Sunday, February 29, 2004


Wink Martindale Got Me Laid, interlude

Let me tell you a few things about these game shows.

A show like The Last Word, when you get right down to it, is an infomercial.

It's simple economics. The whole point of broadcast TV is to deliver eyeballs to advertisers. When you hear about a shows ratings, that means the number of people watching, which translates to the number of people who will see the commercials that run during the show.

Take a look at the higher-profile game shows out there. Your Jeopardy, your Millionaire, even your Survivor. On a good day on Jeopardy, a contestant who's really kicking ass, getting in there, hitting the Daily Doubles, answering all the questions, can make, let's say, about fifty grand. Millionaire, one contestant can last for two or three episodes, usually walking away with a lot less than the grand prize. Survivor, you have a single million-dollar prize per season.

Compare that to a show like Friends, where each Friend makes over a million per episode. Not that I'm begrudging them that--the show makes ludicrous amounts of money for Warner Brothers and NBC, both in ad revenues and--chaCHING!--syndication, and the cast naturally deserves a piece of that. But the point is, it costs a lot to make a show like that, and a hell of a lot less for even a "prestige" game show.

Compare that to "lesser" game shows, like Win Ben Stein's Money. Daily grand prize of five thousand dollars, which, if no one wins it, is Stein's salary. Pure genius!

But most game shows, The Last Word included, still rely on prizes.

It works like this: you run a company that makes ceiling fans. You want to advertise your ceiling fans. But when you factor in the cost of hiring someone to develop your marketing strategy, hiring someone else to produce the actual commercials, and then the cost of running those commercials enough to make a difference, it can add up.

So instead, you decide to eat the cost of a few ceiling fans and donate them as game show prizes. You pay a small fee for "promotional consideration," which means that when that ceiling fan is given away, they put up a picture, and the announcer takes a minute to pimp your fine product. You've gotten your ceiling fans on TV, along with a happy game show winner who, fifteen years later, mentions your ceiling fans on his blog. Or would, if he could remember the brand after all these years.

By this logic, what's the most successful show on TV?

The Price is Right.

How long has that show been on? Forty years? The ratings nowadays are as high as they've ever been, thanks to a generation of college kids embracing the kitsch value--and the intensity of these kids for the show is downright scary. But the point is, it delivers eyeballs to advertisers. And what do they do, every weekday, for an hour of power? It's a parade of household goods and luxury items you might like to purchase for your home--complete with retail price! It's like QVC, but with geriatric supermodels!So the sponsors win, the companies that provide the prizes win, and, tangentially, the American Humane Society wins.

Oh, and the contestants too, I suppose.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

Thursday, February 26, 2004


"If there's anyone out there with 13 million, please give me a ring and I can put good use to it."

Check out this interview with Doug Naylor about his difficulties in getting the Red Dwarf movie made.

I have to wonder exactly why it's been so difficult. Wasn't Red Dwarf, for a time, the BBC's highest-rated series? When the movie was announced, not long after RD's 8th season, it was being touted as being Britain's biggest movie ever, with a budget of 22 million pounds. So why is Naylor now scrambling to try to get it made on 13 million?

In the interview, Naylor mentions setting up a PayPal site for fans to contribute. I'd do it. Wouldn't all you other Red Dwarf fans out there?


Robert Rodriguez to direct Sin City movie!

If you're not familiar with Robert Rodriguez or Sin City, this is your assignment for today. Go rent (or better still, buy) El Mariachi, Desperado, and Once Upon a Time In Mexico, and read the Sin City collections That Yellow Bastard and A Dame To Kill For. Go. Now.


Wednesday, February 25, 2004



Art is whatever you can get away with. This proves it.

A bit more about two of the girls from my Big Box O' Love, since you asked:

AS was a penpal I had around 1988 and 89. I had guest-edited a Monty Python zine I subscribed to, and she wrote me to say she enjoyed it, and we ended up writing back and forth for a while. A virtual girlfriend, even before CP.

CD was a girl from my high school newspaper class. She was fun, and smart, and would pee herself laughing when I did my imitation of that song from Dirty Dancing. Around April, I asked her, since we were good friends (I even made sure to use the "friends" qualifier), if she wanted to go to the prom. She had a quick spasm, then a bout of nervous laughter, before politely declining.

Fine, I thought, no problem. I asked, she said no, the end. I went to the prom with WB.

But there was one more dance that year, the "luau." Towards the end of that, a slow song was playing and I was kind of wandering, seeing if there was anyone around I could ask to dance. I spotted CD across the room. She spotted me, not realizing I had spotted her--and she turned and hid.

Was I interested in her? Hell yeah. Was I, like, devastated that she didn't go to the prom with me? No. A little disappointed, especially since I ended up stuck with WB, but life goes on. Did I feel two inches tall when she did that? Well, who wouldn't?

Epilogue: I ran into CD about four years later, one night at Shari's after Rocky Horror. By then, I had been through enough that I had forgiven her and put the incident behind me. But when I ran into her, you know what she did? She shook my hand. Not even a friendly hug. Even KW gave me one last kiss. But apparently I wasn't good enough for a girl who had worked at KFC for four years.

Besides, it was her friend TF I was more interested in.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen


Wink Martindale Got Me Laid, part 4

I met Miss Hell, appropriately enough, on Halloween, 1989, when I came to pick up John to go to the Rocky Horror Picture Show. She had been a friend of John’s, and had heard from him about my game show experiences. We talked at the theater that night, and I kissed her before the night was over. We didn’t start going out right away, but we got to be friends. When the shows were airing, I skipped class a few times and went to watch them at her place.

Why did Miss Hell take such a liking to me? Was it because I was witty, charming, and handsome? No. It was because I had money, and I was weak.

Picture it; you’re nineteen, a virgin, and such a geek that on your first night in Canada you only had one beer. And here was a girl, not unattractive (well, not repulsively unattractive), who’s paying attention to you, and dropping subtle hints that there might be some good lovin’ in store. I fell for it like the sap I was. Even after she started going out with John, she still kept hinting that I could be the one.

I didn’t even catch on after the comics incident. Miss Hell read comics (one of her few good points) and asked to borrow some of mine. She picked out some choice ones; Batman Year One by Frank Miller, The Killing Joke by Alan Moore, some New Mutants issues signed by Chris Claremont, and others. All good comics, all with a decent guide value. I never saw them again.

She called me in tears a few days later. She said that she couldn’t find them, and she felt terrible. I got her calmed down and we tried to figure out what happened. Sniffing back tears, she recalled that John had spent the night a few days before, around the last time she saw them. Well, of course, John must have taken them, right?

The best part was, she convinced me to turn around and steal some of his comics, which we sold at a shop out of town. Guess how much of the money I kept? Percentage-wise, less than my game show winnings.

So why did I stay with her? Even after I realized what was going on, why didn’t I put a stop to things? Well, first of all, things fizzled with her and John right around the new year, which meant that she was once again open for business. Second, as I said, I was weak. And third, my parents hated her. With a vengeance.

Of course, they hated all my friends at the time. John was a punker, who favored black clothes and earrings, which, to my parents, meant Satan. Seriously. In fact, John turned out to be the innocent victim in all this, and I feel terrible for the things I did to him back then. Since Miss Hell was John’s girlfriend, they wrote her off even before they met her. To them, nobody who was taking up all their little boy’s time could be any good at all, and they took every opportunity to tell me so.

The fact that they turned out to be right meant nothing to me. All I saw was that they were being unreasonable—my Mom would only refer to her as “that girl”—which just made me want to be with her even more. We would fight, about the money, about her, and who else could I go to for support? She had driven away all my other friends. She said all the right things, made me seem the wronged party, as she went on playing her game.

NEXT: Wink Martindale Gets Me Laid.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

Tuesday, February 24, 2004


Wink Martindale Got Me Laid, part 3

I invited my friend John along for my second trip to Vancouver. I had visions of the two of us finding three or four loose Canadian girls, seducing them with my game show winnings, taking them back to my huge suite, and throwing a debauched orgy with my lavish per diem. Then we get there and find out that they’ve changed my accommodations to a single room, and instead of seventy-five a day per diem I get a flat hundred bucks for meals.

No matter, I was here on a mission. I had a game show to win, and a bonus round jackpot to collect.

I greeted Wink like an old buddy as I walked into that studio, stylin’ in my Cosby sweater, stuck my nametag to my chest, and entered into my second set of tapings with confidence and purpose. There was a temporary setback when I lost one game to a soccer mom from Gig Harbor, but I quickly recovered with Roger Moseley’s help, and pretty soon we went back to the bonus round and aced it with three seconds to spare. I was on such a roll that I was able to win the bonus round one more time, before, having beaten five straight opponents, I retired from the game.

My final tally included two TVs, four stereos, a couch, an electric organ, and trips to Las Vegas, the Caribbean, and Palm Springs. Total value—by their estimate—over sixty thousand dollars. To the best of my knowledge, by the time the show was cancelled a few months later, I was their undisputed top winner.

That night John and I hit the town. That was when the aforementioned Most Surreal Moment Of My Life took place. We ran into Wink, who directed us to a club called Luv-A-Fair, which turned out to be one of Vancouver’s top hangouts for punks, Goths, and other cool freaks. Turns out Wink frequented their gay S&M nights.

Okay, not really. He had heard that was where the hot young production intern I had been flirting with was going dancing. We never ran into her, but we did finally take advantage of the lower drinking age. Sadly, I never did pluck up the courage to try my pickup line, “Hi, I just won sixty grand, wanna dance?” and we went back to the tiny hotel room alone.

By the time the shows aired a few months later, the prizes had started trickling in. And that was when the problems began. I would have to pay taxes on the value of each prize. Trouble was, as I said before, game shows routinely inflate the values of their prizes, so it became necessary to try to find the actual value of each prize. I kept very few of the prizes. Some I simply declined. Others were sold.

I had very little to do with this process; my Mom took control of the prizes—and the money—almost immediately. Over the next year, as the prizes kept trickling in, this situation led to some of the worst fights my mother and I ever had.

My take was this; I appreciate you helping with this. And I know I have to pay the IRS their cut. And I know that a portion of it goes to my voc school tuition. But the money is, you know, mine, and I would like to see some of it from time to time. Not unreasonable, I thought.

Her take was; shut your mouth.

It gives me no pleasure to speak about my poor, now-dead Mother this way, but the sad fact is that the woman went to great lengths to be unreasonable. It’s scientifically proven to run in her family. On one occasion, when I asked for some money for a date, she stonewalled me with “oh, sure, I’ll just open up my purse and give you all my money. Want my credit cards too?” On another occasion, she told me, quite calmly, that I couldn’t handle responsibility, and she kept it because I needed someone to be my keeper.

Why was she that way? I know part of it was simply the fact that I, her smartassed kid, made it onto the show and won big, while she, a MENSA member, auditioned (after my parents got back from their trip) and didn’t make the cut.

Things came to a head over what I call “The Cruise Offensive.”

One of the trips I won was a ten-day cruise to the Caribbean. Not long after the show, I began getting letters from her friends, congratulating me on my success. Strangely, though, they all seemed to end the same way; after giving me my props, they would suggest that I take my Mom along on the cruise. “After all,” went one letter, “what woman wouldn’t be delighted to be seen on the high seas with a handsome young swain on her arm?”

Naturally, she denied orchestrating this Star Trek-esque campaign. But, she added, since they did suggest it, why not take her along? Why not go on a sexy, alcohol-fueled Love Boat cruise…with my mother?

She never forgave me for not taking her.

But my Mom was not the only guilty party; I have to acknowledge my own mistakes, and I made a big one. A huge mistake, named Michelle.

NEXT: I meet a troll on Halloween

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

Friday, February 20, 2004


Game Boy Go!

Apparently Bit Shifter isn't the only one making music on a Game Boy. .Nanoloop and Little Sound DJ are homebrewed software that can run on any Game Boy (or emulator) to make use of the machine's sound thingmy. More Game Boy music is out there. Time to go hunting.

Thursday, February 19, 2004


Wink Martindale Got Me Laid, Part 2

You're nineteen years old. You're in Canada, where drinking is legal at nineteen, it's your first time out of town without your parents, your huge hotel suite is free, and you're being paid a per diem. Too bad I was such a geek; that first night in Vancouver, a single beer with my pizza was as wild as I got.

I arrived on a Thursday night; the tapings would begin Friday morning. The Last Word would tape for three days at a time, five shows a day (three weeks worth in all), every three weeks. This, it turned out, was to accommodate Wink Martindale.
What can be said about Wink that hasn't already been said? He's the legend. The consummate. The name itself is synonymous with "Game Show Host." My first glimpse of Wink in person was in the green room. I didn't recognize him at first, in his street clothes, and without that famous game-show host grin, the one that seems to extend beyond the boundaries of his actual face. Let me tell you something; the man is ' huge. At least six-foot five. Not counting the hair--his coif is a marvel of modern engineering, made of a miraculous space-age polymer. During one of the shows, he put on a hat presented to him by the celebrity guest, Magnum P.I.'s Roger Mosley, and when he took it off, his hair kept the shape of the hat for a moment--and then literally popped back to its regular shape like one of those Swedish plasma-beds.
Oh, yes, the celebrity guests. They were our partners in the game, for better or worse. The best, gamewise, was Paul Kreppel, the sleazy pianist from Making a Living, the mid-80s Ann Jillian sitcom about waitresses in a swanky rooftop restaurant. He was actually a fun guy; during a break in shooting we broke into an a capella rendition of the Beatles' "Girl," not recognizing our mics were still on. I'll be charitable and not name the worst of my celebrity partners; I'll just say she was a Cruella DeVille-esque old floozy from Falcon Crest, who looked like Skeletor, as made over by Tammy Bakker. My most embarrassing moment, celebrity-wise, was when I asked Days Of Our Lives' Gloria Loring, "so, you're married to Alan Thicke, right?" not realizing they had gone through an apparently messy divorce. Well, shoot me for not keeping up on Alan Thicke's love life.
The producers called a dozen or so potential contestants up for each taping, selecting each new challenger by random draw. There was no guarantee that we'd get on that weekend, but as luck would have it, I was called up for the next-to-last show of the second day. As I said before, my stage experience helped me out immensely. Not only did I start winning big right out of the gate, I got off a few good wisecracks. My favorite was when one of the prizes was an assortment of bikinis. "Boy, I can sure use some women's swimwear, Wink."
Looking back now, as a slightly world-weary 33-year-old, I know now how dorky I came across (especially watching the tape, with my assortment of sweaters from the Wesley Crusher Collection), but at the time, with the lights, the cameras, and the fact that I was kicking ass, I felt like the shizzit.
And I was kicking ass; I won three games in a row, racking up the prizes each time, which qualified me and my celebrity partner for the bonus round. I soon found out that nobody had won the bonus round for three weeks, in show time, so the prize pot just kept building and building.
I went to the bonus round twice that weekend, narrowly missing it both times. But by the time I went home Sunday night, I had won over five grand in prizes (though I would soon find out that amount bore little resemblance to the actual value of the merchandise), and was the reigning champion, meaning I--and my pal Wink--would be back in three weeks.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen


Bit Shifter Go!

Check out Bit Shifter for dance music made on a Game Boy. Seriously, this is the coolest thing ever.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

Monday, February 16, 2004


Brain Cleaning

In the midst of some half-assed spring cleaning last week, I decided it was finally time to share with Shelly the contents of my Big Box O' Love, a collection of artifacts pertaining to both past girlfriends and past-wished-they-had-been-my-girlfriends.

The plan, agreed to long ago, was to purge the box as we went through it, since I'm now a happily married man, and no longer need to dwell on the possibilities that were once inherent in the ticket stub from a viewing of Beauty and the Beast with JR.

The most fun was had going through old letters from Miss Hell. There was a loopy logic at work there, either mad brilliance, or, more likely, brilliant madness. I took great pleasure in disposing of those.

At Shelly's insistence, I disposed of the few physical artifacts I had of CP. Surprisingly, I felt a bit of a sting at this. CP was the last one before Shelly, less than five years ago. At the time, even though it was a long-distance thing limited to the phone and the internet, I had a huge emotional investment in that relationship. Perhaps if CP hadn't been so afraid to actually MEET, things could have gone differently. But afraid she was, and she lost. Shelly won, and so did I. Now CP seems less real to me than a video game character.

Beyond that, though, I didn't get rid of much. Some of it was just too funny to let go, like my 1988 Prom picture with WB. But the rest of it, even ten or fifteen years later, I just found that it still meant something...

My pen pal letters from AS

A message from CD, written on the back of her school picture, from before I found out what she was really like.

My theater ticket with RR.

The roll of pictures KW asked me to take, along with the cover of the mix tape I made her.

The postcards from JH after she went to college.

A long letter to myself, written at 4AM on a Denny's napkin, trying to sort out my crush on LC.

Shelly is the one, the only one I want to be with. But all the others, the ones represented in the box, they helped make me who I am today. I carry a little piece of each of them inside me, whether anything actually happened or not, whether they realize it or not. Even Miss Hell.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen


Don't Panic!

So, if you're not a fan of Douglas Adams in General, and the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy in particular, honestly, I don't know what to do with you. The movie has been ramping up, after literally twenty years of false starts, so here's a roundup:

It's being directed by a British director named
Garth Jennings, part of the music video producing/directing duo Hammer and
Tongs, from a screenplay by Adams. Arthur Dent is being played by Martin
Freeman, from the BBC series The Office (which I haven't seen, but I know
they show it on BBC America, and comes highly recommended), and the movie
Love, Actually. Ford is being played by a rapper named Mos Def, who is
American and, yes, black, which has caused no end of handwringing in Seriously, someone even dug up the ethnic makeup of
Guildford (though we know Ford is "not from Guildford after all") to see if
it was believable that a black man could come from there. I've never seen,
ahem, Mr. Def act, but he *looks* right for Ford Prefect (in a Lister kind
of way), so I'm giving him a chance. Zooey Deschanel, the stewardess sister
from Almost Famous, is Trillian, and Bill Nighy, also from Love, Actually
(quite a fun movie, if you see it), is playing Slartibartfast.

The two most exciting bits of casting, for me at least, are Sam Rockwell
(Charlie's Angels, Galaxy Quest) as Zaphod Beeblebrox, and, dig this,
Warwick Davis as (the body of) Marvin. I love this picture and video of the
prototype at it looks
like a superdeformed stormtrooper!

This is shaping up to be a good time to be a DNA fan--in addition to the
movie, BBC Radio is working on a new season of the radio series--though,
sadly, not the one Neil Gaiman was approached to write.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen


Acronyms Can Read Out Nicely, Yes Maam!


I want to smack people who talk about entering their "PIN number" at the "ATM machine." PIN stands for Personal Identification Number, while ATM stands for Automated Teller Machine. To repeat the "number" and "machine" part is redundant, repetitive, and redundant. And repetitive.

The absolute worst: the Cable ACE Awards. ACE stands for "Award for Cable Excellence." So, every year, during awards season, I have to listen to ads for the "Cable Award for Cable Excellence Awards."

I could go off on a sub-rant about using the word your acronym spells WITHIN your acronym, such as the commercials currently airing in Canada for IN Network, in which IN stands for, ahem, IN Network, but that's a topic for another time. Besides, I kind of get a kick out of the computer OS GNU--which stands for "Gnu's Not Unix."

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

Sunday, February 15, 2004

In one of the cartoons of the "Duck Season/Rabbit Season" variety, there is a scene where Bugs Bunny dresses up as a lady to fool Elmer Fudd. One kiss is all it takes to make Elmer stumble off in a lustful stupor and blast Daffy Duck with his shotgun.

Where to begin.

First, let's look at the actual events. Bugs kisses Elmer. Immediately, Elmer's hunter's hat stiffens on his head, as if...engorged and swollen with blood. This, naturally, is accompanied by a "!BOING!" on the soundtrack. Elmer's eyes widen and he stumbles stiffly over to Daffy. His shotgun immediately goes off in Daffy's face. Elmer stiffens even further with the burst, then relaxes and looks sated. "I need a cigawette," he says. That last part is merely conjecture.

A pretty simple masturbation/come shot scenario, right? Feh.

Let's look at the motivations here; Elmer, thinking it's wabbit season, desires Bugs. And who wouldn't? He's a movie star. Charming. Witty. And a master contortionist. And that tail!

But Bugs is too good for him. He foils Elmer's every attempt at seduction by shotgun. So Elmer shoots his load on Daffy. Daffy Duck is to Elmer Fudd like the submissive girlfriend, quiet, possibly pregnant, who says things like, "Can I get you anything," and "I'm sorry I made you yell at me." The girlfriend who stays at home and does the laundry while her man goes to the office and pursues that young babe in the sales department.

But it goes further than that.

At the heart of things is Elmer's unrequited desire for Bugs. All through the cartoon, Elmer makes desperate, clumsy advances on Bugs. But Bugs purposely deflects him to Daffy, each time managing to inflict agony on the little black(!) duck, but without doing the dirty work himself. And with each attempt, Daffy tries even harder to direct Elmer back at Bugs, continuing the cycle. As the spiral continues, a pattern is established in which Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck both use Elmer Fudd as the proxy in their combative S/M relationship, thus avoiding responsibility for the guilt they feel over their desires.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

Friday, February 13, 2004


Wink Martindale Got Me Laid, part 1

The most surreal moment of my life happened in October, 1989. It was not walking into an ice cream shop in Vancouver and running into Wink Martindale. No, it was walking into an ice cream shop in Vancouver, running into Wink Martindale...and having him recognize me. And recommending a place to go dancing.

The Last Word was not the most original game show. It was basically a retread of the Scrabble game show, with the added twist that you were guessing words in groups of three. You won the game by guessing the last word in the set; so if the words were Joker, Gotham and Batman, you could guess Joker and Batman, but still lose if your opponent got Gotham before you. Once you won three games, you went to the bonus round, where you would be given two words and have to guess the third. Get ten in sixty seconds, and you win a progressive prize package.

I was mostly idle in the fall of 1989, preparing to start vocational school. I woke up one morning to my mother waving a circled newspaper item in my face, proclaiming, "I signed you up to audition for a game show." The Last Word was preparing to go into production in Vancouver (to save on production costs; a common practice due to the favorable exchange rate in Canada), and was auditioning contestants from the Seattle/Tacoma area.

Now, my mother, for years, harbored dreams of going on Wheel of Fortune. We had been to a taping of Wheel on a family vacation years before, even before Pat and Vanna came along. But my parents were going out of town, and wouldn't be there when the auditions were taking place. She was adamant that I should ace the auditions and get on. At the time, I didn't make the connection. Could have saved me a lot of tsuris later on...

So at the audition, they show us the pilot episode, setting up the rules of the game, then they split us into groups and, with graphics generated by a Commodore 64 (not even an Amiga, for fucksakes), we played the game.

Now, I knew the game wouldn't be a problem. I used to kill at my school spelling bees, I was an aspiring writer (and fifteen years later, here I am, still aspiring), and I had edited my high school paper. So I had the mad word skills, but more importantly, I was an actor, and as I found out, stage fright, not lack of intelligence, was the killer.

How bad did stage fright affect some people? In one of the games, the first two words were piglet and noise. Of the third word, they had S-Q-U-blank-blank-L. Take a second and think about it. You probably know what it is already. But this poor woman guessed sequel. That was wrong. She got flustered. She tried sequel again. Still wrong. Even more flustered. All eyes in the room on her, nudging each other, all thinking to themselves, squeal. She's aware of this, getting more and more flustered, near tears, unable to think of any word but sequel.

She didn't make it.

I did.

NEXT TIME: I meet Wink Martindale, and discover that in Canada you can drink at 19.

Monday, February 09, 2004

So, will Alyson Hannigan be the next potential Wonder Woman?

Actually, I wouldn't mind seeing Eliza Dushku get the part, but that's more for personal reasons.

Das Klaun's Klubhaus: New and improved, with working comments thingy!

Not that anyone actually reads this.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Changed the format of the page. I decided this one was a little less korny.

Being new to this blog thing, there are some basic functions that still elude me. Eventually I'd like to be able to add a comments system, to know whether or not anyone has actually read this thing, but even before that I'd like to be able to add a hit counter and/or email links. If you want to impress me with your blog smartiness, email me.

Now, on to what will be a semi-regular feature; My Patented Guide To Minor Spelling And Grammar Errors That Make People Look More Ignorant Than They Are. MPGTMSAGETMPLMITTA for short.

Having mellowed with age, I no longer fly into a murderous rage when I see people make minor-but-glaring errors in spelling and grammar. They do still irritate, though, since they can make an otherwise perfectly intelligent and reasonable individual look, well, More Ignorant Than They Are.

So I'll be bringing some of these common errors to you, in a non-judgemental fashion, along with the proper spelling or usage.

Lesson 1: "I could care less." e.g. "I could care less about Janet Jackson's nipple."

Think about the logical meaning of this. The point of the phrase is to indicate a complete lack of interest in a topic. Paradoxically, though, the phrasing--COULD care less--indicates that one DOES care, to a certain degree, and is capable of caring less.

This is an accidental combination of two expressions; "I could care," and "I couldn't care less." Both of those indicate a complete apathy for the subject in question, and are much more effective. The former, in particular, lends itself to creative adaptation, such as the line "I could give a shit," from the movie Heathers.

Any other common errors that get on your nerves?

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

oh, one other thing. You will visit and bookmark Warren Ellis' blog at

That is all.

Okay, I'm still bored, so here's a bit more. Consider this part 1 of the Richmond Bowen Randomly Organized Biography: A Portrait Of Richmond Right Now.

The basics: I'm 33 years old. I live in Richmond BC, a small polyp on the anus of Vancouver. I moved here from Seattle in 2002 for two reasons; to marry my girlfriend (which I did) and to go to film school and work in the film industry here in "Hollywood North."

Well, the school thing ended last summer. Since then, I've been pretty much idle, thanks to various issues with my Canadian Immigration status. Did you know it costs over fifteen hundred bucks just to APPLY for permanent residency? And now that I have that together, I can send out my application this week (today, if things go well), and wait ANOTHER six months or so for a response.

There was a time when I would have killed to be in the position I'm in. I literally can NOT work in Canada, which means my wife has to support me. I used to fantasize about that sort of thing, about all the writing I'd be able to get done. And yes, I've had an unprecedented (for me) streak of productivity with

You Are Here, but let's face it, at this point, that's nothing but a fanfic about when my life used to be interesting. It's not like someone's going to drop a big wodge of money for a nobody to shoot an unconventionally structured, 18-episode TV series full of foul language and underage shenanigans, plus the occasional dig at the right wing.

Well, they might, but I'd probably have to surrender my ringpiece in return.

No, what I should be doing is pumping my energy into a novel, a screenplay, some TV spec scripts, some comic spec scripts, something that I can fucking SELL. Here are some of the things I've started writing or made notes on:

OUTCASTS: The story of an Angel and a Demon exiled on earth.
SLEEPER AGENTS: Three people, hovering between life and death, who walk the earth as ghosts and protect the dying from parasitic creatures.
MERM: A young Merm gets separated from his people and traverses the vast ocean to get home, aided by a naive dolphin and a wise whale.

Plus various others that are still just in my head.

It occurs to me at this point that I'm still not sure who, if anyone, is reading this. If you've come across this page, and you're not me, welcome, and thank you for bearing with me. If you ARE me, get back to work.

I swear, I really am going to start keeping this thing active. In the meantime, here's a poem, off the top of my head:

It's really late
Really stinkin' late
I've got insomnia
which I hate.

There. Go back to bed.

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