Shared posts

16 Jul 08:33

Tom Waits in 8-bit

by The Eyeball Kid
The strangest Waits covers/adaptations I've ever heard: TOMW8S - the Donkey Kong Variations by Buddy Peace.   TOMW8S - 'Donkey Kong Variations' by Buddy Peace
16 Jul 08:00

David Bowie’s Enchanting Isolated Vocal Track for “Ziggy Stardust”

by Maria Popova

Because Ziggy didn’t always play guitar.

In June of 1972, David Bowie released his fifth studio record, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars — the album that gave birth to his legendary alter ego, the fictional rock star Ziggy Stardust, who catapulted Bowie into superstardom and went on to become one of the twentieth century’s greatest pop-culture cults.

This mesmerizing isolated vocal track for the album’s title song reveals as much the intimate beauty of Bowie’s imperfect voice as it does the enormous role instrumentation and performance play in creating the overall effect of the song’s enchantment and exhilaration:

Complement with Bowie’s 75 must-read books, his answers to the famous Proust Questionnaire, his narration of the pioneering Soviet children’s symphony “Peter and the Wolf,” and the full story of Ziggy Stardust, then treat yourself to astronaut Chris Hadfield’s magnificent cover of Bowie’s “Space Oddity” aboard the International Space Station.

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08 Jul 21:15

invocationwithin:loosetoon: Early 70’s behind the scenes of...


Early 70’s behind the scenes of Sesame Street with the Muppets.

08 Jul 21:20

Celebrate 50 Years Of The American Version Of Doctor Who

by Rob Bricken

Remember that great list of American actors who could have played the Doctor during the last half-century? Sam Vestey was so inspired he cut footage from the actors' various works to make an American Doctor Who highlight reel, if you will, and the results are a fascinating what-if.


07 Jul 18:00

Kickstarter of the Day: Potato Salad Kickstarter Raises Much Much More Than Expected

Kickstarter of the Day: Potato Salad Kickstarter Raises Much Much More Than Expected

Zack Danger Brown asked for just $10 on Kickstarter so he might accomplish his dream: "Basically I'm just making potato salad."

The Kickstarter has since gone viral and so far has raised more than $9,000!

Update: The Kickstarter has now raised over $40,000!

Submitted by: (via Kickstarter)

07 Jul 16:00

This Dad Discovers a Surefire Way to Stop His Daughter From Crying

01 Jul 20:37

Starz Picked up the American Gods TV Show, and Bryan Fuller Is Co-Showrunning - EVERYTHING IS GOOD AND RIGHT WITH THE WORLD FOREVER AND EVER AMEN.

by Rebecca Pahle

american gods

Here’s where we left the American Gods TV show: HBO was going to do it but then didn’t, because reasons. FremantleMedia picked up the slack and started developing their own version, but with no network attached.

And here’s where are are now: Starz just picked up American Gods. Neil Gaiman will executive produce along with Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Hannibal) and Michael Green (Kings, Heroes), who are showrunning. Fuller will write the pilot.

Everything is beautiful and nothing hurts.

Starz Managing Director Carmi Zlotnik promises “a series that honors the book and does right by the fans and viewers,” but of course he would say that. I’m more interested in what Gaiman, who wrote the book American Gods, has to say. And here he is:

“When you create something like American Gods, which attracts fans and obsessives and people who tattoo quotes from it on themselves or each other, and who all, tattooed or not, just care about it deeply, it’s really important to pick your team carefully: you don’t want to let the fans down, or the people who care and have been casting it online since the dawn of recorded history. What I love most about the team who I trust to take it out to the world, is that they are the same kind of fanatics that American Gods has attracted since the start. I haven’t actually checked Bryan Fuller or Michael Green for quote tattoos, but I would not be surprised if they have them. The people at Fremantle are the kinds of people who have copies of American Gods in the bottom of their backpacks after going around the world, and who press them on their friends. And the team at Starz have been quite certain that they wanted to give Shadow, Wednesday and Laura a home since they first heard that the book was out there.I can’t wait to see what they do to bring the story to the widest possible audience able to cope with it.”

“Neil Gaiman has created the holiest of holy toy boxes with American Gods and filled it with all manner of magical thing, born of new gods and old,” adds Fuller. “Michael Green and I are thrilled to crack this toy box wide open and unleash the fantastical titans of heaven and earth and Neil’s vividly prolific imagination.”

There is literally nothing about this that I don’t like. American Gods is a great book. Starz made Spartacus, so I am all about that. Green has extensive TV experience, ranging from Kings to Heroes to Smallville and the upcoming Gotham, and yeah, that record isn’t spotless, but: Bryan Fuller. I would lay down my life for Bryan Fuller. I would submit to cannibalism for Bryan Fuller. Really, the only thing I can say is:

high pitched screaming

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24 Jun 09:06

Review: Ugg-Tect

by (Paul)

Paul: A thing you should definitely know about Ugg-Tect is that, the very first time we started playing it, Brendan almost immediately began whacking himself over the head with a large club, really pounding at his own skull with a very singular sort of determination. He was going at it full speed, full strength, and looking at me with a particular sort of sadness in his eyes.

It’s important that I add that Brendan wasn’t wearing any sort of protection when he did this. Yes, the club was only inflatable, I will concede this, but I’m not sure this mattered much given the intensity of his self-inflicted blows. He was grunting one thing over and over again, one thing in the language of Ugg-Tect, and that was “Ignore me.”

Put yourself in my position for a moment. There is a man standing in front of you who is hammering away at his own head with an enormous inflatable weapon, grunting with great insistence that you ignore him. What do you do?

Read More

24 Jun 02:00

Nick Offerman Is An All-Powerful Narrator In This Meta Western Comedy

by Lauren Davis

In Stranger Than Fiction, Will Ferrell finds his life controlled by a narrator he hears in his head. In the short film The Gunfighter, an Old West gunslinger also finds himself pursued by a voice (belonging to Parks & Rec's Nick Offerman). The bigger problem? Everyone else can hear it, too.


20 Jun 13:46

PCHH B-B-B-BONUS-S-S CONTENT: My Favorite First Lines


So on this week’s episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour, we devoted a segment to “First Impressions.” I took it as an excuse to bloviate about one of my favorite topics, “First Lines of Novels and Short Stories and What They Do and How They Do It.”

I, as is my wont, as the show’s resident grind, overprepared. The show’s a discussion, not a lecture, thank God, and I only got around to name-checking three or four of these. But there’s lots to say on this. And back when I taught writing, and the earth was new, and icthyosaurs swam the turbid seas, I prepared a sheet sort of like this for students.

These are just some of my favorites. You got yours. Don’t bogart them, give ‘em up already.


First lines can outfit your reader with important information for the journey ahead with remarkable efficiency.

  • Call me Ishmael” – Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. (Introduces a layer of doubt in the FIRST TWO GODDAMN WORDS, and in the third, if you know your Bible, provides you with a hefty does of foreshadowing – basically gives away the ending.)
  • "It was a bright, cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen". – George Orwell’s 1984. (We are in a militaristic setting.)
  • "As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from a sleep of uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect." – Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis (This is all of the explanation Kafka provides for the huge, abiding weirdness at the story’s core – this flat assertion in the first sentence. That’s all you’re getting. Deal with it.)
  • "Doomed planet. Desperate scientists. Last hope. Kindly couple." - Grant Morrison, All-Star Superman. (Ok, it’s a comic, but that right there? Is a familiar origin story ruthlessly distilled into four perfect nouns, modified by four perfect adjectives.)

But sometimes efficiency isn’t the goal. Sometimes it’s about making sure your reader packed everything for their trip. Like, EVERYTHING.

  • "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. " – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (The air kind of goes out of the sentence there at the end, but really, how could it not?)
  • “It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.”—Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (The most-mocked opening line in English literature, the inspiration for a contest of worst first lines, and you can see why: Wait, you’re saying the night was DARK? I see. Got it. Thanks, guy. I love how he doubles back on himself “this happened! Except when it didn’t, on the streets (did I mention we’re in a city? Which is why I said streets not roads? I didn’t? Well, that.)”

But first lines can supply your readers with clues to what’s coming without being so damn showy about it.

  • "Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself." - Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. (The fact that the author feels compelled to note that Mrs. D wants to buy the flowers herself suggests its not the usual order of things (ie, that she usually has someone else do it for her, and that perhaps she’s been dissatisfied with that person’s job in the past) and suggests there’s some flower-worthy event coming up.
  • “Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and razor lay crossed.” – James Joyce, Ulysses. (Hunh. “Lay crossed.” Wonder if there’s gonna be, like, a lot of Catholic stuff comin’ up.)

Showiness is good, too. You can always attempt to charm and intrigue your audience, effectively daring them to stop reading.

  • “A screaming comes across the sky.” – Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow.
  • "It was the day my grandmother exploded.” - Iain M Banks, The Crow Road. (If you can put the book down after that, you are some sort of monstrous automaton with a transponder where your heart should be. I mean, yeah, it’s a gimmick of an opening line, but come on.)
  • “124 was spiteful.” —Toni Morrison, Beloved
  • “It was a pleasure to burn.” —Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
  • "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit." – JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit (This came to Tolkien as he was grading papers – he scribbled it down distractedly, knowing he’d come back to it later. Note how it’s got “children’s story” coded into its very structure and syntax and rhythm.)
  • “You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino’s new novel, If on a winter’s night a traveler.” —Italo Calvino, If on a winter’s night a traveler

You can use a first line to bait the hook by presenting a dilemma the reader (hopefully) needs to see get resolved.

  • “It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me.” – Anthony Burgess, Earthly Powers
  • “You are not the kind of guy who would be at a place like this at this time of the morning.” – Jay McInerney, Bright Lights, Big City
  • “Every summer Lin Kong returned to Goose Village to divorce his wife, Shuyu.” – Ha Jin, Waiting
  • By our second day at Camp Crescendo, the girls in my Brownie troop had decided to kick the asses of each and every girl in Brownie Troop 909.” – ZZ Packer, Brownies
  • “It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.” – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
  •  “Midway upon the journey of this life, I found myself within a dark forest, for the straightforward pathway had been lost.” – Dante’s The Inferno.

You can also turn the focus on you, and not your characters, to let them know they’re in sure hands. Assert your authority by opening with a pithy, world-weary observation. Look how smart you are!

  • “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karennina
  • “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
  • 'The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.' - L.P. Hartley, The Go-Between. (Lookit: I have never read The Go-Between. You have never read The Go-Between. But we both know this killer line. You think writing a book is your ticket to immortality? Shyeah. A killer line. That’s what does it.)

Maybe you want to be a little more circumspect, but give your reader a sense of the tone – how you/your narrator FEEL toward the events you’re about to spend a chunk of time relating to them.

  • “The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.” – Samuel Beckett, Murphy (Maybe my favorite sentence ever. Showy as hell, but give it up for the guy.)
  • “All this happened, more or less.” – Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
  • "Mr. and Mrs. Dursley ,of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say they were perfectly normal, thank you very much." – JK Rowling Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • "Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun." – Douglas Adams, The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • “A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head.” - John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
  • “The first great act of love I ever witnessed was Split Lip bathing his handicapped daughter.” – George Saunders, Isabelle
  • “We were fractious and overpaid.” – Joshua Ferris, Then We Came to the End
  • “During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher.” – E.A. Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher
  • "There was a boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it." – CS Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Be funny. (If you’re good at it.)

  • “Understand that your cat is a whore and can’t help you.” – Lorrie Moore, Self-Help
  • “America, said Horace, the office temp, was a run-down and demented pimp.” – The Ask, Sam Lipsyte

Maybe you want to introduce your reader to the character, as a way of saying, “This is the voice that’s going to be living inside your head for the rest of the story/novel. Just, you know, know that.”

  • “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all, before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.” JD Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
  • “First, try to be something, anything, else.” – Lorrie Moore, How To Be A Writer
  • “True! –nervous –very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?” – EA Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart (There’s the whole story, right there.)
  • “You don’t know about me, without you have read a book by the name of ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,’ but that ain’t no matter.” – Mark Twain, The Adventuers of Huckleberry Finn

Maybe you want to state right up front that this isn’t one a them precious, airless short stories where some drunk divorced middle-aged white guy has a mild epiphany in a trailer park looking out at a garden gnome or whatever. No, this is a NOVEL. A novel with SWEEP and SCOPE. About the human goddamn CONDITION.

  • “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.”- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Or screw it, and just dazzle ‘em with language.

  • “Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins.” – Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
  • “‘When your mama was the geek, my dreamlets,’ Papa would say, ‘she made the nipping off of noggins such a crystal mystery that the hens themselves yearned toward her, waltzing around her, hypnotized with longing.’” - Geek Love, Katherine Dunne
  • “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.”—William Gibson, Neuromancer
17 Jun 10:30

Danger Mouse Reboot Gets 52-Episode Order, Horrible Histories Writer

by Brendon Connelly

It’s been in the works for a while but the official announcement dropped overnight. Danger Mouse is being rebooted by Ireland’s Boulder Media, and Horrible HistoriesBen Ward is on board to write the scripts.

We don’t know – yet – who will be providing the voices, but that’s already some serious talent behind the camera… er, drawing boa… er… computer.

Some things will be updated, of course, and DM’s new eyepatch is going to be more Google Glass than Arrr! Me Hearties.

The original Cosgrove Hall series ran for about ten years and was, quite regularly, brilliant. When a nostalgia weekend on CITV led to some repeats a year or so ago, Danger Mouse gave the channel its highest ever ratings.

Fraggle Rock and Knightmare did very well too, you know. I’m just saying.

A run of 52 new Danger Mouse episodes, eleven minutes apiece, will screen on CBBC from next year.

Danger Mouse Reboot Gets 52-Episode Order, Horrible Histories Writer

08 Jun 16:20

loveneverdidrunsmooth: kitsunehaku: koolaidicecubes: Wait...




Wait what

Hold on a second what

PLOT TWIST. I did not see that coming.

Bless the Maker and His water.
Bless the coming and going of Him.
May His passage cleanse the world.
May He keep the world for His people. 

19 May 14:17


14 May 17:44


01 May 19:40


30 Apr 17:03


29 Apr 19:59


13 May 15:35

The famously overconfident Sherlock Holmes getting everything hilariously wrong

by Joey White

It’s almost unbelievable that Sherlock Holmes’ guesswork is as good as it is, which is why Pete Holmes wondered what it might be like if Sherlock Holmes were off his game sometimes…

(brief NSFW language)

11 May 19:47

The First Trailer for Constantine Looks AMAZING

by Robert T. Gonzalez

The First Trailer for Constantine Looks AMAZING

NBC just unveiled the first official trailer for Constantine, and holy crap is it fantastic.


09 May 13:19

The Good Listener: Can I Ruin My Wedding By Playing The Wrong Song?

The Good Listener: Can I Ruin My Wedding By Playing The Wrong Song?

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the flyer for a maid service that disappeared into a massive pile of papers is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on when to deviate from traditional wedding-reception music.

Sing it with us: i i

Sing it with us: "I hope I cut myself shaving tomorrow. I hope it bleeds all day long..."

Sergey Galushko/

Sarah Butcher writes via Facebook: "At our recent wedding, my husband and I tried very hard to take all of your music advice. But we still somehow ended up having a first dance to Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra's 'Jackson' and ended the night by leading a singalong to The Mountain Goats' No Children.' Clearly, our marriage is doomed. Care to ruminate on situationally appropriate and inappropriate music for weddings — and advice on how to break the rules?"

I'm on the record as believing that weddings are for guests as much as the betrothed — that they're not the place for you to showcase your eclectic musical tastes, that they're for dancing, and so on. This is one of a long list of standard suggestions I give when asked for wedding advice, alongside "Skimp on flowers," "Don't skimp on photography," and "Don't actually get married." (But I kid!)

But this question is different, in several ways. For one, when you say "inappropriate wedding music," you're not talking about inadvertently inappropriate wedding music, a topic NPR Music tackled at great and uproarious length a few years back. It's one thing to blissfully sway along to "Every Breath You Take" because no one could be bothered to consult a lyric sheet before playing it. It's another entirely to decide that, to hell with it, you're going to play... wait, really? You played The Mountain Goats' "No Children" at your wedding? For those who don't know the song, let me recite the first few lines. I'm doing this entirely from memory, people:

I hope that our few remaining friends give up on trying to save us

I hope we come up with a failsafe plot to piss off the dumb few that forgave us

I hope the fences we mended fall down beneath their own weight

And I hope we hang on past the last exit

I hope it's already too late


All of which leads, of course, to a chorus of, "I hope you die! I hope we both die!" This is, no lie, one of my favorite songs of all time, but at a wedding? At least you played it at the end of the night — after, I'm guessing, all but the rowdiest and most fatalistic diehards remained.

But that leads me to the second way that your question deviates from the usual issues surrounding "appropriateness" of wedding music. If you were leading a singalong rather than playing a dark song strictly for your own benefit and/or amusement — if it's a song most people there knew, and it was fun and cathartic moment for everyone — then what's the harm? When you write about "advice on how to break the rules," I think you've already hit upon the formula: It's fine to break the rules if it's a moment that people genuinely enjoy, and if it's a moment that's true to who you are.

Yes, weddings are for the guests — they're a party in which you're the entertainment. But if you and your guests love The Mountain Goats and loved the moment, then you did right by them, right by yourselves, and right by the reality of how many marriages end. Truthfully, though, I like your odds.

Got a music-related question you want answered? Leave it in the comments, drop us an email at or tweet @allsongs.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit
05 May 18:30

Joel McHale Doesn't Hold Back at the 2014 White House Correspondents' Dinner

05 May 11:01

Did You Download 250 GBs of Music by the Crash Test Dummies? by Lucas Gardner

Dear Sir or Madam:

This is a warning from your Internet Service Provider. Your IP address has been used to download and/or share copyrighted content, and accordingly your internet service is at risk of being suspended. We are obliged to remind you that the downloading and/or distribution of exclusively owned or licensed content infringes copyright.

We’ve been notified that in the past month, you have downloaded 250 GBs of music by Canadian alternative folk-rock band the Crash Test Dummies. We thought maybe it was an error on our end, but we looked into it further and confirmed that you did indeed download 250 GBs of music by the Crash Test Dummies, creators of the 1993 hit single “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm.” We did some research and it turns out the Crash Test Dummies’ entire catalog of music, even including side projects by the band’s members, should just barely weigh in at 1 GB, leading us to assume you either found and downloaded 249 GBs of unreleased music by the Crash Test Dummies (???), or downloaded their entire discography 250 times? We are baffled and fascinated. We have a few questions:

  • Did you think you were downloading something else?
  • Is it safe to assume that you, having downloaded over 200 GBs of Crash Test Dummies, only listen to Crash Test Dummies?
  • If you like Crash Test Dummies enough to download over 200 GBs of their music, shouldn’t you be buying it?
  • Can you give us just a general idea of what your personal life is like?
  • So was hearing “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” for the first time the greatest moment of your life? We bet.
  • Are you one of the Crash Test Dummies’ parents?
  • So, like, should we check out the Crash Test Dummies?
  • Is there some kind of ironic resurgence of Crash Test Dummies going on? We are all in our mid-40s here.
  • We’re wondering what you must look like and we literally can’t picture it. Can you respond to this email with an attached picture of yourself?
  • Would you maybe want us to send you some recommendations for other good music or are you good with the Crash Test Dummies?
  • Seriously why do you have 250 GBs of music by Canadian alternative folk-rock band the Crash Test Dummies in your possession?
  • What are the file sizes on these mp3s you’re downloading? Like 6 GB each?
  • In cases of extreme copyright infringement, the accused’s hard drive may be seized by the proper authority. If that were to happen, would they find even more Crash Test Dummies?
  • Is owning 250 GBs of Crash Test Dummies music something you openly tell people about or do you try to keep it on the down low?
  • Who do you think about at night before you fall asleep?
  • Do the Crash Test Dummies still tour and if not how are you dealing with that?
  • Say hypothetically you were forced to choose your favorite Crash Test Dummies’ song, and whichever one you pick, all the other ones disappear forever—would you lose your shit or what?
  • What is your favorite Crash Test Dummies lyric that isn’t“Mmm mmm mmm mmm/Mmm mmm mmm mmm/Mmm?”
  • We absolutely don’t want to get too pushy or throw around accusations or anything, but you’re not going to… kill the Crash Test Dummies are you?
  • Wait, did you maybe catch some sort of computer virus that automatically downloaded 250 GBs of music by the Crash Test Dummies onto your hard drive? Do you even know that it’s on there?
  • Again, any details about your personal life would really intrigue us. Marital status, hobbies (besides listening to the Crash Test Dummies), etc.

We remind you once more that we will terminate your internet service if piracy of copyrighted content is traced to your IP again in the future. We don’t anticipate this being a problem because we assume 250 GBs of Crash Test Dummies has to be all of it, right?

We apologize if this letter reads as judgmental.

23 Apr 19:27

Ballot papers by the balls

by Piers Kelly

In the wake of the lost votes saga in WA and the unexpected rise of micro-parties and donkey voters as a political force, much attention has been given to electoral processes.  It is in this context that a couple of eminent members of the legal establishment have sent me a copy of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 – SECT 213. It makes for hilarious reading. Under the heading ‘Determination of the order of names’ is a beautifully convoluted piece of surreal beat poetry explaining how the order of candidates on a ballot paper should be decided.

Here’s a snippet:

 This goes on for nineteen paragraphs covering two whole pages. Gather the family around the fireplace and recite the whole thing here. If you’ve spotted any other such literary masterpieces, please send them our way.

21 Apr 04:00


'DISPATCHING DRONE TO TARGET COORDINATES.' 'Wait, crap, wrong button. Oh jeez.'
15 Apr 14:04


15 Apr 10:59

Monologue: An Accountant Helps a Manic Pixie Dream Girl With Her Taxes by Maura Quint

It says “Twinkles Pony Star” on the sign-in sheet. Is that your legal name?

Miss, this is a pretty small office, but I was able to fit two chairs in here, so if you wouldn’t mind sitting in one and not dangling from the window ledge. The breeze is really nice, but, it’s just, we’re on the fourth floor and the wind keeps blowing the papers off my desk, so… thank you.

Do you have ID? I’ll just copy your name down from there. OK… Jennifer, ha, right, I figured “Twinkles” was a joke, but you don’t want to assume things. Yesterday I had a woman in here named Candance and I figured the second “n” was a typo but it WASN’T! A lot of this is pretty self-explanatory, we’ll get you out of here lickety-split.

Are you filing as married or single?… I’m not hitting on you, no, the government makes us ask that, it’s a big deal on these forms. So… single? No, I don’t think they care if it’s just “single” or “always single and completely available.” I’m just checking off the box here.

Let’s take a look at your finances. I see you have a folder there, do you have any W-2s? Thanks. You’re handing me The Joshua Tree and Zooropa? Oh… ha… DOUBLE U2, yeah, ha. I don’t think the IRS is going to accept this.

What I’m asking is, were you employed this year? I just need some documentation regarding how much income you may have earned.

I’m sorry, what? You sold cupcakes to kittens? That’s a pretty specific niche. Did the owners pay you? OK, so, instead of money, one of the kittens let you live in the family’s tree house out back? I’m going to list that as an “in-kind” donation. Is that it? Did you do any other work this year? That flowing skirt looks kind of expensive. I’ve never noticed a cashmere crop top sweater at Walmart. Do you want to declare any major gifts, or maybe gambling winnings?… So the clothes are hand me downs from your grandmother who raised you because your own parents were too busy and this interfered with your ability to trust and form normal attachments?

Yeah, I don’t think the government needs to know any of this. I’m just going to mark you down here as “self-employed.” The good news is, since you own your own business, we can take out some deductions for any expenses you might have encountered. Oh, are those receipts in your pocket—HEY WHAT THE HELL?! STOP THROWING ALL THAT GLITTER! MY OFFICE LOOKS LIKE A STRIP CLUB TERRORIST ACT!

I’m sorry, no, you’re right, I shouldn’t yell, you just surprised me. Don’t cry. I’m not angry. Do you need a tissue? Plese don’t hide under my sport coat.

Hey, look at me, you’re right, glitter DOES make this whole experience more magical. I’m just responsible for any non-standard cleaning in here. This whole job is just contract work through mid-April, you know? They’re really particular about the floors in this building, I just don’t know how this will vacuum. I mean, it’s GREAT—really, I love it. I hope it’s always there, it’ll be like I’m walking on tiny bits of gold that stick to everything and do NOT make me look like I molested an elementary school art class.

I’m going to go ahead and assume you didn’t bring any receipts.

OK, we’re almost done. I know you’re still upset, I really am sorry, please don’t leave. Oh, sure, dancing makes you feel better, that makes sense. Can I just ask you—wow that’s a lot of twirling!

I just have a few more questions. This is probably a dumb one, but do you have any major investments or own a home or—right, right, ownership is a silly idea, of course, “we all just have love.” I guess I can write that on here, but, you know, what number would I place as the relative value? Pretty deep, right?

See, I can be interesting too. One time I told my boss I had to pick up some antihistamines at the pharmacy but instead I snuck out to go get a latte on Starbucks “free coffee” day—I don’t even have allergies!

I think we’re all done here. Actually, I think I’m done here as well. Being a part-time contract accountant was never my dream. You helped me see that, Jennifer.

This might sound crazy, but with you beside me, eating food off strangers’ plates, wearing inappropriate outfits, and running away from responsibility, I feel like I could finally, truly be ME. I want to become a conceptual yodel artist, I always have. It’s been my secret dream. Help me make it come true! Let’s run away together, or at least for a few months until I realize that I like being on time for things and being an emotionally responsible person. Oh I’m just teasing, I’ll never realize that! Not before you leave me at least! Grab your Hello Kitty backpack, we’ll climb out the window, you can teach me how!

Oh, but yes, you do need to sign here first. The IRS is pretty strict about that sort of thing.

14 Apr 19:20

Sigur Rós, "The Rains of Castamere"

by Alex Balk
by Alex Balk

I missed last night's "Game of Thrones" so don't spoil it for me! But whatever happened, this Sigur Rós song sounds amazing. Elf incest could never have a more appropriately ominous soundtrack. [Via]


The post Sigur Rós, "The Rains of Castamere" appeared first on The Awl.

14 Apr 15:00

The 50 Greatest Tweets About Last Night's Game Of Thrones

by Rob Bricken

The 50 Greatest Tweets About Last Night's Game Of Thrones

Well, another Game of Thrones episode set the internet on fire. "The Lion and the Rose" featured a very different wedding and a very different shocker from last time , but the reactions were no less passionate, as these amazing tweets prove. SPOILERS AHEAD, obviously.


12 Apr 16:00

SMAC Your Lips: Civilization Beyond Earth Announced

by Graham Smith

Firaxis are laying the SMAC down, etc.

This is news worth working on a weekend for. Firaxis have announced Civilization: Beyond Earth, a spiritual successor to Alpha Centauri. There’s an announcement trailer below, which doesn’t show any of the game but does set the scene. (The scene is of me, rubbing my thighs at all the spaceships). Also, it’s due out this “Fall/Autumn” which i) is not far away at all and ii) it’s nice that they wrote both Fall and Autumn because it makes me feel included as a non-American.

… [visit site to read more]

11 Apr 18:40

Eels, "Mistakes Of My Youth"

by Alex Balk
by Alex Balk

When I am in one of my more positive frames of mind I like to tell myself to focus on how remarkable it is that Eels have actually been able to be as big as they are rather than wondering what it says about the world that they aren't bigger. Either way, I am glad they're still at it. Sometimes just sticking around is a victory. Enjoy. [Via]


The post Eels, "Mistakes Of My Youth" appeared first on The Awl.