Musical Musings… When Did I Stop Caring?

In the early 90’s, I had my musical awakening, if you will.  My tastes might not meet the standards of most high-brow music snobs, but those years should be celebrated merely for opening my eyes ears.

Here were some bands that I quickly attached to, and somehow just as easily detached from.  Was it a demise in the quality of their music?  Did they grow beyond me?  Did I grow beyond them?  Or did I simply stop caring?

Awful Battle… Before They Were LOST

LOST

It’s final season is days away, and the anticipation of it is killing me.  Not literally.  It’s killing me kind of like how people get killed on LOST.  That is, what the fuck is going on in that show?

Anywidmore, when the show began airing in 2004, only a couple of the cast members were familiar faces.  If you happen to have a photographic memory, these Actors! would have been familiar as well.

This first clip is an old Old Navy ad.  Keep an eye out for Fran Drescher, Oprah’s Stedman, and… Josh Holloway (Sawyer).

This second video is a commercial for the phone sex live chat line, LiveLinks. If I knew I could talk to Evangeline Lilly (Kate), I might have called.  What do you mean you don’t get to talk to the girls on TV?  What kind of operation based on lies are they running?

Remember the old game show, Russian Roulette?  Well, Jorge Garcia (Hurley) has been trying to forget about it.  (Purely my speculation based on unfounded made-up facts.)

BONUS: Besides Matthew Fox (Jack) and Dominic Monaghan (Charlie), and maybe Harold Perrineau (Michael) and Emilie de Ravin (Claire)Terry O’Quinn (Locke) should have been a familiar face, courtesy of his creepy performance in The Stepfather.

LOST

Happy Finds… Confusion Abounds

Sometimes I find too many websites that make me happy.  Today, I found four.

1) WTF Comcast – Who writes these summaries?  Who cares?  They’re hilarious and strange, and collected on this website.

Damn interns.

2) Boozecats – Here’s the math behind this website:

party photo – booze + cats = win

"Chug! Chug! Chug!" they all chanted. Because Chug was the cat's name, you see.

3) Sexy People – This picture says it all.  But if you need to hear more (if this portrait didn’t, in fact, “say it all”), check out this website.

I think I used to have the same wallpaper...

4) 100 Things I Learned – Films have a lot to teach us.  For example, here are some things people learned from watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

#1 – Don’t let your mom eat environmentally friendly brownies served by white kids in dreadlocks.

#6 – Michael Bay will always stress that when teleporting from America to Egypt, it will still be the middle of the afternoon.

#13 – If a Transformer saves your life from an incredibly dangerous situation, instead of thanking him, tell him you’re completely safe now and that you don’t need him anymore.

InASense, Lost… Innocence Lost, As Evidenced By Crayola Crayons (And Oscar The Grouch)

As that guy who played Ferris Bueller said in one of his movies, “Life moves by pretty fast.”

A fellow blogger pal recently posted about the same thing, and in her articulate reflection, she paraphrased something she heard Keith Urban say on the radio:  

…this is when Keith Urban blew my mind.  He said that when we’re 10-years-old, one year is one tenth of our lives–and that’s a lot.  Then, when we’re 20-years-old, one year is half that, and at 30 years, even less of our lives.  So it stands to reason that years feel faster.  ‘It’s relative,’ he said. 

So when I stumbled happened upon this chart, displaying the exponentially growing number of Crayola’s crayon colors, I was taken aback.  How can there be so many colors now?  

They keep inventing new colors, I guess.

When I was a kid, I remember being amazed there were sixty-four colors. 

Anybody else have a penchant for turning this into a missile launcher?

It’s true that as adults, we make things more complicated for ourselves.  Should it be that way with the simplicity that is colored wax? 

Then I stumbled happened upon this graphic representing the last decade.  It kind of gave me hope in the sense that the more things change, the more they stay the same.  So I was cheered up again.

Then I stumbled happened across this:

"Sunny days, sweeping the clouds away..."

In the words of one of those characters in those kids’ cartoons and books about Eeyore, “Oh bother…”

Coinkydink Or Coinkydonk? Cash-Ins, Tie-Ins, Sell Outs, And Bailouts

Let’s examine for one second which car companies sponsored which, um, sponsorees

Frothy the Snow Cowell

Eight years ago, Ford Motor Company decided to back a show that was not much more than a flashier Star Search

  • Was it Coca Cola’s shared involvement? 
  • Was it a long standing crush on Paula Adbul?
  • Or was it amazing foresight from a company that renamed the Taurus the Five Hundred, and then redubbed it the Taurus again?

Turns out it doesn’t matter.  Once Kelly Clarkson happened, American Idol legitimized and therefore blew up.

Speaking of blowing up, let’s remind ourselves which guys GM got behind (or as in the case of this image – between):

"Stuck between two loose screws" - GM's new slogan

  • GM decided to back Tiger Woods through its Cadillac brand, and that was a good investment for a long time. 
  • They also paid a fair amount of cash to have their fleet of cars featured in both horrible Transformers movies, and those flicks made My Little Ponies pretty pennies.

And in the end, which car company required money from the government bailout?

"Um, Toyota?"

Nope.

"Oh hi... I didn't see you back there."

The Sh– To Just Sh–ty… John Cusack

"Nananananana... I'm not listening to this post."

The quest begins to pinpoint the moment that John Cusack went from being The Shit to becoming sort of Just Shitty.

In the annals (ha!) of this category, it is not necessarily a title one’s locked into and therefore it’s totally reversible.  With his upcoming films Hot Tub Time Machine and the possible Cosmic Banditos, the turd that has become his career could shine once again.

But what caused the descent into the drain?  Let’s take a trip in the Toilet Bowl Time Machine to find out.

“THE SHIT”

There are groupings to this phase, and they go like so…

1) The Early Cameos

  • Films included: Class, Sixteen Candles, Stand By Me, Broadcast News
  • These were crucial in helping him to get his face out there, help out a former director, or branch out into other genres.

2) The Adolescent Male Fantasy

  • Films included: The Sure Thing, Better Off Dead, One Crazy SummerHot Pursuit, Tapeheads
  • This grouping, of course, made me a fan.  Well, Better Off Dead made me a fan.

3) The Teenage Girl Fantasy

  • Films included: The Journey of Natty Gann kind of, Say Anything… totally
  • By the power of Cameron Crowe’s film alone, the stage was set for Cusack’s for middle-aged (film career) doom.

4) The Serious Actor!

  • Films included: Eight Men Out, Fat Man and Little Boy (he played Little Boy, me thinks),  The Grifters, True Colors, City Hall, Money for Nothing (was it a comedy… was it a drama… does anyone remember seeing it?)
  • This was the point he started getting to work with some serious talent.  Were they hits?  Mostly misses.  Wait, I’m sorry.  Mostly Ms.

5) The Woody Allen Experiments

  • Films included: Shadows and Fog, Bullets Over Broadway
  • For a minute, it seemed like Woody was going to have a new muse in the form of Cusack.  58, 59, finished…

6) The Late Cameos

  • Films included: Bob Roberts, The Player, Map of the Human Heart, Adaptation
  • These roles were primarily favors.

7) The Beginning of the End of the Century

  • Films included: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, The Thin Red Line, Pushing Tin, Cradle Will Rock
  • Though none of these were hits – nor any good (The Thin Red Line is merely visual poetry) – they were still high-profile releases.

8) The Beginning of the End of His Reign as “The Shit”

  • Films included: Grosse Pointe Blank, Con Air, Being John Malkovich, High Fidelity
  • Arguably, my favorite group.  He wrote Grosse Pointe Blank and High Fidelity.

9) The Slippery Slope

  • Films included: America’s Sweethearts, Serendipity, Max, Identity, Runaway Jury
  • I actually liked Identity, but compare this batch to earlier batches and you’ll realize Cusack’s star-power has diminished.

“JUST SHITTY”

Some would argue that 2000 was the end of the era of his best work.  (Okay, at least I would argue, and then blame it on Y2K.)  But in 2005, John Cusack started blogging for The Huffington Post.  Then came:

10) Paint By Numbers

  • Films included: Must Love Dogs, The Ice Harvest, 1408, 2012, The Contract (released straight to DVD)
  • Um.  How about a romantic film?  Nope.
  • Action-comedy then?  Pfft.
  • Horror it is.  Not.
  • Disaster pic FTW!
  • (Direct-to-DVD FML…)

11) Independent Hopefuls

  • Films included: Martian Child, Grace is Gone, War, Inc.
  • I still intend to see these independent releases, and I may actually enjoy them, but let’s be honest.  Cusack’s Better Off Dead, Say Anything days are long behind him…