Ok, so it wasn’t a letter. Well, I mean, I suppose you could consider it one. Sort of. I don’t get very many comments on this site, and certainly not many from real people—I’m looking at you Malkovich. So when I do, I usually don’t realize it for months and then forget to respond to them at all, specifically that guy who found episodes of Jin Jin and the Panda Patrol after I mentioned it. I swear, I’m going get back to you soon. There’s another reason I’ve been thinking about comments and responses, and hopefully I’ll be able to share that reason relatively soon. So this was already on my mind when, in response to a terribly written and pointless rant about car window decals I posted a while back, random internet person Dave informed me that:
“The reason most people put decals on there cars is because they have built the motor, and turned them into little hot rods. A dumb ass wouldn’t know that. And it does make them look cooler. Nice webpage though, it makes you look like a idiot. But if you have anymore why’s hit me up, i’ll be glad to help you understand.”
While it took over a year and half from its original posting for Dave to stumble on it, probably while shopping for new windshield decals, I’m still a little miffed he hasn’t gotten back to me on the response I left for him. I tried to be timely. Also, Dave, you could not possibly have spent enough time on my site to establish that I am an idiot. Stats, Dave, stats. There just weren’t page views for the day you commented for you to have seen enough of Gas Station Burrito to make an educated determination. I would like an apology for that comment.
But in an effort to better communicate with all four of my readers and the other two people, in addition to Dave, who accidentally found GSB this year, I’d like to share my response again. I tried to balance being timely with offering a sincere and well thought out response. It’s probably the first time I was timely in anything and it was certainly more sincere than what that dick John Malkovich got…
I still don’t understand, but I appreciate your feedback. I’ve been thinking your comments over and I’d like to say this: To me it seems that the decals cheapen the car. I know next to nothing about cars, a fact I am ashamed of every day. Check the oil, fill the radiator, all four tires appear to be attached, that’s the extent of my knowledge. But the guys who rebuild their engines (and their friend’s engine, and their sister’s engine, and their neighbor’s…) the guys who bleed for their cars, who sink every day off and spare dollar into making, replacing, rebuilding, tracking down original parts, all in the service of, in some cases, works of art on four wheels, aren’t the type I’d expect to have decals on their cars.
Maybe I overestimate their pride in their own vehicles. Or I mistakenly thought they would surround themselves predominantly with similar-minded people, the sort who could tell you what you were running blindfolded just by listening to the engine turnover; the kind of person who would expect you to know their car a mile away from the custom exhaust system you helped them install, and to smile without realizing they had when the throaty rhythmic growl of a finely tuned engine hits their ears… and who, when in the company of the type of person who couldn’t tell a Cavalier from a Corvette and answers the question, “What do you drive?” with a color, knows that the subject of cars should never be broached.
With that in mind I find decals cheap and pandering for attention. It isn’t a lack of respect for the cars or those who built (or rebuilt) them. It’s the opposite, in fact. I find them cheap when I consider that those who’s attention they will grab are the opposite audience you deserve. They’re a stage cue for the shallow to swoon. The people you described, who’ve built motors and made hot rods, are exactly the type I would expect to avoid using decals. They’re not sorority girls hanging their graduation tassels from the mirror. They’re scrapped knuckles and grease ground in to the bone, and they are satisfaction that when they turn their key the engine starts because they made it. The people who know their car will know their car. They don’t need a decal to draw their eye, and certainly won’t be impressed by it. If anything, it seems to serve as a distraction from a truly beautiful custom car.
But, perhaps, we just have different opinions on the matter… thanks again for your feedback..
I wasn’t entirely satisfied with this response, wasn’t sure I was making my case clearly enough. I kept hearing my old boss telling me to stop over-thinking it and hit the button. Did I make my case? My opinion is that there are two types of car people: the kind that can rebuild a transmission, and the kind that can slap a light kit underneath their Civic that they bought at Wal-Mart. Which type sounds more likely to put a decal on their windshield?
We all knew this was going to happen.
In an age where everyone is obsessed with being green and pretending to give a shit about recycling and saving the environment, a Captain Planet movie was inevitable.
This day was coming and yet, on some level deep down where I wasn’t drunk, I was still shocked.
So on one hand you have a superhero that materializes when five friends join powers to fight pollution and junk. There’s environmentalism and teamwork, look at that. That’s a great concept.
On the other hand you have a guy in knee high boots and what is essentially a bikini, with a green mullet.
Is this movie really necessary? We already have An Inconvenient Truth, it won a couple Oscars so obviously some people watched it.
I think we got the message—we need to save the environment. There are at least four electric cars out now, clearly we learned our lesson about the whole saving MotherEarth thing.
Do we need another movie kicking it down our throats?
It’s tough taking a TV show and turning it into a theatrical film. For one, most animated shows from the eighties and nineties that film producers are mining like they’re at freakin Sutter’s Mill don’t always translate so well. You’re taking dozens of episodes and condensing it down to two hours of coherent thought, something most cartoons are entirely incapable of.
Making a Batman movie at least has the advantage that he has his core villains, the real heavy hitters; Joker, Penguin, Two-Face, maybe the Riddler. He had decades of comic book material to work off of before an animated show popped up. When it comes to your average cartoon series, you don’t have that to fall back on. You just have balls-ass-crazy plots and villains that have been slapped together using a Mad-Libs formula and a six-foot bong.
Where are the big-screen adaptations of Jin Jin and the Panda Patrol? Dog City? That’s one I want to see, but with that dark, gritty Batman Begins kind of feel. How about Double Dragon? That game was awesome they could totally make a badass movie out of—oh… right, never mind that one.
Listen to this, he “was released from his egg by a group of interracial California teens… The kids taught Denver the finer points of skateboarding and other pastimes while protecting him from concert promoter Morton Fizzback who wanted to use the dinosaur to make money.”
What is not to love about that? That description has everything; skateboarding, dinosaurs, evil concert promoters! And in the sequel, Denver can fight Godzilla! Boom! Franchise crossover! This shit practically writes itself.
I guess when you consider how much absolute crap was kicking around in the form of animated kids’ shows twenty years ago, there could be worse things to pick than Captain Planet. The powers-that-be for this film have already said they’re very excited and “expect to make a spectacular series of films.”
This is both terrifying and a relief. Terrifying for the obvious reason that series implies we’re going to have hippies in man-kinis flying around telling me what an asshole I am for not composting that orange peel for a handful of films. And it’s a relief for the exact same reason.
Like I was saying before, cartoon series don’t always translate well to the time or plot constraints of a film format. So the idea that they’re planning on making multiple films is definitely good news.
This means they can use multiple bad guys and most likely, bring them all together with Dr. Blight stealing the Planteers’ rings and creating Captain Pollution with the help of the other major villains of the show.
OK, that might sound a little like the Superman/Nuclear Man thing from Superman IV, but for a movie I think you
have to do Captain Pollution.
The problem with this movie isn’t going to be the ridiculous plot or mulletted-mankini’d hero. They keep pumping out Transformers movies, so there’s a market for big-budget cartoon reboots. One of the producers of the new Transformers: Dark of the Moon is actually the driving force behind Captain Planet, so that’s another plus since Transformers is going to make gajillions no matter how terrible it is.
And who doesn’t love mullets? If anything, the presence of a mullet is only going to expand the film’s demographic.
The problem is that this is a movie about the power teamwork in saving the planet by recycling and using renewable energy sources, about not decimating thousands of acres of forest to build a mall and how it’s not cool to dump millions of gallons of industrial waste product into the ocean. Blahblahblah, the environment is super sweet and stuff, we got it. But do you know what all really that means?
This production has to be the greenest fucking movie in history. You can’t have it any other way.
Let’s go back to Superman IV: the Quest for Peace, ok? When you cut through it all, Superman represents the United States and Nuclear Man is the Soviet Union. Look at him, he could be Drago’s long lost twin.
And the whole fight between them—yes, a horribly scripted metaphor for the political climate of the late 1980s. They fight on the moon! Around an uprooted American flag!
When you think about it, that can boil down to environmental metaphor as well. Superman draws his strength from the sun, Nuclear Man is atomic powered. And who wins? Renewable Energy Superman, that’s who.
Captain Planet isn’t a metaphor; this is literally a movie about a guy who saves the world one freaking recycled soda bottle at a time. This production has to be completely sustainable.
This film set should stand as a beacon for hippies and Al Gore, a shining example, a city on a hill for all to model themselves after. This shall not be a mere superhero movie, no, this shall not be a simple re-imagining of a precious early nineties cartoon resource! No—this film shall stand for all as a functional example of how society should operate! We should be inconveniencing ourselves in every facet of our lives insisting on recycled, recyclable, organic, hormone-free, oil-independent, hippie-endorsed products for the sake of future generations!
Oh god, what am I even saying? Have you ever seen a movie made out of tofu?
This is going to be awful.