Friday, June 30

The YouTube Hall of Fame

Sportswriter Bill Simmons makes his picks, and they're not all sports-related.

Camouflage kraken!

This clip could be doctored, but if not, this is a pretty impressive display of hiding ability by the kraken.

Wednesday, June 28

Sedaris speaks

Amy Sedaris, that is. She tells The Onion A/V Club about beauty, baking, books and the "Strangers with Candy" movie that she wrote with Stephen Colbert and some other guy.

Tuesday, June 27


Woody Allen on muse Scarlett Johansson:

Scarlett is God's answer to Job. God would say, 'I've created a terrifying and horrible universe, but I can also make one of these, so stop complaining.'"

This game rocks

I'm up to level 19. It starts getting tricky around 16.

Don't click through if you have work to do.


After watching this freaky orientation video from Scientology, be sure to "clear" your mind with this one from "South Park."

Rush Limbaugh gone Viagra-tric!

Pill-popping motormouth Rush Limbaugh has had another brush with the law. This time, the thrice-married, thrice-divorced radio host was detained for several hours after Customs officials found unprescribed Viagra in his luggage when he returned to the United States from the Dominican Republic. This leads to the following questions:

  • What was Limbaugh doing in the Dominican Republic?
  • Is it accepted practice for a name to be omitted from a bottle of medication for privacy reasons — the explanation given for why Limbaugh's name wasn't on the prescription?
  • What was Limbaugh, a single man, doing with Viagra? He is abstaining from the physical act of love until the next time he gets married, isn't he?
  • Who would have sex with Rush Limbaugh?
Inquiring minds want to know.

UPDATE: The latest story says that yes, on occasion prescriptions can be filled this way with the consent of all involved and proper documentation. The other questions remain unanswered, and speculation like this makes for a fun read.

It looks like Limbaugh may get away with it (again), though he will have to sweat it out for a few days. (Sorry for conjuring the image of a sweaty Rush Limbaugh.)

Monday, June 26

"Baby drove up with a brand new cataract...."

About 3 weeks ago I had a rather disconcerting optometrist appointment. My left eye has been steadily getting worse over the past year, so I assumed I needed a new prescription. My optometrist, however, was a bit flummoxed with just how much my vision had deteriorated in just a year. (Actually, it turns out it was 1 day short of a year, much to my chagrin, and much to the delight of the cheap bastards who run my vision health plan, VSP....) He wouldn't say what he thought the problem might be, but he made sure I understood I needed to see an opthamologist immediately.

Of course, HMOs being what they are, I couldn't go to an opthamologist without a referral from my primary care physician. (Lord knows what kind of scam I could pull if they allowed me to simply book in opthamology appointment all willy nilly.) And of course I couldn't get into see my physyician for about 3 weeks. I assumed i would die of the tumor I had convinced myself was growing in my brain long before that.

But finally, yesterday, I get in to see my physician, who takes a quick look at my eye and then makes a call to get me in to see an opthamologist immediately. I ask him what's the rush, why so urgent, AM I DYING FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST. He reassures me that it may just be a detached retina, which I don't find reassuring in the least, but, hey, it's not cancer.

Long story slightly less long, it turns out I have a cataract. It's very unusual to get these in only one eye, and before you qualify for the discounted movie tickets, so my opthamologist thinks it's probably been there since birth, and has only recently gotten large enough to be noticable.

So, in about 6 weeks I'll be going in for eye surgery. They will remove my left lens and replace it with one harvested from a juvenile kraken. Or a plastic lens, I forget which. For some reason my doc is suggesting that he'd make the lens in my left eye match the amount of near-sightedness I have in my right eye, which is pretty lousy. I'm not sure how that makes sense, so I think I may just go ahead and get lasik on my right eye instead, and have him give me a matching good eye. There's alaso the option of having a trifocal lens implanted, which would let me see near, mid-range, and far without glasses, which would be either nifty or unsettling.

If anyone has any experience in these matters, please leave a note in the comments or drop me an email.

Kill Dom!

HBO's "Entourage" brought in a new character in last night's episode: Dom, an old friend of the gang who happens to be an ex-con. His introduction is encountering criticism on the Internet.

DULLARD TAKE: Dom's storyline was predictable and pedestrian. He's an oaf, with a propensity for violence. Plus, he's not funny. Dom must go, because like the Great Gazoo, cousin Oliver and Jar-Jar Binks, his very presence threatens to suck all the creativity out of a previously effective franchise.

LISTS: Ranking Led Zeppelin

Second in a series of posts ranking band members on impact, originality and intangible coolness. Here's the previous post.

1 (tie). John Bonham and John Paul Jones. Led Zep worked from the bottom up. Bonham's thundering drums and Jones' steady bass provided a mighty foundation throughout the band's career, captured at their peak on the "How the West Was Won" live set. Jones also added the obligatory keyboard embellishments. Even though the synths on "In Through The Out Door" sound dated today, Jones deserves credit for pushing the group into a more mature material.

2. Robert Plant. The self-proclaimed "golden god" was actually a hippie at heart. He grew tremendously as a vocalist and writer throughout the band's glory years from 1969-73. Plant increasingly showed a sensitive, human side, and the fact that some his lyrics ("The Ocean," "All My Love") were about parenthood is often overlooked.

3. Jimmy Page. Nearly everything unsavory about Led Zep can be traced to Page: the drug use, the underage groupies and the occult influence. He's also made some bone-headed career moves (Does anyone remember the Firm? How about Coverdale-Page?) His greatest sin, however, is his rampant pilfering of blues and folk traditions. As even Homer Simpson has noted, Page "borrowed" heavily from others, sometimes without any crediting.

Saturday, June 24

Where is Philip K. Dick's head?

They don't make stories much weirder than this:

  • A guy makes a robot that looks like sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick.
  • The robot makes appearances at comic book conventions and other events.
  • The robot's head vanishes somewhere between Las Vegas and San Francisco.
  • The renegade head dismays its maker, offers hope to those who subscribed to Dick's world view.
It's all in this NYT article.

Thursday, June 22


Wondering where you can find your favorite Y Kant Tori Read or Sigue Sigue Sputnik video? They're right here, along with a kajillion other 80s videos.

Hail yes!

The Chuck Berry concert-film/documentary Hail, Hail Rock 'n' Roll comes out on DVD next week in 2-disk and 4-disk versions.

Pete Townshend in not a sad old pervert

He's a stupid sad old pervert.

Sometimes I wish I didn't like the Who so much....

The world is a stranger place than you realize

Three nuns in Scotland have had their insurance revoked. They were insured for a million pounds in event of immaculate conception, so that they would have enough dough to bring up little Christy in style.

How to Write Screenplays. Badly.


Wednesday, June 21

Quien es mas macho?

Hitler y Coulter? (I got 10/14 correct. Scary.)

Borat likes you

Do you like him?

Bush nephew gone wild!

Wonkette keeps digging up pics of politicians' college-age kids going wild. With Facebook, it's not that hard to find them. Here's the latest: Pierce Mallon Bush, nephew of the president, enjoying the party life of a University of Texas student. Beer, babes, transsexuals: It's good to to be the nephew!

If you need it...

...The One Percent Doctrine offers damning new insight as to just how morally corrupt and incompetent the Bush administration has been in its war on terror.

'Top of the Pops' to sign off

Famed BBC music programme "Top of the Pops" will end its 42-year run this summer, a victim of competition, globalization and the Internet. The Beeb looks back on the show's history here.

Tuesday, June 20

100 Awesome Music Videos

If you have a door on your office, here's a good way to waste an hour or so. Pitchfork links to 100 awesome copyright infringements music videos.

I especially admire the way Kate Bush overcomes the relative conventionality of her song "Wuthering Hights" by using dance instead to convey that, yes, she is in fact completely insane.

Monday, June 19

Gimme gimme octopus!

If this weird show from 1960s Japan doesn't tap into your primal fear of the kraken, nothing will.

Friday, June 16

When he's 64

Macca turns 64 on Sunday, and he'll be alone, sadly. The NYT tries to tell us what it all means.

GOP strategist/pundit gone wild!

Jack Burkman, one of the Republican "analysts" who pop up on Fox and MSNBC, apparently tried to pick up a busty lesbian who was in D.C. for a gay-rights march. The encounter ended with him begging for a three-way with her and her friend, who declined his indecent proposal. Then she went and posted it all on Facebook.

I am not making this up.

Set yer TiVos

Roshambo finals are on A&E (A&E!?)Saturday

Number Eleven

Thou shalt love the Colbert.

UPDATE: If the link above doesn't work, mayhaps this one will.

Or, longer version here.

Fave mags

The Chicago Tribune offers its list of the 50 best magazines. The Economist wins, with stalwarts such as The New Yorker and Consumer Reports placing well. The rankings, however, include a few oddities, such as Lincoln Lore.

DULLARD TAKE: It's hard to quibble with this list, although Wired seems tired and not worthy of a spot in the Top 10. Entertainment Weekly, omitted here despite its smart design and well-written reviews, deserves recognition.

UPDATE: Since the original post, the Tribune has put the list behind the "registration required" barrier. (Da bums.) The Gazette apologizes for any inconvenience.

Thursday, June 15

He's gonna do what they say can't be done

The days are numbered for the Burt Reynolds & Friends Museum in Jupiter, Fla. The city, which owns the building, wants to hand it over to scientists. Among the artifacts that will be taken from public view, according to the museum's site: a copy of "Deliverance" signed by James Dickey, assorted sports artifacts and (of course) the car from "Smokey and the Bandit."

DULLARD TAKE: What scientist ever made a beer run from Georgia to Texas and back in a little more than a day while snagging a runaway bride and dodging John Law?

Wednesday, June 14

Skreech wants you to help him pay off his house.

Good luck with that, Skreech.

I don't support all our troops.

This guy, specifically, is a dick.

Jenna Elfman: Scientologist whack-job

Remember Dharma? A little crazy.

Amihotornot: Ann Coulter

Chris Matthews wants to know, but no one has the nerve to respond.

DULLARD TAKE: I would not tap that.

Tuesday, June 13

Believe this: Ripley movie put on hold

The long-awaited biopic of Robert Ripley of "Believe It or Not!" fame isn't coming soon to a theater near you. Director Tim Burton has been assigned another project, and Jim Carrey, who was set to play the man once described as the biggest liar in the world, is looking for work.

DULLARD TAKE: Tim Burton worked wonders with "Ed Wood," so he's a great pick for the Ripley project. Why not go ahead and let Johnny Depp play Ripley?

Monday, June 12

Trouser Press republished

Maybe other Dullards knew it was there already, but I just ran across the Trouser Press site, which wraps the five books of album reviews into one Web package, with some measure of adding, updating and revising. The site also offers some fun forums, such as why 1989 was a great year for music.

The books are still good for bedtime reading.

Friday, June 9

Dead head

It's always educational and entertaining to browse the collection of front pages at the Freedom Forum site after a big news event. Here's one example of the media treatment of Zarqawi's demise.

Don Knotts statue nipped in bud

A plan for a statue to honor Barney Fife is dead after CBS lawyers took a look at it. The upshot: The Fife fans in Mount Airy, N.C., are out $8,000 and will sell a "Mayberry" squad car on eBay to recoup the losses.

Thursday, June 8

Henry Rollins' indecent proposal

The former Black Flag singer/poet/activist writes an open letter to Ann Coulter. You can see the clip here.

Tuesday, June 6

Billy Preston is no longer with us

Famed keyboardist Billy Preston, who embellished songs by the Beatles and Rolling Stones, is dead at age 59. We'll forgive him for appearing in the "Sgt. Pepper" movie.

El Ron's "Days of Thunder"

Scientology is reportedly going after the NASCAR crowd.

UPDATE: Here's more on the driver in question, who touts "Dianetics." Yuk. It seems that NASCAR wishes the whole thing would go away.

Is film criticism fading to black?

This column in the Hollywood Reporter muses on the condition and outlook for movie criticism, noting the diminishing influence of writers to make or break a movie. Yes, the Internet is playing a role, but so is Hollywood with its penchant for not screening the stinkers for review. And don't forget the fake critics manufacturing blurbs for promotional purposes. (Does anybody here remember Walter Monheit?)

DULLARD TAKE: The main critic for my local paper is so unreliable and self-indulgent that I have largely given up on reading his reviews. I consult Rotten Tomatoes for the meta-perspective, but I still enjoy reading a single critic's take. A.O. Scott is solid at the NYT, and the ailing Roger Ebert can still deliver.

LISTS: Reasons to watch the MTV Movie Awards on Thursday

1. Borat shows up.
2. Jessica Alba is host.
3. Steve Carell wins stuff.

That is all.

Monday, June 5

Kinks to reunite?

You never know.

I wish I'd gotten to play in a band with my brothers. But I don't think I hate either of them enough for it to work out.

Dullards <3 the Colbert

Goes over better at commencement speech than at press corp shindigs.

Saturday, June 3

Another Dead keyboardist is no longer with us

Vince Welnick is the fourth Grateful Dead keyboardist to die an untimely death.

Friday, June 2

Aliens among us

Holy crap!

"Countdown" smackdown

Olbermann lets O'Falafel have it over the Foxman's botched view of a World War II atrocity.

All You Need Is... 69 bucks for the cheap seats

Following up on Ange's news ticker post: A new Cirque du Soleil production opens in Vegas today -- which is not exactly news, as that's getting to be a weekly event there. But this one features the music of the Beatles, personally remixed (and mashed-up) by longtime Beatle producer Sir George Martin and his son. Worth taking a look at the video on this press release -- the kraken effects during "Octopus' Garden" are outstanding.

Happy National Doughnut Day!

Today is National Doughnut Day, and "participating locations" of Krispy Kreme will give you a free one to mark the occasion.

DULLARD TAKE: Yes, doughnuts are full of trans fat, but it's OK to indulge once in a while, isn't it? We have to live, damn it. As for Dunkin' vs. Krispy Kreme, can't we all get along? Let's put aside our petty disputes and agree that any doughnut — be it an airy concoction of dough sealed with goo or a more hearty cake-like puck of sweetness — is a good thing.

Thursday, June 1

Dullard news ticker: Beatles edition

Oasis defeat Fab Four in album poll ... Cirque show includes remixed Beatle tunes ... Wax mop-tops play Vegas ...