September 29, 2014
Happy birthday! Also, good-bye forever.
This is the ten year anniversary diogenes club. And as the old saying goes, if you love something, you have to kill it. So, this will be the last post. My willingness to post has been declining over the years, as you've probably noticed, so this seems like a good time to do it. It's been a fun ten years. So long.
December 18, 2012
I'm in Berlin and some guy messaged me on Facebook. Hear me out.
Well, my time in Kenya is up, and now I'm sitting in my friend Keith's apartment in Berlin.
The day after I get here, I got a facebook friend request from some guy in Berlin. Oh, this must be Keith's test account or maybe his girlfriend's or something. But no. No mutual friends, seemingly no connection, but whatever, who am I to turn down some Berliner who wants to be friends. Today he sent me this message:
Hello Mr. Carlough, by the small chance, that you will read this message, i would like to tell you, that all the following words, names and phrases, have the same numerologic data 43 pt:
JESUS CHRIST = 43 pt
I LOVE YOU = 43 pt
SAVE OUR SOULS = 43 pt
JESUS IS LORD = 43 pt
SAY NO TO WAR = 43 pt
MORPHEUS = 43 pt
TRINITY = 43 pt
More Wonders around 43 (MOVIE 43 ?) you will find on www.jesusmatrix.de
I wish you a merry Christmas.
And please help spreading this knowledge.
I almost deleted it as spam, but then I noticed, he's talking about my movie, Movie 43. Which is really weird. A Christian numerology message about Movie 43 sent to me by a Berliner while I'm in Berlin. This whole thing is weird. Super weird.
November 25, 2012
Get your shit together, New York Times.
Take a look at the header image for Nintendo Confronts a Changed Video Game World.
A few things:
1) Nintendo does not own Sonic the Hedgehog.
2) While he has appeared in Nintendo console games in recent years, he is only on one game for the Wii U. He appears in at least seven games for iPhone, so really, he should be on the other side.
3) Angry Birds and Plants Vs Zombies have entries on Nintendo platforms, although I appreciate the fact that they're better known for their iOS versions.
4) There's an Ice Climber in the corner of that picture and I like that so I'm not mad anymore.
November 9, 2012
I'm going to talk about Kenya
Just kidding, I'm going to talk about Star Wars. Last week, I was asked to pitch a story about Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm. It ended up getting turned down, so here is what the article would have been:
Last week, George Lucas did something that most people thought would never happen. He sold Lucasfilm to Disney, and with it, all rights to the Star Wars franchise. Fan reaction has been mixed, but as someone who has hated almost everything Star Wars related that has come out since 1999, I can only think of this as a good thing.
Before we get to Disney's promise of an Episode VII in 2015, let's talk about what Disney is best at: merchandising. In recent years, Star Wars merchandising has gotten a little ridiculous, coming to a peak most recently with Star Wars Angry Birds. In the 70's and 80's, film merchandising was a new art form that Lucas basically invented himself. Action figures, novels, comic books, video games; before Lucas, these kinds of things were not usually made for movies. When he made Star Wars, he retained the merchandising rights, and made his fortune off of them. It's not a stretch to say that the enduring popularity of the movies was because of synergy between the movies and the stuff you could buy during the three year stretches in between them. Due to the newness of the industry, there were a lot of odd, off-model type things that we'd only see today in the form of cheap, unlicensed foreign knock-offs. My friend got a Yoda's Christmas Diary one year. I tried to tell her that Yoda wouldn't celebrate Christmas, not only because Yoda was in a different religion, but that he predated the birth of Christ by a long, long time, but she didn't care. There were some silly cash grabs like C-3PO's breakfast cereal, but for the most part, the merchandise made you like the movies more and the movies made you want to buy more merchandise. But some time in the 2000's, Star Wars licensing changed. If I had to pinpoint a specific product, I'd point to Super Bombad Racing, a Mario Kart clone with Star Wars' most iconic characters with big bobble heads driving around go-karts. From the licensed satires by Family Guy and Robot Chicken, to the complete non-sequitur of Star Wars Angry Birds, Star Wars merchandising became jokes riffing on Star Wars, instead of cool things to inspire the imagination and extend the world. Darth Vader became a shill for Target and is now less an iconic movie villain and more an easy butt of "I'm making a reference so it's funny" humor.
Disney has built its empire off marketing its mascot, Mickey Mouse for almost a century. Despite the fact that he's barely been in any cartoons since the 1960's, he remains one of the world's most recognizable icons. And they even take risks with him every once in a while, like with recent video games, Kingdom Hearts and Epic Mickey. They've been relatively good stewards of the Muppets and Pixar, so I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt.
The real question though is, what will Episode VII be about? Lucas has gone back and forth over the years whether he had plans for a third Star Wars trilogy, but with this new business deal, he's back to his story of having outlines for them, and he's sticking to it. What little we know of the sequel trilogy seems to have been made obsolete by Return of the Jedi, as the few details told to us by producer Gary Kurtz involved Luke confronting the Emperor and meeting his sister, who is not Princess Leia. Some have hoped for film adaptations of Timothy Zahn's Thrawn series, the well regarded trilogy of books that take place after Return of the Jedi, involving Luke, Han, and Leia defeating the last remnants of the Empire. Disney has said that the new movies will be brand new not be adaptations of anything and the actors are about thirty years too old anyway. So assuming that Episode VII takes place after Jedi and won't directly involve the main characters of the original trilogy, who could it be about? Luke had a son, and Leia and Han had three kids in the books. But does anyone at Lucasfilm care? While Lucas has used certain elements from the expanded universe, like the name of Coruscant taken from the Thrawn series, he's also never been afraid to totally contradict it, like rewriting Boba Fett's original origin story or wiping the 80's Droids cartoon from canon entirely.
I think that someone else taking the reins will new life into Star Wars. Empire Strikes Back, widely regarded as the best of the series, had the least involvement from Lucas. My main hope for the new movies is that they try to get back to the swashbuckling fun of the original Star Wars. That story of a young man from the middle of nowhere going on an adventure, meeting colorful characters, and saving the galaxy appeals to me much more than a bunch of guys in a cult waging a pointless war. More blasters, less lightsabers. Less moping, more swinging on things. Less meetings on couches, more adventure.
There's only one prediction that I can make that I have any faith in at all. It's that these new movies will feature R2-D2 and C-3PO. Lucas has said that the series was to be told through the eyes of the droids, although that became less important to him in the prequels, as they're not around for a good chunk of the action, and the main characters mostly act like they don't exist. The appearance of these two beloved characters will help link the new movies with the old. That and R2 works cheap.
PS: I can understand why this story was rejected, as I spend most of it talking about merchandising and have no real insight into what's actually going to happen next. Since I wrote this, Harrison Ford has expressed a vague interest in reprising Han Solo, and maybe Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher have said something too, I'm not going to check. They've also revealed who's writing it, and he's some Pixar guy, so things are looking up.
October 27, 2012
One month in Kenya and transportation
My one month anniversary for living in Kenya was two days ago. I feel like my brain has gotten out of "what a crazy adventure I'm on" mode and it's more into "this is what my life is like now" mode. So in honor of that anniversary, I'm finishing this post about transportation that I started two weeks ago and never finished.
I've never made it a secret that I dislike New York City buses. They're confusing, undependable, and I can often walk faster than them.
So with that in mind, let me introduce you to the main form of Nairobi public transportation, the matatu:
That's what I take into work every day. If you think way back into your head of stereotypes of Africa, you might think of like twenty guys packed into a small van, maybe with a guy hanging out side. That's a matatu. They're usually pretty packed, sometimes smelly, sometimes with loud music, and very hard to get in and out of for anyone over six feet. The price to and from work varies a bit, from 20 shillings (a Kenyan shilling is about equal to a US cent, give or take), to 60 shillings. It depends on a number of things, time of day, which route I'm taking, and whether the guy taking the money decides to charge me extra because he figures I either don't know any better or that I can afford it and won't put up a fight for a few dimes.
Traffic here is chaos. I didn't see a stop sign or a traffic light for my first two weeks here. The first time I saw a traffic light was as my cabbie sped through a red light as if it weren't even there. A few years back, I remember there was a news item that there was a guy in the US who had to cross a six lane highway everyday to get to work, and one day got hit by a car. Because of where the matatu drops me off, I have to do the same thing, and so do a lot of other people, and it's a miracle that anyone survives. They just completed a huge green walkway over the street by my office so that you don't have to walk across all the traffic, but no one uses it, and everybody just runs across the street anyway.
I've also taken a boda-boda.
They're basically small motorcycle cabs that you ride on the back of and hang on for dear life, sometimes with a helmet, sometimes not. My first ride on one was my first ride on a motorcycle ever. I wasn't sure what to do with my hands. Wrapping them around the driver seemed a little intimate for someone I had just met, even though I wanted to. They go pretty fast and you really feel like you could just slide off at any moment. But I just held onto the seat, and was later told that was actually the safest thing to do.
That's it for now, this weekend is the Kenya Film Festival. I saw a one short and one feature documentary last night, I'll probably see one or two movies today. Toodles!
October 16, 2012
I've had two experiences with prostitutes in New York. Both in the early 2000's. The first, I was walking somewhere in Manhattan with some friends when a woman came up to us and asked if we wanted to party. We said no. The second (and to be honest, I'm not really sure if this lady was a prostitute or just weird) came up to me on the street because she thought she saw me at the party she was just at, and then proceeded to talk to me about something or other and suggested that we go to the nearby bodega, get beer, and go back to my place. I told her that I was only buying orange juice and going home, but she was insistent and followed me all the way until I actually paid for the orange juice, after which she left without a word. The irony of it was I actually had intended to buy beer and I had to go home with just the juice.
But today on the way home from work, I went to the place where I pick up the matatu (vans used for public transportation that I'll elaborate more on in another post). When I asked which one was going Agha Kahn (the stop near my apartment), I was told to go to one with only two women sitting in it. They started chatting me up, asking me where I was from, what I was doing here, what my name was, etc. This kind of interest in me from Kenyans was uncommon, but I was polite and answered their questions.
Then a guy came up to the side of the matatu and asked me if I liked his girls. "Are these your girls?" I asked. The three of them laughed. "This isn't going to Agha Kahn, is it." They laughed again.
"What, are you married or something?" the guy asked me. I told him no and got up to leave the vehicle, but someone from the other side shut the door. I couldn't reach the handle and it was one of those "now I'm in trouble" moments, but one of the women opened the door for me, and nicely showed me to the correct matatu.
October 13, 2012
If you like Looper, you lack critical thinking skills.
I know I promised more about Africa, but whatever, I'm talking about Looper now.
Here are some questions about Looper.
1) Why do criminals send people they want killed to the past? Joseph Gordon-Levitt says it's hard to dispose of bodies of the future. Harder than operating a time machine? Do they not have forests in the future? Or tubs of acid? Why don't they send them to outer space? Why don't they send them a hundred years in the future where they can't go back and kill you when you're a kid?
2) This is the best use of time travel that future criminals have come up with? Have they not seen Timecop?
3) Why don't they kill people before sending them back? Or at least sedate them?
4) Why would you ask someone to kill their future self? If a looper knew that was coming eventually, wouldn't they be a little hesitant to kill whoever is under the sheet? Wouldn't it be easier to get a different looper to do it? Isn't it very probable that someone would let their future self go?
5) Why do they kill future loopers? Bruce Willis has been living peacefully for say, thirty years, without causing any trouble, without ratting anyone out, spending his pile of gold. Wouldn't it make sense to leave him alone? Wouldn't giving him a big pile of gold give him the ability to hide from whoever wanted to kill him?
I do not like that movie.
October 1, 2012
Kenya: Week One
I've been trying to collect my thoughts about my trip so far and to figure out a way to write it all down without sounding like some doofy white guy who's never spent any significant amount of time out of New York State, but whatever, that's what I am, so here goes.
1) Poverty. It's one thing to know that it exists, but it's another thing to be thrown right into the middle of it. Just on my cab ride from the airport to my apartment, three different women with babies came up to the car and asked for money. This morning I saw a guy washing his clothes in a drainage ditch. And it's all not that far from decadent places that from the inside are indistinguishable from a fancy bar in New York. The funny thing is, people who have been here for longer than me say that what I've seen isn't that bad, so I'm not sure what to think.
2) Crime. My apartment building, and most apartments around where I live, look like fortresses. They have ten foot walls with barbed wire at the top, and a gate with at least one guard posted at all times. I've also been warned not to go out at night by almost everyone I've met. The severity of these warnings make it sound like zombies come out of the ground when sun sets. If you want to go somewhere after dark, you get a cab, and not just any ol' cab, because some guys will just kidnap you, so you need a go-to cab guy to call. My second night here I saw Nairobi Half Life, which is a great movie, and from what I hear, has a good chance at an Oscar for best foreign film. But damn, that is not the movie to see you your second night here. The movie basically paints Nairobi as a place where at any given moment, in any given place, a guy might just come up to you and take all your stuff, maybe kill you, and there's nothing you can do about it. But so far I've been fine, and I'm being careful, so don't worry.
3) Weather. Surprisingly tolerable. I wear basically what I would at home. Sometimes I even wear a sweatshirt. Since most of you are probably coming from facebook, you've probably already seen this, but here's me in front of the clinic with a donkey.
Also, in un-Kenya related news, here's the trailer for Movie 43, the movie that contains the sequel to Robin's Big Date. It's coming out shortly after I get back to the US in January.
Sadly, you only get a second of Justin as Robin in there, but here's an article from Entertainment Weekly, where you get some stills.
Interesting to note is that in the picture, someone digitally removed Batman's ears and replaced his logo with a 43. For legal reasons, I guess. Weird.
Anyway, lots more to say about Kenya, so stick around.
September 24, 2012
Off to Kenya
For those of you who don't know, I'm leaving today to go to Nairobi, Kenya for three months to volunteer for Jacaranda Health, a maternal health organization, writing code and doing tech support and whatever else they can find for me to do. The reason I can do this is because I've been at my job at Meetup for seven years, and I get a three month paid sabbatical.
I rarely go abroad and have never been to Africa. I don't think I've even left New York City for more than a few days in the past decade. So this'll be a big change for me.
People are surprised when I tell them what I'm doing, and I don't blame them. I've never voiced any interest in volunteering or Africa, and I really have no interest in children until they're old enough to talk about Pokemon. But, I wanted to take advantage of sabbatical, and I thought I'd go a little stir crazy without working for three months, so that on top of the fact that it would be nice to get out of the city for once, along with giving something back to the world made it seem like the thing to do.
My friend Veronica, who works with Doctors Without Borders, put my name out into that community, and the guys from Jacaranda Health got in touch, and a couple months later, I was packing my bags. The question I get asked the most, once we get the basics out of the way is, "How long's the flight?" Which seems like a weird and boring question, and one I also don't know the answer to, but whatever. I guess I'll find out today.
I really don't know what to expect, but I'll be updating this blog more than I usually do (which, I know, isn't saying that much), so watch this space.
July 31, 2012
People who are 34, like me.
Rocky in Rocky III
Bill Murray in Ghostbusters
Thank you for your time.
July 26, 2012
Here's an article about me tasting soda very intensely.
July 14, 2012
Tarkins, man. Tarkins.
I made a whole bunch of Tarkin movies! Well, three.
April 12, 2012
I received this message though my contact form and I am now going to make fun of it.
The reason for this email / note is that I am leading a search for a specific dev and think you might be a good fit.
I obviously do not have a good understanding of your skill set or what is you would want to do... but having said that, this is the reason for this note.
I am hoping you can spare a few mins to chat about what it is you do and more importantly what it is you want to do.
I always take a sincere approach and would hope to figure out what it is you want and see if what Im working on makes sense.
Please contact me on my cell at anytime... [redacted]
So basically, you know nothing about me, but you think I "might be a good fit." And you would like to talk to me to "see if what Im working on makes sense." I'll help you out with that, Syd. Whatever you're doing, it probably makes no sense.
March 20, 2012
Jeffrey Toobin, American lawyer, author, and legal analyst for CNN and The New Yorker.
Toobin', a 1988 arcade game.
March 18, 2012
You messed with the wrong Ice Climber player, Jeff.
More to come.
March 16, 2012
New York Times, prepare to get sonned by me yet again.
Check out this article on the new Smithsonian video game exhibit. Actually, don't, I'm just going to show you the important part. It's this image and its caption:
That is not a still from "The Legend of Zelda." This is a still from "The Legend of Zelda."
The still they're using is from "The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess," which, admitted, is part of the Legend of Zelda series, but they specifically refer to it as a game, not a series.
So nice work Times, you were only about twenty years off with that one. I hope you enjoyed your sonning.
March 13, 2012
The Palpatine Letters: Part Three
This is the third part of The Palpatine Letters, a three part series where I write letters from Star Wars' Senator/Chancellor/Emperor Palpatine to his cohorts detailing his plans for conquest. See Part One here and Part Two here.
How's the Death Star coming? Last I heard, you were pretty far along, I hope it doesn't take us another twenty years to get the thing working. Anyway, I think we're getting ready to finish this war up (finally, right?), and I wanted to bounce some ideas off you. I know I'm currently the most powerful guy in the galaxy, but I'd really like a little more power and a cooler title. Here's how it's gonna work.
I'm going to let the separatists kidnap me right off Coruscant. I know, it's dangerous, but hear me out. They're going to send some Jedis to save me, and one of them is going to kill Count Dooku for me. And just trust me, everyone is going to do exactly what I hope they're going to do, so don't worry. Killing Count Dooku is an awesome idea for three reasons. One, screw that guy, I never liked him anyway. I know the Sith made this rule how there can only be two of us so that we won't be constantly betraying each other, but whatever. Two, I think it'll bring Anakin Skywalker closer to the dark side. Hopefully they'll send him to save me, and he'll kill Dooku just cause I ask him to. And I really, really want him on the dark side. More on that later. Finally, three, we've got to wrap this war up, and even though Dooku's the leader of the separatists and could end the war whenever I told him to, I'd rather have Obi-Wan go on this mission to kill a guy with like six arms to end the war. It's a pretty cool gimmick. Even better than Darth Maul's double lightsaber thing, I think.
So that's when I'm going to execute Order 66, where all the clones kill all the Jedis. I guess this would have worked just as well as if I made a robot army. Better, probably. But I wanted this to be called The Clone Wars, so that's what I did.
So a lot of what I've been scheming about all these years is to get Anakin to turn to the dark side. I just really want to do it. I noticed he had this weird thing going on with his mother, even though he left her to rot at a moment's notice and didn't talk to her for the next ten years. So I set him up with Senator Amidala, so that she could get pregnant, possibly die in pregnancy, and I could tell Anakin that he could save her if he turned to the dark side. Wasn't sure if they'd hit it off, cause Anakin's kind of a whiny little dickhead, but lucky me, they did, woo!
Anyway, getting him to turn to the dark side is important because I need him to do two things. One, kill baby Jedis. Two, go kill Nute Gunray and all those Trade Federation guys. They're pretty much powerless now and can't do anything to me, but that's the plan. Yes, I know I have an entire army that I preprogrammed to follow any order I gave them to the letter, but I just really want Annie to be on the dark side, and that'll be his final step. I've got a cool name picked out and an even cooler outfit for him to wear.
I'm not sure if he'll keep doing what I want him to do after Amidala's dead, because the only reason he turned to the dark side was to save her, but hopefully he'll spend the next twenty years performing administrative tasks and hanging out with you on the Death Star.
Looking forward to this whole war thing being done with,
PS: If my plans seem convoluted and improbable, keep in mind that I have the force and can see into the future and make people do whatever I want, so suck it.
March 12, 2012
The Palpatine Letters: Part Two
This is the second part of The Palpatine Letters, a three part series where I write letters from Star Wars' Senator/Chancellor/Emperor Palpatine to his cohorts detailing his plans for conquest. See Part One here.
Dear Jango Fett,
How's my clone army doing? I hope you are well and enjoying your stay on that water planet, I forget what it's called. Probably because I erased it from the library here, but more on that later.
Anyway, I've got an important job for you. I need you to kill Senator Amidala. I know what you're going to say, you're a bounty hunter, not an assassin, but hear me out. (And by the way, I don't know why everybody calls you a bounty hunter, all I've ever seen you do is sit around getting cloned and hang out with your annoying, doughy little kid.) I just want you to hire somebody to do the assassination for you. Preferably a shape shifter.
Right now, Amidala is being watched by these two really tough Jedis, so the assassin'll probably fail and the Jedis are going to chase after her. Now at some point, when she's trying to get away, she's going to want to use her shape shifting powers. TELL HER NOT TO DO THIS. Even if it would make it really easy to escape in a crowded bar, tell her to stay looking exactly the same as when the Jedis saw her before.
Now, here's where you come in. Before she can tell them who sent her, I want you to shoot her with this special poison dart that they only make on your water planet. It's pretty impractical to make poison darts in this day and age when we have lasers and robots with lasers, but I guess that's why they're the only ones who make it.
So then, and this is the great part, the Jedis are going to try and figure out where this dart came from, but they can't, because I erased the planet from the library! But just so it's not too hard for them, there are a bunch of janitors and dishwashers who know about the place, so the Jedis will be able to ask them if they get too stuck.
So they'll send a guy to your planet to check it out, and be nice to him at first, then leave, let him follow you, and then shoot at him. Don't hit him though, try using those bombs you have that inexplicably have a delayed explosion noise. Then, when you meet up with Count Dooku (he's the guy who convinced half the galaxy to secede from the Republic for no discernible reason), capture the guy, and all the Jedis will bring the whole clone army they just found out about to save him, and basically start a civil war. I know the Jedis talk about being peace loving, but I think they should have no problem fighting a violent war about politics that they don't really care about. It's just robots and clones, right? I'm also pretty sure that they'll never try and figure out who paid somebody like a bajillion credits to make a clone army on a secret hidden planet.
Oh, and I'm going to get Dooku (he's in on this too) to tell one of the Jedis that there's a powerful Sith pulling the strings in the Republic. I don't think they're going to do anything with the information, I just think it'll be fun to mess with them.
So just to review, I want you to try to kill Amidala, but don't actually do it, cause she's really important in my plan to bring this really cool guy I know to the dark side, then make a really circuitous mystery for the Jedis to find the clone army that I want them to find, and then start a war, and then I think we'll be good.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts,
PS: Remember when I did that thing with Amidala where I made her say what everybody already wanted to do anyway? Well, I'm going to do it again to officially start the war. But with Jar Jar! Can you believe it? Jar Jar! Screw you, universe!
See Part Three here.
March 10, 2012
The Palpatine Letters: Part One
As you may know, I hate the Star Wars prequels. So here is the first part of a three part series, The Palpatine Letters, where Senator/Chancellor/Emperor Palpatine writes to his cohorts detailing his plans for conquest. Probably a decade too late for anyone to care, but here it is anyway:
Dear Count Dooku,
Hi, you probably don't know me. I'm the senator from Naboo. It's a little out of the way, but we like it. Anyway, I've got this great plan to take over the whole universe, and I wanted to see if you were interested.
First, I'm going to get these guys called the Trade Federation to make a blockade around Naboo about some trade disputes. Don't worry about that stuff, it's super boring. They're going to invade and try to force Amidala, the Queen, to sign a treaty. (She's an elected Queen too, they elected a fourteen year old girl to rule the entire planet. Weird, right?)
I'm not really sure if I want her to sign the treaty or not, so I'm just going to let it play out and see what happens. My real hope is that some Jedis try and save her and end up finding this little slave kid called Anakin Skywalker on Tatooine. I know, that sounds crazy, but my master, Darth Plagueis actually created him out of midichlorians and he's going to be come the most powerful Sith ever. Did I just write that? Sorry, I just meant to imply it. Did I mention I was a Sith? I am. You should check it out.
So we finally get Amidala back to the Senate, and she's so mad that the Senate won't do anything about her situation, she calls for a vote of no confidence in the Chancellor. So this will probably get put to a majority vote, so if we win, it's clear that most of the Senate already wanted the Chancellor out, so you might wonder why I'm staging this huge invasion just get a teenage girl to say what everybody already wants to happen, but get this: I'm gonna get a sympathy vote. People are going to feel so bad that my planet got invaded, that they're going to vote me in as the new Chancellor. I mean, hopefully. Maybe Bail Antilles'll get it, maybe that guy from Malastare, but I'm pretty sure people are gonna vote with their hearts on this one.
On the off chance that Amidala somehow fights back the invasion and defeats the droid army, I think we'll still be good. Everybody likes a winner, right? So what do you think? I'll get into what I need you from later, but I just wanted to see if you'd be interested in joining me in this endeavor.
Thanks for your time,
PS: Just so we can get this out of the way now, if you ever capture any Jedis, I'd prefer that you tie them up and make them fight monsters like some kind of retarded Bond villain instead of actually killing them. Thanks.
March 1, 2012
I just talked to Kristin Scales... OR DID I!!?!!??!?!?!?!?
I just had a chat with a support representative from my credit card company. Halfway through I became curious whether the person I was talking to was actually a computer. Below is a transcript of the chat, slightly redacted to protect my credit card information which gets stolen like once a year, so I don't even know why I bothered.
Kristin Scales: Welcome to Credit Card Chat Service. My name is Kristin. I'm here to assist you with your personal Credit Card Accounts. May I know your complete name as it appears on Credit card?
You: Sure, it's William Carlough.
Kristin Scales: Hello, Will.
Kristin Scales: I'm sorry, William*
Kristin Scales: May I please know the last four digits of your Credit card number?
You: No, no problem, my name's Will.
Kristin Scales: Great.
You: Yes, xxxx.
Kristin Scales: Thank you for providing the account number.
Kristin Scales: How may I assist you with your Personal Credit card today?
You: I think I've gotten to be a month behind in my payments, but the balance summary is confusing.
You: So like I've been paying the month before's bill for a couple months.
You: My question is, do I have an outstanding balance that I should pay now, or am I good and should wait til 3/15, my next billing date.
Kristin Scales: I understand that you would like to know the status of the balance and the payment on the account.
Kristin Scales: I'll certainly check that for you, Will.
You: Yes, lovely, thank you.
Kristin Scales: You're welcome.
Kristin Scales: Your account security is of prime importance to us. May I ask you a few verification questions before I proceed?
Kristin Scales: Thank you for your understanding in this regard.
Kristin Scales: Could you please provide your Date of Birth and the last four digits of your SSN?
You: Sure. xx/xx/xx and xxxx.
Kristin Scales: Perfect, thank you for the information.
Kristin Scales: Please give me few minutes to check your account details.
Kristin Scales: Thank you, Will.
Kristin Scales: Thank you for your patience, I appreciate it.
You: No problem.
Kristin Scales: Will, I see that the next billing date is :03/19.
Kristin Scales: I also see that you have a outstanding balance of xxxx at the moment on the account.
You: So that's stuff I should have paid before, you're saying.
Kristin Scales: I mean, you have an outstanding balance to pay on the account.
Kristin Scales: Absolutely, you got me correct, Will.
You: I have one more question, if you'll humor me.
Kristin Scales: I really appreciate your quick thinking in this regard.
Kristin Scales: Sure, I'll be more than happy to assist you if you have any other questions?
Kristin Scales: That's alright.
You: I'm wondering whether you're a computer or not, so could you name a character in a Star Wars movie?
Kristin Scales: Will, I'm a Live Person, you can be sure of it.
Kristin Scales: I'm sorry, I would not be able to provide you any other information apart the information relating to your Banking Needs.
Kristin Scales: I would sincerely request you to understand in this regard.
You: That's okay.
Kristin Scales: Thank you, Will !
You: I'm a little disappointed you can't name a Star Wars character, but I understand.
Kristin Scales: I appreciate your understanding in this regard.
Kristin Scales: Sorry to hear that, you're disappointed today.
You: All right, you had me going that you were a person for a second, but now you just sounded like a computer again.
Kristin Scales: So, do you feel that I'm sounded like a Computer, Will?
Kristin Scales: If the answer is "YES", then I'm sorry once again.
You: Now I can't tell if you're a computer or someone just messing with me.
You: You're good.
Kristin Scales: Nice to hear that, Will, and it was really wonderful chatting with you today.
You: Touche, touche, Kristin.
You: Well, a pleasure talking with you, and thanks for your help.
Kristin Scales: You're welcome, Will.
Kristin Scales: Please contact us for any further questions, we'll be happy to assist you.
Kristin Scales: Thank you for choosing Bank of America's Credit card Services.
You: I will. And if I need to find out the name of any Star Wars characters, I'll find someone else.
Kristin Scales: You have a Wonderful weekend !!
You: Thanks, you too.
Kristin Scales: Sure.
Kristin Scales: Sure, you can always do that.
I would have kept going, but if Kristin is a real person, I would have felt bad making her look bad at her job.
So, first thing I should note, is that the company providing the software and possibly Kristin herself is called Live Person, so that explains her weird line, "Will, I'm a Live Person, you can be sure of it."
Second is, sorry I couldn't come up with a better Turing test than naming a Star Wars character, but asking Cleverbot, an award winning chatbot resulted in this:
Me: Name a Star Wars character.
Cleverbot: Ron Weasley. Duh.
Me: Who is Luke Skywalker's father?
Cleverbot: Darth Vader.
Me: Who are Darth Vader's children?
Cleverbot: They are a family in the future.
Me: Who run Bartertown?
Cleverbot: Your father.
So clearly computers don't know that much about Star Wars, when it takes place, or whether or not Master Blaster runs Bartertown.
I'm sure many of you have interacted with a customer service representative who was not allowed to go off script on the phone, so a lot of this chat makes sense as someone who is just copying and pasting out of a list of things they're allowed to say. The most convincing argument that Kristin is a person is right in the beginning, when she gets my name wrong. It's hard to believe that someone would program a computer to call someone by a common nickname and apologize for it. A friend that I showed this to offered up an interesting theory, and it's that Kristin is both a human and computer. She starts out as human, and when she realizes that this is a fairly standard case, she passes it off to computer Kristin, and when the computer gets scared, it asks for person Kristin again. Others have suggested that Kristin is someone in a call center in India whose English isn't very good, which I don't really buy.
There are some weird grammatical inconsistencies throughout the conversation, like the fact that "credit" is always capitalized, but "card" usually isn't. "Thank you for choosing Bank of America's Credit card Services." She really went out of her way not to capitalize "card" that time. Then there are certain words that are capitalized out of nowhere like "Wonderful" and "Banking Needs". There's occasionally an extra space before the end of a sentence, and a colon before the date she gives me, which could be sloppy copy and pasting or shoddy programming. So none of that is evidence either way, I just wanted to let you know I've really thought about this a lot.
My favorite part is when she says "If the answer is "YES", then I'm sorry once again." I mean, that's just crazy. No human would ever say that and no one would program a computer to say that. It's like I'm talking to someone being held hostage and they're trying to slip me information about how to rescue them without their captors catching on.
Anyway, what a dystopian future we live in where we can't tell if the people we're talking to are people or robots. Do any of you have a strong opinion either way as to who or what Kristin Scales is?
December 12, 2011
Quick Draw McGraw
Quick Draw McGraw is a sheriff who fights crime with a gun, except when he puts on a different outfit and becomes El Kabong, who is not sheriff and fights crime with a guitar. That makes no sense.
October 4, 2011
Remember when King Solomon threatened to chop a baby in half to figure out who its real mother was? Who was the knucklehead who was like, "Oh, cool. Half a baby."
August 19, 2011
Watching Back to the Future at least once a week in high school has finally paid off.
And it's in this article I wrote for slate:
It was fun to write. More fun though, is that Bob Gale, writer/producer of the series, more than likely read the article, as evidenced here:
That's very exciting.
May 27, 2011
Hey Google, fuck you, you indian giver.
Apologies to my Native American readers.
Due to the substantial economic burden caused by extensive abuse, the number of requests you may make per day will be limited and the API will be shut off completely on December 1, 2011.
What that means is that come December, Translation Party will be no more because that translation api was doing all the work behind the scenes translating things back and forth. Are they talking about us when they mention extensive abuse? Maybe. But whatever, I'm mad now.
May 15, 2011
I wrote another article for slate
Here it is:
I just now came up with a better title: How I learned to stop worrying and not care about Star Wars.
May 7, 2011
People who like Sonic the Hedgehog like Fox News.
Don't ask me why I was looking at Sonic the Hedgehog comics on amazon, but check this out. If you look at the page for Sonic The Hedgehog Select Volume 1 and scroll down a bit, you'll see this:
That's weird. There are a couple other Sonic things on amazon that recommend Beck, Palin, and Rove too.
Sadly, I could find no evidence that people who like Mario comics like MSNBC.
April 5, 2011
Skabba the Hut lives on in marching band form
The Yale Precision Marching Band, for reasons I will never fully understand, recorded a cover of Beatdown Stomp, a song by my old band, Skabba the Hut. Here it is:
Download Yale Precision Marching Band - Beatdown Stomp
Here's the original, for reference:
(We had changed our name to The El Conquistadors by then, because we were ashamed of being a ska band.)
It's a shockingly faithful cover, they even did my trumpet solo. Also, I want to take credit for the line near the end of the song, "You ain't so smooth with my syringe in your urethra." That was all me.
March 30, 2011
Today I saw a guy on the Brooklyn Bridge riding a bike and smoking a cigar.
And then I ate an McGriddle. The end.
March 23, 2011
I synched my iPod yesterday and for some reason, the only song left on it was this
What could I do but leave it on repeat all day?
March 18, 2011
I put facebook comments on this blog and I forgot why.
Facebook recently released a way for a regular old blog like diogenes club to have its commenting system implemented and stored by facebook. If you scroll down and you're logged into facebook, you might very well see a picture of yourself next to the comment box and the option to post your comment on facebook.
Will, why did you do this, you might ask. I already told you, I forgot. It may have started with me being annoyed that when I would link here on facebook, some people would comment on facebook, and some people would comment here. (Or, more likely, no one would comment at all.) This doesn't actually fix this since comments on something I post on facebook won't show up here in the new way either. It would help with comment spam, except I had already squashed it entirely by making people type "yeah" into a box before they commented.
There is an option to blacklist certain keywords and to automatically correct common grammar mistakes, but I've turned both of them off, because what's the point of commenting on the internet if you can't swear and use bad grammar?
A lot of real blogs have started using facebook comments with the idea that it would increase civility because people need to use their real name. Those people clearly don't know how to create a fake facebook profile. It isn't hard.
So, in short, I handed over control of my blog to a guy whose only motivation is impressing his ex-girlfriend from college. For absolutely no reason.
PS: I also put a like button on everything cause fuck it.
March 15, 2011
Hop is more than likely a very bad movie and I shouldn't care about its poster.
And yet, I do. Today on the subway, I saw this poster:
Well, to be honest, it was slightly different, but the thing I cared about was the tagline:
CANDY, CHICKS AND ROCK 'N' ROLL
Here are my thoughts on that tagline:
1) The order is wrong. It's clearly a reference to the song Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll and its appropriation by pop culture to mean cool things done by rock musicians. They just changed the first two things. But if you were going to properly match up the two changed things, I think that candy would match up with drugs, and chicks would match up with sex. That would make it CHICKS, CANDY, AND ROCK 'N' ROLL.
1a) Their tagline is in trochees. Mine is not. I realize that. It's entirely possible they chose theirs for its poetic meter and not to avoid some controversy equating sex with chicks or some other completely arbitrary reason. We'll never know.
2) What's with the all caps? The makers of the poster had already demonstrated their ability to turn off caps lock when talking about who the creators are.
3) I would have liked a comma after CHICKS. I know either is acceptable. It's just my personal preference.
4) Why is one and "AND" and the other and "'N'"?
This movie looks bad. Poke your eyes out with your soda straw bad. I don't know what happens in it. Frankly, I don't want to know. But it looks bad. You know what, I'm going to watch the trailer. Hold on. Feel free to watch it yourself:
Okay, I watched the trailer. It confirmed my suspicions that Hop is, in fact, a bad movie. Here are my thoughts on the trailer:
1) The cast
1a) What's with Russell Brand? Is he only allowed to play rock-related British people?
1b) I'm not mad at James Marsden, but I only know who he is because he was Cyclops in the X-Men movies, and the only reason they cast him as Cyclops in those movies is because he's a kind of unappealing actor, and they wanted to make Wolverine look cooler.
2) E.B. (I had assumed the character's name was Hop, but apparently I was wrong) doesn't know what a car is, but he knows what insurance companies are and the fact that one would leave them out of an incident involving cars.
3) Where did he get a carrot that size? Bugs Bunny, for whatever reason, was a human sized bunny. E.B. is not, and baby carrots don't look like that.
4) You can't play Rock Band drums on more than easy without being able to reach the bass pedal.
5) What are those chicks even doing? I guess that was the best scene with the chicks they could find, and they had to put them in so they could say the tagline.
6) That lady from Big Bang Theory is borderline psychotic the way she freaks out when she sees a stuffed animal on a couch and proceeds to hug and caress it and talk about how fun it is hugging and caressing it.
In closing, let me say that I will never see Hop. Okay, I probably will. I just watched Big Momma's House 3, I'll see anything. But Big Mommas a better tagline:
Momma's got back-up.
I have no qualms with that. All right, fine, I do. I wouldn't have used the hyphen.
March 9, 2011
WTF Obama wrap up
So it's about time I talk about whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com here. Well past about time, really. I posted a bunch of things about it to facebook at the time, just because it's so easy, so all you clubbers out there are getting the news a little after the fact, but you can rejoice in that you're getting it all in one fell swoop.
Shortly before election day, my friend Shavanna texted me with the idea to make a site listing all of Obama's accomplishments in the style of whatthefuckismysocialmediastrategy.com. (Credit where credit's due, as far as I know, whatthefuckshouldimakefordinner.com was the first site like this.) I made a quick prototype and sent it off to Rick, co-creator of Translation Party, and within a few hours, we had a site. We posted it to facebook and twitter and a few friends. Cas, the creator of Crying While Eating and Internets Celebrities actually had the idea to change the sarcastic quip every time, which kills me, because I had done that with both Question Party and Translation Party, and it would have never occurred to me to do it for this.
It started spreading pretty quickly, mostly just because of people passing it along to their friends, but a few big names gave us a link too. Most notably:
I have to say, Carrie Fisher was very exciting, because now if I ever see her at a party, I'll have something to say to her besides, "Hey, you're Princess Leia."
We got to do some interviews. We decided to do email interviews instead of phone interviews, so it would be easier to sound clever. We did ones for:
We also made it into the New York Magazine Approval Matrix, which marks the third time I've been in the magazine in some form or another, not that I'm counting.
And then we got our biggest plug from Michael Moore, who mentioned us in an interview with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC, which led to us being interviewed on the same show a few days later. No more email interviews for us, we were going to have to sound clever on the spot. I think it could have gone a lot worse:
So there you go, a few hours of work, and a small internet sensation. If only it were always that easy.
December 19, 2010
Fuck you, Andy Carvin. You are a fucking idiot. Tron sucks. Admit it.
Andy Carvin is Senior Strategist at NPR. He wrote this article:
Don't bother clicking that link, I'm going to break down how stupid Andy's article is, paragraph by paragraph.
If you put a bunch of film critics in a room and ask what they think of the movie Tron: Legacy, you're likely to get a dismissive shrug. The film is already drawing mixed reviews. Just don't tell that to the tens of thousands of fans on Twitter eager to attend Friday's premiere.
Critics have seen the movie. The knuckleheads on twitter haven't.
Andy goes on to talk about the original Tron:
We obsessed over the video game version - so much so I remember a coder friend of mine spent an entire day with me and my nine-year-old brother programming a rudimentary version of the "light cycle" game from the movie on an IBM PC.
So what you're saying is, you, your brother, and some other kid spent a day messing around with a computer.
Other friends took a crack at making a Dungeons and Dragons-like roleplaying game out of Tron. (No need to mention I was a nerd; I've come to terms with that.) We spent weeks trying to come up with the rules for the game, albeit not very successfully.
All right, for one thing, I'm sick of people coming out as nerds. I saw Jennifer Love Hewitt come out on Letterman or something as a nerd. There's no shame in being a nerd anymore, people are proud of it. People who aren't nerds say they're nerds. It means nothing. I'll tell you what else. My friends and I worked on a roleplaying game for Gummi Bears. Yeah, that's right, the Disney Afternoon cartoon. Does that mean that Gummi Bears is underrated? No, it means we were teenagers with a lot of time on our hands, and they had already made roleplaying games for everything else we thought was cool.
We knew it wasn't a perfect film, but we loved its technological wizardry nonetheless. In that respect, Tron was the Avatar of its time.
I won't argue with you that Tron was a technological innovation. It was the first feature film to use computer generated imagery. I'll tell you what else was a technological innovation. The Jazz Singer, the first feature film to use sound. If you don't know why that's an unflattering comparison, do a google image search for "jazz singer." It's a bit extreme to compare Tron to The Jazz Singer, but my point is, technological innovation does not a good movie make.
Now it's easy to dismiss the original Tron because of its meager box office draw when it came out in 1982.
He goes on to talk about how it was a box office disappointment. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that it was savaged by critics as well.
But that doesn't mean it didn't leave a lasting legacy, as it were.
Yeah, they just made a movie out of Marmaduke. Marmaduke. Literally no one likes Marmaduke. I defy you to find me someone who likes Marmaduke. But Hollywood is so desperate for ideas right now, they'll salvage any old idea that the public has a vague recollection of, and Tron seemed like a reasonable candidate. That's why we have a Yogi Bear movie too.
He talks about Tron's wikipedia entry:
Tron, meanwhile, is 3,600 words long and has received over 1,700 edits... So despite the fact that critics are dismissive of Tron, its fans have lovingly documented it on Wikipedia with almost as much intensity as E.T.'s fans.
Check out how many edits Power Rangers has on wikipedia.
Now let's talk buzz for a moment. One would assume that a sequel to a "flop" would generate little enthusiasm among the public. If you look at Twitter, though, that hasn't been the case. Twitter has become a fairly accurate barometer of how people feel about a film.
Disney, one of the biggest entertainment corporations in the world, has spent the last three years promoting this movie. Of course it's popular on twitter. It's popular with people who haven't seen the movie yet, and probably haven't seen the original, because Disney has let the original Tron go out of print so people won't remember how bad it was.
So critics, bring on those reviews. We don't care if either Tron film is mediocre from your perspective.
This is the same kind logic used by people who like Transformers 2: Secret of the Ooze, or whatever it's called. "I don't care what critics think, I saw some stuff blow up, and it made like a bazillion dollars, so anyone who doesn't like it is an effete snob who only likes black and white French movies."
As pretty as Tron and Tron Legacy are, they're not good movies. I wish they were, but they're not. Stop pretending they are.
October 6, 2010
I'm still the greatest Ice Climber player that ever lived, and don't you forget it.
You may remember I broke the world record for Ice Climber for the NES in 2007. Since then, news on the Ice Climber front has been slow. No one's submitted a score for it in the last three years, and I've remained on top.
Little did I know that in late 2009, people started submitting scores for the arcade version of Ice Climber, which is called Vs. Ice Climber, because that's how Nintendo named its arcade games at the time. A few months ago, this came to my attention and I set out to beat the score. I've never seen a Vs. Ice Climber machine, and I doubt many people have. According to klov, there are only three working machines in the world. Fortunately, you're allowed to use an emulator, unlike my NES record, where I had to use the original hardware.
Vs. Ice Climber is sort of Ice Climber 1.5 (despite the fact that wikipedia says it came out before NES Ice Climber). It has more boards, different music, wind, bees, and if you get far enough, instead of the pterodactyl/condor at the top of the mountain, there's a giant moth. Why is there a giant moth? I don't know, why do Eskimos have eggplants?
Just between you and me, internet, I had the score beaten a while ago, but I wanted to hold out until I had a score that really creamed the other ones, just to send a message to stay off my Ice Climber turf.
Here's the link if you still don't believe me:
September 29, 2010
Happy sixth birthday, Diogenes Club!
That's right. The club has been around for six years.
Unrelated, here's a note to everyone. Stop saying "bless you" or "gesundheit" when I sneeze. It's stupid and pointless and it doesn't make any sense.
September 21, 2010
My friend Rick sent me a site called Six Minute Story.
I wrote this:
Don't be too hard on me. I only had six minutes.
September 4, 2010
Thoughts on "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee"
Bees float too.
August 19, 2010
Someone finally appreciates Kim Kardaskhan.
Also, breaking: Bieber: Kardashian is 'extremely hot'. Thank you, cnn.com.
August 12, 2010
The fastest Mac ever
Apple decided to email me today about their new Mac Pro, its main selling point being that it's faster than all the other Macs they've made in the past.
If they were making Macs slower than they were last year, that would be worth telling me about.
August 6, 2010
Free as hell
While browsing in a local used book shop with my friend Elliot, I happened upon a collection of Ed Burns screenplays and laughed out loud. The owner overheard me, asked to see the book I was making fun of, and promptly put it out on the street with the note you see attached.
It's called The Atlantic Bookshop, and I recommend you check it out, because you are guaranteed not to find any Ed Burns related literature there.
August 4, 2010
This is the worst song I've ever heard.
I know you all are still digesting Nobody comments anymore wah, but I had to share Soulja Boy's Pretty Boy Swag with you, in the same way that I would have to share small pox with you if I ever caught it.
August 1, 2010
Nobody comments anymore wah
Here's a follow up on Readership is down, posts continue to be erratic
More noticeable than diogenes club's declining readership is its declining comments. Here's a chart:
PS: I made this chart a few months ago, forgot about it, and then didn't feel like updating the data when I remembered it
What can we take from this chart? Not that much, but I think facebook has taken away some of the club's thunder. Way back in 2004, there wasn't an easy way to keep up with people and leave comments on it and stuff, so people settled for just keeping up with me and commenting here. Now that facebook is around, you can keep with everybody and leave as many comments as you want, rendering diogenes club somewhat obsolete.
But don't think that'll stop me. I'll be posting here on the incredibly irregular basis I've been keeping up for almost six years, and I don't care if anybody comments or not.
July 29, 2010
To the guy on the subway playing tic-tac-toe on his iPhone
You're never going to win. It always ends in a tie.
July 24, 2010
Fandango, you tease.
This is the page you see after you buy movie tickets on Fandango:
click the image for full size
July 14, 2010
I'm just talking about Shaq Pack.
July 12, 2010
This was the building next door to my office today.
I'm all right, don't worry.
March 9, 2010
Here's me reading a thing that I wrote
PenTales is something I have difficulty explaining, so you can read their about page, because they'll do a better job of it than I would. But you don't have to entirely understand what it is to hear me read a short story I wrote for their latest event:
January 22, 2010
diogenesclub.net is back in google, so you can stop using bing now.
After a movable type upgrade and a lot of carping on google's webmaster forums, the club is being indexed by google again. I'm not really sure what did it, but hopefully we'll be getting some random commenters back here that I can make fun of soon.
(Previously: Google has stopped indexing this site past the home page)
January 19, 2010
That Sherlock Holmes Red Bull ad is poorly researched, even for a Red Bull ad.
Sherlock Holmes drinks coffee, not tea.
It should be noted that this ad is apparently not licensed by the Doyle estate. Of course, neither is redheadedleague.com or diogenesclub.net, but I won't tell if you don't.
January 8, 2010
This one's for all you Pokemon lovers out there
See, I had this hilarious idea. There's this pokemon named Abomasnow. You know, like an abominable snowman. It looks like this:
I thought, wouldn't it be hilarious if I made an Obama-snow? I could photoshop Obama's head on the Abomasnow. It would be awesome. I'd be an internet legend. Of course, before I started this incredible project, I googled Obamasnow. Sure enough, someone had beaten me to the punch:
I was heartbroken. But surely there was another pokemon that I could paste a celebrity face onto. I racked my brain. There's this other pokemon called Kangaskhan. It looks like this:
Add a celebrity that I'm not entirely sure what she's famous for but am still relatively sure she's a celebrity and behold:
Kim Kardashian + Kangaskhan = Kim Kardaskhan
You're welcome, internet.
December 24, 2009
Further proof that I am, in fact, not a snuggie model.
If you didn't believe me the first time, here's more proof:
December 13, 2009
Here's me in a trailer for a movie that I'm in, and I hope you like it.
It's called Lasergun, and it's by Victor Varnado, and I think it's going to be good.
December 10, 2009
The new Red-headed League!
As you may have noticed, my site, redheadedleague.com, looked like it was designed in the late nineties (it was actually the early two-thousands, but whatever) and on top of that, was woefully out of date. Well no more! The extremely talented Richard Boenigk redesigned it and I put all of my more recent stuff on it.
November 21, 2009
I am a Very Significant Director Person
October 17, 2009
If you told me there was a rap video that referenced Back to the Future and Ice Climber, I wouldn't believe you.
And yet here it is.
September 29, 2009
Happy birthday diogenesclub.net!
It's been five years since I made the first post, an innocuous discussion of the usage of y'all. And since then, the innocuousness has kept coming at a slow trickle.
It's a website that few can spell, and even fewer can explain why I chose the name (it's after a dinner club in Sherlock Holmes, not Diogenes the Cynic). Or why it's .net instead of .com (I just liked the ring of it better). It's a blog that started just as blogging started to become passé. It's a way for me to put stuff I do online without having to go to the trouble of updating redheadedleague.com. It's gone through phases of twitter-esque brevity and long-winded, angry movie rants. And it has never shied away from the tough but important topics, like itself.
So what do the next five years hold for the club? Who knows. But thanks for reading, everyone.
July 30, 2009
Barack Obama likes Bud Light
From The Times:
The much-anticipated “beer summit” of President Obama, the Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge Police Department in Massachusetts took place Thursday night...
The four drank out of beer mugs. Mr. Obama had a Bud Lite
So next time you see me drinking a Bud Light, don't make fun. The president drinks it, so step off. Also note that The Times doesn't know how to spell Bud Light.
July 29, 2009
This is what happens when you mess with Skabba
It can't be just a coincidence.
July 14, 2009
Joe DeRosa's IndigNATION
If you love the back of my head, you'll love this trailer for Joe's new show.
Go see it, he's a funny guy.
May 18, 2009
Probably the only time I'll be compared to The Beatles
Last month's issue of Blender magazine devoted two pages to a showdown between the worst band names of all time, including The Beatles, Limp Bizkit, and my college band, Skabba the Hut. We seemed to be representing every terrible ska band that took a common term and figured out a way to put ska in it somewhere, although if it were me, I would have nominated The Ska Skank Redemption, which shockingly enough is not defunct.
Here are the scans to prove it:
Sadly, we were beaten out by The Cherry Poppin' Daddies and the title eventually went, deservedly so, to Hoobastank.
In other Skabba related news, our former guitarist Brian Grosz, now of Dogs of Winter, has released a free album called From Soil To Shale and you can download it here.
April 23, 2009
Do you like parties? And tea?
Well then have I got the thing for you. My friend Kramer, who edited Casted and Falseface among other things went to the tea party demonstrations in New York and got some great photos. You can watch a montage of them here:
He has a book of photos that you should buy too.
April 13, 2009
I am not a snuggie model
A few months ago, The New York Times ran a piece on snuggies and whether or not they were practical for outdoor use. They also made a slideshow that included this image:
Some friends of mine pointed this image out to me and wondered if I had been living a double life as a snuggie model. It's actually of the article's author, Allen Salkin, who looks like this:
To tell you the truth, if I wasn't absolutely positive that I've never even seen a snuggie in real life, I would assume that picture was of me too. It's creepy. But I assure you, it's not me. Not that I would turn down any snuggie modeling work if it was offered to me.
February 24, 2009
Cas has a pants problem and Bono is an idiot.
Also, reader gmn10, in reference to The Great ATM Heist, writes in to say:
Bono uses the term "ATM Machine" in the song "Moment of Surrender" on the new U2 album.
I'm going to assume that's true because I don't want to actually listen to the new U2 album.
February 11, 2009
Google has stopped indexing this site past the home page
I used to be able to find old posts of mine with google. (For those of you who don't know, you can search one specific site by putting in something like: "site:diogenesclub.net google has stopped indexing this site.") In the past few months, however, this has stopped working. The only page on diogenes club that will come up in google for any search is the home page (a search for diogenes club, for example). Try it yourself. Go to the archives, find a sentence, put it quotes around it, and put it into google, don't even add the site:diogenesclub.net. You'll either get a No results found... Here's some results without the quotes message like this, a search for "An old woman offered me a seat on the subway this morning", or you'll end up with some weird spam site that scraped the text from diogenes club and put it on theirs like this, a search for "Do the people that make Bazooka Joe comics care about anything?" That's right. Google thinks random spam sites full of gibberish are more interesting than diogenes club.
Try those same searches on yahoo. Diogenes club comes up. Try them on MSN, they're there too. Even ask.com has them for crying out loud! (As a brief aside, jeez, ask.com, lighten up with the ads, would you?)
In short, what the hell, google? How am I going to make fun of people who end up on random old posts and leave stupid comments? I doubt I'm blacklisted, because you can still get the home page in the results. Is this happening to anybody else? It must be. Try it on your blog. This passive aggression will not stand!
February 10, 2009
Video Game Night: A success! (except for the clips I didn't actually watch)
Video Game Night was awesome!
Kevin and I scoured the internet and some VHS tapes for some obscure and not so obscure video game clips. (By the way, none of them were from all the video game movies I've seen over the years).
A lot of clips went over a lot better than I would have expected, like a montage I put together from Secret Video Game Tricks, Codes, & Strategies of all byzantine NES codes that made the Contra code look like pushing the start button. Although one clip that I never actually watched all the way through, the Mario Bros meeting Cher and her dog, seemed to make people physically ill. The Mario Bros meeting Milli Vanilli didn't go over that much better, and I actually cut some of the really bad stuff out of it.
Best of all, I got to talk about being the greatest Ice Climber player that ever lived to a bunch of people who actually seemed to be somewhat impressed. And then I lost a game of Pac-Man, and lost all my street cred, but whatever, I'm never said I was the greatest Pac-Man player that ever lived. Anyway, thanks to Kevin and everybody who came out!
February 9, 2009
I got interviewed by my company about my job.
How clever is it that I titled this post "Job Interview," making you think that I went out on a job interview but was in fact interviewed about my current job? So clever.
February 4, 2009
Video Game Movie Night!
The illustrious Kevin Maher and I are hosting an evening of video game related movies that will be hilarious and fun and awesome. If you've ever heard me talk about how I'm the greatest Ice Climber player that ever lived, well, you'll probably hear me say it a lot more this Monday, but at least there'll be a reason for it.
Everything you need to know is right here:
See you there!
January 28, 2009
It is imperative that you watch this video immediately.
via Jeffrey D
January 24, 2009
I don't want to say that studios purposely put crappy movies on hulu.com...
But Howard the Duck is on there. And it's rated three and a half stars.
January 6, 2009
Pictures of Bill Gates and Mischa Barton and their big watches
In October 2004, Microsoft and Swatch partnered to create the Swatch Paparazzi, a smart watch that delivered news, sports, and lottery information straight to its owners' wrists, through integration with MSN Direct. Bill Gates and actress Mischa Barton were on hand for its release.
Here, Mischa gives a grateful look to someone off camera:
Soon after, Bill throws a knowing glance at presumably the same person:
The two soak in the glory after Bill explains the watches features:
Here they are looking proud of their watches:
Here they are with some guy:
Here is a collage I made of other photos from the event, my favorite being the one in the middle, with Mischa's casual stance:
This is an animated gif of Mischa and Bill where Mischa is doing a dance and Bill is shaking his head:
I can't believe it's been over four years since the Paparazzi was released and these images were burned into my consciousness forever.
December 11, 2008
Pay attention, Congress and auto industry, while I do your jobs for you
I figured out how to solve the auto industry's financial problems.* The government needs to ban car advertising.
I don't watch much tv, but whenever I turn it on, I'm inundated with ads for V8 engines and 0% APR financing and a bunch of other things I don't understand or want to understand. People buy cars when they need cars. I don't think there are that many people that buy cars just because the new model has another cup holder. Having ads for cars is like having ads for indoor plumbing and heat. People are going to buy them no matter what. And I'm sure car companies are spending more money on ads than they're going to save making their CEOs fly coach.
The only reason Ford needs to buy ads is because if they didn't, Chrysler would buy some, and everyone would want to get a Chrysler. They've been forced into this ridiculous advertising arms race that no one can ever win, and if we don't stop it, we'll eventually have to start selling ad space on our foreheads. So Congress has to act and save the industry from themselves, and save everyone from having to watch car ads.
Then we can go back to watching ads for fast food and prescription drugs.
* I probably didn't figure out how to solve the auto industry's financial problems.
November 25, 2008
I'm in a frigging book so deal with it
I'm not really sure how this happened, but I was interviewed for a book called Daring Tales of Daring. Jacob Ditkovski, the author/editor got in contact with me, talked to me on the phone for about an hour, and put the parts where I didn't sound like a complete idiot in his book, which you can get on amazon.
Aside from my interview, there's four short stores, wholly un-Will related. Jacob sent me a copy of the book (which I will read, but haven't yet, because I'm in the middle of It's Superman, given to me by Seth for my birthday). He also sent me a nice little stamper thing with my name on it that reaffirms that I'm a true person of daring (the stamper thing's words, not mine).
And, while I recommend you buy the book, you can read the interview itself on Jacob's blog.
November 22, 2008
You know what's annoying, is annoying things. Some friends of mine made a site where you can vent your anger about your favorite peeves, and if you're lucky, they'll make a weird video about it too.
November 3, 2008
Some Will related links
If there's anything I like more than writing about myself, it's having other people do it for me. The good people at Tilzy.tv and Tubefilter have written up some nice things about me and here they are in no particular order:
October 29, 2008
A New Carlough Bros. Live! This Sunday!
Well, almost new, anyway. I've actually performed it once before, but it was at a theater fundraiser that was forty bucks to get in, so unless you really love supporting the theatrical arts, you probably haven't seen it. Anyway, it's this Sunday at Bowery Poetry Club, courtesy of First Sundays. You can read about it and everything else at the show at First Sundays' site. And it'll be awesome and you should come.
October 28, 2008
Have you ever thought of a name for a band and then found out a band with that name already existed?
October 24, 2008
More My Best Friend
This one includes what will probably go down as the worst Lenny Bruce impression in web video history.
October 23, 2008
This Monday: Frankenstein night!
I'll be presenting a short video clip of Frankenstein meeting the Super Mario Bros. with Kevin Maher on Monday along with a whole bunch of other Frankenstein stuff. You can find out all about it here:
October 1, 2008
Strawberry Shortcake redux
In 2006, I wrote a post about how a New York Times article was inaccurate and figured it was going to be the last time I was going to be able to do it. And it basically was. But...
Check out this article about revamping Strawberry Shortcake for the 21st century, or if you don't feel like it, just look at the image from it:
Now look at the official Strawberry Shortcake website.
Strawberry Shortcake never looked like the Times' version. I'm just sayin. Diogenes Club 2, Times 0. Also, the article says that she's made $2.5 billion since 2003, how the hell did that happen?
And as long as I'm talking about 21st century revamps, Hasbro is modernizing Clue to make it more relevant to kids today, which I find odd, because it wasn't like old timey colonels with monocles and grand dame widows were popular when we were kids and we still put up with Clue.
September 22, 2008
Wario loves Austin Powers... or does he!?!?!
In Mario Kart Wii, all the big Mario characters put aside their differences and race go-karts, all the while saying various short phrases, most of them involving their own names.
I've discussed Wario's kart sound bites before, and Mario Kart Wii adds a few to his repertoire. (One new one which I personally enjoy is "So long, losers!" which I often say to my coworkers when I leave the office, and very few of them find it amusing.) But the most interesting one is "Yeah, baby."
When I heard that for the first time I thought, Wario is so profoundly evil that he quotes Austin Powers. It was a bold new step for him, probably the most villainous turn in his entire career.
I originally did the voice for Donkey Kong in the same way... *Donkey Kong voice* "Ooh! Ooh! Ooh yeah! DK, baby!" You know, so then we had a real-time Donkey Kong... but now, of course, I think it's all computer-generated sounds, so...
So, in truth, Charles Martinet just likes saying yeah and baby, sometimes putting characters' names in between the two. So I learned a lesson. Don't overanalyze video game sound bites.
September 18, 2008
Readership is down, posts continue to be erratic
Here's a look at unique visitors and number of visits since May 2005. (For whatever reason, I don't have logs going back any further.)
Readership peaked in June 2007, and if you look at the posts for that month, it wasn't notably more exciting than most months. I haven't been able to hit those levels again, the closest being March 2008, which seems like a more interesting month to me, and at the very least has a more random assemblage of words that could lure people in from google.
One might think that the way to get more readers is to post more. But that's clearly not the case, because as you can see, posting has always been erratic and has nothing to do with anything.
So, my solution for more readership is to continue in my erratic posting habits. Thanks for reading.
September 15, 2008
Paraphrase Theater: Tommy - The Next Day will be playing at 2AM on Comedy Central's Atom TV tonight! You can read more about it here:
And, if you don't want to stay up that late, you can also see it on atom.com anytime, but you didn't hear it from me.
September 14, 2008
I've been to two weddings in the last two weeks
After going to Comic-Con with only a disposable camera I bought at the airport, I finally broke down and bought a digital camera.
I forgot to bring it to the first wedding, and brought it for the second wedding, but left it in my hotel room the whole time. So, in lieu of showing you pictures from the past two weekends, here's a picture of my camera, which you will probably never see in real life.
September 3, 2008
Would you believe I'm in a claymation video
This is another blink and you'll miss me type of thing, but...
Depending on the shot, I'm either talking about Phantom Menace or NES games that I've played.
August 31, 2008
Hazzards: Tuesday Night!
I don't usually promote Hazzards shows on diogenes club, because, well, I don't usually post on diogenes club that much at all, but Anne told me to spread the word about this show, and what Anne says goes.
Everything you need to know about it is right here:
Also, just so this post isn't wholly self-promotional, here is a rap about Sherlock Holmes that has apparently been around for some time, and shame on everyone who's seen this and didn't forward it to me:
August 24, 2008
I went to Comic-Con and blogged about it a month later.
About a week and a half before Comic-Con, I and about thirty other people got an email telling us that our movies were in finalists in the Star Wars Fan Movie Awards which were to be held at San Diego Comic-Con. I didn't even know there were awards, so this came as a surprise to me. They also gave us all a free pass plus a guest for Comic-Con. So I figured, why not? I'd soon find out the answer to that question, which was expensive plane tickets and the fact that hotels in San Diego are booked solid months in advance of Comic-Con. Fortunately, my cousin Jacy had gotten a hotel room, and invited me to stay on the extra bed in it.
So it was settled. I was going. The day I left, the flight was delayed about four hours and when I finally got on the plane, and it was delayed another four hours. In those four hours, I came to the realization that I was in the worst seat on the whole plane. I was in the middle seat in the front row, which means I didn't have a seat in front of me that I could stick my legs under, just a wall. Technically, I was tied for worst, because there was another seat just like mine across the aisle, but enough complaining about air travel, there'll be plenty of time for that on the trip back.
I got there before Jacy, so I had most of Thursday to myself. I got onto the main floor, and it was all pretty overwhelming. Shoulder to shoulder people (and this was on Thursday, it was only going to get worse) and a lot of noisy booths about stuff I either didn't know about or care about.
There may be some small thing in that picture that I was trying to take a picture of, but that works as a general illustration of what the floor was like. I visited the Atom booth (the people responsible for the awards). They seemed busy, so I didn't stick around for too long. Not caring much for the floor, I thought I'd give the panels a try. I went to one about DIY animation, but it wasn't that interesting and when the speaker started giving tips about backing up your files regularly, I decided that I had better things to do than listen to some guy tell me how to use a computer.
I then wandered around in a bad mood, taking pictures of random things that I thought were stupid to prove how stupid Comic-Con was. I'll spare you most of those, but here's a guy in an Aqualad costume:
Later that day, my cousin Jacy showed up, who had been to Comic-Con before, and had a better handle on what to do, and put me in a better mood in general. I went to two panels hosted by Mark Evanier, whose blog I had been reading for a long time, so it was nice to see him in person and find out how his name is pronounced. (It's e-van-eer', not e-vahn'-ee-ay, like I thought, if you were wondering.) Those two panels were the ones I enjoyed the most, one interviewing golden age comic book artists and another with 1970's animators. The fact that those panels had about a tenth of the attendance of a panel about, say, that TV show Chuck, says a lot about what I disliked about Comic-Con.
Then the award ceremony came. I was shocked at how many people showed up for this thing. I mean, with all due respect for fan films, a lot of them are kind of on the bad side. But people were psyched and packed into a huge room.
I was sitting next to Tina, who works at Atom and was presenting an award. She was rehearsing her speech, and at the end of the speech, it said the name of the movie that won. There wasn't a sealed envelope or anything.
"Wait, you know who won already?" I asked her.
"Yeah," she replied.
"Did I win anything?"
I had been talking all day how I was sure I wasn't going to win anything. I was purposely doing this so I wouldn't get my hopes up, because I always get my hopes up, even when I'm positive I won't win anything. But it was kind of crushing to hear that I had come all the way out here just to smile and clap as other movies won awards. But as it turns out, the next award was best comedy, which as you already know, went to me.
You can watch it all go down here, best comedy comes in at around 2:30:
Apparently Tina didn't know who won every award, although other people did, and they had kept it to themselves. Here's a picture of me, Jacy, and the award in question.
Later that night I ended up at a small hotel bar, where I saw Jonathan Frakes (Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Avery Brooks (Sisko from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) hanging out together. The very idea of two guys from two different Star Treks hanging out in a hotel bar threw the nerd in me for a loop, but I decided not to say anything to them. A few minutes later, a group of guys recognized Frakes as he got up to go to the bathroom, and then pointed and yelled "Riker!" along with some unintelligible squeals. Frakes, who I imagine gets this all the time, handled it pretty well, pointing and yelling back at them, then quickly ducking into the bathroom. The guys then huddled up and decided to follow him in there. All of which made me feel a lot better about keeping my mouth shut when I saw them.
Anyway, that was Comic-Con. All and all, a fun trip, although I don't think I'd ever go back were I not enticed by the possibility of winning an award. On the way back, the award broke in half when the TSA decided it looked dangerous (keep in mind, this is a statue of C-3P0 and R2-D2) and rifled through my bag and pulled it out. That, or it had already broken. It was pretty delicate, but I like to blame the TSA. My flight got delayed six hours and I caught a cold that put me out of commission for about a week, which seems to be what usually happens when I go anywhere outside of the city.
Oh, and at some point or another I got my picture taken with Batman, Wonder Woman, and Pikachu.
August 12, 2008
The cussiness of diogenes club is...
And as soon as I remember to bring my pictures home, I'll tell you more about how Comic-Con went down, although I've probably forgotten half of what happened already.
July 26, 2008
Here I am at Comic-Con
First off, I'm happy to announce that Paraphrase Theater won the award for best comedy. You can read about it at the official site. I was so surprised, that all I could muster for an acceptance speech was, "Thanks," and when the presenter encouraged me to say more, I replied, "That's all I got."
I bet you'd like some photos of the event, and I'd like to give them to you, but all I have is a disposable camera I bought at the airport, so you'll have to wait until I get it developed. I'm kind of surprised they still sell those things. You could probably buy a cheap digital camera for the price of two of them. But who am I to judge, I'm the one who bought it.
Comic-Con is a bit overwhelming, that's why I'm here in the hotel, blogging on what I'm told is the busiest day of the event. It was too busy for me on Thursday, the least busy day of the event, so I'm not in a big rush to get down there. Which isn't to say I'm not having a good time, of course. There's just a limit to how many people in anime outfits that I don't recognize bumping into me I can take.
But I got to see some neat panels, got my picture taken with Pikachu, and all kinds of stuff. I'll tell you all about it when I get back and have pictures to go along with it. Now, back to the convention center.
Update: It'll be a while before I can upload my own photos, but until then, this picture of me awkwardly accepting the award was uploaded by the official Star Wars blog:
The rest of the album is here
July 23, 2008
I'm off to Comic-Con!
See, Star Wars Paraphrase Theater is playing in the Atom Star Wars fan film festival there. I've always been curious about these kinds of things, but I've never had a good reason to go to one. Now I do. It's hard to imagine there'll be enough stuff there to keep me busy all weekend, but who knows. I'm here at the airport now, which is where I've been for the past four hours or so. If I spent four hours a day at an airport, I'd probably blog a lot more. Although I'd probably just blog about how much I hate spending so much time at the airport.
But anyway, if you're going too, drop me a line, or if you want me to pick up a copy of Detective Comics #27 for you or anything, leave a comment.
June 17, 2008
Carlough Bros. Return!
Readers may remember a live show I do called Carlough Bros: Live! and how I always say the next one will be the last one. Well, here's two more last shows, including a brand new Carlough Bros. adventure. If you're in New York and free, come by and check us out.
The Original Carlough Bros
Part of Atom.com Live!
Wednesday, June 18th at 7:30pm
307 W. 26th Street
And it's free, too.
The World Premiere of Carlough Bros. in... Same' Ol!
Part of The Debate Society's Fundraiser and Gala
Thursday, June 19th at 7pm
The Ukrainian Cultural Center
136 2nd Ave.
35 Dollars in advance, 40 at the door
More info here: http://www.theatermania.com/content/show.cfm/show/144853
June 4, 2008
The Further Absolutely True Adventures of George Lucas
I stopped writing my own Absolutely True Adventures of George Lucas a long time ago (don't forget you can still make your own), but I came across this link randomly today, and I'm officially passing off the torch to whoever made it.
May 30, 2008
My friend Califia has just started a new food and cooking web site called Spooning. If you ever need to know how to make a bread sandwich, come to me, but for anything else culinarily related, go to her.
May 12, 2008
Always, courtesy of the Hazzards
May 8, 2008
This is the first movie I've ever directed that I'm not in
Also three posts in as many days. Double go figure.
May 7, 2008
My mustache finally came in handy, I got to play a police captain
April 19, 2008
This is a screenshot from Amtrak's website
Really, Amtrak? You can predict when your trains are going to arrive within two minutes?
April 9, 2008
A dull list of all the exciting things I did for ign
In 2006, I applied to be a reporter/critic for ign.com's film section. Much to my surprise, I got the job. And kept it for about two months. I was told that they had hired a new editor and he was bringing in a new staff. That's probably true, but I'll never be entirely sure of whether or not it was because I did a lousy job. Now you can judge for yourself. Here is the entirety of everything I did for them in my two month tenure in chronological order.
- A Wonderful Film
- An roundtable interview with the director and some of the cast of The Great New Wonderful. I want to note that I didn't come up with the title.
- Lady in the Water video interviews
- The Paul Giamatti one is the favorite out of all of the video interviews. It was my first one ever, and probably the best.
- My Super Ex-Girlfriend roundtable interview
- I remember this roundtable as one of the one of the most inane I had the pleasure of attending.
- My Super Ex-Girlfriend Review
- My first review, and the most positive one I'd give, which ain't saying much.
- Trust the Man video interviews
- I've actually never watched these, because I didn't think they went that well. I did a roundtable interview for this movie too, but I'm not sure if it was ever published.
- Trust the Man review
- I hated this movie so much, I had to tone down my review so people would believe how much I hated it.
- 10th & Wolf Review
- I didn't go to the press screening for this, I just bought a ticket. I got to expense it though.
- Crossover roundtable interview
- This roundtable was me, a room full of black people, and another white guy who would not stop saying "the n word." Not the word that the phrase refers to, I mean literally "the n word." It was embarrassing.
April 3, 2008
I hear you like funny videos
So check out my friend Ted's Funny or Die page:
I haven't watched all of them, but my favorite so far is The Joke.
March 30, 2008
A few pictures I've taken and brief commentary on them
$2 or $2.00. Make up your mind.
Really, Chase? Is it really? You need to take over the entire city so I don't have to walk an extra block to avoid a two dollar charge ATM charge?
I imagine there aren't too many of them, but there are probably real people named Sarah Marshall. I'm sure they realize it's just an ad for a movie, but it still must be a downer seeing these every where you go. If my name were Sarah Marshall, I'd stop wearing jeans for the duration of this campaign.
Update: Looks like The Daily News beat me to the punch on this one and found a real life Sarah Marshall.
March 19, 2008
Hey look, it's me on Comedy Central's website promoting Lewis Black's new show, Root of All Evil
March 11, 2008
I was eating some Sour Patch Kids and using my mouse and I think one of the bits of sourness got in it and now I can't scroll up on the scroll wheel
But it was worth it.
Update: Amazing. Next time I see Trevor, I'm buying him a bag of Sour Patch Kids, because believe it or not, his comment fixed the problem.
March 6, 2008
Sonic the Hedgehog gives you some important advice
My favorite part of this is that Sonic is a stickler for correct spelling.
There's a somewhat 8-bit album that my former coworker's brother made and I want you to know about it
His band is called 3-2-1 Blast and his album's called Choose Your Own Adventure and you can download the whole thing for free from last.fm here.
February 25, 2008
George Lucas is a racist and firstname.lastname@example.org is all for it
Remember when I made a post about how racist Phantom Menace was, some five or six years after it came out? Well, email@example.com came to the same conclusion some three or so years after that. After googling "george lucas is a racist", Marc (I'm guessing that's his name from his email address) found my post on Lucas' racism and had this to say:
George decided to put the required Chinese and the required black character
into the script.
Comically they lasted as long as it takes to say "she's gona blow" and "I'm
hit" THERE's equal oportunity at work! The funny thing is I think it was
the right thing to do. DID THE BLACKS OR THE CHINESE INVENT THE TECHNIQUES
OF ILM OR LUCAS FILMS....NO WHITE PEOPLE DID> So quit your whining! White
people rule cuz we have more to offer.
Wow, Marc. Congrats on being white. And congrats on inventing on those special effects techniques. Oh wait, I forgot, you didn't invent that stuff, or anything of note, and you never will. You're just some inbred hick that can't spell. I'll admit, you have more familiarity with Return of the Jedi minutia than I'd expect from the average racist, but you had nothing to do with anything any other white person or any other human being has ever accomplished, so quit trying to take credit for it.
Spammers, if you missed his email address the first couple times, it's firstname.lastname@example.org. Have at it.
February 23, 2008
Someone has found a new way to improve Garfield
You may have already seen someone take out Garfield's thought bubbles, miraculously improving the strips tenfold. You may have already seen Garfield strips reenacted in live action and then turned into short music videos.
But have you seen garfield minus garfield?
And if you have, well, what can I say, you love the internet more than I do.
February 5, 2008
Harper's Bazaar features Lindsay Lohan going on a date with Robin
One might even call it a big date.
January 22, 2008
Alley Insider damns me with faint praise
You'll note that they say that I'm a part of "a much more attractive crowd than your average tech meetup."
December 24, 2007
Spreading Christmas Cheer
This Christmas, I'm going to spread some family love by giving you a link to a blog written by someone who I may or may not be distantly related to, John Carlough, aka Carlough Snakehunter from the Philippines.
I don't understand what he's talking about most of the time, mostly because the site's half in what I assume to be Filipino, but I've got to give the guy credit for beating me to the punch of giving himself the nickname Carlough Snakehunter.
November 25, 2007
The Best Hot Dog Ever
My netflix queue is long enough so that sometimes when I finally get a movie, I don't remember why I put it on the queue to begin with. Case in point, Lord Love a Duck. Below is a clip from the movie where a father and daughter enjoy a hot dog together.
I really have nothing to say about that clip, I just felt the need for someone else to have to sit through it too.
November 11, 2007
My correspondence with a domain name squatter
Last night, I came home and found this email in my inbox.
Subject: important domain names:questionparty.com.cn & questionparty.cn
We have questionparty.com.cn & questionparty.cn and found
that the domain is pretty useful for you to explore China market.We
can really consider selling it out if you are interested in
it.Please get back to us with your kind offer.
Now, as you might imagine, I have no intention of bringing question party to China. I'd say the practice of domain squatting is morally somewhere above spamming, but well below pretty much everything else you can do on the internet, so I replied:
Fuck you, Ben Davis.
This morning I got his reply.
Fuck you, and fuck your family too. Thanks!
His email is email@example.com if you want to get in touch with him.
November 5, 2007
My friend Annika created a new thing that's going to blow up the internet, and I got in on the ground floor. Check out:
October 30, 2007
Whether or not I like Chinese food
I got some Chinese take out for dinner tonight. As the guy behind the counter prepared my order, he asked me, "Do you like Chinese food?"
"Yes," I replied, not bringing to attention the fact that I had just ordered Chinese food and was presumably going to go home and eat it.
"I like Vietnamese food," he said.
"That's good too," I said before I shrugged and left.
October 18, 2007
I broke the NES Ice Climber world record
You may have noticed a lack of activity on this site lately. Well, things have been busy. I've been in training, and it's finally paid off. Twin Galaxies has verified my Ice Climber high score. Go see for yourself. Sadly, I don't have the video of the record breaking game. I sent in a vhs copy to be verified without making a copy for myself, but anyway, I'm the best Ice Climber player in the world, I'm just saying.
August 27, 2007
I'm still doing three of these and I don't think I'll be able to stop in time
See if you can guess which three.
August 13, 2007
You may not believe me
But I'm in this video.
I'm the drummer.
July 27, 2007
Another post where I inexplicably link to youtube instead of embedding the video like everybody else
A friend of mine, Chioke, followed around the director of a movie called Delirious, and well, here's what happened: Steve Buscemi is pissed!.
July 24, 2007
American Psycho lolcat
This got rejected from icanhascheezburger, so I'm going to post it here for your enjoyment.
July 4, 2007
Happy Fourth of July, here is an unrelated link
If they built a computer to predict my likes and dislikes, this would make the computer explode. As no one has built such a computer, this is just one of those things that I feel the need to share with you, despite the fact that you probably won't be that excited about it. It's pictures of video game consoles as ducks.
June 30, 2007
Carlough Bros wrapup
Well, I'll say that the show was a rousing success, thanks to everybody that came out. I'll also say, that Warnock and I are looking for more venues to perform, so if you or your friends happen to host a comedy show in the New York area and have a ten minute gap in your show you need to fill, well why not fill it up with a healthy dose of Carlough Brothers? That's all for now, more as it comes.
June 17, 2007
Carlough Bros Live!
My twin brother Warnock and I are going to be performing our own special brand of comedy and family healing this Wednesday, so get ready. Here's what you need to know:
7:30, Wednesday, June 20th
At Two for the Show at Mo Pitkin's
34 Avenue A between 2nd and 3rd Sts
And it's like seven bucks, and they might make you buy a drink
My friends Maura and Rufus are hosting the evening and there's some other acts, but whatever, who cares about them. I mean, I'm sure they're going to be great and everything, but they can do their own PR. Hope to see you there.
June 15, 2007
I want to hate lol cats, but I can't
So, in honor of that conflict, here is...
June 4, 2007
Christopher Lloyd, I'm almost positive you have better things to do with your time than doing a "spoof" of Back to the Future to shill for Microsoft
Then again, I've been wrong before.
May 21, 2007
Have you ever wondered why I don't post more videos of myself as a caveman?
May 14, 2007
In lieu of photo-blogging my second trip to LA, I'm going to let the girls from the Hazzards do it for me
The highlight for me is a French blogger saying that I'm full of charisma.
April 22, 2007
A stranger linked to diogenes club and it was on the subject of blogging itself so now diogenes club is kind of a real blog
April 19, 2007
The Witness spot that was too hot for TV
Continuing with my theme of vainly posting videos of myself that have almost never seen the light of day, this is an AMC spot for Witness that I did voiceover for a while back. A girl named Robin and I improvised it in the studio.
Once it was put on the air, someone wrote to the president of AMC asking that they stop showing it, which they did. The person who wrote the letter was not Amish, I assume.
March 5, 2007
Blink and you'll miss me, but I'm in this. I give you:
February 20, 2007
First! (Give or take)
I'll always be able to claim that I was the first person on the blogosphere to point everyone to the first episode of:
Unless someone else already has, in which case, forget it.
February 3, 2007
The forward thinking of the MTA
I like that someone in the MTA saw that busted elevator and said, I'm going to fix that. In five years.
Update: They fixed it already.
January 8, 2007
Everyone mourns differently
A decal on the back of a car I was walking by:
On the front in the same font:
January 5, 2007
Mini Comment Roundup
A new commenter has set the new record for most comments in the smallest amount of time. So I wanted to do a special mini comment roundup for the Club's newest friend, Tony Suriani.
He started off at 01:28 AM commenting on the old praying for the pope post:
Hey Valentina, we have the same last name......Cool?!?!
Posted by: TONY SURIANI at January 5, 2007 01:28 AM
I won't include Valentina's comments here, you can read them for yourself, but they were basically an angry rant against Christianity, and I'm fairly certain Valentina hasn't and won't ever come back to check on people who commented after her. So I apologize, Tony. Hopefully you'll find some other way to find your long lost relative.
Two minutes later, Tony's back for more:
Might as well plug my buisness while im here:
ANTONIO'S PIZZA & ITALIAN RESTAURANT
724 South Federal Highway
Dania Beach, FL 33004
The best food in the world!!!!!!!!1
Posted by: ToNy SuRiAni at January 5, 2007 01:30 AM
Note the alternate capitalization of his name this time. At this point, Tony did what very few people who just drop into the site for a comment or two do, which is look at other posts. Three minutes later he commented on the post about Ford's obit in the Times:
Dont really understand that question, or sorry, comment.
Posted by: TONY SURIANI at January 5, 2007 01:33 AM
He may be replying to the original post, but I think he's replying to Eddie's comment about Ford having to fill Spiro's shoes. I usually don't explain other people's comments to people, but I'll make an exception just this once. You see Tony, Spiro Agnew was Ford's predecessor as Vice President. That's pretty much all you need to know. Also note that Tony's back to his all caps style on his name.
Two minutes later, he digs up this post about a dream I had in high school:
Oooffff, That was REALLY stupid.
Posted by: TONY SURIANI at January 5, 2007 01:35 AM
Ouch, Tony, it was just a dream I had in high school, cut me some slack. So, that's all from Tony for now. Hopefully he won't be like his cousin Valentina and come back and comment some more.
December 27, 2006
I don't want to say the Times is damning Ford with faint praise...
but one of the sub-headlines of his obit is:
Hard Work, Honesty, Punctuality
You can see for yourself here.
December 13, 2006
If you liked the post about She-Ra, you might be moderately amused by this one too
Did you know there's actually a pop singer named Jem?
I'm as shocked as I was when I found out there was a real band called The Misfits, but it was a whole different kind of shock. With The Misfits, it made me feel clueless that I didn't know they were actually a famous band from the seventies. With Jem, I feel like she's the clueless one, although clearly no one seems to care, so I guess she's not that clueless. Also, from clicking around on her website a little, it's clear that new real-life Jem hasn't decided whether her name is capitalized or not. Now you'll excuse me, I've got to go practice with my new band, The Archies.
Note: If you don't get this at all, read this and you'll think it's hilarious, just like everyone else.
December 8, 2006
I have something to say about another unimportant news item and I'm just as surprised about it as you are.
Diet Coke Plus, slated for a spring launch, will be the first nutrient-enhanced carbonated soda to be offered by a major brand... Next year, rival Pepsi will introduce a line of enhanced carbonated drinks called "Tava"
I've got a better name for your new line of enhanced carbonated drinks, Pepsi:
Yes, Pepsi Perfect. If you recognize that logo, you have a sharp eye and you've seen Back to the Future Part II more times than you really needed to. And if you've read the novelization (something else you probably didn't really need to do), you know that Pepsi Perfect is a vitamin enriched Pepsi that's sold in 2015. So we're a few years ahead of the game on this one. Still waiting for flying cars, a magazine-size sports almanac that has every college football game and horse race in the past fifty years and gas stations that talk like Speak & Spells.
The real question here is why it took Coke and Pepsi so long to come up with this. I mean, seriously Coke and Pepsi, what are you guys doing that's so important you couldn't stick some riboflavin or whatever in your sugar water and come up with a different name for it?
December 7, 2006
Continuing with my new thing of taking something from today's headlines and pointing out someone that no one else has seemed to notice or care about
Lars von Trier apparently wants to make a little game out of watching his movies. From Variety:
Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier has unleashed his latest bit of mischief: the Lookey... The Lookey is described as a "visual disturbance," which is placed out of context in the movie.
People my age might recognize this guy:
A character from She-Ra named Loo-Kee who would hide in the background of an episode, then at the end, show you where he was and then give you the moral of today's story, which was usually something like "be yourself" or "don't share prescription medication."
Can you find him?
(Hint: It's really obvious.)
Now, I've liked a few of von Trier's movies. So I don't want to bag on the guy too much, even though his last movie was less like a movie and more like somebody videotaping a rehearsal of a mawkish high school play, but I mean, seriously, the guy's ripping off of She-Ra. What's next? If I see somebody in that movie touch their earring and say, "It's showtime Synergy," I'm walking out.
December 4, 2006
This is probably the only chance I'll ever have at impugning the New York Times' accuracy
The Times put up an article yesterday about Disney starting to make theatrical shorts again, and you can read it yourself, but the important part is this:
After a hiatus of nearly 50 years, Walt Disney Studios is getting back into the business of producing short cartoons, starting with a Goofy vehicle next year.
If by 50 years, they mean 11, then they're right. Take for example:
Tummy Trouble (1989, in front of Honey I Shrunk the Kids)
Roller Coaster Rabbit (1990, in front of Dick Tracy)
Trail Mix-Up (1993, in front of A Far Off Place)
Runaway Brain (1995, in front of A Kid in King Arthur's Court)
One could argue that making these four shorts (there may be more that I'm unaware of) didn't constitute being in "the business of producing short cartoons," but the article is misleading, to say the least.
Update: I emailed Jerry Beck of Cartoon Brew who knows way more about cartoons than I ever will, and he had John Henry, Off His Rockers, and Redux Riding Hood to add to the list. I also wanted to add I've seen one of the shorts that the article doesn't count as being in the business of producing shorts, Destino, and it clearly has no commercial aspirations, but sticking a Mickey Mouse short in front of A Kid in King Arthur's Court probably wasn't a purely artistic venture.
November 28, 2006
This song has been stuck in my head for weeks, and I can't figure out where it's from
I whipped up this rendition of it in GarageBand in the hopes that some clubber out there will be able to recognize it. I've narrowed it down to either classical music, a film score, or something from a video game. Or something else entirely.
November 19, 2006
A list of things that people seem to find hilarious, but I either never did or have gotten sick of for various reasons
- Gratuitous use of the word "cheese"
- Gratuitous use of the word "pants"
- People in big theme park size outfits fighting each other
- Men running around in their briefs
- The Interweb (I'd put Internets here as well, but I recently found out GWB originated it, so I'll let it slide )
As a special bonus, here's a wildly unscientific graph of the distribution of results from searching google with each of those words and "funny:"
And as an extra special bonus, a pirate joke:
Q: What's not funny?
A: Pirates arrr not funny.
Feel free to add things that you don't find funny in the comments.
November 13, 2006
You like that title, how it vaguely implies that I might do this once a week.
Anyway, my two time ex-coworker Dervala has some interesting things to say about passion (and it's not the kind of passion you're probably thinking of.)
In other news, British police made an arrest in Batman and Robin outfits. This is the second British real life Batman story I've seen in the past few years, the first being a news story that some guy just appeared out of nowhere dressed as Batman, beat some other guy up, and then ran off. What's it all mean? I don't know. Happy Monday.
November 8, 2006
A very Joust Halloween
You may remember last year's halloween, where I dressed as one of the guys from Primer. There were two problems with this costume. a) Turns out, not a lot of people have seen Primer. b) I just looked like a guy in a shirt and tie. This year I decided to rectify the problem and go as something that would made it look like I planned my costume more than a few hours in advance, and have an explanation for it that wouldn't elicit blank stares from everyone. I give you, my Joust Halloween costume.
I also want to give my friend Keith props for going as a kind of nightmare Scrooge McDuck.
I thought I had next year's costume all ready to go too. See, last Halloween, I saw this guy in this cheap, straight out of the bargain bin at the costume shop French maid outfit. Brilliant, I thought. A satire of the half-assed trashy costumes girls wear just to look sexy on Halloween. Then I realized that the guy I was looking at was actually a woman, and it probably wasn't satire. Even more brilliant, I can use the idea myself now. But turns out my friend Brian did it in high school. I suppose I'll have to come up with something myself now.
October 29, 2006
FedEx is passive-aggressive.
I ordered a cell phone from overseas, and it was delivered by FedEx. A few weeks later, I got a nine page document slipped under my door. I've posted the full document here with a few things blacked out, half to protect the identity of the sender (for no real reason) and half because it's fun blacking stuff out, but the main point of it is on page two:
They went to the trouble of coming to my house again to tell me over the course of nine pages that despite the fact that I technically owed them 88 cents, they were going to do me a solid and forget about it. Thanks FedEx.
October 15, 2006
The Adventures of Racist Segway Cop
Below are my poorly taken cell phone pictures of Racist Segway Cop in Penn Station.
I've only seen someone on a Segway once in real life before, so when I saw the cop coming, I stifled a chuckle. People look really stupid on Segways. Especially cops. I was worried that he noticed me laughing at him, but his attention soon turned elsewhere as he wondered aloud, "Hey, what's that amigo doing?" There was a guy sitting down on the floor, I assume he was Hispanic. "What are you doing, amigo?" he asked. I had a train to catch so I didn't see how it turned out. The end.
October 10, 2006
My friend Dan once told me, "Will, your blog is my favorite blog that's not about anything." He then reconsidered and said, "No, you know what, it is about something. It's about itself." That was at a time where I basically just posted about having a blog, listed weird search terms that got people here, and made fun of people who made stupid comments. So I've been letting random stupid comments slide for a while, but no more. I give you Comment Roundup.
The most popular post I've ever made was one sentence about Ashlee Simpson's latest album, I am me. There are a lot of great ones there, so I urge you to check them all out, but this is my favorite, because I think the person who wrote it actually thinks that this is Ashlee's blog:
my comment is that your new album especialy track one and four and twelve are special. i really do like you
Posted by: reem at January 19, 2006 10:14 AM
Here's a comment that I got from someone who calls himself John when I wrote that Slate article about video game movies. I'll do a running commentary, his comment in italics, my own comments not.
No, no, no!
"Alone in the Dark" was a PC-game released in the early 90's. In fact, it was immensly huge at the time it came out. So when the article writer managed to proclaim this:
"What system did Alone in the Dark come out on, Atari Jaguar?"
.. he lost all the stock he had built up with me through an otherwise very amusing article.
Wow. I lost all the stock I had built up with some anonymous guy on the internet. What have I done. A lot of people were mad that I wasn't familiar with Alone in the Dark, and took it upon themselves to answer my (rhetorical) question of what system it came out on. And let me say, that if I had cared what system it was for (which, keep in mind, I didn't and still don't), I probably could have spent five seconds typing "alone in the dark" into a search engine and finding out for myself. He continues:
PPS! Having watched all movies based on videogames is nothing to brag about.
Neither is your expertise on the Alone in the Dark series.
Try having watched all movies based on comics too!
This next one is probably the first informative comment from a stranger this site has ever seen. It was on the subject of a Bazooka Joe comic that didn't make any sense and whether the people who make Bazooka Joe comics care about anything at all.:
Actually, that comic is reproduced (and poorly cropped) from an earlier Bazooka Joe comic. In the original, Mort is indeed sitting behind the lady.
Posted by: Bazooka Bob at July 1, 2006 05:18 PM
Well, case closed then. The people who make Bazooka Joe comics do care about something, the people who reproduce them don't. You can check out his site, Bubble Gum Comics for more information.
This next one is weird. Remember the stuff about the grammar of the Trimspa ad? Well, here's a comment that showed up about five months after I first posted it:
Trimspa and Anna. What a perfect pair! Neither one is anything special, but with enough hype they both make plenty of money from the fat, lazy and bored. Be envied by whom?
Posted by: Paul at April 30, 2005 05:46 PM
Now, normally that post wouldn't be notable enough to make it to comment roundup, but then, over a year later:
Trimspa, or "Suckerspa", exists to make money for Alex Goen and family. Diet and exercise are the best ways to lose fat. Save your money and do what works!
Posted by: Last Voice of Reason at May 31, 2006 02:21 AM
That's the same guy, despite the clever new name. (He used the same email address.) Yes, a year went by, and he felt he had to find diogenes club again and share more wisdom about the ills of Trimspa. I googled the front half of his email address, nederpaul, and it lead me to a page where he brags about spells he can cast to win the lottery. I've copied the page here, because it'll probably disappear. I wonder if that's why he doesn't need Trimspa, he just magics all his fat away.
I can no longer stand and see such disgusting comments. my dear Joe the post you posted on October 24, 2005 07:09 PM was very immature of you.... If you read trough history you will realise that it is th Catholic church that is the real church the rest I am sorry to tell you are indeed a fake... When a Martin Luther realised he should make his own church because he disagreed with the catholic priests doing this. He had no power from Christ to be a priest. because he was not given the power by the previous bishops! and Cardinals!!
It's funny, I always kind of assume that Christians have pretty much gotten stuff sorted out internally and have been able to focus all their damnation and stuff on other religions, so congratulations to 'Rev.Fr.James Marco' as he calls himself, for really bringing it back to the dark ages. He actually googled 'stupid pope' just so he could write all that.
So, we're getting near the end of the roundup, although there are some more good ones you can check out for yourself on that pope one and the Margaret Cho one, thanks to the fact that that post is number one in google's rankings for 'margaret cho sucks.'
The thing that ties most of these comments together is that they really don't even seem to grasp the basic gist of the original post, but this last one takes the cake, from my summary of an Insane Clown Posse message board argument:
Of Course There R True Los N Lettes Out Their....i Mean Their Is Tons Of Juggahos But The True Juggalos R Easy 2 Spot They Have Love 4 The Fam No Matter Wut N They Kno Their Psychopathic Shit Mmfcl Ninjas
Posted by: majick_ninjette at March 13, 2006 11:27 PM
Ninjette's right. There is tons of Juggahos.
October 4, 2006
It's still too sprawled out and disconnected -- The second half of my trip to LA
So the screening. It went well. Kevin Smith really packs em in. And he can somehow own a crowd without seeming like he cares about the thing at all, with his casual geek hipster panache. He drew a nerdy enough crowd so that they laughed at the one line I like that no one ever laughs at, "All dark and mysterious I hope." That said, the projection was a few frames out of sync, which really drove me nuts. When a screening happens, I'm really more concerned about technical issues than I am about people actually liking the movie. But it was subtle enough so that most people probably didn't notice. I hope, anyway. We didn't win anything, which didn't surprise me, but after it was all over, Kevin was mobbed by the crowd, and I realized I had about a half hour to wait before I'd be able to get in there and say hi.
Now let me say that I am very easily star struck. I'll give you an example. In high school, I had a distance learning American history class where the class and the teacher were on camera and broadcasted onto tvs in other schools. The other school only had two other students, Ed and Carissa, who we could see on tv as well. They didn't say much, and halfway through the semester, we found out that they would usually just turn down the volume of the teacher and just sit and do homework for other classes. But one day, I finally met Carissa in person. And I'll tell you, I was star struck, all nervous and stuttery and everything. Just from seeing Carissa all that time on closed circuit television. Of course, one might attribute my nervousness to my being a teenager and meeting a girl, but I like my explanation better.
Over the years, I've gotten better about this. Like when I was at Sundance, I saw Bob Odenkirk in the lobby of the hotel and I just went up to him, and started talking his ear off, despite the fact that I got a nagging sensation that he didn't really care about what I had to say. But I still get those butterflies, despite the fact that I know they're stupid.
So anyway, as I was waiting to for Kevin, I talked to a few of the guys I had talked to on the view askew message boards who worked for Kevin, and met a woman who told me she was a patent attorney. "Oh yeah?" I said. She responded with a bored nod, clearly expecting one of three questions that she probably always gets asked. "I used to be in a band called The US Patent Office, could we have trademarked it?" She seemed impressed, apparently that wasn't one of the three, and after thinking about it for a bit, she said that we probably couldn't have. Oh well.
I then chatted up Scott Mosier, who I had heard Kevin talk about in interviews as an irreplaceable collaborator on all his films. None of the mob really wanted to talk to him, and he seemed okay with that, but I decided to say hi and we talked about life in LA and driving and stuff. You know, the conversation I had with everyone in LA. But he was nice and wished me the best of luck. I heard he just got engaged, so congrats to him besides.
As the mob dissipated, I made my way on over to Kevin and introduced myself. I forget exactly how it went, but I don't remember being particularly eloquent. I do remember him asking me who's fault it was that the movie was out of sync, mine or theirs. I said it was probably theirs and he apologized. I then went on about a student film I made and how the projection was bad, which I quickly realized was a pretty dull story, so when someone else distracted him a question, I just waved good-bye and got out of there.
That night was about halfway through my stay, and the rest of the week went by in a blur. I moved in with Togo. I even got a trip to the CSI: Miami set and met a few other cast members and saw them practice a scene. Togo seemed very friendly with all of the crew too, although I'm sure it was just for my benefit, and after I left they went back to not being allowed to make eye contact with him and calling him Mr. Togo. I got to meet my editor at ign, who I had only emailed with and talked to on the phone before. Going to the ign offices was a lot like that episode of the Simpsons where Bart goes to the Mad office, and it's just a boring office until Alfred E. Newman comes out and asks for fershluggen pastrami sandwiches, only without the part where Alfred E. Newman comes out and asks for fershluggen pastrami sandwiches. Not that I was expecting much, but damn, couldn't they have a Wii prototype set up for me to play with or something?
I can't think of anything else super exciting that happened so I'll leave you with my trip home. As my readers may know, I'm very paranoid about being late for planes, so I ended up leaving for LAX about four hours before my flight. Leaving me at the gate about three hours before the flight. But it turned out, there was another flight to New York right there, so I just got on that one. Admitted, I didn't actually gain anything by being that early, I just cut my LA trip three hours short, but whatever. It was just good to get back home.
September 25, 2006
"It's too sprawled out, disconnected... "
"17 million people. This has got to be the fifth biggest economy in the world and nobody knows each other."
That's the quote that was running through my head the most of the time I was in LA, albeit slightly paraphrased, as I hadn't seen the movie in a while. I liked that line because it was a critique of LA that I had never heard before. Most potshots at LA are usually something like, everybody's fake (in every sense of the word), everybody's an actor/screenwriter, you've all heard the same stuff I'm sure. But to come at LA from a sort of existential city planning point of view, I kind of liked that. But Collateral's really not the subject here.
My experience there was very much like what I imagine foreigners coming to the US is like. All anyone wants to talk to you about is where you're from and how it compares to where you are. So I ended up talking about driving a lot, since it's rare to do it in New York, and it's rare to not do it in LA. I'm tempted to say that I talked about driving more than I drove, but really, I spent a lot of time driving.
When I got to LA, I went to the rental car place, having reserved a compact car. They gave me this:
Which I would later nickname "The Beast," although I don't think I ever called it that out loud to anyone. That was my own private on the road joke to myself. You have to keep yourself entertained in traffic somehow. I'm not the best driver in the world, but I like to think I'm not the worst either. Opinion on my driving ability differs greatly depending on who you ask, but there's one thing for sure. I suck at parallel parking. I think I've only done it once since I passed my driver's test (that's probably an exaggeration, but I defy anyone to prove me wrong), which basically meant that if I wanted to park, I needed two spaces to do it. Which usually worked out, somehow. I only really, really parallel parked the Beast once, and it took me about three tries.
Getting around wasn't that hard, thanks to a combination of Google maps, people giving me directions, and my by the end sort of having a vague sense of where certain things were. Google maps can be frustrating though. At one point, it told me to get on a highway, take the first exit to another highway, and then take the first exit off that, and then I'd be where I want. I knew there was a simpler way (friends later confirmed that to be the case), but I didn't know what it was. But it usually got me where I was going. Yeah, so suffice it to say, I drove a lot. At one point, I remember shutting my eyes at night and still seeing the road in front of me, like I had been playing Tetris all day or something.
For the first half of the week, my friend Phoebe and her boyfriend Rob were nice enough to let me sleep on their couch. They admitted they were a little perplexed as to what to do with me, since there's not all that much for a tourist to do in LA if you're not interested in going to theme parks. I'm sure someone will vehemently disagree with that, and to be honest, I'm not sure what I'd do with a visitor to New York for four or five days. But we had a good time, went to some nice restaurants and bars, including the Dresden, the bar they went to in Swingers:
My phone doesn't handle low light well, but you can take my word for it that I was there and I was drinking a martini. We drove around a bit, saw Sunset Strip, which apparently has a "no cruising" policy, which means if they somehow catch you driving on it twice within a certain period of time, they'll give you a ticket. Speaking of weird laws, jaywalking is enforced in LA! People actually don't walk when the sign says don't walk. Crazy.
So, as I'm sure your reading attention span is as short as my writing attention span is, I'm going to make this a two parter. Look out next time for the screening of Robin's Big Date and me exchanging a few nervous, inconsequential words with Kevin Smith. Until then, I'll leave you with this picture I took of an ad that seemed to be everywhere, this lady doctor nagging people and making a pun at the same time:
"Childhood obesity. Don't take it lightly."
September 12, 2006
I'm back from LA. I bet you didn't think I'd have a post up this quick, did you
That's because it's just a link. But it's a pretty good one, I think. My friend Phoebe works for a podcast called Nontourage and I did an interview them while I was out there. So check it out:
September 3, 2006
Being in LA and on an unrleated note, running into people and being jokingly accused of following them
So I'm in LA for the week for a Robin's Big Date (aka, the movie that will not die) screening. But I wanted to share a thought. You ever run into someone twice within a brief period of time? And then the say, "Are you following me, ha ha." I do. And the response I think but don't say, is "No. In fact, if it were possible, I'd like to know exactly where you were at all times just so that I could make sure that I wasn't there too." Thoughts on LA to come.
August 24, 2006
A short video that embodies everything that is stupid about youtube, and everything that's great about it
My call for suggestions for future posts is the most commented on diogenes club post ever, even counting the time a bunch of British teenage amateur rappers flamed me, so thanks to everyone who commented. That said, I don't think I'm going to use anything from it, so while I cull together the next post I give you:
July 3, 2006
Drug smuggling problems in space
From the New York Times: Crack Is Found in Shuttle's Foam Insulation
Haw haw. That joke was stupid.
June 29, 2006
My web film journalism career stumbles forward
I haven't seen the movie yet. That's all I have to say on the matter.
May 2, 2006
An interview and some housekeeping
So, that Sundance story kind of trailed off, I know. The money was the scam and the flu, after that it becomes, well, you know, going to a film festival. Anyway, I'll summarize the trip in a bit for those of you with unbelievably long attention spans, but in the meantime, enjoy this interview I did with my friend Kevin Maher for independentfilm.com
March 30, 2006
I went to Sundance and found God - Part Three
I'm still writing about Sundance? How long ago was it, like two months? But, I promised I'd give you the whole story, and I'm a man of my word, mostly, so here goes.
I really liked my shorts program. The programs were put together as to not have a theme, so we all had very different movies and very different personalities. There was Jacques, the fearless leader, Dan the tech expert, then there was the weird foreign guy who didn't come to the festival... I could go on and try to give roles to everybody, but who's got the time. If I had to give James and myself a role, it would probably be the two doofy guys who made a Batman movie with some famous actors. In every festival I've been to, there have always been a handful of movies that were clearly in there just because somebody famous was in them. I always hated them vehemently. Anyway, point being, I didn't get to hang out with my co-Shorts Program 3-ers as much as I would have liked to and I hope they thought more of us and our movie than I usually do of movies like it.
Our program was shown six times, I made it to four of them. (One was on the day I left, the other I ditched out on to go see Justin's feature at Slamdance, The Sasquatch Dumpling Gang.) I only actually watched the program twice. Yeah, I liked the movies, but come on. Q&A's were fun, although, as I guessed, we were only ever asked if DC Comics was going to sue us and how did we get Sam and/or Justin to do it.
Everything in Park City is kind of fake rustic, like a cross between Starbucks and a winter sports supply store. I figured out how to get around fairly quickly, or rather I learned that it was easier just to ask the volunteers they have everywhere how to get around than figuring it out for myself.
About the time my flu let up, James left, and I moved out of the hotel. I ended up running into an old friend of mine from college, Malcolm. He was in a few of my junior film partner's projects and also has the honor of launching my drumming career. I saw him and his friend playing guitar at the campus cafe, and I told him they needed a bassist (I had just started playing bass a few weeks before). He told me they didn't -- they did need a drummer. I told him I could play drums too (I couldn't). He told me they had a show booked for tomorrow night and wouldn't have any time for practice, and I was too far into my lie to back out, so we played the show as The John Wayne All-Star Heavy Metal Jam. I didn't do a terrible job, and he eventually invited me back to play a big outdoor festival after I graduated. But I digress, more than usual. He was staying with two lovely British documentarians and they had a couch for me. I took them up on it and spent the next two days with the three of them and wandering around by myself.
It's a funny thing when you're away form home with no one to talk to. You become a lot more social, or at least I do. I ended up chatting up whoever was around. There's a valuable lesson that my friend Josh taught me. When you're talking to a stranger for the first time, don't be clever. Most of the time, a simple statement of fact will do. I was over an hour early for Cargo, a movie that a total stranger in the hotel gave me a ticket to. And when you have a ticket, you really don't need to show up much before the show starts at all. A young woman was in line ahead of me. I leafed through a magazine for a little while and then I looked up at her and said, "We're pretty early." Probably the least insightful thing I said all day, but we became friends and chatted each other up for the hour and exchanged emails and whatnot.
Speaking of Cargo, I saw a lot of movies at Sundance, and there was one question asked at every single one: "How long did it take to shoot?" That is the most boring question of all time. The answer is always going to be more than two weeks, less than two months. It is impossible to give an interesting answer to that question. (Except for us, of course, three hours.) Most Q&A's were generally unenlightening although Cargo's was only because the movie sucked so much, people were asking questions like, "Why did that part happen?" and "Who killed the bald guy?"
Anyway, this post is getting long, so I'm going to wrap this up in part 4, where I run into a friend of mine I hadn't seen since high school, harass some celebrities, and move into a place with a hot tub. Seriously.
You can see most of the movies in Shorts Program 3 on Sundance's web site:
Or just ask me for a dvd next time I see you.
February 24, 2006
I went to Sundance and found God - Part Two
Now you might be thinking, hey Will, how come you didn't write about Sundance while you were there? That would have been more exciting -- how long ago was it, like a month? Well, you'd be making a good point, but here in part two, we'll find out why that didn't happen.
We woke up in Salt Lake and got a ride back to the airport, because that was where we were going to be picked up. We ran into a friend of James', a writer for the Boston Globe, and we gave him a dvd and a card. He'd go on to briefly mention us in his Sundance write-up. We took the van to Park City with a nice British couple and some woman who kept talking about how she made a reality show but the network ruined her vision. How you could have a vision for a reality show is beyond me, but I took her word for it. The other people were dropped off at their hotels and condos and what have you, and we headed to our rented house, 1370 Woodside Avenue. But it turns out, there is no 1370 Woodside Avenue. It's the back of a fire house and a shack. We had been scammed. Well, not us, per se, we hadn't been involved in the renting, we were just the first ones to show up. So we went to Sundance headquarters and just sat there like bumps on a log, meeting the occasional filmmaker, including So and Brad, who offered us a place to crash and who made a great movie that won the special jury prize, In Between Days. We ended up not taking them up on it, because Sallie, the guest service coordinator, ended up getting us a hotel room.
So that was good that we had a place to stay. What was bad is that we had to move out of our room every morning and move into a different one at night. And normally that wouldn't be a problem, except that James and I came down with the flu. Now, when people have talked to me about the flu, I've always been dismissive. So, you basically had like a runny nose and a cough? Turns out the flu is some bad shit. At first I thought it was the worst hangover I had ever had. Although even in my freshman year of college, I couldn't get a hangover from three beers. Then I thought it was altitude sickness. It was really only after I had gotten better that I had the presence of mind to realize that it was actually the flu. (Made a lot worse, I'm sure, by altitude sickness and three beers the night before.)
There was a point where my whole body was numb and could only walk in very tiny steps. I could barely talk because I couldn't move my lips and I was just wandering around the hotel, looking for a place to sit down. I ran into a British filmmaker in our shorts program, Beck (you can see his film here), and he said, "Will, you look quite knackered." And I said, "I don't know what that means, but it's a very onomatopoeic description of how I feel." Although I doubt I was articulate enough to say onomatopoeic. He took me back to his place where I could finally lie down and then brought me a bucket that I threw up in. What a guy.
I didn't eat anything for about four days after that. I drank a lot of water and forced down a few bites of a muffin one morning. Since James and I were sleeping in the same room, he came down with the same thing a few days later. I did my best to attend movies and events, including a 'meet the press' brunch. I talked to a few press people, and the question I kept getting asked was, "What's wrong with you?" I took that as a cue to go back to bed.
Soon after that, my computer stopped working, which was bad because I had iCal'ed out everything we were going to do, and we were pretty much flying blind without it. That was when I found God. I realized that God really did exist and he was seriously out to get me. That night, James was a little worse than me, so I went to the 7-11 to get some stuff before we went to bed. He suggested I pick up a Tylenol PM, which I did, along with some cup of noodles that we cooked with our hotel coffee maker. Those noodles tasted awful but it was good to feel something in my stomach that didn't want to immediately come back up. And that Tylenol PM, boy. Lying in bed as I felt it kick in. I remember noting at the time that it was the best I had ever felt in my whole life. In retrospect, probably not my whole life. But definitely since I'd gotten to Utah.
To be continued...
February 18, 2006
I went to Sundance and found God - Part One
I know, I know. No one cares about Mr. Do or the Double Feature Finder, you want the goods. What went down at Sundance. Okay, here it is.
James, the director of Robin's Big Date, and I left for the airport together. In our excitement, we took some pictures of ourselves in the cab there. I think there were more pictures of us in the cab than there were actually at the festival, for reasons I'll explain later. So we got to the airport. We were going to stay in Salt Lake City for the night because the house we rented with a few other people supposedly wasn't going to be ready until the next day. But I called the guy, Alex Baldwin (that seemed odd to me too), to ask if we could come an extra day early. He answered his phone and said he was in a meeting, but we couldn't come early because the pipes had broken or something. Okay, it'd give us a chance to sample Salt Lake night life.
We ended up getting dinner at a place called The New Yorker (it was the only place that was open late), so Salt Lake nightlife remains a mystery to both of us. The one thing we did learn is that there's a rule in Utah that says you can't serve liquor unless you're a private club. So, to get around this, bars offer a temporary membership for a few dollars. Park City bars conveniently forget this during the festival (and most of Utah ignored it during the Olympics, I'm told).
We settled in relatively early (although I guess it was late by Salt Lake standards) and went to sleep, with no clue what would happen once we got to Park City.
To be continued...
February 14, 2006
Mr. Do and Double Feature Finder at the NYTech Meetup
I hope to have more later this week, but here's some stuff that you may or may not enjoy:
First, you remember Mr. Do? He had an arcade game in the eighties that was kind of like Dig Dug, but better? Well anyway, I drew a comic about him and Commissioner Gordon:
February 2, 2006
All right, I'm back
And sooner or later I'll collect my thoughts about Sundance and have some hilarious anecdotes, but until then:
Justin's first podcast -- (I had trouble getting this off of yahoo's site, so I'm just going to host it here)
Robin's Big Date on Entertainment Weekly's Must List -- I'll feign modesty here and suggest it was a slow news day.
We're mentioned here briefly at the bottom, putting the idea that there's no such thing as bad press to the test -- (the site might make you take survey first)
November 12, 2005
The Pope weighs in on evolution vs whatever
Via the New York Times:
I'm confused as to why this article is so short. Where does Benedict stand on other scientific type things? What's the deal with black holes? Has he looked over Andrew Wiles' proof of Fermat's Last Theorem, because I'm not buying it until Benny gives it the okay. And is this gravity thing for real? I need answers, Pope.
November 11, 2005
Watchmen X-Treme, I mean Absolute Edition
My parents got me the newly restored Watchmen for my birthday, and I want you to keep in mind that I'm very happy with it, and I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth. A friend of mine worked very hard on the restoration and the book looks great. However:
There's a reason that box sets exist. When there are multiple items in a series, be they books, cds, or dvds, it's very helpful to be able to keep them together in a container of some sort. Like a box. But see, Watchmen Absolute Edition is just one book. Putting it in a box is stupid. Why don't they put it in a paper bag too, maybe they could charge another twenty bucks. Or put the paper bag in a plastic bag like they do at the supermarket. Or put an even bigger box around the first box and put a diary-esque lock on it. Or ship it with a couple spare boxes in case you get bored of the first box, and put all the boxes in one of those Prisoner man-eating bubbles. The possibilities are endless.
November 6, 2005
A Very Primer Halloween
I decided to be one of the guys from the movie Primer this year. That other guy, I met that night and he was wearing what could almost pass for a Primer outfit, only he had a blonde, Dutch-style wig, so I asked him to take it off and claim to be the other guy from Primer for the purpose of the photo.
Here's a still from the movie, for comparison:
Before you go thinking that it's a lazy outfit because it's just a shirt and tie, I got my haircut specifically to look like the guy, bringing in a photo to show the lady that cut it. And I also have an earpiece.
Haven't seen Primer? Neither has anyone else, it turns out.
October 17, 2005
Ashlee Simpson's new album is called "I am me"
Which is good because for a second I thought she was Noam Chomsky.
October 10, 2005
Your daily dose of Insane Clown Posse message board postings
truejuggatlous1717 is concerned that there aren't any true juggalos anymore.
Fuck Your Broken Heart then ponders if there is such a thing as a true juggalo. Gh0st Tahmer then accuses Ill Pee In Your Butt of being a juggalo (a true one, presumably) and Nosferatu feels one or more of them at one point. And there's an animated dick kicking around in there that I don't understand.
You can continue the discussion there or at my Insane Clown Posse Fans Yahoo Group
Update: For some reason, they took it off their site. This is my own cache of the google cache.
Update 2: Sadly, truejuggatlous1717's thoughts on the lack of true juggalos are lost into the ether forever.
September 26, 2005
My name's Will Carlough
September 15, 2005
My new mouthwash
I greatly prefer this to Crest Anti-Health mouthwash.
September 14, 2005
Browsing through craigslist is amusingly depressing.
If you've ever thought about making a post on craigslist's missed connections section, maybe this will dissuade you (note, the posts have expired, these are archives):
As craigslists post go, it's probably not the best ever, but I think that guy gets some credit for discovering that karate is like chocolate to War and Peace's peanut butter.
Update: Just two days later, Neo was up to his shenanigans again (sadly, this one's lost in the ether forever). Highlights: He has karate gear even when he's not doing karate. And Japanese apparently has two words for fate. And they touched hands on a banana. Gross.
August 28, 2005
Thoughts from yet another angry British teenager
The thing I enjoy the most about having diogenes club is having random people come across the site and leaving a comment or contacting me. (I used to enjoy getting requests for patents, but that got old after the tenth one or so.) So imagine my joy when I woke up this morning to find this comment left on this post about incriminating photos of The Bravery:
You lot are SO sad! THE BRAVERY FOREVER!!!!
Posted by: Rynn at August 28, 2005 11:23 AM
Ha, I thought. Good one. As I got up to go get a cup of coffee, I thought, wait, was that guy kidding or not? I got my coffee and looked over the comment again. See, me, I don't often write in all caps with multiple explanation points unless I'm being sarcastic. But I know the rest of the internet does. I don't use emoticons either, but a lot of people use little smiley faces at the end of sentences to connote a joke. But did the lack of emoticons here mean it wasn't a joke? I'm not even entirely sure if he's pro-Bravery or anti.
Perhaps sometime in the future, to avoid situations like these, someone will invent the serious face emoticon that will be put at the end of every non-facetious sentence to make it clear that it is in fact, serious.
MR. HOUSTON: Mrs. Costigan were you ever a member of the Communist Party?
MRS. COSTIGAN: Yes, I was. . .
MR. HOUSTON: Will you tell us about when you joined the Communist Party?
MRS. COSTIGAN: Yes, as I recall it was 1936-1937.
MR. HOUSTON: And when did you leave the Communist Party?
MRS. COSTIGAN: About 1939—that was by the time of the Soviet-Nazi peace pact.
MR. HOUSTON: Was that happy face because you were kidding?
MRS. COSTIGAN: No, that was because I like peace pacts.
Although until then, I'll have to assume that he was serious and pro. After digging through the logs, I found he got here by searching on google.co.uk for 'john conway bravery photos.' I'd probably be humorless too if I was looking for a hot pic of Conway to stick to my trapper keeper and ended up here. I'm still not sure why he's so mad, we weren't even making fun of The Bravery, we were making fun of people making fun of them.
Now I should note for those who don't know that the singer and keyboardist of The Bravery are old friends of mine, and this is by no means a diatribe against them - they're nominated for an MTV award tonight, I've got my fingers crossed for them. But people, seriously. Think about what you're saying before you type '<band name> forever.' Because you just never know. I'm sure there were a lot of people who got tattoos that said 'Beatles forever' in 1961, and they feel pretty good about themselves right now. On the other hand, people who got an 'MC Hammer forever' in 1990 probably feel kind of stupid. Or 'Ratt forever' in 1982. Or 'Salieri forever' in 1778. You just never know. It's why they wait until people die to put them on stamps. Forever's a long time.
In other news, Robin's Big Date won this month's round of Kevin Smith's Movies Askew. Thanks to all involved, and everybody who voted. I'm not sure what happens next. More as it comes.
August 24, 2005
Every long winded story about a film festival has an end
While I've probably told all of you in person about the entirety of my Montreal trip, for the sake of completeness and the handful of strangers that end up here, here's the last Montreal post.
Robin's Big Date was part of program of other superhero related shorts. I had seen a few of them online, but most were new to me. Some were better than others. A guy behind me was constantly muttering to his friend about how this and that one sucked. That guy was making me nervous. Whenever a movie of mine is screened, I'm usually more nervous about there being some technical glitch than I am about the audience's reaction, probably stemming from the first screening of my junior film, Duck Duxon in Ducklear Warfare, where the picture was entirely white and the audio was pretty much incomprehensible.
But fortunately, there were no glitches and I heard the guy behind me mutter, "All right, that one was pretty funny." I got up for the Q&A with the guys who made Punisher: First Round. People seemed to be more interested in their movie, I was only asked one question, how did I get Sam Rockwell to be in it. One of these days I'll have to come up with a funny answer to that.
The audience liked it though, it was good to see it in front of people, especially people I didn't know. Nobody ever laughs at the parts I think are funniest, but I suppose I shouldn't complain, if they laugh, they laugh.
The rest of the trip was uneventful, except for a brief and very enjoyable meeting with an old friend, Jonas, who had moved to Montreal some time ago. We had a few beers, more than my "hadn't really eaten in two days" stomach could really take, but we made it through all right. We both offered to pay the bill, but I won seeing as I had a bunch of Canadian bills that were about to be useless to me. And some other stuff happened that I've either forgotten about or have decided isn't that interesting over the last few weeks.
So long story short, Montreal - fun, Robin's Big Date - well received. More as it comes.
August 9, 2005
Things to do this Wednesday
But Will, you say, I'm a Letterman guy. Well, get over it. I laughed more at the guy playing Letterman in that sucky movie Late Shift than I have at the real Letterman in the last ten years.
Update: Oh yeah, I'm also competing in Kevin Smith's Movies Askew with Robin's Big Date. If you have an account with them, go over and vote. If you don't, it's two dollars to register, which is lame, I know, but trust me, I'm good for it. And every vote counts!
August 5, 2005
More from Montreal
Right, so Montreal. I should note that I had returned from my trip before I started writing about it, in case there was any confusion. I woke up the next morning, too late to get my complimentary continental breakfast, so I wandered into a cafe to get a coffee and a croissant. And before you go thinking that I got a croissant just because I was in French Canada and telling me that just because something is French doesn't mean it's French Canadian, let me say that I like croissants and I eat them no matter what country I'm in. That croissant would end up being one of the only things I ate all day, and it wasn't even that good. I got so into watching movies, I didn't have time to get something to eat between shows, so I learned that man cannot live on movies alone, but he can come pretty close.
First up was an animated film called Corto Maltese: La Ballade de la mer salee. And I think it was good. The reason I'm not entirely sure is because it was in French with no subtitles. I took French in high school, and I did pretty well in it. I took the AP test and placed out of the language requirement at Vassar. I spent a few weeks in France in high school, and I got by well enough. But that was ten years ago. I hoped that it would be like a Shakespeare play, at first you find the language kind of off-putting and confusing, but after a few minutes, you just get in sync. Well, that didn't happen. I spent the movie trying to pick out the occasional word or phrase, and while I occasionally succeeded, what little I understood of what was going on was more from the images than from my high school level French.
So that was kind of a bust. But next was Stephen Bissette's lecture on old horror comics. I'll admit, I've never really been into horror in any medium, but I was curious to see what I had been missing out on, and I was a big fan of Bissette from his collaboration with Alan Moore on Swamp Thing. His lecture was pretty exhaustive and in the first two hours, he only briefly touched on anything from the twentieth century, and spent most of his time showing us progenitors of horror comics, from Japanese scrolls, to medieval crime and punishment pamphlets handed out an hangings.
What I thought was most interesting was his idea of the core of horror comics, that if you do something bad, something bad will happen to you. A colleague commonly referred to it as, "You sharpen a pencil, the pencil sharpens your head." He related it to religion, and how both horror comics and religion give people a sense of justice where eventually bad people are punished (and in religion, the good are rewarded, although I imagine that's rarely touched upon in horror comics).
This is getting pretty long, so I guess I'll save the premiere of Robin's Big Date until next time, as well as my favorite movie from the festival, Kamikaze Girls.
July 24, 2005
So, it was off to the movies. First up was Godzilla: Final Wars. There was a line going around the corner, but Fantasia had given me a VIP pass, which I could use to skip the line and go right on in. That trumped being in first class easy. The theatre was pretty big and the crowd filled up the entire thing.
Now, I've seen a bunch of Godzilla movies. And I've seen a lot of episodes of the Godzilla cartoon show that had Godzuki on it. And I want to like the Godzilla movies, really. But, geez, they're tough to sit through sometimes. I like seeing giant monsters fight each other as much as the next guy, but I always find it a trial to have to sit through the all the travails of the human characters in-between. And I know that nobody could actually sit through more than maybe fifteen minutes of straight monster vs monster combat, but you'd think after fifty some years of these movies they'd be able to figure out a good balance.
Watching Godzilla with the Fantasia audience was weird though. I'm not sure if it was because they were Canadians or what, but they were more excited than the audience I saw Revenge of the Sith with on opening night. They seemed to really love this one guy, the only English speaking character in the whole thing (everyone else spoke Japanese with subtitles). Their affection for the guy was so immediate and intense that I assumed he was some beloved Canadian actor but according to his imdb page, he's American and that was his first movie. He looked kind of like Sergeant Slaughter, maybe they thought it was him.
They cheered for all the action and monster fighting (all the monsters were guys in rubber suits with the exception of a brief appearance by the CG American version of Godzilla, who the real Godzilla defeated easily), and laughed at most of the intentionally funny stuff as well as a good chunk of the unintentionally funny stuff. They seemed to like the movie because of, and not despite its flaws. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think an American audience would be able to make fun of a movie and then sincerely cheer for it a few minutes later. Every time I visit a city, I try to get a sense of what that city is about and I rarely get any insight other than that they sometimes have a different flavor of potato chips from what we get in New York (Washington DC has dill pickle flavored Lays). This was one of the few insights into the mind of the French Canadian that I was able to take home with me. Although I really doubt that rabid Godzilla fans are a good cross section of the population of Quebec.
Tomorrow: I see a French movie with no subtitles and the world premiere of Robin's Big Date!
July 19, 2005
Montreal and me
This weekend I went to Montreal for The Fantasia Film Festival and the world premiere (offline anyway) of Robin's Big Date. They had found the movie online, and had asked to show it, and I said, hell yes, and I'm coming up for the weekend to crash your festival too.
My plane left at 5:00, and due to a number of reasons, like my being bored waiting at home for the time to leave, I ended up calling a car to take me to LaGuardia at 1:30. You're supposed to get to the airport well before the flight, for security and stuff, but even for someone who strives for punctuality as much as I do, that was pushing it. I was all checked in and at the gate for my flight at about 2:30. It seemed like I had a long wait ahead of me. That is, until ten minutes later when they announced that my flight was cancelled. "What am I supposed to do?" I asked the Air Canada people. "Get on the plane that's leaving right now," they said. So it pays to be a couple hours early for stuff every once in a while.
I was put into first class, a first time for me and I wouldn't be surprised if it was the last. I was put next to a young British business man who looked pretty annoyed that I was taking the seat next to him. He looked sort of like Jason Statham and he was doing one of those number square puzzles that are supposedly all the rage in England. I kind of wanted to whip out my computer and play Castlevania III on an NES emulator, but that seemed decidedly un-first class, so I decided to read the incredibly dry biography of Spiro Agnew that I had with me. Jason Statham didn't seem that impressed.
As far as I can tell, first class is pretty much the same as whatever class I had flown in before, except the seats are bigger with more legroom and you get your drinks in real glasses instead of cups. Maybe on longer flights there are more benefits. Or maybe that wasn't even first class, and I have no idea what first class actually is.
When I got to Montreal, Stephanie from the festival was there waiting for me (I had frantically called her as I was getting on the plane to tell her I'd be early). She was holding a sign that said "Will Carlough" which also seemed very fancy to me. I think there are certain things in life that I may never stop thinking of as luxuries, like air travel, air conditioners, taxi rides, and microwaves, even though I've come to realize that air conditioners and microwaves are everywhere and pretty cheap, and air travel and taxi rides are actually pretty unpleasant.
Stephanie drove me to my hotel as I asked her a bunch of dumb tourist questions about Quebec, like "What's the deal with you guys and French?" She didn't seem to mind, and told me the festival had been going well so far, but she hadn't been able to catch many films yet. Seemed to me like the whole point of working for a film festival would be to see movies, but she said she had been too busy to get to the theatres. So she dropped me off at the hotel, and I checked in and went off to the festival.
To be continued
July 9, 2005
I guess I was wrong.
Blogging is a hard business. Sure, the pay is awesome. But when you lead a life as action packed as mine, a lot of the stuff that goes down just isn't suitable for the virgin ears of the web. Hence my lack of updates recently. It's tough coming up with something dull enough for people to handle. Rest assured, I'll catch everybody up when I release the third volume of my memoirs, Will Carlough Eats Some Sandwiches and Takes a Nap.
So, this month/week, or how ever often I claim to update, I'll leave it to a commenter, a fan of Margaret Cho who found one of my old entries about the comedienne and identifies themselves only as "JesusSays." There's some other comments there, some of which are also kind of amusing.
PS: Who am I kidding, JesusSays is clearly Margaret Cho.
June 28, 2005
My life is pointless.
June 25, 2005
Some knock knock jokes
I came up with these in Washington, DC after a show with The Hazzards, all in a row:
I give up.
Is a band that I like.
There you go.
June 22, 2005
And people say I haven't done anything with my life
But who's on the C-List at Blogebrity, answer me that.
June 16, 2005
Thecorpse.com strikes back
After my reverse sonnage, thecorpse.com found my summary of the event and posted in the comments, which you can see here down at the bottom, but to save you the trouble of clicking the link, it goes something like this:
RED HEADED FAGS FEAR ME
Posted by: HEAT at June 16, 2005 10:27 PM
I think this is the guy who made the comment, judging by the vaguely similar username and his penchant for all caps. If that's the case, you can check out his seizure inducing website and read his post about how he sympathizes with R. Kelly.
I could go on, but you know, it's too easy to make fun of thecorpse.com It's just too damn easy. It was fun that first time, but doing it again would be like punching a sleeping toddler in the nuts. The good people at somethingawful have done a more than ample job of making fun of the site if you really need a thecorpse.com fix.
In the time it took me to write this up, another corpse.com'er found the site and posted a much friendlier comment. I think we've all learned a lesson here. And the lesson is, I don't know, be yourself.
Update: You can now read their thoughts on my thoughts on the matter. They've also been making themselves heard in the the comments of this post and the original one. I've deleted one, by 'white devil' who just copy and pasted 'FAG FAGGOT' a hundred times, but I'll leave the rest in the interest of open discourse, as long as they use more than two words and a couple lowercase letters.
June 10, 2005
Show me a dumber press release, I dare you
June 6, 2005
Deep Throat, and how I almost could have sort of known who he was if I had been paying attention
I usually don't keep up with the news. I saw a documentary about the 2003 Columbia crash a few nights ago, and up until halfway through, I thought they were talking about the Challenger, as I had no recollection of the Columbia at all. I was unemployed when it happened, but still. Anyway, I don't follow the news much, but all this Deep Throat stuff has got me hooked. All that sneaking around they talk about reminds me of those weird scenes in Double Indemnity where Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck stand in the grocery store and conspicuously talk to each other, staring straight forward or awkwardly inspecting a can of baby food.
But here's where I can add a small amount to the Deep Throat mythos. I went to college with a guy named Jacob Bernstein. Arty Vassar students that we were, we cared more about the fact that his mother was Nora Ephron than who his father was. His father, as you may have guessed, was Carl Bernstein. To make a long story short, an anonymous source who knew Jacob better than I did told me the other night that Jacob was known to occasionally blurt out Deep Throat's identity (the correct one, I'm told), except that no one knew who that was, or cared, or believed him anyway.
The moral of this story is left as an exercise for the reader.
Update: I'm even more ill-informed than previously thought. Apparently everybody already knew this but me. See the comments for more. Thanks to Dan for ruining my fun.
May 22, 2005
I know you probably don't believe me, but this one's real too:
I received from US Patent Disclosure Document Number 492740 on April 24 2001. The government of Puerto Rico contracted a lawyer and he faxed me what ha said was a Patent Pending. Its application number is 10/869,714. Its title is Fast concrete house system for construction of houses and commercial structures. Id like to find out what is happening.
May 20, 2005
If you were wondering what I eat when I cry
Here's your answer:
May 16, 2005
I got a cease and desist letter from a British teenager
A month or so ago, an email came into my inbox that almost deleted as spam. Something caught my eye about it before I hit delete, though. It was a cease and desist letter. I've always assumed that I'd end up with one eventually, but I was surprised from the source. It was from the webmaster of a thecorpse.com, angry that I had registered thecorpse.net. The letter is as follows - I've bolded the funnier parts and I was going to underline all the spelling and grammar errors, but I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader.
Subject: CEASE AND DISIST - WWW.THECORPSE.NET
Dear Mr Carlough,
As webmaster and admin for The Corpse Forums (www.thecorpse.com) owned by
Mr. Richard Benson, we recently became aware of your registration and use
of the domain name www.thecorpse.net registered on 11/17/2004.
Your unauthorized use of The Corpse's brand in the world wide Internet
market and purposeful attempts to delude the public into believing your
site has any relation whatsoever to Mr Benson and his website, is a direct
infringement and dilution of The Corpse.com's rights to the domain name
It should be noted that TheCorpse.com was registered by Mr Benson
11/19/2003 almost a year prior to your use of the mark.
Please note that TheCorpse.com is dedicated to vigorously defending its
web identity rights in the marks "The Corpse" and "The Corpse.com.
In addition, usage of phrases such as "the red headed league" and "Is that
or is that not a red-head?" are believed by Mr Benson and his associates
to be a direct slur and attempted insult of his name and a direct attempt
to lull any potential mistaken browsers into believing your site is
thecorpse.com because of Mr Bensons color of hair. The Association of
these phrases and www.theredheadedleague.com with www.thecorpse.net is a
purposeful and direct attempt to mislead potential web surfers and has
diluted thecorpse.com's effective search discovery on search engines such
as www.google.com and www.lycos.com to name but two.
Accordingly, you are hereby directed to immediately cease and desist in
your use of the infringing site and mark and all references to red hair.
We expect full compliance within 48 hours before further legal action will
be taken by Mr Benson and his staff.
Should you have any questions, please contact the undersigned.
Very truly yours,
I didn't know what thecorpse.com was at the time, but I've since come to find out that it's an online forum for teenagers to talk about rap and call each other fags. I invite you to visit the site to see all the great fag calling yourself, but you should know that most of it is not safe for work.
So, after the webmaster sent the letter, he closed the forums to unregistered members so they could giggle about their prank to each other, but it didn't matter, because I could see everything they were saying in the lo-fi version of the forums, which he apparently forgot to shut down. You can see what they said about me here.
I sent them this response:
I'm glad you contacted me. I am very interested in buying
thecorpse.com. Please email me immideately in regards to this
transaction. I am prepared to pay up to fifty US Dollars.
Thank you and best wishes
Well, as you can see from this, they didn't buy it. Did I lay it on too thick? Not thick enough? Well, no matter. I think thecorpse.com learned a lesson and so did I. And that lesson, was, I don't know, be yourself. Oh, no wait, I did learn something. I learned what "getting sonned" means. I think.
May 10, 2005
You are an idiot, Phil Finney
I know you're all expecting more on The Bat-man, but I've got to get this off my chest. As some of you may know, I started a band after Conquistador broke up called The US Patent Office. I came up with the name, I thought it was funny, and no, I didn't know that there was a band called The Postal Service at the time. We're for the most part defunct now, but I keep the site up and running just because I can. Much to my surprise, I got an email today through the contact page on the uspo site. It read:
I have U.S.patent# 5711608
I believe maintenance fee is due soon. Can I pay this directly to U.S.P.O.?
What is the fee.? Is there a form for this?
Sincerely; P.F, Finney
I assumed this was some kind of joke at first, but just for kicks, I googled patent 5711608. I was surprised that Google knew I was looking for patents and provided me a direct link to the actual government US Patent Office record, but that's a whole different story. You can look at the patent itself, maybe it holds the key to this enormous practical joke that's being played on me, but it was too boring for me to finish and find out.
I then googled the guy's email address and it seemed like the owner of that address was the owner of the patent in question (I also found out his first name is Phil). Could this guy really have thought that our web site was for registering and renewing patents? Let's take a look at the logs to get an idea of how this all went down:
09/May/2005:16:12:17 - Phil clicks from a yahoo search on uspo onto our site.
09/May/2005:16:12:37 - Twenty seconds later, he clicks the contact link. At this point, you should seriously look at our site. It really doesn't look like a government agency.
09/May/2005:16:19:07 - It takes him about seven minutes to draft that message, it probably took him six of those to figure out how to fit in all the weird punctuation.
And our story comes to a close there. Was this for real? Maybe. But, no, it couldn't be. But if it was, Phil Finney, you are truly an idiot.
May 4, 2005
I just trimmed my nose hair for the first time.
Does that make me an adult?
April 23, 2005
Waiting for Mariah
My camera phone kind of sucks, but that's a block long line of people waiting outside of Best Buy, hours in advance to get some junk signed by Mariah Carey.
ADULTS. STANDING IN LINE FOR MARIAH CAREY.
Just for fun, let's look at some of Mariah's album titles:
- Music Box
- She-Ra, Princess of Power
All right, I made up the last two, but you believed me for half a second. I suppose making fun of Mariah Carey is like shooting dead fish in a really small barrel, but whatever, those people got in my way and made me mad.
April 20, 2005
Things I will miss about winter
- Snow - It's a good excuse to stay home.
- Clothes - Spring seems to encourage women to wear revealing outfits. I get it, you're pretty, you don't have to rub it in my face.
- Not waking up in a pool of sweat.
March 25, 2005
Click this link quick before they fix it
If you scroll down a bit, you'll notice that my now defunct band, The El Conquistadors (aka Conquistador, Skabba the Hut, etc.), is number one with a crappy live recording of a song I wrote, Petty Man. (I wanted to call it I'm a Petty, Petty Man, but no one would listen to me, though that's neither here nor there.) And I wrote that stupid bio too, or most of it anyway.
I can only imagine that rabid fans of The Bravery really put their research hats on and tracked this site down. It's also very possible that the site just hasn't been updated since January, 2004, as that's when their spotlight of Mavin seems to have been posted. Although weren't we Conquistador by then? Were we even still together? I don't remember.
It also might be rabid US Patent Office fans. But I doubt it.
March 21, 2005
Do the people that make Bazooka Joe comics care about anything?
That kid with the weird turtleneck is in front of the lady with the hat.
March 15, 2005
A conversation with my blog
Hey blog, what's up.
Oh, hey Will, not much. It's been a while.
I know, I know. But listen, I update you more than some people.
Yeah but I've seen people who update like everyday.
But remember I updated you twice in one day that one time.
With links, Will. With links.
All right. So what's been going on, people reading you?
A couple people, I guess. I think it's mostly just search engines crawling me.
So you going to update me or what?
Yeah, eventually. I don't have much to say.
What about that ways to tell movies are bad stuff, you said you had more of those.
Yeah, they aren't as good as the first couple though.
Just talk about your life.
That's boring. It's boring enough I have to live it, I can't write about it too.
What about the rss feed, are people subscribing to that?
Yeah, there's like five people. Did you just link to an old post?
Yeah, so what?
So that's what you call updating me now, just linking to old posts?
Look, lay off all right? Blogs are stupid anyway.
So now I'm stupid.
No, not you. I mean other ones. You know, ones that aren't really about anything.
What am I about again?
Come on, you've got something to talk about. You get laid recently?
Man, my parents read this.
So let's just talk about something else.
All right, how's work?
I figured you'd say something like that. You're going to have to update me sooner or later.
Says who? I have no reason to. You give me nothing, blog. You are pointless. I thought you'd be fun, but you're not. No one cares about you, I don't care about you. I have enough unsatisfying hobbies, I don't need you on top of them. I could never update you again and it wouldn't affect anything in any way.
Just update me, man.
Too late! Post number 36! Boo-yeah!
Aw, blog, you got me again, ha ha!
Yeah, did you see it coming?
No, you really got me.
Ha. Cool, cool. So what are you going to post about tomorrow?
Fuck you, blog.
March 10, 2005
Fuck it, I'll update twice in one day, try and stop me
And both times with just links. I think this is funny:
A slow news day
Having made movies about both ducks and necrophilia, I was surprised to find that science wasn't far behind.
From The Guardian: Necrophilia among ducks ruffles research feathers
Get your chocolate out of my peanut butter. Or something.
March 8, 2005
Computer solitaire is the first thing they make you do in hell
On the subway this morning I decided not to read my boring compilation of Doctor Doom/Namor team-ups and to look over people's shoulders. I noticed a woman playing solitaire on her Palm. And as if solitaire wasn't pointless enough to begin with, this woman had it set up so that all she had to do was to click on a card, and it would just go where it needed to go. Not only that, but occasionally, cards would just fly up to the aces pile without her having to do anything at all. So all she had to do was click on the deck to get another card, and then click on that card. I hate to talk about the Jetsons twice in one week, but that was basically George's job, he just sat at a desk and pushed one button all day. I realize that video games, by nature, are ultimately pointless and just a way to while away your free time, but, geez, get some Tetris in there or something, at least you have something to do with the outcome. That lady might as well have been watching Solitaire: The Movie. As I left the subway, I noticed that the Palm, while otherwise in perfect condition, had a worn down spot where the deck was.
March 1, 2005
Not that I was going to anyway, but I don't think I can ever watch the Jetsons again
Seriously, how did they get away with that.
February 25, 2005
Praying for the pope is stupid
I mean really. If God's not looking out for that guy already, rubbing some rosary beads together isn't going to change his mind.
February 18, 2005
The Doctor (not Tom Baker and not that bald guy on Voyager either)
I went to the doctor yesterday, since I have health insurance again for the first time in about three years. He seemed pretty unconcerned about the few medical complaints that I had, to the point where it almost made me feel invincible. Although when I stripped down for the standard cough and whatnot, he pointed to a few spots on my legs and said, "Those are normal." He then spotted a few on my back. "Those are normal too." Thanks, I thought to myself. I didn't even notice those were there before. Now that you've pointed them out, you've got me all freaked out about them.
January 7, 2005
Judge not, etc.
A few nights ago, I had met up with some friends, and ended up taking the L home around eleven or twelve. The tracks were under construction, which meant I was in for a long wait. I didn't have a book with me, so all I had to do was pace and look at other people waiting for the train. After a while, a couple showed up. The woman was kind of dumpy looking, unremarkable other than the clutch purse she had that said Scorpio, which I assume was her sign. The man was what caught my attention, he had a glasses that were the shape and size of a state trooper's sunglasses, a big cowboy hat, jeans tucked into his boots, and a coat with tassles that were as long as his forearms.
Now, I usually try not to judge people for what they wear, mostly out of a vague fear of what people might think of my wardrobe, but I instantly pegged this guy as a larper. For those of you unfamiliar with larping, it's like Dungeons and Dragons except you put on outfits and act it out in the woods somewhere. (Disclosure: Yes, I played D&D in high school.) Thinking about it some more, I decided that the guy probably wasn't actually a larper, that'd be too easy, but I'd bet that he had friends who were, and diamonds to donuts he had some other weird thing that he did, like being a furry or something.
I overheard him telling the woman about how the L was notorious for late night construction, in an attempt, I assumed, to impress her with his knowledge of the city. Wow, you know about the L train? Garsh! Tell me all about it, what's it like in the morning? What about like late afternoon? Fascinating! When the train finally showed up, he got close to it as it slowed down and made like he was stopping it himself. Haw haw, asshole, why don't you pull a quarter out of the girl's ear too.
I was enjoying feeling superior to this guy, so I decided to get as close as possible to the couple on the train to eavesdrop some more. And what should we stand next to but that Anna Nicole Smith Trimspan ad. He proceeded to point out the main problems with the ad that I had pointed out in this post.
Oh fuck. At first I hoped that he was just an avid reader of Diogenes Club, but that probably wasn't the case. I thought I was so clever with my Anna ad critique, but here was this idiot, spouting out the same stuff.
So you're probably saying to yourself, well Will, you got what you deserved. You played D&D in high school, and you ramble on about the L train sometimes, and there you were judging him, calling the kettle black as it were, and now you're surprised when he comes up with the same observations as you.
I suppose. So I learned a lesson. When you're waiting for the train, bring a book.
December 27, 2004
The Christmas entry
My impression of the Christmas episode of every sitcom ever:
Santa Claus isn't real... Or is he?
Merry Christmas or whatever, everybody.
December 18, 2004
I'm a real blogger now, I have comment spam.
Often when I'm reading an email from a friend, I will subconsciously read the letter in the voice of the person who wrote it. Is that a natural human thing to do, or do I do it just because it happens in movies? On a related note, I once had a dream that I had become six inches tall, but my imagination could only picture me with 70's-esque bad superimposition lines around me.
The Hazzards just release their first EP, So Pretty. I play drums, trumpet, and sax on it. I think it's good. For some reason, we also played in the subway last weekend, and made seventy-five dollars in two hours. Now, the girls probably pull in more money than the average guy playing an annoying two-string eastern instrument, but let it be known, if you can sing and play an instrument, you could probably learn a couple popular tunes and make more money than you do at your current job.
And man, do I not get this.
December 7, 2004
Me, green leotards, and The Hazzards
I've been trying to think of a way to craft this post into looking like something other than shameless self promotion, but is it what it is, so:
The Hazzards, those two lovely uke playing girls that I back up on the drums are going to be playing a free show at Galapagos in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Joining us will be The Daily Show's Ed Helm's bluegrass band - The Lonesome Trio (who knew) and the Sugar Jets.
And if that weren't enough, I'll also be opening up the show with Children with Hands. I'll be wearing green leotards, playing a character that I haven't played since a kindergarten play I cowrote with my classmates. How about that.
The Hazzards' Wednesday Night Makeout Party
70 North 6th Street btwn. Kent and Wythe
Hope to see you all there.
November 16, 2004
Some text from a subway Trimspa ad:
Get the attention you deserve... Anna is.
Now, how that made it to print is beyond me. It should either be 'Anna does,' or, I don't know, 'Be getting the attention you deserve.' Now, elsewhere, the ad does say 'Be envied,' so maybe 'Anna is' is a reference to that, but they're far apart and in different fonts.
My other problem with the ad is that it's all about how much weight Anna lost, but in every shot, her body is obscured by something. In the main picture, she's being given a piggy back ride by some guy. In another picture, we can see her face (glowering at us) and her shoulder, but that's about it. In another very small picture, we can see her full body, but for one, she's in this absurd 1930's swimsuit, and for two, her arm is covering the rest of her up because she's dancing with the piggy back guy.
Oh, and that glower and shoulder picture? It has a little subtitle: 'Trimspa baby!' There should be a comma between Trismpa and baby, but I don't even care about that anymore. Trimspa baby? Appending baby on the end of stuff was sort of tolerable for about a month after Austin Powers came out. But after two sequels and god knows how many lame imitations, geez. Why didn't they make it - 'Trimspa sucks. Not!' How about 'We're two wild and crazy guys! On Trimspa!' Or something equally dated and not funny.
And do women really want to take advice from Anna Nicole Smith on how to get attention?
October 6, 2004
Google is a bunch of jerks
I'm not proud of a lot of things I've done. Fortunately for you, many of the mistakes I've made will be preserved forever on the internet, thanks to Google.
I encourage you to browse around:
Now the reason I'm making this post is on the fourth page:
Scroll down a bit, and you'll find a letter to the editor. Yes, I wrote a fan letter to Usagi Youjimo in 1992. 1992! I hadn't even heard of the internet then. What the hell are those people doing putting old letters to the editor on their site. They didn't even buy the domain until 1997. They went to the trouble of posting an inane letter from a fifteen year old, five years after it was written, and now it is indelibly attached to my name.
The other thing google has taught me is apparently there's some kid named Will Carlough in the midwest that skis a lot.
That doesn't bother that much, I guess.
There's also these two sites:
Which (don't click on those links, by the way) I think are just there to try to install spyware on your machine, but somehow their strategy involves pairing my name with such popular search terms as "bodybuilding chicks", "DOG HOROSCOPES", and "Basilian Fathers".
Now if I ever relesase my dog horoscopes to the public or write a letter to the editor of Bodybuilding Chicks Monthly, people are going to end up very confused.
October 5, 2004
Alas, I am not fab enough to date her
I took this test to find out if I was fab enough to date who ever made it. I am not. In fact, much to my dismay, I am a poser.
Are you fab enough to date me?|
brought to you by Quizilla
Oh dear, you didn't get it at all did you? You
should be dating a shallow primadonna, rather
than this deep primadonna. You're a poser!!!!
I decided to be big about it though. If I can't have her for my own, I'm not going to stand in your way if you score well on the test. Her happiness means too much to me. All I ask is that you treat her right.
October 2, 2004
Wait - I started a blog?
I hate blogs. Blogs, at their best, are people who are well versed in a given subject opining on that subject so drily that only the most hardcore fans of the subject can stand to read through it. At their worst, they're exercises in vanity, with people rambling on about nothing, talking about what they had for lunch, and posting stupid pictures of them and their stupid friends.
So one day I woke up, and oops, a domain that I had owned for four years but never knew what do with is now a blog. My roommate, a professional skateboarder, was interviewed by a skateboarding magazine, and the interview went something like this:
Was there anything that confused you about skateboarding when you were growing up?
So, ha ha, now I'm wearing Skidz. In a conversation with Brian, who has been blogging for what now, five years, I noted that I'd like to rant about this and that, but that the people I'd be ranting about would probably end up reading it. 'That's the paradox of blogging,' he said, although I don't think he actually used the word paradox. Well, I haven't told my parents about this yet, I could complain about them, but they're pretty nice people, sadly. I have a handful of ex-girlfriends that'll probably never find this. Yeah, so screw you Laura Macininch or whatever your name was, I never liked you that much anyway.
I suppose my point is that I'm a hypocrite. And now the occasional rant that I'd make to people about topics they don't care about will now be preserved on the internet forever so my grandkids or my pet robots will be able to make fun of me when I'm old.
October 1, 2004
Margaret Cho sucks
Margaret Cho has no less than three stand up movies to her credit. One would think that that would indicate an incredible stand up comic. I mean, Martin Lawrence only has two.
But flipping through the channels the other night, I came upon Ms. Cho in one of her movies doing an extended impression of her mother. Yes, she's still doing it.
I laughed at that impression once. ONCE.
Now, far be it from me to blame a comic for relying on material that works. Look how far it got Jeff Foxworthy. But the rest of Cho's act is just bland.
So at this point, you may be asking yourself, who cares. So she's a bad comic, so what. What did she ever do to you. Here it is. I've figured out why she's so popular.
White, middle class people are sitting around thinking, you know, I want to laugh at Asian stereotypes, but I can't help feeling guilty about it. If only there were a way for me to enjoy someone making that funny buck-toothed face and using that ridiculous accent, and not trigger my white liberal guilt. Hey, there's a new Margaret Cho movie out, sweet!
What is my point? Do I think that minority comics shouldn't make fun of their ethnicity and if they do, white people shouldn't laugh at it? No. Do I think that putting an hour and a half of stand up into a multiplex is a waste of theatre space to begin with? Yes, but that's besides the point. I don't know what my point is. Margaret Cho just sucks.