garnished with old veggies and pretzel chips. $5.50
$6 Cafe manhattan, homemade roasted chix.
smurk with goat cheese, veggies and soy chips. not pictured: diet coke.
chix teriyaki from sushi & deli box $8.70 with brown rice
$5.32. I never eat the mixed salads off the Amish market salad bar, they always look so oily. but today I really wanted something oily and vinegary. and this does all look good.
$5.44. the $5 qdoba coupon strikes again! too good a deal to pass up. this burrito will be two meals for me, and the healthiest thing I’ve eaten in three days.
$5. no sauce.
$5.44. I normally don’t eat at qdoba this often, i like their food, the vegetables are generally of excellent quality and it seems fairly priced, but at that price, generally out of my range. when I’ve eaten there in the past ive always ordered the kids naked chicken burrito, just a bowl of rice and beans and salsa and chix, but it comes with chips and a drink for just over $5. a great value! but I won three free meals there, and now the nydailydeals website has a link to a coupon for any entree and a drink for $5. so you’ll be seeing a lot more qdoba than usual over the coming weeks.
$4.50. I tried to get ramen, but it just wasn’t happening.
$1.51. i used a free entree card I won at the first outfile day for having the second weirdest thing in my office- a documentary about balloon-twisting. total price: $7.59.
The “enhanced water” section of the beverage industry has grown enormously since Hughes started toying with N-acetylcysteine in his kitchen. Function competes not just with Vitaminwater (whose parent company was purchased by Coca-Cola for $4.1 billion last year) but with SoBe Life Water and Propel (both owned by PepsiCo), Snapple Antioxidant Water, 24C Vitamin Enhanced Water, Vitamin+Fiber Water, H2Om (which “infuses” its water with positive words and music)—and maybe soon, Placenta 10000, a Japanese product that contains elements of swine afterbirth that are said to stave off wrinkles.
hello friends, family and stalkers, sorry i’ve been out for so long, it’s been a crazy year. i got a job that i love, my roommate died, i got kicked out of my apartment, lost 10 pounds, found a new apartment, bought my first television (37″ LCD), gained 20 pounds, surprised my brother in columbus on his 30th birthday, briefly dated a girl 10 years younger than me, bought my first video game console (ps3), found a racquetball partner who promptly moved to china, visited montreal and deflowered my passport, went to my grandmother’s funeral, and got a raise at my job that i love.
so… it’s been a hell of a year. it certainly would have been nice to have had a record of my thoughts during that time. i have meant to pick this blog up again often, but i simply never did. that i do now has nothing to do with the (near) anniversary of the last time i posted here, but i have honestly been a little bored with my life lately. so if i’m going to do nothing, then i have time to write. however, i also believe that writing regularly will get me out and doing things.
anyway. it’s good to be back.
i will also return to updating my personal blog, quarterfull.com. so check that out.
In the last few years, Moore has watched as contemporaries including Pixies and Dinosaur Jr. reunited to great acclaim and substantial financial rewards. And the 49-year-old admits he sometimes wonders how much money a Sonic Youth reunion tour would have made. He says, “The Pixies reunion was a real success, and Dinosaur Jr.seems like a big success, and both those bands play as good as they ever did. Mission Of Burma blew my mind when they came back. “But a band like us never did break up. Which was to our own detriment. “What would have happened if we did break up after (classic 1988 double album) Daydream Nation – or even after (1990’s) Dirty – and had gotten back together two years ago? “You’d be interviewing me at the Chateau Marmont as I’m waiting for my limousine. We probably would have made so much money. “This was our biggest career faux-pas – not breaking up.” [contactmusic]
i have ideas like this all the time, but i always stop myself because i think, “no one would ever pay as much as that would cost to do.” maybe i’m wrong though. copying almost precisely the business plans of flexcar/zipcar comes flexpetz, a membership-based dog rental service. they offer a variety of makes and models and even include a pet bed, toys and food. but this is not for the casual pet-lover:
$150 – initial membership fee
$100 – annual “account maintenance” fee
$ 50 – monthly membership fee
$ 40 – weekend daily doggy charge ($30 weekday)
$ 35 – delivery fee r/t (optional, but really? your lifestyle is so cosmopolitan you can’t own a pet, but do own a car in the city?)
Totaling $375 for your first day with “your” pet.
Now, i’ve never had a pet of my own, but i understand they are expensive. a chef friend of mine once renamed his cat “paycheck” following a few unfortunately timed catfights. but $120 a month for one day a month with a dog? that better be one charmin’ motherfucking pet.
flexpetz is now only in LA and San Diego, but coming soon to NYC and SF, later to Boston, London and DC. pre-registration is available now.
“What gives me hope is the dreadful tread of history. Knowing how much closer we’ve been to the edge of destruction, and managed to pull back and save ourselves, means we’re probably going to do okay. I mean, we bounced back from the Black Plague, and the people who did it still believed in goblins. We’ve got iPods and Pinkberry now. We’re bulletproof.” — Patton Oswalt, actor, Ratatouille
the international out-and-about blog gridskipper has a long tradition of compiling useful maps of international cities. but this time they’ve finally created what so many have failed to do (including myself). a rundown of the major new york cupcakeries, with map and photos that accurately capture the feel of each without using overly cutesy or utilitarian language. well done. there are a couple of notable smaller shops missing, and there is little discussion of the differences in the cupcakes themselves, but giving prominence to baked and billy’s and leaving magnolia and crumbs in the middle already puts this list above most.
i remember the day when flipping through an american apparel catalog was straightforward enough that i could leave a copy in my conservative christian parents house. there was a sexiness even then, but it was understated, like a team of high-school cheerleaders at an ice cream parlor. and later, i could appreciate the shift to a more risque approach, what with the kids today and decline of western civilization and all that.
i even got a kick of bringing guests to LES out of the second avenue subway, pointing at the huge cunty billboard and commenting, “remember when american apparel ads used to be subtle?”
but now, bare titties? welcome to the end times.
Bare breasts in shop window flash LES
WALK HARD, the next project for Jake Kasdan & Judd Apatow, is a mock(umentary?) biography of a ficitional musician. It’s been getting a lot of buzz, and will hopefully break Kasdan’s feature slump (orange county, tv set) since his feature debut ZERO EFFECT.
This isn’t exactly breaking news – it was rumored back in March – but Jack White has confirmed to MTV News that he’ll be appearing in Walk Hard as Elvis Presley, who meets John C Reilly’s fictional musician Dewey Cox backstage at a concert and, as White told MTV, “drama ensues.”Jack White isn’t the only great cameo in the film; as CHUD reader Justin Long revealed to Frosty at Collider a couple of weeks ago he’s going to be showing up as George Harrison, while Jack Black will be Paul McCartney (!), Paul Rudd is John Lennon and Jason Schwartzman is Ringo Starr. That’s a helluva Beatles line-up, to be sure.
my favorite bit of John C. Reilly trivia? he was the sasquatch in the tenacious d short “let the dream die”
Wow, apparently Apatow has a hard time managing talent on set. James Franco this time freaking out over not being able to improvise in making KNOCKED UP. And for these clips to be leaking on the the internet like this, he must not treat his staff very well. Whatta dick.
A so-far-uncredited screenwriter, Matthew Dessem, has started a project, The Criterion Contraption, where he will watch each of the criterion collection films in order of the company’s release. While this in itself is an admirable, ambitious project (there are 403 films so far!), his reviews are remarkably creative, insightful, and full of pithy details. It’s unlikely he’ll ever catch up (he’s been at it for three years and is only up to #70, averaging two a month while criterion puts out three a month), as he reviews the entire disc, all the features, commentaries and packaging, along with his own considerable film knowledge. His writing style, while heavily informative, is never pedantic, nor does he take cheap shots at some of Criterion’s head scratchers. Armageddon (#40) for example, exhibits a considered defense of not only the film’s existence, but even its inclusion on the list. A digression on lenses and aspect ratios in his review of Rushmore (#65) is particularly idiosyncratric. I recommend these reviews as well as: This Is Spinal Tap (#12), The Silence of the Lambs (#13).
It took Spinal Tap years to find out who owned the rights to the band name before their 1992 tour; Embassy and Monarch films were long gone and as part of their deal with Embassy, they’d sold away all rights to the characters. It’s still not really clear who owned them when–the Criterion DVD has New Line Home Video’s logo, but MGM did the most recent DVD. Anyway, as part of some Byzantine licensing scheme, the members of Spinal Tap are allowed to use the characters now, but only if they appear as Spinal Tap at least once every three years. If they don’t, the rights revert. So they literally have to play a concert, or make a television appearance, or something, every three years, or they can never be Spinal Tap again.
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Most people who know me probably wouldn’t suspect the deep affection i hold for DAFT PUNK, or electronic music in general. I stole their first major release, HOMEWORK, off napster years ago, probably after seeing SPIKE JONZE’s music video for DA FUNK (though AROUND THE WORLD by MICHEL GONDRY is better), and consider it one of the perfect albums of my generation [this post coming soon]. Albums and videos since have offered diminishing returns, and their attempts at feature length music videos have been a terribly unproductive distraction from their stronger talents. I’m not a dancer, I don’t go to clubs, never been to a rave, but I love the energy of their music. I was unsurprised to hear DAFT PUNK started out as a guitars-based rock-and-roll band, so many of their songs have a garage rock spirit.
An electronic music label here in new york, PALMS OUT RECORDS, has a blog where, among other features, every wednesday is samples wednesday. not only do they track down the original sources of samples used in an artist’s songs, they provide mp3s of the original songs! Some of DAFT PUNK’s samples are obvious, others may have you scratching your head. As they put it: “you’ll either decide Daft Punk isn’t as genius as you thought they were or that they’re twice as amazing.” Other artists palmsout has pulled the curtain on: OUTKAST, JAY-Z, MISSY, LADIES LOVE COOL JAMES, MADONNA, and so on. It really is an amazing archive.
Daft Punk took their name from a review in Melody Maker of a single put out by their first band, Darling as “a bunch of daft punk.” Of course Darling has a myspace page with the single.
The boys from Daft Punk, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, have gone to great lengths since Discovery to disguise their identities. Even using the costumes featured in the Robot Rock video (and the Gap ad) on stage. They weren’t always so secretive, as in this 30 minute clip from a wisconsin festival in 1996.
In their first US performance since 1997, at Coachella last year, Daft Punk performed a cracking good show. They tear their music apart and put it back together again. BrooklynVegan posted the full set. rumor is, this will be released as a DVD.
Oh did i mention i will see them August 9 at Keyspan Park in Coney Island? Yeah, I’m a little excited.
And one last thing. Is it just me, or does the new Apples In Stereo album sound like Daft Punk rocking? It’s got all this weird electronic stuff. Weird good. Not weird bad. Maybe it is just me.
TVSquad recently linked to the first episode of Late Night with Conan O’Brien. It’s fascinating to see how young he and Andy Richter and even Max are. It’s really endearing to see how Conan turns the magnifying glass he was under into a joke. He’s still goofy, but so much more assured now. Guests include John Goodman, Drew Barrymore, Tony Randall.
When THE WEST WING came out and throughout almost its complete run, I disdained its inauthenticity. I just couldn’t buy that real people talked that way, really quickly and in fully drafted and edited speeches, and, as a recent political science baccalaureate, i was primed to love/hate a show set in the white house.
Then I caught SPORTS NIGHT, in re-runs on comedy central and loved it. I was unemployed at the time and it came on at 2am and 10am, perfect timing for the jobless, it turns out. I knew the dialogue was ridiculous, some of the conflicts contrived, but the characters were so much fun to watch, and you could tell that the actors were having a lot of fun. Also, I’ve never been much into sports, but it’s a world i’ve always been fascinated by, so while i couldn’t make it through SportsCenter, I could make it through a dramatized knockoff.
So a few years later, having caught a few episodes of the sixth season, as WEST WING began to focus on its presidential race, i got mildly interested in it and happened to come across the first season on dvd from the library. It sat unwatched for a few weeks, then I picked it up, intending to watch half an episode to fall asleep. I devoured the first season in a few days, immediately putting the second season on reserve and when it wasn’t ready the night i finished the first season, i drove to a blockbuster as they were closing to pick up the first couple of discs of the second season. I started downloading entire seasons with bittorrent. Now, the west wing ran for seven seasons, each season with about 22 45-minute episodes. I got hooked at the end of the sixth season, 134 episodes in, which works out to 100.5 hours of television I downloaded and watched within about 5 weeks.
WEST WING does veer into ridiculousness, especially with the speechifying, but I was consistently impressed with the camerawork, the faux-policy wonk aspects and the essential, almost teasing, “there’s no way that could ever happen”. One of the things I appreciate in writers like DeLillo, Chabon, or the McSweeney’s cabal are the little details, maybe one paragraph or half-page observations or facts. The really clever, thoughtful asides that I would never considered (Arrested Development was a show made up almost completely of these asides). I appreciated that an episode was never just about one thing, it was about six things and they might pay off in this episode or six episodes down the line. I admired the level of complexity and trust they placed in the audience, which made all the middlebrow concessions in certain seasons just tolerable enough to continue. And they had good act breaks. There is something about a show, like 24 or The Sopranos, or The Wire that makes you just desperate to start another episode as soon as the last one ends. It’s just a pleasure you take in watching something that, unlike the pleasure of eating cake or having sex that you just continue until your eyes cannot stay open any longer or you cannot be any later to whatever you have to do next.
And I like(d) Studio 60 too. I think Sorkin may have set himself up for criticism in the pilot by setting the bar for the show within the show as reinventing television comedy, then following that solely with unfunny, unremarkable sketches. If the Studio 60 were more about their failure to create a funny show, perhaps they could have sidestepped some of the criticism. Or perhaps it’s that the endless oratory and navel-gazing asides are more in place when you’re dealing with issues of international diplomacy and national security. The stakes for getting an unfunny sketch comedy show are maybe not so high. Drama becomes melodrama. And of course wincingly sentimental subplots and winking at tabloid details of Sorkin’s past make easy fodder for critics and difficult hurdles for supporters.
Want more Studio 60 ridicule? Mad TV did a balls-on parody some time ago.
You’ll all recall the two outtakes from I ❤ HUCKABEES that circulated a few months ago of David O. Russell and Lily Tomin screaming at each other. Surely you’ve seen them, I won’t even bother linking. Shortly after they appeared, Michael Showalter and Paul Rudd put out a faithful, brilliant re-creation as part of The Michael Showalter Showalter.
Timed for its release in a few weeks, a video has now leaked with footage of ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT’s Michael Cera getting fired from the male lead role in KNOCKED UP. The scene from the outtake was released as a trailer a few weeks ago, and probably works better if you see it first. I didn’t love 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN, and I wouldn’t normally run out to see a romcom like this, but I really am excited about KNOCKED UP — maybe it would make a good double feature with OCEAN’S THIRTEEN.
There are plenty of thing people buy just for the packaging, why not nothing? It’s really not such an awful idea, but it can’t help but feel like, in concept and execution, a final project for an art school industrial design course.
$6.28, from I Want One of Those, ships from the UK.
Reminds me of the artist who sells genuine new york city garbage in plastic cubes. only $50.
White-On-White Violence Claims Life Of Accounts Receivable Supervisor
Herbert F. Kornfeld, 34, was an alleged accounting gang leader considered by law enforcement to be a key player in a series of ongoing office worker turf wars. He was found dead Monday morning in the third-floor copy room of Midstate Office Supply, his employer of 12 years.
Sadly, I never met Kornfeld or had the opportunity to hear him speak, but I read his columns avidly. It was his raw, fresh-from-the-streets prose that first brought my attention to The Onion back in 1996, when a friend thrust a copy of one of Kornfeld’s essays before me. I was mesmerized. Kornfeld hasn’t been contributing much lately, his first piece since 2005 was published just last week where he recounted the recent rise of the increasingly volatile Accounts Payable department and the troubles he was having with the new generation of his Accounts Receivable bruthas. Kornfeld seemed distraught, but knowing what a stone cold muthafucka he is, I figured he would come to a measured, reasonable solution to the issues plaguing Midstate. He had survived so much, for so long, I always though he would achieve his dream of retiring to Branson, MO with his son, Tanner, now 7. I never could have imagined he would go out like this. Such a tragedy.
One year ago today I stepped off Amtrak’s Empire State line at Penn Station and into a exciting new adventure. I have learned a lot since then (where Penn Station is, for one), and maybe I’m not where I thought I would be a year ago, but I have also done a lot of things I never thought I would do. People have told me that your first six months are the best time you will have here. My first six months are mostly a blur now, all I strongly recall is a lot of work stress, not knowing where anything was, yet a hopeful sense of discovery. I suppose it’s either a testament to my optimism or naivete that I continually feel like the next six months are going to be the best six months. Sure, I have some regrets but I absolutely do not regret the move as a whole, it’s been an amazing, inspiring experience and I’m really looking forward to seeing how the next year unfolds… maybe i’ll even blog about it.
This Daily Mail story from earlier this week about a cat who takes the bus “several mornings a week” in London. Really. A blue-and-green-eyed cat takes the Walsall to Wolverhampton bus to an row of a shops (including a fish and chip shop). A passenger said, “He sat at the front of the bus, waited patiently for the next stop and then got off. It was was quite strange at first but now it just seems normal. I suppose he is the perfect passenger really – he sits quietly, minds his own business and then gets off.”
a new feature i’m gonna try out here is linking to three videos every sunday. i generally don’t like linking to videos, i know i rarely watch videos on the blogs i read, they’re usually posted in the excitement of finding them, and upon reflection are maybe not worth really linking to, or they’re already overexposed elsewhere. but as with everything on this blog, i’m trying to link to things that aren’t covered on the a-list blogs. i’m also hoping to cut out the dross by limiting myself to three videos a week
ricky gervais in africa for comic relief via tvsquad
the first couple of minutes are slow, but it’s a strong finish (8:46)
underground bands – ronnie johns half hour
the ronnie johns half hour is a sketch show out of australia. the youtube pickings are voluminous, but seem to make the show focus almost exclusively in taking a piss on “chopper” a beloved australian psychopath and crime novelist immortalized by eric bana a number of years ago in an appropriately-named film, “chopper.” it is hardly required viewing, same for ronnie james, though i did like the finger sketch. (1:32)
will ferrell in the landlord
sorry i can’t embed, wordpress is dumb that way. still, the actress who plays the landlord is definitely going places. what a ball of talent!
letterman works the drive-through at taco bell
i’ve long thought letterman was a bit of a hack. it bothers me when hosts talk about how awful their shows are (i’m looking at you stewart, conan) but it’s even worse when the show really is unfunny. there is a long thread at aspecialthing (initiated by jessie thorn of tsoya) about letterman and how great he is. apparently what some appreciate in letterman is that he dares to be unfunny. that he is willing to make people uncomfortable. especially in the days when he followed carson, who was so universally loved, the best way to set himself apart was to be unlovable, to allow moments of comedy where you might not expect it and get guests to do or say things they might not otherwise commit. and that i get. he’s not supposed to be likeable. okay, so he’s not a hack. but i still don’t like to watch his show. still, if you’re doing a show every day for ___ years, you’re gonna have some gems, and letterman working the drive-through at taco bell is definitely one. (7:32)
“The “Coin Operated Scientist” booth, seen here at a Melbourne street fair in February, is a “mini research laboratory with a coin slot in the front,” explains writer Matthew Page. “Inside, a ‘scientist’ sits slumped and motionless. When people make donations, he conducts experiments until he feels the money has run out. By inserting money to keep the scientist working, the spectators have an incentive to donate and they achieve an instant sense of satisfaction.” The scientist is actually a Multiple Sclerosis Australia volunteer doing a three-hour shift, but he can’t totally fake it; he must “practice simple science experiments, designed for 10-year-olds and up, before he starts the performance,” says Page. The booth will raise as much as $150 an hour at a busy event, but the key consideration is “it consistently draws crowds and generates interest.” Flyers providing more information on MS research and donations are, as you’d expect, handed out at the scene.”
from: adcritic.com’s print&design e-mail (no longer online)
alternate links: ads of the world, adrant
agency: Cummins & Partners (no reference on website)
so this week i am temping at a national magazine that provides a guide to television listings. there is very little for me to do, so i’m planning to clear out the thick pile of links i’ve been meaning to post.
but first i have to complete this project they gave me. apparently the lead star of a popular franchise police
procedural soap opera* will be on the cover of next week’s magazine and they have a practice of having someone email all of the fan websites and forums and let them know our magazine will be featuring their cream dream on the cover. i didn’t think this would be a big job but believe it or not, a certain mr. someone, despite his obvious limitations as an actor, is quite a popular fellow.
* update: I’ve never actually watched an entire episode of any of the CSIs but I read through some plot descriptions, and given the suspension of disbelief required, i think “soap opera” is more appropriate.
Ugh. I have been waking up each morning for the past week with a sore throat and all this, to put it kindly, “blockage”. I’d been trying to take it easy, but Saturday I went on this long walk all over manhattan and it was colder than I thought it would be and Sunday I woke up with sick body. I hardly left my apartment Sunday but to go get soup, which didn’t really help.
But I did watch all of the first part of the sixth season of The Sopranos. I had downloaded in a while ago, but put off watching it, mostly because I wanted to wait until it was all over, but also because I once I start, I can’t stop watching. I don’t think there is a season of the sopranos I’ve watched in more that a single weekend. Maybe it would take me a full week when I was watching on dvd and had to switch disks (I have a policy that if it’s after midnight and you’re still watching a show, you can’t get out of bed to switch discs.) which prevents me from watching until 3 in the morning, which is what I did Saturday. I finished Sunday and, while it wasn’t as action-packed or even surprising as previous seasons, it was still laugh-out-loud funny in parts and completely cringe-inducing in others. Even the dream sequence, which I have actually fast-forwarded through in the past, was engaging. And there is a great arc involving another character, a more of a background character, that they go deeper into than any other background character ever. Even though it had been some time since I watched season 5, I still followed along pretty easily. To that end, after I finished episode 12, I did my traditional lookup on wikipedia to see what I missed, and came across this amazing piece of editing.
7 Seven Minute Sopranos – a “whacked out” refresher
It’s surprising how bright and colorful the first season is, I’d watch it again, but memories how hard it was to listen to tony’s mother whinge and hearing him whinge on and on about her are so frustrating, I doubt it will happen soon. But this clip is totally worth seven minutes of your time before the new season starts next Sunday (April 8). I’m looking forward to downloading the last nine episodes week after week, I’ve only ever watched the third season live and it’s the one I feel most familiar with. But the difference between live and dvd is an essay for another post.
you might skip past this, thinking, “ah, rachel ray, whatever” but it really is totally worth it. even if you don’t make it to the end. it’s a compilation of the part of her $30 a day show where after an invariably fruitful day of sightseeing, she finally sits down tastes the delicious food she’s been searching for. much like the caruso compilation i linked to earlier.
South Carolina’s Legislature yesterday approved a bill which requires a woman to pay for an ultrasound, view the picture of the fetus with her doctor, wait an hour after seeing the ultrasound, sign a piece of paper saying she has seen the picture, and then and only then can she decide that she still wants an abortion. There’s no exceptions, not even in cases of rape, health or incest. If the house approves this bill (again) it goes back to the Senate and if they approve it, it will pass. This is totally emotional blackmail and beyond the scope of what is choice.
Apparently, when the circus comes to New York, they walk the elephants from Queens to MSG through the queens-midtown tunnel. This photograph is from last year. This year, the elephants will get to midtown about midnight next Tuesday. Wasn’t this a scene in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?
They’ve had the really creepy posters in the subway for the past month. I guess the theme of the circus this year is “Bellobration” where bello is this crazy-looking vaudeville-style performer.
That would be a great expression for a mugshot, though.
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The AV Club digests movies scheduled to be released in 2007. This could be a very expensive year for those of us in the land of $11 tickets.
*Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s drive-in trash homage Grindhouse
*The Coen Brothers’ adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s existential chase western No Country For Old Men
*Matthew Vaughn’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s fantastical Stardust
*Tim Burton’s adaptation of Steven Sondheim’s brilliant, chilly musical Sweeney Todd, with Johnny Depp in the lead
*Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of Upton Sinclair’s oil epic There Will Be Blood
*Ridley Scott’s ‘70s heroin trade epic American Gangster, starring Denzel
Washington and Russell Crowe
*Wes Anderson’s latest poignant whimsy-fest The Darjeeling Limited, with
Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzmann and Adrien Brody as brothers on a train trip through India, mourning their father
*Noah Baumbach’s Margot At The Wedding, his fist film since the breakthrough The Squid And The Whale
*Francis Ford Coppola’s return to “personal filmmaking,” Youth Without Youth
*Kimberly Peirce’s return to filmmaking period, Stop Loss, an Iraq
War-related domestic melodrama
*Kenneth Lonergan’s return to the director’s chair, Margaret, with Anna
Paquin as a student who witnesses an accident and pesters everyone she knows what she thinks really happened
*Michel Gondry’s Jack Black vehicle Be Kind Rewind, about a video store
clerk who has to remake blockbusters in his backyard when his magnetic brain
destroys all his rental tapes
*James Mangold’s remake of 3:10 To Yuma
*Neil Jordan’s Jodie Foster vehicle, the revenge thriller The Brave One
*David Cronenberg’s Russian mafia thriller Eastern Promises
*Ang Lee’s Chinese spy thriller Lust, Caution
*Andrew Dominik’s reportedly artful and poetic The Assassination Of Jesse
James By The Coward Robert Ford
*Screenwriter Scott Frank’s reportedly corking directorial debut, the twisty
neo-noir The Lookout
*Danny Boyle and Alex Garland’s eco-minded sci-fi adventure Sunshine
*Brad Bird’s latest Pixar project, Ratatouille
*Robert Zemeckis’ take on Beowulf
*Steven Soderbergh’s latest installment in the increasingly absurd Ocean’s
series (plus whatever else Soderbergh decides to knock out in a weekend, just
for the exercise)
Plus Spider-Man 3, The Simpsons Movie.
Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have decided they will only write one more episode of their TV comedy Extras.
They will end the BBC Two show with a special finale rather than writing a third series – exactly as they did with their earlier hit, The Office.
“We don’t have a date or any details about the cast yet,” said a spokeswoman for Gervais, adding that the idea was in its “very, very early” stages.
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nounThe growing of a beard.
[From Greek pogon (beard) + -trophy (nourishment, growth).]
pogonology is the study of beards
pogonotomy is a fancy word for shaving.
“Mr. Davis fixed his gaze on the red beard [and said], “Professor Flowers, I must congratulate you on a fine example of pogonotrophy.'” Richard J. Weiss and Duane R. Chartier; Fakebusters II: Scientific Detection of Fakery in Art and Philately; World Scientific Publishing Company; 2004.
From the surprisingly worthwhile Comedy Central Insider blog
While attending a party one evening, Mick Jagger was introduced to jazz singer George Melly. “I didn’t expect you to have so many wrinkles,” Melly remarked. “They’re not wrinkles,” Mick declared. “They’re laughter lines.” “Really?” Melly replied. “Surely nothing could be that funny!”
As Time begins to ride the wave of publicity surrounding their aspirationally “The Economist”-style redesign , The New York Observer (in the midst of a drastic reworking itself) has weighed in with an acid commentary. Tom Scocca lays the groundwork well, quoting a few of the other editors in chiefs over the past few years looking to smarten up their titles. He then dissects a recent issue of the Economist, picking apart jejune turns of phrase, tendentious prose, and brilliantly critiquing the price:
The Economist is priced at $5.99. A magazine for more than $5 is like a sandwich for more than $10: It needs to be appetizing enough to make the sale, and filling enough that you don’t feel ripped off afterward.
My favorite quote (from 1991, by the now-current editor of Time):
“Americans imagine that The Economist is better written,” Mr. Stengel said, “because they impute an English accent to what they read.”
The audience for [The Economist] is not people who care about the world, but people who believe it is important to care about the world. When other magazines say they want to be like The Economist, they do not mean they wish to be serious. They mean they wish, by whatever means, to be taken seriously.
These I really like the way this take-down was written, and I think there is a lot of truth in it. Still, I think one aspect Scocca doesn’t address is, frankly, what I thought editors meant by “more The Economist” was “less lifestyle, more news-news”. There are so many print magazines covering lifestyle now, let alone the Black Angus-style overfed glut of celebrity stalker blogs, does lifestyle or celebrity coverage have any place in a newsweekly? Of course most editors in the news business would like to be taken more seriously. While standing next to the Economist may not be the most scintillating experience, it would certainly be a more interesting, less purile conversation than one might have with most US newsweeklies.
This was the number one most emailed article on nytimes today. And rightfully so. at least four times over the past few years, I have scoured the internet to determine the meanings of some of the terms they describe in this easy-to-read article. GSM vs CDMA, which carriers have each, why tmobile uses sim cards but verizon doesn’t. triband, quadband, all that.
a quick summary:
GSM = cingular & tmobile — 82% of the rest of the world
CDMA = verizon & sprint — only in the US and parts of Asia
If you have a GSM phone, you may be able to use it in a foreign country, but because in the US, GSM phones use 850 and 1900 Mhz and in europe they use 900 and 1800 Mhz. These frequencies are called bands and your phone will have to be triband or quadband to work overseas.
GSM phones store all the particular user’s data (subscriber identity, phone book) on a sim card, which you can swipe out; either to use your phone number in a different phone, or a different phone number with your phone. CDMA phones store that info on the phone itself, so phone numbers have to be offloaded and reloaded once you get a new phone (only $20 at verizon stores).
The article also details options for cheaper sim cards and cell phone rentals abroad, it’s pretty invaluable really. Hopefully, they’ll keep this article free.
Jonah Ray was in new york last week taping a live at gotham, I got to see him twice at other shows. he was the best part of both shows (which wasn’t saying much, really. they weren’t otherwise that great, but he was great, if a little too drunk or hungover to really be polished). This was one of my favorite bits that he did:
I originally found out about him through superdeluxe. His “Freeloaders Guide to Living” is really well produced. They’ve only got two up right now, but more are on the way. “Brunch” is my preference.
He has a 7″ coming out (yes, on vinyl) through aspecialthing later this month. Looking forward to the mp3 bootleg.
Jill Kleinman closed her children’s bookstore to operate a summer camp, so she thought her days of catering to young bibliophiles and their parents were over. But last month “I got a call from a parent who wants to pull his child out of camp at midnight to get the new ‘Harry Potter’ book,” says Kleinman, who runs Camp Taconic in Massachusetts. “I had to tell him no. It sets a bad precedent.”
According to the American Camp Association, many summer camps make accommodations—later bedtimes, more free time—when J. K. Rowling chooses a summer release date for an installment of her blockbuster “Potter” series.
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the seventh and final book in the series, will be released July 21.
I checked out comingsoon.net, no major films (for adults or children) are being released that weekend (though the film version of the fifth book will be released the weekend before). The Simpsons Movie comes out the following weekend, but to leave a weekend open in the middle of summer for a book is rather incredible.
In Paul Collins’ excellent book “Sixpence House”, he opens with a passage describing how the publication of his book could have been delayed due to a shortage of paper required for the new Harry Potter book. It would be interesting to find out how many trees it takes to print an 800+ page book, and the acreage of trees the Harry Potter series is responsible for. Well, maybe not interesting exactly, but trivia for certain.
The White Stripes have completed the recording and mixing of their sixth album. It is entitled: “Icky Thump” … We are doing our best to release the album as soon as corporately possible. And though we are tired, worn, weary, hungry, cold, and left without an ounce of nutrition amongst ourselves, we are in the midst of planning performance type shows aroundst the world.
Lang kept folding while earning a master’s in electrical engineering at Stanford and a Ph.D. in applied physics at Caltech. As he worked on his dissertation—“Semiconductor Lasers: New Geo-metries and Spectral Properties”—he designed an origami hermit crab, a mouse in a mousetrap, an ant, a skunk, and more than fifty other pieces. They were dense and crisp and precise but also full of character: his mouse conveys something fundamentally mouse-ish, his ant has an essential ant-ness. His insects were especially beautiful. While in Germany for postdoctoral work, he and Diane were taken with Black Forest cuckoo clocks; the carved casings, pinecone-shaped weights, pendulums, and pop-out birds wouldn’t seem to be a natural for origami, but Lang thought otherwise. He started a job at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, in 1988, shortly after he had finished folding a life-sized cuckoo clock. It had taken him three months to design, and six hours to fold, and it made Lang a sensation in the origami world.
He was using large squares of tweedy-looking mauve Hanji paper from Korea, which is sturdy but still slightly translucent, like the flesh of a fish. It is one of his favorite papers; he buys it in bulk from an online supplier. Other papers he likes, which he gets from art stores in San Francisco and Japan, when he visits, are lokta, from Nepal; unryu, from Thailand; and kozo and gampi, from Japan. When he makes his most complex insects, he uses handmade paper from Michael LaFosse’s studio. For a while, in fact, LaFosse had a paper in stock called Robert Lang Insect Paper.
This article made the rounds a couple of weeks ago. I held off reading it because I get put off a little sometimes by the preciousness with which Susan Orlean treats her subjects. I did pick it up a few days ago and it was really interesting. The article follows a former physicist who gave up his hard science career to develop advanced origami pieces, while recounting the history and avant-garde of origami.
Still, as with so many New Yorker pieces (especially on the web) the article suffered for a lack of pictures. And in this case, the descriptions of the pieces are difficult enough to imagine, let alone the pictures.
He put aside the piece he was working on, and took a new sheet of paper from the stack. He creased it, flipped the paper over, creased it again, lined up the edges, smoothed the sides together, pinched it here and there, and tugged on one edge. He did this with quick, meticulous movements, his hands crossing back and forth over the sheet as if they were tracing a melody. Suddenly, the sheet of paper crumpled and then opened into a shape—a tiny violinist, sawing away at a violin.
These are from the site of Robert Lang, the fellow profiled in the article. Each is from a single sheet of paper.
he has posted folding patterns for some of his designs, below is the pattern for the spider above.
Yup, those are circular folds.
There is actually a story I have that would go well with this post, but it involves a fairly dark time of my life that, for a while, had my parents concerned I would be accused of treason. Their freak out freaked me out and it was a jumpy couple of months. This was some time ago, but I suppose it would still be unwise to share the story in a public forum (however low my visitor stats are)…
I imagine the interestingness of the patterns individually depends upon an individual’s interest, but the collection of them is sublime, if flickr wasn’t designed for such things, it should have been.
livehard – vending machine challenge II
2007-03-20 – Tuesday – $22
Teams of brave competitors will go head-to-head in the world’s only competitive eating vending machine event. This contest unites gastronomical expertise, speed eating, physical dexterity, athletic skill, and sheer consumption strategy. Each team must rise to the following task: to consume the entire contents (minus packaging) of a standard vending machine. Upon the referee’s signal the competitors will be given a stockpile of dollar bills and change, and begin feeding currency into their machines while carefully selecting their eating approach.
The first team to successfully eat the the entire contents of the vending machine will be declared the winner.
My dad once told me of a challenge some of his co-workers put upon one of their denser peers. Could he eat $100 worth of food in a 7-11? Three hours, no booze, no cigarettes. If he succeeded, he gets $100 of food from 7-11 and $100 from each of the challengers If he failed, he pays for what he eats and owes them $100. Alas, he did not succeed, because as usurious as convenience stores are, there isn’t much that costs over $5. Not much you could eat 20 of in three hours.
Tickets are $22, a little steep, but I suppose that’s to keep he riff-raff out. Rumor has it The Onion and the staff of MOMA have taken the challenge tho, so could be worthwhile.
In an interview on NPR today about Iraq and oil companies, a guest was asked if the rampant corruption in Iraq would be a deterrent to oil companies moving in. His response was, roughly, “Oil companies are accustomed to operating in parts of the world where a lack of transparency is common.” I love that “lack of transparency” is a euphemism for bribery or lying. I’m totally going to use that.
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This was a disclaimer appended to a show on the nonsensenyc mailing list. I feel this way sometimes about events, products or performers, and I just like the passion and thought I would share the quote with you.
NOTE: We weren’t going to list this show or the one tomorrow because we have all these rules on this list about sponsored events and whatnot, and BAM and the Brooklyn Museum, as much as we love them and appreciate their existence, are, to soft-pedal a little, obnoxious branding machines drunk on the fatty overspill of corporations slavering over young, rich, and pre-rich Brooklynites. But, hell,
then we just felt like a fussy, know-it-all Nader and decided that these are our friends, and the friends of our friends, and they are being booked by people we like and respect, and hey, purity is boring. Enjoy a free night — and check out the stylish, comfortable furniture while you’re at it. Just remember, someone is paying for all of it, and they’re not expecting nothing.
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Worried that a negative stereotype of the sorority was contributing to a decline in membership that had left its Greek-columned house here half empty, Delta Zeta’s national officers interviewed 35 DePauw members in November, quizzing them about their dedication to recruitment. They judged 23 of the women insufficiently committed and later told them to vacate the sorority house.
The 23 members included every woman who was overweight. They also included the only black, Korean and Vietnamese members. The dozen students allowed to stay were slender and popular with fraternity men — conventionally pretty women the sorority hoped could attract new recruits. Six of the 12 were so infuriated they quit.
I have seriously low expectations for this film, but man, what a poster.
The Office is, without question in my mind, the best comedy on television right now. Each episode continues to elicit my gape-mouthed surprise at the clever writing and long -considered story arcs. Lately, the show has begun to attract big names. Harold Ramis directed last season’s finale and this season’s premiere, Joss Whedon and JJ Abrams are slated to direct this season, even the creators, Gervais and Merchant, came back to write an episode a few weeks ago.
I wonder, though, if part of its success may stem from low expectations. It’s fair to say as much has been blogged about the surprise of the success of the office as has been about the success itself. The first season was so shaky, with its desperate mimcry of the original, I gave up on it quickly, though not wholeheartedly. I’ve always had a soft spot for Steve Carell. To then check in midway through the second season, to see the characters deepen and grow and see gags pay off half a season after they were set up has been such a pleasure, i’ve become a regular and loyal viewer.
Still, I can’t shake the sneaking feeling while watching each episode that it is going to begin a turn into its inevitable downward spiral (as the third season of Arrested Development completely tarnished the brilliance of the first two). The premise of The Office is a high-wire act. The heart of the show has always been Jim and Pam, yet that will-they, won’t-they dynamic can only convincingly shift so so many times. Michael and Dwight are both charicatures that often veer into unbelieveabilty, if not outright insanity. A certain degree of suspension of disbelief is required for all sitcoms. Situations are exaggerated for effect, slights are magnified impossible insults, minor conflicts are played as heroic battles. Michael, as in episodes like Phyllis’ Wedding or Diwali, has developed almost autistic responses in large social situations. And does Dwight, as in the episode, Ben Franklin, really, honestly believe that is Benjamin Franklin is alive today? For now, other characters and situations are grounded enough, and the documentary style itself is so naturalistic as to overcome these oversized personalities. Yet as characters continue to act more and more bizarre without reprecussions, and as the “documentary” conceit falls further and further into the background, can it help but fail us?
All this handwringing is inspiried by a very well-phrased article in the New Yorker a few weeks ago about the “The Office”, it’s transition from the UK to the US, and an appreciation of the US version. I’ve read plenty of commentary about The Office, and I found this the most elegiac, well-written love letter so far. Early in the article, Friend drops this little tidbit:
While Gervais and Merchant’s decision to end the show well before it jumped the scone was admirable, NBC’s decision to air an American version, beginning in the spring of 2005, seemed deplorable. The show’s cult of admirers was outraged; the New York Observer wrote that, to much of Hollywood, “this smells like another colossal failure in the works.” It was as if the network had announced that it was going to take a British institution like “Pop Idol” and remake it with a jingoistic title like “American Idol.” (Since then, Québécois, French, and German networks have rolled out local versions of “The Office”…)
I haven’t been able to find out anything more about these series but it would be interesting to see what directions they’ve gone in…
The Office website on nbc.com doesn’t put up full episodes free (they’d prefer to sell them through iTunes) but they do post three to four deleted scenes from each episode, sometimes eliminating entire story arcs from a show, mostly related to the supporting characters. I’d say it’s worth a half hour of your time if it weren’t for the full commercial between each clip. If you’re going to get the DVDs, you can wait for these.
Also, inexplicably, at TV Guide, a couple of the office cast members are keeping blogs. “Pam”, Jenna Fischer, wrote a long, really great post about her experience “making it” in Hollywood, offers advice to aspiring actors, and advice on what she’s done to keep herself creative and committed. A great read for anyone interested in what happens behind the stage or struggling in a creative field.
A man jumped to his death from the 15th floor of 1133 Park Avenue yesterday afternoon. The man was impaled on a “No Parking” sign on the street, and by the time emergency services arrived, “the body had slid down the pole and was draped over a bicycle leaning against the pole,” according to the Post.
The authorities kept the body on the sign’s pole for more than five hours. The victim was not identified pending notification of relatives.
Sorry, no picture at this time. check back later.
This is the perfect face for comedy, scientists claim.
A new study claims that most successful comedians having similar facial features, with a round face, small forehead, wide nose, large eyes and big lips – as illustrated by this composite picture.
Psychologist Dr Anthony Little, who carried out the research, believes that the contermorary comic who most closely matches this ideal is Ricky Gervais – with features that win over an audience before he cracks his first joke .
Dr Little, an expert in how we perceive facial features, said: ‘The features most likely to mark out male comedians for success are predominately soft and feminine.’ ‘These imply that the person may be agreeable and co-operative. In the same way that infants are pre-programmed to respond to the warmth and approachability of a mother’s face, soft feminine features put us at ease and encourage us to relax. This is conducive to laughter and enjoyment.’
He studied the facial features of 20 leading comics to come up with his conclusion, including Peter Kay, Lee Evans, Jack Dee, Jimmy Carr, Tommy Cooper and Harry Hill. And after morphing all their features together, he created the composite image representing the perfect comedy face – which Dr Little decided looked most like Gervais.
The Extras star told The Independent: ‘I was shocked when I saw the results of the study. All these years I assumed my global success as a comedian was down to my acute observations, expert directorial rendering and consummate skills as a performer. ‘Turns out it’s because I’ve got a fat, girly face.’
Dr Little’s research also suggested that the public figures who might make the best stand-ups – at least based on their face – include David Cameron and Wayne Rooney.
His research at the University of Stirling was commissioned by the Jongleurs Comedy Club chain.
NYMag: You guys are in perhaps the most expensive relationship ever.
JACK: Yeah. Do you know why divorce is expensive?
JACK: ’Cause it’s worth it.
SUZY: Oooh, snap.
Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, messily divorced his second wife in 2003 with a settlement costing over $180 million dollars.
“No,” I thought to myself. “There is no way that the people who work at Fox are really that stupid.”February 16, 2007 at 1:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
during American Idol, apparently.
I had linked to a version of this picture before, it always seemed a little too cropped, here now is the full pic, along with a link to a short page of pretty unique star wars fandom, which includes a bit of the story behind this painting. I’d encourage you to spend some time exploring the site, it’s got a bunch of collections crazy pictures i’m going to regularly plunder for blogging material.
“I roll out of bed… usually between ten and ten-thirty. For me this is early, but for Hugh and most of our neighbors it’s something closer to midday. What they do at 6 A.M. is anyone’s guess. I only know that they’re incredibly self-righteous about it, and talk about the dawn as if it’s a personal reward, bestowed on account of their great virtue.”
Brilliant. The way he twists little moments into larger truths is just aweing.
why does this seem so bizarre? there is an actual street near City Hall in nyc named “People with AIDS Plaza”, as in, “Yes, our restaurant is located at 213 People with AIDS Plaza . . .”
with all this sarah silverman buzz going around, i thought it might be a good time to remind everyone of one of her first high-profile gigs. one of the best movie openings ever. alas, “the way of the gun” could only go downhill from here. it’s just too bad it went so downhill.
i have not forgotten you. I think about posting daily, but i’vebeen grappling with the concept of quarterempty, what i’m trying to achieve here, and what this blog should be about.
i will be back soon, with tons of awesome posts. seriously, i have some great stuff lined up. here’s a taste:
I saw this clip twice a couple of weeks ago at shows where Dave Hill performed, he is highlarious. He’s also is an awesome band, Valley Lodge, whose music graces this clip.
on one hand it was inevitable, on the other hand, i was still surprised to see it actually exists…
“From the Creators of “Must Love Jaws” and “10 Things I Hate About Commandments” comes the best f@#cking movie of the year!”
Entering the comedy world as a black man means you always stand out, even during off hours, such as one Christmas evening in New York at my first holiday comedy mixer. All of Gotham’s comedic glitterati were there. I cornered a “Daily Show” writer, doing my best to get the inside track on a possible actor/writer gig. We broached the subject of black correspondents. He told me that they “tried a black guy once, but it didn’t work out.” I nearly threw my imported beer in his face. Tried it once and it didn’t work? You say that about Toyotas, not a whole race of people. But to date, comedy writing is pretty whitewashed. As of this season, “Saturday Night Live” has no black writers. “The Daily Show” also doesn’t have any, and neither does “The Colbert Report,” a show on which I’ve played Stephen Colbert’s black friend “Alan,” a member of the staff. That’s right. “The Colbert Report” had to hire an actor to play a black person who works on the show.
I’ve been noticing a similar thing lately, that most of the comedy shows, rock shows, lectures and readings I’ve been going to are made of mostly white audiences. In Portland, that was fairly expected, given the demographics of the city, but when I moved to New York, I honestly expected audiences to be a little more mixed. To be sure, the streets and shopping around are more multicultural experiences, escpecially in Brooklyn and LES, but not cultural experiences themselves. There’s a longer post to be written about this, alas, not right now…
Nicely fitting a niche of people who aren’t interesting but want to appear interesting, the Strand Book Store offers “custom libraries” by the foot. Intended for set decoration, retail stores or getting laid, one can choose from collections such as antique leather, new leather classics, subject specific b, cookbooks, law and bargain books, among many others. Prices range from $400 to $30 per foot. They offer 24-hour turnaround and apparently count Steven Spielberg and Polo Ralph Lauren among their satisfied customers. The Adam Sandler comedy setpiece practically writes itself.
march 23 2007
oddly enough, wikipedia has quite an extensive entry
alright, i never downloaded google earth, it just seemed like a lot for something kinda cool, and I doubt my laptop would have done very well with it. but this is awesome. more than awesome in the sense that there is more than just some awe. it’s called flash earth and it provides a completely smooth scrollable interface to google maps, yahoo maps and a bunch of other satellite map hosts. and you don’t have to download anything, it works right in flash.
when you zoom out a ways, it’s really bizarre how, out of the entire eastern seaboard, manhattan became the most developed.
my last apartment in Portland:
The best use is to find where you live, zoom all the way in and zoom all the way out. just click and hold on the + and – buttons on the zoom bar. i’d really like to try this on a big screen.
A google search for “ character actor trapped in a leading man’s body” turns up a variety of names.
- Joseph Fiennes
- Johnny Depp
- Kevin Bacon
- John Barrymore
- Alec Baldwin
- George Clooney
- Brad Pitt
- Hayden Christensen
- Errol Flynn
- Jude Law
- William Hurt
- Aaron Eckhart
- Forest Whitaker
We bet most anyone who has attempted to follow a map in Queens can empathize with the plight of new immigrant Damon Mootoo. Mootoo, who had just arrived from Guyana, got lost when he left his brother’s home on 152nd Street in South Jamaica and ended up wandering around in the cold for five days. Five days! The Daily News reported that Mootoo, who can speak English but is hard of hearing, “didn’t want to approach a cop because he feared he’d be deported.” He managed to get by by begging for water and sleeping in an abandoned car or under a piece of wood in someone’s yard in the below-freezing temperature.
Finally, over the weekend, Michael Bharath saw Mootoo near his home on 142nd Place and Rockaway Boulevard and brought him in. Bharath’s wife gave him a sandwich and Mootoo showed Bharath his stepmother’s address on Foch Boulevard. Mootoo was reunited with his family; his brother said, “He said he was just walking all over. He was scared. He heard all the stories about New York.”
Seriously, I’m sure this is not the first time this has happened.
“Do you like Phil Collins?”
“I have two ears and a heart, don’t I?”
—Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) on 30 Rock
I recently read a description of Alec Baldwin as a character actor trapped in a leading man’s body*. I’ve always had a soft spot for him since Beetlejuice, one of the first movies I owned on video and Hunt for Red October, one of the first movies I saw on my own in a theater and a film I will always get caught up in if I catch it on tv.
His comedic roles in film have been underwhelming, but his appearances on SNL have been better than they are worse and the running gag about the competition between Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin for the title of most guest host appearances have been some of the most reliably outstanding bits on the show.
Still, he is one of the best parts of 30 Rock, I’m not sure it would even work without him. Of all the television I watched in 2006 (alas, there was plenty), I’ve only been struck enough by two lines of dialogue to bother to write them down and they were both by his character. (above, and regarding Kevin, the oblivious, propitious page: “In five years we’ll either be working for him… or dead by his hand.”
* turns out he’s not the only one… google
There are a few demo videos of a potential Ghostbusters game floating around the internet this week [follow the link for a nice compilation]. While it’s unclear if this is a hoax, the videos certainly show the potential of the game. I’m thinking the Wii would be a pretty awesome system to play on. Don’t get your hopes up for another sequel though, according to cinematical, “Rumors of a new Ghostbusters film swirled in and out of popularity for a long time, before Harold Ramis finally revealed that Bill Murray has decided never to fork over his share of the rights — meaning no film will happen.” I remember reading years ago that Bill Murray agreed to do a sequel only if his character died in the first 15 minutes and haunted everyone for the rest of the film. However, this is the current rumor floating around…
What Danny had originally conceived was sending us to a special-effects Hell — a netherworld full of phenomenal visual environments and boiling pits and all that stuff. But my thought was that what works so well about the first two is the mundane-ness of it all. So my notion was that Hell exists simultaneously, and in the same place as our consensus reality. But it’s like a film shutter — it’s the darkness between the 24 frames. So we blink alternately with this other reality, which is Hell.So all the Ghostbusters would need to do [to go to Hell] is take themselves “out of phase” one beat. And we create a device to do it, and it’s in a warehouse in Brooklyn. And when we step out of the chamber, it looks just like New York — but it’s Hell. Everything’s gridlocked — no cars are moving, no vehicles are moving, and all the drivers are swearing at each other in different foreign languages. It’s all the worst things about modern urban life, just magnified.
And Heaven was across the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey. The Ghostbusters had to make this journey from Lower Manhattan to the George Washington Bridge.
Ah well, we’ll always have the cartoon.
Also, in case you’re ever in New York:
Ironic Sans : The Google Maps Guide to Ghostbusters
A really well done compilation of the locations of the scenes from both of the movies. Ghostbusters HQ is in Tribeca, now one of the most expensive zip codes in the country!
It seems there is a new craze flickering into life among anti-establishment types. It’s called Yomango, and it resembles what you’d get if you somehow managed to cross No Logo, Robin Hood, and flash-mobbing. No, not men in green tights running around Waterloo, waving copies of said book: just a lot of giddy activists turning up at a big department store (for example), making off with a £9.50 dress, exhibiting it as a work of art, then replacing it – but in a completely different store.Yomango is, according the manifesto on its website, the “promoting of shoplifting as a form of disobedience and direct action against multinational corporations … Buying is an action based on obedience; [Yomango is] taking to the extreme the free circulation of goods.” It began in Spain in 2002 and has spread to Latin America and Europe. In London, in 2004, a group of activists fare-dodged on to the tube, where they had a party featuring liberated food and drink. In Hamburg, Yomango has co-opted into another group, Vokü, which believes in liberating food from supermarkets for public picnics.
A lot of office boys like to talk about “old school.” I’ll tell you who was old school: Saddam Hussein. Saddam died beautiful. It’s the truth and you know it. Fact is, the longer we stay in Iraq the better Saddam looks. He never had a tenth of our money or weaponry but he did what we can’t: kept that bag of snakes in order.
And what a way to go! Damn, did you see that cellphone video [follow link to article] of his death? A bunch of Shia monkeys in ski masks woofing at him — safe behind their masks, with Saddam handcuffed and under guard — woofing like cockapoos at a pit bull heading for the Pound’s death cell. And Saddam laughed at them, especially when they chanted the name of their pissant Imam, Moqtada al-Sadr. You can hear him on that jerky cellphone video sneering, “Moqtada?” And Saddam earned the right to laugh; he killed Sadr Sr. and kept Junior so terrified he didn’t dare show his fat face until Saddam was gone and only the wimp occupiers were in charge.
Saddam told the ski-mask monkeys they weren’t real men. And he had the right to say that too. Call him what you want, but Saddam was a man, a real man. One of the last. To me, watching that execution was like watching Planet of the Apes: a bunch of de-evolved primates killing the last man. Saddam looked like the 20th century in that overcoat and hat. He’d lost weight in prison. Never flinched, not once. You try that: going to the gallows with your blood enemies screaming insults at you. See if you can hold your bladder, never mind answer back as fast and calm as he did.
. . .
Sure, Saddam was a killer. Don’t you get it by now? In a place like Iraq, killing is how you run things.
. . .
Until we hooked him out of his burrow, the only thing Saddam had really done to America has hand us our most glorious victory since Inchon, in Gulf War I. He was like a lot of Third-World rulers: great at internal security but hopeless at conventional war. Like a rattler, he was totally harmless to anybody with the brains God gave a stray dog.
Meaning, anybody but Bush and Cheney. Those dudes remind me of this Darwin-Award winner who went to the hereafter on Lake Berryessa. He was fishing, noticed a rattler swimming beside his boat, grabbed it — and when his fishing buddy told him to throw it away, this genius said, “Oh, no, it’s harmless — look!” and held it up to his face to show how harmless it was. The snake did us all a favor and took his genes out of the pool by biting him right on the nose, and he died before his buddy could power back to shore.
That was Saddam’s last favor to us: showing us — the hard way, no denying that — how flat-out stupid our bigwigs really are. Bush is standing up at the podium every press conference with that rattler dangling from his nose like a mega-booger, yelping, “I’m fine, I’m fine!” but one of these days, and none too soon, he’ll pass out and pass on, thanks to Saddam.
We did Saddam an accidental favor in return by giving him a rare old-school death. Maybe that’s not important for some of you moral-types but it would be to my heroes. It would matter to John Paul Jones, it would matter to Alexander, it would matter to Subotai, and it matters to me. I wish I could have a death like that. Instead I’ll die the same way you will, tubes coming out of my fat carcass, leaning over to watch the cardio beeper zig when it’s supposed to zag, scared out of my head and ashamed to look down at this civilian belly hyperventilating its last chickenshit breaths.
I’ve heard this from them before in interviews, that Penn and Teller don’t see each other socially, they don’t hang out at each other’s homes, I don’t think they even live in the same city(?). It’s an interesting theory though.
Penn: The trick is not to try to work on the personal relationship at all. Treat it as though it’s a dry-cleaning business. Of course you’re going to become best friends—like in any dry-cleaning business. Your dad’s partner ends up being very good friends with your family. But they didn’t start the dry-cleaning business because they were in love. Lennon and McCartney started because they were in love—so you’re going to get that Let It Be train wreck. Martin and Lewis were probably the biggest train wreck of that sort, in that it lasted two and a half years while they were producing stuff. While Lewis was in love with Martin, Dean seemed incapable of love. Simon and Garfunkel started out as best friends at twelve, but as far as I know they were never really comfortable around each other once they made it. Better to keep it a business.
Teller: Sometimes it’s very intense. Sometimes we get on each other’s nerves or step on each other’s feet. But one thing we’ve learned is not to apologize. That’s a big, big, useful rule for anyone trying to hold together a relationship. When something has been a problem, don’t apologize. Just drop it.
“I have just realised what it is that Banksy does. He makes high end, outdoor “The Far Side” comics. Gary Larson is probably kicking himself somewhere. He could have sold a piece to Brad Pitt.” —Bang-jamin
I know this show is old news, but I followed a link to something else and started looking through this set of photos of the show, which included a lot of pieces i hadn’t seen or didn’t recall seeing when it was originally covered. There was also a huge list of comments. I love Banksy, I think his work is clever, interesting, and it’s something i defintiely wish there were more of. Still, I’m fascinated by people who don’t like his work or think it’s derivative or not clever. Many of the negative commentators criticized him for charging so much for his work (~$100,000) and selling it to celebrities (apparently Brad Pitt purchased a number of pieces), both ridicuolus points I won’t even bother to refute, well, except to say (1) presumably he was raising the money to perform even further, more ambitious(!) work and (2) i think these arguments go to “cred”, which really relates to an individual aestheic. Few of the critical arguments go beyond name-calling, though one alleges that some of the art was painted by other people. Unsurprising, inasmuch as many of the subverted traditional works show a fair amount of time and proficiency was required, but even that is forgivable for an artist who refuses to be photographed or identified, he’s hardly self-aggrandizing. it isn’t as if he is out there, proclaiming himself to be a solitary genius, so long as the concept was his own, does it really matter that he has assistants? I don’t imagine he painted the elephant all by himself either. Others complain that his work isn’t as challenging as it once was, that he’s mainstreamed, but I suppose that depends on the individual as well. Some of the images and wordplay would be right at home on a t-shirt at spencer’s gifts, but pert of it is context. How seriously can you take a t-shirt, but put it on a wall and it might change someone’s mind, or at least give them a different perspective.
It used to be that when the economy thrived and productivity grew, pay for working people rose accordingly. Yet as the Times reported this past summer, the first six years of the 21st century look to be “the first sustained period of economic growth since World War II that fails to offer a prolonged increase in real wages for most workers.” People have put up with all this because it happened so quickly and for the same reason that the great mass of losers in casinos put up with odds that favor the house: The spectacle of a few ecstatic big winners encourages the losers to believe that, hey, they might get lucky and win, too. We have, in effect, turned the U.S. into a winner-take-all casino economy, substituting the gambling hall for the factory floor as our governing economic metaphor, an assembly of individual strangers whose fortunes depend overwhelmingly on random luck rather than collective hard work. And it’s been unwitting synergy, not unrelated coincidence, that actual casino gambling has become ubiquitous in America at the same time.
I don’t know about you, but I find casinos, for all their adrenaline and glitz, pretty depressing places.
This is a call to arms by Kurt Andersen that I am a little surprised hasn’t gotten more play. He attacks CEO pay and the shift of salaries that have been rising for the rich and holding steady or sliding for the middle class. He even offers a solution:
…We could enact de facto compensation caps for top executives, either by limiting the tax deductibility of CEO pay or, as in Britain, by making CEO pay subject to a shareholder vote every year. We can raise—and certainly not further reduce—taxes on the extremely well-to-do.We’ve had a bracing, invigorating run of pedal-to-the-metal hypercapitalism, but now it’s time to ease up and share the wealth some. We can afford to make life a little more fair and a lot less scary for most people.
I think this is a savvy point that is even-wider-ranging that Andersen argues. The massive increase in the amount of media and the rise of celebrity culture since WWII have led to a narcissism and entitlement. That each of us is special and deserves success and riches. By seeing those few winners, our hopes are that much more falsely raised. How else to explain the rise in popularity of jobs that so few manage to succeed in… acting, writing, professional sports, singing, rocking, etc.
i went to see a taping of the colbert report last night, and it was well worthwhile. The whole process is a bit of a pain in the ass. I requested tickets back in August, heard nothing until late October, when i got an email saying I had tickets for January 8. An almost six month wait! Doors open at 6, they recommend you get there at least an hour and a half early. I got there an hour and forty minutes early and if i had been fifteen minutes later, I would not have gotten in. then you wait. and wait. they have this covered area, so at least the cold, biting winds that whip up the west side around 11th Avenue aren’t so brutal. then, about 6, they bring you inside, give you a card with a number, run you through a metal detector, and you wait in this very tiny room with everyone else, but at least there are bathrooms. and a small television. playing comedy central. about 6:30 they let you into the studio in numerical order (note, the higher your number, the more likely you are to sit on the side he high fives on his way to the interview), you listen to really loud music for ten or fifteen minutes, the warm up guy goes around and insults the audience for ten or fifteen minutes, they hand out a couple of t-shirts, teach you how to clap and cheer. colbert comes out and takes questions for five to ten minutes, then they do the show. 30 minutes later they boot you out on the street.
three hours of waiting for thirty minutes of entertainment isn’t the best ratio, but if it’s what must be done to see colbert then it must be done. and really it is worth doing once, it’s a surprisingly surreal experience, the stage area is astonishingly small, and the the set is huge within it. the colbert report is taped in the old daily show studios (oh couch, how i do miss thee), and you could see how the daily show would easily fit in the space, but it took a fair amount of vision to put together the colbert set, and to use with as much versatility as they do. as i mentioned, tickets are difficult to get, they only take requests at certain times, and after you’ve seen the show, you’re not allowed back for six months. this is one of those situations where it would be nice to know someone that works there. alas.
I went to see the daily show last summer, and while the process was largely the same (waiting, waiting, loud music, warm up, banter, show, curb), the feeling was not. the daily show was like going to a museum, or a national monument. it felt formal and somewhat reverential, and that’s not to say that the staff or host are less engaging, but it just has this feeling, at least in my recollection of “this is a place where comedy that can change the world is made”, it’s also larger, they seat about 120-150 people each taping, and you’re a little further away from the set. colbert seats about 80-90 and you’re practically on top of the set. the colbert report felt looser, the warm up guy was great, really great, the director was funny, stephen flubbed a couple lines and had to do second takes, and it just had this, “we’re in it together” feeling. and maybe it’s that colbert is acting, while stewart is technically hosting, and you feel like you need to help the act come off, while you simply shower the host with your appreciation. i also hadn;t really realized until last night that stewart has correspondents, while colbert is all on his own and how exhausting that might get. perhaps i was mistaking the ease of practice, the daily show is in it’s tenth year, for professionalism, but it did feel different.
when i went to the daily show i sat on the dais that camera flys over after the opening titles and you could see my head and my fist pump. i don’t get comedy central, and the last night’s show hasn’t shown up online yet so i haven’t seen it, but i was on the high-five side and em tells me you could see me, so i guess i better get an agent. i brought my friend thom as my guest, he has a shaved head and said that colbert pointed at him and swooped his hand over his head, but it all happened really quickly, so who knows. this time i was sort of stunned and unprepared for it and i think i was making a stupid face, but at least i wasn’t looking at the monitor…