Monday, April 20, 2015

Conan Writer Blasts Late Night Comedy, Gets Blasted by Conan

Posted By on Mon, Apr 20, 2015 at 1:58 PM

In a social media rebuke of what he called "Prom King Comedy," which had television executives buzzing on both coasts, a writer for Conan O'Brien blasted the complacent status of late night television—and got some pushback from an unlikely source: his own employer.

In a series of tweets, Andres du Bouchet wrote statements like "comedy in 2015 needs a severe shakeup." He pointed to what he said were "celebrities, parodies, pranks, mash-ups and hashtag wars," taking particular aim at staples of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

"Shove your lip-synching up your ass," du Bouchet wrote. "Prom King Comedy. That's what I call all this shit," 

On April 20, Conan O'Brien took notice. He tweeted, "I wish one of my writers would focus on making my show funnier instead of tweeting stupid things about the state of late night comedy."

Du Bouchet has since deleted his earlier tweets but late Sunday, he tweeted this: "Geez, I wish this many people gave a crap about my opinions when I was THE leading oncological researcher in the world."
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Boise Author Anthony Doerr Lands Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Posted By on Mon, Apr 20, 2015 at 1:48 PM

Anthony Doerr's novel, All the Light We Cannot See, has won critical and popular acclaim. The New York Times called it one of the 10 best books of 2014, and it spent the better part of a year on the New York Times Bestseller List. It was also a finalist for the National Book Award.

Now, it has landed its author the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Pulitzer prizes have been awarded to works of fiction since 1947, and its winners have included Cormac McCarthy, John Updike and Saul Bellow. They come with a $10,000 award. This year's jury, consisting of Chicago Tribune literary editor Elizabeth Taylor, author and NPR book commentator Alan Cheuse and Southern Methodist University Professor of English David Haynes, selected All the Light We Cannot See over Let Me Be Frank With You by Richard Ford, The Moor's Account by Laila Lalami and Lovely, Dark, Deep by Joyce Carol Oates. 

Doerr was a "BW Citizen" in 2011, when he was in the running for the Sunday Times Prize for his short story "The Deep." Shortly after the interview, he was declared the winner, being chosen from about 2,000 entries for the $48,000 prize. 
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Mr. Cope's Cave: Listen Here

Posted By on Mon, Apr 20, 2015 at 11:23 AM

Not gonna write much today. Just a couple of quick things, then I'm sticking on a music video. If you feel shorted on reading material, spend the extra time I've saved you thinking about what kind of governor would veto a bill that would have allowed some relief to little kids with debilitating epileptic seizures. I guess it's just too bad it isn't Jack Daniels-flavored chaw that's in question rather than cannabis oil, huh?

And about the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing: Never let anyone tell you that America isn't just as capable as any back-ass, third-world shithole of producing soulless savages who put their ideology above all else, including human life.

Now... Eddie Harris. "Listen Here." Good stuff. Makes you want to shimmy and shake and maybe forget about the soulless savages for a time.

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Mr. Cope's Cave: Official State Dumbshit: WE HAVE A WINNER!!!

Posted By on Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 1:58 PM

If you remember, back in January when I launched the continuing series "Just When You Thought Your Legislature Couldn't Get Any Dumber...," I set forth a goal to pick an Official State Dumbshit of 2015 from the rich field of possibilities provided by the assembly of men and women who congregate in Boise every winter to the purpose of getting Idaho through another year. Now that they have finished up that business and gone back to their separate squats scattered about the hills and hollers of our state, there is no more occasion for potential winners to display their credentials for the title—at least in such a public way. I'm certain that such behavior as we see in the Capitol Building for these three or four months of legislative doofishness has plenty of opportunity to manifest itself back in Goat Gut Junction and Sagebrush Hump, Potato City and Gopher Crossing, Shiny Rock and Cow Falls, but that would be a matter for their neighbors and families alone, and not anything the rest of us need concern ourselves with. Not, at least, not until they get their suits dry-cleaned, their shoes re-shined, and show up next January, ready to do it all over again.

I come to you today to announce the winner of this year's Official State Dumbshit designation. I must say, however, there wasn't quite as much participation in the competition for the title as I expected. To my knowledge, not even one Legislator got all drunked up, stole a pickup truck and went rampaging through Canyon County crashing into things. Nor did any of them get into a major piss-off with the local sheriff after lying about past criminal activity while applying for a concealed weapons permit. Compared to these past examples of elected official brilliance, 2015 has been relatively lackluster. And I must say that there were actually a few accomplishments that might make one think there is more on the minds of some of these lawmakers than figuring out a way they can carry a gun anywhere they want, or how they can grab public lands away from the Feds and sell it off to the highest bidders.

For instance, they actually managed to get some much-needed money to education and infrastructure, making me think one or two of them might have some sense that the future of Idaho is at least as important as the need to meddle in women's reproductive affairs. They also approved funding for a mental health crisis center in Northern Idaho—and judging by the specimens North Idaho has been sending to the Legislature lately, it couldn't be located in a more appropriate panhandle.

So by and large, this session will likely rank on the dull end on the long-range buffoonery meter, and I anticipate that Official State Dumbshits in coming years will push 2015's line-up entirely out of mind. But let us review the talent we had to work with this year, shall we?

The first nominee was Republican Ken Andrus, who explained his vote against the giant salamander for state amphibian on the basis of its inherent ickyness. We'll probably never know whether Rep. Andrus was counting on someone finding a cuter, fuzzier amphibian that would represent Idaho in a manner more cuddly, or if he was just philosophically opposed to the recognition of any animal that can't be trained to retrieve ducks, be ridden in a rodeo, or eaten. But it matters little now, since in the wake of some mild public umbrage over the poor Idaho giant salamander being rejected five years running, the legislature reversed itself and gave it official status as our favorite web-footed critter.

Second in line—chronologically if not in terms of noxiousness—came Republican Vito Barbieri when he made news from sea to shining sea by suggesting a woman might get a travelogue film of her reproductive organs by swallowing one of those tiny cameras and watching the trip it takes as it moves through her body. Now, to be fair, Rep. Barbieri claims he was simply trying to be witty, and I am willing to take him at his word on that. However, he would still qualify for the dumbshit crown, as only a dumbshit could possibly believe what he said was funny.

Then came Nampa Republican Christy Perry, who worked to block a measure that would have criminalized a parent's sacred right to deny medical attention to a sick child, based on a religious creed that holds if God wants the kid dead, so be it. Honestly, I put her in the running for Official State Dumbshit, but it didn't feel quite right then, and it doesn't feel quite right now. After all, in my sense of words and their associations, "dumbshit" carries with it a hint of farce and foolishness. Picture a clown slipping on a banana peel, or a legislator making a joke about objects entering a woman's mouth and exiting from her vagina ... •that's• a dumbshit. The term is not strictly defined by levity, but there is certainly an element of levity involved.

Yet with Christy Perry's brand of stunning stupidity, I find no levity, no lightness, no farce. All I feel about a defense of childicide by disease is evil. You know ... the sort of thing we associate with ISIS when it beheads a reporter, or the Taliban when it shoots young girls in the head for the sin of attending school.

The last entrant came originally as a trio. As one of the judges, I deemed that Senators (and Republicans) Steve Vick, Lori Den Hartog and Sheryl Nuxoll deserved to share the honors for their well-publicized stunt of walking out of an opening prayer given by a Hindu. And had it gone no further than that—a simple yet effective demonstration of what ignorant, rude, intolerant, yahoo assholes they are—they likely would have ended up no more than honorable mentions in this competition.

Yet one of them could not stop talking, a trait common to dumbshits the world over. Sheryl Nuxoll... did I mention she is a Republican?... felt compelled to justify her vulgarity by lecturing on how the Hindu gods are false, and that America is undeniably a Christian country, and that as a state senator, she should not be setting an example of tolerance for other faiths. Every cliché that tumbled from her mouth made her an ever-stronger contender for the title.

But what decided it for this judge—and I hesitate to name any of the other judges, as I haven't had time to make up their names yet—was an incident from the aftermath of the 2012 presidential election. I had all but forgotten about it, but a nagging feeling I had written the words "Sheryl Nuxoll" before prompted me to do a little Googling, and there she was—the legislator who suggested that Idaho Electoral College delegates should unite with delegates from other red states in refusing to approve the re-election of Barack Obama, thereby throwing the decision to Congress, which would of course make Mitt Romney president, in spite of what a solid majority of Americans had just done in the ballot box.

In other words, anything that doesn't meet Senator Nuxoll's approval—from a Hindu prayer to a presidential election—should be ignored.

Nuxoll has also made some out-of-state news by sounding the alarm that Obamacare is just like the Holocaust. And more recently, she has been front an center in the current crisis in child support by being one of that fistful of cretins who killed Idaho's access to $46 million in federal enforcement money on the grounds it might give Sharia law a foothold in Idaho.

All told, how could we not give her the title.

So I present to you, ladies and gentlemen of Idaho, Grangeville's own SHERYL NUXOLL, our state's first Official State Dumbshit!

And until her district neighbors become as embarrassed as they rightfully should be for sending this f***ing moron to befoul our lives and our Legislature, I've little doubt we will be hearing more from her in the future.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Call to Boise Artists: Grants Available Through Newly Founded Alexa Rose Foundation

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 2:04 PM

Alexa Rose Howell's "Maurice" was a Boise Weekly cover in 2013. - ALEXA ROSE HOWELL
  • Alexa Rose Howell
  • Alexa Rose Howell's "Maurice" was a Boise Weekly cover in 2013.
When longtime Boise artist Alexa Rose passed away in January 2013, she left behind a comet tail of artwork, the Alexa Rose Gallery and deep roots in Boise's arts community. Add to her legacy The Alexa Rose Foundation, founded in 2014, which for the first time is initiating a grant process for local artists. 

This year, the foundation will award up to 20 grants for between $250 and $5,000 to visual artists in Ada and Canyon counties for college tuition, class fees and workshops in the visual arts, travel expenses for projects related to new work, arts conference expenses, exhibitions and specific projects. 

Grants in 2015 will go toward visual artists but the foundation will fund other arts projects in the future, including literary work, performance art and music.

To apply, you need the following: a completed application form, a one-page statement of purpose, a budget, images of past work and any applicable support materials. Applications will be judged based on the effect the grant would likely have on creative work, whether the grant will go toward a specific project, arts development or education within a year, and the quality of work samples provided. 

Applications are due Saturday, May 30, at 4 p.m. via thumb drive to the Alexa Rose Foundation, 1020 Main St., Ste. 270, Boise, ID 83702, or by email to Grants will be announced Wednesday, July 1. For more information and application materials, click on the PDF below.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Registration Opens for i48 Film Competition and Festival

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 2:39 PM

Registration has opened for filmmakers—both seasoned and novice—to join the 12th annual i48 Film Competition and Festival.

In the contest, teams of two or more have 48 hours (Friday-Sunday, May 29-31) to write, cast, shoot and edit a three- to six-minute film. 

Entry forms can be mailed or hand-delivered to the Flicks by Saturday, May 16, with an entry fee of $50. Any applications received after May 16 will need an entry fee of $100. The cut-off date for applications is Friday, May 29, at 5:30 p.m., at the pre-production meeting held at Municipal Park.

At that meeting, teams will be assigned elements to incorporate into their movie such as a line of dialogue, a prop, a character, and the genre for their film. Genres in the past included drama, comedy, western, thriller, science fiction, action, documentary, mock-u-mentary, silent film, noir, experimental, music video and musicals.

Films will be judged by a panel, then be screened at the Flicks in Boise Saturday, June 6. The following day, the "Best of i48" screening and awards will show at the Egyptian Theatre at 5 p.m.

Anyone can participate and select which category to enter: novice or open division. Participants don't need to live in the Treasure Valley, either. Participants from around the state can submit finished films online. Cash prizes are awarded to festival winners.
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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

This Summer's Most-Anticipated Movies

Posted By on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 12:53 PM

The most anticipated movie of this summer? Avengers: Age of Ultron by a mile. The latest Avengers flick opens Friday, May 1, and features Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk, Thor and... you know the rest.

According to a new survey from Fandango, and reported by Variety, 54 percent of respondents said Avengers: Age of Ultron was the one movie they're most anxious to see. It is followed by Jurassic World (14 percent), Mission ImpossibleRogue Nation (10 percent), Terminator: Genisys (6 percent ) and Mad Max: Fury Road (5 percent ) 

The most anticipated family film is Minions, according to the survey and the most anticipated summer comedy is Pitch Perfect 2.

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Mr. Cope's Cave: Dear Pres ... er, Mrs. Clinton

Posted By on Mon, Apr 13, 2015 at 3:49 PM

Mr. Cope's Cave: Dear Pres ... er, Mrs. Clinton, 

I know you must have 40 tons of mail to get through, so I'll make this short. Just wanted to say how happy I am you're in it for good, and go get 'em!

Actually, I was hoping to have a big spectacular deal written up for when you entered the race because I am !!!SOOOO EXCITED!!! you are going to be our next president, and don't let any of those shrimpy dorks on the Republican side tell you any different, but ... well, to be honest, since when I heard you were going to make you're announcement Sunday, it's been sort of a rough crappy week. I spent most of it sick with some irritating crud that had me blowing my schnoz every 30 seconds. And then by Friday, I was feeling better so I went out and spent about three hours on my garden tiller, which just shook the holy crap out of me because I'm trying to break some ground that, unbeknownst to me, had turned into concrete over the winter. And then I got sick again, only worse than I was before, and then Sunday rolled around and you made your announcement, which I didn't hear because I spent most of the day in bed except for the trip I took to buy some seed spuds which I haven't gotten planted yet because I felt so punky, and then today rolled around and the big spectacular deal I had hoped to write up for you didn't exactly get written.

Except for this.

And I guess down deep, I'm glad you probably won't be reading this yourself because now that I've written enough to re-read, I can see that it's sort of pathetic and about as spectacular as a drippy schnozz, and I hope you don't think this is the best I can do if you somehow do read it because I know I can do better. And to be honest with you, I've been sort of hoping you would somehow ... like, by a weird miracle ... read the big spectacular deal I'd hoped to write and then you'd get in touch with me and ask if I would give you a hand with your Inauguration Address, which I am !!!SOOOOO EXCITED!!! you'll be giving even if I don't get chosen to write it, which I'm sure I won't be if this is all you ever read of what I've written. I shouldn't even put it on the Internet on the off chance you are Googling yourself and come across it. But I have to because what with all the punky schnozz dripping and getting the holy crap shaken out of me and the hoping I could come up with a big spectacular deal written thing for your announcement and seed spuds sitting around waiting to get planted, this is the only thing I've gotten written all weekend. So on the Internet it goes, pathetic or not, because it's all I got.

By the way, I don't think Googling yourself would be a very good idea. The shrimpy dorks are being as nasty to you as they can be and it's going to get a lot worse before you're elected President. 
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Friday, April 10, 2015

Mr. Cope's Cave: Oh ... And Did I Forget To Mention He's a F***ing Baboon?

Posted By on Fri, Apr 10, 2015 at 4:00 PM

Mr. Cope, have you noticed you've been using a lot more dirty words lately?

Nah. I don't think so. You're wrong. I've been using dirty words for years and years. Fact, the first time I ever said “f*** you” out loud, it was to Richard Nixon. That's President Richard Nixon, while he is still president. Course ... he was on teevee at the time, and I made sure nobody else was in the room when I said it, and I sort of whispered it anyway, so I can't prove anything. But, no, I've been talking like Joe Pesci since way before I knew there was such a thing as a Joe Pesci.

No, I mean in your blog.

Oh. You mean I've been writing a lot more dirty words.

Uh-huh. My mom said something about it when I was over there the other day. She's been reading your column for years and she thinks that since you started doing a blog, you've gotten a lot dirtier mouth than you used to have.

Is she offended, Junior?

I think she is, Mr. Cope. In fact, she said "I just don't know why he's using so many nasty words anymore. Can't he think of anything else to say?" See, she always told me that cursing shows a person doesn't have a very mature vocabulary.

Ah. That's very perspicacious of her.

What? What did you just say about my mom!?

Nothing, nothing. I just meant she must be a smart lady.

Uh-huh. She is. She also taught me that swearing a lot shows a lack of character. You know, like people of good character don't need to swear all the time.

Well, she's probably right. But the deal is, I don't need to swear. I just like to swear. And I've never claimed I had a good character, anyway.

She also says that calling people names means you don't have an effective argument on your side.

She said that about me!?

Oh, no. No no. Not about you. Uh ... well, actually, yes. She said that about you the other day when I was over there. She said, "If he's calling so many of those Republicans nasty names, it means he doesn't have an effective argument on his side." And I think she's right, Mr. Cope. At least about you doing a lot more name-calling. It's like everybody is an "a-hole" this or a "poop-head" that. Only you don't say "a-hole" and "poop-head." You say the whole dirty word and I don't think you used to do that so much.

You're absolutely right. I have been calling more people assholes and shitheads than I ever used to. I admit it.

Why, Mr. Cope? Why are you doing it?

I'd say it's pretty obvious, Gilligan. It's because there are lot more assholes and shitheads around these days, wouldn't you agree? Especially in politics. I mean, I know you're young and all, but do you remember a time when there were so many assholes and shitheads out there? Say, running for president? Or getting elected to the Congress?

But couldn't you think of something else to say about them?

Well of course I can think of other things to say about them. What do you think I am? ... some kind of half-wit Republican shithead or something? I can think of all kinds of different things to say about them, especially when one of them goes above and beyond being a run-of-the-mill asshole. Ted Cruz, for instance, or Lindsay Graham, whom I call "f***ing assholes." See what I'm getting at? I like to layer my name-calling. It's like putting a flannel shirt on over a sweater over another flannel shirt. And seriously, a couple of those guys are working up to "f***ing asshole shitheads." James Inhofe, for instance ... or Daryl Issa. If it gets any worse, I'll probably have to start using foreign words.

That's not what I mean, Mr. Cope. I mean, shouldn't a political commentator ... or whatever you call yourself ... try to show these people you don't agree with are wrong by the logic of your argument? ... or by the facts and statistics of the issues? ... or something like that, instead of calling them the nastiest names you can think of? That's what Mom says you should be doing.< /span>

I hate to tell you this, Scooby, but your mom is wrong.

What? What did you just say about my mom!?

Relax. I'm sure your mom is the very best kind of person there is, and I have no doubt her heart's in the right place. It's just that a person as good as your mom may not realize you can make an effective argument against an asshole, and still call him a n asshole. In fact, if the reason an asshole is totally wrong about an issue ... John Boehner, for example, or John McCain ... is predicated on his being an asshole, then I would be leaving out a huge link of the chain of logic against him if I did not call him an asshole. Or in Boehner's case, a f***ing asshole. Get it? It's like, if you're trying to explain why a baboon does what it does, you don't start out by neglecting to tell people he's a baboon, do you?

So you're saying the a-hole condition is as much the cause as the effect?

Egg-zactly! Mitch McConnell, for example ... or any Senator from Texas ... they didn't become assholes by behaving like assholes. No no no. They're behaving like assholes because they are assholes.

Hum. I'll have to think about that.

Absolutely, Zipper. You should think about that. And look, I'm awfully sorry if your mom is offended by my swearing. But tell her I've dedicated myself to getting to the bottom of things. You know ... the lowest common denominator of why it's turned so shitty in America. And you simply can't get there from here without using the most precise words available to describe the people doing it. Can't be done! That'd be like substituting a Smiley Face for the Pi symbol in trying to calculate the area of a circle, just because you find Greek letters offensive. You can see that, can't you?

Hum. I'll have to think about that, too.

Alright, Buzzy. That'll give you something to do this weekend.

One thing, Mr. Cope. If you're so dedicated to using the most precise language available to get to the root of America's current troubles, should you be using asterisks in that one word you say all the time?

Which wor ... oooooh. You mean “f***.”

Uh-huh. That's the word I mean. You always write it out with asterisks instead of letters. It seems to me if you are compelled to describe a screwy situation precisely, you're ducking the naked reality of it all when you disguise that word behind a mask of asterisks. Does that make sense?

Yes, Beaver. You're absolutely right. But, you see, my dedication to the truth is a work in progress. There are still lengths to which I still feel uncomfortable going. And there's a vast difference ... at least in my mind, if nowhere else ... between writing "shit," and writing "f***." I think it must be my age."

But you and my mom are the same age, about.

My point exactly. Let's just say the asterisks are for her.

I'll tell her that, Mr. Cope. I'm sure she'll appreciate it.

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Poll: How Many Times Will You Go to the Movies This Year?

Posted By on Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 6:52 PM

Are you a diehard moviegoer? Do you get angry when the Academy picks the wrong best picture at the Oscars? Or do you prefer to catch movies when they come out on Netflix? We're interested in your moviegoing habits—please participate in our poll!
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