Sunday, December 28, 2008
I've heard it related to the economy, the election season, the holidays, interpersonal internet cruelty. Schadenfreude the term seems to have become as commonplace as schadenfreude the practice. So use it while it's hot!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I was reading an article on Slate.com about the waning popularity of NASCAR when I came across these ads in the middle of the text. I now understand that they are advertisements for the TV show Kings, but initially I misread them as messages from the King of Georgia (rather than the fictitious "Gilboa").
I was at first surprised that Georgian royalty had bought ad space on Slate, and then secondly surprised that this Eastern European democratic state had a king. The point of this story is that advertising has finally beaten me (I'm not counting the time Geico's "Tiny House" tricked me, that got everyone).
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Sure, blame your theater's closing on the Holocaust. Hack.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Hold on a minute. A quick Google search reveals that my idea is not wholly new to the internet. I have to concede that adding Al Gore to the equation makes it even better.
Friday, November 21, 2008
All of these lovely pictures and more can be found here.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
A. Football fans tend to be more conservative than the general population of the country.
B. The Democrats in the crowd mistook him for John McCain.
C. Philadelphia can be a cold, aimlessly angry place when the team is down.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I remember starting a discussion in 2003 with some friends at Penn's dining hall about who would be the first person of "minority" status to break the Christian white man streak. Would it be a woman (not technically a minority), a Jewish American, an African-American, a Latino-American, an Asian-American, or other. Ultimately the consensus was that it couldn't be someone of predominantly Hispanic descent because of tension over Mexican immigration, and it wasn't likely to be an Asian person due to the relatively small portion of the population they represent. A practicing Muslim certainly seemed out of the question at that point. Joe Lieberman had almost been a heartbeat away from the Presidency only three years before, but even so, the conservative Christians didn't seem likely to go for a Jewish commander-in-chief, and Jews only make up about 1% of the US population. So we figured the safe bet would be a woman (there had been female executives in other countries, after all), or if the President died, his/her Jewish Vice President. Even five years ago, a black president seemed like something to strive toward in 2020 or 2024. I'm so rarely glad to be wrong.
In our defense, we couldn't have seen a candidate like Barack Obama coming from a mile away. Joe Biden famously gaffed when he called Obama an African-American candidate who is "articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy" but after the shock wears off, you get what he's saying. I don't think "clean" is meant to suggest an opposition to a supposed group of average, less-hygenic African-Americans. I think it's a contrast to politicians, who are known for being corrupt and for having sex scandal skeletons lurking in their closets. You know, dirty. And "articulate and bright" could draw a comparison to some current presidents. As for"nice-looking," well, Obama's handsome probably by most standards. And let's face it, as far as the personal histories of politicians go, Obama was squeaky. If Ayers, Rezko, and Wright are the worst characters they can associate with you, you know you're virtually bulletproof.
There are so many things I'm looking forward to during the Obama Presidency, but maybe most of all I'm looking foward to his Supreme Court appointments. Finally, 88-year-old liberal Justice Stevens can retire in peace, knowing that his seat won't be given to a right-wing idealogue. 75-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg is probably feeling the same way. Even Stephen Breyer and David Souter, hovering on either side of 70, might want to consider calling it a career. How great would it be to get three or four fresh liberal faces on that court after such a long haul? I almost suspect that Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt have been carrying Stevens around Weekend-At-Bernie's style just to keep his seat out of Bush's hands.
And on top of it all, what a week to be a Philadelphian Democrat. Jeremiah Wright is going to have to change the punctuation and emphasis of his now-famous chant to, "God damn, America."
I'm sure things won't turn around overnight, but I'm more optimistic about our country's future than I've been in a long, long time.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Here Goes Nothing
Brett Favre, freethinking huckleberry in the N.F.L., tries to make something happen one last time.
What does "freethinking huckleberry" mean in this context?
Also, exciting about the Phillies, eh? I rarely wish I was back in Philadelphia, but that would have been pretty sweet to take part of. Has Ryan Howard ever run faster in his entire career than when he was the first to tackle Brad Lidge and Carlos Ruiz?
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Rebranding the U.S. with Obama
By Nicholas D. Kristof
The other day I had a conversation with a Beijing friend and I mentioned that Barack Obama was leading in the presidential race:
She: Obama? But he’s the black man, isn’t he?
Me: Yes, exactly.
She: But surely a black man couldn’t become president of the United States?
Me: It looks as if he’ll be elected.
She: But president? That’s such an important job! In America, I thought blacks were janitors and laborers.
Me: No, blacks have all kinds of jobs.
She: What do white people think about that, about getting a black president? Are they upset? Are they angry?
Me: No, of course not! If Obama is elected, it’ll be because white people voted for him.
[Long pause.]She: Really? Unbelievable! What an amazing country!
Kristof then rationalizes his friend's perspective by reminding us "that the one thing countless millions of people around the world 'know' about the United States is that it is controlled by a cabal of white bankers and Jews who use police with fire hoses to repress blacks. To them, Mr. Obama’s rise triggers severe cognitive dissonance."
So they're familiar with the Civil Rights struggles of the 1960s (even if some details regarding Jewish involvement are off) but they haven't heard of the great successes of African-Americans over the past forty years? What an oddly selective memory. The ascendancy of Oprah alone would be hard to miss, I would think.
They're very unusual scents, my favorite is called Winter, 1972, and it's described as a field of untouched new fallen snow, hand knit woolen mittens covered with frost, a hint of frozen forest & sleeping earth. It smells exactly like that. I would never have imagined I'd want to smell like cold dirt but I do. I love it. They're very personal, intimate scents; they don't accost everyone around you and leave headaches in their wake. And there is certainly something for everyone, the scents range from the smell of tomato vines (another favorite) to the absolutely spot on scent of burning maple leaves.
If there weren't enough reasons for me to love this line already, he has a scent called In The Library. Described as English Novel taken from a Signed First Edition of one of my very favorite novels, Russian & Moroccan leather bindings, worn cloth and a hint of wood polish, it is very nearly the scent I've been looking for. Unfortunately, it's slightly too sweet for me, more vanilla and pipe tobacco. Having experienced so many of Christopher Brosius's scents and finding almost all of them very accurate I can only imagine that that favorite novel of his smells like that. His gallery in Brooklyn sells many more accords (single note fragrances) than the website and among them is one called English Novel. I can only hope that a trip back East is in the works for me so I can stop by and smell what is possibly the scent of my dreams. Of course, if I should be feeling particularly flush anytime soon (or not so soon) he does custom scents.
HOWEVER, (this is surely a novel by now) the real reason I need you all to know about this line is that I think everyone would love it but not enough people are familar with it. This fact was confirmed by me when I did a Facebook search to see how many people had it listed on their page and the answer came back as two; me and the perfumer himself.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
I'll keep you all posted since I know you're just chomping at the bit to see how this works out.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
First order of business: Put the apostrophe back in the department. I bet the Secretary of Education gives him shit about that all the time.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
What do you all say?
Monday, August 11, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
-Charles Chaplin, 1966
I'm still deciding how I feel about this. On one hand, yeah, why should he have to ape Godard to be relevant? On the other hand, how can you communicate with an audience when you refuse to innovate on the advances made by your peers and likewise refuse to speak the cinematic language of the time? If Chaucer had lived into the 21st century, but never learned to speak modern English, who would read his new books? That is, assuming the books weren't titled "How I Got to Be 700."
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Barack & Roll
Between Barack and a Hard Place
Seriously. TRY and come up with something original. If he's elected, I estimate that by February 2009 creating name-inspired puns for Barack Hussein Obama will be literally impossible.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Some of the connections to 9/11 are obvious (Bruce Springsteen's "I'm Goin' Down"), others (Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World") not quite as much. But I like the fact that ALL of Rage Against the Machine's songs are inappropriate.
On a London vacation with his wife, [Paul] Cole — then a resident of Deerfield Beach — declined to enter a museum on the north London thoroughfare.
"I told her, 'I've seen enough museums. You go on in, take your time and look around and so on, and I'll just stay out here and see what's going on outside,'" he recalled."I just happened to look up, and I saw those guys walking across the street like a line of ducks," Cole remembered. "A bunch of kooks, I called them, because they were rather radical-looking at that time. You didn't walk around in London barefoot."
About a year later, Cole first noticed the "Abbey Road" album on top of the family record player (his wife was learning to play George Harrison's love song "Something" on the organ). He did a double-take when he eyeballed McMillan's photo.
"I had a new sportcoat on, and I had just gotten new shell-rimmed glasses before I left," he says. "I had to convince the kids that that was me for a while. I told them, 'Get the magnifying glass out, kids, and you'll see it's me.'"
Friday, July 4, 2008
Lost footage from cult sci-fi film Metropolis has been discovered in Argentina.
The director's cut of Fritz Lang's 1927 classic, featuring an extra 30 minutes, was believed to have vanished forever after it was cut by Paramount bosses because of bad reviews.
However, the curator of the Buenos Aires Film Museum discovered a copy of the movie in his archives - and a projectionist noticed it was longer than all other versions of the iconic film.
Film restorer Martin Koerber, who is one of the few people to see the lost footage, says, "No matter how bad the condition of the material may be, the original intention of the film, including all of its sub-plots, is now once again tangible for the normal viewer. The rhythm of the film has been restored."
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Monday, June 30, 2008
Apparently, McCormick's also boasts a raffle every weekday the Mariners have a home game. Though we had six complimentary raffle tickets between the two of us, the couple at the table next to us were the lucky pair for the night, winning a $50 gift certificate to McCormick's, two tickets to tonight's Mariners game, and a cab ride from McCormick's to Safeco Stadium.
This couple happened to have plans, so they gave the tickets to us! Then McCormick's changed the dessert menu without telling us and they gave us free dessert for the inconvenience!
The Mariners lost in a rather uneventful 2-0 game against the Blue Jays (whose supporters really turned out for them in a way I've never seen before), but for free, it was pretty hard to beat.
So this ends the blog contest. Congratulations to our co-winners, a nod of the head to our conquests, and medium rare to our burger cook, please.
It's been fun,
Dave and Lily
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Speaking of Deep Throat, do you even remember his name? I didn't. I just looked him up again. Man, what if we all forgot who Deep Throat was? It'd be a mystery anew!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Kevin Bacon's on everyone's lips
October 25, 1996
Web posted at: 7:50 a.m. EDT
From Correspondent Paul Vercammen
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Kevin Bacon's name is being thrown around a lot these days in places you wouldn't expect.
"Let's link Paul Newman to Kevin Bacon," begins a conversation you may hear at a cocktail party or on a college campus. "Paul Newman was in the 'Color of Money' with Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise was in 'A Few Good Men' with Kevin Bacon."
That's how you play "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon," a cultural phenomenon that's taking the nation by storm.
1996: BORING YEAR.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Speaking of fire, Lily and I had dinner at a Greek restaurant tonight with some friends from Philly and the Greek waiters spontaneously lit a dish on fire (flambee?) right behind me. All I could see were Rachel and Taylor's faces glowing a yellowy light as I felt the heat blasting my neck. Not knowing if this was it, I ducked down near the table and probably looked like a bit of a coward. The good news is that in that (potential) near-death situation I neither shrieked nor soiled myself, and that felt like a good test to know I could pass.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
At the end of the day we finished loading the U-Haul and started saying our goodbyes. The last person I got to was the DP, with whom I had worked most extensively. We shook hands and said "Good working with you" and then stopped and looked at each other for a moment. We were both moving our mouths as if we each wanted to have the next word, but were too tired think of it. After about three seconds, he blurted out, "It's like joining the circus!" It's a comparison that's been made before, but it seemed appropriate at the time anyway.
It wasn't necessarily a funny thing to say, but I laughed quite a bit anyway, possibly out of sheer fatigue.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
But I really want that hamburger.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
"Be My Wife"
I would embed the Songza version, but for some reason it isn't working right now. Here's the music video on Youtube, which I think actually detracts a bit from the song because it's so visually boring. Well, you be the judge.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
In the photographer's words:
"This lady has it FIGURED OUT. She likes to read, she likes to smoke, she lives in Seattle (where it's 50 degrees and rainy in June), she works in some hulking office building downtown: what's the solution? You see it before you. (I should note, since it's not quite clear, that she's actually standing in the street, in a quiet little spot between parked cars that puts her out of foot traffic, far away from the smokers-area ennui, and even deeper in her own little umbrella world."
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Street Banner Internship
Deadline to Apply: Open until filled
Working as a member of the City's Banner Process Improvement team this position is responsible for locating and identifying street poles eligible for banner placement. This position will conduct a physical inventory of light and other street poles that could be used for hanging banners (including commercial district, event, cultural and art-related banners). The intern will travel Seattle neighborhoods and business districts identify eligible street poles, map their location and enter this information into a computer database. Additionally, the intern may assist the City's Public Art Program in mapping public artwork locations around the City.The last sentence almost saves it, but WOW. People with histories of depression need not apply.
Monday, June 9, 2008
In more words: Sam Rockwell and Anjelica Huston try their damnedest to save it, but just can't. The tone and pace shifts without rhyme or reason (though not in the interesting ways that the book does), Kelly Macdonald is uncharacteristically bad (and she was recently phenomenal in "No Country!"), and the film is even surprisingly ugly from an aesthetic point of view.
The weird part was that as I watched it I thought, "Man, I wish they'd gotten a better cinematographer. Somebody who knows how to make an independent film look like it cost $10 million more to make than it actually did. Somebody like Tim Orr." Much to my surprise, Tim Orr was the cinematographer of this monstrosity. My brain can't compute the fact that the guy who shot "Choke" also shot "George Washington" nearly ten years ago.
The film has some merit here and there (some jokes from the book that translated well to the screen), but overall, not worth anybody's time.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Clint Eastwood's response was that there was only a small munitions detachment of black soldiers on Iwo Jima and the film was primarily about the three men (two white, one Native American) who raised the flag on Iwo Jima and survived the war. He also said that Spike Lee gave him shit in 1988 when he (as a white man) made a film about jazz legend Charlie Parker (noted black man), and should "shut his face."
Now Spike Lee says, "the man is not my father and we're not on a plantation either... I didn't personally attack him, and a comment like `a guy like that should shut his face...' come on Clint, come on. He sounds like an angry old man."
To be fair, Clint Eastwood does sound a bit like an angry old man, but for Spike to say that Clint left African-Americans out of Flags, deliberately or through a lack of research, IS a personal attack, and an angry response should be expected.
As much as I enjoy the bickering, I wish these two very talented men would put aside their differences. Surely there must be some way for black people and white people to get along...
Friday, June 6, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
The Making of Cthulhu
I PAed a bit on a short by this director (Dan that is, not Grant).
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Gadzooks! Look at this site. We've only got four more years left to live!
'Swounds! Now watch this! I can't tell if this is serious or just a fine bit of comedy.
Monday, June 2, 2008
As you can see, the selection seems to be entirely random, with no regard for tone or flow from one song to the next. As for the individual tracks, well this song, for one, is ridiculous.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
My parents and brother will be here in a matter of days, which is... fine. I don't know. I'm looking forward to seeing them as I do sincerely miss them, but the phrase "worlds collide" hardly ever holds a positive connotation to me.
Monday, May 26, 2008
And because I love them we have maybe too many of them in our tiny apartment. There are only two of us. This is not helpful.
What do I like besides juice glasses?
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Here's the trailer:
Lily and I are going to spend the day cleaning in preparation for my family's visit next week. I just have to see if I can wake her up.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
(Backstage before being given the award, Michael approaches Andre 3000)
Michael: Hi, Andre. My name's Michael.
Andre: (sizes him up) Damn. That's a nice suit.
Michael decided at this point that he was now ready to die.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Mötley Crüe are headlining the first-ever CrüeFest, a multi-act tour featuring Buckcherry, Papa Roach, Trapt and Nikki Sixx's side project Sixx: A.M. The bassist promises an elaborate show that will rival the Crüe's 2005 carnival-theme spectacular. The exact setup remains a secret, though he promises pyro. "Most artists say, 'Can you keep that fire away from me?'" Sixx says. "We want to be in the fire!"
How will you balance out the set between new and old songs?
As the headliners, we just have 90 minutes, so we can barely fit our hits. There are some hits that we'll have to not play — and we'll sneak in four or five new songs.
How is the tour going to be different from Ozzfest?
I love Ozzfest, but it's a sausage-fest — real heavy on the dudes. For Mötley, it's always been 50-50. The guys come, and they dig the rock & roll, and they've got all the stuff they love — titties and beer.
Yeah, all right.
Will the Titty Cam be back?
We may have worn it out, though it always seems like a good idea once you get out there. It makes everybody happy; it should be called the Happy Cam!
Even Gloria Steinem approves! 
I imagine the backstage of a Crüe concert is an insane orgy. Is that true?
Let's just say that you're not far off.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Also, have you heard of this?: Cassette from My Ex. It's a website full of articles by "interesting" people talking about mixtapes their ex-girlfriends or ex-boyfriends gave them, along with a track listing of course. I haven't read that much of it yet, but it sounds sort of cool.
Monday, May 19, 2008
It's true, I am clean-shaven for the first time in over three years. What a world. Now I can know what it's like to be judged by my character, rather than the bushiness of my facial hair (kind of like "Black Like Me"). Here's the pre- and post-mortem:
Yeah, that's Mall Madness in the background. What.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
I love my family, but sometimes I just don't know what their whole deal is. Honestly, you'd think we had fifty grandparents and long-distance phone calls were still a considerable expense.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Have a good weekend.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Woman 1: Sorry about that. I guess we could all use some more eyes.
Man (in a foreign accent): I have only one eye... Two is a blessing.
Woman 1: ...Oh?
Man: I lost this eye when I was five.
(Woman 2 and I are completely silent)
Man: I was hit by a dart (makes dart-throwing motion). I have not seen out of it since.
Woman 1: ...Oh.
(Woman 2 sips her coffee)
There is no punchline.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Lily and Dave are in the midst of an argument that we would like you to help resolve by answering a very short survey. Here it is:
1. After "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," what do you think is the Beatles' most widely known/acclaimed album? Bonus points if you list the Beatles studio albums in order from most acclaimed/well-known to least. (Also, feel free to dispute "Sgt. Pepper's" standing as #1, that's just been common ground for the two of us)
2. Name the top ten most widely known Beatles songs. It shouldn't be "favorites" or "best," but most recognizable to your average music fan.
Thanks for taking the time to do this. We promise not to break up over your answers.
- Lily and Dave
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Friday, May 9, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
"Da Bomb Bikes is a Taiwan-based bicycle company founded in 1998."
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
That article's a little long and sporadically entertaining, but the slideshow is worth a look. The best part of the article itself is when someone calls out "Hey, Nick!" mistaking the fake Busey for Nick Nolte.
Monday, May 5, 2008
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Saturday, May 3, 2008
I like the theme of Jim unwittingly becoming Michael (trying to reschedule all of the birthdays into one party, locking the whole gang into the office and then being racially inept/insensitive with both Oscar and the security guard). It's a miserable transformation in some ways, but I think it's realistic, and it stays true to the overarching message of both English-language incarnations of "The Office," which is that if you don't have the courage to do what you really want to do, you'll probably wind up being someone you never intended to be.
I oddly appreciate that Toby is becoming "the bad guy" (his and Ryan's reprimanding of Jim, his unsettlingly long leg-caress of Pam) and how that implies that Michael was right about him all along when everyone else loved him.
And then there's the whole "Ryan's drug-problem" which is sort of dark and interesting as is the pathetic Jan-Michael relationship. The show may not be as funny as it once was (nor is it as consistently hilarious as its sister show "30 Rock"), but it's developing substance in certain areas, and that makes me appreciate it more.
Also, if you want some spoilers, TVGuide.com has the listings for the next few episodes, and the season finale is titled "Goodbye, *character's name*." I'll leave it up to you whether you want to find out who it is.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
I have some ideas about what I'm going to do, but nothing certain. There's a good chance that my friend Pete Erickson and I might start a pure fruit brandy distillery. Three weeks ago it seemed like a hobby or a pipe dream, but now I really think we might make a go of it.
Note to self: Keep in touch with Michael. Also, when NWFF co-founder Jamie Hook was asked about Michael's time with the organization:
I mean, eight years is a long time. It's two presidential terms. Any longer and it's going to get into Third World dictatorship territory.
Oddly enough, I could definitely see Michael taking over Liberia or something.
Friday, April 25, 2008
One-hit-wonders are saddest in the film world. At least I think so.
EDIT: Nah, I take that back. You only have to make the film once, and then it can take care of itself. Musicians have to play their one stupid hit thousands of times on tour or starve to death. Even successful musicians are bound to their repertoires. The Stones have to play "Satisfaction," or risk the wrath of 60-year-olds who paid $100 per ticket.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I had no idea. I wonder who does that and how I can be his/her friend.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Earlier tonight, I found myself thinking about this angry, angry song, and wondering whom it was about. So I Googled around until I came across the Mountain Goats message board. You might want to listen to the song before you read on so you get the full effect, but here's what John Darnielle had to say, when asked about writing "Anti-Music Song":
I don't even remember who the Morrissey wannabe was. It should be noted that I saw the light in '95 and would no longer call Moz "2nd-rate."
The "bad imitation of Van Morrison" dude was the singer from Counting Crows, who I'm sure is a nice guy and all but gaaah. So now you know.
When asked if he had "also see[n] the light and take[n] back that comment about not liking Brian Wilson," Darnielle replied,
no, I still dislike BW's entire body of work pretty intensely
That still leaves open the mystery about who the person "doing an imitation of an imitation of Jimi Hendrix" was. Lenny Kravitz seems a good choice, as someone else on the message board pointed out, considering "Are You Gonna Go My Way" was a big hit in 1993.
Man, JD goes for the jugular.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Despite it being Mars, they have a few basic supplies: Water, fire-making tools, air, their own clothing. All of the Presidents are as they were at the time they were in office, so there won't be a 90-year-old Alzheimer's-afflicted Ronald Reagan competing with relatively young contenders like John Kennedy (though 70-year-old Reagan might not do much better).
So with all that laid out, who would be the first to go? Who would be last?
Lily's family and I came to these conclusions:
First to be killed, whether eaten or not: Carter or Madison. From Wikipedia: "Madison is noted for being the shortest president ever, at 5' 4" tall. He is also the lightest president ever, weighing only about 100 Lbs."
Last man standing: Washington or Grant. Military men, both relatively young when they were in office. You know Grant would fight dirty.
Then again, the remaining 42 of them could probably split Taft over the course of a few weeks.
Also of note, I had probably the best breakfast of my life this morning at Monsoon. Porkbelly (they accidentally gave me two pieces), fried eggs, brioche french toast with maple syrup.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
See, if I deleted that, I would NEVER be able to find that again. Because what IS that? If anyone can tell me, I will be quite impressed.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
If you couldn't tell from that jumble of letters and numbers, The Colbert Report is broadcasting for the first time out of its Manhattan studio, and it chose the University of Pennsylvania's Zellerbach Theater for the taping. That's literally about four blocks from where I lived for four years. To be fair, I was lucky enough to see Colbert when he came down to host the Intercollegiate Comedy Festival at the Zellerbach back in 2004. He was easily the best of the run of performers who came by while I was there (Other hosts included Tim Meadows (2005), Gilbert Gottfried/Paul Provenza (2006), and Dan Bakkedahl (2007). This year it was Kenan Thompson.).
I'm still trying to decide whether it's a blessing or a curse that I don't have cable here. Probably a curse. I wish I could see Colbert square off against our local Democratic leaders. Namely Michael Nutter (Mayor), Ed Rendell (Governor), and The Roots (City Council, I believe). John Legend will be there too, but who cares? Nutter, Rendell, Roots. That's a good week.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
I must say, he didn't sound like I expected him to. A much louder, firmer voice than you'd expect from a man of his stature and age. The event was slightly marred by a circling plane carrying a banner that read "Dalai Lama Pls Stop Supporting Riots," but it didn't interrupt the ceremony at all. I wonder what the banner was referring to. I honestly don't know enough about the Dalai Lama's political positions to form an educated opinion of him, but he struck me as an intelligent man who knows how to pack the house.
Friday, April 11, 2008
If we shot black-and-white now, maybe we could catch up to what Toland was doing then. Have you seen The Long Voyage Home? It looks like it was shot tomorrow.
Well, I was looking over his great, all-too-short filmography when I came across December 7th, the only film he ever directed (co-directed with John Ford). It was apparently just another piece of wartime propaganda fluff, but my favorite thing about the film is that Dana Andrews plays a character called "Ghost of US sailor killed at Pearl Harbor." Wow, that movie sounds like it could be entertaining. I'd love to make a movie with a character called that, floating around begging young men to avenge him.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
Squeaky Fromme, on the other hand, is still on the inside. So no need to panic just yet.
Though something I was unaware of was the story of the guy who saved Ford's life, Oliver Sipple. One minute a partially disabled Vietnam vet, the next minute a President-saving hero, the next minute ostracized for being unwillingly outed as a homosexual by the media. A tough break to say the absolute least.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
(Dave, too lazy to log off Lily's account.)
Saturday, April 5, 2008
There was a New Yorker article this week about the friendship that went sour between French filmmakers Jean-Luc Godard and the deceased Francois Truffaut, and the author quoted frequently from Truffaut's angry letters to and from Godard. It occurred to me that this was really personal stuff between these two titans of the New Wave, and what right had we to publish their letters and analyze them for signs of either animosity or lingering tenderness?
Inevitably, emails and blogs will be compiled into books about the so-called important people of our time. Emails being as fast and free as they are, I'm expecting a lot of boring books in the future. Here's an excerpt from Edward Norton's collection, published posthumously by Random Home-Unit in 2061 as Edward Norton History X: I Am Jack's Hastily Written Emails:
Haha. Yeah, I'll be there. Noon sounds good.
Noon does sound good, Ed. Thanks for the fucking insight.
Friday, April 4, 2008
At first I laughed at the poorly conceived prologue, directed by Monte Hellman, and how it would completely compromise the whole film. But then I realized: To make the film more "moral," the censors made Joe a man on death row who was sent by the government to kill everyone in the entire town deliberately. Subversive? Just inept? I'll never know. But I do have to give props to Harry Dean Stanton for carrying the scene pretty much by himself and getting no help from the Eastwood stand-in.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
My aunt said:
I will be there come hell or high water. Tom will also and I am guessing Isabel, but I'll let her speak for herself. I'm excited, not nervously of course, but optimistically and joyously! And I am flattered to be among the chosen.
And my Mom:
I WILL BE THERE, FOR CHEF OF THE DAY!!
You don't have to turn in your COD notebooks do you? because i drew Voldi-pope in it.
Voldi-Pope. As in Voldemort as a Pope. Exactly. Thank you.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf is a film that speaks directly to its audience in more ways than one. Firstly, the title serves as a wake up call informing you, yes you, that your sister is a werewolf. With this understood, Stefan Crosscoe (Christopher Lee), Occult Investigator, appears out of the stars (with a foreboding skeleton over his shoulder) to read the audience a passage from an ancient text:
For it is written: The inhabitants of the Earth have been made drunk with her blood. And I saw her sit upon the hairy beast and she held forth a golden chalice full of the filthiness of fornications. And upon her forehead was written: "Behold! I am the great mother of harlots and all abominations of the Earth."
Some of this prologue is metaphoric, some of it is quite literal.Attempting to scrutinize the labyrinthine sexual politics of Howling II in a short essay is either a very ambitious undertaking, or a very naive one, I will be the first to admit. But as mountaineer George H. L. Mallory once said of his great love and eventual killer, “[I must climb Everest] because it is there.”
Director Philippe Mora is not afraid to wax misogynistic in the name of Christian morality. In the world of Howling 2, women are weak at best, evil at worst. Only men, armed with silver bullets, stakes, and holy hand grenades, can save the world from female-dominated damnation. Stirba (Sybil Danning), the 10,000-year-old queen of the werewolves, intends to reverse the process of evolution by transforming everyone on the planet into sex-crazed, bloodthirsty beasts. She has two main lieutenants in her werewolf commune. The first is Mariana (played by “Brown Sugar” inspiration Marsha A. Hunt), a British woman who haunts the deviant-infested night clubs of
Together, Stirba, Mariana, and Vlad form an Unholy Trinity that has more hairy, uncoordinated werewolf sex than anyone would care to view. Their perverse ménage-à-trois is juxtaposed (via a tasteful diamond-wipe) with the more “natural” coupling of our two protagonists: Ben White (white=pure) and Jenny Templeton (a ton of temples), played by Reb Brown and Annie McEnroe, respectively. Their intercourse is brief, up against a wall, and Ben seems to be able to please Jenny with his jeans still on. In other words, it's done properly. One could even argue that they only give in to temptation because they are staying in hotel room 666 in, “The Dark Country.” Furthermore, the sex is clearly Jenny’s (i.e. the woman’s) idea. When Ben suggests they stay in separate rooms, Jenny tells the hotel manager “One room will be fine.” Minutes later, she breaks down and cries, “I need you to hold me, Ben.” He replies with a resigned but compassionate, “Yeah.” Does the book of Genesis ring any bells?
Much later, Jenny is lured away from Ben by a young Romanian werewolf who seeks to rape her. But the attack is interrupted by Stirba, who wishes to turn Jenny into a lusty werewolf like the rest of her army. Vlad smears Jenny’s face with the blood of the lamb and threatens, “You will know pleasures such as you have never imagined.” The bound and gagged Jenny silently prays that Ben and his chastity-jeans can save her from such a fate.
That night, Stirba hosts an orgy of leather-clad female werewolves. The women writhe around on the floor, pleasing each other while old men wearing 18th century-style wigs watch and giggle maniacally. The company is simultaneously entertained by a punk band called
Thankfully, Ben, Stefan, a priest, a dwarf, and two other holy men are dedicated to destroying Stirba and eradicating her kind. Vasile, the dwarf, is the first to fall. Stirba electrifies his head with her mysterious ultra-lycanthrope powers, making the little warrior’s eyeballs burst out of his head. The remaining five men draw up their courage and storm Stirba’s fortress. The reverend and the two redshirts are mutilated in short order, leaving Ben to easily dispatch Mariana and Vlad, while Stefan faces off against Stirba.
The final confrontation between Stefan and Stirba is a revealing one. Stirba calls to Stefan seductively, referring to him as her “brother.” She offers him power and incestuous love, a tempting offer to be sure. Though Stefan will not turn to the dark side, his morality directly conflicts with his emotion. As he stabs her, a wave of melancholy sweeps over his face. He has killed his sister, whom he both loves and hates. We come to realize: His sister is a werewolf too. In seconds, the siblings are consumed in flame and the werewolf menace is halted... for now!
Without a doubt, the lupine liberation movement was a direct threat to a heterosexual, patriarchal, Christian society. And though Stirba was defeated, the montage during the end credits reminds us that brave dwarves still die every day, that people like Stirba are ready to throw away morality as quickly as they can bare their breasts (a shot of Stirba swiftly disrobing is replayed a staggering seventeen times to fully hit the point home), and that for all of the good that Ben, Jenny, and Stefan accomplished, Babel is still on the loose.
The film is surprisingly relevant twenty-three years later, as we prepare to potentially elect our first female president. I doubt that I would be the first person to call Philippe Mora a prophet, but surely he deserves credit for anticipating that such a time would come to pass. Mora’s message for you to take to the election booth is this: An ambitious woman will be the death of us all. Men must unite, with God by their side and subservient women quietly behind them, to reclaim the planet. As such, the next seven months could very well determine the fate of the soul of the entire human race.
And that is why I support Barack Obama.
Monday, March 31, 2008
It's opening day and I want a hot dog. But it is pouring and my house is cozy and smells like brioche bread pudding so I think that will be an acceptable substitute. But also, I fucking love hot dogs.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
1. Probably 20% of the Criterion movies I have no desire to see.
2. They add titles at a rate that far exceeds my watching ability.
Despite these obstacles, I'm about a third of the way through. I wonder who is in charge of designing their DVD cases. I sometimes like them even more than I like the movies themselves. Example:
Man, that scene was suggestive for 1953.
Which reminds me, RIP Richard Widmark.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
"In December of 1966, I heard the album Rubber Soul by the Beatles. It was definitely a challenge for me. I saw that every cut was very artistically interesting and stimulating. I immediately went to work on the songs for Pet Sounds."
I like that when he listens to a really good album, all he hears is "Bring your A-game, Wilson. Yeah, this record is talking to you."
I hope he felt some vindication when Paul McCartney would later cite Pet Sounds as a major influence on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the one album that beat it on Rolling Stone's list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time." But then, what the hell is that list worth? They think the top ten albums ever made were all released within about seven years (1979's London Calling excepted).
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
I'm starting to get interested in music again. Not playing it, I mean, just listening to it. It's weird, but for a while there I'd just lost all interest in hearing anything new or exciting. I thought it had all been done and I'd heard all I needed to. "Incorrectly jaded," I guess would be the best phrase for it.
But now I actively want to hear new things (or at least new to me). It's not like there was one song, album, or artist that served as an epiphany for me. It must have something to do with all of the music news and reviews I've been reading lately; I want to hear what everyone's talking about. And it's good stuff, this... music.