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Posted at 11:15 AM ET, 06/25/2008

When Summer Movies Break the Law

By Jen Chaney

Ladies, you did well at the box office. You can afford those fancy gowns. (New Line)

We hold certain truths about summer blockbusters to be self-evident. We presume the movies that generate the most money (and buzz) will: star young, hot actors; feature tons of explosions; appeal primarily to fight-scene-obsessed males in their teens and twenties; and/or attract the attention of little kids who will drag their parents to see said movies again and again and again until Mom and Dad secretly wish that Nemo would just stay lost already and give them some peace.

With a few sleeper-hit exceptions, those tenets usually remain steadfastly in tact. But the summer of 2008 has been an unusual one. During its first few weeks, this cinema season has challenged several blockbuster truths in surprising and (in my view) encouraging ways.

Here's a look at the lessons we have learned so far:

1
Old Guys Can Generate Cash

"Iron Man" is the top-grossing movie of the summer and the year so far. And who stars in the role of corporate superhero with a conscience? Mr. Robert Downey, Jr., a guy who turned 43 earlier this year. He's not just old enough to remember when "Less Than Zero" came out, he was in "Less Than Zero."

Then there's Harrison Ford, a man who carried "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" to mega-blockbuster status (it has earned more than $683 million worldwide) just a few weeks before his 66th (66th!) birthday. Granted, the enthusiasm about "Crystal Skull" has been lukewarm at best, but that doesn't change the fact that it's brought in some serious bucks. When considered alongside "Iron Man" and "The Incredible Hulk" -- a re-do starring 38-year-old Edward Norton that's poised to break the $100 million mark in the next few days -- it's proof that a few wrinkles and the wisdom that comes with experience can indeed be attractive to summer moviegoers.

2
Female Audiences Can Show Hollywood the Money

Boys and young men tend to be the most coveted movie-going demographic. But after the tremendous success of "Sex and the City," which brought the Manolo masses to theaters and generated a strong $57 million in its opening weekend, that may change. Granted, the "Sex" (ahem) fell off noticeably in subsequent weeks. But the HBO adaptation -- which undeniably attracts mostly female ticket-buyers -- has still rung up an impressive $272.1 million worldwide, verification that, yes, women of a certain age can indeed put Dior-draped butts in the seats.

Proof that the femme trend may continue? The very healthy $44,000 per-screen average earned by "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl" in its limited release last week. Given the popularity of the American Girl dolls -- which generate, and this is just a rough estimate, a jillion badillion dollars in revenue -- this is another female-centric film that could be a huge summer hit.

3
Retro Cartoons With Big Fan-Boy Bases Don't Necessarily Translate Into Big Box Office

On paper, "Speed Racer" sounded like it would be one of 2008's top flicks. A movie designed for kids but based on a cartoon with a major cult following among Gen X parents, it should have packed houses.

Instead, it's been one of the season's biggest disappointments. It only made $42 million in the States and $82.5 million worldwide, which means it still has a ways to go before it breaks even. Personally, I'm still puzzled by this one. You can't explain the failure by simply calling "Speed" a bad movie. I mean, "Wild Hogs" racked up $168 million and you can't tell me that's because of its nuanced portrayal of motorcycle culture.

The point is, I've seen worse that made better. Again, another example of summer-movie conventional wisdom getting blown right off the racetrack.

4
A Craptastic Economy Doesn't Mean a Dip in Movie Attendance

With the stress of hefty gas prices, high unemployment and increasingly expensive groceries, you'd think Americans would say, "We have to cut back. No movies for a while." Instead they seem to be saying, "Life sucks. Let's go see 'Kung Fu Panda.'"

As this L.A. Times article notes, Hollywood revenue has been up for the past four consecutive weekends as compared to this time last year. And that's during a summer with notably few sequels, only one crummy but lucrative Adam Sandler comedy and "The Love Guru," a flick that looks bad enough to make all Americans develop a taste aversion to cineplexes. With a new Pixar release and the annual Will Smith-4th-of-July epic on the way, one can assume that upward trend will continue.

So no matter what, ladies and gentlemen, we Americans will press on, continuing to spend our hard-earned dollars on summer movies that, hopefully, will flummox box-office analysts for weeks to come.

By Jen Chaney  | June 25, 2008; 11:15 AM ET
Categories:  Pop Culture  
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Comments

Hé, grosses personnes ! Calmez vers le bas !

Posted by: Sasquatch Le Pew | June 25, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

So 43 is "old", is it, Jen? You sure know how to hurt a guy.

Posted by: byoolin's picture in the attic just got another wrinkle. | June 25, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Sasquatch - vous rockez!

Posted by: m.a.t. | June 25, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

That's okay Byool. If Jen is old enough to moderate, she's old enough for us.

Posted by: Dirty Old Sasquatch | June 25, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Not a bad translation, 'Squatch. Maman byoolin would have opted for the simpler & less formal, "Restez tranquille, toie!"

Posted by: byoolin | June 25, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

What can I say, Byool? Mon Français est rouillé. Remerciez Dieu de Babelfish.

Posted by: Sasquatch Poutine | June 25, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Eet eez part of our sharm to be able to booshwack celebrities en Francais.

Noblesse oblige and all that merde, oui?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 25, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Nice use of "booshwack," ma vieille.

Speaking of which, Speed Racer sold $42M worth of tickets domestically? If tix are $8 a pop, that means that slightly more than 5 million Americans said to themselves, "Yeah, sure, I'd pay to see *that*."

They could have given out fins to crackheads, set the three ones on fire and *still* have made a better decision.

Posted by: byoolin | June 25, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Tabernac!

If 43 is old, I may as well lay down and die.

Posted by: new england | June 25, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

hey, wasn't st jean baptiste day YESTERDAY?

Posted by: ol | June 25, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I'd just like to take this opportunity to say that I serrously disliked the bridesmaid dresses in Sex and the City.

That is all for this moment.

Posted by: Sully | June 25, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

So 43 is "old", is it, Jen? You sure know how to hurt a guy.

Posted by: byoolin's picture in the attic just got another wrinkle. | June 25, 2008 11:38 AM

****
Tabernac!

If 43 is old, I may as well lay down and die.

Posted by: new england | June 25, 2008 11:59 AM

**********

This from the folks who still can't help but giggle over "Yo fatties carm down" and "dingleberries?"

Puh-leese, you are only as old as your humor, which, apparently makes the average age in here somewhere around 12. Please keep it up!

Posted by: sunnydaze | June 25, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Sully, I completely agree. When I saw the production stills of those and the bird/feather thing in SJP's hair, I sincerely hoped it was a dream sequence. Alas, it was not.

Posted by: Wikijen | June 25, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Sunny, you're correct about our age level here in the hut.

I was just about to suggest a fartnoise contect. We probably need to make Sasquatch the judge to get him out of the competition.

(do 12-year-olds still think farts are funny?)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 25, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

The reason "Speed Racer" bombed at the box office is that it was NEVER a popular cartoon. I have not located anyone (Gen Xer's) who watched it as a child; and found that many people had never heard of the original series. It neve had a chance at success.

Posted by: LW | June 25, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

arcs-en-ciel et licornes

Posted by: Jésus | June 25, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I like the French.
They taste just like chicken.

Posted by: Hannibal Lecter | June 25, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I watched Speed Racer. It was perfect entertainment for 18 minutes (airtime, minus heaps of commercials for toys and sugary cereal.)

Now, if Will Smith and Robert Downey Jr. want to re-make Ultraman and/or Johnny Socko (same show, n'cest pas?) I'm there.

Posted by: MoCoSnarky | June 25, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

arcs-en-ciel et licornes

Posted by: Jésus | June 25, 2008 12:32 PM
********************************

Ou est les chatons?

Posted by: Argile | June 25, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

From 'Pop Tarts' on foxnews.com (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,370590,00.html):

Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt "turned up at Frank Ryan's Bony Pony Ranch Fundraiser in Malibu on Sunday....

"Montag said she was never actually serious about her recent single "Higher," which was slammed for the Spencer-directed homemade music video that showed Heidi hopping up and down the beach.

"Pratt said that they're also planning to launch a massive social networking site to be "bigger than MySpace and bigger than Facebook."

"The couple also admitted that the Beckhams are their branding inspiration -- although they seemed pretty sure that the "Speidi" name will certainly surpass their British counterparts."

'SPEIDI'? That's *our* thing!

Posted by: byoolin can't wait to see this networking site. | June 25, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon, I think 12 year olds DO think farts and all other potty humor is funny, but maybe we should agree that the average Lizard age is closer to 7 then 12? Just to be on the safe side?

And my entry into the contest:

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPTTTTTTTTTTTT!

Hey Hannibal, I just had the most lovely French salad - I mean chicken salad sandwich for lunch. Sadly, no fava beans. I DID have some freedom fries, though.

I watched the Speed Racer cartoon when I was a kid. I loved Trixie and Chim chim (?) the monkey. I haven't seen and probably won't see the movie just because I don't think it would translate well. I guess I should not that I haven't seen ANY movies at the theater in I-can't-remember-how-long due to having a no-sleeping-little-baby.

Posted by: sunnydaze | June 25, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

You need to age celebrities different than real people. That's all Jen is saying here.

One year in Harrison Ford years is like 2 years for a normal person. Three, now that he's dating Calista Flockhart.

One year in Ed Norton years is like 1.5 years for a normal person.

One year in Robert Downey Jr. years is like 3 years for a normal person. (He's in Lindsay Lohan territory. Yes I realize I just set off the Lindsay bomb and we should be getting a response post in 5...4...3...2...1...)

Posted by: MoCoSnarky | June 25, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

tony stark is an old guy with a conscience?

no... he's a drunk egomaniac with moments of remorse

and a craptastic economy sinks all boats eventually

Posted by: Quintilius Varus | June 25, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Also, same site says Hulkster oversaw Brooke's photo shoot for Maxim.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,371263,00.html

Posted by: byoolin sez 'move over, Billy Ray.' | June 25, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I watched Speed Racer in the 70s. Here in DC it was on Channel 20 along with other Japanese imports like UltraMan, Kimba the White Lion, and Marine Boy.

That said, I had no interest in seeing the movie.

Posted by: Sparky | June 25, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

'SPEIDI'? That's *our* thing!

Posted by: byoolin can't wait to see this networking site. | June 25, 2008 12:55 PM

****
Sorry byoolin, but they did christen themselved "Speidi" to which we lizards said, now just hold on a dang minute because that sounds way too cool for the likes of these twits. Then we came up with Heincer, which I think we can all agree fits them much better.

Posted by: sunnydaze hates to correct byoolin | June 25, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

(do 12-year-olds still think farts are funny?)

*********

I can attest that 12 year old boys think farts are extremely funny. They're even funnier when followed by a loud, hearty belch.

Posted by: Groovis does not want to pull your finger | June 25, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

since today is french day can tomorrow be german day? it just seems like a natural progression to me.

Posted by: melissamac1 | June 25, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

since today is french day can tomorrow be german day? it just seems like a natural progression to me.

Posted by: melissamac1 | June 25, 2008 1:00 PM
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Just declare it German Day, and the French will surrender.

Posted by: Maginot | June 25, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

sunnyd, I stand corrected.

Posted by: byoolin does. He stands corrected. | June 25, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I luuuuuuved Speed Racer as a kid. But the reviews were so bad I said I'll wait for the DVD.

I'm sure the visuals were great but you still need a good story & as somone else said, Speed had entertaining 18 minute stories that just can't translate into bigger things.

Though I was tempted by Matthew Fox as Racer X.....**Homer drooley noise**

Posted by: Bored @ work | June 25, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

yah - stimme ich für den deutschen Tag.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I remember Less than Zero. It's not THAT old. It came out in .... Oh wait, never mind.

I watched Speed Racer as a kid. Which is why I avoided the live action movie. I knew they would try to make it "relevant" for kids today. Which means dumber than the original and not fun.

BTW, Jen really loves us. We got a morning mix and a main post out of her. Something the les autres substitutes didn't bother doing.

Posted by: ep | June 25, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

The reason "Speed Racer" bombed at the box office is that it was NEVER a popular cartoon. I have not located anyone (Gen Xer's) who watched it as a child; and found that many people had never heard of the original series. It neve had a chance at success.

Posted by: LW | June 25, 2008 12:32 PM

--------------------------------------
I think it had more to with the fact that is sucked that caused it to bomb tremendously. Not to mention the seizure inducing color scheme. I couldn't even watch the previews without getting a migraine.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Good catch, SunnyD. "Heincer" makes me so happy! It's hilarious! It sounds related to the fart-noise contest!

Posted by: Fruitfly | June 25, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Ik stem voor Nederlands! Al de te gekke personaliteiten komen uit Amsterdam!

Posted by: Andere Liz | June 25, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

The only Dutch I know is "Ik spreek geen Nederlands."

Well, that and a rude phrase comparing a person to a part of a farmer's anatomy.

Posted by: byoolin | June 25, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

French, German, I knew I should have studied a non-dead language in high school.

Farts are always funny.

Posted by: Dorkus of the Maximii | June 25, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I watched Speed Racer in the 70s. Here in DC it was on Channel 20 along with other Japanese imports like UltraMan, Kimba the White Lion, and Marine Boy.

Posted by: Sparky | June 25, 2008 12:57 PM
------------

Someone else who remembers Kimba the White Lion? Every day after school, Channel 20 (Captain 20, anyone?).

Posted by: jes | June 25, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I think of Jen Chaney as our favorite aunt who spoils us with 2 posts in one day and always has gum in her purse.

Posted by: jes | June 25, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Someone else who remembers Kimba the White Lion? Every day after school, Channel 20 (Captain 20, anyone?).

Posted by: jes | June 25, 2008 1:16 PM
________________________________________

"Live long and win many prizes." Same dude also played Count Gore de Vol and Bozo.

Posted by: Sparky | June 25, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

The clue to "Speedracer" is all in two words: "cult following". No money in cults unless you lead one.

Posted by: Stick | June 25, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

early 40's here and can barely remember speed racer. but on the other hand Ultraman!? OMG i'd give my right eyetooth to see that made into a full length movie. For something more current i have every intention of taking a vacation day to go see the live action Dragonball Movie!!!

Posted by: NALL92 | June 25, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I know a lot of Gen-Xers that watched, & LOVED, Speed Racer. That being said, I don't know anyone that actually saw the movie, but it sounds like very few people know anyone that saw the movie.

Posted by: tl | June 25, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to learn that phrase, byoolin. Dutch varies greatly by region. Where I'm from, what you all call splitting hairs, we call doing something rather naughty to ants.

Posted by: ol/al | June 25, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Jen, count me among the childhood Kimba fans. And Johnny Quest (Race!). And sometimes Speed Racer.

Posted by: hermespal | June 25, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

In Tokyo there is an indoor Ultraman amusement park. Honto ni sukoi desu.

Posted by: possum, whose brain is full of useless, but polite, Japanese phrases | June 25, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little too excited for the new X-Files movie. Muuuuuulder! Scully!

Posted by: ALC | June 25, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

yah - stimme ich für den deutschen Tag.

Posted by: | June 25, 2008 1:04 PM

Ich auch!

Posted by: B'more Katze- und deutsche Sprach- Geliebter | June 25, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Since there have been no other entries in the fart contest, that means I win, right?

Posted by: sunnydaze | June 25, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

No, sprechen ze Deutsche either (and I have no idea on the spelling as I am blocked by my works web sense from accessing most sites)
I will hold my breath and count to 10 until all of this foreign language stuff is over as my mental age is only 4.

Ein, Zwie, twa, quatro, cinco, six, seven, ocho, nine, ten

Posted by: dw | June 25, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Sunnydaze, you win. Here's your prize:

http://www.cafepress.com/americaunleaded.23836456?r=froogle&CMP=OTC:froogle

Posted by: Sasquatch Le Pew | June 25, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

See: the Great Depression.

Posted by: A Craptastic Economy Doesn't Mean a Dip in Movie Attendance | June 25, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Excellent! I would *so* wear that!

Posted by: sunnydaze | June 25, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

See: the Great Depression.

Posted by: A Craptastic Economy Doesn't Mean a Dip in Movie Attendance | June 25, 2008 2:12 PM

****

Query: Was a 1930 nickel equal to 2008 $8.00?

Posted by: sunnydaze gets all mathmatical | June 25, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Query: Was a 1930 nickel equal to 2008 $8.00?

Close, Sunnydaze. Actually, I think movie admissions in the 1930s were about a quarter, although my grandmother would also get a free dish or glass (this stuff is now considered collectible!).

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Sunnydaze [daze, daze, daze] is the fart [art, art] noise champion [ion] of the Celebritology Universe [verse, verse, verse].

(That was my announcer's echo chamber special effect.)

Step forward and claim your prize. But now you must withdraw your name from Emmy consideration.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 25, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line on the summer movie season, so far: If people are spending record amounts of money going to multiplexes to see the chicken$heet that Hollywood has crapped out so far, then the price of gasoline isn't high enough. As George Carlin might have said,
"There's always easy money to be made from Americans, because so many of them are Dumb-A$$ MotherF***ers."

Posted by: Sasquatch | June 25, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I would like to thank all the little people, especially the very height-challenged person standing behind me in line...

I hereby withdraw myself from consideration for the following awards: Emmy, Tony, Grammy, Razzi (sounds like a family reunion), Pulitzer, and Darwin. However, I remain in the running for a Nobel prize - I am not picky about the category. Thank you.

btw - love, love, LOVE the annoucer voice effect!

Posted by: sunnydaze | June 25, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't it one of Carlin's lines about how stupid the *average* American is and then just realize that half of them are even stupider (more stupid? Which half am I in?)

Posted by: sunnydaze | June 25, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I saw "Speed Racer" and commented a week or two ago that Susan Sarandon was way too old to play the mother of young kids.

The movie was dizzying and best seen sitting down in a big theater. Thrilling graphics -- at times overlapping and overwhelming -- combined with leaden exposition-filled talky scenes that bored my kids to tears.

The real crime was the uneven pacing of the movie overall. But if you're gonna see it, you gotta see it on the big screen.

When Speed won one of the races and mimicked the cartoon version's swagger and left arm pump, I laughed out load to the point of distracting everyone else and was instantly 10 years old again.

And I didn't even really watch the series as a kid (that is, before I got OLD, you know, past 43 years of age).

Posted by: td also remembers kimba and ultraman | June 25, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Sunnydaze [daze, daze, daze] is the fart [art, art] noise champion [ion] of the Celebritology Universe [verse, verse, verse].

(That was my announcer's echo chamber special effect.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 25, 2008 2:22 PM
--------------

Good one! Put it to music and you can remake the Safety Dance (Safe-afe-afe-afe ty-y-y-y Dance-ance-ance-ance) in sunnydaze's honor.

Posted by: td salutes sunnysunnysunny dazedazedaze | June 25, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

"I remain in the running for a Nobel prize - I am not picky about the category. Thank you." - Posted by: sunnydaze | June 25, 2008 2:27 PM

*********

And the Nobel Prizes in the categories of Physics, Chemistry and Literature go to sunnydaze for "Escape Velocities Of Bean-Dip Enhanced Exhaust Gases, The Trilogy."

Posted by: byoolin suspects sunnyd is in the upper 50%. | June 25, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"I have not located anyone (Gen Xer's) who watched it as a child"

LW, it wasn't so much Gen X'ers who watched Speed Racer but (gulp) baby boomers like my (apparently old) self. Like I posted earlier, I myself didn't really watch the show as a kid, but my (same age as me) wife was a huge fan.

Posted by: td also has a speed racer t-shirt | June 25, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so I'm a gen-xer that watched the Speed Racer as a kid and went to see the movie...and I really liked it. However, I don't think it was ripe for Walmartification. It wasn't blockbuster material, it just had a kid as the star - duh! The graphics were great (if you're into that sort of thing) and the camp was right on. You could tell that it was made by adults who loved the show. I don't think it lived up to it's marketing, but was fun to watch, kids or no.

Now I'm waiting for the G-Force movie! I'm gettin my anime on! (not that AniMay!)

Posted by: rachelt | June 25, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, td - I agree that Susan Sarandon was too old. And my husband is mystified by the whole Speed thing too, but was a good sport for going to the movie with me. (He enjoyed it too.)

Posted by: rachelt, who may have a speed racer beach towel | June 25, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Well, we've gone from Speedos to Speed Racer (and Race Bannon) in just a few days.

Are we sumpun, or what?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 25, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Can't have a German day without the German "Das Ist Nümberwang" from That Mitchell and Webb Look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJa7TAnR9SA

Posted by: £££ | June 25, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Sure, play the Race card.

Posted by: byoolin | June 25, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Sure, play the Race card.

Posted by: byoolin | June 25, 2008 3:05 PM

erp.

I feel sooooo Imus.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 25, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I THOUGHT we agreed on Heincer. That was our thing.

Posted by: £££ | June 25, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Good one! Put it to music and you can remake the Safety Dance (Safe-afe-afe-afe ty-y-y-y Dance-ance-ance-ance) in sunnydaze's honor.

Posted by: td salutes sunnysunnysunny dazedazedaze | June 25, 2008 2:38 PM
*****

That would be quite an honor! I love that song and when it comes on the radio, I turn it up and dance around, much to the horror of Mr. sunnydaze.

_________________
And the Nobel Prizes in the categories of Physics, Chemistry and Literature go to sunnydaze for "Escape Velocities Of Bean-Dip Enhanced Exhaust Gases, The Trilogy."

Posted by: byoolin suspects sunnyd is in the upper 50%. | June 25, 2008 2:40 PM
*****

Ha! Physics and Chem I get, but Literature? Well, nonetheless, I accept! And, I feel so much better having gotten that, ahem, off my chest...as my friend says, "better out than in."

Posted by: sunnydaze | June 25, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

What's the trilogy -- a three-bean salad?

Posted by: £££ | June 25, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

The Trilogy is sort of like the Hobbit stories only instead of a fantastical world it's about fantastical gas (or as we used to call it when my kids were little: seaterburps).

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 25, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

My partner and I traded in credit card points for movie tickets and have been dropping the kid off at the grandparents for a few hours most weekends. Saw Speed Racer and enjoyed it for what it is--definitely liked it better than the latest Indy offering (which was not bad for Indy, but suddenly made me realize what I don't like about the other movies).

Iron Man has been our favorite so far.

But then we both agree that we are 15-year-old boys inside.

Posted by: mouse | June 25, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Robert Downey Jr may be old by Jen's standards, but he is perfectly mellowed by mine (FYI, 26, female, Grade IV geek). Mmmmm.
...I'm sorry, we were talking, weren't we? My most enduring brush with Speed Racer comes courtesy of a Robert Smigel cartoon on SNL, which featured George Clooney's escapades against the paparazzi. I have been trying to find that blasted thing for years.

Posted by: Bawlmer sings the theme song: "Go, George Clooney, Go George Clooney, Go George Clooney, Go!!!" | June 25, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Ed Norton, just makes me smile these days. I was cheesin when I saw Hulk.

Also, I really enjoyed Speed Racer. It was the movie version of three mountain dews but I liked it.

Posted by: petal | June 25, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Mouse, is your partner Celebritology's Epony?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Sunny, you're correct about our age level here in the hut.

I was just about to suggest a fartnoise contect. We probably need to make Sasquatch the judge to get him out of the competition.

(do 12-year-olds still think farts are funny?)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 25, 2008 12:28 PM


I don't know about fart noise contests but I can belch out the alphabet and certain songs with ease. This gives my parents great concern.

Posted by: petal | June 25, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

yay we all spreakin deuth for german day! bratwurst and weiner schitzel all around! and beer, lets not forget beer. i did not watch speed racer as a child willingly, but my older brother, who was king of the indian burn, did and thus i spent much of my childhood wondering how old you have to be to drive in japan.

Posted by: melissamac1 | June 25, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

As far as I know, I am not acquainted with epony in real life. My partner claims that she doesn't read Celebritology.

But if she were epony, then my son would, as was suggested on this morning's post, be Eponymouse.

Posted by: mouse | June 25, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

yay we all spreakin deuth for german day! bratwurst and weiner schitzel all around! and beer, lets not forget beer.
**********************

Seem like tomorrow would be the perfect day for more scatalogical humor.

Mmmmmmmmbeer.

Posted by: Groovis Maximus salutes the Egyptians for inventing beer | June 25, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

. . . and beckham's brat and six pack . . .

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 25, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

sunnydaze, me no see movies either for the same reason! hey, we should not get together and not see SATC. i hear it's great!

Posted by: wats | June 25, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

leave it to crumudgeon to make german day a sex fest, but why not? they have topless beaches and parks there. lets all embrace our horney german. (or at least lets embrace curmudgeon's horney german)

Posted by: melissamac1 | June 25, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

BIER! Gut Deutsch bier! Eine anderen Pils, bitte. Of goed Belgisch bier. Één meer saison, tevreden! Moules et Frites tout autour.

Posted by: Sasquatch says Prosit! | June 25, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I went over to the "On Parenting" blog just to check it out for snarkiness. Wow - they are really, really mean over there. If any group of people need bratwurst and huge pitchers of beer, it's them. Or maybe they just need pictures of men in Speedos.

Posted by: Groovis M. | June 25, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

"What's the trilogy -- a three-bean salad?"

Posted by: £££ | June 25, 2008 3:11 PM

------------------------------------------
Not enough beans. We need an 8-bean salad so we can cover a full octave.

Posted by: Sasquatch | June 25, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I confess to watching Speed Racer and all those other bad cartoons. (I even watched *gasp* Diver Dan, which surely must be the worst cartoon ever. Worse even than Davey and Goliath.)

But I'm not surprised it didn't go over well. I think the original audience wasn't that big to start with, and it's been off the radar too long. It'd be like trying to bring something like Terry & the Pirates from the comix back--altho they may have made a movie from that, too, come to think of it. It probably ranked up there with Brenda Starr and The Phantom.

Posted by: alex is using a walker now | June 25, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Jen has a version of "Das Love Boot" kicking around somewhere. All those sweaty mans down there in that sub. I'll get out my dirndl.

Posted by: possum | June 25, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Sasquatch = The Music Man

Posted by: Heil Curmudgeon | June 25, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Groovis-

I continually swear I won't go to OP, or at least won't read the comments. But I had to see what got them riled up today. An introduction from a new guest blogger.

Just gets scarier every time I look.

Posted by: mouse | June 25, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I went over to the "On Parenting" blog just to check it out for snarkiness. Wow - they are really, really mean over there. If any group of people need bratwurst and huge pitchers of beer, it's them. Or maybe they just need pictures of men in Speedos.

Posted by: Groovis M. | June 25, 2008 3:49 PM

Yeah, they lost On Balance last week, so they're all out of sorts. Crazy bunch. Makes one wonder what kind of kids they are raising.

Posted by: WDC 21113 | June 25, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey Groovis, I just checked out that *other* blog too and they are not just mean, they are also either purposefully obtuse in order to bait each other, or worse yet, really, really stupid. But, you know, in my humble experience stupid and mean often go hand in hand.

Posted by: sunnydaze knows who is in the bottom 50% | June 25, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Groovis Maximus writes:

"I went over to the "On Parenting" blog just to check it out for snarkiness. Wow - they are really, really mean over there. If any group of people need bratwurst and huge pitchers of beer, it's them. Or maybe they just need pictures of men in Speedos."

-------------------------------

Which brings to mind these words of George Carlin:

"Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that."


I think that other half inhabits that "other" blog.

Posted by: Sasquatch | June 25, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

And Petal-

My partner saw Ed Norton in the coffee shop near our house when he was filming Incredible Hulk last summer.

I only got to see the extras in military dress who were on break outside the International Student Centre.

Posted by: mouse, who regrets going to campus early that day | June 25, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Anyone wanna know what TTTs grow up to become? For examples, check out the "other" blog. After doing so, I found myself missing luvlinsey and dinarulz. They seem almost erudite in comparison.

And you will not find any posts aliased from luvlinsey or dinarulz coming from my IP in the next few minutes, or hours, or ways, or weeks, or months. I find it difficult enough being Sasquatch. I leave it to other Lizards to don the TTT tu-tus of luvlinsey and dinrulz.

Hoe 'bout some more beaqns, Sunnydaze?

Posted by: Sasquatch | June 25, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Curiosity got the better of me, and I checked out the "other" blog for the first time yesterday. Oh my!!!

Posted by: hr girl only knows how to sing Leise Nacht in Deutsch | June 25, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

The follow was posted on the OP blog and when I read it, I snorted water through my nose. At least it was just water this time:

"It scares me that the parents of your child's friends are intrigued by discourse on the topic of crayons. I hope that none of you ever, ever leave Herndon or breed with the regular people."


Posted by: sunnydaze | June 25, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Beans, beans,
they are good for the heart,
the more you eat,
the more you fart.


I would not like to remove myself from consideration as national poet laureate. I would also like to remove myself from consideration as an adult of the species.

Posted by: sunnydaze is a poet, too. | June 25, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

This also was posted on the MM Caryon Blog:
--------------------------------------------


You people......

You can hurl invective at each all day without stopping to take a breath, but you can't be bothered to search the net for troubleshooting procedures, in this case, removal of crayon stains from clothing.

It took me all of 2 minutes to find the instructions. Here is the pdf:

http://www.crayola.com/canwehelp/staintips/pdf/1.pdf

You people shouldn't be allowed to write with anything sharper than a crayon.

Posted by: Jesus H. Keeerist | June 24, 2008 6:37 PM

Posted by: Crayola Sasquatch | June 25, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Sunnydaze, you wouldn't happen to be that despicable person who left a killer SBD in the elevator at the Toronto Airport, are you?

Gawd! Jeeze!

Posted by: Sasquatch gasps at the memory | June 25, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I went over to the "On Parenting" blog just to check it out for snarkiness. Wow - they are really, really mean over there. If any group of people need bratwurst and huge pitchers of beer, it's them. Or maybe they just need pictures of men in Speedos.

Posted by: Groovis M. | June 25, 2008 3:49 PM

I went over there to check it out, and it looks like I wasn't the only one... Man, they are MEAN! Imagine if they have their own luvlinsey what they would do to her? We have taken to defending her lately!

Posted by: Turtle, who doesn't want to, but probably will go back to OP one day... | June 25, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Ed Norton up close and personal. Or at least in close proximity. Ummmmmmmmmmmmm. There goes that smile again.

Posted by: petal, what is it about that man? | June 25, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Wow. They are just merciless right out of the gate, aren't they? Thank goodness I grew up in the 1970s when parents were swinging. You can't swing with a pole up your rear.

Posted by: £££ | June 25, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, I think this is what happens to adults who are forced to spend all their dayz with tots and little ones: Their brains begin to curl around the edges, their hair begins to smoke, and they start playing with sharp crayons and humming the Barney song to themselves.

Think of the OP blog as a safety valve.

Owe the humanity!

Posted by: Curmudgeon, who's been there herself | June 25, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, I think this is what happens to adults who are forced to spend all their dayz with tots and little ones: Their brains begin to curl around the edges, their hair begins to smoke, and they start playing with sharp crayons and humming the Barhey song to themselves.

Think of the OP blog as a safety valve.

Owe the humanity!

Posted by: Curmudgeon, who's been there herself | June 25, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

So I checked out OP as well, and I second, third, fourth, and fifth the yikes! I really feel sorry for the kids of those people.

Posted by: Dorkus of the Maximii | June 25, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

'Squatch,

Never been to Canada - they won't let Mr. Sunnydaze in for 8 more years...we might visit then. I'll just let ya'll wonder why the Canadians hate us.

Posted by: sunnydaze | June 25, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

You're missing the second verse:

beans beans
the musical fruit
the more you eat
the more you toot

the more you toot
the better you feel
so eat some beans
at every meal

I don't do poetry, so capitalization and punctuation are to be correctly imagined and are the readers' responsibility.

Posted by: £££ | June 25, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Let's all fart in their general direction......

Posted by: G.M. | June 25, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't think I have ever heard the second verse. Thanks £££! I'll be singing that for the rest of the day.

Posted by: sunnydaze | June 25, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

sunnydaze, I don't think I've ever heard the first verse.

Posted by: Dorkus Maximus | June 25, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

'Daze, I can guess.

Them dumb Canucks ain't got no sense o' humor when it comes to some items and activities, particularly hypocrisy. They wouldn't know hypocrisy if they bought a box full of it at Tim Horton's.

Posted by: Sasquatch | June 25, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I got that and "Down Went McGinty" from my grandpa. Oh, and a genetic predisposition for alcoholism. Can't forget that.

Posted by: £££ | June 25, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

In his column today, Dam Froomkin used the word "jeremiad".

Why can't we talk fancy like that?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 25, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

BEANS ARE NEITHER MUSICAL NOR ARE THEY FRUIT

(Bart's lines on the blackboard at the start of one Simpsons episode.)

Posted by: byoolin | June 25, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Whew. For a second, I thought you were yelling at me, byoo.

Posted by: £££ | June 25, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Since we're talking about cartoons, etc.

This is not funny, this is sad--about the co-writer of Curious George.

*******
WEST PALM BEACH, Florida (AP) -- A jury convicted a man Tuesday of killing Alan Shalleck, who collaborated with the co-creator of "Curious George" to bring the mischievous monkey to TV and a series of book sequels.

The jury deliberated for about 90 minutes before convicting Vincent Puglisi of first-degree murder and robbery with a deadly weapon. He is scheduled to be sentenced in July.

Puglisi's co-defendant, Rex Ditto, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and robbery with a weapon in 2007. He was sentenced to life in prison.

A message left for Assistant State Attorney Andy Slater was not immediately returned Tuesday evening. The phone at Assistant Public Defender Shari Vrod's office rang unanswered.

Shalleck had 83 blunt force injuries and more than three dozen stab wounds, including to the abdomen, neck and groin, an autopsy revealed.

Ditto and Puglisi went to Shalleck's Boynton Beach home on Super Bowl Sunday in February 2006 intending to rob him. After the killing, Ditto and Puglisi stole jewelry from Shalleck and pilfered funds from his checking account, authorities said.

Shalleck was the writer and director of more than 100 short episodes of "Curious George," which aired on the Disney Channel, and co-wrote a series of books with Margret Rey, who created the mischievous monkey with her husband more than 60 years ago. Houghton Mifflin publishes "Curious George" books.
******

I hope this Dittohead and his pal get what they deserve. . .

Posted by: alex is curious about what kind of human garbage would do this | June 25, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Sasquatch, where are you? I didn't think they had Tim Horton's any where near the DC area...

Posted by: Turtle | June 25, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

jeremiad: a long and mournful complaint; "a jeremiad against any form of government"

meh

Posted by: £££ | June 25, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Yep - we found it ironic and then went and had a Molson in Buffalo instead.

Posted by: sunnydaze | June 25, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

That's not even close to the weirdest or most infamous of the murders we have here in Palm Beach County this year. Retiring to Boca is highly discouraged. Take my word for it.

Posted by: £££ | June 25, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I do like the Rush Limbaugh dig, though. I don't know whether it was intended or not.

Posted by: £££ | June 25, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't mean we should write one, I'm just wondering why we can't use big, impressive words like that once in awhile.

AND "jeremiad" is in our own fancy-schmancy English language dictionary!

Posted by: Curmudgeon, who is tired of being declasse | June 25, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Or maybe they just need pictures of men in Speedos.

Posted by: Groovis M. | June 25, 2008 3:49 PM

-----------------------

I say we send them a picture of Larry King in a speedo.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Germany 3 - Turkey 2 (in first Euro 2008 semifinal).

Posted by: Good news for German day tomorrow | June 25, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I say we send them a picture of Larry King in a speedo.

Posted by: | June 25, 2008 4:43 PM

Imagine how terrifying that would be coming out of the Trojan Lizard.

Posted by: mouse | June 25, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh, £££, I'd totally forgotten that! Thankfully, I haven't listened to or thought of Rush in years. I just found the name unfortunate, but apt. (But not an aptonym.)

I didn't know Boca was a hotbed of criminal activity. Maybe it's the confluence of the elderly, wealth, and heat.

Posted by: alex | June 25, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Jeremiad sounds an awful lot like jihad, in spelling and in concept. We should make up our own words. My own favorite made-up word is ferplebius. It may be spelled pherplebius, I haven't decided yet.

Posted by: £££ | June 25, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, I think this is what happens to adults who are forced to spend all their dayz with tots and little ones: Their brains begin to curl around the edges, their hair begins to smoke, and they start playing with sharp crayons and humming the Barhey song to themselves.

Think of the OP blog as a safety valve.

Owe the humanity!

Posted by: Curmudgeon, who's been there herself | June 25, 2008 4:20 PM

errr, what happens to adults who are forced to spend all their dayz chatting in German and French about celebrities?

I hadn't realized you all were so full of yourselves that you needed to critique strangers on other blogs in order to have fun. What happened to the amusing, secure people who used to inhabit this realm? Did Liz take them on vacation with her?

Posted by: amazed and disheartened | June 25, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Jeremiad made me think of jeroboam. Though I doubt any of us would sound too impressive after one of those.

Posted by: mouse | June 25, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Turtle, you're right in that there are no Tim Hortons in my red neck o' de woods. However, this Sasquatch has been around the Northeast states and provinces more than a few times, and in more than a few Tim Hortons.

Posted by: Sasquatch loves donuts | June 25, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of being déclassé, one of our childish pleasures is pronouncing foreign word/terms with an exaggerated American accent. Hence, déclassé would become deeclassy. The bad part is when we forget and do it in public or in front of someone who isn't in on the joke. We get those looks ranging from horrified to pitying while we try not to burst out laughing.

This is maybe one step higher than scatological humor.

Posted by: alex has a mental age of 5 (which doesn't go with the walker) | June 25, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Jeremiad was a bull frog, He was a good friend of mine, I never understood a single word he said, But I helped him a-drink his wine, And he always had some mighty fine wine...

Posted by: Joy to the World | June 25, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Jeremiah? Not Jeremiad.

Never mind.

Posted by: Emily Letella | June 25, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

And "suave" would be SWAYVE, right?

Posted by: To alex | June 25, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, like cream-deelah-cream

Posted by: curmudgeon, who is very deeclassy | June 25, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad Germany won. Are there any lizards out there who can snark in Turkish? German will be difficult enough, although on the earlier blog today, Pat was kind enough to give us a cut-and-paste list of accent marks.

High dollar words to consider for the blog:
Coalesce
Inchoate
Cacophonous

I'm leaving now, singing "Go Speed Racer, go Speed Racer, go Speed Racer, Go-oooh!"

Posted by: m.a.t. | June 25, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Boca is a cesspool of humanity. It is surpassed in depths of depravity and criminality only by Lake Worth, Riviera Beach, and parts of West Palm. All are in Palm Beach County. Take your retirement money elsewhere.

Posted by: £££ | June 25, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Take your retirement money elsewhere.

Posted by: £££ | June 25, 2008 5:04 PM

That's exactly what those people told me to do!

Posted by: Curmudgeon, is too deeclassy for her own good | June 25, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

OK, so I see the "In Entertainment" headlines along the side and I read "George Jones duets album features Richards, Gill."

I'm saying to myself, "Please be Denise, please be Denise, please be Denise..."

But day-um! It's Keith. I'm one disappointed lizard.

No duet with Shawn King, either.

Posted by: MoCoSnarky | June 25, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Oy oy, monsewer or madumoysull. We are all swayve and deboner.

In addition to the obvious, we also use it for things like instead of eating crudités, we eat croodeyetes.

Posted by: alex | June 25, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I worked as an Adult Protective Investigator in Palm Beach County. While some of the real estate and communities are beautiful, the sleaziest rung of society circle like vultures. The elderly are bilked out of their life savings by con men who have sympathetic stories. One victim's account went from $2 million to bust in less than a year. Because he hadn't been to a doctor in years and hadn't had an official diagnosis of Alzheimer's, there wasn't a damn thing we could do. He ended up on social security in Boynton Beach Assisted Living Facility, the worst of the worst. This, after a prominent high-profile career in which he was the best in his profession. Wish I'd gotten the case a year earlier.

Happy thoughts, happy thoughts.

Posted by: £££ | June 25, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Horse doovers

Posted by: Mudge | June 25, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

i can burp out "hello, how are you", as well as "hi, my name is janet". my not yet husband was mightily impressed at the time years ago when i serenaded him w/those talents. carpe eructo!

Posted by: janet who was trained by cousins in rural nebraska | June 25, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Don't even get me started on the shady contractors who undercut legitimate companies for home repairs after hurricanes. They want some or all in cash up front, then magically disappear. Elderly aren't exactly computer literate and don't have the resources to track individuals down. Police are overwhelmed with these complaints after storms in every jurisdiction in the county and usually don't have the time or manpower to pursue cases in which the money lost is less than several thousand.

I must go take a Xanax before I post again. We'll all be better for it.

Posted by: £££ | June 25, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Dammit, Janet! And he still married you! (Or maybe that's *why* he married you.)

Posted by: alex is impressed | June 25, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I need some Xanax, too. (Hey, maybe I can get some from those nice people who are always sending me emails.)

Sadly, the elderly get ripped off everywhere. Where there are pockets of them, it's like a feeding frenzy for the sharks.

Posted by: alex | June 25, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, the elderly get ripped off everywhere. Where there are pockets of them, it's like a feeding frenzy for the sharks.

Posted by: alex | June 25, 2008 5:31 PM


Well, THAT'S something to look forward to (for those of us who are over 43).

Posted by: decades old Curmudgeon | June 25, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

yes, frankie the giant female shepherd/husky mix and i make our rounds through a nursing home to visit people and we can see how lonely and fragile many of them are. ripe for the taking. i also did some volunteer work for the louisiana bar association after katrina, to help those ripped off by contractors. and they weren't elderly. just victimized by thieves. frankie would love to remove their dingleberries.

Posted by: janet and her dog frankie comfort the elderly | June 25, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

MAKE THE SPEEDRACER SONG GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!!

Make it get out!

Please?

whimper

Posted by: epony | June 25, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Somebody please explain to me why so many elderly people retire to Florida? Now I have a song running through my head. But it's a good one:

Don't seem right
I've been strung out here all night
I've been waiting for the taste
You said you'd bring to me
Biscayne Bay
Where the Cuban gentlemen sleep all day
I went searching for the song
You used to sing to me
Katy lies
You could see it in her eyes
But imagine my surprise
When I saw you

Are you with me Doctor Wu
Are you really just a shadow
Of the man that I once knew
She is lovely yes she's sly
And you're an ordinary guy
Has she finally got to you
Can you hear me Doctor

Posted by: Sasquatch | June 25, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Sasquatch! Are you a Steely Dan fan? I LOVE Steely Dan.

Posted by: Groovis "Snake Mary" Maximus | June 25, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Dammit, Janet! And he still married you! (Or maybe that's *why* he married you.)

a little of both alex, a little of both.

Posted by: janet who can't carry a tune in a bucket but can burp the star spangled banner | June 25, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Groovis, a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away, I was a DJ on my college radio station. I made it a point to include Steely Dan in at least one set every time i went on the air. In my less than objective opinion, Doctor Wu is the single best tune that Fagen and Becker ever produced.

Posted by: Sasquatch | June 25, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

So Groovis, am I to construe your Rose Darling reference to mean that you are in Detroit?

Posted by: DJ Saquatch | June 25, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

We've been talking about Canada a lot, so I should mention an important bit of trivia: Safety Dance was performed by a group of Montrealers. It still gets played on a lot of local radio stations in Montreal to satisfy the Canadian Content Rule. And while we're on the subject of Canada, maybe one of you coffee and doughnut shop experts will know : Why doesn't Tim Horton's sell ice coffee, I ask you? Why? Is there a shortage of ice?

I confess to loving Kimba the White Lion and Speed Racer as a kid. You in DC had Channel 20, in New England we had Channel 56. Anyone remember Uncle Dale? He's still around, DJ at an oldies station.

Posted by: new england | June 25, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I was turned on to Steely Dan in college, too - way back in the olden days. I often spun the "Can't Buy a Thrill" album in my dorm room. Strangely, the only song I don't like is "Reelin' in the Years" which is the only thing you actually hear on the radio.

Anyway, I love their lyrics - and their music. I'm very subversive by nature, I guess.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Ooops, Sasquatch - that last post was me. Nope, not in Detroit - I'm in DC.

Posted by: Groovis | June 25, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Did any of you see the "Dear Prudence" on Slate.com with the guy who likes to wear adult diapers? That's probably my biggest hang-up about getting old. And Prudence said, "Well, this is one person who will actually look forward to being old and incontinent."

Posted by: possum aka incontinentia buttocks | June 25, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

The airplay given to "Reelin' in the Years" is an example of why Top 40 and Oldies Radio deserved, still deserves, and always will deserve, to be in the dumpster. There are several tracks on Can't Buy A Thrill that are superior to Reelin' in the Years. My opinion only. YMMV. Compare Reelin' in the Years to Becker and Fagen's later work, like Don't Take Me Alive.

You can probably get a clue to my musical taste when I tell you that my first Steely Dan album was Countdown to Ecstasy.

Posted by: DJ Sasquatch | June 25, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

I buy those incontinence pads that are supposed to be used in beds for my pets when they're being bad (OK--incontinent). I figure all the time I spend in *that* aisle in the store is just preparing me for the future. But, when I take my purchase to the register to be rung up by that 17-yr-old high-school kid, I do want to snap, "They're NOT for me, alright?!"

Posted by: alex, who should be used to the humiliation | June 25, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Alex, just for grins, include a tube of K-Y Warmer in your purchase next time, and tell the kid, "That IS for my use."

Posted by: Sasquatch | June 25, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, a cart with Depends and Astroglide is a winning combo, for sure. I'll probably get my picture took.

Posted by: alex | June 25, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

STEELY DAN! I have "Countdown to Ecstasy" too! And "Can't Buy a Thrill." (OK, the albums belonged to my older sisters, but now they're MINE.)

I'm surprised we didn't have this conversation earlier when we talked about Clay's collaboration with SD (at which time I feared rewriteen lyrics such as "Oh no, calling me 'Mary' won't do").

I thought Steely Dan jumped the shark at "Aja"; "Peg" is interminable. My sister saw SD in Cincinnati twice; best concerts she'd ever been to.

"Tell me where are you driving
Midnight cruiser
Where is your bounty
Of fortune and fame"

Posted by: td hopes he is not another gentleman loser | June 25, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

This is for Janet and Frankie (I think I heart Frankie).

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1028681/Pictured-The-puppy-born-legs-whos-using-model-aeroplane-wheels-around.html

Posted by: alex | June 25, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Clay Aiken the celebrity spokesperson for Astroglide? If not, he should be.

Posted by: Sasquatch wonders if the bees are buzzing | June 25, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

"[The Safety Dance] still gets played on a lot of local radio stations in Montreal to satisfy the Canadian Content Rule." - Posted by: new england | June 25, 2008 5:59 PM

*****

Um, no, that's what "music" by Bryan Adams and Celine Dion is for. Men Without Hats get played because they're darn good fun.

Posted by: byoolin can dance if he wants to. | June 25, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

@#*%@!!!

Now, you're getting back at me for the Marc Anthony thing.

WHY, why did you have to use CA and Astroglide in the same sentence? Now I have to go sharpen a stick for eyeball-puncturing purposes.

Posted by: alex can't spar with the master (and realizes this is a setup, too) | June 25, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

[T]hat's what "music" by Bryan Adams and Celine Dion is for. --byoolin
------------------------

Well, someone had to replace Anne Murray.

(For a while there in the 70s and early 80s I thought she was the national performer of Canada and that the rest of the country was tone-deaf.)

Posted by: td cried a tear and needs help wiping it dry | June 25, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Well, can we say that Anne Murray was offset by Leonard Cohen?

Of course, I often want(ed) to kill myself after listening to Lenny's music, but for an altogether different reason.

Posted by: alex | June 25, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Touché, Alex.

Oh! I just realized I'd completely forgotten Gordon Lightfoot, who also is the subject of one of my favorite SCTV clips ever:

Gordon Lightfoot Sings Every Song Ever Made
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSThKFtOC48

Posted by: td is posting before sundown | June 25, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Gee, what happens at sundown?

******

How could I forget Gordon Lightfoot??

And this doesn't even begin to touch the current crop (yes, Michael Buble, I'm looking at you).

Posted by: alex has stake, holy water | June 25, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

I think I heart Frankie
everyone who meets frankie hearts her. she's the best. she has an uncanny ability to cut right through the crapola to the heart of the people she's visiting. she also makes hospice visits and the joy and comfort she brings to those dying and their families is unbelievable. it's all about frankie. i only hold the leash.
p.s. i hate "reelin' in the years". nails on chalkboard.

Posted by: frankie says "stupid's with me". | June 25, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

A poorly-performing economy does not affect movie sales. During the Depression, millions and millions of people went to the theater every week to escape their otherwise crappy life. Remember "Gone with the Wind?" It's still by far the movie with the most tickets sold in history (obviously prices were different back then--not sure about inflation).

Posted by: JBS | June 25, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

alex, thank you very much for the link to that terrific article. frankie reminded me i had not thanked you and was showing the manners of a rube and a philistine.

Posted by: frankie's obedient servant | June 25, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

That cinches it. Now I *know* I heart Frankie. She comforts the sick and needy, but is ferocious enough to remove the dingleberries of evildoers. She should be a co-Celebritology mascot (along with Andy and Page).

Posted by: but alex does want to know if the dingleberry took the baby | June 25, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

And that was before I knew how mannerly Frankie is, too.

(And I'll bet she's not *purposely* incontinent like alex's beloveds.)

Posted by: alex is humbled by frankie's graciousness | June 25, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

her sibling chihuahua peaches had to wear diapers recently when she went into heat and her moronic owners initially had no clue as to what was going on. bits and pieces of the chihuahua shivering about. yegods. but frankie did eat the innards of a stuffed toy and now her vet is going on a lengthy vacation but her owners are staying home this summer and listening to gordon lightfoot and steely dan.
p.s. frankie would love to be honored as an additional mascot altho' she may have to knock off andy and page to sit at the summit.

Posted by: frankie can be naughty | June 25, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Just back from OP - yikes! They seriously need ponies and waffles. Hope they don't hear us... they're like the bullies in the blog schoolyard. Shhhh! Here they come! Everybody act like we're on topic!

Posted by: rachelt | June 25, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Here is why elderly people move to Florida:

Over time, people in general become more and more particular with their money. The lure of moving to a state with no income tax, warm weather, and deceptively inviting over 55 communities is very seductive, especially for those worried about going from a job income to a fixed income.

It's one huge bait and switch, in every aspect. The absence of state tax is more than made up in property tax, and properties are assessed every year. The past two years' depreciation in property values has not been adequately reflected in property tax reductions. Those who pay off condos in advance to plan for a fixed income and reduced money find themselves paying incredibly high "monthly maintenance fees" in the condo associations and astronomically high assessments (that can't be mortgaged) after hurricanes come through and damage common property, such as roofs and hallways.

The warm weather is a bait and switch because of hurricanes. No one ever thinks it will happen bad enough to affect them. If you're in Florida longer than five years, you will more than likely live through a hurricane.

Finally, many elderly relocate to Florida so that their kids and grandchildren do not have to worry about them. In my experience, as mental capacity declines, many elderly become more stubborn in their refusal to relocate near relatives. This causes out-of-state relatives even more concern, and rightfully so. The Department of Children and Families is woefully understaffed, overworked and underpaid. We have two branches -- Child Protective Services and Adult Protective Services. Any time there is a state budget cut, guess which branch gets cut first.

Retire elsewhere.

Posted by: £££ | June 25, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

"Gone with the Wind" -- good point, JBS. Especially since the year that came out, 1939, was such a tremendous year for movies in general, also giving us:

"Goodbye Mr. Chips"
"Love Affair"
"Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"
"Ninotchka"
"Of Mice and Men"
"Stagecoach"
"The Wizard of Oz"
"Wuthering Heights"

If it's a good movie, people will find a way to see it regardless. Because you spend money on things you really want to spend money on.

Posted by: td following rachelt's lead | June 25, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I watched Speed Racer in the 70s. Here in DC it was on Channel 20 along with other Japanese imports like UltraMan, Kimba the White Lion, and Marine Boy.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hey, I did too! Captain 20 and Captain Chesapeake from Baltimore. Good times. I didn't go to see the Speed Racer movie, though. Hollywood has screwed up enough of my childhood memories, and the commercials gave me a headache.

I'm 43, maybe I'll run into Robert Downey Jr in the Depends aisle of the store.

Thanks to you fine people, I now have the theme to Speed Racer, The Safety Dance, and the fart song playing tag-team in my head.

BTW, does anyone besides me remember watching Zoom on public tv? I still remember their address from the song:

Write Zoom!
Zee-double oh-em
Box 350
Boston, Mass
02134!

Posted by: Hangin in Herndon (not with kids or crayons!) | June 25, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse


They are talking about Troll Barf over there at OP!

Posted by: OMG | June 25, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

"Captain Chesapeake from Baltimore" -- Ahoy, crew members! It's seven bells, time for Popeye! . . . man, what after-school memories, hangin!

Cap'n C -- aka George Lewis -- was at a friend of mine's wedding in the early 90s (the bride's parents worked with him), and he was a nice guy, very gracious even though we were all staring at him throughout the reception. ("Hey, did you see Captain Chesapeake?" "No! Get out!" "No, really, look, he's over there!" "Where's Mondy the sea monster?"....)

Sadly, the Captain died in 2000; here's an obit:
http://s93943464.onlinehome.us/crabcitykidstv/georgelewisobit.html

Posted by: td is 45...as in Channel 45.... | June 25, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

If finding farts funny is a characteristic of 12-year-olds, Garrison Keillor periodically demonstrates that the NPR audience is largely made up of 12-year-olds.
I can't remember what my favorite Steely Dan tune is, probably because they were the band of choice for kicking back and smoking the "fine Columbian" when I was in college. Donald Fagen and Walter Becker owe me a couple of brain cells.

Posted by: Angela | June 25, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

1939 was also a year for more fabulous movies, including the all-female guilty pleasure, "The Women," and these films:

"Babes in Arms
"Beau Geste"
"The Cat and the Canary"
"Destry Rides Again"
"Dodge City"
"Drums Along the Mohawk"
"The Four Feathers"
"Golden Boy"
"Gulliver's Travels"
"Gunga Din"
"Huckleberry Finn"
"The Hunchback of Notre Dame"
"In Name Only"
"Intermezzo"
"Jesse James"
"Juarez"
"The Little Princess"

(Psst, rachelt! Think any of the OPers are still here? I'd better add more movies.)

"Made for Each Other"
"The Man in the Iron Mask"
"The Oklahoma Kid"
"The Old Maid"
"On Your Toes"
"Only Angels Have Wings"
"The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex"
"The Roaring Twenties"
"Stanley and Livingston"
"The Story of Alexander Graham Bell"
"The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle"
"The Three Musketeers"
"Union Pacific"
"You Can't Cheat an Honest Man"
"Young Mr. Lincoln"

Can you believe it? All these great movies in ONE YEAR! How many movies are released in a year now? 20? And the above list doesn't even count for the crappy movies which surely outnumbered the great ones.

Source: http://members.aol.com/grbmd/year1939.htm

Posted by: td is still trying to keep this ship on course | June 25, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Td, you're post reminded me of something I read a while ago (aka in better economic times) that during war times and economic downturns in the US that the amount of fantastical movies/media goes up. Audiences are responding to the comfort of scripted escapes, as in the return of these comic book superheroes or retro cartoons. But the biggest thing I remember from this article is how there is a boost in dance/musical movies when there's a downturn or wartime - 1939. A choreographed musical puts all of society in sync in that particular movie, which is a very comforting thing in a time of stress. And people were willing to pay to see these movies even in the tightest times. So fast forward to today's biggest hit shows (outside all the comic book movie stuff): Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, High School Musical.
Wait a second...am I charging HSM with the downfall in American culture, political unrest and the war in Iraq? Hmmmm. Well, if the chorus pump fits....

Posted by: rachelt | June 25, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

RachelT, there's nothing like a musical to lift your spirits. I am with you there.

Don't even get me started on HSM. It's no "West Side Story" -- heck, it ain't even "Newsies." They don't make 'em like they used to.

Posted by: td is no gene kelly | June 25, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

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