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October 06, 1994 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-10-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

me ncnigan va ry - weeen etc. -- nursay, Uctooer 6, 1994 - 5

Mags rip into unspoken truths

It's tough to be snarky nowadays.
The mainstream media has a clever
social criticism void, lost to the un-
derground publishers and the rise of
DaveBarry wannabes; the best a"Na-
The Magazine Column
tional Lampoon" or a "Spy" can do
today is scream how politically incor-
rect they are. There are few renegade
publications that try to be both terri-
bly offensive and funny at the same.
That's where "The Nose" (bi-
monthly) succeeds. At first it looks
like little more than a glossy, less-
celebrity based version of "Spy." But
unlike that dinosaur, "The Nose" is
actually offensive for just about any
reader, but in a good way. In 62 pages
the magazine effectively destroys the
career of the Jerky Boys (unfunny,
ego-driven and apparently quite stu-
pid), condenses the entire output of
Henry Rollins' career into a 16-word
haiku, and takes deadly accurate pot-
shots at Don Wildmon, Dan Quayle,
John Madden, Kathie Lee Gifford,
Kurt Cobain, and several others who
deserve it.
The focus of the most recent issue
is Waco. A year after the massacre
isome disturbing facts filter out, and in
Mack White's three-page comic book
uncover the real tragedy of the massa-
cre. White suggests the FBI fired first,
shot several cult members in the back,
and provoked the whole thing for no
reason (technically Koresh and Co.
had broken no weapon possession or
child abuse laws, contrary to reports
* *
I: B

by the BATF at the time). Janet Reno
never looked so bad.
On the lighter side, they also
present a special catalog cheerily en-
titled "Wacosis!" with fun Waco mer-
chandise and massacre memorabilia.
Couple this with a funny horo-
scope ("Sagittarius: Your presence
provokes anger. Tension is a skirt
anger wears. Anger is the collar on
the shirt of violence."), a nude laser
tag expose, and the best ode to the late
Richard Nixon and his glorified fu-
neral procession. It's the only maga-
zine left that proves how stupid we
really are.
"Film Threat" is another bi-
monthly that has maintained a snarky
integrity as its popularity increased.
Started as a fanzine in Detroit by
Chris Gore, the slickly packaged pe-
riodical now features the talents of
former Orbit movie dude Paul
Zimmerman and Dominic Griffin of
the "The Real World" (the Irish guy
with bad hair). Despite the new look,
"Film Threat" is more user friendly
without losing its evil touch. Previous
sacred cows like Quentin Tarantino
get equal parts praise (for "Pulp Fic-
tion," what else?) and scorn (for rip-

ping off a little too much of John
Woo's "City of Fire" on the previ-
ously worshipped "Reservoir Dogs.")
The December issue looks at the
making of "Ed Wood" and "Clerks,"
points out six femme fatales who de-
serve to be in good movies for a
change, and is full of intelligent film
reviews. But the highlight is their first
O.J. feature, featuring a cartoon cast-
ing of the major players (Homer
Simpson as O.J. ... "Dohh!") and
their top ten O.J. jokes. They're dis-
gusting, offensive and very funny.
Just don't repeat them in polite com-
"Spy" supposedly died and came
back to life a few months ago, al-
though the magazine has really been
rotting away for years. Coupling Julia
Roberts and North Korean leader Kim
Jong Il on the cover is about as clever
as it gets. Even the O.J. jokes are
tame. If you're going to be an asshole,
at least be bold about it.
Even if "Spy" is dead it paved the
way for better magazines like "The
Nose" and "Film Threat" to succeed
and prosper in a time when most
people consider Rush Limbaugh "on
the edge."

'Kids' can't C(
As "Saturday Night Live" continues its descent into
pure idiocy and other sketch comedy programs seem to
develop overnight, the recent kings of the genre are sadly
After five years as the freshest, most inventive and

most consistent tr
Kids in the
Hall" have dis-
banded, leaving
a void in the
uneventful me-
dium of televi-
on CBCin 1989
and subse-

roupe since who know's when, "The

YU 10

)me and play
dream" of suburban, middle-management life as what it
really is: banal, empty and unrewarding; a struggle for
Their deconstruction of the typical white-collar sys-
tem of values was no more evident than in their depiction
of the business world: Cited as the foundation for capital-
ism and a rewarding career for good, wholesome work by
most, the business world was a surreal landscape of
coffee, partitions, board meetings, secretaries, business
cards and homogyny when portrayed by the Kids.
Family, suburbia and dating were also frequent targets
of sketches, yet the single middle-class values whose
deconstruction was most related to the troupe was hetero-
sexuality. Through either ignorance or association, it was
assumed and reported that the entire troupe was homo-
sexual. Only one member is homosexual, but due to their
position as a self-contained and all-male cast, it was
necessary for the "Kids" to portray both male and female
roles. Unlike "Monty Python's Flying Circus," the other
comedy troupe of note which dressed in drag, the "Kids"
used the situation to its advantage to punctuate the humor
of a typical dating sketch with homo-eroticism.
The cast, the "Kids" themselves, each had an indi-
vidual comic style, from the high-pitched vocal inflec-
tions of Kevin to the tongue-flitting childlike neuroses of
See KIDS, page 6

quently broadcast on HBO, CBS and Comedy Central
here in the U. S., the "Kids," produced by Lorne Michaels
of "SNL' fame, were an oddity, an intelligent troupe that
approached their quirky brand of comedy with originality
and an agenda.
The Kids - David Foley, Bruce McCullough, Kevin
McDonald, Mark Mckinney and Scott Thompson -
found surrealism in the everyday. They regarded and
presented the typical "carving a piece of the American

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