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« The Camera Was On | Main | Your Life Online »

May 30, 2008

Links by Charlton

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

More online finds by Charlton Griffin:

* Does anything more than this need to be said about the Fed?

* Virtuoso ranter Pat Condell wants you know that he has nothing special against religion. Can that man command a camera or what?

* In celebration of the release of "Sex in the City": The 20 Worst Chickflicks of All Time.

* Spend a few minutes inside the mind of the average male college student.

* Who needs to visit Mars in reality when computer animations have become this good?

* Here's an amusing math-wiz prank. Verizon thoroughly deserves this kind of treatment, IMHO.

* Guilty as charged.

* Beat this for tastelessness.

* Good horsey.

When he isn't busy turning up cool finds on the web, Charlton is a performer and producer who creates some of the best audiobooks available. Check out his offerings.



posted by Michael at May 30, 2008


> The 20 Worst Chickflicks of All Time.

And I've only seen two of them. Hurrah. Am planning to surprise the Wife by volunteering to go to Sex And The City at the weekend though.

Posted by: Alan Little on May 30, 2008 2:23 PM

The question is posed. Is there a good chickflick? Any nominees?

Posted by: Peter L. Winkler on May 30, 2008 3:55 PM

I nominate 'Truly, Madly, Deeply', by far the late Anthony Minghella's best picture, a weepy chick flick (it even has a Ghost-like scene of dead hubby's spirit coming back to grieving wife, though she's playing the cello, not turning clay). Wonderful performance by Alan Rickman.

Posted by: PatrickH on May 30, 2008 5:51 PM

Ooh, I second "Truly, Madly, Deeply." But then again, I'd watch Alan Rickman read the phone book for two hours.

Going back to the classics, I'd also recommend "The Women" (1939) with Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, and Paulette Goddard. Not a man in the entire cast. Great performances, lots of cattiness, and a fabulous excuse to eat popcorn in your jammies.

Posted by: Decca on May 30, 2008 9:04 PM

The clip of that horse riding in the car is something else!

Posted by: jonathanjones02 on May 30, 2008 10:31 PM

Some entertaining chickflicks - All About Eve, Dirty Dancing, Pretty in Pink, Terms of Endearment, When Harry Met Sally, Working Girl, Ghost, Clueless, Sleepless in Seattle, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Desperately Seeking Susan, Notting Hill, Mermaids, Sabrina, An Officer and a Gentleman, Moonstruck, Stella Dallas, Mildred Pierce, arguably The English Patient & Titanic

Posted by: NT on May 30, 2008 11:23 PM

All About Eve was a chickflick and at the same time more than a chickflick...which made it bearable. Ditto, Mildred Pierce.

Posted by: ricpic on May 31, 2008 12:11 AM

My favorite computer animation from Mars is the landing procedure from the Spirit probe, because the narration by the Jet Propulsion Labs people is so... passionate. Start watching around 1:30.

Posted by: Noumenon on May 31, 2008 1:45 PM

Sometimes I think I'm the only female on the planet who hated Titanic. That damned boat couldn't sink fast enough for me.

Posted by: Decca on May 31, 2008 2:53 PM

The ultimate chick flick is The Princess Bride, and it's thoroughly watchable from a guy's point of view too. It's also a great conversation starter with hot women, especially those under 25. It works well for individual women, but is even better on groups, because at least one of them will be a big fan. Those three words have blown sets wide open for me in five seconds.

Posted by: Thursday on May 31, 2008 8:31 PM

Thursday, when you say "those three words have blown sets wide open", do you mean, "As you wish?"

Worked for the guy in the movie, after all.

Posted by: PatrickH on May 31, 2008 9:39 PM

Ha, I've only seen one of those 20 chick flicks (Ghost). I'm going to lose my sensitive guy credentials.

How are we defining "chick flick," btw? As in, greatest discrepancy between female and male opinion? There won't be any good movies in that case. And it seems cheating to label it a chick flick if guys love it too, as many guys like The Princess Bride.

My favorite recent chick-oriented flick is Mean Girls.

Posted by: agnostic on May 31, 2008 10:58 PM

Hey, I liked "Mermaids" too!

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on June 1, 2008 12:14 AM

Quite a few guys like The Princess Bride, but lots and lots of girls looooooooove it. For another example, I don't think it is totally off base to define Jane Austen as chick lit, even though lots of guys like her. I don't think guys have to dislike or be indifferent to something for it to be a chick flick (or chick lit). Women just have to like it a whole lot more.

No, the three words I meant refer to the title, but I may try and work your suggestion in. ;)

Posted by: Thursday on June 1, 2008 2:27 AM

FWIW, a technical note: As far as the publishing is concerned, "chicklit" doesn't refer simply to books that girls like better than boys. (For one thing, girls like books better than boys generally.) It refers to a subspecies of books-girls-love that was kicked off by "Bridget Jones' Diary" -- EZ-reading books for modern girls.

And the key element is this: That the girl in the story is more or less the same person as the girl doing the reading of the book.

That's the big diff between traditional fiction-for-women and chicklit -- that sense that what you're reading about is me-me-me. "That's me on the page!" is a big part of the chicklit experience.

(I think you could easily argue that it's a function of the narcissism of our age. After all, one of the reasons people used to read traditionally was to get out of themselves. With stuff like chicklit, it's all about staring in the mirror. It's all going to hell in a handbasket, isn't it? It always is ...)

But that's just as far as the publishing industry is concerned. No need to let that get in the way of a fun discussion. Still, kinda interesting ...

I wonder how long it'll be before colleges are teaching classes in the history of chicklit ...

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on June 1, 2008 11:32 AM

male college student - excellent.

but what goes on the mind of an average college teacher?

Posted by: j on June 1, 2008 1:22 PM

Thursday/Patrick H.

Guys, you want to REALLY bust open some sets? Simple:

"Hello. My name is Diego Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!"

Shotgun neg squared!

Posted by: Sebastian Flyte on June 1, 2008 2:32 PM

I wouldn't be able to say it with half the panache of Mandy Pantikin, Sebastian. I'd be more inclined to steal Aloysius from you and use him as a prop. Girls loooove teddy bears.

Posted by: PatrickH on June 1, 2008 4:33 PM

Random thoughts:

1) I disliked The Princess Bride and think of it as one of the worst movies I ever saw. I don't like American attempts at the fantasy/fairy-tale genre, in general. The Last Unicorn is one exception.

2) English chick-lit is funnier, less formulaic and has more of a bite than the American version.

3) I loved parts of The English Patient, but I disliked the changes to the novel's ending in the film. In the book, the nurse does not "euthanize" the patient. I also disliked Ralph Fiennes's moony and pathetic performance.

4) Contemporary romantic comedy is a bore.

5) Women are more willing to watch/read work intended to appeal to men's tastes, than men are willing to do for work created for women.

p.s. I don't mean to pick on American tastes. There are many types of books and movies that Americans do supremely well.

Posted by: alias clio on June 2, 2008 6:39 AM


The Mrs. knows better. I don't make her watch The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, to be fair.

The movie posters for these have given me an unsettled, nauseous sensation. I probably need to play a chase scene from Terminator 2 to recover.

Posted by: thaprof on June 2, 2008 10:01 AM

the comments on the math check are wrong - it isn't e^2*pi, it is e^i*pi, where i is the square root of -1, which means the expression is equal to -1. Euler said the equation 1+e^i*pi = 0 was the most beatiful in the world.

Posted by: David Wilbur on June 3, 2008 3:11 PM

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