By this time next week, the fourth season of Arrested Development will have been released by Netflix, and no doubt watched and rewatched by the show’s legions of fans. Hopefully, it will also pick up some new fans, ones that weren’t old enough to get it or just didn’t have it on their radar seven years ago. Anyone who has watched the buzz grow in recent weeks can have no doubt that the crescendo is close.
Netflix has certainly proven it is capable of creating, fostering, producing, pimping and delivering a solid television series–certainly more so than in 2011, when the deal was announced. The company has launched several shows, but the only one worth any serious mention is House of Cards, which demonstrated that a streaming media service can match the storytelling style of HBO, if only for a few fleeting weeks. But Arrested Development is nowhere near as tough of an assignment. All they have to do is let their people work, and it appears they have.
Unfortunately, it’s still going to be disappointing. Continue reading
We’re just days away from a terrible invasion. Underground cells will rise up and begin their terror on us. It’s going to be a gruesome summer, and there’s nothing the government can do about it. For 17 years, cicadas have been hidden underground, hibernating, growing and waiting for their chance to take over the East Coast.
They’re preparing to rise up once again this summer. Once the ground temperature reaches the right level, these fat insects are going to crawl out of their holes and start annoying the hell out of everyone with their loud chirps. It’s going to be an unpleasant summer, unless you’re a windshield washer.
But did you know that you can eat cicadas? Continue reading
It’s been the better part of a decade since I graduated college. I’d like to think that there is still a lot of the same kid who was spat out of school with a degree and debt. After all, a lot of the people I’m closest to I’ve known since college. I’d like to think that I still have the equal parts passion for what I do and the apathy for taking orders. But this past weekend I realized I’m way off.
I went this past weekend to Ohio University for my fiance’s sister’s graduation. It was probably the first time I’ve spent on any college campus that wasn’t my alma mater. Further, none of my college friends were there, so rather than try to re-live the glory days, I had a chance to see what college is like now. I wasn’t around long enough to get anything near the full picture, but I got a glimpse.
College today would kick my ass.
After years of being ignored or insulted, theater geeks are having their day in the sun. Broadway musicals have been on the upswing for many years now, highlighted by recent successes like The Book of Mormon by the creators of South Park. As with the movie industry, it has seemed that the rising popularity isn’t so much because of new creative successes like Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s, they recycle and reformat existing work.
The first logical trend was to make musicals from music people knew. We got plays like Mama Mia! and Movin’ Out. We even got something more recent in American Idiot, based on Green Day’s album of the same name. But movies are the big thing now. There’s work to bring Big Fish to theaters, Army of Darkness got the musical treatment, we’ve seen Spamalot, Ghost and Billy Elliot.
If you thought, “Hey, why don’t they make a musical based on Rocky?” you’re a terrible person, but you’re thinking like a Broadway producer. Continue reading
The internet changed our lives in different and mostly unexpected ways. When was the last time you had an in-person conversation with a stranger and didn’t think they were at least a little creepy? We don’t talk out loud anymore, and we interact with fewer people than we did. But these are just two of the wonderful benefits of living life online.
The web has given us access to all the knowledge in the known universe. In a matter of seconds, you can access the wonders of human achievement in creativity, communication, math, science, history and so much more. Scholars of centuries past would marvel if they could see it today. Naturally, we instead use the internet for LOLcats.
But how is our misuse of the internet helping humanity? I came up with a couple examples. Continue reading
It’s just about the end of the day, and that means you’ve nearly survived April Fools’ Day, which is easily the worst day to have an internet connection. Suddenly, everyone thinks it’s a good idea to announce something jaw dropping and seeing who believes them, and even companies are getting in on the action.
It wasn’t always like this. April Fools’ Day used to be a day of elaborate pranks to get a rise out of people. It was once known as a day to either seek a playful revenge on a rival or get the goat of a good friend. No one puts Lifesavers in their friends’ shower head anymore, no one leaves a pair of pants on top of some shoes in the office bathroom stall and counts the hours until the EMTs are called. Today we settle for Facebook pictures of someone’s cubicle filled with packing peanuts.
What the hell happened to April Fools’ Day? Continue reading
The American people have a long history of taking people to task. If the public puts its trust in you and you fail, willingly or not, or you harm the country in some way you should have to answer to the people. It’s one of the things that makes this country so great.
For example, after years of stagnation and polarization, the American people had had enough of Congress’ inability to get anything done. That’s why last fall, true patriots went to the polls and re-elected nearly everyone who ran. The only way you were voted out was if someone more uncompromising was running. And so, we got a very public retreat from an assault weapons ban. Progress!
In this tradition, we need to hold accountable those who injure us in the most grievous ways. The people are coming for you, prognosticators! Continue reading
If you were out celebrating St. Patrick’s Day over the weekend, I’ll do my best to write as quietly as possible. I’d even recommend that you turn down the brightness on your screen. You went out and celebrated the approximate date of birth of a Scot who spread Catholicism to the Irish. Any saint would want you to celebrate them by committing a mortal sin by hoisting a glass or eight.
The other big way to celebrate is by dressing somewhat Irish. I dress in relation to occasion for every holiday. At Christmas, I wear a Santa Claus hat, at Valentine’s Day, I wear nothing but a diaper and shoot pink-tipped arrows at passers-by, and on Arbor Day I stand motionless outside from a long time.
But there are other ways to go about celebrating St. Paddy’s Day. For the Boston Police, it’s all about breaking out the paddy wagon (which has to be deemed a racist term by now). Continue reading
The Internet has made a lot of important things happen, this blog is by no means at the bottom of that list, as I am sure you will all agree. I would put it somewhere below the Arab Spring and cat videos in terms of benefits to humanity. There have been countless interactions, collaborations and inventions that have come about simply because we built ourselves a system that allows our computers to talk to each other.
And then there’s the Harlem Shake videos. A few weeks ago, some artist named Baauer released a song that became an inexplicably big hit. It’s been at the top of the charts for quite a while, both in the U.S. and abroad. It’s really gotten big because it’s now a YouTube trend.
Even if you’ve been trying to avoid it, you know what I’m talking about. Continue reading
There was a time, if you can think back that far, where people had to share a phone line. In fact, there were even people with party lines, which was basically sharing a phone number with your neighbor (despite the inherent creepiness, this really did exist). Then came the cellular telephone, and everything changed.
They didn’t really catch on until the phones were made affordable and there were actually networks providing signals, but eventually the ball got rolling. For years, there was a great battle between people who had cell phones, and those who didn’t. Now, if you don’t have one, people assume you’re either a senior citizen or just got mugged.
It’s amazing what phones can do these days, but they’re about to do stuff like follow your eyes. Continue reading