Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I started a new image blog on Tumblr entitled Elephantitus. It's devoted solely to my favorite animal on Earth, the elephant. If you find any good elephant photos please send them my way. Thanks.

Las Vegas Casino Review—for your pleasure.

I know many of you spend most of your money and free time vomiting 1 dollar vodka gimlets into the indoor pots of fake mini palm trees in casinos whether you're on the West or East coasts, so I'd love to regale you with a review some guy wrote for a new Vegas joint. I found the review via a link Neil Hamburger wrote on Twitter. I trust you will not be disappointed. If you must, the link to the actual review is HERE.

Las Vegas, Nevada--Where getting shit on by corporations has never been such a popular privilege.

As of December 2009, it seems, at least one casino is committed to bringing that metaphor to pungent nostril-stinging life.

Enter MGM's brand new Aria Casino, squat in the middle of the Vegas Strip, the newest something-billion-dollar casino in this prettied up turd of a town, and the place where--make no mistake--fecal matter matters.

The name itself (pronounced AH-rhee-uh, one might presume) may well bring to mind the lilt of a feminine voice across an open-air Italian café, or otherwise earnest operatic strains. But be very clear, the strains you hear in your mind's ear are of a different sort altogether. Once you digest the fact that "Aria" is phonetically the second half of the word "diarrhea," you are ready for a tour of this lower-intestine-meets-porcelain excretory wonderland more appropriately pronounced as "uh-RHEE-uh."

Upon parking in the bowels of the garage, proceed to level NUMBER TWO. Let yourself be unceremoniously squeezed down the winding narrow corridor toward the casino floor. Along the way, take a gander out of one of the picture windows on your right. Below you is the valet entrance in all its grandeur. Notice the white and crystal cantilevered U-shape roof structure high above. Your eyes do not deceive you, it does, in fact, resemble a giant toilet seat. Now look under the lid at the marvelous sheet-fountain rimming nearly the entire diameter of the high-walled " bowl" of the valet entrance. Let's not mince words; it is as if cars and guests are being flushed down a giant crapper, complete with that classic Northern Hemisphere counterclockwise drain-circling action. The final touch? A frothy yellow fountain at the center of this rectal roundabout.

As you continue down the escalator, notice the sculptures in the lobby. The only way these Works of Arse can be described is "chrome-covered dribbly shit, stood on end." Nevertheless people stand around and gawk. Don't do it. Tighten your muscles of resolve and push on.

On the casino floor, the first stop is a coffee shop. If you are a naturalist, big game hunter or hiker who has ever made "that face" while scraping the bottom of your boot with a stick, you will note that the walls of the coffee shop are covered in giant deer turds. The logo for this java joint is an oblong oval with a single curl of steam rising above it. Need I say more?

Now turn your attention to the casino floor as it stretches out before you like a vast sea of sewage. Let it clog your senses. From the soaked carpets to the splattered walls it is brown on brown on brown. This, my friends, is the entire palette of poo. A quivering colon of colors. Magnus dumpus. A full pantload. The rectum spectrum. Dark brown, light brown, deep brown. Wet Leather Mudslide. Trouser Chili Cookoff. Skidmark of the Covenant--these being the names of the various and individual shades of brown being hurled at your eyes like so much dung from the an enraged monkey at the city zoo. Sewer Loaf. Ripe Diaper. Hot Hershey Trickle. Swamp Snake Brown. Beef Leak Brown. Snooki Brown. Downtown Freddy Brown, What-Can-Brown-Do-For-You-Brown . It's on the drapes, the dealer uniforms, everywhere. The craps tables have never been more appropriately named. We are drowning in a steaming pot of gold at the end of the brown rainbow. Liquid Oak. Oompa Loompa. Bread Yogurt. Clevelend Steamer. Dysentery Schiavo.

You are getting claustrophobic. It's hard to breathe. Do you feel more like Tim Robbins escaping through that sewer pipe in Shawshank Redemption or Ewan McGregor in that rat-a-tat-tat Trainspotting bathroom? Guaranteed it's one or the other. I'd bank it. That's the safest bet in this casino.

Signs in the casino point you to the Elvis Theater. Elvis died on the toilet.

Above the gaming tables hang large brown varnished beams of wood, arranged side by side, but cresting and falling as if held aloft on the waves an imaginary ocean. I call them "floaters." I think you will agree. Out of the ceiling next to the floaters descend large tangles of silver bristles like steel wool or some other commode-cleaning implement. Too little, too late.

More signs point you in the direction of other rooms and venues in the casino. Sage is among them, the kind of scent you might spray in your bathroom after laying cable.

By now your head is spinning. You need a drink. Turn to the bar. Oh god, no. Massive chrome-covered logs rise out of the ground complete with gnarled tree bark Like a redwood forest of excrement. Are there any other bars in down this outhouse hole? The haze of cigarette smoke is looking more and more like steam to you. Yes, it does appear that there is indeed one more bar on the far side of the casino. You make your escape to what you think might be the one place you will be safe from the onslaught of dung. You couldn't be more wrong.

The name of that bar? "The Deuce."

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

House (Nobuhiko Obayashi, 1977)

I posted the trailer for this film before and have luckily found a link to watching it online!
I plan on buying it on DVD when Criterion puts it out later this year, replete with new subtitles, replacing the old nonsensical ones of past versions. I don't usually plan on this when I haven't even seen the film yet.

I did some research on this and found that Mr. Obayashi, previous to making this film— and after making it— was a prominent and prolific commercial director in Japan.

Apparently silly, scary, beautiful and kitschy all at time same time, this film reeks of awesomeness.

If you watch it online, tell me what you think. I plan on watching it tonight with a box of ginger snaps.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


It's official, Withnail and I (1989) is one of my all-time favorite films.

A comedy with 'no discernible jokes'. Starring Paul McGann and Richard E. Grant

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Best dance song I've heard in months!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you want the Mp3, let me know

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A picture of Stupidity

A movie marketing exec paid a homeless man to hold a sign advertising a film for $100 a day. Not only is this INSANELY insulting to the man holding this sign, but it renders his humanity null and void. This is a classic example of the road to Hell being paved with good this case the intention not so much to 'help' the man but to increase the box office draw for this Michael Cera-brand drool.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Nina + Rowland

Rowland S. Howard, underrated musician, former member of the Nick Cave's first band, The Birthday Party, and other projects, died this past week. Here's a track from his band, These Immortal Souls.

Hey Girls——These Immortal Souls

And here's a Mp3 version of this amazing video of Nina Simone. I don't know how she did it, but she squeezed every drop of emotion out of anything she sang, especially during this number, even though she looked kind of bored while singing it.

I remember reading somewhere how she used to hold Richard Pryor to relieve his shaking before he went out on stage, and how thankful he was for it.

DOWNLOAD MP3 of "Ain't Got No..." by Nina Simone HITHER

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year Resolutions

Things to do:

• Improve productivity and efficiency. I've tried this method called the Pomodoro Technique.
And guess what? It works! I cheat a little here and there, but it's an improvement over
the usual modus operandi. You work in 25 minute intervals, with small breaks in between. This way, you have a solid sense of how much time you worked in a reasonably scheduled allotment.

• Beard Topiary. Better beard care. Or no beard.

• Make Summer 08-09 book, sell it.

• Find a consistent job. Or many more jobs. Or hope Nancy gets rich soon so I can borrow some