Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 15, 2008
By: Kevin Drum




FRIDAY CAT VLOGGING....I have newfound respect for Steven Spielberg. Last week I got the bright idea of creating a cat video, and as soon as the thought entered my head I walked upstairs and found Inkblot plucking treats out of the air from Marian's outstretched hand. It was video gold!

Now, you might be thinking that 20 seconds of a cat eating treats is nothing to get too cocky about. But let me tell you: that remains my best effort even after a further week of intensive feline moviemaking. For starters, as we all know, cats mostly sleep all day. Then, whenever they started doing something, I didn't have my camera handy. So I zipped off to get my camera, and by the time I got back they were just lying around again. Are they unionized or something?

Anyway, long story short, Domino presented a considerable vlogging challenge. But I promised you a Domino video, and a Domino video you shall have. It's called "Domino on the Chaise Lounge," and the title pretty much speaks for itself. I had another one with sound effects in the same genre, but it made Domino look fat and you guys are hell on fat cats. So you get this one instead.

I learned something new this week, too. I figured that since YouTube compresses the video to 320x240, I might as well shoot at that resolution to begin with. But no. The quality of this week's offering is much worse than last week's video, which was shot at 640x480. So although the higher resolution takes longer to upload, I guess I'll go back to using it. Nothing's too good for our resident housecats, after all.

UPDATE: In comments, disparue says this thing is a "chaise longue," not a chaise lounge. And that's correct. You learn something new every day.

However, I fear it's too late. A Google search for chaise lounge returns 2 million hits vs. 1.1 million for chaise longue. I suspect that this particular bastardization of the language is here to stay.

Kevin Drum 2:39 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (69)

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Comments

Pure gold. Forget the sound effects, the street noises in the background give it that gritty realistic feeling.

Posted by: thersites on February 15, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

I loved that dramatic bit at the end where Domino went after the chair arm. It looked so natural, like it wasn't even in the script. Domino really internalized the essence of the character.

Posted by: Charles on February 15, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Thersites and Charles are right--Domino's sudden violent gutting of the chaise arm was edgy, and the background street noise was the perfect accompaniment. Two thumbs way up.

Posted by: Winslow on February 15, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

That chair arm will now think twice before messing with Domino!

Posted by: Angela on February 15, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Domino is adorable as an action kitty--worth the week's wait. Thanks. (But it's a chaise longue.)

Posted by: disparue on February 15, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

That so "Roma, città aperta"! Good work!

Posted by: gfw on February 15, 2008 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

I had another one with sound effects in the same genre, but it made Domino look fat.

Hate to break it to you Kevin, but Domino looks plenty fat in this video.

Posted by: drjimcooper on February 15, 2008 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

"I got back they were just lying around again. Are they unionized or something?"

Way to go Kevin! Let's all be sure not to pass up any opportunity to reinforce right-wing memes!

Tom

Posted by: Tom on February 15, 2008 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

I dunno. I think a bit more time showing Domino enjoying her victory over the chair arm would have given more depth to her character. All famous action heros have a softer side.

Posted by: F. Frederson on February 15, 2008 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Anytime you upload videos to a site like youtube, it will change the video into a format that it's players can replay. (aka 'transcoding')
It will likely also change the bitrate / framerate / size to ensure that it does not suck up all their bandwidth, and can playback well on most connections.

That code is some hairy black magic ( http://ffmpeg.mplayerhq.hu/ffmpeg-doc.html for the uber-geeks here) and is not meant for mortals who prize their sanity.

So go ahead, upload the higher quality, and let youtube handle the optimization.

Posted by: MobiusKlein on February 15, 2008 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Are they unionized or something?

Shame, Kevin! No Republican talking points!!!

Posted by: David in NY on February 15, 2008 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Tom beat me to it. Darn.

Posted by: David in NY on February 15, 2008 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Directors everywhere are nodding in agreement, Kevin. Don't get me started on what a sumbitch Brando was on the set.

Posted by: junebug on February 15, 2008 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

That was great! Very funny, actually.

Posted by: DanM on February 15, 2008 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Toys. Paper bags. And if you have no scruples, catnip.

Posted by: luci on February 15, 2008 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Yaaaay! If it's kitties it must be Friday!! Finally.

Posted by: Joshua Norton on February 15, 2008 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

I liked it much better than "Titanic".

Film Noir, with actual noir being used. Cinematic genius.


Posted by: Joshua Norton on February 15, 2008 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

For a good video clip, drop a quarter-sized ball of tin foil on your kitchen floor and watch the kitty soccer games. Good times.

Posted by: tom.a on February 15, 2008 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

What is this "cat vlogging"? Have you invented yet another new phrase, this time for videoblogging?

Anyway, Domino's adorable.

Posted by: Vincent on February 15, 2008 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Wow you got 13 seconds of the cat doing something. About 10 seconds more than I would have gotten out of my own cat.

Posted by: ET on February 15, 2008 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Great movie. Reminds me of Night of the Living Dead - with fewer Dead. (Also: shot during daytime.)

Posted by: lampwick on February 15, 2008 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

You love me! You really love me!

Posted by: domino on February 15, 2008 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Domino, Ignore the "fat" comments. The camera puts on 10 pounds.

Posted by: ba on February 15, 2008 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Can Domino get "hellbent" about telco immunity?

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on February 15, 2008 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Is that meowing I hear in the background? Is that Inkblot telling Domino her 15 seconds are up?

Will we see them both next week? They make a beautiful pair, even if they are, like most cats, usually longue-ing!!

Posted by: sullijan on February 15, 2008 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

Yep, seriously good-looking cat...

Posted by: brian on February 15, 2008 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

luci: And if you have no scruples, catnip.

We planted some catnip when we moved into our present house about 20 years ago, and we have several thriving plots of it in our garden. I've read that only half of all cats get pleasure from catnip, but all our cats have been users. They loll around in the plants, and we bring it into the house for them to play with and chew on. When we have the ambition, we put a bunch of it in a blender with some fish oil and make a paste for them to eat. They scarf it up and then lie around in front of the fireplace for the rest of the evening. Our spayed male is the eagerest catnip eater, but the spayed female lies around in it more.

Posted by: anandine on February 15, 2008 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK
Are they unionized or something?
Yes, and they are the only pet union allowed to hold caucuses in their own homes. So, the union is keeping a low profile and will not endorse a candidate until just before the cat primary.

They know that a court challenge is just a matter of time, so they are faking nonchalance while preparing counter charges of disenfranchisement.

Posted by: little ole jim on February 15, 2008 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

I think the "union" comment was directed more towards the Teamsters, who in popular conception spend all of their time on movie sets standing around scratching their butts.

The reputation is undeserved, however, because they were there at least two hours before the director getting everything set up (so if it's an 8 am call time, they got there at 6 am minimum) and they have to stay after everyone goes home to break everything down again.

If I reported to work at 6 am and didn't know what time I was going to get to leave, I'd spend a lot of the day scratching my ass to mock the pampered actors, too.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on February 15, 2008 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

However, I fear it's too late. A Google search for chaise lounge returns 2 million hits vs. 1.1 million for chaise longue. I suspect that this particular bastardization of the language is here to stay.

It's not too late! We must fight back!

People: Deploy futile snottiness for the next 10 years to come!

Posted by: Pedant on February 15, 2008 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

You call that a kitteh video? Feh

THIS is a kitteh video!!

http://plush-life.blogspot.com/2008/02/fetching-fool.html


En garde!

(I keed U and Domino)

Posted by: fourlegsgood on February 15, 2008 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, should do that as a link:

Maddie is a fetching fool


Posted by: fourlegsgood on February 15, 2008 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

People: Deploy futile snottiness for the next 10 years to come!

Yes, I have to turn to something else annoying now that I've given up getting people to use "beg the question" correctly.

Kevin, normally I hate vlogs, but this new catvlogging is something else entirely. super!

Posted by: Glenn on February 15, 2008 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Domino is adorable and she is NOT fat, just pleasingly plump. All those people who have been beating up on you and your kitties for their so-called weight issues really need to give it a rest. I have two female cats who are given the exact same diet, yet one of them (who is extremely energetic and runs around all the time) is a chubby round furball and the other one is so skinny you can practically see through her. It's obviously genetic. Anyway, I'm looking forward to many more exciting videos!

Posted by: peachkfc on February 15, 2008 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

Die, chaise longue! Die! Die! Die!

Mmm, time for a nap.

Posted by: Domino on February 15, 2008 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

No Inkblot!

I think I'll quit this blog.

Posted by: optical weenie on February 15, 2008 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

Pedant: Deploy futile snottiness for the next 10 years to come!

Oh, how I hope that's meant ironically. Especially from a self-styled pedant. Otherwise my head will explode in about ten seconds from now.

Posted by: thersites on February 15, 2008 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Maddie is a fetching fool

One of our cats could fetch all day long. The other one just doesn't get the concept. Unfortunately, she's usually the one who gets to the ball first so the fetcher gets left out in the cold, poor guy.

He also likes to jump to grab the ball out of the air -- I think his record was a good three-and-a-half feet straight up. He is the Michael Jordan of kittydom.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on February 15, 2008 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

I'm telling you, get a Feline Flyer, have Marian dangle it, and we will have some serious action!

Posted by: greynoldsct00 on February 15, 2008 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK
In comments, disparue says this thing is a "chaise longue," not a chaise lounge. And that's correct.

Well, no. Its correct that the original French is "chaise longue", and its true that "chaise longue" was adopted into English sometime about 200 years ago and remains acceptable English. Its also true that "chaise lounge" became common in English, from my sources, nearly 100 years ago, and is also acceptable English according to most dictionaries I can find.

English not French.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 15, 2008 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

optical,
You know that if Inkblot showed up two weeks in a row, Kevin would be accused of bias.

Posted by: thersites on February 15, 2008 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

I echo the commenters - though not a cat fan myself, but got myself getting slowly drawn into a trance and then, it was over. Only 13 seconds? Come on, you can do better than that ...

good job with starting a new trend in cat vlogging - though I have not googled it yet.

-- r

Posted by: DesiPanchi on February 15, 2008 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

English not French
"chaise lounge" = I will sit here and fight terra.
"chaise longue" = I will eat cheese and surrender.

Posted by: thersites on February 15, 2008 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

Pedants know deep in their hearts that their snottiness is futile. It's when they acknowledge it out-loud or on the Internet that you know they're reaching the ends of their ropes.

Posted by: Swan on February 15, 2008 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, so this is the one that *doesn't* make Domino look fat? Ouch!

Posted by: stand on February 15, 2008 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

Loved it! The armchair action was great. Can't expect much more from a happy cat.

Posted by: scruncher on February 15, 2008 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

"Chaise longue" just means "long chair" in French. "Chaise lounge" is a strange Franglish hybrid... which I guess is why I've always called the damn things "lounge chairs."

Posted by: idlemind on February 15, 2008 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, if you care a lot about whether this thing is called a chaise longue or a chaise lounge it means you're smart- super smart, and able to solve most kinds of problems single-handedly, and instantaneously.

Those are the kinds of people we need to run political campaigns.

Posted by: Swan on February 15, 2008 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

fourlegs - My black Edith is also obsessed with fetching - to the point that one cannot say the word "ball" in my house, lest hysterical cat commences ear-shatteringly loud begging for said ball to appear.

(that is what she fetches- small, brightly-colored foam rubber balls, dimpled like golf balls.)

She prefers to play the game with me lying in bed, throwing the ball out into the hallway, from whence she returns it to the bed meowing in triumph, gets petted, and the ball is again thrown - until my arm gets tired and I hide the ball away again.

And by the way - Edith is so thin, and always has been, (she's 8) that neighbors accuse me of not feeding her.

Although she's healthy, has constant access to unlimited food, and spends ALL her non-fetching time sleeping (preferably atop the cable modem - it warms the belly so nicely) - she's just a skinny cat.

Archie, my other cat, also gets unlimited food, and (unlike Edith) is in nearly constant motion - yet he is is a healthy, solidly-built cat - neither skinny nor fat -

It IS genetics, is all I'm saying here - so no more "fat cat " insults about Queen Domino and His Lordship Inkblot.

Posted by: mldostert on February 15, 2008 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

Instead of chaise longue or chaise lounge, how about
"freedom chairs"?

And props to Inkblot for going after the metal arms instead of ripping the fabric cushion to shreds...

Posted by: sullijan on February 15, 2008 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry -- I meant Domino!!

We also had a cat whose belly was just kind of slung down after she was neutered -- it made her look perpetually chubby, but she wasn't. She was a total dynamo, didn't eat much, and lived to be almost 18.

Posted by: sullijan on February 15, 2008 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

I liked this one better than the other one. It was a total popcorn film, but man was it ever visceral.

Inkblot is far too intellectual for any but the most abstract and soul-searching films. Domino seems to know how to appeal to the masses!

Posted by: MNPundit on February 15, 2008 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone else reminded of the long shot at the beginning of Touch of Evil? Fantastic cinematography.

Posted by: Mithras on February 15, 2008 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

MNPundit - Inkblot does sole searching.

Swan - Inkblot will not run Obama's campaign, Kevin won't even let him run his own.

Thersites - I don't care if Kevin is accused of bias, I have a crush on Inkblot

Sullijan - It's Domino-minion. She is the newcomer and must pay homage to Supreme Leader Inkblot

Posted by: Optical Weenie on February 15, 2008 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

So I bust tail taping the county supervisor lambasting the L.A. City Council for being the bought and paid for crowd that they are, and edit 68 minutes down to 8.5 minutes of video dynamite, and have reporters quoting from it in the newspaper of record, and I get a lousy 1200 hits; then kevin tapes his cat eating treats and gets 8000 hits in a couple of days.

No respect.

Posted by: Bob G on February 15, 2008 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

I can't believe I watched that four times.

Posted by: Scott Herbst on February 15, 2008 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

The Dom is fierce I tell you! What a great performance. Another fine moment of Cat Zen. Love the Dom!

Posted by: Laura on February 15, 2008 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

Domino is regal-not fat! Majestic, maybe. Er, well, at least very, very cute.

Posted by: Susan on February 15, 2008 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

I'm owned by two cats, a male & a female, as well. Both precocious showoffs.

This is a bit off topic, but still on the subject of pets. From what I can tell, this story has not yet been picked up beyond the DC media. And for the life of me, I don't know why; it will bring tears to the eyes of the stoniest heart.
Making a Home for Charlie, Away From Baghdad's Slums
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/14/AR2008021402556.html

Please support Baghdad Pups: http://baghdadpups.com/


Posted by: kudzu on February 15, 2008 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

Domino is "sharpening her claws" on the chair arm. I recommend one of those boards (about 18 inches long) wound with sisal rope. You can hang them on a doorknob, but instead I had two: one I screwed to a post on the deck at proper stretching height, and the other I just left flat on the floor: the cats learned fast to stand on one end lest they shoot it between their legs!

My cats were clawed, but I expect it would feel as good to a declawed kitty; especially when you rub catnip between the strands. Also good for cheek-rubs.

Here's Alice squatting on hers.

Posted by: steverino on February 15, 2008 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

Awesome. Made me chuckle. I liked it better than a lot of videos with actual "content" in them. (Insert Barack Obama supporter joke here.)

Posted by: jerf on February 16, 2008 at 12:06 AM | PERMALINK

I think my favorite recent cat video was from the extras to Series 2 of the new Doctor Who, which I recently netflixed, documenting the difficulties of cat wrangling. Quite funny.

Posted by: Warren Terra on February 16, 2008 at 1:54 AM | PERMALINK

Dogma 95!!!

Catma 95?

Posted by: Subliminability on February 16, 2008 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Are they unionized or something?

Yeah Kevin, like those Weapons of Mass Destruction you thought were there. Maybe the WMD were on break when our herioc soldiers looked for them.

Posted by: Mooser on February 16, 2008 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Domino should wear more black. It's slimming. Oh, wait ...

Posted by: FreakyBeaky on February 16, 2008 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

She claws at just the right moment.

Posted by: Linus on February 16, 2008 at 9:59 PM | PERMALINK

If you actually page through to the end of Google results, then the query "chaise longue" gets 910 results versus 818 for "chaise lounge". The corresponding phrase query gets 832 versus 811. Google tends to ... "over-estimate" their result count.

Posted by: Bovlb on February 17, 2008 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

Way too late, Kev. S.J. Perleman did the definitive treatment of auteur moviemaking.

Posted by: Mooser on February 18, 2008 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

WAAAAY less shaky than Cloverfield.

Posted by: doug r on February 18, 2008 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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