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, September 09, 2006

Got the Blackberry

Last week I got my own office and a Blackberry, so I guess I'm officially all growns up. And a professional, no less. Piece of advice: Google Maps for Blackberry is unbelievably awesome, as in my life is now split into B.G.M.f.B and A.G.M.f.B. I don't know how I lived without the ability to pull up a map to the nearest Sam's Club on my mobile device. When I get fired, I'm going to be mad.

The astute reader will note that I'm also drinking wine, wirelessly networking, and doing all sorts of other "adult" things these days. In fact, I'm drinking wine and wirelessly networking right now. I'm also multitasking, as the Texas-Ohio St. bloodletting is on the TV in front of which I am wirelessly networking. Looks like Texas fans will be slightly less insufferable this year. Yay!

If it seems like I'm rambling, that's another astute observation. Have y'all checked out the LOST Experience lately? They're like, on the verge of giving away the secret of the numbers (and they sorta let the cat out of the bag already, imo.) It's too hard to explain for the uninitiated, but here's a link to the video in question, which features Alvar Hanso and goes a long way towards explaining the entire background of the island and the Dharma Initiative. Of course, this should all be taken with a gallon of salt. They seem to be claiming that LOST is a fictional story based on the "real" mythology of the Hanso Foundation. That's quite ambitious (not to mention bizarre and possibly self-defeating), if you ask me. Anyway, watch the video and feel free to freak out.

Rough Notes on Glory Road

Sadly, I don't have time to do a Netflix diary of this Disneyized account of the white vs. black 1966 NCAA Championship team. Nor do I even have time to put my thoughts into paragraphs. What you are about to see is my raw, unorganized thoughts and ramblings as I saw the film. I found them a little entertaining, and I hope you do as well. Sometimes things are better raw, like carrots for example.

It’s like the American south in the 60’s as translated through Hollywood movies from then until now.*

Lots of obligatory scenes. Obligatory black kids singing 50's songs scene. Obligatory “West Texas is hickville” scene. Obligatory white kids and black kids fight scene. Obligatory black panther character scenes. Obligatory “the MAN won’t allow you to recruit black players” scene. More obligatory white-black fighting. Obligatory 60’s music in the background. Obligatory black kids making fun of white kids. Non-obligatory (and totally insane but kinda funny) mom sitting in class scene**. Obligatory old southern white guys with glasses judging the black kids. Obligatory black kid with a drug problem. Obligatory white people not clapping for black people. Obligatory “do what you love” speech. Obligatory unrealistic non-cussing basketball coaches. Obligatory black people and white people become friends scene. Obligatory boombox war, in an era before boomboxes. Obligatory “team is winning” montage. Obligatory “wet blanket”(copyright Bill Simmons) wife scene. Obligatory former “playa” starts to care and has to deal with his new feelings scene. Obligatory footage of Vietnam while “People Get Ready” plays in the background. Obligatory destroyed hotel room scene. Non-obligatory and quite puzzling reverse-racism-related loss to Seattle.

The racists in this film are so non-commital, like they don’t intend to be racist…”He doesn’t need those kids to win, does he?” The lynchers give the kid a swirly, for pete’s sake.

They’re mixing up the eras of trash-talking. “Bad” didn’t mean good until at least the 80’s. Why not yo mama jokes as well? Why not baggy shorts and people saying “You go girl”?

It’s a cheesy Disney movie with cheesy Disney dialogue. The songs are oppressive and gave me Forrest Gump flashbacks. Josh Davis is horrible. Kevin Costner would have been an improvement, so says my wife. But not Ben Affleck (who almost took the part), so says my wife.

When did Texas Western become UTEP?*** Is it because of the black people?

Is that the chick from Fresh Prince of Bel Aire? Is that Devin Harris? Isn’t this an excessive amount of dunks for a 60’s game? Weren’t dunks outlawed until the 70’s?****

Coach lets them play “black,” they start winning. Racist. Bobby Knight must be rolling over in his Indiana undead grave. He hates that. At least they beat Iowa.

They play 2000’s-style dunk-ball. This is why we’re getting beat in the Olympics, btw.

*Specifically "Remember the Titans," another disneyized retelling of a "true" story of a team being integrated and overcoming racism. But also every other movie involving race relations. You'd know what I'm talking about if you saw it.

** It was admittedly funny when the mom sat behind the kid, but any claims the movie had at being serious or relevant went out the window during the scene. She might as well have been played by Martin Lawrence -- if you're going to do wacky, go all out.

*** Answer: 1967, a year after the events of this movie.

**** Answers, in order: Yes, no, yes, no.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A Few Quick Links

David Lynch, everybody's favorite director, has just received something called the "Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement Award" from somebody who gives these things out. I didn't even know such an award existed. He's apparently the youngest to ever win it. Anyway, this happened at a screening of his latest film, Inland Empire. Here are some exciting quotes from this article on the site:

"But some critics have argued that the film contains more mystery than drama, describing it as an eccentric and incomprehensible three-hour puzzle."

"... spent two years developing the hallucinatory project, in which Naomi Watts plays a talking rabbit."

"...we didn't have a script we were following."

Yeah, it's going to be weird, and I for one can't wait. I'm glad Lynch decided to take a long enough break from thinking happy thoughts to make another movie. I'm also glad to see the rabbit suits are back. Can't get enough of those cute rabbits.

In other news, Sidney Moncrief, my favorite basketball player of all time, is supposedly set to take over as coach of my hometown Fort Worth Flyers NBADL (NBA Developmental League, for those who just aren't good enough) team. Worlds are colliding. I can't wait to go to games and cheer Well, just to see his balding head would be enough. He was the best Buck ever, and now he's going to be in my town. I reckon nobody else cares about this.

I don't know how long the link is going to be up, but check out this video of a reporter being attacked by the people he was investigating. A man and his wife get into a fight with the reporter, another man tries to pry the attacker off him, and the cameraman gets it all on tape. This is one man's life-destroying decision caught on film. Fun!

But seriously, check it out. It's crazy.

Fantasy Football starts today for most real men, so football widows, you know my number and you know what time it is. Come get your big clock. But hold on -- Miami plays tonight, right? Which means I have to root for Dolphins TE Randy "not Steve" McMichael. Forget it, ladies. I'm married to my wife and a little thing called football nerdiness.

Monday, September 04, 2006


(Above is the only known still photo of the new film Idiocracy.)

I'm watching Divorce Court on syndicated TV right now, and I find myself contemplating the screwball message of the Mike Judge satire Idiocracy, which I just saw in the theater. Are we on the fast track to becoming a nation of idiots? Are we glorifying stupidity with all of our reality-tv? Are we becoming addicted to consumption of corporate products? Will everything we use one day be sponsored by some corporate entity? Is the campaign for President just an elaborate popularity contest? Why haven't we rebuilt New Orleans yet? Most importantly, will the comparatively high birth rates among the dumb cause us to forget that, for example, crops need water, and garbage can't just be stacked in giant "trash-mountains"?

Oh, and I should explain: Idiocracy is a movie. I don't expect you to know this, because Idiocracy is opening to limited release in only 7 cities. One of those cities happens to be Dallas, and one of those theaters it was released to happens to be the one within walking distance of our apartment. This movie hasn't been advertised or sent to reviewers at all, and the only reason we found it was it happened to be at that particular theater and none of the other movies playing there were appealing. We saw that it was made by Mike Judge, and were immediately on board. Seems like a lot of other Office Space fans would be, as well. When I went up to the chick in the box office, she had to clarify the movie I wanted to see, and as I walked into the theater I figured out why: my wife and I were the only two people there. After it was all said and done, we were exactly 2/3 of the audience for the 12:30 showing.

The sad part is, this could have been a modest hit for Fox had they not decided to kill it. Mike Judge has a built-in audience, and all a trailer would have to do is concentrate on the multitude of fart jokes and all the stupid people who like Farrelly Brother comedies would show up. Why did Fox decide they didn't want the money this movie would have made? Why did they decide that losing money was more important than letting this satire succeed?

Not knowing anything about the behind-the-scenes life of this movie, it's not hard to see what happened. 4 words: Starbucks as a brothel. That prbably killed it. There are a bunch of corporations that probably don't like Judge's biting futuristic vision for them, including biggies like Starbucks, Carl's Jr., and "Uhmerican Exxxpress." There's real-life corporate branding all over this movie, from billboards to clothes to everywhere in-between. I guess it's true -- we are living in a corporate oligarchy, and that oligarchy won't let any jokes about it cut too deep or say too much.

Idiocracy is good satire in that it's dumb on the surface, but it manages to make you think. Judge has his finger on the pulse of American stupidity (as previously seen in Beavis and Butthead), and this time he tries to go after the source -- the people with a vested interest in seeing us overconsume and underthink. That this movie got buried perhaps gives us our clearest indication yet that the movie's message has merit, and that soon our stupid clothes will be covered all nascar-like in multiple corporate advertisements and our stupid TV will be filled with programs consisting solely of a man getting hit in the crotch.

If you do end up finding this movie somewhere, be warned -- its satire is often brutal, and there's very little plot to keep things from degenerating into dystopian silliness. But if you can handle the thought of a future where water has been replaced by a sports drink and the President is a WWE-style Sports Entertainer (and judging by the relative success of Team America, many of you can), I would recommend it.

Oh, and did I mention it stars Luke Wilson? How fricking controversial can it really be? Come on, Fox!

Nature is Indifferent to You

Stingray Kills 'Crocodile Hunter' Irwin

The article above links to a Washington Post article (and you know how much we love linking to the WP) detailing the demise of one Steve "Crocodile Hunter" Irwin. That's right, if you haven't heard yet, The Crocodile Hunter is dead. No, a croc didn't get him -- he was stabbed in the heart by a stingray while filming an underwater segment called "Ocean's Deadliest."

What we have learned time and time again is that hanging out with nature will kill you. This is especially true when you're hanging out with the kind of nature that has a tail like a sword. Camping is ok, but we here at Epth Nation thoroughly unendorse the practice of going into the wild where the animals hang out, at least not without bulletproof vests and appropriate weaponry. This is why we domesticated animals, so we don't have to fricking hunt wild bison and deadly pseudofish anymore. Zoos exist, as do mega-zoom telephoto lenses. Take advantage of them.

Then again, if you're one of those Real Men who thinks that Fight Clubs are a real-life good idea and don't feel "alive" unless you're feeling the intense rush of adrenaline that only naked danger can bring, go hug a bobcat and stop bothering the rest of us.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Most Overrated Death in Human History

I've seen specials on the so-called "Black Dahlia" murder, and I know the story. As far as I can tell, she was just a chick with black hair and a cool name. That's it. So why do I know of her existence? Why is there now a feature film about her? Is it just because of the cool name?

She was one of a million, not one in a million. That's all I'm saying.