Thursday, September 29, 2005

If The Shining Were Made Today

No time to add anything of any real weight to 50 Bedroom APT in recent days. Please, please - stop your groaning people. OK, for now you'll have to make do with this largely appropriated posting...

Click here to watch the new movie trailer for one of everyone's favorite creepy films of the 70s. (Or click here if that link isn't working). Online film reviewer 'Kosem' writes "In these cynical, troubling times, Stanley Kubrick's touching new film, The Shining, quietly and lovingly reminds us that that most beleaguered of institutions, the American family, might just make it after all. Steady, relentlessly optimistic, and miraculously free of the tiresome paranoia that haunts so much modern cinema, Kubrick has finally realized his potential as one of our unqualifiedly great filmmakers."

Just what the internet is here for.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Philadelphia. Sept. 23rd - Despite reports of hurricanes, war protests, Supreme Court Justice hearings, an imminent flu pandemic, and news of Jennifer Aniston's earth-shatterring announcement, new publishing juggernaut 50 Bedroom Apartment's presses had reportedly remained quiet for nearly a week. "The writers walked out on Monday," gruffed Editor-In-Chief Ryan Foster Kane. "They're not worth a wooden nickel I tell you - not the whole damned lot of them!" he continued, bellowing "you send them on assignment for one weekend, one goddamned weekend, asking them to write some fluff pieces about society life in the Big Apple, and they all come back hung over and starry-eyed."

Brotherhood of Blogging Local 50 Union President Cesar J Chavez released a statement on Tuesday afternoon, announcing that 50 Bedroom APT's bloggers had come to an agreement that the OSHA-regulated daydreaming minimum standards had proven - at least temporarily - insufficient. "The six hundred plus writers of 50 Bedroom Apartment are merely exercising labor's rights to partake in the hard-earned American tradition of the work stoppage, and expect to return to full productivity sometime soon. But for now, work must largely yield to daydreaming."

Kane was reported to have fumed over the news. "We've promised our readers to remake blogging as we know it, and then the entire worthless staff falls asleep at the wheel during one trip back from the big city. Unbelievable!" Kane later told friends, "Believe me, I'm going to fire the goddamn bunch of them just as soon as they wipe those stupid grins off their daydreaming faces!"

The 50 Bedroom Apartment Circulations Department grimly predicted a 60% drop in readership. In a closed door emergency meeting between Kane, Circulations Editor Ryan James, and assorted stock-holders, James explained the situation, "Without new articles, Mr Kane, we're in a real jam! A pickle, I tell ya! We'll be out of business faster then you can say 'Great Gallopin' Ghost!' Advertising revenue is down to nothing! There is only one solution - We're going to have to start running nudie pictures of pin-up girls just to bring back the readers."

Kane was reported to have initially pounded his desk in frustration, but after a minute's reflection, it was later revealed that Kane apparently quickly warmed to the idea, and daydreamed for several awkward minutes about the pinup girl plan. "Nudie girls you say, huh, yes, they do that in London, don't they... fine city, London is, ah heck, tell the writers to show up on Monday - nobody's perfect."

Despite Kane's assurances, it was undetermined if a new addition would, in fact, go to press next week.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Yes, We (may soon) Have No Bananas!

This is a well-written article. Hmm... maybe a world without bananas is a world not worth living in...

"After 15,000 years of human cultivation, the banana is too perfect, lacking the genetic diversity that is key to species health. What can ail one banana can ail all. A fungus or bacterial disease that infects one plantation could march around the globe and destroy millions of bunches, leaving supermarket shelves empty.

A wild scenario? Not when you consider that there’s already been one banana apocalypse..." [Read the Article]

Monday, September 19, 2005

El Paso and Houston Bookend Amazing 24 Hours

New York. Sept. 19th - Despite initial fears that a post-El Paso evening was sure to degenerate spectacularly before bleeding into a hangover-filled black Sunday, a 7&7 fueled Herlinger roused himself out of bed at a half-decent hour for once, and was later to report that the warm late summer day would prove to quietly be "one of the best days in memory." Hazy on details, Herlinger apologized to some old friends for not getting it together until nearly half-time of the 'hometown' Steelers victory over the Houston Texans, celebrated at a packed mid-town pub.

"I was glad see these guys, even though Aaron refused to drink, since he was on his way to a step-aerobics class or something," Herlinger explained, rolling his eyes. "And Maurice, I'm just not sure what's wrong with that guy," apparently alluding to Granger's well known ability to stare at his own cell phone for 20 minutes at a time.

Afterwards, Herlinger put on his running shoes and lazily circled up around the Reservoir, Great Hill, and back and forth through the zillions of impossible to remember paths, rocks, and arches. "I had a lot to think about," breathed an exhausted Herlinger, "it's been a busy day. A really good day."

Greetings from Greenpoint!

Greenpoint, NY. Sept. 16th - Intrepid Williamsburg wayfarer and future Philadelphia expatriate Ryan "6th borough" Herlinger was reported to have finally familiarized himself with the MTA's oft-overlooked L line, journeying deep into the black black real estate-bubbled heart of Greenpoint. "I jumped off at Bedford Station with little more than a smile, a metrocard with a $22 balance, and a crumpled copy of Turgenev's Fathers and Sons in my pocket, and by gosh, by that evening I was the toast of the town," beamed Herlinger.

Local bartender Ethan Townsend recalled seeing the youngest member of the exclusive "35" club arrive early in the evening. "Yeah, he had the look of a man who had walked the rough streets of Greenpoint, and not only survived, but lived to trek back with a hearty appetite and an unquenchable thirst for fine local microbrews."

According to reports, Herlinger had made his way from the too-cool streets of Williamsburg proper and headed North in the general direction of Greenpoint, but soon circled back as gentrification began to yield slowly to the authentic industrial-zoned streets of old Brooklyn. "I wanted to immerse myself in one of the last true blue collar neighborhoods in New York, maybe the whole country, to feel the grit under my feet, to see the brick and steel and iron of industry and commerce, to breathe that salty air of real, red-blooded America, but then I realized, fuck, 'where are all the sushi restaurants?"

Candice Anders and Jillian Stabinski, two Williamburg regulars from Astoria, recalled seeing Herlinger comfortably sitting in the Pub around 8pm, drinking a Brooklyn Lager, and reading from a small, weathered paperback. "I couldn't tell if he was waiting for someone, or if he was really just interested in reading, but since he only turned the page like 5 times in a half hour, I thought 'maybe he's retarded, I mean, you know, special,'" shrugged Anders. "I thought maybe he was a student, studying," offered Stabinski, "but it was a Friday night, and he looked a bit, um, old for a student."

Herlinger weakly defended his decision to read an obscure Russian novel in a dark, rapidly crowding bar. "Well, I don't mind going out by myself, but you can only read the label of your beer for so long before the bartender starts to eye you suspiciously, besides, I was just killing time until Spottiswoode and His Enemies took the stage down the street." After several drinks, Herlinger was seen fleeing from a loud, incoherent drunk who claimed to have been kicked out of a "foil-covered van" by two bandmates/artists. "I kind of wanted to hear about this 'foil-covered' van - the guy kind of came across as Cosmo Kramer meets Charles Buchowski - but then it became evident that he was just a mean drunk, with crazy hair and a vintage shirt, so I wisely moved on."

Over the next hour or so, Herlinger then snuck into a sleeping cat-filled shop which apparently doubled as a used book store, visited a sad little empty Internet Cafe with sad Indian electronica music pulsing emptily, browsed some old handwritten postcards from a rickety side-street junk shop, ordered a beer and sandwich from a cold sandy-floored bar, bought the "Michigan" album, and then finally walked past the zen-like reflecting pool that lay just past the front doors of the Galapagos art space bar. "It seemed almost spiritual," whispered a solemn Herlinger, "or perhaps the Brooklyn Lagers were affecting my eyes, I'm not sure."

Reviews of Spottiswoode's performance were generally positive, though radio mainstay "The Youngest Child" was reported to have gone conspicuously unperformed. "They were good, yes, good I guess," the sloshed Herlinger was quoted as saying before triumphantly making his way back to Bedford Avenue before the sweeping crowds and the construction-obsessed MTA safely deposited him many many many blocks from his 57th Street destination. "Hey," said Herlinger "at least I walked the mean streets of Greenpoint, and lived to tell the tale. How many can say that?"

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Vox Populi - Wisdom From the Web

Normon Solomon
Wednesday September 14, 2005
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

...On Tuesday, the day after Brown resigned, President Bush adjusted the damage-control weaseling. “Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government,” he said at the White House, “and to the extent that the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility.”

It was a classic hollow statement, meant to sound important and meaningless at the same time. On Wednesday, more than a dozen paragraphs into its story headlined “President Says He’s Responsible in Storm Lapses,” the New York Times reported: “In saying he took responsibility for any failures of the federal response to the storm, Mr. Bush stopped short of acknowledging that he or anyone else had made mistakes.”

So, according to the Times headline, Bush said that “he’s responsible” for “storm lapses” -- but, according to the article, Bush did not say “that he or anyone else had made mistakes.” Got that?

Such tap-dancing evasions are small compared to what’s on the horizon. With a prime-time speech Thursday night from Louisiana, followed by a ceremonial service at the National Cathedral in Washington the next morning, Bush will use the stature of the presidency to pose as an icon of can-do patriotism and piety.
[Read the Article]

John Berger
Thursday September 15, 2005
The Guardian

...Five days after Katrina had struck, when President Bush finally visited the devastated city, he astounded journalists by saying: "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees." On the same day, in the wrecked small town of Biloxi, the president's flying visit was preceded by a team who quickly cleared the rubble and corpses from the route his cortege would take. Two hours later the team vanished, leaving everything else in the town exactly as it was.
[Read the Article]

Molly Ivins
Thursday September 15, 2005
Working for Change

...Meanwhile, it's an ill wind that blows no one good, so we should not be surprised to learn the first winner out of the gate on Katrina is none other than the Halliburton Co., whose deserving subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root has already been granted a $29.8 million contract for cleanup work in the wake of Katrina.

Of course, no one would suggest Halliburton and its subsidiaries get government contracts (more than $9 billion for reconstruction work in Iraq, with Pentagon audits thus far showing $1.03 billion in "questioned" costs and $422 million in "unsupported costs") just because Vice President Cheney is still on the payroll. Heavens no. The veep continues to receive deferred pay from the company he formerly headed -- $194,852 last year.
[Read the Article]

It's Chinatown!

New York. Sept. 15th - Although unable to take an early Chinatown bus up to the big city to see Arcade Fire in Central Park, Ryan "One Jake" Herlinger vowed to make the journey north to Gotham regardless.

"The logistics of getting a ticket - while barely having time to break stride on my way from the bowels of East Broadway to the floor of Rumsey Playfield - is just too much," admitted a glum Herlinger. "But I can still enjoy the city, and maybe duck into some strange off-off-broadway play, or check out one of the 56,000 bars that I haven't been to yet," Herlinger reasoned, sounding as if trying to convince himself. "Or maybe I'll just lounge in Seth's apartment," he shrugged, referring to his vacationing friend's huge, vacant mid-town semi-penthouse apartment. "As long as I don't vomit, Seth's cool with me hanging out the whole weekend."

Advised that he could take a cab up to the park and listen to the band from outside the sold-out venue for free due to Rumsey's open air layout, Herlinger brightened. "Yeah, maybe I'll do that," he nodded, before returning to work.

Postscript: Ryan "One Jake" Herlinger decided to delay his trip from Philadelphia's Chinatown to New York's Chinatown in order to finish some important business Friday morning. "Ah heck, forget it" groused Herlinger, alluding to the twin city's mirrored specter of human corruption, chaos, unimaginable immorality, and cheap bus transportation, sighing "It's Chinatown."

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Billy Beer!

Philadelphia. Sept. 13th - Reports circulating on the internet indicate that gratuitous photos of Billy Carter - in particular those featuring his ice cold, Georgia spring water brewed brand of Billy Beer - have been making their way across the blogosphere. Many bloggers have indicated that the pictures "just make you smile."

Presidential Ambitions Kick Into Low Gear

Philadelphia. Sept. 14th - Newly christened blogger, populist firebrand, one-time Rubik's Cube solver, marathon runner, and pseudo-intellectual poseur Ryan Herlinger announced his less than enthusiastic embrace of yet another title: Presidential Hopeful. With less than 24 hours remaining before possible future President Herlinger turned the constitutional-required age of 35 [Article. II. Section. 1. Clause. 5], Herlinger seemed less concerned about political platforms, war chests, and the Neo-Conservatist menace than with girls and canadian art rock bands.

"I know that a lot of people have expressed hope that I'd finally enter the political fray, but I'd rather see Hillary win it this time around. Maybe in 2012, maybe, and that's if Obama has fallen out of favor, who knows," shrugged Herlinger "besides, I've got to jump on craigslist and get a couple of Arcade Fire tickets before its too late!"

Asked if the milestone birthday would have any impact on his immediate Presidential ambitions, Herlinger paused. "Well, for now, I'm going to continue to limit myself to contributing beer money to a variety of ad hoc leftist organizations, scouring the blogosphere for the latest reports of this Administration's criminal actions, and stocking my personal library with a colorful assortment of tasteful Chipp Kidd-esque designed progressive books." After a brief moment of reflection, Herlinger seemed to sense that his lack of direct political action was proving frustrating to many of his backers.

"2016. I swear! Girls and music have to come first - that's what makes us Democrats after all - listening to Rebellion (Lies) is just a little more important than listening to Republican lies. Maybe that's why we're not in the White House, but hey, 2016 will be here before we know it!"

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

World Cheers as 100,000,000th Blog Created

Philadelphia. Sept. 13 - Late during the morning of September 13th, 2005, the world's 100 millionth blog was registered and uploaded to the Internet. Informed of the historic milestone, newly title "blogger" Ryan Herlinger admitted that he was thrilled to be part of the blogging community. "I'm eager to catalog my daily activities, likes, dislikes, and other personal information, even though my closest friends are unlikely to be interested in my gibberish, and anything that passes as remotely original or interesting will likely only result in some future firing or disiplinary action," explained Herlinger.

Pausing to rub the bridge of his nose in a practiced gesture of exhaustion, Herlinger paused in his blogging to watch a minute of an unfamiliar weepy-voiced woman who apparently had secured her own MSNBC News program following Keith Olbermann's Countdown. "While sitting hunched over my computer here at 1am, I admit that I'm tired and accomplishing little, but the fact that I'm officially 'blogging' is definitely giving me a second wind! And while I'm not sure who this woman is, and I'm a little drained from four hours of steady news on New Orleans and John Roberts, I'd have to say that recording this in a blog - the 100,000,000th no less - is really satisfying, I think," offered Herlinger. "My future readers, perhaps just people stumbling by on errant google searches, or maybe friends succumbing to boredom and incessant requests to "check out my blog!" may actually take some vicarious pleasure in reading about my evening. Probably not... um, definitely not - but hey Blogosphere! I'm here, look out world!"

With that Herlinger turned off his overplayed and nearly played out Sufjan Stevens album, stretched his legs, and finally turned off the harsh overhead light that had been bothering him since about 9:15.