Saturday, April 12, 2003
Happy Birthday to me. Today I am 28. This gives me a moment of pause.
I promised myself when I reached college that by 30, I would have rung up nearly $500K in debt, be living on a boat, and routinely be snorting cocaine off the buttocks of strippers. Unless I really get cracking, I'm not sure how this is going to happen.
2:03 PM |
Friday, April 11, 2003
Wow. There's a market out there for everything. I thought the cartoony duke boys from a few days ago were a little weird. What I guess I find all the more odd are the people who wax nostalgic over slasher movies. Friday the 13th and it's progeny are formulaic and gross and really, not all that much fun when you're over the age of 12 and realize co-eds really do get cut up, and it's not cute and funny. But someboy must like this stuff. But is it an appropriate snow globe to place alongside your Tower of London snow globe and that one from Hannibal, Missouri?
10:36 AM |
Thursday, April 10, 2003
Wow. Yesterday was kind of crazy with Baghdad falling and all. I was getting my lunch at a great place (Bento Bar) here in Tempe when I saw on Keith's TV an image of Iraqi's pulling down the statue of Saddam Hussein. Whether you are for or against Bush's methodology in initiating the war, you have to be a little glad Saddam is gone. Unless you're Saddam. And if you're Saddam and you're reading this, fuck you, man.
One wonders what the hell is going to happen now in a nation under serious suppression for 30 years. We know there are many rival factions in Iraq, not to mention the Turks tend to get twitchy around the Kurds, and there's some sort of Iraqi group that's been in exile and training soldiers for the past few years. In no way am I suggesting things were better under Saddam, but as democracy hasn't exactly been the order of the day in Iraq since... ever, one wonders how all of this will shake out. My co-worker suggested making them the 51st state just to see what would happen. Yes, he was kidding, but at one time, this was pretty much British policy, wasn't it? Only India didn't exactly have folks sitting in Parliament, if I remember my history correctly.
I keep playing with the idea of a weekly comic book review in order to promote comic book readership. I'd take a look at graphic novels, collected editions and regular monthly series. While the entire Universe for me may consist of Superman (and Melbotis, who is doing well, thank you), there are other comic books out there.
9:23 AM |
Wednesday, April 09, 2003
Toys That Should Not Be:
I've been slacking on this, in what was once my e-mail forum, but this is where, henceforth, I shall be displaying all Toys That Should Not Be.
I think what makes these all the more bizarre, aside from the fact that they're being offered 15 years after they might even have any kitschy relevance, is that they're actually very expensive and are being sold as a limited run. Possibly someone selling these things realized they'd be lucky to move 1500 of each of these ridiculous things. Even guessing that 1% of 1% of the American populace would shell out any money, let alone the $80 price tag they've heaped on these things, means someone is an optimist in the least profitable way.
Tuesday, April 08, 2003
Hey kids. Well, I accidentally erased everything, but you can thank your lucky stars that Jim D. had my back. I'll fix some of this later, but for now this is a quick dump to the re-formatted version of League of Melbotis.
Here's something you probably forgot all about. posted by Ryan at 8:57 AM
Thursday, April 03, 2003
Arrgghhh... those reading this can't tell, but I am an absolutely rotten typist and am working to amend that problem. Every time I post, I swear I spend twice as much time editing as I do writing. I'm usually fixing grammatical errors (of which I leave in many prime examples, such as this one) and spelling and punctuation errors, although sometimes I realize I never finished a thought and have to go in and fill in the blanks. I am certainly no perfectionist, but I don't want to be just sloppy either.
I recently purchased The Day the Earth Stood Still on DVD. I didn't make it more than half the movie before I turned it off. These days it's hitting a bit close to home. I kind of wish Michael Renni would show up in a silver jump suit and dictate global policy. I'm not sure a re-make would do this movie justice as it was directed in it's time by Robert Wise, current President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and director of The Sound of Music. Go figure.
Action Comics #802 came out on Wednesday. Lots of Zod and Luthor, picking up in a far more interesting direction than where I assumed this story would go. Check out the art. It looks good past the Darwyn Cook cover. I don't know who this Derenick guy is, but he's really good in a Jim Lee sort of way. That's not to say Darwyn doesn't do a good job, but he's got a unique style which some folks might not be into. Just keep in mind that is not the same art that's inside the cover (I would assume the artist was too busy putting out these great-looking pages and ran out of time for nice covers) if you're standing at the spinner-rack at Borders.
Speaking of Jim Lee, the best looking Batman stories in a looonnnggg time are happening over in Batman comics, with Jeph Loeb writing, so look for it. Jeph Loeb wrote some great Batman specials in years past (The Long Halloween, Dark Victory) and recently wrapped up on Superman. He's also a writer on the WB'S Smallville, so the man gets around.
Kudos to Jim D. for the big box of Superman comics he sent me that he'd saved from his youth. I'm just really reading them now, and they're a big heap o' fun and in great condition. My one beef is that there are a lot of #1 issues here, and I have no idea what happens after any of these #1's. Now I have to go look for back issues.
I am so tired, I am going to bed, but I hope someone is reading this. If they are, and they are not my lovely wife, let me know.
posted by Ryan at 11:26 PM
Wednesday, April 02, 2003
The anti-christ walks among us. posted by Ryan at 10:25 PM
Tragedy in Metropolis! A special report
Some people are just jerks. And the rest of us just take some things far too seriously that we should not.
I'm not referring to that wise-cracking Saddam. No, a crime of questionable proportion has been perpetrated upon the people of the non-fictional town of Metropolis, Illinois. Metropolis is a hamlet located in the southern part of Illinois where the spirit of Superman has become lifestyle and commerce. In order to drum up industry and tourism, Metropolis has gone ahead and run with the whole Superman theme. Strange, but true.
DC Comics has officially dubbed Metropolis the Home of Superman. Metropolis is a bizarre little corner of America where all things Superman come to life: the Superman Museum is located (I believe) in the town square, city hall used to give out Kryptonite rocks to kids (to help keep them out of Luthor's hands!), and the Metropolis paper is actually now called The Planet. Every year Metropolis holds a Superman Celebration which is attended by, reportedly, tens of people. Such stars as Jack Larson (Jimmy Olsen) and Noel Neill (Lois Lane) and Sarah Douglas (Ursa) regularly attend the festival. For years I've dreamt of visiting Metropolis for the festival, but, to be honest, I think after about three hours it would be kind of weird. And that's a long way to go for a couple of awkward hours of fat men in Superman shirts.
At the center of the town square stands (or stood) a 15 foot bronze statue of Superman with the words "Truth, Justice and the American Way" emblazoned upon the base. I would assume as an April Fools joke, somebody took it upon themselves to liberate the Superman statue. A semi-official version of events can be found here.
I wish the people of Metropolis godspeed in finding their statue. Some townsfolk are now suggesting the Celebration cannot go on if the statue is not found, or is found in a state of disrepair. Metropolis is not a huge town with tax dollars enough to spend money on repairing the statue or building a new one, and as I understand it, the Celebration is a bit of a boon to their economy.
I hope those who performed this villainous deed are happy with themselves. They've probably made little Kal-El cry.
posted by Ryan at 10:59 AM
Tuesday, April 01, 2003
This brave little lass shows us what it means to be a patriot in these troubled times.
On my super-extended drive home tonight, it struck me that in 20 years, somebody is going to try to bring back American Idol. If we're willing to bring back Star Search, which was a little embarassing when it was originally on, surely we'll want to trot out this format again. I can almost imagine Mary Hart interviewing Simon Cowell in an era when the Jihad has actually succeeded and we're all kind of Muslim. Someone is going to do this, and I want 20 space-bucks when it happens, because I will have predicted it.
What with a war on, and a sloberringly insane North Korea on our plate in addition to several million irritated Frenchmen, the world has become a dark place. But I think I may have found the salve. If you're having some bleak, bleak thoughts about current events, I highly, highly suggest you enjoy this page . For a more direct dose of it all, for those of you with a high-end connection, go here and have your spirits renewed.
Jim D suggested a new name for this Blog: The Unbearable Lightness of Steans
I'm not against it. I'm still kicking the suggestion around, but just when I was thinking of implementing it, Dan P of Austin suggested I adopt the name Axis of Steans. For now I'm sticking with a pro-Melbotis format.
Also, check out this.
posted by Ryan at 9:12 PM
this is just funny.
As of 7:00am Arizona time (we are neither Mountain, nor Pacific... you can't bring us DOWN!!!) Corey (Shut up, Corey) Clark has been booted from American Idol. I know that Jamie and I will be watching in rapt attention this evening to see what Simon will say! What is up with Corey's outfit in that photo? He looks like the world's worst cat burglar.
posted by Ryan at 2:58 PM
I had posted this last night very briefly, and in that time, Jim managed to send me this article, which I find interesting. Review at your leisure. I'm not sure I agree with what the author of this article says in it's entirety, but here at League of Melbotis, there are no stupid ideas, only stupid me.
Below is what I originally said:
I'm a fan of objectivity in my journalism. I am aware that from a truly critical stand-point, no person can truly be objective. I am also aware that a pretense of objectivity, is, at it's very heart, deceptive. HOWEVER, the recent trend toward mixing editorialization (thanks Fox News) with actual factual reporting has done some strange things.
I was struck by the oddity of Peter Arnett's release from National Geographic and NBC today. Reporters must now be very careful what they say, and not just in giving away troop movements. Apparently disagreeing with the Pentagon press releases and those sassy generals who take the podium everyday in their desert camouflage (which clashes very badly with that "we're on CNN!" backdrop) is a BIG no-no. Is Arnett wrong to perform this interview anymore than the American press whom have volunteered to be mouthpieces for the US military by embedding themselves into army units? The question arises: when CAN reporters be blunt about their assesment if it does not coincide with the objectives of the US government powers-that-be? This is not a question of a Dixie Chick trash talking in London, this is a very seasoned journalist with a front row seat being asked to recant his observations, and STILL paying the price with his job. Is Christiane Amanpour required to regurgitate the press releases generated from Virginia when she's sitting in Kuwait, lest she be removed from the airwaves?
I don't know, but I do know I find the control of information and number of coerced public apologies cropping up lately a bit disturbing. The news media's collusion in this and their adoption of "if you're not with us, you're against us" smacks of that fun term I don't get to use often enough.. Neo-McCarthyism! How do we recognize when we've crossed that fine line in protecting ourselves?
posted by Ryan at 8:32 AM
Monday, March 31, 2003
I wasn't planning on adding anything else, but what the hell is wrong down at Fox? Corey "Shut up, Corey" Clark, one of American Idol's final 9 contestants apparently spent last fall beating up his sister and some cops. I realize the producers of American Idol are very busy people, but is a criminal background check THAT complicated? Read the article to understand what I mean.
I watch a fair amount of American Idol. My wife is enamored with the show, but as she tolerates my adoration of all things Superman, I let this little fault slide. Last summer, I dubbed Kelly Clarkson a pie-faced dweeb, and I guarantee you, America, when her stupid movie with Justin Guarini is released, you too shall turn on this talentless powder puff. I suspect that Kimberly Caldwell (the girl who has taken Renee Zellweger's line and claimed Katy, TX is a small town and not part of the Houston megalopolis) will be this season's Kelly. She's talentless and blonde, so America's text-voting teen-populace must love her. I mean, they keep buying Mariah Carey albums, so why not this, too?
I myself am a Trenyce man. Go Trenyce.
One could navel gaze endlessly about why so many tune into "unscripted" television (and I suspect multiple blogs do so, because the press likes to talk about that more than obesity), but the truth is this: We've already seen every scripted show in prime time. I mean, has it not occured to the Powers That Be that after 10 seasons on the air, Law and Order might have already run out of ideas? No. Rather, we've added 15 other Law and Order shows, and what the hell happened to Dragnet? Is it even on anymore?
We've seen all the shows that people would actually believe in a fictional context, so now we require Fear Factor to display that Miss USA WILL eat pig testicles for her favorite charity. I mean, it doesn't make for a good episode of the Golden Girls, but the "Oh, sweet Christ, no!" factor is undeniable.
After how many seasons of Jerry and 15 runs of Survivor, people still do not realize that only 1 in a thousand reality television show contestants actually go onto other things. Can you name even 7 of the final 10 contestants from American Idol last season? Probably not, and millions watched the show. And so the program draws in contestants like Corey "Shut up, Corey" Clark, Cop Fighter!
I wouldn't suggest that one NOT watch these shows, I mean, the alternative is Yes, Dear and According to Jim, for God's sake, but keep in mind that every one of these contestants is as dumb as a post and unemployable enough that they have TIME to not work for a month of shooting. Just remember that when you put that pie-faced dweeb, Kimberly Caldwell up on a pedastal. And if ANYONE buys the Kelly Clarkson CD and can PROVE they're still listening to it regularly in two months, I will send them $100.
I think the most original scripted program on the air today is probably Invader Zim, and that may be only because I've seen only a handful of episodes.
posted by Ryan at 10:43 PM
jdedman4: any blog topics tonight? Steanz: My insecurity in putting up a blog jdedman4: self referential, that's good Steanz: well, it is a little weird, i think jdedman4: that is what blogging is about Steanz: anyway, it'll be up before 10pm jdedman4: obsevations on life/culture with odd personal tidbits jdedman4: part commentary / part voyeurism
I'm going through a period of self-doubt about the very notion of this (or any other) blog. Specifically, I'm uncomfortable with anyone reading the text I might put online, especially given that I agreed to begin this blog as a one-man forum (which is what?) to espouse a dissenting slant on political/ whatever issues as put forth by an associate of mine. I would suggest it is only my own hubris which allowed me to originally begin this blog for the above stated purpose. I'm usually ill-informed and prone to knee-jerk sentiment, all of which makes most of this a waste of valuable internet real-estate. By assuming that others would wish to actually spend their valuable time perusing this blog (journal? chronicle? steaming pile of crap?), am I indulging in the most narcissistic behavior since I was 8 and put my own face on a novelty t-shirt which I proudly wore for the better part of a year? No, there are no photos, so don't ask.
The whole thing has an ugly Reality TV-contestant vibe. By virtue of even creating a posting, I am demanding the attention of others with this digital soapbox, yet I am neither talented nor good looking enough to get my own show based on any true merit. Cyberspace (for lack of a better geographic description) is a very, very big place, and I would suspect that virtually no one, including family and friends, who has received the link to this site, will ever click on the link to the blog after an initial inspection. This is both liberating and somewhat ego-crushing. Of course it would be nice to think the sound and fury means something, but let's be realistic.
That said, tonight I am tired. It was a long day down at the salt mines. I'd rather not go into it here because even Jamie looked a little bored with my tales of woe.
Melbotis has a friend who lives on the other side of our cinder-block fence (all fences in Chandler are made of cinder-block). He's some sort of whte dog with some pit bull in him, I think. Every night when I let Mel out to go and enjoy the back yard we maintain so very nicely for him, he goes to the corner behind the lime tree and barks. Eventually his friend jumps up on the fence, leans over the very top of it, barks once or twice, and then falls back on his side of the fence. The white dog will do this all day. Jump, bark, fall. Mel has to do very, very little to participate but bark back. Mel is also fairly overweight and incapable of getting in the Subaru without a little assistance, so to expect much out of him as part of this game is probably unrealistic.
posted by Ryan at 8:44 PM
Sunday, March 30, 2003
Greetings and welcome to the League of Melbotis weblog. For those of you NOT in the know, Melbotis is my dog. He's a good boy and he knows absolutely no tricks. Melbotis was not always my dog, he used to live with Jenny Perkins, so if I ever track her down, I have to give credit to her diligence in bringing up such a fine dog.
This weekend I was told to create a blog by Jim Tiberius Dedman of www.jdedman.com I suggest you check out the link. Usually it's a really good site, unless he doesn't update it, but he does that very regularly.
Jim's a good guy, and against my better judgement, I've known him for several years. Anyway, I think his intention was that I blog to create some sort of dialogue about political matters. That's fine. I'm not sure how many people want to hear my side, but it seems better than generating e-mail or trying to keep up with Jimbo on AIM. It turns out that Jim types faster than me.
I'm currently living in Chandler, Arizona, which is a bedroom community about 30-40 minutes from the airport, but still considered to be in the Phoenix metroplex. I'm more or less from Austin, Texas, and I miss Guero's and Rudy's like some folks might miss an arm or foot.
In order to entertain myself out here in the desert, I read a lot of Superman comics, watch Monster Garage, and try to keep the pets entertained. Lately, I've been watching the war footage and shrieking in horror. Bombs make me nervous, even bombs far, far away, so I've decided that today I will not venture into man's inhumanity to man as a topic. Thus, I will keep my comments about Scottsdale brief.
This weekend Jamie and I attended the Tempe Arts Festival.
Scottsdale is North of Tempe, but apparently not far enough away. It's a place where really hideous rich people go to freak out and buy cars bigger than mine, leaving me insanely jealous. The citizens of Scottsdale descend on things like the Tempe Arts Festival in terrible pastels and with strollers full of kids named "Austin" and "Tyler" and "Britney". Their purchasing power has created an environment where its apparently impossible to sell or show anything resembling art at the arts fair. I'm not one who believes in high or low art, but I'm pretty sure that putting sequins on a denim skirt to look like a kitty does not qualify as even the dumbest of folkart. Nothing made with a machine bought from RonCo counts as art. Patrick Nagel fans take heed.
In investigating the tents set up along the way, I discovered that all you need to do to participate in the Tempe Arts fest is to have $400 to rent out a space, get a tent, and procure some crappy faux-Native American art, like a clay bowl or something. There are other objects'd'arte (sp?), like cuh-razy pictures of dogs and cats, and Henna art for mommies who are trying to remember when they were crazy, pissed-off undergrads. Anyway, it was a bit of a letdown. And too many pan flutes. Far too many pan flutes.
The art fair made me wonder what all the millions of art majors are doing once they graduate from college. Are they all at these fairs hawking rusted copper yard ornaments in the shapes of kitties? I don't know where the art majors go, but I suspect they end up doing tech support at Dell. That's what I think us failed film majors are up to.
In the end, I did get a bag of cinammon roasted almonds, which made the trip actually not seem completely wasted.
Jamie (the little lady) and I took Melbotis to the park on Saturday. It was a fine time and we flew the Justice League kite I bought at the gas station for $2.50. Given the price I paid to see XXX, I think the $2,50 was a much better investment. Typical of Chandler, Tumbleweed Park is a sprawling grass something or other watered by sewage, an investment of millions of dollars, and completely devoid of any actual patrons. Well, this week there was a children's birthday party going down, but instead of using the acres and acres of grass and park, the parents had rented a moonbounce. All the kids out here rent moonbounces on their birthdays. Every Saturday there's one of these atrocities sticking up over somebody's cinder-block fence, accompanied by the shrill partying of seven year olds.
I do occasionally enjoy the punch drunk feeling of thirty minutes in the Arizona sunshine. I miss Central Texas sunshine more, but Arizona does have a few good things. Anyway, the park is a good thing, and I secretly hope nobody ever finds it. Melbotis and I like it a lot. We hope to spend many more Saturdays there before people come in and ruin our public park. My goal now is to teach Mel to carry the ball all the way back to the car by himself.
No political commentary here, per se. Maybe next time. Anyway, I hope this is okay.
posted by Ryan at 8:18 PM
Greetings, mortals. This is my very, very first post to this blog. Jim Dedman is a weenie. posted by Ryan at 10:29 AM