Column

Out of Context

Global MusicI know this isn’t much of a confession. It’s not as if I’ve just discovered global music, he’s a drug addict, a phone sex guy, the head of a religious cult, an ex-con, or married with four kids, a wife, and a minivan in Des Moines. But he owns a lathe, and I just found out.

We just moved in with each other, you see. And, along with bashed thumbs, bruised shins, sore backs, and woefully misplaced boxes which we won’t see again until the next move, this gave us an ideal opportunity to discover all the dirty little secrets we’ve been hiding from one another in the past many months of blissful dating.

He discovered that, despite my incarceration at the University of Chicago English department and the appreciation for fine literature which it implies, my collection of the classics is substantially dwarfed by my mass of… Continue reading

St. Patty’s Sites O’Plenty

Electronic CigaretteST. PATRICK’S DAY

wilstar.net/patrick.htm

For people who live by Cliff’s Notes. A simple one-pager on who the guy was, what he did and did not do, why he is commemorated, why he wished there was an electronic cigarette in his time and a variety of quality links. Oh, and great downloadables of “My Wild Irish Rose” and “When Irish Eyes are Smiling”.

IRISHFOOD.COM

www.irishfood.com/

Very comprehensive. Recipes, cookbooks, discussion groups, restaurant listings, services and suppliers. Unless you live in or are visiting Ireland, most of this is inapplicable. Click right to recipes. Meat lovers delight- Irish Stew (of course), Fillets of Whiting, Herring in many ways, Sausage Pies. But there’s also time-tested favorites like Soda Bread, Whiskey and Ginger Cream and Rutabaga Pudding. Screw the diet and go for it.

LUCKY LEPRECHAUN’S LANE

usacitylink.com/lucky/default.html

What a great site! In addition to a fantastic virtual tour of Ireland complete with… Continue reading

10 Sites to 10 Sites to Visit if You’re Home Alone on New Year’s Eve

1. Six Degrees of Separation
www.cs.virginia.edu/~bct7m/bacon.html

Spend hours relating people to Kevin Bacon in six steps or less. Try other similar games. It may be passe, but you’re alone, so who will know if you beat the snare and play along?

beck2. Beck
www.rockonthenet.com/artists/info/beck.htm

Meet Beck. He’s a loser, too.

3. Unsolved Mysteries
www.unsolved.com

You’ve got some time on your hands- put it to good use. Either offer your well- founded opinion on what happened to D.B. Cooper, or ask others to help you find a life.

4. The 80s Server
www.80s.com

Remember the good old days when you wore parachute pants and pink bandanas to New Years Eve bashes. Find your old Bangles cassettes and download pictures of Tom Cruise in his underwear.

5. Ask Dr. Weil
www.pathfinder.com/drweil/

Maybe there’s an herb, or relaxation method you can use to make yourself feel better.

6. Heavens Gate
www.levelabovehuman.orghale-boppiness

It’s possible… Continue reading

Denizine’s Web Reviews for

Headphone“They say this cat is a bad mutha” “Shut yo mouth.” I’m talkin’ ’bout Shaft. Can ya dig it? Here’s yet another multimedia shrine (job security for me) that breaks no rules, but provides trendy retro photo stills with headphones and borderline racist sound bites (“Who’s the black private dick that’s a sex machine to all the chicks) based on the 70s icon, John Shaft. Only three flicks to detail- Shaft, Shaft’s Big Score and Shaft in Africa (“He no rides camel. He rides ass.”). Pull some Nehru-sporting Richard Roundtree pictures, plot summaries, and quotes from each. The quotes are lengthy and not so funny out of context. And pre-dating Madonna & the Media 101 is a trippy yet fascinating study of Shaft’s role in American and film history. No college credit, but a fun read. Though this site seems to be a work-in-progress, it’s a one-time only check-out for… Continue reading

Denizine’s Web Reviews for

AMADo you need an image change? Are you the cheerful sort of geek who ends up wiping mucus from the shoulder of his suit jacket when your melodramatic female “friends” go running back to their mysterious, tragic-hero, coffee-house boyfriends who love the American Music Association? If so, get on over to Gothnicity. This site claims it can teach you how to “be goth” in six easy lessons. Once you’ve got the hang of the look and the moves, you can try emoting appropriately with the help of the handy angst-o-matic. Visit the “Galleria du Goth” in your made-over soul. Don’t be surprised if, in the end, your irrepressibly cheerful self leaves the site feeling even more buoyant. Good Goth! Is that a wry smile on the face of that Goth grrl? (You should avoid the discussion board, though. It’s got some technical problems the webmaster doesn’t feel like dealing… Continue reading

Women In Sports

USA Womens SoccerShaq’s Slap: Shaquille O’Neal’s unexplained open-handed slap of Utah Jazz center Ron Ostertag last week, which netted him a $10,000 fine and a one-game suspension, has reminded us to make this bold prediction: Shaq will never wear a sports bra or the championship ring, at least not as a starter, in his career. How can we be so confident of this? Easy. Here’s a man with no love of the game of basketball whatsoever. Shaq loves the money, he loves the fame, and he loves his acting career (if you can call that acting). But he could really give a shit about the sport. His game is so ungrounded and his work ethic so nonexistent that a year ago at this time he was predicting his free-throw shooting would improve to “70, 80 percent” last season. He shot around 50 percent, like he always does. This makes him extremely… Continue reading

Violence without Hockey

Chuck Chucks Schmuck: Heroic and intelligent Houston Rockets forward Charles Barkley started the regular season off in grand style this week by throwing a fellow bar patron through a wine rack and plate glass window at Jerry’s. The ever-insufferable Houston Rockets’ forward, who seems to have been in as many bar fights as all-star games, is claiming self defense, which is becoming a moldy excuse. We can’t remember whether he claimed self defense the time he spat on that little girl, after which his diplomatic skills were rewarded by being named to represent the USA at the Olympics. When you’re just 6′ 8″, self defense becomes a priority. How else to explain leaving a loaded gun in plain view on the floor of your Jaguar? And to think, this column was going to be pretty thin before Barkley saved the day. Who says Chuck doesn’t come through in the… Continue reading

Skatin’ With Satan

www.popculturereviewed.comHalloween Greetings: What would the season be without a hearty bushel o’ Devil’s Night wishes to White Sox outfielder Albert Belle? In case you don’t remember, Albert was visiting his father last Halloween when some local trick-or-treaters rang the Belle family doorbell. Ignorance and rudeness apparently being hereditary, the senior Belle told the revelers to take a hike, to which they responded by egging his home. The brave and athletic Albert jumped in his vehicle and ran the children down, mildly thumping one of them with his car, for which he had to pay later, thanks to the kid’s family lawyer from Lawgena. See, kids? You CAN get rich by trick-or-treating, you just have to choose the right neighborhood. Happy Halloween, Albert!

Tonya update: Miss Harding recently moved into the same Portland suburb as yours truly, and promptly got her fancy Ford pickup stolen while parked out at… Continue reading

Parole Models

As we prepare to open another long and boring basketball season, it would appear that the Bulls’ re-signing of will make this season somewhat anti-climactic at best and excruciatingly boring at worst. Since the championship is already a foregone conclusion, let’s concentrate on where the real action is: The ever-lengthening arrest records of the NBA’s top troublemakers. And no one can claim a larger selection of All-Star felons than my own Portland Trailblazers, known locally as the Jailblazers.

Blazer owner and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, living proof that you CAN have too much money, built a new stadium here in Portland featuring no knee room and $4.50 12-ounce cups of Budweiser, hiring General Manager Bob Whitsitt (make up your own rhyme for “Whitsitt” here) away from Seattle, and Trader Bob went right to work turning the Rose Garden (slogan: Budweiser Feels Good On The Back Of Your Neck) into a… Continue reading

Alien Resurrection” Just Sucks”

To its credit, Alien Resurrection has a wonderful premise. It attempts to combine the worst of Hollywood’s sensibilities (hyperbole) with the best intentions: an amateur interest in fancy story-telling. Bringing back dead characters, it uses fine actors and a finer director, award-winning art-direction and special effects, and is filmed by one of the most stylish cinematographers in the business. Furthermore, it pays post-modern homage to British cinema (Ridley Scot and Terry Gilliam) and Philip K. Dick in a pastiche of comic-book cum absurdist metaphysics. But the result is that niether this film’s metaphysics nor talent nor even carry-over feminism and the horror film aspects inherent to the series resurrects one’s belief in these premises. As usual in Hollywood, the crux of the film’s many-faceted failure is its lousy script.

Joss Whedon is the man to blame it seems. His screenplay, combined with the poorest simultaneous judgment of the aforementioned auteurs,… Continue reading

Bad to Good (Don King: Only In America)

Don King: Only in America begins with a staccato bass rumble and tenor mantra “Money, Money, Money.” We recognize the song and no sooner do we tap hands to thigh and feet to floor, nod our heads to to and fro, does the film show an act of brutal violence. Cut from King stashing money into a pillow case in his Cleveland home to three black-clad, black-skinned thugs abreast crashing down his door, cut to them pistol-pointing in the direction of King and his money, cut to a steady-cam framing in the scene’s climactic increase of volumes: the soundtrack has reached its crescendo and silences just after the first of Don King’s infamous killings.

Bad to good.

King was acquitted for protecting his own property and person. But years later he would be convicted of manslaughter, landing him a place in Cleveland’s pen. This is the true beginning of the… Continue reading

A Rob’s-Eye-View of Summer Blockbusters

While molten lava spews out of Los Angeles’ streets, and dinosaurs devour unfortunate extras in the Caribbean, and tornadoes rip apart everything in their path (save for Helen Hunt’s sports bra) – one begins to wonder whatever happened to those “Ernest” movies.

I mean, sure – “Ernest Goes To Camp” won’t be featured at Cannes any time soon, but if you’re going to make trite, meaningless films lacking character development or plot – you could save a couple hundred million by laying off the special effects.

And, why why WHY does every big-budget cheesy flick have to star Tommy Lee Jones? I’m not dissing Tommy Lee’s acting ability, but then again – he’s been a central actor in everything from the comic-book adaptation crap that dominated the box office in the early 90’s, to the Steven Segal crap that dominated the box office in the mid-90’s, to the disaster crap… Continue reading

Schmaparazzi! Schmaparazzi!

Wow. Never in the history of Denizine has an article gotten the kind of response as my last one (“Paparazzi Schmaparazzi”) did.

I still stand by what I said on Saturday about the media placing too much attention on paparazzi, and down-playing the initial corroner’s report on the blood-alcohol level of the driver. However, there were some flaws with my article on Saturday, and new information that has come forward.

First, there is the question of whether the driver was drunk or not. A forensic pathologist representing the al-Fayeds have concluded that the driver was not drunk. However, you should be aware that the al-Fayeds are facing a civil suit by the Spencer family. So, it is in their best interest to find somebody who would say that the driver wasn’t actually drunk.

Second, the photo I used wasn’t actually one taken by a paparazzi, but by a video surveillance… Continue reading

Paparazzi, Schmaparazzi!

I think it is. Am I the only one who realizes that no matter how many people are inadvertently killed by paparazzi, drunk driving will kill thousands more?

Sure, I’m kind of happy to see this turn on the paparazzi, the “modern bounty hunters”; the “legal stalkers” – but, really – is this as big of a problem – globally – as is drunk driving?

What I find amazing is that it’s the media themselves that are placing the attention on these photographers. The very same photographers that brought Diana into our homes every week, the reason a billion people tuned it this Saturday morning to watch – we knew Diana personally – through the tabloids, or filtered slightly through mainstream media.

I downloaded the photograph above from CNN.com. They’ve got tons just like it on their site. The very same photographers CNN is slamming in their commentaries, are supplying… Continue reading

A Summary of Rob’s Week of Reigning Geekdom

On Friday, July 11, my “Geek of the Week” page had gone up on HotWired – my 15Kb of fame began! And, it started out awesome!

I received an email from a web designer in Indonesia who said he was a fan of the Denizine, and to keep up the good work. That made me feel wonderful, since I felt the Denizine was extremely Midwestern American in tone and content.

Then, I received an email from a close friend and former co-worker. This email was more telling.

Ummmmm….congratulations?
Maybe we need to have a talk, Rob.
Geek means…oh nevermind. I’ll just buy
you a dictionary for your birthday.

Then there were the snickers from current co-workers who read the page, and muttered, “yup. geek.”

Then there was my fiance, Shannon. On Friday night, she said she was upset that I looked at this “geek status” as a good thing. And… Continue reading

There’s No Pleasing Some People

Wow. I can hardly believe it. You know, sometimes you dream about things – winning the lottery, for instance. You buy that ticket when you hear the jackpot is up to $20 million, never believing you’ll win, but just because that one dollar investment gives you half a good week of daydreams.

Well, some dreams do come true.

Okay okay okay..For some reason, I thought that the prize was going to be an Apple PowerBook, so when I filled out the form, I did so with as much pizzazz as a guy like me can muster. And, well..Looking back, I realized that I’m not the mustering type.

But luckily, the prize went to the geekiest, and not the pizzazziest. Yes, dear friend, I won the coveted status of “Hotwired’s Geek of the Week.”

Yes, it’s true. Moi. King of all Geeks. My 15 minutes of fame spread out over 7… Continue reading

Why the Generation X Is Afraid of Clowns

Dean couldn’t go. Or maybe I decided not to ask him. I forget. I know that I would have had to pass his house on my bike en route to the theater, so I’m not exactly sure why Dean didn’t go, but I do know that on that hot summer day, I rode my Schwinn up to the Fairview movie theater alone, sat my 12 year old fat butt in the front row, armed with a box of Dots, and watched Steven Spielberg & Tobe Hooper’s “Poltergeist.”

Poltergeist changed everything. I had no time to prepare. It was PG, for God’s sake. I had snuck into the “Friday the 13th” movies, and no nightmares followed. I had seen “Jaws” and “Halloween” and “Alien” and a slew of other scary R-rated films – and despite one or two creepy nights when I couldn’t sleep, they didn’t really affect me as a… Continue reading

Sorry, Farley

As of this writing, the toxicology report on the death of Chris Farley has not been released, but reports have said that there were no signs of drugs or drug paraphanalia found in his apartment.

Earlier this year on the Howard Stern show, Saturday Night alum and film co-star David Spade could be heard discussing Chris Farley’s health. Spade had told Howard that Farley could wind up dead if he didn’t start taking care of himself.

And so, I didn’t take it as a big surprise when I had heard the news of the 33 year old comedians’ death. I had been driving in rush-hour traffic when I heard the news, and my first thought was, “John Popper’s gotta be shitting his boots.”

John Popper, the hefty lead singer from Blues Traveler, allegedly tried dieting with the aide of cocaine earlier this year.

Anyway, Chris Farley is now in the… Continue reading

The Beltway Warrior

He began as a figure in my rear view mirror. I was on auto-pilot, not really paying attention to my surroundings and buzzing at 85 miles an hour. It was a daily 30 minute commute to work on one of the fastest roads in America; the Washington Beltway. This asphalt circle inscribes the capital landmass and is home for a million other commuters twice a day traveling as fast as they can in an endless dance of Russian roulette. Each day, the over confident and weak are thrust to the shoulder as the rest of us await our turn in line. For what we know not. Today, it was his road.

He over took me in an instant, the throbbing of his bike muffled by the Doppler Effect of his speed. Awakened from my daze by the sight of the purple mass about to overtake me, I pushed the Hondaís… Continue reading

Monica Lewinsky Thru Zac’s eye

By Zac Elston

So you su*ked the presidential di*k, what are you going to do now? Disney? Hollywood Squares? Guess hosting Entertainment Tonight (will they insure your lips for 2 million like Mary Heart’s Legs?) or maybe a weekly news column on the state of sex practices in America today?

On the drive to work today I fantasized about a conversation with Ms. Lewinsky. The City Paper here in DC already had one of their staff reporters give a tell all detail of their date one night so I won’t even pretend to put things in her mouth. Nor will I misrepresent her in any way, but none the less I still wonder what would happen if I met Ms. Lewinsky and she was forthcoming about certain details.

I guess my first question would be if she got anything in return? Is the President a caring man–soft but firm –or… Continue reading