Monday, May 14, 2012

WTF is the Operative Cake Distributor Truck?

So mysterious. So yellow.
"Agent Snackle Mouth? This is Operative Cake Distributor. 10-4"

Coming out post: I like Girls

I'm talking about the HBO show of course! Since I am so guilt-wracked over letting my blog (this blog) die, and because I spend 40 hours a week in a cubicle typing furiously (but not about anything), I haven't been keeping up with the computer screen and its magical media commentary content the way I used to... Oh! Also because all the Gawker family blogs totally suck now, like Jezebel, the blog that used to be edgy and feminist and now posts articles like "are your fat co-workers making you fat?" But hey, let's not digress. I'm talking about how I haven't kept up with every piece of media criticism, but Girls sure seems to be lightning rod for bullshit critiques that I take exception to. 

Of course I'm a little jealous of youthful writer/director/star Lena Dunham, who managed to string all her weird shit into a film and now a hilarious high-profile TV show about young women who remind me of actual people I might have encountered in my time as an actual writer in Hartford and a wannabe writer, adult intern and odd-jobber in New York City. But all I've got to show for it is this blog, that I don't even write.

Here's a not very revealing trailer!

Maybe it is kind of a niche market - a self-conscious comedy/drama for the over-educated, under-employed children of relative privilege. But the criticisms that the show is too white, or too white to be set in New York, or that the characters are unsympathetic, or unsympathetic because they've grown up privileged ring false to me. Is a racial diversity, parental wealth or likability of the protagonist truly the barometer for quality? No, that would be stupid, and nobody believes that anyway. I could name a zillion "exceptions" - many aired on the same channel - but that would be like conceding that there's a point. I think this is just part of an overall pattern of a culture whose masses by and large, enlightened as they may think they are, just aren't ready to let women be clever in the same way that men can be.

So let me talk about why this show is wonderful. Because it's smart enough to acknowledge its debt (or surface resemblence ) to Sex and the City in its very dialogue, while offering a down-to-earth counterpoint to that program about how truly non-glamorous it can be to try and cultivate a writing career and a cavalier approach to your sex life in NYC (or anywhere!). 

Because even as it's characters are indeed obnoxious in their sense of entitlement, it's self-aware enough to show them as relatively incompetent. To me there is nothing funnier than the irony of being intellectually sophisticated enough to remark that men are wont to leave their penises inside you after sex, but socially retarded enough to make a date rape joke at a job interview that's going really well. The writing is really sharp. Tempered of course by the crass subject matter. But who can't appreciate a girl who wants to differentiate between "looking like a piggy bank" and "feeling like a piggy bank" during doggy-style? Well, probably people who actually can't appreciate that difference.  People who have never "hate-read" a book. (I have hate-read so much YA fiction while house-sitting it's not even funny.) I identify so heavily with the humor style on this show, I find myself nearly memorizing each episode on first viewing, and shocked that anyone could think less of it.

To those who think the show is just too frivolous, I'm sorry they can't appreciate the rather awesome feat of taking a subject that is serious, and that nobody likes to talk about or handle well on TV - like STD testing and anxiety about AIDS for the "hook-up" generation - and takes it pretty seriously in the same episode with a bunch of crude jokes. Like when Hannah has her legs spread, feet-in-the-stirrups verbal diarrhea about how maybe HIV wouldn't be so bad and perhaps it's just what she's always wanted, that isn't the takeaway message (the gyno rightly calls her back to reality, btw). It's like when I joke about how I'll probably spend my retirement eating catfood quesadillas. Not because I'm being capricious about poverty and people who have to eat cat food now, but because realistically I probably am going to have a dead-end career path even though I'm smart and have great work ethic and watch my relative income slip downward over the years and die a spinster while economic justice goes un-served so I better just get used to the idea and pretend to like it because it's what's outside that counts. Ha! Tragedy + time, babies!

Watch Girls on Sunday nights. Or watch Mad Men on Sunday nights and watch Girls on demand or on your iPhone some other time! I hope that next season they had to move home but still try to have hipster adventures and keep the dream alive in the old stomping grounds they maybe thought they were too cool for this season.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

What's hot at the Lot: Snackle Mouth

Snackle Mouth granola nut clusters @ The Lot in Bloomfield

Struggling doughnut model Katie Scenic 
looks to broaden her horizons

Even in our prime as a blog, we eventually let our feature "What's hot at the Lot" slide. Not because we weren't making purchases at Ocean State Job Lot anymore, but because our purchases had mostly become so mundane and repetitive (much like our grownup jobs, ugh).  Also the Lot has never thanked us or offered us freebees. But our initial attraction to the Lot was always as much about trying new weird snacks as it was about getting slightly to dramatically good deals on household items.

On a recent visit we were drawn to the garish, slightly frightening packaging for Snackle Mouth, a "granola nut clusters" snack from Colorado whose packaging boasts of small time roots ("developed by 3 guys named John") and wholesome ingredients. The scary box (huh-huh) is reason enough to buy it once. The delicious taste, which is like buttery, sweet granola, with less crunch than a cereal but not as chewy as a cookie, keeps bringing us back. We've much enjoyed the Almond Maple Pecan and Almond Berry varieties.

We love the wacky snackle-man illustration, with his dripping gooey complexion, crazy eyes, nutty lesions and jaunty pot leaf Hitler 'stache. But we do fear this might be off-putting to less perverse consumers. We hope it won't keep you from enhancing your life and your diet.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Got Room?!

Saturday, May 12: The Room @ Real Art Ways, Hartford

WTF?!, right?

Here at CT Scenic we like to go both ways. If we can't see a really good film, we'll just as eagerly embrace a truly terrible one - whether it's Bill Zebub's latest masterpiece (we totally know him) or The Human Centipede (Haha, remember that? How is it possible we don't have a Human Centipede tag? Someone's been asleep at the blog, obvi). And remember how The Human Centipede took forever to get to Hartford? Well, The Room took even longer. Like ten years longer. Exponentially longer! Because it's exponentially better! Or is it worse?

Widely regarded as one of the worst films ever made, The Room has been embraced by the ironic hipster masses in Rocky Horror fashion as a participatory event to relive again and again in the theater (with cat calls, props and costumes encouraged). Here's a helpful guide for newbies. The film has also  inspired many a youtube auteur - much to the fury of the fΓΌhrer:

Come and experience the artless direction, the inexplicable dialogue, the graphic, gratuitous lovemaking, the ill-fitting suits, the quickly forgotten cancer, the betrayal, the possibly retarded neighbor kid, the exquisite panning shots of the Golden Gate Bridge, and a wealth of other goodies for yourselves.

We'll be there, for our second time. Because second is the best, and because Real Art Ways begged us to post about it and invited us as special guests, and we pretty much just roll over for free stuff and validation from our favorite elite culture venue.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Black Mariah Film and Video Festival

West Hartford, CT - Once again the University of Hartford hosts the Black Mariah Film and Video festival.

Black Mariah is a traveling festival, screening at many locations throughout the USA, plus a few choice international showings.

The screening take place tonight, Tuesday 2/21/2012 and tomorrow Wednesday 2/22/2012. The films are showing in Wilde auditorium at 7:30pm. Different films are shown each night, so consider coming to both.

Special props go to Prof Gene Gort who has kept this festival coming back to Uha for longer than he probably cares to admit.

This has been DH Scenic reporting.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How'dya like him now?

Waaaayyyyy back in August 2010, this blog endorsed Ned Lamont in the Democratic primary that would determine who would battle to become the next guv'nor of CT. We all know how well that worked out, although we found the several comments from Malloy's blog police somewhat entertaining.

And so it went, back to the daily grind for us at Scenic HQ. And then it started.

To be honest, whoever was unlucky enough to land in the governors seat would not have an easy job, due to chronic mismanagement by the previous occupants Rell and Rowland.

First it was some easily ignored news articles (I think we were hung over). Then facebook posts about how it was a shame the Rocky Hill-Glastonbury Ferry was going to be closed (a last minute deal averted the shutdown of the oldest operating ferry in the USA). Once again, after a momentary sigh, I told myself, well, tough times, we can't be so sentimental, stiff upper lip old chap.

Unfortunately as time has gone on, the chorus against Malloy has gotten louder. And not just the right side wingnutz you'd expect to oppose any Democrat. For example, competing (you did vote for us in the Hartford Advocate reader's poll, didn't you) blogger Colin McEnroe wrote this column calling out Malloy on his recent state of the state address (the end of the column points out the hypocrisy in the potential teachers salary negotiations after giving eyebrow rising concessions to state workers).

But what I read a couple of hours ago really takes the cake.

Malloy is ZEROING OUT all arts organization funding (about $11 million) as of July 1!!!! That is right in the middle of the year, in case you didn't notice. Arts organizations, who carefully considered their budgets this year counting on the funds, are now left high and dry (well maybe not so high). The administration claims the organizations can "compete" for funding, although no details on any aspect of this competition can currently be provided.

Strangest part is the announcement of $10 million to be dumped into advertising the state in order to attract more tourists. Which leaves me to wonder what are those tourists going to do when they get here?

More importantly what are the Scenics going to do without a robust arts scene? Sex, drugs and rock n roll gets kinda boring after a time (actually, total lie, it never gets old).

After taking all the above into careful consideration, I have decided to do the only thing I can at this time:

This blog officially endorses Ned Lamont for Governor. If he decides to run again (it wouldn't surprise me if wanted to be done with elected office here).

Per his Facebook page Ned just returned from Egypt and Tunis, and will be giving a talk at CCSU on February 28 in Vance 105. Topics will include the Arab Spring uprisings and the situation in Syria.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Burlesque-Paris Style

We all know the French are renown as the worlds best lovers, but what about their burlesque chops? They claim to be the best, although CT has Dot Mitzvah and Kitty Katastrophe (two of CT Scenic's faves). Who's right? We're about to find out, our friends at RAW are bringing the documentary Crazy Horse to us, screening on March 2. Check out this too sexy for youtube trailer while you still can.

Monday, February 6, 2012

By the way...

In case you've been wondering "What's going on with the blog?"

It's not you, it's us.


The Scenics

The Onion Strikes Again

The Scenics tend to like everything dark and sarcastic. So, we were delighted a few months back with this gem from our favorite news source.

Well it turns out that a certain someone (Rep. John Fleming, R-La., of course) thought it was real, posting it on his facebook page in order to stir up the rage of his constituents.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

So, about that new Rudy's

Its about time we checked out the new Rudy's in their new location, which opened on the corner of Chapel and Howe a few months ago, just a few blocks away from their old location, which we now know as Elm Bar. I'm not sure what we were expecting to walk into, but totally experienced a moment of shock and confusion as we took in the large, clean, newly painted, and did I mention CLEAN landscape of the bar and restaurant area.

(Pardon the crappy pics, the Scenic with the good cellphone camera was busy last night, probably sexting)

The stark contrast to the dark, dingy, carved up little dive bar that is associated with the name Rudy's was a little disorienting at first, but we found that many of the old tabletops and wood panels, with years of initials lovingly and deeply etched in, had been preserved and put into the back room. It certainly is spacious; the front room, where is bar is located, is clean and restaurant-y, and the back room has a teensy bit of old Rudy's nostalgia.

The entertainment for the evening was a handsome dude DJ team doing what a friend described to us as a "Shag Frenzy-esque" dance night, which is just getting off the ground and hoping to become a regular monthly fixture. The music was fun, and I can't claim to be hipster enough to recognize most of it, but did enjoy dancing to Crystal Castles, Ladytron, Talking Heads, Franz Ferdinand, and the Ting Tings. They had this really sexy lightning lamp on their table!

My first drink was this tiny little thing for $6.50, but I quickly wised up and asked for a taller glass for my next, um, 5.

I saw lots of people enjoying fancy beers in interesting looking glasses, and for those of you who care, the Guinness cost $5.50. Although Rudy's now has a full kitchen, I failed to see a menu laying around or anyone really eating food, except for the fries and a few people eating salads at the bar. Its like, its Rudy's, but Rudy's plus... wearing fancy pants... with a bathroom that is not totally scary and gross.