Angry Robot


The weblogger’s best friend is google, as many have pointed out. Many have also pointed out their bizarre search requests (mental image of thousands of webmasters scratching their heads over searches like “wife “adult diaper”“ and “gangbang crimefighter”). This very weblog is proud to be the #1 google result for king of jumpsuit, the #1 choice for wimpy burger, #3 for iraq and 911, #7 for closet fascist and millenium actress, and #17 for obey giant.

Why is that, I’ll pretend you ask?

The answer is simple, little Timmy. pats head of adorable little scamp My individual archives use the entry title as the HTML title tag, which google prioritizes highly. (It also favours weblogs in general, but that’s a long story.) Hence, an entry titled “wimpy burger” takes the wimpy burger crown. Suck it, Wimpy Burger!

But enough of this palaver. On to the point. There’s been a lot of talk lately across the weblog scene about googlebombing. Googlebombing to date seems either jokey or aggressive, either a lark perpetrated on a friend’s site or a populist uprising against a corrupt web company. What about benevolent googlebombing? What if I was concerned that a certain google search wasn’t returning relevant information easily enough, so I set up a page with that info and try to get Google to rank it as high as possible? That’s right, I’m going to try exactly that, on the topic of Russ Meyer… coming soon. I’ve done repeated searches for the man and what the web needs is a page with all the relevant data in one place. Having watched almost all his films (for work! I swear!), I think I could help out.

And by the way, I’d also like to be the number one search result for shitbag.

The Leafs



Apparently when I was small I was obsessed with masks. (This is the source of many an amusing and/or embarassing anecdote, depending on whether you’re me or not, at family gatherings and the like.) At one point, I refused to go out in public without one on. I also lobbied for the entire family to wear them. I told my mother, “you should wear a mask of yourself so I can see what you really look like.” This last tidbit has only recently come to light. Clearly I misunderstood some aspects of the mask/face relationship, but it also explains certain of my present day opinions, such as what I consider the best Hallowe’en costume ever: my friend Andy dressing up as my friend Brooks.


Although I shouldn’t be posting here right now, I need to ask: does anyone have pointers for nifty little things I can do on a Palm Pilot? (Good games, programs, etc.) I seem to have one, for a little while anyway.


You’ve reached d/blog. I’m moving this week, so I’ll be away from the weblog more than I’d like. Please leave a message in the ‘comments’ area, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.


What with it being a year since I started doing the Caesar weblog, I’ve been thinking about that whole thing a fair amount. It’s a very strange thing, that thing I do. When people ask me about it they say “how’s Caesar doing?” and I respond, “he’s fine, he did [this or that].” It’s a strange thing, to get into character for 15 minutes a day. I’ve been treating him like a separate person. And when it comes to the site, I try to stay in character as well. He only allows comments on certain posts, when I imagine he might actually care what people think about something – for example, he wants to hear all manner of praise for having done the site for a year. I took out a MeFi text ad for him, and I phrased it as I thought he might: fluid, simple, somewhat pompous, with typical Caesar sentence structure (Latin-style), the verb delayed as long as possible.

There’s a lot of things that I should improve about his site, but frankly much of the time he’s just a pain in the ass. Aw fuck, I think, I’ve got to update Caesar again. But I keep doing it; and other times it borders on the rewarding, and sometimes even crosses right over into “shucks, this is fun” territory.

Shortly after starting the site I realized it’s not really a weblog at all, rather a journal, but I felt it was too late to change. I resent that now. And sometimes I resent how long it will take – at the rate I’m going (4:1 time compression) I will be doing this for three more years. Damn, I need to pick up the pace!

But as I say, there are fun moments. I like getting mail from highschool students asking for help with their Caesar-related papers. I like the other D getting excited when Caesar links to him. I like other people contacting me about doing other historical weblogs (although I don’t like that they never seem to stick it out. Persistence, people!). I like the odd mention in obscure newspapers.

Yet I worry that the project is at best an obscure one; that I am at best a person obsessed with the obscure; that I am doomed, at best, to spend my life wallowing in obscurities. While people like Caesar are out there taking over the world. Ah, the lament of the third-rate biographer.

But. To flip flop again. (And to move from the position of biographer to that of third-rate motivational coach.) As I tend to say about smoking: I’m not a quitter.

collage, BC b-day

There’s a new collage done. You may note it’s composed of pictures I took, which could possibly make you wonder why I haven’t posted anything to d/photo for a couple months. If you were to ask me about this, I would answer: a) I didn’t think any of the living room photos really stood on their own, and b) I don’t have a camera (had to borrow one to take those shots). Lack of camera makes photoblog sad. I’ll try to get right on that.

More importantly, today is Bloggus Caesari‘s first birthday. That’s right, a whole year of obscure Roman history, in tasty weblog™ form!


A cartoon parable of the neverending Mideast Crisis. (via a.wholelottanothing)

spidey & revisionist superheroes

I saw Spider-Man like everyone else last weekend, and while more or less impressed, was struck by the discrepancy between the Peter Parker scenes and those involving Spidey himself. The first act is a great piece of screenwriting and direction, with his discovery of new abilities told visually and concisely. And McGuire is fabulous in the Parker role. But the naturalism generated during this first hour seems weirdly at odds with the muscle-suited cavorting that begins to occupy the story’s attention. I think something was missing between Spidey’s shoddily-outfitted wrestling bout and his sudden slickness in the real costume. (Did he make that thing himself?) I found Defoe over the top, but this may be a result of the aforementioned style clash – and many whom I have talked with loved him as the Goblin, so possibly I’m on my own here. But I found Parker much more interesting than Spidey, and that has to make you wonder.

Why are superhero characters so popular these days? Weren’t we supposed to be distrustful of heroes, at least moreso now than earlier in the century? Yet the past 13 years have seen a mad explosion in superhero filmmaking. How long will the boom last before superhero films go the way of the western and musical and the franchises come crashing down? Maybe Spider-man, with the geek real-life identity overpowering the fascist fantasy, is a signal that the winds are changing. Hopefully we will see a good revisionist superhero movie soon. Batman came close. If you strip the revenge plot from The Crow, you have a revisionist superhero (a psychopath who pierces a victim’s organs in alphabetical order, amongst other things). But possibly Ang Lee’s Hulk will use the Jeckyll-Hyde material effectively and be remembered as The Searchers in tights.


To continue the topic drift from day to day, I’ve gotten myself very excited about Weezer‘s new album. It rocks to beat the band. Mere mortals can pick it up in stores on tuesday. Also scope out the Rivers Cuomo correspondence archive, which relates the strange tale of a rockstar coming to value the opinions of his fans via the magic of the “Internet” thing we’ve all heard so much about. (Okay – it’s not a new link, but it’s a good one.)

update, friday:: fine, here’s some new stuff for ya. An interview with Cuomo in Billboard touches on some interesting things: Cuomo is now the band’s manager, Cuomo plays hardball with Geffen, Cuomo’s use of the web, Cuomo’s hidden love of the Scorpions.

here's where the strings come in

Just while we’re on the topic of orchestral covers of rock songs, along comes classical weezer.

Stu Phillips

Wow. The composer of the soundtrack to Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Stu Phillips, also composed the Knight Rider theme and produced Nina Simone. It seems he also spent a great deal of time conducting an orchestra through a number of Beatles covers, and we all know that orchestral covers of rock songs make the Baby Jesus smile (I’m looking at you here, Bob James).

While I’m at it, if you’re not familiar with Russ Meyer, BVD is a great place to start. His first of two Hollywood films, it’s more a parody of Valley of the Dolls than a sequel. Besides, it was written by Roger Ebert, and contains the line, “you’re a groovy boy – I’d like to strap you on sometime.” ‘Nuff said.

microbiology conspiracy

Eleven microbiologists mysteriously dead over the span of just five months. Some of them world leaders in developing weapons-grade biological plagues. Others the best in figuring out how to stop millions from dying because of biological weapons. Still others, experts in the theory of bioterrorism.

From the Globe and Mail, hardly a bastion of tin-hatted paranoid ranting. Is this not a case where the conspiracy theory is the most plausible explanation?

My life is no longer complete

The popcorn fork. (via Josh Allen‘s thing at webmonkey)