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Tag: Weblogs (41-50 of 55)

Failure is the new funny at 'Literary Rejections'

A colleague recently forwarded me a link to Literary Rejections on Display, a Web site that chronicles hundreds of dismissals received by fiction and non-fiction writers. The site’s latest posting amusingly dissects a verbose rejection letter from Orchid: A Literary Review that includes a quote from composer Camille Saint-Saens: "I write music the way an apple tree produces apples." To which Literary Rejections responds, "No offense, but I write novels the way five elephants giving birth consecutively over ten years produce other elephants, or Café Lattes for that matter, so don’t give me this ‘involuntary urge’ business or ‘natural fruit on the tree’ stuff." Another particularly funny post chronicles a Random House editor’s rejection letter that repeatedly reminds the aspiring author how much he enjoyed the novel, and then lists numerous reasons he had to reject it.

Anyhow, whether you’re a writer who’s looking for a better way to deal with cruel dismissal than crying into a cup of herbal tea, or you’re simply a bookworm who wants to better understand the indignities your future favorite authors are suffering on their way to their seven-figure book deals, Literary Rejections on Display is worth checking out.

Celebrity guest blogger Michael Showalter's world blogging tour

Ms_l_4With this post, we bid adieu to comedian Michael Showalter, who concludes his stint as PopWatch celebrity guest blogger by recounting his adventure’s on his virtual promotional tour of cyberspace today.

I’m wrapping my day of world tour blogging. I’ve been all over theplace,even on a sports blog called Deadspinand this great place in Kentucky. Even whisked by Defamer in LA,which said I was blogging about "MTV’s bisexual love odyssey" for EWbecauseof the writer’s strike. No no. It’s because of my brand new album, whichdropped today called Sandwiches & Cats.

Anyway, I must say, I’m tired, I’m hungry, and I need to prepare towitnessAmerica’s Next Top Model. Goodbye, PopWatch, and thank you.

Wanted: Your Questions for Perez Hilton

Still wondering what Perez Hilton said during his meet-and-make nice with Posh Spice that didn’t end up in her Victoria Beckham: Coming to America TV special (below)? Or how exactly PerezHilton.com became "the first media outlet in the world to break the news of Castro’s death?" Now’s your chance to ask him. Post your questions for Perez below (and keep ‘em clean, please), because he’s phoning PopWatch tonight to answer them. If you’re stuck, throw the celeb-hound a bone and ask about his upcoming VH1 special What Perez Says (premieres Sept. 11), which will capture his gossip-gathering techniques at this Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards. Look for your answers on EW.com Tuesday.

Happy 25th Anniversary, 'Grease 2'!

Happy 25th anniversary to Grease 2! And I’m sure many of you are thinking, "Um, why should I care?" Well, um, many reasons. The first is that there is a blog clearinghouse dedicated solely to all the bloggers out there who love the 1982 movie musical as much as I do. (And no, I’m not ashamed to admit it!)

Among the other reasons you should be ecstatic over a celebration of this awesome sequel:

  • A young Michelle Pfeiffer was excellent as Stephanie Zinone, the rebellious Pink Lady who enjoys chomping on gum and singing about finding her "Cool Rider."
  • What other flick has an entire scene in a bowling alley where the entire cast sings and dances to such provocative lyrics as: "Don’t get sore when you lose tonight, We’re gonna show you how to do it right.We’re gonna score tonight…"?
  • Didi Conn reprised her role as the ditzy yet endearing Frenchy (she of the cotton candy coiffure), but luckily left her beauty school ambitions behind.
  • During science class, the teacher and students break out into a number about reproduction with the key phrase, "Where does the pollen go?" I wish my high school classes would’ve been as lively as that!

So who’s with me on my love for Grease 2? And who’s running out right now to rent it because I was so persuasive? Anyone? 

Frankly, I would have pegged them more as badminton types

Arcade_lIf you read the music blogs, you’ve probably already seen "Arcade Fire Stole My Basketball" this morning, a site alleging that frontman Win Butler snaked some guy’s ball from a rec center in Berkeley after an altercation involving court space. You’ve also most likely seen "Arcade Fire Didn’t Steal Dude’s Basketball," the response blog purportedly set up by Win’s brother Will.

But I would be remiss in my job here at PopWatch if I didn’t draw your attention to this post over at Stereogum, which has generated one of the funniest comment threads in a long while. (Warning: It’s slightly NSFW.) I won’t ruin it with over-explanation; I’ll just say I find it hard to believe anyone will ever top "The Decemberists trained a falcon to crap on my head at my wedding."

PS: Cross your fingers that this whole thing is a scam, some sort of viral marketing campaign designed to inform us that the Canadian collective will be replacing the Pussycat Dolls as interstitial music for the upcoming NBA Finals. Because I cannot hear that Pussycat Dolls song ever again. I hate it more than I hate Manu Ginobili, and that is a LOT.

addCredit(“Arcade Fire: Davida Nemeroff”)

The comment board hath spoken

Patty_lOn Wednesday, I posted a long musing on the state of cultural criticism in a comment-board world, and wondered if, now that readers’ opinions are given the same space — and sometimes weight — as those of professional writers, we are moving towards a society in which educated, informed, professional criticism is no longer welcomed or necessary.

You guys responded, and how. After the jump, some further thoughts, and a big, big compliment.

addCredit(“Patty Griffin: Brad Barket/Getty Images”)

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What's the critic's role in a comment-board world?

Hicks_lI was going to post about this last week, but I ran out of time and lost my nerve, for reasons that will soon become obvious. Still, the idea stuck with me, and as the issue doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon, I guess it’s time to tackle it head-on. This is going to be long, but I can’t stop myself.

[Imagine this next bit said in the movie trailer guy's voice.]

In a world where no piece of professional media can exist without an accompanying Internet message board, the barrage of commentary, courtesy of You™, may be doing irreparable damage to an intellectual tradition that stretches back thousands of years: that of the cultural critic. The word "critic" itself comes from the Greek kritikós (one who discerns), and implies a certain level of scholarship, perspective, education, aesthetic/historical understanding, and calm, considered, reasoned thinking. It’s a concept that seems to be directly at odds with the public’s ability to put 10 or 15 poorly-spelled words into a little box and click "post." And yet every day, at publications big and small, the public is doing just that… and being celebrated for it.

So I ask: In light of this trend towards all-user-generated-content-all-the-time, can those of us who get paid to have opinions maintain our dignity, our sanity… and our jobs?

After the jump, I attempt to inspire a rational discussion which will no doubt disintegrate into people yelling at me on the comment board. Won’t you come along?

addCredit(“Taylor Hicks: Kevin Winter/Getty Images”)

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Peter Bjorn & John: Dissed!

Peter_lWhen the 17th century philosopher Thomas Hobbes qualified life in the state of nature as "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short," who knew his words would also describe the spin cycle of your average modern It Band? Swedish pop outfit Peter Bjorn & John may have been playing together since 1999, but it’s only in the last few months that their irrepressable single with the madly perky whistle melody, "Young Folks," earwormed its way into America’s consciousness — ascending from spots in the top-10 singles lists of coolmakers like NME and Pitchfork to guest appearances on network tentpoles Gray’s Anatomy and How I Met Your Mother.

And now, the backlash: An unidentified blogger has established an anti-PB&J site, protesting the fact that their popularity rewards mediocrity. But isn’t it harmless, you ask?

Not to stoppeterbjornandjohn.blogspot.com. "As much as we would all like to just ignore the whole ‘buzz band’ phenomenon — to chalk it up (correctly) to the meaningless machinations of a press in need of a story — the fact is that those decisions matter," the blogger exclaims earnestly. "They matter in terms of what bands get played, what bands get signed, what bands get associated with indie rock as a genre. Whether we like it or not, the sound of the ‘buzz band’ gets attributed to us, in terms of what we supposedly like. We, the indie-rock fans, suffer when the buzz band is bad."

What do you think, readers? does this dude (Why do we assume "dude"? Perhaps we should examine our own prejudices over here at EW.com. But we’d bet you many Swedish krona that we’re right.) just need to get a new hobby? Or is Chicken Little on to something, making PB&J responsible for (or at least a harbinger of) the indie-rock sky’s imminent collapse? Please tell us which side you come down on…

addCredit(“Peter, Bjorn & John: Rahav Segev/Retna”)

Wesley Crusher is Hilarious!

16382__wil_lEven the most diehard fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation — and, yes, you non-fans can just skip ahead now — recognize that the first season of the superlative sci-fi show was all too often… well… let’s just go with soul-crushingly awful, shall we? But what I hadn’t realized was that those episodes are also a profoundly rich source of gut-busting comedy. Said realization came via a friend and fellow Trekkie who sent me a link to a monthly series of reviews of ST: TNG Season 1 episodes that recently started over on AOL’s TV Squad, reviews written by none other than Wesley Crusher (pictured) himself, Wil Wheaton. And. They’re. Hilarious.

I knew Wheaton had his own blog of some considerable Web esteem (the archives go alllll the way back to 2001!), but I was not prepared for quite the level of geeked out, snarky-smart, slightly ribald brilliance Wheaton unleashes in these reviews. Here’s just one (rather tame) excerpt from a review of "Justice," set on a libidinous, Edenic planet called Rubicun III, populated by a species called the Edo:

Before the Edo leaders will tell Riker how many people they can bring down from the Enterprise, they suggest that they "play at love." Rivan, the woman, suggests that Worf play at love with her (Aside: if my memory serves me correctly, Michael Dorn and Brenda Bakke, who played Rivan, spent a little time, uh, playing, together during the production of this episode), while Liator looks at Riker, jams his true desires deep into the closet, and asks Troi if she’ll play with him. Just before Sexual Harassment Panda shows up, Wesley Crusher says, "Dude, this is bulls–t. Either hook me up with some fine Edo ass, or let me get away from you creepy middle-aged swingers and find it on my own." Okay, maybe that’s not what he says, but it’s certainly what a certain actor who played Wesley Crusher was thinking at the time.

addCredit(“Wil Wheaton: Everett Collection”)

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Snap judgment: The 'Studio 60' fake blog

93650__defaker_l_1Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip has started a viral marketing blog called Defaker (hmm… wonder who they’re parodying?), and it is such a lame excuse for "blogging" that there’s already a rumor going around that supposedly blog-averse creator Aaron Sorkin is writing it himself, and doing it badly on purpose.

First off, the (lone) post is too long. And trust me when I say, I know from long blog posts. Secondly, there is only the one post, which, as Mark Lisanti very graphically points out, would never fly in the Denton-verse or anywhere else, for that matter. (Unless you’re low culture, and then you can leave the same post up for three months and I’ll still check back on your site every day). Thirdly, the post is little more than a glorified recap of the episode, and not a very funny one at that.

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