Commentary: Arby 'n' the Chief - Season 8, Episode 06: "Lockout"

Parts one and two for the director's commentary on the sixth season of Arby 'n' the Chief's eighth season, "Lockout", are now available for backers pledging $5 or more via Patreon. It's about a five hour show in total.

Non-backers can still temporarily check out the broadcasts via my Twitch channel, which are archived there for about two weeks.

Season Eight Soundtrack

Don't forget all the music tracks used in the show so far or to be later are available for listening and free download, if it's your sort of thing.

Thanks for Birthday Wishes

Thanks to everyone who took time to send my miserable ass your kind birthday wishes.

I always knew I'd become a fully-functioning and responsible adult. As I now approach my thirties, to my horror I now realize how widly fucking wrong I was and that there's no real adults anywhere in the world, only overgrown children pummeled into a submissive shuffle through life by confusion that only piles on as time goes by like thick heaps of mashed potato until it's physically impossible to continue wading through it and it swallows you whole, suspending you in mid-air until you slowly and painfully wither away like in that movie The Blob.

Then when their kids are old enough to ask mom and dad what the fuck is going on, the parents only get annoyed because they themselves are already completely exhausted having spent most of their lives trying to make sense of shit and failing miserably time and time again, and the kids get annoyed with the parents because mom and dad appear so stupidly accepting of the bullshit all around them that the kids assume their parents are too uncool and close-minded to even bother questioning it.

Still, plenty to be happy about, like spending over a decade in prison. Did I say prison? I meant grade school, where I fell in love with mandatory early-morning attendance five days a week, constantly being told what to think and do, daily homework, having my work, sometimes passion projects constantly graded because I gave such an enormous fuck what letter grade one man-child in an adult costume in the world equated with my abilities, having my sense of humor, my most prized possession constantly suppressed for being -- in hilarious irony -- associated with immaturity, and the general intolerable boredom. Oh yeah, and being frequently bullied and fat-shamed, often to tears, and occasional emotional abuse from the staff that still haunts me today. That was awesome. School's so fucking awesome, I can't understand why so many kids don't care for it, or why the questionnaires I fill out for my doctor keep suggesting a moderate-to-severe mood disorder. Weird!

But good news, I'm no longer fat-shamed! I'm actually getting plenty of exercise alongside so much of the world's population trying to claw my way out of a monstrous pit of debt thanks to the tuition of another half-decade spent going right the fuck back to school after graduating high school, unfortunately in large part due to an archaic, destructive and worst of all perpetuated understanding of how success is both perceived and achieved in a society that's rapidly developing thanks to the exponential sophistication of technology that old fucks in administrative positions everywhere are too fucking old and smelly to understand or even care to. They should all just stop showing up for work, stay the fuck in bed, switch on Lifetime and stop pissing off almost everybody on the planet daily. But what do I know? Like I said, I'm really just an overgrown and increasingly baffled child like everyone else.

I thought the lie that is adulthood might refine my dietary preferences at the very least, that I might eat salads everyday whilst wearing turtle-neck sweaters, but even at twenty-eight I'd stuff sugar-coated candy in my mouth for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday with ecstasy and walk around in superhero pyjamas if it didn't mean fatal societal rejection or dropping dead at twenty-five.

I might be horribly bitter and angry about my experiences in education, but at least I chose the film industry as a career choice which is completely free of stress and ego.

Thanks again to everyone for reminding me to take a day to smile anyway.

Euthanized Baby Bison Critique

I have problems with the perspective of the authority figures involved in this story and the way in which the events are being reported here.

I'm going to disect it in a hyperbolic, emotionally immature manner as I do with most things and, obviously, it shouldn't be considered at all in seriousness because humour in any form is strictly for very young children.

Quick summary -- driving through Yellowstone National Park, a senior Quebec tourist encountered a baby bison by the road and decided from the sight of it that it needed help. He loaded the calf into the back of his SUV and gave it a lift to the park rangers, thinking they'd give it the help it might have needed. Since those events, the calf's been euthanized and the tourist is faced with a fine of just over a hundred US dollars as well as an order to appear in a Yellowstone court on the charge of intentionally interfering with wildlife.

"The reputation of Canadians has taken a hit in the eyes of [Yellowstone] park rangers" are the first words from the story's reporter. Oh no, anything but that. Out of all the things the reputation of Canadians could "take a hit" for in the rangers' eyes, buckling in a baby bison for a comfortable van ride through the park as if we're in some fucking modernized Wizard of Oz landscape was the worst thing that they could think of? Would they consider it worse if the tourist had cracked open an orange Crush for the calf and gave it a comic book or Game Boy Advance to pass the time on the drive to the rangers' office?

The rangers probably wouldn't want Canadians thinking less of Americans as a whole based on the brutally excessive force of a single one of the United States' police officers, or some other stupid thing one single American's done -- perhaps even an innocently miscalculated act of kindness from one of the rangers themselves at some point earlier in their lives. Everybody has at least one, don't they? Or would it have been okay if the tourist performed some extreme wrestling moves on the calf, or shot it in the head, or set it on fire, or all three in no particular order? "[Our reputation's] taken a hit." Stick your park up your ass. Bunch of stupid trees and geysers, wow. Awesome. I was vaguely familiar with the park before this story only because of Yogi bear and Beavis and Butthead. I'd rather do something infinitely more interesting than walking around your dumb park like watch my beard grow. When you rangers along with over half of the entire United States' population inevitably uproot and start smashing on our gates seeking refuge from the supervillian presidency of that mad clown you're about to elect, you think Canada's gonna give a flying fuck about Yellowstone National Park's negative outlook on free fucking van rides for bison from our citizens? You think you even will at that point, when the laser cannon on your president's monolithic tower is pointing directly at you and even just the heat from the guiding laser is burning a hole clean through the back of your skull?

This news report starts off by spending a full minute showing us a series of cellphone-recorded videos of alarming attacks on people including children by aggressive adult bison, with voiceover telling us some tourists of Yellowstone "don't always listen" when they're told to keep their distance from the bison in particular, and in a tone to suggest an image of one of the Rugrats parents standing in the Pickles' kitchen with hands on hips talking about Tommy and the gang as they nod their head over to the playpen, rolling their eyes. Great. Say guys, how about we jump to the part of the story with the unaggressive baby bison? You know, the part that's actually relevant.

In spite of not being related at all to the issue at hand, as one of the aforementioned aggressive adult bison charges towards a couple filming it from inside their idle vehicle just before it's rammed, the narrator says cutely following a half-chortle, "Heh, yeah -- it's not gonna stop." A minute into your incisive video report with nothing of relevance to your headline, apparently neither are you, douche.

However, somewhat thankfully -- at the one-minute mark, we do learn that while the footage we've just seen isn't relevant to the story, it's there for a reason. Just not a good one: "... According to the park's service, five people were seriously injured by bison last year alone. That's more than any other animal -- but it works both ways. People can be the danger as well."

Whoever wrote this report flips the potentially lethal danger of people's close proximity to wild, full-grown bison to imply a proportional amount of danger towards the calf at the hands of the well-intentioned tourist, as if the tourist were the guy with his finger on the button that triggered the euthanasia when it was the park administration who decided that was the best course of action.

"A sixty-nine year old Quebec tourist THOUGHT he was doing the right thing when he loaded a young calf into the back of this SUV", the narrator goes on, with a distinct emphasis on the word "thought" to immediately set the tourist's actions hurtling downward on a moral slip-'n'-slide. They never let the poor guy out from under that rainy cloud of "Oh-ho-ho, he did a really bad thing, he shouldn't have done this, d'oh-ho-ho" in their recounting of the story, not once. Presumably God's sitting on that cloud staring daggers down into the tourist and wagging a giant fucking finger at him non-stop. It's almost as if the park rangers are holding guns to the reporters' heads off-camera screaming between takes "He did, goddammit! It WAS wrong!"

"The park superintendent has called it 'misplaced concern'" continues the narrator before the video cuts to said superintendent saying "It's a nice way of describing it -- they were wrong." Wrong, wrong, wrong -- this guy's done the wrongest thing ever. The report might as well have included a full fucking CGI dramatization of the tourist's grizzly public beheading with a butter knife.

"The park service tried to reintroduce the calf back into the population but it was rejected," says the narrator, "likely because the animal had the smell of humans." Sorry, but I can't help but wonder how hard the park administration tried. If it was "likely the smell of humans", how about giving the fucker a bath? I'm not saying you throw it into a jacuzzi with a bottle of champagne on the side, maybe a simple hosing down. Maybe a few. Some Febreze, a couple cans of Axe body spray, Head and Shoulders. What, the calf's gotta smell like the other bison for it to be accepted? Smear it in mud and literal shit then or whatever the fuck, tip a few garbage cans over and let it roll around in the mess. Bison guts -- fucking Rick Grimes and company can smear themselves in zombie entrails and fool the walker hordes. How powerful could this stench of humans on the calf have even been relative to its occasional interaction with park staff or other reckless tourists anyway? The van ride was likely brief. The tourist didn't bring the bison back to his apartment and let it play around in his fucking laundry hamper, or slap his dirty underwear overtop its fucking head for a funny hat. "I'm gonna call you Steve. We're gonna be best friends. Xbox or pizza, buddy? Both?!" It's not like the calf called fucking "shotgun" on the van ride either, it was loaded into the back of the van where likely a grand total of nobody ever is, unless the tourist regularly kidnaps people or disposes of dead bodies, which I somehow doubt and get the odd impression the rangers and reporters would probably love to believe. Unless the tourist fucked the baby bison and came all over it, would the lingering stank really be enough to make the bison herd go "That sucks" amidst the rest of irregular human scents that must come along to some degree with controlled wildlife parks?

"[The calf] also appears to have gotten 'too comfortable" with humans," the narrator goes on. What the fuck does that mean? Slapping tourists high-fives, sending them friend requests? If the administration's gonna kill the fucking thing over this and make the tourist feel like complete shit, how about we get a little more specific? The park superintendent thinly elaborates: "That newborn calf kept coming back to the road, kept chasing cars, kept trying to get close to visitors and not to the herd and its mother." Maybe it was fascinated by a whole new world beyond the shitty park existence it was accustomed to. I wouldn't want to spend a second in Yellowstone Retarded-Ass Park never mind my entire fucking life. The calf got tired of following the stupid fucking herd and became fascinated with us and our technology. That's a fucking cool bison. I don't think people should kill cool bison. I'm surprised it wasn't smoking a fucking cigarette when the tourist found it, leaning against a tree in a leather jacket. It probably fucking drove the van the bulk of the way towards the ranger's office with one hoof hanging out of the side window, banging the van door in loose sync with the percussion of Rush blaring from the stereo before the animal stopped and climbed into the back to fool the rangers into thinking it was less cool than it actually was.

The narrator's dialogue is immediately followed by another irrelevant clip of an aggravated adult bison close-up, huffing and puffing. Whoa, scary! Great job, guys. The narrator then puts the superintendent's last quote into context: "The park service says the animal couldn't be left chasing traffic. It also couldn't be sent away, that would've required a quarantine and taken months. Instead, the calf was euthanized."

The park service didn't have a little walled-off area somewhere to put the calf in? Four fences and a little gate somewhere along one of them? Some shed somewhere, a garage? Rubber bin? It "would've taken 'months'"? Maybe, if you had to lead it up a hundred flights of stairs of a hotel in Dubai without a working elevator to the executive suite and back down again, and it had to fucking gallop its way there between canoe rides. What about a leash to keep the bison away from tourists and traffic at the very least? A rope and a stake, that's about all you need. Not the kindest thing to do, but it beats the alternative.

Maybe I'm sounding like an ignorant, babbling shithead, but this story bugs me too much. The act of the euthanasia reeks of either/or fallacy. "We couldn't keep it around or send it away, so we had to slice its throat and wear its skin like a Halloween costume while we danced frantically in its blood. There was simply no other option. All other avenues of action were exhausted."

When the tourist pulled up to the rangers' office with the calf and waited for the infant animal to at least beat Brock in Pewter City on Pokemon Red before saying "That's enough now" and switching the Game Boy off, he reportedly told the park administrators that he thought the young bison "looked cold and needed help". Presumably the thing was isolated and shivering when the tourist found it and he just didn't want it to be frightened anymore or possibly hurt later on. It's clear he was trying to help. You think most seniors make a habit of giving out free fucking bison rides when their priorities include surviving another winter?

His intent was to simply preserve wildlife with the calf's life included, now he's being charged with intentionally interfering with wildlife. Not only that, the poor fuck's a Quebec native and you're making him come all the way back to Yellowstone for a stupid court hearing? Are you that desperate to get people to visit your dumb fucking park? How about you at least call it quits on the hundred-something dollar fine considering the expenses of that trip, bungholes? Whether the tourist agreed with the actions of the park administration or not, you'd think he's got the message given the Breakfast Club principal-esque speech the rangers no-doubt gave him -- don't go out of your way to help a wild creature ever again. Great message, one that goes completely against what the likes of Disney's been hammering into our heads since we were children.

Maybe they really had to kill the fucking calf, maybe they didn't, I don't know shit, but I do think the tourist's at least getting painted in a light that's too negative.

A toast to this badass bison. I'm proud of it for being bold enough to abandon the herd to see what else the world had to offer, albeit briefly.

Speed 3: Trump Train (2016) Synopsis

For the first time since '94, Keanu Reeves returns to the franchise as SWAT officer Jack Traven; Jack boards a turbulent Trump train hurtling freakishly back and forth across the country on a covert mission to locate and hit the brakes -- only to discover to his horror that there aren't any. As if the stakes weren't high enough, the mad conductor promises the train will explode with a "yuge" enough radius to tear the planet in half if its speed somehow drops to a number that's actually calculable by modern computing. (10h 59m)