Ship Inn Man was a song (and a filmeo, as they were called during that Eighties heyday of Wedding In Texas, etc.) composed for the Codco series on TV. Definitely a moment in time. The Ship still exists, albeit as the Ship Pub, and the arts community still hangs out there en masse, but the song Cathy Jones sings is about another era. The filmeo features many of the regulars, some unfortunately no longer with us and able to enjoy a nostalgic smile.
Comedy comes in many ways, and one of them is taking something and transposing it in an unlikely environment. The British comedy team Armstrong and Miller have been mining a vein by taking the rap-infused slang of modern kids and putting it in the mouths of World War II pilots, albeit with a bit of polish.
In this sketch, the fall guys are another team, Mitchell and Webb. A language advisory: this is not for the youngsters.
"I can talk to animals. Well, not talk to 'em. I can take commands from them."
This line, from Jack McBrayer's Kenneth, aired on last month's 30 Rock episode Operation Righteous Cowboy Lightning, which I got around to watching tonight. Many of Kenneth's lines are throwaway bits or comic beats, but McBrayer makes them sail.
"My mother wanted us to understand that the tragedies of your life one day have the potential to be comic stories the next." - Nora Ephron
Ephron, who has had a lengthy career as a writer and more recently a film director, is the daughter of Phoebe Ephron, a playwright. Ephron says her mother's parting words before her premature death were "Take notes."
This has been such a hit on the web for the last few months, and is a great example of how a career disaster doesn't mean the death of a career. Jenny Slate got hired by Saturday Night Live, and then got dropped by Saturday Night Live after one season that was notably largely for her accidentally dropping an F-bomb on her debut episode.
Now she has a whole new following because of the Marcel videos she makes with her partner. A book deal is the works. Probably more.
"It doesn`t really exist, this Frat Pack. We run into each other on occasion and we all like each other's films, I guess, but there isn't some big funny restaurant or bar where we all hang out. At least, if there is, they haven't invited me." - Will Ferrell
I tend to skip over several Flight of the Conchords songs when they come up in shuffle mode in the car, but I let Hurt Feelings play ... and my son laughed. Yes, there's the odd naughty word, but the 10-year-old still covers his mouth when he hears them.
A Family Guy episode in May (the 150th, incidentally) included a few musical numbers, and a spoof or two. As Brian put it, "One thing we like to do at Family Guy is make fun of pop culture, by twisting it and mocking it and commenting on it." As Stewie added, "Yeah, and some times we just steal stuff and put our characters in it."
Then came a replica of Peter Griffin mimicking the jazzy pantomime of Jerry Lewis in The Errand Boy, set to Count Basie.
Here's a side-by-side comparison that shows Stewie definitely had a point.
I’ve been reading plenty about the iPad and the expected slate (no pun intended) of tablets expected to launch in the months and years ahead, and how life as we know it is about to … blah blah blah. You can fill in the hyperbole by yourself.
That said, a lot of it is ringing true. And some of it has been coming from some unexpected types.
Like Martha Stewart, for instance.
Now, I know I should not be so tough on Martha; sure, she may be a domestic diva of the first order, but she’s also been a technological innovator. (Don’t forget, for instance, that she came to St. John’s once as part of a collaboration with the ill-fated Microsoft online magazine Mungo Park.) Stewart was one of the first publishers to “get” the web, that it required a different approach to content beyond what was in her printed products.
So, I suppose, it wasn’t that surprising that Wired, for its comprehensive takeout on iPads and tablets (on why they will … you know, blah blah blah) asked Stewart for her take.
Apart from her expectation that tablets will make magazines much easier to enjoy (she practically drools over what could happen with National Geographic), she made a point that should resonate with packrats everywhere.
“We all have so much to read these days, and having the ability to pick and choose and save and file and send digitally is really exciting,” she said. “I have a bag full of torn-out magazine pages that I distribute to various people for creative ideas. I’ll be able to do that much more effectively if I have access to a digital version of those magazines rather than having to destroy them.”
Well, that kind of hit home with me. Let me explain.
In my home office, I have scores of magazines – hundreds of them, actually. I’ve clipped pages out of some of them, but what will likely happen (as it has in the past) is that I will sooner or later get tired and send a large of them out for recycling. One of my wife’s long-running to-do projects is to clip preferred features and layouts from her own collection of magazines. So, the idea of digital clipping sounds quite appealing. It’s not entirely new, of course. In the grand old days, when online databases like InfoGlobe were strictly text-based and you paid by the minute, and even before the web as we knew it didn’t exist, I kept directories of “clippings,” or news stories I wanted for reference. That migrated with the web, and I found that copying-and-pasting text was useful. In these pages, I extolled products like AskSam, which made warehousing text possible, and searchable. But what’s been missing is the ability to extract full-resolution “clippings,” distribute them, share them, store them and retrieve them – pretty much as Martha Stewart described above.
Managing a personal library with a few taps of the finger. Trust me … there’ll be an app for that.
Elsewhere this week
Monty Python Video Wall When I was much younger, I developed a thing for Monty Python, from sneaking into a screening of the Holy Grail to staying up late for Flying Circus repeats. The “wall” presented here is a vast array of screens, each one taking you to a howling moment from the Python canon.
forLater Do you know something that you’ll need to do in the future? Keep forLater on hand, for sending an email that will arrive with a reminder, just when you need it.
Laundry symbols Trust me: I can be trusted with the laundry. That doesn’t mean, though, that I can identify on sight what each and every one of those washing symbols means. Here’s precisely the tool for the most obscure icons you’ll find on laundry day.
John Gushue is a writer in St. John's, and works with CBC News. John is on Twitter right here.
Dot Dot Dot is Morse code for the letter 'S,' the full message Guglielmo Marconi claimed to have received atop Signal Hill in St. John's in 1901. It ushered in the age of telecommunications. My maternal grandfather worked as a telegraph operator for Canadian Marconi on Signal Hill for many years.
As well, I have a habit of overusing the ellipsis when I write ... as frequent readers might notice.