Thursday, December 28, 2006
So here are some (rented) films that I enjoyed in the past year:
What looked like cheap laughs served up in a taco shell of typical crap, was actually a funny and fairly accurate portrayal of what it’s like to work in a restaurant. Some of it was a bit fantastical (like if you have the time to play as many ball tricks as they did, your restaurant would close due to lack of business), but otherwise nailed life off of the floor.
Walk the Line
Loves me some Johnny Cash so I liked this docudrama of his life. Joaquin Phoenix was fine as Cash and Reese Witherspoon was even better as June, but at points it just seems like a made for TV movie. I don’t think it was so much the fault of the filmmakers as the subject matter isn’t dramatic enough to justify making a full blown movie. If you like Cash, well you’ve probably already seen it.
Jim Jarmusch gets Bill Murray to do a full length and with awesome results. The only bad thing I can say about this is Murray retraces his steps as the glum older man he did so well in Lost in Translation, but I think overall, this is a better film. Why Murray didn’t win a best actor award for Rushmore, let alone Lost in Translation the crime of the century. We’ve seen this before from Murray but really the story and the people in this make it such a good movie. One of Jarmusch’s best in awhile.
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
Greed and arrogance and the business world equivalent to the Bush administration. If only those fuckers would be found out and Dick Cheney drops dead before he goes to jail. If you don’t know this full story and want to get pissed off, watch this. Then find the nearest Halliburton office and wipe shit on their front door. Halliburton doesn’t have anything to do with this movie, but since Enron isn’t around anymore, why the fuck not?
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
I read the books well after I had seen the movies and while the books are of course better, this movie does a good job with the material. I liked that they didn’t dumb down the death and darker parts because they are important to the rest of the series. Overall, they’ve done a fine job bringing these to the big screen.
Starts slow but finishes up nicely. Maybe the best part of this is the fact that Woody Allen isn’t in it, but I loved the way he pretty much points you to an inevitable conclusion and then yanks it back at the last second. If you haven’t seen it yet, forget what I just said. Scarlett Johansson plays a whiny turd and it suits her. I think she’s very overrated as an actress but she redeems herself in this one. Great viewing and very recommended.
I watched it and didn’t get a boner unlike some people I know (Phil L). It’s actually very good and the cinematography is incredible. The scenery is stunning and really the film should have won best picture when put up against absolute blood farts like Crash. I think the gay folk were pushing so hard for it and got a wee bit cocky about winning that the academy decided to teach them a lesson by awarding one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen (Crash) best picture. It’s too bad because despite all the hype and the jokes, Brokeback wasn’t too bad.
Good Night, and Good Luck
A good historical lesson on how all major media talking heads are complete assholes who could easily be interchanged with someone from Entertainment Tonight. Quiet and subtle and black and white.
Kind of funny Adam Sandler type comedy (I think he produced it) with some fairly funny moments. The video game designer wunderkind who acts like a robot is pretty fucking funny. Get stoned and you’ll love it.
Akeelah and the Bee
Pleasant and uplifting. The little girl in this is great and while fairly obvious to see where it’s heading, I didn’t mind getting there.
Thank You for Smoking
Well done, witty and smart. The best part is seeing Katie Holmes…I mean Kate Cruise get her tube packed like a casing at Hillshire Farms. You’ll never see it again so watch it a couple of times.
Entourage Season 2
Kind of cartoonish but very fun look at a hot young actor’s life and his hangers on who live it with him. Really, if you’re dude who’s well past the age of this ever happening to, it’s fun to watch and dream. I would even be Johnny Drama at this point.
Big Love Season 1
Very cool and well done show about a polygamist family living in the mainstream in Utah. It’s great, makes Mormons angry and there’s tons and I mean TONS of humping. I mean, the guy has three wives so you know he’s getting it on all the damn time. Good acting and endearing characters, plus, did I mention all the humping?
An Inconvenient Truth
Al Gore is pretty cool. If everyone could have seen how smart and somewhat humorous he is before the 2000 election, I don’t think we would have had to put up with that destructive retard who’s in office now. Even if you don’t buy into the global warming thing, this alone is an interesting look at Al Gore himself.
The Da Vinci Code
I’m putting this in here because it wasn’t as bad as I thought it could have been. Pretty sappy, and kind of a dumbed down version of a popular theory on Jesus. I really didn’t like the whole “let’s get chased and have to escape out of an impossible situation so the plot can inexplicably move forward” thing they did like eight times throughout the movie. And why the fuck did the English grail expert have to double cross them? There was no reason for it. He wanted the truth to be exposed, so why screw them over when they were going to help him? That drove me fucking nuts….you know what? On second thought fuck this movie.
And that leads me to some of the worst shit that tainted my DVD player in the past year:
Should have called it Nacho Fastidioso which means NACHO BORING.
The Da Vinci Code
Friends with Money
Pretty much everything Jennifer Aniston is in pretty much sucks.
X-Men 3: The Last Stand
They took a movie franchise that put out two fairly good movies about some of the most interesting comic book characters to come to the big screen and completely chopped its balls off. This was so bland and awful it was like they took a plot from a Sci-Fi Channel crap-u-drama and crammed Wolverine into it. Shameful and poopy smelling.
Everyone raved about this science fiction/art house movie but what you need to know is that it’s Russian and seems like a pimply faced film student was given some money and he whacked off onto a movie screen. I think it’s about vampires but really I was so distracted by the ridiculous “arty” shots that it didn’t matter. Watch this only if you want a headache and want to be in a bad mood for the next week.
This should have been called Rey Fastidioso which means KING BORING. I only bring up the Spanish name again because Jack Black was in yet another stinker. This movie is so goddamned long and boring I couldn’t believe it. And don’t forget that WE ALREADY KNOW HOW IT ENDS. At least in the 70’s version the sent F-16s after Kong and he climbed the World Trade Center. My god, you really have to be full of yourself and full of shit to make this movie.
Well, Transporter 1 wasn’t very good so how could this be any better? Why did I even watch this? A monkey with half its brain missing could have written a better script than this. This is my rule for 2007: if the first movie didn’t boggle my scrotum, then I will not rent the second one no matter how much ass, car chases and gun shots are in it. It’s just not worth it.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
These are some of the better albums that came out in the past year. These are in no particular order because, like all of you, I love them all.
Liars – Drum’s Not Dead
Crazy and creepy. Don’t know if it’s so much a concept album as it is just a stone cold freak out. Deep and disturbing and a pretty far departure from their earlier stuff.
Band of Horses – Everything All The Time
Mellow and beautiful. Fans of Sunny Day Real Estate will dig this. There are moments on this record that these guys hit that will knock your socks off.
Belle And Sebastian – The Life Pursuit
Funky and groovy. Who knew B + S could lay down such jams? There are some outright ass shakers on here (which is kind of strange for this band) and some of the usual nice ballads they are known for. The liner notes featuring the hot Scottish girls is worth it alone.
Sunset Rubdown – Shut Up I Am Dreaming
Should I keep going with two word descriptions? Probably and not. The bulk of this is pretty good, but the song “Stadiums and Shrines II” is one of the best songs released this past year.
Decemberists – The Crane Wife
I haven’t even heard this yet because the assholes who are in front of me on the library waiting list won’t hurry up and return it. I’m sure it’s good because their last one was great.
Cat Power – The Greatest
Not her “greatest” but it was still a good record. Some nice Memphis horns give her sound a little less serious vibe. But I guess I like the dour stuff, so maybe that’s why this didn’t blow my ass out. She’s still got my vote though.
Mastodon – Blood Mountain
Again, not as good as their last record, but some pretty sweet metal nonetheless. With all these indie rock wankers ‘returning to cookie mountain,’ I think I’d like to return to ‘Blood Mountain’ and battle the Cysquatch or whatever the hell it is.
Camera Obscura – Let’s Get Out of This Country
One more time: not as good as their last record, but I am sucker for soft voiced Scottish girls singing about their problems. And any band that tells Lloyd Cole that they’re ready to be heartbroken will have my ear any day.
The Hold Steady – Boys and Girls In America
Where the Killers completely failed in channeling their inner Bruce Springsteen, The Hold Steady captured Bruce in a bottle without even trying. This album is all about Kerouac, getting high and chicks. I can’t think of any better way to spend a Thursday night. Goddamn do the Killers fucking suck!
Wolf Mother – Wolf Mother
I just about wore this album out. Sleazy rock and roll with a hint of 70’s metal and absolutely no hint of irony. These guys are the real deal and when they sing about the “white unicorn” they are dead fucking serious. Put on “the Joker and the Thief” and try and tell me it wouldn’t rock Lincoln’s face off Mount Rushmore.
Slayer – Christ Illusion
Reviewing Slayer is like reviewing the Grand Canyon. You know it rules, so why bother trying to tell anyone? But if I was forced to say something, I’d tell you that Slayer’s original drummer is back on this and he’s phenomenal. I’d also tell you that these guys just keep kicking more and more ass.
The Streets – The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living
A theme: Not as good as his last album, but it’s got some good stuff on it. Skinner might need to get away from the narrative album next time. He’s too good to force the issue in keeping the story going. But what the fuck do I know? I know his last album was nearly a masterpiece.
Beck – The Information
Did Guero come out this past year too? Because if it did, Beck would have two great albums out in one year’s time. The Information is solid throughout and makes me think that Beck is some kind of a genius. Think of all those other acts that got huge during the thrilling alternative rock sweepstakes being held by major labels in the early/mid 90’s…can you name one that has been as prolific and consistently good as Beck? To the person who just had Liz Phair pop into their head: I will slap you.
Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
This took awhile to grow on me. The music that is, not their name. Their band name is one of the worst in music history. Right up there with Carrissa’s Weird (now the aforementioned Band of Horses) and Bare Naked Ladies (now dead I hope). But take the bad name away and all the hype they received and you’ve got a pretty wicked, supercharged power pop record. Give it a spin and let it grow on you like it did for me. The album, not the crappy name…did I explain that right?
Hatebreed – Supremacy
As I am a sucker for Scottish girls, I’m also a sucker for ass kicking metal/hardcore with an underlying positive message hiding under layers of aggressive doomsday crunch. This band sounds like they could have been a straight edge group at one point, but sold their souls for rock and roll while still telling the kids to never give up.
Neil Young – Living With War
Despite this record’s obvious anti-Bush message, it’s still one of the better Neil Young records to come out in awhile. Try not to sing along to “Let’s Impeach the President” and try not to smear feces on the door handle of the next SUV you see with a Bush bumper sticker. Yes, that was me.
Primal Scream – Riot City Blues
I didn’t expect anything from this. I got it from the library and wasn’t even going to load it on my ipod, but I played it in the car and was pleasantly surprised. This is a return to the bluesy, Stonesy groove the Scream seemed to abandon for their techno funk/punk of the last couple albums. Don’t get me wrong, I love Xtrmntr…or Violator or whatever it was called (“Kill All Hippies” is a classic from that record), but this made me think these guys haven’t actually died from drug overdoses like they should have.
Flaming Lips – At War With The Mystics
Not as good as their last record? Yeah, why not. One more time.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
You know how Kid Rock is getting divorced from Pam Anderson after they just got married recently? Well, I guess after he saw her bit in the Borat movie, he got all pissed off and was like "you're a whore!" She didn't like that I guess and decided to get divorced after three weeks of marriage.
What I'm wondering is, after he starting calling her a whore and the divorce papers arrived, did someone take him aside and say, "dude, I hate to break this to you, but EVERYONE has seen your wife naked. EVERYONE."
In fact, that same person might finish what he was saying by going, "in fact, EVERYONE has seen your wife boning greasy Tommy Lee. EVERYONE."
Is this like marrying Carmelo Anthony and screaming "BASKET BALL PLAYER!" Or banging Nicole Ritchie for a week and one day wake up yelling "ADOLESCENT GIRL SKELETON!"
Seems a bit obvious, but then again I don't roll with midgets.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
And just like OJ, I said to myself about Zune: Really? Are they kidding here? Or is this what they actually have cooked up?
OJ's premise was "IF I did it, here's how I did it." Which at first I thought meant, "I didn't do it because if I was going to kill two people, I would have done it differently." But then I realized he was just telling people how he killed Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman without actually admitting he did it...it's a little confusing I know, but so is the Zune.
Zune is microsoft's version of the Ipod and by all accounts, it might as well be a busted up Walkman with an AM radio in it. And just like OJ, it's a bloody mess.
It looks good, has a bigger screen than the Ipod, but in trying to out do the Ipod, it falls short like a drunk fat guy trying to long jump.
Here's a great article/review on why it sucks so bad.
Basically, Zune is in league with Satan (i.e. the recording industry) because they've paid the kickbacks those vultures were demanding because Mp3 players "just have to have a lot of illegal music on them." Oh yeah? Prove it dildos. Just saying it doesn't make it true. And while I'm sure there could be a song or two acquired "illegally" (whatever the fuck that is nowadays), the RIAA should keep their laws off my Ipod.
RIAA out of my digital uterus!!! Click here for a good anti-RIAA site.
So microsoft is down with these scumbags and make you pay for it when you buy Zune or music for Zune. But that's not all!
One of the main selling points of Zune is the wireless transfer function that allows you to send songs to another user. Sounds good right? Well yeah if it worked like it should. But as we all know, the record companies don't want you sharing music. That's what they've gone on and on about for years; suing little girls and single mothers.
If you transfer a song to another person's Zune, it deletes itself after 3 plays. Great for the record companies, bad for you. This is not a good selling point. It's like getting a locked version of a computer program; you can only do so much with it.
If I want to share a song with someone, I'll just burn them a disc and they can do what they want with it. When someone gives me music, I listen, and if I like, I put it in my Ipod. Sure after sampling it three times on my Zune I could then go and ask them to burn me a copy, but that's just more hoops than I want to jump through.
I know they HAVE to do this to stay on the good side of these record company bastards, but they're using it as a great selling point when most people don't give a shit and will get around it anyway.
A buddy of mine works for microsoft and he was pretty diplomatic about it. He felt like it could be really good down the line, but then again, he was really playing up this sharing feature that doesn't mean shit to me. It's cool, but the potential of it has had its balls lopped off like a cow at the Rocky Mountain Oyster festival. Fried and delicious.
I despise the fact that this product (one that had the only shot to take a piece of Ipod's pie) is so wrapped up with the file sharing political bullshit, that it completely nullifies anything cool about it. I know they have to suck this corporate cock through a hole in the wall, but by doing that, they've guaranteed it won't be a success.
People know Ipod. They know it works. More computer savvy people know better than to deal with this and not so savvy computer people won't know how to set it up. Why buy something that doesn't work well, is confusing and gimmicky when there's already a product that works, is easy to use and does everything advertised?
It's like someone said, "hey I've got this paper that you use to wipe feces from your butthole, but instead of just using it like toilet paper, you have to run it through a special machine that activates its special feces removing properties. Then you gotta wait 10 minutes before you actually wipe your ass." Would you buy this? Not if you had to take a shit real bad.
I guess if that's all microsoft can offer, I'll stick to the Ipod. And I'll wipe my ass with a Zune. Oh and OJ can burn in hell. If someone shot him in the stomach and left him to die on the sidewalk with rats eating his eyes, it would still be too good for him. Now that would be something FOX should show on their crappy network.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Travel Journal January/February 2000
This is my travel journal. Everything in here is true. Some of it is very embarrassing. This one is all about how much of a dumbass I am. Enjoy.
It’s very important to talk about my run-ins with French authorities before I leave and isn’t as fresh in my mind.
For someone who has minimal contact with law enforcement of any country, being nailed twice in the span of a week and a half was enough to last me a lifetime.
First of all, I’ll admit it right away: I’m an idiot. And when you ask, “what we’re you thinking?” I can truthfully say, “ I don’t know.”
The morning I left Amsterdam, I headed over to the net café/bar where I had been emailing, drinking beer and smoking joints for the last three days. It was located just off the Red Light District on a little tiny street which name escapes me at this moment. This place was great though. It was Fl 2.50 for 20 minutes on the ol’ intranet. That’s about 1 dollar and 25 cents to you and me. There was a smallish yet stylish bar and two pool tables in the front. It was more of a locals hangout which I always prefer. I could sip a lovely Heineken or some good coffee while toking on a fat one, chatting with my amigos half a world away. The night before, someone emailed me and asked, “what are you doing?” I replied, “why, I’m emailing, drinking a beer and smoking a joint. What are you doing?” This was great because I knew my friend was at work.
The thing was, I rolled the rest of my pot into one huge joint the night before. I figured if I wasn’t taking any back with me, I might as well smoke it all in one big shebang. The problem was, after dicking around Amsterdam for awhile, I was running a tad late to get to my train. Like and idiot, I got a really early return ticket back to Paris. After checking my email, I dashed back across the city to check out of my shithole hotel and get my 10 guilder (five bucks) deposit back for my key. It was at this point I remembered the huge joint in my pocket.
It’s key that I tell you I remembered the joint because it was all part of the plan to forget it. You see, I decided to take that pinky sized doobie back to Paris with me. Yes, this is where you ask, “what were you thinking?”
I know, I know. Don’t bring any drugs back. It’s like camping. Only leave footprints and shit like that. But I was swept up in this kind of mania that told me, “yes, you can do this!” I’ve always been such a square, I never take any chances like this. But this was a new me, and something took over that just said, “fuck your future, bring that reefer back to Paris!” At any rate, I did it. I got on the train, the joint was in my inside pocket of my jacket and away I went to France. Goodbye Amsterdam, you’re a lot of fun. I’ll see you again someday. No problem right?
Fast forward to the train station in Paris. Gare du Nord is a huge, cold train station. It’s like a big warehouse with people and trains and pigeons. It’s just like what you’d expect from a train station in the movies. And especially from one in Paris: dirty, dusty and cold as shit. As the train pulled in to a stop, I started to go through what I’d say if someone stopped me. “Oh, I forgot it was in there!” Blah, blah, blah. I really wasn’t sweating it which is unusual. Normally in the states I’d start shaking with a joint in my pocket when I saw a cop car three blocks away. But hey, this was Europe. They don’t give a fuck. But as I grabbed my coat, I smelled it: Marijuana. Strong and obvious. I’ve you’ve ever walked into a room where someone is growing pot, this is what my jacket smelled like.
Then I went into a different mode. I wasn’t scared because I think I was too dumb to be scared. My only thought was, “if I see a dog, I’m gonna ditch this joint.” The walk from the train to the station was pretty long, so I scouted ahead to see if there were any federales or checkpoints. It looked clear so I confidently made my way toward the station. Not hurried, but definitely not slowly. Like from some prison escape movie, I could practically see the escalator that would take me down to the metro. That’s when I saw the dog. It was about halfway up the walkway and my heart jumped just a bit. It was a black labrador and it looked like it was just running around the platform. And since drug dogs are always German Shepherds and things like that, I didn’t really think anything of it. The dog disappeared behind me and to the left. A quick sigh of relief came over me and I kept on walking to my freedom. But that relief came and went really fucking quickly.
The French customs guy nailed me so fast after the dog passed, I didn’t even have a chance to be relieved. To be fair, I should say the dog is the one who actually nailed me. The customs guy rattled off something in French and I switched to dumb American mode partially out of instinct, but mostly because I got caught flat-footed. You could have driven a train through my gaping mouth.
I said, “what?” And he repeated, with his badge out, “French Customs. Do you have anything to declare?” For a split second I thought it would be hilarious to answer, “just that I’m fabulous!” But then I remembered the joint. Mind you, this was happening so quickly I really didn’t even have time to shit my pants. I would’ve been handcuffed and in the back of a squad car before I could’ve squeezed out a pebble of shit or said anything so funny. Instead, I looked at the French Customs officer with the most confused looked and said, “no…?”
Just then, my friend the black lab came over to me, jumped up, and tapped his paws on my stomach. Busted. He trotted away to nail some other pot smoker. This pot smoker was screwed royally. Thinking back on it, the whole ordeal only took about 15 seconds, and come to think of it, it passed like 15 seconds too. It was a very quick, very real nightmare. Once the dog pegged me, I started to think about how fucked I was. But I also remembered how much my coat stunk of sweet, sticky reefer.
After the dog went away, I looked up at the customs guy and said, in my most convincing voice, “I’ve just come from Amsterdam. I’ve got smells on me.” Swear to fucking God I said this. I prepared for the worst, but instead of getting the worst (handcuffed and taken to of all places, a French jail), I got the best. The customs officer just waived me past and I didn’t hesitate to take him up on his offer. I was, like they say, outta there like swimwear.
I didn’t run, I took my time. And I even paused at the end of the platform to pretend like I was looking at train times to not make myself look suspicious. A guilty person would just run as fast as possible and get on a metro. Getting on the metro, I was constantly looking around to see if the cops were on my tail. Maybe they thought I could lead them to the big score. But no, I was just a stupid, asshole American and they were glad to be rid of my dumb ass. I didn’t feel safe until I was safely inside my friend’s flat. But I still felt like I was being followed. So I did the natural thing and smoked some of the weed I smuggled and tried to put it far behind me.
That was until a week later when I got pulled over for smoking a joint in a car with three people I didn’t know.
I had gone to a skate park with three guys I had just met. One was a friend of a friend and the other two I didn’t know. Actually to be fair, I wasn’t smoking the joint. It was weed with tobacco in it. And as I’ve already stated, I don’t do the tobacco thing. On the way out, they rolled one and I tried it, but couldn’t hang with the tobacco. These guys however toked up with glee.
It was on the way back from the skate park that French police pulled us over. This was somewhat outside Paris and I guess they saw the driver, a French guy named Vincent, smoking this spliff. I had the shits really bad and I thought, “great, I have to take a shit and these cops are going to hold us up.” But then they started pulling us out of the car and my annoyance quickly turned to a bit of worry. I didn’t have my passport on me and I was with three people I didn’t know very well.
One was a Greek kid named Carlos. He was friends with my friend and I had met him the week before. The other two were French and had met them about an hour and a half before. I figured they’d help me out since they knew that “Je ne parlez pa Francais.” That’s “I don’t know any fucking French” in American. But I started to sweat it a bit. Memories of my Gare du Nord run-in with the law started flooding back. But really I felt like I was in high school again. Driving around with your buddies smoking herb and having a cop pull you over. There was nothing worse than that. This was worse however, because I was in France, and didn’t speak French. I half expected the cops to recognize me from the train station and say, “Ah-ha!”
The cops started searching everyone and I began to get really paranoid. “Do I have any shit on me?” of course I didn’t, but you know how you get when this kind of thing happens. Being a paranoid delusional, I started to freak.
“Je ne parlez pa messieur,” I said as the copper pulled me out of the Citroen Festiva. He nodded to me as if to say, “yeah, yeah, you dumbfuck American.” As the cops searched me and I emptied the contents of my pockets on the hood of the squad car, I started to wonder, “where in the fuck did the joint and the weed get off to?” It wasn’t mine so I figured these veteran French pot smokers knew what they were doing. I know what I’d do, but that’s in a different country. In America they can’t just search your car like they were doing here in France. Or can they? I don’t really know anymore.
After searching the car and everyone who was in the car, and finding nothing, I knew we were in the clear. Vincent the French guy who was driving and smoking the joint at the time expressed through his body language and how he was talking to the police that everything was cool. He was French, but definitely of a Middle Eastern or North African decent. He was very cool and even though we really couldn’t communicate to eachother, he put me at ease. I even kissed a little ass and told the French cops they were much nicer than American police. Actually they are.
We got back in the car and after much spirited talking in French, Carlos, the Greek kid told me what happened. The cops saw Vincent smoking something so they pulled us over. He told them it was a cigarette but they still wanted to have a look. Before he pulled the car over though, Vincent ate the tobacco filled joint and the rest of his stash. It wasn’t much, but enough to fuck him up a bit. He took a hit for the cause I guess and I salute him for it. As for the rest of it, I’m done with France. No one speaks English and the police are too nice. Two near busts on an otherwise clean record was too much for me. Kids, winners don’t use drugs, THEY EAT THEM!
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
CSI Miami is one of the worst shows on tv. If you've never seen it, watch this video and see how David Caruso chews up the scenery like a fat kid on a ginger bread house. Oh and the sunglasses....if a real person did this people would avoid him like herpes. It would be funny if it wasn't so fucking lame.
Monday, November 20, 2006
They even have a commercial where two women are discussing the commercial. One says, “I think they went too far,” right before they too get hammered by an oncoming truck. They’re ok of course.
The commercials are supposed to show how accidents happen when you least suspect them and that by driving a VW, you stand a pretty good chance of surviving. That’s all in good but it still doesn’t take away from the fact that these ads will negatively effect sales of VW.
Yes, they are shocking when you see it for the first time and yes, you do remember them. That’s all a company could ask for when someone comes up with a commercial for them I guess. But in this case, I think they’ve backfired.
They didn’t “go too far” as the one woman suggests in the ad. Going too far would have been to show the driver of the other car (an American made crap-mobile) being carried off all bloody with an EMT furiously pummeling his chest. THAT would have been “too far.” I will give the creators of this ad credit though; making a reference to your own ad in another ad is pretty smart. You know somebody just had this conversation with their spouse or friend the other day and when those dullards saw the ad they felt an immediate bond with VW and probably went out and bought one.
“I was just talking to Sally about those commercials and a guy almost hit me pulling out of his parking spot at King Soopers!”
As I said, I do believe the ads get your attention, but I think in a negative way. Every time I see one of these commercials I’m constantly reminded of getting into a car accident. I’ve been in a couple gnarly car wrecks and I don’t ever, ever, ever, ever want to be reminded of those experiences.
In kind of the same way you get so stressed out in stop and go traffic, these ads don’t do what they set out to do. In stop and go traffic you’re constantly hitting your brakes and seeing red lights flash in front of you. You are in effect, narrowly avoiding dozens of mini accidents during your commute. This doesn’t give you a feeling of safety to know you avoided an accident; it really just makes you more on edge. The ad doesn’t instill a feeling of safety, it just tells you that you could be next.
The VW people want you to think you’ll be safe in an accident while driving their car. That might even be an accurate assessment, but who wants to even think about it? I know car accidents happen and sometimes they are completely unavoidable, but if I spent my life thinking about getting involved in one, I’d go nuts. I think it’s very unwise for a car company to show their vehicles involved in accidents…even if the occupants come out unscathed because deep down, the horrible sensation of being in a wreck is far stronger than consumer’s need to buy a car that’s safe. This ad works against them because while selling a safe car they still plant the seed in the driver’s head that he/she will ultimately end up in an accident….and it might not come out as nicely as it does in the ad.
I’m sure this works the opposite on some people. Some jerk sees this and thinks “I’m invincible if I drive that thing.” I mean, the commercial even kind of supports this. The crashes they get in are far more violent and jolting then the subsequent damage and condition of the people would tell you. Somebody’s going to buy one of these, get out on the road, talk on the phone, not signal, run red lights and….oh, I guess they do that anyway.
VW has made a commercial that people will talk about, but I don’t believe it will sell any cars for them. It would be like an Army recruiting commercial showing you dead soldiers because that too is a reality of serving your country. We all know that’s a possibility and they’d be nuts to use that as an advertising tool. I think the commercials that show cars narrowly avoiding an accident are far more effective because it gives the driver hope that they can avoid it while knowing that if they do happen to get in an accident, the odds are in their favor.
If you’re lucky, you’ll never get in a car accident. But it happens and hopefully you can walk away from it without any major injuries. In the meantime, I don’t want to be reminded of something as unpleasant as a car wreck. The way people drive, I get enough of that on the road every day. More hip tunes VW, and less twisted metal bum trips.
Friday, November 17, 2006
And sure, getting the Democrats back in power was cool, but they’ll just fuck it up as usual. Hopefully we’ll get a few good years of economic growth out of them before they do something spinelessly typical.
No, the coolest thing about this past election was watching the rats flee the sinking ship.
Rush Limpbowel, after years of staunchly standing by his right wing assholes no matter what, finally showed some cracks in his usually rock hard, fat ass when he said, “ I no longer am going to have to carry the water for people who I don't think deserve having their water carried.”
Now, of course he went on to say that conservatism was the only way and liberalism is evil, but he was essentially saying that some of these Republicans didn’t deserve his support and he was thus withdrawing it from them. His focus of this was about Immigration Reform and raising the minimum wage and how they had been let down by Republicans concerning this; because as we all know, Mexicans sneaking into this country to work are far more dangerous than CEO’s who sneak our jobs off to China. I guess once all of our jobs are in China there won’t be any work for illegal workers right? Cool.
Regardless of Rush’s drug addled ramblings, he showed me something special: Republicans and right wingers are willing to sell each other out when hard times come. I didn’t think it was possible. Literally for the last 14 years (since Clinton took office) the right wing has held a unified front. They haven’t wavered one bit in all this time. Clinton could have come up for a cure for cancer, AIDS and Alzheimer’s and they would have found some way to denounce him. Everything has been the fault of liberals and they’ve been pretty fucking good about convincing people of that.
In the past 6 years the right wing has done whatever they wanted. They’ve run the country into the ground, sent close to 3,000 U.S. troops and countless Iraqis to their deaths and never once did any of them break ranks. It was really impressive…in a deliciously evil kind of way.
Every day I was amazed at the arrogance and sheer brilliance of what they were doing. Here was an administration, headed by a buffoon, that was clearly doing the wrong thing by invading Iraq, yet they had such blind support from its party members and its voters that they could do no wrong.
If I had to draw an analogy, I’d compare the Republicans of the last 6 years to the career of U2:
1) Undying and somewhat justifiable unwavering support through its early incarnation: Boy, October, War, Unforgettable Fire = Bush reclaiming America for the righteous, combined with the very convenient 9/11 attacks.
2) Flashes of brilliance muddled by creeping realization that they’re losing it: Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby = Starting the war in Iraq, declaring “Mission Accomplished” as the quagmire gets murkier and deeper.
3) Then embarrassing misfire after misfire which seem cartoonish in its absurdity: Zooropa, Pop and big sunglasses = Shitty economy, ongoing Iraq war, no Bin Laden, astronomical gas prices, dumbfuck president, Christians running amok.
And during all of this, U2, just like the Bush administration, has maintained a massive fan base who would never question their motives or artistic integrity. It’s utterly amazing really. It either shows that fans of U2 and conservatism are either a) incredibly sentimental and loyal, b) are truly convinced what either are doing are brilliant despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary or c) are incredible assholes who would worship Bin Laden himself as long he converted to Christianity and spoke out against gay marriage. I think it may be a combo of all three.
Don’t get me wrong, I do like U2, but I can’t stomach the later stuff. Earlier this year I picked up “Under A Blood Red Sky” on CD (which parts of were recorded at Red Rocks, including the famous video for “Sunday Bloody Sunday”….[I was there! That’s me in the front row!...that’s what everyone used to say anyway]) and it made me rediscover why I like U2 in the first place. It still doesn’t erase the later crap they put out, but it made me despise them less.
U2’s fan base will probably never abandon them, but the Republican fan base did. Maybe it was only to send a message, but that message was so well received that a few peculiar things started to happen.
One was the Limpbowel thing. That gas bag has been such an apologist for the right wing that I didn’t believe anything could get him to say something like that. Sure, he still ripped liberals and the usual crap still dribbled out his drug addict mouth, but the mere fact that he broke rank even slightly is telling.
When gubernatorial hopeful Bob “Both Ways Bob” Beauprez lost his bid for Governor, he sounded remorseful and apologetic for how the Republicans have run the country. He of course said their way was the best, but felt they needed to try harder. It’s shocking when the arrogant and defiant are reduced to groveling and half apologizing…it’s like watching a bully beg for mercy; you’re almost too amazed to deliver the final blow.
Bush canned Rumsfeld the next fucking day! Talk about bowing to pressure. Nearly everyone in the military wanted Rumsfeld out but Bush backed him the whole way, even saying prior to the election that Rumsfeld was going to stay as long as he did. Well, he didn’t.
Firing Rumsfeld really told us two things: either he did such a shitty job with Iraq that now Bush couldn’t protect him anymore or he did such a shitty job with Iraq that Bush finally had to distance himself from him before it was too late. Regardless, Bush’s conciliatory attitude is a sign that things may be worse off than we realize.
For these arrogant pricks to act this way makes me think things are so far down the shitter that they had to immediately start making concessions because their bumbling adversaries just cut their balls off and took their parking spaces. There’s no other way to explain it. The second I heard the acts of contrition were going down I thought, “whoa, how far up the ass are we screwed?” If you’ve ever seen one of those horrible anal videos where an improbably sized penis is being crammed up some chick’s ass, you get a good idea.
It would be totally hilarious if it wasn’t so damn sad and a signal that we’re pretty fucked. By no means should the Democrats pull the plug on Iraq. Once everyone gave Bush carte blanche to do what he wanted with that middle-eastern shit hole, it was a done deal. There’s no end in sight, so make plans for your children to do a stint somewhere over there in the not too distant future.
But didn’t we all know this is how it would turn out? Bush would get what he wanted for the bulk of his term, only to have it turn out to be the nightmare that everyone knew it would? If you didn’t see it coming, you were probably distracted by a “Unite We Stand” bumper sticker, a Jesus fish, and a shameless tear jerking reminder about September 11th. But then again, those were the swing voters who ushered Bush into office in the first place and ultimately realized their mistake and voted out his cronies. That’s America for you folks, indecisive assholes who will back a winner until the wheels come off and then pretend like it never happened.
If Rush Limpbowel can pretend he’s credible and a paragon of logical thinking, I’m gonna pretend Zooropa never happened, U2 fans aren’t horribly out of touch and Bono’s just a shy kid from Dublin.
Friday, October 20, 2006
The gas station that I filled up at earlier today (at $2.13 a gallon) is now $2.11 a gallon. Literally four hours later and the same station dropped its price by two cents.
Not boggling your scrotum? Well, if not you probably don't drive because two cents, combined with the close to 70 cent drop in gas prices in the last two months should give everyone who drives cause for celebration.
It actually caused me physical and mental pain to fill up my car over the summer. Partly because it was so fucking expensive and mainly because I knew the ridiculously exorbitant (extortive?) prices were going right into the pocket of all of Bush's buddies. Arabs and fat white dudes alike, all Bush allies, were reveling in the outrageous gas prices we all paid with a whimper. There's no denying it: Bush and crew took us to the cleaners and we took it with an uneasy smile.
So what do I really wish for? I wish every day could be a time when Republicans are facing reelection where voters are pissed. That's the only reason gas prices have dropped like they have. They've gouged just about all they could out of us and now faced with getting their asses thrown out of office, someone flipped the switch to bring prices down.
I'm imagining a Price Is Right kind of game in the Oval Office where a little card board cut out a Saudi scales a glittery oil derrick signifying rising gas prices set to humorous carnival music. Once he got so high he almost fell off the top, "W" pushed a big red button and the little guy went back down the derrick; Cheney, Rumpsfeld and Bush all looked at each other lovingly and agreed, "it was fun while it lasted."
If only every day was election time.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
I absolutely loved The Killers debut Hot Fuss. It’s a modern day pop classic. And despite the fact the The O.C./MTV set got their nasty little fingers all over it, it stands up as a fantastic record. So I was thrilled when I had word that the band was working hard on their second album.
But then tidbits of info came dribbling in that had me concerned. First, Bono was giving The Killers advice and then singer Waylon Flowers started to open his big ugly mouth. Flowers was quoted as saying that the album they were working on (which would become Sam’s Town) was “one the best albums of the past 20 years.” When I read that, I just about shit my pants. You never say something like that and even if you truly believe it, you wait until a few more people agree with you before claiming it and looking like the fucking ego maniac you are.
Flowers couldn’t stop there. He publicly feuded with bands that were far beneath his. He made grand claims about how The Killers were better than Fall Out Boy and some other shit eaters like The Bravery. Seriously, do you have to open your mouth and claim you’re better than Fall Out Boy? That’s like stopping your car and getting out at an intersection to yell at a homeless guy about how you’ve got a job and you washed your ass today. It’s pointless. The Killers MADE one of the best records to come in the last 10 years in Hot Fuss, so why be concerned with bands (Fall Out Boy and The Bravery) that no one will remember in another 10? It all just reeks of insecurity and a fading belief that Flowers himself has talent.
Or maybe he knew Sam’s Town was going to be the stinker that it is?
He made up with Fall Out Boy rapidly before the album came out. Maybe he needed to circle his wagons to maintain maximum support for this dubious release. He kept his mouth shut…until after it was released.
The album itself isn’t a complete waste. It’s not the career killer that other heavily hyped freshman has crapped out in their sophomore effort. But it is disappointing. I again was tipped off that something wasn’t right when I heard the first single “When You Were Young.” It’s not bad but as far as the first single from the “best album in 20 years” goes, it really falters.
I didn’t pay for this album as I mentioned in the title of the post because my friend Eric (who gave me a copy of the first album) had downloaded it when it came out. He gave me a copy and I proceeded to play it non stop. After two listens, I wondered if Eric had downloaded it correctly. The song order seems horribly out of whack and I went back and checked what the correct order was online and found out that Eric had done it right. Listening to Sam’s Town, it sounds like whoever chose the track listing was either incredibly high or incredibly high on himself: looking at you Waylon Flowers.
(Note: I know his name is Brandon Flowers but I prefer to call him the gay ventriloquist whose puppet was that creepy old lady named Madame….come to think of it, I think this douche should go solo, buy the puppet from the Waylon Flowers estate and call himself Brandon Flowers and Madame. Couldn’t hurt at this point.)
Since Flowers is a Mormon, something he lets everyone within earshot know, I don’t think he was high; so I have to think he’s incredibly high on himself. If he was the one who put these tracks together, he deserves all the shit. The way this album plays is like a mixed tape put together by a deaf crack whore. It simply does not work.
There are some good tracks on here, and The Killers have come up with moments where they seem to be getting it in gear, but it’s done in by the unfortunate track sequencing and some bland songwriting…more on the shoulders of Flowers.
So the album comes out and Flowers starts to open his mouth again. He’s complaining about Green Day and their American Idiot DVD that was filmed in Britain. I think any artist that goes to another country to sell their anti-Bush sentiment is pretty cowardly. The Dixie Chicks knew they couldn’t go on stage in Texas and call Bush out, so they went to England and dissed him. Yeah, pretty radical ladies. The bulk of Europe hates Bush so you figured you had a receptive audience. That wouldn’t play here and if you did do that in America, you could have kissed your careers goodbye. The only thing that has kept them around is that they said it in another country. To me it’s completely cowardly. I love what they said, but saying it in England is like taunting someone when you’ve got three people keeping you separated. It’s just wussy.
So Green Day filmed their American Idiot DVD in England, and Flowers got all upset because he believed it was un-American because the reaction of the audience to the lyrics. First of all, I don’t need Waylon Flowers talking to me about patriotism. He should get back in the studio and make up for “the best album of the past 20 years” instead of lecturing me about being an American. Second, I would reckon that Green Day would get that reaction from their audience no matter where they played. This isn’t the Dixie Chicks who completely sold out their fan base by what they said. No, Green Day’s fans, no matter where they live, are probably down with a little anti-Bush sentiment. The fact still remains that The Killers front man is commenting on this and someone is writing it down. I’m reading it and wondering how I could be better spending my time.
It really goes without saying that this mother fucker should keep his goddamn mouth shut. I think you earn the right to talk shit and this guy has not earned anything with the release of Sam’s Town. It seems that he kept his mouth moving before it was released, then shut up for awhile as it was being released. He realized he put out a sub par second album and then decided to cover this fact up by flapping his lips again. I pay (or not I guess) to hear what this fuck head has to say on his album, not while he’s contemplating the obvious about how much Panic at the Disco sucks. If he spent half the energy he used to blow farts out of his mouth and put that into making Sam’s Town, his ridiculous grand standing might not even be an issue. When people talk shit in our society AND they deliver, we never say a word against them. It’s when they puff themselves up and deliver like a drunken 50 year old without his Viagra that we publicly flay them and refuse to buy anything they’re selling.
I think a lot people probably bought Sam’s Town thinking it was going to deliver but slowly realized (as they scanned the receipt seeing if they could return it) that it’s a lot of hot air propped up by hype and one man’s delusion that it’s the “best of the past 20 years” (I love typing that).
History should prove that Sam’s Town didn’t deliver the promise of the band’s front man. And that front man may end up being about as hollow as the puppet he will eventually call his partner when he inevitably goes solo. Thanks for fucking us in the ass and taking our money (or not).
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
It’s been said that a true marker of denial of oneself is the person who is so opposed to something it borders on the obsessive. Republicans are obsessed with the gay folk, yet they do everything in their power to stomp them out like a cigarette in Boulder (in Denver???).
But are they really as opposed to gayness as they appear to be? Something tells me that right wing closet is full and I ain’t talking about being packed with nice clothes and kickbacks.
Take House Representative Mark Foley for example. Here’s a guy who pushes the Republican agenda every day. Stands firm when gay marriage is called an abomination to God by his fellow right wingers, and casually votes for legislation that denies people their human rights because some religiously mentally ill asshole can’t fathom why two dudes would want to touch each other down there and then go buy new drapes.
The problem here is simple: Mark Foley is gay himself. He’s the jerk off that got busted for soliciting sex from teen male pages in Washington. He was caught red handed sending suggestive (as in ‘I want to pork you soon’) IM’s to one of the teens and now the Republicans are scrambling because once again, it shows us just what cocksuckers (not the good kind) they are.
Once this all came out, Foley suddenly had an alcohol problem and was being treated for that and mental illness. Now normally I’d be outraged at the mental illness claim because saying someone who is gay has a mental illness is just bullshit. But Foley was co-chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus and that to me just stinks of not only evil, but crazy as well. If anyone would know something about how to exploit a child, it would be this creep. Maybe he is crazy. This would be like finding out that John Mark Karr was the janitor over at the local KinderKare. Regardless, they had to make it look like this guy had a problem. It’s the alcoholism that I don’t buy.
I think Republican leaders like Dennis Hastert needed something else to blame other than Foley’s unholy thirst for boy butt. So he chose alcohol. If this guy was doing this stone cold sober, who in their right mind would have any mercy on these jerks when the elections roll around next month? Certainly the bible beaters who routinely vote these assholes in would need to think that alcohol (along with Satan) was what made this guy do these things and not that he was just a sick fuck like all the rest of his cronies. Maybe they would need alcohol themselves just to get to the voting booth. Maybe they need some alcohol to cope with all the young men they’ve sent to their deaths in the asshole of the world too.
One funny thing about this is Foley has been replaced on the ballot in Florida (Amazing! He’s from Florida!) by another Republican candidate, but Foley’s name will stay on the ballot. So to vote for the new guy, you have to vote for the gay child molester. Good luck.
So of course the Republicans have circled the wagons. Hastert (who looks like a big, fat child molester himself) has said that Foley’s actions were “vile” and that he “deceived” his colleagues. Sure. Like you didn’t know this guy was gay. I’m sure all of the gay Republicans are on file somewhere and their microchip sends a signal if they walk into one of several DC gay bars. This just reeks of a way to assure their voting base that they don’t put up with these faggoty-antics. But they do put up with these faggoty-antics, because in the real world there are gay people. To the people who vote for them however, they don’t exist, so people like Hastert have to make good so he can keep his job.
So this begs the question: Are the Republicans total and complete fucking hypocrites for allowing a gay person in their ranks when they’ve promised their base they will do everything in their power to snuff them out? Or are they being dishonest to the people who voted them in by letting gay Republicans go hog wild like Mario Cantone backstage at and especially oily performance of “Thunda From Down Unda?”
The Republican party did make a lot of promises regarding the gayer sex. They promised to ban gay marriage because, well, some 2,000 year old book may or may not have said anything about it. They subsequently won’t listen to anything regarding gay adoption because, well, there just aren’t any unwanted kids anymore. I proposed a compromise to Republicans a couple of years ago, but they didn’t bite. It went like this: I’ll let you ban abortions if you let gay couples adopt. That way all of these unwanted babies who will eventually turn into society’s problem will have a loving home to go to that will be tastefully decorated. I’m kidding really. I would never grant them that wish and I think most gay guys would be happy not to adopt if that was the alternative.
You can see the problem the right wing is faced with here. They made a lot of crazy promises about the gays, but it seems that their party is absolutely rife with them. You’d think they’d have a little more style but they don’t. I’m sure they tell their Republican Gays to “tone the gay down by 100% when you’re not trolling for teenage boy on the internet.” The president can’t understand it; why harass young boys when there are so many women to assault?
The Democrats are complete pud-pullers. You’ll never hear me argue that they are better than the fuckwad Republicans. But at least they pretend to like the gays and let them roam free through the halls in Washington. It’s ironic that the Dems are painted as allowing “deviant lifestyles” when really they just let their gay folk be themselves. It’s the Republicans who are fostering the “deviant lifestyles” because let’s face it, I don’t care who you are or what sexual orientation you happen to be, trolling for teenagers is just plain wrong.
There are countless people out there who will let you stick any number of things up whatever orifice you choose and they just happen to be adults. If you gotta go for the teenagers and the kids, you got a serious fucking problem; one of which may or may not be alcohol.
The Republicans sell you “anti-gay” but let gay guys do whatever they want to their interns. What else have they sold us they are not following through with? If you believe that “No Child Left Behind” means that Mark Foley is going to watch out for the kids, I’ve got some real estate in Fallujah I’d like to sell you.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Justin Timberlake is the classic, “I’m a lame-ass but for some reason everyone has forgotten that bit of information” guy. He’s the dude who slipped in to the hot Hollywood party when he wasn’t invited to. He’s the guy who got free tickets to the football game on the 50, but doesn’t really like football. He’s the person, as hard working Americans, we are supposed to loathe. The only difference between him and Kevin Federline is that Timberlake actually gets up there and earns his money. But he earns it because dumb fucks all across this great country are throwing it at him.
I don’t listen to a lot of pop radio, but typically, if there’s a song that’s hot, you will hear it eventually. Those kinds of songs, even if they suck, will somehow make it to your earhole, even while you’re avoiding it like a Robin Williams movie.
I never heard any of the so-called “hits” off of Timberlake’s first solo album (solo from N’Stync remember) Justified. Not once did I even get one note of “Cry Me A River” or whatever clownish dance pop he cooked up with the help of very capable studio gurus. And what that says to me is that it wasn’t very good. Sure it might have sold a lot of records, but for the simple fact that I never heard a note makes me think it couldn’t have been as good as everyone said it was. And just so we’re clear, I’m stoked that I didn’t hear any of it. I’m as stoked as an anti-abortion activist, tightly binding his balls with an extension cord while watching violent porn. That stoked.
So I get back to the question at hand: why is Justin Timberlake not only popular, but relevant as well? For one, he’s white. And in this day and age of the hip hop star, record companies, media outlets and white people with money who are tired of the “thug” image, want a fresh faced white guy to succeed. Sure, Justin just rips off black music to achieve his aim, but he’s white nonetheless.
I’ll concede that he’s talented; he can sing and apparently he can dance up a storm, but he’s being propped up for the simple fact that people in the music business feel the need for a “great white hope,” which is a racist tag anyway.
All of the other white guys involved with popular music are not playing R+B based tunes. They are your Fall Out Boys and Panic at the Discos that, wholeheartedly suck, but won’t get near the kind of record sales that ol’ Justin will do. The aforementioned bands, spend way more on hair cuts and hair product than what it takes to make their actual music, so the profits are slim at best. Timberlake has curly hair so that could be how he’s managed to stay afloat in this mostly African-American pop music scene.
Timberdick bridges the gap between pop and R+B and he doesn’t look like he’ll steal your car while doing it. Parents eat this up and this directly affects how many more records he will sell.
If the music he makes didn’t fully suck dead hobo ass, I’d give him his due. But from what I’ve seen, if the music was any good, combined with how popular he appears to be, it would be playing out of every speaker for miles around. They would install speakers in every dead soldier’s coffin coming back from Iraq and blast his music because it’s just that damn good. But alas, I will probably never hear it. That in of itself is a good thing, but I can’t help but think the American public has, yet again, been duped into liking something that couldn’t stand up on its own without the aid of a good looking white kid who can dance well enough that you forget how shitty the music is.
I don’t know where SEXY went in the first place, but is JT really bringing SEXYBACK if no one actually hears it? I think Mr. Timberlake had better keep cashing every check thrown his way because it can’t go on like this forever. But then again, Guns N Roses has been promising Chinese Democracy since the late 70’s and no one has pulled the plug on that ridiculous freak show. Come to think of it, Axl Rose has those bad corn rows, so maybe there is a correlation to white guys with their shitty faux black guy hair and longevity in the music business. Something to ponder. Somewhere JC Chasez is quietly contemplating having a plastic surgeon make him look like Flavor Flav.
Here’s some actual good music I’ve been listening to:
Been listening to some pretty good tunes lately. But before I get to that I want to remind everyone that I usually get my stuff from the library these days, so calling the music “new” isn’t very accurate. I’m sure for some of you some of this is old news, so let’s just dispense with posts regarding how out of touch I am. I know how out of touch I am.
The first thing that blew my ass away is the Wolfmother album. Man that record rules. It’s like a 70’s rock masterpiece that could take a turn into the ridiculous ala the Darkness, but never does because the jams are just that sweet. I would imagine this would be the album Sabbath would make today if they were young and full of cocaine.
And while I’m in the metal mood, the new Slayer is also worth your time. Christ Illusion rejoins Slayer with its original drummer and the results are fantastic. I really enjoyed the last Slayer album, and this is about as good, but the drumming stands out immediately. I don’t know if it’s a more “organic” sound, but that mother fucker hits the skins like no other. On one track (Catatonic), it sounds like he’s forging a plus 5 Broad sword from a furnace in Mordor. There are a couple of misfires, but for the most part, Christ Illusion rips.
The DJ Spooky/Trojan Records collection is very good as well. It’s two discs of reggae, ska and such, selected by DJ Spooky and it’s a pretty good throughout. Most times, collections like this don’t do it for me because I might have a lot of the stuff on here, but a good portion of this was stuff I don’t own so it was nice to have it in one place.
And speaking of reggae, awhile back I got the Max Romeo: Open the Iron Gate 1973-1977 album which is just phenomenal. Romeo’s got a great voice and the reggae is simple and stoney. A couple of songs have “versions” tacked on to the ends of the regular track, which is cool. I played this thing to death a couple weeks ago.
One record I cannot understand why is so popular is the Gnarls Barkley bullshit the media beat us over the head with for the last couple of months. Oh it was popular in England, but that doesn’t mean shit. The British, although purveyors of very fine music, can also get behind a turd if someone told them it smelled good enough. They like some shit over there (just like us I guess) and Gnarls Barkley is some bona fide shit. I got this from the library, put it on my ipod and started to mow the lawn while listening to the first couple of tracks. I was bored silly by the first song so I fast forwarded to the big hit “Crazy.” Well call me crazy, but “Crazy” sucks. It’s kind of catchy but overall just a bland pop song that I can imagine might be alright if you’re hanging out by the pool, but did it really deserve the hype that it got? No. Once I got to the cover of the Violent Femmes song “Gone Daddy Gone,” I turned it off. Absolute crap….but that’s the English way!
Been listening to the latest Neil Young album, Living With War. I’m a pretty big Neil fan so I’m pretty open to everything he does. Living With War is pretty good even if you leave out the anti-war/Bush message that pervades it. But I’m really glad he made this record because no one else did. Some of the songs delve into the goofy because he’s trying to get a point across by mentioning certain things Bush has done. For instance, in “Let’s Impeach the President,” which is kind of a fall anthem for me, Neil starts talking about Bush cracking down on steroids, “after he sold his own baseball team.” As a lyric, it doesn’t really work, but as anti-Bush tidbit, it’s great. The album has an anti-war, anti-Bush bent throughout but it works well as a Neil Young album and it’s been playing in my head for the last couple of weeks.
That’s about it for now, feel free to let me know about any music you might think I’d like. No Sufjan Stevens please.
Friday, September 15, 2006
Snyder is the fat rich kid who everyone used to tease; the geekiest of the geeks even got to make themselves feel better by tormenting this sad sack of shit. But he’s rich and it’s the only reason anyone takes him seriously. There was a fat rich kid who used to hang around the skate shop I worked at in high school. He was just a dorky kid who everyone hated but his family owned a restaurant and the prospect of free food always kept me from letting some of the kid his age from beating him senseless. This kid was annoying and a social retard and I’m sure he’s 10 times more wealthy than I am right now, making people’s lives hell just because he can.
Well, that fat bastard is all growed up now and his name is Daniel Snyder. I don’t know where Snyder made his money, but he’s got a shit load of it. He bought the Redskins in 1999 because you know, like a spoiled little asshole, he had to have a football team. I have to come clean and say I hate the Redskins. I think their name is ugly and racist, it’s an east coast team of which its fans are arrogant and delusional and if you believe ESPN, everyone loves them. Well, not me.
My hatred for the Redskins grew when Snyder took the team over. His bloated face and open wallet just screamed “I want to buy myself a Super Bowl!” But it never happened. Not yet anyway, and thank god. Snyder has thrown more money at this losing team and has gotten nothing in return but quick playoff exits and better yet, no playoffs at all. The best thing I can say about the team is that the Broncos have shipped their malcontents to them and have received quality players in return. If you had to play for that dick, wouldn’t you be happier somewhere else? Anyone who can make Broncos owner Pat Bowlen look like Andy Griffith has got to be a serious dickhead.
Snyder’s blank checks are now the notorious stuff of legends in the NFL. He’s spent more and got less than pretty much every team in the league. And that suits me fine.
Now, here’s why you may have heard of Daniel Snyder: he’s the guy who snapped up Tom Cruise’s contract once Paramount dumped him like Flavor Flav dumps fat chicks. Once Cruise became available, Snyder jumped at the chance to have him on his roster…not the Redskins roster…they don’t have room for a 5’6” ego maniac who can’t play football…that role is already being played by Snyder.
Cruise signed a two year development deal with Snyder’s brilliantly named “First and Goal” company that will provide financing for future Cruise films. Cruise’s films haven’t been taking it in like they used to and Paramount, faced with dwindling tickets sales and the high cost of paying Tom, decided to pull the plug. The fact that the actor went on a career killing publicity rampage last year probably factored in as well.
So in comes D Snyder (no, not DEE Snyder, but I wish!) to save the day. And just like his football team, he over pays for an underperforming superstar because, a) he can and b) he’s an utter douchebag who really doesn’t understand sports, movies and apparently business in general. Like I said before, I’m not sure how or where he made his money before becoming owner of the Redskins, but it’s a fucking miracle he actually did based on what he’s done over the last 7 years.
And that’s why Tom should be worried. If Daniel Snyder has come calling it means two things, 1) you will get paid like a motherfucker and 2) you can forget about winning anything ever again. In Tom Cruise’s world this isn’t a good thing because he already has tons of money, yet craves the critical acclaim that has eluded him thus far. Academy Award Tom? Not a chance with Dan Snyder propping you up.
His movies will continue to make less and less because the bloom is now off his Xenuian Rose. Partly because of his off screen antics, but mainly because people now see him as that pretty face who can’t really act but is thrust upon us in large, extravagant films that couldn’t be bad if they spent all this money right? Right.
He’s the rich man’s Ben Affleck and now the movie going public is sick of him. Enter stage left Dan Snyder to run up and hit him in the face with a fist full of cash hoping some of it will stick and not wash down the drain just like his Redskins payroll for nearly the last decade.
Cruise and his baby’s momma Kate Cruise (some of you may remember her as the actress Katie Holmes) made an appearance at the latest wonderful Redskins defeat in Washington last week. There was Cruise, his fake smile looking more and more painful as he forced his lips into that trademark phony grin. His career is now over. It’s official and you can smell it. The Stink of Dan Snyder, the Stink of Failure is now the one thing Cruise’s Scientology won’t be able to “clear” away.
Monday, August 28, 2006
That poses two questions: 1) who did kill this girl and 2) why in the holy fuck would anyone admit to this crime knowing full well it wasn't going to pan out?
What's wrong with this guy? Well, obviously a lot because he was obsessed with Jon Benet, but why admit to the crime? Did he think he'd get a guided tour of the house and get to masturbate onto her pageant clothes?
Patsy is dead, so he wouldn't get to meet her...I just don't see the motivation here.
Oh, and one more thing, who the fuck has to pay for flying this creep from Thailand to Colorado? Somebody did, and it's probably me. If I find an extra .25 on my Excel Energy Bill for "transporting John Karr" (who ate prawns and drank fine French wine on the way over), I'm going not kill somebody and admit it as well.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
But with the recent admission by the fully fucking creepy dude with the skinny neck and big head that he killer her, we have to re-visit what we initially thought.
Nearly everyone here in Colorado figured the Ramsey’s had something to do with her death. The Ramsey’s were the O.J. Simpson of child murders and their attempt to find the “real killer” was met with disdain and disbelief. It was just too bizarre to be what was originally thought of as a straight forward kidnapping attempt. But that’s what it seems to be turning out to be as that fucking freak makes his way back to the states to face the music.
Most times when rich people get into a scrape, they get out of it due to their money and power. For some reason, the public didn’t like the Ramsey’s and no amount of cash was going to change that. Even with this guy claiming he killed Jon Benet “by accident,” I still hold the Ramsey’s partially responsible.
This poor little girl was dressed up like a fucking hooker. Seriously. What was she, six years old? That’s just obscene to dress a kid up like that. I don’t care who you are. The Ramsey’s are still a little to blame for this because they sexualized their child and put her out there, knowing full well the creeps and child molesters would be looking her way.
Ultimately this falls squarely on the shoulders of this scumbag who killed her. He’s the real bad guy here, but the parents should feel some heat too. And I guess they have.
I can’t imagine being accused of this. Having everyone drag your name through the mud, calling you all sorts of names and still when it’s all said and done, your kid’s still dead; it would just be too much to bear. I guess they suffered enough, but I still can’t shake the image of failed beauty queen Patsy Ramsey, dressing her child like a whore so she could live through her daughter’s success. Well, I guess she got the attention she wanted, just the wrong kind.
Pageant folk are sick fuckers. Almost (but not quite) as sick as the fucker who would obsess about a child like this. If this guy really did do this, he’s got a surprise waiting for him in jail. Well, maybe it’s not such a surprise. I’m sure he knows what happens to the likes of him in the joint. After someone kills him with a sharpened spoon, maybe he and Patsy can run the yearly pageant in Hell.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
The ads are blatant stabs at getting to the mindless consumer; one who is so consumed with keeping up with the Jones’, that he or she will do anything and buy anything to feel better about their lonely, pathetic lives.
The first one I saw featured a woman at the playground with her kid. Another kid cuts in front of her child and the mother timidly says, “but Jimmy was next..” To which the mother of the rude child says, “too bad, now we are.” Or something to that effect.
The offended mom gets frustrated, grabs her kid out of the playground and heads immediately to a Hummer dealership to get even. She buys a huge, gas guzzling Hummer and feels great about herself as she drives away. The tagline “Get Your Girl On” is seen as this weak, boring woman has just purchased away any feelings of inadequacy she might have had on the playground. I mean after all, it’s easier just to buy something that can help you threaten people behind two tons of steel than actually standing up for yourself right? Right.
The second ad shows a guy, possibly a vegetarian, in the check out line at the grocery store. He’s buying tofu and veggies but the guy behind him is buying what looks like the rack of ribs that knocked over Fred Flintstone’s car at the end of every episode of the Flintstones. The veggie guy is embarrassed and darts out of the store to the Hummer dealership. After buying, he gets in his shitty ride and with the tagline of “Restore the Balance,” he bites into a carrot. Why a vegetarian would suddenly be moved by a huge animal carcass to race out and start paying $60 to fill his tank, I’ll never know.
The commercials are pretty straightforward. A person is not happy with their life and how things are going in it, so they buy something they don’t need and all is better. If you get pushed around by people, don’t assert yourself, go buy an SUV and assert yourself anonymously inside your vehicle. There’s nothing braver than an asshole that imposes their will on other drivers just by the sheer volume of the truck they’re driving.
I think this is brilliant advertising because it flies in the face of what people typically think about SUV’s. Sure, tons of people still drive them, and I’m know deep down they love them, but in public, everyone silently or not-so-silently agrees they are monstrosities. In my world, to drive a Hummer means you suck. You’re a weak minded fool who needs this hunk of junk to feel better about yourself. You suck and the only way you can feel better about yourself is buying one. This is awful behavior and apparently Hummer agrees…merrily.
Hummer has said, “screw it” and is giving people what they want. Instead of making up reasons to justify why they bought the car, the ad has gone straight for the heart and has portrayed its costumers as they are. You and your hybrid loving friends aren’t going to buy one, so why waste money trying to convince you? This goes right to the people it needs to: spineless assholes. Are you a hopeless head case who will buy anything to justify your existence? Boy, do we have the car for you.
This commercial makes me angry because I know it works. The fact that it makes me angry is proof that it works. It works on zombie Americans who will buy the vehicle and it works on people like me that find this behavior outrageous and hazardous. There will more in this series, just you wait. And when they get the one on the air that shows someone buying a Hummer so they can road rage more effectively, I will bow down and give the respect these blood suckers are due. It’s brilliant and really fucking sad all at once.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
There hasn't been such a descent into mediocrity and uncoolness this extreme since Aerosmith got off the drugs cha-cha.
Miller is one of the biggest assholes in modern pop culture. He's harmless, because he's such a joke, but still, I've had to continually watch his ugly face on TV for so long, I was beginning to wonder who could possibly be paying him.
Miller started out as the wise cracking hipster on SNL's weekend update. He was cool, sarcastic and had that sweet hockey hair that was so representative of the times. I liked Dennis Miller. But I was probably 13 at time. Chances are good that if you could go back and revisit everything you liked at 13, you'd not only do some major editing to you life, but you'd probably punch your 13 year old self in the face.
Then Miller faded a bit. And with his brand of comedy and smug face out of our hearts and minds, we realized, when he started to appear in bad phone commercials, that he really wasn't that funny to begin with. He tried his hand at talk shows, I think, and failed like a man who shouldn't have been there in the first place. His act was tired and it wasn't the 80's anymore. Kids and people saturated with cocaine (who would laugh at anything) had moved on from his bad, predictable shtick.
And then there was Monday Night Football. More often than not, MNF games are boring, one sided affairs that have more to do with the lame announcers than the actual game. And some fucking genius thought it would be great to get ol' Dennis in there to appeal to goateed, docker wearing douchebags who don't know funny from a Larry the Cable Guy skit where he beats an Indian to death because he thinks he's one of "them A-Rabs."
Miller was a full force disaster as a MNF announcer. He spent more time trying to show everyone how smart he was by using big words to describe junior high educated players than he did actually talking about the game. It just didn't work. And not just because Miller was dull and aloof, his 80's wit hung in the air like a John Madden fart. Al Michaels spent the better part of the broadcast trying to smooth over Miller's flatulent bon mots like your Aunt putting a good spin on grandpa’s racist outbursts at Thanksgiving. The aforementioned "dockers wearing douchebag" couldn't understand why Miller was being let go after only one season.
Then Miller re-invented himself as a conservative ass-kicker with a funny bone. He jumped on the liberal bashing bandwagon so late, he practically snapped Anne Coulter in half when he landed on her. I mean, is there a more repellent person than the "I'm going to sock it to the liberals - because it's now safe" guy? I don't think so. Rush Limbaugh is one thing, but a past his prime comedian who, upon further review, wasn't very funny to begin with, starts throwing out the "L" word (liberal not lesbian)like they're beers at a bbq, I have to call bullshit.
At least Limbaugh was the first person to take his ridiculous rantings to the pop culture level and create a whole new kind of media. He made it fashionable to bash liberals and did it with, depending on who you talk to, a little style. Miller is just aping that; tapping into an already clueless and seemingly elderly demographic who watch Fox News AND still thinks he's funny.
And that's why Fox News is simultaneously displaying that it is both savvy and completely out of touch by hiring Miller full time. Most people will see this as a hilariously funny (in a sad way) stretch to keep their network relevant. It's needed because each day, Fox News gets exposed for exactly what it is: a Bush administration media arm that wouldn't tell you if bombs were about to fall on your house if that fat fuck Karl Rove didn't approve it first.
I see this move as not only being a pathetic stab at credibility (from a failed comedian no less!) but an absolute bewildering personnel move. Do these fools know that everyone hates Dennis Miller? Politics or not, he just sucks, and no amount of making fun of Howard Dean can ever erase that.
But even with saying that, I do know there are many, many people out there who have their taste (and their political beliefs) so far up their asses that they think Dennis Miller is as funny Dave Chapelle. Hiring Miller is in this sense brilliant because they are speaking directly to their mindless, obedient, and apparently humorless viewers by sticking Dennis Miller on there full time. If you give some thought to the Fox News demographic, it now comes off as possibly brilliant.
But while the rest of us will laugh and furrow our brows at the thought that someone is still hiring Dennis Miller, someone, a lonely, bitter, sad someone is quietly pumping his fist because he knows he can more of that sweet, smug, bearded face on the network more famous for its lying than its actual reporting.
I salute you Dennis Miller. Not because you are a complete jerkoff who couldn't extend his bland comedy career by another few years so you had to join the nazi party to peddle your wares. No. I salute you because you are what America is all about: a completely talent less asshole who keeps getting paid for being nothing more than fucking creep who will adopt any ideology, no matter how heinous, just to keep your ugly face on TV.
If the Child Molesters of America (CMoA) called Dennis, would you answer? If there was a paycheck and some screen time, I believe you would. Burn in hell you unfunny twat.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
If you want to show just how out of touch and lame you are, title a column, “Things To Do in Denver...” Instead of being informative and hip you’ll have people running from your piece like it was homeless man, covered in shit, who just stumbled into the line at Burger King. No one wants that and no one wants your “Thing To Do in Denver” awkwardness.
If the movie had been better would it be ok to use the line? I don’t know maybe. It surely would have helped it, but I think some cocksucker from 5280 Magazine would have beaten it into the ground by now for sure.
So if you’re looking for something to do in Denver this weekend and you don’t want a clichéd tagline from a crappy movie no one saw, except for people in Denver hoping to see their house, check out the Denver Post’s Underground Music Showcase.
The showcase takes place down on South Broadway at five different venues including the Three Kings Tavern, the Hi-Dive, Irish Rover and the Skylark. I think tickets are like $10 and there are some all ages shows earlier in the day. More info here: denverpost.com/music and denverpostbloghouse.com/underground
I was sent a ballot and was actually a judge for this year’s festivities. I declined to do it last year because I have become so out of touch with local music that I probably would just be voting for the few bands I knew and that wouldn’t be fair to some of the bands that actually deserve it. It’s pretty cool because 10 years ago, there would be no way to fill up the ballot with good bands, let alone vote for 20 of them.
But I voted. Partly because I wanted to get out on the town and see some of these bands and partly because I have actually been keeping up with local music….a little bit. I did do a homer vote by selecting the incredible Black Lamb with my first vote. I knew they probably wouldn’t win, but I still think they are one of the best bands in Denver and dammit I was going to vote for them because I could.
I voted for Hot IQ’s second and they actually came in second so hey, I’m not that out of touch. Munly won the whole thing and I had him down a few notches at number 6. Not bad for somebody who hasn’t seen a local band play in many, many years. I was pretty close with most of the other top 10 as well. I won’t tell you who else I voted for because I don’t want to get anyone excited and/or pissed off. I will tell you that near the end I was running out of bands to vote for so I started to select them solely based on how cool their name was. Nightshark and Electric Side Dish got votes based on these criteria. I hope they’re good…their names are glorious.
I think what Rick Baca and crew over at the Post are doing is great for Denver. They’ve moved the big papers into the 21st century through their excellent music coverage. Back in the day (by which I mean 10 years ago), the music coverage of the big papers was just a fucking joke but now it’s credible, respectable and if you can throw a party like this (for the sixth year), they got my vote…..hopefully they don’t read this and realize how utterly oblivious I am to local music. But hey, I may not go to the shows, but I’m always listening.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
The fat guy in movies and TV has those two roles to fill and if he deviates from that, it causes problems. It’s like if a gay guy isn’t portrayed as a mincing fag on the various Bravo shows, you get confused.
When a fat guy is of the good natured sort, someone you want with you on a wild adventure, he’s more of the frat boy kind. The John Belushi character from Animal House comes to mind. You don’t fuck with this guy because he’s inherently tough and is his own man to the point that his size alone is intimidating.
Then there’s the whipping boy. This kind of fat guy is born to be abused. You blame him for your defeats and give him no credit for your victories. He gets whomped on the head a lot, ala Gilligan, and typically is found in crucial moments feeding his fat face when he’s supposed to be doing something important. Dipping back into Animal House, Flounder is the perfect example. If you’ve never seen Animal House, you’re either 13- years old or a complete douche bag. Don’t tell me which one.
Here’s how the Fat Guy Effect operates in movies and TV when race is involved: fat, white guys are not usually paired up with black people. I don’t know why this is, but I can’t really think of an example where this is the case. I think when you get the outgoing and aggressive fat guy (Belushi) he doesn’t pair up well with a black guy in a movie. The whipping boy style fat guy can, but it’s rare. A recent example would be the Will Smith movie Hitch where Big Willie slaps around the horribly shitty Kevin James. James is one of the worst fat guy’s in the business. He’s always eating in everything he’s in and you can literally see his dignity disappear with every bite he takes.
If a skinny white guy is in a movie with a tough, lean black guy watch out; he’ll get whomped on the head just like the incompetent fat guy no matter his race. Anytime the dreadful Steve Zahn appears in a movie with black people he gets abused like the charity candy box in an office break room. It doesn’t matter if it’s a man or a sassy black woman (probably played by a man), the white man is getting slapped up like an inflatable clown.
But it gets tricky with the fat black guy. He falls into the same mode as any fat guy with there being an incompetent version that gets blamed for everything and one who is cool and nobody is going to tell him what he can or can’t do. That stays the same. The only difference between the fat black guy and the fat white guy is the fat black guy seems to be eating more during the course of the film. Where it gets weird, and this could be the opposite of the Steve Zahn Effect, is where there is a fat black guy starring with a lean, tough white guy. 100% of the time, the black guy is going to get abused. A recent film that comes to mind is the Cedric the Entertainer / Tommy Lee Jones opus, Man of the House.
I didn’t see this piece of poop but I can tell you that Ced gets slapped around by Tommy Lee so much it’s embarrassing. I like Ced; I think he’s funny and talented so it’s just cringe inducing to watch him humiliate himself like this. He falls into the category of the cool fat guy but by signing on with a dominating actor like Tommy Lee Jones, he should have known what he was in for. This has set his career back to its very beginning I’m pretty sure.
And then there’s Mike Golic and the whole reason I wrote this ridiculousness in the first place. Mike Golic is an ex-football player, ESPN analyst and radio host. He is a classic example of the shitty fat guy who has somehow found himself in the role of the cool fat guy. I don’t know how it happened because he even looks a bit like Flounder from Animal House.
Golic is a doughy faced pussy whose opinions carry no weight because we all know he’s the inept lard ass who would take a major beating from even the lowliest Hollywood leading man.
Golic must have a good agent because he’s been cast as the ex-football tough guy even though no one knows what team he played for. Tony Siragusa is a fat, loud jerk who used to play for the Baltimore Ravens. That guy is who they’ve cast Golic to be like but he’ll never achieve that status. Siragusa is a fat slob who fills the role of the obnoxious fat guy to a T. He wouldn’t be caught dead getting grief from anyone, let alone a skinny white who weighs 100 pounds less than he does.
Co-hosting his radio show is ESPN’s Mike Greenberg who is the “geeky” counterpart to Golic’s fat, tough guy. Greenberg is likeable and knowledgeable sports guy but has to play the weak dork to this poor man’s Siragusa. Greenberg has to lob softballs to Golic who will then hit them out of the yard by pointing out how uncool he is by showcasing the difference between the two. It’s strange to see (they put the radio show on TV…TV On The Radio?) the two interact because at any moment you expect Golic to look up from eating a pie and have Greenberg hit him over the head with his head. It never happens and I think someone should be fired over it.
I’m not sure why I hate Mike Golic show much but I always have. I’m all for people transcending their stereotypes but when someone is such an ill fit for their faux persona, I want to scream, “get back to eating out of that bucket of KFC and looking up surprised with a greasy face you corpulent bastard!”
My theory is that Mike Golic and Bon Jovi secretly employ Karl Rove to fool everyone into believing they are something they are not: Golic, a tough guy fatty and Bon Jovi a band that never sucked and is still making good music. Only the genius spin doctor Karl Rove could achieve two such incredible feats. Considering what he’s done for Bush, I have to point to him for the Jesus caliber miracles that have been performed for Golic’s broadcasting career and Bon Jovi’s inexplicable longevity. Bon Jovi sucks so bad they deserve their own post. But again, I digress.
If you’re a fat guy (white or black), there’s work for you. It all depends on how you’re perceived by the public. Are you the sassy fat guy or are you the punching bag? If you’re fat and you want to get into movies or TV I would first suggest hiring Mike Golic’s agent (Karl Rove) and of course bring your own bucket of fried chicken to the audition.