As my family and I walked a local outdoor mall this past Sunday afternoon, we heard gunshots coming from a Civil War re-enactment taking place a few blocks away (and a few thousand miles from the closest actual Civil War site). Only minutes before we had been laughing as we noticed the signs along the road, and we made jokes about the people whose daily lives were so boring that they had to reach a century and a half into the past for weekend entertainment. I was so glad we were cool.
Isn't it self-explanatory? It's a place where you can hang out and relax while talking about cool stuff. Picture a grass hut on a Tahitian beach, like in a Gauguin painting. That's a mellow hut. Wouldn't you like to hang out in a mellow hut?Why another web site?
The reason for starting a site, I suppose, is to save your friends and families from whatever it is you normally rant about when sending e-mails, dominating dinner discussions, or talking in your sleep. The site, then, serves a dual purpose. You have the opportunity to send your opinions out into the great beyond, and your loved ones have the opportunity to live their lives in peace. And so it shall be with this site.What are you writing about now?
I’m sure the answer to this one will be ever-evolving, but for now I’ll be writing about all things media related. I’ll review movies, discuss books, ramble about gadgets, complain about cancellations, worship the genius box (idiot box + TiVo = genius box), and do my best to convince everyone in the free world to put a TiVo on top of their television.How often will you post?
At least once a day, probably more.Are you serious?
No, that would be crazy.Why would I want to come back?
You’ll come back because, quite simply, you won’t be able to get enough. You listen to music, you watch TV, you're willing to pay ten or eleven bucks to go to the movies, and you love to read. You're addicted to flickering images and the satisfaction that comes with turning a page of printed text. Most importantly, though, you know you can turn off the TV about as easily as you can turn off the sun. Welcome home.Is media really that important?
You bet your ass. For most people of my generation, all of life’s major signposts are marked by some form of media, and it is no different for me. Devo's "Whip It," sends me directly back to the sixth grade; when I hear Louis Armstrong's "A Kiss to Build a Dream On" I’m suddenly transported to my wedding day, my wife in my arms. In fact, when my wife and I were falling in love, we took it as a sign of our shared destiny when we discovered a shared love of an old Christopher Guest/Martin Short SNL sketch, laughing hysterically as we pointed at each other saying, "Hey, you -- I know you!" Clearly, we were meant to be. For me, though, it goes deeper. Take today for instance. I stood in front of my class reading a play with my students when I came across this line: "Mr. Dussel is standing at the window, looking down fixedly at the street below." And because of that I had a line from an obscure Cure song running through my head for the rest of the day: "...all six eyes stared fixedly on you." Because of one word. But that’s just the beginning. When I think protest movements, I don’t think Susan B. Anthony, I think "Donna Martin graduates!" When the temperature climbs into the nineties, I inevitably tell someone that it’s "Africa hot," parroting a line from a play I’ve never read, a movie I’ve never seen. If that’s not good enough, I’ll invoke Eddie Murphy doing James Brown: "It’s hot in the hot tub!" Speaking of Murphy, whenever I find a shoe I’ve been looking for I have to shout out "My shoe!", thanks to all the time I spent listening to his Delirious record in the ninth grade. Sometimes these references are made purely for my own enjoyment. Whenever I meet someone named Carl, I immediately say, "Hey, Carl!" Carl thinks I’m being friendly, but I’m really doing a Judd Nelson line from The Breakfast Club. And even though none of my students were born when Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was in the theaters, I can’t help myself when their vacant stares are the only response to a tricky question. "Anyone? Anyone?"Again, is media really that important?
Media isn’t really that important in the grand scheme of things, obviously. Books, music, television shows, and movies are meant only as diversions. But in the right situation -- when a lyric falls into the right ear or when the line from a movie finds its way into the vernacular -- these things are important. How else can you explain that every time Charles Barkley had a big game newspapers across the country ran the same headline: "Charles in Charge." Why does everyone in America know the zip code of Beverly Hills? Why will the line "Whatchu talkin’ ‘bout Willis?" get a laugh in any situation?Enough already. When does the fun begin?
It already has. Enjoy.