Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dude, I'm out of here.


I am done - with dusty archives, impenetrable bureaucracy, scouring catalogs, squinting at documents and generally making a nuisance of myself through endless linguistic miscommunication.

and I am coming back to the city, around all weekend at palazzo ash & sol, so let's play please!

I am craving laying out in parks and iced coffee that's crunchy with sugar.
xoxo,
les

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Caption














Sen. Barack Obama escorts a surly eight-year-old who wet his pants from a birthday party.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Birthday

Hey everyone,

tomorrow is my birthday. anyone interested in drinks around nine or ten?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

30 and Solidarity



As my 29th birthday has just passed, I was thinking about things, and I had an idea. I was thinking that on or around each of our 30th birthdays, we should all get a JJ8 tattoo.

Monday, July 21, 2008

beast













i saw this in an ad in the new yorker:
ranulph fiennes.
this dude is 64 years old.
he walked across antarctica on foot.
after a bad case of frostbite he sawed off the ends of 5 of his own fingers - over the course of several days.
the man had a heart attack and underwent a double bypass at age 59 -
4 months later - he ran 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days.

fuck.

Friday, July 18, 2008

JJ8 The Movie: The Final Chapter

JON raises up his RUSTY CHAINSAW at BEN, and saws through a LIGHTING FIXTURE. The LIGHTS GO OUT, and SPARKS fly EVERYWHERE. The SPARKS flash in the MANGLED FLESH of MONSTER GABI's face. The LIGHTS go ON and OFF. It is like a STROBE LIGHT. As they fight, it is like a WEIRD DANCE in some bizarre CLUB. [music cue: European techno]/

Then BEN gets knocked into an IPod Dock [big product placement.] What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong starts to play [irony.] The fight turns SLO-MO. A butterfly flies in through a CRACKED WINDOW. Its simple BEAUTY contrasts with the violence of the FIGHT.

A bunch of jump cuts happen [=Bourne Identity] as BEN executes a crazy kung-fu move. But MONSTER GABI throws him THROUGH THE WALL into the KITCHEN. Ben ARMS himself with POTS and PANS. But he ALSO knocks over a GAS LINE and a HUGE FIRE IGNITES. Then the CHAINSAW CUTS a watermain. There is WATER and FIRE everywhere. [message=this fight has it all.]

Suddenly, a motorbike crashes THROUGH THE DOOR. CHRISTY and LESLIE [Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson] are riding on it. They throw NINJA STARS at everyone. The NINJA STARS fly in BULLET TIME. One of them severs the WING of the butterfly. [The butterfly is CGI.] It falls to the ground.

SUDDENLY, JOSH AND JOE rappel from the ROOF into the APARTMENT. JOE FIRES a NET GUN at MONSTER GABI, while JOSH TAKES a BLOW TORCH to EVERYTHING. Even MORE suddenly, SOLOMON, ASHLEY, and RAJU appear. They are WEREWOLVES, because DAVE bit them [explained in the novelization]. Everyone is fighting with everyone. DAVE appears, too, he is a ZOMBIE-WEREWOLF now. MATT is a ghost, he has a HAZY BLUE OUTLINE. He tries to fight people, but his HAND goes THROUGH them [comic relief].

JON gets thrown into a FIREY part of the APARTMENT. He stands up, and notices a SINGED photograph. It is HIM AND HIS FRIENDS in HAPPIER TIMES. Then he NOTICES the one-winged BUTTERFLY. The BATTLE GOES ALL SILENT, and JON watches the destruction.
He starts to UNDERSTAND what he has DONE.

But just as he is about to MAKE A PLEA for PEACE, ROBOT ATHAS (he came in when no one was looking) gets damaged and initiates his self-destruct sequence.

CLOSE-UP of digital numbers counting down to zero. When they get to ZERO, at first nothing happens. Then a NUCLEAR BOMB goes off.

The screen is filled with a big mushroom cloud.

It is the next day. The building has been TOTALLY LEVELED. It is just a PILE OF RUBBLE. POLICE and FIREMEN are ON the SCENE. Their sirens flash without sound.

TERRENCE [William H. Macy] and DAVID REESE [Don Cheadle] survey the wreckage. They are dressed in suits and trench coats.

DAVID
How could this have happened?

TERRENCE
(In South African accent)
I guess we will never know.

He shakes his head.

TERRENCE
I'm too old for this shit.

He throws his RA badge on the rubble. He walks AWAY.

DAVID lingers, watching the smoking rubble. He sees a BUTTERFLY, crawling along the ground. It is the BUTTERFLY from the fight. It survived. Tenderly, he picks it up.

DAVID
Hey, little fella...

DAVID gently rests the butterfly on his shoulder. He lifts up his briefcase. "Oh shit" moment: It is the same briefcase with the gold from the beginning.

The camera CRANES AWAY, and DAVID makes his way among the POLICE CARS. He DISAPPEARS in the CROWD. The movie ends on a STRANGLEY UNSETTLING NOTE, and with a slow song by Nine Inch Nails.

SCREEN GOES TO BLACK. [!!]

Then WORDS come on SCREEN: To be continued....?

Credits ROLL.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

JJ8 The Movie: Penultimate Continuation

A dirty, MOONLIT bathroom--a blood stained CURTAIN. Music cue: A metronome. TICK-TOCK, TICK-TOCK. Slow pan over to some weird, bloody TOOLS: a hacksaw, garden shears, a hoe. Also, a PAINTBRUSH and PAINT. Pan over to the tub where GABI lies, his face wrapped in bandages.

OFF-CAMERA VOICE
The fire damage was intense!

GABI slowly pulls himself up.

OFF-CAMERA VOICE
And you see the tools I have to work with!

GABI
(Garbled through the BLOODY BANDAGES)
Mirror!

OFF-CAMERA VOICE
As an independent film producer, you didn't have health insurance [=social commentary], so after you survived the explosion of the car [some backstory] you had to come here to your old friend [tantalizing clue??] to put you back together!

GABI
MIRROR!

GABI is given an old stained mirror. He begins to unwrap the bandages from his face. The METRONOME ticks more quickly [suspense builds]. GABI holds up the MIRROR so it BLOCKS HIS FACE. HE can see his face, but the audience CAN'T.

GABI
My God...

The camera pans over to the OFF CAMERA VOICE. It is BEN LORR [Jack Black in a thin suit]. He is dressed in a bloody smock and yellow DISHWASHING GLOVES. FOR EFFECT, he wears a HAIR NET.

BEN
(Anticipating approval)
So?

GABI smashes the the MIRROR on the side of the tub. The audience finally sees his face: [visual reference:]













[make-up should be done by make-up artist and creature creator Rick Baker]

BEN whistles happily out of the bathroom.

He is SURPRISED to see JON ROSS standing naked in the LIVING ROOM.

BEN
Jon! My old roommate! What are you doing here?

JON
(Darkly)
I have come to kill... some time.

BEN
Great!

BEN strides over to a SIDEBAR.

BEN
Honey liqueur?

JON
(Ominously)
It will be your last... glass today?

BEN
No, probably not!

JON
(Coldly)
Then I will drink to your death... deathly dangerous habits, of bikeriding.

BEN
Sounds good!

BEN takes a long swallow of honey liqueur. The HONEY LIQUEUR is TANQUERAY BRAND HONEY LIQUEUR. [product placement]

BEN
So! Athas, Raju, Solomon, Ashley, Dave, Matt Burnette-Lemon are all dead! Luckily I saved Gabi's life! But isn't it strange all these people are dying! It's almost as if someone is pursuing a deadly vendetta against JJ8...

JON
(Weirdly)
And you will be next... on my list of people to kill... time with...

THAT WEIRD SHOT HAPPENS where THE BACKGROUND ZOOMS AWAY FROM BEN, BUT THE CAMERA ZOOMS IN [Like in Psycho?]. BEN IS REALIZING SOMETHING. He DROPS his GLASS of HONEY LIQUEUR. It SHATTERS, but it SHATTERS SILENTLY.

BEN
(Totally getting it)
But why, Jon?!?! You are a man of peace!

JON
Once upon a time, perhaps...

Now the CAMERA zooms into JON'S EYE. It zooms until there is NOWHERE ELSE TO ZOOM. It's as if it ZOOMS into his SOUL. This is the tightest zoom in the MOVIE. Then the SCREEN GETS WAVEY, so it is clear there is now a FLASHBACK happening.

We see a MONTAGE of JON'S MEMORIES:

Jeremy Mangion [Bill Paxton] crying softly in his room... Jon's cousin [John Turturro] being dubbed "Jimmy Israel"... Josh [Daniel Craig] making Jin [Jackie Chan] cry during a game of Madden...

ZOOM WAY BACK FROM INSIDE JON'S SOUL. He is TALKING TO BEN in the LIVING ROOM AGAIN, but now he is brandishing a RUSTY CHAINSAW.

JON
At first when I realized man's inhumanity to man, I thought I could cure it as a simple country doctor. But now I realize that it must be exterminated like the virus that it is.

JON slowly starts to approach with the RUSTY CHAINSAW. [Music cue: End of the Innocence by Don Henley.] [Also the sound of the chainsaw: rrrhrhrrhrh]

BEN leaps over and grabs a SAMURAI SWORD that is hanging ON THE WALL. MONSTER GABI then emerges from the bathroom, with a BLOODY CLEAVER. They all eye each other. The stage is set for A BIG FIGHT.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Great Things From the All-Star Game

---The hour-long introduction, featuring Fat Tony Gwynn and as fine a pair of moustaches on Rollie and Goose as you'll ever see. Inspiring!

---Sheryl Crow's tuneless, charisma-free performance of the National Anthem. Heartwarming!

---The Stealth Bomber flyover. Intimidating!

---"George Steinbrenner" aka DeNiro in pancake makeup. Saddening!

---Five consecutive outs at home plate. Thrilling!

---The perpetual dyspeptic look on Bud Selig's face as he saw his grand "This One Counts" plans blow up in his face. Awe-inspiring!

---Tim Lincecum missing the game with "flu-like symptoms" aka worst hangover of his life. Gut-wrenching!

---Joe Buck & Tim McCarver constantly forgetting who was left on the benches. Infuriating!

JJ8 The Movie: Cont'd Again

MATT BURNETTE-LEMON [Hayden Christensen] is in the STUDIO. He wears BIG HEADPHONES. Behind the glass, MATT is producing a MASH-UP of the Jonas Brothers and TV on the Radio (cross-demographic appeal). MATT turns a nob, and the music ROCKS SO MUCH THE MIXING BOARD explodes.

MATT nods in satisfaction: Ooooooh yeeeeaaaah.

SUDDENLY, the studio door swings open. In rushes GABI [Sir Ben Kingsley].

GABI
Bad news, dude. They raised our rent. We have to close our dual production music/film studio.

MATT takes this in.

MATT
(into a MIC)
Take five, guys.

TV on the RADIO shoots heroin. THE JONAS BROTHERS start combing each other's hair (for the tweenagers).

MATT
(to GABI)
We have to close down the studio!? Dammit. What are we going to do?

GABI
We need money. (=character motivation)

They THINK. The intensity of THINKING makes them SWEAT. GABI wipes the SWEAT from his brow with a HANKY.

MATT raises a single eyebrow: Hmm…

GABI also raises an eyebrow: Mm? (Music cue: Car Wash, as performed by the Jonas Bros. and TV on the Radio)

CUT TO a parking lot where the boys have set up a CAR WASH. It is like a big party, with lots of FANCY VINTAGE CARS. But Matt and Gabi just COLLECT THE MONEY. They have gotten GIRLS [Megan Fox, Scarlett Johansen, Beyonce] to do the car washing. The girls spray each other with the hose. GABI and MATT high-five: This is great!

DAVE [Jason Bateman, from Teen Wolf 2] drives up in a LAMBORGHINI.

DAVE
You guys have room for one more?

GABI
Wow, where did you get that car?

DAVE
(Slyly)
You know my golden rule. Silence is as good as gold.

MATT and GABI look at each other and shrug: what could that mean? [The audience gets it, though.]

Suddenly, a BLACK HAWK helicopter appears overhead. It's blades make a CHOPPING SOUND in the air: whirwhirwhir. LOTS OF SHOTS of the people looking up at the HELICOPTER.

The pilot of the HELICOPTER is wearing a GAS MASK so you can't SEE HIS FACE. He flips a RED SWITCH.

THE LAMBORGHINI EXPLODES. Then it EXPLODES AGAIN IN SLOW MOTION. Like, ten different shots of the LAMBORGHINI EXPLODING.

The HELICOPTER PILOT looks down at the wreckage he has caused. He is OMINOUS because we can't SEE HIS FACE. Suddenly, he PULLS OFF HIS MASK. IT IS JON ROSS.

The helicopter flies away from the destroyed car. MUSIC CUE: A MELANCHOLY version of Car Wash by Radiohead.

Then, POV shot of JON IN THE HELICOPTER through a little circle surrounded by black. The CAMERA WHIPS AROUND: JOSH and JOE are watching the 'chopper through old timey spyglasses. They wear CAMO.

They look at each other.

JOSH
(Philosophically)
The enemy is us.

JOE
(Last shred of innocence burning in the fire of the longing for revenge-ly)
Yeah.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

(best viewed with sound on)



Cow farts collected in plastic tank for global warming study



Farts in a Tank for Science!(link)

JJ8: The Movie, Cont'd

A grey sky overhead, a light drizzle. PAN DOWN: it's a graveyard. A crowd of mourners is gathered before a funeral pyre as a GREEK ORTHODOX PRIEST [Academy Award Nominee James Cromwell] intones an EERIE PRAYER.

POV SHOT OF THE TOMBSTONE: "ATHAS: Beloved Friend, Honored Lawyer. 'Picture me Rolling!'"

The camera WHIPS AROUND and we see whose POV it is: JOSH SCHWARTZ [Naked Chef Jamie Oliver], smoking a cigarette. He flicks the cigarette onto the funeral pyre and it IGNITES.

The flames CATCH A SINGLE TEAR IN JOSH'S EYE [effects shot/Oscar moment]. JOSH crosses the graveyard to an abandoned basketball court with an old LEATHER BALL. He takes the ball.

JOSH SCHWARTZ
For Athas...

JOSH takes a THREE--SWISH!! [Second effects shot/Oscar moment.]

The BALL rolls to the feet of MR. MET, dressed in black.

MR. MET
You didn't want to stay for the wake?

JOSH SCHWARTZ
(Wryly)
I'm already awake.

MR. MET removes his costume head, revealing JOE ROSALES [Matt Damon]. (Big reveal!!)

JOE ROSALES
What's on your mind?

JOSH SCHWARTZ
Something doesn't add up. Why would Athas kill himself at the height of his power!?

JOE ROSALES
Let it go, man... It's too big. You have your popular line of pasta sauces to worry about, and I have to secure an abortion for Jose Reyes' mistress before he comes back from this road trip. [lots of exposition]

SCHWARTZ
If you were the one in the ground, would Athas let it go??

JOE stares into the clownish face of MR. MET, and REALIZES WHAT HE HAS BECOME.

JOE
(Ripping off the costume as a healing rain begins to fall)
ATHHHHAAAASSSSSSS!!!

JOSH SCHWARTZ smirks: "It's on!" [Music cue: Somebody Gots to Die by Biggie.]

CUT TO: The interior of Dave's apartment. DAVE [Sean Astin] sits in a YOGA position in a CIRCLE OF CANDLES. He is MEDITATING. (Music cue: Enya??). His BUZZER RINGS. He opens his eyes--"Damn!" He looks at a LARGE CLOCK--it is almost midnight. The buzzer rings again! Dave is TORN. Finally he opens the door, and ASHLEY, SOLOMON, and RAJU rush in.

DAVE
What are you guys doing here!?!

As an answer, RAJU opens the briefcase--the GOLD GLINTS IN DAVE'S EYES.

SOLOMON
You've got to hide us!

DAVE turns away. He looks at the CLOCK. FIFTEEN SECONDS TO MIDNIGHT!

DAVE
IT ISN'T SAFE!

RAJU
That's why we came here! We think Athas was murdered...

The clock is an old GRANDFATHER CLOCK. It begins to chime. DONG! DONG!

DAVE
GO NOW!!

ASHLEY
Why?!?

DAVE has his face buried in his hands. When he looks up his eyes are YELLOW!! [Visual reference:]


DAVE
(Growling!!!)
GET AWAY

It is too LATE! DAVE TRANSFORMS INTO A VAMPIRE/WEREWOLF BEFORE THEIR EYES! (Lots of effects/claymation).

WEREWOLF DAVE
TONIGHT I HUNT!!!

In SLO-MO, the GOLD clatters to the FLOOR. (Visual metaphor: Money can't buy everything.)

Monday, July 14, 2008

JJ8: The Movie

Exterior shots of Brooklyn. Blue skies, a man pushing an ice cart down the street. CRANE SHOT DOWN to RAJU [Kal Penn] in Prospect Park, throwing a wiffle ball in the air and swinging a bat at it. Portrait of a man alone. He chases the ball underneath a tree.

RAJU REACTION SHOT: What's this!?!

RAJU has spotted a leather brief case. He looks around, opens it. BARS OF GOLD—the light glints in his face, he has to shield his eyes it is so bright (metaphor??).

INTERIOR: SOLOMON AND ASHLEY'S APARTMENT

SOLOMON [Wilmer Valderama] smokes from a giant bong [CGI?]. RAJU barges in. The bong hits the floor! Solomon is "bummed."

SOLOMON
What the fuck!?!

RAJU
Look what I found!

He shows SOLOMON what's in the briefcase.

SOLOMON
Oh shit, kid.

ASHLEY [Mily Cyrus as Hannah Montana] is hard at work in her architecture studio. She is DISTRACTED by all the noise. She comes into the living room, ALL BUSINESS.

ASHLEY
What are you two idiots screaming about?

ASHLEY REACTION SHOT: She sees the GOLD!

ASHLEY
Where did that come from?!

All three look at eachother: That's a good question!

RAJU
What should we do?

ASHLEY
We need legal advice.

EXTERIOR of a Manhattan SKYRISE. The sunlight glints off the glass. HARD CLOSE-UP of a STRIPPER'S BARE ASS. Pull back to reveal a LINE OF COKE, parallel to the ass crack. Pull back further, to reveal a nostril doing the LINE OF COKE (snorting sound effect). Pull back further, we see the face attached to the nostril: ATHAS, ATTORNEY AT LAW (Jake Gyllenhal). Pull back further: THE STRIPPER IS DEAD!

Sound effect: Ringing phone.

ATHAS calmly wipes his brow with the HUNDRED DOLLAR BILL he has used to do the line. Flicks it at the dead stripper.

ATHAS
(Bad-ass)
For your trouble.

ATHAS pushes a button on his mammoth desk. Behind him, windows open to an incredible view of Manhattan. (Message: The world is at his feet.)

ATHAS (Speaking into an intercom)
Another one of these strippers died, Miss Jones. Will you take care of that?

ATHAS answers the phone.

ATHAS
Hello?

INTERCUT to RAJU, talking on SOLOMON and ASHLEY'S phone.

RAJU
Hey, it's your old college roommate, Raju. [=exposition]

ATHAS puts his feet on the desk as a DISPOSAL TEAM IN HAZMAT SUITS enters his office and dumps the body in a vat of acid (sizzling sound).

ATHAS
Yes, of course, and I haven't forgotten I owe you big time. [=more exposition]

RAJU
Yes, you do. And now it's time to call in a favor. (Raju smirks.) I found a briefcase full of gold.

ATHAS sits up: WOW!

ATHAS
Wow! A briefcase full of gold?!

SUDDENLY, a member of the HAZMAT team pulls off his mask. It is JON ROSS (Steve Buscemi). He brandishes a shotgun.

ATHAS
(Totally surprised)
What are you doing here!?!

JON ROSS
I've been waiting for this a long time.

BOOM BOOM BOOM! (Shot gun blasts)

ATHAS' BODY CRASHES BACKWARD THROUGH THE GLASS AND HE TUMBLES OVER A HUNDRED STORIES!!! He starts to fall in SLO-MO. [MUSIC CUE: The Harder They Fall by Jimmy Cliff.]

JON ROSS smirks. He is cold-blooded.

Back in the APARTMENT, RAJU here's the beepbeep of a dead phone line. He looks at Solomon and Ashley quizzically.

Then, a chirping SOUND! RAJU checks his VERIZON SLIDE (Product placement). ATHAS managed to send a text message before he impacted on the sidewalk. RAJU reads the text message aloud:

"Trust no one."

Slow fade to JON ROSS staring out the broken window at the MESS BELOW, a MURDEROUS SMIRK on his face.

TITLE CARD:
JOHN JAY 8: PART I: BLOOD SPORT: THE DOCTOR GOES BAD

Friday, July 11, 2008

I am calling it now.

So it's emerging that Iran's entire missile test last week was a fake. Fake pictures, fake missile ranges, everything. Why fake a missile test?

In the two days before the test, the price of oil was actually dropping significantly. Then Iran does their "test," and because of the resulting fears over a regional war, the price of oil rebounds. When oil goes up, Iran makes money. So why not conduct a bogus test, spook the world, and ensure high oil prices for at least another week or more?

I just want credit for calling this in two months when Seymour Hersch writes an expose about it in the New Yorker.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Impostor

remind me to murder this guy when we go to milwaukee.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/athas/23790266880

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

News That's Fit to Print Over and Over

This news story made my day. It's got everything:
  • Douchebag bad guy who's a hedge fund manager, lives in Armonk, has last name ends in "III", and drives a big SUV.
  • A faked suicide
  • A guest appearance by the bear mountain bridge
  • The M*A*S*H theme song
  • The implication of a bunch of bumbling police officers (Specifically, "When the [suicide] message turned out to be the theme song of ”M*A*S*H,” the authorities began to suspect he was on the run.")
Hats off to Times reporter, Abha Bhattari, whose career I will now follow closely.

UPDATE: Did I miss this story as it developed? More great douchebag details and quotes!:
  • He attended the Hackley School in Tarrytown, NY. For the locals, this speaks volumes.
  • Mr. Israel oversaw a high-tech trading floor, which featured pet snakes encased in aquariums, while he rented a $32,000-a-month mansion in Mount Kisco from Donald J. Trump.
  • “Ever since I can remember, I met people everywhere that have told me they know my family either directly or by reputation,” he wrote. “I cheated my investors because I was afraid to admit my failure. I did not want the world to think I was not good enough and I did not want my family to see me as a failure.”
  • “when what I perceived as divine intervention occurred in the form of the fictitious investment programs, I leapt at the opportunity,”
  • Plus this wonderful photo gallery:

Generation Kill(ing Time on Sundays)


As anyone taking the subway unblindered can attest, Generation Kill is coming. July 13th at 9pm to be precise. The book was really disturbing. The guys from The Wire are producing. And while I've never been a huge fan of TV dinners, I do think this would be a fun excuse to revive family dinners over the summer. Seven one hour episodes, seven different meals??Seven different themes??? I'll volunteer to cook meal#1 which will be 100% deep-fried to symbolize the fact that war was really all about oil to begin with.