Heads On Sticks & Ventriloquists

The prodigious writings of a tortured genius.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

You Don't Hate Napoleon Dynamite, You Hate Other People

Napoleon Dynamite is not funny. Well, not these days, that is. What’s that? Oh, you never thought the film Napoleon Dynamite was funny? Okay, well how about you tell me why you never thought it was funny?

"It’s so annoying, all everybody does is quote it all the time."

This is the answer most people give for disliking Napoleon Dynamite. It’s a very revealing answer about the many critics of the film. It represents a discontent more with one’s peers rather than the work of a filmmaker. Let’s face it, you don’t hate Napoleon Dynamite, you simply hate people.

I’m with ya brother, most people are mindless drones. We’re at the top aren’t we? We’re the upper echelon, the top crust on the pie, the filmic bourgeois. See how pretentious that sounds?

Let’s drop the act and go to an alternate universe, where Napoleon Dynamite is a cult underground movie that no one has ever heard of, except you and the rest of the film elite. Oh how you cherish quoting those silly lines with one another, laughing harder when the hoi polloi just don’t get what you’re talking about. The ‘common man’ doesn’t understand when you say to your friend across the room, "Do the chickens have talons?" and you love it. Don’t act like this would not happen, because it would.

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My friend has a "Vote For Pedro" shirt. What he doesn't have is a sense of humor.

Okay, now we’re back in the real world, where every single college student revels in quoting their favorite one-liners from Dynamite’s lexicon. This same thing happened years earlier with Austin Powers, and even before that with every Chris Farley movie. It’s just how things are, my friend. But don’t act like you thought Napoleon Dynamite was unfunny.

The movie was funny. There, I said it. Come out of the closet with me, friend. I think Napoleon Dynamite was a funny movie. It’s the same sort of absurd look at the oddities of midwestern middle class folks that makes it work. You think Stella (http://www.stellacomedy.com) -- with Michael Ian Black, David Wain, and Michael Showalter -- is funny, right? You think Upright Citizens Brigade (http://www.uprightcitizensbrigade.com) is funny, right? Imagine if Stella and UCB were really, really popular and had a line of Hot Topic knockoff t-shirts that said stuff like "We... don’t... have... this... money" or "Everyday I Put 50 Pennies Up My Ass!" – you would hate it.

Of course there are those of you who sincerely did not think Napoleon Dynamite was funny and/or you just don’t jive with the sense of humor in Stella and UCB. This post is not for you. Continue having a disagreeable sense of humor. The rest of you – to use a cliche, you know who you are – ignore the innundation of people saying "You’re just jealous because I’ve been chatting with babes online all day", and be on with your life. The people that quote these lines do it because the lines are funny. These people don’t really have a sense of humor, so they just use the quotes to be accepted. Can’t you let them be? Gosh! Okay, so they are irritating, but my point is that people that quote Napoleon Dynamite are annoying, but it’s them you hate, not the movie.


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