How long can you stand it?
Archive for May, 2010
Didn’t I just write one of these yesterday? Fuck.
Despite early reports of his grave condition this still hurts to hear. Dennis Hopper was one of the best, man, tearing into my subconscious and making himself home with such films as . . . ah, who am I kidding? If you don’t know who Dennis Hopper is you need to read another blog.
One of the most revelatory cinematic experiences I’ve ever had was watching Hopper as Frank Booth in BLUE VELVET. A manic, indulgent, and lobe-scorching performance, Hopper’s turn in that film grabbed me by the ears and pimp-slapped me until I was as under his thrall as Isabella Rosellini in said film. (Perhaps adding to giddy dementia of this movie was that when I first saw it it was with my grandparents. Yeah, it was a night to remember.)
Damn. Damn, damn, damn. You were an original, Dennis, an American classic. You will be missed, but not forgotten.
A sad ending to a sad story. (Could anyone have guessed back in 1978 that Conrad Bain would outlive two-thirds of his TV children?) Coleman’s “Arnold” was probably my first favorite television character–live action, anyway–and even watching him years later in endless syndication he brought a smile to my face. Rest in peace, Gary. Hopefully wherever you are they’ve stopped giving you grief about being a damned security guard.
Maybe my fellow Gen-Xers will disagree, but there’s something about seeing both Coleman and Corey Haim die so close together that makes me feel so, I dunno, mortal.
Commercials aren’t exactly meant to be be enjoyable, but I’ve always appreciated ones that are particularly witty or clever. One that I find especially effective are the “home invasion” series of ads from Orkin. Here’s a sample:
These spots obviously play on our fears of unwanted pests infiltrating our house, but unlike those thoroughly creepy Broadview security commercials, they use mild humor rather than overwrought sensationalism to dramatize those concerns. Both ads are meant to unnerve you, but I’ve always found Orkin’s to be more effective; it’s probably that low subliminal hum on the soundtrack that does the trick, or the insects’ insidious manner.
But, like almost everything in pop culture, Orkin can’t leave a good thing alone. Here’s a more recent ad from the series:
Still creepy, but not the same kind of creepy as before. Whereas the earlier spots were plausible–at least in the context of the commercials in which they’re presented; it’s not much of a stretch to believe a second-hand couch might be filled with ants–everything just seems wrong with this one. Are there really significant numbers of people with hot-tub related pest problems? There’s an easy, crass humor here (“Are we dipping skinny?” Really, Orkin?) that doesn’t jibe with the other ads and, in my opinion, cheapens the lot.
Eh, what am I bitching about the artistic merits of commercials for? As noted earlier, they’re supposed to be more memorable than entertaining; and in that respect I suppose the hot tub commercial sufficiently serves its purpose. It’s just that it’s refreshing to see creativity and originality in a medium that rarely demands it, so it’s a bit sad when it’s compromised.
On the flip side, I was pleased to see Dr. Pepper’s recent commercial was an improvement over others of its ilk, even if reaches a little to justify the “Dr.”
Funny stuff, but I’d have much prefered to see Tony Romo take that hit. That would have been classic.
How long can you stand it?
A brief video of my reading from last week’s Morgantown Poets open mic. This is more of a test run, so the quality’s a little shaky. We’re hoping to upload videos of all future MP guests on our youtube channel (www.youtube.com/user/MorgantownPoets), so stay tuned.