Patriotism, LA Style

LAist is promising to post a video of someone playing or singing The Star-Spangled Banner, every morning at 6. Today it's Maya Rudolph. Take those baseball hats off, gentlemen!


Funny actors

Ken Levine talks about funny actors. My rule of thumb: it's satisfactory if an actor reads it so it sounds as funny as it did in your head. You pray for an actor who reads it funnier.

The ability to get more out of a script than was put into it is a great mystery to me, and the actor who has it -- well, as Greg Daniels said about Jenna Fischer, it's like a magic trick.

I know very little

But I do believe that Sarah Silverman is funnier than Kathy Griffin. This is not to say that the Sarah Silverman cult isn't overblown (haven't seen her show yet), but sheesh.

Full disclosure: Sarah Silverman once complimented a T-shirt I was wearing.

This deserves more attention

But I do think there should be no drinking age at all, just a crackdown on the consequences of drinking.

You'd see fewer asshole frats at colleges, too, because the university could control the alcohol supply, which they can't now.

Money Grafs we scanned the article to find in order to be disgusted by.

Harvey Aarton(sub only, but so not worth it):

"Maybe Barbaro, as the fallen champion, was reminiscent of a country that was seriously wounded on 9/11 and has been wobbly ever since."



He was my favorite Canadien growing up (even if he did drive me crazy from time to time; typical fan). I wish The Game were livelier -- it's so damn thoughtful -- but it's a great book. Also he's a Far Side fan.

Thanks, man. And thanks for not quite getting the Leafs to the Cup.


Cleaning out my net news wire...

...I can't load my picture of the late Gump Worsley edition:

This reminds me of coming home from college, and why I have a prejudice against buses to this day.

• Via View From A Loft,, the paper in New York City! weighs in on Grand Avenue. My kids take lessons at Colburn which is catty corner from Disney Hall, and I can confirm that it's dead there. I'm not sure another Project will liven it up, either. Maybe Angels Flight will help connect the downtown-Charlotte like expanse of Grand with the actual city.

• However, everything seems tiny and worthless in light of this. (Shard of good news here.) I used to think we -- and by "we" I mean civilization, plus Alabama -- would muddle through the climate crisis. We'd suffer some losses, yes, but we'd emerge on the other side with a different, perhaps better, civilization. Now I tend to think most of us are toast.

"The Big Game!"

I'll post more soon, honest, but I just wanted to note one of my favorite things from this time of year -- how companies that don't have rights to the words "Super Bowl" use phrases like "The Big Game on Sunday!" or "The Big Game from Miami!" Like, "Buy two big screen TVs and you'll be eligible to be entered in our sweepstakes that could take you to The Big Game from Miami!" I don't even know why I like it, maybe just as an example of good old-fashioned American ingenuity -- even though you won't give the NFL money, you can still abase yourself before it.


International Reporting

Interesting article. (And probably sub-only.) As a consumer of the LA Times I would hate to see its international reporting dwindle; I think of newspapers as a luxury good, part of the good life, and the idea that I live in a hi-class city and have a cheap newspaper is an unpleasant one. (I grew up on cheap newspapers, and while the letters pages are great, and it's nice to have the school lunch menu and rec softball scores in cold type, but I moved to the city for a little more Sophistication.)

What would satisfy my snob appeal, though, is if the big-city papers like the Globe and the LA Times and such formed their own consortium -- sort of an AP-plus international reporting, for papers whose readership has an appetite for more angles on international issues than the AP etc. can provide.


Oh, and

My pilot, despite having the wit of the Algonquin Round Table and the construction of a sturdier Algonquin Round Table, didn't get picked up. There were like 65 competitors for 8 slots. The lucky 8 are competing for probably 1 spot on the fall lineup.

Every day in Los Angeles writers are paid, often quite handsomely, to write lines that six people will read and no one will hear. That's just one of the things that makes L.A. special.

Cleaning out my net news wire, life as a lazy blogger edition

• If people were lazy like me, they'd be richer.

This is really my favorite new website lately. I can't say why because I hardly ever take the bus or subway. OTOH, I need to be prepared for when gas skyrockets again.

Good news all the way around. And we'll need to know how to make our own music when the dire things The Oil Drum commenters predict come to pass!

I've always hated authenticity myself (This deserves a post of its own, but again -- lazy.)

And finally: "Due to the original look of this scene, if selected, you will be wardrobed in 'showgirl/burlesque' type costumes. Director Brett Ratner is personally hand selecting his favorites." Heh heh heh heh.


Thinking about Obama

I can only quote the lamented Fafblog!:

"But the most important thing ever to happen ever in this convention or in the news in general is Barack Obama who spoke last night an who is just some state senator right now but who is gonna be senator an president an space pope some day an I will vote for him over an over an over again because he speaks so so good an even though I dont know who he is or what his policies are or what he wants to do I am sure he is the biggest thing to happen to anyone since God at least! An even though I do not remember exactly what he said I think it was about unity an goodness an the beauty of beautiness an how America is made of candy an how we will triumph over adversity even though bad non-candy-comprised people may try to stop us because of HOOOORAAAAAAY! An then he ascended into the skies."

Shorter Peter King

There are no black NFL players interested: "in constantly getting better and doing only what's best for the team."

He dislikes his players the same way he dislikes his Starbucks -- black


It is ever the mark of a good liberal

To sneer at his critics by calling them "unemployed." Hey, my boss is an unemployed Jewish carpenter, man! Ever think about that?

Also, I find it delicious that Sorkin's ultimate riposte is that he was nominated for a Writer's Guild Award, since that means he hates my opinion and, at the same time, is validated by it.


Sign me up

Obama smokes -- the way FDR did!


Golden Globes Post: On the superiority of British actors

Another reason: British actors praise the writers.

As a dog returneth to his vomit

So a fool returneth to his folly. I was contemplating even deleting this blog, but I need an outlet to share depressing stories like this:

Joseph Romm's Hell and High Water may be the most depressing book on global warming I've ever read.
He writes of a "Planetary Purgatory" [UPDATE - by the 22nd Century], where sea level rises 20 feet, many coastal cities are subject to such frequent hurricanes they are abandoned, and most of the Greenland ice mass melts. What are today considered heat waves become normal summers, with more and more forest and agricultural land lost to fire and drought.

Here's the really bad news: this is not what Romm is trying to avoid, but what he hopes to settle for.
Good thing BlogThis is back!

INSTA-UPDATE: At the same time,slight optimism:
There's a company working with Lockheed and Boeing, on a technology that's been around for a very long time, fairly well understood, where you collect solar energy in outer space, using solar panels like the kind that powered the space station, and beam the energy to earth by way of microwaves -- very mild microwaves that don't hurt anything on their way down -- to a receiving station and through a centralized grid.

The technology exists. It's not crazy. The only reason it hasn't been commercialized is, it's too expensive. It would cost by most estimates 20, 30, 40 cents a kilowatt hour to get the launch into space, to get the several football fields of solar panels, and to send down that electricity and receive it on the other end -- compared to two cents, three cents a kilowatt hour for coal. Take that trillion dollars and say, look, our health, global warming, averting a great depression, is worth spending a little money now. Rather than cheap, coal-fired energy, let's subsidize that kind of an industry and help China and India be the first to leapfrog into those kinds of facilities.