Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"They Call Me Time Wizard"

Episode 15, "They Call Me Time Wizard" notes go!!!

Alternative Titles for Episode 15:
"In the Heat of the Underdark"
"The Organization*"
"Nerd Matters Pt. XII"
"Final Faggotry Tactics"

Anyways, let's get to the real nut meat--

Here are the stupid, stupid, stupid shoes I saw on my way to Long Beach. I still don't entirely believe that these are real. If someone came up to me and was all, "Yeah, that's just an ARG we made tailored specifically to people who watched too many episodes of Married with Children" that would make more sense that there being actual human beings that want to buy shoes with toes.

But, hey, fila, if you people want to send us some free shoes, I'm an 8 and a 1/2.

(Actually you can watch the whole episode on You Tube for some reason. I don't know if it's 100% legal or just Russian legal or what.)

(Ugh. I forgot that the DVD and online releases of Married With Children don't use the original theme. This is the worst thing ever. Worse than time crimes.)

My mistake-- Krull came out in 1983. Conan the Barbarian came out in 1982 (the same year as The Beastmaster, which features WGSG favorite Rip Torn).

Speaking of swords and sorcery, we mentioned Robert E. Howard on the program a while back (and we mentioned him in an upcoming episode), so I figured, I'd maybe talk about him for a bit. Or lazily throw up some links. He's most famous for creating Conan the Cimmerian, but he also invented other pulp heroes like Solomon Kane, Kull of Atlantis, Bran Mak Morn, and El Borak.

(I could probably talk your ear off about El Borak and Afghanistan, but I think we're going to put that one in our pocket for the time being.)

I didn't know this when I first started reading Michael Moorcock's Elric stories (which are direct replies to the brash, brawny barbarian novels that became inseparable from the swords and sorcery sub-genre), but apparently he moved to Texas in his later life, which was the state that Howard had lived and died in. Life is funny sometimes.

Of course, it's a well established fact that the movie of In the Heat of the Night is bullshit because Virgil Tibbs isn't from Pasadena, but from Philadelphia for some reason. What a bunch of anti-Pasadena nonsense.

It's a form of hate speech, really.

Now, let's let ODB play us out in his own words--

*Yeah, that title doesn't work for a lot of reasons.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

"Joe & James Bum You Out"

Give to the Red Cross. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to automatically be billed for ten dollars that will go straight to the tsunami victims. None of us have any reason not to give.

So, lucky episode 13, "Joe and James Bum You Out." Let's get on with it then.

And to answer my own rhetorical question: Haiti is still super fucked up.

Upon a little bit of research, I found out that Mt. Fuji isn't actually dormant-- it's active and it's last eruption was in 1707-1708. Who knew?

I wouldn't take this as a rationalization that allows us to make crass jokes, but the BBC wrote a little something on why we make jokes during awful things. I know a lot of people can't even dream of that sort of a thing and I usually did kind of look down on that sort of thing until I went to a funeral for a beloved family member and I realized that joking around and remembering the good times we had was the best way to remember him. It was just in keeping with the whole rest of his existence.

We mentioned Chernobyl (and that it is used in both the videogame STALKER-- not to be confused with Tarkovskiy's Stalker (which pre-dates Chernobyl)-- and in a level of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare) and how, as fucked as it is, it wasn't the world-ending mess many believed it would be at the time. Here's a bunch of photos of it. Photos of Chernobyl and Pripyat aren't that hard to find, either, so if you're interested, give it a Google search (I'd start with English Russia. That site is pretty wonderful).

Vice Broadcasting System had a pretty fun travel documentary about the Zone of Exclusion, so. . . here it is.

I like Vice because they balance pretty well between wonder, chagrin, and fear, pretty often. They even make North Korea look like a bit of a good time.

Here's an article on the sarcophagus and its replacement. Pretty crazy, yeah? And here's another one from one of my favorite futurist/architecture/anthropology/whatever blog BLDGBLOG.

That BLDBBLOG article is fucking amazing. It really it. I won't spoil it, but it goes on to talk about the concept of an atomic priesthood trained to take care of Chernobyl. This makes an incredible amount of sense when you stop and considering that if we lived to be 100 years old, Chernobyl would still be radioactive for another 9,900 years. That's profound.

To quote Sergei A. Krasikov:
The death of a nuclear reactor has a beginning... But it doesn’t have an end," and that "one had to look at [Chernobyl] to understand the sheer tedium and exhaustion of dealing with the aftermath of a meltdown. It is a problem that does not exist on a human time frame.

ACTUALLY-- One last bit on Chernobyl and I swear I'm done. Warren Ellis found some interesting ideas about Chernobyl (and how it relates back to Stalker, which pre-dates the whole disaster and the idea of "The Zone"). He also quotes the phrase "Radiation Communism." Intruiged? Read the rest of it here.

The casualties we mentioned were 4,000 or so confirmed and 12,000 or so missing currently. I couldn't find anything more recent than this, which I guess might be a good sign.

Here's some photos from The Big Picture if you haven't seen them already. Numbers and speeches are one thing, but it's a whole other thing to actually see what Nature can do to a place.

If you want to read something a little bit heartwarming and an encouraging testament of the human spirit read about this badass dude. His name is Hideaki Akaiwa and he's the man we all wish we were, but pray that we never have to be.

I could link some 9/11 emergency phonecalls here, but I really don't want to. My heart isn't in it at the moment.

You can find those on your own.

I don't know. This whole section speaks for itself, right? It's horrible.

Here's the photo I was thinking of--

It's actually Passchendaele, which is apparently adjacent to Ypres.

Obviously we recorded this before the No-Fly Zone was introduced over Libya. That's been going on for about a day now, with no signs of any real progress (other than the number of bombs, I think).

Here's a brief thing on Libya's human rights record. Here's a bit more (not a wiki). It's not encouraging, to say the least. Qaddafi is an SOB, if nothing else. His fashion choices are also completely insane, but that's another story for another day (plus I've linked multiple stories about his sartorial. . . flare, shall we say?).

Oh, hey, here's a list of all of Libya's airports. Who knew that existed? Ain't the internet grand?

Speaking of the rebels I read this brief snippit "The Rebels Love Us Right?" Well, there's a decent chance that they do not. Benghazi sent more insurgents to kill Iraqis and Americans than any other city in the Arab world. Maybe that's Qaddafi's encouragement at work, but the fact remains, there's a sentiment behind all of this that doesn't just go away with a No-Fly Zone.

Here's another run-down of should we/shouldn't we intervene in Libya.

One last coup de grace about human dignity and struggle. I wouldn't dare use "heartwarming" or anything like that on this one, but if we're going to be in a war again-- and we are in another war no matter how it gets spun-- we should remember what it looks like.

And now, the light at the end of the tunnel: How to improve your ramen.

Play us out, X--

(Bonus: The RZA created a single for Japan. Give it a listen. Or donate. Couldn't hurt.)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Screwballs and You!

Episode 12: "Screwballs and You!" Here come some notes, hot and heavy!

First things first, an apology: We assume that only about four or five of our friends listen to the show and, to our knowledge, none of them are gay, so we have no idea what our demographics are or anything. Apologies to our LGBT listeners. Nothing personal, we just happen to think that no one wants to listen to our show, the queer community, least of all.

Legally I am entirely in the clear on all matters involving sexuality, gender, or the denigration there of. Your move, Joe, you hate filled monster.

Speaking of furbies.


We talked about how the US House of Congress voted to defund Planned Parenthood. You can read about it here. If you're like me-- and you don't want to get mugged by unwanted children from stupid people-- sign this petition. I did. And it sure as hell beats making a donation (I kid, I kid).

I did not invent robbing a bank with Dobermans. I wish I had.

This is what Kalie from Battlestar Galactica looks like--

She is also a shrew, kind of, so that works out.

Re-listening to the episode, I don't want to get the impression that we're sexists or misogynists-- I mean, maybe we are. We rag on stupid women a lot in this episode, but it's far easier to rag on women for unwanted, teenage pregnancies because the man's role in this, to me, is implicit. We all know he's an asshole and a deadbeat and, ironically, is so unfit to take care of a child that he couldn't even spend the three seconds to put a condom on. Fortunately for them MTV hasn't made the show Deadbeat Dads (which is half of what Cops is about, anyways).

It's also funny to say awful things about people who deserve it. We're all on the same page on that one, right? Awful people can go fuck themselves, right?

Also, to be fair, being a terrible person about how your name is spelled is a quality I have only ever seen in women. I don't know why-- maybe it's society's fault or the phallocracy or whatever-- but I've never had a guy tell me that I was pronouncing "Bryan" wrong. If there is that kind of a guy (why wouldn't there be?), there's a lot less of them then girls named Alyxanderya.

I hate it when people spell that name with a Y, though. It just looks, ugh, Welsh.

What the fuck is wrong with teenagers having sex? Don't they know how awesome that is? Why do they have to fuck it up? It's like if you were given a brand new car for your 16th birthday, one would assume you'd take extra good care of it because most people don't get new cars for years and years. This is a golden opportunity. Don't ruin it for you or anyone else by being irresponsible. You've got to handle this opportunity like a baby-- oh, wait, that doesn't work, does it?

You're shitting golden bricks and complaining about what it's doing to your fixtures. That is exactly the situation that is going on right now.

People are the worst.

Race war can be funny guys. See?

Hey, apparently we're on Podcast Alley now. That's exciting.

My Podcast Alley feed! {pca-4a3931288a0acccb2bdac4361effda24} (Are we supposed to keep the numbers here? How does this work? I'm just trying to get out there and I feel like an asshole.)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

They Put These Guys in Internment Camps?

Was there a Federal policy against being awesome as fuck that I didn't know about? I gotta get back to those history books.

(via Life.)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Birth Citizen Kane Shame of a Nation

"THE BIRTH CITIZEN KANE SHAME OF A NATION"-- Episode 11 annotations activate!

We started chatting about Harry Potter and Indiana Jones and I don't know that we need to have an overview of those pictures at all. They're pretty great and pretty popular, so they'll survive on their own without me yammering on about them. I'm going to skip on down to what I think is interesting. Right down to the nitty gritty.

Deal w/it, reader.

Later we moved on to Orson Welles and Citizen Kane and I don't know if I have anything intelligent to add to the criticism of that film that hasn't already been said (which hasn't stopped me before, I realize). The DVD has two commentaries, as well, which is pretty fun, one from Peter Bogdonavich (who was one of Orson's friends and did extensive interviews with the man in his later life-- There's a whole slew of interviews I've got on my iTunes that I downloaded (I think from Warren Ellis' site-- I can't find the link, so I guess you can just hunt down Bogdanovich's book). I can't imagine that they're so hard to find) and one track with Roger Ebert, who I think is a delight.

Orson Welles is a fascinating character for his triumphs as much as his failures. He's kind of the archetype of the candle that burns too bright. He's as famous for being a fat lame who can't get financing as much as he is for being the wunderkind that redefined cinema. And, really, after a movie like Citizen Kane, does he need to do anything all else?

On one of the commentaries, Bogdanovich talked about a conversation him and Orson had about Marlene Dietrich (stop me if I've told you this one before), where Peter says "It's a shame that she's such a great actress, but she was only in two or three great films." After a pause Orson replies, "Yes, but you only need the one."

So there's that.

(I think I stole a line from Joe Dante in this week's episode. There's worse people to steal lines from, I think.)

Anyways, with that said, Mr. Arkadin is one of his failures, I'd wager. It's a fun movie and it's an interesting movie for a couple of reasons, but it's a flawed one and it's even more flawed than A Touch of Evil, which is a few scenes of utter brilliance inter-cut with long tracts of Mexican fever dreams (I mean, it has Charles Heston playing a Mexican in it, come on). I bought it. You can check out the DVD set here. It's definitely worth a rental, because even has a B-movie, it's an Orson Welles B-movie.

It's also got a hot Italian (Spanish?) chick as Welles' daughter. So look out for that.

Speaking of the Orson Welles eyebrow thing, it's this eye brow thing:

And I bet you thought I was crazy. Well, who's crazy now, hypothetical podcast fan?

Anyways, then Joe and I started talking about Last Tango in Paris, which I was partially wrong about. The X rating lasted from 1968 until the late 90's (not the 80's as I had thought) and there are even less X-rated films than the "couple of dozen" I had thought there were. In fact wikipedia lists all of them-- with a synopsis-- and you could read about all of those movies in less than ten minutes.

That still doesn't mean that the history of the X rating is any less of a curiosity.

(By the way, Netflix produced a documentary called This Film is Not Yet Rated, which is a pretty damning rebuke of the MPAA's whole system. And, for bonus points, here's a Mark Kermode commentary that I stole some lines from. I'm a thief. Happy now?)

Here's what a good Gregory Peck sounds like--

What a boring, boring speech. Now, with that said, that Sophia Loren is one spicy meatball!

Here's what a good John Huston sounds like--

What a great movie.


I'd watch the fuck out of that, too. You better believe I would.

Now, I've got some drawings to ink and some wine to drink. Mr. Welles, please play us out--

Oh man, even when he's drunk as skunk, he's fucking as awesome. Kind of wish he did the eyebrow thing at the end, though.

Better Late Than Blah Blah Blah-- Episode 10 Notes

"To Boldly Jerk Where No Man Has Jerked Before" annotations GO!

There's really only one story at the center of this episode, which is the article from the New Yorker detailing Paul Haggis' little non-war against Scientology. Beyond that there aren't very many other sources to cite.

There's the wikipedia pages on Operation Snow White and Fair Game and all the rest of it, but that's as suspect as anything else (I know I link it quite a lot here. I do that because it's fairly easy).

Oh, and for the record-- not that I feel the need to defend myself-- but most all of what I've picked up on Star Trek is from Red Letter Media's reviews of the films.

Plus Star Trek is for lame nerd babies and I am nothing, if not cool. I'm like three Keifer Sutherlands in The Lost Boys times Keifer Sutherland in 24 (Season 5).

Here's the jerking off bit Joe mentions from Dave Chappelle--

Why isn't he as chill as he is funny? Maybe he wouldn't be funny then. Hmmmm. A conundrum. Well, at least he's no Scientologist. Or a Manichaeist. They're the worst.

By the way-- if you don't want to read some horrible self-promotion, turn your delicate eyes away from the computer screen now-- if you haven't already followed us on twitter or reviewed us on iTunes, please do! Oh, and tell your friends. Hold them down and tell them how great we are.

No, wait. Please don't do that. That is awful. Be kind to your fellow man.

Let's let Captain Kirk play us out--

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

You Know What I Can Get Behind?

More religious dudes smoking pot.

A holy man getting toasted is probably the least likely to suicide bomb you or start a race riot or keep you from getting erections or something. He might make you listen to a song you really gotta hear, though.

At the same time, just imagine that kind of grunge that dude is packing on his body.

(Thank you, Wall Street Journal.)