Missives from The Beige
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Roundtable: You Know You've Been Living In Fear Too Long When...
Or: Terror Alert Level Paisley
I mean seriously, it doesn't hurt to be too cautious, but...Oh wait, you don't know what I'm talking about:
RW found an article about how residents in Salt Lake City, UT found a suspicious package at a local McDonald's, and, well, it's probably better if you go read it.
So...Go read it, what are you waiting for?
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Roundtable: Indulging Nostalgia
I like knowing that I'm remembering something correctly.
Say, for example, I'm thinking about a Warner Brothers cartoon, where Daffy plays host to a game show called "Truth or AAAAIGH!", and Porky's a contestant. And the whole thing is essentially an excuse for Daffy to torture Porky...I like knowing that it's very likely I could go on the enterwlog and find it (via google, wikipedia, and youtube). (Other cartoons include "Inki and the Lion," "Rabbit of Seville")
Same thing with "Fat Cat Sat Hat". (See also, "Ernie, Bert, Count, Pyramid", "Beat the Time, Smiley, Cookie" and "Imagining Shapes")
I could get all romantic about this and go on about how you don't see these things anymore, and yaddah. The simple fact of the matter is that these are cherished bits from my past. I'm glad I am able to find it and relive it, at will.
So, what are yours? What are the bits that you think you may be the last to remember? Please find and share a link. Maybe mention how you ran across it.
Pssst, hey...wanna join the Roundtable? We're goofy cohorts; a bunch of good eggs, for the most part, and comments on your blog. Admit it, you're a comment whore. You want in. Drop a line.--TBO
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Y'know...I forget who it was I was talking to recently, but we were discussing the seemingly stultifying air in Seattle that prohibits all of its single population from having a good time dating other people. It's an odd thing.
I just remember saying at one point: "I've been living in Seattle for 15 years now...that's a long time to be single."
Not like there haven't been opportunities for the "hit-it-and-quit" (as Roundtabler Carol so succinctly put it); but anything remotely stable and lasting longer than a couple of months? Not so much.
I own up to my part in the thing (really, a story best saved for later), but you kinda have to start looking across the table and wonder what's going on over there.
Perfect Procrastinator Suzanne found herself an exception to the rule, they've moved beyond the first hurdle with flying colors, and they are heading towards the flaming hoop of possible date #2, here's hoping he does well. It went so well, she's now reminiscing about the ones that made her think "never again" shudderingly, and she'd like to hear your similar tales of dating woe.
Go there, or else...you'll be forced back into the dating pool...in Seattle.
Friday, June 08, 2007
La Quinta Update
I think that's a fitting nickname for the Hilton albatross, no?
Very slowly waking up this morning, but reading the latest on La Quinta helped in its way. Immediately perked up when I saw this bit:
After three or five days of serving her sentence (the exact number is a matter of interpretation) she was released Thursday by the local sheriff for unspecified medical reasons to serve the rest of her term in home detention. The problem is that the judge who sentenced her specifically barred home detention in his order. This afternoon Hilton and the sheriff will have to explain themselves to the judge.
--Salon's War Room
I'm thinking that's a smart judge, there; because the whole thing smelled "payout" if you ask me...
Mere seconds after reading that, I get an email from a friend who's at home watching it unfold on CNN. She says: "[There are]helicopters overhead, cars outside, and she was inside, screeching and pouting (there was no video) because she'd (a) asked to CALL in to court this morning and (B) planned a PARTY at her place for tonight!"
I mean, PLANNED A FUGGIN' PARTY? Yumpin' Yehosaphats, the balls on this dame. Not the physical ones in aggregate...you know what I mean!
So, I'm digging around, looking for tidbits about this crazy event. Ran into this from some AP feed somewhere:
Hilton, who was brought to court in handcuffs in a sheriff's car, came into the courtroom disheveled and weeping. Her hair was askew and she wore a gray fuzzy sweatshirt over slacks. She wore no makeup and she cried throughout the hearing.
Wow...Cuffs, disheveled, actual visible and discernible emotion, fuzzy sweatshirts, no makeup...Wow. USA's little automaton's been pushed to her limits. The silicone chip inside her brain's been pushed to overload.
The Boomtown Rats take residence in my head, and my fascination's been whipped into a frenzy! What's happening now? What's going on? CNN's live feed isn't working for me! What, who, how! TELL ME NOW!
Paris Hilton was taken from a courtroom screaming and crying Friday seconds after a judge ordered her returned to jail to serve out her entire 45-day sentence for a parole violation in a reckless driving case.
"It's not right!" shouted the weeping Hilton.
Oh, look! An accompanying picture! (Click on it for a larger image.)
Oh, this is juicy! She's serving out the original sentence, not just half! They say she cried for her mom!
O frabjous day! Justice! This SO totally makes up for Robert Blake, and OJ, and the Tuskegee Experiments!
And everyone I talk to, every blog I visit, every stranger I pass has that look. That look that says that things are right with the world, and that the weekend ahead would be a pleasurable one. We as a society have grabbed a moral victory out of the jaws of mind-numbing defeat! I feel like an extra in Gladiator!
And I bask in the refracted glory of this moment, knowing full well that everyone else is feeling like me at this moment.
Then I went to Waiter Rant.
Edited to Add - So, Cintra Wilson has a similar piece in today's Salon, and...
Well, she ends up taking an extra step in her commentary. One that I didn't think was necessary. As she puts it: "Instead, we are engaging in our new favorite dysfunctional love-hate relationship: Public stoning of the celebrity hooker."
Maybe I have a tin-ear for this sort of thing, maybe I wear blinders, but does La Quinta's sex life have much to do with our desire to see her go down (I swear to you, these are not intentional)? Granted, her sex life was what brought her to our attention, but since then? Maybe it's just me, but what I noted about her (when I noted anything about her) was just what her influence did to the people around her, the meanness of her actions...To me, she was the latest in the Heathers archetype.
I didn't care what or who she did in the bedroom, I hated what she represented...vapid narcissistic wealth run amok.
Edited again - Just to bring things full circle:
[Giuliani's]political strength...comes from America's unrelenting passion for never bothering to take that extra step to figure shit out.
Nail, meet head.--TBO
Thursday, June 07, 2007
How To Avoid Jail In Two Easy Steps
Step One: Move to Los Angeles.
Step Two: Become a celebrity.
Look, I know this ain't new. And I'm pop-culturally depraved enough to know about the countless number of celebrities who've gotten away with criminal crap (or at least lessened sentences) down in LA LA land just because of who they were (i.e. Robert Downey Jr., OJ, Wynona Rider, and so on and on and on and on)...
This takes the fuggin' cake, though.
Are you kidding me?
I mean, I freakin' know, all right? But, come the fuck on! I'm repeating myself, I'm so tweaked.
Were this anyone else (like, say, Halle Berry, or Morgan Freeman, or hell, you or me), what do you think the authorities would say to: "It's too cold! I'm scared! I can't sleep at night?"
They'd say, "WELCOME TO JAIL, YOU IGNORANT DOUSCHEBAG!" That's what they'd say!
So, here we get Paris "I Take Legal Advice From My Publicist" Hilton, a stone cold bitch if there ever was one; Ms. I Get Special Treatment 'Cause Of The Money I Represent (with more misspellings, I'm sure)...here we have her caught red-handed flouting the law, they reduce the friggin' sentence by half, she spend TWO WHOLE FUGGIN' DAYS IN THE HOOSEGOW, she whines and she's put on home monitoring?!?!?
This is teaching the girl a lesson how? "Oh, those are two days no one should have to serve..." No one except, you know, CRIMINALS...
Okay, I've vented most of this crap.
I dunno why I'm so hepped up about this, as I said, this ain't new. I mean, why trot out the "John Q. Public would be expected to serve whatever sentence was handed down, no exception" argument, when we've seen this sort of thing happen ad infinitum?
Maybe it's because young Ms. Hilton represents the most venal aspects of our celebrity culture. Maybe I feel suckered for feeling a flash of sympathy for the idiot after the (hilarious) public shaming she received at the hands of Sarah Silverman. Maybe it's because the idealist in my head saw even the original reduced sentence as a shot at redemption for the brainless twaddle..."sure, I'm insipid, and a general cypher of a person, but at least I did my time...I sucked it up (heh) and did it (more heh)."
Ultimately, she's too weak, her daddy too weak-willed and rich, and western civilization takes another lurching step towards oblivion...
Roundtable: Intergalactic Planetary, Planetary Intergalactic
Remember how in the beginning of the movie Contact* there was a satellite that was playing an endless loop of greetings and music and stuff?
Well, it's real (here's the playing list), and after 30 years, Stephen V. Funk, III Esq. MD, PhD, BVD, ESP, thinks that it isn't working.
He proposes to create a new mix to send to outer space, and is taking suggestions now (final results to be displayed on Monday). I made a couple of suggestions that I'll regret in about a minute, and now want to suggest something like the Overture from Jesus Christ Superstar (or at least, a particularly rocking version of that), or Aha's Take On Me...Ace of Base's I Saw The Sign?
Maybe I only crack myself up on this one. Ah well.
Go give him your suggestions, or the aliens will eat your mama!
*talk about a movie that's both boring and pretty worthwhile--tbo
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Pettiness Becomes Me
I'm a little hesitant in writing this post. Mostly because I believe that it'll come across as whining when I'm simply getting things out of my head.
Also, this is about an upcoming project that I'm working on. I know that some of the folks responsible for producing this project check in here every once in a while, and I want to state up front that this is merely me processing...I'm still enthusiastic about the project (which, like the theater company involved, will remain unnamed, thanks to google), and I am genuinely looking forward to working with the folks involved...
With that out of the way, I have to confess, I've been harboring feelings of pettiness. Part of being an actor, I suppose.
I was passed up for the lead in an upcoming production. The part: A latin american author, in his late 20s (which'd make me a bit too old for it, I'm assuming), who left his homeland at an early age, and after becoming a successful author in the US, will be going home for the first time in over a decade and a half. The various personal dynamics involved in his homecoming are dealt with rather realistically, and well, by the playwright.
Old school readers will recognize why this story has some resonance with me.
But, I didn't get it. Instead they cast a man of Danish descent in the part. I wish I were kidding. I have some reservations about whether he actually looks latin american enough, but that may be the cloud of pettiness skewing my views. Fortunately, dialect coaches will take care of some other issues I have about it all.
However narrow-minded this may paint me, there's a part of me that wonders if this isn't a natural response for an artist (if I may call myself that for the purposes of this entry).
I think of it this way: Let's suppose that Raul Julia had been auditioning to be Tony Montana in Scarface, and he really wanted the part. How would he feel when he found out that he was passed up so that Italian-American Al Pacino would get the part? (Let us set aside the typical arguments about Hollywood casting, and needing certain names for projects to get produced for the moment.)
Take a look at the cast list for Scarface. In my hypothetical situation, how on earth could Raul Julia not get cast as a latino, and yet there's F. Murray Abraham, Robert Loggia, hell, even some dude named Steven Bauer got cast as a latino named Manny Ribera for pete's sake, and he gets second billing!
Could you imagine theoretical Julia's reaction to hearing Pacino's accent in that movie? "Motherfucker ain't even Mexican," would be one of the recurring thoughts, I'm betting.
So, anyway, I'm owning up to the pettiness, and accepting it as part of what I'm about.
Today was the first read-through for the piece, and it was fun and it promises to be a great show all around. I will say that it was revelatory for me to just say that I felt a kinship with the lead's story aloud, in front of the director, playwright, and the already informed Artistic Director.
Hopefully no one felt discomfort at that statement, but if they did, oh well. Part of the deal, I'm sorry. So are the occasional "wait a second, you're Danish! I can tell!" jokes I'll be making during the rehearsal process. Having fun with it is the only way I'm going to be able to deal and not let resentment overtake me.
That and the constant reminder that I'm not directing, am simply an actor in the piece, and I did say yes, after all.
Friday, June 01, 2007
B. Jones: The Birth of a Superstar
So, I'm watching the NBA.com recap of the Game 5 Eastern Conference Finals (where Lebron James scored 48 points to give the Cavaliers a 3-2 edge over the Pistons), when the inevitable happened: An announcer said, "this is Jordanesque."
Granted, sports announcers are given to hyperbole, I know; but James has been nascent for the last couple of seasons, and particularly in the spotlight of late because of a much talked about last second decision that cost the Cavs the first game of the series.
Not sure if I have talked about this before, but I hate the superstar mentality of the NBA that Michael Jordan helped to usher in. That's a rant best saved for later. Suffice it to say that one of the reasons I like the Pistons, is that they used teamwork to not only beat the Lakers a number of years back, but also to win their subsequent championships...
Needless to say, this has some poignancy for me. I like Lebron James. He's been a hard worker, hasn't been an arrogant son of a bitch, has improved his team. I had him on my fantasy team this year, and he essentially carried my team through a series of moves to a fourth place finish...
So, I want him to win, but at what cost?
This is made all the more confusing by the fact that the NBA made it possible for the Spurs to use dirty play to get to the finals...
Oh, what's a fanboy to do?