Category Archives: random thoughts

Duck Season! Rabbit Season!

I remember when Mel Blanc died, and there was this beautiful two-page tribute run by Warner Brothers in Variety.
On one page, there was a single microphone, illuminated by a spotlight.
On the facing page, tewnty or so Warner Brothers cartoon characters stood, heads bowed, eyes closed.
The caption read: “Speechless”
It brought tears to my eyes, because I wasn’t as much of a badass then, as I am now.
So last night, when I heard that Chuck Jones died, I remembered that tribute in Variety, and it got me thinking…would the Merrie Melodies have been as cool as they were, without both of those guys?
Chuck Jones was being eulogized last night as the creator of Bugs Bunny, among others, but I bet you that he’d be the first to tell you that, without Mel Blanc, those would have just been drawings, and not full-fledged characters, as they were.
So now they’re both gone, and holy crap, what a legacy they’ve left. I defy you to show me any person over the age of 25 who hasn’t been profoundly affected by Looney Tunes, in one way or another.
I mean, without Looney Tunes, there would have been no Ren and Stimpy, for crying out loud!
I hope the Cartoon Network runs 900 hours of tribute to Chuck Jones. That’d be cool.

Attention WWDN Shoppers

Last week, I added two new designs to the WWDN store.
One of the designs was drawn by my amazingly talented friend, Ben.
The other design was created by an amazing artist named Brad, who I don’t know, at all…so I conducted this silly little interview with him, so that I, and the Posse, could get to know him a little bit better.
Ben, if you’re reading this, I want to interview you next. It’s nice being on the other side of the table for a change!
WIL: Your website, artpeace.com, has one of the most beautiful mission statements I’ve ever read. Would you talk a little bit about what influenced your beliefs?
BRAD: Well, Mr. Crusher, I think I believe in God, and I think God’s pretty cool.
And I think that people are way too serious in life, and caught up in “self”, so much so that they become very peaceless entities. I’ve found that people react very positively from my art; they start trippin’ and sometimes even think they can paint and draw all of a sudden (those who are not visual artists). That’s cool, cuz if a person thinks she or he can do something they will usually at least try to make something happen, and end up on a higher skill or mental plane than when they started. I get the same kind of inspired energy from artists whose work I admire.
W: You state that “the creative energy of art” can stimulate the positive
flow of peace. Personally, I completely agree with this ideal, but I wonder if you’ve seen it in action?
B: People get excited when they see something on canvas or paper or the movie screen that they think is the coolest thing they’ve ever seen. They talk to each other, they agree about the skillful execution or the tight special effects, they can converse about something heavy without even caring about any differences that may exist between them. A good piece of art can calm the need to tear off somebody’s head. That’s peaceful energy.
W: I feel that your work is inspired by Dali. Am I right, or am I O.J.?
B: You do NOT want to be O.J. right about now…Salvadore was the father of surrealism, a style from which I create most of my work.
W: Did you go to an art school? Care to plug said school? As an artist, how do you feel about formal education vs. experiential education for would-be
artists?
B: I went to the premiere art high school in Houston. I had to audition to get in, did so with flying colors, then flunked 12th grade cuz I fkd around and didn’t do the senior project, which they announced during the final week was not just another project, but 1/2 the semester grade…missed it by 1/2 credit, and the instructor flunked me cuz I had been a smart ass to her a few weeks before. So I took typing in summer school, and now I can type about 80 wpm. That helps out alot on my Macintosh work.
As for the education thing? It’s whatever way you get it. Some artists feel like they have to have some rules under their belt before they can get down; artists like me look for rules that will break if you hit ‘em hard enough.
W: The design you did for WWDN, which you’ve called “Perfect Imperfection”, is really amazing. Would you like to talk about what inspired this piece?
B: No.
W: The Dodgers have been on a steady decline since FOX bought them. New GM Dan Evans has said that they want to “win now, not rebuild”. What do you think of this attitude?
B: … What? . . . Ok, ok I’ll talk about “Perfect Imperfection” if it’ll keep
us friends. One of the most amazing and harmlessly eerie sights in nature to me is a tree in the winter time when you can see all the branches. A billion branches that form this spiritual maze leading in seemingly endless possible directions that life can take you in at any given moment. The overall shape of this tree is almost reminiscent of the human brain…endless nerve endings. The eye is vision, insight, creativity, intellect. The green and gold iris depict sunlight causing the green (life) to exist, but there really is no eye there, just the impression that one exists. This image is of something that is the core by which we seek to perfect the imperfection
of the human destiny. Ok?
If the Dodgers have this kind of record, I think they may never win if he doesn’t rebuild now.
W: Art vs. Commerce, Art *AS* Commerce, Commerce as Art. Discuss.
B: Art battling commerce loses almost everytime, if you’re trying to pay bills.
Commercial artists, a group to which I technically but not always joyfully belong, don’t draw and paint what they want, but what somebody with some money they need wants drawn. They incorporate their own style, true, but it still only goes so far. Then art becomes commerce. It’s good work–very skilled execution–but usually it didn’t really come out of that artist’s soul, just out of the need to eat. Dali didn’t give a damn what people thought, just as long as the work was good in his own sight. That’s how I am, I think that’s how any true artist is, whether visual, musical, theatrical… whatever. Got to be real. Or else it’s commerce masquerading
as art, and anybody who is actually alive can see right through it.
W: Your website is really cool, and the idea of walking through a building to check out the art is very similar to the the interactive menus on Vivid DVDs. Ever had a pornstar come to your website? Asia Carrera once emailed me, you know.
B: If she came (get it?) to my website, I never heard about it. I don’t remember… did you ever get around to emailing her back?
W: Yeah, and I think I scared her away with my geekiness. She never responded. Guess I’ll have to start fawning over some other pornstar now.
In addition to your website, you publish a magazine. Is publishing a magazine as hard as I think it is?
B: Before beginning work on Artpeace Uncovered Magazine which you can download subscription cards for at the website and mail in with your check or money order… o crap, that was shameless. I’m sorry…Wil, calm down, man–it
won’t happen again. As I was — I worked a few years at several local pubs in Houston and at an independent newspaper, so I got the experience needed to manage a large multi-department mag. Artpeace Uncovered actually premieres this coming September, and many, many thousands of copies will be distributed nationwide. It mainly focuses on nongalleried artists who me and my enlightened staff think kik ass, but the world hasn’t yet been fully let in on that fact.
W: Thank you so very, very much for this amazing design. I think it’s beautiful, and I am honored that you offered to do it for me. Thank you even more for answering my lame questions.
B: You know, Mr. Crusher, I’m actually one of the few people in the galaxy who don’t hate you. I didn’t think Captain Picard was grateful enough that time you saved the entire ship, so it is me who is honored to present to you a token of my appreciation. Peace and Prosperity to you, your family and all your readers.
W: Peace and Prosperity to you, as well. By the way, call me Mr. Crusher again, and I’ll kick you in the nuts.

Vote Valerie!

If you’re a SAG member, please click below, and read more.
If you’re not a SAG member, you can read it, but it probably won’t make much sense to you.
I support Valerie Harper for President of the Screen Actor’s Guild, and I hope that, if you’re a SAG member who cares about your union, you will, too.

Continue reading

KITT

Earlier today, I posted the Greatest Picture, EVER!
There was much discussion about Knight Rider, and I have wondered this all day: Am I the only person who was crestfallen upon finding out that the voice of KITT was not, in fact, the voice of the car, but was, in truth, the voice of actor William Daniels?
When Bill was president of SAG, I had lots of meetings with him, because I am on the Board of Directors, and was part of our TV and Theatrical negotiating team. When I would have a meeting with Bill, I’d call Anne, and tell her, “I won’t make it for dinner tonight. I have a meeting with KITT.” And she’d say, “Is it in his office? Or is he meeting you around back in 5, buddy?”
Continuing the trip down Knight Rider lane…back in the old days, when there was only one Universal Studios, and the main focus of the whole experience was the tour, not the damn animal shows and gift shops…well, okay, it was the gift shops, but not as transparently as it is now…
But I digress.
Back in the day, at Universal Studios, they had a KITT car parked in this area where you could go and sit in it, and, I am not making this up, talk to KITT!
You could ask KITT all sorts of questions, and while you waited in line, you could hear the questions asked, and the answers given out by none other than KITT HIMSELF!
So people would sit in KITT, and ask all sorts of questions about the show, and “what did you do in episode [whatever]?”, and all sorts of technical questions about the specifics of his design, etc.
I so badly wanted to get into the car, and say, “Hey, KITT, I was wondering, do you ever cut loose when the people go home? I mean, tell me the truth. You can kick the A-Team Van’s ass, right? Do you ever just head on over to the backlot and do donuts, just because you can?”
But I totally chickened out, and, when I got up there, I froze, and asked, “What’s your top speed, KITT?”
The sad thing is, I can’t even remember what the answer was.
update: 8:41 PM PST: Cherish, a cool girl and helpful soapbox mod, just sent me this picture of her, sitting in KITT!
Second. Best. Picture. EVER.
Rock.

Rats!

We’ve just discovered, in the last couple of days, that some rats (Rats! Rats! F-ing rats with…aw, forget it) have moved into our attic, and maybe even down some walls.
So I’m wondering, has anyone ever used those sonic repeller as seen on TV thingies? If so, have they worked?
I’d so very much like it if the rats would leave.

Mailbox is full

On my way home today, I stopped at the store, and picked up “The Awful Truth” on DVD. It’s an awesome TV show created by the equally awesome Michael Moore, creator of “Roger and Me“, and “Downsize This!”
I was so moved by a segment on his show, that I had to write him an email, which came back because his mailbox is full.
So I’m reprinting it, here, because I know I’ll get busy and forget to send it:

To: [email protected]
Subject: The Awful Truth
Hi Michael,
I just bought the DVD collection of “The Awful Truth”, and I’m still wiping my tears of fury which became tears of joy, after watching you save a man’s life, in episode one.
You continue to be an inspiration to me.
Thank you for making a difference!
Fondly and respectfully yours,
Wil Wheaton
Los Angeles, CA
————————–
WIL WHEATON DOT NET
May peace prevail on earth
————————–

02.02.02

This has got to be the coolest day to write, this year. (If it isn’t, I’m sure someone will point that out!)
I was watching A&E last night, and there was a show all about Jack Benny. I guess Jack Benny used to always refer to things the same way I do, calling them “the best”, or “the most amazing”, or whatever.
One of his friends said that Jack Benny would come in from a shoeshine, and say, “Would you look at this shine? This is the best shine, ever!”. After eating a lunch, he’d say, “How about this ham and cheese? This has got to be the best ham and cheese I’ve ever had!”
Sounds like he had a mostly postive attitude, and really enjoyed life. I thought that was really cool.
So it came to my attention that today is Brent Spiner’s birthday. Happy birthday, Brent! He must be at least as old as I am, now. Wow.
Neverland continues to be amazing. I will take some pictures and put a few of them up this coming week.
Jane White is getting some RAVE reviews. Check out Box Office Magazine, Entertainment Today, and Indie Rag. We are having more Jane screenings soon, so watch this space, or check the official Jane website for more info. I just love Jane White, from top to bottom. Everything about this movie makes me smile, and I hope you will all get a chance to see it.
I was sent a copy of DHTML and CSS for the World Wide Web, from peachpit press (Thank you, ALEXA!), and I’ve been reading it in all my free time. This site is going to be so badass, I can’t even begin to describe it. Looking at my source makes me cringe, right now, but Roughy and I should have the whole thing fixed RSN. :)
Now, I am off to take lunch to my lovely wife, who is over-booked with clients today at the salon (yes, that’s right. My wife is that good a hairdresser. They over-book, baby!).
Thought for today comes again from the Lama:


“Seeking blessings from outsiders is not right. Your life is on your own shoulders.”

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Happy Birthday, KC

Today is my friend Kevin’s birthday.
Kevin hates it when people make a big deal about his birthday, so that’s exactly what I’m doing.
Ha.

RTFM

This made me laugh out loud.
It’s been quite some time since we had some controversy, too…I think that, regardless of political ideology, we can all agree that the political process must be put back into the hands of the people, and taken away from wealthy individuals and corporations. My greatest hope is that the Enron collapse, and the subsequent investigations (if ever something was screaming for an independent counsel, I’d say this is on the list), will get some real campaign finance reform passed, and maybe people will be so outraged that they’ll actually register to vote, and participate in our government.
You are registered to vote, and informed about your choices, aren’t you?