Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Astounding World Of Tomorrow!

Yes sir, Retronaut is a real inspiration to me sometimes... There may be more of these to come, but as usual with my plans, don't bet the farm on it.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Prime-Time Face With A JoCo Booty (or "Baby Got Back-gate")

Wired (and at least a dozen other websites): "Did Glee Rip Off a Jonathan Coulton Cover of ‘Baby Got Back’?" Me (and hundreds of #whoisjohnnyc hashtagers): "Yes. Now can we move on to the penalty phase? Because that's my favorite part."

I made this half-JoCo, half-Glee monster to please you,
But I get the feeling that you don't like it.
Why are you clutching your head?
You liked "Code Monkey", you liked Chord Overstreet.
Maybe you don't like rip-offs so much?
Maybe I used too much of his arrangement.
Isn't it enough to know that I ruined a Mix-A-Lot cover making a gift for you?
Oh, and the show's so musical,
But ethics? We're way too good for them.
Even the writers think it's mercenary.
We're not surprised that you agree.
If we could just put this thing to bed
Without subpoenas to the head,
You'd see the voices that control me from the board room
Say I shouldn't screw you.

(Well, not much, anyway.)

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Eduard Khil 1934-2012

Eduard Khil, the Russian singer from the Brezhnev era who has become known as Mr. Trololo to the English-speaking Internet world (at the very least), died on Monday at 77, several months after suffering a massive stroke.

It would be really easy to post That Video again (which is what the American news is doing...and why they're doing it, of course), but behind the meme lies an artist.


A lot of things have been said about Khil himself, but I'd like to touch on one of the side-issues of his You Tube "discovery" if I could. My understanding is that a few Russian onlookers have scoffed at the type of attention That Video has been getting from the outside world. But even before the Internet, "OMG LOL" was one of the ways we processed new things, at least in the first stage. And yes, for many people a relationship with a piece begins and ends at "LOL", but a few of them continue on to the next stage: "Wait a minute, what did I just see?" And that's when the interesting part starts. That's how a man named Paul Killiam went from making sarcastic hash of silent films on early television to being one of the key figures of silent film preservation. 

Yes, seriously, this guy is the reason you can actually see Rudolph Valentino and not just read about him.

At the time, that was the type of thing I was hoping to see (and am still hoping to see eventually) come out of the Trololo craze, the peeling back of the curtain to the rest of the world, bit by bit, for those curious enough to do some exploring on their own...or at least a DVD of the Cheryomushki film that doesn't cost $40. And if we're still waiting for that...well, sometimes these things take awhile.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Today in Esperantoland!

From last week: According to Libera Folio, Warsaw's new city-wide bike rental system will be named "Veturilo", according to an Internet vote from a jury-chosen best five. With 35% of the vote, "Veturilo" (meaning "mode of transport") beat runner-up "Wawabike" (oh, heaven help me) by 6%, which makes up for the fact that the people have chosen a name containing a letter ("V") which isn't even in the Polish language.

Still, Wawabike? Brrrrr...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The NBC Community Panic Bunker!

Will it be six seasons and a movie or should we just pray for 13 episodes and a show that isn't broken? To be the last one on the dogpile, the day after the season finale of the TV show Community and barely one week after the network finally put us out of our misery by giving the show an abbreviated fourth season, showrunner/cult leader Dan Harmon was relieved of his duties. Of course, the Internet went insane, because that's what the Internet does.

There have been a lot of opinions on what this means for the future of the show, some more coherent than others, and most throwing some three-cameras-and-a-studio-audience-of-idiots show in our faces. Something that wasn't getting nearly as much play as it probably should have in the early going was that the Dan Harmon incident isn't exactly a unique situation in the history of television: the AV Club hit the point on Monday, and Ken Levine, a man who's done the sitcom (and showrunner) thing for a few decades, gave us his perspective in a two part post.  And finally--or somewhere in the middle of all this, to be more honest--Vulture's Josef Adalian laid some down some "hard truths". Actually, all of these articles have "hard truths" in them, a few of which set my teeth on edge but which make perfect sense if you take a breath and count to ten. There are many, many more, but these are the ones that I actually noticed.

My feelings on the topic are fairly simple: Stay optimistic about the fall, but keep one foot pointed towards the door. Cool cool cool?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

G.I. Dunno: Remuneration

via the L.A. Times (among other places): If you were waiting for G.I. Joe: Retaliation to light up the Fourth of July weekend, you might have to wait a little longer...like a whole year.

This last-minute mega-delay, after blowing millions in promotion (which they're going to have to do all over again in 2013, since you can't unspend ad money), was because some jerk looked at the movie and asked "Why isn't this in 3-D?" Not because some jerk looked at the movie and said "GAH! BRUCE WILLIS!"

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Quick Hits! May 17, 2012

And now, a few things that went up on my Google+ feed that you might have missed because you don't trust the privacy policy:

  • REDD: The Most Bad Ass Indie SciFi Adventure Movie, EVER! (a Kickstarter pitch in search of some sugar daddies, 16 days to go at this posting):  Okay, I admit it. I watched the trailer first, and after I picked my jaw up off the ground, I asked myself, "Is this anything?" Then I hit play on his pitch and the answer was self-evident: "Yes, it is." I'd also love to see what this guy could do with a budget larger than what a used car costs.
  • "Grand Old Party" is a data visualization project. It is also a series of butt plugs." If you're foolish enough to click on that link, Matthew Epler has made latex representations of polling results over the active campaign period, and yes, they can apparently go right up your butt, which is where early polling results belong. Just like in real life, the Bachman is much ado about nothing, while the Santorum looks almost impossible to dislodge.
  • Perfect lead-in for a True Pixar Story (via Mike Elgan), a jolly tale about the day Toy Story 2 was almost completely wiped because of bad backups and one poorly-executed Linux command.

  • A reminder of things you miss when you go to bed at a decent hour: Craig Ferguson telling Mila Kunis to not skip through the Glasgow Necropolis.
  • And the final one is more of a CONSUMER REPORT: Have any of you seen the mysterious ad about "this man" who predicted the end of GM and Fannie Mae and how he's going to tell you how to make money while the world markets collapse? Turns out he didn't predict a $1.5 million fraud fine from the SEC for peddling a $50 newsletter "replete with lies", if this writeup from Antemedius is to believed. So he's a crank, but fortunately he's a well-known crank, and this summary from last year of his too-long-didn't-watch video lays out the snake oil he's peddling.  It's just as true with Amway as it is with anything else: if your rep is so broken that you have to hide what you're selling (and your own name, for that matter), you're in trouble before you open your big mouth.