Friday, May 31, 2013

Seriously dude, Do NOT mess with the Bronies

So, a while back I saw a Facebook post from an old friend of mine commenting on the fact that a sketch he wrote for Key and Peele had caused him to become the target of an internet-fatwah.

The interesting point here is that the group targeting him for holy war was in fact The Bronies.

For those not in the know - and I was myself totally unaware of them prior to this... ah such happy times... - The Bronies are a (primarily internet based) group of hard core fans of the show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.  And who are also grown men.

That's right.  Bro + Pony(, My Little) = 'Bronies'

I apologize in advance for the following photo, 
which a simple Google search of 'Brony' images turned up.  

But I kind of feel like if I can't unsee it then it's only fair 
that the rest of you share in the emotional damage...

Once you've wiped the blood from your eyeballs, I will continue.  I would also like to mention that this definitely confirms the findings of a previous column.  Unicorns are freakin' terrifying.

Further web searching failed to turn up a link to video of the sketch in question (Although, Colton - if you're reading this and have a link, send it to me and I will TOTALLY add it here)

What the nice folks at Google DID turn up for me was a site that described Bronies thusly- 

"Though initially seen as a cult phenomenon outside of the show’s traditional demographic of young girls, the Bronies have since grown into a widely recognized fandom subculture and continued to retain their presence and influence on Internet culture and its hub sites."

Now the obvious response to this is "Are you high?", however we should try to remember that in terms of online fan communities, the term 'influence' is fairly malleable.  We should probably interpret it here as 'Has a lot of free time to post douchey comments on other peoples' youtube videos.'

I should of course issue a disclaimer.  I have a side gig where I do literally nothing but write about Doctor Who.  So it isn't as if I'm claiming higher ground here. 

Please begin the Brony Fatwah in the comment section below.

Vizsla out.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Vizsla got no topic

So, the Vizsla has started tonight's column about five or six times now, but just can't find any enthusiasm for any particular topic.

First it was going to be 'Hey Vampires-  What's up with you guys?' because of the beginning of the new season of True Blood.  Asking the long standing question - Vampires-  WTF?  Remember when you guys were supposed to be scary?  Now you're either supposed to be sexy or sparkly or god knows what else.  For the love of god man up and get back to what you're there for.

But then I remembered that I'd just done the one about vampire pattern baldness, and it just seemed derivative. 

So then it was going to be 'OK, I'll ask - why doesn't Penny have a last name?' all about Kaley Couco's character on the show Big Bang Theory, and how they've never actually bothered to give her a last name.

But then I realized that after that exact sentence I had nothing else to say beyond mentioning how the theme song makes me a little sad because it reminds me that Stephen Page isn't with The Barenaked Ladies anymore.

Then I briefly toyed with just titling tonight's column 'Boobs'.

But that was really just a transparent effort to get more google search traffic.

 Thought about discussing the steadily declining quality of Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta books, but that would force me to acknowledge that I'm still reading them.

Crap, maybe if I'd ever gotten around to watching The Wire I might have something to say about that...

So, about Kaley Couco's boobs....

Oh, who am I kidding.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What's German for 'With a Happy Ending?'

So as I have mentioned previously, I've been learning German through an audio CD course. 

(Look - if they had one for Hungarian, I'd be learning that.  Cut me some slack here.)

Ahem.  As I was saying - I've been learning German through an audio course, which is all well and good, but lately something sinister has been sneaking into the lessons.  We've reached the point where they are teaching us how to discuss having learned something. 

The first few lessons about this were along the lines of:

"It is not easy to learn German" (A statement to whose veracity I can attest), 

However, now suddenly we are being coached to say:

"I Learned German through a <Expurgated> Course.  It was very easy!'

The expurgated word is of course the name of the company whose CD set I am using to learn the language.

And they didn't just have us say this once.  We were drilled on this exact phrase literally twenty or thirty times over the course of the lesson.

Now, I don't know about you, but I don't take particularly kindly to being pimped out as a billboard for the good folks at <expurgated>, I don't care how effective their language lessons are.

And so, because I didn't feel the need to program myself to be their bitch, but did still want to learn past-perfect tense structure, I just started substituting other places I might have learned German from.

Eventually I settled on 'Knife wielding prostitute'

Ich habe Deutsch von einem 'Knife Weilding Prostitute' gelernt
(In case you were wondering)

I have to throw the English phrase in the middle there, as the good people at <expurgated> have - perhaps unsurprisingly - not yet covered the vocabulary for either knife wielding or prostitution. 
And after a few days of repeating this it occurred to me what a shockingly good method of language instruction that would actually be.  I mean, talk about carrot and stick.  No pun intended.

Your sobbing screams for mercy better have noun-verb agreement, pal!

As a side note, my google search for images of 'knife wielding prostitute' turned up some exceedingly strange results.  For example it's not entirely clear to me if that's a man or a woman in the picture, but it did showcase the knife wielding satisfactorily, which it turns out is harder to find than one might imagine.

Also, I wonder at what point the FBI starts keeping track of your internet search history.

-Vizlsa out

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

And that's why Mr. Roarke Drank

I was thinking earlier today about Fantasy Island.

For those not in the know or not old enough to remember, Fantasy Island was a show in the late 70s where Ricardo Montelban played Mr. Roarke, who ran (possibly owned?  Must investigate...) the titular island.

(Easy, shriner. It means 'as referenced in the title'.  Although we're going to be coming back to what you were thinking about in just a moment, so hold that thought.)
So the upshot was that Mr. Roarke operated this island where he could make anyone's fantasies come ture.  Over the course of which they would of course learn and grow as people, possible learning some valuable life lesson.

(For example,I recall one episode where normal Shy Ken Berry had a fantasy of being more 'cool' and 'with it'.  So Mr. Roarke found that he of course had a double out there on the planet who was much more 'cool' and 'with it', switched their places, and Shy Ken Berry learned that Hip and Swingin' Ken Berry wasn't any better than he was.)

(Take a moment with the fact that you just read the phrase 'Hip and Swingin' Ken Berry...)


Every week there would be two different storylines running concurrently, usually without interacting with one another.  At the start of the show, Mr. Roarke would welcome the two guests off of the airplane (Smiles everyone!  Smiles!), explain to the increasingly downtrodden and humiliated Herve Villichaize what their fantasies were (Mr. Jones wants to reunite with his estranged brother before his hideous painful death, Mr. Johnson wants to experience what life would be like without the undescended testicle,etc.) and then the stories proper would begin.

Smiles Everyone!  Smiles!

This is all well and good as a premise until you take a moment to think about the setup.  Say you put an add out there that you have a magic island that can make any fantasy come true (AND resolve all it's plot threads within the hour... Suck it, Lost)  I can pretty much guarantee you that the 'Want to reunite with my estranged brother' letters are NOT going to be the bulk of what you receive.

Here's how I imagine Mr. Roarke's normal mail day ran-

"Dear Mr. Roarke.  It has always been my fantasy to see my ex-wife have her uterus torn out and fed to her by demonic babies"

<deep sigh.>

"Dear Mr. Roarke,  I would love to be covered in Danish Lesbians...."

<Sound of soul dying>

Dear Mr. R.  You know how ... you know, not all the time... just every once in a while... you know how you might be a little.... curious... about getting it on with a dude but having him not remember anything about it afterwards...?

<Sound of expensive bottle of fantasy scotch being opened>

Dear Mr. Roarke.  I don't know if you know a lot about water sports, but...

<Shotgun blast>

Hip Swingin' Ken Berry's looking pretty good right about now, eh?

MY fantasy is that you all die.  
And that it is me that kills you.  
With rich Corinthian leather.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Duck, Duck, regional poultry

I know, I know.  Traditionally Vizslas do not blog on Sunday.  But I am doing so today due to three Important factors.

1- Tomorrow is Memorial Day and there is a better than reasonable chance that I'm not going to get around to writing one then

B- I feel a little bad about blowing off yesterday's with the old 'picture of a duck' excuse.

3 or C - I've got a thought

It's actually the duck that's to blame.  (For this as in so many things.  They're evil, ducks are.)  I was thinking about the kids game of Duck, Duck, Grey Duck (or Duck, Duck, Goose if you don't live in Minnesota and are wrong.)

First point of interest - I went to check which came first, the Grey duck or Goose version and the internet didn't seem to know.  Which puts the question on an amazingly short list of things.  Seriously, when was the last time you needed an answer and Wikipedia just kind of shrugged and shuffled its feet awkwardly?

*Note - this does not in any way constitute an endorsement of Wikipedia as a factual reference source.  It remains as always the Cliff Clavin of the internet - a lot to say about everything, most of it wrong.

Now, for those reading in other nations (and I'll take this moment to say 'Hey' again to the Russian readership.  love you guys), this is what I'm talking about.  The Game Correctly Known as Duck, Duck, Grey Duck goes like this.  A group of kids sits in a circle.  One kids walks around the periphery of the circle tapping the other kids on the head one by one saying at each tap '______ Duck', the space being filled in with the name of a color.  So it goes, '(tap) red Duck, (tap) green Duck, (tap) Chartreuse Duck (because the kid naming the colors is a pretentious dickhead showoff which is why I usually didn't get invited to play and who are you to judge me)'

And so forth

Eventually the kid naming the colors labels one of the kids sitting down as 'Grey Duck', at which point the kid sitting down jumps up and they run around the circle.  If the 'tapper' gets to the 'tappee's space and sits down before getting tagged by the aforementioned 'tappee' then the party of the first part heretofore and without exemption under law doth sit.  And the cycle begins anew.

Now that's how it goes in Minnesota.  Everyone else plays Duck, Duck, Goose, where everyone gets tapped as a duck until one gets tapped as a goose, because everyone else wants their children to be stupid and not know colors.

Wikipedia goes on to note that there is a version called 'Extreme Duck, Duck, Goose', but I am not going to tell you what it is, because all of the possibilities that you're imagining right now are much MUCH funnier than the actual description.

As I have said before - Always believe the more amusing option.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Estelle Getty - Sex symbol

Now, I know that you clicked on that just to verify your belief that the vizsla must be high.

But I stumbled across something interesting today.

While we will always treasure remembering Estelle Getty as this


Before that, she was this...

Thank you for being a friend.... with benefits...

OK, the Vizsla just creeped himself out, but my overarching point about how people are capable of being more than one thing still stands.

I can't get the image out of my head now...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

After 50 years, nobody wants to hear it

So as many of you may or may not be aware (actually, now I think of it, all of you either are or are not aware.  Much like being a little pregnant, there really is no third option) last weekend was the season finale of the current run of Doctor Who.

And if you haven't already, you should immediately check out daddies new gig at What Culture where he's writing about the program.

Ahem.  Plug over.

As I was saying.  Last week was the season finale.  It was entitled 'The Name of the Doctor'.  For those that might not be in the know, what the deal is is that the titular (stop it, it's a perfectly valid word!) character is just referred to as 'The Doctor' because we have never learned his name, despite the show having been on for 50 years.  (Seriously.  No exaggeration. It started in 1963)

This caused quite the furore (which IS a real word no matter what spell check thinks) because a lot of people, quite frankly, didn't want to know what his name really is after all this time.

Which got the vizsla thinking.  When you set up a show with a central mystery, there really is a pretty limited window in which you can successfully reveal the answer to said mystery.  Too soon and people stop watching.  Too late and any answer is going to be disappointing.   And seriously - after 50 years, if his name didn't turn out to be something along the lines of 'MikeyHeinrichFreakinRocksYoCheckOutHisBlog' I would be disappointed.

The circumstances of this one are actually fairly specific and interesting.  The reason we never knew his name is that despite being titular (stop it!) he was never actually intended to be the central character.  That was supposed to be a schoolteacher named Barbara, played by the lovely Jacqueline Hill.  The Doctor was basically intended to be flobotunum - e.g. a walking plot device that got the main characters into one wacky and educational mishap after another.

But then Jackie Hill left the show after two years and somehow over the course of things it became 'about' the Doctor.  Which left them in the awkward position of not knowing anything about him but having to somehow find viewer identification.

Which they did and it all worked out.  But 50 years later he still doesn't have an actual name, and as I said before - ANY answer they come up with now is simplky not going to be good enough to justify that amount of waiting.

So what have other shows with a central mystery done?

The X-Files-

The central mystery of the X-Files was "What happened to Mulder's Sister?"  They finally got around to answering that about half way through season 7, and while I don't remember any of the details, I do vaguely recall that it sort of made sense at the time.  The problem they ran into then was that the show really had nothing left to talk about and even David Duchovny wasn't pretending to care anymore.  So clearly, if you wait 7 years to reveal the secret you need to end on that note.

 I suppose the central mystery of Lost can be summed up as 'What the holy everlasting fuck is going on?' (apologies for the salty language there, but after season 5 you kind of let them start flying.)

Now - I remain in the minority of people who think that the Lost finale ended up explaining things fairly well and was actually pretty satisfying all around.

That said, I still couldn't explain what all was going on without a few drinks and a lot of leeway.

So - the lesson to be learned here is that maybe at some point you need to stop creating new mysteries and start dealing with the four thousand you already have.  Unless you have a REALLY good reason not to.  (spoiler alert - they kind of didn't)

 I really loved this show.  I own both seasons on DVD and watch them regularly.  I still don't have a clue what the hell it's all about, other than that Clea Duvall is evil and we knew that going in.

Still great television though.

And we should have found out how he met their mother at least two seasons ago, btw.

Vizsla out

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

It's still a solid theory, the snake notwithstanding...

So I came across this tidbit that I jotted down a few years ago in circumstances that aren't particularly interesting or relevant

"OK- This one is going to sound a little weird. I've been working on this theory that it should be possible to interface two or more disparate spheres of consciousness when they're in what I could only describe as a 'fuzzy' state of differentiation in the concepts of 'self' and 'other' - which is a totally defensible theoretical starting point if you apply Heisenberg to the concept of self.

Simply put, one or more dreaming consciousnesses, simply through the process of being aware of the theoretical underpinning and observing their own transitional states, should be able to interact if not 'communicate' in a straightforward way.

All of which eventually leads us to the 'shared dreaming' of Kinda (which really means that I should have been a little more cautious in road testing the theory and Hey, how did this snake get on my arm?)

So yes, as I fell asleep I was attempting to direct my unconsciousness toward hacking someone else's dream state in the name of science. Didn't work though."

See... this is the kind of thing that leads to The Fly...

Dream with meeeeee...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Things a Vizsla thinks about...

-In the kingdom of the blind, couldn't you just say you had one eye and be king?  I mean - they're all blind... who's gonna know?

-It will always be safe to mock the Amish on television.

-A penny saved is not a penny earned.  It's a penny you already earned from somewhere else that you're just not spending at this later moment.  Hell, you may have stolen it.  Or picked it up off the ground or something.

-The fact that I am rubber and you are glue is only relevant if the invective hurled at me is aimed in such a way that the angle of incidence exactly matches the angle of deflection.  Otherwise it's just going to get bounced off in some other direction and your only concern will be sand.  And spiders.  You should always be afraid of spiders.

-If you cant say anything nice about someone, they must be a real asshole.

-A stitch in time is more effort and less satisfying than just buying a new one later.

-Ignorance may or may not be bliss but it certainly seems to be the more popular option.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Well that explains a lot about Angela Merkel.

So the other day I caught a story on NPR*  about how what language you speak affects your ability to plan financially for the long term.

*yes, the Vizsla is one of those folks that listen to Public Radio.  There is a reason why Vizsla = Knowledge you know.

Now, at first blush you might think, 'Huh.  What a random and not particularly interesting topic.  Must have been a slow news day'.  But you would in fact be wrong.  Because as it turns out it's kind of a fascinating topic.  Plus it was clearly just added to pad out the last 60 seconds or so of the market report in the morning.


Now it might be worth mentioning at this stage that Vizslas - or at least this Vizsla - are huge students of linguistics.  Because the interrelation between how you speak and how it affects your ability to conceptualize the world around you is just about the most interesting thing ever.*  The classic example (that I am legally obligated to mention at this time) is George Orwell's 1984, where the people are controlled in large part by simply not having words for things like 'revolution' or 'overthrow' or 'Hey, aren't we all kind of getting screwed over?'   

*The most interesting branch of this is Orthography, which is the study of how a spoken language gets translated into a written language, but that's another talk for another day.

1984 is an irritating example actually, because it tends to get cited a lot by people like those at Fox news who have never actually bothered to read the book, don't understand what they're talking about, and draw exactly the wrong conclusions because at the end of the day they just don't care and are too stupid to know better.*

So, just like everything else on the network then.

*See Also: People who think Don Quixote is all about windmills, despite that occurring relatively early on in the first of two books.  
I'm sorry, where was I before I got distracted by my poncy intellectual diatribe about Fox news...

Ah right.  Language. 

So, according to this particular item on MPR, the language that most lends itself to prudent and responsible long term financial planning is German.*  The reason behind this being that German doesn't really do 'future tense' in the way that your romance languages tend to understand the term. 

*To the surprise of no one, but not for the reason you're thinking

Therefore, the German words for 'I read' are 'I read'*, whether you're doing it now, next week, or three years from now. The fact that they don't - through language - separate 'now' from 'not now but later' means that they don't really think of the two things as being separate from each other.  It's all just one big vast expanse of 'sort of now' 

* Just assume the TARDIS translated it for you there.

Therefore, when you're future retirement is just as real to you as the current moment you're more likely to actually - you know - actually plan for it.  As opposed to the most common current American viewpoint of  'Oh, that's the future.  I'll just buy a lottery ticket next week or something.'

Now, the most rational response to this information is obviously 'What are the implications of this for Doctor Who'?  And I have to admit I'm not sure on that point.  More research must be done on this issue.

I should mention, I have spent the last few years attempting to learn German through a CD course for a variety of reasons, despite the fact that Vizslas are clearly Hungarian, and the history of relations between Hungary and Germany could be accurately described as lying somewhere between 'Not Awesome' and 'Well, things could be worse*'

*We are not, for example, France.

Anyway, a few fun facts have arisen over the course of Vizsla German Study

1:  If you learn a language by CD it leaves you with no capacity to read the language.  Particularly if, like German, that language involves lots of fun accent marks and in a couple cases entirely new letters just for funsies.

 2:  When learning German you are taught the word for 'Wine'* several lessons before you are taught the word for 'Water'.

*In fact you are taught not only the word for wine, ,you're also taught how to differentiate white wine from red, how to order either and roughly how many Euros you might expect to pay for a glass. In this respect at least the Vizsla must applaud their priorities.

3:  Before you are taught the word for 'brother', you are first thoroughly briefed on the term for 'Bank Branch Manager'*

*it's Bankfiliale-Geschäftsstellenleiter, if you were wondering.

So, Auf Wiedersehen fürs Erste
Das Vizlsa muss viele Weißwein trinken

-Vizsla heraus

Saturday, May 18, 2013

So, the Doctor Who season finale was tonight...

And the Vizsla was entirely preoccupied with watching it.

Regular service will be resumed tomorrow, when the Vizsla will break his longstanding rule about posting on Sundays

Friday, May 17, 2013

Nobody tell Markie Post about this...

So, for awhile now I've wanted to talk about Markie Post, because I kind of feel like somebody should.

But after considerable deliberation I am forced to acknowledge that there is nothing whatsoever to say about Markie Post.

I'm not saying that I have nothing to say about her.  I'm saying that there is nothing to be said about her. 

At all.

For those who aren't in the know, Markie Post was an actress on the TV Sitcom Night Court in the 1980s

The three reasonably interesting things to note about Markie Post are-

1:  She was the prosecutor on the show Night Court

2:  She was apparently on The Fall Guy

3: It's almost impossible to find a picture of her in which she is not wearing a bikini

This is the only way the internet will remember me...

And that's it.
Now, in the cast of Night Court alone there are a million more interesting stories.  Harry Anderson, for example is fascinating.  His father was regularly played by John Freakin Astin!  If that name means nothing to you, he was and is in no particular order-

1: The only acceptable Gomez Adams

2:  The father of Samwise Gamgee (aka Sean Astin)

3: The only acceptable alternative if Frank Gorshin was unavailable to play the Riddler on the Batman TV show

And what of John Larroquette?

First of all, I'm pretty sure his last name is French for 'The Rocket', which is all kinds of awesome.  

Secondly, his mother's name was Berthalla Oramous which... just take a moment with that.

Thirdly, and most importantly, if you watch Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, you will discover That Klingon One and Klingon Two are none other than John Larroquette and Christopher Lloyd.  Which means you will spend the whole movie watching Dan from Night Court and Reverend Jim from Taxi trying to Kill William Shatner.  

from left to right - Dan Fielding, Reverend Jim, and Loser who never had a sitcom.
 And that's not even getting into Richard Moll (did you realize he's 70 years old now?)  Or Brent Spiner who got his start as a semi-regular on the show.  Or any of the sadly now dead female bailiffs.

I'm sorry Markie Post.

I wish I had more to say.

-Vizsla Out

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Vampire Pattern Baldness- who should be concerned?

So I was mulling this afternoon, because vizsla's enjoy a good mull - also bacon - where was I?  Right... mulling. 

So.  Vampire's are immortal, right?  I mean, barring stakes, beheading or Buffy*.  At the end of the day there aren't a lot of vampire death certificates that list 'Natural Causes', that's all I'm saying. 

*The vizsla is more a fan of Faith than Buffy, truth be told.  But it's probably more accurate to say that the vizsla is more of an Eliza Dushku fan than a Sarah Michelle Geller fan.  You know, like everyone else on the planet.

Pretty much all the varieties of vampire lore agree on this basic premise.  Vampires live until they are actively killed by something or someone.  Fair enough and good on them.

Where they start to differ is in the details on what exactly that immortality entails. 

I mean, ok - the trade off for eternal life is that they have to do the whole blood drinking thing.  And leaving aside that the entire thing was a pretty transparent metaphor for the way the aristocracy in Romania was living off the lifeblood of the workers- hence the entire Dracula story to begin with - this is our entry level assumption into the story.  I believe the industry term is 'flobotunum' - the one magical premise that you have to accept in order for the story to make logical sense.  (Vizsla = knowledge)

So, blood drinking logistics aside, what does immortality mean? 

I'm going to admit right up front that I don't know a thing about the 'Twilight' version of vampires- outside of the fact that apparently they've been dipped in glitter- because they seem to be atrociously written and so I can't be bothered with them.  This is the first and last time that they will be mentioned here.

What I'm really getting around to of course is this -

Do vampires go bald?

Do they have to worry about that middle age gut somewhere around 300 years old?

Records clearly indicate at least one prominent bald vampire.  I'm speaking of course of Nosferatu (later deliberately echoed in the design of the Master in Buffy Season One.)

"I'm considering a comb-over..."

From the German film of the same name made in 1922 (and if you haven't seen Shadow of the Vampire you should absolutely stop what you are doing right now, watch that, and come back to this later.  For the love of God it has John Malkovich AND Willem DaFoe in it.)

The Question of course is...  Was Nossie (as his friends called him) bald before he became a blood drinking immortal?  Or was that the work of several centuries of being denied mirror-access?

Now, according to Anne Rice in her once-great-but-increasingly-tedious-after-Queen-of-the-damned Vampire chronicles would have us believe that at the time a vampire is 'made', if I might use the True Blood parlance, they essentially become a 'fixed point', if I might use the Doctor Who parlance.  They become an extreme case of Captain Jack syndrome, only without the cool underground base in Cardiff and (slightly) more fluid collection.

To simple that up, a vampire can do whatever they want to their appearance, and the moment they turn around they will have reverted to exactly how they looked before.  Which would be profoundly irritating if you were turned into a vampire after a particularly bad haircut.

So, no baldness in Anne Rice's vampire world, which should be a relief to Stuart Townsend.

But what about True Blood - mentioned only a few paragraphs ago?  Well, here we have to acknowledge that there are in fact two entirely separate True Bloods.  There are the Sookie Stackhouse books on which the show is based, and there is the True Blood HBO TV series, which increasingly has little to nothing to do with those books.

And interestingly, it's sort of this exact topic that caused the initial divergence.  

Namely, in Season One of the show Alexander Skarsgard looked like this

When they went to film season Two he looked like this.

And so they had to write into the show a ridiculously contrived reason for him to cut his hair (although it was actually pretty funny and not a problem at all.)

So - in the books we have no data to go on (although I have not read the last few of them yet, so there may be followup).  In the TV show, clearly the vampires can alter their hairstyle however they like - no problem.

At this point I would like to mention that Alexander Skarsgard's father was in both Thor and The Avengers.  No reason, I just think that's awesome.

But what does this ability to change hairstyles mean?  Will Eric (and Bill, although nobody gives a shit about Bill) eventually have to deal with an embarrassing receding hairline and blood-gut?

And let's look at Buffy (and more pertinently, Angel)  Now, we can't help but notice that Season One Buffy Angel clearly looks different than Angel season five Angel.  To whit - he obviously stopped going to the gym at some point.  Also he probably should have remained faithful to his wife, but that's not really relevant to the topic.  

If we had reached Angel season 403 would he have a widows peak to explain?  Would he have gone the Vin Deisel shaved head thing to avoid it?  Would his Irish accent have gotten any better in the flashbacks?

To sum up - we're left with a lot of contradictory information here.  If you become a vampire, your best bet is probably to use a lot of product.

-Vizsla out.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Battle of the (backup) bands - Redux

A few days back now I spent far too long mulling over whether The News (of Huey Lewis fame) or Robert Palmer Girls (of Robert Palmer fame, although I suspect they may have killed and eaten him) would win if they were to meet in a no holds barred knife fight.

Spoiler alert - The Robert Palmer girls would probably not even notice as they were devouring the News' souls for the glory of their demonic master. 

But that spun off and now I'm wondering about other match-ups.

What about all the other 'and the...' back up band knife fighters out there.

To whit - 

The 2013 Vizsla knock down no mercy 
back-up band knife fight 

(patent pending)

Our first round fight of the evening - you know them all for their lovely ladies of the eighties - it's the alt versus pop girl power throwdown.  I present to you - 

The Waves! (,Katirna and the)


The New Bohemians! (Edie Brickell and the)

Now at first blush one could easily write this off as a battle between the early to mid eighties and the late eighties-early nineties.  And fair enough, that would be a knife fight worth seeing and possibly a topic for another day.  But what we're talking about here is a simple street fight between the two groups in question.  In such a fight, who would be victorious?

There are two salient points to make here.

1:  The Waves was originally founded by Kimberly Rew, who despite being named Kimberly was actually a dude.  He left the band, formed the Soft Boys with Robyn Freakin Hitchcock, they dissolved, he went back to reform The Waves, they picked up some American chick named Katrina Leskanich to play keyboards, suddenly they had a hit with the one godddamn song they let her sing and suddenly he was just part of the back up band.   And so to sum up in outline format-

      A:  He was this close to Robyn Hitchcock prior to the Egyptians and missed out on being part of it

      B:   He went back to his own creation only to have it swept away by some American bint

      C:   He's had to live his whole life with a girls name

2:  The New Bohemians are clearly a bunch of hippies.

Now, I can't really speak for the rest of the Waves, but I feel fairly certain that Kim is ready to throw down.


The Waves.  By a landslide     
or more specifically- Kimberly will drink the blood of his enemies.

tune in next time for 
Round two!

 it's proto-punk versus retro-punk as we examine...
The Bunnymen! (Echo and the...)
The Stooges! (Iggy and the...)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Nemeses of the Vizlsa

Taking a brief break from other issues because I've thought of something else important and I have a notoriously short attention sp...oh MY GOD MY TAIL, I CAN TOTALLY SEE MY TAIL, I MUST CATCH MY TAIL!

Ahem.  Where was I now...

Oh right.  Nemeses.

First off, and just to get it out of the way:  It's pronounced ne-ma-SEES.  As in ‘sail the seven’.  That's how the plural of nemesis is pronounced.  It was funny when Buffy didn't know how to pronounce it.  Then the joke was beaten into the ground by every other show ever.  Ne-ma-SEES.  Or SEIZE, if you prefer. That's the joy of homonyms- we can all have our own way.

Now you may be thinking to yourself, "Self, doesn't the concept of Nemesis describe an unstoppable force of retribution which will inevitably lead to ones own destruction, thereby making it fundamentally impossibly to have more than one unless you're planning on being ultimately destroyed more than once somehow?   Like perhaps, say, being shot by a mugger while falling on knives as a meteor strikes your home?"

If you want to be snotty about it, sure.  But we throw the term around pretty casually as a culture.  Or, to translate that into your snooty, look-at-me-I-went-to-grad-school-and-will-never-know-the-love-of-a-woman talk, the term has undergone an idiomatic paradigm shift.  There.  Are you happy?

I'm sorry that the rest of you had to hear that.

You may also be saying to yourself, "Self, who are those shadowy threats that keep a vizsla awake at night swearing vengeance?" 

Well, technically no one.  Because as we all know, it is physically impossible to keep a vizsla awake once it is sleepy time.  It comes from our not having any bones.

But all the same, the Vizsla does have nemeses, oh yes.  Those who threaten the vizsla world with such brazen evil, that they should - nay MUST - be destroyed!

or at least barked at a lot.


1:  Bunnies

Seriously.  What IS with all the carrots?  What do they need such good eyesight for anyway?

They're out there right now, laughing at you.  They know all the ways into your garden and they are not afraid to use them.  The most you can hope for is that one of the cocky little bastards accidentally loses his tiny jacket on his way out.

It's not that I hate bunnies, it’s that they stand for everything evil in the world that must be crushed.

OK, Maybe it is that I hate bunnies.

2:  That guy that keeps stealing our precious garbage

Seriously.  Once a week we proudly display our refuse at the foot of the driveway, you know – just so that the neighbors can all be amazed at the breadth and depth of what all we throw away.  And every week like clockwork some bastard in a big green truck comes by and hoarks it all.  I bark and I bark, but does he even seem fazed?  No he does not.  It ain’t right.

3:  The Ferenghi

Just kidding.  The Fernghi are no one’s nemesis.  Because they suck.

4:  Wil wheaton

Because the Vizlsa is very supportive of Sheldon Cooper.

5:  The declining standards of our age.

Look, I know that every Vizsla of a certain time of life likes to go on about how much better things were when they were a pup, and how the border healers of yesteryear were not nearly so prone to constantly biting their elders back ankles, and how much better treats were back before we cared about gluten.  But dammit, it’s true.

6:  Molybdenum

This one is actually kind of a long story…  just roll with it.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Every time they mention the florists you have to do a shot

So as some of you may or may not be aware, the State of Minnesota essentially legalized same sex marriage today.  (OK, yes the governor needs to actually sign it, but still...)

For those that did not spend the day listening to the proceedings, let me assure you of one thing.  The Minnesota Wedding Florists lobby really got their dime's worth today.

Seriously.  Every single senator that argued against the bill felt compelled to discuss the state's florists.  At great length.  About how unfair the whole marriage equality thing is to the them, and how they're the one's who are suffering, really.

At one point I started to suspect that the entire thing was some sort of elaborate practical joke, like the 'meow' gag in the movie Super Troopers.  ('All right meow, let's see your license and insurance')

Had Warren Limmer managed to throw in the phrase 'chicken f*cker' it would only have confirmed this theory.  Also it would not have made his arguments any more childish or ridiculous.

So, welcome to florist-geddon.  By this time next year, asters and gardenias will be completely unobtainable.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Without Huey Lewis, The News never stood a chance.

So the topic of discussion today turned to the following.

If it came to a knock down, drag-out street fight, who would win -

The News 

(Huey Lewis not pictured)


The Robert Palmer girls
 (Robert Palmer not relevant)

The interesting thing about the discussion, with only one notable exception the results of my informal poll come down unanimously in favor of the Palmer Girls.

And I mean, no wonder.  Honestly.

Look at her

I don't think she's even human

She lives entirely on a diet of puppies and children's tears.

I don't think the Palmer girls would even seem to notice as they were tearing the News limb from limb.  It would be nothing but 'Shoo- bop, shoo oooowww My spine! My Spine!' And then nothing but the sound of the Palmer girls using their bones to pick bits of News Meat out from between their teeth.

That's what I think anyway.

Thoughts?  There's a seldom-used comment section below.

Vizsla out

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Some additional thoughts about Swaziland

The first notable thing to mention about Swaziland if I'm speaking to an audience that's come through the American public school system is that it's a real country.  In Africa.  Africa is a continent.  A continent is... look, just go back to angry birds and don't worry about it, ok?

That out of the way- 

Other Fun Facts about Swaziland

* Richard E. Grant was born there. 

If you don't know who he is, think of a movie or TV show that was incredibly awesome and he was in it.

* It's actually a Kingdom.  Like, with a proper King and everything. 

The current guy is named King Mswati III  for those playing along at home.

*It's bordered on three sides by South Africa

Behold the map reference -

*If you google Swaziland, the very first response is the official government site.

Which opens with the words - 'Swaziland HIV Prevention eToolkit'.  Which is a fairly alarming thing to lead with when describing your country, but power to them for addressing the problem. 

* It appears to be insanely beautiful

Although I'm willing to believe that there are any number of poisonous/carnivorous/vaguely threatening creatures that we're just not seeing in the above picture.

So there you have it.  An entire post, basically to give me a reason to mention the fact that Richard E. Grant was born there.  You're welcome, universe.

-Vizsla Out. 

Yes, I am Swazi

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

An open letter to newborns

Hello there, Babies.

And by that I mean of course actual human newborns, not the adults who insist on behaving like them  That's a whole different letter for another day.

First things first.  Hi.  Welcome to the planet.  Sorry about the state of a lot of it, but what can you do, right?

Starting at the beginning, I am what is called a 'Dog'.  This is a fourth classification of being around you, following on from 'Mom', 'Not-Mom', and 'Peasants.'  You can identify a dog as being different from the peasants (or 'other people', as you might hear them referred to) in two key ways.

1:  They are much much better than people

2:  They pretty much stay on all four legs.

SO, now that you can identify 'Dog', there's a few things that 'Dog' would like you to be aware of from the outset.

1:  The ears and tail are not for pulling.  (Although we'll probably put up with it for awhile)

2:  We don't really ride well.  Attempts to do so are not going to end happily for anyone.

3:  That soft spot thing on  the top of your head?  It's creeping me out.  It's called a fontanelle btw (Vizsla = Knowledge, as has been observed often before.)  But whatever you call it,  it's creepy.  There should be bone there.  Please deal with that as soon as possible.

4:  We are totally down with sharing food.  This info is going to come in incredibly handy in a few years time, so keep that one in your back pocket.

5:  No matter what happens, at the end of the day, your dog is the best friend that you're ever going to have.  They'll protect you, they'll tolerate you attempting to ride them, they will always be on your side, and they'll love you when you feel like no one could.  If you feel like the world is a cold and crappy place (and it is - a not-inconsiderable amount of the time) look for the warmest and most love filled place in your life and your dog will be there waiting for you.

But seriously - don't forget to share the food..

With love, and Yeti noises,

The Vizsla

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Well, I guess Gotham is just screwed then.

Over the course of casual conversation last night I was struck by something.

There is a colossal problem with Gotham City's civil defense system.

Specifically, Commissioner Gordon's ability to call Batman for help being entirely reliant on the Batsignal, which as we all know is a giant searchlight with the shape of a bat in it. 

Which is all well and good, assuming that it's always dark out when the Commissioner needs to get a hold of him.  Should the Commissioner urgently need to call Batman at - say - quarter after one in the afternoon he is pretty much hosed.

Which I can only assume regularly leads to variations of the following conversation:

Batman:  (Swooping in from above heroically) I'm here Commissioner, what do you n... oh Good Lord why is everyone dead?

Commissioner Gordon:  The Riddler poisoned the reservoir this afternoon.

Batman:  Why didn't you call me?  I could have prevented this.

Commissioner Gordon: Because all I have is a FREAKIN SEARCHLIGHT!

Batman: Oh.  Um..

Commissioner Gordon: I've been shining it all afternoon.

Batman:  Oh.  Well... You see...  Bats are nocturnal, so..

Commissioner Gordon: They also constantly urinate, I notice your obsession with literalism doesn't extend that far.

Batman:  Hey now, that's...

Commissioner Gordon:  Seriously, you can have a batarang, but not a SMARTPHONE?

Batman:  Yeah, the thing about that...

Commissioner Gordon:  Or even a friggen beeper?  They've only been around for 30 years!

Batman:  Nobody cool carries a beeper anymore.

Commissioner Gordon:  I hate you.

Batman:  Now that's just hurtful.

And that's just irresponsible crimefighting.  That's all I'm saying.