Friday, June 1, 2007

Legion of Rock Stars

So, while reading the WFMU blog, I came across this post about the Legion of Rock Stars who engage in something called Pure Pleasure, where the band wears noise canceling headphones and plays the songs. If the term noise cancelling means nothing to you, this means they can't hear themselves except in their heads. Honestly, this is one of the best things I've ever found by accident on the Internet. This and a Scandanavian Disco video which is awesomely bad.

Here is an assortment

Billy Idol - White Wedding

Journey - Any Way You Want It

Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse of the Heart

Danzig - Mother

The Freestyle

The Freestyle is the foundation of all rap music. Some MC's have written verses that are hot enough to justify them not freestyling such as Andre 3000. But, there are a lot of rappers who have had their careers killed because they can't drop a hot freestyle. The best rappers in the game are the ones that can consistently rhyme with quality off the dome. But a freestyle king does not make a all-time great. I watched this battle a few years ago where this dude Eyedea won the title after dropping some fairly complex freestyles. But his album work was weak and I thought that he wasted the beats he was given a lot of the time. Additionally, what up Remy Ma? When you going to drop something that I would actually want to listen to on record. I know you can freestyle; I watched you in the Fight Klub. While freestyling is not the end all, freestyling is the solidification of a legend in rap. That and a hot album of three and getting the crowd live. The trifecta of rap if you will. With that said, I'm going to post a pretty good freestyle I found from last week's Rap City. If you are unfamiliar with Rap City, Rap City brings a lot of rappers on the show to just drop freestyles in the booth. Some dudes are fresh. Others not so much. But, the real gamers are the ones that make you make sounds while they're rapping. Serius Jones is one such rapper.

Why I Don't Like Rich People

Rich people tend to be art patrons, which is an admirable thing...except when they are buying art from Damien Hirst. Hirst is well-known as one of the largest conceptual artists and is considered, in my mind, as a contemporary of Jeff Koons for being a huge blowhard. Hirst is best known for suspending various animals in formaldehyde and "drawing" pictures of dots*. I would be OK with such blatant displays of non-talent if he weren't such a dick about it. But, Damien Hirst is a huge dick about it. I should figure nothing less from someone who does art like his.

I bring up Damien Hirst because he has displayed his newest piece:

This gem is a PLATINUM skull encrusted with over 8500 diamonds and cost over $20 Million. Hirst is looking to sell this for ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS to keep him from getting ripped off. Hmm, I wonder who's really getting ripped off here? Damien Hirst who might lose a few million that didn't really cost him to make this, or the buyer who just spent 100 Mil to buy a fucking diamond encrusted skull and brag to their friends about how they made one of the dumbest purchases in the history of all time? I'm not sure if he's trying to be dadaist or what, but Damien Hirst either needs to start doing real art or stop wasting my time with these hugely public displays of his new openings for his non-art.

*I say that he "drew" them because he actually didn't draw them. His assistants did them for them. I understand that this plays into a fundamental question of authenticity that has been in discussion since the rise of the Minimalists and was directly questioned before them by the Dadaists. My stance on the issue is that when a piece can be produced by the artists, it should be. The Minimalists were unable to produce their own art due to its scale, but they were giving full instructions to the foundries that were actually manufacturing their art. The difference between Hirst and those artists is that Hirst is disengaged from the creation of some of his art. There is no input other than saying, you, paint this on this scale.

Well, Well, Well

Turns up the Big Donor Show was a big fake.

How You Know You're Doing a Bad Job

Peggy Noonan was the speechwriter in both the Ronald Reagan and the George H.W. Bush (that's 41) administrations. She's pretty through and through conservative. It says something very large when such a dedicated conservative says you're doing a really, really bad job as president. This is exactly what she does today in her column for OpinionJournal.

This is like an ultimate slap in the face if you are in power. Noonan helped defend Bush on many different occasions, no matter how wrong his positions were. And now she is coming out against him and his positions. It just shows you that it isn't just angry, whining progressives who think Bush is a bad president; it's pretty much everyone.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Four on the Floor

A passion of mine has been house music. I don't know why, but it just sort of is. I like the fact that it reminds me of hip-hop sonically and is just as much fun. Regardless of that, this is a good time to post some house, especially since I've been listening to dance music all day. It gave me inspiration for a tape and just helped me with some generally good ideas. So, with that said, I'm done for the day and the two videos I will leave you with are Kirk by Quentin Dupieux a/k/a Mr. Oizo (pronounced Oiseau) and Prix Choc by Etienne de Crecy from the first Super Discount album. Bad films and Judo: What a way to go out.

This is Further Proof of Why La Vida Lohan is in Rehab

Yesterday, I posted a photo of Lindsay Lohan's current fucktoy Calum (not Callum as I spelled it. Yea, I could have changed it, but someone might read this off the RSS and it gets all wonky when you change stuff in old posts) Best doing blow off hookers while being taped on camera. While that didn't really bother me all that much (I mean, I did come up in a city with a mayor who smokes crack), and actually this new news doesn't bother me that much either. It just helps me to make a larger point about Lindsay Lohan and her need for rehab.

As shown by her current relocation to Malibu, Ms. Lohan does not have the best decision making skills. Along with him being a hooker-infatuated blowhard (rimshot!), M. Best is also an illegitimate baby's daddy. I don't generally believe a lot of these stories unless there is clear proof that this could have actually happened. Regardless of whether or not this guy is the actual father of this child, I want these celebrities who think they have the right to fuck anything that passes in a pair of Sevens or a skirt to think about something: getting set up.

While I'm sure that many of these people have sex with people of the same economic situation as themselves, this doesn't mean that someone isn't trying to juice you for your paper. Dudes and Lasses, if some bitch comes on to you at the club and is willing to put out, protect yourself. Just like in the story with Best, the girl was on the pill and clearly that didn't work. You got to take precautions for these types of things. Why do you want to waste that money that you could be spending on Grey Goose, blow, Oxy, Vicodin, Weed, Bourbon, Paul Frank, Designer Jeans, Blackberries, Macs, Jumpsuits, Suits, Blazers, Shoes, etc to take care of some kids? So, please celebrities, help control the child population, shield your penis and protect your vajayjay.


(If you don't understand that reference at all: WALNUTS and CURTIS!)

Via ThinkProgress:

Bill O'Reilly and the O.G. Flip-flopper John McCain on Immigration

O’REILLY: But do you understand what the New York Times wants, and the far-left want? They want to break down the white, Christian, male power structure, which you’re a part, and so am I, and they want to bring in millions of foreign nationals to basically break down the structure that we have. In that regard, Pat Buchanan is right. So I say you’ve got to cap with a number.

MCCAIN: In America today we’ve got a very strong economy and low unemployment, so we need addition farm workers, including by the way agriculture, but there may come a time where we have an economic downturn, and we don’t need so many.

O’REILLY: But in this bill, you guys have got to cap it. Because estimation is 12 million, there may be 20 [million]. You don’t know, I don’t know. We’ve got to cap it.

MCCAIN: We do, we do. I agree with you.

Do I really need to add anything here? Yes, because I am clearly aiming to allow illegal immigrants to allow themselves into the country, make me pay more taxes to cover their bills, and live in constant fear of being caught up in an ICE raid. I want to do all of this just to make white men worth hundreds of thousands of dollars mildly uncomfortable. Of course, that's great reasoning there, O' Reilly. And you should also stop calling your show the NO Spin Zone. I always getting dizzy from my head spinning with anger.

Why I Don't Work In Government

Apparently, the Bush Administration is unwilling to test all cows for mad cow disease even though some farms are fully willing and interested in testing to make sure that they deliver a safe product. Maybe I've missed something, but doesn't usually testing a product for safety lead to better sales for said product? I mean, that simple idea worked for Hyundai. No one used to want to set foot within a half-mile of one of those cars if they didn't have to. Now, classy folks are buying them up like hot cakes after Consumer Reports and NHTSA actually gave them some dap for their updating and making a higher quality product now.

The Bush Administration argues against this seemingly stone-cold lock logic by saying that such testing would create a "false positive that would harm the meat industry". Yet again, this argument still doesn't really make sense. Does that make sense to you? The idea that not testing the meat will make us safer than testing it? I'm confused thinking about that. Clearly, I would never be a good yes man in an administration, which is pretty much every position except for being the VP or the President. You can't tell me otherwise, The West Wing.

I Need To Drink Less Soda Anyway

The United States has placed sanctions against the Sudanese government while the mass killings continue on in the state of Darfur. Dana Milbank reports on the Sudanese response to these sanctions. It is honestly one of the stranger responses that I have ever read about. It is strongly disconnected from reality, hilariously off-base, and he makes one of the strangest threats of all time: to cut off exports of gum arabic.

Gum arabic is the emulsifier used in making soft drinks. 80% of this comes from the country of Sudan. So, the minister was suggesting that if the sanctions are not lifted against the Sudan, the country would respond by working to cripple the global soda industry and blame its downfall on the actions of the United States. That's really fucking bold. Almost as bold as the best diplomatic policy of all time: brinkmanship. Days like this make me want to go take the foreign service exam so I could get into diplomacy with the State Dept.

When They Aren't Blowing Up Our Professional Wrestlers with Explosives, The Japanese are Really Quite Alright

Now, let this be said off the front: I'm not one of those kids that's obsessed with the Far East. I'm not obsessed with it, but I must give it its due for its obsession with my childhood. Growing up, and actually still now, I loved jungle gyms. They were fun. All of the climbing, frolicking. I always wished that I could play on jungle gyms forever. While I learned about other things that I could do with my time other than running on jungle gyms (Madden Football Video Games I think substituted. Those and cooking), I also became glad that I decided to abandon the love of jungle gyms after watching Viking and Ninja Warrior.

Viking and Ninja Warrior are two Japanese game shows that have modified the traditional jungle gym, the one of our youth, and replaced it with a sadistically difficult obstacle course. Facts on Viking are a little hard to come by in English, and as I don't do well with Japanese, I have to go on what I know from memory about it. Viking bills itself as the ultimate obstacle course, and it's not actually lying like most self-advertising. It consists of three parts: a marine stage, an adventure stage, and a fantasy stage. If you are awesome enough (awesome is really the only word here) to get past these three stages, you think you're finished right? TOTALLY WRONG! You still have to go through another stage and prove that you are the absolute, unadulterated, unquestionable shit. Only one guy has gotten far enough to even prove his worthiness, and he fell five feet short. As you can figure, this show has a lot of casualties of war. And it is beautiful when people crash and burn on this show. Dudes are flying into the water. People are bouncing off of walls. Bitches are having the thrill of victory snatched away by the cruel hands of Father Time. Viking comes on ESPN2, but I haven't seen it in a while, so I couldn't tell you when to watch it. But, as it looks from Wikipedia, Viking is only a mere child to the grandfather of obstacle course programming in Japan: Sasuke a/k/a Ninja Warrior.

Existing since 1997, Ninja Warrior has a format that is very similar to Viking. There are three stages with increasing difficulty. But, unlike Viking, Ninja Warrior is a cultural event. Japan shuts down and watches with rapt attention as the days-long tournament is compacted into three and a half hours. Contestants carry the expectations of families and towns on their backs as they attempt to clear the stages. Additionally, the contestants become national celebrities through being successful on the show (How else can a gas station attendant become a national icon?). The difficulty of stages between Ninja Warrior and Viking is debatable, but let's be clear here: both shows are fucking hard. They are not casual strolls through the park. As the history goes now, no one has finished Viking while only two people have finished Ninja Warrior. A fun fact: the only one who got to the final stage of Viking is one of the two men who have finished the final stage of Ninja Warrior.

This man is Makoto Nagano. Nagano is a 35 year old captain of a fishing boat. He's pretty short, but he's strong as an ox. They always show footage of him working out on the boat and doing a lot of crazy training. Anyway, he is one of the most consistent competitors, always making it out of the first stage and usually through the second stage. Sometimes, he would get caught up on some of the simpler items, but he usually strove through. The following video is of Nagano during the 17th tournament, i.e. the one he finished. Through this video, I hope that you will understand how old the original version was.

Note that I said old. After two people had accomplished the full course, they decided to make the show even harder. The third stage is ridiculous, but a lot of people have spectacular falls on stage two, so that is the one that I have decided to show from the most recent tournament in the spring of 2007.

The Japanese have a lot of strange things that I might not necessarily want picked up on by Americas, but this is one that I could get fully behind. Hopefully, now that you know about it, you'll get into it as well. Viking comes on ESPN2 and Ninja Warrior comes on G4, the computer and gaming channel. Yea, I know, but I'm as displeased as you are about it.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Just Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It,Hot Funk Wit It

I don't really have a witty way to end the day other than saying that the summer sucks because I'm forced to watch the monstrosity that is So You Think You Can Dance? That show is awful. Absolutely terrible. I'm not even going to put up a video because that is a bit too much work for this guy right now. I'm going to start watching Big Love.

Recent Jamz

So, yes, if you didn't read before, I've been out of the country (that's rural country, not the USA) for the past week or so. While I've been gone, I've been listening to hot jams. Since I drove to Ohio, I spent the first leg listening to a lot of loud jams because I was kind of asleep during the first part. On the second leg back, I listened to a ton of hip-hop. I refound my love for Gang Starr and Outkast. After two subpar albums, you forget how good Outkast actually are as rappers as proven on ATLiens AND Aquemini. The only down side of it was that one song where they scream "Mamacita! Papadonna!" That song pissed me off. Kanye, at least to me, proved that he's been fly for years although The College Dropout is a little preachy for me. Kids that blew me out of the water were Kidz in the Hall. Their album School is My Hustle, while preachy at points as well, is a high-quality, Rawkus-released, fully voiced and realized hip-hop album. I wish that more rap albums sounded like this album. The MC was witty, the beats were hard yet complex, and the topics were interesting. That's what's up too.


If you don't believe me, read this article from Davey D about the future plan to corporatize cyberspace and shut down Internet radio, a format that greatly increases listenership of small stations as well as allows breaks from the tsunami of mediocrity that floods our dials.

I understand that they want to make money for their artists, but they must realize that they can't make money for their artists, many of whom benefit from these smaller fora, if they don't give them a place where they can be heard. Mainstream stations are not interested in playing the new release from Lightning Bolt or CSS or playing classic Liliput. Yes, noise and swiss post-punk doesn't really hold a lot of interest for the Fergie set; it might make them think about their situation too much and reject the stupidity of Dem Franchise Boyz (I'm not leanin'). Small stations and internet radio made this music available to many voices and groups, as it is music and music is designed to be heard. But, with the new regulations, the stations that used to get CSS out to a larger audience than its 10-watt broadcasting area will no longer be able to do that. Hell, they probably won't be able to pay for the right to play it once let alone enough times for it to get stuck in your head. Additionally, the artists won't make any more money from this new situation. It's bad times all around.

Write your senators, congresspeople, and tell them to do something about this because they are monopolizing music, the unmonopolizable form. And, yes, unmonopolizable is a fake word.

One of the Few Things that the Government is Doing Correctly

I am usually critical of the government, but the one thing that they have done is gone after people who committed crimes during the Civil Rights era of the 1950's and 1960's. The travesties that were done during the era such as letting the two men who killed Emmitt Till get away with it despite overwhelming evidence putting them at the scene of the crime will have to stand. But, other travesties will be tried such as this murder reported on by the BBC.

Maybe Jerry Falwell Was Crazy Like A Fox

Jerry Falwell died recently. In America, he was known for two things: being a bedrock of the conservative evangelical movement and calling everything gay. He is most infamously known for calling Tinky Winky of the mentally harmless Teletubbies (if you know a kid that has learned something for it, please let me know) gay. Well, Tinky Winky and Spongebob Squarepants, a slightly more legitimate if not equally stupid accusation.

While America gets a lot of grief around the world for not being the sharpest tools in the shed, we were smart enough to know that children's characters weren't pushing homosexual agendas. Apparently, Poland isn't quite this smart. They are investigating whether or not the presence of Tinky Winky on Teletubbies is pushing a homosexual agenda. Yes, yes, don't worry. All of the insanity will be sorted out by the government-hired psychologists. I'm sure they will be happy to take time away from their busy days of stopping people from killing themselves to study tape of asexual children's characters who are amazed by asinine objects and a creepy child's face that replaces the sun from time to time.

No Does Not Necessarily Mean Yes

Kenyan journalist Jeff Koinange has been fired by CNN. Why you may ask? Because he has been accused of DATE RAPE! Is that a good enough reason for you? Also, the story's kind of weird.

This is Why Lindsay's in Trouble

Lindsay Lohan, if you didn't already know by now, is back in rehab. According to Chart Attack (that name is catchy, isn't it? Thanks Canada!), she is checking into Promises, the Malibu treatment center that may or may not have rehabilitated Britney Spears. I'm not saying anything, but her current dress has suggested less than full sobriety. No one thought Paula Abdul was sober, but at least she got her shit together and looked less like a cheap prostitute when she came out in public.

But, this is not a rant about other celebrities. With this second trip to rehab in less than a year, we have to wonder what kind of leadership exists for Lindsay Lohan. Clearly, we don't need to look at Dina because she's too busy getting shit-faced with Lindsay. So, this leaves us with Michael, a man who is spending time in jail for, essentially, binge drinking. He says that, "When Lindsay puts God back in her life, things will turn around." See, Lindsay's clearly doomed. Rehab can't save her.

Psychology, You're On Notice

Now, I'm not going to go all Tom Cruise on psychology and shit because it does have a place in the discussion to further understand ourselves. Does that mean I believe in it? Not so much. The tests are interesting, but that's pretty much it. I think a lot of it is hooey, but that's just me. Something has come up to align with my side of the argument.

According to this article from Psychology Today, women can literally get hooked on dick. Gordon G. Gallup, Ph. D has published a study saying that women who have sex without condoms fall into periods of depression as their periods of involuntary abstinence increase, something that does not happen to women who use condoms. Think about what's being said. Some girl gets laid but doesn't do it again for like six months. Her mental happiness DECREASES as this time passes! I'm sorry, but what? This is making the suggestion that getting laid is like crack for women. That's a strong suggestion, but it could be true. Getting laid always did get Barbarella woozy...

One More Thing Scratched Off The Mental Question List

I always wondered what doing blow off a hooker looked like. Thanks Callum Best!

I Didn't Know Judging Kareoke Could Be So Fulfilling

When she is not fighting off accusations of being on drugs, Paula Abdul said that she has found herself and her purpose through American Idol. And, look at me, I thought the high points of her life were being the choreographer for the Laker Girls and dancing with that cartoon in "Opposites Attract."

I Won't Say I Completely Agree

From the Times (UK): A guide for women to being prepared for a rock festival. I don't need to pack earplugs because I keep them on me at all times. Thanks WLUW!

The New Cold War is Between Terrorism and America, isn't it?

Russia would like to inform us that the original cold war was between the capitalist Americans and communist Soviets. Additionally, they would like to inform us that the new cold war is between the capitalist Americans and the capitalist Russians. I only note this because Russia decided to step its game up and reload. I'm personally game for a new Cold War, as America underwent a huge expansion of trade and economy during the first one. Maybe this new one will bring actual jobs to West Virginia.

I'm not sure what to think about this

In the Low Country (that's the Netherlands, Holland), the creator of the months-long tragedy that is Big Brother have decided to push the border even further by creating the most bizarre first prize ever for a television show: a kidney transplant.

That's right, three patients in dire need of a new kidney will go on television, argue their case, and try to win the sympathies of a terminally ill woman to get her kidneys. This is something you would read about in a dystopian novel or from the pages of a overly cynical leftist magazine, but this is going to happen. This is real.

Terrible ethical questions aside, how do you convince someone to give you their kidney. This isn't like going out on a date with someone where all you have to do is ask. Do you have to give a rundown of your best qualities, as if this were an interview? Do they go out on gondolas and talk about Dickens? I am horribly offended by the concept of this show (but, I'm not offended by Flavor of Love. Go figure.), but I want to watch just to find out how the eventual donor will be selected. And maybe it will help people start with organ donation. I just hope they don't think that their liver will end up in Lindsay Lohan or David Crosby.

Contessa Brewer Loves The 'Tox

In my ongoing obsession with Contessa Brewer (she's always on during the day at MSNBC, and I can't help the fact that she's hot and actually has a reasonable speaking cadence), she talked with Stephen Bloch, a doctor from a Chicago suburb about a particularly inflammatory billboard. Residents of the area had been complaining that the billboard was an affront to women and everything that has been taught to them in the post-feminist days that we live in now such as beauty comes from within (it still does, ladies) because it features a flawless woman with things that she can do to improve herself.

Now, speaking as a male who has read The Beauty Myth, I understand both sides of this argument and both have a right to be angry at the other. The billboard is an affront, pure and simple. It is putting an important emphasis on physical appearance instead of coming across as if you have a full brain or a basic understanding of conversation. But, to the shop's owners' defense, the billboard is not patently offensive. This is not Erznoznik v. Jacksonville where the Supreme Court actually did have to tackle the issue of public nudity in large display (the case was about the constitutionality of a Jacksonville, FL ordinance banning drive-in theaters from showing boobies and booties uncovered if the screen is visible in a public place). In fact, this billboard is rather uncontroversial aside from its words. Those Herbal Essences ads with the women faking orgasms (or were they?) were way more problematic than this billboard.

But, seriously, this shouldn't have been on MTV. These two sides need to go smoke a peace pipe, make some s'mores and end all of this unnecessary hate. The beauty industry isn't going to go away. It will always be there. If parents are concerned, this should only make them step their game up and actually remind their kids that if they carry themselves well and use some fancy words from time to time, they'll have bitches clawing at their doors guaranteed.

Abstinence and America

In America, every high school student has to take a general set of courses to prepare them for something. What that something is? I'm not really so sure. I went to high school and learned about Byron, but that has yet to really help me out unless British Poetry comes up on Jeopardy! While some of the classes are very useless, one of the classes that is meant to be useful is sexual education/health. You learn about your own form and about sexuality. I also learned how to run a household, a skill that came in handy in college even though I was not married in any way.

But, this sanctuary of useful information and important knowledge has been damaged since the Bush Administration came into power. It had been subverted for a fairly long time, but the attack upon the system became solidified during the Bush administration. The Bushies have decided that there is not a need for high school students, the ones who are just beginning to understand themselves and aiming to gain a further understanding of their others, to learn about safe sex practices. Apparently, the administration believes that the teaching of sexual practices will launch people to have more sex. I'm just going to step out here and say that this is not true. But, I'm not the one who controls the purse strings.

So, in an effort to control what the kids learn, the Bush administration decided to only fund schools with national dollars if they committed themselves to teaching abstinence-only education. As if you haven't already noticed, I'm not a huge number person. Other people like numbers a lot and using them to make points; not so much for this guy. With that said, I can't be sure what the effectiveness of this program is, but its effectiveness, or lack thereof, is not my concern. This program raises my ire as someone who just came out of the raging bowl of hormones and sexuality that is college.

Sex abounds at college, and these students should be prepared for how to deal with sexual situations if they decide to enter one. Abstinence is a good idea in theory, but telling people to not have sex with someone even if they feel they are ready and want to is not going to work for everyone. People have sex; they should be taught how to approach it responsibly and sensibly.

Luckily, I'm not the only one who thinks this way, as the Democrats are trying to swing against the tide and cut funding for abstinence-only education. As can be expected, the Christian Conservative lobby is against the move and all conceivable logic. But, what else should I expect? I live in America, a place where we breed American Idol winners (Jordin Sparks, you're on notice).

Back to work.

I got that shit for sale, son.