Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"Good News, Everyone!"

First, a confession: I'm a Futurama fan. A BIG Futurama fan (you, in the back row--shut the hell up!) and why shouldn't I be? What's not to like about an animated show for adults by Matt Groening (The Simpsons, Life In Hell) that takes place at the beginning of a 31st century chock-full of suicide booths, soap operas for androids, celebrity heads in jars, hideously addictive soft drinks and features an "alcoholic, whore-mongering, chain-smoking" robot, an undeniably hot one-eyed mutant, an increasingly senile mad scientist who runs a delivery service to fund his experiments, a decapodian M. D. with a woefully inadequate knowledge of human anatomy, and a not-so-bright, cryogenically-preserved pizza delivery boy from the year 2000?

Even better, as Groening himself said, "it was full of catnip for geeks" what with "allusions to classic videogames, programming languages, Schrodinger's cat, and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle." Oh, yeah, and an occasional appearance by Lucy Liu.

Fox canceled the show in 2003 whereupon Cartoon Network began airing reruns to the wild acclaim and near-orgasmic excitement of die-hard fans while garnering a new generation of viewers. Soon thereafter began...The Rumors. Teasing rumors. Exciting rumors. Rumors of new episodes of Futurama. Oh, my, yes!

Well, as it turns out, the rumors were true--Futurama Is Back! Grab A Can of Slurm and Settle In as Bender's Big Score (spoilers galore) hits the DVD shelves TODAY, ultimately (meaning next year) being aired as half-hour episodes on Comedy Central. Get it fer cheap at Amazon.com.

Naturally, the big question is whether my favorite character, the Robot Devil, will make an appearance.

Anyone besides me notice how much the Robot Devil sounds like deceased voice actor Hans Conried?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Christmas List 2007

Dear Santa,

Well, Black Friday is almost upon us once again and I figured what better time to convince... uh... remind you of how incredibly good I've been. After all these years you should know the litany by heart but in case you've forgotten:

"I've fomented no revolutions this year nor have I overthrown any governments despite almost overwhelming temptation. I haven't engaged in mass murder, no serial killings, no random acts of violence, no choke sex (hell, no sex at all!), no waylaying of strangers to harvest their body parts, and only minor, completely excusable corruptions of youth. I've refrained from kidnapping any heiresses, selling any government secrets, or even holding the planet for ransom. I haven't tampered with things man was not meant to know (much) and that annoying human sacrifice thing is now in the dim, dark, distant past. I've limited my stalking activities to the online realm and I haven't propositioned any of my female associates to do that...thing...with the Waring blender in quite a while..."

We'll conveniently ignore the fact that my being good wasn't entirely by choice; after all, at my age the opportunities to be truly bad are few and far between. Still, we must judge people by their actions and not their thoughts, mustn't we?

Well, whatever.

Books, CDs, and DVDs are always appreciated and I just happen to have an Amazon.com Wishlist set up for your convenience. Keep in mind that the more items you bring, the more I'm distracted from plotting World Domination--a bored G. W. is a dangerous G. W.--and besides, I'm well-armed and I know where you live.

Neighborhood Domination is another matter altogether and I'm figuring that some Catapult, Trebuchet, and Ballista kits would keep me busy and help me protect my backyard from random insurgents and drunken college students. Throw in a couple of rubber band-firing Gatling guns mounted on a Rip Saw UGV tank and I'll guarantee you everyone on my street will be good!

I love my HP computer dearly, but it does have enough age on it as to completely negate its Coolness Factor. I'm thinking an Alienware Area-51 ALX CF desktop for home and an Area-51 m9750 notebook for hanging out in trendy coffee shops (the latter got a mention in Wired 15.12) ought to bring me up to speed. Add an admiring Christina Ricci with a vintage copy of Redneck Rampage and my status as a Geek Gawd will be assured.

Speaking of the Coolness Factor, there's not much of it when cruising around Richmond in my 2000 Mitsubishi Galant, so I was thinking what I really need is a car that makes a statement, something like the Aston Martin DB9 for tooling around the countryside pretending I'm James Bond, the classic 1955 Lincoln Futura for tooling around town oozing Geeky Goodness, or maybe the greatest of all mechanized memes, Carthedral: "a 1971 Cadillac hearse modified with 1959 Cadillac tailfins. Welded on top is a VW beetle and metal armatures with fiber glass. Carthedral is a rolling Gothic Cathedral complete with flying buttresses, stained glass pointed windows, and gargoyles."

We all recognize the value of Gothic street cred, right?

An speaking of Gothic cred, the apartment could always use a few decorative accents and I'm thinking a nice, comfy electric chair would look great in the corner, especially if there was a Count Dracula casket beside it as a coffee table and a few skulls from Spellow House to round out the theme. May as well throw in a Coffin Clock so I'll know how much time I've wasted perusing Alan Moore's Lost Girls which, uh, I'll be needing a copy of as well. Feel free to toss in a Black Death sweatshirt in lieu of a frou-frou smoking jacket.

Well, that's about it for this year. As usual, I'll be leaving a little something for your efforts, only instead of milk, cookies, and Fentanyl I figured you might like a change of pace--you'll be finding a couple of bottles of genuine (and now fully legal in the US!) absinthe on top of the television set: Kubler for you and Lucid for Mrs. Claus, so put on your best Bohemian garb, grab a sugar cube or two, drink up, get nekkid, and see the Green Fairy! Leave the cat alone; he's new and wouldn't understand.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Thanksgiving Prayer

I'm feeling particularly cynical tonight and with Thanksgiving just a week away, what better time to post a link to William S. Burroughs' "A Thanksgiving Prayer"?

Now that that's out of my system...

The last photo (taken about 2:30 this morning on 18th Street in Richmond, VA--don't ask) reminds me of the interestingly-translated instructions on a can of Honda motorcycle touch-up paint I saw way back in the early 70s: "Be stirred, be thinned with lacquer." Sound advice for young and old.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Halloween Post-Mortem

One would think, assuming you know me at all and, therefore, are aware that I am the consummate Halloween Junkie with fangs of candy corn and veins pulsing with pumpkin goo, that I would now regale you with tales of my most recent Samhain insanity, but you would be wrong.

Nope. It was, for the most part, a quiet and uneventful evening in the G. W. household.

I had originally intended to do a Halloween post wherein I acted as a sort of half-assed online DJ, inundating your poor computer screen with a slew of seasonally-appropriate YouTube links-- "Dinner With Drac" by John Zacherle, the obligatory "Monster Mash" (but a live version with both Bobby "Boris" Pickett and John Zacherle), "Werewolves of London" (also live, with a somewhat manic Warren Zevon), and so forth and so on, including what has to be the scariest music video of all time, Nina Hagen covering David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust."

Didn't happen.

After a...trying...day at work I came home, cooked up some Ramen noodles (which, I guess, is pretty scary all by itself), took an extended nap, and, really, didn't do much of anything beyond channel-surfing, hoping for an Addams Family marathon or repeats of all the Roseanne Halloween specials.

No such luck.

However, at 10:00 p. m. Turner Classic Movies unexpectedly (to me) aired one of the classic horror films of all time, The Body Snatcher with Boris Karloff.

Ah, bliss! Moody, atmospheric, high contrast black & white goodness! No quirky-assed, be-gimmicked serial killers, no gallons of squirting blood 'n' gore, no on-screen decapitations, just the unnervingly quiet menace of Boris Karloff, who can utter even the most prosaic of lines ("Why, hello, Toddy!") and fill it with horrific nuance. When Bela Lugosi as "Joseph" attempts to blackmail Karloff's character, cabman John Gray, midway through the film...

Joseph: I know you kill people to sell bodies.
John Gray: You say you came here of your own account? No one sent you, no one knows you're here?
Joseph: Give me money or I tell the police that you murder the subjects.
John Gray: Well, Joseph, you shall have money, why should you not? I don't suppose the great Dr MacFarlane is over lavish with his pay?
Joseph: No.

...you know things aren't going to turn out well for poor Bela!*

And that was Halloween, 2007, safe and sane, quiet and uneventful, except for one little thing--

When I left for work the next morning I discovered that my front door had been covered with bloody (adult-sized) hand prints during the night.

And I still don't know to whom they belong.

Cue The Twilight Zone theme.

* In more ways than one. This was the last film Boris and Bela made together and Bela's role is a small one--his continuing drug use had taken its toll on both his looks and career.