Archive for July, 2005

THE FUN HAS BEEN ALL USED UP

Saturday, July 30th, 2005

I was going to share with you two very exciting and inspirational videos, but I left it too long and now they’ve both been taken down.

The first was Clutch’s Burning Beard video. Maybe it will work again soon, it’s a great song and and a great video.

The other was Balancing Point, which looks like it’s gone for good. So instead, here are some pictures of rock balancing near Second Beach. UPDATE: Balancing Point is available here.

The fellow stacking these stones was quite dedicated to the art, and he’d covered a sizeable stretch of beach with these balancing sculptures of various sizes. A fine day’s work.

WE MADE SOME NEWS

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005

First Chapters store in B.C. votes for union representation.

PEOPLE ARE JUST SO STUPID SOMETIMES

Tuesday, July 26th, 2005

Field Maloney doesn’t get Wes Anderson.

After being rescued by Gene Hackman’s performance in The Royal Tenenbaums, USS Anderson finally ran aground last winter, with The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. Rather than develop as a storyteller, Anderson appeared to have floated off to an adolescent never-never land where everyone wears Lacoste, colorful and quirky toys abound, and a vintage emo soundtrack gets piped in whenever a little poignancy is required—a Michael Jackson ranch for the Salinger set.

First of all, I would hardly say that The Royal Tenenbaums was rescued by Gene Hackman’s performance. He was great of course, (Wes Anderson did, after all, write it specifically for Gene Hackman), but so was Angelica Houston and pretty much everyone else in that movie. (I have mixed feelings about Ben Stiller, but whatever.)

My real problem is with people who disliked Life Aquatic, and apparently there’s a lot of them. I just can’t understand it. Consider the highlighted sentence in the quote above: those are supposed to be complaints. Maloney is complaining about colour and quirk and the fact that it had a poignant soundtrack. (Am I part of the “Salinger set” then? What if I thought Catcher in the Rye was boring?)

Personally, I wouldn’t call David Bowie or Mark Mothersbaugh “vintage emo,” whatever that is. And I sure as FUCK wouldn’t call Seu Jorge’s acoustic covers of David Bowie songs, sung in Portuguese, “vintage emo.” More likely I’d call them “completely awesome in every possible way.” Here are some other great things about Life Aquatic:

  • Jeff Goldblum’s “I’m A Pepper” shirt
  • the script girl is always topless
  • they have a script girl
  • the bond company stooge is also a human being
  • they all have matching Team Zissou speedos and matching Team Zissou pyjamas
  • they call their guns “Glocks”
  • the interns share a Glock
  • Willem Dafoe (period)
  • Steve Zissou can snap his fingers underwater
  • there is a sauna and a hot-air balloon on the boat
  • and so on.

And that’s just the crazy surface weirdness. More importantly, and completely unlike Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, credible adult relationships transpire. The colourful, childlike system of metaphor that forms Zissou’s neverland of boyhood fantasy — celebrity ocean documentarians and crayon ponyfish and natural wonder — is home to a very honest and unironic story about fatherhood and mortality and other grown-up themes. If you didn’t like the movie, or thought that it was full of “hipster irony”, I guess you just weren’t paying attention and should probably watch it over and over again until you realize how wrong you were. Or maybe, like Field Maloney, you just have no taste or sense of humour.

Life Aquatic is among Wes Anderson’s best movies, easily better than Rushmore and maybe even better than The Royal Tenenbaums. If Owen Wilson would rather cash in with movies like Wedding Crashers, where the best line (an Owen Wilson original!!!) is “Scientists say we only use 10 percent of our brains, but I think we only use 10 percent of our hearts,” well, that’s just terribly sad and disappointing. Jesus what a horrible line. It doesn’t even make sense! And Maloney thinks this supports his theory that Wilson was the brains of the operation? That just makes me want to slap my own face.

Also, that we-only-use-10-percent-of-our-brains cliché is total bullshit. Scientists do not, in fact, say that and I wish people would stop repeating it. Clichés are bad enough when they’re true.

CAUTION SQUIRREL

Friday, July 15th, 2005

(9:15:10 PM) Scortt:   HOLY SHIT
(9:15:17 PM) Q-bert:   eh?
(9:15:31 PM) Scortt:   dude a squirrel just fucking crawled in my window!!!
(9:15:42 PM) Scortt:   it’s hiding behind my laundry basket
(9:15:48 PM) Scortt:   what the fuck should i do????
(9:15:51 PM) Q-bert:   haha!
(9:16:05 PM) Q-bert:   I don’t know. Catch it with something, I guess.
(9:16:13 PM) Scortt:   with what?
(9:16:11 PM) Q-bert:   a towel?
(9:16:15 PM) Q-bert:   or blanket?
(9:16:21 PM) Scortt:   good call
(9:16:27 PM) Scortt:   i’ll let you know how it goes
(9:16:30 PM) Q-bert:   good luck

SOME TIME ELAPSES…

(9:24:47 PM) Scortt:   ok here’s a status update
(9:25:21 PM) Scortt:   catching the squirrel was not an option
(9:25:27 PM) Scortt:   they are fast and i am scared
(9:25:39 PM) Scortt:   anyways, it’s been corralled out into the main hallway
(9:25:44 PM) Q-bert:   rad.
(9:25:49 PM) Scortt:   i was trying to get it out the front door
(9:26:12 PM) Q-bert:   meh. It’s out of your apartment. It can be an adventure for someone else now!
(9:26:13 PM) Scortt:   i got it down it to the second floor, but then it ran past me back up to the third floor, and is now hiding behind a door
(9:26:16 PM) Scortt:   dead end
(9:26:31 PM) Scortt:   i’m hoping it’ll just climb out the hallway window
(9:26:42 PM) Scortt:   or it’ll be a thrill for one of the dogs
(9:26:50 PM) Q-bert:   you might want to put a post-it near the front door: “beware of squirrel”
(9:26:58 PM) Scortt:   yeah good idea
(9:27:14 PM) Scortt:   CAUTION: SQUIRREL
(9:27:35 PM) Scortt:   man that was fucked up
(9:27:46 PM) Q-bert:   yeah. I’ve never had that happen, that’s for sure.
(9:27:50 PM) Scortt:   at least it wasn’t a raccoon

THE FUTURE IS NICE

Sunday, July 3rd, 2005

Conversational Reading pointed me to this flippin’ hilarious review of L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics, by Laura Miller. I’m usually not overwhelmed by her reviews in Salon, but maybe it’s just that Laura Miller is no Heather Havrilesky and Salon is, well, Salon.

Incidentally, my internet crush (/e-fatuation) on/with Heather has now gone full-blown after reading this extensive report on the hopeful rise and tragic, spluttering failure of Suck.com. (She wrote for Suck as Polly Esther.) I thought it was interesting, (and sort of exhausting), but it’s probably not worthwhile to anyone who doesn’t know or give a shit who Carl Steadman is.

To sum up: the Internet bubble exploded and burned up everyone’s magical Internet money, Suck is dead and Plastic is boring, and if you don’t read Rabbit Blog then you are probably gay.