Film Bloggers Have Better Lives Than You
Hey, I’m not sure if you guys know how The Media works, but when film companies have new movies out, they send people who write about films on these all-expenses-paid mini vacations themed around the movie so that they’ll write about it and “generate buzz.”
I get offered these sometimes but generally turn them down. This is because I don’t like many things, and as a lame mom who doesn’t believe in criticism (and therefore progress) once said, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
But recently someone got in touch to see if I wanted to fly with Johnny Knoxville on a private jet to Vegas and watch Bad Grandpa. As a firm believer that genitalia, farting, and people falling over will never, ever stop being funny, I’m a big fan of “the Jackass guys,” as fans call them, so I figured this would be a great trip to write about.
Also I can’t afford a vacation this year. So here’s how my free trip to Vegas went. Enjoy!
This is the private jet we took from Los Angeles to Vegas. I’d never been on a “PJ” before (and presumably never will again). I assume you’ve never been on a private jet either (you fucking loser), so here’s a couple of differences between a PJ and a regular plane:
I assume it differs from company to company, but with the private jet company we flew with, this was the type of coffee we got.
The thought of some corporate drone chuckling to themselves as they ordered this out of the office supply catalog made me happy.
And this is what a private jet meal looks like, a.k.a. what I’m assuming 90 percent of the things Jay-Z eats look like.
The white beaches, it turns out, are white because they’re made up of the pulverized bones of millions of dead fish.
—Jamie Lee Curtis Taete went to the Sultan Sea, California’s Post-Apocalyptic Beach Town
I Went to California’s Post-Apocalyptic Beach Town
The Salton Sea, California’s largest lake by volume, exists entirely by accident.
It was created in the early 1900s after a heavy rain caused the Colorado River to burst through the banks of an irrigation canal, sending millions of gallons of water into a previously dried out lake bed in the California desert.
A screenshot from an early Salton Sea promotional film (via)
Initially, the new, giant, inland sea was a blessing.
In the 50s and 60s, it was a booming tourist attraction. Marketed as a “miracle in the desert,” it became Palm Springs but with beaches. It would regularly attract over half a million visitors annually.
Yacht clubs sprang up on the shores, people flocked to fish and waterski, and stars like the Beach Boys and Sonny Bono would visit to drive speedboats and swim.
Property was so in demand that real estate agents would fly people up in light aircraft and sell them property from the air without ever landing to view it.
But it wouldn’t last.
The sea quickly became something of an ecological nightmare soup. The Salton Sea is surrounded by nearly half a million acres of agricultural land, and water from this land runs off into the sea, taking with it salt and fertilizers and pesticides. By the 70s, the water was becoming too hostile to sustain much of any kind of life, and the shoreline became littered with thousands and thousands of dead fish.
The smell of these dead fish combined with rotting algal blooms, making the water smell so bad that nobody wanted to go anywhere near it.
The Beach Boys left. Sonny Bono left. Everyone else left, and the Salton Sea fell into misery.
I’m Being Cyberbullied by Corey Feldman
As some of you may have seen, I recently wrote an article about attending Corey Feldman’s birthday party. Corey told me that I was only allowed to write about the party if he had final approval on my article. I was slightly disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to go and just make fun of the thing, but agreed anyway because I felt that, no matter how I presented it, a post about Corey Feldman charging people $250 to attend a birthday party at his house could be nothing but hilarious.
The day after the party, I sent Corey the article (including the photos) and he said it was a “great article!” but he wasn’t too happy with the pictures. In an email, he told me, “there’s a bunch w the only old woman I allowed into the party.”
However, after seeing a wider selection of images, Corey said, “Obviously it’s your mag and U can do as U wish.” So I ran it.
Unsurprisingly, once it was posted people made fun of him and the party. There is no possible spin you can put on a $250 per-head birthday party thrown by a former child star in an unfurnished, beige McMansion in the suburbs, surrounded by women in their underwear and “happy 22nd birthday” signage, to make it seem anything other than utterly bleak and miserable.
When he realized people were making fun of him, Corey had a full-blown Twitter meltdown. He either tweeted or retweeted about me and the party roughly 500 times.
Despite many of the tweets containing untrue statements about me (and one with my personal phone number), I felt it was best to ignore them, because, honestly, I feel sort of bad for the guy. It must be hard to be in a place where your life is so grim that an honest representation of it can go viral because of its patheticness.
But then on Monday he sent out a press release accusing me of “bullying” him. The press release read, in part:
Last month, he released his new single Ascension Millennium on YouTube, which has received mixed reviews and controversy from the public and media. A personal birthday party he also hosted was met with strong criticism online; criticism Feldman strongly feels is cyber bullying.
“Unfortunately, we have grown into a society whose belief system holds to bring down rather than to build up. Bullying is present in schools, homes, professional environments and online (cyber bullying), and here is a case no different from just that. I can take criticism, but what people are saying online as of late is far beyond that,” said Feldman. It takes a lot of balls to put yourself out there in the hot seat, so I encourage everyone to not be afraid of what others will say or think. Move forward and ignore the haters,” he added.
Unsurprisingly, antibullying experts weren’t too psyched about Corey using a serious issue to promote his new book/movie/album/party.
Pee-Wee Herman’s Dinosaurs Are Actually a Creationist Museum
The Cabazon Dinosaurs are a couple of giant concrete dinosaurs located out in the desert near Palm Springs, California.
They’re best known for their appearence in the movie Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, but have also featured in Paris, Texas, Fallout: New Vegas, and the video for the song “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.”
You may have also heard of them described as “those big dinosaur things you go past on the way to Coachella.”
The Cabazon Dinosaurs as they appear today.
The dinosaurs were built back in the 60s by a former Knott’s Berry Farm model sculptor named Claude K. Bell as a roadside attraction to attract people to his restaurant. However, after Claude’s death, they were sold to a group who turned them into a creationist museum.
I decided to take a visit last week.
The theories put forth are all fairly standard creationist-museum stuff: evolution isn’t real; God created everything, etc., etc.
As always with these type of places, the “facts” are presented in dense, impenetrable blocks of text. Like the sign pictured above, which contains easy-breezy sentences like: “Evidently a tectonic event fluidized an unconsolidated sand deposit.”
Presumably they do this in the hopes that people won’t spend too long picking apart what they’re saying, and just assume that the point they’re making is true.
This museum differs from other creationist museums in one major way, though. As they believe that dinosaurs probably still exist. Here’s why:
-The Loch Ness Monster, which is actually a plesiosaur, was spotted 52 times in 1933 alone.
- In 1910, the New York Herald ran an article titled, “Is a Brontosaurus Roaming Africa’s Wilds?”
An Open Letter to the Most Factually Incorrect Museum in America
Dear Guinness World Record Museum,
I recently visited your Los Angeles location. As was the case with the Hollywood Wax Museum last month, I was not impressed by what I saw.
It’s not just that your museum was generally shitty, boring, and broken-down. There was a much larger problem than that.
As I walked around the museum, I saw several “world records” on display that I knew were incorrect. For instance, the above claims that Titanic holds the record for highest box office gross, and that Lance Armstrong has the most Tour De France titles.
So when I got home, I did some fact-checking. The amount of false information you have on display is truly staggering.
Now, I don’t intend for this to be a definitive list of all of the errors in your museum. Obviously I didn’t have time to check all of the facts. But here are some things you claim are true that are not:
- You claim Michael Jackson’s Bad is the 2nd biggest selling album of all time. It is actually the 10th biggest selling.
- You claim Hilary Duff is the highest paid child TV actor. It is actually Angus T. Jones.
- You claim the longest mustache ever was 10 feet 2 inches long. According to the Guinness Book of Records (your book) it is actually 14 feet long.
- You claim that Dustin Hoffman holds the record for most Best Actor Oscars, with two. Daniel Day Lewis has three.
- You claim that Jurassic Park has the biggest marketing budget of any movie ever. Wrong. Avatar does.
- You claim that George Burns is the oldest man to win an Academy Award, at 79. Christopher Plummer won one when he was 82.
- You claim the Turkish lira is the least valuable currency in the world. This hasn’t been the case since 2005.
- You claim that at age 81, George Cukor is the oldest person to have ever directed a film. Spanish director Manoel de Oliveira is 104 and still working.
I Got Saved at San Diego’s Creationist Museum (Just Kidding, It Sucked)
In addition to the fancy multi-million dollar creation museum in Kentucky, there are several smaller, shittier ones dotted around the US. Last weekend I took a trip to the one in San Diego called the Creation and Earth History Museum. I brought a camera with me so you could laugh at it from the comfort of your own home without having to deal with any weirdos.
There was a fleeting moment when I first arrived at the museum when I thought it might actually be a fun place. There were a bunch of model dinosaurs outside, and inside near the entrance they had one of those electro-plasma things where the lightning follows your finger as you touch it. And everyone loves those (although, like all things in museums that are there for children to touch, it was coated in some kind of sticky substance that smelled like McDonald’s).
But then I turned a corner and found myself in snoozetown’s central square. This is, essentially, what every single room of the museum looked like: a wall covered in little signs.
Have the people who made this thing never been to a science museum? They’re AWESOME! They’ve gotindoor tornadoes, mock spaceship rescue operations, robots that are able to autonomously interact with visitors… they’ll even let you drive a goddamn 350-ton train. That’s the competition. And the Creation and Earth History Museum is gonna come at it with a wall full of shit to read?
And the barrage of text doesn’t stop with the signs. They have these little computer printouts, called "Insight…,"next to each exhibit that you can take home so you can read more about it later.
And if that STILL isn’t enough reading for you, they have QR Codes to reveal EVEN MORE info.
I read almost everything in the museum. (Mostly by taking photos of each sign to read at home later. I genuinely don’t think there would be enough hours in the day to read everything while you were there.) Here’s a breakdown of what I learned about their version of history:
- God created the universe in seven days.
- There was no bad stuff in the world until that dick, Adam, ate an apple.
- Noah’s Ark was real and it’s stuck on top of Mount Ararat, but nobody can find it.