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Star Wars Landspeeder with Luke Skywalker Action Figure

Righteous Indignation

David Bowie Sound + Vision CD Box Set

Moral Audacity

Monkey Hand Puppet

Hysterical Frenzy

Trivial Pursuit Silver Screen Edition

Conscientious Objection

Planet of the Apes DVD Collection

Venomous Bile

Slippers

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Sportscaster Chris Berman is well known for the use of puns to make nicknames for athletes (e.g. calling Baseball Hall of Fame starting pitcher Bert Blyleven Bert “Be Home” Blyleven, a pun on the phrase “be home by eleven.” But did you know that Berman initially had his heart set on being a literary critic? In fact, it was in his literary writing that his nicknaming schtick began… and is the reason he was handed a lifetime ban from publishing in every literary journal in North America and parts of Africa. For the first time in thirty years, some of Berman’s “best” literary nicknames are seeing the light of day, exclusive to this blog.

  • Leo “For Whom the Bell” Tolstoy
  • Ezra “In for a Penny, in for a” Pound
  • Joseph “Heaven and” Heller
  • Charles “What the” Dickens
  • Margaret “Double, Double, Toil and” Drabble

The Center for Poor Karma & Pain sincerely apologizes.

Johnny Dickshot – even better, his nickname was “Ugly”

Rusty Kuntz – a part-time, not-much-of-anything outfielder in the early 80s

Sugar Cain – a not-very-good mostly-starting pitcher from the 30s

Dick Sisler – a decent hitter whose brother was a pitcher; their dad was Hall of Famer George Sisler

Plastic Man

Mr. Fantastic

Iron Fist

The Thing

Different LightI’ve been actively listening to music for 35 years, have seen styles and trends come and go, beginning with a narrow focus (listening to Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 with my sisters in the disco age) and widening my horizons many times based on my own changing tastes and exposure to the knowledge and insights of so many friends. Now, I’ll listen to just about any kind of music and prize diversity and variety above all else. But still, I’ve been known to get stuck in a groove and become obsessed with certain albums, listening the hell out of them for weeks straight. I don’t even know where these albums stand in the grand scheme of things, if they’re critically acclaimed or cult classics… some of them you may never have even heard of; I just know that, for whatever reason, at some time in my life, they spoke to me in deep, meaningful ways. In writing them down, the urge to listen to them again hits me hard; I still love them.

  • The Bangles     Different Light
  • Bootsauce     The Brown Album
  • Boston     s/t
  • Edie Brickell & New Bohemians     Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars
  • Concrete Blonde     Free
  • Cutting Crew     Broadcast
  • Faith No More     The Real Thing
  • Happy Mondays     Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches
  • INXS     Kick
  • k.d. lang     Absolute Torch and Twang
  • Living Colour     Vivid
  • Lyle Lovett     Lyle Lovett and His Large Band
  • National Velvet     s/t
  • Robert Palmer     Riptide
  • Sam Phillips     The Indescribable Wow
  • Pop Will Eat Itself     This Is the Day… This Is the Hour… This Is This!
  • The Proclaimers     Sunshine on Leith
  • Feargal Sharkey     s/t
  • Sons of Freedom     s/t
  • T’pau     s/t
  • Voice of the Beehive     Let It Bee

SupermanSuperman’s weakness is not so much Kryptonite as it is his moral code: he won’t kill or be otherwise immoral (although he has been known to be deceitful, especially when dealing with with foes such as Mr Mxyzptlk). He is the paragon of virtue, the defender and best example of The American Way. But his virtue can hold him back: he refuses to kill, but how often has this refusal led to greater suffering later on? How many times has one of his foes escaped, only to wreak further havoc, surely including death? Granted, death and pain are not so much a part of the Superman universe compared to Batman, but certainly amid the destruction wrought by battling titans in the middle of Metropolis, sometime somewhere someone has been killed. What responsibility does Superman feel? Not as much, it seems, as characters like Spider-Man or Batman, characters whose entire motivations for being superheroes are based on feelings of guilt over the loss of loved ones or the desire to avenge their deaths. Superman, however, despite the loss of both parents (biological and adoptive) is a pretty together guy. He represents the happy, well-adjusted face of American culture, with a never-say-die, can-do attitude. He is the principled volunteer who went to war to make the world safe for liberty, whereas Batman is the hardened veteran whose motivations are good but just might burn down your village to save it. Therefore, Batman is the stronger character, even though he has no super-powers, because he’s willing to do nearly anything to win the fight. Superman is held back by his morals, which are ultimately more important to him than winning, and because of that, Superman is much more likely to lose. (It needs to be said that in the comic books, Superman of course never loses–he’s too powerful. What we’re talking about here is the real world, if characters like Superman and Batman existed in it.)

A candle-lit, low-ceilinged stone room. Tapestries hang on the walls. There’s a regular dripping noise barely audible and the sense of unavoidable dampness. Three men–a Lord and his vassals–sit at a table, while a fourth man, dressed as a medieval wizard, paces in front of them carrying a thin, rectangular object. He speaks…

Wizard: Sire, gentlemen, may I introduce: the computer internet! [he opens the laptop with a flourish and sets it on the table in front of the men]

1st Man: What magic is this?! How these images dance before my very eyes!

Lord: I have seen nothing like this in all my realm! Is this some crystal ball of unmatched clarity?

2nd Man: Aaannd… I’ve found the porn.

All: Yay!

Give a man a drum and he’ll beat a path to your door.

This is a family business–please refrain from discussing your shit and piss.

Heidi Cox (apparently an employee of Blinds to Go) is a funny name when you think of it. Almost as funny as “Sneaky Salami.”

Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz Give Birth to World’s Stupidest Baby

Student newspaper describes CGI Joe as a “thrill-ride”; also “soul-crushingly banal.”

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