Tuesday, August 26, 2008

quote of the day (August 26, 2008): pure laziness edition

We're feeling pretty lazy today. It's raining outside the QOTD Home Office, and we're just not up to coming up with something to quote today. So we'll just use another Dwight Schrute quote (two days in a row? very half-assed.) and then go to Old Faithful, Arrested Development:

"For some reason, there are a lot of yeast infections in this county. Probably because we're down-river from a bread factory."
--Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson), Medical Expert/Assistant to the Regional Manager, Dundler-Mifflin Paper Co.

And our lovely trip to Bluthdom:

"Okay, Lindsay, are you forgetting that I was a professional twice over - an analyst and a therapist. The world's first analrapist."
--nevernude Tobias Funke (David Cross) discusses his therapy career with his wife Lindsay (Portia de Rossi)

Tobias' card, long before he became a Blue Man or Phyliddia Featherbottom

Monday, August 25, 2008

quote of the day (August 25, 2008): the idiot edition

Well, we're without an obvious topic for this week's quotes now that the Olympics have completed. The Democratic National Convention begins today in Denver, but QOTD is non-partisan (non-)entertainment, so we're going to steer away from that one.

Sometimes, when you're upset to back at your crappy job on a Monday, you're bound to wonder how there are so many idiots in the world. Luckily, with advice from Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) from The Office, you can avoiding joining their number:

"Whenever I'm about to do something, I think, 'Would an idiot do that?' And if they would, I do notdo that thing."

Male models: dying in freak gasoline accident? Idiots.

Here's another comment on the idiots of the world, from German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:

"There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity."

Goethe: not an idiot.

Friday, August 22, 2008

quote of the day(s) (August 21-22, 2008)

The 2008 Olympics are about to come to an end after two full weeks of excellent competition. By all accounts, the Games have run very smoothly, with the Chinese people acting as excellent, accommodating hosts. The money-grubbing International Olympic Committee and the Chinese government? Not nearly as impressive...

In Sally Jenkins' article in yesterday's Washington Post, she writes a first-person article in the guise of IOC president Jacques Rogge in which she highlights the hypocrisy that has come to mark every Olympics:

"For years now I have worked tirelessly to fashion the Olympics into an event in which it's possible to completely avoid ethical responsibility. I've used my skills as a yachtsman, member of the Belgian knighthood, and an impeccable wearer of blazers and boat shoes, to avoid a principled stand on any subject. It therefore grieves me to say that 10 days into the Beijing Games, I have met with a matter of the utmost seriousness: the unfortunate expressions of joy by Jamaican runner Usain Bolt, after winning the 100- and 200-meter dashes. This is truly an Olympic crisis.

It's one thing for the Chinese government to jail dissidents, to forge the passports of underage gymnasts, and to set up official protest zones and then arrest anyone who applied to use them. These are matters that I met with disciplined silence, or as I so adroitly put it, with "quiet diplomacy." But I cannot ignore Bolt's disturbing spontaneity. Him, I feel compelled to rebuke."

Great stuff.

When athletes celebrate gold medals and world records, the terrorists truly have won.

On a sillier note, Slate.com has been running a Sap-o-Meter, a running count of all of the maudlin descriptions used by NBC during their coverage of the Olympics. From the website, on their methodology:

"Here's how it works. After slogging through Olympic broadcasts of yore, we drew up a list of 33 syrupy words that NBC has chronically overused: adversity, battled, cancer, challenges, courage, cry, death, dedication, determination, dream, emotion, glory, golden, hardship, heart, hero, inspiration, inspire, journey, magic, memory, miracle, mom, mother, Olympic-sized, overcome, passion, proud, sacrifice, spirit, tears, tragedy, triumph. While these 33 words are by no means an unabridged collection of schmaltzy nouns, adjectives, and verbs, they're a good sampling of NBC's bathos. Think of them as the Dow Jones of sap."

The daily updates have been hysterical, with a special listing of the "pinnacle of treacle", for each given night. My favorite of their choices came from Tuesday, August 19:

August 19 Slate.com Sappiest Line of the Day: "And now begins Shawn Johnson's dream sequence. She looks like a kid on the best of Christmas mornings."—NBC's Al Trautwig, describing the American gymnast's walk to the medal stand after clinching gold on the balance beam.

I'm embedding the Sap-o-Meter widget here for your enjoyment. It's always good times here at QOTD, as we bring you entertainment you can only get on 55 million other blogs.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

quote of the day (August 20, 2008)

Sometimes being the Quotemaster has its drawbacks. Everyone knows about the adulation and riches that comes with operating a daily (ahem. semi-daily) quote blog. But just like those days when you just can't get rid of a bomb, some days you just can't think up a good topic for that day's quote.

We've clearly led into today with several Olympics-related quotes, and we only have a couple more days where that'd be relevant. But there just aren't that many Olympic-related pieces of pop culture that can compete with Gymkata. So how about Snakes on a Plane? Just think of it as a metaphor - the CGI snakes eating the hapless passengers represent evil athletes who are doping (or 12-year old gymnasts forging passports) to win gold medals over their innocent rule-abiding competition. And Sam Jackson is the International Olympic Committee Anti-Doping Commission who says, "Enough is enough. I have had it with these muthaf***in' cheaters in these muthaf***in' Games!"

The results are in - Sam Jackson has tested positive for being a badass. And for a wild lack of judgment when it comes to movie roles.

Okay, that didn't work at all. We're probably just trying to excise our bad memories from getting to the theater early on Snakes on a Plane's opening night, spending upwards of $9 on a menagerie of rubber snakes and then finding that the rest of the Charlotte population had lives other things going on that night. Anyway, how about a fun exchange from that movie:

Neville Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson): "We need weapons. Do you have any silverware or cutlery?"

Claire Miller (flight attendant played by ER's Julianna Margulies): "We don't have any silverware. All we have are these."

Flynn: "Sporks?"

Okay, now that that's out of the way, here's a real-life Olympic story. From an article in today's Detroit Free-Press:
Anyway, the show (Access Hollywood) sought to update its Michael Phelps story from the Athens Olympics, when it asked him which celeb he'd most like to meet.

Said Phelps in 2004: "Lindsay Lohan. She's pretty hot."

So four years later, (host Billy) Bush brought Phelps this text response from Lohan: "Tell him he's (expletive) amazing, and I want to meet him."

"That's pretty cool," Phelps said.

Great. If Phelps spends any time with Lindsay Lohan, he not likely to get any gold medals in 2012, but he will likely pick up chlamydia. Olympic flame, indeed.

Quick, someone light the Sexual Harrassment Panda Signal! He must protect Michael Phelps!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

quote of the day (August 19, 2008)

When we promised you gymnastics and karate in yesterday's quote, a giant roar went up from across the land, "GYMKATA!"

Okay, it was more of a muttered grumble from the couple of readers who could pick Gymkata out of a lineup. (here's a fun game to play! see if you are one of those readers!)

One of these guys will flip you, for real. Another one of these guys will flip you with 2 1/2 twists, sticking the dismount with a karate kick right to your junk.

Anyway, we're a little short-handed on this one, because even though Gymkata is widely-held to be one of the most fun of all the really awful movies, we have actually never seen it. This will soon be rectified at next Tuesday evening's Yahoo! fantasy football draft, where this stellar movie will be on in the background.

I've just discovered that Robert Clouse, the director of Gymkata, also directed such classics as Black-Belt Jones and Jackie Chan's ridiculous The Big Brawl.

To give you some of the plot overview, I'm going to quote from an online review at the website Mutant Reviewers from Hell:

"Before minute 12 hits, we meet our gymnast hero (1984 Olympic gold-medalist Kurt Thomas) who is recruited by someone in the US government to infiltrate Parmistan and gain their trust so that the US can build a missile detection station within their borders. Only, Parmistan has yet to modernize past medicinal leeches and court jesters, and they make every visitor to their country play in a deadly game called — are you ready? — The Game, which pretty much kills every contestant. This does dampen tourism, you understand. So Jonathan agrees to this stupid mission because… well, this guy kind of came to his door, and his dad got killed in Parmistan, so he really had no choice. Then Jonathan goes through a goofy training montage of walking on his hands and fighting blindfolded. Then he meets a mostly-silent princess who keeps racking him in the groin and drawing knives on him, and he seduces her with backflips. They make out.

That's all by minute 12. I kid you not."

He goes onto fight his way through The Game, after going through his training montage. The best part of the movie, apparently, comes about when our mulleted hero is surrounded by some local psychos. When it seemed hopeless, luckily Jonathan comes across the village pommel horse and proceeds to work them but good:

(be forewarned, if you are drinking something, swallow before viewing)

(As Eric Cartman would say, I'm being totally seriously. This is amazing.)

Let's see Yang Wei do that!

Wow. And it's only a Tuesday. What the hell are we going to do for the rest of the week...maybe we'll stick with Clouse's other hits and do some quotes from Black Belt Jones and The Big Brawl...you should be so lucky...

Monday, August 18, 2008

quote of the day (August 18, 2008)

Gymnastics is one of those sports that become super-important to the average American every four years, and then pretty much resides along figure skating as programming that networks run against the NFL when they don't have football television rights.

Despite that fact, there are a couple of excellent examples of gymnasts who were able to parlay their fleeting Olympic glories onto the big screen.

The first one, is American Anthem, starring such lumnaries as 1984 Olympic gymnastics champion Mitch Gaylord and Janet Jones (aka Mrs. Wayne Gretzky). It has a stellar 2.4 out of 10 user rating on IMDB.com, just barely missing the cut for the bottom 100 movies in history (the cut starts at 2.3 out of 10). Some of the movies that did make the cut included Paris Hilton's The Hottie and the Nottie (rating of 1.6), From Justin to Kelly (1.7), and Gigli, Kazaam, It's Pat, and Battlefield Earth, all of which scored 2.3.

His mullet's start value is 7.5, much higher than his Chinese competitors...

That's not the point, though. We were discussing American Anthem. Let's do a better job of staying on track, shall we? Gaylord plays an angsty ex-gymnast (look how rebellious he is--he's wearing a leather jacket! with no shirt!!) who has dropped his Olympic hopes due to an injury. Jones' beauty inspires him back, and he spends most of the rest of the movie training for his comeback, including a Rocky IV-like moment when he constructs a high bar between two trees behind his house. He then proceeds to practice on the high bar even during thunderstorms, which just can't be safe. Mitch Gaylord laughs at lightning. And nuanced acting.

For some reason, St. Clare of Assisi, the Official Grade School of QOTD, showed our class this movie at some point. Knowing what I know now, it was probably almost summer vacation and the teachers were sick of dealing with us. It seemed cheesy then, so I'm sure it'd be even more dreadful now. But for those in the vast QOTD audience who want to get their gymnastics fix after the Beijing olympics have come and gone, um, this would not be a good choice for you.

From Walter Goodman's June 27, 1986 review of the movie for The New York Times: "Part of the time, especially for bizarrely lighted romantic moments, Steve and Julie appear to have been dipped in olive oil...This whole movie may have been concocted on a synthesizer." (that damn liberal media hates it when an American athlete wins a gold medal. Especially a rebellious one with a mullet and a leather jacket!)

TOMORROW on QOTD: we feature another gymnastics-related movie, this time involving karate and rogue nations!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

quote of the day (August 14, 2008)

With the TV coverage of the Beijing Olympic Games totally dominated by Michael Phelps on one hand, and the Chinese hosts seemingly winning every gold medal in events Phelps doesn't participate in, what's really getting lost are the many sports that used to be a part of the Games but have since been discarded in favor of newer events like synchronized diving, BMX and trampoline.

The bear won bronze at the Sydney Games

Getting a lot of attention are the removal of softball and baseball from the upcoming 2012 Olympics, but how great would the return of tug-of-war (1900-1920) be? A feature of thousands of company picnics and grade school field days, this would be significantly more relatable for the average viewer than watching the weightlifting events. Taking a cue from the beach volleyball strategy of attracting viewers, they could force the women to wear white bodysuits and have the losers fall into a pit of water. Good times!

Another great sport that has appeared once as a medal sport and three times as a demonstration sport is basque pelota, or jai-alai (1900). As anyone who has ever bet the Arregui-Oyarbide quinella at the Dania Jai-Alai can tell you, jai-alai is the most fixed game of all time. And it's perfect for betting - how much happier would the average viewer be if their $20 bet on the Cuban pair paid off 15-1 when they won gold?

To quote Kenny Banya (thus fulfilling our stated duty): "It's gold, Jerry, gold!"

Finally, croquet (1900) appeared in one Olympic games. What, Jarts wasn't invented yet?

It's enough to make an Olympic viewer yearn for the return of Silly Walks an event that the British dominated through much of the early 1900's.

Britain's dominant silly walker warms up.

And, apropos of nothing, it's The Bishop!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

quote of the day (August 13): Hero Squad!

5 days into the Olympics, and there certainly have been many medals awarded for all sorts of sports. Nobody has yet gotten any awards better than Buster Bluth (Tony Hale) in Arrested Development, who certainly lets his mother Lucille (Jessica Walter) know about his success:

LUCILLE: "Oh, Buster. Thank God you're home. There's no shame in being a coward."

BUSTER: "I'm not a coward. Would a coward have this? (holding some stuffed animals he won at an aarcade crane game)

LUCILLE: "What the hell is that?"

BUSTER: "These are my awards, mother. From Army. The seal is for marksmanship, and the gorilla is for sand racing!"

LUCILLE: "You're doing well?"

BUSTER: "I'm just dropping these off. Now, if you'll excuse me, they are putting me in something called Hero Squad!"

This quote, where Buster Bluth displays his awards, has been itself awarded the Buster Bluth/QOTD Seal of Approval, an award that displays Buster Bluth displaying his awards. Dizzy yet?

Monday, August 11, 2008

quote of the day (August 11, 2008)

Well, though we'd like to lead with scenes from the Olympics,

we just can't miss out on paying tribute to two of our favorite entertainers who passed away over the weekend. First, Bernie Mac, one of the "Original Kings of Comedy" (a comedy tour that eventually spawned a movie shot just miles from the QOTD compound in Charlotte) and star of the perpetually underrated Bernie Mac Show. Mac died on Saturday morning from complications of pneumonia.

From the Bernie Mac Show: "[to his dog] Shut up before I drop yo ass off at Koreatown. Now hold on, America, don't start writing no letters. I'm just kidding. But am I lying?"

The other gentleman to pass away before his time was the great soul singer Isaac Hayes. Best known for the theme song to Shaft (shut yo' mouth!), he was closest to our generations' hearts with his portrayal of Chef from South Park. Chef was always kind and wise, and was the kids' most-trusted authority figure in town when they were confused, as seen in this exchange from the episode "Fat Camp" in season 4:

Stan: "Chef, what's a prostitute?"

Chef: "Dag-nabbit children! How come every time you come in here you gotta be askin' me questions that I shouldn't be answering?! 'Chef, what's the clitoris?' 'What's a lesbian, Chef?' 'How come they call it a rim job, Chef?' For once, can't you just come in here and say, 'Hi Chef. Nice day, isn't it?'!"

Stan: "Ok. Hi Chef. Nice day isn't it?"

Chef: "Thank you. Yes, it is a nice day"

Stan: "Chef, what's a prostitute?"

I'm still bitter about the time in 1998 that I went as Chef for Halloween, and no one knew who I was because I obviously didn't go in blackface. Even when I greeted people with a "Hello there, Children!", people still answered me "Hey, Chef Boyardee!" I guess I'm just ahead of my time. Or I shouldn't have dressed as a character from a show that appeared on Comedy Central, a channel no one got on Indiana University's campus. Anyway, R.I.P., Chef.

Friday, August 8, 2008

quote of the day (8/8/08)

As everyone knows well, the Olympics are now underway and we're due to get 17 days' worth of tear-jerking profiles about athletes overcoming obstacles to make it to the finals of modern pentathlon or synchronized swimming (see video below). We here at QOTD are more interested in watching women's beach volleyball in High Definition. But that's just us.

Either way, before any athlete makes it to the peak of their chosen field, they undoubtedly honed their skills for years. Or they used a montage:

"The hours approaching, just give it your best
You've got to reach your prime.
That’s when you need to put yourself to the test,
And show us a passage of time,
We're gonna need a montage
Oh it takes a montage

Show a lot of things happing at once,
Remind everyone of what’s going on
And with every shot you show a little improvement
To show it all would take to long
That’s called a montage
Oh we want montage

And anything that we want to go from just a beginner to a pro,
You need a montage
Even Rocky had a montage

Anything that we want to go from just a beginner to a pro,
You need a montage
Oh it takes a montage

Always fade out in a montage,
If you fade out, it seem like more time
Has passed in a montage...."

--Trey Parker and Matt Stone's "Montage", first used in South Park episode "Asspen", then in Team America: World Police

Thursday, August 7, 2008

quote of the day (August 7, 2008): Baseball, Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner-style

Back to our baseball announcer quotes - today's victim is San Diego Padres Hall-of-Fame announcer Jerry Coleman.

He's well-known for his memorable malaprops on air, and we've picked a couple of the best for today's quote.

"Hats off to drug abusers everywhere."

"Rich Folkers is throwing up in the bullpen."

"That's Hendrick's 19th home run. One more and he reaches double figures."

and...our personal favorite:

"Winfield goes back to the wall. He hits his head on the wall -- and it rolls off! It's rolling all the way back to second base! This is a terrible thing for the Padres."

Winfield's baseball card, post-accident. At least the photo was taken in a beautiful pastoral setting.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

quote of the day (August 6, 2008)

Thank you, Mario! But your dignity is in another castle!

Due to all of our traveling, we know we've been pretty inconsistent in our blogging. We're going to get some posts up for the rest of this week, and we should get back to normal next week.

We're going to take a day off from the baseball announcer quotes, and address a different baseball-related issue, as suggested by alert reader/misanthrope Jim Wyrsch. This was an obvious choice for QOTD, given our start as a mustache chronicle...

From the wonderful (St. Louis-based) American Mustache Institute, their official statement on the demise of Jason Giambi's mustache:

"It lived a life most of us would envy. But in the end, Jason Giambi's mustache never really had a chance, and ended up in a bathroom basin, dead after less than a few months of life.

The American Mustache Institute salutes Mr. Giambi and his mustache, for having the bravery to walk proudly down the same lines upon which other great Yankee mustaches have -- including Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson, Don Mattingly, and Sal Fasano. Our hearts and prayers go out to Mr. Giambi, his family, and the Yankees organization. And while we are all gravely disappointed by the passing of Jason's mustache, no one, or thing, feels a greater loss than his upper lip." (Read the rest of their statement here.

Another icon loses his 'stache.

Monday, August 4, 2008

quote of the day (August 4, 2008)

Continuing our baseball announcers' tributes, it seems appropriate to have a day dedicated to longtime Atlanta Braves' play-by-play announcer Skip Carey, who passed away over the weekend. Besides being one of the most recognizable voices in all of announcing, he had a great sarcastic sense of humor.

Here are a couple of Skip's funniest:

"The bases are loaded, just like (Marlins' manager) Jack McKeon probably wishes he was."

(on a day back in the early 80's when the Braves only had 6,000 fans in attendance) "It's a partial sellout."

Also we have some exclusive footage of the Quotemaster General in his chance at playing on Busch Stadium's field. Take a look at that bat speed!