Tag Archives: marijuana

Did Regular Show have a secret marijuana joke?

There are two hidden gems on Cartoon Network’s regular, non-Adult Swim lineup: Regular Show and Adventure Time with Finn and Jake.

Upon first glimpse, they seem like the usual high-action, attention deficit comedy that has been born from the soggy corpse of SpongeBob SquarePants. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But both these shows seem to operate on a level above that of the usual SpongeBob clones. I guess the best comparison of both these shows would be something like Dexter’s Lab or Powderpuff Girls.

For example, Adventure Time is about a boy and his dog. However, the dialogue and dry humor give it the feel of an Adult Swim younger brother. But for the cherry on top, the whole show takes place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where characters refer to the “Mushroom War.”

Adventure Time makes jokes about nuclear war

As for Regular Show, if the lines were read by human actors, it would be one of College Humor’s funnier shows, or perhaps a very popular YouTube channel. But despite the fact that the show is extremely well written and largely devoid of the silliness that appeals to kids (and instead filled with the silliness that appeals to 20-somethings) the show is on Cartoon Network and aimed towards the younger set. Which is why I was surprised to find what I suspect is a hidden pot joke in the most recent episode, “Do Me a Solid” (ep #30).

In that episode, Rigby the raccoon gets his friend Mordecai the blue jay to do him ten solids in exchange for the one solid of going with him on a double date. However, Mordecai refuses to do the final solid, resulting in their house nearly being torn asunder by the power of the unfulfilled solid in a scene highly reminiscent of the penultimate scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

To stop them all from dying, Mordecai performs an apparently extremely embarrassing act that is kept off screen the whole time. You never really learn what it is, only compounding the humor. The writers know there is nothing they could do that would live up to expectations, so they simply do not show it. However, Rigby records the Mordecai’s mystery act, and then he and their various amigos watch it on a VCR. I could not help but notice the time on the humorously cliche VCR clock.

Notice the time, dude

Maybe this was just a coincidence.

Now, maybe the time was just a coincidence. After all, 4:20 pm is an actual time that normally occurs once per day, and for most people that doesn’t necessarily mean drugs.

However, as the show cuts back to the VCR, the time is suddenly different. Rather than 4:20 pm, it is 9:25 pm.

It suddenly jumped 5 hours and 5 minutes into the future!

Or maybe the VCR is just broken and randomly changes time?

Now, I’ll just pass this off as a normal discontinuity in a children’s cartoon show. I mean, what, are we to believe that this is some sort of a magic VCR or something?

However, in the next cutback to the VCR, the time is at 4:20 pm again. Furthermore, it is apparent that the 4:20 pm time was pasted over the original animation for the rest of the scene!

Clocks don't work like that!

So did they just add the 4:20 pm after the fact?

Why would they paste the time like that?

As this scene indicates, the 4:20 pm time was pasted over the original animation. But why would they do that? Perhaps the Korean animators messed up?

Or maybe they originally made the time 9:25 pm, only to be later corrected that it would be preposterous for Mordecai to announce that he was going to the arcade that late at night, and so the show’s creators pasted the arcade-appropriate 4:20 pm time at the last minute, but didn’t quite get every scene.

Or maybe the show just snuck in a pot joke.

But nah, that’s preposterous. Why would a show about two 23-year-olds who work lame jobs, have girl problems, love to play at the arcade, and have a friend named “High-Five Ghost” have any relation to marijuana whatsoever?

Now, you may dismiss this whole thing as an “Area Stoner Convinced Everyone On TV Also Stoned” sort of situation. After all, it is not as if Regular Show creator J.G. Quintel once made an animated short about two guys who talk about pot and acid, and then hallucinate while on acid, seeing themselves as characters who would later star in Regular Show.

Oh wait he totally did that.

Quintel’s “2 in the AM PM” featured mockups of a giant blue jay and a talking gumball machine, who would later become Mordecai and Benson in Regular Show.

I guess Mordecai was originally an acid-induced hallucination

Apparently, Benson was also originally an acid-included hallucination

Given Quintel’s artistic history, this little momentary 4:20 seems like it may be more than a simple mistake. Is Quintel throwing his own shout-outs into what otherwise is a kids’ show? Maybe Regular Show really does belong on Adult Swim. As the commercials say, “Regular Show: It is anything but.”

But secret pot jokes? Come on. I’m sure that Cartoon Network’s standards and practices would have caught this. I’ll just conclude the whole thing was a big animation mistake. Boy, I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder!

The middle one is me writing this blog entry.

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Flashback Friday: Rice Athletics Finally Takes My Advice

Over the past week, four Rice University football players have been arrested for various crimes ranging from theft, to felony possession of a firearm, to possession of marijuana.

Finally!

I’ve been saying for years that what Rice really needs to bring its athletics program up to national par is some grand controversy or scandal. As I wrote back in 2007, “Drugs, violence, sex: there are the signs of true champions. After all, a win is temporary, but a criminal record is forever… ish.” (pdf: Mintz Rice Athletics)

Sure, having a shotgun on campus isn’t raping a stripper, and you can probably find hundreds of students at Rice with a few ounces of pot in their rooms. But at least these football players are on the right path.

Then again, as the Houston Press points out, these crimes may soon be no crime at all:

In Rice’s defense, it should be noted that the crimes the players were arrested for may soon be obsolete, come the success of two political movements: a) the decriminalization of pot, and b) Allowing guns on campus.

These young men should be lauded as personally sacrificing to expose a government gone amuck. Shouldn’t the Second Amendment protect having a shotgun on a college campus? (Spoiler alert: No)

But the funniest part of the whole story is definitely the comments on the Houston Chronicle article. Notably, the comments implying that the football players were all thugs (black)!

Yup, these guys certainly were “thugs” from “the neighborhood.” For example, Cody Bauer, who was arrested for having a shotgun on campus, grew up in the tiny Pottsboro, TX, where he had perfect scores for five consecutive years on the standardized TAKS tests.

Or how about Cade Shaw, who attended Calallen High School, known for its strong Advanced Placement program and being the Alma Mater of former House Majority Leader Tom Delay. I mean, I won’t hesitate to call Tom Delay a thug, but I don’t think undermining Texas fundraising laws is what the Chron commenters had in mind.

And Phillip Gaines, who was arrested on a misdemeanor possession of two ounces or less of marijuana, is from Converse, TX, a San Antonio suburb that is 70 percent white. There he attended Judson High School, where he was a member of the National Honor Society. Everyone knows that all the thugs join the National Honor Society.

Finally is Kevin Gaddis, who was charged with theft of property valued between $50 and $500 and possession of two ounces or less of marijuana. He is from Midwest City, Oklahoma. I’m pretty sure that by definition any place called Midwest City, Oklahoma cannot qualify as “the neighborhood.”

These four guys may have screwed up on campus. But a cursory search reveals anything but stereotypical “thugs.” These guys had academic qualifications and attended schools known not just for their football programs but educational credentials as well. These creme de la creme of the Chronicle commenters may tend to the Obama-blaming, race-baiting that makes Chron.com so great, but I still feel the need to assert that Rice is anything but a “bigger school” and has certainly not “lost sight of [its] principles.”

Admittedly, I have never been the biggest fan of the Rice athletics program, viewing it as an underutilized resource that is a financial drain on the university. (pdf: mckinsey report) But there is certainly a degree of pride that a school as small as Rice can make showings in Bowl Games or the College Baseball World Series.

Given a cursory look at the situation, these guys were not thugs. I don’t know them personally, so they may be jerks, asshats, clowns, or any other sort of Rice-centric insult. But that just means they are like every other idiot at Rice who does something stupid. These guys are obviously from “the neighborhood,” that neighborhood just happens to be West University.

Is actor James Franco going to the University of Houston for creative writing???

Ah, thats better.

Uh, going around right now on the Facebooks is a rumor that James Franco, aka Spider-Man’s best friend who then chopped off his arm after being friends with Lindsay Weir, is going to be attending the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston for his Ph.D.

Just check out the CWP newsletter.

Maybe it is another James Franco? After all, it does seem a bit odd that he would be getting his Ph.D far out of the way from his normal stomping grounds in the north east. And he is already attending Yale for a Ph.D in English.

However, James Franco did get his degrees from those schools listed, and does have a habit of attending multiple institutions:

Dissatisfied with his career’s direction, Franco reenrolled at UCLA in the fall of 2006 as an English major with a creative writing concentration. Having received permission to take as many as 62 course credits per quarter compared to the normal limit of 19 while continuing to act, he received his undergraduate degree in June 2008 with a GPA over 3.5. For his degree, Franco prepared his departmental honors thesis as a novel under the supervision of Mona Simpson. He moved to New York to simultaneously attend graduate school at Columbia University’s MFA writing program, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts for filmmaking, and Brooklyn College for fiction writing,while occasionally commuting to North Carolina’s Warren Wilson College for poetry. He received his MFA from Columbia in 2010. Franco is a Ph.D. student in English at Yale University[90] and will also attend the Rhode Island School of Design.

Upon reflection, this doesn’t seem too big of a stretch. If this modern Renaissance Man wanted to get an excellent education in creative writing, one would be hard pressed to find a better program than the University of Houston.

However, given his proclivity towards characters that, say, would celebrate today’s 4/20 date in appropriate fashion, not to mention his performance at the Academy Awards, perhaps one would assume that Franco may be more at place getting his Ph.D. in Weedsmokology.

Admittedly, one shouldn’t doubt Franco’s academic aspirations. While he may seem to be reaching a bit in this manic degree-getting process, I would rather see celebrities trying to better themselves and set out on a path of Eudaimonic aspiration, attempting to be the best at what they do, rather than descend into pits of unproductive rehashing desperate to maintain some semblance of celebrity on reality television. (assume that this sentence linked to, oh, I dunno, Britney Spears? Flava Flav? Whatever)

But if Franco is going to be himself, or at least the public perception of him, then I recommend he spend some time hanging around the Moody Towers, which I’m convinced is not named after Shearn Moody or William Moody, Jr., but rather the Moody Blues. Which one would joke they listen to a lot in the Moody Towers. Because you listen to them while getting high from smoking pot. And the Moody Towers is known for being a place where lots of people smoke pot. So James Franco should go hang out there while he’s getting his Ph.D.

In conclusion, I hope that James Franco hangs around Houston and we can become best friends.

Edit: People currently getting their Ph.Ds in the Creative Writing Program say that while he accepted, he also accepted to several other schools and probably won’t attend the University of Houston.

Or maybe they’re just saying this so they can hang out with Franco and keep him all to themselves and not share him. Jerks.

Flashback Fridays: Nuclear Bongs, North Korea, and Pot at Cardozo

[EDIT: As seen on Above the Law]

Last month North Korea launched a small attack against a South Korean island. This was probably North Korea’s biggest provocation since its (failed?) test of a nuclear weapon. At the time, I referenced this event with a Rice Thresher Backpage titled: North Colleges Test Nuclear Bong. (pdf: North Colleges Test Nuclear Bong)

James Baker asked for an original copy of this Backpage.

I was rather proud of the Backpage at the time. The original drafts were a little too blunt (haha!) with some of the pot jokes, but then EIC David Brown helped smooth them out. In a depressing turn, apparently some Rice students did not quite get that map of Rice was supposed to be in the shape of North and South Korea, with North and South colleges at appropriate ends. But perhaps worse, some students didn’t even realize that was a map of Rice. Maybe if you don’t know what to look for, it is hard to see. Oh well.

Anyways, this Backpage is rather appropriate for a flashback this week. The Korean conflict may be a bit tardy, but it does demonstrate my habit of writing pot-related columns that will surely damn attempts at finding a job. Just this month, I wrote a column for The Cardozo Jurist about how the law school should provide free marijuana for students. It is supposed to be a satirical reaction to the law school’s new restrictions on alcohol and alcohol advertising, and also to the study aids pills that are normally popular during finals. And I’m sure I made some other points in the column, which you most certainly will find to be an exemplar of Swiftian wit. (pdf: Mintz cardozo jurist pot article)

However, this column is not the only reason why that Backpage was appropriate for this flashback friday. At the time, James Baker had just released a new book, titled: “Work Hard, Study…and Keep Out of Politics! Adventures and Lessons from an Unexpected Public Life.” I used the occasion to mock one of Rice’s resident talking clubs, the Baker Institute Student Forum, which did a very good job of discussing current events and then handing out name tags at Baker Institute speaking events.

Anyways, apparently James Baker’s wife, Susan Baker, has just written a book titled Passing It On. In an interview with the Houston Chronicle about her new book, Mrs. Baker demonstrated that either she is hilarious, or just doesn’t care anymore, or funny third thing, as she used the interview as an opportunity to talk about her sex life with the former Secretary of State, Secretary of Treasury, and Chief of Staff James Baker. I guess she wanted him to do to her what he did to the country during the 2000 election recount. (My jokes are so funny and topical!)

“I used to think I needed to be a good supportive wife, so I shouldn’t fuss or stomp around or be angry. But holding all that in makes you emotionally sick. So I started expressing my feelings. Jimmy was surprised at first, but over time, it gave him a new respect for me, and without a doubt deepened our relationship.”

She pauses for a second.

“Thank heavens for good sex. It can get you through a lot.”

I doubt that James Baker would request the original version of whatever Backpage is associated with this recent news event. As Tim Faust put it: The Baker Institute for Pubic Policy. Zing!