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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


The junk merchant doesn't sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client.

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


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"


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.


"Hey, I've said a million times: TNA still being alive today really makes me feel better about my own future. Right? I mean, there's an audience for anything, clearly. This could be the worst show of all time, and there would still be people that subscribe. That makes me feel good.

I try to have the best show I can, but I feel confident that no matter how bad it gets, clearly there will STILL be people listening.

And TNA has, uh... brought me some peace of mind".
-Bryan Alvarez on Lockdown 2014


"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."

"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."


    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 

In 2006, Berkley started a self-help website for girls called Ask Elizabeth. The idea came when Berkley’s husband commented on how many young girls ask Berkley for advice. He joked she should have her own column. That lead to the creation of a website. Berkley worked with MTV on the development of a reality show in which Berkley traveled across the country conducting workshops with teen girls to discus issues that were of interest to them. The show, also titled Ask Elizabeth, was scheduled to air in late 2008. But instead it was shelved indefinitely. Probably needed to make room for Teen Moms 17.
LeBeau, "What the Hell Happened to Elizabeth Berkley?"

In Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time, Patton Oswalt has a bit where he talks about what it really means to be successful as a comedian. He tells a story about being paid to do his act in front of a crowd so drunk that his mere presence is enough to earn a standing ovation, and how he received the offer to do that set (no new jokes, no material at all — just free money) forever, and how now he has to live with "the pulsing door of compromise and success", because at any point he can stop writing jokes and just make money. I bring this up because, in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Sandler described a similar moment where he made the exact opposite decision.

2013 was the year we took the Internet, with its near infinite content and potential, and decided to declare a frowning cat its God. When Grumpy Cat appeared at SXSW this year she drew a bigger crowd than some of the finest creative minds of our age. Does that worry you?

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... 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.

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"

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

I’m at a loss for words, I really am. This really is television for morons.

"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!
The Futon Critic, on Work It

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"

Nowhere is this more reflective than the most popular videos on YouTube, which I have previously described as the "TMZ" as websites, but is now better described as the "TLC" of the Web: a series of lowest-common-demoninator advertisements, sponsored content, and pop culture pandering that exists only to extract advertising revenue from the most disinterested and barely-alive populace that exists today.

    Web Video 

"Vince Russo is a deer caught in the headlines as long as there's a wrestling match going. As long as he can make it a phony B-movie script, or an outhouse in the ring, or woman having miscarriages—so get the wrestling matches outta there, 'cause nobody wants to see that shit anyway."

"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: Jay! What did you think of Paul Blarb Mall Blarb: Blarp Blarp?
Jay: What is the opposite of art?
Mike: Paul Blart.
Jay: "Art" is in the name, though, which is unfortunate. Paul Blart.
Mike: If those three letters could kill themselves, they would.

"It's like being dead for 90 minutes, except you get to eat popcorn."

"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 

Mike Bongiorno is an ideal that nobody has to strive for, because everyone is already at its level. No religion has ever been so indulgent to its faithful. In him the tension of what is and what should be is annulled. He says to his worshipers, "You are God, Stay exactly as you are."
Umberto Eco, "Phenomenology of Mike Bongiorno" (1961)

In the old dramas it was [[Loved I Not Honor More 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"

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.


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