The Weirdest, most bizarre and impossible to figure out crap from 2010...

We took the good, we took the bad, we took them both and now we have... left... over... all of the inexplicable, HELLO, Doubleyou-Tee-Eff crap that happened all across that proverbial "Year we Make Contact"!

Weirdness abounding? Clearly, but it's not quite so simple as to merely call this crap "weird". We're talking the most oddball, unbelievable, whacked-out, surreal, twisted, beaded, braided, sad strangeness of the year. How weird? Weird. Like, your R2-D2 ring tone goes off in Church and the Priest yells "We're Doomed!", DeAndre Cole sings a whole verse about it, King Kong on Viagra, fourth Batman from the Left at Comicon, hot chick with fat guy, H.P. Lovecraft even gets freaked out, Hardy Boys say "No clue, fuck this!", munching Ice Cream with a Fork in an Igloo, Hoover in a Dress, space walking Hamsters, giant, psychotic talking rabbits that only I can see and hear, Catholic Cyborg Cyclops Librarians, Food Fights in Congress, Babylon 5-printed Thong Panties that actually sell, Acroyear joining the New York Mets (full sized, of course), Astroturf Tapestry graces the Governor's Mansion, me actually writing reviews in January, Traci Lords wins an Academy Award, the last one in the pool actually morphing into a rotten egg, the second to last one literally eating him (or her), falling backwards in a cruciform into a cool pool of Nestea, ABBA reunites and new episodes of Moonlighting air every Wednesday.

Yo, man, that's weird!

Yes, folks, it's time for us to celebrate the strange oddities that I can't figure out from the last year of the Decade! And, yes, once again, the intro will be better than the Line Items! Sue my ass! But let's have fun with it, huh?

"I woke up this mornin' and I got out of bed,
Grabbed a big hit of Surreality to trip my head,
Picked up my Keyboard and down I sat!
We're rippin' on the decade with WHAT UP WITH THAT?
What's up with this? What's up with That?
What's up with THAT? What's up with That?
What's up with this? What's up with That?
What's up with THAT? What's up with That?
What's up? I said what's UP with Thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?"

Sorry... no original thoughts for the past fifteen years... deal with it, Pink Boy!!!

Skip to:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
6, 7, 8, 9, 10!
1.KPBS Radio:

Lord knows I love NPR and it's the only radio network I'll listen to anywhere in the country. That said, San Diego Affiliate KPBS makes about as much sense as the fact that the last instruction on the brown rice bag says "serve".

Their award-winning coverage of the 2007 wildfires was considered to be so high-quality that other area radio stations cancelled their regular programming and carried KPBS' news coverage. Admirable? You bet! A blip on the radar? Absolutely!!!

Imagine an affiliate that takes all of your favorite NPR shows... and talks over them. Poorly. Generally the local "personalities" attempt to read exactly what the Morning Edition and All Things Considered hosts are saying on the national feed anyway, but instead of saying "from NPR News" they say "in the KPBS Newsroom". Not so bad, right? Local color, right? The problem is that what usually happens is the local clowns stammer and mispronounce a quarter of the words and names in the headlines before having to rapid-fire speed up their speech before the boggarted introductory music ends. One time one of them even gave the wrong station call letters. Not kidding!

See, it takes pledge money to hire these folks to talk over NPR and say what the other guys are saying better. Save the money and let these guys do their jobs and perhaps it might be in order to reduce the number of pledge drives which expose us to more of the local guys!

Admittedly, part of this is my personal taste. So to get a bit more universal in my critical appeal here, can I ask who among us really enjoys listening to dead air on the radio? On a near weekly basis it appears that everyone in the KPBS Newsroom goes out for coffee or perhaps (and more likely) a joint and leaves the airwaves filled with a big, fat bowl-full of NOTHING. Now, I have to ask, who among us listeners actually thought this was okay and, I don't know, maybe Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers were just having a slow-ass day?

Who is NOBODY, Alex???

Occasionally when a venerable show like American Public Media's Marketplace airs, the first half of the show will play twice, the second half, not at all, and the DJ eventually comes on to apologize. Ever listened to the news and the correspondent isn't available, so the anchor has to apologize? That happens around three times a week on KPBS. The announcers continue to stammer, stutter and audibly double click on the unrehearsed news story cue cards and even occasionally mispronounce their own names. No, not kidding there either.

It's like Radio on Bizarro World!

The strangest part of this has to be the many self-congratulatory promos talking about how great KPBS has been ever since the 1960s. I'm not so sure the best way to get more pledges is to mess up like falling dominoes all around the program schedule and then have a promo with the General Manager talking about how the station used to be better while the sounds of "So Happy Together" ring out like pats on their own backs.

Yes, kids, I'm still listening and, yes, kids, I still pledge (for some reason), but I'll be damned if this wouldn't be a hell of a lot easier if I knew my money was being well spent. The news feed is pre-made... all you have to do is not mess it up. Now before you go telling me how mean I am to an independent station, stick THIS in your Kindle and Read it: they ask for listener pledges in order to spend said pledges on redoing what's already been done very well by professionals thinking "Oh we can do this better!" In what financial model does that make a lick of sense? Ask the guys from Marketplace! Apparently the guys from Car Talk are having a slow day... again!

I mean... what's up with that, man??? HELLO!!!

2. That WikiLeaks Guy:

Wikileaks, man... what can one say about this whole crap? I've scarcely got a clue what to even think about this whole controversy.

On one adroit hand, there are so many secret societies going on in governments around the world that maybe a little whistle-blowing is a good thing to keep everybody in check. On the other gauche hand, this whole end-to-privacy, even for politicians, businesses and governments is a sack of crap that could get somebody killed! Uncool, Eskimo!

That can be debated from the halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli and in just about every newspaper, website, radio news program (even on KPBS) and Consulate in between. But the after math of this whole shebang is getting sillier and sillier, like an international, political version of Three's Company!

Look, it's true that WikiLeaks founder Julian puts the ASS in Assange and that calling him a "hero" is like calling L. Ron Hubbard a "prophet", but seriously? Get the guy for what he's actually doing. The guy probably really is a sexually deviant sleaze ball, but the two women at the core of the case against his ass (which has nothing to do with WikiLeaks) already said they don't want to persue charges against the ASSange Hole! So no witnesses for the prosecution? Is that case going to actually WORK or are you just trying to embarrass him?

Even stupider are the "retaliatory" cyber attacks that are as misguided as a blind guy with a seeing-eye-aardvark! Yep. Mastercard, Amazon and other companies who have dropped support of WikiLeaks, which is well within their rights, were cyber-attacked and, occasionally, brought down by friends of WikiLeaks. That sure as Goodfellas are bad guys, seems mean-spirited to me. Not that the cyber attacks against WikiLeaks are all that cool either. I'm saying that calling a cyber attack against the Mastercard website a "retaliatory attack" for the attacks on the Wikileaks site is like saying that my friend got in to a Hit And Run with a Ford Truck, so I'm going to bash the windows out of every Mazda I see because Mazda used to be affiliated with Ford.

No matter what people think about WikiLeaks, it's hard to condone such ridiculous, confused and criminal actions that would seem to be contrary to what WikiLeaks stands for.. assuming they stand for anything but WikiLeaks.

It reeks of a "SOMEONE must PAY" attitude and since they can't find out who attacked WikiLeaks, they're attacking someone else. Like a guy getting robbed, fails at tracking down the thief so he beats up a bystander.

Look, I'm not pro-big corporations either, but come on... This is just whacked.

This WIkiLeaks thing is just crap on both sides of the coin. Meanwhile, as the Ass-Angel awaits extradition for a rap he's sure to beat due to witness non-cooperation, he's cooling his heels at a posh British Estate owned by another Friend of WIkiLeaks.

Holy Mother of Grapes, who in the name of Timothy Fuck does have to piss off to get friends like these? Southern California is nice, but DAMN! HELLO!

3. Shutter Island:

Martin Scorsese is a brilliant director who has made a ton of incredible films from all over the map.

Surprisingly, in 2010, he went with his take on a horror movie for some odd reason.

And let me be clear, Shutter Island isn't that bad of a film, really... but it's one of those surreal movies that attempts to distract from its mystery with weirdness. This would work fine if the "surprise twist" ending was more of a surprise than merely a twist. Instead, it's just one of those films that can be predicted in the first fifteen minutes as the audience hopes they'll be wrong as we roll, weirdly, through the convoluted and dreamy plot to the known end, punctuated with a memorable final line that, admittedly, has the power to make you think and rethink.

Think as you might, the initial prediction is still correct. Though audiences are still pouring over this story to figure out all of the complexities they might have missed and somehow make a lot more out of the plot than there is, the truth happens to be that this is no The Sixth Sense!

Still, many are already calling this film Oscar Bait, insisting that it's one of the most complex, brilliant dramas of the year. This is due, in no small part, to the fact that the name Marty Scorsese is on the film and with a name like that we all are convinced that it must be an unassailable masterpiece. It's pretty good, I'll give you that. To call it the best film of the year, however? That's just weird! HELLO!!!

4. Twitter:

Yes, has a Twitter Profile now.

No... I still don't get it.

It's one of the biggest Social Networking sites... one of the biggest websites of any kind... in the world. And I still can't figure out why!


5. Somebody gave Sarah Palin a Reality show:

Actually, this one is about ALL THINGS Sarah Palin oriented! Talk about a Bridge to Nowhere!

Please, let me start by saying "Who Cares?"

Who cares what Sarah Palin has to say?

Any credibility she had was lost during the 2008 John McCain presidential campaign, but she remained relevant, at least, because she was the Governor of Alaska, right? Yes, except for the fact that she resigned from her position as Governor around two and a half years into her first term. Her reasons had to do with not wanting to be a lame duck and to concentrate on fighting her Ethics investigations! This, admittedly, was probably a job in and of itself. However, it seems more accurate that she actually resigned to focus on being a full-time, if inexplicable celebrity and to clear the way for a Presidential run in 2012.

Yeah, because nothing does more for your political clout and demonstration of your abilities as a chief executive than leaving office when the job's a little over half-done. I know I'm impressed!

Since then she's been a staple on Fox "News" and has been a favorite in Stump Speeches for the 2010 mid-term elections, mostly favoring the generally laughable "Tea Party" candidates. In some cases, her endorsements actually helped.

Meanwhile members of her family are popping up on entertainment shows and commercials (fame once removed) and she remains one of the most recognizable (and polarizing) names in American Politics. Notoriety leads to ratings, of course, and regardless of any real experience, name-recognition is everything. Thus, the TV Channel TLC (once known as, if you can believe it, "The Learning Channel") gave Palin her own Reality Based series, so as, you know, not to be outdone by The Osbournes!

While the erstwhile Governor and once (and future) politician indicated that Sarah Palin's Alaska was meant to bring "the wonder and majesty of Alaska to all Americans", the show was really more about watching Palin while she... watches other things. I imagine it's not unlike watching something called "The Making of The Making of Titanic"! While I'm not sure if there was any footage of Russia as seen from Sarah Palin's front porch, there were plenty of episodes of Hunting and Fishing to sit through. Goody!

Considering Palin's previous stance on hunting, the idea of the show might actually have been to demonstrate the wonder and majesty of Alaska, and to kill it, in front of all Americans! Yes, this is the lady who advocated hunting Wolves from Helicopters and Planes with rifles... because shooting fish in a barrel is just not sportsmanlike!

Fun with Weapons? Well, who knows! In Sarah's defense, perhaps the wolf in question was actually The Thing in disguise and she's really the hero in all of this. What fun it is to fly and sing a SLAYing song tonight!


6. Foreclosure Crises:

THERE goes the Neighborhood!

The Financial Crisis started over two years ago now and it's spread to many other countries besides the good old Red White and Blue!

Two years, man, and the only lessons truly learned seem to be about how banks can still pay their executives extravagant bonuses without losing the public's approval.

Every sign we're getting out of this mess is earmarked with a ton of caveats and just when things start to equalize at least, more bailouts are needed, not just of institutions, but for entire countries like Greece and mother Ireland.

But the real public bitch-slapping has to do with those poor American Denizens who have found their homes "under water", and not in the way that translates to big ass checks from State Farm.

The news is filled with statistics relating to all of the people who found themselves in loans they could scarcely afford (probably their faults) and all of the banks who are unceremoniously foreclosing on these people, often while ignoring pending paperwork. Clearly that's the Bank's fault, though we can always jump right back to Go without collecting two-hundred dollars and assure ourselves that the predatory lenders and the naive borrowers technically got what they signed up for (though this isn't always the case with adjustable rate mortgages).

The issues with this start with the fact that in actuality, it's in the Bank's financial interest to work with the homeowner and get their payments instead of foreclosing automatically. Anyone will tell you that nothing brings down property values like having a butt-load of foreclosed homes on the market, spawning an even more "under water" financial state. Well, nothing except maybe for Garden Gnomes, that is. Those things can clear out a Neighborhood!

The most offensive and indefensibly inexplicable slice of this stale pizza is the recent scandal over "Robo Signing".

Yeah, Robo Signing! I kind of picture a collections officer enhanced with the latest in cyborg implants rapidly throwing people out of their homes to the slogan of "the Future of Loan Enforcement: ROBO-Signer!" In actuality, this is the fraudulent practice of mass-foreclosures (and other stupefying refinements) by bank agents who don't really know the details of what they're processing. So people who are catching up on their payments and filing the proper paperwork with the bank for extensions are at risk of losing their homes because their loan was, at one point, in some sad sack, ineffectual middle-management suck-up's In Box and if he wants that inflated bonus he has to "turn over" as many bad loans as he possibly can before happy hour!

This makes about as much sense as a heavy metal band with a Flugelhorn player. Let's get as many empty homes on the market as possible as fast as possible so that we can sell them at massive losses at auctions to rich jackasses who immediately flip them for double the auction price, after which they stay empty.

Crisis? What Crisis? What, me worry? HELLO!

7. John Carpenter's The Ward struggles for distribution:

I liken this one to something along the lines of the Senate refusing an up or down vote on a presidential nomination to the supreme court. Will The Ward eat Elephant Ass and prove Carpenter Detractors right, or will it be yet another of his supremely acclaimed flicks that transcend genres and influence filmmakers. We... don't... know!

John Carpenter is an unlikely success story. Unlikely because so many of his films, on paper, should be complete crap... but even the most Smurf-sized budgeted of his early work was critically acclaimed and influential. The first film he wrote that got made (1970's The Resurrection of Broncho Billy) won an Academy Award, the full length studio film he directed (1974's Dark Star) was so well-received it gained a theatrical release and went on to help inspire Alien and he arguably did more to launch (or re-launch) the Slasher Horror film than any other individual with the striking (and surprisingly bloodless) Halloween. Most of Carpenter's films are not only directed and written (or co-written) by him, but also scored by him (the iconic piano theme from Halloween, for example, is a pillar of American Horror soundtracks).

It wasn't until over a decade after his successes began that he made a film that wasn't critically acclaimed (not all of his films made money, but even the intentional B Movies were praised). Since then, yes, it's true, he has made a few less-than-stellar movies and some would argue that he peaked years ago. Still, even his resume from the 1990s and beyond is enviable to most filmmakers.

In 2010, Carpenter finished production on The Ward, a psychological horror film with a quality, recognizable cast and an exciting plot... from what I've heard, at least. This will be John Carpenter's first theatrical film released since 2001's Ghosts of Mars (he made two very fine episodes of Showtime's Masters of Horror in between). Will be... from what I've heard... because The Ward is most assuredly NOT coming to a theatre near you at the time of this writing! No US distributor has been set yet.

After debuting last September at The Toronto International Film Festival, The Ward has been waiting for a caring distributor to take it away from all of this, but so far it's not happening. Warner Bros. released the theatrical trailer in England, ahead of the film's January 21, 2011 UK debut, but US fans are left either twiddling their gosh darned thumbs or buying a plane ticket before that movie ticket.

Will The Ward be awesome? Will it make money? Has he truly peaked as a filmmaker? The only way we'll know for sure is if someone distributes the film here. Keep in mind, folks, this is still John Carpenter, acclaimed director of Starman, The Thing, Christine and Halloween. Give the man a chance one way or the other!

At the risk of sounding like a movie trailer announcer... In a World where Robby Zombie, Dick City and Zack "The Visionary" Snyder have virtual carte blanche to make just about any movie they want, it's almost a bad joke that the great John Carpenter's return to the Big Screen is being so quietly swept under the proverbial rug. This truth is stranger even than the content of Carpenter's films.

Well... Almost.


8. SyFy cancels Caprica :

Oh, wow, The Sci-Fi Channel takes a show with a loyal following, a strong and brilliant cast and an impressive, ambitious storyline and cancels the damned thing! Really? That's so out of character for the channel that cancelled Farscape!

This prequel series to Battlestar Galactica wasn't without its flaws but it did manage to avoid cloning the show it was based on (itself based on an earlier show) and managed to be much more of a political drama (albeit set on another planet) than your standard Space Opera. It had deep intrigue, gay married couples (treated as no big deal), religious zealotry, betrayal, family strife, virtual reality and even smart commentaries on terrorism with no space flights or laser fights!

Meanwhile the next chapter in the Stargate franchise is doing everything it possibly can to emulate the successful Battlestar Galactica from its camerawork to its casting to its character development, while relying a comparatively smaller amount on the titular Stargate itself. That's not to say it's a terrible show, but it does go to show how much audiences are craving more of the same, instead of something new. Mash two unrelated (save the science fiction themes) into one weird whole and you've got much more of a success than a show that does its best to break new ground.

This news comes on the heels of the vague news that yet another reimagining of Battlestar Galactica is set for a 2012 release, this time in theatres. The new film will have nothing to do with the reimagined show or the Caprica spinoff! I would call that a sign that the Galactica universe we've known from 2003 through 2010 is dead and we can count on unrelated reimagining after unrelated reimagining, however 2010 also reported slightly less vague news that SyFy will air yet another prequel to the Galactica TV show called Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome, which, unlike Caprica will be set in space with angry robots and gun fights. Let's see how that works out for 'em! Hopefully it will fare better than Caprica did.

No, I'm not advocating keeping a show on the air if the ratings are, in fact, low. Still, a valid question might be, why are shows like this not being watched? If Sci-Fi fans really are burned out on having to apologize for their favorite genre as they work to assert that Science Fiction is more than killer robots and CGI Aliens with ray-guns in outer space, then why would a great example of a potentially transcendant exception be low-rated enough for cancellation?


9. The Crazies was actually good:

Amid the classless, devoid of quality, insultingly lame Bad Horror Remakes came a strange remake of an old, lesser known George Romero flick. It promised to be yet another derivative and dimwitted parade of stooges... but it wasn't.

Makers of The Crazies started with a good, interesting script, hired very good actors and let the story tell itself largely without gratuities, but with a lot of intelligence.

It's hard to be sure what's more shockingly bizarre, the fact that this remake was actually slightly better than the original (which is almost completely unheard of) or the fact that an actual good movie remake is a rare enough occurrence that it makes the Inexplicable List of 2010!!!


10. The Jay Leno Show:

Yes, I realize I've already done this one to death in both The Bottom 10 of 2010 and The Top 10 of 2010, but for fuck's sake, who in their right mind would have thought this was a good idea?

At best this was a curiosity, at most, this was a ridiculous travesty. Chop up The Tonight Show, keep all of the same crew and format, put it on when people are expecting to see Law and Order SVU, create a weak lead-in for the local news (just as some affiliates already predicted), then blame the shows that follow the news for having low ratings.

Then, to top it all off, reward the guy who started the ratings precipitation in the first place by giving him his old show back.

That makes perfect sense, NBC! And since you can't handle simple market research, let me help you out... that was sarcasm. This crap just doesn't add up.

The thing is, Jay Leno still could have come out of this looking like a nice guy if he had bowed out gracefully, accepted that the experiment had failed and retired just like he said he was going to back in 2004. Conan O'Brien would have stayed behind the desk he earned and Jay could have moved on to annoy people on the standup comedy circuit. Instead, he deluded himself into believing that the public wanted him back on The Tonight Show and destroyed any possible chance he ever had of being remembered as a gracious, classy comedian who isn't a complete snake in the grass.

Better yet, because everyone knew The Jay Leno Show was a ridiculous idea (google the articles leading up to the premiere, it was a well known pre-fail), he could have circumvented this entire embarrassing fiasco and moved on with class and NO massive failure blighting his exit. Way to urinate all over your own reputation and legacy. Go host your shadow of a show. I'll be watching Conan on TBS!

Now that the man is in his sixties and hosting The Tonight Show (which Jay previously insisted could ONLY be done by Johnny Carson), we have to wonder what unbelievable thing is going to happen when he actually DOES retire... finally. Hopefully next time he'll employ logic and actually do the math before he does!

Fuck... HELLO!!!

Surreal Mention goes to the fact that people are still paying to watch puppy poop bags like Saw VII, Wycleff Jean attempting to run for President of Haiti, Wycleff Jean being prevented from running for President of Haiti, Skyline's kooky cliffhanger, Operation: Sci-Fall Version 2010, the Tea Party, the fact that the American People actually voted for Tea Party members, thus giving the Republicans back control of the House of Representatives, the fact that the actual YEAR 2010 is nothing like what we saw in the MOVIE 2010, the fact that somebody actually did a REMAKE of I Spit on your Grave and to for putting out the third part of the 2010 Year in Review almost two full weeks into the year 2011! Yo, man, that's WEIRD!

Continued from the Unfathomable...

and the Unmentionable...

Did you bend to 2010
Or are you saving Heaven for 2011?
Either way, click HERE for More Reviews and
Keep thinking about those WEIRD TIMES!

The WTF 10 of 2010 collected and commented on
by J.C. Mašek III who is solely responsible for the content of every oddball year on this site
And for the fact that when the going got tough...
He got WEIRD!
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