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Mike's Soapbox - Best 1998 Rants

1/25 – You ever noticed how the music that plays on those early morning ESPN2 workout shows sounds exactly like the soundtrack from porno movies?  I am not saying that's necessarily a bad thing, just one of those 'have you ever noticed' things....

2/5 – I hate it when people talk on their cell phones while they are driving. I am tired of almost getting killed because Betty is so excited that Billy asked out Pam on a date, or because Biff wanted to make the big deal five minutes early. Hey, idiots, if it's not important, wait until you get home or to work! Otherwise, pull over on the side of the road! Don't cell phone and drive!

2/21 – Another thing that really rubs me wrong is people who don't use blinkers. Did you ever wonder what those green blinking LED's on your dash did?

3/17 – People ask me, "Mike, who's soapbox do you like to listen to?" Well, that's a good question. Rush Limbaugh? No. G Gordon Liddy? No. Larry King? Jerry Springer? No, no! The one person who I enjoy listening to rant and rave is Jim Rome. This guy is great. He says everything you want to say to people, like "Buy a new cellphone", or "Have a take and don't suck!". I mean, this guy is an asshole, but then again, don't we all enjoy being an asshole every now and then?

3/24 – Hey, if you are one of these idiots who doesn't even know what planet you are on, go here - it has some important information for those of you who are (hopefully) just passing through! (PS: Say hi to Doh for me!)

4/16 – I take a lot of crap for not staying up and watching the late games. Ok, first of all, I work hard to make money to spend on paying for this page you see currently. But, I like to get up early and catch up on the scores in the morning. Missing the game gives me a good excuse to catch the morning workout shows on ESPN2. Besides, who would you rather look at - Jennifer Dempster or Scottie Pippen (who is arguably the ugliest guy in basketball - no, make that all sports!)?

5/16 – Well, the Ottawa Senators pulled off the upset by defeating the New Jersey Devils. Unfortunately for them, they then lost to the Washington Capitals. What do I think about this? Well, I am just glad that finally Ottawa is accepted as a real team, and not just that team that always loses and is in the basement. Just a few years ago Ottawa was called the worst team - not just in the NHL, but all of professional sports. However, I knew then that if I could ride out the ridicule, I would be able to gloat over their victory now.

5/25 – What's up with this news about moving King of the Hill to Hollywood? Say it ain't so, Fox! First you silence the Yeah Man, Itellyawhat... site, and now you want to move the show to California!? Are you trying to be CBS?

6/15 – I just returned from a long drive across country and I must comment on the roads in Arkansas. Obviously, more money went into Jim Guy Tucker's defense fund than into these highways! They suck! If you haven't been on them, don't go!

6/16 – The drivers I encountered while driving on this long trek were terrible! In addition to the previous complaints that I made above (about cell phones and drivers who don't use blinkers), I have the following raves to make about these additional stupid drivers:

1. People who have their seat reclined and are driving with their feet. Yes, this is a true observation. There was a guy doing 40 on the interstate in Arkansas (well, that might explain it) in a car that appeared to have no driver. When passing him, I saw that he had his seat completely reclined back, and was driving with his feet. This is just plain stupid.

2. People who drive fast in their minivans, then slow down to yell at their kids, and then decide they have to speed up again. I am so tired of people passing me and slowing down and passing me again. I have the cruise control locked in at 70. I am maintaining constant speed. Why then, does this idiot pass me at about 90, then slow to 55? Is it just to piss me off?

3. People on cell phones while driving and trying to light cigarettes. Yes, this one really makes me mad. I don't mind the talking, but dialing with in one hand while lighting a cigarette with the other in the middle of a construction zone in Dallas at rush hour? Unless you are an alien (see above message for "Doh"), how are you driving? You only have two hands! Maybe that's why your big-ass Crown Vic came halfway into my lane! I know it's a tough decision, but smoke or talk, but not both while you are driving a car!

4. The really scary Camaro with eight people in it outside of Columbus. Do you really think this is a good idea? I mean, my friend has a Z28, and I hated to sit in the backseat by myself for longer than a minute or two. Do you really think it is wise to squeeze six people into this almost-non-existent, afterthought-idea, insurance-lowering backseat? I never thought you were supposed to try and actually use the seat, but it was for show and cheaper insurance! Well, all I can say is, I hope you all used deodorant…

6/25 – I saw Godzilla, and I have to ask, was everyone else as confused as me? Just how big is this monster? I mean one time he is as tall as the Empire State Building, then, he is crawling through the subway tunnels, but then, he can't crawl through the Holland Tunnel or whatever tunnel that was? Give me a break. And why didn't he just blow fire on all the military helicopters and tanks and stuff? The original and classic Godzilla movies were much better, because you knew they didn't have a plot! They didn't bother with a hokey love story and that crap, they just had Godzilla stomp all over Tokyo for an hour and a half! If you are going to go for a sophisticated monster movie, write a decent script, and in the words of Lucasfilm, "Plot Does Matter!"

Which brings us to our next movie, Deep Impact. The only thing this movie made deep impact in was my wallet as I shelled out almost $20 so we could see this piece of crap! Throughout this entire movie, I wanted the comet to hurry up and hit the earth so that it would put these pathetic people out of their misery! I got so bored, I started cracking jokes and cleared the theater! Okay, the spaceship crew was unbelievable - it starred the guy from Men Behaving Badly and the Ultimate Fighting Champion guy from Friends - and they expect me to take this seriously? Then, there was an awful looking Denise Crosby (aka Tasha Yar) - note to Denise: you should have stayed on Star Trek! I wanted to like this movie, but even the special effects sucked. Did you see the trailer for this movie? Then you saw all the special effects. If you are going to write a sophisticated disaster movie, write a decent script and again - have a plot! Okay, maybe for this movie, they could skip the plot and just trash the earth for two hours - that would be cool!

Finally, after those two previous disappointments, I was skeptical of seeing the X-Files Movie. But, I was pleasantly surprised. However, I was lost also. Chris Carter kept saying "this movie will answer many questions held by our long-term viewers". What questions did it answer? Maybe the one about "will the average viewer shell out $7 to see another episode?" Yep. But, seriously, I thought this was a good movie. If you haven't seen the show, it doesn't matter. I've seen every episode of this show, and I still have no idea what's going on! So, I could tell you all about the movie, and not ruin it for you, but I won't.

So, if you want good entertainment, see the X-Files Movie. If you want to crack jokes and annoy the people around you, see the others. I know someday we'll see Crow and Tom Servo dogging Deep Impact. (You know, I just thought of something - I bet that the inevitable porno version of Deep Impact [this name, more than any other, lends itself to a porno inevitability] will have a deeper, more thought out plot than this piece of crap!) Anyway, my 2 cents worth (after shelling out several $$$ for these movies, I feel the least I can do is contribute an additional two cents).

7/29 – This is something that I have to sound off about.  In two separate rulings this week, our country’s legal system has decided that it okay for prisoners, including sex offenders, to have pornography, while it is not okay to sell sexually explicit material on military bases.  Sheriff Joe Arapaio of Maricopa County tried to ban depictions of full frontal nudity in the jail, but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco declared this unconstitutional.  Also, a federal judge in New Jersey said that a law banning pornography from a correctional facility for repeat sex offenders was unconstitutional.  But at the same time, the Supreme Court upheld that military bases could be prohibited from selling pornography in a law passed by Congress.  So, if you are a pedophile, you can get pornography; if you are a soldier willing to die in the defense of your country, you cannot.  The sponsor of this bill, Congressman Roscoe G. Bartlett, said that he “won’t help military people hurt themselves” and if military people want pornography “they can get it somewhere else.”  Obviously, Representative Bartlett has never been restricted to a base because of a terrorist threat or been to some of the more remote bases, where it is very many miles to the nearest store.  (I noticed Representative Bartlett never served time in the military.)  How were the prisoners able to get their ban overturned?  They appealed on the basis that they were denied the “investigative reporting” found in Playboy and a column by Alan Dershowitz in Penthouse – yeah, I believe that they were reading the articles.  Anyway, like Eleanor Eisenberg of the Arizona ACLU said, free speech is “not just the right to speak, but the right to hear, read and access information.”  So, prisoners can have access to all information, but our military, who should, can’t.  Another example of how much respect our lawmakers have for our men and women in our military.

10/19 – Well, of 280 sexually explicit magazines sold at military exchanges around the world – including Cosmopolitan and Esquire – the military has decided to ban the sale of 243 of these titles.  Adult magazine sales accounted for $4.5 million in earnings in military exchanges, of which around 80% went back into the military’s morale, welfare, and recreation dividends and the remaining 20% goes toward the upkeep of the exchange facilities themselves.  So, Representative Bartlett, since you banned the sale of these magazines that brought in these revenues, I can count on you for increasing the budget to make up for the $3.6 million in morale funds and $0.9 million in facilities upkeep funds that we are going to have to do without?