew says he wants to spend the rest of his life with Des which was way more than was offered on the fantasy suite card.  That was one night offer.  They say why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free.  Drew’s like I’LL BUY THE FARM AND I DON’T EVEN DRINK MILK!!!

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They did a whole “it’s hot in here” fake out like these two were going to make out, but as soon as the cameras left, they were like “holy shit, let’s look at pictures of Ryan Gosling and paint each others’ nails”……

Meanwhile in Boise…  What?  ABC, who won’t spend a fucking dime on Desiree, flew Lady Tom Brady out to see his plastic mountain sister and his mom so he could further explain he doesn’t like girls, and of all the girls he could like, Des is especially not that girl.

This magically becomes eight minutes of television.  I ate two Zanax, three bourbons and a box of chocolate in that time frame.  Didn’t help.

Back in the Spanish Main, HELICOOOOPTEEEERRRRR!!!!!!!!!

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Middle School Dancer (Nose Condom) goes on a helicopter ride with Des to some deserted stretch of beach where they, FUCKING SURPRISE, read poems, draw poems in sand, because, you know, poems.

Chris is like bitch you need to move to Seattle and Des is off-camera like “I’m always sacrificing for relationships” and then on camera she’s like “fuck, sure, Seattle, I’m down” proving she has learned nothing at all.

Chris accepts the fantasy suite offer with “no expectations” (way to friend zone it, dude) and says he wants to watch the stars or maybe rent Identity Theft on Pay Per View.  Then there’s like another poem that’s more like just a letter he felt like reading slowly with long pauses.  He paused for a second when explaining he is doing a poem and I could tell her was thinking a poem was a horrible call.  Didn’t seem to stop him.

They make out to the first song ABC could afford to buy the rights to.

Des puts on her ultimate slut outfit for what should be her date with Lady Tom Brady.  She was showing abs, she was in makeup.  She was going to throw down.

Meanwhile, Brooks is with Chris Harrison explaining that HE’S OUT.  Not of the closet, but he’s not going to get with Des, even though Chris is basically saying “eat this ecstasy, give her a test drive, maybe you’ll like it”.  He’s like I CAN’T AND MY HAIR IS GREYING AS WE SPEAK AND IT SUCKS.

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Brooks is either afraid of finally having to hook up with a girl or he’s the first real human on this show in history who simply doesn’t want to just say I DO after 9 weeks of freak dating.

They go to a dock and the breakup hour is initiated.  It seriously never fucking ends and I hated it.  Watching two people cry over nothing when they could be banging down in the ocean or riding dolphins or pretty much anything is a bad high.  It’s a low.

Brooks is like “I was ready to get married to someone else before” and I’m like “but gay marriage isn’t legal in Utah yet.  Brooks asks to be friends and Des just cries way more and pleads and through all of it, she looked pretty hot.  She should have puked and rallied here.

Then she goes into “EVERY GIRL YOU KNOW” mode and says she didn’t see the signs even though the last five weeks of this show have been about Brooks not wanting to say he loves her.  THOSE ARE SIGNS, BITCH.

Then she goes for the hail mary and says “I DON’T CARE I LOVE YOU ANYWAY” and Susan B. Anthony reanimated and killed herself.

Conspiracy theory…  Her stylists totally used waterproof mascara otherwise how on earth did she not look like a melting purple ice cream cone.

Total Joey Potter dock crying session.  Then Brooks cried.  If you thought THAT was crying, wait til he tells Drew he’s going home.

Til next week.

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BachCap Week Late (Eight) Minus Men Tell All

So let’s clear the air, once or twice a year I have a medical trip or a business trip or I generally am two hungover to attempt to bring you the high quality of free entertainment that I typically peddle here.  Two of these three things happened over the last week, I’ll let you guess and the result was no Week Eighter, but I am amending that today.

It’s not going to be as accurate as a week ago when I watched the show, but look, what’s important is that we need to get this fucking ship on track for next week, usually the best week of the season, the fantasy suite dates where American humans are pitted in battle, forced to accept sex for approval, just like in high school.

I attempted to watch Smedium Tells All last night but I realized I’d rather just watch any show on Bravo about someone who redesigns homes or flips homes or something with decorating because it would be the same thing.  I do not care what these guys are up to, I don’t care if they drink Drain-O and expose themselves to a Kindergarten class, I don’t care if they dip their junk in honey and run pants down through a bear’s den.

Sometimes I’ll recap the episode, but I just didn’t need to recap any catty behavior that came from their ridiculous world-bitching tour.  I just can’t.  I’ll watch after the final rose to see who the next Bachelor is for next year, but I’m reaching my quota.

I want to talk hometown dates.  Desiree managed to end up with a man who is secretly fifty years old, a guy who communicates in poetry and two guys that don’t like girls, one of which is possibly in a religious cult.

Let’s take a quick look back, starting with everyone’s favorite “drill fluid engineer” Secretly 50.  By the way, a drill fluid engineer is the kind of thing I’d tell a teenager I do to make them giggle.

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After the standard “we’re in Dallas, let’s jog to each other like we have tampons in our butts” greeting, Zak sat down to tell Bargain Bach that his family is crazy and proceeded to let them off the hook by trying to explain some weird fucking dream about them melting in the heat and then it snows, basically the kind of shit the Silence of the Lambs guy said to the girl in the hole while he made her rub lotion all over herself.  Unless your dream is terrifying or cute, shoot yourself in the face to prevent you from telling this tale.  If your dream is creepy, it reads: “MY MIND IS FUCKED UP”.  Just a tip from all of us at Whole Foods.

Zak vanishes and returns as a reject from the Ice Capades version of Happy Feet Two, dressed as a dick head penguin, which totally seems normal for him:  RED FLAG.  He explains that beyond drill fluid, he enjoys serving snocones to children in a truck and that’s not pedobear at all…

But, Des does her signature dislocated jaw from silliness laugh and off they are to a school to serve kids shaved ice.  She feigns that she’s stoked for a life of goofiness with Zak, but what she’s really saying is that she’s too nice to admit this might be chloroform territory.  She totally had her finger on the pepper spray the entire time.  It’s a miracle no kids got a pepper cone.

Also, WTF with this truck.  Since when do kids get to pick out what goes on a snow cone?  Self serve?  If you’ve ever been in a 7-11 with a kid at the soda fountain, you know it’s a bad idea to let them do it themselves.  Also, I hate that you feed syrup into the machine at crotch lever and it dispenses at face level to children.  Maybe I’m reading into it too much.  MAYBE YOU AREN’T READING INTO IT ENOUGH.

Des says the Penguin is her boyfriend and that’s far from the worst realization she’d have if she ended up with Secretly 50.

Zak’s sister seemed hotter and smarter than Des and I’ve seen some ladybloggers say the same about his brother.  All I know is that these people had more art on their walls than a serial killer in a barn and that they sang.  Also, if memory serves, his mother cut her bangs by jamming her head in a woodchipper.

He then went to lost boy creep town by hooking up a ring he bought way, way, way before it made any sense he could possibly be her choice, so that creeped me out.  I met you on the subway and I bought a ring on the offchance I ever see you again and we decide to have sex professionally.  Stage five.

Next date was with Valerie Kilmer who looked dressed for a fun day of shopping with his straight best girl friend.  His hair was perfect, he had a killer pink top on and he met her at a mall.  Frankly, most of my gay friends don’t even plan hangouts like that.  I mean, we go drink and eat food.  Watching him kiss her was like watching a little kid find out he doesn’t hate brussels sprouts.  Like, the first one didn’t kill him, the second one was okay and then the release of fear turned him on.

He talked about his family forever, I got bored, thought about going to the bathroom, then felt like an asshole when he was really sweet with his mentally challenged sister, which I will not cover because he was very kind to her and I limit my picking on him to his clear sexual confusion.

Meeting his family was interesting because I couldn’t figure out who the alcoholic dad was, but could only assume it was “Mal” who wore a pink checkered shirt and had that “TALKING ABOUT JESUS AND ANGELS” thing going on that most people get addicted to when they stop being addicted to fun stuff like drinking and driving their cars into trees.

Drew-and-Desiree-Bachelorette

Later, outside, Valerie Kilmer was like I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU.  All that was missing was the Titanic or and empty bottle of rose and the end credits of How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.  I had to eat three steaks and blow a line of sawdust to be able to get to the next date…

IN OREGON!  Where I was at the time they filmed this.  They did a nice establishing shot of Portland before cutting way the fuck south to McMinneville which I immediately confused for McMenamins, a chain of PDX boozeries including Kennedy School, which is just a school you can get fucked up in.

Despite his poetry writing, Middle School Dancer was the best choice, but the ABC hit squad decided to ruin that one.  As cute as the baseball date was (minus where Des doesn’t that “holy wow I did it” open mouth smile that I could only make if someone checked my prostate by surprise with a zucchini – my wife just closed the browser), the day went to shit when they went to his house where his family moped around acting like rejects from a Wes Anderson film until the dad took the taco.

The chiropractor took Des downstairs to give her an adjustment which basically just meant feeling her up and potentially breaking her neck in a creepy wood-paneled office that is built into his house and had creepy ass posters in all the rooms.  Like, if I wanted to get raped and murdered, I’d want it to happen there just so the movie rights would be valuable because this creepiness spoke for itself.  This really came in second only to the taxidermy guy that one year who’s dad had a freezer of dead wildlife.

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I thought that was going to be it, but then he took Middle School Dancer downstairs and did “the nose adjustment” which to untrained eyes looked like using a syringe to shove a ribbed condom deep into your nasal cavity, setting it to vibrate and then having your dad break your nose to release a flow of snot that ABC shot from the worst possible angle.

Whoever at ABC got this kid to commit TV suicide by doing this, you’re doing it right.

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Finally, we travelled to the polygamist compound of Lady Tom Brady who wore his cardigan no less than five ways in the 20 minute segment.  He had a million family members, they drank from opaque glasses that prevented me from knowing if they boozed and they wore name tags.  I honestly thought they were going to break out into a choreographed play about drugs and their effect of families.

They just seemed like the rest of the Romney family that didn’t fit in the frame at political events.

The whole Brooks not loving Des and Des loving Brooks thing is solid proof of one thing.  It’s solid proof that ANYONE who tells a girl they aren’t sure if they love her will cause her to love him regardless of what he looks like, acts like, his sexual preference, size of his creepy family, etc.  She is in love with not being loved which is called self loathing.  Fear and Self Loathing in Salt Vegas.

Des ended up heading home and cutting the head off of Secretly 50, which revealed fifty rings inside confirming his age.  You know.  Like trees.  You never expect the muppets.

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GUESS WHAT.  Next week is FAHN TAH SEE SWEEETSS!  Or fantasy suites.  Forced sex.  On TV. HUNGER GAMES, BITCH.  I feel spry.  I feel wiry.  Let’s dance, douchebags.

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Hate Mail from a Puig Hater (UPDATED!)

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It’s been so long since I have gotten to do this, I almost feel like I am going back to my roots.  Here’s where I post some hate mail regarding my Puig blog and and then I annotate it in bold.  Let’s play.

Wow. There is such a wealth of ignorance demonstrated in this article, I don’t even know where to start. If I did try, it would take me a good two weeks to completely outline everything that’s wrong here. You speak as a band wagon fan who has never experienced baseball from a player’s perspective, nor has any understanding of baseball history or tradition.
Puig is an amazing talent… who is extremely raw, and extremely immature. He’s young, and he’ll learn, but the criticism coming from current and former players is not unfounded and certainly not out of jealousy… or racism (and wow… I can’t believe you even suggested that)… but rather out of a great respect for their sport, their peers, and their predecessors, and a strong desire to see a raw talent like Puig learn to show similar respect.

Wow. There is such a wealth of ignorance demonstrated in this article, I don’t even know where to start. (But you are going to anyway…)  If I did try, (oh, god, you are going to aren’t you) it would take me a good two weeks (how can you be sure the weeks would be good) to completely outline everything that’s wrong here (okay so two weeks for the outline, how long for the actual response, shouldn’t take long now that you have the outline). You speak as a band wagon fan (20 year fan, 10 year season ticket holder, you missed that part, but in fairness you did say it would take you two weeks to analyze my post.  How long does it take you to wipe?) who has never experienced baseball from a player’s perspective (I played through high school in California), nor has any understanding of baseball history or tradition (should I watch that Ken Burns documentary for the tenth time before I respond to your rarified opinion?).

Puig is an amazing talent… who is extremely raw, and extremely immature (I think you need to wrangle your language.  Extreme immaturity sounds more like wiping your ass on someone’s drapes). He’s young, and he’ll learn, but the criticism coming from current and former players is not unfounded and certainly not out of jealousy (yeah, why would the rest of the league be jealous of a rookie who gets this much attention after a month in the show, that seems far fetched… You were the guy shocked at the end of every Scooby Doo, right?)… or racism (and wow… I can’t believe you even suggested that) (did you listen to the DBacks announcers?  Are you aware of Arizona’s policy on immigrants?  It would take me two weeks to outline… no, it wouldn’t)… but rather out of a great respect for their sport (yes, my little league coaches taught me to throw at a players face and then bitch about a him while our team was getting swept.  It’s called being a sore sport.  Check Kirk Gibson’s quotes on the matter.  He likes what he sees.  So does Mattingly, both more celebrated than Papelbon, Kennedy, Montero, Gonzo or anyone else chirping), their peers, and their predecessors, and a strong desire to see a raw talent like Puig learn to show similar respect.  (Based on the reaction to Puig, the Dodgers ascent up the standings, I think you will need the rest of your two weeks to explain how jealousy sounds less accurate than “a strong desire to see a raw talent like Puig learn to show similar respect.  When I hear Montero talk, it’s not actually constructive.  It’s a warning, but he’s already been hit in the face by the DBacks, so, I guess he can rest easy.).

Look up Montero and Trevor Bauer.  Hell, look up Montero’s history in general.  Look up the reports showing the Gonzo incident was basically a media fabrication.  Puig isn’t good at all with the media, but the rest of baseball is breaking this “baseball code” you  cite but do not understand.  He’s been in a brawl, he’s been thrown at, he’s constantly critiqued… Still hitting near .400.  The league tries to regulate, but if his production is good, the league has to eat it.  Or at least treat him like Bryce Harper who is gets celebrated for “that’s a clown question, bro”, which is textbook PR perfection.  Please.  

Watch Torii Hunter’s response to the exchange of throwing at players in the Tigers/White Sox game yesterday.  The “code” is if you throw at someone, you get thrown at.  Puig has been thrown at, he didn’t back off.  If they want to throw at him again, by all means, but then who’s the bastian of respect and tradition.  What exactly has been Puig’s reaction to Kennedy?  Kennedy hit him in the face and and then talked shit about him.  

Shit, that probably makes your 2 week assignment more like 3 or 4.  Tell you what, I’ll take two weeks to outline what you should outline, and then you can delight my readers with a five paragraph essay on your blog, which to my knowledge does not exist.  We’re stoked.

_________

Homeboy came back.  Here’s another…

It’d be a waste of my time. Frankly, I don’t care if you believe me or not… if you want to verify my point of view, go research it yourself. Do your own thinking. I have no time to argue some guy’s blog post point by point, hence the reason I said it’d take me “two weeks” (intending to convey, too long to bother). Someone forwarded this article to me, I read it, and decided to briefly respond as I found it to be short sighted and poorly presented. That’s all I have to say. Disagree if you please. I couldn’t care less.

It’d be a waste of my time. (But coming back hours later and writing another paragraph isn’t a waste of your time?  Can your time even be wasted?)  Frankly, I don’t care if you believe me or not… (He doth protest too much. When I don’t care, I don’t comment) if you want to verify my point of view, go research it yourself. (I know you don’t know what you are talking about, no research necessary) Do your own thinking. (I did.  I wrote a post on my blog that you are reading and now commenting a second time in one day on.)  I have no time to argue some guy’s blog post point by point (yet, here you are…again), hence the reason I said it’d take me “two weeks” (intending to convey, too long to bother) (Why is it when someone is losing a verbal altercation they start to try using fancy words like “hence” or telling me what you “intended to convey”). Someone forwarded this article to me, I read it, and decided to briefly respond as I found it to be short sighted and poorly presented. (Thank you for your unsolicited opinion that you’ve now given twice in one day, which you clearly do not have time for.)  That’s all I have to say. (Oh, I doubt it.  You’ll be back.  They always come back.  That’s why I still have this blog)  Disagree if you please. I couldn’t care less.  (If you do care less later, tell me about it in your next comment, probably after you scroll up and discover that I’ve written a whole post about how much time you don’t have to keep coming here.)

HAPPY FRIDAY.

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Yasiel Puig and The Hater Army

I think people are having trouble seeing the forest through the trees.

Yasiel Puig, for those living under a rock, is the 22 year old Cuban sensation that has had a beginning to his MLB career so dominating, his measuring stick has been Joe DiMaggio.  The one who got with Marilyn Monroe and did incredible things on the field to the point he is almost founding father-like in the annuls of baseball lore.  He’s baseball George Washington.

It’s been gut-wrenching for me to live in Portland and miss this, my father still has our season tickets and I have not yet seen him play.  I saw the debuts of Clayton Kershaw and Bryce Harper, I’ve seen Mike Trout early on.  There’s not much you miss sitting in those seats that make me homesick more than just about anything else.

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The one thing is that now I watch every game on MLB Extra Innings, affording me the “luxury” of hearing opposing teams broadcasters on many occasions.  While not getting to hear Vin every night hurts, I’ve gotten a unique perspective on Puig’s explosion onto the scene.

This perspective has raised a lot of questions, not about Puig, but about why the league is having such a hard time accepting this phenom.  The All Star Game being the catalyst, the series in Arizona being the scene of the crime.

Puig has transformed this Dodger team.  The most expensive collection of talent ever to don a uniform was awful, listless, less chemistry than oil and water.  They didn’t appear to care.  They couldn’t win three in a row.  Worst of all, they were letting their division clown them, literally beat them into submission.

The Dodgers had played reasonably against other divisions, but the NL West had owned them.  That is, until Puig arrived and suddenly, the NL West has tanked and the Dodgers have surged to .500, 1.5 games back on the Diamondbacks, who they just swept violently on the road with two dominating performances and then a soul-crushing 14 inning “fuck you, from us” homer-induced choke out.

The reason the division started tanking is because the division suddenly had games against the new look Los Puigeles Dodgers.

Puig runs with reckless abandon, he attacks pitches in every possible part of the strike zone and beyond.  He will try to throw you out from anywhere regardless of the likelihood of getting you out.  He will run into walls or into the stands without care of injury and frankly he’ll throw the ball just to show you he can.  He will flip his bat and stare at the other team.  He will pound the ground when a diving attempt comes up just short.  He’ll scream and shout and go all out and the result is that suddenly, so are the rest of the Dodgers.  The most expensive team on the planet is finally playing pissed off baseball.

We knew Bruce Bochy wasn’t picking Puig, even though complimenting him might be the only thing that could mellow the pure venom he’s shown in the rivalry so far.  Puig plays like a fan wants him to play.  The league, the announcers, anyone not wearing blue cannot stand it.

I want to look at why and what the result has been.

the picture of class

the picture of class

This all started for me when Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon decided to rant about how he hadn’t paid his dues or played enough innings yet (despite the fact as a closer, Puig has already played more innings this year than Papelbon).  I couldn’t figure out why this was such a big deal.  I couldn’t figure out why there felt like more venom than when Bryce Harper came up with a punky haircut and the need to flip his helmet off as he ran the bases.  This was an arrogant kid who was embraced.

I tend to want to believe there’s no racist or xenophobic agenda going on because I like to think we live in a world where that shit is on the way out, at least in the mainstream.  John Rocker felt like a long time ago.

Puig is a good teammate.  There’s no way he couldn’t be.  All you have to do is look at the dugout.  Ethier, who often looks like an extra from World War Z out there, is high fiving guys before the game and diving on Puig as the both come around to score.  Kemp is pounding the outfield wall on a catch.  Hanley is somehow now a cheerleader and hitting the ball better than he ever has in his career, frankly, better than even the mighty Puig.

here an "aloof" and "standoffish" Puig signs tons of autographs for people who love him

here an “aloof” and “standoffish” Puig signs tons of autographs for people who love him

So why is he arrogant?  Because he won’t talk to the media?  If you lived in a country with so few freedoms and then probably almost died illegally trying to get away from that country, would you want to talk about that experience?  Or would you play your ass off to ensure you never have to look back?  If you were already guaranteed 42 million dollars, would you play your ass off like Puig?  Probably not.  It’s Clemente-like.  I’m fine with him tossing his glove missing a catch.  I’m thrilled he cares that much.  We’ve tried to give Pete Rose a million chances to get back in the game’s good graces, but two months in Puig is “an enemy” as Bill Plaschke suggested was his new persona around the league.  This country is about hustle and wanting to win.  As a graduate of what I think is a damn fine film school, you may recognize the league’s reaction as what people did to Rudy because he hustled to much and made everyone look bad.  That scene is in every movie where someone who came from adversity showed up and decided he was going to burn bright until there was nothing left in the tank.

Maybe the league is angry that when the Dodgers signed Puig, people said he was a ridiculous gamble and now every scout has to answer to why they didn’t demand their GM break the bank to bring this guy in, a guy so fascinating he’s compared to Bo Jackson, being courted by Roc Nation Sports (Kevin Durant’s reps owned by Jay Z) and breaking records left and right?  Why didn’t you find the kind of guy that can get a team that was so far under .500 their highlights barely made Sportscenter to the “it” subject in the sports world?

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Maybe the division is pissed that suddenly the novelty of beating up on the pricey team is being met with the reality they the pricey team may have cost a lot for a reason.  Maybe they are pissed that the Dodgers signed Ricky Nolasco (whom they were all in on) and even he caught the bug pitching an incredible first start.  The Dodgers are somehow baseball zombies.  They were dead and reanimated.  Puig was the mad scientist behind it infecting them all with his all-out, balls-out hustle.  Maybe the division is mad that the adjustments haven’t really worked.  He cooled off a couple weeks in hitting only .308.

Puig is going to free swing, but pitchers make mistakes.  They leave pitches hanging.  Usually 2 to 3 times a game, Puig hits those mistakes and runs like crazy until he scores or goes out in a blaze of glory.  Speed doesn’t slump often either.

You see, Puig doesn’t have an at-bat.  He’s up there to hit the fucking ball as hard as he can.  He walked twice the other night (as the DBack’s announcers joked was impossible) not because he developed an eye, but because Ian Kennedy (who called Puig arrogant) was so scared of making a mistake, he was throwing the ball two feel outside the strike zone.  His one pitch in there, Puig took a vicious cut.  For Kennedy, it must have felt like a shark snapping at your hand as you put it near the tank.  Puig flipped his bat and snarled after the walk.  He wasn’t up there to bat.  He was up there to hit.

puig getting hit in the face by ian kennedy

puig getting hit in the face by ian kennedy

About that series in Arizona…

There’s a weird grey area that borders between racism and distastefulness that I experienced listening to Steve Berthiume and Bob Brenly called a game the other night.  Beyond being homers, they were angry.  You see their stadium mostly empty despite being in first, hosting the second place team with a phenom coming to town and you see the commercials promoting a bus that will take people from Tucson to Phoenix to see a game.  You understand that they want to be homers to increase the pride.

But I know that Kevin Towers is no genius and I know Josh Rawitch didn’t block many of Frank McCourt’s AWFUL comments or ideas in Los Angeles (like the one where they were giving free tickets to veterans but charging them for parking).  So when something rubbed me wrong about the broadcast, I knew there might be some truth to it.

They might have been cranky after proclaiming the DBacks’ defense was why they were superior to the Dodgers so far and then watch Jason Kubel and Adam Eaton drop every ball hit to them in ugly 6-1 losses.  Was Jason Kubel playing like a “little leaguer”?  No.  But Puig’s frustration after missing a diving catch was rewarded with brilliance like “that’s little league right there” and “he better watch himself or he’ll get a bad rep”.  Those are approximations, not quotes.

San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers

What was a quote, was when they were talking about Puig being “raw”, which is fine and dandy, but the pile on got to the point of saying he “didn’t possess good baseball instincts” which for me is just short of saying he has a low baseball IQ.  They didn’t leave it at he is prone to bad baserunning.  They left it at “he didn’t possess good baseball instincts”.

Hitting .400 for over a month in the majors requires reasonably good instincts of when to swing and where to swing.  Frankly, maybe his instinct is to go all out and out work everyone, to out-care everyone.  Maybe that’s not baseball IQ, but it’s definitely winner-IQ.

luisgonzalez1220

And then there’s the Luis Gonzalez debacle that’s causing would-be sportswriters to pen crap LIKE THIS about the “incident”.  Supposedly, Luis Gonzalez wanted to talk about how he was Cuban and amazing at baseball.  Despite many on-field reporters tweeting that Puig shook his hand and was polite when McGuire showed up, the story is that Puig disrespected him.

One, maybe he didn’t want to talk to a guy who roided and randomly hit 50+ homers once.  Maybe he didn’t care about Gonzalez hitting a winner to beat the Yankees.  Probably because in Cuba he didn’t see the game and was like 5 years old when it happened.  He’s not Babe Ruth.  I’m sure he wouldn’t know Craig Counsell either.

Truth is, maybe he didn’t want to talk to a guy claiming Cuba Libre who was born in Tampa Bay fucking Florida.  Maybe he didn’t feel the need to do more than shake the hand of a guy famous for playing a game he never saw on a team he hates for hitting him in the face with a fastball before a game where his team was trying to gain in the pennant race.

Since when does Puig need to give a fuck about Luis Gonzalez?  It wasn’t Obama out there.  It wasn’t a wounded veteran.  It was Luis Gonzalez and a hand shake was all he needed.  Jeff Kent didn’t want to be friends either and we all dealt with it.

He seemed to be fine respecting an actual legend who actually played for his team and probably wasn’t trying to relate to him on the basis of being Cuban when their “Cuban” experiences could not have been more different.

ATLANTA BRAVES VS LOS ANGELES DODGERS

 

Puig looks really truculent there.  Face smack…

montero-puig-getty2

Miguel Montero, the DBacks’ catcher who Puig wanted to decapitate at home plate said this in an interview recently:  “He’s creating a bad reputation around the league, and it’s unfortunate because the talent that he has is to be one of the greatest players in the big leagues. Right now, I’m not going to say he’s the best because he hasn’t proved anything yet. Does he have talent? Of course. Does he have the tools? Of course. He’s got so much talent, it’d be really bad if he wasted it doing the stupid things that he’s doing. You have to respect to earn respect. If you don’t respect anybody, you aren’t going to earn respect.”

Actually, the league is creating the bad reputation and it’s because they are tired of being asked about Puig.  It’s that Rudy scene again.  When you get swept at home and the walls are coming in and your post game interview is about “is the guy who tried to run you over the best in the world”, you get testy.

Puig is in the league’s head and they don’t like it.  The announcers don’t like it.  Puig doesn’t care, he’s thinking of turning your head into a bungalow and sticking around.  After the Giants got leapfrogged by the Dodgers in an away series, I had a friend teasingly brag that Puig had a golden sombrero.  Yup.  And then scored the winning run the next night and the Giants are now in the cellar.  The effect is enormous.  He is in everyone’s head like Scott Stevens on the NJ Devils used to be.  You’d give up a goal because you were half thinking about him taking your head off.

Michael Jordan was a prick who got in people’s heads.  Kobe.  Hell, people wanted to crucify LeBron for NOT being like this.

Brenly and Berthiume were so busy thinking about Puig and coming dangerously close to describing him as some wild animal and the Diamondbacks were so busy thinking about how “he’s not that good” that they got swept, forgetting how to hit and field, but not how to complain about Puig.

Puig lost the final vote for the All Star Game and I’m happy about it.  I prefer he stays angry and plays aggressive.  So far, all the hating seems to be working out.  Somehow criticism from THIS GUY doesn’t seem like a hardship compared to his journey to the big leagues.  Somehow, I think he’s more in your head than you are in his head.

And Bob Brenly…  Maybe Puig was staring down Ian Kennedy because not long ago he hit him in the face with a fastball.  And maybe he’s rubbing you the wrong way because his reaction was to march his team into Chase Field and take three back.

But here’s the final test.  Your team just traded for Puig.  You excited?

We are too.  Cue the hate commenting…  I’m good with it.  It’s the closest I’ll come to feeling like Puig.

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BachCap Week 7

Mercifully, we’re getting into the episodes that are hard to ruin.  The “meet the family” dates tend to always be amazing because if you are the kind of person who has a family (i.e., not Tarzan, although his jungle family still counts and they clearly raised him with love), then you know families on their own are some of television’s best bed-shitters.

That has nothing to do with this week’s version of “for the right reasons” where the Bargain Bach got to tour the most geographically convenient island to Barcelona to save production costs.  I mean, we could have gone to Ibiza, but not only would it be too cool and expensive, a 5am Tiesto set and a few tabs of E might be enough to send Team Smedium into the grinding, make-out session usually reserved for the off camera people left behind during one on one dates.

So, we’re at Madeira Island, which ABC felt we were too dumb to absorb “Isla Madeira” or anything else that made this feel more like a vacation as less like “the only place that would have them”.  Madeira, of course, is famous for Madeira wine, which of course, is famous for being used as a buzz world in Olive Garden or Carrabba’s commercials.  Try the new mezzaluna medeira ravioli and bring a gallon of it home for 9.95 and free breadsticks and diabetes.

Valorie Kilmer said some line about being built for love and the homoeroticism began early.  Now that we’re paired down to 4.5 guys that don’t like girls, we see the ponzi Des has gotten herself into.  This is sad because I kind of think she’s a cool girl in the end of the day.  A cool girl who requested gay best friends and steroid users as her two types of potential suitors.  Huge victory for gay best friends so far.

Catherine Giudici

We get treated to some former contestants coming back like they do every year.  There was last seasons winner (read, loser) Catherine Goodoodoochi who talked about her boobs like they were special or something, there was Leslie (Pretty Little Liar) who proved her political career went to shit as predicted and had nothing better to do than fly across the Atlantic for this cameo and Jackie Parr, who I was just glad to see was still alive because I totally forgot she existed until she was sitting there in a bathing suit she probably spent five weeks deciding on.

The girls all stared at the guys with binoculars from like eight feet away and were judging their body parts.  They asked why Lady Tom Brady was wearing a tank top and frankly, he’s too dumb to know if he was wearing one or not, so I found the question null and void.  Catherine asked about who Des thought had the [bleeped out] which I took to mean “biggest penis”, to which she said Middle School Dancer, and she’d know because if middle school dancing was about one thing, it was pressing your weapon into your dance partner partly out of fear of your whole middle school seeing you dance with a boner and partly out of fear that your whole middle school class knew you were the kind of person who gets a boner dancing to “forever young”.

Side note, all the girls were swilling this bright yellow dehydrated urine martini and that was about right because this show is just taking a piss.  It was a metaphor not lost on me, the man shackled to my TV and laptop.

Des doesn’t know how to have girl talk, probably because her brother scared them all away growing up. In tents or whatever her story is.

First date is with Lady Tom Brady who confirmed his heterosexuality in a big way by telling us that “he’d forgotten how to be on a one-on-one date with Des”, likely because he’s been used to group dates with Team Smedium, his warm security blanket.

BROOKS, DESIREE HARTSOCK

AND SPEAKING OF BLANKETS, Lady Tom Brady brought one with him on the world’s most boring Smart Car (way to spring for the Jeep, ABC) tour of Madeira.  They climbed up to cliff and looked over because the Bargain Bach was not getting the crew required to rappel off it or dive off it or do anything besides just fucking look at it.

Then they went to have a picnic in the clouds and said “cloud nine” about ten times.  A friend watching with me asked the question of who even says cloud nine anymore as a phrase?  Are grandmas producing this show?  “Hey Des, you’re the bee’s knees!”

Lady Tom Brady found a new way to hold a wine glass that was inspired by Incan glass blowers and the time you first discover how to masturbate.  So, I have some new shit to talk about in therapy now.  My wife just closed the browser.

Lady Tom Brady basically slow rolls her and kind of says he’s behind in the love race in his own “I just mixed Zanax with Chardonnay” sort of way.  Then he explains his sexuality in the guise of explaining their cloudy location by saying “you’re not quite above the clouds completely but you’re not below them, you’re just in them”.  This is his way of telling Des he’s bisexual.  I’m sure of it.  I would pay big money for him to sing “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman”.  Now I know who that was written for.

OB-YC721_bachel_E_20130708171227

Back at the hotel, Middle School Dancer gets the next one-on-one and dropped his male status in half by being the first person ever to “sniff” the fucking date card which was written by one of the grandmas writing the show.  Did it smell like witch hazel, Chris?  Tool.  AND HE’S STILL THE ONLY LOGICAL CHOICE.

For the night date, Brooks wears chambray because it rhymes with his sexual orientation which he’s been trying so hard all day to tell her about.  I feel like he wants her to meet his family so they can tell her for him.

My wife made a good point.  Bachelorettes, Des included, always make it out like the meeting of families is somehow a mutual decision.  Bachelors are like “yeah, I’m gonna meet these freaks and see if it makes you less hot”.  Lady Tom Brady tells her he’s behind where Des is emotionally, which naturally triggers her hormones into Defcon One:  ignoring all reason and forcing him to love her.

Middle School Dancer’s date starts on a boat and he gives her the least sexy sunscreen rubdown of all time.  He asks if she needs some and she’s like “on my back”, just to clear up any thought viewers at home had that Des wanted him to massage her boobs on national television. Face smack.  “Yeah, on my back?”  Seriously?  NO SHIT ON YOUR BACK.  “Yeah, on my upper thigh and blindfold me.”

The-Bachelorette_320x240

Middle School Dancer has gone full-emo at this point.  He’s saying he can feel “all her emotions” in her kisses.  Then they make it like they are going to go through this cool hole in an island like on other seasons.  BARGAIN BACHED.  Nope.  They are going to sit “shore-adjacent” and Chris is going to force her to write a poem and put it in a bottle, which he throws into the ocean like fifth grade softball player.

He says writing the poem together was so natural.  No it wasn’t.  For anyone ever on earth in time and space.  Read the room, fucko.

Then, the awkward quotient goes up when Chris tells her he loves her… WITH A POEM.  Didn’t see that coming.  Way to name it “Individually Defined”.  You are supposed to tell people you love them drunk.  Not with a poem.  Be American.

Final one-on-one is with Medusa and they walk around town eating phallic shaped food.  They ride a straw toboggan down a street and that is the closest to adventure they are going to fucking give us.

At dinner, Medusa rocks the Zack Morris bright shirt/blazer combo and talks about his (SURPRISE) daddy issues.  Then he says he was cheated on and discovered it on Facebook when he saw a picture of his girlfriend on top of a mountain with a dude in Vail.

Really?  You didn’t see her getting all her ski shit when YOU WERE LIVING WITH HER?  You didn’t notice when she got home and hung out her wet snow clothes?  Did she get you to believe she was going on an Arctic fact-finding mission about global warning?  Look, we all can get cheated on, usually just by some asshole willing to go the extra mile to act like a slut/manwhore/whatever.  It’s another thing to live in denial.  But, that’s nothing new for any Team Smedium member.

Off to more street musicians ABC didn’t have to pay for.  I’m over this date.

Final two on Juan is with Valerie Kilmer and Secretly 50 (who is listed at 31 years old but I think they mean the year he was born).  They go Go-Kart racing, which is a lot less expensive than racing real cars like on the last two seasons with Emily and Arie.

This really felt like Valerie Kilmer was on a date with Secretly 50 and they brought Des along to make sure the chemistry was there.  The whole date was an innuendo.  Des at one point said “how about you two go at it” and they were like “YES!!!” which was funny, but I was hoping for “again, I’m still tired from earlier”.  Oh well.

bal-bachelorette-20130709

Oh yeah, Valerie Kilmer said he was falling for her.  Two dudes in love with her BEFORE hometowns and this show is still so boring.

This date is super boring and it ended right when I decided how I was going to kill myself.  She picked Valerie Kilmer for the safety rose leaving Secretly 50 (brought to you by Crest Whitening Strips) to wonder what was next.

Rose Ceremony was boring also.  Middle School Dancer is addicted to collar popping.  It’s only second to his addiction to unwanted poem writing, but more of an addiction than sniffing letters.

We did get Chris Harrison asking heartfelt questions of Des in a windswept, lantern-lit veranda, which made me wish Chris Harrison asked me heartfelt questions in a windswept, lantern-lit veranda.  Pass the dutchie, bud.

We got to see Des relying on the framed photos of Smedium as if she didn’t remember the five still left.  Then, into the killing room to tell one of these guys she doesn’t want to meet their family.

Medusa is finally beheaded and he takes it well, the manner expected of a man who doesn’t want to date a woman.  He almost seemed relieved, but he pulled the wise move of saying it will be hard to date after her, a prerequisite to being the Bachelor…  AND WHAT WOULD HIS SEASON BE LIKE!?!?!

All was well though in the outtakes where Medusa said one fruit looked like a corn on the cob had blown its nose in it.

I’ll leave you with that.

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