Friday, April 30, 2010

Tonight We're Gonna Give it 35%

Hello. My name is Malice. I live a few blocks from Times Square in New York City. What am I doing Friday night, you ask...?

I'm going to The Crazy Donkey in Farmingdale. To see the band AGAINST ME! perform their musical numbers.

I wasn't aware of the existence of AGAINST ME! until about a week ago. Since then, I've been familiarizing myself with their oeuvre whilst cleansing my demons at the gym. Their first full-length album was called "Reinventing Axl Rose". I like Axl Rose. The album and the title track don't really have anything to do with Axl Rose, except maybe in some sort of spirit (or critique).

Sample of lyrics from "Reinventing Axl Rose":
We want a band that plays loud and hard every night.
That doesn't care how many people are counted at the door.
That would travel one million miles and ask for nothing but a plate of food and a place to rest.
They'd strike chords that cut like a knife.
It would mean so much more than a t-shirt or ticket stub.
They would stop at nothing short of a massacre.
Everyone would leave with the memory that there was no place else in the world and this was where they always belonged.
They are a punk rock band with a sound that has begun to sound more poppy with their more recent albums. (To the dismay of some of their fans, but you can never please people.)

An interview with Tom Gabel of AGAINST ME! from a few years back.

A more recent interview with Tom Gabel of AGAINST ME!, concerning their upcoming album "White Crosses".

This track, "Borne on the FM Waves of the Heart" off their last album NEW WAVE, features Tegan Quin from TEGAN AND SARA:

This is what's happening.

Found this interview with Tom Gabel from June 2008 where he actually talks about Axl Rose a bit...

I'll accept the jabs, though I do believe the racism and homophobia has been blown out of proportion—particularly when you take into consideration some of the other metal bands of that era, and personalities that have flourished since then (e.g., Eminem). Chinese Democracy (which came out a few months after this interview) has no signs of racism or homophobia. Ending Axl Rose defending now.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Letterman Disrespects Leno

In the event that you didn't bother watching Dr. Phil on Letterman, here's this clip of Dave continuing to stick it to Jay.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Free iPhones, Click Here

A little gem from Conan's Late Night show.

Fighting the Narrative

Really fascinating report on 60 Minutes this past Sunday, in case you missed it. (Which you probably did.)
At the heart of Islamic extremism is "The Narrative", an ideology that says that America is waging war against Islam because it hates Muslims. The Narrative once fueled Maajid Nawaz, a Briton and former Muslim extremist, who tells Lesley Stahl that he used The Narrative to recruit others. But no longer. Nawaz now wants to change the hearts and minds of young extremist by showing them the fallacy of The Narrative.
Worth watching:

Also, Conan O'Brien will be on 60 MINUTES this Sunday so get your DVRs set!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


The Celebrities Are Present

JEZEBEL has an article about the celebs at MoMA visiting Marina Abramović's "THE ARTIST IS PRESENT" exhibit. I was wondering if any celebs were taking part.

The article also mentions the wannabe performance artist who dressed up like Marina and sat opposite her THE ENTIRE DAY.

What's the difference between a performance artist and an attention whore?

Sex Spikes

I'm fascinated by the traffic spikes this blog gets with certain entries.

Misanthropy Central averages around 40-60 "unique hits" on weekdays, with maybe 12-15 regular "returning visitors".

Note, however, the spikes on April 17 and 26 on this area graph. Those correspond with posting links to the blog in the comments section of GAWKER, relating to Alison Brie and "Boobquake".

The Verdict: a lot of people read GAWKER and I'd probably enjoy a much bigger audience if this were exclusively a lad rag blog. What's the point of writing words when all I need to do is post pictures of boobies?

Okay, I'm not THAT MUCH a whore for hits. This blog is, and always will be, whatever I need it to be at any given time. Pop-culture aggregator, manic depressive journal, social/political rant, lad rag. And, of course, the miscellaneous entries that provoke friends to email me to ask, "What's up with that entry you wrote today?" This is why it's doomed to maintain a small audience. And I'm comfortable with this.

I hate all the uncertainty in my life over the past two years. There, I said it. I've been flying blind for so long, I miss the pedestrian security of a regular soul-sucking day-job. That is a sad confession.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Happy Boobquake today, everyone! GIRL POWER!!

Who's got two thumbs and wasted way too much time making an animated gif this afternoon...???

(Me. The above describes me.)

Standup Raccoon on Dating

"Dating again. Dating's a crazy thing in this city, isn't it? Read an article about how the gender numbers in this city are roughly even but they favor heterosexual men because there's such a large gay population. I think that logic's faulty, though, because it doesn't account for the number of women who think they're too good for me.

"Went on a blind date with this raccoon girl. It's great when friends set you up because they just assume that two single raccoons would get along together. I call it the Noah's Ark Theory. Don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against dating other raccoons but we're not necessarily going to be compatible because we happen to be of the same species. It's like those panda bears in China who refuse to fuck: maybe they're just not into each other! What if they stuck a Megan Fox panda in with a Danny DeVito panda? And she's looking at him from the far end of the cage and saying, 'I don't care if you're the last panda on earth, YOU'RE NOT STICKING THAT THING IN ME.'

"So, this raccoon girl I go on this blind date with, she says that she doesn't usually date other raccoons because she doesn't want to be seen as 'That Raccoon Couple'. People see two raccoons holding hands down the street and think, 'Oh, that's That Raccoon Couple.' She didn't want to be marginalized like that. Plus, she figured that most raccoon guys just didn't have any options. Which is why she only dated tall white guys. So then I suggested to her that white guys are only interested in her because she's a dirty little raccoon whore.

"First thing you should know about raccoon girls: NO SENSE OF HUMOR. Second thing you should know about raccoon girls: RABIES..."


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Gervais Interviews Chris Martin

Everything is Falling Apart


I was having a grand time with this season till a few weeks ago. I'm still completely invested in the season—it's the one show that I try to watch on the actual night that it premieres (I let the DVR record at least half an hour before starting, so I can skip the commercials: I like to be good to myself)—but I find the latest developments troubling.

1) Sandra going rogue
2) Parvati telling Amanda that she's got an idol
3) Candice dropping out of the immunity challenge without reason
4) Parvati dropping out of the immunity challenge, essentially telling everyone she's got an idol
5) Parvati not telling Russell about her 2nd idol, using them BOTH at tribal council, using one for Sandra

I don't like Sandra. (Though I confess, I *occasionally* think she's kinda cute in certain shots; hey, what do you want from me here?) It's entirely personal but she and Courtney remind me of a set of catty weasels who'd sit at the back of the classroom, making fun of everyone else and bringing nothing to the table. Courtney did JACK SHIT: sucked at challenges, sucked at strategy. Sandra sucks at challenges and is just doing everything she can to weasel her way further.

But I hate her and I *like* Russell? I don't entirely get it, either. I know there's a way to articulate it but it's complicated. Russell is mean. Overly self-aggrandizing. He's been playing a particularly messy game, IMHO. But there's a sociopathic streak to him that I... identify with just a little bit. Okay, I've said too much. (That's me in the corner.)

I didn't like how Parvati hid her secondary idol from Russell. It was a good idea in theory for her, but she didn't do it to blindside Russell (which would have been the smart game, for her) but merely to show Russell that... what? She's not a pushover? She's not just riding his coattails? That she's got her own game she's playing? She ended up flushing both idols out during the tribal council—which was a cool pimp move and certainly smacked Amanda and the rest of the heroes in the face, which was fun—but all it served to do was:

a) waste an idol on Sandra
b) totally piss off her strongest ally in the game

It would've been slightly better if she'd managed to keep a united tribe together but all she managed to do was keep a completely dysfunctional tribe together.

Jerri did get saved. I think I'm developing feelings for Jerri. There is something sad about her and I find myself drawn to sad girls because then I can be the one to cheer them up. The expression of shock on her face, at being given an immunity idol and at being SAVED, was heartbreaking. Like a beaten dog being given a bowl of food and a gentle pat on the head.

And then, there is JT, Boy Wonder.

Dear, dear JT...

He executed arguably one of the most bone-headed moves in SURVIVOR history: blindly giving an immunity idol to a person he doesn't know on the opposing team. He didn't just give Russell Hantz an immunity idol—he wrote him a love letter to go with it!!! I'm sorry, that's NOT the dumbest move in SURVIVOR history: that's the most ADORABLE move in SURVIVOR history!

He got totally played by Russell but he grinned and shook Russell's hand when it was done. Because he knows it's just a game and I think he's got a sense of humor about it. How many girlfriends does this guy have? It kills me...

I know that some of you (the two of you who actually read these SURVIVOR entries) think that Jeff Probst comes off as an egotistical asshole in his recap blogs. Well, I implore you to read what Probst wrote this week... because I think he breaks new ground. Here's my favorite part, which he drops in, randomly, RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of the blog entry:
In case you’re wondering, my office is pretty small. It’s not connected to my house either. It has hardwood floors that I had to replace about three years ago after a particularly wet winter. I have a poster from a movie I wrote and directed, “Finder’s Fee.” I have a poster from a show I created and hosted, “Live For The Moment” that nobody watched so it’s off the air. I have two very old paintings from one of my grandpa’s. I have a flat screen that my brother mounted on the wall that I never watch and wish wasn’t there. I have an old grandfather clock, a few photos from Survivor, some photos of friends and a few trinkets from my travels. Now you know.
Clap. Clap. Clap.

Thank you, Mr. Probst. The truth is, I don't REALLY read your weekly post-episode blog entries to get a little insider insight into the show. I'm honestly just so fascinated by YOU PERSONALLY that I hunger for these scraps of personal information. I'm inspired by you, truly. In fact—

In case you’re wondering, my office is my bedroom and I refer to it as
"The Tomb". I share my apartment with two other roommates and I'm the only one who takes out the trash or removes the leavings in the kitty litter box. I've been thinking about getting a haircut in the near future and there are some shirts I should take to the dry cleaners. Now you know.

Here's Stephen Fishbach's latest blog entry, though I know you won't read it. Some intelligent commentary on the episode, nonetheless.

Oh, and Russell Hantz was in a real life brawl!!! The guy's a berserker—what did you expect?


Friday, April 23, 2010

Malice Versus Marina

On Monday, I published this blog entry about the Marina Abramović retrospective at MoMA. Monday night, I received a text message from friend David Michael Cohen, alerting me to the fact that we had to go see the Tim Burton exhibit this week because it was closing the following Monday. We made plans to go Wednesday morning, before the museum was opened to the public.

"Do you want to sit with Marina?" texted DMC.

"Of course," I texted back.

Before the groping headlines, I was keenly intrigued by Marina Abramović after Dave's wife Jenny was telling me about the MoMA exhibit and Marina's body of work as a performance artist. While the retrospective would employ young nubile performers reenacting many of Marina's earlier work (see the groper headlines), Marina herself would be part of a new piece titled THE ARTIST IS PRESENT. Sitting in a chair for hours on end. From before the museum opened till after the museum closed. Without any breaks, without any food or water. (Fuck you, David Blaine.) Sitting and staring at a steady stream of strangers. Each allowed to sit for however long they wanted to...

"If we get into Burton early, we'll need to get you to the Marina line exactly at 10:30," DMC texted in response. "My bro-in-law was 5th in line and he waited all day and never got to her, because the third person sat for over 6 hours. She was a bitch."

So, Wednesday morning we spent a good hour at the Tim Burton exhibit before heading to the Marina Abramović showdown... and what a circus it was...

Bright lights. Cameras all over. Security pacing about. The filthy public masses chomping at the bit to be let into the museum. And then DMC and I, cutting to the front of the line with our bad VIP selves.

That's not entirely accurate. There were a few museum employees who managed to out-VIP us. Just a few, it didn't seem like a big deal.

As soon as the museum opened, a pack of French tourists stampeded in and tried to cut us as we formed the queue. I hesitated because the scene was far more of a large-scale spectacle than I was anticipating—the massive space, the crowds—but DMC managed to cut in front of the obnoxious French tourists and save our place.

And then, we waited.

This was nerve-wracking for me.

It felt like we were waiting in line to ride on a roller-coaster. It also brought back childhood memories of waiting in line to sit on Santa's lap at the mall. (Marina's long red dress helped complete this memory.) That nervous anticipation, not wanting to screw it up. I feared the impulse to scream out at her: "I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!"

I honestly thought it was just going to be a laugh. But what I quickly grew to appreciate was that when you sit opposite Ms. Abramović in that chair, you're no longer a spectator. You're a part of her exhibit. And all these people flooding through the museum, drool leaking out of their slack-jawed maws as they gawk at you from multiple levels and vantage points in that cavernous MoMA atrium. Taking pictures they aren't allowed to take. Even Tea Leoni (BAD BOYS) had followed us from the Tim Burton exhibit and stood crouched at the side of the Abramović set. Watching all the people engage in these staring contests with Abramović. The idea of all the people staring at me was scary enough, but Tea Leoni, too...?

The first two visitors didn't sit too long. One girl was there for maybe 5 minutes. Another spent a good half an hour. And then... we got the ball-buster. This tall, dirty-blond number. As we waited and chatted with the nice young MoMA intern who was standing just ahead of us, he informed us that she was actually one of the performers in Marina's retrospective exhibit. Due to be up on the 6th floor for her (groping) shift. And yet, there she sat opposite Ms. Abramović for a small, unknowable eternity...

It was an epic wait. The MoMA intern pointed out a guy with a moustache further down the line, who'd apparently been there EVERY SINGLE DAY. Another anecdote about a young wannabe performance artist who came to the exhibit wearing a long blue dress in mockery of Marina's dress—even going so far as to wear a prosthetic nose. Some people sat opposite Marina and just broke down in tears.

The crowds swelled and thinned in waves. Tea Leoni left. And we were still waiting. The MoMA intern promised us that he'd only sit for three minutes if/when the dirty blond stopped bogarting the exhibit. But there was no end in sight. And we'd been waiting so long at that point, we had to see this through.

"This isn't as funny as I thought it would be," I bleakly confessed to DMC.

A MoMA photographer/videographer overheard some of our conversation and asked if he could shoot an interview with us about our experience waiting in the line. This was already wayyy more exposure than I was a looking for. I'm a fucking writer. On my own blog, I refer to myself using an alias. Still, I agreed because I hate playing the role of the spoilsport. And right before we were about to give our little interview, Little Miss I'm-In-Two-Exhibits-At-The-MoMA got up off her ass and allowed the exhibit to keep going.

As soon as she left, the videographer refocused on an interview with HER. So, she's booked for another exhibit in the museum, she takes another one hostage for well over an hour, and she milks a little more exposure from the video guy. This is why I love humanity.

MoMA intern had promised to take just 3 minutes on the chair. I only wanted to spend about 30 seconds on the chair, but DMC wanted to run to the second floor and snap some pictures of me before I bolted, which meant I had to stay for at least a few minutes. (DMC also decided to take an impromptu turn in the chair himself, right before me, for just about 30 seconds. Just to show the other people in line that you didn't have to sit there forever to make some sort of point.)

Have you made it this far? It's a lot of words to get here, I know, but I felt it important to document the journey to this point. And then, it was my turn...

As you approach the vacant chair, Marina Abramović's head is lowered and her eyes are closed. As you sit, she slowly lifts her head and gently opens her eyes.

"... don't put anything on the table, not even your hands...," the security guard informed us before our turn. "When you're sitting there, keep your eyes focused on her eyes. If you're looking all over the place, it disrupts her focus."

I thought it would be like staring at a statue. I knew she would say nothing and offer no reactions. I imagined that she would simply be staring right through me—technically looking at me but not honestly looking at me at all.

But sitting there in front of her... it wasn't like staring at the cold eyes of a statue at all. With an exhibit like this, there may be a tendency to project something that may not be there... but there seemed to be a peculiar sense of compassion radiating from her gaze. She was looking right at me; not through me, but at me. I could see her glossy lips move slightly. I could see her breathe. She seemed to be entirely present with me. And I swear, the din of the crowd began to mute out and the rest of the world seemed to fade slightly. Like I was legitimately sharing this trance-like state she was in. So much so that I grew momentarily concerned that I would lose track of time and wouldn't see DMC giving me the signal that it was okay to go.

At the end, I slowly lowered my head, which signaled Ms. Abramović that I was departing.

So... that happened. (And a lot more profoundly than expected.)

Afterwards, DMC and I ran up to the 6th floor to take a walk through the gropey retrospective with all the nude models. There was a reenactment of Marina's nude passageway piece, wherein two naked models (of varying gender pairings) stand opposite each other and guests are permitted to walk in between them.

I opted not to do it. I thought the girl model was plenty cute but the idea of a bare cock brushing my backside was not very appealing to me. (So sue me!) The intrepid DMC went for it, though. When he did, I swiftly ran around to the other side of the wall to watch him come out the other side; I thought it would be funnier to see his reaction as he made it through. Of course, some visitor girl saw me running up to the piece with a big grin on my face and she shot me a brief "you're a disgusting perv" look.

When did I become the bad guy...?

Flickr portraits of every visitor to THE ARTIST IS PRESENT, with an accompanying indication of the time spent in the chair.

Some really interesting Behind-The-Scenes Videos over at the MoMA site.

For more information about Marina Abramović, visit your local library. (Or just skim through the wikipedia entry!)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

MoMA's Tim Burton Exhibit

Because Misanthropy Central has some mad connections, I managed to gain entry into the Tim Burton exhibit before MoMA opened to the public on Wednesday morn.

This was excellent because the exhibit's about to close. And I managed to see it without having to deal with a roomful of sweaty, mouth-breathing hoople-heads. The exhibit was empty except for me, David M. Cohen and a scattering of other random VIPs (including Tea Leoni and Robert Rodriguez).

Full disclosure, I'm not the most rabid Tim Burton fanatic. (My favorite movie of his remains ED WOOD.) He doesn't have the strongest ability (or interest?) in weaving a narrative, IMHO, but I am still very fond of his signature visual aesthetic.

But that's neither here nor there. Let's look at some crappy pictures I took with my crappy cell phone camera...

I'd say about a third of the exhibit was dedicated to Tim Burton's movies. The rest included his sketches, sculptures based upon his sketches, paintings, poetry, archival movies he made when he was younger. An anti-littering poster that he won a prize for in the 9th grade. Some really cool shit. And all I'm covering here is the movie shit!

Nightmare Before Christmas reindeer.

This scaled-down house was one of my favorite pieces. You walk up to it and peek into the window:

The horizontal legs sticking out of the doorway. The blood(?) spatter on the walls. This is Burton at his coolest.

And then there was this series of balls:

What could they possible be from? For some reason, I thought of HEATHERS and croquet balls. But Tim Burton had nothing to do with that movie. Something from ALICE IN WONDERLAND, then...?

Oh no.

These prizes were no croquet balls.

They were eyeballs. Not just any set of random eyeballs, though. These eyeballs belonged to Large Marge. From my second favorite Tim Burton movie, the brilliant PEE WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE.

"Tell them Large Marge sent you!"

An extremely fun exhibit and I felt positively spoiled getting to enjoy it for a good hour, apart from the unwashed masses.

Although I admit that I was distracted. I was getting more anxious as the time wore on... because we were at MoMA after all... and I'd just written a blog entry about the Marina Abramović exhibit... and I had to do it... if we could get in line before the public rush, I needed to participate in the exhibit... to sit opposite her and stare into her cold eyes... not because I wanted the public attention, but so I could experience it... and then write about it for a little public attention...


Mom of the Year

It's a baby stroller being pushed by an adult stroller!

This lady needs more wheels...


Stealth Bomber

Take my advice, heterosexual males: if an attractive girl ever pays the slightest bit of attention to you, RUN AWAY SCREAMING.

Why's that, now?

Because women are evil.

So say we all.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sick of the Swiss

Hey Parents!

Yeah, YOU!!!

Looking for the perfect gift for your Child-Who-Has-Everything?

How about a Stalker Clown and a lifetime of therapy...?

Dominic Deville set up his Evil Clown service in Lucerne, Switzerland:
[The evil clown] stalks young victims for a week, sending chilling texts, making prank phone calls and setting traps in letterboxes.

He posts notes warning children they are being watched, telling them they will be attacked...

‘The child feels more and more that it is being pursued,’ said Deville.

‘The clown’s one and only aim is to smash a cake into the face of his victim, when they least expect it, during the course of seven days.’

If the boy or girl manages to avoid the ‘hit’, they are given the cake as a birthday present.
(The article fails to mention that the cake is filled with razor blades.)

It's time to hate the Swiss!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Everyone Hates Scott Baio

Let's be clear, Scott Baio is the definition of a has-been.

A big, bright shining star from many yesterdays ago who was gifted a role on Arrested Development, landed his own reality show for a spell and still couldn't find traction in modern popular culture.

So, he got his own Twitter account and began feeding the internet the 140-character ramblings of his racist, right-wing, homophobic, anti-choice headspace. Do these assholes all share the same brain?

Anyway, I can't quite do this justice so read the whole story here.

Giving Up the Internet

A cartoonist chronicles his experiment in leaving the internet.

James Sturm exits the internet.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Marina Abramović Will Bleed for You

She stands in a room with a table that held 72 objects—needles, grapes, knives, chains, a saw, lipstick—and a loaded pistol. A sign on the wall gives the audience permission to use the objects on the artist however they want. Although they start off timidly, by the end of the performance her clothes have been cut off, and she has been sliced with razors. Someone holds the gun against her head, and another audience member wrestles it away. This goes on for six hours.

Excerpt from the wiki on performance artist Marina Abramović:
"Rhythm 0" (1974)
To test the limits of the relationship between performer and audience, Abramović developed one of her most challenging (and best-known) performances. She assigned a passive role to herself, with the public being the force which would act on her.

Abramović had placed upon a table 72 objects that people were allowed to use (a sign informed them) in any way that they chose. Some of these were objects that could give pleasure, while others could be wielded to inflict pain, or to harm her. Among them were scissors, a knife, a whip, and, most notoriously, a gun and a single bullet. For six hours the artist allowed the audience members to manipulate her body and actions.

Initially, members of the audience reacted with caution and modesty, but as time passed (and the artist remained impassive) several people began to act quite aggressively.

As Abramović described it later:

“The experience I learned was that... if you leave decision to the public, you can be killed.” ... “I felt really violated: they cut my clothes, stuck rose thorns in my stomach, one person aimed the gun at my head, and another took it away. It created an aggressive atmosphere. After exactly 6 hours, as planned, I stood up and started walking toward the public. Everyone ran away, escaping an actual confrontation."
Performance artists have got some big brass ones, man. I marvel at people who seriously dedicate their lives to the art. What is art? Something that makes you reconsider how you see the world? Something that moves you?

MoMA currently has a retrospective of Marina Abramović's work. Using performers to reenact many of Abramović's major pieces. Some patrons have been getting a little gropey with the nude talent.

Abramović herself is part of a piece called “The Artist is Present”. Engaging in staring contests with anyone willing to sit opposite her. LIVE CAM HERE. She sits silently. Every day, from before the museum is open to the public until after the museum is closed. No breaks. "I have to be like a mountain," says the artist.

Laurie Anderson interviews Marina Abramović

Marina Abramović Institute

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Neutral Milk Hotel, Live from 1998

Austin, TX.
The Electric Lounge.
April 4, 1998.

("Ghost" is one of my favourite tracks.)

Lynch Madonna

(Apologies in advance to all the heterosexual males who read this blog...)

Jane Lynch:
Born July 14, 1960

Born August 16, 1958

Granted, Jane Lynch (@49) shot a remake of a video that Madonna shot when she was about 31. But the fact remains that Jane Lynch looks like a senior citizen in the video...

... and Madonna's still making crazy music videos, and she is TWO YEARS OLDER THAN JANE LYNCH!

Believe it... OR NOT!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saturday Night Blunders

I think that often-times the best moments of Saturday Night Live are when the cast cracks up.

Now, there is a limit to that—a limit that Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz surely tested during their run. When you're cracking up too often, it starts to look like some high school talent show where the popular kids are just goofing off onstage and all their friends in the audience are cracking up because it's all just a big stupid joke. I don't think those guys did it intentionally. But I know that *I* began to associate them more with fucking up than them being reliable comic performers.

But when it's not wall-to-wall, it can really stand out. And you can ALWAYS hear the audience respond to it. Check out this "Debbie Downer" sketch where Rachel Dratch is the one who can't keep it straight:

The audience goes wild because they're witnessing something genuine and human. Something spontaneous. Unscripted.

Sometimes I watch these screw-up videos over and over, just analyzing where it begins. Where one performer begins to lose it and sets off the others. It's so fascinating to me because it represents endearing human weakness and I'm always looking for ways to more properly pretend to be a human being...

Cats Love iPads

I need to get my cat one of these things!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Alison Brie is Hotter Than Fuck

Didn't really think of her that way on MAD MEN, but Alison Brie is in fact unbearably hot. Adorable on COMMUNITY. Girlfriendable while co-hosting "Attack of the Show" on G4.

And then there's this curiously hot video...

I want one.

Most Awesome Thing Ever

The Tomb is in the Heart

It's Wednesday night, O My Brothers, which of course means that I'm writing Friday's blog entry. My entire world could change on Thursday... but I'm placing my chips on stasis.

All the time and effort I put into this sorry blog and it's still so woefully kept! I was in a photo shoot for a textbook last Saturday—that would've been perfect fodder for a blog entry! A personal anecdote, a uniquely curious scenario. What sort of textbook was it? Why was I part of it? What was I doing in the photos?

But no, I couldn't commit the energy to write about it. Instead, I wrote a half-assed entry about IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA. And composed a really long entry about why people shouldn't buy a 1st generation 3D TV. Hard-hitting stories that matter to people. Could this blog be any more random?

It's Wednesday night as I write this and the week's already gone to hell. Pitched my take on a project to New Line over a conference call, which ended up being one of the most awkward, excruciating (professional) experiences I've had. It's like delivering an audition over the phone. Did all this prep, had the story cleanly laid out before me—presented a fairly articulate take, breaking down the tone and the scope and the characters and structure. And then I get...

... dead silence...

... interrupted by the voice of a producer. "Uh... I'm confused about something..."

That's where the oral exam began. Poking holes in the narrative logic, getting clarification on certain points. It's to be expected, part of this process. I was prepared for most of their questions. But these people couldn't have sounded less interested in any of it.

"Well," one of the producers said toward the end, "we've heard a few takes from different writers so far and... no one's gone in the direction that you're going in..." As if that should've been some consolation prize to me.

I hate pitching. I hate jumping through hoops to land a shitty, low-paying Open Writing Assignment.

Imagine a career path that required you to go on an endless succession of job interviews every year for the rest of your life...

I need to change some things. I know what I want. I know what I'm capable of.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Insane Christian Posse

Does everyone know that the "Insane Clown Posse" has revealed itself to be... a Christian rock band??

It's so funny, I'm trembling.

NOT an Onion article. Not a parody. This is real. Please read the linked article and watch the video embed for the complete experience...

Magnets — how do they work? It's confounded our civilization for centuries! It's gotta be a miracle!

Magic everywhere in this bitch...


Aziz Ansari is a Fucking Badass

Aziz Ansari is certainly having a moment, isn't he, studio audience...??

He's been in the spotlight for a few years now but his career really leveled up within the past year. I never saw his sketch comedy show Human Giant but I've enjoyed him in small parts in shows such as "Flight of the Conchords" and movies such as "Observe & Report". His scene-stealing run on Parks & Rec and his role as RAAAAAAAANDY! in Apatow's FUNNY PEOPLE have really elevated his status.

Just watched his stand-up DVD "Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening" (which had a VERY LONG wait on the NetFlix queue) and there's some downright hilarious material in there.

Of course, he's about 7 years younger than me, probably doesn't worry about how he's going to pay his bills every month, and STILL has time to fuck it all up and make a comeback before he reaches my age. So fuck that guy. I motherfucking HATE you, Aziz Ansari.

Aziz Ansari's blog.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Longest 6 Hours Ever

Barely made it through the last episode of "24". There was a time it was one of the most exciting shows on TV, and now it's a chore that I feel obligated to see through to the end.

In the teaser for next week, the promo exclaimed, "ONLY 6 MORE HOURS LEFT!"

Six MORE hours? Really?? That's like a night's sleep for me! The day's already been dragging with every over-familiar beat in the 24-bible. And they've cooked up six more hours of this bullshit? Couldn't Jack just leave a little early on his last day? In fact, I think Jack Bauer should use these last 6 hours to get some shut-eye.



(... and so forth...)

Jon Dore on "How I Met Your Mother"

And in Jon Dore news, Jon Dore played a zoo-keeper on the April 12th episode of "How I Met Your Mother".

Why isn't Jon Dore a known comedic star in the States?

How is it possible that I'm the only one of my friends who watches "How I Met Your Mother" and "The Jon Dore Show"?

How can I possibly watch as much television as this blog indicates I watch...?

Conan's a Creep

Hours before taking the stage for the first night of his traveling show...

Facebook Block Rockin Beats

About a million years ago when a company called "Bear Stearns" existed, I worked there and a "facebook" referred to a document with pictures of the bankers. They were useful for connecting a name to a face, and to ogle at the pretty girls and marvel at how much more education they had than you.

Today, a "facebook" is a ubiquitous social networking bullshit rodeo.

My profile is very poorly managed. I admit that I play shitty Facebook games on it while trying to conceal the fact that I play these shitty Facebook games because if I didn't it would look like I wasted a LOT of time playing shitty Facebook games. (Which I honestly don't because if I did I wouldn't be able to waste so much time updating this shitty blog.)

My manifest of "Facebook friends" includes:

+ Legitimate friends
+ Friends of friends
+ Former coworkers I was friendly with
+ Former coworkers I barely knew
+ People I went to high school with who I haven't seen since high school
+ People I don't know who I've friended to help me play shitty Facebook games
+ Entertainment Industry people (my managers, writers, directors, producers)
+ A handful of actors I've worked with
+ A few cousins
+ Frienemies (*may indicate any of the above)

I try to rarely post updates because it's such a motley assortment of contacts and there is rarely something I want to convey to ALL of them.

One of the lamest things is waking up from a hard night of drinking, trying to piece together everything that you did the night before, then finding that someone else has "tagged" you in a series of pictures that DEPICT everything you did the night before.

If someone who didn't know me better took a closer look at my profile, they'd think my entire life consisted of getting drunk and playing shitty Facebook games!

Yes, you can make sure the games don't automatically post updates to your profile, AND you can "untag" yourself from drunken pictures (at the peril of looking like a spoil sport among some of your friends), AND you can edit your privacy settings and restrict what certain "Facebook friends" can see on your profile. But that can be a lot of housekeeping.

All of this is just an overlong preface to the confession that I recently blocked my father on Facebook!

I already preemptively blocked my sister a while back before she could even think about sending me a "friend request". Mom's not on Facebook. Nor was dad... until I received a "friend request" from him a few days ago.

My dad who I haven't seen in 7 years. And instead of accepting his request for friendship on Facebook, I FUCKING BLOCK HIM!!! I don't merely ignore the request but block his entire fucking profile. My own fucking dad, no less! (Like some tragic story from the Bible.)

So as far as he can see, I no longer exist on Facebook.

Well, it'll just be easier this way.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pedobear Strikes Back!

PEDOBEAR, back again! Check and direct and let's begin!
Party on, party people, let me hear some noise!

Looks like Pedobear left his tag on Pope Ben's precious billboard. How timely!

Pedobear for the Nintendo DS!

In other news, pitching to New Line tomorrow...

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

New favorite show alert: IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA

I'm just in the 2nd season now, through NetFlix.

Each episode opens with a teaser that sets up the premise for the episode.

This is followed by the title of the episode, which is invariably a statement of the episode's premise. Sample episode titles: "The Gang Finds a Dead Guy", "Charlie Has Cancer", "Charlie Got Molested"

From here, we get the opening title sequence in which an innocent song plays over shots of Philly... at night! Get it? The show's called "It's Always SUNNY in Philadelphia" which is juxtaposed with this evidence that it is clearly NOT always sunny in Philadelphia. Right there, you know you can't trust what these people are telling you because they're a bunch of assholes!

All right, another show that I'm getting to late. It's weird discovering these shows so far into their life: episodes I'm watching now take place in the early Double-Ohs, which was SUCH a different world!

I could write more about this but I'm being a bit lazy.

I prefer this show to SEINFELD. Which is heresy in some circles but there, I said it. I think it's funnier and more relatable to my experience. So sue me!

Possibly my favorite episode so far: "Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare". It involves two characters quitting their jobs and going on unemployment to pursue their dreams. They get really accustomed to the dole and get addicted to crack in order to apply for welfare.

I swear, FX has the best fucking shows, man...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Conan's New Show on... TBS?!!

"The good news: I will be doing a show on TBS starting in November! The bad news: I'll be playing Rudy on the all new Cosby Show."

The AP story HERE...
The program will air Mondays through Thursdays at 11 p.m. Eastern, shifting TBS' "Lopez Tonight," starring George Lopez, to midnight.
More from VARIETY...
O'Brien had been widely expected to seal a deal with Fox -- and execs at the broadcast network remained optimistic last week that a deal could eventually be hammered out.

But Fox was running into serious financial roadblocks in clearing a late night yakker.

It's was a given that divisions such as the Fox TV Stations, Twentieth Television and 20th Century Fox TV would all take at least a short-term financial hit should an O'Brien latenighter become a reality for Fox.

And given the off-net sitcom contracts that Fox's O&Os -- and most of its affiliates -- have in place, it was looking more likely that an O'Brien show would air at 11:30 p.m., and even midnight in some markets, instead of 11 p.m. after Fox affils' 10 p.m. newscasts.

Considering that O'Brien exited NBC after that network downgraded his timeslot, O'Brien likely didn't want to have to wait years to secure full in-pattern clearances on Fox across the country.

TBS, on the other hand, allows O'Brien to be seen virtually nationwide, in-pattern, immediately.

According to TBS, talks began in earnest just last week -- and after "Lopez Tonight" star George Lopez personally gave O'Brien a call.

"I can't think of anything better than doing my show with Conan as my lead-in," Lopez said. "It's the beginning of a new era in late-night comedy."
I don't know... a little disappointing to see him go from a major network to basic cable. The home of Tyler Perry "comedies", no less.

Glasses-Free 3D

I don't want to play the grumpy old man and point out that not every movie *needs* to be in 3D. You'll find a lot of people on the internet squawking about that. The bottom line for me: I enjoy 3D but the technologies are still evolving while every studio and home theater manufacturer seems to be trying to quickly cash in on some perceived "new craze" for all things 3D. That sucks and buyer beware.

Let me just get this out of my system...

3D movies have been around for a long friggin time. From the 1950s into the early Double-Ohs, the classic "red & blue" ANAGLYPH METHOD was used (excerpt from HERE):
Anaglyph is a type of stereo 3D image created from two photographs taken approximately 2.5 inches apart, the center distance typically between human eyes. The Red color field of the left photo is combined with that of the right photo in such a way as to create the illusion of depth.
The cardboard glasses are cheap and the effect worked well enough for black & white movies but color film really muddies the picture. It's still used today, for home versions of 3D movies like "Polar Express" and "Coraline".

The SHUTTER METHOD is a higher end system wherein a mechanical shutter built into the glasses alternately blocks light in conjunction with the projected image. You get the 3D effect without muddying the color of the movie. This was used in some 3D IMAX movies, and found its way onto a home videogame console in the late 80s in the form of the SegaScope 3D Glasses for the Sega Master System. Great effect, expensive glasses.

The POLARIZATION METHOD is what you can find in most movie theaters these days. From the Wiki: "To present a stereoscopic motion picture, two images are projected superimposed onto the same screen through different polarizing filters. The viewer wears low-cost eyeglasses which also contain a pair of different polarizing filters." Great effect, cheap glasses.

A number of films have used POLARIZATION before the monster success of James Cameron's AVATAR. But Hollywood—being the group-think machine that it is—sees the success of AVATAR and the lesson it chooses to learn is, "A movie needs to be in 3D to pull in these big numbers... we should make every movie in 3D! Until audiences are literally puking!"

But again, judgment aside...

ANAGLYPH: Cheap 3D, works with current TV technologies. Muddy colors.
SHUTTER: Pricey glasses, slightly dimmed picture.
POLARIZATION: Cheap glasses, slightly dimmed picture.

You usually get a dimmed picture because theaters don't compensate for loss in light by burning brighter projector bulbs. The need for special glasses in general kind of sucks. But you go out to a movie theater, slip on those special shades and it feels like more of an "event". Like wearing protective goggles for some amazing new technology demonstration.

Wearing those 3D glasses at home, though? Lame. You don't want to be encumbered by that. You don't want to need the right number glasses in case you have a few friends over. I love my HDTV. It's a truly garish possession that I bought as a reward to myself after getting my big break into Hollywood. But even if I had the disposable cash, I'm not tempted by the idea of one of these new 3D HDTVs. Because of those damned glasses.

But there's hope for 3D Without Glasses...

Companies have been working on technologies that would enable a glasses-free 3D effect for years. This 2008 article talks about a Philips 3D HDTV that wouldn't require glasses.

Many of the technologies implement a screen with two layers, to replicate the job of the glasses. But there are a variety of different methods that have unique pros and cons.

This informative video clearly shows you how "head-tracking" technology can achieve the effect of 3D without glasses. It's impressive but the glaring shortfall (as shown in the video) is that the effect only works for one person:

The next iteration of the handheld Nintendo DS ("Gameboy", for the non-gamers) will probably use some sort of head-tracking implementation to achieve its glasses-free-3D:

I think it's all cool but there's just no "standard" yet.

A lot of people have compared this 3D film revolution to the shift from black & white to color film. I've resisted that idea—because not every movie benefits from being in 3D—but let's play out the comparison a bit.

Color feature films evolved over time. Technicolor went through different processes that would eventually inform the look of digital photography. Initially used for big spectacle event movies, filmmakers learned to use color effectively for smaller-scale movies. The language of film changed with color...

... as it needs to change with 3D. And that's potentially cool and exciting. I'm sure the theater-going experience in 20 years should be pretty epic.

But honestly, does a documentary about a text font need to be in 3D? Do we need all film cameras to sport two lenses for that sterescopic effect? It just seems unnecessarily cumbersome... and AMURRIKKA NEEDS TO WAKE UP BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!!