Saturday, April 05, 2008

Samuel L. Jackson as The Octopus

Striking some very Frank Miller-ish poses for Frank Miller's adaptation of The Spirit.

Four Legends Walk Into a Camera Frame

The Bette Davis Centennial

Born a hundred years ago today, one of the greatest actresses of all time.

For the Guy Who Played Mr. Belvedere Fan Club

An SNL sketch, so not on YouTube. Still, Happy Birthday, Brocktoon! Rest in peace!

My favorite episode was the one where David Rappaport played his brother. Man, I love David Rappaport. But a close second is probably this one...

Ah, the eighties. Kids getting molested on TV left and right.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Parents, Plan Accordingly

This week I've been doing afternoons at the same school, dealing with basically the same seven special needs students. I know that my generation is turning out to be something like 90% really shitty parents, but do you think you could wait until they're older before you start dressing them up to look like smaller versions of teen trendoids?

I guess what I'm getting at is this: parents, I know those low rise jeans are popular for girls, but there's really a point where it's totally inappropriate. I don't want to see your third-grader's buttcrack, alright?

Throwdown 4/4

Random thoughts, questions, and observations for the week.

1. Did everyone else see the fake Legend of Zelda movie trailer? It was an elaborate April Fool’s trick, but I have to say, I’d rush right out to see this movie in a second. My only complaint is that they didn’t have a much bigger, triumphant version of that great theme music in the trailer. It's here, if you missed it.

2. Note to Dimension Films: the world does not need a Short Circuit remake. It really didn’t need Short Circuit 2, to be honest. Stop remaking every single movie from the eighties. Movies are bad enough right now as it is. On the other hand, this does save me a lot of money and time, because I won’t watch these things.

3. Disneyland is talking about putting the Disney characters among the little people in the It’s a Small World ride. Relatives of Mary Blair, who designed the ride, have written to call it a “gross desecration of the ride’s original theme.” I have to say it’s a pretty crass idea to shove Donald Duck and Goofy as product placements into a ride that’s supposed to celebrate togetherness and a global spirit of goodwill.

4. A 21-foot squid in a Paris museum. I really would like to see that. It turns out, by the way, that these giant squid are invading the San Francisco Bay area, attacking fish and divers. They’re out of the area; is it because of food depletion or increased competition? I don’t know, but I do know one thing: I want to see a red devil. But not from too close…

5. You know… I think I’m done with the world of the animated Batman. I had the Bruce Timm/Paul Dini series, plus Superman, plus Justice League, I even enjoyed Teen Titans. Now… I don’t know, I think I’m done. Looking at this image, I don’t feel any excitement or interest. I’m just done. I had my stuff, I can watch it on DVD. Pass, Cartoon Network. This is for a different audience; I had my run. On a related note, if you’re interested in doing something original again, CN…

6. I enjoy this: Benedict Fitzgerald, the guy who co-wrote The Passion of the Christ, is suing Mel Gibson for fraud. Apparently, when he was writing the movie, Mel told him the budget of the movie was only $4 million so that he’d accept a low price for the script. The actual budget of the movie was $35 million. The level of class we’ve come to expect.

7. Sarah Jessica Parker on her son’s political feelings based on his deep analysis of the current partisan situation and reflection on the world political climate: He's very into Barack Obama. On his own! He's really, truly into this election. He's come to this conclusion on his own based specifically on Barack's gender. It's that deep. He's a fan and a true supporter of Barack Obama." Her son is five. Don’t you just love those people who think everything their kids do is indicative of genius?

8. Apparently, the University of Texas at San Antonio’s anti-plagiarism honor code was plagiarized, right down to the definition of plagiarism. Yeah, those college kids are really our future.

9. I love the way the gossip media goes crazy for every little scrap. It’s truly hilarious to watch. Thinking it’s revealing and damaging to “find” a Dita Von Teese sex tape (the woman sells them on her website, for fuck’s sake) is like thinking it’s revealing and damaging to discover that Robert Mapplethorpe once took a picture of someone naked. Give me a fucking break, Did you happen to miss that Dita is famous for having been in porno, Penthouse, and Playboy, and for being a stripper? A burlesque dancer, sure, but a stripper. She made a name for herself in bondage and fetish modeling. The curse of being a gossip blogger is that your memory only goes back a few weeks when you’re not dealing with Britney Spears’s pussy. Big scoop, idiots.

10. A much creepier story—though still not shocking, really—is that Hulk Hogan is dating a girl who looks a hell of a lot like his daughter. I kept saying this is where we were going. I watched Hogan Knows Best for the first three seasons, man. I could see the wistful looks Hulk would give Brooke; the way he was always so threatened when boys came sniffing around his princess; the sexual jealousy that would bubble to the surface; his insane desire to keep her locked up in a tower and keep tabs on her every second of every day. Come on, that goes beyond simply being protective. And then he fucks her best friend, and now he’s fucking a lookalike… Yeah, there’s a reason this is happening.

11. Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced that Germany will boycott the Beijing Olympics. Good thing America doesn’t have a leader who’s always fobbing off about the importance of liberty and democracy and how we should support freedom; otherwise we’d look pretty stupid right now. [Sidebar: I was taking a German class in 2002 that was taught by one of the best teachers I’ve ever had, who was from Bavaria. One day after class, he expressed disappointment that G-Dub had made a political reference to 9/11 when he opened the 2002 Olympics. He pointed out that even Hitler didn’t politicize the opening of the 1936 games. I just...enjoyed that.]

12. Translation: respect my views and never express your own. Or, my views are important and yours are not. Fuck you. My opinion of your mythical sky-god and your ridiculous, cooties-fearing prayer circle does nothing to you, so get it out of my face. And that goes for all of the major superstitions, by the way.

13. John McCain wants to build up US troop levels. He also doesn’t want to raise taxes. Which is like saying you want to drive across the country but don’t want to put gas in your car. McCain’s financial ideas are so far removed from reality, he’ll probably get elected.

14. Montana, New Hampshire, Maine, and South Carolina are basically defying the Department of Homeland Security by taking the whole secure driver’s license action into their own hands and refusing to comply with this REAL ID fiasco (trust me, like everything that comes out of DHS, it will be a fiasco). Like No Child Left Behind, REAL ID is another federal mandate that the states are expected to pay for themselves. Seventeen states have actually passed legislation against REAL ID; no state is near compliance, but most have asked for extensions. The plan will cost America’s states around $4 billion. Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer said “This is the federal government telling a state you must do something, and you must pay for it. Well, thanks for playing; Montana is not in.” He called federal warnings that no one with REAL ID will be allowed to board a plane a bluff, and he’s probably right, considering the shame the airline industry is in and how desperately the government wants to keep puffing it up. It’s nice to see someone still has a notion of states’ rights in the country; it sure as hell isn’t the federal government. Meanwhile, did you know that the manufacture of American passports has been outsourced to foreign countries? One of the companies making our passports is a Thai company with links to Chinese espionage. I guess that’ll make the takeover that much easier, then.

15. In a recent Florida survey, it was found that many teens believing drinking a capful of bleach will prevent HIV, a shot of Mountain Dew is an effective birth control, and that smoking pot will keep you from getting pregnant. Do I even need to remind you that Florida has abstinence-only sex education? The whole state is one Britney Spears waiting to happen.

16. With airlines cancelling flights right and left for safety checks and Aloha Air and ATA shutting down entirely, it sure looks like the airline industry is on its way out. Why don’t they just nationalize the damn thing and make it a government service already? The government’s bailing it out constantly, doing everything (as they will in this recession/depression) to protect business at your expense; why don’t they just take over outright, like they do in countries that aren’t buying our shit? And how much of this do you think is tied to rising fuel costs?

17. How much worse is the economy going to get? St. Francis Hospital & Health Center closed down here in Chicago because of uninsured and Medicaid patients it took in. Is that going to serve as a warning to other hospitals to not take in uninsured patients? There are more and more of us being disenfranchised by this profit-at-all-cost America, but when none of us have any money, what are they going to make? How much longer is the collapse going to take, I wonder?

18. One more airline story: the TSA stopped a woman in Texas, Mandi Hamlin, and forced her to remove her nipple piercings with a pair of pliers because they set off the alarm. Meanwhile, there’s a story out that someone testing the TSA got a knife through security twice. Whatever they tell you, I know people who have personally dealt with the TSA, and they have not made it any safer at the airport. And now the TSA will let you fly with a nipple piercing if you “allow a visual inspection.” So, knives are okay, but nipple rings are a threat to our national security… but hey, ladies, if you just show your tits, everything’s fine! The terrorists have truly won.

19. Ben Bernanke said this week that if thing keep going the way they are now, we could see a recession this year. So… there you go. Watch out, everyone. You’ve been warned. By the way, I saw a dollar store that was having a 70% off sale. No kidding. Oh, and did you hear that in many cases, banks aren't taking the titles to the homes they foreclose on because they don't want to pay the taxes?

20. In 2003, Savana Redding, an honor student, was suspected of distributing drugs, taken out of her class, marched to the nurse’s office and, without notifying either of her parents, strip-searched. Nothing was found, but the school had to take extreme measures because, you know, she was supposed to have given another kid prescription strength Ibuprofen. And they take that shit seriously in Arizona. Redding was 13 years old at the time, and she’s still appealing the case. She was so nervous, upset and humiliated by having her breasts and vagina exposed by the school secretary that she developed ulcers and had to drop out of school to attend another one. According to ABC News, the school district’s lawyer says the duty of schools to protect students comes before anyone else’s rights. Okay, I’m paraphrasing, but he does say the strip search of a 13 year-old was reasonable, and tell us: “Remember, this was prescription strength Ibuprofen.” I think I need some now after just talking about this. This is another reason I’m going to home-school any kids I may end up having; public schools sometimes take their responsibilities far too seriously. If anyone had strip-searched my 13 year-old daughter, they would’ve had their arm broken the next day. And when it healed, broken again. You see the cycle here.

TV Report: Amanda from Beauty and the Geek 5

Thursday, April 03, 2008

More From Hellboy II

My MandyPants Is Growing Up

Happy 22nd Birthday, Amanda!

An Open Letter to Guys Who Scan British Girlie Mags

You guys suck. Seriously, you're awful. Seriously, what is your excuse for this?

This is a great picture of Keeley Hazell that is ruined by being a terrible quality scan. Look at that, seriously. Just scratchy and a little pixellated the closer you get to it (and it's a very large scan, so there's just no call for this). What has happened to you guys out there? Where's the pride in your workmanship?

Just a couple of years ago there were these great Italian websites that posted scans of genuine quality from European magazines. Remember JoeScans? Oh, my kingdom for the return of JoeScans! That guy really cared about producing a quality image. He cared so much that, even though he basically was stealing images from magazines, he put his own logo on the damn things. But you know what? They were good enough forgeries for him to deserve to sign them. But you guys... seriously, what's with the laziness? You think scanning and providing us with pictures is simply a matter of clicking a "start scan" button and putting it online, but there's more to it than that.

You guys have slacked off and now, frankly, it's just embarrassing. Embarrassing and sad. I would love--dearly love--to continue to post pictures of Keeley Hazell, Kitty Lea, Lucy Pinder, Eve Wyrwal, Lindsay Strutt, Sophie Howard, and many others, but you guys have made me stop. Because your scans are just so goddamn bad that there isn't any point. You're getting gorgeous pictures and you're turning them into garbage. You're supposed to be providing for guys like me who don't have access to these British magazines in the states (some bookstores carry them, but they're imported, and I ain't paying 12 bucks for a skin mag). You should all be ashamed of yourselves for the terrible work you're doing. Where's the caring? Where's the joy in your work?

Guys, goddammit, just click the mouse a couple of more times! SHARPEN THE IMAGE! Seriously, even the most ancient scan programs will let you sharpen a freaking image. So, in case you missed it: