Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Random Roles

I have a lot of love for the nerdlingers over at the AV Club. They've got the quippy, mordant tone of their father site The Onion, but levelled at popular culture and the maybe-less-popular culture that they're ebullient about. Daily they offer a great pulse-taking of what's new and what's awesome and what's lame, but definitely worth checking out are their running features. Especially edifying are My Year Of Flops, I Watched This On Purpose, and Commentary Tracks Of The Damned. If ever you're feeling like a hopeless lame-o, subsisting solely on the Cheetos and Funyuns of our garbage culture, you can buck up, because you're freaking Fonzie compared to these ostensibly pocket protector-wearing geekazoids.

It's the AV Club's love of and for the ancillary that's laudatory, for culture's a quilt... or a rich tapestry... or something like that. Whatever thing in your linen closet that culture's like, it's animated more by people you've never heard of or rarely hear of than by the people who end up on magazine covers and talk shows. But even if you don't know the names of peripheral proponents of culture, you'll probably recognize them. Random Roles offers a nice cataloging of some of your favorite characters as well as those you didn't realize were your favorites. Recognize these guys?: Stephen Tobolowsky? William Atherton? Wallace Shawn? Jean-Claude Van Damme?

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