Friday, January 09, 2009

Untitled, 01-09-09

As predicted, I felt not urge one to approach a computer on vacation for anything that required thought. Just the occasional lookup of something that came up during conversation ("Who was the guy in that movie?"), seeing if the library had anything in for me (lots! yay!), or checking email. Oh, and I finally found time to watch this web sci-fi softcore series, "The Fold," whilst the children slept in the morning. More on that in a bit.

But, here we are, back at the grind (thankfully, when so many are laid off or being laid off; been there; it sucks), and so to jar loose actual work thoughts, I blog.

Btw, that is the truth. Besides the fun of actually getting thoughts out of my head, I work much faster and with greater ease when I'm working on something fun at the same time as work. It seems that it lets my mind rest as I pop back and forth between work mode and blog mode, so in no time, I've completed some work project that typically would've taken twice as long.

So, to borrow Jackie Gleason's famous kick-off line: "Awaaaaay we go!"

Was watching some tube with MPC1 and a Walmart commercial came on. Since our child's a tween, we're being a bit freer about adult humor around the house, and so I remarked, "Oh, look! Walmart's changed their logo from a smiley face to an asshole!" Much sniggering was shared. Since my daughter hasn't read any Vonnegut yet, I wasn't able to reference his drawings of an asshole in Breakfast of Champions as the possible source of said logo, but at least you can have a grin over it. (If you share my juvenile sense of humor.) (Oh, and I know it's really an asterisk.)

Well, it seems their new logo is amazingly appropriate if you attempt to use their photo developing department. We were trying to get some old photos of the kids developed for a scrapbook their pediatrician's office was putting together, and the photo guy pulled two from the stack and announced, "These look like they were shot professionally, and therefore come under copyright, so I can't let you have these," and he put them through the shredder before my wife could even respond.

To cut to the chase, when I found this out (I was off filling the cart), I procured a manager and went back to the photo dept. and gave'em hell. I knew it was futile, but still ya gotta make it enough of a pain that maybe they'll eventually do something.

For the record, the current copyright law does forbid any photo developer to develop photos that are copyrighted, and so Walmart has extended this to anything that could possibly construed as professional. Makes you wonder what the actual professionals are gonna do. This was brought about by the copyright changes that were lobbied by Disney and the music industry. Thus, Disney, who's primary target market is your kids, is responsible for you not being able to develop pictures of them. Isn't that lovely? Time for the pirate costume methinks.

Got an email from one of my right-wing buddies that spoofs "where are they now?" with a picture of Urkel on the left and Obama on the right. Har har.

But, it did jar loose a thought I've had for some time. I think the person most responsible for making a lot of (unconsciously or consciously racist) folks more comfortable with electing a black president was Dennis Haysbert, the actor who played the first President on the TV show 24. Some would say Morgan Freeman's roles as the pres. (and God), but I think that Haysbert is the stealth candidate for getting folks over that hump in their mind. Just a theory.

I was saddened to discover that one of my favorite modern rock groups - The Darkness - broke up. These days when there is such a dearth of truly talented groups, any loss feels like your favorite lifetime team lost the superbowl.

Their complete oeuvre (a scant two albums) can be purchased here.

In happier music news, Lily Allen's latest/new single "The Fear" is a pure joy. It's a cagey and humorously concise coinage of current times. Everyone I have foisted it upon thus far has both laughed out loud and nodded in agreement with some of the sentiments. That girl has a way with hooky songs.

Speaking of summing up current events, check out this old Calvin and Hobbes

(Click for full size)

I also discovered that Whisky was dead-on about She & Him; it's wonderfully odd and eclectic, and the ladies of the household dug it on first spin (though I play most things from a USB drive anymore, so "spin" isn't entirely accurate).

Speaking of USB and MP3s, I finally ended my decades-long membership in the BMG music club because they have no plans with going to MP3s, and I just don't buy CDs anymore. It's always slightly unnerving to go through a format change commitment (gad, how geeky can I be?). I finally abandoned vinyl when I bought a copy of Tom Petty's Full Moon Fever, and MCA always had crappy, crackly prints, so when it came with the typical side of bacon, I said screw it and exchanged it for the CD before I even had a CD player.

The first time I pressed "buy MP3 album" on Amazon - and that sucker was mine less than a couple minutes later - it was literally a rush. Nothing else offers such instant gratification. I was squishy at first about not having a hardcopy original, but then realized that my backup CDs are the same freakin' thing, and have about the same shelf life. I have my eye on one of those portable USB hard drives, which offers a freakin' terabyte for just over a hundred dollars. I could literally have every song I own on that bad boy. And that just blows my mind.

Finally watched all episodes of a the web series "The Fold," which is - as already mentioned - a sci-fi-ish softcore (though on the very edge of that - you get everything except graphic penetration shots - and there's still season 2 ahead).

For the life of me, I just couldn't get past flashing on Zack and Miri Make a Porno every time a sex scene came up (which is roughly half of the total running time).

Now, that's not a slam or a slight or anything like it. I loved Zack and Miri. "The Fold" (which I presume is a play on words and images as the time machine which "folds time" has the appearance of a giant vagina, with one of those stick'em anywhere battery operated dome lights functioning as the on/off switch, located in the clitoral position) is campy fun, with the vibe of the local theater group putting on a production of something written by a local playwright; it ain't Broadway or Hollywood, but it's fun for what it is.

The stand-out performer is the actress who plays the nearly always nekkid and very randy Joan of Arc: Julie Atlas Muz.

Ms. Muz is a burlesque performer who stages her own shows where she always ends up nekkid, judging from the videos on her site. If you check out "The Fold" and like it, you should also peruse some of Muz's performances. Of course, like me, you'll have to wait until the kids are in bed. I can't begin to imagine how I would explain the conclusion of Muz's bubble dance where she waves an American flag with her vagina; let alone how I would explain it to Child Welfare Svcs. how come my child saw such a thing. I, myself, am still recovering a bit from it.

I'm assuming that since I've made it pretty clear what you see on these sites is lots of bodies and (I'm assuming) simulated sex that you'd know it's NSFW. Not even a little bit.

M. Blowhard has been in a listing mood lately and linked to this article: Fabulously Observant: The Jewish case against same-sex marriage.

I was talking with a buddy about how I agreed with most of the points in the article, and he asked if I was going to post that on my blog. I said at the time that I didn't want the controversy or anyone screaming at me in the comments, but since have (obviously) reconsidered because I think I've been consistent in my views about this (when I finally made up my mind, that is).

For the record, they are:
1) I think that secular marriage should be reworked so it's essentially like a legal contract, one in which anyone who so chooses can enter into. So, rather than extending "marriage" to gays (and polygamists, open/group arrangements, cats and dogs living together, etc.), the current secular form of marriage between a man and a woman would go away, and everyone who decided to partner up legally would just be "under contract." (I have Dave Trowbridge to thank for this very sensible idea.) That nulls and voids any snarking about "rights" and such. Fwiw: marriage is not a "right" and never has been.
2) When it comes to the Judeo-Christian marriage, the conversation is over before it starts: God says marriage is between a man and a woman, and only that union is sanctified. There's no other way to float it. Paul even goes a step further and recommends avoiding the whole marriage thing altogether, unless you just can't keep from having to do the horizontal bop; which is why you should never really listen to a bitter old man when it comes to marriage advice.

There's no way to keep everyone happy on this issue, but hopefully this is one that will cause the least amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth.

There's a whole second half to this post, but I've run out of time today, so I'm going to post this and get out the rest later. Stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

Dya think these guys have a shot at a copyright lawsuit?


Whisky Prajer said...

I'm relieved to hear that you and the fam are enjoying the tunes.

I also think your observation re: Dennis Haysbert is spot-on. When my wife and I watched the first two seasons there were many times we shut off the TV wishing this fictional character was the actual guy in charge -- even with the manipulative wife and the conniving staff undercutting his every move, he at least knew how to brood well. Much as I've come to decry that program and its writers for adding to the world's ills (we quit watching after the second season because we no longer enjoyed the way it riled us up) I've got to give it the tip o' my hat for introducing a black US president to an enormous conservative audience.