Saturday, October 03, 2015

I hope Johnny Depp plays the dental implant in the inevitable movie version

Part of a very occasional series in which we improve odd descriptions of vanity press books advertised in The New York Times Book Review by adding the phrase "Wacky high jinks ensue" at the end of them. Why? Because we just want to help. Also, because Gawker is muscling in on my territory and UP WITH THAT I WILL NOT PUT, so The Velvet Blog claws its way out of its burial chamber once again. Ad copy verbatim (except for the high jinks) from the Oct. 4, 2015, issue. Consider all text (sic):
Producing 20 books and 36 patents in the field of Oral Implantology, [name redacted] has established himself as the father of Modern Implant Dentistry. My Life, Times, and Legacy accounts his lifelong commitment and pursuit for excellence, inspiration, and success. Wacky high jinks ensue.

After going through four vivid and lucid dreams where she came face-to-face with Christ and God, [name redacted], Ph.D. learned that by "being love" and living them from the heart, we essentially create heaven on earth. Join her in her journey! Wacky high jinks ensue.

Meet Mad Addie. Lovers find her special; in fact awesome. She gets the best of men; she's clear headed and maintains control of intimate situations. Men who think they've conquered, in the end are themselves conquered. And they love it! Wacky high jinks ensue.
Is that wacky enough for you, Gawker? WELL, IS IT?

Oh, and a repeat of my disclaimer, since it's been a while: It's worth restating that there is nothing wrong with going the for-pay publishing route if you know exactly what you're getting into. But many of the companies with this model are quite scummy, and take advantage of the delusional. I don't care how many ads you take out in the Times, no one is going to buy your book about the previously unknown 13th zodiac sign.

And now The Velvet Blog now returns to its well-appointed mausoleum.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

This coffe is bad.

There's a joke-writing bot that just spits this shit out, I guess?

Good times.

I really don't get Twitter. Note that all of these uses of the identically worded joke were posted at the exact same time.

(Even if the wording is changed, it's still an unoriginal joke. That doesn't bother me as much--I've made hack jokes myself--but the exact same wording?)

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

get it together twitter

Sunday, October 05, 2014

This blog post does not exist

So, those two pieces I wrote for issues 17 and 18 of the Cashiers du Cinemart zine have been posted online. My piece on the terrible movie After Last Season is here, and my article on how Michael Powell adapted the novel They're a Weird Mob is here.

And you imagined this blog post. Spooky, huh?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Or, "cream plectrums" could be an unfortunate medical condition

Some random person followed me on Twitter this afternoon. She has 12,000 followers, but when you look at their names, you can tell they're mostly bots, with names formed in a game of Twitter Mad Libs.

But, oddly, most sound like they could be band names for specific niches. Below, a partial list, followed by suggested genre:

criticize_lymph: Shoegaze.

vacuum_afterglo: New age.

ideal_corpuscl: Heavy metal cover band from Eastern Europe.

Indian_bamboozl: Fake world music.

liver_looter: Bar band.

reject_blouse: Riot grrrrl.

conclusion_clam: High school garage band.

breath_garbolog: EDM.

baby_coincident: Wiggles-esque kids' music

cream_plectrums: Prog.

sun_sidesaddles: '60s pop revivalists.

lung_lobbed: Pop-punk.

global_carousel: Wedding band.

promote_colds: Weekend band formed by pharmaceutical sales reps.

helpful_napalmi: Death metal.

chronic_pulveri: More death metal.

danger_airlifts: Barber shop quartet that performs death metal on Air Force bases.

No, I still have not resumed blogging. This is a figment of your imagination.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Close the door lightly when you go

I hereby propose a moratorium on use of "slams" in headlines. Also, synonyms for "slams." But, really, mostly "slams."

All of these headlines were posted to Google News within a time frame of a few hours (I swear):

Jennette McCurdy slams Nickelodeon, but network says 'Sam & Cat' Season 2 is a go

Anthony Bourdain slams Nigella Lawson's U.S. travel ban

Cris Carter slams Eagles with hypocritical tweet in support of DeSean Jackson

Ex-auditor-general Fraser slams elections bill as attack on democracy

Franken slams Supreme Court decision on campaign contribution

Nancy Pelosi Slams Supreme Court's McCutcheon Ruling

Carter Slams Religion and Men for Degrading Women

Pro-Cochran group slams 'hypocrite' opponent

GOP slams Huether in mailers sent to Sioux Falls residents

Independent Schools Victoria slams Gonski education funding model

Court Slams Japan's Scientific Whaling

Radio host slams baseball player for taking paternity leave

Russia slams 'Hitler comparison'

Wayne Rooney Slams Diving Allegations

Amnesty International slams Greek police for 'culture of abuse'

Kimmel slams Ford after mistaken council vote

Greenpeace slams Amazon & Twitter

Judo chief slams Olympic suggestion

Arvind Kejriwal slams Narendra Modi's fast in air-conditioned tents as 'drama'

Bertinelli slams fat-shaming women

Pro-Israel group slams GOP lawmaker Walter Jones

White House Slams Ortiz, Samsung

Drinkable-food developer slams farms, so he gets a little slam back

WHO says Guinea Ebola outbreak small as MSF slams international response

Chess great Kasparov slams Putin's Crimea 'aggression'

Group backed by billionaire Koch brothers slams another billionaire

Canadian Dad Slams Justin Bieber For Acting Like 'A Prick'

This is the only use of slam I'm going to allow:

Car Slams Into Middletown Liquor Store

Though, seriously, Bieber does sound like a prick.

Editor's note: This posting does not disprove earlier posting that this blog is dead. It really is.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hello? Is this thing on?

Sorry I didn't officially say "This blog is dead." But this blog is dead.

You can look for me on Twitter or Facebook.

But now that I have your attention:

I have a piece on Michael Powell's little-seen (in the U.S., anyway) They're a Weird Mob in the new issue of Cashiers du Cinemart. As far as I know, the film never been released here, but it is on YouTube (part one here and part two here).

Powell is my favorite director, and when I was asked to submit something to CdC #18, I knew wanted to write about him. But when I looked around, I found pretty much all of my favorites (including A Matter of Life and Death and I Know Where I'm Going!) had been analyzed to death and I didn't have much to add. But no one has written about They're a Weird Mob, that I could find. Sadly, the reason is: It's pretty bad. Nevertheless, Powell enthusiasts (and The Velvet Blog enthusiasts, if there are any) might be interested.

Also in the issue: Articles on the Johnny Rotten-starring Corrupt, the "tender side of Ulli Lommel," Harry Crews, Kubrick's The Killing, and the world's first porno-horror-comedy, Thundercrack! So it makes a great Easter gift.

There's a hard copy version available here, and a Kindle version available here.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Edna and Elbert


We are having a very pleasant trip & lots of good times. Edna came down for over Sunday with us & we are going to Elbert's for next Sunday, we think. It is snowing hard.

Love to all, Grace [unreadable]

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Smackdown!: Pearl Bailey vs. pearl barley

 photo Pearl-Bailey-9195451-1-402_zpsd644b82c.jpgPearl Bailey
Who: American singer/actress/frequent talk show guest/writer. She was featured in Carmen Jones and Porgy and Bess on the big screen, and played Broadway. As a kid in the '70s, I'd watch her in her many talk show appearances on Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin, and the like (nothing that I could find on YouTube, which is surprising); she also appeared on The Carol Burnett Show, The Muppet Show, and many other variety shows. She wrote a best-selling memoir called The Raw Pearl, as well as the puzzlingly titled Hurry Up, America, and Spit. She won the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1988 and passed away in 1990.

Pros: Pearl Bailey replaced Carol Channing in Hello, Dolly! and won a special Tony award.

Cons: Did I mention she published a book called Hurry Up, America, and Spit? Take it from a publishing professional: That's a lousy title.

 photo pearl-barley-superfood-400x400_zps9a81d30c.jpgPearl barley

What: Barley is in the grass family; pearl barley has its hull and bran taken off.

Pros: Mark Bittman's mushroom barley soup might be the best soup in the world. No kidding.

Cons: Carol Channing replaced pearl barley in an avant garde production of mushrooom barley soup and did not win a Tony award. Odds of opening barley and finding a pearl are extremely small.

Winner: Another draw. I suggest watching YouTube clips of Pearl Bailey while eating Mark Bittman's mushroom barley soup.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

No, I'm not really blogging again

I'm just leaving this here to see if I get a response from iMotors or Let's try linking these two phrases: iMotors sucks. And sucks even harder.

The back story: I'm in the market for a car. I got a Facebook ad from iMotors for finding local dealers and what cars they have in stock. Hey, that sounds helpful, so I signed up. Immediately, I went from having maybe five spam emails hitting my email address per day to, oh, 250-300. Not all car related. Everything under the sun, from meeting Latino singles to lengthening my thingee. I'm assuming has sold my email address. (Fuck you,!)

I've reached out on Twitter. iMotors took weeks to say it was looking into it, but I've not heard back again. And stony silence from

So, I'm posting this to see if either company combs the Web looking for unhappy customers.

Look, iMotors. I get that you want to reach customers. That's fine. But by dealing with, you guarantee I'm not going to see any of your email because it's lost among the 250-300 other spam emails I get every day. So stop working with

In conclusion: iMotors sucks. And sucks even harder.