Friday, October 31, 2008

ribble's Brief Foray in to Politics #3 : The Inevitable

THE PLACE: Hanoverton, Ohio
THE TIME: 10:30:00 AM EST
THE MAN: John "Maverick" McCain (R-AZ)
THE INEVITABLE UTTERANCE: "You know, our friend Joe the Biden again ... "
COMMENT: !!!!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

ribble's Second Brief Foray in to Politics

I just realized that it took me four and a half years to measure the drapes in my apartment, which would put me somewhere in my second term.

Monday, October 20, 2008

One Reason to Want to Date Me

(In the tradition of EEK.)

When I meet people for the first time, but even with some people I've talked to every week for the last two years, I am basically just making a constant stream of references. It's like my side of the conversation is indistinguishable from a guy explaining all the jokes in an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

I realized just how irresistible I find this urge when I met a bunch of new people at Marmo's party last week. In three conversations with three different people in the space of half an hour, I made reference to TvTropes, the movie Happiness (funniest child molestation movie ever) and Douglas Adams, in all but one case stopping these respective conversation dead in their tracks (the exception was the guy who'd read all of Douglas Adams, who referenced me right back to the game Galcom for the iPhone and iPod Touch).

Why do I think references are so important? There's a strip in Tailsteak's online comic "Band" where a character explains why Simpsons quotes are always relevant - they form a common ground between participants in the conversation.

I always thought that a diverse spread of references was a particularly American trade (for the record, though, Tailsteak is Canadian). Let me explain. When I went to my strange and obscure school in South Wales, all the people who came from the same country would occasionally all meet up, have dinner and talk.

These meetings would be a little window in to the soul of the nation, sort of. (I say "sort of" because this is going to sound like it's straight out of the prejudice map.) The Welsh would get together and drink. The Italians would get together and argue.

With us Americans, a certain national language would occur. I don't know quite how to explain it except to say that, although everyone at our school more or less spoke English, no one from outside the country understood what we were saying. Cartoons, movies, events of the 1980s.

This is what would define us as citizens of the U.S.A. And that's why you have to watch TV to know what anyone in this country is talking about.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Possibly an Illustration of the Long Tail Theory

Why are people coming to ribble's?

1) To figure out what the slang in Ocean's 13 means.

2) Looking for titles of porn movies.

3) Interested in women bass players or, occasionally, women wearing overalls.

4) Actually know me and found this through Facebook.

5) Want to read Deadliest Catch fan fiction.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Occupational Stereotyping

Inspired by the prejudice map.

Lawyers are known for *
... burying their adversaries in a blizzard of paper
... their in-depth knowledge of the law and medicine
... aggressively pursuing their clients' interests

Doctors are known for *
... their high standard of medical education
... patching up military members
... prescribing medications

Politicians are known for *
... lame jokes
... forcing their way into everything
... hauling out their children (bonus points for babies) anywhere there's a photo op

Mothers are known for *
... unconditional love
... having pet sayings for their children
... regular pre-and post-natal checkups

Real estate agents are known for *
Estate agents are known for *
... providing premier customer service
... tapping technology to service their clients better
... their competence and integrity
... their "flowery" write ups
... having an aggressive or pushy style
... saying what matters most is "location, location, location"

Businessmen are known for *
... hoarding gold
... having an aggressive do-or-die attitude toward business
... takeovers
Businesspeople are known for *
... being skilled negotiators
... their sharpness in detecting potential markets
... their flair, work ethic and innovative skills

Teachers are known for *
... their commitment to excellence in theological preparation, interpretation of the scripture and justice advocacy
... their sociable and creative natures
... being untouchable and unreachable

Administrators are known for *
... jealously guarding fucking up protecting the existence of new updated content and for reverting perfectly good edits
... staying in their office and seldom walking the hallways to see what is actually going on
... stuffiness

Bureaucrats are known for *
... amassing wealth
... going and looking for ways to spend more money on whatever good deed they think will make their position secure
... arrogance, thick webs of red tape and a robust commitment to boredom

Filmmakers are known for *
... lifting movies from Hollywood
... Oscars and Golden Globes
... producing haunting visual spectacles

Maids are known for *
... their gold bikini
... writing tickets just a few minutes before 6 p.m.
... carrying inspiration and learning from the realms of the gods to chosen mortals

Policemen are known for *
... throwing their weight around
... custodial rape, abduction and rape and corruption
... their abrasiveness and boorish behavior

Cops are known for *
... breaking into cars and burglarizing, beating women, pimping women and selling drugs
... giving people tickets for going too fast
... being a little twitchy

Truck drivers are known for *
... sitting on their bottoms
... working long and grueling shifts
... their rash driving

Artists are known for *
... their preference for studios with "north" light
... their individualism
... their pichhavais (large paintings on cloth)

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Short Note On Novelty Murders

I've been watching Life, and I spotted an element that I think is getting increasingly common in modern one-hour dramas.

I've explained why one-hour dramas are dead to me in predictably self-indulgent detail, but, of course, networks know what we want has changed (and television writers do watch HBO). Result: network one-hour dramas have picked up some elements of three-season story arc shows like The Wire.

Watch a one-hour network or basic cable drama and you'll get two stories. You'll get the one-hour story (novelty murder, altruistic cloak and dagger, novelty cloak and dagger), but you'll also get an installment of the multi-season story (thin blue line conspiracy, thin red line conspiracy, and conspiracy contained within the protagonist's brain, respectively).

Maybe I'm just seeing again what's always been there, but I think these multi-season stories are taking a bolder place next to their one-hour counterparts. In, say, Quantum Leap (to take a nostalgic example) you wouldn't see Sam wrestle with getting back to his old body every week. Things got started in the pilot and then each new episode dealt with whatever came up in the one-hour story.

These stronger multi-season story arcs can makes for more compelling drama. Burn Notice makes a habit of pitting Michael's this-hour objectives against his this-season objectives, even in simple ways (whenever two people want Michael to be in different places at the same time, drink).

God I love Burn Notice. Any trope that even indirectly taught me how to hide things in my walls? Totally worth it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Tonight's Entertainment

Tonight I watched Rocknrolla and considered a career as a criminal.

Now I am reading The New Kings of Non-Fiction and considering a career as a reporter.

The key, of course, is to write movies about criminals and reporters, thereby justifying all my errant daydreaming.

More Fun With Google

Yesterday, Google created (or re-released?) a time machine!

Life was so much simpler then .

Thank God no one archived the program for my 1992 tap recital, "Tuxedo Junction." Or did I just put that back on my permanent record?

Stupid internet.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

God is *

God is *
... dead
... God
... Imaginary

God is known for *
... His love, His grace, His compassion, His justice, His fairness, and many other qualities that I don't have enough room on Xanga to list
... prudent management of resources
... heavy tourist traffic nowadays

Buddha is known for *
... uplifting the spirit and attracting wealth, prosperity, and abundance
... his holistic approach to hip hop
... a dragon painting on the ceiling

Muhammad is known for *
... his outspoken and often inflammatory comments
... his love of horseracing
... his passionate quest for identity and roots

Confucius is known for *
... his life as a teacher and scholar
... his humility, his gentleness, his respectful behavior
... emphasizing society / community

Moses is known for
... his holiness, his "perfection" and his connection to the Law
... Exodus chapter 7
... genuinely caring as well as helping students with their problems

Prophets are known for *
... 'aql (wisdom and sagacity)
... nice muscle definition
... announcing doom and gloom

Jesus is known for *
... his cross
... his dual role
... his parables

the holy spirit is known for *
... being a Gentleman not a circus puppeteer
... delivering semen
... exorcising demons and giving spiritual direction

Vishnu is known for *
... his bravery in destroying evil powers
... his relationship building skills, extensive contacts in the industry, very thorough candidate screening process
... ten reincarnations

Deities are known for
... their simplicity
... throwing lightning bolts
... favoring characters which continually pray to them

The Gods are known for *
... mimicing human foibles
... their slow, sludgy sound
... being magical like pizies

Friday, October 10, 2008