Politics

A Wee Bit O Pop for Your Morning

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Let’s do this.

There’s a new Lego Movie trailer. I’m an unabashed fan of the Lego games, yet I still feel a little sheepish stating that I’m actually looking forward to the Lego Movie. It looks pretty funny, it’s got a number of my favorite comedic actors in it, as well as Liam Fucking Neison. That being said, he was also in Battleship, so…ugh. That being said, I couldn’t be more excited about a Will Arnett Batman. Here’s the newest trailer for Lego.

Also in movie news, Ender’s Game came out this past Friday. The author of the series, Orson Scott Card, is staunchly anti-gay and has given to numerous anti-gay causes. He’s written numerous essays and articles stating his often violent views toward homosexuals and those who would support them, including “If the Constitution is defined in such a way as to destroy the privileged position of marriage, it is that insane Constitution, not marriage, that will die.” Naturally, this has caused some concern amongst those interested in seeing the film or reading any of his further works. Is it possible to separate the man from the art or will doing something as simple as attending a movie, feed his bank account and therefore views that are aggressive in their inhumane intent toward a particular people? In light of this, Buzzfeed has written an interesting article on boycotting films and whether or not they actually ever work as intended.

As far as human rights go, a member of Pussy Riot has been moved to a different penal colony in Russia. She had faced attacks and subsequently undertook a hunger strike in protest to her incarceration. Apparently 23 year old Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was moved to a more secure prison on October 21st and her family was told they would be informed of her new whereabouts within 10 days. As of November 2nd, her husband reported that they had still not been told of her new location. Pussy Riot is a feminist punk rock group that has frequently criticized bigotry in Catholicism as well as Vladimir Putin. For their participation in a protest, two members of the group were sentenced to two years in a penal colony. At the time of sentencing Tolokonnikova stated “Our imprisonment serves as a clear and unambiguous sign that freedom is being taken away from the entire country.”

And because airports are unsafe and annoying as hell already, an alligator was found in O’Hare this past weekend. Illinois is of course the most perfect climate for gators. And he was stuck under the escalator no less (I’m sure there’s an escagator joke in there some where, but I refuse to touch it). Luckily it was only a baby, think Elvis from Clarissa Explains It All. In light of recent events, I would much rather grapple with a wild animal than a human.

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A paleontologist at Mount Holy Oak believes he has proof that the Kraken was a real sea beasty. Listen, it’s something like 90% of our oceans are undiscovered wastes of terror and possible Kraken homes, sure, and I’m well aware that Moby Dick was based on a true story (want to be horrified? Look up George Pollard Jr. and his Essex to find out more on pain and whales and cannibalism), but I’m still leaning toward rational explanations for all sea myths and legends. I’m also afraid of open ocean, so maybe my fear makes me biased…

NBC loves them some Tina Fey like fat kids like chocolate cake. It’s been announced that they’re ordering another sitcom from the comedy maven and, while details are sparse, 13 episodes have been ordered for Fall 2014. If you need to have your memory jogged of the absurd, TheDailyBeast has some of the best moments from 30 Rock, including my personal favorite: That time Liz had a threesome with James Franco and an anime body pillow.

In a recent interview for SciFy, Neil Gaiman, Lord of Dreams, Master of Mine, revealed the origins of Sandman for its 25th Anniversary. This was a comic I used to buy so much as a kid that my parents actually limited the amount of money I could spend from babysitting and my allowance on. Naturally, I then started spending the surplus on drugs. Good work, guys.

Neil Gaiman Sandman Origins

And in the vein of anniversaries, just a friendly reminder: The trailer for the 50th anniversary Doctor Who special will hit on November 15th.

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Whale of a Fear

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I’m horrible to watch Antiques Roadshow with. I find myself shouting at the screen a la Indian Jones, “That belongs in a museum!”

And this really is the core of my being: I am excited by old things, find them amazing, fascinating, want them to be accessible to all, and want to get others excited about these objects as well. To learn is to better one’s self and I’d love to write and educate, to spread enthusiasm for something in my daily career.

There are 2 things I want to do with my life. To the average person, they’re very mundane. But to me, however, they’re the equivalent of becoming a rock star.

I want to:

1. Write lesson plans in accordance to state regulations for historical societies and museums in order to entice local schools to take field trips to such establishments.

Or

2. Work and write for Cook’s Country/America’s Test Kitchen, working as an Ethno-Foodologist or, even better, a Food Archeologist.

When I was in junior high and high school I would skip class about once a month or so. None of my friends would ever want to join me and my parents were always very supportive of these escapades. You’d think I had egghead friends and that’s why they wouldn’t skip, or that I had hippy dippy parents that would allow me to be so flagrant about my education, but neither was the case. Well, my mom could kinda be hippy dippy, but that’s a different story. When I decided to skip school I would get a ride to the train station and take Metro North to Grand Central Station. Exciting, right? Who wouldn’t want to skip school to hang out in The City all day?! I would then walk up Park Ave. to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Or I would head west across the park to the American Museum of Natural History (or what’s know as the Museum of Mother Fucking Awesomeness by its fans) and I would spend hours and hours reading in silence, smiling over beauty…with the periodic stop off at the Central Park Zoo to finish the trip. I did this over and over and over again.  In high school I was fairly popular, I was certainly no prude, and the most epic parties were normally hosted by my brother or I. But when it came to what I really wanted, it was historical solitude. I would have shared that time with others, allowing them to tag along, but who cared for those things but me?

Photo Credit Jessica Hische

I’m extremely fortunate in the sense that I’ve been to the museums of NYC so frequently that I can’t even count the days spent in their ancient and loving embrace. Dozens of times? Definitely. Hundreds? Very possible. I’ve moved away from that area a couple of times since graduating high school and being unable to take advantage of those museums is always the number one issue that I have when living more than a train ride away. I guess I miss my family, too, but I really  miss those museums. In fact, when I visit my family, a jaunt to a museum in NYC is always one of the first afternoons planned. I am not so ego maniacal to ever think I could work at the Museum of Natural History or the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In order to do something like that I would have had to make all the right moves, and absolutely no mistakes, in the professional decisions of my life. The employees and curators of those establishments are my heros, my Steven Tylers and Brad Pitts. Unfortunately, it seems I’ve done the opposite of not making professional blunders thus far in my life. I’ve created quite the resume and educational experience with not one, but two degrees under my belt. They’re just as far from the museum and/or food path as humanly possible. Awesome.

The first time in memory of going to a museum, I was about three years old and with my parents and brother. We headed out to the Museum of Natural History. My brother and I never really got along very well, and on trips like this we were more simply in the same place at the same time rather than actually experiencing something together. We walked passed the dinosaur skeleton in the entry hall and made our way around the mammoths and the naked, hairy neanderthals with the droopy boobs. This was prior to the Rose Center, otherwise we would have probably made a bee line for the giant glass box of Space. The favorite at this time, however, was the Great Hall. The Great Hall is massive, primarily so it can fit the life-sized model of a blue whale. It’s romantically lit, and by that I mean, that it’s somewhat dark, like the depths of the ocean. It consists of two levels with marine life exhibits lining the walls and a large open area in the center, from which one can admire the whale.

Photo credit Linden78. That bitch’ll crush yo’ ass.

I say “admire”.

There are two things I remember from this day, one of my earliest trips to the AMNH:

1. Being horrified in the Great Hall by this massive whale that was going to crush and/or eat me at any moment while…2. George Michael’s Careless Whisper played over the loud speaker. I mean, yeah, technically it was a Wham! song, but, c’mon, it was all George Michael and that damned whale. My mother said she heard “teeny, tiny pounding feet” and turned to see me flying toward her staring over my shoulder at the whale, horrified. And what self respecting toddler wouldn’t be? Even at that young age I knew anything from above could crush you below, both literally and figuratively.

It’s a hazy memory, but it’s very real, and it didn’t just end with that day.

I then proceded to carry around a fear of being in an ocean for years. Playing in the surf = good. Playing far enough out where water could go over your head and therefore allow you to be crushed from above by a whale = bad. It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I could picture myself getting out of a boat and into open waters. I wasn’t afraid of whales, so much as being in water with them. I grew up along the north eastern seaboard, so going whale watching was a common activity. I respected their beauty and their power. And their ability to crush me in real life in the ocean or as a giant model in a museum.

Soul inhibited experience or no, I knew to differentiate my fear from what actually caused it and not where the experience occurred. Loosely translated: I didn’t blame the museum for this silly fear that followed me around for a couple of decades.

And to this day I want to be apart of some historical and educational organization that learns from and loves the past, whale or no.

Pop Bytes – Push out the Jive, Bring in the Nerd with Arrested Development, Dark Knight & More.

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I’ve been playing Red Dead Redemption and I’m totally obsessed. More than anything, I want to compile a collection of a bunch of the hats from John Marston’s unlockable outfits. Also, I’m a wicked good shot. Wicked good. I’ve just gotten a bit stuck on bagging a cougar with a stick of dynamite – but I’m sure I’ll get it soon.

And none of that has anything to do with this post, except for the fact that I “totes” don’t need any more hats; I already have an adorable collection that doesn’t get worn info.

Back to nerding out on real stuff.

It’s almost time. My Netflix subscription will finally pay off: New episodes of Arrested Development start filming in a mere 4 weeks! According to Netflix’s original statement, all new episodes will be uploaded for streaming all at once. Speaking of which, I’m going to have to re-watch all the old episodes stat. All original members of the cast are on board with this project, making it all the more exciting. [BuzzFeed]

Photo Credit That’sWhatSheaSaid

So, a Twilight fan was killed after being hit by car at Comic Con yesterday. When I first read that headline my first thought was “Oh, no! That poor 12 year old girl!” Only it wasn’t a young child; it was an adult woman over 50 years old. An adult who made the decision to run into on coming traffic to score a spot in line to see teen heartthrobs. No, she absolutely did not deserve to die and this is 100% a tragedy. I just feel our desire for escapism as Americans is a bit out of touch right now. [LATimes]

<Begin super thick sarcastic tone now.> Wow. I’m so surprised. Hey, everybody, Hollywood has decided to make Mockingjay, the final of the Hunger Games trilogy, into 2 movies. Wow, totally didn’t see that coming. <End sarcasm.> I am a fan of the Hunger Games books, I truly am. I felt, however, that Catching Fire and Mockingjay, based on their content, would need to be only 2 movies. It might have to overlap a bit, bringing some of the third book into the second part Catching Fire. While the second installment is exciting, there’s not much to it until…well, if you’ve read the book then you know. If you haven’t, I’m not spoiling it. In other words, there’s enough content there for 2 movies, but not any more than that. I just hope the next installment isn’t filmed likeThe Blair Witch Project again. But who are we to complain: We are the movie studios cattle, herding to pay over priced tickets for movies with budgets that are out of control. Ans we do it with smiles on our faces.

A 30 second clip has been released for The Dark Knight,airing on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

As the nerdiest of us know, it’s the 25th anniversary of TNG (that’s Star Trek: The Next Generation). Now, granted, the first season started off a bit rough, what with Riker’s super chin dimple and that Tasha Yar nonsense. Be that as it may, TNG quickly developed into the best Star Trek series, second only to TOS (that of course being The Original Series). To celebrate this, a number of movies theaters across the US are hosting an anniversary event showing two first season TNG episodes on the big screen. This is a one time thing on Monday July 23rd at 7pm – and, Austonians/Austinites, be aware that the Alamo Drafthouse will NOT be showing this. I know, I’m shocked, too. You can find out were to see this in your state on Fathom Events.

Photo Credit

The Batmobile was designed in the late 1930’s. It’s one of those iconic cars that is instantly recognizable to this day, no matter how it’s updated. And it’s the standard to which every car lover out there compares their current ride to. It’s only fitting, and about time, that the creation and evolution of the Batmobile finally gets its own documentary. It will air Monday on the CW (whatever the hell network that is) at 8pm eastern time. Don’t expect amazement here, however: All six versions of the Batmobile are supposedly touched on, but the special is a mere 30 minutes in run time, so 22 when you subtract all those fantastic ads. Holy Bull Sh*t, Batman. [SuperHeroHype]

Tom Baker, the 4th inception of the Doctor and quite possible one of the most memorable with his incredible scarf, will be returning to Doctor Who for it’s 50th anniversary event. There is little to no additional news released on this event other than this will also serve as Matt Smith’s last moment as the character. I have been hesitant with each new inception of Doctor, hating that time for them passed so quickly and now I would have to work through the adventures with someone new, yet every time I’ve been more and more blown away. I had never been so surprised by an inception than with Matt Smith, who I feel managed to encapsulate the Good Doctor all too well, making his departure all that more rough. [Buzzfeed]

When I was young, I thought Xena was…well, not cool, per say, but one of the tougher women to look up to given my options as a child of the ’80’s. I find it interesting that now, 17 years after the short-lived television show aired, her “armor” is serving as inspiration for real life combat in the U.S. Military. I get the importance of properly fitted combat gear; a soldier must be protected while being able to move in a stealthy manner in order to complete their duties and survive. I just hope they dispense with curly golden designs on the tits. I don’t think those really aided to camouflage. [TheInquistr]

Photo Credit

And, though it’s a month old, Peter Jackson has uploaded his 7th behind-the-scenes Hobbit movie journal to his YouTube page. What better way to end this out than with a little Hobbit enticement?

Pop fo’ Yo’ Mutha – Prometheus & Moonrise Kingdom clips + More!

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Let’s do this.

* I love the accepted awkwardness that is Zach Gallifianakis. Here he is talking with one of my favorite women in the world, Tina Fey. Open your heart, be one with the Uncomfortable.

*There are never enough Geek periphinalia shops!…Okay, maybe there are, but The Novo Geek strives to make useful geek toolsAs they state, “..no mugs with faces on them!” Need a journal? How about one from the Galactica, with weird corners and all? Going out and need some fancy new accouterments? How about a discrete and classy Star Trek tie? I wouldn’t recommend a red one, though… They only take on a few creative products a month, good design and excellent userability. It’s a fantastic concept and something that I hope continues successfully.

* Cover Browser is a relatively new (to me) site that allows you to flip through over 450,000 comic book covers. May I recommend not doing this at work. It will suck up the rest of your afternoon with awesomeness and totes get you in trouble with the boss.

* Speaking of Comic Books, Comic Book Resources has a list of the highest grossing comic book movies of all time. Good for these movies to make millions upon millions upon millions of dollars!…next to not a single cent of which actually went to the creators of these characters or their families. You make me fucking sick, Hollywood. No, I haven’t seen the Avengers. Thanks for asking.

* Even in the future, people get sick. Fantasy always maintains a bit of reality in the terms of health needs and Blastr has compiled a list of the top nurses that have gotten us all hot and bothered throughout time. Me? Well, Rory Williams can give me a sponge bath any day he wants. [Blastr]

* Artist Agan Harahap has created a photo series imagining what it would have been like if Spiderman was a participant in World War II. Well, obviously it would have ended a lot sooner saving millions of lives, and Hitler would have been captured alive rather than committing suicide like a coward in an underground bunker.  It also would have probably been known as World War Awesome. [Flickr]

* What’s awesome? Star Wars! What’s delicious? Pancakes! What’s deliciously awesome?! STAR WARS PANCAKES!

Photo Credit WalYou

* Simply cannot wait for Wes Anderson’s newest flick, Moonrise Kingdom. An new Making-Of featurette has been released to wet our appetites even more. This will be a great year for movies.

* While we’re doing featurettes, let’s talk the newest release from Prometheus, shall we? Their newest gift to fans shows what’s believed to be the origins of life. Prepared to be surprised. Let’s watch! [Blastr]

I Am Not Baby Crazy

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I’m not.

I’m not baby crazy.

My boss is positive I’m going to wake one morning demanding the spawn of my spouse. I’m not sure if he’s right or wrong, but I do know that today is not that day.

My friends, however, are procreating at a fantastic speed, and I think it’s adorable! I totally do. My wee little chick friends are developing beautiful rotund bellies filled with their own personal mini-me’s. And it’s friggin’ cute.

It’s also a whole new outlet for me to release my inner super geek! (Super Geek – Super Geek – she’s Super Geeky, yooooooow.)

So, naturally, I’ve been spending entirely too much time on Etsy. It’s totes my kryptonite.

And that’s as girly as I get. That and squeeing for puppies dressed as yoda and/or dinos.

Holy crap, that’s cute. Etsy SatMorningPancakes.

Ugh.

Right now, I’m too selfish. I want to do more. I want to be something worthwhile before being placed in a position to be an example for a child. I’m coming to terms with never being great, I just need to be good enough. This is not an odd feeling in regards to procreating. There is a certain amount of selfishness in creating a child, but in an acceptable way. As if saying “I’m personally good enough to pursue immortality vicariously.”Ohhhh….there it is: I have no self esteem.

The other issue is that I’ve never written as little as I have in the past month and this loss or lack  makes me look at where I am in life, which is far from the point of spawning.

I have yet to figure out why I have this correlation between writing and birthing, but, for me, it’s important. There has to be enough information spewed out before a baby can be spewed out born.

Information. Education. Writing.

Perhaps having a baby is not important to me yet because it’s not important to the perspective grandparents. There’s no pressure there, so I certainly don’t feel like it’s a necessity, and until I feel a need then it’s not the right time. I also don’t think boys ever need a kid. And I’m not up for raising one alone, so…

So, people are having babies later, people in long term relationships are having them out of wedlock, people are choosing to not have children at all and it’s all okay. God, marriage. There’s something that’s just pointless now. I should just walk into a court house, be able to declare my intention of forming a family unit, and be given the paperwork to change my name if I so desire. “I intend to support this person, and them, me.” “Well, alrighty, here’s the paperwork to have a joint name if so wanted, as well as to insure that person.” Period. The rest of it can go to hell.

Family unit. I’m starting my own clan. Like a tree house, only instead of “no boys allowed”, it’s simply “No one else; if I want more, I’ll make ’em”.

What I’m saying is I need a tree house, not a kid.

Wait…no. I think I may have gotten off topic.

What Does a Critic Owe Its Audience?

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I love research. I love knowing what was, what didn’t work, what changed, and watching it all disappear as the future charges on.

I like knowing the whole story, which is why I read a book prior to seeing the tale depicted on the big screen.

I do not <any longer> huff and puff during a movie when aspects I loved in the story were changed or omitted all together. Having a spouse who does not read broke me of that seriously annoying habit long ago. But when I read film reviews – which I rarely do – I immediately know when the critic has or has not read the book that inspired the movie.

But do they have to? Do they have to know the whole story?

Photo credit hungergameswtc.net

When I read the Rollingstone review of The Hunger Games I got the very distinct impression that the author did not read the books, that their complaints with the film were not relative to what the actual problems were. But then I thought “Why would the critic have to read the books?” After all, their review is of the movie and not the story.

I want more, though. Isn’t that always my problem? I want my reviewer to be knowledgable, to not just say “I like X, Y, Z, and disliked A.” I want something comprehensive, something worth arguing intelligently…but then maybe I’m just expecting too much from the critics. To ask that they look at something truly critically is apparently asking too much. I often say “If I can dothat [i.e. the work produced by another], then they’re not trying; it’s not art; it’s a poor writing.” And that’s why I so rarely read reviews: I don’t care nor do I think there’s enough information.

Which brings me back to the beginning: How knowledgeable does a critic have to be to write a truly comprehensive piece? What do they owe their readers? I guess I just expect more  (no surprise there). I’m not the brightest crayon in the box. When it comes to faith in information, when it comes to trusting another person to give us information, though, shouldn’t we have somewhat high expectations for them?

Perhaps, by biggest problem is that simplifying things means that we’re dumbing down our society, that we’re making it okay to operate on less. And knowledge is free, if we’re operating on less of anything it should be gasoline and electricity. It should be less caloric intake, and less anger. But we should never, ever sacrifice education due to laziness.

How did I get here from a disappointing movie review? Add that to one of my many problems.

*Side note for Hunger Games and X-Men: First Class fans: Due to the filming schedule of Jennifer Lawrence on the Hunger Games set, she will be unable to film X-Men: Second (?) Class until January of 2013. Yep, they’re going to hold up filming the entire movie just for Lawrence, who, ironically, never has to work again if she doesn’t want to. [Blastr]

All You Need is Pop: JK Rowling, Stefon, a ‘Seinfeld’ Suicide & More

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Tomorrow I’ll be attempting Fish & Chips over Sherlock.

Today, it’s Pop Day.

*JK Rowling has yet to put down her pen. It’s not all teenagers and inappropriate wand use this time around, however, as the Novelist will be writing specifically for adults. Most of the fans of Harry Potter that I know are well older than 18 years of age, so I’m very excited to read what mature further adventures. [PublishersWeekly]

* It’s no secret that one of my favorite SNL characters of all time is Stefon. A few Splitsider geniuses have illustrated his clubs as per his descriptions. And I want more. [BuzzFeed]

* Speaking of SNL, for the first time since I can remember the musical guest will actually be way cooler than the celebrity host: Jack White will be playing while Lindsey Lohan is “acting”. Not exactly sure why Lorne Micheals would have her on; between her million arrests and Playboy cover she hasn’t been able to get any actual movie work in a long, long time. [TheHollywoodReporter]

* Hey! You know who’s cooler than you? Stephen Hawking. I mean that goes without saying to begin with, but when was the last time you had to members of the opposite sex gyrating good times all over your person? [RadarOnline]

* Remember when George on Seinfeld wanted to be called T-Bone? Remember how he worked for Mr. Kruger at the time? Actor Daniel von Bargen, who played Kruger on the incredibly successful sitcom, attempted suicide earlier this week by shooting himself in the head. According to the 911 dispatch call, Bargen attempted suicide after becoming distraught over possibility of having toes amputated due to diabetes complications. He has survived the shooting, however, is in critical condition. [NYDailyNews]

* Last year I had friends over for an Oscar watch party and I made Oscar themed cupcakes. There was a funfetti style for The Social Network, a cupcake cut apart into pieces and layers and put back together with icing for Inception, a dark chocolate cake and ultra pure white icing for Black Swan, the list goes on. This year I’m having friends over, but I couldn’t care less about any of the movies up for awards. No film really blew my skirt up this year and any of the ones that came close weren’t even nominated. The Academy really screwed up this year, but sports fans have their Super Bowl and ladies have their Oscars. So one dedicated fan decided to make 2012 Oscar Nominee inspired hotdogs. And I’m so starving from being on freakin’ Weight Watchers points that I’d eat them all. Right now. [BuzzFeed]

* Speaking of crap that you can eat, YumSugar has a Girl Scout cookie quiz. Think you know ’em? Take the test and find out. Me, I can’t. Even answering questions about cookies will add fat to my ass. [YumSugar]

* And, finally, I can sing every word of the soundtrack and I can recite every word of the script. I make constant references to this movie, primarily in terms of David Bowie’s package (you should now know what I’m talking about if you read this blog regularly), and I even know which voice actors did which character in this and everything else Jim Henson. So let’s watch Jennifer Connelly’s audition for the lead character of Sarah, shall we? [DangerousMinds]