Wednesday, August 30, 2006

It is time to get geeky: Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

But before we begin, the Archivist is forgiven for his comment on the last disc I talked about, not because I agree with the theory that if you notice music in a movie the music is bad (something which I've always thought was a total crock of crap - no one claims that if you notice painting that a picture's bad), but because way too many folks don't notice... and it's not worth getting pissed at all of them. But anyway.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith ties with Wedding Crashers as my least favourite of last summer's movies, thanks to it not being nearly as funny (Adam Brody excepted) or as thrilling as it thinks it is; it also served as the "pilot" for the real-time series The Adventures of Brangelina, if you see what I mean. It might work better if you come at the sight of Brad Pitt and/or Angelina Jolie, but the Oscar-winner's eminently squeezable backside didn't redeem Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Cradle Of Life (the way those of Miss Jessicas Alba and Biel did with Into the Blue and Stealth respectively), and it didn't redeem this movie either. What did help was John Powell's score; built around a tango signifying the way John Smith and Jane Smith dance around each other in their game of mutual lies (and for where they first met), it brings in perky sneaky music and exciting action stuff that's techno-based without being overly in thrall to it - one critic compared it to David Arnold's Bond scores but better, and I have to agree. Plus some of Powell' s action music has a knack for sounding like marching band music; he manages to avoid it here, and if I could repress the crappy movie this would be even better. But apart from that, it's a super taster for his even better X-Men: The Last Stand. I was never much of an admirer of his at first, but he's getting better and better.

Bogota (1:38)
The Bedroom (1:11)
Playing House (1:35)
Assignments (1:12)
His and Her Hits (2:47)
Office Work (2:10)
Desert Foxes (2:37)
John and Jane's Identity (2:02)
Dinner (4:15)
Hood Jump (1:47)
Mutual Thoughts (1:01)
John Drops In (2:31)
Tango de Los Asesinos (4:26)
(also on the song album)
Two Phone Calls (1:51)
Kiss and Make Up (1:54)
Minivan Chase (2:13)
Shopping Spree (4:19)
Dodging Bullets (1:21)
The Next Adventure (3:28)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Rachel, Rachel, Rachel.

Just so the Archivist'll stop moaning. :)

Jennifer, Jennifer, Jennifer.

I am so glad you don't need to be able to see spirits to see her. And that she's brought back the old look-over-the-shoulder thing that she loves to do at these things.

Monday, August 28, 2006

It is time to get geeky.

Okay, so I was looking to see exactly how long the underscore cues on the Deadwood CD are to see if I could risk buying it, and then the same thing with the only such track on the Crossing Jordan CD, and it led me to this blog and its Soundtrack Saturday spot. Good idea, but the blogger is a child of the '80s. Nothing wrong with that at all (hey, I love 80s music), except that when she devoted a post to Legend it dealt with the edit that had Tangerine Dream music.
Now don't misunderstand me, Universal's edit of that flawed fantasy movie was the one that was shown widely in the US back in '86 (it's a long story, which this page has more space to go into than I do) so I can see why she'd be more familiar with that one. And to be fair, that's the version I saw when I was a teenager (1976-93 in Barbados, remember? Closer in proximity to the US than the UK, ties to England notwithstanding?), and I even taped the Bryan Ferry song that plays over the end titles of that version. And I do appreciate her giving the time of day to the underscore people when it applies (the post with Better Off Dead includes mp3s of some of Rupert Hine's cues). But if I'd known at the time that there was a version out there with Jerry Goldsmith music... but you have to remember where I was at the time. No Internet, no access to fanzines... the Dark Ages, right?

Anyway, the point is that Kelly - the blogger - inspired me to start a weekly feature where I have a look through one of my own soundtracks, whether one I just bought or one I've had for years. Sadly no soundclips can be done by me, but if I can link to some it'll be done. Just to ease you into it, I'll start with one of the two movies that made me a fan of film music; Back to the Future. (I've already mentioned the other one - Silverado.)
The official soundtrack album's sequenced so that the '80s selections are on side one of the LP and cassette, while the other side has those for the '50s scenes:
1. The Power of Love - Huey Lewis & the News 3:43
2. Time Bomb Town - Lindsey Buckingham 2:45
3. Back to the Future - The Outatime Orchestra 3:17
4. Heaven Is One Step Away - Eric Clapton 4:08
5. Back In Time - Huey Lewis & the News 4:17
6. Back to the Future Overture - The Outatime Orchestra 8:16
7. The Wallflower (Dance with Me Henry) - Etta James 2:41
8. Night Train - Marvin Berry and the Starlighters 2:15
9. Earth Angel - Marvin Berry and the Starlighters 2:59
10. Johnny B. Goode - Marty McFly with The Starlighters 3:05

(Strangely, the '50s songs are heard more completely in the film than the '80s ones, which are mainly heard on radios except for Huey Lewis & The News.) Silvestri's represented by his main theme on side one and a suite on side two (mostly drawn from the night Marty returns to 1985, and with a jarring moment when the drums live up to the scoring orchestra's name); while his best score for the series would come for the third movie (ironically my least favourite of the trilogy), this still has energy to spare from the moment Einstein becomes the world's first time traveller (the first score piece in the film) to the end credits. Fans have been clamouring for a complete score album for years, and in spite of a 1999 rerecording of highlights of the score, its first sequel and the Universal Studios ride they still are. (I've heard the sound clips, and I'm not impressed - too slow.) There's a bootleg CD out there, but I pass on that as well... which leaves us with the movie. And the fact that I taped off the rest of the "return to '85" music.
Michael J. Fox doesn't do his own singing or guitar playing here, by the way. But you knew that.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Work in progress, folks.

This is what I've written so far for the next Cindy Inc. Not much time for a plot in this format, but I can at least try... call it the equivalent of the placeholder episodes of 24 or Lost.

**TheBoss has entered CindyIncChat**
TheBoss: Hey guys
Amidala: Shiznit!
BajanBabe: Hi, Cindy.
**Amidala signed off at 14:32**
TheBoss: How's it going, Rie?
SaucyGirl: HI CINDY!
TheBoss: Hey, Hayden... how are you and Rie doing?
BajanBabe: Hayden's sweating all over her keyboard.
SaucyGirl: That's not sweat... ;)
TheBoss: Did the Bartons treat you nice?
BajanBabe: Yeah, and what's this Portman was telling us about Cindymas?
TheBoss: Didn't Hayden tell you?
BajanBabe: She was too busy to tell me. :D
SaucyGirl: *blushes*
TheBoss: You know how it goes, Hayden...
SaucyGirl: I know
TheBoss: Each time a new girl is broken in, she gets filled in on everything.
SaucyGirl: I know
BajanBabe: Is it a holiday?
TheBoss: Cindymas is the day when everyone works for free here. It's my birthday, and I'm never there that day.
BajanBabe: Or they'd have to do you for free, right? ;)
TheBoss: I didn't get where I am today by doing favors, Rie. ;)
SaucyGirl: Cindymas was when I came on board; Portman took me to the Bartons that day
BajanBabe: Buhwait... dis was in London town?
TheBoss: Oh yeah, the Bartons. Sam loves them young and his wife's SO understanding.
BajanBabe: Sorry about the slip, Cindy - I have to keep in training.
SaucyGirl: Hey, I love that Caribbean talk! :)
SaucyGirl: Yeah, it was in London. Can't work in Brentwood till next year
TheBoss: Like you don't know Rie.

BajanBabe: *blushes*
SaucyGirl: Anyway, the Bartons paid enough for me to spend the night with them in Notting Hill - couldn't find a green door anywhere
TheBoss: You were there with her weren't you Rie?
BajanBabe: Yes...
TheBoss: :D
SaucyGirl: And all the way there Sam had his hand up my dress, patting my legs and strokin my cooch
TheBoss: How'd he drive?
SaucyGirl: He's got some good taste in music - he likes Jojo :) :)
SaucyGirl: Mrs. Barton drove us; he can't drive
BajanBabe: Women drivers get better insurance rates.
TheBoss: Score one for us! *highfive*
BajanBabe: *highfive*
SaucyGirl: So he tells me his son's gay and asks if I want to do something about that; I said I'd think about it and he sticks his finger in me. :) Nice and slow too
BajanBabe: Fast worker.
TheBoss: Too fast sometimes. :rolleyes:
SaucyGirl: Then he starts to play around in me; he's got my button in his fingers and he's making me squirm in the backseat. He's better than Paris ever was
TheBoss: *vomits* You're lucky that was before you joined us.
SaucyGirl: I could have meant Paris from Gilmore Girls :D
BajanBabe: You and PARIS HILTON?!? :shocked:
SaucyGirl: She paid well :)
TheBoss: brb
BajanBabe: I saw the tape - you poor gitl
**TheBoss signed off at 14:35**
BajanBabe: *Girl.
SaucyGirl: Paris isn't bad... she tried it with Nicole once
BajanBabe: And only once, I bet. ;)
SaucyGirl: Tell you the truth, while he was feeling me up I was thinking of you back on the set
BajanBabe: My parents would kill me if they knew that.
SaucyGirl: Mine wouldn't - they know about Cindy
BajanBabe: Only in America. :D
SaucyGirl: And Barbados ;)
BajanBabe: Thanks for the show you did; practising for your show in that cheerleader's skirt. I saw a few of the guys all stiff when you jumped up.
SaucyGirl: No underwear - thought I'd give the boys a treat.
BajanBabe: Not just the boys. ;)
SaucyGirl: Love giving them wet spots :D
BajanBabe: And then you were wiggling off to get changed; did you know I followed you?
SaucyGirl: Why do you think I was shaking it?
SaucyGirl: Think I didn't see you checking me out that day? I know that look when I see it
BajanBabe: I get it too... Jay-Z does it all the time.
SaucyGirl: He wants someone with a normal size booty :D
BajanBabe: I think he wants me and Bey to join him one time - aint gonna happen.
SaucyGirl: Yeah, she hates competition
BajanBabe: Anyway, I got a look at you going to cool off - you know there's this little hole in teh wall next to the changing room?
SaucyGirl: Of course I do - who do you think put it there?
BajanBabe: Hussy. :)
SaucyGirl: *curtseys*
BajanBabe: Seeing you lying on the bench in there - I saw right up your skirt.
SaucyGirl: Yeah, I had a feeling someone was there
BajanBabe: Watching you rubbing that babysmooth box of yours... man, I wanted to run into that room and eat you right there
SaucyGirl: *shudders happily at the thought* Thank you
BajanBabe: Wriggling on the bench, spreading your legs... squeezing that tiny clit... making me all wet and hot...
SaucyGirl: mmmmmmmm.... I wanted a cock there so bad... my fingers had to do...
BajanBabe: Me sticking my fingers right up my own cunt watching you fuck yourself...
SaucyGirl: Oh... my cooch wants to burn up...
BajanBabe: Dripping down my legs checking out your hot little pink body; you were stroking your chest as well. You have fantastic little tits.
SaucyGirl: Yours ain't bad either, Rie... ohhhhh I wanted your tongue down there instead of my hands
SaucyGirl: Was that you I heard grunting?
BajanBabe: It coulda been. ;)
SaucyGirl: And I was playing with myself and pretending someone was there
BajanBabe: Me?
SaucyGirl: Yeah. If you had a 13-inch cock :D
BajanBabe: 13?
SaucyGirl: In real life I take what I can get. In my dreams all the guys have cocks like baeball bats
BajanBabe: So when you were rolling your tongue around like that you were... ;)
SaucyGirl: Like you couldn't tell :)
BajanBabe: You know me, just a good Bajan girl at heart. O:-)
SaucyGirl: So there I was, gagging on this big big BIG prick, licking it and swallowing it. Love it when they're this size, not big enough to choke me but not smallenough so I thinkit's like a toothpick of something
BajanBabe: ?
**LittleMissVixen has entered CindyIncChat**
SaucyGirl: A toothpick OR something, sorry. My mind's somewhere else.
LittleMissVixen: Hey kids.
BajanBabe: Hi Rachel. KIDS!?!?
SaucyGirl: Hey Rach
LittleMissVixen: I finished with mine early
SaucyGirl: You sure they didn't finish early? ;)

BajanBabe: Does he know you're here?
LittleMissVixen: Oh, he knows.
BajanBabe: :D
LittleMissVixen: Whatcha upto?
BajanBabe: Hayden's giving invisible head
SaucyGirl: You kiss your mom with that mouth?

BajanBabe: I've kissed someone's DAD with that mouth. ;)
SaucyGirl: Do tell
LittleMissVixen: Wait - you can turn invisible too? I thought that was a Jessica Alba thing
BajanBabe: My initiation down in Buhbayduss (it was my idea; I wanted one of our own to break me in).
SaucyGirl: *drools*
LittleMissVixen: So you DO like girls, Hayden
SaucyGirl: Dont we all?
BajanBabe: Not really
LittleMissVixen: Liar. ;)
BajanBabe: You're right - this promoter and his family wanted to meet me. Gotta be happy to the fans so I said yes.
LittleMissVixen: Ooooooh, keeping em keen. Go on
SaucyGirl: What about me? *pouts*
BajanBabe: Don't you have that thing in your mouth to keep you quiet?
SaucyGirl: :D Happy days... mmmmmm.... ummmmm....
LittleMissVixen: Can I have a taste?
SaucyGirl: Get your own
BajanBabe: Anyway, he took me down to Accra, and I saw his brothers and his dad. Real nice, all of them.
LittleMissVixen: I didn't mean of that... *places hand on your crotch* Never send a girl to do a woman's job.
SaucyGirl: You arent that much older than me, Bilson
LittleMissVixen: Smartass. *pats* Sweetass, sorry.
BajanBabe: That *is* a nice botsy you got there, Hayden.
SaucyGirl: brb *wiggles away*
LittleMissVixen: LOVE the view...
BajanBabe: So anyway, the four of us brought up Cindy, and he (the promoter) asked if I could do them all at once, and I went OOOOOOO
LittleMissVixen: You what?

BajanBabe: Opened my mouth REAL huge. Big enough for them tuh fit all their cocks inat once.
LittleMissVixen: :D
LittleMissVixen: Wider than Britney's?
BajanBabe: You know it, girl. Those men stuck their dicks in so fast I damn near choked; good thing only one of them was my size.
LittleMissVixen: LOL!!!!
BajanBabe: All jammed in my mouth like four big hard sausages, me tongue rubbing up on their heads with them fucking muh mouth, dem working em like pistons, like it was a race and they wanted to come in my mouth first, and me rubbing their balls in turns widdem standing round me.
BajanBabe: You need to suck a Bajan man, Rachel. Aint nothing like it.
LittleMissVixen: That's how I feel about Texans, Rie. :D
BajanBabe: So each one's dripping in me and I'm licking and sucking them and hoping the cute one cunms in me first because I'm probably goign to fuck one of them afterwards, and then I get hit by four streams all at once I swear. They ALL CAME TOGTHER.
LittleMissVixen: You LIE!!!!
BajanBabe: Nuh man, allaonce. Powpowpowpow! LOL! All the cum mushing up in me mouth - taste nice too, lemme tell you. :) One of them had enough to jerk off on me forehead too.
LittleMissVixen: Lots of room there... sorry!
SaucyGirl: Sorry about that - had to drain the balloon. :)
BajanBabe: You missed the show
LittleMissVixen: No, just starting... say this for Mr. Man, he tried
SaucyGirl: I thought he was a cheapskate
LittleMissVixen: Damn right he was. All he wanted was a handjob but he really tried to give me a good job. But...
BajanBabe: Couldn't find it. :)
SaucyGirl: Couldn't find it. :)
LittleMissVixen: ;) Let me show you what he should have done... *puts hand between SG's legs again, lightly rubbing with my thumb*
SaucyGirl: Mmmmmm... nice...
LittleMissVixen: You like it? Love 'em tight, SG... *slowly pushes my fingers in you*
SaucyGirl: *moans*
SaucyGirl: Yes, I like...
BajanBabe: What about that dick you were talking about?
SaucyGirl: This is better.... *opens my legs wider*
BajanBabe: Nothing's better than cock.
LittleMissVixen: *strokes Hayden's soaking little cunt* You don't hear anyone saying they hate small pussies, Rie
SaucyGirl: And they don't make you laugh when you're jumping up and down, right? Oh Rach, you got the touch... *kiss*
LittleMissVixen: *kiss* Better than Solange?
SaucyGirl: Better than BEYONCE

BajanBabe: So am I.
LittleMissVixen: Everyone's better than Beyonce. *slides fingers in and out of SG* That's why she quit.
BajanBabe: Looks like fun, Hay.
SaucyGirl: *bites lip* Oh yeah... is it true what I heard from Portman about the ladies?
LittleMissVixen: Sssshhh - not now. Fuck, youre hot down here... *rubs your button*
BajanBabe: *starts to lift Hayden's top*
SaucyGirl: No... not yet
BajanBabe: Aw, come on... where's my fun?
SaucyGirl: Show us yours first
LittleMissVixen: Yeah, we've all seen teh cameltoe pics.
BajanBabe: *pouts* Fine. *opens shirt*
LittleMissVixen: *whistles*
SaucyGirl: Great tits
BajanBabe: Thank you... *smiles, moves closer*
LittleMissVixen: Wow. *lifts up Hayden's top* Black on white
BajanBabe: *rollseyes*
SaucyGirl: Mmmmmmmmmm.... uuhhhh....
BajanBabe: C'mere Rach *offers one of my boobs*
LittleMissVixen: *tastes Rihanna's nips, rubbing Hayden's box*
SaucyGirl: Aaaaaahhhh... love the touch, Rach... better than this cock...
BajanBabe: *cradles Rachel's head to my chest* Still sucking it?
SaucyGirl: Playing with it.... dont stop Rachel
LittleMissVixen: *licks Rie's tits, sucking on the nips* Dont want to.

To be continued.

I love the smell of updates in the morning.

Cindy: My being in sole control of what pictures go up daily, so Rachel will have to wait. Don't worry, KS - her time will come.

Vanessa: A slight case of blog censorship that I had to do this week with a post in the archives. No details, and it's all been sorted out (with no ill feeling on either side, don't worry), but it's kind of a shame it had to happen. I'll be more careful in future.

Cindy: Anezza's back. And front. And sides. And legs. And hair. And... you get the idea. The production manager's beautiful, cheerful, extremely fanciable assistant is back from holiday and all is well with the world. Well, apart from my having no chance whatsoever with her.

Vanessa: Alton, the guy who does the showbiz reports on Choice FM. Makes Ty Pennington seem like Eeyore on downers, he does. SHUT UP, DAMMIT!

Cindy: Holiday weekends. The last Bank one until Christmas, meaning when I go on holiday next month almost no kids around the place!

Vanessa: Carnival weekend. Prepare for Notting Hill to become Notting Hell again as traffic gets blocked off for the parades, loud music etc for "Europe's biggest street party." Wonderful for many, a magnet in reverse for me. (I like Notting Hill Gate, mind - one of my best sources for soundtracks. It's just that parades bore and annoy the hell out of me. Although I'm sure Jen would definitely get into the spirit if she was here...)

Cindy: The Carnivàle soundtrack. Imagine if Thomas Newman scored Twin Peaks and left out any quirkiness; no idea which tracks come from which episode, but otherwise marvellously eerie and haunting stuff (great theme tune from Wendy & Lisa as well).

Vanessa: Survivor being divided on racial lines. If I was remotely interested in Torrenting this show (or any other), this would put me off. Like we really need another reason for America or the world in general to have more skin colour friction. If we're lucky this'll be the straw that breaks Mark Burnett's back.

Cindy: Cindy's openness policy, looks-wise. Once again, bless you and you go, girl!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Mariah, Mariah, Mariah.

Another of my long time faves. Her legs alone justify it. She'll remain an executive producer until the end. Which is a long, long way off...

You know what? I don't care, I still love her.

As posted on DigitalSpy:

Cindy Crawford has admitted that she has resorted to surgical methods to maintain her looks.

The supermodel has long been lauded for her natural beauty, and used her continuing good looks to promote skincare products.However, the 40-year-old star recently revealed that she has undergone cosmetic surgery procedures for the past eleven years.

She told Gala magazine: "I'm not going to lie to myself: past a certain age, creams work on the texture of your skin but, in order to restore elasticity, all I can really count on is vitamin injections, Botox and collagen."

"I have a very simple, healthy life, which works miracles. I drink a lot of water, watch what I eat and exercise. But I owe the quality of my skin to my cosmetic surgeon," Crawford confessed.

Years ago, Cindy said that she didn't want to rule it out, so she wasn't about to fly the anti-plastic surgery flag... and I'm glad she didn't. Compare this attitude to veteran liars like William "It's my own hair" Shatner and Christina "They're real" Aguilera; in a sense, Cindy's still a natural beauty, inside and out. And let's face it, there are far worse offenders in the Botox and collagen departments. Nothing to forgive, Cindy - you haven't done anything wrong.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Katharine, Katharine, Katharine.

Since I forgot to copy the staff links when I changed the template, I'll post picture links to one lady per day until they're all back. Today's staffer, Katharine McDreamy (with all due respect to fans of Grey's Anatomy).

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Tom, Jerry and the doctor.

The good news: I lost three pounds. The weight kind, not the money kind.
The bad news: My blood pressure is up slightly, I'm overdue for a blood test and an eye test, and I have to drop off a urine sample in a month or so. Plus I have to go back to the good doctor's (also in a month or so) to discuss said pressure.

The really good news: I could have Type I diabetes instead of Type II.

Oh, and as for the great cat and mouse, details of OFCOM-sanctioned barbarism here. On a scale with reanimating some of their toons to make their mistress a young white blonde and the BBC showing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles without the Ninja in the title (or some of their ninja booty-kicking), sez I.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Sky Bandits arrived, and they threw in a bonus OST for nothing! Granted, it was Scary Movie 4, but that's what I call customer service. Now all I need is for someone to announce Heroes in the UK (c'mon, if ITV can buy Friday Night Lights for goodness' sake...). And for it to be the holiday weekend. And for me to put my clothes back in the suitcases. And...

Friday, August 18, 2006

"CHiPs" soundtrack. True.

At this rate, we'll be getting a Three's Company CD one day. Man, I hope not.

Why must you tempt me so, Miss Biel? Why? WHY?

Cindy: It's Friday again! Yay!

Vanessa: Overloaded with work at DMWorks. They never can get the flow right - a constant keel is one thing, but it's either really still or really busy. And when it involves keeping a separate count of three table workers who always inflate their numbers, either deliberately or because they can't count... not to mention having to handcount letters and fling out the ones that are empty or don't have addresses... plus the people who sort addresses seem to not understand that the UK Virgin Islands aren't actually in the UK (whereas Scotland is)... and so on.

Cindy: Intrada finally sent me the fulfillment e-mail for Amazing Stories: Anthology Two, so I should get it in time for the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Vanessa: It's officially getting near the end of summer. How do I know this? It's fucking raining. And I don't have an umbrella again. (How to get rich in London: sell umbrellas. Lucky Tom - aka InThe313 - coming over before the scare and the rains.)

Cindy: The soundtrack CD to Mission: Impossible III. I played it all through and played it all over again when it was done. No higher praise is possible for an album. (And it doesn't have tool par excellence Kanye West on it!)

Vanessa: Time to visit the doctor's again, where I will inevitably have to make an appointment to give blood for another test. It's been months since the last time and I've been backsliding. I predict more pills.

Cindy: Jessica Biel, for services to rendering those penis enlargement e-mails we all get even more pointless than usual. (Didn't any of the people marvelling at that body see Blade: Trinity? Or the way she wriggled through the grass in Stealth?...Oh wait.)

Vanessa: Jessica Biel, for being the white naturally-endowed husky-voiced non-singing equivalent of Janet Jackson. Namely, arousing me big-time despite distinct feelings of guilt at the same time. Unfortunately I've got to go off to catch up on my work so I'll blog on my sexual repression later...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Victor always hate Elmo. Victor not alone.

I'd have linked to this op-ed by Joel Stein in the Los Angeles Times which speaks for all of us who detest the spindly little red sonofabitch (ironically, British TV stopped showing Sesame Street some years ago but still has room for Elmo's World!), but I'm not sure you don't have to be a subscriber. Anyway, it's a posting.

Elmo refused to be interviewed for this column. I consider this to be a supreme act of cowardice. And it doesn't surprise me one bit. Elmo is an annoying tool.

Yes, I know that children love Elmo. But children are idiots. That's why we don't let them have jobs. Could you imagine an office full of children? They'd spend all day telling dumb jokes and talking about their poop. It would be like it was before women entered the workplace.

Sesame Street — which still has sharp, funny writing — is being destroyed by idiot cuteness. Not only is the patronizing, baby-talking Elmo usurping most of the hour, but Sesame Street — which debuted its 37th season Monday — added its first new female Muppet in 13 years: the sparkly haired, tutu-wearing, button-nosed, pink-skinned fairy goddaughter Abby Cadabby. Her shaky magic skills get her in situations she needs to get bailed out of, like the anti-Bewitched.

Plus, she's got that creepy, throaty, little-girl Lindsay Lohan kind of voice, and a Paris Hilton-esque catchphrase: "That's so magic." When I watched Sesame Street in the '70s, the human cast and the Muppets were quirky adults who didn't talk down to me with baby voices. Now the human cast gets almost no airtime, and the show is dominated by Elmo, Baby Bear and, now, Abby Cadabby — preschoolers enamored by their own adorable stupidity.

The lesson they teach — in opposition to Oscar, Big Bird, Grover or Bert — is that bland neediness gets you stuff much more easily than character. We are breeding a nation of Anna Nicole Smiths.

I am not the only one who hates Elmo. Vernon Chatman and John Lee, the creators of MTV2's dark Sesame Street parody, Wonder Showzen, think the evil red one is destroying the show.

"Elmo doesn't grow. People show him something and he laughs. He doesn't learn a lesson," says Lee. "It's the exact opposite of what old Sesame Street used to do. Elmo has been learning the same lesson his whole life, which is that Elmo likes Elmo."

Chatman, who refers to Elmo as the Jar Jar Binks of Sesame Street, worries that Elmo teaches kids to care only about themselves.

"Elmo is just a baby-voiced, self-obsessed character who is only concerned with Elmo," says Lee. "He just passively observes things: 'Elmo is looking at a sandwich. Elmo is eating a sandwich. Elmo is crapping out the sandwich and writing his name on the wall with it.' " The last celebrity to so obsessively refer to himself in the third person was Richard Nixon.

Whereas Count Von Count markets math and Oscar markets the acceptability of negative emotions, Elmo, brilliantly, just markets Elmo, leading him to be the show's cash cow, or whatever misshapen animal he's supposed to be.

I question not only Abby Cadabby but all of Elmo's associates. You may recall that Elmo testified before Congress about music education. But you may not remember who requested Elmo's appearance: Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, now in jail for taking at least $2.4 million in bribes. I'm not implying that Elmo has taken dirty money, but these are the kind of people Elmo surrounds himself with.

I understand that Sesame Street has to compete in a Nickelodeon-Disney Channel-Wiggles-Pixar universe. In fact, the new episodes start with "Sesame Street is brought to you by the following..." and then, instead of gently mocking consumerism by listing letters and numbers, they actually show real spots for McDonald's, Beaches resorts, Pampers and — the last of which apparently helps children spell only if they want to be rappers.

I desperately don't want the show to go away, so I know they can't afford to run the "Elmo accidentally drank bleach and died" episode. Instead, they need to simply take Elmo and his buddies and give them their own hourlong show for the idiot spawn. Then put Luis, Gordon and the cool Muppets on their own half-hour Classic Sesame for the kids who will one day actually contribute to our society.

Whichever of the two shows you watched would serve as a convenient litmus test for the rest of your life. "Which Sesame Street did you watch?" will be code on college applications, Internet dating and job applications. Blue and red states will be divided not by presidential choices, but by Grover and Elmo.

If we can't save all the kids, let's at least save the ones who can master speaking in first-person. The rest we'll use for reality TV stars.


Monday, August 14, 2006

The Cindy Spot presents Sophie Anderton, for no reason at all.

Like millions of people, I do not watch what used to be called Celebrity Love Island but now goes without the Celebrity bit, like the lineup on the show itself.
(Note to ITV executives: if the celebrities were allowed to actually have sex, it might do wonders for the ratings.) Not even to look at formerly troubled model Sophie Anderton, who has been described as making Chris Moyles not seem self-obsessed in comparison, by Chris Moyles himself. This is because I refuse, out of principle, to sit through any reality TV show not called Drawn Together.

But hey, Sophie's still on staff. If there are red X's on this post, you can link to the page I nicked these from. :)

Enough with the dates.

Things that annoyed me about the situation over the weekend:

1. Tendency of people to behave as if there was an actual attack, rather than the prevention of one.
2. "10/8." Santa Maria...
3. At least one media source claiming this could have been Britain's 9/11. The planes were heading from the UK to other places, not vice versa.
4. The theories raised on both sides of the Atlantic about the suspicious timing of this thwarting of a monstrous atrocity. Although this last only counts as an annoyance if it's true, and it would hardly be the first time that it's happened (witness the good day to bury bad news farrago and the Emperor's transparently obvious voter-pandering).
5. The announcement that the British government's done this four times before, although curiously they never felt the need to announce this until now. (And as the family of Jean Charles de Menezes will attest, the UK forces don't always get it right.)

I dread to think what would have happened had it gone wrong.

The worst thing is, it'll probably

Friday, August 11, 2006

In light of what happened yesterday, an all-Cindy weekend update.

Because I could do with some good news, and so could you.

Cindy: Monica Bellucci. Ignore the men and look at how she takes up space. And remember to click on the title above.

Cindy: Amazing Stories Anthology Two! Already ordered - two and a half hours more of aural pleasure...

Cindy: Anezza's back from holiday in a week and a half. Can't wait. (As I may have said before, I like this pint-sized Michelle Branch lookalike.)

Cindy: I finally got my overtime wages.

Cindy: Big Brother ends next week!

Cindy: Writing again, at last...

Sunday, August 06, 2006

"Who wrote this thing, Paul Thomas Anderson? Edit, people!"

I promised Jen that I'd take myself over to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest this weekend on her behalf, since she's too lazy to get her shapely behind into a multiplex. :) I also saw Cars (saying this is the worst Pixar movie to date is like saying "Lift Me Up" is Geri Halliwell's best record - it's only in comparison to all the others - but it's horribly close to DreamWorks at times. And not the DreamWorks of The Prince of Egypt, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas and Over The Hedge either, and not only because they replaced the voice of Lightning's agent on UK prints... I should have known this wouldn't be up to Pixar's high standards when they called in Jeremy Clarkson*).
Anyhoo, Pirates of the Blahblahblah. I liked the new Walt Disney Pictures logo (the castle in three dimensions with backgrounds and everything); I liked Johnny Depp's performance as much as in the first one, although he doesn't get as much screen time this time alas; and Bill Nighy as Davy Jones was good too, with great squid makeup to boot. The trouble is, the movie's structured as the first part of a two-parter and it takes its time about it; careful setting up of characters is one thing, but writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio (whose names on a project never bodes well for me, with the exceptions of Aladdin and The Mask of Zorro) just faff about for a lot of the film's two and a half hours. Turner is sent off to get something to help him and Elizabeth escape the noose, Sparrow is off to get the same thing to help him wriggle out of a deal he made with Jones, Elizabeth sets out to get some information to help her and Turner escape... this isn't so much an adventure-fantasy as a very, very, very long version of the story about the old woman who wanted some help with a pig (everyone she asked wanted her to get someone else to help them, and so on).
Plus, it's an adventure-fantasy that throws in everything from cannibals to sea monsters but little in the way of plot coherence or thrilling scenes. Like Lethal Weapon 4, the impression is that everyone concerned was having such a good time making the movie that they forgot to focus on getting the story started; this was a problem with the first movie, and it's worse here because this is exactly what a lot of people accused Back to the Future Part II of being, namely a long trailer for the third movie. It just goes along with not much actual momentum until it abruptly stops with the setting-up completed. (Although to be fair, the unexpected and uncredited appearance of a major character from the first movie does bode well for the next one. Since Jen hasn't seen the original, I think she should, otherwise she'll have no idea why this is a good thing.)
Just to make matters worse, the movie stretches credibility too much even for a fantasy-adventure (even I, who can suspend disbelief from incalculably high altitudes - as you'd expect from someone who's watched every episode of Charmed - even I have to draw the line somewhere. And when the plot expects us to accept Keira Knightley disguising herself as a man and people falling for it, that line is very much drawn... not least since her hair is cut short for the illusion and then suddenly appears long and flowing again). Coincidences to get all the key people where they have to be do not a good plotline make, either. And really, as with the first movie does it have to be so long? (Hence the Lorelei Gilmore quote.)
Orlando Bloom proves again that he's probably the only actor in the world to seem less macho with blonde hair, but Naomie Harris, Jack Davenport and most of the rest of the cast are better (Keira's a bit too BBC-ish to be effective); Hans Zimmer and chums's music isn't a help, but the ILM/Asylum/Orphanage/etc. effects are; and there's a nice joke after the end credits, but not enough ones before them. It really is a fairground attraction of a movie; nothing but a ride, and not much of one at that. I didn't hate it, but in a perfect world Superman Returns would take in the cash that this and Cars are rolling in.
In short, Jen might like it, but I doubt it. She should see the first one and then decide.

*Jeremy Clarkson is a loudmouthed motoring TV personality, and a right-wing jerk to boot. I hate him.

Friday, August 04, 2006

You're never too old to get a visit from the Tooth Fairy.

For months and months, one of my teeth has been rotting away, more and more. Greyer, and blacker, and hole-ier. Little scraps of food getting trapped in it, hurting, etc. And all this time I never went to the dentist. Because I'm cheap. And scared (I still have memories of being at home watching Operation Dumbo Drop on Sky Movies because the removal of a tooth was so painful).
This morning, while munching a Hobnob I got an unexpected surprise; I felt something in my mouth and... you guessed it. A good part of that tooth is now in front of me. Looks like a black eyed pea, so I'm best rid of it. Anything that reminds me of Stacy Ferguson has got to go.

These pictures of Cindy in St. Tropez are disgusting.

Mainly because I'm not in them. I have to admit it's surprising to see Cindy carrying on like this; and yet, she looks like she's having fun. (Although when you remember the breast-signing incident, it suggests that she's got a wicked side to her. Which is certainly preferable to her being an all-out skank, right?)

If the stories about her husband cheating on her are true, he is a fool. A fool. Compare Cindy (40, two kids) to Kate Moss (30s, one kid)... and Cindy doesn't shovel coke/powdered sugar up her nostrils. Cindy Crawford continues to rule. (Title contains link to pictures just in case those damn red Xs show up.)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Paris Hilton Cindy isn't...

...thank goodness.

InThe313 in the SW10, or NE23, or W6, or...

If you're reading this, Tom, and you're still in London, give me a buzz (I really should visit your blog more often - I'm an idiot...). My address is in the profile.

Cindy: Headphones!

Bliss. Working to Jerry Goldsmith, Thomas Newman, John Debney and French television themes, and only I can hear them. No more Lily Allen, no more Choice FM, no more Blue... well, they're there but they're defused.

Headphones. Escape! Try them today!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Swimming with sunglasses

Then again, who's looking at the glasses? (Ten years ago, if there had been a lot less people around this would have been a men's magazine's dream come true.)