pub(e)licity

BritneyI’m beginning to wonder if I’m right in my (usually steadfast) belief that the only reason these times seem so incredibly f*cked up is that through the ages — for every single generation — things have always seemed incredibly f*cked up, beyond anything that came before.

Now there’s poor Britney, reduced to airing out the beav for a cheap career push. Spears, whom I understand is rumored to have actually been able to sing and dance at some point, is quickly learning the key to modern “celebrity” from her new mentor: Who needs talent, when you’ve got nerve?

clue free

zunePity the poor, dumb giant Microsoft. On second thought, no, don’t bother; they’re making bank! And now, their ripoff of answer to the iPod has been launched. And the Zune, it turns out, is just as marvelous and brilliant a stroke of marketing genius as most everything else they’ve come up with. The Chicago Sun-Times sums it up neatly:

The Zune is a square wheel, a product that’s so absurd and so obviously immune to success that it evokes something akin to a sense of pity.

I wonder how it must feel to have your entire R&D department housed at a different company, in a different state, with a different name? And STILL be able to get it so wrong, so often?

n*gga please

KramerMichael Richards’ “apology” on David Letterman was cringe-inducing, mostly because of the ginormous blind spot clearly still in place for this poor fool. I suspect he was being sincere when he insisted “I’m not a racist!” I mean, he seems just as surprised at his own reactions as the rest of us were. But sorry, I do believe the definitive statement on this point has already been made, loud and clear. The governor came off, and what was inside simply came out. Unfortunately, it was also recorded.

Now the folks Richards went off on want an apology and “maybe some money”. This would appear to be playing right into Richards’ hands, raising questions about the victims’ motives. O Gloria Allred; is there nothing you cannot make appear petty and gratuitous?

“thanks”

Sign This Thanksgiving day, I came across these amusing pix at one of my favorite sites, documenting the wildly improper/gratuitous/flat-out-retarded use of apostrophes and quotation marks, mostly in signage. An example:

Sign: Smart boy “Jones” cleans everything but the “Baby.”
Reader response: “I” bet he “does.”

This made me laugh. Many times. It also made me realize what a silly, inside joke much of what I find entertaining is. And how warm and fuzzy — and thankful — it makes me feel to know that there are others out there, suffering the same pet peeves as I, finding humor in the same silly little things.

animation

BoobiesYeah, moving things catch your eye, don’t they? Animation works. I do animation for a living. It is good. But there are those who use animation for evil purposes. Just recall, if you will, those headache-inducing “YOU’VE JUST WON!!!” banners one encounters… Gah. Does this ever work? I mean, maybe the idea is to annoy you SO MUCH, visually, that you might just click on the thing accidentally, in an unconscious attempt to ward off evil? I don’t know.

Pay attention. Her name is Sydney, okay? Anyway, I tend to think of advertising as a barometer of baseline cultural intelligence. The logic goes, “if advertisers are doing it, it must work.” They are, after all, paying for the privilege of presenting their idea to us; if it didn’t draw business, they’d stop or change it, right?

But this line of thinking is invariably depressing. Sure, I can sit in righteous judgment of the unwashed masses, those “stupid people” many would have us believe comprise most of America… But no. I’d rather think it’s just an indication of how stupid, tasteless, and annoying some advertisers can be. Then, I’d rather watch Sydney, here, massaging herself. Mmm. Animation.

oh, universe…

observatory…How you disappoint. Today was my beloved wife’s b-day (we’re both Scorpios), and besides the banana pancakes from Vivian’s, the swanky watch I got her, and a fancy lunch with a dear friend, she got a trip to the newly reopened Griffith Observatory.

The building itself is beautiful as ever. All (okay, most) of the renovation was underground, leaving the original structure unscathed. The views tonight were spectacular. To top it off, this is where I proposed, overlooking her adopted and beloved city of angels [violin music swells…].

Then we went inside [record SCREECHES to a halt].

observatoryThe Cafe (“At the End of the Universe”) had only cold sandwiches for dinner. Tasty, but come on. Soup, at least? Anyway, then it was on to the exhibits. We started on the West End, which the video on the bus up recommended. The first major room was mostly a bust; several telescopes were mounted, facing a wall — covered with star wallpaper. My wife looked, then bluntly announced, “Stupid displays.” Suddenly, it was a giggle-fest… I looked through a telescope: Sure enough, wallpaper. With LOTS of seams. WTF?? The Tesla Coil was cool, as was the giant-ass pendulum. But {yawn}… It’s nice and all, but I think it’s still mostly a field-trip destination. For us adults, breathtaking architecture and views. But Stupid Displays.

all things dear

lightningThis year, my b-day (the anniversary of this here writing experiment) was darkened by pet trouble. Our sweet little puggy, Bacci, had a seizure [or something…]. It took us a couple of days to realize that that’s what it was, tho. We took him in to a veterinary hospital, they checked him out, assured us he was fine. Blood, temp, everything normal. Brought him home, he was lethargic, mopey for the rest of the afternoon, but okay.

We did some research, which unearthed an apocalyptic disease unique to pugs. Bacci’s symptoms were about a 50% match, so it scared the bejesus out of us… Then it happened again, the next morning. Not a flop around on the floor seizure, but a very distressing episode nonetheless. Poor little guy. He recovered more quickly this time, and within an hour was his old self, only at about 85%. Yesterday morning, another one. We comforted him best we could, and he weathered it like a little trooper. Within 20 minutes, he was dandy again. As the day progressed, he was clearly back to normal (tugging on his walk, jumping up on visiting guests, etc.).

Today, he’s been absolutely 100% Bacci again. We are grateful, relieved, and anxious. One of the visiting friends last night told us about his dog, who had epilepsy, yet lived to a ripe old age. The thing about seizures is that no one really seems to know much about what, exactly, is going on. We have our favorite vet coming tomorrow (that’s right, he makes house calls). He owns a pug, so we’re hoping he’ll be able to settle our concerns a bit more. For now, our beloved little friend is happy and energetic as ever, and we are left with an all too vivid reminder that there are just some things in life that you can’t do a damn thing about.

bacciwell.pngUPDATE: So our Vet came, and announced that Bacci definitely does not have that deadly thingie… Maybe had severe pains in the gut, say, passing a stone? Maybe has a mild form of epilepsy? We just have to wait and see if it ever happens again. I vote for never. In any case, he’s fully back to 110% Bacci, rambunctious and lovable as ever, and appreciated in ways he can’t imagine!

ding dong

Ding Dong Here it’s been almost exactly a year since I started this thing, and I’ve gone blank for over two months! I can think of a few reasons… Big plans, other distractions. More on that later.

For now, though, we have reason to celebrate, yes? Democracy in action, good ol’ checks and balances delivering a f*cking body-check to the Bush Empire. ‘Bout time. Here’s hoping the Demos grow a spine and listen to Arianna. Not the time to be timid, but not the time to go overboard, either. Pelosi’s a snore, but the first femme speaker. Let’s see what they make of it.

TWO MORE YEARS! TWO MORE YEARS! I’ll say it loud, and I’ll say it proud: Gore/Obama ’08. You heard it here first. Okay, almost.

screening meemies

star69
More info on Star69’s screening at the LA Shorts Fest (at the Arclight, 8pm on Saturday, September 9th):

ubuntu

In the spirit of long-winded “openness,” I’m tracking my (attempted) transition to Ubuntu Linux, in detail. Just in case anyone’s interested. Needed its own real estate. Previous postings (at this site) can be viewed here. ‘Nuff said.