Archive for December, 2010

Christopher Walken in Space

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Today’s random New Year’s Eve image stolen from Fark:

Happy New Year!

Blogroll Updates

Friday, December 31st, 2010

I’ve been doing a little blog-roll updating, and I’ve finally got around to adding the blogs of some other writers. (The Wheels of Futuramen may grind slow, but they grand exceedingly, well, slow. Glacial, even.) These are writers who are personal friends I know and like, who are excellent writers, who write interesting blogs, or all of the above. So I’ve gone ahead and added links to the blogs of:

No doubt I’ll be adding more as time permits.

One Wax Dummy Not Enough for Lady Gaga

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Madame Tussards had to unveil eight different wax figures of her for their various museums around the world. I guess that was necessary when your subject changes costumes faster than most people change their air filters.

I don’t think I’ve seen this Gaga outfit before:

That’s actually a pretty attractive look for her…right up until you get to the signature Lady Gaga hat. And then it looks like it should be worn by a character from Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.

Recent First Edition Acquisition: George Orwell’s 1984

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

You might have noticed that I buy a few books. I’m trying to assemble a library of every important (IMHO) science fiction book ever published in first edition hardback (plus selected fantasy and horror titles to boot), but I’m also doing it on the budget of someone who is not made of money. With one exception (a pre-publication Stephen King ultralimited), I’ve never paid more than $400 for any given book. But recently I had to break that rule to buy a copy of not just one of the most important science fiction novels of the 20th century, but one of the most important books ever published: The true Secker & Warburg first edition hardback of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, in an imperfect (but unclipped and almost entirely intact) dust jacket. I bought it from a noted science fiction book dealer for $500 (discounted down from considerably more).

Here are a two scans of the book:

Flaws include slight spine lean, hint of fading to spine panel at top and bottom edges, else fine in a good-only example of the green dust jacket (the other, and generally more desirable cover variant is red, but there’s no priority between the two), with blind-side masking tape reinforcements along portions of top and bottom edges, with show through, most noticeably along top edges of rear panel and flaps and lower edge of rear panel, and shelf wear at head and heel of spine panel, corner tips and along front flap fold.

It’s hard (but obviously not impossible) to find a decent true first of Nineteen Eighty-Four in dust jacket for under a grand.

Now to save up my pennies for a copy of H. P. Lovecraft’s The Outsider and Others

National Film Registry Adds 25 More Films

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

The National Film Registry has announced this year’s selection of 25 important films worthy of preservation, and there are a lot of gems on the list:

  1. Airplane! (1980)
  2. All the President’s Men (1976)
  3. The Bargain (1914)
  4. Cry of Jazz (1959)
  5. Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB (1967)
  6. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  7. The Exorcist (1973)
  8. The Front Page (1931)
  9. Grey Gardens (1976)
  10. I Am Joaquin (1969)
  11. It’s a Gift (1934)
  12. Let There Be Light (1946)
  13. Lonesome (1928)
  14. Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)
  15. Malcolm X (1992)
  16. McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971)
  17. Newark Athlete (1891)
  18. Our Lady of the Sphere (1969)
  19. The Pink Panther (1964)
  20. Preservation of the Sign Language (1913)
  21. Saturday Night Fever (1977)
  22. Study of a River (1996)
  23. Tarantella (1940)
  24. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)
  25. A Trip Down Market Street (1906)

Airplane!, The Exorcist, The Empire Strikes Back and The Pink Panther are all great films, arguably among the top 100 ever made. I believe it was K. W. Jeter who said that the student version of THX 1138 was much better than the theatrical release, so I’ve always been curious to see that. Strangely enough, I’m also curious about Saturday Night Fever, despite my loathing of disco, as many critics (the late Gene Siskel among them) consider it one of the great films of the 1970s, and National Review‘s John Derbyshire says it’s one of the best films about blue collar American life ever made. I also remember Dwight being impressed with Malcolm X, despite not having seen Malcolm I–IX.

Of course, a lot of these are notable only for being early examples of the form rather than gripping cinema, such as Newark Athlete:

Or A Trip Down Market Street:

Let There Be Light is John Huston’s pioneering documentary on the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following World War II:

And Our Lady of the Sphere is sort of like Terry Gilliam’s work on Monty Python, but not as interesting:

Then again, it was made in San Francisco in 1969, so there’s nothing about it that can’t be explained by the phrase “Dude, I was so high…”

They TRIED to Kill Him With a FORKLIFT!

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Burglers break into a store with a forklift on Christmas Day to steal beer.

But honestly, I’m only linking to this story for two reasons: For the MST3K reference in the blog post title, and to include the pure awesomeness that is Forklift Driver Klaus. (Note: Don’t watch if you’re easily offended by completely over-the-top gore and violence. Skip the first minute if you don’t understand German; the rest is pretty much self-explanatory.)

(Hat tip: Fark.)

Harlan Ellison vs. Hitler

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Just when you thought it was safe to surf the Internet, it’s another Downfall parody. (Not safe for work.) At least the creator did a bit more editing than usual. (Blame Mike. He sent it to me.)

I can only imagine Ellison’s reaction: “Ray Bradbury gets hot young women that want to screw him, and I get Hitler? What the hell is wrong with the Internet?”

Icy Hill Follies: 2010 Edition

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Consider this your yearly warning not to try driving your car on icy hills. Unless you like playing a really expensive and dangerous version of bumper-cars…

Note: Not my videos, so I’m not responsible for musical choices, commentary, etc.

Bonus: City bus.

You might really want to consider slowing down in this weather. I said slow down! Never mind…

I’m not sure if “bailing out” is the right move here.

I’m pretty sure it’s not the optimal solution here:

Meanwhile, in Russia…

How about staying home and reading a nice book instead?

In Honor of Boxing Day…

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

Here’s Warren Zevon with “Boom Boom Mancini.”

What do you mean I’m doing it wrong?

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous Tasteless Drug Lords

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

You may remember this post I did on the tasteless opulence of Latin American drug lords.

Well, gold-plated automatics are one thing, but a giant painted mural of Justin Bieber is quite another. Brazilian drug lord Pezao, step up and claim your prize as Most Tasteless Drug Lord for 2010.

(Hat tip: Dwight.)

And on that note, Merry Christmas to one and all!