Thursday, August 05, 2010

Long Time No Blog

Oh, life...
It has interfered with the blogging, which has made me SO much money. I will not disturb your attention with the minutiae of my life, which barely interest me, and I'm living my life!

But here's a series of vignettes I created for... something.... I can't imagine they could have a life anywhere else, so I share them with you....




Starbucks
During the 18th Century, coffee houses in England were the equivalent of Facebook, without the games. The entrepreneurial spirit was born in those coffee houses. Before that time, the English had no idea what coffee was. Or giraffes. Or macaques. Or money.

Special Effects Sequence
No Segways were harmed in the making of this segment. There was a desire to harm Segways, but they are expensive, and surprisingly resistant to damage. The hope, originally, was to employ a jetpack, but the discharge can burn the legs severely. Besides, jetpacks don’t exist.

Life of Crime
A life of crime is appealing. Rob a bank, flee in a hopped-up Buick, the police in hot pursuit. Become the subject of movies, starring actors much better looking than you. Of course, you won’t be around to see those movies. You’re dead, having expired in a hail of bullets.

Re-enacted
Some military conflicts are re-enacted, and not others. Custer’s Last Stand is re-enacted, and Civil War and Revolutionary War battles. World Wars I and II are not re-enacted. At comic book conventions, people re-enact Imperial Storm Troopers, Klingons, Wonder Woman, Hulk, and Batman. In real life, they do not co-exist.

Guitar Hero
In GUITAR HERO, players use a guitar-shaped peripheral to simulate lead guitar from rock songs. Famous bands have given their names to the game, including Aerosmith, Metallica, and Van Halen. A knock-off of the game, for six-year-olds, features Hannah Montana, who isn’t real, and doesn’t play guitar.

Laptops
Do laptops have a future? They may be replaced by iPads and ever-smarter smart phones. And they in turn will be replaced by something else. Little puppets maybe. Shiny and furry puppets. They’ll read our minds, follow us around, and give us everything we want.

Prom
The gymnasium was transformed into an enchanted paradise. Garth looked so handsome in his white tuxedo, Sue fetching in her empire waist gown, hair stacked high on her head. But Garth got drunk, and Sue had to walk home alone, wobbling down the dark road on her high heels.

Should the Old Have Sex?
The term “cougar” is used by people who are uncomfortable with the term “MILF.” Young people are often “grossed-out” by the idea that older people have sex. Older people, however, enjoy sex very much. When they get it.

Pursuit of Happyness
Nobody knows what the future holds. Relationships implode. Jobs disappear. The thing you own proves to be useless. And yet sometimes you fall into a job that proves to be your life’s work. A date out of nowhere leads to a lifetime of happiness. Sometimes, everybody wants to be you.

Movies
Anybody can make a movie. The Internet is full of movies. But can you make a movie that people will want to pay to see? You need stars. You need a story. You need zombies. You can’t go wrong with zombies.

Importance
It’s hard to tell what’s important. If you’re hungry and cold, food and warmth are important. If you’re not hungry or cold, importance is up to you. You can start worrying about the zombie infestation, for example, if you have one. And you think it’s important.

Food
People eat strange things when they’re outside. You would never order s’mores at a restaurant, would you? Cotton candy. Soft serve ice cream. Fluffernutters. Church basements are also a strange food location. Lime jello with miniature marshmallows and shredded carrots. People have actually eaten that. And liked it.

Fable
A poor boy wanted a cell phone. He lived in a box, and only had turnips to eat, so it seemed unlikely. One day a phone fell from the sky, right into his lap. Except he couldn’t afford a calling plan. Plus, he never learned how to speak. How ironic!

Mountains
Everest used to be the Elvis of mountains. Climbing Everest got you in the history books. But Sherpas climb it all the time. And now, with advances in insulation, communications, and climbing gear, anybody can. It’s like a trip to the beach, except it’s really cold, and there’s no oxygen.

More Mountains
For a young nation, our natural wonders are awfully static and old. Mountains are great, as far as they go. But we need more volcanoes! Imagine having to step over molten viscous magma on your way to work every morning. That would keep you on your toes.

Evil Twin
In folklore, seeing your exact double, or doppelganger, usually means evil, or bad luck. That’s the trouble with doppelgangers. Which is the double of which? Who brings bad luck to whom? It means nothing if you’re not superstitious. But what if your doppelganger is?

Frustration
The frustrating thing about frustration is the frustration that comes from dealing with frustration. It’s a never-ending information loop that does not actually impart information, but prevents you from getting the information that you know is there to be had. By information I mean sex.

Orange
Houston mail carrier Jeff McKissick spent 25 years turning his home and lot into The Orange Show - a tribute to his favorite fruit. He thought Americans would flock to his installation. They didn’t. They preferred the Astro-Dome. It is said that he died of a broken heart.

Impress Me
In the future, there won’t be books on shelves to impress others with what we read. There won’t be CDs to impress others with our taste in music. How will we impress each other? Will we exchange our book readers and music players? In a special ceremony?

Webcams
Surveillance, eavesdropping, security cameras, cell phone videos at music concerts, bootleg DVDs– all have flourished because you can make movies with a camera you can fit in a pocket! Itty bitty video cameras have ruined everything. Except pornography. Home grown porn is great!

Kafka
There is a batch of unpublished Franz Kafka manuscripts in a Tel Aviv bank. Their publication has been delayed by a squabble among the heirs of Max Brod, Kafka’s executor, and Israel, where Brod died. The situation has been described as “Kafka-esque.” That’s kind of lazy, isn’t it?

More Kafka
Vladimir Nabokov has concluded that the insect Gregor Samsa becomes in THE METMORPHOSIS is not a cockroach, but a large beetle. We should probably take Nabokov’s word for it.

DVD Commentaries
DVD commentaries for Hollywood movies are boring. Indie movie commentaries are informative. STRYKER’S WAR, with director Sam Raimi as a Manson-esque villain, has commentary by Bruce Campbell. His Michigan garage was a set for both a military base and the hero’s house. Hollywood does not care about Bruce Campbell’s garage.

Kafka-esque?
What is “Kafka-esque?” What makes something “Kafka-eque,” and something else “Shakespearean,” or “Orwellian,” “Byronic,” “Brechtian,” or “Shavian?” Do we have any authors now worthy of being transformed into an adjective?

This Will Be the Last Time…
The first time one experiences something used to be important. We would dress up for premieres, take all our clothes off before losing our virginity, rent a tux for our first marriage. Now everything is everything and it all happens at once. I am not the first to think these thoughts.

Whatever
Everybody’s a critic. Everybody’s a writer. Everything exists so others can do whatever they want with it. Kafka wanted Max Brod to destroy his works upon his death. Instead, Max Brod preserved them. We can do whatever we want with them.

Pantheon
What is a pantheon? In ancient Rome, it was a domed temple. In history, it’s a vague place where we place the artists, writers, heroes, and idols that have cultural staying power. Pantheon residents come and go. Kafka did not make it until he died. Bulwer-Lytton is long gone.

Leavings
When culture discards something, somebody picks it up and runs with it. We abandoned LPs, and turntables became an instrument to make hip-hop. Old chairs become antiques. Emily Dickinson enters the pantheon. Somebody will always need a blacksmith. Fifty years from now, the iPad will make a handy doorstop.

Singularity
Eventually machines will achieve consciousness and become a lot smarter than we are. We will merge with those machines, and be immortal. Or: the machines will destroy us. But maybe we should worry more about the ghosts of things we’ve thrown away. Because everything is everything, and nothing is destroyed.

Sing Out
Wouldn’t we be happier if language was replaced by song? No. Some of us sing better than others. Some of us have a gift for composing. These may prosper, but only in service of the loudest, most tone-deaf among us, who will sing the obvious sentimental songs and rule us all.

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