Link of the Month: TNG Season 8
My link of the month is a Twitter account? You best believe! TNG Season 8 posts hypothetical plot synopses from a never-produced season 8 of Star Trek: The Next Generation in 144 characters or less. And they’re absolutely hilarious. They make me bust a danged gut! The formula is (almost) always the same: a first sentence describes the “A” plot, and a second sentence describes the “B” plot of the episode.
Here are a couple of my favorite examples:
Dr Pulaski is back to evaluate Dr Crusher’s fitness to practice medicine. Meanwhile, Beverly swoons for a ghost trapped in a loaf of bread.
But there are more than 90 more where that came from! And best of all you don’t have to have a Twitter account to read them!
Album of the Month: Busdriver: Beaus$Eros
Pronounced “Bows and Arrows,” west-coast meistro Busdriver’s latest album is all over the place, pulling in insanely varied influences from a huge cross-section of music, yet somehow maintains a cohesive, haunting overall feel. Truly genre defying, Beaus$Eros is not easily classified as a “hip-hop” album. Known for his intense, rapid-fire delivery, Busdriver’s approach here is, well, I don’t wanna say “more relaxed” because the intensity is still there, but there is an ease and comfortability in his cartoon-villain voice, and a lot of straight-up singing. Beaus$Eros has some experimental stuff going on, but it is also highly polished and each song seems planned with utmost care and the voice and the music (brilliantly produced by Loden) meld like they were written for each other, which is often a problem with other experimental hip-hop. Busdriver is part of the same group that also produced Nocando, Open Mike Eagle, and Dumbfoundead. I don’t know what’s in the water down there, but I hope they all keep drinking. This is easily one of the best albums of the last five years.
TV Show of the Month: Jeeves & Wooster: The Complete Series
If you’ve ever been not quite sure what someone means by a “Comedy of Manners,” you need to watch this series. Starring Stephen Fry & Hugh Laurie as the titular characters, this is a series about a proper (and brilliant) English valet who quietly and subtly uses his manners and influence to protect his wealthy (and dimwitted) employer. It may sound dry, but the episodes tend to spin quickly into wacky, but straight-played farce and ridiculousness. A rich and light and fun series all the way through. I’ve heard bad things about the video transfer, though (I haven’t watched this particular collection myself).
Link of the Month: Don Hertzfeldt’s BitterFilms.com
Does the name Don Hertzfeldt sound familiar to you? It probably should. By the time he was 23 he’d already been nominated for an Academy Award and been included in the top 100 most influential animators of all time, and at 33 (just a couple of years ago) he’d won a lifetime achievement award. His deceptively simple stick-figure-animation films are shockingly funny and disturbing and profound. And they’re only available through him personally. I urge you to watch as many of them as you can (or can stomach).
DVD & Game of the Month: Super Mario 3D Land
This 3D Mario game eschews the more open-world, mission-based gameplay of previous 3D Mario games like Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy. Instead, it takes a simple pose: what if you took the straight-ahead, level-based gameplay of New Super Mario Bros., but made it 3D? The result is a fascinating and very fun.
TV Show of the Month: Stephen Fry in America
In 2008 Stephen Fry took a tiny, black, British taxi and drove it through all 48 lower states (then flew to Alaska and Hawaii). It is a very charming, witty, dry, and lovely travelogue in six hour-long episodes from the perspective of a very charming, witty, dry, and lovely British gentleman. True, some states get a bit of a short shrift (Ohio and Idaho come instantly to mind), and Florida doesn’t come out so well. But Mr. Fry stops in some delightfully unexpected places as well. In the end it seems a delightful but somehow all too brief visit from our darling neighbor from across the pond.
Something completely adorable happened on Tuesday. See, musician Molly Lewis is a big fan of Stephen Fry — and why shouldn’t she be, really? Why shouldn’t everyone be a fan of Stephen Fry? No good reason as far as I can see. Anyhoo, a while back she wrote a song for/about Stephen Fry called “An Open Letter to Stephen Fry,” and last week she got about to releasing a recording of it. Things moved rather quickly after that.
And now that your curiosity is no doubt piqued, here is the serenade in question. There’s no video of the actual event, but you can watch Molly Lewis’s original video (or if you don’t want to watch it, you can just listen to the song below the video).
Adobo, no? Here’s a nice recap of the whole event. Now be a good little jellybean and support Molly Lewis by tossing four quarters into her coffers: Buy that song!
Stephen Fry, the lovable rapscallion often thought of alongside cohorts Hugh Laurie and/or Rowan Atkinson, has been in Louisiana for a few days doing various bits about life in the N’Orleans area for a project of his. Well, life got very interesting for Mr. Fry very quickly on Sunday afternoon, and because he is such an aficionado of Twitter, we got to see the excitement first-hand.
He tweeted again in the next few minutes (titling them simply “Uh-oh” and “Snaking its way down…”). Each tweet was accompanied by a photograph showing the progress of the tornado:
Then Mr. Fry’s tweeting ceased. This caused a bit of a sit in the Twitterverse—had he been swallowed up by the meteorological menace? Eventually, just over a half-hour later, Mr. Fry returned to reassure everyone:
Whew! And here we have another example of what a wondrous future we live in, wherein a man armed only with an iPhone and a Twitter account can give an immediate account of astounding weather phenomena. We don’t have to rely on the hope that someone caught some footage of it that might make it to the local news that evening, which might then possibly be picked up by a national news (or perhaps end up as footage in Mr. Fry’s Louisiana project a while down the road). Instead the connection is instant between the witness and the audience, without need for any pesky middle-men sticking their thumbs in it.
It also helps that I just so happen to have an incredible fascination with tornadoes.