Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dawg Days

  • Random Pop Culture:

    • I mentioned yesterday that I got James McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom, supposedly the preeminent narrative on the Civil War. I also grabbed Sudhir Venkatesh's Gang Leader for a Day, which is the book related to the chapter he co-wrote for Freakonomics.

    • The Real World DC kids moved into the house today. There goes the neighborhood. Get ready for a bunch of drunk, obnoxious kids running around Adams Morgan, U Street, and Georgetown. Oh, wait... Get ready for more drunk, obnoxious kids running around Adams Morgan, U Street, and Georgetown.

    • We're into that summer lull, where nothing is really happening in pop culture aside from celebrity after celebrity dying. You have overblown summer movies, beach/vacation reading, and horrible summer replacement TV shows. Going to need to come up with something fast to keep me entertained.

  • Random Hatred and/or Love:

    • I absolutely fell for the whole "Black people were the reason Prop 8 failed" thing for a while, but it never felt right and I should have known better. There are a lot of reasons why that's untrue, from the relatively small size of the population to the fact that DC, Chocolate City itself, is steaming ahead towards marriage equality as I type this. Here's further elaboration from The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates.
  • Random Music Video

    • I guess I have to include some bad stuff every once in a while. In 2001, Michael Jackson and Britney Spears performed together on a special for CBS. I hope you enjoy it more than I did.

Monday, June 29, 2009

One More Chance

  • Random Pop Culture:

    • I didn't do justice to Transformers 2 yesterday. So much to nitpick. May have to give you all a week to not see it and then really go off about it.
    • About to finish Larry Wilmore's book. It's amusing and a quick read. I got a 900-page Civil War book from the library that is supposed to be the best historical narrative on the war. We shall see.
    • Chuck Klostermann on Bill Simmons' newest podcast. Awesome.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • I like the decision in the Ricci case, but it's not nearly as much about common sense on Affirmative Action as we probably think. It's more about governments/companies not making decisions based on what will get them sued. Still good and the outcome for the firefighter is just.
  • Random Music Video
    • KT Tunstall does a great cover of the Jackson 5's best song, "I Want You Back".

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Eye Poorly Met

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Transformers 2 . The one word description would be: "inexplicable". None of it really makes sense. There are running jokes that only run to the point that they're shown three times in two minutes. Characters show up in weird places with no notice. The big bad guy is awesome and fights for all of thirty seconds. Probably not as bad as I thought it would be (how could it be?), but plenty bad all the same.
    • Suffice to say that when, at the end, Megatron said, "This isn't over," I cursed the heavens.
    • You may remember my NFL preview done by the great Billy Mays. RIP. He'll be missed. How could one ever forget his amazing catch in the 1954 World Series? He should have never signed with the Mets.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • With no other computer for the next couple of days, I'm doing this completely from my iPhone. Technology rocks.
  • Coming Soon
    • Leaving in three days for a very short vacation in Cleveland. Going to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and have tickets to an Indians game. Anything else to do in the city? Find out as I blog about my efforts to drop a match on the lake to set it on fire.

Always Think Twice

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • I'm going to see Transformers 2 tomorrow. May God have mercy on my soul.
    • There was a Hitchcock marathon on TCM today. I didn't know about it until this morning or I would have said something last night. I recorded a few that I have not yet seen, but I also got Vertigo. Somehow I don't own it on DVD and I could watch that movie a hundred times.
    • Whatever Works, a Woody Allen movie, starring Larry David. I'm there.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • An interesting piece from Time on California's financial woes. I find it so hard to believe that lower taxes lead to less money in the government's coffers and less of a cushion in case of an emergency. I thought lower taxes were great for the economy. You know, like those two pay-offs we got from Bush that really helped us avoid a total disaster.
  • Random Music Video
    • David Cook broke out last season on American Idol with his cover of Lionel Richie's "Hello", but he also turned heads with his cover of Chris Cornell's cover of "Billie Jean". Here it is.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Impact, Crater

About a year and a half ago, on the day after Sean Taylor's murder, I ranted about my belief that we shouldn't mourn a celebrity when so many people's deaths go unnoticed. Of course, as so often happens, reality hit me square in the face yesterday and showed that it's stupid to write in such absolutes. I have been following the happenings in Tehran over the past couple of weeks with horror, but I've done little other than read here or there. Meanwhile, I happened to catch the news on Michael Jackson from the very beginning and I spent the next hour refreshing Twitter, listening to the radio, and flipping between CNN, MSNBC, and E! to see what everyone was reporting. When the word finally came that he had passed, I was both shocked and really, really bummed out. Here's a guy that had become a pariah, so I was confused about why it would have hit me so hard. The obvious answer: nostalgia. Jackson had such an immense impact on our popular culture and on my own love of music. It's not just that Thriller is the inarguably best pop album ever, but it came out when my tastes were at their most malleable. I played the s*** out of that tape in my walkman and I'm sure most of my friends did the same. So, in this space I'll remember the impact that the King of Pop had on our culture by posting, in the usual Random Music Video spot, not Jackson videos but examples of his music used elsewhere in pop culture.

We'll start tonight with the most famous one in recent memory. We'll put aside the scene's place in the movie and Kevin Smith's great camera work with Rosario Dawson. Instead, let's focus on the music and how it just makes you want to dance. The Jackson 5's "ABC" as featured in Clerks II:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Jeopardy Answer: University of South Carolina's Mascot

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • The potential comedy explosion that happened around 2PM today? I'm saving it for lower down.
    • I just don't get how NBA teams are run. I can't imagine an NFL team trading the fifth overall pick for a player who has some potential, but will never be a star, and a player who has reached his potential and may even be past his peak. And everyone says it's a good trade? Orlando shooting so well from three does not mean you can get to the Finals with a team that only has guards. Plus, I've heard multiple Wizards fans honestly justify the deal by saying that the team always screws up their draft picks anyway. I don't get it.
    • The third episode of Lost, "Walkabout", turns out to be a pretty key episode in the grand scheme of the show. It's the one where we found out that Locke was in the wheelchair and he was somehow miraculously cured. That's obviously a big point, but even bigger is that this is the episode in which Jacob's adversary begins to screw with the castaways. Locke, in the woods alone to hunt a boar, is confronted by the monster (that we still haven't seen) and lives to tell the tale. The guess is that it's where the adversary figured out that Locke could be used because of his personality and his emotional issues. They actually make a point during the flashbacks of showing how volatile Locke was and how eager he was to prove himself. Monster sees that, eventually convinces Locke he's the chosen one (either through his survival or the smoke lodge later), convinces him he needs to die to bring back the Oceanic Six, uses his death to convince Ben to kill Jacob. Also, it's the first time that Jack sees his father on the island, sneakers and all, though we don't yet know that's who he is.
    • Ashton Kucher proclaimed tonight on Twitter that, in many ways, Bill Cosby paved the way for Barack Obama. What do you say to that?
    • Can AddictingGames.com please stop hyping their awards that they're doing with Nickolodeon? I'm starting to feel like a pedophile every time I go to their site.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • “I think it would be much better for the country and for him personally (to resign). I come from the business side. If you had a chairman or president in the business world facing these allegations, he’d be gone.” That's one Mark Sanford talking about one William Jefferson Clinton ten years ago.
  • Jokes and Jokes and Jokes and Jokes (Mark Sanford Edition):
    • Mark Sanford is the biggest dummy named Sanford since LaMont.
    • Who needs twenty-year-olds living in the Real World: DC house, when you could just as well have an entertaining show with Sanford, Sarah Palin, Larry Craig, John Ensign, and so on? "Sarah, can you believe that Mark brought a young intern back to the house again?!" "Oh, that Foley... We're going to need a house meeting!"
    • It turns out that the mistress' name was Maria. I was kind of hoping it would be Appalachia, as in, "He's hiking up the Appalachian trail."
    • Sanford disappeared like Dave Chappelle. "Sanford went to the motherland! Better get Charlie Murphy to run the state!" (I stole half of that joke from Roy.)
    • Did you hear about the Argentinian mistress that took a romantic stroll on the beach? She got two things -- Sanford and sun.
    • Okay, enough.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In Which I Attack A Minor Who's Asking For It

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • The first reviews for the new Transformers are out and they are horrible. It clocks in at two-and-a-half hours and it is apparently both really boring and really loud. I still kind of want to see it, but I imagine I will regret that a great deal.
    • Nobody writes a review of a bad movie like Roger Ebert. I suspect he secretly likes watching them as much as I do.
    • I'm still watching Weeds, but I'm very close to checking out. It's boring. Probably as bad as Entourage at its worst a couple of years ago, which means there's hope.
    • I mostly follow comedians on Twitter because of the one-liner factor. So, today, when I shot off a joke (wouldn't really make sense if I reprinted it in this context) and got an acknowledging laugh from a guy who used to write for The Daily Show? Validation, baby.
    • Speaking of "validation, baby," Mr. Tony was on a local radio show today and said that he had not yet received good enough offers to start his show back up. With all due respect to the fine shows on WJFK, Kornheiser is the most entertaining radio guy in the DC area.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • Richard Nixon on Roe v. Wade in new transcripts released today: "There are times when abortions are necessary - I know that. That's the thing about a black and a white... ora rape. Same kind of thing, you know what I mean. There are times." I guess there's no need to pile on Nixon.
    • Remember that kid that some conservatives were holding up as the future of punditry on the right? He ranted at some conferenece [sic] or another. I don't care if he's fourteen. That kid is a douchebag. And you can see why on this clip, as Fox and Friends, the show that aspires intellectually to be Yo Gabba Gabba!, hosts a round table between he and two eleven-year-olds. In the next segment, Doocy sang about the party in his tummy.
  • Random Music Video:
    • We're going live for this one -- all the way back to Letterman last week. Mos Def performing a song from his new album.

Monday, June 22, 2009

All The World's A Sunny Day

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • We all know the newspapers are suffering, but there are advantages to the time and effort they can put into journalism. I highly recommend this series by the St. Petersburg Times about the leadership of the Church of Scientology.
    • Kodak announced they are discontinuing Kodachrome film. Oh, mama, don't take it away.
    • Apparently Mark Sanford had disappearred for a bit, but now he's been found. I guess he needed to get away and clear his mind of anger that he was being forced to take $700 million from the Federal goverment. Oh, poor you.
    • Pat Buchanan bashes Sotomayor, implying she somehow stumbled into graduating #1 from Princeton. He does it from a conference during a session devoted to making sure we only speak English. Oh, and the conference banner is spelled wrong. Why don't I go off about politics much anymore? Because it's just too easy.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • Okay, fine, I'm going off on politics tonight. Finally. It's too easy to gloat. When it came to the Middle East two years ago, Ahmedinijad was taunting us, Israel had botched a war with Hezbollah, and there was no end in sight in Iraq. Now? Carl Owen of Politico explains.
    • How many times have you sat on the Metro, nodding off or flipping through the Post Express? Of those times, how often have you been even the slightest bit concerned that something bad would happen? Metro has a great safety record and I'd gladly ride it right this second, but it's tough to think about the unexpected nature of this accident. Doesn't help that I'm reading a book where the main character is a kid who is screwed up because his father just happened to have a meeting on one of the upper floors of the World Trade Center on September 11.
  • What's Wrong With This Movie:
    • Superman II -- Okay, I love this movie, but... At the end, Superman uses the crystal to take away the super-criminals' power by stepping inside the booth and shooting kryptonite or whatever at everything outside of the booth. Okay, but why did he have to go into the booth earlier in the movie when he gave up his power? Also, it looked like it was painful earlier in the movie, but Zod and the gang felt nothing. Also, if Lois couldn't possibly beat up any regular person, how was she so much stronger than powerless Ursa? And don't even get me started on this. Plus, it was a nice trick by Superman to give up his powers to get laid. Do you think he uses that on all the chicks? "Hey, Lana, I would totally give up these awesome powers, just for you!"

Sunday, June 21, 2009

One Foot On The Platform

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Nothing much to do today, so I decided to hit Dupont Circle and scout out the Real World: DC house. Here's the picture; the house is really cool. I like that the twitter feed devoted to following the cast members around DC re-tweeted my picture without giving credit.
    • By the way, the house is on a block with no other residences. It's a very small block and has the backs of a couple of stores. There seemed to be maybe four or five parking spots reserved in front of the house (you can see the covered meter in the picture) and another spot or two on the other side of 20th. Hardly the disruption that some are making it out to be.
    • I stayed up very late last night because I happened to stumble across the beginning of The Terminator (yes, that's the actual name of the movie) on the Independent Channel. Conventional wisdom says that T2: Judgement Day is one of the rare movies that's better than the original. After watching the original last night, I disagree. When you take into account the low budget and, even more, the fact that it had to create its own mythology rather than the various sequels expanding on it, I don't think it's even much of a question. The Terminator would have been just as great as a standalone movie with no sequels.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • The Internet gave us e-mails that convinced a significant number of people that Barack Obama was a Muslim. It gave us e-mails that convinced a significant number of people that Bill Gates would pay them a dollar for every time they forwarded an e-mail. It gave us a number of legitimate news organizations that re-printed stories, without checking the facts, from the Onion. So why, all of a sudden, are we supposed to trust everything on Twitter or blogs that is said to be coming from Iran? There are already reports of some fake stories. The video is certainly irrefutable, but the stories of torture or specific people being killed? I just don't know. On top of that, we know a large number of Iranians voted for Ahmedinijad, but we aren't hearing anything from those people? There have to be two sides to the story, especially in a democracy, right? Every awful thing could be true, but I don't want to trust it blindly the way so many people on-line seem to be doing. A New York Times article I read today makes some of these points.
  • Blistering Fools:
    • I know I've had a lot of music videos lately, but I'm on a video-watching kick and a lot of them are worth sharing. Even cloudy, it was still one of the nicer days of the last couple of weeks and, driving down Conn Ave. toward Dupont today, this song came on the radio. With some soul-searching, I could maybe claim that it's my favorite rock and roll song. Certainly in the top five or ten. From 1964, Eric Burton and the Animals, here to burn it up.

Not So Fast, Fat Jesus

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Saw The Hangover again. Even funnier the second time, since you can focus on each joke rather than just waiting for the next one. There's no wasted moment in the movie -- every second is part of something funny.
    • I plan on rewatching Old School tomorrow to see if I can make a final judgement on which is the funnier movie.
    • I'm really into Adam Corolla's podcast. His one last week with Artie Lange was great.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
  • Random Music Video:
    • No '80s cheese, no new pop. Don't feel like messing around tonight. As my favorite blogger would say, we're going to the straight awesome sauce.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

San Dimas High School Temporal Physics Does Not Rule

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Revolutionary Road. As you would expect, the acting is exceptional, especially towards the end as Winslet's quiet cordiality screams louder than her fighting. It's very well-done to the point where the most depressing part is very subtle and doesn't hit you until the last scene. The only actor in the movie to be nominated for an Oscar, Michael Shannon, absolutely steals the movie in even though he's on the screen for no more than five minutes. My question for anyone who's seen it: Was his character's role overdoing it a bit? It was necessary as a plot foil, but I can't decide if it was too over the top.
    • Brought to you by Mike Hawke, tonight's The Soup was a classic. Literally.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • A lot of bloggers have brought up how a lot of the same people who say that we should be supporting the Iranian protestors now would have loved to bomb the hell out of Tehran and its citizens a year ago. If this were October 19, would John McCain be saying, "We are all Iranians now."?
  • What's Wrong With This Movie:
    • A new feature that I'm excited about where I'll pick a random movie and pick apart one of its central points. Feel free to chime in.
    • Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure -- Bill and Ted save the future. Excellent! But it's all threatened when Ted might have to go to military school. Bogus! So Rufus comes back from the future to make sure that Bill and Ted complete the class project, stay together, and form their band that sings that song that bores the hell out of me. The question: How did Rufus know Bill and Ted were about to break up? From the beginning, either they break up and the future is bogus or they stay together and the future is excellent. There's no way that they were excellent in the future and then the future was threatened. At that point, the past is the past. Rufus is inserting himself into an impossible time loop.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Back To Basics

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • It's hard to remember the pilot episodes of TV shows so it's been fun to watch the pilots of both Twin Peaks and Lost over the past day.
    • I forgot how little weirdness was in the Twin Peaks one. In fact, the town seems reasonably normal and Dale Cooper seems to be the strange one. Kyle MacLachlan was really, really funny.
    • On Lost, the first part of the pilot is just the visceral plane crash part with a little of the island mythology coming in at the end. I noticed two foreshadowing things. At one point, Jack is theorizing as to how the plane crashed and he's playing with a small plane he made out of leaves. Kate is staring at the toy plane and not at Jack with a distant look in her eyes. Later, when Jack, Kate, and Charlie go to the front portion of the plane, the monster goes past the window for a split second before it then takes the pilot. What probably looked like a shadow the first time we watched it is now very obviously smoke. Also interesting is that, at one point, we see Charlie writing the word "fate" on his fingers.
    • In the second part, you have the polar bear, but weren't the bear cages on the other island? I don't remember if they ever explained how the bears would have gotten from Dharma's animal station to the main island. I guess polar bears can swim. You also have Rousseau's sixteen-year-old message about how "it" killed all of them and she's alone.
    • It's interesting to watch it now with knowledge of the bigger picture, especially given the biggest foreshadowing of the entire series. Locke is playing with a backgammon set. Walt walks over and they chat for a bit and Locke talks about how backgammon is the oldest game in the world. He explains it thusly: "There are two players. One side is light. One side is dark." We didn't know it would take us five more years to get there, but it's the show in a nutshell.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • Real World: DC reportedly begins taping on Saturday. I still haven't found the right words to write my support for it (or maybe better to say to show my disdain for those that oppose it) but I'll get there soon. It can only bring good things to the District.
    • You should read this letter. Freaking amazing.
  • Going Green:
    • No, not for the environment. I want to show my support for the people who are fighting for their freedoms in Tehran. Believe, if I could go there and lead a march like my friend and I did in DC back in 2000, I would certainly consider doing so before begging out because I have plans to see The Hangover again on Saturday. Anyways, after they have a civil war or whatever happens, I and my awesome-hair-having friends, A Flock of Seagulls, do humbly submit a new national anthem for the country of Iran:

VH1 TV Shows Music Videos Celebrity Photos News & Gossip

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Wasn't in front of a computer much today and didn't really watch anything tonight besides MLB Tonight and the pilot episode of Twin Peaks (re-watching the series). I'm currently reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. I couldn't get into it the first time I tried reading it, but I'm having more success this time and it's really good. Looking to read some nonfiction next with a book about a sociologist who lived in the Chicago projects and a bunch of Civil War stuff (specifically on the Southern mindset before the war, during the war, and during Reconstruction). Um, what else... I'm pondering Donte Stallworth's thirty days for killing a guy and whether or not the Ravens can get Brandon Marshall. I'm trying to decide why Yahoo Music refers to Silversun Pickups as new when they've been reasonably popular for a number of years. My legs are killing me from a day of playing football at a barbecue and then EA Active (two workouts left in the 30 Day Challenge). How else can I bore you? Instead, check out this enjoyable video from the not-so-distant past:

It's Gonna Be... Alright

Back late after a night of trivia, drinking, reality TV "celebrities", and briefly-naked Jews being pushed into a swimming pool. On the celebrity part, there was an appearance by a guy from Top Chef that nobody had ever actually heard of. I think we're at the point with reality TV where not everyone is automatically a celebrity by appearing. You have to be a superstar like Jon, Kate, Heidi, or Spencer. Shoot me.

I don't think I ever touched on the finale of Pushing Daisies. I thought it was pretty good with an ending that was rushed but appropriate. I certainly don't lament its demise as much as I do for My Name is Earl, but it was a nice little show.

After my post last night, I looked through YouTube and, well... How do you pass up live Beatles?

Monday, June 15, 2009

When You Talk About Self-Importance, Don't You Know That You Can Count Me Out

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • I'm getting bored with Weeds. I don't really care what any of them do anymore, besides Andy. Don't like the Mexican storyline.
    • Meanwhile, Nurse Jackie had a very strong second episode. Six-year-old tying a cherry stem in a knot with her tongue? Hilarious.
    • Letterman punked out. So disappointing, no matter how disingenuous the apology was.
    • Al Roker is one of the great guys in entertainment today. So down-to-earth. He asked a couple of legitimate questions of Douchebag and Mrs. Douchebag this morning on Today and they threw a fit. Can NBC please hire them as on-the-ground correspondents in Tehran?
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • Speaking of Iran and the potential revolution, you may have read some of the amazing stuff coming out of the students there. It's really shown the value of social networking tools like Twitter, because people are able to send short, uncensored bursts of information. Andrew Sullivan has been collecting a lot of these tweets and they are both fascinating and horrifying. Because of this, someone I follow (who lives as close to Tehran as I do) tweeted that Twitter finally means something and that everyone who tweets finally matters to the world. Let me put this as clearly as I can in fewer than 140 characters (30 to be exact): You didn't do a f***ing thing.
  • The Revolution Will Be Televised:
    • Everyone who uses YouTube to break a copyright or post the most inane garbage finally matters:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Phil X

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • The Lakers won the title. Whoopee-do.
    • I didn't watch the game, instead deciding to watch Wall Street on DVD. Apparently, there's going to be a sequel. I don't have high hopes; I only hope that Stone doesn't taint the first one.
    • As far as great monologues go, which is better: Michael Douglass' "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good" one from Wall Street or Jack Nicholson's "You want me on that wall! You need me on that wall!" from A Few Good Men?
    • Entourage returns middle of next month. Mad Men in the middle of August. I could never get into True Blood, but I know a lot of people are excited about its return tonight.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • Went down to the Holocaust Museum this afternoon to show solidarity and get a longer look at their temporary exhibit on Nazi propaganda. I suggest that anyone go down in the near future to support the institution and the people working there, but I also highly recommend the exhibit. It's beautifully put-together and the items they have are fascinating.
  • Another Reason Why I Love DC:
    • Is there another city you can think of that has as many pretty roads as the DC area? Forget just anything along the Mall, how about the GW Parkway, Canal Rd., Rock Creek Parkway, the 14th St. Bridge, or the Whitehurst?

Random Music Videos

Just got home at 2AM from a successful day of traipsing around Greenwich Village. I was going to use this is a jumping-off point for my essay on why I'm excited about the upcoming Real World: DC. But it's 2AM. 2? Ponderous, man, f***ing ponderous. So instead, enjoy these songs I heard on the radio on the drive:

Is this the tops when it comes to cheesy '80s songs?

This is a brand new song I heard and dug. Reminds me of Days of the New with a touch of White Stripes.

It's easy to forget how good some songs were from just a few years ago. This is one of those songs.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Return Of Burgess Meredith

So the Penguins won the Stanley Cup. Read about it, since I didn't watch one second of the Final (yes, they called it the "Final" instead of the "Finals"). Does anyone else think it's weird that Sidney Crosby lives in Mario Lemieux's house? Like, would you refer to Crosby as Super Mario's young ward? Like, does Mario have a bust of Bobby Orr somewhere that, when the head is pulled back, opens a bookcase so they can descend a pole into the Penguin Cave? It's fine, though. Crosby's first championship makes him just the next young superstar to hate, just like we hate Kobe and we hated Jeter.

In other news, tonight this blog makes the long-awaited switch from analog to digital. You might miss out if you aren't able to come along with us. I hope you picked up your converter box at Best Buy so that you could watch this, the greatest video you will ever see.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Late Night Babbles, Night Two

Part two of the audition for an as yet unidentified late night talk show slot.

  • Good evening, thanks for being here. I'd like to thank my studio announcer, Fluff from the PGA. Give it up for Fluff! He used to carry Tiger's bag before Tiger got married.
  • Speaking of bags... Did you see that Chastity Bono is going to get a sex change? After the operation, she'll be known as Chastity Boner. Okay, sorry, bad joke, I know. I'd redo it if I could turn back time.
  • Former NFL QB Ryan Leaf in the news. Leaf was arrested on drug charges. Peyton Manning was picked first in the lineup.
  • Miss California got fired by Donald Trump. She wasn't even on The Celebrity Apprentice. Yet. But, it's good for her. She'll have more time to visit all of those places that ex-beauty pageant contestants get to visit, like the Iraq and such as.
  • I was going to make a Sarah Palin joke there, but apparently Letterman has the monopoly on that. She's angry because she feels like he made a joke about her fourteen-year-old daughter getting knocked up. We've always known that Dave is ahead of his time, this time by about four years.
  • Thanks for joining us, we have a great show tonight. Stay tuned!


  • It's hard to believe that our guest tonight was able to join us. His basketball team has defied all expectations this year to make the NBA Finals. Even though he had a game to coach tonight, he was able to be here. Give it up for Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy!
  • Random Babbles: So happy you could make it. It's great to have you. Your guys are doing a heck of a job.
  • Stan Van Gundy: Happy to be here.
  • RB: You really have a team game going. I've seen a lot of great work down low and the outside shooting has been a revelation.
  • SVG: I've always been known for versatility. I really enjoy just getting down in there and hammering away. It's how we get things done in this business.
  • RB: Talk a little about juggling the ball-handling jobs between Alston and Nelson.
  • SVG: Usually I prefer someone else to do that job for me... But, Alston and Nelson, how did you know that's what I called them?
  • RB: Well, it's on the back of their jerseys.
  • SVG: What?
  • RB: Your point guards? Their basketball jerseys? You feeling okay, coach?
  • SVG: Coach?
  • RB: Coach Van Gundy? Are you alright?
  • SVG: Van Gundy? I'm Ron Jeremy. What are you talking about?
  • RB: Oh crap, I didn't recognize you from the waist up. We'll be right back, go to commercial!

Musical Guest:

  • Sorry about that, folks. I thought it was strange timing, but the producers assured me. Anyways, let's see if they can redeem themselves with the musical guest. Ladies and gentlemen, Lancelot Link and the Evolution Revolution!

I want to thank our guests tonight and, again, sorry about the mix-up. Peace!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Late Night Babbles

Note: With all of the late night talk show shuffling, there may be an opening somewhere. Here's my audition script.

  • What a night, everybody! You know who's having a great night? Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer -- it's his fiftieth birthday. Happy birthday to Mr. Spitzer. Fifty! They say the fiftieth is the 7-diamond anniversary.
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers have Super Bowl rings that weigh almost a quarter of a pound! That's four ounces to everyone except for Santonio Holmes, who asked for his to be weighed in kilos.
  • Chrysler was bought by Fiat, an Italian company. The Chrysler Building in Manhattan is about to become the biggest Olive Garden in the world.
  • Miley Cyrus broke up with her boyfriend. She's sixteen, he's twenty. He says it's okay, he'll get by, and that the baby from The Hangover is kind of cute.
  • Former Playmate and reality TV star Kendra Wilkinson is pregnant. Nobody knows if it's with her current fiancee or with her ex-boyfriend, Hef, but the sonogram clearly showed that the baby was wearing a smoking jacket.


  • Some of you may have seen the trailer for the new direct-to-DVD film Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus. We welcome one of the stars of the movie. Please give a big hand for Mega Shark!
  • Random Babbles: Welcome, Mr. Shark.
  • Mega Shark: I'd hardly say I was a star of the movie. Did you see how many scenes of mine were cut out?
  • RB: I did notice that the movie is very focused on character development, to the exclusion of the title characters.
  • MS: My friend Ockie -- Giant Octopus -- was distraught. What little I got was even more than him. There were very few scenes that we were in that were not in the trailer. But, I guess we sell. Nobody's paying to see a movie called Deborah Gibson Versus Lorenzo Lamas.
  • RB: I thought you guys were great. For the, what, two minutes you were in the movie out of ninety total, I was rooting for you the whole time. The death embrace that you and Giant Octopus ended up in was pretty compelling.
  • MS: What did you think of the rest of the movie? Did you notice how horrible the effects were? How bad the acting was? How, well, boring the whole thing was?
  • RB: To be honest, the trailer is much better than the actual film. Probably because it shows all of your best scenes. The athleticism you showed in leaping to take down that plane was quite remarkable. Kobe Bryant wishes he had hops like that.
  • MS: Thanks. I had a personal trainer for that -- guy who used to star at Sea World Tampa. Hopefully I can use what little the idiot director used of me and parlay it into a role in a better movie.
  • RB: Like Jaws 5?
  • MS: Did you see the fourth one? No matter how badly the director botched my movie, Jaws 4 is easily the worst shark movie ever. No, I'm in talks with Christopher Nolan over the next Batman film. We've yet to see any Bat-Shark Repellent in the new series.
  • RB: Well, good luck with that and thanks for joining us! Everybody, the movie is Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus, available on DVD now. But just watch the trailer. We'll be back with our musical guest.

Musical Guest:

  • Ladies and Gentlemen, Beaker and the Muppets!

Well, we've had a great show. I hope you'll join us tomorrow night!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mr. Deeds Goes To Town

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Crappy pop punk band AFI has covered "Head Like A Hole". If you're listening to the radio and you hear an opening that sounds sort of, but not quite, like the Nine Inch Nails classic, turn the station. Quickly.
    • We've all seen the trailers for the Glenn Beck live stand-up show simulcast in movie theaters. We've all been curious about what that show would actually be like and who would go to watch it. Former Daily Show writer Scott Jacobson, who I've become a fan of lately, wrote a good piece for Vanity Fair about Beck's show.
    • The word is that 2000 S St., NW will be the Real World: DC house. Either go down and see what's going on or stay as far away from Dupont as possible, depending on your mindset.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • This blog post from Ta-Nehisi Coates on the internal battle between being a conservative and being a liberal is as well-written and thought-provoking a post as you'll find. It makes the argument for why I'm a liberal -- even as change can lead to violent upheaval, we must continuously question the "norms" and work to overcome the institutional mistakes of the past.
  • A List Of One:
    • In honor of his come-from-behind win in the VA Democratic Gubernatorial primary, I was going to do a list of best people with the name Creigh (yes, I know it's his middle name). Turns out I could only find a model and a hill in Scotland, so had to scrap that. I feel like the primary came and went pretty quietly. True, I live on the other side of the river, but I get the Post and see the local news promos. I guess it does say a lot about where the center of Democratic politics in VA is when the Post's endorsement can change the race that drastically.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Kicking Some Tuchus

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Watched Defiance tonight, which is a pretty good movie and a remarkable story. I think I've danced around the fact before that I am really sick of the victim mentality regarding the Holocaust. This fills the Jews-kicking-ass quota. Maybe not as much as Munich, but it works.
    • Speaking of both Munich and Defiance, when did Daniel Craig become the go-to actor to play kick-ass Jews? Does he really look that Jewish?
    • Weeds is back and, while it hasn't been nearly as good since they left the suburbs, it's still a pretty funny show. Andy Botwin is still one of the best supporting characters on TV.
    • Nurse Jackie, Showtime's new show starring the always brilliant Edie Falco, is really, really good.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • I have to again recommend EA Sports Active if you are someone who has a Wii and enjoys the fitness/motion aspects of it. It's totally kicking my ass. Apparently, some form of "kick" and "ass" are my words of the day.
  • For You Sopranos fans:
    • Any Sopranos fan remembers that the inarguably greatest sexual tension moment in TV history was from the first season episode "College" (one of the best episodes in the run of the series), when Father Phil came over to the house while Tony was out of town and gave Carmela Communion. Father Phil was played by Paul Schulze, who plays a doctor that is having an affair with Edie Falco's character on Nurse Jackie. An oddly anti-climactic pay-off to that tension.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

And They Are Indisputable

These are the facts:
  • Thinking more about Marky Mark... Wasn't he basically the Aaron Carter/Jamie-Lynn Spears/Ashlee Simpson of the early '90s? He was only famous because his older sibling was in a boy band and a teen idol.
  • On a scale of one to ten, how much do you think the nation cares about the NBA Finals? 0.1? Lower? I guess more than the NHL Finals, but that's not saying much.
  • After going to a wedding today, I'm reminded once again. Is there any place on earth happier than the dance floor of a Jewish wedding during the horah?
  • There are more dead deer on the side of roads in the DC area than ever. You can't go three miles without seeing one. It's creepy.
  • Why does the Kobe puppet look like Ludacris? Have you ever heard Kobe talk the way that puppet talks? Why should I care about LeBron's rivalry with Ludacris?
  • River otters may secretly be the most awesome animal at any zoo. Sure, the lions and tigers are the coolest, but they just sit there most of the time (I did see a lion eating this morning and it was bad-ass). The otters, though, actually put on a show for you. They see where people are standing and they start doing awesome tricks right in front of their spectators. Staring at the people then shooting straight for the glass before pushing off and doing a back-flip, then repeating it a few times. Spend some time with them the next time you get a chance.
  • I've been to the National Zoo three times now in the last two months, including twice in the last week. I could go again next weekend, it's one of my favorite places in the world.

What They Won't Show You On MTV

A couple of random music videos:

This one's from The Roots and pokes fun at other rap videos. a

Remember Chingy? Didn't think so, but you'll remember this song.

Feel it.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

What Happens In Vegas

Went to see the much-awaited film The Hangover tonight. In my mind, there are three comedies that stand well above the rest: Animal House, Anchorman, and There's Something About Mary. Maybe Airplane! is in the discussion, too, though it doesn't really hold up because the gags get so old. The next tier probably begins with Old School. I can't expect any movie to get into that top tier, so the question was: Will The Hangover be as funny as Old School? A fitting question since it was directed by the same person, Todd Phillips.

The thing about Old School is that everyone has seen it a million times, so people quote it all the time. "Earmuffs." "You're my boy, Blue!" And so on. I think I'll have to see the new movie again (and again after that, probably) to see what good quotes there are and what holds up.

You see, though, I'll also have to see it again because I missed half of the dialogue because everyone else and I were laughing over it. The movie is very, very funny. It starts a little slow in the setup -- though it's funnier there than I was led to believe -- and the rest of the movie is non-stop. You've seen the great trailer, but all of the funniest parts aren't in it because they are way too dirty. I'm not going to give any jokes away, period, so you'll have to see it and you should, as soon as you can.

So is The Hangover as funny as Old School? Maybe. I'll say this, something you can't say about any other movie: The Hangover contains the funniest twenty to thirty seconds ever put on film. Ever. Again, I won't say what it is, but you will know immediately when you see it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Little QT

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • On the second season of Spaced, there's a running plot line about how bad Episode I was. It culminates in a great joke where Simon Pegg burns his Star Wars gear in a spoof of the final scene in Episode VI. In an argument over it, he comes out with the line, "Jar-Jar Binks makes the Ewoks look like f***ing Shaft." If that's not a great line, I don't know what is.
    • Lakers killing Magic. Ho-hum.
    • This has nothing to do with anything other than David Carradine's death, but I didn't particularly like Kill Bill: Vol. 2. Not Carradine's fault, he was good in it. It was just boring and the burying alive scene has been in other movies.
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • The man gives a great speech. It's great to hear how the president can walk the fine line between supporting the two-state solution and talking so strongly about Israel. It's nice to not feel like I'm smarter than my country's leader.
    • I'm not surprising anyone, but there are people who would openly say that Obama shouldn't talk to the Muslim world because "they" were the ones who attacked us on 9/11. I just can't get over that.
    • Although, I do hate the whites for when they bombed Oklahoma City.
  • Your List Sucks!: Top 5 Tarantino Movies
    • 5. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 -- The action was great, but I just couldn't get into this whole saga. I know other people like it more.
    • 4. Death Proof -- I really, really liked this tribute to stunt movies that made up the second half of Grindhouse. It's short, to the point, and gritty.
    • 3. Reservoir Dogs -- How many movies rip off this film? If it weren't for the fact that I dislike Michael Madsen as much as I do, this might be higher.
    • 2. Jackie Brown -- So underrated. The acting is superb, as are the Elmore Leonard plot and dialogue (with Tarantino's help).
    • 1. Pulp Fiction -- Obviously.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bush-stravaganza '09!

In honor of my current obsession with Stan Bush's "The Touch", I've devised a tournament to determine the best Bush-related person/place/thing in the world. I was going to seed it, but that would just have me putting the top seeds through, so I randomized the order. Here we go!

1st Round Match-ups:

  • Reggie Bush vs. Bush (the band): Reggie Bush is an overrated football player who's sleeping with a girl who's famous for having a big ass and a sex tape. The band Bush is an overrated rock band whose lead singer is now famous for being married to a much more talented performer ("Hollaback Girl" notwithstanding). Reggie can make your head spin with his speed. Bush can make your head spin with its whiny lyrics. The Key Stat: "Machinehead" is a pretty good song. Reggie Bush has done nothing but kill fantasy teams (unless you're in a points-per-reception league). The Winner: Bush (the band)

  • George W. Bush vs. the Bush Baby: Pros for Bush 43: He's not in office anymore. Cons for Bush 43: Right, so... Pros for Bush Baby: It's really cute and it was involved in one of the great jokes in American Idol history. Cons for Bush Baby: It's called a Galago, which is one letter off from being Galaga. If it was called a Galaga, it would be an unstoppable force for awesomeness. As it is, it's going up against George W. Bush. The Winner: Bush Baby

  • "The Bush" (in Australia) vs. George H. W. Bush: You can go walkabout in the Bush. You might get arrested for going walkabout in Bush 41. The Winner: "The Bush"

  • Stan Bush vs. The Bushwhackers: Not only did Stan Bush do the music for the original cartoon Transformers: The Movie, he also did some music for Bloodsport! Not the chase scene, unfortunately. That might make him unstoppable. But dude...

    In an upset, The Winner: The Bushwhackers!

2nd Round Match-ups:

  • "The Bush" vs. Bush (the band): Has Gavin Rossdale ever walked on people's heads to grab a train? No? The Winner: "The Bush"

  • Bush Baby vs. The Bushwhackers: The Bushwhackers' walk is awesome, but the animal will stare them down. There's no match for those creepy eyes. The Winner: Bush Baby


  • Bush Baby vs. "The Bush": It's kind of hard to go wrong here. It might come down to a question of whether or not you can subdue a Bush Baby with some sort of weird finger-and-head-tilting thing. But it might also come down to a question of whether you've seen the unwatchable Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles. The Grand Champion: Bush Baby! Er, Bush Baby! No, Bush Baby!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Alex P. Keaton is rolling in his grave

I have heard a number of plausable theories as to what happened to the missing Air France plane ranging from lightning strikes to a flock of birds to interference from a drug airplane. However, I think it is pretty obvious what happened to the flight. The passengers from Air France 447 are currently on an island searching for the Others and avoiding swarm monsters and polar bears. The plane went down due to a system failure from the electromagnetic field at the swan station. Apparently someone didn't put in the 6 numbers every few minutes like the Dharma Initiative computer had demanded. Brazilian rescuers won’t find the plane because the island onto which the plane crashed has mysteriously vanished and moved to a different time and place. All the passengers are doing just fine (as long as you consider living in 1979 fine). We will be able to find out how they are doing next Wednesday night at 9PM. This is a situation where life imitates art instead of art imitating life. I can't believe no one else has picked up on this theory.

The summer TV schedule really stinks. There is just nothing on. Flipping through 250 channels, I can’t even find one show that mildly piques my curiosity. Thankfully, I still have 25 episodes of Amanda Bynes’ What I Like About You on my DVR. Yes, you read that right.

Speaking of TV shows that are not on the air anymore, I was in Listrani's last week, a small Italian Restaurant in Arlington. Performing a stand up routine later that night was Marc Price who played Irwin "Skippy" Handelman on Family Ties. How far has your career fallen when you go from playing a sidekick on a very popular sitcom to doing standup at a 10 table italian restaurant on a Wednesday night?

I can’t believe that I graduated from high school 15 years ago this week. I feel really old.

Free food alert!!
1) Friday is National Donut Day. I know Dunkin Donuts is giving away Donuts on Friday with the purchase of a beverage and I read Krispy Kreme may also be giving out free donuts. Mmmm...donuts
2) Friendly’s is giving away free ice cream Saturday afternoon until 5.

Am I the last person in the world to get the hidden message in Britney Spears’ new song “If You Seek Amy”? I don't know how I missed it.

The situation with GM is a bit of a catch 22. They are going out of business because everyone thinks they can’t sell any cars and they can’t sell any cars because everyone thinks they are going to go out of business. IMHO, the automaker’s lobbyists charged a large fee to protect the Big 3’s low mileage standards. If GM or Ford had put that money into researching how to improve their mileage capacity instead of fighting to keep the status quo, we might not be in this mess.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Gonna Make It Right, Tonight, Tonight, Tonight

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Finally began watching the second season of Mad Men. The show is insanely good, as if I have to say so. The Sopranos is the only other show I can think of that is as delightfully slow and dripping with nuance.
    • The final three episodes of Pushing Daisies began airing last Saturday. It's a shame.
    • No chance I'll ever watch Fallon and I don't want to even think about he stupid 10P.M. Leno show, but I will definitely watch Conan in his new time slot. I DVRed tonight's premiere, but I'm watching the opening bit right now. He's awesome. And Andy Richter back as the announcer? Can we pretend the Leno era never happened?
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • How many people know that the Canadian government now owns twelve percent of GM? I'm not going to listen to or search for any commentary by O'Reilly or Beck or any of those nutjobs, but I'm wondering if they're railing about that the same way as if it had been the Mexican government.
    • I thought this was a thought-provoking post by Coates at the Atlantic. Easy to argue against, but thought-provoking.
  • Monster Matchup: Jay Leno vs. Dave Letterman
    • Okay, I'm just kidding. Leno sucks.