Thursday, June 23, 2011

L.A. Zoo dazzles with bird show

Editor’s Note: Prominent SBG enthusiast Fred “XMan” Stevens unexpectedly passed away on Feb. 16, 2011. He is profoundly missed. The following type of blog entry begins a periodic SBG series called “From the XMan Chronicles” that will recount tales involving the XMan.

From the XMan Chronicles:

Back in early 2007, Sophie Stevens was finding herself as a toddler. Chloe Stevens hadn't been born, and the XMan and my mom figured it would be nice to visit the classy Los Angeles Zoo.

Anyone who knows the L.A. Zoo understands that it's a discount zoo. The San Diego Zoo reigns supreme as a tourist destination in California, and the L.A. Zoo is an afterthought. But what the L.A. Zoo doesn't have in resources, it makes up with frequent protests from animal-rights groups, debris on the premises and quaint cages.

The L.A. Zoo also has a bird show that the XMan absolutely loved.

The L.A. Zoo bird show started with the song "Oh Yeah" by Yello as birds flew to a stage past sparsely populated bleachers. The XMan applauded furiously to this display.Another part of the show featured the song "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred with a bird strutting on stage. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the XMan shaking his head in agreement to the performance, laughing at corny, Vaudeville-like jokes and again applauding vigorously. Basically, the show was written from the point of view of a clever 5th grader in 1993.

As my mom and I realized the Xman's adoration for this show, it came to an abrupt halt when the zookeeper/speaker said, "We hope you enjoyed the show, folks. And just a reminder that many of these birds here today come from the tropical rainforest, where each year millions of acres of deforestation threaten the birds' survival. We must do our part to ensure a stable environment for these wonderful creatures."

Upon hearing that, the XMan fought back tears and then shed a few as he uttered, "Bird home. Gone. Why?"

For the rest of the day, I made fun of his bizarre tears and pointed out the flaws of many creatures' habitats until he said, "Come on. Why do you gotta make fun of me? ... And, wait a second, what did you say about the polar ice caps?"

Monday, June 20, 2011

Snooze Button CEO teams with agent

Even though I have lived in Los Angeles County for 13 years, I am not a big fan of the Hollywood system. Yeah, I run in social circles that stay outside the mainstream as my art fag friends and I create true masterpieces - and not just commercial fodder.

That is why I am conflicted with what I recently did. I got an agent.

Obviously, this move isn't only to make money. It's not fair to call me "a sellout." I just think that things happen for a reason, and so when I ran into one of Hollywood's top agents the other day at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), I realized that sometimes commercial interests can be beneficial to one's art.

I ran into E - Eric Murphy, who is best known for being the personal manager of Hollywood superstar Vincent Chase. Previously, I had considered being represented by uber-agent Ari Gold, but I got a vibe from E that told me with him focusing on just Vincent and me that it was in everybody's best interests to come together.Here's part of the conversation that ensued between E and me:

Me: Listen, I think you do great work, and I'd be comfortable if you represented me.
E: What?
Me: Yeah, I've considered a lot of agents, but I think the personal touch you'd bring is best for me.
E: Are you serious?
Me: I am, if you are. Fist bump, baby.

We bumped fists, and, thus, E is officially representing me. After that, strangely, he said a couple cryptic phrases that baffled me, including, "You know, entourage is just a TV show, right?" I guess he has big plans to get me some sort of "entourage."

Man, I am happy I snagged that little guy.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Chewbacca collection balloons ... MMAO

The Snooze Button Generation and all its subsidiaries will remain on hiatus as SBG CEO and founder Joe Stevens continues to mourn the loss of the XMan, according to a news release.

"The entire corporation is not ready to commit to reestablishing its presence in the pantheon of pop culture," Stevens said in the release. "There might be periodic entries, but at this time, the depth of this loss prohibits us from coming back full-time. MMAO."

"MMAO" apparently is a twist on the popular text messages abbreviation "LMAO," sources said. LMAO stands for laughing my ass off, and Stevens has replaced the laughing with mourning.

When reached via phone, Stevens refused to be directly quoted for this article but sounded like his typical quirky self. He said to let his fans know he is hanging in there, although he frequently referred to the XMan's death as "a profound loss."

No silver lining exists with the XMan's unexpected death. As a side note, Stevens' Chewbacca collection has ballooned from 19 items to 41 Chewies, including a framed poster, 6-foot tall Chewy cardboard cutout and three figures that make sound."It's the best damn Chewy collection in the world, and you can quote me on that," Stevens said. "Yeah. Somehow going OCD with the Chewies is part of the mourning process for me."

Stevens says his Chewbacca collection is on hold, but he may somehow try to obtain the Chewbacca closet in the video below.