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November 5th, 2007


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09:46 am - bits and pieces YOU ARE NOT PETE TOWNSHEND edition
000. You know a game is good when you wake up earlier than usual in the morning so you can take "just a few more cracks" at getting 100% on Shout At The Devil because you just know goddammit that you can do it and you're not moving on to Medium difficulty until you've totally mastered at least the first two tiers of songs and unlocked all the rest.

(Yes, someone went and got himself Guitar Hero 2 last night and yes he's still on Easy mode but yes he's having a blast and yes he's warming himself up for GH3 and yes he tried windmills on the last five notes of one song only to smack his hand on the whammy bar on the first swing and miss the bit entirely. But no I wouldn't know who that someone is. No sir.)

001. She looked at me as if I'd grown an arm out of my nose, though all I was doing was genially handing her napkins from the dispenser.

"I did what?" she asked, hurriedly wiping down the convenience store counter and reaching for more sugar at the same time.

"I said you've eaten your live frog," I explained, still handing napkins over all bucket brigadedly. "Y'know, the old saying that says if you eat a live frog first thing in the morning, nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day."

No response. She threw away the soaked napkins and concentrated on the sugar and the remainder of coffee in her cup.

"So you spilled your coffee and like, you've just eaten your live frog," I gamely continued. "Now nothing worse can happen to you all day."

"Yeah, I wish," she said, pushing past two other people to get to the register and away from Frog-Man the Weirdo.

And they say you can't have a conversation with strangers in New England.

010. Okay. The Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have gone and broken off their negotiations (the writers would like a larger slice of the DVD revenue as well as an actual pay scale for online distribution instead of a one-time licensing fee which'd mean squat once Internet sales gain popularity; the producers say oh now we can't have that, why it'd mean dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria.) As the current contract between the two expired on October 31 and no deal could be reached in time, the WGA is going on strike. So there ain't gonna be no TV writin' for some time.

The immediate effect of this strike on You, The (American Television) Viewer, is that there'll be no immediate current-events comedy shows like The Daily Show or Colbert Report or SNL; come mid-winter most episodic shows will have run out of existing material and go into hiatus or reruns while we drown in reality shows since those rely on Very Shrewd Editing to do their thing. So get ready, America, for Are You Smarter Than A Tic-Tac-Toe Playing Chicken, Knitting With The Stars and Stuck In A Closet With Vanna White (thanks, Mr. Y!)

The WGA last went on strike in 1988. I remember this. I remember this only because of an episode of Moonlighting which, now that I think about it, probably was the last one before they ran out of scripts. At the end of the episode, Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd show up (in character, mind you) and explain that they ran short that week due to the writers' strike. So, in an effort to fill time while still entertaining the viewing audience, they drag Curtis Armstrong's character out and force him to dance to "Wooly Bully". Reluctant at first, Curtis eventually gets into it and rocks out, lip-synching along while dancers with WGA picket signs do a choreographed number behind him. Now Moonlighting was notorious for constantly breaking the fourth wall (hell, they used a wrecking ball on that sucker) but even so, this meta-meta-dance number freakin' BLEW MY MIND and made me laugh hysterically until I had to go to bed because it was late enough already.

Fortunately Mom loved Moonlighting and taped every episode, so the next day me and my brothers came home from school and danced around the room like meth-fueled gibbons to Wooly Bully, and God bless Sam The Sham and the Pharoahs for that.

(32 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:cheezdanish
Date:November 5th, 2007 03:19 pm (UTC)
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Hahahahah all I do is pick my favorite songs and then play 'em over and over again until I get good. :3

Welcome to the fold, Bobby. The calluses are badges of NERD PRIDE
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 5th, 2007 03:24 pm (UTC)
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The learning curve on the game is interesting. So many aspects! I was amazed to find how quickly one graduates from the Standing Stock Still And Tapping Foot In Time stance a la early Beatles (politely bowing after each number) to the Tapping Foot And Bopping Head stance to the Rockin' Back And Forth stance (with lunging power!) to the world-famous Blues Brothers Walk. We'll save the Duck Walk for later.

I'm lucky the TV room is above the downstairs foyer and not someone's first-floor bedroom, that's all I'm gonna say.
[User Picture]
From:gee_tar
Date:November 5th, 2007 03:40 pm (UTC)
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Well, there are worse things than being subjected to season 4 re-runs of Beauty and the Geek. Well, it might be bad for America, but it's great for me :)

Maybe one of these evenings I'll be home and have the free time to actually play Guitar Hero 2...with your permission, of course.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 5th, 2007 04:09 pm (UTC)
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If you're around, feel free! There's enough space on the memory card for several bands (I've got both THRILLHO and The Bacon Sandwiches saved.) ratatosk has already said he wouldn't play because the guitar doesn't represent a one-on-one note equivalency, and since he's wired for sight reading and whatnot, it's counter-intuitive to him.

Just watch them windmills.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:28bytes
Date:November 5th, 2007 04:09 pm (UTC)
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"The View" has writers?
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 5th, 2007 04:10 pm (UTC)
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Oh yeah, it's all scripted. Those feuds between Rosie O'Donnell and the others? It's all a work, man! Like pro wrestling for the coffee klatsch set.


Ok, maybe not, but it'd be hilarious if that were true.
From:cropherb
Date:November 5th, 2007 04:34 pm (UTC)
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What I remember of the 1988 WGA strike was the debut of "Hal's Network Time Wasters" on the old NBC Letterman show.
[User Picture]
From:joenotcharles
Date:November 5th, 2007 05:04 pm (UTC)
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One positive effect of the WGA strike that I've heard batted around is that all the Big TV Writers who started writing comic books and then dropped them when their real paying job started up again will have time to finish them off now.
From:dcart
Date:November 5th, 2007 06:23 pm (UTC)
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I had completely forgotten that episode of Moonlighting. That was my dad's favorite show when it was on, so I could be relatively sure I'd always get to watch it.

Did you see SNL's Weekend Update bit on the strike? That was pretty damn good.

I hope you all get ass cancer and die!
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 5th, 2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
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In the meantime, would you care for a round of Dance Dance Christopher Walken?
From:mhaille
Date:November 5th, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC)
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Hey, Jon Stewart is apparently going to pay his writers out of pocket during the strike.
[User Picture]
From:cursethedark
Date:November 5th, 2007 09:13 pm (UTC)
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I've been a Guitar Hero junkie for some time, so I know whereof I speak. You have made a wise choice, purchasing this game. Some personal observations:

It's close between 1 & 2, but I still feel 1 has the best song listing. The downside is that it's tougher to get 5 stars on anything, and hammer-ons and pull-offs are much more difficult. 3 has a bunch of really good songs, but they've also got a fair amount of crap (I'm looking at you, Slipknot and Slayer. And you know what? The Tenacious D song they have isn't any fun to play, either.) The final set (aside from Slayer) is rock solid, though.

Also, if you're getting the PS2 version of GH3...from what I've read, don't buy the bundle with the guitar, as IGN said they didn't do nearly as good a job with it as they did with the other versions. Of course, IGN says a lot of things.

Rocks the 80's: wait until the price comes down. It's an OK game, but it's a lot easier than the others, and it's not worth paying 50 bucks.

Finally, a note on Rock Band. I've played the demo a few times, and it's pretty sweet, but I've already found one thing I don't like: the strum bar doesn't click when you strum it. Doesn't seem like it'd be a big deal, but it was kinda screwing with my head while I was playing Suffragette City. (The drums are pretty awesome, though.)
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 6th, 2007 02:24 am (UTC)
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I've got the GH2 bundle for the PS2. Wires connecting the guitar to the PS2 is just fine by me, and it'll be a while before I'm ready for Rocks The 80s.

However, I have to limit my fun to one hour a night, because after an hour and a half I was beginning to feel a bit o' pain in the hands. Turn game off, put game down, game will be here tomorrow.
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