Friday, September 28, 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007

An Appreciation Of Clerks II

I finally got a chance to see Clerks II. I didn't want to see it in the theater mainly because I knew the extras on any DVDs would be worth the wait.

My verdict?

The movie is good, not as good as the first Clerks only because it isn't the surprise the first one was. I was living in Seattle at the time the first movie came out. I was on my way to moving in with my girlfriend at the time to a dull suburb called Federal Way, 19 miles outside of Seattle. Clerks had a "Seattle Slacker" feel to it. I was ending my first phase of slackerdom, settling down to a relationship, but craving the freedom I had in Seattle.

So, Clerks spoke to me. I, of course learned that the director, Kevin Smith was from New Jersey, where I grew up. the movie had a seedy Jersey quality to it. Clerks also was the first movie that made me realize that I was a loser. Kevin Smith is younger (24 at the time) than me and was having success at his dream of being a filmmaker. My efforts at syndicating my comic strip "Pipe Dreams" was not getting me far, I gained a lot of weight, and I had lost a job I hated, and would soon start another one that I hated more that paid less. Similar to now.

Clerks stuck with me, my then girlfriend was good at getting me presents, (rare for anyone) she bought me the movie poster for the movie that I have to this day. She also bought me the video.

Now, over the years I have watched most of the Kevin Smith movies, some I've liked, Chasing Amy, some I didn't like, Dogma. He's not a great filmmaker, but his films are always entertaining, and it's fun to spot the recurring characters in each of them. I was one of the 8 people that saw the Clerks cartoon show when it aired on ABC way back when and my ex bought me the video collection right around the time we broke up. She knew what I liked.

Anyhow, I moved back to Jersey to be with yet another failed relationship. This time I was in the area of which many of the Kevin Smith films took place. Kevin Smith has a comic store in Red Bank, New Jersey. Red Bank is a former middle class town that reinvented itself as a "boutique" towns that pop up across the country. It's renewal is so geared to a snobby clientele that I thought I was not going to find any elements of Clerks anywhere.

I was wrong. First of all Clerks doesn't take place in Red Bank, it takes place in Leonardo, New Jersey. Leonardo is one of a series of depressed towns that line the south border of Raritan Bay. I accidentally saw the store when I went on a bike ride near my new town of Atlantic Highlands. The store looks a lot like it did in the movie. It doesn't exploit its prominence much at all. A few knick knacks here and there. It was still cool.

Anyway, I went to the library to pick up some DVDs. I picked up Clerks II, knowing that most of it was filmed in LA. It didn't matter, the scenes at "Mooby's" didn't interfere with my enjoyment. There were enough "Jersey Shots" to pique my interest. The "bat cave" shot where the car passes under a stone bridge is two blocks from where I live now. I hadn't been that excited since the first time I saw "Singles" and they had a shot of the Neptune Theater in Seattle. That theater was around the corner from my apartment.

Anyway since Clerks is a special movie for me, I was worried that Clerks II would ruin it. It didn't. I love the characters of Dante and Randal too much to hate the movie, and two new characters, Elias and Becky were strong enough to hold their own and add to the Kevin Smith universe. The guest appearances by people like Jason Lee and Ben Affleck, who owe their initial fame to Kevin Smith is always a treat. Some great "geek" dialogue about Star Wars and Lord of The Rings is worth the rental. The color of the film took getting used to, but not too long. The extras in the DVDS were extensive, satisfying to an obsessive nerd like me.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I Just Want It To Be On Record...

The Mets are not Going to win the World Series.

The Yankees will. Against the Cubs....

Just To piss Me Off.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Career Killing Videos

Once upon a time there was this cable channel called MTV. They played videos by music artists looking to promote their songs. The peak period of its power was in the mid to late 80's. If you wanted people to buy your records, you had to make videos. Heck even the Alan Parsons Project made videos.

Now, videos became an art form in and of itself. However like all art, there is bad art. And sometimes art that shocks people enough to kill the careers of those involved. Here are two videos that killed the career of two popular artists of the 80's.

The first one is so infamous it constantly gets made fun of all the time on the Howard Stern show. It's by Billy Squier, a 70's style rocker who filled the niche of those who didn't like new wave or dance pop. He hit it big right before the glam metal types of Motley Crue and Poison. For his video "Rock Me Tonite", he kind of took a step in that direction but chickened out before going full glam make up, instead he came up with the gayest video a straight man could possibly make without knowing it. All pink and pastels, satin sheets and chest baring.


The second video is by Queen. They were huge in the 70's, and are often credited with creating the music video format. Certainly they had their share of arty performance videos before MTV existed. They had huge hits in the early 80's with "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", "Under Pressure" and "Another One Bites The Dust" and after releasing the album "The works" they were on their way to further success. "Radio Gaga" was the first single that had a video that featured scenes from the movie "Metropolis"

The next single released from the album was "I Want To Break Free". They chose to make an elaborate three part video. It was well filmed, with a performance piece in a coal mine like set, a creative ballet performance with Freddie Mercury and the Royal Ballet, and a satirical piece of the British soap opera "Coronation Street". the problem is that Americans, including a 17 year old Scanman didn't get the reference and were disturbed to see a Fully mustached Freddy Mercury in torpedoed bra'ed drag. Actually I was more disturbed to be attracted to Roger Taylor in school girl drag. The video got banned on MTV, probably with the homoeroticism of the ballet piece, but really it's the mustache on Freddy Mercury in drag, (which he shaved off for the ballet piece curiously enough) that's disturbing. Queen's success in America never recovered in Freddie Mercury's lifetime. Too bad because in watching the full video more than twenty years later, reveals it to be wonderful and I get the drag gag.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Baby Needs A Brand New Pair Of Shoes...

Papa's Got A Brand New Bag, And Ink Boy's Got a New Blog

Who's that dude pressed against the wall?

I have been reading this guy's blog about his time at Sloane House. It coincided with my last two years there, so I was curious if there were any shared experiences there. He is very good at describing accurately what Sloane House was like with the added bonus of being a new immigrant to the US at the time he arrived at Sloane House. In doing a google search, since there is no Sloane House entry in Wikipedia, I found out that Tip O'Neill and Bob Fosse spent time there.

I digress...

Here's a typical picture in the men's room on the 10th floor of Sloane House. I am in contact with every one in the picture and have seen everyone in the picture within the last two years. Except for one guy.

The guy on the far right is what I like to call a "hanger-on", not really part of the "PIC Clique". We were a clique, really the only clique I belonged to, and typical of us, we were not exclusive in anyway, so we would hang out with anyone who would hang out with us.

I remember the guy on the right, remember he was from Oklahoma, but that is it. I don't remember his name.

I wonder what he's up to?

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Night Life at Sloane House

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Larry Kudlow's An Asshole

I listen to talk radio when I am in my car. Satellite radio isn't good enough (Howard Stern Withstanding) to pay for, so I listen to AM radio. FM doesn't offer anything for me.

Anyway, when I don't listen to sports radio (When the Mets are losing) I tend to listen to right wing radio , which seems to be the only other options of talk radio. Left wing radio tends to be on weak signals. I listen to it on my computer though.

Anyway, there are different kinds of right wing hosts. There are the Bush Stooge types, The strident religious types, The "liberals are ruining America" ones, and ones like Larry Kudlow, ones that advocate the so called "free market libertarian" philosophy. Basically it's the "I got mine, fuck you, on yours" philosophy.

He's an Ayn Rand disciple. These are people who embraced the laissez-faire form of capitalism that was espoused in the book Atlas Shrugged, a work of fiction, and a book that perpetuates fraud.

The problem, of course is that was the very form of capitalism that sent us in the worst depression of our history. The people don't believe in taxes for the idle rich. They embrace the industrialists, the CEOs, the Wall Street types, which is fine but they feel that people who are born rich shouldn't pay a penny in taxes and that there shouldn't be any tax on any form of dividends, stocks and bonds.

So who is to pay for all the roads that transports the goods across the country to all the good consumers, the military that protects all their vast assets, the ports that bing in the goods? Why, you the working public of course!

Of course they want to eliminate minimum wage, and want the working class of the USA to compete with third world nations in pay.

They think we need to do this to invite competition, to keep costs low so they can increase their dividends. They have third or fourth homes to buy, cigars to smoke, and the press to control.

So, why does Larry Kudlow piss me off?

A caller called in his radio show, The caller foolishly thought he had kinship with Kudlow, when he talked about his fear of an expansion of trucking in the United States from Mexican truckers. The caller had the xenophobic view in which he worried he would lose his job to Mexican nationals who would be working as he put it for "$15 a day" with unsafe trucks on our US highways.

Now, I get tired of people using Mexicans as scapegoats. However, in challenging the caller's view, Kudlow didn't attack him for his xenophobia, he scoffed him for being afraid of "competition".

Competition?! With what? Poverty wages?!

The weird thing is that Kudlow and his three? guests went on mocking the caller saying that should we go back to the railroad to transport goods?

The canal system?

Should we go back to lugging products on our backs? That would create jobs!


I would go along with that thinking if the caller's job was being replaced by a robot that was more efficient and safer. But that was not the case. Innovations have been slow coming recently in the transportation of goods and the elimination of back breaking work that still needs to be done to provide humidors for Kudlow and co. The recent philosophy of the monied right wing has been to have people doing the same job or more work for less money.

That's not progress. Far from it.

If you were to truly take Kudlow's argument to the logical extreme, why not bring back slavery? Of course we would call it something else, call it an "opportunity" and with our new form of slavery, we don't even have to worry about feeding the workers or provide housing, heck, we can replace them through a temp agency when they aren't doing their job in increasing Larry Kudlow's portfolio's worth.

Don't think it will happen? I wouldn't be so sure.

What an asshole!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Happy 40th

I don't remember birthdays of too many important people in my life, like friends and some relatives, but I always remember the birthdays of girlfriends, former or otherwise. Today, my former fiance, Almost Mrs. Scanman turns 40. I wish her the best. I'm not sure if she has read the blog, but if she does I hope she's doing well, and hope her 40th goes better than mine. We were there for each other's 30th, and that was better than my 40th.

October 10th-Ann
January 22nd-Donna
April 27th-Heather B
December 25th-Kim, that was easy
March 19th-Holly

And those are only the ones I dated for more than a few months. I was better at remembering these birthdays than they were, but Kim said it was easy to remember hers, so I couldn't be on her case for never remembering mine.


Happy 40th.

Monday, September 17, 2007


The Mets got swept AGAIN by the Phillies. What's up with that? I fear once again the second round of the playoffs.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

More Youtube Fun

So it looks like the surviving members are gonna get together to play an one up show in London. I would have been more interested twenty years ago. But thanks to Youtube they have this clip of a teenage Jimmy Page. They are playing skiffle. He was so cute. Not yet the rock god, but a good harmonizer.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Just A Thought

It's been six years to the day since the attacks, and for some reasons my thoughts go to those who are celebrating their 6th birthday today. These kids are either in kindergarten or first grade and have to endure being reminded that the day they were born, a huge event of disasterous proportions happened. If they are a first child, I wonder how their mother answers the question
"What was the greatest day of your life"

Do they answer "The Day You were Born" ?

Monday, September 10, 2007

I'm Glad I Don't Have A Dishwasher

I just got my deposit back, which is helpful in the time before I start with my new job in October.
The funny thing is that I had to pay about 200 dollars for dishwasher repair. This is the second time I had to pay to fix a dishwasher. No big deal except for one thing.

I never used the dishwasher.

Not once.

I don't need to ever use a dishwasher. I never have enough dirty dishes to use it. The first time this happened I lived by myself so I fought tooth and nail with the theives that rented my apartment.

This time I know the dishwasher did get used except it wasn't by me.

Still, I bet at least one or more dishes that got washed was used by me, so I guess it's my fault. Oh, well. I don't have to worry about that now.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Monday, September 03, 2007

New Cartoon

What a Difference A Scenario Makes

The weekend series with the Braves ends and the Mets head into Cincinnati winning 3 out of 7, which was the least acceptable scenario I would tolerate, the problem is the scenario I imagined would have the Mets ahead of the Braves by 5 1/2 games and the Phillies by 6. Instead the Mets are ahead of the Braves by 7 1/2 and the Phillies by 4.

I thought going in the Mets would take two of four from the Phillies like they had all year and that the Braves would win the series two of three. Thus the standings like above.

However the Mets sucked the tailpipe in Philly and somehow decide that this weekend was a good time to sweep the Braves. If the Phillies had done better with the Marlins, they would be even closer to the Mets.

The Mets are frustrating this year. They have been in first place most of the year and have survived many mediocre streaks. Still, every time they have the jugular they let go and give the Phillies and or Braves opportunities. Many opportunities, that the Braves and Phillies have not taken.

I hope that they don't falter in the playoffs.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Some Fun You tube Stuff

Hey Ya, It's a Charlie Brown Christmas

Scrubs that Charlie Brown!

Heavy Metal Charlie Brown Christmas