Friday, April 30, 2010


The day every hipster/hardcore kid in Salt Lake City will try to get as close as possible, think he might have a shot—and fail miserably.


Oh hey, another list that I really like. This one is pretty solid all the way through. But I only copied and pasted a little of each bit. I don't want to be an outright thief here. If you want to read the whole thing (and you should, because it's great) head over to Cracked to see it.


6) Communal Employee Underwear - Up until 2001, Disneyland workers weren't allowed to bring their own underwear when they were in character, because normal underwear tended to bunch up and become visible under the costume. Kind of like how some models don't wear panties on the runway, except less "exotic and sexy" and more "destructive of your innocence and everything the concept of childhood represents."

Instead, cast members were issued company jock straps, cycling shorts or tights, which they had to hand in at the end of every day to be washed with their costumes. Of all the perks you can get pre-faced by the word "company," "jock strap" really falls short--way below "company car" or "company jet," and registering somewhere between "company grave site" and "company lube."

5) Flash Mountain - Splash Mountain gained some notoriety a few years ago for being the premier place (outside of New Orleans and Chatroulette) for wasted people to flash their junk. It got so severe that, in order to combat the trend, Disney created a position solely to search through the ride photos for rogue genitalia before displaying them on the video screens. Don't believe us (or just want to observe boobies in reduced gravity scenarios... you know, for science)? Well, luckily some employees started posting the photos online.

4) The Really Haunted Mansion - Apparently it's somewhat common for a person's dying wish be to have their ashes dumped on Disney rides, most popularly the Haunted Mansion.

3) The Feral Cat Kingdom - See, Disneyland has a secret army of filthy and diseased stray cats that roam the park grounds every night. It all started in the early years of Disneyland when ride operators found themselves sweeping mice out of the attractions and restaurants by the plague-full (isn't that a pleasant idea?). The mouse problem went away when someone suggested letting around 50 cats loose to hunt down the remaining mice, who may or may not have sung beautifully orchestrated songs about hope and enchantment while being devoured.

(note - I went to Disneyland a few years ago and there was a stray cat wandering through one of the miniature sets of the ride with the big whale. I always wondered why... until now!)

2) The Yippie Invasion - On the 6th of August, 1970, about 300 members of the Young International Party (Yippies) descended upon Disneyland to protest against stuff and junk or whatever (we literally could not give a shit long enough to look up the explanation). After taking over Castle Rock, the hippies hoisted the Viet Cong flag, marched down Main Street USA and harassed the marching band while sarcastically singing the theme to the Mickey Mouse Club. In response to this minor annoyance, Disneyland did what any sane, rational company would do in these circumstances: Call in the fucking riot cops.

1) Gay Days - Gay Days is a week or so out of the year where the homosexual community comes together as a group at the Disneyland theme park. It's not sponsored by Disney or anything, they just gather there because no matter who you like to hump, everybody likes roller coasters. This is all anything but surprising. Quite frankly, if anybody is out of place at Disneyland, it's heterosexual adults. Somewhere between mincing about in the Enchanted Castle and doing the Running Man with a cartoon duck, you just lose the ability to be butch about anything. If there's anywhere homophobes have to concede to the presence of homosexuals, it's Disneyland.

Disney steadfastly refuses to acknowledge that Gay Days is a thing (despite tens of thousands of participants), but that doesn't stop them from being the target of mass protest, veiled threats and sometimes even implied violence by the religious right (for... failing to stop it, we guess?).

P.S. I still love Disneyland.


Making movie trailers is probably a lot more difficult of a job than most people think. Sometimes the right trailer can make movies look far, far better than they actually are (examples: Watchmen & Terminator Salvation). And sometimes the trailers are so bad that they don't do a great movie any justice at all (examples: I know there are a few—I just can't think of them right now).

I came across the original trailer for The Empire Strikes Back the other day and started thinking about how different the trailer would be if it were made today.

Recognize that voice? That's Han Solo himself, Harrison Ford, doing his best 1930s radio announcer over a bunch of quick clips.

If someone were to make a trailer for this movie today, I can only imagine there would be a lot of slow motion shots, bad radio or industrial metal and flash cuts all over the place. has a list of the best movie trailers of all time and I've got to say, that most of them I agree with. It's just weird to think about how much these things have changed over the years. But maybe that's just me.

THE MILD, MILD WEST, if you've never been there, is hit or miss. Sometimes it has some really interesting stories and other times it's just boring and not worth the time spent looking at it.

They occasionally have some well-written lists of random things that interest me—and anyone that knows me knows I love lists about random things that very few other people care about. This week they had one called Six Ridiculous History Myths (that you probably think are true).

Most of them were pretty boring and things that I don't care about. Number six, however, was one I've pretty much known about for a bit, but it still kind of depressed me. It basically says that gunfights in the old west were a crock of shit.

I love westerns and cowboys and all that stuff and I always knew it had to be exaggerated a little bit, but still. A little part of my childhood died today.

#6 Gunfights in the Violent Wild West

The Insanity

A gloriously mustached man sits at a card game in an old saloon, surrounded by cowboys and surprisingly fresh-faced prostitutes. He looks up, and notices that the player opposite him is hiding an extra card up his sleeve. He calls him on it, the word yellow is pronounced as 'yeller,' and pretty soon they're facing off in the city square. There's a long moment before the cheater moves for his hip holster, but he's not fast enough. Quick as lightning, the gambler draws his revolver and shoots the cheat dead between the eyes.

The cowboys and prostitutes go back to their drinks, well-accustomed to this sort of random violence, as the man nonchalantly twirls his pistol and says: "Guess he couldn't read my poker face."

A hundred years of Westerns have taught us that this is how you lived and died in the Wild West. The quicker draw lived to gun-fight another day. It was essentially a roving single elimination rock, paper, scissors tournament that didn't end until you were dead.

But In Reality

How many murders do you suppose these old western towns saw a year? Let's say the bloodiest, gun-slingingest of the famous cattle towns with the cowboys doing quick-draws at high noon every other day. A hundred? More?

How about five? That was the most murders any old-west town saw in any one year. Ever. Most towns averaged about 1.5 murders a year, and not all of those were shooting. You were way more likely to be murdered in Baltimore in 2008 than you were in Tombstone in 1881, the year of the famous gunfight at the OK Corral (body count: three) and the town's most violent year ever.

As for the traditional Western gunfight as depicted in movies, the inaccuracy of handguns at the time would have made quick-drawing skill irrelevant: It was simply so unlikely you'd hit a guy on the first, second or third shot that it didn't really matter which guy got out his gun first. The closest history got to high-noon show downs was dueling, where people just stood across from one another with their guns out, aimed and fired until someone got lucky, and someone else was dead. Forget about "fanning," rapidly cocking a single-action revolver between rounds like Clint Eastwood does in A Fistful of Dollars. You'd be lucky to hit a henchman if the duel took place in a closet.

Why Do We Believe It?

Because famous gunfighters like Billy the Kid wanted you to believe it. If you've seen Young Guns on cable, you probably know the guy was gunning somebody down every ten minutes!

Well according to sources who aren't Billy The Kid, his lifetime kill count was four. Criminals inflated their murder stats for the same reason guys today inflate their sexual experience: It made them look cool. Towns like Deadwood talked up their violent, lawless natures in order to attract adventurous settlers. Books were written about them and movies were made as soon as cameras were invented, and nobody who'd been out west was rushing to correct the misconceptions because, why the hell would they. A century and a half later, we still love that lie.

We believe it because shooting a nameless bad guy in the heart is infinitely more satisfying than filing a complaint with the cops or writing a strongly worded letter to the editor. No checks and balances, no second guessing. Just you and a gun.

Pardon us, we have a certain Bon Jovi song we need to play right now.

Check out the rest of the Myths.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Pita Pit Party!


City Weekly -- Comics and graphic novels—even obscure ones—become perfect movie fodder.

In the early 1990s, Joe Eszterhas scribbled a movie concept on a cocktail napkin and sold it for millions of dollars. It was the heyday of the “spec script” era in Hollywood, and suddenly, everyone was a screenwriter. Fortunately—or unfortunately, depending on whom you ask—that era didn’t survive all the bad movies that came out of two-sentence ideas, and studios were once again looking elsewhere for new properties.
Hollywood is almost completely out of ideas. That became apparent when studios started optioning anything from board games to yet-to-be-published children’s books. Eventually, someone ended up in the indie section of a comic shop and a light bulb went off. Comics seemed like the perfect fodder for films and were far less expensive to acquire.

The average moviegoer probably would be surprised to learn some of the movies that have been based on comics or graphic novels. We’re not talking about huge box office hits like Iron Man or The Dark Knight, because those will always be around. Thankfully, most have gotten better than Dolph Lundgren’s The Punisher, though there are misfires every once in a while (like Thomas Jane’s Punisher or Ray Stevenson’s Punisher: War Zone).

Well-received movies like David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence and Terry Zwigoff’s Ghost World were originally graphic novels. Those films were relatively low-budget affairs, but studios will fork out the cash if they see a project able to go the distance. Max Allan Collins’ Road To Perdition attracted Sam Mendes (American Beauty), Tom Hanks and Paul Newman; Universal’s upcoming Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, a manga-style book from Oni Press, got Michael Cera and director Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz); Warner Bros.’ The Losers (April 23) attracted Zoe Saldana, Jeffery Dean Morgan and Chris Evans.

Graphic-lit adaptations also are easily digestible for movie studios during a struggling economy. Instead of taking chances on spec scripts pitched or written by unknown writers that may need to be heavily rewritten or developed further, comics provide a solid, complete story right away. Since comics are, at their basic level, nothing more than words and pictures, the entire book moves along like a rough storyboard for a film. Screenwriters, producers and directors know exactly what they’re getting. They are able to make changes here and there, but the story is ready from the start.

The variety of comics is just as vast as literary novels, and not every comic is about a superhero with a secret identity. There’s something for everyone, no matter the taste.

Comics haven’t replaced the novel as the primary form of movie fodder nor will they. Comic books are usually shorter and more to the point than novels, which tend to run upward of 200 pages—and in a nation of ever-decreasing attention spans, that helps. And sometimes, comics just seem a little more fun. Big-name stars have gravitated to more entertaining and less conventional projects lately. Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner’s three-issue series, Red, topped out at just over 60 pages and is in production right now with Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman starring.

These adaptations have been a great thing for the comic industry because it gets more new readers into local shops, and the writers of these books are getting more and more work—both in comics and Hollywood. Mark Millar, based solely on Wanted and the buzz that Kick-Ass has generated, is already moving from writing comics to directing film (although judging from Frank Miller and The Spirit, this might not be the best idea). Brian Michael Bendis teamed up with Zac Efron to finally get his graphic novel Fire off the ground, and Matt Fraction has been on the set helping out with Iron Man 2.

Writers may not be leaving comics for million-dollar paychecks—yet—but they’re not running around town pitching Showgirls, either.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Not the band (though they are fantastic) and not the Outspoken record (though that is fantastic, as well) but things I'm currently stoked on.

The new record is great. I've been listening to it all morning.


Might not live up to the greatness of The Wire, but I don't care. I've loved both episodes so far and look forward to it every week.


It's two weeks away. I'm ready.


ABC 4 - LAYTON, UT -- Who knows how many others have been sold. A mom asked ABC 4 to take action after she bought a comic book package she thought was for kids ended up having a nudity and violence inside.

“I seen the naked lady and I got mad.” Ten year old Sheldyn Conley loves comic books but knew something was wrong when he opened “The Spectre.” He says, “I just turned the page and I seen the naked ladies so I handed it to a grownup and said, ‘Look at this.’”

On the very first page are two large drawings of a naked woman. There’s more nudity throughout the comic as well as violence. Stepfather Kenny Stong says, “He's a little young to be exposed to that kind of situation or environment, what not.”

Finish Reading...

My favorite part is the quote from the kid (which you can see in the news clip here) "I seen the naked lady and I got mad."

But the best part is that the news treats this as if it's the biggest, most damaging scandal of the past three decades. My response to that is, "this is news?"

There were literally hundreds of far more pressing stories and far more important things going on for Annie Cutler to be wasting her time talking to a Dollar Tree employee about a comic book from 1987.

Creator Jeff Parker issued this challenge on his Twitter page last night: "I want many cartoonists to match a panel to the caption of the Utah comics kid: 'I seen the naked lady and I got mad.'"

I really hope people take him up on that because that would be fantastic.


I purchased honest to goodness concert tickets the other day. First time I've done that in years. Hopefully it's worth it. Now I just have to find a date that's going to appreciate this show.

Friday, April 16, 2010


If you actually buy/drink this stuff, I don't think we can be friends anymore.

Its not me, though. It's definitely you.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


A couple of these billboards went up in an Illinois town recently.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


If you haven't seen this short, watch it now. It's fantastic.

Logorama from Marc Altshuler - Human Music on Vimeo.