This is why I’ve decide to create an annotated glossary of random esoteric reference material. Sure, you may one of these things- perhaps two. Only I know all these things and brother, I ain’t proud of it! Use this list to hip the squares to what is what and who is who and whom. Check it out one time, won’t you?
UP, UP, DOWN, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT, B, A, B, A, SELECT, START: This is the holy grail of Nintendo cheat codes. If entered properly before the title screen of “Contra” pops up, you are granted one hundred lives to use and defeat the alien threat attacking earth! My favorite weapon was flamethrower. My only regret is that the aliens didn’t scream when you used it on them. “Welcome to Earff!”
GARY COLEMAN BOX SET: Many people remember Gary Coleman best from his adorable turn as Arnold Jackson/Drummond in the hit NBC series Diff’rent Strokes. Many people don’t remember his Oscar and Emmy winning films, though. There was Scout’s Honor (’80) in which Gary tries to be the best cub scout in the world, On the Right Track (’81) where he lives in the caboose of an old train, Jimmy the Kid (’82) where he’s kidnapped by Cleavon Little, The Kid with the Broken Halo (’82) where he is an angel that works for Benson, The Kid With the Broken I.Q. (’83) where he gets made fun of for being the youngest person in college and his professor is Benson, The Fantastic World of D.C. Collins (’84) where he daydreams a lot, and Playing with Fire (’85) where he sets things on fire. Collect them all! And don’t forget the Gary Coleman Show (’82), the animated series based on the kid with the broken halo. Finally, there was On the Right Track (’81) which was about lil’ orphan Coleman living in a storage locker of the train station. He could figure out what horses would win at the horse track- so the clever title was about train tracks AND the horse track! And Norman Fell is in it! Mr. Roper!? Weee!
SPANNISH PANTALOONS : Spanish Pantaloons is the first movie Dirk Diggler ever appeared in.
EVERYTHING YOU KNOW: The world is beautiful, full of swell people, new ideas and experiences, challenges, and most importantly, friends that you can get by with a little help from. Never have secrets. Find a friend to tell everything to, and be sure they’ll do the same. You should always give your heart to love; it is the greatest feeling one can have. And be sure that you can always trust your friends and those closest to you to understand your hopes and desires, help you to realize your wishes and dreams, and be there when you need them. Everything is beautiful, everything is calm… everything you know is a lie! Wake up, people. The sooner you realize that shit stinks, the sooner your master will stop sticking your nose in it.
BATMAN AND ROBIN: I’ve said it before and I’l say it again...It’s the worst film ever. I have seen some bad movies, and I have even enjoyed and defended some bad movies, but good God! I got in for free, and was upset at the guy that gave me the ticket. This is the film to which all others of questionable content are measured. “Man, that movie was bad… but it was no Batman and Robin!”
PIERRE: A lion was going to eat Pierre, but he didn’t care because he was a bad ass! One of Maurice Sendak’s Nutshell kids, Pierre came to life in 1975’s Really ROSIE. There were other cool characters, and even a talking alligator kid, but Pierre laughed in the face of squares and sang triumphantly “I don’t care!” just as I did for years. At the end of the story he learned to care. Sorry, Pierre, but I’m not there yet. My problem was that I cared too much. There’s no book for that!
DUMMY ACTION: there used to be a time when a stunt wass so dangerous that no man in his right mind would tackle it; this was when theatrical dummies were used. Be it fall, vehicular accident, or explosion, dummy action was where it was at! Always extremely obvious, and always inappropriate, it immediately yanked you from the world the film attempted to present to you, and thrusted you into a world of “Hey, that was a dummy!” now, it’s all been replaced by yelling “Hey, that was CGI.” And somehow, that’s not nearly as fulfilling.
DWAYNE SCHNEIDER: Schneider was a building super and a dapper M.F. from the series “One day at a time” (1975 – 1984). He would always say “Always remember, and never forget…” then lay down some of the wildest jive you’ve ever picked up. If any bastard ever deserved a spin off, it was Schneider. It’s cool to say, “I’m super like Schneider!”, but only if you are. I am.
FIVE DEADLY VENOMS: Snake, Centipede, Scorpion, Toad and Lizard… The five deadly venoms! The master of the poison clan trained five students in each of the deadly styles, and his sixth student is trained in all five! The sixth student has to seek out the five, and kill the ones that are doing evil. Released in 1978, this is one of the Shaw Brothers most popular offerings, and one of the most violent. A main staple of Kung Fu theatre during the 80’s
A GUY JUST LIKE ME: It’s what the majority of my close female friends SAY they are looking for. I’ll just stop right there. We all know where this ends.
SWASTIKA: The symbol, of Buddhist origin, was a good thing meaning “Welfare”; it was a symbol of goodness and prosperity. That is until, like everything else, the Aryans got hold of it. Seen a lot in old Kung Fu films, it probably confused a lot of people that didn’t know its origins beyond stupid Nazis. A few years ago, a Pokemon character was removed from American versions of the show because it had the symbol on its body. Nazis are STILL ruining lives!
LAWNMOWER MAN: In the film of the same name (1992), Job was a gardener whom was mentally challenged. He had a friend whom was a doctor that used virtual reality to enhance Job's brain. Job became smarter and smarter, until he existed only as a super brilliant computer program. This is all fine and good, but the fact remains that the movie was funnier while Job was retarded.
FLYING GUILLOTINE: The Emperor built this device to protect himself. It’s like a hatbox on a rope, and when it’s thrown it lands on your head. With a yank of the rope, it’s lops that bad boy off, and your body falls to the ground. How cool is that? Get to the drawing board, Army!
CORKY: Charles Corky Thatcher was the character portrayed by Chris Burke on the hit ABC series " Life goes on " that ran from 1989 to 1993. Corky, as family and friends had lovingly christened him, suffered from Down’s syndrome, and often got into adventures that taught him life lessons by the end of the episode. He had an album and it’s probably better than your album — what’s that? You don’t have an album? Corky does! You should feel terrible...
FIGHT CLUB: You either love it, or you hate it and if you hate it, I got questions with the world you live in. I’m not going to review the film; chances are you’ve seen it numerous times. This film is groundbreaking on two very important levels. One: It presents a world where anarchy is therapy. Taking control of ones life, then committing a sort of self-destruction is the only way to keep your sanity in a world where everything is all “self help” and “fashion.” If you’re like me and you think that is psychotherapy is bull designed to tell you what you are and what’s wrong rather than having you figure it out your damn self, then you’re on the trolley. Two: This film did things that major studio releases aren’t supposed to do. It presented new views, it played with the fourth wall, and it told a story that you wanted to hear. People that don’t like Fight Club probably don’t like movies that require thought. That’s why God created Adam Sandler and Disney.
COMEDY: The true purpose of comedy is not to make people laugh. Don’t be so naive. Comedy is obtaining knowledge… knowledge of things to make light of, and knowledge of things to allude to whilst making fun of other things. Comedy is the deadly art of allusion.
During the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival, J’Mel Davidson won Best Director for his work with Heinous Elite on the short film Girls Will Be Girls. Stories by J’mel Davidson appear in every issue of Birmingham Weekly. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.