Thursday, October 27, 2011

Five Awesomely Awful (and free) Horror Movies on YouTube

The Absolute Best of the Worst the 'Tube Has To Offer This Halloween Season

A few months ago, YouTube introduced a new service for users that allowed them to “rent” movies for a small fee. As part of the new program, users also have access to “free movies,” most of which are genre films that are either in the public domain or have been shown on cable TV about a million-billion times already. And also, they are loaded with annoying ads that pop up at random intervals, but since we’re talking about a tally of $0.00, I guess we really don’t have that much room to bicker and complain here.

With Halloween right around the corner, I decided to comb through YouTube’s selection of free horror films, and surprise - surprise, the listing contains some of the most amazingly awful movies ever filmed. In fact, these movies are SO bad that no matter your interest in film, you probably need to see them anyone just because the represent the NADIR of cinematic “achievement.” Be warned, however: once you’ve seen these five films, your life will forever be scarred.

Director: Jerry Warren 

                This movie, in a nutshell, demonstrates just how messed up the late 1950s were. In a decade defined by Soviet paranoia and the Corvair, it’s always fascinated me as to why there was just so much emphasis on teenage capers during the time frame. I guess you could make the argument that they had the most disposable income and were most likely to hit up the local drive-in, but this movie brings up even MORE questions about the Eisenhower generation than just those pertaining to contemporary demographics.
                For example, what was up with all of those gorillas? If you check out a b-horror movie produced pretty much anytime up until Night of the Living Dead, odds are, it’ll have a gorilla in it somewhere. Keep in mind that this is a movie about shipwrecked teenagers getting gassed by a sort of hot Goth chick out in the bayou, and somehow, it still manages to throw in a gorilla subplot. I have sort of an idea as to why this is the case, but I’ll allow the viewers to make their own deductions after screening it.
                Teenage Zombies is pretty much your typical bad horror movie, the kind where you do not feel as if anyone is in any sort of real danger at any point throughout the film. The dialogue is clunky, the special effects are stupid, and if there’s a plot in there, I probably sneezed and missed the totality of it. Even so, I’ll give the screenwriter some credit for one particular line: “We’re stuck on this deserted island, and neither one of us can swim!” Hey, you can’t say these guys DIDN’T know how to paint themselves out of a corner, if so need be. . .

Director: Edward D. Wood, Jr.

                Most people consider THIS film to be the absolute worst motion picture ever made. While I don’t think it’s that bad, it still think that it represents the ESSENCE of what Ed Wood - once proclaimed the worst director of all time by a panel of prominent film analysts and critics - was all about.
                The story behind the movie is probably more famous than the film itself. To finance the film, Wood agreed to have the entire case “baptized” so as to comply with the wishes of the movie’s primary financiers, and just a few days into the shoot, the lead actor (a way past his prime Bela Lugosi) kicked the bucket. Wood, ever the pragmatist, decided to remedy the little quandary of having a dead lead actor by hiring some dude to walk around with a cape over his face for the rest of the movie. I, for one, never spotted the difference.
                The movie itself is this weird jumble of crappy special effects (the UFOs in the film are just paper plates) and random stock footage, with the added incentive of having this truly indecipherable message about “world peace” tacked on to the end. Although it probably isn’t the “Citizen Kane” of bad movies so many make it out to be, it’s definitely a lackluster feature you need to see at least once before you die…or after you get resurrected by grave robbing aliens. Whichever happens first.

Director: Coleman Francis

                Poor, poor Tor Johnson. Not only was the dude born with the genetic setback of having a face tailor made for Jack O Lanterns, the dude also has the unfortunate honor of appearing in not one, but two of the movies on this countdown.
                In Plan 9, Tor played an irradiated zombie mutant that strangled people. In this movie, Tor played an irradiate zombie mutant that strangled people. But let’s not typecast the fellow: in this movie, he played a left handed killer, whereas in the earlier film, he played a right handed one. It’s two totally different roles, when you really think about it.
                The Beast of Yucca Flats clocks in at a little under an hour, and believe you me, it has to be one of the longest hours I’ve ever experienced. Despite having some suspiciously great looking cinematography, the film is bogged down by a number of issues, like the fact that it doesn’t have a soundtrack. Instead, we have this really out of place narration going on instead, and just TRY and keep up with the utter lack of continuity in this picture - in one scene, day and night switch about three or four times, and bullet-riddled clothing just so happens to repair itself though some unmentioned means. But then again, there are some pretty quick knitters out there, so. . .

Director: Ray Dennis Steckler

                Ray Dennis Steckler was the undisputed king of no-budget film-making, going to often extreme lengths to produce his films at ridiculously low costs. . .even if it meant excising a couple of inconsequential superfluities, like a sound track or special effects. Legend has it that due to budget restraints, Steckler decided to replace a planned “spook scene” in the film by having hired hands literally run through theaters screening the film instead. The only problem was, Steckler had this bad habit of NOT tellingtheaters that he was doing so, which resulted in Steckler himself donning thezombie garb and doing run-ins at screenings of his own motion picture throughoutthe 1960s.
                At around $38,000 dollars, The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!? was Steckler’s magnum opus, the equivalent of his Ran or Fanny & Alexander. The movie itself was actually a bizarre mishmash between your standard horror fare and, you guessed it, a variety show. That’s right, Steckler marketed this film as the world’s first “horror musical”, beating the Rocky Horror Picture Show by well more than a decade, and if you ask me, THIS movie ought to have been the one that became the definitive “cult film” of the 20th century.
                What’s the film about, you may ask? Well, it’s a little difficult to tell, honestly. One minute, you’re watching a zit faced voodoo queen throwing acid on the faces of roustabouts, and in the next, you’re watching a solid ten minutes of roller coaster footage. There’s a plot somewhere between all of the stabbings and cabaret numbers, but I’ll leave that task up to you to uncover.
Director: Ted V. Mikels

                Some movies are so bad they’re good, and some movies are so bad they’re just plain awful. Clearly, The Corpse Grinders is one that fits into the latter categorization and not the former.
                It’s difficult to address why this movie sucks so much, because one could very easily just say “everything about it” and be done with the matter altogether. Certainly, that is a most valid stance to take: the effects, the writing, the acting, the dialogue, the pacing - yeah, pretty much everything about thismovie sucks, all right.
                Even so, there’s at least one glimmer of light in this thundercloud of a motion picture: the titular corpse grinder. You see, the movie is about a couple that starts digging up graves and using the bodies as cat food filler, which in turn, causes cats that eat the man-meat nip to turn into psychotic killers. I assure you, the movie is still nowhere near as awesome as it sounds, though. The thing is, the people processor is probably the laziest looking prop in movie history - it’s supposed to be this gigantic, bone crunching industrial machine, but it’s clearly made out of cardboard and tinfoil. Better yet, the “processed people” looks just like Tapioca, and apparently, the crew could only afford one bottle of it, as every time someone gets “eaten,” we get to watch the EXACT SAME scene of people paste being spewed out over and over again.

                So there you have it, five easily accessible B-horror films that any and all adventurous YouTube users ought to give a try for this year’s Halloween festivities. Just don’t blame me when you punch out your monitor in awe-filled disbelief while watching them, though. . .

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Five Greatest Cursers in History

Celebrating those unsung geniuses that mastered the art of profanity

A lot of people say that those that frequently use profanity suffer from a lack of creativity.

This is something that I, most certainly, @#$^%^ disagree with.

From the swanky cynicism of George Carlin to the bestial-ravings of Wesley Willis, it’s quite clear that profane utterances serve - or at the very least, have - some sort of artistic purpose and merit. This, I assure you, is nothing new in media: does anybody really think that Gone with the Wind would have had the same effect if Rhett Butler didn’t give a darn, instead?

All in all, I think that profanity is something of an orphaned social science. Clearly, such wordings have a certain value to society, and as such, why shouldn’t we celebrate those that are most effective and creative with those same terms and colloquialisms?

Well, dear reader, I got tired of waiting. Today, I finally give those that elevated swearing, cursing, cussing and profaning to an art form the due respect they oh-so deserve as linguistic muralists. So kick back, grab you favorite beverage and get ready to incur some FCC fines as we celebrate. . .


5.)           SAMUEL L. JACKSON

                As far as I am concerned, Jackson might as well hold the patent for “MF.” In fact, this guy is so inextricably linked to the term that every time you call someone a lover of mothers, HE ought to receive a royalty check.
                Throughout his MF’ing career, Jackson has dropped the trademark quip in virtually every R-rated movie he has appeared in, from Jackie Brown to Snakes on a Plane - a movie, by the way, that was re-filmed as an R-rated flick just so that Jackson would have the opportunity to drop the M-F bomb during the feature.
                Heck, even in his PG-13 and PG forays, he’s at least capable of dropping a solid “G-D” at some point in the movie (remember his brief quip from Jurassic Park, do you not?) In fact, I’m sure that if we managed to get our hands on the unedited prints from those Star Wars prequels, we would probably have at least a few hours of Jackson calling the assorted muppets and CGI denizens of the Lucas-Verse all sorts of permutations of his idiosyncratic verse.
                So just how ingrained is the “MF” in Jackson’s livelihood? It’s so pivotal to his career that when he went on “Inside the Actor’s Studio,take a wild guess what line he was asked by the host to recite. Apparently, Jackson is so phenomenal with his swearing that his managed to take a term that was considered unutterably obscene and transformed it into a phrase more popular to modern filmgoers than just about any line dropped by Spencer Tracy. And if that isn’t a display of MF’ing artistry, I don’t know what is.

4.)           JAMES D. ROLFE

                Rolfe is one of the few unquestionable geniuses in modern entertainment. In 2004, he began a series of web videos in which he critiqued old-school Nintendo Entertainment System games - an idea so incredibly obvious that one would have to be a genius to think it up. Of course, there are those out there that say that Rolfe ripped-off a certain MMA-loving, punk-rocker EGM columnist for the series, but. . .yeah, he probably did.
                And so, Rolfe’s series - The Angry Video Game Nerd - has become one of the most popular, long-running Internet series of the last decade. What makes the series so popular, you may ask? Is it the nostalgia for retro video games, or antiquated technology, or the myriad pop culture references Rolfe brings up during the program?
                Try again, you ingester of a rundown skunk’s sphincter.
                Rolfe’s character, often referred to as simply AVGN, is an Nintendo-loving (or is it hating?) anti-hero that spews some of the most poetic profanity in history. Listening to Rolfe decry games like “Silver Surfer” and “Action 52” is sort of like watching Leonardo paint the Sistine Chapel. . .only the paint is swear words, and the rooftop is YouTube. 
                Rolfe positively excels in profanity combinations. His artistry rests not in the volume of his swear-heavy diatribes, but the way he connects such a string of swear words together - most often, with some sort of animal reference thrown in for good measure. Whereas most cursers use profanity as a bullhorn, Rolfe uses it as guitar, creating these deep, multi-layered harmonies that are an aural delight to pick up. Simply put, Rolfe is to cursing what Eddie Van Halen is to shredding the Flying V.
                03.)         THE IRON SHEIK

                Prior to 2007, The Iron Sheik was probably best known for being a 1980s pro wrestling relic who’s greatest claim to fame was losing the World Heavyweight Championship to Hulk Hogan. And maybe, the time he got arrested for carryingweed in his trousers, while riding with his supposed “arch-nemesis” - pretty much killing the idea that the pseudo sport was even remotely unscripted in the process.
                After falling on hard times - which included the loss of his daughter - The Iron Sheik agreed to do a feature-length interview for RF Video, detailing his myriad adventures throughout the 1980s. The interviewers expected a pretty basic shooting session, but as soon as the Sheik showed up to the filming tanked out of his mind on cheap pilsner, we all KNEW they were on the verge of an all time cursing classic.
                For a solid hour, The Iron Sheik decried practically every single noteworthy person in the pro wrestling industry, calling them. . .well, pretty much everything. At one point, he even began railing against his pharmacist, leading to the introduction of the term “FAKKIN BOLLSHYETT” to the American lexicon.
                Proving once and for all that pro wrestling exists on a plane outside the reality we all know, the Iron Sheik’s profanity-laced video actually resulted in a RESURGENCE to his career, leading to recurring spots on The Howard Stern Show, Opie and Anthony, and ultimately, his own one man stage revue.
                Let the Iron Sheik be an example to all grade school children out there: contrary to what your parents and teachers may tell you, not only is cursing worthwhile, it might even save your very career someday.

02.)         JACK REBNEY 

                About twenty years ago, RV spokesperson Jack Rebney went out into the countryside, to film a promotional video for a new fleet of recreational vehicles. It was hot, it was miserable, and it made Jack angry. Very, very angry.
                Flash forward ten years. Someone (probably a stage hand from the promo shoot), posts a video online containing the unedited footage from Mr. Rebney’s performance. . .a video that ultimately became the War and Peace of profane diatribes.
                In a ten minute span, Rebney manages to supply the entire planet with a good twenty years worth of unintended quips and catchphrases, and just about all of them are unprintable in most American publications. What made Rebney’s performance so amazing was the realness of the swearing - this wasn’t some actor reciting lines from a script, it was pure, undiluted human rage boiling forth in the most eloquent verse this side of freaking Shakespeare. Forget all of the Broadway bull stuff, if the Bard was alive today, this is what he would consider the definitive prose of our culture.
                So what happened to Rebney? Well, he became an ultra-liberal recluse, unknowing of his Internet meme celebrity hood. That is, until a platoon of documentary filmmakers decided to track him down in 2009, resulting in one of the mostpopular docs of the last decade.
                Despite being legally blind, the popularity of Rebney’s greatest performance has allowed him to pursue a new career in his retirement years: as fate would have it, the Mozart of profanity is now a highly sought after lecturer, who brings in enough money from his guest speeches to purchase several of those !@#$% Winnebagos annually.

…and the greatest curser in history is…

01.)         JOE PESCI 

                The number one pick really shouldn’t surprise anybody. In his lifetime, Pesci has done more with just swear words than most people have down with a complete dictionary. Pesci isn’t just renowned for his cursing prowess, he is pretty much revered for it - even George Carlin, the man credited with popularizing the big seven of swear words, said that he worshipped Joe for his cursing capabilities. That’s not just praise from Caesar, that’s basically praise from Allah, God, Jesus, Buddha and “Super Dave” Osborne combined.
                In many ways, it is both simple and difficult to explain Pesci’s talent as a swear-word composer. At times, he can spit out curse words like an AK-47, and at others, he can draw out a single curse like he was uncoiling an electric cable with the gentleness of a lifelong teamster. His verbiage is both grandiose and of-the-soil, this impossible combination of theatrical and realistic that doesn’t really have a proper wording in the English language.
                We’ve seen him do gritty and compassionate swearing in Raging Bull. We’ve seen him do borderline psychotic, profane ranting in Goodfellas. We’ve seen him do calculated, arrogant cursing in Casino. Not surprisingly, Joe Pesci factors prominently in several American films purported to be the all time cinematic cursing champions.
                Even in his “non-adult” roles, Pesci war reported to expel profanity like a songstress. According to the producers of “Home Alone,” the amount of edited swear words from the first feature were lengthy enough to stretch around the equator - not only is Pesci sublimely in tuned with cursing, it’s almost as if its in his DNA to do nothing but swear.
                Pesci, simply put, is the alpha and omega of swearing. He is to cursing what Einstein is to relativity, a figure so connected to the concept that it’s impossible to think of one without the other.
                In other words? He’s the !@$$#@ best at what he ##$^$#^ does, and that’s reason enough to declare him the GREATEST !@#!@$ CURSER IN HISTORY, you !@#!%, you. . .

Friday, October 21, 2011

Why the 3DS is TEH DOOMED.

Why Nintendo Has Only Themselves To Blame For The Handheld's Failure

When Nintendo announced the 3DS two summers ago, it seemed as if the highly touted handheld would follow in the footsteps of its predecessor, the DS, and sell approximately a bazillion units.

But when the 3DS shipped earlier this spring, the next big thing from the Big N tanked like a mid ‘90s Sly Stallone comedy.

It’s pretty hard to believe that just five years ago, Nintendo was rolling in more dough than a certain pizza-chain owning Republican candidate for the U.S. presidency. The Wii was so gosh darn popular that seeing the things on store shelves was aberrational, and the DS? Yeah, it was only more profitable than most European GDPs for the Kyoto-based company. So, in a nutshell, what exactly went wrong with the launch of the 3DS?

In short? Pretty much everything.

You KNOW that you botched a product release when you can’t even use the “But-We’re-In-A-Recession! Card” to wiggle your way out of the blame. Simply put, Nintendo not only dropped the ball with the 3DS release, they pretty much slung the proverbial spherical object into the depths of the Earth’s core.

It would be really easy to blame the management at Nintendo for the 3DS disaster (which we will refer to as the 3DSaster from here on out). That’s because the management THEMSELVES said they were the reason for the bungling of the product launch, which resulted in the executive of the company reducing his own pay by half to avoid getting thrown out of a window like one of those barrels in Donkey Kong by Nintendo stockholders.

That said, there are more specific reasons as to why the 3DS tanked to such a monumental degree that the company reduced the price of the product by almost $80 USD just five months after it was released. And to demonstrate just how entrenched in grade-A failure the company was/is, “because the heads at Nintendo of America are a bunch of unqualified, arrogant buffoons” is just an honorable mention here.

So what are the biggest factors behind the 3DSaster? Well, I’ve narrowed my list down to five major screw-ups, which I’ve decided to rank in ascending order, starting with. . .

REASON NUMBER 005: The Software Sucked

There was a time when the term “Nintendo” pretty much meant “quality product.” The company was even accused of being despotic with its quality control practices in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, but judging from a majority of games on the 3DS, that standard of excellence has been lowered considerably over the last two and half decades.

Of course, there are plenty of games that range from really, really good to flat out great on the 3DS, but by and large, most of the games released for the system during the launch window. . .well, sucked.

Outside of a few quality titles (all of which were third party releases, by the way), the 3DS launch games were a mixture of half-hearted ports of DS and iPhone games, as well as some straight up shovelware that nobody in their right mind would want to play for more than a few minutes. While better games have been released on the system since, there’s no way around it: the ratio of good-to-sucky software on the handheld are disproportionately skewed towards the latter, which means if you pick a random game out of the console library, there’s a 60 percent chance that whatever you pick up is utter garbage. . .not that a dearth of quality titles has led to the demise of any other gaming systems before. I mean, never, ever, and not at all

REASON NUMBER 004: The Applications Are Lacking

One of the big features of the 3DS was that it was supposed to run a litany of killer apps in addition to playing solid-state software. The problem with the 3DS e-shop, which was modeled after the relatively successful marketplace app on the Wii, is two-fold:

001 - The thing didn’t launch until almost two months after the 3DS was released


002 - All of those “classic games” you get to pay six bucks to play? You can play pretty much all of them on your smartphone or tablet computer for free dollars and thrifty-free cents.

Needless to say, it’s pretty hard to rationalize spending the equivalent of a Taco Bell meal on a warmed-over Game Boy port of Pac-Man, and to make things even worse, Nintendo absolutely FAILED on its promises to deliver quality 3D-enchanced remakes of classic NES and arcade titles on the handheld (unless, of course, you consider a virtually unplayable rehash of the universally loathed “Urban Champion” a killer app.)

And then, there was Nintendo promising us access to 3D movies via the handheld. . .through NetFlix. Yeah, you don’t even NEED me to go on about that retroactively horrendous business deal, I suppose. . .

REASON NUMBER 003: The Hardware is Already Obsolete

In the age of the “all-in-wonder” mobile device, Nintendo’s commitment to providing modern gamers a dedicated portable gaming console is pretty admirable. No, wait, I guess a better term would be “really, really stupid.”

Nintendo has been notoriously slow to adapt to Internet technologies. To give you some insight into how backwards the Big N is when it comes to the Intraweb, note that Nintendo did not provide consumers with an integrated online gaming network until 2008. . .while it’s old arch-rival Sega was allowing gamers to play Dreamcast games online all the way back in 2000 (and if you can believe it, Sega even experimented with a SUPER primitive online network called the X-Band. . .in 1994!)

Needless to say, the 3DS is incredibly lacking when it comes to online capabilities, with a crappy user interface, a crappy web browser, and an online gaming component so slow and unmanageable that most programmers don’t even bother including online multiplayer in their releases for the system.

Seeing as how the 3DS can just barely pick up Wi-Fi signals, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the processing speeds of the unit are incredibly lacking. Not only does Sony’s competitor Playstation Vita mop the floor with the 3DS in terms of graphical process power and online integration, most next generation smartphones are packing more CPU horsepower than the 3DS.

Even so, Nintendo decided to RIGHT THE WRONGS by issuing a redesign of the 3DS hardware. . .which, of course, consists of  nothing more than an additional analogstick.

REASON NUMBER 002: The Complete and Utter Lack of Functionality

Mobile devices are expected to do pretty much everything in this day and age. Long story short, if you don’t have super fast Internet access, the ability to upload YouTube videos, receive telephone calls or a place to jam in an USB drive, you might as well be lugging around an Etch-a-Sketch. While Sony’s upcoming Playstation Vita promises to do everything but make toast for gamers, the 3DS does. . .well, not a whole lot at all, basically.

Want to text a friend, listen to an MP3 file, send an-email or check your Facebook page? If you have even a lower end smartphone, you can do all of the above, but if you drop a full $180 on a 3DS, you can’t do any of them. Since the 3DS operates on a closed system, that means that you can’t use the device for user-generated apps - and since that fledgling industry is set to make a fafillion dollars over the next five years, you can kind of see how the 3DS lack of mobility as a multifunctional device is not only detrimental to its marketability today, but it’s very viability in a market glutted with high-tech devices.

…and the number one reason the 3DS failed in the North American market is…


Hey, remember last year, when everybody thought 3Dtelevision was going to revolutionize home entertainment?

Well, a good year and a half later, we’re way over our Avatar hangovers and realize that, yeah, we were kind of talking out of our rectums. And since this is THE definitive “selling point” for the 3DS. . .well, yeah.

The 3DS isn’t Nintendo’s first foray into supposed “3D gaming,” you know. 1995’s Virtual Boy was an unparalleled disaster for the company, and many of the same criticisms of that once-in-a-lifetime snafu seem to be echoing with the 3DS.

What does it say about your product when most users report that they just turn off the feature that is supposed to be the major selling point of your offering? Or when they complain that the feature doesn’t really “work,” or it actually causes them eyestrain, or, oh yeah, garner criticism from pediatricians that say that the machine may make theyouth of today blind?

Ultimately, there’s only one thing you can say in response, and that’s “Oops!”

Come to think of it, considering all of the screw-ups the marketing brass at Nintendo committed, maybe that’s what they should have called the device since its inception.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Rant Against The Radical Health Food Agenda

Is the "Health-Conscious" Movement An Infringement Of Our Civil Liberties? 

Meet the end of Democracy. 
One of the movements that has really irritated me over the last decade or so has been this supposed “organic food revolution.” The whole-food, health-conscious mentality has been battered into our skulls for so long now that I feel like I’m committing a felony every time I eat a handful of non-vegan, non-hydrogenated potato chips. And you know what? I’m sick of having these leafy-green, health-obsessed food fascists tell me what I can do with my body.

For me, the final straw came a couple of weeks back, when I tried to locate a vending machine at school so I could procure my normal breakfast of two brown sugar and cinnamon toaster pastries and a stick of wintergreen chewing gum. Much to my horror, however, the vending machine that has practically kept me upright over the last few years had been replaced by a new, high-tech vending machine that only offers “healthy alternatives” to snacking.

As an upwardly mobile young person, I just do not have the time to sit down and eat three meals in one day. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have the time to ingest two normal sized meals if I tried. Thus, to obtain the precious 2,000 daily calories I need for mere continuation, I have to seize as much caloric content as I can at whichever junctures such opportunities present themselves.

These “health-conscious” vending machines present two gargantuan problems for on-the-go types like me. For starters, a lot of these supposedly health-savvy foodstuffs just don’t have the caloric firepower I need to get through a day of even moderate activity. Despite all of the demonizing starches, sugars and fats have gone through since the 1970s, the simple, suspiciously understated reality is that we need things like oils and salt to simply exist as human beings. Because there are so many bipedal walruses running around campus, I suppose the administration had no option but to opt for such machines, but to the detriment of guys like me. Since all of these “cane sodas” and “organic, non-greasy” potato chips have fewer calories than the comestibles I’m used to putting down, that means to procure the same amount of energy I once did, I would have to purchase twice (and sometimes, three times) as much food as I used to. 

Pictured: National Socialism in action.

And this provides a natural segue into why I think natural foods are the biggest sham this side of Milli Vanila’s vocals. Not only are these foods of lesser caloric content, they are also of far higher monetary cost. The most expensive item in the old vending machines was about a dollar, and the costliest item in these “health-conscious” machines are about three times as much. Also note that the most inexpensive item in the “health-conscious” vending machine is just a few cents shy of being the same price as the most expensive item in the old, supposedly “junk-filled” vending machines. Now, I know I am being really kooky here, but do you think that maybe, just maybe, the push for all of these health-savvy foods isn’t to make us healthier, but to get us to spend more money on lesser amounts of the same kind of food we’ve been eating for years?

Yeah, I know. . .that’s the talk of madmen, I suppose. The question we arrive to now is whether or not all of that “healthy” vending produce is really any healthier for you than the mass-marketed junk food we were eating a couple of months back. And after doing some expert analysis, it turns out there really isn’t much of a difference to be found between “organic foods” and the processed goop we’ve been chowing down on forthe totality of our lives.

So at the end of the day, not only are those “all natural” fruit cups nowhere near as affordable and filling as those spongy chocolate snack cakes you used to enjoy, those stupid “health-conscious” foods may have even more sugars and starches in them than the factory-made goo you can scoop up at the Family Dollar for about one fourth of the price

 In the negative-utopia future, THIS is the extent of what   "Freedom of Choice  " entails.

I understand why the Michelle Obamas of this world are so adamantly opposed to the fast food-high caloric content Complex, but doesn’t the right to free expression also entail the right to consumption, too? To me, the vendetta against vending machine produce and junk food is eerily similar to the war waged against obscenity in print and electronic media - according to some experts that may or may not really be experts on anything, certain products MUST be verboten because they threaten the general welfare of the public. The same way all of those guacamole-heads up on Capitol Hill wanted violent video games “banned” back in the early 90s, we’re seeing a gaggle of special-interest folks serve up the exact same song and dance about what we’re eating. Since some people have the “apparent” physical inability to stop cramming Oreos down their throat holes, these lobbyists want to make it so that nobody can have access to trans-fats, or foodstuffs soaked in delicious, delicious hydrogenated oils. This “whole-food” nonsense is really an imposition on the rights of every freedom-loving person in the United States: just because other people are fat means that you can’t have certain, chemical-laden foods either.

Imagine, if you will, that exact argument, only involving a more polemic matter like abortion, or gun-control, or the right to healthcare access. There would be discourse out the yin-yang in this country, but when our rights to dine are under assault, nobody raises a whisper.

I reckon I know a violation of my civil liberties when I see them, and this push towards all-healthy food is a clear-cut example of our freedoms being imperiled by radicals, fundamentalists and out-right yahoos.

When it comes to junk food, colas and other forms of high calorie foods, I reckon I’m going to stay adamantly pro-choice, no matter how controversial the stance. After all, it is my body, and my right as a citizen, isn’t it?