Revenge of the carbohydrates

If people were after you, trying to turn you into chips, fries, hash browns, or a delicious pierogie, you’d probably wear a disguise too.

potatoheads

Satire versus cynicism

catch 22
In a Washington, DC bookstore:

Spacey T: I’ve been reading classics this summer. You know, like To Kill a Mockingbird and The Great Gatsby. Any more suggestions?

Me: What about Catch 22? It’s a great book, and it’s pretty relevant right now.

Spacey T: I’m afraid that reading satire will turn me into a cynic, which is something I can’t afford in my line of work. [Spacey T is a damn good high school music teacher and band director].

Can that be true? I’d believe that there is a correlation between cynics and those who enjoy satire, but surely there’s no causation. Right? Because I don’t really want to stop reading Fafblog! If Spacey T has thus far managed not to become a scornful misanthrope, it’s hard to believe that Catch 22 would push him over the edge.

So then I Googled for a while on the question of satire and cynicism and came across a great line (in a religious magazine of all places!):

The difference between satire and cynicism is sometimes negligible, but at its best satire is righteous indignation to cynicism’s bitterness.

The Futureheads: ultimate winter blah antidote

futureheads
The anti-winter blahs project is going well. I did everything on my previous list except for the Davey and Goliath marathon, which I had down for the wrong date and which conflicted with the Iguanas show that I didn’t get to because Bright Eyes played at the Academy of Music on the same night, but I waited too long to get tickets and ended up seeing The Life Aquatic instead. Good movie, made me smile, two thumbs up.

But next week is the ultimate winter blah antidote: The Futureheads are playing the TLA on February 23rd. Sometime last summer, I downloaded Robot from an mp3 blog and played it over and over. Then I finally got the album for Christmas (thanks, Dan S!) and have been playing it constantly. Decent Days and Nights is on my Top 10 list of favorite songs ever.

The Futureheads are perfect for attention-impaired lovers of energetic music. The album comes in at under 40 minutes, and it’s fast and fun the whole way through. Also, I like men with British accents. In a year when The Old 97’s put out a mediocre record and another band I used to like put out a record with an *11 minute track*, thank God for the Futureheads.

Metacritic has several reviews, including this blurb from Alternative Press:

Stop pretending that Morrissey is still relevant, that the Libertines are actually good and that you understand Radiohead. The Futureheads will give you everything you need, if you just let them. [Dec 2004, p.144]

Fahrenheit 9/11. Also, what is Ray Bradbury’s damage?

People everywhere are writing about Fahrenheit 9/11. I mostly agree with this review at IMDB, so I won’t add to the discussion except to say that, whatever else you think of him, Michael Moore does not make boring movies.

But why oh why is Ray Bradbury being such a cranky old curmudgeon about the film’s title? I hate speaking ill of the man; Fahrenheit 451, along with 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale, Brave New World, etc., represents one of my favorite genres: “apocalyptic futures that could happen if you all don’t pay attention.”

The internet has been full of angry Ray Bradbury stories for the past few weeks, but I got mad all over again when I heard Tuesday’s interview on the radio program Here and Now.

I hope this film sinks away and is forgotten.

Nice. If any filmmaker wishes to use the title of a Good Grief! post, he or she should feel free to do so. Words of Wisdom From Your Toilet, Dating Polar Bears, and Roy Orbison and the Infidel Ray would make fascinating documentaries.

Bubba Ho Tep

Public service announcement: Philadelphians who missed Bubba Ho Tep at the Prince in February can see it this weekend as part of the Bryn Mawr Theatre’s midnight movie series!

In other exciting news, the DVD will be available on May 25–you can pre-order at Amazon.

Bubba Ho Tep is one of the best movies I’ve seen recently: a cheesy, destined-for-cult-classic-status flick with some depth. See the movie if you’re interested in any of the following:

  • the demise (?) of Elvis Presley and his pal JFK
  • soul-sucking mummies who write hieroglyphics in the visitor’s bathroom stall
  • unexpected heroes
  • the plight of being old and poor in this country.

Saturday afternoon at the Forsythe refuge (Galloway NJ)



Saturday afternoon at the Forsythe refuge (Galloway NJ)

Jim Thome visits the soulless office park

I guess Jim Thome got bored on the disabled list, because today he paid a visit to the soulless office park.

Jim Thome

Does this gum make my ass look big?

gum
Well, does it?

Thanks to Type E for the marketing tie-in idea. More gum is on blueq.com.

Mind-Numbing Documentaries

I’m not trying to hate on those who make documentaries (documentarians?), but surely it’s obvious that the world has far too many of these films. Were there always so many bad documentaries, or are there more now because digital technology has lowered the barrier to making them?

Regardless, this madness should stop. Do people even watch their final product before foisting it upon the world? As a public service, I’ve developed some guidelines for documentarians:

  • If your documentary sucks the fun and the good and the life out of the very subject that you are trying to celebrate, don’t show it. Even if it contains a surprise appearance by Viggo Mortensen dancing to an accordion rendition of Sweet Caroline, don’t show it.
  • Is your documentary full of pretentious knuckleheads who talk too much and take themselves too seriously? The magic of editing, people. Pull a Michael Moore by rearranging the interview footage and creating some out-of-context sound bites.
  • Seriously, a film about the rise and fall of your cousin’s mother-in-law’s Japanese beetle colony doesn’t need to last for an hour.
  • If you ignore the above rules and choose to unleash your creation, don’t screen it at Philadelphia’s International House. The seats there are butt-numbing.

Boss-across-the-hall update

Boss-across-the-hall: I got the last glue stick from the supply closet!
Me: We have glue sticks in the supply closet?
Boss-across-the-hall: Not anymore!

I’ve never needed a glue stick at this job, but if boss-across-the-hall has one, then I want one too. It’s very quiet over there. The door is halfway shut, but from what I can see, there is some kind of secret project involving the glue stick and a big database diagram. What could it be?