Do or Do Not.

Archive for the ‘funny’ tag

Still White, Not So Much Nerdy Anymore

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I’m a 35-year-old man. I have a family, a good career, a nice house in the suburbs. Regardless of how I may feel inside sometimes, I haven’t really been the fat, greasy, nerdy geek I was as a teenager for a long, long time. So I feel like I shouldn’t really still like anything by Weird Al Yankovic, should I? I mean, c’mon… shouldn’t I have outgrown him by now?

Apparently not. Every now and then he does something like “White and Nerdy,” a video that just friggin’ nails me on so many levels: it’s not just speaking to me but speaking about me as well. (But before you ask, no — though I might speak fluent Javascript, I can’t speak a lick of Klingon. (And how’s that for an image for you? “Lick” and “Klingon” so close together in that sentence? You see how I did that? That was cool, huh?))

You certainly can’t say that Weird Al doesn’t know who his target audience is and just how to play to them — while I have absolutely no data to back this theory up, I’d imagine that geeks in their thirties who’ve grown up with Al make up an even bigger part of his audience than the geeks in their teens who would seem to be the most natural fit for Al’s shtick. Weird Al happened to luck into a unique situation and has ridden it to a career far longer and more successful than I think anyone (including Al himself) ever could have imagined: a large segment of the nerdy crowd who latched on to him originally grew up to use the skills and interests which got them mocked as kids to become reasonably affluent adults. And many of those adults are still Weird Al fans, so he has a dedicated, well-off following who’ve been with him (even if, like me, it’s just occasionally and somewhat passively) for twenty years.

There’s something about the video I wanted to point out, because if I’m gonna be a big geek about it I might as well go all the way: I paused the clip to check out Al’s “top eight friends” on his MySpace page. Completely unsurprisingly, his top friends include Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Pee-Wee Herman, Screech from Saved By The Bell, Frodo Baggins, Napoleon Dynamite and one I can’t read. But then there’s also “Tom” — the creator of MySpace, the guy who every single user gets by default when they create their account… and even moreso than the nerd shoutouts listed above, a very, very nice visual way of indicating that this guy has no real friends. It’s that kind of subtle attention to detail (and this particular detail will only be visible on your screen for less than two seconds, if that) that I appreciate, and something Al’s always really done well — when someone puts the effort into crafting details you’re either going to have to work hard to catch or possibly never catch at all, that’s usually a damn good sign that the crafter really and truly loves what they’re doing.

Written by Allen

September 18th, 2006 at 12:42 pm

Posted in Music

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Link: How to Write Screenplays…Badly.

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Many of my friends are writers, and I think a few of them have even tried their hands at writing screenplays. I don’t believe any of them could have been all that successful with the screenwriting yet because I haven’t felt the envious urge to shank any of my “friends” in the neck. (Saundra, you’re exempt since you were already writing screenplays when I found out you existed; no neck-shanking for you.)

I don’t want to do anything that’s going to bring on said shankings, but I found a screenwriting resource I just couldn’t keep to myself. I thought it best to share this site slap full of screenwriting advice with all of my fellow wannabe Hollywood hacks. It’s filled with chunky nuggets of wisdom such as:

Substituting onomatopoeic words in place of these run-of-the-mill verbs is a quick and easy way to inject some metaphorical hot beef into your screenplay. Onomatopoeia, of course, is the process of creating words that phonetically resemble the sounds they’re supposed to represent, such as buzz or fart. Not only will onomatopoeic verbs keep your screenplay feeling fresh and minty, but they can also help to splush a more vivid and engaging cinematic vision. [Did you see what I did there? Splush is the onomatopoeic version of the word paint! In screenwriting terms, this is called a transition (or tranny). As in: "Did you hear that Mamet got caught doing a tranny?"]

I hope all of you can internalize all of the helpful info this site’s got of offer and apply it to your own work.

Your neck will thank me for it.

Written by Allen

May 16th, 2006 at 8:20 pm

Posted in Screenwriting,Writing

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Link: “The Chronic of Narnia”

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Like so, so, so many others, I’m of the opinion that Saturday Night Live has been spinning its wheels in the mud pit of mediocrity for years now. But it’s nice to know that occassionally, they can still bring the funny old-school:

“You can call us Aaron Burr the way we’re droppin’ Hamiltons.”

I mean, c’mon…they name-check Google Maps in there. That shit speaks to me, yo.

Written by Allen

December 20th, 2005 at 4:16 pm

Posted in Pop Culture,TV

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Link: Stuff On My Cat

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Like cats? Hate cats? Either way, you should go check out Stuff On My Cat (and I’m not sure I can imagine a more on-point name for a website…simply perfect).

If you’re completely apathetic towards cats, well…ah, go look anyway, you still might think it’s funny.

(I miss Atticus.)

Written by Allen

August 9th, 2005 at 12:52 pm

Posted in General

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