Thursday, April 21, 2011

"So these guys are like the ghost of Licensed to Ill future." [UDPATED]

I really enjoyed the new Beastie Boys super-video (starring Seth Rogen, Elijah Wood, Danny McBride, John C. Reilly, Jack Black, and Will Ferrell as the Beastie Boys). Much enjoyment. I even enjoy the fact that they put it on TV and not in the Internet,* like we were in the 20th century.

Not much to report other than that...

[UPDATE: Available online! Watch in good health!]

* As of now, as far as I can tell, only the preview is available—even for purchase!—and that's fucking crazy. It's 2011!

Human beings say the darnedest things.

Saw this when I was in New York:

Yes, yes, tossed salad. I'm more interested in the smooties.

Monday, April 18, 2011

a valuable contribution

I sometimes have trouble deciding how I feel about mustaches drawn by vandals: I have a tendency to assume, without thinking, that any given instance of mustache-drawing has to be be an ironic, self-aware* meta-joke—a deliberate cliché—but then I also almost always do realize that I'm almost certainly wrong about that, and so I am left confused.

This is good, though:

Someone has drawn a mustache onto the face of someone who already has a [crappy] mustache. Well played, and thank you!

* Is this redundant in context?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

soulless impostor

So I saw this here—and anyway, what follows is a list of examples of a computer's impression of the way I tweet (see here and/or here):
  • Pouring rain, as usual. My stomach made a scientist?! Awesome!!! How hungry are prone to be very foul?
  • Finally started by the time machine I'd go for a pun on Facebook: lotsa laffs.
  • I saw that, forgot it, and we used a dream and midnight was the stone-throwing stuff in the word fart.
  • Personal advances in the steps. The product-placement joke just cut-and-pasted from our fingers, 3) James.
  • [This one is almost amazingly great but gets thrown off at the end by that rogue quotation mark:] Fuck you, assembled strangers! YOU KNOW...a swarm of Frogger. Listened to somebody else to pass" Ire?
  • I didn't want us touching ourselves, He wouldn't he and Clark Kent to cover up corpses and recently I!
  • SHOCKING: Whoopee-cushion promotional materials never understood that: why jaw—what you KNOCK IT OFF!
  • Is it a sentence, but then there's bad. You know, I think I'll leave it up that exist, Ireland didn't!
  • What's the e-mail. Some things can happen, but one thing you might sneeze out your penis inside their. [This one, too, is mangled by gibberish at the end, but I do like the idea of sneezing your penis out of something.]
  • This seems like 55°F here knows now because we say it's got Superman actually send a MIXED tape?
  • You have to say a matter of shits are retarded? That's what we cry. Who do that! [Might be my favorite.]
  • I remember some STDs around here?! Q: How soon after saving the ceiling?
  • I'm not far from Wow! Maui & poo-o-o. Just realized I've never understood that: why we cry.
  • Turns out the award for my own ass like in Auschwitz in a hipster band seems like a year now, and you!
  • You die in New York's quite an acquired taste! I found me! RUN FOR IT, MARTY!!!
And this last one is pretty spectacular but speaks poorly of my character—as a human being, I mean:
  • If I saw a mystery farter? Slam your penis inside their vaginas. And once you're religious, bless you.
Ladies and gentlemen, the computer has left the building!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Damn it, Denby!

"OK, let's go through it again and see if we can
lay it out in a way that The New Yorker can follow."

I don't know how I'm still surprised by this shit...but so I saw Source Code last night, and then I read The New Yorker's review, and—anyway, check this out:
Colter's job is to locate and defuse the first bomb, then find the terrorist before he reaches the city [to detonate the second bomb]. But the explosions have already happened.* Colter has been sent back in time—just a few hours back, to eight minutes before the initial explosion—to stop them from happening.
None of this merits a spoiler-alert warning, by the way, unless you're a real purist: all of it concerns plot points revealed in the first few minutes (and in the trailer), plot points that should count as premise, not plot.

And it's wrong.

In case you haven't seen this movie, let me just tell you—one of the explosions has happened already, the other has not. So the sentence Denby italicizes (why, by the way?) is inaccurate. Also, defusing the bomb is not Colter's mission.

These would be much less significant mistakes if not for the fact that the question of whether it's possible for Colter to alter anything that has already happened (his is, in fact, very strictly and explicitly a fact-finding mission, with the aim of preventing only the second explosion, which has not yet happened) is absolutely central to the story. You might even go so far as to say that it is the story.

That Denby thinks that both explosions have already happened (and especially that he thinks Colter's job is to stop them both) suggests that the prominent film reviewer sat through the movie in a weird daze of total incomprehension—a glazed-eyed, open-jawed, empty-headed stupor. It would be like if he reviewed Back to the Future and suggested that Marty McFly had gone back in time in order to make sure his parents went to the dance together. It betrays a incredible level of inattention to the story. No wonder Denby has a tendency to reject all sci-fi stories out of hand as "ridiculous"† (see also): he doesn't understand them—literally does not understand the stories, cannot follow them!


On the other hand, I totally don't remember
this scene, so maybe I shouldn't talk.

* Emphasis his.
† His word choice, from the same review: "How, you ask, is it possible that this movie isn't ridiculous?"

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pale King, possessives, and more! [IMMEDIATELY UPDATED]

Remember: good literature is art! (via)

Pale King
When you're like me, a new book by one of your favorite writers is exciting in the same way the new Radiohead album is exciting to a Radiohead fan (music is probably actually a closer analogy than film: when a new Coen Bros. movie is coming out, say, you go to the theater, watch it, and it's done within a couple of hours, whereas your average novel can take days at least to read if you're not on vacation, and an album you're going to listen to repeatedly over a period of, I don't know, weeks?); anyway, I've been looking forward to this new David Foster Wallace novel for a while now—unfinished, posthumous, sure, but David Fucking Foster Wallace*—and...well, actually, I guess I don't have all that much to say about it other than the fact that I've read a few pages of it and I'm enjoying it. Maybe it'll even get me reading again, by which I mean it'll get me in the habit of reading in a way that will "stick" even after this book is done.
     Oh, I remember what I wanted to say about this. The first seven words turned on a part of my brain that hasn't been especially active lately and reminded me that David Foster Wallace was a writer the way few writers today—including writers of literary fiction—are writers: a writer the way Shakespeare and James Joyce were writers, writers whose prose possesses (for want of a better way of putting this) all the superpowers of poetry. Another way to put that is that it's art. But here, look:
     "Past the flannel plains and blacktop graphs..."
     Do you see what he did? He went from using an metaphor as an adjective to modify a literal noun to—"in the same breath," "seamlessly," "effortlessly"—using a literal noun as an adjective to modify "its own" metaphor! Flannel plains, blacktop graphs. I'm not going to spend time discussing why I think that's awesome (partly because, yes, its awesomeness is a matter of opinion), but the level of literary involvement, the care with words and thoughtfulness, is hard to deny.
     NOTE: This may be inappropriate to comment so lightly upon as I'm about to do, but identifying too closely with the art and intellect of a brilliant writer who killed himself does make me nervous—and not just because suicide itself comes up explicitly in his writing (has already, in the first few pages). On the other hand, does listening to Nirvana and Elliott Smith or reading Virginia Woolf make me commit suicide? Yes, it does—without fail. So I'd better be careful.

You write "twenty dollars" as "$20" (not "20$," yeesh), but how do you write "twenty dollars' worth"? A lot of us (by which I mean a lot of the people who'd even understand what I'm talking about in the first place, let alone care) would probably write, "$20's worth," but that unpacks into "twenty dollars's worth," no? The rightest answer is probably "$20' worth" (since "$20" "expands" into "twenty dollars," and there you've got that apostrophe just waiting at the end of it), but, boy, does that look wrong.
     Maybe the answer is that, in "$20," what you're looking at isn't the number 20 with a dollar sign standing in for the word "dollars"† but rather a single, three-character symbol, "$20," standing on its own as a whole and indivisible symbol for "twenty dollars"—such that adding an -'s would indeed turn "twenty dollars" into "twenty dollars'" (please note that apostrophe camouflaged like an octopus among the quotes) and not "twenty dollars's"...?


We've been over this before, but "loooooooveeee" would be pronounced with at least two syllables and would rhyme, roughly, with this:

(click to enlarge appropriately OED-sized type)

Again: IMPORTANT. Get your shit together, Rihanna!

An early version of Twitter.

* INSTA-UPDATE: I hit "publish" and immediately had second thoughts: would "David Foster Fucking Wallace" be better?—for reasons of comedy, euphony, etc.

† Hence the "20$" error, which would make a lot of sense if not for the almost dizzying levels of ignorance and obliviousness to the world around you required.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

April 2


I'm not writing this late at night; I'm writing it Friday morning—I've just scheduled this thing to post at 12 a.m., April 2, which is the way I do Movies I Don't Remember, too (shit's more or less on auto-pilot through April). [Speaking of 12 a.m., I love the Arclight, but when you go see one of their "midnight" screenings (like actually at 12:05 a.m.), they do the date wrong. I once called and spoke to a customer-service person and had a conversation like this:
ME: So when it says "12:05 a.m. Tuesday," is that early morning Tuesday or early morning Wednesday?

HER: Well...?

ME: I mean, I bought tickets to this show, and I'm trying to figure out when to go. I mean, I want to know whether I'm going at the end of Monday night or the end of Tuesday night.

HER: End of Tuesday night.

ME: OK, yeah, that's what I thought it might mean, But—just so you know—if it says "12:05 a.m. Tuesday," that means five minutes after the midnight that happens at the end of Monday. After 11:59 p.m. Tuesday comes 12:00 a.m. Wednesday. What you've got on your web site right now is actually wrong.

HER: (pause) OK.
She doesn't care! Of course she doesn't care! And I'll cop to it:* I was being pretty ridiculous in trying to talk to her about it. But what was ridiculous about what I was doing is just that I should have known she wouldn't care. Two things are true here: (1) what's going on on the Arclight's web site is false advertising—they're doing it wrong, and (2) nobody fucking cares. So, OK. Moving on.]

Anyway, I don't really have anything to say: I just didn't want my April Fools' Day post to be the first thing that comes up. [NOTE: This kind of thinking also not infrequently fuels my tweeting.†] No, I have not become a believer. (Can you imagine??) And, no, Ghostbusters is not a movie I don't remember. [That was fun to do, that one—mainly because it sort of ended up being a chance to parody my own blog—but it also felt weird and sort of bad, like telling your toddler you've never seen her before in your life.] April Fools'! I wasn't sure where the apostrophe went in "April Fools'," so I looked it up. [Also, I was glad just now that in the U.S. commas go inside quotes because in "'April Fools''" you can lose track of all the punctuation, whereas "'April Fools','" is—wait, quoting commas is weird and feels wrong—probably is wrong. Note, too, that I'm quoting quotation marks. Oh, man. We have fun.]

So, anyway, yep: nothing to see here. How's everybody doing today? April, huh? April already. How about that.

#FF me!

* I don't like this expresion or really quite know what it means.
See also.
‡ No longer Friday (see first sentence).

Friday, April 1, 2011

big annoucnement / growing up

a representation of the Holy Spirit, part of the Trinity

I think on a certain level I always knew that God was guiding me, but stubbornly, defiantly, I've denied it for most of my life. What is it about our culture—maybe most of all the urban, "sophisticated" areas and centers of higher learning—that fuels the perversity of atheism? Because that's what it is, in the end: perverse. Essentially I've been a kind of pervert, maybe even worse than the sexual perverts I've wasted so time and energy apologizing for (because sexual perverts, for all their faults and confusion, can still believe in God!).

Even on this blog I've gone on about my supposed atheism. Just the other day I wrote, "I don't know absolutely that there's no Hell you go to if you don't believe, but I am willing to bet my everlasting soul on it. (In fact, if you offered me a deal where if I'm right you buy an ice-cream cone for some deserving child and if I lost I'd go to Hell for eternity, I'd take you up on it—because why not give that kid some ice cream?)" I'll tell you what I thought I was doing when I said that: I thought I was being candid, honest, reasonable, unsuperstitious. Here's another thing I wrote: "I was just thinking that it probably makes the most sense to think about world religion not in terms of theology or sociology or even anthropology, but rather in terms of epidemiology. Once we start treating 'memes' as a kind of living thing, it's not too big of a jump to see religion as an incredibly successful parasite..."

What's funny, looking back on these and other such offensive rants, is: why did I care so much? Why...if not because I knew that God was real! (My old answer, I know, would have been that I care because "the truth matters" and "appealing lies just get in the way of truth," but that's just a lot of noise, and it's drowned out by the perfectly silent, all-deafening, beautifully soundless ROAR of God's word!)

All I had to do (all you have to do!) was surrender, give up on all these human concerns—like what I "have good reason to believe" and all these quibbling intellectual concepts that I thought explained belief in God more convincingly than the very real, glorious truth of God's actual existence! (Do we need more proof than that?? God Himself is the ultimate proof!!!!) I mean, honestly, what's likelier: that human beings made up an all-powerful being who created and controls all and holds the answer to all unanswered questions, or that we know He's real because we feel Him!!! Can't you feel Him?

That's not a rhetorical question: you do feel Him, whether or not you know you do, because HE IS EVERYWHERE.

I'm going to have to make some big changes in my life now—for one thing, politically: a lot of the politicians and political causes I've held so dear make the most sense if you don't concern yourself too much with the literal word of the Bible. But God is real, and His word is real, and the Bible is His word—so you can do all the theological-intellectual acrobatics you want, like God meant this and didn't mean this, but in the end, He is very clear about some of the things He does and doesn't want us to do! And what am I going to do, vote against God? Seems like a pretty stupid idea to me!

Anyway, this has been brewing a while, but today is the day that I "come out": today, April 1, I publicly acknowledge that God is real, God is good, and God is king!

an inspirational quote