Last night on Awesome  Talk I read these words. Please hum the theme from E.T. as you read it, but switch to the theme from Jurassic Park when I start talking about dinosaurs. Then switch back to the theme from E.T. They’re all in the key of John Williams, it’ll be a nice mashup.


Sometimes the best solution is to bury all of your problems in a New Mexico landfill. The creators of the Atari 2600 E.T. video game knew this, as the game was so shitty and sold so poorly that the only way to fix the problem was to dig a very large hole in the desert, chuck the unsold games into the hole, then figure out a way to light the hole on fire.

Documentary filmmakers excavated the cartridges last week to confirm that yes, this thing that happened? This thing that Atari workers in the 80’s said they did? They sure did it, it happened, and here’s the garbage covered proof.

For some reason, I owned E.T. as a child. And it was barely a game – you would move him from one shitty green screen to the next shitty green screen, and he would fall into holes looking for parts to his… thing that he needed parts for. Repeat until he has all the parts, wait for some indecipherable rune to appear at the top of the screen, press the button on the joystick, and win, I guess. My older sister, the owner of the Atari, was determined to beat this piece of shit game. And one night, on the 13 inch black and white tv in my bedroom, she did it. She woke me up in the middle of the night so I could see E.T.’s spaceship buzz and fart around the screen and watch a pixelated Elliot run in circles, I’m guessing out of joy. The game was sold at a garage sale a few years later, and I’m sure it’s also rotting away in a landfill somewhere as we speak.



Apparently there were more E.T. cartridges in existence than there were Ataris to play them on. And throwing them in a hole was the easiest, most cost effective way to get rid of them. Now, throwing shitty shit into a landfill, doesn’t this sound familiar? It should, because history often repeats itself. Millions of years ago, dinosaurs roamed the earth. They had a pretty good run, but god threw them in a landfill because he couldn’t figure out a way to market them to his next creation – humans. Humans would be like, we already have cars, these things are slow as hell, and there’s not enough leather on earth to make comfortable dino saddles. So into the landfills they went with all of god’s other failed creations. Interesting postscript to that parable – eventually the dinosaurs turned into oil and god saved the day and became employee of the month.

I think everyone deserves a chance to landfill something. Everyone has their own E.T.-like debacle that they need to disappear… have yourself one of those peyote-fueled vision quests in the New Mexico desert and figure it out. Bills piling up? Landfill. Car won’t start? Landfill. Economy’s in the toilet? Throw the economy and the toilet in a landfill. Eventually we’ll have so many problems buried in so many landfills that we’ll have to bury the landfills in bigger landfills. Waterways choked with huge barges schlepping away our pianos that we never learned how to play, our decks that we never finished building, our 3-D printed monstrosities. Away with you, 3-D printed prosthetic arm with tiny swords for fingers! What the hell was I thinking?

It doesn’t matter. It’s buried in the ground and it never happened. Until documentary filmmakers dig it up 30 years later. Will the prosthetic arm with tiny swords for fingers light up like E.T.’s heart? Probably not. But I can guarantee you’ll say “ouuuuuch” when you touch it.

Pepsi Max: Cease Fire review

Slightly better than Pepsi Max: Shoot the Hostage

While getting lunch in the cafeteria today, I noticed a strange bottle of soda among the normal bottles of soda in the cooler.  It had a black label, so it appealed to my demographic (late 20’s dude who likes black labels on things) but also had some playful green text that hinted it could be an energy drink (because energy should be green).  I succumbed to my thurges (thirst urges) and purchased 20 fl oz’s of Pepsi Max: Cease Fire.

Here’s my review – it tastes like Diet Pepsi.  But until the drink met my lips, I had no idea what I was going to experience.  First off, I liked the idea of a soda named Cease Fire.  It’s peaceful.  Like all of the other sodas were battling for dominance and Pepsi Max was like, “Guys, let’s just relax for a second… we’re all sodas here, and enough blood has been shed.” However, the label urged me to “COOL THE BURN,” and I wasn’t sure what burn I was supposed to be cooling.  First I thought it was referring to my lifestyle – PepsiCo is assuming that my life is full of extreme sports and heat.  Perhaps it’s aloe flavored?  Maybe it’s like a Camel Crush cigarette, but instead of changing from non-menthol to menthol, it goes from spicy to cool through a complicated filtration system.  Just what the fuck am I drinking here PepsiCo? I’m so thirsty.

That’s when I turned the bottle around.  Turns out I’m not the only one baffled by this drink since there’s a giant disclaimer that describes both the burning and cooling sensations.

COOL THE BURN: New Doritos® Burn Flavors and Pepsi Max® Cease Fireâ„¢ are the perfect combination of tempting heat and calming cool.  With the fireproof formula of Pepsi Max® Cease Fireâ„¢, you’ll keep coming back for more.  So prepare your mouth for the pleasure of two highly reactive flavors.
(then there’s a picture of a Dorito chip on fire)

OK, so, Pepsi Max: Cease Fire is like a Doritos Burn Ward plug-in with one goal: to fully unlock the flavor potential of both products.  Chips are hot these days!  You need a drink that is chemically engineered by the chip’s parent company to extinguish the herbs and spices.  Kind of like when you go to a restaurant and the waiter recommends a wine that complements your meal of chicken strips and veggie spring rolls (it’s White Zinfandel, btw).  Like peanut butter and jelly, beer and wings,  Ween and inhalants… Pepsi Max: Cease Fire and hot as fuck Doritos are two things.

Because of this, I’m going to retract my review.  Forget everything I ever said about Pepsi Max: Cease Fire.  I didn’t have any Doritos Burn Ward chips with my lunch, so my review is worthless.  However, the good folks over at reviewed both the chips AND the soda, so you should read that instead. If you’re not into the whole “clicking links” thing, here’s a summary of their review – Pepsi Max: Cease Fire is gimmicky bullshit, and the bottlers should be killed.  They’re making some powerful enemies over there.

Lollapalooza’s 1994 Lineup Reviewed by Jim DeRogatis

Jim DeRogatis of the Chicago Sun Times  is the greatest music troll in the history of music trolling.  Lollapalooza’s 2010 lineup was officially unveiled today, and Jim is here to arbitrarily assign star ratings to bands he’s never heard of and tell you how much your music sucks.  Gogol Bordello is a jam band, ok guys?  Wolfmother puts the “head bang” in “head bang.”  But this isn’t the first time he’s done this!  Check out this article he wrote in 1994, skewering the Lolla lineup and cementing his place in history as the music critic for people who don’t listen to music.

Lollapalooza’s 1994 Lineup Reviewed

by Jim DeRogatis

Well, it’s April of 1994, and I just received the list of the piss-poor headliners for this year’s Lollapalooza. Oh how I yearn for the golden summer days of 1990, when Lollapalooza didn’t exist.  Here’s what Perry Farrell has in store for us this year (picture me saying pssssssshhhhhhhhhhhh in a really biting way right now):

The Smashing Pumpkins – The sonic dreamscape shoe-gaze metal bangers will float down from heaven on a golden chariot of nihilism and underground “cred.”  And by “cred” I mean “credentials.”  Or “credit?” Whatever, I wish 4 Non Blondes were headlining instead. 

Beastie Boys – The bratty Brooklyn pranksters are back! Hopefully they can recapture the magic of their famed License to Ill tour, complete with giant inflatable penises and drunken shenanijinks.  Instead, they’ll probably ask us to free Tibet (like I don’t have enough on my plate already). 

George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars – More like Bill Clinton and the A-Gore Funkmonsters.  Also, have you heard about Pulp Fiction?  John Travolta is playing a bad guy!  What is this, Welcome Back Kotter?  I mean seriously.  Seriously.

The Breeders – Pixies ripoff. 

A Tribe Called Quest – These are the Shaolin Monks that I’ve been hearing so much about right?  With the bright orange robes?  Classic stuff. 

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Are we really still paying attention to what Nick Cave has to say?  The Birthday Party (or as they were originally known [and I still call them] The Boys Next Door) was like 20 years ago.  Just play Red Right Hand in front of the toilets because

Nirvana (rumored) – Seattle yucksters will be serving up indecipherable lyrics with a side order of ear-melting feedback.  Then they’ll (thankfully) trash their instruments and sulk off the stage.

L7 – These handsome fellas sure know how to bring the noise.  Smell the Magic?  More like Smell the Chorizos, which is what I’ll be doing while I eat chorizos instead of watching L7 do whatever it is they do.  (strictly for the chorizos)

The Green Days – Punk rock innovators The Green Days will be taking the stage… if they decide to show up!  That would be so punk rock of them to not show up!  Expect songs about masturbation and piercings (if they show up).  Oi oi oi! 

Other bands that you should give a sideways glance towards on your way to the merch booth to pick up a Lollapalooza foam finger –

Yeah, that’s right.  None of them.  If you somehow wind up accidentally attending Lollapalooza in 1994, you’d be better off finding a shady spot, staying there until 1995 and praying for a better lineup.

Zone Xtreme (not a real show. still somewhat xtreme.)

If you had the chance to electrocute someone to death on television to satisfy the bloodlust of a studio audience, would you do it?  French documentary “The Game of Death (Le Jeu Du Mort)” says, “Yep, you probably would!”

The documentary led 80 participants into thinking they were shooting a French pilot for a new reality TV series called Zone Xtreme (not a real show). In the fake show, fake “contestants” played by actors were forced to answer questions. If they answered incorrectly, one of the participants would be asked to give the contestant an electric shock. No shocks were actually administered; the actor contestants pretended to get electrocuted. Egged on by the beautiful TV hostess and an apparently bloodthirsty studio audience shouting “Punishment!,” only 16 of the 80 participants stopped before reaching the final, lethal 460 volt shock. People apparently kept up the shocks even when the contestant appeared to be dead or unresponsive.

PUNITION!  PUNITION!  All I can picture is that informercial hosted by Shooter McGavin in Requiem for a Dream.  Just rapid cuts and text flying all over the screen and chanting and people getting electrocuted to death.   “This… drives… most… people… crazy.”  Only 16 out of 80 people stopped!  Like, just ignore the fact that you’re killing an innocent person and the moral implications that come along with that; at the very least, wouldn’t you be afraid that you’d be convicted of manslaughter?  With videotaped evidence?  On the other hand, maybe the participants were just living out their Emperor Palpatine fantasies.  Puissaaaaaaaaaaaaance illimitée!

This does not bode well for the human race.  Only one man can get away with electrocuting people while still being an ok dude, and that man is Dr. Peter Venkman of Columbia University.  You may remember Dr. Venkman’s case study wherein he analyzed the effects of negative reinforcement in relation to ESP ability.  Using a set of specialized playing cards marked with various shapes, he asked his test subjects to focus their ESP ability and guess which shapes were present on the cards.  If they guessed incorrectly, he administered an electric shock.  If he wanted to bang the subject, he’d tell them that whatever they guessed was correct and charm the pants off them.  Following his work at Columbia, Dr. Venkman went on to pilot the Statue of Liberty using an NES controller and fight an evil painting with happy slime.

But back to The Game of Death, the French documentary that for a few minutes made me upset for mankind, and then just made me think of movies that featured people getting electrocuted (The Green Mile, Faces of Death IV, Ernest Goes to Jail).  Would this fly in America?  Wouldn’t we be all, “Git ‘r dun” and then try to overthrow the maniacal game show host?  We’re Americans!  We’re not gonna let some fake game show host tell us who should live or die!  Like, “Let’s roll,” or some shit! Right?  Guys?

FUCK!  C’mon, this is ABC News!  The most American Broadcasting Company we’ve got!  They basically proved you can create your own Nazi army with $50 and an important looking electro deathbox.  We’re so done.