Category Archives: Pop Culture & Society

Celebrate the Demolition Derby Primary In PA With A VIVA ADAMA Poster!

When I’m not doing actual work, or updating my popular blog, or this blog, I’ve been slowly working on a few new sites, because, well you just can’t have too many friends, or too many blogs.
One of my side blogs is the Adama for President blog, which features t-shirts, bumper stickers, and now, posters spoofing the Obama ’08 logo and celebrating all things Battlestar Galactica.
Today, I am releasing the first in a series of posters, modeled after the awesome “Viva Colbert” posters from a while back. A window-sized poster is coming out later today, and a larger one as well. For now, though we have the 23″ x 35″ poster for sale, and it is pretty awesome. Be the coolest kid on the block and order yours today. Or, order a stack and plaster the Mission with ’em.

Basil Fawlty Offers to Help Obama: Obama Announces Formation of Dept. Of Silly Walks….Coincidence?

File this in the no-you-can’t-make-stuff-up-like-this file: It seems that legendary actor and writer John Cleese, he of the Monty Python/Fawlty Towers fame, has offered to help Barack Obama’s presidential speechwriting efforts should he become the nominee this summer.
I really don’t know what to say….if I’d made something like this up, it wouldn’t even come close to being as teh awesome as this…does this mean a Department of Silly Walks is in the Obama cabinet in 2009?
PS: Don’t forget to vote for Jackie Speier today if you live in the 12th CD. If you’re not sure where you vote, follow this link and find your polling place.
Remember, if enough of us vote, we can send Jackie to Congress immediately. If we don’t, we have to listen to the inane prattling of the Green Party and an assortment of no-names who will lose anyway – but we won’t have Jackie in Congress fighting for us on critical issues facing the House. So go vote!

Spontaneous Barack Obama Media, Part 42…..AKA Insiderism 0, Real Ad People 1

So, um, yeah, like these folks like….Barack Obama!
Truth be told…would some insider consultant have come up with something that resonates with,um, pop culture?
Of course not. Most political consultants disdain pop culture and the zeitgeist because the are so f*cking smart. Too bad in San Francisco and elsewhere they get paid to fail….all beause they ignore, well, reality and that cultural reality that we live in.
Oh Hai!

How Cool Is This? “Improv Everywhere” Stages a Musical at the Food Court.

The good citizens over at Improv Everywhere have been getting some press lately. The students at UCB who staged a mass “freeze” the other day took their inspiration from the Grand Central Station freeze in January, which got lots of media attention, and inspired no less than 30+ similar mass events around the world.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg of awesomeness that is the creativity of these folks. Not long ago, a group managed to convince a mall to let them patch audio from wireless mikes into the PA system, and staged a musical number at the Baldwin Hills Mall food court in Southern California.
There is something just so right about a group of people who inject some spontaneity designed to make people happy, or at least have a “you won’t believe what I saw today” moment as we go about our lives. Unlike, say Critical Mass, which is based on giving the finger to The Man, and making sure you know how much of a jerk you are for working for a living and oh noes doesn’t subscribe to some ideological devotion to bikes, folks like Improv Everywhere show you can have a little fun once in a while and it doesn’t have to be All About Sticking It To Someone.
And now, I present to you, the song “I Need A Napkin Please””

Some Spitzer Memoribilia For Your Afternoon Enjoyment

So if you haven’t heard the story about Gov. Spitzer of New York and the, um, $5000 call girl thing, well, go read it. I mean, wtf? I don’t know what you have to be in to that requires you to pay that much for a romp with a hooker, and frankly, I don’t wanna know.
Since I’m a political nerd and collect all sorts of poltical ad detritus, here’s one of Spitzer’s election ads from 2006. Rather interesting in light of said events.

Let’s Lighten The Mood With Star Wars, Saul Bass Style, and Proposition 3-17!

Time to lighten the mood with a few fun finds. The first comes courtesy of the good folks who run, which has all sorts of sci-fi-like goodness daily. Apparently some creative type decided to do the Star Wars credits if Star Wars had been made in the 1950s and employed legendary animator Saul Bass to do the credits. (Once you watch the video, you’ll recognize the style from all sorts of classic films in the 50s and 60s).

Also, I got a pin the other day as part of a Guinness St. Patrick’s Day promotion for Proposition 3-17. Given all the weirdness we usually get on the ballot, really, this is pretty mild.
UPDATE: The pop culture remix continues, as it seems someone took the Saul Bass/Star Wars mashup, and decided to spoof the digital remake of Star Wars, in the same style.
Thank goodness we now live in an era where we can have the tools at home to make awesome videos, remix pop culture, and remix it again and show it to whoever is curious to watch. Kinda like the Laugh Out Loud Cats remix. Yay Series of Tubes.

Some Suggestions For the Guardian Now That They “Won” $15 Million….

Wow. That was fast. The jury in the ongoing litigation between the Bay Guardian and Village Voice Media came to a rather sudden end as a jury awarded the Guardian $15 million and sided with its claim that its competitor, SF Weekly, was selling ads below cost in an attempt to put the paper out of business.
There has been an endless amount of spin from each side at their respective “blogs,” and the personalized vitriol between the Guardian’s management and the VVM management has been a bit over the top. More importantly, I, as the reader of local media, have not had an objective voice report on this trial, so it’s really hard to know who was telling the truth, and who was lying.
Re-reading some of the “blog” postings by Tim Redmond and Andy Van De Voorde, it was hard to believe each “reporter” was even talking about the same trial – it was spin spin spin. This is the mainstream journalism I’m supposed to fear the demise of, thanks to Evil Blogs and The Internet? Hmm.
Now, while they’re popping champagne corks over on Portero Hill, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that VVM will appeal said verdict. But let’s pretend for a moment that said appeal fails and VVM writes the BG that oversized Publisher’s Clearing House check. Here are some (real) suggestions on what to do with the money:

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For All Those Who Still Have Some Need for Clintonian Nostalgia…Bill for Prez 1991!

I was going through some old files this evening and found one of my many stashes of direct mail I’ve kept over the years for various reasons. Somehow, in all the moving and whatnot over the years, this piece, from the first Clinton campaign in 1991-1992 got misfiled in a batch of 2003 SF Mayoral mail (!) which I was looking up because…well, you know.
Anyway, click on the images for a larger version of the covers and the inside spread. You can tell this is probably one of the first brochures the campaign made, most likely in 1991 when Clinton’s campaign began, but before James Carville and Paul Begala joined the campaign (in 1991 they were busy winning an impossible bid for US Senate for Harris Wofford).
Design notes, and a clip from “Mad Men” after the jump! Read on!

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Cloverfield Was Actually Pretty Good, Despite the Hype….

I had to take a break from all things current event related (what with the death and mayhem on MUNI and the ongoing mess that is local politics), so I went to the movies on Friday to see Cloverfield on opening day. And, I’m happy to say that for what it was, and for the purposes I selected it, the film did the job quite well.
J.J. Abrams and his talented team of directors and writers managed to pull of what hadn’t really been done before – do a “monster attacks a city” movie solely from the perspective of people caught in the middle of it who don’t know the hows or whys of what is going on – just that Bad Things Are Happening, and there’s no way to tell from moment to moment what one “should” do.
Although the hand-held camera perspective did get some people a little carsick-ish at times, the level of intensity once the sh*t went down was pretty realistic. More than once you wanted the guy holding the camera to turn around and get a better look at The Big Monster or whatever, but of course, that just made it more realistic and a lot scarier, since you had to imagine just what the heck was going on. And, as we all know, people imagining what is going on can come up with things way scarier than any Hollywood producer.
More importantly, the film did a really good job of portraying the sheer panic, chaos, and attempt at response by the government to a disaster than any I’ve seen in a while. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of being in a big natural or man-made disaster, there’s always that moment when you have that feeling like the ground just fell out from under you, and suddenly just about everything that seemed so important a moment ago means squat, and now, Sh*t Is Bad. If anything, it has made me wonder if I should be developing a Post Apocalyptic Workout as the Slackmistress has done, to prepare for the next big (quake, monster, zombies, terrorist attack, whatever). After Katrina, does anyone really think the federal government has even a small clue as to what to do in case of (quake, monster, zombies, terroist attack, whatever)?
One thing that I thought of as the credits rolled and the heroic music that would normally have played during a “typical” monster film was that it might have been kind of cool for the producers to put out a fake trailer after Cloverfield came out of what the film would have looked like had they done the 10000th Remake of Godzilla route. You can almost hear the dialogue: “Mr. President….Manhattan is under attack…by a…a… Space Bug!” “You can’t kill that thing with rockets and bullets….you need to use the nukes!” “Time to spray for bugs in Manhattan….American style!”
And so on.
Anyway, it was a great way to get away from the ongoing, bit-by-bit decay that seems to be enveloping Our Fair City, and our country in general, and aside from annoying ads for Mucinex at the theater, was worth the 9.50 I paid.
PS: For another film that provides that hand-held camera, “you are there” approach, go rent 84 Charlie Mopic. I saw this movie years ago, and the experience has stuck with me even though I only saw it once. Definitely worth seeing. And if you want to really get scared, go search for the hand-held real video our soldiers are shooting in Iraq. I’ve seen a few of these and all I can say is that if we don’t give these guys like, super nice treatment when they come back from that hell-hole, well then we suck.

File This Under “WTF?”:The “Frozen Chosen” Are Using Anime in The Church?!?

One of the few benefits of Google Mail is that little strip that rotates various news links….today I saw one that Google deemed I’d be interested in….A Presbyterian minister using an anime series to teach folks about religion.
For those not familiar with the Frozen Chosen, they have like, a million meetings about every little detail and everyone has to butt in with what they think. There’s an old Presby joke that goes something along the lines of “How do you know you’re in a Presbyterian Church at night? Because there’s a committee meeting somewhere in the building.” Ok, if you’re not Presbyterian, the joke pretty much falls flat.
So the fact this guy could use anime at all , much less a series like Haibane Renmei (a favorite of mine), and not get 40 lashes for daring to think for himself, well I’d say that’s pretty interesting, to say the least.
Or not. Anyway, if you think anime is all Pokemon crapola, go rent a DVD or two of Haibane Renmei, or anything done by Satoshi Kon. Some of ’em take a little while to get started, but they can be quite entertaining.