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Showing posts from November, 2010

Should We Honor Reagan?

Today, an article was posted on CNN.com by David Frum discussing how to honor President Ronald Reagan on his 100th birthday next year.

There was no talk regarding whether or not Reagan is actually someone who deserves honoring.  I suppose that one could argue that a two-term President deserves memorializing just for the part they played in history.  In that case, I can't wait to witness the national firestorm that will arise in thirty-six years when the second President Bush hits his 100th birthday.

Frum's suggestion for honoring Reagan is so laughable, I almost thought I was reading an Onion article.

He believes the best way to memorialize Reagan is to have a museum in Washington commemorating the victims of communism.  It'll be (appropriately) titled--"The Ronald Reagan Museum of the Victims of Communism."

Now, this is puzzling to me in many ways.  For one thing, naming a museum for the victims of communism after an American President when America has never act…

The Post-Thanksgiving Problem

It happened again this year.

The realization that some holidays do not in fact take up an entire day occurs to me every year at 3pm on Thanksgiving.

My family and I enjoy a wonderful meal, converse, and revel in the company of one another.  After awhile, we get a little tired, pack up the left-overs, and head to our respective homes.

As I walk into my apartment and start loading my refrigerator, I glance at the clock.

It's only three.

That means I have the entire day to myself.

Now, I won't say this isn't an enjoyable experience, but to be honest, it's hard for me to spend a holiday doing nothing.

After all, I'm already wired from so much social and culinary exposure, and I'm dressed up, so it seems silly to just hang around the house and do nothing.

I'm always tempted to call my friends and see if they want to do something, but then I think--Well, I shouldn't.  It's a holiday.

Inevitably, however, I break down and do it.  The response I get always …

Cristin Norine, or Living Only On the Net

For the next thirty days, Cristin Norine will exist only in cyberspace.

Oh, she's not a hologram.  She's just cut herself off from actual human interaction.

As part of what she and Josh Elliot, a photographer, call the Public Isolation Project, she has put herself up in a storefront in Portland, Oregon where she is displayed on full-view.

That being said, she is not allowed to talk or connect with any actual human beings aside from using the Internet.  She can use Twitter, Facebook, and even Skype, which allows video chatting between people, but she can't have visitors in her glass cell.

People can see all her actions on the computer via a projector, and the entire project is being documented on http://www.publicisolationproject.com.  A documentary is also in the works.

The strange thing about the project is thinking about the fact that for some people, it might not be too much of a stretch to cut themselves off from human life.

Morgan Spurlock's documentary Supersize …

I Miss NBC

Tonight, I was watching television when it happened.

Nostalgia.

A peculiar kind of nostalgia.

Not for a moment, or a particular period of time in my life, but for...a network.

I realized...

I miss NBC.

I know what brought it on.  I was watching an episode of Frasier--one of my favorite television shows of all time--and I found myself trying to figure out what on television now has what shows like Frasier had:

Heart.

I came up with a few shows, but none of them are on NBC.  How funny, considering NBC pretty much owned television just a decade ago.

In high school, I was a total tv freak, and I remember being able to mark my week by the shows on NBC.

Frasier was on Tuesday, then there was Law and Order on Wednesday, Must See TV Thursday, and Saturday Night Live to close out the week.

These weren't just "good" shows.  In fact, the problem with NBC right now is that it keeps trying to figure out what constitutes a "good" show.

Truthfully, it doesn't take much to …

How to Grieve Like a Celebrity

Yesterday, Marie Osmond went on the Oprah Winfrey show to discuss her son's suicide.  This is a mere nine months since her son jumped off a building to his death.

On the show, Osmond sang a tribute to her son and even shared details from his suicide note.

As I watched, I couldn't help but feel like there was something distasteful about all of it.  Perhaps part of it is that it seems like in the past few years, since Osmond received a career bump from appearing on Dancing with the Stars, she's been on talk shows like Oprah every five minutes chronicling every detail of her personal life.

Except this time, I feel like she went too far.

Of course I have sympathy for someone who lost their child, and I can understand that talking about the tragedy can be a step towards healing, but lately it seems like celebrities will auction off any part of their personal lives for a few extra minutes in the spotlight.

It's almost as if it's part of their genetic make-up.

Maybe it…

Bill Maher vs. "Sanity"

I was a huge supporter of the Rally to Restore Sanity.  It was uplifting (especially considering the results of the latest election) to see so many people show up and rally in the name of common sense.

It's not surprising that someone like Bill Maher would come along to rain on the parade.  What's surprising is...I actually found myself agreeing with him.

He criticized the rally on his HBO show Real Timer with Bill Maher, and although he's still as blustery as ever, he's also making a lot of good points.

When I first heard about the Rally, I was glad that they were taking a bipartisan approach.  After all, aren't there frustrated people on both sides?  Not all Republicans are Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, right?

Maher, however, points out that you can't equivocate Glenn Beck with someone like Rachel Maddow.  One is well-informed and has the credentials to host a show about politics, and the other just yells really, really loud.

The insanity is not equally distri…

My Ten Least Favorite Shows

A little conversation today about shows I don't enjoy got me to thinking.

There's really no harm in listing the top ten shows I enjoy the least.

After all, these are shows that I would dislike regardless of how any individual production's merit.

So here they are--my top ten least favorite shows.

10.  Lend Me a Tenor

I'm sorry, but any play with blackface in it should not be performed.  I don't care that it's a farce.  I don't care that it fits into the context of the story.  I don't care that it can put behinds in the seats.  It's poorly written and there's BLACKFACE.  Not for me.

9.  Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

I know exactly what you're thinking.  "Oh, but it's FUN!"  Yeah, fun to perform in--dreary to watch.  What was Andrew Lloyd Webber on when he wrote this show?  A pharaoh as Elvis?  A calypso number?  Then a megamix to recap the show YOU JUST WATCHED?  I've seen some spectacular productions of this s…

My Failed Attempt to Go Viral

As this year begins to wind down, I took out my list of resolutions to make sure I had done everything I wanted to do in 2010.

1.  Learn to love haddock.  (Check)
2.  Bribe a Senator.  (Check)
3.  Go Viral  (Unchecked)

Somehow in the yearly hustle and bustle, I'd forgotten to make a video, post it, and have it become a viral sensation.

That meant I had to get creative.

I studied other viral videos in the hopes of figuring out the magic elements that catapult a Youtube clip into the stratosphere.

Once I collected all my data, I busted out the camera and began filming.

Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned.

Attempt #1:  Hug a Predator

People seem to love it when animals that would normally eat them decide to spoon with them instead.  Normally it's because the animal has a preexisting relationship with the owner, like the lion who was nursed back to help by a woman.

Too bad I don't have time to wait for someone I know to tend to an ailing grizzly bear.  That means it…

How Terrorism Got Its Own Holiday

Thanks in part to a catchy rhyme and a cult favorite, terrorism now has its own holiday.

On November 5th, Guy Fawkes Night is celebrated in memory of the failed gunpowder plot of 1605.

The holiday was brought into the public eye by the movie V for Vendetta starring Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving.

The movie, and the graphic novel its based on by Alan Moore, are a call to anarchy.  Its message has been taken up by political groups who see the film and the holiday as a push against government oppression by means of drastic action.

In other words, terrorism.

Actually, Guy Fawkes Night is meant to celebrate the fact that the plot by Fawkes and his conspirators to blow up Parliament failed, but history does tend to get a little muddled when Hollywood gets involved.

Then there's the poem uttered in the movie:


Remember, remember the Fifth of November,The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,I know of no reasonWhy the Gunpowder TreasonShould ever be forgot.
It has a sort of "Listen my children …

15 in 15: Horror Movies

Since Halloween season just passed, list 15 HORROR films that stick with you. Don't think about it too long. List the first 15 that pop into mind. These don't necessarily have to be your most favorite films, just 15 of those that you will always remember. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.
Killer Clowns from Outer Space Scream The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Psycho The Birds Poltergeist Friday the 13th 30 Days of Night Event Horizon Child's Play The Fly The Amityville Horror Arachnophobia Hellraiser Evil Dead

More Ways to Tell If Someone on Facebook is Trying to Have Sex with You

My last note won the Pulitzer Prize for blogging about sex on Facebook.  So, like any good capitalist willing to pimp out his art for a paycheck (or in this case, five seconds of attention from about thirty people or less), I have decided to write a sequel.

For those of you still trying to figure out whether or not people on Facebook sending you photos of their genitalia are actually trying to hook up with you, I have some new clues to look for in new places you might not think to look.  (Those shady sex fiends are spreading--just like the diseases they carry.)

This time around, we're going to deal with "liking."  Oh, believe me, some people like you WAY more than you think.  And by you, I mean your junk.  And by "like," I mean, they want to do things to your junk.

Let's begin:

Example:  Someone "likes" a photo of you.

Code for--You look really good in that photo.  I've checked your other photos, and this one is the hottest, and not just some…

Review: The Walking Dead

Just when you thought there was nothing new to say about zombies, someone has come up with a new take on the genre.

Television.

That's right, the zombies have gone to the small screen, and what better place to give them their due than AMC, which is quickly overtaking FX as the "Can you believe they can show that on television" network.

Kudos to the little cable channel that could even if it is pulling an MTV (which has long given up actual music) by slowly turning away from airing movies like Cocktail seven times a month (TMC always had them beat at their own game) and is now pursuing drama that makes some of the stuff on HBO look tame.

Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Rubicon, and now the latest addition to the AMC family:

Zombies.

And boy, did AMC roll out the welcome mat.

They premiered the show on Halloween and gave it an hour and a half to hit the ground running with limited commercial breaks.

So did it?

Well, I guess it depends on your taste.

If you're a fan of zombie cul…