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October 04, 2006 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-10-04

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8A - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Don't get
'Schooled'
By Paul Tassi
For the Daily
Do you like steak? How about ice cream? And
beer, right? Now stick them in a blender. Some-
times good ingredients don't end up mixing well.
You'dthink director Todd Philips ("Old School")
could stir up something comical by combining
clueless Jon Heder ("Napoleon Dynamite") and the
greasy slimeball perfected by courtesy of MGM
Billy Bob Thornton in "Bad * * "So, you were married to that Angelina chick, right?"
Santa" Well, it's kind of like
Budweiser steak-cream. School for from under him. owed-someone-a-favor cameo. He plays ex-student
Heder plays Roger, a bum- Scoundrels Roger is aided in his quest to reclaim Amanda Lonnie in a tacked on role that does little more than
bling parking-enforcement MGM by a hey-they-look-familiar entourage including attempt to pass a frat-pack torch to Heder, who has
officer with a serious self- At the Showcase Todd Louiso ("Snakes on a Plane"), Horatio Sanz yet to prove himself worthy of it.
esteem problem. He's pushed and Quality 16 ("Saturday Night Live") and Matt Walsh ("Dog In "Scoundrels," Heder stretches himself from
around,humiliated and kicked Bites Man"). Their not-so-clever master plan to get a one-dimensional actor to one and a half dimen-
to the curb by the Little Brother he mentors at a back at Dr. P climaxes in a not-so-satisfying ending sions at best, the extra half given only for his stylin'
local rec center. The center's manager Ian (David that will leave you-wishing you spent your $10 on haircut. At times he can be awkwardly charming,
Cross, "Arrested Development") finally takes pity "Jackass 2" instead. but with too much emphasis on the awkward. Sim-
and gives him a number to call that he says will Brief highlights of the film include a paintball ilarly, Thornton's sly demeanor lacks the sleaze of
change his life. shootout without helmets and a dodgeball-style "Bad Santa" or the bite of "Bad News Bears." He
The number leads Roger to a classroom filled tennis game, both of which involve one of the mostly just stands around, grins and lies through
with losers being guided by slick alpha-male Dr. two title characters repeatedly struck in the nuts. his teeth.
P (a role that by now must be second nature to Most painful of all, however, is a running gag "Scoundrels" has little of the bawdy frat charm
Thornton). Under Dr. P's tutelage, Roger learns about assistant instructor Lesher (Michael Clark that Philips invented, and it's not just because it
what it means to become a man. But once he gets Duncan, "The Green Mile") actually raping his lacks Vince Vaughn, a Wilson brother or a naked
confident enough to win the heart of his crush students. Yeah, creepy. Will Ferrell. It's missing that smart kind of dumb
(Jacinda Barrett, "Poseidon"), the devious Dr. P And while the previews would have you believe humor that won't just elicit a few painful guffaws
turns on his pupil and swiftly steets the girl out otherwise, Ben Stiller only appears for a brief but can keep the audience laughing throughout.

Talk dirty to me
POP-CULTURE COLUMN

4

ast week, a congressman's
illicit instant message corre-
spondence - masturbatory
inquiries, dreamy offers to fondle a
teenage page's "one-eyed snake" -
tossed itself all over the news. While
parents cringe and debate whether to
give their teenagers another lecture
on internet dangers, e.g. congressio-
nal alcoholics on AIM,
Florida Democrats -
should be thankful for
Representative Mark
Foley's questionable
online activities: It's
damned near impos-
sible to create negative
campaign stories this
sensational.
Simultaneously
disgusted and fasci-
nated since ABC News
broke the story Friday, KIMB
America has gobbled CH
up the debacle. Blame
the media, but they wouldn't run it if
we didn't watch it.
Further reports from The Wash-
ington Post reveal that the FBI has
known about the messages since July;
the text from a specific conversation
with a former page (lacrosse player,
16 years old, masturbates in bed) is
available on Slate.com. Allegedly,
there were other such correspondenc-
es in 2003 and 2004,although Foley's
attorney told CNN the congressman
is "absolutely not a pedophile" and
"has never had inappropriate sexual
contact with a minor."
Slate's John Dickerson wrote,
"The Mark Foley scandal has
already accomplished two difficult
feats: It has made a deeply unpopular
Congress look even worse, and it has
replaced Iraq and terrorism as Politi-
cal Topic A" He's only half-joking
- and that's a problem.
Americans love gossip. There's
a Persian proverb that translates as
"Gossip is ventilation of the heart."
Members of Congress are just as sus-
ceptible to the attractiveness of scan-
dal, especially among their own.
The rest of us, we shudder, aghast
that a representative - someone a
disappointingly low percentage of us
chose - known as a proponent of a
child-safe Internet would be doing
such things. We try to look away
when the story comes up on the news.
But we still click on each new Slate or
New York Times offering. We relish
the most painful, embarrassing and,
yes, illegal goings-on of others.

But what, exactly, is so exciting
about the case? It's a middle-aged
politico caught in an episode of Capi-
tol Hill misbehavior. Not only does
this deal with a public figure, it deals
with a frightening social taboo: sex
with the underaged.
With "Lolita,' Vladimir Nabokov
crafted some of the most passion-
ate and sexually charged
prose of the last two cen-
turies. Forget that Dolo-
res Haze isl12 years old:
"I would find (her) dip-
ping and kicking her
long-toed feet in the
water" narrator Hum-
bert Humbert muses,
",...the quicksilver in
the baby folds of her
stomach were sure to
cause to se tordre - oh
ERLY Baudelaire! - in recur-
OU rent dreams for months
to come." Oh, what ten-
sion, what bubbling sexual current -
and what a terribly dirty feeling once
you remember the novel's context.
Nabokov's novel is meant to induce
that creepy, dangerously wrong sen-
sation, and the reader's brief dip into
Humbert's world only enforces our
stance on too-young-to-call-it-May/
December relations.
But with Foley, consummation
of latent pedophilia isn't the true
Republican nightmare. It's not just
a case of implied sex with minors
- it's implied gay sex. Considering
homophobic American hegemony,
the fact that the naughty correspon-
dences were with a 16-year-old boy
instead of girl is more unsettling. It's
only another reason why the Foley
story will stay in the paper longer
than Michael Kennedy's involvement
with his family's teenage babysitter.
Would President Bush be as con-
cerned about this scandal if it didn't
deal with a young male?
Ultimately, the revelation of Fol-
ey's hypocritical, seedy activities will
only provide more water-cooler fod-
der. But the notions we should take
from the scandal are ones we already
know but don't necessarily acknowl-
edge: We eat up dirty laundry and let
society's ideas of what's appropriate
dictate our opinions, for better or for
worse. Nothing new. But you'll only
stop hearing it about once you stop
paying attention.
- Chou can be reached
at kimberch@umich.edu.

4

Chapter 2' a step in,
By Jake Smith tracks. Welcoming a wide range
Daily Arts Writer of artists, DFA pays due respect to
standard electronic acts like Gold-
It takes a true chemist to mold frapp but also leave the door open
a good remix. More than laying a for mid-'90s hard rockers Nine
bombastic, overbearing house beat Inch Nails.
on top of a Opening the album is a slow
track, the key ***' Vangelis-esque intro to Tiga's "Far
to resuscitat- From Home," with simple high-hat
ing the some- DFA Remixes snare repetition highlighting the
times-tired Chapter 2 sparse lyrics. Pushing just past 10
electronica Various Artists minutes, the only ballsy section
genre is bal- Astralworks ends the track with fat, synthesized
ance. The notes and arpeggios that belong in
gritty backroom distortions and new Kayne's "The New Workout Plan."
funk gilded on DFA Remixes Chap- As a strict dance and party col-
ter 2 finally breathe fresh air into this lection Chapter 2 peaks and falls.
Ecstasy-laced music pool. The Junior Senior track "Shake
Without spreading the produc- Your Coconuts" blasts clean cow-
ers too thin, the album elucidates bell into a detective-show bassline
different aspects of each song that smooths the background's dis-
by giving select tastes of various torted guitar flashes. The Chromeo
instruments. The comp's producers addition "Destination Overdrive"
excel at layering each of the eight gives Chapter 2 a much-needed

the right direction
quickie after DFA almost rots the tainly a commendable innovation.
other tracks with over-extended The album's biggest highlight is
Daft-Punk-style repetitions. N.E.R.D's "She Wants to Move."
The biggest let down is the remix DFA takes out the pounding guitar
of Nine Inch Nails' "The Hand that loop and couples a bouncing bass
Feeds." Their demonization of Presi- with simple synthesizers, claps and
dent Bush is muted by overambitious an easy drum beat. The remix rips
guitar riffs and unappealing beats. open the heart of the original and
Since most of the DFA mixes douses it with a synth-rock flame,
extend past the length of the original, plus it succeeds in downplaying
it's hard for the producers to sustain Pharrell's ego.
the energy past the initial buildup. With the exception of the remix
Tracks like U.N.K.L.E.'s "In a State" of Hot Chip's "Colours" - five min-
fall short of their potential: They utes too long and nothing buta weak
only suspend where they expound on orgasm - the album as a whole
the power shown in other mixes. breaks the mold of a standard com-
Similar to the duo's previous pilation.
ventures, the tone of Chapter 2 has DFA is at the apex of the blend-
a 1970s aesthetic with nods to the electronica movement. By taking
blossoming punk-rock scene and the Mylo's core of digital beats and
fading disco era. Producers James then infusing their own shit-in-
Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy meld a-garbage-can-and-turn-it-up-to-
their indie-rock roots to change the 11 mantra, they make Chapter 2
approach to electronic music, cer- something worthy of the grind date.

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