The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Thursday, October 13, 2005

Do The Chickens Have Large Talons? 

Prepare yourself for more parent driven idiocy. A mother in Wethersfield Connecticut is trying to ban a pen which can play short audio clips from the movie Napoleon Dynamite:

Melissa Hart is angry about new pens that her children and others may be offended by when they return to the classroom next week.

The Wethersfield mother of three, who has a 3-year-old with Down syndrome, recently learned about pens from the popular film "Napoleon Dynamite," which has a recording that says, "You guys are retarded."

"There's a lot of kids starting school [for the first time]; there's enough pressure out there [to fit in]... .kids don't need to be challenged like this," Hart said.

Groups all over the country have been pressuring the makers of the pen to cease production. For her part, she contacted all the schools in town, and she heard back from three already, saying that they would confiscate the pens from children if they were seen with one. Hart notes that the pens violate a zero tolerance policy on student harassment.

That's Melissa Hart... not to be confused with Melissa Joan Hart of Sabrina fame. H/T to The Agitator for caching this little bit of over reaction.

As for Napoleon Dynamite in general... I just didn't get it. I only recently saw the movie for the first time last Friday. I was hanging out with some friends... and they were shocked to find out that I'd never seen it. Before I knew it... they had it on HBO On Demand. After about 5 minutes of the movie I said, "And the whole movie is like... this?". They just laughed at me and said "Yes", then went on into detail about how none of them liked it either when they first saw it. But they all assured me that after about two days, I would look back on the movie and it would suddenly seem really funny. I just had to trust them, because they now all thought the movie was great.

My friends are all dirty rotten liars. It's been almost a week now... and although there are tiny spurts of humor, and I can now put the quotations people at work keep saying in context... it is not a funny movie. But, I have put together a tidy little theory on why people think its so funny based on my experience, and listening to my friends' reactions.

You see, the movie is mind numbingly boring and generally awful. While you watch it, I think your brain pretty much either shuts down completely, or tries to turn off most of its sensory inputs in a futile attempt to reduce the pain as much as possible. I think what then happens for most people, is that after about two days of recovering from the movie, they then have to justify to themselves that they wasted and hour and a half of their life. Most people systematically go back in their mind and take the 10 funny minutes in the movie, and pretend like those 10 minutes were the entire movie. In other words, people who think Napoleon Dynamite was funny, are really just using a coping mechanism. Actually, I envy people who are capable of doing that. Of course the downside is that they then try to inflict that pain on others that they care about, like me.

Of course it wasn't enough to simply inflict the pain on me. After the movie we used eBaum's World Soundboards to crank call people using Napoleon Dynamite clips, then Cornholio, and then Office Space. Despite what you may now think of me... I am actually about to turn 27. Still.. at least that part of the night was funny.

Speaking of Napoleon Dynamite sounds... I tried listening to Audible Althouse for the first time today. I do generally enjoy her blog... but does anyone else think she sounds like the podcasting equivalent of Napoleon Dynamite? I know it's early days for her, so maybe I should cut her some slack, but I really couldn't finish listening to it.


I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of the movie.

I just didn't get it.


  Posted at October 13, 2005 12:26 PM by Anonymous Anonymous  
Wasn't the actor who played Napoleon Dynamite on SNL last weekend? I only caught a minute of one of the sketches. He looked more unkempt (less kempt?) than the other nondescript talent they normally have on. Wasn't funny, either.

Sometimes I hate being old and not getting stuff. (snort)

  Posted at October 13, 2005 1:20 PM by Blogger Be  
I haven't watched SNL in a while actually... but checking NBC's site... I see that he was on last weekend.

It doesn't surprise me that he wasn't funny there either.

  Posted at October 13, 2005 1:25 PM by Blogger Nick  
Oh, SNL hasn't been funny in years.
I didn't have the remote, and the channel surfing commenced after "red green" was over. Now *that* is a funny show.

  Posted at October 13, 2005 2:02 PM by Blogger Be  
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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.

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