Friday, July 20, 2007

Start Yr Weekend

Youtube: The New Political Frontier?

If you are unaware, CNN has decided to round up Anderson Cooper and a new media website to host a series of debates. This new media site is YouTube. I'm sure, especially if you have read this blog, that you are familiar with it. But, a lot of the mass media is trumpeting it as the new form of political dialogue due to the fact that it allows users to express themselves on line.

I'm not sure how much time mainstream media has spent on YouTube because of such statements. While there is a fair amount of useful content on YouTube, I'd say about 85% of YouTube is completely meaningless drivel, useful only to the people who posted it. Some people might say that this is the magic of YouTube. Actually, I wouldn't disagree with those people; some of that obscure information is pretty interesting. But, this is also exactly why YouTube is a terrible format for the discussion of serious affairs like politics.

As much as everyone would like to believe, politics cannot be revolutionized by a digital camera. Politics will not become more interesting to a generation that has become disenfranchised because it has come on to the Internet. Political discourse will not change because Hillary Clinton has decided to go online and ask for their help in making a decision. The reason for this is that the Internet is not a person. I know this will make me sound like a Luddite, but hear me out.

The Internet is a cornucopia of information. The fact that you are reading this is proof of this idea. You, the reader, made a conscious decision to come into this blog and read it. For that, I do appreciate it. But, this is the heart of my actual point with why YouTube is useless for developing interest in politics or revolutionizing politics. While it can get the message of politicians out faster, you are seeing a carefully thought-out and digitally manipulated candidate or a tragic misstep of a candidate. Regardless of which you watch, the viewer is only seeing one side of the person; all candidates are more than nice rooms and verbal flubs. Additionally, this one side is unable to interface with the viewer who might have a question about a policy relevant to them.

While CNN's debate is beginning to shrink the gap in getting honest political dialogue between the public and the candidates, the means by which they are doing it is how we have been led to the current state of politics, where all of the candidates are so sanitized that it's hard to differentiate between them because they all seem the same. Candidates no longer seem very real because they are so studied and stiff in their public appearances. This stiffness does not allow for a full-bodied-ness that comes with face-to-face meetings with candidates.

Even though all politicians are well studied, the face-to-face meeting is probably the best chance that anyone has to meet a politician in true form. Such a meeting will allow one to determine if the person is nice and cordial with people or a total sociopath. These types of things cannot be determined through a digital camera. Politicians have to put in the legwork to come out to events in regional areas and make a concerted effort to go to local hangouts to do exactly that: hangout! A politician just has to meet people in public and allow for questions to be asked of them in an unfiltered format if they want to get the respect of the public who will be electing them to office. YouTube doesn't allow for this. And this is why YouTube will never be a substitute for the true nature of politics as much as the media wants it to be.

YouTube may be the next frontier, but it is definitely not the new frontier of politics. If anything, it should have never entered the discussion of politics.

Information Blast: Lunchtime Snacks

This is so lunchtime, it's all information. No jazz from this guy. Let's go!

Before We Start

I'm going to make the following statement: Girl Afraid is the best song ever made by the Smiths. There are a lot of other good songs by the Smiths as well. I'm not trying to discredit the merits of those songs. But, I am saying that by selecting Girl Afraid, I believe that the song best holds to the band model set by the Smiths.

It is a song of alienation, angst, and awkward teen feelings. The drums and bass are powerful, but not overpowering. The guitar playing is sharp and technical, but not overwhelmingly so. Morrissey stays in control of his voice, blending it in with the overall vibe of the song while still showing that he has fantastic chops. Additionally, this song is loved by fans, but it was not a mainstream hit; Girl Afraid was the song that requires having a knowledge of the band. But, as we all know, most of the time the singles are not the best songs from a band. Instead, the album tracks and b-sides are where a band truly shine because they don't have to pull radio play on the b side; the band is allowed to play in their purest form. Girl Afraid is a b-side. Girl Afraid is the perfect example of what the sound of the Smiths truly is.

You can disagree by all means, but think about what I've said here especially if you are a Smiths fan. Also, if you catch the BBC Crown Jewels concert of the band, you'll notice that the set would have been a lot better if they had played Girl Afraid. It was still a good set, but it didn't hit its optimal.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Information Blast: Mental Health Day

Yo, my day got wrecked by having to do grocery shopping. It threw my whole schedule off, and I'm not feeling super motivated to do anything; my spirit is not here, especially since this is my time. So, with that said, I'm going to throw some D's on this bitch and peace out. I'll start with this video from liberal hippie Max Blumenthal attending a College Republicans conference. Note the interpretive dancing towards the end.

  • Buddhism really does have gods and goddesses. Well, slap me with a stick.
  • On a more surprising note as it is a low-level lightbulb, Easy Bake Ovens can burn your kids.
  • President Bush's attempts to kill NPR and PBS have been thwarted by the representatives of America. I guess Bush really doesn't like Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me.
  • In addition to low quality standards, China has low journalism standards too. I guess they are becoming the America of the East after all.
  • Before you read the following piece, I have to say that the BMI is bullshit as it is an inaccurate measure of body mass. And, I'm saying this as someone who isn't obese in reality, but is obese on this scale because the system does not differentiate between muscle and fat. 75% of America will be overweight by 2015.
  • Pimp My Ride, the X to the Z Xzibit-hosted festival of turning pieces of trash into flashy pieces of trash through the magic of jump cuts, is being canned.
  • Paul F. Tompkins, a name familiar to anyone who watches Best Week Ever, does an interview with the AV Club over at The Onion.
  • The Emmy nominations came out today. Friday Night Lights, one of my favorite new shows, got no love in major categories and only got two bids overall. But, my other favorite new shows 30 Rock and Ugly Betty got 10 bids each. Also, props to House and The Office.
Oh yea, a building collapsed in Mumbai, killing 22. There are suicide attacks going on in Pakistan. Today, 51 people were killed. And, America still is split about the war with one half saying that it's cool. The other half doesn't really agree with the first half. So, that's about it. I need to go recharge. I'm back tomorrow with some intensity. I think it's the summer heat which is making me wilt away.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Slow Summer Haze

I'm checking out early. Nothing's going forwards. And I want to read and get drunk, in that order. So, in that vein, I check out. Here is a video from Pale Saints for their song Kinky Love. Its pace is appropriate for today for sure.

I'm out. And, I apologize for all the grammatical errors in the live blog. That is a part of live blogging. Word.

Victoria Beckham: Coming to America, Making My Eyes Bleed

Going Live again on a program that came on days ago, Victoria Beckham: Coming to America. Before I begin, I'd like to point out this story from ABC about Victoria wanting a stylist that won't outshine her.

The show starts with a montage of Victoria going around Hollywood and being hyped up to death. Victoria has to find a house, get a driver's license, and find a manicurist. The struggles of being ridiculously rich and famous. I'm so not impressed, nor do I think this will be "major," as Posh thinks it will.

Post-montage, Posh and Becks are getting styled for their euro-trashy photoshoot in W. And, yes I paused so I could do that. Carrying onwards. We also have to remember that the Beckhams have three kids although they are heard but never seen. They talk about something; it's not all that important. Then there is a montage of the two taking pictures in Madrid. At this point, Posh and Becks separate. Becks stays in Spain to finish playing for Real Madrid. Becks goes ahead to do all of the tedious legwork of being rich.

Victoria talks about how she is surrounded by paparazzi all over Europe. She thought it might be different. I don't know if she was being dry or serious because, if she was being dry, she has a terrible sense of humor. Anyway, she arrives and the place is covered with paps. She tries to make another not funny joke about them expecting Madonna. No dice.

Upon arrival, Posh goes to the rental house, which she refers to as a dusty cube. She likes the house, but doesn't like the shitty piece of art in her house. At least, she has good taste. Anyway, she talks about how hard her life is going to be for the next few weeks. Of course, cut to her sitting by the pool. She's so busy she can't even pour her own champagne. Her hairstylist does it for her. I guess when you get paid as much as he does and travel the world with the woman, you can lower your standards a bit to do menial tasks for her. Some dramatic photos later for Becks, Posh is out of our sight for two minutes as we go on to the commercials.

As these commercials run, I am thinking to myself that I was going to write a legit commentary on this show. A legit review. Thought out and well considered. You know, like real critics do. But, I think that would require me to adequately care about Posh, which I don't. I only care enough to live blog.

Back from commercials, we came into an intro of Posh posing by the pool. Her personal assistant in America has shown up. Suffice it to say, she meets the standards of Posh: she's sort of dumpy and not as pretty as her. I think that Renee, her assistant, is pretty, but she will suffice for Posh's needs. Posh is laying down the rules for the house meaning that she has to do everything for the house. Renee has to do everything.

Anyway, we have now moved on to Posh's adventures with driving. She was doing well then pulled over. The paparazzi were on the scene as they always are. She then proceeded to comment that she should be wearing heels instead of flats and she didn't know whether to listen or to pose. The cop told her to go to the DMV and take the driving test.

Fast forward, we are at the DMV with Posh. It is a mob scene because this chica gets followed everywhere. Go figure. Anyway, she has to take a new photo. She gets touched up with lip gloss and her hair is done. To show the cultural gap and the fact that no one cares about soccer, she asked the lady who took the picture if she could retake her DMV photo. The lady tried to be nice about it, but I would have cussed at her. I think that's just me though. After the photo, she went to take the paper test to get her license changed over. Renee tried to help out, but the proctor caught her. He then proceeded to tell her that he had his eye on her. Even after the assist, Beckham passed and is now licensed in America. Where we go from here, I have no idea because it's on commercial.

Can I note during this break: I've lost 20 minutes of my life and I'm starting to want them back. She's really boring.

Renee's a fantastic assistant, btw. Uh oh, Posh has found out about Perez Hilton. She's paying Perez a visit at his office at the Coffee Bean. Ben, the hairdresser, came along. Perez tried to get her to eat a cookie, but she said that she can't break her image as a non-eating alien. Anyway, Victoria has displayed a sense of humor about herself. Additionally, Posh shoots down the convention that she is getting converted to Scientology. Posh and Perez worked out an agreement, and I really do want my time back now.

Renee and Posh are talking about what they will put in the fish tank. In the meantime, Posh gets a gift basket and is invited to a socialite's luncheon. Posh goes because she needs to make friends. She gets her battery of assistants together and they fix her up nice. And Posh and Co. go to Suzanne Hughes's house. This woman is a hot mess. Too much plastic surgery is a bad thing. Also, Posh has second thoughts once see experienced the tragedy that is the interior design of the Hughes house by Suzanne Hughes. She really needs to hire someone. Posh meets the rest of the socialites and likes them very much. But, she grows uncomfortable in talking about the money. Socialites talk about money; Posh has yet to understand this in America. Posh also uses the term major a lot. Posh also realizes that getting socialites into their nature territory of lushness always makes things more tolerable. Posh had fun and wishes to be a socialite when she gets to be older. This means being a lush with bad taste. Next: searching for the new home.

Can I just interject here for a moment? I would like to say that I, Ace of Oh Stewardess, have been conned out of the last 30 minutes of my life by Victoria Beckham and would like my time back. After seeing the awesomeness that could have came with watching the lushes of the Beverly Hills Socialite Club, I, the viewer, am being cheated by this special as I now know that I could have gotten way more entertainment from them than Ms. Beckham. But, I only have myself to blame as I decided to saddle up for this effort. I do have to say that I would have never watched this show if it was an actual television show. My mind would have rotted. My hopes of being a professional hater would have been greatly compromised.

Montage of LA starts the next segment. Posh lives for her family. Her son also has an Oedipal complex. When Posh isn't living for her family, Posh loves to shop as therapy. I'm glad that aimless consumerism can be a new form of therapy. But, I'm letting politics get in the way.

One week away from the arrival date of Becks, Posh still hasn't found a house yet. Renee, aware of the fact that LA has strange natural occurrences, hired an earthquake specialist. While she is trying to learn about the earthquake procedures, Posh is more concerned about whether or not we can see her knickers. Anyway, Posh is off to look at houses. Of course, all the houses are really nice. She wants a nice, child-friendly house. The first house has a cliff. I'm into it, but I also don't have kids nor get that drunk by ledges. My fear of heights would keep me from doing that.

Posh says something that I agree with about the second house: it looks like someone vomited everywhere. The house is hideously designed. The third house isn't really that impressive, but she loves it. She still hasn't made a decision, but she is working on it. In the next part, Posh tries to fool the paps and I'm supposed to care about Becks coming to America.

Yea, Victoria hasn't really impressed me so much. I still want my time back. But not as much as I want it back for having to watch those Yoplait ads with the pale girl at the beach. You know which ones I'm talking about. I can't stand that ad. Homegirl needs to hit up her backyard or roof or something if she can't go out in her yellow polka-dot bikini.

After the break, Posh notes that she wants to make everything comfortable for the family. She talks about being away from her family for a very long time. She's been gone from the family for about two weeks. I say man up. Posh, as a gift to her husband, wants to buy Becks a watch. But, she is always stopped by the paps being everywhere. She comes up with the no-so-genius idea of buying a blow-up doll, dressing it like her, and using it to fool the paps. While she might not think so, Posh does kind of look like the blow-up doll. Anyway, the plan actually did work to my amazement, and Posh bought the watch.

Renee, endlessly working assistant, gets Posh an opportunity to make the first pitch at the Dodgers game. Posh, being from England, doesn't know too much about baseball. So, Renee takes her to a little league diamond to learn how to throw a baseball. Posh thought the people were small. Only after standing amongst them, Posh realizes that they are, in fact, kids. You know, kids like she has. We'll have to wait and see how this one turns out after the commercial break.

I can't insert snippy commentary here because I'm getting a beer. Editorial timeout. Ahh, frozen beers from the back of the fridge. That thing is worthless.

Anyway, we are back to the life of Victoria Beckham. Posh asks the kids to tell her about baseball, an instantaneous no-no. The kids asked why she talked funny, why should was wearing heels, etc. Home girl has ZERO arm. ZERO. Anyway, Posh shows up at Dodger Stadium and runs into a slightly pervish Tommy Lasorda. Posh met her catcher and is terrified that she will run into the fact of making herself look like an ass. She does look like a stupid tart, but she did get the pitch to the home plate. Take that, mayor of Cincinnati.

As Posh reminisces about her time in the city, we get a pointless video montage of the past hour. Posh also went back to get Becks, so she could travel with him back to LA. She did miss him, but the show is now over. At the end, we're getting outtakes where Posh doesn't actually know the basis of Thanksgiving. That will come with time on the other hand. Anyway, we have now finished our trip with Victoria Beckham.

As a recap, I'm not sure that I would have expected something different. I already figured that rich people don't have very difficult lifestyles and they can pretty much do whatever they please. The only problems that they have are staving off depression and severe painkiller abuse (thanks Jacqueline Susann). This show didn't really change that idea. Actually, Posh just validated it. If I learned anything at all, I learned how much work a personal assistant actually does. So, in short: NBC, that show was fun and all, but can I get the last hour of my time back?

A Public Service Announcement

If I had some of that calming muzak to play in the background of this post, I would. As you may or may not know, there is a war going on in the Middle East. Yes, the war in Iraq against that mysterious man/woman/person/animal/skeleton of danger Terrorism. Pretty much everyone in America wants the troops to come home. This war is a fiasco, one that has destabilized the country and, more than likely, the entire region. But, the eggheads and brown-nosers in Washington have finally picked up on this fact and are trying to do something about it. There are still many (Joe Lieberman, Walnuts "Gay Sweater" McCain, Lindsay Graham amongst others) who believe that this is the right course: to send our troops into the desert of Iraq to face uncertainty, to confront the constant stench of burning flesh and death, and to experience the modern rendition of Vietnam where the enemies are buried amongst the masses. But, this group of voices are slowly dying down as the public has made their displeasure with the war become much louder.

In hopes of appeasing the loud voices, the Senate has decided to work towards pulling the troops out of the country. While I've expressed my displeasure with a precipitous withdrawal, I have to clarify the rhetoric being used by the mainstream media right now. The mainstream media continues to suggest that the Democrats are filibustering their own bill. If you are unfamiliar with parliamentary rules, filibustering is a fancy word for stalling. Think of it like its Spanish etymological base: pirate. A pirate came up on a ship and took over, making the ship do its deeds until the crew, who has its own agenda, could overtake them. The same concept works here. How much sense does it make to have the group who wants to take the troops out blocking agenda to take troops out? None at all.

To flesh this out across the Senate, the Republicans are the pirates, forcing the Democrats to get 60 votes to close discussion and make it an actual vote. The Republicans are filibustering. Apparently, the mainstream media does not understand the idea that the Republicans are filibustering by blocking the vote. So, when you hear someone say that the Democrats are filibustering, you should either slap them or change the channel. The Republicans are the bad ones here.

Information Blast: Overcast and Clueless

I was watching the World Series of Pop Culture on Video Hits One. I realized that I know nothing about current music. I think this is because when I listen to the radio, I only listen to NPR. I can't help it. I really like listening to NPR. Anyway, NPR guilt aside, There are some doozies for you today. Hot damn.

Seriously, I can't tell you how mad I am about those fucking grocery bags. The only thing worth standing in the rain for is a funeral of a loved one. I'd consider a concert, but it better be the best damn concert ever.

Harry Potter Mania Will Never Sweep Me

So, with the last Harry Potter book and movie being released, about a quarter of the American population is creaming themselves about it. Everyone applauds the fact that J.K. Rowling has gotten an entire generation of Americans (both adults and children) reading again instead of watching television all of the time.

While I have no problem with America actually reading a book instead of watching the tragedy that is summer reality programming or whatever the hell else people watch on television, I soundly have to say that I will never be one of the people who gets caught up in the sway of Harry Potter and his brand of misfits as I can't stand fantasy novels. I grew up with opportunities to read them all of the time, but my interest was lacking. Hell, I could barely pay attention during Xena: Warrior Princess, and it was foxy Lucy Lawless running around in a leather skirt. If a fantasy television show couldn't maintain my interest, I'm confident that the fantasy novels that I didn't like when I was 7-10, I won't like at 23.

So, Harry Potter fans, humor me and don't talk to me about the book. Not only do I not care, I'm never going to read them or watch the movies.

This whole discussion about Harry Potter raises an interesting question for me: why are adults reading books meant for kids? Kids can read Harry Potter, but why are adults? I know that you say that it's compelling, blah, blah, blah. But, there are other science-fiction/fantasy writers. Why not read them? Why not read a Ray Bradbury novel? Asimov? Le Guin? Dick? Huxley? Like I just don't understand the complete fascination of adults with these books. Call me a snob if you will; it isn't the first and most likely will not be the last. I'm just at a loss.

In Case You Need Something To Do

My senator and master of the earmark Robert Byrd (The new route by my house is funded by an earmark. The state is only paying a little more than a million for a 15 million dollar project. Thanks, America!) is talking on C-SPAN. He'll be on for the next like five hours because he's old and talks slow.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

If You Need Something To Watch

Turn on C-SPAN and watch the Senators debate through the night about the issue of the war in Iraq. I have been in and out all day. The Republicans, most likely, will have a lot of talking ahead of them. In the end, it will be for naught because the Dems' bill will be shot down by the decider.

Also, I'm going to do a comprehensive report on Victoria Beckham's television special because I need to reclaim the space on my DVR afterwards. That's what's real. This is also what's real: The Smiths "This Charming Man", one of the few songs that will make me dance when and wherever I hear it. And, I don't dance.

I think it also doesn't help that I have a crush on Morrissey. Anyway, I'm out.

Osama Wants To Slap Bobby For Making Whitney A Crackhead

That title is as snippy as I need to get about this story. Bobby Brown makes more than enough of an ass out of himself. I really don't need to add on. From Digital Spy:

Bobby Brown has confessed he is scared of the fact that he may be a target for al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

The singer became aware of a threat, when Sudanese writer Kola Boof wrote about the leader's alleged infatuation with his estranged wife Whitney Houston.

Brown has taken measures to increase the security around him since he read the claims.

On an Australian radio show, the Being Bobby Brown star claimed: "Come on, if anyone is threatened by al-Qaeda they'd take it seriously.

"I figure if Bin Laden wants me, and everybody is looking for him, it won't happen. But if he wants to try and find me for something so stupid, then he can if he wants. I have to leave it in the hands of a higher power."
Man, Osama really must have not liked "If It Isn't Love."

Why Studio 60 Failed

Today, The Los Angeles Times ran an article about Aaron Sorkin, television writing prodigy who is responsible for the political trendsetter The West Wing and underappreciated sports comedy Sports Night. In this article, Sorkin discusses with Patrick Goldstein why his much-hyped but greatly underwhelming Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip failed. While he does try to shoulder some of the blame, Sorkin falls into the traditional trap of blaming someone else for the failure of his show. In this case, Sorkin blamed the media. From the article:

Every failure in Hollywood gets blamed on something else, from movies that bomb (freak snowstorms back East) to anemic album sales (illegal file sharing by snotty college kids). But Sorkin sees a more insidious villain — a triviality-obsessed media no longer willing to separate gossip and idle speculation from reporting and criticism. "When all everyone does is try to draw personal connections between your characters and real people, you're not really watching a play or a TV show anymore," he says. "It becomes a tabloid experience."
While he might be technically right, this is a total copout. As someone who wanted to watch this show succeed as I grew to like The West Wing and love Sports Night, I can tell you why this show failed. Studio 60 failed because the show, along with failing to make its voice clear, made its characters far too preachy and didactic. If I wanted to watch someone lecture to me for an hour, I could watch C-SPAN and at least learn something that I didn't already know. As well, the show within a show was supposed to be comedy. All of the times that I saw it, the interior show nor the commentary between the characters was humorous in the slightest.

When you combine a didactic television show with non-humorous dialogue for a show about comedy, you end up with a show that is terrible. Sorkin should not attempt to blame anyone except for himself for the failure of Studio 60. Maybe Sorkin can take some time and learn from this flop. I don't want to lose his voice on television, but he will have to do much better than Studio 60.

As I Knew Would Happen

Dumbass Roy Pearson has not stopped with his efforts to get that $54 million for the people of Washington, D.C. because his pants got messed up by his dry cleaners. Pearson prodded the judge who made the decision to reconsider. Being sane and knowing that this is a frivolous lawsuit, she completely declined. Judge Judith Bartnoff, who made the decision, should get a Presidential Medal of Freedom. She really is one of America's true heroes, keeping our courts clear of dumb lawsuits.

Mental Giants of Parenting

K-Fed: If you want to keep Britney from having the kids, don't do this:

A Spanish man who took his 10-year-old son bull running during the annual Pamplona festival last week has had his visitation rights to the boy taken away by a judge.

From Reuters

Does 50 Cent Have A Point?

As is well documented on this blog, I am not a 50 Cent fan at all. I think that he is part of the reason that hip-hop is getting a bad rap from its detractors and fans. But, today, I came across an interview that 50 did with XXL where he makes an interesting point about "conscious" rappers. From the article:

What percentage of MCs in hip-hop do you think are actually intelligent?
You have different kinds of people. You have people that are extremely book smart that lack common sense so they don’t know what’s going to affect their audience. They have more information than me based on reading. For instance, Nas is a really smart guy. He reads books constantly. We were around him on the Nastradamus tour. He was almost weirder than me ’cause we would go to breakfast and he’d be there reading a book. Conceptually, I think that’s what made him drift away from what his initial audience enjoys from him and why he’s not hot right now.

Because he reads too much?
Yes. He’s feeding you too much information in the music and they don’t actually want it. He’s like a teacher. I was in love with KRS-One when he came with “Criminal Minded” and “The Bridge Is Over.” That was theme music to what was going on at that time. And when he started teaching, he lost them. ’Cause it was like, “What is he talkin’ about?”

The point that 50 makes here is fairly obvious: you try to educate, you only alienate fans. The proof is in the pudding on this one. KRS-One lost a lot of the street when he started talking intelligently. Nas talks about Kush and ancient African empires, but cats don't feel him. Neither of these top ten rappers have major record sales anymore, as they wish to go platinum while 50's routinely going multi-platinum pushing Diamond (10 million plus sales).

Even though 50's right on this point, does it really make it a good thing that kids aren't up on rappers who actually try to put a little bit of knowledge in their rhymes? Personally, I'm going to hedge this question. I like intelligent rappers. I like rappers who have a sense of self-awareness as well as cultural awareness and can reference something other than the street. BUT, and there's a huge but here, I don't like rappers who preach over beats. KRS-One started preaching over beats. This is what alienated a lot of his old-school, BDP audience. This wasn't a problem for me because KRS-One, even while preachy, can slay about 97% of the rappers out now. On the other hand, I don't think that Nas is a rapper who preaches over beats. Nas does make intensely academic references such as the one to Kush, but this is not his fault. Nas is literate, as 50's willing to admit. But, as the interview would later go on to say, 50 thinks that this education is a literal fault within their music:

But they’re still getting information from you.
Right, but in different ways and in pieces. Anything [that] changes too fast is no good—[the audience] isn’t sure what’s going on. It’s like you watching an actor portray a character in a film that you really enjoy. Then afterwards, he sits on the couch on a talk show and this guy is so artistic that you’re not sure if you [really] fuckin’ like him.

Why, ’cause they’re acting?
Yeah. They’re doing something that’s totally… That may not even be a small portion of their actual character. And then when you see them after the fact, they give you something that’s so artsy.

50 seems to imply that actors who aren't their role are in some strange way false, fakes. As a film person, I think this is bullshit. Actors' job is to pull you into the role. An artist, which an actor is, can make you believe that they are that person. This is their job. Nas does this very well as he is one of the few rappers who can actually pull a listener into an alternate world where he is the narrator to a street saga. Nas spins street tales. That's what he should do as a rapper. Nas doesn't boast about how amazing he is. He raps about what he sees and what he knows and is a storyteller of the streets. This is what any good rapper should do. And Nas does it with great flair and style.

This factual point brings up another question to be answered: if people are so averse to conscious rap coming from legends like Nas, what will become of the hip-hop game? There is only so long that you can listen to rappers talk about how much money they make and how many dudes they've killed, especially when you, like myself, are doing neither. I'm not saying that every rapper needs to become dead prez or something like that, but I do think that a diversity of topics is a positive for the rap game. Unfortunately, heads try to act like this derivation from the money, guns, hoes, and blow rap formula is the worst thing on the face of the planet. Rapping isn't always about selling records, as 50 would want you to believe. Don't get it twisted: making money is nice, but also having a lyrical supremacy over all comers is important too. If you ask any rap fan, rapping is about loving the form and wanting to see it and its participants thrive. Nas and KRS-One want this. Chamillionaire wants this. Little Brother wants this. Many on the underground and many in the mainstream want this too. I would think that, for his long term success, 5o Cent would want this too. Unfortunately, this interview shows that he doesn't.

Information Blast: Reconstituted

I had a whole information blast set up and was about to post it until I inadvertently closed my Firefox browser. I had it all lined up. I had to rebuild. It's not bad, but it's not as sweet as when I started.

Start to Move: While I Set Up

I'm taking a new angle on blogging today. I'm blogging from my garage. It's a nice day out, and it's better than sitting indoors. Anyway, view the following video from Screaming Trees for the meanwhile. It came to me while I was researching Floristree Space in Baltimore. Damn art kids and their lofts. Anyway, I digress. This video is also special because it has Queens dude Josh Homme playing the axe. This song's pretty awesome. I've known it for way too long.

Monday, July 16, 2007


Til Tomorrow.

Information Blast!!!!

I think this something that I will start doing more often, as in everyday. I put up all of these small posts with links to things. Instead, I can be more effective and efficient by putting them all together in one large post. This is a much better idea anyway. So, we're breaking the bottle of champagne on this ship and setting sail...

  • Rapper Remy Ma is arraigned on an attempted murder charge in NYC. She didn't get the memo that going to jail does not give you hardbody credentials anymore.
  • La Vida Lohan is now out of Promises. Maybe she can actually drive her car now.
  • One out of 12 people use illegal drugs according to a new government study. Frankly, I'm surprised that it's not 1 out of 2.
  • Japan had a 6.8 earthquake. Suffice it to say, some shit definitely got fucked up.
  • Harry Potter's last film makes $77.4 Million this past weekend proving that people still haven't realized that Harry Potter totally blows.
  • The sexiest post-op transsexual on television Rebecca Romijn married Jerry O'Connell. You might remember O'Connell from such gems as Sliders, Kangaroo Jack, and Joe's Apartment. I have to ask, Rebecca: is this an upgrade from John Stamos?
  • Black guy extraordinaire Barack Obama is swimming in cash. $34 million to be exact. Clearly, he is the best candidate.
  • 85 Dead in Iraq. How many of those benchmarks did the Iraqis achieve again? Oh, that's right. None!
  • Man reminded that we are the animal kingdom's bitch.
  • All child pornographers don't get to make it on America's Most Wanted, especially when they are in Spain.
  • Jim Gilmore has dropped out of the presidential race. This slims down the bloated presidential race to a svelte SEVENTEEN!
  • Is this the cure for cancer?

Africa and White Guilt

In the past few years, there has been an overwhelming surge in activism against the genocide in Darfur. While I am glad that someone has decided to address this situation, I, as someone with an understanding of the triumphs that have happened in Africa both in ancient and modern times, hand my head in shame and disappointment because these overactive white people (let's face it, most people trying to save Darfur are white. I'm just stating the obvious.) are missing the point.

While no one will turn down support, the image being projected to myself and everyone else, whether realized or not, is that Africa is a continent that can do nothing for itself, that is completely reliant on the work of oh-so-conscious Europeans and Americans, that Africans themselves have no form of agency which is completely untrue. The Europeans and Americans who are trying to save the continent are the ones that destroyed the continent by exploiting its people and its abundance of natural resources in the 19th Century along with keeping them dependent now in the post-colonial period. It is the West's fault that the countries in the continent are like they are and they are perceived like they are. Given this fact, Africa has been doing well for itself as it turns the corner and tries to build economies in all of its countries through organizations such as the African Union.

Another person, an African in fact, shares my discomfort with much of the humanitarianism that has come to Africa as of late as well. Uzodinma Iweala, in the Washington Post, discusses his feelings towards the issue. It is a quick, compelling read and will make you rethink your viewpoint towards how you deal with the humanitarian crisis that exists on the continent.

They Might Need More Shoes

In the vein of American ingenuity and the fact that thugs love fresh kicks, Tampa, FL has figured out a new way to attempt to curb the trend of violence in the city. They are going to offer fresh kicks for shotguns and handguns. From The Tampa Tribune:

"Kicks for Guns" is about taking unwanted firearms out of homes and keeping families safe, said Deputy Chad Frisco of the sheriff's Crime Prevention Unit.

Residents can turn in guns in exchange for a new pair of Nike athletic shoes. The event will be held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the University Area Community Center, 14013 N. 22nd St. Organizers have gathered about 50 pairs of shoes in sizes for all ages and hope to collect additional pairs from sponsors, Frisco said.

Florida is a state with concealed handgun laws. Now, I'm not saying that they are inherently more dangerous or anything of the sort. Actually, quite the opposite. The Tampa Police have now just offered a bunch of people to buy a new pair of kicks. I've needed to buy a new pair of shoes for like a year now. If I just had a 9mm or a .357 sitting around, I could go trade my gun for some kicks. It might not be a fair trade, but I didn't have to pay for those shoes. I'm confident that other people are thinking the same way that I am. 50 pairs of shoes aren't enough; I hope those sponsors came through in the clutch with the shoe donations.

She's Still Hot

I've been getting a lot of visitors from The Superficial because I said that I would hit this in that site's comments. And yes, I would still hit this for sure. I won't get into why, but I think that most of you can figure it out. If not, just watch a rerun of Ugly Betty and you'll know.

To you visitors, subscribe to the RSS feed and watch as the material just flows into your reader. I make posts hot and fresh. I'm taking a half-day because I'm now 23 and want to spend a majority of my day watching football and reading a book. If you're asking how I'm going to watch football, three letters: DVR.

But, seriously, to people who say that they don't want to hit that: what's wrong with you? JLH = Dead Sexy. In my opinion, it's the only thing she has going for her. Her only truly good thing was Can't Hardly Wait. Speaking of which, what ever happened to Preston from that movie?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A Fan Favorite

Six Finger Satellite is one of the best bands no one's ever heard of. Period. This is a video of them playing in Cambridge in '98.

I'm barbecuing.