The 4th Annual Snap Judgement Oscar Awards!

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Tomorrow all the Hollywood types, that have yet to invite me into their exclusive club, get together in L.A. to pat themselves on the back. This is my wildly popular annual feature where I , without having seen any of the movies, suggest who should win all the major Academy Awards, otherwise known as The Oscars. Yes, I am able to let go of my grudge and any related animosity towards the Academy for never having given me an Oscar for blogging. I’ll start with the lesser categories, such as Losers  Best Supporting Actor and Actress and work my way up to Best Picture.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: The nominees are: Mahershala Ali in Moonlight, Jeff Bridges in Hell or High Water, Lucas Hedges in Manchester by The Sea, and Michael Shannon in Nocturnal Animals. Jeff Bridges and Lucas Hedges are both out because their last names are the plural of an inanimate object. Michael Shannon is out because his name is actually two first names and one of them is a girl. The winner is, drumroll please, Mahershala Ali because he might be the son or grandson of Muhammed Ali, who could probably still beat me up if I don’t choose his grandson.

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Best Actress in a Supporting Roll: The nominees are: Viola Davis in Fences,  Naomi Harris in Moonlight, Nicole Kidman in Lion, Octavia Spencer in Hidden Fences, Michelle Williams in Manchester by the Sea. My first instinct was to go with Nicole Kidman because she’s really attractive, but the fact that her hubby, Keith Urban always looks like his hair hasn’t been washed in months ruled her out. Next up was Octavia Spencer who almost won my Snap Judgement Oscar Award because Octavia sounds like a villain from a James Bond movie. I didn’t give Naomi Harris a single thought. Michelle Williams almost won because I first thought she was actress Kimberly Williams who is married to Brad Paisley. Drumroll please, the winner is Viola Davis, but in an upset, it’s not for her role in Fences but for her brilliant work as bad ass boss Amanda Waller in the Marvel comics Suicide Squad movie.

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Best Actor in a Leading Role: The nominees are: Andrew Garfield in Hacksaw Ridge, Ryan Gosling in La La Land, Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic, Denzel Washington in Fences, Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea. I didn’t see Manchester, but Casey Affleck is ruled out because of that picture above. Who wants to see a movie featuring the less bad Affleck brother moping on a beach? Ugh. No thanks. Andrew Garfield got consideration due to his previous work as Spiderman, but he’s like 40 years old playing a 20 year old in the army. I think he has grandchildren. I didn’t know Ryan Gosling even acted. I thought he was just a stupid internet meme. Denzel? Look Denny, the ladies love you, and that should be enough. In an incredible twist, my Snap Judgement Oscar Award for Best Actor goes to Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool. Funniest movie of the year.

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Best Actress in a Leading Role: The nominees are: Isabelle Huppert in Elle, Ruth Negga in Loving, Natalie Portman in Jackie, Emma Stone in La La Land, Meryl Streep in Foster Florence Jenkins. Isabelle Huppert and Ruth Negga are both ruled out because I’ve never heard of them or their movies. No offense ladies. I’m sure you’re lovely, but if I haven’t heard of you or your movie then neither is good enough to win. Meryl Streep, sorry. You’ve already won too many awards. You’re too good an actress to win this. Natalie Portman does deserve one for her work as Princess Amidala in one of the Star Wars movies and if there’s any justice in this world she’ll return and replace Carrie Fisher in a gold bikini. That would win an award! The Snap Judgement Oscar Award for Best Actress goes to Emma Stone, not for La La Land, but for her work in two Spiderman movies and The Rocker, co-starring Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute from The Office.)

Here’s the big one…

Best Picture nominees are: Manchester by the Sea, La La Land, Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, Lion, and Moonlight. Lion and Moonlight are out because the titles are too short and unmemorable. If they put them together and made the movie “A Lion in the Moonlight” I would go see that. Separately they just suck. Hacksaw Ridge and Hell or High Water both sound too violent. The world doesn’t need more violence right now. Manchester by the Sea? Puh-leez! Casey Affleck never even went in the Sea when he was in Manchester. The title is a lie. Hidden Figures? No thanks. I want movies about things I can see. La La Land? Nonsense titles are no good, just ask The Police (Da Doo Doo Doo..) and The Beatles (Obli de, Obli da…) . Fences? Enough with the building walls. Denzel Gorbachev Washington, “take down that wall”. The 2017 winner of The Snap Judgement Oscar Award for Best Picture is Arrival because it stars the adorable Amy Adams who played the girlfriend of Jim Halpert for a season on The Office.

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Feel free to share on social media! Have a great weekend! ~Phil

Friday Poll: What Would Your Superpower Be?

Image courtesy DC Comics and Hanna-Barbera

Image courtesy DC Comics and Hanna-Barbera

 

In the comments, explain why you chose your answer and what you might do with that power. Have a great Friday! ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! We’re All Gonna Die!

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(02/16/13) “We’re all gonna die!” It seemed very funny to shout that during a fire drill my freshman year at Cicero High School. It was still funny to my friend John Martin and I after we realized our only consequence would be a stern talking to by the principal. Yes, when confronted I dragged my friend into it. He dared me to, I said.

What happened was that in the midst of 2000 students being evacuated from our high school I turned to my friend John and said, Do you dare me to yell “We’re all gonna die?” Of course John took me up on my offer and unwittingly became my accomplice when I caught heat from the man. At the time I was young and foolish with no concept of my own mortality. I thought death was something to be laughed at.

I no longer think death is funny. I generally still do not believe in my own mortality, but I’m starting to hedge my bets in this regard. Just because it happens to other people doesn’t mean it will happen to me. As my mother always said, “If your friend jumped off a bridge does that mean you have to?” Much to my mother’s eternal satisfaction I am answering NO. If you want to die, go ahead and do it, but I refuse to be a follower.

My problem is that yesterday a meteor or meteors filled the sky over Russia and actually hurt some people. Also some scientists with a telescope larger than a third world country notified us that an asteroid would be buzzing our planet today close enough to knock some branches off of the trees in my back yard. I may not believe that I’m going to die, but I’m not completely unrealistic. I will admit that an asteroid, in most cases, is larger than me and if it hit me in the head I would have a hard time surviving that. Yes, I know I have a large head, but not large enough that it has it’s own gravitational pull.

Who I’m really angry at is the scientists. Damn them and their ever inquisitive minds! Why did they have to tell me this? Did anyone here really want to know that getting hit by an asteroid the size of Rhode Island is a possibility? In this case ignorance is bliss. Why couldn’t the scientists just leave well enough alone? My entire life I’ve been at the top of the food chain and that has been a pretty secure feeling. Now this. Now I have to spend the rest of my life staring up at the sky looking for asteroids.

In general I figure that if a really big one hit the Earth I’d be fine as long as it didn’t hit me directly in the head. Maybe all this is why the scientists developed the male birth control pill. They just figured that if we’re all gonna die then we might as well start getting jiggy with it. Yes, that’s right, I said jiggy. I’m bringin’ jiggy back. In fact, that’s probably the new science geek pick up line. “Hey baby, you know we might get hit by an asteroid any minute, so why don’t you just go ahead and get jiggy with me? Obviously I’m cool enough to say jiggy, but the scientists aren’t.

When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I’m going to pass a law stating that if the scientists see an asteroid headed our way, unless they have some way to make the entire planet duck out of the way, they should just shut the hell up.

If you enjoy my nonsense and want to make sure you don’t miss an episode until the big one hits, you can subscribe to The Phil Factor on your Amazon Kindle and follow me on Facebook by clicking the Like button at http://www.Facebook.com/AuthorPhilTaylor. If you’re a Cicero High School alum click the Facebook Share button below so we can continue to reminisce together about our high school highjinks and so that this eventually gets back to John, who is probably still mad that I sold him out.

Wordless Wednesday! Eerie in Erie

Have a great Wednesday! ~Phil

Top Ten Tuesday! Ten Things That Are Better Than Ezra

Yes, I realize that this would have been so much funnier had I done it 20 years ago, but it just occurred to me today. In the 90’s though there may not have been a better song than their song Good. So, without further explanation, here are Ten Things That Are Better Than Ezra: 

10: Ezra’s older brother Chuck: Chuck was the big athlete, homecoming king and seemed to have a gift with the ladies while Ezra stayed home practicing his guitar.

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9. Zima: Both Zima and the song Good came out in 1993. Zima had a good 15 year run before it was discontinued. Better than Ezra, not so much. If you’re interested, you can still get Zima in Japan.

8. Friends: Great TV series that my kids think is completely corny as I watch it in re-runs.

7. E-mail: It was just starting in the late 90’s and didn’t we all check our e-mail every five minutes because it was exciting to get something that someone on the other side of the office sent five minutes ago.

6. Old school video games like Super Mario and Donkey Kong: Very underrated in the 90’s. There wasn’t blood or game ratings. We just played games.

5. Blog posts without pictures: Ok, there were no blog posts in the 90’s, but still, when I started in 2005 we didn’t need no stinkin’ pictures to get our posts read! To be truthful, my laptop died this week and because of that, I’m doing this from a far inferior device that makes downloading and adding media a challenge.

3. Everything: That’s right. Everything was better in the 90’s. Now, virtually anything and everything may cause cancer.

2. Compact Discs: Compact discs were better than digital stuff. You could hold them and look at the cover and sometimes read the words. You could even burn your own discs.

1. Gluten: In the 90’s there was no such thing as Gluten intolerance! We were accepting of gluten, lactose and peanuts. In the 90’s compact discs were atually made out of gluten and peanuts and no one died from them.

Hey Better Than Ezra, I’m sorry that you got dragged into this. Your album was definitely one of the good things of the 90’s. I hope you’re doing well. Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

Facebook, or FaceCrook?

Clever title, right? Take that Mark Zuckerberg you evil twerp. Based on that last sentence and my title I’m pretty sure that the Facebook algorithm will find a way to bury this post waaaay down people’s timelines.

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We’re all doing it. Sometimes we do it in the privacy of our own home. Sometimes we do it in our cars, sometimes we even do it at work. It takes only a few minutes if you’re good at it. We “Facebook”.

‘Facebook’ has become a verb. The grandfather, or maybe I should say Godfather of social media is ubiquitous. (I like using the word ubiquitous because it sounds smart. Not when I say it of course. I sound like an idiot, but if you use it in something you write it’s one of those smart words that make your point seem a little better. Obviously, there aren’t enough smart words to help this blog out). As smart people say, I digress. (look at me go with them there smart word thingies) My point is that Facebook is almost universal. What started out 13 years ago this month as a geeky college student’s way to meet chicks (and I say chicks with the utmost respect for all chicks) has become almost a worldwide registry of humanity. Those of us that are on it think it’s weird when we find people who are not.

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Typical conversation:

Me: Hey, can I find you on Facebook?

Other Person: No. I’m not on Facebook.

Me: Uh, what’s wrong with you? How do you talk to people?

Why am I talking about FB today? Two reasons: 1) Last night when I sat down in my recliner with a glass of wine to start writing today’s Phil Factor, I put in a Google search for “trending topics”. On one particular sites trending topics page was 9 articles about Facebook. If Facebook is the top trending topic how can I ignore it? Apparently Facebook admitted that it’s human editors suppressed articles expressing conservative views in it’s trending news feed. So of course Facebook decided to replace human editors with an algorithm to determine what news we will see on FB. Yes, people replaced by machines, again. Thank God for that. Way too many people are super annoying. I know this because I’m friends with them on Facebook.

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Some statistic somewhere says that 98.5% of people get their news from Facebook. Is it good that Facebook has a computer program deciding what news we see? Because Facebook is so universally used, their algorithm has the potential to sway public opinion. Who cares?!!? We know where to get our real, biased news if we want to. We know the liberal news shows and websites and we know the conservative news shows and websites. Get over yourselves everybody. News has been biased since the first cave painting depicting Grog taking out a woolly mammoth with a coconut. (Shocker, the mammoth actually tripped, fell and broke it’s neck. Grog is a liar. Fake news! Sad!)

After reading my last point, I guess Mark Zuckerberg isn’t really an evil twerp. He might be for other reasons, but not because his website controls the news you see. Perspective is like a telescope; you only see what you point it at. Look at a different website, like #ThePhilFactor, if you want a different view. Two paragraphs ago I said I had two reasons to talk about Facebook today. I can’t remember what the other is now. Maybe I’d better go check Facebook to see what I should be talking about.

If you all want to be ironic and vex Facebook’s algorithm you can share this to FB by hitting the share button below. Have a great Saturday!  ~Phil

TBT! If We We’re Having Coffee I’d Probably Want To Punch You

(02/28/15) On Saturdays many people post a “If we were having coffee…'” post as if they’re telling you what they would tell you if  you had coffee with them. This is my “If we were having a beer…” sarcastic version of that after a really annoying week.

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The Dress: Seriously? Why did the whole world spend all of Thursday staring at a picture of this dress on the internet? Is it blue and black or gold and white? Who cares?!!? Idiots! I’m doing internet research to find out what company makes this dress and I’m investing all my savings in them. Do horizontal stripes make my hips look big?

Audible books: I read a blog this week where someone went on and on about their audible reading. Guess what? It’s not reading! It’s listening! I don’t care if you listen to books on CD or the internet. It’s a great way to hear a story or learn something, but…You. Are. NOT. Reading. I listen to music on the radio, but it doesn’t mean that I’m singing. Reading is reading and listening is listening.

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The Sleep Number Bed: The ads are everywhere. Maybe even in the middle of the audiobook you’re ‘reading‘. “What’s you’re sleep number?” You know what my sleep number is? My sleep number is that I close my fecking eyes and go to sleep! It’s not rocket science. Why do I need a sleep number? If I have to do math just to get into bed, I’m pretty damn sure I’m not going to sleep right away. How long before “what’s your sleep number?”  becomes a cheesy pick up line? If I had a reason to pick anyone up I’d already be using it.

My lazy neighbors and lazy postman: It’s been snowing like crazy where I live for the last six weeks. My mailbox is on a post with three other mailboxes. Between the town snow plows and my neighbor with the snow blower, our mailboxes have almost been completely buried to the point that the post office refused to deliver mail for three days… until I shoveled the mailboxes out. Why am I annoyed by this? First off all the post office’s motto includes the words “neither snow nor nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Apparently that’s a big lie.  Secondly, I don’t have a working snowblower nor an intact rotator cuff in my left shoulder, yet I had to shovel out the mailboxes. How freaking long were my neighbors just going to not worry about getting mail? Lazy jerks. Abe across the street, you’re forgiven because I know your rotator cuff is torn too.

Speaking of Snow…Hey Boston, shut up. It’s snowing everywhere else in the northeast too. We’re just not whining about it on the news every day. That picture below is what the rest of us do when it snows. Get over yourselves.

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The “Reply All” People: This is a public service announcement: Do not hit ‘reply all’ unless you have been specifically requested to do so. The rest of  us hate that. If you enjoyed #ThePhilFactor, however, now is the time to show off your “Reply All” skills by clicking the Facebook, Twitter, or reblog buttons below. Have a great weekend! ~Phil