I want to go there.

Yesterday was 23 things and today it’ll be shorter, though not necessarily sweeter, with a mere five things…

1. This:

from here.

Oh, that Nic Cage. Amazing and strange as usual. And totally an animal lover.

2. Molly Lambert’s piece about Tina Fey/Jon Hamm on This Recording today. It’s a wonderful, honed bit on comedians and characters and gender politics and objectification, and it’s brilliant. And aside from that, as she frequently is, so is Molly Lambert, who stands out amongst most internet writers for me in that she writes in quick bursts of sharp, insightful thought on a subject, but also survives in the long form where as so many other writers on the interwebz only seem to generate a few decent pull quotes to be linked to and reblogged ad nauseam. She tackles issues both old and new in a fresh way, in a smart way but one that’s also accessible to all the various levels of the hoi polloi, and she has that quality that you loathsomely envy: She writes in a way that feels like it’s resonating both with the thoughts you had on an issue, but are always worded better through her view on the matter, or, more honestly, she says the things you wish you were thinking/saying.

3. Praising Molly Lambert isn’t exactly a new thing, nor should it be, but the post about Jon Hamm/Tina Fey/Don Draper/Liz Lemon is really that good. And I love that it tackles how weird these characters are in so many ways, but refreshingly weird, but also that these are sex symbols for smart people, or for anyone with eyes, sure, but also for us sapiosexuals in the audience as well.

And she mentions something that I’ve never thought of before, but the idea that masculinity is basically a performance, not just between “bros,” I wouldn’t think, but in general. All the world’s a stage, I suppose, and all the men and women on that stage are players in a game of some sort. Especially those of us with the Y chromosome, which I feel. I mean, it’s not something I really considered before, though I kind of did, but now I really feel it. Never mind, that sounds stupid, but you get what I’m saying?

3A. Can we ever talk about just how fucking weird Jon Hamm the real life person seems? I kind of love the impression that I’ve gotten that he’s the exact opposite of Don Draper, not stupid (but more than a little dorky maybe)(but endearingly dorky, you know?), of course, but closer to his character on 30 Rock. Is Don Draper the ultimate vista to the wider landscape of manhood?

from here.

4. This article here from the BBC, about how scientists have made a breakthrough in “artificial life,” developing the world’s first synthetic living cell. I saw this at work today and shared it with this guy that comes in sometimes, my local atheist friend. He and I have bonded over the years over our hatred of intolerance towards scientific exploration and a favoring of antiquated notions like “organized religion” instead of advancement of all the wonderful aspects of the human race. This phenomenon reached something of a fever pitch during a particularly turbulent period in our country called “The Bush years.”

Anyway, so my atheist friend and I were talking about all of this as we tend to do and laughing and riffing on it and basically griping about how science (especially things dealing with like stem cells, for example) is held back or considered not interesting in America or, my favorite, the work of the Devil. We had a good laugh about that, talking about science as “the work of the Devil,” and because I have a vivid imagination, I literally imagined a guy who looks like this…

…in charge of a lab somewhere, ordering scientists around, approving budgets, and demanding more breakthroughs. “We’re trying to save them, but they refuse to see!” the Devil would say (as I said in my beast throaty demon voice), shaking his cloven hoof/fist angrily, and then they head into the break room to celebrate the birthday of one of the girls in the geophysics department, ha ha.

5. Today I had to make a nearly impossible decision, but also an incredibly mundane one. All the same, it was a tough one. It was the eternal debate of which movie to watch over my lunch break, and the choices came down to…

When Harry Met Sally vs. You’ve Got Mail. I know, I know. Fucking ridiculous, right?

But I do like them both. I appreciate them both. And, well, I kind of hate both as well. But I put it to you, gentle readers, before I say which one I picked, I’m a bit curious, which would you have picked? Metaphorically, the lady or the tiger?

Studies in scarlet.

The week so far…

1. A possible Spiderman 4 (and most likely a 5 and 6 as well) featuring Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire, and Kirsten Dunst? Nope. Fuck that. Sony has decided to take Spidey back to high school in a reboot.

2. NBC is tired of watching Leno lose at 10 PM, so they wanted to take him back to 11:35 PM or a half an hour and push Conan to 12:05. It’s kind of sad, but when the Peacock had to option of really backing either the Hair or the Chin…

…they took the Chin over the Hair, but Hair said no.

His statement:

People of Earth:

In the last few days, I’ve been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. For 17 years, I’ve been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I’ve been absurdly lucky. That said, I’ve been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.

Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.

But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule.

Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.

So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.

There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.

Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it’s always been that way.

Yours,

Conan

Conan’s manager says that the statement came from Conan’s heart and wasn’t about strategy or negotiating, but it smells like it was. Either way, everyone loves Conan, right? At least, everyone on the internet. But how many people on the internet commenting about what a raw deal he’s getting are actually watching his show or any late night TV? We live in a day and age where if something interesting happened on one of these shows, somebody we know saw it and can point us out to a good youtube or Hulu link.

Either way, people of Earth, these things tend to have a way of working themselves out. Or being great fodder for humor.

And now Sarah Palin is a Fox new commentator, which makes a kind of perfect sense. That’s a whole other story though.

That’s the ha ha, and the funny. Oh, the drama of the late night comedians. And the comedy of Sarah Palin. But also this week…

3. Massive earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Never a laughing matter.

Where you can help by donating.

And this is just the middle of the week.

Meanwhile…

Sounds like Heroes is still firing on all cylinders.

Google and China.

The Avatar blues.

The Pope says that gay marriage threatens creation. Ha ha.

The oceans are losing the ability to absorb greenhouse gas.

Christopher Nolan on Inception.

Masculinity for beginners.

The ass goblins of Auschwitz.

Youth anticipate early death.

No domestic terror attacks under Bush? Really?

Immortality is within our grasp.

“I’ll see you in another life, brotha!”

Wild nature porn from the great outdoors and beyond.

Thinking of yesterday’s post, I wanted to suggest again…

Go outside.

Maybe for just a little while.

Stock quotes, email, and pornography (the regular kind, not the nature kind) will all still be waiting for you when you get back.

Or, take a smart phone with you and enjoy the best of both worlds.

Either way.

Get outside and take a few deep breaths.

It will be totally worth it.

I promise you.

And I wouldn’t lie to you.

I mean, I probably wouldn’t lie to you.

So unplug your brain, or yourself, and go out and experience some nature. Enjoy the outside world and put every other thought out of your brain for just a little while, okay?