John Kricfalusi’s Blog

November 14, 2008

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One of the blogs that I check almost daily is written by John Kricfalusi, the man who created Ren and Stimpy.  Not only is his blog visually oriented but it is insightful and often very opinionated.  He seems to have two main focuses in his writings: one is to start up new projects and the other is to educate, not only the people he intends to hire for the projects, but also the general public.  His educational portions consist mostly of John breaking down the slow degradation of cartoons since their creation in the 20’s.  His descriptions about how bad 80’s cartoons are is really interesting.  He also injects his blog with cartoon clips that he thinks are fun and well made like the mother goose clip above (this is currently my desktop picture).  So if you like cartoons, and really there isn’t any reason you shouldn’t, check out his blog by clicking here.

This was originally posted as “John Kilpatrick’s Blog” but I have been corrected by John Kilpatrick that he didn’t in fact create Ren and Stimpy.  I salute both John’s though I have yet to find the true blog of John Kilpatrick.

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So I had this long conversation with a nice lady about two month ago and was told that I should put my thoughts down on paper.  Now I am finally getting to it.

I’m not quite sure how we got to this topic but I was the one who injected the comment “Yeah, that’s the same reason I don’t like Rick Steves.”  Keep in mind I’m talking to a woman I had never met, at a gallery opening featuring the work of Jean-Pierre Hebert and Julien Audebert, which has nothing to do with Rick Steves or travel.  But that quick and seemingly out of place statement lead me to explaining myself for about a half an hour.

So, why don’t I like Rick Steves?  My number one reason is that he writes books on experiencing what others have missed out on when they have gone on a European trip.  He features things like restaurants, parks and festivals that he happened to stumble upon when abroad and he points out how wonderful those experiences were.  That’s fine, any travel guide is going to do that, otherwise their books wouldn’t sell.  My problem is that his writing is about these quaint locations devoid of tourists yet because he has written about them they become tourist destinations.

When traveling abroad everyone wants to have their own experience but to me Rick Steves takes that away.  You show up in Bath, England and find that all the places you have been excited about going to (because you have been reading Rick’s book the whole plain ride over) are filled with people who are looking at the same detailed feature on a fountain that you were going to look at.

I have to pause here and say that I really have nothing against Rick, I have listened to his NPR program and he sounds like a good guy.  Maybe I should change my statement to say that I don’t like travel guide books.  The reason that Rick Steves gets to me more than other writers is that when you are in Europe it seems like four out of five tourist families is reading one of his books, and that is because they are such good reads and do send you to some fantastic locations.

I heard recently that it is very common for American tourists to want to have a one of a kind experience and that this need comes from our history of rediscovering the old world.  If we find out that others have had the same experience as us it seems to cheapen our own experience.  That’s where this is all leading.  As a child I went on three wonderful European trips with my family that I wouldn’t trade for the world.  While we were on those trips my parents read Rick Steves.  Rick successfully predicted the presence of gypsies in two different locations we went, which prevented us from being robbed.  But I wonder what would have been in store if we had been robbed and been stuck in one location for a long time.  I guess I’m just lamenting spontaneity.  I’m sad that we didn’t find that one restaurant, or that park with an accordion player.  We went ‘by the book’.

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Over Thanksgiving my brother told me about a commercial that he worked on for a new flavor of DP called Diet Cherry Chocolate Dr Pepper. I was mystified that a product that sounded so revolting could make it to grocery store shelves but was enticed by the bazaar commercial that had been made to promote it. Based on a song by new-to-the-spotlight Tay Zonday called Chocolate Rain, this product forward music video is gorgeously disgusting (as is the soda label) featuring scantily clad women being drenched in chocolate sauce. So my boyfriend Tristan, and I have made it a mission to look for this new flavor every time we go to the grocery store and today we found it. For all you out there who were also curious, don’t be. It tastes like someone emptied a bottle of chocolate syrup into a Dr Pepper and shook it up. Not the best idea I’ve heard of and not the best taste either. Instead of enjoying the soda enjoy the video.
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For those of you who were wondering where the center of the universe actually resides you can finally rest in peace.  The Center of the Universe is in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Located on the Boston Ave pedestrian overpass between 1st and Archer street this is truly a treat for anyone who ventures to find it.  Coming from either side of this railroad overpass, you can follow a brick path that leads strait to a brick circle that is located directly over the tracks.  When standing on this spot you can make any sound that you like and it will echo in your ears.  What is so amazing is that no one outside the circle can hear it, no one outside the circle sounds like they are echoing to you in the circle and there are no serfaces near enough to the circle to produce an echo.  Fun stuff.  Its free and you can go there any time of day.

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Also, near the Center of the Universe are a wonderful statue called Artificial Cloud by Robert Haozous, the beautiful art deco (former) train station and the BOK Tower which is the tallest building, not only in Oklahoma, but “in any of the five ‘Plains States’: Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota, as well as the surrounding states of Missouri, Arkansas and New Mexico.” according to Wikipedia .  Though I can’t find any source, the BOK Tower is rumored to be a 52 floor scale replica of the late great World Trade Center (even though it is only one tower).  It was in fact designed by Minoru Yamasaki & Associates who also designed the Twin Towers.

Also, just on the other side of the Center of the Universe is one of Tulsa’s cultural districts called the Brady District which contains Tulsa’s two largest music venues (the famous Cain’s Ballroom and the Brady Theater), a sprinkeling of art galleries, and the only glass blowing studio in Tulsa (Tulsa Gathering Place).  You should maybe check it out.