August 29, 2009
The American Caliban surveys the Death Trucks that share his commuting space:
THE ODORLESS PRESSURIZED NATURAL GAS TRUCK. You know the gas in the stove? When it leaks you smell it which means you can run like hell and call the fire department before you are 1) asphyxiated or 2) blasted into liverwurst or 3) both. This truck has a truck-sized cylinder of the stuff, at high pressure, without the smelly stuff. So I'll be clueless and/or asphyxiated and/or liverwurst all at once when the small hole in the cylinder is going FSSSSHT and I'm behind it.
THE VERY HOT ASPHALT TRUCK. It looks like the other two but with a sign indicating that it's entirely full of the street, except the street when it's 1000 degrees and bubbly. I have a vivid imagination and I immediately close my window when I see the Very Hot Asphalt Truck. I don't want to be the street.
THE STAKE BED TRUCK WITH POISON CYLINDERS. This is your basic big pickup with a wooden stake bed in it, driven by tired and beery working men. There is all kinds of pump and spray and goop splatter equipment in the back, and then there are ten or so big gas cylinders which are PRETTY MUCH secured with chains. The truck and the cylinders are all marked with skulls and crossbones, or the hand with the caustic substance burning it, and the fire symbol, and maybe a devil's head. The guys in the truck are beyond caring. You know, if a cylinder like that falls over and breaks its valve, it becomes a high speed doom torpedo spraying poison out the back. That would rule!
DEATH TRUCKS (The American Caliban)
August 28, 2009
From the Oak Glen bridge over the 2 Freeway, looking north.
Man, it's orange around here.
I met a bloke on the weekend who worked for a tin foil company. He gave us 80m of it. I probably use less than 5m of tin foil a year, so I dressed up as someone from the future and jumped out of a bin.
August 24, 2009
I don't know how I managed to neglect writing about seeing Thelonious Monster play the Echo last Monday night. And at a free show no less!
It's especially heartening to see Bob Forrest getting to enjoy doing what he clearly loves the most. Many years ago he sang the vocal theme to a movie that a friend & I made in college. He gave us a beautiful performance for the soundtrack and was super cool about the whole thing.
Suffice to say that these lovable degenerates still rock, and that they're well worth your time.
I didn't feel like holding my camera up for long, but here's a bit of "Lena Horne Still Sings Stormy Weather", with a lyrical update for today's better times.
August 20, 2009
Joe Klein, at Time.com, on how the shrinking, ever-whitening GOP has allowed its most belligerent nutjobs to take control:
A striking example of the prevailing cravenness was [Republican] Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia, who has authored end-of-life counseling provisions and told the Washington Post that comparing such counseling to euthanasia was nuts — but then quickly retreated when he realized that he had sided with the reality-based community against his Rush Limbaugh-led party. Mitt Romney, the Republican front-runner for President according to most polls, actually created a universal-health-care plan in Massachusetts that looks very much like the proposed Obamacare, but he spends much of his time trying to fudge the similarities and was AWOL on the "death panels." Why are these men so reluctant to be rational in public?
An argument can be made that this is nothing new. Dwight Eisenhower tiptoed around Joe McCarthy. Obama reminded an audience in Colorado that opponents of Social Security in the 1930s "said that everybody was going to have to wear dog tags and that this was a plot for the government to keep track of everybody ... These struggles have always boiled down to a contest between hope and fear." True enough. There was McCarthyism in the 1950s, the John Birch Society in the 1960s. But there was a difference in those times: the crazies were a faction — often a powerful faction — of the Republican Party, but they didn't run it. The neofascist Father Coughlin had a huge radio audience in the 1930s, but he didn't have the power to control and silence the elected leaders of the party that Limbaugh — who, if not the party's leader, is certainly the most powerful Republican extant — does now. Until recently, the Republican Party contained a strong moderate wing. It was a Republican, the lawyer Joseph Welch, who delivered the coup de grâce to Senator McCarthy when he said, "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Where is the Republican who would dare say that to Rush Limbaugh, who has compared the President of the United States to Adolf Hitler?
"The GOP Has Become a Party of Nihilists" (Joe Klein at Time.com)
August 19, 2009
Spring Cleaning! We figured we'd upload a few of these rather than just delete them off our drives. Months back MTV asked us to make some shorts similar to our TV intros for the 2009 Movie Awards. We did a handful. They aired the Star Trek bit and a skit we made with The Lonely Island but passed on the rest.
You can find other (far less digitally tweaked) short films from the MTV Movie Awards here.
August 9, 2009
We've adopted our second feral cat from the L.A. shelter system. George is hanging out in a cage for a couple of weeks while he gets used to his new surroundings. Then we'll set him loose, and hope that he chooses to hang around.
The city shelter gave him some shots and (more importantly) neutered him, so there will be no further spawn of George. We hope this also means he'll roam a bit less and enjoy the bounty of our back yard.
Being feral, he couldn't be less interested in humans. Inside his cage he has a box to hide in whenever he wants to, which is pretty much any time humans are around. Fortunately we have the wireless cat-detector camera in operation, allowing us to track his progress.
We hope he does as well as previous cage graduate Doctor (also neutered, thanks to L.A. Animal Services), pictured here as he prepares to dive into food.