Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe, A Catch-Up

The game, Enthusiasts, is ending. Did you know this? Have you been made aware of the current contestation’s cessation? Lawn Boy is ongoing, but not this game, nosiree. Another match shall begin at the precise moment of this one’s finale, but that’s not important: this game is ending.

I speak, of course, of the upcoming film Avengers: Choke On It, Thickies. Our favorite Marvel heroes are back to battle, once again, Thanos the Mad Titan, who has a giant purple cock and an idiosyncratic definition of the word “sustainability.” Thanos also has a gauntlet, which is like a glove that fucks.

You gonna be unpleasant and sexual this whole post?

Yup.

Sally forth, then.

Now, none of this will make a lick of sense unless you’ve seen all the previous Marvel films; there are 21 in the series, and all of them lead up to this installment. (Now called an “extended universe,” older Enthusiasts will recognize this strategy from soap operas.) Because I love you–and can’t bear to write any political bullshit–I will catch you up on the MCU, film by film. We begin with:

IRON MAN (2008) The first, and still probably best, of the Marvel Cryptofascist Universe movies, Iron Man concerns an abdominally-superior dunce who invents a world-changing piece of magical bullshit, and then proceeds to use it to punch people, specifically someone who has stolen the magical bullshit. (Those of you who have seen the MCU movies will recognize this as the plot to a full quarter of the canon.)

THE INCREDIBLE HULK (2008) The Incredible Hulk is the Tiffany Trump of the MCU: it mostly doesn’t exist, and no one loves it. Edward Norton made a decent Bruce Banner, but he couldn’t stop himself from pulling his usual “I went to Yale” stunts and demanding to rewrite the script, re-cut the flick, whatnot, and so he got fired and now tends a lighthouse in Nova Scotia.

IRON MAN 2 (2010) Iron Man 2 is generally regarded as the worst of the Iron Man trilogy, and one of the worst of the entire MCU; this is because most people are dullards. IM2 is secretly the most entertaining of all 20 films. Allow me to list its attributes:

  • Mickey Rourke and that slushy, lippy nonsense he called a Russian accent.
  • Iron Man–who, I will remind you, is Iron Man–fistfights a man with two super-bullwhips; it’s pretty much a draw. (This is a common trope in the MCU: characters are precisely as strong as the script needs them to be at that moment, and not a titch stronger.)
  • Sam.
  • Fucking.
  • Rockwell.
  • Stand up, Jean-Louise.
  • Your daddy’s passing.
  • SAM FUCKING ROCKWELL.
  • And the black Sam Rockwell, Don Cheadle.
  • (You never realized that Don Cheadle was the black Sam Rockwell, did you? And now you’ll never be able to get it out of your head.)
  • Extended shot of Tony peeing in the armor.
  • The most gratuitous cheesecake-y/male gaze-y portrayal of a female character in the MCU’s history: Scarlet Johansson’s Black Widow, who–in her debut appearance–displays the following qualities:
    • She has an ass which is the shape of an upside-down heart, and looks as though it would be firm yet giving to the touch.
    • Titties.
    • High heels.
    • When threatened, she launches herself vagina-first at her assailants.
  • And that’s pretty much it.
  • Plus, Garry Shandling is in it, and he was wonderful, and it is not fair that Garry Shandling is dead and [HATED CELEBRITY] is still alive.
  • This is Mad Libs now?
  • It’s all Mad Libs.
  • Maaaaaaaaaaan.
  • Simpleton.

THOR (2011) The Greek gods were in Marvel Comics, and the Romans’, too–both Hercules and Ares have been Avengers–but the Norse pantheon was always on top at Mighty Marvel. Stan Lee said that it was his idea to feature the Asgardians; Jack Kirby said the exact same thing. However the origin, Odin and his kingdom have always dominated the Marvel Universe.

The Eddas were written to be plundered by comic book hacks, seemingly: there are bands of brave warriors, and lands of the dead, and evil wolfs. In addition, there was a large man with a giant hammer who occasionally turned into a frog. The large man had a weaselly brother, who was secretly a snowmonster. This is comic book gold, Enthusiasts.

At first, Thor was a much more typical superhero: he had an alter-ego, Dr. Donald Blake. Allfather Odin, you see, had grown tired of Thor’s arrogance. (Tamed down for the comics: in the Eddas, the God of Thunder was a bully who only took a break from raping humans to murder dwarfs; Marvel Thor was just kind of a blustery douche.) So he trapped Thor within the body of Dr. Donald Blake, but he could tap his walking stick against the ground to summon the Mighty Thor, which isn’t much of a punishment, really. It’s like being grounded, but only when you’re sleeping.

Eventually, the Blake conceit was dropped in favor of letting Thor be Thor and making Asgard great again. Over the years, Thor has been: a lady, a guy named Eric, the aforementioned frog, an alien horsemonster, and a specific frequency of violet.

In 2011, a motion picture was produced featuring the characters from the Thor comic books; it starred a slab of cock-steak named Chris and Kat Dennings. The film also introduced Tom Hiddleston’s ambiguous sexuality as Loki and was, for some reason, directed by Kenneth Branagh. (Sir Kenny is one of any number of actors in the MCU who are–officially and objectively–Too Good For This Shit. Glenn Close comes to mind.)

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (2011) More like Captain Colonialism, amiright? Who’s the REAL Nazi here?

MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS (2012) The Tesseract. It’s a box. It’s magical bullshit: a macguffin that produces zero-point energy. But it looks like a box. Small box. Wouldn’t be of any use when moving house. You could keep jewelry in it, maybe. That’s the size of the box, and it glows. Thanos–you remember Thanos; he’s got a purple dick–wants the box, so he sends Loki to chew on the scenery and wear elaborate headpieces at the problem.

“Loki, you will fetch for me the Tesseract.”

“Yes, great one. I will use my stealthy magicks.”

“Oh, no, no. Frontal assault right up Fifth Avenue.”

“What now?”

“Let’s send a whole army of dickfaced goblins in the middle of the day.”

“I could…I could just yoink it. All of my powers are based around trickery. Lemme steal the thing.”

“Nope! Dragons up Broadway!”

Which was good thinking on Thanos’ part, if only on a dramatic level. Loki PWOPPING into existence from a Dark Dimension, slipping the Tesseract into his coat, and PWOPPING back into nothingness is not enough material for a two-hour action movie.

Anyhow, the Tesseract was really an Infinity Stone. Ain’t that always the way?

IRON MAN 3 (2013) The Avengers also introduced Hawkeye, who had a bow and arrow the first time we met him, and still has a bow and arrow despite, you know, knowing Tony Stark. Me? I ask my buddy Tony to build me a suit, but Clint is sticking with the good ol’ compound bow.

THOR 2: THE DARK WORLD (2013) Among the many challenges of translating the Thor comics onto the screen was the Asgardians’ habit of speaking in dog Elizabethan. It’s kind of Shakespeare, but not really; it’s shaky Shakespeare. There’s a lotta “thy” and “thine” and “Doth mine eyes betray me?” On any given day in Asgard, you have a 50% chance of being called a varlet or a cur.

This is tricky to portray in live action. The first two Thor pictures did it too much, but Ragnarok just let everyone be posh and British, and that was better.

Fun fact: This is the only Marvel film I’ve never seen all the way through, and that is because it is lousy. You got some evil elfs or dwarfs or whoever, and they want something called the Aether, which I always misheard as “ether” and thought they wanted to have a gas party. They didn’t, though. That might have been entertaining.

Fucked-up fact: once again, Thor chooses Natalie Portman over Kat Dennings, and that’s why we can’t have nice things. It wouldn’t even work, physically: Thor would break Natalie Portman. He would split that shit in two. Natalie Portman couldn’t handle the hammer. Kat Dennings, though? She’s got the base. She’s got the sturdy base, and–far more importantly–she’s got the mindset. The woman wants to win. Can’t teach that.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (2014) Cap’s dick must have grown, too, right? When Dr. Erskine and Howard Stark gave him Super-Soldier Serum, he got a foot taller and a hundred pounds muscle-ier. One would assume his shwanz kept up with the rest of him, so it’s weird that he didn’t spend the majority of his first film playing with his new super-dong. That’s what I would have done, honestly.

This film introduces Sam Wilson, also known as the Falcon, who–along with Hawkeye–stretches the definition of the word “superhero” until it loses all meaning. He’s got a magic backpack. And goggle, I guess, but it’s mostly the backpack. Wings come out of it, thus enabling him to fly. While aloft, Sam shoots people and aliens and spacedogs with uzis.

We can draw two conclusions.

ONE: If you steal the magic backpack, you get to be an Avenger. Those are the rules; I didn’t make ’em up.

TWO: Yet again, we see Tony Stark’s reckless disregard for his teammates’ safety. How tough is Everybody who doesn’t have superpowers gets a suit? Just give ’em your hand-me-downs, Tony. Because one guy’s got a bow and arrow, and the other has flappy wings, and neither of those is going to help when Galactus comes calling in a few years.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2014) Pardon my authenticity, but I was into Rocket Raccoon before anyone. See this shit?

This shit was the shit, yo. I had this particular issue and read it to shreds; it was operatically dumb, and therefore thrilled me.

(One of the recurring motifs in the Hulk’s life has been getting zipzapped into other dimensions or galaxies. Sometimes it happens by magic, and other times Reed Richards and Tony Stark give him the ol’ B.A. Baracus treatment. Here, he had been exiled to someplace called Halfworld, which was inhabited by intelligent animals; adventures and punching ensued.)

Sleepy, So sleepy, and hungry, too.

Hit the sack, champ. Part two tomorrow.

Yay, a reason to live.

He’s Got His Rock Moves

Tell whoever that is to stop doing that.

“His name is Khalid.”

No. Khalid is a big fat Arab dumbass.

“Different guy with a similar name.”

Are you being sponsored by a water company now?

“No, I–”

Is the brand’s name “Essentia?” I thought that was the My Little Pony who denied the Holocaust.

“No, it’s–”

Well, one of them. People don’t know how deep the Holocaust denialism runs in Equestria.

“Are you done?”

The Care Bears are all TERFs.

“Please stop talking to me.”

Fine. Talk to him.

“Who?”

“Is this what your generation does? Is this how you thank your parents?”

“Dammit.”

“Allowing bearded negros to simulate fellatio on you? Is that what they’re doing on the campuses?”

“Hey, President Nixon.”

“This is how it starts. The coloreds, they start sucking off everyone in sight. This, of course, leads to Communism.”

“It really doesn’t.”

“It’s the Sexual Domino Theory. Rusk came up with it, but I think he might just be one of those goddamned perverts. You must control your genitals, son. Don’t let them ride herd on you. The Kennedys, all of them, they listened to their crotches. Usually, the Irish stay away from that sort of thing, but not that family.”

“Sir–”

“Nixon, as you know, has been happily married to Pat for many years. Happy ones. There have been arguments, disagreements, so forth, but I never went out tomcatting. We kept it in the house.”

“Sir–”

“Not like Hoover. We all knew about him, about him and Tolson. The Lord judges, not Nixon. Those people, they’re born like that, they can’t help it. Keep it away from the kids and I don’t care. But they would flounce around in get-ups. All kinds of, you know, outfits and such. And you just can’t have that.”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“Go fetch Manolo. Remind him what time it is.”

“I have no idea who that is.”

“Fine, fine. You do it. Cottage cheese and gin. Equal portions. Hop to it, let’s go.”

“Dickhead?”

Yo.

“Am I Richard Nixon’s personal valet now?”

Appears that way. He likes ketchup on his cottage cheese.

“Ew.”

Hey, man: even Nixon had faults.

 

I Don’t Wanna Work…

“Tell me about this drum, Uncle Mickey.”

“It could be a coffee table.”

“But it’s not.”

“No. It’s a drum. Everything in here is a drum, Justy.”

“Justin.”

“Now, just help me with this one last time–”

“I’m Billy’s son.”

“–who exactly are…ahhhh. Okay. That would explain why you look nothing like Phil.”

“Sure. Back to the drum, Uncle Mick.”

“I never have to get back to drums. Because I never leave them. Would you like to see my pocket bongos?”

“It depends.”

“They’re my balls.”

“Then, no, I do not want to see them.”

Parachute Me A Look That Says “Let’s Go”

On the campaign trail, John Kerry never brought up his brother, whose Christian name was Robert but everybody called Rooster.

OR

There’s two types of junkies: short-sleeve boys and long-sleeve men.

OR

Precarious?

“Yo.”

Where’d you get the parachute?

“Stole it from an elementary school.”

Sure.

Respect Your Elders

The older I get, the better the old stuff gets.

Triple H

Who are these two hobohumpers?

“They’re in Congress!”

The real one or like when the Road Crew used to have slapfights with their dicks and call it Congress?

“The real one!”

Awesome. Who are they?

“Well, the guy next to me looks like your friend’s dad.”

He does.

“And I wanna call the other fellow ‘Branford.'”

You shouldn’t want that.

“Gummy Joe?”

That’s just rude, Mickey.

“Stating facts here, man. Lot of gum in that smile. And differing heights, too! It’s like a fleshy skyline in there.”

Stop that. You’re no prize, either.

“I’m gonna ask him if I could play his gums.”

This is why you don’t appear a lot.

No Spandex Til Hammersmith

It’s an AUD, sure, but the sound’s decent and complete, and the band’s young and just-drunk-enough. Listen, or don’t, or take hostages; whatever’s your pleasure, cats and kittens.

Sticker, Mydland Falls

Brent’s Stickers: An Explainer

War Chicken reading “Rottweil” #1 Brent, as you may know, was born in Germany; his father was a pretzel and his mother was a set of rules. The badge represents the specific German state, or DeutschePlatzenMamaLookaBoobooDay, where he spent his youth.

War Chicken reading “Rottweil” #2 Stickers fall off, man. Gotta back your shit up.

Jacksonville Jaguar mascot A combination of Time Sheath access, a lack of football knowledge, and a predilection for America’s shittiest cities led Brent to become a diehard fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Brent had Bortlesmania.

Jesus, it’s another Rottweiler Brent, buddy? Can we chat? Great. Yeah, I’ve seen your Rolex. Nice. Anyway, pal: maybe you should dial back the German pride. Are you aware of the demographics of the Dead’s audience? It’s like a Boca Raton of the mind out there.

Stealie #1 (little, bottom) It’s the Dead, man. Gotta slap some Stealies on shit.

Stealie #2 (little, top left) Brent wanted people to know for sure that he wasn’t Rick Wakeman. No pussyfooting with Brent (except when he stuck his foot in women’s pussies).

Stealie #3 (big, top right) We get it, Brent. Even Mickey thinks this is too many Stealies.

Flying Eyeball Thingamabob I don’t know; who gives a shit; don’t we have anything–literally anything–better to be doing?

OR

Precarious?

“Yo.”

What’s with the tape?

“Surgical.”

So?

“It’s sterile.”

Again: so?

“Just pointing it out.”

Seriously, man: tape? Was this the best way to attach the synthesizer to the organ?

“Best? No. Easiest.”

Sure.

That’s Just My Hammer Suckin’ Wind

Captains America and Marvel can suck my asshole ’til their cheeks blow out. The only heroes worth a damn are folk heroes.

You know they’re folk heroes cuz they lose in the end.

Hello, Cleveland

Cleveland has a venue, a 10,000-seater, called the Cleveland Public Hall; within the building is an auditorium one-third of the size called the Cleveland Music Hall. The Dead played Dark Star and Shakedown Street on both stages, and I believe that fact to be a metaphor. Anything can be a metaphor if you leave the words “as” or “like” out of it.

Enthusiasts, I present for your listening pleasure 11/29/79 from the Public Hall. There is, as mentioned, a Shakedown which might be referred to as tasty (depending on your palate), a roaring Estimated, and a first set. The show is also notable for being a rare Triple Berry:  Promised Land, Johnny B. Goode, and Around And Around. Those of you wondering Why the hell didn’t they just learn some more Chuck Berry tunes? should stop having those kinds of thoughts: bad for the digestion.

 

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