Friday, July 28, 2006

A Partial Retraction: Ken Jennings is not an asshole. He has been downgraded to a tool.

Well, I actually bothered to read Ken Jennings's blog about Jeopardy. I concede the following points:

  1. It appears that he is not ungrateful to Jeopardy!, remarking that it is putting his kids through college. That sounds grateful enough, I suppose.
  2. His other blogs are kind of funny.
  3. His thesis, buried under lame cracks about the show being stuck in 1984 (a pretty good year, as I recall), is really that Americans are idiots.

He is still beneath my contempt for his disparaging remarks about Alex Trebek.

I will not be deleting the post below, nor will be changing my practice of "take umbrage first, fact-find later."

--The Robo-Pirate


He is probably not a polygamist, as I only found references to one wife. He also no longer lives in Salt Lake City, but instead lives outside Seattle, which technically could be in Idaho, which has a pretty big Mormon population, relative to say, Mars.


But not Tonga. Apparently there are lot of Tongans who get married wearing Holy Underwear.

Ken Jennings is a Fucking Asshole

My dear friend Billy sent me this thing, about Ken Jennings unfunnily ripping on Jeopardy and Alex Trebek.

In case you don't know who Ken Jennings is, he's the guy who won 74 straight games of Jeopardy! and walked away with two and-a-half million dollars. In a perfect example of biting the hand that fed you, he posted recently on his website a bunch of unfunny comments about Alex Trebek being a robot because he doesn't age and how the Jeopardy set is rarely updated.

Well you know what, Ken Jennings? Who fucking cares what the set looks like? It's a game show. Part of a game show's charm is its dated look, and frankly, I think it looks great. Furthermore, you are a software engineer, and as such, your ideas of what of an attractive visual aesthetic should be are automatically supsect. And then you attack Alex Trebek for appearing as if he has not aged? Clearly, you have not watched the show as consistently as the rest of us have. Though his journey through life has been graceful, Alex Trebek shows the wear of the years just like the rest of us do or will. His hair is considerably grayer than it was when I was a kid, but apart from shaving his mustache, I think he has remained a dapper and tasteful fixture of afternoon television. I will be very grateful to Jesus if I have held up so well by the time I am 66. And what's so bad about being a young-looking gameshow host anyway? Do you also find fault with Pat Sajak and Vanna White? Looking young comes with the territory. Hosting a gameshow is a ticket to eternal youth, as opposed to whatever nerds in Mormonsylvania like you do.

But why stop at affonting Alex Trebek's youthful handsomeness? You also mock the "effete, left-coast" categories. Well, Ken Jennings, the categories are geared to challenge contestants' mastery of intellectual traditions and disciplines, as well as their familiarity with pop culture. In other words, they seek to find an agreeable balance between the high brow and the middle. This is why its contestants come from a pool that includes everyone from professors to unemployed pony-tail guys who play video games all day. I will concede that "effete" might be an acceptible modifier on a technical level, but I do not think the show's categories carry the prissy elitism that your use of the word implies. As for your left coast-centric allegations, Jeopardy! has to plead guilty, seeing as how it is written and filmed in Burbank. On behalf of the show's producers and writers, I apologize that the questions and categories do not reflect the radiant culture regularly enjoyed by you and your wives in Salt Lake City.

I guess I just don't understand what motivated you to level such a fusillade at a game show that was nothing but fun and profitable for you. Though I commend you on your achievement, let's not forget that Jeopardy provided you with an opportunity to acquire a bunch of money without having to do a whole lot of work, apart from emptying your head of a lifetime's worth of accumulated trivia. It's not as if you founded a Fortune 500 company, invented jet packs or cured cancer. You merely stood behind a podium and pressed a button before anyone else did, which makes you little more than an insufferable, quick-drawing know-it-all. So fuck you, Ken Jennings. Alex Trebek has more character and likeability in 1/100 of his mustache follicles than you do in your entire body.

--The Robo-Pirate

Yeah, I said it.

Fuck you, Tom. Myspace blows.

I'm just saying is all.

--The Robo-Pirate

Thursday, July 20, 2006



Pretty sweet way to get rid of bugs, though I have a few suggestions for improvement. It needs a longer tube, say, maybe ten feet longer, and possibly someone else to operate it for you. Also, the little chamber in which the bug gets trapped is missing a couple whirling blades. It also needs a reverse-suction function to blow the chopped-up bug pieces out the patio slider. Basically, what I really want is a combination vacuum, food processor and blow dryer. Someone needs to get on that.

--The Robo-Pirate

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

In Place of Dying, or How I Came to Loathe Phrasecore

From a local band's MySpace page:

"In Silence And Shadows was formed in the extinguished flames of die in plain sight.*"

Honestly, In Silence And Shadows, don't you think a better and more literally descriptive name might be Born in Ashes?** It would make a lot of sense, and In Silence And Shadows has two S-sounds in it, which don't sound really great when made into a microphone. Plus, if your name has some kind of personal significance to it, it will make all the nights spent practicing hammer-ons and screaming in the garage seem all the more awesome.

Here's what I would like to see. I'd like to see a high school metalcore band whose name is comprised of a maxium of three words, none of which form a prepositional phrase. If this naming convention doesn't peter out soon, we are going to have to subdivide the metalcore subgenre even further, classifying bands of that particular stripe as Prepositional Phrase Metal or more simply as Phrasecore.*** And as an aside, is it a rule that because you play some variant of metal, you have to have a name that indicates what type of band you are? For instance, I would be much more likely to check out a band called LaserPeen (who wouldn't!) than a band called Whispers in the Grave or some other similarly ridiculous prepositional seriousness. And then, when I discovered that LaserPeen played metal, I'd be that much more pleasantly surprised.

I'm just saying is all.

--The Robo-Pirate

*I don't know who is responsible for extinguishing the flames of gravely humorless teenage metal bands, but I need their mailing address so I can send my charitable donation.

**Patent Pending. That's my metasitional phrase so don't you touch it.

***I'm claiming coinage.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Punisher Cure Journal

Dear Every Cure Fan,

Back in 1993, I had this girlfriend named Denise who really, really liked the Cure. She wasn't like the rest of you, what with the eyeliner and romantic misery and all, on account of being sunny and bubbly, but she really, really, really liked the Cure, the way a burning man really, really really likes to get doused by a bucket of water. It took a while for me to come around, in part because I spent much of that year surreptiously listening to Master of Puppets (mostly while mowing the lawn), but I did eventually, but not without forming certain, um, opinions about the sort of person who would rigorously defend the dubious merits of Mixed Up.

Anyway, the point is that you guys created a certain stereotype for me, and part of that stereotype includes softly playing Disintegration while leafing through Sandman comics on rainy Sunday afternoons. Well guess what? Judging by this picture, your beloved lipstick-wearing crybaby likes the same comic as all those brainless athletic chumps who drove you in a frantic sprint from the end of sixth period to the synth-pop sanctuary of your bedroom.

Now, I like Fat Bob well enough, but if he really is a Punisher fan, I like him a whole lot more.

--The Robo-Pirate

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Yesterday's News

On Sunday, Darth Vato won Best Live Band in the FW Weekly's annual music awards, showing that all of our drunken idiocy (which includes, but is not limited to, nut-punching, rib-kicking, pants-losing, mic-farting, beer-spitting and tired-joke-telling) has not gone to waste.

--The Robo-Pirate

Monday, July 10, 2006

Hamstrung, Hobbled, Hidebound, Hindered

The internet is slow. For my job, having to do work with a lethargic server is analogous to hauling logs cross-country in an 18-wheeler with ten flats.

I want to go home.

--The Robo-Pirate

Friday, July 07, 2006

An Apology

Dear Friends in my Office Who Sit in the Same Room as I Do,

I want to apologize to you guys right now for getting Fartaburger for lunch. I know, I know--it's not like I don't know what will happen, but every time I contemplate getting into the drive-thru queue, I think, "Maybe this time will be different. Maybe this time I can enjoy a delicious hamburger with bacon, cheese and grilled onions and not experience massive seismic activity in my lower intestine." Of course, those maybes pour the foundation of wholly unrealistic hopes. I hear alcoholics use this reasoning as part of their denial, that maybe they can have a scotch or two and not drink their way into having blacked-out sex with someone's pill-billied grandmother, and that realizing the fallacy of this logic is a step towards sobriety.

Well, I'm not addicted to Whataburger; in fact, I don't even like it that much, but sometimes it just sounds irresistable. I just want you guys to know that I'm sorry. I know better, and I'll be sure to remember this letter the next time I cruise by that soaring orange W. Hopefully, I will keep cruising. Also know that as I spend the rest of the afternoon blasting away, I will do my utmost to spare you all the noxious fallout and drill them into my chair.

Your Friend,

--The Robo-Pirate

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Oblivion Update #2 (No new girls, just new spells)

Actually, that's a lie. Morricone doesn't have any new spells. He did, however, recently acquire the Battle Axe of Embers and the Longsword of Shocking, and they both contributed to his recent successes in the Imperial City Arena in a really big way. He's now the champion and is on his way to buying a little shack of his own down at the waterfront. As for me, I am still a huge nerd.

--The Robo-Pirate