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October 27, 2017
[comics] Untitled Comic Strip by Harvey Pekar and R. Crumb from American Splendour in 1980 … ‘So much is said in silence….’

October 26, 2017
[tv] It was acceptable in the 80s: why Magnum PI should be spared reboot hell‘Magnum PI, for crying out loud. Is nothing sacred? Sure, on the surface, the original Magnum PI was just one of a glut of post-Vietnam shows about vigilante justice with a charismatic male lead and storylines that wrapped up neatly at the top of the hour. But it was special. Everyone knows it was special. By some absurd alchemy Magnum PI ended up perfectly written, perfectly cast and perfectly soundtracked, managing to be both of its time and utterly timeless. You don’t mess with Magnum PI.’
October 25, 2017
[true-crime] ‘We found who killed your sister.’ 48 years later, a cold case is solved … a true crime story from Los Angeles … ‘The investigators frequently flipped through those files, looking for the clues that could lead them to Halison’s killer. Last summer, they asked Klann to run the DNA again, hoping improved technology would finally help them identify enough markers to upload the sample in the state’s system. When Klann got the results, he said, he immediately sent Bengtson a text message. “Are you sitting down?” he wrote…’
October 24, 2017
[comics] The Alan Moore 2016 Christmas Interviews – Part IV… includes Alan’s walking tour of the Boroughs in Northampton and some thoughts on translating his work into other languages … ‘Turn around, and head back down George’s Row and the south flank of All Saints until you have reached the front of the church, the pillared portico where Audrey Vernon’s parents sat all night after her recital of ‘Whispering Grass’. Across the road you will see the mouth of Gold Street, with the jewellers to the left where Ann Timson saw off three sledge-hammer wielding robbers with her handbag a few years ago. I’m sure this incident is available on Youtube, and is always good for an admiring laugh.’
October 20, 2017
[life] Somebody should have advised Niall Horan that naming his debut album Fucker Flicker was a mistake.

October 19, 2017
[web] Ev Williams Wants To Save Media — Again. But Some Writers And Publishers Are Skeptical. … engrossing long read on Ev Williams latest attempts to change online journalism … ‘At the time of the Napa retreat, the company practiced “holocracy,” a management philosophy that in theory avoids a hierarchical management structure by empowering employees to make business decisions. But it didn’t always work that way at Medium. Former employees said they often had to work backward, unpacking Williams’ vague and shifting mission statements to figure out what, exactly, he wanted them to do. After the company retreat, several sources said, Medium’s 25 or so editorial employees entered into a months-long period of awkwardness: They weren’t laid off outright, but they got signals that the goals of the company were no longer aligned with their presence. “We had this series of work groups where you tried to figure out what your job and the future of publishing was,” one source said. Former employees suspected that Medium was trying to thin out its editorial staff by attrition.’
October 18, 2017
[wikipedia] 19 Wikipedia Pages That’ll Send You Into A Week-Long Wikihole … a great time wasting list … List of common misconceptions: ‘This list is basically what it says on the tin: a bunch of facts that you think you know but aren’t really facts at all. For example, I was upset to learn that Thomas Crapper (the guy in the above photo) didn’t actually invent the flushing toilet. He just made them more popular. Also, less surprisingly, Einstein didn’t really fail maths, and when he heard this claim he said “before I was 15 I had mastered differential and integral calculus.” No need to brag, Albert.’
October 17, 2017
[comics] Some Marvel(ous) Covers Of Bill Sienkiewicz … great gallery with some less well known covers …

October 16, 2017
[tv] 16 Peaceful Things To Watch On Netflix When You Just Want To Relax … Buzzfeed on stress-free slow television … ‘ Fireplace For Your Home – Watch on: Netflix Worldwide – A crackling fire, hot apple cider, and a warm blanket. Mind-numbing bliss.’
October 11, 2017
[tv] Your New TV Ruins Movies‘Filmmakers were not content to make movies with video cameras until those cameras could shoot 24p, because video, with its many-frames-per-second, looks like reality, like the evening news, like a live broadcast or a daytime soap opera; whereas 24p film, by showing us less, looks somehow larger than life, like a dream, like a story being told rather than an event being documented. This seemingly technical issue turns out to have an enormous emotional effect on the viewer. These days, any TV you are likely to buy, will, by default, have technology enabled that completely changes the emotional quality of the movies you watch. This is a cinematic disaster.’ [via Feeling Listless]
October 10, 2017
[docu] Louis Theroux Explains the Staged Realities of ‘My Scientology Movie’ … interesting Q&A interview … ‘You get that feeling—which is some of my favorite material in documentaries in general—that the wheels have come off. Someone says, “Fuck you,” the set wobbles, and the mic drops down. You hear them on the mic: “I’m fucking done with this shit. Go join the cult of Louis Theroux if you want to.” There’s an electricity to that kind of material, where it’s slightly going awry. When [Rathbun] is like, “Your questions are fucking insipid and repetitive. Ask me a real question,” he’s basically saying, “You’re a bullshit journalist, and I’m sick of you.” That crackles with the quality of real life.’
October 9, 2017
[alien] 32 Things We Learned From the ‘Alien’ Commentary … some notes from an audio commentary on Alien

“He’s a Replicant, basically,” says Scott about Ash. Yes, we get it, Ridley. Decker is a Replicant. Ash is a Replicant. We’re all Replicants. You happy? He does point out Ash’s quick, little jog in place might be a clue to him being a robot, that maybe all robots get stiff and need to keep their joints active. Someone go see if Harrison Ford ever does that in Blade Runner.

October 5, 2017
[movies] Risky Business Dance with “Realistic” Audio … What might Tom Cruise dancing in Risky Business sound like with no music? …

October 4, 2017
[movies] This Future Looks Familiar: Watching Blade Runner in 2017 … a nicely written fresh view on Blade Runner

There are cops, and there are little people.

There is a whole class of slaves. It is illegal for them to escape slavery. The cops are supposed to murder the slaves if they escape, because there is a risk that they will start to think they’re people. But the cops know that the slaves are not people, so it’s okay to murder them. The greatest danger, the thing the cops are supposed to prevent, is that the slaves will try to assimilate into the society that relies on their labor.

Assimilation is designed to be impossible. There are tests. Impossible tests with impossible questions and impossible answers. The tests measure empathy. It is not about having enough empathy, but about having empathy for the correct things…

October 3, 2017
[documentaries] Unsolved Mysteries … another examination of the limits of what documentaries can tell us … ‘Almost every single moment contained in the 18-hour The Vietnam War could be treated in the “What really happened? And can we ever know?” style of contemporary, searching documentaries. Co-director Novick told Vanity Fair of the war, “There’s no agreement among scholars, or Americans or Vietnamese, about what happened: the facts, let alone whose fault, let alone what we’re supposed to make of it.” To have adjudicated all these questions on camera would have led to a documentary 1,000 hours long, one that told us so much more about the nitty-gritty subjectivity of the Vietnam War it might as well have told us nothing.’
October 2, 2017
[web] Snopes.com and the Search for Facts in a Post-Fact World… the fascinating story behind Snopes.com‘The problem is that David’s telling of the Snopes story does seem to slight [his ex-wife]. However meticulous he might be in fact-­checking the errors of others, there is always this slippage in his account of his own success, this insistence that he did it by himself. It’s not a slippage that has any bearing on his dispute with Proper Media or the contractual matters at issue there. He went through a bad divorce and emerged from it, as it seems to me people often do, with a blind spot. It’s one we all have to one degree or another, to fail to see the obvious when it comes to ourselves. It just stands out with David because he has spent his career being so scrupulous about facts.’
September 29, 2017
September 28, 2017
[books] Stephen King, The Art of Fiction … an excellent, wide ranging interview …

No, Cujo was a standard novel in chapters when it was created. But I can remember thinking that I wanted the book to feel like a brick that was heaved through your window at you. I’ve always thought that the sort of book that I do—and I’ve got enough ego to think that every novelist should do this—should be a kind of personal assault. It ought to be somebody lunging right across the table and grabbing you and messing you up. It should get in your face. It should upset you, disturb you. And not just because you get grossed out. I mean, if I get a letter from somebody saying, I couldn’t eat my dinner, my attitude is, Terrific!

September 27, 2017
[movies] Hayley Campbell on Brian De Palma’s Blow Out‘It’s about about a tortured man torturing himself in only the way an obsessive creative whose art lies in the miniscule can: over and over, not until it has no meaning, but until it grows and has so much meaning that it consumes him.’
September 26, 2017
[work] Potential Employee Uprising Quelled With Free Pizza‘The free Italian pies arrived approximately 20 minutes after a company-wide e-mail detailing upcoming cutbacks was sent out late Friday morning. “Everyone’s been fed up and ready to explode at management for weeks,” production designer Carolyn Wurster said. “But then all those pizzas showed up, and it just didn’t seem like the right time to start demanding a legitimate healthcare plan or salary raises that reflect the amount of work we do.” Added Wurster, “They ordered like 10 huge pies.”‘
September 25, 2017
[moore] Some Random Thoughts on Alan Moore … by Len Wein … ‘I wish I could remember at this late date exactly what it was that prompted me to call Alan when I was looking for a new writer to take over Swamp Thing. I know I had been a fan of Alan’s work on 2000 A.D. and so he seemed an interesting choice as writer, assuming, of course, he was available and so inclined. I got his phone number somehow, made the international phone call, and Alan answered on the third ring. I introduced myself, told Alan I had an offer to make him, and he hung up on me. When I called back, assuming the connection had been broken accidentally, I introduced myself again. Alan’s reply: “No, who is this really?”’
September 20, 2017
[people] Why Steve Bannon Wears So Many Shirts‘He’s a layering extremist, if you will, adhering to a disheveled uniform of shirts from Brooks Brothers and Orvis, a brand that makes clothes for fly fishing and other outdoor sports (he does not fly fish). He keeps them both folded and hanging in his closet at the Breitbart headquarters, a townhouse in D.C. known as the “Breitbart Embassy,” as well as in other unspecified closets in unspecified locations. “They’re not all long sleeve,” his spokesperson explained. “There’s some polos that are short sleeve.” They added that when wearing a suit in the White House, perhaps he only wore two shirts beneath his blazer — an undershirt and then a button-down — but wasn’t sure.’
September 19, 2017
[knots] 5 New Ways to Tie a Tie … includes The Lovecraft… ‘Summon a nectie from its slumber deep within the gaping void of your closet.’

September 18, 2017
[crime] What Crime Most Changed the Course of History? … Various people suggest a varied bunch of crimes … Josh Braun, executive producer, The Keepers: ‘The Manson-family murders were one of the first crimes that became a celebrity spectacle. They also changed people’s day-to-day perception of how safe they were at home: Suddenly the bogeyman was real.’
September 15, 2017
[tv] Love On A Real Train … A look at the similarities between Mr Robot and Risky Business … ‘[Jonathan Bernstein] described De Mornay as a “frosty Hitchcockian blonde” whose chilliness is mirrored by the icy blasts of TD synth there and elsewhere on the soundtrack. In its way, Risky Business is a quintessential ’80s movie — it’s a twist on a mismatched-buddy caper, it prizes ruthless capitalistic innovation, absent parents fuel its plot engine, and it contains Curtis Armstrong — and if you swap in J.D. for Booger, you could say all of those things about Mr. Robot. There is a system to be gamed, so to speak, in both: Princeton admissions (and pimp vig); data storage. There is a battle against monopolistic power and influence that aspires to those things even as it turns them against themselves.’
September 14, 2017
[books] Longtime Stephen King fans criticize new IT adaptation for not being bad‘While audiences and critics alike have praised 2017’s IT for its smart casting and big budget scares, the response from classic King fans has been scathingly negative. “Couldn’t it have been a cheap, PG rated primetime miniseries?” tweeted @AnnieWilkes45. Others criticized the popular new film for not including any demonic laundry machines, giant rubber bats, possessed big rig trucks, man ponytails, or Gary Busey.’
September 13, 2017
[tech] Atomic City … The story behind the only recorded nuclear fatalities in the US (reads like a James Ellroy story) … ‘McKinley was struck in the head by a piece of radioactive shrapnel that tore off half his face. Byrnes was thrown into concrete blocks, breaking ribs that pierced his heart. Legg was skewered in the gut by a flying control rod that launched him thirteen feet in the air and pinned him to the ceiling. (It took a week to get him down, requiring a pole with a hook to push him into a net attached to a crane operated by a man shielded in lead.) The men’s bodies were wrapped in several hundred pounds of lead, placed in steel coffins, and buried under a foot of concrete.’
September 12, 2017
[movies] Kevin Church: 69 things I love about RoboCop, presented in no order … It’s hard to argue with any of these… ‘Ray Fucking Wise. How does he not have five retroactive Oscars for this movie alone?’
September 11, 2017
[comics] Mad #21 Cover … go study all the novelty ads on this cover of Mad from 1955 – a great example of Harvey Kurtzman’s genius … ‘It is one of the most glorious and ludicrous covers in comic book history. Disguised to look like an interior page full of novelty ads, it is so dense with tiny print as to be almost illegible at original printed size.’

WTF is an Aeolipile?

September 7, 2017
[Herzog] Celebrate Werner Herzog’s 75th Birthday with These Peak Herzog Moments‘I don’t see [the jungle] so much erotic. I see it more full of obscenity. It’s just – Nature here is vile and base. I wouldn’t see anything erotical here. I would see fornication and asphyxiation and choking and fighting for survival and growing and just rotting away. Of course, there’s a lot of misery. But it is the same misery that is all around us. The trees here are in misery, and the birds are in misery. I don’t think they sing. They just screech in pain.’

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