notes from
the MUCK . . .

How does your garden grow? With muck, muck and more muck! I spent much of today finishing the final muck box and then shifting muck from one box to the next. The first box, which the Big Lad is enthusiastically pointing out, has been rotting down for two years now and once we’d removed the top quarter of unrotted material, we found we’d hit the pay dirt.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Shamefully Shameless

I hate to do this, I really do, but it is out of necessity. While I finally found a job, the market around here is such that I'm not going to come anywhere close to a living wage even working full time. Why don't I move? I may have to, actually, and I have already applied for jobs along the East Coast.

Meanwhile, I'm faced with the problem of finding additional income to meet my expenses. So, I've put up some photographs for sale on this site imagekind.com. Basically, I upload my photos and they sell the prints with custom framing. Apparently I get to keep 15% of the sale, though I've yet been able to confirm that.

Honestly the framing is a bit overpriced, but they do have a ton of options. You can even just buy a postcard for $3 or $4.

Anyways, in the off chance that any of you were thinking of doing some redecorating and have been asking yourself where you can buy an expensive framed picture of a city you have nothing to do with, I've got the answer right here.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

And I'm Out

I was hoping to keep posting, but I can't find anything else to link to. Apparently the internet goes to sleep at around 11:24pm EST.

However, I would like to say, before the feeling fades, that for the first time in my adult life, and for reasons I won't enumerate but which in general relate to the 2008 presidential primaries, and to the enthusiasm of American voters, I am sincerely proud of our great nation, and proud to be one of Her sons. Those who know me know that I have never been one for blind patriotism, or unconditional pride, and it is a euphoric relief to look clearly upon the rising sun on America's horizon and feel a supreme and genuine confidence about the hearts and minds of my fellow citizens. I've come very close to considering self-exile in these past eight years, and that issue may rise again after this election. But for now, God bless this Diseased State, with all of its troubled past, and all of the hatred and bloodshed and partisanship that has wrought the New Stadium in which we may soon play. I hope to see you on the field, friends, where we'll dance and joke about the Chaos and the bombs that did in your little brothers, because there's always something funny about a tragic past as long as the future is bright and clean. Peace to your god and mine, and, no, I'm not drunk, and, yes, maybe I should have left it at Busey, like a Real American.

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The Wisdom of Gary Busey

Gary Busey. Gary. Busey.

Here are some acronyms created by Garey Busey:

Relationship - Really Exciting Love Affair Till It's Over, Now Sobriety Hangs In Peril
Sober - Son Of a Bitch Everything's Real
Lucky - Living Under Correct Knowledge Yearly
Now - No Other Way
Romance - Relying On Magnificent And Necessary Compatible Energy
Fear - False Evidence Appearing Real
Light - Living In God's Heavenly Thoughts
Failing - Finding An Important Lesson, Inviting Needed Growth

And here's Mr. Busey at the Oscars:



I guess I can see where they are coming from being nervous, but why are these Hollywood types so mean to weirdos. Garner acts like she doesn't even realize that she was just kissed by a legend, and Seacrest practically cries out for his Mommy. Personally, I'd of been excited to be in their shoes since this was likely the only interesting thing that happened all night. And for the record, Alias, as much of a nutcase as he is, Gary Busey can still act circles around your husband.

Finally, I leave you with Gary's profound...thoughts...on Hunter S. Thompson.



Gary Busey. Gary. Busey.

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Clay Davis: Origins

For fans of The Wire. I cribbed this from Slate, but DO NOT read the article if you don't want spoilers. No spoilers in the video, however.

Skip to the 2:50 mark for the goods.

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Join Lou Diamond Phillips on the Polar Express

I don't have children, but this site is still pretty cool. It's a bunch of different actors reading children's stories. Except for Al Gore, who isn't an actor, but might be in SAG because of that movie.

There's only one glaring omission: the inimitable and frightening John Lithgow (children's author/songwriter/movie villain/genius/creepy bastard extraordinarie):

Election Spoiler

Hov?

Create a CD Cover

Got this from popcandy. It gives you some parameters and then you make your own CD cover.

Here's mine. For the record, I'm not at all happy with this. I wouldn't take this band's CD even if they handed it out for free:



Quote: "I know the answer! The answer lies within the heart of all mankind! The answer is twelve? I think I'm in the wrong building." Charles M. Schulz

Original Photo:http://www.flickr.com/photos/10294868@N04/2294247293/

Poll: What other bands does Shark Attack sound like?

Just When You Thought I Couldn't Get Any Gayer

it's looking like my two future places of employment might be a coffee shop that benefits the non-profit organization OUTWilmington, which if you can't tell by the name is all kinds of gay, and a women's fashion boutique. at this point I think I deserve an honorary membership in the gay community.

after i start working, i'll probably try to make some friends in this new town. i'm a little anxious about this, as it's tough trying to find my male niche. i can't really be a metro-sexual because i don't live in a "metro," and i don't give a fuck about my cuticles. you can't write me off as some sort of hipster dandy because i'm neither hip nor a dandy. and, unlike ben, i can't simply explain everything away by virtue of being british. the trouble is that men have very little breathing room within the gender norms that confine us, and once we get out of line we're automatically suspected of being gay. this is somewhat problematic when looking for a drinking buddy.

obviously, the gender norms that inhibit women have been far more dangerous, as they directly affect meaningful things like political voice and wages. but the idea that a woman can't perform a job as well as a man is no more or less absurd than the notion that a man must be gay simply because he's bored by professional sports and doesn't like trucks. they are both arbitrary stereotypes that feed off of a fear of competition, one for resources, the other for procreation.

i shouldn't complain really. once i overcame my shyness i found i had no trouble dating or finding girlfriends. it does get old, however, not only not being able to relate to a high percentage of the men i encounter (particularly in the south), but having to worry that they are silently judging my manhood as well. i mean, girls usually think i'm gay at first too, but they don't write me off because of it.

the result of all this is that i far prefer, in most circumstances, the company of women and gay men to the company of your red-blooded american male. the upside is that i get to hang out with a lot of insanely attractive girls, and a lot of guys to whom i have nothing to prove. the downside is that sometimes i just need to talk about titties.

ahem. anyways, there's yet another type of person that i get along with: the academic (formerly, nerd). i have a couple of friends who have never had a girlfriend, but pretty much match up with me in every other regard. except way smarter. and guess what? people think they're gay. now i know these dudes, and i've seen the way they look at women. they are definitely not gay. they're just introverted and scared, and really into books and stuff.

now, i've forgotten my point with all this. but if anyone knows any hot single girls who wouldn't mind spending a friday night watching six hours of babylon 5, please tell them that my friends aren't gay and are really cool to hang out with. and if anyone needs some awesome clothes made by some awesome ladies, maybe i can score you a discount if i get the job. and they do sell men's clothes, too. i was exaggerating for comic effect.

UPDATE: after further existential contemplation, i've concluded that i am not ambiguously gay at all...i'm just really really white.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Academy Awards

This year, I didn't quite get it together enough for an Oscar pool, and the show is considerably more boring when you don't have a vested interest in who wins for Best Achievement in Sound Mixing. Still, I watched the whole thing and was pleased to see No Country For Old Men win for best picture. I was also happy about Daniel Day Lewis as Best Actor, Diablo Cody for Best Original Screenplay, and Javier Bardem for Best Supporting Actor. I was not happy that Cate Blanchett lost to Tilda Swinton, but I enjoyed Ms. Swinton's award speech...plus she looks like an alien, and I'm intrigued by her bizarre face.

Other good things included Jon Stewart's jokes, which managed to point out the utter absurdity of an evening dedicated to Hollywood "giving each other golden statues" while not alienating himself from the crowd, the 98 year old production designer, Steve Carell, the Coen brothers, and seeing the girl who won for the Once song getting cut off by the music, but coming back after the commercial to say her thanks. Bad things included the montages, all three performances from Enchanted, the waste of Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen with that painfully written bit about Halle Berry, and all the boring stuff that's too boring to recall. Did anyone else watch?

To keep myself busy during the show I took some pictures of the TV set. Here are some of the results, after a little editing:









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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dust to Dust

One of the most basic things we can hope for in this life is to leave it with some dignity, some pride, to take with us the knowledge that we made a ripple of difference to the world.

We do not want our last moments to be in the Monkey Cafe having lost a cake eating competition.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Awful, Just Awful

I wonder what the security code word is for the President has taken his jacket off and is attempting to dance but is displaying no sign of possessing any residual rythm or ability during a public Diplomatic mission.

May I suggest, the Duck is flapping. Please, do better in comments.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ben Wallace: Cleveland Cavalier

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lunar Bust

I took some pictures of the lunar eclipse tonight, but not a single photo is worth its weight in megapixels. I might need a better camera for this sort of thing, but maybe i just don't know what I'm doing. I tried slow shutter speeds with a small aperture, slow shutter speeds with the aperture wide open, medium shutter speeds with the aperture open halfway...I never got a focused shot and almost every single one has a lot of noise.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun making the effort. Here are the best results (the first one isn't of the moon, but I kind of like it):






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Economics and Creativity

Yesterday I had the great and surprising pleasure of attending a lecture by film scholar David Bordwell, a man who literally wrote the book on cinema. He gave three free talks on three different subjects throughout the day. I had missed the first two by the time I read about the event, and was a little upset that I would catch the "Cinemascope" lecture instead of the sexier "Hollywood Storytelling" review. An hour and a half later I had completely changed my mind.

The focus, actually, was less on the historical or technical aspects of Cinemascope, and more on how the shift to a wider frame challenged the filmmakers of the 1950s to rethink the elements of shot composition. I make it sound dry, but it wasn't at all.

Basically, like everything in Hollywood, it all started with money. Cinemascope, however, wasn't an attempt to fatten the cash cow, as I'd always thought, but a desperate effort to regain declining box office profits in the years after the war. As were 3-D movies. Apparently, the return of soldiers to their families, and the advent of new exciting and technologies such as the television set, were keeping Americans away from the dark movie theaters where they'd retreated so often during World War II. The studios, then, had to come up with new ways to get people into the theaters. The solution was to offer something you couldn't get at home on your TV, and the spectacular experience of Cinemascope was born.

To make a long story short, cinematographers and directors hated the new format. The new anamorphic lenses were difficult to focus, and all that extra space in the frame needed to be filled. This led to some humorous results at first, as the lenses would often radically distort the horizontal lines of ordinary desks, and actors were forced to line up in unnatural rows just to fill out the compositions. Because of these bizarre quirks, the studios even outlined certain rules for framing shots to ensure that the films didn't turn away viewers instead of attract them.

Eventually, David Bordwell argued, these limitations forced filmmakers to make creative solutions to the problems presented by Cinemascope. I can't reproduce the slide show here, but the presentation was very well researched and delivered. Some of the solutions were to simply expand on the same sort of framing they had been doing in the 1:33 format, to shoot more epic films that made use of the wide open spaces, and to utilize the open frame to present more information to the viewer.

Now the widescreen ratio is so common that it's hard to imagine a movie in 1:33 at the multi-plex. Most cinemas, in fact, don't even have the masking capability to present them. Perhaps as a clever illustration of just how standard the scope ratio has become, Bordwell used a slide from Pulp Fiction. It's the scene outside of Jack Rabbit Slim's where Mia Wallace tells Vincent Vega not to be a square. She then outlines a square with her fingers, and Tarantino throws in a little animated dotted outline...to be cute? Only it's not a square that she draws; it's a Cinemascope frame.

The lecture appealed to me greatly, not only because it was David Bordwell, but because I'm increasingly interested in how economic concerns shape, and often enhance, creativity. Obviously the bottom line attitude of the Big Hollywood Machine has done more harm than good to the free spirit of cinema, but if you look carefully at how the artists themselves work within the contsraints of the system, I think you find some pretty inspiring results. In this case, the need to get more people into the theaters led to a revolution in presentation that, while much maligned by filmmakers initially, opened more doors for the art of composition and eventually influenced, ironically enough, the very design of contemporary television sets.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Not Cute

I came across MSN uk's pictorial homage to Valentine's day this morning. I generally hate the anthropomorphism that often occurs during this time of year, but I can see why people can see this as pleasant:


but for the life of me I cannot see why this was included unless it was to depress people.


Whenever I go to a zoo the bears always seem the saddest creatures, and the polar bears the saddest of the bears. They pace up and down, and their fur goes green because the hair is hollow to trap warmth and traps algae or something. Or maybe it was MSN trying to portray a grittier, more realistic image of romantic love, of one that exists despite the drab fur, the narrow confines of the enclosure, the failing mind. Or maybe they were just lazy.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Writing

My '08 resolution was to write every day. I've done this, depending on how you define things. For me it doesn't really matter what I write, though it started out as just screenplays. Usually I don't count blogging or emails, but I have checked off after a couple of Muck posts that took a lot of time to write. Sometimes I do exercises, which I think is just fine, and sometimes I can't do anything but research for a script and take notes, which is fine, too. Maybe I'm not strict enough with myself, but I've been pretty pleased with this approach so far.

Today caught me off guard because I wrote without even thinking about it. Normally it's something I kind of dread, sitting down getting the ball rolling. Especially if it has been a long day. So I'm usually very conscious of the fact that, yes, I am about to write. In other words it isn't second nature. This is why I was pleasantly surprised this afternoon when I realized that I'd spent the past hour writing without even thinking about it. Also, real writers always talk about how they have to write, and about how they'll pull over their cars to scribble some inspired line on a receipt or something. I'm absolutely not that kind of writer. I still feel like an imposter using that word, actually. Nevertheless, I had one of those moments today. Something came into my mind and I had to get it on paper. I grabbed the nearest pen and wrote something in my sketchbook, which I hated to do but it was the only paper handy.

And you know what I wrote? A poem. I've maybe written a dozen poems in my life, most of them in school. And I've not read many more than that. It's never been my thing, though I do have to say that those rare occasions are very rewarding. I have no idea why I don 't read more poetry, but maybe I'll start. In any case it was bizarre to find myself wandering around that territory.

I'd like to share what I wrote, and maybe get some feedback on it, but please don't be too harsh. I don't know what I'm doing here. On one level, it's kind of angsty and embarrassing. You guys who actually write poems were probably writing better than this in middle school. That's fine, you can give me some tips. I'm posting this in the hopes that I might be encouraged to read/write more poetry, and because poetry used to be this really big popular thing, but now it's got some sort of silly fringe weirdo stigma. I have no idea why that's happened because everyone loves song lyrics. I'm curious how much, if at all, the Notes From the Muck readers (a literary bunch, to be sure) are into the art form.

So, poets, tell me what you think or just tell me to bugger off. In either case, maybe you can tell me some good poetry collections to seek out at my friendly neighborhood bookstore.

Without further ado, here's what I wrote:

Wait, false alarm. It's a long story but I can't figure out how to paste my text in here and I really don't want to type it up again.

Sorry about that. Have a nice day.

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Draws








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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Life Lessons

Because I do not have a job, I apply to defer my car payment.

I'm told that I cannot defer my car payment, because I do not have a job.

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4:20 pm

Watch this and tell me what you think:



I'm confused by the whole thing. It was written by Judd Apatow, who I like. It stars Seth Rogen and James Franco, who I also like. And it was directed by David Gordon Green, who I like very much. This isn't Green's usual kind of movie, though, and I generally don't like stoner comedies.

But still, there's something fairly wicked going on here...

Monday, February 11, 2008

I sure Am Blue

And so it is that today we lose one of my favourite actors who starred in two of my favourite movies, (Jaws and All That Jazz), Roy Scheider.

My favourite movie is Jaws. One of the reasons for this is because for a movie about a shark, the whole beauty of the film revolves around the intriguing characters flawlessly portrayed by Shaw, Dreyfuss and Scheider. Of the three, I think most identify with the latter, with Brodie. He was the one who railed against the small town values that sought to keep the beaches open while an apex predator prowled the shoreline, the one who would never be a local because he wasn't born in Amity, the one who didn't know which rope to pull or how to tie the right knot, the one who stayed in the car when he was on a ferry, the one who told Quint he needed a bigger boat, the one who looked embarrassingly down at his operation scar while Hooper and Quint showed off their battle wounds. And it was he who told a great white to "smile you son of a bitch".

His performance in All That Jazz I always thought should've got an oscar; one of the most amazing musicals I've ever seen. He was also nomintated for the Oscar in The French Connection - despite these performances, he seemed to be relatively overlooked after the 70's ended. But still, with Jaws alone he provided so many cinematic turns it's unreal. The trombone shot, the "smile you son of a bitch", and of course, telling Quint his boat was too small...





Farewell and adieu, I'll miss you Roy.

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When We Were Young...

10 years already? I was riding around in the backseat of a friend's car, coming down from an acid trip, when I first heard what would become my favorite album. That sounds ridiculous, and I suppose it was, but the drug had nothing to do with it.

Here are some things In The Aeroplane Over the Sea has going for it:
  • it's old-timey, from the art work to the sound to the references to the use of the word "aeroplane"
  • the lyrics: cryptic, visual, obsessive, erotic, beautiful, sad, etc., etc...
  • Anne Frank
  • it's a real Album, more than just a collection of songs
  • the production, which I know nothing about, but it sounds great to me
  • Holland, 1945
Oh, and the music is excellent, too. I don't know how to write about music and I think I secretly loathe record reviews (or maybe I secretly love them?), so I'll just shut up about the details. But
this is the one for me. The one that changed things, opened doors, and crawled its way into the core of my soul. It lay there still, curled up in its little cave, humming away.

What are your favorite albums? I will tell you.

Matthew - Blonde on Blonde Bob Dylan
Ben - Bugsy Malone Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Jenny - The Best of '80s Pop: Party Songs
Paul - Album of the Year Faith No More
Ann - Blood on the Tracks Bob Dylan
Grandma - The Beatles Greatest Hits The Beatles
Erin - Satanic Panic in the Attic Of Montreal
Sarah - Blazing Arrow Blackalicious
Will - Use Your Illusion II Guns 'N Roses
Katy - Weezer (Blue Album) Weezer

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Friday, February 08, 2008

He's Made A Terrible Mistake

Sorry Michael, I cannot be the voice of your most trusted friend and everyone's favourite talking car because of a long standing relationship with General Motors.

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Pickle Moving

We all have little lists, whether they be on paper or in our heads, of things we need to do in order to live a less clutter filled life. Some lists are created and accomplished in a matter of hours or a day.

Some items on the lists linger a little however, that mug with the coffee ring that seems to have taken residence on the desk, that nagging bit of paperwork at the office, that dead body that's been in your flat for years, the dog turds in the garden, or that dvd that needs to be returned because you only rented it because you felt you should watch it but know in your heart of hearts you'll never EVER get around to watching it.

So come on muckers, shrink that list this weekend, you'll sleep all the better for it, and your neighbours will appreciate it.

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Off The Grid

In the words of a certain inmate, I'm going underground for awhile. By underground, I mean I won't be blogging. By awhile, I mean the weekend.

I'm taking a trip back to Athens to celebrate my wonderful father's 70th birthday. The man doesn't look a day over 55, by the way. He's living proof that one should exercise, abstain from cigarettes, drink only in moderation, and spend a lot of time playing online checkers.

It's been real, kids. Take it away, Ben.

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Grand Prix


I wonder if Julie Myer would judge these people to be the most original Formula 1 fans.
You see, over in the U.S. you have indie car racing, over here, and everywhere else (including the U.S. now) you have Formula 1. For me, both are boring, but last season saw the arrival of a new young rookie on the F1 circuit, Lewis Hamilton. Young, brash, talented, and black. Formula 1 is almost exclusively white in terms of drivers, technicians, owners etc so Lewis kind of stuck out. He was immensely popular wherever he went, down mostly to his brash and fearless driving rather than the fact he was the only black driver but I don't think it hurt him any.
Anywho, he missed out on the championship by 1 point, pipped on the last day because his clutch blew. At the time, his team mate was Fernando Alonso, the reigning world champion and darling of the F1 circuit. Hamilton, the rookie and his number two, soon ignored team orders and a full blooded competition emerged the likes of which we haven't seen in quite some time. It was actually exciting and went right down to the wire.
Like I said, Hamilton lost by a point, and Alonso eventually quit the team because of a rift between the two. Anywho, some Spanish fans took offence, and decided to give Hamilton a warm welcome when he came back to Barcelona. Now the race circuit has come out and said condemnded their actions but you have to ask why people dressed up like that were allowed in, I mean, I don't think it looks like some kind of sun block or anything.

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Julie Myers's Controversial Taste

The government has released photos of that Halloween party where Homeland Security official, Julie Myers, judged an offensive outfit as being "most original." Get the details and view the costume in question here.

How do we know she's lying about not knowing that the guy dressed in the prisoner's outfit was actually a white guy in black face? Because no one judging a costume contest would award a simple, thrown together striped prison uniform "most original" unless there was something else going on. Clearly she appreciated the racist bastard's sense of humor. Either that or she has terrible taste.

But do I speak to soon? Maybe she simply had no other options. Watch the slideshow again, this time paying close attention to the other "costumes" in the background. What a pathetic attempt at a Halloween party. Are those people even dressed up? I see a guy in camo who might just be an actual guard, a sad looking pirate, and what appears to be a witch wearing bedroom slippers. That poor overweight fellow near the witch didn't even bother changing out of his work attire, and is obviously just trying to get past the K-Mart costumes to the snack buffet on the counter.

This is our federal government, people.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

It All Makes Sense

Alright, so Mr. Jack McBrayer reminded me so much of the guy I used to work with at the Holiday Inn in Athens (see comments on the 30 Rock post) that I had to do some research to see if there was a connection. I thought they might be brothers, especially since McBrayer's character on that stupid show is from Georgia.

Turns out, there's no connection at all. At least none that I can tell. But while researching I discovered a different strange and coincidental truth:

JACK IS PETE'S BROTHER!!

Did you Athenian readers know this?

Pete was the local comedian who hosted our midnight comedy series at Cine. He's also the guy who can probably be found sitting at Flicker right this very minute.

This will mean nothing to most of you. But I'm having quite an Albert Markovski moment and felt the need to share.

Now I have to find out what happened to that Linus...

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Mr. Personalities

The greatest things in life often blindside us just when we've lost all hope. This morning, I felt despondent about facing another day without job opportunities, about Obama lagging behind Clinton, about my lack of Chex Mix Bold Party Blend. Then I was given a gift.

Flipping the channels on my way to the election results, I caught sight of a familiar scene on the Sci-Fi Channel: the opening sequence for "Tales From the Darkside."

This was a "Twilight Zone" style show that ran in the mid-eighties. I didn't watch it then, but was a big fan of the movie version starring Christian Slater. It wasn't until the Great Video Update Heist of 1999, when I acquired several VHS copies of the series, that I began to explore the Darkside with any degree of regularity. However, I had not seen the episode that aired this morning.

I'm posting links to the episode below. I doubt many of you will watch it, but I have to say that it changed my entire perspective on the day. How could anyone stay in a funk after witnessing such bizarre entertainment as "The Impressionist?" Yes, it's idiotic...but with a splash of genius thrown in to make it all worthwhile. And it's got heart. It kind of plays as though it were written by a fifth grade special education class full of the nicest, coolest kids in school.

I hope you enjoy:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

PS - My favorite episode of the series is actually a well-made, twisted little piece of television, and don't be surprised if I post a link to that one, too...it's just out of season at the moment.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

It's Hard Being a Straight, White Male

Not it's not, actually. But sometimes I feel like there's some gender pressure on men that doesn't get a lot of press. For instance, many people over the years have wondered if I'm gay. At first I was confused by this, but I've recently come to understand why people might get that sense.

Here are some things that straight guys are not supposed to do, but I'm proud to say that I do all the time:
  • hate sports
  • cross your legs in any style but Texan
  • use words like "fantastic" and "yummy"
  • employ exclamation points in text messages and emails
  • take long, hot baths "to relax"
  • speak politely on the telephone in a slightly higher than baritone voice
  • not eat meat
  • not be an asshole
  • prefer wine to beer
  • comment positively on another man's style or attractiveness
  • dance erotically with Jenny's friends

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You Suck (30 Rock Edition)

In keeping with the spirit of Ben's post below, I've got something to get off my own chest. I'm currently in the middle of the only episode of "30 Rock" I've attempted to watch. All the critics say that all the critics love this show. I call foul.

Here are some reasons why "30 Rock" is lame:
  • The music. I've noticed that funny music usually has the opposite affect on whatever scene it scores.
  • The acting. I'm extremely disappointed in Alec Baldwin's performance after all the raving I've heard about him. Also, has Tracey Morgan ever been funny?
  • Making fun of other shows is ballsy, especially when they're way better than yours.
  • Industry humor is elitist, especially when it's trying appear like it's not.
  • Rich people are not funny. What viewer can suspend disbelief when Tina Fey has to spread the purchase of a discounted wedding dress over several credit cards? Oh, and hey look how disgustingly wealthy Jerry Seinfeld is. HILARIOUS!!
  • The show indirectly caused the cancellation of an underrated, much smarter one based on the same premise.

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Monday, February 04, 2008

You Suck

I heard that 50 cent told Paris Hilton to "get the fuck off the stage" while he was performing. I found that pretty amusing and looked it up on youtube; I was hoping it would be a really good clip showing Paris' wonky face becomes even more distorted as the hot injection of humiliation sears through her veins, almost penetrating through and dispersing the smug sense of entitlement that runs through her core.

I was going to write something about how I don't really like a lot of Fiddy's stuff but that I always think he gets a bad rap in the press ( at least over here anways) and is charicatured as a crass gangsta rappa, why on earth can't he be like that nice boy Kanye, you know, make something NICE. I was going to write how they come from completely different backgrounds, and how I felt there were racist overtones to the way Fiddy is referred to in a lot of the press.

I saw the clip; it was pretty crappy, you can't even see Paris properly, but I'll be damned if I wasn't bowled over by the racist shit on the comments.

I mean, are there that many people who feel they can use that word, in that context, and for it to be ok, and for no-one to comment about that shit??

Jesus.

Ok, that's all I got; Jeff, what else is happening with you?

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Wrightsville Beach
















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Sunday, February 03, 2008

I Should Be Sleeping

Instead, I'm putting the final touches on the first sequence of the screenplay I'm writing. Before that, I was watching youtube videos of Hunter S. Thompson. Why is it impossible to watch even an impersonation of the man, or read his work, without subsequently talking just like him and moving your hands around like Johnny Depp in that movie. The effect sometimes takes half an hour to wear off.

...

I do not drink much these days. Once, twice a week maybe. It's strange. When I do drink, it hits me hard. Especially the next day. I tied a good one on last night and, I'm proud to say, still managed to come home and write. That's over a month straight of writing every single day.

While I didn't black out last night, I couldn't remember exactly what I had written. I do recall having a difficult time typing. Today when I reread the scenes, they weren't half bad. Nothing special, but not sloppy either. Makes me think of how Stephen King claims to not remember writing an entire novel (Cujo, I think. Paul?). Some day, as an experiment, I'm going to get sloshed and write for a good three or fours hours, just to see how it turns out.

...

Before watching the Thompson videos, I spent quite some time reading about cool bar tricks. Now I'm itching to get show you bastards how I can make a cigarette move with my mind, and make a beer can float.

...

Good night.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

George Michael as Alexander Hamilton

What Is This Movie?

My apologies. I can't seem to stay away from he Muck. This recent blog-a-thon will likely come to end once I get a job (and a life), so I figure I might as well milk it for all its worth. Which isn't much. Today, for instance, I was thinking about what to blog next. Here were my ideas:

  1. a rundown of all the jobs I've applied for
  2. the Martin Lawrence movie I'm currently watching
  3. a guy named Bruce
  4. the most enjoyable types of pornography

Not worth much at all.

Because I can't decide one just one from that compelling list, I'll just summarize what I would have said about each of them.

1. Jobs - This would have been the most boring post. However, I do have a bit of a fantasy that I could somehow turn blogging about my troubles finding a job into an actual job. The fantasy sometimes reaches the point where I'm imagining being interviewed for a human interest story on a major news network. "I was just keeping a journal about my search for a job, and before I knew it thousands of people were rooting me on. And then came the sponsors..."

2. Martin Lawrence movie - Not really sure what I would have said about this. All I know is that I turned on the TV during the opening sequence with no intention of sticking around. Now the movie is almost over. I don't know the name of it...Blue Streak maybe? Luke Wilson is in it, too, as well as the underrated Peter Green. Martin is a thief who, for various reasons, has to fake that he's a cop in order to get a diamond that's stashed in the police station. There are some funny moments, and it got me wondering if there's ever been a heist movie about some crooks trying to break into a police station. Incidentally, I think it could be fun to do one of those real time blogs, where you write a stream of consciousness reaction to something as you're experiencing it, about a deliciously crappy Chuck Norris movie. Oh wait, there aren't any crappy Chuck Norris movies, are there? My favorite was Silent Rage.

3. Bruce - I met this guy last night named Bruce, and I'd like to talk about him but he's too large for life, not to mention my puny little words. Don't get me wrong - I did not like this Bruce, and I think that Bruce did not like me.

4. Porn - I've already shared so much of my personal life, why stop now? I considered writing a history of my encounters with pornography, beginning with the first time I ever saw a picture of a vagina. This will only support Sara's gay theory, but it was terrifying. I do not feel this way anymore, and I flirted with ending this hypothetical post with a bit about my discriminating taste in erotic media. Perhaps I would have included a poll about your preferences. Then it occurred to me that this was not the best of ideas. Not that I only post great ideas (clearly), but this one struck me as a particularly volatile can of worms.

So does anyone know what that Martin Lawrence movie was?

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Friday, February 01, 2008

You, Me, and U.S.

Dear America,

With all due respect, I'm having some issues with our relationship. Please let me explain.

I just submitted my resume for the 42nd time. Out of 42 applications, I've had one interview - for a job as a wine store clerk. It was a fantastic interview, and I felt optimistic as soon as I saw the Army of Darkness poster and autographed photo of Malcom McDowell on the wall. The owner and I chatted about wine and Bruce Campbell. It seemed perfect.

Three days later she called and said she'd hired someone else. Perhaps the owner was jealous of my autographed photo of David Prowse. The lesson: never out-geek a potential employer.

In Natsume Sōseki's Kokoro, the narrator rolls his college diploma into a tube and peers through it like a telescope. I thought it was an idle moment, one of those details in fiction thrown in for authenticity's sake. My prof explained that the scene represented the student's disillusionment with education, with the image of him gazing through the rolled up diploma signifying a hollow piece of paper at the end of it all. I've thought about that scene a lot recently.

In this land of Dreams and Opportunity, America, I'm at a loss as to why I have not found success. You promised me from day one that education, intelligence, hard work, and dedication would always be rewarded with prosperity. Was it all a lie? Have I perhaps upset you in some way? Well, there's no better road to reconciliation than honesty, so let's be honest.

Here's what I want, what I've always wanted out of life, at a minimum:
  • a job I like
  • an income to support the basic necessities, as well as some movies and Indian food every once in awhile
  • enough free time to do the things I love
  • some viable means of transportation
  • affordable health care
I ask you, America, have I demanded too much? Is it absurd to think that a college degree, good grades, solid work experience, computer skills, and a reliable work ethic should land me at least three of the aforementioned goals? And it isn't like I'm not looking. 42 applications, remember? It's never been this difficult. I don't care how bad the job market is, there's no reason I should only have one interview in three months of looking.

But I've had my say, and lest I be accused of being too selfish, let's talk about what YOU want. I confess to having no idea anymore. Clearly I've been listening to what you say, not how you say it. And I've probably missed some body language cues along the way. That sly look in your eye is telling me I'm right. See, I'm getting better. I'm so sorry for not being more receptive to your needs. Let's talk it out, OK?

We can have this discussion as long as you like. I don't want to rush you. But please remember that in the meantime I am scraping the bottom of the barrel of a loan from my parents, and am unable to make February's car payment. I guess that Ford Focus was too much of a luxury item, eh? I should have just stuck with the old beaters we've always had in my family. Shame on me for wanting something that works and, gasp, had less than 100,000 miles on it when I purchased it. But while I'm sitting in the corner thinking about what I've done, I'm also in need of money for food. Yes, yes, you're right, I can eat ramen noodles for every meal. Damn I'm such a glutton for wanting something more.

But there I go again, thinking only about myself. After all, I shouldn't complain so much. I can always move back in with my parents. What does a 27 year old need independence for anyway? And, yes, I do realize that many people in many countries, including you America, have it way worse than me. On top of everything else, I promise to feel adequately guilty about that as I gripe about my current set of circumstances.

So, if I've been asking too much, can I revise my previous set of goals in this land of Fat and Wealth? I'll take it all back if you, my dear, beautiful America, will just grant me one small favor: stop lying.

I'll be in line at the unemployment office when you're ready to talk.

Truly yours,

J