Late and Mean

While posting here is never easy, at times yet another new Blogger problem crops
up or I forget about an older glitch because I’d been avoiding it for a spell or I just don’t have the patience to deal with the workarounds and troubleshooting, so it seems even harder and plans get kicked down the road again. That’s when I’ll put up the bottle of Devil Tylenol from Hell or its predecessor the Campbell’s soup can — which you may recall is an ancient Internet tradition begun by Mark Evanier — and when I share another batch of word-verification definitions. I’ve explained the phenomenon before in my first such post and more recently on the dedicated page of this blog that collects them all to date.

ashible — [ash ih bull] adj. Made of such substance as will be reduced to powder by burning.

Boxidect™ — [boks ih dekt] It’s ten — tenten boxes in one!

caticeph — [kat ih sef] n. A being with a feline head.

Silent Treatment

I can see why so many folks in the American movie biz have both admiration and affection for The Artist as well as why it’s received almost universal acclaim from critics. While it does drag a bit in the middle, I found the film a delight on the whole — and I love the fact that the audience at my show clapped at the end.

Poster for 'The Artist' with the stars facing one another in shadow, all black-&-white except for part of the logo in red

Applause when a movie concludes, based on the unscientific sampling that is my own theatergoing experience, is much rarer today than when I was a kid. I’m not sure if that’s because people are more used to watching movies at home (in smaller parties and/or alone) or because there are fewer films that rouse an audience to applause than there used to be; either way, it’s one of the fun, communal aspects of seeing a flick on the big screen in a packed house. The Artist is definitely one to savor in such a setting, surrounded by other film buffs in near-darkness with the smell of popcorn in the air.

I won’t spoil anything here. You likely already know the gist of The Artist and, if you haven’t seen it yet, know whether you want to.


David Letterman typing intently on laptop

David Letterman has been goofing about Twitter for a while now. He acts more befuddled than he really is — mistaking the 17 feeds that the official Late Show Twitter account is following for the number of followers it has, for example, or literally typing in the words “hash tag”.

I was merely bemused with this ongoing bit, however, with one exception — until the moment frozen in the above screencap struck me.

Slow Globes

I stated at the end of yesterday’s post that any write-up of this year’s Golden Globes telecast would be short and scattershot. Here’s me trying to make good on that claim. For a more in-depth reflection on many of the Globes’ quirks, see my write-up from last year.

Ricky Gervais on stage, pointing straight ahead of him

Overall, Ricky Gervais as host was once again fine if hardly stellar. Most of his
barbs didn’t have the bite that I think he wanted them to, as he — and NBC, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — seemed to promote his return this year as a
go-for-broke train wreck waiting to happen, which is quite a silly thing. Gervais was, y’know, invited back. Of course he comes with a certain amount of edginess, but he’s a professional and there must have been negotiations and he knows how far he can push it. This isn’t an accidentally “tweeted” nude photo; it’s three hours of prime-time network programming on a Sunday night. We can all feign anticipated shock only so far.

Funny Business

Ricky Gervais, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, and Louis C.K. in plush chairs talking and gesturing

Ricky Gervais is hosting the Golden Globes ceremony again after all.

Last year there was foofaraw from some — including The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which runs the Globes and was one of Gervais’ targets — about his barbed material being distastefully sharp. Many of the world’s most prominent humorists rose up to defend him. I was in the minority position, expressed in my writeup of last year’s telecast, of not minding the acerbity of the jokes but feeling a lack in their overall quality and even quantity; Gervais didn’t seem as sharp to me as usual (in terms of keenness of delivery, not pointedness of content) and he was AWOL for long stretches.

Search Me

I get a kick out of seeing what searches lead folks here. While I’m always curious to
see the individual Posts listing in the Stats area of my Blogger control panel, I find
how people are landing on certain pages of the blog — and why, as much as one can hypothesize from the how — even more interesting than what those pages are.

Very often, I have little to no idea how a given search relates to what Google turns up, like so:

{craving for a holiday experience}

The above showed up this past December, and I discovered then that a Google Image search for the string would return the picture from last year’s hodgepodge dispatch on The Hulk, Evan Dorkin, and Twitter as a representative of the blog’s archive page for April 2011. I have no idea what the person(s) who input that string hoped to get, but despite their obvious curiosity over the image (they did click on through, after all) I doubt that they were looking for a doodle of Marvel’s jolly sullen green giant. Most folks don’t seem to know (or remember, or care) to use quotes in their Google searches when searching for a specific phrase — which I admit may not have been the case here — so, although pages where the words appear in close proximity to one another may show up higher in the search returns, a search will eventually turn to pages where the words may be scattered about in unrelated contexts.

Paris Review

Poster for Midnight in Paris with Owen Wilson in blue shirt and light khakis walking along a Paris street, all cast in blue, the sky above rendered like Van Gogh's painting 'Starry Night' in swirling blues with radiant yellow spots

Midnight in Paris was released on home video a couple of weeks ago. I caught it
in the theater last summer and came away with mixed feelings. Upshot? I’d probably recommend it as a rental for the enjoyable execution of the premise; I only wish that the present-day cast was half as compelling as that populating the scenes set in the 1920s.

Carter Beats the Google

Hello! Are you looking for this?

Alex Carter as Detective Louis Vartann on 'CSI' holding a pen and pad
Photo detail © 2010 The CBS Corporation.

I’ve kinda rigged the question by providing that pic from the set of CSI, since Alex Carter’s name was the most searched-for string leading folks to Blam’s Blog last year according to Blogger’s stats analysis.

Goblin Turkey

I saw Anderson Cooper kidnapped by the Broadway version of The Green Goblin
last night in Times Square. Spider-Man rescued him. The whole thing played out on CNN.

Anderson Cooper shaking hands with Spider-Man

Now, I’m usually watching ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, at least in the background, on New Year’s Eve. It’s frankly more habit than tradition, since I grew up in the days where it was just about the only (and certainly the most popular) thing on the air broadcasting the ol’ ball drop.

Last night, though, CNN was the channel of choice. I’d heard good things about Cooper’s bizarre annual pairing with Kathy Griffin — he (mostly) pretending to be annoyed with yet obviously appreciating her unfiltered chatter.