Thursday, July 31, 2008


Portrait of Woman Revealed Beneath Van Gogh Painting (via)

Reminded me of This:


..from April, which is the last thing that appeared on this blog that I've been even remotely pleased with. (April!)

but please feel free to reënjoy (NYer diaeresis stizzz).

When you're tryin' to diphthong
And you're umlaut's soundin wrong
Diaeresis (cha cha cha)
Diaeresis (cha cha cha)

OK, update: I'm pleased with the way this Diaeresis song is turning out.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Muggle, Please

I am suspending my earlier Proposed Postulate for Rule of the Internet w/r/t Choire Sicha, because that's not Ian McKellen!!!

Waait, unless that's part of the joke..?
Arrgh, Choire Sicha, you are always one step ahead of the Internet!

Um, so, that was actually so I could say this:
The trailer for HPatHBP is up, with Hero Fiennes-Tiffin (nephew of Stage Uncle Ralph Fiennes) as young Voldemort. The last movie was ungood, but this was the best book in the series (too bad it was followed by How Wizards Go Camping), so I will likely eventually see it? Some day?

BUT: based on the preview I am prepared to set up a PayPal account so we can get enough money together to have Hero Fiennes-Tiffin act out all of the Jake Lloyd scenes from Phantom Menace, to be digitally reinserted later.



Tuesday, July 29, 2008

When I'm Driving and I See a Company Name Stenciled on the Back of a Truck, My Brain, Which is 12, Tends to Go for the More Ribald Interpretation

Today's Example:
"Johnson Controls"

Tune in next week when hopefully we will see a truck for Cummins Onan.
Wish us luck!


Here you can see how much I have invested emotionally in

The Ravishing of Lol Stein THE RAVISHING OF LOL STEIN
Marguerite Duras

Pretty good, I guess, but not quite as good as The Ravishing of ROTFLMAO Stein.

View all my reviews.*

* or, you know, don't

Mad Men Beyond Thunderdome

I don't know if this is any different elsewhere (with TimeWarner, e.g.; I can't believe I miss TimeWarner, but I miss TimeWarner), but I have [to have] Comcast — I watched each episode of this show last season the day after it aired via OnDemand in HD with no commercials.

This season, the HD isn't an option for OnDemand (which, I guess I don't really care about), and there was a commercial — a big one [..] for Viagra, right in the middle of the episode.

I know they're basically making this show for me for free, but:

(1) to see a commercial for something that would benefit the main character in this regard is gross; and
(and this is the Main Idea)


So hey, AMC:

Now I am quietly waiting for the catastrophe of my personality to seem beautiful again, and interesting, and modern.

What did you bring me, Daddy?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Let Your Conscience Be Denied

I miss Brooklyn when things like this happen (also when I read Knufflebunny to my kids); not living there, I don't feel qualified to comment on it anymore (actually I think there’s a rule that once Choire Sicha has commented on it no one else should bother?) (wait, did I just miss the whole point?).

Except to say:
The article could have used a second "Yeah, we know." right after "And so Jessica Roy will depart for a semester abroad in Paris in September. "

but also:
The whole thing reminds me of 2005 when Neil Pollack (I'm relatively sure I'm qualified to quote Neil Pollack) was responding to a essay about the Boys of McSweeney's:

It's hard to deny that the twee, detached men Calhoun describes in the piece existed. They certainly did, and such men still exist today. They're called Men In Their 20s.

and also that when I read that in 2005:

I was reminded of the great great great Delmore Schwartz short story, "The World is a Wedding", published in 1948 (1948!), inspired by Schwartz's being simultaneously daunted and unimpressed by Paul Goodman's insular Clique of Literary Intellectuals. (Now that was a blog post.)
And also a lesson for everyone? Because who knows who the hell Paul Goodman is any more? (except Keith Gessen who has a tattoo of Paul Goodman's name crossed out with his name right below it).

But 1948 = Makes me think going forward that when we read something like this, until we’re proven otherwise, we should just assume that the author is writing genre fiction?

That's my advice!

Take it with a grain of salt, though. I live in Chicago, so I may not be understanding everything.
Do you need to borrow a grain of salt? We have a lot of salt here because it snows for seven months of the year

OK, so hey wait, I thought of another reason I miss Brooklyn.

Update, 7.21.08, Above Proposed Postulate for Rule of the Internet w/r/t Choire Weighing in on Something: VERIFIED.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Guess which word made me raise my eyebrows

in this forum called Dinosaurs & man contemporary with each other:

>>The only thing I wonder about is if the
>>flood killed them, how did Job know about them.

Noah brought them on the Ark with him. He was to bring every kind of animal with him on the Ark, so that would mean the dino's as well. Logically, we can assume that he would have taken the young because they eat less and are smaller.

Let's start here, and then we'll work our way up:
Logically, you shouldn't pluralize with an apostrophe S.

Work in progress

I have a really awesome idea for a song called The Graveyard Shift Blues.

It starts off like this:

I woke up... this evening...

something something
obviously it writes itself at this point

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Obey Your Thirst

Originally uploaded by mrbikferd
This may look gross to you, but I say:
At least it's better than Jooky.


(I think that's how you spell that.)

In what is being hailed as a huge victory for things that I like but whose apparent inability to break out to a broader audience has always puzzled me over theoppositeofwhatIjusttyped, Scott Prendergast, who did The Delicious, which was in ("on"?) ("comprised by"?) the first issue of Wholphin and which is viewable here on his website, along with several other films (including Anna Is Being Stalked, which might be my favorite, and Saragossa, which I just watched for the first time and is a filmic riff on this book Michael Atkinson loves (I'm just going to link to a bunch of early McSweeney's offshoots in this post, OK, thanks)) has a new film coming out called Kabluey. It also stars Lisa Kudrow (you guys! she was on that show Friends!)

America's Radio Sweetheart Jesse Thorn interviews him here, where Thorn talks about his mother's laminating habit and Prendergast talks about improv and repainting his apartment and Lauren Graham never needing to smile.

Also, fun fact: it turns out it is spelled "Prendergast".

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Crisis in Infinite Riverdales

(I don’t know how much background is necessary for me to explain why something I saw on the Internet is funny to me, so feel free to skip the first 1,010 words of this.)

And but so I think this is common knowledge, but: if you’re a fellow of a certain age, then when you were a kid there was understood to be a Line in the Sand (Colonel Travis stizz)1 separating DC Comics and Marvel Comics. I stood on what is generally considered to be the Correct Side of the Line, unless you are Completely Retarded. So did, I believe, Jonathan Lethem2, but por el otro mano as good as Michael Chabon can be sometimes, I believe he made the wrong choice and I will never be able to get fully behind him: I believe him to be a DC Man. (I think it’s all that talk of capes; capes are sooo DC.)

The reason this was the right choice circa 1978 is because the Marvel take on a “superhero” as a dysfunctional person whose superpower is an amplified distillation of some imperfect human trait was totally appealing to someone who was, say, waaay into dragons (and/or dungeons? yes.), while DC’s überhuman angle was totally remote and alien and repellant [to that person]. But on top of that, during this period, DC had no idea what it was doing3 (this page comprises like, 95% DC comics: this is what I think of when I think of DC).

So: This thing in The Lede4 was pointed out to me a few months ago: it turns out Largely Pointless to Me DC Character The Flash had died! But actually not really!5 And I said in my head: DC Comics! You are maddening! For: in my head, the whole endless alternate universes / infinite parallel earths / lazy retcon thing where multiple storylines branch off for multiple versions of the same character was totally a DC thing. So in order for my head to prove my head right (doing this is 93% of my day) I googled it and my head was wrong. Wrong in italics.

Marvel is actually much, much worse than DC. Wikipedia lists 61 Universes for DC, while Marvel clocks in at a frankly headsnapping 340 (not including “pocket universes” which I don’t want to know about), one of which is Jack Kirby’s inane Dinosaur World, and another of which is actually the DC Universe, so let’s round that up to an even 400 (Source: Start Menu>All Programs>Applications>Calculator).

I don’t think this can totally be chalked up to: “Marvel has more fanboys”; I think some of that has to be chalked up to: “Everything is Ridiculous”. What the hell happened?
This piece in The High Hat has a good summary of what the hell happened (and includes The Flash as an example, bringing this all full circle) (for fans of bringing things full circle, this is for you) (but hey also Said Fans, also check out the Warlock chapter in Douglas Wolk’s Reading Comics referenced below in Footnote 3: Holy crap are things ever brought full circle there oh my god it’s TOTALLY NUTS) and does it more succinctly than I could, so you are encouraged to click.

But anyway, perhaps you are now thinking: isn’t this whole thing crying out for some sort of obsessive fanboy unintentional metaparody? OK, so: All of that was so I could say this:

Hey look at this funny thing I saw on the Internet:
A List of Alternate Universes in Archie Comics.

OK, thanks!

1 I just spent a week in Texas! Carl’s Corner is not looking too great. I wanted to get to West to buy kolaches, so I did not even check to see if they were still selling BioWillie. CARL’S CORNER WE ARE ROOTING FOR YOU.

2 (his story about the kid that dressed up as Avengers team member The Vision = breaks my heart because: The Vision!?; Lethem’s superheroes generally seem to be the second tier ones and generally fail)

3 But maybe it never knew what it was doing? This goofy cover from Showcase #4 depicting The Flash breaking out of a filmstrip was correctly deconstructed in Douglas Wolk’s Reading Comics:
The cover’s text and art reveal fumbling confusion over what exactly it is advertising. Is this comic a showcase for art, as in a museum? A series of frozen representations of something so unreal that a body moving at high speed leaves parallel lines of ink behind it? A movie that isn’t really a movie, made out of individual images that the eye can see in or out of sequence at the same time?

Fun trivia fact: I have a copy of Reading Comics because I won it for writing this story, which is only 100 words more than this post. It needed a better editor! (the book, not this post) But it is still pretty good! And it fills in a lot of gaps for people like me who haven’t been paying attention. Especially the chapter on “Warlock”: it is kind of mind blowing. If I ever hold a contest on this blog and you win the contest, I will totally send this book to you.

4 “An Unexpected Comic Book Resurrection”? In what “multiverse” was it unexpected? OBVIOUSLY he was going to be resurrected: he’s a dude.

For what it’s worth, the reason I was thinking about all of this again months after I saw the Lede piece was this Twitter post (sorry, “tweet”?) from Defective Yeti:
Tonight I’m going to have to add “Read entire history of Green Lantern on Wikipedia” to my to-do list just so I can cross something off. I TOTALLY GET THAT, except for the part where it’s Green Lantern. (I was still sad when Martin Nodell died! I’m not made of stone.)

ME: Your insignia is a rotated theta.
GL: I’ve rotated a few thetas in my day, if you know what I mean.
ME: Do you mean you went Insert>Picture>Word Art>Symbol Font>“Q”; Rotate 90°?
GL: ……yes.


Should Have Stayed at the Bus Station......Barry Allen

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

This might not make 100% sense

in terms of narrative structure or whathaveyou, but could we just swap out all the appearances of IRL Fred Willard in Wall-E with all the appearance of the CGI prarie dogs in the new Indiana Jones?

It will make everyone less uncomfortable.