Archive for September, 2010



falling rock: the movie

What cartoonist hasn’t thought about who should play their characters on the big screen?  Movies, or films, or “moving filmed pictures,” have long held a fascination with me.  Sigmund Freud said that movies fulfill our subconscious desire to sleep with Thomas Edison.  Whether that is true or not, I remain an avid movie-watcher.

So who should play each character in the inevitable Welcome to Falling Rock National Park movie?  Here are my suggestions.

Ranger DeeZooey Deschanel

Zooey-Deschanel-park-ranger Zooey_Deschanel_park-ranger-2Everybody’s favorite park ranger is sometimes called* the heart of the comic.  Who better to play the emotional center of Falling Rock: The Movie than the girl who stole M. Ward’s heart?

Carver – Jason Schwartzman

jason_schwartzmanCarver the cranky owl needs a wry voice tinged with world-weariness.  Rushmore introduced us to a young Jason Schwartzman as a world-weary high school student.  Fantastic Mr. Fox proved he has the chops for voice work, and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World proved he can play a great antagonist.

ErnestoTony Hale

tony-haleWho better to play the lovable clothes-wearing lizard than the actor who partly inspired him?  Tony Hale is better known to the world as Buster Bluth on the short-lived TV show Arrested Development.  I’m not actually sure why that show got canceled because everyone I know has seen it.  Timid, somewhat stunted, yet with the potential for catastrophe, Buster Bluth could easily pass as Ernesto’s human cousin.

Pam –who else? – Lauren Bacall

lauren_bacallPam, the chain-smoking retired schoolteacher, can’t be played by just any dame.  Pam needs to be played by a wiseacre, a mystery, a worldly woman.  I can’t think of anyone better than the living embodiment of noir: Ms. Bacall.

MelissaAni DiFranco

Ani DiFranco

Melissa the mountain lion was a difficult character to cast.  At first I thought Nicole Kidman.  Then my thoughts turned to singers.  Norah Jones?  Cat Power?  I heard Ani DiFranco interviewed on the Sound Opinions podcast and realized her voice would be perfect for the mellow but fierce cat.

Featuring a theme song written and performed by Bob Dylan, Jack Johnson, and Jeff Tweedy (under the name Wilbury & Sons), Falling Rock: The Movie will surely rake in Tom-Cruise-in-the-early-90’s money.  Oh, and it will definitely be in 3D.

*only by me




friday robots

Happy Labor Day, American readers!  Happy Labour Day, Canadian readers!
Have a good long weekend.friday-robots-9-3-10
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women are quitters

Amelia Earhart Beside Her Plane, ca. 1930sIt has come to my attention that a lot of women are quitting lately.  What’s up, ladies?  Can’t take the pressure?

Women weren’t always so easily beaten.

Cathy Guisewite draws Cathy, the comic strip.  After 34 years of making fun of mothers, swimsuits, and chocolate, the Notorious C.A.T. is calling it quits.  There aren’t many female syndicated cartoonists.  Heck, there aren’t many syndicated cartoonists period anymore, and Guisewite was one of those few who gained phenomenal worldwide fame.  Even though it apparently only takes an hour a month to write a daily comic strip, Guisewite has decided that the burden of “Cathy” is too great for her to bear.

Oprah Winfrey is retiring from her daytime talk show (“The Cosby Show”) next year.  The Big O put the small Illinois suburb of Chicago on the map.  She pioneered the reading of secular literature, campaigned for President Obama, and has the unprecedented honor of appearing on every cover of O Magazine.  But all her achievements stem from her humble TV show.  The show is the heart of Oprah, and Oprah has decided to rip out her own heart.

You know who doesn’t quit?  MEN.  Men have a much better track record when it comes to “gittin’ ‘er done.”

In the movie Predator, Dutch (played by a young unknown named Arnold Schwarzenegger) goes toe-to-toe against an alien who hunts people for sport.  This alien can camoflauge itself by becoming invisible.  It has weapons mere mortals cannot dream of.  And yet, in the end, Dutch blows up the Predator with the equivalent of a nuclear bomb.  Dutch survives this catastrophe by hiding behind the fallen trunk of a tree.

Do you think Dutch wanted to call it quits?  When the Predator killed every other member of Dutch’s party, did Dutch throw his arms up in the air and admit defeat?  No.  Dutch finished the job.

In the comic strip The Family Circus, Billy wants to be an artist.  His problem is, he stinks.  The kid can’t draw.  Oh, Billy’s dad (“Dad”) occasionally lets the boy take over when he’s hung over.  But that’s only temporary.  You know why?  It’s Jeffy, Billy.  It’s always been Jeffy.  Look at the signature beside the circle.  Does it say “Billy and Bil Keane”?  No, it does not.  “JEFF and Bil Keane” is what it says.  Jeffy is already taking over The Family Circus, Billy.  Jeffy, your kid brother, has usurped you.

Billy knows he’s never going to get The Family Circus.  At best, he’ll be lighting Jeffy’s cigars and filling the tires of his Lexus.  But does Billy quit?  No.  He keeps submitting his hokey drawings to Dad, and as long as Dad is around, Billy will occasionally get his drawings into the daily paper.

Dear readers, I can hear your complaints already: “Kid Shay, both women you mention are real people who have achieved a level of success anybody would find admirable, whereas your male examples are fictional characters.”  Does this make my point moot?  Does it disqualify this entire post?  Am I practicing yellow journalism?

To my critics, I will respond with a question.  As my partner blogger so eloquently says: “Why do you hate America?”

Seacrest out.

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light is moving as fast as it can, people

C’mon, give light a break.  It already travels at 299,792,458 meters per second.  Asking for more is greedy.

latest
Our sun.  Stop taking it for granted!
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Example of gravitational lensing.  Even when light is bent, it moves real fast.
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mcbone: the book

After years of research, cubic tons of wine consumed, and countless revisions, the official book of partner blogger McBone has arrived: P1220006

Wine Appreciation is not just a textbook on the best use of grapes.  It is a way of life.  A better life than the one you’re leading right now, dear readers.

It turns out that a better life can be had through knowledge.  Knowledge and heavy drinking.  Sorry: knowledge about heavy drinking.  It’s like the Buddhists say: do anything with full consciousness and you’re on the road to enlightenment.  Even if the thing you’re doing will soon lead to unconsciousness.

Taking a boring Calculus class?  Tell your professor to spice it up by switching text books!  Think about how much funner Calculus would be if Calculus was all about drinking wine.

Wine Appreciation, ostensibly by a man named “Christian Butzke,” could never have been realized without the hard work and dedication of another man:P1220009

Behind every great man, there is a McBoner.

Cheers to my friend, colleague, fellow blogospherian, and wine lover.  A toast!