Friday, October 31, 2008

A Halloween Public Service Announcement

Attention frat boys, racists, morons, etc: your Barack Obama Halloween costume is not as clever, original or hilarious as you think it is. Put away the greasepaint, turban, KFC bucket, or whatever the hell else you were planning on using. You'll thank me some day.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

What'll This Town Gripe About Now?

Holy crap! Those beautiful bastards actually did it!

How long until Comcast tries to take credit for this?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Phils, Interrupted

Hooray! Tonight's the exciting conclusion to Bud Selig's attempt to give the Fall Classic a serialized, 24-style cliffhanger ending.

Speaking of which, were you aware that next month is the Fox movie event 24: Redemption? Joe Buck has seen it, and he thinks it's great! And he'll tell you so over and over!

I swear, the Phillies had better lock this thing up tonight. If I see that National Lampoon's Vacation DirecTV ad one more time, I will buy a seat on a space-tourism flight and punch their damn satellite.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Internet Giveth,and the Internet Taketh Away

Hooray! The New York Times has fixed (or at least lessened the annoyance of) the most irritating thing about their website: the pop-up window that gives a definition of any word you double-click. I'm now free to randomly click and highlight while I'm reading without the site thinking I'm so dumb that I need the word "city" explained to me.

Boo! Molly McAleer has stopped doing her bizarre/hilarious/adorable to-do videos for Defamer. I no longer have any reason to be interested in what's going on in L.A. on any given night.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

And I Might Be Buggin' But It Seem to Me That Cartoons Be Realer Than Reality TV

I was driving past the ol' high school a few weeks ago, and the fancy new digital sign that they have out front was flashing a message congratulating famous alumnus Tina Fey on her multiple Emmy wins. "Heh," I thought to myself, "that's pretty awesome."

Of course, Fey is not the only notable name to have trod the hallways of Upper Darby. Every couple of years, lucky students get to ditch class and attend the Wall of Fame induction ceremony. None of this year's honorees are household names like Ms. Fey, but rather the usual assortment of educators, doctors, and entrepreneurs who have achieved success in their chosen fields, and of whom their alma mater is rightly proud.

But they can't all be winners. Among this year's crop of nominees was one Mark Cronin, Class of '82. Don't recognize that name? Congratulations! You probably don't have atrocious taste in television programs (or at least you're too busy showering afterwards to pay much attention to the end credits). Mr. Cronin, you see, is . . . well, let's just let him* tell it:
In 2004 Cronin’s Mindless Entertainment teamed up with Cris Abrego’s 51 Pictures to form 51 Minds – the company that produces VH1’s lineup of reality television. Anchored by the "Celebreality" flagship show "The Surreal Life" the company went on to create related shows including "Strange Love" (with Flavor Flav and Brigette Nielsen), "My Fair Brady" (with Christopher Knight and Adrianne Curry), "The Surreal Life Fame Games" (with Robin Leach), "Celebrity Paranormal Project", "Flavor of Love" (the highest rated series in VH1 history), "I Love New York", "Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School" starring Mo'Nique, "Rock of Love with Bret Michaels", "I Love Money" and "America's Most Smartest Model".
That's quite a resume. Still, I think I could make a strong case for getting myself on the Wall of Fame, based solely on the fact that I had nothing to do with the creation of any of those shows.

So, let's recap: if you'd like your photo on the UDHS Wall of Fame, you could do this:

Or this:

Or this:

*And incidentally, his self-submitted bio in the Wall of Fame program and on the website is pretty much identical to his Wikipedia entry.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Hail of Bulletpoints!

  • So it seems that my "Philadelphia sports teams make it to the championship in a strict four-year cycle" theory has been disproven. Under that rule, the Phils were supposed to be in the World Series in 2009. That stupid team can't do anything right.
  • M.I.A. (who is now quite pregnant) is doing a cover of "Way Down in the Hole." Obviously, The Wire ended a season too early.
  • Weird title aside, Quantum of Solace looks seriously bad-ass. I think I'd buy a ticket based solely on that shot in the trailer where the camera follows Daniel Craig as he falls through a skylight.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Autumn is Icumen In

I've been driving around lately listening to a playlist on my iPod in which Wilco, Radiohead, and Andrew Bird are heavily featured. Maybe it's just me, but it seems like there's no better soundtrack to these early days of the Fall.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Failure is Patriotic

"Surely An American Carol isn't the latest movie to get an "F" from the A.V. Club!"

Actually, it is. And don't call me Shirley.

I don't imagine that his film's critical drubbing is getting to David Zucker, though. It's one thing for a movie to be critic-proof, but it's quite another to be able to use those bad reviews as evidence that the evil liberal media wants to silence your message.

And I Believe in the Promised Land

It is a truth universally acknowledged that when you have a chance to see Bruce Springsteen perform for free, you should take advantage of it. That's how I wound up on the Ben Franklin Parkway yesterday afternoon for the Obama rally/Springsteen concert. It feels a bit silly to give this my usual post-show review; Bruce only played about 7 songs, and the speechifying (by, among others, Angelo Cataldi, Sen. Bob Casey and Gov. Ed Rendell) took up more time than the music (the opening acts included Amos Lee and some local singer named Nora something, neither of whom I had much interest in). When Bruce finally did take the stage, though, he owned it immediately. It was a solo acoustic gig, so obviously this wasn't the dynamic rock-n-roller who fills stadiums, but rather a folksinging troubadour, complete with harmonica rack. About half of the songs were natural fits for this sort of stripped-down performance ("The Ghost of Tom Joad," "This Land is Your Land") while others required a bit more adaptation ("The Promised Land," "Thunder Road"). They all worked, though, and the crowd easily sang along to the slightly unfamiliar arrangements.

The biggest surprise for me, though, is what a remarkable speaker Springsteen is. Partway through his set, he launched into a spoken-word interlude that sounded completely off-the-cuff and stirring. The remarks were prepared ahead of time, of course, but it never felt like he was reading from a script. If he hadn't gone into the music business, who knows where this guy might have ended up?

Also, if I were a political consultant, I'd advise more politicians to learn guitar: pretty much anything you say sounds sincere when you're strumming a few gentle chords beneath it.

Friday, October 3, 2008

More Fail

I forgot to mention this earlier, but yet another movie has earned the coveted "F" rating from the A.V. Club. In this case, it's the Christian melodrama Fireproof, which is described as "a movie only Ned and Maude Flanders could love."

You know, a few centuries ago religious art was a category that included Bach's compositions and Michelangelo's frescoes. Today, it's more like Christian rock and bad Kirk Cameron movies.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Thing That I Just Recently Noticed (But Which May Have Been Obvious to Everyone Else)

The lyrics to the Pixies' song "Debaser" are about Salvador Dalí & Luis Buñuel's notorious film Un Chien Andalou.

All this time, I thought Black Francis was singing "I'm a moon shed, and I'll lose ya."

On a somewhat related note, I just finished watching the first season of Weeds (my verdict: it starts badly, but improves quite a bit by the end), and I kept forgetting to pay attention to the original music, which was composed by Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago. Santiago had previously scored Judd Apatow's short-lived series Undeclared. Liz Phair, meanwhile, writes the music for Swingtown and the new version of 90210, and Everlast apparently does the music for Saving Grace. It seems that composing incidental music for television is the favored day job of well-known musicians who have lost their popularity, their indie cred, or their band-mates' willingness to extend their reunion tour.