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Disarmingly Unpopular Opinions

All of us have those opinions that not only seem to go against the grain, but would in the eyes of most seem to defy conventional wisdom and common sense. For example, I know for a fact that at least one of you reading this doesn’t think “Citizen Kane” is a good film, and just the other day a certain someone who I’ll keep anonymous informed me that they didn’t think the Beatles were anything special.

CRAZY! I KNOW! But as shocked as we may act, each and everyone of us holds an opinion that would evoke similar outrage from somebody else.

With that in mind, I’d like to share just a brief handful of the opinions I’ve shared that seem to be disarmingly unpopular (and/or may have been at one time or another).

This post was actually inspired after I came home from rehearsal the other night (“Trip to Bountiful” March 20th-22nd and 25th-29th / Schenectady Civic Players / 12 S Church St. Schenectady, NY / All showtimes 8pm / Sunday matinees 2pm / Tickets $15). Steve (dreg4life) was in the living room watching “Porky’s” for what I believe was the first time. We talked briefly, and it didn’t seem as if he was enjoying it all that much. Which would probably seem weird to most people, since there seems to be an abundance of love for the film as a cult classic. But I’m with Steve – I don’t get it.

Okay, I understand the appeal to an extent. Every generation has its teen sex comedy that quickly becomes a cult classic. For my generation it was very nearly “American Pie,” although the overexposure of the franchise and its stars killed – nay, murdered – our appreciation and enthusiasm for the film.

But that seems to be the exception. “Porky’s” scored numerous sequels as well and its stars never went on to do much else, and yet the film is still heralded and held in reverence. In the context of when it was released and what else was available in mainstream movie theaters, I suppose it was exciting for its crude humor and subject matter. Unfortunately, the content of the film itself just doesn’t hold up. The jokes are flat, the story is all over the damn place, and the acting is AWFUL. In particular, the scene where two of the main characters trick their friends into going to a gang-bang and getting their big black buddy to scare them with a machete is almost painful to sit through. Fake pranks on fake characters that drag on for five to ten minutes? Not entertaining.

I suppose people might still like this movie if all they need is a couple boob shots and lame dick jokes that were dated even upon the film’s initial release. But this film is not a classic based on its own merits, but rather on the insistence of people with poor taste in comedy and film. Speaking of which…

I’m not going to devote nearly as much space to this one because 1) pretty much everyone knows how much I hate this movie and 2) I honestly find it perplexing that anybody can like this movie let alone consider it ‘good’ or ‘great’.

I think more people are aware of this now that he’s taken over the hosting duties for “Late Night” on NBC, but his spectacular failure and awkwardness thus far shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody.

The guy was never funny. Sure, girls giggle because they think he’s cute and adorable. Same with gay guys. Some straight guys find him funny, but that’s because he either reminds them of somebody they knew in college or they’re so far in the closet they have “NARNIA” stamped on their passport.

The truth is that Fallon never did, said, or wrote anything that could be considered clever or witty. He was a good looking guy with one or two funny voices and that’s it. In other words, he was a 21st Century Joe Piscopo. Except somehow, either by miracle or fluke, Fallon didn’t completely fade into obscurity. But it’s only a matter of time unless he has his sweat glands surgically removed and signs his soul over to Satan in exchange for charisma.

Oh, and how horribly awkward and out of place does he look in the “America’s Late Night Leader” bumper that NBC uses before the start of “The Tonight Show”? It makes me cringe to the point where I feel truly bad for him.

And not funny. I know a lot of people who love this show more than they love some members of their own family, despite the fact that it’s really dumb and not funny. Now, don’t be offended, it’s just my opinion. About a bad, bad show that isn’t funny or clever.

Also, it’s not funny.

I think the bottom line is that I just don’t think Zach Braff is that funny, and he has the Fallon Effect working for him. He’s a cute dude, so girls will laugh at everything he says and does because oh my God, he’s so adorable (admittedly this is also why I get as many laughs as I do). This is the only reason I can think of for his continued popularity, since I don’t know any dudes who are into “Scrubs” on anything more than a passive level.

And there’s something missing when I watch the show and I can’t quite put my finger on it. It’s as if there’s a central point or meaning that they’re trying to get at, but they’re completely missing the mark. It drives me nuts, because I can’t figure out what it is. Wait, on my God, I just figured it out! Know what’s missing? Funny jokes. Because the show’s not funny.

I will say that I think the one saving grace of the program is John McGinley, and that dude needs more work. Hell, he was also the only good thing about Oliver Stone’s “Any Given Sunday,” and I say that with the full knowledge that yes, Al Pacino was also in that film.

And their last good song was “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” from “Achtung Baby.”

I think that U2 has been able to coast for the last decade plus on the stubborness of middle-aged folks who still want to appear to be hip and with it, so they desperately cling to the last band they followed that had critical and artistic credibility. But then U2 started releasing some real shit albums, but by that point their core demographic was already out of college, having children, and working full time. In other words, they didn’t have the time to seek out anything better and they sure aren’t going to stumble on better stuff accidentally with what’s presented on radio and television.

The sad thing is that U2 is still a good band and still has the potential in them to create some great music. But in my mind, they’re a prime example of a band that got too big for its own good. Bono sounds passionate when he’s giving a public appearance or address about a charity or strife in a third-world nation, but none of it is translated to their music. They’ve put their emphasis on the production end of things and inserting clicks and whistles to sound fresh to the detriment of the actual songwriting.

Hell, it’s even gotten to the point where Bono himself has thrown his hands up in the air and admitted that their albums suck. Well, okay, he just did that for their most recent release, and it’s only fair to give him credit for being honest. But as bad as some of the songs were that I heard, they didn’t sound any worse than what I’ve been hearing since “All That You Can’t Leave Behind,” which was a huge hit commercially and critically, which I found perplexing since it sounded tinny and bloated to me while occassionally being overly-sentimental to the point of self-parody.

When I was 15 years old, I bought “Who’s Next” and immediately fell in love with anything and everything released by The Who (up to but excluding um “Who Are You” and all subsequent albums). In addition to their recordings, which were all great R&B tinged rock songs that captured teenaged angst in a way that no other band has ever been able to, they were thought of as one of the greatest live acts of all time, and just hearing their live recordings I have a hard time arguing with it.

The Stones, on the other hand, have always just been…there. There’s been so many attempts to get me to listen to them, but what people fail to realize is that I’ve probably heard every single song the Rolling Stones have ever recorded at least four or five times. I’ve tried, and I just can’t spark anything resembling interest in them on a consistent basis. I like “Beggar’s Banquet” and “Exile on Main Street,” but I could never develop an attachment to their music. In fact, I find most of their stuff to be pretty dull.

There are two Stones songs that I will stop the radio dial to listen to – “Gimme Shelter” and “Mother’s Little Helper.” The rest I can live without hearing.

Who’s dorkier: the dude who goes out with friends to socialize and wears a sports jersey, or the dude who goes out specifically to watch a game and wears that team’s jersey? Really, either way you slice it, it’s really dorky and not nearly as far from Trekkie behavior as fans would like. And it’s worth noting that you won’t hear Trekkies use “we” when referencing the crew of the Enterprise.

Now, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it at all. What I am saying is that it’s dorky, and sports fans should embrace this rather than try to play all “too cool” when they’re wearing clothes that allow them to pretend to be a different person.

There’s this kid at my gym who works out with a baseball cap on, but that’s not so much dorky as it is perplexing and weird.

There’s others, but if I listed all the crazy opinions I hold that’re completely off the mark (in your opinion), we’d be here for days. And I have a job and a play goin’ on.

Soooooo…what’re yours?

  1. March 19, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    I have never met any one who liked Jimmy Fallon. …wait. One person. But I think it was just for Massachusettes loyalty. My sister knew him (of him?) in Saint Rose. She said he was tool even then, but he threw a good Halloween party. I even saw him attempt “stand up” during the Spitzer Inauguration party. …Yeah.

    This is a great prompt. I’m totally stealing it.

    • March 19, 2009 at 5:04 pm

      Oh yeah. And you’re absolutely right about Zach Braff. I like Scrubs, but he irritates me to no end.

      Did you know he’s the cute little puppy in the Toliet Paper commercials?

      • March 19, 2009 at 5:26 pm

        Know what I like about that last sentence? Not that it’s true (which it is), but that even if it weren’t true it would still work as a snarky insult.

    • Anonymous
      March 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm

      He’s not even from Massachusetts. My job today requires watching his show and he just went on this long tangent with the American Chopper guy about being born in Brooklyn and raised in Saugerties.

      Screw that guy

  2. March 19, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    First, I agree on Porky’s, Empire Records, Jimmy Fallon, most of “Scrubs” and The Who.

    I liked “Achtung Baby” but they pretty much lost me after that.

    – “Saturday Night Live” has not been consistently watchable since Phil Hartman left.
    – “Con Air” was a kickass movie.

    That’s all I got right now.

    • March 19, 2009 at 5:26 pm


  3. March 19, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Welcome to the realm of grumpy old man, here’s your hat, your ability to use the word “whippersnapper” non-ironically and your right to drive slow in the fast lane.

    ; )

    • March 19, 2009 at 6:38 pm

      Thanks. Wanna get together from a game of Bridge sometime?

      • March 19, 2009 at 7:58 pm

        Y’all should catch the earlbird special at Dennys while you’re at it!

  4. March 19, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    I may swing back here when I think of some supposedly crazy opinions of mine, but for now I’ll just comment on some of yours.

    I think “Porky’s” is all right, and I laughed at some of it, but you’re totally correct that it’s not a “good” movie.

    I thought the Jimmy Fallon no-talent thing was empirical fact. Seriously, he’s terrible.

    Never laughed at “Scrubs” or got the appeal.

    I’d change the U2 one to “Achtung Baby,” but other than that, yes. That’s not to say I think they’re solid up to that point either, but certainly not completely terrible.

    I think in some respects I would agree with you that The Who were better than the Rolling Stones, but it depends on the criteria. The gold-to-shit ratio is far better for The Who, since Jagger, Richards & co. haven’t made anything worth a damn since “Exile on Main St.” in ’72, and really nothing great prior to “Aftermath” in ’66. However, during that period they cranked out a ton of great tunes. I’ll give you this one in the sense that despite being so awesome for a few years, the Stones are overrated and The Who are underrated.

    And yes, sports jerseys are just as dorky as anything else. Is the guy with the baseball cap balding?

    • March 19, 2009 at 6:39 pm

      I don’t know if he is, because he never takes the hat off! If that’s his intent though it worked. Except now instead of the guy who’s balding, he’s the lame-o that wears a baseball cap while working out.

  5. Anonymous
    March 19, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Porky’s comes from that classic period of teen sex comedies where it was still cool to be the popular asshole in high school. Ferris Bueller, Porky’s, Dazed and Confused are all examples of this…they came from a time before Hollywood discovered Geek chic and the justification that people were allowed to do any number of morally dubious things so long as they were social misfits…because THAT made it alright somehow. And after the millionth remake of American pie, I found this refreshing. But there comes a point where the movie’s idea of “cuh-raaaaaaaazy pranks” dips deeply into the arena of sexual assault and attempted murder. I mean, a guy who has his bouncers beat you up for repeatedly trying to get into a strip club when you’re too young in the first place is kind of excessive, but BLOWING UP HIS BAR is just a hair’s breadth on the side of overreaction.

    • March 20, 2009 at 2:04 pm

      Such a good point.

      The terrorist organization Al Porqee’s must be stopped at all costs!

  6. March 19, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    I love entries like these. Write more of them. Also, wrestling is totally fake and sucks.

    • March 20, 2009 at 1:42 pm

      When’s the last time I wrote about wrestling?

      • March 21, 2009 at 7:40 am

        Oh beats me. 🙂 I just felt like giving you grief.

  7. March 20, 2009 at 1:53 am

    Here’s my crazy and unpopular opinion:

    New World Home Cooking isn’t a good restaurant and hasn’t been for years. Stop driving to Woodstock and destroying my hometown Albany peoples!

    • March 20, 2009 at 1:42 pm

      I’ve never been so I can’t speak on it. But I will assume that this is a wildly unpopular opinion anyway, and can’t wait to hear the hate on it!

  8. March 20, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    yes! Scrubs sucks! and U2! and Jimmy Fallon!

    i’m behind you on these.

    • March 20, 2009 at 2:03 pm

      I knew you’d have my back, Mikey Nashville!

  9. Anonymous
    March 27, 2009 at 3:18 pm


    Empire Records is a terrible awful movie. I don’t understand anyone who likes it, either.

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