April 25, 2006

Kiss Me Deadly

I'm not sure I understand the reverence for this "classic" 1955 Mike Hammer movie. It's notable for probably being the inspiration behind the glowing briefcase in "Pulp Fiction," but the movie itself was bad, BAD. It felt like a T.V. show - and a BAD one.

Still - it was the kind of bad that, once we realized HOW bad it was, we could sort of enjoy ourselves.

The key to its baddery is, unfortunately, the acting. Followed by the writing, and then let's round it out with the directing. Besides Cloris Leachman's brief scenes at the beginning (and in her film debut), and also Strother Martin's (I believe uncredited) tiny scene, the acting was so awful I started to wonder if maybe Mike Hammer had a learning disability that I didn't know about. I seriously started to wonder at the 45 minute mark - 'Is Mike Hammer illiterate? Was he known as, maybe, the Idiot Detective?'

It's an honest question; this was my first Hammer movie and I'm unfamiliar with the character. It certainly made the movie more entertaining to think of it as one detective's struggle with his own idiocy. Plus his issues in dealing with idiot assistant Velda. And the idiot Chief of Police.

At one point Hammer marches up to a hotel clerk and defiantly holds up a key. "WHAT IS THIS?" he demands, and my impression wasn't that he was asking what lock it went to, but that he was unclear on the concept of a "key."

Later this hotel clerk is randomly slapped around by Hammer, who did a lot of random slapping in the film. Much is mentioned about Hammer's cruelty by the critics, but very little about his dim-wittedness.

Other oddness:At one point a man escapes Mike Hammer by - and I am not kidding - quickly swallowing a bunch of sleeping pills so that he can sleep through the interrogation.

The Chief of Police has a little monologue at the end that I want tattooed on my chest, upside down, so I can always look down at it and marvel at its brilliance:

Now listen, Mike. Listen carefully. I'm going to pronounce a few words. They're harmless words. Just a bunch of letters scrambled together. But their meaning is very important. Try to understand what they mean. 'Manhattan Project, Los Alamos, Trinity.'

(From the invaluable film site called.... FilmSite.org.) A few scenes. Just a few harmless pictures strung together. But put them in a certain order - and va va VOOM what a bad movie.

We did get to see a "recently discovered" ending that allows Hammer and his idiot secretary to live after escaping the atomically exploding house, so that's of note. And two of the actresses in the movie were in attendance, so there's another.

You know, forget that this movie was bad. You HAVE to see it. If you have any interest in noir, you MUST.

Posted by Chris on 04/25/06

I thought Mike Hammer was a TV show....??

Posted by: Vickery at April 27, 2006 1:41 PM

April 24, 2006

A Simple Correlation

Friend Ben sent something around suggesting an action that can be taken on the gas prices. And it's not just a "Don't Drive Anywhere Day." The idea is to stop buying gas from Exxon-Mobil completely.

I don't know what they're up to where you live, but here prices are a bit above $3. You know, politics aside, and just on general principle: if the company charging those prices can afford to give retiring CEO Lee Raymond "one of the most lavish exit packages in history, a bonanza worth an estimated $398 million total," (From TomPaine.com), AND they posted record profits last year? Yeah, I think it's worth it to drive a few more miles down the road to the next station.

Suddenly those Blue Buses with their shoddy debit card reloading action are looking a bit better.

And bringing politics back into it, please to check out these simple, easy-to-read charts at This Modern World. The correlations are SUPER-easy to follow: Gas prices. Exxon-Mobil profits. Industry political party affiliations.

What do these people have to do to get kicked out of office? Put a ban on Jesus and football? Would even THAT do it?

Posted by Chris on 04/24/06

The oil markets are well beyond "consumer buying power" at this point. Snopes covers the idea behind boycotting one or two brands . Gas can be publicly traded and sold, so if you only buy from BP, eventually BP will have to buy excess supply from Exxon. The article includes the bonus word "fungible."
I've also heard that we have limited refineries in this country and the large companies are dragging their feet about additional expenditures for more refining capabilities when oil output is going to continue to go down.
Jimmy Carter tried to tell us once that the time of the American oil based economy would run down in our lifetimes, and we voted him out, elected an actor and invented the SUV.
We either suck up the prices or seriously alter our behavior by moving near work, riding bikes, and actively pushing your representatives to start talking about this. But "voting with your dollars" is a rigged election at this point.
If you want to be really depressed (or excited by the opportunities in a post-apocolyptic world, read "The Long Emergency" by James Kunstler.

Posted by: fattyfat at April 24, 2006 4:58 PM

Forget about reading Kunstler or doing any other sort of learning; at this point I'm going to go bury 100 gallons of gas and a dozen shotguns in the backyard so I can at least be a minor despotic landlord in the coming Mad Max era.


Posted by: Chris at April 25, 2006 12:19 PM

As the sovereign ruler of the great country of Chicago-Great-Lakia, I order you to be the first with your back against the wall when the revolution comes. I have to go now and work on our nation's flag, one sewn with ...HUMAN SKIN.

Posted by: FattyFat at April 25, 2006 12:42 PM

Now now FattyFat, you know full well that you can be the despotic ruler of that land... IN YOUR MIND.

Or until I manage to chase you down on your wee little bike in one of my many monstrous SUVs. I'm with Chris, I'm filling the gas reservoirs in the back yard and basement so that when it all goes down, I'll be able to literally roll over anyone else in my way.

Never forget the lessons of Kevin Costner in Waterworld and the Postman - it's not the big muscle-y guy that takes over as despot, it's the smart guy who plans ahead and has the cache of necessities like gas and toilet paper. Never forget toilet paper.

Posted by: Ranger Dekiion at April 26, 2006 8:45 AM

I'm no expert on protests and consumer action, but this seems like demonstrating against McDonald's obesity elixir by eating at Burger King. Where's the sacrifice? How about skipping that weekend trip to Grandma's or the mall instead of grumbling about how it's getting expensive to go there? Do something that doesn't involve driving. Why drop the prices, encouraging more frivolous travel and increased pollution? Got an expensive lifestyle? Change it, or smile and pay for it. The power resides with the individual more than the group in this case - where's the nation of rugged individualists?

Posted by: simon at April 26, 2006 8:57 AM

I agree with Simon. The rugged individualists are driving the SUV two blocks to REI to buy rugged camping roughin'-it gear.

Here's the Gas Protest email in a nutshell:
The Red Horsey Gas Station is evil because its red like the devil and has wings. Horses don't have wings, so it must be from Heaven or Hell. And its RED. See above

So we still love our cars but we need to stop buying from Satan. There's a Gas Station that has a flower on it. Its a Green Flower! That's normal! What else is green? Environmentalists are! If we buy there, we'll become environmentalists and can use our 'green street cred' to make it with hippy girls, who have sex all the time and will be nice to us!

So we boycott red demon horses for shiny green flowers. The Good Flowers are happy to sell to us so we can drive our pretty hippies around, and "Feelin' Groovy" will blare from speaker at the pump. At some point, the Flower gas station, crammed with environmentalists runs low on gas, and buys some at a markup from a evil but helpful red Hell Horse who is then petted and fed an apple by the invisible hand of Adam Smith.

As for Ranger D, In the post-fossil fuels society, I will be driving the SUV of the apocalypse across Lake Michigan: The Steamboat. You can expect an off-shore bombardment of your HellBurb sometime after the rapture. You know what doesn't mix well with cannonballs? Stockpiles of gasoline.

Posted by: fattyfat at April 26, 2006 10:15 AM

You know I hate it when someone challenges my worldview in this way. PLEASE STOP. If I can't solve the world's problems through a simple boycott of no longer than 2-3 weeks, then it's hell in a handbasket time as far as I'm concerned.

Actually, I do appreciate the perspective even if it is a bit dour. We definitely have to move past the simplistic view.

My opinion, however, is that while Kunstler and his sort may be more accurate, his views may as well be the same as the Tinkerbell crowd's that want to just wave a boycott wand and have it go away. Why? Because he's scaring the very people who should be hearing this message out of their wits, and we know what happens next when we get scared.

Things look very very bad? Worse than we thought? OK, thanks for the information, now let's put down the sandwich boards and move on to the action plan. The action plan is very very scary? It may mean very very big changes that we don't like in our lives? OK, well, let's do the thing where we scare the living shit out of people for a while, but then let's have the smart people like Kunstler (I'm picking on him because FattyFat cites him, not because I have read him - sorry) start spending some energy on some affirmative propaganda.

Because unfortunately this idea - even though it DOES involve the preservation of the species - WILL have to be sold to the public, just like any other idea.

Let's start showing people what a life looks like that ISN'T wasteful and planet-destroying. Bikes are great. A simpler life can be better. We don't have to immediately change our cardigans and Hilfigers in for Mad Max leathers and Fatty's conch shell.

Posted by: Chris at April 26, 2006 12:51 PM

One final note, challenging no particular worldview: in 2000 A.D. when George Bush Jr was running for president and the gas prices were highish (although nothing like these record levels - something like 62% higher now) he said then president Clinton should get on the phone to OPEC and tell them to open the spigots.

Presumably Bush Jr is just waiting for someone to tell him how to get an outside line...? Perhaps he lost OPEC's number?

And Mad Max leathers? Do they have cattle in Mad Max times? Mad cows? Oh, tee hee hee, chortle.

Posted by: simon at April 28, 2006 5:25 PM

How convenient... for YOU

Dear Cingular,

I got my $50 rebate from the cell phone I recently bought from you. Thanks! I believe that was quicker than the 9-12 weeks you said it would take.

I see, however, that instead of sending a check or crediting my Mastercard with the amount, you've opted to send me a separate debit card loaded with the funds.

How convenient! For you, I mean.

So now all I have to do to use my money is carry a separate plastic card around and use it in place of cash, or in place of any of the other cards I already have. And, lucky for me, all I have to do is keep a separate running total of how much I've spent on it, or otherwise face having a sales clerk say THERE'S NOT ENOUGH MONEY ON THIS.

And let me guess what happens when I get down to about $7 on this thing - eventually I'll just put it away and lose that last amount rather than have to worry about NOT HAVING ENOUGH.

Thanks! This is a really great system! For you, I mean.

Posted by Chris on 04/24/06

April 19, 2006

McClellan Requiem

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan has stepped down, and soon that Sunset Orange Pearl-colored Honda Element will leave the Executive Parking lot for the last time.

Soon he'll be off to whatever enormously overpaid job his betters have arranged for him. Yes, there'll be a book, as soon as the Deciders find someone to write it for him. He'll be featured on the cover in a jacket and open collar.

They'll arrange a few appearances on some of the pundits' shows, but not many; Scott needs a definite script, and a short one at that.

However, removed from the immediate sphere of the Deciders, he will simply fade away, as his type does. He is not a James Baker or an Alexander Haig to periodically, disturbingly resurface.

I have always found (and I hope you find this at least slightly ironic, as I do) that McClellan has left me a bit inarticulate. Not in a general sense - I am not literally dumbfounded by his dumbassery - but specifically in the sense that I have never been able to settle on a label for him. No particular epithet seemed to fit perfectly.

Even a search of the President's humorous staff nicknames doesn't yield one for Scott. Maybe W. was stymied as well.

McClellan was always a very unique type of White House administrative stain, one that came specifically out of a group of chuckling, satisfied cronies at the top of the income brackets handing out jobs to their most loyal, unquestioning friends. And to the sons of their friends. And to their friends' sons' slightly slow cousins. Certainly he seemed unquestioning and obedient, but there was more - or less.

No definite words come to mind when considering Scott McClellan, only impressions. I always got the feeling no matter how much you shoved him, he'd probably rock back up to upright position, like a piece of sturdy gym equipment. I got the sense he could be eventually taught not to touch a hot stove. I assume that when he was growing up he was the one the other kids got to taste cat food for the first time.

My impression of our former Press Secretary was always that the senior frat boys had posted their most pliable, eager pledge at the front door of the house to deflect difficult questions. Like when school officials came around to deliver the bad news about their collective GPAs. Or when the police came by to arrest whoever was dealing roofies on campus.

He wasn't stupid - but he wasn't someone you'd call into the room to help figure out what to do about a dead hooker. Well, you'd eventually call him into the room - when it was time for someone to fetch the pizzas and beers. MOVE, pledge.

"Sycophant?" No, although certainly he'd be in that same phylum. "Prick" was the first label I tried on McClellan, but that never fit because it implies a certain potency, doesn't it? And that is not what comes to mind when watching him.

These two words also implied a certain level of cunning, too, that I never saw. It always seemed to me McClellan was able to deflect queries and logic not through a cunning grasp of the inform / deflect dance every Press Secretary has done - but out of some sort of obstinancy that came out of a blank ignorance. It's possible our current administration could not have possibly had a better spokesperson.

"Lackey?" "Lapdog?" "Toady?" Well - all of those, but not exactly. Any word I came up with seemed to imply a sort of knowing gleam in the eye, a gleam I never saw in him.

It's an ongoing investigation for me - which, unlike Scott, I am happy to comment on.

Scott McClellan is gone. Long evade Scott McClellan.

Posted by Chris on 04/19/06

"The Deciders." Handeye, I think you deserve the official designation "Today's best Pundit" for latching on to a vital new phrase in the Bush Lexicon. If I've ever heard that word used before, it was probably when I was nine, playing in my cousin's basement. And at 97 pounds, the Decider she was...

Here's a game you can play on the bus. Using your inside voice, imagine each President's voice from a snippet of speech you've heard. You could probably start with Wilson, or just hit the highlights: Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, and especially Clinton. Now, using a remembered voice, substitute the words "I am the Decider." and see if your head completely explodes from the implausibility of it all.
Good Post. I've always referred to Scotty as "That Dick-Butter" but that doesn't really fit either.
P.S. I love Peeps.

Posted by: TheDecider at April 19, 2006 5:12 PM

I like "prat" or "pillock". Although, as you say, the second suggests a certain potency and it's difficult to give him the first over his boss.

Posted by: simon at April 20, 2006 4:27 AM

April 18, 2006

A First-Reel Bond Girl

Although Michelle Malkin has not yet achieved Anne Coulter or Rush Limbaugh status as a Professional Hater and Sayer of Mean Things, she of the gorgeous face and coal-black heart is inching up on the title.

Her latest feat: Some students at UC Santa Cruz protested a group of military recruiters on their campus. Malkin got a hold of the students' personal phone numbers and posted them on her site. Now, just as she no doubt intended, the students are being inundated with death threats.

How proud she must be.

Check out Ezra Klein's fantastic meditation on what motivates someone like Malkin here. He even spares a little pity for her. It's almost enough to make you feel sorry for her.

Such a beautiful woman - and so evil. When I see her I am put in mind of a James Bond girl. Not the one he ends up with, but the one they send after him in the first reel, that he dispatches fairly easily. Sure, he'll spend the night with her, but in the morning he'll use her as a human shield or let her drop out of a window.

Posted by Chris on 04/18/06

April 17, 2006

The Peeps Have Spoken...

... and their message is clear: YOU WILL EAT US AND YOU WILL LIKE IT.

After I put up my last post about Peeps, within short order I found that I'd been enrolled in the Peeps Fan Club and was somehow sending out Peeps eCards to the whole I.T. team. The included messages ranged from I HEART PEEPS to I LUV PONIES N' PEEPS.

Embarassing enough, but more disturbing in the way it spoke to the Peeps' deep influence over our lives, was that every computer I logged onto Friday had a Peeps-themed desktop that could not be changed. Ominous. Subtle.

How strange that of all the heresies I have uttered on these virtual pages, it would be a denunciation of Peeps that would have the most effect.

Do the Peeps have collaborators within the I.T. organization here? Clearly yes, but why focus on their betrayal? They are just as victimized and terrorized as the rest of us. Who knew the Peeps were such a powerful underlying force in society?

Posted by Chris on 04/17/06





Posted by: Peepcutous of PeepBorg at April 17, 2006 9:21 AM

I <3 P0nies and PeePs!!!

OMG! Peeps FTW! I totally <3 peeps! I can hide my shame no more!

Posted by: Chris at April 17, 2006 9:23 AM

Wow, what a screedy post! You made Gnat cry with your hatred of peeps, you vile monster! I'd ask you questions about your political leanings, but clearly we see you are part of the HALIBURTON THREAT and simply try and divert our attention from the REAL issues of the day with your blater about peeps. Do you even KNOW your political candidate's stance on peeps?!?!


Oh, check out this cute 78 minute movie of Gnat singing her song "I heart peeps and ponies" over and over while dancing a cute interpretive dance. Wheee!

Posted by: James Lileks at April 17, 2006 9:26 AM

I have here in my hand a list of two hundred and five people that were known to the IT Director as being members of the Peeps Fan Club and who nevertheless are still working on shaping the policy of the IT Department.

Posted by: The Junior Senator from Wisconsin at April 17, 2006 9:33 AM

After having given peeps a second change and slept on it. I have to correct my prior post. Let me describe what it would be like if you too joined me in eating peeps:

There is no pain. Suddenly, while you're asleep, they'll absorb your minds, your memories and you're reborn into an untroubled world...Tomorrow you'll be one of us...There's no need for love...Love. Desire. Ambition. Faith. Without them, life is so simple, believe me.

OMG! I heart peeps!

Posted by: Chris at April 17, 2006 9:45 AM

I HEART PEEPS so much... I directed an entire MOVIE About them now! Yippeee!


Posted by: Chris at April 17, 2006 1:52 PM

This whole thing might be worse than the Katrina Troll back in October of Aught-Five.

Posted by: The Real Chris at April 17, 2006 3:46 PM

Just kharma. Of all the sweets and candies in the world to have an obsessive fanclub, you'd think it would be for one of the edible varieties.

Posted by: simon at April 18, 2006 4:26 AM

April 13, 2006

I'll Have No Truck With Peeps

Here's a perennial favorite I'll have no truck with: PEEPS.

People, Peeps are not candy. They are the industrial run-off from candy.

Peeps are the marshmallow leavings from some other confection, and one day some GENIUS of the novelty candy world got the idea to catch the hot sugary drippings in a mold that is somewhat shaped like a baby chick. Pass that glob under the Pink Glitter Machine, throw a few dots on there for eyes, BINGO - you've got Peeps. I bet they're stale before they leave the conveyor belt.

Peeps are the pigs-feet of the sugary holiday treat world - they are the last thing that can be used from that product. Creating them was a matter of pride for some manufacturer, not invention. Whatever warehouse they roll out of, there is a big sign somewhere that says ZERO PERCENT SUGAR WASTE!

Peeps are Easter basket space-filler - that's it. They are the packing peanuts of the Easter Candy world. They are one step above the asbestos grass that comes along in the basket, and not one big step at that.

Last week I tried Peeps again for the first time in five years or so to be sure - nope, nothing's changed.


Posted by Chris on 04/13/06

I love your blog! I agree - the whole basket should be full of Reese's peanut butter eggs - the big kind.

Posted by: Vickery at April 13, 2006 3:26 PM

I see that they have finally come down on the size of Cadbury's eggs, though - which is actually a good thing.

Posted by: Chris at April 13, 2006 5:03 PM

And they're not just for Easter, anymore. They've invaded three other holidays - http://www.marshmallowpeeps.com/flash/index.php.
I'll bet we could find their evil plan for the absolute takeover of every holiday somewhere in their site. Thanksgiving Peeps? Cinco de Mayo Peeps?

Write your congressional representative, People! They must be stopped!

Posted by: Wife Ami at April 14, 2006 3:17 AM

awwww... I LIKE Peeps...

put 'em in the microwave for about 10 sec, they get as big as your head! Now THAT'S nothing to sneeze at in ANY class of confection...

Posted by: Ranger Dekiion at April 14, 2006 5:19 AM

I'm not to sure that I like you dissin' my peeps. I happen to love them. Not as much as I used to, but still. It all switched around one Easter season in college. Everyone I knew; knew that I liked peeps; so everyone bought me a small army of peeps. And yes; I ate them all. But ever since, I can't stomach more than a few at a time. Gee, I wonder why? But I still love them, so watch your mouth!

Posted by: KLUGULA at April 14, 2006 8:27 AM

Haven't you tried Peeps jousting? Put two in the microwave, facing each other with a toothpick poking out of them. Put them close enough so when they expand, the victor lances and deflates his opponent.

As for eating them, they seem more like something you'd scrape off your shoe than put in your mouth. But hey, however you celebrate pagan Easter, the brutal execution of Jesus and sparing of Barrabas, is okay with me.

Posted by: simon at April 14, 2006 4:32 PM

April 11, 2006

Things What I've Seen and Heard

  • V for Vendetta. It would be interesting to see the American equivalent of this film, (although apparently author Alan Moore thought we already were and took his name off the project) because even as a mere Yank the final images of Parliament being bombed I found quite disturbing.

    I'd like to see this story done again, with more emphasis on what makes someone a terrorist vs a freedom-fighter. I was more interested in that idea than the "Phantom of the Opera" subplot. I'm afraid even after reading the book I am confused about what happened to V in the medical experiment prison. And isn't it possible that a government could turn fascist without immediately reaching for the giant red, black and white flags? I think we know it is.

  • Brick. Go go go go. It's rare to see a high-school movie that doesn't use every single cliche in the book. This one has NONE of them. The movie makes a self-contained little world, with lingo and mannerisms that could only exist there. VERY good. Made me want to go back and watch all the classic film noirs again.

  • "The Mating Game" by Bitter:Sweet. A fab new album from a fab new group in the retro-slinky chanteuse vein. On iTunes. As is:

  • "At War With the Mystic" by The Flaming Lips. Also a fab new album but maybe not as fab to me (yet) as "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots." If you have not discovered the Flaming Lips and like funny, off-the-wall music, start with that latter album.

    Posted by Chris on 04/11/06

    I haven't seen the film, but I think what happens to V in the graphic novel is left deliberately murky, as is his background and identity and why things were done to him, to allow the imagination to fill in. I think the point is a government (or person) bigoted against one group can just as easily be bigoted against many others; hatred is arbitrary. And what starts off as hatred soon can turn into policies, pogroms and violence. To show what actually happens lets the reader say "well, that would never happen here" when the point is it can.

    From what I've seen of the trailers it looks as if V is keen on a revolution rather than following the vendetta against those who "created" him. I realize there must be changes made in adaptations from page to screen but I've often wondered why that means weakening some of the authors choices (such as blandly turning Evey from a prostitute into a TV station worker). Why have the folks who made the film been suggesting the graphic novel reads like storyboards if they didn't follow the storyboards?

    I also wonder why Alan Moore (who also wrote The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and From Hell) sells his work to Hollywood then asks his name to be completely removed when they (naturally) make changes. Don't want it butchered? Don't sell it to butchers.

    Posted by: simon at April 12, 2006 4:31 AM

    I do like the fact that Moore supposedly gives all of his profits from the movies to whatever artist worked with him on the source material. That's a man who seriously does not want to be connected to the film versions of his work. But, you're right Simon, Moore is an intelligent man, what did he think was going to happen when he sold the rights to film?

    Posted by: Foley at April 12, 2006 7:07 AM

    Is the movie keen on revolution? Its keen on the governed just showing up. Instead of sitting at home watching propaganda, they all walk outside and watch parliment explode. Insteading of promoting Anarchy, how about not so much Apathy. At least walk ouside and mildly violate the law. The filmmakers obviously have very little expectations for the Public that they don't include any of the orginal dialoge regarding anarchy vs. chaos (or the land of "do as you please") Obviously, they think the idea of self-governing, or barely independent action as not worth considering. There's one line during a looting/robbery "Anarchy in the UK" that really goes completely counter to the book's themes. So while the emotional content fires me up, the underlying political message is rather sad: "Would a bunch of you do something, even its mildly symbolic but pointless?"
    Jesus, don't we do that now? Free Mumia! For everyone!

    I say all this, but am also aware that the amazing immigrant marches breaking out everywhere are a great show of the public taking constructive action.

    Posted by: fattyfattyfatGEEK at April 12, 2006 9:24 AM

    Yes - but at this point people just showing up WOULD be revolutionary. The only ones who seem to be doing it now are the immigrants willing to work for years and years to be citizens.

    Posted by: Chris at April 13, 2006 8:42 AM
  • April 10, 2006

    Screenplay #5

    Almost five and a half months later, there is a first draft of my slam-it-out-in-one-month screenplay. It is called (currently) "The Curse of the Wandering Hand," and true to my standard practice of making something so bizarre as to be virtually unsellable in any known market, it is a period horror-comedy, done in the style of the old British Hammer studios, but as if written by Monty Python.

    Perhaps just to make sure no one ever buys it, ever, I should translate it into Dutch while I'm at it.

    Much rewriting to be done on this, but it IS a complete draft! Champagne and Hersheys Kisses all around.

    Posted by Chris on 04/10/06

    YEAH!! Good for you!

    Posted by: Vickery at April 10, 2006 2:57 PM

    Kudos! I am now able to empathize w/ your plight!

    Posted by: KLUGULA at April 10, 2006 4:48 PM

    Congratulations! I suggest getting together to celebrate, maybe even a reading. How about we all meet up near the Sapient office? (The one in Cambridge.)

    Posted by: simon at April 11, 2006 4:25 AM

    Great job, Chris! Keep it up!

    Posted by: Foley at April 11, 2006 5:31 AM

    congratulations, chris! If you're going to throw the celebration in Cambridge, I'll buy a round of drinks (except not for that ranger dekeion guy. not for him)!

    I hope you remembered to add some zombies and will cast me and George in zombie roles.

    Posted by: olmy at April 11, 2006 6:05 AM

    Eerrrrrm? * y a w n *

    Yeah! A Script! A Script! A First Draft, yeah!!!!!

    Zombies? I want the Van Helsing-ish Zombie Killer role then, muahahah!

    Posted by: Ranger Dekiion at April 11, 2006 6:17 AM


    Is there a part for a fat guy in it?

    Posted by: Big Fat Brian at April 11, 2006 6:53 AM

    only if its a fat zombie.

    Posted by: olmy at April 11, 2006 11:46 AM

    hmmm ... apparently someone already beat Chris to the masterful idea of a fat zombie:


    Posted by: olmy at April 11, 2006 11:47 AM

    If you want zombies, Klugula (above) is your man. Klug has forgotten more about zombies than I ever knew.

    Klug - have you read "The Cell" yet?

    Posted by: Chris at April 11, 2006 7:02 PM

    who's olmy? because, basically, they may have to taste my wrath for insulting my husband.

    Posted by: friend jessica at April 11, 2006 7:33 PM

    Oh oh I know I know!

    He's this REALLY kick ass character in Eon, by Greg Bear. GREAT book, and very cool character.

    Oh wait, you mean the REAL Olmy?


    we can't tell you that. he must be... protected.


    Posted by: Ranger Dekiion at April 12, 2006 7:40 AM

    hmmm ... I hope I didn't stumble into a landmine of unanticipated insult or injury by using the word zombie. If so, I humbly retract my statement and will, henceforth, use the term "living dead."

    No offense meant. :-)

    Posted by: olmy at April 13, 2006 5:38 AM

    Olmy has always been insensitive about the living dead. I remember that time I thought I was a vampire and he kept putting garlic everywhere.

    Posted by: Chris at April 13, 2006 11:07 AM

    Haven't read Cell yet. I didn't want to read/see any new zombie stuff whilst my script was still in possible revisions stages. It sounds awesome though!

    Posted by: klugula at April 23, 2006 7:45 AM

    April 6, 2006

    1,973 years later, the plot thickens

    According to CNN, an ancient manuscript has surfaced in Egypt which reveals that Jesus asked Judas to betray him:

    The key passage comes when Jesus tells Judas "you will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothed me."

    This indicates that Judas would help liberate the spiritual self by helping Jesus get rid of his physical flesh, the scholars said.

    The manuscript was actually discovered in the 70s, and was believed to have been written in the 4th century. I am on record as thinking Judas got a raw deal in the Gospel narrative - maybe someone else felt that way all those years ago too.

    I'd like to think this ancient author, whoever he was, was the Tim LaHaye of his time, and that his scrolls were sold at the check-out counter of the Temple right next to "Chicken Soup for Your Camel's Soul" and the cat calendars. (Cat calendars have ALWAYS been adorable, in every era.)

    Of course, I place the importance of this new information only slightly above the recent decision by the Vatican to update "Limbo."

    And as everyone knows anyway, the REAL benefit the world stands to gain from this is something else entirely: DA VINCI CODE II!

    Point of note: I see on the Left Behind site that the Rapture is expected on June 6th of this year, or 6/6/6. I can't tell if that means Rapture the Book, or Rapture the End-Times. Either way I'm sure it'll be a windfall for LaHaye.

    Posted by Chris on 04/ 6/06

    If Kazantzakis got the Judas part right after all, does that mean the rest of his novel is correct as well? ;-)

    Posted by: olmy at April 7, 2006 6:25 PM

    There's been some recent research that shows that 666 is actually a misinterpretation of the text. I'm not sure what the real "number of the beast" is, but I bet LaHaye is embarrassed.

    I've always wondered about Judas. Wasn't he part of the master plan after all? Otherwise God wouldn't have given us His son as a sacrifice. And isn't Judas a perfect symbol of choosing the material path over the spiritual one, a lesson we've pushed aside under capitalism? And after Jesus came back to life on the third day (which is actually the second day after the execution unless you're using Blockbuster's strange day tabulations), why did He go away again? Surely if He'd stuck around to finish His work He'd be around still today and there'd be no doubters.

    Posted by: simon at April 8, 2006 2:02 PM

    I think he had to leave in a hurry so that he could cross the ocean and make his appearances before the Nephites and Lamanites in ancient America.

    Crossing the ocean in the 1st century AD takes a long time.

    Posted by: nephi son of nephi at April 8, 2006 4:35 PM

    April 4, 2006

    "Big Love," so far

    We're four episodes in and no one was more excited about this show than me, but it's not working. All the elements are there for it to be VERY interesting with great characters - but each week this show seems to want to be nothing more than Bill Paxton stumbling back and forth from house to house, forgetting whose night it is, always exhausted, like a libertine in a French farce.

    I get that there are rivalries between the wives. I got that now. I get that it's a hectic household and the kids all have to have their costumes sewn for the school play, and that chores get handed down from wife to wife. Got it. Four episodes and that's been the main thing every show. Move on.

    How about stepping up the conflict with the super-fundamentalist prophet Roman a bit more? How about more with Bill's squeaky-clean son? Their scenes are great. Or the ne'er-do-well brother? The oldest daughter and her new LDS friend are a promising subplot, too. Get on with it.

    I'd like more Bill and son, more Roman, less Chloe Sevigny. I'd like to see some moments where having three wives is working out for him, not just an endless comedy sketch.

    I'd like to see that these guys have a competent plan for dealing with their neighbor's suspicions rather than being caught red-faced and unprepared whenever someone knocks on the door.

    In some ways "Big Love" is very much like the "Sopranos," with its the underlying theme of families. The best "Sopranos" involve Tony caught between his two families - mob and Carmela. And Bill in "Big Love" seems like a man caught between two sorts of families as well - his new one, and his old, fundamentalist Juniper Creek one. More Juniper Creek, please.

    Posted by Chris on 04/ 4/06


    Posted by: Vickery at April 10, 2006 3:01 PM

    Note to the lady at my nearby coffee shop who is clearly an agent of Starbucks

    OK, I get the message. You don't want me in your shop. Most every day I come in, and I notice a good bit of chit-chat between you and the other customers, but not so much with me. Not a lot of smiling either. OK, no problem.

    You always ask me if I want it to go and I say "no," then you give it to me to go.

    Your latte man BANGS the filter against the garbage can, I mean BANGS THE HELL OUT OF IT, and I can't believe no one else is jolted harshly out of their morning daze by that, but then maybe it's a private signal just to me.

    I notice you post the JOKES TOLD BY KIDS every day on the cash register, which is cute, and then one day it wasn't there, and I smiled and asked about it, and you looked at me blankly. Then I repeated the question, again smiling and being as pleasant as possible, and you said, face as serious as possible, "They do not come out in Saturday's paper." As if I was seriously inquiring; as if I wasn't just making small talk.

    Then you looked at your latte man, as if for help, and I looked at him, and then he repeated what you said to me. Just as serious.

    Just so you know: it was just chit-chat. I don't really need to start the day with the JOKES TOLD BY KIDS column.

    As soon as I sit down there's a lot of you moving around cleaning up, SCRAPING THE BIG METAL CHAIRS ACROSS THE FLOOR instead of picking them up like I do, OK, I get it.

    There's a Starbucks four more blocks down. Not as convenient, and I try to avoid the chains, but would that be better for you? I'm getting the hint that it would. It would? OK, I'll go elsewhere.

    Posted by Chris on 04/ 4/06