Tuesday, December 04, 2007

tis the bloggo to be merry

Conference Call
Just got off a video conference call with a bunch of enthusiastic young Canadians. Promotion for the online teevee show (“webisodes!”) KollegeTV that I’m working on. Took 45 minutes to set up. Turns out that Skype won’t “read” a webcam if it’s running already on the webcam’s software. I feel so hep! So with it! I’m developing content! Must nap now.

Whales in the news
Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium is having a “name-a-beluga” contest for its baby whale. However, only Inuit/Indian names will be accepted. The folks at Cute Overload (check it out, if you feel like it; I only see it when the Child Bride sends me links) complain that “Humptyback Fishtybuns” and “Smiley Q McWrinklesides” will likely be rejected.

Meanwhile, at Greenpeace, where another whale name contest is under way, the number one choice, as of this writing, is “Mr. Splashy Pants.” I am not making that up.

Slouching Towards Disneyland Fallout
This is the last week for my new show, which is coming along nicely, thank you. It has been exhausting, though less so the more I do it, and exhilarating. One of the most rewarding things about the show, which is basically a humorous geek-fest history of the world, is people coming up to me afterwards to share their favorite odd bits of history.

One guy (hi Jim!) informed me that when Nazi fag hag Leni Riefenstahl came to the United States, and thence to Hollywood, the only Hollywood type who would meet with her was Walt Disney.

However, despite this, I don’t think Walt Disney was anti-semitic, at least not to the degree rumor has attributed to him. When would he have had time to hate Jews? He barely slept! Unions though. Unions were another matter.

The scary thing about Walt Disney is this. Neil Gabler: “He defined the terms of wish-fulfilment…. [He] had not been so much a master of fun or irreverence or innocence or even wholesomeness. He had been a master of order.”

Another guy (sorry, forgot your name) told me about the “retronym.” This is a word, or qualifying word, that only comes into existence after another word or qualifying word has come into existence. The example he used was “electric guitar.” Formerly, we only had “guitar,” so what did “guitar” become after “electric guitar”? “Acoustic guitar.” Ditto “dial phone.”

Would “analog” qualify?

I am fascinated by the idea that something in the past has changed forever (even though it hasn’t, really), just because something in the future has come into being.

From “Good Morning Silicon Valley,” to which you should all subscribe, or not, whatever….
“From the Sydney Morning Herald comes the startling revelation that half of Japan's top-10 selling works of fiction in the first six months of the year -- we're talking honest-to-goodness, hard-bound tomes -- were written on cell phone keyboards….

“According to the Herald, the mobile-phone novels, or ‘keitai shousetsu,’ are usually ‘written by first-time writers, using one-name pseudonyms, for an audience of young female readers. ... The stories traverse teen romance, sex, drugs and other adolescent terrain in a succession of clipped one-liners, emoticons and spaces (used to show that a character is thinking), all of which can be read easily on a mobile phone interface. Scene and character development are notably missing.’”

Hey! Fuck Shakespeare! Sign me up!

There will always be a Scotland.
There occurred a 125,000 pound campaign to replace the official Scotland catchphrase, “Best Small Country in the World” with another. The winner is….! “Welcome to Scotland.”

Which reminds me, when I was a kid growing up in North Dakota, the state had a contest for a new state song. The one that won (I still remember it!) had these lyrics:

“You ought to go ta North Dakota. See the cattle and the wheat and the folks that can’t be beat. You ought to go ta North Dakota. You just can’t say good by. Etc.”

I believe the song has since, once again, been changed.

Obama’s Religion
Did you know that Obama was a Congregationalist? That’s the religion I grew up with! Back in North Dakota! Windowless basements with pale coffee!

Teddy Bear named Muhammed.
Thousands gathered in Sudan to demand the execution of the school teacher who dared to name a teddy bear after the prophet. Thousands! You know what? The hell with Islam. That shit is fucked up. Seriously fucked up. And I call my penis “Virgin Mother.”

From TCS Daily
“The most important thing to keep in mind as you reflect on torture is that there are different types of questions one can ask about it. Different types of question call for different types of answer (and therefore different types of expertise). First, there are conceptual questions. What is torture? How does torture differ from such things as torment, punishment, harsh treatment, cruelty, vengeance, sadism, and violence? Can torture be accidental? Must it involve physical (as opposed to mental) pain? Can deprivation or confinement constitute torture? Conceptual questions such as these are about the concepts, ideas, categories, and distinctions we use. Answering them is the province of philosophy.”

Here’s a thought experiment: If I rolled you down a hill in a barrel lined with nails, would you shut up?


Blogger Liberal Seagull said...

Here in Washington State, we briefly got stuck with the tourism slogan, "Say WA." Think about it -- someone got paid to come up with that.

Michigan's tourism slogan, for years and years, was "Say yes to Michigan!" In the Upper Peninsula, which has a local accent not unlike that of SCTV's McKenzie Brothers, this prompted a popular bumper sticker that said, "Say yah to da U.P., eh!"

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a while, Kansas was advertising using the motto: "Land of Ahs". I wish I still had the t-shirt with that on it!


1:54 PM  
Blogger James Killus said...

However, despite this, I don’t think Walt Disney was anti-semitic, at least not to the degree rumor has attributed to him. When would he have had time to hate Jews? He barely slept! Unions though. Unions were another matter.

I believe that the circle may be squared with the suggestion that Walt probably thought of unions as a Jewish plot. God knows, Henry Ford certainly did, and acted accordingly.

And howdy.

6:27 PM  
Blogger BonzoGal said...

I have a baseball (trucker?) cap that Jim Turner gave me. It reads, "Iowa- Cinematic Treasures." I doubt that was the state motto, but maybe it should have been.

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


1:04 PM  

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