Tag Archives: quotes

CAN YOU FLY, BOBBY?

Reading a threat on Reddit, OF ALL PLACES, has me thinking: have you ever used movie quotes in real life and passed them off as genuine on-the-spot utterances? Actually, that should be re-written for me to say: have you ever not done that thing you just asked? I use quotes from movies, music, books, games, everything in place of normal conversation.

It all fits too – 60 per cent of the time, it works every time.

As this is blatantly obvious to anyone with half a brain cell to run against the inside of their skull, it does get a bit miff-worthy when I genuinely come up with something original and brilliant (it does happen) and am immediately asked (well, post-laugh): “where did you get that from?”

I am capable of originality. 60 per cent of the time, every time.

But all the same, fitting a direct quote from a movie into real life is just damn satisfying – I don’t care how nerdy or whatever it is. Every time I’m bumped into in a club or pub and respond with a “hey man, there’s a beverage here!” is a victory for me. Every time a “what are you doing in life?” is answered with “hanging out, playing Nintendo” is a championship moment. Every time I meet a trainee pilot named Robert and I exclaim “CAN YOU FLY, BOBBY?” I automatically win at life.

Things other people have written and other other people have acted out are great. I’m going to keep ripping them off for my own small amusement. 60 per cent of the time, every time.

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Twitter’s ‘top tweets’, aka: ‘how to spout a complete bunch of arse’.

I have grown fond of Twitter for a few different purposes over the last year or so – I still think it’s excellent for live quippy banter during football matches, for example. Especially as I have no friends and always end up watching it on my own.

But the front page of that site often makes me want to stab, twist and stab again. It’s full of the most sanctimonious bullshit I have had the profound misfortune to ever read – half-baked, nonsensical and downright idiotic gibberish that the morons writing it should be fucking ashamed of. And that’s without going in to the mind-numbing god-squad shit that clutters it up.

Problem is, they’re on the main page of Twitter, seen by millions, so they think they’re actually saying, or doing, something right. They’re not. Here are three examples. Well, two examples and one example of something that’s gone over my head. So I’m the idiot there. Let’s just call that one the control in this study.

First up is MileyCySupportt (yes, that’s an extra ‘t’) with this nugget of wisdom:

“We cant find anything in magazine sites about Liam Hemsworth. Why? Because he’s done. He’s nothing without Miley Cyrus. Thats it.”

I don’t give two flecks of crusty, five-week-old shit about Miley Cyrus and I genuinely have no idea who Liam Hemsworth is. I know who Hemsworth Ian is, but I doubt they’re related. But this user seems to genuinely believe the moronic little shit of a singer gives any semblance of a flying fuck about what they think. They seem to think they have any right to comment on the life and times of said little shit* as if their input is in some way relevant, thoughtful or in the slightest bit important. For that, they can piss the shit off. Yes, I am most likely picking on a 12-year-old here. I’m not even sorry.

Next up is the control example, from CornelWest:

“You can have all the schooling in the world, but If you’re still on the surface, you’re not really educated.”

I’m sure there’s some fine philosophical meaning behind this, but all I get out of it is ‘you need to become a Morlock, otherwise you’re a stupid, stupid twat.’ Which, to be honest, is a damn fine message to put on the front page of Twitter.

But the absolute best of today’s crop has to be this gem of an uplifting, feel-good quote from quotemeifyoucan:

“Don’t try to be a star. Be the moon; it shines brighter than everything in the sky.”

First up is the astounding idiocy on show here in indicating that people should aspire to be either a burning fucking ball of fucking gas in space or a fucking lump of fucking rock in fucking space. That’s before we go into the real kicker here and point out that the only reason the moon shines as it does is because it reflects the light given off by the Sun. The Sun is actually the brightest thing in our sky, as far as I’m aware, and is actually – get this – a fucking star. Little sayings like this don’t just annoy cantankerous old twats like me, they’re actually harmful to society as a whole. Seriously, they are. You bring your little arsehole kids up to spout this nonsense and they will have little to no grasp on how utterly devoid of anything positive life can be, how unrelentingly awful people can be or how all you’re doing is cruising along, keeping your head down and waiting to fucking die. Also they’ll be irritating, chirpy little twunts that just need to shut up before I die of rage.

Fuck you everybody, good night.

*I mean, who in their right mind would ever comment openly on people they don’t actually know, or have any involvement with or contact with? Only a moron, quite clearly.**

**What I’ve done there is cleverly lampoon myself in a hilarious fashion. If you didn’t pick that up then piss off, you’re a moron.

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Futurama Begin Again

A new series of Futurama begins this evening in the US (Comedy Central, fact fans). This could turn out to be one of the best things to happen to TV in quite a while, as Futurama is one of the best animated comedy shows ever made – nay, one of the best comedy shows ever made, balls to the ‘animated’ part. It’s just magnificent.

The direct-to-DVD films released over the last few years weren’t that great. There was a bit of emotional, as contrived as it was. There was David Cross, which is always good. There was Bender. But they were lacking – they were fan-service and little else more, and barring the actual ending they made with Into The Wild Green Yonder brought nothing major to the series. In fact, I’d go so far as to say they made me glad there weren’t any plans for a new series at that point.

But now it’s here, now I’ve had time to get over how let-down I was by the movies, I am excited. I am excited. I’m willing to believe that the hour-and-a-half episodes weren’t playing to Groening, Cohen etc. strengths. They took a pretty threadbare plotline and stretched it over far too much padding, attempts at making quotable lines and repetition of Bender saying “me, Bender”. But it’s cut back down now to the 20 minute-ish episodes we all know and love.

This is where the strengths of the Futurama creators lie: a threadbare plot stretched over about 20 minutes and peppered with non-stop, eminently-quotable lines (which aren’t pushed on you as “PLEASE QUOTE THIS TO YOUR FRIENDS!”). Any show that includes lines like: “Leela, you look confused. And aroused.” “Weeeernstrom…” “WINDMILLS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY.” or “Someone likes snouts!” “Is it me?” doesn’t need to make efforts or intentionally aim to make the watcher remember what they’re hearing so they can repeat it further down the line.

Futurama isn’t a catchphrase show (hence the slight annoyance with the constant “me, Bender” lines), it’s just a show of fucking funny writing. Satire, non-sequiturs, plain weirdness, wordplay (“I am the greetest!”), genuine real-life maths, encouraging crime and generally being brilliant meaning there is absolutely no need to try and appeal to those who don’t want to get into it. It may not have worked from a commercial perspective initially, but in the long run it’s shown there is indeed an audience for the show: smart enough to get things, with good enough senses of humour to be able to laugh at real, actual jokes that have bases in both the storyline and the characters themselves*.

I really hope they don’t mess this up. I want more Anthology Of Interest episodes, or ones as good as the 80s guy episode, or (hold… back… the tears…) like Jurassic Bark. Please don’t let me down, Futurama. But even if you do, I’ve still got your DVDs to go back to and watch repeatedly, as I tend to do every few months. “Jam a bastard in it, you crap!” indeed.

*Compare Bender’s summation of “have you ever tried simply turning off the TV, sitting down with your children, and hitting them?” on Bender Must Not Be Allowed On Television with anything Peter Griffin ever does. The former is an example of rather unexpected comedy based entirely on what a character is actually like. The latter is an example of rather unexpected comedy that just makes up shit as it goes along in order to claw wildly at anything approaching a laugh. (I don’t like Family Guy, by the by)

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Arnold Schwarzenegreview #2 – Commando

Commando is another of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s films that has had untold effects on society as a whole. It is the tale of John Matrix – played by Schwarzenegger – and his quest to rescue his kidnapped daughter from the clutches of a South American ex-dictator and his chainmail-wearing partner (who also happens to be Matrix’s former special forces squadmate, and who is definitely not gay). But how has Commando shaped the very world around it? How has it made us all dance a merry dance to its particular brand of whims? Read on, dear… reader.

In a similar way to Orwell’s essay on the written use of English, in the same way Bukowski managed to tear down the walls of conventional poetry and make it as accessible as it was poignant, Matrix tantalises the part of our brain that appreciates language. He toys with the very notion of what meaning is, and while he is always saying things with a nod and a wink to the audience (an invisible one, natch), he never tells a lie or goes out of his way to befuddle either his compatriots or the audience. When Cindy asks what happened to the tiny bad guy Sully, Matrix responds: “I let him go” – not only is this hilarious in the extreme, it is also a direct reflection of the situation we as an audience have just witnessed. It isn’t a lie what Matrix says, but it is worded in such a fashion to make Cindy believe Sully has been released back into the wild, where he belongs, when in actual fact he has been dropped off the edge of a cliff.

This magnificent, double-edged use of language occurs on numerous occasions throughout Commando: “He’s dead tired”, referring to a man who Matrix has just snapped the neck of (it’s hard to see why out of context, but the play on words there is ‘dead’, as the man is literally dead); “let’s take Cook’s car, he won’t be needing it”, it is a statement of fact that he will not be needing his car, but what Matrix leaves to the audience to figure out is that he won’t be needing the car because he is deceased; and of course, the classic: “Let off some steam, Bennett!” where Matrix is referring to the duality of the situation – both that Bennett (recently impaled with a length of steel piping, which has ruptured through a high-pressure steam vent behind him) has literal steam rushing from his chest wound, and that Bennett needs to calm down a bit, as he is quite angry (and clearly repressing his homosexuality).

It’s safe to say that Commando doesn’t offer us the same kind of life lessons that Predator does, but all the same it has a valuable place in the history of humanity. Without Matrix and his quips, would we have ever recognised the potential for plays on words, dual meanings or intentionally ambiguous statements? I think not. And without these lessons, it is likely that comedy in its current form would simply not exist. After all, it is the greatest comedian of our times, Stewart Lee, who stated: “The flexibility of the English language allows us to imagine that we are an inherently witty nation, when in fact we just have a vocabulary and a grammar that allow for endlessly amusing confusions of meanings.” He didn’t go on to add – but probably should have – that this would not have been possible were it not for the trailblazing wordsmithery of Commando’s Matrix.

So thank you John Matrix. You have made the world a happier place by teaching us how language can be used so effectively and how it can be tamed in order to do most of the work for us. I’d just like to let you know we appreciate it.

Every day is a school day: John Matrix’s daughter, Jenny, is played by Alyssa Milano. She went on to play Phoebe in the popular witch-based TV show ‘Charmed’.

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