“Maybe Tonight”–What’re the Chances!

14 02 2010

Actually, “Maybe Tonight” Was a Very Popular Candy Slogan, And the Chances Were 1 in 8

I have no opinion—at all—on the color and expression changes made to conversation hearts. They’ve added and dropped sayings every year for as long as I can remember, so I don’t see why anyone would suddenly care. As for the color, as long as they’re even remotely pastel I see no cause for concern. I’m really just jumping here at the chance to pay homage to one of the best Arrested Development episodes ever (“Marta Complex”, original air date 2/8/04).

According to msnbc.com, your chances of getting the new “Tweet me” message are 1 in 80.

For a vintage (2004) assembly of statistical data on the average sack of conversation hearts, read this illustrated report. It’s thoroughly entertaining. Number of “U R A STAR” messages in their sample bag? Four. “U R A QT”? Ten. “U R A 10?” One. They reported five as unreadable (which seems low). Some of their “zero counts” are clever.

If you’re looking for the Sweethearts® Conversation Hearts iPhone® app or Twitter® account, you can find them here.


Follow-Up Friday

23 10 2009

23 October 09: Carlos Freire’s Head, 2012, “ATTN #9”

At the risk of acting like the aggregate blogger that I pretend not to be, here are a few updates:


1. Made in Brazil added an assertive wrinkle to the ongoing unofficial A|X-Freire ornamental culture study.

Ima trade four houses in for a hotel.

2. Sony Pictures’ blandly-titled promotional YouTube channel “2012theMovie” has been in upload overdrive. There’re a couple of cool CGI featurettes which I really dug and which seem to indicate that the unprecedented CGI work will outshine the inevitably piss-poor plot. Tell that to The Onion.

we had some good times

3.  And finally, there was a slight Auto-Tune the News installment, which I’m not even going to dignify with a screencap. Worst. Episode. Ever.

As always, the suggestive natures of this post’s title, subtitle and internal structure do not in any way represent a commitment on my part to a regular feature.

YouTube Compilation on YouTube

1 10 2009

3 Minutes, 24 Seconds of Footage Which You Will Thoroughly Enjoy and Which Represent the 1642 Hours, 54 Minutes, 18 Seconds Your Employer Will Never Get Back

I almost didn’t post on this, but then yesterday the band Hadouken, who recently uploaded a video of 100 viral clip excerpts meticulously arranged to their single “M.A.D”, added a source list to the YouTube page and suddenly I kinda wanted to again.

I wasn’t being a smart-ass when I described the arrangement of these clips as “meticulous”. The groupings are thoughtful but unpredictable, the editing is unsloppy and the synchronization is disciplined without being regimented or robotic. I liked how sometimes the juxtapositions were about escalation, while other times they were about contrast. And the whole thing’s executed without any of the pretense of Weezer’s “Pork and Beans” video (or Weezer’s subsequent let’s-milk-this remix video). So no, it hasn’t been done.


L: direct reference (Jack cues “Sneezing Panda” for Liz). R: indirect reference (George-Michael’s purloined video parallels “star wars kid” clip).

Any time you see the word “greatest” next to the word “hits”, the words “not an exact science” are understood; still, because people are idiots, the comments section for this video is chock-full of complaints about clip originals with unacceptably low view counts, supposed glaring omissions, and similar criticisms. So, in the prevailing spirit of reader-response, here are my uninvited opinions:

  1. I would have left out “leave britney spears alone”, but if you were one of the zero people thinking about Chris Crocker then perhaps you appreciated its inclusion.
  2. I’m not sure I would have included the Ok Go treadmill thing—should official music videos “count”?
  3. If you posted a video like “charlie bit my finger” or “Bizkit the Sleepwalking Running Dog” on somebody’s wall more recently than your mom did, it means she’s cooler than you.

In case you care, or are bored and crave links, I should add that this montage did include a few of my personal favorites. And just enough time had passed for me not to be enraged by the inclusion of Kelly footage (I still can’t watch the “Shoes” video one more time, lest I be reminded of those unfortunate 18 months during which every other word out of the mouth of every fag hag on the planet was “betch”, but I am always up for watching the cameo-laden “Let Me Borrow That Top”).

a case of beer


a quesadilla


[audible laughter] Yeah, this is real life.


Don’t front: for the last four years, your IRL memories—like mine—have had to share brain space with the very real, very memorable, and very documented stuff of strangers. This is the mystery of profitable (if inappropriately-applied) technology. We wear our cell phones on our ears, not our wrists, and we don’t have affordable Moon vacations or a cure for cancer. Instead we have a taggable, flaggable benevolent clip monarchy, which is something no one could have predicted. Brilliant. I’ll take YouTube over a hoverboard any goddamned day of the week.

Jason Bateman Plays “Beleaguered” Well

1 09 2009

Terry Gross Once Again Reminds Listening Audience of Underused Word’s Existence

Terry Gross interviewed Jason Bateman on Fresh Air the other night. It was tidy (you can listen to it here). Most of the time was devoted to his current film projects and earliest television work as a child actor. Gross even played a Little House on the Prairie clip featuring Bateman—I didn’t remember the episode, but it typified the show’s empty-calorie, pull-knob-to-dispense, Landon-brand moral tone (which, when coupled with the subscription to “Highlights Magazine for Puritans Children” that your aunt renewed each year on your behalf, was the 1980s equivalent of asphyxiation by pressing). Don’t even get me started on Highway to Heaven. Cut your hair, sir.

Throughout the segment, Bateman remained interesting and often witty. At times he was self-deprecating, but never to the point of being disingenuous. When Gross suggested that Bateman played “beleaguered” well, I instantly felt the need to use the word “beleaguered” as soon as was practically possible. Almost as instantly, all thoughts (except for the thought about using the word “beleaguered”) turned to Arrested Development and the character of Michael Bluth, the bland sort of center of the show—his words.

Gob's the oldest.

Pictured: effects of primogeniture hangover.

To be honest, there was very little Arrested Development talk in the interview. I won’t even play. I really just grasped at the first straw that gave me an excuse to post screen caps of a few of my favorite Michael Bluth facial expressions.


Pictured: father exacerbates unreliability of son’s truth value.

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to Monday’s KenKen Puzzle

25 06 2009

NYT Arts Section Calls Attention to Hyperreality of Fake News

Recognize this anchoress?

Yeah, I didn’t either. How about now?

I know, right?! I totally spent, like, a decade of my life barely tolerating this broad. Now I totally respect her, and I never would’ve even made the connection were it not for this (and, speaking of the NYT, look).

Of course, as we all know, this sort of thing is not exactly unheard of:

But that’s ancient history. Right now, I am totally digging Battista’s deadpan delivery and feature-story inflection while describing the poor customer satisfaction ranking of Prague’s Franz Kafka International Airport, where  passengers are told that their airlines don’t exist, security checkpoints include elaborate oral and written personal interviews, and navigation is hindered by “extremely long corridors leading to dead ends”.

The “Pervatasaurus leerii” and “Despondex” features are much, much funnier, but I posted this one because the person who freaked and tweaked all of the airport signage graphics has my dream job.

Above: LOL @ “Ç” and “Ñ”. Below: Somebody should do something about the “oppressive, impersonal atmosphere”.