Saturday, August 15, 2009

Who Wants to Be an Idiot?

Hello darlings.

That collection of hunks and freaks above is the cast, or "houseguests" as they call them, of the current edition of CBS's reality freak show Big Brother, which is the reason I haven't posted anything here in nearly a month. I've been recapping it for The Huffington Post, as I may have mentioned. It pretty much uses up my flogging energy. How much flogging can a woman my age be expected to take?

They are a prize group of freaks, but not all of them. Dr. Michele is an intelligent and reasonable person. Jordan is dumber than the vacuum of space, but she's fairly sweet, as opposed to the petty, vengeful Lydia, the vicious, useless Natalie, and the raving, insane megabitch Chima. More on that monster shortly.

On the male side there was pretty surfer, actor, & doofus Braden, who turned out to be a bigot with a nasty mouth, incredibly hot Russell, who is a major competitor, but who is also given to explosions of rage, but only on strong provocation, like being asked the time in the wrong tone of voice, or being looked at "funny." There was Casey the 5th grade teacher. No hunk (In fact he avoided appearing shirtless, which is usually a requirement for the men on this show.), but an intelligent man one could probably enjoy the company of. After he was evicted from the house, as detailed in my column No Joy in Mudville, he even left a comment in that column's comments list, in which he indicated enjoying the humor. I could read between the lines. He wants to party with this old movie star. Well who can blame him?

The major eye candy in the show consists of Russell and Jeff. Russell calls himself "The Love Muscle," It's an odd nickname for him, since he is best known for starting tremendous screaming matches, and when asked about his girlfriends, said he "ran out" of girls. Is the "Panama Canal" in his basement full?

Jeff is gorgeous, amiable, and excessively proud of not reading books. He's just not too bright. Jeff's grasp of the English language is not unlike Dr. No's grasp on the metal strut he slides down to boil to death in the atomic reactor at the end of the movie Dr. No.

Anyway, Russell & Jeff have formed the Bromance Alliance, and have been quite successful so far. I think it's true love, and that Jordan, with whom Jeff is faking a Showmance, is really just his beard. Jeff & Russell are the true showmance.

Not that they never flirted with returning muscled narcissistic Adonis and boob Jessie. (Yes, I know that men usually spell it "Jesse," but Jessie insists on spelling it the girly way. He's obsessed with "I".) Anyway, as you can see here, as we prepared to make a Russell, Me, and Jessie sandwich (talk about ham and cheese!), Russell is definitely a top.

Lydia is the Tattooed Nutjob, who liked to creep into Jessie's bedroom and stare at him while he slept, imagining his dreams. She said she hoped he was dreaming of baby unicorns. My theory is that he dreams of something else. Which do you think is right?

But in recapping the treacherous adventures of these clowns, I've taken to giving some of them them nicknames that express their true natures. The first was "Ronnie," a 30 year old "Professional Video Gamer" obsessed by Star Wars, who called himself "Emperor Palpatine" at one point, and who repeatedly stated that he was the Smartest Person in the House, never mind that Dr. Michele has a PhD. He was a loathsome little self-impressed dork and weasel, and so I renamed him, and enjoyed tremendously
chronicling his his downfall in my column
The Empire Strikes Out.

This last week the house was shook up by a mystery power granted secretly to one of them, whom they called "The Wizard." The Wizard turned out to be lovely, dopey Jeff, whom I dubbed Gandoofus, The Lord of Dimness, when I told the story this week in The Wizard of Wacko Place.

There's always a token gay man, and never more than one. Usually they cast ones who are witty and fun, but this time out they cast a boring, bitchy, treacherous attitude queen named Kevin, who's a coward as well as a bore. I've found his true identity in my recent column as well.

But until about 24 hours before writing this the most horrible person in the house was a 32 year old journalist, self-involved diva, and hyperbitch named Chima. She's insane. She's spoiled. She's vengeful. She's vicious. She's repulsive. She thinks she's funny when she isn't, and she's a hypocrite. But apart from that, she may like kittens. But I'm not so certain of that that I would ever leave my kitty in her care.

But as of 24 hours ago, she is gone. Her plans last week were utterly foiled and she was nominated for eviction, and the spoiled, self-entitled diva staged a day long tantrum, ignoring the producers orders, inciting her Manson-cult-like followers, Lydia and Natalie, to commit acts of petty vandalism. Chima herself spent much of the day sitting on the washing machine, so no one else could wash their clothes, refusing to wear the microphone they are required to wear at all times, and finally, when ordered again by the producers to put it on, threw this $5000 piece of equipment into the hot tub. She was summoned into the Diary Room, and the houseguests never saw her again. She was fired, and not even allowed back into the house to pack up her things. That's entertainment!

Sweet little Jordan's stupidity is amazing. She's in her 20s, and she can't tell time from a clock, doesn't know where Iowa is, can't do simple math, and has a - let's say limited vocabulary. I had had more than enough of idiots. I needed to see intelligent people again.

So I tuned into this past week's revival of of Regis Philbin's quiz show Who Wants to be a Millionaire. You have to take a test to get on. It rewards knowing stuff. And you have to answer difficult questions to win the big money.

So imagine my shock at some of the monumental ignorance I saw on display. Listen to these:

For instance, Angela Watt, a "mother of twins," was asked this question for $1000:

The Earth’s equator passes through all but which of these oceans?
A. Pacific.
B. Indian.
C. Atlantic.
D. Arctic.

And she had to use a lifeline! I guess she just hates those cold arctic nights on the equator. Then she was asked for $2000:

Which of these U.S. coins is the thickest?
A. Penny
B. Nickel.
C. Dime.
D. Quarter.

She answered "A quarter." I guess she never bothers with change.

One of America’s best and brightest, highly decorated (and highly decorative) army Lieutenant-Colonel Jacob Shaha was on. Now you wanted to love this guy. He was gorgeous. He had a small, but growing family. He’s served honorably in Iraq, and will shortly be going to Afghanistan. But then he was asked this question for $8000:

Fittingly, which of these popular 20th Century authors is buried in Tarzana, California? [Non-italics mine.]:
A. Edgar Rice Burroughs.
B. Ray Bradbury.
C. Dashiell Hammett.
D. Arthur C. Clarke.

Honestly. The answer is right there in the question. You could boil it down to "Who wrote the Tarzan books?" What kind of ignoramus doesn’t know the answer to that question? (Hint: He's by far the worst writer of this quartet.)

Now first off, Ray Bradbury isn’t buried anywhere! At least I hope not, because darling Ray
is still alive! How rude to include him. I hope he wasn’t watching. I can just hear his famous, soft voice saying to his wife, "I hope it’s not me."

Lieutenant-Colonel Shaha needed not one, not two, but
three lifelines. "Expert" Candy Crowley (Who? I have no idea who she is, and Regis didn’t tell us more than her name) had "no idea," but her guess was Dashiell Hammet. Ah yes, before writing his excellent, highly literate, hardboiled detective novel classics like The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man, Hammett first knocked out the ridiculous Tarzan novels, which, if you’ve ever read one of them, are not exactly well-written, and feature horrifically bad dialogue, not to mention the inherent racism, and the ludicrous scientific ignorance. Burroughs never set foot in Africa in his whole life, and it shows in his books. I’m surprised Dashiell didn’t rise from his grave to slap her face. Dashiell's lover, the great Lillian Hellman, wouldn’t have spat on the author of the Tarzan books, even if Edgar had begged her too.

Jacob’s phone-a-friend, his dad "Steven," guessed it was Arthur C. Clarke, who is buried in Sri Lanka, on the opposite side of the earth from Tarzana, as far from it as you can get. The only way he could have been more wrong would be if he’d said "The Moon." Clark was also much too good a writer to have turned out the ludicrous Tarzan novels, let alone have sullied his brilliant science fiction legacy with with Burroughs's extremely silly, badly written books about Mars and his
At The Earth's Core. I've read Tarzan of the Apes. This is not a well-written book.

Jacob answered D. No wonder we haven’t found Osama Bin Laden yet.

But the most embarrassing contestant moment came when Anthony Sloan, a "Stay-at-home Dad," i.e. unemployed, was asked for $50,000:

In the 2009 blockbuster
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which of these characters is an evil Decepticon and not an heroic Autobot?
A. Mudflap.
B. Bumblebee.
C. Starscream.
D. Sidewipe.

And he not only got it right, but he had the answer right off the top of his head. The only people who should know the answer to that question are people whose ages are still in the single digits, and a lot of justifiably bored and hostile film critics.

You want to see intelligent people on TV? Switch over to BBC America, and watch
Torchwood and Doctor Who. Meanwhile, I’m stuck with several more weeks of Big Brother. At least I won’t have any more of Chima and Emperor Palpatwit to endure. You don’t need to watch it yourself. Just read my recaps.

Cheers darlings.


Amy M said...

Amy M said...
I am totally stealing "Volderdork" and "Gandoofus" (giving credit where it's due with a link if posted online). I swear, every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, my television emits an ether-like substance that renders me unable to move from my recliner, head drooped, spittle running down my chin, eyes glazed, and muscles unable to coordinate movement that would allow for an escape…I am forced to view this *must see summer series”. I view while my mind engages in an internal battle between reason and spectacle. Most seasons don’t fail to disappoint, but this season is spectacular! I shift from repugnance to hysterical laughter multiple times per episode! I am sooooo looking forward to how CBS handles Chima's departure...Next stop for her is probably Plyboy! I so hope that someone posts footage of action and speech of the Chima’s departure! How did that chic get put in to the "brains clique" initially? One of my last straws in reference to her was when her grandmother indicated that the correct pronunciation of her name was "CHI -MA" but that she preferred "SHE-MA" which I suppose would serve her better in her next career as adult entertainer. I just have sour grapes...I want Kaysar back...

August 18, 2009 8:46:00 AM PDT

Tallulah Morehead said...

I want Kayser's front!

Chima in PLAYBOY? They'd have to put a bag over her repulsive head. Her lips are bigger than my feet.

Thanks for stopping by.

Cheers darling.

lizinsr said...

Alright, Tallulah, I see I'm going to have to go read your posts about a show that I would watch only if you paid me...a great deal of money. Why do you do this to me?

Re: Millionaire - You said that he used all three life lines on the "Tarzan" question. What did the audience say?!? I can't believe that three people were asked this question & none of them even guessed it correctly. If nothing else, the so-called expert on the show should have realized that when they throw in an odd reference such as the Tarzana bit that it is a HINT!!! But I have been pondering lately whether people in general are just dumber or if its only game show contestants. Compare new episodes of "Pyramid" and "Password" to the old ones.(Ok, yes I am a GSN junkie) In the old ones, contestants would generally get all but 1-2 answers. In the new ones, they seem to be doing good if they actually get 1-2 answers correct. Pitiful.

Tallulah Morehead said...

I said he used three, not "all three." They have four lifelines now. The third lifeline he used wasn't "Ask The Audience" (which undoubtedly would have shown that he was the only person in the room who didn't know the answer. If I remember right, he'd already used it on a previous question), but was "Double Dip," where he gets to answer twice. His first answer was "Arthur C. Clark." His second answer was, FINALLY, the right one. I guess he realized Bradbury wasn't dead.

If my cable system carried GSN, I'd be a GSN junkie too. When I had GSN, I watched it all the time. I saw an episode of PASSWORD on it from the 1960s where Eve Arden introduced her two sons in the audience: Douglas & Duncan!

I know YOU know why that gave me a start. Little Dougie called his brother Duncan to say, "Did you know our mother was Eve Arden?"

BTW, JD Times has, after a year, started having new entries.

Matt Patton said...

Comparing that Whateversheis to the Wicked Witch of The West is terribly unfair--to The Witch. For one thing, she's a better dresser. And she's personally acquainted with flying monkeys. How cool is that?

Tallulah Morehead said...

Mark, you have a definite point. Plus, the Wicked Witch of the West had a nicer personality than Chima. And she was dear Maggie Hamilton. Maggie and I were acquainted, and I adored her. In fact, I have a signed-by-her WIZARD OF OZ poster on my dining room wall.

I wonder if those flying monkeys are the ones that flew out of Jordan's ass when she finally won a competition?

Cheers darling.

Anonymous said...

Lovely Tallulah, out of all the reams I've read since July 9th, I love your Huffington reviews the most. And I sniffed a bit when I read "Casey at the Bat" about Casey's eviction. My late father would recite that poem to me when I was a child. Thanks for seeing the kind, intelligent man my son is. Casey's Mom

Tallulah Morehead said...

Well Hi, Casey's Mom.


The father of Little Dougie, who types up all my thoughts for me (often thinking them for me as well) also was given to reciting CASEY AT THE BAT at the drop of a hat. (He would also spout THE MIDNIGHT RIDE OF PAUL REVERE with little or no prompting.) As a result, when we checked the actual poem, we found Dougie's memory of the poem was, word-for-word accurate.

I enjoyed hearing Casey's vocal return during this week's banana-themed Veto Competition, which will surely rate him a shout-out over in my HuffPo column this week.

Could you have a word in his ear about the cigarettes? He's got a young son to live for. If Little Dougie could give up cigarettes at 40 (as he did, now 19 years without a cigarette) so can Casey. It's a lot easier than putting up with Chima.

Thanks for commenting.

Cheers darling.

Marjorie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marjorie said...

I do realize BB can be addictive. But when Chima's departure gets as much air time as the hazards of strontium-90, "Houston, we've got a problem."

Tallulah Morehead said...

That's because Chima is living strontium-90, only far more toxic.

I keep meaning to do a column on the hazards of strontium-90. I can't think why I haven't. There are so MANY good strontium-90 jokes out there.

Shannon said...

Where have you been? Are you okay? I'm worried. I've been looking for your BB column on the Huff and checking your blog daily.

I miss snort laughing and giggling like a five year old.

Please post that you're okay.

Losing sleep on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Now do you see why I NEED entertaining?

Tallulah Morehead said...

Sorry Shannon. I am fine, but my computer was ill. It's all better now. Thanks for worrying, but ebar in mind. I'm a screen Immortal! Nothing can happen to