Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving from two convicted felons


"Parkay yabba dabba do" indeed.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Overdue: Trainspotting


Sometimes random significant bits of pop culture are elusive, be it by choice or by accident. For example, I've never seen the original Rocky and don't really plan to. You could say it's somehow related to a profound dislike of Sylvester Stallone -- that is if I didn't hold Demolition Man in such high regard. But hey, its never too late to catch up. And yes, this is kind of a rip-off of The AV Club's better late than never feature.

Trainspotting is one of those that is particularly embarrassing not to have seen, particularly for someone who likes movies. I knew I should watch it when a friend of mine who doesn't like movies (too long, he says) told me it was one of his favorites. The only excuse I have for never watching it is that it has a shitload of people shooting up heroin throughout -- one of the few things that still makes me squeamish. Watching every episode of the X-Files in a three month span will build up your tolerance to watching lots of disturbing stuff, but not drugs and needles.

Anyway. You know a movie is great, or at least reached some level on the cultural zeitgeist, when some scenes become cliche. I'm referring to the part with the baby on the ceiling while Renton is going through withdrawal. Not sure where I saw that elsewhere, but it has definitely been copied.

It's probably good that Trainspotting doesn't romanticize heroin use. Well it does, to an extent, but there is also the guy who gets AIDS and dies from a cat poop-induced stroke, for example. Or the "Worst Toilet in Scotland" scene. Terrible. It is probably more accurate to say the movie humanizes heroin addiction, at least in the cases of Renton and Spud. Begbie on the other hand is just psycho. And he doesn't even use.


Finally, Danny Boyle is rapidly becoming a favorite director. Love that imagery. The ideal Boyle double feature would have to be Trainspotting and Millions. Great characters, story telling, visuals and music throughout both. Plus the disparity between the two films could be pretty striking: Hardcore addicts grappling with life vs. innocent children grappling with death.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ah, memories


Recommend reading this unnecessarily long piece chronicling the struggles of Northwestern basketball over the past 70 years. That is if you care about Northwestern basketball. Took me back to the days of watching repeated alley oops from Mateen Cleaves to Jason Richardson from the seventh row. Neither of whom played for the home team.

The highlight of NU basketball l from 1999-2003 was when Tavaris Hardy somehow got upstairs at NUKE, hooked up with some skank (presumably) and left a used condom behind that the room's resident found later. I can't remember who let him upstairs (anyone?) but it was hilarious. Jim Rauh was involved, I think it was his room. Now old Tavaris is an assistant coach, looking for the next Jitim Young.

The most interesting thing about NU hoops is the bizarre recruiting. It certainly isn't worth the mentioning their postseason history. Conventional wisdom says the "Cats" can't get top talent because it's an "academic" school, what with the nerds and all. But this is a stupid reason because there are plenty of other private schools in major conferences that do just fine. There probably are a few players from Chicago or Indiana that are pretty good at basketball. Eyh, whatever.

I won't even try to offer any more insights this season because a) They probably will suck b) I don't know anything about them except this guy went off against Brown earlier this week. Gunner?

This is my Milwaukee



It is entirely serious and factly. I like the part about godseed fragments.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fake


Also, enjoy some dingers.

Friday, November 21, 2008

LIES. ALL LIES.



Here's some stuff you may find interesting while gearing up for an all out assault on Christmas. Get your mangers rigged with explosives ready, it's going to be a bloodbath this year.

George W. Bush is getting all kinds of punked (or pwned, I guess). First, world leaders at the G20 summite were all like "Down Low. Too Slow." And then Angela Merkel gave him a wedgie. Also, no one wants his memoirs.

A huge archive of photos from Life magazine are now available online through google images. Check it out here.

Want to be happy? Don't watch TV.

Also from the NYT: The best thing about the internet is it allows paranoid psychotics to meet each other and re-enforce each other delusions. That article in no way reflects the goats or its readers.

Speaking of delusions -- this morning I woke up and realized that this blog has far too many few weird pseudo-electronic music videos. So here is one that has werewolves(?) on bikes.


Somewhat related personal note: My exposure to random music videos (and thus, ability to post them here) will be drastically reduced at the end of next week, pour some out for that. I will be moving to a new place and odds are it will not be the Dan Deacon haven that I live in now. A veritable Wham City.

According to this thing, I am a doer. Which proves it to be horribly inaccurate.

Bah.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Yo ho ho, etc.


"It was like a beat-up little jalopy. I don't know what you'd call it. You didn't see it?"
"I didn't see it, boss."
"Well, keep your eyes peeled. Check who's on watch. I'll be in the sauna."

This is a direct transcript of the conversation that a captain of a Saudi supertanker had right before it was taken by pirates. Unfortunate for him and the millions of barrels of precious oil he didn't have a bilingual bond company stooge on board (apparently).

If media reports are to be believed nautical experts must beware a relatively new scourge -- Somali pirates. Apparently the country's denizens are blessed with the longest coastline in Africa, along what just happens to be one of the busiest sea-routes around: The Gulf of Aden, connecting the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. It's a thoughtening back to various historical times such as the Vikings or the Port Royal.

Not to romanticize what is at heart an evil and bloodthirsty occupation, but pirates are great and I want to be one. You can accept Indians sinking your motherships now and again by relying on a rich cultural history. Its a simple life, robbing people on the high seas. All you need is a boat and a gun and untold riches can be yours. Of course cursed geography has a limiting affect, as all the waters here happen to be patrolled by the Coast Guard, or possibly the Fish and Wildlife commission. It would be difficult to rob some fools from an hourly-rented kayak at the local state park.

Anyway. Somalia is the place to be, except for everything that forced thousands of young men to turn to piracy. It's like a Waterworld Iraq. I read on the internet (possibly one of those links) that the pirate trade brings some $20M to the Somali city of Eyl -- a city with a budget of $15M. It's Africa's only boomtown! The Great Lakes Coast Guard better keep on its toes lest Detroit start getting some ideas.

Puppycam!



So lazy. Must watch puppies.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

OK this is cool

Monday, November 17, 2008

Snuh?


Big news. Really big news. No, not the guy who killed himself by jumping into a tiger pit.

I'm referring to the interjection "Meh" finally gathering the support in literary circles that it so richly deserves, in that it has been recognized by a dictionary. Sure it's some made up dictionary that probably doesn't even exist, but still.

And no, this post doesn't really have a point. Damn you space coyote! What?

Friday, November 14, 2008

One more for the road



Heading out of town to the land of dancing Godzillas. I don't know what that means.

There's always this



Let's be honest -- you can never have enough fight scenes using elephant bones. And knees to the face.

The clip is the final fight from the classic film "The Protector" starring noted kicker Tony Jaa. It has a ludicrous plot involving protecting sacred war elephants. Still, I shed a single tear when that baby elephant gets tossed through the plate glass window.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Brutal Progress



So, uh, the economy? It sucks, don't know if you heard. Personally I had found it easy to ignore, even though I work in the news and information business. At least that was until today, when the newsroom got hit by layoffs. Granted, it was only four (although second shift is just coming in), and most were expected.

I kind of wish I had been one of those chosen for sudden termination. Unfortunately my skillful importance to antique future WEB TECHNOLOGY coupled with sub living-wage compensation means I probably have more security than just about anyone else there. Until the newspaper folds. Oh what a happy day that will be.

Seriously, crying old people. You've spent half your life at this dump, but get the fuck over it. Sure your past your prime but you'll be OK. That statement is reasonably true except for the alcoholic night editor, who has even odds to pull a Nicholas Cage in "Leaving Las Vegas" sans hooker (he didn't cry noticeably though, credit). I do actually feel bad for him -- there is not much of a job market for grizzled drunken luddites. I'd send him work ideas if he had e-mail.

Anyway, morale is low, and it won't stop raining.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

You've got my back in the city



Trying to come up with something of substance by the end of the week. Til then enjoy this crazy ass video for Of Montreal's Gronlandic edit. Ha ha, few of those words make sense.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

RIP


Surely by now you have heard the awful news. The world's ugliest dog died of cancer at age nine. Not exactly sure how one can be sure that this dog is the "world's ugliest" but it is certainly quite unattractive.

Still, better than being stabbed to death by a sword.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Can't us? Why yes we can

Pic unrelated


Been thinking -- realized the two biggest wins of my life have occurred in the past two weeks. Through the miracles of brain chemistry both the first Philadelphia championship in 25 years and the election of the first black president will be forever linked. And that deserves some sort of published record by goats. So let us take a look at two three word phrases whose simple optimistic elegance inspired a nation, and alternatively, a region.

For the life of me I cannot figure out how one would make "Why can't us" grammatically correct. Stupid Associated Press stylebook, where are you when I need you most? Us can! The phrase does somehow perfectly sum up the ignorant optimism that seemed to fuel the Phillies fanbase during their run to a World Series Championship. Galoots, all.

On the other hand we have "Yes we can" which will probably end up being the more important sentence fragment, for history. Yay for history. Anyway, I can't think of anything else to say here, so check out this story about a longtime White House butler. Also, look forward to the Ed Norton produced documentary about the campaign.

All this is almost enough to turn off my cynicism. But not really.

Friday, November 07, 2008

The more you know

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Cleaning out the queue, Part III

Chuck the Truck is hungover

It's been quite a week, which I dealt with by letting out periodic whoops. But hey, things seem to calming down, if not in the world of excessively violent theater performances. So lets go back to an old standard here and take a look back at some flicks that have been sent to me through the miracle of the U.S. mail. Expect progressive shortening as you proceed down the post.

Diamond Men
When I hear a movie is "criminally underseen" it catches my ear. This stars Donnie Wahlberg and Robert Forster as two diamond salesmen currying their wares around podunk towns in Pennsylvania. "Shippensburg, shippensburg, good old shittensburg." Classic. Old man-young man buddy dynamic here, i.e. old guy showing young whippersnapper the ropes of the business, young whippersnapper getting old guy a hooker with a huge tattoo of a flaming eyeball on her chest.

The Foot Fist Way
This movie is hilarious. Kind of a Christopher Guest-style mockumentary but with some Will Ferrell mixed in. It's about a Tae Kwon Do instructor (Mr. Simmons) who is having some marital problems, in that his wife gives out handjobs to fit in at work. Danny McBride carries the film as Simmons, who has lines like "Meditate on that. Rape." and "Tae Kwon Do is terrific for keeping in shape, but it's also a deadly serious killing system." It's chock full of kid-punching action!

Short Cuts
Finally got around to watching a Robert Altman film, and this was a great choice. So many good performances from the ensemble cast, like Tim Robbins as the adulterous cop, or Julianne Moore as the adulterous painter. Or how about Lili Tomlin and Tom Waits as the dysfunctional alcoholic trailer park couple, or Chris Penn's dismay over his wife Jennifer Jason Leigh's phone sex operation. It's long, but awesome. Watching this made me realize I need to watch some more Altman films. Up next? The Player.

Barton Fink


Grindhouse
Well I watched Robert Rodriguez's "Planet Terror" a while back, and then saw the second part, Tarantino's "Death Proof" the other day. It is B-movie schlock, but it's supposed to be that way. The fake trailers are awesome. THANKSGIVING(nsfw). Also of note, Rose McGowan has a gun for a leg, and Kurt Russell as Stuntman Mike. Who is Stuntman Mike? He's a stuntman.

Battlestar Galactica
Yes.

Lars and the Real Girl
Ryan Gosling as a delusional weirdo who falls in love with an anatomically correct life-size doll that only he can hear. Heartwarming.

The Bank Job
Jason Statham stars in this surprisingly good heist film. Just goes to show how much an R rating can help when used correctly.

Sonatine
It wouldn't be a list without at least one foreign language film. This is about Japanese gangsters on holiday. Super awesome.


Happiness
This film about three suburban sisters and their families is definitive proof that director Todd Solondz is a fucked up individual. Still, Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Southland Tales
See here.

Doomsday
Road Warrior meets Escape from New York you say? In Scotland? With Malcolm McDowell as some sort of feudal king? Sign me up.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Everything's different now



I remember sitting on a couch in Madison, Wis. on election night four years ago. It was a terrible time, everything seemed to be going wrong because of George Bush and Jim Beam. But I do remember one positive from that dark night -- listening to the freshly elected Senator from Illinois offer up a different kind of politics. I remember daring to think "Obama in 2008." It seemed premature at the time. Shows what I know.

So now we live in a world where a black man can be elected president of the United States. To paraphrase Chris Rock, now black parents don't have to tell their kids that they can be anything that want to be when they grow up. Now they can just look at the president, and someday respond to such encouragement with a shrug and an eyeroll, just like white kids.

Clearly it's bigger than that. For perspective: Those of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s now have two historic points of experience. And while they are not diametrically opposed, they certainly stand in stark contrast. Everyone remembers where they were when the towers fell, and now everyone will remember night in November when the American people said "Yes we can." I'll admit it got a little dusty in my slum-cell abode last night, watching that celebration in Grant Park.

Sidenote: Kudos to John McCain, he said all the right things in his concession speech, even if hardline GOPers booed every mention of the president-elect. Stupid haters, no time for you.

The talking heads are already raving about the instant momentousness, and it's nice to think about experiencing today's equivalent of the emancipation proclamation or "I have a dream" speech or whatnot. But it's to probably too early (being less than 24 hours later and all) to start making grand comparisons like that. There's a lot of work ahead. But for now live in this moment, when millions of Americans who once gave up on the usefulness of politics and government made their voices heard.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

If you're still undecided on Election Day...

Check out this video, and be sure to replay it in your mind while in the voting booth. There's no better way to determine the next leader of the free world.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

World Fucking Champions



Far be it from me to correct Chase Utley.