RL226 - A Cocaine Aperture

This week, Merlin and John talk about:

The Problem: They’re not above a breakfast movie, referring to Jonathan Coulton’s family that will happily watch The Longest Day at 10am.

The show title refers to Chevy Chase: There was funny handsome Chevy Chase on one side of it and there was unbearable tedious Chevy Chase on the other side and that is the one we live with to this day.

John opens the show in his dad’s voice. ”Oh, I remember, I was in the olive oil business with his father!” (quote from The Godfather: Part II) because Merlin has Frankie Five Angels (Frank Pentangeli) as his Skype avatar. ”I wasn’t in no mafia!” He liked to study the Romans. John feels like he is watching Godfather II in his head all the time, but he hasn’t seen it recently because he doesn’t have a TV.

Raw notes
The segments below are raw notes that have not been edited for language, structure, references, or readability. Please do not quote these texts directly without applying your own editing first! These notes were not planned to be released in this form, but time constraints have caused a shift in priorities and have delayed editing draft-quality versions to a later point.

Wanting to show Millennial Girlfriend all his movies, Close Encounters, The Sting (RL226)

John wants to be able to watch his choice of movies without having to log onto a site where they recommend The Walking Dead to him, and when he watches one Clint Eastwood movie he doesn’t want the same four Clint Eastwood movies recommended to him every time he goes on the Internet. He doesn’t want any help, but he knows the movies he wants to see. John wants to show his friend some of the movies of his life, which he always expected he would one day do with his daughter. She would be 14 and John would show her The Breakfast Club and she won’t be interested, but it is the same as when they sit him down to watch It’s A Wonderful Life.

John’s Millennial Girlfriend has never seen Blade Runner nor The Godfather movies. One day the last person who ever sat in a movie theater and yelled: ”Focus!” will be gone. There are barely any left now! Dozens of people, maybe hundreds of dozens have no idea what John is talking about. People would get up out of a movie and walk up the aisle to find the projectionist and grab him by his shirt collar and say: ”Focus!” Merlin has done that in one or two occasions, especially at the Dollar Theater they had in the 1980s and 1990s in Sarasota, called Teatro. where they would show movies for a dollar late in the run of the movie or second-run movies.

The first attempt John made in showing her movies was Close Encounters of the Third Kind (see RL258) that she had never heard of. She didn’t fall asleep, but you can tell she would fall asleep if someone wouldn’t be watching her, going: Huh! Huh! Huh! Right? Right?” and as John is watching it he is realizing that this is a movie that was made in the 1970s and the pacing is very different. The first 20 minutes just establishes that Dryfuss has a really unhappy home life, everybody is shouting at each other, the kids are out of control, the wife doesn’t understand him, which is effectively 20 minutes of yelling at the house, which was innovative at the time because there weren’t a lot of movies that showed what passed for: ”Wow, this is real!” Jaws does something very similar in that you first get a feel for what is going on in this little vacation community before anything happens.

Merlin has never seen Lonesome Dove, which as a major television event with a lot of gory violence that was supposed to be gritty and weird. Never before had anybody seen those levels of truth on the screen! When you watch it now it just seems corny, the costumes just seem like costumes, there is a lot of slapsticky humor to try and levin the occasional violence, relative to Unforgiven it just seems like a TV Western.

Watching Close Encounters, John realized that the pacing is really slow and there is a lot of bickering that now we get plenty of on TV and 80% of all TV is now people yelling at each other, as John has seen on the screens in the airports. John also knows that people are yelling about house renovations and that they have to make fashion items very quickly and other stuff. John’s girlfriend is not into Close Encounters and John is seeing it through her eyes, but still thinks it is an anomaly because the amazing special effects and the notion that aliens were visiting us were also very new to consider, but are now commonplace.

John continued by pulling up The Sting. In a contemporary movie a car would pull up with screeching tires and the driver would bust in the door and say the line, but in The Sting, the car pulls up outside, the guy gets out of the car, runs across the street, in the door and we watch him go up 4 flights of stairs from 7 different camera angles, then down a hall, we see his hand hit the door knob, he opens the door, walks through the office to the second door, opens the door, and says his line. Then we never see that actor again, it did not move the plot forward at all, and the whole time we wonder if this guy was important, and if he was going to get shot on these stairs on in this hallway.

John’s girlfriend fell asleep and John was really concerned this would also happen to Blade Runner and he wouldn’t know what to do in that case. He decided to put The Godfather way back because it is probably something they will have to watch at 1pm in the afternoon and that is not going to make any sense. There is no way John is going to lay in bed and watch The Godfather in the context of: ”Oh, you are going to love this!” and have her fall asleep.

Before John even gets to that point he can’t find the Bladerunner anywhere and doesn’t know how to watch it. He could probably Onion-TOR it if he wanted to watch it without any bluetooths or go on there without his location services, but it might only be on the Dark Web. You would have to stream it, which means you have to log on and give your IP address, but John doesn’t want to do that. He knows it is somewhere on the Internet. The Internet should be like a big TV where you go in and say: ”Siri, I want to watch Apocalypse Now, and not the Redux version because that version is garbage trash!”

Some scenes in the Redux version are kind of cool, nonetheless. Merlin thinks that you should watch the Redux version for the 5th viewing. John wants to be able to ask Siri to show the original version of Apocalypse now with the following two additional 30-second snippets from Redux. If George Lucas can put smoke rings around Death Stars and claim that this is his artistic vision, in today’s world where we are all artists and remixers, where we can take someone’s work and consume it and poop it out and now it belongs to you, so why can’t John put smoke rings around Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, or add an explosion when they jump into the river?

You could program in to show a particular scene three times, like ”Tears in Rain” to make it clear to people that it is not ”Tears in the Rain” (quote from Blade Runner) John can’t believe that people say that all the time. It is not just Roy Batty who saw the C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate (Tears in rain monologue), and it is not just those memories that are lost like tears in rain, but all of our memories.

Merlin wonders if John’s girlfriend also wants him to see her movies, like Saved by the Bell: The Postgraduate Years (actually College Years) or whatever Millennials watch. Maybe David Blaine videos on YouTube. She is much more interested in contemporary things like Black Mirror, which John has watched and enjoyed, but it is not a diversional program, but something he needs to focus his attention on. Merlin has that experience with Westworld. John has been watching Westworld, but he doesn’t count episodes and he is around 6-7 where he is past the ”Wow, say what? This is different than what we thought!” and a long time ago he has stopped closely examining the plot because pretty close to 3 episodes in he said: ”Hmmm, okay… there is a lot of time compression happening here that isn’t being explicitly described!” Merlin encourages John to stick with it, he is a fan.

What Merlin finds perplexing about Millennials is that for a while you would hear them say: ”Of course I know I Love Lucy or Gunsmoke, that was on in reruns on cable all the time!” - ”You have seen Gunsmoke? I have barely seen Gunsmoke!” Of course Merlin has seen it, he is not an animal, it was on for 119 years, but a lot of Millennials have seen lots of stuff because it has run on cable. Merlin wonders if John’s girlfriend is Amish or something and if she didn’t watch USA when she was in High School.

The truth is that she grew up in the Netherlands and there they watched American TV, which is why they can speak English so well because it is a small country and it doesn’t make financial sense to overdub TV shows, but they just broadcast the shows in the original American language, which is close enough to Dutch that they could figure it out, so they all speak English better than Americans do, whereas France is a big enough country so they can spend the money to have everything dubbed into French and none of them can speak a word of English. In most countries in English, the people who have even a modicum of education speak English pretty well to you, but in France even professors of English can’t speak English at all.

She also went to British schools in France, who knows what she has seen! John keeps trying to figure it out. But by all appearances she is American, speaks an unaccented English and gets a lot of obscure references.

Merlin wonders if John has tried Jason Bourne movies, but that is over the line of ”really quick cutting, lots of punching, everything is happening super-duper fast with no attention span needed”, like riding a bullet. John is not trying to show her Deer Hunter, which has a 45 minute scene at a shitty wedding somewhere. In The Godfather part 1 the wedding has a huge amount of world building and introducing you to this giant cast of characters and it has a lot of story in it, it is a wedding scene that really carries its water.

Johnny Fontane shows up and makes a really big splash because it would save his career and make him a big-shot if he got that movie. ”I am not a hard-hearted man. She is the best piece of ass I ever had!” - ”There is no way I am casting Johnny Fontane in this picture!” - ”I am a big fan of your pictures!” - ”The problem is: Nobody comes to Las Vegas and speaks that way to Moe Greene!” - ”Who gave the order? Did I complain when Moe Greene was shot? Did I ask who gave the order?” That was Lee Strasberg’s first movie after all those years of teaching acting. They continue to talk about this movie.

What John wants ”What I want…” (quote from The Godfather) is to be able to watch films!

John hasn’t tried Back to the Future, which obviously was very important to John at the time, because it is a little bit on the Peggy Sue Got Married tip. Eric Stoltz was John’s guy (who was supposed to play the main character originally and got replaced by Michael J. Fox) and he is a little bit miffed that he wasn’t Marty. Imagine the super-unfunny delivery of Eric Stoltz instead of the constant spit-taking of Michael J. Fox, it would have been a way worse movie. John’s favorite line from any film anywhere which he still quotes every 6-10 weeks is: ”You are my density, I mean my destiny!” whenever it applies and he never had a single person even raise an eyebrow of recognition.

John’s first Thanksgiving away from home (RL226)

John remembers one time eating Kentucky Fried Chicken on Thanksgiving and watching a Wrestling match in Minneapolis California. Merlin thinks that John’s hard drive may be a little fragmented, but it was John’s first Thanksgiving away from home. He had never before had a Thanksgiving without a Turkey dinner. John’s job at the time was hawking tickets. He had a friend who worked at the Hudson Bay Company in the ticket office and he could always get John four extra tickets to Haircut 100 or The English Beat and John could scalp them or hawk them. John was standing out in front of the First Avenue theater in Minneapolis California made famous by Prince where he did his famous introduction of Purple Rain.

Filtering violence and gore out of movies with VidAngel, Ghostbusters (RL226)

Merlin takes about the service VidAngel that allows to people who don’t like cursing or want to watch this movie without the sex, and a lot of PG-movies in the 1980s have boobs in them when there don’t really needed to be boobs, and you can watch this movie without unnecessary boobs, or maybe spelled bewbs. If you want to watch Back to the Future without the ghost blowjob (which was in Ghostbusters, not Back to the Future) or the X-Men movies with everything but the word ”Fuck” in it.

The ghost blowjob sticks out because it is unnecessarily graphic plus it is not funny and does zero for the story. There were several drafts for the script and Dan Aykroyd kept that in. It meant something more significant in a previous draft and they kept it in because they thought it was a larf. John doesn’t understand why people are offended by this scene. It is meaningful because it has Aykroyd stamped all over it, who is the drag in that film. He went through a Chevy Chase who went through a cocaine aperture.

There was funny handsome Chevy Chase on one side of it and there was unbearable tedious Chevy Chase on the other side and that is the one we live with to this day. Merlin thinks that Fletch still stands up as one of the great weird 1980s movies. He had already gone through the aperture at that point, but there was the residual Chevy Chase that we enjoyed and the smugness that we liked in that, but it hadn’t taken over in a way that it would later.

Dan Aykroyd worked very hard, but he also got some incredibly lucky breaks and stuff turned out really well for him in rapid succession. The fact that The Blues Brothers became a thing is incredible! He is amazing in The Blues Brothers, it is the peak of his career, but even on Saturday Night Live when he came on screen you would think: ”I hope this one doesn’t feature Aykroyd!” because you were waiting for the greats, like the great Gilda Radner. Even when Elliott Gould guested, you wanted him on the program.

Aykroyd was working on Ghostbusters, he realized that he was the dud, and therefore he gave himself a ghost blowjob scene so he can mug for the camera a little bit. Merlin thinks they did not pull it off and it was not funny or anything, it is just gross.

On VidAngel you can rent an online release of a movie. You buy the movie and when you are done watching it you ”return” it and they keep $2, which Merlin can’t believe they are getting away with. The other part that is bananas is that you can choose what kind of stuff you don’t want to see in a movie. The Revenant was very hard to make and you can take out things that are objectionable and disturbing, there are 7 incidents of that, 81 profanity, 35 blasphemies. Under profanity there are 22 shits, 6 bitches, 21 damn, 4 asses, 5 hells, 22 fucks and 1 bastard. The blasphemies are 28 Gods and 7 Jesuses. As crudity you got piss once.

John wonders that if you were watching that movie with your family and you don’t want to hear the word God or Jesus taken in vain, but you don’t mind watching a bear attack, John didn’t see the film because he doesn’t have a TV, but if he did, there would probably be other bad things, like the one guy kills the other guy’s kid, a guy rides a horse off a cliff. John read the story about the actual events, which the movie doesn’t bother to hew to, he takes a boat down the river at some point. But you just don’t want anybody in the movie to say God?

When Merlin watches stuff with his kid he wants to there not to be a huge amount of cursing, especially when it is not necessary or funny, and he would prefer that there would not be a lot of sexy stuff. If you are mostly a God person that still would like some Native Americans get killed, that is not a problem. In the violence/blood/gore section there are general areas for non-graphic, graphic, and disturbing images. In The Revenant there are 73 incidents of violence/blood/gore that are considered graphic and you get to pick whether you want these in the movie. You might want to keep ”a man shoots an animal”, ”a man is shot in the chest with an arrow”, ”a man covered in blood is visible”, but maybe you don’t want to see ”a man is shot in the back with an arrow” and ”a man shoots another man in the back” or ”two people are cutting a dead animal carcass”

The service does this on the fly, it is all electronic, and when you watch the movie it just skips over all of these scenes. Merlin only experimented with it a little bit. There was a time when his daughter was very interested in The Hunger Games, they had read a bit of the books, but the movies have too much personal violence, like a teenager stabbing another teenager close-up is not right for a 7-8 year old kid. Merlin experimented with it on his own just to see what would happen. You can even do it with The Big Lebowski.

John’s daughter is right now really into John’s early-1980s Garfield books, like Garfield Bigger Than Life, his 3rd book that on the front says: ”I am fat and I am lazy and I am proud of it!” She just loves that stuff. Merlin’s daughter is very much into the culture of lazy.

Merlin did rent and watch The Big Lebowski. There are 336 profanities and 20 blasphemies. You see a graphical representation of the editing with everything you will hear and everything you will see. If it is just an audio curse, it will cut out the audio for that part, and other things it will cut out a whole section and you get a crazy-looking sliced-up graph what you will actually see and hear in the movie (see a bit more explanation here).

John would like to watch a super-cut of all the stuff that they have taken out, just Aimee Mann’s finger getting cut off (it is a toe, in The Big Lebowski) and somebody pissing on a carpet. Maybe you want to watch a Cinemax movie where you have a softball game to safe the orphanage and you only want to see the boobs, or any one of those 1980s Emanuelle movies where there is half an hour of them walking through the forest or in a French provincial home and then there is 45 seconds of soft-core sex and a relatively small amount of Sylvia Kristel’s boobs, really pound for pound what you have to watch, all the filler around it, and then it literally cuts to a scene of a locomotive going into a tunnel. Why did I wait 45 minutes for that? It is not even enough time to get your belt off!

Technology and movie watching at Jonathan Coulton’s house (RL226)

John often goes to Jonathan Coulton’s house and they used to have a very great guest bedroom with a nice, beautiful mattress that they would let John stay in for long periods of time and one day the bed was gone because they recolonized that space for somebody to have an office and they replaced the good mattress with some IKEA foam sectional couch that you couldn’t sleep on if you had been living on the streets for a year and a half. Maybe that was some kind of subtle point they were making.

They used to have big TVs all around, although they now have honed some TVs and moved them to other parts of the house that are on the private premises. They live a technological life and Jonathan said: ”One day there won’t even be books!” When they were little kids Jonathan would say: ”Here is an iPad, figure it out because that is the future and you are a future kid!” whereas the Hodgman’s would say: ”Here is a dusty old tome with a lock and key on it. If you can pick the lock you can read the book on sorcery!” At the time John had a very small child and he was seeing these two friends trying to figure out their different styles of raising a kid and John wondered which one he was going to do. He didn’t even have a TV.

The Coultons have all the accounts and if you want to watch a movie you just go in, you use the weird the clicker, you scroll down and over to click the letter ”R”, then you scroll over to click the letter ”E” until it comes up. They don’t sweat it, however much the thing costs, it is just part of the house budget. They eliminate that hole business if you want to rent it or buy it or if it is HD or HV or HVAC, but you don’t want to get the HVAC version! It is a thought technology and this device is there to provide them with this style of entertainment. You can want to watch The Longest Day at 10am, which John has done at their house.

They are also not above watching a breakfast movie. You send the kids off to school, the adults are sitting around, having a coffee, nobody works in that house, and ”What do you guys want to do?” and somebody says: ”Have you ever really seen The Longest Day?” - ”Yeah, I have really seen it 44 times!” - ”Let’s watch The Longest Day!” and it is 10am and you are free from all problems, like being a day drunk. ”We can’t have a drink! It is 10am!” - ”Who says we can’t have a drink at 10am? We are grown-ups! We can! We can start drinking as soon as we wake up!” It is like being on the Pinocchio island (called Pleasure Island): You can just smoke cigars and play Billiards all day, and you don’t even have to wear pants because you have a wooden bottom.

John not owning a TV set (RL226)

Because John doesn’t have a TV he watches movies on his laptop and his Millennial Girlfriend is used to that, she is watching Mindy Kaling on there all the time. Merlin adds that they are now even cutting stuff differently because they know that people are going to watch it on different size screens. You get more close-up shots, for example. Not everybody owns a TV anymore.

John is starting to feel that the fact that he doesn’t have a television is not just about that he doesn’t have any television, but that he doesn’t have a television the size of a Fender Rhodes piano, and that he is starting to live a life of unnecessary deprivation because he wants to at a moment’s notice show his daughter Lady and the Tramp or the Olympics or Lilo & Stitch, which is a fantastic movie that she is old enough for, it is an utter delight, and it is fun for everybody. She has been to Hawaii and she knows all about it.

But even if John would have a TV, then the eels start and he has to get the hook-up. He has to get an Apple TV and figure out why it doesn’t work as well as it ought to, he has to get cables, a UseBot, a Netflix or some other nets, but he doesn’t want all those eels, not just that the bills start coming, he could put that into the house budget, but it is the eels upon eels, like the cables coming out of the floor and wrapping around his ankles: ”Do you have USB 3? Because it is a lot faster than USB 2!”

One time late at night in about 1974, much too early, they used to show horror movies on late-night TV and John got to stay up late with some babysitter who didn’t care, was smoking pot and then invited her boyfriend in through the window as soon as John’s mom was gone, and they started watching a movie on black & white TV from the 1950s where some creeping house plant just keeps growing and growing, and like pre Little Shop of Horrors the vines grab you and pull you into the plant. Merlin felt the way about The Blob, and it was a bit like a rip-off of that.

There was a horror movie where you could see the beating heart of the monster through the translucent skin in the dark. John saw that as a kid with some negligent babysitter, too and these things traumatize him until today, those late-night movies from the 1950s, those people were sickos! John doesn’t want to show those to his kid!

If John surrenders to one eel, doesn’t that mean he surrenders to all eels? Merlin doesn’t think so. John Siracusa is going to fucking yell at him if he won’t help John a little bit, but the easiest solution to try for fun is to buy The Godfather movie from iTunes on the store and then watch it on his computer. Once he bought it he can watch it on all devices like an iPad or on a TV with an Apple TV that is not that hard to set up and not too costly. The primary device in Merlin’s house is an Apple TV. You do license that movie forever with an asterisk.

John will need to put in his IP or his login for a lot of those services and he probably doesn’t want a BluRay player, he doesn’t even have a TV to play it on. The easiest solution is what Merlin does and buy or rent these things from the iTunes store. Does John have a place to put a TV if he would get one? John has to think about it for a while. Is there a comfortable place that isn’t currently full of something weird?

Troll dolls (RL226)

Asterix and Stitch was John’s favorite Belgian comic (Asterix and Obelix). Is that the one with the kid with the pointy hair and with the dog Snowy (that would be TinTin, and it is indeed Belgian)? No, that would be Trolls (Troll dolls), the little naked trolls that have the stick-up hair. John always finds them strangely sexual in a way that made him uncomfortable when he was in people’s houses where they had trolls. It is a cultural problems because we don’t realize that in Iceland or Finland a troll means something, somebody who comes to your house at night to have sex with you, interacting with the woofers and the tweeters making the toilet seat cold.

One time John found a troll in his dad’s house and when nobody was around he rubbed its little bottom with his thumb. It was not pretty, but it did have a naked bottom and how do you not rub a troll’s bottom? Merlin was very attracted to things like big head characters or anything shiny and plastic. Even TinTin comics seemed adult enough that they could be sexy, except that there were never any women in TinTin comics.

Porn (RL226)

You get your sexual cosmology ruined in interesting ways in America. It could be Gilligan’s Island or Batman, but there are going to be ways that you become messed up in ways that will not become totally clear for 20 years, and it can very well be a troll butt. John can’t say for sure that if he were given the chance, he wouldn’t still prefer reading Trots and Bonnie cartoon to actually seeing a real-life porno. Trots and Bonnie were sexy enough for him and it would probably still be enough because he doesn’t like to see too much. If you are wearing a little thing, that is as far as he needs to go because he can let his imagination wander. Let’s not make this a fucking doctor visit. This isn’t the beginning of The Land Of The Lost!

Of all the criticisms of porn the feeling of disgust over gynecological porn resonates with Merlin the most. When you want that level of porn, that is evidence that you have watched too much porn and you have developed really bad taste and have become a nerd to the vajayjay and you need super-intense pom pom in order to make that thing happen, and that is a shame on a taste standpoint.

John thinks that medical level of porn is for people who had never had sex. In this contemporary world of non-narrative video-based porn, except the most basic like your step-sister has a problem with her computer and all of a sudden you are in lump-tunnel, if you ever had sex even a single time you don’t see any of that because you don’t have the perspective. You can’t be over to the side and down on your knees, you cannot get that view, so why would you prefer that? Unlike a Sitcom, live sex is not a 3-camera setup, but even those POV porns… Tumblr is where people watch porn now, and it is all 30 seconds long.

When John got his hands on Playboys in the early 1970s, when you would find them under a board in the forest, or whatever, the Little Annie Fanny cartoons were just as erotic to him than the girls in Bobby Socks laying on a bear-skin rug because the Little Annie Fanny stories had some narrative. She was not a very sophisticated lady and she was entering into a lot of sophisticated narratives where people in casinos or people who were living a higher life than she was were trying to entice her into various conjugalities and she was just ”Whoopsy daisy…”, but she was a little bit wise because she always managed to get out of there more or less unscathed.

It is the little shift, the chemise, you are looking for chemise porn, and stay in the chemise portion a lot longer and maybe right at the end the chemise comes off. You don’t want blasphemy, bear killings, or a man shot in the back with an arrow while another man eviscerates an animal carcass. The first great use of the Internet was to find other people who were perverted in the same way that you are. The problem with that is that John has gone online many times and googled ”zaftig Israeli girls taking off IDF uniforms” and there is a little bit, but not nearly as much as you would think. You don’t want them to be too skinny. Merlin was looking for ”Israeli IDF erotica” and found some things, but they are not very zaftig. If you have a pivot and then another pivot, that is when you go to the dark web.

John used to be on the dark web, but he saw too many videos of people in fatal car accidents. Merlin is not turning up a whole lot for troll doll fetish, that would be richer territory than reality is bearing out, but rubbing a troll butt can be someone’s special thing. ”Female Israeli soldier stripping and punished”, that seems like something that would be big in the Palestinian territories.

Even though we are all surrounded by porn all the time now and are soaking in it, nobody wants to talk about it unless you are a sex-positive person, but Merlin doesn’t want to be around that. When John was in Merlin’s office he might have fumbled his Phoenix (Marvel action figure, Jean Grey) a little bit (see RL182) and gave her a little troll rub on her behind. He has very exaggerated secondary sex characteristics.

The Made in China restaurant that they had visited before that episode with the House Trotter has changed and is a different restaurant now. It lends credence to their original idea that it was an UFO training ground. John thinks they probably relocated somewhere else in the vicinity. Maybe somebody had put a Supertrain sticker on a light pole out front. They probably moved to Daly City where they might not have any listeners, but it is hard to say.

Fluevog shoes, Camper shoes (RL226)

Merlin owned a pair of Fluevogs that were really hot around the time he moved to San Francisco. They stayed hot for 2-3 years, but they seemed to virtually have gone away except within the vegan shoe community. They are a Seattle shoe company and during the 1990s everybody had them, especially girls who were wearing baby doll dresses with seven barrettes in their hair. Their men’s shoes are whimsical, but not as wonderfully and delightfully cartoony as the girl’s shoes. The girl’s shoes were delightful and hilarious and fun! They are fun, wackadoodle, and a little Witchy-poo and they should come with bangs or barrettes.

John didn’t have any because they were expensive and because he was a bit of an iconoclast. He was wearing Boris Karloff shoes because as a serious young man he didn’t have time for all this friperie, but now the pressure is off, he doesn’t have to own Fluevogs or Dock Martins, those were a uniform of a special time and now he can just pick shoes of his own accord.

The other day John was at a small art party with some other middle-aged arty people. A guy walked by and John noticed his shoes and asked him if he had colored those himself and made them into that shoe from a different kind of shoe, or if they came that way. The guy probably knew who John was although he gave him a bit of the ”I don’t know who you are!” vibe and he said: ”I didn’t make them. John Fluevog made them!” and he kept walking. What a Punky attitude! John turned to the guy person had been talking to and said: ”Wow, Fluevogs, that is interesting!” - ”I am wearing Fluevogs right now!” and all of a sudden John felt he was in an alternate reality where everybody was wearing Fluevogs the whole time.

Was he outside of some thing that he needed to be inside? Maybe he should get on the Fluevog train, but that might be little bit like getting a tattoo in your 40s when you have never had a tattoo before. What? Get a tattoo of Lilo & Stitch dismembering an animal carcass?

Merlin dipped a toe into interesting shoes, he had a pair of Fluevogs that were probably the most boring and normal ones a person could buy, he had a pair of Campers, but then he moved back into the pseudo-hiking-boot look. John recently bought a pair of hardly-worn brown Campers at a thrift store and he was very pleased with them. Back when everybody was wearing Campers he thought he couldn’t afford them because they were $100.

Not very long ago he had Nick Harmer (bass player of Death Cab for Cutie) at the house and he had a bunch of shoes lined up by the fireplace and he asked Nick to take a look at the shoes which 3 pairs he would get rid of if he had to get rid of 3 pairs. He said he would get rid of those corny old Campers because it is not like you are still wearing Campers, and John felt like a cook and he felt bad because he was proud of these shoes 5 minutes before. He traffics in a world where people are wearing contemporary clothes.

There was a time in the mid-2000s where the really fashionable shoes were super-long pointy and terrible-looking shoes and because John was in a world of Rock people who spent money on clothes that were bleeding edge he was all of a sudden around all those people who were wearing really dumb long pointy shoes, and that was a bridge too far. Even if they cast $600 new, if you find them at a thrift store 5 years from now they will have no resell value, whereas he thought that Camper would be a classic shoe because they look like a bowling shoe and nobody is wearing bowling shoes anymore either.

The problem with bowling shoes and with Campers are that they have no arch, just like the Converse that Merlin had, although he was raised to believe that you would never buy shoes unless they had a good arch. They spend some time discussion what analogy to use for ”flat as…”, like a frisbee, a pancake, a turkey-serving dish (charger), a manhole-cover, a tivet. John thought a Trivet was a little furry animal that ran on a wheel (that is a Tribble, from Star Trek: The Original Series, S02E15). It was very corny and John preferred the ones with a serious plot, like any one where Uhura was featured because she had that little shift, that little chemise.

Foo Fighters (RL226)

”This is a call to all. My past resignation” (lyrics This is a Call by Foo Fighters). ”Fingernails are pretty. Fingernails are good. Seems that all they ever wanted was a marking!” It sounds like placeholder lyrics like ”Jeremiah was a bullfrog” (song Joy to the World by Three Dog Night). He was never famous for his lyrics (David Grohl), but he wrote that Everlong song which was David Letterman’s favorite song, one of the great songs!

Merlin was in a hotel room in Florida when Letterman had his heart attack (in 2000), he was away for a while and he came back. The story goes that when he came back he would love it if Foo Fighters came on the show and played his favorite song Everlong. The were in Brazil and they did it and it is good! (see RL293) That drummer, man (Taylor Hawkins)! He was not in Sunny Day Real Estate, that was the other guy and John heard a very interesting story about him just recently.

Vintage bank deposit bags (RL226)

Last night John went on the Internet and bought a lot of old vintage bank deposit bags, the thick ones with the lock, because apparently they were embroidered with the names of the banks like a sports jacket embroidery, like a Letterman jacket that says ”The bank of Allentown, PA, Boston Mass 03124” (reference to 1972 TV Series Zoom) and he found them gorgeous. Some of them still have the keys to the locks and John had to have all these. But now where the hell is he going to put those and he has to stack them up right about where the TV would go.

The Godfather restauration (RL226)

Is John aware of the Copola restoration of The Godfather. The documentary that is included with the BluRay (also available here, called Emulsional Rescue) says that there was not a single good usable negative of The Godfather in existence anymore. Paramount had treated it like a $2 whore, had beaten the shit out of this thing, cut out the long dissolves between scenes for TV and there was not a single good copy of it. They talk with the lightning guy Gordon Willis (cinematographer). They had to go in a cobble together the best possible copies of The Godfather that they could find and scan every single frame at 4K and hand-fix it without removing the beautiful film noise. It is called The Copola Restoration and it is really good. It is available on iTunes for $14.99 American Dollars.

Outro banter (RL226)

Merlin has The Godfather I-III, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, The X-Men Motion Comic Series, he has fewer than 10 BluRay discs because it is a blight on society to use. It produces a really stellar 1080p image where every frame is its own painted image and it is not interlacing to save space, which looks really good on a big TV. Using it is a total shit show and it is 3x worse than using DVDs. The thing John hated most about his DVD Player was that he had to use a screw driver to get the door to open.

It felt like the first time it was a mistake and the third time it was a riff, that is how they make Movie Jazz, which is another really good Tumblr. Pixel in Pixel was John’s favorite 1980s detective show. What about Reboot? That is what John does all the time now because his new Flash player doesn’t work. He just had to redo his Flash because it wouldn’t play any of the advertisements on Bring a Trailer. He got the pop-up and for a long time he would just say: ”Fuck you! I don’t want the newest Flash!”

Even a free eel is still an eel and why don’t they just leave it. Steve Jobs didn’t want to use Flash and wrote a letter about it! He had a whole thing and soiled a turtleneck over it and John agrees! Why don’t we just integrate it now? It is just video! ”Let it go! Let it go!” (lyrics from the movie Frozen) ”I can’t hold it back anymore!” Merlin says that Moana is a good movie. Ohana means family, the only family behind (reference to the quote: ”Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” from the movie Lilo & Stitch) John’s people call it maize, what you call corn. (reference to this commercial for Mazola Margarine from 1977, ”We Call it Maize”)

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License