Thursday, December 11, 2008

Even More Blatant Self-Promotion

Here's a video I directed and edited for Lennon Murphy's new Band, Devil's Gift last February. Special thanks to Todd Bell for the great camera work and the rest of the crew for working so cheap. I heart each and every person on that set. Here's how it came out.

Devil's Gift "Shadows Never Ending" from ben levine on Vimeo.

More Blatant Self-Promotion

About 6 months ago, I edited this video for "Neon Neon" directed by the great Rob Schroeder. I think it's the cat's pajamas. Take a peek below. . .

Neon Neon "I Told Her on Alderaan/Trick for Treat" from ben levine on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blatant Self-Promotion

Hi, so I'm an editor, I do all kinds of stuff but Music Videos and short films are labors of love that I actually enjoy working on. Here's a youtube playlist of crap I've done. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Would a rose [Wunder Boner] by any other name smell not as sweet?

So I'm a Pisces. I like the ocean. I like seafood. I like to fish. I like puppy dogs and a funky beat, though neither of those last two things are actually relevant. So anyway, it's happened to all of us - you're out in the fresh water, catching trout or whatnot, hanging with the crew, perhaps getting your beer or brown liquor on and it gets to be about that time when you have to clean,
gut and bone your fish. It's a pain in the ass and who likes a bone stuck in their throat? Certainly not anyone I've dated. Well, if you watch the video (below) you will see that this is really an amazingly effective product:

Anyhow, every now and then a product rolls around with such simple design and practical application that it kills you that someone with an 8th grade education probably invented it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Corie Blounts or Playing basketball and weed, they go together like watching basketball and weed.

I just got this story from Yahoo Sports:

Ex-NBA player

Blount arrested on drug count

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP)—Former NBA basketball player Corie Blount has been charged with picking up 11 pounds of marijuana in southwest Ohio.

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said after the 39-year-old Blount retrieved the package from a Liberty Township address on Thursday, deputies followed him to his home nearby and arrested him. Jones said officers found another 11 pounds of marijuana inside Blount’s house.

Blount was charged with felony drug possession. He was released from custody on $10,090 bond.

The center on Cincinnati’s Final Four team in 1992, Blount went on to an 11-year NBA career that included stints with the Chicago Bulls, L.A. Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors.

His phone is unlisted and court officials couldn’t say whether he has an attorney.

Wow, I was a Blount fan from his days in the Purple and Gold, so I'm sad for him and his family - not because he likes weed, but because a felony drug rap (especially in Ohio) is never an easy thing to deal with, but maybe we all need to consider the possibility that being an NBA player is a gateway position that leads to marijuana use. Consider the others who have been busted: Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Robert Parish, Eddie Griffin, Joakim Noah, Marcus Camby, Allen Iverson, Isaiah Rider, Lamarijuana Odom - and those are just a few of the guys who have been caught!

Richard Dumas, a former Phoenix Sun who was banned from the league for drug and alcohol use in the 90's once said, "If they tested for pot, there would be no league. . . Weed is something guys grow up doing, and there's no reason for them to stop. Because almost everyone does it, no one wants to test for it. They're afraid to.'' Of course that was back in 1997 before the league implemented their modern drug testing policy which includes screening for pot use.

From my personal experience as a basketball enthusiast and marijuana user (for medical purposes) I can tell you that the two go together like Chocolate and Peanut Butter or Rum and Coke or Beer and Pretzels. If you smoke a joint on a playground and someone hands you a basketball, it feels pretty fucking amazing. I personally wouldn't go so far as to call it performance enhancing, but it really doesn't hurt your game too much either. Let's just agree to file this under "David Stern loves Sausage, but doesn't want to know how it's made."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Curse of Elgin Baylor or Why the Clippers Should Move to Anaheim or Seattle

I'm a Laker fan. That's the truth. I have no greater sports related loyalty than my love of the Lakers. Who else do I like in the NBA? Nobody. That's right. I like the Lakers. Not the Lakers and The Cavs or The Lakers and The Bulls. Just the Lakers. Okay, with that out of the way, you can understand where I'm coming from as an NBA (Lakers) fan.

Because the Lakers share Staples Center with NBA's Clippers, Mike Dunleavy, Lakers, Elgin Baylor, NBA, David Stern, Mike Dunleavy Jr.Special Olympics contingent (The Clippers) there are certain nights that either team will usually play. The Clippers tend to get Mondays,Wednesdays,and Saturdays, while the Lakers get Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. It's my understanding that some bizarre game involving sticks, rubber "pucks" and ice is also played at Staples Center, but I'll believe it when I see it.

I personally would love to see the Clippers bail to another locality, leaving the Lakers the flexibility to schedule home games on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays, a flexibility that can only benefit Laker fans and eliminate some Sunday home games in which the lakers wear their hideous "Sunday Whites." I know, I know, this is about the Clippers, not the Lakers, I'm getting there.

So the Clippers are coached by Mike Dunleavy. Mike Dunleavy is kind of a dick. He was a dick when he coached the Lakers 18 years ago. He was a dick when he coached the Trailblazers. He was even a dick in Milwaukee, a harmless ma and pa market. The point is, he's a dick. He's just like so many WCM's that run coorperations or hold VP of Creative Services Titles at networks where I've been employeed (see Flight of the Ghettobird for more on that). I'm talking about guys that make bad decisions, are predatory against their co-workers, seeking to yeserp the power and/or salary of anyone who poses a threat to their authority or has the knowledge to expose them for the fraud they are.

Okay, now for the last 22 years, the Clippers were run by NBA Legend, Elgin Baylor. He might not have been the best GM (though he did win NBA Executive of the Year a few years ago), but he was a gentleman and a basketball giant who was up against great odds running a cursed franchise for a Slum-Landlord of an owner. It's a thankless job, but Elgin sat there and took the heat for losing season after losing season all the while knowing that Clippers owner, Donald Sterling was the real reason for all of the teams shortcomings. If I sound defensive for Elgin Baylor's sake, I should let you know, the man was a Laker. In fact his number is retired and hung in the rafters with other Laker's greats.

Anyway. This season, Mike Dunleavy wedged out Baylor and took over his responsibilities, claiming he had been responsible for signing players and negotiating their contracts for months now, so Elgin had become expendable. This, I should note, came after a summer in which the Clippers failed to resign Maggette and Brand (both moved on to greener pastures) and looked to build their team around perennial locker-room cancer Ricky "Motherfuckin'" Davis and great but always-injured Marcus Camby and Baron Davis. Brand and Maggette could not wait to get out of town. Brand even went as far as not even calling Dunleavy to let him know he had decided to sign with the 76ers. That's how much his own players hate the guy. I also should note that at one point, Dunleavy had lobbied to trade away valuable assets to acquire his own son, Mike Dunleavy Jr. a player whose skills are only valuable in my Dorky White Guy fantasy league. Thankfully, it was Elgin Baylor who put the kibosh on that. My point is, Dunleavy is a hack GM who makes selfish decisions. The fact that Baylor was forced out by that prick and the Clippers didn't even have the class to send out a press release or stage a press conference. They merely omitted Baylor from the 2008/2009 press kit. Unbelievable!

This brings me to my point, The Clippers' Curse. Now the Clips are forced to play every home game in the shadow of Elgin's retired jersy. I only hope this finally convinces them to be the first NBA team in Afghanistan, I'm sure David Stern is already checking out the cheap labor and getting ready to market Clippers' Burkas and Baron Davis-Kabobs.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Holy Fucking Crap!

Jane's Addiction is playing a gig with Eric Avery on Bass tomorrow night. Now I have to figure out how to get in. Any ideas?

Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm rich bitch!

I decided to put advertisements on my blog, mainly just to see if there is a way to actually make a profit with a blog. Feel free to click or not to click as you see fit.

Rest in Peace, you Human Tornado

I guess it had to happen eventually, but the world has one less black superhero; Rudy Ray Moore passed away in Akron, Ohio at 81 from Diabetes-related complications. I'm sure all the ladies out there know, he was just too sweet for this world.

I first heard of the actor, made famous by his raps (before there was rap) and his film roles, most notably Dolomite, back in high school when the white man was getting me down. Rudy paved the way for me to seek out such great films as Superfly, The Mack, Black Samurai, Black Belt Jones, Black Ceasar (which has an amazing soundtrack by James Brown) and too many countless other films that empowered African Americans and enabled their culture to transcend geography. When I was in college, I made it my mission to pass on the works of these groundbreaking entertainers to as many of the unexposed as I could.

Unfortunately, we all have to die sometime and in a way, I'd like to think that Rudy Ray Moore was making one more push for race relations in his death in that he's saying, "Yo, Whitey, we all gonna die, that's why you just have to keep all yo' shit fly."

Here is Rudy in perhaps his most famous role, Dolomite:

Here he is in a clip from Dolomite which proves that he was rapping way before Grand Master Flash, Melly Mel or The Sugar Hill Gang:

And lastly, here he is in one of my all time favorite films, Avenging Godfather (also known as "Avenging Disco Godfather.") If you are a fan of Big Daddy Kane, this is where he got the phrase, "Put yo' Weight on it!" This movie has it all, disco dancing, kung fu, people getting dusted and having the same hallucination of witches and vampires and shit, OMG it is soooo good. It's really a 90 minute long anti-PCP PSA.

Yep, this is a pretty sad day for me. Those who knew me in my early 20's know that I was maybe this close to starting a religion based around Rudy Ray Moore's teachings. I think I'm gonna have to watch Disco Godfather one more time tonight.

Uggh! Sarah Palin did SNL and to make matters worse she didn't suck; but how does that give us new perspective on her?

If you know me, then you know that I don't exactly "love" Sarah Palin. I'm less than impressed with her educational background. I despise religious fundamentalism. I have a hard time understanding why she would use Alaskan State money to pay a bounty on an endangered species. I think "drill baby, drill" is shrill baby, shrill. My hatred of her has even alienated me from people who I really liked but couldn't deal with my total disdain for her.

Now I'm not going to pretend that Saturday Night Live is the sacred improv comedy entity it was in the late 70's, so I'm not surprised or offended that they would put Palin on the show (even though they really have had a brilliant run of palin-parody [parolin, if you will] and getting her on the show is just good for business) but I do have to wonder how uncomfortable it is for the cast members to then have to be in the same room as much less be introduced to Palin after possibly putting one of the last few nails in her political coffin.

It's like when I worked at G4 and I was called in to the HR department for an interview regarding some claims that were made against my superiors. I sat there for 2 hours explaining all of their horrible shortcomings to an HR representative who greased the wheels by telling me about their "open door policy." She explained that the HR department was there to hear any of our concerns about the workplace and that we should always feel comfortable coming in to blow the whistle on our coworkers because they'll never let anyone know who came in and who said what. I figured if I had total annonimity I could just open the flood gates and discuss the apparent (though not proven) kickbacks, the mismanagement, the sexism, the racism, the anti-semitism, the elitism and the overall gross imcompetence of the management of my department. So I'm sitting there spilling the beans on my prick supervisors thinking,"Wow, this is awesome. This will never get back to me!" Well, the next day I came into work to a very cold reception from my supervisors. I worked there another 10 months, always knowing that they knew exactly what I said about them, which I will not go into detail about, but trust me, you would feel very uncomfortable if you were me or my supervisors. Anyway, it's that kind of uncomfortable situation that would make this set visit difficult for the cast and the writers and an opportunity for Palin to feel super close to her pal Jesus when she's taking the moral high road (I think it cuts through Jesus' backyard). Anyway, here's the clip:

So here are my thoughts:
1)Alec Baldwin is awesome. He had no problems laying it on about Palin while she stood right there. Even though its a bit, its not easy to do when you everyone knows that you hate her even more than you're joking that you do.

2)I got confused when they wheeled out that mannequin that looked like Marky Mark. It was all, "Oil can, oil can" or some shit, but whatever, it was made of wood and looked like Marky Mark.

3)Palin did alright- though I think she turned back into the Palitron-3000 random-word-generating-fembot when she got in front of the podium.

There is something you have to bear in mind though, Palin has a degree in Journalism. A degree that she went to like 5 schools in 5 years to get*, so don't think she didn't take it seriously. She also has a pageant background and I believe (though I have no source of confirmation) that she at one point was a TV news reporter of some sort. The point is, she is kind of built for these kind of appearances (and for weekday work at Jumbo's Clown Room). Here's why it's scary: She looked more at ease doing SNL than she does selling herself as VP and selling her ticket as worthy of votes. It should be the opposite, don't you think? I'd feel much more comfortable about a candidate that was at ease on the dais and "a little shaky" on a nationally televised live comedy program. The worst part is, even if (and by if, I hope I mean 'when') McCain/Palin/Christ loses the election, you know she's gonna get a talk show. We're pretty much screwed either way.

*this is from Wikipedia:

She received her bachelor's degree in communications-journalism from the University of Idaho and attended the following schools

  • Hawaii Pacific University (Fall 1982),
  • North Idaho College (Spring 1983 & Fall 1983),
  • University of Idaho (Fall 1984 - Spring 1985),
  • Matanuska-Susitna College (Fall 1985) and
  • University of Idaho (Spring 1986, Fall 1986 and Spring 1987 ).
Before this she graduated from Wasilla High School in Wasilla, Alaska.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Up Yours Literacy & decency! I have a blog.

Hi everybody. So I'm Ben, but I'm assuming if you're reading this, its because you know me and I told you to go to this URL and read my blog. I mean, other than the Jewish Anti-Defamation league, who might actually seek out a blog called Jew Boy Boullabaisse?

So here's the deal. I totally ripped-off the name from the Beastie Boys song "B-Boy Bouillabaisse" off of Paul's Boutique, perhaps one of the greatest albums ever. So before you make accusations about my plagiarizing the Beastie Boys, I'm owning it right now.

Here is what you can expect from my blog:

Running Commentary on The Los Angeles Lakers and the NBA in general, though this is NOT a sports blog.

Recipes and Restaurant reccomendations. I'm a foody. I love food. Foody food foody food food.

Music- I like music. I used to play music often, not so much these days. All of my songs came out Country Western. That would be cool if that's what I were going for. Hopefully this blog doesn't turn out decidedly Country Western too.

My big emotional rollercoaster of a life. I'm kind of promising myself that I won't pull punches when talking about my life and than that general honesty about myself will be cathartic and wonderful and I'll grow out of all my bad habits and sprout butterfly wings and a unicorn horn (not like the huge zit growing out of my forehead right now. . . [SEE! Honesty! I get zits!]) but I'm pretty sure I'll puss-out and censor myself like most bloggers except I won't be wearing prada or a Star Trek uniform when I do it. (See! Already a joke at the expense of bloggers!)

And most importantly, this blog will feature a wealth of observations and photos and videos of my dog, Homer Wolfchop DuKlau, who I have a totally unhealthy obsession with.

Now, about me in case you don't know me, I am 36. I live in Hollywood with the above mentioned dog. I am freakshow tall - 6'8" which might make me the largest Jew in captivity. I work as a film/video editor and sometimes Director - I'm sure I'll self promote as time goes on. I was in a 10 year relationship up until March of 2007 (okay, we broke up the day after my birthday over my actual birthday dinner because my life is Awe-some!) So you can probably eventually expect a bunch of blogs about dating and making an ass of myself and having my heart shattered into millions of little pieces.

Okay, I know you can't wait for me to post more, but this is all I got for now. Thanks for reading, feel free to check back often. I might see how much illegal shit I can get away with and reward my readers with MP3's and stuff as I figure out how to add them to my site.

My dog likes to blog, but he has a short attention span: