Thursday, July 31, 2008

Try Not to Tear Up, I Dare You

watch this

Golden adopts white tiger cubs

I am such a sucker for this type of sh*t.

A little wordly advice and some schooling from Larry King

If you haven't listened to this drunk Larry King radio interview on gawker, do it. You'll learn how to be a good journalist... and also that Larry drunk is more coherent than Larry sober. Or at least more interesting. It's just a couple minutes.

Randy Newman at The Record Plant, 1974

The terrific blog captain's dead has a full Sail Away-era Randy Newman show for download. Do yourself a favor, haters.

He's no Fozzy Bear, but who is?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sucks Donkey Balls

Don't let anyone talk you into seeing this movie. It's so boring and long I made multiple grocery lists in my head while watching it. Yes, Heath Ledger is amazing. I woulda gladly paid ten bucks for the 20 minutes of footage he's in, but there's no excuse for the rest of it. Unless you really like cars or are bringing so many details from the comics to bear on this as to make it a) interesting and b) narratively coherent, skip it.

Maybe Christian Bale went to a screening of this just before he flew into his matricidal rage?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Two Losers HOF

I'm not making fun of them cause Roger's ill and Gene's dead. I'm making fun of them cause they are assholes.

Dr. Dog- Hang On

I think this band is kinda underrated despite the fact lot's of people've heard of them and they're playing lollapalooza this weekend. Anyway, if you like the video, follow the second link for the download.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Instant Karma, for real!!!!

Columnist Robert Novak diagnosed with brain tumor

Jul 28th, 2008 | BOSTON -- Syndicated columnist and former "Crossfire" host Robert Novak has been diagnosed with a brain tumor and is suspending his journalistic work.

Novak issued a statement Monday saying the tumor was found Sunday after he had been rushed to Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital from Cape Cod, where he was visiting his daughter.

The Chicago Sun-Times columnist says he is suspending his journalistic work for an indefinite, "but God willing, not too lengthy period." His statement did not say if the tumor was malignant.

Novak was the first to publicly reveal the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

Last week he was given a $50 citation after he struck a homeless man with his black Corvette in Washington. Novak kept going until he was stopped by a bicyclist.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Alvy' s Fever Dream

That had better be some good ass bread

Zimbabwe to remove 'zeros' from currency
By ANGUS SHAW Associated Press Writer

Jul 27th, 2008 | HARARE, Zimbabwe -- Zimbabwe's bank chief plans new currency reforms — removing "more zeros" from the plummeting Zimbabwe dollar and raising the limit on cash withdrawals — to tackle the country's runaway inflation and cash shortages, state media reported Sunday.

Previous currency reforms have failed to tame Zimbabwe's inflation — officially pegged at 2.2 million percent a year but estimated by independent analysts to be closer to 12.5 million percent. It also has become virtually impossible to get access to cash as the country's economic collapse worsens.

Authorities last week released a new 100 billion dollar bank note. By Sunday it was not enough even to buy a scarce loaf of bread in what has become one of the world's most expensive — and impoverished — countries.

The Sunday Mail, a government mouthpiece, reported that central bank reserve governor Gideon Gono told an agricultural show Saturday he would introduce the new measures in the coming days to make sure cash shortages are a "thing of the past."

Zimbabwe's government says western sanctions — tightened last week — are mainly to blame. Critics blame mismanagement by President Robert Mugabe's government and a land-reform program that slashed the country's agricultural production.

To improve liquidity on the market, Gono was going to remove "more zeros," the paper reported.

"This time, we will make sure that those zeros that would come knocking on the Governor's window will not return. They are going for good," Gono was quoted as saying.

In 2006, the central bank slashed three zeros from the currency when inflation stood at a few hundred percent, already the highest rate in the world then.

Computers, electronic calculators and automated teller machines at banks have not been able to handle basic transactions in billions — nine zeros — or trillions — 12 zeros — or even quadrillions, with 15 zeros.

A new laptop computer was advertised Sunday at 1.2 quadrillion Zimbabwe dollars. That's the equivalent of about $25,000 at the official exchange rate, $8,500 at the black market cash exchange rate, or $2,000 at a third exchange rate used in electronic money transfers through bank accounts that don't involve the physical issue of Zimbabwe dollar bank notes.

Zimbabwe's money shortages, inflation and chronic shortages of food, gasoline, medicine and most basic goods have brought many businesses in Harare to a standstill. Smaller shops and at least four main restaurants have shut down.

The state media reported Saturday that nightclubs canceling music shows because audiences dried up after a 2,000 percent increase in beer and soft drink prices in the past week. Several bars and clubs were openly accepting U.S. dollars, even though that is against the law.

The Sunday Mail said Gono warned businesses against accepting hard currency.

"Dollarization is not a position we have taken. We are not in that situation yet. Report all such persons to the nearest police station," Gono said.

Shortages of local cash have worsened dramatically. Earlier this month, a German company, under pressure from the Berlin government, stopped selling bank note paper and printing software to Zimbabwe's central bank.

Gono, according to the Sunday Mail, described the end of a 40-year-long contract to supply bank note paper as part of the West's "devilish" economic sanctions against Mugabe's government. The European Union last week tightened sanctions and the United States followed suit on Friday.

Central bank officials have indicated bank note paper was being sought in Asia and through neighboring South Africa.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Quickdraw put on great show for us up in Door County. Do you have hidden talents we don't yet know about? If so, post them in the comments or better yet, on video!

He Might Have a Point

From and op-ed piece in the WSJ:


What Bush and Batman Have in Common
July 25, 2008; Page A15

A cry for help goes out from a city beleaguered by violence and fear: A beam of light flashed into the night sky, the dark symbol of a bat projected onto the surface of the racing clouds . . .
Oh, wait a minute. That's not a bat, actually. In fact, when you trace the outline with your finger, it looks kind of like . . . a "W."
There seems to me no question that the Batman film "The Dark Knight," currently breaking every box office record in history, is at some level a paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush in this time of terror and war. Like W, Batman is vilified and despised for confronting terrorists in the only terms they understand. Like W, Batman sometimes has to push the boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish those boundaries when the emergency is past.
And like W, Batman understands that there is no moral equivalence between a free society -- in which people sometimes make the wrong choices -- and a criminal sect bent on destruction. The former must be cherished even in its moments of folly; the latter must be hounded to the gates of Hell.
"The Dark Knight," then, is a conservative movie about the war on terror. And like another such film, last year's "300," "The Dark Knight" is making a fortune depicting the values and necessities that the Bush administration cannot seem to articulate for beans.
Conversely, time after time, left-wing films about the war on terror -- films like "In The Valley of Elah," "Rendition" and "Redacted" -- which preach moral equivalence and advocate surrender, that disrespect the military and their mission, that seem unable to distinguish the difference between America and Islamo-fascism, have bombed more spectacularly than Operation Shock and Awe.
Why is it then that left-wingers feel free to make their films direct and realistic, whereas Hollywood conservatives have to put on a mask in order to speak what they know to be the truth? Why is it, indeed, that the conservative values that power our defense -- values like morality, faith, self-sacrifice and the nobility of fighting for the right -- only appear in fantasy or comic-inspired films like "300," "Lord of the Rings," "Narnia," "Spiderman 3" and now "The Dark Knight"?
The moment filmmakers take on the problem of Islamic terrorism in realistic films, suddenly those values vanish. The good guys become indistinguishable from the bad guys, and we end up denigrating the very heroes who defend us. Why should this be?
The answers to these questions seem to me to be embedded in the story of "The Dark Knight" itself: Doing what's right is hard, and speaking the truth is dangerous. Many have been abhorred for it, some killed, one crucified.
Leftists frequently complain that right-wing morality is simplistic. Morality is relative, they say; nuanced, complex. They're wrong, of course, even on their own terms.
Left and right, all Americans know that freedom is better than slavery, that love is better than hate, kindness better than cruelty, tolerance better than bigotry. We don't always know how we know these things, and yet mysteriously we know them nonetheless.
The true complexity arises when we must defend these values in a world that does not universally embrace them -- when we reach the place where we must be intolerant in order to defend tolerance, or unkind in order to defend kindness, or hateful in order to defend what we love.
When heroes arise who take those difficult duties on themselves, it is tempting for the rest of us to turn our backs on them, to vilify them in order to protect our own appearance of righteousness. We prosecute and execrate the violent soldier or the cruel interrogator in order to parade ourselves as paragons of the peaceful values they preserve. As Gary Oldman's Commissioner Gordon says of the hated and hunted Batman, "He has to run away -- because we have to chase him."
That's real moral complexity. And when our artistic community is ready to show that sometimes men must kill in order to preserve life; that sometimes they must violate their values in order to maintain those values; and that while movie stars may strut in the bright light of our adulation for pretending to be heroes, true heroes often must slink in the shadows, slump-shouldered and despised -- then and only then will we be able to pay President Bush his due and make good and true films about the war on terror.
Perhaps that's when Hollywood conservatives will be able to take off their masks and speak plainly in the light of day.
Mr. Klavan has won two Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America. His new novel, "Empire of Lies" (An Otto Penzler Book, Harcourt), is about an ordinary man confronting the war on terro

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Simo's Flip pt.1

Now that I got my Flip working I'll be posting a little series.
First up, a few clips from the Uke Mondo Show

One of my favorite moments came from outside the Lake Effect Community.
Here are Heavy Boxes with Toto's Africa.

Nap Has Gone Hollywood

this badge is REQUIRED by 'security.' the same 'security' that allows LW to walk on the lot when she says 'my husband works on private practice.'

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Estelle Getty kicks the bucket

I suppose this rules out the possibility of an all-original cast "Golden Girls,The Movie: Lost in St. Olaf"

Alvy's Door County Celebrity Mixes

We have the following claims to assess: The addition of Guy Pearce to TB; Christina Hendricks to Quickdraw; and Elisabeth Moss to yours truly.

We're already all reading the book

Can anyone successfully capture the aesthetic at work here-- in a way that explains the 19th century pioneer, creepy interiors, and hairspray? i take it that the choice of fabric matches the 80s french braid, but seriously... Look at my man Jeffs in the ones with portraits.

There's a sweet array right here.

Douche Alert

Backstage in the line for free Chipotle burritos, Spoon's Britt Daniel uses the old "Just wanted to say hi—not trying to cut the line!" trick on me to cut the line. He tells the Chipotle rep how he used to be a stockholder in the company, but sold it when it dropped below 80 points. "Oh, but we just closed at 89!" she says. "No, I'm pretty sure you closed at 72," he says, as they play an uncomfortable round of "respectfully disagree." Then he pulls out his Blackberry to check. This is perhaps the least rock 'n' roll thing I have ever witnessed.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Warning: NSFW AT ALL

Speaking of Helen Mirren, are you hip to this?

Here's the thing: the trailer IS the movie. Here's a little recap from (ahem) Men's Vogue:

The Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli often appears in his own videos, usually in modest roles, like the debauched Roman emperor Caligula in Trailer for a Remake of Gore Vidal's 'Caligula,' the sleeper hit of the 2005 Venice Biennale and the 2006 Whitney Biennial, and the centerpiece of his recent show at the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills. In this five-minute trailer for a nonexistent movie, Vezzoli used Hollywood production values and an onslaught of star turns—Benicio del Toro, Helen Mirren, Michelle Phillips, Karen Black, Courtney Love—to both send up and pay homage to the original movie while simultaneously evoking the decline of Rome, the decadence of Hollywood, and the futility of modern-day imperialist politics. (In one outrageous scene, Mirren, trailed by two naked boys on a leash, makes regal pronouncements in front of, ahem, a white house.) Only after the convincingly professional trailer—tricked out with a ponderous voice-over and in-your-face graphics—has ended and the credits have rolled does Love appear, also as Caligula (or, perhaps, as another alter ego of the artist), in a loose black toga, laughing wildly.

The original 1979 Caligula, written by Vidal and produced by Bob Guccione of Penthouse fame, was disowned, at one time or another, by nearly all involved: Vidal and Guccione battled on the set; then Guccione fired the director, Tinto Brass, and inserted reams of hard-core sex. "I was fascinated by this project that, for me, was a metaphor for creative conflict," Vezzoli says of the Guccione-Vidal dust-up. "On the one side, you have a pornographer turned producer. On the other, the greatest living writer." It seemed like the perfect vehicle for a trailer. "Trailers are a shrunken form of narrative," he says. "But in the case of a trailer for a movie that doesn't exist, it's like reflecting a vacuum. And sometimes that's what Hollywood is about." Naturally, Vidal approved of the venture, and agreed to appear, telling Vezzoli, "I'll be your Suetonius"—a sly reference to the learned Roman who wrote, among other lost masterpieces, Lives of Famous Whores. Almost invariably, visitors at the Whitney Biennial seemed pleasurably startled by Caligula (and by Love's surprise appearance, just when they were gathering their belongings), and they tended to stick around for repeat viewings.

In the early nineties, while he was still at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design in London, Vezzoli set himself apart from headline-grabbing young Brits like Damien Hirst (famous for suspending sharks in tanks of formaldehyde) by spending weeks at a time embroidering, turning the prostitutes' calling cards he found in London phone booths into quaint samplers: "Oooh! I'd love some hanky-panky!" or, "I'm hot and horny—Give me a call." He went on to use embroidery ("the kind of technique you do ducks with") to examine Hollywood legends like Marlene Dietrich.

Vezzoli himself possesses big-screen charm; he uses letters and flowers to persuade movie stars to work for free. In fact, charm may be his real medium: As with Christo, whose Wrapped Reichstag and Central Park Gates are a testament to fund-raising and political consensus building, Vezzoli's elaborate productions would not exist without his ability to charm. Actresses like Catherine Deneuve and Jeanne Moreau—both of whom appeared in his Comizi di Non Amore ("Non-Love Meetings"), a send-up of cheesy TV dating shows—sign on quickly, because European actresses, Vezzoli says, are artists. But approaching Courtney Love, known more for her breakdowns than for her considerable acting talents, to play the surprise role in Caligula was a more daunting task. "We get on the phone in this conference call and I'm so scared my heart is beating," Vezzoli remembers. "She doesn't know who I am, of course. And I explain about Caligula, and she says, 'Oh, I've seen Caligula—the Guccione version—150 times.' And then she says, 'Who else is in it?' And I say, 'Helen Mirren.'?"Apparently, Vezzoli's instinct for star placement was yet again on the money. "I'm going to do it," Love told him. "With Helen Mirren, I would even do a remake of Showgirls." Let's hope Vezzoli takes the hint.

God Save The Queen

Helen Mirren is 62, one of the greatest living actresses, and still smoking hot.

I mean, damn.

Friday, July 18, 2008

See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Stay The Fuck Away From Me

From Page 6:

THE Who's upcoming tour is expected to garner the legendary band a cool $100 million, but getting Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey to travel and perform together is turning into a logistical night- mare.

One insider said, "There is a lot of tension and fighting going on right now. Roger is furious with Pete. Pete has been writing all this new material and wants to perform the new stuff, but Roger wants to stick with 'My Generation,' 'Won't Get Fooled Again,' 'Pinball Wizard' and other classics."

Townshend and Daltrey are said not even to be on speaking terms, and have supposedly presented tour operators with a list of demands, including:

* The two rockers must have separate dressing rooms on opposite ends of the hallway.

* There will be no conversation between the two of them either before or after performances. "They will basically show up, play, and leave," the source said.

* They must have separate travel arrangements, separate hotel accommodations, as well as separate staffing.

"They're at each other's throats right now," our insider said, "But considering how much money is on the line, there's 100 million reasons why they need to do this."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Today's snarky, rhetorical question:

Ok, this was really from tuesday, but -

Why does McCain say (twice) in this speech?

"I know how to Win Wars."

Did we win vietnam after all? Did he win it for us??

(hint: it's at minute 3:10 or so ...)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Rush on the Report

Gather 'round the ole tube, boys and girls. Rush will be performing Tom Sawyer on the Colbert Report this Wednesday evening.

Check it -

Can The Drummer Get Some?

Happy Birthday Wag!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

General Patton

Patton Oswalt's graduation speech at his alma mater:

Here's the actual speech I gave at my old high school on June 18th. Well, more or less. There were some extra, last-minute thoughts I threw in there. I think the core idea of what I was trying to say was unchanged.

What a great group of kids. What a bunch of smarty-pants, too. Brainy bunch. Very intimidating. Their valedictorian had a 4.35 GPA. That means she took extra classes in a PARALLEL DIMENSION, and then found a way to have the credits count in this one.

4.35? She introduced me, and brought me onstage. And then she shook hands with 2.71. And then I said this:

First off, I want to thank the teachers and faculty of Broad Run High School for first considering and then inviting me to speak here. It was flattering, I am touched and humbled, and you have made a grave mistake.

I’m being paid for this, right? Oh, wait, there’s some advice, right off the bat – always get paid. If you make enough money in this world you can smoke pot all day and have people killed.

I’m sorry, that was irresponsible.

You shouldn’t have people killed.

Boom! Marijuana endorsement eleven seconds into my speech! Too late to cancel me now!

It’s dumb-ass remarks like that which kept me out of the National Honor Society and also made me insanely wealthy. If I move to Brazil.

I graduated from Broad Run High School 21 years ago. That means, theoretically, I could be – each and every one of you – your father. And I’m speaking especially to the black and Asian students.

So now I’m going to try to give all of you some advice as if I contained fatherly wisdom, which I do not. I contain mostly caffeine, Cheet-o dust, fear and scotch.

I know most of you worked very hard to get here today but guess what? The Universe sent you a pasty goblin to welcome you into the world. Were The Greaseman and Arch Campbell not available?

So, 1987. That’s when I got my diploma. But I want to tell you something that happened the week before I graduated. It was life-changing, it was profound, and it was deeper than I realized at the time.

The week before graduation I strangled a hobo. Oh wait, that’s a different story. That was college. I’m speaking at my college later this month. I’ve got both speeches here. Let me sum up the college speech – always have a gallon of bleach in your trunk.

High school. A week before I graduated high school I had dinner, in Leesburg, with a local banker who was giving me a partial scholarship. I still don’t understand why. Maybe he had me confused with another student, someone who hadn’t written his AP English paper on comparisons between Jay Gatsby and Spider-Man. But, I was getting away with it, and I love money and food, so double win.

And I remember, I’m sitting at this dinner, with a bunch of other kids from the other local high schools. And I’m trying my pathetic best to look cool and mysterious, because I was 17 and so into the myth of myself. Remember, this dinner and this scholarship was happening to me.

And I figured this banker guy was a nice guy but hey, I’m the special one at the table. I had a view of the world, where I was eternally Bill Murray in Stripes. I’d be the one with the quips and insights at this dinner. This old man in a suit doesn’t have anything to teach me beyond signing that check. I’ve got a cool mullet and a skinny leather tie from Chess King. And check out my crazy suspenders with the piano keys on them. Have you ever seen Blackadder? ‘Cuz I’ll recite it.

And then this banker – clean-shaven, grey suit and vest – you’d never look twice at him on the street – he told me about The Five Environments.

He leans forward, near the end of the dinner, and he says to me, “There are Five Environments you can live in on this planet. There’s The City. The Desert. The Mountains. The Plains. And The Beach.

You can live in combinations of them. Maybe a city in the desert, or in the mountains by the ocean. Or you could choose just one. Out in the plains somewhere, perhaps.

“But you need to get out there and travel, and figure out where you thrive.

“Some places you’ll go to and you’ll feel yourself wither. Your brain will fog up, your body won’t respond to your thoughts and desires, and you’ll feel sad and angry.

“You need to find out which of the Five Environments are yours. If you belong by the ocean, then the mountains will ruin you. If you’re suited for the blue solitude of the plains, then the city will be a tight, roaring prison cell that’ll eat you alive.

He was right. I’ve traveled and tested his theory and he was absolutely right. There are Five Environments. If you find the right combination, or the perfect singularity, your life will click…into…place. You will click into place.

And I remember, so clearly, driving home from that dinner, how lucky I felt to have met someone who affirmed what I was already planning to do after high school. I was going to roam and blitz and blaze my way all over the planet.

Anywhere but here. Anywhere but Northern Virginia. NoVa. You know what a “nova” is? It’s when a white dwarf star gobbles up so much hydrogen from a neighboring star it causes a cataclysmic nuclear explosion. A cosmic event.

Well, I was a white dwarf and I was definitely doing my share of gobbling up material. But I didn’t feel like any events in my life were cosmic. The “nova” I lived in was a rural coma sprinkled with chunks of strip mall numbness. I had two stable, loving parents, a sane and wise little brother and I was living in Sugarland Run, whose motto is, “Ooooh! A bee! Shut the door!”

I wanted to explode. I devoured books and movies and music and anything that would kick open windows to other worlds real or imagined. Sugarland Run, and Sterling and Ashburn and Northern Virginia were, for me, a sprawling batter’s box before real experience began.

And I followed that banker’s advice. I had to get college out of the way but once I got my paper I lit out hard.

Oh this world. Ladies and gentlemen, this world rocks and it never lets up.

I’ve seen endless daylight and darkness in Alaska. I’ve swum in volcanic craters in Hawaii and saw the mystical green flash when the sun sinks behind the Pacific. I got ripped on absinthe in Prague and watched the sun rise over the synagogue where the Golem is supposedly locked in the attic. I stood under the creepy shadow of Christchurch Spitafields, in London’s East End, and sank a pint next door at The Ten Bells, where two of Jack the Ripper’s victims were last seen drinking. I’ve fed gulls at the harbor in Galway, Ireland. I’ve done impromptu Bloomsday tours of Dublin.

I cried my eyes out on the third floor of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, all those paintings that Vincent and his circle have to each other as gifts because they were all broke some cold Christmas long ago. I’ve eaten crocodile in the Laneways of Melbourne Australia and ortolans on the Left Bank of Paris, France.

I’ve been to Canada.

I’ve been to every state in this country. I’ve been to hidden, subterranean restaurants in New York with the guys from Anthrax and eaten at L.A. taquieras with “Weird” Al Yankovic. I held the guitar that Hendrix torched at Monterey Pop and watched Woodstock ’99 burn to the ground. I’ve lingered at the corner of Bush and Stockton in San Francisco where Miles Archer took a bullet in The Maltese Falcon, and brooded over the grave of H.P. Lovecraft in Providence, R.I. I’ve hung out with Donny Osmond and Jim Goad, Suge Knight and Aimee Mann, Bill Hicks and Don Rickles.

I’ve done stand-up comedy in laundromats, soup kitchens and frat houses, and onstage at Lollapalooza and Coachella. I’ve toured with bands, been to the Oscars and the Superbowl, and been killed in movies by vampires, forest fires and air-to-air missiles.

And I missed the banker’s lesson. 100%, I completely missed it.

In my defense, he didn’t even know he was teaching it.

Telling me about the 5 Environments and urging me to travel? That was advice. It wasn’t a lesson. Advice is everywhere in this world. Your friends, family, teachers and strangers are all happy to give it.

A lesson is yours and yours alone. Some of them take years to recognize and utilize.

My lesson was this – experience, and reward and glory are meaningless unless you’re open and present with the people you share them with in the moment.

Let me go back to that dinner, 21 years ago. There I was, shut off from this wise, amazing old man. Then he zaps me with one of the top 5 pieces of information I’ve ever received in this life, and all I was thankful for was how it benefited me.

I completely ignored the deeper lesson which is do not judge, and get outside yourself, and realize that everyone and everything has its own story, and something to teach you, and that they’re also trying – consciously or unconsciously – to learn and grow from you and everything else around them. And they’re trying with the same passion and hunger and confusion that I was feeling – no matter where they were in their lives, no matter how old or how young.

I’m not saying that you guys shouldn’t go out there and see and do everything there is to see and do. Go. As fast as you can. I don’t know how much longer this world has got, to be honest.

All of you have been given a harsh gift. It’s the same gift the graduating class of 1917, and 1938, and 1968 and now you guys got – the chance to enter adulthood when the world teeters on the rim of the sphincter of oblivion. You’re jumping into the deep end. You have no choice but to be exceptional.

But please don’t mistake miles traveled, and money earned, and fame accumulated for who you are.

Because now I understand how the miraculous, horrifying and memorable lurk everywhere. But they’re hidden to the kind of person I was when I graduated high school. And now – and it’s because of my traveling and living and some pretty profound mistakes along the way – they’re all laid open to me. They’re mine for the feasting. In the Sistine Chapel and in a Taco Bell. In Bach’s Goldberg Variations and in the half-heard brain dead chatter of a woman on her cell phone behind me on an airplane. In Baghdad, Berlin and Sterling, Virginia.

I think now about the amazing thunderstorms in the summer evenings. And how – late at night, during a blizzard, you can stand outside and hear the collective, thumping murmur of a million snowflakes hitting the earth, like you’re inside a sleeping god’s thoughts.

I think of the zombie movies I shot back in the gnarled, grey woods and the sad, suburban punks I waited on at Waxie Maxie’s. I think of the disastrous redneck weddings I deejay’d for when I was working for Sounds Unlimited and the Lego spaceships my friends and I would build after seeing Star Wars.

I think about my dad, and how he consoled me when I’d first moved to L.A. and called him, saying I was going into therapy for depression, and how ashamed I was. And he laughed and said, “What the hell’s to be ashamed of?” And I said, “Man, you got your leg machine-gunned in Vietnam. You never went to therapy. Humphrey Bogart never went to therapy.” And my dad said, “Yeah, but Bogie smoked three cartons of cigarettes a day.” And how my mom came down to the kitchen when I was studying for my trig final, at 2 o’clock in the morning, and said, “Haven’t you already been accepted to college?” And I said, “Yeah, but this test is really going to be hard.” And she asked, “What’s the test for again?” And I said, “Calculus” and she closed my notebook and said, “You’ll never use this. Ever. Go to bed or watch a movie.” And how when I got my first ever acting gig, on Seinfeld, my brother sent me a postcard of Minnie Pearl, and he wrote on it, “Never forget, you and her are in the same profession.”

I didn’t realize how all of these places and people and events were just as crucial in shaping me as anything I roamed to the corners of the Earth to see. And they’ve shaped you, and will shape you, whether you realize it now or later. All of you are richer and wiser than you know.

So I will leave you with some final advice. You’ll decide later if this was a lesson. And if you realize there was no lesson in any of this, then that was a lesson.

But I’d like all of you to enter this world, and your exploration of the Five Environments, better armed then I was. And without a mullet. Which I see you’re all way ahead of me on.

First off: Reputation, Posterity and Cool are traps. They’ll drain the life from your life. Reputation, Posterity and Cool = Fear.

Let me put that another way. Bob Hope once said, “When I was twenty, I worried what everything thought of me. When I turned forty, I didn’t care what anyone thought of me. And then I made it to sixty, and I realized no one was ever thinking of me.” And then he pooed his pants, but that didn’t make what he said any less profound.

Secondly: The path is made by walking. And when you’re walking that path, you choose how things affect you. You always have that freedom, no matter how much your liberty it curtailed. You…get to choose…how things affect you.

And lastly, and I guarantee this. It’s the one thing I know ‘cause I’ve experienced it:

There Is No Them.

I’m going to get out of your way now. Get out there. Let’s see which one of you is up here in twenty years. If you’re lacking confidence, remember – I wouldn’t have picked me.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Sexy Models

This picture taken after my controversial torso-shrinking operation.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Red Red Meat - "Chain Chain Chain"

Woman Struck by Lighting ... and sort of records it on her camera. And then puts it all on Flickr.

Don't panic. Just because you hear her screaming, doesn't mean it's not all good (apparently she was filming during a rainstorm.)
"From what i understand, it went through my left hand holding the camera, crossed my back and exited out of my right hand holding onto the metal railing. No entry or exit wounds, just a really good zap!"

Oddly, I almost stuck my camera out the window last night, to do the exact same thing.

Watch please.

James Patterson Now Writing the News

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Chamber Strings

Chamber Strings is the brainchild of one Kevin Junior, whose sartorial splendor and Anglophile musical taste belie the fact that he is, in fact, a Chicagoan. Their music is an impossibly beautiful hybrid of English pub rock and American soul - the same genealogy that gave us the Kinks, The Faces, and, truth be told, the Beatles. They released two albums, 1999's Gospel Morning and 2001's A Month Of Sundays before disappearing into a stylistically appropriate but still depressing haze of drug abuse. Last year, after cleaning up, Kevin got the band back together and they sound as if they haven't missed a beat - and word is that a new record may be in the works. This is my favorite of their songs, and synthesizes everything that makes them tick: beautiful songcraft, chiming guitars, lovely harmonies. As it happens, they're playing tonight at the Bottom Lounge after some band I never heard of.

Chamber Strings - "Telegram"


Guess who voted for the FISA bill? BHO!

Guess who voted against it? HRC! and Dick Durbin!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Last FISA Post. Probably.

Based on the lack of comments, it's clear no one but Biche & me feel like talking about this anymore. But in case you think I'm being hysterical, check out what noted constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley thinks about this CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY PERPETRATED RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR FACES BY BOTH PARTIES. And signed off on by Mr. Yes-We-Can (Eliminate your civil liberties and 10% of the Bill of Rights)!

History will look back at this as proof that we as a people have been so anesthetized by comfort that our bought-and-paid-for public representatives don't even need to hide their odious behavior anymore. Idiocracy, here we come!



Here's what Senator Russ Feingold - who actually is the man Barack Obama claims to be - has to say:

"The government absolutely must be able to wiretap suspected terrorists to protect our security, and every member of Congress supports that. With this bill, however, for the first time since FISA was adopted 30 years ago, the government would be authorized to collect all communications into and out of the United States without warrants. That means Americans e-mailing relatives abroad or calling business associates overseas could be monitored with absolutely no suspicion of wrongdoing by anyone. This bill overturns the laws and principles that have governed surveillance for the past 30 years."

and here's Stanford professor and all-around cool cat Lawrence Lessig:

"Policy wonks inside the campaign sputter policy that Obama listens to and follows, again, apparently oblivious to how following that advice, when inconsistent with the positions taken in the past, just reinforces the other side's campaign claim that Obama is just another calculating, unprincipled politician.

The best evidence that they don't get this is Telco Immunity. Obama said he would filibuster a FISA bill with Telco Immunity in it. He has now signaled he won't. When you talk to people close to the campaign about this, they say stuff like: Come on, who really cares about that issue? Does anyone think the left is going to vote for McCain rather than Obama? This was a hard question. We tried to get it right. And anyway, the FISA compromise in the bill was a good one.

The Obama campaign seems just blind to the fact that these flips eat away at the most important asset Obama has. It seems oblivious to the consequence of another election in which (many) Democrats aren't deeply motivated to vote (consequence: the GOP wins)."

Feminism and Politics (Does this button make me look fat?)

If you look closely, you'll notice that the button tacked carefully on fair Gwynnie reads "I have a crush on Obama". Does this indicate that this particular woman will vote for someone because she has "a crush" on him? Really?! So let me get this straight - she wants to tell the world that she supports a candidate because she thinks he's cute and kind of funny and she hopes he gets up the nerve to ask her out? Is this truly how any adult should portray herself? It makes me sick to think that a 35 year old woman would reduce her political opinion to a button that reads "I have a crush on Obama". I'm just glad women finally got the right to vote so we could offer our thoughts on the hottest candidates.

I understand that Gwyneth Paltrow is an actress and not a to be considered a role model. I accept the fact that this images from the pages of a fashion magazine was not meant to capture the true measure of her intellect. However, what would posses anyone to wear such a button?! I believe it is all of our responsibility, particularly women, to take elections seriously and reflect the gravity of the decision process, not only because we care what happens to the country, BUT BECAUSE WE HAD TO FIGHT FOR THE RIGHT TO VOTE.

She should stay in England with her boring husband (and his lame-ass band)and leave the thinking to those of us who are able.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Photobombing HOF nominee

List of the Day says they're working on a new Photobombing spread, and posted this one to tide us over.

FISA Vote Approaches

The final senate vote on the FISA "compromise" comes up this afternoon or tomorrow morning. If you care, why not take a minute and call your other senator and voice your opposition? It will seriously take 30 seconds and make you feel good.

Senator Dick Durbin: (202) 224-2152.

Happy Birthday to My Old Man

Happy Birthday, Mark!

Monday, July 7, 2008

I know they're cats but keep watching...

Jesse Helms Buys The Farm

Obama on FISA

Well, at least he explains himself. I may not agree with him, but at least he recognizes the need to clarify why he decided to vote for it. I think it's just refreshing to be talked to like an adult.

My favorite part:

"Democracy cannot exist without strong differences. And going forward, some of you may decide that my FISA position is a deal breaker. That's ok. But I think it is worth pointing out that our agreement on the vast majority of issues that matter outweighs the differences we may have. After all, the choice in this election could not be clearer. Whether it is the economy, foreign policy, or the Supreme Court, my opponent has embraced the failed course of the last eight years, while I want to take this country in a new direction. Make no mistake: if John McCain is elected, the fundamental direction of this country that we love will not change. But if we come together, we have an historic opportunity to chart a new course, a better course."

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

He's Finally Had Enough to Drink

There are too many titles and tags to count on this one. He has been an unremitting douche for the last few years, on every subject. At least, now that he has tried it, he can say that waterboarding is torture.

(or not, depending how you read the article; that can be debated in the comments, should anyone care that much about his opinion)

Also weird; the guys running this thing seem pretty familiar with the whole "safe-word" shtick. It gives it that snuff-porn feel, along with the storage-facility decor.

Hey, David -- what is the soundtrack they chose for this, and is it in any way ironic?

Hitchens Gets a Lungful

How much can your labia bench press?

Romance Is In The Air - Watch more free videos

It just gets better and better.

Pineapple Express

I was already psyched for Pineapple Express, but when I heard the theme song, I got REALLY psyched.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Bon Iver, yet again

I know no one cares, but this shit is AMAZING.

Long lost Beatles interview

From the Huffington Post:

LONDON — The British Broadcasting Corp. will air a long lost Beatles interview featuring John Lennon and Paul McCartney talking about the day they met and their songwriting partnership.

The precious film sat forgotten for 44 years in a garage in south London until film fan Richard Jeffs realized a piece of pop history was contained inside.

Experts were surprised to find the audio portion still usable for radio broadcast.

The nine-minute interview was recorded at the Scottish Television studios in April 1964 during the early days of Beatlemania. It will be broadcast for the first time on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday and repeated later this week.

On the tape, Lennon tells how he was playing with a skiffle band outside Liverpool when McCartney introduced himself.

8 Hours Later On A Photo Shoot In Peotone

I drove this...

(If only the Whitey song could be playing when the page loaded)


Our pal Chris Decrosta would call this scene "Fuck You Money." This means that the owner of this Ferrari F430 would much rather get a $150 ticket (a spit in the hat as Brendan would say) for parking in a handicapped parking space than have some kid in a Datsun scratch his shit or breathe on this car the wrong way while running in to get copies made. Now we all know this parking lot is a bear on a good day, but if you drive a $225,000 ride don't you have a whole army of people who go to Kinko's for you??

In other news this car does have a feature called "Launch Control" and goes 200 m.p.h.