Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Anyway, in light of this setback, I decided to watch The Tomb of Ligeia instead. But it appeared that whoever last checked it out was far from kind, so I would have to rewind. But every time I tried to rewind it, I heard the VCR's motor revving for a moment, but then the unit shut down. If I pressed play, I could rewind while the feature played, but then it rewound at an extremely slow pace. I had a feeling this cassette was defective, too (which would explain why the previous viewer didn't rewind), and didn't want to risk another incident like Comedy of Terrors, so I removed the cassette from my VCR unwatched.
Cursing the antiquated technology, I decided the safe bet was to watch a film in the ultra-high-tech HD DVD format. I've had Talk to Me at home from Netflix for like two months, and decided I should finally watch it. I even chuckled to myself, thinking that, given my luck this evening, I'd probably end up getting the Red Ring of Death watching it on my XBox 360 HD DVD add-on (I actually had Talk to Me out from Netflix when my XBox red-ringed, and returned it unwatched while my unit was repaired). But I never got to that point. When I removed the disc from its Netflix envelope, it came out in two pieces. Talk to Me was released in a hybrid format, with an HD DVD on one side and a standard DVD on the other. Apparently they're just glued together or something, because they came right apart on me. I thought maybe I could still play just half a disc, but given my track record for the evening, I decided not to experiment.
So three films, three strikes. The good news is, eventually, I was able to watch My Kid Could Paint That without incident. Okay documentary, and if you're interested in my opinion, the kid didn't paint the paintings, certainly not in the manner the parents claim. To say that a four-year-old painted every painting, from the first one on, with no assistance, implies that the parents are awful people. "No, sweetheart, you have to do that alone. You're four years old, we can't coddle you forever!" Of course they helped. As one curator, who rejected a Marla work submitted to her art show before Marla's rise to fame, noted in an outtake included on the DVD, who picked the canvases? Are we to believe a four year old decided on her own she wanted to paint a triptych? Also included with the special features, which I watched with judicious use of the fast-forward button, was a Q&A session, in which one supporter of Marla basically explained to a questioner that, since he never himself was a painter, his opinion didn't matter. Of course, since he was once four years old, and no doubt dabbled in finger-painting, his claim as an artist is as absolute as Marla's. For some reason, that lady's comment really pissed me off, and angried up the blood. So, fuck you, old lady. But I digress. Interesting film, but I don't know what the take-away from it is. The filmmaker intended, before the question of authenticity was raised by "60 Minutes," to make a statement about modern art, but the unanticipated shift in the narrative muddies things a bit too much. And ultimately, I was surprised just how little I cared. It's hard to get worked up about parents exploiting their child, when she's having a fine time and now has a six-figure college fund. Perhaps there's a message to be derived from the owner of the gallery promoting Marla's work. When she has her fall, and her work stops selling for awhile, he seems glad that, at last, he can openly gloat in his big "fuck you" to the modern art community (his own work is in the photorealism genre). But when her work starts selling again, it's like that conversation never happened. So what does that mean? The business of art is driven by both spite and pragmatism? Some people are tools? Photorealism ain't where the money's at? Food for thought, I suppose.
That said, I will be reading the I Can Has Cheezburger book when it comes out.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Gustavo Arellano of Ask a Mexican fame does see a possible upside: "This teaches the rest of the world that Mexico is not just a bunch of cactuses and sombreros."
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
The sad thing is, I'm totally serious. And, despite a dreadfully poor memory, especially of my early years, I can remember the texture of my grandparent's couch and pillows as my grandparents tried to figure out why the TV commercial made me scream.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
I wonder if its successful because of country radio support, or successful despite the lack thereof. Is radio playing the new album? Anyone know where to check airplay numbers?
UPDATE: Now that I've actually read the article linked to in the article I linked to, I see that "Better Get to Livin'" stalled at #52 on the charts. So I guess there's still no room for a 62-year-old country legend on today's country radio.
UPDATE: The video is here. Oh, and it looks like Colbert is in reruns this week.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Me, I'm still bitter about the results, and that "Lock your eyes on one hole, get set and swing and keep doing it" somehow lost in the wacky-assed quotes division.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Also found from Weekend Stubble, be sure to check out this flickr gallery of the abandoned Detroit public school system's book depository. It was apparently damaged in a fire and sold in an insurance settlement, leaving the books and school supplies to rot along with the building. The book-phoenix graffiti is a nice touch.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Anyway, I'd been meaning to say something about my growing disgust with the primary, and my decision that I will not vote for Clinton if she gets the nomination, and this bizarre turn is as good a time as any. I voted for Obama, but came slowly to his side. I thought I would support whoever got the nomination. I never considered voting for Clinton in the primary, because she voted for the war. But so did Kerry, and I voted for him in the '04 general election. Of course, that was an "anyone but Bush" vote, but it set a precedent that would benefit Clinton, that I could vote for someone despite their vote at that one pivotal moment.
But as the primaries went on, and it became obvious that Clinton would have a hard time winning the popular vote, or the elected delegate count, I decided that, if Clinton won the nomination in an anti-democratic matter, I would vote for McCain, for the sake of the long-term health of the Democratic Party (it would be so nice if, for just one election cycle, the Democrats could get their shit together; how come we can only retake Congress when Republicans take bribes or try to bone a page). But as it was all but impossible for Clinton to take the nomination by any way other than superdelegate shenanigans, I wondered if I needed to qualify the statement at all, or if I could simply say, I will not vote for Hillary Clinton? And as her campaign got dirtier and sleazier, it became easier and easier to accept that statement, and I make it now: I will not vote for Hillary Clinton. Ever. For anything.
In a way, it's an easy decision. I feel very strongly about the death penalty, and would be a single-issue voter on that issue alone, if there were actual candidates advancing my position. The problem is, when there are, they're generally long-shots (Kucinich), or empty protests (Nader), which tend to make opposition to the death penalty a fringe issue, at a time when the public is finally turning against the institution. So I've accepted the political reality that I will vote for candidates that support the death penalty, within reason. In fact, the only notable vote I made on the basis of the death penalty was my decision to vote against Bill Clinton's reelection, when I cast my very first vote, ever. Clinton signed off on the execution of Ricky Ray Rector, whom Clinton deemed fit for execution, and capable of understanding what was happening to him, a judgment belied by Rector's decision, eating his final meal, to save his pie for "later." Clinton had no qualms killing a man, in our name, to prevent himself from being "Willie Horton-ed" going into the New Hampshire primary. I could not in good conscious vote for this man.
And now his wife is running, who lobbied hard as first lady for her husband's crime bill, which expanded the death penalty. Combine that with her willingness to say and do anything to win (Bill Clinton cabinet member Robert Reich has expressed shock that she would actually suggest that her Republican rival is more qualified to be President than the current Democratic front-runner), and I can't help but think that the Democratic Party, and democracy itself, is better off with Hillary Clinton as far removed as possible. Obama is now the rightful Democratic nominee, and Clinton's dirty campaigning shows her to be as concerned with the health of the Democratic Party as Joe Lieberman is. Go away, Hillary.
Two points, in fairness to Hillary: First, Barack Obama is for the death penalty. Again, I have come to terms with the notion of voting for death penalty proponents, as long as, unlike Bill Clinton, they're not untowardly bloodthirsty about it. And second, the Democrat primary rules are fucked up, and that's not Clinton's fault. Doesn't let her off the hook for exploiting them to keep her doomed campaign alive, but still, something needs to be changed. That Democrats deploy both superdelegates and proportional representation in the primary process is beyond absurd; proportional representation heightens the democratic nature of candidate selection, while superdelegates stand against the popular will. You pick one or the other. By using both, the Democratic Party guarantees, once there's a close primary, all hell breaks loose. Which is another reason not to vote for Clinton: If she's President, no way in hell is she letting them change that process on her watch.
Friday, March 07, 2008
I got to wondering, though I was pretty sure it wasn't, if it was possible that this was the military induction center from the song "Alice's Restaurant." Turns out that building was itself bombed in 1969.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Monday, March 03, 2008
Incidentally, if I were morbidly obese (not there yet, give me a year or two), I don't think I would collect blimps. Just seems like asking to be ridiculed.
Sunday, March 02, 2008
In related news, apparently the Balboa Theatre has reopened in Horton Plaza. I'm looking forward to checking it out; too bad I see nothing of note on the schedule, having already missed Hal Holbrook's Mark Twain Tonight.