Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"Beer Bad" is Bad

I contributed to the Great Buffy Rewatch debate on "Beer Bad" this evening. Here's what I said:

A now-retired, often cantankerous colleague of mine used to insist literature professors customarily teach the wrong stuff in their classes. Instead of having students read and write about masterpieces / classics — Tom Jones, say, or The Great Gatsby — we should be concentrating on bestsellers. He would teach appalling novels by Nora Roberts and Danielle Steele in a course, all the better, he was convinced, to make clear, by contrast, what makes great literature great.

If those of us studying and teaching the Buffyverse were to accept such an approach, we would not be focusing like a laser on “Innocence” and “Becoming” and “Hush” “Restless” and “The Body” and “Once More with Feeling.” Instead, bottom feeders like “Beer Bad” and “Where the Wild Things Are” would captivate our scholarly and pedagogical imaginations.

Revisiting “Beer Bad” for the Great Buffy Rewatch I am more dubious than ever about the value of the “begin at the bottom” approach. If all copies of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the world were destroyed except for “Bad,” future humans could ascertain nothing about the genius of Joss Whedon’s series. I had forgotten how inconsequential it is, not just a stand-alone episode but a go-and-stand-by-yourself-in-a-corner episode. Who are these characters? These are not the Xander, or Buffy, or Giles I know. Only Willow comes through relatively unscathed. It’s so off, so out-of-synch, that I like to think of it as non-canonical. A professor of mine once returned a paper to be without a grade and whispered “Let’s just pretend you didn’t write this.” I like to pretend “Bad” doesn’t really exist.

I began watching Buffy with “The Freshman,” and “Bad” arrived only four episodes later. I gave up on Vampires Diaries after only two, but “Bad” did not drive me away and obviously I am glad I stuck with BtVS. Not even the execrable “Where the Wild Things Are” (4.18) later in Season 4, also written by “Bad’s” Tracey Forbes, could drive me away.

"Distort, Attack, Repeat"

A Rolling Stone slide show charting a day in the life of FOX News.

Quote of the Day (5/31/11) (The Eleventh Doctor Week)

The Doctor: It's funny. I thought if you could hear me I could hang on somehow. Silly me. Silly old Doctor. When you wake up you'll have a mum and dad and you won't even remember me. Well, you'll remember me a little. I'll be a story in your head. But that 's OK. We're all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh? Cuz it was, you know. It was the best. The daft old man who stole a magic box and ran away. Did I ever tell you that I stole it? Well, I borrowed it. I was always going to take it back. Oh that box. Amy, you'll dream about that box. It'll never leave you. Big and little at the same time. Brand new and ancient. And the bluest blue... ever. And the times we had, eh? Would've had. Never had. In your dreams, they'll still be there. The Doctor and Amy Pond. And the days that never came.... The cracks are closing. But they can't close properly until I'm on the other side. I don't belong here anymore. I think I'll skip the rest of the rewind. I hate repeats. Live well. Love Rory. [kisses Amelia's forehead] Bye bye, Pond.
--“The Big Bang”

Monday, May 30, 2011

Quote of the Day (5/30/11) (The Eleventh Doctor Week)

River Song: I have questions, but number one is this: What in the name of sanity have you got on your head?
The Doctor: It's a fez. I wear a fez now. Fezes are cool.
--“The Big Bang”

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Too Meta?

Engaged in a Castle marathon this weekend.

I loved this scene in "Nikki Heat" (3.11), an episode in which B-movie actress Natalie Rhodes shadows Beckett (just as Castle himself does--the series' whole premise) in order to prepare for her role as Nikki Heat in the film adaptation of Castle's novelized version of the real Beckett.

At first, she doesn't even know who Castle is (she hasn't read the book), but later she tries to seduce him--unsuccessfully--as part of her prep. Beckett finds Rhodes increasingly aggravating and is dismayed looking at herself in the actress/mirror, which leads to this delightful exchange.

Beckett: [Watching Natalie at the murder board] Do I really do that?
Castle: Yes, and it's adorable.
Beckett: If it's so adorable, why didn't you sleep with me? [Castle looks momentarily puzzled] Her me, not me me.
Castle: Oh, well a fictional character that I wrote, based on you, played by Natalie Rhodes? It's just way too... meta.

Adorable Addy

Quote of the Day (5/29/11) (The Eleventh Doctor Week)

Craig: Where did you learn to cook?
The Doctor: Paris in the 18th century. No, hang on, that's not recent is it? 17th? No no, 20th. Sorry, I'm not used to doing it in the right order.
Craig: Has anyone ever told you that you're a bit weird?
The Doctor: They never really stop.
--The Lodger”

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Identifying Palin

Sarah Palin is picking up some interesting IDs.

In The Daily Beast Mark McKinnon has deemed her "the P. T. Barnum" of politics."

And on MSNBC a commentator called her a Republican "fluffer." Just let that metaphor sink in for a moment.

Quote of the Day (5/28/11) (The Eleventh Doctor Week)

Vincent Van Gogh: Hold my hand, Doctor. Try to see what I see. We're so lucky we're still alive to see this beautiful world. Look at the sky. It's not dark and black and without character. The black is in fact deep blue. And over there! Lighter blue. [the starscape slowly transforms into The Starry Night] And blowing through the blueness and the blackness, the winds swirling through the air. And there shining, burning, bursting through, the stars! Can you see how they roll their light? Everywhere we look, complex magic of nature blazes before our eyes.
Doctor: I’ve seen many things, my friend, but you’re right: nothing quite as wonderful as the things you see.
--Vincent and the Doctor”

Friday, May 27, 2011


Just watched this, a film which received mostly horrible reviews, and was surprised how much I liked it. I thought it looked sensational.

Killer Trees

So the brilliant Dana Rohrabacher wants us to clearcut the rainforests to cut down on global warming.

I must have heard a half-dozen reports on this yesterday, and not one of them mentioned that the idea that trees are polluters was a Reaganism.

New Telegenic on "Community"

My new Telegenic is up.

Quote of the Day (5/27/11) (The Eleventh Doctor Week)

River Song: You. Me. Handcuffs. Must it always end this way?
The Doctor: What now?
River Song: The prison ship's in orbit. They'll beam me up any second. I might have done enough to earn a pardon this time. We'll see.
The Doctor: Octavian said you killed a man.
River Song: Yes, I did.
The Doctor: A good man.
River Song: A very good man. The best man I've ever known.
The Doctor: Who?
River Song: It's a long story, Doctor. Can't be told, has to be lived. No sneak previews. Well, except for this one: You'll see me again quite soon, when the Pandorica opens.
The Doctor: The Pandorica. [laughs] [Leans in to River Song and whispers in her ear] That's a fairy tale.
River Song: [laughs] Oh Doctor. Aren't we all? [smiles] I'll see you there.
The Doctor: I look forward to it.
River Song: I remember it well.
--“Flesh and Stone”

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Not the End of the World

According to Conan, the pastor who predicted Armageddon last weekend was deeply depressed. His friends tried to console him: "It's not the end of the world."

Quote of the Day (5/26/11) (The Eleventh Doctor Week)

Amy: Doctor, how come she can fly the TARDIS?
The Doctor: You call that flying the TARDIS? [scoffs] Ha!
River Song: Okay, I've mapped the probability vectors, done a foldback on the temporal isometry, charted the ship to its destination and... [presses a button, the cloister bell clangs] parked us right alongside.
The Doctor: Parked us? But we haven't landed!
River Song: Of course we've landed; I just landed her.
The Doctor: But it didn't make the noise.
River Song: What noise?
The Doctor: You know, the... [does an impression of the TARDIS materialisation sound]
River Song: It's not supposed to make that noise. You leave the brakes on.
The Doctor: Yes, well, it's a brilliant noise. I love that noise.
--‘The Time of Angels”

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Obama Brings the Funny

I first became fascinated with Obama because of the sense of humor he exhibited in an appearance (as a Senator) on Wait, Wait. Here he is today speaking to the Houses of Parliament in London.

I have known few greater honors than the opportunity to address the Mother of Parliaments at Westminster Hall. I am told that the last three speakers here have been the Pope, Her Majesty the Queen, and Nelson Mandela -- which is either a very high bar or the beginning of a very funny joke.

Too Painful

The Onion AV Club picks twenty films too painful for repeat viewings.


This is from an interview in New York Magazine with the creator of Community.

Q: Do you consider yourself a control freak or a collaborator?
Dan Harmon: I am a collaborator with everyone who agrees that I need to be in control. I happily collaborate with my loyalists. And the irony is that once I feel secure, I defer more than anybody.

Quote of the Day (5/25/11) (The Eleventh Doctor Week)

The Doctor: There's something you better understand about me, 'cause it's important and one day your life may depend on it. I am definitely a madman with a box!
The Doctor: Just had a fall. All the way down there, right to the library. Hell of a climb back up.
Amelia: You're soaking wet.
The Doctor: I was in the swimming pool.
Amelia: You said you were in the library.
The Doctor: So was the swimming pool.
--The Eleventh Hour”

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bristol Palin

So I have been investigating the upcoming made-for-tv (HBO) movie Game Change, written by Danny Strong (of Buffy fame).

Julianne Moore will be Sarah Palin, but guess who is playing Bristol Palin?

That's young Danielle Rousseau from Lost (Melissa Farman).

Pawlenty Dead Already?

So his hometown paper placed TPaw's announcement that he is running for POTUS on the obituary page? An accident or a comment?

The Showrunner Transcripts

I just discovered this, New York Magazine's invaluable interviews with major television showrunners.

Community’s Dan Harmon
30 Rock's Robert Carlock
Breaking Bad's Vince Gilligan
How I Met Your Mother’s Carter Bays and Craig Thomas
The Good Wife’s Robert and Michelle King
Justified’s Graham Yost
Cougar Town’s Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel
Grey’s Anatomy’s Shonda Rhimes
Parks and Recreation’s Michael Schur
Sons of Anarchy’s Kurt Sutter

Jason Katims, Families

The Friday Night Lights showrunner talks about how to do TV families.

Quote of the Day (5/23/11) (The Eleventh Doctor Week)

[The Tenth Doctor regenerates, the energy blowing out the windows of the TARDIS and setting the console room ablaze. The Eleventh Doctor screams as he emerges.]
The Doctor: Legs! I've still got legs!! [kisses one of them.] Good. Arms, hands. Ooh, fingers. Lots of fingers. Ears? Yes. Eyes: two. Nose... eh, I've had worse. Chin - blimey! Hair... [notes length.] I'm a girl! [checks Adam's apple.] No! No! I'm not a girl! [pulls a lock of his hair in front of his eyes and looks at it, agitated] And still not ginger! There's something else. Something... important, I'm... [taps head.] I'm-I'm...
[The whole console room shakes.]
The Doctor: [ecstatic.] Ha-ha! Crashing!
[As the burning TARDIS falls to Earth, the new Doctor clings to the central control column, laughing and whooping with glee. He looks up and shouts]
The Doctor: Geronimo!!
--“The End of Time, Part II

Sunday, May 22, 2011

"The Rebel Flesh"

It was nice to see Marshall Lancaster (Buzzer)--Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes' Chris Skelton--in last night's so-so Who.

The episode (first of a two parter) was written by Mars co-creator Matthew Graham.

Quote of the Day (5/22/11) (The Tenth Doctor Week Two)

Martha: But the thing is, why'd you leave him behind, Doctor?
The Doctor: [dismissively] I was busy.
Martha: Is that what happens though, seriously? You just get bored of us one day and disappear?
Captain Jack: Not if you're blonde.
Martha: [sarcastically] Oh, she was blonde! Oh, what a surprise!
The Doctor: [spinning around, irritated] You two, we're at the end of the universe. Okay?! Right at the edge of knowledge itself! And you're busy... [struggling to find the right word] blogging!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Converting Mamet | The Weekly Standard

Never liked him much, even before he went right.

Converting Mamet | The Weekly Standard

Frig Magnets

For some time now, the wonderful Lisa Connor has been making me refrigerator magnets of my book covers.

Here, now, is the complete set, both books I've edited / co-edited / authored / co-authored and books I have contributed to, on the frig.

Ango-European Translation Guide

From The Spectator via Andrew Sullivan. Click on the chart to see a larger version.

Uproar Over Evangelist Bradlee Dean's Obama Slur

Uproar Over Evangelist Bradlee Dean's Obama Slur

Quote of the Day (5/21/11) (The Tenth Doctor Week Two)

The Doctor: Fascinating race, the Weeping Angels. The only psychopaths in the universe to kill you nicely. No mess, no fuss. They just zap you into the past and let you live to death. The rest of your life is used up and blown away in the blink of an eye. You die in the past, and in the present they consume the energy of all the days you might have had, all your stolen moments. They're creatures of the abstract. They live off potential energy.
Billy Shipton: What in God's name are you talking about?
Martha Jones: Trust me, just nod when he stops for breath.
The Doctor: Tracked you down with this. This is my timey-wimey detector. It goes ding when there's stuff. Also, it can boil an egg at 30 paces, whether you want it to or not, actually, so I've learned to stay away from hens. It's not pretty when they blow.

Friday, May 20, 2011


So Obama is going to visit the home of his ancestors on a trip to Ireland? I knew nothing about this.

NPR's Marketplace had a story this evening on preparation for his visit. Listen to it here.

The End of "Supernatural" Season Six

Not terribly fond of the season as a whole, but that ending!

Castiel! OMG--literally!

H. P. Visits "Supernatural" (Spoiler Warning)

I knew it. When "Let it Bleed's" "Then" opening sequence informed us we were in Providence, Rhode Island, March 10, 1937, I knew the writer typing the last words of his novel on an old school typewriter had to be H. P. Lovecraft. And it was.

Sulu's Answer to Stupid Tennessee Law

Hitler on Von Trier

The Macho Man Has Died

RIP Randy Savage.

Stay Classy Ann!

Television Longevity

In a review of the season finales of The Office and Parks and Recreation, Matt Zoller Seitz contemplates how we respond to long-running vs. new series.

FAQ for my Students: The Rapture

From http://spoonbot.com/wordpress/?p=168

FAQ for my Students: The Rapture

Q: With the rapture coming, should I bother working on my final paper?
A: Yes. The odds are you will not be judged worthy of ascent to heaven, in which case your grades will still be a basis of judgment for rewards in this earthly sphere.

Q: What if my instructor is raptured?
A: None of our instructors bear much chance of being judged worthy. However, on the off chance your instructor is chosen, an army of unemployed secular Marxists is waiting to take his/her place.

Q: If my mother/father/grandfather/grandmother/favorite aunt/etc. is chosen, will I be excused from the final so that I may mourn his/her loss?
A: No. They have not died, but been granted eternal life, thus this does not count as a case of a death in the family.

Q: If my instructor is not raptured, is he really fit to judge me?
A: Yes, seeing as you were not raptured, you are still subject to the earthly judgment of the unsaved. If/when you are redeemed, a change of grade form will be automatically processed by heavenly authorities if they decide your grade was unfairly given by one of the damned.

Q: If my computer crashes and my printer breaks and there is no email on account of the rapture, will I be able to get an extension on the paper?
A: Everyone in tech and IT departments is of Satan’s party, so the internet, your computer, and your printer should continue to work the way they always have: sporadically.

Q: How will the rapture affect your curving, particularly if raptured students are exempt from final tests/papers?
A: Final grades are not curved, but students who are taken up in the rapture will be given incompletes, just in case.

Lithgow Does Gingrich's Press Release

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
John Lithgow Performs Gingrich Press Release
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Quote of the Day (5/20/11) (The Tenth Doctor Week Two)

The Doctor: People don't understand time. It's not what you think it is.
Sally: Then what is it?
The Doctor: Complicated.
Sally: Tell me.
The Doctor: Very complicated.
Sally: I'm clever, and I'm listening, and don't patronise me because people have died and I'm not happy. Tell me.
The Doctor: People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect... but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly... timey-wimey... stuff.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Image of the Day: The embarrassing moment Superman met Doctor Who

From Sci-Fi Wire.

Gingrich's Press Spokesperson's Hilarious Press Release, Illustrated

By Jon White. Tip of the hat to Andrew Sullivan.

Quote of the Day (5/19/11) (The Tenth Doctor Week Two)

Martha: He said "last of your kind." What does that mean?
The Doctor: It really doesn't matter.
Martha: You don't talk. You never say! Why not?
[The whole city starts to sing "Abide With Me"]
Martha: It's the city. They're singing.
The Doctor: I lied to you, 'cos I liked it. I could pretend, just for a bit, I could imagine they were still alive underneath that burnt orange sky. I'm not just a Time Lord, I'm the last of the Time Lords. The Face of Boe was wrong; there's no one else.
Martha: What happened?
The Doctor: There was a war. A Time War. The Last Great Time War. My people fought a race called the Daleks, for the sake of all creation. And they lost. We lost. Everyone lost. They're all gone now. My family. My friends. Even that sky. [reminiscent] Oh, you should have seen it! That old planet... The second sun would rise in the south, and the mountains would shine. The leaves on the trees were silver, when they caught the light, every morning it looked like a forest on fire. When the autumn came, a brilliant glow though the branches...
[Above Pharmacy Town, cars fly into the New New York sunset]

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Why I Despise Ben Stein

It's hard to believe I used to enjoy this guy--back in his Win Ben Stein's Money days:

This is a case about the hatred of the have-nots for the haves, and that’s what it’s all about.
--Ben Stein on the rape allegations against Dominique Strauss-Kahn

More Proof That the News Has Itself Become Satire

Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood.
--Newt Gingrich

I just hope the lamestream media won’t twist my words by repeatin’ em verbatim.
--Tiny Fey parodying Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live

Tip of the Hat to Andrew Sullivan.


They showed this on Conan Monday night when Zach Galifianakis was a guest. Zach said he went to the gym for months in preparation for this.

From Vanity Fair.

Quote of the Day (5/18/11) (The Tenth Doctor Week Two)

Martha: When you say "last time", was that you and Rose?
The Doctor: [he pauses, somewhat taken aback by the question] Um... Yeah! Yeah, it was, yeah.
Martha: [looking put off] You're taking me to the same planets that you took her?
The Doctor: [surprised, oblivious] What's wrong with that?
Martha: [disappointed, upset] Nothing! [starts to stalk away] 'Cept have you heard of the word "rebound"?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

RIP, Harmon Killebrew

Harmon Killebrew (1936-2011), one of the heroes of my childhood, has passed away.

Heard on "Hardball"

Michelle Bachman is the candidate for those who find Sarah Palin too intellectual.
--Bill Maher

A Bumper Sticker for Santorum

Courtesy of Dan Savage.

Quote of the Day (5/17/11) (The Tenth Doctor Week Two)

The Doctor: Come on! We can all have a good flirt later!
William Shakespeare: Is that a promise, Doctor?
The Doctor: Oooh, 57 academics just punched the air!
--“The Shakespeare Code”

Monday, May 16, 2011

Not Sarah Palin

Remember that preposterous Atlantic article last week by Josh Green ("The Tragedy of Sarah Palin"), the one with the laughable Palin likeness (above), arguing that she was a good candidate led astray by national Republican politics?

Well Mudflats has the last word (a brilliant refutation in a few words):

The real question he’s asking is – What could Palin have achieved if she had a different personality, if she were not a political opportunist and had actual integrity, if she were qualified, if she knew her stuff, if she were an effective leader, if she knew how to manage people, if she were intellectually curious, if she didn’t quit? The question Green asks is really what Sarah Palin might have achieved if she hadn’t been Sarah Palin. And it’s why “What went wrong?” is a false question. “What went wrong” was Palin being who she is – consistently and predictably opportunistic.

Tip of the hat to Andrew Sullivan.
The Onion reports:

Vatican Blames Man-Made Emissions For Global Warming

May 16, 2011 | ISSUE 47•20
A scientific panel convened by the Vatican called upon people to work to reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses to slow global climate change. What do you think?

Comment from the ever-reliable Aiden Theart, Systems Analyst:

If the Church can go from forgiving Galileo to accepting global warming in 11 years, I figure they’re on track to admit God doesn’t exist by 2015.

Quote of the Day (5/16/11) (The Tenth Doctor Week Two)

[After travelling to 1599]
Martha: But are we safe? Can we move around and stuff?
The Doctor: Of course we can. Why do you ask?
Martha: It's like in the films! You step on a butterfly, you change the future of the human race!
The Doctor: [Bemused] I'll tell you what then, don't... step on any butterflies. What have butterflies ever done to you?
Martha: What if... I dunno! What if I kill my grandfather?!
The Doctor: Are you planning to?
Martha: No.
The Doctor: Well, then.
--“The Shakespeare Code”

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Newt Gingrich and "the food stamp president"

Newt Gingrich and "the food stamp president"

"Thor's" Science

According to Adam Frank, it's of genuine value.

Malick's Offspring

Matt Stoller Seitz charts (in a slide show) the cine-children of Terence Malick.

Quote of the Day (5/15/11) (The Tenth Doctor Week Two)

[The Doctor appears in a translucent form]
Rose: Where are you?
The Doctor: Inside the TARDIS. There's one tiny little gap in the universe left, just about to close. And it takes a lot of power to send this projection— I'm in orbit around a supernova. [smiling weakly] I'm burning up a sun just to say goodbye.
Rose: You look like a ghost.
The Doctor: Hold on— [zaps sonic screwdriver at something out of set and solidifies]
Rose: Can I t— [holds out her hand to his face]
The Doctor: I'm still just an image, no touch.
Rose: Can't you come through properly?
The Doctor: The whole thing would fracture. The two universes would collapse.
Rose: So? [both laugh shakily]
The Doctor: Where are we? Where did the gap come out?
Rose: We're in Norway.
The Doctor: Norway, right.
Rose: About fifty miles out of Bergen. It's called "Dålig Ulv Stranden".
The Doctor: "Dalek"?
Rose: "Dålig". It's Norwegian for bad. This translates as "Bad Wolf Bay". How long have we got?
The Doctor: About two minutes.
Rose: I can't think of what to say.
[The Doctor smiles, then glances over at Jackie, Pete, and Mickey who are waiting by the jeep]
The Doctor: You still got Mr. Mickey, then?
Rose: Oh there's five of us now. Mum, Dad, Mickey... and the baby.
The Doctor: [shocked smile] You're not—?
Rose: No. It's Mum. She's three months gone. More Tylers on the way.
The Doctor: And what about you? Are you—?
Rose: Yeah, I'm... I'm back working in the shop.
The Doctor: Oh, good for you.
Rose: Shut up. No, I'm not. Torchwood on this earth's open for business. Think I know a thing or two about aliens.
The Doctor: [smiles] Rose Tyler, defender of the Earth... You're dead—officially—back home. So many people died that day and you've gone missing. You're on the list of the dead. [pause] Here you are, living your life day after day. The one adventure I can never have.
Rose: Am I ever going to see you again?
The Doctor: You can't.
Rose: What are you going to do?
The Doctor: Back to the TARDIS. Same old life.
Rose: On your own?
The Doctor: Yes.
Rose: I— ...I love you.
The Doctor: Quite right too. [pause] And I suppose, if it's my last chance to say it: Rose Tyler...
[The transmission cuts, and the Doctor fades away from Rose. He stands in the TARDIS, with his mouth open mid-syllable, a tear streaming down his face. He regains his composure, while Rose runs crying into her mother's arms. Back in the TARDIS, the Doctor is slowly walking around the control pannel, flipping switches and pressing buttons as he goes along. The Doctor looks up and sees a woman in a white wedding gown standing with her back to him.]
The Doctor: What?
[The woman turns around]

Saturday, May 14, 2011

"Straw Dogs"

They have remade Straw Dogs. Coming in September.

Online Only Essays from "The Essential Sopranos Reader"

Just finished the index for The Essential Sopranos Reader, due out in June.

We were not able to include in the print volume all the good essays submitted and decided to make some available on the book's website. Have a look at the online only essays here.

Quote of the Day (5/14/11) (The Tenth Doctor Who Week)

The Doctor: [about Rose] I've seen fake gods and bad gods and demi gods and would-be gods; out of all that, out of that whole pantheon, if I believe in one thing... just one thing... I believe in her.
--"The Satan Pit"

Friday, May 13, 2011

New Telegenic

My new Telegenic is now available.

Another Proud Day for Tennessee

Now fellow Tennesseans are importing Islamophobes.

Newt as a Thinker

I have heard it again and again. Newt Gingrich is a deep thinker (though not an astute politician).

No. No. No. He is not a deep thinker. I would not call what he does thinking at all. He is a reactionary dither head, nasty, brutish, short. Detestable in every way.

Yes, he was a college professor once, but a colleague who was on the same faculty with Newt last century tells me he was denied tenure--at a junior college in Georgia.

A real braintrust? Give me a break.

Quote of the Day (5/13/11) (The Tenth Doctor Who Week)

Sarah: It's daft, but I haven't ever thanked you for that time, and like I said, I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
The Doctor: Something to tell the grandkids.
Sarah: Oh, I think it'll be someone else's grandkids now.
The Doctor: [awkwardly] Right. Yes, sorry... I didn't get a chance to ask. You haven't... there hasn't been anyone... ? You know...?
Sarah: Well... there was this one guy. I travelled with him for a while. But he was a tough act to follow. [Sarah and the Doctor laugh softly] Goodbye, Doctor.
The Doctor: Oh, it's not goodbye—
Sarah: Say it, please. This time. Say it.
The Doctor: Goodbye... my Sarah Jane!
--"School Reunion"

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Quote of the Day (5/12/11) (The Tenth Doctor Who Week)

Rose: I thought you and me were— Well, I obviously got it wrong. I've been to the year 5 billion, right, but this... Now, this is really seeing the future. You just leave us behind. Is that what you're gonna do to me?
The Doctor: No. Not to you.
Rose: But Sarah Jane. You were that close to her once, and now you never even mention her. Why not?
The Doctor: I don't age. I regenerate. But humans decay; you wither and you die. Imagine watching that happen to someone that you— [The Doctor breaks off]
Rose: What, Doctor?
The Doctor: You can spend the rest of your life with me, but I can't spend the rest of mine with you. I have to live on. Alone. That's the curse of the Time Lords.
--"School Reunion"

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Seal of Approval

Bind us in time, O Seasons clear, and awe.
O minstrel galleons of Carib fire,
Bequeath us to no earthly shore until
Is answered in the vortex of our grave
The seal's wide spindrift gaze toward paradise.
--Hart Crane, "Voyages" (II)

Addy, Her Dad, Louie

The Newt's Campaign Slogan: A Suggestion

--Alex Knapp

Quote of the Day (5/11/11) (The Tenth Doctor Who Week)

The Doctor: And, I'll tell you something else - we just met Queen Victoria!
Rose: Oh I know! She was just sitting there.
The Doctor: Like a stamp!
Rose: I wanted to say [imitating Queen Victoria] "we are not amused". Bet you five quid I can make her say it.
The Doctor: Well if I gambled on that, it'd be an abuse of my privilege as a traveler in time.
Rose: Ten quid?
The Doctor: Done.
--"Tooth and Claw"

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Huckabee's Insanity

Andrew Sullivan brings us up to date.

"The Event's" Nonevent

Joshua Alston's brilliant explanation (Onion TV Club) for what it's like to actually watch this terrible disaster of a series:

It’s clear by now we’ll never actually know what the titular event was supposed to be. The writers have made it plain that they hadn’t figured out what the event was when they started, and then after having written and shot a bunch of different things happening, decided they couldn’t pick which one it was supposed to be. And in a way, it’s all of our faults for being so disappointed by this show. Let’s say a guy calls his wife at work and says “Hey sweetie, don’t make any plans tonight, I’ve got a huge surprise.” And she gets home, and he got her cupcakes from her favorite bakery, and she’s like “Aw, so sweet! Now what’s this surprise you’ve got for me? I’ve been puzzling over it all day.” Well he’s going to feel like crap. That’s how we made the writers of The Event feel. If you have to ask what the event is, then obviously it didn’t mean as much to you as it meant to them, sniffle sniffle.

Quote of the Day (5/10/11) (The Tenth Doctor Who Week)

The Doctor: You were supposed to be dying.
The Face of Boe: There are better things to do today. Dying can wait.
Cassandra: Oh I hate telepathy. Just what I need; a headful of Big Face! [the Doctor shushes her]
The Face of Boe: I had grown tired with the universe, Doctor, but you have taught me to look at it anew.
The Doctor: There are legends, you know, saying that you're millions of years old.
The Face of Boe: [chortles] Well now, that would be impossible!
The Doctor: Wouldn't it, just? I got the impression there was something you wanted to tell me.
The Face of Boe: A great secret...
The Doctor: So the legend says...
The Face of Boe: It can wait.
The Doctor: [disappointed] Oh, does it have to!?
The Face of Boe: We shall meet again, Doctor. For the third time, for the last time, and the truth shall be told. Until that day...
[The Face of Boe teleports away]
The Doctor: That is enigmatic. That is text-book enigmatic.
--"New Earth"

Monday, May 09, 2011

Will and Quentin

So Will Smith might be in Quentin Taranthttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifino's new Southern?


Watching the Jeff Bridges/Jessica Lange King Kong on Cinemax.

What a piece of crap. Perhaps the worst special effects ever in a major motion picture. Ever.

Quote of the Day (5/9/11) (The Tenth Doctor Who Week)

The Doctor: So the year five billion, the Sun expands, the Earth gets roasted.
Rose: That was our first date.
The Doctor: We had chips. [Rose chuckles] So anyway, planet gone. All rocks and dust, but the human race lives on spread out across the stars. Soon as the Earth burns up, ooh, they get all nostalgic, big revival movement. They find this place. Same size as the Earth. Same air, same orbit. Lovely. The call goes out, the humans move in.
Rose: What's the city called?
The Doctor: New New York.
Rose: Oh, come on.
The Doctor: It is! It's the city of New New York! Strictly speaking, it's the fifteenth New York since the original, so that makes it New-New-New-New-New-New-New-New-New-New-New-New-New-New-New New York. [Rose laughs] What?
Rose: You're so different.
The Doctor: New-New Doctor.
--"New Earth"

Sunday, May 08, 2011

The Mysterious Cube at the End of "Thor"

Entertainment Weekly explains.

Will this play a major role in Whedon's Avengers?

Go here to read all about the Cosmic Cube on the Marvel Wiki.

Dead Studies

As the "father of Buffy Studies," this article in The Atlantic on the growing, interdisciplinary field of Grateful Dead Studies caught my eye.

Movies I Have Seen Recently (Since February 12, 2011)

American Experience: Stonewall Uprising
Black Swan
Easy A
Empires: The Medici
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Get Low
Going the Distance
High Art
I Love You Phillip Morris
Inside Job
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
Jonah Hex
Knight and Day
Laurel Canyon
Le Samourai
Legend of the Guardians
Let It Rain
Let Me In
Never Let Me Go
Nowhere Boy
Rabbit Hole
Tales from the Script
The American
The Atomic Cafe
The Expendables
The Fighter
The Joneses
The Last Exorcism
The Tourist
The Town
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
You Again
You Don't Know Jack

"The Curse of the Black Spot"

Last night's Who was, if you ask me, the series at its worst.

This episode set on a pirate ship made me go "Arrr!"

Quote of the Day (5/8/11) (The Tenth Doctor Who Week)

The Doctor: Don't challenge me, Harriet Jones! 'Cause I'm a completely new man! I could bring down your government with a single word.
Harriet Jones: You're the most remarkable man I've ever met. But I don't think you're quite capable of that.
The Doctor: No, you're right. Not a single word. Just six.
--"The Christmas Invasion"

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Heard on "Whada 'Ya Know?"

Joyce took me to the live taping of Whada 'Ya Know? this morning in Nashville.

A lot of fun and great music (Rodney Crowell, Allison Brown).

My favorite line:

Tennessee has passed a new law requiring a nine month waiting period for abortions.

Quote of the Day (5/7/11) (The Ninth Doctor Who Week)

The Doctor: I absorbed all the energy of the time vortex, and no one's meant to do that... [looks up at her] Every cell in my body's dying.
Rose: Isn't there something you can do?
The Doctor: Yeah. Doing it now. See, Time Lords have this little trick, it's sort of a way of cheating death. Except... it means I'm going to change. And you're not going to see me again... Not like this. Not with this daft old face. And before I go—
Rose: Don't say that!
The Doctor: Rose... before I go, I just want to tell you: you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And do you know what? [Pause] So was I!
--“The Parting of the Ways”

Friday, May 06, 2011

"The Man Who Would Be King"

Tonight's Supernatural, written and directed by Ben Edlund.

A first.

Somebody's Going to Die on "Fringe"

And now we know, 3/4 of the way through. It's Olivia, Shot in the head by Walternate.

OMG. Killing the main character in a show that's been renewed . . . Whedon killed Buffy at the time of BtVS's move to UPN. Fringe, of course, has a spare Dunham, Fauxlivia, on Earth 2. Will she now become Ourlivia?

Fifteen minutes later . . . Or not.

"Thor" is Terrific

Just saw it and liked it very much. Who knew Branagh could do superheroes?

I pretty much entirely agree with Paul Greenwood's review.

Ensley Guffey dissents.

Onion Soldiers

The rebel and onion armies showed grose negligence by having many of their battles right inside national parks, like Gettysburg.
--from the Shit My Students Write Website

Quote of the Day (5/6/11) (The Ninth Doctor Who Week)

The Doctor: [as a hologram] This is Emergency Programme One. Rose, now listen; this is important. If this message is activated, then it can only mean one thing. We must be in danger, and I mean fatal. I'm dead, or about to die any second with no chance of escape. And that's okay. Hope it's a good death. But I promised to look after you, and that's what I'm doing. The TARDIS is taking you home. [Rose protests] And I bet you're fussing and moaning now - typical! But hold on and just listen a bit more. The TARDIS can never return for me. Emergency Programme One means I'm facing an enemy that should never get their hands on this machine. So this is what you should do: let the TARDIS die. Just let this old box gather dust. No one can open it; no one will even notice it. Let it become a strange little thing standing on a street corner. And over the years, the world will move on and the box will be buried. And if you wanna remember me, then you can do one thing, that's all, one thing. [turns to Rose, his voice no longer sounding projected] Have a good life. Do that for me, Rose. Have a fantastic life.
--“The Parting of the Ways”

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Mags Bennett's Last Words (on "Justified")

Put an end to my troubles. Get to see my boys again. Get to know the mystery.

Quote of the Day (5/5/11) (The Ninth Doctor Who Week)

The Doctor: 1941. Right now, not very far from here, the German war machine is rolling up the map of Europe. Country after country, falling like dominoes. Nothing can stop it, nothing. Until one tiny, damp little island says "No. No, not here." A mouse in front of a lion. You're amazing, the lot of you. I don't know what you did to Hitler, but you frighten the hell out of me, go on, do what you've got to do, save the world.
--“The Stolen Child”

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Quote of the Day (5/4/11) (The Ninth Doctor Who Week)

Rose: What's the emergency?
The Doctor: It's mauve!
Rose: Mauve?
The Doctor: Universally recognized color for danger.
Rose: What happened to red?
The Doctor: Oh, that's just humans. By everyone else's standards, red's camp. Oh, those misunderstandings—all those Red Alerts, all that dancing.
--“The Stolen Child”

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Boba does Badalamenti

Heard on "The Colbert Report"

I'm as happy as a school girl who just shot Bin Laden in the eye. In the eye. There won't be any 3D movies in hell for you, Bin Laden, which I'm pretty sure would have been The Last Airbender.

Seth Meyers rocked at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, but this weekend President Obama really killed.

And then after showing Obama laughing very hard at Meyers's joke about Osama Bin Laden hosting a show on C-Span--

--Stephen, laughing uncontrollably himself, told us what POTUS was thinkning:

It's funny because I'm about to kill him.


From The Onion.

Quote of the Day (5/3/11) (The Ninth Doctor Who Week)

Harriet Jones: When they fart, if you'll pardon the word, it doesn't smell like a fart, pardon the word, it's like something else. What is it? It's more like um...
Rose: Bad breath!
Harriet Jones: That's it!
The Doctor: Calcium decay! Now that narrows it down! Calcium phosphate. Organic calcium—living calcium—creatures made out of living calcium, what else? What else? Hyphenated surname! YES! That narrows it down to one planet: Raxacoricofallapatorius!
“Aliens of London”

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Ding Dong, Bin Laden's Dead

Obama announcing it as I write. Killed in Pakistan by US forces. We have the body.

No Things Considered

‎I know you were a little tense when the GOP tried to cut [NPR] funding. But personally, I was looking forward to new programming, like No Things Considered.
--Obama at the White House Correspondents' Dinner

Obama Roasts Trump

Lloyd Grove's fine account of the End of Trump (or so we hope).

Remember when Colbert skewered Bush at this event? Seth Meyers did not spare Obama, but Obama and Meyers together eviscerated the Donald.

Obama Roasts Trump

"Mad Men" Fix

An interview with Mad Men's Rich Sommer(Harry Crane).

We will need such to get us through a summer without MM.

Seth Meyers's Hilarious WHCD Remarks

And that "mother fucker" Trump called him a "stutterer." Classy.

Quote of the Day (5/1/11) (The Ninth Doctor Who Week)

The Doctor: Do you wanna come with me? 'Cause if you do then I should warn you, you're gonna see all sorts of things. Ghosts from the past. Aliens from the future. The day the Earth died in a ball of flame. It won't be quiet, it won't be safe, and it won't be calm. But I'll tell you what it will be: The trip of a lifetime!
--The Ninth Doctor