Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Conan Twitter Tracker
Ebert versus Video Games
Going back to 2005, it was widely blogged that Ebert hates video games. Rather, he infamously dismissed video games as not worthy of being called "art".
In 2007, Ebert admitted that video games COULD be called "art", but not "high art".
In defense of Ebert, I'd point out that he never claimed to actually hate video games. And I think his marginalization of the true art of video games—the range of emotion and inspiration that can be uniquely derived from the medium of video games—is obviously more of a generational gap than anything. A lot of people have never, and probably never will, experience some of the incredible video game experiences that have already been created.
Video games and video game design have evolved so much more than the basic art of film in a fraction of the time. Which is in no way meant to disparage film, or to say that one medium is superior to the other. But both are entirely legitimate.
It boils down to a debate over "what is art?", which can go on endlessly. (Just like my lovely animated gifs!) Ebert marginalizing video games is about Ebert not fully understanding them and passing judgment. It caused a bit of an uproar a few years ago, I think, because video games are so often marginalized and misunderstood. But honestly, do people really need Roger Ebert's validation to properly honor the art form?
Friday, February 26, 2010
Conan Twitter Tracker
"BONER" Has a Posse and Why Dean Cameron Hates Me
Perhaps even if you've clicked on the above link, you're wondering, "Who the fuck is Dean Cameron...?"
In 1990, Dean Cameron and Stuart Fratkin starred in a sit-com called "They Came from Outer Space". From Wikipedia's description, the series was about "two teenage fraternal twin aliens from the planet Crouton" who "travel throughout California... to pick up women and to learn more about life on Earth..."
In 1991, Cameron and Fratkin starred in the beloved Damian Lee sex-comedy SKI SCHOOL.
No doubt, Dean Cameron and Stuart Fratkin were being groomed to be the Bob Hope and Bing Crosby for Generation X.
In 1996, when my friend Dave told me about how he'd stumbled upon Dean Cameron's email address, Mr. Cameron's career had stalled and he was about to have a guest-starring role in an episode of the hot NBC drama "E.R." He was using his email address to connect with his ardent fan-base and get them to petition NBC to make him a recurring character on E.R.
I mistakenly assumed that Dean Cameron had a sense of humor about this plea to his fans—as well as his offbeat filmography—and I wrote him a tongue-in-cheek email that was basically about how much I genuinely liked his work, including his alien tv show with "Boner from Growing Pains".
Kids, back in 1996 IMDB was not the universal go-to for cast-clarifications. So I did not realize that Dean Cameron never starred in ANYTHING with "Boner" from Growing Pains. The character of "Richard 'Boner' Stabone" was played by Andrew Koenig.
As you may know by now... "BONER" HAS A POSSE.
Stuart Fratkin was NOT "Boner". (Though from the above picture comparison, you can understand my confusion.) Dean Cameron never worked with "Boner". And thus, Dean Cameron proceeded to write me a vicious email in response to the email I'd sent him, dismissing me as some shitty NYU film student and questioning, "BONER?? What are you TALKING about?!??"
Fact of the matter is, I did not realize that Andrew Koenig and Stuart Fratkin were two different people until I heard the news that Andrew Koenig was found dead Thursday night.
Dean Cameron + Stuart Fratkin
Kirk Cameron + Andrew Koenig
That said, maybe someone should be asking where Stuart Fratkin is right now...
[Programming note: I bumped an entry to have this posted on Friday, so don't forget to check back here for the weekend updates, true believers!!!]
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Conan Twitter Tracker
(Can't it be both?)
Now, I can snowboard, bitches. Ho Ho Ho.
Out of this World
Ode to Jill Bernstein
An entry covering the Iron Chef battle Rachel Ray & Giada De Laurentiis. This was back in 2006 and I had painstakingly extracted frames from video I'd uploaded to my computer so that I could include these little screen caps. (This was before the rise and fall of YOUTUBE, kids.)
I'd gone to this trouble because of this judge on the show who was just a stone cold knockout. Period point blank.
Miss Jill Bernstein. Senior Editor of Entertainment Weekly.
While the majority of that blog consists of recipes and recipe-experiments, the Jill Bernstein entry is probably the one that has gotten the most hits. From other men who were inspired to look her up after watching that same Iron Chef episode.
One day, people will respect me for all the good I've contributed to the internet. Mark these words.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Remembering Gene Siskel
I favored blue sweater-vests, because whenever I wore brown Gene said, "Buzz, the usual offer of 10 silver dollars to any cameraman who doesn't make Mr. Ebert look like a mudslide."—excerpt from Roger Ebert blog entry
If you haven't read the moving Chris Jones Esquire article about Roger Ebert (and Ebert's response to the article), I highly recommend it.
In the article, Ebert gets quite upset when he finds that video of his special tribute show to Gene Siskel has been yanked from YOUTUBE (which is something that happens all too often on YOUTUBE because they are rights-Nazis). Perhaps Ebert just stumbled upon a dead link—or perhaps YOUTUBE reversed a decision—because the video is active again.
Here's the entirety of the show, in three parts:
... and on the lighter side of the news, i want 2 go 2 here.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Revised Tonight Show Promo
Now with more appropriate music selection!
Dreamed of the Strangest Creature
These are the times I wish I had the ability to draw well. Or at least get the image from my head onto the page with some accuracy. The dream itself was the odd sort of dream that I thought I'd forget within hours, but this creature stayed with me. Saturday night—spent quietly in my Tomb, recuperating from the night before—I tried to cobble together some rough semblance of the creature using pieces of other creatures, inexpertly reassembled in Photoshop. It's not entirely "accurate" but it's the closest I'll have.
Some nonsense involving exes of some manner. A lot of that narrative has gradually faded from memory. Nothing inordinately awful but perhaps slightly melancholy.
At a certain point, I find myself approaching a duck pond that is situated in the middle of a city. A really clean city, like Metropolis or something. Bright and blue and concrete...
The duck pond is large. And people are allowed to wade into the water amongst the ducks. I walk into the water a bit and see all the ducks coming my way...
... and from a greater distance, a stranger creature approaches...
I only get a sense of the size of this bizarre thing as it nears. It's huge. A head sort of like a parrot with a downward sloping beak. Bright green. At home with the other waterfowl, it swims closer, rising up out of the water. It is massive and slow-moving. The other people are not shocked by it. They respect its presence and move out of the way as it steps onto dry land. It moves with a sense of majesty. Large claws sink into the earth. The back length of its body is more silvery and segmented, like some manner of sea serpent. But it also looks like it may be capable of flight.
The way the people move around the creature, you might think it were some sort of deity. A God-creature to the people of this small, utopic city.
If anyone out there has seen this creature—or can draw a better depiction of her—please alert me.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Blame it on Conrad Bain
Baldwin was wary. It was a sitcom, and he had played Macbeth and Stanley Kowalski on the New York stage. His mind turned to the example of Conrad Bain, the actor with a fine theatrical background who came to be Philip Drummond, the white father of two adopted African-American boys, on “Diff’rent Strokes.” Embroidering on this thought, Baldwin imagined an actor who signs up for the quick money of a sitcom pilot quite confident that the show will never be commissioned: “The agent’s saying, ‘Don’t worry, it’s the biggest piece of shit in the history of show business.’ Cut to six years later: you’re in your dressing room, you’re in season five, and on the wall are posters of you from the New York Shakespeare Festival—these achingly beautiful posters on the wall. By that point, you’re making a hundred and seventy-five thousand a week, you’ve got a house in East Hampton, you’re getting laid constantly, you’ve got closets of beautiful Italian suits, and you’ve got three cars in the garage and you’re paying alimony to your ex-wife who’s living down in Florida. And you’re doing the same jokes, again and again and again.”As with most New Yorker articles, this Alec Baldwin profile boasts an absurdly excessive word-count. (9 pages? Really??) But it's still an interesting read.
I'm reeling from the Wikipedia revelation that Conrad Bain has an identical twin brother named Bonar Bain. Just when you think you know everything there is to know about Conrad Bain, man... EL BLAMMO...
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Go HERE and plug in some of your favorite website URLs (like Misanthropy Central) to hear what they sound like!
(Nick Gaffney's site produces a notably brief tune.)
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Later with Bob Costas: Siskel & Ebert
Here's Roger Ebert and the late Gene Siskel doing the show back in the day. (Volume is low so you may want to crank it up.)
You really get a sense of the genuine animosity between these guys. Even basic professional respect is questionable. I think people assumed they must have been good buddies once the cameras were off but I think the dislike—for a good portion of their careers at least—was the real deal.
2nd video here begins with the opening sequence of Siskel n' Ebert's original show, "Sneak Previews"...
It also features Ebert ominously talking about how he could probably do the show without Gene...
Gene gets some shots in here...
Friday, February 19, 2010
Roid Rage (SURVIVOR SPOILERS)
—from Dalton Ross's recap of Episode 2
Survivor XX heated up in its second week, y'all!
WTF, James? You were sposda be the nice guy. The gentle, steroid-enhanced giant. And yet, you looked like you were on the verge of stomping on Neytiri at the close of Tribal Council...
Well, I have to say that I'm pleased that Amanda is around for a little while longer because I do enjoy looking at her...
Jeff Probst blogs about Episode 2.
Neytiri gives her account of the donnybrook
Labels: SURVIVOR: HEROES VS. VILLAINS
I watched the pilot episode of FRINGE when it debuted on September 9, 2008, mainly because J.J. Abrams was attached and I've been a fan of his since the ALIAS. But I dropped FRINGE quick because it reminded me too much of Le X-Files (an infuriating series) and I didn't feel like getting strung along indefinitely when I already juggle too much television, by anyone's measure.
But I kept hearing that FRINGE was getting better and better, and it became one of those shows I imagined I'd get to eventually...
Thanks to NetFlix and the interminably long wait for both "Zombieland" and "Moon", "eventually" came sooner than expected.
The quick review: I'm in. "Olivia Dunham" doesn't quite have the charm of "Sydney Bristow", but it's a show that gradually grows and gives you a sense that it knows where it's going. [X-Files, as always, acting as both an inspiration and cautionary tale.] And, NO SPOILERS, but the ender to Season 1 is a fucking corker.
Anyway, you've got to be wondering, "When is Malice going to start talking about who he's attracted to on the show?"
Well, Anna Torv is an attractive Cate-Blanchett-type, and she's an Australian doing an American accent which is bonus points... but then I found this pretty little missile, shot me out the sky...
Thanks for ruining stuff, The Internet!
Thursday, February 18, 2010
The Jenny McCarthy Show
Who's blogging about The Jenny McCarthy Show in 2010?
MISANTHROPY CENTRAL, BITCHES!
I never really watched Jenny McCarthy's short-lived 1997 variety sketch comedy show, but I remember this funny sketch featuring the lovely and talented Brian Posehn.
This accurately documents all of my romantic dealings in offices over the years.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Guns N' Roses @ Fashion Week
Axl Rose and his Guns N' Roses played a secret show during Fashion Week. [Brooklyn Vegan's account with pics]
At the former site of the CBGB's. [Rolling Stone report]
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Little Girl Tantrum
FEBRUARY 12--A Florida first grade student was briefly committed to a mental health institution after police were twice called to her school this week after she threw violent tantrums, which included the six-year-old striking the school's principal, who is eight months pregnant, in the stomach....Well, if someone ever told ME to do something, I'd probably have the same reaction.
During an hour-long tantrum--which was apparently triggered when the girl's teacher asked her to do something--the child kicked walls and threw items (a calculator, electric pencil sharpener, telephone, etc.) across the principal's office...
Along with threatening to punch a deputy, the girl called a school administrator "an old bat" and told the woman, "I am going to go home and make a kick me sign and put it on your back."
While Haley's parents acknowledge that their child has a temper problem, they said she has no history of mental illness, and blasted school officials and sheriff's deputies for overreacting. The sheriff's report notes that, prior to last week's incidents, school officials repeatedly sought to discuss Haley's behavior with her mother and father. But the parents never showed up for the scheduled meetings. Additionally, both parents were arrested last year for failing to appear for a court-ordered truancy hearing about "their children not attending school on a normal basis."
Picture of the 37-pound criminal at the link above.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Small Wonders Never Cease
For the curious, this is star Tiffany Brissette as an all-growed-up:
(This blog entry is dedicated to Nick Gaffney.)
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Live Through This
And still, I must confess... I'm crazy about SURVIVOR.
Wasn't always. Though I watched the finale of the 2nd season in the Australian Outback, I didn't really start watching the series until Season 8: Survivor All-Stars.
I'm just fascinated by the social game of it, okay?
Who I'm rooting for always tends to shift throughout the course of a season. Right now, I'm in it for Russel and Boston Rob and James... but you don't really care about any of this, do you?
C R U S H E S
For the SURVIVOR geeks:
Labels: SURVIVOR: HEROES VS. VILLAINS
Friday, February 12, 2010
MTV ≠ Music Television
Once the channel where you could watch the latest music videos, it's now unapologetically overrun with reality shows like JERSEY SHORE. On behalf of all the Olds, I'd like to thank the younger generations for totally fucking up my music television. You really blew it, you know?
Read this cool story about the origin of the MTV logo.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
World of Cadavers
You're not allowed to take pictures in the museum but the place was so empty, I snapped these two with my Blackberry.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Of course, the last thing I need is more methods of procrastination.
My writing process can be so damnably slow sometimes. These creative distractions can help when I've reached some dead-end and I need to circle back to some problem in order to better assess.
Yet sometimes it seems I'm running in a lot of circles and not making significant progress.
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
10 Girls Who Will Dump You...
Read about 10 Girls Who Will Dump You when they go on tour.
Better to have loved and lost...
(But really, is it better...?)
Monday, February 08, 2010
Talk Show Desks
Yep, that's all I've got today.
Hi, how are you?
Sunday, February 07, 2010
The Saints Came All Over the Place
Check the stardate: EA Sports sim predicted another Super Bowl outcome!
Sorta makes you wonder, what's the point of even playing the game?
You know Leno's in a really rough P.R. spot to be doing a promo for The Late Show.
The story behind the Late Show advert.
Team Letterman! Team Conan!
Are You Ready for Some Football?
Saints, Colts Hoping To Resolve Super Bowl Through DiplomacyRead full article HERE.
MIAMI—Team officials from the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts emerged from a tense, 12-hour negotiating session Thursday and told reporters that, while they had yet to reach a settlement that would prevent a massive on-field conflict, the AFC and NFC champions were committed to resolving the Super Bowl through diplomatic channels.
"Playing this Super Bowl is our last resort," said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who was flanked by the coaches and quarterbacks for the opposing teams. "Yes, there are some difficult issues that need to be hashed out, such as who will be the game's MVP, the number of total passing yards for each quarterback, and which team will be named Super Bowl champion, but I think we made progress today."
"The Colts and the Saints are unwavering in their commitment to avoid any violence and wish to resolve the Super Bowl peacefully, without a single football being thrown," Goodell added.
Saturday, February 06, 2010
Fans of Food Club
Myself, Eric Wareheim, and Jason Woliner decided to start a Food Club where the three of us go to restaurants with a couple of other people. The three of us are the captains of the Food Club, so we have to wear the captains’ hats. We went to Sona, which is this very, very nice restaurant that has Michelin stars. The chef knew our stuff and was really excited for us to be there, and he made us this awesome stuff. But we’re in this really nice restaurant, and the whole time, we were wearing these goofy captain hats.This from a really sweet interview Aziz did over at the AV Club.
A brief acting lesson from Mr. Ansari:
AVC: Did that divorce episode [from Parks & Recreation] in particular scare you at all?For the record, Aziz is 8 years younger than me.
AA: That was the most serious stuff I’ve had to do, playing sad like that, and it was fun. I definitely was a little nervous, but I think it turned out good. I think I looked pretty sad. [Laughs.] I just kind of frowned a little bit and thought of something sad, and then it was all good.
AVC: Do you recall what you thought about?
AA: I thought about a boy in a well and people going over to save him and instead of saving him, they just poured cement down it. And that just made me really sad. [Laughs.]
LOST begins its final, parallel-universe season. A little video someone made, showing Oceanic 815's alternate voyages, side by side. Differences are (apparently) not accidental.
Friday, February 05, 2010
THE OFFICE (U.S.) rant
February 4th, 2010
New company called "Sabre" has taken over Dunder Mifflin. Michael Scott (certifiable retard that he is) pronounces the company name as "Sah-bray". And no one else in the Scranton branch corrects him or seems to know any better because fucking "sabre" is such an exotic word?? Does anyone in Scranton have a high school diploma? "Sabre"? Really?
To welcome their new corporate overlord, Andy and Erin sing an original song that Andy composed for "Sabre"—because, you know, that's what happens at sane offices run by educated adults, people compose goddamn SONGS to sing to their new bosses—and the gag (because, wait for it, the fact that they're singing a song at all isn't the actual gag) is that Andy has composed the lyrics of the song to rhyme with "Sah-bray" instead of "Sabre". And since they were all schooled on the proper pronunciation just moments before, Andy was unable to correct his faulty rhyme-scheme.
David Wallace, now out of work, is suddenly as stupid as Michael Scott. Pitches Michael a get-rich-quick invention called "Suck-It" which is a vacuum that sucks up toys that kids have left on the floor. I *liked* the David Wallace character because his was one of the few allowed to be a real adult human being. Now, of course, he's a quirk-oid character just like the rest of the increasingly wacky lot!
The "documentary" conceit of the show is totally haywire. Sometimes the characters acknowledge the presence of cameras, sometimes they don't, even though the camera movements and editing maintain the aesthetic of a documentary. When Michael Scott visits David Wallace's house, there is no acknowledgment from the Wallace family that there are suddenly cameras filming there.
WHY AM I STILL WATCHING THIS SHOW?
Because it was really good once and I would defend it. And now it's sooo jumped the shark, it's fucking obscene and this needs to be articulated. On the internet.
Omar bin Laden = Scott Evil
Living in a remote mountain hide-out with a father bent on world domination, Omar's existence was like some twisted, real-life version of Dr. Evil's son from the Austin Powers films. Omar laughs at the comparison. There is a good resemblance, he admits. But to Omar, what Austin Powers really got right was the relationship between his father and his father's followers. "These men are all Mini Me's," he says. "They want to be just like my father — to look like him, to act like him, to be him...LOLZ!!! Somebody get Jay Roach on the horn, we've got another movie here!
"Most of the new ones who came to my father were just silly soldiers," he says. "Some were running away from problems in their lives. Some could not live a normal life. I didn't do the training like the others. I have no use for this. All the running and jumping were silly." In Omar's telling, grenade pins were pulled accidentally, explosives were mishandled and jihadists regularly killed each other in friendly-fire incidents.
One of the most highly publicized items seized from bin Laden's hide-out after the U.S. invasion in 2001 was a cache of videotapes that showed puppies being put into pens and slowly, painfully killed to test chemical weapons. To the world, the tapes proved the diabolical ambitions of bin Laden and his followers. To Omar, it was just another example of a cruel and inconsiderate father. The puppies had been born to Omar's favorite dog, and he had hoped to raise the entire brood. But Osama's men kept taking the puppies for their experiments.
Really fascinating article with a great ending that I won't spoil for you!
Thursday, February 04, 2010
Calvin & Hobbes Creator Talks
Interview with Bill Watterson: 02/01/10
And because the story deserves this:
Interview about the interview!
Pretty sweet animated gif, eh? Took me a very long time, people.
Rush Limbaugh Raped and Killed a Girl in 1990
"I know there are a lot of people out there who are upset about some of the things I've been saying on my radio program lately. My comments about the situation in Haiti have hurt and angered many Americans who genuinely care about the plight of the Haitian people, and that hurt and anger will likely never go away. Many of you are probably wondering, "What would compel a human being to say things like that?" Well, here's your answer: I am a very bad person. And, to tell you the truth, I don't really want to be alive anymore..."Relax, everybody, it's just THE ONION...
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Screech Starts Snitching
He seduced foreign girls in the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland!
Mario Lopez is a rapist!
Everybody screwed everybody!
From his account of it, you'd imagine that Bayside High School was run by Principal Caligula. (Seems appropriate that Executive Producer Peter Engel originally wanted to give the series the more ominous title, "When the Bell Rings".)
11 Most Scandalous SAVED BY THE BELL Revelations in Screech's Autobiography
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
I've been publishing this blog to the internets since March 2002, which is almost forever ago.
"HaloScan", the free comment-box app I've used since the beginning, is about to call it quits. Although the haaay-day of comment-box activity is over, I've amassed "6,133" comments on here. Half of those are probably me. A lot of the older comments are probably from people I'm not even friends with any longer.
In any case, as much as I'd like to preserve the existing comments, I'm not willing to pay for the solution. Therefore, old comments may be wiped out completely. Eventually, I'll get a new comment system up and running but I've tinkered with this template so much over the years, I'm trying to be careful not to break it while making revisions.
Interactivity is overrated, anyways... :(
To gear up for the final season, here's a meticulously real-time edit of the events that occurred during the crash of Flight 815 on LOST:
Good Looking One
Good-Looking One Not Working Today
BROOKLYN, NY—To the great chagrin of sources at local coffee shop From the Ground Up, the Good-Looking One is not working today, and there is no evidence to suggest she will show up before the morning is over.
"Oh man, where is she?" coffee shop regular Glen Partridge said to himself, scanning the room for the Good-Looking One but finding only the Bad-Mood One, the Gay One, the Fat One With Red Hair Who Always Wears It In Braids, and others. "I deliberately sat in her section and even wore that brown sweater that makes me look thinner."
"Now I'm stuck with what's-her-face," added Partridge, referring to the Really Annoying One Who Blinks A Lot When She Talks.
The Good-Looking One, whom sources describe as really good-looking, with a pleasant complexion, a great body, and long brunette hair, usually works the morning shift, but was nowhere to be found at 10 a.m today, causing speculation as to her whereabouts.
"I don't get it, she's always here on Mondays," customer Eric Son said. "I wonder if she had to take time off for some reason, or if she got sick or something, or what."
"I hope she's okay," Son added.
Fellow coffee shop patron Justin Burke was also disappointed by the Good-Looking One's absence, and admitted that he initially mistook the One With The Slightly Off Face for the Good-Looking One, but quickly realized his error once she turned around.
"I'd like to ask one of the other employees why she's not here, but I don't want to come off as weird or anything," Burke said. "Maybe I'll just stick around a little bit longer. She could just be running late, I guess."
(Click on the title to read the full article)