Check out the great new 5-minute "TV pilots" here. My favorite is Sockbaby. Kung fu action as you like it, and as you didn't even realize you liked it. "Ronnie Cordova" is going to be an Internet star. Shitbag from Tomorrow is another good one that didn't get picked up as an ongoing series. It's about a time-traveling colostomy bag that can talk, reminiscent of the DuMont Network's Captain Crapsack in the early '50s. Fan favorites Ultraforce and Computerman have been cancelled, sadly enough. Well, they were good while they lasted.
He does Rushmore and Hamlet, and then Charlie's Angels and Osmosis Jones, and then The Royal Tenenbaums and Lost in Translation, and now... this. So I guess we're due for another godawful piece of asscrust from him, and then a couple more good ones?
Update: A good first step, Bill...
No matter how many lines you fix, I still don't want to look at the results.
You know Howard Dean is in trouble when even I'm kicking his ass.
Howard started off the show saying that he had tape of Howard Dean being raped in the woods of New Hampshire. He played a tape that had clips from "Deliverance" and Howard Dean's scream as the squeal from the rape scene in the movie. Howard played the clip a couple of times and goofed on it for a short time. Howard jokingly said "We've all been there..."
(And then there's the Dean-liverance remix by Fritz Liess, which apparently was too subversive for the DeanGoesNuts.com guy to put up. Funny how he turned out to be the biggest Deanie in the galaxy...)
Anybody see Al Franken on Letterman last week? It was a typical Franken talk show appearance: A few deadpan jokes, some awkward silences punctuated by scattered laughs, etc. But then at the end of his segment, he told a story about how his mom died a couple of months ago, and some shithead* used the Amazon customer reviews for his book to say something like, "You know what happens to people who write books like this? Their moms die." Which is depressing in many ways, not the least of which being that Franken thought he had to bring it up on national TV. A very strange, embarrassing moment, even for Franken.
And now this. Dear Al: Please take a break. Work out whatever's going on in there that you obviously need to work out, and then come back to us refreshed and ready to make America say, "Okay, I can see how that might be sort of funny."
P.S. Daniel Frank points out that Franken did have a punchline about how many Amazon users thought that meanspirited review was helpful. I did hear that punchline, and I also heard him mutter something about how it was a typical right-wing move. "Just goes to show the right-wing mentality," something along those lines. Really gut-busting stuff. It was painful to watch (and, judging by Letterman's reaction, to sit next to), and evidence that Franken is headed for some sort of breakdown. If he didn't already have it at the Dean rally.
*He didn't use that word, but it's really the only appropriate description.
Crush is right! Attend to me, my minions, and crush my rivals! Because I deserve a much better class of stalker than what I've had to put up with in the past.
Chris "Guy Who Does Achewood" Onstad writes:
Would you believe it, Ray has a blog!
It reminded me of you and what you do.
P.S. I think the (1) comments are mostly Beef.
Fans of the show (purely hypothetical creatures at this stage, but I have high hopes) can watch as it's being assembled and even pitch in (presumably VH1's lawyers have worked out something so that if a joke made by a reader in a comments section gets on the air, the network doesn't have to pay royalties; that's not my department).
Okay, my snap judgment was, if I'm going to provide my special brand of "humor" without getting anything but a virtual pat on the head for it, I might as well do it here, not in the blog comments for a show on a channel I can't even afford anymore.
But after giving some thought to the matter (mark calendars), I guess it would depend on how audience contributions are going to be treated. If I post a joke in the Best Week Ever comments and it's used on the show, will I be credited? Will they mention my URL on the air? Or at least put it in the microscopic end credits in the corner of the screen for a few milliseconds? That could work. The only real currency most bloggers can hope for is traffic, isn't it? Because I'm not sure the warm glow of having a dumb joke used on basic cable, unpaid and anonymously, is such a great incentive. But I haven't seen the show (and probably won't anytime soon, unless I hit the lottery), so as usual I'm probably full of shit.
Did you guys see it? Any thoughts? (NOTE: I have even less money than VH1, so you will not be compensated for your contribution.)
Amy "Aptly Nicknamed" Alkon passes along this poll on gay marriage from the American Family Association. (Motto: "America's Pro-Family Online Activism Organization." Take that, anti-family activists!) Everything was going great until them homos and homo-lovers got to sodomizin' it.
One time I tried to start a pro-family online activism organization called the American Society for the Salvation of Family Unity, Courtesy, and Kindness, but I couldn't get anybody to print up the bumper stickers.
Aaron Haspel surveys the current state of blog-ha-ha's, and I make the cut (barely). His summary:
Humor, unlike literary criticism or political rumination, pays extremely well. Actual funny-type humorists are in high demand and make actual money-type money. Sometimes they spend it on whiskey and cigars and grow old and gouty like Barry and P.J. O'Rourke; sometimes they spend it on smack and blow and grow pale and spectre-thin and die, like Lenny Bruce and Doug Kenney. Either way they stop being funny eventually; humor's tough in the first place and impossible to sustain. Blog humorists, on the other hand, don't gather enough from their own efforts to pay the cable bill. The conclusion will be left as an exercise for the reader.
This reader's conclusion: Either I suck, or my cheap-ass readers do! And as everybody knows, my readers are the finest, most caring readers who ever read some reading material, so that settles that.
Ladies, gentlemen, and bloggers: The Fritz J. Liess Dean-liverance remix.
Senator Harkin said Dean could take a few knocks because he's "a fire hydrant".
Yeah, he's short, red, and spews under pressure.
You know, if you pull Art Garfunkel over and he's carrying some pot, how is that even a crime? Why not just lock up Stephen Hawking for possession of a wheelchair?
So you already know about the Lileks Deanscream instahit, which popped up on the Newsweek site and NPR about 45 minutes after he got the idea for it. You can find that one and a bunch of the other Dean-spirited tunes here.
Whatever else you want to say about Dean, I'm grateful to him for making the whole process interesting for a day or two.
P.S. If you haven't heard it, check out Dean-liverance.
I had this whole Ken Layne & The Corvids review typed up, but then my stupid computer lost it. So, short version: Fought Down is music made by bloggers, using actual musical instruments. I don't know much about alt-country or No Depression or whatever it's called, but I like it. Based on this recommendation, you will now purchase a copy.
How's that for salesmanship? Willy Loman, eat a dick.
Update: It's also available at Amazon. Be sure to check out the customer review by the wacky Icelandic chick...
Update: Or how about... this?
Subject: May you stumble into the wrong alley.....
You left wing pillow biter, I bet you'd love to be right in the middle of Timmy Robbins and Susan Sarandan as all three of you take it up the ass from Alec B. You in your GIMP outfit getting slammed by SS as she barries that strap on and Timmy rips that ball out of your mouth so he can you can smoke some leftist tube steak. It so easy being a leftist when you don't work for a living? Never contributed anything but 2nd rate comedy...I'd fucking rather watch old Jerry Lewis movies while sitting in a French Bistro then come accross your lame attempt at humor. Go suck one...better yet watch out for any MF you might even think is incorporated with the USMC.
Subject: Re: May you stumble into the wrong alley.....
Hi. Which post are you replying to, please?
Subject: Re: May you stumble into the wrong alley.....
Piss off...I counted to ten...go back to your hole...Pierre. I'm sure that you think all your satarical humor is clever but sit down sometime and think about how you live in a country where you can do as you please, write what you want, travel where you want and never have to show papers or stop at checkpoints. I know that it sounds cliche' but that right wasn't free.I know that you think I must be some gun toting, slack jawed, hillbilly but stop and think people, your people, over the last couple of centuries spent there lives creating or fighting so, you could write your jokes. Now...here's my right...(also cliche') Go fuck yourself...and God...help you if...any number of terrorist groups decides to buck back on American soil. You and your band of leftwing, country slamming, monkee bungs are gonna be the first ones needing a pair of "...Oops I crapped my Pants".
Good day...jerk off
Sure, the other entries were better thought out, but I think my glib half-assedness should count for something.
I was only credited by first name, for some reason... Anyway, at this point it's tough to come up with anything nuttier than the hoops they've got Jack and Tony jumping through.
*I'm Number 6, even.
Jim, won't you marshall your comics expert minions to a good cause? I promise to help you next time there's a moveon.org bush-hating recipe contest.
Nope, I really can't do that. Sorry, man.
Thanks to Matt Welch and Kate Sullivan for the tip about Indie 103.1. I'm listening to it now, and in the space of a couple of hours they've played the Cramps, the Beastie Boys (Paul's Boutique!), the B-52's, Iggy Pop, the Flaming Lips, Soundgarden, the Polyphonic Spree, The Faint, Wreckless Eric, The Network, Nick Lowe, the English Beat, the Buzzcocks, G. Love and Special Sauce (unfortunately), the Modern Lovers, that new Phantom Planet song that I really like and no not the one on The O.C., some kind of underground rap or something, BRMC, Devo, and some other stuff I didn't recognize. Even Nirvana's "School," which, as Sullivan points out, nobody ever plays. And they play phone messages from listeners who hate the new format, which is kind of funny. ("I liked the techno and pop better, you guys suck now." And this is from a full-grown adult.) The weirdest thing is, it's Clear Channel! Check it out.
(Corvids review to come... Holy shit, they just played Gary Jules, and then another idiot phone message, and now it's the Pixies. Holy shit.)
So it's been bugging me for a while that Sitemeter registers hits to my main page, but not to individual entries. Like if somebody linked to this here post you're reading right now, and you clicked on it but didn't proceed to the main page because I suck, it wouldn't register as a hit. I'm not all that interested in the raw numbers, which will never be very high, but it's always fun to see who's linking to you and what they're saying. Well, not always.
Anyway, is there something I can tweak so that a hit to anything under the jimtreacher.com domain gets counted? Or is there some other web-counter that would do the job? Thanks in advance.
Update: Okay, I think it's fixed. Thanks, Ken!
Me too, Tim. Me too.
"On the best day, Mars is minus-50 degrees with no oxygen. So fuck that." -- Chuck D.
But Chuck, I thought you rappers liked to "chill"! Ha ha!
*Just kidding. Of course I'm on the Web.
Speaking of us rubes who do this crap for free, I forgot to mention my second-favorite part of that Claire Zulkey interview with Joel Stein. Right at the end:
How does it feel to be the 86th person interviewed for Zulkey.com?
You've done 86 of these? And you don't get paid for it? Maybe it's time you ask yourself some questions, Zulkey.
Just one, really: "What kind of broken universe is this where Joel Stein gets a steady paycheck for writing and I don't?" Hell, where a three-legged dog who's trained to poke at the keys with a pencil in his mouth doesn't.
That's the question I investigate as thoroughly as possible, given the 150-word limit (looks like some people forgot all their grade-school math, tsk tsk!), over at this week's Black List.
(Note: The autographed baseball was carried in by the dog, which I forgot about. Must have been during one of my micro-blackouts. Also, it's interesting that the other new Subway ad shows a husband getting revenge on his wife's "cheating" on Atkins by stuffing his face with a whole box of crackers. So in the Subway-Ad Universe, women react to even the most minor perceived spousal betrayal with sudden, extreme violence, and men react with sudden, extreme eating. Kind of like a Bizarro version of my upbringing.)
From Claire Zulkey's interview with Joel Stein:
You seem to take criticism in stride, but does it ever really get to you? If so, are there some times when you feel it more than others?
I figure I pick on people, so people should be able to pick on me. The worst criticism is when they're right. Not when they point out that I'm shallow or sophomoric or self-obsessed or something else I already know, but when they point out something bad I didn't know or worse yet, knew but was hoping no one would notice. Like that I'm a racist homophobe who knows little about pop culture and doesn't go to they gym nearly as much as he makes it seem. Ouch.
I was just kidding, Joel! I'm sure you know a lot about pop culture that you just didn't feel like writing about in your regular column in the biggest pop-culture magazine there is. And I was only making a play on the now-legendary quote about Jayson Blair anyway. (Whatever happened to that guy? He was hilarious!) I thought your column was pretty bad, but I wouldn't have said anything if I'd known they were going to replace you with Stephen "Think I'll Go for a Walk" King.
*Temple of Doom, Tequila Swoon... I know. I know.
...click here. There's hope. (Just kidding. Good stuff, Daniel!)
You could nominate me for a Bloggy if you wanted to. You don't have to, but if you did I wouldn't be mad at you. It would need to be by 10:00 PM Eastern Standard Time tonight, mind you. There are like 30 categories, but you wouldn't need to vote in all of them in order for your ballot to count. Not that I'm pressuring you in any way. Do what you think is best. Okay, that's all I'll say about it.
"If all you do is spew this bumper sticker rhetoric and sputter these cute little catch phrases about how Bush is like Hitler, then you know you're a f*ckin' moron and yeah, that's distracting. But if you can articulate your reason and have a conversation and say, 'Let me tell you why I hate Bush, and it's not because he's an evil guy,' then hopefully, you won't be painted in a corner as a misfit." -- David Cross, not addressing Garofalo by name
Speaking of Bob & David, I cracked up at the latest "I Love Movies!" column at their site. This happens every time, because Doug Benson is funny. But check out the picture of Charlize "Ugly = Credibility" Theron:
Or how about "Put away your boners"? Unless it's like team uniforms or something, like you've got your "home boner" and your "away boner." That would be pretty cool, actually. Mine is definitely a "home boner." Very much so... Anyway, nice job, Benson! Maybe you should lay off the MARY WANNA!
"I actually thought of you, Jim, when I drew that. That's my portrait of how I imagine you blogging." -- Tony Millionaire, on "The Hierarchy of the Nerd"
Set your Tivo. They'll probably do "I Believe in a Thing Called Love," but I've got my fingers crossed that they'll do "Growing on Me" instead. (Vital info via Whatevs, agains. Shmeeps? Is that one of the words? Shnapes? Something like that.)
Me: All this Bush = Hitler hubbub at MoveOn.org... Damn, I wish we'd tried to do a video for that contest. We could have come up with something a lot more offensive than those two amateurs did.
Kevin: Oh, no shit. I'm thinking Bush laughing and eating Iraqi baby brains for breakfast, followed by a soak in a hot tub filled with crude oil.
M: The fork he's using to eat the baby brains, instead of regular tines, it has little swastikas.
K: And instead of a rubber duck in the hot tub, he has an Osama Bin Laden doll which he hugs and kisses like a little girl hugging a baby doll.
M: "I wuv woo, 'Sahmmy!"
K: The Osama Doll is dressed like Mrs. Beasley.
M: Moby is so inspired by our entry, he writes a song about it on his next album. The song is called "Action Alert."
K: Our theme song for the commercial is called "Bloody, Fascist People" set to the tune of "Shiny, Happy People." Margaret Cho sings along in character as her mother, in pidgin English.
Holy Lord. Another gem I've been missing. I understand about 3/4ths of it (is there a Whatevs glossary?), and I need a couple aspirin after, but it's great stuff.
Bryan Lamb at bryanlamb.blogspot.com is a ball-less soulless plagiarizing fuck. But not this Bryan Lamb, who is a very handsome gentleman with strong abdominal muscles and discerning taste in music. (Never mind, Sour Bob has rescinded the Googlebomb jihad. And good call on the Bill Hicks nod. This Lamb douchebag is undoubtedly another fevered ego tainting our collective unconscious and making us pay a higher psychic price than we could ever imagine...)
The last time I heard about this sort of thing, sad dorks cutting-and-pasting other people's posts into their own blogs and passing them off as their own, I tried Googling for random phrases I'd written recently. That's how they catch kids who buy term papers and stuff, right? So give it a try. If somebody's pathetic enough to slip your writing on like a Goodwill coat, smoke 'em out!
Yep! That petty criminal in Cleveland just admitted she made up the whole "lost lottery ticket" thing. Duh. Although I figured she'd be dumb enough to hold out a little longer.
Sheldon Starke is a great name for a lawyer, don't you think? I'm seeing Martin Short in the inevitable TV-movie.
Hello, stupid cops.
Hey! Watch it.
I'm just being honest. You're really, really dumb.
Leave us alone, her story checked out.
You've mentioned that. "Well, she knew where the ticket was sold." Did she really? Boy, the only way she could have uncovered that little piece of top-secret info would be if, I don't know, if she PICKED UP A DAMN NEWSPAPER THE DAY AFTER THE DRAWING.
...oh yeah. That's usually the first thing they report, isn't it? They give out the numbers, and they say where the winning ticket or tickets were sold. Huh.
Okay, okay. But she knew the numbers by heart!
You mean somehow this diabolical criminal mastermind was able to memorize six numbers in less than a week? Wow!
You're pushing it. Well, how about the way she told us why she picked each number? She had a story for each one.
That was good too. "I picked the number 32 because... uh... because it's my son's birthday backwards! Yeah!" Jesus. Are you guys the Cleveland cops or the Keystone Kops? Hey, what are you--
[A muffled scream, the sound of multiple nightsticks making contact with multiple bones. Tape ends.]
Michael J. Fox is going to appear on Scrubs as... a surgeon?!? What next, Stevie Wonder as an ambulance driver?
Lileks points us to the online trailer for Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Looks like a fun idea: What if the rampaging robots from the '40s Superman cartoons really existed, and Jude Law was the only one who could stop them? The various city-smashing Art Deco robots look fantastic, but there's something claustrophobic-looking about the shots with actual humans in them. Here's why, according to the IMDb entry on Kerry Conran, the writer and director:
Wrote a CGI program that allows him to shoot an entire movie against blue screens, and fill in the backgrounds with images. Having an already-existing 3-D storyboard of every scene in his computer, all he needs to do is replace the computer-generated figures with live actors, and he has finished his film.
Damn you, George Lucas. Damn you to hell. But who am I kidding? I'll be there to watch the pretty pretty people and the pretty pretty splosions. Even if it's just a shinier version of one of those crappy '90s CD-ROM games.
And Conran is from Flint, Michigan. Hmmm... maybe he and Michael Moore could collaborate on a movie where all of Moore's fantasies are made real through the magic of CGI. They could have a bank with a rifle vending machine in the lobby! Dubya furtively ushering the Bin Laden family onto a plane, whispering "We did it!" Etc.