Archives For satire

So. Moviepass is another in a long, long long of companies that way over-promised, and woefully underdelivered. Ostensibly a NetFlix for the theatergoer, promising one movie/day for $9.95/mo, the service fast hemorrhaged cash. To the point where the service was frequently unavailable. In addition to which, the company imposed blackouts on the most popular titles, imposed surge pricing, floated the idea of a pricier service, etc.

All of the above transpired without prior communication to its customers. In other words, no moviez for yuo!!!!

Of course none of these restrictions affected MoviePass’s eTicketing partners; all shows were available. Conveniently giving the company an out if anyone were to level an accusation of a material change in the terms of service. Thing is, eTicket theaters are about as readily available as meat in a vegan deli.

The latest changes to come down the pike from CEO Mitch Lowe are as follows:

No longer will subscribers be able to see one movie/day; now it’s three/month, with a possible discount on additional tickets.

The blackouts continue to be in effect, e.g., it appears that from the slate of titles in theaters now, customers have a field of two to choose from on any given day.

From virtually unlimited to this–in less than year. In addition to which, where one previously could view a title more than once, this has been disallowed. No repeat screenings, yuo!!!!

Monthly subscribers will see the transition to the new 3 movies/month plan towards the end of August, 2018. Pre-paid customers will maintain previous terms of service until renewal date.

All of which brings me to the following proposal. This will require some advance planning, but is quite doable. To get the most out of MoviePass going forwards, I submit that customers could:

1) Proceed to theater supported by service.

2) Check-in to an available screening.

3) Purchase ticket using MoviePass card.

4) Take picture of ticket of required by app (supposed to be going away).

5) Exchange ticket at box for the movie one really wants to see, or wait until after showtime to exchange ticket for re-admit pass.

Following the above, one could potentially bypass the arbitrary restrictions enforced by MoviePass, thereby approximating the service’s original promise.*

*The foregoing is provided for informational purposes only; following the steps could result in revokation of one’s MoviePass subscription. The author does not condone fraud of any kind, no matter how wonky a service provider has become. And remember: is it’s not personal, it’s business.


You’ve heard of the lifting up of holy hands, or lifting up a brother (or sister) before the Lord? The former is demonstration of worship and/or praise; the latter, a metaphor for intercessory prayer.

You’ve maybe heard of these, but have you heard of praying someone in the back? Or perhaps the prayer ambush?

No?

Well, it’s kinda like this:

Imagine you’re out somewhere, and run into your friend. You exchange greetings, and your friend introduces you to their friend–a real prayer wolf. They ask if they can pray for you. Thinking that it’s going to be quick prayer lifted reverently to the Lord (you are, after all, in a public place), you acquiesce. 

That isn’t what happens.

They flank you like guards walking a condemned prisoner down the green mile to the execution chamber. And then they start ululating in a language which can only be described as early tribal. Right there, in public, in loud voices (because God, apparently, is deaf) they begin to declaim your deliverance from:

Demons

Health problems 

Marital woes

Halitosis 

Indigestion

Slow motility

Depression (you’re not down yet, but after this you will be)

Like the violet, you want nothing more than to shrink away out of view. People are beginning to look. You’re saying, “Stop! Stop!”

“In Jesus Name!! Stop!!” you yell at the top of your lungs.

“Amen, amen!” is what you hear in reply. “That’s right! You tell that bad old devil to stop.” Your eyes roll so hard into the back of your head you’re afraid they’ll stick there. You throw your hands up in utter disgust and frustration…

“Yes!!! Lift up those holy hands to the Lord!” Your hands clench involuntarily into fists, and before you know what you’re doing you lay hands on those dedicated prayer wolves with a couple of choice roundhouses and upper cuts.

“Now how do y’all feel about being slain in the spirit?” Like Ananias and Sapphira they ain’t getting up.

You walk off, perhaps feeling lighter than you have in quite some time.

Prayer, apparently, is good for the soul. Especially when you pray like Stands With A Fist.

You know that feeling, right? Of reading a book, how it gets down into the very marrow of your bones, becomes a part of your soul? You don’t want it to end, but rather go on and on.

Or at least have the decency to have a sequel.

What are follows is a list of books that, IMHO, are desperately in need of sequels.

Blue Like Jazz came out, what? Thirteen years ago. We got a quasi-sequel in A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. But not really. Miller needs to at least update it, bringing it into the disco age:

BLJ2: Electric Bluegaloo It will be the story of how young Don not only continued to come to terms with God, but how he embraced the interpretive dancer locked within his soul. While living with Eskimos.

‘Salem’s Lot is easily one of the preeminent vampire novels of the last forty years. And yet no sequel has been forthcoming from the pen of the King. He’s given us other nasties, other creepy-crawlies. But no vampires! What he needs to do is pen the tale of defrocked priest on the run, Donald Callahan, set it in modern Detroit, and adapt it as a feature film starring Liam Neeson. It would be called Callahan: Taken With Vampires.

Surely you know of C.S. Lewis adult novels, Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength, and Til We Have Faces: A Myth Retold, right? I’m not here concerning myself with the first three, as they’re already a trilogy. But that last one? It screams sequel. The story concerns what happened that fateful night when Cupid and Psyche ate too much choice food, and what thereafter ensued. It will be titled Til We Have Feces: When Your Pants Explode.

I’m told that the Farrelly brothers, architects of Dumb and Dumber, There’s Something About Mary, Kingpin, and the forthcoming Dumb and Dumber To have optioned the rights to Steinbeck’s classic East of Eden. It will be titled Easter of Eden, and will star Woody Harrelson as Nimrod of Nod, champion flatulator. Nimrod pits his mighty gaseous powers against Chinese Lee (played by Jackie Chan).

A Prayer for Owen Meany. What a serious, wonderful, funny, sad, heartbreaking book! One of Irving’s most beloved. Yet he has yet to pen a sequel. What he needs to do is a mashup story: Between Here and There: the tale of how a raspy-throsted, armless, midget zombie chases the ghost of T.S. Garp in the afterlife. While wearing drag.

That’s all I’ve got.

What books do you think need sequels? Share in the comments.

TLC, once the “Learning Channel,” is now a bastion of bizarre reality shows: My Strange Addiction, Naked and Afraid, (Animal/Alligator/Etc) Hoarders, etc.

How did they get there? What lead them to this place? Let’s take a walk down memory lane and see some of the titles which were considered, but later rejected, for some of their biggest hits:

Little People, Big Ego (Am I right?) But because that likely wouldn’t play in Poughkeepsie, they went with the more accessible (but banal) Little People, Big World. You be the judge.

Infinity Kids and Counting (Because they just keep coming). They of course settled on X Kids and Counting. And, yes, she delivered every one.

Jon and Kate Plus Hate (With a side of crazy). They settled on the more factual, but less zingy, Jon and Kate Plus E8ight. Somehow, yes, they thought the viewing audience needed the digit in addition to the word to know just how many kids we’re talking about here. Go figure.

My One Wife and Four Concubines (‘Cause he’s only married to the first one. D’oh). American test audiences just weren’t quite sure what a “concubine” was–so they went with My Five Wives. They’re polygamist and proud. And also crazy. Because, um, hello? PMS x 5? Based upon anecdote and experience, it seems that when ladies spend extended periods of time together their cycles get synchronized. Or in Brady Williams’s case, the one week every month where he just wants to die. You do the math.

What rejected TLC show titles have you heard of? Share below.

Revealed!

Why Jon Acuff really left the Dave Ramsey organization:

After three years of looking for the Lampo, he never found his way to Narnia.

After three years on staff, he didn’t get the diamond-encrusted gold grille he was promised. Instead, Dave gave it to an Entre Leadership graduate in New Mexico, Tuco Salamanca.

The year’s supply of Gordo’s Queso he was promised in his contract turned out to be only a week’s worth of Tostitos Bean Dip. (Now that’s a gift that keeps on giving. But Jenny wasn’t too fond of it).

image

Jon couldn’t tolerate the stunning brilliance anymore. The brilliant shine refracting off of Dave’s dome, that is! It hurt Jon’s sensitive eyes. Every time they met, he had to shade them.

And the straw that broke the camel’s back? In their all staff meeting last Friday, right in front of everybody, Dave mistook Jon’s queso for his favorite “Dome Polish,” slathering a great gob of it on his head with his money-dirty fingers.

That was Jon’s lunch!

Or it could be, after working there for three years, and despite doing his best to cover his tracks, Dave got wind of the fact that Jon (unbeknownst to anyone at Lampo) sold a story idea to CBS Television–Under the Dome.

Dave was mad they got Dean Norris to play him.

'Holy Smokes, it's Jon Acuff!' photo (c) 2011, Collin Harvey - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Jon at a convention, talking with his peeps about Dome

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The truth is, as curious as we all are, it’s none of our business why Jon left the employ of Dave Ramsey. He’ll likely talk about it when he’s ready, or when the NDA expires. But until then, I have a hunch it’s to Start up the European division of Gordo’s Dips. I mean the market is wide open. Plus, bechamel is blasé, France! So there. Cheese dip is where it’s at.