Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Monday, March 31, 2008

You Know What There Seems To Be A Lot Of, Lately?

Movies about the War On Iraq. I mean, not like "tons" of them, and none successful, but there's definitely a trend of these movies coming out. Either directly about the war, or else sort of obliquely - where you can tell that it's really about Iraq, even though it's thinly disguised by a veneer of something that people might want to pay to watch a movie about.

Okay, so there's that. Then, you know what else there seems to be a lot of, lately? Superhero movies. And these have, by comparison, been quite tidily successful.

Now I thought: why not combine the two? A spoonful of sugar, right? Why not set some superhero movies in the War On Iraq? Our American superheroes would run ROUGHSHOT over those damn cowardly insurgents! Come on. Just picture those dudes trying to square off against some real class "A" superheroes. Yeah right! Some of those guys can READ MINDS! How do you hide from that? That's right - you can't. Plus, what good are rocket launchers and kalashnikovs against Captain Ultra or whoever? Not much! Dudes like that would mop up over there. It would all be over in a couple weeks but the crying!

And then of course, I mean, you could say "what's the point?" Which is true. But to that I say, as long as you're going to set a movie in the War On Iraq, you might as well make it a satisfyingly escapist jaunt! Because who wants to pay ten bucks for what you can get on the news?

The Devil!

Lucifer and Satan are the SAME DUDE -
Yet oddly, behind each other's back,
each is consumed by a gnawing sense
of how much cooler the other one's name


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Out-Of-Context-Comments-On-Other-People's-Sites #2: It's Only Just A Movie

Out of context comment on somebody's messageboard:
Hm. That does seem odd. I wonder why he would do that?

Perhaps by treating the same subject matter in two so divergent ways, Herzog is attempting to make some point. He could be trying to underscore the need for audiences to distinguish between a documentary approach, where depicting the true facts is legitimately the top priority, and a regular movie, where certainly no one should ever assume that's the case! I mean, there are a lot of people out there who go to a movie "based on a true story" and come out of the theater saying "and the most unbelievable thing is, it all really happened!"

I like to go to those movies and, as people say that to each other on the way out, smack as many of them in the back of the head as possible. My record is 3.

I'm just hypothesizing, of course. I'd be surprised if he had that specific point in mind, but I bet he had some point. I remember hearing that he'd done a documentary version before this, and I don't think I've ever heard of a director doing something like that - same basic subject twice, once as documentary and once as drama. But that could be because very few directors jump back and forth between the two, though.

Maybe Herzog really wanted all along to make the "movie" version, and he decided to do it as a straight docu first so as to "get the truth out of the way" as it were. So if anyone takes him to task for the dramatized approach, he can point them to the other: "hey, I made a fine documentary about it as well if that's what you're interested in."

I'm kind of interested to see the documentary, myself. I bet it's just as bad!


I like to say it. I've rediscovered the joys of saying it.


Now that's not a weak little "uh" such as might rhyme with "huh" or "duh." Naw, this is a much more forceful cry, straight from the gut: UUHh! Like Bobby Brown would say it, way back in the day at the top of his game. That's how I like to say it.




Sometimes in a situation where either "Yes" or "No" is called for, I say:


You give it a try. See how it feels.

I bet I know what you'll be saying if you do!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Lessons of Political Correctness

Back during all that Political Correctness phase of the nineties, did anyone publish a book on what the outcome was? As in, which words really were or weren't OK? Did there ever get to be any agreement on that, any final tally? I feel like by the time everybody started making fun of it, it all became kind of a big joke. Yet...people still seem to feel like some of it still goes, right? Well, which part goes and which part is a joke?

Take the world "oriental." Is that still cool to use? Are we cool with it? Are they cool with it? Who exactly is uncool with it? I went to a Thai place, brought home the leftovers in a red and white tub with Far Eastern design motifs on it. Only as I was putting it in the fridge did I notice it said: "Delicious ORIENTAL food"! And the "ORIENTAL" was in one of those fake-y Asian script fonts with all the stereotypical flourishes! Well, needless to say, I had a good laugh on that. Because it seemed somehow wrong!

But is it or isn't it? What did we decide, back when people were all het up and pretending to give a crap about this sort of thing?

And don't give me any of that "it's okay to use it as an adjective, but not as a noun" crap. That's a load of ninny-minded bullshit. A word means what it means - for good or bad. It means what it means. It can't be an insult unless the meaning of the word is INTRINSICALLY NEGATIVE. If it's fine as an adjective, then it's not somehow a horrible insult as a noun! Take any strong, meaningful adjective. Take "strong." I may say, "you people are strong." Or I may say "I wish to run with the strong!" Either way, the people being referred to are not being insulted.

Either the word applies or it doesn't. Either a word is insulting or it isn't.

Um. Anyway. It's a great restaurant. Not only the best Thai food in town, but quite possibly the best oriental food in town as well.

And that's saying a lot!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Watching What I Wish For

I wish I had a magic bean, and I could plant it, and water it, and a magic vine would grow out of the ground and climb up toward the sky about seven feet tall and then stop, and at the top of the vine there would be a magic wand, and I would have to climb up the vine to pluck the magic wand from its grasp, but then I would have a magic wand.

I would have a magic wand, and it wouldn't be one of those crappy Harry Potter magic wands where you have to go to school for years just to learn how to use it. No, it would be the good kind - where you just wave it and make stuff disappear!

Problems and stuff.

You know what, I don't wish that - that's too complicated. I just wish that I won the lottery.

Except after I won the lottery, I would eventually learn the lesson that all that ungodly amount of money would not necessarily buy me happiness. I would want that to happen, I would want to learn that lesson, because that subtly reinforces my feeling about such things. I still want the money of course! But then all those people who always say "yeah, well, money doesn't solve everything you know - money can't buy happiness," I'd be able to nod my head with a solemn sigh and reply, "how true that is." And then the other people, the ones who say "that's bullshit, only somebody who has plenty of money can say that!" - to those people I would say, "YA DAMN RIGHT!!! YEE HAW I'M RICH!!!!!"

Then I would quietly bear my hidden miseries away, to be grieved over perhaps, in a darkened room.

Man. How sweet would that be!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My Struggle Towards Exercise Addiction

So lately I've been doing 100 sit-ups EVERY SINGLE NIGHT that I remember to do it. That works out to twice or maybe 3 times a week. Potentially it could become literally every night if my memory improves.

Part of the whole experiment is to test my theory that situps improve memory.

Also, today I did ten pushups. I like how it made me feel.

Frankly I'm a little worried about it. I worry that I may have a propensity, I may have a certain weakness to becoming addicted to it. Addicted to that "rush" of so-called endorphins or endolphins or whatever they're so-called. What is that, anyway? A hormone? Or a...a gland secretion, right? Glands secrete hormones, I think. But do they secrete other things as well?

See, this is what I'm talking about - this is the danger. We don't even know what our bodies are pumping out, what goofy junk is being dumped into our bloodstream to make us "feel good" when we "push the envelope" of physical performance to the limit - like I've been doing. For all we know, we could get hooked on that junk. Maybe it's a hormone, and maybe it isn't. But it's definitely a substance. And as we all know only too well from reality television shows like "Celebrity Intervention," substances are prone to being abused. Substances have a distinct predilection towards being abused. They like it. It makes them feel important - like we NEED them.

Well, forget it, substances! I'm the one in charge here. I'm cutting these potentially addictive substances off - COLD TURKEY!! No more workouts.

Except maybe tonight. Just one more. One more won't hurt me.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I've Still Got Serious Reservations About Desert Storm

I've still got serious reservations about the first Gulf War. The one they called Desert Storm?

See, I don't think they should have called it that.

Remember in the early days, when it was "Operation Desert Shield"? They weren't on the offensive yet, they were just moving into place, getting set up and fortified, et cetera. Well, if it was "Desert Shield" at that phase, then when they went offensive it should have been called "Desert SWORD" not "Desert Storm." A Storm is like, all violent and random, blowing everything away indiscriminately and raining thunder and hail all over the place. Whereas. A Sword is more like - precision! Sweep in with finesse and puissance, disarm and fillet the enemy with brutal, swift strokes. Plus...Shield...SWORD! Shield...SWORD!

It just "goes"!

Desert Storm.

I mean, ok, admittedly the offensive itself might have played out a bit more like the storm imagery I quoted above than the sword imagery. But my position is, if they'd conceived it the other way, and executed it the other way, it would have worked out better for them militarily.

My Mighty Mind Has Uncovered Another Paradox

Then I forgot what it was.

What the hey, I'm sure if it was an important paradox, it'll come back to me.

Dubious Tough Guy Comebacks #1

" just kicked the wrong guy's ass!"

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Taking The Rest Of The Day Off

Who Cares What Some Guy Thinks?

I don't want to sit there and read what some guy has to say on something, just because he sees it that way. Who cares how he sees it? I want to know how I see it.

But he can't tell me that, can he?

See, that's why I read this blog.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Free Advice to the Technology Industry pt.1: Get Me My Dealy

Someone needs to invent a dealy. It would be a little dealy that you can press a button "NEVER PLAY THIS SONG AGAIN." And then it won't! But meanwhile, it will continue to play other songs based on the kind of stuff it thinks you like, in its feeble little machine-mind estimate of your tastes.

You'd just hone it. You'd keep honing it. It would refine its idea of you based on your incessant hone. Of it.

And then plus, of course, you can switch between genres and stuff. That button would work at any level: song level, artist level, genre level.

Or maybe there would be more than one button! Although...I guess maybe that seems like backsliding a bit, technology-wise.

I'm Sexually Confused.

By which I don't mean I'm gay! Because that would be weird. Because I'm sure I would know that, if I was! I don't think it would be a lot of guesswork involved. I would probably spend a lot more time thinking about dude's asses. I mean, right? Nothing offensive about that stereotype! After all, the converse of the principle applies equally. As a straight guy, I just about can't help but look at a woman's ass. I'm not even sure what I'm looking for, exactly. Something compelling.

So it's not that I think I'm gay. It's not that type of sexual confusion. It's more just, sometimes I feel like I don't really know what I'm doing.

Mind you, that's just the perils of depending wholly on one's instinct all the time! When it works, hey. I come off looking like a genius! But sometimes you get in over your head, lose your footing and end up with one of those "WHAT are you DOING?" moments.

I'm sure we've all had those. Whoops!

See, there's really no tutoring in our culture, at least, not for dudes. It's like, every man for himself. You know?

Maybe that's what porn should be for.

Oh, I Don't Know!

Work's been hectic lately. I'm not much updating. I feel like I had some ideas, but who knows where they are now!

Sunk back into the mental mulch. To spring forth anew in some revolting form in a fair, far off time, unlooked-for.

Hey-Hey, I'm Only Kidding!

Actually, it depends on the post you were reading. If you were offended by it, then I was only kidding. If it was funny, then I wasn't.

Keep that in mind as a general guideline - bearing in mind that the polarity on that flips indiscriminately from time to time. Even on the same post, sometimes. A lot of time it's like a song you may have written, where it was originally supposed to be a joke but then later, oh's TOO TRUE. How true it is! Too true. Then you find can't play it live anymore, because you cry like a sissy.

Nobody wants to see that, by the way. Very gauche. You can't be a songwriter, be up there crying over your own song. That's like a comedian laughing at his own jokes!

Which, admittedly, they do do that. Comedians. A lot of 'em seem pretty jovial up there, laughing at their own jokes and stuff. Fostering a sort of joviality of sorts. I guess they think they're working the crowd, but really it just shows me they're not serious about the craft.

Non-Haiku Apocrypha

the towering trees of sky
spread their dark cloud leaves to heaven
while their roots drink lightning from the ground

- Basho, 1697

Disclaimer: Basho died in 1694

so what that let you know

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Monday, March 17, 2008

Hey! How Come Cheney's Not Running?!

It just occurred to me! I mean - he isn't running, is he? But why not? I thought that was de rigueur. Even Bush's pop gave it a shot, and I don't recall anyone particularly cared for him prior. But he made it work.

Maybe Dukakis wasn't available.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Interpersonal Dynamics on an Internet Message Board

Isn't it weird how every internet message board you go to, the membership is almost always composed of people who are just these totally ordinary, anonymous, non-notable type people?

I guess sometimes there might be a minor celebrity on there as a member. Like if the message board is in fact devoted to that person and their output, whatever it may be.

But what if there was a message board whose members were all super-famous and important people? How cool would that be? And then you would join on there and after a while you would be like, "uh, don't you guys have something more important to do?"

At least, that's what I'd be like.

There was a message board like that, but they banned me.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Restaurant R.I.P.: an Ongoing Series

I don't know what it is, I can''s coincidence, that's all, I can't get my mind around it, it's...

It's just that, within the past six months or so, five of my favorite restaurants have gone. That's not even counting Parwana! Wonderful as Parwana was. Irreplaceable as they were. We didn't go there all the time, and as much as I mourned when we walked up and saw the sign in the window (will I ever again eat lamb that tastes like flowers and LOVE IT? Will anyone else approximate that Cherry Shrub soda?), it was not a mainstay for us.

We've lost five mainstays. One after the other. After each one, it seemed like that had to be the last - it seemed like that last one had to be the capper, the final outrage, that it just can't get any worse. But the toll continues. When will it end? What is going on? Is there a single underlying cause? Did rents rise for restaurants?

Three of them just vanished without warning - leaving nothing but an empty building and maybe a paper sign in a window to greet you, as you walked up hungry with dreams of favorite and irreplaceable dishes dancing on your mind's tongue.

A mind can have an eye; it can have a tongue.

One of them is still there in name, but the new ownership has eliminated or changed all of the things we loved that made the place beautiful and drew us back again and again. Oh sure, they still have a bolognese. A now totally ordinary bolognese. What the fuck good is that to us, particularly?

The fifth - we just found out about it yesterday - is still in business. For days perhaps, maybe a few weeks. The owner has sold, and the old chef stays on just for the transition. The whole menu and theme will change. But at least we had a chance to say goodbye! It was awful. I mean, it was great as always, transcendent, but what a heartbreaking celebration it became! We could not order everything, but we tried to order the things that just nobody ever did as well, or that nobody else even had. We had the tricolor flan, the hearts of romaine salad, the beet and mandarin salad, the hangar steak and the roast chicken - every one of these is just a best-in-class execution*, and many of their menu items defied classification entirely! Yet never experimentalism for its own sake. Never a "what the hell was the idea behind this supposed to be?" Every dish always seemed an ideal embodiment of some theory or tradition that had been perfected over decades if not centuries, even though you knew damn well that you'd never seen it anyplace else before and that surely they must have just come up with it themselves.

It may have been the best meal we ever had there, but perhaps the heightened emotional circumstances played into that. Plus the extra drinks I ordered.

Morbid as it seems to me now, this series - Restaurant R.I.P. - was conceived as an effort to at least give some tiny bit back, or if not "give back," at least bear witness. Make some small testament to the worth of the efforts of chefs and restaurateurs who poured their hearts' love and all the cleverness of their minds into designing so many wonderful dishes and evenings and breakfasts and moments that I am literally crying as I write this.

Bon appetit, and rest in peace.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Flowers: Gay or Not?

As I was bringing my baby home flowers - a fresh bouquet, a nice assortment, well-matched to the intended vase - I suddenly asked myself, (or perhaps a better way to put it would be "wondered") "hey. Do homosexual men ever give each other flowers? Does a gay man bring flowers home for his gay compadre?"

And all these conflicting feelings suddenly surfaced! Because...why shouldn't they?

But on the other hand...why should they?

It seems like it would be kind of gay.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

More Frustrated Ambitions: Ang Lee's Hulk: The Musical

I don't know if anyone here saw Ang Lee's Hulk. Well I did, and I was very impressed by the score. It had a good score. That descending motif! VERY science gone dangerous.

So I've been floating the idea of working up an adaptation of Ang Lee's Hulk for the stage. A musical. It would be called Ang Lee's Hulk.

I'm a little leery of what my chances of getting sued would be, on such a venture. If it were unauthorized, I mean. I'm sure I would not be given permission! But they say it's easier to get forgiveness than permission. And personally, that's how I like to conduct my affairs.

I'd also be planning to rip off the theme song to the old 60's Marvel Comics limited-animation Hulk cartoon. It just slots into the concept so sweetly! During each transformation scene, a greek chorus of extras dressed as gamma rays (don't ask) would troop in from both sides and perform a circular, choreographed stomping routine around the lead actor while singing:


While all this is going on, the lead actor completes his hasty transformation by smearing green greasepaint on his face, putting on a ripped shirt and a big spiky green wig such as Lou Ferrigno wore, plus a pair of those big modelled foam HULK HANDS.

The extras would slip him all that stuff surreptitiously. He couldn't carry those foam hands stuffed under his regular clothes the whole show! That would be a bit of a tipoff as to his secret. We must maintain a certain suspendability, for disbelief's sake.

Anyway, I think that as I've conceived it, it would be an awesome regional theater experience. I think I can pull together the financing too, if I tell them that some guy on the internet told me I won't get sued.

Let's leave it up to the commenters!