Tag Archives: Scrappers

From the Mr. BTaRchives

6 May

May 6, 2014

This blog has been on WordPress since 2009. It has been around a lot longer than that, but you had to be on MySpace to see it, and we all know what happened with that site. So when everyone upped and moved out of MySpace one day, leaving me all alone (“Hey, where’d everyone go? Huh? What’s a “Facebook”?) I moved most of my old posts over to WordPress and continued on.

But while the posts were the same, the look was not. Although I didn’t keep any screencaps, I found a lot of old images of the blog on the Internet Archives site. Here is a smattering of the old looks of Mr. Blog’s Tepid Ride.

1btrnov2009

Here we are, back in November of 2009, and I love the white text on a black background. However, I got a few complaints that it was hard to read so that didn’t last long. There are a few things worth mentioning here. First, the header. I took that picture myself in Coney Island. Since then, Astroland has been sold and the rocket has gone with it. If you go there today the burger boy is still there, but the rocket is long gone. The header also features one of my old taglines, “It is what it is.” We’ll see some more tags later on. That page also features my old bio, before the current one written by Mac of BIOnighT.

 2btrfeb2010

This is from February 2010. The black background is gone and you can see a little more of the Coney Island header. (There is much more to that image, still unseen.) I liked this theme because it leaves the header image clean. The sidebar has one of my favorite “raves,” from Jim at relicradio.com.

3btrapr2010

This is April 2010 and we’ve gone to a more modern header. In fact, I’m currently using a variation of that header right now. Do you see the grammatical error in this one? It isn’t really an error. At the time this was made, the software didn’t support apostrophes. I figured it looked good and no one would notice. The tag has also changed, to “some guy’s idea of fun,” which I still think sums this blog up.

4btrjune2010

June 2010 and we’re starting to look familiar. I changed to the current theme, but I’m using one of the generic WordPress color schemes. The tag has changed once more, to “Based on the novel “Mr. Blog” by Sapphire,” which is making me chuckle as I type but may be too dated to reuse.

5btraug2010

August of 2010 brought a new tag (“A shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist. Wait- that’s Knight Rider.”) as well as a new “rave,” from the multi-talented JRD Skinner of flashpulp.com. He picked right up on my Superman obsession. There is also a “contact me!” link, which today can be found at the bottom of the “About me” page. I have to warn you, though- now, as then, I never check that email. All I ever get is spam about people wanting me to run their ads.

6btrjan2011

January of 2011 and I’ve changed to the green color scheme, which won’t last long. The tag has also changed to something close to my current tag. The header image is the first of a few city scenes and highway signs I’ve used over the years. This version of the blog added a few new pages, including the Scrappers page which is mercifully long gone. I added the Invisible Man founder image, and it popped up once or twice more over the years. I also wasted a lot of space with more “raves,” none of which appear on the blog anymore due to, quite honestly, my embarrassment. This particular Conway Twitty post still gets a ton of hits and the occasional angry comment.

7btrapr2011

In April 2011 I added the custom background which looks a lot better now than it does here. It still isn’t quite finished yet, but this is close to the way the blog currently looks. The founder is gone, replaced by my teaser (and I still love that ad) for the return of Mr. Know-It-All.

8btraprlate2011

Here we are. I added the sidebars, and there’s my Conrad Bain plaque. (Why? Why not?) You can also see an early version of the long running city header, which ran for longer than any other image.

There have been some other changes along the way, including a ton of American Chopper headers, and the Tepid Zombie header, which I still dust off when appropriate.

zombie-header

By the way, here’s the full Coney Island rocket header:

16_astroland_rocketBMJ2K

The graffiti on the windows is my addition, but the rest of the building looks the same if you go there today, except for the rocket.

The blog hasn’t changed much in the last three years. The tag changed yet again, and there are some other small alterations. The site is due for another change, but no matter what, I promise not to go back to the white letters on black background.

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The Unreality of Reality Television

19 Dec

December 19, 2012

There is nothing real about reality television. That is why shows like Keeping Up with The Kardashians are not called documentaries.

There is nothing real about reality television.

Dave Hester of Storage Wars is suing the show for seeding valuable items in the “locked and unopened” storage lockers they bid on. (http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/12/11/torage-wars-star-dave-hester-says-show-is-fake-suing-report-says/)

TLC’s new show, Amish Mafia, is actually a “recreation” using actors, although the network claims the stories are real. (http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/amish-mafia-taking-care-business-amish-country-135820402–abc-news-tv.html)

TruTV, ironically, airs all kinds of “reality television,” but they are so far from reality that they had to make up yet another term. Now Operation Repo is known as “Actuality.” And yes, Operation Repo is scripted. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Repo)

Breaking Amish featured on cast member who was not Amish, and another who was not what she claimed at all. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/22/breaking-amish-rebecca-divorced-video_n_1999071.html)

I was watching an episode of Storage Wars Texas, which is a Storage Wars spinoff, when I saw the following scene. A cast member bid on and won a locker. He went inside to see what he bought but there was a large screen in the middle blocking the rest of the locker. He went up to it and peered through one of the slats and a huge grin crossed his face and he yelped for joy. There was something good in there, of course. So what was the problem? It was filmed from the reverse angle. In other words, we saw him open the slats and grin from the other side of the screen, from a camera angle from the back of the locker. There was already a camera in the back of the locker set up to get that shot! And “set up” is the right term. Obviously the producers and directors and camera men and the bidder too knew what was in the locker and worked to create the best shot they could. So where is the reality?

I’ve written a lot about so-called reality television, predominately American Chopper, but I also recapped a full season (the only season) of Scrappers. I live in the exact area where that show was filmed and took a lot of nonsense from people writing in to defend the “reality” of the show. (http://bmj2k.com/2010/09/23/scrappers-mail-letters-from-people-who-love-scrappers-and-hate-me/) Trust me, I know what was fake on that show.

Then there is Hardcore Pawn, a show I wrote about once and only once yet is one of my most popular blogs. (http://bmj2k.com/2011/07/18/my-review-of-hardcore-pawn/) One of the most popular searches that lead people to it is “why do they always wear the same clothes?” The answer is because the show is heavily edited. What looks like happens in one day really often takes place over weeks and weeks. They need to wear the same clothes during filming so you don’t notice the editing. Do they get a lot of weird people? Yes they do. But their producers search out many more to come in.

Long Island Medium is a classic fake, with a scam whose history goes back centuries yet people still fall for it. Do just a little research, you can do what she does with a fair bit of success yourself. I’ve done it, you can be a medium too.  (http://bmj2k.com/2011/10/24/my-review-of-long-island-medium-3/)

Watch any Real Housewives- they are all acting for the camera. Situations are clearly and obviously set up. Most reality shows look fake because they are fake. Period.

Somehow even The Apprentice, a show I wrote about many, many times and I am sure I will write about many more, is called reality television. How? (http://bmj2k.com/2012/10/17/the-celebrity-apprentice-all-stars/)

Deadliest Catch is the show I consider closest to reality. The job is so dangerous anyone would be insane to let the producers direct the action, and the captains have too much money on the line to allow it. But a show like that is also heavily edited, and much of the personal drama amped up and exaggerated.

So I for one am glad that American Chopper is over. Am I biting the hand that feeds me? No, I never hid my disdain for that show. But if anyone writes to this blog again defending anyone on reality television again, I want you to include your latest medical reports because you must be nuts.

Now Serving Food

27 Dec

December 27, 2011

I haven’t written about Scrappers in a while. You do remember Scrappers, don’t you? The hit Spike TV show, now in its third triumphant season of ratings dominance?  Of course you don’t, it was cancelled after one lousy season. The show featured a bunch of lowlife stereotypes and caricatures from my neighborhood who had trouble making a living as Fred Sanford.

I pass fairly regularly one of the places featured in a couple of episodes of the show, a place called Lolly Tap’s. I’ve never been inside. Today I was walking by and a banner flapping in the breeze on their storefront caught my eye. I liked it so much I had to snap a picture. It was taken from across the street with my cell phone so the resolution isn’t the best but you can still see what I saw. 

Catch it?

Their awning, as always, reads “luncheonette” on one side and “friendly neighborhood eatery” on the other.

Below that is a new banner which reads “NOW SERVING FOOD.”

WTF? They never served food before? What kind of luncheonette never served food? How was it an eatery if they didn’t serve food?

They must have made a lot of money from beer. Those rich Scrappers spent a lot of cash there, as much as $10 bucks, perhaps.

The banner also reads “open 7 days a week.”

At 1pm on a Saturday they were closed.

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