Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Conan's Last Words

For those oblivious, or ambivalent, here are Conan's Last Words as the Tonight Show host.

Before we end this rodeo, a few things need to be said. There has been a lot of speculation in the press about what I legally can and can’t say about NBC. To set the record straight, tonight I am allowed to say anything I want. And what I want to say is this: between my time at Saturday Night Live, the Late Night show, and my brief run here on The Tonight Show, I have worked with NBC for over 20 years. Yes, we have our differences right now and yes, we’re going to go our separate ways. But this company has been my home for most of my adult life. I am enormously proud of the work we have done together, and I want to thank NBC for making it all possible.

Walking away from The Tonight Show is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Making this choice has been enormously difficult. This is the best job in the world, I absolutely love doing it, and I have the best staff and crew in the history of the medium. But despite this sense of loss, I really feel this should be a happy moment. Every comedian dreams of hosting The Tonight Show and, for seven months, I got to. I did it my way, with people I love, and I do not regret a second. I’ve had more good fortune than anyone I know and if our next gig is doing a show in a 7-Eleven parking lot, we’ll find a way to make it fun.

And finally, I have to say something to our fans. The massive outpouring of support and passion from so many people has been overwhelming. The rallies, the signs, all the goofy, outrageous creativity on the Internet, and the fact that people have traveled long distances and camped out all night in the pouring rain to be in our audience, made a sad situation joyous and inspirational.

To all the people watching, I can never thank you enough for your kindness to me and I’ll think about it for the rest of my life. All I ask of you is one thing: please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism — it’s my least favorite quality and it doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen. As proof, let’s make an amazing thing happen right now.

His line, "Nobody in gets exactly what they thought they were going to get." sent my brain off to the They Might Be Giants lyric from Don't Let's Start, "Everybody dies frustrated inside and that is beautiful."

I view this statement as amazingly inspirational and moving.  It was touching and honest, and way nicer than NBC deserved.   Nice guys do win, because Conan is loved and Leno/NBC are loathed.  God forbid Leno is opposite Conan, because Conan will destroy him in the ratings.  The main reason Letterman never consistently beat Leno was the view that he was an ass.  And yes Letterman can be an ass, but that works for him.  Look at Letterman's incidents with Madonna, Paris Hilton, and Drew Barrymore, only an asshole could have made those moments possible.  Only someone who persistently needle someone backstage could set up those types of incidents.  Magic of that nature takes more than 5 minutes to work.

Conan is not Letterman.  We found this out very quickly during Conan's first week on Late Night, and some people freaked out over this.  But Conan is a different beast altogether, especially in the world of show business.  He is honest, sincere, intelligent, and nice.  He is the Anti-Leno.

Look at his last act as Tonight Show host.  He was one of 20 guys playing guitar and gave the spotlight over to Will Ferrell.  He was most comfortable in that moment as just someone contributing to an amazing scene, and it was awesome.  "But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen. As proof, let’s make an amazing thing happen right now."    He knew it was and was happy to have been a part of it, and to have helped plan and conceive it.  He will always be a writer, and his ego is fueled by the laughs, he does not care who says the line as long as the words he wrote get the laugh.  Form follow function, ego follows results.

I'll move onto to another personality aspect that gets viewed as negative, pride. Conan's display of personal and professional pride was outrageous.  He stood up for himself without taking anybody else down.  And he took his show to the next level while under a great deal of stress and pressure.  We have all been through tough work situations, but few of us have done as well as he in these situations.  He displayed a great deal of pride by making sure he gave everything he had in his last few weeks, before he knew it was his last few weeks.  I hardly ever display that much pride at work ever.  And that is why I can't find a job I like and why he's getting a big fat Go Away Check.

Conan is a rare combination of Pride, Intelligence, Humor, and decency, not just in the cynical corporate world of Show Business but in life.  He went out with a bang, and had fun doing.  Most importantly that bang he went out with was not disrespectful to anyone, it was just him doing his job to the best of his ability.  I am fairly sure that NBC earned from Conan more than his completely severance package during his last two weeks on air.

I know I have struggled in my life with burnt bridges.  And most of my justification is that the damn bridge was on fire from the other end.  Well the right way to deal with that is to let them burn it, wait for them to try and cross it again, then say no.   Instead of my tactic, which is to see a bridge on fire and light it up from my side.

Big Kudos to an amazing creative mind.  not just someone to laugh at, but someone to respect.  In this age of idolatry and fallen Idols, Conan is legit.  See you son my friend.    And thank you for inspiring me.  "Have fun on TV" is the best mission statement ever, and you nailed it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Music Monday: Bands I Saw with the Lunachicks

I'd be hard pressed to explain why I dug the Lunachicks so much and I won't get into it right now.  But here are bands I saw perform with them.  Except the Buzzcocks.  Yes the Lunachicks opened for the Buzzcocks but my friends and I never hung around to watch them play.  I know, dumb, very very dumb.

Down By Law - 500 Miles

Former ALL lead singer, Dave Smalley's, band.  They never played this song, but it was one of the first Punk Rock Covers I heard and fell in love.  This was a good 5 years before I saw them on the Go Kart Across America Tour.  But I am glad I saw them, I really got into them and loved Fly the Flag.

Buzzcocks - What Do I  Get

Again, not a song I would have heard, but it's always nice to see the oldies live.  It's the closest I'll get to a time I was to far too young to even know about.

Mindless Self Indulgence - Bring the Pain (Method Man cover)

Fuck these guys were intense live.  Very, very good.  I saw Jimmy Urine pee on Steve Righ? at a show in Asbury Park New Jersey, yes that Asbury Park.  That was just a strange day.  I had a huge crush on their old bassist Vanessa.

Pinkerton Thugs - No Heroes, No Justice

Sorry about the lousy embed.  My options are limited here.  Imeem is now myspace music and does not work the way it used to.  And the Youtube video of this song is from a live show with terrible sound.

I do lovr, when I stumble upon new information as part of writing this blog.  I did not realize they were from Maine and had Ties to the Ducky Boys.  They are also mainstays at the Hometown Throwdown, and that's a separate story.

Lastly I'll give you some fairly random Mash-ups.  Intended to be a newer song with an much older song.  Enjoy Taylor Swift / U2!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

One Sentence Movie Review: The Book of Eli

This is a photo review.  Saw this bumper sticker on my way to see the movie.

My GPS is Jesus Christ

This movie was horrible, but it seems people are liking it.  The preachy / bible stuff did not bother me.  If you saw the trailers and have half a brain then you would know that was a part of the movie.  For me there was zero character depth, not one character in this movie changed.  Well maybe one, but that person only changed because that person finally could.  Had that one person not changed it would not have influenced the movie at all.  

The story was neither action packed nor thought provoking although it desperately wanted to be both.  There is a validity to a movie being one or the other.  You don't need to be both.  There is nothing wrong with a turn your brain off horror or action movie.  There is also nothing wrong with a deep heavy Indie movie.  This movie tried to be both and failed at both.

Technically this movie was horrible.  The blue-screening was shit.  I could have done better on my computer. You don't need a huge special effects budget, you just need to do the ebst you can with what you have.  They did not.

The story was weak and boring.  Guy goes on journey, guy gets there.  That was it.  No tension, no drama, no struggle, just painfully obvious plot point after painfully obvious plot point.   Possibly the most predictable and transparent movie I've seen in a while.

Sure, Denzell played a cool badass, but he wasn't cool enough to overcome the rest of this movies issues.  And Gary Oldman phoned it in.  Worst performance of his career.  It was like they hired the best Gary Oldman impersonator they could find and loved it.

Do not pay a penny to see this movie.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Top Ten Firday Night: Back on the Wagon

We're branching out a bit and I think I have a better spread of lists this week, from a larger range of sources.  Of course this is the first real one I have done since I started contributing to Gunaxin.  So I will be drawing from then each week.

100. The 15 Best Cartoon Leaders.  Not everything there is gold.  Although he is right about being bald and leading.

Challenge of the Go-Bots
gobotsRegardless of the fact that this show was a pretty crappy version of the Transformers by all rights, I always thought the bald leader of the Go Bots was pretty cool. I had a few of these toys and this guy was solid and rakish even as a stiff-limbed, barely-changeable, jet. Oh Leader-1, you scalawag.
Leadership Capabilities: I think throughout history it has been proven that the balder you are, the more respect you command. Possibly.

98.  MLB Stadium Rankings.  By people that are obviously dumb and don't like baseball.  Really, neither Wrigley nor Fenway are in the top 5.  And Tropicanna is 16?  Tropicana field is a dump, the biggest excuse people give for not attending games there is the location.  Yet someone these adwizards thought it had a good location.   Look at what was tied for #2, and you can understand how FAIL this list is.

2(t). Texas Rangers, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington

FANFARE Score: 32
What we liked: Return on Investment- “Rangers tickets are among the most cost effective in baseball. Good seats are available for as little as $25 and the nose-bleed sections are closer to the action than most stadiums. Win or lose, Rangers fans always have a good time at the ballpark.”
What we didn’t like: The Neighborhood- “The current neighborhood around Rangers Ballpark is the only disappointment at the moment. There are a few options for before and after the game, but not a lot of them.”

2(t). Atlanta Braves, Turner Field

FANFARE Score: 32
What we liked: Atmosphere- “The Braves organization is the longest continuously running franchise in baseball history and you can feel the history when you walk into the stadium.”
What we didn’t like: The Neighborhood- “There is not much around the stadium as far as food goes.”

96.  21 Gum Salute.  A countdown of gums.  Well worth the trip down memory lane.

Hubba Bubba
And finally, of the Big Three, this gum had the coolest commercials! How could you not remember those cowboy guys!

81.  Top 10 Web Based RSS Readers.  I'm Google Reader guy myself, but I don't take full advantage of my friends using it, so maybe I should shop around.


Organizing a long list of feeds can be difficult, but Collected makes it easier. You can take RSS feeds and merge them into collections through the site, letting you read all the coverage for certain blogs or certain topics in one go. You can organize collections around anything: topics, a specific person, groups and more.

77.  7 Books that would have change history had they not been lost.  No really.  Holy Book of Eli moment.  No, this list did not suck.  These books, and what we know about them sound really interesting and finding them has been added to my ever expanding list of things to do with a time machine.

The Rest of the Epic Cycle, by Various

What is it:
The rest of the epic saga of Troy which Iliad and Odyssey are sandwiched between. It turns out the whole story of Troy's fall and Odysseus' journey home covered a total eight books, and the Greek poet Homer only authored two of them. The remaining six fleshed out all the gaping holes in its plot, such as the death of Achilles, the extent of Paris' douchebaggery, the Trojan Horse and the spellbinding conclusion to the vast saga. *SPOILERS* Odysseus dies at the end! *END SPOILERS*

Why it's Awesome:
Ever heard of that Coen Brothers movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? What about James Joyce's Ulysses? Or Cold Mountain? Or 2001: A Space Odyssey? Or William Shakespeare or Bob Dylan? They were all influenced by The Iliad and The Odyssey, and we could easily go on. The impact these stories had on literature, movies and music is, for lack of a better word, epic. The Battle of Troy is probably the most famous non-religious story in history (unless science proves that Zeus is the real deal), and knowing that we've only heard part of the story is just the biggest cocktease ever.

Why You'll Never Read It:
All we have about the saga are bits and pieces of information, and we're lucky to have that. The only reason we know the books exist at all is that other books from the time reference them (including some Cliffs Notes-style summaries) but that's it. If some guy has copies in his basement, he isn't talking about it.
Maybe it's for the best. Iliad and Odyssey are pretty badass; we could have been stuck with the Hellenistic equivalent of Star Wars: Episode I.

76.  10 Technologies we were promised but never got.  Look, I'll give up my flying car complaint because the iPhone is just that good.  But dammit I always wanted to live in an underwater colony!

Undersea Colonies
By the 1960s, engineers had figured out how to economically harvest the oil and other mineral wealth of the deep seas. Some thought that this would inevitably lead to the creation of underwater Gold Rush towns, communities that would at first house miners and, eventually, their families. A proposed, corollary innovation was the creation of artificial gills that would have enabled residents of these aquatic metropolises to breathe underwater without bulky gear. In 1964, at the second World's Fair held in New York City, General Motors sponsored an exhibit depicting these undersea homes which, of course, had "sea cars" parked in their underwater driveways.

69.  100 Geeky Quotes you should know by heart.  I disagree with most of these, but I respect the effort and the intent, and you know how obsessed I am lists involving big round numbers.  I pulled 76-68 for this quote

“Redrum.” Danny, The Shining
“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.” - announcer, The Shadow radio drama
“We’re going to need a bigger boat.” - Chief Brody, Jaws
“Oooh, ahhh, that’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running and screaming.” - Ian Malcolm, The Lost World: Jurassic Park
“Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.” Criswell, Plan 9 from Outer Space
“Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!” - President Merkin Muffley, Dr. Strangelove
“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.” - Obi-Wan, Star Wars
“Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!” - Taylor, Planet of the Apes
“You maniacs! You blew it up! Oh, damn you! Damn you all to hell!” - Taylor, Planet of the Apes

60.  17 things to know about your Cat.  The Oatmeal is an amazing site.  Hopefully I got this added before the feeders ate it.

52.  20 movies you should avoid if you are claustrophobic.  I am glad I am not claustrophobic, but I think there is a bit of it inside all of us, and that's why so many of these movies worked so well.

Cube (1997)
Vincenzo Natali
A Canadian film that managed to achieve cult status, Cube finds several strangers trapped in a life sized box with no explanation as to why they’re there or what it is. Talk about a claustrophobic nightmare; trying to find a way out of something that doesn’t appear to have one using some complicated math equations ought to induce schizophrenia. Cube is a complex film, one that could leave you trapped inside your own head trying to figure it out. Not for those with a fear of enclosure.

47.  Top 9 Epic Auto Fails.  I love message boards.  I only really post in one.  But man, message boards are the heart of the internet.   Go click some links and prepare for some long time reading about funny idiots.

34.  15 greatest all-time Dystopian Movies.   Such a good list with one exception: The MAtrix.  Fuck I wish I could back in time and kill the Wachowski siblings to make sure that piece of crap movie was never made.  But other than that, a great list.

8. Akira

This ground breaking anime remains a seminal work in the field, and is visually arresting and thematically engaging. The end battle between the hideously mutated Tetsuo and his once best friend Kaneda is terrifying to this day. Set in post-WWIII Japan, Akira’s cast of psychically boosted Government guinea pigs in a decaying crime-ridden Neo-Tokyo retains its power no matter how often it’s watched. The city is filled with rioting citizens, corrupt officials, rampaging street gangs, and shudders in fear over the name “Akira”. Watching it now, it’s a bit easy to forget just how influential and grounbreaking it was when it debuted, but the story retains its impressive strength of purpose. If you have the time and money, try tracking down the multi-volume manga, which deals with the plot in far more detail.

28. Top 85 Reasons to be thankful for Librarians.  Honestly who does not like librarians, besides school bullies.

70. Libraries are still a cornerstone for free speech and open access to information.
71. When dictators like Hitler and Mao Zedong set out to eliminate a country’s culture or history, they started by shutting down the public libraries.
72. A library still provides a neutral environment for the free exchange of ideas.
73. Public libraries are surprisingly cheap to maintain, but benefit everyone in the community.
74. If you’re a comic book lover, you can probably find plenty at your local library.
75. They might even have some of those expensive indie graphic novels available.
76. We’re still an incredibly long ways away from a paperless world.
77. You might as well use the library, since you’re already paying for it through taxes or tuition.
78. There’s less risk of getting carpal tunnel syndrome from reading books.
79. A library is a great excuse to get out of the house (seriously, why would anyone argue with you about it?).
80. Books are very portable and never need recharging.

21. 10 Most Destructive Fictional Weapons.  Yes.  This list is awesome.  I cannot wait for the Starblazers movie, sorry the Space Battleship Yamamoto movie.

The Wave Motion Gun
Star Blazers

The Wave Motion Gun is the “trump card” of the space-battleship ‘Yamato’. The Gun functions by connecting the Wave Motion Engine to the enormous firing gate at the ship’s bow, enabling the power of the engine to be fired in a stream directly forwards. Enormously powerful, it can vaporize a fleet of enemy ships with one shot; however, it takes a brief but critical period to charge before firing. The recoil, a bitch, needs an absorption mechanism that can be manually deactivated with a lever; this was used to save the ship on one occasion.

19.  13 Webbiest Papercraft toys.  Quick explanation: Papercraft is not origami.  In fact all it has in common with origami is paper.  Papercraft is the using of paper to build a model.  It involves the tools of model building, glue, tape, decals, paint, and exact-o-knives.  To know more, click the links on this list, because papercraft is by it's very nature open source.  The plans are almost always made publicly available by the designer  Just print and go!

2. Ceiling Cat

Oh god, if you make this cat and tape it to your ceiling, please don't tell us what it's watching you do.

1.  Top 5 Eunuchs that have more balls than you do!  A great list from the depths of history.  these guys made the most of life, despite being denied one of the best parts of it.

Judar Pasha

Unless your name happens to be Judar Pasha. Judar was born in Spain, captured as a baby, and made a eunuch. This, of course, fully qualified him for military service, so Sultan Ahmad I made him a pasha, gave him about five thousand guys, pointed over a hill and said “Hey, over there’s the Songhai Empire. Could you maybe do me a solid and subjugate them under my rule?
Oh, did we mention that the Songhai Empire was the largest empire on the African continent at the time? Or that he had to march his 5,000 soldiers across the Sahara to get there?
Needless to say, outmatched, exhausted, in a strange land with no maps or guides, Judar proceeded to work the Songhai like a speed-bag. Probably the most humiliating battle for them was when he approached their capital city of Gao, and they sent out 40,000 men, eight times his army. Unfortunately for them, Judar had had the foresight to bring guns, and the Songhai never heard about what happens when you bring a knife to a gunfight. They showed up with spears and left feet-first.
Of course, unlike Narses, Judar ended up getting the shaft: he was executed by Ahmad I’s successor, possibly because he knew his real huevos couldn’t match Judar’s long-removed ones.

That is it for this week.  Feel free to email me any links you may find.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thursdaytron: Snuggie strikes at my heart and soul

I try not to swear on this blog, but sometimes, you have no choice.

Fuck You Snuggie!

Yeah, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Snuggies.  Really, why did they have to do this to me, my step-son and every male under the age of 40?  These bastards are evil and need to be stopped.  They truly want everyone to own one, and they will stop at no marketing ploy until they have their way.

I have no other words on this matter.  I am going to go cry now as I deal with this unexpected inner turmoil.  Pride or Geek?  Pride or Geek?  This choice has never been a problem before!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Twitter Twailbag Twednesday: Wednesday the 13th!!

I will find a way to quote you properly in a blog Twitter.  I don;'t care how much you hate blogs, or how cool you think you are.  Your site and service actually suck, it's the people that make it what it is.

  1. Claudio MiguelClaudio_Miguel @Dj_Flava Yo Pip.... I'mma start some bonding feel good stuff in a minute to Purchase... Probably sending it 2morrow! So we can Rap this up!

No! None of that touchy feely crap! Back to the drawing board!

  1. TomBoo2AGoose @Scroobiuspipyo careful pip.. it goes against all you stand for... keep those eyes on the little box with the video in

How do you know what I stand for?!?! I am not just going to stare into that box my whole life. I have things to do!

  1. RLF Robbedofwit @pipgeng gee pip, you're such an inspiration.

Do I bring meaning to your life? Do I bring feeling to your life?

  1. Susan Kriegersjjk Bekijkt pip.io "Pip.io is part chat application, part location service, part Twitter and Facebook app, and part platform. " (zie nextweb)

I heard it's like Google Wave, but better!  Something people can actually use! I don't care, I just want my royalty check for the name.

  1. Erik MilkeErik_Milke @pipmyridee I like your style pip.

That is the first time in my entire life I have heard that compliment before.

  1. Andrew Malenettpar @pip I think it's the general observation I agree with rather than his specific case.

Life is all about the details though. It's all nice to think theory, but what happens when it's real?

  1. M LopezBillyBadAss76 @flirtchica "in pip's accent" Well I must say I do not fancy that at all. Hahaha. But I'm flattered LMFAO.

I do not have an accent. I may not like my voice, but I don't have an accent.

  1. Erika KhannaErika_123456 lazy day, watching mtv and punk'd with PIP and then getting ready to go play tennis with Jess coooool

What?!? I have not watched MTV in a decade. Between the lack of music, the 6 minute commercials breaks, and the horrible dating and reality shows, the network is a waste of bandwidth.  But say hi to Jess for me!

  1. jade mairMairJadeee @pipipipip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvnhPhrqEag. pip,this is beaut and i know you will appreciate it. excitedtotakephotosofyourface.

You got the link wrong. So now we will never know how much I would like it.

  1. Pallavi MenonPallaviM @GKM77 Guess where Pip is staying tonight????

The same place I spend every night?  In bed with my wife.

  1. LuckyDog CanineAdventure http://twitpic.com/xt4om Pip

It's nice and all, but can people stop naming their pets after me, please! I hate it.

  1. PipPipWilson @alantshearer Arch Duke Pip, I like that.. I like that a lot.... ;-D

That's right it does sound nice, and remember, you poser, that I am the Arch Duke, not you!

  1. Bernard WalshGetMeJustice Confused about Florida’s PIP insurance? Follow this link to better understand your rights:http://www.flhsmv.gov/ddl/frfaqgen.html

Is Florida that scared of me that sell insurance in case I ever visit again? Look I am sorry about that theme park and the thing with the chickens really was not me. The hookers, well yeah I'm guilty of that, but I paid the fine!

  1. I iz Zaczacflurry We know that pip's route is fast.

Fast, like your Mom.

  1. Julian Burgessaubergene RT @pip: estrongs file explorer on android.http://bit.ly/4YACd9 - supports samba and FTP. highly recommended!

You have an android?  You must like paying Verizon's obscene phone bill each month.  Enjoy your crappy phone and throwing your money away, poser.

  1. Jenny DeMilojennydemilo today is really lazy Sunday, wheres my red vines ad mister pip?

It's Mr Pibb.  And they no longer make it.  Mister Pip is a novel.

  1. johnsinkewichjohncool121 @PipdogtvCP that s going to be a rockin website you have pip

Sure, once I actually start working on a website, it will be rockin.  Because I have several cool web designer friends that would kill me if I made a crappy website.

So who would have more trouble with the word Twitter?  Elmer Fudd or Porky Pig?