Cashing In On Nostalgia

Does history have a price? Is it quantifiable? Because it’s becoming quite costly lately to have memories. Nostalgia’s a huge industry and there’s always been more than enough memorabilia and commemorative plates. I guess it’s nothing new, but never before have so many old, expensive things spoken so directly to me.

First, this is the year of getting the band back together and tempting me with festival appearances and high ticket prices. I even have to buy a new pair of jeans after ripping several holes in my last pair in anticipation of the Van Halen reunion.

Then there are cars. I really can’t decide between Knight Rider’s K.I.T.T., the original Batmobile, or even the Ghostbuster’s Ecto 1. At this point in my life I don’t actually need a car. I just need these cars.

Or, I could live out the fantasies I had when I was 6 years old: own every single Nintendo game ever made.

Ultimately, if I were to live well above my means and rashly spend my entire yearly income on only one item, it would be this Holy Grail, a thing I’ve searched years for, a piece of the glowing rock: The Aggro Crag.

Cosmodrome: Senatorial Required Reading?

This just in: undisputed evidence that Cosmodrome's readership includes U.S. Senators!

Way back in the spring of '06, our hard-working military aviation staff looked up from its GlobalSecurity.org RSS feed for a moment to tell you about a very special day in the life of a storied U.S. Navy fighter: it was retirement time for the venerable F-14 Tomcat.

As the 'Drome was quick to point out, this left Iran as the sole remaining operator of the F-14. Back then, Iran's continuing operation of an aging, primarily air-to-air fighter was, well, sort of cute. Images of dusty old mechanics wiping down a handful of airworthy Tomcats with oily rags, that kind of thing.

You don't need Cosmodrome to tell you that a lot has changed since the spring of '06. (Read more...)

The United States of the World

Motherfuck, I knew that the U.S. is tops (and by a lot) when it comes to the dollaz, but this map really hammers it in. Each state is labeled with a country with a GDP equivalent to that individual state.

France is allegedly the sixth largest national economy in the world, but that seems prit-tay unimpressive in light of the fact that California, with about half the size in both area and population, is just as ballin as the République française.

My favorite, for reasons beyond my fetish for a certain country that is a sizeable chunk of the Eurasian landmass, is that Russia (area: 6,592,800 sq mi / population: 142,400,000) is rollin in as much ca$h money as...New Jersey (area: 8,729 sq mi / population: 8,414,350). I'd like to think there is some symbolism to this link between my actual homeland and my homeland-in-spirit.

The E-Life, Jan. 22-26: Let's Get the Old Band Back Together!

Monday, Jan. 22

Let's Get the Old Band Back Together
It was widely reported that Sting and The Police will reunite and perform at Coachella. Sting recalled, "You know, I used to be kind of cool once."

Also rumored to be reuniting for Coachella are Rage Against the Machine, the Happy Mondays, and The Jesus and Mary Chain. Led Zeppelin is considering reuniting, again. Van Halen is reconciling with David Lee Roth. And perhaps most importantly, Chinese Democracy may finally see the light of day.

Speaking of Coachella, Brooklyn Vegan posted this great set by Daft Punk from the festival a few years back.

The Lord Speaketh
In Monday's edition of the Federal Register, President Bush announced that Sunday was National Sanctity of Human Life Day. Mind you, this means the sanctity of aborted fetuses, not real dying people in one of them "loser" countries.

Read more...

The Week In: Box Office Speculation - Why Didn't They Just Title "Epic Movie" - "THE #1 MOVIE IN AMERICA"?

One of these days I'll write an article about the recent series of trash movies with Andy Warhol-esque titles - Scary Movie, Date Movie, and now Epic Movie. Question: do I really have to see those movies to write about them?

If anyone I know goes to see Smokin' Aces, I will consider myself a failure as a friend.

Predix:

1. Epic Movie - $11.8M
2. Smokin' Aces - $10.5M
3. Dreamgirls - $10M
4. Stomp the Yard - $7.5M
5. Night at the Museum - $7M
6. Pan's Labyrinth - $5.9M
7. Catch & Release - $5.3M
8. Pursuit of Happy - $4.2M
9. Babel - $3.8M
10. Hitcher - $3.5M

The Departed could make it into one of those last slots, as it is re-released this weekend.

Actual Results:

1. Epic Movie - $18.3M
2. Smokin' Aces - $14.5M
3. Night at the Museum - $9.1M
4. Stomp the Yard - $7.6M
5. Catch and Release - $7.6M
6. Dreamgirls - $6.5M
7. Pursuit of Happy - $4.8M
8. Pan's Labyrinth - $4.7M
9. The Queen - $3.9M
10. The Hitcher - $3.5M

Government Absurdity of the Day

In addition to being the day of the NFL conference championships, Sunday, January 21, 2007 was National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2007. It was proclaimed so by our lord President.

Directly from today's edition of the Federal Register (keep in mind that, as we learned in Season 3 of The West Wing, getting a Presidential proclamation published in the Federal Register is not all that easy):

National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2007

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

America was founded on the principle that we are all endowed by our Creator [This is a US government publication?!?!?!] with the right to life and that every individual has dignity and worth. National Sanctity of Human Life Day helps foster a culture of life and reinforces our commitment to building a compassionate society that respects the value of every human being.

Read on...

Mandalay Bay Window



January 7, 2007 - Las Vegas

The Week In: Box Office Speculation - All 3 Mexicans in the Top 10?!?

The Golden Globe winners are all expanding this weekend to capitalize off the publicity. If you recall, back when The Queen was first released in select cities, I forecasted that it would appear on the Top 10 some time in mid-January. And here we are.

But the winner this weekend will probably not be a prestigious fall release, but rather a vomitose winter release. There hasn't been a horror movie released in, oh, 7 minutes or so...so The Hitcher should open fairly strong.

Predix:

1. The Hitcher - $14.5M
2. Stomp the Yard - $10.3M
3. Dreamgirls - $9.6M
4. Night at the Museum - $9.3M
5. The Queen - $7.5M
6. Pursuit of Happy - $5M
7. Babel - $4.4M
8. Freedom Writers - $3.7M
9. Pan's Labyrinth - $3.6M
10. Children of Men - $3.2M

Actual Results:

1. Stomp the Yard - $12.3M
2. Night at the Museum - $12M
3. Dreamgirls - $8M
4. The Hitcher - $7.8M
5. Pursuit of Happy - $6.3M

Cinema Twilight: The Best of 2006

I title this column "Cinema Twilight" because it is my reluctant acknowledgment that movies seem very well to be in the twilight of their relevance. As Cosmodrome's panel extrapolates on the cinematic year that was, starting with a declaration of our Top Ten lists, I suspect what might drive some of our arguments will be what role films should play in an age when they can no longer lay a claim on the title of most cutting edge art form. Part of the problem has to be the fact that most of the great films of any given year go unseen. As cinema audiences dwindle, are films to be relegated to the same camp as all the traditional high arts that died (lost wide audiences) long ago? Or does this lack of relevance mean that the only thing to be gleaned from movies these days is entertainment, pure and simple? In short, how can cinema keep up with HBO's The Wire?

-Jeff

THE DISCUSSION:

Day One (1/19/07): For Your Consideration

Day Two (1/22/07): Dystopia Has No Future

Day Three (1/23/07): Not THAT Bad

THE LISTS:

JAMES BROWN IS DEAD! (and so apparently is Alice Coltrane)

My belated R.I.P

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