Friday, March 29, 2013

Dan Harmon talks Television with Marc Maron on GT4: "Hamburger" Art and living in a "concrete, Orwellian Honeycomb"

VIDEO: GT4 - Dan Harmon On What Really Happened With Community
Dan Harmon on his artistic aspiration for Television
DAN HARMON: Why do they win? Why does the robot get to eat the people? The thought never crossed my mind Marc. I aspire to mainstream success. Television is a populous, derivative, democratic medium. You're suppose to make a hamburger that everyone wants in their mouth. That's when you know you're doing it well. I grew up on Zemeckis, Spielberg and people who believed that making things for everyone didn't mean it had to be stupid
MARC MARON: Do you think 'Community' was that hamburger.
HARMON: Sadly enough - Yes. I think in the third season you can start to see me go "Never mind, just give me a good review in the Times".
MARON: It's a very misunderstood hamburger... 
Dan Harmon on Television's role in society
HARMON: Good TV should be like crack in that every rock gets the job done. Yes you're meant to keep smoking it and there's a difference to a one rock experience and an overall crack experience
MARON: So you weren't really making burgers at all. You were making crack?
HARMON: I mean that's the goal in TV. Crack, cigarettes, pick your metaphor. Its not exactly a healthy thing we're doing. A Mac and Cheese isn't healthy. It's not good for you. You should be watching Nova. You shouldn't be watching Joel McHale and a couple of knuckleheads in a community college. But that being said, people work hard and they watch 6 hours of TV on average because they live in a giant concrete and steel honeycomb. What else are you gonna do? Rollerskating?... We live in an Orwellian system with a habit trail. With television you're engaged with the pacification of the masses but I think the masses need to be pacified, they deserve it.

Find other Marc Maron posts below:
- AV Club's Nathan Rabin talks about Podcast Culture on Marc Maron's 300th episode of WTF
- Actor, Writer and Traveler Mike White speaks to Marc Maron about Adventure
- Dan Harmon talks Television with Marc Maron on GT4: "Hamburger" Art and living in a "concrete, Orwellian Honeycomb"
- Is Andrew W.K a persona that has been played by multiple actors? Marc Maron in conversation with Andrew W.K.

Friday, March 22, 2013

On being a Badass: Comedians Harland Williams and Pete Holmes featuring band 'Biting Elbows'

Two comedians imagining what its like to be a Badass
You Made it Weird with Pete Holmes #127 - Harland Williams
PETE HOLMES: (33m 50s) I think that might be one of the reasons why we love Bank robbers, they're just like "F*ck Everything". They're like these little viruses. It's one of those crimes that everyone seems to enjoy
HARLAND WILLIAMS: Yeah I've said many times over the years to girlfriends because I think it would be a complete rush. Like it would be a rush, let's rob a 7-Eleven but with fake guns. You know how you have these fantasies with women. I would love to do the Bonnie & Clyde thing and rob a 7-Eleven or whatever place with a fake gun, where nobody could get hurt except you. You might get shot doing it then jump in a car and ride... For about 2 or 3 days, you'd think "This is awesome!". Then you'd be over it and think this is the dumbest thing we've ever done. Just that one night. If I could go to Fantasy Island I think that would be it
...Pete Holmes starts makes a reference to 'Strange Days' (1995)
HOLMES: One of the weird truths is that we're aware of that and society is aware that there's probably no better feeling than what you just described. Doing something wrong. [Yet] society is the only thing provides those thrills... Rules and breaking rules is one of the great privileges we have. Chimpanzees don't have that, everything is allowed in the chimp society...
Now imagine yourself as this Badass

VIDEO: Biting Elbows – Bad Motherf*cker | Video (NSFW)
Other posts on "Life as a Video Game"
- Dan Harmon and Duncan Trussell: We are in a simulation echo. God was originally a mortal programmer who "sacrificed himself as a player"
- Exploring Worlds in life and in Video Games - The Indoor Kids #59: Why we Play, with Pete Holmes
- Onnit Blog: Self Improvement in Video Games VS the "Real World"
- Kumail Nanjiani and Pete Holmes talk about "affecting the world TODAY"
- Skateboarders GoPro Train Derailment aftermath - 'Strange Days' visceral experience
- On being a Badass: Comedians Harland Williams and Pete Holmes featuring band 'Biting Elbows'

Thursday, March 14, 2013

When LozinTransit laughed the hardest - Nicholas Sparks trailer

VIDEO: 'Safe Haven' trailer (from Nicholas Sparks)

Comedian Pete Holmes will often ask guests of his 'You Made it Weird' podcast to recount a story of when they laughed really hard. This is the story I would tell:

I was watching 'Zero Dark Thirty' in the cinemas with the boys. My good friend who is an Army reservist was beside me. The trailer for the upcoming Nicholas Sparks movie 'Safe Haven' came on. As the trailer was wrapping up, my friend leant in and in a deadpan voice remarked - "They look happy"
I lost my sh!t after that.

Please watch the trailer and as it finishes highlight the tinted words inside the quotation marks to reveal what was said.

Find previous Pete Holmes podcast references below:
Pete Holmes collection: Adjacent experiences
- Zach Cregger: Being a kid again and the power of "play"
- Matt Besser: Travel coincidences and Counting the serendipities
- Duncan Trussell: Traveling, living the dream and remembering it
- Kyle Kinane: Being excited everyday
- The Sklar Brothers: Performing, possibly failing - That's living the dream
- A question answered with a quote: Comedy Podcasts

Actor, Writer and Traveler Mike White speaks to Marc Maron about Adventure

WTF with Marc Maron: Ep #364 Mike White
Marc Maron's WTF conversation with Writer/Traveler/Actor Mike White is resonating with me at the moment - WTF with Marc Maron Podcast: Episode 364 Mike White.

Mike White is probably best known for writing and starring in 'School of Rock' and HBO's recently cancelled 'Enlightened', a series informed by an on-the-job meltdown Mike suffered which mirrors the show's premise. White famously competed with his father twice on the reality Travel show 'The Amazing Race' when he was already well established in Hollywood.

Conversation and life Closing statements
MIKE WHITE: (1h 25m) ...If my parents died, its like at some point I could just walk into the ocean and maybe I will. Not because I'm suicidal, but its sort of I already know -- I feel like with my work I've already expressed myself, I've expressed myself in different forms. I've had my babies in a sense. I had a melanoma scare, it was one of those things where I had three surgeries and it was one of those things, this could be "IT". And I was like... at least I put it all out -- I ran the race. I ran the 'Amazing Race'.
MARON: I'm done
WHITE: I never won an Oscar but I was there. I won a prize, I've won prizes. I know what that's like. I know what its like to have a party and be the center of attention. I know what its like to be in a relationship. I know what its like to have great sex. I know what that's like. I also know what its like to be deprived of those things. And I don't know, what's left?
MARON: I don't know. What is?
WHITE: I don't know we'll figure it out.
MARON: Thanks Mike
WHITE: *coughing*
MARON: Are you alright?
Call to Adventure
MIKE WHITE: (29m mark) I'm kind of like a thrillseeker. I like a new adventure... and after a while even if you're doing exactly what you want to do, you're still driving to the set. It becomes a routine, it has a routine aspect to it and all making of things is painstaking, tedious - but when you're on the Amazing Race your adrenalin is pumping 24/7.
White on the tortured relationship of writing and living a reality
MARC MARON: (32m mark) Did you do anything when you were growing up to have that feeling?
MIKE WHITE: No! I don't like drudgery or routine. I mean I can do my homework but I like new experiences.
MARON: So what do you seek out?
WHITE: I dunno, just dark stuff (half joking)... I don't know, we all have different sides to ourselves. Its like I wanna be elsewhere, I wanna always be doing new things.
MARON: Its weird, when you have a computer and you're sitting at home, you have access to things. Part of you feels like you're doing new things and then eventually you realise I'm by myself and its gotten a little ridiculous
WHITE: Right, when you're a writer you spend a lot of time not living because you're putting your life, your thought and your effort into your writing so after a while you have a tortured relationship with the act of writing... there's this anger that builds up. Like I wanna live, me as an actor on the stage of life versus the writer...
On how short life is
MIKE WHITE: (34m 45s mark) The more you're in the zone where you're living it as you're writing it or in reverie. There's a rush to it. After a while you see yourself in a bird's eye view. How are you living your life? Its like you only have one life... I guess its a midlife crisis but after a while you start to see the finite amount of things that you're gonna be able to do and you just want to rage against it
And learning to let go
WHITE: (36m 20s mark) I've gone through this period where when I'm invited to do something random I just do it because I feel "I should do that". And after a while -- I recently read a book about fetishising, this thing we feel where we need to have experiences. Its a Buddhist-- at some point you can let go of "missing out on things". A healthy place. You don't need to have sex with every new person, you don't need to visit every corner of the universe
MARON: To be happy or feel like you've done something
WHITE: Which for many people, that doesn't even [register] but for some reason that's my [dilemma]...

Find other Marc Maron posts below:
- AV Club's Nathan Rabin talks about Podcast Culture on Marc Maron's 300th episode of WTF
- Actor, Writer and Traveler Mike White speaks to Marc Maron about Adventure
- Dan Harmon talks Television with Marc Maron on GT4: "Hamburger" Art and living in a "concrete, Orwellian Honeycomb"
- Is Andrew W.K a persona that has been played by multiple actors? Marc Maron in conversation with Andrew W.K.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Casino regulars and the Myth of Sisyphus

I work at the Casino. There is this guy who comes in everyday who I call "Sex", named after the perennial 'So You Think You Can Dance' contestant. He goes around writing the results of random Baccarat games, to what end I don't know as he rarely plays. He hovers around the Baccarat pit then will inexplicably dart towards a table that grabs his attention. Every once in a while he'll approach a game as the shoe is concluding so he'll narrowly miss his chance to feign putting on a bet. There's this funny moment where "Sex" tries to act cool, being nonchalant about not being able to carry out his frivolous ritual.
Dave Kenneth "Sex" Soller of  'So You Think You Can Dance' fame
Baccarat shoe history
You know that feeling you get when you pretend to check your phone when you feel awkwardly alone in public and in your head you're thinking "FML, What am I doing with my life? I'm pretending to look at phones now!".

I imagine "Sex's" whole life is like that. That said, I also picture him to be happy.
The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus
I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one's burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He, too, concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a masters seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of of that night-filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
- Home Reading: 'Myth of Sisyphus' by Albert Camus - On the Writer, Actor and Traveler