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Sunday, April 03, 2011

Charlie Sheen Can’t Even Fail Well

According to Fox, some people weren’t impressed with the first show in Charlie Sheen’s “Torpedo of Dumb” tour. I just can’t figure out why.

What did they expect? Did they expect a better class of failure? A more fun kind of public self-destruction? Or perhaps they hoped for some life-changing wisdom from the colossal ego and his porn star/actress “goddesses.” I know that when I want guidance, the first place I look is a hack actor who probably should have been jailed a number of times over for assaulting and threatening the women in his life. Maybe we can all learn something from a man who has managed to skate through all of his most disastrously dumb decisions and increasingly crazy behavior without having to pay anything resembling a real cost. Except, apparently, in his dental hygiene.

If they are really lucky, maybe he will share his way through the mound of cocaine that just has to be part of his rider.

Fans who gathered outside the theater before the doors opened Saturday—some who had to fly in for the show—said they were hoping to see the increasingly eccentric actor deliver some of the colorful rants that have made him an Internet star since his ugly falling out with CBS and the producers of “Two and a Half Men.”

They got the ranting. It just wasn’t funny.

“I expected him to at least entertainment a little bit. It was just a bunch of ranting,” said Rodney Gagnon, 34, of Windsor, Ontario.

I’m sure that what they really want is just the big drama and unhinged rants that made him even more famous than the exquisitely bad excuse for a comedy whose only redeeming value is that I kind of have a soft spot in my heart for Ducky. They want the car crash and he just didn’t manage to deliver enough blood.

Suckers.

There’s something sad about a man who can’t even fail with enough panache to keep the mob happy.

Read the rest.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ah, the Little Joys of Netflix

Late Sunday night, working on ads for a few magazines based in Australia, answering emails from our counterparts in Shanghai, and watching News Radio streaming through the Xbox 360.

News Radio still stands out as one of the funniest, most engaging sitcoms of all time. The writing, the comedic timing, the personalities are all stunningly good. I still miss Phil Hartman, I still have a crush on Maura Teirney, Steven Root’s Jimmy James is something close to perfect, and I still think Dave Foley is the best thing by far to come out of Kids in the Hall. Maybe the only good thing to come out of Kids in the Hall, come to think of it.

And I’m watching it streaming through my Xbox while trying to catch up on work. Isn’t technology amazing?

The only sad part is that I own the first three seasons on DVD, but I’m apparently too lazy to go upstairs and get them out…

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

I’m Sorry, but We’re Just Not That Into You

The time of beauty pageants in America is coming to an end. Or, at least, that’s what I’m hoping.

TLC has announced that it won’t renew its deal to run the Miss America Pageant, the one-time major TV event that fell on hard times over the past decade.

I’m entirely okay with that.

The pageants for young girls are freakish and the girls are a ridiculous mockery of feminine beauty. The women and girls who compete in pageants are airbrushed and perpetuate a focus on physical beauty as the standard of a woman’s value to the world.

If I were a dad, I wouldn’t want my little girl taking part in pageants. Not because I wouldn’t want her to be beautiful or to feel beautiful, but because I would want her to understand that her ultimate measure of value in the world is in the things that she does, the lives she effects, and the things she accomplished--and, just as importantly, not in how good she looks in a bathing suit.

I’m sure that many of the parents and many of the participants are good people. I’m sure many lead happy and good lives and that the pageant system didn’t do them any harm.

But what I value in life is decidedly at odds with what I believe those pageants teach young girls. If the Miss America Pageant were to die off completely, I wouldn’t shed a tear.

Read the rest.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Geek Out

Cancer Man (or, if you’re of a slightly different mind, Cigarette Smoking Man) was on Human Target tonight. Not a big fan of the show, but it was good to see him working again.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Congratulations, New Orleans

I’m almost as surprised by the Saints’ win today as I was by Shannon Sharpe’s missing the final cut for the Hall of Fame. Happier about the former, though.

As disappointed as I am for Peyton Manning, it is impossible to be truly disappointed in the result.

Boo, on the other hand, to Audi for an ad that made me want to buy a Hummer. Or a Chris “Birdman” Anderson-mobile.




Barney’s Phone Number

In case you missed it, Barney’s phone number is: 1-877-987-6401.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Spartacus: Blood and Boobs

I just episode one of Spartacus: Blood and Sand.

Well, what to say about that?

It makes 300 look subtle. It makes The Passion of the Christ look bloodless. And it has more boobs than you can count count. That last bit may not be strictly true. You probably could count the breasts on display, but it would take a sharp eye and strict attention to the task, which sort of takes the fun out of it.

That’s not all. You also get ridiculously bad acting, over-the-top writing, uproariously strange sex scenes, and some full frontal male nudity for the women. What you don’t get is compelling story-telling, interesting characters, or a moment’s respite from the overly stylized presentation.

I enjoyed 300,, but this takes the same ingredients and, somehow, screws up the recipe. I would say that the urge to oversell the comic book aspects of the violence, with explosions of blood consuming the screens, limbs flying willy-nilly, and even the smallest moments of violence given slow-motion treatment and imposing music. The sex scenes, well-short of the graphic nature of pornography but exhibiting the same skewed sense of fantasy sensuality, is just as off-putting as the stylized violence.

I suppose that’s a long winded way of saying that I thought that 300 stepped over the line of good story-telling and good taste in some of the same ways as Spartacus, but I still found something worth enjoying. This new Spartacus, on the other hand, left that line so far behind that all I could find was the urge to point and laugh when our hero’s wife fairly exploded into a wash of blood during the climax of one particularly strange dream sequence. I’m sure there’s something good about the show outside of its admirable commitment to gratuitous nudity; but, then, it fails even at that titillation when you realize that the writhing girls and simulated orgasms are an insult to anything remotely resembling real intimacy.

Don’t even get me started on the mismatched accents…

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lethal Drinking: Mashed Blogging

With the war between Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno--ably flamed on by Jimmy Kimmel (Seriously, did you see him on the Leno show tonight? The audience was getting uncomfortable by the end of that 10@10 piece.), and commented on by the wonderful Craig Ferguson--I have to admit to watching shows I wouldn’t normally watch. Normally, I’d avoid Leno’s crap prime time show, I’d skip right over Conan’s awkward humor, and I’d spend my time working. So, late night wars and NBC’s wholly inept handling of a bad situation have given me a little bit of a break from my usual rut.

Which is nice for me.

But it doesn’t change the fact that it grows harder and harder for me to enjoy Lethal Weapon as the years go by. Not just because Mel Gibson’s mullet is so outdated, but because Gibson is a boozy anti-Semite and Danny Glover is a dictator loving loon of Pat Robertson-esque proportions (the loon part, that is, not the dictator part).

Damnit, I used to love that movie.

Which brings me to the point. Drinking. Drinking is precisely the thing that helps us cope in times like these. In times where late night hosts are locked in cycles of anger and aggression, where Gibson can’t be trusted in polite company, and where Glover poops on pretty much everything that gave him a better life than I’ll ever know (at least in a material sense--whenever he opens his mouth, I feel significantly blessed on the intellectual side of things).

What was I saying?

Oh, yes, drinking.

In the Rockies? Blogger or blogging groupie or unreformed alcoholic? Or any combination of the above (which are beside and not actually above, but that’s beside the point). Well, good, because the Bill with too many LLLLL’s is calling out to all of us to come drink at the Rocky Mountain Blogger Fest.

Check it out here to, RSVP, and vote for a date. I’m planning to be there whatever date is chosen and I’m looking forward to drinking the memory of my own mullet into the trash bin of history. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hooray for Conan! (Now with Inappropriate Similes and Stuff)

I really don’t like Conan O’Brien. He isn’t that funny, I don’t like the way he interviews folks, and I thought he was a horrible choice to inherit the Tonight Show mantle. It just didn’t seem to be the right fit--like asking Megadeth to cover White Lion’s “When the Children Cry.” And to mean it.

NBC is treating him like the history of music will treat the memory of Kip Winger. Their idea of trying to pull Jay’s show back into the late night time slot and devaluing the Tonight Show brand (which Conan rightfully calls the “greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting") is about as smart as playing Warrant’s “Cherry Pie” for an audience of Bad Brains fans. Which, we all know how bad that would be, don’t we?

Anyway, his valiantly defiant news release is even funnier than Ozzy Osbourne’s less sober moments.

None of which changes the fact that Victoria Beckham looks scarily plastic on American Idol tonight. What the hell happened to that woman’s face? Whatever it is, that’s some scary bad makeup. It’s like the worst of the 60’s and Tammy Fay Baker all came together in one big, laminated mask upon her face.

Not an attractive look.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

So You THink You Can Dance Meets Avatar: The, Damnit, I’m Trying to be Nice Edition (Updated)

The polite view--and, I’m really trying to be polite here--of the singing of the Avatar theme song (I’m not sure if that’s the actual name of the song* or not, but roll with me)--is that:

A- The songwriter was having an off however the hell long it took for him or her to write the song.

B- The singer was had a cold and it made her sound like a sniffly walrus.

C- The seamstress was a blind charity case with substance abuse issues.

Because, to be honest, that dress was the best part of the worst performance of a hideous song that I’ve seen on national TV since William Hung had his too many minutes of entirely unearned fame.

* And, since I can’t help myself, that would be Leona Lewis singing “I See You.” Which does nothing to change my opinion of the song or the performance. I sounded like someone wanted to almost re-write that painfully irritating Celine Dion song from Titanic,** but both song and singer were lesser talents.

** “My Heart Will Go On.” And, yes, I had to look that up, too. God, I’m pathetic. I even listened to the thing to make sure it was the song I was thinking of. People, I torture myself for your enlightenment. And I’m not talking any wussy waterboarding, here, I’m talking listening to freakin’ Celine Dion. Thank yous in the form of cash are entirely acceptable.

Update: Why does Adam Lambert have a giant poopy on his shoulder? His song, aside from being less nauseating than “I See You,” was so blandly pedestrian as to make me wish for more boy-on-boy smooching and assorted, simulated naughtiness. At least he was interesting when he was being offensive.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Keeping My Buycotts Straight

Apparently, I’m going to need to go out and buy some Ben & Jerry’s “Hubby Hubby."* But I’ll be doing it from Whole Foods,** if possible.

As a sidenote, does it bug anyone else that the most logical category for a discussion of my food choices ends up being in “politics?” If you were to say that it’s a sign of our society and our lives being over-politicized, I wouldn’t disagree. Luckily, I’m watching a special edition of So You Think You Can Dance’s best moments and enjoying it immensely. Not only is it not political (well, almost entirely apolitical), but I’ve come to believe that of all of the reality shows and various contests on TV, So You Think You Can Dance has the best talent of the bunch.

Of course, I don’t know much about dance, so I could be completely wrong on the subject…

*No, this isn’t just an excuse to eat Ben & Jerry’s. If that were the case, then I would be grabbing a pint of Mint Chocolate Cookie, which is their most awesome ice cream ever. It just doesn’t lend itself to an easy celebration of same sex unions, does it?

** Yes, I know I missed the official buycott moment. But I’m pretty sure they’ll be happy to take my money, anyway.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Holy Damn, House.

Ouch. Didn’t see that coming. Not sure I understand yet.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

And While We’re At It…

Not too many people even remember the Jeremy Piven vehicle, Cupid, so they don’t know enough to be cranky about the weak do-over being sold to the public right now. But while we’re sending a paltry bit o’ traffic to Liberty Girl, let’s just say that this is just about as spot on as her rants about personal liberty.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go consider Simon Jester’s place in contemporary American society. One nice thing about the Obama administration is that it is encouraging people to revisit some really great literature.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Calling the Geek Hordes

I’ve just watched Steve Wozniak on Dancing with the Stars--and it was pretty much like my own stumbling dance moves. There wasn’t much pretty about it, but the Woz had a great attitude, put forth 100% effort, and looked like he was having a great time. And the entertainment value of having Woz on Dancing with the Stars is undeniable--far more valuable than watching an aging Denise Richards tearing up over imagined offenses--so, geek hordes, call and vote for the big guy.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Wozniak on Dancing With the Stars?

I just can’t see the Woz’s (Steve Wozniak for all you lesser geeks) tenure on Dancing with the Stars being anything less than a disaster.

Which means it’ll probably make great TV.

Read the Rest...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Please Leave My TV, Whiny Cavemen

I liked the GEICO cavemen. The first series of ads was creative, funny, and memorable.

Then came the TV show, which, if jumping the shark hadn’t jumped the shark, we might imagine that the entire concept had leapt well over the circling cartilaginous fish. But that isn’t the case: GEICO decided to soldier on past the disappointment, flooding us with another series of ads which have reduced the cavemen to whiny little children who make me want to push GEICO down and kick it in the butt a few times.

Cavemen roll up on their motorcycles. Hot girls waiting for them. They look up and see a GEICO billboard. Cavemen turn around and cry their way home.

Caveman goes to beach with uber-hot girlfriend who proceeds to take off her shirt. Which I enjoy. Caveman looks up and sees a plane pulling a GEICO banner. Caveman petulantly walks back to the car.

And, most confusingly, caveman is playing a tennis match with Billie Jean King. According to BJ and the scoreboard, the caveman is losing--our only indication that we might be wrong is the caveman’s confusion. Suddenly the caveman realizes that GEICO is sponsoring the event--a sudden realization that only makes us believe that cavemen really are stupid or how else did he miss the GEICO signs and sponsorship? Whatever, because the result is the same: caveman takes his ball and goes home.

Damn, cavemen aren’t only stupid, they are some whiny little babies.

Please take them off of our TVs. We’re done with the cavemen.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday, October 05, 2008

12 Observations Evenly Divided Between the Broncos and Other Stuff That Caught My Attention Today

  1. Broncos Find a Defense. The same crew that made KC look like offensive powerhouses last week somehow held Tampa to two field goals over the course of 58 minutes of game play. And they did it by getting pressure on the quarterback, sacking the quarterback, and playing strong against the run. Tampa’s per rush average was good (6.3 yards per carry), but that doesn’t count the times that the Bucs came up empty on third and short through much of the game.
  2. Did They Even Pass on Champ? I know that through much of the first half, the Bucs failed to attempt a pass in Champ Bailey’s direction. Does anyone know if that held throughout the game? I can’t remember. Bailey is having an interesting season. With so few passes against him, he hasn’t made the splashy interceptions or big hits (except when he cheats up for run support--in which case he’s been nothing short of spectacular); but he’s shut down a good chunk of the field every games. He changes the game just by showing up. I wonder if that’s enough to get him into the Pro Bowl this year?
  3. They Picked a Good Time to Show Up. Speaking of the Broncos’ D, it’s a damned good thing they showed up today. The offense was something close to pedestrian. It was nice to see Brandon Stokley have such a solid day, though (six catches for 52 yards and a touchdown). He’s far more talented than some people realize and when Royal went down with an ankle injury the passing game didn’t much suffer.
  4. Jane Smiley is, Indeed, an Idiot. And Steve Green has the proof.
  5. A Musical Abomination. During today’s game, Toyota ran an ad (over and over again, damnit) using the Fixx’s song “Saved by Zero"--a remade, re-imagined, totally screwed up version of the song. In fact, the first time I heard it, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was listening to; it was the second time that the ad came on that I fully realized the horror of what had been done. Presented here is a short playlist of songs from the Fixx that you might remember if you are of a certain age. It doesn’t change Toyota’s screw up, but at least you might enjoy the trip down 80’s Pop Lane.
  6. Sometimes Turnovers Kill, Sometimes They Don’t. One of the Broncos’ big problems last week was the turnovers. Between the two ugly fumbles, Cutler’s pair of bad passes, and the Chiefs the Chief’s aggressive defense, the turnovers hurt bad. Not only did the Broncos take better care of the ball today, but their one turnover didn’t much hurt.
  7. That is Some Serious Free-Range Stupidity. Some days it seems that common sense is dead in the U.S. Know what I mean?
  8. More Stupidity. No, I don’t care if Biden is sporting a little Botox. I do care about fundraising irregularities in the Obama camp, but a little potential vanity on Biden’s part doesn’t quite reach me as a serious voting issue.
  9. What’s With Passing on Third and Short? Last week and this week the Broncos attempted passes on third and short (one or two yards to go) in important situations where grinding out a few first downs could mean a lot in the game. I like the confidence in the passing game, I like the bold play calling through much of the rest of the game, but with a guy like Pittman in the backfield it wouldn’t hurt to use the ground game to control the clock and the pace of the game. And, yeah, I’d probably be saying something very different if they hadn’t failed to convert.
  10. In Case You Missed it... I do care about fundraising irregularities. It’s not a make or break issue (generally), but it matters.
  11. Yeah, Olbermann is an Ass. See what I mean? To be fair, though, I did think that Lowry’s commentary was a bit over the top and the idea of O’Reilly as a debate moderator is laughable. Just sayin’.
  12. A Win is a Win. It wasn’t the most exciting and it wasn’t the prettiest, but it was actually a pretty strong win today for the Broncos. Especially since San Diego and the Chiefs both lost today. The Raiders didn’t fall any further behind, but I have to wonder how they’ll respond to their mid-season coaching change. My guess is that it won’t be pretty.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Harvey Korman, Rest

I just wanted to say this: Harvey Korman was one of the funniest men to ever walk this planet. The work that he did with Mel Brooks was wonderful--Blazing Saddles and History of the World, Part 1 are movies that still set me off in fits of laughter.

But nothing--nothing--this side of Monty Python could set me off like watching Korman and Tim Conway working together. It’s sad to think that these two brilliant comedians--with perfect chemistry--will never set foot on a stage again. He was one of the last of a dying breed of comedians and I’m sad to see their time passing.

I’m kicking myself right now, too.  I think it was last year that the two came through town on a tour and I decided not to get tickets to see them. Stupid.

Read the story.



Saturday, April 19, 2008

Just a Little Random

12 is the Magic Number.
The Avs won the series 4-2 after scoring first in every game and only giving up a first period goal in one game. The Wild were often more aggressive--they pushed the play, the got shots on goal, they hit hard and often. But the Avs had better goaltending, made more of their scoring opportunities, blocked more shots, and never seemed to lose their composure--something that the Wild couldn’t say after racking up over 100 minutes of penalty time in game 4.

Great series. I hope the next one is just as exciting (and blessed with the same happy ending for Avs fans).

Congratulations to Danica.
It’s nice to see that she is both hot and talented. I’d been wondering a little about the talented part.

Danica Patrick became the first female winner in IndyCar history Sunday, taking the Indy Japan 300 after the top contenders were forced to pit for fuel in the final laps.

Patrick finished 5.8594 seconds ahead of pole-sitter Helio Castroneves on the 1.5-mile Twin Ring Motegi oval after leader Scott Dixon pitted with five laps left and Dan Wheldon and Tony Kanaan came in a lap later.

MacUpdate Promo looks pretty good.
For Mac OS X users, the MacUpdate promo looks like a better bundle of applications than the current MacHeist Bundle. Of course, that’s assuming that they reach the target sales goal and actually release all of the applications to they buyers. There are a few useful applications in it that I’d been thinking about buying, so I’ll be ponying up for the bundle.

Oprah is a pusher.
I try to stay nice on the subject of Oprah since there is much to admire. Her charities have done real good in the world, she’s risen to become one of the most powerful people in American entertainment, and the girl likes her enough to subscribe to her magazine. For that matter, she’s got all the business savvy that Donald Trump wishes he had--and he has the bankruptcy filings to prove it.

Anyway, where my admiration stops is right at the edge of her social and political commentary--commentary that leans less on thinking and more on feeling. That is doubly so when she’s pushing a self-help title of the nature of The Secret. Her new business venture with Eckhart Tolle, though, makes her seem more like a huckster than a reputable businessperson.

Disappointing isn’t a big enough word.

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