hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
This is the most impressive bit of manipulation I have seen in a while. Maybe ever. Embed below cut:

Read more... )
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
If you're a gun nut, this is the funniest DOWNFALL vid ever. The humor is not especially translatable, which I think makes for the best DOWNFALL vids -- Hitler's ranting is funnier and funnier the more important the subject isn't, which means he's absolutely perfect for representing entitled fandom.

Video embedded below cut. )
hradzka: (donuts?)
In honor of the first day of spring, here's Steve Goodman performing "When the Red, Red, Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along."

LJ-cut for video. )

Goodman features in one of my favorite political anecdotes: during the 1972 presidential campaign, he was stumping for Muskie during the Democratic primaries. It was an old-fashioned whistlestop campiagn, with Muskie and entourage travelling aboard a private train. Muskie gave speeches off the back; Goodman warmed up the crowd with music and good humor. One day, however, Goodman's digestive system was in a bad way, so when Muskie got started with the stump speech, Goodman made a beeline for the toilet.

The train, like most trains of the time, dumped its refuse in transit, and so had a sign asking passengers to not flush while the train was in the station. But Goodman was uncomfortable leaving a full bowl, and he figured the mess would just drop onto the tracks under the train, so he flushed.

Unfortunately, the mess didn't just drop out. The train's waste system was cunningly contrived to spray waste materials behind the train in a fine mist.

As Goodman returned to his seat, the door opened. In tore Muskie's campaign manager, fresh from the sight of a befouled audience. The campaign manager howled, "People are being covered with shit out there!"

"Hey, man," said Goodman, thinking the guy was being figurative, "he's your candidate!"
hradzka: "Trust me, I know what I'm doing." (sledge hammer!)
Substance abuse is ever more popular in Hollywood; you've pretty much got a tough job finding the celebrities who aren't deeply screwed up or on drugs. So here's a question: if we've got so many drunk or drugged out celebrities, how come so few of them are *cool* drunks or fuggies? You know what I mean: the ones who do balls-out stupid stuff, but have a style about it that you can't help but admire, in a perverse way -- roguishness, I guess, is what I'm looking for.

Case in point: Oliver Reed.

I ran across this Youtube clip of Oliver Reed drunk on talk shows, and there's something in it that's just glorious. Reed is astoundingly skunked (even more so than this guy), and he's not immune to horrifying moments -- a bit where he attempts to sing rock'n'roll must be seen to be believed. But the candor, the cheerfulness, and the moments of surprising tenderness (watch, particularly, his answer to the question "Why do you drink?"), give him a panache that modern celebrity inebriants just don't have.

The past got this; we have Paula Abdul. It ain't fair.
hradzka: "Trust me, I know what I'm doing." (sledge hammer!)
I have not seen this mentioned on my flist, but I know there are a bunch of fans of THE WIRE here. So if you don't know, let me hip you to this: Amazon.com is hosting three "prequel" scenes for THE WIRE, in celebration of its upcoming final season.

By which I mean, you can watch yourself three new scenes from THE WIRE right now. Here are the links!

Prop Joe as a schoolkid, 1962.

Omar's first robbery, 1985.

And finally, the first meeting between Bunk and McNulty, 2000.
hradzka: (giant alien robot semi truck)
BoingBoing linked to the internet archive's posting of "The Middleton Family at the New York World's Fair," an hour-long Westinghouse commercial cum story of young love. BoingBoing focuses on the human interest story -- an Indiana girl's family comes to New York for the World's Fair and meets the girl's new boyfriend, a leftist art teacher, whose sneering at American free enterprise hints at his deeper defects of character -- but for me the coolest thing is that *you get to see a good chunk of the Westinghouse exhibits at the 1939 World's Fair.* In full Technicolor.

Including Electro.

A word about Electro: he was a mechanical man widely acclaimed to be the marvel of the Fair. He could speak, count on his fingers, walk, and smoke. In popular books that mention Electro, these abilities are taken pretty much at face value, without any mention of the fact that Electro's ability to do them beggars credulity. Remember: 1939, folks. Seventy years ago. Even given Electro's hulking frame, it's hard to imagine that 1939 technology that could fit inside him could actually make him do any of that stuff -- okay, *maybe* smoking. If somebody lit it for him, and only if he didn't take it out of his mouth. But when I was a kid, I had a book on robotics, and it had a section on Electro. And I was blown away. But, of course, 1939. Not like I'd ever get a chance to see Electro.

Until today. Because the Westinghouse feature includes a bit of Electro's routine. And, wow.

*What a carny fake.*

Watch it for yourself. Electro comes up at about 33:56, and you get to see him walk, talk, take orders, all that. It's just *painful* to watch, especially if you had an image based on what you read in a book as a little kid. His speech is clearly some guy offstage with a microphone -- obvious, given the time, but still sad. His jokes are corny, the kind of thing you'd see in a ventriloquist's act. He's pretty clearly operated by offstage technicians; when the barker gives Electro commands using the special microphone, a light blinks to show Electro is "listening," but it's just a gag. He counts on his fingers by moving them back and forth. And my prediction on Electro smoking was dead on. But the worst part is the walking. Electro, as you've probably guessed, doesn't walk. One leg is stiff and straight, and is on a track in the floor. (That's probably where his control equipment goes -- Electro appears on a balcony above the crowd, and there's pretty clearly a good-sized room immediately below him.) The other leg moves, jerkily, as Electro's stiff leg slides along the track. At its best, it looks sort of like he's skateboarding, like the moving leg is kicking him along the track. But you know it's not.

And that's Electro.

I feel like I just watched the Hell's Angels beat the crap out of Santa Claus.
hradzka: (pointy teeth)
Aha! The video beast is slain. For the record, if you're using iMovie and your Quicktime export looks fine but the YouTube conversion screws up the video, take some time to mess around with any stills you're using. Turns out all YouTube wanted was for every single one of my stills to use the Ken Burns effect -- if you just leave it as a still for five seconds or whatever, it gets bored and confused. So Ken Burns out the wazoo, or even very minimally, and you'll come out fine. Now that that's out of the way, here's my belated Thanksgiving post.

This year, I'm thankful for a lot of things -- including, for obvious reasons, fandom -- but here's one little thing I'm thankful for: Bud Collyer. Never heard of him? Well, you might have *heard* him, anyway: he was the first actor to play Superman on a regular basis (probably the second to play him ever -- a guy named Ray Middleton dressed up in a Superman suit at the 1939 World's Fair). Collyer started playing Superman on radio in 1940 and kept it up for a decade. He played Superman in cartoons, too, by the Fleischer studios and in later TV animated series.

But it doesn't make sense for me to geek out about Bud Collyer unless you get to hear him. So here's my first-ever videoblog post. Warning: the video below the cut contains footage of a grown man geeking out over a 1940s radio show. Folks who enjoy comics, slash, and video of a guy being a complete dork may find some unexpected enjoyment here.

Video below the cut. )
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
Thanks again to everyone who donated to the ramp drive (and those who haven't received ficlets, don't worry! I'll be on those shortly). Te's (in-character) voice post is here -- so, if you've ever wanted to be thanked by Brucie and the cartoonverse Tim, mission accomplished! As they say, "Happiest Thanksgiving ever."

I have a post about what I'm thankful for (other than, for obvious reasons, fandom), but I'm having an *incredibly* annoying time with it -- it's a videoblog post, and it's ready to go, but for some reason YouTube and Google Video are both mangling the translation of the .mov file. And when I say mangling I mean 1) major sync problems and 2) sections of dropped video. It looks perfectly fine in Quicktime, so I don't know why those sites are barfing so hard. I'll try a few other things, but don't know if they'll work out. In the meantime, I'd appreciate advice from anybody with vid fu. I'm working in iMovie, and YouTube and Google seem to be having the worst problems with those sections of the video that have separated audio and video tracks. (I'm playing audio while displaying a video of corresponding duration generated from a still image, and the flash translation ignores the still and plays instead a freeze-frame of the last shot on the previous section of video. This is exceptionally annoying, especially for anybody who watches it, because instead of the still I'd planned you get a shot of... well, my dorky mug, only in freeze-frame and thus looking even dorkier than usual).

Seriously, any advice is appreciated.
hradzka: (donuts?)
Well, you know, I suppose everyone's a little bit Jewish. From the 2004 Easter Bonnet Celebration, an annual benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

"Lazar Wolf! You're a feygele?"
hradzka: (bruce and diana)
Last week Enrique Iglesias was playing G-A-Y, a nightclub in London. As you can gather from the name, it's a gay club, but since when has that stopped straights from coming in for the music? Anyway, Iglesias has a romantic little shtick in his show: when he sings his song "Hero," he brings a woman from the audience onstage and sings the song to her. But hey, it's a gay club, and it pays to be nice, so he asked the audience what he should do. Should he sing to a woman? Or to a guy?

Three guesses how they voted.

So Enrique Iglesias found a good-looking fellow in the audience, and brought him up onstage. And then he proceeded to serenade the hell out of him.

Yes, of course there's video.

I'm not an Iglesias fan, but this is a sweet gesture and a very well-done performance: he really connects with the audience, and plays with the distance between himself and the fan to good effect. There's a moment where Iglesias steps back for the musical bridge and to get a sip of water, and the fan is in the spotlight, and Iglesias is gesturing for him to wave to the crowd, get some applause himself, or something, but the guy is just too stunned to do it because holy crap, Enrique Iglesias is singing "Hero" *to him.* You can really feel the love pouring off the audience during the performance, and I think Iglesias earned it.
hradzka: (archie skull)
Have spent today cleaning out Ma's basement, which is sorely needed. This will probably occupy me through the end of the week or thereabouts. I'm finding all sorts of odd detritus, some from my days as a twelve-to-fourteen-year-old running and playing role-playing games, the kind of stuff that makes you look back at the misty days of youth and make you think, "Oh, God, was I really such a dork?"

To realize the true horror of this statement, you have to remember that I am saying this while fully acknowledging that *I am a colossal dork right now.*

The gory details... )
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
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YOU NEED A BOOK

A POEM EVERY DAY

The collected poems from my descent into madness year spent writing daily poems are now available from Lulu as the cheapest 330-page book they would let me make ($16.20). If that's too pricey, you can also get it from Lulu as a free download, or just click on the "a poem every day" tag to read them here. But if you did buy one, that'd be awesome.

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