Gwnewch y pethau bychain

Five things You Should Be Paying Attention To

I often get scolded for finding Good Stuff here and there and forgetting to tell people about it. So here’s the beginning of an irregular feature, where I collect cool things for your consideration. I’m hoping this will be more than just link sausage, but we’ll see how long my attention span holds out.

  • Around the World With Nellie Bly and Drawing Conclusions
    Around the world… and Drawing Conclusions are a pair of newspaper features prepared weekly by Glenn Falls Post-Star editor and rec.arts.comics.strips regular Mike Peterson. Each week, Around the World… takes a focused look at a current events story, while Drawing Conclusions examines how editorial cartoons address the world around us. Aimed primarily at middle-schoolers, these features are an excellent resource for teachers, whether public, private, or home-school, and are well written and engaging enough to be thought provoking to adults as well. Go check out Nellie Bly’s webpage.

    As a bonus, Mike’s blog is syndicated right here to Livejournal by adding nellieblogs to your friends list. Mike is definitely one of the people who makes rec.arts.comics.strips worth reading on a daily basis, and his blog contains useful thoughtfood as well.

  • Medium Large
    Speaking of comics, there are any number of webcomics you just have to read, and first among them is Ces Marciuliano’s wickedly funny pop-culture riff Medium Large. By day, Marciuliano is largely unknown as the current talent behind the syndicated strip Sally Forth, but in his spare time, he reels off one of the most hysterical and off-kilter webstrips on the net, five days a week. While the strip does include some amusing repeat gags, most notably centered on the “hit WB show Teenage Girl President”, the strip is at its best when it takes right angles to pop-culture icons. The BC parody in Week 46 is one of my favourites.

    Medium Large can be syndicated to Livejournal via mediumlarge.

  • Inside The Actors Studio
    While its improbable that most of you aren’t familiar with Jame’s Lipton’s amazing interview program on the Bravo Network, this is my journal and you have to indulge me. Truth is, I long ago ceased bothering to tune in when my favourite actors appear on talk-and-gawk shows (Leno, Letterman, and the like) because its really just another performance, most of the time. Inside The Actors Studio is one of the few places where your really get a chance to see the people who craft most of our better entertainment as real people. Lipton is probably one of the best interviewers working on television: prepared, probing, and clearly fascinated with his subjects. He also knows what many journalists have never learned, which is when to shut up and let his subject talk, and when to draw his subject towards the topic he wants to explore. It doesn’t hurt that he’s an unashamed fan in every sense of the word, and because he focuses on the life and work of his subjects rather than whatever their current project is, it humanizes the various actors and performers who appear on his stage and gives us a glimpse behind the masks and glamours. There are many worse ways to spend an hour than watching someone have an hour long chat about the craft of performance with James Lipton.

    If you don’t get the Bravo Network, Inside the Actors Studio can now be downloaded from iTunes.

  • Paste Magazine
    If you’re a music junkie like me, and want to keep up with what’s going on outside the mainstream, then you need Decatur, GA based Paste Magazine. The magazine is jam-packed each issue with well-written articles reviewing albums, films, books, and concerts, but what really makes it worth the $8 you’ll plop down every issue is the CD, which contains a couple of dozen tracks from a variety of mostly independent artists. Some you’ll have heard of, some you won’t. You won’t like every track. But good gosh, what a great grab-bag of new music, every issue, for half of what normal CD costs.

  • The Show with Zefrank
    Who is Zefrank? I have no idea. I don’t even remember now how I found this very odd video blog. Every weekday, The Show with Zefrank features about 3-5 minutes of stream of conscious monologuing, commentary, and reaction to viewer comments from this Brooklyn-based humorist. “Good morning, sports racers,” he signs on every morning, and then he’s off to the races himself with whatever has caught his eye, talking directly into the closely zoomed camera. The pace of the monologues is frentic and sharply edited, and the commentary is at turns thought provoking, amusing, and sometimes just downright silly, and I’ve grown to look forward to my daily moment of Zefrank every morning. He’s thinking so you don’t have to….give him a try.

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16 Comments

  1. My favorite bit from “Studio”. The final survey on Lawrence Fishburne:

    Lipton: “What’s your favorite curse word?”
    “M——f—-“, Fishburne rumbles, sounding for all the world like James Earl Jones.

    “Wait. I just have to interrupt here and ask, how do you make that sound so good?!

    Fishburne doesn’t hesitate, and uses that same rolling rumble: “Prrractice.”

    Yeah.

    • *grin* Did you see the one with Samual L. Jackson?

      Lipton: What’s your favourite word?
      SLJ: M—-f—--.

      (slightly later)
      Lipton: Now we come to perhaps the most redundant question I’ve ever asked in one of these interviews….what’s your favourite curse word?
      SLJ: (sheepishly): M—-f——.

      *grin*

  2. You are evil. I am up to week 26 in Medium Large now.

    “You Shook Me All Night Long” by Tori Amos? *glip* My brain hurts. If Whitney Houston covered “Given the Dog a Bone,” please don’t tell me about it.

    • Heh. Tori does a lot of odd covers in her live shows, and then makes the bootlegs of those tracks freely available.

      Haven’t come across a Houston/ACDC cover yet, but if I find one, I’ll be sure not to tell you. 😉

  3. Ha! Weird that I hadn’t yet found “Medium Large” -- I’m so into webcomics I have to read a list of web comics as long as my arm every day to keep up… :o)

    And it’s so good to have a new unexplored archive of comics waiting. :oD

    • There will probably be more as this irregular series progresses. I was trying to keep it down to not more than one type of thing per list, so this list has one blog, one comic, one tv show, one magazine, and one…other.

      And yeah, finding a GOOD new comic strip is always a goodness!

      • Although, progressing through the archive, I have to admit defeat -- I’m quite American pop culture savy, but many of those references are just lost to me… :o/

        • Well, if any specific ones pique your interest and you want an explaination, send me the URL to the specific strip and i”ll do my best. I may not know 100% of them, but I know most of them, and those I don’t know I know where to research. 🙂

          • Well -- it’s more or less every 4th or so strip -- all those referring to advertising figures, old tv shows and the like. Sometimes I can assume where the joke might be but it’s not really funny for me, then -- like if you have to explain a joke, the joke will be gone anyway. :o)

            But there’s enough stuff I do get. :oD And I’m only in the 20th archive week or so.

  4. Inside the Actors’ Studio is one of the most literate programmes on TV. I need to keep up with it more. My Sunday evenings, when not working, are spent with NPR, though. 🙂

  5. Ever notice that Zefrank’s show is edited almost entirely in the style of Max Headroom? 😉

    Part of why I like it.

  6. Don’t forget:

    eeee = aye aarrr

  7. I love Medium Large, but if you’d interested in a webcomic more along the lines of LMB’s work (space opera with likeable, well drawn characters) I’d heartily recommend Terinu by Peta Hewitt. Tis a fun read.

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