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Athens, Ohio, United States
"Art and love are the same thing. It's the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Please...Do This for Me

Week Four and I'm already back at the library pulling all-nighters. This was not supposed to happen this soon.

But as I melt away into academic oblivion, please enjoy some of the things that have kept me alive this week.

- First is this hilarious sketch from the comedy troupe Derrick. I found this guys from a link to the trailer for their first feature-length film "Mystery Team." I immediately recognized Donald Glover as "Troy" from one of my new favorites Community and decided to give his troupe a try out. This is the funniest thing they provided me with. God bless poo humor.

- In the creative Youtube video department is also "Llamas with Hats." It is brought to you by the same gentlemen who did "Charlie the Unicorn", only this one is actually funny. Watch the original and then move on to the thrilling sequel.

- If you have nearly two and a half hours on your hands, you should definitely check out this ten-part series from Matthew Mercer and Zach Grafton called "There Will be Brawl." Have you ever wanted to see the characters from Super Smash Brothers Brawl solve murder mysteries in a gritty live-action version of the Mushroom Kingdom? Stupid question, of course you have! Wait no longer.

- Reason #21,495 why LeBron is a beast.

- Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, of Lost fame win the Bojalad Award for not taking themselves too seriously. I love that the Onion punk'd Lost fans and love even more that the Lost creators participated in it.

- The best part of following Chuck Klosterman on Twitter is getting links like this.

Speaking of Twitter...I have decided to tweet more (i.e at all) so now would be a good time to follow my dumbass.

That's all I have for now. Back to Info Gathering torture!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tie My Arm, I Need a TV Fix

It occurred to me recently that I am living through the greatest creative renaissance since Shakespeare.

And it's on television.

I could make an argument as to why but arguments are a drag and Emily Nussbaum over at New York Mag already made a much better and more eloquent than I ever could. Seriously, if you love pop culture or television in more particular at all you absolutely must read this essay.

The fact remains, however, that we are living in an age of greatness. So instead of focusing on the brilliance of television, like the finest three minutes I've ever seen on tv, or the prospect of a brilliant final season to one of my favorite shows, I would like to bring up all that is kitsch on the boobtoob.

- Heroes still sucks. I didn't think that anyone in the world could possibly ruin Robert Knepper as a carny. But Heroes did just that. Of course, I'll continue to watch it because I'm a sucker and pray that Peter Petrelli vs. Gabriel Gray is coming. I'm too invested at this point...I just absolutely can't miss that if/when it happens.

Interestingly enough, though, Heroes is the most pirated show on television. If NBC is smart, they are shoving this down advertisers' throats.

"Look, I know pirated versions aren't showing your ads, but you can't deny that someone is watching the show anymore. Use our characters to your delight: have Nathan Petrelli flying alongside a Continental airline jet, have Claire Bennet literally killing herself for a Klondike bar, have Hiro Nakamura stop time to enjoy the second half of his Twix bar...just whatever you do: pay us for it. Please."

Of course NBC won't do this because...

- NBC is stupid. I was going to write a comprehensive history of how NBC fucked up the Jay Leno/Conan O'Brien scenario but then I realized that I already did...13 months ago.

- Finally, don't look now but the 8th and hopefully final season of 24 airs tonight. 24 is not the finest show to ever air on television. As a matter of fact, 24 has been a truly terrible show at some points in its history. But just because it is above-average at best, doesn't mean it isn't important.

24 has rolled along with America's changing social, political and racial attitudes from the dawn of a new millennium. Season 1's depiction of shadowy Eastern European villains looking for vengeance to Season 2's depiction of Middle Eastern extremists under the control of American oil magnates is the effective passing of the torch for the American boogeyman. In 2001 the American subconscious redirected its fear from men named Viktor and Yuri to men named Achmed and Yusuf.

Probably more important than the show, itself, is the show's protagonist. I honestly cannot imagine an early 2000's America without Jack Bauer. Kiefer Sutherland has fallen mostly into self-parody at this point in his portrayal of the un-kill-able secret agent but I actually couldn't be happier that he has. Some television characters grow and show depth over many seasons...Jack just remains a consistent jingoistic killing machine. And we need that. We need somebody to yell "damn it, Chloe!" into a cell phone and constantly assure the viewer that "we're running out of time!"

Jack Bauer is America's James Bond. Where Bond reflects the English self-image suave sophistication, Bauer has reflected the rugged and brutal ideal that America holds itself to. I am hoping that Jack Bauer makes the jump to feature film and leaves Kiefer Sutherland behind. Not that I don't love Sutherland because I do, but if I want to see Captain America, Jack Bauer survive as an ideal he's going to need some more interpretations of his "character" (just imagine how Chris O'Donnell or Donnie Wahlberg will sound yelling "damn it, Chloe!" into a phone.) Jack Bauer has his Sean he needs his Roger Moore.

So I pose to you, 24-America: if Jack Bauer is to become the timeless character I want him to be, who should portray him next in the inevitable 24 movie?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Backdrop's Back, Bitches

Check out the new web site!

It's a lot more user friendly this time around and rather pretty in a minimalist way. Download the MP3s in the Events section as well. They're pretty badass.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Unlikeliest Underdog

I didn't want to like Avatar.

As a matter of fact, I didn't even want to see Avatar. I saw the lifeless trailer of tall blue humanoids shooting heavy machine guns and decided "not for me." I heard about the nearly $300 million budget, the supposedly revolutionary technology and was disgusted. I love cinema, god damn it, not overpriced video games on celluloid!

I didn't want to see Avatar, didn't want to like it, didn't want to read about it and didn't want to write about it.

So obviously I saw it. And I liked it. Then I read about it some more. Now I'm writing about it.

James Cameron made me eat shit in the most spectacular way possible. Avatar-hate consumed my being so much than when I had to write a short essay on the history of the film industry for Film 201, I wrote how "big-budget" movies would start to die out and make way for leaner, cheaper fare like District 9 (excellent film in its own right) and even predicted that Avatar would be the first casualty of the New New Wave of cheap cinema.

Somehow, I thought the man with the highest grossing movie of all-time, to go along with several Sci-fi classics would fall on his face. Somehow, I assumed James Cameron didn't know the American movie-going audience as well as I did. Somehow, I was unbelievably naive.

Don't look now but Avatar is currently the second highest grossing movie of all-time.

Not of the weekend...not of the Winter...not of the year....not of the decade. It is the second highest grossing movie OF. ALL. TIME.

But this doesn't necessarily blow my mind. High grosses sometimes happen even when a movie is not a cultural phenomenon. Transformers 2 somehow drained $402,000,000 from American consumers but I cannot recall someone talking about it once other than to say "it sucked."

Avatar, however, has already been brought up as an example for something in three of my five classes...and it's only been the first week. My English professor uses it at least once a class period as an allegory for the White settlement of Native American lands. My Info Gathering professor used it as an example of casual knowledge in context to sources (i.e he has a casual knowledge of the technology used in the movie and not a technical knowledge). My Women and Gender Studies professor used it as an example of Eco-feminism (apparently such a thing exists).

I, myself, have even spent more time and brainwaves than I ever anticipated I would re-imagining the rich world of Pandora.

James Cameron clearly has the master key to the Western collective unconscious and I owe him an 11 bucks to see Avatar again in 3D.