Thursday, May 31, 2007

Here He Comes

Hey Chim Chim, let's hide in the trunk!My second earliest gay memory happened when I was six. I loved Speed Racer. No, not that kind of love. I just really, really dug the show. I mean, what six-year-old doesn't want a car that can chop down trees and has a monkey in the trunk.? Plus, it's really easy to act out old-style anime. You only have to move one frame every couple of seconds or so. Easy!

But if Speed ruled, Racer X rocked. Tall, dark, handsome. Mysteriously edgey. Maybe even a bad guy. But, as the Shangri La's sang, he's good bad, but he's not evil. So, the whole gay thing: I remember one afternoon watching the cartoon like I always did. Racer X came on, so I naturally paid more attention. Then--and I'm smiling as I type this--he got into a glass-doored shower for a Brian DePalma steam special.
It was years before I had a name for what happened to me next.
There was never another moment like that in the entire series. I know. I looked. Now I've learned that those wacky Hollywood Wachowskis are putting together a live action Speed Racer movie. Insert gear shift joke here. Ahem.

The Noble Art of Missing Me

Missing me yet?

Work is taking up almost all of my time, these past few days, and will continue to do so for at least two more weeks. That means not as many posts. If I had more readers, I could have a guest blogger sit in and make stuff up about me. But since it's mostly just me and the unmanned attacks from Saudi Arabia, I'll just have to let it go.

And speaking of work, I generated the image below to help "clearly explain" one of my ideas. How funny is that? I think I need a vacation.

Best. PowerPoint Presentation. Ever.

Royksopp rocks it!

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Other One

I am Nelson, hear me RWAR!
I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.
Jean Cocteau

Insult of the Week

From Gawker's comment page on the Rosie O'Donnell-Elisabeth Hasselbeck dust up:

mitts off the preggo? I don't care is she's carrying an endangered white tiger around in there--if she spouts off bullshit in a public forum, she should be taken to task for it.

A gloves-off street brawl from NYC--with the added benefit of truth! And who doesn't love the Left-Right tussle reflected in the image of an endangered species vs. a pro-life neo con. Beauty.

Radio, Radio

Most of Elvis Costello's recent material is so lame that it's got folks reevaluating his previous work. Now, that's gotta suck. My advice: Listen to the old stuff and remember the first time you heard it. Junior high schooler, sitting in your bedroom, LP spinning in the dark, imagining that this strange man from England was going to save rock and roll. And maybe even your life. Enjoy.

Update: Here's the infamous, blisteringly ad hoc performance of "Radio, Radio" on Saturday Night Live in 1977. This is the one that had Lorne Michaels giving him the finger from the wings, and got Elvis banned from SNL for years to come.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Gay Assimilation: Good or Bad? Discuss

I am a GAY!

The news from Russia certainly makes me rethink my longing for the good old days of the gay subculture. It's easy to forget how bad it was, even as one remembers the parts that were engergizing and fun.
Don't get me wrong. I've always thought of myself as assimilated, even when it wasn't true. And even to the point of getting ultra-lefty activists pissed at my desire for ordinariness. But I always had the subculture to fall back on if things got too safe.
That's why Little Britain's Daffyd Thomas is a brilliant tonic. As "the only gay in the village", he reminds us that there is a certain comfort and stability to be found in victimhood. But enjoying it is very limiting--and only possible when you're not actually being beaten.

Religion + Skinheads = Idiots

photo from AP

Nationalist and pro-fascist thugs (with help from militant Orthodox Christians) attacked and beat peaceful gay rights protesters in Moscow yesterday. Who do the police arrest? The gay demonstrators, of course. In front of the office of the mayor, who last year called gays "satanic". Personally, I think that any coalition that includes Orthodox priests, skinheads, and the elderly is pretty fucking satanic. Perhaps now we can put to rest thoughts that Russia can join civilized nations at the same table.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Veronica Mars: Gone, Not Forgotten

Bye byeVeronica Mars was easily one the best shows on television. But the CW--a tragically shallow television network quickly losing its reason for being--seriously screwed up. They not only cancelled Veronica, but actually dumped the last two episodes on air, with no attempt to wrap up any of the outstanding storylines. Oh well.

I highly recommend Veronica's first season to almost anyone. Just be sure to have two full days free, because you won't want to stop watching once you start.

And if you ever miss our spunky detective too much, you can download your own Veronica for The Sims computer game. But don't be a perv.

(If you are a perv, you can also get Sims versions of the shirtless cowboys from Brokeback Mountain.)

Friday, May 25, 2007

"God's Lonely Man"

The original trailer for Taxi Driver. Still dropping jaws after all these years.


I hate when this happens

I'm a very nosey man who loves to read those abandoned receipts at my ATM. So of course I dig Found magazine, where visitors mail notes, photos, grocery lists--pretty much anything--to the editors, who post them without comment.

As with stars in the sky, the more you look, the more you see. Ain't life sad great weird.

10 Movie to Watch For

Salon's fantastically readable indie movie critic, Andrew O'Hehir, sends this list from Cannes. Of them all, I'm getting sweaty palms thinking about Control directed by Anton Corbijn:

Corbijn's film is a glum, black-and-white period piece about Ian Curtis, the late singer in the legendary English post-punk band Joy Division, and there are only two possible reactions to that information. It's either "Who cares? or "What do I have to do to see it?" Samantha Morton stars as Curtis' wife, Deborah (the film is based on her book), with unknown Sam Riley as the espresso-depresso gloomster champion of his time.
Corbijn's music videos for Depeche Mode, Nirvana, and others were beautiful and perfectly tuned into their times. I wonder how well he does with late 70's England? And speaking of which, Ian and the boys appeared in 24 Hour Party People a few years back. It wasn't really their story, but I still hightly recommend it to anyone who loves post-punk music and gloomy dudes singing death disco.

The Ultimate Dynasty French

Thursday, May 24, 2007

My Favorite Photography Blog

Strobist is one of the coolest and most practical blogs around. I rank it up there with Lifehacker for it's consistent "wow, I never knew I could do that" factor.

An example? It taught me how to build an in-home studio for $12 that actually works. Can't beat that.

Wi-Fi iPod?

CyberNet says maybe. It's an old article, but it still made my ears perk up.

What the Hell Is a "lolcat"?

That would be: Laugh Out Loud Cat.
Sometimes I think I get this whole internet-y thing. I've been working on it for more than 10 years, so I should know something, right? Then I hear about LolCats, scratch my head, and think "WTF?"
So what is a lolcat? A cute picture of a cat or other pet, with a humorous caption, written in some weird pidgeon English. And here's a shocking tidbit for you. The lolcat site I Can Has Cheezburger accounts for one-third of the Wordpress blogging bandwidth.
Laugh out loud here.

Conservatives Want the Terrorists to Win

From AP:

Lawmakers who say the military has kicked out 58 Arabic language experts because they were gay want the Pentagon to explain how it can afford to let the valuable specialists go.
Seems to me: Bigots = Traitors.

Jazz Thursdays: Dave Brubeck Quartet (1961)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Gabba Gabba Hey! It's the Punk Zine Archive

Sheena is a punk reader

Take a peek at your fav punk zines from 1977 to 1998: Suburban Voice, MaximumRockandRoll, HeartAttaCK, and Flipside are all here. I've never loved reading zines, finding them a little too difficult to actually deal with, but I loved that fact that they existed. Kind of like vampire bats. From Operation Phoenix Records.

DC Observed

I've spent the last few years really trying to become a better fine arts photographer, even to the point of considering an MFA in photography. So it's no surprise that I've created a personal photography blog. Actually, it's more of a personal photography art object project: I'll be posting one image each day for the next year taken in and around DC. It's been up one week. Check it out.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

"She's Not Nearly Half the Girl She...Ow"

I'm not a big Broadway musical fan, but Buffy can convince me of anything. This clip won't mean anything to un-fans of the show. But for everyone else, I won't need to convince you of its genius.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Insult of the Week

From Michael Musto at the Village Voice:

Even more weight...was lost by Mao PR fashion flack MAURICIO PADILHA, who thanks to relentless training and dieting has shed an entire 180 pounds—which is like if Mary Kate lost Ashley plus a closet full of Vuitton bags.
This one is frothy, weightless fun. Like a razor slice, it takes an extra second to register the pain. One extra star for the Olson twin reference. We'd almost forgotten about them.

Four stars out of five.

Kreepie Kats

Kreepy Kats

Gawker is a cornucopia of delights, none more delightful than the Kreepie Kats cartoon. Vulgar and hard to explain--I think that sums it up. If you want to know what this week's comic is about, take a look at this Village Voice story.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Billy, Don't Be a Hero

I'd wear tights and a cape for you

Spent most of the day Saturday, ass firmly planted on the couch, watching SciFi's Heroes marathon. Heroes always seemed like the kind of show that a fanboy like yours truly would love. But the glimpses I got of it--the monochrome blue mise-en-scene, the television soap opera sameness, and, most importantly, it's popularity--just didn't pull me in.

After the marathon, I have to say my opinion hasn't radically changed. Heroes is an X-Men rip off with Lost-style quality and structure. It's definitely engaging and great to look at, but it's also a little pointless and a little drab and diluted.

On the up side, it had one of the most beautiful special effects shots I've ever seen anywhere, as a flying shirtless man lands in the desert outside a roadside diner in a cloud of backlit dust.

And it stars Greg Grunberg as a put-upon telepathic policeman. And he's cuteness incarnate. (Confession: I used to fast forward through Alias to get to his scenes.) Might be worth watching Heroes just to see him smile.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

La Chute

Photographer Denis Darzacq's amazing and dramatic La Chute shows young men floating--or falling--through empty and sterile Paris landscapes.

Whereas E.J. Marey and Harold Edgerton took scientific photographs infused with poetry, Darzacq creates art with a scientist's precision and technique, encouraging us to investigate and question his images, subjects, and landscapes.


"It's a Little Monster Man!"

I'm a sucker for practical jokes that scare people. This little gem from an old episode of Scare Tactics makes me laugh just thinking about it. YouTube is genius.

Back to the Future

Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye

Went to the Corcoran's new exhibit, Modernism: Designing a New World on Friday. The thing was massive, taking up all of the museum's second floor and even a few rooms on the first. It was exhaustive (and even a little exhausting). And truly amazing.
I tend to favor later Modernism, especially mid-Century architecture. (Totally loved the section on Purism--especially Le Corbusier) Seeing the origins and paths the movement took helped me see those old favs in a new light.
Only complaint: The guards are a little too enthusiastic. I paid almost $20 for my tix. If I want to lean against a blank wall, then why don't you cut me some fucking slack. Please.
Update: Here's a 3D animated tour of the interior of Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye (pictured above).

Friday, May 18, 2007

If Frank Black Were Hot

Wanna be a debaser!

Yesterday at lunch the lovely and charming Daphne had an interesting, seemingly random hypothesis: Everything would be different if only Frank Black were hot.
Hmmm. Took me a few seconds to mull that one over, but I think she's absolutely right.
The Pixies' music was catchy and abrasive. Brilliant. Highly influential. What if everyone had listened to them, or at the very least knew of them. Sure, Mr. Black isn't some hideous bridge troll, but he's certainly no Tiger Beat cover boy either. But what if he had been? Would the Pixies have taken over the world?
The answer, I think, is yes. Think: Nirvana.

Plastic Bottles, 2007

Artist Chris Jordan creates massive photographs depicting everyday life in America as part of his Running the Numbers piece. The work above--at 60 x 120 inches--shows two million plastics bottles. Or as Jordan says: the number used in the US every five minutes.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Go to MIT

I'm reading a book on collaborative economics called Wikinomics, and the authors turned me onto the coolest thing: MIT now puts all of it's course materials online for free, for anyone to use. The website calls MIT OpenCourseWare

a free and open educational resource (OER) for educators, students, and self-learners around the world.
There's no degree and you can't use faculty office hours. But you do get access to reading lists, lecture notes, assignments, etc. Sounds like a great resource for a knowledge junkie, and a great example of how opening an organization's assets to the world can move their mission forward.

Jazz Thursdays: Charles Mingus Live in Norway (1964)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Jerry Falwell: Dead

Later, Hater!

I've been trying to decide what to say about the death of America's premier evangelical charlatan. Instead I'll let Christopher Hitchens do it.

The evil that he did will live after him. This is not just because of the wickedness that he actually preached, but because of the hole that he made in the "wall of separation" that ought to divide religion from politics. In his dingy racist past, Falwell attacked those churchmen who mixed the two worlds of faith and politics and called for civil rights. Then he realized that two could play at this game and learned to play it himself.

Mother's Day

I've been looking for the perfect Mother's Day post, but haven't found anything that was perfectly true until now. I took this postcard from this week's Postsecrets. (If you've never visited that site, please go. It's one of the best blogs out there and an amazing art piece, to boot.)
Love you, Mom.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Simpson Maker

Mmmmmm...existential crisis.

Use this nifty online tool to create your own Simpsons character. This is what your humble narrator looks like when he visits Springfield.


It's foundational, but the phrase "separation of church and state" never actually appears in the U.S. Constitution. It was written by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association. Key quote:

...that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.

The author's claim that Jefferson was a man of deep religious conviction is still in dispute. But you can read the letter here.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Losing My Edge

Man am I stupid. I've had tickets for LCD Soundsystem for weeks. Been waiting for it. Looking forward to it. Tix were on the fridge in plain site. It was in my PDA: June 13. I was going by myself, but that was cool. LCD Soundsystem would be worth it.

Except the show was on May 13. And I missed it.

Stupid, stupid, stupid!

Sigh. Here's the video anyway.

Insult of the Week

From Defamer: unsolicited glimpse into the well-ventilated mind of Cameron Diaz.

Well-ventilated. It's like a child's drawing of a murder--colorful and fun on the surface, but scary and clinical underneath. Perfection!

Four stars out of five.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Web 2.0 in Less Than Five Minutes

Some people have asked: What the heck is this Web 2.0 thingamajiggy you keep talking about? This short inspirational video explains it better than I could.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Speaking of The Family Circus

Next - Freud's The Wizard of Id

If you've ever felt that reading that comic was like staring into the abyss, then this was made for you: The Nietzsche Family Circus. It randomly matches quotes from the old philosopher to blank panels from that eternally blank comic.

Saving Aimee. Or Not.

Jesus Christ, superstar

Went with the usual suspects to see Saving Aimee at Signature tonight. This musical about the original superstar evangelist, Aimee Semple McPherson, was written by--hold me back--Kathy Lee Gifford. There are so many things wrong with this situation, I don't even know where to start. Simplistic, insulting, repetitive, and loud, Aimee was nonetheless exceptionally well produced, as one would expect of Signature. But ultimately, it's like hiring Martin Scorcese to make the Family Circus movie. Sigh.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sarcasm: A Primer

This bit of wisdom from Gawker is one for the ages. They are referring to Chuck Klosterman, but it can be used anytime anyone misses the point of your finely honed sarcasm.

Sarcasm seems to baffle a certain set of readers. They see it as a form of detachment or removal, instead of what it really is: An expression of hostility, rage and scorn.

Kirk Cameron Proves God Exists


The usually unreadable Slate digs deep.
[T]he God Squad had but three arguments on behalf of the big guy: All things have makers; the human conscience is evidence of a higher moral power; if you read the Gospel, then Christ will be revealed to you. For reasons too stupid to type, this was not an airtight case, and the atheists made quick work of it in tones of juvenile sarcasm.
Now let's pray for Passion of Tina Yothers?


Saw Air last night at the sold-out 930 Club. Surprisingly uneven show. The band had some trouble overcoming the room's crummy acoustics--especially on their trippier atmospheric songs. But the room can't take all the blame. Maybe some songs just can't (or shouldn't) be played live. More successful were Air's older prog rock songs, like Remember and Kelly Watch the Stars, where the guitars and drums were allowed to soar a little. But those moments were shortlived.

For those who couldn't attend the show, here's a little Air for you, starring a giant, sexy monkey.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Captain Kittens

Captain Kittens reigns supreme!

Jerry already had Captain Kittens when I moved in 5 years ago. He'd been a stray and was a little skittish, but very, very streetwise. This we knew from his prediliction for boldly eating out of the trashcan--especially corncobs and chicken bones. His late night trashcan excursions were a source of constant irritation. And they kept us (and him) on our feet and on our guard.
One night soon after I'd moved in, I was finishing up dinner by myself in front of the TV. It was, of course, fried chicken. As I ate, I could see Captain Kittens hovering just over the edge of the coffee table, sniffing the air like a little grey fox. This was normal. What happened next was not.
In a movement so fast I almost thought I'd imagined it, he swatted the chicken off the table, onto the floor, and into his mouth. And he was off.
Jerry's versoin of cat discipline was to invoke the Alpha Cat--that is we, as the Alpha Cats, were to chase the miscreant, hold him down on the floor, and scold him sharply. Seemed odd, but was surprisingly effective. So when Captain Kittens stole my chicken and ran, I jumped over the coffee table in full Alpha mode and ran after him.
The chase was both fast and furious. We raced through the dining room, through the kitchen, up the stairs to the second floor, in a circle around the bedroom, then back downstairs for repeat of the entire circuit.
I don't have any idea what goes through a cat's mind, but I had a feeling Captain Kittens was in no mood for the Alpha Cat treatment on our second trip up the stair when, instead of heading into the bedroom again, the cat stopped at the top of the stairs to face me.
This is when time slowed down, and I got a very bad feeling. I mean, nothing good can come of this, right? And when he launched himself into the air towards my face, that feeling was confirmed. I was sure he was going to latch onto my head, rip my face off, or do whatever a cornered and chicken-crazed cat does. At that point, I was buddhist calm. I was resigned to my fate.
But then he sailed past my shoulder, as if with wings, and landed without a sound at the foot of the stairs. And disappeared around the corner.
I took the hint.
I retired the Alpha Cat for the night and returned to the sofa. A few minutes later, Captain Kittens jumped onto my lap, slumped into a heap, and started purring.
Nice try, he seemed to say, No hard feelings.
Until next time.
Today, Jerry and I had to face reality and put Captain Kittens down, after a short, unpleasant battle with cancer.
He will be missed. But wherever he is now, I hope there are trashcans filled to the brim with chicken bones and not a single Alpha Cat in site.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Gettin' My Kicks on Route 66

New Mexico: Cleaner Than Regular Mexico

This is my fourth day in Albuquerque. I've spent most of my time either preparing for my work presentations, working on my blogs, researching Web 2.0 websites, and reading. In other words, slowly losing mind.

On the up side, the hotel has a super easy-to-use broadband connection, so I don't have to futz with that at all. My brand spanking new work laptop works like a champ. I found a great online jazz radio station. And we managed to the get the VPN to work after only 5 minutes of trying. In other words, I don't feel completely isolated.
I'm leaving tomorrow after my last presentation. It will be another long day in airports (and the air), but it will be worth it to be home again. I miss Jerry and the cats and the gym and my shredded wheat. In other words, one can only take so much.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

The Best SF of the Last 25 Years?

Look Ma, I'm Number 22!

Entertainment Weekly has posted one of their interminable lists. This time: The Sci-Fi 25.

Of course, they get a lot of it wrong. There's no Max Headroom. No The Fly. And no Repo Man. No Primer. Even a sure thing like Robocop is missing. You know something's wrong when Quatum Leap fills in for Robocop. I'm just saying.

What's surprising is what they got right. Futurama, for instance. Or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. And while it may be a scientific fact that Blade Runner is the most important piece of visual SF art in the last 25 years, not too many fanboys are going to argue with The Matrix at #1.

Still, no Lost Room, or Babylon 5, or....

The New Haiku Review

Our sister site is live! Now, when you get those haiku criticism cravings, you'll know where to go. And unlike here at Everything Ecstatic, simply anyone can post to The New Haiku Review. It's a democracy of geeky time-wastery.

Let's get poetic!

Digg my article


I've been doing a lot of research into Web 2.0 and social media for work in the last few months. I have to admit that, while there are many very cool things out there, I don't get a lot of it. Maybe I've crossed that "your heart dies when you grow up" threshold they mentioned in The Breakfast Club. Nonetheless, one site that has become a nutty obssession is GoodReads, a combination of Amazon, NetFlix, and

I've just added the GoodReads widget to Everything Ecstatic. Now you can see what I'm reading and what I've read. (I know, I know--start the parade.) If you join and become my friend, though, you can also read my reviews, join discussion groups, and pick up other book nerds across the country.

It's not for everyone. But this nerd loves it.

dayvan cowboy

Behold the firstever music video from Boards of Canada, my favorite band. The song: sublime. The images: insane. The verdict: awesome.

not dead yet

it's baaaaack

Welcome everyone to the new and improved Everything Ecstatic.

Version 2 will have a few changes. Basically, I'm hoping not to suck as much. I'm not going to be all over the place. I'm going to have more fun. And I'm going to move some of my old features--such as the Haiku Review--to a completely separate site. And I'll be adding some new elements, as well.

The old version of EE lasted almost an entire year. This time, I'm going for a full 11 months!

Fingers are crossed.

let's set the record straight

  1. Yes, my blog posts are over-written.
  2. Republicans aren't Evil, but they are evil.
  3. Porn is not only not bad, it's healthy.
  4. Nothing is black or white, except black and white.
  5. There is no god.
  6. Art can save you.

Friday, May 4, 2007

i am the "funky type of gay guy"

The passion of Funky

"Everywhere you go, you know what you're doing and people can't stop to take notice. You're into what's groovy and different."

Who knew?

I just took the test over at Quizilla. It may be true. But how accurate can it be when the quiz-master mispells an important word like "heinous"?

Anyway, you, too, can take the test.