Oh cool, according to Laurel's TV Picks, Spinal Tap is going to be on Letterman tonight (as well as Gov. Ventura, again...). Now if only I remember to watch it. I picked up the Spinal Tap DVD fairly recently, and watched it with the hysterical commentary track with the band, all done in character, of course. It's definitely worth checking out.
She's also right about how great this stretch of Babylon 5 is -- I think the end of Season 2 is as good as the series ever got. (The end of Season 3 is also fantastic.) I haven't been reliably watching the Sci-Fi repeats -- I don't always get home in time, and I'm not always in the mood to watch any tv right when I get home. I'm not retaping the series in widescreen either, because I'm counting that they'll release the whole series on DVD.
Morris Barry, who directed one of my favorite Doctor Who stories, The Tomb of the Cybermen recently passed away. Since he introduced the video release in the early 1990s, I recognized him and he was less anonymous than many of the other directors of the series.
One of the saddest things about being a Doctor Who fan these days is that more and more of the people involved with the TV series are passing on and getting older. And there aren't really quite the new faces to replace them --- while the book authors have moved on to some other high profile things, except for League of Gentlemen, most of them don't make it over here.
Yet another Doctor Who Movie rumor. Don't believe any of them -- until cameras start rolling. It's like clockwork -- every six months, like magic.
Or, keep the faith at Outpost Gallifrey, which is definitely the best Doctor Who site out there, and is very good about reporting the real news about the series.
And I think a movie series is really the wrong way to go with something like Doctor Who, which works best not as the Big Epics that a movie series requires, but as smaller scale stories, without loads and loads of series mythology.
I joked about the FOX news claims of being "fair and balanced" a couple of days ago, and Slate has an article about the news channel as well saying that we shouldn't really care about whether it's biased or not.
I agree to the point that there's no problem with listening to biased sources -- in fact, I believe that it's impossible for a news source to be completely unbiased, and it's worthwhile trying to get in multiple points of view because of it. I don't really believe that there is a far-left monopoly in the media though -- and I think FOX, if anything, reinforces my belief in the opposite direction. I do think it's a problem if we have all of the left-leaning folks listening to NPR and watching CNN and all of the right-leaning folks listening to Rush Limbaugh and watching FOX News, however, as we'll increasingly not only disagree on issues, but will share even less and less of a vocabulary on items.
I think the one positive thing about the media explosion in the internet era is that there are a multitude of voices -- but I think it's a challenge for us to focus on multiple signals, not just the ones that reinforce our world view. I know I don't always succeed -- but it's a long term challenge, and probably a better thing to have too much, and not enough, given a filter.
I watched Live and Let Die from my new James Bond set last night with some friends. I hadn't seen the whole thing in a while, just bits and pieces of it. I have very strong memories of the movie as a child, as all of the voodoo elements really terrified me at the end. It's a bit of a dodgy film racially though -- no one expects (or wants) James Bond to be politically correct, but I wasn't sure about this one at all. It's sort of The Talons of Weng-Chiang of Bond films, for those of you familiar with your Doctor Who.
Today's been pretty much the sleep day as the Thanksgiving weekend comes to its conclusion. It was a bit unusual for me to stay in town for the weekend -- I went to Chicago over the Thanksgiving weekend for many years because there was a big Doctor Who convention there, and then a bunch of friends and I went there last year. This year, despite a smaller convention taking place in Chicago, I took a pass on it because the group of people I normally go to conventions with didn't go either.
Felicity linked to my new location here. Anyone else who links to me, please let me know by sending me e-mail....
Marillion has settled on Anoraknophobia as the title of their new album. Clearly not a title that'll make a lot of sense in the US outside of certain fan communities. An anorak is a jacket, but it's also used as a synonym for a geeky fan in the UK. (I'm familiar with it through Doctor Who fandom. Of course, I don't know any geeky fans myself, no, not at all...)
One of my favorite daily comic strips is The Norm. Even more than Dilbert, it's the strip that matched up pretty well with my life. (There's definitely a Boy Mike) Well, it looks like something is up with the norm for next year based on a little survey on the site. While I sympathize with him a lot more when he's single and not dating anyone, I think it's an obvious choice both who is going to win and who to vote for....
I think it's funny how the ad campaign makes it look non-partisan, but really,
this is silly. If CNN is the Clinton News Network, as right wingers happily claim, does this make Fox News the Bush News Network?
I really hope that this relaunch lives up to expectations -- I'd love to be able to pick up the mainstream X-Men titles again for the first time in over a decade. I can't wait to pick up my copy of the DVD next week, which is one of my favorite films of the year, and I think Marvel has wasted the potential of the series over the last several years.
Guess the Dictator/Sit-Com Character. Though I didn't know Buffy qualified as a sitcom. (I took it "as myself" and came back as Riley...ok, a little wishful thinking, I think. If I'm anyone in the Buffyverse, it's Xander or Wesley...)
Odd. I think something wierd is going on with Blogger, because I lost my link to my first page of my archives on the archives page. I think I've got it added in again properly, but it is still frustrating.
I was recently recommended on Amazon.com to check out for music of Grey Eye Glances, and after downloading some samples, I think I'm going to have to pick up some of their albums in the not to distant future. It sounds very, very promising.
This is very much the sort of music that makes me feel better. I've also been (at long last, perhaps) getting into Radiohead in a really big way, but that's just me being very much behind the times.
And speaking of Amazon.com, I noticed that their recommendation engine is now giving the reasons why something is recommended -- which is actually more useful (and interesting) than the recommendations themselves!
I've felt like I've been treading water over the last year or two -- I wasn't feeling well for quite a while with some digestive problems, and I finally found a combination of things that seems to have taken care of it. But it means that besides work, there hasn't been much going on with me. I don't know, maybe I'm seeing my 20s come to their conclusion, and besides work, what is there now.... that's probably one of the reasons why I've got this little website thing. I'm not an artist, or a musician, or really anything like that.
Well, I've got a bunch of cleaning I should be doing....
Couple of things for now -- first, one of mine -- I reviewed The Sixth Day for the MISFITS website.
More on the Marvel Revolution: It looks like several X-Books (including John Byrne's Hidden Years, which was one I picked up) are going to be cancelled. It was very much a nostalgia title for me -- John Byrne's Fantastic Four and his work on the X-Men in the 1980s is a major part of my adolecence, but it's certainly not a forward looking book. I'm very excited about the new direction at Marvel though, as I think I'll be able to pick up and read a mainstream X-Men title again once Grant Morrison takes over.
I watched the tape of both Buffy and Angel last night after I got back from The Sixth Day. Both episodes were very back-story heavy, as they were designed to be. Not the best moments of the season, but I really like to see Drusilla back, and it's very interesting to see Spike develop -- though it makes me wonder about this whole "vampires don't have souls" thing -- I wonder if that's all propoganda, to take a page from Ultraviolet
Hmmm. One frustrating thing about using another site like Blogger to automate the process of making a page is that when it has problems, you have problems.... But otherwise, this is a pretty cool way to do a page like this. And it's free, which is always nice; this is, after all, pretty much a pure vanity site.
I can't wait to see tonight's Buffy and Angel -- I have to tape them, since I'm going to be out tonight, but I always do that anyways. Dru is back, and so I'm looking forward to it. I'm a bit frustrated that there is so much Television on Tuesday night that I'd like to watch, but don't get to, where I don't watch a lot of television the rest of the week. I've missed That 70's Show all season so far, and I'd really like to catch the repeats of Freaks and Geeks, because I get the impression that it might hit real close to home, and I never watched it when it was originally on. (But then, who did?) But Buffy and Angel are my first priority when it comes to television every week.
Otherwise, I'm not watching much. The X-Files might have picked up a bit with the fresh blood, and a necessary reinvention, by changing it so that Scully is the Believer and the new agent is the skeptic. A long running TV series really needs to reinvent itself from time to time. I also usually watch Futurama and the Simpsons, but that's really about it for television shows that are on weekly. I haven't watched a conventional sit-com in years; I had a "must see TV" phase when Friends first started out, and there were some other sit-coms that I was really fond of in the early-to-mid 1990s, but I haven't watched a new one in years, probably since I moved back to Minneapolis.
News Bytes - BuffyGuide.com is reporting that the Season 1 Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVDs are going to be delayed some due to some syndication issues. Argh! And I won't buy the new boxed set of video tapes either -- DVDs only now for me, thank you! (Well, except for Doctor Who, because I'm skeptical about what will happen with all of those on DVD.)
Great comparisons: "And Bosley, Charlie's deputy, clearly stands for Vice President Gore. Gore, after all, is deputy to Bill "Charlie" Clinton, a charismatic, all-powerful figure with a creepy fondness for beautiful women."
One of the things I've been thinking about with regards to the recent election is how I think there are times that people decide who they are going to vote for, and then figure out the reasons for it after the fact. According to a news story I heard on NPR this morning (and also in various other news reports) that the people who voted for Bush voted for the "more honest and a better leader" and Gore as being "more intellegent and 'cares more'". But I don't really believe that's the reason why people voted for who they voted for -- I think that people make their decision for a whole set of reasons (some issue, and some cultural) and then find reasons like those to justify it. I don't think we have a lot of evidence that Bush is terribly honest either -- we know that he wasn't honest about his DUI arrest, and that a variation of the law that he's challenging in Florida concerning the handcounting of ballots he signed in Texas. And to be bi-partisan, I think that we can't be sure that Gore "cares more" than Bush either.
MISFITS had a toon-a-thon yesterday; nine hours of animation. We had a fairly wide variety -- The Hunchback of Notre Dame, an episode of Batman, Freakazoid, Starship Troopers and The Tick, A Charlie Brown Chistmas and How the Grinch stole Christmas, and some Schoolhouse Rock as well. What was also interesting was a Japanese animated film that was very much not genre -- more a coming-of-age self-discovery woman's film -- it's the sort of movie I would be unlikely to watch if it was a live action American film, but the animation was gorgeous, and I think it says a lot about the maturity of animation in Japan that they can do animated films that aren't musicals like the Disney ones, and aren't as genre-specific.
As such, I found it interesting to watch. It is one of those things that I like about seeing movies in groups like that is I see films I wouldn't otherwise see.
Slate has an interesting column on what should be done in Florida. I also agree that it's probably against Gore's -- and certainly against Democrats -- long term interest to contest this election for too long, and I voted for him. Bush will largely be impotent when he becomes president, and then it can become an issue in the 2002 and 2004 campaigns.
News Askew says that the next Kevin Smith film will be called Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. They also have information about the enhanced Dogma DVD, which makes me very glad that I had passed on the already released version of Dogma on DVD.
A new edition of N-Pop!, the unofficial newsletter for November Project, is on-line. I had to dig up the URL, so I thought I'd save it here.
One of the things that I'm quite excited about is how both November Project and Marillion have gone to their fanbase online to help fund in advance their upcoming albums, and in return make sure that they get some sort of unique CD (or additional items) in return. With bands that aren't superstar acts that can rake in the millions, I think this allows bands to create something that appeals to them and their fanbase instead of the mass market.
I think we need international observers at our elections from now on. I'm not sure whether it would be better in the long run for people to think Bush stole the election or that Gore stole it. It's amazing, really, and this will definitely make this an election to remember....
I'm now listed on Blogger as one of their new blogs -- I don't know if that means anyone new will see this, but if so, hello! My main home page has the basics about me, and as far as what this is all going to be for...well, I'm still experimenting, I have the web space, might as well do something with it.
I feel like I've spent a lot of time on the political race --- which I suppose is only natural, considering recent events. But that's not what this column is normally going to be about, obviously.
The signs of winter are now definitely here.... I have to finish up some various winter preperation tasks, like cleaning out the gutters, and the arrival of holiday lights. Last year was my first winter in this house, and I'm still adjusting to home ownership. It's nice to have the greater space, and to not throw all of my money away on rent, but instead to interest payments. It's a little lonesome at times -- which is perhaps one of the reasons why I've started this column, but all and all I think it was a good decision.
I'm listening to my CD of songs that I made that I considered as an ordered list of songs, based on how much I like them, how much "historical impact" they had in my life, and so on.
I just reached #83, which is "Don't Stop" by Fleetwood Mac. It's very much Bill Clinton's theme song -- not only the "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" bit, but also the "I never meant any harm to you" bit as well, which has a bit of a sad tone as well.
Regardless of who wins, it's going to be so close they can't possibly do anything controversial. And because of the way things work, if Gore ends up the winner, then the Republicans will pick up more seats in congress in 2002, and visa versa if Bush is there.
That was really was quite an impressive, down-to-the-wire football game tonight, and as such was a lot of fun to watch. I spent enough time in Wisconsin that I'm not too upset when they win, especially when it is a good game to watch like this one was. (Green Bay-26, Minnesota-20, in over time).
Well, I went ahead and completed the Essential Michael Lee Collection which has all of the various songs that I either like or somehow fit into the soundtrack of my life. I still have to burn the cd -- I'll probably do that tonight, while I watch the Vikings-Packers game or put away laundry.
Well, I watched tonight's new episodes of Futurama, The Simpsons, and the X-Files. I think X-Files is still not the show that it once was. I hope that the change of cast will make it a fresh start -- we'll see once the series really gets started and we're out of this inital story line.
It is two days to the election, and so I picked up today's newspaper when I went to the grocery store this afternoon, because I want to get some more information about the various judicial and ultra-local campaigns. I'm still not 100% sure on those, and probably will still have the shock of not being sure about issue on the ballot, but I think voting is important, especially in an election like this.
Politically, I'm a liberal to moderate if you have to put me anywhere, with a pragmatic streak as well. So therefore, it's not that surprising that I'm going to vote for the Democrats, including Al Gore for President and Mark Dayton for Senator from Minnesota. I considered James Gibson, because I am sympathetic to his third party -- I voted for Ventura for Governor two years ago -- but I can't stand Rod Grams, and I don't casually vote for third party canidates, as our current voting system is unfortunately not well-suited for them. I would never vote for Ralph Nader, and I think most people are illadvised to do so, even if they think Nader aligns with them more than Gore does. As far as the rest of the ballot, I'll stick with the DFL all the way down the ballot -- it is my "default", unless the case can be made to vote otherwise on a canidate by canidate basis.
Well, this morning I watched the Badfinger Behind the Music on VH-1. Behind the Music is oddly addictive regardless of the band, but I think with this one they don't need to make any more -- death, financial mismanagement, drug abuse, it has it all.
I've been working on a CD filled with mp3s that are sort of "the essential musical guide to Michael Lee", and I'll put the 100 or so tracks that make up the disc on the site when I'm done. It is fun to go through an entire cd collection and try to pick out songs that are either meaningful, "important", or that I really, really like. Usually when I make comp tapes -- or more recently comp cds -- they're either snapshots in time or are particularly event driven. With this many tracks, I'm not quite as driven by those requirements, but I've still had to do a lot of ranking, especially if I want any order to this list. (Is it obvious that I've both seen and read High Fidelity this year?)
Hi. Well, since I have my domain now, I thought I'd have something to put on it. And well, this seemed as good a thing as anything, and I thought it might be a fun new toy to play with. The idea is that this will be a place for me to go on about anything I want, and provide pretty much whatever useless commentary that comes to mind in a public place. Obviously, I was able to do science fiction reviews on the MISFITS site, but I wanted a place where I could be more general than that.
I chose the title of this column as a reference to, of all things, the a-ha song on the album "Hunting High and Low":
And his thoughts are full of strangers And his eyes to numb to see And nothing that he knows of And nowhere where he's been Was ever quite like this And his thoughts...
And since emode described me as an observer, this means I should go ahead and write something down based on what I see and go through in my life. I'm not sure if this will be at all interesting to anyone, so why not especially in the middle of the night. But it'll make for something interesting.
I just got back from both the MISFITS Karaoke Night and then the Scrimshaw Brothers show. Introducing the Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack as a possible Karaoke title in a group of science fiction fans is a bit like putting gasoline on an open fire, of course.
Well, it's nearly 2:30 AM, so that means it's time to sleep.