Anyone who has ever read this blog will know that I'm a big sports fan.
Sometimes I think maybe that's a bad thing, and other times I am pretty sure I'm not nearly as big a sports fan as some people. Sometimes both of those are true at once.
And then sometimes I'm embarrassed for sports fans everywhere, and I think that maybe we should all take some stock in our lives.
I was just reading an article about how a football recruit to The University of Michigan tweeted a picture of himself setting fire to a recruiting letter sent to him by Ohio State University.
If the actions of this kid make you angry, you should just stop reading, and reevaluate what matters to you. If the actions of this kid make you want to kill him, you should stop reading, and seek help. If the actions of this kid make you not only want to kill him, but feel the need to let him know that... Please... PLEASE stop reading and turn yourself in to the institution. They're looking for you.
Sound crazy? It is crazy, absolutely. And yet... according to this article the kid is receiving death threats from enraged Ohio State fans. This is patently insane. There are so many things wrong with it that if I have to enumerate them, I'll be here all day (and really, should I need to?).
Of course Ohio State has come out and denounced the death threats. Oh wait... no they haven't. That's fairly typical for OSU who (if you'll excuse me, oh friends to the North) are not typically good about things like contrition and common sense.
I think my favorite part about the article is the OSU recruit who was all "Well... he doesn't need to have his life threatened, but... he DID post that picture, so...."
Sports fans are insane idiots most of the time.
And listen... this isn't an post designed to bash the silly OSU fans. My very own Reds have some of the craziest fans I've ever heard of. The Reds can go on a 10 game winning streak and the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd callers to the local sports radio show will be complaints.
The Reds traded for a young pitcher named Mat Latos in the off-season (a smart trade, by the way), and Mr. Latos went out and got beat up a bit in one of his first starts. First off, there are NO pitchers who haven't been hit hard on occasion. Second... Latos is a notoriously slow starter, but like.. baseball is a damned marathon, not a sprint.
So anyway, after this bad start, his wife was harassed on Twitter. His WIFE. That would be like you having a shitty day at your job, and some random person you've never met calling your wife and talking shit to her about your shitty day. There is absolutely NO logic to it. I don't give a shit if you are cousins with Yasmani Grandal (one of the Reds traded for Latos), there's no reason to talk shit to a dude's wife. Really, there's no reason to talk shit to anyone, Mat Latos included. Incidentally, Latos has been fucking NAILS the last 5 weeks, so all that hand-wringing and dick-baggery was for naught. Good job.
Oh, and this isn't a state of Ohio thing either.
One of the most interesting stories from the past couple of years in sports is about the insane person who was a big enough University of Alabama football fan to name his kid BEAR. This idiot decided to take it upon himself to ruin one of the great and long-standing traditions of Alabama's rival Auburn University.
For a hundred years, after every Auburn victory, the entire fan base on campus convened around this piece of real estate on the Auburn campus and celebrated around these two ancient and giant oak trees.
Well, this Alabama douchebag poisoned the trees.
And then he called and bragged about it on the radio.
And then, in case you were wondering how the average Alabama fan feels about him, he was a guest of honor at a dozen Bowl parties this past January while the Crimson Tide won another National Title.
I should mention he's currently getting ready to stand trial for the felony he committed (and somehow pleaded "Not Guilty" to despite his recorded, unsolicited confession on the fucking radio).
Listen... I just don't get it.
When the Reds won the World Series in 1990, it was the greatest moment of my young life to that point. It's still high on the list, despite the fact that it's essentially a foggy memory at this point.
When Kenyon Martin broke his leg, I was devastated. When the Bengals lost to the Niners in 89, I cried. I LOVE my teams. I care about my sports. Anyone who watched my Facebook posts this past March when I had several Near-Breakdowns at the hands of my UC Bearcats will know that I care about my teams.
I'd never threaten to kill a 17 year old for torching a recruiting letter. I'd never light a cop car on fire *Cough* UK fans *Cough*. I'd never kill my rivals special trees.
If you're a fan that would, I'm just gonna go ahead and tell you to maybe sit the next one out, Champ.
Many have asked what the origin of "Beefy Muchacho" is, and I must admit...
It's not all that glamorous.
From 2003 to 2006 I worked for a "Do-it-Yourself" web design company as a tech support associate. One of the things we were tasked with as IT guys was to create our own websites in order to both familiarize ourselves with the system, and also help with troubleshooting problems.
My buddy Alan had an e-mail address that involved the name "Brawny Hombre". This is essentially an ironic self-glossing, as he's wiry (sinewy?) and very, very white. So, you know... calling himself the Brawny Hombre in an e-mail address was funny to him. Still is.
Anyway, when it came time for him to make HIS website, he thought it through for a grand total of 30 seconds and settled upon BrawnyHombre.com. This made me laugh, and we were good pals, and we thought it would be cool if there was some sort of internal consistency. I mean... nobody would ever see these websites besides us. So, I went to a thesaurus and searched for synonyms for "Brawny".
"Beefy" seemed to be the funniest choice (and less ironic for me than Brawny is for him), and I thought it just went well with "Muchacho".
BeefyMuchacho.com was born.
That's... pretty much it. I just thought it was funny, and I've sort of built it from there, and run with it far more than any truly sane person. In the meantime, I've created logos and personas and had my car personalized, and my shoes...
Alan and I were talking earlier (Still very good friends), and he brought up how funny it is how it started with his lark of an e-mail address, and it really doesn't have any hidden meaning.
It could have been him.
I then made the analogy that he's like the Winklevoss twins, and I'm Mark Zuckerberg. He maybe had the idea, but I ran with it.
Maybe perhaps I've run with it past a sane degree... Evidence of that?
I just got my Beefy Muchacho tattoo.
I figure that being the Beefy Muchacho has been very good to me, so even if it fades into obscurity at some point, I'll be glad to remember the days of The Beefy Muchacho.
Here's a time lapse film of the tattooing itself. Enjoy!
I had a thought earlier that went a
little something like this:
“Muchacho… It’s been a while
since you riled folks on your blog. Why not tackle the subject of gay
I guess I may as well start with the crux of it,
I am unequivocally in favor of gay marriage. I am also
I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot in the
past week or so, because first the state of North Carolina banned gay
marriage, and then President Obama spoke out in support of it. Here’s
what he said:
"I have to tell you that over the course
of several years as I have talked to friends and family and
neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in
incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex
relationships, who are raising kids together; when I think about
those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there
fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that 'don't
ask, don't tell' is gone, because they are not able to commit
themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I've just concluded that
for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that
I think same sex couples should be able to get married.” Really,
I think this is beautifully said. I had someone say to me on Facebook
that President Obama would say anything for votes, and you know…
maybe that’s true, but I also think that he could find better
quotes to work toward that goal. Far more people would be swayed by
him coming out in support of looser gun laws, or by him stating that
he’s “pro life”, or by him.. you know… turning white. (Should
I delete? Naaahhhh). I’m not sure that being an advocate for gay
rights has ever really been a swing issue. Overwhelmingly, the people
who are FOR gay rights are already going to be voting for him. It’s
actually conceivable that he LOST votes from the conservative,
Christian African Americans.
All that is fine, but you know…
for the life of me, I’ll never understand why people are so
adamantly against Gay marriage. Or why they care. Or why people are
so threatened by the very idea of it. So much that republicans made
it a ballot issue in every swing state in 2004.. You see, they knew
that the best way to get people to come out to vote was to cater to
their most basic bigotry, and you know.. while they were there they
may as well vote for the Republican.
I do try to understand.
I try very hard.
Most people saying they’re against it say
that it’s a religious thing. Or they’ll say that it “destroys
the institute of marriage” or that “legalizing gay marriage would
open the door to other deviant behavior (such as bestiality and
polygamy).” or that “allowing gay people to get married will
encourage people to be gay” or that “the bible condemns
homosexuality” or that… well, that’s enough for now.. Let’s
tackle them, yes?
“Gay Marriage Destroys the
Institute of Marriage”
I actually heard a different
variation on that. A guy I worked with long ago once told me that he
was against gay marriage because that would make his marriage less
special, somehow. That he viewed marriage as a special club, and that
if they started letting more people in, it wouldn’t be as
I see this as essentially the same argument, at
least in spirit. What I’ve always failed to understand is that
folks are more than happy to hurl the “wrecks the institution”
bomb at just about the drop of a hat when it comes to gay people
getting married, but they always seem to conveniently ignore all
those straight people who constantly slap the precious institute of
marriage right in its face. Like Britney Spears who’s been married
twice, (Including once for just a shade over 2 days), and is engaged
for a third time. Or Kim Kardashian who was married for a hair under
3 months, and essentially admitted it was a stunt for television. I’m
just bringing up famous people because we all know the stories, but
there are just as many people who run off and marry a stranger in Las
Vegas after a night of heavy drinking, or they get married and
divorced within weeks, or you know.. all kinds of real tributes to
the institution of marriage.
I can understand why people
would prefer those paragons of heterosexual virtue over two committed
individuals who truly love each other. Totally makes sense to
Rush Limbaugh recently said “"We've arrived at a
point where the President of the United States is going to lead a war
on traditional marriage."
I can see his point, you
know.. Rush is, after all, a huge supporter of traditional marriage.
He’s been married four times.
marriage would open the door to other deviant behavior such as
To make this argument, you have to make
the presumption that homosexuality is a perversion or a deviance on
par with bestiality. That is… dumb. I’m sorry, but it is. The
biggest difference between these two acts is, or should be obvious.
It’s consent. A dog can not choose to have sex with a human. A dog
is a creature of instinct. Humans have the free will to choose.
That’s, essentially the reason pedophilia is illegal too. A child
can’t make that decision. That’s why it’s abuse and not love.
Two adult men or two adult women can choose just as easily and
logically as one of each.
Secondly, to say that gay marriage is
somehow some sort of gateway to perversion is completely baseless. I
know gay men and women, and to my knowledge none of them have ever
wanted to sleep with their dog, or marry their cat, or say naughty
things to their parrot. Gay marriage presents no more a precedent for
marrying a dog, than does so-called traditional marriage. It just
doesn’t. Do you know why? Because we’re talking about things that
aren’t connected. It would be just as logical to say that reading
the obituaries every Tuesday will make it rain in
“Allowing gay people to get married will
encourage people to be gay.”
That makes perfect
sense. In fact, I can’t believe I never thought of it before, but I
need to go hang out at the ballpark. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m
throwing a perfect curveball in no time. Don’t worry.. the fact
that my knees aren’t any good, and the fact that I haven’t played
baseball in 15 years is totally irrelevant. If I hang around some
pitchers, I’m sure I’ll end up in the majors soon enough.
Bible Condemns Homosexuality”
Well… That’s true.
The bible also features:
The Earth is created not once, but
twice. God (the omnipotent being) gets tired Talking snakes,
Bushes that catch fire, speak, and do not burn. Rivers
turning to blood Men of insanely old age (Noah was 500 when his
sons were born) Giants roaming the Earth. People getting
turned into salt.
That’s all in the first 2 books.
Muchacho… Wait wait wait… Those are all stories.
Allegorical or metaphorical. They’re not intended to be taken
literally. But the LAWS. The LAWS are clear.”
that changes everything.
Yes, according to the Book of
Leviticus, it is forbidden for a man to lie with another man.
is also forbidden to eat the fruit from a tree that is younger than 3
years old. It is also forbidden for a man to cut his hair or shave
his beard. There’s a passage that says that if you “curse your
father or mother “ you should be put to death. There’s a passage
that goes into detail about how if a person is a witch or wizard and
sends out their spirit that they should be put to death (This
particular section is the actual support of the puritan witch
trials). Also it says
- Grow two different crops in the same
field - Wear clothes made of different types of fabric - Have
sex with a woman on her period - If a priest’s daughter is a
whore, she should be killed (This also presumes that priests can have
children) - People with deformities or handicaps can’t go to
church. - You can’t eat a beetle, but you CAN eat a locust. -
If a guy has a wet dream while in the army, he has to leave camp
until he re-purifies himself.
My favorite- If a guy is
getting beaten up, and his wife stops the fight by grabbing the other
guy’s balls… you’re supposed to chop her hand off. Seems oddly
specific. I wonder if Moses was in need of a bag of frozen peas.
anyone who says they’re against gay marriage because the bible says
it’s against the rules..I would urge please go to their closet and
check out how many poly-blends they have hanging on the racks.
is the one to determine which rules are valid and which rules are
This is a fairly straightforward question. If
the bible is to be taken literally, as many Christians believe, I
wonder why I don’t see more heavily hairy men wandering around. If
it’s to be taken and then interpreted, who’s to say whose
interpretation is correct?
In the end, we can argue about
religion or whatever forever, and because there are a million
religions with a million different views, we’ll never get anywhere.
I believe what I believe, and you believe what you believe.
The question regarding why it should be
YOUR religion that dictates what other people do is a valid one, and
one for which you don’t have an answer. A Baptist will say the same
thing as a Catholic, and they’ll say the same thing as a Jew.
“Because we’re right”. Well… Prove it. There’s no unifying,
official faith. People’s religions are as varied as grains of sand,
and therefore governing based on religion is impossible.
only we lived in a country founded on other principles…
We live in America where there’s a very specific
division of religion and government. Despite what many people
believe, the USA isn’t a Christian country, at least not
governmentally speaking. Some people argue that the Founding Fathers
built this country upon Christian values, and they may have
personally held certain beliefs, but they were very specific
regarding the nature of the USA.
From The Treaty of Tripoli
(Ratified in 1797, less than 10 years after the drafting of the
“the Government of the United States of
America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion”.
Thomas Jefferson was the first to overtly discuss
separation of church and state when he wrote:
shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” There’s also a
section where he talks about how religion is between a person and
their God, and only them. This is essentially my position regarding
prayer in public schools. There’s a great distinction between being
against prayer and being against public school mandated prayer. This
is a distinction that is often ignored… I’m digressing. (Full
disclosure… I had 12 years of Catholic school. 8 of which included
multiple daily prayers.)
My point of all of this is that
marriage being legal in the United States business isn’t REALLY an
issue of religion, or at least it shouldn’t be. There are two
kinds of marriages, and the law is only concerned about one.
the Tofu Muchacha and I went to a Shawnee medicine man and had him
“marry us”, the only folks who need to recognize that marriage
are Me, The TM, and the Shawnee people. On the other hand, if the TM
and I went to the courthouse and had a judge marry us, the only
people who need to care are me, the TM, and the Government of the US.
Do you see the distinction?
see… when people get all upset about gay marriage being legal or
not, I don’t understand, because it has absolutely nothing to do
with them. It doesn’t have to do with their religion. It doesn’t
have to do with the sanctity of their religious marriage. It doesn’t
have to do with them in any way. It would be like me telling my
neighbor he wasn’t allowed to put up a basketball hoop in his
driveway because I hate basketball.
It only has to do with
those two people having the same LEGAL rights in the United States as
any other 2 people. The United States is a country founded by folks
who rebelled against an unjust governing body. People who were not
given the same legal rights as their countrymen across the Atlantic.
Oddly, I see a lot of connection.
Look… My stance Is this:
your religion forbids gay marriage, fine. That’s on you. If you
think it’s an abomination, fine. That’s also on you.
laws of the United States are adjustable exactly because our founders
had the foresight to know that times change. They knew that the
people writing the laws were human, and could not possibly be
expected to be exactly just at all times. They created avenues for
- Married women were not legally permitted
to own property under their own names in all states until 1900. -
It wasn’t until 1975 that married women could have credit in their
own name. - Interracial marriage wasn’t allowed in many states
until the 1960s. It was illegal in the state of Alabama until the
Times change. Laws should correct to become MORE
just, not less.
[Editors Note, written immediately
before posting] I haven’t seen Titanic
since December of 1997. That’s on purpose. I’ve accidentally seen
random scenes here and there on TV, but other than that, my memory of
the film is ENTIRELY based on my recollection from that one, single
viewing. I wrote this blog over the course of a couple of weeks,
and I discussed some of my points with some known Titanic
fans throughout the process. I’ve come to realize that some of the
details of my arguments (specifically relating to the ins and outs of
the specific plot) are possibly not entirely accurate. I’ve decided
to leave the points as-is, and am planning a follow-up post where I
re-watch the film in its 2D entirety, and adjust my opinions as
needed. I promise to be honest with my re-assessment.
so it’s no secret that I think Titanic is just about the
worst. I’ve stated it on numerous occasions. I’m not trying to
hide the fact.
I guess I just always assumed that I’d
established my full argument as to WHY I feel that way, and looking
back through the blog, I realize I never really have.
My friend Annie, who has appeared as a
guest blogger here before when talking about Disney, has thrown down
the gauntlet, and essentially accused me of hating it only because
Being a Muchacho of honor, I have
decided to finally and officially break it down. I assure you that
Titanic’s popularity is only a small reason I hate
First off… I don’t hate Justin Bieber. I don’t hate
Miley Cyrus or Katy Perry or Avatar. At most, I have no real
opinion at all of Bieber. I can’t name a song of his, I didn’t
see his movie. My only thought about Justin Bieber is that he makes
me feel old. I always have this sneaking feeling that if I were 17 I
would understand his deal, and I feel like I’m so far removed from
knowing his deal that it sort of depresses me.
Avatar… If I’m being honest,
I have to say I don’t get it. I mean… I liked it as much as the
next guy, but I don’t get why this movie earned more than any
other movie ever. Despite that disconnect, I have no real negative
feelings about it. If it had beaten The Hurt Locker for Best
Picture, I’m fairly sure my perspective on the movie wouldn’t
change. I’d certainly yell and rant that it didn’t deserve to win
Best Picture, but I do that with Chicago also, and I like
Chicago just fine.
I guess the heart of this first point
is that I’m not anti-populist. I am no hipster who intentionally
seeks out only the most obscure and off-the-beaten-path movies to
like. Shit… My favorite movie of 2012 so far was The Hunger
Games, which is arguably targeting the same people that Titanic
targeted 15 years ago.
Titanic’s popularity isn’t
what makes me hate it, and more importantly, it’s not what makes me
argue that it’s actually not good. It’s part of what makes me
argue that it’s the worst movie ever made, but I’ll get to that…
I guess I have two separate arguments,
really… The first is that Titanic isn’t a good movie, and
the second is that Titanic is the worst movie ever made.
That sounds like varying levels of the same premise, but
really they’re very different, because while there are a million
terrible movies made every year, there’s rarely a movie, no matter
how bad it is, to merit consideration in the “Worst of All Time”
Let’s start off with why I think it’s a bad
1) The main characters are almost entirely
Jack Dawson is a smug little d-bag who you’d
likely want to punch if you met him in real life. He’s the guy who
sings “I Gave My Love a Cherry” and says all the right things,
and offers to draw her. Amazingly he’s awesome at guitar and he’s
awesome at drawing, but certainly that is merely coincidental to his
The Kate Winslett version of Rose is okay I
suppose. Sure, she’s flighty, but she’s young and it’s Kate
Winslett, so it’s to some degree forgivable. Although, the fact
that she tolerates Billy Zane for even a half a second makes her
unlikable by association alone. HOWEVER… that old lady version of
Rose is the absolute WORST. Think about this for a second… That
old crone dragged a whole team of scientists out into the middle of
the North Atlantic to search for “The Heart of the Ocean”, when
she really had it the whole time. And then, once they decided it was
a lost cause, she tosses it! How many millions of dollars did that
damned expedition cost? Just so she could hitch a ride to say
farewell to the love of her life who she knew for two whole days.
Blech… I hate that old lady. Thank god Britney Spears’ astronaut
boyfriend retrieved it for her, or that priceless artifact would
still be at the bottom of the ocean.
Oh… and maybe it’s a
personal objection, but I feel like the relationship between Jack and
Rose could have existed just as easily without the existence of Billy
Zane at all. They could have given her some other hoity-toity rich
girl issue that Jack breaks down, but instead they just make her a
girl who cheats on her fiancé (odious as he may be), and that seems
unnecessary and unseemly.
2) The tertiary characters aren’t
much better. The Italian guy who might as well go around
the whole movie going “Thatsa bigga pizza pie!”, or Kathy Bates
as Molly Brown, the most broadly painted character in history. Or the
aforementioned Billy Zane, who may as well have been wearing a
Snidely Whiplash mustache he was so fucking evil. There’s no grey
area with any of the characters. The Italian guy is merely Italian.
Molly Brown is a damned quote machine. Billy Zane is only missing the
railroad tracks and rope.
3) The movie is way too
long. I’m sorry… but it is. Three hours and fourteen
minutes. We’re not talking about The English Patient, a love
story that spans years. We’re talking about a movie that lasts
longer than the actual sinking of the ship. If the writing was good,
or if the characters were super charismatic, I’d give it more
leeway, but it isn’t. Don’t get me wrong… I don’t shy away
from an epic. I love all three Lord of the Rings movies, and
they’re all longer. Again, though… the justification for that is
that the story spans months of time. It takes place in a hundred
locations. The books are hundreds and hundreds of pages. What it
always struck me is that Cameron was TRYING to make something big and
long and epic. It was a show-off thing. It was also a lazy thing,
because maybe a couple fewer loving shots of the boat (that look like
matte paintings anyway) and maybe one or two fewer annoying scenes
between Rose and Billy Zane… You may have yourself the start of a
picture. Oh… and the framework scenes with Bill Paxton, at his
absolute worst, talking to the old lying lady… terrible. I don’t
In the end, the only explanation for it is that Cameron
is overly self-indulgent (Also potentially explaining Avatar’s
GIANT run time. I mean… learn to use AVID for fuck’s sake.)
There are a lot of manipulative movies, none quite as overtly so.
I’ve often said that the movie is
manipulative, and I stand by that. There was a counterpoint made that
a lot of movies are manipulative, and yes… that’s totally true.
The Pianist is a decent movie that loses points because a lot
of its emotion stems from it being set during the Holocaust. That’s
like hitting a ball off a tee. It’s easy to make people cry about
one of the worst things to ever happen on the planet. One of my
favorite movies, Saving Private Ryan, includes a scene at the
end that is acutely designed to make a person weep. The primary
difference is that while there are manipulative scenes in most
movies, Titanic seems to be set to manipulate and steer
through every scene from start to finish. One would argue that this
is called “Directing” and as a theatre director myself, I can see
that logic, but sometimes the better choice is to let the material do
it’s own talking. Presenting something simply can be just as
powerful, and not quite as overtly manipulative. I’m talking about
watching Thomas Andrews setting his clock, or the old couple cuddling
on the bed as the water fills the cabin, or the all of the lingering
shots of the poor people drowning. I get that many of those things
happened (poor people dying) or may have happened (nobody fucking
knows about Andrews, besides that he went down with the ship, like
most men on board, and those old people are pure fiction.)… That
leads me to…
5) Something about it feels gross to
The Titanic was a real ship. With real people. Who
“But wait, Muchacho… What about: Glory,
Gettysburg, Saving Private Ryan, EVERY WAR MOVIE EVER?”
that’s true too. Except that I kind of feel like every one of those
movies is primarily about those events, or honoring those events in
some way. I have always felt like Titanic was James Cameron’s
project ABOUT a love story that happens to take place on The Titanic.
I just feel like it’s somehow disrespectful. And when you lionize
fictional (and unlikeable people) while there are real, and powerful
stories to actually tell… it just feels like you’re talking out
of both sides of your mouth. On the one hand, you want to show off
how historically accurate you made the ship, and how much you care
about deep sea archeology. On the other hand, you ignore a hundred
compelling TRUE stories and completely make one up about a slick,
boyish con artist and a overly privileged rich girl who also cheats
on her fiancé.
Maybe I’m wrong, but it just feels icky.
In fairness, I also felt that way about National Treasure
when Nic Cage was tossing the Declaration of Independence around, and
shooting up Liberty Hall. It just gives me the willies.
anyway… that’s the primary thrust of part one of my argument that
Titanic is not a good movie. I have other, more petty, less
reasoned…um… reasons, but I don’t want to like…go on and on
when I’m maybe only about halfway
through. __________________________ Now, on to how I can
possibly call this movie, even if we’re all accepting that it’s
bad, the Worst Movie of All Time.
This is a more complicated
premise, because, well… there are some horrific movies out there,
and it’s very difficult to make the argument that Titanic, a
movie with undeniable technical prowess, and clear talent can be
worse than a movie like Manos: Hands of Fate, or Plan Nine
from Outer Space. Both measurably bad movies.
In fact, almost all evidence regarding
Titanic would lead me to the counter argument, that it is, in
fact, the GREATEST movie ever made. It won Best Picture and Best
Director. It made something like 650 million dollars at the box
office. Meaning that it was both critically poplular and popularly
popular, which I will grant makes my argument possibly silly. Well…
it’s my argument, and I’m gonna make it.
order to buy into my opinion that it’s the worst ever, you have to
first accept that my primary premise is correct.. that the movie is,
in fact, bad. So I’ll assume we agree on that point. Or at least
that I swayed you. Hooray!
As I said before, there are a ton
of bad movies. My buddy Brawny Hombre would argue that Bad Movies are
actually the best movies. He would also argue that movies like
Armageddon are bad, and while that may be true, I don’t
think he’d argue that it would be in the conversation for
What is the difference, then?
the case of Plan Nine From Outer Space, it’s the sheer,
willful, almost GLEEFUL way Ed Wood ignored every facet of the
production. Writing. Continuity. Acting. Direction. These were all
secondary to “Getting the movie made” and that showed in every
frame. When Bela Lugosi died during filming, he merely hired his
dentist to walk around with a cape over his face and simply believed
nobody would notice. Scenes change from Night to Day to Night
depending on what angle he’s shooting from. It’s a train wreck.
It’s really, really bad.
In the case of a
movie like… Showgirls, the production value was largely
fine, but the writing and acting completely sunk it, as did it being
fully lacking in even a modicum of self-awareness. It’s so goofy
and weird and badly written and acted, but you know that they
believed they were making art. It’s the obtuse self aggrandizement
that makes it especially bad.
For Titanic, I believe
that it boils down to 2 major things.
1) James Cameron fully
believes it is the greatest movie ever made, believed it when he was
making it, and made it with the intention of it ultimately being
that. The mere fact that he set out to do it, and it ended up being
bad (as we accepted) puts it in the conversation. I have a problem,
as a director, with directors in general overstating their own
importance, brilliance, talent, genius, etc… The sort of shameless
self promotion turns me right off. Even 15 years later, James Cameron
re-released Titanic and acted like he was gifting it on us or
I can just picture him saying something like : “I
know you’ve been slogging your way through year after year of
marginal movies by marginal directors… you know.. aside from my
very own Avatar, but not to worry… I’m here to solve your
boredom and lift you out of the doldrums of film watching by
presenting you… with a movie you’ve already seen a million times.
The whole attitude is off-putting.
Michael Bay makes explosion vehicles. He knows it. We know it. He
accepts that’s his lot, so when he makes a clunker, we laugh and it
goes away, and then he makes another movie with explosions, and we
either like it better or worse than the one before. Michael Bay knows
who he is. James Cameron insists on telling us what kind of genius he
is, and it pisses me right off. The primary vehicle for him touting
his genius is Titanic, which… as I already explained, isn’t even
2) The main reason I believe it’s the worst ever,
is because “Worst’ is relative. And Titanic has the
greatest (by a country mile) disparity between actual quality, and
Ed Wood liked Plan Nine, but he
never said it was a masterpiece. Oliver Stone would never call
Alexander his best film, unless he was just being belligerent
(a real possibility).
There are many movies that, in a
vacuum, are far worse than Titanic, but the claims to
greatness… the utter insistence from the legions of fans that it’s
the BEST MOVIE EVAR, the willful ignorance of any type of
disputation, the OUTRAGE and SHOCK when a person even deigns to
suggest it isn’t the GREATEST movie ever made automatically makes
the chasm between actual quality and purported quality so great that
no other movie can match it.
So that’s my argument. Titanic
is the worst strictly in terms of proportion. If Titanic had
simply been presented without comment, and had lived a fairly quiet
life, I may have very different feelings of it. Even if it wasn’t
quiet, and still made a crapload of money, like Avatar, but
didn’t hold itself out there as being so fucking fantastic…
could say that part of this argument is that the popularity of it
makes me not like it, but that’s a real oversimplification, because
there are tons of movies that I love that are also popular. And
books. And TV shows. I love Pirates of the Caribbean. I love
DISNEY movies. I love The Hunger Games. None of those would
lose a popularity contest.
I hate that Titanic is so
popular because it is bad. I don’t think Titanic is bad
because it is popular. So I dunno… Maybe it is exactly what it