What They Blogged For.

Love. Hate.

Before we say our final goodbye, I just wanted to leave you with a random sampling of posts from some of my favorite people on this blog:

Benjie’s Skyrim addiction.

Occam Razor on “The Seven Robots You Meet In Heaven.”

Benjie and I watching New Moon and The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2.

A Movie Script Ending.”

The MPDG vs. the Amazing Girl, Heroes vs. BSG, and Kirsten Dunst vs. Kate Hudson.

Peanut St. Cosmo saying goodbye to her Blackberry.

(And really, just anything by Peanut, cause there’s too many to list.)

Fuck Yeah Sayid!

Anytime we talked about Lost.

High Fidelity vs. 500 Days Of Summer.

Hey, Shitface, Get Off My Lawn!”

Benjie and August Bravo on internet hype, and meeting expectations, and also Super 8.

Independence Day 2?

The end of the Counterforce podcast, and the birth of Time Travel Murder Mystery.

J Fran Fran.

Jonathan Franzen and his “Strong Motion.”

Benjie on his favorite sequel ever.

Occam Razor on a post peak oil world, and big booty bitches.

Benjie on how to properly spend New Year’s Eve.

While my torrent gently downloads” by Benjamin Light.

This is by no means a complete list, not at all. It is, in fact, an extremely rushed list. And may actually be a really terrible retrospective, at least in terms of showing what we did best, when we did our best, but oh well.

It’s just a few of my favorites. I would invite you to explore further, if you get the chance.

Broken Dawn.

and

No comment.

The Magician longs to see…

My nightmares have red curtains. There’s people barefoot there, people laughing at me, people speaking backwards gibberish. My nightmares have a laugh track, also.

My nightmares might also be TV mash ups. People used to fear that the camera would steal your soul. Perhaps it does, just a little bit, just a sliver of it, and the trapped and tormented souls of TV people go on to live in my brain. Wouldn’t that be fun?

As with everything else, perhaps I just see what I want to see.

I think that could be especially true now, as we do the work of putting this blog to bed. That picture of Naveen Andrews and Elizabeth Mitchell was previously mentioned here, and K-Stew has been mentioned, fuck, everywhere on this blog, but most recently here.

Huntress.

Is Snow White And The Huntsman out on DVD yet?

I don’t really want to buy or rent the DVD or anything, and part of me doesn’t really want to watch the movie again, because it was terrible. But it was also fascinating.

This has been said before by me, and I’ll say it again here… I love the ending of the movie, the very ending: The Evil Sexy Witch Queen is dead, the troubles have ceased, and now K-Stew is being crowned Queen by the poor people of the fantasy kingdom she inhabts. As she stands there, newly royal, and praised by all her subjects, she takes a look at her primary suitors, the other ends of the love triangle she’s been shackled to the whole movie. There’s the Prince, who could not be sadder, lamer, or fall more short. And then there’s the titular Huntsman, who just looks dirty and wishing he had better dialogue and a more compelling reason to push on. Kristen Stewart’s eyes move from one of these guys, then to the other. A choice must be made. And then she looks away, and sighs. Perhaps she touches her hair. The music rises, the film ends. Presented with these choices, she has freed herself from choice. Maybe she chooses herself. Maybe she chooses just to touch her hair…

I don’t know, but it’s such an inept moment in classic cinematic storytelling, but I love it.

* * *

I believe it was Godard that said that every film was a documentary about its actors, and for the leading women in Snow White And The Huntsman, I think that’s accurate. For a bad movie, it’s a great example of why we love Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron. These are actors who refuse to be confined to the typical traps of pretty girls in the movies with swords and monsters and creepy dudes with pageboy haircuts.

Charlize is more seasoned in all of this though. I don’t think people nearly appreciate enough off how effortlessly sexy and gorgeously venomous she can be. This is beyond her incredible physical beauty, which you could say has always been a hurdle she’s had to jump over. I find her compelling and in dire need of more worthy vehicles.

And K-Stew, ah, K-Stew… Sadly, this blog will wrap up (probably) sometime later this year after a 1000 volumes, and I suspect that I would need a whole other thousand volumes to even begin to approach the majesty of K-Stew. For starters, I’ll just say that she looks even more bored when she’s trying to be typically movie sexy, and that makes me love her even more.

I know that Godard also said: “Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self.” I think about that a lot, or try to, whenever I open my mouth about something I saw in a movie and try to describe what it made me think and feel.

* * *

Read some article on either Gawker or Jezebel, somewhere cheap, fast, and sensationalistic, and they said that in the film’s commentary the director heaps nothing but outrageous praise on Kristen Stewart, and ohhhh, isn’t that so extra scandalous now after what we know? Wink wink, nudge nudge.

Just as quickly as she was announced to be the current top paid female actor in the world, going On The Road and giving two guys hand jobs at the same time in a movie for the sake of art, and now the masses and the headlines and the crying goblins on YouTube are determined to erase from the picture.

Speaking of which, excuse me while I go do a painting of K-Stew being crucified. Clothed or not clothed, it doesn’t matter, but she’ll look as bored as humanly possible up there on the cross.

Just imagine how awkward and wonderful the press junket for Breaking Dawn, Part 17 is going to be.

Poor K-Stew. As I said, we still love you. And we know as well as anyone else: Wild hearts can’t be tamed.

* * *

I was just reminded in something I was reading online that Milan Kundera has a book called Life Is Elesewhere, and it’s another European novel about a man who devotes his life to poetry, you know, as a man is wont to do. When a man has time to do so, of course.

But that phrase will be stuck in my head today. “Life is elsewhere.” Cinema is everywhere? I want to take the words there and play around with them endlessly, swapping and switching. This is how I cope with the unbearable lightness, or the enduring heaviness, I guess.

Snow White And The Huntsman was an ehhhh movie, at best. I guess it was the winner in the Summer Of Two Snow White movies. Charlize Theron vs. Julia Roberts? Come on, that wasn’t even a contest. Anyway. K-Stew was never meant to come back for a sequel to the Huntsman movie, but now people would like to report headlines that she’s been “fired” from the sequel. We ought to be more surprised that there is a sequel.

* * *

How did this come about, you ask? Or perhaps you don’t.

from here.

We recorded our latest podcast last night, and posted it last night. The mirror in the bathroom at my job as a little crack, starting at the top, right in the middle, and it’s slowly working it’s way down the center, breaking in two under the stress of… what? Apple’s doing a thing today (which you may have heard about). I saw a picture of K-Stew somewhere on the internet just a moment ago, and that article about the director’s commentary for the movie on Gawker or Jezebel or somewhere similar a few days ago. Cabin In The Woods is one of the movies on my phone. I just discovered the other day that there’s an old copy of The Unbearable Lightness Of Being on a shelf in my home. I remember buying it one day in a book store, thinking that I would get around to reading it eventually. The spine of the book has seen some adventures, and it looks like it’s been read, but not by me.

Some how all of this combined in my head just now to this, this thing that you’re reading.

Snow White And The Huntsman is not a great movie. I’m thinking about it, and talking about it, but it’s not a movie I’m going to go actively seek out to rewatch. It has some interesting visuals for the eyes, but no real meat for the brain. But it’s a treat for the comment. That’s not to say that there’s a rich subtext there, but something else, something more open for you to step into and fill with your own perceptions and ideas. Something something something about the eye of the beholder.

Cinema is everywhere. Life is elsewhere. You’re either now here or you’re soon to be nowhere.

Suprecuts.

Sometimes I like the internet’s silliness…

Gasp! vs.

“Son of a bitch!” vs.

“Son of a bitch!” vs.

“What?”

That’s Alison Brie’s Annie Edison’s gasps from Community vs. “Son of a bitch!” from movies vs. Sawyer’s “Son of a bitch!” from Lost vs. Don Draper saying “What?” It seems like the only bit missing from the film one is Tuco’s last line from The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.

And don’t forget the greatest K-Stew supercut of all time.

And now: 88 to go…

Orbital decay.

A few things:

One: When I was a kid, one of my favorite movies was The Gods Must Be Crazy. I didn’t exactly understand it as a kid, obviously, but I still enjoyed it for some reason.

I’m happy to say that at least I understood, as my parents explained it to me then: It’s the story of an African bushman and his tribe who have no knowledge of the world beyond their own, of different cultures and advancements in technology, etc. They have everything that their gods provide them with and they’re happy with that.

One day a plane flies over their neck of the woods and someone throws a coca-cola bottle out the window and it somehow lands unbroken. The members of the tribe discover it and at first thing that the sky is falling. Then they presume that it is a gift from the gods, and they discover so many uses for this bottle. But with that comes an even more dangerous element in their world: property, possession, ownership of a limited resource. And with that comes envy, jealousy, hatred, violence.

The item must be removed from their world so that their tribe and worldview can be saved. So the protagonist decides to take on the task of carrying the bottle away, to find what he presumes will be the edge of world, and he’ll throw the bottle over the side and save his people, and the world. He is the ringbearer and he will travel to Mount Doom. But to do so he must journey for the first time into Hell, which comes confusingly in the form of the the modern world and western civilization.

There’s other elements to the story, of course, but that’s what I always remembered from it: The view of our world as interpreted by the limited perspective of someone from outside that world. Hilarity ensues, and as Arthur C. Clarke told us, to less advanced cultures the toys and tools (and tethers) of more advanced cultures would be indistinguishable from magic.

Two: A “Yes” is better than a “No” almost every time. But it really does matter how you pose the question.

Don’t believe me? Ask John Lennon.

Two Point Five: I’m amazed that we (the royal we) haven’t talked more about John Lennon here.

Three: This blog will be going away soon. Soon-ish. Probably some time this year.

The only people who knew that it was ending was Benjamin Light and myself, and that was only when we decided that it was ending. But like ourselves, I’m sure the two and a half actual readers of the blog were barely surprised with the official announcement.

Once they read it, one friend emailed me and asked me how I felt about the imminent closing of Counter-Force’s doors and I literally shrugged upon reading the email. It’s not like it’s my child or anything, but I’ve enjoyed being a part of the thing and will miss it. The next question this particular friend posed to me was whether or not I felt as if the blog had been successful. That made me scratch my chin. Eventually I was able to answer: “Yes.” To me, by a certain set of definitions, yes.

This blog has allowed me to do things and talk about things and share things that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise been able to do. It’s given me license to explore things that I’ve enjoyed learning about. It’s given me regrets and little moments of agony, things that I wouldn’t have had in the same way without this blog as the starting point, and for that, believe it or not, I’m thankful. Bad times will teach you just as much about yourself as the good times will, if you play them right.

Could the blog been more successful by my definitions or any definitions at all? FUCK YES. But it is what it is and it’s been great when it’s been great, and the game is different than when we started.

Take a look around at the blogsophere now, and compare what you see today to what that landscape looked like four years ago. Everything changes, which is great, and the only constant in the universe, but it’s bizarre how things change.

All of my favorite blogs from way back when are struggling now, it seems. They’re meandering, trying not to waiver in this quantity and qualitiy, but obviously there’s diminished output and even more diminished returns. All my favorite bloggers, those who aren’t struggling along with their blogs, have gone to print media, or to the netherworld that is the writing staff of sitcoms, and they’re flourishing. And they’re not just celebrated and envied now, but also respected. Which may or may not be new.

Four: Just out of curiosity, do websites and blogs still get turned into books, or at least book deals? Do twitter feeds still get turned into sitcoms?

Five: I would kill for the ability to travel in time. In fact, if someone were to put an ad in the personals looking for someone willing to go back in time to kill, like, Hitler, then I would do it. Sure. Sounds legit enough to me.

Picture a narrative, like a story in a computer file opened up in front of you, on your desktop or laptop. Look at the cursor. It can move forward or backward. It can highlight, change, control. The power is at your fingertips. That’s time travel.

Sorry, that’s a bit out of nowhere, I know.

Six: It’s funny to me how the old monsters are still around and still happy to scoop up the sexy younglings into their bosom. And then eat them.

And it’s understandable. A job is a job. A chance is a chance, even in a market or medium you don’t respect. Maybe you can change the system from the inside, but probably not, but who cares? A foot or even a toe in the door is more than what so many of us have now.

We all analyze and talk shit and then sell out. And then shit out some kids. And then die. That’s the cycle of life.

If Benjamin Light were here, he’d tell you that network television is soon to be a thing of the past. He’d tell you that the networks will all be dead or in their cancerous last stages in five years. I don’t disagree with him, but I would disagree on his time table. I think it’ll take a lot longer for them to die and for the new thing that comes after to really get its foothold. “What is dead may never die,” sure, but some things never really die, just shrink for a while. Like print media. Like publishing. I suspect that they may never fully pay the Iron Price, if you will. But it will certainly look like that at times.

All that said, if I were offered a job to write for a network sitcom, I would do it in a heartbeat. Are you kidding me? Of course I would. Fuck yeah. Any shitty ass job too. Two And A Half Men starring Ashton Kutcher dressed up like Steve Jobs? Only seen about five minutes cumulative of the entire show ever, but fuck yeah, I’d take a meeting or submit a spec script or whatever. I’m trying to think of an even worse example…

(FYI – This whole blog thing is obviously winding and grinding down, so if anyone out there wanted to offer me a job, let me just say… I’m cheap. And easy.)

I would literally pitch a buddy roommates sitcom starring Dane Cook and Carrot Top if I thought it meant the slightest possibility of a pay check and to be a breath closer to a creative industry I would like to be a part of. I can’t say that I’d love that job, because… Well, of course, I wouldn’t. But I’d do everything in my power to take that thing that I hated and try to make it something that I can hate less, and I’d much rather have a thing to let go than to never have had it at all…

Meta.

Seven: Here’s an excerpt from a conversation Benjie and I had the other day…

Benjie: This article kind of captures some of the reason that I don’t like blogging anymore: “The Web Is a Customer Service Medium.”

Marco: Interesting article. The last quote in the article kind of sums up a nice train of thought, I think.

Benjie: New potential podcast name: Pedantic Asshattery.

Marco: The medium is the message, and to this day, I still don’t think people understand what the internet medium really is or why things work, or why you should do something other than, “well, someone else is doing it.”

We should start a little dialogue here and turn it into a blog post – which would be so hip – and talk about why we’re bored with blogging, and why Counter-Force is ending, which would the exact opposite of a 5by5 practice.

This follows an earlier discussion/bit of theorizing we were doing about why John Gruber mysteriously or perhaps not so mysteriously moved his podcast, The Talk Show, from one podcast network to another. Also, there’s some ongoing discussion between Benjie and I about a new name for our podcast… Perhaps we can discuss that on the next episode of our podcast?

Also, check out our fucking podcast! Or, rather…

CHECK OUT OUR FUCKING PODCAST! Please. The latest episode is called: “K-Stew Has A Shotgun.”

Benjie: I guess for me, this article articulates why I want our podcast to be “this is entertaining to listen to,” not “I have some opinions on stuff.”

Marco: Well, the tactic that I intend to employ in the podcast, the one that I’m assuming will work for me, is that I’ll have things to say to you. I only ever kind of think about the fact that we’re recording and distributing that recording in some way. That may bite me in the ass later on, but hopefully people will just enjoy listening to us. But hey, it’s free.

Benjie: I live my entire life as though an audience is watching.

Marco: The only audience that I care about consistently is myself. And the million different voices in my head.

Benjie: There is an idea of a Benjamin Light, some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me; only an entity, something illusory…

Marco: “…but even after admitting this there is no catharsis, my punishment continues to elude me and I gain no deeper knowledge of myself; no new knowledge can be extracted from my telling. This confession has meant nothing.”

Anyway, I don’t think the internet is going anywhere, and I think it’s always evolving and expanding, but it’s a shallow ocean. And there’s lots of waves with groupthink and LOLcats and porn bobbing up and down all over the place.

Benjie: I don’t think the internet is going anywhere, and what you see on it is just a reflection of culture.

Marco: Right. It’s not going anywhere and it’ll change, as cultures change, but the internet, to me, dances a fine line between not being all that real and being a little too real at times.

Or maybe not real enough? Excuse me, I need to go return some videotapes…

Eight: Was Marshall McLuhan the first academic rock star? I would say yes, at least for our somewhat modern times. Perhaps the first academic rock star was Galilleo, or Isaac Newton. They seemed like real chill bros of science.

But anyway, I’m just bullshitting here. This is just me carrying out some thoughts to their natural conclusions, for now. But if I could further borrow from the man…

Oh yes.

Nine: Here’s one of my favorite McLuhan fun facts…

Not long after he started teaching at Fordham university, and became a full on Academic Rock Star, McLuhan still felt the pressure for people to back up his ideas and philosophies with facts, with proven experiments. So he did so: He split up one of his classes into two, and showed both halves a movie. With the one half of the class, he showed them the movie on a movie screen. They sat there in the dark, watching a large screen with reflected light bouncing off it. The other half of the class was shown the same movie, but on a TV screen.

The result? The two halves took something different from the experience, one side able to discuss the film objectively and the other subjectively. Those who watched the film on the movie screen were able to comment on and critique the film itself. Those who watched it on the TV screen talked more in terms of themselves, how the film made them feel, what they took from the whole thing, etc.

Ten: I hope you enjoyed that story. I’m going to record myself saying that story on a podcast, then film it, then translate it into Japanese, and then back into English, and then I’m going to split this blog’s two and a half readers down the middle and I’m going to show one half that video, spliced into every second and a half frame of a super cut video of keyboard cat versus the Japanese further ruining what we think think/know of porn, and the other half is going to have the video broadcast straight into their nightmares.

The Aristocrats!

Eleven: I don’t mean to be continuously, in the parlance of the internet, fap fap fapping about McLuhan, but the dude was seriously smart, and had some good ideas that only become more applicable as the global village gave way to the world wide web. He was smart enough to realize that the book wasn’t just an invention of ease to deliver information and entertainment, but that it was also technology. The Gutenberg Man had his whole consciousness changed by movable type and technology isn’t just something that mankind creates, but something that recreates mankind. Hence… The medium is the message, we create the medium, which in turn recreates us, new media, old shit/new shit, blah blah blah, fap fap fap.

Here’s another quick McLuhan fun fact…

When they did his book which was to feature his famous slogan, “The medium is the message” as the title, they discovered that when the galleys came back that their was a pretty huge typo present: The Medium Is The Massage. Everyone was furious, except for McLuhan himself. He was a smart guy and probably had a good sense of humor, but now he suddenly saw his simple thought presented as a series of puns.

The message is massaged into the Mass Age which gives way for the onslaught of the Mess Age.

Peace be with you.

Twelve: I don’t know a lot of about the more technical side of the internet, and perhaps I don’t know enough about human beings to even go slightly pop psychology about the larger social networking that happens between us wee simple folk. Memes and SEO and the idea of the ecosystem are all extremely fascinating to me, but feel like they’re still in their infancy. Even with as tired and overplayed as they are in our brains.

I remember at the tail end of last summer Benjamin Light and I were having lunch at our favorite tacqueria and he was trying to explain to me the big tech patent wars that had been erupting over the summer. You know the one? The one in which millions of people who don’t understand how our patent system works anyway were complaining that it was broken? That one. Anyway, Benjie was telling me increasingly humorous stories about CEOs and chief legal officers of these massive corporations shit talking each other in blog posts and in YouTube videos. It was either the battle (of attrition) for public opinion or the ongoing struggle to get the last word, I don’t know, but it was funny.

At the time I made some kind of comment like: “The battle for the Internet will be fought to extremes, but with the tools of the Internet, which makes it ridiculous.”

Here’s a fun fact about me: When I originally typed up that half remembered statement just now, instead of “fought,” I wrote “thought.” Weird.

Anyway, I think the patent wars of last year were actually about phones, or something. Whatevs.

Thirteen: Anyway.

The old media may be dying, but it’s dying very slowly. We’ll have quite a bit of shade here underneath those falling giants.

Or, put another way: Orbits deteriorate constantly. Things fall out of the sky all the time. It usually takes a while, longer than you might think, and they tend to burn up before you’ll ever hear a THUD. And some things are pretty when they’re burning away into nothing.

Or, put another way still: 97 posts to go. It may/may not get a little messy on the way out. And then…

Crazy Town Banana Pants.

99 posts to go in our countdown, but today, for your approval, some pictures

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