web analytics


Posts Tagged ‘internet b.s.’

Turn Off Your Brain For Kevin Smith

March 25th, 2010 No comments

Professional oxygen-consumer Kevin Smith has turned his attention from his own enormous girth to his terrible movies. Inspired by savage reviews of Cop Out, he went on an Everclear-fueled Twitter rant against film critics in which he declared, “You wanna enjoy movies again? Stop reading about them & just go to the movies. It’s improved film/movie appreciation immensely for me.” He then threatened that critics would no longer be able to see his work unless they paid like everyone else.*

Then there’s this:

“Like, why am I giving an arbitrary 500 people power over what I do at all, let alone for free? Next flick, I’d rather pick 500 randoms from Twitter feed & let THEM see it for free in advance, then post THEIR opinions, good AND bad. Same difference. Why’s their opinion more valid?”

Since then, others have adroitly taken Smith to task for both his turn-off-your-brain argument and his suggestion that any random mouth-breather with a dial-up connection is equivalent to someone who has spent decades examining the history of cinema. They recalled that Smith himself was once championed by critics as he emerged on the indie-film scene.

Now, I’ve certainly had my own issues with critics, notably Roger Ebert. But my recent frustration with Roger’s output isn’t an indictment of film criticism. If anything, I’m acknowledging the importance of champions such as Ebert to both moviegoers and the industry itself.

In the Internet Age, it’s never been more true that “everyone’s a critic.” It takes nothing more than a Blogger account to declare one’s self an authority. Heck, if you dig deeply enough into Rotten Tomatoes, you’ll even find me listed as a critic thanks to a few pieces I wrote on the old Usenet group rec.arts.movies.reviews.

Goodness knows that I’ve enjoyed my share of lightweight flicks. Nothing revs my motor quite like cleverly-produced schlock. I will gladly defend the likes of Starship Troopers. Yet I won’t pretend that my opinion carries the same weight as Kenneth Turan, nor should it.

*Threat, or promise?

Categories: Movies Tags: ,

Raiders Of The Lost Tweets

May 26th, 2009 No comments

I’m still trying to get a handle on what Twitter is good for, so I spent much of yesterday tweeting the Sci-Fi Channel’s Land of the Lost marathon. In the service of “repurposing content,” I’m placing a transcript of my wit and wisdom about All Things Altrusian below. I’ll leave it to you to figure out which episode is which.

thielavisionWatching the “Land of the Lost” marathon on Sci-Fi. Missed most of the first season, dagnabbit.about 24 hours ago from web

thielavisionThat scene where the Marshalls looked through their binoculars at THEIR OWN BACKS really messed with my head when I was a kid.about 24 hours ago from web

thielavisionIt’s Schrödinger’s Marshalls!about 24 hours ago from web

thielavision“Daddy, do something! AAAAAAHHHH-HHHHHH!”about 24 hours ago from web

thielavisionEnik is making all this up, isn’t he?about 23 hours ago from web

thielavisionMan, that episode thoroughly confused me back in the day. The Marshalls escape the Land of the Lost by entering it? WTF?about 23 hours ago from web

thielavisionThe special effect of the real-life Marshalls pulling the stop-motion Dopey with a rope is pretty ambitious for this series.about 23 hours ago from web

thielavisionHey, the Zarn has his own fembot!about 23 hours ago from web

thielavisionYay! Another pissy, morally-superior alien!about 22 hours ago from web

thielavisionFor an alien that’s hurt by emotion, that Zarn sure can gloat!about 22 hours ago from web

thielavisionWhoa! Rainbow pig!about 22 hours ago from web

thielavision“Pig! Where? How?”about 22 hours ago from web

thielavisionUsing a Pakuni as pig bait is definitely killing two birds with one stone.about 22 hours ago from web

thielavisionReally? They just shooed away an Allosaurus by yelling at it?about 22 hours ago from web

thielavisionThe Land of the Lost is powered by Red Kryptonite!about 21 hours ago from web

thielavisionThis may be the weirdest scene in the entire series: the Marshalls, Cha-Ka and a picnic basket whirling around a beating, glowing meteor.about 21 hours ago from web

thielavisionDid the Kryptonite just burp?about 21 hours ago from web

thielavisionI don’t mind that the “Land of the Lost” movie is a Will Ferrell comedy vehicle. I do mind that it looks pretty awful.about 21 hours ago from web

thielavision“Will can only keep it up so long!” Oh, Holly…about 21 hours ago from web

thielavisionThey must’ve upped the budget for season two; lots more original dinosaur footage this year.about 21 hours ago from web

thielavisionI’d pay a dollar for that baby Allosaurus to reach up and bite off Holly’s head.about 21 hours ago from web

thielavisionWho knew that a baby dinosaur sounds exactly like a duck whistle?about 21 hours ago from web

thielavisionNext up: my favorite episode, “Gravity Storm!”about 21 hours ago from web

thielavisionDon’t wet Holly’s pots!about 21 hours ago from web

thielavisionLast time I checked, gravity is not a type of weather.about 21 hours ago from web

thielavisionHello, Fred!about 21 hours ago from web

thielavisionHonestly, that’s pretty clever…they used one of their stop-motion armatures as a dinosaur-robot.about 21 hours ago from web

thielavisionThe Zarn may be my favoritest LOTL character. He’s the Oscar the Grouch of Altrusia.about 20 hours ago from web

thielavision“Of all the human emotions I cannot stand, pity is the worst of them all!”about 20 hours ago from web

thielavisionIt’s the slot machine pylon!about 20 hours ago from web

thielavisionThe Altrusians are so advanced they live inside a drawing!about 19 hours ago from web

thielavisionIt’s a hatbox…on springs.about 19 hours ago from web

thielavision“Holly Don’t”about 19 hours ago from web

thielavisionAnd so Frisbee is introduced to the Land of the Lost.about 19 hours ago from web

thielavisionThe Zarn has the power to make dinosaurs feel itchy!about 19 hours ago from web

thielavisionOddly, this is not the first time that Cha-Ka has worn a dress. Rick Marshall gets a bit lonely from time to time.about 19 hours ago from web

thielavisionMR. ZARN?!?about 19 hours ago from web

thielavisionOkay, now the Zarn is just slumming.about 19 hours ago from web

thielavisionI realize that Sci-Fi’s target demographic is older, but it still bugs me that a kids’ show is being brought to me by “OnlineBootyCall.Com.”about 18 hours ago from web

thielavisionOh yeah, those bamboo cots are all the protection you’ll need during an earthquake.about 18 hours ago from web

thielavisionThank you, Repeating Sleestak!about 17 hours ago from web

thielavisionSeason three is starting, but I have that one on DVD. Besides, I’ll have to hit the hay soon. The three-day weekend is over…about 17 hours ago from web

Okay, I Give

May 21st, 2009 No comments

I’m on Twitter. (name: thielavision) Now what?

Have You Heard About Twitter?

April 25th, 2009 No comments

Twitter, as you may have heard, is all the rage these days. And by “all the rage,” I mean that there are both a lot of people using it and a lot of people raging about the people using it. Oh, and also some people raging about the people raging about those other people. It’s the Internet, folks. It’s what we do.

An architecture blogger named Geoff Manaugh recently wrote a spirited defense of Twitter in which he tore through an entire platoon of snooty, literati straw men whose real objection is to the unwashed masses who use the application. He declares Twitter merely to be a “note-taking technology,” and likens it to a ball-point pen.

It’s a specious argument. Twitter isn’t a note-taking technology, it’s a note-sharing technology. You could use it to jot down notes for your personal use, but there are better ways to do that. By design, Twitter sends those notes to anyone who cares enough to follow them. It’s like a ball-point pen in which the ink clogs every couple of sentences, and the pen itself takes everything you wrote, puts it in an envelope and mails it to everyone you know, plus a lot of people you don’t.

Yes, I’m sure that some folks have come up with clever uses for Twitter. There’s always someone who can look at a dish of mold and see penicillin. In a recent meeting at work, we discussed the possibility of using it as an adjunct to our weather alert service. That’s neat.

You could even write a novel using Twitter, but it would be an act of sheer cussedness to do so. Sure,


I could express the exact same thoughts (complete with my obligatory parenthetical asides) by writing this blog 140 characters at a time, but


I think it would be kinda silly.

Manaugh argues “Twitter needs to be differentiated from what people write on Twitter. The fact that so many people now use Twitter as a public email system, or as a way to instant-message their friends in front of other people, is immaterial.” I disagree. I think that the reason so many people do that is because that’s what it’s designed to do.

Honestly, I think that a lot of the recent backlash against Twitter is due to the sudden embracing of it by so-called “old media.” One reason that I’ve cautioned my coworkers about jumping on the Tweet Wagon is because of the mockery other media outlets have endured by attempting to prove that they are hip, fresh or whatever the kids are saying these days.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M – Th 11p / 10c
Twitter Frenzy

At the end of the day, I’m not against Twitter. I’m against me using Twitter. And it’s not as if not using Twitter is a choice that I’m allowed to make for myself. Because Twitter is now a must. Are you Twittering? Why aren’t you Twittering? Blogs are so 2004. If you’re not Twittering, you might as well be chiseling a stone tablet. Or dead.

Look, I’m not a Luddite. I maintain three blogs and a Facebook page. But for me, Twitter is just one more damned thing, one more beast that constantly needs to be fed or else people will stop caring whether I exist.

More to the point, Twitter smells like a fad. It’s the new, shiny thing that everyone can’t stop talking about until the next new, shiny thing comes along.

Besides, when Larry King begins Twittering, you know that the cool kids will soon be leaving the party.

Categories: Rant Tags: , ,

Tweeting Twits

March 30th, 2009 No comments

Here’s a web ‘toon that sums up my impression of Twitter. (Hmm, I’ve still got 79 characters left!)

Maybe They Should’ve Sent The Peanuts To Nielsen Families

March 22nd, 2008 No comments

Whoops, apocalypse: Jericho was canceled a second time by CBS. After fans deluged the network with peanuts, a second season was ordered, only to return to even lower ratings.

Me, I hope that this marks the end of fan campaigns that attempt to drown mailroom clerks in shipments of stupid shit. It was cute the first time–when bottles of Tabasco sauce gained Roswell a temporary reprieve–but now every “save our show” effort involves mass quantities of mundane objects, and the only ones that suffer are the poor schlubs who have to figure out what to do with fifty sacks of lightbulbs, Zagnut bars or grilled chicken taquitos.

Any more, it seems like every TV series, no matter how lame or terminally unwatched, winds up with a “save our show” campaign. And very few of them seem worth the effort. There are usually very good reasons that the vast majority of TV series are lucky to exceed a single season.

Sure, over the years I’ve shed tears over series that I believed were taken away too soon: Twin Peaks; V; Max Headroom; The Flash; The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. and others. But I’ve come to accept that death is just a way of life when it comes to TV. My world won’t end if How I Met Your Mother doesn’t make it to season four. (Though I would be sad.) And next year, there’ll be a bunch of shiny, new series…most of which will also be canceled shortly thereafter.

Categories: TV Tags: ,


September 19th, 2007 No comments

Reading an article on the Washington Post website, I was struck by the absurd number of hyperlinks–twelve in all–the editors embedded in a mere two lines of text:

“The leading contenders for the Republican nomination have indicated they will not attend the "All American Presidential Forum" organized by black talk show host Tavis Smiley, scheduled for Sept. 27 at Morgan State University in Baltimore and airing on PBS. Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former senator Fred D. Thompson (Tenn.) and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) all cited scheduling conflicts in forgoing the debate.”

Apparently, the web mavens at the Post feel that if you read an article which happens to mention Baltimore, New York, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Arizona–no matter how little relevance they have to the story at hand–you require links to complete story archives for each of those locations. Because naturally you would think, “Hey, this article mentions Arizona. Even though I’m only on the second paragraph, I am consumed with an overwhelming desire to know what else may be happening in Arizona right now.” I am surprised that they didn’t also include links for the terms “black,” “Sept. 27,” and “the.”

Categories: Rant Tags:


September 18th, 2007 No comments

Bumped to the top of the page to serve as a reminder.

My radio interview with Andrew Keen, author of The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing Our Culture, is scheduled for Tuesday, September 18 at 11:06 am Central Time. It’ll be streamed live on the WILL website. And if you want to call in during the show–which, if nothing else, keeps me from having to do all the talking–the phone number is 333-9455. Outside the Champaign area, you can use our toll-free line: 800-222-9455.

It should be a lively show. Certainly, just telling people about the topic has provoked some strong reactions amongst those I know.

Still Here

September 12th, 2007 No comments

I’ve been crazy busy for the past couple of weeks, hence this blog-lite period. More later, but until then, a few quick updates:

At last, my dad is supposed to be going home today. He’d been in the rehab wing of a nursing home for the past several weeks building up his strength. I talked to him last night, and he was sounding good. I’m going to go up and stay with him this weekend.

Recently I’ve been doing the chiropractic thing. I had my initial intake a few weeks back at a clinic that told me I needed to come in for fifty visits over a six-month period at an after-insurance cost of more than two thousand bucks. And then they wheeled in the financial counselor to discuss payment options. After they woke me up from the fainting spell, I got the hell out of there and got me a second opinion.

The new guy–who I’ve been seeing since last week–is instilling me with much more confidence. He hasn’t used any pseudo-science terminology or suggested any miracle cures. He told me that he’d have me come in a few times over a two-week period and see how it goes, which is a far, far cry from Mr. Big Shot Wellness Doc and his extended payment plan. He’s been smacking me with some little pneumatic hammer device that’s supposed to apply so many pounds of pressure in a quick burst in a specific spot. It feels a little silly, but it does seem to be doing some good: I’m not listing to the left side like I have been for the past year or so.

On the work front, it looks like I may be on the radio again sometime next week. It’s been nearly three years since my last guest host stint on WILL-AM. We’re trying to line up an interview with Andrew Keen, author of The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing Our Culture. I don’t agree with all of Keen’s conclusions, but it’s a provocative book which suggests that the movements toward citizen journalism and do-it-yourself media such as Wikipedia and YouTube are dismantling professional institutions and putting experienced news gatherers out of work, replacing them with misinformed blogs and amateurish (in every sense of the word) talent shows.

To be sure, there are plenty of warning signs that traditional media are withering, and for reasons both personal and professional I agree that this is not a good thing. Some of the backlash against the mainstream media may be deserved–they certainly allowed themselves to be cowed by their political opponents in recent years–but bloggers are in no position to replace them. Blogs still largely depend upon the wire services and major dailies for their info, and lack the resources to do their own news gathering or to place correspondents in foreign trouble spots. Mostly, what they offer is opinion: lots and lots of non-fact-checked, semi-rational, ethically-unfettered opinion.

I’ll post a date and time when we’ve confirmed our guest.

(And yes, I’m still going to get back to the religious thing at some point.)