Thursday, June 30, 2011

Quote of the Day (6/30/11) (Dorothy Parker Week)

If I didn't care for fun and such,
I'd probably amount to much.
But I shall stay the way I am,
Because I do not give a damn.
--Dorothy Parker

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

Quote of the Day (6/27/11) (Dorothy Parker Week)

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.
--Dorothy Parker

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Quote of the Day (6/26/11) (Diane Arbus Week)

I have this funny thing which is that I'm never afraid when I'm looking in the ground glass. This person could be approaching with a gun or something like that and I'd have my eyes glued to the finder and it wasn't like I was really vulnerable. It just seemed terrific what was happening. I mean I'm sure there are limits. God knows, when the troops start advancing on me, you do approach that stricken feeling where you perfectly well can get killed.
--Diane Arbus

Saturday, June 25, 2011

47 Reasons to Celebrate the Existence of Joss Whedon

BuddyTV counts the ways in honor of Whedon's birthday (June 23) this week.

No 45 is The Whedon Studies Association, which Rhonda Wilcox, Tanya Cochran, and I founded.

Quote of the Day (6/25/11) (Diane Arbus Week)

Nothing is ever the same as they said it was. It's what I've never seen before that I recognize.
--Dianne Arbus

Friday, June 24, 2011

Peter Falk


Salon remembers the actor, who just passed away.

Quote of the Day (6/24/11) (Diane Arbus Week)

I always thought of photography as a naughty thing to do - that was one of my favorite things about it, and when I first did it, I felt very perverse.
--Diane Arbus

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Quote of the Day (6/23/11) (Diane Arbus Week)

I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn't photograph them.
--Diane Arbus

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Quote of the Day (6/22/11) (Diane Arbus Week)

Most people go through life dreading they'll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They've already passed their test in life. They're aristocrats.
--Diane Arbus

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Television and the Subconscious

My friend Allison Graham once suggested that where human beings of earlier eras might have had a subconscious, we only have old television shows.

I stumbled upon this 2005 Onion story that would seem to support her hypothesis. [Read it here.]

Quote of the Day (6/21/11) (Diane Arbus Week)

You see someone on the street, and essentially what you notice about them is the flaw.
--Diane Arbus

Monday, June 20, 2011

Quote of the Day (6/20/11) (Diane Arbus Week)

Freaks was a thing I photographed a lot. It was one of the first things I photographed and it had a terrific kind of excitement for me. I just used to adore them. I still do adore some of them. I don't quite mean they're my best friends but they made me feel a mixture of shame and awe.
--Diane Arbus

Sunday, June 19, 2011

"Falling Skies"

I thought the first two hours were excellent. I'm hooked.

Borowitz on Rick Perry

Urban Spin-off Legends


Decide that a current show is a spin-off of another show (the older the initial show the better), even if it isn't. Start an urban myth that it is.
--Jeff Alexander, A TV Guide to Life

RIP, Clarence Clemons

How sad.

"How 'Game of Thrones' slew all comers"

Matt Zoller Seitz praises Games of Thrones.

Quote of the Day (6/19/11) (Flannery O'Connor Week)

I don't think literature would be possible in a determined world. We might go through the motions but the heart would be out of it. Nobody could then 'smile darkly and ignore the howls.' Even if there were no Church to teach me this, writing two novels would do it. I think the more you write, the less inclined you will be to rely on theories like determinism. Mystery isn't something that is gradually evaporating. It grows along with knowledge.
— Flannery O'Connor, The Habit of Being

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Romney

Watching Mitt gaff away while trying to be a regular guy, I immediately thought of two aphorisms:

We are judged by the sincerity with which we live up to our masks.
Frederick Turner, "Garden Aphorisms"


Sincerity is the main thing, and once you learn to fake that you have the battle half won.
Attributed to Samuel Goldwyn

Tennesseans

Joyce Balloons Over Kenya

More of Joyce's Kenya Photos





Joyce Goes to Kenya

Here are some of my favorite photos from my wife's trip to Kenya. (See also the next post.)





Leslie Nielsen'sTombstone



Tip-of-the-Hat to the Onion AV Club

Christian Right Horror

Stephen Colbert has "The Word" on a new Christian horror film about abortion.

J J and Jon

A fun interview with JJ Abrams about Super 8.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
J.J. Abrams
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Dear Photograph

A whole site that captures these kind of photos: photographs within photographs.

Quote of the Day (6/16/11) (Flannery O'Connor Week)

"She would of been a good woman," said The Misfit, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."
— Flannery O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find"

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Conan

From a commencement speech at Dartmouth he recently gave. Great stuff. (Watch below.)

In 2000, I told graduates "Don't be afraid to fail." Well now I'm here to tell you that, though you should not fear failure, you should do your very best to avoid it. Nietzsche famously said "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger." But what he failed to stress is that it almost kills you. Disappointment stings and, for driven, successful people like yourselves it is disorienting. What Nietzsche should have said is "Whatever doesn't kill you, makes you watch a lot of Cartoon Network and drink mid-price Chardonnay at 11 in the morning." ...

But then something spectacular happened.

Fogbound, with no compass, and adrift, I started trying things. I grew a strange, cinnamon beard. I dove into the world of social media. I started tweeting my comedy. I threw together a national tour. I played the guitar. I did stand-up, wore a skin-tight blue leather suit, recorded an album, made a documentary, and frightened my friends and family. Ultimately, I abandoned all preconceived perceptions of my career path and stature and took a job on basic cable with a network most famous for showing reruns, along with sitcoms created by a tall, black man who dresses like an old, black woman. I did a lot of silly, unconventional, spontaneous and seemingly irrational things and guess what: with the exception of the blue leather suit, it was the most satisfying and fascinating year of my professional life. To this day I still don't understand exactly what happened, but I have never had more fun, been more challenged—and this is important—had more conviction about what I was doing.


Quote of the Day (6/15/11) (Flannery O'Connor Week)

I don't deserve any credit for turning the other cheek as my tongue is always in it.
— Flannery O'Connor

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

According to Andy Borowitz . . . .

While Gov. Palin is not yet an official candidate, she told reporters today, “If I do decide to run, I’m gonna come ridin’ in like Paul Revere at the Alamo."

23 Most Important TV Deaths

A terrific EW slide show.

Don't necessarily agree with the order, but it's a substantial list.

Quote of the Day (6/14/11) (Flannery O'Connor Week)

Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. There's many a best-seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.
— Flannery O'Connor

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bloom on Barfield

An interview with Harold Bloom.

At about the 52 minute mark Bloom speaks of Owen Barfield's powerful influence.

Tip of the hat to Ryan Brosche.

Quote of the Day (6/13/11) (Flannery O'Connor Week)

The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.
— Flannery O'Connor

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Quote of the Day (6/12/11) (James Thurber Week)

You might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too far backward.
--"The Bear Who Let It Alone", The New Yorker (29 April 1939); Fables for Our Time & Famous Poems Illustrated (1940)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Returning TV

The shows below have been renewed for the 2011-2012 Season. The ones in bold are the I will be watching.

· 20/20
· AMERICA'S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS
· BACHELOR, THE
· BODY OF PROOF
· CASTLE
· COUGAR TOWN
· DANCING WITH THE STARS
· DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
· EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION
· GREY'S ANATOMY
· HAPPY ENDINGS
· MIDDLE, THE
· MODERN FAMILY
· PRIVATE PRACTICE
· SATURDAY NIGHT COLLEGE FOOTBALL
· SECRET MILLIONAIRE
· SHARK TANK
· WIFE SWAP (6)
· 48 HOURS MYSTERY
· 60 MINUTES
· AMAZING RACE, THE
· BIG BANG THEORY, THE
· BLUE BLOODS
· CRIMINAL MINDS
· CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION
· CSI: MIAMI
· CSI: NEW YORK
· GOOD WIFE, THE
· HAWAII FIVE-0
· HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
· MENTALIST, THE
· MIKE & MOLLY
· NCIS
· NCIS: LOS ANGELES
· RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
· SURVIVOR
· TWO AND A HALF MEN
· UNDERCOVER BOSS
· 90210
· AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL
· GOSSIP GIRL
· NIKITA
· ONE TREE HILL (13)
· SUPERNATURAL
· VAMPIRE DIARIES, THE
· AMERICAN DAD
· AMERICAN IDOL
· AMERICA'S MOST WANTED: AMERICA STRIKES BACK (2)
· BOB'S BURGERS (13)
· BONES
· CLEVELAND SHOW, THE
· COPS (2)
· FAMILY GUY
· FRINGE (22)
· GLEE
· HOUSE
· KITCHEN NIGHTMARES
· MOBBED (8)
· RAISING HOPE
· SIMPSONS, THE
· 30 ROCK
· APPRENTICE, THE
· BIGGEST LOSER, THE
· CHUCK (13)
· COMMUNITY
· DATELINE NBC
· FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA (17)
· HARRY'S LAW
· LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT
· OFFICE, THE
· PARENTHOOD
· PARKS & RECREATION
· SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
· SING-OFF, THE
· SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (18)
· VOICE, THE (5)
· WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

Quote of the Day (6/11/11) (James Thurber Week)

There is no safety in numbers, or in anything else.
--"The Fairly Intelligent Fly", The New Yorker (4 February 1939); Fables for Our Time & Famous Poems Illustrated (1940)

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Intellectual Property and the "Creatocracy"

I found this interview with Elizabeth Wurtzel on Studio 360 fascinating. In a forthcoming book, Wurtzel argues that America's copyright laws are a major seed crystal of our nation's creativity.



Zoidberg


Saw an ad for the return of Futurama on Comedy Central.

We see Dr. Zoidberg (my favorite Futurama character) in full-on mad scientist mode saying

Now who's getting his pineal gland extracted!


This cracked me up. Not entirely sure why.

Quote of the Day (6/9/11) (James Thurber Week)

Don't get it right, just get it written.
--"The Sheep in Wolf's Clothing", The New Yorker (29 April 1939); Fables for Our Time & Famous Poems Illustrated (1940).

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Quote of the Day (6/7/11) (James Thurber Week)

ll men kill the thing they hate, too, unless, of course, it kills them first.
--"The Crow and the Scarecrow", The New Yorker (date unknown); Further Fables for Our Time (1956).

Monday, June 06, 2011

Quote of the Day (6/6/11) (James Thurber Week)

A word to the wise is not sufficient if it doesn't make any sense.
--"The Weaver and the Worm", The New Yorker (date unknown); Further Fables for Our Time (1956)

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Quote of the Day (6/5/11) (James Thurber Week)

The only rules comedy can tolerate are those of taste, and the only limitations those of libel.
--"The Duchess and the Bugs", 'Lanterns & Lances (1961). The piece was "a response" to an award Thurber received from the Ohioana Library Association in 1953.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Shaquille O'Neal

I have always found Shaq funny, and his retirement humor did not disappoint.

His final nickname:

The Big AARP.


Asked what he would miss most:

The free throws.

Showrunner Colloquy

Hollywood Reporter has a video of several TV showrunners--Mike Royce, Jason Katims, Graham Yost, Frank Darabont, John Wells, Kurt Sutter, Terence Winter--in conversation.

Quote of the Day (6/4/11) (The Eleventh Doctor Week)

The Doctor: Uh, Amy, this is, well, she's my TARDIS. Except she's a woman. She's a woman and she's the TARDIS.
Amy: She's the TARDIS?
The Doctor: And she's a woman. She's a woman and she's the TARDIS.
Amy: Did you wish really hard?
The Doctor: Shut up, not like that.
Idris: Hello. I'm... Sexy.
The Doctor: Oh, still shut up.
--“The Doctor’s Wife”

Friday, June 03, 2011

Why Fox Left the "Transformers" Franchise

So Ms. Fox could not abide Michael Bay anhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifymore? Who can?

Quote of the Day (6/3/11) (The Eleventh Doctor Week)

Idris: You ever wonder why I chose you all those years ago?
The Doctor: I chose you. You were unlocked.
Idris: Of course I was. I wanted to see the universe so I stole a Time Lord and I ran away. And you were the only one mad enough
--“The Doctor’s Wife"

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Dated TV

Noel Murray and Todd VanDerWerff engage in a terrific and illuminating discussion of what makes a television show dated.

What's Wrong with Cable

Alyssa Rosenberg is absolutely right: "Cable is a Bad Value for the Money."

Whedon in "Thor"

So Whedon directed that final scene in Thor (the one after the closing credits)?

"'The Good Wife' has proven itself a worthy successor to The Wire"

Just finished the excellent second season of The Good Wife.

As usual, Todd VanDerWerff nails it in a retrospective look at the series so far on Onion TV Club.

"The Darrin Effect"

Onion AV Club has an interesting piece on "20 jarring cases of recast roles." Worth a look.

Bike vs. Car



Tip of the hat to Andrew Sullivan.

Quote of the Day (6/2/11) (The Eleventh Doctor Week)

The Doctor: Shout if you get into trouble.
River Song: Don't worry, I'm quite the screamer. [Beat] Now there's a spoiler for you.
--“The Impossible Astronaut”