Monday, October 31, 2005

For quite some time, the hyperbolic response to the assertion "you've got issues" has been "I have subscriptions."

Sadly, after years of use, that response has lost its punch. What used to be edgy and daring is now de rigueur. If we really want to imply that we're hanging onto the edge of sanity by our fingernails, we need to go beyond mere issues and subscriptions. So I suggest an update.

When told by a friend or loved one that you have issues, smile a world-wearly smile and say...

"Dude, I'm the periodicals librarian."

(Be sure to use the word "dude." The "dude" is crucial.)
Posted @ 6:42 AM

Thursday, October 27, 2005

More fun with sloppy caption writers...

Looks like the Washington Post is now using editors more skilled in text messaging than, y'know, editing. From the WaPo home page:

To be fair, the error was corrected very quickly. I refreshed a few seconds after grabbing this, and "teh" had transformed to "the."

But I'm gonna keep my eye on the Post for a while. If subheaders like "Bush's New SCOTUS Pick Iz Teh R0xx0rz!" start popping up, we'll know the paper's been taken over by some damn punk kids.
Posted @ 2:18 PM

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Today you are going to see, hear, and read multiple stories about the fact that the 2000th American serviceperson died in Iraq this weekend. I expect there will also be follow-ups on the actual person coming shortly, probably Sunday.

Two thousand of our men and women in uniform dead in this war. It is a sad and significant milestone.

Two days ago, Adam Felber posted this piece in anticipation of today's barrage of coverage. It touches on several points that won't be brought up today. I suggest giving it a look before you get too saturated with the coverage about a number.

And then, if you're so moved, do something. Send a letter to a soldier. Ship them a book, a CD, a DVD box set of one of last season's breakout TV hits. Support the troops in a concrete way that might just make their burden ever so slightly lighter. Do it because their sacrifice is incalculable, and because the number of those making the greatest sacrifice will keep growing long after the paper with today's sad and significant number is discarded and fades from our consciousness.
Posted @ 6:45 AM

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Clipped from today's New York Times review of Wendy Wasserstein's new play, "Third"...

All I can say is, get me the names of Charles Durning's nutritionist, plastic surgeon, and make-up person, stat!
Posted @ 6:26 AM

Monday, October 24, 2005

It seems the forces of evil have won, at least in the arena of home improvement megastore voice-overs.

Nearly two years ago, I pointed out that there is a right and a wrong in the do-it-yourself universe, and the choice between Home Depot and Lowe's is not difficult to make. Home Depot had as its spokesman John Schneider, now going into his fifth season playing Clark Kent's wise and loving adoptive father Jonathan on The WB's "Smallville." Meanwhile, the dastardly handypeople over at Lowe's had fallen in with Gene Hackman, whose star turns as criminal mastermind Lex Luthor in the first, second, and fourth Superman films will forever link him to the Man of Steel.

That delicate status quo ended abruptly and jarringly a few weeks back. I was driving along on a beautiful summer day, secure in the belief that good can triumph in the end, when I heard the familiar opening notes of the Home Depot jingle come over the radio. But I quickly became aware that something was horribly wrong. Pa Kent's friendly voice was not the one extolling the virtues of installing my own lighting fixtures. A deeper, much darker voice had replaced Schneider's.

It took me only half a second to identify the new speaker. He's a favorite actor of mine. Because of his towering frame and imposing presence, he often plays the heavy. From The Kurgan in Highlander to sadistic prison guard Byron Hadley in The Shawshank Redemption (arguably his most famous role), he's a go-to actor when Hollywood needs a villain. More recently, he had the role of Brother Justin Crowe in HBO's deeply disturbing "Carnivāle."

His name is Clancy Brown, and for the last few years he, like Schneider and Hackman before him, has played a major character in Superman's world. First as part of the latest incarnation of Superman in cartoon form, and now on Cartoon Network's Justice League, Brown is the voice of industrialist, would-be presidential candidate and evil genius...

Lex Luthor.

Weep, especially for the children, because now we live in a world where any purchase of a garden implement or foam insulation directly benefits the greatest criminal flame of our age.
Posted @ 1:29 PM

Thursday, October 20, 2005

When getting back into the blogging thing, it's better to wade in and test the waters than to cannonball from the high dive. That's my motto anyway.

Okay, that's never been my motto. But I'm making it my motto from now on. Or at least through the end of the month.

Getting to it: John Scalzi's got a new book out, The Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies. It looks like a lot of fun, and I've put it on my Christmas list.

In the book, Scalzi presents his picks for the sci-fi film canon. Following standard blogging conventions, this was quickly turned into a meme: copy the list and bold the ones you've seen.

Here's my whack at it, with commentary.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!
- A long time favorite that I've watched at least two dozen times
- I agree with the purported originator of this meme that the whole Alien series is overrated, but one can't ignore their importance
Back to the Future
Blade Runner
- I still need to check out the director's cut
Bride of Frankenstein
Brother From Another Planet
A Clockwork Orange
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The Damned
Destination Moon
The Day The Earth Stood Still
Escape From New York
ET: The Extraterrestrial
Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers (serial)
- I couldn't pinpoint when I saw this, but I watched a lot of old Flash Gordon serials on TV as a kid
The Fly (1985 version)
Forbidden Planet
- A progenitor of Star Trek, and a great flick in its own right
Ghost in the Shell
The Incredibles
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 version)
Jurassic Park
Mad Max 2/The Road Warrior
The Matrix
On the Beach
Planet of the Apes (1968 version)
Solaris (1972 version)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
- I disagree with the widely-held contention that this is the best Trek film, but I agree that it's the most important
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
The Stepford Wives
- In my personal overall top five, for obvious reasons
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
The Thing From Another World
Things to Come
12 Monkeys
28 Days Later
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
2001: A Space Odyssey
La Voyage Dans la Lune
War of the Worlds (1953 version)
- I caught WGN's showings of WotW and When Worlds Collide every year during my childhood

30 out of 50 is sparser than I would have guessed, but not egregiously so. Brazil, A Clockwork Orange, and Solaris are on my "to see" list, and I'm thinking Bride of Frankenstein would make for fun viewing sometime in the next week and a half.
Posted @ 6:25 AM

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I'm sure it won't shock anyone that I've hit the blogging doldrums again. Posts have been slow for a while, and it's looking like that'll hold for a bit longer.

I think I caught it from Tim. Since he's recently gotten back in the harness, I'd say my eventual prognosis is good and that I'll be back to semi-regular posts sooner rather than later.

It's not that there's nothing to say. The ideas come, get revving in my head, start to pick up speed, then quickly sputter. (Heck, I've almost scrapped this post twice, just shy of the 100 word mark.)

So I'm going to give myself another couple of weeks here and purposely not post at all. I'll pop my head back in around mid-month and see if my muse has returned. I expect I'll find her standing here, looking at her watch and tapping her foot.

Enjoy early autumn. See you shortly.
Posted @ 6:27 AM


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