February 7th, 2006


What we learned from last week's poll

For one thing, we learned that I don't update much anymore. I offer my usual apologies and the disclaimer that I got a hell of a lot going on these days, and the not-posting-as-much trend is likely to continue. Or "la partie non continue", if you want to be cod-French about it.

Anyway, poll:

1. Far more of you did not watch the president's State of the Union address than did, establishing that masochism is a fringe kink around here. 36 of you would rather sup on Drano than hear the man from Crawford lie for an hour straight (technically, he's been lying for about 50 years straight, but let's not split monkey hairs), while four of you are sick of my America-centric ways and ten of you are just relieved the government is finally stepping in to defend freedom from man-animals.

2. Slightly more of you (25 to 19) spent Sunday watching the Seattle Seahawks trying to remember where they left their car keys than spent it elseways. A small number (2:3) of you rooted for Starbucks City over Steeltown and were thus left disappointed, while nearly 14% of you were either saddened to learn that the game featured no man-animals other than John Madden.

3. Of my proposed new generation of adorable holiday mascots, the most popular was Nigel, the Independence Day zombie redcoat, who once a year maunders forth from his unholy sleep of death to congratulate Americans on having won the war in which he was killed by a ball shot to the face. His putrid grin and rotted thumbs-up is a testament to this country's fighting spirit. (Strangely, his teeth look exactly the same as when he was alive.) Other top vote-getters were Lucky, the Happy Ramadan piglet, and, inexplicably, Torvald, the Lief Eriksson Day polar bear. (Bill O'Reilly, the Christmas jackass, only got 16 votes, but I'm afraid we're stuck with him.) Now it only remains for calamityjon or manningkrull to draw all of these colorful little chaps.

4. In the German Filmmakers Deathmatch, Fritz "M" Lang was the clear winner, with 19% of the votes. Wim Wenders and my boy Werner Herzog (whose essential Germanic unflappability is on full view here and here) tied with 11%, and third place was a tie between ex-Nazi iconographer Leni Riefenstahl and video game uberhack Uwe Boll with 5% each. I was very surprised that Fassbinder only got one vote, but less surprised that Percy Adlon and Margarethe von Trotta got a combined total of none. Still and all, the most popular answer was to claim not to have a favorite German filmmaker, you bunch of racists.

5. I asked you to recommend a TV show for me to watch. The major caveat is that I hardly watch TV at all, and almost never in non-DVD form; the only shows I watch live are Arrested Development and Lost. (And baseball games.) I also watch Deadwood when possible, and many, many canceled shows on DVD. Here were some of your suggestions:

- Battlestar Galactica was the most common recommendation (from archaica, fiberpunk, mckennl and kudaspeaks). Everyone says this is a great show, but given my aversion to sci-fi TV and my utter lack of knowledge of what channel it's on, I've never given it a shot. People told me I'd like Babylon 5, too, and I didn't. But okay, I'll give it a shot.

- The second most-common recommendation (from rum_holiday, oilyrags and andrewlevine) was The Wire. This is something I genuinely want to see, and really, the only thing that's stopped me is that for reasons I've never quite been able to suss, HBO DVD sets are prohibitively expensive. I'll probably get around to seeing it before too long, though, and given the level of praise, I expect to enjoy it. I better.

- The Colbert Report was mentioned by two people who assumed I was watching it already, which I am not. I saw it once and liked it okay -- the smug asshole persona is done to a T by Stephen Colbert -- but, like The Daily Show, it's something I like when I see it but never bother to actually watch. Which I'm sure says much more about my viewing habits, or lack thereof, than it does the quality of the show.

- janehex recommended I watch Project Runway. This is not going to happen.

- Wonderfalls, House and Veronica Mars were recommended, respectively, by petit_chou, susano and editrix26. Unfortunately, I have no idea what these shows are.

- Both ninafarina, who is my awesome girlfriend, and littlewashu, who is not, recommended The Gilmore Girls. I cannot say with any certainty that I will ever watch this show, but I can say with certainty that ninafarina wrote a swell article about it here.

- prettykate recommended Sex Inspectors. I'm pretty sure she made this show up, but if she didn't, I am enjoying imagining what it is about. Is it about a group of scientists at the Olympics who test Slavic athletes to determine their gender? Is it a reality TV series about an elite team of sexperts who infiltrate peoples' houses and critique their sexual performance? Is it a show on the Spice Network about a bunch of fire inspectors who also happen to have sex a lot? If this show isn't real, all I can say is, it should be.

Someone get this guy out of here, he's making Brent Bozell sweaty

Hands down and no joke, the most sensible thing I have ever read on Town Hall. I predict this guy, like Paul Craig Roberts after he started pointing out what a disaster the Iraq War is and Justin Raimondo after he noticed that the modern conservative movement has very little to do with conservativism, will not have a long career in official right-wing talking head circles.
now let me tell you what *i* think

Memoir scorecard 2006

- James Frey: less a violent, drug-addled roughneck than a dimwitted, compulsively lying frat boy. Readability factor: 2.

- Kathryn Harrison: probably did not have an affair with her own father, or at the very least, did not enjoy it. Readability factor: 3.

- JT Leroy: does not actually exist; stories written by tag team of rock bassist and unemployed housewife, and part of nonexistent junkie tranny played by bizarre-looking sister. Readability factor: 5.

- Frank McCourt: Irish childhood not as relentlessly bleak and mawkish as indicated. Readability factor: 6.

- Elizabeth Wurtzel: stories of depression, drug addiction and sexual escapades highly exaggerated; however, stories of author's staggeringly high levels of self-absorbtion and egomania remain 100% accurate. Readability factor: 3.