Rather than produce my own material, I'd rather just link to other people's work and then make comments. Lazy? Yes. Very. What's the problem?
I linked to this last week, but it deserves its own feature slot....Super Obama World. I haven't explored the whole game yet, but I can only presume that Joe Biden shows up at some point as Yoshi.
Here's a good interview with the Edge about U2's upcoming album. Honestly, by this point, I have no idea what to expect from this disc. It could be a double album, it could be a single disc of Moroccan folk tunes, it could be four albums that have to be played simultaneously to create the songs (The Flaming Lips actually did this, which is pretty awesome), it could be one CD released in stores and then a whole separate album of material released online. Who knows.
All I know is that U2 are coming dangerously closer to working themselves into a corner in a manner reminiscent of 1997. That was the year that U2 delivered their Pop album at literally the last minute, thus giving themselves less time to rehearse for their PopMart tour, which resulted in the first few shows of the tour being sloppy at best. The bad press gave both the album and the tour undeserved reputations as failures, which is unfortunate given that the tour was some of U2's best live work and the Pop album is (in my humble opinion) the best record they've ever produced save Achtung Baby and Joshua Tree. Maybe U2, contrary to what they themselves believe, work better when they have a set deadline. Their recording process actually reminds me of how I used to write essays in university. I'd get the assignment and then pretty much just fuck around for the next three weeks before finally writing 98% of it the night before it was due.
(My essay-writing work ethic took a steady decline throughout school. In high school I was the kind of browner kid who'd have things done days before they were due. In first year, it turned into working on them the night before. In second year it became pulling an all-nighter to finish. In third year it was taking full advantage of the UWO English department's 'grace days' policy. In fourth year, I was having debates with myself along the lines of 'Well, if I only lose two percent for every day it's late, it's really not a huge loss if I take another night to polish things up.' It was really quite the deterioration. If you're wondering, I got grades between 78-84 on literally everything no matter how much or little effort I gave, which made my deadline crunches alternately amusing and bemusing.)
It would be unfortunate, however, if U2 releases this album in February and have only a limited time to properly rehearse a tour that by all accounts is still on track to begin in April or May. I've never understood why U2 need literally months to rehearse before going out on the road, but hey, if that's what they need to deliver their legendary concerts, whatever floats their boat. I guess an option could be to push a tour back to July, start it in Europe so they can play in the outdoor stadiums while it's still feasible weather-wise, and then tour the arenas in North America through the fall and winter. Take a break next spring (and maybe release the U2 version of Bono and Edge's songs for the Spider-Man Broadway musical in early 2010) and then tour to their heart's content in 2010 in arenas, stadiums, my living room, wherever in North America, Europe, South America, Australasia, etc.
Or, don't release the album at all, and continue to work on it until 2019 when it's finally released under the title of "Irish Democracy." Sixty-year-old Bono with cornrows will be quite the sight to see.
BTW, if U2 are looking for a name for any of these possible releases, look no further than the Edge's new guitar pedal. 'Death By Audio' would be a much more bad-ass name than 'No Line On The Horizon.'
From the Colbert Report last week, a hilarious bit about the use of the term 'base ball' in a Jane Austen novel, thus perhaps giving the British a claim to the sport's initial creation. As Colbert put it...
"Austen wasn't writing about American baseball. It was a Jane Austen version, where the ball is not hurled about rudely, but introduced to the bat through proper channels at a society function. And one does not steal bases like a commoner; one sends word ahead to the next base by messenger, requesting permission to approach at the base's leisure. Of course, what the bat cannot reveal is that though he loves the ball desperately, he has sworn an oath of loyalty to the glove to whom the ball was promised. So the bat must pretend he hates the ball, swatting at it, though he wishes nothing more than to profess his undying affection, but he can't, he mustn't, he shan't! And so, the bat must retreat to the gardens of his estate and... pine."
Every word that Kristen Bell says in this interview about liking this season of Heroes is a lie. What she's actually saying is, using my trusty bullshit-to-English Babelfish modulator, is "Man, am I ever kicking myself for not joining Lost instead of this deadbeat show." Given the near-universal panning that this season of Heroes is receiving, I'm glad I never started watching the show. You might my Heroes boycott odd, given my proclivity for all things superhero, but that's a double-edged sword; it's hard for me to watch a show inspired by comic stories without the show seeming like a half-assed rehash of a hundred stories I've already heard told in a more clever way 15 years ago. This also sums up why I never got into watching Smallville.*
I still can't believe that Bell (allegedly) picked Heroes over Lost due to the fact that she didn't want to spend nine months of the year living in Hawaii. This excuse became all the crappier when she then immediately went off to shoot Forgetting Sarah Marshall in, you guessed it, Frank Stall...er, Hawaii. Just a poor decision all-around, Kristen. Just think, she could've been revving up for another unbelievable season of Lost right now in the role of Charlotte. And with her in the role, Charlotte would've likely been given more to do last season than just cast furtive looks whenever Daniel Faraday said something off-kilter --- btw, there's no truth to the rumour that Rebecca Mader's prep for the role involved studying the Simpsons episode featuring the dog with the shifty eyes. The only possible downside is that Bell would've had Jeremy Davies as a romantic interest instead of Zachary "Skyler" Quinto, but, on the other hand, the guy's name is Zachary Quinto. His initial are fucking Z.Q. If he got a monogrammed robe, it would look like an unplayable Scrabble rack.
And just for kicks, here's another bonus Kristen Bell link about her childhood crush. On a scale of 1-10, how upset do you think Mrs. Osgood was about reading that article? I'm guessing roughly a 47. See, how it becomes clear that Bell didn't want to move to Hawaii since by staying in Los Angeles, she could attend Kings games and wait for Osgood after the game. See, you this is the mark of true veteran leadership on a hockey team. Any NHLer can score a decent-looking puck bunny (well, except maybe these guys), but when you're a 36-year-old goalie and you're still able to make a young starlet weak in the knees, that's truly impressive. Also, dammit, Kristen Bell likes the Wings? This is just another reason why I should've been a Red Wings fan. I could've seduced her with a throaty recitation of Kirk Maltby's career stats. I was once told I have a good voice for phone sex, so adjusting that to be a good stat-reciter-sex-guy (name pending) can't be too hard.
* = Apparently Doomsday is a character on this season of Smallville. WTF? How is that even possible? To quote the late Johnnie Cochran**, it just doesn't make any sense.
** = Isn't it weird that Johnnie Cochran is dead? I'm always thinking that he's still alive and kicking, making up rhymes and delivering theatrical closing remarks to a jury.
Dwight's 'perfect crime' monologue from last week's episode of The Office. Just brilliant.