Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday Movie Madness: Conan O'Brien Can't Stop

Monday Movie Madness, where I review a movie that I recently saw for the first time. Yeah, I meant this to be a weekly feature months ago but got distracted. This week's offering is Conan O'Brien Can't Stop (2011).

Like many I felt Conan got a raw deal when he was canned from the Tonight Show and have been curious about his Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television tour. I assumed that this documentary would either be a recording of one gig on that tour or a blow-blow account of his departure from the Tonight Show and the subsequent tour. It is somewhat of the latter, but not in any detailed way. It's more of a stream of consciousness telling of those events, you see bits and pieces over time, but never in any detail. You get a little bit of a look at Conan as a person, but not too much. His family life and backstory a lightly touched on at random points. He can be a dick to his staff, by his own admission, although many times it is in a sarcastic way not meant to be taken seriously (have to be from Boston to get the sarcasm). One thing that is noticeable at the beginning is how he struggles with being intensely angry with being screwed over while at the same time telling the world and himself that he is a fortunate person who really has nothing to complain about. How often do we see this from celebs, rich people, athletes and politicians?

Overall, it's not a deep insightful doc, it's just there. Nevertheless it's entertaining and it reveals O'Brien to be a very talented performer.  Worth watching.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

No, you don't know who bombed the Marathon.

It's a sad ritual going back to the days before cable when after any sort of horrific crime or tragic event the news media answers the unknown with uninformed speculation posing as fact. 24-hour news and the internet have simply put this on steroids and we've all wearily grown accustomed to it.

But in the past decade this sort of useless and even harmful speculation-as-news has spread even more as non-media people have taken to comment sections, facebook and twitter to spout their own ridiculous, totally fact-free pronouncements on who did something and why. Speculation is one thing, we're all doing it, but these people push their speculation as confirmed facts. What's worse is that they often jump to accusing whole groups by association and demand retribution. And these people are not limited to any one viewpoint or ideology, they're right, left, in-between and really out there. Apparently these folks have all the answers and they want to let you know they do.

Well I have a message for those folks.

You don't know who did it, you don't have secret information, world events are not controlled by shadowy cabals, history does not follow some set path, people you disagree with politically are not responsible for all the world's ills. You don't know what information the authorities have.

We don't know if it was one person, several or many, al Qaeda, al Qaeda inspired, right-wing nuts, anarchists, or anyone with any well known cause associated with violence. It could even be someone with a grudge against the Marathon or some ill-defined hatred of Boston and/or New England.  We don't know and that we includes you. You're not special.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Strange, surreal and stupid Sunday, Apr. 14

It's not a strange, stupid and surreal roundup without a Florida story: Florida battles slimy invasion by giant snails

You can't buy rights to name exoplanet, says astronomy group - whew! No planet Trump.

 Graffiti force closure of Joshua Tree park sites - "They (park officials)blame vandals who posted pictures of their handiwork on social media sites such as Facebook, which enticed others to the same spot and leave their own illicit marks." Do kids these days have no grasp of the concept of incriminating evidence?

But in New Jersey graffiti and vandalism are part of the charm apparently.

‘Family Ties’ and ‘Modern Family’ define political parties - another reason why I'm independent.

Yum! Astronauts' Favorite Space Food: Rehydrated, ghastly pink, a little bit slimy

The San Francisco Treat!

I'll just quote this "A scion of the Scripps media family was convicted in Philadelphia on Friday of fleecing his mother and mentally disabled uncle of $3.6 million, cash he spent on cars, jewelry, and a playboy lifestyle for himself and two women - one a stripper, the other a porn star." 

The BBC looks set to play Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead, the Wizard of Oz song appropriated by anti-Thatcherites - Couldn't have happened to a nicer person, wonder what the Irish is for "rot in hell"? But how can you hate someone who inspires this?

While over here we have this (in Florida of course): Police Sergeant Fired Over Trayvon Martin Shooting Targets

Indeed: The strange beauty of salt mines