This is Epth Nation

Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

My Stupid Sweet Sixteen, Vol. 2, Ep. 1 -- Sophie the Hun

In many ways my tireless obsession with tearing down the subjects of the MTV suck-fest My Super Sweet Sixteen is completely unfair. As scientists have proven, the teenage girl is always the stupidest form of human in any culture. It's an anthropological rule. Add this to the fact that these skanks have MTV cameras following them around, and of course you're going to get behavior that reflects their belief that they are the only ones that matter. You don't see MTV cameras following those other girls around, do you? No. That makes these subjects important, at least in their own little minds. But let's face it -- a well-adjusted teenage girl is about as rare as a black Mormon. And a humble affluent teenage girl is about as rare as...well, pick something rarer than a black Mormon.

In addition to being shooting-fish-in-a-barrel unfair, I think these recaps are also pointless. What do I expect? That someone like this week's subject, Sophie, is going to read my recap, see the error of their ways, and change? That they or someone like them will feel actual shame and then repent? There's no chance -- they're way too far gone for that. Or are they? They are.

But if I can turn just one myopic teenage beast-girl from the error of her ways, it was all worth it. Actually, it's worth it anyway, or you wouldn't be reading this. So without further disclaimer...

My Super Sweet Sixteen VII -- Sophie the Hun Strikes Everyone

I didn't really know what to make of Sophie. She's the kind of character a real TV show would never create because she's so unbelievable. A collection of seemingly endless oxymorons, she's:
a fat cheerleader; a black jew; a well-liked dictator; a well-spoken idiot. Also, she was clearly virgin-birthed, because daddy is nowhere to be found. That would explain her oft-spoken belief that the world revolves around her. Daddy is represented in this episode by his money, which must be what pays for the party since mommy is a Veterinarian. But this is all pure speculation, on one of many questions MTV never gives us the answer to. Maybe if they did, Sophie wouldn't be such an enigma.

I taped the episode via ancient VHS. I mean, VHS might as well be Beta at this point, right? Anyway, I missed the first moments. My tape started just as Sophie said, "A lot of people don't like me because I'm a b____, but a lot of people want to be me because I'm blessed." It's quite a striking statement, isn't it? I don't think I've ever heard "You're just jealous" put in such an elaborate way. "At least she realizes she's a b____," is what I think to myself. But is it better to be one without knowing, or to know you are and continue to be one anyway? That's a philosphical question worth considering if we want to, say, compare/contrast Sophie with Ahh-Va from season one. I say the fact that Sophie knows she's a b___ and doesn't care makes her a sociopath. Don't believe me? Read on, my friends.

Also note the use of the word "blessed" instead of "lucky" or "rich." That's coaching, so we know Sophie has some sort of religious base in her life. I don't think they meant for Sophie to be using her "blessedness" to buy friends, however.

They have some sort of planning meeting, and MTV sets up the mother/daughter relationship, which goes like this: Mom and Sophie argue, mom's right but she gives up anyway, throwing her hands up like Bud Selig at that All-Star Game that ended in a tie. Mom's constantly acting like she has no choice but to capitulate to Sophie's wishes. It makes you wonder -- is Sophie like that little boy in that one episode of The Twilight Zone, the one with all the gnarly powers? "We don't want to make Sophie unhappy, because Sophie will turn us into a jackal." I can come up with no other explanation for the dynamic between Sophie and her mother. Did Sophie learn the art of the temper tantrum so well that mom doesn't want to deal with it anymore? In any case, we can see right away why Sophie's such a demon. It's classic parental non-involvement.

Sophie knows this, and explains to us, "Mom up. it's kinda funny." That's right, mom's been reduced to "kinda funny." I should also explain the elipses (...) in Sophie's quotes. She has a tendency to pause longer than usual when she's talking, which undercuts the statement and makes her sound dumb. Now that's kinda funny.

They're planning a "Moulin Rouge" party, which means can-cans and an evil ringmaster-looking dude and a bunch of other french stuff that is the opposite of what I want to see. I hated that movie. The main planning and running of the party is being done not by Sophie but by a party planner (PP) with a heavy New York accent and a tremendously gay manner. They plan on using two different venues -- one for the cocktail party and one for the real party. Sophie is to make her big Sweet Sixteen Entrance at the second venue, hidden by inappropriate can-can dancers until the right moment, when they will part and reveal her to her adoring fans. It seemed like a good idea when the PP was saying it.

Sophie seems to be really into scoreboarding, which is when you compare yourself to others who have less than you. She says, "My stylist cost $10,000...I don't know anyone with a stylist." Well, I don't know anyone else who would want your stylist, Sophie, considering you pay her $10,000 and you look like Lisa Lisa. I mean, without Cult Jam and Full Force. Because you ate them. And I'm thinking that having a stylist on call is pretty pointless when you go to a school that has uniforms, but that's just me. Where again is this money coming from? Mom must be the best vet in the tri-state area.

They're doing the classic Ava-mom "dress fight" scene, right down to the part where Sophie picks a dress that's totally inappropriate. Only this time, Sophie doesn't let her mother see her in it -- she has the stylist come into the dressing room and give her opinion instead. Mom's left outside to wonder "How do they stay up when you're booty dancing," which is something mom should think of in her head and then rephrase before she says it. Turns out Sophie doesn't like the dress either, and this is where things got unclear for me. There is clearly a dress fight after this, but I don't know if it's about that dress or another dress. Either way, there's a lot of yelling and a lot of mom treating her insane 16-year-old daughter like an equal so as not to make her mad. At one point Sophie yells, "Can you like shut up for like 10 seconds?" Which should get her grounded without food for a month, but it doesn't. Mom capitulates again, because what can you do? No use laying rules down now -- not when Sophie's already a literal bull in a proverbial china shop, and the can of Schlitz Malt Liquor has already been opened.

Sophie decides that only 100 people will be invited, and has one of her underlings/friends go through the yearbook and exclude people based on Sophie's changing whims. As an example of this, I give you the Maggie incident. It's almost like a drive-by, it's so violent. Here are the facts, as captured and edited by MTV cameras:
Sophie's handing out ugly feathery invitations to people, using a limo and a guy in a tophat. It's kind of like Sierra's method last year, but she's handing them out at school. A certain guy we'll call the WTF guy is told by her, "Sorry, I don't even know you," to which he answers (directly to the camera), "You don't know me? What the ___?" This makes me laugh out loud. Anyway, I got sidetracked there. Sorry. The important event happens off-camera, as someone named "Lindsay" sees an invitation for "Maggie" and takes it to her unbeknownst to Sophie. We don't know why this Lindsay has done this. Sophie had written out an invitation for Maggie, but then decided not to give her one because of a fight they had earlier in the day. She sees Maggie with the invitation, and she goes literally ape-___. Sophie instantly turns into a screaming Mafia member and gets out her cell phone and calls an unkown person involved with the party and gripes at them. She then hangs up and publicly confronts Maggie in front of a bunch of students. Sophie is screaming like a spoiled child, and Maggie is trying to protest. Sophie grabs the offending invitation and begins walking off, but Maggie keeps protesting that Sophie never listens to her. Sophie then utters the famous line, "Would you like me to beat you up in front of all these people again, Maggie?" I really hope she meant verbally. She also stares poor Maggie down. Maggie can barely keep from laughing at the absurdity of it all, and Sophie gets back in the car, confident that she got her way, which is all that matters to her these days.

BTW, WTF Guy got an ivitation after all.

After all this craziness, we retire to the hibachi bar, where Sophie's friends are asking her if she'll end up inviting Maggie anyway. They're either suffering from Maggie Drama Fatigue, or they're glad to have someone to diss behind their back. Sophie says, "No way!" She's drunk with power. During this scene, I'm singing the Sesame Street "Which One of These is Not Like the Others" song under my breath as I watch the girls at the table. It is literally 8 petite tan teenage princesses with a fat black girl in the middle. It looks like a Saturday Night Live skit. Actually, what comes to mind most is that one movie with Gwyneth Paltrow and Jack Black, the one where he magically sees that cow-woman as a hot girl? I think there's some magic involved here. Or some physical threats.

Sophie introduces the next scene with "This party has given me so much power," which is kinda this episode in a nutshell. She eats her birthday breakfast in bed, then yells for her mom. When mom doesn't answer (tuning her out?), she calls mom's cell phone and sweetly wonders, "What do I do now...with my little tray?" See, this is where Sophie's hard to figure out. On the one hand, she's a powermad bully. On the other hand, she's got this sweet voice she pulls out to get her way. She's like a combination of Hitler and Eddie Haskell. I don't know how much more of this enigma I can take. After mom hangs up, she sarcastically says, "I raised a good one." She seems to know there's something wrong with Sophie but acts like she can't do anything about it. She's being passive-aggressive to herself here, simlutaneously admitting and not admitting that she failed as a parent. Fascinating.

The disturbing scene ends with Sophie somehow walking downstairs under her own power and mom giving her a, "birthday looking like a movie're hott!" You just know she meant it with two "t's". Can MTV express any more to us that mom is trying too hard to be Sophie's friend? What's next, them talking about cute boys at a dance club while doing coke?

Sophie apparently comes from a long line of virgin-birthed women, because she says her "grandparents promised her a car," and we never see any grandpa. Sophie and mom and grandma are driving by themselves to the Audi dealership, and grandma is hatching a plot to get that Sophie good. She eventually convinces Sophie that she's going to get a used car, and Sophie is worried. She does some quick math and says, "5 years old? I was 11 when that car was born!" Someone should have the talk with this girl about where cars come from. There are no momma and daddy Audis, just an assembly line. Of course, with no father, is Sophie's origin really any different from this car? For all we know, she's a Lisa Lisa robot that came from a factory in Guam. Why anyone would build a Lisa Lisa robot is anybody's guess. These are the things that cross my mind as I watch this.

Btw, Sophie's grandma? Woody Allen in drag, complete with whiny accent.

Eventually the denoument occurs, and they bring out the real car, which is brand new and shiny and sparkly. Sophie says, "Well played, peeps," which is a combination of snooty British English and 1990's ebonix. Somehow, this is the moment I hated her the most. I don't know why. I just wanted to slap her.

Getting ready for the party, Sophie discovers her dress "doesn't fit right" (making it a "fitting" metaphor for Sophie herself -- not being "well-adjusted," I mean), and her mom's all hardcore about it. Her mom is raising a big stink, cussing up a storm, and telling Sophie to go down to those dress-altering scum and order them to fix the problem. Sophie goes down there and does the exact opposite of what mom says, sheepishly asking the Latvian (just a guess, based on her accent) dress lady, "Could you maybe do this? The party is tonight." This is the Eddie Haskell side again. Here, she almost seems human.

The PP (remember him?) then becomes the unlikely hero of the episode when Sophie decides that her can-can entrance is a lame idea. PP does the unthinkable and stands up to her, telling her that there is no Plan B, this is happening no matter what, and that's that. This after Sophie brags to the MTV camera, "I can make these people go away if I want," referring to the can-can dancers. This scene proves Sophie to be the classic bully -- she talks tough, but if you stand up to her, she folds faster than a Texas Hold-'Em player with a 2 of diamonds and a 4 of clubs after they reveal the three common cards to be high spades and hearts. That is to say, very quickly. I salute the PP for having the guts to put this little Napoleon in her place, even if he did have to use hooker-like dancers to do it.

The kids are escorted by stretch humvee (oh, no -- somebody call Hart's dad! How out of style is that? Will I ever give that joke up?) to the cocktail party, and Sophie is bored sitting all alone in her ugly pink-yellow-green dress, which makes her look like a linebacker for some theoretical drag-queen football team. She tries to call another audible and go to the cocktail party, but PP again shoots her down. He's the gay kryptonite to her Super B____iness. Anyway, people were apparently hours late and there are numerous shots of Sophie all alone and whining that she's not the center of attention yet.

The people at the cocktail party are also getting antsy (one of them says, "C'mon! Let's get this party crunk!") until a Jim Broadbent-in-Moulin-Rouge imitator comes out and causes everyone to scream, and not just because he looks like an evil clown. He's there to take them to the real party! Yay! They all walk down to site #2, which is decked out in a bunch of Moulin Rouge crap, and if somebody needed information from me all they would have to do it put me in a room like that for a half an hour and I would be singin' like a bird -- that's how much I hate Moulin Rouge.

At the real party, the blessed 100 are chanting Sophie's name. She has successfully purchased their love. Another My Super Sweet Sixteen success story. The can-can dance happens, and it's every bit as inappropriate for children under 18 as you figured it would be. I mean, skirts up in the air, girls dressed like hookers, a momentary shot of a midget, all of that Moulin Rouge garbage. Sophie has her big entrance, which is pretty much as lame as Sophie thought it was going to be (insert joke about how hard it was to hide her here). I've gotta side with the girl on this one, even though it was nice to see her be put in her place.

There's a kid at the party who looks like Yannick Noah. If you don't know who that is, google him. He was also probably the only other minority at the party besides Sophie. None of this makes any sense.

Sophie's walking around trying to bully people into dancing, because she naturally goes into bully mode whenever she doesn't know what to do. This pro-dance strategy backfires on her when the party got (in her words) "raunchy and kind of insane." There are numerous shots of kids dancing all grindy, which I'm not going to discuss right now because I don't want to open that can of worms. However, I will point out that the party was noticeably lacking in chaperones, at least ones that didn't exist solely to keep undesirables out. There was nobody to stop these kids, so the boys became engorged and the girls wanted attention. That's all I'm gonna say about that.

Mom gets into the act next, dancing around and embarassing Sophie to the point that she has to leave for a while. It's unclear from the jumpy cuts exactly what her mom is doing, but it does involve at least one teenage boy and a pair of manequin legs. It's probably better if you forget this paragraph exists. Let's never speak of this again.

So for (some reason) Sophie finds herself outside and she passes this older couple who are walking down some stairs. Sophie thinks that the lady gives her a dirty look (it didn't look dirty from the MTV camera angle), so she goes on another one of her cute rampages. Linebacker-like, she chases the couple down in her ugly dress, and informs her army of door guards not to let the couple (who were some girls' parents) back into the party, which I'm pretty sure is illegal for Sophie to do if the girl is under 18. That's almost kidnapping, if you think about it. Plus, the couple looked very rich, and could use their influence to squash Sophie like the giant bug she is. However, nothing more is made of this, and Sophie seems pretty proud of herself that she could kick some adults out of her special party. What a power trip this girl is on.

Sophie thanks her mom (like Eddie Haskell would) for spending $180,000 on her, and proving once and for all that whining pays off. Sophie comments, "I felt like I had won an election or been crowned princess." Yeah, except those things mean something. All Sophie's really won is the mercenary love of a crowd that adores her money and her party. It's sad, really, but Sophie will never realize this until she runs out of money. She could theoretically go her whole life and never grow up, living off of a constant stream of attention from people who want a piece of her estate. And boy, is that ever not a euphemism.

We finish with Sophie's personal "moral" to the story, which is, "Sophie gets what Sophie wants, and Sophie is always right." This is Sophie's Choice*. And I'm sure her future boyfriends and husbands will appreciate that, especially if she continues to refer to herself in the third person.

A quick count of the commandments broken by the Jewess Sophie during this episode: 5 (can you figure out which ones?). That's half, and I'm not even counting her semi-murderous rampage against the evil Maggie.

Next Week: Every teenage boy's fantasy: Triplets! Eww -- how do they know that?

Next week:

* I was avoiding this reference the whole time I as writing this. I just couldn't resist any longer. Btw, it's a movie.

Friday, August 19, 2005

This Has Been a Hectic Week, For Real.

Next week will have to be a big posting week, because this week isn't working out so well. i won't say why, but I will reccommend that none of you purchase a Toshiba laptop, because getting warranty service done on them is --sploing--, if you know what I mean. I have confirmed this week that Toshiba and UPS are insane, and so am I.

Some personal news -- some gypsy scum in Europe got one of our credit card numbers and has been using it at hotels in Vienna. It looks like we're going to get the money credited back to our account, but we've still been victimized. Pity us. My wife and I are both very tired this week, after she started school and I...had a few crappy days in a row. Wah wah wah...I sound like Sophie now.

Saturday will come tomorrow, during which I shall:
Begin running again;
Write at least one huge blog post, and maybe more;
Watch the DVD's of Million Dollar Baby and Team America: World Police;
and, clean the house for my wife(?)

It's off to the UPS store, where I have to tell them to call Toshiba, which they are supposed to already know. Sound confusing? This is warranty service. I'm just glad I'm not a Toshiba customer.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Sweet Sixteen Girl's LiveJournal

Before I get to the recap, here is Sophie's LiveJournal. It's now "friends only," probably because her enemies started massing as soon as they watched the episode and sent her a bunch of crass comments about her weight. Sophie would probably refer to them as "haters." Anyway, it appears to be legit, and contains some interesting background info on the wildebeast (copyright someone at TWOP). The enigma that is Sophie gets bigger and weirder with each passing day. She's a cheerleader? This makes no sense. But hey, she likes Death Cab For Cutie, which puts her in some good company.

Oh, and she's Jewish, or at least a member of FJA (Fellowship of Jewish Athletes). I don't think any of those words apply to Sophie. I'll give you bonus points for naming which of the 10 commandments she broke during the episode. Here's a hint -- one of them starts with "Honor Thy..." This girl's about as Jewish as Ava.

The "trippy" prep school she attends, The Benjamin School, claims this about itself:

The school fosters character, leadership, integrity, honor, a love of learning, and a sense of personal responsibility.

Some things just speak for themselves. I don't want to talk anymore abouy Sophie today anyway. I don't want to feed her Napoleonic Complex. I also apologize for this font. Boo, Blogger.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Late Breaking News -- 8/17/05

I'm sorry this is being posted so late -- work hijacked me from 8-9:30 with training on our new extended service plans, which turned out to be a spectacular failure because we already knew everything the guy was telling us, and he managed to confuse some of the issues we thought we had down. There were also hints of more training later this afternoon, so I might get 3 hours plucked out of my day for this useless drivel that I either know already or don't want to know.

Also, Sweet Sixteen is being taped tonight, finally. It's a good thing MTV reruns this crap every day. I did go to's "after show," and saw a little bit of the episode. The girl looks nuts. Maybe they can top last year, after all.

Hey! Today's the day Israel pulls out of Gaza. That means no more terrorism, right? They got what they wanted, now they are just going to go back to not killing innocent people, right? My wife suggested to me that she's amazed there hasn't been more violence in Gaza -- these are Israelis evicting other Israelis, in an incredibly charged situation. Obviously, the hope is that this is another step towards peace in the region. Hamas, however, remains skeptical and armed and looloolooloolooloolooloolooloo! Don't ask me why Forbes is reporting on this. Aren't they a money magazine, concerned solely with the amassing of wealth and the worship of the Business Jerk? Do they do that "Top 300 cities in America" survey every year, or is that Money? Somebody call a white person on that, and let me know.

Harvard is bringing together many different scientists to come up with some sort of explanation of how life appeared on earth. They're devoting a million bucks annually for this research. Now, this particular issue has long been the achilles heel of Purely Naturalistic Evolution, since we have no real idea how life could have begun by natural means. I'm sure they'll come up with something, no matter how ludicrous, just to shut those ID people up. Note that they're looking for a purely naturalistic way that life could have happened, with no "divine intervention." Good luck with all that.

This story amuses me. It's about $50 iBooks. Read it.

Make sure you don't get caught calling Diddy by one of his old names. I wouldn't want you to have to be visited by one of the Diddy Nation and taken to a Didention facility for reinstruction. My questions -- Does changing his name mean he's going to rap any better? Has he officially crossed over into the Paris Hilton "Famous Just for Being Famous" Club? All he seems to do now is throw parties and underdevelop bad shows for MTV.

First London, now Bangladesh. I just thought you should know that there were bombings there, because I probably won't mention Bangladesh again for a while. That's a funny word. Bangladesh Bangladesh Bangladesh. If you're from there, you're a Bangladeshi.

If you're an elementary school or middle school kid, guess what -- you're fat. And that means no more soda for you. Like kids can't get fat on "100% juice." You drink a gallon of that every day, you'll be fat and regular. And they'll find a way to drink their soda, don't you worry. Parents will soon be sending sack lunches with 12-packs of Mountain Dew taped to them, so their "chubby lil' angels" will be happy. My favorite sentence in the story:
The announcement comes a month after the Center for Science in the Public Interest called for cigarette-style warnings on soft drinks to alert consumers that too much of the sugary beverages can make people fat and cause other health problems.

They should word it just like that: WARNING: THE CENTER FOR SCIENCE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST HAS DETERMINED THAT THIS PRODUCT MAY MAKE YOU FAT. And that should be on not just soda but also any commercial product that involves sugar, or calories of any sort. That way we won't be able to sue them when we can no longer see our shoes to tie them, and therefore trip and bounce into brick wall or a river. It will be our fault, for not reading the warnings.

I'm sorry. I got a little carried away at the end, there.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I've Made Many Mistakes in Life

And chief among them is misunderstanding MTV and taping the latest craptacular episode of Laguna Beach instead of the craplicious My Stupid Sweet Sixteen. So I haven't seen it yet. I think they're replaying it a 2pm CST today, and at some time every day for the next year, so don't worry -- I will get a recap out if it's worth it, I promise. My sources tell me there's some bad hair involved. I can't wait.

Last night was one of those nights I hate to see when I'm delivering pizzas. I hate delivering in the rain. And it just kept raining and raining and raining. When it rains, the streets become flooded, and I at the very least have to walk through a small lake to get to my car. I hate being wet, especially on my feet. While it's happening, you just have to sit there and take it. You watch it pour down in buckets, but you can't will it to stop. Ramtha was wrong, you don't create your own reality. And what's up with weathermen and weatherwomen saying we "need" rain? Can't we get by with half the normal amount this year? What are y'all, married to farmers or something? So I count delivering last night as a mistake, too.

How do you know oil prices are too high? It's even ticking off Wal-Mart. Here's a link (I know it's not Wednesday, but I feel like padding this post a bit. C'mon -- you know you want to click it!)

Recap of Sweet Sixteen, obviously -- the much-loathed and little-anticipated NFL Preview, where I get make a ton of mistakes -- my "State of the Milwaukee Bucks" address -- a column on the Dallas Mavericks looking back on the era of Michael Finley, now that he's been released -- a Netflix diary or two, depending on what's next in the queue -- my final plea for a job -- pieces of advice for young people as part of a book I'm considering writing.

People get ready.

Monday, August 15, 2005

One of the Benefits if Reading this Blog... that I don't write anything when I have nothing to say.