Michael Showalter is an actor, comedian and filmmaker best known for his work on films and TV shows such as MTV’s The State, Wet Hot American Summer, Stella and The Baxter. But can he blog? In order to promote his hilarious new album Sandwiches & Cats, Mr. Showalter spent all of yesterday guest-blogging for our friends at Stereogum, The Apiary, PopWatch, Brooklyn Vegan, Deadspin, Jewschool, My Old Kentucky Blog and Culture Bully. But can he handle the blogging heat here at BWE.tv? There’s only way to find out, and the rules are simple: Michael and I each came up with 5 random topics for the other one to blog about, which you can read below, then determine who is Blog Champion in the comments. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s A Blog-Off!
BLAGG: As someone who believes that the true worth of a man should not be measured by the color of his skin or the content of his character, but instead by the size of the muscles in his arm, Arm Wrestling is not just a sport: it’s a way to determine which human beings are The Best. When I’m not building my own muscles, admiring the muscles of others, or looking at this website while trying to hide my erection, I’m training my arms for their next wrestling match. Because it could happen anywhere, at any time, and if you lose the match, you lose your dignity as a tough person with big muscles. Sometimes you can even lose your estranged son, or worse, your 18-wheeler truck. And if there’s one thing I refuse to be in this life, it’s some dude with small muscles and no truck whose son thinks he’s a total wuss.
SHOWALTER: Luis Guzman was in “Boogie Nights.” Heather Graham was naked in “Boogie Nights.” I was naked when I watched Heather Graham’s naked scene in “Boogie Nights.” But, and this is very important, I was naked not because I was masturbating. I was naked because I was protesting clothes. I was not, I repeat, not masturbating. It was purely coincedental. I was also naked during all of Luis Guzman’s scenes. Ironically, I was fully clothed during all of John C. Reilly’s scenes. My protest hadn’t begun yet. My protest didn’t last very long because there was a bad draft and I got very cold. As it turned out, the window was wide open and I didn’t even know it. Normally, I like a little breeze but it was eighty degrees below zero and with the windchill it was even colder than that. Did I mention that I was watching “Boogies Night” at an ice station in Alaska? I was there doing Tectonic Plate research which sucked because I have no background in that field and was woefully underqualified. I barely even passed freshman biology in H.S. How I am supposed to lead a team of scientists from all over the world? Badly. It didn’t go well at all. I mean, I got through it. I think we won a few grants for our work but overall I felt very crappy about the job that I did and morever wound up with a viscious flu from being naked all the time.
BLAGG: The 1980’s are ten years falling between 1979 and 1990 that – despite my own TV network’s incessant celebration of each and every part of the decade’s popular culture, and despite this being the period of time during which I was born – I find to be terribly overrated. In fact, everything that needed to be said about the 1980’s was said by Billy Joel, in the 1990’s, in his historical hit “We Didn’t Start The Fire”:
“Wheel of Fortune”, Sally Ride, heavy metal, suicide
Foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, Crack, Bernie Goetz
Hypodermics on the shores, China’s under martial law
Rock and Roller Cola Wars, I can’t take it anymore
An entire decade has never been so poignantly and concisely summarized. But that’s why he’s Billy Joel, right?
Moo Shu Pork
SHOWALTER: Let me start by asking the obvious question: “What is there to say about moo shu pork that hasn’t already been said?” Moo shu pork is like Shakespeare. It’s been written about, dissected, debated, and discussed for literally hundreds of thousands of years. People were talking about moo shu pork before moo shu pork even existed. That’s not to say that aspects of moo shu pork did not exist. Moo shu pork is food and Man has been eating food ever since the dawn of man. Some say that without food man could not survive. One thing is for sure: I need food to survive. Cyborg’s don’t. They don’t eat food. They eat metal and electricity. Or that’s what I’m led to believe. Let’s put it this way: all of the cyborg’s I know don’t eat food. In conclusion: Moo shu pork is food.
BLAGG: I’m not gonna lie to you guys and try to pretend to be some kind of smart liberal hippie who reads books. I believe in America, voted for Bush, and have never read anything written by Karl Marx. But I own every album ever released by Richard Marx, and I can assure you that his music taught me everything I need to know about the guiding philosophical principles necessary to create a successful functioning society. The song “Hazard” is not just an anecdotal tale about a girl who may or may not have been murdered near a river – it’s an allegorical fable about moral decline and the threat it poses to the lost innocence of small-town America. Go listen to the aching ballad “Right Here Waiting” and see if you don’t come back a converted Richard Marxist.
SHOWALTER: Ben Gay. One word: Ben Gay. I looked up “Ointments” in the Oxford English Dictionary and it had only one definition: Ben Gay. It also said that “Ben Gay” is one word even though in every way it appears to be two words. I was also surprised to discover that “Ointments” is four words. That’s surprising considering that there aren’t even four syllables in the word “Ointments.” I mean, in the four words “Ointments.” Here are some other words that look like one word but are actually four words: “egg”; “brethren”; “lollipop”; and; “fnerful”. “Fnerful” is an interesting case because it’s four words and also not a word at all. You’d think that wasn’t possible but I didn’t think it was possible for people to think that Jordin Sparks deserved to win American Idol either. “Jordin Sparks” is also one word. “American Idol”, and I found this fascinating, is four pages long (roughly 3000 some odd words.)
BLAGG: Jellyfish are far and away the gayest fish in the entire ocean. That’s why they’re usually found near the shore – because they’ve been ostracized by the rest of the intolerant creatures of the sea. In fact, catching a Jellyfish is a hate crime in California and some of the more progressive islands in Southeast Asia. Jellyfish are so gay they’re not even considered to be “real fish” – they’re invertebrates. God hates Jellyfish.
SHOWALTER: Salvation means being saved spiritually. It’s also an abbreviated name for the place where I go to buy cordoroys. Or sometimes I just like to say, “Sal-vay”. “I’m going to the the Sal-vay to buy some cords.” Sometimes I buy my cords at J. Crew. Sometimes I think that J. Crew is my salvation. Not like the Salvation Army. It’s literally my spiritual salvation. Nothing brings me closer to God than a nice blue J. Crew wool sweater. In those moments, when I’m wearing a blue J. Crew wool sweater, I actually feel, and it’s strange to talk about it, but I feel like I’m being enveloped in warmth. It’s possible that the warmth is being provided but it’s also possible that God is providing the warmth. Who am I to say He’s not? Yes, I said He. Not because I think that God is a He but because “sHe” looks weird on paper.
BLAGG: This is a degenerative brain disease (often caused by a previous night’s worth of heavy drinking) in which those who are afflicted become pathologically incapable of looking away from a matinee screening of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s 1998 film Legionnaire on TNT. While this condition is still a mystery among the medical community, many doctors have speculated that it draws its hypnotic power from the viewer’s subconscious desire to see Van Damme doing karate moves (epsecially the slow-mo stuff where he’s doing the splits or whatever) while also wearing that silly French hat of his. As a longtime sufferer of this disease, I don’t think we should be making fun of it on a blog.
SHOWALTER: Blogging about blogging. Now that’s meta. I think therefore I am. I blog therefore I…am? To be or not be? That really IS the question! Am I blogging or am I being blogged? Maybe the Matrix is real! Maybe we’re all living in one big blog and we just don’t know it! Maybe UFO’s are real! Maybe Big Foot is too! And the Loch Ness monster! Maybe the Loch Ness Monster isn’t a monster! Have you ever considered that? Maybe the Loch Ness Monster comes in peace? What about that? Maybe Big Foot’s feet aren’t that big but there’s still a half-man half-beast out there! Maybe UFO’s are real but they’re not disc shaped! Maybe they look like normal airplanes! Maybe everytime you see an airplane you’re actually seeing a UFO! And everytime you see a UFO you’re just tripping on acid and think it’s a UFO but actually it’s a frisbee and you’re just playing frisbee and trippping on acid. Maybe we’re always tripping on acid EXCEPT when we actually ARE tripping on acid. When we really are tripping on acid THAT’S reality! Maybe the time I saw that tree singing Beatles songs it was REAL! Maybe God is dead but a DIFFERENT God is alive and it’s all the same thing! Holy shit I’m freaking out.