The Torture Never Stops
Negativeland - The Bottom Line (mp3)
Dead Kennedys - Bleed For Me (mp3)
A Jack Off All Trades
DVD reviews: Jigoku and Ultraman! And, of course, The Big Screen.
NPR story on Toynbee Tiles.
Alfie Kohn has written a book called The Homework Myth, making the case that children are assigned too much homework in school, and that most homework is bullshit anyway. Larry Mantle has an excellent interview up with Kohn. Also check Larry's interview with Arthur Frank Wertheim, author of The Vaudeville Wars.
TACO checks out my favorite restaurant, La Parilla (I go to the more-convenient-to-me Silverlake location). Also, a new food blog: Colorado Chow, which focuses on food along Colorado Blvd., the main strip that runs through Glendale, Pasadena and Eagle Rock (ie, my "hood").
Another great L.A. anthem: Trip City USA!
Christianist Propaganda Posters (give it a minute to load).
Hey, it's National Banned Books Week. Apparantly, a Where's Waldo? book has been challenged due to a beach picture that shows a woman in a bikini (so said the AOL quiz yesterday). Here's the list of this year's most challenged books, including the ever-controversial Captain Underpants (for "anti-family content").
Here's another gem from the archives. This is, let's see, I'd estimate this is summer of 1989. Dan was working as a lifeguard at a second-rate waterslide park called The Rapids ("Ride the rapids, have some fun/Ride the rapids everyone!"). This time it was a party at Tercio's house. Tercio's mom had all kinds of decorative seashells and whatnot around the house, and the last time we had partied at his house, something got broken, so this time we had to come up with a strategy: hide everything fragile. But when you're talking about a coffee table covered with seashells arranged in patterns, you run into the problem of remembering how they were arranged. So we took Zane's by now obligatory camcorder and filmed how everything was around the house before hiding it. Then we would tape all the hijinx at the party, and in the morning we would put the tape on, replace all the fragile items according to their positions, and then watch the rest of the tape. When we got to the end of the tape, there was The Chlorinator.
Apparantly, after all the drunks had passed out, Dan and Tercio made this entire film (probably in close proximity to the sleeping bodies), drove out to the beach in time to film the sunrise, came back and dubbed the audio at the end using a classical record from Tercio's father's collection, all before anyone woke up.
I have to say, I really like the way the shots are set up in this, and the way the environment around the pool, with the tropical plants they had growing there, and the strange architecture of that house around the stairway, are used. It's a really good-looking film.
A short film starring me when I was...let's see, I guess just turned 19. In fact, this was probably just a week or two before I went off to college, after dropping out of high school and doing a year at Indian River Community College, so this is sort of the end of my unnaturally extended childhood.
Our friend, Jen Ball, had a party at her house Saturday night (her parents were out of town). Zane had a camcorder there, and filmed a bunch of silliness at the party. Zane crashed at the house, and the next morning I came over to help them all clean up. Then he got this idea that he wanted to make a movie called The Drunken Hero, about a superhero whose power is that anything he touch turns into a beer. He had a gag where he was off-camera, playing a little kid, and he'd come up to me and say "Drunken Hero, can you fix my teddy bear?" He hands me the bear, I turn it into a beer, say "Thanks, kid," and walk away with a snearing laugh.
So we filmed a few variations on this routine, and then some more friends showed up, and...I really don't remember there being any discussion about what we were doing, we just started making a movie, as if that was what we had planned to do that day. And for some reason, Dan took the whole project over, and never even included Zane's bit about the teddy bear.
We ended up filming the whole movie at and around Jen's house (and a nearby convenience store) over the course of that day and into the night--you can see the light failing in the scenes near the end. Dan went home to edit the footage together, then decided that the ending was a mess, so he made us all get together to reshoot the climax (beginning with The Mayor getting the morning paper) and end credits at his house the next day. The denoument, which rips off A Boy and His Dog, is part of the original footage from Jen's house.
For reference, Zane is the one playing the assassin sent after me and Dan plays his boss. And Jen is the only female seen in the movie, so she's pretty easy to pick out. There is some racially insensitive stuff about the convenience store clerk, my only defense of which is that it was 20 years ago.
And I finally got some cheap frames to hang these two swanky one-sheets in our living room. Check 'em out: