May 3rd, 2008


The rest is still unwritten

1. The newest They Might Be Giants podcast includes a demo of "Doctor Worm" from after the bridge had been added, and a bizarre unfinished dance remix of "Twisting" that retains very little of the original song. Also in the episode is something called "Prisoners Of Graphic Design," which the band wrote for The Chopping Block, and interesting in that it contains the second known John-penned reference to the "tote that barge, lift that bale" line of "Old Man River." The only other thing in there really worth mentioning is the theme from The Oblongs, which I always forget that TMBG even did. I never thought that show looked like anything worth watching, and apparently the Nielsen families actually agreed for once.

2. I guess the newest trend on American Idol is having guest singers who have bugger-all to do with the show. A little while ago they had Leona Lewis, who had somewhat of a connection because Simon Cowell "discovered" her. This week, though, they had Natasha Bedingfield, and I don't see how she's related to anything. Mind you, I found Leona to be incredibly dull, while I can't say I really have anything against Natasha. While I can't say that hit of hers about feeling the rain on your skin (which you might recognize from easy-listening radio or commercials for skin care products) is a great song, I've always thought it was pleasant enough. I never quite understood who it was who thought someone else COULD feel the rain on their skin for them, though. Man, people think they can outsource anything these days. :P

3. One problem with my writing (which I might have mentioned before, but I don't feel like going back through my journal to find out) is that I'm kind of spastic. When I'm writing one thing, I often feel like another would be a lot more fun. And if I try working on that other piece, I feel like something else would be more fun than THAT, as well. Maybe my main problem is that I find thinking about writing to be more enjoyable than actually doing it. That said, I think my second draft of Prince Pompadore in Oz is coming along pretty well.

4. While I'm as annoyed at the high gas prices as anyone else (well, okay, probably less so than SUV owners, and more so than the Amish), I sometimes wonder if it wouldn't be better for them just to raise them a whole lot, and leave them alone for a while. At least that way it wouldn't be a surprise every time you went to the gas station. They also say that gas prices are much higher in other developed countries, but they (a largely different "they" in this case) also say that a lot of these countries have a higher standard of living and more reliable public transportation.

5. I found this to be pretty funny, and a good illustration of how I feel about people in this day and age invoking Pascal's Wager.

6. Courtesy of slfcllednowhere, here's Collapse )
Speaking of, my page is still showing me stuff from February as "top artists this week." Is there any way to update that?

The Worst of the Best

Here's a meme-style game I just recently thought up, which for lack of a better title I call "Things You Dislike About Things You Love." Basically, you list some things you enjoy (I ended up listing seven, but I don't think the number should be set in stone; it's cool if you think of more), and then mention an aspect of each that you don't like. You can be creative with them, but try to go with something that's more of a general trend than a specific item. For instance, don't choose a particular episode of a TV show, or a particular song by a band. That might also make (and probably is) a good meme, but it's not what I'm going for here.

1. The Simpsons - The overabundance of jokes that simply consist of Homer being seriously injured. Sure, these are funny occasionally if done cleverly (everybody loves the fall down Springfield Gorge), but I think too many episodes will have a five-minute scene of, say, Homer being electrocuted in lieu of any dialog or plot development.
2. Futurama - Yeah, this is a nerdlinger criticism, but I kind of wish they were more consistent about the level of technology. I don't mind things like the Professor using an overhead projector or a dot matrix printer, because those are funny. I mean like how there are episodes where the characters don't know what wheels are, even though we see a bunch of them in other episodes.
3. XTC - That they apparently can't just get together and record an album every once in a while.
4. The Oz Books - One issue that tends to make my head ache when I think about it (okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, but still) involves animals. We're told a few times that all animals in Oz can talk, and that no animal ever dies (with the occasional exception to this latter item). Yet we still see predators eating other animals, and people eating meat. Some of this meat does appear to grow on trees, but The Lost King of Oz gives us a case of a cook planning to kill and cook a goose in the usual way. So we have situations where people and animals apparently have no qualms with eating other sentient beings, and of animals that are presumably still alive while being cooked or devoured. It gets a little messy when you think about it, doesn't it? Then again, the idea in the Chronicles of Narnia that it's not okay to eat talking animals, but it's perfectly all right to eat non-talking animals of the same species, also comes across as rather messed up (and more elitist than in Oz, but then Narnia seems more elitist in general).
5. "Weird Al" Yankovic - One thing that comes to mind especially with his recent work is that he seems to think the word "midget" is inherently funny.
6. They Might Be Giants - The demise of Dial-A-Song. I mean, I understand why they had to shut it down, but it still sucks. Also, they no longer seem to have much interest in doing themed concerts, and I never got to see any shows back when they did (well, aside from a Flood show).
7. Role-Playing Video Games - I've mentioned this before, but in the spirit of the meme, I'll repeat myself. It bugs me when there's a big, long, unskippable bit of dialog before a difficult battle, which probably means you'll have to sit through it a whole bunch of times. I had that problem with the Valentina and Dodo fight in Super Mario RPG.

If anyone else wants to perpetuate this, go right ahead. I imagine it will go the same way as anything else I've attempted to start, though.

Evil-ution and the Final Solution

Hey, there's a new Chick Tract! And I know I say this every time, but...he can't be serious, can he? I mean, this has every stupid argument Creationists use, including the "Darwin paved the way for the Holocaust" one that Ben Stein apparently also likes. "Survival of the fittest" was actually not a Darwinian idea, but I'm sure it would be too much to expect Chick to know this. (On the other hand, if Ben doesn't know it, it makes me wonder how anyone had any trouble at all winning his money.) Perhaps even better, however, is the line, "Since there is no God, I am a god!" It MIGHT be possible to come up with a more logically flawed sentence, but it would take some work. This tract also features the evil monkey from Family Guy (title page), a happy "polywog" (panel 6), a walking fish (panel 8), a fat nerd with a golf club representing the pinnacle of evolution (panel 12), a whole lot of Fang, atheism making a kid's eyes look crazy (panel 20 and on), what looks to be a demonic miniature cow (panel 31), and a little kid dropping dead (panel 40). And I think the girl trying to preach to Tyler is Margaret from Dennis the Menace.
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