Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Defining the Sexapocalypse

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Yes, that’s the burning question….and my answer and those of others are on io9. I should note none of the responses are as awesome as the Hieronymous Bosch painting.

Local bloggers!

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

“Think globally, act locally”—last week, I participated in a MeetUp of local D.C. bloggers, all of them worth checking out: –the legendary Jade Pages — the Tao of Tracy T. — “unrestricted thought” — musings about DC and everything (politics, food, the environment…) — helping companies and writers thrive — strategies and techniques for establishing your online business — ideas and events on culture in DC — music, movies, and tv — free and cheap things in DC — dumb things I have done lately — A blog that studies the application of marketing and PR.

RIP Steve McNair

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Ex- Titans/Ravens QB McNair died this weekend in an apparent murder-suicide. You won’t usually find me talking about sports on this blog, but McNair is an exception. Superbowl XXXIV—January 30, 2000—was the last superbowl I ever watched from start to finish; after that, I went cold turkey on my NFL habit, in large part to make room for the writing, which dominated my weekends for the next seven years.

And I like to think I went out on a high note, because few Superbowls have held a candle to XXXIV.  Most commentators focus on the final play of the game, in which Dyson caught McNair’s pass but was tackled on the 1 yard line, forever caught on instant replay holding the ball out toward the goal-line.  But the really incredible play was the one before it, in which McNair was flushed from the pocket and danced like a man with legs made of rubber before hurling the ball downfield even as he was being pulled to the turf.  (Dyson caught the pass near the 10 yard line, setting up the final play.)  McNair and the Titans lost the Superbowl, but I’ve always seen greatness as a fractal concept. . . sometimes it’s just a single moment that gets you there.  McNair had many such moments, but I’ve never seen anything like that last mad scramble, and I doubt we ever will again.  This NFL highlight tape has both plays on it; look and see for yourself.  And RIP Steve, you deserved far better than the hand you were dealt.

RIP Michael Jackson

Friday, June 26th, 2009

All the bullshit of the last fifteen years ultimately won’t matter. I’ll remember him for those summers in the early 1980s, to which his music furnished the soundtrack. Funny how I’d forgotten just how good those songs were—nothing could stand against MJ in his prime.

Meanwhile, in the middle of the Larry King retrospective last night, the power in the neighborhood of LA where I’m staying went out.  People were on the streets with flashlights trying to figure out how far the blackout extended.  It could have been the setting to one of Jackson’s videos, but fortunately no crazy thriller werewolves were spotted.  A quarter-century’s a long time, but it’s still strange how much a man can age across it.

Susan Boyle, revisited

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

So after her runner-up finish in Britain’s Got Talent, Susan Boyle has been admitted to a hospital for “exhaustion”—the British tabloids are reporting some heartbreaking details, and even if the specifics aren’t true (you never know with the tabloids), the nervous breakdown probably is. As a senior doctor at Boyle’s clinic notes, sudden fame is not without its dangers, and it’s an open question whether the reality-TV shows are prepared to address this and deal with its implications by providing adequate support networks/guardrails.

Actually, I’d say it’s more of a settled question:  they’re not.  None of us are, really.  Same reason this story is way less popular than the First Susan Boyle Saga.  As of this writing, it’s not in the Twitter heavy-rotation. . . and why should it be?  We’ve turned the Internet into the equivalent of one big junior high school, where popularity is everything, and all that matters is how many “friends” you have and how many cameras are pointed your way. It’s part of our fairy-tale view of life. . we believe in princesses, but if those princesses get chased by paparazzi into concrete walls, then we just go ahead and damn the photographers instead of wondering who the hell was looking at those photos. More than fifteen centuries ago, the former Roman emperor Diocletian refused to come out of retirement, saying to his erstwhile imperial colleague, “if only you could see the cabbages I grow with my own hands in my garden, you wouldn’t ask this of me.”  Rare it is that a public figure finds such peace.

In the city by the bay with the demon cat

Monday, July 28th, 2008

Greetings from San Francisco, where the sun has appeared in brief intervals these last couple of days, but other than that is maintaining a resolute absence. Which is fine by me, coming from the East Coast where the heat’s like walking into a wall. Yesterday’s book signing at Borderlands went well, though the real star of the show at that place is Ripley the Demonic Cat. And the non-feline staff were great as well: owner Alan Beatts (who turned me on to Sean McMullen’s Souls in the Great Machine, which looks awesome), Jude Feldman, and Cary Heater. I wish there were stores like that in D.C., but D.C. ain’t exactly an SF town. (Go into a video store, and SF is usually under action/adventure, and there ain’t much of it anyway.  I could speculate on why D.C. is so inclined, but maybe that’s best saved for another post.)

Anyway, I have a confession to make:  I never made it to Comic Con on Saturday.  My friend and I drove to the beach and chilled there.  Sorry folks.  Two days of it were awesome, but I needed some fresh air after that.  But the cool folks at Bantam have posted a video of me signing books while I simultaneously make witty banter with the ComicCon masses.  You can check it out here.

Comic Con, Friday

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Spent much of the afternoon handing out DVDs of the video trailer for THE MIRRORED HEAVENS, so didn’t catch as much as I might have liked. But here’s a few highlights:

–Disney’s Tron 2 (Tr2N) trailer, bootlegged and tossed online.

Watchmen poster images. I totally missed them, but io9 did not.

–I took some photos, but you know what? These are way better.

–And here’s some footage of me signing books yesterday. Not quite up there with Tron 2, but hey.

Unfortunately, I’m gonna miss tonight’s Masquerade. I’ll be on a flight up to San Francisco for the reading at Borderlands tomorrow. . .

Previews worth the view

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Ok, I cracked. And went and saw Dark Knight AGAIN yesterday. I’ve never seen the Uptown so crowded on a Tuesday night. They sold out about ten minutes before the film started, and it was a complete and utter mob scene.

But this time I paid more attention to the previews, and the two that really moved the dial for me were:

Terminator 4: this looked nuts. We don’t see that much, but we see enough.

The Day the Earth Stood Still: I know a lot of people are banging their heads against the wall that they’re remaking this classic (and that Keanu’s in it), but I liked what I saw (and I dig the music). Done right, it could rule. Done wrong, it could be a turkey on such a colossal scale that we’ll be able to kick it around for years. Either way, we win.

Batman: believe the hype

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

Because for once it’s real. Dark Knight is a triumph, and heavy enough to make Iron Man look lightweight. Heath Ledger is almost certainly en route for the first posthumous Oscar since Peter Finch; his Joker is so disturbed and disturbing we can only wonder just how the role must have haunted the actor across his last days. And the movie’s script is as dark as it is demented: the plot weaves byzantine threads, and the first five minutes will have you wondering just what the HELL is going on. It’s rare that a movie 2.5 hours long can justify its length, but this movie is totally sans padding, and a total must-see.

‘Nuff said for now. Enjoy the weekend.