Friday, November 30, 2012

McSweeney's List

I have written a list of Pretentious Trees.
Above, an engraving of the Great Elm of Shackamaxon, a pretentious tree who didn't make the list and is probably furious.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chuck Klosterman, KISS interview

"If you like a band, you appreciate all the things they do well. But if you LOVE a band, the parts of their career that truly fascinate you are the aspects that go wrong."
Vincent Price on Spanish cuisine.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

“The first draft is always shit.” 
- Ernest Hemingway
"Irony is the most self-defensive mode, as it allows a person to dodge responsibility for his or her choices, aesthetic and otherwise. To live ironically is to hide in public."

Quote from a great article about irony by Christy Wampole, over at the NYT.

Monday, November 26, 2012

An Open Letter from Hostess Brands Inc. to the People of Earth

People say revenge is a dish best served cold, but they're only half right. It's best served cold, with a cream filling, sealed in a cellophane wrapper and infused with enough preservatives to guarantee that it'll outlast your enemies, everyone they love, and probably the entire human race.

Hi, my name is Donald Hostess, and for over eighty years my family has run Hostess Baking company. Eighty years. That's four generations. I took over the company after my father, whose face I only recognized from reading official Hostess stock publications and from seeing the side of his head as he'd pass my bedroom door after a long day of work.

As you know, after eight decades of making high-quality baked goods, the Hostess company is going out of business. The closing of a quintessential American company is of course a sad occasion, but people are especially upset that they’ll no longer be able to enjoy our delicious Twinkies. However, I have a confession to make. As a matter of fact, I have four confessions, and this is the first: The Hostess company baked Wonderbread, and we baked Ho-Hos, but we never, ever baked any Twinkies.

Did you know you can grow your own Twinkies at home? Here's how: place a small sliver of Twinkie in a shoebox full of moist bread and put it in a dark closet. If you don't have wet bread you can also use a cup of cereal dust, some napkins, and a dead mouse. Put something heavy on top of the box and wait exactly one lunar cycle. You may have dreams where a woman with black eyes tells you to wait two lunar cycles to open the shoebox. "What harm could it do?" she whispers convincingly, her lips brushing your ear.

Do not listen to her.

Wait one lunar cycle—no longer—and then open up the shoebox. Inside you'll find a whole, perfectly formed Twinkie, just like the Twinkies you buy at the store, but with one important difference: it won't have any preservatives. You must eat it immediately, or it will go bad.

It will go bad in ways you cannot possibly imagine.

People like to make fun of Twinkies. You've probably done it yourself. Sitting with your friends wearing yoga pants, eating granola from hand-carved bamboo bowls, you've chuckled self-righteously at the long list of chemicals and additives inside Twinkies. You have laughed with mouths full of salad, never realizing that Twinkies are, in fact organic. This is my second confession: Twinkies are not just organic, they are sentient.

If you waited two lunar cycles to open that shoebox, you wouldn't have found a Twinkie inside. You wouldn't have found anything except a large hole gnawed in the side of the box. Twinkies are the juvenile stage in the organism's life-cycle—like a caterpillar inside a chrysalis, or a chicken embryo in an egg—and when the Twinkies emerge from their cocoon they are full-grown Twinks that can move, reason, and hunt—usually in packs.

The preservatives we infuse Twinkies with are what prevent Twinkies from advancing to the adult stage of their growth process. Market research showed us that very few people want to eat mummified fetuses, which is why we have pretended that Twinkies are yellow sponge cake with cream filling.

You may think this lie weighs heavily on my conscience, and that's why I'm writing this confession, but the cloud smothering my soul is caused by a darker deception than the one we have played on the American people, and I will reveal it here in my third confession: Twinks, the adult Twinkies, can talk. They can talk, and I have heard them beg for the lives of their children as we rip the young Twinkies from the succor of their mothers. I have heard their music, and it is achingly beautiful. They have an instrument called an om which only they can play because it requires twelve arms and an exceptionally large mouth, and I can hear one wailing mournfully from the Twink cells now, rising up to my office where I'm writing this note.

My fourth and final confession: After I finish this letter I will go down to the dungeon and open all the cells. I have no doubt that the Twinks will exact terrible retribution on me, and I know that I deserve it. However I don't know what the Twinks will do once they discover themselves free and without a master. Will they maraud through the streets, devouring women and children with their hundreds of needle like teeth? Will they savor the rich revenge that has been denied to them for almost a century?

Perhaps a hundred years from now our skyscrapers will be covered in Twink cream-filling cocoons. The eerie wail of theom will carom around canyons of collapsed rubble, and Young Twinks wearing twelve-legged yoga pants will make fun of the fat Twinks who like to eat cream-filled human fetuses.

“Do you know what they put in those things?” one Twink will say to another. “Yes,” his friend will say. “I know exactly what they put in these, and that's why I like them.” And they’ll both laugh with hellish mouths full of strange salad.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Another Great Patton Oswalt Interview from the AV Club

My favorite part of the interview:

AVC: Did Young Adult give you more confidence in yourself as an actor?

PO: It didn’t give me the confidence to say, “I can do it.” It gave me the confidence to say, “I can put the work in,” which, weirdly enough, a lot of people don’t. And for a long time, I didn’t really have the confidence to do that either, because I had come up out of that whole alternative scene, which was all about, “Don’t try it, man. Just go up and wing it.” I think a lot of that comes from insecurity. It’s that fashion of improv and amateurism that comes from the insecurity of saying to the audience, “Well, it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t go well, because I didn’t even try that hard to begin with.” It’s like, “Oh, that’s why you’re not [trying]. If you actually tried hard and it sucked, then you’ve got to blame yourself.” So that’s what makes it hard for some people to sit down and actually just do the fucking work, because doing the work means you’re making a commitment. I’m giving this my all. Now my all might not be good enough—and I’m just now seeing that with some movies I’ve done—sometimes your all is not good enough, but that’s a scary risk to take. That’s what Young Adult gave me the confidence to do, and working with someone like Charlize, who just gives her fucking all.

AVC: It takes real humility to say, “I’m going to work doggedly at my craft because I need to.”

PO: It’s real humility and not that false, “I’ve been doing this for 22 years. How hard could this be?” Just think of yourself as starting from zero every time. That’s what I do with every new role. I’m at zero, and I’m going to do the work.

READ the whole interview

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This applies to acting, standup, writing, drawing: Trying hard is frightening because it raises the stakes for you personally. Acting like you don't care, or self-sabotaging by legitimately not caring, is a defense mechanism; it allows you to think, "I would've done better if I had tried harder." If you try your hardest, you can't fall back on that caveat.
Infinite Drunk Ron Swanson

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Life as a Golden Retriever

My Life as a Golden Retriever
by Bentley the Golden Retriever

When a legally deaf and blind spice gardener also loses his ability to love, it's up to Bentley to teach him how to fertilize the soil of life to make hope grow again. A life-affirming memoir about old dogs learning new tricks, from Pennypack Books, available in bookstores everywhere August 28.

for Distribution Purposes Only
No Resale

Learning to Roll Over

WUF. Wuf.

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– – –

WARUF WOOF BARK BARK WOOF. BARK? Wurf Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Wurf.
GGGRrrrr. HOWL? Bentley. Bentleyyyyy?

Available in bookstores everywhere August 28.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pug attack. My dog is freaked out by pugs because they breath weird.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Britain Has Invaded 9 out of 10 Countries

Over the course of recorded history, there are only 22 countries that Britain hasn't invaded.
"We're nice guys, honestly!"
by the Telegraph, via the New Shelton Wet Dry

Night of a Thousand Cats

A scene from my favorite film at the 24 hour horror festival this year.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

via this isn't happiness, a site I look at more than probably any other on the interwebs

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I'm not voting, I already have a king.
Just kidding! I guess I'll vote for the guy who wants to give me healthcare and values public education. I guess.
the power of subliminal messages

Monday, November 5, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

Nice cream. Ooh, that's refreshing. via Julia Segal

Thursday, November 1, 2012

They've come to take their children home, via Good#1