Sunday, December 11, 2011

A personal appeal from Gary GuyGapes

As a gamer, I don't pretend that a stone-faced fake soldier doing knee bends over another guy's face is scandalous.

Let me tell you about last night. I still play the parts of characters I create on the spot over VOIP in Team Fortress 2. Rory Manion and I tend to take turns, with one of us coauthoring the goonery in Ventrilo, while the other talks to people playing the game. This time, Rory convinced one particularly uptight player that he was promoting the growing sport of competitive gaping. (Anyone unsure of what gaping was could turn to the wall that was likeliest to attract attention, and see Rory's TF2 “spray”: a photo taken from Something Awful's FYAD forum that depicts a wiry man squat on a catastrophically colossal dildo.) Let me be the first to insist that there's nothing funny about passing this picture while on your way to capture a flag. But when the Red Letter Media reviewer's voice calmly explains that the photo is of gaping champion Gary GuyGapes and his record-stretching performance at this year's Planet of the Gapes invitational, I pause. And when the same person flawlessly fields every incredulous question he raises, revealing that he's's webmaster; that he's a third generation competitive gaper whose grandfather pronounced “I could do this professionally” after falling on a railroad spike; and that although opioid use is banned -- “open-oids” in gaper slang, and for reasons that I trust are obvious – if he becomes the Barry Bonds of gaping, then so be it; I laugh out loud. And when that one particularly uptight and unsuspicious player is sanctimoniously screaming that his forebears fought in world wars while Rory's character and his clan shoved shit up their bums for sport it becomes hard to breathe. To cut the crap, you can't convince me that I'm out of touch with gaming's childish abrasiveness.

“As seen on TV” is a sure sign that something that was once funny is now far from it. Unfunny people always think that celebrities certify funny. It never worked that way when dad appropriated the shit you said, and I don't know that it does when awards shows adopt them. Parents and actors are unflattering mirrors: when you find your reflection in them, you know you need a makeover. So tonight, we'll shun the scatological with the characters we create.


Brice Gilbert said...

For me it's always been the "trying to hard" part that gets me. Watching people pretend to like or get what their talking about isn't fun to watch.

The teabag joke in particular I think worked when the host made the verbal joke. Then they hammered it home by actually doing it which as humor wasn't needed at that point. Again. It's just really awkward stilted comedy.

Your joke about the gaping works because of the context and the story around it. Louis CK isn't above dirty jokes, swearing, and a variety of other "childish" things, but he makes it funny like any other good comic

I don't think it's just that seeing our parents or any "other" doing what we like gives us a scary perspective on our selves. I think sometimes it is, but in the case of the VGA's matters of taste and opinion seem more relevant.

Cody Newill said...

Renaissance man James Franco would surely be down for a sequel called Planet of the Gapes.

Anonymous said...

One can take a bucket of paint and create a very thoughtful and skillful picture. A child might take that same bucket of paint and simply make blotches on the canvas, thinking of nothing more than "Wow, look at that color." In the hands of the proper "artist" any idea or meme can be used to transmit a different (And often deeper) idea, much like a bucket of paint is used to paint a picture.

Profanity, violence, etc. were used as paints to create the portrait of "The Wire;" the idea and impression left was greater than the sum of its parts (A bunch of guys dealing drugs, dying, backstabbing others, etc.).

Regardless of the medium (Music, film, video game, etc.), every idea has the potential to become something beyond what it is initially. The direction might be absurd (SomethingAwful) or insightful (Colbert, Wire), but the point is that it HAS DIRECTION.

Many, like children playing with paint, simply reference an inside-joke, meme, etc., for the sake of referencing it; there is no attempt to harness the potential and say something more. The VGA was a good example of wahjah inducing jokes and activities that existed for no other reason than they were supposed to exist. Arrows with no direction, coming from a juvenile mind.

Anonymous said...

I just don't get why it's now uncool for the snark community to make jokes at an event that is almost self-admittedly a big joke.

Both sides of this issue need to fall back. You're putting on a promotional show centered around a community that ain't that easy to promote for. Be prepped for 4chan behavior.

You're watching a "show" on a network geared towards the 18-40 white male, why are you expecting the Oscars? True, you could just changed the channel, but you've had drinks and it's Saturday night. You're watching a "show" that doesn't care what you think, so why not lash's not like anyone's gonna listen anyway?


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