Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Lester returns

Lester's alter-ego Matt, is back in the blogosphere. Though this blog is nominally about the show Californication, expect copious references to Congdon, Munz, and sex with 65-year-old Serbian house cleaners. This blog has pretty serious relevance to me, because you see my family is in the entertainment industry. You see my Mom is on the fringes of several "Save This Show" campaigns, including Deadwood, Traveler, and Seinfeld. And I was one of only three viewers of Discussion Section with Alan Kennedy-Shaffer, a short-lived, jeez how do I encapsulate this in just a one-line pitch "Jim Lehrer for the college set." for more info on the show, check this article out and scroll to the middle of the page:

Anyway, here is the Lester-blog:

Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween Redux

With Halloween coming up any day now, I figured I'd spread the holiday cheer with a little anecdote that I forgot to post about a month ago.

Me: Hey AG, you know where we're going later tonight?

AG: Uh, Tom's House?

Me: OK, OK, but after that?

AG: a bar?

Me: OK, right a bar but WHERE?

AG: I think it's in the East Village, right? Tom is that right?

Me: OK, OK but what more specifically?

AG: Um, near the Astor Place subway?

Me: OK, right, but WHAT STREET?

AG: Oh, the Bowery


(Everyone laughs hysterically)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Taxicab Confessional

As I hailed down a cab this weekend, one cab driver cut off another one in order to get my fare. I got in the taxi of the guy who did the cutting off, but then we stopped at the same red light as the driver who got cut off. What ensued was the following screaming match:

Other Cab Driver (Middle Eastern Accent): Fuck youuuu! You fuckin' guy.

My Cab Driver (middle eastern accent): Fuck Youuu! You ugly

Other Cab Driver: No you ugly. Motherfucker. You take my fare

My Cab Driver: You ugly, you Osama Bin Laden. (Cab driver looks back for my approval)

Other Cab Driver: Son of a bitch!

My Cab Driver: Big... big dick! (makes a hand gesture of a big dick)

And with that, my cab driver sped off down Lexington Avenue. As the ride went on, we spoke a little about this and that, where I was going and why, etc. Then, after a brief lull in the conversation:

My Cab Driver (pensively): I should have said 'cunt'.... Eh, he probably wouldn't even have gotten it.

I don't know about you, but I take comfort in knowing that people from all walks of life are thinking about comedy neurotically

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Carbo-Terrorists Strike Again!

Following up on BBC's crack reporting on Carbo-Terrorists in Iraq, it seems that even though we're fighting them over there, they've followed us over here! It appears that some of the more technically oriented Carbo-Terrorists (perhaps acolytes of Pakistan's A.Q. Carb?) have hacked into the FDA's website and created this shocking Food Pyramid aimed at small children- at SMALL CHILDREN, have they no honor at all! I'm told this is so filled with disinformation propaganda that even Al Jazeera would not show it, but since I don't have any Qatar-ese petrobillionaires looking over my shoulder, here it is:

Monday, October 08, 2007

Dennis Miller Monday Night Football

Apparently Dennis Miller has a new sports talk show on the Versus network. But what most people don't know is that Miller's initial recent attempt to get back into the field of sports commentary was an audition tape he made for Monday Night Football- Enjoy (and rate highly on YouTube/ send to liberal bloggers and pundits):

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Däń on Humour: Apatow/Rogen

Hello, dear readers, this is Dan. I'm pleased to announce a new feature on called "Däń on Humour." In this feature, my colleague Däń (see photo) will be writing brief critical essays about some of the leading topics in modern comedy. Däń is an old friend of mine who has written widely in newspapers and journals across Europe, including Der Spiegel, Il Foglio Clandestino, and Le Canard enchaîné. Däń isn't a very tech-savvy guy, so I'm letting him use my account to post. He and I tend to agree about nearly everything. Enjoy!

Let me first say that I enjoyed Knocked Up and Superbad and to a lesser extent The Forty Year-Old Virgin. That being said, I have to say that Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen are getting, in my humble European opinion, a bit too much credit for their accomplishments.

As the Mainstream Media would have it, Apatow and Rogen are really "alternative" guys who write/produce "edgy" comedies, and this whole group's rise shows that "alternative" comedy is on the upswing. And the idea is "the losers become the winners!" in their movies, which is a new idea (supposedly)

But something That Girl's dad said yesterday struck me as very appropriate here- he was talking about how we often have this notion of premium cable shows (HBO, Showtime) versus network shows, with the premium cable shows Obviously pushing the boundaries by being far edgier and more alternative. Yet as he pointed out, when you think about it, most shows even on HBO or Showtime don't push any real boundaries - they may curse or have some sexual and drug content, but those are really faux boundaries. He's completely right- getting to say "fuck" or showing some boobs or a joint being smoked hardly qualifies as challenging, revolutionary television. The Upper Middle Class already sees these things as not a big deal. Truly revolutionary, challenging shows, like The Wire for instance, actually question some of the Upper Middle Class's basic assumptions - that our society's institutions more or less work, that segregation ended 50 years ago, etc.

Which brings me back to Rogen/Apatow. On the surface you have several aspects of their films that might make you think "hey, these guys are really doing something alternative." You've got drugs being smoked, porn being shown, unattractive protagonists with Jew fros, etc. But when you look one level beyond the surface you realize a few things. As mentioned above, the whole drugs/porn thing is something the Upper Middle Class long became comfortable with, and even America on the whole is not terribly bothered by it. And the unattractive/awkward protagonist always gets the hot blonde girl in the end, which is exactly what any male protagonist in a mainstream Hollywood movie wants. Then when you really look at the jokes, for every trenchant observation about society, there are 40 dick jokes that you might cringe at if put in another context.

As for any of this being new at all, see Revenge of the Nerds from the '80s, for instance (though Apatow's are of course a little more highbrow). What has really been questioned about contemporary American society at all in an Apatow/Rogen movie? All of the various issues can be boiled down to the basic point that in the end, all of the Apatow/Rogen characters kind of "get their weirdness beaten out of them" and end up conforming to society's standards of normalcy in order to get the girl. Not to mention the question of "are these characters actually that weird to begin with?" They like to smoke pot and watch porn, they are very horny, and they have a tight-knit group of male friends- I'd venture to say this covers about 70% of guys in their early 20s. At least the characters in Apatow/Rogen movies seem real and are not being laughed at - more than can be said about a lesser work like Napoleon Dynamite.

What would an actually "bold" comedy look like? Off the top of my head, South Park comes to mind

All of this is not to say that Weeds on television or Superbad on the big screen aren't good and funny. I think they are, i'm just saying they're not as "bold" as they are often perceived to be.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Supreme Court Porn Blogging, Dispatch #1

From the Washington Post:

"Similarly, Thomas had a well-known taste for the kind of extreme pornography Hill said he brought up with her. "Listening to her, it was as if I was listening to the guy I knew speak," said law school classmate Henry Terry. Washington lawyer Fred Cooke saw Thomas, while EEOC chairman, checking out a triple-X video of 'The Adventures of Bad Mama Jama', about the interracial sexcapades of an obese black woman."

For the Delino readership's pleasure, I present you with a link to the video cover for "The Adventures of Bad Mama Jama 2"- though I have to admit that real "BMJ" fans tell me the sequel doesn't really stack up to the original; it's kind of like the Matrix Reloaded of obese black woman interracial porn.

Next week: Which Strapping Septuagenarian does Rutabaga Ginsberg have a picture of tucked underneath her robe???