Quotes: Lowest Common Denominator

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    Film — Live-Action 

I would like to voice my strong concern about this show's spiraling decline in ratings. David, ever since you took us to the Caribbean, it's been Jamaica homeless people sucking soup, and a big wave outside that cost a hundred thousand dollars. That's depressing and it's expensive, two words I hate. You know the words I like? I like the word "peppy" and the word "cheap". Peppy and cheap.
Edmund Edwards, Soapdish


Say no to brains, it's a no-brainer
Lowest common denominator
It pays the bills to be this sterile
Fuck me now, rip me off later

All we hear is Radio ga ga
Radio goo goo
Radio ga ga
All we hear is Radio ga ga
Radio blah blah
Queen, "Radio Gaga"

Like to tie up those programming planners
Make 'em watch all of that junk 'til their heads explode just like
Leech-covered grub-eatin' fools on
Look there's James Lipton discussing the
oeuvre of Mr. Rob Schneider
"Weird Al" Yankovic, "Couch Potato"


...vicious, lazy, profoundly ignorant, perpetually hungry organism craving the warm god-flesh of the anointed. Personally I like to imagine something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It's covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth, Laney, no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote. Or by voting in presidential elections.
Kathy Torrance describing Slitscan's audience, Idoru.

    Live-Action TV 

Human interest story
I won't look at you
I have no time for you
That beard of bees
It has no power over me
I won't not look at you
I have no time for you
Dunkin' Donuts, 2006 ad spot

Our purpose is to amuse, simply to amuse. Nothing serious, nothing political.

As some illustrious person once said, popularity is the hallmark of mediocrity.
Niles, Frasier


Hitchcock said a movie should play the audience like a piano. Death Race played me like a drum. It is an assault on all the senses, including common. Walking out, I had the impression I had just seen the video game and was still waiting for the movie.


Listen, I've spent my whole life defending movies that people tell me are evil, and they're not. I get told horror movies are bad for you and action movies are bad for you and erotic thrillers are bad for you — no. Little Man is bad for the world.

    Web Animation 

So the first thing we do when we set out to slop together a drab, tick-the-boxes, committee-designed, work-the-name-recognition-'til-its-organs-of-generation-dry-up-and-blow-away-like-dandelion-seeds reboot is to isolate everything that gave the original its unique appeal, edge, and soul, put on our big boots and stamp and stamp and stamp, until it can be posted through the letterbox of an ungrateful majority audience who'd be afraid of their own farts if they sounded one demitone higher than usual.
Zero Punctuation on Thief (2014)

    Web Original 

Now when I think of writers, I think of people who have something original to say and the gift of verbal communication to pass on their unique points of view to the public (i.e. Ernest Hemingway, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ted Geisel). Novelists, maybe some old time poets, journalists, people who have a burning desire inside to share their thoughts about subjects of which they have personal knowledge—- like Ted Geisel, have a great imagination and unique communicative skills. There is a another kind of writer though who has no particular point of view, no knowledge of the subjects he writes about, no imagination and no love for cartoons - and not the least amount of skill or talent for communicating anything fresh or interesting. These are "writers-for-hire" a kind of wimpy mercenary who will write anything for money on demand. This is what we had in the cartoon business in the 80s.

Bill couldn't get a whole helluva lotta momentum in the American McWorld (though he had a frequent spot on the Letterman show and did an HBO special sponsored by Rodney Dangerfield)...This stagnation is caused by producers and corporate sponsors who want to keep people as stupid and unthinking as possible. This is best exemplified in their censoring of Hicks' final performance on the Letterman show. It was never shown because of what the producers decided was unfit to air. It's the twisted cycle of maintaining public stupidity which continues, in a bulldozing fashion, to this very day. This whole situation shows how it's all right to tell brainless conventional jokes but it's not all right to step over the edge and poke fun at major sponsoring groups... The more substance and talking points you have in a show, the less attention you'll pay to the commercial break. Your mind would be too busy digesting and pondering the new information that was just received. U.S. media just can't have that. That would be a bullet in the heart of consumerism, capitalism, and the American Dream.
Cody Wayne, "Interesting Motherfuckers: Bill Hicks"

The 'wealth gap' we often hear about is equaled by the 'intelligence gap' that is kept secret. Those who really understand how the modern world works continue to improve their mastery over the ignorant, in the same way that the rich become richer and the poor become poorer. The ignorant scoff at the idea of social engineering and deliberate campaigns to change consumer habits, and yet it’s obvious that manipulating and managing the population is the optimal long-term strategy for every major corporation. It yields the best dividends. Instead of creating better ads, you destroy the type of thinking that resists ads. Instead of creating superior products, you emotionally cripple people to the point where they feel secretly desperate to buy your product simply in order to feel normal and accepted by society. You don’t need a grand conspiracy to make this happen, it’s just the natural end-game of capitalism. Everybody who understands how the world works can see this, and those who got the ball rolling around the time of the Industrial Revolution have been sure to pass down their trade secrets. Culture is a tool for managing consumers.

Britney released I am Britney Jean, a video cry for help documentary, if your idea of 'documentary' involves driving the Maysles brothers into a fit of tears over the legacy of art...The first question the alleged documentary filmmaker interviewer asks is 'what's your favorite bubble gum.' SHUT IT DOWN, BOB WOODWARD.
Jezebel, "Britney Spears' Delusional 'Documentary' is a Hot, Glittery Mess"

I know I pooh-poohed Miley Cyrus when she claimed that her Bangerz Tour was going to be a high-art educational experience, but I'll say it: I was wrong. These pictures from the first stop on her tour prove that it's clearly the kind of thing that will draw great minds like Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Honestly, this should be enough to convince any number of Ivy League Universities to grant Miley an honorary PhD for her work on this tour, but if they need something in writing, she could easily provide them with dissertations on the following:

Contemporary Amateur Hillbilly Stripping

Understanding Severe Histrionic Personality Disorder

Lack of Awareness, Accountability in a Post-Feminist Age

Fucking on a Hot Dog

That’s weird – you’d think people who have listened to Nickelback would be glad that they don’t sound like Nickelback anymore. On Wednesday, growly Canadian beer commercial band Nickelback released the video for their latest single “She Keeps Me Up”, and it’s a damn mess (and that says a lot, since a damn mess is the most accurate way to describe anything human wallet chain Chad Kroeger does).

“She Keeps Me Up” is from Nickelback’s eighth studio album No Fixed Address, and I don’t know if albums have themes, but if “She Keeps Me Up” is any indication, then I’m guessing the theme of No Fixed Address is either poor man’s Maroon 5 or lazy Train. It’s like Jessica Simpson’s A Public Affair had a backseat baby with a low-budget Rihanna impersonator, an electric guitar, and Dewey Cox’s version of Starman – which is probably the nicest thing I could say about “She Keeps Me Up”, to be honest. Unfortunately, the response from die-hard Nickelback fans hasn’t been so kind; Gawker has compiled some of the fan reactions on YouTube, and it’s pretty much the internet comment equivalent of stomping up to your room and slamming your door.

For the most part, they’re crying that this is Nickelback’s way of selling out and that they’re not “rock” anymore. Um, hello, were they ever considered “rock”? It was my understanding that the National Registry of Music Classifications (if that’s even a thing that exists) created a new genre specifically for them called Melodic Douche Grunts or Truck Tunes.
DListed, "Nickelback Doesn’t Sound Like Nickelback Anymore And Their Fans Are Pissed"

Social Entropy, for those unaware, is a term used to describe the predilection of all social systems and structures towards inevitable natural decay. One of the telltale signs of Social Entropy is a noticeable trend towards everything becoming predictable and homogeneous to the point all of society and its artifacts are reduced to their lowest common denominators...This is the end point of civilization, where everything is worn down, run down, boiled down and burned out. Sound familiar yet? If not, maybe go re-listen to Flo Rida or The Black Eyed Peas. Pop music is possibly the most entropic of our cultural signifiers, and Miley Cyrus concerns about this are simply all over Bangerz, and in particular 'We Can't Stop'.

This movie was buried before it was even released. A director that only goes by a one name moniker spends nearly 30 million of his own money and films in 28 countries for his own vanity project. Reviewers and the studio saw it as pretentious overindulgence. The studio shelved it for two years and limped it out in theaters. When it was released, reviewers took its production and shelving to rip it apart before even watching it... That explains the one a**hole in my audience who was more than vocal about his dislike of the movie and camped outside the exit to tell people who liked it otherwise. I wanted to bitch him out in front of his friends, but there's no point. He will always be the Michael Bay wanking, Michael Bolton loving jack off and there is nothing I can do to convince him this was a great movie.

This is exactly the type of comic that Fredric Wertham would have cited in Seduction of the Innocent as an example of how comics were destroying the minds of America's children. If there's anything I know about Wertham, he was a guy who hated sex, drugs and stabbing, and this is a comic that has all three in spades.

Today, no one is terribly worried that this comic might have a negative influence on our kids. In fact, there were no labels anywhere on these comics that suggested they might even be for mature readers. And there certainly should be, because this is essentially just a Saw movie crossbred with that old HBO special where a young Ben Affleck got addicted to steroids. Any negative response to The Rise of Arsenal had to do with the quality of the book itself as opposed to the nature of its content. I suppose this suggests that some of us (including me) are less concerned about exposing youngsters to sex and violence than we are to having them read bad comics.

It appears that given the choice between going to series with Doctor Who and producing another season of Sliders Fox opted for the latter. To be fair to the TV Movie, for all of its innumerable flaws it is not, in fact, worse than Sliders. The reason Sliders was picked ahead of it was purely that Sliders was made in-house by Fox. In fact the TV Movie is about as good as Sliders, which is in some ways more damning. There's a slightly irritating current of thought about the TV Movie that suggests that its problem is that it's 'American' ...The problem isn't that it's American, but that the specific type of American television it's emulating is mediocre, and it has no ambitions whatsoever towards surpassing that mediocrity. The TV Movie is trying to be bland and pointless American sci-fi, it succeeds admirably, and for that, at least, it is rightly hated.

One of the great things about people is that if you put them on TV, they'll do anything to win. Sometimes they're not even sure if they're on a show with prizes, or what the prize is—they will debase themselves and taunt their own god to win. For proof, three different groups of women have competed to let Flavor Flav inside them, and he looks like something that crawls out of bogs to replace our babies with changelings ...Then there's the dull anticlimax of eliminating the leftover girls after you run out of flowers. 'I'll keep you, you, you, oh, I'm out of roses. Looks like all that's left in this flower basket is fuck you and get the fuck out.' This antiquated system takes so long that during one Flavor of Love elimination, a girl had to relieve herself on the floor. It was like this epiphany hit her—when you lose all dignity, you can just shit where you stand! Or maybe her sphincter saw its one opportunity to express its opinion of the show and took it.

This got made! And is going to series!

Facing stiff competition from the ever-cunty Two and a Half Men and Jersey Shore, the UK edition of Deal or No Deal fully deserves the opening award for being the most insufferable puddle of rhinoceros piss to ever contaminate television screens. Firstly, there's the concept: someone chooses a box to open from a selection of boxes……and that's it. Each box has randomly assigned amounts of money inside, of which the contestant loses the chance to win when opened. It's completely random. And viewers lap this shit up like it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. People watch other people opening boxes, glued to the fucking screen. Every. Fucking. Day. CUNTS!
The Flying Guillotone, "2011 Cunt Awards"

The newest media doc on the block is Dr. Mehmet Oz. When he was first seen on Oprah, he seemed engaging and answered some interesting questions in a real and professional way. The audience loved his blue scrubs and boyish clean cut open style.

That was then.

Let’s face it: the media spotlight seems to corrupt even the best physicians. Dr. Oz now has his own show and website and production company. That is a pretty big infrastructure to maintain and we know that the public is fickle. So what does he do? ...An upcoming show asks “Can you climax from intercourse?” Gee, is this a health question that needs an answer by an expert? ...His website deals with topics like “What his erection is telling you” and “Dangerous health secrets men keep”. Could what his erection is telling you be a dangerous health secret?

Enough Dr. Oz. Please stop embarrassing our profession. See a patient with atrial fibrillation and do something important with your skills.

Dr. Oz, why the goofy business shoes with scrubs?
Dr. Toni Breyer, "How fame has corrupted Dr. Mehmet Oz"

The Gallagher of our generation. Dane Cook is a "comedian" that everyone seems to love despite his extreme mediocrity. His amazing lack of jokes combined with his ability to run around the stage like a five-year-old without his meds appeals to anyone without a soul or any knowledge of comedy. His trite and obvious observations contain no punchlines and often appeal to people with short attention spans.

You ever go into the bathroom and everything is WET? The floor is wet! The counters are wet! Everything's wet! —Dane Cook

Uh... could it be because people piss on the floor and wash their hands aggressively? —Andy Kindler

It's hard to imagine now, but twenty years ago, Jay's monologues were... not 'funny', exactly, but certainly tolerable by late night standards. His jokes were definitely sharper and more topical than those of Johnny Carson, who had been phoning it in for years as a man with no real competition left... Somewhere in the intervening years, Leno had started phoning it in just as badly as Carson, doing embarrassingly awful, hacky material. And yet somehow, he became the highest rated late night host and stayed that way until the bitter end. And I know a lot of people reading this think that Jay was only popular with senior citizens who don't understand how to work the remote control well enough to change the channel, but the fact is, Jay not only had the most total viewers, he was also consistently beating other talk shows in the coveted younger demographics. It's a bitter pill for some to swallow, but there really is a whole other America out there that they know nothing about, made up of people who watch Duck Dynasty and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Teen Mom, who think of Fox News as a legitimate source of news, and who love Jay Leno.

    Web Video 

Am I not smart enough for this? Is this some kind of experimental avante-garde thing that's just going way over my head? Because unless someone makes an argument, I'm just going to assume that I'm not dumb enough for this; that I've just got too much going on in my head; that I can't absorb something this awful.
Todd in the Shadows on Mario's "Break Up" ft. Sean Garrett, Gucci Mane

Mike: Sandler and co. turn up the comedy in this new film which is as satisfying as it is hilarious!
Jay: Grown Ups 2 is like eating rat poison: It really is a good idea!
Mike: Sandler is hilarious in Grown Ups 2! It's like fork in the brain! Fork in the brain!
Jay: Adam Sandler's funny, bro! I wanna get chocolate wasted!
Mike: Stop thinking, brain, you're going to hurt yourself.

Y'see, the average human IQ is 100, so if you want your film to make money, you've gotta aim for 'average.' Just look at the top box office films of all time, and then consider suicide. It's the reason a high-quality film like Hugo earned nearly ten times less than a movie like Shrek 2.

    Real Life 

In the old dramas it was love that had to be sacrificed to painful duty. In the modern instance the sacrifice is at the shrine of what William James called 'the Bitch Goddess, Success.' Love is to be abandoned for the stern pursuit of newspaper notoriety and dollars.
Aldous Huxley "Silence is Golden"

It is the present, and I find myself sitting in an office. At first, I think that somebody is making a shopping list. But then, I realize that I am in the production office of That's Life! The liver and kidneys referred to are this week's star organ transplant. And as for the vegetables... they are this week's audience.
Victor Lewis-Smith

The more your musical experience, the easier it is to define for yourself what you like and what you don't like. American radio listeners, raised on a diet of _____ (fill in the blank), have experienced a musical universe so small they cannot begin to know what they like.