Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday April 5 2011

I generally refuse to watch Saturday Night Live these days unless I'm convinced there's the slightest chance that the guest host will be able to sneak some funny moments in despite the writing. But Russell Brand's episode killed that idea. Here's a comedian whose life was crazier than Melrose Place and the only joke they could come up with for the whole evening was, "He's British--he has an accent! Whoa!".

But, Russell got off lightly--as Salon's Drew Grant says, in his title alone, last week featured "Saturday Night Live" hosted by Elton John's homosexuality. It's a good little article trying to figure out why it is that SNL is really obsessed with the constant gay jokes. This is a ongoing topic of conversation in my house--The Guy has loved SNL from the start. This weekend, by the second skit in, he announced, "Maybe it's time to think about giving this up..."  Obviously, that's a pretty qualified suggestion--but it was one engendered by the non-funny and the homophobia. After every episode, he gives me a postmortem--and at some point, he will cringe and announce that he doesn't understand why the show is so obsessed with gay jokes. (As Grant points out, one of the more infamous low points of SNL's gay-is-funny obsession is the Shmitt's Beer Ad...The Guy always uses that as the classic example of how uncomfortable and homophobic SNL can be.)

Given that SNL is now 35 years old, and began before a lot of the current cast was born, it's hard to think it's just the writers and performers--at some point, one has to wonder what Lorne Michaels thinks of all this...
The title of the next link pretty much says it all, The scientific breakthrough that will turn cannabis into the new aspirin.
Lately, it seems a lot of discussion has focussed on "how dumb can people be?".  Take a look at this logo:

Now, how about this one?

Brand-name Ecko is offering a life-time discount to anyone who comes into their stores** with a tattoo of their rhino or scissors logo. Yes--a life-time discount! Tempted? It's a TWENTY PERCENT DISCOUNT! Yes, that's right--a whacking 20%. As in, no one would be that stupid would they?
**alas--only in the United States and Puerto Rico. Le sigh.

I never cease to be astonished at the latest reality show--at some point, after Parking Wars, Intervention or Extreme Couponing (I kid you not) you'd think I would know better. How can one person still has so much potential astonishment left in them? But perhaps, it's not astonishment so much as complete and utter horror...yesterday saw the premiere of a new show on A&E called Relapse. Seriously--Relapse. Because you know what's entertaining--watching people at the absolute lowest point of their life who are really unhappy at how much they've screwed up. Again. Relapse. I don't believe it's listed in The Bible as one of the signs of the end of the world...but it's made my own personal list.

The site points out that 50% of addicts relapse--which pretty much means that the other appalling A&E show, Intervention is just a prequel. Add to that, the show is actually called Relapse:  The Sober Coach Chronicles and this begins to sound like a bizarro extreme gonzo sketch comedy troupe piece.

(so nice of A&E to use a picture of a pretty blonde model looking--woeful, perhaps?--for the Relapse page. And speaking of A&E...last time I was paying attention, the aconym stood for Arts and Entertainment. What exactly is entertaining about people who've relapsed?)
So what attempt at "feel good news" can I make after that? How about an 84 year old man who has volunteered for...The Peace Corps. I guess it could be possible that it would just make us all feel bad that we haven't got this kind of literal "get up and go" at our not-anywhere-near-84-years...but I'm still regarding this as a good moment. According to the HuffPo article James Gronseth says,
"Life is for living, you know, and this is something I want to do. So I'm going to do it."
 Mr. Gronseth is learning to speak "the native language of Botswana" (not sure what that is, as the bare minimum of research suggests a couple different possibilities, although English is the "official" language) and will be heading off for a two year stint there.
I think I'm going to spend today trying really really hard not to bitch about any effort I need to make physically...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday April 4 2011

Not much to today...I said many Very Bad Words when I saw all the snow on the ground last night--a bit of a surprise after having been out for a walk with the kids, all of us in our hoodies and sneakers. But, waking up to rain washing all the snow away didn't make it better--just wetter and greyer.

So, here's to cheerful things...
The Blanton Museum of Art, located at The University of Texas at Austin, had a recent installation, "A Knitted Wonderland." 
 In a site-specific installation led by textile artist Magda Sayeg, the trunks of all 99 trees in between the museum’s Michener and Smith buildings have been covered with colorful yarn, crafted by over 170 local volunteer knitters. In a community effort reminiscent of American quilting bees, Sayeg’s intervention with the space will transform visitor’s experience of the natural landscape. 
 The installation is over (although I wonder if that just means formally and the knitting is still up?), but pictures are all over the net. Check out some on a Flickr account of Poivrelvre, or Google and find others. (Including below, found at knittaplease.)

Who knew? Saturday was International Pillow Fight Day. I didn't know or I'd have had the pillows out...  The Star has a photo essay from around the world.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Saturday April 2

Took a couple days off there--on Wednesday night, I discovered that SOMEBODY in my house had gone on my computer and closed all the links I'd left open. As I go through my day and discover something interesting I want to share, I leave it up...I sometimes have quite a number. Usually it's not a problem because if Chrome gets closed unexpectedly, it will restore all previously-opened tabs...but if someone comes along and intentionally closes all of 'em...well then you get little ol' me too depressed to try and remember them all to retrieve.

Then, there was the whole April 1 thing...I actually tried to avoid most of my sites yesterday as it was too irritating to try and figure out what was real and what wasn't. The Guy did a post on how he was working on the Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark mini-series (based on the muscial) and he'd fallen and broken his wrist--and his joke was a little too subtle because he and I got A LOT of inquiries as to his health and whether he needed some fellow creators to pitch in and help him finish it!

So, I'm back. And it's not April Fools Day. So, here I go...

This turned up on you can see why I was a little leery. But, it's still up today and they're trumpeting about all the April 1st jokes on the 'net, so I'm going to go ahead and say this one's safe.  McMaster develops cat allergy medicine.

Austin Kleon has a great little art and text essay, HOW TO STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST (AND 9 OTHER THINGS NO ONE EVER TOLD ME).

(I'm going to presume this is based on the Pablo Picasso quote, "Good artists copy. Great artists steal." The Guy quotes that to me all the time.)

If you have the time, wander around Kleon's site--there's some great stuff there. He also has a site based on his book, Newspaper Blackout ...he takes articles out of the paper, and blacks out all the words but those that will create a "poem". The results can be amazing." (I was sure he had a Tumblr for the poetry as well, but I can't find it at the moment...I've been mostly avoiding my Tumblr, so I can't recall it off the top of my head)
The FBI is asking the public's help in solving a 12 year old murder. The victim liked to write notes in code, and when he was murdered he had a pocket full of notes in this code. The FBI hasn't been able to break want a shot at it?

Arnold Schwarzenegger is returning to the entertainment world as a cartoon character had a photo shoot with Schwarzenegger and comic creator Stan Lee.