Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Everything is better on the Street

This is why everyone born in the 80s is awesome.

Not that I'm playing to my audience or anything.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Mrs. Elizabeth Crosby...

This is the face of someone who's about to make history:

"And yet all I can think about is how much sex I want to have with Liz Buchanan"

I've become a rather big fan of the College Humour affiliate Sports Pickle

I would link the goal, but apparently embedding is disabled. Also, I'm assuming that everyone in Canada has now seen said goal and isn't perhaps coming here first for the latest Canadian Olympic News.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I've been drinking and here's what I think: The Fellowship of the Drink

Liz (seeing coworker Tony reading LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring): Wow you've gotten through a lot of that tonight.
Tony: I've been skipping the boring parts.
Liz (bites tongue): ... uh-huh...
Tony: So yeah about 300 pages.

Thoughts on matters:

1) Conan leaving NBC is the best thing that's happened to him since he, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert beat each other up over who had given Mike Huckabee his bump in the polls.

Also this was pretty amazing:

2) Would it be possible for me to get a Doctor's note that said that it was the best thing for my health to miss work next weekend to see the Hamilton Haiti Fundraising concert that Feist is headlining?

3) Earlier this week I had to work late and got trapped in Milton in the middle of the night. Because the buses only run every two hours from the town I missed my bus and ended up taking a cab that cost me more money than I actually made that night. I hate Milton.

Still not forgiven.

4. Last week I was informed that there are Walmarts with "extra wide aisles". At the time it would not have been socially appropriate to laugh. So now I just start laughing every time I think of it.

5. I think I may have run out of things already. Also I may have run out of Keith's already. The two may be correlated.

That's all for now. Two more posts to go!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Final Four

Due to lower readership and a desire to do... other things? Well for a change, anyways! Due to a desire for a change I am going to discontinue this blog. I have decided to sign off with four very typically Liz posts, and bid farewell to my web log.

The truth is that I never intended to have a blog, it just sort of came about and I didn't realize how attached I'd gotten to the idea that somewhere on the internet someone gave a crap what I thought or was doing on any given day. It turned into a bit of a journal and I'm fond of looking back on the past from time to time, but I've started to think that all of that energy might have been better spent writing something more creative and less self-indulgent. Well... more creative any ways.

Sometimes it's hardest to let go of things, not because we love them, but because we've become accustomed to them. I suppose, as the adage goes, if this loves me it will find its way back, but I some how doubt that it will.

So here it goes. 4th to last post:

"In Defence of the Last 10 Years of The Simpsons"

I was watching the 20th anniversary of The Simpsons on Fox last weekend, and one of the current writers on the show had a favourite commment of the evening:

"I think internet message boards were a lot funnier 10 years ago"

(He was only second to my favourite comment from Mike Reiss who said something to the effect of "Barbara Bush, the first lady of the United States at the time said that the Simpsons was stupidest thing she'd ever seen. Lady, have you taken a look at your son?")

My generation needs to remember that a lot people a couple of years older than us think that the series jumped the shark after the first writing staff left... that's (as a commentary junkie I know) in the middle of Cape Feare. That's right. Imagine a world without Sideshow Bob singing HMS Pinafore. A world where Homer never went to space, tried to eat a pie by opening and closing his jaw and moving towards it (only to be blocked by the oven light) where Lisa never became a vegetarian, where Mr Burns never had the Rolling Stones killed, Barney never directed, wrote and starred in the unfortunately titled Pukahontas and Sherry Bobbins didn't get swallowed by a jet engine. Had the Simpsons stopped the first people accused them of getting stale the show wouldn't have developed a number of its classic words: "cromulent", "imbiggens", "boourns", or "chowdah!"

I don't know a lot of people 5-10 years younger than myelf, but the ones I do talk to feel much the same way about seasons 12-17 or... and in time there'll be people who stand by the new episodes. Part of the reasons we love these old episodes so much is that we've seen them so many times and are so much a part of our consciousness that we can't help but love them. No new episode is going to live up to Cape Feare or Marge vs. The Monorail partly because the bulk of people I know can recite the Monorail song in their sleep. In spite of this, there are a number of episodes that I have enjoyed in the past 10 years, and frankly I thought the movie was really funny and enjoyable. Here is my list of the top 10 Simpsons episodes and lines from the past 10 years:

Top 10 Episodes since Season 11

10. Weekend at Burnsie's (season 13)
9. The Haw Hawed Couple (season 18)
8. Beyond Blunderdome (season 11)
7. E Pluribus Wiggum (season 19)
6. Jaw Wired Shut (season 13)
5. The Bart of War (season 14)
4. Tales from the Public Domain (season 13)
3. Mommie Beerest (season 16)
2. The Regina Monologues (season 15)
1. HOMR (season 12)

Top 10 Lines

10. Homer: We have a kitchen?!

9. Lisa: We were playing Four Square, and I called no double-taps, and Ralph double-taps, and I said, "You're out," and he said, (Imitating Ralph) "I can do a somersault," which has nothing to do with anything!

8. Lisa: You love Moleman! You're gay for Moleman!
Bart: No, you're gay for Moleman.
Moleman: No one's gay for Moleman.

7. I am including the entire clip but the line in question is the final one spoken by comic book guy:

6. Homer: Come on Carter, you lazy bum, build us a house!
Jimmy Carter: Sir, you have offended me, I challenge you to a dual

5. Sideshow Bob: Ah the catwalk, the perfect view point... for revenge! (takes out a bag of potato chips) Ah, kettle chips, the perfect side dish... for revenge!

4. Moe: I may have just dodged a bullet here...


2. Lisa: [gasps] What happened Dad? They didn't really burn her did they?

Marge: [hastily grabs the Book from Homer] Of course not, Honey. "Just then, Sir Lancelot rode up on a white horse and saved Joan of Arc. They got married and lived in a space ship. The End."[ Tears out the page and begins eating it] Well, it's easier to swallow than that Bambi video.

1. And tied for first:

Homer: Is there no room in the world for the man with the 105 IQ?!!

Lisa: ... as intelligence increases happiness decreases. See? I made a graph. I make a lot of graphs.

And my last list of the night...

Top 3 Reasons that The Simpsons might not be as completely awesome as they were 10 years ago that are completely excusable and/or totally beyond the control of Matt Groening/Fox and the entire writing staff

4. "I Feel Like I've Been Wearing This Same Red Dress Forever"

Many years ago the decision was made to keep the Simpsons the same age forever and ever. While undoubtedly the right call, it has led to some problems over the years. Mainly: time line and consistency. While Matt Groening calls it "elastic band reality" the band has gotten REALLY stretched out over time. The reality of the show is hindered by its own rules. To extend the metaphor, they've stretched and stretched the band, and now it's gotten too loose to return to its original form. Any sense of reality we once had with the show has been stretched too far. It's seems quaint to think that an episode might end with Maggie saying "Da-da" or that Bart might actually fail and be held back a grade... more so?

It's not that they made the wrong choice in not aging them, or in having certain ongoing gags, or stepping outside of reality. It's what makes the show work, but also what makes it difficult to sustain after 20 years. Seriously, how does Homer still have a job?...

3. Selective Memory of Childhood

Do you remember how awesome the 90s were and how much better everything was? Kids back then didn't talk back to their parents or listen to terrible music. Oh wait, we just kind of blocked that stuff out of our minds because WE WERE KIDS THEN. People idealize their childhoods/adolescence as some sort of golden age. The truth is that we probably loved the Simspons a lot more back in the mid 90s because that's when we had endless hours to sit and flip through Simpsons episode on TV from 5:00pm (on CBC) to about 7:30 (on OMNI). Much the same way Star Wars will never be as good as it once was and surely no XBox 360 game will ever top Super Mario Brothers 3 or Golden Eye, The Simpsons will surely never be as great as our love of our childhood.

Now ask us if Season 5 of the Simpsons was better than Batman the Animated Series. You see, now we have reached an impasse.

2. The Simpsons Already Did It

South Park hit the nail on the head with this one. Thing is, they said it SEVEN years ago. The Simpsons have already done everything simply by virtue of being on the air for as long as they have. Now I don't always agree with their choices... "hey let's have ANOTHER retro story about Marge and Homer, and this time it can be in the 90s"... sigh... but stuff like having Lisa get a job on the Krusty the Clown show only to become more popular than him... it was bound to happen. How many different plots are there? And here's the thing, they are competing with shows like South Park who produce all of 14 episodes a season. Sure South Park is always doing new things, they only make 14 a year. Now I'm not saying that it's easy, and in fact it might be a wiser choice, but it's a choice afforded to you when you are on Comedy Central.
As far as other animated shows on Fox go, not to name any names (wouldn't want to offend the manatees), but when you don't actually worry about having a plot to your episode and still manage to be repetitive... well frankly I don't think the Simpsons are doing all that badly.

1. Firecrackers: The Silent Killer

When people complain about season 10 on, they don't always talk about over one very important factor: these are 11 seasons without Lionel Hutz or Troy Maclure. I think that their absence has cost the show greatly, and left a void that Disco Stu, Gil and the "YEEEESSS" guy would never be able to fill. In grade 9 my fellow high school drama nerds and I observed a moment of silence for Hartman's passing, but back then I'm not sure that I truly realized what loss it would be for the comedy world.

Also of note in this discussion. On the 20th Anniversary Special Conan O'Brien was interviewed and said that his ideal job would just to get paid to sit around all day, drinking wine and thinking of things for Mr. Burns and Smithers to say.

Given current events I'd say that the pieces are falling in to place for a Season 22.

Stay tuned for my last three posts: I've Been Drinking and Here's What I think: The Fellowship of the Drink, List Maker, and The End...

Monday, January 04, 2010

N is for every song in the "Nineties"

"What POSSIBLE reason could you have for being here?"

Also... after many youtube searches, I finally found a favourite Sesame Street moment:

I fell off the couch laughing the first time I saw this.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy 2010!

Sorry I fell behind after a rather busy couple of days surrounding New Years.

I lieu of my new post let me just apologize for not working in some kind of honourable mention or awarding to:

Garden State (and by extension)
The Shins
Greenday (specifically American Idiot)
The Decemberists
or The Colbert Report

Sometimes when one makes these lists they just can't quite cram everything in to their heads.

I think rather than do the full 9 things from the Cracked article I'll just come back with Video Games, Books (the conspicuously absent category) and Pictures... tomorrow? It's hard to say.

See this is the great thing about only sort of having an audience, I only sort of have to keep up my writing.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Top 5 Everythings for the Decade

My "friends" over at Cracked (really for how often I link them they ought to be sending me Christmas cards) wrote an article The Top 5 Everything of the Decade (for better or worse) that I am (naturally) going to copy. As there is only one member of my writing staff I'm just going to use my multiple personalities to pick five things in each category.

Personality A= Artistic, occasionally snobbish, concerned with aesthetic appeal and how clever the pick makes me look
Personality B= Concerned with the wider implications, political significance and cultural impact
Personality C= Comedic hack, only that which is funny is worth seeing, mind of a 12 year old
Personality D= Party on! That was so much fun! Seriously, who needs to be 12 when I can do/watch/listen to THIS?
Personality E= Concerned with that which warms my heart, the "Blue" aspect of my "True Colours" and the F in my "ENFP" Myers-Briggs

I'll start today with #9-7

#9 Top Movies

A (Artist) sigh... I can't believe I'm resorting to this already...

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) & Lost in Translation (2003)

Look give the Artistic side of me a break in this category. Where else (apart from music) will it get to show off its goddamned cleverness? Also I actually bought these movies as a set when I got them on DVD so... yeah. Look they're both really awesome films and probably two of the best in the past 10 years. I have a whole list of other choices meant to nourish my inner film geek (Amelie, Mulhullond Drive, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Departed, The Dark Knight, Stranger than Fiction... this is really a list in and of itself... I'll get back to you) but these two stand out because frankly I've yet to read a top 10, 5, 2 list that didn't include them on it somewhere, and really can't think of anyone I've spoken to or showed them to that didn't like them. I truly felt as though the characters were very real and that somewhere outside of the film their story goes on... we just got the boring bits cut out.

B (Philosopher)

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

And I will defend it as such:

Trey Parker and Matt Stone said it best in a Rolling Stone interview when they were asked Team America: World Police would have any effect on the 2004 Election. To paraphrase: "Anyone who changes their vote because of Team America is an idiot. And anyone who changes their vote because of Fahrenheit 9/11 is an idiot. These are movies, they shouldn't change who you think should be president"

And they didn't. I don't care what anyone says, nobody voted for John Kerry because of Michael Moore and no one voted for George Bush because they thought he was a dick (as opposed to a pussy or an asshole that is). Bowling for Columbine: ditto. Yes they were movies that caused controversy and uproar, but neither really changed the way anyone felt about anything.

One could also make an argument on behalf of An Inconvenient Truth for its impact on the environmentalist movement in the 00s, but as the above Cracked article points out so brilliantly it simply made it fashionable to care about the planet in a totally non-committal, inactive sort of way. See the recent mess that was (and will continue to be) Copenhagen.

Since 2006 there has been a 4% increase in America's view of the morality of Homosexuality and in nearly every other category reflecting homophobia and with the issue of same sex marriage there is a noticeable bump from 05-06 to 07-08. Now I'm not saying that Dick Cheney's powerful "I'm staying out of this" or Barack Obama's dodging the subject nearly all together didn't influence this... OK actually yes I am. I mean unless every gay man saved Homer Simpson with a robotic Santa from December 2005-December 2006, I'm going to go ahead and make the leap that having a movie that maturely portrayed the complex and tragic love story of two gay men probably had an impact on the overall culture and it's open-mindedness.

Huh- at the last minute my Philosophical side has changed its mind and thinks that actually Crash did more to promote open mindedness and in fact deserves this spot.

Did not see that coming.

C (Comedian)

Idiocracy (2006)

This almost went in the previous category, because in many ways it is about a wider social and political issue: anti-intellectualism and the dumbing down of America through reality TV, technology, and a general apathy by the public towards the arts, language, science and meaningful political discourse. Although personally I'd like to see Starbucks take the direction it does in the film. I wouldn't really miss the coffee to be honest.

D (Partier)

Kill Bill Vol. 1&2 (2003&2004)

Sometimes movies are brilliantly acted and written, some are visually spectacular and then there are movies that are just damn fun. Though I prefer the first both Kill Bill 1&2 are hours of pure entertainment for every woman who's ever wanted to pick up a samurai sword and kick some serious ass. I will never forget sitting in the theatre where about a half an hour into the first movie a couple in front of us got up and left. I turned to my boyfriend at the time and whispered "Well I would expect better from Quentin Tarantino!"

PS: I've been using this quote for so long, I have forgotten the Simpsons quote I stole it from. Anyone who can tell me: 3 gajillion Liz Points.

E (Romantic)

Little Miss Sunshine (2007)

This had some stiff competition in Wall-E, Juno and Once but ultimately wins out because it really taps into my greatest insecurities and makes me feel all together OK about them. High school... life it's all one big beauty pageant. In a world that only seems to get more superficial as the new millennium proceeds. But if you can find what makes you happy, and share that with the people that you love... what the hell difference does it make if you're Miss America or a Super Freak.

I'll take that with two scoops of ice cream.

#8 Top Songs

A (Artist)

Maps, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Fever to Tell 2003

This was definitely a close call to the end. Again, being an artistic category, my artist feels the need to make honourable mentions to The White Stripes for Hotel Yorba, Feist for I Feel it All, Iron and Wine for The Trapeze Swinger and The Arcade Fire for Wake Up. Maps rises above for being the best of everything the early to mid 2000s had to offer in a sort of musical renaissance. Sure the Strokes, White Stripes and Hives were all kicking off the decade with a bang, but it's when Fever to Tell hits that there is finally a wider realization that rock is in fact not at all dead and our generation still gets a crack at it. We may not have managed to surpass the late 60s/early 70s, but I think we gave a valiant effort... and a WAY more valiant effort than the losers who were in charge of music coolness in the late 90s. I mean WTF. Really.

Incidentally the YouTube music video for Maps has been watched over 5 millions times. You probably don't want me to put that into perspective... but here it is anyways:

That's only a million more than "Keyboard Cat".
It has been seen 3 million less times than "Leave Britney Alone"
About a fifth as much as "Chocolate Rain".

B (Philosopher)

Not Ready to Make Nice, The Dixie Chicks, Taking the Long Way (2006)

Apart from winning the Grammy for record, album, and song of the year four years after it was anticipated that the Dixie Chicks may never record another album, there's no avoiding the controversy that the Chicks caused. For those who were hiding under a rock in 2003 Natalie Maines said something to the effect of "I hate America and the troops. Things would be so much better if we let the terrorists win and were friends with Saddam Houssein" ... oh I'm sorry my mistake. She said that she was ashamed that the President was from Texas. You know because he's an idiot. Well in 2003 calling Bush shameful was the equivalent of declaring a jihad. Now I bet you could get Bill O'Reilly to admit that Bush wasn't really the sharpest pencil in the box (and have Sting play him off calmly!). But back then it meant war, and also marked the second time that a high profile person was threatened with assassination in Dallas, and the first time the Dallas police did anything about it.

Either way, the Chick's comeback was a great vindication for everyone that had stayed with them the whole way that the political tides were finally turning. You know after no WMDs were found, Abu Gharib prison, Hurricane Katrina and Dick Cheney shooting a guy in the face, the American public finally decided that it was OK to not 100% agree with their elected officials. And they all lived happily ever after, the end.

C (Comedian)

The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room, Flight of the Conchords, Flight of the Conchords (2008)

The Flight of the Conchords may not have a wider social or even musical message, but I don't know a lot of people who don't own the Season 1 DVD. I could have picked Robots or Bowie, or even Mutha'uckas , but being me I had to go with my favourite lyrics:

Cause you're so beautiful...
Like a tree. Or a high class prostitute.
You're so beautiful.
You could be a part time model.
But you'd probably still have to keep your normal job.
A part time model.
Spend part of your time modeling.
And part of your time next to me.

My place is usually a bit tidier than this.

D (Partier)

Hey-ya, Outkast, SpeakerBoxxx/The Love Below

Being a partying category this one also had some competition from Gnarls Barkley's Crazy, Mr. Brightside by The Killers, Last Nite by The Strokes and Viva la Vida by Coldplay (not necissarily a partying song, but a good time none the less)

E (Romantic)

I Will Follow You Into The Dark, Death Cab for Cutie, Plans (2005)

I think this is fairly self-explanatory.

#7 TV Show of the Decade

A (Artistic)

The Office (UK)

Two important points. Yes the UK version because without it there is no US version and even before the US version aired the effects of the original were beginning to be felt. Sure Steve Carrell and Greg Daniels should probably be sending Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais annual thank you notes, but frankly Larry David, Michael Hurwitz, Bill Lawrence and Tina Fey should probably at least think about a Facebook poke. And even if you want to argue that the only definite result of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's brilliance is The UK and US Office and Extras, you would still be naming 3 of the top 5 Comedies of the last 10 years.

B (Philosophical)

Now for our second total cop-out tie: "The Daily Show" & "Chapelle's Show"

I just couldn't do it. I would love to give Jon the win, but I can't. And let me show you why:

Chapelle's Show pushed our generation past the politically correct "tolerance" we'd been raised with to a new and frank place where it was OK to acknowledge that yes, racism exists and pretty fervently, and that we have to face it in real ways that might not always make us feel as warm and fuzzy as a Family Matters episode. Four years later America has its first African American president, something that seemed, in the darkest hours of the Bush years a long way off. That said the show will most likely always be remembered for Rick James' pathological hatred of Charlie Murphy and Wayne Brady making OJ Simpson look like Martin Luther King Jr.

Oh also this guy kind of stirred up some shit:

C (Comedian)

Arrested Development(2003)

This time I'm giving the hack comedian in me some honourable mentions because let's face it, there's very little TV I like to watch that isn't funny. Arrested Development doesn't really require defending the way Clone High or Spaced might, because there's pretty much a consensus on the internet that the show did no wrong, and will do no wrong as a movie. I would also like to submit South Park. Though also a candidate for the above category often South Park is at its best when it isn't about a major social issue and is about the boys playing LOTR or Cartman dressing up as a robot pal for Butters.

As for Arrested Development, I like to think that Never Nudes have forever replaced Ugly Naked Guy in TVdome.

D (Partier)

Firefly (2003)

Althogh I admired BSG a great deal it was never really as much fun as Firefly. Whedon is the writer/director that many emulate, but I don't think anyone ever really nails his great use of comedy in totally unfunny situations. I loved the energy and the characters are the sort that one hopes will kick some serious ass.

E (Romantic)

"Scrubs" (2001)

What can I say? If this isn't love I don't know what is:

OK, that's all I can manage for today. See you tomorrow for: Internet Video, Word (phrase) and Video Game