Ska-Mala Harris

Monday, November 23rd, 2020 9:44 pm.

 

Hey there, Moosekateers. I know all 15 of you who read my column know my usual policy is to never talk about politics. Usually, I just talk about stuff like girls, PEZ Dispensers, ancient cartoons, and animals with stupid names (Like the Hoary Marmot, even though I don’t even know what one of those looks like. But it’s called a Hoary Marmot, so, I love it anyway.)

But now we just got our first Jamaican, female Vice President, and I’m so fucking giddy with excitement, I could pee!

I’m easily the whitest person you will ever meet. I might as well be translucent. But I LOVE Jamaican music and females. So, Kamala Harris was the one I was gonna vote for. I like Joe, but I’d rather she be the one who was President. And I’d like to think she likes Ska, and possibly even Ska Punk.

For the grotesquely uniformed, Ska is a type of music that originated in Jamaica. It’s similar to Reggae, but when you listen to Reggae you smoke weed, and mellow out, like Bob Marley. When you listen to Ska, you drink a near lethal amount of beer and dance your ass off.

The dance you do is called skanking. Now, that might sound perverted, but it’s not. What you do is get super drunk and flail your arms back and forth and kick your legs up and down like you are having an epileptic seizure. It’s the perfect type of dancing for people who have no fucking clue how to actually dance (Like yours truly). I wanna Skank with Kamala at a Ska show.

A lot of Ska bands have horn sections but some of them don’t, because there is a type of guitar playing you can do to qualify you as a Ska band. You do these things called upstrokes on your guitar. I suck at playing them, but I love hearing them. So, yeah, some Ska bands are horny and others are not so horny. Operation Ivy, which later morphed into Rancid, is, technically, a Ska band, even though they didn’t have a horn section. Most Ska bands are “horny” though, because most of them are composed of band geeks who never got laid in High School, but you get the drift.

But that was the Ska from my era. The fist wave of Ska was purely Jamaican music back in the 60’s. The second wave, in the 70’s, was a mixture of Ska and punk, initiated by bands like The Clash and The Specials, in the U.K.

But, there was like 15 minutes in 1997 when Ska Punk was the most popular music in America. Then everyone either decided they hated it or forgot it existed. (The same thing happened with the Swing music revival. Do you remember the Cherry Poppin Daddies? No. You don’t.)

Anyway, Ska Punk was my favorite type of music. I even owned albums by insanely obscure Ska bands like The Voodoo Glow Skulls, the Mad Caddies, and Mustard Plug. Even the band members of those bands probably don’t remember they were ever in a band.

But in honor of my beloved Kamala, and her Jamaican heritage, I’m gonna list my top five favorite Ska bands from the the third wave  of Ska, and why I like them.  (Even though the third wave 90’s bands were  almost always just a bunch of white guys, and sometimes girls, who drank a lot and owned horns.)

And no, I will not be listing No Doubt or the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. I loved those bands, and have seen them live, but I have a friend who teaches Rock n’ Roll and she says those are the only Ska bands she talks about because the Bosstones were in Clueless and Gwen Stefani is from No Doubt and is on some damn singing show or something. So, I’ll switch it up a little and talk about some other bands.

GOLDFINGER: Goldfinger had a ton of great songs, and one of those songs, Superman , was even featured on an episode of Dawson’s Creek, one of my favorite shows from back in the 90’s! They talked about masturbation on the first episode of that show! Goldfinger is a Ska Punk band, named after a great James Bond movie. They eventually became vegans and I am not a fan of being a vegan. (I’m a Mea-gan. I only eat meat.)

THE AQUABATS: This band is well known now because of that Yo Gabba Gabba show on Nickelodeon. But, once upon a time, they were just a bunch of weird Mormon guys who squeezed into skintight superhero suits, and played Ska music. (Fun fact: Travis Barker from Blink 182 was once their drummer.)

THE HIPPOS: The Hippos were like Weezer, if Weezer were a Ska band. ‘Nuff said.

LESS THAN JAKE: I have seen Less Than Jake roughly five million times, even when I wasn’t actively trying to see them. Like, I would go to Warped Tour, and they would be there every time. They are one of my favorite bands. Here’s a fun anecdote: The band got their name because, when they used to practice, the lead singer’s family’s dog  hated the noise, and his parents would tell them to stop playing.  The dog’s name was Jake. So, they were “Less Than Jake.” Also, they had an album named PEZ Core, and I love PEZ

REEL BIG FISH: Reel Big Fish is the greatest band EVER. Even though it’s really just one guy, Arron Barrett, with an ever-changing lineup of backup band members, every lineup has been awesome. They are funny, they say the word “fuck” all the time, and have, at least, a dozen songs about beer. They have an ironic juxtaposition between their angry lyrics and happy music. Their album, “Life Sucks Let’s Dance,” might as well be the soundtrack to the COVID apocalypse.

So, let’s dance, Kamala! Let’s dance!

 

The Church of Burger Time

Sunday, November 22nd, 2020 5:00 am.

Did you know there is a church based around the 1980’s arcade game Burger Time?

I found this out recently and was intrigued. I’m no stranger to fringe religions, as I am a card carrying minister of the Church of the Subgenius. And they worship a guy named Bob, who is just a piece of clipart from the 1950’s, of a guy smoking a pipe, who encourages people to slack off and says that, if you join them, you either get eternal salvation, or triple your money back.

But this BurgerTime cult is news to me. And I’m surprised that it is, because Burger time is one of my favorite games ever. And I like burgers and time.

If some of you youngling Moosekateers  out yonder are unfamiliar with Burger Time, allow me to explain how it goes. You play as a chef named Peter Pepper. Peter Pepper is trying to make burgers by running around on a bunch of Donkey Kong-like platforms, climbing up ladders and running over various burger ingredients, like the burger, the lettuce, the bun and the cheese. Eventually, if you do well, all the ingredients fall to the bottom of the screen to form a burger. Now, I know this doesn’t sound like the most sanitary way to make a burger, but I like to believe his shoes are magical video game shoes and germ free.

The main obstacle to doing this is that you are constantly being chased by pissed off demented food items like Mr. Hot Dog, Mr. Egg and Mr. Pickle, who are Hell bent on killing you.

So I guess the Church of BurgerTime would probably consider Mr. Hot Dog to be their version of Satan.

I own an obscene amount of BurgerTime games. I have one for my Game Boy, one on 3DS, one for Atari, one on Wii-U, one of those mini-table top arcade versions and I think I have at least three versions of it on the Nintendo Switch. (The most recent one, BurgerTime Party, is super awesome, by the way! You should stop reading this and go buy it right now!)

I’m not the best expert at videogames. I love them, I collect them, but I suck at them. . When I used to play Goldeneye on the N64 with my friends, I would somehow always end up stuck in a sewer, shooting myself in the face.

But BurgerTime might be one of the few games I’m ACTUALLY sort of kind of good at. So, I can understand why people want to worship Peter Pepper.

I respect everyone’s religious beliefs. So, I respect those who want to worship a chef running from giant demonic egg, pickle and hot dog monsters while stomping on giant hamburger ingredients.

To each their own.

But that isn’t even the craziest religion I have heard of! Did you know there is a religion based on the PARTIDGE FAMILY!?

Now , if you are too young to know what BurgerTime is, you sure as fuck don’t know what the Partridge Family is , so I’ll attempt to explain it. It was this show from the 60’s about a family, kind of like the Brady Bunch but it sucked even more. Much like the Brady Bunch, the kids all played in a rock band, only they rode around in a garishly decorated bus. It wasn’t a good show, but I watched it constantly anyway when it was on Nick at Nite back when Nick at Nite showed shows other than Roseanne and How I Met Your Mother.

The theme song, “Come on Get Happy” was actually good. But then again, I like shitty bubblegum pop music from the 60’s and 70’s. I’m weird.

One of the kids, Keith Partridge, was played by David Cassidy. Fun fact, he is the father of Katie Cassidy from the Arrow TV show.  He eventually went insane, became an alcoholic and died. The actress who played his sister, Lori Partridge,  was  Susan Dey, who was really hot, but then she went insane, became an anorexic and got a role on Law and Order. And one of the kids was played by Danny Bonoduche, who was always insane, and then started beating people up and got his own reality show, and then became a wrestler.

You can see why there would be a church based around these people.

Believe it or not, the cult is not even as weird as the Saturday morning cartoon Partidge Family 2020 A.D , made by Hanna Barbera Studios. In the cartoon they inexplicably live in outer space and have a flying car and a robot dog. I’ll probably be writing an entire 500 word column about that show for my “Journey to The Bottom of the Hanna Barr-barrel” series of columns about the dregs of the Hanna Barbera cartoon universe.

But back to the church of BurgerTime.

I was raised Catholic, so I’m curious as to how similar BurgerTimeism is to Catholicism. Instead of Holy Communion, where you take the Host and drink the wine, representational of the body and blood of Christ, do they give you a symbolic burger and fries? Does the Priest wear a chef’s hat and an apron instead of vestments? Instead of Baptism, where they dunk you in Holy Water, do they just throw pepper in your face, like Peter Pepper does to the food monsters in the game?

What does their version of Hell look like? Does Mr. Hot dog put you into a giant George Foreman grill where you roast for all eternity?

I don’t know and I don’t want to find out firsthand.

Now I’m hungry for a burger. I’m gonna go to Wendy’s.

See ya next time Moosekateers.

 

 

 

 

Journey To the Bottom of the Hanna-Bar-Barrel. Part One

Saturday, November 21st, 2020 7:35 pm.

OK, listen up here, Moosekateers, I have a confession to make. I fuckin love Hanna Barbera cartoons 

I watched them as a kid, incessantly. In the 80’s, I watched everything ever aired on U.S.A Network’s Cartoon Express. In the 90’s, I watched everything on the Cartoon Network and, before they started making money off of Dragon Ball Z, they couldn’t even afford to show anything other than ancient rickety Hanna Barbera cartoons. 

I’ve seen like every one of the fifty bajillion episodes of Scooby Doo that came out before the 90’s, like the “New Scooby Doo Movies” show  where they team up with Sonny and Cher, and that super weird one, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo, that had Vincent Price voicing a character, and an annoying Mexican kid instead of Fred and Velma.   

In that one, they fought ACTUAL ghosts and monsters instead of pissed off farmers dressed up like the Ghost Face killer from Scream.  Still, it wasn’t very good. But, for some reason, Scooby Doo is probably the only Hanna-Barbara property that is still popular among the younglings of today 

If you don’t know HannaBarbera, they are a studio started  by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. They invented Tom and Jerry, but after they got fired from the  MGM movie studios in the 40’s,  they had to go from making big budget Tom and Jerry Cartoons, with excellent animation, to making low budget cartoons for TV that you could probably animate with the same amount of money it would take to buy some Slim Jim’s and Sour Patch Kids at the gas station. They were visionaries. 

The process has been called “Limited animation and what that really means is that the characters barely moved and mostly just said funny stuff. Incidentally, I still prefer this method to the way they make the lameass CGI cartoons they are churning out nowadays, where they just push the “Make a cartoon “ button on their computer and end up with shit like Boss Baby. 

 In spite of their limited resources, Hanna-Barbera managed to produce some classic cartoons like The Flintstones, The Jetsons, (I STILL have a crush on Judy) Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound. They even had a show called Squidley Didley which had a squid in it that predated Spongebob Squarepants by decades(Even though he looked more like an octopus and didn’t have enough tentacles to be a squid or an octopus, but I still liked him.) They also had a homosexual lion character named Snagglepuss, decades before homosexual lions were accepted by society! My point is, they were ahead of their time.  

They also made Jonny FUCKING Quest, one of the greatest action adventure cartoons EVER, created by the comic book artist/genius, Doug Wildey! (Google him. He was awesome.) Much like the Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot show that I talked about in a previous column, it was absurdly violent and that, along with some of their other absurdly violent action shows, like Space Ghost and Birdman and the Herculoids, led to parents throwing a massive shit fit, which in turn, led to super strict guidelines for cartoons for decades. He-Man couldn’t even PUNCH anyone 

 But, as much as I love Hanna Barbera, I’ll admit, some of their productions were, shall we say… a little bit flawed. (They once did an entire show about a magical talking Rubicks Cube from outer space.) 

So, I’m gonna start a series of columns on this very site that will take you on a fun-tastic voyage to the bottom of one of my favorite barrels, THE HANNA BAR-BARREL!  

I’m the biggest HannaBarbera fan boy known to manWho better than me to differentiate the wheat from the chaff?   

So, stay tuned, Mooseheadsfor some useless information about crappy cartoons you’ve never heard of and probably won’t care about! 

For now, I’ll leave you with this image of the Hanna-Barbera amusement park that once existed and I wish still did, because I wanna get a job dressing up like Jabberrjaw or Captain Caveman!  

I want to adopt a Manatee, or maybe an Orangutan

Thursday, November 19th, 2020 3:13 pm.

Have you ever gotten really drunk and decided to adopot a female Orangutan? I’m sure you have. It’s happened to the best of us

Everybody gets drunk and goes on the internet and gets ads from that website where you sponsor an endangered animal and you spend 55 bucks and get an “adoption kit”  which consists of a stuffed animal of the animal, a photo ( which I hope is autographed by the female Orangutan) and like, a kazoo shaped like an Orangutan or something.

I have been tempted countless times to do this, whenever I see the ads come up on the side of Reddit, while I’m reading people posting endlessly about TV shows they hate but apparently still watch.

In the past couple months I have been compelled  to adopt badgers, otters, wolverines Gorillas, bears with weird looking symbols on their stomachs that make them look like superheroes, and even animals who I refuse to believe exist, like a Mouse Lemur. I mean, what the fuck is a Mouse Lemur?  I sure as Hell don’t know, but now I want one, after seeing a picture of one that may or may not  have been photoshopped to make it look like it was an animal that actually existed.

But these “adoptions” are symbolic. You don’t actually get the animal and have him or her move into your house. You just pay a shit load of money and get a stuffed animal and they do…I don’t know… something with the shit load of money to help the animal, I hope.

Which is a shame because I really wanted a full grown manatee. I have a bathtub! We could make it work!

And I have a big backyard. I could have a bunch of ocelots and prairie chickens back there. The only problem would be that the ocelots would probably eat the prairie chickens and I also don’t know what a prairie chicken is, but I know they’re endangered.

Also, I might be tempted to eat the prairie chicken, since I like chicken. Maybe I would get a stork instead. The only problem with that would be if he snuck into my fridge and ate any of my Vlassic Pickles. Or delivered me a baby.

Fun fact! The idea for the Vlasic Pickle Stork mascot came about because people used to think that every woman who was pregnant craved pickles. And since there was that story about the stork delivering babies, they had the stork deliver the pickles too. Another fun fact! The Stork sounds like Groucho Marx because Groucho often smoked a cigar, and the pickle stork wielded a pickle like Groucho would a cigar. And yet another fun fact! I own a stuffed animal of the Vlasic Pickle Stork because I love antiquated food mascots and I had it sitting in my college dorm room and several of my apartments for years. I’m weird that way.

 

 

Sokko To Me

Thursday, November 19th, 2020 2:51 pm.

Back in the 90’s, I used to frequent weird underground comic book shops that sold illegal bootleg videos of things that you could probably be arrested for owning now. Like, this one place had Make them Die Slowly, which is an Italian cannibal movie which was banned in seven countries. I think they killed actual animals and maybe even actual people making it.

They also had an illegal bootleg copy of Legends of the Superheroes, which was this crappy 70’s variety show that had Adam West and Burt Ward reprising their roles as Batman and Robin, and that was somehow even more horrifying than Make them Die Slowly. I could write fifteen columns just making fun of the only two episodes that were ever made of that show. (If you want to see it now I’m pretty sure it’s on the DC online service.)

But the best thing I ever bought from this place was the entire collection of Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot on VHS. It’s available widely now, but back in the day, you only heard whispers about it from myths and stories.

I first read about it in a VideoHound movie review book about Sci-Fi. They explained that it was like a children’s show that aired back in the 70’s. It was from Japan and it sounded a lot like Ultraman or Godzilla. Guys in big rubber suits beating the shit out of each other. So naturally I was sold on it immediately .

I bought a bootleg VHS copy of the first couple episodes, then I kept going back every week to buy the rest of them.

It was glorious.

The bad guys are all Nazis who are lead by a guy who has an octopus for a head who tries to destroy the world with an increasingly dumbfounding collection of monsters like a giant flying hand, some giant vicious shrubbery and a giant vampire guy with a blue alien face.

The good guy is a little kid who owns a giant robot that looks like the sphinx who he commands. (I would explain how this happened, but it’s too complicated so you should just watch the show.) Even though Johnny is like six years old, he is immediately recruited by a spy originazation, which also already has a six year old girl working for them for some reason. Which is weird because she doesn’t even have a robot.

Every episode is pretty much the same. The bad guys attack with a big goofy looking rubber monster and Johnny commands the robot to kick the shit out of it.

The octopus headed guy has minions who looks like Destro from G.I Joe and the Hamburgler.

In the episode with the giant alien vampire with the blue head, the robot, who usually just fires missles out of his fingers, somehow gains the ability to shoot giant flaming crucifixes at him!

There are countless machine gun killings in every episode. (Fun fact: The Japanese allow  100% more machine gun killings in their kids shows than we do here in the U.S.)

SPOILER ALERT! In the last episode the octopus headed guy turns into a GIANT octopus headed guy and fights the robot himself. But the robot grabs him, flies him into space, and for some reason, they both explode. Johnny is sad and SO WAS I!

In fact, the last episode of Johnny Sokko and his Flying robot might be even sadder than the last episode of the Mary Tyler Moore Show, when they sing It’s a Long Way to Tipperary.

I mean Mary Tyler Moore turned off the lights to her office and that was sad, but she didn’t fly into space and explode herself while simultaneously  exploding a giant octopus headed guy at the same time.

They played the theme music to the show while he was exploding him, and Johnny was crying . The robot exploded. It turned out the robot had a soul for some reason that they never bothered to explain and he chose to sacrifice himself!  When Johnny cried, I cried.

I’m not gonna lie to ya Moosekateers, I really didn’t expect to be crying about the last episode of a decades old Japanese kids show about  guys dressed in cheap rubber monster costumes punching each other. I also cried watching the last episode of Sailor Moon, but that is understandable because that show was from my era, when I was a teen, and all the Sailor Scouts were cute girls in school girl uniforms with short skirts. So you can see why I’d be broken hearted by it ending.

Anyway, the moral of the story is, even if you are a badass macho man like me (stop laughing) you can still end up welling up, seeing a guy in a crappy robot suit, blowing up a guy in a crappy octopus head guy suit.

So don’t buy bootleg videos kids! Although, I’m probably the only human being who still owns a VCR so that advice is probably moot. So instead I’ll say..ummm..don’t do drugs!