A List that Doesn't Pat Itself on the Back

I'm usually not a fan of lists that you find in entertainment magazines or on TV -- "Top ____ Of All Time" type stuff that is more of a commercial than an actual examination of a particular topic. Not only do these lists extol only virtues in order to sell a CD (thanks Rolling Stone Magazine) or a DVD (thanks CBS and the AFI), but they also waste valuable space. They are an example of an obvious lack of motivation or energy on the producers' part to fill that space with something relevant. Here's the scene I see:

INT - The offices of a generic entertainment magazine

We need to come up with a cover idea for the December issue. Ideas anyone?

How about a left-leaning expose of everything that we deem is wrong in America? We haven't covered it nearly enough during the Bush administration and should have something left in the tank.

No way -- too tired from complaining.

How about a Top 500 list? Let's poll everyone in the office for their opinion, throw in some trivia and come up with 50 pages of fluff?

Let's sell the remaining space in the magazine to advertisers who can prey on the weak-wills of our readers during the holiday season by combining our content with adspace into one confusing jumble!

Hooray! We've whored again!

The above is just what happens in my head, I'm sure in real life things are different -- there might be three writers.

Anyway, I came across one of the few lists that is both fun and relevant. Film Threat is website dedicated to independent film, but still keeps its eye on mainstream Hollywood. They annually put out the Frigid 50 list that ranks people just by how not "hot'' they are -- like a reverse Hot 50 or Power 50. No, it's not a perfect list by any means -- while Ben Affleck is still a mainstay, some of the names on there were more like brief blips in their frigidity over the last year. Mostly it's just people who you wish would get over themselves... or be ignored by the media... or die. Don't forget to check out the "Extra Cold" featurette that summarizes some organizations and trends, rather than people.


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See the Incredibles or Die

Yes, it's been almost two weeks since it came out, but I spend much of my day reading about the sorry state of studio the studio film system and The Incredibles is one of those rare occasions where the goods are delivered.

Imagine back to your Saturday mornings, tuning in to your favorite serial cartoon that was like world unto its own -- something you felt that only you could understand completely. Now imagine that cartoon being blown up into a full-scale movie with all your favorite elements there. This is the Incredibles.

The movie is near perfect from start to finish and I dare you to say you were at all bored while watching.

Brad Bird is a genius and Pixar is where geniuses work. If you haven't seen the Incredibles yet, first go to your video store and rent The Iron Giant (or borrow it from me). Then, a day or two after that work of art has sat in your brain, making you dream of fantastic feelings from your imagination, go see the Incredibles.

It' s pretty amazing how live-action movies with budgets of hundreds of millions of dollars (with probably a third of that budget going to the live talent) fail to capture whatever the director is striving for when putting the screenwriter's words on film. It's also pretty amazing, but oh so simple that an animated film can accomplish all this and speak to pretty much anybody older than the age of 4.

You can sneer and say it's just a dumb cartoon for kids, but then again, you can be a real dick too.


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I'm Allergic to Apples

By constantly forcing my net income to reach break-even levels, I've had to make certain sacrifices in my day-to-day and week-to-week life. I don't drink as much or go out as much on weekends anymore for one thing, and I bring my lunch to work at least a few days a week. Big mistake.

I'm hungry every minute that doesn't fall between 12:30 and 12:37, which is the period of time it takes to eat a meager sandwich and a little "baggie" full of chips -- downed with water. I'd bring fruit, but the only fruit that doesn't require refridgerator maintenance is the apple.

I'm allergic to apples. Isn't hasn't always been this way, but over the last 5 or 6 years of my life, eating raw apples has resulted in some unpleasant symptoms involving my the internal pathways in my head.

So what fruit did my student worker leave on her desk today? I rationalized taking her apple because I think I could afford buying her a Grannie Smith for the next time she comes in. But, oh, the caution that's lost when hunger is involved! Be damned allergies, I'm hungry! Instead of giving her the 79 cents for a new apple, I should forward her the bill to my funeral. That deadly little ball has made my afternoon hell. Have you ever wanted to scratch your teeth? Not the gums, but the actual bone of your teeth? I'm sure more would have caused my throat to collapse. At least I would get the day off tomorrow and forever more.

That leads me into part two of today's rant. I can't decide how I want to be memorialized when I die. Right now it's between burial and cremation -- yes, standard stuff, but so infinitely complicated if you're looking to rise from the dead.

Burial: First off, I would have an extremely ornate headstone (possibly rotating styles) or maybe one of those creepy houses. No doubt you at least know the premise of Night of the Living Dead or perhaps even Return of the Living Dead. I could definitely handle some weird phenomena or maybe acid rain to reanimate my body. I, being of strong will, would naturally be able to control myself as a zombie and re-enter society in the 22nd century. Maybe even be king of all zombies, with that creepy house as my castle. Note: this will not work if I am buried at sea. I'm shooting for king of zombies, not fish.

Cremation: I don't really understand people who want to be cremated. I suppose once you're dead, you're dead and that's that, but I would prefer a casket, just so I could be paraded up and down the street (casket upright and open) on the back of a flatbed truck and followed by my friends and family. There would be balloons and possibly a rock band involved. But this isn't about "what if's"; it's about "what could be's". There's been some news about having your ashes put into a lipstick-sized container and shot into space. After ten years, the container holding your ashes and the ashes of some others will fall out of Earth's orbit and burn into the atmosphere. I'm down with that. Star Trek creator Gene Rodenberry did it and so did Jerry Garcia. If I do it, however, I'd be gunning for solar and/or cosmic rays to affect the DNA inside my lipstick case and turn me into some sort of space being capable of destroying worlds. I would spare the Earth, but never forget those who betrayed me... Whoops, wrong plot.

So, as you can see, dilemmas still exist beyond the grave, but there are solutions. I don't want to be near any apples when I wake up, though.


Anonymous Anonymous complained...


I finally found your blog. It's wasn't at www.angrybostonian.com, like you said! Liar.

And, apparently, you're doing well for yourself. You're ranked #3 here:

Keep posting!

One Love,

11/17/2004 11:35 AM
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Democrats: Get over it. I am.

You know that MasterCard commercial that was on during the playoffs? The one where Sox fans say what they would give for a World Series win? No one answered "I'd like for everything else from Massachusetts lose", but that looks like the case. Since the Red Sox last won the World Series, the Patriots, Celtics and John Kerry have all lost. The Bruins decided not to even bother playing. Maybe they're the smartest.

It's unfortunate that the majority of the country don't give much weight to the Bush administration's mishandling of Iraq, pre-9/11 intelligence, and the economy, among other things, but he did win fair and square and it just goes to show where the majority sentiment is. If you feel that a four million vote difference does not give him a mandate, just look to the shift in power in both the Senate and House of Representatives, where the net gains for Republicans were +4 and +1 respectively. Maybe John Kerry wasn't the only Democrat who had a problem with his message.

Now here's a lesson Democrats should avoid taking out of the Red Sox Fans' Handbook: bitch and moan about every little thing until it becomes a mindset. It took the Red Sox 86 years to get the job done and I doubt Democrats want to wait that long to set things right in this country. Luckily, politics is different enough from Red Sox baseball that changes can be made more quickly.

Let's all follow John Kerry's extremely graceful concession of defeat and plan to unify (not only as a party, but with citizens across the country) to return America back to its glory before it simultaneously became the world's laughingstock and big bully. America was built on hardship and by those who made the most out of what they had, even if it wasn't a lot. Let's turn the focus away from the hate and disgust that has enveloped the country since the months following 9/11. Let's work with what we got. If you don't like it, then move to Canada.


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