Entries Tagged as 'art & entertainment'

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.”
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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 →]
art & entertainmentBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Top ten spokespersons

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10. Anthony Weiner for Jockey Underwear

9. Gary Busey for H&R Block

8. Justin Bieber for Alberto VO5
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art & entertainmentvirtual children by Scott Warnock

Let’s not do this: Stupid movie quotes

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What do the Lone Ranger and a cartoon snail have in common? Well, the answer, other than they might be able to share some foundational Joseph Campbellesque hero archetype role, should be this:  “Not much.” But in contemporary cinema, they have a more specific kinship. Both of them, in recent movies (The Lone Ranger and Turbo), when faced with a/the challenge, say the exact same thing: “Let’s do this.” That’s where we are in the world of modern cinema, boring cookie-cutter characters saying stupid, clichéd phrases. Thus, we now have this equation: The Lone Ranger = A cartoon snail. [Read more →]

televisionThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees an end to commercials depicting ridiculously fun parties

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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. 3-4-33-56: People don’t dance while they eat. They simply don’t. They don’t bop from side to side and smile conspiritorially at each other as they wipe the corners of their mouths and carefully display the advertised product with fingers carefully arranged to give the camera full view. And they don’t gather in impromptu, multicolored mobs on hot city streets and jet joyously through makeshift slip-and-slides in shirts and ties. Parties never are, never have been and never will be that outlandishly fun. (Or that racially and socially harmonious. [That will be the day when a surgeon is on a slip-and slide with the hot dog cart guy.])  In fact, when real parties approach the outlandishly fun level, they usually degenerate in to something much more messy and debauched; they don’t erupt in to Target commercials with beer. Truth in advertising, people. Truth in advertising.

(Side note: And, that African American chap with the crazy hair who is in every commercial made within the past five years…will someone please give him a role in movies or something so the Emperor doesn’t have to see him eating another scrap of snack food or grilling on a grill anymore?)

The Punishment: Guilty directors will be chained in the Imperial dungeon among seductive dancers clad in various tasty foods. The dancers will move just close enough to entice the directors to reach out for a treat and then move away, for the span of a week. The violators will then be released with instructions to amend their ridiculous visions.

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

art & entertainmentBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Top ten “Whatever Happened To…?”s

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10. Mason Reese

9. Balloon Boy

8. Roberto Benigni

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Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingpolitics & government

Top ten new Obama scandals as reported by Fox News

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10. That, at one state dinner, Obama strongly implied that the defrosted ham was actually fresh!

9. The scandal of Obama hiding something about his heritage: he’s mostly Irish

8. The disgrace of Obama once meeting heads of state wearing a clip-on

7. The fact that Obama really really wanted to call his first daughter Clinique

6. That Obama recently sanctioned killer computer worms able to zap any computer user who dare read this Top Ten list

5. Obama sinking so low as to make the ridiculous accusation that Fox News is screaming ‘scandal’ ‘scandal’ ‘scandal’ ‘scandal’ infinity-times-infinity times just in the hopes that, eventually, something might stick

4. The Smell-Of-Cigarette-Smoke-After-Midnight Scandal!

3. That, when Obama was three, he once advertently stared up a grass skirt

2. That Obama smoked so much dope in Hawaii, it has undoubtedly kept him from even greater things – than being the most powerful man on the face of the earth

1. White-After-Labor-Day-Gate
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

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