Monday, June 27, 2005

A cornucopia of items

Tonight I have several interesting articles to throw your way, most of them via Slate.

Have you ever read web comics? One of my favorites is Sluggy Freelance.
I stumbled across it a few years ago and had to do a bit of back reading to catch up, but it was worth it. I personally feel that the most recent storylines are not as good as they were a few years ago, but that's just me. I still read it every day.

Now Slate is telling me that this comic is the most addictive one on the web. I'll let you judge that for yourself.

If web comics aren't your bag, baby, then what about comedy? Everyone likes comedy, right? Well, are you still reeling from the disappearance of The Chappelle Show? If you are, do you think Stella is gonna do it for you? Some say no.

And then there is Dora the Explorer. What? You don't know who that is? Well, Slate will fill you in. Personally I enjoy Dora and you could have counted me among those co-viewers. Ariel was a strong Dora devotee a few years ago, but she has aged. Ruth hasn't shown an obsession with Dora but she enjoys the hand-me-down books from her big sister.

Personally, I don't get the strong computer vibe that the article implies. While it is true that Dora is using a computer "pointer" to show her stuff on screen, it isn't like she is dodging transistors or anything.

What really killed Dora's popularity in our household is our jobs. Due to our success, we upgraded our cable and were able to get other children's programming on other networks. So, Ruth has more choice than Ariel did.


Blogger A P said...

Speaking of web comics, my personal fav has to be Strip Tease ( No, it is not a perverse site (as the name and the fact that I brought it up no doubt made you wonder).

10:32 AM  

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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Macho man no more?


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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Great Movie Quotes

This seems like the kind of thing that we should have covered in this space before today, but just in case my memory is awful, please go to the site linked by the post title and view the nominees.

The actual rank order was presented and discussed on a CBS special tonight, but I didn't watch it. So, I can't today tell you what the number one quote was . . . but knowing the AFI lists and to satisfy a strange memory itch in the back of my brain, I want to say that whatever Al Jolson said in The Jazz Singer is the number one quote.


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Saturday, June 11, 2005

Minimum wage; maximum impact?

Monthly Plan
Super Size Me's Spurlock brings his bold experiments to FX
by Gillian Flynn
Amiable of nature and handlebarred of mouth, Morgan Spurlock was the darling of Sundance 2004 due to his documentary Super Size Me, in which he spend 30 days on an all-McDonald's diet and reaped the repellent consequences. The film became an unusual Oscar nominee--part diligent reporting, part character piece--with the unassuming Spurlock as its star.
With his new FX series, 30 Days, Spurlock and exec producer R.J. Cutler (The War Room) spin out that formula, daring people to live a certain life for a month and see what insights arise. The debut episode, clearly inspired by Barbara Ehrenreich's investigative memoir, Nickel and Dimed, has Spurlock and his vegan-chef fiancee, Alex Jamieson (his charming Super Size Me costar), trying to survive on minimum wage. The show combines ugly, sharp facts (minimum wage has been stuck at $5.15/hour since 1997) with ugly, sharper reality. Plopped in [Columbus!] Ohio, Spurlock and Jamieson share a bus pass, work several jobs, live in an ant-infested freezing dump, and still barely get by.
The episode is full of heartfelt moments. Jamieson, buried in winter wear and worn with work, weeps when she discovers a free store for people in need. "Human beings can be so incredibly wonderful, and sometimes I forget that," she sniffles. But the vagaries of a working-poor life are unnerving: Halfway through the 30 days, the two find themselves squabbling over whether to splurge on 60-cent pastries. Ultimately, the uninsured duo are undone by a pair of doctor's visits, with such obscenities as a $40 Ace bandage.
Spurlock continues as the host of subsequent episodes. Thirty-something family man Scott embarks on an antiaging regimen that includes myriad supplements and shots of testosterone and growth hormones. Dave, a devoted if blinkered Christian, lives with a Muslim family for a month. While Spurlock, with his down-home demeanor, has been compared to Michael Moore, his is a mellower kind of documentary. 30 Days has minimal money shots--no intentionally combative gimmickry here. There are even cartoons to explain things like, say, the differences between Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. It's anomalous in this day of Moore's staged antics and docuseries like Bravo's Project Greenlight and Showbiz Moms & Dads, which are cast with the most combustible friction makers possible.
Instead 30 Days showcases people grappling. Scott bickers with his wife over the program: He nervously soldiers on through liver problems and testosterone tantrums, but the father of three--boyishly proud of his supersize sperm count--drops out when he starts shooting blanks (health and sire-ability trump desirability). Christian Dave and his Pakistani-American hosts butt heads over whether Muslims should publicly denounce 9/11. They don't reach a conclusion--Dave's goodbye cake reads "Let's agree to disagree." but that's the joy of the show. 30 Days is not about black and white, but about gray matter at work. B+
[The show begins THIS WEDNESDAY on FX @ 10 pm.]


Blogger A P said...

So I watched it last night, and it was really quite good. Like a big dork, whenever he and his fiance walked by some place that I recognized, I was like, "Hey, I've been there!" or "Hey, that's just down the street!" or "Hey, I'm a jackass! Why am I yelling at the TV?"

One thing that I thought was a little strange was the fact that Spurlock was going on about living on minimum wage, but the job he gets pays him $7 an hour. What gives?

I DVR'd it, Jack, so if you give me a tape I can try to record it for you. I don't know how successful I will be, but I will certainly try.

9:26 AM  

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Thursday, June 09, 2005

Did anyone watch? If so, aren't you ashamed of yourself?


Blogger flipper said...

It's true--I don't think anyone can deny the beautifullness of this couple, if they are in fact a couple. One of my favorite quotes about them--and I'm sorry, I can't remember where I read it--was that if they were to have a child, no one would be able to look at it, because they would be instantly blinded by the child's beauty. I believe it.

11:42 AM  

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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The worst song ever . . . for a commercial

Seth Stevenson provides the results of the poll he started about a week ago--what is the worst pairing of a product and the song featured in that commercial?

I brought this up in the "Coal Miners Hotter" post that resides below and some of you have been gracious enough to provide your own comments and suggestions.

You can read the entire Slate article here.


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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

4 8 15 16 23 42

So last night I am reading the TWOP recap on the season finale of Lost when I run across this paragraph which describes his rush to catch the Doomed Flight 815 of Death:

"Let me pause just a moment and express my surprise [when the writers made him buy the scooter from the old guy]. For it turns out that, contrary to what has seemed the case up until now, the writers haven't forgotten that Hurley is f---ing loaded. I can guarantee you that no one in this world worth $160 million or more has ever run to catch a plane. Money may not buy happiness (although I submit it's got more purchasing power on that score than poverty does), but one of the things I'm sure it does buy is never having to get all sweaty running through an airport and waiting in line at security.
So anyway, now Hurley's on the scooter. And in a touch I quite liked, Hurley goes passing by what looks like a women's rugby team, who are wearing their team shirts, and whose uniform numbers are, in order, 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42."

Naturally I wanted to see this for myself, so I Googled "Lost screenshots Hurley numbers" just to see what was out there. I didn't find the screen shot I wanted--if you do, let me know--but I did see some interesting websites, which I will now provide to you.

I will say that I don't fully buy the speculations given here or elsewhere. I just don't think the ABC people are likely to be placing this kind of information on season two out there for people to access, no matter how hidden it might be. But, it is a fun way to spend a summer without new shows.

So, the first site I found was His post on Lost is long and full of ideas. But what is really interesting is his link to this site. If you go to the site he mentions and follow the instructions on clicking the seating chart numbers in the correct order you get a "2nd season promo." Can you believe what it tells you? I doubt it, but like I said . . . a fun diversion. (Use headphones for this stuff if you are at work.)

When you get watching the promo you might get automatically linked to If you don't you can get there from my link. I haven't searched that sight at all yet, so I don't know what's on it. But if you go back to the seating chart and read the post from See The Donkey you can find all sorts of oddities by clicking on stuff as he suggests.

So, go nuts. See what you can find and lets all cooperate to find other interesting Lost websites as we await next September.

Happy Hunting.


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Coal Miners Hotter

That wonderful guy, Seth Stevenson, has done it again.

The best column on Slate has provided a wonderful thought piece on the HOT GE coal miner ad.

If you haven't seen the ad, you can link to it through the article, which you can read here.

But, Stevenson also provides a great idea, which I though would be right up the alley of the Omnimedia readers, which song and ad are MOST INAPPROPRIATELY paired? This might be hard for some of you non-TV watch folks, but I bet you have enough exposure to come up with something.

Of course, you can also suggest the BEST pairing of song and product.

So, go for it.


Blogger lulu said...

The Beatles "Revolution" and globalistic vampire Nike Corp.

2:09 PM  
Blogger A P said...

KFC using "Sweet Home Alabama" as a theme song.

Didn't they used to be "Kentucky Fried Chicken"? Then they were "Kitchen Fresh Chicken" for a while (try not to laugh). I've actually heard that they were moving back toward "Kentucky Fried Chicken" again.

I suppose anything would be better than their "fried chicken is part of a healthy diet" campaign they were on last year.

10:19 AM  

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Revenge of the Turds

OK, so the new Star Wars movie? It totally BLEW!

When I wasn't daydreaming about a cot in the movie theater to sprawl my tired old bones on, I was nodding off or withholding laughter so I wouldn't be accused of crushing the dreams of the younglings in the audience much the same way as George Lucas has nearly wiped my memory of the good feelings and darn-near reverence I had (still have? Is it still there?) of the original trilogy.

Please--I shouldn't have to detail the horrible dialog ("Hold me like you did on Naboo"--if I spelled it wrong, I don't care--and Yoda's sentence restructuring, constant and grating it was); the overuse of special effects--especially the 427 scenes of the space city with the multilevel highways; the horrible acting (do I have to rag on Natalie Portman again? Yes! And her little costars, too!); the huge, wide, machete-ravaged swathes of plot; the sheer tonnage of disbelief to hold suspended whilst you ponder how a woman could bring two babies to term in what seemed no more than a few weeks, and apparently with no prenatal care despite the enormous medical advances that could bring a legless and horribly burned Vader to a Simpsons-esque "NNNOOOOOOOooooooooo!" in a few hours; OR the sheer stupidity of the notion that, because he had a "high ground" of about 3 feet, Old Ben Kenobi was able to sever the limbs of possibly the greatest fighter in the galaxy, and one who can jump 30 feet straight up into the air like a friggin deer; OR the fact that Obi-Wan not only hid Luke on Vader's home planet, but managed to fool the Dark Lord with the brilliant alias of "Ben Kenobi" . . . .

If only Peter J had directed these films. It might have been different. It might have been the way it was before the money, and the video games, and Jar Jar Binks, and the new "actors"--the way it was when I was a kid. Search your feelings . . . let go of the past you must.


Blogger A P said...

I think that Dr. A said it best about these movies: if Lucas had started out doing them in order (ie. 1-6), he would have never been able to make 4-6. Or 3 for that matter. 2? Well, that's pushing it.

While I am glad that I saw episode III to finish it all off, this new trilogy was a joke. Spec and I are unable to resolve whether or not the acting and dialogue were worse in this one or in ep II (I say this one, but they were both oh so very bad). The whole "love story" seems like it was written by some prepubescent dork writing shitty poetry to his middle school girlfriend/soul mate.

Yes, after going back and rewatching the first 3 (eps 4-6), I realize that they do not live up to my memories of them. They have really bad dialogue and suspect acting. But they were campy fun. And I actually gave a damn about the characters because they were at least somewhat developed.

Now, Star Wars has become a bad video game version of itself. And like any bad video game, it may be somewhat fun to look at, but no fun to play.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Spec said...

I think that I might even have a few of those shitty poems tucked somewhere in the basement of my parents house. Oh tormented youth! I will not let what happened to my mother happen to you.

Thanks Lulu for allowing me to snicker in your ear and make rude comments during the film. It helped a great deal. I think that we should all gather together when it comes out on DVD and mock it loudly from the comfort of a living room couch. MST3K meet SWE3.

10:11 AM  
Blogger David said...

Yeah, you captured many of the thoughts that I have had as well--especially the can't out jumpt the wielder of the high ground crap. I mean, didn't Anakin learn anything from the debacle of Little Round Top at Gettysburg? Stupid underperforming midichlorians!

I will rant on other items in my own review, coming later . . . and I won't feel bad about echoing your thoughts either. Bad movies need hate-reinforcement.

10:32 AM  

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