Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Weekend Sidebar Update: only two days late!

This week's Object of My Affection is the amazingly lovely Amanda Peet. I've been meaning to put her on the sidebar for a while now, but other women kept stepping forward, due to some current event or movie tie-in or whatnot. Well, this week it's all about Amanda. She'll be starring in Aaron Sorkin's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, one of the main reasons that's my most anticipated of the Fall shows. Hey, I just realized, that means she's re-teaming with her The Whole Nine Yards co-star, Matthew Perry. Best Amanda moment ever: shooting a guy while she's stark naked in that movie. Hell, that may be the best moment in motion picture history.

I knocked off a super quick read this week, John Moore's Bad Prince Charlie. Back in the '80s, there were scads of humorous fantasy series going; what happened to them? Nowadays, it's pretty much Terry Pratchett and... who? Just John Moore, it seems. Very, very funny (though also very light, in comparison with Pratchett) reading.

After that, and last week's Wodehouse, I decided to tackle something heavier. I've had a hardback copy of Thomas Pynchon's Vineland (which I picked up for a buck at a library sale) sitting on my shelves for over a year now. I've always meant to read some Pynchon, but I've always been a bit intimidated; from his reputation, I thought his work would be dense and impenetrable. Imagine my surprise at finding how accessible and downright funny this book is. Maybe Gravity's Rainbow is the mind-bender. Vineland, however, is a lot of fun, with a unique but engaging prose style and a lot of wicked humor skewering the Reagan years. Loving it.

Just picked up the season four DVD box set of Newsradio today. Seems like I just got season three; I still haven't gotten around to the last disc. Season four, as you may know, was Phil Hartman's last; he was murdered shortly after it wrapped. I look forward to enjoying this final testament to his comedic genius, as well as the rest of what was the craziest, funniest season of this wonderful sitcom.

Listening to John Mellencamp's Whenever We Wanted, an overlooked gem in his discography. Next to Scarecrow, this may very well be his best album from top to bottom, but it got precious little attention and radio play; I think only the great closer to the album, "Again Tonight," even made a ripple.

Hating the FCC. They just raised the "indecency fines" that can be levied against TV or radio stations by ten times the previous amount, from $32,500 per incident to $325,000. I hate these goddam people with a passion. They're well aware that 99.9 percent of the complaints filed with them come from attention-seeking religious wackjobs and their mailing lists, who fill out complaint forms without even being exposed to the content they're complaining about, yet the censorship crackdown continues unabated. Why is it that right now in America, the only thing that scares the government more than gay marriage is a naked boobie?

And randomly, Lyric of the Week comes from the spoken intro to Tenacious D's "Tribute." Remember, this is not the greatest song in the world: this is just a tribute.

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