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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Bill Simmons has posted one of the best things he’s ever written on Grantland, “The Movie Star,” which examines both Ryan Reynold’s and Will Smith’s perceived stardom, and the differences with the average fan knowing, definitively, who is or isn’t a movie star. His read on Will Smith seems (for now) spot-on, and I hope the future proves Simmons wrong (and suspect it will).

Simmons on his (and my) complete mystification of all things Kevin James:

I took my daughter to see Super 8 last week … they showed a preview for The Zoo Keeper and she laughed her ass off for three minutes, then said, “I want to see that one!” That’s when the Kevin James Era finally made sense for me. By the way, taking her to Super 8 wasn’t the worst idea I’ve ever had, but it has to rank in the top 10.

I’ve loved Grantland and the Grantland model since its inception- it’s a bold, brilliant move that I think really works: a literary super-team of  writers that sit in their Hall of Typerwriters (they’re all steam-punk and shit with leather codpieces- the atosphere is part City of Lost Children, part Sky Captain) and send out the occasional Mark Twain-style missive that keeps rock bands, NBA stars and terrifyingly aspirational Will Smiths of the world honest. And then, cuddle up in their plasma-ed Man Caves to debate how Pavement’s is the Detlef Schrempf of indie rock albums.

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So there was this adolescent named Adam. He was known in his family for eye-rolling. He was known in his peer group for being a young George Carlin (I’m assuming here that his peer group doesn’t know George Carlin).

Gee, I really could give this a proper introduction, but please spend a few minutes with Adam. You’ll find him annoying and kind of dumb, well, you’ll find him to be everything you’ve always thought was true about a fifteen-year-old boy. Hey, look at that! I gave it a proper introduction afterall.

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The Onion wins again. Genius. Goddamn, they piss me off sometimes.

“I walked up to one of them, tapped on the glass, and the test-tube Big Baby inside opened its eyes,” Allen continued. “I just kind of panicked and started screaming, and then the liquid in the tanks started bubbling and all the Big Babies were screaming in unison.”

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“A million people die in Iraq, and all these people go, ‘Hey, as long as it doesn’t happen over here.’ But it is over here! It’s over here=over there! It’s people you don’t know, who were born somewhere else, who fucking got jacked.

You get trapped in that whole idea of ‘this is my team, these are my people.’ And someone fucking plays a country music song,  and throws up a flag. I’m in. Fuck it. Feels good. Feels good to be in, doesn’t it?”

I haven’t always been a Joe Rogan fan- his Carlos Mencia call-out was pretty epic. But this video definitely puts me in his camp. Do I believe that Obama is equal to Bush? God no. I believe that Obama will be a transformational two-term President. (Who’re the Republicans gonna run? Huckabee? Romney? Pawlenty? PALIN? Please.)

But questions being asked are never a bad thing. And 90 percent of his points are spot-on.

And his points on Eisenhower’s “Military Industrial Complex” speech are so apt as to be goddamn depressing. Roll on, great river, roll on.

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Evomalution

Remember when the Seattle and New Orleans both sucked? If it’s not what I love about the NFL, it’s what I’d hate: a new phoenix is always waiting to rise from the charred feces of last year’s phoenix. While my Chargers hasten to dismantle during the offseason and I look to find a new Cinderella Story for XLV, here is a Matt Taibbi Men’s Journal article that made me guffaw in a silent waiting room a while back: (the goodies are on page 2)

http://www.mensjournal.com/the-nfls-next-evolution

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I will never forget Johnny Depp retelling a conversation (I think it was in Rolling Stone) between he and Bill Murray about what it was like to play Hunter Thompson. They both exchanged accounts of how, even months and years later, they would have little moments where some dormant shred of Thompson’s psyche would wriggle inside them. “It’s just Hunter,” Murray said. (I paraphrase)

Based on this glimpse of Rango (and I realize that Depp is probably not producing this, ILM’s “fledgling” animated feature, but you never know!) it certainly appears that a big chunk of Johnny’s psyche is still in the desert with Hunter:

http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/paramount/rango/

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…right before your eyes. Remarkable.

Now, I’m not advocating living in boxes on top of each other- it’s my pig-headed belief that trees and restaurants make a city, not buildings (I’m from that Ray Bradbury school), but it really is an ingenious use of space, using every part of the architectural buffalo, if you will. More ideas like this, please, along with smart cars, solar paint, eco-friendly Cannonball Runs in which the victor uses the least amount of fuel versus the asinine most to simply go in a circle real-fast-like (hyuk).

And, since I mentioned Ray Bradbury, here’s a nice little interview he did with Frank Black (yes!) who’s Massiff Central is probably in my top 20 songs of all time. The album version from Show Me Your Tears is epic– here’s an acoustic version from the Christmass album.

Ray Bradbury interviews are fantastic, by the way. Just a take-no-prisoners, opinionated old codger who’s pretty much right about everything. I aspire to that level of imperious curmudgeony-ness.

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