The Seven Robots You Meet in Heaven

 

transformers-revenge-of-the-fallen-movie-poster-aloofkiddotcom

Before we get into this here Auteur Theory thingie on the biggest movie event of the summer, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, let’s get one thing out of the way.

1)      There are major spoilers here, so if for whatever reason you’re some kind of anti-social non conformist who hasn’t ran, nay sprinted out to see the biggest movie event of the Summer, well, there’s ‘bout to be a whole shitload of spoilers up in that ass.

Now, I’m no film scholar, that’s not what I went to school for, but sometimes aren’t the ones who aren’t the professionals the best at what they do?  With that in mind I’m here to blather on about Sir Michael Bay’s Magnum Opus, the biggest movie event of the summer; Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. T:RotF is the sequel to the biggest movie event of the summer of 2007, Transformers, which in itself was a live action movie adaptation of the biggest syndicated television event of many a 80’s baby childhood afternoon and accompanying Hasbro toy line, Transformers.

Now the 2007 film came under much fire and duress from many critics, stating hurtful things such as “that was completely retarded,” and “what the fuck was going on,” or “Someone help, my husband is epileptic and is going into a seizure!”  And to the critics credit they were not totally at fault for the bile with which they spewed.  True, John Tutturo was criminally underutilized and not allowed to reach such Corinthian heights of acting which he displayed in You Don’t Mess With the Zohan.  True, the character design for all of the transformers looked like they done by an agitated autistic kid.

But that’s not why we are here, we’re here to dive head first into the dirty details of T:RotF (carefully, for the exposed nails).  Not only is T:RotF the biggest movie event of the summer, but it is also a very nuanced FILM that deigns to take on even more social issues and commentary than its biggest movie event of the summer status could even belie.  From my limited screenings numbering in at only half a dozen or so I have pinpointed three main themes throughout this film.  The first two will be discussed tonight while we will parse through the third this Thursday.

Race Relations: Mudflap and Skidz

Skidz and Mudflap

Skidz and Mudflap

Minstrel Shows began to take form sometime around the 1830s and exploded in popularity on through the Civil War, dying out sometime after the turn of the century, before making a nationwide comeback in the 1990s with the formation of the UPN and WB television networks.  The main point of the Minstrel Show, of course, was white actors and entertainers performing in blackface and portraying blacks in insulting stereotypes.  All the more damning was the practice after the Civil War to have black actors perform in blackface as well.  A more recent example would be the guy who voiced Jar Jar Binks.

In the first Transformers movie the lone black Autobot was Jazz, a Pontiac Solstice who transformed into a breakdancin,’ sass talkin’ and confident young black Autobot.  “What’s crackin’, Bitches!?” being his trademarked catchphrase.  And like so many other blockbuster fare of yore, the lone black Autobot was the only one to meet a violent end when he was ripped asunder by Megatron.

For T:RotF Michael Bay wanted to address race relations in a post-racial America, and he did so with the inclusion of the characters of Mudflap and Skidz, twin autobots who start out as two integral parts of a Chinese ice cream truck, then take on the form of Chevy’s concept cars the Trax and Beat, GM’s foray into the red hot sub-compact god awful gaudy tuner market currently monopolized by Toyota offshoot, Scion.  Bay has come under fire for Mudflap and Skidz, who many cite as being yet another example of Hollywood style Minstrelism.  Both characters share a face that is reminiscent of an R. Crumb caricature of a black person mixed with a monkey, both talk in outdated “urban” slang and cadence that would find a home somewhere between Do the Right Thing and Boyz N the Hood.  Skidz has a gold tooth that he unfortunately loses in the climactic battle and at one point it is revealed that neither could read.

Of course the chattering classes have raised their swords high and sounded the battlecry, to which Bay responded, a bit coyishly, stating that Mudflap and Skidz were just “good clean fun.”  But really, Bay knew what he was doing.  I mean look at one of the voice actors.

Skidz, the "smarter one."

Skidz, the "smarter one."

Bay’s inclusion of Mudflap and Skidz was his defiant stand against the contention that this is a post-race America.  Apropos that this would be the biggest movie event of the same Summer that Sonia Sotomayor faces hearings for her appointment to the US Supreme Court.  Because afterall, if this truly is post-race America, then why is there a minstrel show going on right in the middle of the biggest movie event of the Summer while Congress argues over whether or not someone can use their latina vagina and the life lessons it has brought them to judge whether a person is guilty or innocent just by looking at them.

The Relevance of Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand

While working on Around the World in Eighty Days author Jules Verne was lobbied by transport and shipping companies to be included in the story.  Thus the concept of product placement was born, and it has evolved from cigarettes in the early movies to such eventual overuse that it resulted in lampooning by Arrested Development and 30 Rock. (Quick tangent, NBC co-chairman Ben Silverman’s main decree when taking over the post in 2007 was to find new revenue streams through product placement in the shows he developed.  Nissan automobiles in Heroes, the Ford Mustang in the failed reboot of Knight Rider, the snarky Snapple and Verizon jokes in 30 Rock.  We might all think we’re impervious to these transparent pitches, but I can tell you personally that the Chili’s franchise has experienced a good deal of business from the writers of this very site thanks to a joke from The Office crafted around the very idea of product placement.)

If 30 Rock and Arrested Development’s use of product placement were examples of a clear disdain for the practice, than Bay’s 2007 Transformers film could would be a clear example of joyful willingness for product placement.  In this case the product was that of the largest car manufacturer in the world, the mighty General Motors.  Ironhide transformed into the GMC Topkick, a big rig truck with a pick up truck bed.  Ratchet transformed into a Hummer H3 outfitted for search and rescue purposes.  Jazz the aforementioned Pontiac Solstice and Bumblebee into, first a rusty old Chevy Camaro and then finally the then concept version of the new rebooted Camaro.

The product placement was so strong in the 2007 Transformers that it appears the entire climax of the film was written AROUND the ability to have a long form GM commercial in the middle of it all.  At one point in the movie the Transformers and their human buddies come into possession of what everyone was fighting over in the middle of the Mojave Desert.  For some reason, even though they want to keep their presence a secret, everyone gets a big ole convoy going so they can drive to a surprisingly crowded downtown LA.   Nothing happens for the several minutes or so everyone is driving there, just a bunch of good looks at all these GM vehicles driving around in the desert.

Now in 2009 things have changed, the mighty GM has fallen.  First GM went with the other two of the Big 3, Ford and Chrysler, to beg America for money.  Then Obama fired GM’s CEO, who had the audacity to name a vehicle after himself, and GM ended up filing for bankruptcy.  Now the future is uncertain for GM, many of its different brands have already seen their ultimate demise, such as Hummer (Sorry Ratchet) and Pontiac (I guess its good they killed off Jazz, then).  GMC has discontinued production of the Topkick (I’m pretty sure the only person who actually drove one was Ashton Kutcher, anyway).  The new concept  Chevy Camaro sits in limbo as no timeline has been set to start full-scale production.  You can say that’s some pretty bad luck for Michael Bay that in 2 short years his movie is full of dated vehicles, but Bay turned these lemons into lemonade.

Adam Smith is the world’s first economist, in fact I think he invented economics, or something like that.  In his seminal work An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations he posited the theory of the “invisible hand” of the market that everyone has since taken and run away with.  In short order the invisible hand of the market is the theory that the market will self regulate itself because everyone will be acting in their rational self-interest.  The invisible hand will be later fleshed out when Russell Crowe develops his game theory.  In a relevant instance the invisible hand is moving the domestic automobile market away from large gluttonus corporations that produce overlarge, overpowered and over…gas guzzling jalopies.  It’s in the markets best interest because capital is scarcer and therefore should only be spent on efficient automobiles made by efficient companies and, oh yeah, THE SPECTRE OF PEAK MOTHERFUCKING OIL!

Faced with the market adapting to poo on his product placement parade, Bay could’ve just sat there and took it.  Writing in nonsense reasons why Ironhide is now all of a sudden a Honda Ridgeline and Bumblebee a VW Beetle (now THAT would be preposterous) into the storyline.  But no, he did not do that, and not only did he keep everyone the same vehicle, the new transformer characters took on the form of MORE GM vehicles.  The aforementioned Mudflap and Skidz transform into the Chevy Trax and Beat, respectively, two haphazardly thrown together concept cars that hope to wedge Chevy into a market that is already completely owned by a foreign competitor (also, if you google either you don’t get any hits after their unveiling in Spring 2007, which does not bode well for the likelyhood you’ll ever see one on the road).  Sideswipe transforms into a fancy new concept Chevy Corvette,  which is probably sitting between the Trax and Beat cars and the Camaro in the Never Going to Be Built wing of the Library of Congress.  And finally Jolt transforms into Chevy’s misguided attempt at resurrect the electric car, the Volt, which wouldn’t be so bad if they hadn’t killed the electric car with the EV1.

A big theme for the Transformer universe, something that runs through all the television shows, comic books, toys, movies, etc. is robots in disguise.  Even more specific to the movies the Transformers are hiding on Earth, their very existence being safeguarded by President Obama and his best men.  By embracing the failed economics of GM product placement, Bay is providing a little thought exercise for the audience that I have decided to play along with.  Now on average the lifespan of a vehicle is 7-10 years and it usually takes 15 years or so for the US auto market to fully overhaul the fleet of vehicles used.  Think about it, when I started driving in the mid-90s the oldest cars that were driven by poor people and new drivers were late 70’s/early 80’s clunkers that were falling apart.  Nowadays if you look around you the majority of clunkers you see poor people and new drivers in are from the early to mid-90’s.  So let’s say that the Autobots are entering America’s fleet during the 2007-2009 stretch.  First thing that will seem odd will be the large amount of concept cars that never saw full scale production, but the average American driver really doesn’t know what a concept car is, so they can get away with it for a couple years.  Then in 7-10 years the last remaining Pontiacs, Hummers and opkicks start to leave America’s roads it will be a rare occurance to see a fully functioning GMC Topkick out and about.  By 15 years the disguises the Autobots have chosen will be what makes them stick out.  Michael Bay is asking the audience if one should ever try to hide who we truly are on in the inside, because even if we are able to disguise that, Adam Smith’s invisible hand is just gonna pull our pants down for all the world to see, like that Kevin Bacon movie.  Footloose, I think it was.

For Thursday: And, oh yeah, PEAK MOTHERFUCKING OIL… and energon!

This blogpost was written on Occam’s iPhone somewhere on one of the many clothing optional beaches along the California coast.

 

 

 

For No Reason At All: My Top 10 Favorite Youtube Videos of Live Musical Performances

10) Ben Folds – Bitches Ain’t Shit

Annoying ironic connotations aside – not to mention free form use of the n-word – what irks me about this is the insistence of keeping the Eazy-E dissing in there over a decade after the man died of AIDS and even Dr. Dre himself had come to peace with the rift.  That just seems like being clever to entertain white folks in the south on a man’s grave.  Despite that, it’s still catchy.

9) El-P – The Overly Dramatic Truth

It’s a shame the sound is all messed up and all that is audible are the vocals, backing track and horns, or else this would probably be a lot higher on this list.  I could instead use the performance from Conan but NBC been straight violating.

8 ) Supertramp – Goodbye Stranger

If this awesome song weren’t enough, it makes the list for two things a) the bearded singing guy’s expression through the whole song and b) the bearded saxophonist not having anything to do because the song has no horns so he just becomes some kind of prog rock drum major in the middle of the stage.  That’s the one cool thing about overcrowded bands with like 17 piece horn sections, when the song has no horns they kinda have to just stand there for 7-12 minutes.  If I were in that position I would probably c-walk or blood stomp for the duration of the song, depending on what neighborhood we were performing that night.

7) Ghostface Killah – Holla

Turn on the blue lights, man.  One of the problems with hip hop concerts in small venues is that the performers have no idea how sound set ups work and the fact that they have 200 hypemen on stage with them all shouting punch-ins at the same time renders the stage monitors useless.  So often times the show is just 201 men shouting over a DJ who has the bass levels too high, with the flow interrupted because the rapper whose verse it is has the mic that just died and has to find one that works, then when the song’s over someone threatens the soundman’s  life unless he turns up the monitors, man.  And this performance is no different.  However, all is worth it at the end of it all when Ghostface is able to rise up over the cacophony of hypemen to deliver an impassioned second verse.  Like an angry crippled man don’t push he, indeed.

6) Wu Tang Clan – ODB’s Crazed Rant/Protect Ya Neck

For much of the late 90’s and early parts of this decade the Wu Tang Clan were deity and all but infallible in NYC.  So it’s strange to see this video of ODB being ODB before they were known and the crowd just not having it.  Also strange, U-God getting a lot of love because people don’t know that he’s U-God, or who U-God is yet for that matter.

*PETER KING STYLE ADDED BONUS*

C.R.E.A.M. live on Arsenio Hall.  A lot going on right there.

5)Radiohead – Idioteque

Assholes didn’t do this song when I saw them and that’s all I really wanted from them.  

*CHRIS BERMAN STYLE ADDED BONUS*

Creep live at the MTV Spring Break pool house.  Yes, that’s Creep live at the MTV Spring Break pool house.

4) The Roots & Jill Scott  – You Got Me

Sometime after Phrenology dropped I started getting into Roots live bootleg mp3s.  They were like the Phish of hip hop.  Technically I don’t need 12 different versions of 100% Dundee, but I still collected complete concerts for their patented show stopper, You Got Me.  There were many different versions of You Got Me, a crunk one, a Brazilian jazz one, a straight hip hop one.  This one, from the MTV2 $2 Bill series is probably the best one.  Unfortunately the video cuts off the 2 minutes of jazz space odyssey canoodling that takes place at the beginning.  Bonus points for Blackthought deftly rapping the Eve parts and it not sounding weird that the ball player from New York think he pretty, er she pretty.

3) Arsenio Hall Sendoff

Incredible restraint by everyone involved not to shout over everyone, and to get the working mic around swiftly.  Oh hey, Chip-Fu.  Also, with all those middle school legends, how did they decide to end with Mad Lion?  Take it easy, indeed.

2) TV on the Radio – Ambulance

I’m just being honest here, I simply fucking love this.

Stevie Wonder on Sesame Street

Are you prepared, to get into, what your friends, and what you THINK, you might be prepared to get into?

I don’t mean to alarm you but there might be something worth paying attention to in the forlorn world of the hip hop. 20 years since PE and over 15 years since Wu we might be getting into something we might be prepared to get into, another hip hop supergroup.

In the 90s after the Wu Tang there were two other notable hip hop supergroups: The Firm and Hieroglyphics. But we’ll focus on Hiero since it follows today’s supergroup storyline closer.

We’re all familiar their story: In the early 90’s the voltron parts of Hiero (Souls of Mischief, Del the Funkee Homosapien, Casual, The Prose) had their little major label deals and critical acclaim and Ice Cube ghostwriting to attend to. Unfortunately that doesn’t push units so they all got summarily dropped at about the same time, to add insult to injury Saafir called them all gay surfers, or something.

So they regrouped, literally, and formed their own imprint, Hiero Imperium, and put out a record as one supergroup.

Which in a way helped resurrect their careers until they faded into Bolivia sometime around the turn of the century. But not before Tajai could be ahead of the retro curve and grew a high top fade a good 6-7 years before it became retroally cool to grow a high top fade.

Now in 2009 we might be preparing to see what we think we might have been prepared to see, another supergroup of major label castoffs.

Joell Ortiz

Joell Ortiz

Aftermath has had a most impressive stable of artist throughout the years. Unfortunately Dre, Em, 50 or the Game are the only artists loosely associated with the label to have ever dropped a record. Which means such luminaries as the 18th letter and Busta Rhymes had to suffer the idignity of being shelved. So imagine how likely it was that a never was like Joell Ortiz was going to release an album.

Alright I’m gonna just put it out there, Royce ghostwrote Jay-Z’s verse on Renegade. Back at the end of the 90’s this white guy named Eminem gained some popularity, and it would be assumed that he was going to bring some friends up along with him. Those friends ended up being Mekhi Pfifer, Bizarre and Bizarre’s funny hats. Unfortunately for us all this did not include Royce Da 5’9”. Nevertheless he was able to flip his previous collaboration with Eminem into landing him a beat from DJ Premier, which was never officially released. Figures. It seemed like Royce was destined to roam the mixtape circuit and living off of guest appearances sounding like this generations Masta Ace, literally, when he got locked up for getting his Ras Kass on. Jail must’ve really done something to him because since then he has been monster, and recently celebrated Barack Obama’s presidency by teaming up with DJ Premier again, who then sampled Obama’s campaign manager for his new single.

Crooked I signed to Deathrow after 2pac got killed. That one senetence pretty much sums up the sob story that is his career.

P-P-P-P-Pump It Up!

P-P-P-P-Pump It Up!

The tragedy of the one hit wonder is even more tragic when the one hit wonder is quite possibly the most talented artist in his genre. Then even more tragic is how he responds, by beefing with every rapper alive and several that are dead in a desperate attempt to remain relevant. It might’ve worked for Joe Budden, only Jay-Z had better things to do, like rap about money, because he likes money, bitch. Then even worse 50 Cent didn’t even really bother, instead sending The Game to be his attack dog. Alright, that didn’t work Joey, just go back to the studio and work on your sophomore album, The Growth. Ah shit, what’s that? Jay-Z is your record label’s president?

WAYNEFACE!

WAYNEFACE!

Well then, I guess you’re pretty much screwed, because he likes money, bitch. After 2 full years of Joey making diss tracks to his record label, he was finally let go.

This ragtag group of major label misfits have come together to form Slaughterhouse, which might infringe on copyrights of the hair metal band. But who cares, really. They should just move on.

If anything is going to save hip hop it’s going to be more verses like Crooked I on all of the Slaughterhouse tracks that have been released.


I won’t stop recordin’ until I’m making songs harder than ‘Pac’s
If it don’t happen, at least a nigga know he right there
every memory under my Dodgers hat a nightmare
as a kid I had to steal breakfast
and now the best question you have to ask me is this a real necklace?
Where’s your beat from Dre, your feature from Cube?
These things leave the people confused
‘Cause they know I leave speakers abused
I eat the EQs, I eat through the beat
what’s the secret I think it’s the shoes!
Back in
Cali niggas blazin’ stress,
waitin’ on Detox to save the West
Even if the shit is dope, it ain’t giving you niggas hope
unless your signature wrote on a check from Interscope
NOPE! Move on!

But wait, isn’t there another rapping luminary who has spent the last few years being dicked around by the system?

Why yes, Saigon would make a perfect fifth member to Slaughterhouse, then they could call themselves Slaughterhouse V

Slaughterhouse V?

Slaughterhouse V?

Oh, but wait, there goes Joey again, he’s just running off at the yapper. And Saigon’s answering back too. Also, he’s won me over by using the beat to Protect Ya Neck, which coincidently, wait for it, was the debut posse cut of the 90’s hip hop supergroup Wu Tang Clan. Also, Saigon won me over with the line “If I’m the Weapon X, then Joey you’re Jubilee.”

So we’ll have to pass on a Slaughterhouse V super group, despite what Just Blaze (JUUUUUST BLAAAAAAZE) tries to do. Joey is prepared to get into what him and his friends THINK, he might be prepared to get into. And if it’s one thing we know about Joey, is that he could go on forever with this stuff….


Fatal Flying Guillotine

We here at Counterforce recognize there are many reasons to fear tomorrow. Terrorists living next door, government agents listening to your phone calls because there are terrorists living next door, climate change, Bravo’s never ending parade of reality competition TV shows based on the pastimes of homosexuals and the hags who love’em, a possible McCain presidency, a possible offspring of Madonna and A-Rod, a possible Bravo reality TV show based on Madonna and A-Rod raising said offspring (sure to feature lots of underwear swapping). We also realize that some of you might need your worst fears assuaged and advice on how to cope with these coming atrocities. Well, we’re sorry but you’re a big boy/girl and you’re just gonna have to learn how to deal with it.

We’re sorry, that was mean. We’ll tell you what, to make it up to you we have invited world renowned Zoologist, European playboy and World Champion Gitin’r Doner, Occam Razor, to write a weekly column on what you can do in preparing for a Post Peak Oil World, titled What You Can Do in Preparing for a Post Peak Oil World. Occam suffers fools lightly and will not be taking any questions at the end of each column.

One day a long time ago all these French lady fishmongers were sitting around bitching and moaning how high the price of bread was. Finally someone tired of listening to them squawk on and on endlessly told them to do something about it or shut the fuck up. So they probably squawked on and on endlessly about whether they should take that person’s advice, and after a coffee klatch or something they decided they were going to do something about it. They had it in their mind that the hoity toity of France had shacked up with all that bread in the suburbs of Paris, Versailles. So they strapped up and marched on Versailles with the aim of gafflin’ that bread.

Once there they started a lootin’ and a shootin’. They made it to the royal palace and captured two of the guards, beheaded them, and stuck their heads on pikes. That’s pretty hardcore, especially for French people. Then they called for Marie Antoinette and she said something about eating cake, which the mob found fairly cliché so they all pointed their iron at her, but she didn’t fake the funk, so they left. Personally, I think they just got tired of looking at Kirsten Dunst’s janky ass mouth. Marie Antointette then went on to live a long happy life, I’m pretty sure.

I mean really, it was her or Kirsten Dunst.

I mean really, it was her or Kirsten Dunst.

Well now, as we have discussed there’s a time of hurt on the horizon even worse than hedge fund swindles, housing market collapses and Jennifer Anniston and John Mayer break ups. I really thought those two kids would last, they seemed so in love. James Howard Kunstler’s The Long Emergency details the many ways us US Americans have mishandled our resources since the WWII. The end result is a sense of entitlement that has been marinating several generations deep. Chief among them the real American dream, no not home ownership (though somewhat related), but that you can make a dollar out of 15 cents. Through environmental degradation and obscene labor practices the Industrial Revolution in America was actually geared towards the manufacture of things of worth, the automobile withstanding. Soon people didn’t want to break their backs in the ole broom factory when they could go to college and become a systems analyst. So they did, and then they bought their kids Howdy Dowdy shit, or something. I dunno, I’ve missed the last two episodes of Madmen.

He still totally owns.

He still totally owns.

Point is, US Americans got leather so soft. And spoiled, spoiled rotten. Let me ask you a rhetorical question that I expect to have answered, when you encounter a spoiled child with a sense of entitlement who is used to having nummy nummy High Fructose Corn Syrup Aid all the time, and you tell them that the Mexicans and Arabs can’t produce anymore High Fructose Corn Syrup Aid and the Africans will only sell what little High Fructose Corn Syrup Aid they have to the Chinese and the Russians will never in a million year share the last remaining reserves of substance of High Fructose Corn Syrup Aid with that spoiled child with a sense of entitlement, what do you think that spoiled child with a sense of entitlement will do?

I’m going to assume you said throw a fit. Kicking. Screaming. Banging their head on the floor and then eventually coming at dear ole Mum with a knife. So it is only natural that a nation full of spoiled children of all ages with a raging sense of entitlement will react no differently when the life they know can no longer run without that sweet sweet oil. They will be a lootin’ and a shootin’ and placing heads on pikes. Which means you the reader will have to be prepared how to deal with the angry mobs, and that’s what we will discuss in this article. After all, the point of this column is what you can do in preparing for a Post Peak Oil World, that’s why it’s called What You Can Do in Preparing for a Post Peak Oil World.

I was almost there, manne!

I was almost there, manne!

The plan of attack is to hide amongst the unwashed (we’re talking literally in the absence of proper infrastructure) masses. While hopefully at the end of this column’s run you will be fully prepared to live well adjusted lives, you cannot live in complete isolation and you will have to interact with what remains of society once in a while. The easiest way would be to adopt some retarded sob story about how close you were to realizing the American dream. Phrases such as “Some future, huh? I was this close to finish paying off the Denali, I was totally going to hop on a flight to Vegas and bet it all on red. But unfortunately Southwest went out of business mid-flight and I crashed landed on this mysterious island that demands sacrifices.” will totally help you fit in with the others… who aren’t as well prepared.

They key thing that will you need to do in order to fit in with the torch and pitch fork wielding set, is how to either properly disembowel or behead someone loosely associated with present day authority or aristocracy. I got this lesson from Remarque: always aim the blade for the stomach, if you aim too high your blade will become stuck in the ribcage and that will slow you down and perhaps piss off the group of former real estate agents and home furnishings salesmen you’re raiding the gated community with. Beheading is simple, it’s much like laying a good hit in football, aim for several inches behind the neck, so that when you make your fatal blow you go through the neck, and a sound like wailing winds could be heard, but if you mess up you could have that happen to your own, which… would… be… ridiculoussssssss…

Protect your neck.

Protect your neck.

Well there you have it, the easy steps for survival if you have to come out your compound to hunt down rabbits and find yourself in the presence of an angry mob ready to lay siege on Piedmont.

Next Week: Beans, rabbit and maize: The dietary choices you must prepare yourself to make in a Post Peak Oil World.

LA Face With An Oakland Booty

We here at Counterforce recognize there are many reasons to fear tomorrow. Terrorists living next door, government agents listening to your phone calls because there are terrorists living next door, climate change, Bravo’s never ending parade of reality competition TV shows based on the pastimes of homosexuals and the hags who love’em, a possible McCain presidency, a possible offspring of Madonna and A-Rod, a possible Bravo reality TV show based on Madonna and A-Rod raising said offspring (sure to feature lots of underwear swapping). We also realize that some of you might need your worst fears assuaged and advice on how to cope with these coming atrocities. Well, we’re sorry but you’re a big boy/girl and you’re just gonna have to learn how to deal with it.

We’re sorry, that was mean. We’ll tell you what, to make it up to you we have invited world renowned Zoologist, European playboy and World Champion Gitin’r Doner, Occam Razor, to write a weekly column on what you can do in preparing for a Post Peak Oil World, titled What You Can Do in Preparing for a Post Peak Oil World. Occam suffers fools lightly and will not be taking any questions at the end of each column.

Sometime after World War II the United States Military and its defense contractors were sitting around with an assload of explosives taking up space with nary a Nazi to toss it at. Sure, plenty could be stockpiled to ensure there would not be an explosives gap in the run up to the Cold War, but the principle language spoken there was nuclear weapons. I guess a truckload of ammonium nitrate just isn’t as sexy.

What to do, oh, how about we use said ammonium nitrate to fertilize our nation’s farms. Rich in N-P-K (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium, the macronutrients needed by plants to grow), the nations factories kept busy by the war movement could now have peacetime purposes of supplying farms with monoculture producing fertilizers. Now instead of a small scale farm that used a rotation of seasonal crops to use and replenish the soil, we could just plant corn for a couple months, harvest, then plant some soybeans, harvest, repeat. And thus the industrial agricultural complex is born.

Ass so phat you can see it from the front...

Because the Nazi's surrendered

I feel like at this point I have to state the obvious, food’s kinda important. You, like, need it and shit. Unfortunately food in America just means you are eating oil. Mmmmmm nummy nummy. Oil goes into the manufacture of chemical fertilizers that help sustain large monoculture crops, oil goes into the pesticides to protect these monoculture crops that evolution has not developed any natural defense for. Oil goes into the harvest of these monoculture crops, oil goes into the transportation of these monoculture crops. Oil goes into the processing of these monoculture corn and soybean crops into new and exciting foodstuffs, and oil brings you to the store to buy them.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Post Peak Oil, when there’s enough oil to go around but it ain’t cheap no more, that the price of food will jump up a bit. Just a bit. Then when oil becomes scarce, well food will too. Which means in a Post Peak Oil World we will have to go back to a smaller scale of agriculture. Which means more than illegal immigrants and huge fossil fuel powered combines will have to toil in the farms to produce enough food for everyone to survive. Which means, like, almost everybody. Which means we have finally arrived upon today’s topic of discussion, a subject that’s very near and dear to me.

Junk in the trunk.

Junk, in the trunk

Junk, in the trunk

I feel like at this point I have to state the obvious, farm work is hard stuff, man. Bending over, squatting down, picking things up off the ground, like, trying to lead a stubborn cow to a barn or something. What do all these activities have in common? Ah yes, of course. They all require a sturdy back and powerful haunches. Sure, maybe now when society doesn’t have to worry about who’s going to plant and harvest their beets society can idolize knock kneed bimbos ackin’ like hoes. But when real work needs to be done my anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns, hun.

Yes, we are going back to a time when physical attraction will again make perfect sense. Sure, right now Johnny Party Promoter makes his living organizing parties for a night club in Las Vegas. The masses are rich off of buying and selling homes, stocks, bonds and beanie babies to each other, and don’t have to worry about the hard work of obtaining food. Let Juventud in a tomato field in Coalinga, CA worry about that. So Johnny Party Promoter feels he doesn’t need to have kids with strong backs and hearty hindquarters, they’ll be IT managers or the head of marketing for a company that sells ad space on cable television systems. That’s why he settled for Jenny HR Analyst, the Associate HR Analyst (eventual successor to be HR Dept. Manager) for a company that consults with manufacturers of different types to make sure their manufacturing process is as streamlined as possible. Sure, she’s got a lower torso comparable to that of a water heater, but their kids are going to go to UC Riverside, why would they need to be physically suited for manual labor?

Seeking out Ms Fat Booty might sound like I’m objectifying women, but I have to admit, I am. If I’m to survive I need an around the way girl, one that’s right for me, and one that can fasten a bullock cart to my oxen before I take this season’s harvest to market. So I got Ms. Fat Booty loading my oxen, harvesting my rhubarb, pumping water from the well and pumping out stout legged children with great chances of survival to further propagate my genes. Jenny HR Manager probably would have troubles with getting the mouldboard plough on a straight and true path, fucking up my horizontal rows.

So turn around, stick it out, and waive that healthy butt...

So turn around, stick it out, and waive that healthy butt...

I will say this, the hard work, it’s mutual. I’m out there too, slaughtering chickens, diverting a local tributary to irrigate the recently planted bean sprout fields. And past gender specific roles, they can be broken or reversed. She is more than welcome to go to market and barter with the blacksmith over price or trade of a new plow, she can shoot at the Indians who try to reclaim our homestead. Just as long as she doesn’t lose that big ole juicy butt.

Well, I’m not gonna leave you gals hanging, the point of this article after all is what you can do in preparing for a Post Peak Oil World, that’s why it’s called What You Can Do In Preparing for a Post Peak Oil World. The first task at hand is do some side bends and situps, but please do something about that butt. What I suggest is a powerlifter’s routine, more specifically the Westside training routine. Lots of compound movements that will strengthen the core and add much power to the lower half of your body. A good starting routine would be:

Day 1:

Back Squats 5 reps x 5 sets

Straight Leg Deadlifts 5×5

Bent Over Rows 5×5

Flat Bench Press 5×5

Pullups 4×12

Preparing a Post Peak Oil World

Preparing a Post Peak Oil World

Day 3:

Dips 4×12

Incline Bench Press 5×5

Deadlifts 5×5

Military Press 5×5

Pullups 4×12

Day 5:

Front Squats 5×5

Dumbbell Rows 5×5 (each arm)

Decline Bench Press 5×5

Straight Leg Deadlifts 5×5

Hanging Leg Raises 4×20

On your off days you could stand to do some cardio, but really it’s not essential. Maybe read up on the farmer’s almanac so that you can get your circadian rhythm in lockstep with the sunrise and sunset.

Next Week: When Anarchy Ensues, Well, I Hope You Own a Gun: Preparing For When the Rest of Society Realizes They’re Fucked and Start to Panic.

What You Can Do in Preparing for a Post Peak Oil World: Endtroducing…

We here at Counterforce recognize there are many reasons to fear tomorrow.  Terrorists living next door, government agents listening to your phone calls because there are terrorists living next door, climate change, Bravo’s never ending parade of reality competition TV shows based on the pastimes of homosexuals and the hags who love’em, a possible McCain presidency, a possible offspring of Madonna and A-Rod, a possible Bravo reality TV show based on Madonna and A-Rod raising said offspring (sure to feature lots of underwear swapping).  We also realize that some of you might need your worst fears assuaged and advice on how to cope with these coming atrocities.  Well, we’re sorry but you’re a big boy/girl and you’re just gonna have to learn how to deal with it.

 

 

We’re sorry, that was mean.  We’ll tell you what, to make it up to you we have invited world renowned Zoologist, European playboy and World Champion Gitin’r Doner, Occam Razor, to write a weekly column on what you can do in preparing for a Post Peak Oil World, titled What You Can Do in Preparing for a Post Peak Oil World.  Occam suffers fools lightly and will not be taking any questions at the end of each column.

 

 

It's obvious, really

It's obvious, really

“What is Peak Oil?” is what you’re probably asking yourself.  No doubt breathing heavily from the mouth even though you’ve been sitting down for the past 3 hours, furrowing your brow in a vain attempt to understand what the adults are talking about.  Well thank god for the web 2.0 because I don’t want to have to waste my time to explain it all to you, so go look it up on wikipedia already.  I’ll sit here waiting, identifying a new species of Marmota.

Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline.”

 

It’s kind of a “oh, fuck, I never thought of that!” concept.  But my friends, fossil fuels are not limitless.  Some kind of prehistoric algae pooled up a couple million years (and since it was prehistoric algae it was probably like 6 feet tall or something) got trapped by tectonic plate movement and millions of years later Jed Clampett went ahuntin’ and the Industrial Revolution was born.

 

A generic picture of an oil rig

A generic picture of an oil rig

Not only are fossil fuels a finite resource, but it’s very clear that at some point it will cost more energy to grab at the last few drops than will be gained from those last few drops.  And so Peak Oil represents that point when oil is no longer cheap and marks the beginning of what everyone’s favorite asshole James Howard Kunstler calls The Long Emergency, a time without all of the modern conveniences afforded by cheap oil. 

 

“Well, when will Peak Oil happen?” you blather about and I respond, “You’re awful mouthy!”  But after I collect myself and refocus my chi, I have to tell you the world’s most expert geologists predict that Peak Oil will happen in December 2005.

 

Oh shit, it’s already the Summer of 2008, huh?  Well I guess the coming winter’s $6 a gallon gas prices shouldn’t be too shocking.

 

Think of some aspect of your life that doesn’t rely on fossil fuels.  I’m going to stop you right there and say, nothing.  Nothing in your life is free from fossil fuels.  Maybe sleeping, but you seem like the kind of person who needs lot’s of drugs to doze off, and those are manufactured in a factory and then shipped by a truck to a store, so yeah.  Shit, even taking a shit requires fossil fuel.  One of the first maxims of urban development was “shit rolls downhill,” which is a way of remembering how to properly plumb a residence to ensure proper sanitation in crowded spaces.  That’s why no one fears cholera, anymore.  Yet now developers are so concerned with maximizing every square inch of land they’ll place residences at the bottom of hills even though the main sewer line is at the top and “fix” that problem with gas powered pumps.

 

This explains everything

This explains everything

Kunstler kalls it the Long Emergency because the loss of knowledge over the past 60 or 70 years will lead to some serious problems when there’s no gas to shoot our poop uphill.  And that’s where this column steps in, it’s about what you can do in preparing for a post peak oil world, that’s why it’s titled What You Can Do in Preparing for a Post Peak Oil World.  Starting next week we will be getting our hands dirty making sure we know where to aim our poop and how to live without convenient access to blenders.

 

Next Week:  I Like Big Butts and I Cannot Lie:  Knock Kneed Bimbos Have No Place In a Post Peak Oil World.