Monday, April 30, 2007

Don "No Soul" Simmons

We had a voice-over recording session with an actor whose father wrote and produced some really famous music in the 70s and early 80s. He told us about some of the best and worst songs his father wrote, which led to a discussion about some of the worst songs ever. One of our creative directors mentioned a 45 he had of "Honey," a really maudlin single by Bobby Goldsboro.

For a second, I couldn't place the song. Then I remembered this bit from Amazon Women on the Moon.

Enjoy the skit, and watch for Simmons' even sappier rendition of the inexpicable hit from 1968.

Friday, April 27, 2007 Brilliant while it lasts

Here's a simple idea. Comb all the various major video hosting sites for posted movies, TV shows, sports, cartoons, anime and the like. Aggregate these links and post them in a well organized manner on a single Web site, so you have TV shows by season, movies by genre, etc. Allow members to update the site with fresh, working links. Make all content accessable with a click or two.

Voila, you've got what amounts to an on-demand menu for produced content. Check it out at It's like the old program guide channel on cable, only this points to stuff on the Web. By expanding its reach beyond YouTube to several sites, it maximizes the available content. And by limiting its catalog to produced entertainment, it avoids distractions like "boy picks nose."

Is this ethical? I feel a twinge of guilt for posting this. I know if I spent time, effort and lots of cash creating a TV show, I'd be pissed if its DVD or iTunes sales plummeted because of a site like this. On the other hand...well, it's just kinda fucking cool.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Awful things and Vonnegut

I particularly hated the news this week. How about you?

There was the story about an unfunny shock jock saying something dumb and provoking all sorts of mock horror, apologies and professional bullying, proving again that it is still impossible to rationally discuss issues of race in this country.

There was a crazy fuck with a bunch of hollow tip bullets and no playwriting talent who killed people.

There was the constant reminder that Iraq is still the reigning champion of senseless death.

There was Sanjaya.

And somewhere in there we lost Kurt Vonnegut. He just sort of bowed out modestly amidst all the reality-tv histrionics and lunacy that comprises modern culture.

Vonnegut made writing look easy. He wrote simple sentences. Used plain language. He was one of those authors I would read as a kid and think, "I could do this."

But his type of writing is actually the hardest. You have to be dead sure about what you're saying. You can't hide behind fancy language or the endless, slogging asides that cause me to say, "get to the point, fuck!" If you're truly brilliant, you can be simple. And looking again at the headlines that have dominated the news over the past couple weeks, I'm really gonna miss simple.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wildlife can be disarming.

A Taiwanese veterinarian is crying "what a croc!" after having his arm bitten off by a roughhousing reptile. The zoo doc was simply trying to remove a tranquilizer dart from the beast when the lounging lizard awoke and mistook his arm for breakfast in bed. Zowie! Those weren't crocodile tears our hero was shedding!

Luckily the armless animal expert was escorted to a hospital and had his limb stitched back on. Rock on, doc!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Lynching advertisers

I can't say I've loved everything David Lynch has made, but I still think Hollywood is a far better place with guys like him around. Here's an example why.