by Dick Ward
It's January and all the holiday hubbub is over. Well, the major, well recognized mainstream holidays are over anyway. Me, I'm sort of a holiday hipster. I was into Talk Like a Pirate Day before it was cool and I dug National Catfish Month before the corporations ruined it. So let's talk about these obscure or strange holidays and the Blu-rays you can watch to celebrate them.
If there's an easier gag than linking vampires to Blood Donor Month than I'd like to hear it. I'm certainly hoping that if you give blood it's going to be voluntary, but if not then here's hoping you'll be giving it to some sexy vampires like the ones on ' True Blood.'
When trapped in a car with a serial "I love you man" kinda guy, there's only one escape. Learn from Garth Algar in ' Wayne's World' and just say "thank you." It's so much better than the alternative.
This is a phrase not too many people use these days but it's used when someone has an idea that's not quite conventional, typically in a business setting. It means, basically, to try it out and see what happens. Take, for example, the business of ghost busting undertaken by the aptly named ' Ghostbusters.' They ran it up the flagpole and it worked like a charm. Mostly.
I'm sure this day has something to do with actual rocks, but I'm going to use it to pay tribute to my favorite old rocker, Billy Mack. Mack, played by the consistently awesome Bill Nighy in 'Love Actually,' has that kind of wonderful honest attitude that you only get from someone who's been around long enough to get cynical.
It seems natural to celebrate someone's life by experiencing their work again, but I prefer the idea of celebrating as they did. The King may have had a little bit of an ego, but I find it hard to believe he'd sit and watch one of his own flicks during his party. More likely, he'd be taking in one of his favorites, like 'The Pink Panther,' a comedy classic.
You could celebrate the whole poetry thing by going out to an open mic night but those can be painful affairs full of pretentious wannabe artists and folks giving awful readings of awful poems. Instead, sit inside and check out 'So I Married an Axe Murderer' where you'll get your fill of earnest attempts at beat poetry. Jane, get me off this crazy thing... called love.
Nothingness is a concept that's way too heavy for a light-hearted list like this, so let's turn our focus to nihilism. Since there hasn't been a movie made out of the Rancid song of the same name - hey, it happened to Convoy! - I'm singling out 'The Big Lebowski.' It's a great film and features a few discussions on nihilism. "Say what you want about the tenants of National Socialism, at least it's an ethos!"
This Penguin Awareness Day, share the hit documentary 'March of the Penguins' with someone else who isn't aware of penguins. Who on earth isn't aware of penguins? I mean, my nephew knows what a penguin is and he's four. You know what? Skip it. If you have a friend who doesn't know what a penguin is, they don't deserve to know. Watch it on your own.
Beer, 'Crocodile Dundee' and Yahoo Serious jokes aside, Australia has contributed some great things to cinema and even more to low budget exploitation flicks. 'Mad Max' is the best known contribution and definitely worth checking out on Blu-ray. If you're a Netflix streamer, give 'Not Quite Hollywood' a watch - it's a great documentary on Ozsploitation movies and features plenty of clips from Quentin Tarantino who, surprise, loves every single one of them.
For Backwards Day I'm going to go ahead and recommend some movies that are just plain bad. ' Avatar' is the easy choice here. It's just plain bad, no matter what anyone says. And no, I'm not complaining about the plot - the plot is fine and it's not a ripoff of anything else. I can name plenty of movies and books with the same basic story structure. If you're one of those people that actually liked 'Avatar,' give 'Catwoman' a try. It's so bad that a room of my friends and I couldn't make fun of it. Few movies are bad enough that I won't watch them on bad movie night, but 'Catwoman' bested me.