The exact moment I transitioned from a young, careful dude to a cranky old fart coincided with the realization that Walter Peck is a guy who’s not only just doing his job, but he’s doing it fairly well. As I assume most of you know (and, hey, it better damn well be all of you), Walter Peck is an inspector for the Environmental Protection Agency. Meaning it is Walter’s job to protect the environment—and, by proxy, human health—from all manners of things such as toxic waste, smog, contaminated water tables, and busting ghosts.
As an omniscient audience member, we know that there’s a major ghosting problem going on in New York City. As a realist though (as in if we really lived in the reality of the Ghostbusters films), we would have to be on Peck’s side, and say, “Hey, maybe, we should keep an eye on these guys running around with lasers. And, maybe, they shouldn’t have lasers. Who’s looking into this? If only there was a bearded wonder to set things right.”
Ghosts, in and of themselves do not fall under EPA jurisdiction; it’s the storage and disposal of ghosts that falls under EPA jurisdiction. Ghost storage could fall under the Toxic Substance Control Act, Solid Waste Disposal Act (I think slime counts as a solid), and Nuclear Waste Repository Act (the proton packs are nuclear). On second thought, ghosts could possibly fall into the Endangered Species Act if you count ghosts as an endangered species and considering how few ghosts there are and the rate at which the Ghostbusters are busting them, I think you have to. At the end of the day, Peck and the Environmental Protection Agency just want to prevent disasters such as blowing up New York (which the Ghostbusters do... spoiler alert [already spoiled]).
Walter Peck was right to do his job, and he went about it the right way. He was friendly and professional, he politely requested to just see the containment unit, most likely to see if it was spitting out toxic ghost waste (the kind of toxic ghost waste that could seep into the New York City sewer system and form some sort reactive sludge… or “mood slime”). He doesn’t want to shut the Ghostbusters down, he just wants to make sure they’re following the proper rules and regulations that every business has to follow. He even said please. And for that, Peter Venkman gets in his face and throws him out the building.
Venkman and crew may not be ‘fraid of no ghost, but they do appear to be ‘fraid of a little paperwork. One day of filling at forms at town hall pretty much negates this entire subplot.
The fact that Peck has the right to look into the Ghostbusters affairs is beside the point, the important thing is he should be looking into them. They openly admit that the proton packs are “unlicensed nuclear accelerators.” Do you really want untrained, mostly bumbling college professors running around with these things? What do we even really know about the proton stream? Best case they can burn the hell out a roll of toilet paper, so 2nd and 3rd degree burns. What happens if that ghost baby they're trying to catch isn't a ghost? Worst case scenario and, perhaps, Egon Spengler explains it best:
Don't cross the streams… It would be bad… Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
Bad is an understatement.
Perhaps, this falls more into a 2nd amendment debate (“Gov’ment’s takin’ our Prot’n Packs”) than an ecological debate. But if it doesn’t fall under an environmental issue, when Peck starts pointing a finger, maybe, one of the cops he brought along should have said, “Hey, maybe, these guys shouldn’t have lasers. Maybe, they should be detained from using lasers until a judgment is made.” I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a laser beam, I just think laser beams should require some sort of approval, some sort of background check, some sort of something. Winston isn’t even a doctor, he’s just some dude.
If the point of Walter Peck’s character was the he was a huge, irrational wet blanket then what should have happened when he shut down the containment grid is nothing. The only thing that makes Walter Peck look like an ass would be if the Ghostbusters were actual con artists. If they were just pretending to catch ghosts then the EPA really has no say about containing these fake ghosts. The fact that the Ghostbusters’ firehouse blew up actually proved his point. It proved that this technology is dangerous to New York and its citizens.
Great TMNT art by m7781
Alternatives to Comic Sans (to spoil the joke, my favorite is Horacio Sans)
A scale model dollhouse of the Golden Girls' house - note to the world: Blanche's raw sexuality cannot be scaled down.
Worst Jobs to have in Horror Movies - Good advice is never to work with children and go to college, kids (There's fewer stabbings in middle management).
There have really only been two significant actors to ever come out of Australia; those, of course, being Yahoo Serious and Paul Hogan. Let me think a second (check IMDB and Wikipedia) and see if I missed anyone else worth talking about… nope, that’s it.
I mean they’re on Australian currency:
Our main source of information about Australia comes from Paul Hogan, I think it’s safe to say that all we know of Australia comes from Crocodile Dundee (the only other source is from an episode of DuckTales when Scrooge McDuck took the boys on an Outback vacation to check on his opal mines). Therefor, if A) Our ideas of Australia are derived from the movie Crocodile Dundee and B) No Australian has ever disputed Paul Hogan’s vision of history then C) Crocodile Dundee is a true depiction of Australia. Ipso facto Australians don’t know what knives are.
Not familiar with Australia, knives, or Dundee, well, I’m here to help.
Wolf Gnards Theater Presents:
The That's A Knife Scene
Flash back to the good old 80’s when men were men and women wore odd one-piece thongs (that was the first thong I ever saw!).
Picture leather-faced (and pretty much leather everything), fish-out-of-water Mick “Crocodile” Dundee and, intrepid reporter, Sue going down a dark alley in New York City when they are accosted by Street Thug #1—complete with Michael Jackson jacket and brandishing a switchblade.
Now he’s got a… knife. That’s a fact. He’s holding what can only be defined as a cutting instrument consisting of a sharp blade fastened to a handle.
That does not seem to bother old Mick Dundee though, who answers, “That’s not a knife, that’s a knife.” And whips out a different cutting instrument, something that can also only be defined as a “knife” only two to three times larger. To which, Street Thug #1 respectfully agrees, goes home, thinks about his life, enrolls in a junior college, becomes a substitute math teacher, and teaches kids the dangers of having smaller knives.
All We are are Knives
The point of this tale though is that both men clearly have knives. It’s not a matter of it being is this a knife or is that a knife? They both have knives. If the mugger had a spoon, that would be a different story. So, does Dundee not know what a knife is, or is he the only one of us who truly understands. What is a knife really (besides not being a spoon)? Is the point of the knife only to cut or is the knife the ultimate measurement of man’s soul. Is it a knife at all or is the knife merely an extension of Paul Hogan, the aboriginal man (honorary, at least)?
Who we are is not based on the content of our being or the sharpness of our blades, but on sheer size. According to Crocodile philosophy, bigger is not only better, bigger is the only register. A small knife isn’t a knife at all, it’s a pointy non-threatening device. I’m not even sure it can be used for cutting. A bewildered smile is about the best you’d be able to get from Dundee.
Knives are not judged by cuttiosity (the ability unto cuttiness), but size. Is the same true for people? What it is to be human isn’t determined by our humanity—our minds, our souls, our various what have yous—but our mass. Not just bigness (although it’s reasonable to think Andre the Giant and Manute Bol are far more human than I), but bigness of personality. Which is exactly what the primal Dundee is after all. Do you fish with a pole or with sticks of dynamite? Do you shave with a Bic razor or a machete? Do you use a watch or the sun? It’s the largeness of life that defines Mick Dundee and to some degree everyone.
Life itself can only be gauged in regards to others. Who’s a better puncher, who can drink more beer, who can wrestle the most crocs? Perhaps, it’s not a matter of size, but a matter of perspective. My life is equal to your life plus or minus 10%. So, either my life is better than yours (big knife) or my life is worse than yours (little knife). However, to knife or not to knife, is not the only option in this world. If Crocodile Dundee has a knife, and the mugger (who has a knife) doesn’t have a knife, what does Sue have? She legitimately doesn't have a knife, big or little, meaning she has a negative knife (less than zero knife, which means having a small knife). That’s what her life was like before Crocodile Dundee entered it: a boring, negative existence as devoid of knives as it is love.
I was hanging out with a friend and he tried to describe my blog to his girl, and his description went something like this, “So, he’s got this formula and it’s actually a pretty good formula, he writes these very nerdy breakdowns with charts and stuff of stupid movies. And he wrote this Bill Murray article once that people like, but he’s never been able to recreate its success. So, he rehashes this formula over and over again but he’s never had another hit.” Way to so succinctly sum up all my many failures and missteps… friend.
First – He’s kind of a dick, right?
Second - Fair enough.
Despite popular belief, I’ve had some hits: the Groundhog Day article, Zooey Deschanel’s bangs, and my Full House/Joey conspiracy to name a few. I don’t use Bill Murray, of course, as my yardstick for success because if you compare yourself to Murray-y goodness, you’re always going to be disappointed. That being said, maybe, 30 articles have garnered measurable, significant traffic. Meaning that leaves hundreds of articles what have never really been seen. Let’s look at some of them.
My Favorite FAIL-ures
These are my heart breakers. After each and everyone one of these posts, I expected to be carried on shoulders and have babies named after me (Gnards is a great name for a boy or a girl). And instead… crickets.
How much money Bill Cosby paid for sweaters – this is still one of my favorite posts. I figured out Bill Cosby’s character, Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable, spent around $80000 on sweaters. That’s more than any reasonably human being should pay for sweaters.
The reason I think it failed was this picture:
And as awesome as Bill Wheaton is, it’s also creepy and distracting. Instead of processing the wonderful brain candy of sweater prices, all you see is Bill Cosby on Wil Wheaton’s body.
Aquaman’s fishwiener – An article of and pertaining to the anatomies of comic book mermen. Written mostly from a place where I was tired of fangirls mooning over Prince Namor (because 50% chance dude don’t got a penis… just sayin [also, knowing that most fangirls would still rather be with Namor than me… they’re just sayin]).
Can a werewolf dunk? – Yes. Looking back on it, that should have been the entire article. Michael J. Fox dunked in Teen Wolf, so you don’t need a long winded explanation that werewolves can dunk a basketball. Still, I remember writing this one and I remember literally thinking I was going to break the internet because of how awesome this was. The internet remains intact.
How to shoot your eye out – I actually waited until the holidays to post this one. I had it written than I sat on it because I wanted this to have a timely Christmas release. Because everyone sits around thinking about shooting their eyes out between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I thought that thought before I posted this! It didn’t matter. Apparently, the rest of the world is not nearly as confused as to what shooting your eye out means. And feel free to explain because I'm still confused.
Gremlin Reproduction – I think I had more fun photoshopping the pictures than writing the article. The post is probably so generic I could have renamed it: Something, something Gremlins, Remember That Movie, Right? Also, it’s gross.
Of course, under all of these articles is another layer of crap that I would prefer to remain buried.
So, you’ve probably seen it already, but a Kickstarter did it: they made a Robocop statue for Detroit. Not New Detroit, not movie Detroit, but real Detroit. On one hand, I love this. On the other hand, this is unbelievably stupid. But I guess these aren’t mutually exclusive ideas. A Robocop statue can be stupid and awesome.
While Robocop may be the weirdest pop culture statue ever commissioned (and I’m going to lean very heavy on the may… let the posting of weirder statues begin!), it’s hardly the first. There’s a Rocky Balboa statue in Philadelphia. There’s a Fonzie statue in Milwaukee. There’s the Superman statue in Metropolis, IL. There’s the Ralph Kramden statue in New York. There’s the giant Marilyn Monroe statue (weirder) now in Palm Springs, was in Chicago, and makes sense in neither. There’s even the life-size Gundam in Japan (definitely weirder than Robocop). All strange and all wonderful. How are these statues really any different from the Classics or the Bible?
Robocop is just the first though. This has changed everything, and I think we can do better? If we dream hard enough, and enough of our weird little friends are willing to cough up enough bucks, we can make any stupid statue happen. Let's see how deep this rabbit hole goes.
Pop Cultural Statues We Need
Bill & Ted Statues – San Dimas, CA
How is there not a Bill and Ted statue in San Dimas already? Who is there possibly better to honor in San Dimas? Ranchers Ygnacio Palomares and Ricardo Vejar (somewhere two San Dimas historians are high fiving right now)? Screw them. The San Dimas Wikipedia page mentions Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure twice, they got nothing else going on.
My last post covered the ever multiplying Martys in the Back to the Future flicks, and as long and rambling as that post was, I still have yet more to say. Much more. This time I’d like to talk about another sort of temporal anomaly in the third film.
Two DeLoreans Too Many
And coincidentally instantly after posting my last BTTF article, two separate people (shout out to Robot's PJs and Masters of None) pointed out the two DeLorean theory of Back to the Future Part III. Here’s a snippet from the Master’s blog:
When Marty went back to 1885 to save Doc, he first had to uncover a DeLorean in 1955 that was already buried by Doc in 1885. When he went back to 1885, he ripped the gas line and emptied the gas tank, thus causing the car to be useless and having to have it be pushed by the train in the final sequence. However, what neither of them realized is that when Marty travels back to 1885 from 1955, there are now TWO DeLoreans. One that Marty ripped the fuel line, and one that Doc JUST BURIED not but a few months earlier to be uncovered by Marty in 1955. To rectify the situation and travel back to 1985, all they had to do was patch the gas line of the first with some tubing and siphon the gas from the buried DeLorean to the other, simply leaving a note for the 1955 counterparts to remember to fill up when found.
But this isn’t a paradox or a film flub or a mistake. It’s just normal stupidity, and stupidity I can always believe. Marty has spent three movies proving exactly how unbright he is; Strickland was totally within his right to be rough on him. He’s a slacker, bottom line. Marty was ready to fight Griff and his gang because of a chicken sound effect; this is not a thinking man. Doc, on the other hand, is brilliant with machines, but noticeably less than brilliant at other things (namely life and love). Let’s say at his best Doc is prone to rash decisions: stealing plutonium from known terrorists for one, challenging Mad Dog Tannen to a duel over a matter of $80 for another. Rewind back to the first movie, Doc forgot to put more plutonium in the trunk (one pellet, one trip). This is not a wild assumption on their intelligences (as most of my assumptions are), this is totally believable. Not remembering the second DeLorean was dumb, yes; problematic for me in terms of plot, not as much.
My problem is Doc returning to the present with a wife and kids. What’s up with that? And let me explain this in the longest, most drawn out way possible. So, Back to the Future III ends with Marty punking out on his drag race (I mean if you’re going to own a big ass monster truck and you’re going to be hanging out with dudes named Needles, I think it’s expected of you), Doc shows up in a locomotive and says everything’s cool, Doc’s son does some sort of weird finger in finger gesture, then Doc’s train flies off, and The End. Good feelings all around. Trilogy over. Roll the credits. But something is missing for me though.
I’m on board with Doc building a steam-powered time machine out of a train, why not? It’s no more unbelievable than a car. But what were Doc and Clara up to before dropping in on Marty? There's a missing story here. Namely why did Doc & Co. visit the future before visiting Marty? Maybe, it was just for the cool visual of a hover converted train. 1985 was not their first stop and this is important because there’s a hidden plot that they don’t ever get at. They went to the future first in order to destroy Marty’s family.