Sites to See

Las Vegas Is Framed

( I ran into one of my heroes last week while sitting at Bar + Bistro: that mighty twin-fisted champion of Las Vegas’ arts and cultural scene, Brian Paco Alvarez. We met a few years ago through my good friend Robert Kimberly, who was in the employ of Las Vegas’ late, barely lamented Guggenheim before moving to Houston to class up that particular burg. Anyway, Paco maintains the blog Kimberly founded, the Las Vegas Arts and Culture blog—a record of all that is good-looking, swell sounding and soul-serving in this wonderful city, from gallery openings to chamber music recitals to bar events, and he does so with the fervor of a true believer. Paco understands that Las Vegas is coming at this arts and culture thing from a disadvantage—that many outsiders, and too many locals, consider this town a cultural void—and through sheer evangelism, Paco makes you want these group gallery shows and spoken-word events the way those rolling billboards make the douchebags want happy endings. The Las Vegas Arts and Culture blog supports the idea of this richer, fuller Vegas, even when we forget to. That’s a hero’s work, and I thank Paco for doing it.

Right Between The Four-Eyes

( These are the nerd times. We like to pretend that we’ve brought the whole geek-and-nerd thing into the hipster camp (and by “we,” I mean you; I’ve always been a huge geek and always will be), but the truth of the matter is that the nerds have swallowed the popular culture and spit out the footballs. Two of the most popular shows on television are about how colossal nerds relate to beautiful women (The Big Bang Theory and Late Show With David Letterman). The biggest-grossing feature films feature comic book characters, or are adapted from scripts written by a 13-year-old James Cameron. Sometimes nerds go too far, though … and when they do, Nerds Ruin Everything knocks them down and steps on their horn-rimmed glasses. The blog considers what happens when nerddom begins to feed on itself—when Civil War re-enactors dress in Star Wars drag, or when the zombie craze meets a perfectly innocent bag of beef jerky. This isn’t “mashup culture,” nerds; it’s shameless self-indulgence, and Nerds Ruin Everything is here to knock your asses back into comic book stores that inspired all this wonderful nerd culture in the first place.

Cheez Whiz

( The gesture is a simple enough one: You put a hand over your eyes (or over one cheek, with your fingers covering one eye), lower your head, and allow your posture to sag a bit. Yet the “facepalm,” as it has recently become known, contains a multitude of emotions … and this blog, fittingly called “The Facepalm,” attempts to identify a few of those emotions and their causes. Depending on who you are, a facepalm could mean “That Dr. Gregory House is driving me insane,” or “I’m about to be deposed as the Libyan dictator,” or just plain “D’oh.” But if you’re looking for pithy captions at the expense of the facepalmers, look elsewhere: The Facepalm maintains a respectful distance from its subjects while they’re, y’know, working some stuff out. And in case you’re wondering: Yes, Jon Stewart and Jesus Christ, both renowned facepalmers, make appearances on The Facepalm. Also, Kobe Bryant, Jean-Luc Picard and Godzilla make multiple appearances, because those guys have difficult jobs and are often surrounded by idiots. Classic facepalm conditions.

Suggested Next Read

Altar Egos

Movie Review

Altar Egos

The “something borrowed” in Something Borrowed—an everlasting gobstopper of a romantic comedy that vacillates between saccharine sweetness and jaw-breaking tedium—is supposed to be the fiancé of one of the main characters, who is, er, borrowed by the maid of honor for wanton sex. But what’s really borrowed is every rom-com cliché that’s ever existed.