Saturday, December 31, 2005

Eh, Happy New Year


Like my earlier post this year about Joy's saying that Billy Bob Thornton should just admit to being the dirty old man he really he is so we can celebrate with him, I'd like to say that Mariah Carey needs to let her Inner Aretha/Soul Diva out and let the chub take overt he capitol building. The chub has already taken over the borders and shipping routes (hips and the under-bicep flab wiggles) and by this time next year her cheekbones and jawline won't look thin enough on camera (with strategic blush) to shade in strong jawbone lines for the TV. At some point every true Diva must admit that hitting the notes makes up for not hitting the gym anymore.

Just go with it honey, it can never get *that* bad. Even Liza still has thousands of New York drag queens worshipping her till she dies. Even though these days when she hears "Minelli!" screamed at her on the street, she politely replies back "no thanks but I doesn't eat pasta anymore."


Yes, Ryan Seacrest will be the new/next Dick Clark. What the hell else can he do?


I've seen 'The Big Lebowski" so many times I lost count. And even tonight I noticed a new layer of writing brilliance with that film/script.


I love how the Bangles are on Dick Clark's New Year's Rocking Eve every year.


White Russians are awesome. Especially when you're on your 4th when you start blogging.

2005 sucked ass. Big, ripe, cabbage-and-broccoli/cauliflower-diet ass. Light but putrid, like 'heavy ink-saturated plastic stuff on fire' ripe ass; Dog turd in the shoe sole, first girlfiend dumping you, one number off from winning thousands with a lotto ticket, wedgie in public, identity theft, Dick Clark strokin', food poisoning, tsunami apocalypse, Jar Jar, paying for unnecessary car repairs, favorite band flaking out, no more beer, religous fundafanaticism RIPE ASS.


Hey! Like, 4 months till Spring dude!


This year I turn 35 and leave the coveted 18-34 demographic target. I am officially considered uncool and worthless to the U.S consumer corporate nation-state. Unless my future kids wish to drink liquid plastic from wax snack tubes and play in my ultra clean living room being scented with plug-in toxic waste diluted down to a slow gas with chemical agent GX720 (who's label reads "smells citrus-ey") which also keeps my electric bill constant.

All we read about is how pheromones are what really attract people, but all the beautiful people wear overpriced perfume and zap the ions from their home's atmosphere to eradicate odor and replace it with clean scents. How are we supposed to get horny and know our mate's want it when our suburban biosphere kills every airborne spanish fly agent? Pat Robertson wants us to assasinate dictators, but not feel the need to reproduce more 700 Club members? I don't get it.


2006 is big for me. The last 5 years have been an amorphous glob of time in my head. 2000, 2001, 2, 3, 4, 5 has always been in my head just another year of the millenium....hitting 2000. But since 6 is closer to 10 than it is to 0, 2006 finally feels to me like the Oo! Ah! of the millenium has lifted. It's no longer just a little past 2000/The Millenium, but the second half of a decade. I remember my life thus far per decade and can remember significant perceptionary shifts for each year. But 2000 to now has been one big cantelope. I always hated on Wild Kingdom how the lions would chase, catch and eat the cantelope. But Dad told me it was good I understand how nature really works.

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Producers

Here's why you should go see the new 'The Producers' movie.
(The one with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick -- the film version of the Broadway version of the original 1968 Mel Brooks film.)

First of all, because it's terrific.

Secondly and most importantly if you're a Mel Brooks fan, it's important you see this movie.


Some backstory...
One fun drunken night in college, a thought came to me which I scribbled on one of the supporting 2 by 4's of Zac Johnson's apartment bunk loft. It was:

"When you begin to remember the beginning of the moment, the moment is about to run out."

I'm still honing and massaging this little aphorism of mine grammar-wise, but the jist is: when something's about to come to it's natural end, it begins to revert back or get in touch with it's roots and beginning pure state(s). A good example is like when say you're at a party and having a conversation with a stranger you just met. For a few minutes the conversation keeps your attention a little via politeness and introductory banter, then both of you reach a point where there's nothing more to talk about. Uncomfortable pauses, searching for transitional topics for something interesting again, no common ground was reached to take the chat another level. No new sparks of interest arise. Then you find yourself daydreaming a little, remembering what you first started talking about/what got you into the conversation in the first place. You start remembering the beginning of that moment. And usually by this point, it's obvious that the moment of interaction is about to expire. One of you will excuse yourself for a bathroom visit or another drink. It's when you start remembering the beginning that seems to be the signal that the end is near.

So here's what I'm seeing:

This new Producers is the best Mel Brooks movie in a long time. Because it's the same recipe that made the classic Brooks movies (The 1968 Producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, History of the World) what they were - trained actors from vaudeville and stage who honed the subtleties of live comedy via those performance venues, mastering the exquisite timing and nuances needed to pull it off right. And Mel put them in one space together, aimed the camera and told them "Go!". Like Hitchcock movies, the actors delivered whole scenes in one frame, or with two cameras for each viewpoint. It was not a mechanical volley of separately filmed closeups between the two actors. We saw the actors acting to each other. It was essentially live stage comedy with a camera recording it. Think the old Carol Burnett show on TV.

I said for years that the reason "Spaceballs" and following Brooks movies were not as great as Blazing Saddles was because the primary actors were not trained like the Harvey Korman's, Gene Wilder's, (and Mel Brook's himself.) They paid their comedy dues in front of live audiences. Who do we remember from Spaceballs as being hilarious? Rick Moranis as Dark Helmet and John Candy as the dog/Chewbacca character. Hmmm... those guys were in SCTV a.k.a Second City TV i.e. The Second City LIVE improv comedy group. Bling Blam Traffic Jam! there's your live comedy stage training. No offense but Bill Pullman and Daphne Zuniga were just impotent in that movie. That's right, impotent with a missing capitol R. Joan Rivers, a veteran live standup comedienne VOICED the female C3PO robot character in that movie and had funnier deliveries than Bill and Daphne put together.

Point is, how cosmically ironic and wonderful:
Mel Brooks FIRST movie (The 1968 Producers utilizing this recipe that starts his film success), he gets a string of classics, then he and his trusted stable of stage actors are replaced with younger/mostly-film actors and his movies start to lose their potency? The comedy timing has to come from quick edits to punch the lines, not the actor's comedy chops or stellar characterizations.

Then fast-forward 30some years and someone gets the idea to take the '68 Producers, adapt it TO THE STAGE, it becomes the biggest hit on Broadway in the beginning of the millenium, then someone greenlights to make a new film version OF THE STAGE PLAY, which was based off the MOVIE that used STAGE techniques??!! Some things protect themselves by being what they are.

I see this as the beauty and genius of Mel Brooks finding it's way back to itself. And this movie feels like a Mel Brooks film. Susan Strohman who directed the Broadway stage show directs the movie, yet Mel helped and the material is pure Mel and it's there. Susan understands Brooks. The movie is filled with the love of life and it's natural hilarity that Mel brought to audiences all along.

So back to my little aphorism -- and I say this with all respect and love, intending no gloom...

Mel is not getting any younger. His beloved wife Ann Bancroft (Mrs. Robinson of 'The Graduate') died in 2005, 30+ years together and reports were it just crushed him. What made Mel Brooks and his movies so loved and treasured has been returned to the world via the original vehicle that started it all for him. His humor, his recipe, his love of life and comedy, delivered by professionals who have the chops to do it justice because they trained in comedy the same way Mel's contemporaries did back in his day.

By this new Producers coming to us, we see the beginning of the Mel Brooks "Moment". And as life and the universe goes in circles, we're coming back around the 'Mel Brooks Circle' to remember the beginning of that "Moment."(Study atoms and the orbiting nature of it's components, then build up all matter from that circular orbiting action.) A take on the concept of "coming full circle." We're seeing the beginning of the moment, which may mean it's about to run out.

I hate to say it, but my heart and mind fears that for Mel, the Great Master of Ceremonies for the Variety Show in the Sky might decide that Mission has been Accomplished and ask Mel to come start writing for his old buddies trying to put a new show together up there.

Go see this new Producers. The cast is perfect, you'll be reminded how fantastic Nathan Lane is, why you respect Matthew Broderick, and yet again how much Uma Thurman can surprise you with talent you never knew she had.

And stick around through all the credits, there's a great treat at the very very very end of the film. If this blog of mine made sense to you as a Mel Brooks fan (or even not), you'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Detroit Lions

Q: What do you call 47 millionaires around a TV watching the Super
A: The Detroit Lions.

Q: What do the Detroit Lions and Billy Graham have in common?
A: They both can make 70,000 people stand up and yell "Jesus Christ."

Q: How do you keep a Detroit Lion out of your yard?
A: Put up goal posts.

Q: Where do you go in Detroit in case of a tornado?
A: To Ford Field - they never get a touchdown there.

Q: What do you call a Detroit Lion with a Super Bowl ring?
A: A thief.

Q: Why doesn't Grand Rapids have a professional football team?
A: Because then Detroit would want one.

Q: What's the difference between the Detroit Lions and a dollar bill?
A: You can still get four quarters out of a dollar bill.

Q: How many Detroit Lions does it take to win a Super Bowl?
A: Nobody knows and we may never find out.

Q: What do the Detroit Lions and possums have in common?
A: Both play dead at home and get killed on the road


This chick skydived for the first time, the parachute didn't fully open, she hit the ground face-first at 50 mph. Lived. And was also pregnant. The baby's fine, she's fine, some borken bones.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

You bet I'm sauced!

If you can't rock it to Night Ranger. you poor soul. I'm so sorry.
"[3] in the mornin', came without a warnin',
Everybody's gotta place to be"

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Holidays

It's a wonderful thing driving casually around your hometown near midnight, having left the bar warm and renewed from seeing good friends and defeating tall beers, and a surprise night-time snow has whitened the roads. If some old songs you grew up with are on the radio, even better.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Happy Friday

A man and his wife were sitting in the living room and he said to
her, "Just so you know, I never want to live in a vegetative state,
dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just
pull the plug."

His wife got up, unplugged the TV and threw out all of his beer.


Someone finally put a good tiny camera in a slot car race car so we could see what it actually looks like to shrink down and ride that track.