Monday, January 31, 2011

Not that I watch them, of course...

Are there more show business awards shows on TV than ever? I'm amazed these people have time to get any work done. Of course, technology helps: In a day or two in front of a green wall, skilled operators can capture enough of a performer's essence to add a vaguely human flavor to an otherwise all-CG thrill ride. Likewise, a few words mumbled into a mic provide a sufficient sample to be manipulated into an exciting vocal performance. So the technicians have lots to do, and the stars keep themselves busy parading around like nicely accessorized sides of Kobe beef.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Apparently, I can do this in my sleep.

At 5 a.m. the other day I woke up, scribbled on a scrap of paper, and went back to sleep. In the morning I decided I had written the best non-watering-can-related prose of my career. Here it is, verbatim:

Out front of the post office this guy was getting all agitated – pointing at nothing and yelling, “If this is an elephant, where is its trunk?” Until one of us, one fellow stepped forward and said, “Who said anything about elephants?” And the guy calmed down. So what's so bad about answering a question with a question?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Another argument against tenure

This just in: 47 British academics specializing in American history and politics have participated in a survey conducted by the University of London's School of Advanced Study's Institute for the Study of the Americas' United States Presidency Centre to rate American presidents. For all the relevance that has, they might as well have gathered to vote on their favorite pizza toppings, or the cutest Beatle. Anyway, Franklin Delano Roosevelt came in first, James Buchanan dead last. But seriously now, at the University of London, wasn't FDR sort of a shoo-in? Without him, the results would have been published in German.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Check behind the furnace

Why do I even call these rants? There's precious little ranting done here. These are musings, micro-articles, featurettes. They are extended captions for invisible snapshots, dust jacket blurbs for non-existent books, truncated responses to essay questions on private pop quizzes that pop up only between my ears. Stabs at shtick, unsponsored spots for nothing at all. It's like some big sweaty guy moved into your knotty pine rec room and you keep getting these postcards from someone a lot like that in a similar rec room but you're not sure: What if it's some other guy in somebody else's basement?

Monday, January 3, 2011

The underside of a flat smooth stone

Here's an actual quote from an art critic I refrain from naming so that you won't hunt him down and punch him in the nose: “His art was deliberately elusive; introverted but with a steely ambition evident in the obduracy with which it declines to present anything that could be interpreted as a statement of purpose.” I'm woozy with epistemological revulsion - there's something about that sentence that makes me want to douse it with kerosene and strike a match. Anyway, who needs Art when we spend every day of our lives in a full-sized interactive Museum of Everything?