For the record, here are the actual headlines from today’s Chicago Tribune: “Big on shrimp: Tips for buying and preparing America’s favorite seafood” — “Riding on the wind” (accompanied by a photo of a tall ship) — “Chicago housing market dries up” — “Special Olympics won’t let teen play on team” — “No baby boom now: Illinois birthrate falling” — “Border crossers perish at record pace” — “McCain wins primary” — “Gator to be extradited to Florida.” That’s a pretty weird mix of stories. The front page isn’t exclusively focused on war, poverty, and despair, but it’s also not fishing news pleasant. I guess we’ll have to settle for a world that’s somewhere in the middle.
Archive for the ‘Mister Boffo’ Category
From what I’ve heard, Seinfeld is supposed to be a very funny show, but from what I’ve seen, it falls flat on its face thanks to smug concepts and poor comic timing. I’ve probably watched one episode all the way through, but that isn’t for a lack of prodding. I’ve tried to get into the show, but have always ended up changing the channel after 10 minutes or so. The reason? I simply don’t like any of the characters. Friends of mine tell me that’s the whole point, but I can think of better things to do with my time than watching a television program about people I consider inane.
It’s not hard to find depictions of hell in the comics (or anywhere else in pop culture, for that matter). The underworld is one of the most commonly imagined places I can think of, with drawings and descriptions spanning centuries of high and low art. But what struck me about today’s Mister Boffo was the sheer number of people crammed into one flaming cavern. Most of the drawings I’ve seen of the underworld show it as a sparsely populated place, but this comic strip makes it seem like a factory farm. I guess Sartre was right: hell is other people, and lots of them.
Restaurant-quality peanut butter and jelly sandwiches sound ridiculous, right? Well, they’re not as far-fetched as you might think (or hope). Potbelly, one of the busiest sandwich shops in Chicago, includes peanut butter and jelly on its everyday menu. One afternoon, when I was picking up a late lunch, I asked the clerk how many people order the sandwich in a given day. He said it was one of their most popular items, which blew my mind. And while it’s not gourmet, if people are willing to pay $3.95 for what is essentially the world’s easiest to prepare food, then who’s to say they won’t shell out $20 for a deluxe version of the same?
Sure, a father waking his young son and inviting him to come watch Letterman looks bad, but let’s not jump to conclusions. In some ways, the experience is bound to be educational. If this young man is anything like his peers, he’s probably seen plenty of Letterman clips on YouTube, but never actually sat through an entire episode from monologue to musical guest. By plopping down in front of the TV at 10:35, he’ll experience the true tedium of late-night television and will never, ever be tempted to forgo a full night’s sleep. And if Letterman doesn’t serve as a deterrent, the boy’s father can always subject him to Craig Ferguson. (Shudder.)
With its record-breaking $600 million haul, Avatar could be thought of as a cultural phenomenon, comparable to Star Wars or Gone With the Wind. But despite its popularity (and the fact that everyone I know who has seen it has liked it) I doubt Avatar will be remembered as a cinematic touchstone. In terms of ticket sales, it doesn’t come close to those hit films from yesteryear, nor does it seem to have characters who are burrowing their way into the zeitgeist. And even though I haven’t experienced Pandora for myself, I feel safe in my prediction that Avatar will go down in history as a popular special effects flick, comparable to Jurassic Park.
Actually, the world posited in today’s Mister Boffo doesn’t sound half-bad. If those responsible for creating buzz spent the bulk of their time sitting on park benches basking in the glory of their numerous elbow- and knee-patches, then we would probably have fewer balloon boys in our midst. Fame seekers would be discouraged by the dwindling likelihood of hitting the publicity jackpot and we might never have to hear the phrase “everyone is talking about it” again. A man can dream…