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Until You Stop Employing Michael Bay, This is the Best I’ve Got July 31, 2006

Posted by doctorolove in Movies.
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The studios are complaining. Apparently, when you make only 85 million dollars on a film, you get a little testy. Ticket sales are down. Crowds aren’t returning. And everybody’s a little scared because we haven’t heard or seen Michael Moore in a while. When he’s this quiet, it fills you with that same sense of dread that a parent gets when their child goes silent in the other room (You know, the one with the antique vases, your grandparent’s ashes and unresistant to crayon walls). There’s a box office slump. The reasons are being bandied about like plotlines in an Oliver Stone film. It’s the ticket prices. It’s the quality of films. It’s the once staunch moviegoer now being faced with a plethora of options. It’s the fact that they’ve started using real butter and not the salted wd-40 our arteries used to love. But I know the real reason…it’s the advent of the Special Edition DVD, and not for the reason you might quickly think.

The DVD has revolutionized the way we watch movies. It gives you the same quality you can get in a darkened theatre, provided you’ve purchase a home theatre with capital gained by selling your kidney or firstborn (Now acceptable forms of payment at Best Buy.) You can customize your movie experience by ease in fast forwarding and rewinding. Gone are the dark days of having to watch the scene play out as if everybody just downed two Red Bulls and a line of really good Dexatrim. DVD’s are portable and lightweight, meaning that the “three slasher film” movie night you planned with videos from Blockbuster will no longer give you a separated shoulder as you walk them home. The idea and technology behind the DVD was genius, but like anything that holds unlimited potential, it quickly took a left turn to Crappytown.

It started slowly, with a special feature here and an Easter Egg there. Maybe it was a cast list that featured interesting tidbits that you never knew about because nobody really cared (Brad Pitt loves Broccoli!). Maybe it was the trailer, because after seeing the film itself, one needs to relive the joy of remembering the anticipation. Then came the blooper reels. No longer did we have to subject ourselves to watching the reels over the credits, distracting the families of they third key grip who are sticking around to see their underachieving son/daughter’s name in lights. We had the blooper reels at our fingertips, to watch over and over again. Because life is made sweeter knowing there are at least fifteen minutes of Jim Carrey making silly faces and obnoxious flushing noises whenever the boom mike falls into frame. And then the commentary, hopefully by the director and the only actor that people actually knew from the film. They sit there and describe every scene in detail, just in case you were wondering why the couch in the background is pink and not purple. Yet all of these are forgivable, because the people who wanted them are the ones watching them. They weren’t asked for or created as part of the film. Nope, the DVD has killed movies because of the additions of two bonus features: the “deleted scene” and the “alternate ending.”

There was a time when a movie was made and edited and released and it was done. If Humphrey Bogart had bad hair in one scene, people would point at it and laugh and usually brand him with a silly nickname. If the editing made no sense, the plot was terrible and the ending not well received, life went on and the filmmakers usually found themselves quickly relocated to other jobs (Carhop, fruit seller, Fatty Arbuckle punching bag). But the films were judged as they were. No extra footage. No test endings. When something is left to stand on its’ own without the help of any evidence to sway opinion, logic states that somebody will do a better job. You get one shot. That doesn’t mean you fiddle with angles or play with ideas. Okay, you can, but that was usually done late at night after all the studio executives had gone home to sleep in separate beds.

Now with the DVD, you  can play around to your heart’s content. Because you know that every single thing you shoot, be it mundane, will find its’ way into someone’s consciousness. Test audiences don’t like the fact that the heroic puppy gets run over by a train representing a complex metaphor for loss and redemption. Change it and sell the original idea as a “Director’s Cut.” Movies are dying because what we expect to see is quality and are instead getting whatever was deemed the “least crappy.” It’s like what video cameras did to porn in the 1970’s, according to Boogie Nights. “You just shoot and shoot and edit out the crap later.” But as anybody who’s dealt with a bout of stomach flu knows, if you crap enough, it gets everywhere. And it lingers, even on the things it didn’t touch. Watch a deleted scene. It does nothing for the film. Maybe it tosses out a joke that didn’t pass censors, yet instead of fighting for it, the director/editor leave it out. Because IT WAS PROBABLY CRAP!

Once the addition of these extras became commonplace, directors even started filming scenes they knew they wouldn’t use, just to have something to put on the DVD. Maybe they think they’re being cute, but showing us your prowess with long takes and cool angles doesn’t detract from the fact that we all just spent 10.75 to watch a movie that looked like it was made in a basement using marionettes (And not in a cool art-house way, because you can do basement puppet theatre correctly and win a few Palme d’ors.) And as referenced by the Stomach Flu theory, we notice those things. The American movie-going public is not as dumb as you think we are (With the sole exception of the million or so people who went to see Little Man.)

So, movie making people, you have opened the Pandora’s Box and now we are responding. You can try to bring us back by trotting out quality cinema or by reining in directors. Because all of the problems that are blamed all stem from the DVD special features. Or you can continue suffering through this unprecedented drop in revenue. Think about that when you are forced to sell your Hummer and drive around in a GASP…Ford Focus. We aren’t coming back until this is fixed. At least not until Cameron Diaz does a nude scene.

Tiny Microphone, Big Ideas: “The Price is Right” Shows The Way July 29, 2006

Posted by doctorolove in TV.
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The contestants are old, like three steps from mummification, still drive a Model-T, farting dust old. And the prizes are covered in the dust of 1970’s asbestos and are still presented on pieces of shag carpeting stolen directly from the Burt Reynolds’ Playgirl photo shoot. The host, with all that’s wrong with our world, is a staunch advocate of animal castration, being so for it that he tells us every day at the end of the show, so we all leave on a high note. The set pieces are obviously loaners from the 7th grade drama department across the street from the studio. Yet, still to this day, on the off chance I’m not either sleeping off a hangover or still creating one for later that afternoon, there is no greater joy in my life than getting lucky because THIS ONE HAS PLINKO ON IT!!

It’s like your grandma’s house: it still smells the same, it still has the plastic furniture and even though your show-off rich cousin bought her a flat screen TV for Christmas, it still looks out of place next to the ornamental hard candy and Hummel figurines. The Price is right doesn’t change, which makes me glad. When you have something that is so steadfast in its’ ways, so constant and so damn fun to look at, you can only think one thing: This can teach me a lot about life. And it can. Watch an episode and you too will see that, after kindergarten, the Bible (but before L. Ron Hubbard), TPIR can teach you everything you need to know about life.

We as a unit number in the billions in this tiny little studio audience we call life. Quite often all we have to go by is our name, which we lovingly wear on our chests, written by 1980’s graffiti artists. We all stand by, hoping for our chance at the big time. We hoot and holler and stand there as a mob, shouting at the people who are living the excitement. Sure, we shout the answers, because truthfully, they don’t freakin’ know them. We gasp when we see them make mistakes and we cheer them when they succeed. But deep down inside, we know we can succeed if given the chance to score the winning touchdown, have a shot at getting that promotion or just be happy in the knowledge that you know Mentos cost less than Extra Strength Pine Scented Mop n Glow.

Yet, life is led by those lucky enough to have their names called. And be it God or be it a fun fat man who sweats in something from Meatloaf’s closet from the late ‘70’s, we sometimes are lucky enough to get the call. We hear our name, we see our chance and we take it. Yet we must make sure to act as surprised and happy as possible. Because even though the rewards may be small and the challenges are great, we must act as asinine as possible. Nothing says happiness when you can re-enact an epileptic fit when given the chance for a hollow victory. Grandstanding and bravura are part of our human nature (Little known fact: Cro-Magnon man was the first to patent the end zone celebration dance, though scientists believe it was a reaction to early man’s problems with lice.) So we must celebrate with aplomb, because they may use us in the previews or silly montages they do when the games end too quickly.

And once we are given our chance to shine, we must say to ourselves, “Win at all costs.” The world is a diverse and macabre place. It’s kill or be killed. Oil, resources, the worldwide supply of Entenmanns tiny chocolate chip cookies, Mandy Moore’s talent: these things aren’t going to last forever, so we must get in while the getting’s good. And don’t be fooled by the weak and elderly. They have no problem taking what is rightfully theirs. They will undercut, outbid, even distract the enemy with cute shirts made by their grandchildren during Arts n Crafts hour at the home. So, you must be cunning. You must know that sometimes going below the radar, even by a single degree, can net you untold riches. Heck, sometimes life requires little work at all, if everybody else has done it for you. So aim low (maybe just a dollar’s worth?) and usurp your dish set and Everybody Loves Raymond DVD in the utmost Stankhovian of manners.

Feel not proud, when your accomplishments are small. The true success stories come not from those who suffice themselves with trinkets from Walmart or kisses from men who wear their skin like its’ fresh from the George Hamilton collection. You should never be happy with what you have if there is more to be received. But again, your road is treacherous and sometimes it can be strewnm with the remnants of the value we call fairness. The person before you may have been awarded with boats, cars, even world wide cruises with the cast of Blossom. And you are playing for something left over when the repo men seized MC Hammer’s worldly possessions. Do not fret: the nation and the proletariat feel your pain. Hold your high and focus on the prize. Strive to gain your gold pasted leather barcalounger and say to the world, “You cannot touch this!”

Focus on the tiny things in life. The simplest factoid and most mundane of activities may lead you to greatness, my son (or daughter, or strange test-tube hybrid). When we rush through our day, we never notice life passing us by. Sure, the thing passing you by may be the bleeping and beeping numbers created by barcodes, but you must focus on them above the gum snapping and barely audible soul crushing sounds of the career cashier. Take hope in the fact that everything you are and own make up who you are. And it can be catalogued and priced. And it’s numbers jumbled around and hidden under the set from Doctor Who. Just know that life gives you the chances, and often it’s a hole in one….OR TWO.

But even after you have spun the proverbial lock on the big ass metal safe or dropped the proverbial plastic disc down a maze of sewing needles, you are still not safe. They will come after you. Those on top are always in line to be taken down. All the great minds of our time were taken down in their prime by the demons and jealousy of others. JFK, MLK, Miss Ida Jane Lansky of Cartsville, Ohio. All were felled by young men who became jealous of their place in society. Some may use guns; others use a wildly inaccurate guess about just how much a piano, wall-to-wall carpeting and a camper cast when tallied up. But be careful, because no matter how much you may have earned or much knowledge about Kraft products you may have, if the usurper knows more than you, they will receive both your laurels as well as their own. Life may be cruel, but if TPIR has taught you anything it is do not fret and again aim low. Because you never can be too sure of a man being distracted by women who look like they are still shopping for their clothes at Fashion Bug circa 1978.

And when the day is done and the victory is yours, call your friends around you. Have them crush you with their sheer joy because nothing will be sweeter than sharing your spoils with tertiary people who are there for the free food. Maybe stand at the precipice of your new found joy and wave to the masses you’ve left behind. It’s your day, it’s your time and the depressing reality of the World news at Noon is coming up next.

And as you cruise this land in your Vespa or in your Geo Metro, know that you are a survivor. You have crawled out from the muck, survived the tests of the ancients and bested all others. Just one thing: Have yourself spayed or neutered, because it truly, honestly doesn’t get any better than this.

Welcome Back Vedder: (No Sweathogs Harmed in the Writing of this Post) July 27, 2006

Posted by doctorolove in Music, Pop Culture Rants.
2 comments

Allow me to be the first to say, Welcome Back. The new album is great. You came back not a moment too soon. Some shit’s been going down and I’m hoping you may just be the man to stop it.

I don’t have the time to care about just what you’ve been doing during your self-imposed exile. Maybe you were playing the “absence makes the heart grow fonder” card. Maybe you were hard at work in your Fortress of Grungitude creating the next big advancement in flannel. Maybe you were in the lab, with a pen and a pad, trying to get your damn label off. Whatever the case, let me get the hugs, kisses and ceremonial bows out of the way. Love the new hair. And that weird evil smirk has actually moved into a full-on smile. But enough ass-kissing. You’ve got to get to work.
First of all, it’s your city – or at least the one you are forever tied to for being part of the Grunge movement- good old Seattle. It’s falling apart at the seams. The street cred it received in the early nineties is on life support. The music form you were at the forefront of is morphing into this strange hybrid of garage band style sounds coming out of the mouths of boys who looked like they just stepped off the bus from Hipsterville. The coffee house chain, which latched onto your back like a deranged tick sucking the suddenness of your success, is poised to take over the world. And their coffee isn’t even good anymore. They have replaced their mass brewed, high caffeine lattes with more and more forays into aspects of the restaurant business they don’t belong in. (If I want a coffee flavored shake, I will frequent a Baskin Robbins. When I want pizza, I don’t hit the gyro stand, capiche?) They are even priding themselves on being the sole distributor of Tracy Chapman’s newest CD. Don’t get me wrong: Tracy Chapman is great at what she does, but her core values are not the anarchist, change the world angst the city of Seattle so greatly bottled up and sold in the early nineties. And good old Starbucks, which prided itself on being that different, pro-union, proletariat symbol by aligning itself with Seattle, is turning into the annoying old women who run the Community Board meetings. And the final nail in the coffin might just be the SuperSonics. The basketball team whose high-flying fast breaks and back page drinking arrests mirrored the quick success and dizzying parties of the Seattle scene are packing up and leaving town. Yup, they are leaving your once great bastion of angst and moving to the hipper meaner plains…of Oklahoma?!?! Somehow I don’t think Shawn Kemp would have had the same impact on the NBA if he was partying at a farm instead of carousing on Pine Street.

Next up, the world itself. Sorry to spring this one on you, but no musicians are doing their part for it anymore. There’s Bono…and um…the other guys from u2…and I think Sting did something for landmines, I don’t know, wasn’t listening (Bono’s eyes are so dreamy behind those multi-colored shades). Pearl Jam, even though they were all for the anarchy and angst of the Grunge movement, always seemed to have something to say. When you impress Neil Young, who even though his brain creaks and smokes when he has a revolutionary thought nowadays, you must be doing something right. You were there to rail against the republicans when the dropped their “Take Back America” shtick. You came out against Somalian hunger and worldwide poverty. And you weren’t fooling me with your fight against Ticketmaster. Sure, somebody viewed it as a ruse to garner more door receipts for you and your band, but to me, it was a veiled attempt to stick up for the little guy. And I agreed, because being short, paying big money for your tickets was the only way I could see over the crowd. Sure, everybody with a guitar was singing protest songs at Kerry rallies, but how genuine a cause can something be if Ben Affleck is its’ de-facto spokesman? I won’t blame this whole “shit-talking cowboy” mess on you, but I may pin on ya the fact that it cost me 85 bucks for standing room tickets for your MSG show. Though I may not have bitched if I had a low-income tax cut, so I guess that cancels each other out.

And last, but by no means least, your most important challenge – the music. As stated, the rock and roll scene has splashed down into a toilet. The bands of today with their cute names (The ——, insert catchy sounding Mad Libs-like noun here or those with really long pithy names that obscure some movie title or Ayn Rand line) and their three chord monstrosities don’t seem to realize that punk has been done, and done better by those before them. Grunge was the destabilization and de-evolution of punk, boiling it down to its’ basest element and rapping it up in flannels and cargo and shirts that are just beginning to smell like B.O. Every band sounds the same with their emo whining and their clever rhymes. And if they don’t sound like one another, they sound like, well, you. Every lead singer with no originality seems to think that by copying your guttural melodic style untold riches and fame can be theirs. I can only imagine what it must be like for you to hear every other song and wonder, “Did I record that on a really bad weekend?” While the growling subtleties of your voice were not yours alone (Joe Cocker alone probably raised the stock of Smith Brothers Cough Drops by himself in the seventies), you were the first to give the lilt a sense of beauty. Please usurp them all up and consume their voices like Jet Li did to the alternate universe versions of himself in The One.

SO as you can see, there’s a whole bunch of things to tackle. The album is out and as I said, it’s pretty good, so you’re already working on that. And if you need any ideas on how to start rallying the world to a cause, just turn on CNN for about ten minutes and I’m sure you can find something to rally your fan base around (Kanye West has got the Katrina thing taken of, though). And as for Seattle, your guess is as good as mine. I was thinking you and Bill Gates do a duet, something catchy. I-tunes alone’ll send that baby nationwide.

Again, Eddie. Welcome back. Everybody though, please move out of his way cause this nation’s got some ‘splainin to do.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Eat a Tendercrisp July 26, 2006

Posted by doctorolove in Pop Culture Rants, TV.
4 comments

I am a simple man. I have simple needs. The most important of which is consistency. And I’m just gonna come out and say it: People over at Burger King, I just don’t get you.

Burger King, in its’ long standing status as the “other place to eat lots of trans fat and stare at underpaid high school students with more acne scars than Edward James Olmos,” needs to advertise. The gap in both its’ sales and its’ standing in modern culture between the King and the Big Mac will not be made up by standing pat and relying on the fact that you, unlike the arches, have onion rings. Super Size Me should have made your executives dance around the room wildly in spastic fits of joy. You had an opening. The champ was woozy and it was your time to strike. You needed to advertise. You needed to push the envelope. You need to come up with a consistent marketing strategy and a campaign we can get behind. And that’s where my problem lies. Consistency in your recent ads has become as present as African-American characters on Friends.

You started out well. You garnered internet buzz with your “Subservient Chicken.” It was brilliant in its’ simplicity: Lets march out a guy in a chicken suit and have him do things that viewers tell him to do. While I applaud the intricacy of the available choices, the true applause goes to the geniuses who thought to advertise fast food to the Internet. Odds are strong that the same people who would spend hours typing in commands to a guy in a chicken suit would probably be the same type of people so unconcerned with their cholesterol levels that they would rush over to a franchise and buy said sandwich. Even if it did taste like a Magic Eraser dipped in grease and seasoned with the same strange mix of dried herbs they serve along with truck stop to-go salads. Regardless, you were taking a chance, forgoing the happy dancing clowns and hip-thirty somethings eating French fries together that your competitor was shoving down our throats. Edgy does equal cool. And cool equals money.

So you kept your weird “Michel Gondry swills for fast food” thing going. You gave us the personification of the King himself. Yes, you may have frightened us by turning him into a lumbering behemoth with a Kennedy size head that always seems to materialize in the most uncomfortable of places, but the commercials were odd in a good way, like the appeal of Carrot Top or voting Independent. The commercial where the King appears several yards away then is suddenly front and center like the killer in a bad 80’s slasher flick did make me feel icky, but I still wondered just what sandwich you were peddling. And then when I figured it out, I again applauded your genius. The strange machinations of the King meant to jar the viewers into fear was to distract just what they were buying: the Ultimate Omelet Sandwich. Never before had a big time fast food restaurant so blatantly given disregard to any sort of health issue. Sure, the Hardees and the lesser known peons of the restaurant kingdom had tried to garner press by releasing mammoth monstrosities, but you were an industry leader. Surely, you have some sort of standard. But I guess by combining every single type of breakfast meat imaginable and layering it with eggs and several slices of processed cheese, you didn’t. And you sold it to us behind the permanent smile of a thin Burger King, who though a proponent of the sandwich, was still limber and healthy enough to run up and down a football field like an MVP. My subconscious thought, “Sandwich equals football prowess. Must. Clog. Arteries.”

You had it all going on, BK. You even brought the chicken back out to do motocross flips and to box, all the while having some guy (that you obviously took from my 1996 house party, where he was wooing the girls with an acoustic version of Extreme’s More Than Words) to play a folksy double entendre song called Big “Buckin” Chicken. You were keeping it odd and having your icons sell your food by playing on our subconscious. Consistency. Profits. And no dancing clowns.

Than the wheels came off the bus. And came off hard. First, you did away with the odd ethereal “men in bad costumes” theme around the time of the Super Bowl. With so many more odd places and genres to explore, you went ahead and started creating…lavish musicals?!?!? First, you hired the guy from Hootie. I know, I know, he was available and probably worked for two bags of fries and the opportunity to actual keep the gay cowboy suit you provided for him, but surely there were other frontmen from forgotten nineties bands you could have hired (I would SO buy a chicken sandwich from Sebastian Bach, or hell, even that guy from Slaughter.) You rolled out a Busby-Berkeley style musical that shows the creation of a Whopper as if it were an epic event. Something tells me the kid making my lunch isn’t doing it to the sounds of trumpets and a timpani section, but instead to a tinny radio he bought at K-Mart that cost him a whole hour’s worth of his salary. And despite what Paris Hilton did, hot women do not sell sandwiches. As good as they are to eat, we know what they are doing to our physiques, and we know that any girl we see on screen and lust after will not be ours on a steady diet of Chicken Bacon Ranch and Cheese sandwiches.

And you got that, finally, with the final commercial, your strange “take back your manhood” riot with men screaming and railing through the streets about how they will only eat “man foods.” You even cleverly twisted the words to “I Am Woman,” probably using the same guy from my house party (this time using his sense of humor to pick up the ladies). While the commercial harkened back to your old campaigns core roots (Men doing extraordinary feats of physical labor under the influence of burgers and odd, unsettling visuals), it was still a mass musical. And when men see musical, they think Broadway, Nathan Lane and that kid from junior high who watched Jem more than GI Joe, not visceral meat-eating frenzies. Lavish singing and dancing spectacles do not sell food. They can sell all the Starbucks espresso drinks they want, but keep your choreography away from my Value meal. And the visual of men roaming the streets angry is not exactly the feel good message of our times, especially when there are so many more issues they could be railing against, like war, poverty or just when we will get a good Pauly Shore movie?

Which brings us to the now. You’ve hired midgets. That’s right, midgets. And not even the crème de la crème of the midget pantheon in Verne “Mini-Me” Troyer, but the guy that was Mickey on Seinfeld. While he may be the Olivier of midgets, he still doesn’t have the midget street cred necessary to pull off an advertising campaign. Don’t get me wrong: I loves me some midgets. I have a long standing doctrine that I live by which states that “No day is a bad day when I see a midget in person.” And how could you have a bad day? They’re something that makes a good day even better. Hell, I’m gonna come out and say it, they’re like the Sprinkles of life. But how do they sell burgers? How do they keep your campaign going towards its’ once logical conclusion- a full on trippy dancing ball of gelatinous goo (voiced by Abe Vigoda) that does nothing but recite Rimbaud’s poetry yet at the end of the commercial mutters in perfect Farsi to ‘Eat at the King’? Sure that may seem weird but you were headed down a path of incomprehensivity for some time. To bring yourself back to reality and normalcy with midgets is just plain bad. Midgets as oddity is long played out, and dare I say it, un PC. You should have gone with the goo. Or at least hired a Zappa kid.

Burger King, you had a good thing going. I was with you when your consistency was something unexpected. Now you’re resorting to cheap theatrics and lame attempts at the odd. Fire your ad team. Now. And hire somebody who will continue to make every commercial, slogan and campaign as strange as possible. Push the envelope. Sell us your food by tricks and deceit- you know, the old fashioned American way. Because McDonalds is coming back. And the lure of the onion rings can only last for so long. It’s not that hard to do, and believe me, Ronald’s got that one in his pocket. And he’s waiting. He’s waiting.

You Have Chosen Wisely: The NBA Draft and Dating July 25, 2006

Posted by doctorolove in Pop Culture Rants, Sports.
2 comments

The NBA draft, more so than any other sporting draft, holds the most opportunity for quick success or mind-numbing back-page of the New York Daily News failure. Basketball is, more so than any other team sport, a game where the best player on the floor can more often than not make or break a team’s fortune. Think of any other sport where bringing in one amazing athlete to an otherwise moribund team can result in such quick turnaround. In baseball, a great pitcher isn’t going to change every game if his team still hits like the starting nine for the North Chesapeake School for the blind. In football, a blazing superstar quarterback can’t do jack if his linemen are letting people go past him like the doorman for the late George Harrison. But in basketball, the team can very easily pull a Teen Wolf and keep shucking the ball to their superstar, and if he is a man among boys, then the team will rise and fall with him. It is because of this capacity for amazing turnaround that the NBA draft remains the benchmark for “players gone bad.” A sure thing chosen early who turns out to have only slightly higher ups than, say, me will quite often set your team back a few years while the others around you rise faster than Tom Cruise’s blood pressure around a psychologist.

But people don’t appreciate the fact that the NBA draft’s lessons of success and failure can be applied to your own lives, even if the only dribbling you do is due to severe loss of motor functions around the girl who sits across from you in class and wears a Hello Kitty backpack. No other aspect of life often results in horrid failures or dizzying successes than dating and love. Much like the NBA draft, there are pundits and prognosticators who have tried to lecture all of us on the correct ways of dating. Maybe we’re from different planets. Maybe love is based on perfect harmonious interests. Maybe love, really, is like oxygen. So, for the dating confused male, we at EARWACS provide this handy-dandy primer of terms, based on the NBA draft to show you just how the annual picking of NBA players can help you the next date you’re wading through the dating pool.

lebronA LEBRON (Also called SHAQ, DUNCAN) –

LeBron James, the man-child currently running a clinic in Cleveland, is the consensus number one pick of an evening. Very few teams are really ever lucky enough to have a chance to draft one of these star players. But when you do have that first pick and it’s there, you grab it immediately. You don’t pass go. You don’t even think about it. Before the pick is even announced, they’re already wearing your jersey.

In love, there are a very select group of guys who ever get to negotiate with the LeBrons of the dating world. Usually they are never seen, instead hiding in VIP areas and sipping champagne that costs more than the contents of your entire closet. And the LeBrons know this, so they remain aloof and refuse to negotiate with anybody not deemed worthy of their services. Woman who are consensus number one picks that have not yet been drafted by the man of their choice usually prowl the club, showing off their game in any way possible. But be wary of the LeBron without a team to call their own because you may have…

A WASHBURN (Also called BOWIE, TARPLEY, HARDAWAY)-

This is the cruelest joke the gods of the NBA have ever laid upon man. It’s the player that you think just can’t miss. I mean, in college, they were doing things that made b’ball purists blush with jealousy. Yet they mysteriously drop into your lap. You brush off any thoughts of conspiracy and quickly snatch them up, envisioning years of untold success and championships.

When a Washburn comes up to you in a bar or you to them, you immediately cannot believe your luck. You often scan the room for hidden cameras or pinch yourself to find you’re not dreaming. The conversation is amazing. Her dance skills are like liquid sex. And she looks smoking. She doesn’t even morph into a Broome Hilda clone when the bar lights flip up to full blast. She quite possibly could be perfect and you count your blessings.

Then comes the joke. She either has some sort of issue or problem that makes her one step away from Bellevue. Maybe its’ an abandonment issue that she projects on every man she meets. Maybe it’s a rampant stimulant drug problem that may just explain why she was krumping to a slow jam. And sometimes, but only in extremely evil circumstances, she is a man (I don’t like to talk about that weekend.) So, your joy and the cherub speckled visions you had for the future of the two of you is replaced by the blood curdling screams of doubt and fear. And though you took the girl who you were positive was going to change your life forever, you may have just passed up….

A STOCKTON (Also called a PIPPEN)

This is often a crap shoot. You look at them and at first, they seem all right. Maybe there’s a flash of brilliance here or some raw skill there, but everybody has those nights where they play out of their skull because of some mitigating circumstance (Friend in stands, bad grade in Chemistry, free tacos if the game finishes by eleven). They get drafted anyway because there’s really not that much left and everybody else on the board just doesn’t fit your need. But woo-hoo for you when your late round pick explodes into an amazing championship caliber surprise that quickly becomes one of the best at their position. You pat yourself on the back because you really knew this all along (Yeah, right.)

Most of the dating success stories come from the choosing of a Stockton. Maybe she’s sitting by herself in the corner, trying to avoid being pawed at by every Tom, Dick and Dick in the bar. Maybe she’s having a bad hair day that makes her coif look like somebody wrung out a Swiffer over her head. Whatever the case, you smile because you can see something inside of her. While she isn’t a number one pick, she definitely has something about her that compels you to talk to her just so your evening isn’t a total bust. You may set up another meeting again at a quieter spot, if you seem interested.

The next date is, in no other terms, amazing. She is dressed to the nines. Whatever bar-induced barriers are let down and suddenly you realize that she may just be the perfect girl for you. And since you seemed genuinely interested in her enough to not just use the evening as a quick one night stand, she may just be putting her best forward for you as well. A Stockton is tough to find, but when it does come through, you have a great story to tell your kids. If the night doesn’t go well, you may just have…

A WEIS (Also called a KNICK’s PICK)

This is somebody you draft just because you have to. Nobody will trade the pick with you. No player wows you with intangibles so you simply pick a player on need. You know they’ll be spending seasons on the bench eating up money and countless tabloid reports.

The night is almost over and you’re alone. Your ride has disappeared and you have this mission not to make a hangover and an empty wallet the only thing you leave the club with. And the pickings are slim. Quite often, the only thing you have left to choose from is the strangely dressed lady who smells strangely like dirty feet and Nutter Butters. But you’re desperate. So you belly up to her and try to start a conversation. Usually she sounds like a refugee from a chop-socky movie subtitle: the words vaguely make sense but in reality, you don’t care what she’s saying – just further along the plot and let’s get out of here.

While these circumstances are not ideal, everybody has to deal with them. Just try to not dwell on them or else you are doomed to spend years reliving them. Just ask Isiah Thomas.

I hope these will help you, knowing just what is out there for the choosing as you try to navigate the tough world of dating. Just remember, somebody passed on Michael Jordan and Tyra Banks was considered an “ugly duckling.” So, keep on drafting boys…because someday you may hold up a ring, or at least a photograph you’ll be proud to show your friends when they ask you who you’re dating.