The Crews Line

Constantly trying to not try

One of the implicit interest of reality TV is within the title itself, it has to be real. Despite the best attempts of the networks, that churn reality shows out with a frequency that would make a third world uterus feel lazy, to hide the extent to which they marginalize this interest most viewers are still smart enough to realize the very reality they crave  is one of the least important factors in their favorite series. Whether we’re watching Americans aiming to be idolized or the wacky exploits of tow truck operators a certain element of drama is required to pass the program off as entertainment. Without the intervention of heightened drama we would watch chainsaw juggling porn stars spend most of their day watching pregnant teen taxidermist watching themselves watching the former. Luckily for all of the parties involved the programmers have discovered a cure of the tedium of reality with a two pronged approach. First, they either invent a premise or find a profession so fraught with intrigue that interest is sustained from title alone. Secondly, they scour the Earth for the most brash group of assholes with just enough sentience to crave fame without any of that pesky notion of shame. Case in point: Big Brother. CBS’ import hit from across the pond has a deceptively clever title playing off the surveillance state in George Orwell’s 1984, but that’s about as much intellectualism you’ll find in the television’s favorite version of house arrest.



Sorry, Charlie.

I have a very close friend, whose opinion I greatly respect, that has frequently encouraged me to drop my bias, and presumably I.Q, by indulging in the docu-farce. I normally decline, but given the events of this recent season I may reconsider my stance.


A few years ago CBS upped the ante and decided that you weren’t getting enough voyeurism for your buck, and extended the viewing hours of the show infinitely via the endlessly running internet live stream. In one move BB essentially expanded the premise to its logical conclusion while making George Orwell roll in his grave from both disgust and convulsive laughter. I can’t even fathom how much of a massive loser you have to be to A.) not only have the free time to partake in watching the purest version of pseudo-celebrities literally piss away your time and B.) to even be excited by the prospect. Well, apparently one of the million monkey’s behind their million’s of laptops just watched Big Brother’s version of King Lear, which is pretty bigoted. Long story short a few of the detestable dimwits handpicked for their “plot” driving ignorance said something ignorant during an internet live stream. According to the almighty TMZ the outrage stems from the fact that some of the contestants made a few racist/homophobic comments. However that’s not the part I find interesting. If we’re going to be honest Aaryan, a cute blonde with the a mouth and opinions reflecting the brotherhood of her namesake, didn’t say anything one wouldn’t say to a close Asian or Black friend. It’s not like she was saying “Niggers and Chinks are the blight of the white man’s world.” That would be racist. She just said a few off color, no pun intended, bigoted remarks that ultimately show how gloriously uniformed she is. The punishment is inherent in the crime. So who gives a shit? A lot of people as it turns out.

 

BB received ass loads of pressure to either remove the contestant or acknowledge her bigotry. Realizing that controversy sells CBS went with a half hearted attempt at the latter issuing a disapproving statement saying “Big Brother is a reality show about watching a group of people who have no privacy 24/7 — and seeing every moment of their lives. At times, the Houseguests reveal prejudices and other beliefs that we do not condone.” I never thought it was possible to read a shoulder shrug. But shrugged shoulders and quizzical expressions weren’t enough for Big Brother faithful. The public demanded that CBS show some level of fallout due to the comments. In first episode post online bigotry CBS didn’t even address it and Big Brother fans lost their shit.

Now you have my attention. I, for one,think this is an awesome moment in reality TV history. Americans flock to their TV’s to in hopes of some semblance of reality, and once they receive it they crave even more. Part of me was afraid that America would collectively whistle while looking the other way when the next installment of Big Brother ignored the issue. Imagined how surprised I was when the country linked hands and said “No, dammint! We want our bigotry, because it’s real!”

"If we’re lucky she’ll say Jiggaboo. I haven’t heard that one in a while."


This moment creates a curious future for reality TV. Part of the reason reality TV is so doctored is to avoid moments like this that could potentially cause the networks to lose sponsors and subsequently their lifeblood;money. However we as a nation decided we wanted our reality warts and all. This whole scenario makes me wonder; how much reality becomes too much reality? I’m excited by the prospect of turning on an episode of swamp people and having them hurl nigger out of their mouths as indiscriminately as their teeth. We watch these shows to see other walks of life, and sometimes those walks lead into a nazi hate rally. By virtue of the fact that we deem these opinions so controversial is what makes them all the more compelling because it indicates a lack of exposure on both sides of the TV. We’re left with a question that only time will answer. Will other networks capitalize on this aim for reality TV with the asymmetrical morality we know all too well? How much reality is too much? When will this stupid reality TV bubble burst so we can stop pretending that OUR reality doesn’t exist?

Dyler Crews: This has been your captain speaking.

It’s a convention so common in action movies that it really should go without mention, in attempt to avoid overuse in the future, but allow me to join that majority of hacks responsible for its proliferation. In most action franchise, usually a third or fourth sequel as the plot becomes fucking meth whore thin, the hero and the villain join forces to vanquish an even greater foe.


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In this instance I’m the wife beater wearing hero, with glass shards for socks, and weirdly enough Adam Levine is my Hans Gruber. What?! What do you mean “who”? Hans Gruber! He was the bad guy in the first Die hard?! …..nothing?  *sigh* I hate this country.


See, I can get away with it. Adam Levine cannot. Mostly because I have no readers, but I digress. In a recent airing of The Voice, or American Idol: Electric Boogaloo, Adam Levine was caught expressing an intelligent thought. Hphm.


Dyler Crews: This has been…wait, there’s more?


Adam was caught saying “I hate this country” on air, and Americans responded like any other sufferer of advance Stockholm Syndrome. They proceeded to burn the witch, via Twitter of course. Man, this generation has no fucking sack.


Americans quickly took to Twitter and told Adam exactly how they felt about his comment with all the fury a flimsy American education can express succinctly in 140 characters.

When I caught wind of this I too was outraged, but not at the ‘unpatriotic’ leaning of an American, *retch* umm…excuse me, …an American, *retch*…sorry, *sigh* of an American “treasure”. I’m outraged that America is still so amazingly brainwashed that a kernel of truth, peppered in jest with acerbic tasting salt, would cause Americans to still flip their shit, defending the very same country that tries to shaft them more than Catholic priest in a playplace. I’m shocked that despite America’s rights reducingwarmongeringcorporate lobbyingchild murdering, ways are still met with a chorus of cheers from the same people being abused by its callous behavior. No wonder America was so quick to forgive Chris Brown. It’s in apparently in our nature. The grand irony of it all, and I love grand irony, is that America’s apathetic stance on talent that irked Adam enough to utter his now infamous quote is the same reason he has an entertainment career in the first place. Funny shit.    


Dyler Crews: This has been your captain speaking.

Captain’s Log: Spin Cycle

 Upon hearing the word femininity one is immediately greeted with a dainty daydream of dimpled damsels frolicking under a sun struggling to match their radiance.  Or, if you’re a fan of the hip-hops replace frolic with twerking and sun with a neon tinted mirror ceiling. Whichever, man. It’s your imagination.  I just want us all to be on the same sticky page of titillating imagery.  Got it? Awesome. Now let’s think about masculinity.  Hip-hop aficionado or not odds are your mental picture just got way more butch than its sun-dancing companion.  The logic being that the idea of force is virtually inseparable to masculinity.  Even if that force isn’t always physical.  Case in point: seduction. The key to any seduction, the busty bastard child of manipulation, is the subtlety of allowing the subject to believe the thought of courtship was their idea. This causes the victims to force themselves upon you. Although initially a female invention over the years men have learned to adopt this skill, and if Chael Sonnen and Reese Witherspoon are any example men have the game locked.

For those of you averse to violent combat sports (a.k.a awesomeness incarnate) Chael Sonnen is a UFC fighter with a polarizing personality akin to Ali in his prime. Reese Witherspoon on the other hand is an actress who should give out insulin shots at her movies, as she is so sweet. Over the past week both stars suffered big losses leaving stains on their public image.  Stains equivalent to the carpet of an alcoholic animal hoarder. Chael, after taunting his less loquacious rival, light heavy weight champion Jon Jones, for months, lost decisively in the first round of a title fight. The loss put another unwelcome blemish in Sonnen’s 27-13 record, pretty much diminishing his credibility as a competitor and making retirement all the more imminent.  Oh, yeah, and it made him seem like a laughing stock thanks to promos like this.

And this.

Reese’s equally embarrassing loss was to an Atlanta city police officer that arrested her husband, and subsequently her as well, on DUI and disorderly conduct charges respectively, after she verbally berated the cop on camera. If that doesn’t sound bad enough let me point out that Reese tried to flash her “celebrity card” to evade arrest. Yeah, apparently she’s one of those.  Both stories reek of entitlement, explaining why they appear so damaging. Sonnen felt entitled to a title he clearly didn’t deserve, and Reese thought she was entitled to preferential treatment that no one should deserve. Enter the P.R. clean up.

Realizing his UFC days are numbered Sonnen decided to cozy himself up to the home of retired MMA fighters known as the WWE. How did he do this? Oh, he just claimed he wanted to buy the company. Nothing major. For as long as he’s painted himself as a trash talking rebel Sonnen has been compared to a WWE wrestler. So much so that former WWE Champion, and all around badass, CM Punk has become his good friend. In WWE Chael’s overtop antics would be par for the course, and this outlandish attempt of a corporate takeover is no exception.

How did Reese attempt to salvage her image? She was just caught rocking an Atlanta police department hat.

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Really? Like, seriously?

One look at that picture and it’s blatantly clear that Reese has the subtlety of a hooker standing under her own billboard. Why does Chael’s P.R. move seem so much organic whereas Reese’s seems so fraudulent? Part of it comes down to their personas. Chael comports himself as a cackling bad guy so claiming he’s going to buy WWE seems comically in sync with his character. Reese, regarded as the jubilant southern belle, however appears to pandering all the way out to the cheap seats with a “please forgive me,” gesture that even Chris Brown would find loathsome. In a moment of passion Reese ditched her gimmick in favor of an authentic display of emotion. When she was called out on disproportionate demeanor she reverted to her character that now seems all the more disingenuous due to lack of subtlety.  Chael didn’t say, “ I wanna work for WWE someday, because I’m sure even less people take me seriously since my loss last weekend”. He merely expressed interest. When his time in the UFC’s octagon comes to a close WWE, and UFC fans, could remember the gesture and forgive his grandstanding by reward him favorably with employment.  Apparently Reese can learn a thing or two about the feminine approach from a UFC fighter. 

Dyler Crews: This has been your captain speaking

Catch of the day: I present to you Macee Legree.

Captain’s Log: Nonfiction 

I’ve been mulling over authenticity a lot lately, if you couldn’t already tell by the somewhat pretentious headline of this very blog, and it’s impact on reality. Forget good and evil I think the battle that’s waged for humanity’s spirit is between truth and illusion, and in a world where bank accounts with filled with imaginary currency and plastic tits are lures of attraction I would say illusion is winning. Although a healthy dose of fiction is important. If it wasn’t I wouldn’t have much use for my art, let alone the thoughts that inspire it. But why do we feel the overwhelming desire to march towards the insubstantial in our search for sustenance? Or, to pose this question in a more relevant manner; why am I just now finding out about The Dynamite Kid?

Wrestlemania is the annual report card of the WWE and even though the results aren’t in until next Sunday I’m beginning to feel the general unease of a parent with a stupid kid. If this is what a year of build up has amounted to I’m not impressed. With a bloated Wrestlemania card rapidly approaching, filled with several unimportant matches and equally defined talent, the grandest stage of them all feels like an ironic tagline to court hipsters. Barring Punk, Bryan, and Jericho’s matches, I’m not really feeling the Mania magic this year. Which is sad, because the post WM Raw will mark a full year that I’ve returned to watching wrestling. At that time it seemed like the WWE was finally starting to gain some substance or, to keep up with the running theme, truth. In some ways the past year was substantial enough to sustain a steady diet of the always non-nutritious “Sports Entertainment”, much like getting a few shreds of lettuce on a Mcdonalds burger, but ultimately prolong consumption was pretty sickening. As my hunger for watching men fake fight in their underwear grew to insatiable degrees I began consuming more healthy alternatives in ROH and PWG. But much like any clean diet healthy options require more work. Whereas WWE runs a convenient 24 hours serving gluttons reheated story lines and the much loathed pink slime.

Normally I have an inclination towards distaste for retro wrestling. I’m fond of a few characters and personalities of the era, but generally I find the matches to be slow. In my mind the older years of wrestling needed something explosive to sway my allegiance to the present. In response to my prejudice the universe decided to acquaint me with the Dynamite Kid. I’m still in the process of familiarizing myself with this amazing talent, but thus far all I can say is HOLYFUCKINGSHIT! This guy was amazing. Sadly the man with one of the most compelling move sets I have ever bore witness to now finds himself confined to a wheelchair. Which helps me now understand our desire for illusion. Truth is real, and reality, much like the Dynamite Kid’s frame, withers and folds. While fiction, having never been real in the first place, suffers no ill effects. Kinda like how fake tits retain their perk while real ones droop like the happiness of their owner. We love reality so much that we hate to watch it eventually atrophy, so in response we seek falsity to avoid the loss of something great. Having said that let me go preorder Wrestlemania…*sigh*

 Dyler Crews: This has been your captain speaking.

Captain’s Log: I could never…

In the aptly titled Final Problem the famed detective Sherlock Holmes grappled with his rival Moriarty in a climactic battle culminating with the presumed death of the protagonist. In response to the shocking plot twist citizens of London, who believed the character real due in large part to his stories being initially printed in newspapers, wore black armbands to commemorate the passing of their beloved detective. The city became so distraught the fucking royal family had to issue a statement assuring them that Sherlock Holmes was a fictional character. Luckily for the fans of the great detective  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle listened to their outcry and brought Holmes back in the Hounds of the Baskervilles nine years later. Simply put if Kickstarter had existed 120 years ago fans might’ve only had to wait six years.

Much like her deerstalker wearing predecessor Veronica Mars also faced an untimely demise while battling with her arch nemesis; Dawn Ostroff, former president of CW entertainment. However Veronica’s future was far more uncertain than that of Holmes. Even before news of cancellation officially hit fans rallied to resuscitate the ailing series, but to no avail. Veronica Mars was cancelled, unceremoniously, much to the chagrin of “Marshmallows” worldwide. Fans continued their fight but began to lose morale with every passing year. The final nail in the coffin was VMars star Kristen Bell, who was among one of the show’s strongest supporters, achieving mainstream success. Fans, much like Watson, waited on baited breath for the return of their favorite detective.

Let March 13 2013 be known as the return of Veronica Mars. Within four hours of the launch of a Kickstarter page with a $2 million goal VMars fans donated over a million( $ 1,975,140 at the time of this writing). I gotta be honest I literally pulled a Daniel Bryan upon discovering this story. It seems like cheating death is a common trait among detectives.

Dyler Crews: This has been your Captain speaking.