From my friend, Brad. Unfortunately I couldn't go, as I am out of town, in Florida, where as my other friend, Jessica, says, "your heart goes black once you hit the tarmac." That's a little strong. I like Florida, weirdly. But that doesn't mean I don't wish I could have made it to this screening. Check it:
MOVIE NIGHT THIS WEDNESDAY
8PM at my house:
2700 Thomas St, LA, 90031
this week's selection:
VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS (1965)
The trailer gives too much away. Instead, consider the IMDB keywords:
So in the midst of a recession of mostly their making, the Republicans held up $34 billion in unemployment funds for those whose benefits were imminently ending. Why did the supposed party of the people threaten to leave millions in the lurch? Deficits! We can't pay for these frivolous giveaways! This is a bailout of the states!
This kind of thing has been the favored rhetorical cudgel of late, despite that these are the same people who doubled the size of the government and took the country from surplus to record-level deficit over most of the past decade. I don't exactly understand how the GOP deficit hawk language sticks, when Rule #1 in the DC messaging department ought to be: If You Voted to Waste One Trillion Dollars in Iraq, You Don't Have Shit To Say About The Debt, Much Less A Few Dollars For Desperate Citizens.
And yet, there the Republicans were, demanding that these "giveaways" have to "be paid for." And since the Democrats would rather internalize the GOP criticism and retreat into self-loathing rather than summon the wherewithal to say Fuck Off and invoke Rule #1, the Republican line is working.
Take, for example, a recent aid bill for states to provide funds for keeping schools open (among other silly, wasteful things) was touted as some kind of victory for Obama, despite that the Republicans have managed to frame all spending in terms of their newfound faux fiscal responsibility to such an extent that even this relatively small package had to be paid for by cuts elsewhere in the budget. The final bill made enough cuts that it actually paid the teachers while also reducing the deficit by $1.4 billion -- and yet the Republicans still voted against it!
That didn't stop them, however, from holding up ratification of the new START treaty, which has bipartisan support and everyone assumed would be a done deal. Why did the Republicans throw a stick into START's spokes? Again, spending. Although you might not be surprised to learn that when it comes to military spending, the tables are turned and Republicans' concern for deficits seems to disappear. The bill spends $80 bill on nuclear stockpile modernization, but that's not enough for Bob Corker. He wants $10 billion more at least. Nowhere in that objection is there an offer to pay for that spending by making cuts elsewhere. I wonder why.
So Jershey's Shore's "caramel confection, Snooki," as The Smoking Gun describes her, was trying copyright her name, only to discover that the US Patent and Trademark office already has a Snooky on the books. That Snooky is a cat who lives underwater, as detailed in The Adventures of Snooky, described by the publisher like so: “Join Snooky as he makes many new friends searching for his family under the sea. Find out what happens when Snooky’s new friends run into danger. Can he help save them? Will Snooky ever find his lost family?” Maybe Jersey Shore Snooki should turn this lemon into lemonade, embrace the thematic challenge, and make it her. I, for one, would like to see our Snooki on just such an escapade. Change the pronoun, get a scuba suit, and Snooki could be off to a whole new phase of her career.
But these images from the Albert Kahn collection are autochromes -- the earliest true color photos -- and besides being nifty and nostalgic, they seem to live up to Kahn's goal to create a photographic record of the world in an "Archive of the Planet."
Having spent a lot of time in Greece, I particularly like this one:
And sure Chesley Sullenberger, III, landed a disabled plane on the Hudson and was rightly hailed as a hero, but what about our dadaist genius of an attendant, the Howard Beale of our time? He faces seven years. Is it too early to start the Free Steven Slater campaign?
Devotees take a holistic approach to konapun cooking. It isn't enough to make miniature treats: those treats are prepared with pee-wee utensils in a kitchen straight out of Lilliput. Once konapun powder has been reconstituted with water in a tiny mixing bowl, it might be sliced with a tiny knife, spooned into a tiny flan mold, or piped out of a tiny pastry bag into tiny rosettes atop--you get the picture--a tiny layer cake.
The powder is sold in a variety of colors and can be manipulated into various textures depending on the quantity of water added. Most impressively, konapun scientists have found a way to simulate deep-frying with the versatile seaweed extract: in the video above, shrimp tempura appears to crisp in hot fat before rising to the surface when "done." No danger of a dollhouse fire, though--the "oil" is a mixture of konapun and water, and the stove is just for show, it doesn't heat up.
Is that the ultimate triumph of form over function? Or maybe it's the triumph of neither. Either way, it's adorable and inedible, the way spaghetti is supposed to be:
Gingrich's other favorite word is "elites." In his role as Newt the Lionhearted, he would lead a crusade against "double standards that allow Islamists to behave aggressively toward us while they demand our weakness and submission." Yea, verily, yea. And who would succumb to such pressure? "Sadly," it is "our elites" -- "the willing apologists for those who would destroy them if they could." Thank God that Gingrich, with his several degrees, multiple marriages, ample fame and commensurate income, is somehow not one of the elites and can, as soon as he mounts up and gets into makeup, save us by, would you believe, possibly running for president.
The Zombie Zeitgeist A full scale movement is on the lurch. But why the best zombie movie ever made a video game?
Believer interview with Mark Allen Digital artist and awesome gallerist Mark Allen talks about Tekken Torture Tournament and other projects where people were wired to machines and did strange things in public.
Believer interview with Marjane Satrapi Enlightening Q & A with the Persian cartoonist, memoirist, quick conversationalist in which she declares: “THE WORLD IS NOT ABOUT BATMAN AND ROBIN FIGHTING THE JOKER; THINGS ARE MORE COMPLICATED THAN THAT.”
Yeti Researcher Yet another 100-page issue of the world's top academic journal devoted scholarship about the Yeti, Bigfoot, Sasqatch, and other mystery primates worldwide. For researchers and lay audiences alike, the latest YR features a history of Sasquatch sightings in southern California, an update on the wily orang pendek of Sumatra, and a new look into Teddy Roosevelt's obsession with bagging a Bigfoot. As Editor-in-Chief, I promise you won't be disappointed.
Panda PowerPoint! I guess I don't mind being "the entertainment" when it's at Mark Allen's second annual Holiday Fry-B-Que. Presented: preliminary findings from my ongoing research into the most charismatic megafauna of all: Giant Pandas.
McSweeny's Presents: The World, Explained | Dec 9, 2006 For those who missed it, there will be more. World, Explained is going strong! Money was raised, laughs were had, and for those paying attention, small amounts of useful information about things like the aurora borealis were transmitted. Plus: Michael Cera = lovably funny. And Nick Diamonds' renditions of Dumb Dog and Hanging Tough are still in my head. As is that horribly catchy Fresh Step jam.
Jest Fest at Skylight Books Somehow I wound up hosting the 10th anniversary jubilee for Infinite Jest at Skylight Books. Because who doesn't love a jubilee, right? Despite being delirious with Hepatitis A (that's the mild, non-lethal kind; I'm not at risk for Hep B since I always go the needle share and choose clean-looking prostitutes), I managed to not mis-pronounce anyone's name and make an erudite joke and poke gentle fun at Michael Silverblatt.
McSweeny's Presents: The World, Explained | June 10, 2006 Number Three! Last one was sold out so we moved to a slightly larger theater. Andy Richter hosted, and his opening exegesis of CSI: Miami warmed the people up right. Evany Thomas presented her very scientific findings on the Secret Language of Sleep; Starlee Kine bared her neuroses to the world (or at least the 300 people in the audience); Josh Davis showed video of his 135-lb self sumo wrestling a 550-lb opera singer from San Bernardino; and Davy Rothbart closed it out with some Found Magazine magic. Grant Lee Phillips, Sam Shelton and Zooey Deschanel provided the music punctuation! I can still hear their rendition of We Are the Champions.
McSweeny's Presents: The World, Explained | Feb 11, 2006 The second in our series of precision comedy and fact-based entertainment extravaganzas benefiting 826LA. Patton Oswalt was kind enough to host, and Jon Brion joined in on the piano and guitar as thematic accompaniment. Presenters included: David Rees, Michael Colton, John Hodgman (along with his hirsuit troubadour, Jonathan Coulton), and me. Plus: a fashion show of exciting multi-user garmentry.
Little Gray Book Lecture at Galapagos How to Observe President's Day. Jonathan Coulton's technical wizardry has made this entire show available online. The summary from PRX: Sarah Vowell, John Hodgman and Joshuah Bearman on Presidents' Day, along with a fifteen-piece marching band and a new song about all forty-three presidents. My contribution? Yes, from Yeti Researcher. Again. Actually that was the first one. So I have only five stories!
July 25: TJ to LA -- A Night McSweeney's Readings I was honored to be part of a strange triptych along with Salvador Plascencia and Josh Kun. Sponsored, somehow, by La Ciudad magazine, we all packed into Beyond Baroque with no air conditions. 150 people showed at 7 o'clock on a Friday evening, which we took as a good sign of something. Sal held up and anxiously discussed drawings from his novel, Josh delivered an essay on the Dr. Moreau of Tijuana, and my shtick (again) was Pac Man and metaphysics, this time with fun slides.
October 8th: Skylight Books w/Stephen Elliott Fun times were had by all. Someone in the audience actually mistook me for an expert on the psychology human character. We ate shrimp cocktail and drank cheap wine and laughed at Bush and celebrated the certainty of right besting wrong in American democracy. A lot of good that did.