Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Snarkly Three: Special Really Quick Before I Skip Town For Shameful Reasons Edition

1. Been meaning to post these for awhile.
Rejected Prom Themes, courtesy of SparkNotes. #11 is my favorite.

2. Is it just me, or does this sound potentially really interesting?
I really kind of want to see her show now.

3. And speaking of seeing shows...
I'll be scarce over the next few days, because, for reasons of having lost my freaking mind, I'm going to go see this. OK, technically, it's for reasons of it featuring the estimable Mr. Davison. Not that I suspect this is any excuse. (But still: yaaaaay)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Snarkly Three: Special two of them are about the theatre and one is about pigeon sex Edition

1. This is why universities make your cite all your quotations like "this" (Throbweenie, 1993):
Because otherwise, you don't give much of a context, you see, and then the reader has to make one up. Take this quote -- uncited -- from Playbill's Today in Theatre History:

1999 That's The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm you hear. Brothers George and Ira's music and lyrics highlight this revue opened tonight at the Longacre Theatre on Broadway. [...] Although the show will run for only 17 performances, producer Manny Kladitis remained proud to have "brought an unbeatable score to Broadway."

See what I mean? No citation, so the mind fills it in:

MANNY: At least I remain proud to have brought an unbeatable score to Broadway.
MANNY'S MOTHER: Shut up and eat your peas.

2. Count on Back Stage to tell it like it is ... stateside.
You persons who have some respect for acting as a form of art, click at your blood pressure's own risk. Wow! If only my clothes were hotterer, I could be a betterer actresser!

Excerpt: For spring or summer spots, Rodgers recommends wearing a simple tank top or sundress—but not too sexy. And if you must have a print, keep it simple. For cooler months, she says it's "layer, layer, layer. Jean jacket and/or a hooded sweatshirt—not sweater; that has the opposite effect—over a clean white T-shirt, and, of course, no logos." The T-shirt can have a color—think pastels for girls, muddy colors like olive, gray, or eggplant for guys—but "the color shouldn't steal the show."

Don't make me come over there, America.

Not, of course, that I mean for a moment to suggest that all Americans think acting has to do with tank tops. At the Actors' Studio, for example, I have it on good authority that they teach good acting hinges on "certain varieties of camisole."

Fortunately, this all has a historical basis in big-ass acting kahuna Constantin Stanislavski's 1935 treatise in which he clarifies that it's not about buying a new tank top to play a character -- it's about finding the truth of that character in the tank top you already own. But "the color shouldn't steal the show" (Stanislavski, 1935).

3. And meanwhile you know you were interested in the state of pigeon affairs abroad
I'm writing this at Paris' famed Jardin des Tuileries (literally, "Garden of Twilleries"), where two pigeons are playing rowdy foreplay games practically at my personal feet. The games are cyclical, and endless. The cycle goes like this: one pigeon FLAPFLAPFLAPs real hard and tries to hop on the other, who whups its wings at the first pigeon like this, WHUP, then the first one acts coy, starts to fake-saunter away, then returns with a vengeance and they switch roles: (FLAPFLAPFLAPFLAP) (WHUP) (coy) (sauntersauntersaunter) (FLAPFLAPFLAPFLAP) etc. I guess this could go on all afternoon.

I don't get their point. I guess it's an attempt to convince me they AREN'T about to do the pigeon nasty? Whatever; their act is transparent. I don't buy it for a moment. Maybe they would be more convincing if they were wearing a simple tank top or sundress, but not too sexy.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Snarkly Three: Special It's Afternoon Already Edition

1. So does he end up with Jughead? Huh? Huh? Does he does he does he?
You'll be pleased to know Archie Comics is introducing its first gay character, thus boldly proving that, in this modern age, persons of any orientation whatsoever can - and will - speak only in sentences ending in exclamation points.

I still remember the one and only time that, as an impressionable youth of 8 or 9, I saw a sentence in an Archie comic that -- get ready now -- ended in a period. True story. I even remember the sentence: it was Veronica saying, quote, "I'm NOT going without my THINGS." The flagrant lack of ! was so shocking that, as you can see, the quote burned itself irrevocably onto my brain -- much more readily than, say, Shakespeare.

2. Somebody please tell me why.
I posted here awhile back about Diesel's "Be Stupid" campaign. Now it seems they're launching a "Faces of Stupid" contest. The winner gets the presidency of the university of his or her choice.

I thought THIS was Diesel:

3. Just for God's sake don't tell anybody
I was given a free coffee the other day at a popular international establishment. (This happened because I was honest about not having been charged.) Now this gave me pause, because such flagrant acts of free coffee-giving are Definitely Not Allowed in -- well, not to name names, but, certain countries in which both this establishment and I both originated. Even if the barista wanted to let you get away with it, the establishment's Corporate Mega-Constabulary would descend from the light fixtures and wrestle your sorry honest consumer ass to the ground and PRY THAT $2.65 STRAIGHT FROM YOUR SORRY HONEST CONSUMER-ASS WALLET BWA HA HA while the Corporate Mega-Constabulary Hounds took bites out of your head.

Whoo! My, heh-heh, it seems I'm a bit more struck than I realized by the fascinating disparities between our two cultures! I should maybe explain, in the interest of full disclosure, that I myself used to be an employee of this establishment, where the rule was that even after all molecules of the establishment were as clean as the average maternity ward, you had to stand there and keep MANICALLY FAKE-CLEANING THEM so as to give the CUSTOMERS, who by the way don't give a RAT'S ASS, the impression that you were KEEPING BUSY, BY GUM. Whereas at this establishment in France, the daily Game Plan seems to be to let the daily crud pile up till closing, because what the hell, it's only going to pile up again tomorrow, right? We at the Snark have total faith that one day, the inevitable will dawn on them: "Hey," they will say to themselves, in French.* "By logical extension, we don't have to clean up this place ... EVER!" And they never will again. Also they will wear only comical underpants to work.

It might not happen tomorrow; it might not happen next week. But we have hope for Corporate France. We think it is just that progressive.

* " 'Ey! Par extension logique, nous ne have to pas clean up cette place ... EVER!"

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Snarkly Three: Special 6:52 P.M. Edition

1. French Dilbert is hilarious.

Seriously, how did I ever live without this? :

Known stateside as Build A Better Life By Stealing Office Supplies, this is just one example of the unpredictable spoils offered up each day at bookstravaganza Boulinier, in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. Those readers who are my sister and have memorized every word of our original, God-knows-what-stained copy will be pleased to know I now face the world armed with the definitive definition of "YOU IDIOT! I'LL FIRE YOU AND EVERYBODY WHO LOOKS LIKE YOU!"*

I don't know, maybe it's just the novelty, but I have to say this thing (which was already hilarious) just got about 16 times hilarious-er for me. Plus it provides some insight into the the concept of tutoyer-ing (addressing people familiarly as opposed to politely), too. For example, the pointy-haired boss "tutoies" everybody. Seems fitting enough.

2. Access by metro, bus or Moon-Rocket
The other day, I finally fulfilled one of my Life Goals (the others being walk into a university restroom without having to walk right back out, and, oh yeah, end world hunger), and went to the Centre de la bande dessinée in Brussels, Belgium, which beat out all the other cities to be the capital of Europe evidently because no one had a stupider waffle fetish.

But back to the Centre, where, as some of you may know, the Moon-Rocket greets you in the lobby:

Here's the Centre from the outside:

I'll spare you my delirious protracted geek-out over the many Tintin exhibits** and skip straight to this other thing I liked, a Stonehenge-style array of giant comic books mounted on an upstairs floor. This was my personal favorite. I think it says a lot*** about European culture:

3. If this were at MoMA, it would be NAKED Playmobil people
Meanwhile, right here in town, the Musée des arts décoratifs is hosting a Playmobil exhibit, clearly part of a national initiative to promulgate**** the intellectual principle: "Hey! Come look at some REALLY BIG Playmobil people." I give you, as evidence, their Middle Ages exhibit, from which I learned that the Middle Ages featured Playmobil people.

I hope you'll forgive me my youthful exuberance, but there really is nothing quite like coming face-to-face with history.

Actually, I had gone to the exhibit in the first place because I needed to satisfy a burning intellectual question that had weighed upon my soul since possibly the previous hour, namely: does Playmobil make a supermarket? Well, there wasn't one at the Musée, so I thought all was lost, but the Internet proves dreams do come true after all. Regardez:*****

I'd say this is right on, aside from the fact that they left out the steaming clouds of hate billowing from the employees' heads. Whatever, it's a nitpick. Life is beautiful.

** Unless you actually WANT to hear about this, in which case, another day.
*** Namely, "Ha ha! De Gaulle at the beach is funny!"
**** Snotty-ass English, literally, "promulgate."
***** French, literally, "Holy weekly store circular, Batman!"

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Snarkly Three: April 22, 2010

1. I never thought I'd see the day when Nicholas Nickleby met booger journalism
Actually, I never thought about it at all. And yet, here we are: Roger Rees is directing the work of Dave Barry. Wow wow wow!!!

P.S. In case you aspiring thespians out there were wondering if you might audition, the answer is of course you might not. More on why in the next post.

2. Did anybody honestly NOT think this would happen?
MOMA art exhibit consisting of naked people results in visitors to MOMA touching naked people. We at the Snark are shocked. Shocked. Holy guacamole, are we shocked. Shocked, boy.

We like this quote in particular:
"It turns out a crowded museum, like a crowded subway, is no excuse for an improper touch — a lesson that has been learned the hard way by some visitors to the retrospective." OMIGOD LIKE WHOOO KNEWWWW?

3. Oh boy oh boy
Figure skater Johnny Weir is writing a book. We at the Snark want to read it. Then (since we read that he is going to be a student at the Fashion Institute next year) we hereby invite him to be our friend and come shopping with us, although we secretly fear that if he learns wesometimesshopatOldNavy* he might not want to be our friend anymore.

4. Bonus Snarkly Fourth
Make some Pad Thai. Make it now! Mmm ... Pad Thai. Ghlarghlarghlaghhh**

*Shut UP! It is full of fleecy loungewear GOODNESS. Especially the one at 33rd and 7th. Have you ever even BEEN there? Don't JUDGE. I am going to cry into my fleecy pants now.

**Homer Simpson gurgling noise, for those uninitiated.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Snark Evolving

Dear all,

First of all, my apologies for the flagrant lack of Snark here lately. It's never my intention to let dust balls gather, and -- in cyberspace as in real space -- I feel icky when they do. However, in this case, I have been able to wield no Dustbuster of creativity to suck up the crud of inaction.*

Here's the thing. It's not a lack of time exactly, unless you factor in the 7,594 hours a week I've been spending lately strolling the bouquiniste booths along the Seine, buying old issues of Tintin magazine, in which case you can obviously see how my busy schedule leaves me no time to write. Actually, it's that more and more, I've been feeling it's time to take these commentaries in a new direction. I have ideas for new ones all the time, but not necessarily always in the form of 800-word meditations the way I've been doing them. I began this blog as a 19-year-old college freshman, and since then, I have developed intellectually, emotionally, and philosophically in untold ways. Therefore, I simply can't ignore the feeling that it's high time for a change.

Bahahahahahaha! I knew I couldn't get through that with a straight face. The only development I've gone through was selling my fridge.** But it's time for a change anyway, in format if nothing else. I certainly won't be abandoning the Snark -- just reincarnating it. Sorry if that's vague for now. I can't predict exactly, but I have this idea it'll turn into a feed of miscellany -- short commentaries and items I find interesting/significant from different environs of the Internet, that kind of thing. Daily, if I can possibly help it. So stay tuned.

Meanwhile, if you like, please feel free to leave a comment with what you'd like to see in this blog as it evolves. I'm always curious to hear from those who are still reading, if for no other reason than to get a headcount. I had reason to believe after my arrival in France that my audience numbers had skyrocketed, only to find, on revisiting my statcounter last month, that readership was down to approximately (a) myself and (b) my sister's Siamese cat, Sammy, when she has the time.

For those who ARE still reading, thank you! I truly appreciate the support and promise not to disappoint.

Back soon,

* That will be a 6.50 metaphor fee -- in euros, please. I'm unemployed here.
** It developed me.