zerode – a sensibility


film, music, text, city, spectacle, pleasure

Clint Eastwood’s Comedic Timing

I’m not best pleased that one of America’s greatest filmmakers, Clint Eastwood, has chosen to throw in his lot very publically with America’s worst political party, and at what is possibly the lowest, most appalingly stupid time in its history.  In fact, Eastwood’s appearance at the RNC convention is likely to be the only highly-praised Eastwood performance I never see.

But I am kind of fascinated, from a geek/interwebz observer perspective, with the publicity/search engine optimization going on around it. Do a Google search on “clint eastwood comedic timing” and you get a full page of entries all with exactly the same heading:

Republicans Praise Clint Eastwood’s Speech: ‘His Comedic Timing 

I thought all the dot commies and Google code monkeys were on our side, but there are clearly some effective, interwebs-savvy publicists working for the RNC.

Anyway, there’s no way his performance at the RNC could match his gifted timing in such classics as Kelly’s Heroes or Paint Your Wagon

Filed under: Movies, , , , , , ,

What I Read Today: Tasty quotes on our online life

Two tasty quotes concerning our online life:

“have you ever wondered why discussions in chat rooms or instant messaging turn nasty so easily? Or wander off topic? It’s because the behavioural cues we use to trigger socially acceptable responses aren’t there in a non-face-to-face environment. If you can’t see the other primate, your ethical reasoning is impaired because you can’t build a complete mental image of them—a cognitive frame.”

Rule 34 by Charles Stross

We have information fatigue, anxiety, and glut. We have met the Devil of Information Overload and his impish underlings, the computer virus, the busy signal, the dead link, and the PowerPoint presentation.

What Just Happened: A Chronicle from the Information Frontier by James Gleick

Filed under: What I Read Today, , , , ,

A bad day for Netflix

Netflix stocks took a big hit from two significant changes to the company’s service today. First, their controversial new pricing structure went into effect. Customers who want both DVDs through the mail and unlimited streaming will see a 60 percent price increase. Perhaps worse was the other news of the day: premium cable channel Starz announced that it will not renew its distribution deal with Netflix, which will expire in February 2012. The cable channel supplies Neflix with both Sony and Walt Disney films so the blow is significant, though Netflix says that Starz only accounts for about 8% of its subscribers’ viewing.

The news about Starz pulling out of its deal with Netflix comes as uncertainty continues to swirl around the other online streaming film and television service, Hulu.  Hulu is a joint venture of NBC Universal, Fox Entertainment, and ABC, which is part of Disney. But early this year both Fox and Disney discussed pulling their content from Hulu and the company is up for sale.  Most recently, Fox started holding back new episodes of its TV shows from Hulu—resulting in a surge of pirate downloads of those shows, but also making Hulu look even shakier.

It’s clear that even as more and more companies move “into the cloud”—with Amazon, Google and Apple all launching cloud music services, and even the Federal government committing to working in the cloud—the film and TV industry is becoming increasingly wary of streaming video services like Hulu and Netflix, seeing potential revenue streaming away under new models of viewership in which they have less control.

No doubt they are investigating new models that will give them a greater share of the revenues, just as magazines and newspapers (such as the Financial Times) are doing in relation to Apple’s iTunes pricing schemes. That may mean going it alone. In the short term, though, what it will probably mean for viewers is being stuck with the old models, and in particular with cable television.

For more…

Filed under: Movies, TV, , , , ,

Dumbledore: Alive… and on LinkedIn

Al Dumbledore | LinkedIn
Visionary leader of renowned academic institution. Proven adept at educating the young and leading the experienced.
Skilled in magic and lore.

All types of magic, keen understanding of the opportunitites and dangers of its use

Filed under: Pop Culture, , , ,

The perils of non-contextual ads

Filed under: Humor, ,

Nerdware: Guild Uniforms

After appearances on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Mr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, and Syfy’s Eureka, now with her own show on the internet, an affection spoof of World of Warcraft games The Guild, Felicia Day is everyone’s favorite sexy nerd. Be like her and be happy and successful by wearing the same t-shirts as her—like the one she’s wearing on Episode 5, Season 3 of The Guild:

For more…

Filed under: Games, , , ,

Remembering 2001: A Space Odyssey

Animated GIFs are a bit of a thing on Tumblr, but while many of them are wonderful, no one has better exploited this quaint aspect of the ancient GIF image format than the blogger(s) at

Each of their animated GIFs strives to capture something of the essence of a particular film in one brief moment, repeated. Some have been more successful than others, and many wonderful, but none have seemed as perfect to me at getting into the heart of the movie than this one for Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) via If we don’t, remember me.

I was no doubt particularly primed to appreciate this image by having just reread Roger Ebert’s review of 2001, which stresses the almost silent quality of the film, its measured pacing, and the central importance of visuals to the mystical effect it achieves – all qualities that this image captures.

The film creates its effects essentially out of visuals and music. It is meditative. It does not cater to us, but wants to inspire us, enlarge us. Nearly 30 years after it was made, it has not dated in any important detail. (via :: Great Movies)

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Movies, , ,

Distilled Movie Magic

Distillations of movie magic… the best new thing I saw this week [they’re animated gifs, but they don’t “run” in every browser setup—try opening the images in their own window, or downloading them; they’re worth it]:

“Jesus H. Tap-Dancing Christ … i have seen the light!”

Blues Brothers (1980)

“It’s better to help people than garden gnomes.”

Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (2001)

“You see, in this world there’s two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.”

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

“Whenever I hear the word ‘culture’, I bring out my checkbook.”

Le mépris (1963)

Wonderful animated GIFs from the Tumblr blog, If we don’t, remember me. At their best, and particularly with more meditative moments and more powerful characters, they manage to condense what we remember – and love – about a particular movie into one crystalline moment. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Movies,

Leah – a Cowboy Just Trying to Get Her Justin On

Leah is a Cowboy Just Trying to Get Her Justin On.
This week in “I’ll Have What She’s Wearing,” Leah isn’t sure what to call her style, but she knows what she likes: polos, fly nikes, and coffee.

from Autostraddle: News, Politics, Entertainment and Girl-on-Girl Culture

I love this: a mag/site called “Autostraddle” that focuses on “Girl-on-Girl Culture,” runs “what to wear” features with people like Leah as the focus… and has a thing for Justin Bieber?

Well, they lost me with that last thing, but ya gotta admit… the interweb is really out there, everybody doing their thing.

Actually, I guess there might be something cool and ironic, perhaps even gender-subversive, about lesbians with a thing for Justin Bieber. Just so long as they don’t make me watch…

Filed under: Pop Culture, ,

Big Damn Deal

an online comic strip – set in San Francisco! – Big Damn Deal

Filed under: Interweb, Pop Culture, ,

Geek A Week Trading Cards by Len Peralta

Geek A Week Trading Cards by Len Peralta.

(props to the gentle freaks at Laughing Squid for clueing us in on this)

Filed under: Pop Culture, Stuff, ,

xkcd: Malamanteau

Filed under: Humor, ,



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zerode by nick chapman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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is an over-caffeinated and under-employed grad school dropout, aspiring leftwing intellectual and cultural studies academic, cinéaste, and former poet. Raised in San Francisco on classic film, radical politics, burritos and soul music, then set loose upon the world. He spends his time in coffee shops with his laptop and headphones, caffeinating and trying to construct a post-whatever life.


What's in a name... The handle "zerode" is a contraction of Zéro de Conduite, the title of Jean Vigo's 1933 movie masterpiece about schoolboy rebellion.



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