Pirates, pigs, and Twitter? Boo!

Charlotte's Web

Barreling down the I-5 with my check engine light on and the radio tuned to 640 am, I realized we are indeed in the midst of a crisis. It's like I've stepped into a George A. Romero movie, and I can't get out. Reports of a pig virus are sweeping the nation, and each incoming news alert hits like the background noise in a Dawn Of The Dead flick. We are in the first stages of something awful. A pandemic. One that could eat the entire human race and all of this weekend's box office receipts. If X-Men Origins: Wolverine underperforms, it's not because every fanboy on the planet has already downloaded the marginally entertaining fourth film in this longstanding franchise onto their computer. Its because we're afraid to leave the house. That's what Variety is claiming in a new article about the sudden and unexpected emergence of The Swine Flu, anyway!

Damn, it even sounds like a really bad Z grade creeper found lingering around the recesses of the Sci-Fi Channel. People are being warned to stay away from crowds this weekend. Audiences are scared to leave their house. And they certainly don't want to wear a mask for two hours while they sit through something they could be watching at home. Far removed from the symptoms of an acute sickness. The public is so fascinated with genre films, this wag the dog mentality is overshadowing their own worst nightmares. At first, I thought The Swine Flu had been created as a work of fiction by the Obama World Order to take our minds and eyes of the bang-up job he's been doing lately. But no. It seems it was instead created by Fox to pull focus off the underperformance of their once beloved tentpole summer flick. Wow, I didn't know Rupert Murdoch's hand reached this deep. Our latest disease has been built into the perfect blame; and it's coming on like the very best excuse. Or maybe it's a lucky break. As much as everyone thinks the leaked Wolverine print was an April Fool's Day joke, this may be a by-product of that sad occurrence in Entertainment history. Perhaps its not Fox at all, but a rival studio attempting to pull the rug even further out from underneath this once promising franchise starter.

Does Hugh Jackman have many enemies? None that I can think of. But Fox may have a few. One theory, which was told to me by a comrade in arms, suggests that Warner Brothers, upset over having to share Watchmen profits with Fox, may be at the heart of this sabotage. And now, they are whipping up false reports about a pig virus to keep kids out of theaters this weekend. Blasphemy, I say! I've been paying close attention to the nightly news, and I've noticed a certain lack of progress on the economic front. Everyday, we delve deeper into the depths of an unemployable country. Spirits are lower than they have ever been before, and most private homes have been foreclosed upon. What better way to take the American public's mind off its black hole of drawbacks than scarring us with plots from Drive-In movies.

First, there was the incredible Octo-Mom. She sounds like the evil villian from the latest Spider-Man sequel, doesn't she? Her lips inspired by Angelina Jolie, her womb manipulated by science, this cruel and unusual sideshow attraction was able to capture our hearts and imaginations for a very short period of time. Once that tale wore thin, we were treated to the thrilling adventures of a bunch of pirates! Yes, for the first time in twenty years, stories about scallywags raging across the high seas emerged, and a nation was held in rapture. Then came the almost unbelievable, horrifying true crime dramas of The Craigslist Killer and The Huckaby Case. Now, the wizard behind the curtain, prying on our country's need and want for genre thrills, has whipped up a ditty to rival Romero's 1973 horror craptasterpiece The Crazies. Is this all a coincidence? Or is it one of the most ingenious viral marketing campaigns ever set in motion? Breck Eisner has a remake of The Crazies coming out next year. What better way to make us aware of that fact than by unleashing a new pandemic on the populace?

Its not just throughout the U.S. The Swine Flu is looking to overtake the globe. It's a disease being exported by mouth from Mexico, and it could touch down on the surface of every foreign country this earth has to offer. Where's Bruce Willis when we need him most? What we are seeing could be the start of the much warned about New World Order. Conspiracy websites are aglow with evidence that supports such claims. But we don't have to look much further than the name of the sickness itself. Pork? Pig? Swine? Flu? The recent Tea Parties held across our once great country stemmed from a public's disgust with Government spending. Pork! The picket signs contained copious amounts of pig imagery. Is it just a weird, incredible coincidence that this new hiccup in our daily wellbeing is curbed from a pig? I don't think so. It makes perfect sense, and I have a feeling Stanley Motss and Conrad Brean are somewhere right now, laughing their asses off over a couple of very expensive dry martinis.

The first 100 days of the Obama presidency have been chicken pocked with oddness. After the fear of this Pig Virus sinks out of sight, I'm wondering what Grindhouse concept they will turn to next? Is someone going to unveil the truth behind Area 51? Will the ghost of a terrorist be caught in a mason jar like a firefly? It'll have to be something based in reality, yet slightly intriguing. Most definitely disturbing. Last year's attempt at tabloid news didn't get too far. Reports of a Montauk Monster quietly drifted into the ether, and when a real Bigfoot failed to stir up much controversy, it was revealed as a hoax. My money is on space aliens. But they might be holding that angle for when Obama fucks up real bad. Anything for this guy. I swear.

In the meantime, we have Twitter. This behemoth is an adult pacifier, and it's working perfectly to take our minds off the injustices of the world. Seriously, more people are concerned with jumping on this coy self-networking system of half mumbled sentences than they are with anything else going on at this current moment in history. Must be why that pig virus is so easy to spook you out of the theater. This one website has done more in the past six months to mollify a nation coming under the weight of a world beset by major catastrophes than any Pig Virus ever could. Twitter's motto is "What are you doing?" I ask, "Who cares?" Do we really need an instant update of James Gunn's bowel movements and Kevin Smith's lame pussy-boy attempts to get laid by his wife of fifty years? Hold the phone on that pig virus for a second! Ashton Kutcher has just reached a billion followers, and he's about to ding-dong ditch the White House. Seriously. What do we really know about this site? Despite who created it, it is a self-practiced form of Big Brother info-letting. Most people don't care. They are so desperate for any modicum of celebrity, they will release all of their personal information to seem important, if only to themselves. It's a great nullifier. But we must be cautious. If Twitter or The Swine Flu asks us to mark our body in any way, shape, or form in the next couple of days, we'll truly know that we are in the midst of the Rapture. But that's just a dumb kid's story, isn't it? Something reserved for movies and that strange piece of science fiction known as The Bible?

Either way, none of this goofy business should keep you out of the theater come this Friday, or any other Friday. Don't believe the hype of the situation as presented to us! The pig virus isn't as scary as their making it sound. Its bound to infect your lungs as efficiently as the bird flu and all of those killer bees did. Anthrax in the mail, anyone? Poor X-Men Origins: Wolverine. First the bootlegs and now this? The movie must have been made under a bad sign. Lets hope the hype surrounding The Swine Flu dissipates as quickly as the hype surrounding Watchmen once it was released. America has a very short attention span. I pray that the next ruse to direct our attention away from the fuckery going on in the U.S. is a little more entertaining. Movies are the only thing making any money right now. Don't cripple that for fear of the common cold. Go. Buy a ticket. Our economy needs the boost!

Will The Swine Flu keep you away from seeing Star Trek or Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen? When pigs fly, I say! Medicate! Eat food! Let Grandma die from the pig virus! Whoop-doo!

B. Alan Orange