Party Store ad

Well, someone loves that kid. But perhaps not enough.

This is the second time I’ve made a clip reel that explains why I don’t have a clip reel. It’s a Catch-22. (You know, there ought to be something about a Catch-22 that keeps you from using it.) I have been on television, but I’ll be switched if I send someone in New York or Hollywood a 90 second monologue from “Almanac,” where I’m screaming about fireworks or introducing my new dog. Nope. There’s my old appearance on the Joan Rivers show, but that’s on VHS, buried in the basement. So every time a book comes out I go through the same routine of making a clip reel that explains why I have no clip reel. Oh the hilarity. They really want to know two things: are you affected with noticeable gargoylism, and can you talk while cameras stalk you like giant monocular predators? The answers are no and yes, with the understanding that the former question is subjective.

Anyway, I spent the entire afternoon on it, and that was time I don’t have. At least it went better than the last time I tried this – essentially eight minutes speaking without notes on camera without an um or ah, projecting from the diaphragm, and not moving very much. The guys in the booth don’t like it when you move around a lot; they have to switch to wide shots out of necessity, not desire. I found a way to get around the whole no-clip problem: I said I had clips, and here they are, and then I spliced in a 50s Civilian Defense film about biological warfare. After 15 seconds of that I admitted I had bupkis, and went on to explain that all my clips are old and irrelevant. But let me tell you more about the book, and show how I can talk about it! If nothing else they’ll know when to turn it off, since I added subtitles halfway through that said “I just go on and on after this; blah blah, have me on your show. Rather sad. You can eject now.”

In the old days this would have been unthinkable; the idea of banging out your own fast promo, adding effects, creating a custom DVD menu with the cover of the book as a background and bouncy 50s industrial soundtrack music – well, forget it. But this is the 21st century!

Or not. Still feels like the 20th, frankly. It seems silly to say that individual promotional DVD creation is so 21st century, when we have 95 years to go; what if we have atomic hyperdrive and matter replicators and alien overlords in 80 years, complete with interbreeding and hovercars and individual jetpacks? The idea of making your own DVD will seem like small beer.

Anyway. Since I’m under the gun and have to write 3 batrillion words tonight, some links.

People always call things like this “amazing.” Perhaps because they are? Substantial download, but worth it. Still doesn’t make me want to buy the product, though. And note how the “rural” theme gets that them-thar hillbilly music what sweetifies mah souly bone. </cletus>

Then there's this ad campaign, which features a family stricken by leprosy. Or that disease in Star Trek that kids on the plague planet got when they hit puberty. Utter crap. it may have gone down well with focus groups, but I suspect they all had leeches covering their skin.


This has been bouncing around for a while: a retrofest of cassettes. About 32,923 cassettes. I actually remember many of them. This brand, for example:

I still find these here and there. They breed, I think. They'
re all unlabelled, of course.

These were favorites, because they looked like real reel-to-reels – which they were, I guess:

But they were cheap and they all broke. It takes a lot to get me to reject a cool-looking product just because it’s unreliable, but these tapes managed.

Hey, want to hear the latest Flock Of Seagulls?

I had many of those. They made me feel modern. This one may seem unremarkable:

In the late 70 /early 80s, "The Grid" was a symbol of high-tech computer-world modernity. Perhaps that's because The Grid was the only thing computer graphics seemed capable of making. But still - The Grid was everywhere, from Tron to the opening credits of "The Black Hole" to computer games to cassette labels. Note: this was before teh interweb. In case you're curious.


Well, he did, once upon a time. “A revolutionary potpourri, beautiful crystal-like rocks, made of Egyptian resin, are imbued with scent.” Is they, now.


Charlie Gibson's slip o' the tongue, Oct. 26 '05. (I think.) Kennedy Lied! Rice Fried!


I forgot to mention: you can play Savage Island online, and experience all the joys of primitive text adventures. This one is better, though. If you want to experience the real joys of the byone era – and by “bygone” I mean 1982, when every night I went up to my room and marinated in the SNL for proto-wonks, “Overnight.” Those were the days when you could see the smoke from the anchor’s cigarette curling up from the ashtray beneath her desk. This page has a nice appreciation, including the theme, which I had completely forgotten.

And now back to work. New Quirk, of course; see you tomorrow. And buy the book! Thanks.