I resisted this for a while, but I guess I'm going to have to make a small comment on the Janet Jackson thing.

First, maybe she's a good actor, but I'm going to have to go with what I saw in Poetic Justice, and say she's not. Then I must come to the conclusion that it was actually unplanned. If you watch the video, the first thing she does is look down and try and see what went wrong. She even makes a move to reach to her brassier to see if she can undo it. Clearly some portion of the top was supposed to tear away, but the correct portion didn't tear. On the other hand, it's difficult to see exactly what was supposed to remain there afterwards (I know a red lingerie was what they claimed, but I don't know where this would have come from). The other counter argument is why would she have decorated her nipple if it wasn't meant to come out? My only conclusion there would be that it was supposed to show through the red lingerie with the decoration. Honestly, I don't think I'd be surprised if I found out either way was true.

Second, I'm astounded about the efficiency of the Internet when it comes to distributing information of this kind. I actually missed it on during the Super Bowl (I was watching the world series of poker during the half time show), and didn't hear about the incident until the next morning. I was doing mail, and went over to your local file sharing tool and typed in Janet Jackson Super Bowl. 19000 responses came back. 19000! How can the record or movie industries ever think they're going to beat the masses of file sharerrs when something that was totally unplanned and unexpected can be replicated within 10 hours to 19000 different locations.

Third, while it was unexpected and probably would make me feel uncomfortable if I was watching it in front of my kids, the entire brouhaha with the FCC and all is absurd. It's this kind of over emphasis on what can and cannot be shown that makes the rest of the world so annoyed with us. Gimme a break, the thing was on for less than a second. And if people hadn't made such a big deal about it, I wouldn't have even known about it! I guarantee that it's been 100x more noticed than it ever would have been if people hadn't replayed the piece a thousand times. Actually, since I heard about it, I've seen the clip (with the "inappropriate" parts blurred) no less than 10 times on television, on clips for the local news, on sports center and so on. Maybe I'll have more of a sense of outrage when I have my own kids.



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Couple of things today...

First, I was going to start with my immutable law of movie paradigms, as a homage to the TMQ, but then I thought that as an aspiring writer and comedian (though aspiring is a bit of a stretch), it's just theft. I actually remember listening to Joe Rogan (star of the abomination fear factor and the sublime NewsRadio) talking on the Howard Stern show about a set he watched while he was judge at last comedian standing. He was so strong in his opinion about the struggles a comedian goes through to work out a bit, I hesitate to use another person's material even a little bit.

But on the other side of the coin, there was a wonderful story on the creation process, about how even the most spectacular artists copy wholesale from other people to find their voice. While I would never presume that the things I put in here are art, or voice of any kind... Certainly, it'd be nice to find my voice through the expertise of others. So without further ado, the start of a list I like to call:

The Imutable (yes I know it's misspelled, it's intentional) law of movie paradigms
#1: Wearing sunglasses have absolutely nothing to do with the sun. While people take off their sunglasses in the bright sun to give an evil glare, they put on their sunglasses in the pitch black night club to show how cool they are. I mean come on. Have you ever tried this? You'd be falling over everything.

#2:Wincing and moving your head to the left equates to total invulnerability I remember noticing this for the first time during True Lies, when at one point the terrorist shoots the cockpit window out of the plane that Governor Arnold is flying. Where the terrorist was standing, he's able to shoot out both sides of the cockpit canopy. He's also standing exactly perpendicular to the direction the plane is flying. Unless bullets can magically go through people, it is annoyingly impossible to shoot out both sides of a canopy and not hit the pilot. But it's worse than that. The classic shot is when the hero is running and the bullets go running right up behind him/her until the hero finds some way to dive out of the way. Wouldn't that mean the aggressor is shooting at the hero's feet? Gimme a break.

#3: Parking is never a problem. At any hour, of any day, the hero can find parking right in front of wherever they need to go. I should be so lucky.

#4:Women always kiss men first. Seriously! Check it out sometime.

I hope to add to this in the future, but I think this is a pretty good start. And if you're doing a movie sometime in the future, please note these for your records. Breaking the imutable (yes I know it's misspelled, it's intentional) law of movie paradigms will guarantee my appreciation, which generally equates to box-office failure.


My brother, smart, funny and generally very nice guy, was commenting on my blog the other day. He said two things, both of which struck me:

1) He was very disappointed in December. Fair enough, I published something only on one day. It's interesting to me just in that he actually thought he liked it enough that he would WANT something to be published.

2) He caught a spelling error. You know, all the spell checking and re-reading in the world won't catch all my mistakes. It's always going to be someone else who catches them. But, on top of that, I could have the most salient and insightful point in the WORLD, and if i have a horrible mispelling, you're going to think less of my thoughts. It's like that old psych study I read about... people with accents are thought to be less intelligent than people who can speak clearly. And this goes across all languages! Meaning that, even if you speak French but you speak it with an English accent, you'll be thought of as less intelligent. I suppose this goes to reinforce the concept that it's not just the message that matters, but the messenger (or the medium).


I was on the ride home when I heard a techno remix of that song "Abracadabra"... man I loved that song when it first came out. The thing that struck me about the lyrics were the following:
I feel the magic in your caress 
I feel magic when I touch your dress 
Silk and satin, leather and lace 
Black panties with an angel's face

I see magic in your eyes 
I hear the magic in your sighs

Though this is pretty cheesy, I have to say they actually flowed rather well together. But even more so, while I was listening to it, my mind was doing what I always do subconsciously, searching for the next rhyme in the lyric. What was surprising to me was that I seemed to be trained into reading into lyrics with very blunt rhymes. When I heard "eyes", I immediately thought that "thighs". When I heard the actual lyric, it was fairly refreshing. I was surprised how rare I felt like this type of lyric was, and how I felt like this kind of subtlety is just not used enough in the pop culture of today... though many would probably say it was never that popular.


Uh, welcome to the wonderful world of video games. I'm a huge gamer and I think they generally rock, but man this is weird.
Screenshots from the Sims 2:
  • Hello, my name is Jimmy and when I grow up I want to be a stalker.
  • It's cool man, when we finish this crop off, we'll be able to score!
  • <German Accent> You have been a bad girl and now I must punish you! </German Accent>
  • and finally.... welcome to the hizzy, Mr. Ron Jeremy!
Maybe I just have a sick mind.


Anyone ever wonder what the etymology of the contraction "'Tis" is? I mean it's the exact same letters and characters as "it's" and, if I understand it correctly, it's the exact same abbreviation. The odd thing is that I assume "'tis" was before "it's" so why did people switch over when the time came? People still say Halloween (all hallow's eve) or other archaic abbreviations. So curious...


I read the most interesting concept in the New Yorker today. If I may quote:
One of the few guidelines from Breazeal
[a professor creating a human like robot] was
that Leo [the robot] not look too human, lest
he fall into the "uncanny valley," a concept
formulated by Masahiro Mori, a Japanese
roboticist.  Mori tested people's emotionsal
responses to a wide variety of robots, from
non-humanoid to completely humanoid.  He found
that the human tendency to empathize with
machines increases as the robot becomes more
human.  But at a certain point, when the robot
becomes too human, the emotional
sympathy abruptly ceases, and revulsion takes
its place.  People began to notice not the
charmingly human characteristics of the robot,
but the creepy zombielike differences.
What an amazing concept! And to be honest, it sounds entirely plausible. It's like a club sandwhich that you get in a foreign country. At one point, it's their own take on the club sandwhich, and the egg or butter or whatever they've added is a charming new flavor. But if it's too close, and still not accurate, then it's just a very bad club sandwhich. Not to get to philosophical about this, but one can derive an enormous amount of power from this thought, simply by ensuring that whatever you are creating or involved with makes the clear distinction between what it emulates and what it is. A cat isn't a bad dog, it's a cat which shares some similarity to a dog.