Saturday, March 10, 2007

A Couple Of Things

A couple of things that have been on my mind:

-Have you seen the preview for the movie "Reign Over Me" with Adam Sandler? Is it just me or does he look a lot like Bob Dylan with his hair grown out? They both have the Jew-fro going on. I know they're already coming out with a Dylan biopic where Adrien Brody, Colin Farrell, Richard Gere, Julianne Moore and Cate Blanchett all play him at different times of his life (I know, what the fuck?), but they should consider Sandler for the next one. They might want to have someone else sing the songs though, I can't imagine that singing "Masters Of War" à la "The Chanukah Song" would sound very good.

-James Brown's body was finally placed in a crypt at one of his daughter's home in Beech Island, South Carolina today, a mere two months after his death. Where the hell has he been kept all this time, anyway?! How do you think his body is holding up by now? I hope embalming technology can keep up with the demands of feuding family members. And if you thought that it took long enough to get this man buried, just wait. He's just being placed there temporarily while a public mausoleum is being built at an undisclosed location. I hope the Godfather of Soul is laughing at all of this from somewhere because it sure looks like a great big farce to me.

-Have I mentioned how good the new Arcade Fire album, Neon Bible, is? Yes? Well, it is.

-Now, for the record, I want to commit my disdain for the whole "Secret" phenomenon to print. The people I work with already know and share my pain, but for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, allow me to explain.

The "Secret" is the brainchild of Rhonda Byrne, an Australian television producer who worked on several reality tv shows. Basically it started out as a self help dvd (it has since been turned into a book, another dvd, and any other thing that you can think of that can be sold for money). It claims that the secret of happiness is unlocked through the laws of attraction (if you think positively then positive things befall you, if you think negatively, well. . .you know). It also claims that all of history's great minds lived by and shared this "secret". The book, which I flipped through to see what all the fuss was about, is merely a collection of inspirational quotes and shallow interpretations of them by "living masters of the Secret". Yes, so basically it's the same bunch of new-age bullshit that has been repackaged and remarketed once again. Big on promises, short on substance. It's just lowest common denominator marketing up to its old tricks.

The thing is, people are buying it up like crazy. For months people asked about the dvd at work (it was only available on the Secret's website for a while). We would get questioned about it every day. When it finally came out in stores we couldn't keep it in stock. Oprah, the almighty goddess of commerce, did two shows about it in the span of two weeks. And then we really couldn't keep it in stock. I now know that nothing works better at separating idiots from their money than Oprah.

Housewives everywhere now had a key to happiness, and it was waiting for them at their neighborhood dvd store. Every time we had a new shipment come in they would already all be reserved for customers. Every third person that called the store was wondering if we had it in stock. People were driving all over town seeking a stray copy (and driving around town in Atlanta traffic can take hours and copious amounts of patience). I've never seen such a thing firsthand. I mean, you hear about people coming to blows over Tickle-Me Elmo dolls before Christmas but it always seems like it's happening somewhere else –like in New York or someplace where far too many people live in a far too small space– surely not in your town. But it is happening all over. The book and the dvd have sold well over a million respectively.

And this thing ain't cheap. We sold them for $30 the first week they came out and they're currently sitting at $34.99. But people don't care. I mean, it's the secret to happiness, what's a few bucks compared to eternal happiness? And plus Oprah said to buy it (I wonder if she gets kickbacks because she definitely should). Why can't she ever promote good things on her show? She's got all this influence and all we get out of it is fucking Il Divo and the "Secret" and Dr Phil? Way to go Oprah, those are great contributions to society. I can't wait for her to run for president.

I know I shouldn't be surprised at people's ignorance anymore, but goddamit if it doesn't happen every time. I just want to slap some sense into every person that comes in asking about it. I mean, is it wrong for me to want these people to die? Wouldn't we all be better off for it? And that's not a rhetorical question, wouldn't we?!? Can't we somehow convince all these people to kill themselves (and perhaps take all the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses and rednecks with them)?

Maybe if we got Oprah involved……

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