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I've been going through an ELO phase lately, collecting all of their studio albums. (Judge me if you want to, but you can do a lot worse than ELO.) And that led me to this animation that used tracks from ELO's 1981 album Time as an unauthorized soundtrack.

Don't blink, or you might miss Batman and Robin!

Believe it or not, that animation was originally created 40 years ago by university students for a 1983 Japanese science fiction convention DAICON IV. I'd say it stands up about as well as ELO's music does, which is to say "Very Well."

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Mark Evanier, who has written a few comic books in his day, recently posted on his website,, a YouTube of a Japanese take on Neal Hefti's familiar Batman television theme. Since I don't have time today to come up with anything better, I'm reposting it here.


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Watching football this week, I saw a commercial promoting the an upcoming Aquaman movie trailer. That's literally a commercial for a commercial.

Meanwhile, McDonald's has taken to airing commercials featuring movie clips that feature McDonald's product placement, in other words a commercial featuring other commercials.

As loathe as I am to give any attention to a Coca-Cola competitor, the highlight of the televised NFL opening weekend was easily this Frito-Lay ad featuring a handful of washed-up NFL has-beens... plus Dan Marino.

Nothing sells potato chips like a little memento mori.

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This Batman and Football month has been a little light on the Batman so far. That shouldn't come as a big surprise. They literally don't make Batman comics like they used to.

These days, the trend is to focus more on the incredible wealth, the impossible physical feats, the extended family of once-were-Robins, and the acrobatic sex with bondage-geared Catwoman (and her whip). Think of it as Batman for a prurient HBO audience.

I like my Batman to lean a little more on the cerebral side, with a heavy dose of "Detective" in my comics. He's genuinely determined to make the world a better place through his force of will, and for him that means solving crimes that the police can't.

The fact that he dresses like a bat professionally should be treated like a personality quirk grown from a damaged childhood, tolerated by others because of Batman's great genius. (Consider that Scotland Yard never built a Sherlock Holmes signal.)

While it increasingly seems that "my" Batman belongs to the past, I can live with that. I'm sure everyone's favorite characters are the ones they grew up with. I hope I'm wrong, and one day a better Batman will come along, but in the meantime, we've always got yesterday.

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I often say that I'm completely impervious to advertising. I'm too intelligent and too set in my ways to fall for such blatant manipulation.

And then came this.

I got as far as the keytar, and I immediately ordered a dozen pairs of women's soccer shoes.

Seriously though. If someone ever made a video like this about me, I would have it playing on every television in my house until I died. And then I would find a way to have it play on my tombstone.

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I just listed to Haim's "Want You Back" on repeat for three straight hours, and I don't regret it.

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Looks like it's time to buy a Roku.

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Speaking of quotes that have gotten stuck in my head over the years:

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

—Mary Schmidt
"Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young"
Chicago Tribune, June 1, 1997 [source]

I first heard that in my 20s, and now I'm in my 40s. And it *still* applies to me.

For more information about the song that contains that quote, visit

For the song itself:

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We recently changed cable providers, and for the first time in a long time, we have some "premium" channels. Skinemax has gotten a lot more explicit than I remember. Back in my day, Shannon Tweed used to parade around topless and simulate a lot of foreplay. There's not a lot of "simulating" in what they air now. These days, they seem to only hire Method actors, if you know what I mean.

This is not an exaggeration. Wicked Pictures hardcore DVD Thief of Hearts is currently airing on my television as Showtime softcore Stealing Lust, fundamentally the same movie with the most revealing shots and camera angles edited out. (And before you ask, no, I did not know that either film existed off the top of my head. It took no small amount of creative Googling to uncover they were the same movie. Blogging sure can be hard work.)

I'm not complaining, exactly. If you didn't know that the modern actors were doing less acting, the biggest on-screen difference between softcore then and softcore now is mostly a matter of presentation style. (Does anyone know what a merkin is anymore?) And tattoos. So many tattoos now.

If I really miss anything about the softcore films of old, it's the music. I think I first saw The Joy of Flying in 1990. I can't tell you much of anything about the movie (other than that there was a lot of topless frolicking), but the soundtrack left a lasting impression.

All choreographed sex scenes could use a little more big band action if you ask me.

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When I was in elementary school, my favorite book was Bunnicula. (Actually, if memory serves, my favorite was the third book in the "Bunnicula" series, The Celery Stalks at Midnight. You gotta love that title!)

In a fit of nostalgia, I searched to see if that book was still in publication. Turns out it is. A 40th Anniversary Edition was released in 2019. And surprise, surprise, in 2016 it was turned into a series of 104 cartoons for Cartoon Network. (Where was I while that was happening?)

Now, I happen to know that the 2016 cartoon is not the first animated adaptation. Bunnicula, the Vampire Rabbit was produced in 1982 by Ruby-Spears (the same company that brought the world Police Academy: The Animated Series). I had only the vaguest recollection that this existed, and if you don't remember seeing it, that's because it is objectively awful.

But don't take my word for it.

Teach the kids early: the book is always better than the movie.

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To be continued...


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