Mr. Cellophane

In a location adjacent to a place in a city of some significance, what comes out of my head is plastered on the walls of this blog.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

When you're a kid, young, stupid and unaware of how the world works, you'll put up with the bullshit that surrounds you, because you're young and stupid, believing that this is how things are. However, when you come up on 28, the amount of bullshit you're willing to take is much, much smaller...and yet, it doesn't stop coming.

What does this have to do with my place of employment? Everything.

For five and a half years (give or take a month or two), I have worked as a Customer Service Clerk at a grocery store. It's a pretty decent job and, as I've misquoted a number of times, it'd be a great place to work if it wasn't for the customers. In spite of my bitching, not all of them are bad. Some of them even manage to approach the status of human beings.

Of course, such people are few and far between. A good part of the time, you're forced to wonder how people so ignorant and callous function in society. Say someone wants to buy a pack of cigarettes. Not an uncommon occurrence. There's this law that everyone has to be carded, even if they look like they've been smoking for too long. Some people become really indignant if they don't have their identification and can't get their tobacco fix, as if it's my fault that you can't a) be prepared or b) quit smoking.

Speaking of preparedness, customers have to have their driver's licenses to pick up money transfers. Sometimes, the licenses are expired, even by a few weeks. They still have to be current. Again, people get mad at you; as if you cause the time on their licenses to elapse. (If I had such a power, would I really be caught dead wasting it at this place?) As they produce other forms of ID in a laughably futile effort to attain their money, I tell them that the sender would have to put in a test question, thereby precluding the need for identification. They still insist that I use their expired ID and ask me to call a manager, just so they can tell the customer pretty much the same thing that I did. Meanwhile, I'm going over what I told them in my head, because I could swear on a mountain of bibles that I said it in English. People still speak English, right?

And, from time to time, people don't have the necessary card to cash their checks. We don't keep the cards on file, so if the customer doesn't have it, they are what we in the business call 'SOL'. On rare occasions, they ask people in line to use their card.

People often come in to utilize machines where they turn in plastic bottles, cans and glass bottles for money. There are signs on the machines instructing that the bottles and cans be clean and empty. Hardly an unreasonable request, right? Well, people often pick up the empties from the streets and stick them in the machines. Recently, there have been large chunks of ice in the cans, thereby jamming the machines. Usually, I tend to find leftover liquids in the cans and bottles, which attract roaches, ants, bees and other things you wouldn't want in your home. Also, once, I saw (or smelled, rather) fecal matter in one of the can machines. Real, honest-to-blog fecal matter mixed with the crushed cans. That's common sense and basic human decency right out the window, all for pocket change. By the way, that thing I said about the signs extolling cleanliness and emptiness? That's state law. Why would a person go against state law? Have they no concern that they'll be caught?

Also, and this happens quite a bit, I find myself alone in the office and people at the machines and in line need my help. I do my best to appease them, but, invariably, there will be that one (or two) person who yells out, so that everyone can hear, that I need help. More often than not, the person will be two places from being helped. Don't they have any respect for themselves? For me? For the concept of patience? Also, people at the machines who need them emptied will express dissatisfaction with the performance of my duties. They're not exactly curing cancer, so I fail to see why I should cater to their needs sooner than I can. Sometimes, I'll need to answer a phone call and a person will yell out while I'm on the phone, as if they were three years old. I took this job to service the customers, not to babysit full-grown adults with three year-old minds. If I wanted to do that, I'd take a job in a special care facility or, better still, take my own life.

Speaking of children, they come in with their parents, touching everything: the key pads on the credit card machine, the buttons on the coin counting machine and the dividing rope. It got to the point where I actually had to write 'do not touch!' on the rope, but, as it is clearly shown by the underage visitors, their parents are doing a poor job of teaching them how to read. Every once in a great while, the parents will actually show some initiative and tell their children to keep their hands to themselves.

One would think that I shouldn't hold everyone around me to some higher standard and that I shouldn't try to control everything. The only standards I hold people to are that they be respectful and not stupid. As you might imagine, I am disappointed with almost every person I meet. As for control, I don't wish to control everything...just the things that directly pertain to me. Big difference.

One of the things is my profile in the views of my fellow employees. Honestly, it's like I don't exist. On more than one occasion, I choked on a food item in full view of other people and no one tried to help, much less asked me if I was all right. It's something of a miracle that I'm here now. Also, people think it's okay to touch me and ask me about my personal life; make comments about my weight and how long I've been working there. Three things: a) unless you're a doctor, don't talk about my weight; b) unless your writing my biography, don't ask about my life and c) if you're not offering a way out, don't ask how long I've been working here. You think a prison bitch likes being asked how long he's been at it?

In spite of all this grousing, I really am quite good at my job. My totals at the end of my shift are, nine times out of ten, perfect, and I really believe in being organized. Some might say that organization matters very little in a customer service job if I have trouble with customers. Still, it'd have to be a cold-hearted, mother-grabbing bastard to fire a guy in the middle of a recession.

Whatever. I'm still a young man. A well-educated young man with plenty of other options in life. This job isn't the end-all, be-all...even if it feels that way.

Tor Y. Harbin

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

It's that time again.

"To make fun of Bride Wars?"
"To buy tickets for the new Street Fighter movie?"

Nope. It's time to yak about the Oscars:

- The Craigslist dancers?!

- The nation wants an apology/Frank Langella was sitting next to

- At the moment, the network feed is going all wonky. I sincerely hope that, for this, someone is fired...from a cannon into the sun...and they're back. (I'm stroke-serious about that 'cannon' thing, though.)

- They've brought out past Supporting Actress winners to present the latest recipient. Among them...Goldie Hawn (who really ought to return to film...and still looks good).

- "It's not easy being a nun."

- Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Haven't seen the film, but 'twas a touching acceptance speech.

- Damned if Tina Fey doesn't sound like Drew Barrymore; that's who I heard as the fake script page was being typed.

- "Steve, nobody wants to hear about our religion that we made up"...ouch.

- Feed's fucking up again. Let's get that cannon ready.

- Best Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black for Milk. Fuck yeah! I have even more of a reason to pick up the scriptbook now.

- "Don't fall in love with me." Wait, what?

- Best Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy for Slumdog Millionaire. Somehow, I had a feeling.

- "Each year, I do a Dreamworks movie, then I take all the money from that and bet it on Pixar." Harsh, but hilarious.

- Not bad Animation montage, but where the hell was Igor?! Was it a 2007 release? They had room for Clone Wars and Space Chimps.

- Best Animated Feature: WALL-E. In the spirit of what I said last year, they should've just FedEx-ed the Oscar to Andrew Stanton (and would do well to do the same for Henry Selick next year; can anyone honestly think of anything that will top Coraline in this category?)...though I was kinda rooting for the surprisingly terrific Bolt.

- Best Animated Short Subject: La maison et petits cubes. Okay, I've only seen one of the nominees ("Presto"), so I can't comment fairly.

- Best Art Direction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Again, can't comment.

- Best Costume Design: The Duchess. The lesson here: never bet against the British period drama in this category. Michael O'Connor mentioned the film's composer, Rachel Portman. Good on you.

- Best Make-Up: Greg Cannom for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It's a long way from White Chicks, I'll give him that.

- Way to mispronounce Amanda Seyfried's (SAY-freed) name, announcer lady. And is that the vampire from Twilight? Oy.

- High School Musical 3 and Sex and the Cityin the romance montage...but hey, they did also include Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, so it's all good.

- Goldsmith's Esacpe from the Planet of the Apes before the act break? Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Michael Giacchino!

- Okay, who is Ben Stiller trying to fool with that fake-ass Mr. French beard? (Oh, it's a Joaquin Phoenix gag. He deserves the razzing, I think.)

- Best Cinematography: Anthony Dod Mantle for Slumdog Millionaire. Roger Deakins shoots a Holocaust movie with another talented DP...and he still loses. Whatever. Hooray for Mr. Mantle.

- James Franco (as Saul in Pineapple Express) watching himself in Milk...LOL. Janusz Kaminski's appearance topped it.

- Best Live Action Short: Toyland. See 'Art Direction'.

- The girl from High School Musical has great legs.

- Amusingly, Christopher Walken waxes philosophical on Michael Shannon...both appeared in Kangaroo Jack.

- Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight. The surest bet of the night. In spite of what one may think of the film, this was truly a phenomenal performance and a tragedy that we will never see the likes of it again.

- Best Documentary: Man on Wire. Heard about it, but haven't seen it...okay, the dude balancing the Oscar on his chin...awesome.

- Best Documentary Short Subject: Smile Pinky. I don't get the opportunity to watch the short subjects.

- Herrmann's The Day the Earth Stood Still. Wow.

- Wanted, Speed Racer and Transporter 3 in the Action montage. What more can be said?

- Best Visual Effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Even though it's basically for one of my pet peeves of film (placing an actor's head on someone else's body), it looked pretty impressive in the trailers.

- Best Sound Editing: The Dark Knight
- Best Sound Mixing: Slumdog Millionaire

- Best Editing: Chris Dickens for Slumdog Millionaire. Who'd have thought that the editor of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz looks like Moby?

- Jerry Lewis received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Nice tribute to him as a comic actor and as a...humanitarian.

- Best Original Score: A.R. Rahman for Slumdog Millionaire. Hey, it's not Gustavo.

- Best Original Song: "Jai Ho" for Slumdog Millionaire. The snippet I heard in the song montage was pretty catchy.

- Best Foreign Language Film: "Departures". I got nothing.

- Nice 'Im Memorium' section. Loved Queen Latifah's singing.

- Best Director: Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire. Was rooting for Gus Van Sant, but I had a feeling that Boyle would've won.

- Best Actress: Kate Winslet for The Reader. I guess Anne Hathaway was jinxed by Bride Wars. Looks like the sixth time was the charm.

- Best Actor: Sean Penn for Milk. I loved Penn in the film, but I was convinced that Mickey Rourke would've won. A nice surprise, to be sure.

- Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire. I guess I have to see it, now.

- Hugh Jackman made a fantastic host. I hope he's invited back.

- I'm a little taken aback by the montage of movies to be released this year. Some of them do not look like they have any business being mentioned in the same breath as Oscars.

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Duckman - Seasons 3 and 4 (part VII of VII)

The last disc. I've finally made it. (More on that, later.)

Short, Plush and Deadly (w: Lisa Latham; d: Jeff McGrath & Steve Ressel): The family goes on a camping trip. Also, Cornfed nearly dies due to bug bites. It's something of a weird coincidence that this and "Westward, No!" would be right next to each other in the show's production order. While this manages to suck less than that episode (thanks to some sharp lines throughout) the whole thing is dragged down by...well, why don't I let Fluffy and Uranus tell it: "You're being insulting, abusive, degrading..." "And not in the way we like!" Jerkass Duckman makes an unwelcome return, though seeing Fluffy and Uranus hulk out and threaten to go Prophecy on his hide was nice, even if the beatdown he deserved never came to pass.

How to Suck in Business Without Really Trying (w: Ellis Weiner; d: Jaime Diaz): Art DeSalvo convinces the financially-strapped Duckman to sell his likeness to the Variecom company. Unfortunately, this means that he can no longer use the name 'Duckman'. What follows is a Kafkaesque story, with a lot of laughs and a terrific song - "I've Finally Made It".

You've Come a Wrong Way, Baby (w: Gene Laufenberg & Howard Marguiles; d: Stig Bergquist): Bernice catches Mambo smoking. Her subsequent crusade against tobacco leads her and the family at the home of tobacco company head Walt Evergreen (Jim Varney). This episode is all over the place: the family ends up having to pick tobacco, but then, Agnes Delrooney reveals herself (making one question the placement of "Crime, Punishment..."), sending her and Duckman on the run and the deus ex machina ending with Tony Randall (an impersonation; the real Randall 'wouldn't return [their] calls'). It's entertaining enough, and Varney is terrific.

Hamlet 2: This Time It's Personal (w: David Misch; d: Anthony Bell): No "Rock Me Sexy Jesus" to be found here. It's essentially Duckman getting stuck in the story of "Hamlet" and Cornfed trying to get him out of it. Pretty clever re-telling, highlighted by the play put on by Duckman and the boys.

Das Sub (w: Gene Grillo and Michael Markowitz; d: Peter Avanzino): Duckman is sentenced to community service and acts as a substitute teacher. The main story is decent enough, but the bits with Duckman infuriating the judge (Burt Reynolds!) with nonsensical defenses of horror movie franchises provide the biggest laughs.

Where No Duckman Has Gone Before (w: Gene Laufenberg; d: Steve Loter): Captain Eric Tiberius Duckman finds himself locked in a death struggle with the nefarious Khan Chicken. Yep, it's a "Star Trek" parody, and an uproarious one, at that. A lot of sharp references lead to a disturbing (though still somewhat funny) ending.

Four Weddings Inconceivable (w: Michael Markowitz; d: Steve Ressel): The wedding of Dr. Ben Stein and the lovely Dana Reynard inspires a number of marriage proposals: Cornfed to Beverly, King Chicken to Bernice and Duckman to Honey ("Cock Tales for Four"). The drama nearly overwhelms the humor, but this is a good episode and would've made a fantastic series finale if not for one surprise. (About the surprise: if there are any "Duckman" writers out there in the blogosphere, and I know of at least one, thank you for your fine work and could you please tell me where you were going with the surprise? I'm willing to pay cash, credit and first-born children.)

Special features include:

- The opening of "I, Duckman" broken down to storyboards. (Personally, I like the gag used in the episode where, as Duckman ranted, he disappeared little by little, as opposed to in the boarding process where he shrank into nothingness.)

- A series of walk cycles and expressions for the characters. It was quite fascinating to see how something like a walk could define a character.

- The original, unaired pilot, with comments from Everett Peck and Gregg Berger ("Cornfed"). Some nice bits of information, but it was mostly stuff covered in the first set. Also, it would've been nice to a) see the pilot in full and b) hear some of the original choices for casting of the characters. Still, what's here is quite nice.

Overall, it was worth the wait to get the entire series on DVD.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Back in the saddle.

Went driving this morning. Maybe it was the lack of traffic or because I was away from the wheel for so long, but I did very well...and I even enjoyed myself a little. Sure, I hit the curb towards the end, but maybe, just maybe, I have a shot at a license.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Duckman - Seasons 3 and 4 (part VI of VII)

Ebony, Baby (w: Gene Grillo; d: Steve Loter): In seeking a better class of women, Duckman gets entangled in the world of private investigator Ebony Sable. Entertaining, if unremarkable, mix of blaxploitation tropes, helped by some good meta jokes.

Vuuck, as in Duck (w: Brett Baer & David Finkel; d: Jeff McGrath): The dying owner of a minor league baseball team bequeaths the ball club to Duckman, who (surprise, surprise) becomes more concerned with business than the joy of the game. Amusing, especially the scenes with the new players.

Crime, Punishment, War, Peace and the Idiot (w: Howard Margulies; d: Stig Bergquist): Grandma-ma remembers how, as a young woman, she was torn between two lovers and how she came to America. Hilarious takeoff of Russian literature (as if you couldn't tell from the episode title). I especially loved the names of the townsfolk.

Kidney, Popsicle and Nuts (w: David Silverman & Stephen Sustaric; d: Jaime Diaz): Duckman's in need of a new kidney, but the only person who can provide a new one is his father...who's a paranoid hermit hiding out in the Midwest. Not too bad, though what was with the James Brown cameo?

The Tami Show (w: Eva Almos & Ed Scharlach; d: Anthony Bell): Duckman accidentally backs over a cute young woman who, while staying at the house to recuperate, takes over the family. In other words, Sleeping with the Hand that Rocks the Unlawful Fatal Attraction. No classic, but immensely enjoyable.

My Feral Lady (w: Dan Gerson; story: Gerson & Reid Harrison; d: Peter Avanzino): Duckman gets a mail-order bride, who proves to be a little too wild. (Not in the good way.) The scenes of adjusting "Kathy Lee" to society are terrific, as is the song at the end.

Westward, No! (w: Jed Spingarn; d: Steve Loter): Duckman and Beverly go with Cornfed to help his Aunt Jane with her catfish(!) drive. There's no easy way to say it, but this episode sucks. The problems begin and end with the moronic decision to have Duckman act so unbearably jerkassy, ruining the progress of the drive and making time with Beverly (not coincidentally, Spingarn would go on to put "Johnny Bravo" through these same paces in that show's second season). Sure, Duckman isn't exactly Mr. Personality, but I've never wanted to reach into the screen and give him a Bernice-like beatdown like I did here. A few stray gags (including an amusing - if incredibly pointless - cameo from Ron Palillo) do not make up for the bad taste left by this misfire.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

"It's 'my foot' meets 'your ass'!"

Apparently, there's a giveaway for tickets to see the movie Fired Up. (Two things: a) It's not the underrated Sharon Lawrence/Leah Remini sitcom, which deserves a DVD release, so I'm a little miffed that this movie would use that title and b) I might catch it on cable - there's no way I'd pay to see this - if only for Eric Christian Olsen; if nothing else, he hardly ever plays the same character twice. The cocky blonde jock in Not Another Teen Movie. Ryan's friend in Cellular. Lloyd Christmas in Dumb and Dumberer. Yep, all him.)

The poster had the review 'It's Superbad meets Bring it On!' Does anyone else think there's something wrong with this?! This doesn't even sound like a review. It sounds more like a pitch meeting. It really burns me up that, with all the film reviewers and newspapers in this great nation of ours, this is, literally, the best they could come up with.

It reminds me of how infuriating the blurb on the School for Scoundrels remake was: 'It's Bad Santa meets Napoleon Dynamite!', courtesy of Some Jerkoff at the Reacharound Times.

It almost makes one long for the overblown superlatives of Earl Dittman. Almost.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Random thoughts.

- The snow that was dumped on my hometown has disappeared, allowing for a taste of early spring. Rumors persist that the snow will make an unwelcome return this weekend, but I've really been enjoying the weather as it is, now. It seems a little cruel to play the 'finally, an argument for global warming!' card,'s winter in Buffalo. How the fuck would you feel?!

- Been listening to Jerry Goldsmith scores the last few days. It's a weird tradition I have to do so on the composer's birthday, but I have so many Goldsmith CDs, the listening sessions can't possibly be limited to one day. Currently, I'm on Ransom/The Cassandra Crossing (on a CD-r I burned some time ago).

- "Parker Lewis Can't Lose" is coming to DVD. That was fast. (Okay, maybe not 'special edition of "Downtown"' or 'news of "Duckman"' fast, but...quite a small amount of turnover time.)

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Saturday, February 07, 2009

Duckman - Seasons 3 and 4 (part V of VII)

Told you so.

Ajax and Ajaxer (w: Bill Canterbury; d: Peter Avanzino): While doing surveillance work for a shady scientist, Cornfed accidentally ingests a formula that lowers his intelligence. This leads to a friendship with his intellectual equal - Ajax. Though the setup is an afterthought, the scenes with Cornfed and Ajax are a delight, especially Cornfed's impression of Duckman and the reveal of Merv Griffin's office.

With Friends Like These... (w: Gene Laufenberg; d: Steve Loter): No one shows up at Duckman's birthday party because (except for Cornfed) he has no friends, so he sets out to find some. He happens upon a group with their own theme song and audience track. Peculiar, but entertaining. I love the name of the gang's coffee house hangout.

A Trophied Duck (w: Bill Canterbury; d: Jeff McGrath): Duckman thinks he is to be feted at a convention of private detectives, but it's all a ruse perpetrated by Lauren Simone, an old rival at detective school. It starts out promisingly, with the convention and Duckman having to step up when Cornfed is abducted...then it falls apart with the last few minutes.

A Star is Abhorred (w: Gene Laufenberg; d: Jaime Diaz): Bernice's hatred of Duckman fuels a surprising passion for song, propelling her to stardom. Not too bad, with some amusing songs, but no masterpiece. The final scene is a surprise, though.

Bev Takes a Holiday (w: Gene Laufenberg and Michael Markowitz and David Misch; d: Stig Bergquist and Toni Vian): Duckman believes that he sees Beatrice's apparition...but it's really a long-lost sister of hers. Whether a network mandate or a way to 'give Nancy Travis a break from all the screaming she [has] to do as Bernice' (as someone at Jump the Shark cannily theorized), Beverly is a nice addition, and Duckman's memories of Beatrice are very good.

Love! Anger! Kvetching! (w: Michael Markowitz; d: Anthony Bell): Duckman's dying (and very obnoxious) Uncle Mo comes to stay, but a curse dictates that Mo can't be thrown out. Mo's insults (delivered with relish by Robert Klein) are a riot and I enjoyed the horror movie/film school editing flourishes.

Duckman and Cornfed in 'Haunted Society Plumbers' (w: Gene Laufenberg and Michael Markowitz and David Misch; d: Peter Avanzino): The very rare Sharon Stone disappears from a fancy gathering and it's up to plumbers/detectives/comedy duo impersonators Duckman and Cornfed to save the day. Any chance to see these two riff on old routines is a good one, and the surprise at the end is very worthwhile.

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Friday, February 06, 2009

(I'd wanted to give this some kind of coy, "witty" title; some variation on 'Thank you for not smoking' or 'Please observe the no-smoking sign', but I just need to get this out.)

Back in the fall, it was decided (don't know by who) that if a person wants to purchase cigarettes or alcohol in the state of New York, they need to have a valid (as in 'not fucking expired') driver's license (or learner's permit or ID card).

I've gotten a lot of flak from customers about this, but why should I feel bad when I'm not the one stupid enough to throw money away on booze or cancer sticks? One would think that this mandatory rule would inspire people to be prepared with their identification or, at the bare minimum, consider quitting. Instead, it only makes bigger assholes of the people turned away. It's a double-edged sword: people are spoiled brats, but they're easier to identify. (Did you know that, today alone, I had a woman come in wanting cigarettes with a license that expired in 2000?! It took all my strength not to laugh her ignorant ass out of the store.)

However, I must impart a story of a very sad individual and his devotion to nicotine: (To anyone who has seen or heard of Mike Judge's Idiocracy and thinks, "Oh, this could never happen", prepare to eat so much crow, you'll be shitting feathers for a year.) A man is waiting in line for something. When it's his turn, I find out that it's cigarettes. He asks for two packs. I ask him for his ID. He takes it out. It's a North Carolina license...that expired in 2005. (Surprisingly, he was able to use this same ID to purchase alcohol not moments before...something that will land the cashier in hot water.) I bring this to his attention, but he becomes recalcitrant; he tries to defend his lapse in license renewal with cries of 'It's still me'. (If I had a dollar for all the times I heard this during cigarette purchases, I could afford to have these 'mes' killed.) He whips out a benefit card (not valid ID, BTW). The phone rings. I pick up the receiver. He throws a tantrum like he's three fucking years old. How dare I, a lowly peasant, delay King Cocksucker from getting his cigarettes?! I'm forced to cut short the phone call to attend to this waste of human life. He demands to know my name. Fighting back the urge to blurt out, 'Freeley. First initials: I.P.', I tell him my name. He tells me he's going to report me to corporate headquarters.

To sum up, a man with an expired ID is going to get me fired for refusing to sell him cigarettes. Isn't this a great country?

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

"Sorry, but there's profit to be had."

I don't like promising that I'm going to do things at a certain time (mainly because it puts the pressure on me to actually get things done, and I hate pressure), but the "Duckman" reviews will resume this weekend.

Speaking of beloved cartoons I grew up with, let me toss a few titles at you: "DuckTales". "Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers". "Tale Spin". "Darkwing Duck". "Raw Toonage". "Aladdin". "Gargoyles". "The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show". "Mighty Ducks". "Pepper Ann". "Hercules". "Buzz Lightyear of Star Command". "The Legend of Tarzan". "The Weekenders". "Fillmore". "Kim Possible". "Dave the Barbarian". What do they all have in common?

They're all getting screwed over by the company that produced them: Diznee (hence the "Simpsons" reference of the title).

With the exception of "DuckTales", "Chip and Dale", "Gargoyles" and (if I understand correctly) "Darkwing Duck", none of the above-listed shows are on DVD. 'Tis a pity that the company doesn't realize the niche market that grew up with these shows and would love to see them released.

Sadly, like a number of conglomerates, they're too busy chasing the almighty dollar and the latest fad.

Case in point: the imminent restructuring of the network that once ran these shows: Toon Disney. After this Friday the 13th (hardly a coincidence, I assure you), Toon Disney will be an ex-channel, making way for DisneyXD. 'The 'X' makes it sound cool.' Not so this time, Bender. The 'X' (in all likelihood) stands for Xtreme. If ever there was a word ruined by popular culture, it's 'extreme'...and yes, that includes 'gay'.

The writing was kind of on the wall when the network, famous for airing Disney cartoon series, took to airing live-action movies and "Power Rangers" episodes that first aired long after the "Power Rangers" passed the point of social relevance. Still, this is absolute nonsense, pandering to the youth demographic like this. Don't youths like cartoons? What the hell happened?!

While I admit it'll be nice to see "Even Stevens", "Phil of the Future" and "Static Shock" (imagine "Danny Phantom" without the reverse Midas touch of Butch Hartman) back on the air, it's disheartening to think of the many fine animated series being written off like this (I surmise that the mini-marathons going on every weeknight this week are supposed to wean us off of them). Still, most of the above listed shows are available by other means (if the company simply released the shows on DVD, they could make a tidy profit as opposed to people watching them for free).

I guess they don't care that much about profit.

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