Sunday, March 14, 2004 THAT'S ALL, FOLKS: After two years blogging here, it is with semi-mixed emotions that I report that this will be my final post here on Blogspot, and that starting today I will be writing from my own Movable Type-powered, Hosting Matters-hosted blog at http://stevesilver.net. The new blog will enable easier browsing, searching, and linking, not to mention an easier-to-remember name. This blog will remain online for the foreseeable future for both backup and nostalgia purposes.
Special thanks to Joe over at Short Strange Trip for helping to get me set up at the new place, and thanks to all of you who've been reading this for the last two years.
Friday, March 12, 2004 FOR MY LAST FULL DAY ON BLOGSPOT, SOME OVERDUE SILLINESS:
TOP TEN ALBUMS WITH “ALBUM” IN THE TITLE:
1. “The White Album,” The Beatles, 1968
2. “The Black Album,” Metallica, 1991
3. “The Blue Album,” Weezer, 1994
4. “The Black Album,” Jay-Z, 2003
5. “The Grey Album,” DJ Danger Mouse, 2004
6. “The Green Album,” Weezer, 2001
7. “The Wedding Album,” Duran Duran, 1995
8. “The Yellow Album,” “The Simpsons,” 1998
9. “The Brown Album,” Primus, 1994
10. “Steal This Album,” System of a Down, 2003
TOP TEN SONGS WITH “SONG” IN THE TITLE:
1. “The Rain Song,” Led Zeppelin
2. “Redemption Song,” Bob Marley
3. “Your Song,” Elton John
4. “Silly Love Songs,” Paul McCartney
5. “Escape (The Pina Colada Song),” Rupert Holmes
6. “Love Song,” Tesla
7. “LoveSong,” The Cure
8. “Undone (The Sweater Song),” Weezer
9. “One Song Glory,” “Rent”
10. “The Thong Song,” Sisqo
BEST ALBUM WITH “SONG” IN THE TITLE:
1. “Songs in the Key of Life,” Stevie Wonder
AND YOU THOUGHT HE LOOKED LIKE SCOTT PETERSON BEFORE:
Ben Affleck, on the cover of Rolling Stone, to talk about his barely-at-30 midlife crisis. I’ve said it before, but if one of the two of them had to kill his wife/girlfriend, why did it have to be Scott?
SIGNIFICANTLY AWFUL: Significant Others, the new marriage-counseling sitcom that debuted on Bravo last week, has been getting rave reviews, but I don’t get why- I thought the premiere was overly smarmy, and not particularly funny. It also didn’t help that a central joke of the first episode- a guy gets angry when he finds out his wife/girlfriend has had sex with a comically large number of men- was lifted from a ten-year-old movie, “Clerks.” And what happened to the black couple from the commercials?
It seems to me that “Significant Others” is the show for people who have missed television about whining yuppies for the 12 years since “Thirtysomething” was canceled.
I LOVE “WILL & GRACE,” BUT…”: Last night’s episode was funny, especially Edie Falco’s guest turn as a sharky lesbian real estate agent. But one thing I couldn’t help noticing: from the guest spot by Chloe Sevigny to the reference to the Lindsay Lohan/Hilary Duff feud, half the jokes would have been completely lost on anyone who isn’t a daily reader of Gawker and/or Page Six. Stay tuned for next week, when Jack and Karen make fun of Tina Brown.
SILVER AND GOLD: From IOFilm.com, where I review movies, I learn of an upcoming British film called “Suzie Gold,” in which the titular character (played by Summer Phoenix) is a “Jewish princess” from London who ultimately meets Mister Right: a guy named Anthony Silver. The film, described by IO’s reviewer as “Bridget Jones' Big Fat Jewish Wedding And A Funeral,” which would be accurate except that Summer Phoenix is even thinner than Thin Renee Zellweger, nevermind Renee-as-Bridget. There’s no American release date scheduled yet, but I might have to see the film just so I can experience a movie hero named Silver.
FEHR EATS THE SOUL: I don’t really have much to say about yesterday’s steroids-in-baseball hearings before the Senate; I only followed the news coverage to see if Bud Selig actually would be willing to lie to Congress again- if the proliferation of steroids in the game turns out to be Bud’s primary legacy as commisioner, that is quite a major silver lining. There was also testimony by players association head Donald Fehr, father of my college roommate, who gave an unconvincing libertarian defense, and was justifiably grilled by the much more admirable John McCain.
(The New York Post ran a “Fehr Strikes Out” headline, so I thought I’d throw in a gratuitous Fassbinder reference just to keep up with them. It was either that, or "Fehr and Loathing.")
Meanwhile, the Daily Quickie’s Dan Shanoff rips Reggie Jackson, calling him a “jackass,” for declaring that “somebody is definitely guilty of taking steroids.” Umm, after last year’s publicly released test results, which confirmed that more than 5% of MLB players tested positive, isn’t it true that somebody is definitely guilty? I like Shanoff, but his tendency to shill for ESPN programming (i.e., all the pro-“Playmakers” and “Dream Job” stuff, and now their baseball broadcasts) is getting to be a bit much. At least there weren’t any “Minny” references today.
30 MONTHS TO THE DAY AFTER 9/11:More terror, this time in Spain. Damn. Al-Qaeda is now claiming responsibility, and calls it “Operation Death Trains”- we all know the connotation that “death trains” has, especially in Europe.
GUERRILLA RADIO: The long-awaited “liberal radio network,” set to star Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo, and others is a go; Franken has named his show “The O’Franken Factor,” apparently deciding to define himself by Bill O’Reilly right off the bat, which can’t be a good idea.
The network will be called “Air America Radio”; ironic that, after weeks of furor over “Passion of the Christ,” the liberals would name their network after a Mel Gibson movie.
Wednesday, March 10, 2004 MUSIC CRITIC QUOTE OF THE DAY: "For future reference, here's one Hip Tip: Never trust musical advice from a queen insisting that more Sting in your record collection will get you laid" -Jimmy Draper, reviewing the "Queer Eye" soundtrack in the Village Voice. Not tantrically laid, anyway.
ANOTHER JUSTICE SCANDAL: My old college paper, The Justice, just can’t seem to stay away from controversy this year. First there was the “rhymes with tigger” racial scandal that resulted in the resignations of seven editors (see my entire October archives for commentary), then the paper made news again in November when most of a press run was stolen by a student senator. Now, the same week of the release of Jayson Blair’s autobiography, we’ve got a plagiarism scandal. Michael Camp, a freshman writer for the arts section (of which I was editor in 1999-2000), has confessed to fabricating all or part of seven pieces for the paper, including lifting of quotes and passages from movie reviews in the Boston Phoenix, as well as from The Justice itself. And while Blair and Stephen Glass each at least made cursory attempts to cover their tracks, Camp didn’t even bother- he reviewed a performance of the school’s Israeli dance troupe by merely cut-and-pasting the Justice piece about the same performance from the previous year, and somehow thought that no one would notice. Especially not the performers mentioned in the story and the author of the original piece. Just as Jayson Blair lifted a story from one of his former co-interns, Camp cribbed from a reporter, now a sophomore, who is still a Justice staffer. Ouch. Let’s hope this is seen as an isolated incident and doesn’t do anything else to further impugn the integrity of the paper. Meanwhile, in better ‘deis news:
WALTHAM’S GOT A WINNING TEAM: Brandeis actually won a rare sports championship, a conference title in womens’ basketball. Yay Judges. But in less happy news:
STUDENT DRESSED AS JESUS ASSAULTED: A Brandeis undergraduate showed up at a Purim party last week in costume as Jesus- complete with crucifix, fake blood, and “king of the box office” sign- and got into an altercation with another student. The student, who is Jewish, defended the decision, saying that he dresses up as a popular movie character every year for Purim (last year, he was Spider-man.)
Interestingly enough, the student who assaulted “Jesus” is the same guy who last year was impeached from the student senate for stealing 2,000 copies of The Justice. See, it all comes full circle!
FILM CRITIC QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Expect historians to one day look back on the launching of Von Trier’s Dogme95 (the manifesto that brought filmmaking closer to amateur porn) and laugh. That overhyped, low-fi creed made it possible for naive film buffs to think that by trading celluloid for video they were welcoming the arrival of a great artistic millennium.” – Armond White, rightly trashing the vomit-inducing Danish film movement, in New York Press.
TAI STREETS OF DETROIT: The exodus from the San Francisco 49ers continues, as wide receiver Tai Streets has signed as a free agent with the Detroit Lions, a move that reunites him with former coach Steve Mariucci.
Paying homage to the ‘70s detective show that starred Karl Malden while also referencing Streets’ team, Chris Berman dubbed the player “Tai Streets of San Francisco.” Unfortunately there is no cultural significance to “Streets of Detroit,” (outside of “8 Mile,” that is), although Berman was undoubtedly rooting for Streets to sign with the Eagles, where he would have become “Tai Streets of Philadelphia.” Maybe next year.
LESS FREE THAN I THOUGHT: My score on the Libertarian Purity Test is an abysmal 20 out of 100, putting me in the "soft-core libertarian" category. I always thought my social liberal/fiscal conservative ideology gave me libertarian leanings, but I guess not- after all, I would never be for the privatization of Central Park.
AND YOU THOUGHT JOHN HENRY WILLIAMS DESERVED DEATH: Lifelong terrorist Abu Abbas, who among other acts masterminded the 1985 hijacking of a cruise ship that killed American Leon Klinghoffer, has died in custody in Iraq. If you feel bad about this, there's something wrong with you.