Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Monty Python - we're still not sure what happened

Monty Python comes around but rarely. Ten years can go by without it. Then I stumbled upon it on the Sundance Channel (?), which was showing Fawlty Towers and, as it turned out, Python. These are truly wretched Beta videotapes from the mid-'80s that have been badly transferred, muddy, with all that sparkly stuff on the edges. Some of them blur past me in a surrealism that is hard to hold on to, let alone laugh at. But this got me laughing so hard that tears ran down my face. I just kept howling, helplessly. Not sure why, can't analyze it at all, just lunacy. They don't make them like that any more. Maybe ever. We're still not sure what happened here.

But they're cousins

Brain-dead because it's summer, deeply unhappy over the state of the world and the people in it (for my jolly satire is mostly a pose to cheer myself up), I nevertheless discover I can still make a damn good gif. Anyone who ever watched The Patty Duke Show (meaning anyone over 100 years old) remembers her insane boogaloo in the opening credits, which is unlike any dance ever seen before or since. "Our Patty loves the rock-n'-roll, a hotdog makes her lose control," went the lyrics. You will lose your mind.

By the way, I am in mourning over the apparent passing of Gifsforum, the best of all the YouTube-to-gif sites. It had the most flexibility and allowed you to adjust speed, colour and many other things. You could go to tenths of a second and make gifs from movie-length videos. Sometimes features disappeared, probably from causing too many problems. Now I use makeagif, which is almost as good and certainly improved from what it used to be. Most of the others are atrocious and impossible to figure out. Makeagif supposedly allows you to make 20-second gifs, which is really long, but after about ten seconds they are too jerky to be watchable. 

Gifsforum has been down for a long time now, at least according to all those "up or down?" sites. So I don't think it's just me. I wonder if it will ever be back.