- tr: U going out for new years tonight?
- jb: Board games with iCaters. U?
- tr: sick, might go meet up with shana, but she doesn't want to go to times square and i want to.
- jb: Carson daily, ryan seacrest, anderson cooper, kathy griffin, and the r0tten corpse of clark's dick... Sigh.
- tr: LOL out loud, Clark's dick corpse.
I am back home from Minnesota, and I am sick. It seems to happen every time I fly, and I suspect it has something to do with the Clonazepam I need to take for my fear of flying. Except this time it seems to have ushered in some sort of flu, i am barfy and freezing cold, despite the apartment being 90 degrees. That all sucks very much because I wanted to go out tomorrow night and get SUPER DRUNK to celebrate 2008’s death. My first year in NYC, I naturally wanted to go see times square, although I’m being pressured by my friend shana to go to a house party (blech) starting to look like i’m not going to be up for either now though.
I got twitter a couple weeks ago, you can see my feed here, and follow me if you want. Also, I’m not sure how I’ve made it this long without ever really listening to Sigur Ros, but they are fucking amazing. Now you go listen to them.
And finally, the thesis of this year end post…THE BEST “BEST OF 2008” LISTS OF 2008
- The Best People of 2008 - Videogum
- The notable one on this list is Mr. Chi-City, if you haven’t seen this guys videos, go watch them. lifechanging.
- The 10 Best Cats of 2008 - Videogum
- The Best Viral Videos of 2008 - Videogum
- Best Typefaces of 2008 - Changethethought™
- Last.fm’s Best Tracks of 2008 - Last.fm
- I like the MGMT tracks a lot, but mostly think it’s funny that Coldplay holds 6 of the top ten tracks (especially considering it’s Coldplay’s worst album)
- Living Ear’s Best Albums of 2008 - Living Ears
- I have never encountered another person with musical tastes so remarkably similar to mine, this guy put together a “best of 08” music list better than I ever could have.
- The Best/Worst of Skymall 2008 - URLesque
- Best SciFi Films of 2008 - io9
- Top Gaming Videos of 2008 - Kotaku
- The 2008 Urlies - URLesque
See you in 2009, nerds.
it was christmas yesterday, and i am in minnesota with my grandparents celebrating the birth of Santa Christ (is that correct?) i got new glasses and an HD Flip Minio Camera, which is amazing and shoots these little HD videos instantly. Which is going to come in handy when Cloverfield or Diary of the Dead goes down in real life. which it will. seriously. (i can’t fucking wait)
When I was driving out here with my aunt and uncle from connecticut, I got stuck with the late night driving shift, so I knocked back one of those 5 hour energy drinks, and I gotta say, if you are ever looking to make your heart explode, look no further. I was so amped, that I was taken off driving duty, and had to sit rocking back and forth in the backseat until about 4 in the morning, when we stopped to “sleep” for a few hours in the car in -40 weather in Wisconsin somewhere. I’ll go ahead and say that I don’t recommend that to anyone unless they are interested in hypothermia.
It was hard work, but it all paid off because I’m currently sitting in my grandparents living room watching mama mia!, (their emphasis) wishing i was back in that car slowly freezing to death.
seriously, avoid mama mia like the fucking plague (my emphasis)
ps - my christmas gift to you, Shaq’s twitter feed, prepare to be razzle-dazzled!
Today Jim and I were feeling a little festive, so we decided to watch a holiday film or 2, and inevitably, a bet was made to find the worst Christmas film made, watch it, and write an academic analysis of said film. It was a toss up between Black Christmas and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure. I think it’s obvious which film Jim chose for me to watch and analyze:
The Death of Laughter
An analysis of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 2: Uncle Eddie’s Island Adventure by Tanner Ringerud
I once had a professor in film school that said, “Film analysis is not about whether or not you enjoy a film, it is what you are able to learn from the film that is important.” I’m not sure I could fully appreciate that comment until I watched Christmas Vacation 2. Like so many avant-garde films before it, Christmas Vacation challenges the viewer’s preconceived notions of what cinema is, and what cinema is capable of becoming. For that reason, Nick Marck has earned his place among Maya Deren and Stan Brakhage among so many other visionary directors for his effort in pushing the boundaries of film as an art form, and frankly, pushing the boundaries of art all together.
Christmas Vacation 2 is a film that begs not to be watched. From the outset, it does everything in its power to repulse and deter the viewer from continuing on. The obvious connection to make is to Stan Brakhage’s film Passage Through: A Ritual. Brakhage’s film is primal and urgent, demanding not to be experienced as a film, but rather, just to be experienced, using all the senses. Passage Through is a film that resists it’s own viewers, a deconstruction of film making that asks of it’s viewers to sit through long stretches of black leader for just brief fleeting glances of color. But, when forced to watch so much isolating and disengaging black leader, the moments of color become all the more dazzling and engaging, a few frames of red access more emotion and tell a better story than any Hollywood film can in two hours. Christmas Vacation 2 takes Brakhage’s concept, and does it one better. Rather than black leader, Marck uses his story as a vessel for the mundane and disengaging, he purposely makes the viewer feel insecure, alone and aggravated by making his film nearly unwatchable. However, Marck is unrelenting, he does not let the viewer off as easily as Brackage, he does not give the relief that one feels during the colorful moments of passage though, instead Marck never gives in to the viewer, there is no relief. One enters the movie, experiences the movie, and ends the movie feeling the same frustration and hopelessness throughout.
One might attribute this to poor film making, but to the trained eye, it’s clear that every decision was made after great consideration, and that Christmas Vacation 2 is offered as less of a challenge to the viewer, and as more of a dare to it’s viewers to watch it. Christmas Vacation 2 is an exercise in exploring everything great that cinema is capable of being, by striving to be everything that great cinema should not be. The film is absolutely repulsive. The characters practically beg to be hated, and they are acted atrociously. The story and plot points are nonsensical, and the directing is so bad it makes one question how the film was produced at all. However, it’s the fact that the film is so horrible that makes one ponder its true intentions. I assert that Christmas Vacation 2 is a film that cannot be watched. It works so hard to drive its viewers away that it’s clear it has no desire, or no need to be watched. It’s true purpose is to illustrate the power of idea. Before viewing the film, one has no certain idea of what they are going to see, and it’s that uncertainty that the film thrives on, in essence, it’s the unrealized uncertainty that true makes up the film. As the viewer begins to watch, he realizes that the film is so awful that any thought or idea he is capable of having is better than what he is sure to see in the next scene. It’s in this transcendental power that Marck overtakes Brakhage as a filmmaker. Brakhage, despite the difficulty of his films, gave in to the viewers, and gave them the release they needed at the end of the film. But Marck refused, forcing the viewer to either end the movie early, as I imagine many do, or to not ever watch it at all. Unlike Brakhage, Marck’s film should by no means be viewed in its entirety. And perhaps in a very sardonic way, Marck punishes those gluttonous enough to finish the film by refusing to give them any sort of catharses. Any viewer who finishes Christmas Vacation 2 must confront himself or herself, and realize that the unrealized potential of art is always much better than the actual art itself.
So now I’m 3 hours poorer, but five dollars richer. Tanner for the win!
i quit my job, for lots of reasons, mostly it sucked commuting to harlem (far north side of manhattan) from bay ridge (lower south side of Brooklyn) everyday for a part time job. The appeal of a part-time job was that I’d have plenty of time to work on web stuff so that I can find a job doing that stuff sometime soon. I was leaving late everyday, and my 6 hour day was actually a 9+ hour day.
however, the guy still wants me to do his design and web work, so I can afford to live here another month, so fuck you colorado, you’re not getting me back THAT easily (plus, more practice and portfolio fodder)
Enough of my pathetic life crashing down around me, let’s discuss television…
On the recommendation of almost everyone I know, I started watching the first season of the show “The Big Bang Theory.” And while on a very general level i enjoy the show, and it makes me laugh, I take umbrage with several plot points…
Being a celebrated nerd, I find myself getting caught up in some technicalities and character flaws, which I’ve noticed about the show (and all the other nerd-centric shows on TV) I will discuss said technicalities now:
The Characters - The main characters, four genius/nerds at CalTech, try to be too many things at once. They are both anti-social nerds, and ultra-intelligent geniuses, the smartest young minds alive, and the most socially inept losers imaginable. Here’s the thing though, being geniuses and devoting their life to academics, they would have no time or patience to devote to their nerdier pursuits, such as world of warcraft (among other video games), marathon television watching, and learning klingon. Here’s the issue, I devote huge chunks of time to video games, television watching, comic book reading, music listening, and more noun verbing and for those reasons, I am not a genius. If I spent my life studying, and learning, and growing as an individual, I would not have time, nor would I need to, resort to the time-wasters listed above to fill the quiet periods in my life (read:quiet period that is my life.) One does not spend 10 hours a day raiding the Caverns Of Time because it’s fulfilling in any way, one does it because he has nothing else to do, and devoting your life to academics is something else to do. In fact, the more I consider it, the more I realize how polarized nerd-dom and ingeniousness is. It simply cannot be, and is frankly, insulting to only semi-intelligent nerds like myself. It’s like saying there can be pregant men, which we know, is not possible.
The Women - Anti-social nerds don’t interact with women, they play videogames. You don’t need self-esteem or self-worth to play videogames. Nerds don’t try to go after girls like this or this. (in fact, nerds just steer clear of girls all-together).
I will give some credit where credit is due though, and say that when nerds DO interact with girls on television, as Leonard often does with Penny on “The Big Bang Theory,” the girls react in a way most would in real life, they are condescending and patronizing, but still flirtatious, and often treat the nerds as if they were non-sexual eunuchs. Penny likes the attention, so she strings Leonard along, giving him false hope even though she has no intention of following through with her flirtations. The show does employ this mechanic well. When Penny calls Leonard “sweety,” and gives him a platonic hug, i cringe with bitter recognition.
Mise en scène - Nerds dress like this. Not like this. Nobody dresses like this. On a side note, research scientists can’t afford all the shit these dudes buy. You know why? nerds don’t have jobs. You know why? Nerds play WoW 10 hours a day. You know why? Nerds don’t have girlfriends. You see what I’m getting at?
Television needs to stop giving the” beta male” the “alpha male” treatment (i’m looking at you Chuck from “Chuck,” Sam from “Reaper,” Geeks from “Beauty and The Geek” Several characters I don’t know the name of from “Ugly Betty,” Ned from “Pushing Daisies,” Ted from “How I Met Your Mother,” Liz Lemon from “30 Rock,” JD from “Scrubs” and Hiro from “Heroes”) because us “beta males” are not interesting, we watch tv, play video games, and write on our blogs that nobody reads all day and only leave the house when we run out of Mountain Dew and Hot Pockets. I know what it’s like to be a nerd, and it’s not like they portray it on television. I watch TV to escape my boring “beta male” lifestyle, and to dream of what it’s like to be a total badass. (ps - each of those words links to a different one.)
Plus, you’re making it socially acceptable to be a nerd, which makes true nerds like me seem more approachable, and when people approach me, I have panic attacks.
This long-winded post/manifesto is devoted to the memory of my xbox, which broke last weekend. I miss you more than words could ever say.