30 April, 2010

Today in Assholes


Not soon enough, obviously.

It's a bit bizarre for the anniversary to fall on today, because I just watched the ninth episode of Band of Brothers and (spoiler), one of the plot points is that Hitler is dead. It's odd for things to sync up like that. Most things involving Hitler are odd, though.

Good News, the Acid is Working


Sometimes I trick myself into thinking that the rest of the world is somehow having a better time than I am. It's a stupid thing to buy into what with all of the wars and famine running around, but sometimes I see shit like this and I don't think I'm far off. I can't be.

It's Empirical


Ladies.

Hippos are Jerks


This is what happens when you don't get the hippo's juice box at just the right temperature. They are divas.

WAR


FUCK

29 April, 2010

Yontan Airfield


Tracers coursing through the air on Okinawa island, March 1945.

(fuck it, I found it at x planes)

Kurosawa


Watch Seven Samurai, already so I can be forgiven for not remembering where this picture is from.

Asia, Everybody!

There's a restaurant called "Modern Toilet" over there.

What confuses me the most is that their bowls look like toilets, but their toilets don't look like toilets.

What the fuck is wrong with that place?

"North Korean Film Madness"


It's a mad world out there and they're all trying to be in the movie business.

28 April, 2010

Can You Say Rip Off?


That's pretty fucked up, Cameron. I think you've got some 'splaining to do.

(via Good Show, Sir)

Please Kill Me

27 April, 2010

Alright, This is Fairly Delightful

Violent J of ICP talks about the interne's response to "Miracles."

I kind of want to like ICP. They always made for good Love Line appearances. The only problem is that their music sucks ass and they dress like clowns. It's a bit of a stumbling block.

My Appologies


Here's something less horrific.

It's about music. And England.

And that's about as far away from freaky, horrible sex as you can get.

I'm Proud to Be An American!


Call me old fashioned, but I'm happy with vaginas. No tricks, no seafood for me. I'm a simple man in that regard. I guess that rule isn't as hard and fast in the rest of the world as I might expect it to be. Or hope it to be.

I guess that in Japan peeing in each other's mouth and raping a beakless octopus is the same as a handshake. Apparently people have talked themselves into enjoying this kind of a thing.

I guess I'm just glad that we're bordered by the evil we know (Canada and Mexico) and not the evil that shoves eels up its ass. I'm glad there's an ocean between us.

For the record: This video is AWFUL. People are AWFUL.

26 April, 2010

Eat Your Heart Out, Gaga

M.I.A, Born Free from ROMAIN-GAVRAS on Vimeo.


This is what a music video looks like.

The only problem with the video-- besides it assuming that I care about gingers being arrested and locked away-- is that I keep waiting for the song to start.

EXTRA CREDIT:


(thanks be to Siege)

BOW TO YOUR NEW GOD


(via the World's Best Ever)

Coburn


People who don't want to be James Coburn are probably either assholes or James Coburn.

(A still from Duck You Suckers)

23 April, 2010

Hot French, Chain-Smoking Adventuresses


I can hear the accordion music from here.


Is that French Johnny Depp?

Bland New Grasses

Photobucket
'Sup.

Maurice Micklewhite


When I was buying glasses the other week, I really kind of wanted a pair like Caine did in the '70's. I'm glad I went with something more conservative, but I figure, someday soon, it'll be a possibility.

(found at the Impossible Cool)

I almost died!


But then I got better!

(photo by Richard Chivers)

(found at Flak Photos)

22 April, 2010

Bronson

I really don't know quite how to feel about this movie. It's not bad, it's not good, it's just kind of. . . I don't know. I'm not even indifferent about it, but it isn't of a quality, one way or the other, where I can say that you should see it or not. I'm simply confused and, in a rare turn of events, I am at a loss for words.

But I'll try to fill up this page anyways.

My main confusion about Bronson is that I don't know what kind of movie it is and I suspect it doesn't know either.

It's an interesting experience and it certainly is not a bad one, but the movie is a tad bit all over the place-- or it would be if it were more manic. The failures of the film come in around the edges. They're ambiguous little leaks that mean nothing on their own, but start to mean a whole lot when you find yourself ankle deep in constable blood and mustache wax. That is to say there is no one cock up in the movie that weighs it down, it's just a lot of small, almost unnoticable things.

The main problem I found was that I have no idea what to make of Bronson. What's worse is that I don't think that was the movie's intention. Instead of leaving the film with the kind of "I think the movie meant this" and "No, I think the movie meant this!" experience, I just kind of left it with a severe lack of evidence for whatever theoretical argument I was going to yell at my equally theoretical girlfriend.

The movie doesn't quite spell out what kind of animal Bronson is. Is he insane? Is he just an asshole? Is he a genius? Is he a man out of time? Does he just like to punch men in uniform whilst naked? I have no idea. I'd like to think I understood Alex De Large or Barry Lyndon or the King of New York or Andy from Shawshank, but with Bronson, I've got no clue what the fuck he is. It doesn't exactly make for high drama when I don't know or can't know what the main character is going to do. It's like making a character piece about a great white shark. It's going to be fun, whatever happens, but I feel entitled in saying that at the end of the experience I'm not going to be left with any serious life lessons.

Obviously if the narrator/main character doesn't have a distinct personality-- and he is in every single scene-- then the film is not going to have a distinct personality. The director Nicholas Refn is obviously a talented man and I look forward to his next film (the trailer of which I have linked her before), but his talent alone is not enough to guide this great character (the real life character Charles Bronson, I mean) into a great film.

He has a strong voice, so that isn't what's wrong with it. It's just that I feel like I'm reading his dialogue-- without the inflections or emotions of a human being, how am I supposed to know what this dialogue means? But the movie isn't ambiguous, it's just ill defined. If it ambiguous was what the movie was going for, I feel it'd be a bit clearer to me-- as strange as that sounds. I think the problem isn't that the movie wants to confuse the audience, it's that the movie is confused by itself. Is is a crime drama, is it an art house movie? Is it a character study, is it a theatrical production? Is it a British Bob's-yer-uncle-crime-wank or is it a kitchen sink drama?

Well, I guess it's all of these things and none of these things. As I write this, I realize that's a horrifically poltroon-like cop-out, but it's as close as the truth as we're ever going to arrive at in a fucking blog post. The movie is confused. It isn't bad, as I've stated far too many times (as if it needs its defenders), but it's a flawed movie.

A noble, flaw, I guess. Bronson is a movie which desires to be something else-- something greater than the rest-- but can't quite make it and that is a failure worth seeing, worth thinking about, worth blogging about.

Failures are wonderful. They shouldn't be castigated as much as they usually are, because, as far as art is concerned, when great men fail, they fail spectacularly. Just think about the Challenger 7. That took thousands of hours of work, labor, and ingenuity and it all ended up in a horrific tragedy. But, are any of you going to forget Challenger 7? No, you aren't, because even the failure is capable of leaving an indelible mark on yourself. Bronson is not on par with half a dozen astronauts exploding, don't think that I'm comparing the two. What I am saying is that even when things are irrecoverably fucked up they can still create a memorable and-- dare I say-- positive experience. Bronson is that kind of a failure.

A few people have been throwing around "in the style of Kubrick" but other than the fact that the movie is incredibly well shot and acted, I can't quite see the similarity. Maybe I'm just ignorant. I don't see it. But maybe the folks who are laying down that kind of a statement have only seen A Clockwork Orange, which as my High Life hazed mind recalls, had more than a few important musical interludes-- Oh, and it involved crime and Bronson involves crime, so there must be some kind of blood relation between the two.

It's a bullshit comparison, but Bronson is not without its sublime beauty. The opening scene is a wonder to behold and I'd like to believe that even the empressario Kubrick would have liked to have composed an opening like this one:
Watching this scene again makes me think: You know what? Fuck it. I'm going to watch this movie again.

Which I think means I liked it.

I Wish LA Had Culture

But I mostly wish that it was acceptable to make your own liquor in LA.

Someday.

(hat tip to World's Best Ever)

Our Heroic Pugilists


Our Navy SEALs should be allowed to punch anyone they want. They're Navy SEALs, they earned it.

20 April, 2010

Crazies From Across the Globe

Iran: Sluts cause earthquakes.

You heard it here first.

Psycho Dad!

Whatever it is you're doing--


Stop it and watch this.

ADDENDUM

Everyone should listen to this song.

At least once.

SHIT

FUCK YOUR IMAGE DUMP BLOG

SOURCE THAT SHIT OR GO TO HELL

I HOPE TO GOD WHEN I'VE GOT THE RESOURCES I CAN HUNT DOWN AND MURDER YOUR ASS

FUCK

SHIT

FUCK

AAAAAAGH

Facts in Music

The Tom Petty album Full Moon Fever is one of the best albums ever made.

I don't claim to know or care about music as much as I do about movies or comic books, but I know in my heart that this is one of the great albums of all time. It simply has to be.

Every song is worth a damn. What's more is that it's got four or five of the best songs I've ever had. They all work perfectly. Maybe it is because this album hit me at a particular time in a particular way, but because there are so many others that love this album, I refuse to believe that it's just me.

I actually bonded with one of my good friends Beef because of this album. I don't even think we were on first name basis when this came up, but I knew him from when he was working at a comic book shop. Tom Petty came up on the radio (probably on Jack FM) and his co-worker said something ill about Petty. I spoke up and Beef backed me up and ever since then we've been friends. We'd probably be friends without Tom Petty, but I remember this event specifically because I think the man's music is just that powerful. Not in a religious way, but he simply makes good songs. Songs people like listening to and can relate to. I think that's more than more artists can say. It's also pretty hard to do consistently over a thirty year period.

Besides that I introduced my best friend Steven to Tom Petty. He's been hooked ever since and it's because of this album. I remember that after spending a semester in Japan, Steven came back to the states and the first thing he did after leaving the airport was see Petty in concert. Thus is the loyalty the man has earned.

I've seen Tom Petty (and the Heartbreakers) twice in concert. One concert was much better than the other, but that is my dedication. I love that band. I love that man. I love their songs. But his music has been there for thick and thin. While I don't think that Tom Petty gives a flying shit about me, the fact that I have chosen to listen to his music at my worst and at my best means something. There are few other artist than can claim such a thing.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are worth a damn. And his solo album Full Moon Fever is worth the time of every single damn one of you. If you don't listen to that album from start to finish, then to hell with you. You're no friend of mine.

I'm only, what? Five songs into the album. Just buy it. Go out there and buy it. You deserve it. So does Tom Petty.

Someday


The future is an insane dream of mine. It's a mostly frightening one, but in between visions of lymphoma and failure, I have these strange inspirations. I have this image of me being happy. Or at least acting happy. And it's always in a well furnished place with a steady supply of medium-grade liquor. It's a delusion, but it's a healthy delusion. It's one I feed. I don't hope for much and I expect much less. Realistically I will die in a gutter somewhere with nothing but a cluster of notes and doodles to my name. No fame. No noteriety. No awards. No money. No nothing. And that's fine. If I wasn't fine with that I would have become a chemical engineer.

Not that I would mind the money and all of that.

I love being an artist. That's always what I've considered myself. Not necessarily a good one, mind you, but I'm sure as shit not going to bother doing anything else for a living. This much I know.

I guess part of that fantasy of mine-- of mattering in terms of influence and enjoyment-- is this strange, semi-Bohemian lifestyle. In this Other Life I would have strange couches, a collection of first edition novels, important friends, a house with a yard, a pool, a tailored suit, a car that wasn't paid for by my grandfather's will, and a house that looks strangely like Rick Deckard's apartment in Blade Runner.

Again, though, who cares? It'll happen or it won't and regardless of what happens or doesn't happen, I'm going to be tapping away at what it is I want to do. At the very least, that is a beautiful kind of reassurance.

It's free falling. Unsure of your landing. Unsure of bouncing back. Unsure of where you'll go next. And during all of this it doesn't matter.

At the very least, it is something.

(picture via the Selvedge Yard. Originally I was going to talk about what my future house looked like, but this works too.)

32 Battalion


I don't know about you, but I find this shit fascinating.
During the divisive days of white rule in South Africa, a multiracial special-ops team was earning a reputation as the most elite troop of mercenaries on the planet. They were known as 32 Battalion. Based in Angola, they operated under a secret state authority that allowed them to stop the pulse of anyone deemed a problem by South African authorities. The cause of white South African government became their own as they helped squish the revolutionary Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). Then, in 1993, the incoming black African National Congress (ANC) demanded that the unit be disbanded—this was a group of black guys being led by white guys killing black guys, after all. Still, as a form of gratitude, the outgoing white government devoted the small town of Pomfret to serve as 32 Battalion’s private retirement community.

War, if you're not aware, is an incredibly complicated, fucked up thing and I find few things more fascinating than men trying to do the right thing in a fucked up situation. I think that being a member of the special forces serving under apartheid is one of those situations.

This is like some serious, Metal Gear Solid shit.

BEING A MAN

Being a man is all about exploring nature's harshest jungles and inventing knives.

18 April, 2010

Warsawa


It's the 67th anniversary of the first Warsaw uprising, apparently.

During the uprising the Poles-- specifically Jewish Poles-- took to arms against their Nazi oppressors. Over the next month the German army tore the city apart. It wasn't the first time and it wouldn't be the last.

When the Germans were on a full bore retreat, there was one final revolt in Poland against their oppressors. The results were pretty much the same that time, as well. The Poles were decimated. It didn't have to be that way. Naturally, the Soviets demurred in the latter days of the war as far as helping the Poles was involved. As far as they saw it, Poland was a bit of a prickly pear and they needed to get kicked around a bit more before they through their hat in.

Eventually, though, the powers that had supported the Polish governmental in exile during all of the World War II-- the West-- threw them under the bus and let the Soviets have their way with Poland under the Iron Curtain. Historically, it doesn't pay to be Polish.

I remember years and years ago NBC had a TV miniseries Uprising. It was pretty good, as I recall and it was my first exposure to the Warsaw Uprising. Even though I was fairly young, it shocked me. I had no idea about that front of the war at all. I still think most people don't. I was also shocked by the fact that it had quite a bit of nudity in it, which I took as a hopeful sign that censorship on TV was slackening a bit. It wasn't, but Uprising was still a damn good piece of television.

The show made the Shoah and the treatment of the Polish palpatable. It was real. As I recall it didn't fuck around much showing just as ugly and complicated the war was. Maybe it was just me not knowing anything about the Poles or the Eastern Front, but Uprising made the war feel as frightening and horrific as it should be.

I couldn't find a trailer worth a damn, so here's the first part of the show:

Since then I've done quite a lot of reading on the war, on the Polish, on the Eastern Front, and all the rest of it. I never fail to find this particular section of the war interesting-- it's all interesting, really, but there's something both romantic and existentially frightening about the plight of the Poles and the Eastern Front. It's so far away and it all seems like such a doomed prospect.

I don't know. I've got a few writing ideas involving Warsaw and Poland tucked away in a Moleskine somewhere. It might never get done, but it's still something I like to think about from time to time.

Now, here's something a bit more fun:

Great movie. Awful trailer.

Crooked Italian Politicians?


Yes, please.

16 April, 2010

Cut a mother fucker down


Sometimes motherfuckers ain't shit.

And sometimes they are.

And sometimes they are Zatoichi and Yojimbo fighting to the death.

BEING A MAN


Has got nothing to do with waking up sober and just about everything to do with not wearing a shirt for days at a time.

DEAL WITH IT, LADIES

Superspade?

Photobucket
Damn, I'm so offended right now, I'm not offended.

The Skull or the Wizard?

The Battle of Bloody Porch


I really want to like The Wild Bunch more than I do, but I just can't, it's too damn long.

(via here)

15 April, 2010

Ruins


It's always amazing to me to find out just what has been abandoned in this world. I can't afford a single month's rent and I wouldn't mind living in a disused factory at all.

Of course, the utilities might be a problem.

(Via Marchand and Meffre)

Oh, Have I Got Your Attention Now?

14 April, 2010

What My Dreams Look Like


But with more manatees.

(painting by Mort Kunstler)

(via Accidental Mysteries)

"No, Mr. McNamara. . ."


"I don't expect you to talk, I expect you to destroy North Vietnam and every last southern communist, while at the same time preventing the USSR and China from entering into the war directly and creating a stable and trustworthy democracy in the south!"

FINNEY


Sup?

A Boondoggle


WC Fields is fantastic. I don't just say that because it's a requirement I agreed to in order to live in my dad's house, it's the plum truth. And, like my father, I'm going to require from henceforth, if you want to be my friend, you must see The Bank Dick.

It's for your own good.

BUT DON'T JUST TAKE MY WORD FOR IT!

The Bank Dick is about a drunken man that's as ugly physically as he is emotionally and somehow, by stumbling his way through the movie, he stops a bank robbery and becomes filthy rich, because of course he does. There's practically no plot to speak of in the movie, which is fine, since the only purpose of the plot in this particular film is to string together little comedic episodes, one after the other.

The one thing I really don't like about the movie is that it showcases just how poorly the slidewhistle has aged. On the other hand, it amazes me that anyone ever thought that it was funny unironically.

And now, without further ado, the punchline:

13 April, 2010

The Religious Laughter Hour!


I think I want to see this too.

11 April, 2010

wait what


If you liked that you can download the rest of the album here. I recommend it, because, hey even if you aren't all that hot for it, you can't beat free, can you?

Your black dad, your uncle, and Michael Caine walk into a bar. . .


It is almost as if celebrities exist in this other dimension that's completely seperate from the world we live in. It might look like our world and it might sound and smell and feel like our world, but while you're doing your laundry at your mom's place, they're all hanging out in a black and white pub, drinking the finest of ales, telling amazing, hilarious, thought provoking stories that you can only dream of.

And everyone there has a tab.

Sunday, Bowie Sunday


Two gentlemen of the road.

A Gilded Terror Cross-over Special!

Sunday, Bowie Sunday


This photo is older than sin, but twice as much fun.

09 April, 2010

A Word From David Mamet

I love David Mamet. Even though he's got more than a few dogs under his belt, when he writes something well, it's downright, bloody amazing. And even when he is writing some of the more questionable works in his body, he's still writing exactly what he wants to write, which, unlike a lot of hacks and sellouts, I can respect him for it.

A few years back, he wrote a letter to the writers of The Unit. His bits of advice follow:

THERE IS NO MAGIC FAIRY DUST WHICH WILL MAKE A BORING, USELESS, REDUNDANT, OR MERELY INFORMATIVE SCENE AFTER IT LEAVES YOUR TYPEWRITER. *YOU* THE WRITERS, ARE IN CHARGE OF MAKING SURE *EVERY* SCENE IS DRAMATIC.

And,
THE JOB OF THE DRAMATIST IS TO MAKE THE AUDIENCE WONDER WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. *NOT* TO EXPLAIN TO THEM WHAT JUST HAPPENED, OR TO*SUGGEST* TO THEM WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

ANY DICKHEAD, AS ABOVE, CAN WRITE, “BUT, JIM, IF WE DON’T ASSASSINATE THE PRIME MINISTER IN THE NEXT SCENE, ALL EUROPE WILL BE ENGULFED IN FLAME”

And,
HERE ARE THE DANGER SIGNALS. ANY TIME TWO CHARACTERS ARE TALKING ABOUT A THIRD, THE SCENE IS A CROCK OF SHIT.

He's great. I love him. Listen to him, will you?

Sarah Palin is a Dumb Old Biddy


. . . And she knows nothing of Afghanistan.

Look, lady, while I understand that we should support the leaders of countries we're occupying, maybe you shouldn't be so gung ho about supporting corrupt, barely elected leaders of state. Just a thought, you stupid cow.

Anyways, I really can't wait until she goes away. Whenever it is, it won't be soon enough.

(photo from Constant Siege, if I recall correctly)

08 April, 2010

Here's my Card

Once More With Feeling


As I understand it "Mick Jagger solo album" are four of the most frightening words in the English language. Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to inflict this on you:

Just a Little Something I'm Working On


I think I'm going to try to make a shirt out of this.

The Worst Detective

Ain't No Party Like a Hamster Party

07 April, 2010

Japan Day Pt. 3


Yup, that is who you think it is. Unless you aren't, in which case it is a Japanese Boba Fett.

(via Steveapalooza!)

Japan Day Pt. 2


My favorite part of this picture:
The kind of confused/resigned white guy on the far right. What is going through his head?

Also, is that Joe in the blue/gray-ish shirt on the left? I think it is.

(via Kanamara Matsuri)

Japan Day Pt. 1


Long ago, a man with massive testicles reportedly made a living as a sideshow attraction at Mt. Satta, on the old Tokaido Road near the city of Shizuoka. His scrotum is said to have measured about a meter across.

--Kaikidan Ekotoba scroll, found at Pink Tentacle.

The stars aligned for some reason today, so everything is going to be about Japan, because, hey, why not?

Songs I've Had Stuck in My Head


See, Alex, it does exist!

Do Not Like

06 April, 2010

World's a Mess


If you haven't heard or seen this video yet, I recommend that you do a bit of reading up on the subject before you take one side or the other. I realize that the US military doesn't exactly need anyone in their corner, but I think it would behoove all of us to think twice before siding with a website called "Collateral Murder."

What bugs me is the fact that Wikileaks seems to be firmly in whatever corner opposes the US military in this situation. That's a perfectly fine stance to take, but that isn't the job of journalists. They report. They aren't supposed to be these unaffected, unbiased arbitrators, but they are supposed to report the facts and there's some massive, glaring facts that the video (and the US military, really) do not report on. That is significant.

From the obnoxious title "Collateral Murder" to the fact that the video doesn't point out that there are people with weapons to the fact that the organization doesn't seem to have interviewed any helicopter pilots or gunners leaves a lot of holes in this story, holes that obviously aren't going to be filled by the parties that released this and probably not by the millions of people watching the videos cold.

The scene is definitely a clusterfuck, but it should be labeled as the clusterfuck it is and not the clusterfuck someone wants it to be.

Here's some links on the situation:
Yahoo reports on what the video means.
AJ Martinez dissects the video.
BBC reports on the video.
And, lastly, the Beeb reports on what Wikileaks is.

Running Scared


If you don't own or haven't listened to the album Black and White Night, you owe it to yourself to do so.

Roy Orbison, James Burton, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, k.d. lang, T Bone Burnett, Bruce Springsteen, and a half a dozen others in black and white singing some of the best songs about well, what else? Losing love.

It's great.

PBS shows it every once and a while and every time it's on, I always watch it until the end.

Side Note: Did Roy Orbison ever sing a single song besides "Pretty Woman" that wasn't about how terrible love is and how it'll wreck your shit? Because that seems to be his thing. Regardless, there's no one else that I can think of that makes heartache seem as romantic as he does.

To Be a Person Like Other People


Loneliness has followed me my whole life. Everywhere. In bars, in cars, sidewalks, stores, everywhere. There's no escape. I'm God's lonely man. . . June 8th. My life has taken another turn again. The days can go on with regularity over and over, one day indistinguishable from the next. A long continuous chain. Then suddenly, there is a change.

I just realized that I haven't watched Taxi Driver in about five years. Weird. I used to watch that movie all the time.

They're Setting You Free


This is a shitty trailer for a fantastic movie.

I've never been a fan of horror. There's lot of reasons for that, but it just never jibed with me. Despite that, Jacob's Ladder was a movie that was always coming up and eventually, I broke down and Netflixed it.

It was a good choice.

I love this movie. I puts the horror genre into something I like anyways. It's a movie that's half Dante's Inferno and half Taxi Driver. There's no cheap scares, there's no gimmicks. All there is is this one man's journey through a hell that looks very much like real life.

It isn't even all that scary, I don't think. It especially isn't all that scary if you weren't raised up with Christianity. Though, even if you haven't been pushed through a dozen years of Bible study, it's still worth checking out. There's something in this movie that works regardless of who you are or where you're from, which I guess is the beauty of art in the first place.

But, then again, I'm drunk. So who know if I'm right or wrong?

05 April, 2010

That Does Me Good


As I've alluded to in previous entries here, a number of years of my life are marred by what I like to call "The Dark Times." Much of that was punctuated by self-loathing, writing bad comics, and, most importantly, music. Since then Tom Petty has become an integral part of me dealing with anything bad. Others have been added to the list and others have left the list, but Tom Petty (and his Heartbreakers) have always stayed with me, through thick and thin, because, damnit, they know how to put a sincere song together. I heavily associate Tom Petty with most of the formative events in my life, for better or for worse, so when I listen to him, it'll often bring back those emotions and those thoughts that I had at the time.

Then again, every time I start listening to him again, it feels like the exact right thing to do at the time, regardless of where my stupid head happens to be at the time. I intensely love Wildflowers. There isn't a single song on there that I don't love-- and I don't think it's all the weird, sappy, depression nostalgia tinting my viewpoint.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Listen to Tom Petty. It'll do you good.

Gojira


Even atomic maniacs get thirsty sometimes.

A Sign of Bad Times


About a year or so ago, back when I actually lived in Long Beach, I went through a phase where I would watch There Will Be Blood about once a week. It was a good phase and a fairly productive one. It helped me a lot with the story I was writing (which I just recently finished and submitted) and, even if I wasn't writing, I enjoy this film immensely. Maybe it's just all of the film education that's been crammed up my butt over the past three years or maybe it's because I'm so emotionally invested in this movie, but the more I watch it, the more I love it. It's a perfect movie. I love No Country For Old Men, but if There Will Be Blood had bested it for Best Picture, I would have been perfectly okay with that. It would have deserved it.

I originally saw There Will Be Blood with a stranger who is now a very good friend of mine. His name was Will and we met on a forum. We were both film nerds and we both wanted to see There Will Be Blood something fierce, so we decided to hang out and go see the flick down at the Arclight. The movie was great and while at Baja Fresh, we ran into Trevor from The Whitest Kids You Know. It was a formative day and one of the better ones I have of Los Angeles proper.

On a side note, Will also loves this movie, but he hasn't watched it since it came out in theaters for fear of it not measuring up to the first experience. more Blood for me, I guess.

Anyways, There Will Be Blood is built into a lot of memories of mine and, what's more, is that it's a really goddamn good flick. Without going on too long about why that it, suffice it to say that I find it amazing because there is no feasible, logical reason why the movie works. It simply shouldn't. If anyone else attempted this movie, it wouldn't work. There's probably a thousand examples in cinema of a movie like this going wrong and for some reason, this time, some strange alchemy allowed it to not only exist, but be one of what I think will be the greatest films of all time.

At least it will be one of my greatest films of all time. That must be worth something.

Anyways, another friend of mine Steven, who I've known since kindegarten, have been getting together, drinking, yaking, and watching great movies. Blade Runner is one of them. Miller's Crossing is another. Chinatown was one and so was Narc. This past Sunday we decided to re-watch There Will Be Blood. It was a good choice.

I've watched this movie maybe a dozen times and I've realized that the more I watch it, the more I empathize with Daniel Plainview. There's no way that can be a good thing. While I don't exactly understand his psychosis or his maliciousness, there's a part of me that perfectly understands the kind of driven, withdrawn enmity that he feels about the people around him. While I thankfully have more friends that he does, I get how a person can get so wrapped up in this bitter little ember inside of themselves.

And maybe that's why I like this movie so much. It doesn't waste it's time with story or morality, it just shows the life of an irredeemably angry man slowly picking away at himself for no apparent rhyme or reason. And there's no reason something like that should be this watchable.

This sounds incredibly stupid as I write it, but the movie is as uncompromising as Plainview himself. Each form is perfect in its own little way.

"I Saved Latin"


"What did you ever do?"

Visit Scott C. at Great Showdowns, Double Fine Comics, or his personal blog. You will be glad that you did.

04 April, 2010

I'd Like to Say It's a Bit Like This


But that would be me just being romantic. . . and who needs that?

Nerd Crap for Wicked Lames

Some months back Red Letter Media did a bang up job of ripping apart the first Star Wars prequel, while at the same time making some really cogent points about drama and storytelling. It was also really funny.

Anyways, the crazy old dude that reviewed The Phantom Menace is back with a review of Attack of the Clones.

Watching the prequels is a bit like drinking fortified wine. It seems like a good idea at the time and it does the job, but then the next morning comes and you just feel like shit and want nothing more than your ten dollars back.

Nicholas Sparks Talks Like an Asshole

There's a sundry of reasons why he sounds like a grade-A prick-- he looks down his nose at romance novels, he's got no sense of humor about his own work, he doesn't quite know the difference between drama and melodrama, and he compares himself to some of the greatest writers of not only the 20th century, but of the entirety of human history-- but what really gets my goat is that he's got the impudence to insult the works of Cormac McCarthy. And that just ain't done.
Cormac McCarthy? "Horrible," he says, looking at Blood Meridian. "This is probably the most pulpy, overwrought, melodramatic cowboy vs. Indians story ever written."

I'd wish something terrible on him, but writing the kinds of books that he does seems like a punishment in and of itself.

Post Script: I like how this post ends, but I wanted to add that Roger Ebert just did a wonderful review in the way that only Roger Ebert ever seems to write on The Last Song (I guess that's why he's got that Pulitzer). If you don't want to read the whole review, you should at least read this snippet:
"The Last Song" is based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, who also wrote the screenplay. Sparks recently went on record as saying he is a greater novelist than Cormac McCarthy. This is true in the same sense that I am a better novelist than William Shakespeare. Sparks also said his novels are like Greek Tragedies. This may actually be true. I can't check it out because, tragically, no really bad Greek tragedies have survived.

03 April, 2010

Yes! I did it! I'm doing it!

I got myself a twitter. Perhaps the best of twitters.

Follow me at Kislingtwits, where you can find some of my greatest hits like
Where the FUCK are my pine nuts!
And, the perineum favorite
Bleu Cheese!? Fuck off!
This is a red letter day, America.

Rejoice!

I Wish This Had an Actual Music Video


But it doesn't, so fuck it.

Just in Case You Didn't Have Problems Sleeping

This is awesome.

It's like that Meghan's Law thing, but for homicides.

Awesome.

Long Beach is balls deep in murder, folks. And, apparently, there was a murder in Pasadena between the Police Department and City Hall. Also: That City Hall is used for the exterior shots of Parks and Recreation. Every week you get to see where a dude got shot down.

Weird.

Who saw that coming?


The New York Times examines why the Taliban can't shoot for shit.

Also: They like to have sex with young men.

It's like a double whammy of calling Afghanistan today. For me reading this two articles almost back to back reminds me that, considering my problems, both minor and major, it really doesn't compare to being shot at, blown up, or being forced to get it on with a dude because my entire countries women are locked in a basement. I live in a society with many problems and I'm glad those aren't any of them.

Lastly, looking at that article on Afghan homosexuality, I don't think I could think of a more off putting sign than "SODOMY LAWS" in black and red.

02 April, 2010

This is Certainly Encouraging

A few weeks back I posted something from Warren Ellis' website about the creator of the comic Phonogram and how he had to put the comic to bed because it wasn't selling enough issues. That was depressing to read.

Today he posed something else. It's a post that's half about stuff he's working on (and I'm sure most of you don't really care about that) and the second half is about the future of comics, especially on the iPad (and I'm sure you care slightly more about that).

This is encouraging, especially considering that I just sent off my script on Wednesday. I feel kind of neutral about the whole thing. All Hail Marys either get dropped or get caught, but its rare for them to be up in the air for a month or two. Anyways, this post of his makes me feel a little better about the future.
But the iPad will reach places that comics shops can’t go. Where comics shops don’t exist. There are not enough comics shops left to service North America, really. I know people who live in big towns there who remain hundreds of miles away from the nearest comics shop. It’s speculated that anything up to three million iPads might be in circulation by the end of this year. Some of those will reach the places unserved by comics stores, reach the hands of people who like comics but can’t sample singles and don’t always feel like gambling ten or twenty dollars on a trade paperback from Amazon.

And then there's this one, which really makes me think that this whole stupid dream of mine might be possible.
You know, if Marvel sold, say, 4000 apps for iPad? That would equal if not overtake the number of physical locations that sell physical Marvel comics.

I don't know what it would take to break even or to, God forbid, make a comic profitable, but that sounds like a fairly attainable statistic.

Here's Something Fun


When I first listened to this video, I thought that Peter Murphy sounded exactly like Iggy Pop and now, after reading up on the subject, I found out that he actually sounds exactly like the lead signer of Bauhaus.

It's Uncanny, Really

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Here's my first attempt at fan art, which I drew about two or three years ago:
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Here's a more recent one that I slapped together:
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How Progressive

The Saudi Arabian government gave a Lebanese man a reprieve from execution after being convicted of sorcery.

It's good to see Saudi Arabia enter the 19th century by not executing witches.

Good for them.

01 April, 2010

I Don't Know, Man, Sounds Risky

 
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