Harvey Pekar, above, the renowned comics writer whose life’s own banalities formed his narratives, died from prostate cancer, Monday, at the age of 70.
A mainstay and elder of the underground comics movement, Pekar was an oft and early collaborator with artist Robert Crumb. Yet the Ohio native worked as a Veterans Administration hospital file clerk most, if not all, of his adult life.
It was only after retiring in 2001, that his American Splendor series—turned into a 2003 film starring Paul Giamatti as Pekar—brought him mainstream fame and acclamation.
The late Harvey Pekar, and Michael Malice, are the guests today on this rebroadcasted edition of my WBAI-NY / 99.5 FM radio show, NONFICTION, this afternoon, Friday, July 16th, at 2 pm ET.
You can hear their ideas by tuning in at 2 pm ET. If you’re outside of the New York tri-state, check out our live stream on the web. If you miss the live show, dig into our archives for up to 90 days after broadcast.
That’s the title of this YouTube, above, and I’m not even going to try and top it with a clever pun. (Thanks to Erica K. of The Feminista Files for forwarding it, though.)
In the short, tykes recreate legendary moments from Brian De Palma’s 1983 classic, including the bloody shootout climax and demise of Tony Montana. (As you can see, above, a mound of popcorn makes a life-sized stand-in for Scarface’s desktop supply of coke, and the tiny actor has channeled the narco-mogul’s contemptuous sneer perfectly. Also, here, the word fudge repeatedly replaces a shorter, punchier expletive.)
From where the hell did this piece of genius, albeit evil genius, come?
Washington vs. Tiger, above, is a digital painting by artist Jason Heuser, aka SharpWriter. It imagines our first president defiantly battling a ferocious Bengal beast from the aft of a disintegrating boat…in the middle of what must be a Category 5 hurricane.
Right. If this doesn’t say everything you need to know about the United States of America, I don’t know what does.
Sure, he’ll be a senior citizen in 10 years, but that doesn’t mean actor Denzel Washington won’t still put a hurtin’ on the ladies. Yet it can be a little hard for a busy, on-the-go sister, flipping through cable channels, to quickly figure out which of his over forty films she’s watching…or the Denzel look she likes best!
Well, if that’s you, the Denzel Washington Venn Diagram is gonna save your day, precious time, and libido. Just lock in on the style you prefer! Is that him in glasses? It’s gotta be The Manchurian Candidate, Out Of Time, or American Gangster. A hat and glasses? Clearly, Mo’ Better Blues or Man on Fire!
Plus it’s color-coded for easy use! The Denzel Washington Venn Diagram: Because, as the Academy Award-winning actor famously bellowed in Training Day, “When it comes to a hat and facial hair, King Kong ain’t got nothin’ on me!”
Love fauna? Love the Force? Well, prepare to feel more than a disturbance in it: Animals with Lightsabers photoshops blazing plasma swords into the paws of what are, arguably, already pretty well defended creatures. The result, thus, gives them an even more deadly edge. Ever seen a curious dog yelp after a cat or some other smaller animal scratches his nose? Here’s betting that this Black Lab, above, doesn’t have a clue what’s coming next.
“A toast, establishing me as the wealthy, successful protagonist, who is handsome,” says the table head in this scene, right. “Murmur of agreement,” guests chirp.
NYU grads McElhaney and Kocher call their “two-tiered explosion” BriTANicK (“rhymes with ‘Titanic’”). But at this rate, they may soon have to change their motto—”Two guys wasting their degrees”—to something else. The End.
instructor Tom McFadden has created a series of rap videos to explain concepts such as gene regulation and evolution. His latest video, entitled “Oxidate It Or Love It” explains how metabolism works while paying homage to “Hate It Or Love It” by 50 Cent/The Game and “On To The Next One” by Jay-Z.
I can’t even begin to look at this 2006 bit, below, from MADtv‘s twelfth season, too often. “I Want You To Watch Me Play Madden” features former cast member Jordan Peele, above, as a guy whose notion of foreplay is getting his girl (castmate Nicole Randall Johnson) to join him in a menage á mille on Xbox Live.
There may be nothing more pitiful than a guy who mounts his self-absorbtion cloaked in cheezy seduction, and, in the clip, “Jordan” epitomizes that dude. (Best gags: Hittin’ controller combos (“L-R-L-R-UP-DOWN…maybe SELECT-STARRRT..”) as his lady’s toes curl, and his triumphant, “HE DOESN’T KNOW WHAT SEX IIIIIIS!!!…WHOA!!!” on the bridge.)
In his time with the show—Peele left MADtv the next year—he demonstrated a sly hand for creating funny skits in the form of faux R&B music videos. “Madden,” however, so perversely twists one form of pop culture into the servitude—and lampooning—of both, it may be his masterpiece. Touchdown.
As Mr. Carter parries with the chummy Brit, endlessly deferring Ross’s faux-friendly entreaties, his timing is impeccable, with each pause and sideways glance as perfectly placed as they are in his raps. Indeed, it’s a whole performance, yet a good part of it is silent.
But what most dawns on this writer as I watch the clip is that Jay didn’t merely become “the biggest rapper on the planet,” as the show’s web site notes, by clever alliterations, a clothing line, or, again, marrying one of music’s biggest stars.
In part, he did it by being a nice guy. Which sounds like a cliché, until you think of the fact that, in a field whose artists are lampooned for their ice grills, he smiles more than almost anybody. Now, laught at that.