It's Chris Elliott's birthday. Already? Where has the time gone?
He's done a lot of TV and movies, but he'll always be The Guy Under The Seats to me.
It's Chris Elliott's birthday. Already? Where has the time gone?
Happy birthday, Peter Yarrow, of Peter, Paul and Mary. He co-wrote "Puff, The Magic Dragon." He swears it's not about marijuana.
There was a guy on the street yesterday complaining about how our democracy had been compromised now that corporations are free to speak. He had a petition he wanted people to sign to change this.
Theatre programs have those squibs describing the people involved in the production. They usuallly just list credits and awards, and I've always assumed they're supplied by those people themselves.
As a fan of Howard Stern, I checked out They Call Me Baba Booey from my local library. It's Stern producer Gary Dell'Abate's life story. You could fill a bookshelf with autobiographies from that show Howard has written a couple books, Artie Lange has Too Fat To Fish and Robin Quivers did her life as well. Since Howard has lots of fans, and runs a show where the staff regularly delve into their lives, I can see why publishers decided to go for their stories.
From a piece in The New York Times by Penelope Green on hoarding incandescent bulbs:
Paul Giamatti from an interview in the British Guardian:
Larry Stempel's Showtime is a comprehensive look at the Broadway musical. Including notes and index, it's over 800 pages, so it better be. Yet, it left me feeling unsatisfied.
With the summer movie season already upon us, I've forgotten to make my predictions for what the top grossing films will be. But Box Office Mojo did. Here are their predictions (for releases starting in May), and pardon me for just giving root titles:
Let us say goodbye to Gil Scott-Heron, creator of "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" and "We Almost Lost Detroit."
Dennis Prager has a column about doomsday scenarios. He maintains when it comes to false, foolish predictions of impending disaster, the left is worse than the religious right. The media (he says) love to laugh at the Rapture that didn't happen last weekend, but ignore the silly claims the left makes about global warming, and older scares like widespread heterosexual AIDS and mass starvation.
Movie twist endings can be fun, but--even if well prepared for--are sort of cheap. If it all ends like an O. Henry story, the thrill probably won't hold up so well on second viewing.
“There’s still a much larger separation-of-powers issue: whether one Madison judge can stand in the way of the other two democratically elected branches of government,” he said in a statement. “The Supreme Court is going to have the ultimate ruling.”
Megan McArdle on why hotels don't have zero-tolerance policies for guests who just happen to be naked when housekeeping appears:
Adam Nagourney in The New York Times starts a recent piece thus:
Let me respond to Lawrence King's comment to my first Lost post this week. I won't go over the same arguments I've made before as to why Lost's final season was disapponting, but let me talk a bit about how comparatively hard it was to finish it in a satisfactory manner.
In what's seen as a referendum on Paul Ryan's fiscal plans, Democrat Kathy Hochul has defeated Republican Jane Corwin (and alleged Tea Party candidate Jack Davis) in an upstate New York congressional race.
David Denby, in his New Yorker review of Bridesmaids, calls Kristen Wiig one of the most gifted clowns on television since Carol Burnett. Thus his disappointment that her movie isn't better. (It's reminiscent of Pauline Kael, who wrote about how much she loved Carol Burnett, but never liked any of the movies she was in.)
One more post on Lost. Here's a ranking of all 113 episodes. Just a few notes:
When you think of 70s music, what do you conjure up in your mind? Extended jams? Singer-songwriters? Prog rock? Disco? Punk?
Following up on yesterday's post, here's a YouTube video of the top five most annoying unanswered questions from Lost:
Happy birthday, Rosemary Clooney. She was huge in the pre-rock 1950s.
It's been a year since the finale of Lost. I wrote about it then, and more than once since. It split the fan base, though the reaction was more negative than positive. One friend told me the more he thinks about the finale, the better he likes it. I probably feel the opposite. It was not only weak, but hurt what went on before. (And I have a new complaint that I didn't fully realize then. While it's nice for the dying Jack to see his friends fly off the island, it wasn't a big deal anymore. Under the old regime, their lives were always in danger and they couldn't leave. With Hurley in charge and their enemies dead or neutered, they can sit around and enjoy the tropical paradise for a few months before taking off.)
Happy birthday, Jerry Dammers. One of the founders and main songwriter of The Specials.
International grosses have become more important than ever for films. While American studios may not get as big a percentage, overseas amounts can dwarf domestic take. So it's always worthwhile to check worldwide box office these day, rather than just accept domestic as the final word.
Much of the coverage of the church that expects the world to end today has been fairly jocular. If the media wish to treat such expectations as silly, that's their business. Still, what these people believe is no sillier than lots of religious beliefs all around the world, beliefs that are generally treated seriously. The mistake this church made was to believe something easily falsifiable.
Following in the tradition of Dahlia Lithwick and others, Garret Epps seems to be a liberal who likes lively and rugged Constitutional interpretation that gives him what he wants, but suddenly sees how misguided it all is when judges come down with decisions he doesn't like. While he's a bit more subtle than Lithwick, I'm not sure, in the long run, if he's any less hypocritical.
May 21st, which means it's Fats Waller day. He didn't make it to 40, but his catalogue seems inexhaustible.
Randy Savage (nee Randall Poffo, & brother of Leapin' Lanny Poffo) aka "The Macho Man" and WWF* champion in the late 80s has died in a car accident. Not much to add but like most successful wrestlers, he made much of his persona -likable and stupid-sounding("OOH YEAH"). I mean, really stupid-sounding. I have respect for the dead but thats what he was known for.
It's great to have the IBDB around for quick reference to Broadway productions. I wish they'd throw in off-Broadway, and their search engine were a little more forgiving, but why look a gift horse in the mouth?
Cornel West, professor at Princeton (he really should go to Cornell to keep it simple) called President Obama "a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats.”
This weekend the American Cinematheque is having a salute to Albert Brooks. Tonight they're showing Broadcast News and Real Life, and tomorrow it'll be Defending Your Life and Modern Romance.
Ten years ago today Renato Carosone died. At least he lived long enough to see Matt Damon and Jude Law sing "Tu vuò fà l'americano" in The Talented Mr. Ripley.
replacing cashiers with touchscreens. (McDonald's is refurbishing in general. SNL mocked it, saying McDonald's is not a destination, it's a place where you end up.) The company says it's part of a movement to make its restaurants more convenient and convivial. "Convivial"? Do they know what that word means, or did they just say it for alliterative purposes?
I still watch The Event, though I don't respect myself for it. I guess the problem will cure itself if (really when--the show was canceled last week, though there's some hope it'll be picked up elsewhere) the season finale ends it all. But last week's episode, though fun, was the usual bizarre collection of bad choices.
Yet another in a series of articles from liberals who feel courts are illegitimate when they overturn laws that liberals like. This time it's Dahlia Lithwick, who wonders if judical review itself is a good thing. Fair question, but it sure seems to be asked by those on the losing end.
Wall Street Journal notes:
The People vs. George Lucas is playing this week in Los Angeles. Sounds like fun. I find geekdom in its natural state intriguing, and hell hath no fury like geekdom scorned. It may seem to outsiders that the anti-Lucas mania is overdone, but I can understand--he took something great and ruined it. (He even reached back and compromised the originals.) But how much can you hate him when he's the guy who created the great stuff in the first place?
Four years ago I noted a report from the WWF that said global warming could be dealt with but we had to take the proper measures in the next five years. Since plans for worldwide reform have not yet been adopted, despite all those climate conferences, I have to assume, so far, the WWF is disappointed. Which means we have one year left, or it's too late.
Happy birthday, Erik Satie.
It just occurred to me--if Osama Bin Laden had been captured rather than killed, it would have presented an odd problem for the Obama administration. Not just the ones that everyone talks about, such as classified information being released at trial, terrorist incidents to free him, propaganda opportunities, etc. No, this would be something weirder.
I just finished reading Michael Palin: Halfway To Hollywood, Diaries 1980 - 1988. Being a Python fanatic, I couldn't resist, though I'm not sure how interesting this sort of thing would be for non-fans. I guess there are enough of us, though, since this is a sequel to the previous decade's diaries.
Budd Schulberg's dad ran Paramount in the 1930s, so naturally his son became a communist. Budd also wrote a book about Sammy Glick, a poor Jewish kid who makes it to the top in Hollywood by stabbing his friends in the back. The local communist cell didn't like it since it didn't give enough praise to the collective (or whatever), which led to Schulberg's break from the CPUSA, and eventually to his naming names and writing On The Waterfront, where the hero is an informant.
Community is done for the season. It was a good second season, and the show seems to know where it's going. The first season it took a while to shake things out. At first it seemed to be about a smart-ass lawyer forced to go back to college to get a degree, and who joins a study group because he's after a hot blonde.