Saturday, March 8, 2008

Stanley Kubrick Bloopers

Funniest audition tape of all time

How could I have missed this? It's been around for a year, an actual audition tape actually sent to Stanley Kubrick in 1984, mysteriously posted to YouTube by someone who presumably had it in for the poor performer, who reveals himself to be the worst actor in human history. Embarrassing on so many levels. One can't help but imagine Stanley Kubrick watching it and thinking "What's for lunch?"

Free Will

Important. And pass it on...

John M. Ford was pretty much the smartest writer I knew. Mostly. He did one thing that was less than smart, though: he knew he wasn't in the best of health, but he still didn't leave a proper will, and so didn't, in death, dispose of his literary estate in the way that he intended to while he was alive, which has caused grief and concern to the people who were closest to him.

He's not the first writer I know who didn't think to take care of his or her posthumous intellectual property. For example, I knew a writer -- a great writer -- separated from and estranged from his wife during the last five years of his life. He died without making a will, and his partner, who understood and respected his writing, was shut out, while his wife got the intellectual property, and has not, I think, treated it as it should have been treated. These things happen, and they happen too often.

There are writers who blithely explain to the world that they didn't make a will because they don't mind who gets their jeans and old guitar when they die but who would have conniptions if they realised how much aggravation their books or articles or poems or songs would cause their loved ones (or editors, anthologists or fans) after their death...

Writers put off making wills (well, human beings put off making wills, and most writers are probably human beings). Some of us think it's self-aggrandising or foolish to pretend that anyone would be interested in their books or creations after they're dead. Others secretly believe we're going to live forever and that making a will would mean letting Death in a crack.

Others make wills, but don't think to take into account what happens to our literary estate as a separate thing from the disposition of our second-best beds, which means unqualified or uninterested relatives can find themselves in control of everything the author's written. Some of us are just cheap.

All this bothered me, and still bothers me.

Shortly after Mike Ford's death, I spoke to Les Klinger about it. Les is a lawyer, and a very good one, and also an author. I met him through Michael Dirda, and the Baker Street Irregulars (here's Les's Sherlockian webpage).

Les immediately saw my point, understood my crusade and went off and made a document for authors. Especially the lazy sort of authors, or just the ones who haven't quite got around to seeing a lawyer, or who figure that one day it'll all sort itself out, or even the ones to whom it has never occurred that they need to think about this stuff.

It's a PDF file, which you can, and should, if you're a creative person, download here:

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early

The Ultimate Tourist Destination

Let me give you the magical adventure vacation of your lifetime!
Paradise awaits you (AP)

It very cold down in America this time on year, yes? You get trapped inside like so many gurkkus under rocks, and you get this, what you say, captain's fever? You want to get away somewhere warm, adventurous, where anything can happen, like in your movies. I know this deep inside my heart.

Come close, and let me whisper the name of this magical mystery adventureland in your ear: Iraq! Wait, come back! Hear me over and out.

In Iraq, every day is a glorious quest of majesty. You step off of the plane, and already you hear the fireworks and shooting of rifles in the air. Of course because they are happy on your arrival! And Allah-be-praised is it hot! You are sick of cold and snowfrost, I know this. Well, yesterday, I am telling you, I cooked eggs on hood of my car. I cannot begin to describe to you the sublime taste detonation that erupted within my mouth. It was truly glorious. Every day in Iraq, you will eat meals like this.

And thrilling adventure? Let me not even be getting started!

- more -

Neil and Paul enjoy a vacation to the Big Apple

Thank you, Meatloaf

Apparently all you have to do to get this TV for free is convince 9,999 people to go to Meatloaf's site and sign up for swag bucks by using Meatloaf's search engine instead of Google, despite the fact Meatloaf's search engine is just Google through a narrow pipeline that only returns four pages of results. This seems to be some sort of test to see how many gullible idiots you know. Just like Christianity.
40" Flat-Panel LCD

This 40" HDTV utilizes a fast response time, so your favorite TV shows and movies have a lifelike quality while advanced technologies deliver vibrant colors and intricate images for a stellar home theater experience.

9999 Swag Bucks

Another 9998 buck(s) to snag this prize.

How to Pose Like This

Monday, March 3, 2008

Robert Benchley by Robert Benchley

Bob Newhart to Judge Writing Contest
Comedic genus BOB NEWHART will serve as finalist judge for the 2008 ROBERT BENCHLEY SOCIETY AWARD FOR HUMOR COMPETITION. Entries of up to 500 words will be accepted through April 1st, 2008. Rules and procedure to enter are at the official Robert Benchley Society Rules and Procedure webpage:

For more information about the competition, about Robert Benchley and about the Robert Benchley Society Award for Humor, visit Lexington Film at:

My 500 words...

Robert Benchley
by Robert Benchley

Faced with the prospect of writing a 500 word piece in the manner of Robert Benchley, Robert Benchley sat there and pondered. Does this mean I must bury my personal style and pretend to be another, or can my own wit and linguistic dexterity fool the judges into thinking I'm as good as Robert Benchley, despite the fact he's had little effect upon my writing in any way? Just what I need right now, thought Robert Benchley, another distraction from my life's work, the world's first annotated biography of Robert Benchley told entirely in cuneiform.

Robert Benchley's career was going nowhere. He could only get published on the internet because his submissions to print publications always came back with the same old rejection, he didn't sound enough like Robert Benchley. Just because he also happened to be influenced by Hunter Thompson, George Carlin, and Monty Python didn't make Robert Benchley's influence upon Robert Benchley any less profound, just one more sidetrack in the infinite fractions of influence buried in Robert Benchley's subconscious. If Robert Benchley had anything to say about Robert Benchley it would be that Robert Benchley should stick to what he does best and butt out of Robert Benchley's business. Perhaps, he thought, if I just type the name Robert Benchley enough, people will think I have something to say about Robert Benchley, whose name I cherish as dearly as my own.

One day, Robert Benchley sat down to write and couldn't think of anything to write about other than his own writing style. He made a list of everyone he was influenced by and burnt it. That'll show 'em.

Robert Benchley #1, for that is what he thought of himself, #1, was overcome with anger at Robert Benchley #2, who seemed to be hogging all the glory of the Robert Benchley name. If only there were no Robert Benchley #2, thought Robert Benchley #1, then I could write any way I wanted to write without Robert Benchley looking over my shoulder. Fuck Robert Benchley ("and the horse he rode in on" - Catherine the Great). Who needs him? he thought. Not me.

Everything is in the public domain, pondered Robert Benchley, and any website like that doesn't let readers cut and paste material from their site to pay it forward is obstructionist and anti-progress. That's the point of the internet, he thought, sharing. Stop the sharing and intellectual progress grinds to a halt.

Hmmm, the more I sound like Robert Benchley, the more I'm committing intellectual thievery myself, but since that's the only thievery of which I whole-heartedly approve, everything's cool. We should all join in on the intellectual roller coaster of conceptual thought, giving no regard whatsoever to the borrowing of ideas, which is nothing but a good thing. If we didn't all borrow each other's ideas, we'd have nothing to respond to.

I will never, ever, try to write something in the manner of Robert Benchley, thought Robert Benchley, and anyone who does should be waterboarded. Who do they think they are? Robert Benchley?



Bravo, Dare,

I love it. Keep this up and we'll need a Michael Dare Society Awards For Pure Thought. We could have people think 500 words or less, in the style of Michael Dare. The winner would be given thorazine, and noninvasive custodial care at some country club rehab center.

Your pal,
Horace J. Digby, winner of the 2005 Robert Benchley Society Award for Humor


From Evil Dead II