Potvin Newsly

Friday, December 21, 2007

Camp Entertainment Earns Gold Medal, Kills Itself

Recently, the USO hit a metaphorical home run so far that the ball was launched into orbit, destroyed a nearby galaxy, and physically distorted the shape of the universe. It was that good. The only other USO show I’ve been witness to that could possibly be juxtaposed in its own rite would be the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders… maybe.

You can find brief synopses in this tolerable Air Force article or in this extra-gay edition of DefenseLink. The show featured Miss USA, Lewis Black, Lance Armstrong, Robin Williams, and Kid Rock (in that order). Fuckin’ A, Cotton.

Normally I could give a shit less about somebody who I presume to be a narcissistic, insecure egocentric concerned with little else other than her looks or the daily print regarding celebrities and the iPhone, but I’ve been stuck out here in the desert for a long enough period of time that Miss USA was a welcome sight to have. Even better was that she took minimal stage time, appearing only long enough to thank the troops and give them all something to dwell on later.

Next up was Lewis Black. If you are not sure who this is, kill yourself immediately. He didn’t exceed my expectations, but he didn’t fail them, either. He was followed by a Mr. Lance Armstrong, who made a few musings, which were, somewhat surprisingly, actually funny. He then babbled about how heroism and the like, and soon he was off.

Then came Robin Williams. Now, let me first say that Williams has done some terribly shitty movies. Alternatively, he has completely destroyed any doubts as to his acting versatility. He can do it all. What do you need his character to be? Sappy father cross-dressing to stay in his kids’ lives after his ex-wife gets child custody? Done. Awkward college professor who develops an absurd concoction that saves his relationship, work life, and college basketball team? Been there. Surreal role requiring him to rescue his suicide wife from the depths of hell? Of course he can do that. Voice act for some dumb Disney cartoons? Child’s play. Let me give you a list: Good Morning Vietnam; Dead Poets Society; Hook; The Fisher King; Aladdin; Hamlet; Good Will Hunting; Flubber; Death to Smoochy; One Hour Photo, and about a million other films. And those are just his films. There’s still his television and stage careers. But this night was of course going to be a one-man show, some great Williams stand-up.

And there are few stand-up comedians that can do it better. Don’t let your kids watch him. It’s not because he swears or that it’s too raunchy, it’s just plain too awesome for the little fuckers. Make them wait and earn it. It’s like saving ice cream for after dinner, duh.

Williams gave an epic performance. I’m not going to write about it, because it’d only bring shame unto its hollowed recollection. Plus it’d take way too long to describe.

And in the end, there was Kid Rock, of whom I am not a fan. I’m not going to badmouth him here, however. If anything, he deserves at least some level of praise for coming out on so many USO shows and not being a huge douche by using it as a selling point.

A True Fucking Badass

“Boots! Asses! American flags! Buy my new cd!”

Well all of that took place on Monday. Great way to start the week. Thank you, USO.

And, it appeared things would improve from there on. On Tuesday there was all sorts of hubba-baloo over something called “Operation Christmas”. It sounded innocent enough, except for the whole “Operation” part, which gayified it. Word spread quickly over it, and this was the rumor rundown: All lower enlisted were entitled to free gifts, all we had to do was go to the Operation Christmas staging area and pick up the free gifts. Excellent, I can do that. I’m not one to turn down free shit, especially in a shopping environment as poor as this.

So I rode the bus down to where Operation Christmas was being held. I got all ready to receive free shit, and, on top of that, I could see piles, nay, mountains of the gifts that were soon to be handed out. Or so I thought.

Let me lay out the environment for you. I am standing in a huge gravel laden plain with 800 other people. Inside the area are two piles of bags, filled with gifts for the people. Set aside is a semi-trailer filled with more bags and gifts to give to the people. Tons of free shit. Also there is a stage. On the stage sat some apparently distinguished people, who were responsible for Operation Christmas.

It was clear that the people on stage were going to say some stuff, maybe thank the troopies for their service, and then give them all the free shit they could carry. Things started that way. First, one person talked about Operation Christmas. Then another. Then another. This kept repeating. Then— some really bad “entertainment” began. I left to get dinner in the middle a magician’s routine, about 45 minutes into the whole crap-a-thon. I came back after an hour; The magician was still on stage. Fuck.

Then people on stage started talking about Operation Christmas again. At this point, I was in despair. I wanted to kill things, like Christmas. What made the already unbearable presentation even more painful was the sheer irony that filled the spaces betwixt the air itself. They kept promulgating how much they appreciated the troopies’ service, and that Operation Christmas was organized for all of those who had to spend the winter holidays overseas.

But they were the ones keeping us from enjoying Christmas now, not our geographic disposition. They had provided us with a pseudo-Christmas, then they withheld it from us, apparently because they loved us so much. How fucking twisted is that? I hope these guys go to hell. Have fun performing Operation Dicksuck down there with hot coals up your ass.

By the way, I left after two hours of waiting for the free gifts to be handed out. Of course, they were still talking about the history of Operation Christmas, something the rest of the crowd must have been much more interested in. I wish everyone would have walked off like I did. Maybe they thought Robin Williams was secretly hiding back stage and would save us from the shitfest. Fuck.


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