Friday, February 2, 2007

Links in the chain

I have been really busy at work so I haven't had much time to post. Yeah right. I just haven't had anything to say. However, other people have been doing great work, so instead of contributing I thought I would just point out their fine work (the mix-tape artist theory)

1. Walter Chaw absolutely destroys Diane Keaton and Because I Said So. The money quote:
"The best that can be said about this early contender for the worst film of 2007 is that it's properly keystone'd by Diane Keaton, who, between this and The Family Stone, cements her position as the most smug, insufferable, unwatchable persona in a long and tumescent line of such personae. She embodies the absolute worst of every single stereotype of the domineering mother: dotty, ditzy, Luddite, sexless/oversexed, cruel, racist, otherwise intolerant, and above all hysterical. Throw her psychotic mommy dearest from The Other Sister into the stew and it's hard to find a more stalwart movie monster in the last ten years than Keaton, who's gone from a charming neurotic to a cobwebbed, cell-phone-wielding vagina dentata."

No one writes a flamethrowing review like Chaw (observe his reviews of Failure to Launch, "Grey's Anatomy" and Lady in the Water), but this was a new high, or low, or whatever. 2. Fresh off the staggering break-even success of the over hyped Snakes on a Plane, Samuel L. Jackson's decided to be in one of the wildest movies I have ever heard of, Black Snake Moan. I beg you to watch that trailer. I have seen it five times and I still can't believe it.

The plot (as seen from the trailer) in one sentence: Samuel L. in a dirty wife beater and balding afro with a mutton chops beard, chains a half-naked, beaten up and emaciated Christina Ricci to his house in order to "cure her of her wickedness." Wow, I will be there the first weekend it opens, before it gets pulled because of mass protests from the NAACP, NOW, 700 Club and the KKK. (hat tip: The House Next Door)

3. ESPN vs. Deadspin. ESPN is a shell of its former self. Once it was hip and irreverent, now it Disney approved faux-cool with big budgets. Once it was the go to site for sports commentary and information, but now, most of the of the columns on have moved behind the pay curtain and what remains is Bill Simmons (who I like as a pop-culture writer, but he has a severe limitation as a sports talking head, namely, he doesn't know anything about sports) and worthless stuff like Scoop Jackson (who is a terrible writer and somewhat racist to boot). To make matters worse, the Internet at large and the blogsphere in particular has exploded with great sports content. Specialty sites, like, offer a lot more bang for the buck and team centric sites, like my beloved, are free and offer 100 times more content about the teams you actually care about. meanwhile is like, except it focuses on sports, not celebrities. It posts all relevant, and not so relevant, news, with funny commentary and user comments. The people who comment there are both hilarious and very, very inappropriate (see the comments on the day Barbaro died or when T.O. supposedly attempted suicide) .

So the worldwide leader decided to start allow comments under its articles and immediately has to start deleting the comments from all the people at Deadspin- which included things about the Sports gal (Mrs. Simmons), Barbaro, parodies of the Sports Guy, criticisms of Bill's squeaky voice, and lots of discussion about ESPN firing black journalists like Jason Whitlock and Harold Reynolds, but not Sean Salisbury. It was obviously a bad idea to let the unwashed masses have a voice, and since deleting the comments looks bad, I am guessing this innovation will go the way of the ESPN cellphone (which lost hundreds of millions of dollars). The Sports Guy is probably getting picked on for being unbelievably successful, as much as for actually sucking. Deadspin follows the story here and here.
UPDATE: Bill's new column is getting the same treatment. I love that they are using references from last night's "Office." See, that is good topical humor ESPN! Why don't you use quotes like that on home run calls?
4. Postsecret. When I saw this, but I was blown away. People send postcards with their secrets written on them to this guy in Georgia and he posts them on his webpage. People then write emails to him and he posts the interesting responses under the postcards. The stuff is so personal and moving that you get a charge out of reading it. It is just a few words, but you really feel like you are inside their skin for a moment. My only complaint is that he doesn't have an archive, so you can only see the most recent secrets. However, he posts new secrets every Sunday, so this is good Monday reading.

5. The House Next Door's tribute to Molly Ivins. One of the best liberal voices in print passed away this week and Matt Zoller Seitz posts several of his favorite articles and quotes. My favorite: "The poor man who is currently our president has reached such a point of befuddlement that he thinks stem cell research is the same as taking human lives, but that 40,000 dead Iraqi civilians are progress toward democracy."
A very nice tribute, that thread also discusses Black Snake Moan, so it is a regular daily double.

Have a great weekend, Go Colts, even though I am kind of rooting for the Bears so I can participate in my first riot!

No comments: