Sunday, October 28, 2012

The 6 Most Spectacular Low Points of Modern Pop Culture By:Seanbaby

 Over on Seanbaby wrote a pretty funny article on the low points, it includes wrestling and video games among others.  It's worth reading but here is the entry that is most relevant to the blog.  Follow the link at the bottom for the whole article, it's worth it.

#5. Comics -- Billy Ray Cyrus, 1995

There have been a number of strange celebrity comic books and bizarre crossovers. For 18 years, Bob Hope had a comic about sexually assaulting women; Eminem the rapper beat the crap out of the Punisher; and Jay Leno once helped Spider-Man defeat ninjas. They all pale in comparison to the Billy Ray Cyrus comic from the Marvel Music line.

In 1992, you couldn't get rid of the song "Achy Breaky Heart." It was the Lyme disease of music. For the entire year, it was how most radio stations told listeners that another 180 seconds had passed. If you lived in the country, this song spent more time in your ear than ear mite eggs and cousin tongues combined. Marvel Comics knew it had to create a comic based on Billy Ray Cyrus while he was the most famous singer in the world. Unfortunately, this comic didn't come out until three years and zero hit songs later.

Billy Ray Cyrus was written by Paul S. Newman, who holds the Guinness Record for most comics published -- 4,100. Obviously, you only get numbers like that by selecting your projects carefully and giving each of them your best effort. Which is weird, because this comic seems like something you would only write if you were looking for a fun way to tell the other Scooby-Doo scriptwriters that you quit.

The story begins with a young boy telling Billy Ray Cyrus about a Cherokee ghost he saw in an old fort. Billy Ray Cyrus believes it and invites him and his girlfriend backstage, where Cyrus is mostly nude and adjusting his mullet with a horse brush. He shirtlessly insists that they put on cowboy costumes and go camping with him. Most stories would end here, but this is Kentucky, where children are taught only to be afraid of snakes and fitness because "molestation" is too difficult to spell. So they agree. To everything.

The singer gives his new children friends rifles and flashlights, and they spend the evening looking for ghosts. In a fun twist, a nearby Cherokee scout sees them and thinks they are ghosts. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to play the victim near Indians under any circumstance, but this is a very hurtful stereotype. Some of my best friends are white, and yes, we sometimes get together and chase Pac-Man, but that does not mean all Caucasians are ghosts.

After deciding that the two teens and the country music standout were definitely ghosts, the Native Americans start a war chant and open fire on the fort. I'm not sure what's stranger -- the fact that mid-'90s Indians had a protocol in place for defeating fort ghosts, or that it was just yelling and arrows. I wasn't expecting proton packs, but shouldn't they summon spirit coyotes or weave a dream catcher or something? They went from "Hey, I think someone's over there" to "Kill the ghosts!" in less than five minutes. How many tourists have these maniacs accidentally killed?

I should mention that Billy Ray Cyrus and the kids think that the Indians are also ghosts. I don't blame them, since at this point literally nothing else would make sense. Billy Ray forms a brilliant plan -- he fire blanks at the undead with his vintage gun! Scientists say it's the same way he conceived Miley Cyrus.

Due to a weird stroke of luck, the Indians were using toy rifles, too. Wait, what? How many fucking ghosts are there in Kentucky that none of the state's gun owners thought they'd ever need real bullets?

After hearing two gunshots come from the fort, the Cherokees are now sure they're dealing with ghosts that have rifles and run the other way. By this point, some of the Native Americans are probably figuring out that nobody here is a ghost, but that would have no effect on their reaction. Running the other way is how all non-white people react when Billy Ray Cyrus makes noise.

The story ends with the chief fleeing into a bear, fleeing back toward the fort, and shrieking for the ghosts to shoot it. It's like the esteemed writer Paul S. Newman mistook "plot twists" for "Indians changing directions." By the time all the confused characters realize that the ghosts are Native Americans, Billy Ray Cyrus, and a terrified teen couple with nothing in common with ghosts in any way, they are completely numb to insanity. Which is good, because in the next story, the Billy Ray Cyrus tour bus accidentally drives to A.D. 1295, where he stops a medieval army with a laser gun.

I'm kind of amazed that you thought I might be kidding.

There are limits to fantasy. Even the author of this Billy Ray Cyrus comic, who felt that it was OK to send him back in time to fight knights and dragons, was unable to picture a world where anyone could tolerate his music.

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