Friday, August 06, 2004

Rick James is dead. Bitch.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Job for Reed if the Electrical Engineering thing doesn't work out...?

Wanted: Court Jester
I bought a hand-written but photocopied poem off a homeless dude today for a few bucks. I don't know anything about poetry. My 12th grade English teacher made sure I was utterly disenchanted with poetry before I even left public school, and, in fact, came close to getting me to disliking reading books at all.

And so I'm not someone who lives for the written or spoken word. Sorry. But I figure $3.00 is a fair trade for poem. And I thought I'd share this $3.00 poem with you. Hell, it's more than most of us ever made off of anything we ever wrote, right?

I don't know what the poem is called, or what it's about, but I tried to copy it as closely as I could. I can't make out the poet's name. But here we go.

This is the poem:

I think of all the ways
in which our lives touch each
other, the smiles and the secret
looks that pass between us.
Words that go unsaid, but are
understood nonetheless, as if I knew
you long before we actually met, on
that day. there was recognition-
a sense of deja vu. You share your
innermost thoughts and deepest
feelings with me. you are my -
traveling companion. my teacher
my guide along the way showing
me who i am and who i can
become. you shower me with
love and i am fulfilled You surr-
ound me with warmth and i am

Jeff the Cat

Greetings, Leaguers - Mrs. League here. The League has invited me to guest blog, so I guess I'll play along. I feel the League has done an excellent job of describing crappy desert living, but one little fella that has not gotten much attention has been Jeff the Cat.

Jeff the Cat (full name Jeffrey Taylor Steans - the League supplying the 'Taylor' in honor of his love for Planet of the Apes) was selected from a passel of cute kittens at the Austin SPCA in July of 1999. We would soon realize that the temporary name of 'Tuffy' the shelter folks had given him actually meant something. Jeff was a 'feisty' kitty and would attack most anything that moved. While some claim declawing to be inhumane, I contend that the permanent scars on my legs prove otherwise. But Jeff the Cat would not be discouraged! What he could not accomplish with his claws, he would get done with his teeth. That lasted until I got a nasty infection (I'm on a lot of immunosuppressants) and then he got his incisors shaved.

All of this may lead you to think we dislike Jeff the Cat. Not so, Leaguers! Yes, he does from time to time get yelled at and squirted with water, but for the most part these days he seems to have mellowed. I am relieved to report that it's been quite some time since I last had my leg chomped. He's still awfully cute, still plays by himself with random pieces of trash, still finds kitty forts to hide in, will still perform whole backflips while playing with the feather-on-a-stick toy, and still has one hell of a personality. On top of all that - the most important thing to remember about Jeff the Cat is that he once saved the League's life by alerting him to a fan that had caught fire in the room. Thank you, kitty.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Oh, stories about Mel.

1) On Sunday I bathed Mel
2) On Monday I accidentally left him outside while I was at the gym.
3) During this time, he dug a hole and laid down in it. The ground was wet as the sprinklers are going twice a day for two weeks to help out the fertilizer so my grass grows. Normally, I wouldn't care, but I relaized if I ever want to leave Arizona, I have to be able to sell my house. I am noiw taking care of my house so I can get rid of it.
4) Mel was terribly muddy when he came inside. he slept on the tile and had to stay there the next day.
5) Tuesday mel dug a deeper hole and laid down in it, getting muddier.
6) So I washed Mel... again. And then i mopped the floor.
7) Mel came in, and then snuck up on the nice couch, which he is not supposed to sit on. It now smells like wet dog.
8) Last night, Jamie was tossing and turning, so I went and crashed in the Guest room (only second time I've done this in almost 9 years together). Mel decides he should sleep in guest bed, too.
9) Covered in fur, slightly damp, and heavier than Jamie, Mel is kicked out of bed at about 2:00am.
10) Jeff the cat sits on my head at 4:00am, waking me up and causing a ruckus.
Constantine trailer.

This looks terrible. Whoever is responsible... well, I'm not going to geek out here. See for yourself.

For something which looks pretty good, here's the trailer to Garden State.

I've invited Mrs. League and Cpt. Reed T. Shaw to Guest Blog.

Reed is headed for the final few tour dates of that mystery of mystery bands... Phish. Reed will surely liven things up around this place, and cast a certain glow to The League we've long since been lacking.

We're waiting to see if Jamie decides to guest-blog.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

A quick perusal of my sitemeter will show that The League is quickly becoming the hot spot to visit when you are annoyed by Kristen Kreuk's portrayal of Lana Lang on TV's Smallville. I have to thank Jim for that. He's the one who linked over to for me. This has also resulted in The League finding a link on, which they clearly plucked from

Aside from that, Sitemeter doesn't reveal all that much. It's hard to know where 60% of my hits are coming from, who the people are, why they are here, how long they stay...

I wasn't so much wallowing in pity when I declared that "nobody reads this damn site," as wallowing in confusion. It's tough to know who the readership is. It's even tougher to know how to draw in new readers. I tell you what, though. Posting on the Alzare ad and putting together the words "Ann Coulter nude" on this site has drawn me more hits than I dare count.

But, mostly, is The League offering up content which would make a column which people are actually willing to read? Well, I thank those of you not married to me for tuning in day after day, week after week.

Randy suggested restarting a new sitemeter account, but I don't see how that would clear up my problem. Reed seems to fear I'll begin placing ads, but that sounds really complicated and The League is bitch to no corporate entity but DC Comics and

Anyway, with the completion of the 2004 Mellies, I'm feeling a bit out of steam. And as nothing I'd care to write about here is happening in my life, I am scrambling for content.

Having a comments section has been enlightening and entertaining, so that's here to stay. Everyone has done a great job of playing well together. And it helps me keep tabs on Loyal Leaguers.

Randy has an idea for something we can do. it's going to take a bit of work from both of us, will meet the criteria of both this page and and will take up a few minutes of your day sometime when we finish.

In the meantime, I open the floor to comments and suggestions for content. Does anything puzzle you about The League? Anything baffle you? I can answer questions, too, I guess. I dunno.

I'm plum out.
Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon recently gave the keynote address at the Eisner awards(an industry award for excellence in comics). Chabon is author of Wonder Boys and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

The transcript of his speech can be found here.

And it is a kick in the pants to an industry which likes to make like an ostrich all too often.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Nobody is reading this damn site.

If you are reading just post a "hello" in the comments section. You don't even have to properly identify yourself, but it would be nice.

Site meter stinks. I can't really tell anything about my traffic anymore.

Also, comments and suggestions for topics are always welcome and appreciated.
God bless 'em...

the preview is now available for Matt Stone and Trey Parker's Team America.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Slow weekend. Sort of.

I saw The Village, and I'm not sure what I think. It was okay. That daughter of Ron Howard's probably has a career ahead of her. I might add it's nice to see a 20-something actress making an appearance without having to first star in a Nickelodeon tv-show or having had ever appeared on the WB.

Spoiler here

Look, I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to know that M. Night Shayamalan is going to throw you a curveball at the end of the movie. So instead of just watching his movies, at this point, you kind of sit there and try and figure what the clues are.

The problem is this: Shyamalan pulled his trick in 6th Sense, and then let you get your guard down for Unbreakable, and then... POW! he got you again. From what I hear, he did the same thing in Signs (I never saw it).

So who really believes at this point the guy isn't just going to keep recycling the same gag? He's like the nerdy kid at the party who got everyone to laugh with his great joke, so he keeps telling it to the same people, over and over, trying to get the same reaction.

Maybe it's a spoiler that this movie has a twist ending. You can be like Jamie and declare you'd pieced it all together before the movie ended, or you can be like me, and feel a bit impatient to figure out exactly what the twist is by the change to the second act... because you know that whatever he's telling you now isn't true.

The point is: watching a movie isn't real-life. In a movie, you're given a limited amount of information, and you have to accept that what the story is telling you is true. Yes, it worked once or twice with Shyamalan, but what if every movie pulled this stunt...? people would abandon movies altogether. Every bit of information you're using to enjoy the movie becomes suspect when you know any bit of it could be misleading.

Sure... you can always surprise people if you lie to them for two hours. At some point, I just kind of wonder what else Shyamalan has other than this one parlor trick. He seems like a competent director and the actors did fairly well with what they had to work with.

Unfortunately, I'm not watching this movie in a vaccuum. I remember Shyamalan's previous efforts. Perhaps if this were my first, I'd have been somewhat impressed. But for me, the entire last third of this movie lost its steam.

end spoilers

Go catch this one if you were thinking of seeing it. It's okay. And it had Sigourney Weaver and William Hurt who are two actors I've always dug. It's creepy, and has some nifty stuff in it.

The new Justice League Unlimited series premiered this weeked. They've taken the show into a new direction I wasn't really anticipating, but I think I can get into. Looks like the JL is officially sanctioned, has more of a space station than a satellite, and has a staff running their various space hangars, etc... Kind of cool. But not what I was anticipating.

The story was a decent enough intro to what this incarnation of the JL is up to. The art is up to last season's standards, they've added 3D for some space scenes, and the voice talent was pretty good. All in all, it was a lot of fun. The opening scene with GA was about as classic GA as I think you're going to find.

My complaint: The new music stinks. Shirley Walker scored a lot of the Batman/ Superman animated work (including the phenomenal theme to the Batman/ Superman Adventures, circa 1997). Why Ms. Walker wasn't selected, and a screaming 80's electric guitar was chosen in her stead is something only Bruce Timm can know.

I really enjoyed seeing so many DC characters get little cameos (anyone else see Zatanna on the people-mover?), and I look forward to JLU plunging into television spotlights for so many of these characters. It was good to see the animated version of Supergirl return, and to see Captain Atom and Green Arrow done spot-on for TV.

Teen Titans was also well done, bringing the Judas Contract storyline from the comics (circa 1982) to a head.

I'm really getting into Megas XLR on Cartoon Network. The G-Force inspired episode from last week was absolutely hysterical, and this week's episode was pretty good as well.

Over at this weekend, Randy ponders what makes a movie good or bad, pointing out that his bottom line is entertainment value. And then takes a pot shot over Dedman's bow by taking a jab at Jim's worship of the Dogme 95 flick, The Celebration.

I see Randy's point, to some extent. I mean, if he enjoys a film, be it The Care Bear Movie or Wild Strawberries, shouldn't that be enough?

There are two answers to this question.

Popular answer: Yes. If you like something, that's all you need to know.

Critical answer: No. All art forms should be held to some critical standard with which to judge their merit for the present and for the long-term.

The movie trailer which raised the question was National Treasure, which I'm going to have to side with Dedman on. This looks like a stinker. Ughhh.. I'm not sure I need a film degree to see this being a paint-by-numbers clunker.

The trick The League has learned to employ is admitting The League is enjoying a movie, even when the The League knows a movie is bad. This doesn't make you, as a viewer, less of a person. But at least you can acknowledge that maybe the film you are watching was not as craftily put together as it could have been. It doesn't mean you're stupid for enjoying a bad movie. It means that you're freely enjoying something awful. If people couldn't do this, we might have Police Academy 1 and 2. But would we have all 6?

Critics be damned..! Movie studios are trying to woo the hard-to-please comic dork fanbase. Funny thing... turns out that if you don't go in and change everything about a comic book in order to bring it to the big screen, it can still make money (ie, Spider-Man, X-Men, etc...)

Apparently it's beginning to dawn on producers that you do have a built in audience if you make these movies according to the comics, but you lose that core if you step away from the source material. And given the money that comic nerds will be willing to spend if you actually give them something they want to see, studios are taking notice.

check out the article here. It details film events at Comic-Con 2004. Thanks to Jim D. for the article.

Unfortunately for the studios: many comic fans cannot separate cartoons from reality, and they tend to be a little blunt if they didn't like your last outing. So don't go to Comic-Con expecting the kid-gloves treatment. Comic fans are not known for their social graces.

I might point out that no self-respecting comic nerd will go see the new film "Constantine," based upon Alan Moore's pet DC creation, John Constantine. If the producers really think the comic fans are going to like the changes they've made, they are wrong. Trying to figure out why Constantine has to be British is like asking why Bond can't be American, or why Catwoman can't be Catman. Between Constantine and Catwoman, it's gonna be a long year for DC Comics at the movies.

Saw the tariler for Batman Begins on the big screen. I enjoyed it. Couldn't tell if a single other person in the theater even shrugged.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Maxwell demonstrates how Dick Cheney brings the music of Styx to life...
DC Character Profile: Mr. Terrific

Secret Identity: Michael Holt

Rating: Awesome

Official Website: DC profile

What makes him a superhero: Mr. Terrific is not infused with super powers, per se. Instead, Mr. Terrific is, as many DC characters, born with superior intelligence, intellect and athletic ability. Terrific holds multiple PhD's, speaks dozens of languages and is trained in some form of martial arts. He's also quite the inventor, utlizing his gravity defying T-spheres for everything from video conferencing to tracking enemies to shooting lasers.

What he's about: Mr. Terrific is all about "Fair Play" (it's written on his jacket if you don't believe me). He's there to even the odds for the underdog and to make sure justice is served.

Why The League digs him: Mr. Terrific came on the scene with a minimum of fanfare in the mid-90's when DC was resurrecting the names and ideas behind several of their World War II era characters. The original Mr. Terrific was Terry Sloane, a sort of Bruce Wayne type. In 1997, Terry Sloane was fairly outdated, and so DC decided to revitalize the property by updating Terrific's origin and giving him Terry's story as inspiration.

Since then, Mr. Terrific has served as a mainstay of the JSA comics. He's quickly risen in fan popularity, and even serves as Chairman of the JSA (Justice Society of America), playing the role of cool, confident leader.

You don't see Mr. Terrific actually having to get into fights too often. Usually he's too busy outsmarting the competition.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

By the way.  Set your TiVO/ DVR/ whatever. 

Justice League Unlimited premieres this Saturday night.

Should be cool.  Mr. Terrific, Atom Smasher, The Creeper, Green Arrow, The Question and a host of others will be making small appearances.  You can also see Captain Atom, Supergirl, Dr. Fate, etc... etc...

I hope this show does well enough to continue to extend for several more seasons.  DC comics, like Marvel, have a massive number of characters and stories to share.  And seeing them brough to the television medium is a huge amount of fun.

Look, I know many or most of you aren't going to read a comic, but if you want to see some crazy super hero action without the shame of actually buying a comic, Justice League is the place to do it.  And this episode is perfect for the uninitiated as they kick off a new series.  Give it a try!

Jim may have found his entire rise to fame completely exploitive, but we can now safely quell the rumor that William Hung has not ended his meteoric rise (and life) with an intentional heroine overdose.

see article here

You know, I can definitely see how see how folks might see William Hung's fame as a bad thing.  But I don't.  And here's why:

Jessica Simpson's sister.

I missed the whole part where Jessica Simpson became famous, but we all know that it's not exactly like Jessica Simpson worked her way up and out of the club scene, paying her dues and performing at humiliating shows at Astroworld for years before she got her lucky break.  She was a pre-packaged deal, a face for magazine covers and album jackets.  Don't mind if she can't dance at all, and she has voice as bland as Kroger brand Vanilla ice-cream.

According to certain factions, we live in a meritocracy.  But it ain't a perfect world, and that's not really how it works in certain realms.  At least in the entertainment business, it's who you know and how you know them.  Hundreds and thousands of bands can tell you: even if you do get a record deal, the chances of you getting the kind of promotion that Jessica Simpson, et al, have enjoyed is nil.  That kind of marketing is based solely on marketing research and not on years of a steady build-up of fans.  But, hey... it's America.  If that's what the record companies want to do... whatever. 

So now, riding on Jessica's coat-tails comes Ashlee Simpson.  Who, you know, is some sort of rocker.  Like Johnny Lydon and shit.  But she is still managed by mom and dad, and she has a TV show.  Never mind she's like 12, doesn't write her own music, and let's face it... she's maybe a good enough singer for a high school production of Annie, Get Your Gun.

Does this mean we should automatically dislike Ashlee?  Nah.  Again, this is America.  If Ashlee Simpson turns your crank, best of luck to you.  But at least recognize her as being as pre-packaged as a Happy Meal.

Then I think:  When Avril Lavigne was announcing Grammy nominations and misprounced David Bowie, shouldn't she have been euthanized just then?  I'm no music snob, but, I mean... holy moley.  This girl is making MILLIONS of dollars, and she's a cardboard prop.  And she can't identify one of the most important pop stars of the past forty years.

So maybe William Hung doesn't know who David Bowie is either, but he knows what he likes.  And, darn it, he at least TRIES to know something about the tunes he likes.  And he was willing to go all out at the AI auditions.   And he took his rejection with grace, which is more than you can say for most of the bozos who pass before the AI tribunal.

So William Hung sucks.  So what?  So does 90% of what comes out in any given year. 

My point is, if Ashlee Simpson is given carte blanche to make millions of dollars with her talentless self, then why can't William Hung?  Because he doesn't have a pretty, talentless sister? 

I'd like to see William Hung rewarded for daring to dream in a cynical world.  He doesn't have parents working around the clock to get him face time with record producers and record execs.  Nope.  Instead he stood in line and patiently waited his turn and gave it his all when the opportunity arose.  How many of us can say we did the same? 

So he's a little goofy and sweetly-naive?  And unsure of what to think, folks want to write their own readings onto the William Hung phenomenon.  You cannot honestly say that you think William is doing this with anything but the best of intentions.  So as long as he gets a big fat check at the end, I'm happy for the man.  I hope he makes a billion dollars.

New teaser trailer for the upcoming Batman film, Batman Begins.

Go to the site here and click on "trailer".

Hmmm...  this tells me absolutely nothing.   After Warner Bros.' last foray into superherodom with Catwoman, I am a bit overly skeptical.  However, it all looks fairly accurate to the comics.

I'll be curious to see if the studio sees fit to foist an unnecessary love interest upon Batman once again.

Just watched a chunk of a PBS documentary called "People Like Us". 

There was a section in which they attempted to use high school as a microcosm to demonstrate the formation of class consciousness at a young age.  As you can imagine, the producers let the rich kids talk long enough to sound like real boneheads and like a bunch of ignorant and bigoted maroons.

Funny thing.

The high schools they interviewed were some Austin, TX high schools.  The rich kid school being Anderson high school.  You know, I went to high school briefly in Austin and I don't remember it having a reputation for being full of rich a-holes.  Upper middle class a-holes, yeah.  But rich a-holes?  That was reserved for the Westlake kids when I was in Austin.  (ex:  they had astroturf on their high school football field).

Nonetheless, it's a good doc.  Worth watching, even if it makes you uncomfortable from time to time. 

Oh, and the guy who runs UT's film department was somehow attached in the credits.  I should have scrolled back on my DVR to see if I knew anybody, but I went and changed the channel.  If anyone from Austin knows anything more about this doc, let me know.

2004 Mellies, Day 69,890

The end.  Seriously.

Most loathsome Democratic presidential nominee

Jim D.

Al Sharpton




are there any democrats running?


No answer


Not so much loathsome as amusing, Mr. Warren Roderick Ashe is a real card. In his Votesmart Bio he tells us "I have poetry, music, television publications that have remained a publication secret in Radio and television broadcasting." Huh? He is also has special talents in "Astronautical and Astrophysics computer math involving saucer technology and time travel."


Kucinich. What could be appealing about the Bela Lugosi look? And what did you do to Willie Nelson, you freaky SOB?!


The Republican president has already lowered the bar so low that this question doesn't make much sense anymore.


No Answer


a. Wesley Clark - paper general, paper candidate  b. Albert "Al" Hamburg - Crazy MF from Wyoming

The League posts a vote

This all seems so moot this week.  Didn't see a plurality here.  So, uh...  I gotta go with Maxwell on this one.   

Best book you read

Jim D.

The Time Traveler's Wife


Identity Crisis.  Because it's the only one anyone here might also have read and it made me want to cry


all of them are boring but dissertation necessary


No answer


Just finished Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera, a sprawling classic story of unrequited love that is "unfaithful, but not disloyal".   Also enjoyed Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees even if it is everyone's favorite book of the month to trash. 


The Templars, by Piers Paul Ried


What Should I do with my life - Po Bronson  A Scanner Darkly - PK Dick


"Reefer Madness" by Eric Schlosser. Three essays on illegal "underground" enterprises. Engrossing. 


a. Inside Al Qaeda by Rohan Gunaratna  b. Memoirs of U.S. Grant (in progress)

The League doesn't read books without pictures

And the stuff we read this spring for school was boring.  Looks like a nifty book list for people looking for a good read.  I can safely recommend "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" as not just a biography, but an excellent peak into a part of American history and culture which was not so long ago, but might as well have been a million years ago.

Other blogs of wonder

Jim D.

Rationator Mirus (Nord)


Musings of the Queen Mum.  I wonder if this *is* a blog....


don't read any others (aren't you flattered?)


No answer


In addition to the blog that got me started,, and my entire blogroll, new blogs Verbose Coma and The 'soon to be added to blogroll' Rage Diaries rock my socks. 


hmmm... so many to read. I like baseball musings



No Answer


a. Electronic discovery blogs  b. The chinese sex-blog that caused a ruckus in the republic. 

The League

See the blogroll

Which former POTUS (President of the United States) do you know least about, but want to know more?

Jim D.

Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce

Jamie - it appears that Jamie believed I was referring to which member of the band "Presidents of the United States" did she wish to know more about...

Chris Ballew.  Because 'Kitty' is an *awesome* song.  (btw I just found out they are releasing a new album soon!)


Jimmy Carter


No answer


MARTIN "The Little Magician" VAN BUREN

(editor's note:  it appears Maxwell has joined The Van Buren Boys)


Franklin Pierce


Polk - I just picked a random one out of the bevy of presidential streets in the Fillmore / Marina districts of San Francisco

(editor's note:  please refer to They Might Be Giant's Album "Factory Showroom" for more info on Polk)


No Answer


a. Zachary Taylor   b. Chester A. Arthur 

The League takes to the Bully Pulpit

Looks like Franklin Pierce is our winner.  I'll see what I can do to learn more about the man myself.  Unfortunately, I have 100 pages left to go in the Roosevelt biography, and then I have to read the next 800 page volume of "Theodore Rex".  Maybe I'll take a little break in between and read up on Pierce.  I do recall some info on Pierce from my days as a history major, but jeez... not much.

maybe I'll do a little report.  Right now, The League promises nothing.

And that's it

Stick a fork in me.  I'm done.  Next time I'm making this easier for all of us.