Month: August 2001 (page 1 of 13)

A tip for you webloggers: Never, ever try to psychoanalyze someone based on their weblog. Just because they might be a famous person doesn’t mean they won’t track you down. And two days later they might continue to rip on you on their website. And that will make you feel bad.

(Okay, okay. So Wil’s not really ripping on me so much as Brigita. But I did say he had issues. And we’re both really, really sorry. *sob*)

I’m perplexed. I’ve had a poll running on that asked, “Do you think it was all right for Danny’s father and Mr. Fox to steal food?” (If you’re not familiar, Danny the Champion of the World is about a son who discovers his father’s pheasant poaching habit, and Fantastic Mr. Fox is about a family of foxes forced underground by farmers.) I wasn’t sure what to expect from the results. I mean, critics always accused Dahl of promoting immorality in his stories. But I read those books as a kid and I don’t remember them having any effect on me. Danny is one of my favorite books, and I’ve never shoplifted or poached anything. So I was curious to see what today’s kids would think.

The results surprised me: Fully three-quarters of the people who voted felt that theft could be justified. Granted, I’ll sorta go along with the idea that it’s okay if your family’s on the brink of starvation, but still. Thirty percent thought it was okay as long as the person you were stealing from was “bad and rich”. I put that option in as a joke!

Snookums and I were trying to deconstruct these results over lunch, and we didn’t make any headway. I was willing to write off kids as just amoral, but he thinks that maybe their universe (gleaned from stories, movies, parents, and teachers) leads them to believe that evil people must always be punished, which allows them to think of “villains” as not worthy of the same considerations as “heroes”. Which I can see. But I countered with the fact that a lot of people, when polled for their opinion, will respond with what they think is the “right answer” instead of what they really feel. So why didn’t more kids go for the “stealing is never right” option? I figured that they’d have had that drilled in their heads enough. He reckons that maybe I was creating a conflict by asking them to admit that their favorite author actually wrote about things that are wrong to do. Since they wouldn’t be at my site if they didn’t like Roald Dahl’s books, they vote the way they think he would.

I dunno. I’m not around kids enough these days. What do you guys think?

Hmmm. Yahoo News UK is claiming that Britney and Justin got engaged, but I’m not seeing that anywhere else on the Net.

Britain is going to stop prostitutes from advertising in phone booths. Good. As I said back in January, I hate using public telephones here for that very reason. But for all those hookers worried about a loss of revenue, I direct your attention to my Last Searches page. Judging from that, there seem to be an awful lot of Johns cruising on the Internet. If I were you, I’d be learnin’ some HTML. (And feel free to steal that traffic from me. It creeps me out to know that I’m the #2 result for “transvestite contact photos UK”.)

The GooniesAs my Goonies DVD finally arrived the other day, this whole week has been about sampling the delights on that disk. First of all, if you’re a fan of the film, go right now to Amazon and order this thing. It’s fantastic. The highlights:

  • Cyndi Lauper’s “Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough” video. I thought that this would just be the same one shown in Mikey’s house during the film, but in fact it was a mammoth two-parter featuring Cyndi, the kids from the movie, and a handful of WWF wrestlers. (Yeah, that was during Cyndi’s random WWF phase.) The plot has something to do with Cyndi’s parents’ gas station (Captain Lou Albano is her dad) being bought out by the Iron Sheik, Rowdy Roddy Piper, and Classy Freddy Blassy. But Cyndi finds a hole in the wall and a treasure map and they all end up chasing each other through the catacombs. The first video ends with Cyndi on the log bridge with enemies on either side of her. In the second one she’s captured with the Goonies and taken on board the pirate ship. They discover One Eyed Willie’s treasure and manage to escape back to the gas station. She tries to pay off the Iron Sheik, but he won’t take it. So Andre the Giant comes out and beats them all up. It’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen. Snookums, not having lived through that period (and not having had a younger brother into WWF) had no clue what the hell was going on.
  • “Making of ‘The Goonies’ Documentary.” This is a short little doc that looks like it was made for HBO or something. The best part is seeing the kids goofing off together and watching Richard Donner try to keep it all together.
  • Outtakes. These rock! You get to see the infamous “Octopus” scene that Data refers to at the end but was cut from the original release. Basically, when the kids are swimming over to the ship this octopus is brushing Stef’s leg and she thinks Mouth’s doing it. They argue until the thing surfaces right behind them. It grabs them and everybody’s freaking out. Data dives down underwater, pulls a tape player out of his bag, turns it on, and stuffs it in the octopus’s mouth. Apparently cephalopods don’t like loud rock and roll, because the thing drops the kids and scurries off shaking. It’s some of the worst effects I’ve ever seen and it’s definitely for the best that they cut it. You also get to see a few other deleted scenes, including one in the 7-11 where Troy almost burns the map.
  • Cast commentary. This is the best part of all. It starts out by showing you everyone all grown up (exactly as they were in the picture I linked to) and then the movie starts. Some of them, like Jeff Cohen (“Chunk”), have obviously watched the movie several times since it was released. Others, like Martha Plimpton (“Stef”), sounded like they hadn’t seen it since it was finished. Those two were actually my favorite commentators. Jeff kept pointing out little bloopers that he’s noticed that no one ever caught (he calls Josh Brolin “Josh” instead of “Brand” in one scene), and Martha just keeps ripping on her own performance. At the other end of the spectrum was Corey Feldman (“Mouth”), who comes off looking like the biggest loser ever. He talks constantly and keeps dropping names about all the other movies he was in. He’s the type of guy that will make a joke and no one will laugh, so he’ll assume they didn’t hear him and repeat it louder. Martha told a great story about how he came to her trailer one day and just repeated everything she said for half an hour, so she beat the crap out of him. That was funny. Richard Donner seems to have mellowed in his later years, and he gets in a few good lines. Sean Astin (“Mikey”) is only there for the first half hour, and the rest of the cast makes fun of him after he leaves. “Data” (since I can’t spell his real name) doesn’t say a heck of a lot, but the girls do persuade him to repeat his famous line, “I am wondering, what is in the bag?” Kerri Green (“Andi”) doesn’t say a lot, but she comes off as okay. And Josh Brolin (“Brand”) is just hot. Damn hot. And we’ll leave it at that.

So anyway, I think they’ve put together one of the best DVD packages I’ve seen. You should definitely get it.

And Goran falls even further in my estimation…

Sparky pointed to an interesting story about research on “parasitic computing” that’s being done at my alma mater. Dude, if the guys in charge (i.e. the priests) find out about this, I bet they shut it down. Forcing random webservers to covertly do your bidding doesn’t sound very nice and Catholic.

Nat(NOTE: This post is probably only going to be interesting to people I went to school with, so feel free to skip if that doesn’t include you.)

Anyway, so I just had a nice IM chat with my good friend Nathaniel Cunningham (yes, he of “Turducken” fame). Not only did he point me to this way cool webcam the grad students have set up at his University, but he informed me that a friend of ours from college named Eric “Hoey” Robben is getting married soon. Hoey was in one of Notre Dame’s greatest bands, The Meteors. You can even download their mp3s. I know it’s a bit of a random post, but it was just so great to hear from/about people at home. I feel so out of the loop here sometimes. I miss college.

Notice anything different? I just read this post on Steve’s site and it got me to thinkin’. Why do I put the sidebar on the left? I use PCs and Macs equally, so I’m not sure I buy into that theory. And Steve’s point about text-based browsers is very valid. I think usability is important and I want to cater to as wide an audience as possible (not to mention the fact that Snookums has been known to use Lynx to browse now and again). So I’m doing an experiment. What do you think? Does it seem more natural to have the sidebar stuff on the right? Please take a second to vote in the poll and let me know what you think.

I know it’d be devastating and kill people and all, but I still can’t help thinking that a 45 ft. tidal wave would be a pretty cool sight. I mean, if you’re gonna go, you might as well go in a big-ass natural disaster.