Most Cubs fans have already written off the 2009 season, myself included. It's not an unfamiliar place for us Cubs fans to be, but this season seems a little more disappointing than the previous years I've slowly given up faith late in the summer. I attribute this to the glorious 2008 regular season, when it felt like the Cubs could do no wrong and that elusive trip to the World Series was really going to happen. It obviously didn't. I still wake up in cold sweats thinking about getting swept out of last year's playoffs...
Anyway, the abysmal 2009 season got me to thinking about other things which, for one reason or another, used to be good, but have deteriorated into complete sucktitude. So here are 5 things off the top of my head that used to be good but now suck...
5). The History Channel. Remember when it used to be all about the Hitler? Ok, that may be simplifying it a bit; they also had great specials about the French Revolution, The Dark Ages, Cavemen, and other topics that actually had something to do with history. Nowadays the History Channel (or as it is now known, "History") features total bullshit like Ice Road Truckers, Ax Men, and Monsterquest. And when they aren't showing these ridiculous shows, they're re-airing 15 year old documentaries about UFOs & Roswell. Sure, they still have decent specials once in a blue moon, and The Universe is generally interesting, but they lost me when they started making reality TV shows appealing to the NASCAR crowd. Oh History Channel, bring back Hitler!
4). Prince. I used to be a huge fan. In addition to all the Prince albums of the 80's and early 90's which were actually good, I also own Emancipation and Crystal Ball. These 2 albums collectively consist of 7 cds of truly awful songs about God, his dead baby, and how exponentially more stylish Prince is than you, I, or anyone else. Since the mid-90's, Prince has released 10 albums, most of them unlistenable. Even worse, he started threatening to sue his own fans for posting unlicensed pictures of himself and his album covers online, all the while charging upwards of $80 for shitty nosebleed tickets to his live performances. Then, at a 2008 concert, he covered Radiohead's "Creep" and then demanded that fan-uploaded footage of the performance be removed from YouTube, over the protestations of Radiohead's Thom Yorke, who pointed out, "It's our song." Fuck you, Prince. Fuck you for making me think highly of Radiohead.
3) Midnight Movies. Midnight movies come in 2 different varieties; the new Hollywood blockbuster and older movie revivals. I currently take offense to both of them. In the past 10 years, midnight releases of new movies went from culturally iconic movies such as the Star Wars prequels and Lord of the Rings to what I assume to be crapfests like Transformers 2 and Terminator 4. Sure, the Star Wars prequels sucked, but we didn't know they were going to suck when we bought our tickets to the 12:01 showings. Nowadays, any movie that's primarily geared towards people between 18 and 30 seems to get a midnight release. If that weren't bad enough, the midnight revival movies have gone from sick & surreal masterpieces like Pink Flamingos and Eraserhead to Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Pee Wee's Big Adventure. Do I hate the latter movies? No. But midnight movies are supposed to be a subversive event where people shed their cultural mores and dabble in the taboo. For fuck's sake, I can watch Ferris Bueller at least once a week on cable.
2) Zombies. It seems like only yesterday that I could talk about Romero's Day of the Dead or Fulci's Zombi and be greeted with blank stares from members of the general populace. Oh, how I long for those days. That isn't the case today. Zombies have been huge for the past decade, even though a decent zombie movie hasn't been made since the mid 80's. In 1997, my hastily written plan to survive a zombie outbreak was met with ridicule from my peers. Six years later,long after I stopped caring, Max Brooks published The Zombie Survival Guide, which was a huge success. A film adaptation of his follow-up book, World War Z, is in the works. Both books are fairly shitty, but that scarcely matters to this generation of imbeciles who are obsessed with the living dead for whatever fucking reason. That being said, the shittiest zombie of them all is Rob Zombie, who had a halfway decent metal band in White Zombie, but went on to butcher the already ridiculous Halloween franchise, remade The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and called it House of 1000 Corpses, and stole all the major plot points from The Empire Strikes Back and reshot it as The Devil's Rejects. Fuck all zombies.
1) The Simpsons. This show has sucked for over 50% of the time it has existed. What was once a brilliant satire with likable characters, memorable quotes, and subtle, clever stories with a message has turned into a crass show with no soul that showcases Homer wearing a new hat every week and getting profoundly injured in the process. It's the Family Guy; except (as much as I hate to admit it) The Family Guy at least pushes the envelope from time to time. I have pinpointed the exact moment The Simpsons began to suck: With a few sporadic exceptions, everything that takes place after Apu got married has been a huge disappointment. To be fair, that particular plot point has nothing to do with why The Simpsons currently suck; it's just a place-marker. Regardless, that episode aired in November 1997. It's now 2009. That's 12 years of sucking. Come on, people; let's move on already.
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