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Swayze Regional Final

November 25th, 2008 by Conor Lastowka · 36 Comments



Nobody puts state quarters in a corner!  Except for maybe the Ohio one…he was too stupid to have a good time…Anyways, it’s time for the Swayze Regional Final!  Follow all the state quarter action here!

ca_winner.gif vs nebraska.gif

Compared to some of the other regions we’ve gone thru, the Swayze regional final ends in a David Byrne moment:  How did we get here?  Two quarters which are clearly above average, but does either deserve to move on to the final four?  We’re left with a 1999 Best Picture Oscar moment:  someone has to win.  And while the winner of this region must therefore feel the deep shame of being compared to American Beauty, (whose plastic bag in the wind scene I rewatched this weekend and believe it may be worse than anything from The Happening), it’s important to look back on 1999 as a year when the mediocre shrugged its way to the top.  American Beauty beat out The Green Mile and The Sixth Sense for the Best Picture of the year, much like California and Nebraska advancing this far over the OK-but-by-no-means-great tails sides of Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

What is my point?  Mainly that I wanted to see peoples justifications for why the plastic bag scene, which I posted below, does not in their opinion, blow.  And to deem the more stylized and heavy on oxen Nebraska the winner.


Nebraska – Most Awesome State Quarter Swayze Regional Winner  



Final Four

The Most Awesome State Quarter final four is set!  Check out the whole bracket so far here, and let’s finish this mutha up soon!

Tags: RiffTrax · bracketology · currency · state quarters

36 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Nick Fechter on Nov 25, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    Ah yes, the famous bag in the wind scene from American Beauty. There are many interpretations that have been made on why people should care about something that you shouldn’t care about. One such belief is that the floating bag symbolizes the beauty in life’s mysteries, such as that a person could view the world from an ordinary point of view and believe that they are actuall gazing to a world of supernatural wonder. This plays into the theory of religion, as in the aspect of a higher power that watches over us and will ultimately determine the fate of all, and being that god is the most wonderful being in the universe, everything that he comes into contact with must be beautiful as well, and being that god is considered to be in everything, therefore god is the wind and the bag and both are prime examples of the majesty that is found in simple existance.

    But when I first saw it, I was just wondering why no one considered cleaning up the trash!

  • 2 Nick Fechter on Nov 25, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    Oh, and here’s a quote from the Family Guy parody of that movie:

    “It’s just some trash blowing in the wind! Do you have any idea how complicated your circulatory system is!?”
    -God, Family Guy

  • 3 Conor Lastowka on Nov 25, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    I like the Family Guy parody of it alot. But they give it too much credit, the scene as a whole is much, much worse than just some garbage blowing around in the wind.

  • 4 euphoriafish on Nov 26, 2008 at 4:15 am

    Conor, your quarter preferences continue to be unfathomable. Nebraska wins over California? Blasphemy. Look at the skillfully executed bas relief on the California coin, presenting a scene of exploration with the dark and moody feeling that suggests the desperation of survival on the frontier. The Nebraska coin is a mere intaglio by comparison, a cartoon as compared to the high art that is California’s coin. But I guess Nebraska wins because Chimney Rock reminds you of the Oregon Trail computer game? Tch, kids these days.

  • 5 jmaes on Nov 26, 2008 at 4:26 am

    Personally, having never seen this clip before, I find that if you mute it the scene actually is quite powerful …

  • 6 Triangle O. Daver on Nov 26, 2008 at 5:40 am

    Is it really that hard to understand? Ricky asks Jane if she would like to see the most beautiful thing he’s ever filmed… and then shows her a video of a plastic bag blowing in the wind. That’s the joke. The fact that it’s something ridiculously simple like that.
    But then, the way that Ricky talks about it — reverent and with watery eyes — saying that it made him feel like his heart would burst from all the beauty of that moment… that’s what’s moving about the scene. The fact that Ricky is so attuned to seeing the beauty in the world that he finds immense joy in a thing so simple as a bag blowing in the wind.

    But on the other hand, WA-HEY IT’S JUST A BAG HOW WAKCY LOLZERS!!!!!

  • 7 Bill Corbett on Nov 26, 2008 at 6:01 am

    Did he ever take the bag home and feed it?

  • 8 Dames Like Her on Nov 26, 2008 at 7:43 am

    Ah, yes. Art college. The “flying plastic bag as ironic reference to the destruction of nature yet nature persists (illustrated as bag’s leaf-like floating in the wind, an uncontrollable natural force) even under the hegemony of humanity’s constructs.”
    Sadly, it was one of the more “engaging” film/video pieces we were subjected to. And at least it was in focus.

  • 9 Smuttynose on Nov 26, 2008 at 7:53 am

    Hey, Nebraska has a pointy rock!

    So pointy.

  • 10 Smuttynose on Nov 26, 2008 at 7:55 am

    She sat next to him on the bus trip home.


  • 11 Chris D. on Nov 26, 2008 at 9:16 am

    I think we’ve got our next RiffTrax! I’ve thought “American Beauty” needed a good skewering for years. I remembering renting this, shutting it off halfway through and returning it all in one night.

  • 12 Jon Baker on Nov 26, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Reason Nebraska will win it all:

    Nebraska’s quarter looks like a scene from the old Oregon Trail video game. If it doesn’t lose all its stuff fording the river or doesn’t die from dysentery, there’s no reason it can’t go all the way.

  • 13 Conor Lastowka on Nov 26, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Yes, the Oregon Trail factor has been accounted for in the Nebraska quarters success from the beginning:

  • 14 Melman on Nov 26, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Alaska vs Hawaii in the final, with Alaska taking the gold. It will be an epic battle, worthy of song and poetry to be passed down for generations.

  • 15 Brian O. on Nov 28, 2008 at 5:48 am

    The eyes… They keep following me… AIGH!

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