Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Decision 2008

I don’t generally like to make political statements, but I think this is too important. Sorry to get all “serious”. Please hear me out.

There is a debate going on in this country today, and the results of this debate could change the course of a metaphorical river that I call “Where This Country is Headed: The River”.

Maximum Fun is pitting Leslie Nielsen against Liam Neeson in a winner-take-all match for our nation’s heart.
QUESTION: AND ALSO THE SOUL?
ANSWER: YES.

Earlier I advised everyone in the forum to factor the following in as they quantified each:

Neeson: Portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in upcoming biopic unlikely to capture Lincoln’s frisky side: minus 2 points

Nielsen: Appeared in the Streisand movie Nuts wearing only black bikini ginch gonchers: minus a million points

Some have questioned these numbers.
LET ME SAY CLEARLY AND WITHOUT WAVING MY ARMS OVERMUCH THAT I STAND BY THEM. (Full disclosure: I am bad at “math”.) Regardless, I had thought this would be enough, but right now, early exit polling has Nielsen at 58% and Neeson at 41%. WHAT IS GOING ON?

Now, before you say, “stop typing in all caps that means you are shouting and that is rude on the internet and anyway let’s just let google trends and bacon numbers which are the traditional barometers of popularity contests decide all of this,” let me just say, I AM NOT SHOUTING. THAT IS JUST YOUR INTERPRETATION AND IF I WANTED TO I COULD MAKE A COMMENT ABOUT THAT RUN-ON SENTENCE BUT I WON’T BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO SINK TO YOUR LEVEL .

And anyway:
Google Trends has “Liam Neeson” beating “Leslie Nielsen” pretty consistently, but Google Trends also has “Iraq War” beating “Taffy Apples”, so we shouldn’t really look to that as an indicator.

Similarly, both have a Bacon Number of two:
Liam Neeson 4 Love Actually 4 Colin Firth 4 Where the Truth Lies 4 Kevin Bacon
Leslie Nielsen 4 Spy Hard 4 Marcia Gay Harden 4 Rails & Ties 4 Kevin Bacon

NO HELP.

So let’s just examine the facts, shall we?

Leslie Nielsen
I agree with the general consensus in the forums (I CAN ADMIT THIS MUCH): he gets “props” for Forbidden Planet (and Poseidon Adventure) and some 50s-60s TV work, but he was clearly going to sink in the metaphorical river (a different one than above) that I call “Deservedly Slow Death by Appearances on The Love Boat (The Tributary)” when Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker tossed him a “life preserver” (metaphor again). Should they have bothered? Let's look at the post-Airplane! work.
(1) Police Squad!: LOL.
(2) 87% of the first Naked Gun (before you question this, note that I used “math” to come up with this number): Also LOL.

Wow! Four funny comedies! (note to self: check math before posting) GREAT JOB, OK, BUT THEN THIS IS CANCELED OUT BY: all the bad Naked Gun sequels — not only bad in and of themselves but look what they wrought: Repossessed; 2001: A Space Travesty; Dracula: Dead and Loving It; Spy Hard; Wrongfully Accused; a bunch of Scary Movies.. and these are just the ones that Nielsen was in. Additional alleged comedies by Nielsen include Surf Ninjas, Mr. Magoo and but also plus a bunch of stupid fucking instructional golf videos. (NEVER FORGET.)

I give him credit for this recent “What I Learned” thing in Esquire (though I take it for what it is: an obvious ploy to court voters), which I am man enough to say I liked slightly more than I disliked. (Hint! If you are distracted by the picture of Halle Berry, you can copy and paste the text into a Word document and read it there!)

But what has he actually learned? According to IMDB, he's appearing in another spoof called Superhero Movie.
YOU HAVE LEARNED NOTHING, LESLIE NIELSEN.

Now, Liam Neeson.
Unlike his “funny” opponent, Liam Neeson has been a guest on Beloved Comedy Apotheoses Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons. (Also Ellen!)

ALSO THIS JUST IN AS OF YESTERDAY: He also is apparently the narrator of a 3D movie about black holes that is being shown at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, but which I did not see because that planetarium made me kind of depressed, so I left.

ALSO THIS JUST IN: Apparently, Leslie Nielsen actually was on an episode of Saturday Night Live in 1989. So “subtract” that (whatever that means).

ALSO: Um I think he was also the voice of Aslan?

OH, AND HE WAS IN KRULL (“A world light-years beyond your imagination”? More of that, please!)

ALSO: Unlike Leslie Nielsen, his last name is NOT MISSPELLED IN THE VERY FORUM where people are voting.



DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHO YOU’RE VOTING FOR, YOU STUPID 58 PERCENTERS???! Maybe I should give him props for “Posiedon Adventure”, which is to say: NO PROPS THAT MOVIE DOES NOT EXIST DUE TO THE MISSPELLING OH BUT WAIT MAYBE NIELSEN CAN BE IN A PARODY OF IT, HOPE IT DOESN’T SUCK, WHOOPS GUESS WHAT IT WILL.

I think the choice is clear, but in case it’s not, please vote with me for:

“NOT LESLIE NIELSEN”.

Because that is a vote for a river that is going in the right direction; i.e., toward the “Sea of Awesome”.
And who doesn’t love a trip to the beach?


(Answer: Leslie Nielsen)

Monday, March 10, 2008

A lighter shaped like a giant match [ACQUIRED!]

alternate title:
I forget to read The Onion for a while, and then someone sends me a link to something on The Onion, and then I remember that The Onion is good, especially the ecto-The Onion stuff.

Today's Example: Jean Tisdale's site, A Site of Jean's Own, the sad/mean URL of which is:
http://hometowns.cyber-net-village.com/Orlando/7302/Rick/sportzone/misc/folders/Jean/


At the bottom it says (c) 2005; I don't know if that's part of the joke, or if it's really been around that long and I just haven't seen it, but if you want to read something sad and mean, you could do worse..?

Kudos, ecto-The Onion stuff, although I'm not sure if I totally get Frrvrr yet, other than the obvious part.
BUT I PROMISE I WILL TRY HARDER, THE ONION. TTYL!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Player Character, Dead at 69

I just read on BoingBoing Gadgets that Gary Gygax has passed away. Boooooo, Mortality. Boooooo, Circle of Life.

Since everyone thinks it's totally hilarious and awesome when I post a story in the comments of someone else's blog and then change it slightly and repost it here, here is something I had put up on Daily Monster last Wednesday that talks about Gygax a bit.

This is (easily, obviously) more about my feelings about things I was obsessed with as a kid being updated and discarded than it is about Gygax, but if I had known he was going to die (which, to be clear: not totally hilarious and awesome), maybe I would have made him more victorious..?


Player Character Hater

Gary Gygax, author of the original Monster Manual from 1977, is at a Waldenbooks poking around the wasteland that is the “Humor/Games” section and sees a new edition of the Monster Manual has come out. He left the company in ’85 but this book is one of his children, and he can’t resist cracking it open and taking a peek.

Immediately, he regrets it: gone is the classic art by the Davids (La Force, Sutherland and Trampier), and with them the nonchalantly topless demon chicks. But worse: actual monsters are missing: favorites like Mustard Jelly and Rot Grub are nowhere to be seen. Sorry, fans of the Cave Moray; you’re out of luck. Apologies, Boalisk fans. Brown Pudding, we hardly knew ye (you too, Lurker Above).

And these are the monsters that players cared about. What about the ones he designed that no one ever really understood? Panicking, he flips back to the table of contents to see if the Axebeak, the 160th monster he created, is here. It is not. A prehistoric, ostrich-like creature with a beak the shape (duh) of an axe, an Axebeak has (had?) an AC of 6 (i.e., similar to light chain mail). Two claw attacks per turn with 1-3 hp of damage, and don’t forget the beak (another 2-8 hp)! No treasure, but most Axebeaks had 1d4 eggs worth 50-80 gp each. This information will be in his brain forever, and now it’s useless.

He drops the new edition in disgust. If this life has taught him anything, it’s that as you get older, you face more monsters, not fewer: heart attacks, a stroke, abdominal aortic aneurysm. Maybe this is some kind of punishment for the pit trap at the entrance of the Kobold Lair in module B2 (The Keep on the Borderlands). Hasn’t he paid karmically for that yet? SORRY, FIRST LEVEL PLAYER CHARACTERS BUT YOU LEARNED TO BE MORE CAREFUL AROUND KEEPS, DIDN'T YOU? He turns to leave the store. As he exits, he tells a clerk, “You will not get any of my gp today!”

But then he turns around. It is not the clerk's fault. Gygax apologizes. It is hard to be Alignment: Neutral-Good in today’s world, especially at a freaking Waldenbooks, but he will do what he can.

I sort of get what's behind the impulse of this internet behavioral phenomenon but it's still weird to me

In articles on The AV Club, people post comments under fake celebrity names (usually not apropos of anything in particular) (that I can figure out) and then everyone responds to that commenter as if s/he were the actual celebrity.

Like this is the one I just read; it's a Will Ferrell interview, and about 1/6 of the way down the page, "Jonathan Taylor Thomas" posts something, and then you get:

RE: Elf 2
by Eric Kahn
Hmmm, your TV dad didn't invite you to be on Santa Clause 1,2, nor 3 - I think you are just a bitter adult.. totally shows.
4:31 AM Wed February 27, 2008

RE: Elf 2
by The Unregistered Chauncey Grizzly
Yeah, and running out and doing that "I'll Be Home For Christmas" Movie showed just how jealous you were!
1:01 PM Wed February 27, 2008


...but it happens on all of them.

If I were David Wain and I had to do, like, an I Love The 80s or something, I would first post a comment on the AV Club under the name "The Superbowl Shuffle" and then see what people had to say to me, and then I'd steal their good ideas.

DAVID WAIN, IT IS OK WITH ME IF YOU DO THIS BECAUSE THE MONEY YOU MAKE ON I LOVE THE 80s HELPS PAY YOU TO DO MORE INTERESTING THINGS LIKE WAINY DAYS AND THINGS WITH PAUL RUDD.


related: john cleese looking old = makes me sad, but john cleese forgetting names of people he worked with as well as confusing movie names = makes me really really sad.

DAVID WAIN: JOHN CLEESE BEING OLD! YOUR THOUGHTS?