Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Night Tweets: Netflix and Domestic Politics

Greetings to our blog readers in Canada, England, and New Zealand.........though if you are a taxi driver in Konya, Turkey, who can't speak a word of English, thanks for dropping in here as well!

Most of tonight's tweets dealt with politics, though there were mentions of various sporting events and one in particular about Netflix, which you will read here.....

1) The Daily Edge: Comcast's conservative CEO will do whatever it takes to help the Kochs steal the next election.

2) The New York Times: "10 years later, infamous Chicago Cubs fan Steve Bartman remains invisible" (Actually, it is now 12 years; Clark, the Cubs mascot, pict. top)

3) Talking Points Memo: Chef Jose Andres pulled out of deal with Trump after 'rapist' comments, Trump is suing for $10 mil.

4) New Republic: Netflix finally found its hit first reboot success with "Wet Hot Summer" prequel.

5) Politico: Jon Stewart (pict. center) slipped unnoticed into the White House in the midst of the October 2011 budget fight.

6) The Hill: Dems put pressure on GOP's Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) ahead of Planned Parenthood vote.

7) The Paris Review: "I think that a garbage collector is as sensitive as any author," J.P. Donleavy (the Irish author of "The Ginger Man" is still alive at age 89)

8) Joel Brown (ABC 11, Raleigh, NC, tv news reporter): Fly ball injures child at tonight's Durham Bulls game.

9) Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN, pict. bottom): "Between 1968-2011 blacks nationwide were 4.2 times more likely to die at the hands of whites." 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Top Ten Comics from The Washington Post (Sunday Edition): We Endorse Dustin for President

Greetings to our blog readers in Croatia, Israel, and India.....

During our lunch hour, we took the Mental Floss Presidential Quiz, and we forgot about Chester Arthur, who was president 20 years after the Civil War. Our sincerest apologies to his descendants. Otherwise, we named all the presidents correctly, even Rutherford Hayes and Martin Van Buren.

Here are our top ten favorite comic strips from "The Washington Post." First place, goes to "Dustin," where a water balloons gag (pict. top) ends with a brilliant zinger. Second place goes to "Lio," a comic strip with dark, gothic humor, which this week features a Grim Reaper gag (pict. center), and lastly in fifth place, the lazy American male is lampooned in "Rhymes with Orange."

"Hagar the Horrible" is not actually out tenth favorite comic strip, but we thought we would start our own running gag, by having it in tenth place every week. Here's the list:

1. Dustin

2. Lio

3. Doonesbury

4. WuMo

5. Rhymes with Orange

6. Foxtrot

7. Zits

8. Brewster Rockit

9. Prickly City

10. Hagar the Horrible (Pearls Before Swine would've actually gotten tenth place)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Our Top 10 Favorite Comic Strips from Go Comics: The Flying MCoy Wins the Gold

The images above are in reference to: 1) "The Godfather" is used for "The Flying McCoys," which this Sunday featured a waiter giving a patron at an Italian restaurant too much ground pepper, yeah, it made us think of the Olive Garden too; 2) "Chilly Willy the Penguin" is used for "WuMo" where someone discovers an eskimo, a penguin, and a polar bear have been in a freezer!; and 3) the roller coaster is used for "Foxtrot" where Paige tries to recover from an uncomfortable luna park experience.

Here is our top ten:

1. The Flying McCoys

2. Lio

3. Doonesbury

4. WuMo

5. Foxtrot

6. Reality Check

7. Off the Mark

8. Phoebe and Her Unicorn

9. F-Minus

10. Stone Soup

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Last 10 Songs We Heard on Simon-FM; Greensboro, NC: Not Madonna Again

During the 8:00-9:00 p.m. hour on Sunday night, we heard the following ten songs in order from Simon-FM (98.7-Greensboro,NC), which proclaims to 'play everything' but we haven't heard Turkish pop singer Tarkan on their airwaves yet:)

Two of the songs were from the '60s (1969 to be precise), one song from the '70s, five from the '80s, including "Papa Don't Preach" by Madonna, and two from the '90s including "Better Man" by Pearl Jam.

The disco ball top image is in reference to that lone tune from the '70s, which is "I'm Your Boogie Man" by disco, funk band K.C and the Sunshine Band.

Here is the list:

1. (You Gotta) Fight For Right (To Party), Beastie Boys, 1987

2. Down on the Corner, Creedence Clearwater Revival, 1969

3. You Spin Me Round (Like a Record): Dead or Alive, 1984

4. Better Man, Pearl Jam. 1994.

5. I'm Your Boogie Man, KC and the Sunshine Band, 1977

6. Where the Streets Have No Name, U2, 1987

7. Papa Don't Preach. Madonna. 1986.

8. Whole Lotta Love. Led Zep. 1969

9. Too Shy, Kajagoogoo, 1983.

10. Mary Jane's Last Dance. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, 1993.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Top 10 Sunday Comic Strips from the Times-Call: Carlos Gonzalez Makes the Chart

Greetings to our blog readers in the Czech Republic, Japan, and Ireland......

As we are posting this, Wolf Blitzer of CNN is interviewing Republican long-shot presidential candidate Mike Huckabee for his views on the nuclear agreement our government has just made with Iran. Yes, of course, we diligently paid attention to Mr. Huckabee.......zzzzzzzz.....Wait, did Huckabee just say Israel borders Iran?! He may want to check the map again.

Politics aside, this week, we are running our top ten from "The Times-Call," a daily newspaper serving the Boulder County suburbs of Denver, Colo. One of the unique aspects of this paper's comic pages is that they run two King Comics strips: 1) "Take It from the Tinkersons" and 2) "The Pajama Diaries," which are not in some major newspapers' funnies section, like "The Washington Post" and "The New York Times" (we're just kidding on the NYT as they don't have a comics section).

For this week's survey, we are going back to strips which ran on Sunday, May 4th. Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies (pict. top) is in reference to "Foxtrot," the top strip in our survey, which depicts a kid catching a fly ball as he is taking a selfie of himself in the process. The second image of a colorful fish is for second place finisher "WuMo" which revolves around a fish who want to plug in a toaster in a fish tank. Lastly, the Bulgarian cuisine picture at the bottom is for "Tinkersons" in which a family meal is interrupted by a cellphone, which perhaps ironically belongs to the father as opposed to his wife and children.

Here is our top ten:

1. Foxtrot

2. WuMo

3. Take It from the Tinkersons

4. Pearls Before Swine

5. Get Fuzzy

6. The Pajama Diaries

7. Dilbert

8. Zits

9. Mother Goose and Grimm

10. Hagar the Horrible (this comic strip also finished tenth last week in our poll of comics from "the Martinsville Bulletin in Martinsville, Va.)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Last Ten Movies We've Seen: Some Fairly Effed Up Films Here.....

Greetings to our blog readers in Croatia, Israel and India.......

"I Saw the Devil," a Korean revenge thriller shock horror is quite jolting at every level. It leads off the last ten films we've seen list here (Hot Stuff is used as the image for the film). We also saw Wes Anderson's brilliant 1998 film "Rushmore" with Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray for the first time since we saw it in a small movie theatre in Woodstock, Va., in early 1999. 

"World War Z" is pretty good for a big-budget summer zombies movie, "Miss Bala" is an unsettling drama about the drug war and its effect on Mexico (bottom image), and "All Fall Down," an early Warren Beatty drama with Eva Marie Saint.

Here is our last ten:

1. I Saw the Devil. South Korea. Jee-woom Kim. 2010.

2. Rushmore. Wes Anderson. 1998.

3. World War Z. Marc Foster. 2013. w/ Brad Pitt

4. The Professionals. Richard Brooks. 1965 w/ Lee Marvin

5. Miss Bala. Mexico. Gerardo Naranjo. 2011

6. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Matt Reeves. 2014

7. All Fall Down. John Frankenheimer. 1962.

8. We Have a Pope. Italy. Nana Moretti. 2011.

9. Taxi Driver.  Martin Scorsese. 1976 w/ Robert DeNiro

10. The Andromeda Strain. Robert Wise. 1971

Monday, July 6, 2015

Our 10 Favorite Comic Strips from The Martinsville Bulletin: Witches' Brew

Greetings to our blog readers in Poland, Serbia, and Italy.......

This week, for the very first time we are featuring a survey of comic strips from "The Martinsville Bulletin" in Martinsville, Va; the small city best known for its NASCAR speedway is about half-way between Roanoke, Va., and Greensboro, NC. It is also the city where a small-time over-the-top evangelist the Rev. Johnny Robertson, whom we frequently make of, is head-quartered. We believe he has claimed that only the people who attend his church can go to heaven. Ok........

The winner of the survey is "Rhymes with Orange" which features two witches arguing over how to cook a prince in their witch stew, "Garfield" finishes second with John asking the world's only 37-year-old cat to help him with some needed home improvements, and "Dilbert" comes in third with Dilbert arguing with his boss over work place strategy to resolve problems, which seems to be a recurring theme in the office place set strip.

We also have "Snuffy Smith," now drawn and written by John Rose of Harrisonburg, Va., in which pop culture catches up with the century-old strip as the dialogue is about zombies and "The Walking Dead." And, for the very first time in our history of surveys, "Hagar the Horrible" cracks the top ten with a gag about lottery winnings. Helda, Hagar's wife since the strip was first released in 1971 (we believe) was not in the Sunday strip.

Note: Wendy the Witch, a Harvey Comics character was our first choice of images for a witch, but we had to settle with one from "Bewitched," a popular sitcom in the 1960s.

Here are our top ten strips from the Bulletin:

1) Rhymes with Orange

2) Garfield

3) Dilbert

4) Snuffy Smith

5) Zits

6) The Lockhorns

7) Mutts

8) Hi and Lois

9) Funky Winkerbean

10) Hagar the Horrible

Friday, July 3, 2015

Last Ten Songs on Steve FM (106.1-Roanoke, Va): Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Greetings to our blog readers in Afghanistan, Brazil and the Netherlands.........

Today, we look at ten songs that were played between 5:00-6:00 p.m. (17:00-18:00) eastern United States on the variety mix radio station Steve-FM (106.1-Roanoke, Va).

For the upcoming Fourth of July weekend, just underway, the station is playing an all '80s weekend, which actually started on Thursday at noon.

The two earliest songs that were played were "Back in Black" by AC/DC and "Hit Me With Your Best Shot"by Pat Benatar; both songs were released 35 years ago in 1980. Benatar is currently touring on the road, and she will play the Warner Theatre in Washington, DC, on July 8th and the Brown Theatre in Louisville, Ky., on July 16th. 

(The image of Muhammad Ali's boxing gloves are in reference to Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Show, Ali is originally from Louisville where Benatar plays later in July).

The most current song was "Need You Tonight" from INXS, released in 1987

The set also featured the mega-hit "West End Girls" (London's West End is the center image) by Pet Shop Boys as well as "Photograph" from Def Leppard (the image of Marilyn Monroe is because an actress playing her was in the video for "Photograph") and "Some Like It Hot" by the '80s supergroup The Power Station, which featured the late Robert Palmer and members of Duran Duran.

Def Leppard will be performing with Styx and Tesla in Toronto, Canada, on July 14th, and Oshkosh, Wisc., on July 18th.

Here is the list:

1) Come on Eileen. Dexy's Midnight Runners. 1982

2) Let's Hear It for the Boy. Deniece Williams, 1984

3) Photograph. Def Leppard. 1983.

4) West End Girls. Pet Shop Girls. 1984.

5) Hit Me With Your Best Shop. Pat Benatar. 1980.

6) Jam on It. Necleus. 1984.

7) Need You Tonight. INXS. 1987

8) Back in Black.AC/DC. 1980

9) Gloria. Laura Branigan. 1982.

10) Some Like It Hot. The Power Station. 1985.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Last Ten Films We've Seen (earlier in June): James Franco Directs

Greetings to our blog readers in Australia, Canada (Happy Canada Day), and Norway......

Today, we look at ten films we've recently watched. Many of them, like "The Lifeguard,""Cold in July" and "Before I Disappear"were independent films shown at the Sundance Film Festival. James Franco did in fact direct "As I Lay Dying," a film based on a William Faulkner novel, and it was almost an artistic success.

Perhaps, the most unique film on the list is "Blume in Love," a Hollywood studio with a highly controversial plot twist that would assure the film would not be made, at least by a studio, today.

The Turkish film "Destiny," which is on this list, was not released in the United State.

We got this idea from "Film Comment" magazine

The images above are in reference to 1) "The Lifeguard" (though the film has nothing to do with "Baywatch"), 2) David Copperfield, the magician, is something we thought of for "Before I Disappear," but the film is not about a magician, and 3) perhaps, most confusing, we went with an image of a Maine lobster for "Cold in July" because Maine is one of the few places we can think of where it is actually cold in July (the film takes place in Texas).

Here is the list:

1. Hateship/Loveship. director: Liza Johnson. 2013. w/ Kristen Wiig

2. As I Lay Dying. dir: James Franco. 2013

3. The Lifeguard. Liza W. Garcia. 2013 w/ Kristen Bell

4. HairBrained. Billy Kent. 2013 2/Parker Posey

5. Blume in Love. Paul Mazursky. 1975. w/ George Segal

6. Destiny ("Kader"). Turkey. Zeki Demirkubuz. 2006.

7. Before I Disappear. Shawn Christensen. 2014

8. Cold in July. Jim Mickle. 2014 w/ Michael C. Hall

9. Force Majuere. Sweden. Ruben Ostlund. 2014

10. Sister. Switzerland. Ursula Meier. 2012.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Our Top 10 NPR Series on Our Local Station: Ira Glass Takes the Blue Ribbon

Greetings to our blog readers in Turkey, Latvia and Mexico......unlike Donald Trump, we have nothing folks from our southern border.

These are our ten favorite National Public Radio shows which air on WVTF/RadioIQ (Roanoke, Charlottesville,Va.); many of these shows are regional in nature and do not air nationally, but the top are among the most popular NPR series nationally.

These images are for 1) This American Life which is hosted by Ira Glass and features stories on a fixed topic which usually take place somewhere in America; 2) the radio tower is for "Radiolab," a show that was described by '80s teen cinema icon Molly Ringwald as a 'This American Life' for science people (paraphrasing); and 3) Aziz Ansari, the comic/actor was a guest on both "This American Life" and "Studio 360" last week.

Here is our top ten:

1. This American Life

2. Radiolab

3. Studio 360

4. The TED Radio Hour

5. A Way With Words

6. Your Weekly Constitutional

7. Philosophy Talk

8. New Dimensions

9. Thistle and Shamrock

10 (tie). Animal Planet; Back Story

East Coast NPR Stations  (Boston) (Baltimore)

(Winston-Salem, NC) (Chapel Hill, NC) (Cincinnati, Ohio)