Archive for February, 2010

Is it possible
February 27, 2010

that the Karate Kid remake could actually be, dare I say it, good? Could this be another Rocky Balboa, where a dead franchise is successfully resurrected with a new installment that has absolutely no business whatsoever a) being made in the first place and b) being good?

This trailer makes me believe.

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“Oprah to Conduct World’s Saddest Interview with Computer Controlled by Roger Ebert”
February 26, 2010

This is the greatest headline I have ever read.

This is just priceless
February 25, 2010

Absolutely priceless.

Congressman says something “out of bounds”, gets a time-out, comes right back two minutes later and says the same thing except even more insultingly, gets another time-out, comes back a final time, finishes with “Deal with it!” and slaps down the microphone as he walks off. It’s right out of a West Wing episode.

Best part: he was right.

How to Make It in America
February 22, 2010

Two guys in their late twenties and the tribulations of starting up a jeans brand in Manhattan. Light, atmospheric, fun stuff. Kind of Entourage-ish in tone, but without all the, what’s the word… suck? Yeah, suck works.

HBO, Sundays at 10 PM

BREAKING
February 16, 2010

Fat Fuck Kevin Smith Kicked Off Southwest Flight as Punishment for Making Bad Movies Profiteering Off Fanboy Losers Being A Giant Fat Fucking Fatass

Seriously, though, all sympathies aside, it’s just logistics: you can’t fit a blimp on a plane.

And holy shit, look at those shorts. On the scale of “I’ve given up on both standards and life” those things rank just above the Snuggie and just below the muumuu. Christ, show a little decency, ya fucking load.

How serendipitous
February 15, 2010

The past two days I’ve turned down two invites to join fantasy baseball leagues, the rationale being a) general laziness and b) I’m sick of having to pretend to give a shit about stats such as Wins, Saves, Runs Scored, RBI’s and Stolen Bases, all of which range from mostly to totally useless, as any well-informed baseball fan will tell you.

Then today I had an idea for a long and wordy post about how the reason such simple, easy to remember and yet also largely pointless and/or stupid stats continue to be a staple even in the Information Age is symptomatic of the larger issues afflicting society: complacence, willful ignorance, and just a general inclination toward apathy in the face of progress. I would have speculated as to the results of an experiment that looked for a correlation between people’s “baseball views” (meaning have they embraced or rejected the advances in player evaluation and projection) and their leanings on the larger issues where the degenerative disease of ignorance plays such a factor, such as politics and religion.

And then I stumbled onto this, and the need for bloviating and having to actually conduct such an experiment disappeared in an instant. For here is a small but random sampling that feeds into my (admittedly non-earth shattering) hypothesis: if you’re stupid when it comes to baseball, you’re stupid when it comes to the bigger things. The same character flaw plays a large part in both.

The author of this Yankees blog posted the latest 2010 PECOTA team projections from Baseball Prospectus, a highly respected organization that, amongst other things, uses a tested, constantly-updated algorithm to project individual and team performance. They’re generally pretty damn accurate, though of course, no such system will ever be perfect, for obvious reasons. They had the Yankees finishing in 2nd place next year in the AL East, 2 games behind the Red Sox.

The Yankee fans were quite unhappy with this. Damn newfangled statistics! they shouted through cyberspace. Their guess is no better than mine!

None of this is new. Here’s what’s new. Here’s what these same liver-spotted-fist-shaking cranky old curmudgeons (in spirit if not in physical age) also had to say:

Sounds like PECOTA has some global warming people on their staff.

Actually, I believe in global warming. I just don’t believe it the way it has been spun. The Bible is very clear that in the end time (tribulation) God will burn the earth with fire. Also, keep in mind that before the flood the earth was warm 24/7 and it Never rained.

Re: PECOTA, here’s a joke I use with juries when I have scientific or expert witnesses against me:

A scientist is doing an experiment on a frog. He cuts off one leg and tells the frog to jump and it does. Scientist notes in his log that the frog jumped. Scientist cuts off the second leg, tells the frog to jump and it jumps. Scientist notes this. The scientist cuts off the third leg, tells the frog to jump and it does, and he makes a note.

The scientist cuts off the fourth leg, tells the frog to jump but it doesn’t. He tells it again, but the frog doesn’t move. Scientist writes in his log: “Frog with no legs deaf.”

Just because a scientist tells you something, doesn’t mean he’s come to the right conclusion. Common Sense still prevails.

There’s more, but there’s three specific ones that show how once you’re infected with clownish dumbfuckery it infects your whole body, so to speak, not just one area. The same people who are stupid about the baseball issue likewise demonstrate their stupidity with

1. Denying the existence of global warming despite overwhelming scientific consensus in the affirmative.
2. Affirming belief in a preordained end of the world, as well as the Great Flood story, belief singularly based on the word of a debunked tome from the Bronze Age.
3. Using deceptive wordplay, fallacious argument and sloganeering as a means to justify dismissing educated analysis and cold-hard data (Gee, sound like anyone we know?).

The conclusion here is that people usually aren’t just stupid when it comes to one area. If you get one thing wrong, the faulty logic and ignorance you based that view on is very likely to have had the same effect on your other positions. So, for example, if you’re a baseball fan who stubbornly claims that your eyes are a better judge of a players performance than the pages of excruciatingly detailed data collected over a season, then you’re likely the type of person who will look out your window, see snow, and conclude global warming is bullshit. If you got the one thing wrong, it’s probably not the only one.

Thus explaining this.

Can someone better than me with Photoshop
February 9, 2010

please create a mock-up of James Cameron losing the Oscar for Best Director, then barging onto the stage to proclaim that, “Yo, (winner), I’ma let you finish. But I directed the biggest movie of all time! OF ALL TIME!”

Oh man, I almost missed it!
February 8, 2010

According to internets records it was February 3, 2009 that this blog was created. You can view the very first post here, a lazily written commentary on the Michael Phelps (who?) bong issue that nonetheless got things basically right.

That means that February 3, 2010 was this blog’s birthday, which I somehow missed. However, I do plan to rectify this oversight in the future with an unbirthday celebration, which thankfully I have not missed. By my calculations I first have another 360 unbirthdays with which to work before our next birthday, at which point I’ll hopefully have gone above and beyond to get things in order, under control and on the up and up.

If you take my meaning, be sure to give it back; I need it. Regardless of whether one says what one means, or means what one says, it’s very important that one have the means to say it, and not very unimportant that what one says is mean with it.

At least, that’s how we do things here.

Bwahahahaha
February 7, 2010

You just can’t make this shit up.

That Alice in Wonderland sequel/remake/reimagining/whatever is going to be absolutely awful
February 5, 2010

I suspected as much from the very first images that were released many months ago, which looked utterly uninspired, as well as the fact that Tim Burton’s work is a rather pathetic caricature of itself at this point in his career. But just today having reread Through The Looking Glass it dawned on me just how unimaginably bad his Alice in Wonderland, out next month, has the potential to be.

`It’s a cravat, child, and a beautiful one, as you say. It’s a present from the White King and Queen. There now!’

`Is it really?’ said Alice, quite pleased to find that she HAD chosen a good subject, after all.

`They gave it me,’ Humpty Dumpty continued thoughtfully, as he crossed one knee over the other and clasped his hands round it, `they gave it me — for an un-birthday present.’

`I beg your pardon?’ Alice said with a puzzled air.

`I’m not offended,’ said Humpty Dumpty.

`I mean, what IS and un-birthday present?’

`A present given when it isn’t your birthday, of course.’

Alice considered a little. `I like birthday presents best,’ she said at last.

`You don’t know what you’re talking about!’ cried Humpty Dumpty. `How many days are there in a year?’

`Three hundred and sixty-five,’ said Alice.

`And how many birthdays have you?’

`One.’

`And if you take one from three hundred and sixty-five, what remains?’

`Three hundred and sixty-four, of course.’

Humpty Dumpty looked doubtful. `I’d rather see that done on paper,’ he said.

Alice couldn’t help smiling as she took out her memorandum- book, and worked the sum for him.

Humpty Dumpty took the book, and looked at it carefully. `That seems to be done right — ‘ he began.

`You’re holding it upside down!’ Alice interrupted.

`To be sure I was!’ Humpty Dumpty said gaily, as she turned it round for him. `I thought it looked a little queer. As I was saying, that SEEMS to be done right — though I haven’t time to look it over thoroughly just now — and that shows that there are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents — ‘

`Certainly,’ said Alice.

`And only ONE for birthday presents, you know. There’s glory for you!’

`I don’t know what you mean by “glory,”‘ Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. `Of course you don’t — till I tell you. I meant “there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!”‘

`But “glory” doesn’t mean “a nice knock-down argument,”‘ Alice objected.

`When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

`The question is,’ said Alice, `whether you CAN make words mean so many different things.’

`The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master – – that’s all.’

Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. `They’ve a temper, some of them — particularly verbs, they’re the proudest — adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs — however, I can manage the whole of them! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!’

`Would you tell me, please,’ said Alice `what that means?`

`Now you talk like a reasonable child,’ said Humpty Dumpty, looking very much pleased. `I meant by “impenetrability” that we’ve had enough of that subject, and it would be just as well if you’d mention what you mean to do next, as I suppose you don’t mean to stop here all the rest of your life.’

`That’s a great deal to make one word mean,’ Alice said in a thoughtful tone.

`When I make a word do a lot of work like that,’ said Humpty Dumpty, `I always pay it extra.’

That’s what Burton has to contend with with his Frankenstein’s monster-like creation, assembled with random parts from Lewis Carol’s two books plus his own “imagination”. A CGI-soaked adaptation of a classic work of literature that doesn’t even have the decency to respect the source material at all? This could be one for the books.

And it doesn’t even have Humpty Dumpty in it. What a disaster.