Slept very badly two nights ago, which meant I had to go to Defcon IV last night — the guest room (for total silence and darkness) and an over-the-counter sleep aid, which doesn’t so much help me fall asleep, but keeps me that way through the little wee-hour disturbances that tend to rouse me. I got the six solid hours I require for function, but the downside is morning grogginess. I’ve been watching Gawker.tv clips in an attempt to regain my sense of humor, and it seems to be working. I laughed, anyway.
The movie in that clip — “The Craigslist Killer” — was advertised at one of the movies I saw over the holidays. That’s the movies nowadays: Arrive early, and you not only get previews (which always start late), but a pre-show, as well, featuring commercial after commercial. One was for “The Craigslist Killer,” another for Axe body wash, a fragrance I would happily work a shift running a honeywagon to avoid. Have you seen these? There’s a whole series of them, all about washing balls, washing back doors, washing ball sacks. You’ll feel like you’ve been locked in a room with a 14-year-old boy. Old Spice did it miles, miles better, and it probably smells better, too.
What is it with young men and their fragrances? When my nephew was a teenager, he and his friends went around in clouds of stinkum, more than I ever recall wearing as a girl. I guess they’re self-conscious about their rapidly changing, suddenly mystifying bodies. I don’t mind a nice-smelling man, but my definition is perhaps a little different: A man should smell like clean skin and soap. Even a little hint of b.o. doesn’t bother me; it just means he’s working hard. Whereas I take one whiff of Axe and think: Jersey Shore.
So, let’s skip to the bloggage, shall we?
Two video bits kick us off today. First, for fans of “Boardwalk Empire” or just digital magic in general, a quick walkthrough of the major visual effects used on the show. Yes, yes, they built that huge boardwalk stage in Brooklyn, but they built a lot more on a hard drive. My favorite was the boat, and the maiming of poor, haunted Richard Harrow:
And our own J.C. Burns was BoingBoing’d yesterday, when someone stumbled across his signoff video from WOUB-TV in Athens, Ohio, c. 1977. Groove on the cool ’70s hair and swingin’ fashions, all:
I knew a few of these people. I see Bill Dickhaut makes an early appearance. You pronounced his name “Dickout,” and you can imagine the jokes. You think you’re so funny when you’re 19. Here’s to all the people with funny names, who suffer for it. I like to think it’s not such a cruel world anymore; far more funny names in the world. One of my professors from that time was Korean. Sung Ho Kim. He said he went through grad school in the U.S. being called Wong Hung Lo by his classmates, and it was months before he realized what was going on, at which point he demanded to be called Wong Hung Up.
This story, about the state budget crisis in would-you-believe?-Texas! is weird — it seems to cut off after the lead. I wanted to know a lot more. But the figures are jaw-dropping, even with the weasel word “potentially:”
This month the state’s part-time legislature goes back into session, and the state is starting at potentially a $25 billion deficit on a two-year budget of around $95 billion. That’s enormous. And there’s not much fat to cut. The whole budget is basically education and healthcare spending. Cutting everything else wouldn’t do the trick. And though raising this kind of money would be easy on an economy of $1.2 trillion, the new GOP mega-majority in Congress is firmly against raising any revenue.
Which sent me googling for comparison; Michigan’s shortfall is $1.9 billion, which is regarded around here as apocalyptic. And look here at this photo of the new governor at his first staff meeting, which included his chief of staff — Dennis Muchmore. (See above.)
One final thing: Please stop sending me the incredibly sad pictures taken by the latest French duo to go through town, set up their tripods, and take pictures of Detroit’s very picturesque ruins. I haven’t been so moved since …the last batch, which were probably also taken by Frenchmen. There are so many French journalists wandering through town the hotels have probably renamed the continental breakfast for them, the way the hotels in Honolulu had miso soup and fish on the breakfast buffet in the ’80s. Yes, they’re lovely photos, but I’ve seen versions of every one for years now, and the accompanying stories are always wrong in some fundamental way, and I’m just tired of reading them. They’re perfect examples of how you can get every fact right and still miss the truth.
Off to get some work done. And catch my rabbit.