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Archive for July, 2010
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The Vietnamese community in San Diego, where I spent the last week, is firmly established in City Heights, on the city's east side. Some folks might be wary of the S.D. neighborhoods east of the 805 freeway, but for those us who grew up or still live in the area, the dividends of this immigrant community's presence are clear: Lots of great Vietnamese food.
Above, a beef sandwich from Saigon Sandwiches & Deli, a small shop next to a laundromat (which I remember well from childhood) at a run-down strip mall on University and Malborough avenues. It's basically a roll, fresh cooked strips of beef, spicy pepper, cilantro, and carrot and jicama, I believe. If I remember right, it costs about $3. The Vietnamese coconut soft drink that accompanies it is about a buck.
It's a delicious and fast lunch under $5. But if the mood calls for a bit more of immersion in Vietnamese cuisine, I head up a few blocks to Saigon Restaurant, across from Hoover High School. The place consists of a single dining room with a high, airy ceiling and cool mural paintings of the Vietnamese countryside. Great ambience, and great pho, noodle dishes, spring rolls, and Vietnamese coffee and lemon ice drink.
* More soon.
In June, I spent several days in Nicholas Negroponte’s personal archive from the Architecture Machine Group era up to the founding of the MIT Media Lab — working my way through hundreds of documents and taking some 1600 images. I also had the chance to interview him about the early years of his career. He was gracious, if not a little self-conscious to be discussing things he built and wrote as a 20-something.
Looking at the material in his archive, it struck me that I was viewing one possible future, one version of how things might have turned out. For all of the things that didn’t happen the way they imagined, the seeds for many things were sown some 30+ years ago. It’s not a matter of what Negroponte and his collaborators got wrong, it’s what they got right — and more importantly, the big questions that still have not been answered.
Seymour Papert, founder of the Epistemology and Learning Research Group in the Architecture Machine Group, co-founder with Marvin Minsky of the Artificial Intelligence Lab (and creator of the Logo programming language), spoke to MIT news in 2002 about these big questions behind AI:
“We started with a big ‘cosmic question’: Can we make a machine to rival human intelligence? Can we make a machine so we can understand intelligence in general? But AI [artificial intelligence] was a victim of its own worldly success. People discovered you could make computer programs so robots could assemble cars. Robots could do accounting! AI… wasn’t supposed to end up like that. AI was meant for Bigger Things.”
In looking at these big ideas of early AI, it’s clear that the big questions still haven’t been answered — things like, What is the nature of intelligence when machines are involved? How do machines really help us learn? What does it mean to have augmented architecture and augmented bodies?
With so many big questions left unanswered, it puts the hype around everything from augmented reality to the iPad into context. There’s hefty precedent in projects and writings by ArchMach, the MIT Arts and Media Technology group and the Media Lab and its affiliated researchers. The Spatial Data Management System (1979) provided a spatial way to move through information and capture a layer; the Aspen Movie Map (1978-80), which allowed its users to drive virtually through a city (and which was used for military simulations as well): Alexis Madrigal offers recent insight into the project. Does the iPad really revolutionize everything or is it just another version of the 1979 “Books without Pages” (which you can read here)?
My last night in Boston, I had dinner with my friend and mentor, Shelley Evenson. ”I look at the past because it’s the future,” I said, in our conversation about ArchMach. ”Exactly!” she responded. And that’s just it. The big questions of the past haven’t been solved, let alone adequately addressed. In order to look at possible futures, we need to delve into the past. It’s where the important issues were first formulated. These pasts as also futures.
Two quotes, to close, that I found yesterday. The first from George Kubler in 1962:
“Everything made now is either a replica or a variant of something made a little time ago and so on back without break to the first morning of human time.” George Kubler, The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things, 1962
and this 1968 one, found in Cedric Price’s archive of his Magnet project, carefully written by hand in 1995.
“IT IS QUITE POSSIBLE FOR THE WORLD
AS WE KNOW IT NOW
TO BECOME UNREGULABLE IN IMPORTANT FIELDS
IN THAT IT MIGHT PASS THE POINT BEYOND WHICH
ANY CONSIDERED ACTION
MIGHT HAVE A STATISTICAL PROBABILITY
OF BEING WORSE THAN RANDOM.
THERE ARE MANY SITUATIONS IN WHICH
TO BE SYSTEMATICALLY LATE
IS TO BE SYSTEMATICALLY WRONG.”
–Sir Geoffrey Vickers, “Value Systems & Social Process,” 1968 (in Cedric Price’s materials for his Magnet project, 1995)
It makes me wonder, are we just replicating the past? And in so doing, are we systematically late — if not systematically wrong?
In this slice-of-life visit with Cutie she chats about her favorite comediennes, including Lucille Ball and Mrs. Molly Goldberg of old-time-radio and early television fame. But the neighborly habit on Mrs. Goldberg’s show of leaning out the tenement window to yell out greetings gets failing marks from Cutie, whose innate good manners as a girl ensured she would simply wave to passing friends, but never holler. Cutie shares some insights into what it means to be born a lady, but suggests that even if you’re born a peasant, you can learn to have a lady’s manners… before being distracted when her “lover” Pop Pop comes into view.
Cabaret Voltaire’s The Voice of America album came out July 31, 1980. Here’s the title track.
Bauhaus’s “Terror Couple Kill Colonel” single came out July 31, 1980.
1) Stephen O’Connor’s collection of stories, Here Comes Another Lesson, will be published on August 3rd by Free Press. Most of the publication-related events will occur in September. Click here to read advance reviews.
2) Stewart O’Nan is editing his next novel, Emily, Alone, which will be out next March from Viking.
* For more Author Updates, click here.
Jah Wobble’s V.I.E.P. EP came out July 31, 1980. Here’s “Sea-Side Special” from it.
I don’t think Faulkner is worth the antebellum South, and I would rather not have had Kafka at the proce of twentieth-century European carnage. But in trying to locate contemporary American writing I look at the thirties, that supposedly meager decade if misfired artistic energy and of duped intellectuals and bad proletarian novels, and I see not just novels, and I see not just Faulkner and Hemingway and Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe but James T. Farrell, Anne Porter, Richard Wright*, Nelson Algren, William Saroyan, John Steinbeck, John Dos Passos, Nathanael West, Dorothy Parker, Edward Dahlberg, Dalton Trumbo, Zora Neale Hurston, Horace McCoy, Erskine Caldwell, Lillian Hellman, James Agee, Edmund Wilson, Daniel Fuchs, Henry Roth, Henry Miller. For Starters. A literature of immense variety and contention, an argument from every side, full of passion, excessive, self-consuming.
— E.L. Doctorow, from Jack London, Hemingway and the Constiution: Selected Essyays 1977-1992
Kenny Wisdom’s forthcoming novel, Strange Fate of Proud Beauty, rumbles through a case involving two blondes, blackmail and a double dose of MURDER! He grew up on Dean Street.
* In Richard Wright’s papers there is an unpublished essay… “Alas, My Old Favorite Brooklyn Barbershop”? Praise be Hazel Rowley!
In a project for the Cleveland Public Library, designed by Toronto-based architects Maier Yagod and Jon Reed, "domestic fragments" have been embedded in the pavement, forming a surreal new kind of public bench:
- Watership Down creates a scenario where five houses are frozen for a moment in a process of complete submersion into the ground of the Eastman Garden. Placed throughout the Garden, the gables of these houses project out of the earth at various angles. These create focal points of interest within the garden and become follies to climb, sit and rest upon.
[Image: Watership Down by Maier Yagod and Jon Reed at the Cleveland Public Library].
A fever of roofs pushing up from below, breaching ground level with the archaeological buoyancy of lost ships.
[Image: Watership Down by Maier Yagod and Jon Reed at the Cleveland Public Library].
While the deliberate use of simulated building fragments can run the risk, mentioned earlier, of simply repeating the PoMo theatrics of things like "upside-down buildings," the evocation of underground architecture, like tombs, scratching through the earth, buried by an orderly landslide of the urban fabric around them, is an interesting direction to take.
Bookavore, at her wits’ end, has come up with a drinking game that, she hopes, will help her get through what are sure to be dozens more articles about e-readers and the future of books.
Some of the highlights of the game are:
“Will e-books wipe out/kill/decimate/pulverize/HULKSMASH/angry verb real books?” — one drink
Above question is lede — one drink
Assertion that e-book prices are too high, and will lower soon — one drink
Assertion that e-book prices are too low, and will raise soon — one drink
Article uses vague Amazon press release stats misleadingly — one drink
“turn the page” used as a pun — one drink
“game-changer” — one drink
Best of all (here’s where Bookavore won a spot in my GoogleReader): If the article mentions the “smell of a real book,” the reader must “clean out the liquor cabinet, drink until you pass out, wake up next morning, puke, then continue drinking.”
Ken Russell recently appeared on The Bat Segundo Show #348. Mr. Russell is the director of such films as The Devils, Women in Love, Tommy, The Music Lovers, and Altered States. Beginning today, Russell’s films will be playing at the Film Society of Lincoln Center for one week (many of which are unavailable on video), where Russell himself will be appearing each evening. Considerable thanks to Elize Russell and Shade Rupe for their invaluable assistance.
Condition of Mr. Segundo: Wrestling nude with 83-year-old directors.
Guest: Ken Russell
Subjects Discussed: [List forthcoming]
EXCERPT FROM SHOW:
Correspondent: You got into a fight with Alexander Walker, a man who, by the way, you’ve outlived. Other critics have called your films monstrously indecent. Walker was not the first one. So why did you hit tap him on the head, or beat him on the head, with a newspaper. I’m curious. Do you remember what was going on in your mind at the time? Or did you finally have enough of all these critics who were needlessly shitting upon what I think is a remarkable output?
Russell: Well, I guess I got tired of him putting me down. When he said, “You change things. We actually see Oliver Reed’s testicles crushed.” And I said, “Excuse me. That’s in your mind.” We don’t see his testicles crushed. Because they weren’t crushed. Only in your dirty little mind, you pig. And so he took exception to that. So I hit him over the head with his own review. Which happened to be a tissue of lies from start to finish. So that was a reason.
Correspondent: One of the few filmmakers to really get pugilistic about your critics there.
Russell: Yeah, well, he shouldn’t have said that. I mean, we didn’t see Oliver Reed’s testicles crushed. He may have wished we had. But we didn’t.
Correspondent: It was really — you were sticking up more for Ollie than you were for yourself?
Russell: That’s right. Yes.
Correspondent: I’m curious about a couple of things I’ve heard. One being that Oliver Reed apparently slammed you to the kitchen floor so that you would include the nude wrestling scene in Women in Love. I’m not sure if that’s true. Wanted to run that one by you. There’s another rumor going around that Ollie and Keith Moon were so drunk on the set of Tommy that they were improvising their lines. And then there’s another one that you guys got kicked out of the resort that you were filming at because of Ollie’s behavior. First of all, I wanted to find out if these stories were true. And second of all, given that this obviously must have been a very difficult working relationship at times and I know that you Ollie again until Prisoner of Honor, what accounts for the delay between Tommy and Prisoner of Honor?
Russell: Well, the delay between the two films was simply down to the fact of availability. Oliver Reed was only available at certain times and he wasn’t available. In Prisoner of Honor, that was why I didn’t use him before.
Elize Russell: You got along with him well.
Russell: Yeah, I got along with him very well. He…
Elize Russell: He called him Jesus.
Correspondent: He called you Jesus?
Russell: Yes. That wasn’t a compliment.
Correspondent: (laughs) So a little tempestuous there.
Russell: (laughs) Yeah.
Elize Russell: But he did throw you to the floor and you said that he convinced you to do the scene.
Russell: Oh yes. Yes, he did. I wasn’t going to do the nude wrestling scene. Because I couldn’t think of a way to do it. Because nude wrestling was frowned upon in British cinema.
Correspondent: In more ways than one.
Russell: In more ways than one, yes. So finally, he agreed to do the nude wrestling as long as there was no nude wrestling to be seen. (laughs)
Elize Russell: And how did he convince you to do it in front of the fireplace?
Russell: Well, he dropped round to my house for supper and said, “It could be done! It was very simple to do.” And he showed me how easy it was. You just faced each other, put out your hand and shook it, and threw each other onto the ground.
Correspondent: Did he often persuade you to insert scenes along these lines? Because I’m sure it couldn’t have been limited to Women in Love.
Russell: No. It was one of his favorite methods of perusasion.
Correspondent: Throwing you to the kitchen floor? That wasn’t the only time then.
Russell: Oh no.
Elize Russell: There was a sword fight.
Elize Russell: But you won that one by mistake and closed your eyes.
Apropos of changing the subject, I got an email asking
would it be possible to advertise in one of your blog posts? and offering a hundred bucks if I put a particular link in a post, obviously for SEO reasons.
I feel like it would be gross to not take the money. It’s the same question as whether you pick up a penny on the floor. Maybe I don’t even want pennies, maybe the trouble to bend down is worth more than the penny. I try to always take the penny, under the theory that it’s disrespectful to people who really need a penny if I leave it there.
Years ago I took money for mentioning a company in blog posts on gonze.com. Some friends tolerated this, some must have moved on. It is weird to do to people in a personal blog, like signing on to a pyramid scheme that requires you to turn your friends into zombie suckers just like yourself, except at your profit and their expense.
I remember offering to buy a drink for the cyber celebrities Lawrence Lessig and Tim O’Reilly, who I had run into at the bar at a conference. They took it as offering to buy dinner. I guess people often do that for them because they’re celebrities. They took me up on the perceived offer and by the time I figured out what they thought I was too embarrassed to correct them, maybe because of their celebrityhood. They must have seen that offer the way I see this one.
A tip for life: when somebody writes you a check, cash it. So I put the link in, along with a little blurb about the money stuff. (That blurb is how this post started). Also I named the logo image on my site thesefolksgavemeahundredbuckstoputthishere.png. And the guy didn’t dig it.
So I moved the blurb out to this post. But the dude still didn’t dig the image name, and he didn’t like that I prefaced the link with
here’s a link that will earn me a few bucks in exchange for some SEO juice. So I said forget it and gave the money back to make him go away. Easy come, easy go.
I’m sitting in a cafe and I hear that Phil Collins hit “I can hear it coming on the edge of night” or whatever the title is. That song bugs me. And it strikes me that it’s possible to selectively remove it from my existence.
Picture if you will a noise cancellation headset with a dynamic perspective on what noise is. Rather than identifying background sound as noise, it identifies a constantly changing (but well known) stream of audio signal as noise. The constantly changing audio is none other than a recording of a song which you hate.
Hated songs are identified via audio fingerprinting, like Shazam. You allow your Shazam-like live audio fingerprinting system to be on constantly, so that any time a hated song appears in your audio environment, the software recognizes it. The software activates the Imaginary Dynamic Noise Cancellation (IDNC) controller. The IDNC switches on your noise cancellation headset using the hated song previously identified as the target. Henceforth to the end of the song, that source is filtered from your reality.
*Wham*! Or more precisely, *no* Wham any more, ever, if you don’t dig them. They’d be snipped out of reality.
I live pretty close to Rhinebeck, which is where Chelsea Clinton is getting married tomorrow. I’m going to drive there and liveblog the wedding.
What could go wrong? I’ll just make my own laminated badge that says “OFFICIAL WEDDING BLOGGER” and bring my “fancy” laptop (not my casual-Friday laptop, the one with the silk trim) and walk into the mansion(?) where she’s getting married and get to liveblogging.
Guys, it’s a-gonna be a-great.
Secret Affair’s “Sound of Confusion” single came out July 30, 1980. Here’s a TV performance from around then.
Roky Erickson’s “Creature with the Atom Brain” single came out July 30, 1980. Here’s a TV performance and interview from that year.
The The’s first single, “Black & White,” was released July 30, 1980. Here’s the B-side, “Controversial Subject.”
The festival issue of Five Dials (number 13) included my story The Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘N’ Roll Were Incidental, which is a review of the Woodstock music festival as a failed camping holiday.
The story is reproduced here.
Five Dials is an online literary magazine from my publishers Hamish Hamilton, and it is free. With an impressive roster of contributors (who I am honoured to join), Five Dials can be downloaded here.
I am pleased to announce that my book The Art of Camping: The History and Practice of Sleeping Under the Stars will be published next year July 2011 by Hamish Hamilton, as reported in the Bookseller.
The last year has been largely spent researching and preparing a proposal for the book, which I am currently deep in the throes of writing. The book will include American characters such as Ernest Thompson Seton, Nessmuk and Horace Kephart alongside the eccentric, progressive British camping movements of The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift and The Order of Woodcraft Chivalry. Thomas Hiram Holding will stand beside Edward Whymper, American Indian beside Romany Gypsy, Buckminster Fuller beside Stewart Brand, on a campsite where Glastonbury, Woodstock, neolithic hunters, and the Boston Methodist camp meetings of the nineteenth century are all taking place simultaneously.
So, I’ve got my work cut out. Wish me luck
Matthew De Abaitua
Cath is also contributing to the book. She is currently setting down her thoughts on taking babies camping; the first woman to join the Camping Club, Mrs F. Horsefield, took her boys of twelve years and her baby of twelve months camping, and we have just returned from the festival where there was a baby of about a month old. It can be done.
Remember Theo Schell-Lambert's great Believer piece on Rohan O'Grady's novel Let's Kill Uncle? (Beg/borrow/steal an issue—you need to read TSL's piece.)
Now Bloomsbury has brought it back into print, as part of their handsome/sprightly "Bloomsbury Group" line. (I reviewed the second in this series, Wolf Mankowitz's A Kid for Two Farthings, last year, and the other titles look like a lot of fun.) The Edward Gorey cover art, so you know, is reproduced inside. I can't wait to read it...some other stuff to get through first—for "some" read" A LOT OF"...
The web site True/Slant is shutting down this weekend. I was an occasional contributor. As a favor to you, I have compiled the 10 best articles T/S ever published.
Greetings from the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal! I’m here on a Collections Research Grant to use the Cedric Price Archive. There are about 30 scholars in residence right now from the US, Canada, Italy, France, Spain, Belgium and points beyond, some younger, some more advanced, some traditionally academic, others less traditional like Geoff Manaugh of BLDGBLOG. That doesn’t even include the curators, archivists, librarians and other people who work here — they’re lovely as well. When you walk through the Study Centre, you never know what’s going to be on the tables… Susanna, from Venice, found a drawing of Peter Eisenman’s House VIII, not published. Zubin, from Montreal, is trying to make sense of the narratives in John Hejduk’s Masque drawings. Geoff found Oilstrike, a game sponsored by BP from 1970 — the irony. Samantha Hardingham, the one person in the world who publishes extensively and intensively on Cedric Price, was here this week as a part of her long research project in which she is looking at every single project he did. In any case, it’s a wonderfully convivial experience and a total delight to be here.
While I’m here, I’m looking at several Cedric Price projects that deal with information and technology, most of which have not been published about to any great extent. These include some crazy projects: a 1966 proto cybercafe for Tottenham Court Road in the Oxford Corner House; a 1967 design charette called Atom for a new town around a nuclear reactor that would have a “town brain” and a “life conditioning” unit that would educate its citizens; the British and Midlands Headquarters that incorporated the information flows and planetariums from the Oxford Corner House project — and Cedric Price’s own plans for an information storage and retrieval system to be used in his own office. It extends the work I did on my master’s thesis, which examined Price’s Generator project– a 1976-79 plan for an intelligent set of cubes on a landscape that would get bored if not moved and recombined.
On Monday, I presented to the scholars here on the Oxford Corner House project, a talk titled “Storage of Information Becomes Activity” — a note scribbled on a drawing from a different project, but that seems to indicate so much of what Price is doing with his kit of parts buildings, the mobility and the information screens and the learning and the computers. I’m coming to the conclusion that Price really did see architecture as information architecture in a very literal sense: a structuring of information, an organizing of it into activities, and then an organizing of architectural objects and tools to accommodate the movement through these informational exchanges.
The archive is a treasure trove and it’s a delight to look at more projects than just Generator, for which I was here in 2006. Some of it is laugh-out-loud funny, like the image above of the Inter-Action Centre, one of the few things that Price built (built 1977, demolished 2001) — or the letter that not only requested information on hovercrafts, but a demonstration. Some of it is amazingly futuristic, like the information flows and technologies suggested for the Oxford Corner House. I’ll publish bits of it here as I crunch through the material.
Finally, Montreal is one of my favorite cities. I’ve been here three times, twice in 2006 in late fall (brr!) and once for Design Engaged in 2008. This time, I’ve had a chance to relax into it– though I’ve been too socially busy to relax. It’s beautiful in summer, one reason why I decided to do the fellowship in July, not October. Where I’m staying on the other side of Mount Royal, there are huge maple trees and rolling hills. It all draws to a close in just under a week, when I go to Minneapolis for my 20 year high school reunion. (Shaking head.) That’s going to be its own archive.
Spot what’s missing in one Daily Caller columnist’s view of women: “[Sarah] Palin is a triple threat: a pretty jock who is also incredibly sexy (pretty and sexy are two different things).”
Just guessing here, but I suspect he’d come up with a different “third” category, if the leader in question were a man.
When I’m mailing a pencil to a customer, and the post office clerk asks me “if there is anything hazardous” in the shipping container, am I obligated to tell her the pencil is hazardous? Because it could totally poke your eye out in about one second.
How closely do the theories about dreams on display in the hit film “Inception” mirror Freud’s writings? Caleb Crain explores the question, on the Paris Review’s blog.
Tonight, July 29, 2010, from about 7 to about 8:30 I’ll be playing at Caffe Trieste in downtown San Francisco.
1667 Market St, at Gough, San Francisco, CA
Somebody else is gettin’ it, gettin’ it
Right where his collar ought to be
Somebody else is gettin’ it, gettin’ it
Right where the chicken got the a-x-e
The Cold’s “You” single came out sometime in July, 1980.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Ultimate bathroom/bathtub/on your working desk type of book. There are many essential guides on literature, but this one is put together quite well. Also a lot of book cover graphics and most important it lists my edition of "Foam of the Daze" in their classic section of cult novels. Page 50 to remind you.
But also of course there are essential "cult" books left out as well. Dennis Copper comes to mind right away and that is an essential read in that field, and there are others. But again, that is part of the fun in these type of collections. What should be in and what shouldn't be in the collection. Nicely edited for those who need a quick reference, and also a great guide to bring with you when you come to Book Soup (my occupation).
View all my reviews >>
I. A link to his IFC series The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century. (The storyboards, and other stories, including one of particular interest to "Dizzyheads," are collected in last year's book of the same title.)
(Via Eric Reynolds)
(Via L.G. Thos.)
The first sign that “BodyWorld” doesn’t play by the rules is that the book’s spine is at its top. The overall motion of Shaw’s story becomes a downward scroll rather than a rightward stroll. The climax of that slow 380-page dive is a remarkable sequence toward the end — seven pages devoted to a single gigantic panel that pulls the reader’s perspective downward across the architectural landscape of a future megalopolis, after which the movement of the story bounces back up into the stars. This is a disorienting, distracting funhouse of a book: there are long hallucinatory passages, near-abstract images, drawings overlaid on one another until they’re nearly incomprehensible.
IV. I might have posted this before—trailer to The Ruined Cast:
Hey folks — So I know that “on hiatus” means less when your blog does not have an actual regular publishing schedule.
Nevertheless, this is the entry in which I am telling you that I am not going to write another entry until I am done revising Bad Houses. Because, despite the empathy I demonstrated toward myself for indulging in non-revision activities in my previous entry, seriously? I need to get this DONE.
In The Meanwhile, y’all are encouraged to:
- Listen to me read all of Empress of the World and a good chunk of The Rules for Hearts in a series of podcasts
- Read several short comics I have written
- Follow me on the Twitters, because I will probably have a thing or two to say of the 140 characters or less variety.
Wish me luck? Any revision protips to share?
8:59 PM That’s it, my second episode of MTWI is over. See you next week!
8:58 PM If the two members of Team Awesome don’t copulate and create a race of beautiful superhumans TONIGHT I am going to sue everybody.
8:56 PM Goddamn, “Team Awesome” member Nate (the guy with the big biceps) just channeled the HELL out of my dear old beloved housemate B.G. from back in Boston days. He was talking about his background in mathematics and how it’s gonna help him complete this challenge where he’s gotta roll a marble down a ruler. That was cool.
8:54 PM What if one day Guy Fieri went crazy and introduced the challenge and then turned to the contestant and said, “You’ve got a WEEK to win it. Take your time.” Lawsuit from the producers to Guy Fieri. Investigative report from TV Guide. Wait, umm… sorry to stop making my humorous comments, but when did G.F. totally change outfits? Now he’s dressed in “Miami Evening Casual With High Probability of Buffalo Wings.” Is this the most slapdash show of all time?
8:53 PM Okay, back to “Team Awesome.” Here’s their Level 2 challenge: “Supreme Gas Huffer.” Huff a lot of gas and then fall down. Just kidding, of course, it’s called something else. Hey, as long as it’s not called, “Drag This Dead Cat Into This Bag While Balancing On A Ladder And Gagging,” I’m into it.
8:51 PM Nobody will ever, ever, evvvvver win “Super Coin” for the one million dollar prize. Ever. You might as well eat a roller coaster in a minute. Ie, it’s a fool’s errand.
8:50 PM “Super Coin.” Play for a million dollars. You might as well just play the lottery. Hey guys, do we think G.F. has tattoos? How do we find out? I bet he has a tattoo of a big plate of nachos on his back.
8:48 PM Well, thanks to that Hebrew National ad, I now I know who I’m voting for in the 2010 “Least-Lookin’ Like Queen Elizabeth In A Commercial” Election. Was she really supposed to be Queen Elizabeth?
8:47 PM Fruit smoothies at McDonald’s, and the commercial’s music sounds like Kronos Quartet on X (the drug “ecstasy”.)
8:46 PM These contestants have named their team “Team Awesome.” I subtract 5 charisma points from their total.
8:45 PM Are you kidding with how attractive these contestants are? That guy Nate’s arms are lookin’ BANGING. He even has that too-old-for-emo-yet-semi-emo hair that drives the ladies BONKERNANAS.
8:44 PM Time to play Tilt-A-Cup. This game looks well neigh impossible. If I was Edgar Allen Poe’s raven, I’d say: “You’ll win this game NEVERMORE.”
8:42 PM The judges declared that the sorority sisters did not play by the rules. BUSTED. They go home in shame. And the sausage factory continues its grind: Two new contestants, who just happen to be the most physically attractive game-show contestants in television history.
8:40 PM Still hating on this Chrysler commercial.
8:38 PM Ooh, NICE shot of #2 pencils in this Office Max commercial. Damn, that was hot.
8:36 PM Oh, snap! Did they cheat? Did they violate scuba-flipper-tennis 101? First these messages … here’s an ad about a car that has a fancy radio that works like a TiVo or something.
8:35 PM Next: A mutated form of tennis using scuba flippers and a cooler. “What vision of hell be this?” (That’s what Aristotle would say if he was watching this.) “What taste of madness hath now alighted upon my old-timey tongue?” (Another option for ol’ Aristotle.)
8:34 PM G.F.’s goatee is more complicated than I thought at first.
8:32 PM Can they do it??? I think they can. The clock is on their side … Victory is at hand! $50,000 in the pocket! The sorority girls are happy. They both hugged G.F. Umm … the sorority girls’ parents look YOUNGER THAN ME. What’s up with that? Am I really that old? I’m older than the parents of contestants on game shows???
8:31 PM Time to roll marbles through a pool noodle for $50,000.
8:29 PM Little sister is a bit of a scene-stealer. Has she been coached by the producers? My inner Seymour Hersh says YES. Hello, I just realized G.F. is wearing panama shorts or capri pants, or whatever you call them. Hmm. Maybe I can’t step to him after all.
8:28 PM I stand before you humbled and ashamed. They won Whippersnapper. They advance to the next round. Guy Fieri: “That was intense.” See, that’s why he’s a bad host. I woulda been like, “Ladies, that was super intense. That was one of the most amazing things in all of human history, except for that one time when I had a dead cat in my garage.”
8:27 PM This challenge is called “Whippersnapper,” but these girls know it as “Soulcrusherandmakeyougohome-er.”
8:26 PM Who wants to eat a pound of cocaine with me and then go see “Charlie St. Cloud?”
8:25 PM Oh, Arby’s-dad. You lucky bastard! (Anybody watching the show will know what I’m talking about.)
8:24 PM Oh, Nick Drake. You poor guy. (Anybody watching the show will know what I’m talking about.)
8:22 PM That dead cat was smelling “not nice.” Okay, these ladies only have one final chance left in their quiver of possibility. They just plain ol’ cannot seem to whip the ping-pong balls into the innertube. OKAY THAT WAS A CLASSIC, INSANE CUTAWAY, RIGHT? (Anybody watching the show will know what I’m talking about.)
8:21 PM This innertube will be these ladies’ Waterloo. (That’s the battle where you lose, right?)
8:19 PM Sorority sisters failed to bounce balls into an innertube. News at 11. How much blood is on your hands, Mr. Fieri? Why do you wear sunglasses on the back of your head?
8:18 PM Look at this family playing homegrown Minute to Win It and being immortalized on television. You know what? There’s something about this show I don’t trust … I’m just starting to get a weird vibe from MTWI. I’m going into Seymour Hersh mode.
8:17 PM Eek! Rats in a park! News at 11:00. “Truth is stranger than fiction.”
8:14 PM Does Dove make soap and chocolate? “I don’t a-get it.” Now I’m watching a commercial about some new kind of phone from T-Mobile that can do all these amazing things like send a photo to your brother? Again, “Color me befuddled.” Okay, now we’re getting pumped for a new detergent called WISK. Hey, that’s Elmer Fudd’s favorite table-top strategy game!
8:12 PM As I poked my head up into the rafters and turned on my flashlight, I was like, “You’re probably about to see something gruesome. Keep your cool.” And then I basically just moaned and groaned for the next two hours. Where was Guy Fieri? Nowhere I could see. Uh-oh, he just brought some kind onstage and let her say “Minute to Win It!” and then said, “You’re about this close to taking over my show.” Yeah, that’s right, Guy … I’m coming for your JOB. Let me make an announcement on your show; you’ll never regain control from me.
8:08 PM Here’s a commercial for a movie called “Cats and Dogs: Something something,” which reminds me of what I did today, which was retrieve a maggot-infested cat corpse from the rafters of my garage (if you are one of my facebook friends, you know this already). Anyway, it was brutal. Lesson: When your garage starts smelling weird, do not hesitate — INVESTIGATE. Instead I was all like, “Oh, it’s probably a seasonal smell, related to pollen.” Yeah right! It was related to about 10,000 pounds of dried-up cat poopoo and an emaciated cat with grubs and bugs crawling all over it like some vision of Dante’s nightmare on Elm Street. I entered a spiritual malaise over that action. Oh, wait — Minute to Win It is back on! They gotta force a golf ball through a grill or something? Roll golf balls into the vent-holes on a grid lid? YES, SHE CAN. $5,000 is theirs!
8:07 PM This Tide detergent commercial is BORRRRRRRING
8:06 PM Is Guy Fieri wearing sunglasses backwards? Who is this guy? LOL, those cutaways to commercials are pretty normal, right? I always assume NBC’s satellite has fallen out of orbit. WHAT MANIACS ARE BEHIND THIS SHOW???
8:05 PM Guy Fieri’s commentary is especially banal this evening. How I loathe him … yet envy him.
8:03 PM Are you ready for your next challenge? It’s called “Wind-Up Bird Chronicles.” You gotta hang out in the bottom of a well for like five days. You’ve got a minute to win it! Just kidding, it’s a challenge with a kite. They have to run around with a kite. It’s called “High As A Kite.” (Minute to Win It producers having a LOL over that one.)
8:02 PM The thing I like about this show is it feels choppily edited. Which is rare for a game show. So it feels a little bit surreal — a little off-kilter, like a Murakami(sp) story.
8:01:50 PM Here’s Guy Fieri in his latest bowling shirt, announcing the new game “Loop De Loop,” in which they must roll a hoop over a bottle. America, are we ready?
8:01 PM Tonight all the contestants are sorority sisters? Are you serious? “America, I love you more and more each day. I have finally chosen you over the Taliban.”
8:00 PM It’s a Minute to Win It beach party! With my longstanding foe Guy Fieri!
7:58:40 PM Jeep commercials are still the best: “I live. I ride. I am. Jeep. I am a human Jeep. Bow down before me.”
7:58 PM Let’s go, let’s do this, let’s win it in a single minute! All things are possible through (via?) the Lord.