03.09.10 – A Tuesday

Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to MySpaceAdd to NewsvineAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter

word

repartee [rep-er-tee, –tey, -ahr-] n. 1. a quick, witty reply 2. conversation full of such replies 3. skill in making such replies

birthday

Amerigo Vespucci (1454), Samuel Barber (1910), Mickey Spillane (1918), Ornette Coleman (1930), Raúl Juliá (1940), John Cale (1942), Bobby Fischer (1943), Charles Gibson (1943), Robin Trower (1945), Jeffrey Osborne (1948), Bobby Sands (1954), Linda Fiorentino (1958), Steve Wilkos (1964), Juliette Binoche (1964), Emmanuel Lewis (1973), Thor Halvorssen (1976), Julia Mancuso (1984), Brittany Snow (1986), Bow Wow (1987)

standpoint

Two nights ago, we were all once again treated to the annual hullabaloo that is The Oscars. Lots of us were watching the show. 41.3 million of us. Granted, that’s not even 10% of the United States’ population but it’s still a large group of people, the largest in five years. Whoopdee-doo.

But why were we all watching? I suspect some of you actually watched out of your sheer love for the art of cinema. Or maybe you watched in an attempt to make sure you weren’t the only one in the office the next morning who couldn’t participate in the endless post-Oscar debates and be forced to, like, do work or something. Or maybe you flipped through the channels and happened upon the show and became immediately engaged by the obvious sexual tension between Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, this year’s co-hosts. Or maybe you’re like me and you simply watched the damn thing to beleaguer yourself with one of the prime examples of how crappy our culture has become.

I watched it, albeit in my usual offish fashion. But I did notice some amusing peculiarities.

→ In what’s being dubbed a “Kanye Moment,” some woman named Elinor Burkett, apparently one of the producers of  something called Music By Prudence, stormed the stage and stole the allotted speech time from the film’s director, one Roger Ross Williams. Some described it as “uncomfortable to watch.” Uh…all right. Now Burkett has two things in common with Kanye West: They both display an irreverent attitude toward award show decorum, and they both look like dudes.

Neil Patrick Harris needs to pull in the reins a bit. Does the guy know he’s allowed to turn down offers? At this rate, we’re all going to be sick and tired of him sometime later this week. Hey, NPH, maybe just be a homebody for a while, do a crossword puzzle (or maybe you’re a sudoku man, I have no idea) or repaint the living room like you’ve been saying you’re going to since forever. Or, here’s an idea. Maybe watch some television and try to find a channel you won’t see your own face.

Fisher Stevens, the guy who played that goofy scientist in Short Circuit and was in that episode of Friends that time won an Oscar for a documentary that had something to do with dolphins. Johnny Five is indeed alive.

→ Always the cutup, Ben Stiller came onstage to present the award for Best Makeup all done up as a character from Avatar. I thought he looked a lot like what Michael Jackson might’ve looked like twenty years down the road.

→ Throughout the entire show, George Clooney had a look on his face that, I swear, made me think the guy has some sort of beef being stuck in a chair with a camera up his nose for four hours. What’s up with that? Lighten up, buddy, you’ve come a long way since Booker Brooks.

The Hurt Locker won 6 times. Two of them involved sound and were accepted by some guy who looked like a recovering zombie. Also, the lady who directed it won Best Director and Best Film but all anyone wanted to talk about was that she was once married to fellow nominee James Cameron. I was glad she was able to get back at the Academy for what’s still considered one of history’s biggest snubs when it completely ignored Point Break. Not even a courtesy Best Supporting Actor nod to Gary Busey, for crying out loud. But Kathryn Bigelow showed them. Now who’s laughing? Definitely not Busey and, even if he is, he’s laughing about something only he fully understands.

→ I liked that thing they do when 5 actors get up on stage and say something seemingly heartfelt and ostensibly accurate about the nominees for Best Actor and Best Actress. Oprah Winfrey spoke about Gabourey Sidibe from Precious in the way she does about everything. No matter what Oprah’s prattling on about, she’s really just talking about herself. Sidibe probably didn’t care as she was most likely couldn’t stop thinking about hunky Gerard Butler, who she met and delivered the proposition, “Let’s grab a bottle of champagne and see where the night goes!” Later, she told more than one reporter, in regards to her attraction to Butler, “I’d hit that.” Whatever happened to playing hard to get? Gabourey, it’s all about the hunt and the chase. Don’t just throw it out there.

→ One of my favorite actors, Jeff Bridges won for Best Actor. Of all the movies mentioned during the show, Crazy Heart was one of two I’d actually seen. (Star Trek was the other.) Kudos to Bridges, by the way, who, in giving his acceptance speech, contributed yet another item to the long list every stoner keeps of shit you can still do when you’re high.

Overall, I enjoyed watching The Oscars. I might even watch next year. Hell, I might even get out there and see some relevant movies for a change. Who knows?

quotation

These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves.  From each of them goes out its own voice… and just as the touch of a button on our set will fill the room with music, so by taking down one of these volumes and opening it, one can call into range the voice of a man far distant in time and space, and hear him speaking to us, mind to mind, heart to heart.Gilbert Highet

tune

Sometimes, I’m resistant to things for no good reason. What can I say? I’m hardheaded. You love that about me, by the way. In any case, my wonderful girlfriend asked me to watch the new OK Go video about five times before I had the good judgment to trust her. I learned an important relationship lesson: Believe her when she tells me I’m definitely going to like something she’s sent me. (Five times.) Not only did I realize that (a) I like OK Go and, as is the case from time to time, I miss out on good music due to a some sort of stigma I’ve created out of thin air, and (b) I can’t ascertain how I’ve managed to escape the incredible ingenuity of Rube Goldberg Machines. They’re absolutely fucking nuts. Here’s the new OK Go offering titled “This Too Shall Pass.”

And if you suddenly find yourself yearning for some more Rube Goldberg Machine videos, worry not, I’m happy to provide them. Check these out.

gallimaufry

Reunited and it feels so good. T.O. and D-Nabb put aside their differences for (What else?) money. Poor Antonio Gates, stuck with those two as teammates.

→ Some may argue that Facebook made this possible. I’d say FB made it easier would be more accurate.

→ I didn’t need another reason not to vacation in balmy Alaska. But I got one anyway.

06.05.09 – Friday

Word: ersatz [er-zahts, -sahts, er-zahts, –sahts] adj. 1. serving as a substitute; synthetic; artificial: an ersatz coffee made from grain n. 2. an artificial substance or article used to replace something natural or genuine; a substitute

Birthday: Thomas Chippendale (1708), Pat Garrett (1850), Pancho Villa (1878), John Maynard Keynes (1883), Salvatore Ferragamo (1898), Richard Scarry (1919), Spalding Gray (1941), Ken Follett (1949), Suze Orman (1951), Richard Butler (1956), Kenny G (1956), Jeff Garlin (1962), Ron Livingston (1967), Brian McKnight (1969), Mark Wahlberg (1971), Chuck Klosterman (1972), Pete Wentz (1979)

Quotation: I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat.  I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!Dr. Seuss

Tune: Ever watch the great old comedy sketch show The Kids In The Hall and wonder who did the theme song? The band is Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet and the song is called “Having an Average Weekend.”

Gallimaufry: With President Obama in the White House and most everyone pissed at California over Proposition 8, it’s easy to look at our country and decide it’s moving in the right direction. Enter Ken Pagano, pastor of New Bethel Church in Louisville, Kentucky. This June 27th, Pagano is inviting his congregation to attend services with their firearms, “to celebrate the Fourth of July and the Second Amendment.” Says the ex-Marine-and-one-time-handgun-instructor-turned-pastor, “We’re just going to celebrate the upcoming theme of the birth of our nation. And we’re not ashamed to say that there was a strong belief in God and firearms — without that this country wouldn’t be here.” No loaded guns will be allowed in the church. In addition to bringing firearms, Pagano is asking attendees to bring a canned good and a friend. I mean, it’s only Kentucky, but still. It’s 2009, jackass. For the record, Sonia Sotomayor’s “Wise Latina” comment is no different than Sarah Palin’s comparing hockey moms to pitbulls. But no one, including the idiots over at FOX News, are going to make the connection. The Supreme Court nominee was referring to a group of women who make up a large portion of the nation’s population, while Palin was talking about a group of women in Alaska who don’t represent enough people to fill up The Rose Bowl. (That may or may not be true.) Both women were making their comments in jest. In the grand scheme of things, I’m guessing Alaskan hockey moms are considered a bit more innocuous than Latina women. Just a hunch. Sitting out in the sun for extended periods of time, getting high and drunk with your closest friends and listening to dozens of popular bands is every American’s right. At least it should be. The warm weather invading us right now means only one thing – it’s Summer Concert Festival Season. Check out Pitchfork’s comprehensive guide to this year’s opportunities to pass out on a stranger’s blanket by mid-afternoon.

Incoming: I know I promised some thoughts about Arthur Kade (I’ve grilled my considerable group of contacts for this one and unearthed some great stuff.) and movie remakes, as well as 3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead, but as they say, life got in the way. I’ll be working on all those for the beginning of next week. Also, for everyone attending this weekend’s TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship (What happened to simply calling it “The Bike Race?”), make sure to stay hydrated and have some fun. I’m not quite sure if I’ll be making my annual appearance as of yet, but if I do, I’ll make sure to say hello.