Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Festivus

Let's continue with some rarely heard holiday songs. Here's one from the Polish Blue Velvet master himself Bobby Vinton called The Bell That Couldn't Jingle:

When I went to YouTube to find this is was only the third time I had ever heard the song. That rare enough for ya?

I actually have this song on CD but I know for sure I've never posted it on the blog before. Once you hear it you'll have the title line stuck in your head:

Have only heard this song a few times over the years as well. Getting rarer and rarer as I dig further.

The next one, well I've heard Melissa Ethridge perform several times. This was the first time hearing Pat Benetar's version when I went looking for the version I was familiar with but I might like this version better.

Will be posting a few more before I'm done.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Start Making With The Merry

I've been at this for six Christmases' now so I decided it was time to do a little something different. This year I am going to play some holiday songs that I haven't played before.

Let's start off with this one from one third of the group Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.

This one brings back the day when Christmas was sponsored by a cigarette:

Stop for a minute and think how important this next video was. The year is 1969 it is near the end of the civil rights movement and a white man and black woman appeared together on national TV to sing a song together.

A beardless Willie Nelson sings a classic:

For those of you that love The Monster Mash I would hope you have heard this holiday offering from Bobby "Boris" Pickett:

We'll be back with more holiday songs that have never graced my blogs before. Jingle your bells baby!

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Year In Television Part 2

2011 had several great moments that I myself found to be entertainment gold. Here is the second half of the list. Again, they are in no particular order.

14. While growing up I spent a lot of time with my grandmother and I remember us watching Erica Kane along with the rest of her friends (as well as enemies) from Pine Valley on a soap opera called All My Children. This year AMC closed down production as the show was cancelled. I will remember seeing the final episode of the show because I watched it in a hospital room with Denise (my better half) right after having her left knee replaced. The episode featured many returning faces as well as a surprise cliff hanger. While it is still in doubt if we will ever go back to the small Pennsylvania town to see what happened after the gun shot, I’m sure that if we do, right after we find out if the bullet found it's target, Erica will announce her 137th engagement.

15. During 2000 a new summer replacement show aired. The show was called Survivor and Richard Hatch was the first ever winner. 11 years and 22 seasons later Survivor: Redemption Island saw the return of fan favorite Rob Mariano. Rob currently holds the record for most days spent on Survivor and is also married to Amber Brkich, another Survivor contestant and million dollar winner of the “All Stars” season. After his fourth try, Rob was declared the sole Survivor and won the million dollar prize. He was also the winner of the fan favorite vote which got him an additional hundred grand.

16. On a show called American Horror Story, one of the characters is Moira who is played by two different actresses; one older (around 50-ish) and the other version a younger 20-something. Men are the ones that see her as the young and seductive red-headed maid. One man decides he wants a tour of the house to see if he wants to buy the place. Moira, not wanting the house to be sold, uses her womanly ways to dirty talk the man into letting her give him oral sex. Yeah, go ahead, twist my arm. A few moments into it and she bites off his penis. Ouch!

17. During the 2011 Golden Globes host Ricky Gevais raised both eyebrows and ire with some of his comments during the show. Most people, including me, actually liked him. It was the “political correctness” police, who basically hate everything, that were up in arms about it. How much did the Golden Globes people like him? He’s coming back for 2012.

18. Cantankerous news writer and reporter Andy Rooney did a feature on 60 minutes called “A few minutes with Andy Rooney” for over 30 years. On October 2, at the age of 92, he called it a career. One month later he called it a life. While I was never a fan of his, or 60 Minutes for that matter, I can appreciate his contributions to the media no matter if I agreed with his opinions or not. While not without controversy, one other thing he wasn’t short on was respect in and out of the newsroom. Rest well you miserable bastard.

19. Getting a mention on this list is difficult enough. Getting on it twice should be damned near impossible. Not for The Walking Dead, though. Earlier I spoke about them shooting and nearly killing a child on the season two premier episode. At the mid-season finale (where did this horse shit idea come from? A finale in the middle of a season? Is this LOST‘s fault?) they did it again. Sophie, the daughter of one of the other survivors of the show had been missing for most of the season. In the "mid"- season finale they find her. Turns out she was holed up in the barn with a bunch of other walkers. Seems the writers found a successful way around that “you can’t show children getting killed on your television program”. Kudos to you, you sick demented fucks, I loved it!

20. Season 6 of Dexter, the serial killer series on Showtime starring Michael C. Hall features The Doomsday Killer storyline. The episode A Horse Of A Different Color featured the very creative move by killer Tom, er Colin Hanks. The victims bodies were chopped up and then sown back together but not to their original parts. Then they were super glued to the saddle of horses and rode into town representing the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The show continues to come up with new and creative ways to kill people even if it doesn’t always hit on all cylinders.

21. Yes, I watch The Jersey Shore on MTV. Now before you start calling me a douche-bag and sending off hate mail, let me tell you I watch it in spite of myself. I often feel like I need a shower after watching it. Also coming from someone who lives in New Jersey and has been to the Jersey Shore more times than I can count I have that interest in the show as well. Let me say that these a-holes and ho’s do not represent the people I know that live in Jersey nor do I see them at the shore I go to. Maybe I’m just not lifting up the correct rocks but either way, this show has me hooked. A report earlier in the year claimed that Mike The Situation had to be rushed to the hospital after getting in a fight with Ronnie and being knocked out. All of the action was of course caught on film and would be shown during the fourth season of the show. Finally, on a special Jersey Shore episode that aired right after the 2011 VMA’s we were to get the entire story of how Mike ended up on the wrong end of a Ronnie bashing. The fight finally began and right there in living color I saw The Situation get knocked out! By a wall and by sheer stupidity. Nice going jackass!

22. Also leaving the boob tube this year was Regis Philbin. The talk and game show host, actor, author, singer, personality holds the Guinness Book Of World Records record for most hours spent in front of a television camera. The 80 year old decided to call it a career after completing 50 years of television. Nothing but respect for Reeeeeeeeg. If he ever decides to come back to TV in a reduced roll I hear that 60 Minutes has an opening.

23. The Walking Dead wasn’t the only show to get a double mention on this list. True Blood also did it twice. Eric, as I mentioned before was suffering from amnesia. Not only could he not remember anything but his personality changed as well. Enough that Sookie, who mostly hated the undead Viking before he lost his memory, began to fall in love with him. The sexual tension had built up between these two for so long that it was almost anticlimactic but it was the biggest “Finally!” moment since Sawyer and Juliet remembered each other in the flash-sideways world of LOST.

24. Boardwalk Empire, the prohibition era drama on HBO starring Steve Buscemi has always been on my radar as "must see TV", albeit dimly. The storyline between Nucky Thompson (Buscemi) and his leading henchman Jimmy Darmody (who at times looked up to Nucky as a father figure) seemed to take a turn for the better when Jimmy offered to make amends for almost getting Nucky killed earlier in the season. Jimmy, along with myself, falls for Nucky’s plan to assassinate him for his part in trying to overthrow Nucky’s leadership of Atlantic City’s underworld. Michael Pitt, who played Darmody often stole the scenes he was in, even with mob veteran actor Buscemi. Now I'm left wondering about the direction the show will take in season 3 without the presence of one of my favorite characters on the show. Strong move though killing off the second biggest characters on the show. Seems like an even stronger move than when they killed off Big Pussy on the Sopranos.

25. Even though I couldn’t have really given less of a shit about it, I felt I would be remiss if I didn’t include Miss Harpo herself on the list. In a year that saw the departure of both Andy Rooney and Regis Philbin, ABC’s daytime programming lost it’s cash cow when Oprah said goodbye to her show. After 25 years at the top of the ratings and becoming the first ever (and only) female black billionaire she decided to hang it up. Literally going out on top and one thing I can say always pops into my mind when I think of Oprah Winfrey is one word “Class” even if at times it all seemed over done and over the top.

And that wraps up the year that was 2011. With 2012 looming over us I hope TV continues to wow, shock, surprise, and above all else, entertain us.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Year In Television

I want to give something new a try so I am going to see if I can present the top moments in TV this past year. At least the best moments on TV that I witnessed and/or viewed myself. These are listed in no particular order.

1. The first moment was an episode of the NBC sitcom Community. The episode, titled Remedial Chaos Theory featured seven different time lines of the few minutes of show. Each version began with a different person going to pick up pizza for the group. Each version showed how reality split in many different threads which was decided by a toss of the dice and what happened in each version. It worked, it was entertaining, and it was fairly intelligent by today’s standards which is exactly why NBC had considered cancelling the show. Anybody else remember a show in the 70’s on ABC called Soap that was taken off because executives felt the show was too smart for it’s viewers? Yeah, that old fatal flaw.

2. Back in October while flipping through channels I saw this beauty of a campaign ad for Herman Cain done by his campaign manager. The cigarette proves he means that shit! Herman Cain’s smile at the end means he thought he just got a peek at some nipple.

3. A little show on AMC about zombies called The Walking Dead, perhaps you’ve heard of it, featured one of the oldest rules in Hollywood getting broken. You’re not supposed to show a kid getting shot on TV like that. Well, things have changed and this was a huge “WTF??” moment for me.

4. On MSNBC, political commentator Mark Halperin called President OBama a “dick” on live TV. Even though Mr. Halperin in the one with the potty mouth, he did ask ahead of time if they had a finger on the dump button. After being told to go ahead and say what he wanted, he does. Guess what? The didn’t have their finger on the dump button and then give him shit about it. How many times do I have to say: Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it!

5. American Idol stopped being a singing competition sometime during the second season. All it is now is a popularity contest and we know that most of the voters are tweenagers and most of them are females. This season, Casey Abrahms was one of the favorites to go far into the competition. So when he was voted off on week two of the competition everyone including me knew the judges were going to use their one and only “Save” (don’t get me started on this new bullshit rule) they get each season now. Everyone, that is, except for Casey himself. For a second I thought he was going to puke. It was an honest reaction on a show that has been pretty much one big lie since around 2003.

6. Was it or wasn’t it? During an episode of Dancing With The Stars on ABC, total bitch Nancy Grace seems to have what we here at The Man Hole call “A Nip Slip”. If you look at the video around the :30 mark you will see at the top of her right milk cannon something that looks like it may just be upper aureole. If it is she has some serious big and brown type nipples more commonly seen in Guatemala. Take a look and you be the judge. Perhaps the bigger question though should be: “Do we really give a fuck?”!

7. Late in the evening of May 1 I was watching a Phillies/Mets baseball game. The game was in the 13Th inning when the news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed began to circulate in the crowd at Citizen’s Bank Park. A “U-S-A” chant began and like the commentators say as the news made it’s way around the stadium the chant grew louder. Suddenly the game didn’t seem to matter anymore. This will serve as an answer for a lot of people when the question is asked in years to come: “Where were you when you found out Bin Laden was dead.”. A nice moment in Philly sports fan history who usually get a bad rep.

8. On HBO’s vampire drama True Blood, Nordic vampire Eric Northman suffered from amnesia at the beginning of this past season. He also hasn’t had much to eat recently. Add in the fact that fairy blood is like heroin to vampires and the woman talking to Sookie (Anna Paquin) is her fairy godmother, and you have a great moment. Eric drains her dry and then with the fairy’s blood still dripping from his mouth, Sookie tries to chastise him. His apologetic smile at the very end made me poop and pee myself a little!

9. During his show Anderson 360, while reporting on Gerard Depardieu being removed from a plane for urinating in the aisle, Anderson Cooper looses it. I think he would have been OK if he hadn’t added the poop part of the editorial. He giggles like a teenager until tears fall from his eyes. What I want to know is did anyone collect those tears? They may just be the tears of joy from a homosexual that we will find out cures cancer or gout or something like that. And all along I thought his best work was behind him when he was the host of The Mole.

10. Let’s get one thing straight: Zooey Dechanel is absolutely a-DORK-able. Her new show New Girl is getting a nice push by FOX so hopefully it will be around for a little bit longer. Even if the show isn’t here to stay she should be. The race is on to see if she will play Katy Perry in the Katy Perry story or vice-versa. Guess we have to see which one dies first. If Zooey can do an English accent maybe she can play Amy Winehouse in her Lifetime biopic.

11. Watch and listen to this clip of Bob Costas interviewing Jerry Sandusky after his arrest for sexually assaulting a few dozen kids in the shower at Penn State. Do it quickly though before the interview is confiscated as evidence. Did this guy want to give the prosecution a leg up when they go to trial? Was he trying to see how close he could get to a confession without actually giving one? Someone want to call OJ so he can give this guy some tips, he could use the help.

12. The Apprentice sucks, I can’t stand the show. Celebrity Apprentice, however, is a different creature all together. This past season, while trying to see who is the better business man or woman (at least in Donald Trump’s opinion anyway), contestant and celebrity (at least he still was the last time I checked), Meatloaf was having a bad day. Meat thinks his teammate Gary Busey is trying to sabotage him by hiding his portion of the art supplies they just went to the store to buy. Best part of the whole thing was Gary had nothing to do with it. The supplies were just moved by another teammate; John Rich. You can’t make this shit up!

13. Comedy Central (remember when the channel actually WAS funny? Yeah, me neither) knows how to throw a roast. When Charlie Sheen went all Tiger Blood and Duh, Winning! earlier in the year I thought his career was done. Shows how much I know. Turns out it may have been the best thing he could have done. While it still remains to be seen if attempting professional suicide is a good idea or not, we got some good television. Comedy Central brought us The Roast Of Charlie Sheen. It featured the comedic talents of Mike Tyson, Steve O (wait, the names get better, I promise), Patrice O’Neil (who recently passed away and oddly enough was filling in for Greg Giraldo who had died earlier this year), Jeff Ross (dressed as Gaddafi), William Shatner, a lot of other people I never heard of, and Seth McFarland hosting the festivities. The entire thing was pretty funny and the best part: no Mike “The Situation” on this one!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

2011 - The Year In Images

Well, it's been awhile since I posted here at The Man Hole but like the Prodigal Son I have returned. Sorry for any separation anxiety you may have experienced while I was hanging out on the poor side of town. We should just all be glad I made it back alive. It's good to be home.

So what I wanted to do first was go through the year that was 2011. Here are some of the more memorable images from the past 12 months.

President Obama surrounded by the national security team receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House on May 1.

In September the nation marked the ten year anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Two beams of light shone into the sky in remembrance of the towers.

A before and after shot of a street corner in Joplin, Missouri. The photos were taken before and after a massive tornado that devastated the town on May 22.

Aerial photo of damage almost immediately following the tsunami that struck Japan.

Students get pepper sprayed by a police officer during a sit-in outside of The University of California Davis that took place during the "Occupy" movement.

Air traffic cancellations were caused across South America, New Zealand, and Australia after a volcano in Chile erupted. It also cause over 3,000 people to evacuate the Puyehue commune.

On 9/11 Ladder Company 4 lost seven firefighters. On May 2 they sat together watching the news crawl that announced the death of Osama Bin Laden.

Hawkeye, the dog of slain Navy Seal John Tumilson lies next to his masters casket during the funeral service. The Rockford, Iowa native was one of 30 soldiers who lost their lives when the helicopter they were in was shot down in Afghanistan on August 2.

Chicago's Lake Shore Drive was jammed with abandoned cars back in February during the "Snowpocalypse".

An Iraq war vet helped save the life of an 84 year-old woman who would have been otherwise trampled to death during a march in Seattle, Washington. The woman, Dorli Rainey, was peacefully protesting during the "Occupy" movement before she was pepper sprayed by local cops.

In Vancouver, British Columbia, Canadians rioted in protest of the Canucks loosing the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins. The woman was knocked to the ground by police causing her boyfriend to run to her aid where the two then decided to make out of something like that.

The satellite radar image of Hurricane Irene as she battered nearly the entire east coast at once.