Monday, February 27, 2006

Gas Station Anecdote

the immigrant fella what sold me my unsuccessful scratch ticket today airly announced he was talking with his girlfriend this morning who is home "visiting Denmark".
He told her the outside temperature of minus six degrees with the wind chill and was told in shocked tones that Copenhagen, on the cold cold Baltic Sea was warmer at the moment.

I drew myself up to my full five foot seven inches and as proud thoroughly national man I told him that if he ever wanted to get her back then he needed to do the American Thing and start lying to his girl friend about the weather.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Unemployment Culture Notes:

For the first time in years I watched the noon news on Channel Five, allegedly the local classy news outfit. Of course, you have to wonder about that notion when you realizes that Newscenter Five's idea of "BREAKING NEWS" (complete with doomsday font) is the announcement that someone named Manny Ramirez was gonna be a week late getting to Red Sox Spring Training.
Good lord that whole "Breaking News" thing out to be trotted out ONLY in the most diresome circumstances, like the President going on a mouthwash bender or Cheney shooting another shyster lawyer.
But Manny Ramirez?...c'mon!
We wish the Sox well at whatever they do, but this is bit too much Freudian identification.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A Co-worker resubscribes to Netflix,

solely on the basis of the availability of a half season's worth of Time Tunnel episodes on DVD.
Fair enough, but of the Irwin Allen classic fantasy series its the weakest entry as evidenced by the fact that it lasted a single season on ABC and has rarely been seen in syndication.
Still and all that my co-worker was airily informed by Netflix that there was a lengthy waiting list for this particular title.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

"Capote" (2005) directed by Bennett Miller

Great performance from Philip Seymour Hoffman as the conflicted yet relentless writer trying to turn a murder-massacre into a bestseller. This is a Brando-as-the-Godhfather class start turn in my humble opinion.

William Burroughs once opined that Jack Kerouac the all American boy from Lowell was faally undermined and manipulated by a "spy in his body" called "Jack Kerouac the writer". It is the same with Capote, Truman wants to help accused killer Perry Smith but ultimately he needs to produce a book with an appropriate ending...ergo a hanging. To that end he ruthlessly extracts a nominal confession from Smith and then ignores his pleas for a lawyer to write their commutation appeal to the Supreme Court.
Truman needs an ending, the writer-spy in his body cannot be denied or placated.
I like films that question art & artists in this way...we tend to fall into easy cliches about thr redemptive power of art forgetting that it easily demands wretchedness and duplicity on the road to be a cafe success and the Pulitzer Prize.

See it, Humble john recommends it!

Movies you should NOT rent a week away from Unemployment...

Number One on that list being the Original "On the Beach" starring Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner.
I mean, it is magnificently acted, but mutha of ghod what a downer!

Peck in particular rises to the occasion with aplomb he was always a stellar monolith of a second rater, akin somewhat to that axiom of cinema, Charlton Heston.
here though he is tighty wound, a bit tragic but never maudlin or trite.
hard things to do in my opinion, it would be easy for the acting to undermine the script.
Ava Gardner was great as well, a bit ripe but that only underscores her status as the films' "fallen girl with a heart of gold".
Ava never looked better or put over a tighter case of "wordless persuastion" than when gazing out to seea pensively as the sub beats its way into the sunset and the radioactive winds swirl around her.
Besides you have to love Ava Gardner, anyone who can drive a full time bastard like Frank Sinatra crazy is a woman for the ages.

Ah but there is something about science fiction, it will sometimes liberate the acting process a bit.
My only complaint is that the Australians face the apocalypse with too much reserve, the 2000 remake with Armand Assante at least posited rioting and intense anti-American feeling at the crew of the USS Swordfish.
Anyway avoid this one if you are going on relief....I just sprawled there swilling cheap whiskey thinking to myself Yeah...they are all dying of radiation exposure, but at least they have JOBS!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Not that I wanna start World War Three or Anything...

but if the Danish Caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad are grounds for rioting then what would be the appropriate response to these contemporary cartoons in various Arab Newspapers?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


God hates me.
Because, he fears me.

Thanks and a tip of the hat to Channel Zero's redoubtable artist in residence Joseph Zamparelli Jr for that pre-unemployment lament.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Thought for the Day:

Apropos of Last Night's Superbowl, just how much money has Mick Jagger spent on plastic surgery to keep his dessicated scarecrowish frame looking like a fit athletic forty year old?
I mean, if the IMDB is right (And it ALWAYS IS!) his Satanic Majesty is SIXTY TWO years old.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Laid Off Again...

After a mere four months on the job I've been shown the door again in a department wide resource action.
This of course sucks, but at least it will give me more time to blog.

But if anyone has any good ideas on job opportunities drop me a little note at

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Last Night in the President's State of the Union Address

he said the following:
Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research – human cloning in all its forms … creating or implanting embryos for experiments … creating human-animal hybrids …

Damnit! If Congress acts on the President's request, my plan to create a race of Atomic Tigermen will be thwarted!!

What the hell kind of a wishy washy bluenosed nation have we become when a simple country boy with an M.A in Political Science (such as myself) can't pervert the laws of Man and God to Produce vicious human-animal mutants????
It is the Doctor Moreaus, the Lex Luthors, the Doctor Nos who made this nation GREAT and COMPETITIVE!

I urge the congress to PASS on the President's narrow-minded Anti-Atomic Tigermen Proposal!!