Friday, August 31, 2007

Wow, I Just Don't Care

I've been reading through the news today. I applaud for making gay marriage cool with everyone in Iowa, not really by their choice but we'll let that slide. As I noted earlier, Craig's still getting grilled, but otherwise, not a lot is happening. So, I'm going to take that as a sign and hit the Cunningham.

I'm leaving with a video from the group currently known as Cocoa Brovaz. They used to be Smif-n-Wessun, but you can see the obvious problem with this name. This is the video that got spins on The Box and BET back in the early 90s. That was back in the days when BET used to play real music during Rap City.

In any sort of last news, I read that Fergie doesn't particularly like Maria Sharapova, Madonna is crazy, and David Beckham wants more kids. I don't actually know why anyone would want to pay attention to these people. Also, can Guy Ritchie stop putting her in movies. Madonna only did one good movie and that was A League of Their Own. And, she wasn't even the best person in the movie. That title goes to pretty much anyone but Madonna. It's the only role that was marginally memorable as a good one for Lori Petty. I remember Tank Girl, but that movie sucked. Tank Girl was worse than Last Action Hero, another bad movie. Alright, I'm out. I'll come up with something in the coming days to post on. But, that coming day is not the rest of today.

Yea, So There Goes That

If you haven't been keeping up with the snoozefest that is the Larry Craig lewd-conduct-for-the -gay-sex scandal, I will tell you that you really haven't been missing too much.

As the tape and transcript have come out, people have done humorous send-ups of the initial interaction, and pretty much every Republican with a stake in America (read: up for (re-)election next year) speaking out against him, Craig's public and political career are pretty much over. I guess I would feel sad about this if I didn't know that this dude was rolling round in huge, Scrooge McDuck-style levels of cash.

Anyway, the Larry Craig shaming continues on today. McClatchy reports that Craig will be slapped down with a letter from the National Party demanding his resignation. Suffice it to say, I don't really care all that much about another conservative leaving from his office. On the other hand, I do feel bad that his party is hypocritical and homophobic. They are calling it a family values party, but Trent Lott condoned racism. Lott's now Senate Minority Whip. Lott shouldn't have a seat in the Senate for condoning racism, but the GOP has let him slide. Craig goes for some dick, and he's run out of office. It's truly offensive that the GOP has displayed such crippling insensitivity towards this issue. Craig copped to his crime; he should be allowed redemption.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

LNS: Because I Love All Of You

Today, the celebrity world was thrown into a tizzy by the following fact: Britney Spears has leaked some new music. AWWWWWWWW SHEEEEEEAAAAAAATTTTTTT!!!

I think that was overkill. I'm not really that excited. I'm really just glad that she isn't in the press for trying to wear a shirt as a dress, dressing like a seven-year-old child, being grossly negligent of her own children, or flashing her vag. And, for that reason, I am excited about this reality.

But, music isn't about the person who makes it. If that were the case, Jewel would be huge with men (She has breasts the size of my head!). But, she's not because her music sucks on ice. It's cool if you are into it, but it's not this guy's bag. And, this is coming from someone who listened to Jewel for most of his high school career.

My emo trippings aside, the Britney songs aren't very good, not very good at all. Actually, they suck. I don't even think that these songs will be popular in the gay clubs and those cats love dancing. And, when you can't get spins at the gay club, your career is pretty much in jeopardy with no sweet filler music.

If You Want the Audio to that HAWT! Larry Craig Tape

Go here.

For The Love of God

Damien Hirst's diamond-encrusted skull has been sold for the requested asking price of $100 Million. If you need a picture, follow this link.

The piece has been bought by an investment group, which means that it will now sit in some larger office of oligarchy and capitalism. But, if I can get away from the Marxist rhetoric for a minute, I want to critique something that I've been reading about in the analysis of this piece.

I read both on the BBC and in the Reuters wire linked above that some critics have understood this piece to be a critique on celebrity culture. Critics like Clive James believe that this piece is a representation of the sheer excess of celebrity culture, how worth as its own definition of success is essentially meaningless if it is not bolstered by a larger concept of both self and society at large.

While I agree with James' initial proposition that the piece is a display of excess and vapidity, I wonder if the medium of the skull is the best way to express dissatisfaction with celebrity culture. I think to get at this idea more fully, Hirst would have needed to produce more, smaller skulls to reinforce the aspects of what so many people find problematic of celebrity culture, in particular the lemming-like following that these socially irredeemable celebrities receive.

Also, I express hesitation at understanding the piece as a critique of celebrity culture because celebrity culture has changed radically over the past few decades. Remember: Arthur Miller was a rock star back in the 1960s. He was linked to Marilyn Monroe, a power move for the time. Writers as rock stars don't exist anymore. The closest would be Candace Bushnell of Sex and the City fame. This fact alone plus the existence of sites like TMZ, which cover the minutiae of celebrities' lives, have shown how much celebrity culture has become a void for the vain instead of a compendium of class and culture as it once was, a locale where the powerful of Hollywood and Washington could interface and bone.

If comparing the piece to the current celebrity culture, I would agree with that assessment. You wouldn't see me yelling it from the rafters, but I'd sympathize. For this piece to become something more than kitsch like most of Hirst's other work, it would have to represent a more universal whole. Our current celebrity culture is very special. When people in the future look back on our age, they will probably call us out of date, much in the same manner that we do to the past of gossip coverage.

Even considering these aspects, I think that this piece falls into gaudiness for me instead of pointed critique because of Hirst's own statements towards the piece. In The Guardian, Hirst is quoted as saying:

'I just want to celebrate life by saying to hell with death,' said the artist, 'What better way of saying that than by taking the ultimate symbol of death and covering it in the ultimate symbol of luxury, desire and decadence? The only part of the original skull that will remain will be the teeth. You need that grotesque element for it to work as a piece of art. God is in the details and all that.'
The gauche nature of this answer helps to make me wonder how much of the celebrity culture critique is accurate. Ideas of vapidity and meaningless consumerism seem to ring hollow in comparison to such an approach. This obtuseness might be intentional on the part of Hirst, but it is still something that has to be considered when trying to ascertain greater meaning in the piece.

After considering all of the information, I believe that this piece as a gaudy, pedestrian piece of art done by a new age charlatan. The wool is being pulled over the eyes of the art world as Hirst takes it to the bank. People have tried to compare this with Duchamp, but that comparison is unfair in my book.

There is a meticulousness to the work of Hirst and a clear sense that he is trying to create a piece of art. This isn't signing your name on a urinal that you picked up with no other modification or drilling a hole in a stool and putting a bike fork with a wheel in it as Duchamp did. The readymade-ness of the skull is eliminated by the fact that Hirst painstakingly crafted it. Additionally, unlike Duchamp, Hirst's piece does not stem any sort of discussion of the meaning of art. It is readily recognizable as a piece of art*. The question becomes is it art of meaning or any intrinsic value other than the fact that it is expensive. My answer to this question is absolutely not. This, in fact, could make it a good representative of celebrity culture, but I still say that it doesn't; it's just kitsch, sure to pass in our collective consciousness like Hirst's bisected cow in formaldehyde.

*as I later found out, Hirst didn't actually make this skull, which gets into questions of authenticity. I'm not interested in those as much as I am in whether or not the critiques of the work as representations of celebrity culture are valid.

For All of the Pervs

Radar has posted the new sex tape: the Larry Craig Investigation Tapes. As much as that title may lead you on, the interrogation consists of a lot of this:

DK: Urn, you you're skipping some parts here, but what what about your hand?
LC What about it? I reached down, my foot like this. There was a piece of paper on the floor, I picked it up.
DK: Okay.
LC What about my hand?
DK: Well, you're not being truthful with me, I'm kinda disappointed in you Senator. I'm real disappointed in you right now. Okay. I'm not, just so you know, just like everybody, I, I , I, treat with dignity, I try to pull them away from the situation.
LC: I, I
DK: and not embarrass them.
LC: I appreciate that.
DK: And I
LC: You did that after the stall.
This whole thing is pretty benign except for this gem of a line from the copper: I expect this from the guy that we get out of the hood. He means Black people. Also, in another interesting bit, Craig defends his action by saying that he was picking up a piece of toilet paper off the ground. For anyone who has gone to a public bathroom, do YOU pick up toilet paper off the floor? I know I sure as hell don't. I don't think that most other people do either. So, Larry, try again with a better defense. And, as a final note, I've never heard the term "pissing match" before. I don't know what that's about.

Seeing as there are no wangs, Black people, or teenagers involved, I have to say that this is the most boring sex scandal of the last five years without question. Mark Foley's scandal was way more titillating than this one. The most exciting part of this scandal's transcripts is this:

DK: Okay. And when you went in the stalls, then what?
LC: Sat down.
DK: Okay. Did you do anything with your feet?
LC: Positioned them, I don't know. I don't know at the time. I'm a fairly wide guy.
DK: I understand.
LC: I had to spread my legs.
DK: Okay.
LC: When I lower my pants so they won't slide.
DK: Okay.
LC: Did I slide them too close to yours? Did I, I looked down once, your foot was close to mine.
DK Yes.
LC Did we bump? Ah, you said so, I don't recall that, but apparently we were close.
DK Yeah, well your foot did touch mine, on my side of the stall.
Worst. Scandal. Ever.

Headline of the Day For Sure

Love triangle kidnap pampernaut preps wingnut defence

A Social Experiment

With the uproar that has surrounded the third runner up in the Teen Miss USA pageant (saying her name only gives her more credit than she deserves for believing in pageants), many people have been investigating the seeming stupidity of the 9/11 generation. This is a totally worthwhile process because I don't really trust my generation with the future right now. I believe that my generation is smart, but future leaders? I'm going to have to take a push on that one to seem democratic.

But, in the interest of democracy, everyone should know that 9/11 happened in 2001. I can almost tell you to a T what happened on that very day from when I was first informed about it, how I got home, what I saw, and all of the details. And, I do mean all of them. The only thing that I couldn't tell you is what I was doing when the actual towers got hit because I wasn't near a television or at school proper.

I guess my memory is pretty good compared to some other peoples as many young Americans, people who only lived through 9/11 six years ago, could not remember that it was 2001. I mean, shit, this is my generation's Challenger, and these kids can't remember it. How do you forget seeing two 1000+ ft. buildings collapse upon themselves? It literally blows my mind.

TMZ has a video posted of this puzzling phenomenon. You would think that an event as catastrophic as 9/11, which led to the war on terrorism and the deaths of over 2,700 people, would be better remembered by the youth of this country.

Better Than Innocent Death

Hey, at least Kenneth Foster isn't going to die tonight. I don't think keeping him in jail is the right thing to do either, but I think that Foster will be a case for later pardoning if Texas ever takes the Law of Parties off of the books like it should.

From The Houston Chronicle:

HUNTSVILLE — Gov. Rick Perry accepted a recommendation from the state parole board and said today he would spare condemned prisoner Kenneth Foster from execution and commute his sentence to life.

Foster had been scheduled to die tonight.

"After carefully considering the facts of this case, along with the recommendation from the Board of Pardons and Paroles, I believe the right and just decision is to commute Foster's sentence from the death penalty to life imprisonment," Perry said in a statement.

Just to show you how fucked up this case actually is, this is the first time in eight years that Perry actually listened to the parole board. This is the first commutation in his entire administration. That's saying something. At least, Texas does display a semblance of humanity from time to time.

Don't Believe Everything That You Read

In the next couple of weeks, there is going to be a lot of spin, whitewashing if one will. This will come primarily from the White House on the War in Iraq. The Bush administration is writing its own report, and that report is most likely not going to jibe with the GAO's report. The GAO believes that the war is pretty much an unmitigated disaster.

From The Washington Post:

Iraq has failed to meet all but three of 18 congressionally mandated benchmarks for political and military progress, according to a draft of a Government Accountability Office report. The document questions whether some aspects of a more positive assessment by the White House last month adequately reflected the range of views the GAO found within the administration.

The strikingly negative GAO draft, which will be delivered to Congress in final form on Tuesday, comes as the White House prepares to deliver its own new benchmark report in the second week of September, along with congressional testimony from Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker. They are expected to describe significant security improvements and offer at least some promise for political reconciliation in Iraq.

The GAO is non-partisan. The Bush administration is partisan on the other hand. Who are you going to believe? The side that cares about how this war goes or the side that could care less on either side? I'm going to go with the dispassionate side.

A Waiting Game

Today is August 30th, the day that Kenneth Foster will be murdered by the state of Texas for being in the area of a crime that he didn't commit. According to the BBC, he will be executed at 11 PM. It will be interesting to see if any of the major news channels pick up onto this case because I have yet to see anything about it so far on CNN or MSNBC.

On a side note, I applaud MSNBC for actually covering the Jena Six, even though their coverage can barely pass for that. The anchors have not laid out any real history in the case nor explained it in a satisfactory manner to someone who has never been exposed to it before. Al Sharpton, who is this story's resident talking head, is doing a good job of trying to spread the facts. But, there are a lot of issues to deal with in this case, in particular The Outsiders level of town separation and the inaction of the state governor Kathleen Blanco.

MSNBC is covering this issue today because it is the first anniversary of the initial incident involving the white tree at the high school. Even though there is an article connecting Newsweek and MSNBC, it is still televised coverage of this disgraceful exhibition of racism. I hope that this will help more people make that first step to speak out or do something against this case.

Today's Thinking Summarized

I mean, when I'm not trying to justify doing it in a bathroom.


So, porn star Amber Peach is coming to the Internet to fulfill a strange request: getting saps to bankroll her breast augmentation. That's right, Amber Peach wants you, the casual porn viewer/connoisseur, to pay for her new boobs. There's a website that you can go to and learn more about it as she's keeping a blog.

Now, she might think that she needs boob implants. Even if she actually does (I don't care either way. I've never heard of this lass before), shouldn't she be able to bankroll this herself. I know female porn stars get paid a lot. They should for some of the degradation that they have to suffer through on some films (I'm not trying to be double penetrated. Period). Regardless of how they got it, female porn stars are pretty well off. I would think that Peach could take care of that herself.

Even if she cannot take care of it, I figure that her agency (all porn freelancers work through agencies. Thanks cable movie channels!) should be able to give her the money and write it off as a business expense. The best part about it all: they wouldn't be lying.

With these options existing, I can't imagine what she was thinking by asking the public. But, then again, there's some dirty old man who will probably give her the 5K she needs. I only hope for him that they are the best boobs ever and that he gets to touch them. I really hope that he gets to touch them. Actually, let me correct that: I hope that he OR she gets to touch them. I shouldn't neglect the women who watch porn as well since it is totally OK and awesome to do so.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sex on The Can

Firstly, I have to note the fact that I haven't been writing most of today. I took a totally awesome nap and then watched track and field. Anyway, I have been reading about this whole Larry Craig situation a little bit more (for further information, see Larry Craig Likes A Good Pounding*) and I'm frankly troubled by much of the dialogue.

A lot of the discussion against him has been with regards to the fact that Craig wanted to get that dick in the bathroom. A lot of people seem to be offended by the fact that he wanted to get down there. I'm failing to see why wanting to get tail in a bathroom is a bad idea. Frankly, this is probably the best place to get laid in public. I'm serious. Think about this for a minute.

If you have sex in a park, an alley, a car, there is a very high likelihood that someone will come up unbeknownst to you and scare the shit out of you, throwing you off your game especially if are putting stuff in places other than a mouth. Now, this is also adding to the fact that you can get caught with your pants down, which is generally embarrassing. Some people are OK with being naked, but they are normally aware of the fact that they are going to be naked. No one likes to get walked up on while they are either fully or partially naked, even if taking their clothes off is their job. Sure, the thrill of outdoor sex is high, but the risks are far higher than one can imagine.

Now, compare this to a bathroom. All of the thrills and excitement that come along with having sex in public come with a couple of built in security features. While I can't speak for the women's bathrooms, taking a dump can get a little bit violent and loud in a men's room. I'm not speaking for myself; I am speaking from experience on the other hand. Now, while the smell might overwhelm the senses, the sound is a natural disguise for when you are getting the sex. In addition to the sounds, the fact that American bathrooms don't have bottom sections allow you to see if someone is coming up on you. If so, the other person can hide their legs and make it appear as if it is only one person in the stall. Or, you could pull a Craig and put a roll-up suitcase in front of the part where people can see directly under the door. This problem is eliminated in Europe where they fully believe in the idea of the water closet with the full length doors.

Also, the stall allows for discretion and allows the participants to protect the feeble-minded youth who are not ready to understand sex. That has to be something that the family values crowd must have thought of as a pro in Craig's direction: the fact that he exercised the discretion to do it in a bathroom instead of a park or needle-strewn alley. Clearly, people designed bathrooms to be places where people can pop a squat and a cherry in the same place. Why else would you put a condom machine in the bathroom?

For Craig to recognize this basic tenant of life and exercise it even though he swears that he didn't, I salute him. Not for hiding in the closet, but for realizing the true double utility of the bathroom stall.

A Grim Anniversary

Today, August 29th, marks the day that one of the worst storms in American history hit the Gulf Coast. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina killed 1,800 people and destroyed a region, but its effects were greater than its visceral impact. It exposed a leadership mired with cronyism and persons filling positions for which they were grossly unqualified. It exposed a president who was unable to lead a country through a humanitarian disaster. While 9/11 was a tragedy, it was isolate to the World Trade Center and the fortunate ones who survived only lost their jobs not their entire livelihoods. More importantly, Katrina reminded us of how fragile the human experience can be and how we need to watch out for one another.

After the national outcry that has occurred due to the Bush administration's mishandling, one would think that things had gotten better in the region. Two years later, many of the same problems that existed then still exist now. The levees that busted and led to the flooding of New Orleans are still exactly that: busted. They have had superficial repairs done, but they will still fall in a hurricane. The 9th Ward is still ashambles. There are refugees from New Orleans who are still living in trailer parks who have no chance of moving into a home. And, to add to it all, the federal money still has not come to help rebuild the city. New Orleans is on the recovery, but being on the road to recovery and recovering are two very different things. With a murder rate that rivals traditional murder capitols like Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, New Orleans is a place of lawlessness. Towns like Waveland, home of an important SNCC meeting that led to the creation of Black Power and Women's Rights within the Civil Rights movement, were wiped off the map. Even with this still the case, the money is nowhere to be seen.

I am not writing to gain sympathy for New Orleans. I've never even been there. My only connection is through a friend whose family lives in the city and was affected by the hurricane. I am only writing to remind you of what has happened in the gulf coast and what hasn't happened.

Casual Observation

George Bush has been working overtime around the country to sell us on this fancy pants war he's got us involved in against terrorism. But, I've noticed a trend in a lot of his more recent speeches. Aside from the new revival in baiting Americans to support a completely unjustified war against Iran for nuclear weapons that it isn't developing (I'm not an Iran sympathizer, I only work in facts and far-flung flights of fancy, but never the two at the same time. Also, note that I said new), Bush has been spending a lot of time around the older half of the American society, in particular war vets of the American Legion and the more literally named Veterans of Foreign Wars.

While I am proud of the work that these men and women have done, killing the enemies, getting wasted, doing a lot of drugs, getting the clap, etc., I have to wonder why Bush is obsessed with them. Has Bush lost so much clout that the only people who believe his war plans are those in these organizations? Or, is it that Bush is trying to be show that he does care about the past when he's not making worthless, factually inaccurate references to it? I don't know what it is, but I think that these groups are the only organizations who will accept the public liability that is the President of the United States of America.

For those familiar with their myths, there was the story of King Midas, the man who wished for the golden touch. Midas got his wish, but it eventually got in his way and led to his downfall. I'm not sure what the equivalent is for Bush, but all I know is that no one is trying to touch this cat at all. It seems that the only ones who want to accept him are war vets because, really, who is going to criticize a war vet? The vets are pretty much the only ones immune to the Bush touch. Almost getting your ass killed defending the country gives you that sort of flexibility. Anyway, they can stay the only ones immune to the Bush touch. I don't want any part of it.

This Guy Messed Up Black Guy's Swerve for Years

We are still recovering from his whining.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

In Salute

Just for Manuel Noriega's extradition to France to serve time on money laundering charges, I am posting the greatest rap chorus ever.


Greatest. Chorus. Ever.

Larry Craig Likes A Good Pounding*

*Yes. Whatever question you are asking yourself about that headline, the answer is yes.

In the middle of a very slow news cycle filled with discussion on the outlook on the War in Iraq, Michael Vick's fate as a human being and professional athlete, the resignation of Alberto Gonzales and the faux redemption of Miss South Carolina from her embarrassing answer at Miss Teen USA, Americans could have loss all of their fear towards the evil threat of homosexuality. You know, homosexuality, gay people. Behind terrorism and higher taxes, homosexuality is America's biggest fear. The gays are all around us, preaching sexual tolerance and equal rights. The homosexuals stand to tear down everything that we stand for as a country, replacing the red, white, and blue with a rainbow flag. Talking about that Black guy doing the same dumb shit that Black people supposedly do all of the time really got us off the topic at hand: the gay threat. But, while we haven't been fearing it, it has only been rising further and further up the power scale. And, this week, we have had a scare at the top.

Larry Craig, Republican Senator from the State of Idaho, was arrested in the airport of the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport for trying to solicit hot, anonymous gay sex in the Men's bathroom. Craig gave the plainclothes cop who arrested him a series of indicators that he was cruising for the sexiness. This arrest comes hot on the heels of Florida state representative Bob Allen getting busted for trying to get some head in a public bathroom. His defense was made worse by the fact that he blamed it on the Black guy. Yes, the Black guy pressured you to get oral pleasure from him. Yes, that's how it always works. And, let us also not forget the other incident with the President of the Young Republicans giving unsolicited blowjobs. Craig is different from these other two because Craig actually pled guilty to his charges. In addition to pleading guilty to the charges, Craig has a history with the gay sex.

Before Mark Foley was outed by Brian Ross and the ABC investigative team to be tempting the males with the sex, Craig was involved in the first Congressional page scandal in 1982. Craig passionately disavows any notion that he likes the boys, but his marriage to Suzanne was immediately after the end of the scandal almost as a visual symbol that Craig was not gay. This is added to a separate statement on the issue that Craig made to the public. Craig was the only congressperson to conduct such an action. That's suspicious if I say so myself. But, this is made more suspicious by persons who have come forwards, saying that they have had sex with Craig. In the Foley case, this didn't really matter so much because Foley was already known to be gay. Craig denies that any of this is true, but, seriously. Come on, Larry. You're not a prize, an Adonis to be marveled at by all. You're pretty for an old guy, but enough for people to claim having sex with you to slander you? No way. Plus, who would want to brag about having sex with the senior Senator of Idaho? California or New York? Maybe that's bragging material but thinking about doing it with Chuck Schumer sends a spine down my shiver (no offense to Mrs. Schumer). But, Idaho? No chance.

Craig's case is far more interesting than the average sex scandal because Craig has been one of the most outspoken advocates against the gay sex. Aside from saying that he isn't gay contrary to evidence, Craig is a spokesman for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign along with being an ardent supporter of anti-gay causes. Craig is well known for sponsoring the Federal Marriage Amendment much to the chagrin of the American public. And, just to give him another square kick in the crotch, Craig is also running for re-election in Idaho, a traditionally conservative state where anti-gay stuff goes over really well. Also, this whole event happened two and a half months ago. Someone has some explaining to do right there.

As anyone can clearly tell, this is a fairly juicy case where more and more details are bound to leak out and make themselves known. The right will go into defensive mode while the left will putter around, trying to figure out how to capitalize off of this event. More important than all of this is the fact that the homosexual threat has been refreshed in the minds of Americans. No longer is anyone safe from the gay menace. It exists at the highest levels of government as well as no further away than a metal divider in a bathroom. It is everywhere. For a nation that was lacking fear, this story renews the greatest fear of all: the fear of homosexuality. Watch your feet, men. Watch your feet.

Information Stream: Ideas for a New Generation

The issue that has been all over the newspapers and cable news syndicates has been the resignation of Alberto Gonzales. Everyone is happy that this has happened, but many are still questioning where the White House will go from this current position and whether they will decide to try to put in another partisan. Also, there is a larger scandal involving Idaho Senator Larry Craig. He was trying to get dome in the Minneapolis airport Men's bathroom (you can connect the dots yourself) but was caught by the police. Additionally, he pled guilty to lewd conduct since he never did get that dome. I was actually going to spend some time going through that on its own. Once I realized that, I looked at my other tabs only to realize that most of my tabs were related to the Craig case. Since this wasn't going into the stream, I only had a little bit of information left to put in here.

So, to start, we travel to England where the Liberal Democrats (think Green Party in America) were trying to outlaw gas-based cars in the country by 2040. I doubt this has a very high likelihood of happening, but still it's very ballsy for them to try to pull such a manoeuvre.
There's no chance this would fly in America, at least not for another fifty years. I would put some article from New York about Matt Drudge here, but that runs on the assumption that any of you actually care about this dude. I know who he is, and I barely care about him. I haven't read the Drudge Report since the late 90s. But, in something that everyone can relate to, the best way ever to leave. Even better than Scarface's exit in Half Baked.

Monday, August 27, 2007

LNS: Over

I was going to post an editorial about racism and Michael Vick. I don't think that I'm comfortable enough with my perspective to attempt to defend it in the blogosphere, so I'm not going to post it. Instead, I will leave it where it is: with no new news to be reported. I leave you with a creepy but good Cure video for Charlotte Sometimes.

Information Stream: Gossip is Abound

Today's only real news story is that of woefully incompetent Attorney General actually stepping down from his position. The left is excited about this, but not that excited. I'm not really either. Gonzales has now just accomplished something that I've wanted him to do for months now. So, I say to him good riddance. If you would like to know what he said, look here and feel greatly underwhelmed and slighted. Now, onto other news...

  • The Onion's AV Club has been cranking out a lot of lists this year. This is another one, focusing on shows that had meteoric highs and just as spectacular falls. For the modern youth, think about the rise and fall of The O.C. They also talked about Moonlighting, but there are other shows that many of you most likely remember.
  • I found a story on the BBC this morning about a girl who ran 3500 km across China. Accompanied by her father, the girl, who is eight, ran a marathon and a half everyday. That's about 40 miles a day. Now, this leaves me with a strange quandary. Should I be shocked by this story or should I be proud of this story? I really don't know.
  • The death toll is rising in Iraq following the truck bomb attack from last week. It is now at 500 people. These numbers are still liable to rise.
  • There is a lunar eclipse tomorrow morning. If you are hardbody enough to wake up, you should look at this nifty guide from NASA, chocked with eclipse informational goodness.
  • Having an affair is a bad idea. Writing down the sordid details of that affair is even worse. But, then again, she is a journalist.
  • Howard Kurtz writes a fluff piece on the obscenely attractive and ridiculously qualified CNBC anchor Erin Burnett. If you ever need to learn how to write a fluff piece, just read Kurtz's work. But, to be fair to Kurtz, I'd want to write a fluff piece on Erin Burnett too; she's hot enough to justify disregarding your journalistic morality for a few hours in her aura. No one can touch her; they might spontaneously combust.
  • Jessica Alba has stooped pretty low before. The event that stands out in my mind is calling her ex-boyfriend to break up with him then sending people over to her house to move out his stuff. I thought that was pretty low. But, at the Teen Choice Awards, she called out someone who wouldn't date her when she was seven. I kind of wish I was making this one up.
  • Is it me or is this guy way too pretty? There's a story attached, but I don't really care about that so much.
Seriously though, if I actually cared about business, I would watch CNBC regularly for Burnett. She's on that level of quality.

A Gift

This is one of the best songs of the soul era. The Blackbyrds with Rock Creek Park. This whole song is about the park in Washington, D.C.

It's a very nice park. Very Nice.

Subterranean of 120 Minutes

At 1.30 in the morning, a weird juxtaposition of ideas has taken place. Two channels away from each other, two experiments of music programming and television progression were taking places. On MTV2, the alternative/indie show Subterranean was on the air. For those who are unfamiliar, this show is hosted by a guy named Jim Shearer. I'm not sure who this guy was, but the reason I stopped watching this show (hey, it was nice to see videos that I was actually into. And, the show also became considerably worse as the station's idea changed.) was because this guy said his favorite album was a No Doubt record. I know, music snob. But, hear me out, his taste had obviously changed and the guests were becoming more and more mainstream. This is on a show that had some fairly underground folks on it. You'll have to forgive my shakiness with generating names. I was watching hours of MTV without a notepad, what do you expect of me? I can barely explain dramas from MTV. I definitely can't explain a television show made up of music videos and useless banter from a creepy looking VJ. But, the show was changing into the pile of crap that it is now.

Subterranean shows a lot of indie rock that has been making news in the presses and on the blogs. Bands like The Shins, The Arcade Fire, Tegan and Sara, etc. You know the scene. This is a drastic change from a show that exposed me to a small band from Baltimore called The Oranges Band. I never heard of these guys anywhere else but on Subterranean. I saw their albums when I got to college, but I didn't read or see a single write-up about these guys again. I'm not trying to sound like this sort of thing really matters, but I'm trying to give you scope of the fact that this was the type of show that Subterranean used to be. It was thoroughly embedded with giving lesser-known bands a space on television to play their music videos and get some valuable airtime on that commercial bastard of MTV.

But, as MTV became more involved in the broadcasting of MTV2, this forum disappeared and made fans of the real, uncut indie sound more nostalgic for the gem of programming that aired in the 1980s and 1990s: 120 Minutes. This was the real place to go for bands that were on the underground and doing really huge things. I was sold on the awesomeness of this show on two different occasions. For some reason, my mom thought it was a good idea that I have a television in my room. I can't explain it, but as long as I can remember, I've had a television in my room with cable. With such an opportunity at hand, you do what any other regular person would do: watch some television until you get tired.

Sundays would roll around and I was usually awake at midnight, the starting hour of 120 Minutes. One weekend, I caught an episode of the show. Matt Pinfield was standing around awkwardly as he usually did. He was talking about a band that was coming out of England called Portishead. You may snicker now, but this was back in 1994 when we are all still mourning Kurt Cobain. So, this is some fairly advanced madness. More importantly, trip-hop hadn't even blown up in England at that point in time. So, this is some really high-end advanced madness. I remember sitting in my dark room, looking down at my tv (like all cool american boys, I had a bunk bed at that age.) at the video for sour times. I thought it was the coolest video ever.

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It's still a pretty cool video now, but such a display of subdued tones and a creepy song at midnight is a fairly special experience to have. That's why I remember that night. The second night was a bit later.

I copped a VCR from somewhere, and I started taping instead of watching it live. I could then actually sleep at night while not missing anything. Also, think of the pleasure of fast forwarding through a video that sucks to the next one that doesn't suck. It's a feeling better than going to the bathroom at a restaurant and coming back to your food already being on the table. So satisfying. Anyway, when I was watching one of these back, I saw the Butthole Surfers. In the time before the moderate success of Pepper on the alt-rock charts, Butthole Surfers did a set of songs on the show. It was one of the most nuts things that I had seen in a long time. Additionally, I didn't know about Gibbytronics at that point in time either, so my mind was being blown on another level by this dude sitting here with a crazy electronics kit modulating his voice. After this display, I was convinced that 120 Minutes is the best show of all time. It had some sketchy time at the end, but the show had already done its damage.

Seeing as both shows were so satisfying to watch, the differences between the two shows had become quite obvious in watching the reincarnation of 120 Minutes on VH1 Classic and the current Subterranean. The current 120 Minutes is still honest to its past. It's not quite the same, but the videos are the videos that are popular from their runs on the original runs of the show. Some of the songs were popular. Others were not. But, the same could not be said of Subterranean. The songs were generic, popular indie rock songs. While this used to be an oxymoron, those times are long past. The indie rocker is just as mainstream as the Fergies of the world. The only difference is the fact that they only get the national tour instead of the international tour. Regardless, they are songs that have been cosigned by, either, the whole scene including blogs and/or establishment sources. There is no danger anymore to the music that was on display in Subterranean. It's mother 120 Minutes would have still been disappointed.

While the fan in me was sad that he might have to watch that totally awesome Red Skies at Night video again, it got me thinking on a larger level about the larger project of MTV. MTV has been thoroughly romanticized by my generation. MTV, as it seemed to us, had a soul or a spirit. While, in hindsight, this perspective is clearly naive on our part as MTV has always intended to sell the most product not portray a spirit. But, the difference is the fact that MTV, while aiming to sell a product, were still willing to experiment in showing lesser-represented music. While it may have been during off-hours, they did make the effort to do so. Their was an authenticity to MTV in its music-programming. There were shows that you could turn on and find music that wasn't in the mainstream. But, that spirit is gone, probably replaced with an episode of Parental Control or Next.

With this as its realtiy and with its fundamental goal never changing, how has MTV lost its status as a cultural tastemaker. The station has always existed to make money, but it also made a lot of the national tastes. I can't think of the last time that anyone has blown up from exposure on MTV for at least five if not six years. The magic strength that it used to have was deleted by its current reality-based scheme.

This is clearly the fault of the station, but I wonder why the audience doesn't operate with it anymore, why the audience no longer buys what MTV is selling. I wonder if the current generation is smarter than I give them credit for. I think that these kids are far more media saavy and aware of their surroundings. I think that a lot of kids still buy into it, but I think that their reasoning will be deeper than it is what's cool. That would make them a hipster, which is also one of the cool marketable looks for kids nowadays. This is a topic that I will have to revisit in due time. Any insights from the readers are greatly appreciated, so leave a comment. It might actually help in clarifying this whole issue.

Blame Entourage

Turtle's love for the early 90s hits led to this getting stuck in my head.

Also, for future reference from that episode of Entourage, chiba hawking is alright. I did it for a while, and I know people who did it. It is a totally acceptable habit to partake in. But, there are ethics to such manoeuvres, the most of basic is which don't act like the shit is yours. You are in a privileged position. You didn't bring shit to this party, but you're getting it for no cost to yourself. By being in such a position, you are already doing better than before. It is important, and probably one of the few rules of smoking conduct, to remember that while your presence as a free smoker is cool, acting like the shit is yours is not.

I'll use an example, actually where this issue raised itself in my mind: the same episode that reminded me of Snow in fact. Anyway, Turtle picks up some girls in the grocery store. Some blonde in a tight t-shirt. Very generically pretty girl. She has friends. Turtle's got friends. A Grand plan ensues. The girls that Turtle has picked up are two types. There are two of the girls who are chill about the whole situation. Then, there is this brunette who is just so siced (read: hyped.) on this dude she doesn't know's stash. They are driving along. The girl just panics not about nay incident but because she would lose the weed. In fact, he did lose the weed; the police cop made him throw it down a storm drain. Turns up, that storm drain was shallow because Turtle could pull the stash back out. As expected, the brunette was mad siced over this dude's stash.

Such overenthusiasm for someone else's stash reminded me of the fine balance of being a chiba hawk. Just because you are a woman doesn't mean that I have to smoke you out. I do that out of generosity, and that generosity can be abused by all genders, races, and creeds. It is very much a privilege not a right to get the free smoking. A Public Service Announcement.