Thursday, February 26, 2009

(purloined from Riotclitshave)

This reminds me that Sean's in Japan right now, so I'm expecting some pictures from him sooner than later. I already got a great one the other day.

Oh, I forgot to mention this earlier...

If you like the Best Show (or at least thing you might) but don't have the patience to listen to the full 3 hours every week, you know have.... GEMS.

I haven't listened to it yet, but I'm assuming that it's incredible. Of course, now I have another hour and a half per month to listen to on top of the 8 to 12 I already get, so everybody wins!

A Pat on the Head

1. And the Trouble With Me Is You - Linda Flavell
2. Right On" - Cougars
3. "Song of Most" - Rian Murphy & Will Oldham
4. earlier
5. "Little Ashtray in the Sun" - Cotton Jones
6. "Be So Happy" - Heartless Bastards
7. "Sorry 'Bout the Boat Race" - Hank IV
8. "Leave My Kitten Alone" - Little Willie John
9. bleh
10. "In the Jungle (Instrumental)" - The Hygrades
11. "Lying" - Martina Topley-Bird
12. "Which Way to Go" - Eddy Current Suppression Ring
13. "When They Come to Murder Me" - Black Francis
14. "Descent Into Hell" - Volcano Suns
15. "Can't Say No" - Thomas Function
16. "Rigor Mortis" - Wussy
17. "Ghosting" - Mother Mother
18. 1607


A shorter mix than I usually make, and largely comprised of tinny rock music (I actually removed 2 hip hop songs because they sounded so off to me after setting up a track listing). Anyway, I actually said about 5 hours ago that I was too tired to think straight. Now I really mean it. If there are any problems with it let me know and I'll fix it in the morning.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Why not browse through some of the crap Michael Jackson is being forced to auction off.

By crap, of course, I mean stuff that I would willingly sacrifice up to six toes for, but won't on account of them possibly being used to seduce children.

Still, there's some cool stuff. Not enough to seduce me with, but...
Anyone who's been on Columbus in the last ten years has noticed the SS United States. You know, the giant rusty tub of a cruise ship that's been docked on the Delaware since 1996. Anyway, there's been a lot of controversy over whether or not to rebuild this trip, since it still holds speed records (!) and was apparently some pretty hot shit in the early 50s.

The most fascinating thing about this to me is that this thing was moved as recently as 1996. I know that rust doesn't really affect whether or not a ship is seaworthy, but I actually shudder when I drive past it. I think at this point we should all accept that nobody's going to restore it and plan one of the following course of action:

Set it loose.

That's right. Just untie the fucker and give it a nudge out to sea. Let it roam the high seas as a ghost ship. Just like that movie Ghost Ship, only without Gabriel Byrne and you know, scary. I know what you're thinking:
"Cotton, that's completely wreckless and irresponsible. This ship could do untold damage if not properly maintained or disposed of. the shipping industry is too large and important to jeopardize with a massive rusty missile being pushed around the Atlantic".

Killjoy. You know what else you probably hate? Bumper Cars.

Fine then, we'll have to launch it into space. Who's gonna pay for that, huh?

Anyway, SS United States is a great google image search, and you can get a shockingly large view of it from above on maps. So yeah, there's that.

Fat Tuesday

So I guess it's Fat Tuesday?

I can't remember ever celebrating anything on Fat Tuesday, but I remember getting caught on South by accident about ten years ago when there were all those fights and some 750 arrests. It was one of the most depressing things I've ever seen. I think we ended up at the continental later that night, drinking $14 martinis.

Anyway, check out this silent clip of the 1941 Parade of Nor:

Nary a pervy wasted frat dude with a camera in sight. Classy.

Anyway, stay out of trouble, people.

stolen shamelessly from BoingBoing

Rare cheetah photographed

The Saharan cheetah. I can't help but think feeding them might help.

also, you see that link on the top right? VENOMOUS MAMMAL!!!!

I'm gonna be kinda sparse today, but I'm putting the caps on a mix right now that should be ready by the time I go to bed tonight (and hopefully not at 4 like every other night this week).

Seriously, though. That Sixers game last night...brutal.

Monday, February 23, 2009


The Harlem Globetrotters are playing a game on the ROOF of the Spectrum?

This sounds like the most interesting recipe for disaster EVER. How will people even know it's happening? I wonder if I can sneak onto the roof of the big house and watch it from there. Either way, I'm not missing it.

Also from PWD, another middle finger found its way to the Daily News.

PNL files for bankruptcy

PNL is the publisher of both the Daily News and the Inquirer, so Philadelphians are suddenly faced with the prospect of losing their 2 largest newspapers.

(Al Día is fine, people)

Anyway, Will Bunch writes about being on the inside of it here.

If you live in the area, people, buy a paper.
Still not quite sure what to make of this one.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dear Scientists,
How come I still know who Dennis Rodman is? Is it possible for me to just remember him as a Piston in his early days? I'd really appreciate it.

holy shit, it's much harder to find a picture of the old DR than I thought. I honestly think he might have gone out and bought up any old pictures of him, thus increasing his mystique and the lengths to which I will go to try to sound interesting. I'm trying to remember the story about that guy who went around destroying all of the old pictures of himself, but I might just be thinking of Beckett's A Piece of Monologue. Anyone?
Last night around dusk, right after I got home, I saw a red fox skipping across the lawn. His* rear half was practically hairless, and he looked pretty scrawny. I also noticed that he was limping, his left hind paw never even touching the ground.
There are fewer things on this planet that can evoke my pity more than an injured animal. I have stepped over one-legged homeless people, but you show me a cat in a cone and I will hug that thing to death like we were in a damned Warner Brothers cartoon. Also, for some reason I always thought a red fox was rare/lucky to see. This undoubtely comes from my family, who also let me to believe the same of black squirrels and the great blue heron, though since then I've discovered that none of these are rare or all that lucky. I mean come on, who thinks a squirrel is lucky? What is this, Taiwan? Anyway, I digress. Seeing this little guy, hurt and ragged and freezing, I sorta freaked out and immediately I decided that I was gonna give this him a helping hand.
Now, mother nature can be a cruel mistress, and I knew that involving myself in any way, shape or form would likely exacerbate his predicament. I looked at that wretched creature and decided that I had to do something -anything- to give the little guy an advantage over the frozen tomb in which he now seemed doomed to rest for eternity. But there lay the question: What could I do?
It should be pointed out that a three legged red fox still runs faster than a two-legged Cotton. At best, he'd slow down enough to keep me in sight, but would never let me close enough to pose a thread. Since I couldn't bandage him or knit him a little fox cozy, I realized I had to feed him. Of course, I have no idea what foxes eat (though I'm guessing it's some kind of varmint?) and no time to sit around googling fox diets.
So, a few seconds later, I'm literally chasing this poor bastard through the woods, a half-pound of sliced turkey in one hand, and slices of tomato in the other, shouting at it to slow down. He never did. So I left him a trail of meat and tomato leading him away from the spots where I always see evidence of hunters (ATV tracks, treestands, arrows, etc...) and towards the nice little statue of St. Francis of Assisi** in the yard. That way he'd just KNOW he was safe!
Well, the next day the trail was entirely gone, which means that at the very least, SOMETHING got fed. I like to think it was the little fox, knowing I was just trying to give him a boost. Of course, it wasn't until I got back to the house that I realized that he probably found the trail at the statue (where I'd first seen him yesterday) and followed it right to hunter alley. Yeah.
So yeah, I'm not going to dwell on how much worse I might've made things for the little guy. Instead, I'm going to make myself a turkey sandwich and try to forget about it.

*Listen, I have no idea the sex of this animal, but I just went with male. My apologies if I'm wrong.
**I don't know enough about saints, specifically their feast days, but wouldn't his have to be all vegetarian? It would certainly make sense....

(Please note that I resisted the tempation to post a picture of Redd Foxx with this post, though every time I image search for him, I'm reminded of 200 awesome photos)

Suspects arrested in Coatesville arsons case

Surprisingly, it was a teenager that likes to burn things. If this is the guy, throw away the key.
Did you know that a woman was beheaded in Buffalo last week? Neither did I. Terrible, terrible.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New Look, Same Old Crap

Yeah, I tried to switch things up a little, but I hate the idea already. Which means I'll get around to changing it in a few months.
Jim DeRogatis on the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger.

I tend to hate his writing, but he's always been a smart guy and I don't think any of us agrees with this merger.

If at all possible, don't give these fuckers a dime in 2009. And watch for the name change.
On December 12, 1998, I got to watch one of the best games of basketball I'd ever had the chance to see. The no. 1 ranked, undefeated UConn Huskies were visiting Pitt at the old Fitzgerald field House in North Oakland. Pitt was ranked 20, and we were really starting to get used to our game. We were a program with little respect on a national level, and our fans, new to the concept of having a decent team, were ruthless*. That we were playing Big East rivals only intensified things.

It was a hard-fought game, and as the second half wound down, we were still on top, having put the defensive stops on both star Richard Hamilton and rising PG Khalid El-Amin. There were nine seconds left, and we enjoyed a four point lead over the best ranked team in the country. Now, there are a few things I should clarify here. First, that El-Amin was more... rotund than your typical point guard and second, that the Fitzgerald Field House was roughly the size of a high school gym. It was an old and creaky building and everyone knew that in order to ever be taken seriously, Pitt would need a new home court.

Which isn't to say that we didn't take advantage of the accoustics of the small building. During game play, the slightest utterance from anyone in the stands could be heard quite clearly on the court. It was as opportune an environment a heckler has ever seen. Not only could you personally heckle opposing players, but you could probably get your commentary picked up by the national press who happened to be filming that game.

I've been to playoff games for the Eagles, Sixers, Phillies, and Big 5. I've seen championships won and lost, and I've been used to obnoxious crowds for most of my life. I say this in no way to brag, or make myself sound like a bigger sports fan than I am, but to give you some perspective that the crowd attending that game was the most verbally abusive I have ever heard. Maybe it was because the players could hear everyone. Maybe it was because the Pitt student body had a bunch of dicks in it. I can only say it got bad.

Of course, it would get worse. Because in the last 9 seconds of that night, I watched what seemed like a rock solid lead just dissolve, starting with the worst inbounds pass I have ever seen. Luck was turned over completely, and at the game's final buzzer, we'd somehow blown the best chance I'd ever see of us knocking off a number 1 ranked team. El-Amin, instrumental in the win, jumped on top of the scoring table and taunted the crowd who responded with a barrage of soft drinks and profanity. It was a queasy moment for me, and it took me years to recover the confidence in our program lost in that game.

I never forgot that night. As depressing as it was, it also taught me that the game's never over. That night -and Reggie Miller- have encouraged me never to give up while there was even a little time left. Even if both of those instances resulted in my team losing, I knew that the favor could be repaid one day.

Last night, ten years and some change after that night, Pitt got back by defeating the No. 1 ranked UConn at their home stadium, the first time in history they've beaten the top team. It was a long time coming, and I'm just happy I got to watch it, especially after seeing that Pitt/'Nova game earlier this year.

So keep it up, guys, and don't get cocky. I want a second win on March 7.

*In retrospect, I should've been comparing Pitt fans to Philly fans a long, long time ago.
Two nuclear subs collided un the Atlantic this month and they didn't even realize it.

I don't like the looks of this one bit

Monday, February 16, 2009

Incidentally, the reason I haven't made any mixes in awhile is because despite jailbreaking it, I still haven't figured to get music from my ipod to the computer*. So it'll be a little while, but I've got some I'm listening to, and I'll try to piece something together sooner than later.

*If this is something you understand, any help would be appreciated.
If you've never had the chance to read Watchmen, or want to give it a runthrough before the movie comes out, you can watch the entire motion comic here . Though my bandwidth here prevents me from watching any of it, I've seen the first few and I know they're the actual book. I don't know if they would make watching the movie itself more enjoyable, but it'll give you a chance to get brushed up with the book or see if you'd like it.

So yeah, that's a nice little treat. I guess it is LONG though. Eh, you got 6 weeks to get through it if you want.

(from I Read Comics)
EVERY time I ever get sick (which really isn't as often as you'd think), I have someone tell me "yeah, I heard that's going around". or I am told the exact symptoms that I happen to have.

Is there a newsletter I'm missing? I'd like to know when this stuff goes around.

Anyway, I'm closing out day 2 of what I'm told is a three day bug eating, eating only cereal and corn chowder.

Also, Go Pitt tonight.

Friday, February 13, 2009

It's gonna get worse before it gets better

Not even I can subject you to the crap that I am watching right now. This is hands down the worst movie that I have ever seen. There was just a swarm of insects moving a building from its foundation.


So I'm gonna watch the Rookie/Sophomore game and then hopefully move it on to something better.
The dumbest thing I have ever read.

Tales of the Black Freighter

While I'm excited for this Watchmen movie, I am going into this with a good deal of reservations. Namely, I don't think it will be as universal a success as some of the other superhero movies that we've seen as of late. Not because it's a bad story or because I don't trust the director or anything, I just don't think it will work well as a film. I also think that when audiences go to see this expecting a superhero story, they're going to be disappointed. Obviously, I want the film to succeed, and so I'm hoping that doesn't happen.
But as more and more details emerge, I'm starting to get hopeful... for the DVD.

"Tales of the Black Freighter", a story within the larger story of the Watchmen book, is a profoundly messed up story that I was certain would never be admitted into the film. It would screw up the pacing for a 90 minute film, and it would probably just confuse audiences. It turns out I was right, but they're still animating the thing anyway for release on DVD. The trailer was released today.

I'm happy about this, because the story is one of the first things I considered when I heard they were actually going to make this movie. It's a great story, however disturbing, and it would be stupid to make no attempt to tell it with the movie.
How it will be released, though, is yet to be seen. Sure, it'll be by itself on DVD, but I'm wondering if when releasing the film on DVD they could splice scenes from this movie throughout the tale in Watchmen. It's probably much harder than it would be worth, but I guy can dream...
Anyway, I'm excited for how it turns out. For now...
So, I'm thinking of holding another movie marathon tonight, this one being horror movies on account of the date and my lack of plans to do anything else. The problem is that I have no idea what to watch. The movies I own won't hold any sort of suspense for me, so it's up to me to set up a worthwhile lineup from whatever selections I can beg, borrow or steal in the next 6 hours or so. It should turn out to be pretty interesting? I guess we'll see. More to come later...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's a pessimistic attitude, but I feel like the majority of people I really appreciated as a child later turned out to be dicks. Of course, this happens with almost any group of people that get admired: politicians, athletes, movie stars, etc... a lot of great people turn out to be kinda slimy. It always hurts a little bit, too, to realize this and then process it without becoming entirely disillusioned. But then every once in awhile you come across one of these people, these influences on your life and character that is revealed to not only be the person you had always admired them for being, but actually a better person than you thought you knew. It's not often, and it's rarely who you want it to be, but when it happens you can only appreciate it.

Fred Rogers happens to be one of those people. Like everyone else raised between 1968 and 2001 (!), I grew up watching Fred on PBS and loving it. Like everyone else, I got older and started watching other stuff and forgot about the show. I'm sure that on a very base level, that man taught me all sorts of things that I was taking for granted a few months later. The impact a show like his must have on a nascent mind is unfathomable. But I digress.

By the time I went to college, I had all but forgotten about Mr. Rogers. I didn't have kids and spent most of my time watching horror movies and smoking pot, so there really wasn't much I'd get out of his show. But what I didn't know is that he was from Pittsburgh. That he still lived in Pittsburgh, did the show there at WQED, and was something of a patron saint of the 'burgh. He wasn't forgotten there the way he had been in my mind. He was on street murals, and his portrait adorned restaurants. So, being in a new city and trying to get my bearings, I did what I always do; I went to the library.

Of course, my superficial research yielded a few results, but what I mostly took away from it was that he a)was an ordained Presbyterian minister, b)he was instrumental in the development/legalization of the VCR, and c)this guy was loved by everyone that ever met him. He was a minister? Despite his show definitely feeling like the church workshops I'd attended as a small child (namely lots of felt and sweaters), I'd never remembered him to be all that pious. After going back and looking, there are certainly elements of faith, but never anything substantial. Perhaps my upbringing was of that era when it was still overlooked. I don't know. But it still made me happy my parents had a resource like Fred to park me in front of when they could. There isn't much I could consider to be mandatory viewing to the general populace, despite what I'd like to foist unto the unsuspecting eyes of this world. But I could consider Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

Of course I forgot about a lot of it. When he died in 2003, I wished I could've been back in Pittsburgh to attend some sort of memorial. I thought about him for a few days and it passed. Yesterday, though, I listened to a podcast all about him and I was reminded once again how special that guy truly was. I'm sure it'll sink back down into the clouds of my memory, but before it does I could share the podcast with anyone who wasn't as familiar with his story. So here you go. There's plenty of great stories and remembrances of the man here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The bricks in this Russian fortress were partially melted when the Soviet army tested weapons here. I wish there were more pictures of the floors.

(swiped from English Russia)

It just seems a little early is all

Found on my hard drive:

Mystery picture. Probably saved in the last week or so, but I have no recollection what it might be or why I would've saved it. It looks like an abandoned elementary school. Only photographed from a helicopter? Yeah, what a lame post.
I've been on hold for the past 40 minutes, and have heard some shockingly bad muzak.

Currently, though, I'm listening to an all-guitar version of "Apache" and it's totally ruining my day.

Update: So, I finally got taken care of, and getting off the phone the girl says to me "Have a happy Easter".

um, what?

I'm not a huge proponent of St. Valentine's day, but I feel like more people observe that than Easter? I guess St. Valentine's Day is technically a Catholic holiday, regardless of how little sense that makes.

Either way, I think "Have a good day", or even a premature "Have a nice weekend" would've sufficed. I'm not exactly counting down to Easter.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Things I like in life:

The Sandbaggers
I'm going to write more about this later (i.e. when I'm finished watching the complete series), but at the moment I'm blown away by how good this show is. Look into it if you ever get the chance. Or buy me the DVDs, because those things are EXPENSIVE or outta print or something.
Okay, I get it that comic cons are now viable outlets of nerd passion/fashion, but honestly I don't need to see these people on TV. I don't need 200 cosplay updates, and it's impressive that the Princess Leia bikini is still getting mileage, but I don't care.

I read comic books. I talk about them, a lot. As the target demographic for these media updates, they are just making me hate TV. STOP.

Please don't make me hate TV.

(I'm sure that not many people feel as bombarded with this stuff as I do, but here we are)

Your Minitrue moment of the day

An Associated Press investigation found that over the past five years, the money the military spends on winning hearts and minds at home and abroad has grown by 63 percent, to at least $4.7 billion this year, according to Department of Defense budgets and other documents. That's almost as much as it spent on body armor for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2004 and 2006.

Surprisingly, that's one of the less upsetting portions of the linked article

You sick bastards

I complain enough about remakes on this thing that I really should just make it a theme. But really, most movies don't need to be remade, and I can't possibly believe we've exhausted every good idea.

I thought I'd addressed the upcoming Friday the 13th remake here already, but my search came up empty. Which is fine, because they already remade well, let's go down the list:
Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Omen, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Prom Night, Carrie, The Hills Have Eyes, The House on Haunted Hill, The Amityville Horror, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (like seven times), Dawn of the Dead, The Hitcher... I could do this for HOURS without even delving into all the foreign remakes or sci-fi, but italicizing them all bores me. I mean, why should this genre in particular seem so ripe for the plucking? Why hasn't anyone tried to remake Gone With the Wind, or Casablanca? The Maltese Falcon or The Wizard of Oz? Eh, I guess The Wiz sorta counts.

Because people will lose their goddamned minds, that's why. As long as they avoid movies that aren't widely considered classics they're in the clear. But these are my classics. And it pisses me off to see them treated so shoddily. Remake Dr. Zhivago into a Dane Cook vehicle for all I care, but I swear to you, if some fucker puts their creasy hands on Phantasm, there's going to be a bloodbath.

Of course, as I'm looking up this stuff, I see that they're remaking Poltergeist. Are you kidding me? Is there any reason to do this? What, was the trail of bodies not long enough after the last few? The original Poltergeist is one of the best movies ever made. In fact, the very remake of it makes me suspicious. Can you imagine Spielberg remaking any of the other movies he's ever made? Is it because he didn't credit himself as the director that he felt okay selling the rights to it? Fuck you, Spielberg. Go remake Hook or Empire of the Sun or some other bullshit movie and stop messing around with the ones that I love.

Apparently, they're remaking Hellraiser, too. Though to be honest, I don't really care. There's already like 40 of those, and I'm not sure anyone has noticed that.

My real reason for starting this post, though, is completely different. Because the movie that they're remaking now is even more ridiculous. The Last House on the Left is an extremely disturbing movie. It's gorey and rapey and honestly makes you sick to your stomach watching it. Along with I Spit on Your Grave and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, this movie heralded an entirely new wave of low-budget horror that not only became Drive-In staples, but really fucked up a lot of the American psyche and certainly helped usher in that acid hangover that followed the late 60s and early 70s. Also, I would say they're directly responsible for Cannibal Holocaust, make of that what you will.
There's no reason to remake it. Especially since there is NO FUCKING WAY POSSIBLE that it can be made in today's studios without half of America starting their own letter-writing campaigns. So we will get a watered-down and and ill-conceived version of a movie that really can't be made more terrifying. Let's face it, one could argue* that the original should never have been made. But it was. And it sets a boundary for about as sick as a (non-Japanese) horror movie can get. Why fudge that line?

So listen, Hollywood assholes. PLEASE knock it off. Make more comic book movies if you have to. Shit, make another 200 Fast y Furiouses if that makes you feel better. But try to give us something remotely new.

or you know what? Remake chick flicks. Steel Magnolias could use an update. or Beaches. If cou can't use a sliver of imagination in writing movies, at least pretend to have some variety in the genre of film you want to ruin. Dicks.

*Not me, but I can see the rationale behind it. I wonder if the remak would be NC-17. Is that still a thing?

Speights lookin' great

Nice little roundup of the recent Sixers' success over at Philadelphia Will Do. I still wanna go to that last game in the Spectrum more than anything, but if that Nova game was any indication, I'm wearing one of those inflatable sumo suits. Screw the seats, I'm not walking through that bottlenecked crowd by the merch booth again.

But for real, Young and Speights are looking fantastic. There are definitely some changes to be made, but I like the way our guys are hustling out there.

Cover, Incognito #2

How awesome is Sean Phillips?

I'm still not sure about this book, but I will pay attention to anything he draws
because it always looks amazing.

Incidentally, if you've never read anything that he and Ed Brubaker have done,
you're missing out.

(jacked from Phillips' blog)
I just realized that we haven't heard from Chuck D since the election. Is anyone else a little alarmed by that?

Mzybe we should send someone round his place...

Monday, February 09, 2009

Things I like in life:

Short, fat horses.
or donkeys. Or mini-donks or whatever.
the point is I like them.
(via RiotClitShave)

incidentally: donkey sanctuaries!
Dear Scientists,
Congratulations, you've proved to us that you can raise the dead. Very cool!
But seriously, it's time to re-bury Mickey Rourke. I get uncomfortable even seeing his picture.
I had no idea that the Grammys were last night. I can't remember the last time I watched them, but I was probably in high school. I could go on here about how the expansion and ensuing collapse of the music industry coupled with the advent of the internet critic and disappearing radio formats have reduced this and truly all other awards ceremonies into a self-congratulatory farce, but I'm tired from other stuff at the moment, so I'll just say that I don't watch the Grammys because they're dumb. But...


I find it interesting that the biggest story of the Grammys last night is who was NOT there. Hey Chris Brown, subtle, man.

Also, Robert Plant apparently looks even more like a mummy than the last time I saw him.

It's official:

I now need grapefruit juice more than coffee to wake up. It's becoming an issue.

Friday, February 06, 2009

They actually own the Taj Mahal

Yes, Atlantic City is a pretty depressing place. It's flush with the downsides of legalized gambling in a seasonal town. It's Vegas without the (legal) prostitution and pirate ships and whatnot. the streets that named Monopoly are now slightly terrifying after dark. Mayors have disappeared. It's also where folks hide out after blowing up the chicken man in Philly, apparently.


Atlantic City is home to the most well-fed feral cats in the country! Go to gamble, stay to watch packs of cats chasing bugs! It's like the entire coastal city is that crazy woman's house down the street!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Will Bunch on the C*** Park hooplah

As much as I like the idea of Taxpayer Field, it doesn't seem likely. Besides, weren't we just going to call it Shitty Park anyway?
Entertaining Flickr stream

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Yeah, a hundred bucks of my own money for the first of my guys who really nails that creep.

I tend not to care about sports movies all that much. Sure, there are glaring exceptions, but for the most part they come off as hackish and predictable. For me, it's easy to make a sports movie. It's very difficult to make a great sports movie. Hoosiers. The Natural. Chariots of Fire. Seabiscuit. Pride of the Yankees. These are my favorite sports movies. I can also count those tangential movies, in which sports is a theme but little more: Brian's Song. Caddyshack... the list goes on.

But my favorite ever will always be Slap Shot. Because it's both realistic and absurd. Hilarious and somber at times. It was written by the sister of a minor league hockey player, featured actual players in nearly all of the roles, and contained what must have been an ungodly amount of swear words at the time. It carries itself with a look at the athlete's lives much less glamorous than was usually shown at the time. Long hours on the road, overblown contraversy put on for the fans, locker room discord... this wasn't the picture of superstars, these were the bums of minor league hockey. Which means that they're either on the way out or on the way up.

It also shows how a team deals with decreased interest in them as a local economy falls into decay. Filmed in Johnstown, PA (and based loosely on the Johnstown Jets) as the mills were all starting to get shut down, you get to see it in the exterior shots as plain as plain as possible. Notice how in the parade scene, which runs right along the square in the center of Johnstown, the movie theater is running Deep Throat. Why they set the movie in Charleston (claiming the loss of "factory jobs" and even going so far as to mention a flood there) seems pretty ridiculous, but then I guess things were pretty bad all over then and that's what they were trying to get across.

At the center of the whole story though, is Reg Dunlop, who might be my favorite Paul Newman role ever*. He's conniving, endearing and tenacious. He is unscrupulous and desperate to keep having a career. Kevin Costner stole much from him in Bull Durham a few years later. But of course he was no Paul Newman. Nobody ever will be again. Which is why I got super pissed off earlier today when I read that they're going to remake Slap Shot.

It's bad enough they made that sequel with the shitty Baldwin brother. To remake this movie doesn't even make sense anymore. Violence is no longer a selling point for minor league hockey the way it was back then. I don't think player-coaches have existed in any sport since about that time period, either. And Paul Newman is dead. I wish someone -ANYONE- had learned a lesson from that remakes of The Bad News Bears and The Longest Yard that these films are indicative of a certainl era and that attempts to remake or to relive those movies will result in failure and (hopefully, for the makers of that last movie) embarrassment. These movies all contain a sense of... crudity that virtually cannot be featured in films today. Usually for good reason, but to try and sterilize these plots now is just insulting.

There are millions of sports movies that you can make. Try one about that famous Willis Reed play. Make a movie about Tommy Carlos. Dock Ellis's career would be a great movie, even without the gimmick. I'm sure there's some Japanese baseball team that's earned the right to have their story told. Or even just make something up. But stop fucking around with the movies that are loved by millions of people and try to think up something new. Please.

Hell, remake Space Jam if you have to. But leave Slap Shot alone.

*I think this directly contradicts a previous post of mine about Mr. Newman.

Also, this means that pretty much every movie filmed in Western PA has been remade with 2 exceptions. I think The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh is safe for now, but I'm willing to bet that some idiot will take a shot at The Deer Hunter in the next few years, further provoking both my anger and rationality as a concept.

Here's some stuff that makes Slap Shot an even better movie than you thought.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Throwback logo you're not going to see in a game anytime soon...

Baltimore Bullets, NBA
1948 - 1954

Still, it'd be kind of awesome and sad.

RE: Super Bowl Commercials

I barely saw any of them. I saw the Land of the Lost trailer, and about 200 Bud Light commercials that were pretty dumb. Oh and the new Pixar trailer, which looks great.


There was a guy at the party I was attending who LOVES those talking baby commercials. No, really.

So there's that.
A 22 year old man was discovered to have pictures of him on the internet smoking pot. Also, he may or may not have tried to use his status as an international celebrity to get him laid. Oh, and he drinks.

good for him.
Springsteen regrets Wal*Mart deal.

We all do, Bruce. I haven't set foot in a Wal*Mart* in 3 years without regretting it almost immediately. This has more to do with the other customers there than their unfortunate business practices, but it's nice to see the Boss come around.

*This also applies to Ikea, REI, and most of the King of Prussia mall. Wait. All of the King of Prussia mall.
I haven't made any mention of the Coatesville arsons here because there isn't anything I can say that hasn't already been said. It's disgusting and I can't imagine how hard this is for the people that live there. This sort of thing should always be abhorred, and that it's being done in such trying economic times (not to mention the middle of winter) is just salt in the wound. To the person lighting these fires: These people are going to tear you to fucking* pieces when they find you. Furthermore, nobody will want to stop them.

I truly hope this situation gets resolved as soon as possible for the sake of Coatesville and its residents. It's a terrible situation that nobody should be subjected to.

*my profanity reform has gone off the rails**, but I'm trying to use it only when I feel really strongly about something.

**the fucking rails.