“People care what I think. I have a prestigous blog, sir!”

Once again, RIP Party Down. Goodbye, Roman.

from here.

What makes ’em act that way?

Mad Linkage:

Thank the heavens, they may actually cancel Heroes!

…just like they (finally) canceled Law & Order.

(Sidebar: If I was doing porn [again], I think that “Dick Wolf” would be a strong contender for my porn name.)

Yeah, sure, they should replace Dermot Mulroney with Josh Holloway in The Rockford Files‘ remake.

from here.

How airport security changes your mood when traveling.

Why is the sky blue?

Spew” by Neal Stephenson.

Powerful images of the unfolding disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

from here.

Arizona bans ethnic studies in public schools.

Also, Los Angeles boycotts Arizona.

Emma Stone deserves better movies to star in, right?

Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse talk about “Across The Sea.”

Joanna Newsom, Lady Gaga, Madonna. Whatever.

Tracy Grandstaff, the voice of Daria, is a Vice President at Comedy Central.

Taylor Momsen carries a knife!

Latest details of Lawrence Taylor’s sex scandal.

The infidelity of Matt Lauer.

by Sally Mann, from here.

RIP Frank Frazetta.

An invisible structure and a great view.

The performance art of James Franco and Marina Abramović.

The trailer for The Adjustment Bureau, the Phillip K. Dick adaptation starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt.

You can buy a shitload of Lost props, if you’re so inclined.

Here is a nice collection of hipster babes to keep you occupied.

Largest scientific instrument ever built to prove Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

The City On The Edge Of Forever.

Phoenix is the sweatiest city in America.

Stranger In Moscow.”

Sydney and the light rail.

Augmented reality in London.

The ghost in the field, and RFID chips.

What will happen when London is flooded?

Berlin” in Paris.

Interracial couple denied marriage license in Louisiana.

Soft robots and DARPA.

Moscow’s mayor promises a winter without snow.

Paris Syndrome and Jerusalem Syndrome.

San Francisco and the 1906 earthquake.

Rebuilding New Orleans.

from here.

City Of Blinding Lights.”

A possible glimpse at our future space cities.

America’s most expensive cities and most impoverished cities.

FOX promises to air all 13 of the already ordered Dollhouse season two episodes.

Speaking of which, Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard’s The Cabin In The Woods being held back a year to be switched over to 3D.

Magnetricity” observed for the first time.

A map of your future mega-cities and megaopolises.

“When the lights go down in the city…”

Sensing the immaterial-material city.

Cities underground and cities tsunami-resistant.

City Of Shadows.

The ruins of Chernobyl, over 20 years later.

Cities In Dust.”

GTA IV: Inherent Vice City.

Silver City” and “Sad, Sad City.”

Why all cities are haunted.

The mind of a city (and how our brains are similar).

The cityscapes of François Schuiten.

Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem.

The city is a battlesuit for surviving the future.

Phantom City: See the city that could’ve been.

“…when we reach the city.”

“I have come to wound the autumnal city.”

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

“I’ll take the coral reefs as my metaphor. Though hardly so beautiful. If the essence of life is information carried in DNA, then society and civilization are just colossal memory systems and a metropolis like this one, simply a sprawling external memory….”

-a quote from Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence, a movie that I was watching the other day and just first stirred the pot on several thoughts I had locked up. Thoughts about human beings and boxes we live in.

Warren Ellis had created a comic book character years ago called Jack Hawksmoor, the “king of cities.” Jack was a normal human who had been abducted by city-empathic aliens from the future and repeatedly operated on and “upgraded” to have city-specific powers for use with fighting some unknown future threat that was coming.

Jack Hawksmoor, the King Of Cities.

Hawksmoor, who’s name was inspired by both Spring Heeled Jack and Nicholas Hawksmoor, couldn’t survive for very long outside of an urban environment, but when he was in any city, he had powers specific to that city, including things like superhuman strength and agility, but also psychometry and the ability to control and alter architecture and infrastructure. I don’t think the character was ever utlized by successive writers to his full potential, but I do remember in one story where Hawksmoor had to fight a powerful villain, he made sure that the fight took place in Mexico City, the larged city in the world, to maximize his abilities.

Quarantined in utopia.

“There’s no one to know. There’s nothing to do. The city’s been down since you’ve been gone.”

Climate change and warfare.

Black And White Town.”

Scientists create “sexual tsunami.”

12 sexist vintage ads.

What’s left of the Roman city of Dougga.

Futurism vs. Science Fiction.

Futuristic steampunk urban recycling.

The little town that Los Angeles killed.

Speaking of which: Future Los Angeles.

Future Chicago.

Future New York.

The saddest blow job story ever.

History Of A Boring Town.”

Russell Brand not capable of monogamy.

10 most amazing ghost towns, including Prypiat.

Everything In It’s Right Place.”

Scientists develop “brain to brain communication.”

As time progresses, the future will literally devour the past: WW2-era statue with added cell tower.

Last Stop: This Town.”

It’s only a matter of time before we all burn.

The other day someone came up to me and asked about the continuing fire situation in the southern California area. “It looks like the end of the world,” they told me and were then shocked when I wasn’t shocked by that statement. They asked me if it was still going on, if the fires were still burning, and they asked this as if I knew the answer. Being primarily a still a Californian deep down in my weird little DNA, I’ll constantly let people know where I’m from (in case it’s not obviously and readily apparent why I’m better than them on a variety of levels), but it’s a double edged sword in that I’m expected to have an answer everytime some new weird or stupid piece of news comes out of the Golden State.

So, my answer to this question about the fires was simply: “I don’t know.”  Then the question came: You know a lot of people there, right? Wouldn’t they know from the constant smoke in the distance? Me: “If you live in LA, or spend signifigant time there, I think you make a kind of peace with a lot of things there being perpetually fucked up. The air, especially.” This answer only prompted confusion.

So I attempted a clarification: “Listen, here’s the thing about how people in California operate: Unless your house is on fire, or you’re personally bein evacuated, or it’s fucking up some sex you’re trying to get or, I don’t know, your pot delivery, or something, you don’t really care about a whole lot of other people’s tragedy.”

That’s of course both true and not true. Californians are not that soulless, not really. On the surface, maybe, but deep down… they’re primarily still human beings. Don’t ask me for evidence of their humanity, but just take my word for it, okay? And if you don’t, I’m sure someone will come along soon enough to make a movie with heart that proves me right. But recently, I saw someone put the situation best: “Because the world is always ending in Los Angeles, we are not necessarily surprised when it does. We are also not surprised when the world keeps going on after that.”

from here.

Anyway, after the question and answer exchange about my home land, I came back to my lair, the whole exchange floating around in the back of my head, and I put on my music player, hit random, and the first song given to me was Death Cab For Cutie‘s “Grapevine Fires,” from their nice enough last album, Narrow Stairs.

The video for the song, see above, directed by the Walter Robot duo, is a lovely affair, very nice and effective, but as with so many music videos, it doesn’t follow the lyrical narrative of the song, which is especially a shame here, I think. Particularly since, for me, one of Ben Gibbard’s strengths isn’t just the sonic aspect of his songwriting, the chords he chooses or how well he plays them, but just the way he manages to capture a tone to flow through his short stories.

The songwriter and his brand new bride.

And “Grapevine Fires” is one of the most lovely, most melancholy short stories I think he’s ever released, a beautiful song, drenched in a harmony fit for a funeral, a juxtaposition of the beautiful and the tragic as a man, a woman, the woman’s daughter, all go for a picnic in a cemetery in the Los Angeles area to watch the fires in the distance. There’s wine and some paper cups for the couple, who may have already been evacuated, as they watch the desolation unfolding and the young girl, not aware of the seriousness, or perhaps despite it, just dances around. “The northern sky looks like the end of days” as the man watches her and realizes that, no matter what, everything’s gonna be just fine. Even when it isn’t. Maybe it’ll rain, maybe it won’t. Either way, it’s only a matter of time. And you’re alive today.

Just because we saw this show doesn’t mean it has to happen.

Flashforward is no Lost.

It’s more of an experiment done in the ABC network labs to try and replicate and cultivate a Lost variation using some stolen cells from the much more interesting, much more popular show that’s “just about a bunch of people on an island.”

It’s Lost season 6 filming now OMGZ!

One of those cells shaved off the original is that annoying little hobbit, Charlie.

I’d like to point out that Charlie was such an integral part of Lost that he was killed off three years ago and half the audience has not only moved on, but pretty much forgotten about him.

from here.

But, no, no, this isn’t going to be nothing but Charlie bashing. That’s honestly too easy.

The same goes for the lovely Sonya Walger, Desmond long lost love on Lost who he was finally reunited with. I feel really bad for Walger, who’s a fine actress, because she’s had to go from jacking guys off on cancelled TV shows to soon to be cancelled shows like this, and her lone quality stop in between the two being her being cast in a role seemingly locked into the heart of Lost‘s mythology, only to then be barely utilized. Desmond’s Penelope wasn’t content to sit around waiting for her husband to return to Ithaca, but then… well, that’s a whole other story.

Flashforward is more of a show for people who (foolishly!) stepped out on Lost a few years ago and now claim “it’s too confusing” for them to dip back into, but really what they mean is that they’re ashamed. Elements of Flashforward‘s pilot (given the appropiate meta title of “No More Good Days”) are essentially the same set up from Lost, just brought over to an urban environment. But done in a not too subtle, not too interesting way. Nothing seems dangerous or interesting on Flashforward.

I’ll admit that Matthew Fox was a gamble for Lost to cast as their lead (as opposed to their original choice, Micheal Keaton), but you’d think that conversley, Joseph Fiennes, would be an incredibly safe lock for a lead on Flashforward. But what we didn’t know is that prior to filming the pilot episode, Ray Fiennes’ little brother had any charisma or allure that he may have possessed surgically removed.

The same could be said for the showrunners on Flashforward: David Goyer and Brannon Braga. Goyer’s one of those guys that’s really only popular with comic book nerds and fans of mediocre TV and movies (his sole “win” seemingly being Batman Begins and the “outline” for The Dark Knight). And Braga’s one of those Star Trek refugees who’s best at mindless, escapist TV that doesn’t require you to care all that much (he’ll be running 24 this coming season, I believe).

It is amusing to me to see Roger Sterling’s wife as the horny babysitter.

And it’s splitting hairs, but the show falls into that category of “That’d never happen like that.” The beginning near-apocalypse seems kind of calm compared to how such a catastrophe would really affect the worlds, and most criminal, after the first twenty minutes, the characters have seemed to make a little too much peace with all the weird shit they’ve experienced. Also, it seems odd to me that the local office of the FBI would be put in charge of the worldwide phenomena that’s just happened…

Also, Seth MacFarlane as the Special Agent in charge of Exposition at the FBI? Ugh. Though MacFarlane is certainly no stranger to derivative entertainment.

The novel the show’s based on, by Robert J. Sawyer, isn’t perfect. In fact, it’s about as flawed and passion-less as the show, which isn’t a direct adaptation by any means, more taking a central concept and a few minor character archetypes and situations over. The novel feels like watered down Crichton, starting with a very interesting premise and then either moving away from it as fast as possible or getting completely mired down in the prattling on of the uninteresting self centered characters. The one thing the novel did have right about itself was that it was primarily set at CERN, and it’s main characters were scientists, afraid that they were responsible for the consciousness of the entire world flashing forward in time, and so it made a little more sense for them to get heavily involved in an investigation into this sort of thing.

For a show that should have a lot more potential and promise than was on display, how sad is it that I was more excited by the productionally challenged V remake’s commercials during the broadcast?

That said, I did enjoy the Oceanic Airlines ad in the background of one scene:

Makes me wish I could flash forward to January 2010 already.