The decline of the comics is directly linkned with strips outliving the author's sense of humor--or in the case of Blondie, the author himself. The funny pages have devolved into trite formulae and bland punchlines. Recent gems like Pearls Before Swine, Lio, Bizarro, Brevity, and F Minus aside, the majority of newspaper comics are a waste of space.
But, thanks to the internet, we are proudly featuring an amazing thing: funny Garfield comic strips. This is no small achievement. Garfield was dumped by the Los Angeles Times in 2005:
The character, said Times editorial aide Jennifer James, had grown too predictable.The Times was right. The Garfield character was unfunny. However, thanks to Garfield Minus Garfield, it turns out that all one needed to do was erase the fat cat from each panel and you have something funny and fresh: Jon Arbuckle being completely random and pathetic. Which is hilarious.
Here are some of my favorites:
Read them all at Garfield Minus Garfield!
Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Here's a little weekend project for you: "Blackadder Goes Forth," the fourth season of the wildly popular Blackadder series. For those unfamiliar with the series, each season follows an Edmund Blackadder (played by Rowan Atkinson), all members of the same family, at during different significant periods of English history. Last week, I featured the first season, "The Black Adder," set in the Middle Ages. The fourth season takes place during World War II.
All episodes are hosted at Veoh. Apparently, VeohTV isn't required to watch these episodes. Yay!
Special recognition should be given to Jon Stewart, saddled with the unenviable task of presiding over a show whose very existence was in question less than three weeks earlier. He might have lacked the grandeur and polish of some hosts (I MISS YOU, BILLY CRYSTAL!) but his jokes were on the mark, he connected well with the crowd, and his skillful sarcasm with a touch of self deprecation are always welcome, especially to shmucks like me who live tragically cable-free lives and really miss The Daily Show. (Yeah, I know I can catch most of it online, but I’m too lazy. So there.)
Even the dreaded acceptance speeches stung less than usual. I place most of the credit for that on the shoulders of surprise winner Tilda Swinton (100% deserved it. She was actually my pick for should win but won’t) who gave a freewheeling & giddy speech for the ages that tore George Clooney several new ones, calling him out for his shameful past in Batman & Robin and for his infamous cockiness. It’s a good thing dude has a sense of humor, else I suspect he might’ve lept on stage and given the once and future White Witch a healthy pimp smack.
After the 3 hour and 15 minute show transpired, No Country For Old Men had its well deserved Best Picture win, Daniel Day-Lewis had his totally-stolen-from-George-Clooney Best Actor win, and entirely too much montage-ical fuss was made over a generally inconsequential anniversary (80th? Really? As much as I love the Oscars, they basically come down to watching Hollywood masturbate. So I can only assume that when the Oscars congratulate themselves, it’s like some sort of inbred circle jerk). Regardless, the show remained a movie lover’s delight that leaves us looking forward to an exciting new year of quality film and only 350-some days until the red carpet rolls out once more.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Two men were stabbed at a Sunday showing of the horror/thiller "The Signal." This is proof that you should listen to movie critics before going to your local theater. From FoxNews.com:
The men were injured around 7:30 p.m. at the AMC Fullerton Town 20 theater in Fullerton, Calif., while watching the thriller "The Signal," MyFOXLA.com reports.As if to reinforce the irony of a stabbing occurring during a horror movie:
Police said the individuals were sitting in different parts of the theater when they were attacked by an unknown assailant, the station reports.
"He started stabbing at the theater seat and then he stabbed the victim," Fullerton Police Lt. Tom Basham said. "As he fled, he stabbed another victim sitting near the exit."
Police were called to the theater after someone found a bag of what appeared to be illegal substances, MyFOXLA.com reports. When officers arrived, moviegoers — including the bloody stabbing victims — were running out of the theater.
Authorities believe the assailant was a white male, who bought a ticket to the theater but was later asked to leave.
"He somehow made his way back into the theater," Basham told MyFOXLA.com.
The film was paused Sunday night while police investigated the incidents. When it was restarted...the first scene was a stabbing.Now, aside from the obvious macabre irony, there is an important lesson to be learned here.
These are the facts: A man who bought a ticket to The Signal was asked to leave. He somehow snuck into the movie. This man then goes crazy; he "[starts] stabbing at the theater seat and then he stab[s] the victim." Then, while running out of the theater, he stabs someone else.
Now, let's analyze the facts.
Would a normal man bring a knife to a movie? No. But would a crazy person or a criminal? Yes.
Additionally, would a law abiding, clean living, upstanding citizen stab anyone during a movie? No. But remember, the police were called because of a bag of drugs. Would a drug crazed fiend stab a theater seat and the person in the seat? Yes. And the last thing this drug crazed fiend tripping on acid needs is to see this:
Now, the movie in question, The Signal, received mixed to disparaging reviews. And a drugged out nut with a knife thought this would be a good movie, so much so that he snuck in after being asked to leave. From this we can deduce the following: if it's supposed to be scary and the critics didn't like it, then there's a good chance that "a heavyset white man with black hair in his late to mid 20s," out of his mind on acid and carrying a blade, probably does.
Therefore, using logic we can argue thus:
People who play video games are more likely to carry knives.
Ergo, young people are more likely to carry knives than others.
Young people aren't as intelligent as older people.
Therefore, young people are dumber than older people.
But, dumber people are more likely to use drugs.
Ergo, young people are more likely to use drugs.
And, young people tend to go to more bad movies than older people.
But, young people are more likely to carry knives and to use drugs than others.
Ergo, drug users who carry knives are more likely to go to bad movies than other people.
And, we have an example in the news which backs up our conclusion.
Conclusion: Violent, knife-wielding, drug-crazed youths tend to like badly reviewed movies. If you don't want to be shanked, stabbed, shived, or sliced, read the reviews before you go to the theater. More >
Monday, February 25, 2008
You may have seen a story on the latest Pew Study on religion. The majority of articles focused the increasing number of people who change their religion. With better things to do, and no motivation to do them, I delved into the data, mining it for any interesting tidbits. Here are a few (all links lead to data from the study):
- 2% of Hindus are Hispanic. (See picture above)
- 8% of the members of "Historically Black Churches" aren't black (2% White, 1% Other/Mixed, 4% Hispanic). The majority of these white members belong to Historically Black Pentecostal churches.
- Every religion is at least 40% male. Women make up a majority in every Christian denomination. All other "traditions" are majority male; the largest disparity is among atheists (70% men, 30% women).
- Jehovah's Witnesses: 43% make less that $30,000/year; 70% haven't had any college education.
- The largest percentage of Anglicans (39%) make over $100,000 a year.
- Jews wealthy, educated and old. (Headline from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
I've been a busy bee lately, with regrettably little time to blog. I'm sure all 1.6 of our regular readers are wondering what I thought of the Oscars. I'll shoot for a little of that action by the end of the week, but right now I just wanted to share my exuberance over the fact that, much like my plan to name a child Luke, today's Final Jeopardy clue was able to deftly co-mingle a biblical reference and a Star Wars reference. Can YOU name the planet in Return of the Jedi that was also the hometown of a witch who summoned spirits for King Saul? Go!
Update: Stumped? The answer is here. --Kakashi More >
Friday, February 22, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Here is your Television Thursday fix: The Black Adder, the first season of the wildly popular Blackadder series starring Rowan Atkinson.
You have two options for viewing: 56.com, a Chinese site with subtitles, or Veoh, which requires you download their VeohTV player, which I wholeheartedly recommend. Download it here.
- 1x01 The Foretelling (VeohTV Req'd)
- 1x02 Born to be King (VeohTV Req'd)
- 1x03 The Archbishop
- 1x04 The Queen of Spain's Beard (VeohTV Req'd)
- 1x05 Witchsmeller Pursuivant
- 1x06 The Black Seal (Stage6 Divx)
- 1x01 The Foretelling
- 1x02 Born to be King
- 1x03 The Archbishop
- 1x04 The Queen of Spain's Beard
- 1x05 Witchsmeller Pursuivant
- 1x06 The Black Seal
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
As I sat down to write this silly inconsequential post, I realized that it is also this humble blog's 100th! What a long, strange, sexy journey it has been. Now where was I... ah, yes.
Ya know what's a great game? Settlers of Catan. Any game that gives me a legitimate and completely non-perverse reason to say "I've got wood, now all I need is a sheep" is aces in my book.
Update: Actually, this isn't the 100th post. The number of published posts is 81 (You were looking at the number of total posts, both published and unpublished. I made the same mistake earlier...) --Kakashi
Response to update:Curses! Foiled again. And I would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for you meddling co-authors.--Paul
P.S. Thanks for the imbedded Settlers link. Very nice.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Are you bitter about being alone this Valentine's Day? Or perhaps you and your special someone share a very wry sense of humor and you can't find the right card to express your love ironically. Here to meet your needs is Meish.org. They have a cavalcade of anti-valentine's day e-cards for the cynical and flippant. Here's a sample:
- Whipped Cream: Nothing says love like Non-Dairy Whipped Desert Topping. Of course you could put it to other uses. This is the equivalent of giving a woman a tub of Cool Wip and saying, "Baby, let's get creative with this whipped topping" and assuming that she'll go along. It's more likely to come across as "Here's some whipped cream. Go make an ice cream sunday. I want you to gain a few pounds."
- Love "Cuffs": These look like hair scrunchies. Now, make sure to get the love cuffs and not just the regular cuffs. You can distinguish between the two by the color and material:
Red + Synthetic Fabric + Elastic Band = Love Cuffs
Not Red + Synthetic Fabric + Elastic Band = Just A Scrunchy
(No, I'm not going to make a hand cuffs joke.)
- Libby Fluted Champaign Glass: Look sophisticated with this plastic champagne flute. And why spend $7 for some decent sparkling wine when you can buy a bottle of sparkling cider for just 99¢? Classy.
- Vase: This actually looks somewhat decent. However, if you're buying a vase from the 99¢ Store, can you afford flowers to put in the vase?
- Condoms: Nothing says "I'm interested in a romantic dinner, taking a long walk along the beach, having an intimate conversation with you, and maybe watching your favorite romantic movies" better than giving your girl a box of cheap condoms.
- Ladies Camisole: "Baby, I got you this sexy top and it only cost me 99¢! I hope it fits you. They only had XL"
- Tatiana Perfume and Aziza Cosmetics: These boil down to the same theme as the rest of them--if you're buying it at the 99¢ Store, it's probably rubbish. I like how they list the "brands" of these two items, as if that improves their quality and mitigates the fact that your only paying 99¢ for items costing ten to twenty times more at any other store. "Where did I get this from? The 99¢ Store. What do you mean it's crap? It's perfume by Tatiana. Tatiana. Come on baby. Just try it out and put on your love cuffs while your at it."
- Oysters: Oysters in a sealed bag from "Chicken of the Sea." Just add water and you'll have a great meal to pair with your sparkling cider.
Hat tip to Handel on the News over at KFI. More >
Here's an episode of the classic animated show The Critic. Pick up the complete show at Amazon. The episode is called Eyes on the Prize:
The purpose of Television Thursday is to introduce readers to various television shows available online. Enjoy. Any thoughts? Comments are open. More >
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Anyone who has paid more than a passing glace at the history of the Academy Awards, especially in the past couple decades, can’t help but notice a few key elements that, when applied to a film in the correct proportions, almost guarantee a slew of nominations and the mixed blessing label of “Oscar Bait”. For your ease and convenience, I will present a list of those characteristics that you can apply to any film you might be watching to ascertain its chances of Oscar gold, along with a few examples to prove the rule.
Foreign Accents (especially British) __
War (especially WWII) __
Disability (Mental or bodily-- Either does the trick, both and you write a thank you speech) __
Physical adaptations (neck twitch, big nose, gain weight, lose weight, cross-dress, etc.) __
Aging over several decades (makeup preferred, but good recasting is acceptable) __
Death of a main character __
Based on a novel or true story (double bonus if based on popular biography) __
Adding a strong romantic element to any of the above characteristics will result in multiplying the total by a factor of 1.1 for the presence of each of the following that exists between parties: socioeconomic disparity, physical distance, and/or all around star crossed ill-fated-ness.
Judging by this exacting and scientific system, recent BAFTA champ and Oscar hopeful Atonement scores a hefty 6.5 out of 9.1 theoretical Bait Points possible (all time Bait Point leader The English Patient scores a 7.8, in case you were wondering). Anything over 4, and you’re probably watching a film headed for at least that many nominations. But all this begs the question: are such bait-tacular flicks worth watching? The answer is the ever frustrating “it depends”.
Atonement is an undeniably classy and well produced tale of love, war, and the majority of other stuff on the list. It feels a bit too “been there, awarded that” at times, but a few elements help it stand out above many comparable films. 13 year old Saoirse Ronan brings surprising depth and subtlety to her performance as a girl whose selfish and childlike understanding of the world fatefully clashes with new feelings of jealousy and romance, and a six minute single take tracking shot of a battle’s aftermath is one of the most visually stunning and technically astounding acts of filmmaking in years. But the ending is kinda up its own ass, and regardless of Atonement’s merits, I think the vast majority of the public have had their fill of class struggle, sprawling manor houses, and their hyper-British ilk.
Grades -- Saoirse: A, tracking shot: A+, Atonement: B-
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Dude, you should have drank something other than just coffee. Perhaps some smart juice?
This man is stuck on stupid. He burns all three lifelines, ignoring the clear vote of the audience and displaying that his wife is as ignorant as he.
If this had taken place before Copernicus, it would be excusable. But it didn't, so it's not. My God, the audience is either full of nitwits or jerks.