Awkward Press

Independent publishers of imaginative fiction and daily meditations on the ridiculousness of the universe.

Newspaper Follies

March 09, 2010 By: Category: News

Just getting around to posting these tidbits from Friday’s LA Times because I was in Las Vegas all weekend and I didn’t take my computer with me. I was afraid it would get in the way of my gambling and whore mongering. Just kidding, it probably would have been very helpful with my gambling and whore mongering. But so here was the cover of the LA Times on Friday:

Right, it was an ad. An ad masquerading as the front page of a newspaper. Which, okay, whatever, newspapers are broke. Fine, make every page an ad. I can’t tell you the last time I read insightful reporting in the LA Times, anyway. I wish the ad in question didn’t feature that awful picture of Johnny Depp, because there are few things more disturbing to me than his hair and makeup choices as the Mad Hatter. I don’t like to look at it one bit, particularly when I’m drinking my morning coffee and on my way to Vegas to gamble and whore monger.

But that isn’t what really bothered me about the whole affair. What really bothered me is this. Enhance.

What? Who’s taking the reins on health care, now?

So that no one would confuse it with actual news, the editors of the LA Times removed every word that people might have accidentally confused with information. They couldn’t even be bothered to replace the copy with something entertaining. They just took out the nouns and said, “to Hell with it.” I’m fine with covering the front page of a newspaper with advertising. What I’m not fine with is doing so lazily. The ultimate irony is that no one blinked an eye about the fake articles being completely unreadable, because no one actually reads the newspaper. Front page fail. (more…)

Dear Tim Burton

June 22, 2009 By: Category: Greatest Hits, Movies

Hi! First of all, thanks for Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice. Those were great, how that guy had scissors for hands and that dead clown was so scary. Second of all, you dirty filthy bastard, if you ruin another one of my favorite books, I will kill you. Here is a picture from your new retelling of Alice in Wonderland.

Johnny Depp as the Mad Prop Comic

Johnny Depp as the Mad Prop Comic

Here, by contrast, is John Tenniel’s classic interpretation of the Mad Hatter.

John Tenniel's Mad Hatter

John Tenniel's Mad Hatter

Now, it is useful to note that John Tenniel’s illustrations were in the first edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, meaning they were approved by Lewis Carroll himself with all respect to the original text. It is also useful to note that the Mad Hatter in John Tenniel’s drawings is not a Bozo-haired S&M drag king.

See, here’s my problem with you, Tim Burton. You are not very funny. I’m sorry, but you’re not. Pee Wee Herman, he’s funny, and so you made a funny movie with Pee Wee Herman. Somehow you pulled off Ed Wood, a movie that was mature, well-paced, funny, and touching. But did you see Mars Attacks? Did you, Tim Burton? Did you watch your own movie that you made? Because it was not funny.

The worst things you do are adaptations and remakes, and you seem to do an awful lot of those kinds of movies. I don’t know how you managed to sap the humor out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but you did. It is practically impossible to remove the humor from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. That’s like removing the cute from a koala. Watching your version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was like watching a koala with rabies and knowing that I was going to have to kill it later by myself with a safety pin. The day I saw your version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was the day the clown cried.

And now you’re doing Alice in Wonderland, because of course you are, because there is nothing more Tim Burton on earth than Alice in Wonderland. Except for that part about how even though it has a sinister edge, it’s also one of the funniest books ever written. My guess is that your interpretation of it is going to be all sinister edge with, I don’t know, a fart or two. Which, come on, Tim Burton. Just because Lewis Carroll liked to take pictures of naked little girls doesn’t mean you have to punish the rest of us. I’ll admit, this one’s a little better:

Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper

… or it would be a little better if Helena Bonham Carter wasn’t the only woman you knew. You should meet more women, Tim Burton.

And you should stop ruining my favorite books, please. If you make another adaptation, please choose something that is not very good. Like Marley and Me. A little of your gothic S&M touch could really do wonders to Marley and Me.