Internet Geekery Lets Me Down

So I did an image search for cylon assimilated borg, and I don’t get a picture of an old school centurion with paraphernalia.

I thought that maybe, just maybe, someone would have created an image in 1997 or something that combined the two motifs, back before “cylon” was merely a hot chick in a tight dress or battle uniform. Oh, but no.

I hope you all feel ashamed of yourselves.

Lost Theory

Benjamin Linus is Morpheus, and Charles Widdmore is Agent Smith/the Machines. The island is Zion. Locke is Neo, and Jack is Cypher.

That should ruin it for you, and make you kind of dread the coming explanations and denuoements that will quite probably suck.

You’re welcome.

Not What Taco Bell Had In Mind

A Taco Bell commercial apparently ran during the newscast near the story about university porn club captured here. As a result, the Taco Bell commercial freeze frame displays with the headline that probably doesn’t build the brand equity Yum brands wanted:


Taco Bell frame, frozen

Double funny: the commercial features the character on the left air-whipping the fellow on the right while Devo’s “Whip It” loops.

Triple funny: The pull quote says entail. Heh heh heh. Heh heh heh.

Book Report: Nick at Nite’s Classic TV Companion edited by Tom Hill (1996)

This book, written right after Nick at Nite’s 10th anniversary, comes from the days when Nick at Nite was TV Land before TV Land became its own channel and Nick at Nite began showing whatever it shows now.

This book is an episode guide for some of the more popular classic television shows that Nick at Nite aired, including:

  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show
  • Welcome Back, Kotter
  • I Love Lucy
  • Bewitched
  • Taxi
  • The Munsters
  • I Dream of Jeannie
  • The Bob Newhart Show
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show

I can almost count the number of episodes of these I’ve seen on television. A couple from Welcome Back, Kotter, certainly, and one from The Dick Van Dyke Show because it was on one of those dollar DVDs you can pick up in the grocery store that contains 4 old television shows. I know I’ve watched episodes of some of the others and snippets of all of them, but for the life of me, I couldn’t match the scenes to the episodes.

Hopefully, I’ve picked up some useful trivia in the months I’ve spent working on this book a little at a time. The book also triggered in me a slight urge to pick up DVDs of some of the shows so I could watch them in the original order–imagine that; ten years later, the book isn’t triggering an urge to watch the cable station whose brand is on the book, but to consume the shows in another format entirely. But I won’t act on it that quickly.

The chapters are introduced with a section on when the show first aired on Nick at Nite and a compendium of quotes about the series from other books. Ergo, the introductory matter was meaningless. However, some of the episodic addenda was interesting: little footnotes about recurring actors playing different roles, singing and dancing numbers within the shows, or breaks in continuity.

Worth a buck if you have five hundred pages of reading time to spare and enjoy old television shows.

Books mentioned in this review:


It’s Either A Dream Or Alternate Universes

I’m not sure how television people plan to pull this off:

“The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” is based on the character from the “Terminator” movies and essentially moves her and her son, John, to New York where they prepare to stop running and fight back.

They could easily run afoul of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and its its books which don’t talk much about John Connor in New York.

But you know what would be cool? A Terminator-based series about Sarah Connor going to Washington and lobbying/protesting against the computerization of the military. Because that would have message, baby!

The Single Greatest Current Mystery From Lost

What do the numbers mean? Why were those guys at the ice station? What’s the deal with Desmond? Why did Locke become paraplegic? Those are all simple, pedestrian mysteries on Lost. No, sir, there’s one mystery that surpasses them all given what we’ve seen or not seen in the last portion of Season 2 and the first half of Season 3:

Who ate the dog Vincent?

Here are the data points:

  • We haven’t seen him since a late episode in Season 2.
  • His two main contacts (protectors) from the survivors (Walt and that chick) are gone.
  • We haven’t seen the survivors hunting boars lately.

The inescapable conclusion is that the either Vincent dog-paddled to Asia or someone has killed and eaten that yellow lab.

Let’s run down the possible suspects:

  • Jin and Sun: Come on, they’re Korean, but that’s too obvious and the writers of the television show would not play to the stereotype. No.
  • Charlie: Sure, in a fit of heroin pitique, perhaps he was jonesing for some meat. Maybe.
  • Hurley: Dude needs some calories, but he’s more the sort to raid the stash from the hatch. Probably not.
  • Desmond: Dude crazy. Maybe.
  • A polar bear: Hey, why not? Walt got attacked by a polar bear; the recurrence of a polar bear would tie back to other appearances by polar bears and could probably amount to nothing. Maybe.
  • An tribe of native Pacific Islanders: Sure, we’ve never seen nor heard from them, but why would that stop them from appearing? Maybe.
  • The ghost of Jack’s father: Well, ghosts don’t eay, but perhaps Jack’s father must consume flesh to reincorporate. Maybe.
  • The shark: Sharks eat things in the ocean. Hasn’t the dog been known to go into the ocean? Maybe.

As you can see, the possibilities are endless. But you can rest assured, I’ll be watching for the clues, such as someone in the background of a shot sucking marrow from dog bones or a character suddenly sporting an Australian rabies tag on a chain around his or her neck. Because I must know.

Putting Too Fine A Point On It

Robert Isenberg writes a piece called Private Eyes Exposed wherein he looks at some of the plucky and adorable gumshoes of television private eyes. Here’s his list:

  • Jessica Fletcher (Murder, She Wrote)
  • Columbo (Columbo)
  • Monk (Monk
  • [Hercule] Poirot (Poirot)
  • Cagney and Lacey (Cagney and Lacey)
  • Matlock (Matlock)
  • Dr. Mark Sloan (Diagnosis Murder)
  • Perry Mason (Perry Mason)

Come on, doesn’t everyone see the problem here? A list of private eyes from television, and we’ve got:

  • Author
  • Police detective
  • Police consultant
  • Detective
  • Police detectives
  • Attorney
  • Medical doctor
  • Attorney

Even at our most giving, only two of these characters can be considered true private detectives.

What about:

  • Cody Allen, Nick Ryder, and the Boz (Riptide)
  • Spenser (Spenser: For Hire)
  • Sonny Spoon (Sonny Spoon)
  • James Rockford (The Rockford Files)
  • Thomas Magnum (Magnum, P.I.)
  • Rick and A.J. Simon (Simon and Simon)
  • Laura Holt and Remington Steele (Remington Steele)
  • Maddie Hayes and David Addison (Moonlighting)
  • Mike Hammer (Mike Hammer)

Now those were some television private eyes. I guess it’s also apparent the decade in which I did most of my television watching.

What about you? What are your favorite television private eyes that were actual, you know, private invesigators?

Book Report: Selections from Stars! by Daphne Davis (1984)

I bought this book cheaply, I expect, at a book fair this year. But how they blur together. I don’t know what I am suddenly into books about the pop culture of my youth, but I suspect it’s as much a reflection of sentimentality and nostalgia as I age as hope for trivia infusion.

This book is a subset from a larger work apparently entitled Stars! which focuses on glamorous photos and stills of the movie makers of the day. This book presents a number of pictures, including some full color, with some suitably laudatory text.

Profiled stars include:

  • Barbra Streisand
  • Robert Redford
  • Jane Fonda
  • Dustin Hoffman
  • Warren Beatty
  • Jack Nicholson
  • Faye Dunaway
  • Al Pacino
  • Diane Keaton
  • Jill Clayburgh
  • Burt Reynolds
  • Meryl Streep
  • Robert De Niro
  • Brooke Shields
  • John Travolta
  • Sissy Spacek
  • Harrison Ford

Most of these could count 1984 as their pinnacle, although I’m sure many would lie to themselves about their continuing relevance (Streisand, Fonda, Beatty, Dunaway, Keaton, Streep, Shields, Spacek). One I don’t even recognize (Clayburgh). Only a couple remain draws to this day (De Niro, Pacino, Ford, maybe Nicholson, maybe Travolta). So it’s a timestamped piece of fluff.

Funny, though, and probably only coincidental that these actors starred in a lot of overlapping movies. Or maybe those movies are what Davis thought we’d carry of the Disco years into eternity. With the exception of The Godfather and Star Wars, I think she would have been mistaken. Kramer Vs Kramer? Common, 50% of the population is getting divorced now. The Black Death had a smaller chance of killing you in the Dark Ages. Saturday Night Fever? Take some NyQuil and go to bed early. Shampoo? We’ve stopped lathering and repeating.

On the plus side, I get to mark one book down and move it to my to read shelf and I didn’t have to spend much time on it. Which makes just that much more time for me to avoid War and Peace.

Books mentioned in this review:


Rove’s Gift To His Beloved Condi

Is there nothing this cabal cannot do?

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took time out from matters of war and peace to catch this week’s finale of American Idol. Unlike many adults who claim they watch the show only because their kids commandeer the TV, Condi is an unabashed fan.

Rice was rooting for fellow Birmingham native Taylor Hicks and will soon send him a congratulatory letter, says a State Department official.

Nothing is too trifling for a conspiracy for these people. Rigging American Idol? Hey, they’ve got to stay in practice between elections.

Preparing For My Nyah-Nyah, 25 Years Early

So in the year 2030, when someone from the retrodivision of an immersive entertainment syndicate plumbs the depths of arcana and comes up with a re-imagining of Firefly wherein “Mal” Reynolds is actually Mallory Reynolds and both Mal and her assistant Zoo (a guy, of course) are actually mystical religionists whose uprising has been thwarted by the corporate mercenaries of a Big Nuclear puppet regime, I shall merrily taunt, “So now you know how it feels!” to Firefly partisans who think the new Battlestar Galactica is better than the original.

Hopefully, Lawrence will be the chair at SLU by then so he’ll be nearby for a good personal taunting. Or perhaps I shall take the sympathetic high road. But only if I can be patronizing about it.

Dirk Benedict is Starbuck FOREVAR!!!1!