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Inside the imdb top 250

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The Internet Movie Database ranking of the 250 films its users deem the greatest of all-time has always fascinated me, partly because I’ve spent a disturbing amount of my life creating lists for various publications and also because it reveals America’s self-proclaimed movie snobs to be deeply perceptive and total cretins all at once. The rankings inevitably feature a few artificially high recent releases (you may not have been aware of it, but Inception and Toy Story 3 are both among the ten finest films ever). Then in a few weeks things stabilize, resulting in relatively constant master list. Here’s what I love and loathe about the rankings:

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politics & government

I need help quickly

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Does anybody know how to cancel a bid on E-Bay?

I put in a bid for a “Mickey Mouse Outfit” and now it seems I’m only 6 minutes away from acquiring Obama and his entire cabinet!

Michael Cade's audio files

Audio files: Nude Deborah Harry; GWAR; and turbo folk

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Welcome to “Audio Files,” my new weekly column here at When Falls the Coliseum. AF is scheduled to run every Thursday at noon, God willing, and I’m fairly certain that it will.

I can’t promise the topics will be useful, relevant, or newsworthy, but I’ll make every effort to smother you with my relentless enthusiasm for all things aural. I should add that the topics won’t be limited to music; all dimensions of sound and noise will be explored.

Here we go…

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politics & governmenttelevision

Barack Obama’s Jersey Shore lie

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Having absolutely nothing better to do, the President of the United States appeared on The View yesterday where he made what I consider to be a rather startling claim for an American to make:

President Obama charmed the ladies on “The View” yesterday and confidently showed off his command of the big challenges facing the nation today.

But the name Snooki didn’t ring a bell.

“I’m sorry, I don’t know who that is,” the smiling but perplexed President said when asked about the big-haired “Jersey Shore” bombshell, according to several audience members interviewed after the show.

“We all liked that he didn’t know who she was,” said Nella Cerminara, 51, of Montreal.

That would be nice if the president didn’t know who “Snooki” was, I suppose.

Except he does know who Snooki is. He was lying. Check out this video from back in May: [Read more →]

books & writing

Lisa reads: Rock & Roll Diner: Menus and Music by Sharon O’Connor

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The other day, as I was browsing my cookbook shelf, looking for something that didn’t actually require cooking, it occurred to me that I have a lot of books there that deserve a review.  I’m a big fan of cookbooks — I like serious, gourmet recipes, ethnic choices, theme cookbooks — all kinds of cookbooks!

Rock & Roll Diner (Menus and Music) by Sharon O’Connor is an older book, but diner food is always in style.  The cookbook came as a box set with diner music!  Mustang Sally, Blueberry Hill, and Where Did Our Love Go? all remind me of those little jukeboxes you find on diner tables.  The only problem: it’s a cassette tape.  I don’t even own a tape player anymore. [Read more →]

Fred's dreams


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July 5, 2010
I dream I am working at a paramilitary version of a university at which there are many regulations. I have used the mustard wrong, so I am pulled from duty and forced to take a shower. I am given 36 seconds, but I’m told that the time started before I had my clothes off. I am then placed on “line duty.” My job is to herd people through the line of the local dinner theater. I have subordinates who are required to keep people moving through three sets of turnstiles in an orderly manner.

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family & parentinggoing parental

Going parental: Why that stupid New York magazine article “All Joy and No Fun” was the dumbest sh*t I’ve ever read

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By now, this article has been completely ripped apart, picked apart, debated, agreed with and utterly denounced. At this point I’ve read “All Joy And No Fun: Why Parents Hate Parenting,” and I have to say — what a total piece of shit.

I don’t know anything about the writer and to be honest I made no attempt at learning a thing about her because I wouldn’t waste my time.

Listen — you don’t want to have kids? More power to you. But those of you who go out there, get married and have kids — and then blame all of your problems on the fact that you had kids — are total assholes. You’re selfish, ego-maniacal douchebags. And deep down, I think you know it. [Read more →]

Gail sees a moviemovies

Gail sees a movie: The Kids Are All Right

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A wonderful cast, an intelligent and funny screenplay and fine direction more than compensate for a few implausible plot twists in The Kids Are All Right. I found the characters compelling and parts of this film made me laugh harder than I expected. This film is not perfect, but it is very good. [Read more →]

Meg gives advice to famous peoplepolitics & government

Bristol Palin should not marry Levi Johnston

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Bristol, Bristol, Bristol. The story of your charmed teenage years could have been taken right off the cover of a dog-eared Sweet Valley High paperback. You met a guy you liked, you had unprotected sex because condoms make Jesus cry, your mother forced you and your swollen belly to make an appearance at the RNC, and then your baby daddy abandoned you, trashed your family in Vanity Fair, and came crawling back with a diamond ring and five pounds of freshly-killed moose meat. I mean, really, what little girl hasn’t dreamt of a future like that? I get it, honey, you fell in love with the dream. And now I’m going to wake you up. Come crawl into Auntie Meg’s lap, Bristol Palin; it’s time for some tough love. [Read more →]

on thrillers and crime

On crime & thrillers: Manhattan Noir 2, The Classics

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I love short stories and I truly love short stories about crime.     

Back in May I wrote a column about a collection of short stories called Boston Noir. At the end of my column I asked why there was no Philly noir collection and an editor at Akashic Books subsequently informed me that a collection of Philly crime noir stories would soon be published.

So while I wait for the Philly collection, I read another one of Akashic’s noir series, Manhattan Noir 2, The Classics.

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recipes & foodtelevision

Rejected titles for the TV show Man v. Food

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Man v. Dignity

Audience v. Stomach

Man v. Reputation

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Exaggeration nation: Kings of nothin’

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Guess why the rock band Kings of Leon abandoned their gig in St. Louis after three songs. Bloody mosh pit? Misfiring dragon-shaped fireballs? Dragged off stage for lewd behavior involving honeybees and a flowering dogwood?

Nope. It was pigeons. Pooping pigeons.

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bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Chone Figgins should find a new career

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Athletes make loads of money. Most of the rest of us do not. These are basic facts. It is natural to envy what we don’t have, and even to resent those who seem more fortunate than ourselves. Despite this, most sports fans are okay with the fact that many of the athletes for whom we root are millionaires many times over. We take so much enjoyment from sports, we have not only made peace with this inequity, but we often actually support it, advocating that the teams we love spend even more than they already spend. There is an assumed contract with the fans, though, that goes along with the gigantic contracts the players sign. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingends & odd

Top ten answers to the question “How hot is it?”

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10. “It’s so hot, I just killed a guy for asking, ‘Hot enough for ya?’.”

9. “It’s so hot, Mel Gibson actually appreciates the cold shoulder his ex-girlfriend is giving him.”

8. “It’s so hot, the cows are giving evaporated milk.”

7. “It’s so hot, my car’s GPS lady keeps directing me towards Canada.”

6. “It’s so hot, Amy Winehouse tested positive for Slurpees.”

5. “It’s so hot, the fish are sweating.”

4. “It’s so hot, I saw a squirrel handling his nuts with tongs.”

3. “It’s so hot, President Obama’s motorcade was spotted outside a Dairy Queen.”

2. “It’s so hot, Dick Cheney was caught waterboarding himself.”

1. “It’s so hot, Lindsay Lohan said she was actually looking forward to spending some time in the ‘cooler’.”

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

art & entertainmentends & odd

San Diego Comic-Con stabbing, or scratching: Fanboys aren’t crazy, just under a lot of pressure

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The last Comic-Con I attended was way back in 2007, when I still had a comic book writing gig, a fairly big one, actually, and when I went to the bars and parties after hours I could say, “Hi, I’m Ricky and I write _____,” and people actually knew what I was talking about. I admit I felt like a big man. It was a fun time.

I mean, it was fun going to the bars and parties after Comic-Con had closed. Comic-Con itself had become the opposite of fun.

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politics & government

Cops checking citizenship

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Buckle up kids, this is from ICE’s own website, discussing the Federal program designed to train State and local officers in immigration enforcement.  The authorization for this was given in 1996

Sort of an FYI to those of you claiming that Arizona does not have the liberty to enforce its new immigration law.

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Bloggers wanted

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When Falls the Coliseum is looking for bloggers to post commentaries, essays, rants, satire, and reviews about current events, politics, entertainment, culture, and many other topics from a broad range of personal and political perspectives. We appreciate both serious discussion and merciless mockery. We like humor — the funny kind. If you’re interested in being a regular contributor, visit our submissions page and tour our site (see FAQ, Welcome, and History). We don’t care if you are libertarian, liberal, conservative, other, or don’t pay attention to politics. As long as you can write posts that interest readers and you want to do so regularly, we’d like to hear from you. We’re looking to increase our coverage of movies, books, TV, video games, celebrity news, pop culture, politics, current events, social issues, online oddities.


World Cup withdrawal

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I admit it: I miss the World Cup. Partly this is because it enabled me to go to a bar at 10am on a weekday without it being seen as proof I have a problem. In part it’s the absence of commercials and timeouts — once a half starts, it goes on for at least 45 minutes — which is not the case with any American sport, with the worst offender being an NBA game in the 4th quarter (new Popes are elected in less time). And finally, I genuinely came to enjoy watching it. Here are the things I came to cherish most about the beautiful game: [Read more →]

books & writing

Lisa reads: Proust’s Overcoat by Lorenza Foschini

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Proust’s Overcoat: The True Story of One Man’s Passion for All Things Proust is an interesting little read — a case study in obsession.  It is the story of a book lover, his connections to the Proust family, and his obsession with preserving the author’s writings and possessions.  Author Lorenza Foschini does an excellent job of pulling the threads of this story together into a fascinating — if short — read. [Read more →]

Fred's dreams


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July 9, 2010
I dream there is a gathering at my very mod home, and a friend of my mother’s who sees herself as a nature lover is playing too aggressively with a pet snake. The snake bites her in the mouth and leaves fangs in her tongue. We beg this woman to go to the emergency room, but she just pulls the fangs out of her tongue and goes on with her day. The snake is left without teeth, and it keeps trying to bite the head off of a chicken. The chicken seems to be enjoying having its head in the snake’s mouth and repeatedly pulling it out.

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