Friday, September 23, 2011

Stuff I Can't Put On My FB Page #1: Black on Apples and Ablow

From last night's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart comes this expertly enraged commentary by Lewis Black...

Till Death Row Do Us Part...

GeoX hated it, but I've always loved this episode of DuckTales, even if it doesn't hold up to logical scrutiny. It's just dumb, farcical fun.

I seem to recall Joe T. saying he enjoyed this ep, too, but adding that Chris B. did not. Or maybe it was vicey versey. Obviously, I'm trying to solicit comments from these guys. ;-)

Oh! Don't miss the conversation in the YouTube comments with the guy who wishes he could be Ma Beagle's Boy Toy. Hmmmm...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pete on Pop #3: Days of Wine and Bunnies

Over at Salon last week, Rhonda Talbot related this story about her mother who spent three months working as a bunny at one of Hef's Playboy Clubs and how NBC's ads for its new series, The Playboy Club, bring back not entirely pleasant memories of her childhood.

Here's the trailer for NBC's newest far-flung effort at high ratings, The Playboy Club. It premiered this past Monday, Sept. 19...

NBC is hoping this will be its Mad Men, just as ABC is hoping this series, premiering on Sunday, Sept. 25, will be its Mad Men...

Strange how they want to capitalize on Mad Men, a series that garners a miniscule audience compared to your average network show. Unfortunately, based on the trailers, both of which have the same elements in common (sexy women, suave men, and Sinatra), these series are idealizing the 60s. Also based on these trailers, it appears that once Playboy and Pan have thoroughly idealized their subjects, they then dip deep into the well of melodramatic cliches in order to produce some dramatic tension.

Mad Men doesn't use either of these approaches in its storytelling, which is why Mad Men is a superior production to just about anything on TV these days.

Like any good drama, Mad Men paints its subjects with a multi-colored brush, not just a rose-colored one. It uses the sixties as a metaphor for the characters' lives. The clothes, the style, the suavity are all a facade, a mask behind which the characters attempt to hide who they really are so they can maintain the socially acceptable appearance of their lives, the pristine American image that was perfected in the fifties. There are some modern commentators who see the fifties as The Real America. In many ways, though, the fifties was the Great White American Lie. (Yes, there is an intended double meaning for "white.")

Just as the sixties shattered the establishment facade and unveiled the Great White American Lie, so do the sixties shatter these characters' lives as they confront the truth of who they are, even as the acceptable society around them crumbles.

Mad Men's writers deal with this in understated ways, a proper reflection of the quietude of the fifties. Eschewing melodrama, this approach is not only more literary, but it is also more emotionally and intellectually engaging for the viewer.

Neither Playboy nor Pan seems to aspire to this level of nuance. It's much easier to drench an hour in sensationalism and sex than in honest character exploration.

Based on The Playboy Club's disappointing numbers from Monday, I'm willing to bet the house that one or both of these series won't be around to celebrate their first Christmas.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

That Ol' Daffy Magic Part III

I had to make this a back-to-back trilogy of posts since, y'know, it's fantasy and stuff. :-)

Finally, the full version of this epic "Merrie-Melodies" segment from last night's The Looney Tunes Show...

The Looney Tunes Show Wiki is saying that the inspiration for this music video came from the episode "The Jailbird and the Jailbunny" in which Daffy made this self-discovery...

And here' s a longer, but poorer quality version of the same scene...

Over in the Comic Book Resources forum, someone speculated as to how Daffy The Wizard would fare against Donald Duck The Court Wizard from Disney's own anime mash-up, Kingdom Hearts.

I dunno. Wouldn't be the first time they duked it out...

By the by, "The Wizard" is available for purchase on iTunes.

That Ol' Daffy Magic Part II

Here's a mirror image (albeit a full version) of the Merrie Melodies short, "Daffy Duck The Wizard" from last night's The Looney Tunes Show.

That Ol' Daffy Magic Part I

So on last night's The Looney Tunes Show on Cartoon Network, Daffy Duck assumed his grandest role...that of The Wizard!

Sorry that's only a portion. I'll post the whole thing once it's online. BTW-I should say the video and the screen shot are courtesy of ToonBarn.

Right now, there's a thread over in the Comic Book Resources' forum where a few fans want this newest role for Daffy to become something bigger.

I'll say this for Looney Tunes. I'm enjoying it more now than I did when it first premiered.

Maybe it just needed a little of that old black magic. ;-)

Punditry Amuck #1: Splutters of the Past

If you follow politics at'all, then you know that there's this deal with Rick Perry calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme, something the other GOP candidates probably think, but are too afraid to say...

Oh, that's with the exception of Jon Huntsman, who is the lone Democrat in the Republican primary race, and Mitt Romney, who is identity morphing again and for the zillionth time in his career. However, in this current morph, Mitt is desperately trying to become 2008 McCain.

Back to Perry and his SocialSecurityPonziScheme spate. One has to ask...who could possibly have inspired Rick Perry to say something so evil and awful and dastardly and repulsive and...well...flat-out bad????!!! Who, I ask you...who?????!!!! Who is the Darth Vader behind the Stout Texan?

Easy, O Thou Grand, Glorious, Guileless Guardian of Long-Failed and Currently Bankrupted Progressive Policies...

...Chris Matthews...pre-Obama...from 2007!

And the Spluttering One, our Chris Boy, he who utters a dozen words for every one word, he who sticks both feet in his mouth on a nightly basis while getting thrills up his legs, continues to agree with this concept...current-Obama...from 2011!

But that's not all, O Thou Progressive Guardian Who Loves Old People and Poor People, But Not Young People. The Stout Texan may have also had another Darth-Vader muse...

...Paul Krugman...

Yes! *That* Paul Krugman. The Repugnant One. He of the "Years of Shame" 911 blog posting. He who made Donald Rumsfeld cancel his New York Times subscription long after he and the rest of America had stopped reading it.

Yes. *that.* *paul.* *krugman.*

*...* this brainy, intellectual bore of a column...from...friggin' 1996!!! That's pre-Obama!! Pre-Dubya!! Yes! It's Then-Clinton, Lewinsky and all!!!

What's that you say? You don't want to read a Paul-Krugman column? Reading his columns makes your eyes glassier than the drunk Ron-Paul supporter's eyes in the previous post? Reading his columns makes you feel like you're listening to that dry, droning college professor whose vocal tones were born flat and have only grown flatter with tenure?

Okay. Okay. I'll quote the relevant portion for you...

"I like (Richard) Freeman's idea of providing each individual with a trust fund when young rather than retirement benefits when old, but we had better realize that this is a significant change in the character of the social insurance system. Social Security is structured from the point of view of the recipients as if it were an ordinary retirement plan: what you get out depends on what you put in. So it does not look like a redistributionist scheme. In practice it has turned out to be strongly redistributionist, but only because of its Ponzi game aspect, in which each generation takes more out than it put in. Well, the Ponzi game will soon be over, thanks to changing demographics, so that the typical recipient henceforth will get only about as much as he or she put in (and today's young may well get less than they put in).

"Freeman's scheme, however, will necessarily be frankly redistributionist, because the trust fund you receive when young cannot be based on what you will actually pay into the system over the rest of your life. Presumably the size of the trust fund will be the same for everyone-which means that some people will receive much more than the present value of the trust-fund taxes they pay over the rest of their lives, others much less. Now I don't have any problem with that kind of redistribution, but I think we had better realize that it will face intense opposition, that its 'capitalistic' aspects will probably not buy off many of the critics."

Okay. You can wake up now. Class is over. We all graduated with honors in elitist musings.

Actually, that second paragraph really wasn't important. More PKrug drivel and included for context. I boldened the pertinent drivel in which PKrug admitted Social Security had a Ponzi-game element to it.

Just like Rick Perry, our Stout Texan.

So...what conclusions do we draw from this, O Thou Exemplar Progressive?


The Stout Texan draws his gamest statements from the best progressives punditry has to offer.

Candidate Down #2: Jack Daniels 2012

So didja hear the one about the drunk Ron Paul supporter?

There you have it. Ron Paul supporters are drunk with Jack Daniels, while Rick Santorum supporters are drunk with self-righteousness.

Gimme Dr. Jack any day...

Sidethought: I love the ultra-creepy, sinister, voyeuristic narrator voice for this show. At no one point does his voice seem in sync with the on-screen antics. That voice seems more suited for Unsolved Mysteries than Frontier Force.

Imagine, though, for your mental pleasure, if he narrated Keeping Up With the Kardashians...

Musical Menagerie #4: It's 1 a.m., and I'm Restless...

No wonder I struggle to have a steady sleep schedule. My inner-person clock is all over the place. Last night, it was exhaustion at 10, and tonight it's restlessness at 1.

An appropriate song for the screwed-up sleep cycle...

Favorite lyrics...

Restless sleep, twisted dreams
Moving targets, silent screams
Restless city, restless street
Restless you, restless me

I'm a face at the window
I'm a black satin sheet
And I can't stay warm
I stay out in the street

And my second-favorite set of lyrics...

I'm a hair-trigger lover
And I can't face up to nothing
I'm impatient with the wind
But I'm waitin' here for somethin'

So, yeah...pretty much the whole song.

Incidentally, Carl Perkins also had a song titled Restless.

That works, too.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Stash of Silvani

Apparently, James Silvani has his own Tumblr page that features assorted sketches of his. It's worth a peek.

He seems to have a "thing" for Jessica Rabbit.

He ain't the only one...

And what's Silvani's caption for that pic at the top? "I'm not bad, I'm just reborn that way."


In case you don't get the reference...

Duck Crossed

I am in love with the above James-Silvani cover for the upcoming Darkwing Duck/DuckTales crossover. It is currently serving as my Desktop background and my Facebook profile pic.

The only thing that is marring this crossover is BoomkaBoom!'s overall bungling of the DuckTales title...and the fact that Warren Spector is co-writing the crossover. But I'm taking a universalist stance on this one and holding out hope for across-the-board redemption for all parties involved with this event.

Incidentally, did you know that there was a previous, but less explosive crossover between the Darkwing/DuckTales worlds?

From Comic Vine...

I love that last panel with GizmoDuck and Fenton pictured. Apparently, Gosalyn had taken the Gizmo suit even then.

Building the Freelance Muscle

So, work has slowed down considerably over the last two weeks, especially when compared to the boffo month of August. For as long as I can remember, I have been an independent/freelance worker/laborer to some degree or another. You would think I'd be used to the slowdowns and pick-ups that come with being *that* kind of a worker.

I recently listened to an archived edition of the phenomenal Internet radio show, Stu's Show, from July 30, 2008. This is a rather infamous episode in Stu's Show lore, for it was on this edition that legendary character actor William Schallert embraced 'net freedom wholeheartedly and dropped the "f-bomb" some 15 or so times.

The part that stood out to me the most about the interview, though, was when Schallert discussed his "freelance muscle," the kind of bicep you build when having to sing for your supper with no guarantee of future food. He should have added something about "freelance nerves," too, because weeks like this one really flex that muscle and rack those nerves.

Oh, and speaking of flexed muscles, I'm also learning about exercise-related injuries this week. My normally vigorous P-90X/Insanity routine has been disrupted thanks to some lower-back issues. When I asked on Facebook, "Is it a by-product of almost being 30 that I am now carrying a heating pad to the nearest bed and chugging Ibuprofen because my back hurts?," it didn't help when a "friend" replied, "No, it's a by-product of not exercising and eating right."

Seriously, dude, thanks for that...