Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Perfect Women

Hail To The Thieves

In the war that is Blu-Ray vs HD-DVD, Sony is set to trump its competition with the release of a less expensive Blu-Ray player, due out this Spring.

To date, Blu-Ray players (and I don't count the PS3 as one) have run upwards of $900. The new player, the BDP-S300, will cost about 40% less and provide functionality over and above that of its costly predecessor.

Those of you that know me, know that I am an avid DVD buyer, so to me this is great news - and I just had to share. Like Joanne Colan's voice relaying the day's top stories, it just feels right.

1080p for all!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Say Goodbye to The O.

Last night The O.C. bid farewell to us all. What follows goes out to the intangible that was.

Goodbye Sandy Cohen. I use that name because I scarcely ever noticed Peter Gallagher on screen. You were the coolest TV dad since Cosby. Really. Your morning surf outings followed by eyebrows-of-power pep talks will be sorely missed.

Goodbye Kelly Rowan. You made Kirsten the Claire to Sandy's Cliff. So much so that I'm willing to forget that whole Jeri Ryan thing.

Goodbye Ben McKenzie. You started to really go for the mini-Russel Crowe thing this year. That was cool. But dude, you didn't look like a teenager at all. And you didn't punch enough people.

Goodbye Adam Brody. There's a little Seth Cohen in most of us, and you made him resonate with that little bit all the way across the board.

Goodbye Rachel Bilson. You played Summer as the quintessential O.C. girl (something I somehow doubt was that big a stretch) - and we loved you for it. PS - The Last Kiss kicked ass.

Goodbye Autumn Reeser. You made it oh so simple to forget about Skeletor and her never ending whine-fest. Or drug use. Or eating disorder. Or whatever Barton felt like indulging in that week (yes I realize the writers are to blame, too - but past season one she really was just testing me).

Goodbye Willa Holland. Not nearly enough screen time.

Finally, goodbye Melinda Clarke. I love you. No other actress could have made that character as hot or as cool. Cheers.

See you in the funny pages...

Monday, February 19, 2007

Politics and the English Language

Rules to write by:

  1. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.

  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.

  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

For more on the steady decay of written English, please refer to the text linked to here.

PS - My favorite line of the text:

"Bad writers, and especially scientific, political and sociological writers, are nearly always haunted by the notion that Latin or Greek words are grander than Saxon ones..."

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sunday Music Special

If Paul McCartney was the lead singer of Jet - the band would be called The Fratellis.

Hailing from Scotland, stealing the Ramones' last name gimmick, and playing with just enough distortion to make you certain you're listening to Brit-Rock (or would it be Scot-Rock?), these guys have composed a stellar album with "Costello Music". Download it now.

Other notes:

  • The band's name has nothing to do with the Goonies.

  • I'm sorry I missed the album release party in Picadilly Circus, because I bet it was bitchin'.

  • Their song "Flathead" is the tune in that new iPod commercial.

  • I'm really liking these Sunday morning music/tv/movie posts. I'll likely keep these up. Cool?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Yoo Kant Bee Seerius

"The Simplified Spelling Society (SSS) started in 1908 with the aim of updating English spelling. The Society publishes leaflets, newsletters, journals, books and bulletins to promote spelling reform of the English language. We also feature in the media on TV, on Radio and in Print...

...Phonetics is seen as the key to improving literacy and spelling. Learning a phonetic system is easier and allows the children of today to be more productive than we could ever be, releasing them to learn other essential skills in a fast moving world. There would be no more difficult words."

Ok. I'm as sympathetic as the next guy when it comes to what the SSS describes as "chaotic" English spelling, but this is a bit much. I heard a news story this morning (one that despite my best efforts I couldn't locate a link to) that talked about schools down south (shocker) lobbying for adoption of new spelling of words like "good" (gud) and "people" (peeple). As Joss Whedon would say "Yahbuhwhat?"

Sure, the SSS makes semi-legit claims about the difficulties of English spelling for children with dyslexia and similar conditions, but what happened to Gram-Ti telling Theo that was no reason to make excuses and that he has a responsibility to work harder than others (see: The Cosby Show)?

Am I just an unsympathetic ass? Maybe. But the argument that if we teach children to spell incorrectly now, in the hopes that once they understand the words' meanings they'll be able to spell them properly, just doesn't work for me.

Sure. English is a frighteningly complicated language with more exceptions to rules than cases where the rules actually apply. But that doesn't mean we get to go "Awww...peeple now arr too bizy for reelee lurneeng werd spelling - so let's not try to teech it anymore." And what are these other essential skills that the SSS says we're releasing young minds to learn? Ever heard of a house of cards? Or how about a skyscraper made of toothpicks, filled with rocks, and built on a swamp?

And somewhere far, far away - Anthony Burgess has rolled over in his grave.

See yoo in thu funnee payjez...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Remember, Remember

On this special Valentine's Day edition of The Rebel Yell, I'd like to share with you a shot I recently snapped in Cambridge. This collegiate effort to graffiti the side of the new American Apparel store on Brattle Street made me smile.

The narratives I'd concocted involved a devilishly clever store employee who wanted to reference obscure British History, or the store's manager that wanted to prove his "coolness factor" to the plebs and show that he too reads Alan Moore. I even had a whole treatise on how the original artist had missed that second letter B, and had gone back days later to correct the error only to find that another schmo with spray paint had done it for them. Sadly, these were all put to pasture when I parked across from the store during a Wednesday sabbatical to the comic book shop.

"Damn", I thought. "Somebody done gone and painted right over that piece of post-urban urban art.

That means it's gone.

See you in the funny pages...

Thursday, February 08, 2007


"A New York state Senator is proposing a law to make it illegal to walk, jog or bike across the street while using an iPod, a BlackBerry or any other electronic device.

State Senator Carl Kruger said: “If you’re so involved in your electronic device that you can’t see or hear a car coming, this is indicative of a larger problem that requires some sort of enforcement beyond the application of common sense."...

The proposed ban - on iPods, mobile phones, BlackBerries, video games or other electronic devices when crossing the street - will be introduced this week, Mr Koppel said..."

Also soon to be added to Senator Kruger's list of things you shouldn't use while crossing the street: your brain.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Tunes For The Weekend

I'd like to share with you the track list of a cd I recently burned and have been listening to on repeat for nigh on a fortnight. Cool?

1) "le disko" Shiny Toy Guns - This track is just oozes cool. Great beat. Lyrics like Cake.

2) "life by the drop" Stevie Ray Vaughn - Stevie on 12-string and nothing else around. Golden.

3) " xo" FallOut Boy - The best track off their best album.

4) " tomorrow comes a day too soon (acoustic)" Flogging Molly - My favorite song by these guys.

5) "d'yer mak'er" Led Zeppelin - For my money, I don't know a Zep tune I'd rather have to listen to over and over again. Maybe Kashmir, but that shitty sample of it in Godzilla kinda ruined it for me.

6) "love like winter" AFI - I thought I'd hate their most recent album, only because I like the first one so much. I stand corrected.

7) "we used to be friends" The Dandy Warhols - This track is just awesome. Plus is makes me think of Veronica Mars, and by default Kristen Bell. No complaints here.

8) "giving him something he can feel" En Vogue - Whatever. I'm allowed one, aren't I?

9) "papa's got a brand new bag pt 1" James Brown - It feels like I should be walking down the Columbus Ave with this playing in the background.

10) "snitches and talkers get stitches and walkers" FallOut Boy - Lots of "energy". Me likey.

11) "someday i suppose (life from the middle east) The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Arguably their best record. Arguably their best song.

12) "de l'alouette" RJD2 - It's the song from the Adidas commercial that was on during the World Cup.

13) "follow you" Josh Kelley - Totally bland pop, but I really like this song.

Well there it is. Download 'em, enjoy 'em, let me know if you agree.

See you in the funny pages...