Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The kids are fine; it's the viewers who get burned

I'm appalled at this egregious example of incompetent editing in the CITY-TV broadcast of Shallow Hal.

If you haven't seen it, the premise is that Jack Black's character, Hal, is placed under a spell that causes him to perceive people's inner beauty rather than their exterior appearances, and he subsequently falls in love with Rosemary, a morbidly obese woman played by Gwyneth Paltrow.

In one scene, Hal and Rosemary visit a bunch of cute kids in the hospital and have a grand old time. As they're leaving, Rosemary gushes all over Hal about how wonderful he'd been with the children, and how he was just what they'd needed: a stranger who wasn't afraid of them. "What's to be afraid of?" Hal wonders as they pass through the doors, and the camera pans up to reveal ...

... a split-second glimpse of the bottom of a sign, and then we quickly cut to the next scene.

If I recall correctly (and perhaps I don't), the uncut film shows a full shot of the sign, which says "BURN WARD". The adorable tots with whom Hal had been romping and playing "the kissing game" had, in actuality, been horribly scarred. But apparently, as part of an overzealous effort to edit the film's running length by a couple of seconds, some hack film editor at CITY-TV cut out the whole point of the scene.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

"Give him strength, Lord!"

From a Men's Fitness article about the Lord's Gym, "where faith and fitness go hand in hand":
Take the two heavily tattooed guys next to me, the ones spotting each other on the bench press. As one of them grunts under the bar, his partner shouts encouragement: "Give him strength, Lord, give him strength!" Upon finishing his last rep, the man drops the bar on the rack with a gasp. "Praise God!" he says.
I want to go to this place. It'd be a hilarious place to work out. It's just like bodybuilders to pray by loudly bossing God around -- not asking him for favors but telling him what to do. My only fear is that I'd burst out laughing at these guys and drop the bar on my neck.

Monday, September 20, 2004

English language, Macauley Culkin punished

So. Macaulay Culkin got arrested for drug possession.

It's always fun to watch child stars self-destruct, but never mind that. What I'm more concerned about is the crime against the English language commited in the requisite Culkin-related story in 24 Hours, the Toronto Sun's free transit paper, which is worth only about half the cover price. This publication makes this particular type of error all the time, but this is a particularly egregious example:
The 24-year-old actor, best known for his role in the movie, Home Alone, was taken into custody on complaints of possession of a controlled dangerous substance.
The commas around "Home Alone" make it a non-restrictive appositive that doesn't change the meaning of the sentence, but merely provides more information about the subject, "the movie". In other words, "the movie" and "Home Alone" are equivalent phrases, the same way that "24 Hours" and "the Toronto Sun's free transit paper" were equivalent phrases in a sentence only a few lines above.

In still other words, this sentence is making the horrifying statement that there is, and has been, only one movie ever, and it was Home Alone. Fortunately, this dreadful proposal is untrue. Unfortunately, this is proven by the existence of three Home Alone sequels.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Edison's medicine

Q. How many Peter Lynns does it take to put in a light bulb?
A. Just the one, but if it’s going into my frustratingly engineered desk lamp, the process will take at least a half hour.
However, this process, though requiring the same kind of delicate force and intense concentration needed to wiggle a new motherboard into place without snapping it into dozens of hand-shredding splinters, gave me enough time to recall my two favorite jokes about editors installing light bulbs. It’s usually a lame joke genre, but I like these two anyway:

Q. How many copy editors does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A. Is “light bulb” one word or two?

Q. How many editors of Poor Richard’s Almanac does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A. Many hands make light work.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Of course, he can't spell "death" either.

Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine (who, as I've mentioned previously, once explained the name of his band by saying, "It's like death, but, like ... really mega!") on appearing in the recent Metallica documentary even after he'd withdrawn his consent to do so: "The whole thing is summed up with the acronym of the movie -- Some Kind of Monster -- scum."

Uh, Dave? That's "skom", actually.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

iRiver, I love you

Here's why I love my new iRiver 20 gig mp3 player, which I bought a couple of months ago in the midst of that body transformation contest I was in: I have an incredible wealth of music available at any given moment. For example, I was rereading High Fidelity on the bus today:
'What's next?'

'"Little Latin Lupe Lu".'

I groan.

'Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels?' Dick asks.

'No. the Righteous Brothers.' You can hear the defensiveness in Barry's voice. He has obviously never heard the Mitch Ryder version.
But I have. And a click later, I am listening to it again: Talkin 'bout my baby/ Ahhh, Latin Lupe Lu /She's a high flyin' baby / Ain't no dance she couldn't do.

Magnificent. The Righteous Brothers can eat me -- Mitch Ryder rules. And so does my iRiver.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Signal test

Blogger seems to have gone completely fucko; it won't let me put up my most recent post to the Ruddy Ruddy page. Let's see if this one will work.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Interesting Fact

If you do a Google image search on the term "Man vs. Clown", this is the very first image to pop up that meets your criteria.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Peter Lynn: Agent Provocateur

You don’t have to drive to get something like road rage. Tempers generally run high during commuting. Many times, for various reasons usually involving other people’s self-centered habits and/or poor commuting acumen, I’ve nearly been the cause of a fight on the subway. There ought to be more potential for violence on public transit, because not only are you close enough to smell the other guy’s stink, but you’re also close enough to do something about it by bathing him in his own blood. However, of all the times when I’ve nearly let slip the dogs of war on the subway, I’ve usually at least been one of the potential combatants. Not today.

This morning, I got caught on the stairs to the subway behind an old lady, a young guy, and his dog, who were creeping along side-by-side and at old-lady speed, forming a rolling barrier. I got pretty annoyed, but didn't say anything. However, the guy must have picked on my vibe, because when he got to the bottom of the stairs, he made an elaborate show of getting out of my way, rolling his eyes and making a theatrical "after you" motion. In the process, however, he managed to trip someone else with his dog leash. This led to an exchange of harsh invective.

"You inconsiderate asshole!" shouted the guy who got tripped.

"I was getting out of his way!"

"What are you doing with a goddamn dog in here?!"

"Shut up, old man! I'll smash you!" (I liked that threat. "Hulk smash!")

"Go ahead!" (The guy wanted to be smashed? Odd.)

And it went on like that. It looked serious for a minute, but no one actually got smashed in the end. I did, however, find myself next to the dog guy and the old lady on the subway platform a short time later. (I wonder what she thought of this guy, who might have been her grandson or something, just totally freaking like this.) Feeling compelled to acknowledge the situation I’d caused, I said that I thought the other guy overreacted (which I would have said to the other guy as well, had I been standing beside him, as both guys clearly overreacted). The dog guy vehemently agreed.

"He has as much right to be here as that guy!" he exclaimed, pointing at the dog.

Really? I wondered. Did the dog buy a ticket? If not, the other guy probably had just a little bit more right to be there. But I didn't bother pointing this out.

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