Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Eerie Estonia


According to Yuval Ben-Ami, the Tel Aviv journalist who was nice enough to send me this photo, "it was taken near the town of Mustjala, on the beautiful and unique island of Saaremaa.

"The piles of stones have nothing to do with strange ritual nor with freak geology. Kids play a game of piling the stones and seeing who can build a higher pile, what's left behind are quiet beaches of pillars. The bedouins of the Sinai build similar ones, called 'Rujums' to mark a way through the desert."

Bush arriving in New Orleans


The New York Times website has this great feature called Pictures of the Day. This is from August 29th, by Lee Celano for Reuters.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Epcot Nightmare


I like the shining gold against the ominous sky. This picture reminds me of this nightmare I had a lot as a kid where I was stuck at the top of Epcot Center and couldn't get down. Maybe I didn't enjoy those family vacations as much I thought.

("Man and Golden Ball," Photographer unknown, taken in Salzburg, Austria)

Scariest Fishing Website Ever.

This site ("Reel Fishing, Reel Money") reminds me of going to the Museum of Natural History with my friend Amanda, where we read about the insane digestive properties of various sea creatures. For one of them, the stomach was also the mouth! For another, it had like three heads but only one asshole. (You probably don't need to know this.)

Home Alone...with Toyota?



Will someone tell me what the fuck is up with this Toyota commercial?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Twins


If you're familiar with the work of Diane Arbus, it's pretty hard to look at a picture of twins without thinking of her famous photo. After that association, I thought about when I was gothic and middle school and really wanted to look like this. I love it!

(Photo from FILE Magazine, by Rebecca Pendel)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Kurt & Frances Bean


Photo by Stephen Sweet

Trapped in the Closet

My friend Christiana thinks that the next chapter of Trapped in the Closet is just going to be R. Kelly screaming "Closet! Closet! Closet!" Until then, here's a really clever graphic to help you keep track of the never-ending story.


(By Andrew Kuo for the New York Times)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"When You're Gone" by Avril Lavigne

So, when I said that I would still occasionally write about music, I didn't expect my next post to be about Avril Lavigne. But now that I think about it, she's been an big part of my summer.

"Girlfriend" got the party started back in June when Lil' Mama added some much needed...non-Avrilness. Now it's time for the one thing the Iraq War's been good for: a first-rate power ballad! (There have been a few, including Green Day's "Wake Me Up When September Ends.")

"When You're Gone" is shamefully addictive. Shameful because everything about Avril kind of is, but also because I can't imagine that it isn't the product of a marketing scheme: all those kids on Engaged & Underage need a wedding song, right?

Still, what's good is good. I'm just surprised at how right I was: despite lyrics that manage to be both generic and absurd, I knew the first time I heard it that it was (a) for weddings and (b) about the Iraq War. And the first 10 seconds of the video proved me right! Check it out here.

Purple Hearts

This slideshow is difficult to look at, which is why I'm not posting a picture from it right onto my blog. That said, it's a vital reminder of what many American soldiers have sacrificed for this country's War on Terror. Karl Rove should take a look.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Velocirapture!


(Courtesy of Alex - inspired by a conversation with his friend about dinosaurs and Jesus)

I've gotta stop putting exclamation points in all of my titles.

Deep Fried Pepsi!

Some may see this as a sign of late society (the idea that we're being crushed by our own consumption). But isn't there also something really driven about this? Cos if you're gonna be into junk food, you may as well reach for the stars...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Casanova



Look at Ronald McDonald putting the moves on Asian men.

(Photo by Roc Herms)

Side Effects of Fiction Reading

"I'm suffering from the side effects of fiction reading. Going around commenting on every minutiae, parsing every thought. Similes a go-go."
- Amneris Suarez

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Right on, Dick!

Dick Cheney saying in 1994 that invading Iraq would create a "quagmire." This is one of those things that make me want to jump out of the window.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Weird Bollywood (like Weird NJ, but with dancing)



And doesn't this really make sense? I mean, he has super strength and super hearing, it only follows that he would have super dancing skills.

(Courtesy of Neha - sorry for the resolution)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I'm not usually into pictures of little kids...


...unless they're being dwarfed by giant balloons!
(From Kathleen Connally's photoblog)

The Airport


The novelty of air travel hasn't really worn off yet, so I actually enjoy being in airports. A lot of my friends don't, though, and I think this photo could be used to support either point of view. It's gray and magnificent.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Flight of the Conchords does Bowie!

Do you love David Bowie? Do you love surrealist dream sequences? Either way, I'm on my way to memorizing every line in this scene.

Hairspray!

The Simpsons Movie was pretty much dead on arrival, so my friend and I left to sneak into The Bourne Ultimatum and ended up settling for Hairspray. What an awesome thing to settle for! It's thrilling, and there are a thousand and one things in it that are alone worth the price of admission, from Queen Latifah's lipstick to Christopher Walken in a mariachi outfit (oh, and the songs, dances, jokes, set design, and cinematography). Try to see it in theatres - your TV might explode.


Monday, August 6, 2007

Notes on TV Haters

Is TV rotting your brain? Don't blame TV!

I can't help feeling that Blogger doesn't offer a spot in the profile for favorite TV shows because it's beneath our notion of what's "smart." With that in mind, here are some notes on TV haters that I've met.


1. Most of them don't watch TV.

My own father said to me recently that "cable has no redeeming value." He's never even watched cable! Oh wait, that's not true - I once caught him watching a bowdlerized TBS rerun of Sex and the City (so weird). And a lot of people who talk about how stupid television is have never even owned one or stopped watching after going to college (why? because Nietzsche didn't have TV so neither should they?)

2. The ones who do watch TV judge it by what's on VH1.
Too many TV haters see television as a giant, multi-faceted program, not as a medium, which is all it is. There's the good and the bad. The difference is that everything produced is readily available for consumption. But just think, if every song or movie or piece of art were on the radio or television, we wouldn't have very high opinions of those artforms either. And as for shows like Flavor of Love, they ain't pretty, but aren't they at the very least fascinating for what they show about our culture?

My favorite are the people who say that TV is stupid but have absolutely horrible taste. One girl I worked with claimed that TV rots the brain (it apparently had rotted hers), but then named the one exception: Entourage. Entourage? Really?!? A featherweight comedy with no moral compass about aimless philistines in Hollywood? It's entertaining once in a while, but that's a pretty lame example of "good" television.

3. They're conservative.

A lot of TV haters can't accept how truly new television is. By "television" I obviously don't mean electrons shooting from a screen or the concept of a filmed serial, but that we are in a golden age (some call it a renaissance, but when has it ever been this good? Mary Tyler Moore is hardly a match for Lucille Bluth). And it isn't just gritty shows like The Wire on premium cable either (Friday Night Lights! NBC!).

Some TV haters really do seem to hate the idea of synchronized experience - they're okay with being out of touch; they think watching a show is somehow less personal than being buried in a book or in a dark room with flashing celluloid. It's not exclusive enough. Thank God.


4. They're pseudo-intellectual.


"I don't watch TV, I watch Almodovar!" Oh brother.

(And yeah, that's like a verbatim quote. Nothing against Almodovar of course.)


5. They don't seem to really care about characters.

TV dramas demand that you go in not just for a fast and furious experience like Children of Men, but stay with the characters week after week (and hopefully, year after year). While TV shows do tend to have more mass commercial appeal overall, they are also more daring in this way -- everyone on the set of a movie knows how the story will be resolved. Except in miniseries, there's no safety net in television.

Another paradox I notice among TV haters is that while they see film as "art" and TV as "entertainment," many of them go to films simply as a "break" between work and obligations -- as a recreational activity, not an artistic endeavor.


Final thought (a la television hero Jerry Springer) -

People wouldn't have had to spend their money on Michael Moore's films if they saw the countless PBS documentaries that have explored the same topics less patronizingly and tendentiously.

Greatest cover ever