Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I think, therefore I blog. And that makes for some thinking

It's funny, I honestly e-mailed a friend of mine this past Saturday what the word meme means in blogging lingo. He explained it to me (thank you Paul).

So that leads me to my next question. How do you pronounce it? Let's say I was at a cocktail party and blogging came up and to be in the know I said "yeah, just the other day I was part of a meme." Would I pronounce it like may may? Like mame? Like mem? Like mammy? Somebody help me out here.

Anyway about the meme (pronounced mame here). It was a few days ago that I was at Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule and I saw that Dennis had been honored for the Thinking Blogger's Award. And I thought, absolutely. Dennis' site is excellent and I am consistently jealous of the thought he puts into his pieces and the subject matter he addresses. Just recently, he wrote a very thoughtful review of Hostel Part II. Thoughtful enough that it made we want to run out and see it and that's really saying something since I don't care much for Eli Roth or his past work. As a writer myself, I know there is 'power in the written word' and Dennis does that phrase proud. In looking at his blog, I realize that I have a lot to learn and am consistently humbled by it and a bit embarrassed at times by some of my posts feeling I didn't spend enough time with them or think them entirely through. I realize at this point that I haven't even really gotten to the point of this post, which means this bad boy is going to be long, so settle in my friends and perhaps grab a snack.

Anyway, as part of the meme (pronounced may may here) Dennis was to in turn list five blogs that made him think. Of course his list was excellent and as thoughtful as the rest of his posts. The last one on his list hit pretty close to home. Not literally, just figuratively. He listed Damian's blog Windmills Of My Mind. Damian and I often share opinions and ideas on each others blogs and I would consider him a 'blogging' friend. So when I saw that this award was bestowed unto him, I was a proud to know Damian and even a bit jealous.

In the world of film blogging there are about three types of bloggers. I call it my three-tiered-film-blogging system TM 1) Those who provide the latest movie news and comment on that. 2) Those who aspire to be movie critics and write review after review. 3) And then those who just comment on film in general because they are fans of film. I fall in the final category and am very happy to do so. I don't want to be a site that gets its traffic based on releasing what color the Hulk is going to be in the upcoming remake. And truth to tell, I'm not incredibly good when it comes to writing reviews. And don't really care to be. I would much rather take a certain element of a new movie and focus on that rather than review the whole movie. I really don't understand the point in retelling the movie to someone who has not seen it and then not talk about the most important part because you're afraid of SPOILERS. To me, that's not really talking film. And that's what I like to do. I am happiest being in the middle of a conversation about a movie or a technique or a director or insert film jargon here. And I am most happy when I am the one who has sparked that debate or conversation. Because ultimately, that's why I do this. I am a film buff, a nerd, a geek. Whatever. I have a wife that likes movies but doesn't love them like me. I have friends that roll their eyes when I talk about director techniques and camera angles. But here in the blogosphere, I am among friends. Friends who want to get as into film as I do. Friends who want to talk about weird and obscure films that others wouldn't think twice about. And when I have written something that has provoked thought or debate, that's a really nice award.

And that leads me to my point finally (Albert Brooks to Holly Hunter in Broadcast News "How do you like that? I buried the lead"). So I'm poking around this morning and I notice that Damian has responded to Dennis' post about the meme (pronounced mammy here) Thinking Blogger's Award and I'm interested in seeing who Damian has picked as his five. He lists them as five blogs without whom Windmills wouldn't be the blog that it is and five bloggers without whom I wouldn't be the person I am. That in and of itself is a pretty damn sweet honor if you ask me. And it was even sweeter to find my name on Damian's list. He describes Lazy Eye Theatre as this:

The thing I love most about Piper's Lazy Eye Theatre is the straightforward, down-to-earth, no-nonsense tenor of its writing. While Piper's unashamed love for all things filmic comes through loud and clear in his blog, he does not corrupt his opinions with condescending, elitist attitudes or feel the need to "dress up" his ideas with empty, pesudo-intellectual jargon. Piper's writing is smart and confident but it is also extremely accessible. There is a simplicity and economy to Piper's posts, a sort of noble "everyman" quality, that is quite refreshing. This is not to suggest that Piper doesn't provoke thought on the part of the reader because he absolutely does. He just doesn't mince words. If Piper feels strongly about something, he will let us all know in no uncertain terms. And yet, throughout it all, Piper manages to maintain a humble and conscientious personality at the same time that he writes about whatever he damn well pleases. Piper's a true original and stopping in at his blog is always a highlight of my day.

My goal with Lazy Eye was and continues to be to create a movie blog that has fun with the entertainment industry while displaying the knowledge to create thought-provoking pieces and do it in such a way as to not seem stuffy or elitist. And I'm honored to be honored by Damian whether there's an award attached to it or not.

So anyway, on with my five bloggers. These bloggers not only make me think: they keep me honest, they make me laugh, they make me want to write better, they make me wish I had come up with that idea myself. In truth, five is too little. Each blog I visit is unique and outstanding to me as I have stated here. But I have not made the rules of this meme (pronounced mem here), and there are rules.

1) If, and only if your blog is one that is tagged on my list below, you must write a post with links to five other blogs you like that consistently make you think (hence, the Thinking Blogger’s Award).

2) Link to this post so people will know whose good idea all this was.

3) Proudly display the “Thinking Blogger Award” logo with a link to the post you wrote.

The Moviezzz Blog - I got turned on to Jim's blog early on in my blogging career (so that means about 5 months ago). If Jim has a job in New England it has to be with the entertainment industry because he is on top of everything. And if he's not writing about it, he's commenting on it on another blog. Because of this, I am often inspired by his posts. Jim can't really be defined by my three-tiered-film-blogging system TM because he covers all the categories. He offers insightful critiques on movies, recent news in the industry and he writes film fan pieces as well. For instance just now, I discovered that Campbell Brown is to leave NBC on my way to a recent favorite piece titled Summer Camp At The Movies. If I gave Jim a trait, it would be that of my conscience. Through his writing, he keeps me honest in how I conduct myself on my blog. And he often challenges my thinking about my posts through posts of his own. Not too long ago, I called Jim "my muse" and I wasn't lying. Here's the proof, Jim. I bestow unto you The Thinking Blogger's Award. Go about your musing way with it and continue to inspire.

100 Films - As all who visit Lazy Eye know, I am a fiend for blog-a-thons and the very first blog-a-thon I wrote for was Lucas' Lovesick Blog-A-Thon at 100 Films. It was sort of a trial by fire for me because I really had no idea what I was doing or even what a blog-a-thon was. From there, I began to e-mail Lucas from time to time for advice. I consulted him often on themes for my first blog-a-thon. What I found most refreshing about Lucas was that he was honest. He cared enough to give me his honest opinion. May not seem like much, but to me, it's a 100 pounds of gold. But more than that, Lucas has given film blogging a purpose. A purpose much higher than just an outlet for film lovers trying to show how movie-smart they are. At 100 Films, you will see that Lucas has created the uber-indie project where he invites every independent filmmaker that has made a movie or short to send it in for him to review it on his site. This doesn't guarantee a positive review, but what it does is help give a voice to independent film. That's so much more important than anything I do or will probably ever do on my blog. And for that, I bestow unto you The Thinking Blogger's award to Lucas. Use it and continue to provide a lush valley for filmmakers to find safe harbor in which to thrive. But don't try to hock this award to help fund your recent movie gravida, which gets a Pittsburgh release July 12th by the way.

DVD Panache - Early on in my blogging career (about six months ago) Adam contacted me out of the blue with a series of questions for his new on-going series titled Friday Screen Tests. I had the distinct honor of being his second entry, following Andy Horbal of No More Marriages! It was the first real sign that someone was reading and Adam nailed me in his description (which leads me to think I should try to be a bit more complex). From there, I have kept in close contact with Adam and followed his blog even closer. Every Friday, I am in complete awe of his Friday Screen Tests because much more than the linking that many bloggers do, Adam gives good insight to the blogs he features giving you more reason to visit the blog than just a recent post. And Adam keeps us wanting more with only a couple posts a week, but that's because each post is complete from start to finish. He blew me away with his incredible post John Carpenter's Decade and explored the depths of the movie The Burbs that I never knew existed. And his post 700 Possible Blog Names is funny, weird and something to behold. Adam, you helped me get started and to say thanks I bestow the Thinking Blogger's Award unto you. Sharpen this award like a pencil and use it to write one more post per week, because twice a week just ain't enough.

Final Girl - I have only recently been turned on to Stacie Ponder's blog Final Girl and man am I lucky to have found it. Recently Eli Roth asked his MySpace friends to take non-horror movie fans to Hostel Part II to get them turned on to horror, which I found to be an idiotic request. Instead they should check out Stacie's site. Not your usual horror fare, Stacie doesn't dress her blog with the macabre even though she spends most of her time talking about 70's and 80's horror movies. Instead, she makes horror palatable, taking funny stabs at horror movies and cliches. Don't believe me? Check out her Tribute To Moustaches of Horror or her post When Nerds Attack. It's one thing to write a review of a movie, it's another to make that review entertainment for someone who isn't even considering ever watching that movie. That's Stacie and that's something. Stacie, I hardly know ye, but take this award and use it to fend off the boogeyman when he jumps through the window right behind you. And we'll see you in the sequel.

Edward Copeland On Film - "You have to have goals, son" (somebody said that somewhere in a movie). And my goal is to be like Eddie, for he is a true fan of film. He writes here, there and everywhere. You can find him at Edward Copeland on Film or at The House Next Door or The Copeland Institute For Lower Learning and the list doesn't stop there, but I will. Edward rarely covers current events, he's too busy replaying Season 2 of Twin Peaks or talking about The Sopranos or honoring the movie anniversaries of Annie Hall and Star Wars. If there is a gap in his film vocabulary, you have to look hard. I did and I found that he seems a little soft in the silent film era (Good Lord, aren't we all) as he readily admits with the post The Greek Gods created a woman. When Edward does cover the now it's to lay praise on the passing of the movie gods and he certainly gives them their due. Going to his blog makes me think I don't know near enough of what I'm talking about. And while I don't always agree with his take on Lynch, he makes me think and isn't that what it's all about. There are several writers who contribute to Edward Copeland on Film, but it bears his name so Edward, I bestow unto you the Thinking Blogger's Award. Hold it from high and be careful you don't poke yourself in the eye with that thing because I think it's sharp.

That's it folks. I'm tired now. There's a lot of writing here and I hope you got this far, because I'm actually quite proud of this post. And proud to be recognized among these people in which I hold so much respect.

Thank you.


Anonymous said...

You may have missed tier #4...

The one where the blogger has so much time on his hands that he watches 3 to 4 movies a day, and up to 6 on weekends cause he has no friends and family....

ala Mexican Dvd Review.

I don't aspire to much, it's just that I honestly consume more than my fair share of dvd's.

If i were to post them all at once, the blog would be over run with reviews and no one would have a chance to read them

Half of the time I don't even make sense, and the reviews seem like I didn't even watch the movie!

Adam Ross said...

Thanks for the honor, Piper. I'm an avid reader of all the other blogs you named, and I'm with you that Edward's blog often puts me in Keanu Reeves mode (as in "whoa"). I think Ed might exist in some un-Earthly orbit where his days last 36 hours, it might explain how he's able to produce so much quality content.

Anonymous said...

A very good selection, Piper, and congrats. By the way, I pronounce it "meem," and everyone knows that I'm always right (or maybe I just know that...).

Burbanked said...

Wow! Damian's description of your site is one of the more perfect things I've read, and I'm off to tell him so.

Piper: These bloggers not only make me think: they keep me honest, they make me laugh, they make me want to write better, they make me wish I had come up with that idea myself.

Well, that's convenient, Piper, because that's pretty much what I think about Lazy Eye Theatre.

And you've got that hilarious "unknowing sponsor" bit.

Garrett Sorrels said...

Congrats for the recognition Pat. Very well deserved.

I enjoy your posts (usually everyday). Its a great work break and refreshing, if only for 5 minutes.

Anonymous said...

I think of "meme" as being pronounced "meem."

I hope I'm right.

Stacie Ponder said...

You gotta be fucking kidding me! Wow, thanks so much, Pat. This is quite an honor. I feel like I've been touched by an angel.

And now I need to do some thinking of my own. Damn you!!

TALKING MOVIEzzz said...

Thank you Piper! I couldn't be in better company.

But this is just an attempt to make me forget your leaving off BULLITT isn't it?

And congrats on your nomination as well!

Lucas said...

wow, an award and a plug for my film, sweet.

you're too kind, piper, much too kind.

i do have a question about this award: am i not allowed to name people already named, or doesn't that matter?

PIPER said...

Adam - Well deserved.

Pacheco - Thanks for the pronunciation

Bubanked - You got me all goosepimply. And coming from a Hollywood guy, I am doubly honored by your praise. And thanks for noticing the Unknowing Sponsor. Always like to give it a shout out.

Garrett - Thanks and keep reading.

Stacie - I fucking kid you not. You deserve it. You're a great writer. Keep me laughing.

Moviezzz - This is not a conspiracy to make you forget that I left out a less than thrilling chase scene.

Lucas - You have inspired me more than you know. I don't know about your question and it's a good one because I thought about that myself. I will e-mail you with the guy you can ask.

Edward Copeland said...

Thanks for your kind words and the honor. Now I have to pick five. I hope I don't repeat anybody.

Damian Arlyn said...

Excellent picks, Piper. I actually considered a few of those blogs myself so I am very pleased to see them tagged. Good job. :)

PIPER said...

Thanks Edward.

Damian, I would have picked you again but then you would have been insufferable.

Anonymous said...

OMG ... you told me that The Rec was your favorite!

You dirty, lying son of a bitch!

just for that, I am removing your name from my top five favorites and replacing it with AINT IT COOL NEWS!!!!!

Oh, the pain!!

PIPER said...

Ray, as always. You are a joy to have around.

Anonymous said...

Ugh ... I despise sarcasm.

PIPER said...

Sorry Ray.

You see right through me. Actually I hate you, you bastard!

How's that?

Anonymous said...


And worse.