Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The tail end of 2008


Be Kind Rewind = Movie for people who love movies

Be Kind Rewind is a little sappy in some parts, to be sure, but its a movie for people who love the creative process of the cinema. It's directed by Michel Gondry, of whose work I am a fan, and stars Jack Black and Mos Def as the lovable losers with a mission to fix everything that they have screwed up. (You know the pattern.)

Plot summary is easy: Black accidentally erases all of the VHS tapes in Danny Glover's video store while Glover is out of town, and the guys decide to recreate those movies that people want to rent themselves, which leads to JB and MD playing all the parts in Ghostbusters and filming at their local library, etc. They call this "Sweding" -- More on this pracitce here.

I love their sheer exuberance. Way back in one of my very first blogposts, I talked about Raiders: The Adaptation, which I still hope to see someday. This exuberance is reflected in some other films I like, including Ed Wood, Boogie Nights, American Movie, and Day for Night -- all of which are about people who just plain love to make movies.

Here's Jack B. and Michel G. explaining the concept of Sweding:

This is the trailer of BKR itself, but Sweded:

Ghostbusters, as mentioned above:

Fan contributions -- Star Wars Ep. 4:

The Shining:

The Matrix:

And just for the heck of it, here's Fats Waller:

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Catching up on a few things

Snowed in!

Practically the whole freaking country north and east of Hawaii has been experiencing major winter weather for the past few days, and we are no exception. So, time to clean out a few links that have been sitting around for a while.

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bob = Winner

Bob is the exact kind of guy that I love seeing win in this. I'm surprised that Sugar got zero votes, and the three that Susie got I perceive to have been given to her because people were pissed at Sugar and Bob.

Above is how I see a competition between Bob and Yau-man - Evenly matched powerhouses.


And the votes are in...


Susie: III

Sugar: 0


Just started Wiki pages for Bob and Sugar

OK, let's hope nobody wipes these out... I think they are justified at this point.

Labels: ,

The Final Three

So... It's Susie, Sugar, and Bob. Susie's screwed now, and not in a good way. The only one on the jury who might vote in her favor is Randy, who might do so just to spite Bob and Sugar. (The ♥G♥ thinks Randy is a M*JOR D*CK.)

Sugar might actually use the fact that she forced a tie to get the mega-popular Bob into the final three to her favor, by selling everyone on the idea that they should vote for her because she stayed loyal to Bob.


Susie! Builds a House of Cards

Susie beat out physics whiz Bob at building a house of cards, proving that the whole thing is a metaphorical house of cards.

Things are not looking good for our friend Bob.

Props to Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin.

Labels: ,

Sugar's spiritual godmother

However, speaking of remembering those who have come before, let me take a moment to pay tribute to one of pin-up girl Sugar's notable predecessors: The recently departed Bettie Page.

Labels: , ,

Paying respect to those who went before

This part of Survivor is such total bullshit. Totally lame. The only other thing that compares is when they have "loved ones" visit and they are get all teary and emo. (Like we don't have hundreds of thousands of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan who aren't getting a chance for a million bucks who would like to see their loved ones and who do have to worry about getting their arm or their leg or their head blown off.) Plus, spiritualizing their experiences is dumb.

Labels: , ,

Bob wins again.

Bob wins another logic puzzle. Imagine that! Meanwhile, Matty runs around a maze with the equivalent of 25 untied shoelaces hanging on this decorative tribal thingy tied around his lower leg.

Our predictions (immediately after Bob's maze-challenge win) for the final three:

Me: Bob, Sugar, Susie

The ♥G♥: Bob, Sugar, Matty.

For the Final winner:

Me: Bob

The ♥G♥: Bob



OK, finally started. Let me suggest, if you haven't already, that you read pages 90 through 100 (here in Google Books) or so of Everything Bad Is Good for You.


The Game

First problem with liveblogging. Survivor has been pushed back so that they can show all of 60 Minutes, which itself was pushed back because of The Game.

Note: Whenever we see any sort of sporting event on TV, from high school football on local cable through the Super Bowl, we refer to it (with emphasis) as "The Game" (proper noun). This is a term of derision, but whenever we use it in public, most people are too dim to catch on. How can it be a proper noun when there are so many different sporting events going on all the time? Because all that stuff is pretty much the same thing.

Also, the Super Bowl is coming up in about a month I guess. Don't forget: Football is gay.

P.S. - Guess what the 60 Minutes segment is about? A football coach. (He seems like a nice guy, though.)

Labels: ,

Liveblogging Survivor: Gabon finale

OK, so we're getting ready to watch the finale of Survivor: Gabon. Let's see what happens!


Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Greatest Fan Film of All Time

Hot off the presses... I haven't even had a chance to watch the whole thing yet (it's 45 minutes long) but I like what I have seen so far. Here's the guy's blog who wrote it directed and animated it.

UPDATE: This is fucking awesome! It's funny, it's bloody, and best of all, it rewards people who have been reading comic books and watching superhero programs for the past 30 years.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, December 11, 2008

We're both rooting for Bob or Sugar to win Survivor; Crystal demonstrates the perils of over-specialization

Just got done watching 2004 Olympic Gold-Medal track athlete Crystal get voted out of Survivor. The interesting thing about Crystal is that in the whole season, she demonstrated not one single ounce of athletic ability.

Here's my take on this: Hers is an example of over-specialization. If the only thing the Survivors had to do was spend several months getting ready for some sprints down a straight length of track, before which they would train, eat, drink, and sleep in certain specific ways, and would wear certain shoes and clothing and run on a certain surface, then she'd probably do pretty good. But, unfortunately for her, they haven't had to do that yet.

Here's the Gutenburg of a short story called "Unspecialist", by Murray F. Yaco. This blogpost sums it up: A machine can be built to do any accurately described job better than any man. The superiority of a man is that he can do an unexpected, undescribed, and emergency job... provided he hasn't been especially trained to be a machine.

They say that if a heart surgeon and an Emergency Medical Technician are in the two cars behind you when you are in a bad car accident, that you are better off with the EMT. The rationale being that the surgeon is very well-trained to fix you up if he has a fully staffed operating room, but the EMT can just slap you back together with some duct tape and an old T-shirt and get you on your way to the surgeon.

Now Bob, who reminds me a lot of Bill Nye (has anyone ever seen them in the same room together?) is very much a generalist. He's a high school physics teacher, which means he has to embrace the methodical and rational, and also be savvy enough about relating to other human beings that he can put up with being in a building full of teenagers all day. Plus, he's from Maine and does all these outdoorsy things just for fun anyway. He's an interesting successor to Yau-man, whom The ♥G♥ and I both hoped would win a few seasons ago.

If not Bob, then maybe his sometime ally Sugar? She is a gushing fountain of emotion, but she seems to know exactly how to harness it to her advantage. (Note -- She's a fountain of emotion; Crybaby Crystal was a volcano.)

Labels: , ,

We're number one!

And just like that... This blog becomes the number one Google hit for the terms Blagosphere + Obama.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Obama gets BotD r.e. Blagosphere, but watch out for Car Czar

So by now, everyone outside of the state of Illinois knows what those of us who live here have intuitively known for years -- That Rod Blagojevich is a fucking prick. I mean, how fucking dare he? It's like he had an inferiority complex bestowed upon him by his father-in-law, and decided show the world that he could out-clout Dick Mell. Everybody knew he was shady, but few if any imagined the extent. Did his wife push him, à la Lady Macbeth, as the Chicago Tribune suggests?

And you just know that he heard about those laid-off Chicago factory workers striking and said to himself "Self, now's your time to shake down the Bank of America."

I have no reason to believe that Obama was mixed up in the Blagosphere.

However, here's something that Mr. Obama, for whom I voted, needs to think about: The more we lean towards solutions with influence- (or as we call it here, "clout-") heavy individuals who have federal (or other governmental) authority over industries with huge amounts of money flying around, the more likely we are to have more Blagojeviches (Blagojevichi?), Kilpatricks, and Cunninghams. The last thing I want to see is some "Car Czar" still in office five years from now... All we need is some RFK Jr.-style do-gooder in there looking for ways to expand government influence in the private sector and you will have another (possibly more subtle) Blago on that guy's coattails looking for some angles to cash in on.

I said this a few weeks ago: More on my pessimism and optimism about Obama later. OK, "later" is now. I am still excited about his upcoming presidency (although he could have been a maverick and gone with Chuck Hagel for Secretary of State) but that doesn't mean that he gets my unconditional support on everything.

Now I love my job; I really do and I say that without a hint of sarcasm. My company went through a lot of changes in the past couple of years, and one personal regret was that I didn't voice skepticism about certain things more vigorously and clearly. (You can't always look at the silver linings, you also need to look at the clouds.) Because I love my company and it has enabled me do some very cool things, I feel I owe it my skepticism; not so I can have an excuse to complain, but because I want to contribute to making it better. I hope I can make good on that debt.

The same thing goes for the United States, and for Barack Obama. Because I am hopeful and excited about his presidency, and because I love this country and want the best for its citizens and guests, I feel obligated to throw out criticism when I think it is merited.

Back to the Car Czar thing, Barack (and yes, I know the Bush Administration is throwing that idea around too) -- I drove Fords almost my whole life, and they would alternate between nickel-and-diming me to death, and clearing out my savings account at one fell swoop when they needed major engine work. Then, a few years ago, I got a Kia. I drive it 20 miles to and 20 miles from work every day, and it now has 60,000+ miles on it. Guess how many problems I've had with it? Exactly one, when the circuit breaker for the windshield wipers was defective. This was replaced for free as soon as I brought it in, and that was it.

Instead of those auto execs driving to Washington to testify before Congress, they need to drive to South Korea, stay there for six months, and then go back to Detroit and imitate whatever they saw.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Love my new iPhone!

The ♥G♥ got me an iPhone for my birthday last week. Awesome! I hope something important happens while I'm out somewhere so I can take a picture of it right away and post it to my blog and then add the picture to a Wikipedia page.