Send me a postcard, drop me a line…

Send me a postcard, drop me a line…

Ephemera
The postcard has become a lost art; a quaint relic of the past. Oh sure, you can still find quantities of them in those spinning metal racks in any airport gift shop. But who really uses them for their intended purpose anymore? Quick – how much postage does it take to send a postcard in the US? Exactly. I came across these postcards at an antiques show a few years ago. Sure, I like to look at all the nice antique furniture and jewelry. And the old books and china are nice. But postcards are where you can really get a glimpse into the past. And since they’re not old letters, you don’t feel like you’re prying. Of course, I like old postcards for more esoteric reasons. I love looking at the cars, the architecture, the outfits and even the old fonts and signs. So many people use the word
1994 in popular music – musical hell, heaven or purgatory?

1994 in popular music – musical hell, heaven or purgatory?

Music
Nothing cures a pesky bout of writer's block like a good old-fashioned Inter-web meme!I stumbled across one today on a blog that is full of crap.  So like the lemming I am, here we go: The gag here is that you travel to musicoutfitters.com and enter the year you graduated high school into their search engine. It gives you a list of the top 100 songs for that year, based on some super-secret algorithm. If you didn't graduate high school, just have a friend read the list to you. (more…)
The Top 9 Snakes of All-Time

The Top 9 Snakes of All-Time

Featured Posts, Listcruft
Snakes have traditionally gotten a pretty bad rap from us humans. They are easily the most feared and reviled species around, except for perhaps sharks and the Jacksons. Nowhere is this more evident than in the various snake-based characters depicted in music, literature, films, television and religion. Need an instant badass for your movie or show? Just add snake for instant villainy! Of course, most of these villains spend most of their existence getting creamed by the so-called good guys. But some of them manage to have a little fun and wreak a little havoc along the way. So in honor of our misunderstood belly crawling baddies, I give to you the top nine pop culture snakes of all-time. Why nine? Because I'm too lazy to come up with ten, that's why. #9 -- Tung Lashor, He-Man and the ...
The Best $9.99 I’ve Ever Spent (Part 1)

The Best $9.99 I’ve Ever Spent (Part 1)

Advertising, Retrotisements
A few years ago I stumbled across a product I never thought I'd see -- a two-DVD set of nothing but old TV commercials. Now, to most people this probably sounds like the dumbest concept in the history of ever. But to me, finding this was better than finding 10 bucks behind the sofa. In a testament to my bizarre notion of what is entertaining, I think I've watched it at least 5 or 6 times already. I don't know if this could really qualify as nostalgia for me, since the bulk of these commercials originally aired years before I was born, so it's not as if I'm using these to return me to my childhood. The set is priced at $9.99 for a reason. The video quality of a lot of these commercials is marginal, which is understandable. A 30 or 40-year old Hamm's Beer commercial doesn't exactly warran...
August 16 in pop culture history

August 16 in pop culture history

History
1977 - Elvis dies on the crapper. The sight of his bloated carcass on the toilet is only slightly more scarring than his Vegas stage show. "C'mon, just one more ham and peanut butter sandwich! What's the worst that could happen?" 1962 - Pete Best gets canned from the Beatles. Forty-three year nightmare has yet to end. "Bitter? Oh, a tad." 1975 - Peter Gabriel leaves Genesis, band's costume budget decreases 93%. "Does this make me look fat?" 1983 - Paul Simon and Carrie Fisher married. Simon files for divorce in 1985 after Fisher refuses for the 1,257th time to wear the gold bikini from Return of the Jedi. "I hope to God that's your lightsaber poking me."
Patrick Warburton, Linchpin of the Universe

Patrick Warburton, Linchpin of the Universe

People, TV & Radio
You know that feeling of total satisfaction you get when you find something great in life, and you didn't even realize you were looking for it?  I got that very feeling late last year when I discovered The Venture Brothers. I remember seeing ads for the show last year on Cartoon Network before its debut. I wasn't really all that impressed by what I saw. Maybe I was just jaded because most of the original programming on Cartoon Network is garbage that barely passes as animation. So in case the marketing team behind the show reads this, it's not necessarily your fault. When I did happen to catch the show it was purely by accident. I don't remember the exact circumstances, but it probably had something to do with me killing time on a Saturday night to avoid getting to sleep at a decent
Brian makes me SMiLE

Brian makes me SMiLE

Music
I don't normally plunk down any of my hard-earned (well, just earned) money on any form of entertainment unless I have a reasonable expectation that it will be worth it. But when I found out a few months ago that Brian Wilson was coming to New Jersey and performing his seminal work, SMiLE, I knew I had to take the chance. I'll cut to the chase and say that I was not disappointed. In fact, I had a great time. It's not that I didn't think I wouldn't, but Brian's musical output since the late '60s has been inconsistent at best, wretched at worst. But I think that sometimes gets glossed over by critics, and especially by his fans. And I think the reason is that so many fans and critics want so desperately to be able to view him as the musical savant he really was in the '60s. Brian's mental...
But can it core a apple?

But can it core a apple?

Advertising, TV & Radio
I'm a sucker for a good infomercial. There were times (before I graduated college) when I would literally stay up all night and watch nothing but infomercials. This was in the mid 1990s, or what I refer to as the Golden Age of the Infomercial. Perhaps not coincidentally, the mid 1990s were also the Dark Ages of My Dating Life.I challenge anyone to name five prime time shows of that era that were as consistently entertaining as the infomercials of that era. (more…)
So long, Peter

So long, Peter

People
I have avoided television news like the plague since the 2000 US general election. While the legal battle between then-Governor Bush and Vice President Gore was certainly excellent fodder for the talking heads, I grew very tired of hearing them analyze every single word uttered by anyone even remotely connected to the two sides. The venom that spewed forth from that debacle is still coursing through the veins of this country, and the partisan lapdogs who constitute the majority of the national news media are only too happy to contribute to that environment. It is precisely this brand of scorched earth journalism that Jon Stewart so successfully exposed on the now-defunct CNN show Crossfire. Stewart, incidentally, is a pompous ass who is entirely too satisfied with himself, but on that occa...