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The Belgian

The Smurfs, They Smurf!

The Belgian | 2005-07-21.1090 LMT | Belgian Conspiracy

We call them by the proper name of les Schtroumpfs or de Smurfen but you will call them the Smurfs! The Belgian cartoonist Peyo, he created the Smurfs in 1958 based on the woodland creatures what live in the forests of Belgium. You see, the Smurfs, and to the lesser extent the Snorks (also created by a Belgian), show that our Belgian wildlife, even she is superior to yours!

Now they are making the film of the Smurfs (you English, read here) using the computer-generated imagery! Being that I am a privileged Belgische burger, I have already seen the, how you say, renderings. They look as real as the Smurfs I have seen in the forests of Wallonie (which, as you know, exists -- and is not in the computer, as M. Zapato says!)

When the Smurfs appear in the cinema, you and your children will learn that the Smurf-speak is double-plus smurf. Your English, she is pointless! Substitute the inferior English words with simple "smurf". Simple language for your simple English lives. When you are ready to think grand thoughts like we Belgians, you learn the Vlaams or the Français, or maybe even the Deutsch -- your choice! If you want, you come to Belgium and we teach you, yes?

The Monorailist

Movie Review: Batman Begins

The Monorailist | 2005-06-18.8290 LMT | Monorail Danger

Batman Begins isn't so much a Hollywood summer blockbuster as a Hate Crime against the Future.

[SPOILERS]

The first act seemed innocent enough. We are thrust into the story of Bruce Wayne's tumble into the dark cave of fear and hate -- precipitated respectively by a traumatic childhood bat-attack and his guilt over his parents' murder by a mugger that resulted from his chiropteran fears. It begins, without so much as opening credits, in the midst of his Dantean trip into the underworld of crime, searching for the Ways of Wrongdoers and the means to stop them, and leads to his fiery rebirth from the Himalayan hideout of the League of Shadows as a Dark Avenger against Crime.


Batman costume ironically on display in the Sky Church in the EMP, through which the Monorail traverses.

But all this Sturm und Drang is just a façade, cobbled together from well-tread comicbook plots and backstory outlines, for director Christopher Nolan's real agenda: anti-monorail agitprop.

The gleaming monorail system that runs through Gotham in Bruce Wayne's childhood flashbacks -- made stereotypically retro in design by the art director to suggest it belongs to a future passed -- is at the center of both the city -- its rails spoke out from the hub of Wayne Tower -- and the film. It is showcased during a pivotal scene in which Bruce's father explains to him the troubles of Gotham. We learn that the monorail was built by him as a symbol of Hope and Unity for a city faltering on the verge of Poverty and Despair. This portentous scene takes place during a Wayne family trip to the opera that will result in the parental deaths at the heart of the Batman mythos. Here we see the monorail as grim Charon, ferrying the Waynes to their doom.

Years later, after Bruce Wayne's return to Gotham as the Batman, the monorail has become a symbol of degradation, covered in graffiti and sparsely occupied by muggers and Mafia hitmen. The propaganda message here is clear: Monorails are a False Hope and city planners would do well to reject them as a means to Urban Renewal.

But this isn't the final depth to which Nolan's propaganda will sink.

We eventually learn that the monorail is to become a tool of the League of Shadows, lead by immortal archvillain Ra's Al Ghul, to destroy Gotham by using it as a transport for a microwave weapon that will vaporize the water in the pipes that run beneath the monorail line, unleashing the fear-inducing psychotropic drug that the League has surreptitiously poisoned Gotham's water supply with, thereby hurling the city into chaos. So in the end, the plot is this: Only by destroying the monorail can Gotham be saved. If we were to believe the filmmakers, monorails attract terrorists and ninjas, lead to Madness, and need to be demolished for any hope of Salvation.

(I think it's fair to say that the anti-monorail motives of the filmmakers were shaped by their love of SUVs, as evidenced by the worshipful portrayal of the tank-like Batmobile. Upon seeing the Batmobile, Police Sergeant Gordon enthuses: "I got to get me one of these!" He later goes on to use the Batmobile to blow up the monorail. Not exactly subtle.)

As further evidence that the whole film was thrown together for the sole purpose of attacking monorails, consider the poorly thought-out doomsday scheme of the League of Shadows. If the microwave weapon were capable of vaporizing the Gotham City water supply, why did it not also vaporize the aqueous portions of the Gothamites? Why did the eyeballs of those in the Narrows not explode when their vitreous liquid was made gaseous by the microwaves? The only possibly explanation -- apart from an abject lack of understanding of Science on the part of the writers well beyond the norm for even the most curmudgeonly Ludditic anti-monorailist -- is that the filmmakers started with the idea that the monorail was to be destroyed and only later came up with a slapdash reason why. Their limited imaginations, typical of those who dismiss monorails, were simply not up to the task.

As I left the IMAX theater at the Pacific Science Center and took the Seattle Monorail back to my apartment, I was left shaking my head in befuddlement as to why a prestigious Center of Science would agree to show such an unscientific, hateful film so out of touch with the self-evident wonders of the Monorail so near to them. Is not the goal of Science a truer understanding of our World for the Embetterment of Mankind? How is that goal served by attacking what is not only the most significant discovery of Modern Science -- the Principle of Monorailular Transit -- but also the only means of lifting Humanity up out of its congestion, both traffic and moral, and into the sky so that we may ride swiftly and confidently into our Destined Future? It is not served at all by that, I say! Rest assured that I will be writing a strongly worded letter of complaint to the Science Center's Ombudsman.

As for Batman Begins, on a railular scale from one to five (one being a Supreme Achievement of the Human Soul and a Shining Beacon of Hope for our Children, five being Ignominious Refuse for the Junkpile of History), I give it four rails.

Kofi Annan

UN Food Force

Kofi Annan | 2005-06-05.0110 LMT | Food

Teh Food Force!!!

Yo, Kofi here! My dawgs at the UN came up with this kickass game called WFP Food Force! GO FOOD FORCE!!! It's like totally educational and sooo much better than that American Army game!

I pwnd those starvin Sheylaneseian fugees! Eat UN energy pacs!!! And local rebel forces got nothin on my mad 'gotiatin skillz! loooool!!!

My player name is kofi_hotness38... see if u can beat my score! (It's not much, but I gots the UN to run and I can only play for a couple hours a day... but this summer I'm gonna totally take first place away from password300 of China! W00T!!!)

Radical Sasquatch

HOWL: HUMANS PLOTTING AGAINST US!!

Radical Sasquatch | 2005-05-27.6300 LMT | Sasquatch Issues

I have just heard howl that a Human cryptozoologist cabal is gathering in the place they call Bellingham! They will be there today, tomorrow, and the next day holding what they call the Sasquatch Research Conference... But they are not Sasquatch researching Sasquatch culture or Sasquatch interests, THEY ARE HUMANS PLOTTING AGAINST US!! They want to spy on us at night and listen in on our howls! They call it "PROJECT NIGHTWATCH"!!

HUMANS SHOULD MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS!! You don't see Sasquatch listening in as human Tom Yamarone makes his squeeky Human howls (AS IF WE WOULD WANT TO!!) or spying on Human Loren Coleman's mating rituals! LEAVE US ALONE, PERVERTED HUMANS!!

And while I am howling about local events... why are there no Sasquatch artists at the SASQUATCH!!! Music Festival?! They didn't even bother to include Migoi whistlers on the third-tier Yeti stage! All the artists are Human and Pixie! PIXIES DON'T EVEN EXIST!! First Humans steal grunge music from us and now they exclude us from our own music festival and replace us with make-believe winged leprechauns! WHERE IS THE JUSTICE FOR SASQUATCH?!?!

Radical Sasquatch

HOWL: WOOKIEE RAGE!!!

Radical Sasquatch | 2005-04-05.4700 LMT | Sasquatch Issues
Chewbacca Figure
YOU CANNOT CONTAIN WOOKIEE RAGE WITHIN A PLASTIC BUBBLE!!!

Howl in the forest is that the Human called George Lucas will release another Squatchploitation movie called "Revenge of the Sith"...

***SPOILER ALERT!!!*** Nerd Humans: STOP READING MY HOWL NOW!!!

"Revenge of the Sith" will star CHEWBACCA the WOOKIEE... WOOKIEE IS HUMAN SQUEEK FOR SPACE SASQUATCH!!! In previous movies, Chewbacca was a sidekick to Space Humans! SASQUATCH IS NOT A SIDEKICK!!! Maybe Teh-Ima is a sidekick, BUT NOT SASQUATCH!!! Those movies were made during a dark time of Sasquatch-Human relations that Humans call the 1970s, when Sasquatch were persecuted by Nimoy and fake bionic Sasquatch battled bionic Human to a draw for Human amusement -- THIS WOULD NOT HAPPEN IN REAL LIFE!!! Bionic Sasquatch would delimb bionic Human Steve Austin in slow motion while howling that DA-NA-NA-NA sound!

...MY HOWL DIGRESSES!!!

The new Lucas movie is about the WOOKIEE ARMY fighting against the Space Humans invading the Wookiee home planet -- CLEARLY AN OBLIQUE PORTRAYAL OF THE SASQUATCH MILITIA!!! Ripping the limbs off of Space Humans is better than being a sidekick! LOOK AT THE MIGHTY WOOKIEE ARMY...

Wookiee Army copyright Lucusfilm

But something is wrong... If this Lucas Human has become such a friend to Sasquatch, then why is it that these Wookiees are still PLAYED BY HUMANS IN FUR SUITS!?!? IT IS OFFENSIVE TO ALL HOMINOIDS!!! Even worse, I have heard howl that the Wookiee Army is MADE WITH COMPUTERS... I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT MEANS BUT I KNOW THAT IT ENRAGES ME!!!

Lucas has enraged Hominoids in the past and now he is doing it again! Chewbacca and Wookiee Army should be played by real Sasquatch and not be made sidekicks of Space Humans! Chewbacca should have a LIGHTLOG, his own space ship that can make the Kessel run in LESS THAN SIX PARSECS, and get to howl "I HAVE A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS!!!" while delimbing Space Humans!

HUMAN CALLED LUCAS, HEAR MY HOWL!!! Satisfy Sasquatch demands or Southern Cascadian Sasquatch Militia will PUMMEL SKYWALKER RANCH WITH BOULDERS!!!

SASQUATCH POWER!!!

Lyle Zapato

More From Robert Cassell

Lyle Zapato | 2005-02-25.0280 LMT | Letters

Got a spare three million lying around and want to position yourself to win a NOBEL PRIZE and the prestigious title of Humanitarian of the World? Bob Cassell has another proposition for you (this one forwarded to me by the recipient, name withheld):

From: Robert Cassell <bobcassell@hotmail.com>
To: [...]
Subject: Saving Lives Supporting AIDS Medical Research New Business Development
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 21:28:36 +0000

Dear [...]

The following letter will explain how I have proven and tested both a product and concept that has the proven ability to raise in excess of $250 million per year per continent for AIDS Medical Research.

Permit me to explain.

Approximately two years ago my teenage daughter had Cancer. In order to maintain my sanity I developed a product and concept that has the Proven Market Testing worldwide to raise in excess of $250 million per year per continent for AIDS Medical Research. The initial investment of approximately $3 million will return at least $50 million per year. The $3 million in question is only half in cash and half in credit line.

So I need your advice, counsel and expertise relative to the AIDS crisis. Additionally, we could also create new jobs worldwide plus most importantly Saving Lives.

The product and concept in question is a consumer lifestyle product, that currently has no competition and utilizes a distribution system that has been used by only one product from one industry for over 50 years with resounding success.

Additionally, the concept will become a Television First. Never in the history of the World has a TV Show been broadcast Internationally ...bridging all time zones.

The company and/or investor will make themselves in a position to win the NOBEL PRIZE.

Of course there are a ton of stories that were generated over the past years. There track record of successes make the $250 million per year per continent very conservative.

Since my daughter won her battle against Cancer I believe that my effort should be utilized to help cure society of its ills. Therefore, the lion share of the profit is yours and any investor. All I want are a few points and the opportunity to spearhead the project. No front monies are required. I'll relocate any place to help rid our society of AIDS.

Personally, I've spent two decades representing the Fortune 500 Internationally from advertising, marketing , sales promotion and actual sales. Additionally, I've served on the Board of Directors of The National Crime Prevention Council.

Hopefully I've peaked your curiosity which will foster beneficial dialogue. Again, the key here is that the product and concept in question is not just another good idea it has been proven and tested. Together we can find one or more sponsors for a "Smart Pak" launch. Note: Remember Smart Pak embraces the benefits of winning the NOBEL PRIZE...either as an individual or corporation, a worldwide Television Special and the title of Humanitarian of the World. And most importantly we will save many lives worldwide.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Respectfully
Robert H. Cassell
A Chicago Resident

Wow. $250 million × 7 continents = $1.75 billion in revenue. (That's assuming that there's a sustainable market for consumer lifestyle products on Antarctica. Otherwise it's a mere $1.5 billion. But I'm sure Bob considered the Penguin Demographic in his Market Testing.)

There is a dilemma here though: What if both NEW SPORT and "Smart Pak" get investors at the same time and both investors want Bob to relocate to different places? What a wacky predicament that would be! In fact, the concept would make a great COMEDY MOVIE.

Permit me to explain.

Currently there is no competition for comedy movies about an Idea Man with a Heart of Gold from Chicago who hits it big but ends up having to juggle spearheading two different international projects from two entirely separate locations. The concept in question would embrace as a source of comedic tension the main character's competing desires to share NEW SPORT with the world and rid society of AIDS, with lots of opportunities for physical comedy during his harried commutes.

The key here is the role of Bob Cassell will be played by an actor with a track record of successes in light-hearted comedies. I'm thinking Will Ferrell or maybe Bill Pullman. The emotional center of the movie will be the cancer-surviving daughter, played by Lindsay Lohan or maybe one of the Olsen twins. There should also be a love interest for the Bob character, possibly the daughter of one of the investors, or maybe a daughter of each investor for added farce. In the end, everything works out as both NEW SPORT and a cure for AIDS are introduced to the world.

COMEDY MOVIE will be family oriented with no violence, but there will be at least one gut wrenching car chase. The soundtrack will be Country Western driven.

With an initial investment of $1 million, COMEDY MOVIE would return at least $50 million in domestic ticket and DVD sales and generate a very conservative $100 million in the International Arena. Additionally, the movie's producers will make themselves in a position to win a GOLDEN GLOBE and send a clear message of pro-activeness to the Hollywood Community.

All I want are a few points and the opportunity to direct. I'll relocate to Vancouver, B.C. if neccessary.

Lyle Zapato

Investment Opportunity: A NEW SPORT

Lyle Zapato | 2005-02-22.6240 LMT | Letters | Sasquatch Issues

Got a spare million lying around and want to send a Country-Western-driven message to those bastards in the Corporate Community who dare question your pro-activeness? Bob Cassell has a proposition for you:

From: "Robert Cassell" <bobcassell@hotmail.com>
To: lyle@zapatopi.net
Subject: A NEW SPORT
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 14:44:54 +0000

To Whom It May Concern

New Business Development is truly the life blood of any company.

A NEW SPORT opens up the avenues tremendously...from Sponsorships to General and Promotional Advertising and More.

It clearly sends a message to the Corporate Community that your agency is more than just pro-active. It screams volumes of positioning yourself as number one.

Permit me to explain.

I have created, developed and Market Tested with resounding success a NEW SPORT.

For an initial investment of approximately $1 million since the New Sport in question has been both proven and tested with resounding success the return should exceed $400 million per year.

So the logical next step is finding representation. Hopefully you will consider taking on such a project. Please understand that this is not just another good idea. Rather it is a proven and tested SPORT.

I have taken the liberty of listing the various revenue streams.

Television Rights Sponsorships Note: corporate sponsorsors will exceed the $1 million initial investment.
Events
Licensing
Merchandising
Video Games
Its Own Song...the name of the Sport written and performed by a Country Western artist
And The International Arena

The SPORT in question has no current competition, is family oriented, Country Western driven, is non-violent, has no season and pits men versus women in got wrenching racing competition.

All I want are but a few points and the opportunity to spearhead the project. The balance is for your discretion. You see I just received the greatest gift of all...my teenage daughter just beat Cancer. So I'm wealthy with joy and happiness. What more could I ask for.

Having a successful track record in New Business Development for major Advertising Agencies, the Fortune 100 and National & International Publishing organizations I speak from experience.

Hopefully I have peaked your curiosity.

Should relocation be neccessary I will be there in a heart beat to help make it become a reality and develop a host of New Business opportunities for you.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Respectfully
Robert H. Cassell
A Chicago Resident

Since I'm already heavily invested in the Cascadian Stomper League and have burned all bridges with the Corporate Community, I'll have to pass on this NEW SPORT, tempting as it may be. Sorry Bob, but good luck anyway.

Cascadian Stomper League logo
Get To Stompin'!
Lyle Zapato

Life Inside The Belgium Simulation

Lyle Zapato | 2005-02-19.6000 LMT | Belgian Conspiracy

A typical day in 'Belgium'.

Three people trapped in the Belgium Simulation have managed to create a documentary on the plight of so-called "Belgian Citizens" as seen from inside the simulation. While it is likely that they are not fully aware of the truth of their film due to the intense Belgian programming they are receiving from their captors, it nonetheless lets the outside world see just what is really going on in the heads of those who are forced to believe they are in Belgium. Download it quick before the Brussels Beast reconfigures itself.

Lyle Zapato

Belgium-Doubters Likened to Dimwitted Shar Pei

Lyle Zapato | 2005-02-09.3900 LMT | Belgian Conspiracy
Lyle Zapato

Lord Kelvin vs. Jackie Chan

Lyle Zapato | 2004-07-10.6050 LMT | Kelviniana

The Game Boy Advanced game Around the World in 80 Days (based on the recent Jackie Chan movie) features an appearance by Lord Kelvin:

Lord Kelvin as he appears in the 'Around the World in 80 Days' video game.

Unfortunately, the game makers knew that Kelvin would kick Chan's ass if given the chance -- which they couldn't allow in this Chan-vehicle -- so Kelvin has been relegated to the expositively non-action-packed beginning and end sequences. Here are screenshots from the end sequence where Kelvin is attacked with vicious lies and falsely arrested (the programmers had to make him immobile to keep him from single-handedly taking out this gang of cretins):

'Around the World in 80 Days' screenshots

Needless to say, this isn't exactly the best game ever made. However, as far as I know, it has the first appearance of Lord Kelvin in a video game. If anyone knows of any others, email me.