Friday, December 16, 2011

MY QUESTION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT:  So I'd really like to see the apparently super-awesome new action movie directed by Brad Bird, but I have no interest in seeing Tom Cruise in a fourquel.  So the Clooney films and Hugo top the list of what I'd like to see this weekend, but what's on yours?
GET A LIFE AND A $100 TICKET: Hugh Jackman's singing, dancing Broadway extravaganza has become quite a hot ticket, so who's the next star to give us a solo performance? Why, William Shatner, whose Shatner's World: We're Just Living In It will have a limited run in February.
CAUSE OF DEATH WAS NOT A LETHAL MIXTURE OF POP ROCKS AND COKE: Edie Stevenson, the copywriter responsible for the famed Life cereal Mikey commercial, has died at the age of 81.
NO ONE, AND I MEAN, NO ONE, COMES INTO OUR HOUSE AND PUSHES US AROUND:  Unless by "our house" you mean Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger's "Rudy Nutrition" energy drink pump-and-dump scheme and by "no one," you're excluding the Securities and Exchange Commission, to which Ruettiger today agreed to pay a $382K fine, as well as a permanent bar on serving as an officer or director of a public company and other restrictions, for his admitted violations of securities law. It is unclear whether Ruettiger remains five foot nothin', a hundred and nothin', and hardly a spec of athletic ability.
DID NOT GO GENTLE: I am consciously grazing against the edge of our No Politics rule, but I would be remiss if I did not note the unfortunate passing last night of Christopher Hitchens, esophageal cancer having claimed him at age 62.  The profoundly prolific polemicist gleefully knocked down orthodoxies, assuredly pissing off each of us on multiple occasions, but, wow, what wit! what writing! His was a brain worth following wherever it chose to go. “I personally want to ‘do’ death in the active and not the passive,” he once wrote, “and to be there to look it in the eye and be doing something when it comes for me.”

Christopher Buckley has some thoughts, while Vanity Fair has compiled much of his writing for the site and his Daily Show appearances, along with a video compilation of his best ripostes.

Bonus: Mental Floss on ten lesser-known folks who passed away in 2011.
COULDN'T MISS THIS ONE THIS YEAR:  By Maret's request, a (slightly edited) repeat of a question Isaac asked last year at around this time:
With just days until Christmas (and Hanukkah) and a handful of people likely left on your (my) list (if you are my brother, STOP READING RIGHT NOW), let me ask this question: what is the best commercially available gift you have ever (or recently) received or would like to receive, with a value no greater than, say, $100 or $150?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

WHY DON'T YOU JUST JUMP OFF THE ROOF, RIGHT HERE AND NOW? THAT'S WHAT YOU REALLY WANT, ISN'T IT? YES, YOU DO. YOU SMOKE CRACK, DON'T YOU?  The actor who played Sams in Lean on Me, Jermaine Hopkins, was arrested for trying to buy 200 pounds of marijuana from an undercover cop.
SORRY, NO NOMINATION FOR PIPER PERABO THIS YEAR: We don't have anything terribly profound to say about the Golden Globe nominations, other than that they continue the Globes' trend to fetishize the new (4 of the 5 best drama series and 3 of the 5 best comedy series nominations are for freshman shows of varying levels of merit), love on star names (2 acting nods for Ryan Gosling, an acting and a directing nod for George Clooney), and the utterly random (Callie Thorne? Johnny Galecki but not Jim Parsons?). Take it away, folks.
NEXT YEAR'S FRONTRUNNER? FARTMAN: Howard Stern has officially announced that he's joining America's Got Talent as a judge, replacing Piers Morgan. Earlier reports indicated that this would also mean live shows would move from LA to New York for production to accommodate Stern's desires, and I wouldn't be shocked to see the show held for the fall, rather than airing in its traditional summer slot, to take advantage of the publicity.
ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS IV: THE CHIPPENING:  Following The Squeakquel and now Chipwrecked, surely we can determine a title for the inevitable fourth film in the trilogy.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

DEWEY CARE: FlavorWire slideshows the twenty-five most beautiful college and university libraries in the world United States and Europe.
HEY GIRL, I'D LIKE TO TRANSPORT YOU ACROSS STATE LINES FOR IMMORAL PURPOSES IN VIOLATION OF THE MANN ACT: Having addressed everything from feminism to the peculiarities of the Park Slope Food Co-Op, it was assuredly only a matter of time until the Tumblr Law School Ryan Gosling existed. That said, I'm sure we can come up with some better suggestions.
IT STARTED WITH MOHAMED BOUAZIZI:  Time Magazine has named The Protester as its Person of the Year, besting Admiral William McRaven, who commanded the assault on Bin Laden's compound; Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei; Rep. Paul Ryan; and, um, Kate Middleton?
LIGHTS, PLEASE? The AV Club's Todd VanDerWerff did not care for last night's Glee Christmas episode. I liked it more than he did, but I can certainly recognize that it's just icky to belt the line "well, tonight thank God it's them, instead of you!" directly in front of the people you're thankful you're not.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

GUNTER GLIEBEN GLAUCHEN GLOBEN: Just in time for Hanukkah, it's the first trailer for Summer 2012's Rock of Ages, featuring a whole lot of people we like to see around here, as well as a bare-chested, hard-rocking Tom Cruise.
BARELY ALIVE FROM NEW YORK: If Taran Killam's dancing in "Les Jeunes de Paris" wasn't enough to make you a fan, this Wednesday at 4:30am backstage recreation of Robyn's video for "Call Your Girlfriend" might not push you over the top.  But it should.
FROM THE ALOTT5MA COURTSHIP DESK:  Okay, agreed, the letter previously discussed presents possible issues of Asperger's-related issues which renders it not necessarily the best topic for jocular discussion. If that's what caused his failure to recognize and respond appropriately to social cues, it's not funny.

On the other hand, when it comes to how-do-you-know-it's-over, I hope we can agree that it is worth mocking if your modus operandi for one night stands is to send your new friend home in a private car with a gift basket containing autographed Derek Jeter memorabilia -- even if (or especially if) you're Derek Jeter who's providing the parting gifts.
WHO SAYS THE INTERNET ISN'T POWERFUL: Linda Chorney's album Emotional Jukebox hadn't recorded a single SoundScan sale when Grammy nominations arrived and none of her prior albums have officially sold more than 25 copies. Nonetheless, it's nominated, alongside albums from Lucinda Williams, Ry Cooder, and Emmylou Harris, as Best Americana Album for the 2012 Grammys. Billboard looks at how it happened.

Monday, December 12, 2011

HIS BIG SHOT:  The 76ers weren't smart enough to snap up the Twitter identities for the new mascots under consideration, but they're smart enough now to hire as the team's new social media coordinator the 23-year-old who did.
A BOESKY, A JIM BROWN, A MISS DAISY, TWO JETHROS, AND A LEON SPINKS, NOT TO MENTION THE BIGGEST ELLA FITZGERALD EVER:  Moviefone lists 25 things you didn't know about that don't actually add too much to your appreciation of Ocean's Eleven, but I'm a softie when it comes to excuses to reference the film.
NO, BABY!  The ALOTT5MA Unnecessary Remakes Desk reports that Austin Powers: The Musical might be a real thing, along with the previously-threatened fourth film.
I SEE MYSELF STILL AS A STRUGGLING ARTIST TRYING TO CREATE MUSIC:  As it does every year, the WaPo profiles this years' Kennedy Center Honorees -- Neil Diamond, Meryl Streep, Barbara Cook, Sonny Rollins, and Yo-Yo Ma.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

CLEARLY "RESIDENCE" DOES NOT MEAN "HOME DEPOT:" We haven't talked much about this season of TAR, largely because most of the legs have been pretty bland--filled with first in, first out challenges that spoonfed people, bunching designed to eliminate any team getting a lead, and with a single dominant team (Snowboarders for Jesus) for much of the Race. So tonight's finale was nice in that the clues and tasks were actually tricky. Of course, it promptly demonstrated why that style can be problematic, as one team found a task so tough that they had to repeat it at least 5 times before passing, and another team had difficulty deciphering a clue, sending them well out of the way. Credit to the editors for making an effort to make it seem close/competitive even at the end, when it was clear who our winners would be, but this was not the best season.
BY THE WAY, I DID A GOOGLE SEARCH, SO THAT'S HOW I CAME ACROSS YOUR EMAIL: In case you missed it, please read this 1,615 word clinic in how not to court someone.
3MTA3: Mental Floss tells the stories behind eleven classic album covers.