Saturday, September 29, 2007

Oh joy.

Who's your punk/rock/emo soulmate?
Billy Joe Armstrong of Green Day
Billy Joe Armstrong of Green Day
You and Billy Joe Armstrong, lead singer and guitarist of Green Day, are the perfect pair of american idiots

Y'know, a year or two back, this would have had me going crazy (in a good way)

News flash-

"24" will launch its season with a two-night premiere event. It will kick off Jan. 13 with two hours before settling into its regular time period with a new episode at 9 p.m. the following night.

The premiere will be exciting for "24" fans, but that's nothing compared to confirmation of the return of Tony Almeida. The CTU veteran, played by Carlos Bernard, was left for dead at the hands of a terror suspect in Day 5.

Emphasis mine.

You longtime "DiD" fans may remember my saying that Tony Almeida's death

...was was what I think of as a "click" moment. It's the moment when a TV series or movie pushes me just that one step too far and seems to be saying to me, "fuck you."

After a click moment, it's hard for me to care.

And I cared about that character.

But that was (seemingly) a long time ago, before much of the cast & crew-including Bernard-decided to kiss up to the Republicans. And before the show itself turned to snot.

I bailed out of the last "day" about eight hours in, and I doubt I was the only one who couldn't make it to the end.

So will Tony's return get me to try again? Maybe-if only to see how they explain it away (my theory: Chloe built a robot twin).

But you'll understand if I don't have my hopes up.

Oh yeah

PJ reminded me that it' s about time for my semi-annual "tell me who you are" post, which goes a little something like this...

I'd just like to know a little bit about who you are and where you came from. Or what you like or not about the blog.

So if you wouldn't mind, tap on the comments line down there to the right and introduce yourself. Tell me anything and everything you want me to know, or you think I might like to know about you.

A few suggested questions to answer follow. Use as many or none of them as you like. BTW, this is strictly for my own curiosity, I'm not conducting a demographic survey or anything.

  • When and how did you find my blog?
  • When you're not reading this blog, what are you trying to do with your life?
  • And how's that going for you?
  • Where did you grow up, and where do you live now?
  • Children?
  • Pets?
  • Have you noticed that this blog has grown increasingly cynical about religion of late? I ask because I have, and I'm not sure why it is.
  • You think I hold a grudge too long?
  • You think I post too many pictures of women who are nude, nearly so, or wearing tight-fitting clothes?
  • Do you really give a damn what I think about some new sitcom, or what I've been reading lately?
  • Do I post too many 1980's electro videos?

And one more to be on the safe side

Dan Hartman: We Are The Young

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Two cuts of soul


Here's a late-period Hall & Oates song (with a rare lead vocal by Oates), "Possession Obsession."

I always liked this song, certainly best of the few with Oates on lead.


I apologize in advance for the sophomoric ad you'll have to watch, but I think you'll forgive me when you see what's on the other side: Jazz saxophone legend and smooth jazz music artist David Sanborn, with "Love And Happiness"


I shoulda learned to play the guitar. I shoulda learned to play them drums.

You Should Play the Guitar

You're very independent - both in spirit and in the way you learn.
You can teach yourself almost anything, even if it makes your fingers bleed.

You're not really the type to sit patiently through a music lesson - or do things by the book.
It's more your style to master the fundamentals and see where they take you.

Highly creative and a bit eclectic, you need a wide range of music to play.
You could emerge as a sensitive songwriter... or a manic rock star.

Your dominant personality characteristic: being rebellious

Your secondary personality characteristic: tenacity

Fetch me Lucille.

The big shows last night ratings-wise were The Bionic Woman, which I didn't even try to watch, and Private Practice (ditto).

It's a reminder of how rare it is that my taste is in line with the millions. Only Tuesdays at nine, really, do I ever feel at one with my culture.

This has been a real week for unintentionally (?) odd turns of phrase in television announcements. As Kathy observed on her blog, Ken Burns’ The War is introduced each night with the phrase: Corporate funding for The War is provided by...

And last night brought the philosophical amusement of hearing, in the middle of trying a new show, the announcement, "Stay tuned for more...Life." All right.

Life, you see, is a new show on NBC, the premise of which is that Charlie Crews, a police detective, has recently been released from prison after serving 12 years for a crime it's now been established (by DNA evidence) he didn't commit.

As part of his settlement, he has his old job back, as well as a cash settlement in the millions. Now he takes his "Zen" approach (developed while he was serving time) to solving crimes week-to-week, while also trying to solve the big one: Who framed him and why?

I liked the off-kilter feel of the drama (created by Rand Ravich); it seems to spin out organically from its lead actor, Damian Lewis, as Charlie.

Lewis is good at suggesting someone whose beat is just a little bit off from everyone else’s. The pilot necessarily focused more on him, but Sarah Shahi, formerly The L Word's Carmen, easily embodies her character's own dark side: Charlie's newly assigned partner, she's 20 months drug-free.

There are definite possibilities for untapped depth in both-if the characters are given a chance to develop (more on that later). However, they also have two counts against them, neither of which is really their fault, but I'm gonna call the show on it anyway.

Lewis looks enough like Hugh Laurie to be his brother, and so far at least, this is a distraction.

One hopes that with a few more hours to impress his performance upon my brain it will become less so. Neither the performance nor the character is an imitation of House, I should say, but probably not coincidentally, Lewis is also a Brit affecting an American accent. Which is extraordinary, by the way-I didn't know it was fake until I Googled him.

As for Shahi, I freely cop to this being a sexist observation, it's just that I happen to know she's much hotter (see above) than she was presented as being in last night's episode. Which was only appropriate for the character and logical for the show.

A professional woman on the job isn't likely to style her hair or wear her clothes as if she was going to a singles bar (unless of course, she's Dr. Cuddy on House. Not that I'm complaining).

I guess I'm just saying, I hope as the show goes on, we see some more of that side of Shahi's character's..."life."

That is, if the show goes on...but I'm getting ahead of myself.

More than a few of the other actors are also talented but we saw less of what they will bring to the series, again, this is necessary in a pilot.

Robin Weigert, who I remember vaguely from Mike Nichols' mini-series version of Angels in America, is the police captain who seems willing to get rid of either of the cops if they screw up.

Adam Arkin is Charlie's friend, proving once again that any series I like will, sooner or later, feature someone who also appeared in The West Wing.

Melissa Sagemiller is the lawyer who got Crews out of prison, and who may be just slightly warm for his form.

Although the show has received generally favorable reviews, and NBC is claiming victory in the demographics...well, that's what networks claim when their shows lose in the ratings.

So. A show airing at 10:00 pm, that I like, with connections to The West Wing, that most of the critics like. But with ratings that almost immediately caused concern.

It's The Nine (and S60) all over again.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Disney's 1967 movie of The Jungle Book has its detractors. In his book Of Mice And Magic Leonard Maltin said it "...lacked heart and soul...and substituted for it a gallery of characters whose strongest identification was with the stars who provided their voices." In The Disney Films, he calls it "...too easygoing."

And John Grant said "...the story seems to exist solely for the purpose of linking the song-and-dance items," in his Encyclopedia Of Walt Disney's Animated Characters.

I suppose these charges and possibly more can be supported, but I've never cared. I hold the movie to be one of Disney's finest. Which is why I'm quite dizzy with anticipation after learning of the shortly forthcoming Two-Disc "40th Anniversary Platinum Edition."

Quoting directly from
This Platinum Edition includes everything from the standard bonus features like...deleted songs to exciting and sometimes rare commentaries by everyone from modern day animators to Walt Disney himself, multiple featurettes about specific aspects of the film and its production, and a lengthy deleted scene featuring lost character Rocky the Rhino. Especially interesting for adults and Disney fans are "The Bare Necessities: The making of The Jungle Book" featurette, which explores Walt Disney's commitment to developing strong characters and his insistence that writers, animators, and song writers create a light version of Jungle Book that followed his own personal interpretation of the story, and the "The Lure of The Jungle Book" featurette, which discusses Frank Thomas' and Ollie Johnston's amazing contribution to the film as prolific animators and the inspiration and influence that their work provided for future animators including Brad Bird (The Incredibles), Andreas Deja (Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King)...and Eric Goldberg (Fantasia 2000). The full length commentary by Bruce Reitherman (voice of Mowgli), animator Andreas Deja, and composer Richard Sherman with its interspersed archival commentary of Disney greats from the original creative team (Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, Woolie Reitherman, and others is also very interesting and insightful.

God, I love DVDs.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"and have them not be affected. that's what would frighten me."

We have here one of the more meaningful (and surprising) big chart successes of the mid-1980s. Built around soundbytes from a television documentary on the Vietnam war, it seized on one chilling factoid: The men (and women) who die in war seem to be getting younger and younger.

Doesn't seem like a very likely basis for an electro-funk-pop tune, now does it?

Yet somehow, it was, and the record never loses its sting or social comment.

Here's "Nineteen" by Paul Hardcastle.

Unfortunately, I could only find a video for the 7", shorter mix. The 12', longer mix has one of the most memorable bytes on the record:
" You're 18 years old and you're wearing somebody's brains around in your shirt because they got their heads blown off right next to you. And that's not supposed to affect you. I've never understood that. What would scare if we were to send a group of 18 year olds 12,000 miles away...and subject them to, a year of that obsenity...and have them not be affected . That's what would frighten me"

Monday, September 24, 2007

Random Flickr Blogging: 2582

Gar├žonhommdebattesm: A rare sexual kink whose practitioners (known for their telltale green eyebrows) can only attain gratification in threesome situations with men dressed as Batman and women dressed as Boy George.

(photo credit)

Sunday, September 23, 2007, not exactly.

James Truman, then of Details Magazine, as quoted in Stiffed by Susan Faludi:

"Tom Cruise was the biggest sex object in [Risky Business]," Truman said, sounding as if this were a moment of conquest for all men, "whereas she [the main hooker in the film played by Rebecca DeMornay] was just the whorehouse tramp. The body you remember in that film was Tom Cruise's."

What Mark said

Y' will come as no surprise to most if not all of you, I can be an arrogant guy. But I'm not so arogant as to think that I can rewrite Irving Berlin on any grounds whatsoever.

A few years ago, Rosie O'Donnell insisted on doing just that before allowing a song to be performed on her television show. It was one of the things that made me, to put it mildly, not a fan of hers.

And that was in support of an agenda-O'Donnell didn't want to be seen to be promoting hunting-with which I actually agree, however self-important and tasteless I think her advancement of it was.

How do you suppose I feel that a bunch of anti-separation-of-church-and-state"Christian" "right-to-lifers" have taken it upon themselves to rewrite "God Bless America"?

With, as Mark Evanier says,
no concept of meter or rhyme...[not even] the amateur lyricist's trick of just counting syllables.