Entries Tagged as 'art & entertainment'

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingtelevision

Top ten new shows on Atheist TV

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10. Touched by a Physicist

9. The 420 Club

8. Religulous – The Series

7. (Don’t) Believe

6. Hour of Sour

5. A Show About Nothingness

4. How I Met Your Silverback

3. The Fraud Squad

2. We’re A Non-Prophet Organization

1. Highway to Nowhere
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingpolitics & government

Top ten new shows on the Sarah Palin Channel

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10. Whose Lie Is It Anyway?

9. B.J. and the Mama Grizzly

8. Minimal Minds

7. Combat Drone Moose Hunt

6. Are You Dumber Than A Fifth Grader?

5. Under the Nome

4. How I Met Your Teenage Unwed Mother

3. The Big Benghazi Theory

2. Wasilla Gorilla

1. The Tina Fey Hour
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

moviesreligion & philosophy

The long lost instruction book to the game of life

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When you’ve seen as many movies as I have, you begin to see that they all follow a certain pattern. This is true not just of movies, but of all great stories ranging from those found in classic mythology and literature to modern TV series and video games. Joseph Campbell called it the monomyth or hero’s journey. It’s basically a series of steps that the protagonist must go through during the course of his or her adventure. In addition to this, there are also a number of spiritual principles that often find their way into storytelling. By combining these principles with the monomyth, you can pretty much figure out where just about any story is headed. While this skill has proven to be incredibly annoying to my wife, it’s come in very handy for me. Not because I’ve continually annoyed her with my usually correct movie and TV show predictions, but because I’ve noticed that these storytelling rules apply to more than just fictitious stories. They also apply to real life. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmusic

Top ten songs in the new Rob Ford musical, premiering at Toronto’s Factory Theatre this September

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10. Baby Got Crack

9. I’m a Boozer

8. Michael Row the Bloat Ashore

7. Tequila Mockingbird

6. (All We Are Saying Is) Give Obese A Chance

5. The Plumpty Dance

4. He’s a (Dipso)Maniac

3. Wish I Could Fly Like Stuporman

2. Booze Sorry Now

1. Leader of the Crack
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingtelevision

Top ten new shows on The Cat Network

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10. The King James Persian

9. Here and Meow

8. Paper Tiger

7. The Weakest Lynx

6. Garfield of Dreams

5. Cougar Town

4. Tails from the Crypt

3. L.A. Claw

2. Sex and the Kitty

1. Downton Tabby
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

art & entertainmentbooks & writing

Book Review: Retroworld (plus, why I hate Star Trek)

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I’ve never been much of a Star Trek fan. It’s not because I don’t like Science Fiction-Star Wars and alien invasion B-movies were a big part of my childhood, I grew up reading the British comic 2000AD, and I wrote my thesis on Philip K. Dick before it was fashionable to do such things. No, I hate Star Trek because it’s so utterly dishonest about human nature and the universe we live in.

Star Trek: The Next Generation is especially egregious. It’s essentially a soap opera about UN diplomats in space, only instead of standing by impotently while alien races are massacred by enemy species, or dispatching squads of blue space-helmeted peacekeepers on alien rape missions, the dull inhabitants of the Starship Enterprise  [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmovies

Top ten things overheard at last night’s Oscars

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10. “Look at some of those necklines! I just hope Jonah Hill keeps his thing in his pants.”

9. “Streep’s up for Best Actress? How odd!”

8. “Well, obviously the fix is in. Not a single nomination for Grown-Ups 2.”

7. “Tyler Perry should be up for Best Actor and Best Actress.”

6. “Who’s that gay blond white dude hostin’ this thing?”

5. “I hear George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are making another movie together – he’s a dentist, she’s his assistant – called Cavity.”

4. “I only hope I live long enough to see them include me in that In Memoriam segment.”

3. “There have been so many extraordinary performances – Darlene Love, Pink, U2, Bette Midler, Idina Menzel – I’m getting tired of standing for all the standing ovations!”

2. “Explain to me again why Sharknado isn’t up for anything?”

1. “This is getting so boring. I just wish Jonah Hill would take his thing out of his pants.”
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

televisionThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees and end to the growling announcer

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 444440: What’s with the trend of the growling announcer? — these TV narrators who chew their words and turn the letter S into “Sh”*, as they speak, and then end their sentences with growls? Have ye heard this, O observant minions? (It’s like James Hetfield changed careers, for Pete’s sake.) Look for these angry elocutors on ABC Family Channel and on car commercials and on Discovery channel. Is this just one guy, or another example of meatballs-for-heads nature of the average person? Oh! That is successful! I will imitate it exactly, instead of carving my own niche! And after that, I will write a book about a kid who goes to a wizard school and I will call him Larry Trotter! Oh, the Emperor will find out and then…

The Punishment: These grumbling goofballs will be given growling lessons by a real expert.  In small cage. That is locked.

*A special thank-you to faithful minion “azchurch” for reminding us about the annoying speech-trend of turning the letter S into “sh.” We blame the original 90210. (One is much better advised to spend time with 90125.)

Now, go forth and obey.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmovies

Top ten signs your film is not going to win an Academy Award

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10. It stars Meryl Streep, but not the famous one

9. It’s called Captain Phillips Milk of Magnesia

8. Adam Sandler has never been wackier

7. The world wasn’t ready for an all-gerbil version of Death of a Salesman

6. It’s rated ‘R’ for ‘Ridiculous’

5. The iPod Nano product placements detract from the prehistoric setting

4. The title contains the words “Lone” or “Ranger”

3. It stars Chris Christie in a remake of A Bridge Too Far

2. There’s no category called ‘Biggest Asshole’

1. Roger Ebert returned from Heaven just so he could give it two thumbs down
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmusic

Top ten names of rock bands, just before they picked their current names

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10. Silver Beatles

9. The Strolling Roans

8. Guns and Ammo
[Read more →]

televisionThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that the phrase “but, wait!” shall no longer be used in television commercials

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. LP-700-4: The Emperor rarely does things just for poops and wah-has, but he has decided, this week, to ban the phrase “but, wait!” from all commercials. By doing so, we will effectively put a stop to: “What would you pay for a tool that slices, dices, juliennes and raises your children while doing the grocery shopping, in space, during a meteor shower? But wait – don’t answer yet, because, if you call within the next six seconds, we’ll throw in this beautiful, red Lamborghini Veneno, free of charge! But that’s not all! We’ll double your order and throw in free, lifetime maintenance on the cars…but only if you order in the next six seconds!” Why ban this? Why not? Let the commercial writers expand their creative horizons in order to whip up marketing excitement. Pull out the crutch and watch the bastards topple, I say.

The Punishment: Violators will be run over by a Lamborghini Veneno driven by a guy who is reading a thesaurus.

Now, go forth and obey.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning.

moviesvirtual children by Scott Warnock

The desolation of dumb Smaug

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It’s just a movie. It’s just a movie. It’s just a movie. I repeated the mantra, but if I adhered to it, and not just in this case but in general, if I got all Zen-like and hey-let-it-ride, what would I write about this year? [Read more →]

televisionThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that tooth-brushers must actually use toothpaste in toothpaste commercials

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 4093-1.4: Everything is an illusion in media, these days — “movie magic” and all that rot. CGI. Green screens. We make every effort to create technological alchemy on screens both large and small. Yet, for some inconceivable reason, in every toothpaste commercial ever made, we are forced to endure, from the mirror’s perspective, the farce of  impossibly handsome people brushing their teeth…dry.  The Emperor doesn’t care if it is gross – enough of this deception. Henceforth, people are no longer allowed to brush their teeth without toothpaste in toothpaste commercials. Let’s see some slobber. Let’s see some good, chin-drippy, projectile spitting that ends in disgusting, dangling, transluscent strings of pearly, wobbling glory. If the ole choppers ain’t bubbly with white, spittle-frothed paste, they simply ain’t clean! Truth in advertising! Huzzah!

The Punishment: Directors of commercials for toothpaste — who don’t use toothpaste in their commercials — will be forced to brush with the Emperor’s own, personally- invented “Imperial Tooth Scouring Cream.” (A special blend of various astringent and acidic compounds, stirred lovingly into an entirely unsanitary and unwholseome creamy base that is simply called: “Mystery White Gloop.”

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingtelevision

Top ten least popular holiday specials

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10. America’s Funniest Home Nutcracker Videos

9. Chris Christie’s Twelve Days of Christmas Dinners

8. The Seven Dwarfs in Whistle While You Twerk

7. University of California Davis Policeman’s Now We Spray Our Pepper Gayly

6. It’s A Wonderful Life for the One Percent

5. Rob Ford’s Santa’s Comin’ at the Crack of Dawn!

4. A Charlie Brownstein Hanukkah

3. Frostie the Puddle’s Global-Warming Denier’s Special

2. Al Jazeera’s Christmas Hoax

1. America’s Funniest Christmas Tree Fires
 
Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythinggames

Top ten most dangerous holiday toys

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10. Gasp! – The Saran Wrap Game

9. Mr. Wizard’s Home Lobotomy Kit

8. Miss Piggy’s Swine Flu Self-Inoculator

7. Little Miss Twerker

6. Easy Bake Microwave

5. Balloon Boy’s Self-Launch Kit

4. Hospital Waste Grab Bag

3. Fisher-Price Choking Hazard

2. Jihad! – The Self-Detonation Game

1. Baby’s First Nail Gun

 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingtelevision

Top ten new Dr. Seuss Christmas specials

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10. Green Elves and Ham

9. The Cat In the Santa Hat

8. Reindeer Slop On Pop

7. One Fish Two Fish Dead Fish Stew Fish

6. Mary Yertle Gets Fertile

5. The Fox In Socks In Your Christmas Box

4. And To Think That I Saw It On Bethlehem Street

3. Horton Hears a ‘Ho!’ (…‘Ho! Ho!’)

2. The Butterball Battle Book

1. How The Grinch Stole My Identity and Maxed Out My Credit Cards
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

musicThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that band members must smile in their promo pictures

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 3-G/222:  The “band face.” What does it actually say? – this forward-chinned, full view of the nasal passages? – this…sour look…that bands have had in their promo shots since some time in the late sixties? What does it say? Maybe it is some anemic statement: “We are arteests! We will take this picture because “the suits” say we have to, but we will not smile! – so there!” Is it a threat? “If you buy our record, we will  beat you up.” Maybe it is just another sophomoric attempt, on the part of musicians, to put on the “troubled soul” cloak of the phony bohemian. (If that were the case, though, their purpose would be better served by simply sulking in a chair for every shot.) Whatever it is, it is getting silly. Because it is silly, it is now an impotent gesture. It will stop.

The Punishment: Any band member who does not smile in a promo picture will be facially decorated by the Imperial Artist. Offenders will have a big smile drawn onto their face with multi-colored Sharpies. They will wear this smile during the entire promotion and touring process for whatever album they next release.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning.

gamesvirtual children by Scott Warnock

Your kid should play D&D

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I’m sure you know this already, but Dungeons & Dragons is coming out soon in its 5th edition, or 5.0 or D&D Next. And you probably already know that your kid should play D&D. I just wanted to take a moment to remind you why. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingtelevision

Top ten least popular new TV shows

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10. Law & Order: Jaywalking Unit

9. Two and a Half Laughs

8. How I Met Your Father: Woody Allen/Frank Sinatra Edition

7. The Old and the Toothless

6. Justified: How I Prefer My Paragraphs

5. America’s Funniest Tweets

4. Dancing with the Has-Beens

3. Breaking Wind

2. Once Upon a Time in Newark, New Jersey

1. So You Think You Can Twerk
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

art & entertainmentbooks & writing

The secret rituals of history’s most creative minds

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On a recent flight from Texas to London I sat behind a woman who was editing a manuscript. Being very nosy I strained to read the title, and this is what I saw:

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs

Wow, I thought. What a load of crap. Clearly the primary “presentation secrets” of Steve Jobs were 1) his conviction that he was totally awesome and 2) his understanding that people are always interested in what highly successful people have to say.

This manuscript was obviously a snake oil salesman’s pitch, yet another example of that tiresome but popular  genre in which some not especially successful person reveals [Read more →]
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