Before I gush in praise of the Venture Brothers premiere, I would like to register of annoyance at AdultSwim.com’s posting rules for the new season. Look: I don’t have cable or a TV. I love Venture Brothers. I would like to watch the show in a (some-what) timely manner each week. But, no AdultSwim.com you must make me wait 8 days for each new episode. This is deeply unfair. When your video posting rules are more strict that that of Hulu, I think you’re asking for trouble. I would even be willing to watch 5 (or even 10!) minute ad before the damn episode if it would please your corporate overlords. Please, AdultSwim.com, have mercy.
All that said, this season premier was one of the strongest episodes of Venture Brothers in the 4th season. I was a big fan of the first half of this season, so my bar was set pretty high for this episode – and Jackson Publick easily exceeded my expectations. Basically, this episode made up for the few weaknesses of the first half of the season – there was more Brock and Pete White (though no Dr. O). The Monarch was even put to better use than he has since the second season.
What was most impressive about this premier was how tight and interconnected the plot was despite the elements being so disperate. It is good writing when you can connect the Monarch’s love affair with his Green Goblin glider to Brock and the boys venturing through Doc’s innards. All of that they pushed the meta-plot forward and had continuity pay offs! They should teach this show in scriptwriting school.
It is always remarkably hard to review a new Venture Brother’s episode, since it mostly involves me showering praise upon the show. So, I think I am going to leave things at that. Until next week (and more praise)!
[An index of our Fall TV 2o1o coverage can be found here]
I absolutely agree with this.
Consider it Blurred Productions endorsed.
The permissive sexual culture that prevailed everywhere, seminaries included, during the silly season of the ’70s deserves a share of the blame, as does that era’s overemphasis on therapy. (Again and again, bishops relied on psychiatrists rather than common sense in deciding how to handle abusive clerics.)
…except to say nothing makes a Catholic sound like a Scientologist than a good priest molestation scandal.
Charlotte Allen has written a piece on dating – yes, dating – for the Weekly Standard – yes, the Weekly Standard – that will be a gift for gender historians and cultural studies for generations.
Allen central problem? Why do women have sex with giant, over-privileged assholes like Tucker Max? I wonder…
It helps, of course, that there’s currently a buyer’s market in women who are up for just about anything with the right kind of cad, what with delayed marriage (the average age for a woman’s first wedding is now 26, compared with 20 in 1960, according to the University of Virginia-based National Marriage Project’s latest report); reliable contraception; and advances in antibiotics (no more worries about what used to be called venereal disease). No-fault divorce, moreover, has pushed the marriage-dissolution rate up to between 40 and 50 percent and swelled the single-female population with “cougars” in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. On top of it all is the feminist-driven academic and journalistic culture celebrating that yesterday’s “loose” women are today’s “liberated” women, able to proudly “explore their sexuality” without “getting punished for their lust,” as the feminist writer Naomi Wolf put it in the Guardian in December.
Wolf devoted her 1997 book Promiscuities to trying to remove the stigma from . . . promiscuity. On the one hand, she decried the double-standard unfairness of labeling a girl who fools around with too many boys a “slut,” and, on the other, she lionized “the Slut” (her capitalization) as the enviable epitome of feminist freedom and feminist transgression against puritanical social norms. Wolf’s point of view is today mainstream. It’s the underlying theme of Eve Ensler’s girls-talk-dirty Vagina Monologues, performed every year on Valentine’s Day on college campuses across the country. A chapter from Promiscuities titled “Sluts” has made so many women’s studies reading lists that term-paper mills sell canned essays purporting to dissect it. A group calling itself the Women’s Direct Action Collective issued a manifesto in 2007 titled Sluts Against Rape insisting that “a woman should have the right to be sexual in any way she chooses” and that easy availability was “a positive assertion of sexual identity.” In other words, if people call you a whore because you, say, fall into bed with someone whose name you can’t quite remember, that’s their problem. Of course, if a man mistakes a woman being “sexual in any way she chooses” for consent to have sex, it’s still rape.
Let’s highlight on that final pair of sentences, which are just beyond awesome:
In other words, if people call you a whore because you, say, fall into bed with someone whose name you can’t quite remember, that’s their problem. Of course, if a man mistakes a woman being “sexual in any way she chooses” for consent to have sex, it’s still rape.
I forgot how much cognitive dissonance the idea women should be able to have as much sex as they consent to creates. I mean, it is a difficult idea to accept. Of course, a rape victim was asking for it by having sex before her attack. If only she’d had the foresight to have clear record before her attack.
Let’s remember, ladies, that The Hangover style antics are only for the boys:
Thanks to late marriage, easy divorce, and the well-paying jobs that the feminist revolution has wrought for women, the bars, clubs, sidewalks, and subway straps of nearly every urban center in America overflow every weekend with females, young and not so young, bronzed, blonded, teeth-whitened, and dressed in the maximal cleavage and minimal skirt lengths that used to be associated with streetwalkers but nowadays is standard garb for lawyers and portfolio managers on a girls’ night out. The prelude to the $50,000 wedding these days isn’t just the budget-busting shower—although that’s de rigueur—but the bachelorette party, in which the bride and her BFF’s don their skinnies and spaghetti straps and head to a bar to be hit on, sometimes bride and all, by whatever males are bold enough (the typical accoutrements of the bachelorette party are a $15 “ironic” veil for the bride and a sculpted replica of a male sex organ that’s often brought to the bar).
And, oh noes! Look! All women in NY, NY are sluts!
Urban life, furthermore, turns out to imitate Sex and the City. A survey reported in the New York Daily News around the time of the film’s release revealed that the typical female resident of Manhattan, who marries later on average than almost every other woman in the country, has 20 sex partners during her lifetime. By way of contrast, the median number of lifetime sex partners for all U.S. women ages 15 to 44 is just 3.3, according to the Census Bureau’s latest statistical abstract.
Allen then continues on and on about the “seduction community” – the true winners of the sexual revolution. She ends her long windy exposition on the cultural importance of “The Game” – one can’t help but wonder if Allen has been watching too much How I Met Your Mother uncritically – with this nugget of wisdom:
If it all sounds cheesy, tedious, manipulative, obvious, condescending to women, maybe kind of gay, it’s because it is. But here’s the rub: This stuff works.
Personally, I love the gay crack. The Weekly Standard is so hip. Now, dear reader, let’s be honest here. The sort of pure drunken stupidity crossed with readings of evolutionary biology offered by “The Game” et al. does not work. But, of course, like a good social scientist Allen has evidence at it does! Conclusive evidence at that:
If you think men who peacock look ridiculous and unmanly, click onto the photo-website Hot Chicks With Douchebags, where spectacular-looking babes hang on the pecs of preening rednecks and “Jersey Shore”-style guidos sporting chest-baring shirts and product-stiffened fauxhawks. Watch the video “Learn Enough Guitar to Get Laid” on YouTube (three chords, max). In June 2005, Craig Malisow, a reporter for the Houston Press, trailed 24-year-old Bashev, a Bulgarian-born graduate student in engineering at Rice University and self-styled pickup expert, to a series of bars and clubs in Houston. Bashev had no intention of telling the 20-something HBs he met that his day job consisted of working with multivariable calculus. Instead he pointed to his shoes and informed them that he was a “foot model.” Then he launched into his canned opener: Did they think reality shows were “really real”? Sure, two groups of females on whom Bashev tried that line rolled their eyes and smirked, but three bars (and the same routine) later, he was relaxing in a lounge chair reading a shapely brunette’s palm (chick crack plus “kino,” a Mystery-ism that refers to getting a woman to crave your touch), and soon enough “her fingers were gently grasping the backs of his wrists,” Malisow observed. Within minutes, Bashev had not only number-closed but gotten a date for the following Wednesday.
There is so much pure goodness here, I don’t know what to pull out. I mean she uses “Hot Chucks with Douchebags” as primary evidence for her thesis! The Onion could not make this shit up.
But the best part is her “lived” example of the “seduction culture” in action. Hot pick up artist Bashev had to go to three different bars before he could find some poor souls to fall for his bag of tricks. High success rate there, buddy.
Allen then goes into a long ramble about evolutionary psychology – which I will not repost here. Needless to say Allen falls into the “Men are made to fuck, Women are made to marry” crowd. Easily the most boring part of this whole disaster.
Allen then goes on to blame the sexual revolution and women for the recent spat of horrific violence against women:
Infatuation with killers is extreme and rare behavior (although perhaps not so rare as we imagine—this past summer a 16-year-old Virginia girl developed an online crush on a 20-year-old horrorcore enthusiast who called himself “Syko Sam.” Syko Sam is now awaiting trial for allegedly bludgeoning the girl, her parents, and her best friend to death). But it’s a fair signal of impending social chaos when the prevailing female attitude is dissatisfaction, either mild or intense, with the workaday Joes—the good-provider beta males—whom one has already married or, in the era before the sexual and feminist revolutions, would be planning to marry because chasing alphas in bars was not a respectable option for the female middle class.
Of course! Violence aganist women is the product of the demographic shortage of non-slutty women. Clearly the only solution here is closer regulation of female sexual behavior.
And look! Marriage is falling apart:
Wives have historically reported less satisfaction from their marriages than husbands, but according to the National Marriage Project’s latest report, their discontent is growing: fewer than 60 percent of wives report that they are “very happy” in their marriages, in contrast to more than 66 percent in 1973. (Male marital happiness has declined, too: from 70 percent to 63 percent.)
I didn’t realize that a large majority of people continuing to enjoy an institution means it is on its way to destruction. Though I guess that might be because I find sentences like “Perhaps for that reason, or perhaps because sex outside marriage is now so readily available no one need buy the cow” to be full of shit.
I think I will close this little recounting of pure stupidity wit the real money quote from the last half of Allen’s piece. After quoting from some evolutionary psychology babble Allen proceeds to sum America up:
That’s a pretty fair description of mating life today in the urban underclass and the meth-lab culture of rural America. Take away the offspring, blocked by the Pill and ready abortion, and it’s also a pretty fair description of today’s prolonged singles scene. In other words, we have met the Stone Age, and it is us.
Yep, that’s the full picture of sexual America today – meth ends and 20 somethings looking to score. Except, of course, for the wise readership of the Weekly Standard – they are clearly above such things.
(via & via)
This editorial comes from The Wall Street Journal, but since it’s one of those articles that takes a tenuous conceit that you can build a headline around and stretches the metaphor way past the point of coherence, you’d swear it came from Slate.
Cultural historians are desperately seeking a precedent to the Jay Leno-Conan O’Brien fiasco. They are looking in the wrong places. True, Pat Sajak, Chevy Chase and Joan Rivers all got axed from late-night talk shows after shockingly brief stints at the helm, but none of them got $32.5 million to take a hike. And none of them got replaced by the person they had replaced. And none of them pouted about getting canned for general incompetence while millions of their countrymen—who had not actually failed at their jobs—were unable to find work.
No, the most appropriate parallel to the debacle that has humiliated NBC took place in central Europe in the late 1930s. It happened at Munich.
Jay Leno, much like Adolf Hitler, is a master of making secret demands for foreign territory and then acting like the wronged party. First he pretended that he wanted to annex only the first half-hour of Mr. O’Brien’s “Tonight Show.” Here he was mimicking Hitler, who insisted that he merely wanted to annex the German-speaking Sudetenland, not all of Czechoslovakia.
Then, adopting the craven British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain as a role model, NBC stabbed Mr. O’Brien in the back by agreeing to let Mr. Leno reoccupy the first segment of his old “Tonight Show” slot. NBC’s defense was that Mr. O’Brien had dismal ratings, and the show was a bit of a mess. But the same can be said about Czechoslovakia, a hodgepodge cobbled together after the First World War that never really got its act together.
I guess it says something about my tastes that I was more upset by the author’s unfair claims about Conan’s “pouting” than the hyperbolic comparisons of Leno to der Fuhrer.